10May/19
William C Tracy author photo

William C. Tracy

May 10, 2019

Fruits of the Gods book cover
It gives us great pleasure to welcome William C. Tracy as the guest on Episode 215 – 110 Percent Germination!

William C. Tracy joins us to discuss his latest novel, Fruits of the Gods, as well as cosplay, selling at cons, and the importance of inclusivity.

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Bio:

William C. Tracy writes tales of the Dissolutionverse: a science fantasy series about planets connected by music-based magic instead of spaceflight where you can explore aliens, magic, and steampunk!

He currently has five books out, from a coming of age story, to tales of political intrigue, to a Sherlock Holmes-like mystery, to a Jules Verne style adventure, to the first book of his epic space opera, titled THE SEEDS OF DISSOLUTION. Several books include LGBT-friendly elements as well.

William is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He has a master’s in mechanical engineering, and has both designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He has also trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo in Raleigh NC. He is an avid video and board gamer, a reader, and of course, a writer.

In his spare time, he cosplays with his wife such combinations as Steampunk Agent Carter and Jarvis, Jafar and Maleficent, and Doctor Strange and the Ancient One. They also enjoy putting their pets in cute little costumes and making them cosplay for the annual Christmas card.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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09May/19

Chasing The Dragon: Are You Chem-Friendly? By Cameron Yorke

Cameron Yorke was recently on WROTE! To find out more about him and his work, check out Episode 210: The New Normal!

Very briefly, Cameron Yorke was a successful journalist who accidentally became a drugs kingpin, providing liquid pleasure to eager punters wanting to get “High and Horny.” Then it all went wrong, ending in the death of a young man and a prison sentence for Yorke.

That’s the short version. The long version is told over a trilogy of books, the first two being Chasing The Dragon and Candy Flipping. I certainly learned a lot about this underground industry and the drug-fuelled parties, the wide variety of people involved, the lengths many go to in order to achieve sexual pleasure, and the hunger for as much as possible.

I worried for the author and everyone else involved long before it all went horribly wrong. There was an inevitability about it, almost from the first page. For me it was deeply disturbing that people would willingly do that to themselves, and the peer pressure involved. More than once I wondered what drives a person to seek out this kind of thing?

But I’m not and will never be part of that world, so I would not understand truly how it feels, or what the allure is. I get that, which is why I hope my review as someone new to this topic helps.

There is a lot to unpick here, and an incredible story that needed to be told. However, I thought both books were let down by the editing, and an overuse of exclamation marks, which had the effect of sensationalising all the activities. Someone did die, we have to remember that, and others were left with mental health problems and zero self-esteem.

The size of the paragraphs was also an issue, with stonking great chunks of prose that left one a little breathless by the time I had read through it. Again, this lessened the impact of the words, which was a shame. The books could have been more concise, and therefore powerful, if it had been edited more judiciously.

One thing that came across well; Yorke’s life became a drug-fuelled hot mess, a sort of Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas but in Belsize Park. There are times when it was hard to read because of the relentless pleasure-grasping, but I did because I wanted to understand even just a bit of why he embarked on what seemed like a wanton journey of self-destruction.

I’m not squeamish by any means, but in the end I was reeling at the shocking salaciousness of it all. A little less lurid detail might have had a stronger impact. I came away with the message, “you’ll be fine! It’s fun! Until you get caught!” Were you breathless after reading that? Well, that is what the books are like.

There isn’t much more I can say. Both books will stay with me, that’s for sure. I probably sound like a dowager aunt clutching her pearls, but although it was a fascinating insight into a shadowy underworld, I’ll stay on this side of the table, thank you very much.

When you’re finished, I’ll make some tea…

BLURB

Everyone is into Chemsex – everyone wants to get ‘High and Horny’ and PnP is a normal weekend pastime. At least that’s what it seems when you log onto one of the many gay apps now available, And if it’s not your bag, be prepared to be bullied, ridiculed, scorned and demeaned, such is the attitude towards the few chemsex virgins still left. Chemsex, for the uninitiated, refers to sex parties lasting three or more days, fuelled by recreational drugs such as crystal Methamphetamine or Gamma-Butylactose (GBL), where up to 100 men will gather for indiscriminate sex, in fact, gay middle-class men of almost any professional background are spurning relationships to inject, or ‘slam’ class A narcotics every weekend all over the world, turning to chems as a substitute for love.

Chasing the Dragon is a brutally honest portrayal of this phenomenon, and demonstrates how quickly seemingly successful, civilised men get sucked into a downward vortex, where judgement becomes impaired, and the bizarre becomes the new norm, with disastrous consequences.

26Apr/19

Abigail de Niverville

April 26, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Abigail de Niverville as the guest on Episode 213 – Unnecessarily Mysterious!

Abigail de Niverville joins us to discuss her new novel, I Knew Him, as well as how her musical composition informed her work and her take on YA literature.

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Bio:

Abigail de Niverville is a Moncton-born composer and author living in Toronto, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Toronto in 2017 with a Master’s of Composition, having studied with Alexander Rapoport. She has previously studied with Kevin Morse at Mount Allison University. Her experiences in theatre performance and production often influence her creative works.

Recent musical works include: Letters (for tenor and piano), Let Me In (for Ensemble Atlantica), and October 4th, 1967 (a mini opera).

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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Or right here:

19Apr/19

Steve Turnbull

April 19, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Steve Turnbull as the guest on Episode 212 – Try Playing It With The Other Hand!

Steve Turnbull, screenplay writer, novelist, poet and computer programmer joins us for a lively conversation about his many works.

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Bio:

When he’s not sitting at his computer building websites for national institutions and international companies, USA Today bestselling author Steve Turnbull can be found sitting at his computer building new worlds of steampunk, science fiction and fantasy.

Technically Steve was born a cockney but after five years he was moved out from London to the suburbs where he grew up and he talks posh now. He’s been a voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy since his early years, but it was poet Laurie Lee’s autobiography “Cider with Rosie” (picked up because he was bored in Maths) that taught him the beauty of language and spurred him into becoming a writer, aged 15. He spent twenty years editing and writing for computer magazines while writing poetry on the side.

Nowadays he writes screenplays (TV and features), prose and computer programs.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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18Apr/19

Empire Of Light (Voyance #1) by Alex Harrow

Alex Harrow was recently on WROTE! To hear their interview and check out their work, you can find them on Episode 200: Wait Wait This Is A Thing!

Empire of Light has a lot of warnings, including for for graphic violence and explicit sex. The danger with trigger warnings is that the reader will then read the book and think, so where was that violence then? Or where was the sex?

For the former, the author wasn’t kidding. From the get-go, this book has crunchy action scenes, lots of blood and flailing fists from our tough-talking main character, Damian, hitman and mercenary. 

On paper, he doesn’t sound too promising, but I sort of liked him by the end. If Quentin Tarantino had made a sci-fi, it might be something quite similar to this, shot in monochrome with flashes of blood and fire. Turns out Damian has a soft and squishy side, although he does his best to hide it. I would like to take him out for a beer and tell him how to keep in touch with his emotions.

I really enjoyed this book, despite the dizzying pace. It’s well-written, though I would have appreciated a few more calm moments to get to know the characters more.  It has balls-to-the-wall fight scenes, and a man torn between saving his lover and lusting after the man (Raeyn) who has threatened to kill him if he doesn’t do what he wants. There isn’t much in the way of complicated emotion, but we get the picture. Damian is a bit of blunt instrument. In fact, most of the characters are, apart from the blind woman, who I would have liked to get to know a bit. I loved Raeyn’s sense of style, and slinky Aris who seemed to oscillate from good to bad to good again. 

I wouldn’t say the sex is hugely explicit (though it depends what kind of books you usually read I guess) but the language can be coarse (it would be odd if it wasn’t, TBH) and there is an aura of blood-drenched lust running throughout the whole book. 

Good world-building, and a fast-paced, visceral plot. My one quibble would be the last few pages, where a LOT seemed to happen, and it felt as if there were at least one climax too many (if that’s possible.) I felt a bit breathless reading it; not in a sexy way, but in a “please make this stop” way. I fear some subtleties might have been lost in translations, but all in all, a wild ride, and a huge amount of “fist-in-the-face” fun.

BLURB

Damian Nettoyer is the Empire’s go-to gun. He kills whoever they want him to kill. In exchange, he and his rag-tag gang of crooks get to live, and Damian’s psychokinetic partner and lover, Aris, isn’t issued a one-way ticket to an Empire-sanctioned lobotomy.

Then Damian’s latest mark, a suave revolutionary named Raeyn, kicks his ass and demands his help. The first item on the new agenda: take out Damian’s old boss—or Raeyn will take out Damian’s crew.

To protect his friends and save his own skin, Damian teams up with Raeyn to make his revolution work. As the revolution gains traction, Damian gets way too close to Raeyn, torn between the need to shoot him one moment and kiss him the next. But Aris slips further away from Damian, and as Aris’ control over his powers crumbles, the Watch catches on.

With the Empire, Damian had two policies: shoot first and don’t ask questions. But to save the guy he loves, he’ll set the world on fire.

18Apr/19

Credence by Delphia Baisden

Delphia Baisden was a recent guest on WROTE! To listen to her interview and find out more about her work, check out Episode 208 – A New Jewel In My Crown!

I approached this book with some wariness, and I recently read another book dealing with a rock band, mental health issues, and non-con sex, which I found unbelievably upsetting. However, there ARE trigger warnings in this book, so anyone choosing to read Credence will be warned right from the start.

So I tiptoed in, and yes, the first chapters are hard to read, but they are extremely well-written, and 100% necessary to the plot of the book. The author has trodden lightly, not shying away from the pain of sexual abuse but dealing with it in a sensitive way. I knew I would be able to read the rest of it within a few pages. Trust had been gained, and Credence was a really good read, even enjoyable, given the gruelling premise. 

The blurb sums up the plot pretty well, so I won’t rehash it, but I loved James’s best friend Phil, and the supportiveness of the other members of the band (Eden) once they realise what has happened to their friend. This is a book about fighting back from a traumatic past, about letting go and finding love, both with another person and for oneself, about healing, and the struggles of mental illness. It’s all dealt with deftly and not too reverently, and I applaud the author wholeheartedly for that.

I loved Keiran, the love interest and femme lead vocalist for a less successful band, Lost and Found, who initially resents James for walking away from the the tour they were heading, thus denying Lost and Found crucial exposure to potential new fans. But as James’ band picks up the pieces and forms a new outfit, and Keiran is given the chance to show them how good he is, love begins to blossom undercover, as James is not out and is nervous about his bandmates finding out.

James is sweet, talented and modest, a lovely guy who adores his music. All the members of Eden have their demons, but are basically decent people who just want the best for each other. What a refreshing change to the endless drug and alcohol-fuelled sex parties which usually go hand in hand with “rock star” genre.

This is a hugely satisfying read, dealing with issues so relevant in today’s #metoo climate, and a really strong debut novel by this author. I will definitely be looking out to see what else she does.

BLURB

James Morgan, lead guitarist for the rock band Eden, seems to have it all. That is, until Theo, Eden’s lead singer and James’s secret lover, violently betrays him, sending James into a deep depression and cutting their current tour and the band’s life short.

Kieran Jackson, the lead vocalist for the less successful band Lost and Found, is at his wits’ end. At thirty-three, he never dreamed he’d still be opening for bands comprised of twentysomethings. When Eden pulls out of the last few shows of their summer tour, Kieran returns home burned out and heartbroken.

Over a year later, James, Phil, and David of Eden decide to reform under a different name with Kieran as their new vocalist. James, never having forgotten his single interaction with Kieran, nor the only time he ever listened to him perform, knows Kieran’s the best choice.

James is still closeted—and skittish after his last relationship—and one fumbling, drunken kiss threatens to undo everything he’s worked so hard to rebuild, as well as the cover he’s fought to maintain.

Can James overcome his past, confront his demons, and reclaim his former fame? Or will he and the newly formed True North remain in Eden’s shadow forever? Can he finally find comfort in who he is, accept his past, and reopen his heart? Or will the memories of Theo’s betrayal and the subsequent fallout dash any hope of finding—and trusting—love again?

Trigger warning: this book contains explicit rape, as well as one failed suicide attempt by a main character.

05Apr/19

Cameron Yorke

April 5, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Cameron Yorke as the guest on Episode 210 – The New Normal!

Cameron Yorke joins us to share his experiences with the chemsex culture, how they inspired his memoirs Chasing the Dragon and Candy Flipping, and his experience as a world traveler.

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Books mentioned in this episode:

** NOTE: Chasing the Dragon is a FREE ebook for the month of April 2019 at all online bookstores!!!

Bio:

Cameron Yorke is a 2017 Koestler Trust Award winner and Author of five books. He was born in New Zealand, and has worked as a freelance Journalist for the past 20 years. He has a love of food, wine, travel and fashion, is an acclaimed food critic, writing for international travel and lifestyle magazines worldwide, He has traveled extensively and lived in many countries before moving to Britain in 2005, where he has written presented and produced documentaries, television series and short films.

His books are mainly of a memoir and self-help genre, or travel and lifestyle, but all are based on personal experience. He is a keen advocate for gay rights, along with prison reform and rehabilitation, and has also founded a charity to support victims of drugs and the chem-sex culture, funded by the proceeds of his books of the same genre. He is currently single, bloody hard to live with, set in his ways, and incredibly selfish! He is a dedicated Europhile, is trying hard to be Euro-trash, and divides his time between homes in Gran Canaria and Monaco.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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29Mar/19

Marolyn Krasner

March 29, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Marolyn Krasner as the guest on Episode 209 – Have To Have That Light and Dark!

Marolyn Krasner shares her journey as a journalist, queer writer, and ex-pat living in New Zealand! We also discuss her soon-to-be-released novel, The Radicals, and how she’s turned it into a serial podcast!

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Bio:

Marolyn Krasner grew up in southern California. She wasn’t a big reader of fiction as a child, but she clearly remembers spreading the Sunday newspaper out on the living room floor on the weekends and reading it all of the way through. She watched the film “All the President’s Men” in junior high school and decided print journalism was her calling. She went on to edit her high school and college newspapers and then became a real life newspaper reporter in the mid 90s and then she promptly quit.

She began writing quirky and queer stories in her early 20s. Fast forward 20 years, three countries, one wife and two children later and Marolyn has written her debut novel called The Radicals, which will be released as an ebook and a podcast in May 2019.

Marolyn lives in New Zealand with her wife and two kids.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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22Mar/19

Delphia Baisden

March 22, 2019


It gives us great pleasure to welcome Delphia Baisden as the guest on Episode 208 – A New Jewel in My Crown!

New indie author, Delphia Baisden, joins us to discuss her first novel, Credence, and tough topics like surviving sexual abuse. A very worthwhile conversation that needs to be had in the #metoo era.

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Bio:

Delphia Baisden is a first-time indie author. In 2016, she finally decided to use her passion for writing to tell the love stories of her heart. She is an avid rock ‘n’ roll fan who feels most comfortable in a band tee and a pair of jeans. She currently lives in a small town near Columbus, Ohio, with her mom, Lola, and their three cats, Cassy, Maggie, and Charlie.

This Podcast episode is available on these channels (in order alphabetical):
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