Guest Author L. T. Vargus

Today I’d like to welcome author L.T. Vargus to the blog, yesterday I reviewed her book “Casting Shadows Everywhere” you can read the review here

Image of L.T. Vargus

1) Where is your home town?
I’ve lived in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for about 12 years. Actually, I’m about to go shovel a foot of snow off the of the driveway so I can go to the grocery store before it snows more tonight. It’s like I always tell people: Michigan is a great place to live if you like a lot of snow and murder.
2) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been serious about writing for about 4 years. I was interested in writing and stories from a pretty young age, though.
3) How do you see the title of your book “Casting Shadows Everywhere” fitting with the storyline?
I think of the “shadows” in the title in terms of the archetype – so more like the dark side of humanity instead of literal shadows. Nick casts his shadow on Jake in the story, and as he does so he basically reveals that all of his ideas are based on the underlying messages all around us in advertisements and wars and slaughterhouses and the way people treat each other and other beings in general. The idea that morality isn’t really real is sort of all around us these days, and Nick is following that premise to its logical conclusion. That’s the shadow that’s being cast everywhere, to me. It’s open for interpretation, though. I mean, they’re creeping into dark places, so I think there’s a literal connection as well.
4) You’ve written the book from the point of view of a 15 year old boy, how much of a challenge was that as you are female?
Jake is based on a mixture of some people I knew in high school. I knew them pretty well, so it wasn’t that hard to write from that point of view. I guess the idea of writing from the perspective of a different gender might be a little overrated in terms of difficulty. If you want to sound like the average 15 year old boy, just mention boobs a few times and you’re well on the way to authenticity in my experience.
5) The storyline took quite a sinister turn for Jake, what made Jake turn away from the road of no return?
I think Jake’s self-awareness catches up at the end. I liked the idea of a seemingly self aware character that slowly starts deluding himself over the course of the story and becomes a less and less reliable narrator. I don’t know if I executed that as well as I’d hoped. Anyway, grasping the logical conclusion of Nick’s teachings snaps Jake out of it at the last minute.
6) Do you think much of the storyline reflects issues that teenagers in America face today?
On a literal level, I actually think the book is tame in some ways and over the top in others. Loads of kids are drinking, smoking weed and having sex on a regular basis by Jake’s age. He’s really shy, so he’s barely dabbled in those. On the other hand, the majority of teenagers definitely aren’t burgling all that much. Morally and philosophically, though, I think the issues are relevant.
7) Would you agree that learning to live your life and finding a reason to get out of bed each morning is worth more than winning the lottery?
 There are many examples of lottery winners’ lives falling apart shortly after they get the money, and studies have suggested that earning anything above $75,000 a year doesn’t actually make anyone happier. So yeah, I think finding things to be passionate about and people to connect with both mean a lot more than money.
8) Are you working on your next book? Can you tell us about it?
 I actually have a few different works in progress, and I don’t know which will be finished next. If I had to guess, I’d say that the next to be released will be a comedy about a slacker girl in her late 20’s that seeks revenge by trying to ruin the wedding of a girl that tormented her in high school. It’s a lot lighter than Casting Shadows Everywhere.
9) Do you have an expected publication date for fans?
I’m hopeful that it will be out in the summer or fall of 2014.
Thanks again for the awesome review and featuring me on your blog. I really appreciate it.
Casting Shadows Everywhere – Goodreads,,
Thank you L.T for being our guest today and good luck with the next book.

Meet the Plimpton – Smythes

Come and meet Pru and Patrick Plimpton-Smythe, who are parents at Moortulk Primary School.

Here comes Pru Plimpton-Smythe; face like thunder, and it’s only day one! With her severe hair cut and sharp business suit, Pru has the most up to date Smart-phone clamped permanently to her ear. She makes it known to everyone in the near vicinity that she has more important things to do and places to be than picking up from school. She clock watches and tongue clicks if her kids are late out and frog marches them off to a tight schedule of after school clubs and classes. Of course Pru makes large sacrifices for her kids (whom she never listens to) and constantly reminds them of this matter as she sweeps them out of the playground. Pru is secretary for the PTA

Pru’s husband Patrick (very intelligent, but lacks common sense) is a school Governor and is a complete nightmare! Each year he tries to push through the “No Homework” rule, so that he can get more time on the golf course, as Pru insists he has “Quality Time” with the kids whilst they do their homework at the weekends.

Pru and Patrick represent parents who volunteer their time and support for the school, some sadly cause more hindrance than help, find out what the parents at Moortulk bring to the playground with them.

Talk of the Playground - purple 1563

Meet Glenda Glossop

Whilst wading my way through a minefield of editing from which I am loosing the will to live, it occurred to me that I should be doing a lot more towards fulfilling my marketing plans.

So today I shall introduce you to one of my colourful characters from my first book “Talk of the Playground;

Glenda Glossop; short, dumpy, mousey hair, serious faced, cardigan loving, crock wearing, head of the playground gossip stood ready to pounce on anyone brave enough to look her in the eye! A martyr to motherhood, Glenda has 5 children which are at, or have left, Moortulk Primary, so she proclaims herself the rightful encyclopaedia of all things to do with the school. She has seen off three Head teachers and countless staff and helpers, no one dares question her claim that she is on first name terms with all the present teachers and staff and she regularly
offers the Headmistress her “Best advice”.

Glenda pops up through-out the book, she takes pride in the timing of her gossip, but at other times her ability to act kindly shines through. Glenda always gets the best seat at school events and she is like the secret police of the playground.

Come and meet Glenda and the rest of the staff, parents and children at Moortulk Primary School.

Talk of the Playground - purple 1563

Final Mercy by Frank J. Edwards

Final MercyFinal Mercy by Frank J. Edwards

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Frank kindly asked me to read and review this book. I really enjoyed it! A murder mystery centred around a hospital. There is a lot of excellent medical information and the reader certainly gets to understand the pressures of staff shortages, budgets and the intensity of the emergency department. There are plenty of well written characters who revolve around a serious plot with its own twists. Certainly worth a read.

View all my reviews