Thriller. Espionage. Conspiracy. This book would make a great movie! I am thrilled to have as my guest today, Joe Bendoski, author of When the Sky Falls. Joe studied psychology in college and was fascinated by all the insights it provided into human ...

A Bookish Conversation with ‘When the Sky Falls’ Joseph Bendoski @JBendoski #blogtour and more...


A Bookish Conversation with ‘When the Sky Falls’ Joseph Bendoski @JBendoski #blogtour

Joseph Bendoski

Thriller. Espionage. Conspiracy. This book would make a great movie! I am thrilled to have as my guest today, Joe Bendoski, author of When the Sky Falls. Joe studied psychology in college and was fascinated by all the insights it provided into human behavior, only to realize most the information never reach people, and when it did, rarely was it in a form that allowed for practical application. He started writing non-fiction, but soon came to understand how few people read that genre and began the difficult transition into fiction writing. His non-fiction works include; the Chemistry of Attraction and the Language of Emotion. He worked as the head writer for the television show ‘Saved by Grace.’ After being frustrated with comments like “make this scene cheaper,” “What’s my motivation?”, and “Do we need this scene?” he decided to go in to literature.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book:

When the Sky Falls

Title: WHEN THE SKY FALLS
Author: Joseph Bendoski
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 408
Genre: Thriller/Espionage/Conspiracy/Historical

“What makes you believe a lie? I’m not asking how you know someone is lying. What makes you believe? Because if you don’t understand how that works, then you won’t know when you’re being manipulated.”

In 1938 the War of the Worlds hoax panicked millions of Americans, then in 1988 another fictional media broadcast convinced nearly half of Portugal that sea monsters had risen from the ocean to destroy their cities. A team of CIA agents was sent to study the aftermath of this 6th Skyfall Event in the hope that they could turn it into a weapon of war. When the team consultant turns up dead, everyone scrambles to be the last man standing: the one who will decide if or when the sky falls.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Joe!  Can you tell us where you are from?

I from Utah, a small midwestern state in the U.S.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

Originally it was “A Sky Fall Event” I wanted it be a little tongue in cheek reference to the story of Chicken Little, who told everyone “the sky is falling.” After talking with my writers group, and friends it slowly evolved. Honestly, I regret it a little bit because most people think it’s post-apocalyptic and that’s a sci-fi genre, which means they think all my science is fiction, not real science.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it? 

The cover is a complicated story. I got exactly what I wanted, after several attempts. First, I hired an illustrator because I love the look of illustrated covers, but it was very costly and in the end I didn’t love it. So, I went with 99 designs. I don’t know a lot about my designer, but she lives in France. She created the cover almost exactly as I imagined it, but the problem is that I imagined it wrong. It plays into the problem of people thinking it’s a post-apocalyptic story. I’ve had a new cover done again. It’s not as incredible as my original designer’s work, but it communicates the genre better. I’ll run some tests on it to see if I can get a better RoI, we’ll see. Covers and complicated and important.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

It’s real. I’ve heard many times that it reads like science fiction, but it’s not. These events actually happened, and the psychology behind the is also very real. If I’ve done my job right, you’ll never see the world the same again.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

I don’t think so, I’m not subtle about the messages in the book. It’s clearly about media persuasion and media literacy, and how a lack of understanding can lead to mass manipulation.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

The Magicians Lie, I write about ideas above all. I think it’s the real weakness of my writing. I focus on them too much and in that chapter I didn’t hold back. That’s where I deliver on my promise to finally put it all together and show the reader how these events of mass hysteria can occur.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

I love books and stories that give you real science and history in them. Books that change the way you think about things and see the world. I also feel they are just too few. I don’t think I even stumble across such books once a year. So, I decided that I would write them, for people like me. People who loves stories, and fiction, but also want more. It’s great to walk away from a book thinking that was an ‘awesome story.’ What I love is having to put a book down while I’m reading and just think about the ideas I’ve read, ponder them.

Q:  Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I love RPG video games. I love them so much that only get to install them on my computer for 2 days out of the month, when all my work is done.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Germany. I’ve been kicking around an idea for a book for some time and I feel like I need to see parts of Germany to really get a feel for the setting there before I dive into the book.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Morning. Honestly, I like to get up around 4:00 a.m. On the flip side I don’t sleep at night without a sleeping pill. My whole family suffers from insomnia, and I’m no different. It’s not like I’m not tired, I just can’t sleep. I spent years battling it, trying different techniques and creating elaborate bed time routines. In the end, chemically induced sleep has worked best. It changed my life.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My brother, Eli, but he’s not very serious about it.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer? A day dreamer?

Not really, but I’ve always been very goal oriented. I set it and chase it with everything I’ve got.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish.  What would that be?

I wish I could listen to two audio books at the same time while reading a physical book and have complete comprehension of all three. The real motivation behind it is I love to learn, and always want to be able to learn fast.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

I know makes me love a book, but what makes people recommend it? I’ve noticed there’s a separation between the two. Something about certain genres that no matter how much people love them, they don’t tell their friends. I’d like to understand that.

    
 


A Bookish Conversation with Miri Leshem-Pelly

photographer: Efrat Shine, www.studio-shine.co.il

photographer: Efrat Shine, www.studio-shine.co.il

Miri Leshem-Pelly is the author-illustrator of 14 children’s books. She’s also illustrated 14 books for other writers. When Miri isn’t writing she can be found speaking at schools, kindergartens and libraries. She is invited to do more than 200 presentations with her books per year. Miri is also a Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s book writers & illustrators).

Miri is represented by Olswanger Literary Agency.

Miri’s works have won awards and her illustrations have been shown on several exhibitions.

Miri lives in Israel with her husband and two children, and loves reading books and going on nature hikes.

Her latest book is Scribble & Author.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Miri!  Can you tell us where you are from?

I live in Israel. My new book Scribble & Author is the first picture book that I publish with an American publisher, but in Israel I have already 13 children books published in Hebrew.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

My book is written as a dialogue between an author and his character, who is a scribble that the author is drawing. So Author & Scribble seemed like a natural choice for a title, which introduces the two characters and (hopefully) creates some curiosity.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

I’m also the illustrator of this picture book, so I illustrated the cover image. It shows an unfinished illustration (part of it isn’t colored), and it even shows the pencil which draws the picture (the pencil is a photograph). That gives the reader a feeling of witnessing the moment of creation. In a way this is a book about creating a book…

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

What would happen if an author could talk with his character? And what if the character doesn’t want to follow the story line? Who really gets to tell the tale? If you’re curious to know what happens when an author interacts with his character – Scribble & Author is the book for you! (and your kids!)

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

The book carries an empowering message for the young readers, when they see that the main character, Scribble, doesn’t give up. She faces many obstacles on her journey but she continues, because she wants to get her wish – a friend. Her solutions for the problems are very creative and surprising, and encourage to use your creativity and imagination in order to get what you wish for.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

Scribble & Author is a picture book for children, so it doesn’t have chapters. But my favorite part in the creation process was when I had an idea for the ending. I wanted the ending to be surprising, heart warming and satisfying. I came up with many optional endings, but when I came up with this idea (I’m not telling!) it felt so right. Suddenly, all the pieces of the puzzle of the story came to their place and the whole story made sense. That was a great feeling.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

When I came up with the idea to write a story about an interaction between an author and his character, it made me very curious. I wondered where it could lead me. The idea sat in my mind and wouldn’t let go. It took me a very long time to work on this short picture book – almost two years of writing and illustrating. It led me to think deeply about the relationships that I, as an author, have with my characters, and about the creative process of writing a story. The final book is very funny and entertaining, but it also explores all kind of thoughts about creativity, imagination and stories.

Q:  Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

Ooooh, the dark secrets!

I’m not sure if that counts as “dark” but I could share that it took me many submissions and many rejections to finally find an agent for this book. Then – some more rejections until my agent found a publisher. So if you’re writing and dreaming to get published – you should know that it has some dark moments and it isn’t easy, but it could happen!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would love to go to the Galapagos islands! This is a dream of mine. I love nature and wild animals and this is one of the last places on earth where you can still see the nature at its glory. Most of my previous books are about nature.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

I love mornings! Morning for me carries a promise of a something new. I feel fresh and ready to go. Definitely a morning person.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

Not really, I can’t think of anybody in my family who writes. But My mother is a very passionate reader. She loves books! I grew up surrounded by books and I loved reading ever since I was little. I’m sure it influenced me and inspired me to write.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Sure, I was a dreamer. I loved to day dream and sore with my imagination. Truth is, I still am…

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish.  What would that be?

Sorry for the cliche, but I would say peace on earth, and harmony between men and nature. That’s all.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Thank you for interviewing me. It’s been a pleasure!

 

    
 


20 Questions with Diana Sims, author of Forever King: Surviving the Loss of My Unborn Child

20-questions

  1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer? I write best at night time after I have put the kids to sleep, and have peace and quiet to just release all my thoughts, emotions, and creativity.
  2. Do you outline or are you a pantster? I am a pantster. I love to write organically and format everything at a later time.
  3. Which comes first – plot or character? My novel was a Nonfiction / self-help book regarding actual events leading to the death of my son. So for this question neither.
  4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript? I love to listen to Gospel music when writing, it is truly an inspiration to hear the word of God on audio.
  5. Favorite TV show? My favorite TV show is Martin. To this day 20 plus years later and even watching it hundreds of times, I still laugh. That was a great cast.
  6. Favorite type of music? I love all types of music. If I could pick one, it would be R&B from the 80’s and 90’s era.
  7. Favorite craft besides writing? I love to bake cupcakes and watch people eat them and enjoy them.
  8. Do you play a musical instrument? I use to play the violin back when I was in elementary but gave it up for fake nails (smile.)
  9. Single or married? I am happily married to my husband. We just celebrated 14 years.
  10. Children or no? I have three living children and one son that is no longer with us. Thus the inspiration of my book Forever King.
  11. Pets? No, I don’t have any pets, but I love German Shepherds.
  12. Favorite place to write? In my room. I love to journey; this helps me with my material for my book.
  13. Favorite restaurant? I love Mastros Steak House, located in Thousand Oaks, California.
  14. Do you work outside the home? Yes, I assist Cardiology Physicians and the Patients regarding their overall cardiac health.
  15. What was the name of the last movie you saw? The Shack. It was truly a magnificent movie
  16. Favorite outdoor activity? Reading at the park or taking long walks at the park
  17. Pet peeve? Tardiness. I am a person who respects my time and time of others.
  18. Your goal in life? To become the best seller Author, Keynote speaker, and have my own Cupcake Storefront
  19. Your most exciting moment? The Birth of all my boys
  20. The love of your life? My husband Cory. He saved me from going to the marines just one year prior to the 9-11 attacks.

About the Author

Diana Sims

As a self-publishing author, Diana Sims has felt compelled to share her journey regarding the loss of her son, and the miracle that took place after his passing. She simply wants to let other women, who have lost children, know that there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

Aimed primarily at all mothers ranging from teenagers to the older women, Forever King: Surviving the Loss of My Unborn Child particularly addresses those who have lost a child, no matter the circumstance.

 

Diana is committed to humanitarian services whether in her field or position. She worked for many years helping customers keep their homes from foreclosure during the economic fall in 2008. Currently, she is assisting physicians and patients as a Patient Liaison. Diana is a California native and resides in Southern California with her loving husband Cory Sims, and three handsome Kings in training: Isaiah, Solomon, and Anthony Sims.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book:

Forever King

Title: FOREVER KING: SURVIVING THE LOSS OF MY UNBORN CHILD
Author: Diana Sims
Publisher: Forever King Publishing
Pages: 78
Genre: Inspirational/Self-Help

Sims life has been one of a survivor… a survivor of grief and distraught after having lost a child. Today, she is using the journey, to help other women, who have had similar experience of losing a child, whether through early pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth, to have hope.

Watch the book trailer at YouTube.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

    
 


20 Q’s with Women’s Fiction Author Evy Journey

20-questions

Today’s guest is Evy Journey, author of HELLO, ANGIESZKA. Here are 20 things you may or may not know about Evy!

  1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

Both. I don’t have a set schedule. I may start as early as nine o’clock, stop before my lunch hour. I may write some more at about 11 PM and go on until 2 AM.

  1. Do you outline or are you a pantster?

Neither. I don’t outline, but I do think through and imagine my characters in a scene before I write it. Sometimes, characters dictate what happens.

  1. Which comes first – plot or character?

For me, it’s character. I think the situations we get ourselves into as well as how we react to them are very much influenced by our character. Maybe if I wrote fantasy or sci-fi, plot would come first.

  1. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?

Quiet, with occasional classical music.

  1. Favorite TV show?

I’m almost ashamed to admit I don’t watch television—not since the internet began to be a more wide-ranging source of information and entertainment. But I do watch a movie a night. Blame it on Netflix.

  1. Favorite type of music?

I’m eclectic. I have a large music library full of classical music, the Beatles, and folk rock (Bob Dylan and company).

  1. Favorite craft besides writing?

Art. I paint in oil, acrylic, pastel, and on my iPad.

  1. Do you play a musical instrument?

Not anymore. I used to dabble with guitar chords.

  1. Single or married?

Married

  1. Children or no?

One

  1. Pets?

No. My husband is allergic to animal hair.

  1. Favorite place to write?

My red armchair, my laptop on my lap.

  1. Favorite restaurant?

More than one: Kiraku for Japanese; Commis for fine dining; Hashtag Poki for something quick.

  1. Do you work outside the home?

I used to. I was a researcher and program developer in the area of mental health

  1. What was the name of the last movie you saw?

Jane Eyre with MiaWasikowska and Michael Fassbender. Best film version of Jane Eyre I ever saw. On Netflix, of course.

  1. Favorite outdoor activity?

Aimless wandering.

  1. Pet peeve?

Looking for parking.

  1. Your goal in life?

To reach the end still kicking, writing, and painting.

  1. Your most exciting moment?

My son’s birth, by natural means. Incredible experience—seeing that wet, slippery creature coming out of you and hollering his lungs out. You think, “I made that beautiful little being.” With his father, off course.

  1. The love of your life?

My husband; my son, too.

About the Author

Evy Journey

Evy Journey has always been fascinated with words and seduced by beautiful prose. She loves Jane Austen and invokes her spirit every time she spins tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories she interweaves with mystery or intrigue and sets in various locales. SPR (Self Publishing Review) awarded Evy the 2015 Independent Woman Author bronze for her writing.

She’s lived and traveled in many places, from Asia to Europe. Often she’s ended up in Paris, though—her favorite place in the world. She’s an observer-wanderer. A flâneuse, as the French would say.

The mind is what fascinates her most. Armed with a Ph.D., she researched and spearheaded the development of mental health programs. And wrote like an academic. Not a good thing if you want to sound like a normal person. So, in 2012, she began to write fiction (mostly happy fiction) as an antidote.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

About the Book:

Hello Agnieszka

Title: HELLO, AGNIESZKA
Author: Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner
Pages: 273
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Blurb:

 

Elise thought she knew her mother. Agnieszka Halverson is a caring woman, a great cook, and an exceptional piano player; but living in a secure, predictable world, she’s also a little dull. Her world is devastated when her oldest son attempts suicide, and Elise finds her mother has a past—both sweet and bitter—that she must now reveal to explain the suicide attempt. A past rich with a passion for music and shattered dreams, betrayal of a sweet but tragic first love, second chances and renewed hopes.

 

Born to immigrant parents weighed down by their roots, Agnieszka takes solace in learning to play the piano, taught by a sympathetic aunt who was a concert pianist in Poland before World War II. But when her aunt betrays her and her parents cast her aside for violating their traditional values, can Agnieszka’s music sustain her? Can she, at eighteen, build a life on her own?

 

When she finally bares her soul to her children, Agnieszka hopes they can accept that she has a past that’s as complex as theirs; that she’s just as human, just as vulnerable as they are. But do her revelations alienate her husband and can they push Elise farther away from her?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

 

 

 

    
 

A Bookish Conversation with ‘Surgeon’s Story’ Marck Oristano

We’re happy to be hosting Mark Oristano, author of the new nonfiction, Surgeon’s Story! Mark is here to tell us all about the writing life and his publishing journey. Don’t forget to check out his new book and pick up your copy!

Mark Oristano

Mark Oristano has been a professional writer/journalist since the age of 16.

After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University.  A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports.

Mark has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network.  He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career.  He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.

In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads.

A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”

Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.

In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.

In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book:

Surgeon's Story

Title: SURGEON’S STORY
Author: Mark Oristano
Publisher: Authority Publishing
Pages: 190
Genre: Nonfiction Medical

What is it like to hold the beating heart of a two-day old child in your hand?  What is it like to counsel distraught parents as they make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives?

Noted pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian has opened up her OR, and her career, to author Mark Oristano to create Surgeon’s Story – Inside OR-6 With a top Pediatric Heart Surgeon. 

Dr. Guleserian’s life, training and work are discussed in detail, framed around the incredibly dramatic story of a heart transplant operation for a two-year old girl whose own heart was rapidly dying.  Author Mark Oristano takes readers inside the operating room to get a first-hand look at pediatric heart surgeries most doctors in America would never attempt.

That’s because Dr. Guleserian is recognized as one of the top pediatric heart surgeons in America, one of a very few who have performed a transplant on a one-week old baby. Dr. Guleserian (Goo-liss-AIR-ee-yan) provided her expertise, and Oristano furnished his writing skills, to produce A Surgeon’s Story.

As preparation to write this stirring book, Oristano spent hours inside the operating room at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas watching Guleserian perform actual surgeries that each day were life or death experiences. Readers will be with Dr. Guleserian on her rounds, meeting with parents, or in the Operating Room for a heart transplant.

Oristano is successful sportscaster and photographer and has made several appearances on stage as an actor. He wrote his first book A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game, and continues to volunteer at Children’s Medical Center.

“We hear a lot about malpractice and failures in medical care,” says Oristanto, “but I want my readers to know that parts of the American health care system work brilliantly. And our health care system will work even better if more young women would enter science and medicine and experience the type of success Dr. Guleserian has attained.”

Readers will find all the drama, intensity, humor and compassion that they enjoy in their favorite fictionalized medical TV drama, but the actual accounts in Surgeon’s Story are even more compelling. One of the key characters in the book is 2-year-old Rylynn who was born with an often fatal disorder called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was successfully treated by Dr. Guleserian.

Watch the Book Trailer at YouTube.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Mark. Can you tell us where you are from?

I was born in Manhattan and grew up in the New York City suburb of Mamaroneck, NY, but I’ve lived in Dallas the past 47 years.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

Well, it’s a story about a surgeon, so I figured “Surgeon’s Story” summed it up pretty well.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it? 

It was designed by my publisher, Authority Publishing. It features a photo I took of Dr. Kristine Guleserian as she performed a heart surgery. She looked up from the patient to check something on a monitor in front of her, and the angle, her eyes, and her signature earrings made the shot a good one.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

OK… I doubt you’ve ever come across a story that stretches from OR-1 at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, to the pitcher’s mound at Fenway Park for a World Series game.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

We hope that young girls will read the book and realize that they can have careers in science and medicine.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

Probably the ones about Andrew Madden, the 13-year old transplant patient who wound up throwing out the first pitch at a World Series game, because I’m a big baseball fan.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

The more I got to know Dr. Guleserian, the more I felt her story deserved to be told. She’s a fascinating woman, with a fascinating talent, and as much bad PR as American health care gets, I thought a good story should be told.

Q:  Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

None.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’d love to go back to Santorini, Greece, and spend a week sitting on a hotel balcony, drinking thick, dark coffee, and staring out at the sea.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Night! I’m a stage actor in addition to writing.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My daughter, who is an actor in Hollywood, writes screenplays.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Yes. And I still am.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish.  What would that be?

That writing was much easier.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Don’t get it right, get it written.

    
 

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