December 24, 2015

For Our Coffee Club, A Christmas Story by Lloyd R. Prentice

For Our Coffee Club, A Christmas Story by Lloyd R. Prentice

Your baristas, Caitlin, Jack, Jason and Mike, would like to wish you, the members of our Fictional Café Coffee Club, a Happy Holidays season. Hey, even if you’re reading this but not yet a member, we still wish you the best of the season. [Maybe it’s time for you to join us?] In any event, here’s a very short but very charming story from our friend and contributor, Lloyd R. Prentice, author of The Gospel of Ashes, a thriller we excerpted here at the FC last month [“titled “Carmichael“], Freein’ Pancho, and the three-volume manga Aya Takeo. Catch up with Lloyd and his books at his Amazon site.  Santa Has Second Thoughts: A PG13 Christmas story When Santa on his yearly round narrowly dodged a shoulder-fired missile, he proclaimed, “Enough is enough!” This went far beyond marking up…

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November 15, 2015

Why Podcasting Matters

Why Podcasting Matters

Here at the Fictional Café, you will only find fiction podcasts. These are original productions, whereas a lot of podcasts you listen to are likely to be rebroadcasts of radio shows, or portions thereof. And they are primarily nonfiction, for example almost anything you hear from NPR [no disparagement intended]. Creating a podcast is a collaborative process. Someone with a good voice must be enlisted or hired to read the novel. He or she is going to read the novel at least three times while making the recording. We’re very fortunate to have Leonard Mailloux reading my two novels, he of the mellifluous voice who understands how to read the nuances in. Next, there must be an engineer to take the raw digital recording and polish it up like a shining apple. This means taking out…

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November 11, 2015

Our Barista Jason Brick Interviewed on the Author’s Academy Today!

Our Barista Jason Brick Interviewed on the Author’s Academy Today!

Calling All Authors – you don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear wise and experienced author-consultant Jason Brick today! He’s being interviewed on the Author’s Academy, a service of Wheatmark Publishing. Last month, two Wheatmark pros  brought listeners up to speed on the basics of social media. Now it’s time to take it up a notch, and discover how to use social media to sell more books! The featured guest will be Jason Brick, top-shelf business writer, writing coach, speaker, ghostwriter, and business writing coach extraordinaire. Jason owes the success of his series of self-published books to a strong social media presence and his use of Tactical Social Engagement. Jason will explain how to identify the three kinds of people who can help you sell your books, as well as how to develop three levels of strategy…

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October 5, 2015

The Sweetly Evocative Poetry of Suman Chatterjee

The Sweetly Evocative Poetry of Suman Chatterjee

Editor’s Note: When I first read Suman Chatterjee’s poetry, I felt swept up in the scents and sensuous evocations of Omar Khayyám, even to the similarities in the ruba’i stanzas. These are short poems, sometimes romantic, often charming, ever flowing from a kind heart and a fleeting thought which the poet took the time to remember and craft in verse. Take a few moments to savor each of them. *     *     * A Beautiful Mind A thousand oceans and seven seas, Among blue, green and red, Species known, Unknown traversed I, in depths unseen, Free-floating in an infinity, With stars that bear in time, Back and forth, and back, Of life, light and wisdom: The colorful canvass of Gold, The scribbles of Old, The secret they hold, leading, The way towards freedom and…

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September 30, 2015

International Podcast Day is Today!

International Podcast Day is Today!

If you don’t know a lot about podcasting, today is the day you can learn more at International Podcast Day! This one snuck right up on me, even though I just delivered a presentation last Saturday at the Independent Publishers of New England conference on the subject. I love podcasting. It’s a technology which gives readers a chance to listen to works of interest on their phones, in their cars, while jogging or bicycling – whenever and wherever they want. That’s why you’ll see my novels podcast right here on Fictional Café. Very soon you’ll be seeing many other podcasting offerings here from other artists as well. So jump over to learn more about podcasting at International Podcast Day, join the conversation at Blab, and check out our offerings here at the Café, too! Jack

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September 28, 2015

Announcing Our New Head Barista, Mike Mavilia

Announcing Our New Head Barista, Mike Mavilia

Few activities give me more pleasure than helping bring someone into the publishing business, and the story of Mike Mavilia is no exception. Mike is a Bowdoin College graduate, but more importantly a smart, literate young man with discerning thoughts and opinions about writing and publishing and, perhaps most importantly, a keen attention to detail. With a background like that, how could I not want to get him involved in Fictional Café? He took to it like a duck to water and has brought a great many improvements to this, our not-for-profit, totally for-pleasure, arts site. Mike began working at FC with Jason and me about a year ago, and has taken the reins with such gusto that I decided he needed to be acknowledged to our member audience and everyone else who reads and views…

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September 27, 2015

Novel Excerpt: “White Bike” by Jack B. Rochester

Novel Excerpt: “White Bike” by Jack B. Rochester

Editor’s Note: Jack is one of the four authors reading tonight, Monday, September 28, at an event in his home town, Lexington, Massachusetts, called “Spellbinding Stories: Four Local Authors Read From Their Novels.” Jack will be be joined by  Peter David Shapiro and X.J. “Joe” Kennedy. The reading will be held at the First Parish Unitarian Church, 7 Harrington Road, Lexington, and starts at 7PM. Readings will be followed by a discussion of writing and publishing. Refreshments will be served. White Bike is a novel based upon a real incident and a growing problem in America: People on bicycles getting run over by motor vehicles. Across the country, an anonymous group that calls itself “Ghost Bike” leaves a white bike at the scene of accidents which take the life of a bicyclist. As the novel opens, four close friends and owners of…

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September 23, 2015

Novel Excerpt: “Ghosts on the Red Line” by Peter David Shapiro

Novel Excerpt: “Ghosts on the Red Line” by Peter David Shapiro

Editor’s Note: Peter David Shapiro has entertained the Fictional Café habitués on several earlier occasions, for a simple reason: he is a prolific author with three novels to his credit. Debuting now is his first novel, Ghosts on the Red Line. It was followed by The Trail of Money and most recently Portrait of Ignatius Jones. Peter’s books are available in Boston area bookstores and on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. An innovative author, Peter has made Ghosts available as an audiobook/podcast as well. Peter is an innovator in another important way. It’s sometimes said an author writes the same book over and over, but this is definitely not the case with Peter’s novels. Each is distinctly different in subject matter: ghosts in the subway tunnels; crooked financiers laundering money in Hong Kong; an ignominious psychic out to fleece old…

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September 21, 2015

Novel Excerpt: “A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer” by X. J. Kennedy

Novel Excerpt: “A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer” by X. J. Kennedy

Editor’s Note: We’re extremely pleased to publish an excerpt from X. J. “Joe” Kennedy’s novel, A Hoarse Half-Human Cheer. It’s a ribald story of post-World War II America that rivals another Joe’s novel – Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Joe Kennedy’s novel is, in our opinion, a more finely wrought work, and perhaps even funnier, which is as it should be from a man for whom literature has been his life work. Earlier this year, Joe was awarded the Jackson Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement in poetry. The judges wrote: “X. J. Kennedy’s forms are perennial, his rhetoric is at once elaborate and immediate, and his language and diction are always of the American moment. He translates the human predicament into poetry perfectly balancing wit, savagery, and compassion. His subtly dissonant rhymes and side-stepping meters carry us through the realms…

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September 2, 2015

Dory Fiamingo’s Sensuous Nude Paintings

Dory Fiamingo’s Sensuous Nude Paintings

Last October we featured an excerpt from Daughter of Fire, a novel in progress by Dory Fiamingo. Shortly thereafter, Dory received an invitation to exhibit her art, a series of sensual and erotic nudes, at Westwind Frame and Gallery in The Dalles, Oregon. She told us: “Every time I think my work isn’t a big deal, not really, I think, yeah, how many artists get told by a gallery that they want 11 paintings to display!?! You should have seen the owner greedily grabbing canvases and saying, “I want this one and this one, and definitely this one!” Dory likes to paint nudes, and she reports the show was a smashing success. When the show ended, Dory had sold one and gotten three commissions. More commissions have followed. Most recently, Dory has submitted a few pieces in the Artists of the [Columbia River] Gorge competition taking place October…

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