6-million-viewed webcomic series to hit bookshelves

Acclaimed TV series animator expands storytelling to graphic novel that modernizes classic horror for YA

“A wickedly sharp adventure!”

ND Stevenson, New York Times bestselling and Eisner-award winning creator of Nimona and co creator of the Lumberjanes series

LOS ANGELES, California – After amassing a dedicated fandom with over 180,000 unique visitors to theglassscientists.com and more than 6 million views (and counting) on TikTok’s #TheGlassScientists, S.H. Cotugno is releasing the first volumized edition of their delightful webcomic inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Glass Scientists: Volume 1 (Razorbill, Oct 3, 2023). Having worked in the animation industry as a director, writer and storyboard artist on hit shows such as Gravity Falls, The Owl House and Star vs. the Forces of Evil, series creator Cotugno dazzles readers with a warm-hearted gaslamp fantasy starring Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein and more. The series is perfect for young adults and debuts just in time for Halloween!

The Glass Scientists follows Dr. Henry Jekyll who, determined to help reshape the nasty public image of his fellow mad scientists, creates the Society for Arcane Sciences  a place where a colorful cast of like-minded eccentrics could come together to defy the laws of nature in peace. When a mysterious stranger arrives to take the Society in a new direction, Jekyll’s life spirals out of control, shattering his carefully laid plans, and threatening to expose his darkest secrets.

Perfect for fans of Lore Olympus, The Adventure Zone, and The Night Circus, this beloved webcomic of mad science and misunderstood Victorian monsters is publishing in print for the first time!

“The Glass Scientists: Volume 1”

S.H. Cotugno | October 3, 2023 | Razorbill | Graphic Novel (12+) / Fantasy

Hardcover | 9780593524428 | $24.99

S. H. COTUGNO is a queer and mixed-race Victorian horror nerd born and raised in Los Angeles, California. They are a director, writer and storyboard artist in the animation industry and have previously worked on projects such as Gravity Falls, The Owl House and Star vs. the Forces of Evil. The Glass Scientists will be their first published graphic novel. You can see more of their work at SeeGoatRun.com.

Follow S . H. COTUGNO on social media:

Facebook: @arythusa | TikTok: @arythusa

Twitter: @arythusa | Instagram: @arythusa

In an interview, S. H. Cotugno can discuss:

  • What personally inspired them to produce a Jekyll/Hyde graphic novel retelling
  • How retelling a classic story helped them explore gender and sexuality
  • How The Glass Scientists’ story helped them through creative heartbreak
  • How their acclaimed work on shows like Gravity Falls, Star vs. The Forces of Evil and The Owl House influenced this series
  • The story’s themes of duality and self-acceptance, and its reflection in their own life
  • Why taking a classic gothic horror story and making it more accessible to young readers is not only fun but important
  • Their decision to create The Glass Scientists as a webcomic that has since amassed millions of views and a loyal fanbase
  • The ways that monsters and mad scientists can be empowering characters to people from marginalized identities

An Interview with

S. H. Cotugno

1. Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde is such a classic and inspiring story! What went into your decision to re-tell this story in your graphic novel? How did you turn this classic into something modern young readers can relate to?

As a mixed-race, bisexual, and nonbinary person, I’ve always been drawn to stories about characters caught between two worlds. I can’t think of a character who embodies that experience more than Dr. Jekyll, a man so desperate to fit himself into the boxes society laid out for him that he literally splits his soul in two. But I totally get why young readers would be reluctant to pick up a 140-year-old novella, especially one where everyone already knows the twist at the end. Yeah, we get it, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were the same person the whole time! So I wanted to reimagine Dr. Jekyll, as well as Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Moreau, and all my other favorite mad scientists, in a fun and fast-placed story that both eager and reluctant readers could fall in the love with.

2. Why is The Glass Scientists important to you on a personal level?

Among other things, the Glass Scientists helped me discover my transgender identity. The story has gone through so many changes over the years, but somehow I always knew exactly what Jekyll looked like. I hadn’t heard the term “transition goals” yet, but I started to suspect that something might be up after more than one reader messaged me saying that his “egg crack” moment (the moment someone realizes they are trans) had something to do with him. I always got so excited when I received those messages, but I couldn’t quite articulate why until a friend sent me a Glass Scientists fanfiction depicting Jekyll as a trans man. This was one of the first–if not the first–time I had seen transmasculine representation, and it kickstarted my long and messy journey of gender exploration. 

3. The Glass Scientists was originally a webcomic. What went into your decision to share it online?

Since I work in the animation industry, people often ask, “Why didn’t you pitch The Glass Scientists as a TV show?” But the range of stories deemed marketable for TV animation is incredibly narrow, and it was even narrower when I started in the business ten years ago. Series aimed at young adults were incredibly rare, and queer representation was virtually unheard-of. But I knew there was an audience out there for stories like this, even if studio mandates and focus groups insisted otherwise. I tested the waters with a mini-comic funded through Kickstarter, and after I blew past all my stretch goals, I decided to take the plunge and commit all my nights and weekends to the sordid webcomic lifestyle. 

4. You have such an impressive resume of shows like Gravity Falls, Star vs. The Forces of Evil and The Owl House. How did your experience working on those shows influence this series?

I was so lucky to begin my career working on incredible shows that just happened to line up with the kinds of stories I wanted to tell, balancing fantastical worlds with relatable characters and conflicts. My time on those projects, working alongside some of the most talented artists and writers in the industry, taught me everything I know about visual storytelling. I’m sure you can see the Gravity Falls influence on my sense of comedic timing or the Owl House vibes in some of the more gruesome monsters who show up later in the story. Fans of those shows will find plenty to like here!

5. Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde is definitely a more gothic tale, but you’ve made it so colorful and vibrant. How did you incorporate more humor into the story?

The Glass Scientists deals with some pretty intense themes, from self-loathing to internalized homophobia. But if you start your story in a completely dark and dreary place, it’s easy to say: “This guy barely has anything to live for to begin with, so does it really matter if a few more terrible things happen to him?” But if you saw him at his best, when the future seemed bright and full of promise, you know exactly how much he has to lose. My hope is: if I can get you to laugh along with my characters, you’re more likely to care when I throw them off a cliff. 

6. You recently started a TikTok and have put a lot of effort into connecting directly with your fans. Does interacting with your readership on a daily basis affect your creative process?

I’ve been posting my work online since the days of Elfwood and Gaia Online, but nothing I’ve ever posted before has gathered a loyal following like the Glass Scientists. The fact that people show up week after week and even make their own fanart, fanfiction, cosplays, and crafts based on my characters is a privilege I never take for granted. It’s particularly fun when you get to know your most frequent commenters and think, “I bet RB will have a hot take on this one,” or “I think Arin will love this drawing of Lanyon.” Of course, having that personal relationship with fans can make it hard to stay true to your creative vision and not be swayed by what you think they want to see. But there’s no way I would have made it through the grind of a weekly webcomic for eight-plus years if it weren’t for the enthusiastic support of my readership!

7. What drove you to begin writing The Glass Scientists?

Nearly every step of creating the Glass Scientists was marked by creative heartbreak. 

I began outlining the story in earnest after I was rejected from the Disney Animation story trainee program in 2012, and I pitched it to my literary agent shortly after my first animation development project was shelved in 2020. Those career setbacks absolutely sucked when I was going through them, but they also challenged me to develop my creative voice and build self-confidence on my own. And at a time when studios are so quick to cancel shows or disappear them from their streaming services, it’s been a source of stability and comfort to have a story that is entirely my own.

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Summer travel adventures and their perfect book companions

Take Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune to Lake Tahoe

Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in the city. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn’t.

At thirty-two, Fern’s life doesn’t look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home, running her mother’s lakeside resort–something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend’s the manager, and Fern doesn’t know where to begin.

She needs a plan–a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern’s going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago. Will is hiding something, and Fern’s not sure she wants to know what it is.

But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?


Take Wild by Cheryl Strayed to HorseShoe Bend, Arizona

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State–and she would do it alone.

Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.


Take On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor to Zion National Park, Utah

While thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: How do they form? Why do some improve over time while others fade? What makes us follow or strike off on our own? Over the course of seven years, Moor traveled the globe, exploring trails of all kinds, from the miniscule to the massive. He learned the tricks of master trail-builders, hunted down long-lost Cherokee trails, and traced the origins of our road networks and the Internet. In each chapter, Moor interweaves his adventures with findings from science, history, philosophy, and nature writing.

Throughout, Moor reveals how this single topic–the oft-overlooked trail–sheds new light on a wealth of age-old questions: How does order emerge out of chaos? How did animals first crawl forth from the seas and spread across continents? How has humanity’s relationship with nature and technology shaped the world around us? And, ultimately, how does each of us pick a path through life?


Take Happy Place by Emily Henry to Leavenworth, Washington

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college–they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now–for reasons they’re still not discussing–they don’t.

They broke up five months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing a bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blissful week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?


Take The Guest List by Lucy Foley to Block Island, Rhode Island

The bride – The plus one – The best man – The wedding planner – The bridesmaid – The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?


Take Neon Pilgrim by Lisa Dempster to Moab, Utah

During a culture-shocked exchange year in Japan, 15-year-old Lisa Dempster’s imagination is ignited by the story of the henro michi, an arduous 1,200-kilometre Buddhist pilgrimage through the mountains of Japan.

Perfectly suiting the romantic view of herself as a dusty, travel-worn explorer (well, one day), she promises to return to Japan and walk the henro michi, one way or another, as soon as humanely possible.

Fast-forward 13 years, and Lisa’s life is vastly different to what she pictured it would be. Severely depressed, socially withdrawn, overweight, on the dole and living with her mum, she is 28 and miserable. And then, completely by chance, the henro michi comes back into her life, through a book at her local library. It’s a sign. She decides then and there to go back to Japan almost immediately: to walk the henro michi, and walk herself back to health.

Brushing aside the barriers that other people might find daunting – the 1,200km of mountainous terrain, the sweltering Japanese summer, the fact she has no money and has never done a multiday hike before – Lisa is determined to walk the pilgrimage – or die trying.


Take Chlorine by Jade Song to Half Moon Bay, California

Ren Yu is a swimmer. Her daily life starts and ends with the pool. Her teammates are her only friends. Her coach, her guiding light. If she swims well enough, she will be scouted, get a scholarship, go to a good school. Her parents will love her. Her coach will be kind to her. She will have a good life.

But these are human concerns. These are the concerns of those confined to land, those with legs. Ren grew up on stories of creatures of the deep, of the oceans and the rivers. Ones that called sailors to their doom. Ones that dragged them down and drowned them. Ones that feasted on their flesh. Ones of the creature that she’s always longed to become: mermaid.

Ren aches to be in the water. She dreams of the scent of chlorine–the feel of it on her skin. And she will do anything she can to make a life for herself where she can be free. No matter the pain. No matter what anyone else thinks. No matter how much blood she has to spill.


Take Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin to Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia

Rice Moore is just beginning to think his troubles are behind him. He’s found a job protecting a remote forest preserve in Virginia Appalachia where his main responsibilities include tracking wildlife and refurbishing cabins. It’s hard work, and totally solitary–perfect to hide away from the Mexican drug cartels he betrayed back in Arizona. But when Rice finds the carcass of a bear killed on the grounds, the quiet solitude he’s so desperately sought is suddenly at risk.

More bears are killed on the preserve and Rice’s obsession with catching the poachers escalates, leading to hostile altercations with the locals and attention from both the law and Rice’s employers. Partnering with his predecessor, a scientist who hopes to continue her research on the preserve, Rice puts into motion a plan that could expose the poachers but risks revealing his own whereabouts to the dangerous people he was running from in the first place.

James McLaughlin expertly brings the beauty and danger of Appalachia to life. The result is an elemental, slow burn of a novel–one that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.


Take The Cutting Season by Attica Locke to the Atchafalaya Basin, Louisiana

The American South in the twenty-first century. A plantation owned for generations by a rich family. So much history. And a dead body.

Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it’s something else. Something terrible. A dead body. At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn’t know. As she’s drawn into the dead girl’s story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted.A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America, where Obama is president, but some things will never change. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising.

Circe unsnarls an obsessive and vengeful romance in new Greek myth retelling

Seattle, WA – Return to Circe’s mythical story in this fast-paced, adventurous, and tragically romantic reimagining of Glaucus and Skylla in  “An Unexpected Ally” (She Writes Press, October 3, 2023).  Sophia Kouidou-Giles’s debut fiction sheds new light on the classic story revealing the terrible origins of one of the most legendary Greek monsters against a background of romance, revenge, and unlikely sisterhood. With the sequel to release in November 2025!

The Greek born Sophia Kouidou-Giles, who has won the American Writer Award, has a background in Greek translation, poetry, and memoir-writing. She brings her own interpretation to the famous story of Circe, Glaucus, and Skylla creating a lush depiction of ancient Greek life amidst a scandalous relationship that ends in tragedy.

Following Odysseus’s departure, Circe journeys to Delos to meet an amphibian god, Glaucus. Intrigued by his abilities with herbs, she finds Glaucus to be a suitable match only to realize he’s in love with the local beauty, Skylla. However, the same couldn’t be said about Skylla and when Glaucus’s jealousy turns into revenge, it’s up to Circe to help the two undo the damage they’ve caused.

With another thrilling adventure in Circe’s world, readers will be enthralled by the compelling and whimsical interpretation.

An Unexpected Ally: A Greek Tale of Love, Revenge, and Redemption

Sophia Kouidou-Giles | October 3, 2023

She Writes Press | Historical Fiction + Greek/Roman Mythology

Paperback | 978-1647425555 | $17.95

Sophia Kouidou-Giles was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, and university educated in the USA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and masters in social work. In her over-30-year child welfare career, she served as a practitioner, educator, researcher, and administrator and published articles in Greek and English professional journals. In recent years, her focus has shifted to writing nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and translation. She has published in Voices, Persimmon Tree, Assay, The Raven’s Perch, The Time Collection, and The Blue Nib. Her poetry chapbook is Transitions and Passages. Her work has appeared in anthologies, including The Time Collection, Visual Verse, and Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis.

Her memoir, Επιστροφή Στη Θεσσαλονίκη/Return to Thessaloniki, was published in Greek by Tyfri Press. The book in English: Sophia’s Return: Uncovering My Mother’s Past, was published by She Writes Press. Sophia  lives in Seattle, Washington, near her son, her daughter-in-law, and two grandsons. Find out more about her at her website. Perse is a sequel to An Unexpected Ally. Look for it in November 2025. 

Follow Sophia Kouidou-Giles on social media: 

Facebook: @Kouidou | Twitter: @Kouidou | Instagram: @sophiakg1

Advanced praise for An Unexpected Ally

“Sophia Kouidou-Giles’ novella deftly eschews such bland storytelling, providing us instead with characters who, despite their superhuman powers, are nonetheless flawed, which adds extra spice to the narrative mix. Furthermore, we also have the opportunity to explore the experiences of women endowed with power, ingenuity and, importantly, a convincing voice.”

— Clare Morris, Poetess and Editor of The Blue Nib

“Lovers of Greek myths and myth retellings should not miss this soaring tale. With An Unexpected Ally, Sophia Kouidou-Giles takes the oft-maligned goddess of sorcery to new heights and dimensions. In this fresh take, love, hate, and jealousy are channeled into a compelling story of sisterhood.” 

— Maria A. Karamitsos, Journalist & Author

“Both young and old know the suffering of love’s end… and the disaster of wrong attraction. But if you happen to be the sorceress Circe—a shape-shifter and spell-caster—the outcomes are unrestrained by human proportion. An unforgettable story of infatuation, tragic error, and redemption for readers of all ages.”

— Jean Gilbertson, author of Dancing on the Whisper of God: A Novel

“Kouidou-Giles’ book captivates the reader from the first paragraph. The story traveled me to vibrant worlds with rich descriptions of an ancient, mythical world. Through the fascinating adventures of Circe, the author extols the talents, emotions and skills of the feminine nature, revealing the primary virtues of female solidarity. A page turner!”

— Nora Kazazi, Author of Colours of My Soul/Στα Χρώματα της Ψυχής Μου.

“Circe by Sophia Kouidou-Giles is an enchanted reimagining of an ancient Greek myth, and has all the hallmarks of human drama with a powerful woman, Circe, at the center of the story.  Circe includes timeless themes of family conflict, use and misuse of power, desire, prophecy, dreams, sacrifices to the Gods, and love gone awry. Curl up in front of the fire, or enjoy this book sitting in the sun on vacation. A fun and educational read, Circe is highly recommended.”

— Diana English, PhD

“What a wonderful mix of adventure, mythology, age-old relationship issues; the reader encounters engaging, unusual characters and visual images that take them out of the daily grind and into another realm, including under the sea, into the sky. A true adventure tale with just enough history and psychology to elevate it above mere escapist pleasure.”

— Mary Weikert, Journalist

“What an unexpected retelling, filled with characters from Greek mythology! I couldn’t quite remember my Greek myths from high school but it hardly mattered… all that’s needed for the story is here. It centers on Circe, enchantress, mini-goddess & daughter of the sun god, as she learns how to use her magic in healing ways, and the story has a whole new take on Skylla, the monster with 6 dog-heads who figures in the adventures of Odysseus. It’s an enjoyable read, with twists and turns!”

— Meg Mahoney, Educator

In an interview, Sophia Kouidou-Giles can discuss:

  • Creating a fantasy world based on Greek myth and the challenges faced when re-interpreting an already well-known story
  • Her unique reasons for choosing the story of Circe in her retelling
  • The importance of sharing Greek myth with readers and bringing more people to love the classics
  • Her love for Greek culture and mythology and how it has played a role in her career and life
  • Her love for Circe’s story and how it fueled her inspiration for this book after years of translation work and memoir-writing
  • Her experiences as an author and her approach when creating fiction
  • Which character in An Unexpected Ally she most enjoyed writing about and why
  • Why did she decide to become an author in retirement, and what sparked her novel 
  • How has her bilingual background been beneficial to her writing

An Interview with 

Sophia Kouidou-Giles

1. Which Greek mythological elements heavily influence this novel?  

An Unexpected Ally’ focuses on Circe’s story, in particular the months after Odysseus left her to return home. The novel draws from Homer’s epic, the Odyssey, where he briefly mentions Circe’s story. The myth of Skylla and Charybdis and the myth of Glaucus, an amphibian god are woven into this novel revealing a complex character’s adventures and alliances.

2. Why did you decide to pick Circe? What about that particular story inspired you to re-interpret it?

Homer dedicated a few lines to Circe’s character, mainly portraying her as a two-dimensional witch, who converted people to beasts. In my book she is a complex character, who displays relatable, admirable and flawed characteristics in her relationships, while being at the same time a powerful enchantress with extensive knowledge about potions and other elements of magic.

3. What inspired you to fabricate this fantastical world and characters?

My Greek origins and familiarity with myths were two important factors.

My grandmother’s facility to create original stories on the spot gave me the model and motivation to mirror her. I have always been a reader of literature and enjoyed mythology and fairy tales. All these influences conspired to help me craft the wonderful ancient world of Circe and to reconstruct her mythical character. Immortality means she has a vast amount of experience; her associations with Odysseus and Glaucus allow for exploration of relationships with men; her interactions with Skylla, a younger woman, demonstrate the depth of her loyalty. As a powerful witch, she can harm and help others. The question remains, who is her ally?

4. How would you describe your writing style? What was your process like to create this book? 

My friends and other writers tell me my writing is descriptive, immersive and evocative. I developed a fast-paced plot, using vivid language and imagery to describe settings and characters.

I started “An Unexpected Ally” without an outline, and continued without one through the project. Never knowing what comes next makes for an exciting process of discovery and means that several drafts and redrafts were required.

5. What is the main takeaway you want readers to have after reading your novel?

I hope readers already familiar with Circe will discover and appreciate new depths of her character and that all readers of the book will feel empowered to emulate the problem solving attributes displayed in the story.

6. Do you plan to write another book either set in similar settings or based on Greek mythology?

I have already written a sequel about Perse, Circe’s mother, forthcoming in November 2025. The story investigates three new myths, Phaethon, and Daedalus and refers to Homer’s Odyssey; it explores new themes in this ancient Greek world.

7. Tell me about the research that is required to develop a story such as you have created about Circe.

Growing up in Greece, I lived in a land dotted with museums and archaeological sites. That was an education in itself that helped me to get a sense of place and objects as well as to visualize everyday living.

Original sources used would include Homer’s Odyssey, Books 10 and 12; in Hesiod’s Theogony, he mentions who Circe’s parents are; in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, both Skylla and Glaucus are mentioned.

Other sources include Google searches, Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica. It also was interesting to read authors who interpreted Circe’s character differently, such as Madeline Miller and Margaret Atwood.

8. Why was it important to you to take the witch Homer presented negatively and create instead a positive persona?

In Homer, the warriors and kings are the leaders and heroes of his epics; Circe is a two-dimensional secondary character that is given brief space in his Odyssey. My goal was to empower and detail her personality and make her the protagonist of a story that builds out her character more fully, showing strengths and flaws.

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YA fantasy author is back with new adventure trilogy

Titanian Awakenings takes place 20 years after Titanian Chronicles, following 3 lead characters

“Journey of Destiny” by Leisl Kaberry

Paperback, 978-1480057876, $17.99 | Ebook, 9781480057876, $2.99

Found beyond the Elvin borders, Afeclin, a human child, is taken in and raised by an Elvin King. Now grown and longing to learn about the mystic arts, he embarks on a journey back into a land now unfamiliar. Accompanied by his elvin friend, Wolflang, they leave their homes to seek out their destiny. Unbeknown to Afeclin and Wolflang however, the warlord, Moorlan and his confederate, a dark mage, are preparing to bring war to the peaceful Land of Marrapassa, putting their lives and those they care about, in danger. Readers’ Favorite is calling book one “one of the best fantasy stories I have read in a long time”.

“Ormnhi Moon”

Paperback, 978-1502483461, $15.00 | Ebook, 9781502483461, $2.99

In the five years since Afeclin, Wolflang and Lenna crossed the Tebelligan border, the Warlord’s presence in Marrapassa has strengthened. His trolls and dark knights have inhabited towns and cities, slavery has returned and people are angry and fearful. Adding to their unease, the Dark Mage has grown in power and will stop at nothing to procure the elusive merndaicur shells. Afeclin is sent on a quest in order to uncover the truth, and his abilities and allegiances are put to the test as Afeclin learns to hone in his newly acquired gift. In amongst the darkness and chaos the sign of the foretold chosen one, is upon them: The Ormnhi Moon.

“Child of Prophecy”

Paperback, 978-1694162885, $23.43 | Ebook, 9781694162885, $2.99

A stolen child, a distraught mother, and a desperate race to claim the mystical merndaicur shells, this final installment of the trilogy follows Lenna as she seeks to take back her child, stolen by the Dark Mage and gifted to the Warlord Moorlan for an heir. Afeclin finds himself on an unexpected journey of self-discovery with a unique stranger. Wolflang works to stamp out slavery on the Mainland of Marrapassa with his Scorpion brothers, until a mysterious friend guides him in an alternative direction. But will that be enough to destroy the Dark One before he lays claim to all the merndaicur and brings destruction against the inhabitants of Titania? While all paths seem to lead to Alkarrien, will the three friends from Tebelligan be reunited against their common enemy or be thwarted due to mortal weakness and pride?

More info about the first book in the new trilogy,

“Shadow of Darkness” (October 2023), coming soon.

About the Author

KITIMAT, B.C. Canada:As far as storytelling goes… I was always a writer. As far as writing goes, it took becoming a mother.”

Writing became Leisl’s passion after an inspiration to create led her to write a single chapter in which the world of Titania was born.

An Aussie born and bred, she has lived in a variety of places including the Australian outback and Montreal, Canada. She currently resides in Kitimat, Northern British Columbia with her husband and four children. She has a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice and works for Victim Services at the local RCMP. She has a brown belt in karate, likes training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and singing karaoke with her mates.

Follow Leisl Kaberry on social media:

Facebook: @TitanianChronicles | Twitter: @lawfabex

Instagram: @lawfabex | TikTok: @authorleislkaberry

Praise for

“Titanian Chronicles”

Within this lore lies a tightly told and exciting tale of heroes and the struggles that lie between them and the promise of peace in their lives.”

– Readers’ Favorite on “Ormnhi Moon”

“Child of Prophecy reserves many surprises for readers and it is the kind of story for anyone wanting to escape from the doldrums of everyday life.”

– Readers’ Favorite on Child of Prophecy

The imaginative creatures and races, descriptive imagery, and near-constant adventure make “Journey of Destiny” a very enjoyable book! The world-building is good, and the lead characters are sympathetic and distinctive.  Additionally, there are beautiful charcoal pencil sketches at the beginning and end of each chapter by the artist Kristen Caruana… the “Titanian Chronicles” should appeal to fantasy readers who love a good, clean tale!:”

-InD’Tale Magazine

“Baffling, Breathtaking and Mind Boggling!”

– Amazon reviewer 

“…if you cut aside all the epic fantasy, fabulous beasts, and kings and warriors of legend, what you have is the most profound story of all: the story of a human looking for his place in the world. Leisl Kaberry manages what all fantasy writers strive to do at the beginning of their tale, only to get lost in the thickets of their imagination: to create realistic, believable characters who are human beneath their fantastic names and powers.”

– Amazon reviewer 

“Titanian Chronicles: Journey of Destiny melds elements of Tolkienian fantasy with Potterian whimsicality.”

– Goodreads reviewer

“Titanian Chronicles offered something new to the realm of fantasy – something that’s hard to come by in a genre replete with ‘more of the same’ stories.”

Goodreads reviewer

“Lord of the Rings meets Narnia! Titanian Chronicles is imaginative and beautifully written. Reading Titanian Chronicles was a pleasure as the author has the ability to describe the wonders of Titanian Chronicles with her pen. Every detail has been put into play for a reason.”

– Goodreads reviewer

In an interview, Leisl Kaberry can discuss:

  • How she began her writing journey, even though she never had the intention of becoming an author, and why it took 10 years to write the first book
  • Her passion for fantasy books and how she created the beloved world of Titania, including how traveling to different parts of the world inspired the landscape and terrain of Titania
  • The creation of three-dimensional, loveable characters who come to life on the pages of her books, and how to make them feel rich, full and real
  • The themes of friendship, loyalty, and courage, and the discussion of how our differences may set us apart, but also make us special
  • What’s to come in the world of Titania

An Interview with

Leisl Kaberry

1. You created an entire fantasy world for this series. What inspired you to write this series and build the world of Titania?

It really started from an image (screensaver) on my computer of a massive green moon

overlooking a palm beach and I wondered who would be there sitting on the edge and why. I wrote a chapter about it for fun and by the end of the chapter I had figured out the main plot of Titanian Chronicles. That was just the beginning of the fun of world building… and I never looked back. That original chapter now exists as chapter 2.

2. All of your characters are very three-dimensional and come to life while you’re reading the series. Were any of your characters inspired by people you know in real life?

I’m afraid if they have been it has been accidental. People have always fascinated me. I really like to understand a person’s motivations, good and bad, and the more you understand about people the easier it is to write characters that are believable as they are motivated by believable emotions and influences. I have also done a lot of acting over the years and that informs how I bring a character to life and make them seem real… I think to myself, how would I act this?

3. What drew you to the genre of fantasy?

I never would have thought I would write fantasy, I mean, I loved the genre as a kid but as an adult if I was actually choosing to become a writer I would have gone into crime mystery writing because I absolutely love it. As it happens I had been reading Dragonlance books a lot before I got married and so the combination of that big green moon and my enjoyment of Dragonlance led me in a fantasy direction. Undeniably no regrets though!

4. How do you think your series differs from other fantasy adventure novels?

I think, and I could be wrong, that it is more the focus that I put on the story and the characters rather than focusing on the fantasy aspect of it. What I have written is a story that could exist in any world about love, devotion, adventure, heartache, hardships, crimes… etc but it also happens in a world of my creation and contains mythical animals and magic. Also, each prologue and epilogue are written from the antagonist POV.

5. What do you hope readers will take away from this series and your characters? 

I hope that people will see themselves in one of the characters, that they have imperfections and even though they may try hard, sometimes they fail. I would really like people who read the books to accept that nobody is perfect and everyone can change and grow, that its really not so important about the mistakes (because we all make them) as what you do after.

6. What else is coming for the world of Titania?

Beyond the Titanian Chronicles is Titanian Awakenings which furthers the timeline 20 years into the future where we see children of the original characters have grown and are forging their own paths. The new series follows these secondary characters from the first series on their own adventures, however we see favourites from the first series making an appearance. They are no longer the mains, but they are far from forgotten.

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Former Fortune 500 corporate executive, Capitol Hill staffer and Washington lobbyist pokes fun at DC and the politicians who comprise the circus we call Congress

ATLANTA – George Franklin is a man who has worn many hats – lawyer, lobbyist, businessman, candidate, speaker and author. In his latest work of political fiction, “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” releasing in Sept. 12 2023, Franklin draws from his career experiences to offer a hilarious take on Congress today.

“A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” is a rollicking tale of Washington lobbying that will have you in stitches while making you think twice about our government. Filled with a cast of characters only to be found in our nation’s capital, Franklin’s novel is a hilarious look at the politicians, lobbyists and assorted scalawags that work behind the scenes to create public policy. A laugh-filled work of fiction that exposes how Congress really works, “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” is a must read for anyone who thought it couldn’t get any worse.

About the Author

As a lawyer, lobbyist and former Vice President of Worldwide Government Affairs for Kellogg Company, George Franklin has an insider’s perspective on how Washington works and doesn’t. He spent years in the halls of Congress as a major player on behalf of the food industry where he developed the anecdotes and saw first hand the outrageous personalities parodied in this book. “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” along with his other three books – “Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars,” “So You Think You Want to Run for Congress” and “Incentives: The Holy Water of Free Enterprise” – mark him as a must read for anyone with a keen eye for politics today. Find out more about Franklin at https://www.georgefranklinauthor.com/.

Follow George Franklin on social media:

Facebook: @georgefranklina8uthor | LinkedIn: George Franklin

“A Feeding Frenzy in Washington”

George Franklin | Sept. 12, 2023

Political Fiction / Humor / Satirical Fiction

In an interview, George Franklin can discuss:

  • Blending fact, fiction and political satire in “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington”
  • How “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” relates to today’s political climate
  • His multifaceted career as a lawyer, lobbyist, businessman, candidate and speaker – and how that informs his work as an author, specifically writing political fiction
  • How “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington” draws inspiration from his experience as the former Vice President of Worldwide Government Relations for Kellogg Company and career in the food industry
  • His experience running for Congress – including lessons from campaigning and how it influences his satirical approach to political fiction
  • Insight into the widely misunderstood role of corporate government relations and how it affects public policy

An Interview with

George Franklin

Can you briefly introduce us to the colorful characters and major players we meet in “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington?”

  • P.J. “Snakeboots “ Jackson – Washington lawyer/lobbyist who greases the skids and makes it all happen
  • Annika Svensson – Corporate VP who specializes in managing up while climbing over the backs of anyone in her way
  • Rod McDonnell – Feckless good ol’ boy who finds out Washington can be a ruthless town
  • Clyde Cartwright – Trade association executive from the heartland who gets deposed by a cunning intern 
  • Congressman Mickey Girtz (R FL) – A leading Luddite with delusions of grandeur 
  • Congresswoman Lizzie Pendergast (D RI) – Loud mouth progressive whose feet never touch the ground
  • Congresswoman Barb Breen (R GA) – Fantasist flame-throwing right wing populist 
  • Congresswoman Lucy Sprout (D CA) – Inside player who deftly manages to survive
  • Wienermobile – All hell breaks loose when this American icon is hijacked by vegans

Were the politicians in your new book based on real people?

The politicians and other characters are composites of people I knew and saw over a career in and around politics. They ran the gamut from serious and studious to whack jobs that made you question the whole concept of democracy. The fact that some of these people were actually elected was quite terrifying. If Gorbachev had spent a week in Washington before dismantling the Soviet Union, he might have reconsidered the whole thing.

How does “Feeding Frenzy in Washington” relate to today’s political climate? Is it particularly timely?

“Feeding Frenzy in Washington” is both timely and timeless. Set in current time, it satirizes Congress in action today while serving as a reminder none of this is really new and most likely will be the case in Congresses to come. Getting an appropriation in one body and then holding on for dear life is not unusual. I managed to get a $5 million earmark in such a manner. What you read in your high school civics book has nothing to do with what really goes on in Washington behind the scenes.

How did you balance fact vs fiction in “A Feeding Frenzy in Washington?” 

The people and the story is all fiction, but there is a vein of truth in how lobbyists and Washington really works. As I mention in the book, lobbyists really do run in packs like wolves and spend a lot of time talking to themselves. Some of the stuff they dream up in those cabals is absolutely amazing and, even crazier, ends up in public policy. Good lobbyists are never accused of having a lack of imagination.

It’s easy to take politics seriously – but why is it important for you to weave humor into your political fiction?

Politicians are a reflection of their constituents, and it is time we all looked in the mirror and had a good laugh. We send these people there and keep sending them back. We rationalize all this by determining our local member of Congress is not part of the problem; it’s those other people. Also, as far as earmarks are concerned, if the money flows to our hometown, it is good government, but if it goes somewhere else, it is wasteful government spending. It is like every citizen enters the voting booth wearing blinders.

Your career has brought you down many paths – lawyer, lobbyist, businessman, candidate,  speaker and of course, author. Can you talk a bit about your multi-hat career trajectory? Did anything surprise you along the way? Do you have a favorite role / experience from your career?

Over my career I have learned a few things. Nothing is simple. Beware of sanctimonious people or those who wear religion on their sleeve. Also, what appears to be isn’t necessarily so. The legislative process is built on smoke and mirrors. What people say may have nothing to do with what they really do. Oftentimes a member of Congress will be given a “pass” to vote for or against something when their vote is not needed, so they can go home and declare support or opposition when in fact if their vote was needed they would have done the opposite.

How have your varied career experiences inform your literary career?

Being a corporate officer for a major worldwide company, I saw the mismatch between what business people think goes on in Washington and what really does. They operate in two different worlds, and the interaction of the two is a comedy machine. I remember coming back from DC on the company plane after a meeting with a senator and one of my colleagues remarking what a good meeting it was. I had to quickly disabuse him of that notion. A senator telling you that he was “concerned “ or “disturbed” and telling the staff to “look into the matter” meant nothing! It was mere political blather.

In 2018, you ran as a Democratic candidate for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House. You joke that while you lost, you survived to write about it in your nonfiction tell-all, “So You Think You Want to Run for Congress” (2019). Can you tell us about this experience?

As far as running for Congress, I blame it on temporary insanity. It was the most exhausting thing I ever did. It made a job in corporate America seem like a walk in the park. The personal attacks, mudslinging and skullduggery was beyond anything I ever imagined and to make it worse, this was a primary so this was from my own team.

What do you hope people will take away from your newest book?

I hope all who read this book will get some good laughs and take solace in the fact that our democracy has survived this long and somehow will continue.

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Award-winning author uncovers shocking big pharma conspiracy in new tension-filled thriller

Fans of Kyle Mills and Alyssa Cole will devour this twisty murder mystery scandal

Chicago, IL NYC Big Book and Best Book Award-winning author J. Lee is back with a tense new mystery inspired by his real-life work in the pharmaceutical industry. “The Deadly Deal” (Moonstone Cove Publishing, Sept. 12, 2023). This big pharma corruption thriller follows a junior businessman who is thrust into a world of deception and accusation when his best friend’s tragic death is exposed as a cold-blooded murder. 

“The Bottom Line: A perfectly crafted conspiracy thriller with a truly noble hero at its core, The Deadly Deal is the twisty tale we’ve been waiting for. Highly Recommended.”

– Best Thrillers Book Review

David Centrelli is just an average junior business development executive at a pharmaceutical company in Richmond when a knock on the door reveals that his best friend’s death two weeks earlier was no accident, and his buddy has a message for him from the grave. As skeptical as he is, clues keep coming, and soon his own home is engulfed in flames. When the perpetrator contacts him, he learns that the accusations are legitimate–and that people trained to eliminate problems have labeled him one. 

Blackmailed by decisions he made years ago, informed that his brother has been kidnapped, and threatened with a future not even his worst nightmare could imagine, the temptation to give up what he knows and disappear into affluent anonymity grows stronger by the second…until he learns that millions of lives depend on him doing the right thing. But can an ordinary guy really escape death from experts trained to administer it, and prevent a colossal calamity already set in motion by the highest levels of government?

“The Deadly Deal”

Lee | September 12, 2023 | Moonshine Cove Publishing | Mystery/Thriller

Paperback | 9781952439582 | $19.00 | Ebook | B0C5WB52PJ | $6.99

Early Praise for “The Deadly Deal”

Regardless of how you feel about the pharmaceutical industry, this book is a must read. J. Lee pulls you into a fast paced thriller of good vs. evil that never lets up. Tight writing, intricate plot, believable characters and a sharp, fast-moving dialogue that gels it all together. Put this one on your reading list!” 

– Jesus Leal, author of “True Diversity”

“J. Lee is a must-read new talent.”

– Mike Lawson, Edgar Award Nominated author of the Joe DeMarco series.

“The Deadly Deal is a fast-moving, page-turning thriller propelled by rapid scene changes, frequent plot twists, and an enemy that grows more powerful and menacing as the full extent of the conspiracy. Fans of plot-driven thrillers will find plenty to like…

– Windy City Book Review

J. Lee does it again with “The Deadly Deal”.  Fans of mysteries and thrillers will love this new cliffhanger. I was immediately hooked as the story began to unfold and this fast-paced and intriguing mystery kept me guessing until the very last page. Impossible to put down, I finished the book in days and loved every minute of this captivating read!”

– Nicky Steinberg, Publisher of  Downers Grove Living Magazine

“Action packed and sharply written. Grabbed me from the start and wouldn’t let go. I’ve already made room on my nightstand for the next J.Lee thriller.

Davin Goodwin, author of “Paradise Cove” and the Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series

“‘The Deadly Deal’ is my kind of thriller. Clever premise, complex characters, a pulsating plot and a satisfying, but in no way predictable ending. Easily J. Lee’s best work, and that alone is saying something.”

– Drew Yanno, author of “In the Matter of Michael Vogel”

“’The Deadly Deal’ evolves superb characterization, satisfying twists of plot, and a focus that will keep even seasoned thriller readers guessing about its outcome.”

– Midwest Books Book Review

“A terrific follow-up to The Hubley Case and The Silent Cardinal.  In ‘The Deadly Deal’,  J. Lee lays out an explosive tale of political intrigue, government conspiracy, and murder. If you haven’t yet read Lee’s thrillers, it’s time to jump aboard the bandwagon.”

-Alfred C. Martino, author of “Pinned”, “Over The End Line”, and “Perfected By Girls”


“Set yourself some time to read  The Deadly Deal , because once you start, you will NOT want to stop turning the pages.

– Pamela S. Wight, author of “Twin Desires”, “The Right Wrong Man”, “Flashes of Life”, “Birds of Paradise” and “Molly Finds Her Purr”

J. Lee is the author of The Hubley Case, The Silent Cardinal, and The Deadly Deal. He graduated from Duke University with degrees in Engineering and Sociology, and lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with his family. To learn more about him or his award-winning novels, please visit www.jleethrillers.com

Follow J. Lee on social media:

Facebook: @authorJ.Lee

Twitter: @JLeeauthor

Instagram: @j.leeauthor

In an interview, J. Lee can discuss:

  • His real-life experience in a pharmaceutical environment that with personal research inspired the plot of the story
  • The themes of the book that apply to real-life corrupt big pharma companies and how he went about researching the possibilities
  • Using multiple perspectives and characters in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming, but rather adds to the suspense of the story
  • Writing well-written, multi-layered leads thrust into a dangerous situation
  • Balancing work life with writing mysteries, while also overcoming writer’s block and rejection in the writing industry
  • The difference between writing a series and writing a standalone
  • Generating ideas as an author, editing work and rewriting storylines over and over

An Interview with


1. How has your professional life, working with a pharmacy automation company, inspired “The Deadly Deal”? 

In my first job out of college, I got some high-level exposure to the FDA’s drug approval process. While this is certainly a work of fiction, that baseline knowledge and experience ultimately served as the impetus for the book’s storyline. Times and processes have changed, but the premise still intrigued me enough that I wanted to update it and pursue the idea. 

2. You mentioned you wrote this book 16 years ago! What made you want to release this novel now?

In a lot of ways, it feels like my writing baby. It had a different title back then, but I’d obtained a literary agent and was ready to go. Shortly after signing, and one week before he was set to reach out to publishers, my agent was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently passed away. When that happened, I put the book in the proverbial drawer and proceeded to move on in life and wound up publishing two others along the way. But the concept has always fascinated me, and I suppose deep down I believed (and hoped) that this day would come.  

3. Let’s talk about your characters. What is the inspiration behind them?

Ironically, one of the most interesting aspects of the protagonist to me as I wrote was that he’s an “ordinary” working professional who has been thrust into an extraordinary situation. In my previous novels, the main character is a Marine specially trained for the types of dangerous situations he encounters in the book, but this time writing the suspense was more challenging and intriguing because I didn’t have the crutch of him being so well trained. 

4. What are some tips for writing a twisty mystery that keeps readers guessing?

Every writer has his or her own style. For me, the only way to successfully keep the readers on their toes is to outline the story first, so that I can see it from start to finish, before I allow myself to write the first page. That lets me insert twists and turns, red herrings, and various clues that serve the overall plot. And I learned that the hard way. When I don’t outline at first, I have to rewrite a lot and usually end up creating one before it’s over anyway. I know some authors who have the ability to just start writing freestyle and hammer out a really great story, and I envy them. It’s just not me. 

5. Is there anything else in the works for you as an author?

Thanks for asking. I’ve got some thoughts about continuing the Ben Siebert series, and some fans have asked about that possibility. There’s also another standalone storyline I’m toying with that, similar to The Deadly Deal, I find extremely intriguing. If history is any judge, I’ll have to pursue that too…

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“Guardians of the Galaxy” meets “Ready Player One” in a riveting, hilarious romp through space

An inventive mixture of sci-fi, fantasy, mythology, and technology

Oahu (Honolulu), HI – Strap in for a humorous thrill ride through the colorful reaches of space and alternate timelines as two dudes, who have no idea what they’re doing, try to save the universe (and their own butts) in one of the most fun sci-fi fantasies you’ll read all year: “Josh & Sen Save the Multiverse: The Path of One” (Cadence Group, October 3, 2023). With the loveable banter of “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the inventive nods to technology and gaming of “Ready Player One,” this debut is unexpectedly heartfelt as it explores parenthood, perseverance, and the brotherhood between two men bonded by fate to save the multiverse. 

Josh was just trying to get his life together enough to reunite with his young daughter Sophie when he gets sucked into the multidimensional world of the immortals through his office elevator during lunch. Alongside his unexpected ally, Sen Marztanak, Josh must find a way to rise through the levels of mortal cultivation in order to reach Transcendence. 

Josh and Sen are eager to get back to their own path–Josh anxiously fighting his way back to his daughter and Sen desperately battling to reclaim his immortality and his family’s ruling seat. Get swept away with Sen and Josh through this exciting tale as they uncover their true destinies. 

“Josh & Sen Save the Multiverse: The Path of One”

David Behling | October 3, 2023 | Cadence Group | Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Print | 979-8-9886535-0-9 | $14.99

Ebook | 979-8-9886535-1-6 | $4.99

DAVID BEHLING: is a Chicago born sci-fi, fantasy, and video game admirer. When he was younger and stronger, he was able to fight off his infatuation long enough to work as a Honolulu-based plaintiff’s malpractice lawyer for five years before attending med school and residency. Now he treats his patients on Oahu, where his office has been for the last fifteen years. He has trained in several fields of martial arts over the years, including Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Older now, he would rather be surfing, snowboarding, and skating when he is brave enough! Most importantly, he is the proud father of four amazing children: Indigo, Tristan, Kireina, and Nina. They even text him sometimes. He is also the lucky owner of the world’s cutest chihuahua, Rosie.

Follow David on Social Media: 

Instagram: @davidbehlingauthor | Facebook: @davidbehlingauthor 

In an interview, David Behling can discuss:

  • How the hopelessness of the pandemic inspired this light-hearted, adventure aimed to reignite hope
  • David’s personal parallels to his main character Josh as they both grapple with the complexities of navigating parenthood and divorce
  • How gaming, sci-fi fandoms, and fantasy media influenced his worldbuilding
  • Why he was inspired to weave Greek mythology throughout the book
  • What’s next for Josh & Sen as they embark on this epic 15-part installment

An Interview with

David Behling

You wrote this novel partly in response to the hopelessness amid the Covid-19 pandemic. What do you hope readers will take away when they read Josh and Sen’s story? 

Everyone in the world has been affected by the pandemic. It is true that we can see the silver lining in some of the changes, and feel brought back to our roots in a lot of ways. Unfortunately, many of the changes have been devastating and will continue to be so for many years. You can see this very prominently in third world countries where the economies of tourism were completely shut down for long periods of time. When I first started noticing this, I remember thinking, “How good would it be if there were a couple of guys who would be willing to go to the wall to save us all?” 

How did you create Josh and Sen? Were there any sci-fi/fantasy figures from your childhood that inspired the character’s stories?

Everytime I sit down to write about Josh and Sen I learn more about myself and my motivations. Some things even surprise me. But, ever since I was twelve years old and my father took me to Merrionette Park in Chicago’s south side to see Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy’s been my hero. One of my favorite spots is the classic line where he is trying to steal the ark back from the nazi’s, he lays out a plan and ends it with, “I dunno, I’m making this up as I go . . .” I would have to say this is a major inspiration for Josh and Sen. Don’t ask them how beforehand, but they will find a way to get where they need to be. 

What parts of your personal life inspired your main character Josh and his relationship with his daughter Sophie? 

I have the blessing and privilege of having four children. Ages 31, 27, 24, and 9. I also have unfortunately been through the tragedies of two divorces. The geological boundaries of living in Hawaii make routine custody spits difficult. When my two oldest were three and zero, and my x-wife moved to Ohio, I could only see them during the summers for 8 wks and every other holiday season. I know what it is like to be separated from your kids and not have a whole lot you can do about it. 

Why did you decide to weave bits of Greek mythology into the book? 

When I was growing up there wasn’t a lot of fantasy literature or TV shows. Where I turned to get it was the classics.  I loved Greek mythology when I was a kid. Particularly stories from the Age of Heros. When I started the first book and wanted Josh and Sen to travel underground to get their first Earth Attunement, Gaia, Mother of the Earth was just a natural fit. But you can’t talk about Gaia without getting into the serious family drama she has with her husband and the multiple sets of kids and grandkids, can you? Not to mention, all the stuff is public domain. 

What can we expect next from you as a writer? What are your big plans for Josh and Sen? 

Right now I’m finishing the third book. The second, “Karma and Bigger Fish” is already written and being polished for final release between 3-6 months after the Path of One comes out. 

Josh and Sen will be meeting some new folks. Some friends and some decidedly not so friendly. One of the things they are going to learn is that the iteration is a lot bigger than they are right now. They are also going to learn that Karma and Reality have some pretty big plans for them and the people that they care about.

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Award-winning novelist pushes the envelope, abandons tropes in new Depression-era medical thriller

LOS ANGELES – In her latest work, “The Human Trial” (Books Fluent, Sept. 26, 2023), author Audrey Gale merges three genres: historical fiction, medical thriller and coming-of-age story, cast with imperfect, relatable characters. 

After an agonizing climb to earn his pathology specialty from Harvard Medical, early discoveries in the microscopic realms threaten not only Dr. Randall Archer’s hard-won place in the field of medicine, but his very life.

Dr. Randall Archer has always been a misfit…

 …in the brutal blue-collar home where he grew up

…as a 16-year-old escaping to college, then medical school, on a full scholarship to Harvard.

…in the highest echelons of Boston society, where the woman he marries and the blueblood research partner with whom he shares his laboratory belong

Even Archer’s brilliance as a pathologist catapults him into direct and dangerous conflict with the medical establishment he fought so hard to join. As the Great Depression presses down around him, Archer teeters at the edge of a precipice. He must choose between his hard-won career and the sacred oaths he took as a doctor and scientist—before all his choices are lost forever.

“The Human Trial”

Audrey Gale | Sept. 26. 2023 | Books Fluent 

Historical Medical Thriller / Suspense / Murder Mystery

Paperback | ISBN: 978-1-953865-70-0

Ebook | ISBN: 978-1-953865-71-7

Audiobook | ISBN: 978-1-953865-72-4

About the Author

Audrey Gale long dreamed of being a writer, but never anticipated the circuitous road she’d take to get there. After twenty-plus years in the banking industry, she grew tired of corporate gamesmanship and pursued her master’s in fiction writing at the University of Southern California. Her first novel, a legal thriller entitled The Sausage Maker’s Daughters, was published under the name A.G.S. Johnson. The novel explores one woman’s struggle to find her place amidst the upheaval of the radical 1960s. Her second, The Human Trial, is the first book in a medical-thriller trilogy inspired by Gale’s own experiences with the gap between traditional medicine and approaches based on the findings of the great physicists of the 20th Century, like Einstein and Bohr. Both The Sausage Maker’s Daughters and The Human Trial incorporate Gale’s fascination with historical and scientific research, and always with women finding their places. Gale lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dogs where she is found hiking the Santa Monica Mountains every chance she gets. For more, visit http://audreygaleauthor.com/.

Follow Audrey Gale on social media: 

Facebook: @audreygaleauthor | Instagram: @audreygaleauthor

In an interview, Audrey Gale can discuss:

  • The real-life scientists and medical research that inspired “The Human Trial”
  • How she consulted scientists and healing practitioners who use methods largely suppressed by the medical establishment
  • How her book reflects on issues in American medical care, including the lack of complete cures, how research gets funded and the connection between quantum physics and medicine
  • Creating relatable (but not always likable) characters
  • Ongoing issues of class stratification and sexism in the medical science field
  • The cost and responsibility of scientific truth in the face of survival and greed
  • How her personal experiences caring for her ailing father and beloved dog informed her approach to this book and her understanding the shortcomings of traditional medicine 

An Interview with

Audrey Gale

Before we dive into everything else, tell us about the main characters we meet in “The Human Trial.”

First is the pathologist, Dr. Randall Archer, with whom the story opens. He’s from a brutal blue collar home, which he escapes at the age of 16 by winning a scholarship to Harvard, which carries him through medical school to a pathology specialty. Archer, standing out for all the wrong reasons at Harvard, nevertheless collaborates with a blueblood physicist developing a breakthrough microscope. It offers, Archer anticipates, many advantages over others at the medical school. It also leads to Archer meeting another blueblood whom, despite its unlikeliness, he marries. 

His collaborator is Dr. Adam Wakefield, PhD Physics, whose breakout microscope changes everything for the two men, not just in what they are able to observe, but in the increasing risk they face as, inadvertently, their findings challenge the very basis of western medical theory and practice.

Finally, Elizabeth Perrish, the sole daughter to the Brahmin Perrishes who traced their history in Boston back to its founding, is a woman ahead of her times, determined to do more than her high social ranking expects of her. Her budding relationship with Archer is the final straw which causes her to be cast from her family, penniless but undaunted, during the worsening Depression. 

Are Dr. Randall Archer and Dr. Adam Wakefield based on real people?

While the two characters are inspired by real life scientists, they are a figment of my imagination. I focused more on their discoveries, which likely cost them both their lives, than on portraying the men and their actual existences with accuracy. 

How did you come up with the concept of this novel?

Soon after I arrived in Los Angeles, my Golden Retriever became quite ill. I was advised multiple times to “put her down,” as 13 was a very respectable age for a big dog. But I couldn’t without turning over every stone first. I found a holistic vet who at our first meeting appeared to be practicing magic, for lack of understanding. Luckily he was very forthcoming about his medical treatments and the men upon whom they had been based.

But it was subsequently, when my dad, diagnosed with leukemia and refusing a second chemo treatment, agreed to visit my vet with me that I became hooked. The vet created a tape of sound vibrations that related through stepped-down octaves to the rate of vibration of the microbes of leukemia. It sounds like mumbo-jumbo, I know, but upon a routine follow-up with his medical doctors, they declared his case to be the “damnedest case of spontaneous remission they had ever witnessed!” My father did not die of leukemia, but years later, of pneumonia.

Tell us about your research process. Did you consult scientists and healing practitioners? 

To start with, I mined information from my vet. His knowledge was sketchy about the scientists but more solid on the underlying science. After studying their efforts, I then read everything I could on physics and quantum physics, medical practice and the field, and the growing movement looking into the energetic basis of existence. For example, I own a large text called, “The Rife Handbook” by Nenah Sylver, PhD, which lists diseases and the innate frequencies of their microbial life to be used in combating them. I attended a conference on the subject where lay people like me as well as PhDs and MDs gathered to share information. I purchased a frequency generating device for home use. Finally, I worked directly with a noted physicist and pathologist who helped me put their knowledge into plain English.

You write about complex medical issues and scientific concepts in your novel – how did you go about making this subject digestible and accessible to readers? 

This was by far the greatest challenge of “The Human Trial.” Specialists have exclusive language, or jargon, often Latin- or Greek-based, which makes simplifying concepts into understandable English very difficult. But with their patience and my persistence and feedback from early readers, I think we got there. You be the judge. As my goal was to have a broad range of people begin to demand new and better medical treatment, it was also essential to utilize good storytelling techniques. Thus flawed characters, a difficult time in world history during the 1930s, a love triangle, suspense, twists were essential.

Some of your characters aren’t exactly likable, yet they’re still relatable. How did you strike that balance?

A flippant answer to that point is: Like life! That is where I began, with flawed characters, much like us, then adding often unbearable pressures, to endure or not endure. That makes them relatable. I hope readers ask, what would I do in that situation? Would I be as brave or duplicitous? How would I rationalize my choices? Since we can all relate to difficult situations, even when one does not approve of a character’s choices or doesn’t  like him per se, sympathy is evoked by the predicament. It’s a phrase I quite hate, but largely, “we’re all doing the best we can.”

What role do class stratification and sexism play in your novel? Why was it important to you to address those issues in your writing?

Issues of class aren’t of major importance to me, rightly or wrongly believing one can do what one set her mind to. Someone’s wealth or station has rarely intimidated me. But a short stint on Harvard’s campus did impress upon me class distinctions. 

But sexism, now that’s another story! Raised with four sisters, no brothers, in a traditional home with a stay-at-home mom and bacon-bearing dad, the real world shocked me as its double standards revealed themselves. An essential part of me needs to probe sexual equality and unrecognized biases, and will undoubtedly appear in some form in all my writing.

How did your personal experiences when your father was diagnosed with leukemia bring you to recognize the shortcomings of traditional medicine? Why was it important for you to address these issues in your book? 

The universe either cursed or blessed me with direct exposures to the type of energetic or energy-based healing explored in my novel. And with that, I could simply not walk away from non-invasive approaches to healing which are quick, cheap, effective, with no debilitating or life-shortening side effects, and offered more than just life extensions of months or years, but apparent cures.

It goes back to my arrival in Los Angeles with a very sick dog who many vets said to put down. Since I couldn’t without turning over every stone, I found a holistic vet who seemed to perform miracles and was forthcoming about his treatments and on whom they were based. He gave my Golden Retriever three more years to the remarkable age of 16. 

But then my dad’s turnaround with leukemia. He’d refused a second chemotherapy and agreed, when I boldly offered, to visit my vet with me. Doing little more than listening to sound frequencies related to his disease-microbes’s innate vibration rates, he appeared quickly “cured.” Upon returning to his medical doctors for a routine follow-up, they proclaimed his state as “the damnedest case of spontaneous remission they’d ever seen.” He would die years later of pneumonia.  

What do you hope readers will take away from your novel?

My hope for “The Human Trial” is that minds will be opened to new possibilities which  have been successfully blocked for almost a century. Assuming the discoverers had what they’d tested and believed they had, millions of people have died unnecessarily in that time. I hope readers will realize that they must be their own demanding advocates within our healthcare system. We must all ask questions, demand answers and proof, read everything, talk to everyone, compare responses.

Most of all I hope that someone in the position to carry forward this science will pick up the mantle and bring its benefits to all of life.

Without giving too much away, can you give us a sneak peek at what you have planned for the rest of the series?

I’ve extensively fleshed out the second installment in the trilogy that commences with “The Human Trial.” In it, the suppression of the science and fate of the scientists carries into the 1970s, another troubled time in our history. Student activism had carried over from black power to anti-war to feminism. Everyone had a cause which often gave participants license to demonstrate, sit-in, walk-out, protest, and in a few cases, riot. The Vietnam War was coming to a humiliating ending, and Nixon was about to leave the White House, unceremoniously. 

Against that backdrop, the next generation of Archers and Wakefields find themselves caught up in dangerous circumstances which first, they struggle to comprehend and then, struggle to survive. 

Finally, as we ourselves struggled to cope with Covid-19, its unprecedented deaths and shutdowns, it hit me: since the science of these stories deals directly with viral disease, a current day story makes more than perfect sense. It makes it necessary. All of these multigenerational continuations also emphasize the long and successful suppression of life-saving discoveries and their enormous costs in human life, both globally and down to the very personal lives of the next generation to be caught up in it. 

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NFL Network sportscaster Mike Yam celebrates cross-cultural identity in debut children’s book

LOS ANGELES – NFL Network sportscaster Mike Yam is releasing a delicious debut picture book celebrating intercultural identity and cuisine, “Fried Rice and Marinara” (Vooks). Inspired by his experiences growing up with a Chinese immigrant father and an Italian mother, his book demonstrates how a multicultural identity can give you a unique, creative perspective. In a world where Asian male leads are underrepresented, Yam’s book adds a new character that young readers can see themselves in. 

It’s Mikey Yam’s fourth birthday, and he’s facing a big dilemma: Should he serve Chinese or Italian food at his birthday party? Both his Chinese and Italian family members will be there, and he doesn’t know which one to pick! With the help of his trusty food gurus, his grandmothers, Mikey embarks on a mouth-watering adventure to create a one-of-a-kind fusion dish that will make his party the talk of the town. Mikey discovers that the best parties are the ones that celebrate diversity and bring people together through the power of food. Join Mikey’s journey and find out how two cultures can collide for a fusion of flavors to unite everyone!


“Fried Rice and Marinara”

Mike Yam | Vooks | Children’s | 9781737726951

Watch the fully animated video of the book!

Sample pages from the book



Mike Yam poses in the studio on Thursday, July 14, 2022 in Inglewood, California

MIKE YAM is a sportscaster and studio host for NFL Network and SiriusXM radio. He has worked at ESPN, NBA TV and Pac-12 Network. “Fried Rice and Marinara” marks his debut in children’s literature. Growing up with a Chinese immigrant father from Hong Kong and an Italian mother, Yam has always been fascinated by diverse cultures and perspectives. Yam is a passionate advocate for social issues and has authored op-eds on immigration and the Asian American community. Yam is a graduate of Fordham University and resides in Southern California.

Follow Mike Yam on social media:

Twitter: @Mike_Yam | Instagram: @Mike_Yam


Op-Ed: NFL anchor Mike Yam on unity being a great step toward ending racist attacks — NFL

How an Undocumented Immigrant Made Me the Luckiest Sportscaster in the World — Medium 

In conversation with Mike Yam, NFL Network anchor and children’s book author — Very Asian

My Personal Plea for Empathy: Racism is wrong no matter who it targets — Medium

Mike Yam Doesn’t Like Things To Be Easy — Barrett Sports Media

‘We’re going to miss him’: Pac-12 Network won’t be the same without Mike Yam — The Athletic

Mike Yam on Celebrating Multicultural Families — Vooks

Mike Yam Helping Set a Path For Future Asian-American Broadcasters — Front Office Sports

In an interview, Mike Yam can discuss:

  • His multicultural background with an Italian mother and Chinese father and expressing that culture throughout the book
  • Addressing the lack of male Asian authors and male Asian character leads in children’s literature
  • How it’s imperative to create more media for children in blended and multiracial families
  • His career as a sportscaster and how his work has led him to advocating for more diversity for Asian Americans in mainstream media
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion challenges in the broadcast industry
  • Future projects he’s working on

An interview with Mike Yam

1. Why did you choose to write a children’s book as your debut title?

During the course of my career, I have been fortunate enough to speak to students about a path in broadcasting. I have always been disheartened by the lack of Asian representation in media classes. Aside from cultural factors, I believe the lack of widespread representation at high levels of sportscasting is a major reason why Asian American students are picking other career paths. Strengthening the pipeline is one of the ways I think this changes. If young kids can see themselves in stories, I think it can spark an interest in storytelling. 

2. Why is this book so important for you personally?

As a kid, I didn’t think anything of the different cultures. I always knew I was Chinese and Italian, but as I got older, I realized that my friends didn’t have to think about or balance multiple cultural experiences that were very different. I also realized that many stories available for children didn’t always feature diverse characters. I do think for my generation not seeing much diversity in characters playing a leading role alters your thinking about a career path. Part of the reason I wanted to write “Fried Rice and Marinara” was to have young readers see a multiethnic character in a lead role. I also wanted to spark the thought that families with diverse backgrounds are normal. At times in my childhood, I thought I had to “pick a side,” which is weird to think about now. I really want young kids to be able to embrace their heritage and be proud of their background. I know for my family, food was a backdrop to everything we did. I wanted to use cuisine as a vehicle to bring the story to life.

3. Can you touch on how your day job — as a sportscaster and radio host — is similar in terms of diversity as the space of children’s literature?

The month of May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I went to my local Barnes and Noble to see what was being highlighted in the children’s section. I found one small rack that consisted of 31 books. Of the 31 books, only five had a male lead character. Seven of the 31 were written by two people. As I watch sports coverage on various networks, it’s disappointing to not see Asian Americans in prominent roles — lead studio host, play-by-play voice, color analyst, etc. At the local news level in top markets, the numbers are horrifically bad.

4. Were the characters in the book inspired by real-life family members?

The characters in the story are absolutely based on family members. Laura Dong, who illustrated the story, asked for pictures of relatives she could work off of. One of my twin cousins in the book is now married with three children. She is Chinese and her husband is Jewish. A few years ago, she asked me if I knew of any books about biracial children or books for Asian boys specifically. I wasn’t able to answer her question with a yes, but that moment was a catalyst for this story. I really felt like I could contribute to filling in a gap. 

5. What were some of the biggest challenges you came across when you were writing the book? What things did you find came easy for you?

I’ve spent my career telling the stories of athletes. I’m comfortable in that realm, but with “Fried Rice and Mariana,” it’s the first time I tried to connect with a young audience in a medium I’ve never worked in. I have always loved having fun with my nieces and nephews, telling them crazy stories at home. I tried to imagine telling them this story as if we were in person. No, I can’t rhyme on the fly like in the book, but it’s about the tone. I always love asking kids questions to see where their mind goes. If you notice at the back of the book, there is a page that gives kids an opportunity to write their own funky food combinations with the ability to draw them, too. It’s really important to me that the experience with the book doesn’t end when they’re finished reading it. 

6. Okay, we have to know: Do you have an actual recipe for fried rice and marinara?

I wish there was an actual recipe for fried rice and marinara. My skills in the kitchen are not strong, but I’m proud to say I never screw up boiling water. There was a moment in my high school Italian class that served as the inspiration for the title. I was talking about my background and someone asked about my family parties. I proudly boasted that we always had the best food — Chinese and Italian. One of my classmates joked, “Do you ever have fried rice and marinara sauce?” More than 20 years later, I still think about that moment and used it for the backdrop of the book. 

7. What other projects are you working on?

Aside from my duties on NFL Total Access at NFL Network, I have a few manuscripts I’m working on, but I’m trying to really focus on broadening the stories around Asian characters. When I was a child, I absolutely loved watching anything that included martial arts. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was really proud that Asian characters were cool because of that skill. As I’ve gotten older, I still really love watching those types of shows and movies, but I’ve grown frustrated that the stories don’t seem to always evolve into other verticals. I’m really focused on trying to incorporate my personal experiences as a backdrop to stories in which the characters are in more than just “traditional Asian situations.”

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Debut novel fearlessly examines addiction, generational trauma, and redemption

Author’s recovery journal inspires novel grappling with alcoholism

NORTH HAMPTON, NH – What began as catharsis through writing about his own recovery journey inspired Michael Eon’s powerful examination of a life-long relationship with addiction and recovery in his debut novel, “These Things Happen” (September, 2023, Girl Friday Books). With a vivid, atmospheric backdrop of 1970’s Brooklyn, Eon takes the reader on a poignant pursuit to untangle childhood trauma that manifests into a fraught battle with alcoholism.

In “These Things Happen,” Daniel Zimmer will do almost anything to end his pain, except for the one thing that might work: sobriety

Growing up under the shadow of his tyrannical father in Brooklyn, Daniel struggles to find a sense of safety and belonging. Daniel and his brother Max find moments of solace in the rebellious rhythms of early punk and metal bands. But when faced with an unexpected family tragedy—for which Daniel feels responsible—Daniel finds escape in the numbing grip of alcohol, offering temporary relief from his pain and guilt. Carrying childhood trauma into adulthood, Daniel spirals deeper into the clutches of addiction. Just as he finds the strength to embrace sobriety, the ghosts of his past resurface, forcing him to confront his demons head-on. 

Flashing through Daniel’s life, past and present, this nostalgic ode to Brooklyn is an unflinchingly honest account of the inevitable triumphs and downfalls of recovery. “These Things Happen” fearlessly examines generational abuse, the transformative power of confronting addiction, and the profound potential for redemption.

“These Things Happen”

Michael Eon | September, 19th 2023 | Girl Friday Books

Fiction, Addiction & Recovery, Coming of Age 

Print |  978-1-959411-16-1 | $17.95 

Ebook |  978-1-959411-17-8 | $9.99 

MICHAEL EON: Originally from the New York area, he currently lives in New Hampshire with his family. Michael earned his BA in psychology from the University of Michigan and an MA in international affairs from Columbia University. A former board member of the Audio Publishers Association and a former producer of major motion pictures and television productions, Michael worked in the publishing and entertainment industries for more than twenty years. Michael discovered the core of this story through the cathartic processing of autobiographical memories, following its evolution into this novel of redemption and recovery. “These Things Happen” is his first novel. Learn more about Michael at his website. 

In an interview, Michael Eon can discuss:

  • How his personal experiences with trauma, addiction, and recovery inspired his novel
  • How his processing of traumatic memories through therapeutic journaling turned into the basis for “These Things Happen”
  • How the tenants and practices of alcoholics anonymous supported the creation of the book 
  • What he hopes readers will take away from “These Things Happen” 

An Interview with

Michael Eon

Why did you begin journaling about your memories and experiences with addiction? 

In college, I wrote a great deal of freeform poetry about active addiction and its hold on me, as well as what I believed at the time to be the causes for my desire, since childhood, to escape and numb my emotions through drug and alcohol use. Twenty years later, consumed by active addiction, rage, hatred, and hopelessness, I sought help through Alcoholics Anonymous. After a few years in a state of what I would call “stark raving sober,” I finally got the courage to ask someone to take me through the Twelve Steps as outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. As part of that process, I began to explore in greater detail and depth the moments of my life—the memories and experiences—that seemed to govern my existence . . . my emotions, character, and personality. 

How did your  journal entries evolve into the creation of “These Things Happen?” 

Part of the Twelve Step process includes examining the things in one’s life that have served to hold a person back from spiritual growth. Resentment and fear are the two main offenders and consequently need to be dealt with before any semblance of peace can be had. The Twelve Step process enabled me to understand that these issues were the root cause of my dis-ease, not the drinking and the drugs. My journal took the writing I’d completed in Step Four and fleshed it out into memory stories—expanded autobiographical scenes as I had remembered them. As you can imagine, there was a lot of anger, resentment, denial, guilt, etc. in those entries, but the end result was extremely cathartic. These scenes served as the starting point for the novel.

Tell us a little bit about the culture of alcoholics anonymous, how did the culture of AA support the creation of this novel? 

For me, AA is a lot of things: a fellowship, a support group, a process by which to become both physically and emotionally sober, and much more. It is a spiritual program that allows for identification with others suffering from the same affliction through sharing with one another and reading/understanding the literature, including the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. For those willing to be honest with themselves (and others), and open-minded to the spiritual principles set forth in the Twelve Steps, AA can be a life-changer. It can not only free one from the bondage of active addiction, but can also teach one how to deal with life on life’s terms. Without AA, this novel would not have been possible because I would never have been able to escape active addiction and work through the trauma that served as the basis for my addiction.

You have a background as a TV and movie producer. What are your thoughts on entertainment culture and alcoholism? 

I believe that the media and entertainment industries influence social norms and exposure to drug and alcohol use; both industries can play a better part in removing the stigma of addiction by educating audiences about the reality of drug and alcohol abuse. Active addiction is neither a moral failing nor a matter of willpower for the sufferer. It is a disease driven by mental obsession and physical craving; one that centers in the mind of the user, which must be combatted on the physical, mental, and spiritual planes. Media and entertainment can play a better role by choosing programming that downplays the fun in and excessive use of drugs and alcohol and highlights the simple facts that (a) the sufferer is not alone and (b) there is a solution. More programming should convey hopefulness rather than hopelessness.

The book deals with heavy topics of addiction, trauma, and mental health. Why did you decide to write about these topics and what do you hope readers take away from the book? 

I decided to write about these topics for two main reasons: one, I have a great deal of experience with them; and two, I have a sincere desire to help others who struggle with addiction and, more generally, with life itself. The novel has sought to do this by focusing not just on the problems one faces with addiction and life, but on the solution to those problems, which I do by giving specific instructions on how to use spiritual principles to better one’s life. And you don’t have to be an addict to benefit from this novel. Dealing with life on life’s terms is not just an addict’s problem—it is a human problem.

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