Author Q+A: Shavonda Robinson

What inspired you on this book?

I wanted to help raise awareness of violence against women is wrong and should not be tolerated. Also help each women recognize the signs of an abusive partner and learn to escape before it is too late.

Why did you want to become a writer?

I always wanted to help uplift and teach others through my experiences.

What was the hardest part of creating this book?

This book has the ability to put anyone in their feelings.

What do you hope people gain from reading it?

To help women recognize the signs of domestic violence and learn to escape before it gets worser.

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

I loved all kinds from Maya Angelou and Alot children’s books.

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

Reading a book can save someone life or help someone who is going through a certain situation.

Why should we buy your book?

If you can relate to domestic violence against women whether it is you or someone you may know then this is a resourceful and important book that could help you many ways.


Author Q+A: Jennifer Juan

What inspired you on this book?

I recently went back and looked over some of my older work, some of which was written while I was studying at The University Of Greenwich, and it was so interesting to see how much growth there has been. I put together a collection called “The Things We Did Last Summer”, with some of the highlights of my older work, that hasn’t been published in print yet, so it will be a good starting point for anyone interested in how I’ve developed, without the pressure of having to scroll through my entire back catalogue.

In “Last Of The Greenwich Glamour Girls” I wanted to expand on my skills as a writer, and just continue to grow, learn and show people how far I’ve come as both a writer and a person. The title and the poem that goes along with it comes from something me and a friend used to call ourselves when we were studying at The University Of Greenwich. I didn’t take everything as seriously as I could have, because I think I was afraid of taking the next step into adult life, so now that I’ve moved on from that, and I’m growing and learning to do my own thing, I think there is a little regret from what could have been, but a lot of joy for what is to come, and I really tried to capture that in this book.

Why did you want to become a writer?

I wanted to explore language. I’m a really curious person, about everything, and so for me, learning and discovering things is what I love to do, and writing is no different. I’ve always seen it as a tool for exploration, and if I get to say something that is on my mind along the way, then that’s fine for me too.

What was the hardest part of creating this book?

I find it very difficult to let go of the things that I create sometimes, because even if I don’t mean them to come from my life, and my experiences, there is always a part of me that finds a way in, and it can make it very difficult to put things out there. I found one of the poems, Under Your Bed, particularly difficult, because it can be therapeutic to take something painful and create something from it, it can be so hard to have to revisit that. It’s like I was sitting with my laptop, with my trauma leaning over my shoulder, pointing out spelling errors and telling me how much I sucked, but it’s worth it, because it’s like gaining back the power from that situation. It doesn’t own me anymore, because I turned it into something strong, and it works for me now.

What do you hope people gain from reading it?

I hope that they’ll enjoy it, and maybe find something that they can relate to. I think that the relationship between an author and the reader is so important, so I hope I can build that with lots of new people, and strengthen that bond with my existing readers.

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

I loved and still love Carol Ann Duffy. I loved her way with words, and how she talked about things that I’d never really thought about before.

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

Don’t beat yourself up about it too much. I think that sometimes people aren’t engaged with books, because their only experience with them is school, and they often don’t get too much choice with what they read. I think just being open to books, not putting so much pressure on yourself, and letting the right book find you. So many television shows and movies these days are based on books, or have novel adaptations, so if you find yourself enjoying The Walking Dead, for example, maybe go to your library and check out one of the comics? Or if you see a quote you like on instagram, maybe click on the hashtag and see if you find anything else you like.

I think another important thing is to remember that you can read whatever you want, it doesn’t have to be a huge leather bound book written in the Victorian era to be valid, if it has words, and it engages you, then you’re reading, and that’s cool. I think some are put off of reading because there is a lot of elitism, with people being shamed for enjoying certain books, or genres, or for reading in non traditional ways. I think if people involved in writing and reading communities work together to destroy the stigma and shaming of reading non traditional formats, we would find that a lot more people get excited about reading, because they’d feel more welcome.

Why should we buy your book?

I found myself finding answers to a lot of life’s questions in the books I’ve read over the years, and right now, I think a lot of us have questions, so maybe, I have the answers you’re looking for, but you’ll have to get the book to find out.

Model Q+A: Rina Kelly

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

I was actually asked! And you never would believe Where the agent found me… in the line at McDonalds Hah. the mcflurry tastes extra good that day. Haha

I was for a short time Linked to a agency in Oslo Norway. Then I started to be contact by various designers!! Like malene birger, DAY et, moods And fam are some of them!! Most of them are danish designers

What made you want to be a model?

 I never thought I would be one! At the Beginning I saw it like a new challenge in life, like.. guess I didn’t take it too seriously but shortly I turned to a more dedicated person.
And the fairytale started

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

lack of sleep and sometimes painful feet!

What is the most fun?

designers sending me clothes as gift, after the show hehe. Also you meeting new peoples, I traveled a lot and have lots of nice memories

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

Well.. in my case, people believed more in me than I did at the beginning.

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

Just go for it!! It’s various type of model works!! Try to figure out what kind of model you are. And follow your heart.

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

I am retired! I moved to Mexico 2 months ago. and been already asked by L’Oréal Paris Mexico. But I focusing now on my music and career as actress. So my model fairy tale has reach the sweet end.

Actor Q+A: Hakan Yildiz

What is your favorite thing about acting? What is the hardest part?

My favorite thing about acting: , being someone else l think and the hardest part is to act this different personalites on camera

What are your tips for newbie actors? What skills, training and education do you recommend?

Well there are many things they have to do from eduction to self discovery. You must first discover what kind of abilities you have except acting then its always good to have a second talent to improve. Attend method acting classes, workshops, get a demo reel and headshot then start finding auditions in your town. Try to join all these auditions if its not gonna get you a possitive results. Never give up and its hard way to follow your dreams.

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

There are too many good actors and actresses l like to watch.

What are your upcoming projects and career goals?

I have a couple of feature film projects for next few years. The Boy On The Bridge is one of them. We will shoot it in New York next year 2018

I will be in Los Angeles and getting ready for my role for this film..

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

When we actors forget/mix my monologues during the shooting l think we all lough a lot. l’m a professional actor and independent film producer.

Artist Q+A: Mark Humes

What kind of art do you specialize in?

I specialize in Digital abstract art.

What first attracted you to art?

The ability to express my thoughts with out words.

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

To me, it was a necessity. After becoming disabled from my Military service, I knew a life of retirement was not for me and art, especially digital art was something I could pursue no matter what disadvantages I faced.

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

Well, these are two very different questions to me. My favorite artists are Van Gogh and H.R. Giger, but I can’t claim any influences in my artwork with the one exception being I try to make my work just as expressive as theirs.

What is your attitude towards art in our time period?

I feel it is changing with technology. New mediums such as digital art and 3d printing are changing the game as well as the fall of the gatekeepers. In today’s world artists are not dependent on the art complex to be known. A Simple web posted video can have an artist work being seen by thousands in a day where an old brick and mortar gallery would be hard pressed to get a quarter of that kind of foot traffic in a month. I feel we could be approaching digital golden age.

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

You have to love what you are doing and realize being an artist means you are in business so do your research and make a business plan it will help you greatly on your way.

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

Viewing my art is as simple as a Google image search For Mark Humes Art, but all of my artwork can be viewed and purchased at Mark Humes Gallery.

Music Q+A: Rev. Peter Unger

Why did you want to get into music?

My parents were music lovers, and had a large record collection. They listened mainly to classical music, and choral music. As a young woman my mother had had several years of vocal training. She had an excellent Soprano singing voice. One Christmas when I was 12 or 13 my parents gave me a guitar. Listening to, and learning to play folk songs, and writing simple songs soon followed. Around this time our family had made a move from a metropolitan area to a very rural one. This was a particularly difficult transition for me, and music became a way of coping and giving coherency to the intense emotions I was feeling.

What was your first musical experience?

This is a bit embarrassing to share but at the age of 5 or 6 I would stand in front of my parent’s stereo and while classical music was playing I would, using a pen or pencil, pretend to be a conductor. My first memorable concert experience was attending Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review Concert in the 70’s in Burlington, VT.. My second most memorable concert experience was a Bruce Springsteen concert at Cornell, Univ. around 1980.

Who are your favorite names in music right now?

Anyone whose is music is not overproduced, to commercially driven, and lacking in meaningful lyrics. The two I cite most often are Robin Marks, an Irish Christian artist, and Dougie Maclean, a Scottish musician. Still while I resonate deeply with the mystical tones, lilting melodies, and often poetic lyrics of many Celtic ballads, I listen to and enjoy a wide variety of music that is sensitive to the above concerns.

What was your first concert?

I believe the Bob Dylan concert was the first.

How does music make you feel powerful?

As a pastor my music affords me a way to reach people on a spiritual level that is free of much of the baggage and negative associations of organized religion. It makes me feel empowered that I can share something I care so much about and am invested deeply in.

What is your next release going to be?

While have had a few CD’s produced in the past. These days I share my music, and new songs,
mainly through the internet; promotional platforms, and Youtube. Most of my songs are written for worship and other Christian gatherings, and so are initially performed in these venues.

What is most important to you as an artist?

To offer up a positive, non-sectarian, spiritual message. Bad sensationalized news seems to predominate in the media these days. This combined with the cynicism, and relativism of our postmodern era has left many in a spiritual crisis characterized by a lack of any truth, purpose, or meaning in their lives. In a small way I try to combat this trend with my music. It is my hope that my songs will offer a positive, spiritually centering message, from an inclusive broad based Christian perspective.

Music Q+A: Katie Garibaldi

Why did you want to get into music?

I think music was always part of what made me who I am. I was enamored with music since I was a baby and when I was a kid I walked around hearing and humming melodies everywhere. My parents played melody-driven music for me and my brother when we were young, like the Beatles and the Beach Boys. Melody was so interesting to me and it seemed just as belonging in the world as air was. I started playing guitar around 11 years old and fell in love with it. The marriage of my love for melody and love for the guitar was the perfect recipe for my then growing adoration of songwriting. So I think the best way to say it is I didn’t get into music, but music got into me and then it just became part of who I am and I hung on to that with devotion ever since.

What was your first musical experience?

I was only a baby at the time so I don’t remember this, but my parents told me that they used to put on Sports by Huey Lewis and I would move around like crazy while crawling on the floor. It’s pretty funny because even when I hear “The Heart Of Rock & Roll” now, it still gets me moving. I do have early memories of my parents’ record player and a lot of rock and roll. I also think hearing my mom play the piano and sing and knowing that she also wrote songs was something that deeply affected my love for music early on.

Who are your favorite names in music right now?

Lately I’ve been listening to Joey + Rory a lot. Their story is so touching and tragic, but it’s so beautiful how their music lives on and their songwriting is just pristine. I’ve also just gotten really into Chris Stapleton. My friend in Nashville told me about him some years ago before he got famous and I heard a few of his songs and thought, yes, he’s real. I was at the Grammys when I saw him win his awards the past couple years and his journey has been inspiring to me as an artist. But I just got into his music on a deeper level recently and I keep wanting more. I also know one of my favorites, Jonny Lang has a new album coming out this year so I’ve been listening to some of his older albums and just love his soulfulness.

What was your first concert?

My first major concert at an amphitheater was Hanson when I was about 13 years old at the Shoreline in Mountain View, California. They’re still one of my favorite bands and songwriters and I’ve enjoyed watching their journey as independent artists and entrepreneurs. I remember that concert well because I was overwhelmed with excitement of hearing and seeing them on such a huge stage. Their energy was incredible and I think in hindsight it must have been significant for me to see kids my own age doing what they loved on such a large scale. I’m sure it lit a fire in me to want to perform live and how amazing that seemed.

How does music make you feel powerful?

I love this question because if there’s one word I would use to describe music, it’s powerful. Two scenarios come to mind. The first one is the process of songwriting. During the creation phase when I’m writing a song, that is the time when I feel most connected to God, to a higher power that is beaming inspiration to my head and heart and to my voice and my fingers on the guitar, so to speak. This is an incredibly powerful feeling because while I’m writing a song, it’s a very healing experience. No matter what the subject or vibe is, if the emotion is there, there is power in the healing aspect of songwriting. In a second scenario, being able to take that creation and share it with others, performing it live or translating it from a recording to someone’s ears, is also a powerful exchange because I feel like I’m passing on the healing that I’ve received to someone else. The song might make them cry or smile or just tap their foot or relax for a minute, but I’m grateful that something that I created can actually make someone feel something and possibly be healing in turn. If I hear a lyric in someone’s song that makes my memory flash to something personal in my life and feel something because of that, that’s pretty powerful, and what it means is we’re forever connected. I think there is a interconnection with people on a soul level and music is a fast and sure way to latch on to those wavelengths of oneness.

What is your next release going to be?

I’m so excited about my next release! I’m currently working on recording my new full-length album, which is an all-originals Christmas album. I’ve always wanted to record a Christmas album, but I was waiting for the inspiration to find me so that I could make something really special since the holiday is something close to my heart. I originally thought about recording a few classic songs, but I just kept writing and it turned into an all-originals album, which I’m really excited about sharing. This is the creative fire I was waiting for. Some songs are stylistically way outside of what I’ve done before so it’s really thrilling for me to be in the studio right now and bring these babies to life. I kind of can’t wait to shock some people! The album, Home Sweet Christmas, will be released this December.

What is most significant to you as an artist?

The most significant thing to me as an artist by far is staying true to who I am. That means, following my muse wherever it takes me and evolving naturally instead of trying to fit myself into a box. The industry can trick you into thinking you’ve got to do things a certain way or put a label on every little thing, but on my journey I’ve learned that if it doesn’t feel right, it’s simply not right. If it’s exciting to me, then that’s the way I want to go. If it’s scary to me but still interesting and promising, that’s a risk I’ll take. If it’s making me stressed out in a negative way though, forget it. Everyone is an expert in this business, right? They can tell you what’s “right” and “wrong” until the cows come home, but as an artist I’ve just got to stick with what my heart is telling me, take risks, and make music that I’m proud of. At the end of the day, I’ve learned everyone has an opinion but it doesn’t mean you always have to listen to it. And that was a learning process. Deep down I was finding out who I am and that’s important to me because God gave me my voice for a reason and it’s a precious thing, something I like to keep protected and valued. There are a lot of artists that are quick to compare themselves to others, but that kind of thing always makes me feel uneasy. You’re you so you’re not anyone else. You’d think that would be a simple concept to grasp. We’ve got to embrace that, no matter what our path is, and I hope the industry can become more accepting of that too. I trust that if I stay genuine in everything I do, there will always be people who get it. Life is meant to be good and fun so the older I get, I try not to worry about anything and just enjoy the wonderful opportunity to make and share my music with a grateful heart.

Music Q+A: Zendar

Why did you want to get into music?

I wanted to get into music ever since I was young cause I always enjoyed how it made me feel.

What was your first musical experience?

I grew up with music, my dad was a professional so i learned some guitar,bass,drums, and piano at a young age.

Who are your favorite names in music right now?

I listen to all kinds of genres but electronically I would have to say Flume, Zedd, Ghastly, Getter, Rezz, Golden Feautures, and Slander.

What was your first concert?

My first concert I think was a Paramore concert years ago, the band Fun. was opening up for them before they made it big.

How does music make you feel powerful?

Music has this powerful sense in whatever mood you’re feeling at the time, it could be powerful on many ways, for me what ever I’m feeling is the music I’ll go to and it helps me know what I’m feeling at the moment.

What is your next release going to be?

I just came out with my latest release ‘MINUTE’ last week so for my next I’ll have to see.

What is most significant to you as an artist?

To me, the most significant thing as an artist is finding people who share a passion for all the weird experimental parts I have in some of my songs, I think it takes certain people to feel the vibes I put out and I feel great when those certain people tell me that they enjoy my music.

Music Q+A: Melvin Fromm Jr.

Why did you want to get into music?

Well I was writing a letter to my then girlfriend (now my wife) on my feelings for her and when I was done the letter I thought wow this sounds like a song and I wrote my first song called “What I Feel.”

What was your first musical experience?

Well growing up mom had the radio on pop stations and dad had country stations on so as a boy my ears were filled with music.

Who are your favorite names in music right now?

Well I listen to Lakewood Church singers because Joel Osteen always focus on good in life with God and I always soak it up in my daily life.

What was your first concert?

Joel Osteen “A Night Of Hope” a real rock concert feel and I was a late bloomer getting to concerts.

How does music make you feel powerful?

I am able to put together a composed song from my feelings and thoughts and know others can hear and share it around the world.

What is your next release going to be?

I am working in the studio on a lot of new composed music because I am working with a music company the is doing background environmental music for major chains of hotel, food & beverage, retail outlets, workplaces, and much more around the world.

Keep up to date with me @

What is most significant to you as an artist?

How my music is touching people in some way in thier daily life to maybe bring a smile, feel relaxed, or remember someting really special in thier life.

Artist Q+A: Martin Sommerdag

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Martin Sommerdag, I am a danish artist who writes and directs movies and a I am also a published author. I love modern, abstract and digital art. I think the VHS format still rocks and COPS is still the best show on TV.

And about your new art film, The Orange Tune?

It’s an experimental art video about the danger of daily routines and how hard it is to break free from once comfort zone – because life is like an old vinyl record and if you don’t change the track or melody once in awhile you will feel trapped and maybe go a little crazy. I had the big pleasure of working with the beautiful and very talented actress Inga María Eyjólfsdóttir who has a bright future a head of her. I can only recommend Inga María Eyjólfsdóttir to other film directors in the movie industry. You can read all about THE ORANGE TUNE and also watch it via this link

Why not make mainstream movies?

I do and I have like the mysterious thriller TUNGUSKA DIARIES, which is about an unknown explosion that shattered a large area of forest near the Tunguska river in Siberia. The story takes place in the sixties and follows two nerdy field agents from the KGB science department, who are filming what may be their last minutes on this earth. I also write movies like the action feature HOT TRAFFIC which is about five sexy girlfriends who are celebrating a bachelorette party at a dirty bar in Mexico – they are drugged and kidnapped by a nasty criminal syndicate. But the maid of honor is a suspended and very violent LAPD cop. She is also the sister of the future bride and she will go through fire to bring her little sister home in time for the wedding.

What made you want to do art as a profession?

I believe that your profession is not what brings home your weekly pay check, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling. Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world.

What is your attitude towards movies in our time period?

I think the movies in our time period sometimes are more like a full animated movie because of all the CGI effects stuffed into the production. I still believe that the best movies are made in the eighties like BACK TO THE FUTURE or POLTERGEIST – in these movies the story is more important than the special effects and that is the recipe for an entertaining movie.

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

Do not pursuit a professional career as an artist if you only want fame and glory, because then you are in the wrong business. If you want money become a stock broker and if you want fame join a stupid reality program. If you want to have a professional career as an artist, always be yourself and just remember what Wall Disney said; if you can dream it, you can do it.

Where can we view your movies and art?

Just Google my name Martin Sommerdag! I am a film director and a published author. You can also find all my movies including the new art film THE ORANGE TUNE on Youtube and of course on different film festivals around the world.