Please welcome Thaddeus Arjuna to my blog. Good Morning everyone!
1. Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.
Hello. I am Thaddeus Arjuna. I am a Retired American Expat living in Bali Indonesia, writing under a penname. I am a lifelong Chef and celebrated Foodie a long way from home.
2. Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?
I actually started writing less than ten yrs ago. My first book was a biography about an insane mother. I started on the manuscript in my mid 50s when I was nearing the end of my cooking career. I shelved it for several years as the material was sensitive and had caused some family tension due to exposing a dark family secret that we had attempted to never talk about.
3. How difficult was it writing your first book?
Extremely. My book “Something is Wrong with Janet” chronicles a life with an institutionalized Manic Depressive as a young boy. It was very painful to write because I, like the rest of my siblings, spent our lives trying to suppress and forget the trauma of living with a troubled mother.
4. Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?
About every five minutes. My original intention was just to write about my mother. But I realized after writing half of it, that I had actually lived an extraordinary life and had material for several books.
5. Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?
Almost no one. Laughing. Because of the nature of the first book, which didn’t get published for several years due to procrastination and a desire to ‘not rock the boat’ in the family, and being a chef and not writing a cookbook, (yet) I found little support around my family and friends. I published a different book first and came back to it. I also have written almost exclusively Ebooks and Novellas. I have charted a tiny niche that has been difficult to promote.
6. Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I write in several genres, and I write for art. I believe that not choosing one genre has made it more difficult to create a brand, but I felt my ‘sweet spot’ was the Novella. Under 50,000 words. I have only written one full-length novel. The other 7 books are all novellas and two of them are slightly larger than a short story.
7. What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?
I was fortunate to have grown up around a few well-known authors. Walter Farley was a personal friend of the family and spent every election night with my father. I grew up on his books. John D MacDonald also wrote the forward for my mother’s self-published cookbook. I grew up reading the Travis McGee mystery series. My best advice? Write about your life. Even if you disguise it, you are going to be in it. There is no other way if you write honestly.
8. What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?
Anyone who has a Kindle device or app. Laughing. I have written two murder mysteries, (one that was a true story and I am in it) one Sci-fi trilogy based on Mars. ( a childhood fantasy escape for me) A book about Hindu Mysticism based on an early involvement in a Hindu sect as a teenager, the book https://www.amazon.com/Something-Wrong-Janet-brilliant-imperfect-ebook/dp/B0837G8VMT about my mother, and my life with her, and a book of poetry and odes.
9. Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?
The book, “Something is Wrong with Janet” cover was created by Carol Marrs Phipps. She has also done 4 of the 8 books. and several promotional banners for me.
10. What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?
I am currently writing a dark spy novel about an Iranian Assassin living in Paris. I have a friend in the NSA who is giving me tips.
It is called “A Heresy of Angels”, and I hope to have it done in the next 4 or 5 months. It is about two women, one who works in the NSA and the woman who she is tracking who is an Iranian Assassin. This is a poem in the book written in the first person from the viewpoint of the Iranian Assassin.
There are secrets beyond imagination. Secrets that were once innocent, and now are scars on my soul. Secrets of betrayal. Betrayal of my country, my faith, and even love. Because the truth is too ugly. When you love someone so much that you are willing to give up your soul, for revenge, what do you have to live for? Revenge for what was taken from you, or the longing for that innocence that made you pure? The love that gave you wings. Can that be greater than revenge? Is there nothing I will not do to find that revenge, and will this finally satisfy my hate? I can have that feeling of innocence back! I Can be made whole again, I know I can…
11. Any last words before we wrap things up?
I walked away from the Restaurant Business after 47 yrs as a chef. I spent a lifetime creating menus and writing wine lists. Culinary Creativity was my gift. When I retired I needed a creative outlet to keep myself occupied. Writing has been almost a divine gift to me. Relieving me of boredom, and helping me channel some of that leftover imaginative zeal still inside me.
Links needed for: Blog, author page, website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Tumblr, Barnes & Noble, Instagram, etc. https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B07G7XGWNGtwitter.com/ThaddeusArjuna. Aspiring Scribe, w/ tidy typos