Saturday, October 3, 2015

Interview with Glenn Lyvers

This time we tracked down Glenn Lyvers, a publisher—you know, the people who decide what books are published. We interviewed Glenn Lyvers, the masthead at Prolific Press, a publisher beloved by his writers and unknown to almost everyone else. That’s the way publishers roll—they hide in the shadows and wield most of the power over what you read today. Our brief interview was informative, though we’re already catching heat for not asking more questions. It seems people really have a lot to ask Glenn Lyvers, and others like him.

(photo: Jeff Tatay)

Ycrazymind: OK, Mr. Lyvers, what is a typical workday like? Start at the beginning and tell the readers what it’s like to be you every day.

Glenn Lyvers: Every day I wake up before sunrise and realize I’m still plunging into a never-ending pit of hell. It’s the dream I had last night, and it’s real when I wake up. I went to sleep behind in my reading, and woke up more behind in my reading. Overnight, submissions came in—piled up, and are waiting like impatient old men at a soup counter. Staff members start sending me emails about submissions I can’t remember anything about. The coffee isn’t brewing fast enough, and until I have coffee, I’m a zombie.

Once I get organized, a sort of determination sets in. Every day I have to reset, dig in, and find a determined resolve to do all that I can to help people. April has questions about orders, intern applications pop up, writers can’t get into the submission manager, the bank needs assurance that we really did make a big purchase of paper from on online retailer, an employer needs the verify past employment of a worker, a college wants to verify a publication credit for a writer or teacher, people want to know what the status of their poems and stories are, and my dog starts to cry because she desperately wants me to take her out to pee.

That’s my life. I wear 50 hats, and my poor dog needs to pee.

Ycrazymind: With everyone today having a soapbox online, how do you deal with disgruntled writers?

Glenn Lyvers: Once it’s clear that I can’t please someone, despite my best efforts, I filter it out like background noise. I don’t have any negative feelings about disgruntled writers. They are passionate people. Some are crazy cat ladies who have nothing better to do than lash out. Some are manic men who are so self-absorbed that they freak out when someone else doesn’t think they write well. It takes all kinds. If a writer wants to lash out online, it’s really not hurting anyone to let them. At the end of the day, if you’re pleasing everyone, you’re doing it wrong. And if I didn’t have at least one person consumed with blogging about how bad I am, then I’d feel like a failure. (Lyvers busts out laughing with a very genuine grin. For the first time during this interview, he seems to look like he’s having fun.)

Fortunately, I don’t have many of those. I’m almost always able to make tough decisions and still maintain great relations with the writers. The real pros know about rejection, and keep trying. They know I want them to succeed. We just can’t publish everything. I care about the writers, and I think it shows.

Ycrazymind: What is your secret about staying afloat and how did you deal with the changing technology that seems to have frustrated the publishing business over the last few years?

Glenn Lyvers: Staying afloat is never easy for a publisher. For Prolific Press, we stay afloat by keeping busy. We have a lot of projects going on. We don’t sign a contract to publish a manuscript until we have the funding to pay for it. If I could give other presses advice, it would be to stay in the black. That’s the financial end of things.

But the real secret to our success has to be the writers. We’re just plain lucky to have so many great writers submitting regularly. I probably know a hundred of our writers by their first name and dozens by the sound of their voice on the phone. I have developed some great relationships. The readers love our writers too. Without them, we’d dry up.

What was the second part of the question?

Ycrazymind: The technology. How do you deal with the shifting technology?

Glenn Lyvers: We try to use the best technologies available, and partner with cutting edge companies to produce our products. Technology hasn’t been an issue for us, maybe because we’re not a huge business. We can change more easily and keep up.

Ycrazymind: On a scale of 1-10, ten being the highest score, how would you rate how hard Glenn Lyvers works as an Editor? What makes you think this is an accurate score?

Glenn Lyvers: Rate myself? You don’t make it easy do you? (Lyvers smiles and fidgets a little.) I’d say a nine. I’d be lying if I said I never relaxed. I make mistakes, sometimes real blunders when I’m exhausted. Another interviewer called me the hardest working editor in America. I’d say that’s stretching things a bit. All publishers and editors work very hard. We all have that in common. I do work hard, but there’s probably someone else out there who works even harder.

Ycrazymind: If you could invent the perfect complement from one of your writers, what would that sound like?

Glenn Lyvers: (Lyvers pauses, looking down at his lap for half a minute before answering.) From a writer? Probably that I delivered everything I promised and enhanced the work. I don’t know. That’s a tough question. It’s important to me that I keep my promises and even do more than expected. If they say that, well, that’s quite a compliment.

Ycrazymind: Lastly, what is your 5-year plan for the future, in terms of publishing?

Glenn Lyvers: In 5 years, I’d like to be publishing more titles every month than we have in our best month so far. I want the books to be better, the readers to be even more thrilled. I want our writers to make more money. It’s hard to say how to get from here to there, but in 5 years, I plan to double our inventory, increase payments to writers at the journals and in the full publishing program. In 5 years, the plan is to be better than we are now.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Invincibility in the Face of Prostate Cancer: Coming out the other side

Alfred Samuels is the Author of a book titled "Invincibility in the Face of Prostate Cancer:Coming out the other side." We have conducted a short interview with him.

How did you arrive at the title for your book, "Invincibility in the Face of Prostate Cancer: Coming out the other side"? 
After writing a draft of my book the title became clear. As I read back through my draft, I realised that I actually thought that Prostate Cancer could not touch my world. Having lived in a world of perceived invincibility as a "Bodyguard to major Celebrities and security advisor to a number of government agencies" a false sense of I could not be touched existed. So when it did occur it was hard for me to understand and all I could say was 'Why me' then I realised that I was not Mr. Invincible.

Which is the key most important myth about this disease? 
Men seem to treat Prostate Cancer as a taboo word and as such dismiss the dangers of the disease. If I am to be honest anything that affects our masculinity causes us to withdraw into a shell and sense of denial. This is not the way we should be heading at all.

What resources and links does your book provide to prevention and coping with the disease, other than highlighting the risks and dangers? 
The book resources come from in-depth medical research carried out from the likes of Prostate Research UK and its findings. There is a link to bona-fide factual evidence

At which stage do you expect your readers to have been to start reading about your book? 
To be quite honest pre, actual and post cancer phases ....The fact is that forewarned is forearmed in my mind...The book acts as an inspirational monument to all sufferer's, survivors and those who have beaten cancer and not necessarily Prostate cancer alone, any cancer. Partners of men are not exempt nor their families. Sometimes family members are the first to learn of a loved one’s cancer diagnosis. When people with cancer are told about their diagnosis, they are not always able to make important decisions about treatment and their life. Even when a person has a cancer with a good chance for cure, they still need to discuss treatment options and goals, long-term treatment outcomes, and decisions about possible end-of-life care, including advance directives with their doctors and families.

If our readers would like to find out where to buy your book, where can they find it? 
My book is available through several thousand online retailers; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, Price Minister, Powell Int'l. to mention but a few.

Alfred Samuels

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mikel & B Chuck Talks Sound Of Trinity Comic Book

Mikel Comic Book Writer and B.Chuck Comic Book Artist are about to create their comic book named: Sound of Trinity. We have conducted a short interview with them.

What is it about Manga that interest you? 
BC:Interestingly enough, I've never really gotten into manga persay. It's anime that I've been addicted to. It's not a big reason why, it's just not as convenient for me to read manga. But the few times I have sat down and read, each and everyone one I gave a shot just sucked me in. There are many reasons why I love manga. I'll give a few. For one, the art. Manga art is just something that has always fascinated me. From the different variations of pen shading, to creative screen tones, to beautiful portrayals of emotion, to intense action scenes. When I'm reading a manga, I want it to feel like I'm watching an anime. And so many I've read has done that for me.

M:The thing about Manga that interests me is the fact that most of the Manga out there are in black & white. I was so used to reading comic books in colour, and now to see stories being told in black and white; it’s like watching TV in the 1950s. The first time I picked up a Manga, I was like "WHAT?! WHERE ARE ALL THE COLOURS??!"…haha I asked my friend, who is big on Manga, about it and he said that Manga are supposed to be black & white. Ever since then, I’ve been reading Manga.

What is your specialty in the Manga style of illustrations? 
BC: my opinion, I wouldn't say I have any specialties. There are things I'm better at than others, but overall I'd say I still greatly lack in every aspect of my drawing. But of course, that comes with being your own worst judge. Though If I was to list some of the things I'd say I'm better at, than proportions would be the first thing that comes to mind. My sense of proportion is one of the few things I pride myself on with my drawing. It's also something that I can tell I've really improved on since the start of my first work Penparu. I'll look back at the first few pages I made, and cringe so hard at how off the proportions were. But that, along with everything else, has slowly been getting better and better. And I hope to keep improving. My goal is to get to the point where I can say that everything is my specialty........Even though, I probably wouldn't say that even if I did get to that point XD

What is your book about? 
M: So the book is called "Sound Of Trinity" and it’s basically about 3 characters: Shane, Yumiko & Curtis. All of them have very unique personalities and they decide to get together to make a hip hop group. The story follows their journey; the conflicts, the triumphs and the different relationships formed. I’m very excited about this project.

BC: Oho, you want spoilers do you? Sadly, I can't give to much of the story away, but I can give you brief summary. Basically Shane, Curtis, and Yumiko, are these three people with completely different personalities that come together in the strangest way. Through trials and tribulation, they decide to start a hip hop band. But of course, they're opposite personalities are constantly clashing. Which leads to many arguments. And I can't really share much more than that. I'm sure you've got tons of questions, but none that I can answer right now.....unless they're like......"how tall is Yumiko?" Ya know, questions like that. Those are fine!

Who is it suitable for and what is the theme or messages within your comic book? 
B.C I always try and keep my manga family friendly. I want to tell the same stories that most manga's do, but leave out all the language, sex, vulgarity, fan service, all that stuff. That was actually a driving force for me to start my manga. I love the stories, characters, emotion, interaction, all that good stuff that you see in anime, and yet so much of these stories are ruined by them throwing boobs in your face and pantyshots. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a straight guy so it's not like that stuff displeases me entirely, but I just don't think it's necessary to put it in 90% of the anime I've seen. It's just not needed. If you want to see boobs, go watch porn. I don't want to see it in my stories. I want to try and prove to Japan that you don't need that stuff in your shows to make them successful. That's why I leave out all of that stuff, and have no intention of ever changing that.

For what the message of my comics are...well, one message that I want to give from my comics is one that's a little more personal. So I'll have to refrain from sharing that info. But overall, I want the messages of my comics to be...something that people can turn to when they're hurting or feeling down. A message that can bring people up. A message that can let people know that they're not alone in what they're going through. With my stories, all of my characters have something going on in their lives. Something that their dealing with. Problems that I hope many people can relate to. And then i want to SMASH THESE ISSUES IN THE FACE!!! Tell them not be ashamed for who they are!!! Or to fight against something that's pulling them down! Or to stand up when everyone else falls! I want my message to be hope...hope that this cruel and demented world can be changed. If just a few of us are willing to stand up to it........and yes, I know that sounded cliche, but it's the truth :)

M: lol I agree with Ben we absolutely want to put out a positive message with "Sound Of Trinity"

Hip Hop vs Pop Rock, do you think it affects the way you style your characters in your book? If yes, in which ways? 
M: Yes, I think they are the two musical genres that define the culture that we live in today. However, some or most people who like hip hop don’t like pop rock and vice versa. I personally like hip hop, but I’m always willing to listen to pop rock. One character in our book likes pop rock, but isn’t too much into hip hop. The other two characters like both hip hop and pop rock. In this book, we are trying to get rid of the stereotype that people who like one of the genres also like the other.

BC: It can affect it, yes, but does it need to? No. When I say Hip Hop, what's the first thing that comes to your mind? Is it the same thing you'd think of If I was to say Pop Rock? Probably not. But see, that right there is called stereotyping. We're stereotyping what we believe are the kind of people that listen to either Hip hop or Pop Rock. Now is this stereotype completely wrong? No, stereotypes are there for a reason. I'm sure most people that listen to hip hop are the people that would fit the stereotype. But it doesn't need to be that way. 

What are your future plans about publishing work and creative art? 
M: Our future plans include is to try publish the 1st volume of "Sound of Trinity" on iTunes and google play. also Ben has a project of his own that he is working on right now In terms of the creative art part, you’re going to have to ask Ben about that because I'm not the artist he is…hahaha.

BC: Oh boy, I could go on forever with this question. With publishing my work, I do intend to try and get the first volume of my manga, Penparu, published once I get the first volume completed. Will I be able to though? That's something I'm not sure about. I haven't the slightest clue what it takes to getting a work (especially a manga) published. So it's definitely going to be an adventure on my part. But one things for sure, I'm not gonna give up trying. With creative art, I honestly don't draw much outside of my manga. I've just never seen the point. Because for me, I honestly don't get much joy out of drawing. Lol, I know,shocking right. Now I'm sure all of you are asking why I'm trying to draw for a living when I don't even really like it? 

If you could work on a game (app) which character(s), design and development work would you like to undertake further? 
M: I can answer this Actually, I’m currently working on a game app for the iTunes app store. It’s called "Box Out All-Stars" a lot of characters are my friends. but that’s all I’m going to tell you…hahaha. I definitely cannot wait for you guys to play it!

"Click Here To" Pages 1-5 For Chapter 1

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Joshua Valderrama is an entrepreneur, seeking opportunities in a digital world. He the creator and developer of Vision Lingo.

Has something happens to you that inspires you and why are you inspiring dreams in others? Growing up wasn't easy for me, I've gone thru many struggles in life. But it's what pushes me to surpass my goals and reach out to help others.

What is behind the name "Vision Lingo", who names it? 
The dream of a young man who wants to share a common goal that anything is possible.

How long have you been doing this and what are your proudest achievements? 
Over 10 yrs and my proudest achievement is being able to help and inspire young minds.

In the next 5 years, what do you envision for your creative work? 
In five years I would like to have impacted a group of young individuals to carry out my legacy of multiplying dreams.

What advice do you want to give to people who have forgotten that anything is possible? 
Strive for your dreams, never give up when the road seems that its going no where. Never let anyone tell you that you aren't good enough or that you won't make it. Make the right choices. Believe in yourself, only you can make things happen in your life, when you believe and want it.

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