Friday 30 January 2015

4Q Interview with Author Lockie Young

Lockard (Lockie) Young is a published author having been featured on The Scribbler several times and it is a pleasure to have one of my favorite writers back again to participate in the 4Q Interview. Making the transition from plumber to author was likely not in his earlier plans but as a reader, I’m glad he did. He lives in Albert County, New Brunswick with his wife Trish and is the father of two adult sons. He has a vivid imagination.

4Q: Congratulations on the latest publishing news of the acquisition of your sequel to Ryan’s Legend by Morning Rain Publishing. Tell us about the novel.

LY: Thanks Allan. The sequel is called The Legend Returns and picks up, in the time line of the story, a couple months after the first book ends, as the clock above the school’s chalkboard signals the start of summer vacation. Ryan, the main character, hosts his friend Cory for a weekend sleepover while at the same time struggling with the secret he continues to keep from everyone, including his parents. He discovered a very real live Legend in the first book. Ryan teaches Cory about life as he knows it by the seashore, and Cory, who is a city boy, learns a lot of lessons about nature he never knew before. Things turn interesting when a giant sea serpent shows up in the harbor…or is it?
This sequel is a bit longer than the first book, but it still has the short easy to read chapters, with cliff hanger endings, and is considered at a middle grade reading level. 

4Q: In addition to the above, you have been recently published in Tim Baker’s compilation of stories featuring his character Ike called The Path of a Bullet. How did this come about?

LY: I met Tim Baker through a mutual friend of ours, Susan Toy. Tim was getting this book together and wanted to include some short stories from other authors as well as his own contributions. He set out a call for submissions, a contest of sorts. He would read the stories and decide which ones made the cut. It’s my pleasure to say that I was one of the lucky guest authors that Tim chose to be featured in his book.
In my short story The Light at the end of the Tunnel, my main character is a ‘Tunnel Rat’ who does a dirty job that no one else wants, but he needs to pay bills. He is soon to find that he will be delivering some very special merchandise to our hero Ike. And here is an exclusive just for you, Allan. I’ve been asked to submit another story for an Ike anthology that Tim is already working on for 2015. I’m busy mashing up a tasty story with Tim’s hero Ike in the starring role. I’ll give you an update on how that goes later this year.

4Q: Any plumbing anecdotes from your previous career?
LY: I swear, Allan. You are Psychic, man. I just started another project the other day. I always said I could write a book about the many different things I’ve retrieved from plugged toilets over the years, from cell phones dumped by irate girl friends, to mini prescription eye glasses belonging to a 3 year old that was being teased and called 4 eyes. So I started Diary of a Service Plumber. Each chapter will be a service call ‘of note’ that I’ve been on over the length of my 20 year career as a service plumber. I promise to keep it clean and tasteful, but light hearted, and hopefully comical, because I sure laughed at the end of most of them. 

4Q: We would be interested in your reading recommendations for 2015.

LY: What, you mean aside from your books? And I’m not kidding or sucking up…respect man. I’ve read so many good books lately, and I’m just waking up to the amazing talent we have here in the Maritimes. My recommendation is to read anything by a local author. The big guys like Stephen King and J.K.Rowling have lots of readers. Invest in the local talent and be amazed. Oh, and check out mine and Allan’s books. I definitely recommend those.
A sample of Lockie's poetry.
I wrote Do You Remember the Time as an experiment on what I thought it might be like to be slipping into a well known disease, Alzheimer's.
                           Do You Remember The Time
Do you remember the good old days?
When the hot morning sun
Turned to afternoon haze?
Do you remember that glass of iced cold tea?
Making puddles on table top?
Beaded water drops catching light
Rainbow colors to see?
Do you remember the day a long time ago?
We borrowed your dad’s car.
Off to the beach we did go.
Like an old married couple
Windows full open.
Salty sea air blowing through your golden hair.
It seemed in those days we had not a care.
I remember these things…I remember them well
I remember the sights…I remember the smells.
I remember the past…but I feel I must tell
I just can’t remember yesterday well.
Do these keys in my hand fit the car in the drive?
I remember to leave, but where to arrive?
Will you please tell me your name?
I wish things would just stay the same. 

Thank you Lockie for being part of the Scribbler. We wish you continued success in the wonderful world of writing. Here are his links;
The Legend Returns:

Please drop by the Scribbler next week to meet Guest Author Vashti Quiroz-Vega of South Florida and read her first-rate short story A Time to Live and a Time to Die


Friday 23 January 2015

Guest Author Katrina Cope. Jayden and the Mysterious Mountain. Book One of the Sanctum Series


Katrina Cope lives on the Gold Coast of Australia. This is her second visit to the Scribbler. In an earlier post Katrina shared how she created her characters. It is archived on the side panel. The following was taken from her website. Her links are listed below.
I grew up in a small country town with plenty of time to express my creativity. This was fueled with a large amount of time spent traveling to different areas of the world, coming in contact with many different personalities and cultures.
The last eight years has been spent running a small business with my husband and raising three young boys and writing in any spare time.
After finishing my first book, it came to light just how much I love writing and I now write a great deal more. My boys are growing up, approaching the teenage years quickly, allowing me more time to write and asking for the next book.
Copyright is held by the author. Used by permission.
Jayden and the Mysterious Mountain. Book One of the Sanctum Series.
- Chapter One -
The Stranger of Hope
It was a dark cold night. White clouds of fog filled the streets making it hard to see, even with the lights shining brightly from the windows and streetlights. Barely visible through the fog was the harsh straight line of the grey buildings. Rising from the road level to the front doors of the many apartments were the staircases both large and small, coarsely jutting out towards the road. This was typically characteristic of the streets of the city of Bowdon. The railings of the stairs were heavy with dripping dew from the chilliness of the misty night. Through the stillness came the sound of a rusty cough that seemed to be coming from the front wall of one of the apartments. A moment later, another cough was heard and this time it was apparent that it had come from the direction of a large pile of newspapers, in between the rubbish bins on the footpath. After further observation of that pile, the paper appeared to come to life as whatever lay beneath decided to change its pose, to a seemingly more comfortable position.
Jayden ruffled his own newspaper in an attempt to get warm. It was the atmosphere of these sorts of nights that had become familiar to Jayden. It now seemed like forever since he had slept in a warm bed under a permanent roof. The life he used to have about six months ago was now regrettably more like a dream that tormented him, reminding him of how things could have been in his life and what he believed would never again be a reality.
The flicker of a larger light caught the corner of his hazel eyes, as he lifted his head of messy, dirty brown hair above the newspapers. In doing this, he was able to watch as a tall, sandy haired man stepped out onto the street from his apartment. A blonde, friendly-faced woman accompanied him. She gave off a soft laugh as she smiled, as though she had found something rather amusing in what he had said to her. She reached back into the apartment to grab something she seemed to have forgotten. When she pulled her hand back out to the street, there was a young boy attached and he appeared to be about nine years old. The boy was well dressed in warm clothing and looked contented and relaxed in their company.

Watching the young family leaving their home reminded Jayden of when his own family had been together. There were times that Jayden could recall being happy like this young boy, although he also had many other memories, which were more like nightmares. He recalled how his dad after having too many drinks would quite often become enraged and bad tempered over the most trivial incidents or shortcomings. He would end up ranting in loud abuse, which was often followed by physically assaulting his family. Jayden remembered so many times when it was his mother who would be at the receiving end of this abuse, but if he happened to be in the wrong place at these times or if he tried to protect her, his dad would then turn on him. Jayden had to concoct every reason under the sun to explain the bruises and marks all over his body. The most difficult stories to invent were the ones he saved for when he had suffered from broken bones and had to be admitted to hospital.
His dad was not always like this. There was a time when he was a very loving dad, who went to work in the morning like most other dads and then came home to spend quality time with his family. All this changed, however, when the large company that he worked for collapsed. This occurred when the country went into a recession, which was likened to the Great Depression. Workers were all being put off, including Jayden's dad. Some of the people handled it quite well as everyone is different. ‘But not my dad,’ Jayden thought. Initially, it was just a matter of watching what the family spent and making sure that they were not spending unnecessarily, but then there still wasn’t enough money to pay the mortgage payments on their house. The Bank wanted to foreclose and sell the house only for the amount that his parents owed, even though it was worth a lot more. It broke his dad’s heart when the family ended up losing their home, so he started drinking and that was where it all changed.
‘I wonder where my parents are now,’ Jayden thought, but shuddered when the violent past again flicked back into his memory. ‘Oh well! Come to think of it, I really don’t want to find out.’ The reason he didn’t know where they were was because one night when it all got too much, Jayden ran away and had no alternative but to live on the streets. Even though this was most undesirable and a very hard life to live, he did not want to return to the horrors of the past. ‘I do wish I could find an easier way to live than this,’ he commented to himself.
He looked back across the street to the young family in time to see them drive away in their little sedan. ‘I wonder where they are going tonight!’
There was another cough from the pile of newspapers down the road. He watched the person underneath trying desperately to pull the newspapers together, in an effort to trap some warm air. A shiver ran down his spine because he could feel the air getting colder as the night set in, so he too started to adjust the papers around him for extra warmth. When he was satisfied that he had achieved the best possible outcome, even though he was still extremely uncomfortable and cold, he settled down in the hope that sleep would soon come. He watched the lights in the apartments flicker on and off in the different rooms. Trying to ignore his own harsh surroundings, he set his mind on more pleasant thoughts of the nice circumstances he imagined the people would be experiencing in those warm apartments. Slowly, after what must have been at least an hour, he felt sleep starting to take its hold and he drifted into unconsciousness.
Click! Scrape! Click! Scrape! Click! Scrape! Slowly Jayden’s mind started to register that he was waking up and there was movement nearby even though his eyes did not want to open. Click! Scrape! Click! Scrape! It stopped! After a short pause, he heard a loud “Arghh!” and then the rustling of newspapers. Something had disturbed the man down the road. That did it! Jayden’s eyes were now wide open and he looked down the street at the other homeless man to see what was happening. He noticed a man standing over him, holding what looked to be a cane that he used to jab him in the ribs. The man from underneath the papers let out a loud curse after his rude awakening, only to hear the man with the cane say, “Oh sorry! I was looking for someone in particular and couldn’t see your face. Here is some money for your next meal and for causing you this trouble. My apologies!” After he handed him the money he walked away.

Click! Scrape! Click! Scrape! Jayden watched the man as he searched every dark spot he could find, as though he was specifically looking for something. He appeared to have a slight limp but still seemed to get around quite well. The man had Jayden puzzled. It was usual for someone to come out on the streets searching in every dark corner, especially looking for someone in particular among the homeless. Not only that, the man was alone. Jayden didn’t know whether he should hide further away, or stay, but the idea of the man possibly giving him money for food enticed him to stay.
The thought of money for food reminded his stomach that it had been a long time since he had eaten a proper meal and it gave out a really big groan. The groan must have been heard because immediately the stranger looked across at him and changed his direction over towards him. Click! Scrape! Jayden waited patiently as the stranger approached. He acted as though he was still asleep at first, in the hope that the stranger might think he had been troubled as well and hopefully give him money too. After what seemed a long thirty seconds, the man was finally at Jayden’s side. “Son! Son!” Jayden opened his eyes and looked at the man. He was wearing a business suit and his hair was slightly long, dark brown with flecks of grey. “How old are you, son?” Well that was not what he was expecting; that was for sure, but thinking again about money for food, Jayden answered him, “Eleven.”
He watched as a cloud of concern washed across the man’s face. “Wow!” he said. “You are too young to be out here all alone. Where are your parents?”
“I don’t know and I really don’t care! Life here is much safer than being at home with my family.”
“That sounds dreadful. Are you sure that it was really that bad?” the man asked.
Without any hesitation Jayden answered, “I am very sure. After at least ten trips to the hospital with serious injuries in two months and not enough good stories to explain how I got hurt, I am definitely sure.”
“What is your name?”
“My name is Avando, Jayden, and I am looking for some young people like you, in the hope that I can make a difference in their lives.”
From experience he knew that most people shun the homeless as though they are scum and are only homeless because they deserve to be there.
“How do you expect you’d be able to help and why would you even want to help?” Jayden asked with suspicion.
“Well you see, I have done very well through business over the years and I have no one to share in my good fortune. So, I am looking for young people, like you, who I can hopefully provide with all the necessities of life such as food, clothing, shelter and a better way of life.”
“There must be a catch!” Jayden said warily, knowing even at his age that nothing this good comes along without a catch. It could be considered though, that he was a lot more mature than a normal eleven year old because of all his recent life experiences.
“Well, there is one catch,” said the mystery man with the larger sized bumpy nose.
I'm anxious to find out more about the generous older man in this story. Thank you Katrina for sharing the beginning of your story, Jayden and the Mysterious Mountain. Following are Katrina's links and where you can obtain copies of her novels.  
Drop by the Scribbler next week for the 4Q Interview with none other than published author Lockie Young of Albert County, New Brunswick. Lockie has been featured on the Scribbler several times and it is always a treat to have this talented author as a guest. You will want to hear about Lockie's latest accomplishments and a chance to read one of his poems.