Author Q+A: Roxanne E. Burkey + Charles V. Breakfield

What inspired you on this book?

As the 9th book in The Enigma Book Series we wanted to explore a new angle for the technology plot of this story. Each story has a technology focus, so for this story we decided a fun avenue was the bad guys trying to do combat without any digital footprint. We also wanted to utilize our feet-on-the-street CATS team or Cyber Assassin Technology Services team. It also allowed us to use several locations across the globe which gives it a more interesting dimension.

Why did you want to become writers?

We have each written at one time or another for fun, for work, and now again for fun but always in the technology field. Doing fictional writing, leveraging our professional expertise in technology, our extensive travel, and the variety of people who have crossed our paths, is the venue of choice for us to entertain readers as well as make them think.

What was the hardest part of creating this book?

To be honest the hardest part of this book was to work a very complex data gathering activity without the use of technology. Today, everyone knows how to use a smart phone to text, share pictures, or call, but how would you communicate if you couldn’t use that device? So if you have a bad guy business model how do you communicate without being observed like we are in the digital world? We think we have created several moments in this story where our reader will gasp with surprise and turn the pages faster to see what happens next.

What do you hope people gain from reading it?

The Enigma Dragon is designed to entertain an adult who likes a story that makes them think with relevant use of technology, romance, humor, and some returning characters. To answer your question, the bottom line is story telling enjoyment. Course it wouldn’t hurt if this is their first venture into the series that they would read the others.

When you were a kid, what were your favorite books?

We have both been readers for a long time. Hardy Boys series were always entertaining and provided variety. The Hobbit for fantasy, Call of the Wild for battling with nature, and Jane Eyre for complex characterization just to name a few. When Breakfield lived in Germany for 3 years as a teenager, there was no U.S. television so there was only reading and radio drama’s while his dad was stationed there. One reads a lot in those circumstances.

What is your advice to people who are not excited about reading?

Since we have been readers for all our lives it is odd to find how many people do not enjoy recreational reading. For these folks we are in the process of creating audio versions with The Enigma Factor, The Enigma Rising, and The Enigma Ignite available on Amazon/ACX in the US and UK and The Enigma Wraith in the process of being converted. This kind of goes back to when the Breakfield family would listen to Armed Forces Radio drama’s on Sunday nights. It is actually quite fun hearing our narrator bring the characters and books to life. A different media for a different kind of enjoyment.

Why should we buy your book?

If you like mystery, intrigue, humor, some romance wrapped up with relevant technology from the devices we use today then these stories are engaging, different, and fun. Mostly so you can be taken to a place that is fictional but oh could be so real. What is really gratifying is when people pick up the series and then complain that the next book isn’t ready for them but they have consumed everything else in the series. By the way we are half way done with book #10 so if you are voracious reader, by the time you have chewed through the first 9 books, book 10 should be done. (Uh yeah that did sound like a challenge, but that’s how we are.)

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Artist Q+A: Atif A K

What kind(s) of art do you specialize in?

Art for me is cathartic- so I try to explore various art forms out of curiosity and as a mode of expression. Originally, I have been a writer all my life- as in commercial/copywriter but recent I authored my first book Automation vs. Autocracy: Robogeddon En Route which is available on Kindle/Amazon. I have also written poetry for last twenty years- so there you can also find my Knots & Bonds.

Moreover, I have also been a recording artist with an with Universal Music and an MJ Rock Tributes album which will be available online through all major stores under the artist name The Atif and MJ Rock Tributes as the album name. I play guitars, piano and sing as a way to extinguish the fire in belly.

Also, I have been a professional photographer for last ten years or so- thanks to DSLR revolution things are way faster and much easy to maneuver with humungous possibilities. I do portraits, real estate and fashion but I enjoy wild life photography most. My portfolio can be seen or Flickr and my site.

Additionally, I love to design movie posters in leisure time. With VOD revolution and online media promotions- digital art is in much demand. More movies are made and thus I enjoy my childhood hobby by indulging in poster art.

Last but not least- film I think is the culmination of all art forms. It requires understanding of visual, audio, art direction, wardrobe, color scheme, writing (most importantly) and with a bunch of improv artists film has come to become my most first expression. It’s mighty, it’s challenging and it satisfies me like nothing can- as a curious bone.

What first attracted you to art?

I remember drawing pictures of Superman, F16, Aquariums and Knight Rider as far as my memory goes. But then our drawing class was replaced by technical drawing and my whole therapeutic experience with fine arts and sketching went down the drain. After years I was able to catch up when I took lesson in Adobe, Coral Draw and Quark Express.

I contrived music virus after I was pushed into the polygons and geometry boxes- I started learning piano with a school friend and although he stopped pursuing it seriously; here I am still infected and still going strong.

Films have always fascinated me in terms of story telling. As a writer I have this edge to twist the plot at any point in terms of keep improving it at the last moments while shooting and flip the takes to make it more interesting during the edit. This incredible power to flip the narration of story telling is really attractive which I discovered during my tenure at New York Film Academy’s LA Campus while I was shooting at the European Block in the Universal Studios, right behind where they were shooting Modern Family with Sofia Vergara on the set.

What made you want to do it as a profession and not a hobby?

I was very lucky that I was able to adopt writing as profession. When this passion turned into profession- my life became paid vacation. With the help of music I started doing music videos while writing commercials into various evolving new media and adapting accordingly. This enhanced my writing techniques to nth level.

After I completed my NYFA thesis short film- I sent it to various film festivals. I was astonished at the reception of it. In the meantime, I set up my complete production house. I was able to edit and shoot, write and do sound. So while I was writing books as ghostwriter, I started getting assignments in this brave new world of integrated and hands-on tech world.

The intel Macbook Pro saved me from the hassle of juxtaposing between Matrox, Final Cut and Adobe Production Suite (the former version of Creative Cloud). This pushed me into various opportunities with mobile production possibilities. I was free- I did not have to stick to my editing unit.

So while I traveled world- I did music videos and I found the real calling when I saw a real possibilities of telling stories without the support of studios, investors or big budgets. That has been my calling and my last documentary project ED vs IT: SOS is already in profits on Amazon Prime.

When future looks so lucrative, and the curiosity bug has bitten you deep- there is no reason to spread this epidemic. Especially, when people are ready to pay for it both as clients, audience and now on crowdfunding platforms too.

Who are your favorite artists and how have they influenced your work?What is your attitude towards art in our time period?

I would say select works of Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and David Fincher are those that come to mind. But I feel that in lieu of the new media revolution, there are some great artists in form of Writer/Director/Producers (which has become pretty common) out there. Film has incredible potential. There is some great cinema in Europe and I am very influenced by their liberal techniques free from patterns and formats or the inclusion of sex, violence and fear.

Cinema’s potential in my view has not been tapped even to 15% until now. It is the biggest and highest form of entertainment and both in terms of art and tech- there is a tremendous responsibility, possibility and challenge that can keep pushing it to next level of perception. I still think that all we see on Netflix and Amazon are very safe. A good art is like a metaphysical experience- it keeps hitting you every time you embrace it. Like Mona Lisa, like U2’s Joshua Tree, like Natural Born Killer- it retains its magic and grows on you. Sadly, a lot we see today is disposable- which is a need of the industry in its own. Yet we can go beyond general reception and make things more creative like Felini did and free it from the artistic restraints like David Lynch does or may be Kubrick.

The bread and butter of artist is his art. And if he can sustain that. Commercial success follows it. In his lifetime or later. But that’s not the essence. The essence is the experience which the whole world is yearning as everything around us is saturating at massive pace.

What is your advice for people who want to have professional careers as artists?

In terms of anthropology, this has been the best time as art entwines tech with the help of digital. You can find everything online on You Tube, Google and Wikipedia. Every detail is described and whether it is in terms of acquiring new skills or understanding the nuances of past art forms- it’s all accessible. The tools have become very user friendly as contrary to expert friendly the way it used to be in the past.

So if you have passion and burning to desire to confess what is disturbing you in your heart- you are free to maneuver the various phases in this interconnected world and share it with a bang. Just from the comfort of your MacBook, home or backpacking around the world.

I think for me it is the ultimate luxury to be able to live and grow in a virtual world.

Just go ahead and explore your calling. Just be very curious. If things interest you there is a great deal of it out there to be explored. Millions of documentaries can teach you what you won’t find in any university or a degree. Coding will expose you to a world of infinite possibilities. No need to wait and let them say that “Youth is wasted on the Young”. There was never a luxury ever in the history of mankind where kids could adopt an idea and blow it out of proportion. Look at Google, Facebook, Amazon and many others. They were all youngsters, fresh Silicon Valley blood. Remember it is not even restricted to Silicon Valley. When you temper with your vision to enforce it on mass audience to adopt it- you are essentially an artist. Your tools may be different, your industry may be unique- but you ideology to paint a brilliant picture on a canvass will forever make you an enterprising artist. All artist are entrepreneurs. When you pick up the brush, with a fatal portrait in your head, and you manifest it even better than you thought. You just topped yourself, surprising yourself is the greatest fruition for an artist.

I sometimes critique various exhibitions in the Big Apple on the portal Arte Fuse. A whole new dimension has been unleashed for fine artists through online medium. The promotion of exhibitions to selling of art has all become suddenly very accessible. Now it is up to us, how we can deploy these resources to our advantage. Some artists take digital art as the downside for which I say is a selection perception. Tech is a tool, use it whether you are an artist or a technician. Reach out to max people through social media. It’s now or never sort of an affair today.

Where can we view your work and/or buy it?

My book can be bought on Amazon/Kindle, Automation vs. Autocracy: Robogeddon En Route. My documentary can be viewed on Amazon Prime: ED vs. IT: SOS. My music can be found on iTunes, Amazon Music and all major stores: The Atif: MJ Rock Tributes. And my film that is still in production can be found on YouTube: The Disowned under my production house name DABLAB NY.

Model Q+A: Maximilian Orlando

How do you get modeling jobs? Are you with an agency or freelance?

I’m currently signed with PUSH Models International agency in San Francisco, CA and get a lot of my bookings through them. However, I’ve always believed in the power of pursuing your passion -and one of mine is fashion- so I have definitely procured my own contracts many times throughout my modeling career.

What made you want to be a model?

I have always been into fashion. To me, fashion is art and engineering at it’s pinnacle form. Shapes, colors, styles, etc. The variance has always enchanted me. Being a model allows me to use fashion as a catalyst for self expression. That’s why I got into it.

What is the hardest part about pursuing modeling as a profession?

The hardest part about pursuing modeling is the rejection. Starting out is extremely hard, especially if you don’t have representation. I heard a thousand No’s before a single Yes. And that’s not an easy pill to swallow. Furthermore, you won’t make a ton of money in the beginning, so it becomes a financial burden to go on constant castings, book photoshoots to update your portfolio, eat healthy, exercise, maintain good skin care, etc.

What is the most fun?

I think that the best thing about being a model is the opportunity it provides you to travel & meet some extraordinarily creative individuals. I did a photoshoot with the coolest girl who was from Shanghai. It was such a vibe! That’s the beauty of this industry. It’s the raw, creative experiences and memories that will stick with you forever.

How do you respond to people who don’t believe in your goals?

I have always tried to ignore negativity. People always try to bring you down to make themselves feel better. With age, I’ve learned not to give people my energy who don’t deserve it. They can be detrimental to your career.

What advice do you have for people who want to model?

Anyone who wants to model should be involved in some form of competition. Learning about the pitfalls of life & having the ability to perform well under pressure are great tools for professional models.

What are your career aspirations and where can we find you next?

I would love to book an international campaign as the face of an African fashion line. I think that would be really cool! I’m currently attending castings for 2018 New York Fashion Week.

Author Q+A: Mastho Vamsee

What inspired you on this book?

I abhor the routine in life. Never liked going to school or college because it was doing the same thing again and again. Perhaps that’s the reason I always trusted that there’s more to life than just waking up, suffering the routine and going back to sleep every night. I love strange and unexplained things. I truly and honestly believe that the stuff in folklore and mythology is true. I believe that there are angels, demons, heavens and all those fabulous creatures with amazing powers. There are many worlds in 4th and 5th dimensions and we can’t see them because we are only 3 dimensional. I believe that man has the ability to perform ‘supernatural’ feats called miracles… I would, one day, be able to perform such miracles too. The Gurus of India have always said this is possible and for me the Gurus’ word is the ultimate. So, all my stories revolve around wacky and supernatural stuff. The concept of The Spookoholic: Kanchi came to me when I was thinking ‘in the opposite’, which is my method when I sit down to write. “We are all frightened of Ghosts. What if Ghosts are frightened of us?” And then the Spookoholic was born. The novel has a truck load of these weird concepts that would make you pause for a moment and perhaps think ‘What the duck! Could someone even think in this angle?’ J

Why did you want to become a writer?

I had worked on radio and television for several years. Had written hundreds of scripts. I enjoyed reading books that exited me but never dreamt that I would find myself writing one day, honestly. One day a good lady asked me to write a story and narrate it for her Internet magazine (I am a voice artist). I said yes and started writing. It was very difficult at first but the result was amazing, actually. The stories were filled with suspense and they were very very wacky and compelling. I had never read anything as wacky and suspenseful as the stories I started spinning. Awed, I went on to understand the art of story writing, designed a proper step by step method to churn out brilliant stories with minimum effort and then my work started getting published and appreciated. Yet, writing a novel was ‘impossible’ in my mind until the Spookoholic jetted into my life like a whirlwind J

What was the hardest part of creating this book?

I am a very meticulous person. I create processes and stick to them, albeit my nature that detests routine. But all this discipline ends when I finish writing my story or novel.

The concepts come to me, intelligent screenplay comes to me easily, at least 60% of the times. But the later part of proof reading, toiling with technical details of book publishing and marketing tested my patience. My left-brain, the logical side, tortures me when put to use. To top it all, I am very difficult to satisfy. Every decision is a herculean task and perfectionism is a difficult ailment to live with J The technicalities and ‘routines’ of publishing were the hardest part for me.

What do you hope people gain from reading it?

The Spookoholic is a man who sticks to his ‘Dharma’ or righteousness. There are very very few such people left on this planet today who are of this kind. He is honest, does not lie, respects the tradition and he is compassionate. These are the attributes that our planet requires of her inhabitants today. The entire story has episodes, placed at planned intervals that subtly imprint certain ‘higher vibes’ in the reader. If I am happier than anything about this book, it is because of this aspect of the novel. The reader gets a subconscious affinity to a way of being that has been almost lost. These form part of the story and I tried to be non-preachy about them. Apart from this, the reader will be enthralled by some good humour, weird antics of the protagonist, some very touching moments, intelligent knockouts of obstacles and classy romance.

When you were a kid, what were your favorite books?

I grew up with my grand parents for a few years in childhood. In these valuable years, I spent time lying down next to my grandfather every day, morning, noon and night… to listen to all his stories. He was an ardent reader and an author himself. He narrated to me some two hundred stories. But the first ever stories I listened were Sir Author Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. My grandpa was a great fan of Sherlock. He was my Holmes J And then he read me novels in English, too. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Green Planet, Killer Elite are some that come to mind. When I started reading on my own, I read Enid Bliton, Secret 7 and then lots of Robert Ludlum and John Grisham apart from others.

What is your advice to people who are not excited about reading?

Reading has got its benefits. And it has got its downside – it influences you and it would take you away from reality or awareness (as in being in the moment). But nobody could be made to read. For some, reading is just not their thing. And that is perfectly alright. Yet, I should say that everyone’s life has this phase of ‘What? Reading a book? That’s not going to happen’. All who are avid readers today were in that space once upon a time. Reading does/can happen to everybody. The only trick is to keep reading. Read something that’s remotely interesting to you. Just a little every day without breaking the habit. One day you’ll discover that reading is happening effortlessly. And then, all the benefits of reading would be yours.

Why should we buy your book?

Because I am not rich enough, as yet, to give it free of cost to you J Just kidding. If you love to travel into a world where strange things happen… into a world where you’d feel kicked about beating the heck out of evil… into a world where there is love, compassion, strange powers and unimaginably weird spooks… you are welcome into the world of the Spookoholic. When you read through the book and reach ‘The End’, you will feel glad, happy and peaceful inside. You would even suddenly miss the Spookoholic. This is a memorable adventure of a silly yet lovable man, the girl of his dreams and his funny uncle… It describes incredible powers in a common man, an ad film maker. It has the excitement that’s akin to playing a deathly video game that has 3348 ghosts. And finally, it is written by a soul that has meditated for 25 years, day in and day out… every word was written to bestow beneficial vibes to the reader and bless her/him.

Artist Q+A: Pere Ibañez

What kind(s) of art do you specialize in?

I majored in film, and somehow I moved into photography and that’s where I’m most comfortable. I believe my work uses cinematographic language in many ways as is very influenced by films, I also write and paint – badly but I do.

What first attracted you to art?

That would be difficult to say since I’ve been interested in art since I was a little boy, but I can say that it has turned into some sort of therapy. One of the best ways to reflect on life or overcome dark periods such as breakups. In the field I’m working is also a way to connect with others, every time you work with models or collaborate with fellow artists you share the moment and it turns into such an enriching experience. During the production of ‘Syzygy’ my new photo series I had to work constantly with strangers and I had such a great time, met lots of wonderful people.

What made you want to do it as a profession and not a hobby?

Nothing really, it kinda happened. And I feel truly lucky but often find hard adapting to the requirements of monetizing your work: censorship, branding etc. In a way I rather still see it as a hobby and enjoy it that way, despite the fact that at the end of the day you are gonna be capitalizing on it.

Who are your favorite artists and how have they influenced your work?

I would often mention horror icons from the 80s and 90s film industry, but most recently I would like to mention Ren Hang, the early departed Chinese photographer. His works impacted me deeply. I spent much time just going back to those images, trying to pinpoint what it was about them that haunted me. Those portraits were raw, full of emotion, so human. And I realized that ‘human touch’ was missing in much of my work, so I could say that it helped me work my own sensibility.

What is your attitude towards art in our time period?

Well I love the fact that artists nowadays have it much easier to share their works online and arrive to more people rather than only going through the gallery-exhibitions channel. There’s so much talent out there and it’s amazing that you can just enjoy it with the click of a mousse.

What is your advice for people who want to have professional careers as artists?

Hmm, based on recent experiences – that would be to not sell out your soul. The great thing about art is that we do it because we love it, and we should never forget that. Money, success etc is necessary as means to survive, but never forget why you started doing art in the first place.

Where can we view your work and/or buy it?

Well of course on my website: http://www.pereibanez.com and on December 4th I’m releasing ‘Syzygy’ my new photo-series and book, a collaboration with Chinese NGO CandleX on the subject of Bipolar Disorder. ‘Syzygy’ will be available as eBook on Apple’s iBookstore and print in all major retailers such as Amazon.

Chef Q+A: Luigi Criscuolo

When you were 15 years old and new to cooking, what mistakes did you make?

When I started, almost all I did was bad. I loved using many “heavy” ingredients and too much oil. I liked tasty, fried, fattening dishes. After a few months, I corrected my mistakes.

In the past, you have owned a restaurant. What are you doing now as a chef?

Good question. I owned a restaurant in the past. I’ll definitely open one again in the future, but I cannot accept the idea of leaving the stoves. I love cooking too much and would literally live in the kitchen.

What are the proper accompaniments for linguini: protein, beverages, and anything else?

When I think about linguini, I automatically think about claims, cherry tomatoes, Italian parsley, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic. A nice bottle of my beloved “greco di tuff,” a great southern Italian wine.

What are some of your other favorite pastas to cook for clients?

I love seafood! I love cooking ravioli, lobster with ricotta cheese, and spaghetti with shrimp and zucchini. I love to use porcini. Porcini is a respected Italian mushroom.

Which traditional Italian entrees do Americans misinterpret when we try to prepare them?

Mmmm, there is something out there really, but one of the top is chicken. In America, chicken is overused and in italy we not really eat the dish you have, chicken parmigiana. Our alfredo sauce is originally white, made of just butter and parmesan cheese. Americans use too much heavy cream almost everywhere.

How are we making the tomato sauce incorrectly?

There are too many tomato sauce recipes. My tomato sauce is only peeled garlic, extra virgin olive oil, good tomatoes, salt, and of course, basil.

What is the difference between Manhattan pizza and typical pizza eaten in Italy?

There is only one. pizza in the world: neapolitan pizza! Yes, I’m sorry about that, but I’m neapolitan, and I’m so proud of my pizza, and for me, it is the only one in the world. The rest is just a variant of the real pizza, so different really that I do not even call it pizza.

Is it true that many Italians eat healthy dessert such as fruit on most days instead of a rich tiramisu?

Dessert is eaten everyday in Italy. We love fruit for dessert, but chocolate for dessert and tiramisu are never missing on the Italian table. Cannoli is the most known Italian dessert in the world.

Which meal do you recommend for someone to cook for entertaining a romantic interest?

I remember one of my romantic dinners with my wife. Nova salmon bruschetta as an appetizer. Risotto with lobster. Grilled Hawaiian prawns to share, and chocolate lava cake. A few days later, that girl became my wife. She still is!

Musician Q+A: MsTish!

Why did you want to get into music?

Music was something that came NATURAL to me. It’s been a part of my life – ALL MY LIFE!

What was your first musical experience?

My first Musical experience was in church singing in the choir.

Who are your favorite names in music right now?

My favorite names in music right now is Canton Spirituals.

What was your first concert?

My first concert was at a school in Memphis for children.

How does music make you feel powerful?

My music empowers the GOD in me – I give OUR FATHER All the Glory!!

What is your next release going to be?

My next release will my 4th Album ( Conviction )

What is most significant to you as an artist?

Time – Loyalty and standing out.

Actor Q+A: Alfredo Trueba

What is your favorite thing about acting?

Just being. Being in the moment. Being and doing as the character. Feeling all the emotions that come with that. When you are able to be 100% in it, just living it for the first time, whether it is with a camera inches from your face in front of a 30-person crew, or in front of a sold out theater, the rare moments when you are just able to be fully in it. Its like magic, its surreal.

What is the hardest part?

I guess when you are just not finding it. When you are trying to find that character, or that emotion, in rehearsal, or on set, it can be excruciating. Because you know what has to happen and for some reason, your body, your emotions, the circumstances, get in the way of your preparation and your process, and if you’ve been on set for seven hours waiting around and suddenly they need you to go, you need to be able to take a breathe and do it, because everyone is counting on you and time is money, but that’s part of the fun too!

What are your tips for newbie actors?

Breathe. Give yourself a break. Save money when you can. There are so many different roads to success, but you have to define what success is for you, and you can’t define your self-worth by it. Especially for people that become actors in search of the lifestyle, the money, or the fame, because it’s what we see and read about, and in some cases are told we should strive for, but most working actors are just that, working. So you have to love acting and the art, and not do it for what you think it might bring you. Also continue to refine your skills and your craft, continue to train and get better, and surround yourself with likeminded hard working people and artists.

What skills, training and education do you recommend?

It’s different for every actor. Show me 1,000 actors and I’ll show you 1,000 approaches to acting. In terms of skills, great listening, an openness and flexibility to work with different people and changing circumstances, and courage. All actors need courage! But as far as training and education go, there are millions of options out there… I went through an intensive BFA program, but you see it all the time living in LA, you meet a lot more actors that, you know, got off the bus with a suitcase and a dream so to speak, actors who have been training with the same acting teacher for years, or people that have just learned by doing it, they’ve been on camera since they were babies – literally! But I always recommend what my friend and casting director Andy Roth says, which is there are two approaches to acting, one that works and one that doesn’t, and actors have to find the one that works for them, and keep at it.

Who are your favorite actors/actresses and what do you learn from watching them?

The list is long and varied; I love film and television, and I try to watch it all. It changes every week as I get enthralled by whatever I’m watching, but I love the passion, joy, and energy Gael García Bernal brings to set on Mozart in the Jungle, I love the command of character and scene work that come from a Denzel Washington performance, who is a master storyteller and understands the camera so well. Watching great actors do live work is incredible too, I remember I saw Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams in Blackbird on Broadway, and it is so emotional and challenging material, and it almost seems over the top, especially compared to their work in front of the camera, and yet you go with them, and you feel what they do, and its incredibly useful to see how they must adapt for the medium they are working in. So for this week, I’ll settle on those four…

What are your upcoming projects and career goals?

I just finished Car Plays, which had a successful run as part of the Pasadena Art Walk, but I really can’t wait for some of the stuff I’ve been doing to come out, in particular the “Chandler” episode of ID Network’s Betrayed coming out in December, as I play the lead antagonist, Robert ‘Carl’ Paiva. Its so much fun to play a villain, but a to play a 70s hyper-masculine mustache killer from the Midwest in a hit new show’s second season, its really exciting. But upcoming projects? I’ve been dying to play Salvador Dalí since working on a version of the character with casting director Ellen Parks, and though I can’t really talk about it yet, I will be playing him very soon and my blood is boiling! I have family in Spain that is actually not far from where he lived most of his life… And as far as career goes, I would love to work with genius filmmakers like Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritú, who I’ve loved before Birdman and The Revenant made him one of the most coveted directors in the world. But more than anything, continue to tell great stories and reach people, whether that be in front of a packed audiences on musical stages where I started, on film, television, or through viral web content, at the heart of it, I hope to continue to do work with meaning, that pushes the envelope, and reaches people.

What is something funny that’s happened to you on the job that makes you love acting more?

I don’t know if this is funny, but recently on the shoot of Rico San Marco, we were shooting in the city of Temecula, a charming town, and for some reason residents hated us! It was crazy! Most of the time when you are shooting on the streets or on location, people want to know what you are shooting, want to take pictures with you, the actors, maybe even try to get in the shot, but we had the film commission shut down a tiny street the first day and people went nuts! They were complaining about having to wait, they were yelling at our production assistants until the director, had to get involved, it was crazy. One guy was upset someone asked him to be quiet, and so he stomped his way through five flights of stairs just to mess with production, but as an actor sometimes the adversity, having less time to shoot, you have to focus and push through, and as a leading actor, working with a kid on the shoot, you have to lead by example and show everyone not to focus on the drama around a shoot, but the job, the scene, the take at hand… And by the end, most people in town ended up loving our production team and came out to watch us film our final scene on the town bridge, but hey, that’s show business, and you got to love it!

Author Q+A: E.H. Humphreys

What inspired you on this book?

Players: A Game of Grit and Glory is about a female professional polo player and her team; as a polo player myself I was inspired by the game and the extraordinary people I have met through the sport. It is a world unbeknownst to much of the population and one that I wanted to share.

Why did you want to become a writer?

I have always been writing, as a child I wrote little stories and as a teenager I wrote to escape from the agony that is high school. Writing has been a source of comfort and self-exploration throughout my life, however this was the first time I finished writing a novel.

What was the hardest part of creating this book?

Finding the time to write was difficult because I wrote Players whilst I was studying for my law degree. Getting started took more time than finishing because once I had written over half of the book I was so excited about the ending that I was more motivated to keep going.

What do you hope people gain from reading it?

Players is designed to be a book that people can dive into and escape from the trials of their own lives. I hope that it brings people enjoyment and that it makes the world more aware of this wonderful sport that is not just about the riches and glamour that is often associated with it; polo is about determination, teamwork, and horses over everything else. I hope that people are inspired by the strong female characters and the supportive friendships that are at the heart of the book.

When you were a kid, what were your favorite books?

Like any horse-mad teenager I was obsessed with horse-themed books and series like the Black Stallion series, the Thoroughbred series, the Saddle Club, and of course Seabiscuit. I, like most people of my generation, grew up with Harry Potter and I cannot fail to mention the effect that had on me and encouraged me to imagine and create.

What is your advice to people who are not excited about reading?

If a person is not excited about reading then they probably have not found the right book yet. Books are very personal, you are delving into your own unique interpretation of someone else’s universe. Don’t listen to what other people tell you that you should read, find something that you get joy from and want to continue reading. There are lots of sources where you can read the first chapter of a book to decide if it is something you want to continue with.

Why should we buy your book?

Players is a great book for anyone looking for an action-packed story that is fun and easy to read but full of soul.

Author Q+A: Jo M. Sekimonyo

What inspired you on this book?

I started this journey by asking few simple questions. What I run into are perverted answers that made me realized the distribution justice is a simple and at the same time a complex question. This book is frankly born out a frustration that no one wanted to revisit socioeconomic inequalities in term of injustices.

Why did you want to become a writer?

For all of the wrong reasons, raise hell and feel alive. Writing is a way to express inner struggles as well as ideas. There is nothing like the thrill of turning your feelings into words that could possibly change somebody else journey, or break the silence in somebody else mind.

What was the hardest part of creating this book?

Writing is boring. I basically sat and stared at a screen for hours, days, weeks, before typing into a keyboard. There aren’t many variations on that. My contradictions added to my idealism, which amplifies the difficulty in learning new emotions or interpreting facial expressions.

What do you hope people gain from reading it?

In a world of flawless idiocies and imperfect knowledge, arguments which have a certain persuasive façade comes out on top. In the dissection of commerce and trade, there are other ways to tell the story. It wasn’t all about mathematics and cute graphs until recently. I hope that the premise of my rants forces readers to pay greater respect to people who are making valid arguments against profiteers’ “raison de vivre”.

When you were a kid, what were your favorite books?

I shall confess that I was a fan of Tin tin. My naivety did get the fume of racism. The cartoon depicted people like me as primitive to the core, with the stereotyped features that need no describing. It supports the typical colonial belief: non-Europeans never grow into the maturity of adulthood. This paternalistic conception of colonialism I grew up with in the southern hemisphere with the delusion of being part of the northern hemisphere.

What is your advice to people who are not excited about reading?

If you don’t like reading, watch documentaries, then write a book. Inspiration is everywhere. You jump in a public bus and watch people faces, get them to talk.

Why should we buy your book?

To have something else to say in terms of distributive justice for which the prevailing sermons have become standardized. Nowadays, it’s not so much between the right-wing and the left-wing economists. Even in the part of the world where Capitalism doctrine is not very understood nor deeply theorized, it’s very widely and, I would argue, very successfully applied. Chants against injustices have become spoken word fumbling acts. Utopian ideals persist in the collective consciousness despite the absence of a robust intellectual foundation because people feel deep in their gut the paradigm shift. I don’t just grumble and gesticulate my frustrations about this. I am a merchant of ideas, and my greatest one yet is the solution to the archaic and barbaric capitalism structure. I call it ethosism.