September 2012

New Release: Why I Love My Gay Boyfriend by Sabrina Zollo

Today, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Sabrina Zollo, the first new author we’ve brought into the Central Avenue fold in a long, long time. We were captured by Sabrina’s great story when she submitted it – well, after we found it. It seems as though cyberspace claimed a few of our submissions late last year and we didn’t find this out till months later. I’m sure happy we found it – it’s one of the most fun stories I’ve read in a while.

It’s the story of Veronica Lopez, a young, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed MBA grad who’s looking to save the world. Faced with a lack of job prospects, she accepts a marketing position at Gisele, a global cosmetics empire. When she’s faced with female co-workers who instantly hate her, she finds solace in the only person who is nice to her, a gay man named Stevie. Stevie becomes her fashion consultant, and guide to all things corporate. When Veronica starts to get herself into trouble by performing a few career limiting moves and alienating her best girl friends, Stevie sticks by her.

It’s a fantastic tale, told with the wit of someone who is just a great story-teller. Sabrina has created characters full of flaws and redeeming qualities, as all good characters should be. Why I Love My Gay Boyfriend is a guaranteed fun read.

Sabrina Zollo is a marketer and author who lives in Toronto, Canada. She has been compulsively writing stories since childhood. She graduated with an MBA from York University and has worked in brand management for almost ten years. Sabrina is a consummate lover of Pinot Grigio, dark chocolate, shoes and spin class.

Why I Love My Gay Boyfriend is available in both print and digital editions.

On Being a Small Press Author – John Rasor

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to John Rasor, the author of How Lost Got Lost and Roadkill. John is an eclectic writer, having written a variety of books across several genres. In fact, his most recent was quite interesting – an erotic tale that will curl your toes! I am not sure how I met John, but I’m glad I did. He’s been a huge support both to me and our other writers and an all around great guy. With John (and his wife – MB), I always know someone has my back.

1. The first real book I can remember reading is:  The Good Earth – Pearl S. Buck. This was for my first book report and I did find it interesting although it was not something I would’ve read voluntarily. I guess I know now why they make you read things like that. It made me want to read about things I wanted to read about. Shortly after I discovered Ian Fleming and 007 and I was off to the races. I also devoured everything about baseball and know everything there is to know about it prior to 1982 when another strike turned me off forever – except for the 1988 World Series which my beloved underdog Dodgers won.

2. The first book I ever wrote was:  Deliverance: Confessions of a Hollywood Messenger. I was driving a lot during this job and very much into audio books. “I can do this,” I told myself and started chronicling my adventures daily. I had a startling realization kick my butt when I found out that just because you take the time to write a book – nobody really cares, especially your friends and family. I did get an agent but she didn’t want the book and was looking for a columnist so we parted ways. It hasn’t been published but I hope to someday. Michelle is currently ignoring it : )

3. An average day in my life goes like this: I’m retired – well almost. I love to write but doing it for free sucks. I fix computers but during this recession practically none of them break amazingly enough. I do a lot of yard work and I’m writing again. It’s NFL time now and I love that. So an average day for me is enjoying being a bit of a slacker and doing what I want. I have the most complete TV collection on the planet – I virtually have everything I ever wanted which was a childhood dream. I’m enjoying my life.

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: My wife is the ultimate search engine – also enjoying her retirement – and she found it. I decided to submit my book because:  My wife and I both liked Michelle from the very start and it was a no-brainer. I have no regrets and I am a published author. I love Michelle and admire what she’s done with the place.

5. The last book I read was: Inhuman Condition by Kate Thornton. Kate is a friend of my wife’s and now mine. She’s a teacher and the person to come to about short stories. Her book is all short stories much like The Lottery – I’m sure you’ve all read that one by Shirley Jackson. She loves the Twilight Zone genre and is amazing at weaving tall tales. She is as comfortable in a boardroom as on the dark side of the moon and I recommend this book to everyone. It’s available on Amazon Kindle and it’s cheaper than it should be as all our books are.

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: My chair. I have never experienced writer’s block and if I have something to say, I say it. I love to write way more than it’s monetarily worth. I never outline as I can visualize everything and the stories often write themselves. My book, How Lost Got Lost, was about my anger at the way these idiots ended the thing – not by answering the mysteries they’d posed, but answering the ultimate question the universe poses, and very badly I might add.

7. My ‘day job’ is: I’m doing it now. If Michelle asks, I answer – I’m retired dammit!

8. I carve out time to write by:  See #7 and envy me.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: It’s not a sacrifice. I’m quite envious of Fifty Shades of Grey and wish I’d written it – I could’ve, you know. It’s amazingly awful and has blown Harry Potter off the map to the tune of 1.3 million bucks a week. I’m sure it’s just the women of the world crying out for abusive sex and – who knew? I suspect Michelle wishes she’d gotten her hands on it too, it’s the hula hoop of the new millennium…

10. I am currently working on: Kindle porn. I want Fifty Shades of Cash. I crank it out way too fast for my wife – who edits with her barf bag by her side. It was her and her friend’s idea, btw, and I’m an innocent pawn in all of it – pity me.

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from:  Life. And it was: “If it ain’t broke…Don’t fix it.”

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: Follow your dream if life gives you that chance. If not, do it anyway.

On Being a Small Press Author – Gary S. Griffin

Running a small press is just like running a business with a group of employees – well almost. I don’t actually get to see them every day and we can’t gather around the water cooler to chat. Since we all see each other only virtually, I thought it might be nice to ‘introduce’ our authors to both each other and their readers via a series of short interviews. These interviews will run every couple of days for the next month or so – it’s a neat way of finding out how similar authors can be, and yet so different.

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Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to Gary Griffin, the author of the Beautiful Girls Mysteries. Gary has been with us for quite some time, and we recently re-released his fun detective series with all new covers. Gary’s a professional and kind man with a background in detective work and I enjoy reading his stories; part of me wonders how much of the crazy stuff that happens to his protagonist actually happened to him!

1. The first book I can remember reading is:  The Pigman by Paul Zindel. I was impressed how Zindel alternated the first person points of view between the male and female protagonists from chapter to chapter. I have used that technique a few times in my books. The book impacted me, especially how the protagonists’ friendship with and love of the Pigman changed their lives, even though at times they act badly and immaturely towards Mr. Pignati. I also read a lot of young adult biographies of famous Americans.

2. The first book I ever wrote was: Sexy Girls (original version) in 2004 and 2005. I wrote that on a dare as I said it was a life goal to write a book. My former wife (now in heaven) said, “Just do it”. That was the kick in the pants that got me going!

3. An average day in my life goes like this: During the work week I wake at 5:40AM. I kiss my wife and leave the house by 6:25. I catch my commuter train at 6:55 and begin my creative hour of reading and writing. This is where and how I have done most of my writing for my five mystery novels. I work from 8 to 5, and then have another hour on the train home. I don’t do as much creative work on the night time ride, but it’s always there if I want to do it.  Then, I arrive home at 6:45 and have dinner with the family. Often there is some evening event with my theatrically & musically talented family.  Weekends are more relaxed and not as structured but still busy.

4. I found out about Central Avenue Publishing from: I found it during an internet search as I was considering how to publish my second mystery, Modern Girls. I had originally self published my first novel but it cost some money and I was wondering if there was a better way to go. There was, with ireadiwrite (the company’s name at the time).

I decided to submit my book because: The company sounded right for me and Michelle was receptive to my writing.

5. The last book I read was: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

6. In order for me to sit down and write, I need: To be on my commuter train! Hah! That’s where I do a lot of my writing, but I also get inspired to write in other places. I do a lot of current event reading of all kinds of subjects and they inspire my writing ideas.

7. My ‘day job’ is: Predicting the future for a big insurance company.

8. I carve out time to write by:  Because I need to do it. Plus, I have a lot of blocked out time on my commuter train. I like to be productive and writing is one of the things that help me achieve that good feeling.

9. In order to find time to write, I feel as though I sacrifice: Some sleep on the train! I also give up some pleasure reading and talking time with others.

10. I am currently working on: I’m editing my fourth mystery novel, Philadelphia Mystery. Also, I have my fifth novel, Delaware Detective, about half done.

11. The best piece of advice I ever got was from: Byron Dyer (a former boss) and it was: “Follow the money.” I was working as an business investigator and that was the best thing to do to solve financial frauds and other mysteries.

12. The best piece of advice I would give is: “Keep mixing and pursue your passion!” That’s the best way to be successful!