Monday, July 20, 2015

#MondayBlogs #131PreviewReview Welcomes Death By Haggis #Author Jay Cutts @shannonihayes @jaycuttsbooks

The 131 Preview Review Welcomes Jay Cutts

Bio:  I've been writing educational and marketing materials over the past 30 years, as well as performing and writing comedy. My published works include the (hopefully) non-fiction Barron's MCAT Prep Book (October 2011), Barron's LSAT Prep Book (August 2013), and Barron’s MCAT Flash cards (2015). My second novel is Annie Gomez and the Gigantic Foot of Doom, involving evil bullies, spaces rhinos, teensy fairies who may or may not be good or evil,  cupcake bombs, and the secret to faster-than-light travel.

I've been known to play haunting folk tunes on the accordion in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, and various towns in Romania. Sometimes I get chased away. Sometimes people bring me food. Occasionally someone actually stops and listens, which makes me smile.

I would like to Officially Welcome you to the 131 Preview Review Interview. It's great to have you
Thanks, Shannon. I appreciate your interest in Death by Haggis.

With a title like that how could I resist! I understand that it began as something of an experiment with another writer friend?

Jay: Yep. One of my oldest friends, Terry Boothman, author of Writer's Software Companion, is the funniest guy I know. We sometimes email jokes and riddles back and forth 10 times a day, so at one point I wrote him that we should just take turns writing parts of a novel and we could have the whole thing done in a couple weeks! Uhmm, it was an interesting process for a week or two and then became like two cats tied to each other trying to escape from a closet.

Yes but the results of your endeavor are far more interesting with less fur flying

Jay: Ha ha. THAT took a lot of editing on my part. The original material was a bit wild to get through.

I bet, as the finished product is very tongue in cheek. Which is great, I like absurd reads.

Jay: Well, to make things even more interesting at the beginning, Terry sent me a first sentence that was lifted directly from the Bulwer-Lytton contest for the worst possible opening sentence to a novel, you know, the "It was a dark and stormy night..." line. I thought he had made it up and didn't realize he'd stolen it for about 6 months, at which point I had to change the first sentence, of course.

Yes, and of course it would have to be the first, the most important sentence of the hook for the book. I bet it was both frustrating and challenging, but also fun to try and find something that fit...

Jay: I was already so engrossed in the mystery and the wild cast of characters that I just took a quick wrench to the first sentence and got back to the story so I could find out what was going to happen to everyone!

So I take it you’re a panster as opposed to a planner when it comes to your fiction work?

Jay: It did take a lot of planning to understand where the story was going and who each character really was but the planning was very intuitive. Sometimes I would wonder what Sam was going to do next and I'd just sit there puzzled and suddenly it would strike me. "Oh! That's what he's going to do!"

So you mix it up, Sam is a great character, I like how his mind wanders out the door often.

Jay: Yeah. He's so innocent and so sincere and so clueless and so loveable.

That he is, it makes Jane almost seem level headed... almost. I understand before and since writing this you also do SAT and LSAT manuals fiction must be a treat

Jay: Jane, to me, is very practical but at the same time very idealistic. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but that's Jane. Her big challenge is to learn how to move through her sensitivity to life, rather than getting paralyzed by it. Her journey is an internal one. She doesn't quite know what the forces are that are acting on her and neither do we, until the end.
I've probably written and edited well over 2000 pages of test prep material. Writing fiction is definitely a passion and a labor (in the sense of giving birth) of love.

Well you do a good job of it

Jay: Can I ask what you thought of Cynthia Elmsford Hamchester?
...Jane's twin sister.

She came across cold and a wee bit bitchy...Lol to put it nicely

Jay: Yes, she's a piece of woik from New Joisey. I actually loved her best of all the characters. She's a megalomaniac control freak but she wants so badly to be loved, even if she has to pay people to love her.

We all have our writing babies. Lol

Jay: I think Cynthia Elmsford Hamchester (she is always referred to by her full name, or else) really comes into her own in the latter part of the story. She has a heart of, Uhmm, really hard old salami, but it is a heart.
I have to tell you a story.

Go for it

Jay: Cynthia Elmsford Hamchester reminds me of a friend of mine who, on a rainy evening, kept telling me how to drive. At one point she said, "Turn on the windshield wipers." I said, "No. I'm not going to."
"Why?" she asked.
"Because you told me to," I said.
She was quiet for a moment and then said, "Don't turn on the windshield wipers."
So I turned them on.

At least you friend had the forethought to realize how to get you to do what she wanted too!

Jay: Yeah and that's Cynthia Elmsford Hamchester. She's always going to get her way but if you understand her, you can maintain a little integrity and still have some fun.

I liked how you brought in a bit of the Scottish influence as far as the history and mythology is concerned with the "Little people".
What made you mind twist that way?

Jay: Scotland, of course, is mysterious and Scottish. To me, there is an ancientness to it, such that I can't help but imagine deep, dark caverns inhabited by mysterious and intelligent beings long ago. So when I wander in my imagination wondering who and what I am beyond the superficial, I can't seem to help but wander into the Scotland sector. Cold, damp, green, old, wise, craggy, remote.
Plus I promised my friend Hamish that I'd name a character after him.

And that you did! The cover pulls from that mythology as well, would you like to do a shout out to the artist?

Jay: Sophia Boothman is Terry Boothman's daughter. She's an amazingly gifted artist and has been since she was a small child. Her green fairy on the cover is haunting and beautiful. And sensibly clad.

Yes, yes she is. If she works professionally and has a website or email let me have the link and I'll be sure to add it in the editing of the interview.

Jay: Good idea. She's working in NYC as a photographer. I'll ask her if she has a link.

By she, I mean Sophia and not the Fairy, regardless of how that reads above. LOL

Oh, I see. Just kidding. The fairy has moved on to Annie Gomez and the Gigantic Foot of Doom, where she has a much expanded role.

And you lead me into my next question, I was going to ask you about this other fiction diddy you have written.  What is this foot of Doom???

Jay: Ah, that would be telling.


Jay: Annie Gomez and the Gigantic Foot of Doom is about a group of 10th graders, each brilliant in his or her own way and because of that, pretty much social outcasts. Annie is tall, smart, and a born leader. Her biology teacher tells her he thinks she's being contacted by two alien races that are fighting for control over her mind. Why not, she says. Everyone else is.  So with her gang of friends she has to figure out which race is good and which is evil and how to defeat the one's that want to destroy humanity. Without getting grounded.

Nice blurb. I like that. Sounds like another fun read!
Should we be on the lookout for more stories of the Wee people in the future?

The word people are using about it is "lighthearted", as well as fun. And clean.

AS in do you have something you're working on now or are you just working on getting exposure for the current work?

Jay: How could there NOT be more stories of the wee people, not to mention New Jersyites, space rhinos, and kids with wonderful imaginations?
Let's say I'm "incubating" and looking for people who want to gather around the campfire or streetlight with me to hear stories.

Space Rhinos, sounds like a job for TheDOCTOR...

Jay: Yes! Annie Gomez is a bit like Amy Pond in my imagination.

And Very SCOTTISH!!!

Jay: Oh, yes. I forgot that. Maybe Karen Gillan will play Annie Gomez in the yet to be even slightly considered movie.

When In Doubt Crowd Fund it!!
I'd donate a wee bit of cash for a decent adaptation of any good book

Jay: Great idea. Just need a faster than light space ship. By the way, in Annie Gomez the secret of faster than light travel is revealed for the first time.

But you can't reveal it... there's too much math!!

Jay: Well, I can just say it could be accomplished on a quiet stretch of interstate by almost anyone, though the secret is revealed by a 12-year-old bipedal rhino, so some details may have been left out.

Oh boy
And this one was entirely penned by you, yes.

Jay: Yes. As for Death by Haggis, I'm responsible for all but some bits of the first five chapters. Do I want to actually admit that in writing? Too late now.

Yes yes it is
When I was reading Death by Haggis I couldn't help but feel like I was reading something by Douglas Adams, are you familiar with his work

Jay: Yes. It's been a while but his writing is delightful, fanciful, lighthearted, clever. I'm flattered that you were reminded. I've always very much enjoyed Terry Pratchett and I’m honored if a little bit of his influence has soaked into me as well.

Seems you are in good company
Before we end it for tonight do you have nay other things you would like to share with my readers, pearls of wisdom, thoughts on publishing, the theory of space and time as told by the wing speed of a sparrow?

Jay: I've really enjoyed sharing thoughts with you and your readers. In telling stories I somehow feel that life is beautiful, even in the midst of our struggles. When the beauty becomes visible, there is joy and where there is joy, there is laughter. Good stories are good medicine and that's what I like to share.
I think Sam just wrote that but I hope you get what he was trying to say.

Well from what I've read and what we've chatted about I would say that you are doing a hell of a job in heading in the right direction! If Sam wrote it, than I guess he gets a new book.... Which could be very fun!
Let me know when you write it, I'd like to read it! And Review it for the 131!

Jay: You can't keep a good imaginary character down! Thanks again, Shannon, for taking time to read Death by Haggis and chat with me. It’s been a pleasure.

And thanks to you as well for letting me read it and for doing the interview it's been fun! Have a great night!!

You too!

Well that’s it this week, don’t forget if you like this to follow me and subscribe! Do follow Author Jay Cutts and stay tuned for more from this fun and fascinating writer!






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The In Dreams... Series, The Roads Trilogy, is the accumulation of almost eight years of writing. Begun in 2006 after a D&D campaign

ended S.I.Hayes took the world and created the Unavoidable Road. It took five years as

Shannon spent many months at a time in an undiagnosed Bi-Polar fog.

In 2010, she finally found the help she needed and she has been writing feverishly ever since

The first book wast over 130,000 words, so she decided that it needed to be smaller if only tonot scare readers away form an unknown book that was so thick.

Thus the first trilogy was born.

In between she became the CoAuthor to Awakenings: The Wrath Saga, a Paranormal Drama likened to Big Brother Meets The Real World, of the Preternatural, Several blogs and her own website.