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Saturday, 20 September 2008
A Talk With Holly Jahangiri
Topic: Author Interview
Today we get to talk with Holly Jahangiri, author of Trockle. Her friend, Vivian Zabel, who knows her quite well, put in her opibion on a few questions :-)   We hope you enjoy the interview!!
 1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Honest, empathetic, imaginative

From Vivian: Excellent insight on Holly's part.
2.  How do you think others would describe you?

Intimidating. I'm very direct and not shy about speaking out on issues I feel passionate about.

From Vivian: Many people are intimidated by Holly, but under that tough exterior is one tough woman. Seriously, her exterior is more intimidating that the person she is inside, but she is not shy about speaking her mind (and she's very often completely right).

3.   Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

My husband and my children. Freedom of speech. Civil rights. You know how kids will stomp a foot and yell, "That's not fair!"? I have always had an overactive sense of righteous indignation – I may not stomp my foot and yell, but dismissing injustice with a shrug and saying, "That's life" just doesn't do it for me.

From Vivian: Believe her when she says she does not take injustice lightly, and the anger at injustice or unfairness is not limited to her family only. I know of times when I'm glad she couldn't reach some people who were not "fair."


4.     Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

Right now, we have a green anole named Bob and a whole slew of tiny crickets that ultimately belong to the lizard. Bob's a little shy; I'd introduce you, but he goes all brown and skittish around strangers.
5.     What is your most precious memory?

You ask such impossible questions, Joyce! I have to choose just one? If forced to choose, it's going to be the obvious cliché answer – childbirth. But now, if my kids read this, they're going to ask, "Which one of us?" How about the day I walked down the stairs on my father's arm, and saw my husband smile from across the room as he waited for me to join him in taking our marriage vows? How about the moment I first held Trockle in my hands? Don't make me choose just one, Joyce – life's too full of precious memories to play favorites.
6.     What is your most embarrassing memory?

When I was ten, I got a tape recorder for my birthday. I used up a whole hour of tape singing, "Happy Birthday to MEeeee!" and running a sort of radio show in which I sang, announced that I would "never be nine again," and generally babbled nonsense. My parents found it, played it, declared it "adorable" and put it in a safe place - basically, any place where I couldn't find it and destroy the evidence in later years.

My mother said that she knew J.J. was destined to be her son-in-law the day I had her dig up the tape and play it for him. The only other people I let listen to the tape are my kids, to demonstrate to them that even the most mortifying moments can be cute, laughable, silly, and totally harmless in retrospect. So they'd know, next time they're feeling humiliated, that they'll survive – even look back, some day, and laugh.
7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I probably would have chosen one of my fall-back options: volcanologist or lawyer.
 
8.      In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Holly Jahangiri died today at the age of 105. She is survived by her husband J.J., her daughter Katie, and her son William. She finally ran out of words and turned the page. She will be missed by a generation of young readers who remember learning to love reading with her books.
9.     Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

I should have realized it in middle school. My English teacher, Lee Thorsten, assigned an essay. I took my dog for a walk by the lake, and while we rested on a log, I wrote the essay. Mrs. Thorsten liked it – she wrote all up and down the margins, correcting this, praising that – I learned to love the red pen. I started writing unassigned essays and short stories, and Lee Thorsten read every word. She took the time to comment on all of them. I loved being able to convey my thoughts and ideas to someone else, to form pictures in their minds using nothing but words.

Along the way, I got distracted; for a time, I wanted to be a volcanologist, an actor, an archaeologist, a veterinarian, a lawyer. I even went to law school. And then it hit me – I was already a professional technical writer. I loved writing fiction and poetry. And I was pretty good at it. I didn't have to "practice" like lawyers and doctors. If I made a typo, no one was likely to go to jail or lose their home or family. And I didn't have to work eighty hour weeks unless I wanted to. I don't think I ever doubted I was a "real" writer, but it took a while to accept that that was what I was going to do for a career.
10.      What is going on with your writing these days?

I have a contract for the second book with 4RV Publishing – its working title is A Puppy, Not a Guppy – and I'm mulling ideas for a young adult novel.

11.     What are your future goals for your writing?

I'd like to be the Judy Blume for boys. Seriously? I don't think there are enough novels that appeal to middle-school aged boys. I'd like to see more of them become bookworms.
12.     Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

There's nothing "typical" about it. I come home from work, have dinner with my family, and then, if the characters are talking to me, I write.
13.     Why do you write?

To entertain readers, for the most part. To teach them how to do something, or to make them think, or to transport them to another world for a little while. I don't write just for myself. That has always struck me as a bleak and lonely thing. I love it when someone tells me that they enjoyed reading what I wrote.
14.      What writer most inspires you?  Why?

I've always thought my writing was what you'd get if you mixed a little Edgar Allan Poe, Erma Bombeck, and O. Henry. Poe, for the chills; Bombeck for the wry humor; O. Henry for the impatient urge to quickly wrap up loose ends in a surprising twist and bring it all to closure.

I have been told that some of my writing is like Spider Robinson's. At the time, my reaction was "Spider WHO?" I've since read his books and banged my head repeatedly against a desk – Spider does Spider better than I ever could. There are shades of Douglas Adams in there, too, but less so now that I've read his work and Robinson's.
15.     How do you define your writing?

I don't. I think that's for others to do. I just hope that they find it worth reading and defining.
16. In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

"Wow, this is a great book! Have you read it?"

When I was in college, majoring in Rhetoric & Writing, I was nearly scared off a career in writing by my graduate level Lit courses. There are few things I dread more than the thought of a bunch of college students picking my brain, my life, and my stories apart posthumously, playing "Let's Psychoanalyze the Dead Author." The speculation we indulged in regarding D. H. Lawrence and James Joyce would make your hair curl.

From Vivian: There is no way anyone could psychoanalyze Holly now or in the future. She is unique, and doesn't follow any drummer but her own.

I would love to be a fly on the wall listening to the nonsense students and professors might utter trying to "find" the real Holly Jahangiri.

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Web site?  Blog?

I have my own Web site at http://jahangiri.us and a blog at http://jahangiri.us/blog.
18.     Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Holly.Jahangiri@gmail.com
19.     Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Trockle
Hidden Lies and Other Stories
Walking the Earth: Life's Perspectives in Poetry
Lost Souls, Restless Spirits
Dealing with the Demon…and nine other short stories
Mood Swings
20.  For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

I hope that NEW readers – kids who are fairly new to reading – will find an engaging story that they can enjoy having read to them or reading on their own.

 

Please don't forget to leave a comment for a chance to win a Trockle totebag--and come back tomorrow when we talk with Jordan, the one who did so wonderfully with the illustrations in this book!

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:50 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 20 September 2008 2:06 AM EDT
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Friday, 19 September 2008
A Chat With Trockle and Steven
Topic: Blog Tours

Just as I promised, folks, Trockle and Stephen dropped by to have a talk with me :-)  Please leave them a comment.  Trockle informs me that one commenter who leaves a comment and their emails will win a totebag with him on it!!! 

This is Trockle:

  1. Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

    Trockle. The book was named for me! I don't know why Ms. Jahangiri named it after me, since it's mostly about Stephen.

  2. Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.

    Mom said it was to go to bed and get some sleep, so she could finish laying out the dust bunnies.

  3. How did you convince your author to put you in this book?  For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?

    Ms. Jahangiri was writing a story about a little human boy who was afraid of monsters under his bed. As soon as she thought to wonder what my name was, I yelled out, "Trockle!" and insisted she tell MY side of the story. Little monsters aren't so different from big ol' smelly boys, you know.

  4. Is your author easy to work with or controlling?

    Controlling?

    Does she tell you what to do?

    Oh, no. I just send her the story in thought pictures and she writes it down. She makes me do all the work.

  5. Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

    Stephen, of course. He's this big, huge human boy – I used to be scared of him, too. Did you know he had TWO eyes? And TEN fingers? And zillions of teeth? I don't know why he was afraid of me. Our moms helped us get to know each other and to realize that we're just as much alike as we are different. We both snore! We both like fart jokes, too.

  6. Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

    I want to be in a movie! Or maybe a video game. Ms. Jahangiri's son might put me in a video game, some day. He says he wants to be a video game designer.

  7. What would you like our readers to know about you?

    That I like to get fan mail at trockle.pie@gmail.com. I'll answer it, too! My mom monitors what I do on the Internet to keep me safe, so don't write anything you wouldn't want a great big scary mama monster to read.

    Oh, and I like chocolate. And monster trucks. I want a toe sock, so I can store chocolates at the foot of my bed. And…um…


  8. Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

    Yes. I learned that the big scary boy over the bed is…REAL. But he's not really scary, you know? Just big. And funny looking. Like you. What, Mom?

    I'm sorry. Mom said that was rude. But why do you have two eyes instead of one great big one?


  9. Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

    Exciting? When you live under a bed, you can't even fall out of it! It was kind of scary when Stephen's mom was spraying the Monster Repellent all around Stephen's room. HE knew it wasn't going to work, but I thought I was going to DIE.

  10. Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

    I wish I hadn't dripped ice cream on my truck. Because the dust bunnies stuck to it, and they don't taste so good.

  11. What was your main motivation?

    To go to sleep and not get eaten by the humans.

  12. Introduce us to your main adversary?

    I thought it was Stephen. He's the boy over the bed. He's got red hair and he's really, really tall. But the funny thing is, he was just as afraid of me as I was of him. Stephen's mom said something like, "The only thing you have to fear is fear itself." I guess fear is my main adversary, but I'm trying to be braver.

  13. Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?

    I wanted to stay up all night and watch Naruto. My author wouldn't let Stephen do that, either. She's a lot like my mom.

  14. Here's your chance to speak your mind.  What do you want to tell everybody?

    Read Trockle!! Tell George Lucas I want him to make me a STAR!!

    Um, okay, seriously? Don't let your fear and worry keep you awake at night. But if you can't sleep, read a book. Read Trockle! Use the time to do something other than worry.


  15. Please tell everyone where they can find out more about your story and where they can purchase it.

    They can visit Stephen and me at http://trockle.wordpress.com and they can buy Trockle at http://www.4rvpublishingllc.com/Store.

This is Stephen: 

  1. Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

    My name is Stephen. The book I "live in" is called Trockle. Trockle is the monster who lives under my bed.

  2. Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.

    Mom said it was to go to bed and get some sleep..

  3. How did you convince your author to put you in this book?  For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?

    Well, she couldn't convince her son William to be a character in the book, so she created me.

  4. Is your author easy to work with or controlling?

    Controlling?

    Does she tell you what to do?

    No! Well, yes – she told me to go to bed and brush my teeth.

  5. Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

    Trockle, of course. Our moms helped us get to know each other and to realize that we're just as much alike as we are different. I wish he'd quit stealing my chocolate bars, though.

  6. Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

    I guess I'm happy. No one asked me if I wanted to be in this book. It's kind of embarrassing – I mean, I don't want the kids at school to think I'm afraid of monsters under the bed. That's silly, right? It's been fun, though! And Mom says everyone's afraid of something, even if they don't admit it. She says that being brave doesn't mean being fearless – it means not letting your fear stop you from doing things you want to do, or have to do.

  7. What would you like our readers to know about you?

    You can write to me at trockle.pie@gmail.com. Trockle will make sure I get it. He likes to explore the Internet and email people. I'll answer emails, but I'd rather be playing video games, watching cartoons, or hanging out with my friends! Trockle's mom keeps a close eye on everything either of us does on the Internet, so don't write anything you wouldn't want a great big scary mama monster to read. That'd be MY mother, not Trockle's. Trockle's mom is about the size of a stuffed Pooh bear.

  8. Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

    I learned that just because someone's different – or even weird, like Trockle – doesn't mean they're scary or mean or not fun to have around. Trockle's cool, even if he does have one big eye in the middle of his forehead, three fingers on each hand, and shiny green claws. That growling sound that used to scare me and keep me from getting to sleep at night? That was just Trockle, making armpit noises. He's such a clown.

  9. Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

    Exciting? Isn't this supposed to be a bedtime story? I guess the most exciting thing, to me, was making a new friend.

  10. Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

    I wish I hadn't forgotten to throw out my Choco-Taco wrapper. When Mom saw Trockle licking it, I got in big trouble for leaving it under the bed!

  11. What was your main motivation?

    I was tired and Mom was making me go to bed. I didn't want her to be mad, but I was really scared. I thought at first she didn't believe me, about Trockle. I didn't want her to leave me alone with monsters.

  12. Introduce us to your main adversary?

    That would be Trockle. He's about the size of a Beanie Baby. Reeeeal scary. Not. But when it's dark, and you hear "phlibbit" and "glurp" and "snorffelgrup" coming from under your bed, and you feel things that go "bump" in the night, you can't help but think of scary monsters. It doesn't help that Trockle's got little pointy teeth and claws and one big eye blinking away in the middle of his forehead. Turns out he was just as afraid of ME – can you believe it? Am I scary looking to you? We have a lot in common, in spite of all our differences. We like to play with trucks, we both like Choco-Tacos, and we both have moms who care about us. Oh, and according to our parents, we both snore and talk in our sleep.

  13. Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?

    I wanted to stay up all night and watch Naruto or play Kingdom Hearts. My author wouldn't let Trockle stay up to do that, either. She's a lot like my mom.

  14. Here's your chance to speak your mind.  What do you want to tell everybody?

    Read Trockle!! But don't show it to the kids at my school. That's just embarrassing.

    Oh, and if you can't sleep – take a book and a flashlight and read under the covers. It's really hard for moms to get mad at their kids for reading.

  15. Please tell everyone where they can find out more about your story and where they can purchase it.

    They can visit Trockle and me at
    http://trockle.wordpress.com and they can buy Trockle at http://www.4rvpublishingllc.com/Store.

I want to thank Trockle and Stephen for taking time to talk with me today--weren't they wonderful, folks??  Join metomorrow when Holly Jahangiri, the author of this wonderful book, stops by to chat with me.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:21 AM EDT
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Thursday, 18 September 2008
Trockle Has Arrived!!!!
Topic: Blog Tours

I am so pleased to tell everyone about the wonderful guests who will be visiting us over the next few days.  I'll introduce you in a moment to Trockle, a wonderful book written by Holly Janhangiri and illustrated by Jordan Vinyard.  I was fortunate that not only did Holly and Jordan stop by to talk with me, but so did Trockle and Stephen, he main characters in this delightful tale.  Please stop by each day over the next three days as I speak with these lovely people (and monster!).

Stephen doesn’t like to go to bed because he knows a monster is underneath. Even when told that Monster Repellent was sprayed under the bed, he knows it didn’t work.

Under the bed, Trockle doesn’t want to go to sleep because he’s afraid of the huge monster above.

Stephen’s parents and Trockle’s mom try to help their children no longer be afraid.

http://www.amazon.com/Trockle-Holly-Jahangiri/dp/0979751322/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1221716111&sr=1-1

 

Please come back tomorrow as I talk with Trockle and Stephen!!! They are such delightful little ones!

 In the meantime, when you leave here, I'd love to have you visit The Book Views, http://thebookviews.blogspot.com/ where my good friend Lacresha Hayes interviewed me.  All those who comment have a chance to win copies of both her book, The Rape of Innocence and mine, Storm! 


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:39 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2008 1:41 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 17 September 2008
More on Kenny Kahn
Topic: Blog Tours

  IRWIN Award is Crowning Jewel for Author Kenny Kahn

October 5, 2005
Studio City, California

Prominent Southern California criminal defense attorney Kenny Kahn, author of The Carney Kid: Survival of a Young Thief, was presented an IRWIN Award from the Book Publicists of Southern California for the Most Inspirational Campaign 2005. IRWIN stands for Industry Recognition for Writers In the News and was given at the Eleventh Annual IRWIN Awards banquet on October 5, 2005 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City (Los Angeles), California.

Kahn’s most entertaining and often humorous book is about his nightmarish childhood growing up in the projects of East Los Angeles with his heroin addicted/carnival con-artist parents. From an early age, being the oldest child, Kenny was responsible for taking care of his younger siblings as his parents partied all night and slept all day. A stint in a foster home and a bout with polio at the age 15 proved additional obstacles for him to overcome, and surmount them he did, in part, by burying himself in a place of refuge that changed his life: Lincoln High School.

Kenny spent as much time at Lincoln High School as possible, joining every club, going out for every sport and spending untold hours at the library reading; anything to keep from going home. His parents ran a drug dealing business and shooting gallery for the local addicts, however, during the summers, starting at the age of 10 in the early 1950s, Kenny started to travel around the United States with his father learning how to be a carnival thief. His father was one of the best, and Kenny grew into an accomplished thief on the circuit, but he knew the life of his parents was a go nowhere proposition.

Kenny was smart and education was the way he escaped from the nightmare of his childhood. He put himself though UCLA as an undergrad and UC Berkeley Law School en route to a highly successful career as a criminal defense attorney. He defended high profile people including Larry Flynt, Ike Turner and Andrew Daulton Lee from the famed "Falcon and the Snowman" movie (The Sean Penn character). In 1987, after being stabbed in court by a deranged client in a Torrance, California courtroom, Kenny took up stand-up comedy. He has played at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas and clubs throughout the country.

Using his book as an inspirational tale, Kenny speaks at high schools around the country and has set up an annual writing contest named after his favorite high school teacher, Mr. Raymond Lopez. You can see media interview and reviews on his website

***

This ends our visit with Kenny Kahn.  Please visit his website and check out all the good works he is involved in.  This man gives all those with less than ideal beginnings hope for a wonderful future!!!

Tomorrow we start our visit with one of the cutest monsters you have ever met, Trockle!!


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 September 2008 1:18 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Experience Kenny Kahn Live
Topic: Blog Tours
Humor and Law Lecture Tour

Laughing Out Loud at the Legalities of Life
with Criminal Defense Attorney Kenny Kahn

Kenny speaks at California law schools, delivering "Humor and the Law." If you would like to make an advance reservation or to find out more information on having Kenny lecture at your school, please use the contact form to get in touch.

The "Humor and the Law" lecture tour is "Something I have wanted to do for a long time, combining my passions and passing on the knowledge I have gained the hard way, through trial and error," said attorney Kenny Kahn about his 2004 tour, a prelude to a nationwide book tour. "Humor can make such a difference in a case if used properly; I wish they had taught this at law school when I was a student."

The topics of Kenny's lecture included:

  • What they don't teach you in law school
  • Using humor in your law practice
  • How to release tension in a trial with humor
  • Improve client relations using humor
  • Using humor as a tool for negotiating with opposing attorneys

The two hour lecture included an open Q&A session. The aim was to provide students with new skills in interpersonal relations and to pass on survival tactics that can be applied to many legal situations.

The delivery of the lecture is always in Kenny Kahn's trademark irreverent style, and it is truly a fun and informative experience.

The Humor and the Law lecture tour is one chapter in the career of this colorful attorney with a gift for making people laugh out loud at legalities.

***

Book Kenny Kahn for Your Meeting or Event

Event planners call on Kenny Kahn when they want to entertain and inspire their audiences

Comedian and practicing attorney Kenny Kahn blends an off-beat kind of humor with incredible stories from his childhood and the halls of justice to create a show that totally engages his audience.

Kenny is pleased to entertain and speak to groups of 100 people or more, with priority given to Southern California venues. Other areas of the United States will be considered on an individual basis.

Kenny's topics include the slapstick "legal comedy" for which he is so well known; and the sharing of his growing up the only son of carnival workers who were drug addicts. He excelled beyond even his public school teachers' wildest dreams, through education, personal commitment and determination.

Kenny's appearances deliver powerful messages, motivation and inspiration to students and adults alike.

To learn more about Kenny's fees and booking policies, please contact:

Bob Mazza
Public Relations
(310) 994-4847
mazzaefx@earthlink.net


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:05 AM EDT
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Monday, 15 September 2008
The Carny Kid by Kenny Kahn
Topic: Blog Tours

Kenny Kahn bares his funny soul and shares his unbelievably poignant life experiences in this incredibly inspiring, highly motivating memoir.

"Kenny Kahn and I have been legal contemporaries for three decades, and now to read about his early life, I know readers will be clamoring for more." - Robert Shapiro, Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

"Kenny's story should be required reading for every teenager!" - Jim Molina, Principal, Lincoln High School, Los Angeles

From the Projects to the Penthouse. As the only Jewish family in the Ramona Gardens housing projects, Kenny tells the spellbinding story of being the oldest child of two small-time carnival thieves who make their living as traveling gypsies and then graduate to dealing heroin from their cockroach-infested apartment. It's an inside view of carnival life, of living in a cocaine-selling "shooting gallery" apartment and of surviving a gang-dominated existence in one of L.A.'s worst neighborhoods.

It's also a story of the grit and determination of one small child, a child named Kenny Kahn, who saw education and hard work as the golden path and the only sure way to escape his tortured environment.

Mr. Kahn has written his story in plain language in order to make it easily readable not only adults but by young people who feel trapped by their "delinquent" parents, and to offer hope for escaping to a better life.

This poignant memoir of Kahn's childhood in the projects, and the training his substance-abusing parents provided him to become a carnival hustler, takes many twists and turns as it wends its way from the days of conflict in his environment to Kahn's present profession as a criminal defense lawyer. Rubbing elbows today with the world's most powerful and elite, Kahn's clients include famous characters like Andrew Daulton Lee (the notorious "Snowman" in the espionage trial later made into the movie, "The Falcon and the Snowman;" and publisher Larry Flynt, who was charged with contempt for wearing an American flag diaper to court; and singer Ike Turner, who faced charges of violating probation on a cocaine charge.

Throughout the book, Kenny Kahn injects his unique, humorous take on his own life story, which is to say this book is a page turner. Every chapter is a new adventure, full of the realities of The Carny Kid's life growing up in an environment of dishonesty and abuse - and the techniques of humor, education and hope the author employed to cope, survive, prosper and move to new, more rewarding levels of existence.

Get the whole story. Be entertained. Be inspired. Order The Carny Kid.


Book Details:

ISBN 0-9761115-0-0
6.25 x 9.25 inches tall
Hardbound
Dust jacket
224 pages
Photos
Retail: $19.95
Orders/Information


Posted by joyceanthony at 11:16 AM EDT
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Sunday, 14 September 2008
Meet Kenny Kahn, the World's Funniest Lawyer
Topic: Blog Tours

Attorney, Humorist, Lecturer, Author
Order Kenny's Book

Kenny Kahn is a prominent Los Angeles based criminal defense attorney. With a case history as colorful as his past, Kenny has become well known for representing the famous and the infamous in a career that spans three decades.

Previous clients include the irascible Hustler Magazine founder Larry Flynt, who had been charged with contempt for wearing an American flag as a diaper in court.

One of Kenny's high profile cases was later adapted into the feature film, "The Falcon and The Snowman," starring Sean Penn. Kenny represented Andrew Dalton Lee, who along with partner Christopher Boyce was accused of spying for the USSR against the United States.

Kenny's career is the unlikely outcome of a disadvantaged childhood. Kenny grew up in one of the poorest sections in East Los Angeles with his parents, both of whom were drug addicts. His father worked the old carnival circuit, always hustling and looking for new marks. "My Dad was a criminal rip-off artist and so were all of his buddies," says Kenny. Despite his fractured family life, Kenny persevered with his studies and later graduated from UCLA and Cal-Berkeley's Boalt Hall Law School.

Many years later, a mentally ill client plunged an ice pick into Kahn's chest as the two sat in a Torrance courtroom. "That was my wake up call," says Kenny, "realizing that life is short and completely unpredictable." It was soon afterwards that Kenny had the revelation that he needed to do something he had always been too afraid to try - Stand Up Comedy.

Kenny has since headlined in Las Vegas and appeared at some of the top comedy clubs on both sides of the US including The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, The Improv in Los Angeles, Stand Up in New York.

Looking like a lawyer in a double-breasted suit with briefcase in hand, Kenny takes the stage and delivers his comic routine based on his off beat experiences as a criminal defense attorney.

Kahn has been featured on TV shows such as the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and "CNN Showbiz Today." Radio appearances have included "CBS Network," "KABC," and "KMPC." He has been featured in print by The Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and The Los Angeles Daily News among others.

Maintaining a successful law practice by day and performing on stage at night, Kenny found the two vocations complemented each other very well. "It gave me a fresh perspective on my profession, and as bizarre as it sounds, incorporating humor into my legal work made me a better attorney."

The lecture tour Kenny embarked on is the latest chapter in the career of this anti-establishment attorney with a gift for making people laugh out loud at legalities.

In 2005, Kenny introduced his book, The Carny Kid. . Order The Carny Kid here.

***

Tomorrow, we will take a look at The Carny Kid!!!


Posted by joyceanthony at 3:34 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 14 September 2008 3:39 AM EDT
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Saturday, 13 September 2008
Meet Range, the upright Canine
Topic: Character Interviews

1. Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

My name's Range and I'm a little different than the other characters you'll interview in that I'm an upright canine. Called Skuhies, our race compares to nordic breeds you'd be familiar with, in that we have dense fur, pointy ears and distinct markings, such as the dark grey, black or orange masks that outline our snouts. I'm in Strange Sobriquet, the first of many novels in the Split Legend fantasy series.

2. Describe to our readers what your role in the book is. 

I'm the assigned guardian and protector of Mith, an infant boy who was born with the ability to see across time--past, present and future--and is believed to be the prophesied savior of my world Nydimm.

3. How did you convince your author to put you in this book?  For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?

Oh, this was easy. Brent has an affinity for canines, especially nordic breeds. But specifically, when his son was born, Brent noticed how his Siberian Husky Durham always sought to protect the infant boy. In those moments, my character and my task were born.

4. Is your author easy to work with or controlling?

Honestly, he's pretty controlling. But, truth be told, if he weren't, who knows what trouble I get into. What's funny is that I'm one of the more responsible of my race. By nature, we're extremely daring and inquisitive. And surly. Though, I lean toward the inquisitive side. And, even then, I'm more archeologist than adventurer, preferring to identify old texts and rescue relics for the Genizah scholars. On the other hand, some of my comrades prefer a good scrap to the intellectual pursuits.

5. Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

Hmmm. This is a very difficult question for me, personally, to answer. Most of the book I'm alone with Mith. And when I do encounter my close friend Coriel, I'm not very good to him. He's a great help to me and Mith, and I put him in a great deal of danger as a result. I didn't intentionally bring harm to him, but I didn't necessarily consider unintended consequences either. And, I still carry a lot of guilt.

6. Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

Because of my aforementioned transgressions, I've signed myself up for every installment, unless duty results in a sacrifice where it's the end of me. So, I will appear in other Split Legend books as they're written. In fact, Grandfather's Tale, is being written as we speak.

7. What would you like our readers to know about you?

Not just about me so much, but all Skuhies have a natural empathy. Our senses are so acute,  we can detect other people's feelings. 

8. Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

A great deal. Especially about commitment, loyalty and how a being's spirit matters more than any material possession--no matter what you believe that object can do.

9. Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

In the end, I fulfill my duty to Mith. My goal was to keep Mith safe from the Sundu, a fanatical order searching for the boy, and arrive at the Union, a portal capable of spanning worlds. Ultimately, that's what mattered most, and it's very exciting because I get to see a world that's very different than my own. 

10. Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

Boy, you're just twisting the dagger now, aren't you? Yes, of course. If I hadn't been tempted to search for the Staff of Ignedya while Solgrave was collapsing all around me, a dear friend would still be with us.

11. What was your main motivation? 

My main motivation is to protect Mith and lead him to the Union, where he can cross to safety, away from the Sundu. 

12. Introduce us to your main adversary?

My main adversary is circumstance. At one point, the Sundu ruin Mith's food supply and, though I defeat them, I'm left with no food for the child and we're weeks from our Union rendezvous point. To replenish Mith's supplies, I'm forced to travel to the nearest city, one that holds a temptation so strong that I jeopardize my commitment to Mith.

13. Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?

I...I still would have liked to have spared the Staff of Ignedya. I truly believe finding it could have saved the city of Solgrave. And its antiquities. A million stories--and answers--have been lost forever.

14. Here’s your chance to speak your mind.  What do you want to tell everybody?

Funny...I speak my mind often, so I don't think I need your permission for the opportunity (remember, we can be surly). In fact, I (or my alter-ego variation daemonrange--in the event an overzealous japanese man has taken my name) comment out in the blogosphere. If you've ever seen some of my comments, you'd realize I enjoy eating bacon (real bacon, not the pre-packaged microwaveable kind; maple bacon's my favorite), drinking wine--by the way, I generally don't eat bacon and drink wine together--reading Scifi and fantasy novels, and worshipping superheroes with YouTube videos ("Save Ian") in their honor.

15.  Please tell everyone where they can find out more about your story and where they can purchase it.

Readers who are interested in learning more about me, my compatriots and Nydimm can visit www.splitlegend.com. Noone can purchase it yet because it's not available for sale. You'd have to talk to Brent about getting his act together on pursuing an agent, instead of attending Cons and writing all the time. But everyone can read the first three chapters online and my author will be releasing the book via podcast later this year, into next. He has a pretty nice voice, so you should listen. Really.


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 13 September 2008 12:37 AM EDT
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Thursday, 11 September 2008
Where were you when.......?
Topic: Miscellaneous

 

I stopped over to visit Lynn at http://lynnmcmo.blogspot.com/ and she had the most interest Meme going, so I thought I'd share it with you guys :-)  It is interesting to see where people were during events we all remember!!

Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster - January 28, 1986

I was on my way home from work, on a city bus, when this happened.  I walked into the house where I saw a replay on television.  I remeber feeling completely numb.

The Oklahoma City Bombing - April 19, 1995

After a very hectic day with a two-year-old, I finally settled in for a quiet evening and turned the radio on.  I remember crying, then praying for the families, then going into my sleeping son and thanking God that, in spite of all the difficulty we had, he was safely home sleeping.

Princess Diana's Death - 31 August 1997
I didn't find this one out until the next day.  This was a time when I was trying to work full-time and get help for a four-year-old who was being consistently thrown out of day care centers.  He had just started getting counseling and I was juggling that, taking care of the house and working full-time.  This event didn't effect me as deeply as it did so many.  I remember thinking how tragic it was, but it seemed so far removed from what was my life at the time.
Attack on the Twin Towers - 11 September 2001
This one tore me to pieces.  I walked into my first counseling session and, as the elevator doors opened, I was facing the television and saw the plane crash into one of the towers.  I felt as though someone had just told me the world was ending.  I rmember crying, then getting angry and then shaking.  I wanted to go and pick my son up at school, but didn't.  I met his school bus that day and didn't think I was going to let him go when I hugged him.  We walked to the Lake where I founds out he had watched the attack on TV at school and I answered what questions I could to help him understand (he was only seven)---I wasn't completely understanding the whole thing myself.
Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster - February 1, 2003
I didn't find this one out until later.  I had spent the day visiting my son in the residential treatment center he had been in for four months.  I prayed to God that night, asking if this was His way of trying to tell people they should not be trying to travel in space.  It somehow reminded me of His anger at the building of the Tower of Babel.

7th Harry Potter Book is Released - 21 July 2007

I was asleep at the moment this book came out.  My mother knew my son and I had read the first six and had already pre-ordered a copy of this one. I couldn't see standing in a line, in the middle of the night--among a BIG crowd of people!--for a book we would be getting in a day or two.

Michael Phelps Wins His 8th Gold Medal - August 16, 2008

Uh..don't shoot me, but  WHO is Michael Phelps???

So, what about you? Where were YOU when all of this happened???


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:10 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 11 September 2008 1:16 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 10 September 2008
Ed Green the Voice-over King
Topic: Blog Tours

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a voice-over?

It's the use of a human voice to sell, inform or entertain in recorded or broadcast media, including radio and TV spots, on-air program promotions, recorded announcements and non-broadcast narrations for corporate audio and videos, phone lines, and for animation or cartoons.

I've been told I have a good speaking voice and should do voice-overs. How do I know if I really have the talent to succeed at this work?

Voice quality is only one aspect of success in becoming a voice-over professional. You also need to be able to take someone else's words (the script) and make them sound like your own credible, persuasive and motivating personal statement. That means developing solid acting and timing skills and techniques under professional tutelage. You’ll also have to put some time and money into developing a solid demo reel (on cassette or CD) to send out to the industry agents and organizations that represent and hire voice-over professionals. What will ultimately make the difference is you—having a very strong desire and persistence to succeed.

When I ask around I'm told that the same people (especially celebrities) do all the work. Is this true?

Realistically, the big name celebrities and voice-over pros get the big budget national work. But with thousands of radio and TV stations in the USA and each running hundreds of local spots a day for over ten thousand advertisers all over the country—not to mention all of the other voice-over productions—there’s plenty of opportunity for anyone with the professional skills, a good demo reel and persistence to break into this lucrative and exciting field. Because writers, producers, casting directors, agents and networks are always looking for that next fresh new voice.

I've heard you must join a union to do voice-over work. Is that true?

Not necessarily. One can be quite successful as non-union voiceover talent but there are some risks. As with joining any union, there are limitations as well as benefits in joining AFTRA (American Federation of TV and Radio Artists) or SAG (the Screen Actors Guild)—the two unions governing voice-over work. As you undergo your training, and learn more about the voice-over profession and the markets you wish to work in, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about the proper step for your particular career.

How much income can I make by doing voice-overs?

As in any other business, you can make a little or a lot—well into six figures annually— depending on your perseverance to succeed. But don't quit your day job. It can take years of perfecting your talent and skills, marketing yourself with or without an agent before you reach a higher level of success. Some will tell you luck is important. In my experience, trying harder and smarter yields more results. I have found the key to my success to be a "contagious enthusiasm" for the work.

If I have a "day job" can I build a career in voice-overs? They probably don’t hold auditions and bookings on evenings or weekends.

Right! Most voiceover sessions happen during normal business hours and they run about an hour. So you have to be realistic and resourceful. If you can develop flexible work hours or are able to ‘swap’ time with co-workers, that’s one way. Looking for a more flexible “day job” is another (i.e. an outside sales or service job in which you schedule your workday). Essentially, you have to have a realistic plan for training, getting your demo reel together, sending copies to industry people and following up with phone calls. And you have to work that plan with consistency and persistence if you’re going to get your voice-over career off the ground with that first audition and booking.

Do I need an agent or a manager?

As in all ‘talent for hire’ industries, agents provide a useful and valuable service. They allow producers to conduct their talent search more efficiently and can take care of a lot of details for you, including billing and collecting payments. Good ones really earn their 10% commission. If an agent wants to sign you, that’s a real vote of confidence in your ability. To make sure the agent is reputable, check with the local SAG or AFTRA office and with ad agency casting directors and producers. Then hire a lawyer to review and, if necessary, negotiate the contract. Just remember that an agent’s commission payment comes out of the funds received for a job that’s booked, completed and paid for—not up front! Agents work with talent two ways: freelance or exclusively signed. Freelance means you choose not to be exclusive, so several different agents can represent you. This may increase your exposure, but those agents are less likely to be as supportive and loyal as they might be if you were an exclusively signed client. If you cannot get an agent to represent you or if there are no talent agencies in your area, you can still get work on your own by sending your demo tape directly to casting directors and producers and following up religiously!

Do you need to live in a major city to succeed as a voice over artist?

No. Thousands of radio and TV spots are produced every day in smaller markets all over the country. Also, with new computer and telecommunications technologies, it’s possible to record the assigned copy locally—even in your own home ‘studio’—and electronically forward the work wherever in the country a producer needs it. This has made agents more receptive and willing to represent talent residing outside of their market area.

How do I get started?

First, find a competent voice-over coach to train you in the various professional techniques used in the industry and to help you create the demo reel you’ll be duplicating and distributing to agents, casting directors, production companies and to some of the TV and radio station promotion executives. Then, follow up with phone calls, reminder notes and e-mails. Now you’re in the game and practicing every day to improve and master your craft. By listening to radio and TV spots for styles, nuances and sounds—things that get your attention and impress you—you’ll find things you can incorporate into your repertoire to broaden your capability and underscore your distinctiveness. So you can become one of those voices that producers and casting directors think of first.

 Sample Chapter

**** SESSION 3 RECORDING A SCRIPT NOTES

1. Review MOCISM Read and interpret copy by answering the questions: WHO …WHAT…WHERE…WHEN…HOW whenever applicable.

2. Timing Is Of The Essence

A. Once you've read and understood the copy, make your break marks and underline words you'd like to inflect.

B. Each reading begins with a full breath intake …then a one half exhale.

C. Test read the script with a stopwatch. Try your best to read it in the required time.

D. Your internal clock can be developed to amazing accuracy with practice. NOTE: Don't sacrifice the quality of the 'take' —emphasis, pacing, clarity, etc.—for absolute timing accuracy. The studio recording engineer can 'stretch' or ‘tighten’ a great ‘take’ by a second or two with electronic editing tools. As with most professional skills, they improve with experience and effort.

E. Use hand movements to feel and act out the copy, but NEVER move your head from the microphone placement, or it will distort your recording and you’ll have to repeat it.

F. Whether you stand or sit while recording copy is a personal choice. As a general rule, standing gives you better breath control and voice projection. Try it both ways when you record yourself to determine what works best for you.

G. As I said before, always try to have a cup of hot water, with lemon, with you when you go into an audition or recording session. It's a good habit to get into to keep your vocal chords relaxed. This is especially important when doing long recording sessions, such as narrations. (And of course, be sure to avoid coffee and tea.)

H. Always ask to hear a playback of your first few takes during an audition or a recording session. This is a vital audio reference point for the creative people—and yourself— to evaluate and make any necessary improvements or changes in the way you hear, feel or deliver the copy in the reading. Extra effort always helps to achieve that better final product everyone wants. All put together, music, sound effects and video, are aids to helping you produce the reading most desired by the creative team.

ED GREEN'S V/O-POWER™ VOICE-OVER Course RELATED SCRIPT: C-3 SESSION 3 RECORDING A SCRIPT (cont’d.)

3. Developing A Good Ear

A. Get into the habit of listen to and studying voice-over recordings from all sources: i.e. TV (Discovery Channel), movie trailers, news channels and radio advertisements. You can always find something interesting that you can apply to your own technique at a given time.

B. Start thinking seriously about the ‘messages’ and ‘attitudes’ that move and influence you personally. (Advertisers will love you for that . It’s what they spend all that money for.)

C. Pay attention to the 'sound effects' and 'music effects', so you become familiar with the mechanics of a commercial. As you get into this habit—and you must, if you're serious about a voice-over career—you'll start to understand the various styles and techniques of advertising, and begin to develop your ability to shape your reading styles.

D. Create a 'Notes' file on the spots you listen to. List the name of the spot, where and what time you heard it, what you liked or disliked about it, and what you would do to improve and make the voice-over performance more memorable.

4. BRAIN BULLETS: Sharpening Your Timing To A Pro’s Edge.

• Work with the same :30 announcer script and try to achieve different time objectives (i.e.: 3 or 4 seconds under, and then 3 or 4 seconds over the mark.)

• To sharpen your performance—if you haven’t done it yet, reconsider investing in an adjustable music stand and an inexpensive wall clock with a sweep second hand. Hang the clock so it's just visible over the top of the script as you practice tightening and stretching takes. I find it easier than using a stopwatch.

• Improving your physical conditioning improves breath control. Aerobics training, yoga, biking, a Stairmaster and other cardio activities help a lot.

• Always use a pencil to mark your copy.

 

For more information on this fabulous course, please visit http://edgreen.com/

 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 10 September 2008 2:49 AM EDT
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