Author Interview: J.D. Oldenburg #authorinterview

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome J.D. Oldenburg, author of Horatio And The Fear Of Dying, for an author Interview.

About the author:

J.D. Oldenburg (Jose Diaz-Oldenburg) grew up with an unusually intense fear of death. He didn’t suffer trauma or family member’s death in his early youth, yet as a little kid he often sat with his parents to ask concerned questions about the subject. Conversations about death took place almost every evening. Some nights he understood, some nights he feared.
At the early age of nine, he confronted his anxiety by penning a short tale titled “La Muerte de la Muerte” or, Death of Death. A short story inspired by Jim Henson’s 1997 adaptation of an old Russian Folktale called The Soldier and Death.
In early 2015, La Muerte de la Muerte showed up hidden between old books in the family library and a new idea was born. Horatio and The Fear of Dying would come to life.
Armed with a bachelor’s degree in film, a couple of highly encouraging rejection letters, and seven years of experience in film production and advertising, J.D. felt compelled to bypass traditional publishing and retain full control of the final product. He built his creative team through persistence, trial and error, and craigslist ads. After locking the right artists, they embarked on an almost three-year process to the final creation released now.
J.D. hopes the book will help kids all over the world ease this universal fear and gain a strengthened sense of adventure about life.

Horatio and The Fear of Dying comes to Kickstarter October 3rd, 2017 – It will be available for shipping worldwide.

J.D. Oldenburg lives in Los Angeles, California.

Contact Details:

Websitehttp://www.jdoldenburg.com
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/jdoldenburg/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/jd_oldenburg
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/j.d.oldenburg/


Hello, J.D. Thank you for being here today.

Can you please tell my readers about your ambitions for your writing career?

I am a film maker as well as an author. I aspire to lead my books into becoming movies.

My biggest aspiration with Horatio is to move kids into a place of less fear earlier in life.

Which writers inspire you?

J.K. Rowling inspired me to write my first novel when I was a scared teen who wanted to feel brave, and Neil Gaiman inspires a lot of ideas at the moment. They are both great at adding elements of real humanity to their fantasy worlds.

Eckhart Tolle inspires me as well. Though not a fiction writer, his through understanding of self has made me a better human and a better writer.

Tell us about your book?

Horatio and The Fear of Dying was inspired by Jim Henson’s adaptation of an 1850s Russian folktale called The Soldier and Death.

It is the story of a little boy who manages to kidnap death to save his family. Along the lines, he accidentally kidnaps the joy of living as well and must mend the cycle he has broken.

How long did it take you to write it?

It’s been a long process, I wrote the first draft in one sitting, inspired by a little tale I wrote when I was 9, after watching the aforementioned Jim Henson show. It took months of revisiting and sitting with my editor to get it finalized.

In addition to writing it, I drew sketch concepts and found all the artists involved through online ads. The whole process from conception to the final book took about three years.

Are you working on any other project(s) right now? If yes, what are they?

I’m finalizing the publishing house so it’s ready for the book, and I have a line of greeting cards on amazon I’m really excited about because it supports the artists who paint them with royalties.

I’ll also have a horror coming of age novel titled The Feeder ready in a year or two. It’s based on a film I made in college, which you can see here: https://youtu.be/NIx1vbOH8bs. Though it’s packed with scares, it’s message remains one of growth and hope. Horror just seems to be the best genre to break into the film industry.

Why have you chosen this genre?

I love magic realism. I think you can plant deep messages in people’s minds in a really beautiful way with it.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve been telling stories for as long as a I can remember.

Why do you write?

Because I have to. I have the best time doing it. When an idea finally comes, I fall in love with it and it almost becomes more real than the world around me. I like being in that place.

Where do your ideas come from?

Tough one. Where does any thought come from? The ether, I think. Most of my ideas have come from dreams. It’s odd to call them mine, because I feel they came to me, I didn’t come up with them. I don’t have that many, either, I don’t think I’ll be one of those authors who put out hundreds of books in their career, I don’t know how they do it.

How do you prefer to write? On computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

I like the laptop. Sorry if that’s uncool. I do free-write on a notepad, but thoughts and ideas only, never a draft of the story.

What are your 5 favorite books and 5 favorite authors?

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle is the only book I can say I’ve consumed more than ten times. Each time I do it leaves me something new.

The Harry Potter series changed me because I wanted to feel brave like Harry but I didn’t think I was, not really. I took to writing so I could have my own hero.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is almost a rethought model of The Jungle Book. I love his prose, it’s amazing.

I’m currently reading Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear. He takes his time with the book and I’m definitely not bored so I’ll list him too.

I’m a fan coming of age stories and idealized nostalgia, and Stephen Chbosky did an amazing job both penning and directing The Perks of Being a Wall Flower.

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

By watching movies and re-reading books that got me writing in the first place. I try to turn on my writer/film maker mode and really notice why these stories moved me,

so I can re-discover why I was writing in the first place.

What advice would you give to new aspiring authors?

Enjoy the process. The result is only a reminder of the time and energy you put into achieving it. If you didn’t enjoy writing it, finishing it will turn out disappointing. I think this ends up being true for both you and your audience.

Thank you, J.D., for all your enlightening answers! 


About The Book:

Once upon a time… a brave boy named Horatio challenged and conquered Death, dawning everlasting life over his Kingdom. But as life and death are in love, one without the other became joyless. Soon, Horatio must mend the cycle he has broken.

Horatio And The Fear Of Dying was inspired by Jim Henson’s 1997 TV adaptation of the famous 1850s Russian Folktale, The Soldier And Death.

 

Book Links:

Book site: http://www.horatioandthefearofdying.com
Book Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Horatioandthefearofdying/
Book Twitter: https://twitter.com/horatiostory
Book Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/horatioandthefearofdying/


For more author interviews, click here.

If you are an author and wish to be interviewed or if you are a publicist and want to get your author interviewed on TRB, then please get in touch through direct e-mail: thereadingbud@gmail.com

Author Interview: Serina Adham

Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome Serina Adham, author of Lulu’s Balallam-Bam-Bam Grooves, for an author Interview.

About the author:

Serina Adham drew on her experience as a dancer and dance instructor to give you this fun new adventure with Lulu and all her animal friends. She hopes that Lulu will teach children to enthusiastically follow their dreams but also consider the effects they have on others.

Adham lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition to teaching dance, Adham has also worked as a jewelry and clothing designer and an interior designer. She has one fearless, dancing and singing daughter of her own.

Contact Details:

Website: https://www.adhambooks.com
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17117983.Serina_Adham


Hello, Serina. Thank you for being here today.

Can you please tell my readers about your ambitions for your writing career?

I am looking forward to publishing many more books.

Which writers inspire you?

As far as children’s books, My favourite writers are Dr. Seuss and Enid Blyton. As for adult fiction, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchet.

Tell us about your book?

It’s about a gorilla that loves to dance but is unaware here actions cause a huge disturbance in the jungle. I wanted to show children in a fun and interactive way that they can do what they love but also be thoughtful of others.

How long did it take you to write it?

This story started off as very differently, it took a year until I was happy with it and a little longer for the illustrations to be done.

Are you working on any other project(s) right now? If yes, what are they?

Yes I have Three stories that are in the final editing stages, unlike Lulu they were much easier and faster to write.

They are also about life lessons but with a playful and fun theme also involving animals and a little bit of magic as well.

Why have you chosen this genre?

I have a daughter of my own and I thinks books are one of the best ways to connect with kids and teach them life lessons.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I have always been a writer but I decided to call myself a writer, about ten years ago when I realized that this is what I would love my career to be.

Why do you write?

It is the best way to bring to life all that I imagine.

Where do your ideas come from?

Hard to pin point where exactly, I grew up with an over active imagination, and so grew up with many of these characters that I later developed into stories.

How do you prefer to write? On computer/laptop, typewriter, dictation or longhand with a pen?

I love the feel of a pen in hand and pen on paper, and have this strange love for notebooks especially ones filled with my scribbles.

What are your 5 favorite books and 5 favorite authors?

  1. Terry Pratchet: Mort,
  2. Douglas Adams: The Long Dark Tea time of the soul..
  3. Ann Rice: Lasher.
  4. Paulo Coelho: The Alchemist.
  5. Amy Tan: The Joy Luck Club
  6. Neil Gaiman: Good Omens

How do you deal with Writer’s Block?

I make a cup of tea and just scribble whatever comes to mind, otherwise I do something else creative like painting, dancing, designing or sewing. When I am being creative in another way it always feeds and refreshes my imagination and creativity.

What advice would you give to new aspiring authors?

If you love to write, just keep writing. Don’t edit too much, do that at the end.

Write about what you love, what you know and trust your instincts, however every now and then it’s good to get some feedback from another writer maybe or editor, or life partner as in my case.

Thank you, Serina, for all your answers! 


About The Book:

There is nothing Lulu loves more than dancing by herself. With each new song, she practices the “Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves.” She slides her feet, claps her hands, and bumps her hips against a tree trunk.
There is just one problem. Lulu is a gorilla! When she stamps her feet and shakes the trees, she ends up disturbing all the other animals in her jungle home. Poor Squin Squirrel cannot even sip his nut tea without Lulu’s dancing rattling his tree home. Squin and the other animals try to tell Lulu that her dancing is disruptive, but they cannot get through to the gorilla.
Then, Lulu’s loud music and dancing ends up waking up the mighty king of the jungle. The angry lion Jhawfors then confronts Lulu with the problem. Will the animals be able to find a compromise?
This rhyming children’s tale imparts valuable lessons to young readers. Lulu does not want to stop doing what she loves, but she needs to understand that her actions affect others. Through Lulu, children will learn the importance of respect, compassion, and compromise.

Book Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=lulu%27s+ballalam+bam+bam+grooves+kindle
Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36104433-lulu-s-ballam-bam-bam-grooves 


For more author interviews, click here.

If you are an author and wish to be interviewed or if you are a publicist and want to get your author interviewed on TRB, then please get in touch through direct e-mail: thereadingbud@gmail.com

Downtime

I’ve been feeling down from a long time and finally, after a lot of cloudy days and a ton of brooding and despair, I’ve finally started pulling myself out of depression. I’ve been suffering from depression since the age of 10, so it’s always on and off with me, but this time it really hit me hard. And the worst part is, I’m not even sure what caused it; maybe one thing in particular or the other, or maybe it was the sum of all or maybe it was just because of something someone said or did. In any case, I’m not even sure if that matters anymore because I’ve been trying to find the reason for months now only to find myself stumbling in a dark maze of not-so-good thoughts.

In the past few months I tried to get out of this dark spell a number of times, but surprisingly nothing worked at all and the vacations we took, the impromptu shopping sprees, all the expensive food and booze, nothing… absolutely nothing worked. I tried crying too, but that just made things worse and pulled me further down.

The thing that really pains me though is that I hate to do this to the one person who lives with me, the only person who actually loves me and cares for me – Vishal. My depression affects him, a lot more than he shows and I know this, and to be honest, that’s one of the reasons, or maybe it’s the only reason I try to not make things worse by doing stupid things like fighting, arguing, or attempting different ways of self-harming. It’s very frustrating at times; sometimes my suicidal tendencies get the best of me, sometimes anger does and sometimes hurt, but this time it was sadness. And trust me, sadness was the worst of them all.

Vishal’s been so patient with me and it is his patience that makes it possible for me to even come out of my depression. It is his love for me that makes me believe in myself and my capabilities to deal with it all. God only knows how exhausting it might be for him to be in a relationship with me. I am so fucking grateful to have him in my life. It is his and only his presence that keeps me sane and functional… and even alive. And so I’ve decided that I’ve spent enough time in the dark abyss and have pulled him down enough too. It stops here. I feel like I’ve wasted enough time already worrying about things that I shouldn’t have even thought about in the first place, that don’t even matter and that can’t even touch me. So, I’m just going to pull myself together and start my normal daily routine. I need to start practising gratitude again because it is the one thing that makes me feel sane and calm. Why? I have no idea. It just does, just like meditation, so I’m gonna do these two things and try to get back into the swing of things at work and at home.

Eva is such a blessing in our lives and now that I have almost finished the 2 critique projects I’ve been working on, I have all the time in the world to be with her and Vishal. I’m just going to be grateful for the beautiful life I have and for the most amazing husband and the most adorable fur-baby and be happy. And when Vishal gets some time off from work, we’ll hunt for a GSD pup. I’ve bounced back from depression so many times now that I’ve practically lost the count, so I’m just going to do it again. I am just going to take this all slow and steady till I get back to where I was emotionally a few months back to promote Deceived and write Sinister Town.

I am just going to take this all slow and steady till I get back to where I was emotionally before and resume promoting Deceived and writing Sinister Town.

BTW, if you ever feel down or low, listen to Nothing Else Matters by Metallica and everything will start to feel unreal and I bet you’ll start to get high just by listening to this beautiful, beautiful song. And a lot of things will start to make sense.

I am not going to apologise for my emotional rant because this post is really important to me – first, it helped me unload my emotional burden and really made me feel a lot better and second, this post helped me Freewrite. So, peace out! 🙂

Ciao ❤