Thursday, 31 October 2013

Dreamers Interview Series – David Radcliffe

 This week our guest is David Radcliffe, Director at Radcliffe and Rust Estate Agents since 2011. I want to thank David for answering my questions at the last minute. As he can't really raffle a house, there will be no giveaway this week.

 Tell us a bit more about what you do?

I am an estate agent. I value and sell property and make my money by taking a cut of the sale percentage.

Did you always know you wanted to build your own company or did that come later in your career?

I knew I wanted to have fun and I know I hated being told what to do all the time when I ‘knew’ I was correct! It came later when I realised the only way to get something done properly is to do it yourself, plus I saw way too many talented friends being made redundant and I never wanted anyone telling me I was either too old or too expensive to work for them.
What was most difficult in setting up Radcliffe & Rust Estate Agents? How did you overcome that difficulty?

Getting the financial backing. Kept asking until someone listened!
What is your next goal?

In business I would say making this place self-sufficient. Then offices 2, 3, 4…..
What do you think is the quality most needed to follow your dreams and, in your case, become your own boss?

I guess I should say total focus, never give up and don’t take no for an answer. Sure all that stuff helps but the main thing is to find something you like and do it. You will become good at it and then people will pay you money because people like to see/use people who are good at stuff, in my case selling properties.
What advice would you give to would be entrepreneurs?

I would say I have answered it. Drink Scotch, it makes you sound mature. Oh and don’t put ice in it… just spring water!
Our previous featured guest author Brick Marlin would like to know: Why did you decide to become your own boss?

See answer number 2!

Our next guest is Canadian author Christine Miscione. What question would you like to ask her?

Hardback or paperback?

You are a dreamer and would like me to interview you?  Drop me a line at scbecauseican(at)gmail(dot)com. I love meeting passionate people!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Wednesday Review – The Cuckoo's Calling

World famous model Lula Landry has fallen to her death from the balcony of her third floor luxury apartment.  Although the incident is considered as a suicide, her brother, John Bristow, is convinced she was pushed.  To investigate, he hires ex-military and now private eye, Cormoran Strike.  Strike takes on the case, not certain if he'll prove Landry was killed or that Bristow is just a deluded grief-stricken man.

The Cuckoo's Calling created a lot of ripples when it was reavealed that Robert Robert Galbraith is in fact J. K. Rowling.  Although she was angry that her pseudonym was discovered, there is no doubt the extra publicity was welcome.  I made a point of not peeking at my HP books before reading it, in order to give a fair review.

Strike's investigation spans over 455 pages and is meticulously constructed.  Every detail connects, every piece and bit has meaning to the story.  Immediacy is created through the numerous people the detective interviews.  As he moves up in the layers of society of Lula's entourage, tension is built and the reader can tell they are getting closer to the puzzle's answer. Narration is done through Robin, Strike's temporary secretary, as well as through Strike himself.  The transitions are clear and well done.  However, the reader gets the feeling, in the first chapter, that Robin will be the main character, which is not the case. 

Once again, Rowling manages to create believable characters with very different personalities.  She sometimes flirts with clichés but just enough to convey a clear image of the protagonists. Strike is a lovable character who wins the reader over right away.  The quality of the author's prose, excellent as usual, contributes to it.

One thing that disappointed me in this book is the identity of the killer.  I found it rather anti-climatic and, to be quite honest, I had a good idea of who it was before I even reached then end.  I would have liked to be a bit more surprised.  Speaking of the end, this book took me forever to finish.  Somehow, The Cuckoo's Calling didn't turn out to be the page turner I expected it to be. 

Fans of Harry Potter should approach Rowling's last book with an open mind.  There is much to enjoy, but there is no magic, just harsh reality, which the author describes perfectly.

September selection of a ABCC

Monday, 28 October 2013

Hipster Word of the Week – Uxorius

This week's word is something no man would be thrasonical about, I'm sure.


v. - submissive to one's wife

June if you wanted and uxorious man, you shouldn't have dated Kai.

Your turn!  Leave your sentences in the comment section!

Source: Luciferous Logolepsy

Monday, 21 October 2013

Hipster word of the Week – Thrasonical

If you make some sapid dishes and always talk about it, be careful; this week's word could soon be used to describe you!


adj. - given to or marked by boasting and bragging

Tallulah is always talking about her latest apple products.  She has to be the most thrasonical girl I've ever met.

Your turn!  Leave your sentences in the comment section!

Are these iglasses, Tallulah?
 Source: Luciferous Logolepsy

Monday, 14 October 2013

Hipster Word of the Week – Sapid

I hope you didn't meet any rabiators last week.  This week we're sending your inner hipster on a culinary voyage.


adj. - pleasantly flavoured; having flavour; agreeable.

Sadie, this sweet potato and brussel sprouts tofu scarmble is simply sapid!

Your turn!  Leave your sentences in the comment section!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Author Interview Series – Brick Marlin

Today I have the pleasure of hosting horror writer Brick Marlin.  Brick has been writing since he was a child. From an early age, he was exposed to older, original horror movies and the works of  Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Dean Koontz, Charles Dickens, Harper Lee, H.G. Wells, W. W. Jacobs, etc. Thus, he decided to engage himself and write horror and dark fantasy. In 2007 he decided to take a more professional approach with his work. Hence, as a member of the Horror Writers Association, already having eight books published by small presses with more in the works coming soon, nearly twenty-five short stories published, adding to the few anthologies and collaborations with other authors, Brick Marlin trudges onward, hoping to achieve more creations. Adapted from Brick's Goodreads profile

Details for the giveaway will follow the interview.

In your author profile on Goodreads, you mention that you've been writing since you were a child; do you remember the moment when you felt that this could be more than a hobby?

I think it was when I sold my first piece of short fiction to Alienskin Magazine, which is unfortunately not around anymore. I only received a five dollar check in the mail, though it gave me a great feeling knowing someone out there would actually enjoy reading my work plus paying me for it!

What drew you to horror stories? What do you enjoy the most about the genre?

I’ve always loved horror tales growing up. I can still remember watching “The Wolfman” starring Lon Chaney Jr. and “The House of Wax” with Vincent Price as well as slipping under the amazement of the movie “Westworld” starring  Yul Brynner.

In elementary school we read Edgar Allen Poe’s “A Tell Tale Heart”.  Afterward that endeavor it was all I could do to read as much horror as I could find by this master.  Later I stumbled on a great collection of short stories by Judith Stamper entitled “Tales for the Midnight Hour” by purchasing it from a book sale in the school’s library. That book still gives me chills! Of course this led to reading Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, etc..

What I love most about the horror genre is not knowing what kind of terror is lying in wait in the darkness; perhaps a central processing unit programmed to cause pain and terror, sending a collage of servo cyclopean chrome spiders to traipse down your spine.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve been busy working on the Sectors series, continuing the saga of dark dimensional worlds involving werewolves, vampires, evil robot clowns, a creature called the Shepherd who steals souls and keeps them in glass jars in the depths of Purgatory and other bizarre oddities to fill tin he gaps.

Sectors all started on a whim, not knowing which way the tale would go, not really knowing what was going to happen, as a dark story evolved where an individual called Baron Fields controls a labyrinth of terror.

Painter Chuck Close Once said, "Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just shows up and gets to work." How do you "get to work?" Do you have any ritual or specific requirements to get the juices flowing?

Oddly, the ideas I receive for creating characters and their bizarre worlds seem to come to me often; whether I’m working my day job or reading a book. Sometimes it’s all I can do to keep up, writing down the ideas which are given to me. And there are other times I blame the dreaded literary gremlins for their attempt to build a writer’s block or trying to stop transmission of any ideas sent.

What is your definition of a writer? What does it take to be one.

A lot of hard work and discipline goes into being a writer. As a lot of other writers I know say “Plant butt in the seat in front of your laptop or computer and write”. That is the truth. Veer away from Facebook and Twitter and whatever other sites you love to visit when you write. They’re distractions.

If one is willing to spend many hours inside their creation and don’t mind dealing with have a character or two whom may not act right until you threaten to eliminate him or her from the tale, then go for it!

What advice would you give to writers starting in your genre?

Read a lot and learn what the masters have done with their work. Read the books and learn the way the tales are written and how they are told. Write as much as you can and try not to let Discouragement pester you very much.

Nutritionist and previous guest Guillaume Couture would like to know: Horror novels seem to seep into your bones line after line. How do you make horror novels feel so real?

I think living behind the eyes of the characters you create helps this. I’ve always loved to write character-driven tales, bringing the reader inside the minds of the protagonist’s fears of the unknown as he or she travel into the darkness.

Our next guest is a real estate agent who left the corporate world to create his own agency. What would you like to ask him?

Why did you decide to become your own boss?


Readers are in luck this month!  Brick will offer a copy of one of his books to two winners!  To enter, leave a question for Brick in the comment section before Tuesday Octobre 15th 11:59 ET.  The name of the winners, along with the answers to the questions, will be posted on Thursday Octobre 17th.

Read my review of Brick's book, Raising Riley.

Are you an author?  Would you like me to interview you?  Drop me a line at scbecauseican(at)  It will be my pleasure to showcase your work!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Review Wednesday – Raising Riley

Raising Riley is the story of Riley Lewis, a fifth grader victim of abuse from his dad and school bullies.  Nothing we haven't heard before, you may think, but Riley's problems are far from ordinary. There is something living in his closet. An otherworldly creature with piercing red eyes that is slowly, but surely taking over him.

Brick Marlin's novella takes the reader back to a time when children didn't have smart phone and spent their days playing outside.  The format of the book makes it seem like it's a book for kids  (relatively short, children as main characters) but the setting itself appeals to people born in the 80s.  I like to think of it as a children story for adults.

Although Riley is the main character, it was his father, Edward, that stirred the most emotion in me.  I hated the man and really wanted him to suffer at some point in the story.  The protagonist was also well portrayed, forgetting his chores like any 10 year old boy, despite the fact that he knew that it would get him in trouble.

Marlin's writes horror and there is no doubt that the creature in the closet belonged to the genre, but for me, the real horror was the abuse Riley was victim of.  the author really managed to depict the flawed logic of a violent parent.

Although this is already a fairly short novella, I think the content could be consensed into a great short story.

View my interview with Brick Marlin.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Dewey's Read-A-Thon

Want to do something cool on (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend?  Enter Dewey's 24h Read-a-Thon!

What is it? 

"For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October."

This year the challenge falls on October 12th.  You can enter here.

ATUA will be participating and updates will be posted on the facebook page throughout the day.

Spread the word!

Monday, 7 October 2013

Hipster Word of the Week – Rabiator

I hope you didn't have to deal with too many querimonies last week.  This week's word is definitely something you could have querimonies about.


n. - a violent man

I didn't want to believe at first, but it turns out Rufus really is a rabiator.

Your turn!  Leave your sentences in the comment section!
Maybe the sweater turned him into a Rabiator...  Just saying.

Source: Luciferous Logolepsy 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Review Wednesday – Announcement

We interrupt this program to bring you special announcements.


Are you an author?  Would you like to see your book reviewed on ATUA? I am currently accepting book submissions for this column and would be delighted to review your book.  I accept both paper and electronic formats.  Get in touch with me at scbecauseican(at) for more info. 

Are you a reader?  I accept book review suggestions as well.  Drop me a line!


With a new review column in the making (coming soon!), ATUA is currently looking for avid readers to contribute to the Review Wednesday column.  We can discuss your schedule and discuss how often you can write for ATUA (maximum contribution will be twice a month, minimum once every other month for at least six months.)  Get in touch with me at scbecauseican(at)

The usual programmation of Review Wednesday will resume on October 9th.  In the meantime, click here to read previous reviews.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Celebrating Lemon Hound with an unforgettable night of reading

On Friday Septembre 27th, Mile End's quaintest bookstore, Drawn and Quarterly, opened its doors to more than fifty avid readers who had come to celebrate Lemon Hound's first anniversary as a literary journal.  Wine only adding to the festive spirit, authors, reporters and guests mingled merrily in the promise of the great night of literature to come.

Sina Queyras
Lemon Hound's main editor in chief and founder Sina Queyras started the evening with many heartfelt thanks to contributors but also to readers, both without whom this blog started in 2005 would never have evolved into its current form.  She spoke of the importance of building new outlets for writers in a world where everything is being detroyed.  The overcrowded bookstore stood as a testament of her success in doing just so and there is little doubt that her amicability will continue to draw great people to her team.

Aimee Wall, Anita Lahey, Nicholas Papaxanthos
Author Aimee Wall broke the proverbial ice with fiction. Literary gems such at "tea coloured light" and "He wore a stain with the elegance of a rose" seasoned her reading.  She was followed by Anita Lahey who read excerpts from her collection of essais on poetry and culture, The Mystery Shopping Cart.  Her efficient style and reflection inducing prose were a delight to hear.  Nicholas Papaxanthos closed the first part of the reading with delectably absurd and funny poetry. Laughter lingered as the crowd applauded.

Robin Richardson, Josip Novakovich, Dani Couture
Robin Richardson opened the second part with a pick of poems from her latest collection, Knife-Throwing Through Self-Hypnosis.  She generously treated everyone to a second serving of her scrumptious rhymes by reading some of her new work.  Author Josip Novakovich followed, reading a new story directly from his laptop screen.  The strange story of a future past set in 2016 generated much laughter.  Lastly, Dani Couture braved a 9 hour drive from Toronto to make it right on time to crown the evening with mellifluous poetry read in a soft, quiet voice.  Her poem entitled "Corrections" was particularly delightful.

Guests left the bookstore with their head brimming with literature, the smiles on their faces a sure tell-tale of the success of the soiree.  There is much to look forward to for Lemon Hound in the next year and ATUA hopes to partake in the celebrations of its second anniversary.