Questions that Matter with David Kummer

I asked the questions that matter of David Kummer! But first, the book:

Check out David’s other interview in the July 2018 archive! Now for some new questions:

Welcome back, David! We’re excited to learn more about you! What song are you listening to right now, or what song did you listen to last? 

I listen to a lot of indie rock, so unsurprisingly the last song I listened to was Arcade Fire’s Suburbs. I actually listened to the entire album. Them and the Killers are definitely two of the greatest bands ever. I can’t wait to see them again in concert. I’m really a big concert junkie.

You made my heart sing! What would you want to be written on your tombstone?

“Sometimes, just listen.”

I’m listening….What is one of your favorite quotes?

I recently heard an Orson Welles quote that goes, “if you want a happy ending, it depends on where you stop the story,” and that might just be my favorite. As a horror author, though, I really like Christopher Paolini’s, “Without fear, there cannot be courage.”

Courage is found in unlikely places (J. R. R. Tolkien). Your life is being narrated! Who is doing the narration?

Definitely Harrison Ford. I have no justification for it, other than I really, really like him and I get to choose so I choose him!

Then that’s who you get! What is the hardest part of being an author?

The hardest part is definitely the days when you don’t get any reviews, any sales, any nothing. (A lot of days). It’s hard to feel like nobody is reading your work. As for myself, I put pieces of my life into each book, and pieces of me. I really try to give them feeling and personality and deeper meaning, especially my more recent books like Home. So whenever there’s a day and nothing happens, it can be super discouraging.

But never stop writing! What’s the most marvelous thing you have ever seen with your own eyes?

We went to Costa Rica on our high school senior trip recently and I saw this insane, majestic waterfall in the middle of the jungle. However… I actually don’t think that’s it. I’ve been to Haiti on a few missions trips, and I think the Haitian mountains near the capital city are one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Fantastic! What’s your favorite word?

My favorite word… is probably Werifesteria. But I’m also kind of leaning towards Kaleidoscope. I really like words, if you can’t tell. Apophenia.

We can tell! Thank you, David, for letting us absorb the apophenia of your answers! Check out David’s links below! If you’re experiencing feelings of werifesteria, then stay tuned next week for another new author to keep you on the right path!

Happy reading! 🙂


Questions that Matter with Rhonda Smiley

Monty and the Monster by [Smiley, Rhonda]

I asked the questions that matter of Rhonda Smiley! But first, the book:

Now, we ask:

Welcome, Rhonda! What’s the meaning of life?

I believe it’s 42.

You are absolutely correct! You can only have one kind of sandwich: what is it?

Oka cheese with strawberry jam on a fresh baguette. So yummy! The cheese was originally made by Trappist monks in Oka, Quebec (hence the name), so it’s pretty popular in Montreal, which is where I’m from. It’s harder to come by here (here being Glendale, CA where I now live), but a nice brie will suffice in its place. 

If there’s cheese on it, it is probably delicious! Name the top five things you take with you during a zombie outbreak.

Zombie-repellent (regular strength; the extra strength is just a rip-off), my dog, my phone (which is much lighter than my computer, but has more stuff on it), dental floss, and nunchucks. 

You’re on the squad! Why did no one else think to bring zombie-repellent?! Though I’m curious about the dental floss…moving on! What would you name your pet gorilla?


Indeed! What do you think the best invention is?

Air conditioning. The inventor should’ve gotten the Nobel Peace Prize for it. I mean, how many conflicts have been avoided thanks to a/c?

*sitting in a room with A/C and two oscillating fans* I agree! Why sweat when you don’t have to? What is your real-life superpower?

Worrying enough for everyone. (Seriously, everyone else can relax. I’ve got this.)

Thank goodness! I was exhausted. Would you rather fly on a dragon or meet a mermaid? 

Fly on a dragon for sure! First of all, you probably never run into mechanical errors. And secondly, roasted marshmallows as an in-flight snack. Plus, Jaws scared me out of the water and I’d hate to make a mermaid leave her natural habitat just to meet me.

Take to the skies! Thank you, Rhonda, for showing us your quirky side! Help Rhonda by checking out the links below. Then, blast your A/C so you’re comfortable while reading another interview, next Friday!

Happy reading! 🙂


Questions that Matter with Bob Whitely

The Shadow Reaper: A Blend of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror by [Whitely, Bob]

I asked the questions that matter of Bob Whitely! But first, the book:

And now some fun!

Bob, come on down! Name the top five things you take with you during a zombie outbreak.

Every time there’s been a zombie outbreak in my neighborhood, I’ve rushed the family over to my buddy’s house, because he’s the one with all the guns! As for what top five things I take along, that’s easy: the biggest knife in my kitchen, the industrial stapler I bought to ship my novels (makes a surprisingly good hammer), my iPhone, a supreme pizza (I’d prefer Papa John’s, but I’m not that picky during an outbreak), and of course my truck! These five things have never failed me in the past!

What neighborhood do you live in?!! You’re in my zombie squad, so long as you bring the pizza! Time for a board game! Which is your favorite?

Another easy question! I’d pick Freeze Or Burn hands down! Okay, that was cheating, sort of. See, I’m also a game designer, and Freeze Or Burn is one of my board games set in my Toonaria universe. It was inspired by another board game I invented decades ago and I’m just really, really loving it so far. The fact that Freeze Or Burn isn’t on the market yet, doesn’t mean it isn’t my favorite! If I had to pick one that I didn’t invent, it would probably be The Awful Green Things From Outer Space, because it is the game that made me fall in love with board games and inspired me to keep pursuing game design. It’s also silly and a heck of a lot of fun!

How fun! Do you prefer the movie or the book?

I far prefer the book, but if I somehow end up seeing the movie first, I have a really hard time getting myself to read the book. I am not a fast reader—I tend to mull over the words and scenes too long—and I’m so productivity minded that I have a hard time reading a book after I’ve seen the movie. The reverse isn’t true. I can watch a movie while doing something else, so if I enjoyed the book, I’d probably still watch the movie.

Book first, I always say! What is your motto?

Think. Pray. Act. Life is a roller coaster, so expect some hard turns. Along the way, help as many people as you can. Invest in your family over your career and remember that every day’s a gift!

Here, here! Are you on the dance floor or a wallflower?

I have bounced between being extroverted and introverted, but the vast majority of my life I’ve been very shy. Only rarely have I ventured out onto the dance floor (pretty much only at weddings.) That said, I really enjoy dancing and do so at home, usually when I think I’m alone. I crank the music up and dance up a storm—I’m pretty good, too, I think! I danced briefly in a couple plays I wrote and performed (acting is another passion of mine). Something about pretending to be someone else, makes it easier for me to do things on stage that I wouldn’t normally feel comfortable with. Hence 18 years of performing on stage without freaking out.

Dance like no one is watching, always! Would you go out in space if given the opportunity?

Probably not. Space is big, mostly empty, and too quiet. It’s almost depressing. Don’t get me wrong, I love science fiction, Star Wars—all that, but we can’t see the true beauty of space with the naked eye. Those gorgeous space photos that are floating around? They’ve been doctored, not to trick us, but because the naked eye can’t see much out there. The images are significantly altered for us to enjoy. Further, I had a bad experience diving once, and the thought of relying on gear to stay alive isn’t appealing to me. If I experienced space without the gear, well then there’d be no more me, so yeah, I’ll keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. Besides, the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen – my children exploring the world and their own creativity, my amazing wife smiling at me, a cloudy sky, a lush landscape—that’s the good stuff, and none of it is out in space.

I agree! I prefer to stay on the planet! The Hunger Games just started! Do you fight for supplies or do you run for it?

I would make a run for it and hope for the best. I’m not a quitter, but I’d never hurt anyone except for self-defense. I would try hard to get supplies whenever I could, and if I thought I could trust another contestant, I’d team up with them and try to keep us alive. I’d risk my neck for them while looking for ways to escape, but only fight when I had to.

Stay alive! Thank you, Bob, for sharing your wisdom! Support Bob by checking out the links! We’ll be here next Friday (with pizza!) and another new author!

Twitter: @QTGames

Happy reading! 🙂

Questions that Matter with Brad Robertson

Fifty Poems and the Kitchen Sink by [Robertson, Brad]

I asked the questions that matter of Brad Robertson! But first, the book:

Now, we ask:

Let’s get personal! Do you sing in the shower?

Who doesn’t? Also, it’s important that it always be the catchiest, most annoying song on the radio that you pretend to hate around your friends. That’s obligatory.

Sing loud, sing proud! Are you usually early, late, or on time?

So early that it’s embarrassing. I have a crippling fear of being late to things, so I start driving way, way before I need to. I’ve spent more time standing around like an idiot than I care to admit because of that.

You just did admit it, and that’s okay! Do you like bacon salty or sweet?

Sweet. As close to candy as you can get without ruining the meat. If I can’t feel myself getting older and fatter with every bite, then it’s still not sweet enough.

Delicious! What would you name your pet gorilla?

Bubbles, obviously.

Obviously! Cook in or eat out?

Eat out whenever possible. Might not save on money or calories, but you don’t have to cook, clean the table, or replace the groceries you used. I’m five kinds of lazy so I’m a huge fan of eating out.

I love it! Flash me! Write us a flash fiction story, no more than 50 words please!

She turned her back to him, her eyes drained of their usual glimmer. He stood still as a statue. She whispered something, weakly. He collapsed to his knees. Then it was over. She was gone, and the severed wings in his hands crumbled away, like sawdust.

Ooo, I want to know more! Which season defines you?

Autumn. The way it falls apart, but is made more beautiful by it. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the crisp, cold air all feels like home to me.

Oh, wow! That’s the best description of autumn I’ve heard! Thank you, Brad, for sharing with us! Support Brad by checking out the links! Then, come back next Friday for some sweet, sweet bacon and another author!

Happy reading! 🙂

Questions that Matter with Joseph Carrabis

I asked the questions that matter of Joseph Carrabis! But first, the book:

Now the questions!

Welcome, welcome! We shall start with: How did you meet your best friend? (Animals count here!)

I asked to borrow her typewriter so I could finish a term paper (indicates how long ago it was). Susan (wife/partner/Princess) and I were in a German class together in college. My typewriter died and I needed to finish a paper for English. To thank her, I asked if she’d like to go see a college production of Pippen. It was the snowiest night of the year (anybody remember the New England Blizzard of ‘78)? For who knows what reason we decided to go for a drive to the ocean (about twenty miles away). I had an Opel GT (think “mini-Corvette”) and managed to skid it off the road attempting to turn back. I asked if she was okay, she was, and said to hang on, I’d get us back to her apartment. I did and asked if she’d like to go to dinner sometime. Foolishly, she said yes. We’ve been together 41 years.

She was moved by your bravery! What is your most bizarre talent?

Had to ask Susan this one as I self-describe as “dulling and bore” hence, by definition, I can’t have a bizarre talent, let alone one that stands out as most bizarre among several bizarre talents.
Susan offered “directionality.” I seem to be one of those people, who like migratory species, has a magnetic sense. I’ve always had it. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that science caught up and said, “Oh, how ‘bout that. It seems some people also have a magnetic sense.”
Example: We often go for drives to no place in particular, just to get out. Doesn’t matter how far we travel or what backroads we’re on, when it’s time to start back I’ll know which way to go, which roads to take, how far to go on those roads, et cetera.
Personally, I think this ability stems from one of my first for-real jobs as an interstate trucker long before there were mobile phones and GPS. Might also stem from all the years I spent hiking and hitchhiking. However I acquired it, I’m happy to have it.

One of my awesome talents is getting lost! We would make a great team! Tell us something you’ve never told anyone else.

I have seventeen toes at the ends of each of my fingers.

*Is left speechless* If you were in a circus, what would your job be?

Bearded lady. I already have the beard so I’m halfway there.

I would think your toe-fingers would get you a job. Favorite drink?

A good, well aged, single-malt Scotch. One of my teachers, Calum, taught me how to enjoy Scotch. I’ve been grateful ever since.

I’ll drink to that! Describe your best pair of socks.

Susan is an amazing and gifted knitter. I benefit as much from her successful experiments as anyone. Once she had two skeins of yarn leftover from two different projects. I asked her to make me a pair of socks, one sock from one skein, the other sock from the other skein. These skeins were multicolored, one predominantly blues, the other predominantly reds.
I’ll wear these socks when I’m onstage, teaching, giving presentations, whenever I have to stand up in front of people, basically. For one thing, I know I’m wrapped in Susan’s love by the feel of the socks.
But another thing is that sometimes people will whisper to me that I’m wearing different color socks. Sometimes it’s not a whisper.
My response is always the same and is completely accurate; “They’re not mismatched. It’s the same information presented at different frequencies.”

When it’s made with love, it’s never mismatched! Now, flash me! Write me a flash fiction story, no more than 50 words, please!

They past us, silent, mourning, forgiving our stupidity. Our children’s future, gone. The right to decide their own fates, gone. We built the pyramids. Didn’t we have the right to climb them?
We defended ourselves. “Quantum Entropy! To observe is the change!”
The last, fading, asked, “What did you see?”

I love it! Thank you, Joseph, for giving us a glimpse into your mind! Support Joseph by checking out the new book! Then join me next Friday to show me your toe-fingers and read another interview!

Twitter: @JosephCarrabis

Happy reading! 🙂


Questions that Matter with Pat Spencer

I asked the questions that matter of Pat Spencer! But first, the book:

And now…

Welcome, Pat! Shark diving, bungee jumping, or skydiving?

Shark diving in the Bahamas. Our guide threw out a bucket of dead bloody fish and the sharks came. He told us to stay on the surface and hold fairly still, no flopping around. Most importantly, our guide said, “When I say to get out, do it now!” As we marveled at the sharks below, a bloom of small brown thimble jellyfish floated around us. Guess what? I didn’t get bit by a shark, but those jellyfish, they sting! Our guide said not to worry, the itch would only last a few days. His assistant pointed to brown circular scars (looked a lot like ringworm) that covered his arms, legs, and chest and said, “See, mine don’t itch anymore.”

Oh, my! Don’t touch the jellyfish! What superpower would you like to have for a day?

The power to talk to God. I have a question. I understand that God helps those who help themselves. But who helps those who can’t help themselves? Wo/man is not doing a decent job of this, so shouldn’t s/he be doing it?

What an interesting concept! Do you prefer the movie or the book?

I prefer the book, but I like to read the book first then see the movie. I enjoy comparing and knowing things from the book that were left out of the movie. 

So do I! Are you on the dance floor or a wallflower?

In all things, dance like nobody is watching.

The best advice ever! Do you believe in aliens?

Oh, my yes. How can one not believe? Within the googolplexian of square feet in space, I can’t imagine we are the only ones.

That’s a lot of space to fill! Would you rather fly on a dragon or meet a mermaid?

Fly on a dragon. Even though I live at the beach, snorkel, paddleboard, and kayak, I am not much of a swimmer. I’m more of a sinker. Would like to feel the wind in my face, my hair blowing back, as my dragon dives and swirls to show me the world from up so high I can’t see all the trash left by humans.

Someday if you find yourself sinking, maybe a mermaid will save you! What’s the most marvelous thing you have ever seen with your own eyes?

I am fortunate to have seen many marvelous things. As any parent, far and above is the first time I looked into the eyes of my newborn son and then years later, his daughter.

In nature, I have seen two most marvelous things. First is the Aura Borealis in Newfoundland, Canada. (Yes, I lived there for 2 ½ years). Most photos show the auras as shades of green and blue. Photos don’t do it justice. The one I witnessed was a wonderful cosmic blend of purples and blues with only touches of green. But its movement is what makes it profound. If spirits do rise above the earth, I am positive the Aura Borealis is them, arms linked as good friends, soaring overhead.

The second most marvelous thing appeared on a safari in South Africa. We stopped to watch a small group of elephants with a single calf standing at the side of a dirt path. As we waited to give them the right-a-way to walk in whichever direction they chose, we spotted two giraffes peeking out over the top of a tree. We whispered, “How can nature watching get any better than this?” Then three lions slipped out of the bush and walked in front of our jeep. They ignored us, the giraffes, and the elephants. They were on their way to the watering hole. Absolutely marvelous.

What an experience! Thank you, Pat, for giving us this experience! Support Pat by following the links below! Then, we’ll close our eyes so you can dance on over to our next interview, next Friday!

Twitter: @PatSpen57944605

The book:

Happy reading! 🙂

Questions that Matter with David Russell

I asked the questions that matter of David Russell! But first, the book:

Now the questions!

Hi, David! Let’s start with a good one: Have you ever had an imaginary friend? Tell us about them! ​

A lovely person on a chat line. We never met, so lots was left to the imagination.

Oh, the possibilities! Which is your favorite way to dance: with others or alone?

On my own; I am very clumsy, and I cannot embarrass anyone if/when I dance on my own.

Always dance like no one is watching! Are you high or low maintenance?

Low maintenance.

Very good! Do you eat broccoli stems or just the floret?

​Definitely eat the stems, for fiber and vitamin.

Good advice! Which Beatles song describes you?

Paperback Writer. I am an aspiring writer and that’s every aspiring writer’s anthem.

I think you’re right about that! Would you rather fly on a dragon or meet a mermaid? ​

​Meet a mermaid; the prospect is more alluring​.

Depends on the kind of mermaid, I suppose…What would you tell your younger self?​

Be alert to possible mistakes; do not flinch from making vital decisions.

Great advice! Thank you, David, for answering these very important questions! Support David by following the link below! Then sing our anthem while reading another important interview next Friday!

Happy reading! 🙂