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Artist & Storyteller – Jeffrey Kosh

I know things have been a bit quiet here lately, but I’ve been dealing with this thing called LIFE and sometimes life kicks you in the nards. So, to make up for that, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine who really is the complete package…Jeffrey Kosh is an author, actor and artist all wrapped into one very handsome package. I feel lucky to be able to call him friend.

So, let’s kick this party off! Here is my interview with the incredible Jeffrey Kosh:

Me

Me: Jeff, thanks for doing this buddy. I really appreciate you taking the time. So, starting off, let’s hit some easy questions. Are there any recent works (books) that you admire?

Jeff: Yes, I fell in love with Shaun Jeffrey’s The Kult, one of the most brilliant thrillers I have read (and keep in mind that I’m a fan of Michael Slade and Thomas Harris). Another one that really impressed me was Whipers by Heath Stallcup: I enjoyed the characters, the backstory, and the stunning prologue. There are more, but I don’t want to bore your readers.

Me: Wow, Jeff…thanks. Just having my name tossed into the same paragraph with Slade and Harris, that’s a huge compliment. Now I’m all blushing and…okay! Anyway, who is your favorite author(s) (and is there a reason why)?

Jeff: The roster of my favorite authors changes almost yearly. At the moment I’d put Michael Slade at the top. The reason is that his stories are full of details, trivia, and quite twisted. I’d love to write a thriller in that style, but I don’t feel ready yet. Second, Mary Shelley. Her Frankenstein is a really unique creature that can’t be assembled again, only imitated. Third, Michael Crichton. While I’m not a fan of all of his books, his writing style was exceptional.

Me: Man, I’m right there with you, especially Crichton. I LOVE his stories. Are there similarities between you and any of the above mentioned authors?

Jeff: I don’t know. Certainly I like to do a lot of research when writing my books. If a story is set during the Irish Civil War I want to know all the details, the slang of the times, what they ate and what they used to drink. I can be anal for those things. So, this puts me closer to Michael Slade’s obsession for historical details. From Mary Shelley I’d take her dark poetry. Crichton? No, he was a wordsmith; I’m a storyteller.

Me: Wow, I love that. Wordsmith vs Storyteller. I’ve often said something similar but you hit the nail on the head with Crichton again. So, tell me, why do you write?

Jeff: Because I like it, because I feel it, because I need it. Certainly not for money. It’s very hard nowadays to make a living out of your writing.

Me: I totally understand what you’re saying. So what is a typical working day like for you?  

Jeff: Graphics, graphics, and more graphics. It is rare I find time to write. However, when I start a story I try to dedicate an hour or more to it. In the past, before I opened my graphic company, I used to write for most of the day. I wrote shorts and novelettes. However, now I prefer to keep putting out only longer works.

Me: What kind of research do you do for your books?

Jeff: As I said before, I’m obsessed with research. I have a digital library (all that is left of my phyisical one, and more) about everything: history, geography, occultism, investigation, fiction and non-fiction, cookbooks, role playing games, graphic novels, everything. Plus, there’s always the Internet.

Me: I’d love to be able to dig through that library…I bet I could spend a LOT of time there. Anyway, so how do you conceive your plot ideas?

Jeff: I don’t. They invade me out of the blue. They obsess me until I put them down. I’m haunted by a minimum of five story ideas every day. Obviously, I can’t write all of them. That’s why I have a special folder in my laptop full of sketched stories.

 Me: Wow, man, it’s like you reached into my head and pulled that answer out. I’m the same way…you have no idea how many times I wished I could just ‘think them up’ and they’d write themselves! So, when naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?

Jeff: Yes. Axel J. Hyde, in Feeding the Urge, is a clear example. The name Axel resonates with axe, a tool that is featured quite frequently in his story. Hyde, because of Mr. Hyde; and Axel shares something with that guy. The ‘J’ is just for Jeffrey.

1Maggie Blair, the female heroine of The Haunter of the Moor, my last novel, comes from a character in a Scottish song that kept playing in my head when I was thinking about her. Although, she’s totally different from the character in that song.

Me: That’s cool. I often wonder if readers realize how much effort goes into a character name. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who does more than stab their finger into a phone book. So, what are the major themes of your work? How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Jeff: I think, a recurring theme in my stories is revenge. Revenge is one of those things that changes a person so deeply. It’s a strong, passionate emotion. Another one is that the past never stays buried; it will always come back to haunt you.

It can take more than a year for me to finish a novel.

Me:  Vengeance…maybe that’s why Whispers resonated so deeply with you? So, who are your target readers?

Jeff: Everyone who wants to sit around a campfire and listen to a storyteller.

Me: Perfect! Do you listen to music while you write?

Jeff: No. However, I have music in my head.

Me: Guilty of that as well. So, have you ever collaborated on a book? If so, who was the other author? How did you collaborate with that author? What writing process did you use?

Jeff: Not officially. I gave my mentor, Franklin E. Wales, all the details about my fictional town of Prosperity Glades so that he could set a story in my place. It is Sailors’ Cove, a weird story of crime and supernatural.

Me: Sounds awesome. Right up my alley sort of stuff.
If you wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?

Jeff: The Weird and Adventurous Life of a Citizen of Planet Earth

Me: You forgot Exciting…remember, you’ve told me a lot of the stuff you’ve done in your youth.  Okay, so what question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview, but never have?

Jeff: I’d like to be interviewed as a graphic artist. That’s my main job, the one that brings food to the table. It took me time to finally find a job I really care for. Yes, I had to create it myself, but it is a rewarding and pleasant job. I’m finally creating art.

Me. I can see us doing that. I’d love to interview you again as Jeff the Artist. But since you have a new release, tell us, what have you written? And what are you working on at the moment? What’s it about?

Jeff: The Haunter of the Moor is just out, published by Optimus Maximus Publishing. I’m working on the sequel, set in the 1920s. Of course, it will feature new characters, but the settings of Ballymoor and the Glencree Valley – and Talbot House, obviously – will connect it to the previous one.

Me: Awesome. Tell the folks where can we buy or see it?

Jeff: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BRHYSFM

Me: What advice would you give to your younger self?

Jeff: Nothing. The past is the past. We are the sum of our memories.

 Me: Man, that’s a pragmatic answer. Okay, last question, what do you consider your best accomplishment?

Jeff: Creating movie posters. That’s really something I always dreamed about.

I’ve seen some of your movie posters and I think they’re some of your best work, for sure.

Okay, let’s call that a wrap. Thanks for dropping in and letting folks know what’s new buddy.
And for those of you who aren’t familiar with Jeff’s work, take a look at the covers he’s done for me. He has a website where you can purchase some very nice premade covers, too. Click HERE to see his website. Don’t forget to go by his Facebook pages here and here and give them a like, too.

 

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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A Review That I Had to Share

I’ve seen other authors share their reviews.  Honestly, I couldn’t understand why.  I remember thinking as I read them, “Gee, do they so seldom get a 5 star review?” or maybe, “Was this review a certain milestone for them?”
If you’ve read my previous posts, then you know how important reviews are for writers.  We live and die by them.  Numbers matter.  Whether you work in an office and have to get quarterly reports out in time or if you work on an assembly line and have a production quota, numbers matter.  As a writer…so much weight is put into reviews that…well, it isn’t worth rehashing here.  Just trust me when I say, they MATTER.

So, what made this particular review so noteworthy?  What made me keep going back and re-reading this review?  I’ve received numerous 5 star reviews in the past.  I’ve received more than my share of 4 star reviews.  I’ve even received a 3 star review.  Heck…I even got blasted by one guy who handed down a 2 star review.  And the ONLY reason he offered up 2 stars instead of 1 was because the story had solid editing.  Of course, of all of his nitpicking, he only had one valid gripe…but is it worth going online and arguing with someone and proving them wrong?  Will it change their mind?  Will it cause them to suddenly admit they were wrong and raise their rating?  No, of course not.  Pappy always said, never argue with an idiot.  They’ll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.  Besides, reviews are OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS.  You can’t blame someone for having a different opinion or for not liking what you offered.

So, back to the point of this blog entry.  What was it about this one particular review that had me going back to it time and again, re-reading it and smiling each time I read it?  I’ll let you decide.

Whispers – A true masterpiece!
Before I begin, I just want to say that no matter how hard I try to write a deserving review for Heath Stallcup’s “Whispers”, I fear there is no way I am going to be able to do it justice. Read the book and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Descriptive writing can be quite the challenge for authors, so I’ve been told. Too much description – too little description; there’s a fine line between the two. Heath Stallcup has without a doubt found his “comfort zone”. In my opinion his descriptions are dead on, creating the perfect imagery for me, the reader, to envision the characters and their surroundings. Speaking of character’s – there are several main character’s, each one is well developed with a personality and voice distinctive to them. As Heath tells his story, switching between the characters is clearly defined. I never found myself confused by the story line or the character’s roles. The dialog between character’s is genuine and flow’s effortlessly.
Without saying too much, told in the prologue, “Whispers” unfolds far back in Western times. The tragic events surrounding Sheriff James “Two Guns” Tolbert and the love of his life Mary O’Dell drew me in and I was hooked, compelled to continue reading. Chapter one sets the scene in present day as local law enforcement personnel, faced with a string of grisly murders, work diligently to solve the crimes. Though I am not educated in the legal field I found Heath’s portrayal of legal behavior and the interactions between these characters believable; true to life.
I strongly recommend “Whispers”. It is so suspenseful it will keep you anxiously turning the pages wanting more, desperately needing to find out what happens next. I had difficulty putting the book down.
Treat yourself, read “Whispers”, you will not regret it, I promise.

Is this review really any different than what others have said?  Is it simply a compilation of what others have written, just strung together?  I don’t think so.  I think she nailed the hammer right on the thumb…well, okay, you know what I mean.  I’ve said all along that this was one of my favorite stories to date.  I still think this is one of my best works.  Although I’ve questioned the quality of what I do, it’s reviews like this that make me think it’s all worth it.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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