Pages

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Meet Steven LaVey, Author

Steven LaVey is a writer from Newcastle upon Tyne in the North East of England. He writes autobiographical novels and surreal short stories. He has written three books: Three Leaves, Shorts, and The Ugly Spirit.

To learn more about Steven and his work, check out www.stevenlavey.com and visit his author page on Facebook.

1. Why did you choose autobiographical fiction rather than memoir in writing Three Leaves?

I've chosen to write autobiographical fiction over writing memoirs because I feel that the writing process of autobiographical fiction allows me to have more creativity over the structure, events, and characters involved. By that, I mean that instead of aiming for a direct, linear version of events, I can meld, merge, and amalgamate the timeline, characters, and scenes. It also allows me to exaggerate, and even make things up, if I feel that by doing so it will potentially improve the story.

2. Who are some authors of the past and present day whose work inspires you? Alan Bennett came to mind for me because of his autobiographical work in different genres, but it seems like your work has more of an edge to it. 

While there are many influences on my writing, the main influence, both philosophically and stylistically, would be Henry Miller. What Miller did was to make art out of his own life, to bend it, manipulate it, and turn it into a tall, amusing, sexual, and philosophical tale. However, it is not just the content or philosophy of Miller’s writing that I love; it is the rhythm, poetry, and language, which he uses to express his ideas. While he dips in and out of the Miller "voice," in my opinion he only really nails it consistently in his first published novel, Tropic of Cancer. What I love about TOC is the immediacy of the language Miller uses; it is the rawness, and the almost spiritual excitement at the situations he finds himself in. Coming back to the first question, I would add that the immediacy of Miller's work inspired me to write autobiographical fiction. It is why I wrote Three Leaves in such a way, transferring myself back into my nineteen (to twenty-three) year old frame of mind, and writing as if I were telling the narrative as it happened, instead of in a retrospective memoir.

3. In writing with so much honesty, do you ever come up against things you have to really fight to get onto the page? 

Absolutely, but not so much for the actions or words of my own character, but for anyone else who I have fictionalized. As I am attempting to use real individuals (albeit with fake names) as the basis for my characters, my concerns are that should any of those individuals read my work and discover that they are involved, they may think that I have not portrayed them correctly. This is a particular concern when it comes to family members.

4. What motivates you to keep writing? Do you maintain a schedule or do anything else that keeps you focused on your work?

For me, writing is like breathing, eating, or sleeping; it's natural and something I've always done. There is no motivation--I either write or die. However, when I plan to write something of a certain length, like I did with Three Leaves and The Ugly Spirit, I plan my work out scene-by-scene and then write the novel from the notes. Presently, I am working to a slightly different method (which I'm keeping secret) for my next book, which I hope to publish in late 2018 or early 2019.

5. What would you like readers to know about your latest book?

I felt like I went through an enormous metamorphosis while writing Three Leaves. The process of digging about in my brain to remember all the things that happened ultimately got me thinking (a lot more than usual) about my behavior at the time. What I would like anyone thinking of reading Three Leaves to know is that it is about a real individual; someone who is idiotic, insecure, hopeless, embarrassing, angry, sad, depressed, lost, addicted, manic, loving, kind, spiritual, honest, violent, and all the other endless traits that make people what they are; whole, complex, and not mere stereotypes of "good" and "evil."

Thanks, Steven!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Introducing SpeedDatingCupid.com

The internet has made a lot of things easier in our lives, and sometimes I wonder how people met each other before the era of dating websites. Have you ever noticed that the popularity of different dating sites seems to change over time? In order to improve your chances of meeting people, it can help to try new and different sites.

One of the latest sites I've heard about is https://speeddatingcupid.com/. This site is described as a place for speed dating, where it only takes a minute to register and start connecting with potential dates.

New people across the US are joining the site and uploading their profiles daily. The site has several features to allow you to meet people in a low-key way. For example, you can easily set up friend lists, and you can send messages or winks to other people on the site. It's free to sign up and get started using the site. There is also a premium level available for those who want to try more features.

Some other cool things about the site are that it has a blog where you can find articles about love and dating related topics, and the site runs contests where you can win prizes like a free premium subscription.

With a free site like this, what can you lose? Check it out and let me know what you think by sharing your experience in the comments below.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Meet the Founder of VoIPtoners.com

The founder of VoIPtoners.com is a freelance business owner who started the website http://voiptoners.com because Voiptoners he had tested so many VoIP providers on the market and wanted to share out his findings with all the people that need good and reliable Voip services yet affordable ones.

1. In general, what are some of the benefits in using VoIP in the first place?

People start saving money once they get started with VoIP due to its low monthly commitment compared to a normal fixed line or even a mobile. Some VoIP services provide free services if you purchase their devices one-off, such as Ooma. The VoIP utilizes your internet connection as well since I believe most of the residents or users now will surely have fiber now.

2. How did your own experience as a VoIP customer motivate you to start the site?

My first experience sucked as I had committed to a bad service. It all happened because I wanted to save costs and get the cheaper price while the provider promised on the features and reliability. Back then, there weren't as many reviews and sharing on the internet or forums, very limited information. I ended up losing more money, and it was such a frustrating experience. I thought it would be great if I picked a few providers and tested them along while giving out my experience and encounters due to my own usage and criteria. I have since become an addict and I love to try more of them to review for my site.

3. What are some of the most interesting things you've learned since starting the site?

What I love is that more and more people and users are willing to share their experience and knowledge on the VoIP providers. I believe most are still unfamiliar or not even heard of them but now all the information and knowledge are much more easily accessible. First time users can skip the pain and get what they need. More webmasters are setting up review sites, and we all can learn from different points of view, too.

4. Do you think VoIP has changed over the years, as more people have dropped landline phones for mobile phones?

Of course I do. The first thing that I had noticed is the lowering of prices for residential users. But this hasn't happened for business purposes; the price had increased, in fact, for business VoIP over the years. I believe these facts had to do with the functionality and increase of facilities to cater all the demand. Other than that, the reliability of the VoIP has vastly improved, so now the voice is much more crystal clear and stable, less jittery and delayed. Certainly the voice compression technology has improved over the years. From my observation, mobile users are utilizing VoIP app from their smartphone more than ever because of convenience and stability. I still remember my first time using a VoIP app from my smartphone 5 years back (Viber); back then, you could barely hear what the other person was saying on the line. Luckily, all these bad experience have gone away over time.

5. What else would you like people to know about your website?

I certainly hope users can benefit from what I've encountered personally. Check and read the reviews carefully if they suit your needs. Always cut out if you find that the provider failed to deliver what they promised--that's why a no contract situation is always my priority.

Thanks!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Meet Veronica R. Tabares, Author

Veronica R. Tabares, MFA, MLIS, is a passionate award-winning author on a mission to make a positive impact in people's lives through the power of storytelling. Nine books later and she is still fueled by the initial creative spark that started it all. Writing and her love of archaeology aside, Veronica enjoys nothing more than spending quality time with her loved ones who inspire her to be her best version daily.

Learn more about Veronica and her work by visiting http://veronicatabares.com/.

1. What first drew you to creative writing?

I was one of those kids that read every book in the house, including encyclopedias, then branched out to magazines, newspapers, and even cereal boxes. If it had words, I read it. I'm pretty sure writing is the natural progression. And I'm drawn to creative writing because, hey, I like being in control.

2. As someone who writes in different genres and for different age groups, when you get an idea for something to write, how do you decide what form the project will take?

There's always a constant swarm of pesky ideas flying around my head. Sorry, I misspoke. I meant to say great ideas, not pesky. What could be pesky about an idea?

Anyway, I usually swat the annoying ones away, but the good ones I snatch out of the air and stick in my pocket. Funny thing is, they come with labels! I've never had to struggle over genre or age group, all I've ever had to do is read the tag. You know, "great for tweens" or "sci-fi I"d like to read." That kind of thing.

3. What are some of the key differences between writing for kids and writing for adults?

I find writing for kids much trickier. The author needs to entertain the kids, as well as please their parents, their teachers, their grandparents, etc.

4. What do you like best about being a writer?

The adrenaline! A good day of writing energizes me more than any exercise routine ever invented. Of course, it doesn't do a thing to strengthen my muscles

5. Do you have any projects you're currently working on that you'd like to tell us about?

Sure! I have a pocketful of potential projects, but the three I'm actively working on are:

a) An adventure set in Belize that involves a honeymooning couple, a crooked cop, and a ghost.

b) Two sisters must retrieve a piece of jewelry one of them lost on an amusement park ride before it triggers a robot apocalypse.

c) A boy accidentally travels to another universe through his dreams, while his twin sister is left at home with no clue what happened to him. This story for kids is set in the late 1920s and is related to the Behold the Eye trilogy.

It's been a pleasure chatting with you, and happy reading!

Thanks, Veronica!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Meet Victor Wan of Kulör Cases

Kulör Cases is a luxury leather iPhone case maker. Their business is based in Sweden. Our interview today is with the company CEO, Victor Wan, who works alongside the Swedish designer Ingrid Andersson. Learn more by visiting https://kulorcases.com.

1. What inspired you to start Kulör Cases?

I previously worked in the IT and telecom industry for 14 years. All along I wanted to do something that could combine my interest in gadgets, my love for minimalist designs, and sense of achievement from helping my clients. And it all began in 2017 when I decided to start my own brand that makes luxury personalized leather iPhone cases alongside the Swedish designer Ingrid Andersson. We wanted to become a part of our customers’ special moments. This dream was fulfilled when our first customer of the company was an astronaut who ordered a phone case for himself as well as for his wife for the celebration of the birth of their twins.

2. What makes your cases unique?

Regarding materials, we wanted something classy but also something that would age well. Leather was the perfect option. Then came the issue of the design. Most leather cases are mono toned, all black, all brown, all blue, etc. We wanted a minimalist design that would not cover the beautiful iPhone but to complement it... This led to the decision of a multi-colored and colorful case design. Secondly, we didn't want the cases to be a source of branding for us because the cases should be about the users. Therefore we designed not to put our company logo on the case. Lastly, we decided for personalization so people could have their names, initials, or something special foil stamped on the phone case. Our phone cases represent our customers' true character and identity.

Because of the special multi-colored design, our craftsmen have to work on two different cowhide leathers, and that increases the complexity. But we are a luxury brand, and we won't do anything less than the best.

3. There are a lot of iPhone case makers. What makes you different from them in terms of craftsmenship?

Our iPhone cases are handcrafted. The products we make are all about the customers which is why we don't incorporate a company logo on our cases. What makes us different is that our utmost goal is to satisfy our customers. We pay close attention to minute details. For example, most leather cases are made by gluing leather sheets on top of plastic bases. The sides of the plastic are visible, which doesn't give a neat look. We keep that in mind and make sure the corners and sides are all covered in leather.

Our craftsmen spend three times the amount of time that it takes on one regular case. It is all because of our commitment to providing the best of the best.

4. Could you describe some of the options for people who want to customize their phone case?

Our customers could choose from a wide collection of colorful cases. We have 10 different color combinations for each of our iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus collections. As for customization, we offer three different fonts namely Park Avenue, JosefinSans and Althea that could be embossed in gold, silver, or rose gold foil. To ensure quality craftsmanship, we use a traditional hand operated hot stamping machine to imprint the leather cases with initials, names, monogram, or something special.

We also have a live personalization tool on our website so that our customers could preview what they are customizing and order with confidence.

5. In your opinion, why is vegetable tanned top-grain leather the best material for a phone case?

First of all, vegetable tanned leather does not contain harmful chemicals (vs chromium and aldehyde tanning), and it ages perfectly and delivers a better look for your phone case through time. Second of all, top-grain leather is the most premium hide material. It is the surface of full-grain leather that has not been removed or heavily sanded, preserving the natural qualities of an authentic leather hide. Most cheaper cases in the market uses "split leather" or "genuine leather." They are made from the inner layers that are underneath the top-grain and are embossed with an artificial grain pattern.

You will never find split leather, bonded, or even imitation leathers products at Kulör Cases.

Thanks, Victor!