Introducing… Chelsea Dorsette

I am very pleased to present Chelsea Dorsette. She’s a professional, intelligent woman and the newest writer to join our family. Her book, Escape, is a collection of erotic short stories published under our Everheart Books imprint.

EscapeQ: What is the first book you ever read?

A: The first book I ever remember reading was a children’s book called BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL by Robert McCloskey. I’m sure there were many other books that I read before that one, but it’s the one that stands out in my memory today.

Q. What is the first book you ever wrote?

A: The first book I ever wrote was a book of children’s short stories called ALI’S FRIENDS. It was a book of short stories about the many adventures of Ali and her dog CB. Whenever she set out to go exploring, she would tie on her “adventure sneakers” and along her floppy eared black lab, CB…they would head out together. The undercurrent of the book was to incorporate messages that focused on ‘be kind to animals’, ‘be kind to nature’ and ‘be kind to people’.

Q: What does an average day look like?

A: I am self employed and I work out of my house. I own a small advertising agency and I have had my agency for 16 years. I start off my day getting ready, walking my dog Bradley then sitting down at my desk for advertising work. After lunch, I finish any remaining advertising work that needs to be done. Once that’s taken care of, I take off my advertising hat and put on my writing hat for the remainder of the afternoon.

Q: How did you find out about Central Avenue Publishing?

A: I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from a publisher in the Charlotte, North Carolina area called Lorimer Press. Leslie Rindoks gave me the recommendation. I had five short stories under my belt when I contacted Michelle to see if she was accepting new writers and if she was accepting erotica short stories. She said “yes” to both and instructed me on how to forward the material to her for review.

Q: What’s the last book you read?

A: I can’t remember the last book I read, because I have been working on writing in my free time. It was probably either the latest Danielle Steele novel, or a short story by another erotica writer.

Q: What do you need in order to write?

A: In order for me to sit down and write, I need the time to do so and a story line in my head.

Q: How do you carve out time to write? Do you feel you sacrifice anything?

A: I carve out time to write by keeping up with my day job and staying on top of my other responsibilities. Neither of which take up an over abundance of time. There is plenty of time to write as long as I have something in my head to write about.

The only thing that I sacrificed to write is the cleaning of my house! I much prefer to sit down and work on a story than push a vacuum cleaner. But the house does get cleaned eventually…

Q: What are you currently working on?

A: I am currently working on my second book, called LONGING. I have finished the first story and I am anxious to see where this book takes me!

Interview with Iain S. Thomas aka iwrotethisforu

Our authors get interviewed a lot. And I always like reading them because I learn a little more about them and the way they write.

Every once in a while, I run across an interview that is really well done. This one by The Long and Short of It is one of those interviews. I’ve copied and pasted it here, but find the original post right here:

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Long and Short Reviews welcomes Iain Thomas whose latest book Intentional Dissonance is available. Leave a comment and you will have a chance to win one of two ebook copies of Intentional Dissonance.

Iain is currently working on three different books: a revised version of his first book I Wrote This For You, a second book due the end of this year that’s still untitled, and How to Be Happy, which isn’t due until the start of 2014.

“I can’t seem to stop myself from writing it,” he admitted, “even though I shouldn’t even be thinking about it right now.”

“When did you first consider yourself a writer?” I asked.

“My first book, I Wrote This For You, has spent a year on the Amazon and iTunes poetry bestseller lists and frequently finds itself at #1, and I still don’t know if I’m actually a writer. I think when I’m writing, I’m a writer and when I stop, I become something else. I still have trouble introducing myself at a dinner table as a writer.”

He’s been writing since he started keeping a diary when he was around 13; he stared writing prose a couple of years later. He told me he’s always found writing to be cathartic—a way to get rid of whatever demons were in his head.

“They’ve always seemed easier to face and defeat when they’re put down on paper,” he said.

He’s written professionally since he was 19, mainly for the design industry.

Unlike many authors, neither plot nor characters comes first in Iain’s books—instead scenes and dialogue come to him. Moments within the book that could happen inspire him and then he builds the characters and plot to serve those moments.

“How do you develop your plot and characters?” I asked.

“All my characters are amalgamations of people I’ve encountered in my life and the plot is something that serves my own purpose, which is to create beautiful, surreal moments and environments that draw the reader in. I believe the most important elements of writing are having an original idea, the ability to tell the truth about what you’re saying and the desire not to waste the reader’s time.”

Iain usually comes up with his titles first, and then the book follows. Intentional Dissonance was a name that floated around in his head for a while. It described a feeling of being disconnected, of not wanting to play by the rules. It’s a cyclical book, much of it has to do with the repeating patterns we fall into as human beings. I Wrote This For You defined itself and How To Be Happy is doing the same thing.

I wondered, “What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?”

“I think the strangest thing I’ve ever done literary wise is the entire I Wrote This For You project. I wrote more than a thousand poems that all have titles that start with the word ‘The’ and every single one has the word ‘You’ in it. I think constructing your own rules around what you’re writing gives you something to play with and can lead to really creative, interesting solutions.”

Iain writes poetry and science fiction, but he believes that both fit only loosely into their respective genres. In fact, he tries to defy genre.

“Originality is important to me and I do my best to break literary conventions as much as possible to achieve that, with varying degrees of success,” he said. “I’d rather fail while attempting to be original than succeed at obeying a convention.”

He admits that I Wrote This for You was an incredibly bizarre literary debut. It was a real struggle for him to find a publisher who could see why it was as popular as it was and the potential behind it.

“I wrote I Wrote This For You under the pen name ‘pleasefindthis’ as I believed that every part of a story, including the name of the person writing the story, can be an entry point into that story. I chose the name because it invited people to find out more,” he told me. “A young girl discovered I Wrote This For You while she was undergoing treatment for a tumour in her brain and she wrote me a letter telling me how strong it made her feel. She wrote the words ‘I Wrote This For You’ on the paper bracelet the hospital put on her and sent a picture along with her mail. I don’t even know how I managed to respond to that. Another person wrote me a message saying that my words had inspired her to get off the streets as a prostitute and go back to studying. I still speak to her about once a year. She’s doing well.”

Iain believes that the more input you have, the more output you have. So he works in chaos, surrounded by comic books, antiques, paintings, old books and whatever else he’s picked up along the way. He also creates procedurally generated music to listen to while he works.

“I’ll load up a relaxation application on my iPad that plays the sound of the rain, load a YouTube video of someone whispering for 45 minutes, then load an ambient music album at the same time and have all three playing at once,” he explained. “It’s familiar yet new music every time I listen.”

Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”

“Writers write. Every word you write makes you a better writer, and there are a lot of bad words that you need to get through before you can get to the good ones.”

2_20 IainThomas

About the Author:Iain S. Thomas is a new media artist and author. As an author, his most famous work is I Wrote This For You, which he writes under the pseudonym ‘pleasefindthis’ – a blog then book that’s been on both the Amazon and iTunes poetry bestseller lists since its launch in December 2011.

As a writer for the design and new media industry, he’s won numerous local and international awards for his work. Amongst other things, he created a never-ending sentence for a monument for South Africa’s Jazz Artists and recently collaborated with musical phenomena BT on the packaging design for his last album. He wrote his first book, Ignite, at the age of 23 for the Markham clothing company. It won the Grand Prix at the First Paper House Art of Design Awards and a gold individual craft award at the Loeries. He currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

Resources for Trade, Book Clubs & Schools

Right before the holiday season, we got word that there were some teachers and students out there who were using our books as study materials. Some were in a teacher led environment and others were student led. As you can imagine, this came as a great feeling of honor, and it got me thinking that we needed to support these initiatives.

We are proud to offer to two new tactics to do this:

Direct Volume Discounts: For any schools, bookstore or individual who would like to purchase our books either in digital or print formats in volume, we are happy to offer a significant discount. For pricing, please contact us via email at info @ centralavenuepublishing dot com.

Reading Guides: We are also pleased to offer reading guides for select titles. These offer full information on the book, an interview with the author and discussion questions relevant to issues in the book. To download a free copy, please visit our website.

We believe these resources will be of help to teachers who use our books in their classrooms as well as any individual or bookstore out there who’d like to do more with our titles. As always, we thank all the people out there who support our authors.

On Being a Small Press Author – Iain S. Thomas

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run twice a week until December – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, I’m very glad to be hosting Iain Thomas, who co-creates the well loved and widely followed blog, I Wrote This For You. Their book of the same title, is one of our bestsellers. Many years ago, I found out about this blog from one of my cousins, and started following it. The poetic entries coupled with the haunting photography was one of my favorite stops in the virtual world. Boy, was I ever surprised when I heard from Iain when he was investigating publishing options. I’m glad they took a chance on me, and I on them, it’s been a great working relationship despite being hemispheres away. Iain’s solo novel, Intentional Dissonance, will be out on December 7, 2012.

1. The first book I can remember reading is: The Classics Illustrated version of Macbeth. Classics Illustrated was a series of comic books in the 70’s that my mom collected and gave to me when I was a child. Each one was a condensed version of a literary classic like The Three Musketeers or 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. Macbeth was my favourite for some reason, even though I didn’t understand most of it. Probably because of the artwork. I’ve still got the original, it has my name written backwards across it because I knew which letters were in my name, just not in which direction they were supposed to go. After that, I hit the harder stuff, like Secret Seven and Famous Five.

2. The first book I ever wrote was: I wrote a book when I was 23 called Ignite as part of my then day job as a writer for a design studio, for a clothing company. It won the Grand Prix at the First Paper House Art Of Design Awards and a gold individual craft award for writing at the national advertising and design awards. I started writing prose when I was 13 or 14 I think.

3. An average day in my life goes like this: I don’t really have an average day in my life right now, I’ve recently moved from Johannesburg to Cape Town and right now my girlfriend and I are waiting to move into our new house. So we’re living out of suitcases at friends or in hotels, it feels like a cross between a holiday and being on the run from the law.

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing and decided to submit my book because we’d given up on finding a publisher because even after finding an agent to submit on our behalf, none of the bigger publishing houses seemed to understand what the hell it was about. Michelle at Central Avenue had heard about us before, was incredibly kind and straightforward with us and the entire process was painless, wonderful and some of the most fun we’ve had with the project.

5. The last book I read was: Guns, Germs And Steel.

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: Headphones, the right song and a closed door.

7. My ‘day job’ is: Creative director and head of interactive media for a large
communications/design/advertising studio, which I work for remotely.

8. I carve out time to write by: Waking up early or just making the time some other way.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: I love writing and honestly, most of the time it’s what I’d rather be doing. So I don’t really feel like I sacrifice anything to do it.

10. I am currently working on: Intentional Dissonance, I Wrote This For You: Just the Words; Everything Is Disgusting; I Wrote This For You: Write Back; I Wrote This For You: Audio CD; and a heart attack.

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was: I can’t remember. But it’s a tie between: “If you don’t enjoy writing it, no one will enjoy reading it.” and “Write hot, edit cold.” My dad always says, “Do what you love.” and that’s been the overriding, guiding philosophy throughout my life.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: The only rule of art is that the person engaging with what you’ve made must enjoy the experience. Everything else can be safely ignored.

On Being a Small Press Author – D.E. Hall

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run twice a week until December – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today we’re hearing from D.E. Hall, one of our very first authors to have their book distributed by us. I met Don through another author and his book THE GUARDIAN continues to sell three years after we put it out there. I unfortunately don’t get to chat with Don all that much, but it’s nice knowing that he and his book are still around.

1. The first book I can remember reading is:  Moby Dick

2. The first book I ever wrote was: Sin City Vendetta

3. An average day in my life goes like this:  I go to work, come home, news/dinner, try to squeeze in a hour or so of writing, walk my dog, to bed early.  4 am comees early.

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from a publisher search. I decided to submit my book because at the time, it was fairly new and up coming.  I felt that it could only grow from there and I could possibly find a new reader base.  I felt I was getting in at the ground floor.

5. The last book I read was:  Andrew Vachss – “Another Life”

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: Solitude, maybe some smooth jazz or even classical music, but mainly solitude with no interuptions.

7. My ‘day job’ is: A locksmith at the Temple, TX VA

8. I carve out time to write by:  If a thought comes to me, if I’m at home, I just stop what I’m doing and sit down and write.  I live alone so it’s pretty easy.  If a thought comes in the middle of the night, I’ll either jot a note or sometimes will get up and write at that time.  If I’m at work or out, I keep a tablet with me and go at the notes I’ve made as soon as I get home.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: The only thing I feel that I sacrifice is time spent doing other things I enjoy like woodworking and reading.  I live alone, so there’s no problem with time sharing.

10. I am currently working on: The sequel to “The Guardian”, a rewrite of my first book “Sin City Vendetta” and trying to put together an outline for an expose’ of the VA in Las Vegas.

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from:  A Major I knew in the service and it was: That I should go to college and get a degree in Business Management.  From there I went on to get three other degrees and the classes that I had taken that did me the most good was my English Lit. classes and my Creative Writing classes.  If I hadn’t taken his advice and gone back to school, I would never have taken those classes and may never have written the two books that I have.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is:  Never give up.  Don’t assume that you can’t write.  Just go with something you know and keep at it.  Worse case, you’ll have a book with your name on it in a book store.  “That” is a truly great feeling of accomplishment.  Even if you never make a dime from them, that feeling will never go away.  And “Research, Research, Research!!!”  Never too much research.

On Being a Small Press Author – Gautam Sen

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run twice a week until December – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, I’m very happy to present Gautam Sen, the author of The Fantabulous Fens. Gautam is our only writer currently living in Asia – in Bhutan. His book is just a wonderful children’s tale of the power of love, family and their role in what it’s like when you’re different from everyone else. It revolves around the Fens, an eclectic family living in India and dealing with nosy neighbors and townspeople who aren’t so nice. Gautam is a lovely writer and man, and captures the morals of life so well. I’m proud to have published his book and if you need a new book for your kids to read, I strongly recommend it.

1. The first books I can remember reading is: Noddy, Pinocchio.

2. The first book I ever wrote was: a book of short stories which didn’t find a publisher!

3. An average day in my life goes like this: I get up, I wish my wife, I do yoga meditation – I hope to contact God, but I don’t; I just get a nice electrical sensation in my body, and I tell God, ‘Okay God, if that’s all you have for me for now, I’ll made do with it, but just for now’; then I have a cup of tea with my daughter; then I go to my study where there’s an altar to my wife, with her photograph, and images of divinities, and a vase of flowers. I clean the altar and speak with my wife’s spirit. After this, I open my PC and take a look at the e-mails I’ve received. I do some yogic breathing exercises, and because half-an-hour must pass before I can take my meal, I use the time to get started on my work (which is online content writing). Over breakfast I watch the morning news on TV and chat with my school-teacher daughter, who by then is in the process of getting ready for work. Some relatives drop by to help out with the morning house-work. After breakfast, I work till lunch, with a tea-break in between when a relative drops in. After lunch, it’s back to work. Somewhere I sometimes put in a little snooze. Later in the afternoon, I do some freehand exercises and get down to meditation once again. At around the time I finish, my daughter’s back from school, and normally there’s a little exchange of news and views about how the day’s gone. Evenings are for walks and chit-chats and reading and television, and at bed-time I meditate once again and pray and remember my wife (I keep having internal conversation with her through the course of the day, and it’s like company, very intimate company).

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: browsing the website. I decided to submit my book because I thought it just might have a chance there

5. The last books I read were: ‘Reunions’ by Raymond Moody and ‘Brida’ by Paulo Coelho

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: the mood!

7. My ‘day job’ is: content writing

8. I carve out time to write by:  Since I’m not a professional creative writer, I don’t ‘carve out’ time to write. I wait for inspiration to descend on me, and if and when it does, it finds its own way to translate itself to writing.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: my idleness!

10. I am currently working on: a poetry chap book

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from: Mr. Anonymous and it was: If you want to write, write – don’t keep thinking about it.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: If you want to write, write – don’t keep thinking about it! (which is just passing down the advice I took to heart, but the exclamation mark at the end is absolutely my own).

On Being a Small Press Author – Lisette Brodey

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run twice a week until December – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, we’re talking with Lisette Brodey, one of the first women I spoke with when I was first getting started. She has written several books and we distribute them for her. Her books are Crooked Moon; Squalor, New Mexico; and, Molly Hacker is Too Picky! I met Lisette on line and asked her if she’d be interested in coming on board as a partner. I liked her professional online presence and of course, her writing. She’s an active writer and I love how she maintains her online friends and colleagues. I also appreciate how she’s trusted us with her ‘babies’ and in working with her, I always know I have an ally.

1. The first book I can remember reading is: The first books I remember being read TO me are poetry books: A Child’s Garden of Verses and Told Under the Blue Umbrella. It would be fascinating to know the first book I read, but I have no idea.

2. The first book I ever wrote was: Squalor, New Mexico.

3. An “average” day in my life goes like this: The first thing I do is check my email, make quick social media rounds, then decide what I’m going to work on that day. I usually battle through a great number of distractions, take time out to walk, and if the day goes well, I’ll end up having accomplished something I can feel good about. While I love having a day where I’ve written quite a bit, it’s not the number of words I’ve written, but how well I like them.

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: Michelle Halket contacted me when she first started ireadiwrite as a boutique bookstore and asked me if I was interested in having my work included.

5. The last book I read was: The Hambledown Dream by Dean Mayes. What a great read!

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: Someone to go outside and make sure that all woodchippers and loud machinery are turned off. 🙂 I need quiet. It helps to have my desk straightened up. It helps a lot. But most importantly, I need to know where I plan to take my writing that day. When I have a specific direction, I’m much more likely to be successful.

7. My ‘day job’ is: I am a member of SAG-AFTRA and work as a background actor, mostly in TV and films.

8. I carve out time to write by:  Digging a hole in the ground and crawling into it. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: Communication with friends, cleaning chores, and just some plain old-fashioned down time.

10. I am currently working on: A young adult paranormal book. No vampires or werewolves. Just some strange happenings!

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from:  my mother and it was: “pretend that every word you write costs you a dollar.”

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: Have a general idea of the beginning, middle, and end of your story. Know where you’re headed and then enjoy the crazy detours getting there.