This month: a man wakes up naked in an NYC park, the future of cybercrime, and a traveling cat

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

Happy October, readers!

I’m excited to feature Mark Leslie this month, an award-winning horror and speculative fiction author who’s also played integral roles in the publishing industry for decades. Ever since childhood, Mark’s active imagination has led him from the most intriguing “what ifs” to the darkest possibilities. “I would tell myself serialized stories that would last weeks and weeks,” he recounts in our interview. “Sometime in my childhood I discovered the magic of putting my stories down on paper. That way, when I moved on, those stories remained.” Find out how Mark’s imagination has led him to a prolific writing career, what he wrote about in the “gigantic epic” he penned at age fourteen, and how a trip to New York City inspired his latest series.

To start with, a bit of news: the 365-Day Indie Author Challenge, a guided, year-long “zero to published novel” program, is kicking off its fifth session, and there’s still time to hop on the writing train with us.

For now, settle in, because you’re going to love these superb articles:

First, Philip Fracassi, award-winning author and screenwriter, sees his writer friends posting about their success every day and wonders if this causes some writers to overestimate everyone else’s level of success and underestimate their own. “I’d like you to remember that many writers, myself included, tend to only post when Good Stuff happens,” he writes, “leaving the Bad Stuff for some of our ‘offline’ circles to hear about.” No matter how you feel about what you’ve achieved as a writer, you’ll be inspired by this motivating piece, which ends with a quick pep talk reassuring us that all of our hard work will pay off.

Then, Carrie Carter tells us the story behind the story: how Asti, a petite, opinionated cat, became such an enormous part of her life and ended up with a starring role in her debut novel. “Her cat personality never failed to amuse me,” Carrie writes, “and I found myself so enthralled with her that it made me want to write about her fictional journey.” In this entertaining article, you’ll get to know this tiny kitty with an outsized personality, hear about Carrie and Asti’s pre-writing ritual, and learn why she ultimately had to force herself to write two sentences a day to finish her novel.

Finally, authors Charles Breakfield and Roxanne Burkey are full-time technologists who write about emerging technologies and the growing threat of cybercrime. “As storytellers, we focus on real technology as today’s cyber threats in our novels to alert folks that bad actors are ready to attack them from the dark net,” they write. Check out the four predictions they make about how our world will adapt to accommodate these technologies.

Kick back in your most comfortable reading spot, let the aroma of your favorite pumpkin spice beverage carry you into our world of literary adventure, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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