Interview with David Clow, Author of King Judy

Mar. 15, 2018

I was privileged to invite Mr. Clow for an interview with BooKecCenTric to discuss his latest book and his inspiration behind it.  Enjoy!


Thank you @DavidClow for your time today. What's your latest book about, and what inspired you to write it?
DavidClow: King Judy is a new look at a beloved old story: King Arthur, Camelot, and the Round Table. This time the setting is contemporary. The unlikely heir to Arthur's throne is a Judy Avery, a young American archaeologist who loves the Camelot fairy tales and hopes to find some scientific basis for them. Judy finds far more than she expects when she discovers Arthur's legendary sword Excalibur. She is given the treasure of Arthur's kingdom; falls in love with Arthur's champion Lancelot; and must take up the defense of Camelot against Arthur's ancient enemies. She thought her quest was for a career in science. Now she needs to stay alive and defend what always mattered most about Camelot: justice, hope, and goodness.

Who is your target audience, and why do you think this book will appeal to them?
DavidClow: King Judy is for anyone like Judy who loves the Arthur stories, and more important, who sees in them something redeeming and hopeful. Young adults in particular are the audience I’d like to reach. Much of their literature now suggests that they feel despair (and rightly so) with the world they’re inheriting. I dedicated it to the women in my own family whom I know to be as brave, resourceful, and resilient as the heroine of the story. I hope they’ll see some of themselves in Judy Avery, and vice versa.

What message do you wish to pass across to your readers with this book?
DavidClow: Camelot has been a staple story for centuries in Western literature, with a variety of interpretations and approaches, but it’s always a place blessed with optimism and courage. In King Judy they feel the presence of a higher power watching over the kingdom, and it’s true—but Judy and her friends still need to draw on their own strength to succeed. As she tells the readers, “Never forget that however your history began, you write your own tale and make your own ending. Stay the quest for what is fine in you even when no one else sees it. Stay the quest for what is strong in you even when no one else believes it’s there.”

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
DavidClow: I find that stories really can take on lives and voices of their own. The hard part is listening, and hearing what the story really wants to be. I did a lot of rewriting on the book because it really kept telling me no, not yet--say this instead. It got better the more I just got out of the way.

As a writer, is there anything you've learned about yourself while writing this book?
DavidClow: Technically I wouldn't say so, but then I've been wring a long time. The learning came from being patient and trusting the story to take the lead instead of pushing to make a word count every day.  

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books, and why?  
DavidClow: I love hard copies. I collect books, and as good as eBooks are becoming they can't match the feeling of a well-designed book in the hand, the handsomeness of beautiful type, or illustrations by Hablot Knight Browne, Gustave DorĂ©, or Ralph Steadman.

What is your niche genre, and if you were to write in a different genre, what would it be?
DavidClow: I've written plays, non-fiction, and now a novel, so I wouldn't say I have a niche.

What books and authors have most influenced you?
DavidClow: My favorites range from Shakespeare to James Ellroy to all kinds of non-fiction. My greatest influence is probably Ray Bradbury, but there will only be one of him and even trying to imitate his style is impossible.

Is there anything you'd like readers to know about you?
DavidClow: Only that I hope I gave them a character who seemed real and alive. I don't feel quite like I created Judy Avery. It's more like she let me help her tell her story. If the readers know her the way I do, and admire her as I do, then that's enough.

What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.)?
DavidClow: There's a King Judy Facebook page and I'd be delighted to hear from readers there. I also have a Goodreads page


David Clow is a Los Angeles-based journalist, playwright, and author. Contact him on Facebook.

Interview with Kate Larkindale, Author of Stumped

Mar. 8, 2018

I was privileged to invite Ms. Larkindale for an interview with BooKecCenTric to discuss her latest book and her inspiration behind it. Read the interview below. Enjoy!


Thank you @KateLarkindale for giving me a bit of your time today. Let’s start off with the obvious question – What's your latest book about, and what inspired you to write it?
KateLarkindale: Stumped is about a 17-year-old guy struggling to figure out how to be a man after losing his legs in an accident. I was inspired to write it after meeting the subject of the film Scarlet Road, a documentary about a sex worker who works almost exclusively with the severely disabled.

Who's your target audience, and why do you think this book will appeal to them?
KateLarkindale: It's definitely for older teens.  And obviously I'd love for disabled teens to read it and recognize some of their own struggles and fears in Ozzy's journey. But Ozzy is a very funny guy, and some of the situations he finds himself in are hilarious, even while others are devastating. I think this book will appeal to anyone who enjoys books that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes both on the same page.

What message do you wish to pass across to your readers with this book?
KateLarkindale: It's really about the importance of intimacy, and the difference between sex and intimacy. And that having sex doesn't automatically make you a man.

What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
KateLarkindale: The hardest thing about writing Stumped was accepting that the thing that sparked it ended up being the one thing readers couldn't believe would happen and I ended up having to re-write the last third of the book. It still makes me sad to have lost that aspect of the story...

As a writer, is there anything you've learned about yourself while writing this book?
KateLarkindale: I really love writing boys' POV! Ozzy was so much fun to write. I can't wait to write another boy book.

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books, and why?  
KateLarkindale: I like both. I always have one paper book on the go because I like to read in the bath and e-readers and bathwater don't go well together. But I always have an e-book going too, so I have something to read on public transport.

What is your niche genre, and if you were to write in a different genre, what would it be?
KateLarkindale: YA contemporary is where I seem to always end up. I have tried a number of different genres though, especially with my short fiction. I've published stories from horror to erotica to sci-fi and back again!

What books and authors have most influenced you?
KateLarkindale: I love books that manage to have both a great story and beautiful writing. Jandy Nelson's The Sky Is Everywhere and Janet Fitch's White Oleander are two of my favorites. I also like really powerfully masculine writers like Russell Banks, Sam Shepherd and Cormac McCarthy. But in terms of influence, I have to mention S.E. Hinton. I read The Outsiders for the first time when I was 12 and it completely changed my life. That was the book that made me want to be a writer, and the many years I spent writing copy-cat Hinton stories made me into a writer.

Do you have any more books in the works? 
KateLarkindale: I do!  I have three or four that are close to being ready for publication, so I just need to figure out which one I should submit to my publisher next! I'll let you in on a secret: I think it's going to be my sex, drugs and rock n roll book...

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
KateLarkindale: I do read my reviews. I know you're not supposed to, but I can't help myself. As long as they are thoughtfully written, I learn something from every review, good or bad. Sometimes it's just that the book wasn't the right book for that reader... I review books too, and sometimes I don't like books other readers are raving about, so I know all books aren't for all readers.  It's easier to deal with bad reviews when you remember that.

What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, Goodreads, etc.)?
KateLarkindale: I absolutely love hearing from my readers. I have a blog ( where I review books and talk about what I'm working on, and I also hang out on Twitter more than I should... You can find me there @vampyr14.

Having spent a lifetime travelling the globe, Kate Larkindale has settled in Wellington, New Zealand. A marketing executive, film reviewer and mother, she’s surprised she finds any time to write, but doesn't sleep much. As a result, she can usually be found hanging out near the espresso machine.

She is the author of contemporary YA novels An Unstill Life and Stumped, along with several others that no one is allowed to see. Yet. She has also written one very bad historical romance, which will likely never see the light of day. She is working on several more YA novels that may or may not ever be finished…

Her short stories have appeared in Halfway Down The Stairs, A Fly in Amber, Daily Flash Anthology, The Barrier Islands Review, Everyday Fiction, Death Rattle, Drastic Measures, Cutlass & Musket and Residential Aliens, among others.

What You Need to Know About Reading

Feb. 28, 2018

Reading isn't for me.

I've heard people tell me that when I ask them if they like to read. Usually I look at them in dismay, because I'm baffled by the concept that reading isn't for anyone. On the contrary, it's exactly for everyone. If only everyone knew what they could gain from reading - and I don't just mean the act of reading, but reading books (whether fiction or non-fiction), magazines, journals, and even textbooks!

This isn't kindergarten, I’m aware. We don’t need reminders about how reading is essential, or lectures on how to read. So I'll have this labeled as a friendly article that should serve to remind and enlighten us on the great benefits that reading -- especially literary fiction -- can give us. 

Knowledge expansion - There are three main areas where our knowledge can be expanded when we read literary (or other inspiring genre) works. They are as follows:

a. On cultural awareness. Good fiction (and even non-fiction) allows you to be in a place where you might never be, and visualize what you might not visualize on your own. It shares some insights about other cultures outside of ours, plants that seed of interest, expands on the little cultural knowledge we may have previously gained, and helps us see these cultures from a new and different perspective.

b. On life experiences. When we read literary fiction or any good genre literature, we get to be in the shoes of the characters in the story, feel their pain, relive their experiences, mistakes, etc. It brings a sense of understanding about the different situations that some people face in real life and how different individuals handle them. We get to understand the prevalent social, economic, political or even psychological issues that the author is trying to show his /her reader and the significance of some actions that some of the important characters make. We also learn a few things about ourselves as humans -- our limitations and shortcomings, but also our strengths and potency.

c. On world history. Some literary fiction plots are centered on historical periods and events that allow the reader to gain understanding of the era in discussion and how things used to be at the time. It expands on the historical knowledge that may have already been attained in educational institutions, and adds a fresh outlook on what it was like to live through world-known events such as WW1 and WW2, the Great Depression, The Renaissance period, and so on.

Brain exercise - 

a. Thinking outside the box. Reading literature is not only for entertainment purposes, but it's literally a form of exercise for the brain. For example, when we read about the different characters in a plot and the situations they may be facing, we get to think for them and feel for them, in the way that we may never have thought for ourselves and on our own. 

b. Vocabulary improvement. Reading improves our vocabulary tremendously. After reading familiar words and phrases repeatedly, we automatically figure out their meanings without going for the dictionary, and we begin to insert the phrases in our everyday conversations, which also leads to increase in our general intelligent level.

c. Increase in emotional intelligence = better interaction with those around us. When we are made aware of the issues going on around the world, we gain a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and why people appear to be the way they are or act the way they do. This gives room for allowance and tolerance in our subconscious, and allows us to gain the patience to be more understanding, and thus interact better with those around us. 

Entertainment - 

Reading is a great form of entertainment; just like we go to the theaters, karaoke, bowling, skating, or dancing, so is reading in the same category. Reading, especially for book lovers, gives a sense of excitement and anticipation, like watching a movie with your mind's eye – being able to visualize every place, character, access situations, and so on. A jolly good book brings happiness and lightness to the reader, strongly improving the mood of the reader prior to reading.

I'm aware that for some, reading books doesn't always come naturally, especially reading literary fiction, as it's been deemed to be quite dull and wordy. I can assure you, though, that it's not always the case with all literary books. Granted, it's a fact that some books are slow in getting to the 'exciting' part. However, there are also some books in which the details of the very first pages might seem unimportant and mundane, but once you get through those first pages with patience (and maybe a little discipline), you will not regret picking them up, that's an assurance on my part.

So give yourself a chance, pick up a novel to read. If you're an unhurried reader, give yourself a month at most to finish one. Read books (fiction, self-help, history, philosophy, and so on). Read magazines. Read newspapers. Just read. You'll see how much knowledge and awareness you'll gain by doing something so simple, yet so empowering. 

I know you didn't ask, but I thought I'd share my top 12 all-time favorite random fiction books (in no particular order) that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I hope that you'll find the slightest bit of enjoyment if you choose to read them too!

1. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
2. Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood
3. Tell Me Your Dreams, by Sidney Sheldon
4. Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
5. The Gift, by Danielle Steel
6. Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
7. Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
8. An Ordinary Woman, by Donna Hill
9. Immanuel's Veins, by Ted Dekker
10. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
11. Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
12. Everything the Heart Wants, by Savannah Page

Happy reading!

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