Questions that Matter with John J. Parrino

Carnal Envy at Valencia High by [Parrino, John J.]

I asked the questions that matter of John J. Parrino! But first the book:

Now, we ask:

Hello, John! What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?

My weirdest scar is just below my chin, which is currently covered by a goatee. I busted my chin playing sandlot football in the twelfth grade while tackling a running back. Hit the guy way too high and my chin came crashing down on the top of his head, which was sporting a crew cut, so not much padding of hair to cushion the blow. We played without pads, hitting, tackling, crashing to the ground without benefit of anything to prevent serious injury. We were young and impulsive and crazy as hell. I ended up in the emergency room due to significant bleeding which required twelve stitches, and was back out on the field the very next weekend. Once again, crazy as hell.

But now you have the story to tell! How did you meet your best friend?

I met my best friend Dick as a child since, well, he’s my cousin who was born right down the street from me in our ethnic neighborhood. The character of Rick in my book is loosely based on him.

I suppose we had our first real bonding experience during early puberty. My mom got the bright idea that we needed dancing lessons to be attractive to the Latino girls in the neighborhood who loved to rumba, samba and tango. Dick and I bought the idea as a means-to-the-end of getting dates. What we didn’t anticipate: We had to dance with each other first. I got the worst part of the deal because my good friend was a foot taller than me. Thus during the tango, my head was stuck in the middle of his chest, which was already sprouting hair at an alarming rate. There is a comic illustration depicting that embarrassing scene in my book.

Real-life is the best inspiration! What’s your favorite cheesy pick-up line? Have you ever used it for real?

”By chance…any of you chicks from New Jersey.” Yes, I used the line quite regularly with Northern girls who visited the beach close to where I grew up in Florida. My gang of friends and I met lots of young ladies from up north, perhaps because of the quantum cheesiness of the line, which stopped them in their tracks (one of those odd gestures that compelled them to stop and investigate). It worked about 2% of the time.

Cheese is best left to the pizza! Do you know what your name means or who you were named after?

My last name Parrino, in the Sicilian dialect of Italian, means godfather. When I say that to others, they immediately think of the mafia godfather. It is, however, more akin to the Godfather who is your guardian, typically a good friend or family member. So ironically, I called my godfather parrino. If you want to pronounce it correctly, you must roll the r’s, Par…rrr…eno.  

Rrrrright! Were you the class clown or teacher’s pet?

I was the class clown, but a closeted one. That is, I wasn’t like some of the outrageous guys in my school that jumped out of a second story classroom for a laugh or threw condoms at the student council president as he made his announcement (I went to a rather rough inner city school). Nope, I was the guy who sat behind you and whispered goofy things so you would giggle out loud for the entire class to hear…”I’ll bet you fifty bucks Mr. Gomez isn’t wearing any underpants today.”

And let them take the fall! Let us see your TV show Friends “Five Celebrities” list!

Sigmund Freud would make my list (perhaps not officially a celebrity) because I’m a Psychologist and, even though I don’t practice as a Freudian, he was a bona fide genius who was the first to tap the workings of the unconscious mind.

Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David for coming up with the greatest comedic ideas for a sitcom.

Lawrence Sanders, author of twenty or so of the best mysteries I have read, including the Deadly Sins series, particularly the Third Deadly Sin.

Matt Damon for many of my favorite movies, particularly The Talented Mr. Ripley.

A lot of talent in that list! Flash me! Write us a flash fiction story, no more than 50 words please!

Joey desperately wants to be a babe magnet like his best friend Rick, but he doesn’t have the right stuff. One day, he accidentally discovers his brain, uses it to become a Shrink and solves the mystery of his neurotic need to compete with Rick: Carnal envy.

That story sounds familiar….Thank you, John, for joining us today! Support John by checking out the book! Then, brush the chest hair off your face and join us for another fun interview!

Happy reading! 🙂

Questions that Matter with Tam May

False Fathers: Waxwood Series: Book 2 by [May, Tam]

I asked the questions that matter of Tam May! But first, the book:

Check out Tam May’s other interview as well!

Now, the new questions!

Hello again, Tam! What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?

It’s on the palm of my left hand, in the corner, near my thumb. When I was a teenager, a neighbor of ours asked my sister and I to cat sit for her while she was on vacation. We went over to her house and fed the cats and played with them. One day, one of the cats I was playing with just sort of stared at me like I was an alien and then suddenly howled and raised her paw and swiped at my hand. It made a gash that left the scar. Actually, you can’t really see it all that much now, as it’s faded over time.

Me-ouch! How did you meet your best friend?

This was when I was doing my undergraduate degree. I was living in Israel at the time, so I went to an Israeli university. I majored in English literature and linguistics, a no brainer for me, since all the classes were in English, and I love literature. There were several Americans in the class, and a woman named Becky was one of them. We took to one another right away. She’s ten years older than I am and very, very wise and fun to be with. She’s a rabbi’s wife, but she and her husband, though Orthodox Jews, have a very different outlook on life than most Orthodox Jews. She taught me a lot about life and about how to treat people and how to see myself as a worthy person who has a lot to give people. She gave me a lot of encouragement in my writing, telling me not to stop, as I am a wonderful writer and have a lot to give readers. We’re still friends, though she’s living in Israel, and we don’t see one another often. All my books are dedicated to her and to my sister.

A sweet story! What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?

Painting! I love paintings, and I use them for my book covers. But when it comes to any kind of visual art, I have two left hands :-). I can’t even draw stick figures straight. It’s a little ironic, actually, as when I was a teenager, my parents took me to a place where they do all kinds of tests that are supposed to tell you what would be your ideal career based on your skills and personality. I remember the woman there telling me that all the tests showed that I would make a great graphic designer. Go figure!

Two left hands—I love it! What do you think the best invention is?

Well, this might be a little contradictory, since I write historical fiction, but to me, it’s the personal computer. I’m a child of the 80’s, and I remember when the first Apple desktop computers came out. My dad is a retired engineer and was always really into computers. He bought the second Apple desktop model and taught us how to use it. Throughout my teen years, we had Apple computers in our house. I’m a huge die-hard fan of Mac computers, which is funny, because my dad has long ago moved to a PC. To me, computers have become a necessity in our modern age. So much of our lives are conducted with computers, even if we’re not a part of social media or we don’t have an internet connection. I know there’s a lot of controversy about the benefits and drawbacks of our digital age, but it’s a reality that we can’t avoid.

It helped us make this interview, so…I agree! Do you have a nickname? If not, give yourself one now!

Actually, Tam is my nickname. I didn’t give it to myself. My twin sister gave it to me. My real name is Rotem and a lot of people find it difficult to pronounce. When we were teens, my sister started calling me Tam, short for Rotam, which the way a lot of people pronounce my real name. I liked the nickname, and it became my writing persona. I don’t think I could write under any other name!

A lovely gift! Thank you, Tam, for coming to play with us again! Support Tam by checking out her past interview and the links! Then, untangle your left hands and join us next Friday for another author!

Contact Links:

Past interview:







Happy reading! 🙂

Questions that Matter with Sarah Dickinson

I asked the questions that matter of Sarah Dickinson! But first, the book:

Now, the questions!

Welcome, Sarah! What’s your favorite cheesy pick-up line? Have you ever used it for real? 

My favorite pick-up line, and yes indeedy I have used it, goes as such: walking up to fine individual you would like to know, you seductively suck on your index finger. Then you pop finger out of your mouth, tap them and yourself on the shoulder before asking, “what do you say you and I go get out of these wet clothes” When they finish laughing at you, you now try to find your pride.

Did it work? What would you want to be written on your tombstone?

I hate to admit that after finding out that there is a place in PA that will turn your cremated ashes into a firecracker I fully intend to have my fat ass shot over the ocean as loved ones celebrate the moments we shared together. But in any memorial plaque made for me I know my children will quote Garth Brooks, “Our lives are better left to chance. I could have missed the pain, but I would have missed the dance.”

You’re a firework! What’s your favorite word?

Hands down my favorite word is fuck. It’s a noun, verb, adjective. You can use it as a period, exclamation point, comma, and word enhancer. It changes meaning depending on its tone. Can be an entire sentence on its own, but you can build a complete sentence using just that and it is still grammatically correct. ex…fuck fucking fuckers.

And it rhymes well, so it’s great for use in poetry! What would you name your boat if you had one?

It would be named “hold my hair” as I would be vomiting far too much. As I can get sea sick standing on a dock, and in some cases in the middle of strong waves waist deep in the ocean water.

Maybe a boat in a bottle would be better? What is one of your favorite quotes?

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children…William Makepeace Thackeray

Insightful! Do you know what your name means? Or who were you named after?

While I know Sarah means princess, the far better story is that when my mother was pregnant with me she fully intended to name me Jennifer. Now my mother despised nicknames and picked Jennifer because she figured the worst she’d hear me called was Jen. Fast forward to my delivery, her best friend (a nurse) was with her when my speedy and emergent arrival happened. She made sure I & my mother made it safely and cashed in those indispensable person chips immediately. She sent flowers to the room with a card that said, To a Niffer From a Nuffer….and my mother immediately changed my name to Sarah.

And Sarah is a lovely name to have! Never trust a person who doesn’t like…

Music! I have a list of standby classics that are my personal test. If I play these songs, and you do not sing along…passionately…you are not a person I need in my life. They include Paradise by the Dashboard Lights, Bohemian Rhapsody, the Piano Man, Friends in Low Places, and Iron Man to name a few.

An eclectic mix! Thank you, Sarah, for entertaining us today! Support Sarah by checking out the links! Then, find your sea-legs and join us next Friday for another fun interview!

Happy reading! 🙂

Questions that Matter with Leon Stevens


I asked the questions that matter of Leon Stevens! The book will be out in January, so check out Leon’s website for more info!

The questions, please!

Glad to have you here, Leon! What is one of your favorite quotes?

Commitment is doing what you said you would do, long after the mood that you said it in has gone. I read that in a Bear Grylls book.

A brave choice! Do you eat broccoli stems or just the floret?

Both. After I’m done Choppin’ Broccolay!* Want to know something odd? Of course you do. I prefer cooked broccoli over raw, but raw cauliflower over cooked. What’s up with that!

*SNL reference

That is so weird—and we love it!! Would you go out in space if given the opportunity?

I most certainly would! No hesitation. Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with space. My father would read me space stories at night, so I credit him. Can I take him too?

I’d bet he’d go…

Of course you can! It would be lonely to go by yourself! What would you tell your younger self?

I wrote some prose on this about a month ago.

                                                      What I Want to be When I’m Young

I want to listen more. To the people who know better. To the people who say don’t make the same mistakes that they did. Learning from mistakes? Sure, we do have to make errors in life sometimes, but what’s wrong with looking up how to spell a word or use spell-check…? Nothing.

I want to set goals. Obtainable ones. Despite what people say, you can’t be anything you want to be. That’s a lie. There are some things that you just won’t be able to do. Although, by trying and failing, you do find out what you are good at.

I want to be a better student. I didn’t try my best. I didn’t understand the importance of learning. I think that I needed glasses.

I want to not be a quitter. Piano, guitar, sports. I should have tried harder. Much harder.

I want to make my parents proud. They say they are, but I know different…

I want to save 10% of all my earnings. I shudder to do the calculations. I never made a lot but my father-in-law always said that compound interest was the eighth wonder of the world. He was right.

I want to be brave. Not reckless, just not so afraid.

I want to stay awake so that I can see Halley’s Comet.

That was touching! Thank you! Now flash me! Write us a flash fiction story, no more than 50 words please!

16, 17, 18. That’s not going to be enough. Not even close. Yea, I have the degree and they are just wrench monkeys, but I would give my little toe for those skills now. What’s that saying? “Necessity is the mother of invention”? Well, here goes one big necessity…or one big mother…

Nailed it! Do you have an irrational fear?

Nope, all my fears are based on scientific fact.

That’s the spirit! If you had to live without one of the five senses, which sense do you give up?

You only have 5?

Alas, I am naught but a little bird of peace! Thank you, Leon, for sharing your quirky side! Support Leon by checking out the links and eagerly waiting to buy the book! Then, tap into your extra senses and join us next Friday for another interview!



Happy reading! 🙂







Questions that Matter with Garth Pettersen

The Dane Law: The Atheling Chronicles: #2 by [Pettersen, Garth]

I asked the questions that matter of Garth Pettersen! But first, the book:

Now, the questions!

Hello, Garth! What is the hardest part of being an author?

I think it is getting through the low spots when I lack motivation and my inner critic has the microphone. The only cure is to just write. Or to read something that addresses the issue, such as Dean Wesley Smith’s Writing Into the Dark––and then writing.

The best advice! In your opinion, what is the best Disney animated movie?

 I have always been fascinated by the animation in Pinocchio. When I was a kid a long, long time ago, we all watched The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights. One offering involved the animation for Pinocchio. For the rain storm, the animators took time lapse photos of milk drops striking the surface of a bowl of milk. If you’ve ever seen such an image the droplet forms a crown-shaped crater, then the edges tsunami in and send a column skyward, tossing a droplet above it, making the whole thing look like a handwritten letter i. The animators copied this progression, shot for shot. If you watch Pinocchio, wait for the rain.

I will after hearing that! What’s the meaning of life?

 To find it yourself.

Everyone get looking! What would you want to be written on your tombstone?

“He wasn’t always an asshole.”

Honesty! What is one of your favorite quotes?

Oscar Wilde’s last words: “Either that wall paper goes, or I do.”

Hopefully someone removed the wallpaper! If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be? 

I think it would be a natural cataclysmic occurrence rather than a human one. Humans can be so disappointing. What if Lincoln had a squeaky voice, or Caesar was an obnoxious jerk? I would like to share a drink with Teddy Roosevelt in a saloon when he was a cattle rancher. He’d be fascinating to talk to. I don’t think he’d disappoint. Regarding natural events, I might wish to see the eruption of Vesuvius (from the water), which destroyed Pompeii, or when the Atlantic broke through at Gibraltar and formed the Mediterranean.

You have a need for adventure—fantastic! What do you think the best invention is?

The written word.

Yes, indeed! Never trust a person who doesn’t like…


I couldn’t agree more! What’s the most marvelous thing you have ever seen with your own eyes?

When I was a young man I once worked in a fly-in logging camp at the head of a fiord on the coast of British Columbia. From the bunkhouses, one could view a lovely, ribbon-like waterfall and the glacier above it. One Sunday––the one day of the week we had off––a big chunk of ice must have dammed the glacial run-off because the waterfall stopped. My workmates and I watched for maybe ten minutes until the building water pressure broke through. But what cascaded first was ice and snow. It piled at the bottom in an inverted funnel shape, until a number of minutes passed and the running water came once again. I have never heard of anyone reporting seeing such a thing.

Now you have, and we are all happy you did! Which Harry Potter character are you? 

Harry Potter, of course. I would want to be the hero, to have all the action and drama swirl around me. But if you ask which character would I like to portray as an actor my response would be, “Could I play Snape?”

Either choice is great! Flash me! Write us a flash fiction story, no more than 50 words please!

Raising the Bar

            “We’ve almost got it fixed.”

            “It’s about time. It’s cold out there.”

            “Took us a while to find a part.”

            Andrew hung up and looked out the window. The first chair approached the offload. The restraining bar remained down. The four seated skiers sat unmoving–a macabre sculpture in ice.

Excellent! That was more than seven questions, but I’m bad at math, so we’ll pretend otherwise! Thank you, Garth, for sharing your wisdom! Support Garth by checking out the book and links! Then ride the waterfall to next Friday when we share in another author’s wisdom!

Happy reading! 🙂

Questions that Matter with Merve Derya Yazicioglu

A Life Lost by [Yazicioglu, Merve Derya]

I asked the questions that matter of Merve Derya Yazicioglu! But first, the book:

Now, the questions!

Hello, Merve! Let’s get personal: what is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?

I have a scar right above my forehead which I got after I got tripped in primary school from a hill. I was a very quiet kid and rarely went out at the school breaks and that was my first and ended up at the hospital. I got a few stitches. It’s a weird story.

We love weird stories here! How did you meet your best friend?

I met my best friend on a penpal website. She emailed me and we added each other on Facebook. That was that until the summer of 2013 I believe. We send snail mails so often and now she lives in France and I moved to the Netherlands. I met her for the first time last summer and hopefully, I am going to see her this year again!

BFF’s! On a scale from 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you?

It is 1. Even though my eyesight is awful and I have glasses that do not work at times, I can see in the dark. I have some cat attributes: being annoying and very active at night.

Do you also knock random objects off counter tops? What’s your favorite word?

Marvellous as I am very much of an old soul. I was told I sound like an old lady when I say Marvellous in a standard British English accent.

Fantastic! What’s your biggest screw up in the kitchen?

I was a brilliant baker as a child when my mum helped me. I had times I was awfully bad at it. For instance, when I first moved abroad-this girl had no idea what “cooking” meant. Even though I cooked a lot with my sister, mum, and grandmother, I was a fish out of water. So as genius as it comes, I boiled pasta in an electric kettle. Never told anyone except my boyfriend and family. I’m still being teased about it to this day.

So long as nothing caught fire! What’s your favorite sound?

The sound of rain hitting the window and the crackling sound of fireplace-candle.

A rainy day reading by the fireplace! Perfect! Are you usually early, late, or on time?

It is not a big deal. I just arrive an hour before things are supposed to start. The first year I started my university education, I used to be at school 2 hours earlier so I could study and relax.

The early bird gets the education! Thank you, Merve, for joining my quirky squad! Support Merve by clicking on the links below. Then, show up early next Friday for another fun interview!


Happy reading! 🙂


Questions that Matter with Pupola

Never One by [Pupola]

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

Now, we ask:

Welcome, Pupola! What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?

Hang gliding

A great choice! In your opinion, what is the best Disney animated movie?


An unusual choice! What is your most bizarre talent?

Tongue rolling

An interesting choice! What’s the color of your toothbrush?


A beautiful choice! What’s the meaning of life?

A leaf blowing in the wind then getting shredded while being sucked into a black hole. Finally, jumping out of the black hole as an orange tree bigger than the black hole.

A bold choice! On a scale from 1-5, how afraid of the dark are you?


A brave choice! And finally, what’s your favorite word?


An amusing choice! Thank you, Pupola, for sharing your choices with us! Support Pupola by clicking on the links below! Then, let your leaf blow in the wind and join us next Friday for another new author!

Twitter: @_pupola_

Happy reading! 🙂