Sunday, November 27, 2011

Best Memorable Holiday

Welcome to Augie's Corner

With all the hustle and bustles, Christmas is around the corner, I thought that I would give each one of us a break. How ya like that? We are writing, editing, editing, blogging, editing, blogging and it goes on and on…but I have a question or two for you. What was your most memorable Christmas (even if you do not celebrate) what about most memorable Hanukah, or whatever memorable vacation that you will never forget.
I will start.

I grew up with a mother who raised five girls and one boy. We were far from being middle class, let me say it this way, we were poor, but we never knew we were poor. My mother was that great of a lady who provided all she could, and for some reason we never needed or wanted more.

I was used to the truck that pulled up in front of our house December 20th or the 21st with the name Salvation Army on the sides, and it would be loaded down with toys, oranges, apples (they were the best fruit that I had ever tasted each year), candy, walnuts and other stuff, but this year the truck had not come.
I did not understand, but I knew my mother would not fail us, I suppose I had that blind child faith. I never asked for anything special for Christmas. I did not write letters to Santa Claus (I knew he existed), but I knew more than that Jesus would provide for my family, so I did not need a strange man in a red suit to promise me things that I knew he could not. But, this particular year, there was something that I wanted, but I was afraid to tell anyone.

I knew our mother worked hard, if she knew that I wanted something that she could not provide would break her heart, so I did not ask. When Christmas morning arrived, there were dolls, dishes, games, skates, oranges, apples, nuts and other things, but not what I really wanted, until I noticed a scrunched up Christmas gift that had been forgotten far back under the artificial green tree with its multi-colored strobe light which turned the tree from red, yellow and orange.

I climbed with care under the tree until my small hands could pull the package forward. The paper was crushed, but there was a tag with my name on it, with tears in my eyes and the need to pee; I opened the package as though it was the most precious of all gifts, and it was. There under the crushed paper and Funny Papers was the Bongo Set that I had wanted. I cried and held the gift so tight that my sisters and brother thought that I was crazy, but I did not care. This was exactly what I wanted…let me tell you over four decades later I still possess the same Bongo Set, maybe not as pristine as when I was seven years of age, but the thrill of the moment has never left me.

Tell me your best….Augie   

Friday, November 11, 2011

Michelle Dougherty WIP

Hi Michelle, Welcome to Augie’s Corner,

Augie: Michelle Dougherty, it was fun meeting you after the Night and the City: L.A. Noir in Poetry, Fiction and Film at Mount San Antonio College, with host John Brantingham who was great as usual and featured readings of Sunny Frazier and Tony Barnstone who both were phenomenal. I enjoyed the chapter reading from Sunny’s Where Angels Fear (who is our Posse Leader) and from Tony and his femme fatale who performed a mystery radio-theatre. I understand that you have a Work-In-Progress novel that is near completion.

Michelle: Yes! I’ve been working on my novel about a female assassin for a few years, and I recently completed the draft.

Augie: Is there a title, or will we have to wait?

Michelle: Coming up with a title has been really difficult! For now, I’m just naming it after the protagonist, Kiki Hasumi. I’m hoping that by the time I finish revising, a title will miraculously appear.

Augie: Tell us about Kiki Hasumi? Wait, first of all I love names, so where did the name Kiki come from?

Michelle: Kiki’s real name is Keiko, a very common Japanese name. Like me, Kiki is half-Japanese (Hasumi was actually my maternal grandmother’s maiden name). I wanted Kiki’s name to reflect her Japanese heritage and her American heritage as well.

Augie: That’s very interesting and hopefully an honor to your culture. Okay, now Agent 537, Kiki Hasumi of the Lotus Agency, lethal killer and an all around everyday lady…hold-up (pun not meant) she sounds like one heck of a female. What’s her story? I know you can’t tell us everything, but I am intrigued as well as I can see the audience is too.

Michelle: Kiki loses a lot of her family while she is still a teenager, so as she makes the transition into adulthood, she does so without any guidance and with a lot of bitterness and resentment. Ironically, she leads a more isolated existence before becoming an assassin because that profession requires her to interact with people on some level. Kiki loves a good fight – but she does grapple with the choices she makes, especially as she discovers that her targets are not always the monsters she thought they were. Still, Kiki can be quite cold and calculating, but she’s relatable, too. For instance, she’s a bit of a slob when it comes to her living space, and she loves junk food.

Augie: An assasinjunkfoodolic sounds fascinating. She exceeds to the highest ranking in martial arts and she attracts the attention of Ryuu Nakamura, there goes those names again…love it! Who is he?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Michele Drier

Welcome to Augie’s Corner,

Today’s guest is Michele Drier who’s the author of SNAP: The World Unfolds, which is her first vampire romance novel and Edited for Death, which is her first mystery.

Michele: Definitely espresso!  I’m a caffeine kinda person, but iced tea is my best summer drink.
Augie: I love warm tea when I interview, but iced tea is a favorite too. Let me tell you, I really appreciate this title SNAP: The World Unfolds. It happens to be one of my favorite words to use, Oh Snap. Why SNAP for this book? 

Michele: The premise is that Maxie Gwenoch lands a job at an international, multimedia gossip and celebrity conglomerate.  I thought about OMG (taken), PIX, Celeb, but SNAP worked on a couple of different levels. First is the image angle (the magazine buys from paparazzi) and then the instant exposure in today’s 24/7 media cycle.
Augie: I love that idea…. Audience, you may not know that this is not Michele’s first novel; she has also written Edited for Death, which was released October 1. You should be so thrilled. Let’s talk about Edited for Death. I understand that this it is a mystery, but what is the premise of this novel?
Michele: This is the first in the Amy Hobbes mysteries.  Amy is a daily newspaper editor in a medium-sized town in California.  She and her police reporter, Clarice, both love the adrenaline of covering instant news, and murder is a favorite.  Each book will have an actual murder in it as backdrop, but the main plot is fictional.  In Edited, the death of a prominent politician starts Amy off on a chase to find the man behind the office.  In doing this, she uncovers a 60-year-old secret involving stolen art, Nazis, Holocaust survivors and three murders in a small Gold Rush town.
Augie: Sounds fascinating, you got my ears perked.
Michele: Well, conventional wisdom says “write what you know” so my protagonists are women working in the print media—an industry that’s fighting to stay alive.  In the Amy Hobbes novels, this will add some tension as she loses staff to cut-backs.
Augie: It would be shameful if we allowed print media to die. I love it when characters deal with today’s problems, like bullies, drug abuse, discrimination/racism, and the written word which is so important. Hopping onto another track, so during the time you were waiting for a ‘house’ to pick up Edited for Death, you were already writing your second novel, SNAP? Truly a novelist, actually you are a journalist.
Michele: Yep, I began writing SNAP—a completely different genre, while still looking for an agent or publisher for Edited for Death.  SNAP: The World Unfolds was always planned as a self-published ebook.  I also thought the marketing I’d have to do for SNAP would help with Edited, and it has, to some extent.
Augie: Being a journalist did this aid you in finding a ‘house’ to publish your first novel?
Michele: No, not really.  I will say that the editor for Edited for Death said that it was one of the cleanest manuscripts she’d ever worked on.  I don’t know if that’s from a background as a journalist or from having half-a-dozen alpha and beta readers!
Augie: Uh-huh. Tell us about SNAP? I understand that it is a vampire novel, but of an unconventional nature.
Michele: It is.  The owners of the international conglomerate that’s SNAP are a “family” of vampires headquartered in Hungary.  They have other financial dealings, but SNAP took off and is now their main enterprise.
Augie: There is a huge market for vampire novels, and there are many to choose from, what makes your family of vampires different?
Michele: The idea came from an off-hand remark my daughter made.  She said “You only see a lot of celebrities at night.  They all wear dark glasses.  They travel around in limos with tinted windows.  They could be vampires!” And so SNAP was born.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Where do stories come from?

Augie's Quick Post

I thought that I would ask writers where their stories came from, and then I thought, where do stories really come from?  From within, around us, perhaps plot driven, character driven (those who demand to come out), or the story is real.

Many stories that I write are name driven, I know this sounds rather strange, but I make up names, then they derive the plot and I am the muse.   

Where does your story come from? Let me know @

Friday, October 7, 2011

Special Guest

Welcome to Augie's Corner:

I realize that this is unconventional even for me, but tonight I’m going to forego my usual interview and allow my guest to introduce herself. We are not in a studio, nor is there an audience present, just my guest and me. You see she is very shy, and the only way I could do this interview was to travel to Montauk Peninsula and visit her home. This is a gorgeous mansion, actually the first that I have ever been in, with huge walls that surrounds the perimeter, all I could see are rolling green hills, orchards, vineyards, stables and I think I can hear the sea.

Guest: Yes, Augie you are correct, you can hear the sea, if you pull the curtain back, you can actually see the harbor in the distance. Okay, I think I’m ready. Let me see, I suppose I should introduce myself and then go from there.

Augie: I think that would be a great place to start

Guest: Here goes, my name is Charlotte, and I am the only living child of Theis Veit-Standforte and Chevalier Georges Aethelbert Demerayes. We live in this mansion that has been in the Demerayes’ family for generations.

My mother is called Mistress and father is Master of Fanaman, who is a land baron.

I had a brother, who was younger than I, but he died. No one speaks of him, actually, no one is allowed to say his name, or mention anything about him according to Mistress.

Let me see, I’m nineteen, nearly twenty and I have never married, nor have I ever been betroth. According to mother, I am a disaster, a failure to all women and a failure to the Veit-Standforte as well as the Demerayes. 

You see women in my era were considered spinsters if they were not married or betroth by the age of sixteen, and I am a little late. I am an embarrassment, I accept this.

I wanted to be unconventional, you know never marry, enjoy life, but that was not to be. She had other plans for me. To be honest mother hates me.

Augie: Isn’t that a little harsh.

Guest: Oh no, she will not allow me to go anywhere, well I have been to the Village maybe ten to twelve times in my life and I do go with the family to Grissly Hall during the winter, but other than that I stay here, between these walls. All I have learned about life was taught to me by Mary, my favorite friend, she’s our maid and dear old Alexander, who is father’s manservant, who is really father’s boyhood friend. Mother has no friends, she spends her time conjuring up spells and doing evil things to people and me. She never spends time with me, unless it is to ridicule me about one thing or another.

I heard once that she had a friend but she disappeared, like the things in the Mansion, that mother tells me

Monday, September 26, 2011


Thanks for visiting augie's quick post, today is a little different, this is banned book week, so have a peek.
Just about every country places some restrictions on what many be published, many of these restrictions are considered to be obscene, which can mean the suppressing of sexual content, racism, glorifying drugs or social standing. The degree of control differs from country to country and at different periods of time.

Governments have also sought to ban certain books that they perceives to contain material that could threaten, embarrass or criticize it; religious authorities (claiming to protect the innocent), immorality as well as profanity.

Banned or challenged books are those that have been removed from the shelves of libraries, bookstores, or classrooms because of its controversial content. In the past some of these books have been burned and or refused further publication.

This is a form of censorship and hits the very core of our freedom to read. So, today we celebrate ‘banned book’ week and read, read and read. Below is just an inkling of some of those books by years.

Take the time this week and pick up one or three of them, and maybe you can see why they were banned or challenged.

According to Mike Clark, president of the Association of London Chief Librarians, “Banned Books Week points up the ludicrousness of banning legitimate literature. perhaps more than any other profession, librarians find themselves dealing with the reality of censorship on a day to day basis. In bringing together these controversial titles of past and present, Banned Books gives us an opportunity to discuss what freedom of expression means today."

List of banned books from the 1600's-2000's

About a Silence in Literature
Živorad Stojković

A Feast for the Seaweeds (1983)




Angaray (1932)



A Spoon on Earth
Hyeon Gi-yeong

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism (2008)





Candide (1759)

Curved River (1963)

Dan Brown         

The Death of Lorca (1971)
Ian Gibson              

Anne Frank     

Sunny Frazier's Posse

First Book for Education

A Few Lines

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