Sept. 2016 Winner: Novel Transcript of HEARING THOUGHTS by Anthony Diffley

Watch the September 2016 Winning Novel Reading.

Performed by Kaleb Alexander

Novel Transcript of  HEARING THOUGHTS  by Anthony Diffley

Get to know the winning writer: 

What is your novel about?

My novel is about a young New York city man who aquires the ability to hear other peoples after he mysteriously disappears from his friends, while on a camping trip. He does not know how to properly use this talent at first but when approached by the CIA, questioning about his disappearance, and having lost his wife on 9/11, it doesn’t take him long to know what to do with it.

What genres would you say this novel is in?

Science Fiction, Action Adventure

How would you describe this story in two words?

“Thought Provocative”

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

4) Most Watched Movie: Without a doubt- “The Godfather”

How long have you been working on this novel?

Prior to it being published in 2015, I worked on writing the manuscript, for my novel, in one year but had been working on the story for over five years. I wrote out the original story as a plot for a movie but when I showed it to a professional screenwriter, he suggested I rewrite it as a novel because he felt the story was too complicated to be written within the industry standard, one hundred and twenty page screenplay. He did love the plot though.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

What motivated you to write this story?

Two things- First, the story of Betty and Barney Hill. Second, the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

What artist would you love to have dinner with?

Robert DeNiro

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Hanging out with my children and family.

What influenced you to enter the novel contest?

Because I honestly believe I have written a very mind grabbing, thought compelling book.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Do not rush your work or feel compelled to finish quickly. Take your time and take serious breaks away from your writing. I got my best story ideas for my book right after spending one or two days away from it.

***
Director/Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: John Johnson

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Winning Short Story: AFTERNOON CABARET by Grey Hall

Watch the May 2016 Winning Short Story Reading.

Watch AFTERNOON CABARET:

Get to know writer Grey Hall: 

Matthew Toffolo: What is your 1pg Short Story about?

Grey Hall: It is about meeting Andrea Marcovicci in NYC as part of my research on a book about Carolina Ballet.

MT: What genres would you say this short story is in?

GH: Memoir

MT: How would you describe this story in two words?

GH: New Friendship

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

GH: The Graduate, Casablanca (tie)

MT: How long have you been working on this story?

GH: I started it in 2003. It stayed dormant for years, only to resurface now.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

GH: The Great Gatsby

MT: What motivated you to write this story?

GH: My experiences with Andrea Marcovicci at the Algonquin Hotel in NYC. The New Yorker liked it for Talk of the Town, held it for 90 days and eventually decided not to publish.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

GH: Renee Marino (Jersey Boys)

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

GH: Reading, travel, fine dining

MT: What influenced you to enter the 1pg. Short Story contest?

GH: I was searching for new avenues of expression.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

GH: The publishing world keeps changing. Look for new venues and never give up.

Interview with Novelists Adam Steven Page (A Victim of the Times)

Adam Steven Page has been fond of film and literature for as long as he can remember, what better to do than write his own novel. In early 2015 he penned his debut ‘A Victim of the Times’. Despite being born and raised and still living in the UK, Adam has written in an American style and dialect. Considering the story is set in a fictional American city and has an American protagonist and characters, it felt like the right thing to do. He believes that a book is only as strong as its protagonist, and in his debut novel, he has what he considers to be a well rounded yet flawed lead character. Adam prefers to write first person narratives and particularly likes writing in this way as it allows a character to be explored on every level.

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avictimofthetimes.jpgInterview with Adam Steven Page

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

1. Adam Steven Page: Violence and aggression is a large theme of the novel, but it was important to me that it was explored in a manner which wasn’t glorified.
As a whole, A Victim of the times looks into how easily we can be influenced by two things. One: the times we live in –media, current events and technologies.
Two: how we are influenced by our surroundings and the environment we lived and/or are raised in. However it goes deeper than the simple nature vs. nurture debate.
The story has a very dark tone to it but at its core its realistic, the world isn’t a large space devoid of light but it isn’t full of sunshine and rainbows either and it’s important to have that balance. When you take into account what Orchard City is like (a decaying cesspit filled with hate with an enormous crime problem) I feel the darkness is warranted and not overdone.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

1. ASP: Many will agree that a great book can hang solely on the strength of its protagonist; after all it is what drives the story. Having a character who is both relatable and multilayered was very important to me and in my future works that will always be the case. We as human beings are far from one dimensional, so why would we read about somebody who is different.

With the crime thriller genre, serial killers are commonplace, (this novel being no exception) but a lot of these novels rely solely on the cat and mouse element, the unorthodox detective trying to catch a killer. Although this is highly enjoyable and in fact one of the reasons I love the genre so much, I felt a fresh perspective was needed is order to tell my story.

A serial killer thriller from the perspective of someone who is almost detached from what’s going on, a man with his own struggle.

So whether you are a lover of the genre or not you should buy it for this reason, it’s a fresh story told from a different perspective. It’s fast paced, unrelenting and will keep you on your toes throughout. Think ‘Summer of Sam’ meets ‘Falling down’.

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

ASP: Relatable, intense

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

ASP: Kick boxer, I must have watched that film hundreds of time when I was growing up, it was always on TV and I love a revenge film.

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

ASP: I have always had a love for film and literature and I guess in many ways I always knew I wanted to write, that there was a story within me just urging to get out, however I feel I have come into writing fairly late and that’s down to a few things really. One of the great things about starting late is that I have found my voice fairly quickly. I know what I want to write and I want to create stories that both meet and challenge our expectations of a range of genres. I have always dreamed of writing something and thankfully what I have written so far is being well received.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

ASP: American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis, I have read this particular novel numerous times and a lot of the time if I enjoy a book I will read it more than once, especially if I go on holiday, there’s something about having some sort of familiarity with home when you’re in another country.

MT: What motivates you to write?

ASP: Motivation comes from anywhere for me, it can be a film or documentary, or something as simple as standing in line at the supermarket. Music however does play a big part and often a certain song or piece of music can inspire a stream of different ideas and scenarios.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

ASP: What artist would I love to have dinner with; well a friend and I went to a Damien Hirst exhibition at the Tate modern a few years back, which I found to be incredibly interesting.

A lot of his pieces resonated with me on various levels and it was one of the few exhibitions I had been to where I felt I had a real experience. If we were to have dinner I would pick his brains about his work and particularly the ins and outs of his process and way of thinking.

____

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Novelist Laurie Buchanan (Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth)

For the past fifteen years Laurie Buchanan has worked as a holistic health practitioner and transformational life coach. Embracing the philosophy that “whatever you are not changing, you are choosing,” Buchanan has helped hundreds of clients turn intention into action, bridging the gap between where they are and where they want to be—body, mind, and spirit.

Globally, readers visit her blog, Tuesdays with Laurie (www.tuesdayswithlaurie.com), to enjoy a healthy dose of positivity served with an “internal inventory” question posed as food for thought. A minimalist at heart, Buchanan lives with her husband in a 600-square-foot carriage house (circa 1865) in the Pacific Northwest.

Link to Book
Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth hits the shelves November 1, 2016 and is currently available for pre-order on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Note-Self-Seven-Step-Gratitude-Growth/dp/1631521136/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462050541&sr=1-1&keywords=note+to+self+laurie+buchanan

note_to_selfInterview with Laurie Buchanan:

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

Laurie Buchanan: Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth is about offloading emotional baggage—something that’s especially important when we realize that we don’t just pack for one; we pack for seven of our selves—self-preservation, self-gratification, self-definition, self-acceptance, self-expression, self-reflection, and self-knowledge. Each plays a vital rose in harmony, overall health, and well-being.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

LB: Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth helps readers turn intention into action; bridging the gap between they are, and where they want to be—body, mind, and spirit.

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

LB: Motivational. Inspirational.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

LB: I can never get enough of the extraordinary cinematography and sound track of the original Man From Snowy River.

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

LB: Not at all. Growing up I had aspirations of being a magician, an international spy, or a mad scientist.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

LB: For decades my favorite novel was Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. However, last year’s When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi has taken its place. Completely different, they’re both excellent reads!

MT: What motivates you to write?

LB: Quite literally—nothing. A dyed-in-the-wool minimalist, the more “nothing” (empty space, no material “things”) I have around me, the more I’m motivated to write. My “muse” is wide open space.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

LB: Dead—Georgia O’Keeffe. She appeals to me because she distinguished herself as one of America’s most prominent modern artists. Significant in that the American art community was dominated by men during her lifetime (1887-1986).

Alive—Terrill Welch. Canadian impressionist painter and photographer, she appeals to me because her work reminds us that there is only one moment—this one.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

LB: I am passionate about minimalism (non-acquisition), brisk walks, bicycling, companion animals, and laughter. Definitely laughter!

Embracing the belief that “Life is an expression of the choices we make,” I am a teacher and student of purposeful living. With tremendous respect for the earth’s natural resources, my goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that is positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

LB: Self-confidence. Persistence. Concision (word economy).

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Novelist Rosie Chapel (The Pomegranate Tree)

Having developed an abiding love for anything connected to Ancient Rome, Rosie Chapel decided channel her passion into fiction, which culminated in her first novel ‘The Pomegranate Tree’. Based around archaeological excavations on Masada, this is book one in the ‘Hannah’s Heirloom’ sequence. The sequel ‘Echoes and Stone and Fire’ has recently been released, with the final novel of the trilogy in the process of being edited!

Novels are available worldwide on kindle and paperback through Amazon –
USA –  http://buff.ly/24tccJU
UK   –  http://buff.ly/21mSaik

Or via www.rosiechapel.com

the_pomegranate_tree.jpgInterview with Rosie Chapel: 

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

Rosie Chapel: I would say that historical fiction with romance and a twist is the easiest way to describe my novels. The twist in this case, being time travel, although not in the conventional sense. My modern heroine doesn’t physically travel back through time, more her mind or soul melds with that of her ancient ancestor, becoming, I suppose, like an extra sense or an added voice. Each novel is loosely based around a disaster of some kind – such as the massacre on Masada in The Pomegranate Tree. Then there are the challenges faced by a modern woman adjusting to life in antiquity, at the same time as coming up with a plan to save those she loves without changing history.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

RC: To learn something of the ancient world and be inspired to look beyond the novel into our fascinating past. To travel back to another time; to be involved in the lives of my characters; to see, touch, taste and smell the ancient world without ever leaving the comfort of your chair. I love to lose myself in the world a story is set in and my aim, when I write my novels, is to have my readers do the same. Also, despite all the adversities, there is always a happy ending

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

RC: Historical romance

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

RC: Twister

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

RC: Absolutely. Years ago I had tried a few times to write, but nothing ever came from it. Then, recently, when my husband suggested I might like to channel my love for ancient history into a book, I thought I was probably way too old. Then I decided that even if whatever I wrote never saw the light of day I had to give it a go. I’m so glad I did!

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

RC: Yes to both! ‘This Rough Magic’ by Mary Stewart.
I rarely only read a book once, especially if it’s by one of my favourite writers; and I have several ‘go to’ authors, whose novels I can read until the books themselves fall apart.

MT: What motivates you to write?

RC: Love of ancient history and being a hopeless romantic. I cannot get enough of Roman history and to be able to share that love in a relatively light hearted format is a joy.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

RC: Andrea Bocelli

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

RC: My hubby, our rescue pets (2 cats and dog), photography, history (obviously), classical music, my friends, reading and books – oh so many things

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

RC: Believe in yourself, don’t let anyone discourage you or convince you that you can’t do it. Write as much as possible, even if some ideas seem ridiculous, eventually they will coalesce into something you can use. Do your research, set goals. Don’t let criticism drag you down, accept it and move on; most people who criticise have never even tried to write, never mind published anything. Most of all, enjoy the journey!

____

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Novelist Steven Spellman (My Name is Legion)

You should never judge a book by its cover. As well, you should never judge a writer by his bio. With that being said, Steven Spellman is writer for readers who enjoy simply told stories, stories of lust, of deception, stories of redemption, of love. Stories of horrors beneath the waning moon, of joys beneath the rising sun. Stories of everything in between, to give the reader a fiction of adventure fit to distract from the facts of life if only for a moment. Born in East Orange, New Jersey, raised in North Carolina since infancy, Steven Spellman has been a drug dealer, a prisoner, an armed felon, a college student, a father, a husband, a sinner, a saint. Like everyone else Steven Spellman has worn many hats, but never any so well fitted as a writer. His ongoing struggle with life is a personification of the fact that You Should Never Judge a Book by its Cover; you may miss the whole story.

BUY Books on Amazon

stevenspellmanInterview with Steven Spellman:

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

Steven Spellman: The themes of my work vary widely considering what genre I’m writing in at the moment. In general, the theme is love and the many faces it wears.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

SS: My novels are the product of true God given talent. If you don’t like the words, you’ll love the premise. If you don’t like the premise, you’ll love the setting. If you don’t like the setting, you’ll love the characters. Whatever your preference you’ll find something you adore in a Steven Spellman novel or short story.

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

SS: Absolutely necessary.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

SS: Chicken Little, because it is the classic tale of having to believe in yourself when no one else does.

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

SS: Since elementary school I’ve always wanted to write. I didn’t have novels in mind exactly, I only recognized from very early on that I had a strange love affair with the written word. Unfortunately, I didn’t pursue that love in earnest until many long difficult years later.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

SS: Have you read a novel more than once?

If I had to pick only one, I think I would rank Charles Dicken’s, David Copperfield, as my favorite novel.

I don’t usually read novels more than once, but I have made exceptions for Charles Dicken’s and Louis Stevenson’s works, especially The Pickwick Papers, and Treasure Island, both of which I’ve read more than a few times and have enjoyed immensely every single time.

MT: What motivates you to write?

SS: Necessity. I was born to write and I’ll die a slow agonizing demise if I don’t. I’ve learned that from brutal experience.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

SS:

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

SS: Tyler Perry, if you mean artist in the theatrical sense, and Michelangelo if you mean in the actual artistic sense. If you’re speaking of a writer, I would love to have dinner with one of the writers of the Bible, because I write books about life and they wrote the Book on life.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

SS: When I’m not writing I love playing violent, gory video games, trying to provide a positive leadership to my two beautiful daughters—easier said than done with my teenager—and musing on more stuff to write about. I also love to take excessively long and completely unnecessary leisurely car drives.

Publishing Credits:

The Doll [short story]  [Hungry Goat Press]  Spring 2016

Into Oblivion [short story] [Hungry Goat Press] Spring 2016

The Lunch Lady [short story] [Hungry Goat Press] Spring 2016

Into Oblivion [short story] [Zoetic Press/Non Binary Review] Winter 2016

The Ride [short story] [Witch Works Magazine] Fall 2015

Into Oblivion [short story] [Detectives of the Fantastic Anthology/Horrified Press] Fall 2015

The Pruning [novel] [Contracted w/ World Castle Publishing] Fall 2015

My Name is Legion [Novella/EBook] [Hungry Goat Press] Spring 2015

The Catacombs Anthology Vol. 4 [2 short stories] [Hungry Goat Press] Fall 2014

Murder Beneath the Midnight Sun [novel] [World Castle Publishing] Summer 2014

The Vanished [short story/E-book] [Hungry Goat Press] 2014

Darkness Falls [short story] [Hungry Goat Press] 2014

The Virus [novel] [Deer Hawk Publishing] Winter 2013

The Greater Good [short story] [BeteNoire Magazine] Spring 2012

The Fountain [short story] [Shelter of Daylight Magazine] Spring 2012

Illusions [short story] [Shelter of Daylight Magazine] Spring 2012

 

Author Platform:

https://twitter.com/spellmansteven

https://www.facebook.com/stevenspellmansbooks

http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Spellman/e/B00ESED970
http://stevenspellman.wordpress.com/m
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/steven-spellman/52/78b/3b2

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Novelist Tim Walker (Devil Gate Dawn)

Tim Walker was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Liverpool and studied in South Wales and Bristol, before moving to London where he worked in newspaper publishing for 10 years. By the mid-1990s he was ready for a new challenge and went to Zambia as a voluntary worker, running training courses in educational book publishing.  He stayed on and set up his own publishing and marketing company, before returning to Maidenhead in Berkshire in 2009. He currently lives in Datchet, close to Windsor, beside the river Thames; the inspiration for his first book, a book of short stories, Thames Valley Tales.  He has recently completed and published his first novel, Devil Gate Dawn, a near-future thriller set in the UK and USA in the year 2026.  He is currently writing an historical fiction series based in England between AD410- 500, A Light in the Dark Ages, and has published the first part, Abandoned!

Book Links:

Devil Gate Dawn:  http://amazon.com/dp/B01EGDLHLW

Thames Valley Tales:  http://amazon.com/dp/product/B011PQHJUQ

Abandoned!  http://amazon.com/dp/B019D64AH0

devilgatedawn.jpgInterview with Tim Walker:

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

Tim Walker: My new novel, Devil Gate Dawn, is a near-future thriller that grew out of a weekly fiction blog called ‘Life of George’. It is a story that evolved over a nine month period and was a vehicle for my observations and gripes on social and political issues. By setting it ten years in the future, it has allowed me to project my concerns forward, and to indulge in a little fantasy. In the USA I have Trump as President, defending his record, and his wall; whilst in the UK voter apathy has collapsed the democratic system and King Charles III has been called on to head an interim administration.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

TW: It’s a highly entertaining and thought-provoking read at a nice low price!

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

TW: Seriously funny.

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

TW: Hmmm… Blade Runner. I love Sci-fi movies like the Alien series and John Carpenter’s The Thing.

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

TW: I always wanted to set up and run my own newspaper, and grabbed the opportunity to do this in the year 2000, after a stint as a voluntary worker in Zambia. I thoroughly enjoyed being editor, features writer, advertising manager, distribution organiser and general dogs body on my fortnightly newspaper ‘Business & Leisure News’ – Zambia’s first full colour newspaper! If you get a chance to live your dream, then grab it!

I have only recently tried my hand at creative writing, graduating from short stories, via historical fiction, to my novel whilst recovering at home from skin cancer treatment.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

TW: I always loved ‘The Power and the Glory’ by Graham Greene. I must have re-read passages many times, and probably been influenced by Greene’s powerful story telling.

MT: What motivates you to write?

TW: I love reading short stories and novels, a habit developed early in life. I also love film and got the chance to be involved in film making whilst a student. I have always been intrigued by the possibility of writing my own novels and writing my own screenplays. Now I’ve started, I fully intend to make the time to keep my forward momentum going.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

TW: I would like to pick Martin Scorsese’s brain about what makes a killer script. I feel my fiction has a visual quality and I’m fascinated by the process of transforming the written word to the screen.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

TW: My daughter’s education and development, movies, television drama, history, the environment and sport, particularly football (I grew up in Liverpool and support them) and rugby (I used to be a player and administrator).

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

TW: Everyone has a story in them. Start by writing notes about yourself, your life and interests, and character portraits of people you know. Hopefully, you will be pleasantly surprised at how clever you are, and be motivated to write a story, or your memoirs. Take advice from other writers, but ultimately keep faith with your own vision of the world. It’s YOUR story.

Devil Gate Dawn links:-

US/World:  http://amazon.com/dp/B01EGDLHLW

UK:  http://amazon.co.uk/dp/B01EGDLHLW

 

Website: http://timwalkerwrites.co.uk

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.