Tink...tink...tink...anyone out there? Hi! I'm Barbara Donlon Bradley - Author - editor and slightly crazy - ask anyone in my family. I hope to use this blog to talk about writing, editing and whatever pops in my head. Hope you enjoy.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Meet My Next Guest: Herbert Grosshans!

I want to welcome Herbert Grosshans. First I’d love you to introduce yourself.

Hi, Barbara. Thank you for having me on your blog. I’m a writer. I write in different genres. Science Fiction, Thrillers, and Crime novels. Sometimes I even write a few poems, but mainly for my wife. She has a collection of about 50 poems I wrote for her over the past few years. They belong to her and she doesn’t want me to publish them. That’s okay, because I don’t consider myself a poet, anyway. My earlier books contained explicit Erotica, but my last published novel doesn’t, neither does the one I’m currently writing. I believe I’m starting a new trend, which seems to make my family quite happy. So far I’ve published 29 books. My first novel, an erotic Science Fiction story ‘The Xandra, Daughter of the Dark’, was published 2006 with Midnight Showcase. I have eight books in the series now. When Midnight Showcase changed owners it became Melange Books, LLC, which means most of my books are with Melange. I self-published one book with Amazon: How to get published, but my last three books I self-published with Smashwords. I’m not sure if it was a good move. Only the future will tell.

Anyone who wants to find out more about me and what I’m about can find me here:
http://www.hegro.blogspot.com
http://www.hergros.blogspot.com
http://fictitioustales.weebly.com

Tell us about your latest release: My latest book ‘A Matter of Integrity’, a crime novel, featuring PI Lews Canon, was published by me with Smashwords. People tell me I have a dry sense of humor and I wanted to bring that into my novels, so I wrote this book. It is easy to write a few pages in that style, but carrying it through to the end without it becoming a farce, is difficult. My wife, who was my first reader, actually gave me a compliment. She said it was entertaining and she even chuckled a few times. If a wife thinks her husband is funny, that is a huge compliment. So, I believe, I succeeded. Lews Canon is not your average steely-eyed detective. In fact, he has one blue and one brown eye. He doesn’t carry a gun, wears no unglasses, and doesn’t dress like a detective. His sidekick, Nelda, isn’t some beautiful, sexy woman, either. In Canon’s words,She doesn’t need a gun to keep people from messing with her. One look into her face and eyes is enough. She’d cause the devil to run back to hell, screaming.” However, she is loyal to him and keeps him in line when he gets himself into trouble, but he still manages to do that, anyway. But aside from the friendly bantering between Nelda and Canon there is still plenty of action in the story. All I need now is readers who get as much enjoyment reading the story as I got writing it.

Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why? 

Definitely James Spader’s character Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington in The Blacklist. Why? Because he is a cool character, intriguing, smart, and devious. He’s a mystery man, not evil but not good, either.

2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why? 

In a way, that is a difficult question to answer. When I write a story, I have to put myself into the main character’s head. I become him or her while I’m writing. (Not really, just in my imagination ☺). Obviously, during that time the character I write about is my favorite. However, if I have to choose one, I have to say it is Dan Griffin from my Stardogs novels. He’s a super soldier, tough and ruthless, but he has a soft spot for helpless people. And he loves his women. He’s a superhero. I always loved superheroes. Superman, Spiderman, Batman... (Yes, I’m still a kid at heart). Writing the two books actually took years. I wrote the story off and on. So he was in my head for a long time. Who knows, I may even write another story featuring Major Dan Griffin of the Terran Empire. One of my readers (and reviewer) was curious what happened to the hybrids in the story. She would have liked to read another book about them, because she liked the two books.

3.) What genre do you write? What made you pick that one? 

As already mentioned before, I write Science Fiction, contemporary Thrillers, Erotica, and Crime novels. Science Fiction is actually still my favorite genre, because it allows me to let my imagination run free, and I find it easier to write than other genres.

4.) What are you working on now? 

Right now I’m writing another story in my Science Fiction series ‘The Spider Wars’. The working title is ‘Codename: Outpost Salamander’. While the other books in that series contained erotica, this one won’t. Part of my new direction in writing. I hope I can stick to it.

5.) What got you to start writing? 

I’ve always had a fertile imagination and I needed to put my daydreams down on paper. I started writing at a young age. My first story was actually a cartoon: Cowboy Jippi. I was probably around 9 years old. I wrote my first full length novel when I was twenty. The Galactics. I wrote it on my manual typewriter. In German. I still have the manuscript in a drawer somewhere. It will never see the light of day.

6.) Where do you get your ideas from? 

I get ideas for my stories while I’m watching TV, a movie, or when I’m reading a book. Or if I’m listening to a song. A line might catch my attention and an idea pops into my head. Once I start writing new ideas for the story just seem to come out of nowhere while I’m writing. Robert E. Howard (the creator of Conan) said once when he writes it seems to him as if he is just re-telling a story that was told to him; the story actually happened a long time ago. He’s only remembering it. I’m not really a mystical person, but sometimes one wonders where the ideas originate. In our minds? Or are writers (and other artists) perhaps connecting into some ‘library’ in another dimension or existence?

7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you? 

That I’m not the tough, ruthless, oversexed, skirt-chasing guy I portray in my male characters? I’m actually quite sensitive. I put a lot of my personal views into my characters, but not everything they do and say is what I do or believe. In many ways I’m quite rigid and old-fashioned. I believe in family values. Even though I write Erotica, I don’t condone the loose morality that exists today. I’m a one-woman man and I don’t condone cheating on your spouse or your partner, either. I frown upon single women getting themselves pregnant or men who sleep around, the way my characters do in my stories. Those are just fantasies. They should not happen in real life. Something else that may be of interest to my readers. English is my second language. I didn’t start writing my stories in English until I was in my thirties. Mainly to get a better command of the English language and because I had started to think exclusively in English. It had finally become my ‘mother tongue’.

8.) Do you have any special talents? 

Nothing special, really. I am a handy guy when it comes to doing chores around the house. I’m actually a retired Electrician, but I am quite capable of doing plumbing, carpentry, and stuff like that. Also, I am a bit of an artist. I am good with pencil drawings. I used to draw a lot when I was younger. I even took a course in art. Now I don’t have the time anymore. There are only so many hours in a day. I put one of my pictures, which I drew a long time ago, onto the main page of my website: http://hegro.shawwebspace.ca I used to play the guitar when I was young. My fingers don’t obey me anymore when I try to play something. They forgot all the chords. I guess that doesn’t count as a special talent. I am fluent in German. Does that count?

9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?

Don’t waste your time writing that crap (he meant ‘erotica’). I did it anyway because apparently it was selling and, I must admit, I did enjoy writing those sex scenes.

10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about? 

I would like to talk to Noah and ask him why he saved those pesky mosquitoes. We have a lot of them in the summer months and they are a great nuisance.

11.) What song would you say describes your life? 

Nobody has written a song about my life yet. Perhaps I should write one someday. Come to think of it, there may be one. It could be ‘My way’ by Frank Sinatra. I am not easily influenced by the masses. I don’t follow trends and fads. My motto has always been: Just because the whole world does it, doesn’t mean I have to. Yes, I’ve done it my way.

12.) If you could come back as any animal what would it be? 

Herbert loved your answers and the thought of authors tapping into another dimension or existence is so cool!

A black panther. It is a strong, fearless, and graceful animal, and it moves with stealth through the jungle, feared by its prey and fellow predators.


Here is an excerpt from my crime novel ‘A Matter of Integrity’:

Billy’s uncle pulled up in his tow truck within fifteen minutes after Billy called him. He was a big man, with a bit of a potbelly and a wild beard. Looking at Billy first and then at me, he said, “This little rascal tells me you’ve got yourself a bit of a problem with that car of yours.”
Battery is dead, according to Billy here.”
“Well, if he says it’s dead than it is so,” he said. “He’s a smart boy. Goes after his uncle.” He laughed. “That’s me. I’m Brandon Brandon, Jr. Most people call me Brand. My close friends call me Brandy. My pappy used to call me Junior.”
I stared at him, ready to burst out laughing. “Brandon Brandon?” I repeated.
He must have seen it in my face. I’ve never been a good actor. “That’s right. Something funny or wrong with that name?”
“Oh, hell, no. It’s as good a name as any. I just wondered what your father’s name was.”
“I don’t know why you want to know my pappy’s name, but there is no harm in telling you. His name was Brandon Brandon, Sr.”
“I thought so. By the way, my name is Lews Canon. Lews Bullseye Canon.”
“No shit. Pardon me for saying so, but why would a man with Canon as his last name christen his son Loose? And Bullseye? Whoever heard of a name like Bullseye?”
“It was my grandfather’s name.” I smiled. “It seems you and I are sort of related in a way.”
He tilted his head and looked at me with narrowed eyes. “How’d you figure that?”
“You know...Lews Bullseye Canon and Brandon Brandon? Makes you think, doesn’t it?”
Shaking his head, he said, “I don’t really see a connection there, especially since you being white and me black.” He chuckled. “Bullseye. Loose. No parents should give a kid names like that. What’s the world coming to?” He peered at me. “What’s with your eyes? One blue and one brown. You wearing contact lenses?”
I sighed a little. “No contact lenses. They’re natural.”
He chuckled to himself. “No sir, we ain’t related. Ain’t nobody in my family with eyes like that. They don’t look natural to me. Kinda creepy, if you ask me. No offense. Anyway, what is the problem with the car again?”
“Won’t start. Dead battery.”
“Oh, that’s right. Dead battery. Don’t worry; we’ll get you going in no time.” He rummaged around in his toolbox and pulled out a pair of long jumper cables. Handing me one end of each cable, he said, “Attach these to your battery’s terminals. Make sure you don’t get the polarity screwed up. Then we’ll give her a boost.”
I’ve never boosted a car before and had no idea what to do, but I didn’t want to appear like some kind of moron. One of the huge clamps was red, so I guessed that had to be the plus side. I attached it to the terminal with the plus sign on it and the other clamp onto the remaining terminal. Billy, who stood beside me, supervising, removed the clamp from the negative terminal and clamped it against the frame of the car.
“You have a lot to learn, Mr. Canon,” he whispered to me so only I could hear.
“Go start the engine,” his uncle told me.
I got into my car and turned the key. When the engine sprang to life I was as ecstatic as a TV-evangelist after receiving his first pledge. No flashing lights, just the rumbling of the motor. What a lovely sound.
When I climbed out of the car, Billy had already removed the booster cables from my battery. He winked at me. “I told you it was the battery. You should be okay. Just don’t shut off the engine too soon. Let it charge up the battery.”
Brandon must have been listening. He chuckled. “You’ll make a fine mechanic some day, Billy. I’m proud of you.” Turning to me, he said, “Too bad my brother isn’t alive anymore. His head would be swollen with pride.”
“What happened to your brother?”
“He was killed last year. Murdered, actually. They never found his murderers and the cops did nothin’.”
“Why not?”
He shrugged. “Who cares about another dead nigger? I guess had my brother been white and somebody important, things woulda been different. No offence to you, Lews. That’s just the way the system works. They told us to hire a private investigator. We can’t afford that. Private investigators are expensive.”
This is where you can read 20% of the novel for free or if inclined to buy:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/432389 
It is also available from the Apple iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-matter-of-integrity/id869721766?mt=11

3 comments:

  1. The links to my book at Smashwords and Apple iBookstore don’t work. Here are the links. If they don’t work just copy and paste them into your browser:

    Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/432389

    Apple iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-matter-of-integrity/id869721766?mt=11

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  2. Nice excerpt. I'm interested in reading the whole story. Will check out buying it if I can get it for my Kindle. Many sales to you.

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    1. Thank you, Karalee. A Matter of Integrity is available in pretty much every format, even for the Kindle.

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