But first, Inktober day 14: Helmet
All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/
In Conversation With Author/Poet T.J. Christoff
About the interviews:
When I published my first book, I looked for ways to reach new readers, and being a brand new author, participating in various book bloggers interviews was a good way to start. Some interviews were standard questions, while others had more individuality built into them.
I then did a twist on the author interview by interviewing myself (Leon Interviews Himself). I then thought it would be fun to get to know some of the authors I was cross-promoting with, and the Friday Conversations were born. Guess what? They are a lot of work. I look up the authors information, visit the website so I can craft a unique set of questions (OK, there are a few standard ones) to let my readership get to know these new authors. Worth the work? You bet. Here is today’s conversation:
Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author TJ Christoff. Glad you could make it.
Hello Leon, it’s a pleasure to be here with you.
Your poetry goes back all the way to 1983. What took you so long to publish?
That is an excellent question—
Actually, I am a firm believer that nothing happens by accident. Everything happens exactly when and how it is supposed to. I didn’t publish sooner because it just wasn’t the right time for me to do so.
Why did you decide to put all your collections into one volume?
I really think I did that more for myself than for anything else. I wanted to have a published book with all of the poems that I had written and maintained to that point in my life.
Is there a poem that you have written that you think best encapsulates you?
There have been many, but that changes over time as I change over time.
I know what you mean. Any new projects on the go?
I’m currently working on my Master’s Degree, so my writing projects are pretty much on hold for now. However, I have always said that I am merely the conduit for a much great source to use as He (or She) sees fit. I can’t write to save my soul. So, if I am inspired, I will write, but I am not consciously thinking about new projects at the present moment.
Inspiration sneaks up on you, doesn’t it? It’s not something that can be turned on or forced.
That’s a fact! I can’t tell you how many times I have “tried” to write a poem, only to be disappointed by the results. But then again, there have been countless times when I would be trying to fall asleep at night, tossing and turning, only to have to sit upright, turn on a light, and grab a pen and paper to scrawl the words that seemed to be pouring out of me from seemingly nowhere. Once penned, I would find that I was then able to drift off to sleep very peacefully.
When you are not writing, because we can’t do that all the time, what do you enjoy?
LOL…School has me writing quite a bit. In fact, I just had to write a 1- page paper for this week’s assignment. But, on those occasions when I do have a bit of free time, I usually spend it with my three dogs and my kitten, or with a few friends just making memories.
Music is a part of my life, what about yours?
Ah yes! For me, music is like air, I can’t imagine my life without it!
Care to share any of your favorites?
I love pretty much all music, with the exception of heavy metal. However, my favorite is Contemporary Christian music. I really appreciate how positive and uplifting the songs are. The thing about music, is that it can very quickly affect one’s emotional state. It has the ability to transport a person through time and space almost without effort. The way I see it, there is already plenty of negative going on in the world, so I like to find ways to funnel in as much positive into my life as possible. I get that through listening to Christian music.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like music or get some sort of emotional benefit from it. Are you ready for the lightning round?
Let’s do it!
Great! Here we go.
Least favorite food?
The Late Show or The Late Late Show?
Is there a difference??
If there is, it’s negligible…
Last binged show?
Well, that all the time we have today, Thanks for participating. Anything you want to plug?
Feel free to check out my website at www.tjchristoff.com
I just did.
Book Review: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir
Have you read The Martian? Then you’ve read Project: Hail Mary. Kinda
It’s not verbatim, that would be…well, not a good idea for an author. Authors have their own unique writing style and trope preferences, and Andy Weir is no exception.
Spoilers after this point. Just sayin’.
Man stranded: Check
Man uses science to survive: Check
Man makes mistakes using science: Check
Man almost dies: Check
Man doesn’t die: Check
Man makes life or death decision: Check
Man becomes a teacher: Check
That last one was disappointing. In The Martian the main character ends up teaching at NASA (in the movie for sure, I don’t remember if the book ended that way). In Project: Hail Mary the final paragraph is him teaching a class of alien children. This would have been a great ending if I hadn’t read the previous book. It only made sense that Dr. Grace would go back to his chosen career.
Did I like it? The concept was well thought out and believable. Some of the science was confusing at times, but I find that with most sci-fi books. So yeah, I liked it. Kinda.
New Promos (StoryOrigin / BookFunnel)
New Authors: Poetry
The story behind Free Book Friday:
I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?
Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.
Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.
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