Monthly Archives: February 2013

The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ merrows{{1}} gang aft agley

 – with apologies to Bro. Robert Burns

Sometimes, things just go wrong and you can’t follow through on a promise. Back in January, my post entitled “Sequel City” listed seven mer-fiction sequels that were due to be published this year. Already, two of the sequels have missed their target release date. Actually, that would be three but Adrianna Steptiano was able to conquer her technical issues and release her next installment in the Memoirs of a Mermaid series – When, At Last, She Could See – only two days behind schedule.

Paige Blue’s LivEternal was targeted for release on Feb., 14th but has fallen behind due to a very hectic schedule. A new release date has yet to be announced.

The third book in the Mer Tales series, Everlost, by Brenda Pandos will not release on Feb. 28th as originally planned. There were a good number of last-minute edits to be done and no hope of doing a proper job in the time remaining so Brenda has re-scheduled the release for March 14th. She had briefly considered  releasing on The Ides of March – Anyone remember the early 70’s band of the same name? – but feared a mob of angry fans bearing pitch-forks and torches if she delayed it a day longer.

Whilst waiting for Brenda to wrap up work on Everlost, yours truly will have the time to slip in one or two books that would have otherwise had to wait until after he was done with his review of that book. Meanwhile, a review of  Fish Eyes: A Stranded Mermaid Adventure by Linda Pohring and Anne Dewberry will be posted here on this very blog site on or before March 1st.

That’s it for this edition of  Book News. If you’ll excuse me, I have to get going on that review.

[[1]] “Merrow” is the Celtic name for merfolk. Dr. Data was attempting to make a (very) wee joke here.[[1]]

Gazebo GardensGazebo Books Publishing, a micro/boutique publishing house in the Seattle area,  has recently undergone an internal restructuring and is now Gazebo Gardens Publishing with three imprints:

Dream Garden Publications — books for children and families

Castle Garden Publications — books for tween and young adults

Moonlight Garden Publications — books for ages seventeen and over
Those familiar with the book reviews here at The Parsons’ Rant will recognise Gazebo Books as the publisher for Robert W. Cabell’s most recent two books:
  • [intlink id=”5263″ type=”post” target=”_blank”]All The Mermaids In The Sea[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”5711″ type=”post” target=”_blank”]A Mermaid Christmas[/intlink]

Gazebo and author Robert Cabell have gone their separate ways due to creative differences. How this parting will affect Bob Cabell’s next installments in his Mermaid Kingdom series remains to be seen.

The 4th Annual IPS Day

The 4th Annual IPS Day

[stextbox id=”Quote” float=”true” align=”right” width=”290″] Why sure I’m a Pipe Smoker,

Certainly mighty proud I say,

I’m always mighty proud to say it.

I consider that the hours I spend

With a pipe in my hand are golden.

With apologies to Meridith Wilson

[/stextbox] Today is  the 4th annual International Pipe Smoking Day. While it is rather new as holidays go, around here it is still looked forward to with as much enthusiasm as the annual C.O.R.P.S. pipe show in Richmond, VA. While the latter event is viewed – by Dr. Data, anyway – as something akin to a high holy day, today is a day of importance nonetheless.   Ordinarily, Dr. Data would don his smoking jacket, put on his kilt – for a bit of true international flavour – and load up a bowl of MacBaren’s Scottish Mixture to be followed sometime later with a bowl of his beloved Heather Honey. However, since Dr. Data does have to work on this day – gotta pay for all them pipes somehow – he’s going to forego the kilt & smoking jacket and celebrate by lighting up his meerschaums with a few of his favourite blends and maybe a wee dram of Dalwhinnie. Emily Butcher, writing for ExecDigital.com, summed things up quite nicely:

 In the tradition of the Native American peace pipe ceremony or the coveted packed bowl set out by the fire next to a cozy pair of slippers at the end of a long day, pipe smoking is an art which has historically been promoted to foster relaxation and socializing — a slower approach to life. On February 20th a much-anticipated yearly event for pipe smokers around the world will take place in the form of International Pipe Smoking Day. The appreciation of a fine bowl of quality tobacco has held a place in the hearts of generations of men, the act itself promoting feelings of well-being and contemplation, but enthusiasm for the habit has been threatened in recent years. Once viewed as a dying breed, pipe smokers are finding new ways to network and band together in communities and online forums to celebrate the rich, historical tradition of the practice. The scope of the worldwide community has grown considerably in recent years through Twitter and Facebook, and specially-dedicated sites like PipesMagazine.com. The event marks an opportunity for these communities to promote a sense of camaraderie on a global scale. The Comite International des Pipe Club, an international organization made up of members from over 25 countries, is dedicated to preserving the pipe smoking tradition and is a strong supporter of the affair. [Today], seize the opportunity to slow down, to relish the small pleasures life has to offer. And as the United Pipe Clubs of America urges, to raise your pipes together to foster friendship, benevolence, and tranquility across all borders.

[boxify cols_use =”450″ cols =”600″ position =”none” box_spacing = “auto” padding =”10 15 13 27″ background_color =”aliceblue” background_opacity =”80″ border_width =”2″ border_color =”blue” border_radius =”10″ height = “50”]Slow Down and Observe International Pipe Smoking Day.

Promoting friendship and benevolence across borders.[/boxify]

Feb. 19th, 2013

Feb. 19th, 2013

 

If you have not already done so, please go & take a look at today’s Google Doodle ©. Feb. 19th is the 540th birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus and Google is celebrating the anniversary with a Copernican model of the Solar System as the logo on the search engine’s front page.

Don’t put it off! The Google Doodle © is available for only one day and this one is too good to miss.

Depending upon whom you listen to, a full one-third – and then some – of PC users are moving their computing activities away from PC’s and towards what are termed “Post-PC Devices”. For ordinary folks, that’s the term for things like tablets and smartphones. People are shifting their web browsing and Facebook activities away from desktops and PCs and are now starting to rely on Smart Phones and Tablets for these two all-important tasks. {{1}}

A good bit  – indeed, probably most – of this is, no doubt, due to the fact that a third of PC users probably only ever used their lap/desk-tops for these activities. Toss in games, music and the occasional term paper and you will probably account for the vast majority of their need for a traditional PC. In previous posts, I’ve argued that we will see more a diversification of platforms and less a death knell for the PC so I’m not going to belabour that point here. Instead, I’m presenting a short digest of reviews dealing with Microsoft’s Surface Pro – a somewhat pricey hybrid of tablet and PC. I mention the pricey-ness because if Microsoft’s entry in the mobile computing area is ever going to gain ground and acceptance, the price IS going to have to drop considerably.

If you’re considering – today or at some point in the future – moving to a tablet, here are some things to consider:

ZDNet’s Steve Ranger offers an in-depth comparison between the Surface RT and the iPad for use in a work environment. In case you haven’t been paying attention, there is a significant difference between Microsoft’s Surface Pro and the Surface RT. The former can run many of the applications designed for the standard Windows desk/lap-top while the RT cannot. In many respects, the Surface RT is more a consumer device like the iPad. Yes, the iPad has been employed in business applications and no doubt the RT will too . . . if it survives.

In a second article, Steve Ranger puts things in perspective with an article entitled Surface Pro, Windows 8 and the Rebirth of Microsoft.

Meanwhile, in the Republic of Tech, Jason Hiner delivers a preview of the Surface Pro and argues that its Triple-Play User Interface is the device’s greatest innovation.

PC Magazine’s Joel Santo Domingo argues that the Surface Pro is  “. . . the Windows 8 slate tablet to beat when you need the performance and convenience of a PC in a compact tablet form factor.” This article is definitely worth a read. By the way, can anyone remember when PC Magazine was at least 3/4 of an inch thick and when rolled up, became an instrument of deadly force?

Joel also has a second article that covers both the Surface Pro and the Surface RT; Microsoft Surface Pro vs. Surface RT: Which One Should You Buy?

Back over on ZDNet, Mary Jo Foley provides answers to why Microsoft chose to deliver the Surface RT before the Surface Pro as well as a few other questions.

Not to be outdone, PC World’s Jon Phillips argues that the Surface Pro is the best Windows tablet in the world but, nonetheless, is still a bit lacking.

Finally, Robin Harris, writing for ZDNet, claims that Microsoft goofed on the Pro’s available storage.

There you have it; eight articles that provide food for thought about the Surface Pro by Microsoft. If you’re interested in buying the Surface Pro, these articles will provide good research material. If not, they’re still good to have up on your browser at work so your boss will think that you’re ahead of the curve . . . for once.

[[1]] One-third of PC users shifting activities to post-PC devices: Report – Adrian Kingsley Hughes, ZDNet.[[1]]

Let’s see now:

  • Laptop – check
  • Geek glasses – check
  • Nerd shirt in a colour not found in nature – check
  • Stack of Linux/Unix manuals – check
  • Stack of Perl manuals – check
  • iPhone with Whipped app – check
  • Assorted flash drives – check
  • Other assorted stuff that no self-respecting computer dweeb can live without – check
  • Autographed copy of The Wit & Wisdom of Sheldon Cooper – check

[stextbox id=”Question” float=”true” align=”right” width=”200″]Just how much of a dyed-in-the-wool Hokie is my brother? He refuses to wear a kilt until he can find one in Burnt Orange and Chicago Maroon![/stextbox]

Looks like I’ve got everything. I’m off on a 10-month contract with the University of Virginia ITS (Information Technology Services). My brother, Jim Parsons – no, not THAT Jim Parsons! – a dyed in the wool Hokie, must be hiding his face in shame over all this.

So far, Day 1 has been slow but that’s the way 1st days usually are. There’s a cardboard stand-up of Mr. Spock next to my cube and Iron Man collectables on the shelf across the aisle. I have a first-rate view of the train tracks behind the building so I can foam and work at the same time. I’m in Nerdlandia.

Cover of When, At Last, She Could See

Cover of When, At Last, She Could See

 

by Adrianna Stepiano
Wikipaedia defines “Sophmore Slump” as
[boxify box_spacing = “5” padding = “5” background_color = “#ADD8E6” background_opacity = “80” border_width = “0” border_color = “” border_radius = “10” border_style = “solid” height = “100” cols=”60″ cols_use=”39″ position=”left”]. . . an instance in which a second, or sophomore, effort fails to live up to the standards of the first effort. It is commonly used to refer to the apathy of students, the performance of athletes, singers/bands, television shows and movies.[/boxify]

A good example of this last category is Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The first movie was great. The second . . . not so much. The same thing happens with authors and their novels – they will hope that the second is at least as good as the first.

In the subgenre of Mer-fiction, there are examples – Tracy Deebs’ Tempest series is a good one – of the 2nd book being even better than the first. Move over Ms Deebs, Adrianna Stepiano has avoided the sophomore slump in her Memoirs of a Mermaid series and has delivered a book that tops her first outing.

 A feeling of loss is the only way to describe it. When my heart aches with what I could have had, that for a moment, I know. I know. I KNOW—that I cannot live without him. I’m sure most people have similar moments of clarity. It’s the random seconds when you realize that something you wanted was yours all along—but, you failed to recognize it.

As the story opens, a year has passed since Seraphin – this Hebrew name means ardent or fiery – graduated from high school; one year has passed since Seraphin first met Joesph. A lot has happened in that time. Seraphin has discovered that she’s a mermaid, that she’s destined to be one of the two guardians of the sea and that her former biology teacher is not quite the sweet, quirky person that she thought she knew. ‘Phin also learned – at the end of the first book in this series – that her father is alive and that the man – now deceased – she thought was her father was actually her uncle. Revelations like this are nothing new – either in fiction or real life. This reviewer discovered – after all the parties had gone to whatever reward awaited them – that the older woman he thought was some sort of  distant cousin was actually his grandmother. As well-intentioned as the deception may have been, this reviewer would have much rather had the truth from the beginning and so would Seraphin.

‘Phin does not like lies and upon hearing that what she was told is not how things really are, she vented her spleen upon the messenger – Joseph – who is her closest ally and co-guardian. Joeseph is the one who went to great lengths to find out what became of Seraphin’s mother and – quite understandably – he does not take kindly to being the focus of her anger.

It’s an unfair truth that we hurt those closest to us, and I hurt Joseph Merrick.

Seraphin retreated into a shell of familiarity and remained at home when it came time to begin the fall semester at the University of Maine;  Go Black Bears! This was the last straw for Joseph. After all, he had gone to great lengths – again – to see to it that ‘Phin had a place at university and this additional rejection caused him to leave for school and stay away for the rest of the year. Nine months without so much as a word from Joesph has only increased her sorrow and regret.

. . . he was in my thoughts, my very secret thoughts. When I tried to imagine his voice, I struggled. It had been too long since I last heard him speak. The sound of his voice was beginning to fade from my memory

Now that the summer session at CORE – Coastal Oceanic Research Expeditions – has begun, Seraphin will have to face the music if she hopes to have any chance of salvaging her relationship and snatching love from the jaws of rejection and defeat. Things, however, have changed for Joseph. Dr. Caro, the man behind CORE,  has pushed Joseph towards overseeing the lab technicians and becoming more like middle management and less like a hands-on researcher. There’s also someone else, Lena Ligeiato, who has taken over his old position and seems to be exerting a Svengali-like influence over him. If Joseph seems like he’s entranced by a Siren, it is because Lena is an actual Siren.

Adrianna Stepiano depicts Sirens in their original form; Bird-like women or women-like birds – both dangerous and beautiful – who used their enchanting voices and music to lure sailors on to the rocks of whatever island they happened to inhabit. Somewhere along the way, humans expanded the definition of Siren to include Mermaids and they have suffered from the bad press ever since.

Ms Steptiano has once again done a brilliant job of envisioning the relationship between ‘Phin and Joesph. As the story opens, Sepaphin is the same age as a rising college Sophmore while Joseph has completed a  year of graduate school. This reviewer – with a little effort – can remember being that age. Even taking into account the fact that ‘Phin is in her first real relationship, things would be quite a bit more involved if the couple were indeed real people. Adrianna has successfully envisioned this relationship for the mid-teen market. Seraphin and Joseph share hugs, kisses and tender moments; everything that a mid-teen female would want to read about. Quite tame by today’s standard of fiction and yet, very sweet and romantic.

When, At Last, She Could See is a tale well told. Adrianna Stepiano has a firm hold on her vision for this series and continues to expand the world she has created for her characters. While Mermaids and Sirens may be fantastical creatures from mythology, she skillfully humanizes them and renders them as believable. There is no better example of this  than the Goonches, the half-breed merfolk who were unlucky enough to have a human forebear. They suffer a similar fate to that of the Wizards and Witches of Harry Potter fame who had a Muggle or two somewhere up their family tree. And like the Mudbloods, the Goonches suffer from the resentment and disdain of the pure-blooded merfolk.

Adrianna depicts her Goonches as ordinary – or mostly so – people living ordinary lives. They are shopkeepers, administrators, house-wives and just has human as the rest of us. Perhaps even more so. The Goonches of Bar Harbour, Maine have been unobtrusively protecting ‘Phin from the very beginning without her even knowing who or what they were. A necessary lie, perhaps, but nonetheless a lie. Perhaps this is one deception that she can forgive.

Parents read children fairytales with happy endings. It’s a way of sheltering their children. They do it because parents understand that innocence is so rare, and they know it’s temporary. They see it, and they cling to it. They want to protect it, keep it, and hide it away from the evil world. Eventually, children grow older though. With age comes awareness, and awareness ends innocence.

Seraphin’s world – and her perception of it – continues to change and evolve. Over the course of this novel she grows up some more. There will still be things – like emotions – that she needs to master but Adrianna’s way of story-telling ensures that the reader will want to see what happens next. The third installment in the Memoirs of a Mermaid series is – at the time of this writing – due to appear in the late summer/early autumn of this year. Those who have followed ‘Phin on this journey – and perhaps have gained their own understanding via her travails – will undoubtedly look forward to that time.

Adrianna Stepiano’s skill at both writing and story telling has grown since When, At Last, He Found Me and there is no reason to doubt that the forthcoming installment will be even better than the two before it.

Adrianna’s website may be found at Memoirofamermaid.com.

My Rating:
[boxify cols_use =”36″ cols =”120″ position =”none” box_spacing = “auto” padding =”10 15 13 27″ background_color =”aliceblue” background_opacity =”80″ border_width =”2″ border_color =”blue” border_radius =”10″ height = “270”]

Kindle

[/boxify]

Read a sample of When, At Last, She Could See

[embed_kindle asin=”B00B9OXEEU”]

We have a few news items for you today so let’s get crackin’.

Microsoft Surface Pro – When Windows 8 launched at the end of October, 2012, so did Microsoft’s new tablet known as the Surface RT. The RT received mixed reviews – from good to wretched – with some writers claiming that it was a laughable/forgettable product. Among the points its favour were assessments stating that it was a good, solid performing tablet but not a spectacular one. There were a few more negative items including the fact that it could be somewhat lethargic loading programmes as well as the fact that it would not run programmes that a PC could. If you wanted an application to do something or other, you would have to go to the Windows Store to find one designed to run on the RT. Given the fact that the shelves in the Windows Store were somewhat bare at that  point, it was easy to see why many reviewers were less than enthusiastic.

To be fair, the Windows Store opened with more RT apps than Apple’s App store had iOS apps when the iPad launched. Microsoft’s prediction that there would be 100,000 apps available 90 days after the launch has failed to come true with slightly more than 25% of that landmark ready for downloading in the waning days of January. There were complaints that the RT apps were mostly crap but from my experience, there’s plenty of crap to be found in Apple’s App Store as well.

Comes now the availability of the Surface Pro, a tablet that can run PC programmes as well as those designed for the Pro platform. The  price is somewhat dear with the entry-level version costing just over $ 1,000 when all is said & done. Will the price come down? Probably in the same way that the iPad has come down in price; a noticeable reduction but still nothing to write home about. Consumers are more likely to buy Android based devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note or Google’s Nexus 7 or 10 than the Surface Pro . . . at least for now.

ZDNet’s Ed Bott has penned a pretty good review of the Surface Pro that is well worth reading. Meanwhile, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley is ready to tell us why she’s not trading her RT for a Pro. Finally, TechRadar’s James Stables has a mostly favourable review of the RT, published not at launch time as so many reviews were, but instead 90 days post launch. Read them and decide for yourself.

DELL Plans To Go Private – It’s a goal for many small and not-so-small companies to grow to the point that shares are publicly traded on of the major exchanges. Dell did just that back in 1988. Well folks, the days of “Dude, you’re getting a Dell” are long gone now and the company is starting to move towards buying itself back. The price is $24.4 billion and includes a $2 billion loan from Microsoft.

What does all this mean? How will you be affected . . . if at all? Here are some stories that will – hopefully – begin to answer those questions:

HP Contemplating A Break-up – The long, strange trip of Hewlett Packard is taking yet another turn. According to one report, executives are mulling a company break-up as well as other options. Of course, other sources say that there is nothing of the kind going on. This is not the first bout of indecision for the company. You may remember that HP was going to get out of the PC business until they changed their mind and decided to stay. They introduced a well-received tablet only to drop it 5 months later; not unlike Microsoft dropping its Kin smart phone after a similar length of time. The trouble is that the Kin was a deeply flawed device while the HP Touchpad was quite good and now suffers from a lack of applications as well as other support.

For more on this latest development in the HP saga, read HP reportedly considering company “breakup” on ZDNet. Even if does turn out to be a faux report,  consumers might want to weigh their hardware options carefully if their choice include HP.

 

Everlost Book Cover

Everlost Book Cover

 

The countdown has begun for the third installment in the Mer Tales series by Brenda Pandos. The release date is set for the last day in February – the 28th – and fans of the series are thankful that this is not a leap year. At this point in time, the book is not quite ready for pre-order on Amazon but we plan to add links to purchase both the Kindle and print editions as soon as Amazon begins taking orders.

[boxify box_spacing = “10” padding = “10” background_color = “#F0F8FF” background_opacity = “80” border_width = “3” border_color = “#000080” border_radius = “8” border_style = “solid” height = “100” position=”right”]Want to catch up on the Mer Tales series? Read our reviews:

  • [intlink id=”120″ type=”page”]Everblue[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”951″ type=”page”]Evergreen[/intlink]

[/boxify]

To celebrate the pending release, Brenda is holding a give-away on Rafflecopter. You can learn all the necessary details on Brenda’s website.

We have lined up Brenda for a Twenty Questions Interview. She’s tied up in the last minute details of a book release but she has our questions in hand and we hope to publish the interview sometime immediately before or after Feb. 28, 2013.

If you’re as interested in Ash and Fin as we are, you won’t want to miss Everlost. It’s number 3 in our Review Queue and will be number one by the time the release date rolls around.

 

 

 

 

 

Howard-Mermaid-Banner

 

We’re back with Part II of our interview. We’ve been speaking with Robert W. Cabell, playwright and author, about his Mermaid Kingdom series. When we were setting up this interview with his publisher, Gazebo Books, Bob chimed in: “Now I can’t wait for my 20 questions,
or do I get 40 or maybe just 30?” Well, we gave him 32! Bob was a good sport about it and yesterday, we published the first 16 questions and today, we wrap up with the remaining 16.
[stextbox id=”Question” float=”true” width=”250″]If you haven’t read Part I of this interview, [intlink id=”6131″ type=”post”]go ahead and read it first[/intlink]. Don’t worry. We’ll wait for you.[/stextbox]

When we took a break from the first part of our interview, we were discussing one of the main characters, Perl, who will be the focus of her own spin-off series in the coming months. Today, we’ll learn a bit more about her as well as some of the other characters in Robert Cabell’s stories. Let’s pick up where we left off in the interview.

 

Large Q In her own way, Pearl rescues her Grandmother, Helmi, from petrification. Is there, perhaps, some greater purpose to this in the story?
Large A Yes, turning the old gods turning to stone thru apathy and sorrow is an ongoing part of the books and series.  That tends to happen in our lives, as we get older.  Apathy or fear sets in and we sit back and let the world pass us by.  That is a mistake for everyone.
Large Q Perl comes in to her birthright with as much aplomb as anyone who suddenly has gills & a tail can. Why do you think that is?
Large A Growing up, Pearl was “different” and to her, the dreams and fantasies she surrounded herself with were her real world.  Also I have known several adopted people, and they all grow up fantasizing who their “real parents” are, no matter how great their adopted parents, or “Mom & Dad” are.
Large Q Miranda is featured prominently in All the Mermaids and is the Heroine of Mermaid Christmas What can you tell us about her?
Large A Miranda is a fearless and as beautiful as the sea.  Which kind of sums up my oldest niece.
Large Q Your stories span millennia. In what way will Perl’s life be different from both her mother’s and grandmother’s.
Large A Pearl has to deal with the world of man, even more than her mother Miranda did.  Also thru the transformation of Pearl, we also finally realize the prophecy of the creation of the new race of mer-folk.  So Pearl will act as both a future ruler of that race, and an ambassador to the world of two-leggers, or humans above.  And she will deal specifically with pollution of the oceans.
Large Q Finally, there is Poseidon’s youngest daughter, Helmi. What can you say about her character?
Large A Helmi is more shy and retiring than her daughter or granddaughter, because she spent so much time alone, away from the company of others in her early centuries.  But she has the wisdom and the concept of time far beyond that of either Miranda and Pearl.  In the sequel/ prequel The Mermaid King of Krakatau which starts at the birth of Miranda, and ends at the explosion of Krakatau.
Large Q Perl and Mark seem to develop a mutual crush during the brief voyage through the Panama Canal. Does Mark feature in Perl’s future
Large A Yes, but not until the second book in the series Pearl, A Modern Day Mermaid. 
Large Q Love and friendship are two of the main themes in both books. Are there any others?
Large A Each series has its focus.

All The Mermaids In The Sea sequels /prequels to are The Mermaid King of Krakatau and Pearls of Wisdom.  They deal heavily with Greek Mythology and the Titans, and spins of the other series of books I have coming out all about the Titans and the “creator gods” of Greek Mythology and how Media became the hag.

Pearl, A Modern Day Mermaid focuses on environmental issues, young romance, and the complications of interracial species. 

The Magical Adventures of Princess Miranda focuses on great moments in history, and will have its own – “Aurthinian – Merlin” book next. 

The Aquatic Adventures of Alex and Alexandra will be more “Potterish in that is creates the alternate world of Oceanus, a city created by Poseidon that houses all the great treasures of the gods, and the adventures of young twin merfolk.

Large Q The Sea Hag – a.k.a. Media – and her surrogate represents the force of evil in your story. Can we expect any other baddies to appear?
Large A Cronos, the Hag, the scarz and the Greek family will continue to plague the mermaids with a few new creature twists.
Large Q Miranda meets an untimely end. Will she somehow return as did Helmi’s mate or will she remain a shade?
Large A That is the focal point of Pearls of Wisdom and the answer is  “yes and no”.
Large Q You have planned several series of books stemming from “All the Mermaids”. How many books in all do you envision?
Large A As many as I can write before I die.
Large Q How have All the Mermaids and Mermaid Christmas been received by both readers and critics?
Large A So far it has all been 4 and 5 stars or – “one of my favorite books of this genre” which is a gift from god to any writer.  You can’t help but break out into tears when people decide to validate your work with any kind of praise.  We write because we have to get this story down that is clawing it’s way out of our brain.  Not for money or fame.  The validation form readers is the true gold for a writer.  And when they go to websites like Goodreads or Amazon or Barnes and Nobles and post reviews, it is the greatest gift they can give to help a book take off and have a life.
Large Q What other books have you authored?
Large A

I did a book on humor called The Encyclopedia of Laugher with Joey Adams.

            The Hair-Raising Adventures of Jayms Blonde

            Blonde Jokes, Jayms Blonde Jokes a photo joke book about blondes and life in general

            All The Mermaids In The Sea

            A Mermaid Christmas Volume One of The Magical Adventures of Princess Miranda

            Pearl, A Modern Day Mermaid Volume One:  Attack of the Atomic Vampire Lamprey

            The Atomic Adventures of Alex and Alexandra Volume One:  What’s A Kraken?

            The Little Dyslexic Angel an illustrated children’s book

            The First Superstar about the life and times of the French Actress Sarah Bernhardt,

which is coming out this summer.

            The Clone Whores of Atlantis, 2048 coming out next fall.

            Chaos And The Titans coming out for Christmas of 2013

Large Q You are a playwright as well. How does the creative process for the stage compare with that for All the Mermaids?
Large A Every format you write in has some kind of “restrictions” except  – novels.  There you have total freedom to write what you want.  In a play you have to think about cast size, production costs.  In a play it is all about dialogue and interaction.  You can’t really give the “history” in a narrative except in very rare occasions.  There is no lush description of the surroundings or complex action or locations.  It is limited to live dialogue and unless you have a huge Broadway budget, a fairly limited set.

My musicals are very different.  Z – The Masked Musical of Zorro which has two productions in Germany this coming summer, is a heroic epic.  My Off-Broadway Musical Pretty Faces is about a beauty pagent for plus size women.  Act One is the week of rehearsals for the pageant, and Act Two is the Pageant, on and off stage.  Both of these have albums available on i-Tunes. 

I have a series of plays about Sarah Bernhardt and Oscar Wilde, and those are all about dialogue.

Large Q You seem to be a creative Renaissance man. Is there anything else that you’d like to be able to do?
Large A Well, I like to say I have been paid for everything and arrested for nothing.  If I hadn’t gone into theater, I would have become a marine biologist, which explains my passion for the sea.  But – I’ve been in the “Entertainment Industry” for over 40 years, and that gives you the time and opportunity to do anything you want.  And I wanted to do it all.  One by one, but try doing everything I could, and over the years I have.  I’ve directed, choreographed, designed and produced theater both regionally and in NY.  I’ve also acted and sung professionally for years, and I’ve produced albums, documentaries and short films, as wells as worked as a director, an editor and a director of photography, been the singer for a band, and soloist for orchestras.. I’ve also worked as an illustrator, created fragrances, sold paintings in galleries, been an avid gardener  As a journalist I have written for the NY Post and other papers and magazines, been a NY theater critic, worked in marketing and syndication for Television with companies like HBO and Spelling.  Basically, every time I get a chance to try something new – I take it.  I’ve been successful with most things, and failed at a few, but I have loved every chance to try something new and hope I get more and more chances as life goes on.  I am not a very savvy internet person, but the phrase “google me” works.  If you google “Robert W. Cabell” it gives you a little idea of the different things I have done.
Large Q Is your move to Seattle – one of the primary locales in All The Mermaids – a permanent one?
Large A As I said, I wrote the book seven years ago, I have no children, like my brother and sister do, so I promised my parents when they reached the age that they needed someone to take care of them, I would come home.  I’ve got that “care-giver gene”.  I have taken care of many of my friends since the 80’s as their health failed.  From Aids, to Cancer, to ALS.  Caring for someone is more than just feeding and dressing and bathing them.  You need to give them as much love and laughter as you can so when they wake up every morning, they know the day will still hold some joy for them.  So when my mom and dad called me in New York last year and asked if I would move back to care for them, I did.  I lived in Manhattan for 34 years, and now, I live in the Seattle area.    I will live here as long as my parents are with me, and when they pass, after that, I don’t know…Berlin…Hong Kong…Vancouver?
Large Q Before we wrap up, Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
Large A Just that if anyone likes the book, please tell their friends and post a comment on whatever community they are part of.  Facebook, kindle, Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing all of them are really helpful to authors.

[boxify box_spacing = “10” padding = “8” background_color = “#F0F8FF” background_opacity = “80” border_width = “3” border_color = “#000080” border_radius = “10” border_style = “solid” height = “150” position=”right”]Interested in what I have to say about Robert Cabell’s  mermaid books? See the reviews for:

  • [intlink id=”5328″ type=”page”]All The Mermaids In The Sea[/intlink]
  • [intlink id=”5743″ type=”page”]A Mermaid Christmas[/intlink]

[/boxify]Bob, thank you so much for taking the time play 20 32 Questions. It has been a pleasure and I hope that our readers enjoyed the interview as well. From the sound of it, I’ll be reviewing your books for some time to come.

On a personal note, I must commend you for all the time and love that you have dedicated to Care-Giving. My wife and I have spent the past 4 years looking after our elderly mothers and, therefore, we can understand the calling and the sacrifices one must make to do this sort of thing. Our best wishes go to you and your family.

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