Friday 29 May 2015

4Q Interview with Author Susmita Bhattacharya.

The Scribbler is pleased to have Susmita Bhattacharya of Plymouth, England on the 4Q Interview this month. It is Susmita’s second visit. As one of our Guest Authors she previously shared her enjoyable short story, The Mango Season.  Susmita is an accomplished author who has just released her debut novel, The Normal State of Mind.  You can discover more about by following the links below.


4Q: We are anxious to hear about your new novel. Please tell us what to expect when we read The Normal State of Mind.

SB: The Normal State of Mind is a story about love, friendship and finding one’s voice. It is a story about two women, Dipali and Moushumi and their friendship. It is a story of how their friendship helps them deal with personal issues and the Indian traditions that dictate how they should present themselves in society, for one is a widow, and the other is a lesbian.

The novel is set in 1990s India, and I hope to show aspects of urban India and Indian society that have not been seen in Indian fiction. I hope this book will bring about a debate or discussion about women empowerment and the LGBT presence in India.

One of my favourite quotes is by Vijayalakshmi Pandit, the first woman politician to hold a cabinet post and diplomat, whose brother happened to be the first prime minister of India. She mentioned in a piece in the Ananda Bazaar Patrika (1938): ‘People tell me the modern woman is aggressive. I wonder if this is true. But if it is, she has good reason for it, and her aggression is only the natural outcome of generations of suppression. The first taste of liberty is intoxicating, and for the first time in human history, a woman is experiencing the delights of this intoxication...’ 

This stands true even in today. She wrote this in 1938, we are in 2015 now, and still, the modern woman is fighting... fighting for her rights, fighting for her equal place in society. I realised that be it lesbian or a widow, as Dipali, mentions in the book, women are still identified in relation to a man, or to the lack of one.

It is a story simply told and I hope it will connect with readers around the globe. When I was researching for the book, I talked to people from different cultures and social backgrounds, and realized that there are some issues that affect people no matter where they come from. The struggle with coming out and acceptance is something common for most gay and lesbian people I talked to. But this is a story set in metropolitan cities of Mumbai and Calcutta, this is not a general reflection of Indian women in any way.

And yes, there is a lot about Indian food in the book!

4Q: You have many short stories and poems published in the UK and internationally. How did the idea for your novel begin and when did you decide to write this story. 

SB: The novel started as a dissertation for my Masters in Creative Writing in 2005. I was comfortable with writing short stories, but I wanted to push the boundaries and attempt writing a novel. It was difficult to put a finger on what I should write about. I thought of many complicated plots, historical themes etc but wasn’t confident to write, or rather see it to its end. But the mantra ‘writing what one knows about’ struck a chord as I realised that my experience as a single, working woman in Mumbai and having friendships with like minded women, and men was the best place to start. My experience as an assistant to a well-known fashion photographer also helped me shape the book. Though I have been inspired by some of my experiences to write the book, this book isn’t about me or anyone I know. But I had fun revisiting some old haunts to refresh my memory and reconnecting with old friends.

The book took eight years to write, as in between, I had two children, moved houses and relocated from Cardiff to Plymouth. It then took two years for the book to be accepted by a publisher, and finally it is here in 2015.

4Q: Please share a childhood memory or anecdote. 

SB: I was born and bred in Mumbai. In the book, I have written about the bomb blasts that ripped through the city in 1993. I was in Art College then, and my friend and I were returning home on a public bus. We had made a plan to have lunch at my place. As I was preparing lunch, we heard a bang, and the crows in the trees shrieked and flew up into the sky. We shrugged it off, thinking someone had started off a firecracker. But it happened again, this time closer to home. The house shook, the window panes rattled, and the smell of gunpowder came through. We weren’t sure what was happening. This was before the days of social media and mobile phones, so news didn’t get around so quickly. Also, the telephone lines went dead, so we couldn’t contact anyone. My parents were at work and my sister in school. Then a family friend came rushing in and told us that bombs were going off in various parts of Mumbai, and two had gone off just couple of hundred yards away from my house. And the scary part was, when we were on that bus, it had stopped at the traffic lights just outside the building that had been bombed fifteen minutes before it had gone off.

My dad returned from work and he rushed to the school where my mum and sister were to escort them home. He had to walk past the bombed sites and told us how the street was covered in shattered glass and debris. He got them home safely. But in the meantime, I was worried sick as we didn’t know when and where the next bomb would go off, and was relieved only after they all got back safely. My friend too had to wait until her father managed to find a way to come to our house and fetch her. Unfortunately, there were many others who did not get back home that day. This day will remain etched in my brain forever.

4Q: Spending several years travelling to many parts of the world with your husband must have been an exciting adventure. Can you share some of your experiences? 

SB: I spent time on seven oil tankers over a period of three years. Those years seem surreal to me now. Was I really on board oil tankers, experiencing all sorts of adventures? I think spending time away from the human civilization, seeing nothing but the blue sea and sky for days helped me look inwards and make friends with myself. It also made me appreciate nature as well as understand how human interference can harm nature’s way.

One of the first things that come to mind is how I came across events/ moments without planning for them. For instance, I once looked out of my bedroom porthole when we had anchored out at sea, and just below me was a dolphin that was helping her little one to swim. She held the baby over her snout and pushed it above the water to breathe. Maybe they were just playing. I felt very honoured to be given that opportunity to watch.

Another time, our ship had anchored at Augusta, Sicily. My husband and I stepped out to see the town, and I was intrigued to see the whole town covered in ash. Looking up, I saw Mt Etna belching out smoke. For three days, we stayed anchored in the bay, and I watched a live volcano with lava streaming down the mountainside, once again from my cabin windows. We’ve been tossed about on stormy waters, sailed on glass-like calm seas, kept watch to keep pirates at bay and done the Titanic pose to boredom!

But again, being out at sea without much communication (on that particular ship we didn’t have email contact), we completely missed out on the day 9/11 happened to the rest of the world. On that day, we were treated to best ever display of dolphins and whales that came close to our ship, and it seemed they were performing for us. Hundreds of dolphins leaped and danced against the evening sun, whales spouted showers and swam along the ship, swishing their tails and diving. Flying fish glinted above the water. It was a fully orchestrated show. We didn’t know what was happening elsewhere in the world. That night, the Chief Officer got some news on the radio, but reception wasn’t clear, so though we gauged something had happened, we didn’t know what exactly. We called home and that was when we realized what had happened. But it was only a week after 9/11, when we reached Gibraltar, did we first set eyes on the television replays and newspapers.

On a more cheerful note, there was another very pleasant experience when sailing down the St Lawrence River, Canada. There was a man on the shore who would find out which ship passed by his house and he’d raise the flag of the crew as a hello. (Not sure if he is still there, this was about 12 years ago). As we made our way down the river, my husband told me to go up to the deck and watch the shore. So I did. Suddenly, I saw the Indian flag rise up and the national anthem being played, in the wilderness on the shores of the river in Canada. I’d been away from home for so long, it was as if this man had hugged me personally and welcomed me to his home. It was a wonderful feeling.


Thank you Susmita for being our guest this week. Susmita’s novel can be purchased here. Her website is

Next week on the Scribbler you will meet a writing team of sisters, Lorraine Campbell and Pam Burks that pen under the name of Ellie Campbell. Read an excerpt from one of their novels.

Friday 22 May 2015

Guest Author Tim Baker of Flagler Beach, Florida.

The Scribbler is pleased to have Tim Baker as a guest author this week. Tim was recently featured on the 4Q Interview. He is an accomplished author with ten books to his credit. Tim was born and raised in Warwick, Rhode Island. After graduating from The Wentworth Institute of Technology in 1980 he embarked on a career in Architecture and Engineering. Along the way he has also worked in the natural gas industry, construction and ice cream sales. In his spare time he enjoys a wide variety of activities including sports of all kinds, music, motorcycles, scuba diving, and, of course, writing.
An avid dog lover, Tim was a volunteer puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, raising and socializing potential guide dogs. Find out more about Tim by clicking his link below.

Following is an excerpt from one of his novels.

Eyewitness blues ch 18



Mercedez tracked the progress of the day by watching the shadows creep their way around the basement.

She fought the need to pee for as long as she could, but inevitably lost the struggle. Two hours later, thanks to the dampness of the basement, her jeans were still wet from her urine. The duct tape on her face and around her wrists combined with the cramps in her legs were an added bonus to the overall misery. Judging by the fading light that made its way through the small window, she decided she had been there for at least eight hours.

When she heard the door open and the footsteps on the floor above, she was oddly comforted, even though she knew she should be afraid. Just to be able to move her arms and legs would be a welcome feeling.

A man’s figure made its way down the stairs. When he emerged from the shadows, she recognized him. Everybody called him Spanky, but she thought his real name was George. Maybe it was his lack of hygiene, or the way his eyes seemed to be looking off in two different directions, she wasn’t sure, but there was something creepy about him.

Creepy or not, at least he wasn’t Lorenzo.

Mercedez knew the next time she saw Lorenzo he would be there to kill her. Spanky wasn’t the guy Don sent on such assignments, he was more of an errand boy. At least she had that working in her favor. Now she just needed to figure out a way to take advantage of it.

The duct tape prevented her from asking the question, but her eyes conveyed it.

“Lorenzo sent me over to check on you,” Spanky said.

As hard as it was to believe, he smelled worse than the basement, and his breath was absolutely toxic even from two feet away.

 He released her and pushed her toward the stairs. When they emerged in the kitchen he pointed toward the bathroom.

“Go ahead,” he said.

“Too late,” she said, indicating her stained crotch.

He shrugged and took a container of milk from the refrigerator. After downing a few gulps he offered it to her. She wanted a drink more than anything, but the thought of sharing the milk with this repulsive man turned her stomach, not to mention the prospect of being left tied up in the basement again with no opportunity to relieve herself later.

Mercedez casually glanced at the front door…and the secured dead bolt. The windows, at least the three she could see, were all closed.

Escape was the only way she would leave this house alive, and this was probably her best, if not only, chance.

Spanky had his back to her while he checked the contents of the refrigerator. She scanned the kitchen for a weapon.


The box-cutter!

She always carried a box-cutter in her purse. Could she get to the other room and get it out fast enough?

Probably not.

Maybe she could overpower him—he wasn’t much bigger than her—then run away. She casually lifted one of the old wooden chairs at the kitchen table. It was heavy enough to put a good hurting on the slender Spanky, then she could make a run for it.

The pain and stiffness in her legs dismissed that plan. Unless she knocked him out cold, or killed him, she wouldn’t be able to run fast enough to escape.

Spanky straightened up and closed the refrigerator.

“If you don’t need the can, I guess it’s time to go back downstairs,” he said.

There was no sympathy in his voice, so appealing to his chivalry wouldn’t work. There was only one card left to play.

Mercedez reached back into the buried parts of her mind and recalled her dancer’s mentality. The ability to disconnect from the situation and ignore the reactions of men wanting a piece of her while she smiled and coaxed them into giving her money they could ill-afford to part with.

It was part of her skill set she had hoped she would never have to rely on again, but…

She flipped the mental switch and slipped her arms around Spanky’s neck.

Before he knew what was happening, she kissed him hard. She felt her stomach clench at the foul taste and fought it with everything she had. She ran her fingers through his greasy hair and grinded her pelvis into his already swollen crotch.

His hands quickly found her ass and Mercedez increased the passion in her kiss and added more pelvic pressure to his crotch. She slid her mouth to his ear and allowed her tongue to dance around it as she feigned heavy breathing.

“Anything you want,” she groaned. “Nobody has to know. You tell them I was gone when you got here.”

His hands released her ass and pushed her away.

“No way,” he said. “No friggin’ way.”

Mercedez moved back in and massaged his groin. “Come on, we can have a good time. We can make it look like I surprised you. They’ll never know.”

She knew it wouldn’t matter to Gammino if she had somehow produced an assault rifle and shot her way out of the house, Spanky would pay with his life anyway. She just prayed that he didn’t know that.

He pushed her away again.

“Stop,” he said, adjusting his crotch. “I’d love to take you around the world, but if you get away on my watch I’m as good as dead.”

“No. We can...”

“Be quiet. There ain’t no we. We ain’t doin’ nothin’. You’re going back downstairs and I’m going back to tell Lorenzo you’re still here. Done deal. Now let’s go.”

He extended his arm toward the basement door.

Mercedez went for one more stall.

“I guess I should go to the bathroom after all,” she said.

“Hurry it up.”

The windowless bathroom offered no chance of escape. She searched for some kind of weapon. With the exception of a sliver of soap on the rust-stained sink and half-a-roll of toilet paper, the bathroom was empty.

She reached for the doorknob, but stopped short. She spun around and pried the dried soap from the back of the sink. 

Obviously Spanky wasn’t leaving.

The television in the front room was on.

She started working her wrists. The soap had definitely helped prevent the duct tape from bonding to her skin completely and after several minutes she was able to slip free of the tape. She removed the tape from her ankles and finally the piece covering her mouth.

She stretched her arms and legs as she took inventory of the options.

The basement windows were too small and too high to allow her to get out through one. There was a workbench along one of the basement walls.  At one end of the bench were several old cans of paint. As quietly as she could she searched the bench for a weapon—a hammer would be ideal. The only items she found that could serve as weapons were a screwdriver and a rusty old bow-saw, the kind used for trimming tree branches, neither of which gave her any kind of tactical advantage. She would have to get too close to Spanky to use them, which would result in a skirmish that she would probably lose.

She looked at the stairs and remembered the noise they made when used and knew her chances of sneaking upstairs undetected were not promising—and even if she were successful in making it to the top of the stairs, was the basement door unlocked?

Even if she got out of the basement she would still face the problem of overpowering Spanky, unless she could slip out a back door or window undetected.

The odds were not in her favor. She needed a better plan.

Something Gammino had once said came back to her…The reason I am where I am is because I learned to turn my disadvantages into advantages.

Right now her biggest disadvantage was being trapped in the basement.

And just like that the pieces fell into place. 

Spanky flipped through the channels and stopped on an episode of Man vs. Food. The host was in New York City eating hot dogs. Just as it was getting interesting he heard a loud noise from the basement, like somebody had knocked over a bunch of cans.
“What the fuck?” he muttered.
Peering down the stairs into darkness he called out.

“Yo, what’s going on down there?”

No response.

He flipped the light switch. Nothing happened. He flipped it back and forth several times with the same result. He took a zippo from his pocket and lit it. Holding it in front of him he moved down the stairs. About halfway down his foot slipped in a thick liquid.

“What the…”

He tried to maintain his balance, but his other foot slipped as well. Before he could stop himself he had tumbled to the bottom of the stairs and landed in a heap against the concrete wall. He didn’t have to try to stand to know that his ankle was twisted badly and maybe even broken.
“Jesus…” He ran his hand over his body, feeling a thick, wet, slimy substance, which, in the limited light, he assumed was his own blood.

The sudden movement to the right caught his attention and in the blink of an eye he knew he was in deep trouble. 

Mercedez watched from the shadows as Spanky slipped on the paint-covered steps and tumbled to the bottom. She sprang from her hiding place and emptied the contents of another can of paint on his face. When he was sufficiently blinded she took a third gallon and slammed it across his head repeatedly until he stopped trying to get up.
She dragged him across the floor and duct-taped him to the same column she had been tied to.

Spanky moaned several times, but offered no resistance. When the roll of tape was empty she was satisfied he would not be able to squirm out the way she had. For good measure she kicked him as hard as she could in the groin. His body went limp.
Mercedez stood over him for several seconds to make sure he was out.

Satisfied he wouldn’t be a threat, she carefully climbed the slick steps and locked the basement door behind her.

She found the keys to the van on the kitchen counter, and retrieved her purse. She locked the house behind her before driving away.

Thank you Tim for sharing part of your story. Get the novel here  Read more about Tim on his website .

Next week on the Scribbler the 4Q Interview will host Susmita Bhattacharya of Cardiff, Wales when she answers 4 questions regarding her latest novel. Susmita has been featured as a guest author on the Scribbler previously. A very talented writer.

Friday 8 May 2015

Guest Author Lisette Lombard. An excerpt from EBO.

Lisette is a native of Monterrey, Mexico. EBO is her first novel and is a YA paranormal romance. It's an exciting story about vampires and love. Lisette is published by Morning Rain Publishing of Ontario, Canada. She is their first international author. The link to Lisette's website is below. Following is an excerpt from her novel.

I impatiently awaited nightfall. Just an hour or so of sun left before it would all be over. It appeared endless and pointless to me. As the chief had promised, the whole village dressed in dark; singing and dancing to joyous tunes as laughter filled the air. Clay pots, filled with food to the brim, covered the tables set along the main courtyard. People from nearby villages had arrived too. Some observed as I walked amongst the Ashanti, others did not notice, yet no one approached or made mention of me.

Josephine came and went from my side, the small mutt always at her heels. Not once did she laugh. Her feet did not dance to the merry rhythm of the instruments played by skilled musicians. She did not cry, either, yet her eyes told me the whole story. Every time those bright green eyes looked into mine, another piece of my heart was chiselled away.

Never did my eyes leave her. My gaze followed her throughout the day, trying to decipher what she might be thinking. She never spoke, but observed all that happened with the curiosity all children her age must have.

Everyone approached Josephine with gifts. She was presented with beautiful necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets made from an assortment of materials: leather, beads, elephant hair, and ivory. Elaborate dresses made by the women, embroidered with beautiful detail. Every time someone handed her a gift, she would look up and nod her head in appreciation, wearing a polite and faint smile on her face.

More than once I recognized a shadow of concern on the cheerful faces of the gift bearers. Josephine’s eyes conveyed the sadness she felt in her heart, but all were surprised by the mature way with which she conducted herself. Such restraint and poise were not normal in one so young. After receiving the offering, she would observe it quietly, turning it this way and that in her little hands and then pass it over to me for safekeeping. After the first dozen or so gifts, I had to turn to Ekuwa for help. She, in turn, stowed them away in Josey’s hut to be packed that night for her travels home.

The chief watched over the whole ceremony. Alert, and always informed of my whereabouts, he tried to anticipate any trouble I might cause. Twice I was asked to his side, and I understood he was assessing my mood, just in case I decided to end the whole ordeal, or maybe snatch the girl and disappear.

Without a clear idea of what weapons or pleas he thought he could use to stop me, at times I was amused, and at others awed by the man’s courage. He must have known in his heart that I would behave – for Josephine.

As dusk approached, the chief walked over to where Josephine and I sat watching dancers move to complicated tunes the musicians played. Taking a seat next to us, he spoke, “Josephine, I know you are in pain. There is not much I can say, or do, to make your heart heal faster, but it will heal. I promise you this: you will always have a home with the Ashanti. Your hut will always stand ready for your return, be it for a visit, or permanently. All Ashanti generations to come will know of your existence and receive you as a sister. You will be reminded of this from time to time, so your young memory will not forget as you grow. Part of you is Ashanti now.”

Unfolding a cloth, the chief revealed two bracelets. Each consisted of a single solid band of gold, about half an inch wide, and each had two solitary diamonds embedded on top. They were simple, yet beautiful. There was something about the bracelets that made me want to touch them, but I held back as he handed them to the child.

Josey looked at them with curious eyes. She tentatively touched the diamonds and turned those wide emerald eyes on the chief, then on me. A tear formed, but it did not spill as she placed her arms around the chief’s neck, hugging him tenderly. Then she straightened and extended her arm for him to secure a bracelet on her wrist while she took the second one with her free hand.

Once he had adjusted the bracelet, she turned and with sure fingers placed the second bracelet on my wrist. I was surprised, but it somehow felt right. Looking into my eyes, she held my gaze with such intensity that I felt the world spin around me – and she was gone, running, brown hair fanning behind her shoulders, to show Ekuwa her new prized possession.

“What is this?” I asked the chief as he sighed, his eyes following Josephine. “She has been presented with numerous gifts today, many are beautiful and colourful, yet she has only shown real appeal for this one. She is too young to know the difference between gold and other materials. Why is this so special to her?”

“There is something unique about this child,” he answered. “She knows this is meant just as she interpreted. The bracelets are meant for both of you to wear. I confess to also using them as a test. I have watched her carefully since you arrived, more so since her parents died. Her reaction assures me she is more than we see, and the connection you feel is just as strong for her. The bracelets will keep your connection no matter how far you are from each other; although in your case I doubt any charm or magic is needed to ensure that.”

“Thank you.” I was touched by the gesture. What was it with these people? If I had only known that night – standing at the edge of the village not long ago – how my essence was to change, I probably would have walked away. So many human feelings, forgotten over a century, now so raw on my skin, in my mind and heart. Yes, if I had only known... now it was too late.

The sun set over the horizon, and just as suddenly the music stopped. Josephine was heading toward me at that moment. Lowering her precious auburn head, she stopped to think for a minute before taking my hand. Tugging lightly, she led me to her parents’ bodies, which lay on a platform to one side of the courtyard. Flowers surrounded them, beautiful bright flowers of all colours and sizes. Sweet incense burned all around them. Just sleeping, I thought. I hope she remembers them as sleeping.

“Ebo.” Her voice was clear as stream water, the first word she had spoken all day. I almost fell to my knees with pain. “They are gone, Ebo.”

This time I did fall, pulling her tight against my chest as I knelt on Africa’s red earth. Tears finally came. She held on to me as her body heaved with uncontrollable sobs. Not the wailing I have heard other children make, just deep, heart wrenching sobs.

Everyone in the village watched. They were not allowed to cry, but I sensed the sorrow pass from corner to corner of the village as sure as wild fire on dry brush.

The minutes were patient as I knelt with her in my arms. Eventually her breathing evened, and her sighs came at longer intervals. She raised her head from my chest and looked into my eyes again. I found it unbearable, for it was I who had brought her such sorrow. There was no reproach in her gaze – still too young to understand that because of me, Mulos had wrenched from her what she loved most.

“I know,” I told her tenderly. “I am forever sorry, my love.”

As I stood, ashamed of myself, she beckoned me to carry her, stretching her little arms to me. I carried her back to her hut. Ekuwa followed closely, but my stare was enough of a warning for her to let us continue alone.

Lost in thought as we advanced, I startled as Josephine’s body stiffened in my arms. “Josey?” Then the scent hit me. Hissing, I swung the child across my back and crouched low to the ground in one flowing motion as she instinctively held on with all her might. Every muscle in my body tense, I concentrated
on where the danger was coming from. I had been too distracted, absorbed in her sorrow, to sense his arrival. I should have anticipated – been ready for him.

“Ebo. The monster is back,” she whispered in my ear.

How had she known so soon? Had she seen him? Scanning the land, I tasted every scent, vigilant for movement or sound. He was alone, disguised as... what was it? Where was he?

Sensing the chief, I turned to find fear, anger, and a million questions alive in his eyes. I nodded, confirming danger was amidst us, and continued scanning my surroundings. By now everyone was still. The soft rustle of leaves could be heard, every night sound amplified by the villagers’ silence.

The chief raised his arm and lowered it slowly. Huddling in groups, all women and children crouched low to the ground, with the young ones in the centre. The men stood tall and strong, alert.

“Josey, do not let go unless I tell you,” I growled. My voice ran a shiver through her body, but still she held me tight.

Close by, Ekuwa longed to take the child. I motioned for her to stay still, unable to decipher where Mulos was hiding. The scent moved too quickly. North, south, northeast.

“Damn,” I hissed. “Mulos! Show yourself!”
EBO is no doubt a story worth reading. Thank you Lisette for sharing an excerpt from your novel. This is the link to Lisette's website where you can learn more.
Please drop by the Scribbler next week and read teasers from the five short stories featured in my second collection. SHORTS Vol.2


Friday 1 May 2015

4Q Interview with Tim Baker of Flagler Beach, Florida

The 4Q Interview is pleased to have Tim Baker of on the Scribbler. He is an accomplished author with ten books to his credit. The following was taken from his Amazon Bio: Tim was born and raised in Warwick, Rhode Island.
After graduating from The Wentworth Institute of Technology in 1980 he embarked on a career in Architecture and Engineering. Along the way he has also worked in the natural gas industry, construction and ice cream sales. In his spare time he enjoys a wide variety of activities including sports of all kinds, music, motorcycles, scuba diving, and, of course, writing.
An avid dog lover, Tim was a volunteer puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, raising and socializing potential guide dogs. Find out more about Tim by clicking his link below.

4Q: Most of your novels are centered on an extremely likable character named Ike, the hero all of us guys dream about being. Tell us how this character evolved to become the focus of many of your stories?

TB: That’s a great question, and one I’ve answered many times!

Ike began as a secondary character in my first novel, Living the Dream. His role was to act as a go-between for two of the main characters. At the time I didn’t put much thought into who he was or what his story was…I didn’t think he would ever reappear.
While writing my second novel, Water Hazard, the protagonist, Steve Warwick, found himself in, pardon the pun, some pretty hot water. Steve was an “everyman”, so I needed to have a plausible ally who could help him – so I decided to resurrect Ike.
Once Water Hazard was published Ike became an overnight sensation.
With each novel his legend grows.
My sixth novel, Unfinished Business, only featured Ike in a brief cameo role…which did not sit well with his fans!
I think the reason for his popularity is the fact that Ike lives by a strict moral code which is a cross between “do no harm” and “take no crap”. Ike has a very strong moral compass, but he isn’t above bending, or on occasion, breaking the rules in the name of what is right.
I’ve had dozens of people ask me if he is a real person – and if not who is he modeled after…I’ve even had women ask me to arrange an introduction!

4Q: Besides your writing, you are also a radio personality with a daily show on Surf 97.3 FM.  Tell us how this came about and what can a listener expect when he tunes in here

TB: I was attending a networking event here in Flagler Beach called “Entrepreneur Night”. Music at the event was provided by a local disc jockey named Vern Shank. After the event I wound up at a table with 4 or 5 people, Vern being one of them, and he mentioned that he had bought a small AM radio station.
An off-the-cuff remark by my friend Armand led to a weekly talk show program for the two of us discussing writing and writing related topics.
Eventually the station went FM and the talk show didn’t fit the format, but Vern offered me the 3 hour time slot we had previously occupied for a music show.
Thus Tim Baker’s Friday Night Music Extravaganza was born.
I play an eclectic mix of good old fashioned rock and roll, B-sides, cool covers and some deep cuts that are a bit on the obscure side.
Vern has also given me a daily 3 hour show from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm where I play beach, island and sunshine music that makes you feel like you’re on vacation – which is what Flagler Beach is all about!!!

My shows can be heard anywhere in the world at


4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote or memory with our readers.
TB: Since I just answered the question about the radio station, I’ll share a story that involves my love of music.
I was the fifth of seven children, with four older brothers who were hard-core hippies. I often joke about how I was the only kid in the third grade to know who Jimi Hendrix was and what Woodstock meant.
This story takes place while I was in the fifth grade, circa 1969.
One day per week the class was granted a 60-minute “creativity period” where we were allowed to do anything we wanted, as long as we created something.
It was, by far, my favorite part of the week.
During one creativity period I was at my desk converting pink erasers into race cars, complete with thumbtack wheels and paperclip exhaust pipes.
As I worked, I withdrew into my own “zone” - totally oblivious to all around me – until the teacher, Mr. DeStefanis, came over and tapped me on the shoulder…
“Mr. Baker,” he said in a very respectful tone, “while I am a fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival too, the rest of the class could probably concentrate better if you weren’t singing so loudly.”
I didn’t even realize it, but I had been singing “Born on the Bayou”, fairly loudly, while I worked!
To this day, I have to be mindful of not drifting into the zone too deeply, lest I start singing The Beatles or Led Zeppelin!


4Q: What’s in the near future for Tim Baker and what about a couple of years down the road?
TB: I am currently working on my eighth novel, a book called Full Circle.

It’s a story I actually began writing in 1988, but never finished. I’ve always loved the concept of the story and decided after my last novel, Eyewitness Blues, was released last August, it was time to finish it. Although, “finish” isn’t the best way to describe it…I’ve actually started from the beginning, keeping the original theme, but using new characters and bringing the story into the 21st century.

Full Circle is about karma and the effects that our actions have on the world around us, and how they come back to us as well.

Thank you Tim for sharing your thoughts on The Scribbler.  I enjoyed reading about Ike and am looking forward to reading more of your novels. Tim’s books are available at Amazon and Smashwords! The following link will take you to his website which has links to all of his work.

Please visit next week and meet Guest Author Lisette Lombard f Monterrey, Mexico and read an excerpt from her novel EBO