February 20, 2018

Introducing Rachael Allen, FC’s Creative Nonfiction Barista

Introducing Rachael Allen, FC’s Creative Nonfiction Barista

Please join us in welcoming Rachael Allen as our first Creative Nonfiction Barista. Rachael is a long-time prolific FC contributor. She wrote an “expose” article about working in an Amazon bricks-and-mortar bookstore. She has written several times about her desires and doubts about pursuing a writing career. She and Barista Simran Gupta were pen pals, exchanging thoughts in FC blog posts while on their Study Abroad programs in Italy and France, respectively. Most recently, she interviewed Whitney Scharer, a million-dollar first-time author of the forthcoming The Age of Light. You can review all of Rachael’s contributions by clicking the Q at the far right-hand end of the blue menu bar and typing her name. When we met with Rachael  over coffee, of course – to discuss her baristaship, it came as no surprise that she…

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January 30, 2018

Debut Novelist Whitney Scharer’s Million-Dollar Book Deal

Debut Novelist Whitney Scharer’s Million-Dollar Book Deal

Barista Rachael Allen meets the novelist everyone will be talking about. Whitney Scharer and her fierce protagonist are set to take the literary world by storm! At this time next year, Whitney Scharer’s debut novel, The Age of Light, will stare up at you from your nightstand. The book will not stare at you so much as, potentially, display a woman staring into the distance, anonymously cropped at the neck, with scenic Paris blurred behind her. As much as she hopes for something different, Scharer says wryly, audiences are familiar with this kind of book jacket (think Paula McLain’s The Paris Wife). And, following its million-dollar deal widely covered in the media, the book is banking on this commercial success. Perhaps a dreamy woman will attract an audience, but the book—and its personable, expressive author—aims…

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July 20, 2017

Caitlin Jans: The Working Writer Interview

Caitlin Jans: The Working Writer Interview

Caitlin Jans is the editor-owner of Authors Publish, a website and newsletter devoted to providing writers with sources – and resources – for publishing their work. Once a writer signs up, they receive periodic email messages with new leads for their literary aspirations. Caitlin was gracious in answering some questions from the Fictional Café editors about her work, as well as her own writing. FC: How would you describe Authors Publish? AP: We are a weekly eMagazine that publishes information for authors, including reviews of literary journals and manuscript publishers open to submissions from authors. Of course, we have changed a little over the years. We now publish eBooks and special issues that focus on just one topic, but we can still be mostly summed up in that first sentence. FC: What inspired you to…

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April 2, 2017

Faux Fiction Audio: The Cast

Faux Fiction Audio: The Cast

Writing, reading, recording  and sharing our creative work   Our featured podcasts for March were the first four episodes from “Mickie McKinney, Boy Detective.” The show was written, directed and produced by Ruby Fink, who heads up her own audio studio and staff of talented, hard-working performers of Faux Fiction Audio out there on the Left Coast [where else?]. What began for Ruby as something simply fun to do has turned into her passion. What next? She hopes a business, specializing in producing podcasts and audiobooks for authors. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, you can continue listening to Mickie here [we’re up to Episode 5, “Brawn and Brain”], while you wait for Ruby and her cast to get Season Two up. You can also listen to the Mickie podcasts on iTunes [podcasts, store, search “mickie mckinney”]….

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June 24, 2016

Podcast: David Foster Wallace’s “Infiinte Jest” at 20 Years of Age

Podcast: David Foster Wallace’s “Infiinte Jest” at 20 Years of Age

The world is divided into two groups: those who have read the late David Foster Wallace’s masterpiece, Infinite Jest, and those who have not. Tipping in at just over a thousand pages, and described on Amazon as “A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America set in an addicts’ halfway house and a tennis academy,” it’s not for everyone. I confess I bought it with high enthusiasm. Couldn’t wait to read it. Now, twenty years on, it’s still resting on my bookshelf, unread. Yet after hearing the people in this New York Times Book Review podcast discuss it, upon the occasion of the 20th anniversary edition being published, I’m ready. Sometimes books are like that, aren’t they? You just have to wait until you’re ready to read it. This podcast was originally netcast…

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June 22, 2016

News and Interview with Nicole Beauchaine

News and Interview with Nicole Beauchaine

  I recently had a chance to catch up with our Featured Artist for last October, Nicole Beauchaine aka Woodsybug, about her new work. In March, she published her first book: an adult coloring book titled Goddesses. It seems that unlike Trix, coloring is not just for kids. Read on to hear more about it.   The Fictional Café: Congratulations on your new book! First off, what exactly is an “adult coloring book?” I’ve never heard of that before.   Nicole Beauchaine: So, an adult coloring book is just like a coloring book for kids, only slightly more complex designs and subject matter. For instance, my book includes nudity, not specifically sexual, but not exactly for children either.   FC: Good to know! Thanks for making that important distinction. What inspired you to make a coloring book?…

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May 17, 2016

Book Review: The “Brilliance” Trilogy by Marcus Sakey

Book Review: The “Brilliance” Trilogy by Marcus Sakey

I’ve spent the past few months reading Marcus Sakey’s Brilliance trilogy. It’s been a helluva trip. Set in the unspecified near future – maybe tomorrow? – it’s a story that could have come right off the front page of a major newspaper. Sakey has character development that makes a writer pine and a plotline that’s terribly engrossing. This is a trilogy, so it’s three full length novels: Brilliance, A Better World, and Written in Fire. You can get a plot briefing on Amazon, but the brilliant aspect, for me, is the brilliants. Sakey posits an event occurred some thirty years ago, that humans with extraordinary powers – in a word, brilliance – were unsuspectingly born. Over time, average mortals have grown largely resentful of the brilliants, and some have decided to assure they will never…

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March 25, 2016

An Interview with V.E. Ulett, Author of the “Captain Blackwell” Novels

An Interview with V.E. Ulett, Author of the “Captain Blackwell” Novels

An Interview with V. E. Ulett, Author of the Captain Blackwell Novels JBR: How did you become interested in writing about the days of wooden sailing ships? VEU: My interest in writing springs from a love of books and reading. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I loved C.S. Forester’s Hornblower series, and even more Patrick O’Brian’s wonderful books. I have a certain fascination with the British Royal Navy of (Admiral Horatio Lord) Nelson’s day, but I don’t read only in that era. Arturo Perez-Reverte’s Captain Alatriste novels are another favorite of mine. JBR: Those tales take place in Spain and elsewhere in the 1600s. In those times, sailors often considered a woman on board a jinx. You’ve broken through that with Mercedes, a woman who can hold her own with the men. It’s…

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November 28, 2015

Interview with Artist Erica Nazzaro

Interview with Artist Erica Nazzaro

Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, I caught up with Erica Nazzaro – our featured artist this month – to talk about her art and the business of being an artist. For those of you following along with our blogs and on social media, you’ll notice a theme this month. We are highlighting the challenges and triumphs of the modern day creative person. Not only must they be exceptional at their trade, but they must also be a savvy business person. When Jack and I met Erica Nazzaro at an art show earlier this year, we were instantly struck by her personality. She was excited to talk with us, forthcoming with information when we asked her questions and followed up with us after taking our business cards. She also asked us to join her mailing list, which…

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