Saturday, 13 July 2013

Red Haircrow, author of The Agony of Joy

The Agony of Joy by Red Haircrow is available for the Kindle app from Amazon:
US: The Agony of Joy by Red Haircrow
UK: The Agony of Joy by Red Haircrow

The Agony Of Joy by Red Haircrow
The Agony of Joy by Red Haircrow

Former model turned actor Adrian Lee can barely list age range '23-29' on his resumé anymore nor stand his life of empty social events and appearances, meaningless roles and casual partners. When he meets Alexander Skizetsky by clever arrangement of his agent, the enigmatic yet infinitely attractive Russian kindles a little light of hope in his aching heart. Yet even the beginnings of a friendship and love beyond his wildest dreams cannot assuage a life spiraling out of control.

The long estrangement from his devout Irish Catholic parents and family and the dark secrets they all share combine to drive him to the brink of despair, though Alexander is determined to stay by his side. After locking away his own memories of betrayal and loss, the Russian had decided never to love again but something in Adrian spurs the noblest intentions in his formerly jaded heart. Returning in pilgrimage to his homeland, he brings Adrian along on a journey of rebirth, revelation and redemption.

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Author Quiz interviews Red Haircrow...

Is there anything about you or your writing that makes you unique from other authors?
Although almost everyone, whether they are authors or not, may daily write in different ways, for different reasons, what I would consider unique about my writing and myself is that I do so in a variety of genres and topics, both fiction and non-fiction. I write about a range of topics, from personal true events or memories, to music reviews for local bands and poetry, current events dealing with Native American issues, life and traditions, as well as my fictional works.

Not as a slight to authors who prefer certain themes or areas, which can be advantageous in building an audience who are looking for just one kind of work, but there is a distinction in that I write in several genres and do not or rather cannot confine myself to one or two, nor wish to pegged in a certain genre. I have many stories, ideas and possibilities within me that I feel the need to express, and I choose to publish all of them under my name.

Where did the inspiration for your latest novel, The Agony of Joy, come from?
The Agony of Joy, is based on actual events from my life, and a very serious situation that has affected millions of people across the world and time, no matter their background, sexuality, religion or anything else: child sexual abuse.

Taking almost ten years to complete, The Agony of Joy, incorporates many of my experiences and observations as a survivor of sexual abuse and violence. But far from being the central theme although psychological and behavioral after-effects continue for many, Agony focuses on the courage it takes, often in the face of opposition, misunderstanding and/or apathy to not allow anything or anyone to keep you imprisoned by that past, not even yourself.

Are any of your characters based on yourself and if so to what degree, and do you find it easier or more difficult to write characters based on yourself?
Whether it’s in The Agony of Joy or others of my works, those who know me on a personal level can always ascertain which character is written based on myself. Usually, that involves how they react to certain situations, their personality and some of their quirks, weaknesses or strengths.

I would say it’s harder to write characters based on myself simply because I am then revealing parts of me, whether a reader ever realizes that or not. Writing other character types is easier, as I am a keen observer of people, and often accept the role of listener, alternatively in a casual or professional capacity.

If your book, The Agony of Joy, was made into a movie who would you want to play the main character and why?
There are two main characters in Agony, Adrian “Lee” Langstrand and Alexander Skizetsky. For Adrian’s character, without a doubt, I would want Welsh actor, Lee Williams. For Alexander, or Lexx as he’s known throughout most of the book, in similarity of appearance, the closest I know of right now, would be Oded Fehr.

If you could go back to the moment when you completed your first book and were at the stage where you were ready to release it to the world, is there anything you would do differently this time with regard to promotion?
My schedule is always quite challenging as I have several endeavors I’m a part of, sometimes with partners, sometimes alone. I do music reviews on location in Berlin, as well as work with clients in a psychological capacity, enjoy a good deal of time both working and playing at a Mexican taqueria, as well as writing and publishing. Not to mention, many incidentals.

So, when The Agony of Joy was released Feb. 17th this year, I hadn’t engaged much advertisement before launch, and though I did write several dozen sites requesting reviews, my work schedule didn’t allow the usual amount of time I might spend on forums or discussion groups with readers and other writers.

I’ve found that is one of the best ways to get people talking about your work is networking, but often I don’t have the time or energy left to spend replying to and discussing topics on a variety of social media apps or websites.

If you worked for a publishing house, what sort of books would you be looking to publish?
I do have my own independent publishing press and writer cooperative called Flying With Red Haircrow, and our motto is one of my quotes: “Dance above the surface of the world. Let your thoughts lift you into creativity that is not hampered by opinion.

“We publish: Literary Fiction, Poetry, GLBTIIQ Fiction, Fantasy (Dark, Epic, Speculative), Multicultural, International, Memoir, Psychology, Sociology and more. For those interested in being a part of our team, have proposals or offers, please visit our website for more details.”

What I’d like to do upcoming is a few anthologies or poetry collections on specific themes.

What are some of your favourite quotes from reviews that you've received?
For The House of Doom, Dreams & Desire, “What I’ve learned from reading Red Haircrow’s stories is to expect the unexpected.”

For The Agony of Joy, from sound therapist and composer, Ana Cristina Caelen: “You have been able to channel your memories and experiences, create vivid real characters and make something so beautiful out of pain and struggle is the highest meaning of what I believe art is: transforming hurt and becoming healers.”

For Silence Is Multi-Colored In My World, from The Indie Reviews, “I read this collection with a sense of wonder, humility and inspiration and the writing deeply touched me on a multitude of levels. The honesty with which the writing conveys the joys and sorrows, fears and pains, hopes and dreams of this man serves as a testament and reminder of the capacity of the human spirit to not only persist but also to thrive and to soar.

Would you rather sell 1000 books at $10/£10 each or 2000 books at $1/£1, i.e. what gives you the greater sense of satisfaction; overall earnings or overall sales?

Neither, because for me its not about the money or sales, although certainly either/both would be nice. For me it’s about those readers who might enjoy my work, where it personally meant something to them. I welcome and treasure some of the emails and private messages I’ve received from readers, which has generated conversation and often a sense of acquaintanceship.

Also, as I mentioned above for The Agony of Joy, other works like Night Shift and A Lieutenant’s Love, are based on actual events or situations that have happened in my own life or people I’ve know and often cared for, so in effect, they are part of me and my life’s story. In many ways, they are deeply personal.

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Thanks for your comments, Red, and good luck with your writing.

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Author bio:
Red Haircrow is an award winning author of non-fiction and fiction, poet, private chef, and former law enforcement officer of Native American descent (Chiricahua Apache/Cherokee) who lives in Berlin, Germany. Red Haircrow is also a Psychology major and owner and operator of the review/interview site and independent publishing brand Flying With Red Haircrow.

Red Haircrow has various poems, shorter works and articles published in magazines like Sword & Saga Press’ American Athenaeum, Sibling Rivalry Press' Assaracus, Danse Macabre, and Indian Country Today. A winner of a Rainbow Award 2012, Best LGBT Biography/Memoir for Silence Is Multi-Colored In My World.

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A short excerpt from The Agony of Joy:

“They seemed alone in a world devoid of men, and even of beast and bird. A curious softness lit the whimsical shapes and patterns between the trees: an old stump was transformed into a miniature elephant shape, its humped back as high as Adrian’s waist. Hundreds of tall, narrow trees swayed in the light breeze, the creaking of their wood and their steps the only sounds. Adrian began to speak after reaching out to take Lexx’s hand in his.

This reminds me of times I used to wander the hills above our town. I’d fallen in love with the legends and stories my mother read to us when my father wasn’t around.  I used to imagine the hero coming for me through battles against magic and iron, swearing his undying love. Silly childhood nonsense, but I did. I loved those stories. I spent an ungodly amount of time dreaming, playing in the woods whenever I could get away. There are many dark and wild places still in Ireland, hidden doorways to the fairy world, dangerous places full of fey spells and creatures. So ‘tis said, anyway.”

I had an uncle,” Adrian began off-handedly. “My father’s youngest brother, not so much older than the oldest of my siblings. He reminded me of one of those old knights or warriors. He listened to me when no one else would. Would take me to see old stones he’d found, secret places....”

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Discover more about Red Haircrow at his website: 
Songs of the Universal Vagabond

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Follow Red Haircrow on facebook and twitter:
Facebook: The Redhaired Crow
Twitter: @redhaircrow

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Check out Red Haircrow's book trailers on YouTube:
The Agony of Joy
Silence Is Multi-Colored In My World
The Angel of Berlin

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Red Haircrow's books are available for the Kindle app from and
The Agony of Joy by Red Haircrow
Silence Is Multi-Colored In My World

The Angel of Berlin
The Agony of Joy by Red Haircrow
Silence Is Multi-Colored In My World
The Angel of Berlin

And also from Smashwords and Rainbow eBooks:
Rainbow eBooks

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