Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pump Up Your Book Announces Your Body, Your Style Virtual Book Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Rani St. Pucchi’s Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter virtual book tour starting November 1 and ending February 10.  Rani will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about her phenomenal new book that will help the average woman in America which is size 14 and that relationship starts with an individual’s relationship to self..

Thirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends.

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot. 

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type
* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most
* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit
* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks
* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well
* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI  is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

If you’d like to follow her tour, visit  Please leave a comment or question at each of her tour stops to let him know you stopped by!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price.  More information can be found on our website at While there, check out our Authors on Tour page to see what we have coming up in the months ahead. We’re always looking for new bloggers to join our team.

Contact Information:
Dorothy Thompson
Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague, Virginia  23336

Friday, October 28, 2016

Guest post: "Writing Humor into Your Work," by S.K. Nicholls, author of 'Naked Alliances'

My favorite books are the wacko Florida regional crime adventures for which my lovely State is famous. The characters in Tim Dorsey’s series, Serge and Coleman, serial killers who only murder scammers, are knee-slapping hilarious. Carl Hiaasen’s Skink, an old man who lives in the swamps, fights crime, and used to be Governor makes me chuckle every few pages. Tim Baker’s Ike, a former Navy Seal, who works as a strong arm for a bookie that owns a restaurant on A1A but tracks down outrageous criminals encroaching on his turf, has me laughing out loud every couple of chapters. And there are many others that keep me highly entertained.
Murder is easy, humor is hard.
I have heard humorist say you’ve either got it or you don’t, but there are techniques to employ in writing humor or gearing up to write humor. It doesn’t matter if you are writing chick-lit, crime romps, romance, or fantasy, keeping people entertained is a large part of what writers do. Most fiction has room for comic relief. But, you say, “I’m not a comedian.” That’s okay. There are many ways to interject funny into your work; writing words out of context, using puns, and more. Today I’m going to tell you about four of these ways to include humor in any work:
·       Banter
·       Slapstick
·       Sarcasm
·       Clever Jokes
At the end of this post, I’ll introduce you to my warm up method for getting into the right mind to write humor.
Banter is likely the easiest way to work humor into your work—if you have the right characters. It works well to slow pace between action scenes. For banter to work best, the characters have to spend enough time with each other and know each other well enough to understand how to push each other’s buttons. Opposing personalities make this an easier trick to pull off.
In Naked Alliances, Richard and Brandi, co-protagonists, are like oil and vinegar. He’s a private investigator, reserved, chivalrous, and prefers to work alone. She’s an outrageous exotic dancer, brassy, and loud. Their opposing personalities make it easy to toss one-liners back and forth in dialog that also aids in demonstrating or “showing” their personalities.
“No, nuh-uh,” he said, imitating Brandi when she wasn’t happy with how things were going. “We’re trying to look inconspicuous here.”
She stretched the back of her luminous dress down to cover her buttocks. “It’s party time and this is who I am. I’m an exhibitionist, you know.”
“No, you can’t go to the Ranch, in the middle of a swamp, lookin’ like some freshly minted Krugerrand!”
Brandi turned away and adjusted her blonde wig. “I resent that remark. There’s an African American insult in it somewhere…My white father can trace his lineage all the way back to the American Revolution.”
“Sorry. I’m sure he can. It’s just that we can’t go over there drawing attention to ourselves. After what happened to your friend, you should know you can’t go there lookin’ like an advertisement on Times Square.”
Sparring like this can be quick, blunt, and to the point and can can be used in other genre, like romance or fantasy. While having opposing personalities can make it easier, it’s not necessary.
Banter usually starts with a casual comment made to be a joke or mild tease.  It can be a simple conversation leading to a joke too.  Here’s another example from Charles E. Yallowitz’s fantasy series, Legends of Windemere, a book titled:  Family of the Tri-rune. In this instance, there are no opposing personalities, but a window of opportunity for comic relief. Two characters, Tzefira and Nyx, engage in friendly banter. They are about to face the enemy.
You’re hoping that my magic scares them off.”
“It has crossed my mind, so feel free to put on as big a show as possible.”
“What if they laugh at the display?”
“They won’t.”
“How can you be so sure?”
 “I’ve never heard a krypter laugh.”
Short, sweet, and good for a chuckle to break the tension of the moment.
Slapstick, you either love it or hate it. Slapstick involves setting up a funny scene. Think of The Three Stooges. It’s much easier to portray in film than in written words, but your work might have a place for it.
In Naked Alliances, a whole chapter is dedicated to rescuing one of Brandi’s friends, Gloria, a female impersonator. She’s been wrangled like a bull, drugged, trussed like a turkey, and stuffed into a dark room…freeing her becomes an act of calamity.
Tim Dorsey’s Serge and Coleman are well known antiheroes, bad guys who take on the bad guys. Serge is a genius and Coleman is a stoner. They banter, but they also have very unique ways of murdering scam artists in Tiger Shrimp Tango..., I mean death by lobster, who woulda thunk it? Only Serge.
With slapstick you are setting up a scene, giving readers a visual into an awkward series of events with a hilarious outcome.
Sarcasm doesn’t need to be explained. It’s not so much how the sarcasm is written as it is how it is perceived by the reader. Sometimes sarcasm makes a character appear to be mean or tough...but sometimes that’s just what you need. It’s important to know your audience. But again, these little tips on humor can be used in any genre.
Wings of Meyhem, a psychological thriller about a hideous serial killer authored by crime writer Sue Coletta, keeps you on the edge of your seat with suspense and tension. However, Shawnee, a tough girl who is a cat burglar by night and a Police Department employee by day, has a tendency to respond with sarcasm that works to break the tension and add a touch of humor, while keeping her tough girl image.
“Good morning, Shawnee,” said Detective Charles North, a royal kiss ass, and a pain in mine. If Lieutenant Holt stopped short, he’d need to wear a neck brace for a month. “How’s it going in here?”
Staring at the monitor, I droned, “Chuck.”
“Charles. You know I go by Charles.”
“Right. My bad.”
“Did you find anything yet?”
“Did I call you?”
“No, but…”
“Listen, Chuck. This isn’t the movies. Information doesn’t magically appear in seconds. It takes time.” He dragged a chair next to my desk and hovered over my shoulder. Regurgitated peppers and eggs repeated on him and, by proximity, on me. Waving away the stench, I said, “Do you mind?”
He scooted his chair back literally six inches. “Better?”
As you can see, even tough-girls can be amusing in a psychothriller. And then you have romance and chick-lit with plenty of room for sarcasm. Characters simply make snide remarks to other characters. Don’t try to plan to be funny yourself, allow your characters to take the reins.
Clever Jokes can be dropped into narrative or injected into dialog. Here you might have to be more of a comedian…or at least think like one.
You have a character, a female, complaining to another female about men. What can she compare men to?
“You know men. They’re like panty hose. They run, they cling, or they don’t fit right in the crotch.”
Or a male character complaining to another male about women. What can he compare women to?
“You know women. They’re like shed roofs. If you don’t nail them hard enough, they end up next door.”
Comparisons and hypothetical questions are good exercises to warm up for writing humor.
I promised to share my method for loosening up to write humor. The hypothetical questions exercise.
I get anxious about writing humor because different people find different things funny, and appealing to a large audience is a challenge. I can be funny all day, but sit down to write something amusing and draw a total blank.
Yes, murder is easy. Funny is hard. The characters and the plot are all there when I sit down to write. My anxieties stem from the fact that I am a serious person who worked to save lives. Shaking off that seriousness and letting go, releasing my inhibitions, and learning that it really doesn’t matter if I offend somebody cause somebody else is gonna laugh, have been key to loosening up to write humor.
I was scolded as a child for constantly asking the question, “What if…?” What if dogs could fly? What if horses had feathers? What if all the people in the world had blue hair? What if Leprechauns had club feet? What if dentists paid you to let them pull your teeth? What if you got scared half to death twice? What if you throw a cat out a car window, does it become kitty litter? 
It was cause for punishment as a kid, but I still use hypothetical questions as a warm up exercise to write humor.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and maybe learned a few tricks of the trade.

Genre: Mystery
Author: S.K. Nicholls
Publisher: Brave Blue Heron Books
Purchase on Amazon

About the Book: In Naked Alliances, novelist S.K. Nicholls takes readers on a witty, wild, wickedly fun romp that exposes a side of Orlando tourists rarely see. The debut release in The Naked Eye Private Investigator Series, Naked Alliances introduces lone wolf P.I. Richard Noggin. 

 When a young immigrant woman and an exotic dancer are forced to flee men with guns and have no place to hide, Richard Noggin, P.I., can’t turn his back—even if helping out makes him a target. Richard plans to impress an aspiring politician by taking on a big white-collar case that could take him from the streets to an air-conditioned office. Instead, he's handed a cold case and quickly finds himself sucked into a shadowy world of sex, secrets and…murder. Marked for a bullet and stretched thin by his investigations, Richard reluctantly teams up with the unlikely, brassy custodian of the young woman on the run. With bodies piling up, Richard and his companion are forced to go undercover in a most unlikely locale: the Leisure Lagoon, a nudist resort.  Going undercover in this instance will mean going uncovered…but lives are at stake—and this Naked Eye will have to juggle to keep his balls in the air and connect the dots before anyone else is murdered. As his pulse-quickening quest for answers leads from the dark corners of Orlando’s Little Saigon to the sunny exposure of the Leisure Lagoon, Richard will be put to the test. Just how much will this Naked Eye have to bear…or bare? The heat is on in this quirky Sunshine State crime thriller.

About the AuthorS.K. Nicholls’ family owns and operates one of the oldest and largest nudist resorts in the nation located in Central Florida, Cypress Cove. Her experience gives her a deep understanding of the lifestyle choice and how it is extremely different from the sex industry, yet harbors clandestine elements of intrigue and fascination. Social issues are at the forefront of her writing. A former sexual assault nurse examiner, she has a special interest in the subject matter of sex-trafficking. A native of Georgia, she lives in Orlando, Florida with her husband, Greg.




Thursday, October 27, 2016

Book Blast: Spaces Between Notes by Kristina M. Sanchez

Inside the Book

Title: Spaces Between Notes 
Author: Kristina M. Sanchez 
Publisher: Amazon 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Nikolai Amorosa is one of those men’s men. You know the type—allergic to feelings, couldn’t have a heartfelt discussion if he tried, which he never did. Then, he lost his voice, and any chance of communication went out the window.

Unable to speak or otherwise interact with anyone, Niko’s anger was off the charts. It could’ve been worse; he could’ve been in jail. Instead, he found himself doing construction on Carys Harper’s house. Carys talked—a lot—both with her voice and her hands. She was also at the beck and call of her deaf little brother, Benny, which drove Niko nine kinds of crazy. Not that he would’ve said anything, even if he could.

Something else that drove him crazy? Carys was stubborn. She wouldn’t let him wallow. More than that, she seemed to hear all the things he couldn’t say. She understood him like she understood music. She heard what existed in the spaces between notes. She knew that sometimes silence screams the loudest.


Meet the Author

Kristina Sanchez is a lifelong insomniac whose creative career began when she used to make up stories about Bugs Bunny in her head while the rest of the house slept. She’s a Southern California native who can frequently be found at Disneyland because it’s easier to park there than go to the beach, sadly. Although writing is her first passion and only love, she finds fulfillment working in social services with the county of Orange. Currently, Kristina is the mother of a grumpy old man-cat named Mutt and a strange flight risk named Sirus Blackcat, who is, indeed, a black cat.

You can find Kristina easily enough on most social media platforms, where she will share her viewpoint on all the taboo subjects: religion, politics, and Supernatural, with the odd cat video thrown in for flavor. Prolific. Opinionated. Nerdy as all get out. Have fun, because you can bet she will.




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Interview with Jannette Fuller, author of 'Transgression'

Jannette Fuller loves spending time with the Lord and her family. She's a fangirl of everything lovely, and always tries to see the best in everyone, except for the villains in her YA series Ambrosial Acres.

When she’s not blogging or writing her latest article, she listens to sermons while sweating away unwanted calories, cleans the house until it sparkles, laughs at the silliest things, and enjoys the outdoors, especially her daily walks through the enchanted forest.

Of course there’s more to be said, but then her bio would end up being a memoir.

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Transgression (Book One of Ambrosial Acres Series)
Author: Jannette Fuller
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Pages: 186
Genre: YA/Mystery/Suspense

Agent Yagil faces the fight of his calling as a Guardian Angel. His newest assignment is going to take every bit of perseverance and patience he has.
Seventeen year old Amber Reynolds is looking for some freedom and independence from her rigid lifestyle. Going behind her parents’ back, she takes a part-time job at the renowned inn located within Ambrosial Acres.

As Agent Yagil watches over Amber, he discovers things are not what they seem. Despite its wondrous beauty, Ambrosial Acres hides a dark and supernatural secret.

Between Amber’s new coworker crushes, her menacing stalker, a mysterious online stranger, and the evil agents out to lead her down a path of self destruction, Agent Yagil struggles to keep her safe. To keep her from using her freewill that will bring harm to herself--and others.

Will Agent Yagil succeed?

Or will his shortcomings get in the way?

Transgression is available at Amazon.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book? 
Coming up with Transgression (Book One in the Ambrosial Acres Series) wasn’t an idea, but rather a desire to portray what the Bible has to say concerning spiritual warfare. I wanted to show what it looks like when a person gives in to sin whether they realize it or not. In Transgression, seventeen-year-old Amber Reynolds is being persuaded by evil forces—the agents of disobedience, lust, deception, and fear. They latch onto her in the form of spiritual chains, and every time she gives in to those particular sins, they spiral upward, gaining more dominance over her soul.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers? 

The story was extremely hard to write. One, I’ve never taken a creative writing class. Two, English was never a strong suit of mine. Three, I had no idea where to begin. The only thing I knew how to do was pull up Microsoft Word. Seriously, it’s true. I thank God for Google. The Internet has a wealth of information to help people—people who want to learn more about the craft and the publishing industry. Writer’s Digest was an eyeopener, and I’m grateful for all the helpful articles and forums. I made a good friend there who showed me the ropes, teaching me the basics of writing and stringing words together. I learned a lot from her, and even had the honor to beta read many of her stories. Thank you Tetonia Blossom. You rock!

After reading the entire Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer in a month an unexpected passion ignited. I was currently taking online classes through Liberty University, but the sudden love of books and writing led me down another path—I wanted to become a writer.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish? 

My publisher is Solstice Publishing. I found them by searching for publishing houses who accept unagented authors and unsolicited submissions. I’m so grateful to have found them. They’re quick to respond, thorough with their answers, and all around wonderful to work with.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published? 

Besides writing my very first query letter that turned out pretty decent, I’d have to say the instantaneous response I received from Solstice after submitting to them. The next day, I received a publishing contract. I was in shock. Not only did they accept my manuscript, but the entire process happened so fast. No complaints here.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published? 

I’m currently working on Delusion (Book Two in the Ambrosial Acres Series). Hopefully the second book will be published a year after Transgression releases on October 21st 2106.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people? 

That it took me three years to write, rewrite and edit it. No thanks to my perfectionism and poor management of time. But don’t let this scare you, I’ve come a long way. Now I know how to balance family, writing, and everything else in life. I’m relieved and grateful to have an amazing editor who acts as my second pair of eyes, catching things I tend to overlook, making suggestions to improve my writing.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book? 

The importance of our decisions. It’s imperative what we sow because a harvest will follow. Temptations come at us in many forms, and we should always be aware, avoiding possible snares.  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words? 

I do. If you have a passion to write, whether it’s books, articles, blog posts, a memoir...there are certain elements that need to be implemented to ensure a completed manuscript/goal. Perseverance, consistency and patience are the keys of taking your vision of creativity and turning them into tangible masterpieces.

Interview with Emre Gurgen, author of Don Quixote Explained

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Inside the Book:

Don Quixote Explained

Title: Don Quixote Explained
Author: Emre Gurgen
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Literary Criticism
Format: Ebook/Paperback

  Don Quixote Explained focuses on seven topics: how Sancho Panza refines into a good governor through a series of jokes that turn earnest; how Cervantes satirizes religious extremism in Don Quixote by taking aim at the Holy Roman Catholic Church; how Don Quixote and Sancho Panza check-and-balance one another’s excesses by having opposite identities; how Cervantes refines Spanish farm girls by transforming Aldonza Lorenzo into Dulcinea; how outlaws like Roque Guinart and Gines Pasamonte can avoid criminality and why; how Cervantes establishes inter-religional harmony by having a Christian translator, on the one hand, and a Muslim narrator, on the other; and lastly, how Cervantes replaces a medieval view of love and marriage―where a woman is a housekeeper, lust-satisfier, and child begetter―with a modern view of equalitarian marriage typified by a joining of desires and a merger of personalities.


Question1- Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
My book is a scholarly academic work called Don Quixote Explained that theorizes on timeless universal themes that human beings have dealt with in the past, are dealing with at present and will deal with in the future.  Specifically, Don Quixote Explained focuses on eight topics that is important to you for eight reasons:  
·         If you want to learn about politics and how to be a leader, please read and study my essay on how an intelligent commoner named Sancho Panza leads a town called Barataria to prosperity.  From delivering objective legal opinions to budgeting state finances effectively to rejecting bribery and corruption while in office to carrying himself like a refined statesmen, this essay expresses how to manage yourself and others well, which is what leadership, any kind of leadership, is all about.  If, in a word, you want to gain and retain political power just like Sancho Panza doesso  you can manage yourself, and others, wellplease read my essay on politics, since it outlines the process of self-mastery.  For a fuller description please read a summary of my 1st essay on politics at under the book proposal tab. 

·         If you are living in a community that diminishes your freedom in the name of religion my essay on how an extreme brand of faith, like Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition, can moderate, so that the principles of a free society flourish, may help you conceptualize this topic. The synopsis of my essay on religious extremism and the opening of a free society can be found at, under the book proposal tab.

·         If you want to live morally yet practically, simultaneously, and flourish in the world pragmatically, my essay synergizing ethical behavior with concrete action can be read at under the book proposal tab. 

·         If you are a woman who wants to flourish in life you should read my essay about how an intelligent and virtuous lady named Aldonza Lorenzo transforms herself into an elegant princess named Dulcinea Del Toboso by improving her moral character.  Again, a summary of this essay can be found at, under book proposal > synopsis > essay 4. 

·         If you are a criminal, are thinking of being a criminal, or want to understand the criminal mind better, my essay on how criminals can lay down their guns, reform their souls, and become law abiding citizens (like Juan Palomeque, a former crook in Don Quixote does) may convince you to alter your lifestyle before it is too late.  A synopsis of this essay is readable at

·         If you are an open minded religionist who believes that people of other faiths who believe in other Gods are also moral, please read a summary of my essay on How Christians and Muslims can unite by dialoguing constructively and intermarrying harmoniously.  It can be found at

·         If you are a man, or a woman, looking for true love yet you feel trapped by the tradition of arranged marriages in your community, please read my essay on how people can replace a medieval view of love and arranged marriages, where women are housekeepers, lust-satisfiers, and child begetters, with a modern view of equalitarian marriages typified by a joining of desires and a merger of personalities.  My essay explaining why marrying for love usually works while marrying by arrangement usually does not can be read for free, on my personal author website, at under the more > true love tab. 

·         If you value living in a free society, or want to learn what one is, please read my essay titled “The Generation of the Renaissance in Don Quixote:  How the Spirit of Classicism, Chivalry and Christianity Bypassed Medievalism and Led to Modernity.”  This essay, if you read it, explains how a country, like Cervantes’s Spain, replaces medieval attitudes with modern concepts so that enlightenment ideals, like those of the modern Renaissance, flourish.  Again, a description of it can be found on my personal author website at, under the synopsis section of the book proposal tab. 
Question 2- What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?
Writing about universal themes, in the context of Don Quixote, that connect to people’s lives, was extremely difficult, since most people have never heard of Don Quixote.  Or, if they have, think it is a stupid book about a crazy knight they were forced to read in high school.  Overcoming this view, by showing people how the book connects to their concerns about life and living, was the greatest challenge of my life. 
In other words, getting people, other than academics, to read my book, instead of dismissing it as an irrelevant waste of their time, required that I write a series of unique essays connecting significant topics to people’s everyday lives.  This is why I write about topics like love and marriage; crime and criminal reform; politics and social mobility; religious unity versus religious extremism; what a free society looks like; and more, in the context of Don Quixote
Specifically, I speak to general readers (or at least try to) by showing them that romantic love is vital to their lives. That they should only marry because of it.  This is why I crystallize the debate between marrying by arrangement and social maintenance versus marrying for romantic love and long-term happiness, in my first essay. 
Secondly, I address general readers by writing about crime and criminal reform in society, as seen through Don Quixote, since every nation has crooks it imprisons, executes, or rehabilitates.  By analyzing the criminal mind, at length, in detail, I try to show my readers:  how criminals think; what the consequence of criminal actions are; and why, in a word, they should not become criminals.  Then, I talk about the process of criminal reform.  How criminals can overcome themselves to become good men.  This was hard to do, especially in the context of Don Quixote. 
Another topic I connect to people’s lives relates to religious unity.  By writing about how Christians and Muslims living together can cooperate with one another instead of harming each other, I highlight how these two faiths are based on similar principles.  Accordingly, I write about religious unity in Don Quixote by explaining: how a Christian man and a Muslim woman marry because they fall in love; how the book’s Christian translator distrusts and denigrates the novel’s Muslim narrator, at first, but, ends-up admiring him, later on, for his good sense.  Writing about these, and other, religious topics, in the context of Don Quixote, to show my religious readers how to respect others of a different faith, who believe in and worship a different God, was very challenging. 
Besides these topics, I focus on different subjects that I thought would interest main stream readers like:  how an intelligent commoner can gain political power; how the principles of a free society can transform a culture; or how religious extremism, of any ilk, can be avoided in a country. Writing about all these issues, in the context of Don Quixote, was extremely difficult.  It took a lot of imagination.   But, I did it.  And, I am happy because of it. 
Question 3 - Do you plan subsequent books?
At present, I am developing a third Don Quixote Explained book, Don Quixote Explained:  A Travelogue, which documents my journey in Spain connected to Don Quixote.  This travel narrative, will be the last book in the Don Quixote Explained series. 
Besides this book, I plan to write a book on Jane Austen, that analyzes what constitutes successful and failed marriages, across her novels.  The base of this book will stem from my undergraduate thesis on her books, especially Pride and Prejudice.
To earn my doctorate, I want to write a dissertation on Ayn Rand’s book, The Fountainhead, which, I hope, will be publishes as a book of essays. 
Besides completing these essay books of literary criticism, eventually, I plan to write a work of creative fiction, on the theme of clean energy, with the hero protagonist developing a new form of energy based on an engine that can harness, and convert, static electricity in the air, to flowing, motive, power.  My novel’s villains will be entrenched oil, coal, and fossil fuel producers, who try to squash this new invention, along with its producer, by trying to bribe, intimidate, and threaten my hero, to give up his pursuit of revolutionizing the energy industry.    
Question 4 - When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a wee lad, at the tender age of 9.  What prompted me to write in the first place was my love of stories and storytelling, and my fascination with clear, crisp, dynamic writing that expressed information to my readers, in the most effective manner possible. 
Question 5 - What is your greatest strength as an author?
My greatest strength as an author is my perseverance, in the face of rejection, my tenacity, in the face of hopelessness, and my ability to see my writing projects through to completion, so that they are successful in the marketplace. 
At first, I was a weak writer, with poor grammar, worse syntax, and deeply flawed critical thinking skills.  For me, good writing, was a mystery.  Since, I lacked a broad mental dictionary, my sentences were awkward and clumsy.  My grammar and syntax was poor.  I could not sustain a piece of writing for longer than 10 pages.  Because I was a poor writer, I did not particularly like to write. 
Then, one day, this changed.  Fortunately, I found a book called The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand, which elicited a total emotional response.  Though it was clear enough for me to like, it was still difficult for me to fully understand. 
To elucidate what AR was saying, I underlined, and looked-up, words from her books. Then, I made post-it lists of these words that I stuck everywhere:  in my bathroom, on my refrigerator, in my car, etc., so that I could integrate these words, (i.e. these concepts) in my mind. I even wrote words on my arms, so that I could memorize them, when I was eating. Of course, my parents, and many of my friends thought I was crazy.  But I did not care.  This is how I learned many words.  Because of this intense study, one of my greatest strengths as an author is word choice (i.e. using correct words in their proper context).   
To use my newly acquired words effectively, I had to learn how to write in the first place.  What the principles of good writing were. So I read many books on writing all kinds of documents from letters to e-mails to newspaper articles to books. To instill the principles of clear writing, as exemplified in AR’s books, I practiced writing, all kinds of writing, even though my attempts at creative fiction were god awful.  Over time, however, I did improve, somewhat.  Now, I am a decent writer because of it.   
Question 6 - Did writing this book teach you anything?
Writing my book taught me:
·         That writing consistently, everyday, for a few hours, over a reasonable time-period, produces better writing than cramming ideas into marathon writing sessions. 

·         That good writing shuttles back-and-forth between abstract theory and practical examples, so readers are not lost by a flood of floating abstractions, without specific references, or baffled by a torrent concretes, without a unifying theme. 

·         That clear writing about a topic, any topic, requires that I first understand that topic, before setting pen to paper, (i.e. before actually, writing about it). That, to gain this understanding, first I have to read widely about the topic to understand what other people think.  Then I have to brainstorm, think, and plan.  That, in sum, understanding and writing, just like writing and editing, are separate processes that should not be mixed together.    

·         That good writing requires a lot of rewriting since ideas are rarely perfect the first time out, from the very beginning, from the get-go.  Rather, good writing, to me, needs to be worked, then reworked, then worked again, over a reasonable period of time, to be logical.  To make sense. 

·         That contiguous writing should have a logically connected flow of ideas, where each sentence links to the sentence that came before it just as each paragraph connects to the paragraph that preceded it. 

·         That gaining and sustaining my audience’s attention, instead of boring my readers by rambling on, required me to delete paragraphs, erase sentences, eliminate words, and remove redundancies.  That, in a word, copy editing is a ruthless process that requires the callous removal of duplicative, or unnecessary, information, no matter how much an author is attached to it.

·         That to keep my readers’ attention I need to vary the length and type of my sentences and paragraphs, since readers will only read a document, if their attention is stimulated in different ways. 

·         That understanding goes down as sentence length goes up, since long sentences, with too many units of thought (too many abstract concepts) overloads a reader’s brain, with an overwhelming flood of data that cannot possibly be retained. 

·         That to hook my readers, I have to write effective introductions from the start to motivate my audience to read more, read further, and read deeper.  That, in a word, I have to start fast, and maintain that speed, throughout my essays, otherwise my readers will stop reading. 

·         That writing a document and editing a document are two different tasks, not to be fused together.  If they are, writer’s block, occurs, especially since if free-writing (the act of getting ideas onto paper) is separated from craft-editing (the act of refining prose) creative writing flows easier. 

·         That to avoid becoming too close to my work I need to take a break, once in a while, so that I can detect errors again.  To gain this objective distance, then, I need to set aside my work for a while.  Forget about it entirely.  Then read it a few weeks later from a fresh perspective, from a different angle, so I can make connections, and correct flaws, that were masked previously.  
Meet the Author:
Emre Gurgen, the author of Don Quixote Explained: The Story of an Unconventional Hero, has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Pennsylvania State University. Currently, he lives in Germantown, Maryland, where he is writing a follow-up Don Quixote essay collection and study guide.

Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 28 - Interviewed at PUYB Virtual Book Club
Wednesday, June 29 - Interviewed at  at I'm Shelf-ish
Thursday, June 30 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Monday, July 4 - Interviewed at The Review From Here
Tuesday, July 5 - Guest blogging at My Bookish Pleasure
Wednesday, July 6 - Guest blogging at Voodoo Princess
Thursday, July 7 - Guest blogging at The Literary Nook
Friday, July 8 - Guest blogging at All Inclusive Retort
Monday, July 11 - Guest blogging at A Title Wave
Tuesday, July 12 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life
Friday, July 15 - Guest blogging at As the Page Turns
Monday, July 18 - Guest blogging at A Taste of My Mind
Tuesday, July 19 -  Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight
Wednesday, July 20 - Guest blogging at Harmonious Publicity
Thursday, July 21 - Interviewed  at Bent Over Bookwords
Friday, July 22 - Guest blogging at The Dark Phantom