It is not everyday you get to participate in a blog tour or even review a book written by one of your fellow bloggers. So when James (visit his blog here) announced that he is publishing his novel “Watching Glass Shatter“, I signed up for the blog tour and also got a review copy. What I did not anticipate was how great the book was going to be. I greedily devoured the pages of this intense family drama and thriller that completely consumed me. Rush to your nearest store and get your copy of “Watching Glass Shatter“. I bet you will enjoy it immensely. Speaking of buying “Watching Glass Shatter“, there is a great offer on Amazon for the kindle copy of “Watching Glass Shatter”. Get it today!
Book Title: Watching Glass Shatter
Book Author: James J. Cudney
Page Count: 278
Publishing Date: October 8th, 2017
Date Read: October 25th, 2017
Synopsis: The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.
Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.
We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family.
Author Interview with James Cudney
[Book Escapade] Let us start from the very beginning. How did you get drawn into writing and the world of books?
[James] I am an only-child, so I had more time to occupy on my own without siblings around me. Although I had many cousins and friends growing up, there were still several chunks of the day where I entertained myself by reading or watching TV. I’ve always been quiet and more introspective, rather than actively engaged in tons of activities. It gave me lots of moments to think, dream and ultimately create. When you are alone with pencil and paper, you can do anything you want to. I also had computers in the house at a very early age; my dad worked in telecommunications. Writing and connecting with people online became a normal activity for me as early as seven or eight years old.
[Book Escapade] For a debut work, “Watching Glass Shatter” is an emotional novel dealing with multiple sensitive topics like diversity, family expectations, etc. with maturity. How did you come about writing this novel?
[James] Family is very important to me. I have an extensive number of aunts, uncles and cousins; everyone grew up within a few miles of one another, I spent lots of time with my grandparents and I am an avid genealogist. Stories about relationships, dynamics and connections are part of who I am. When you combine that with my very introspective personality, it’s all about analyzing situations to answer those who/what/when/where/why questions. As I began building the character profiles for each role in the novel, I pushed myself to identify something within each person that readers would immediately connect to. If you can’t understand a character’s motivation, you won’t believe in the story. You can severely dislike a character, but you can also respect how (s)he was developed. That’s where a writer needs to push him or herself when they create a personality. As for diversity, to me, it’s normal to be different. I live and breathe it every day with those around me, which means it will show up in my writing whether I planned it to or not!
[Book Escapade] Who is your favorite character amongst the five sons of the Glass family? With which character do you identify the most?
[James] Am I really allowed to reveal that? Since my favorite character poll is open until 11/20 and your blog tour post is before then, I can’t quite say who my favorite character is right now. I will reveal one quality I share in common with each brother. Teddy and I have a corporate and a creative side, something we struggle with balancing every day. Matt and I are very skilled in finance; I should have been an accountant rather than a technologist. Caleb and I love to garden and design houses, but we never have time. Zach and I love to drink whiskey, but I drink in moderation. Ethan and I were very close with our grandparents and genealogists. On the flip side, we are polar opposites in many ways; however, I can’t say exactly how, as it could spoil things for anyone reading the book.
[Book Escapade] “Watching Glass Shatter” has a variety of strong female characters be it Olivia, her sister Diane or her daughters-in-law Susan and Margaret. Who is your inspiration for these women?
[James] You’re asking tough questions and I’ll start off by saying a few things:
(1) They aren’t representative of anyone in my family,
(2) My mother and I are very close
(3) I don’t have any sisters-in-law like those three!
I did take personality traits from people I know and build them into a larger than life person. Diane comes from all the loving moments with the older women in my life who have been nurturing, caring and loving. Olivia’s power and strength comes from many of the women I’ve worked with in the business world. The daughters-in-law each come from different types of relationships you often see with mothers-in-law – there are good sides and bad sides to every story. But no one from my real life was the inspiration for an entire character.
[Book Escapade] How difficult was it for you to get inside the head of Olivia Glass and portray her in the book?
[James] Would it be scary if I say it was actually quite easy? I can’t explain how, but once I imagined the loss this woman suffers in each of the visits with her son, after her husband has died, it fell into place much more smoothly than I expected. Olivia is a transitional figure; there are elements of an older generation who stick to their beliefs on what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior within family dynamics. At the same time, she is modern when she steps back to look at how the world has changed around her. She’s trapped between two places in life, but when destiny starts stealing things from you one by one, you react in two ways: (a) anger/denial or (b) acceptance. I took her through that journey, which isn’t very different from the journey we all go through when making a decision or analyzing a situation. Often, we start off feeling one way, but as evidence unfolds before us, our eyes are opened to a different reality.
[Book Escapade] Take us through your writing process. Is there any specific location, music or anything else that brings out the best writing in you?
[James] Absolute silence, but then again, I like silence in everything I do. When I exercise, read, write or rest, it needs to be quiet for me to have success. My focus is better when nothing distracts my attention, as I can be easily distracted by the smallest of things. I write in my dining room, which doubles as my desk and office. I have a few pics of it on Instagram and a post is coming out soon from a wonderful blogger who is sharing more about me and my writing space. I’ll re-blog for everyone to see it, too. My only routine is to be done by 5 pm – I won’t write at night because I feel that’s family time. Often social media steals my attention, trying to keep up with everything, but writing requires too much focus and I know I wouldn’t be productive at night.
[Book Escapade] I really loved the 365 Day Challenge on your blog. How did it help you out as a person and as a novelist?
[James] The 365 Challenge started a few days before a particularly significant birthday for me. I’d just completed the final edits for “Watching Glass Shatter” and was contemplating next steps in regard to my full-time job. It was all at once where I decided to make writing my job for a certain amount of time and I also realized I needed a way to push myself to connect with people. When you ‘work at home’ and you’re shy to begin with, you might spend an entire week in your home without ever seeing anyone besides the person you live with. I pushed myself to post every day about different topics that were important to me. It’s much more informal in tone / style / grammar than my novels. It ranges from humorous stories, rants from my dog, and news on my book, to inspirational advice, alerts on new authors and lists of my favorite things. If anyone were to read all the posts, they’d know EXACTLY who I am. I don’t hide anything, although, there are 3 topics I choose not to share on the blog (religion, politics or physical intimacy) as those generate controversy and include revealing things about people other than me, which is unfair. My blog is about connecting people, not dividing them; hence why I avoid those topics. Ultimately, the 365 Daily Challenge helped provide clarity on my voice and tone as a writer – a balance between everything in my life… 90% formal/organized and 10% let loose and have fun!
[Book Escapade] Are you working on any new book at present?
[James] Yes! I will finish the final edits for Father Figure, my second novel (unrelated to the first one) and review with some beta readers in late November before it goes to the editor. It will be published in early 2018 and readers can see a status every few weeks on my blog. I also recently announced there will be a sequel to “Watching Glass Shatter“, probably released in the fall of 2018. I’m 90% complete working out the plot in my head and will start the outline process in December once the Father Figure edits are completed.
[Book Escapade] What genre do you enjoy reading the most and why?
[James] It’s a toss-up between historical and mystery fiction. How funny you ask this question now, as on all the Sundays in November on my blog, I’m discussing my 5 favorite book genres as part of the 365 Daily Challenge( link here). Maybe we could link this question to those posts so everyone can see…
[Book Escapade] Who are your all-time favorite authors?
[James] I have 4 authors I am a huge fan of, in no particular order: Agatha Christie, Ken Follett, Henry James and Kate Morton.
Blog Tour Schedule
Enjoy “Watching Glass Shatter” and do not forget to leave your reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!