Jason Garden Interview

vikinginterviews

Hey everyone!

We are back with another review. This time you will get to read words from Jason Garden, author of You’re Not Dead. You can find my review here. Enjoy!

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1. First of all, I must say congratulations on the wedding! We could say you got married fairly young, is this maybe a reflex? That you now consider some things more important than you used to?
Thank you! I knew from the second I saw her that it was going to happen, so the time between asking and the ceremony felt like an eternity. As for my age regarding marriage: it is less of a big deal when one realizes that I am two years younger than her. She is over 30 and is very much ready for that part of her life to start. I am honoured that I can be apart of it and am excited to see what happens next.
 
2. Could you tell the readers who you are? What got you to the point where you are at right now in life?
I am Jason Garden. I am a nerd, have a sick sense of humour, and I am possibly the worst person to allow to express opinions on all things. I was in the independent music scene for ten years as a drummer and have been on nine albums. I used to run a really bad record label and an equally bad studio. I worked in retail for too long, was a manager of a music store for a year, then everything changed. I contracted Viral Meningoencephalitis back in 2013 and it resulted in me being in a wheelchair. I have been working my ass off to get back what I was accustomed to for 25 years.
3. And after all that, you decided to write a book titled You’re Not Dead. How come you decided to write down what happened? You know, you could have made videos and whatnot, but you chose to write. Why?
A part of the why I wrote the book was for myself. As much as I was in hospital for ten months, I was only in hospital for ten months: a lot happened. That coupled with the fact that I died twice, I found myself a year after being discharged from institution wondering what happened and not entirely sure who I was anymore.
 
4. Have you at any time felt that you maybe made the wrong decision? Was there maybe a thought that you are not that good of a writer, or what people would think of the book?
Writing the book? Not once. Some of my advertising tactics? Hell yes.
I have dropped websites because I could no longer afford them ALWAYS after doing some huge promotion for that site. I have spent hundreds of dollars on copies of books for reviewers, contests, and family.
Do I wish I knew what I know now when release first happened? Clichéd, but of course. Do I regret the fact that I am tens of thousands in debt to tell my tale? I really don’t. There is always the chance that what I wrote inspired a person or someone could relate to it. Even if that doesn’t happen for 20 years, it will.
 
5. The book was released last year and it basically covers your recovering process. You mentioned that your biggest wish is to be able to walk again. Has something happened in the last year regarding that? Any progress that maybe you could share with us?
To say that is my BIGGEST wish is a bit presumptive: It implies that nothing ever changes. Is it still a goal? Fuck yes. Is there much to share there? Fuck no.
Now, when I say that, it is not to say there isn’t advancement. After the initial few changes that were spectacles and grand, every change for a while has been “quiet.” That is, to say, I notice changes (like being able to stand longer, advancements in health, things like that). To the average on-looker, it would appear that nothing has changed. Am I still working towards walking? Yes. For “interesting” updates, look into my blog at wheelchairhero.com
 
6. Now, this is a book blog and I am sorry, but I have to return to the topic. Can we expect more books from you in the future? Maybe even books that are not necessarily connected to yourself?
I am working on a book right now, but I am only about 13,000 words in. I am writing a fiction, for once. I am very nervous about it, but I also REALLY like the tale. I just hope people do, as well.
 
7. Do you think that maybe there is not enough real stories, like yours, out there? Or do you maybe enjoy, for example, a fantasy novel more than one with a serious topic?
I think that showing a preference towards one or another is very subjective to the material. For my book, for instance, I tried to create an independent world from our own: A world self-contained. My reason to do so was to avoid having to describe situations and procedures that even I do not fully understand.
 
8. Most authors say that their books are their babies, which I totally agree with. But do you maybe have a favourite book that you enjoy and cherish even more than the one you wrote?
Two books come to mind that are very different from each other. The first is 1984 by George Orwell. It will forever be my favourite book. I just love how accurate it became and still remains.
The other book is jPod by Douglas Coupland. It’s about a bunch of people who work at a programming studio that focuses on video games. The book is funny and relatable.
9. Now, I want to give this question to each author, so you are getting it too: Let us say that you were given a magical pen. The first word you wrote down would immediately influence all people in the world. What would that word be? Why?
Loaded question. Just one word, eh? Probably “Remember.” I am half convinced that any sort of ignorance is due to forgetting the past. I am a huge fan of human history, especially in the realm of Religion and Politics.So many modern blunders seem to be a rehash of a mistake from the distant past. So many stupid things that people say are just from a disregard for situations that are just past. TO MAKE CLEAR: I am not excluding myself from this. The amount of times I will say something to my wife where she simply replies with “You’re going to say that again?” is embarrassing to admit.
 
10. I am sure people would like to know more about you, or maybe talk to you regarding the illness, maybe even for an advice. Where can people find you and contact you?
As I mentioned prior, my site is www.wheelchairhero.com. Yes, I chose that URL because of the irony of it. I do not see myself as a hero. I rarely ask for praise for doing the norm and, therefore, picked the name due to its irony. I feel as if I have slowed on the medical as of late, and have been focusing more on day-to-day stuff. I try to do a very off-topic on the last Sunday of every month to stretch my mind. I seem to talk a lot about music and things of that nature.
I also have a very sick sense of humour. Often, I laugh while I write about things of situations. Usually, I am the only person who finds the humour in anything I speak of.
FOR EXAMPLE: I am very VERY honoured that I was asked to take part in this line of questioning. Due to the surreal nature of it, though, I am howling my way through the questions.
I think that is how I have been able to survive all the situations that I have been through in my 27 years of life: I am amazed at the selfish actions made by those around me. I find my continued existence hilarious. The outlandish things that people complain about or draw attention to is so astonishing to me.
Thank you Jason!
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Bob and the Cyber-Llama by Joseph Caldara

Bob and the Cyber Llama - Createspace Front Cover

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Paperback: $8.00
Kindle: $8.53

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Bob Halibut used to live your average life: he had a steady job at Porkburger. He had a decent apartment. And it was boring as all get-out. But then he inherited a grand fortune from his grandmother. After meeting a posh, cybernetic llama butler, he learns of his grandmother’s secret former life and embarks on a journey to the pyramids to uncover the secrets of a lost civilization. What he discovers will test his courage, as well as his swordsmanship skills. “Bob and the Cyber-Llama” is an exciting, laugh-out-loud, all-beef 12-pack of adventure fiction hot dogs. It’s a fantastic read for kids, adults, teens, super-intelligent chihuahuas, flying robots, and otherworldly alien deities alike.

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This is one of the funniest books I have read in the last few years. I would dare to say I have not read something as funny since my elementary school days, when we were all reading Captain Underpants like a bunch of maniacs. For those familiar with it, this book is right there alongside those series. So, as soon as I picked up on that, I read the book through the eyes of a youngster, and enjoyed every single part of it.

Let us get to the first and the most obvious thing – humor. Yes, it is there. It is not one of those books that announce it, but fail to deliver it. This one goes hard right from the beginning. It is not just jokes or word plays, it is the story as a whole that is humorous. Just the Llama that you can see on the cover, is a goldmine of humor, let alone everything else. The story unfolds in a quick pace and you just keep jumping from one impossible thing to the other, but you just immerse yourself into the story so much that you just do not care. It is simply one of those stories that you pick up and do not put down until the last page.

The author managed to achieve what nowadays less and less books can. He managed to combine the humor with elements of adventure, suspense and mystery, without cutting one or the other out. And to achieve something like that in just 60 pages is extraordinary. Also, do not fear, the combination of these different elements does not ruin the flow of the story. What do I mean by this? Even at its peak, when the suspense and mystery are at the highest point, there is still humor present. And it does not ruin it for you. It brings a smile to your face, but your mind is still immersed and you cannot wait to see what happens next.

I cannot say much else without spoiling the story, as it is quite a short read. I can just repeat what I said at the beginning. This book would be a hit with the youngsters at elementary schools, and the author should look into that.

As far as the rating is concerned, the youngster in me enjoyed it, so I have no problem with giving it a…

Book recommendation: 10/10

High School Dance (How to Raise a Good Kid #2) – Starbuck O’Dwyer

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Kindle: $3.65
Paperback: $11.99

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This book is the culmination of a project that began shortly after my wife and I welcomed our son to the world. Like most first-time fathers, I felt a new and profound sense of responsibility and immediately became determined to pass along every lesson I believed was important… First, I made a list of the events of my childhood that taught me the most, the ones that made the biggest impressions, both good and bad. This exercise forced me to revisit many harrowing experiences such as batting zero in little league baseball, my chronic addiction to a blanket, my disastrously unsuccessful try-out for the role of Winthrop in The Music Man, and the time I mooned the entire sixth grade. I wanted to let my son know whatever hardship he might face; his father had already been there, learned something of value and survived.

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So, you have read the first book? Well if you have not yet, then be sure to check out the first part – How to Raise a Good Kid. Is the second one worth the read? Let us cover a few points and we will see where it stands.
To start off, in its core, it is nowhere near the first book. While the first book was filled with humor right off the first page, this one is not. It has occasional funny moments, but is not nearly as humorous as the first book. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It shows author’s mental growth and development between writing the first and the second book. And the pick of the stories shows that too.
Stories are basically as good as before, only a bit more serious and a bit more “grown up”. They still bring up values with which each individual should grow, so that is still present and still as good as before. You can find yourself in some of the stories and the book reaches to you in an improved way compared to the first one. In that sense, author nailed it and this is definitely a book for every child to read.
I am giving it 7 out of 10, just because of the lack of humor. I know it is hard to keep writing book after book and make it funny each and every time, but I have met this author through the first book in a comedian way, so to lose that feeling in the second book is kind of a let down.

Book recommendation: 7/10

Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire – Jillianne Hamilton (OLD REVIEW)

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Now this is something that we do not read much about – a professional thief!

We follow the story of Molly Miranda who is a thief for hire. While she may in fact have been in the business for years, she also does not seem to have much luck on her side. And this is what the whole book is all about. When I am talking about luck I am not talking about her being clumsy and getting caught on every task, but I am talking about her life outside her job. She is a well-built character that keeps to herself most of the time, afraid of opening up to someone. That is until she meets that “someone”. And if that is not enough, she also takes a job offer that might doom her. From there the story takes a big roller-coaster drive.

Molly as a character does not develop much throughout the story. While we know here as a strict professional from the beginning of the book, we also learn about her soft side a couple of pages later. But that is basically it. She has inner conflicts, but at the end she stays true to herself. It is also worth mentioning that we are able to see what Molly thinks. Her thoughts are written down ninety percent of the time, so we know what is going through her head at all times.

The author also included humour in just the right places so it brings a smile to your face but does not ruin the story for you. It is mostly made up with Molly’s thoughts or witty comments. Molly’s knowledge of Geography is just the cherry on the cake.

“Have you ever been to Barcelona?”
I thought for a moment.
That’s in South America, right?

All in all, if you are looking for a fun, humorous and, at the same time, deep story then you should take this book into consideration. It is truly a fun short read and one that will not waste your time.

Book recommendation: 8/10

Gibberish #9

So I was in Czech Republic last week and I promised to talk about it in this week’s Gibberish, so here it is.

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Apart from English, I study Geography too. So we went there for “field work” which basically translates to “let students waste money for no reason whatsoever”. So we went there and had some sightseeing and stuff like that. We visited České Budějovice, Plzeň, Prague, a huge amount of different castles, drank a lot of beer and almost ran into problems with the local police force.  It is safe to say we had a good time. I recommend visiting Czech Republic with all my heart. This was my second time and it surely will not be the last. If someone offered me the papers, to live there, I would sign them right now.

Enough talk, I will let the photos speak for themselves. See you all on Wednesday.

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You can rent one of these bad boys, to drive around the city with it.

– Viking

Gibberish #8

Okay, I did not find any WiFi connection to post Gibberish on Monday, so you are getting one now. In other news, Czech Republic was a blast

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But to return to our usual topics. I am considering moving the time frame in which the posts are published. I have checked the stats and most of you, who check out my site, come from USA. So I am thinking of changing it to something that might fit you all more. I am not sure yet.

My previous rant about reviews seemed to work. I must thank all the authors that responded and offered their books for free. Just as it is supposed to be. This whole situation is still a hell of a lot weird to me, so I am glad everything worked out. For the record, as this is the last time I will be talking about this, if you want me to read your book, buy it and do a review – I will not respond to your email. Call me a scumbag, I do not care.

That is all for today, I need to go catch some z’s since I came home from the trip yesterday at like midnight. As I promised, I will write about the trip, so that is what awaits you in the next week‘s Gibberish.

Do not forget to check in tomorrow, for your weekly book review.

– Viking

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Differences between the book and the movie

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I think there is only a minority of people out there, in the world, that have yet to read or watch Harry Potter. I dug up some (not all) comparisons between the first book and the first movie.

Firstly, if we check the character list, we see that one of the most important characters from the book is missing in the movie. That someone is Peeves. Also known as “the most notorious and troublesome poltergeist in British history”. And he was exactly that. He was excluded from the movie, because it was (I believe), at the time, aimed at younger audience, like myself. Rude words on the blackboard during Professor McGonagall’s lectures just did not seem like a good idea to include in the movie. I must say, good call on this one. On a side note, Peeves was included in the first game.

Now, we will check the story. The first time Harry meets Draco in the book, he turns down his friendship offer after Draco insults Hagrid. In the movie, however, he turns down the offer after Draco puts down Ron, making fun of his clothes and family’s poor financial background.

We all know that Dudley was having a nice birthday party, which is portrayed in both the book and the movie. However, in the book, Dudley received all kinds of presents. Computer games, a new bike, video camera, you name it. In the movie, the presents are in the next room and we never actually find out what he got.

Remember when Dudley and Harry went to the zoo? I think the disappearing glass was my favorite part in the whole movie. In the book, Dudley brings a friend with them together, but that does not happen in the movie. Furthermore, in the book, uncle Vernon buys Dudley and Harry some snacks (chocolate candy bars and a lemon pop). That, again, does not happen in the movie.

I am going to finish off with a sleepy one. When our trio (consisting of Harry, Ron and Hermione), have to get past Fluffy to get to the trap door in the book adaptation, Harry plays a flute, given to him by Hagrid on christmas, to put Fluffy to sleep. In the movie, there is already a harp playing itself, left there by Quirrell. It stops playing and the trio barely make it to the trap door.

This is all for today. Remember to leave a like and a comment if you enjoyed this list, so I know, if you want me to write more. Do not forget to check back on friday, for the weekly review.