The Big Wide Calm: A Novel by Rich Marcello

An Interview with Author Rich Marcello

Hello loyal followers and readers! I want to share with you a recent interview I made with bestselling author Rich Marcello about his new book, "The Big Wide Calm: A Novel"

What is the books genre/category?

It’s literary, millennial coming-of-age fiction. Millennial in the sense, that the heroine of The Big Wide Calm, Paige Plant, is a little older (25) than most coming-of-age heroines. Literary in the sense that it deals with a number of philosophical and existential topics.

What events/inspirations led up to you publishing "The Big Wide Calm?"?

A number of years ago, I decided to write down everything I believe about love—romantic love, platonic love, and love in a broader community. I’m in the process of writing three novels about these different kinds of love. The Big Wide Calm was just published in July of 2014 by Langdon Street Press. The first, The Color of Home, was published in 2013, and the third, The Beauty of the Fall, will be published in 2015.

Is there a common theme or life-lesson in your books?

Yes. Thematically, even though there are different characters in each novel, they are tied together by struggling to truly and deeply learn to love, even when their histories or current obstacles conspire against them.

I see that you have published two books. What was the biggest challenge you encountered between writing your first book and second book?

For The Big Wide Calm, I wrote very fast. Basically, I caught a creative wave and finished the first draft of the book in three months. Then I edited it for another year. The biggest challenge was literally dropping everything else in my life so I could make room to ride the wave and channel all of my creative energy into the book.  Because I’ve been writing songs, poems, and novels for a long time, I know it’s rare to catch a wave like that, so I made a decision to honor it and drop everything else I was doing. In a way, it was an easy choice, albeit not a practical one.

Looking back at both of your publications, What do you think you did that makes your books stand out above the rest?

I try to infuse my books with a great deal of emotional intimacy. In addition, because I’m also a songwriter and poet, I try to incorporate poetic and song elements into my writing.  Sometimes I’ll spend a couple of hours on a paragraph until I get the words right. The combination of emotional intimacy and poetic writing is what helps the books stand out.

On that note, would you have changed anything that you have done?

No, I’m really proud of both books. Like most writers I know, I could tinker with a book forever. With that said, with both The Big Wide Calm and The Color of Home, I reached a point where I felt the book was done and I let it go. There’s something about letting a piece of art go that is relational. By that I mean the best novels, in my opinion, have the ability to invoke an emotional reaction in a reader that is unique, that is relational. In that sense, even when someone doesn’t like one of my books, as long as they have some emotional reaction to it, I feel it’s serving its purpose.

Besides personal life, where do you draw most of your inspiration from?

From dreams. I’m a big believer in writing in the morning, and in a way, going from one kind of dreaming (sleep) directly to another (writing fiction). My best writing comes from that dream-like place where I totally inhabit a character and write from their point-of-view.

What can your readers expect from you in the coming years?  The Beauty of the Fall will be out in 2015. After that, I plan to write for the rest of my life. I figure I have a good ten novels in me.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out? Write the first pass of any scene quickly, and then rewrite it until it’s sensual enough that the reader feels like he or she is actually there.

Author & Book Contact Links:
Twitter: @marcellor
Barnes & Noble:

Path to Peace - A Guide to Managing Life After Losing a loved One

Businesswoman, philanthropist  and author, Angie Ransome-Jones’ first book entitled “Path to Peace, A Guide to Managing Life After Losing a loved One" is receiving wide aclaim in the short time it has been on the shelves. The book chronicles her journey of finding peace after the devastating and sudden loss of her beloved father. Now she has made it her mission and ministry to help all those who going through the death of a loved one by providing emotional and as well as much needed financial advice, in order to cope.

After undergoing what she refers to as “the process” of laying a loved one to rest, Angie soon discovered that there is much more to death than laying a person to rest, and that not knowing how to handle financial matters on top of the grief can add stress and confusion.  With this in mind, Angie provides a comprehensive guide in Path to Peace, which yields advice from the professionals she worked with, including her attorney, financial advisor, and grief counselor. Path to Peace is one daughter’s story of reclaiming her life, realizing her purpose and finding inner peace along the way.

Despite its recent launch, the book has managed to draw praise and appreciation from early readers and critics. Critics have praised Angie for incorporating much needed financial guidance in the book to help those who have the responsibility of dealing with the affairs of the deceased.

The self-help book has been recognized as a “Good Read” by the Arkansas Times and featured in their 2015 Holiday Gift Guide and is now in the Central AR Library System. Also, Angie has been listed as a featured author in many prestigious platforms. Furthermore, Paradise Funeral Home in Pine Bluff, AR has put her book in their funeral home package. Angie was on the Lady Wisdom Talk Show in NY in March and featured in the March/April edition of Trendsetters to Trendsetters magazine
She has also posted this comment on Facebook: “I am excited to announce that I will be a Featured Author at the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta this summer! Special thanks to Curtis Bunn for the opportunity to be featured along with such an accomplished group of authors. As a brand new author, I’m incredibly honored and humbled!” The 14th Annual NBBC will take place on July 29th, 2016.

 "Path to Peace" is available at Connections bookstore in Dallas,TX and Pyramid Arts, Books, and Custom Framing in Little Rock, AR. It is also on and available via Angie’s website  Readers and fans can also join Angie’s newsletter mailing list by texting PATHTOPEACE to 22828 to get started (message and data rates may apply).  

About The Author: Angie Ransome-Jones is a wife of 20+ years and mother of two young men, all currently residing in Texas. A banking Vice President and MBA, Angela has her own non-profit (501C-3) organization, Magnifying our Mothers (M.O.M.), which she founded in 2010, in memory of her mother, who lost her battle with cancer years earlier. In her spare time, Angela enjoys serving as a volunteer in her church and community, along with practicing and teaching yoga, and she is an active member of both Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Toastmasters International.

Nobody Bats a Thousand

"Nobody Bats a Thousand" draws you in just with the title and has great characters ! Wonderful to find a book with truly interesting short stories!

Revised for Kindle, Nobody Bats a Thousand is a book of stories based on reality. The opening story, “A Bar Story”, showing a typical Friday night seen through the eyes of a middle-aged bartender, deals with conflicts that arise from changing times and generations. In “Home on the Range” a college student becomes reacquainted with his uncle, a famous touring musician, who teaches his nephew to look at life from a novel perspective. “Victims of Circumstance” centers on a young slacker and the 24 hours surrounding his 21st birthday in which he stumbles upon epiphanies about life, sex and his Vietnam veteran father. This book of literary fiction contains eight finely crafted stories about ordinary people involved in unique situations, presented in a style reminiscent of Raymond Carver, Richard Ford and David Sedaris.

On the Beach by Steve Schmale

Now that I've finished reading the book I realize that I miss Lenny and the other characters. It captures a moment in time of the mid 90s and reminds me of The Big Lebowski. It also reminds me of people I've known, you really feel like this little unnamed island and the colorful characters exist. I enjoyed this book, it was very descriptive and actually led me to watching reruns of Gilligan's Island.It left room for a sequel, I hope he writes one.

Domestic Abuse: When the Man is the Victim

Domestic abuse is a growing problem, however, little attention has been paid to the fact that men can also be the victim of verbal, emotional and physical abuse and even violence. For several reasons, men have not come forward to speak out about this issue until now. In this booklet, one man describes his descent into the darkest days of his life..... and the way out.

About the Author

W.A. Wehins is a man who has lived his life with a moral compass. Compassionate to others and believing in the ideals of family and love, he values loyalty, friendship and honesty. Writing about the painful experience of domestic abuse was done in the hopes of helping someone else benefit from his experience. He was surprised to find that very little information was available about domestic abuse when a man is the victim, especially when the abuser is a wife.

He is the "everyday" man, hard working, seeking to better himself, looking to a brighter future and hoping to put the past completely behind him. He has never sought revenge or even felt rage toward his abuser, only sadness and loss. Looking back now, it feels like it was a different lifetime and almost surreal.

W.A. Wehins is now in a committed relationship with a high school "crush" and learning to relax and experience love as the way it was meant to be.

For more information about men as victims of domestic violence, contact the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,

My Zombie Apocalypse Plan

It used to be that only preppers and people with a high level of government clearance had the foresight to create a plan for the end of the world. But these days any halfway intelligent person needs to have some kind of plan, and as I’ve always aspired to be at least a half way intelligent person, I decided to hash one out.

Look at the evidence. Global viral infections are a yearly event, tsunamis and earth quakes are now common occurrences. If you’re still waiting for a sign that the end is nigh, you might as well stand out in traffic in a tin foil hat telling people we’re going to be okay, because nobody will take you seriously.

And to me it seems only a matter of time before one of these freaky global viruses mutates sufficiently to actually reanimate dead flesh and put its host in a permanent state of annoyance. Ergo; we need to develop a strategy for the impeding zombie apocalypse.

Now, you may ask why I would go through the trouble of creating my own strategy when there are so many existing strategies to be found on the net. A quick search will tell you the best weapons, the best foods, the best way to prep. However, I feel that none of these plans take into account the real hardships people will have to face. So I spent some time looking at all the possible angles and came up with what I believe is the most sane and most efficient Zombie apocalypse plan to date. And I believe it’s as simple as it is effective;

Basically, I intend to die in the very first wave.

That’s it. That makes the most sense to me. More sense at least than undergoing all manner of hardship only to die eventually anyway (through bites/malnutrition/or terminally chapped lips).

For any plan the long term survival rate is zero. Of course, it could be argued that the zombie apocalypse is the least worrying apocalypse of all. On the apocalypse scale, it’s like a flee bite. There is no real damage to the ecosystem, our infrastructure will remain intact, the power grid won’t melt down. Basically, all we need to do is wait it out. Say, a couple of weeks. Just long enough for the re-animated dead to decompose to the point where they simply fall apart and movement is no longer an option.

Sure, it’ll be annoying. Insurance rates will go through the roof. You’ll lose some slow and fat loved ones. The smell won’t be that great. It will take ages for your favorite TV shows to start up again. Marauders will raid your food stocks and trample mud into your carpet. There’ll be some broken windows too, believe me. But, ultimately, we’ll be okay. 

Still, before we get out the other end, supply lines will be disrupted and stores will run out of toothpaste, deodorant, and chap-stick.

So, for those reasons, I’m out.

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

No Hope for Gomez! is his fiction debut.

Follow his blog at:

Jay Isip's 10 Stacks To Success: How to achieve success one goal at a time

Author:  Jerome “Jay” Isip
Reviewed by John J. Kelly

If you find yourself feeling stuck, trapped, suffocating, uninspired and searching for a guide to changing your life for good, there are stacks and stacks of motivational books, guides, workbooks of every possible type and variation. Every library and book store has whole sections dedicated to these types of books. Many of them are, to be honest, a waste of your precious time and completely useless. They can either be too simple, giving easy advice that you either already know or seem parodies of common sense. Others take the other route and make “getting unstuck” so complex and complicated that readers often don’t make it past the second chapter. But there are exceptions that can make a huge difference.

 “10 Stacks To Success: How To Achieve Success One Goal at a Time” by Jerome “Jay” Isip is essential reading for anyone who truly wants to change their lives and find success. Isip’s practical, hands-on approach to change gives you the information you need to know to alter your habits and become the kind of productive and successful person you’ve always dreamed of becoming.  This book succeeds where so many others fail because it is a highly readable workbook that is not only straight to the point, but also extremely easy to read and downright hilarious the entire way through.

This book is divided into (you guessed it!) ten separate sections that give you all the background, tools, and information you need to start improving your life right away. The book also includes inspirational quotes from countless of inspirational individuals from Zig Ziglar to Mother Theresa. And each chapter also includes numerous “Personal Activities” and plenty of room to chart your own course.  Beginning with an explanation that in order to change we must work at our very foundations; changing our mental attitudes, behaviors and habits. Isip maintains that unless we first alter our “non-productive” activities which make up our day, we will not be able to begin practicing new ways of living that will bring satisfaction, success and total happiness.  In addition to changing our foundation, Jay Isip also informs us that we must develop a “positive mental attitude” and “attitude of gratitude,” both of which will lead the way to change.

Other sections of chapters deal with allowing oneself the opportunity to dream of greatness, surrounding ourselves with positive people and pushing past our fears and comfort zones. Isip then offers fascinating thoughts on how to change the way you think about money, specific ways to increase creativity and how to begin to behave and act like a winner. The final section is dedicated to a new understanding of how we experience life and change, which Jay Isip says is integral to “finding your bliss.”  Fresh, frank, funny and full of everything you need to know to change your life for the better, “10 Stacks To Success” is a vital source of information for anyone who wants to go from a zero to a hero!

About Jay Isip
A native of Belleville, NJ, and Filipino by birth, Jay Isip was a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter for 12 years, teaches a barbering class and operates a men’s salon, owns a fitness facility, investment relations firm, and is an app developer. The last goal he achieved as a measure of success was to write a book, 10 Stacks To Success, which was released in November 2014. For more information and to view the book trailer visit the author’s website:

Jerome "Jay" Isip

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