‘Less Than One Millimeter Thick – Colorblind’ by Dennis Kleinman

I was fortunate that Dennis Kleinman agreed to perform the narration for The Zebra Affaire. Still, more gratifying is this thoughtful and personal article, Less Than One Millimeter Thick – Colorblind, Dennis wrote after he concluded his stellar narration.

~ Mark Fine

The original post can be read on Dennis Kleinman’s A World Voice blog here.

 

The Zebra Affaire Audiobook - colorblindIn 2017 I was contacted by Mark Fine, the author of The Zebra Affaire, originating from South Africa like myself, who in seeking out a narrator/producer for his highly acclaimed novel, had listened to some audiobook samplesof mine and wanted to know if I would be interested in narrating and producing the audiobook version of his historical romantic novel. The Zebra Affaire is beautifully written and tells the story of a young Afrikaner girl, Elsa Marais, who meets a young black man Samuel Marunda, a migrant worker from Malawi who had come to South Africa to work in the mines in Johannesburg. The story is set in the heart of the apartheid years, 1976, around the time of the Soweto Riots, where black youth began protesting the fact that they were being taught in Afrikaans, which was seen as the “language” of apartheid. In the story, the couple meet when Samuel is involved in a car accident and badly hurt, and Elsa assists him and the story opens up from there. Mark captures the essence and feeling of the country at that time in his creative and expressive penmanship. The narration of the book was an incredible experience because it gave me the freedom to work in accents that had been such an integral part of my youth. But what the book did, was brought back many feelings of my youth in South Africa, as well as the reason for leaving the country.

apartheid - black and whiteDuring those apartheid years, due to the strict laws governing ‘separate development’ which is the actual meaning of the word “Apartheid”, it was illegal for whites and blacks to eat in the same restaurants, to live in the same suburbs, and certainly to engage in any sexual activity, let alone fall in love with one another. Yet, one cannot really enforce any laws about love and I know that although this book was fiction, it certainly is a window into many lives that struggled through that time in South Africa. The statute books called sexual intercourse between people of different skin color, The Immorality Act, which was punishable by jail and even worse, especially for black men, the possibility of death for ‘rape’. All laws pertaining to the control of the apartheid system were brutal, vicious and abhorrent.

I was lucky to grow up in a family with liberal parents who were part of the early anti-apartheid movement and this allowed me to express my own understanding and sense of what I recognized was right and wrong about the society into which I was born. From as early as 8th grade, I knew deep inside that I would not live in South Africa beyond my very early twenties. There were many factors that influenced my decision, but the following event was certainly very high on the list.

One of my very close friends at the time was a medical student at the University of Cape Town, and during his second year, the anatomy year, he asked me one day if I was interested in coming to the lab to meet ‘Max’, the cadaver he was working on. Having an adventurous spirit, I immediately said yes, and the next day I accompanied him to the medical lab where all the bodies were laid out. I did feel slightly apprehensive about entering the lab, quite a daunting sight! I was introduced to ‘Max’ who was white – his skin, however, was the color of cardboard and my friend explained to me what I was seeing. Each cadaver was in the same stage of dissection as the students learned about the human body.

anatomy labLying next to ‘Max’ was a black man who sadly must have died in an act of violence as half of his face was ‘dented’ if you will. He was obviously at the same stage of dissection as his neighbor Max. As I studied the two cadavers, side by side, something very profound overcame me as, looking into the body, everything was obviously the same, and other than typical different characteristics between races, the only difference that hit me, and hit me hard, was the skin tone, and how thin that pigmented layer of color was. It was less than one millimeter thick. LESS THAN ONE MILLIMETER THICK!!

And it hit me as if someone punched me in the face, that the ruling regime of the country that I lived in, based their entire edict of horrific dehumanizing laws that resulted in such sadness, death, and destruction on the fact that less than one millimeter of the human body’s largest organ, the skin – was black.

This experience has never left me and was brought back to me even more as I narrated Mark Fine’s powerful story, The Zebra Affaire.


Treat yourself to an audiobook and enjoy listening to Dennis Kleinman’s masterful performance as he narrates The Zebra Affaire.

Listen to a sample here.

Download “The Zebra Affaire” from Audible with 30-day free trial.

Click this link for the Special FREE Offer. You Save $19.95 (100%)  After the trial, your paid membership will begin at $14.95 per month. With your membership, you will receive one credit every month, good for any audiobook on Audible. A credit card will be required.

https://www.aworldvoice.com/2018/07/02/less-than-one-millimeter-thick/

 

 

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Between the Beats Review: “Mark of The Hyena: An Electric Eclectic Novelette” – By Mark Fine

“Mark of The Hyena: An Electric Eclectic Book” – By Mark Fine

mark of the Hyena
Available on Amazon

I’ve enjoyed Mark Fine’s writing since I read his novel, The Zebra Affaire.Delighted to find his Electric Eclectic novelette, Mark of the Hyena, I eagerly dove into reading it. Fine’s writing is almost poetic; his use of words musical. This short story captures all the beauty and harshness of sub-Sahara Africa. When the San Bushman of the Kalahari, N!xau, comes across the barely living Professor Werner, this cautionary tale of “civilized” man versus “savage” begins.

N!xau and his tribe have been pursuing an Oryx antelope when they discovered Werner, injured and dehydrated. Werner is in Africa fulfilling a bet; a bet he was confident he would win. The professor believes the San are “inept primitives.” However, it is the primitive San who provide Werner with some liquid which is acquired using fundamental skills; skills Werner, an egotistical American, knows nothing of. However, Werner views himself as superior to these diminutive people. Unable to communicate effectively, Werner is brought to the camp and cared for by N!xau and his wife, K/ora.

Instead of appreciating the skills of the people, Werner views them as ignorant. Judging himself as superior, the tall, pale man believes he is entitled to all they can offer. Neither aware of, or caring to understand, what the tribe values, he takes advantage of their generosity.

What Werner fails to appreciate is his lack of understanding of the ways of the people and the dangers of the situation show him to be the ignorant one. He is spied committing a heinous act by N!xau’s son, !Xi. Even a child in the desolate area is wiser than the well educated foreigner. The consequences of Werner’s false belief that he is the supreme being in this situation is proved wrong in a most delightful manner.

Fine’s ability to present characters as diverse as these is a tremendous skill. The Bushmen are simple; their wisdom born of generations of experience passed down orally. Werner’s education does him no good in the strange environment he has taken no time to familiarize himself with.

Fine educates the reader in this story. Set against the rich panorama of Africa, he reminds us that modern man is not always wiser or better equipped to survive in all settings. Sometimes it would be better to observe and listen; he might learn something valuable that can save his life. I highly recommend this well-written and profound story.



Mark Fine B&W (300dpi)Print

Mark Fine on Amazon

Mark Fine on Facebook

Mark Fine on Goodreads

Mark Fine on Twitter

Mark Fine Website


Win Amazon Vouchers in the Electric Eclectic Prize Draw

COMPETITIONS

Win Amazon vouchers in the Electric Eclectic Prize Draw 

This is a simple prize draw.

 Just leave your review of an Electric Eclectic book on Amazon and email Electric Eclectic a copy.

 That’s it. So easy to enter.

You will then be entered into a quarterly draw, giving you the chance to win a five pounds/dollars Amazon gift voucher.

 Prize draws take place each quarter, the next is June, followed bySeptember, the final one this year will be in December… a nice Christmas gift for the lucky winner.

 To qualify for entry into the any of the draws, reviews must be from verified purchases of an Electric Eclectic book and the review must be accepted by Amazon and shown on the relevant books page.

 The more Electric Eclectic books you buy the more chances you have of winning and with so many authors and so many books to choose from it will be easy peasy!

 Winners will be announced on the Electric Eclectic Facebook page

and other social media.

 Only one review, per purchase-per reader, will be accepted.

 The draw is independently undertaken by CQ International Publishing, their decisions are final.

Gift vouchers will be in the form of Amazon e-gift cards and electronically emailed to the winner to the same address their draw entry was made.

 No cash alternative is possible.

Please view the original article on Lizzi Newton’s Between the Beats blog:

PRESS RELEASE: Apartheid Love Story Historical Fiction Novel Zebra Affaire Audiobook Released

The acclaimed apartheid historical fiction novel The Zebra Affaire where author Mark Fine chronicles the courageous and intense love story of a proud Zulu descendant and the daughter of a white farmer in 1976 South Africa has now been released in audiobook format on Audible.com.

Rancho Palos Verdes, United States – November 28, 2017 /PressCable/ —

The critically acclaimed apartheid novel The Zebra Affaire by South African author Mark Fine has been released in audiobook format on Audible.com, with narration by fellow countryman Dennis Kleinman.

More information is available at https://amazon.com/Zebra-Affaire-Apartheid-Saga/dp/1512321028.

The Zebra Affaire is an acclaimed historical fiction novel by Mark Fine set in 1976 Apartheid South Africa. It tells the courageous, forbidden love story of Stanwell Marunda, a descendent of the Zulu, and Elsa, the daughter of a white farmer, under an intolerant, racist regime.

The book is lauded for its authenticity and seamless fusion of romance and suspense within one hundred years of South African history. Recently described by critics as ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ meets ‘Romeo & Juliet’ in ‘Out of Africa’, the novel is now available in audiobook format on Audible.com.

First released in July 2015, the novel is now being relaunched as an audiobook to meet renewed interest for its multicultural story and interracial romance with recent events unfolding in Zimbabwe, the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the rise of white supremacy sentiments around the world.

The narration was performed by fellow South African Dennis Kleinman, chosen by Mr. Fine out of more than 50,000 voice actors on Audible’s database. Mr. Kleinman, while in studio producing the audiobook, read a scene on page 192 in the paperback. In the scene protagonists Sid and DGF discuss a painting by a South African artist named Ilse Kleinman. Narrator Kleinman realized the fictional characters in the novel were referring to his real mother.

Author Mark Fine reveals how “this was a stunning coincidence. The Ilse Kleinman that the patriarch DGF references is actually Dennis’ mother. Both she and the painting are real. Ilse’s personal story and paintings intrigued me, having survived both the Holocaust as child and witnessed apartheid as an adult. These two horrific experiences informed her art, so she rightfully had a place in my novel. That’s the wonderful thing about writing historical fiction/world literature, where threads of truth are woven throughout the story. Also, the character named Sid coincidently shares Dennis’ father’s name, and drives the same car.”

He adds “I am from Johannesburg, and Dennis is from Cape Town. We both immigrated to the US but had never met, until now, on this audiobook project. When I auditioned his tape, I felt he was perfect for my book. However, to discover our paths crossing in this fiction meets reality sense makes our collaboration all the more remarkable.”

Mr. Kleinman shared his thoughts. “This is an important book to experience because it tells a story of all the nameless lovers that must have struggled with the oppressive laws of apartheid as they found each other, regardless of the color of their skin. It was an honor to bring The Zebra Affaire to audio. I invite anyone who is interested in stories that impact us deeply, to read the book, or listen to the audiobook.”

The new Zebra Affaire audiobook has received sterling reviews by Senior South African Diplomat, Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe, fellow authors and hundreds of readers. For additional details about this courageous and relevant novel, and the forbidden love story it tells, visit the website link provided above or at https://audible.com/pd/Romance/The-Zebra-Affaire-Audiobook/B076C1CVNS.

Contact Info:
Email: pr@finebooks.co

For more information, please visit http://www.finebooks.co/

Source: PressCable

In Defense of Prejudice

Author Julie Mayerson Brown (The Long Dance Home) has done a wonderful riff on my post “Are You Prejudiced Against Beauty?” It is well worth the read as we all struggle with the rights and wrongs of ‘judging a book by its cover’.

https://8greatstorytellers.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/in-defense-of-prejudice/

8 Great Storytellers: ★★ ★★ ★★ ★★ Curl up with a good writer!

And what’s this got to do with writing anyway?

One of my writing colleagues recently published an article about prejudice against beauty. What? Who doesn’t like beauty? We all enjoy seeing beautiful things, places, faces. But what we don’t usually consider is how that pretty face makes us feel. Envious? Intimidated? Intrigued? Superior? Before that gorgeous gal utters a single word, have we judged her based on appearance?

View original post 397 more words

A Tool to Combat Book Copyright Infringement on Google

Blast away Book Pirates on Google with BLASTY.

book-pirate

A Tool to Combat Book Copyright Infringement.

Distressing how many copies of The Zebra Affaire are stolen due to illegal downloads. I’ve enlisted BLASTY to comb through Google to find theBlank white book w/path sites guilty of copyright infringement, and then take the offending posts down.

The Blasty algorithm has tracked 48 illegal sites hawking my novel in just a few months.

Get your Beta Test Version for this Copyright Policeman

If interested in an amazing tool to combat piracy of creative content, I’d suggest other authors look into Blasty as their virtual copyright policeman (their site is currently in Beta test mode).

Here is their link: https://www.blasty.co/invitation/NrSZjcWH

Wish you happy hunting as you take down those varmints, all those illicit pirate sites!

The Virtues of Creative Collaboration

I saw first hand the benefits they enjoyed.

By “they” I mean famous recording artists, executives, technologists, novelists and philanthropists. And we all know magic happens when a sports’ team plays as a team.

My focus is the partnership process.

The Art of Collaboration

Greater  Than The Sum of the Parts 

These men and women shared a belief in Aristotle’s gestalt; that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

They chose to work together. They chose to collaborate.


CHALLENGE + COLLABORATION = SOLUTION | The Fine Maxim

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

—John Donne

Collaboration Now Goes Global…Virtually, Cheaply.

Songwriters and creative collaborators Paul McCartney and John Lennon

John Lennon & Paul McCartney. Their Creative Collaboration was a Yin and Yang thing.

Proof in the Power of Mutual Success

How do I know this? For decades I’ve worked with world-class musicians such as Sheryl Crow, Sting, Melissa Etheridge, Jon Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Boyz ll Men, Stevie Wonder, and many others on both music and philanthropy.

It’s been my privilege to unite these gifted recording stars with non-profit organisations championing worthy causes such as breast cancer awareness, HIV/AIDS, at-risk children, the blind and partially sighted,  freedom of speech,  and wildlife conservation. The potent way creative collaboration amplifies the enterprise of individuals from a variety of disciplines; the arts, charities, corporations, and technology in the focused mission of a great cause is something wonderful to behold.

I saw first hand the benefits they and society enjoyed by working together.

Used to be eyeball to eyeball, but with new Social Media toys it is virtual, and global, despite time zones, languages, gender, race, color, creed or age.

When John Lennon and Paul McCartney collaborated writing songs, they initially worked “nose to nose and eyeball to eyeball”.

It was a Yin and Yang thing.

Opposite forces being creatively complementary.

Paul, ever the optimist, teamed up with the sardonic John and created musical magic.

But, with 21st Century social media tools the physical intimacy of “nose to nose” collaboration is no longer required.

How liberating…!

Why are we prejudiced against Beauty? Here are 6 Clues.

whyareweprejagainstbeautyAre we prejudiced against beauty…Why?

Prejudice has preoccupied me greatly.

The dehumanizing grunt of South Africa’s apartheid regime continues to haunt me in my novel-writing.

Thankfully, that unkind chapter of government enforced segregation in Sub-Sahara Africa now been consigned to history.

But alas, it remains a cautionary tale.

All about us the fractured schism of tribalism, ideology, and prejudice abound.

Religious nihilism, demagoguery, nationalism and feigned hurts (amplified by political correctness and the internet) are the present day instruments of divisiveness.

All toxic and corrosive.

This made me wonder, Is anyone free of the pain of prejudice?

The Stranger Seated Across From Me

Her beauty was clear to everyone. But, and not holding up the haughty shield of genetically blessed superiority, she radiated instead both charm and warm humility.

She introduced herself as Petra; in time I got to know her as Petra Nemcová, the former Czech supermodel.

Petra+Nemcova+2004+Sports+Illustrated+Swimsuit+Dc1AzVlxyhilPetra Nemcova / Sports Illustrated

However, it was my internalized response that appalled me.

In an instant I had instinctively veered down the rabbit-hole of hackneyed stereotypes: blonde, beautiful–no, not dumb (I’m far more evolved than that!) but an equally unkind assumption; that she probably lacked substance.

Fortunately I checked myself, realizing my baseless and generalized prejudice against beauty. 

And I’m so glad I did. Instead, I listened…

I enjoy learning about a person’s “legend”–it must be the natural curiosity of a writer to discover and understand an individual’s background in order to better appreciate their motivations.

Petra Němcová Shared Her Story

She was born in Czechoslovakia, relatively close to Poland’s border. Petra was ten when communism was swept away by the Velvet Revolution. By 15 she was parading the catwalk of Milan. After herSports Illustrated swimsuit cover she was soon blessed as a Victoria Secrets angel. That was when she met fashion photographer, Simon Atlee, and they fell in love.

Was she herself prejudiced against beauty was the question I should have asked, instead we spoke about Prague and Africa.

Petra’s story was romantic, worldly (she spoke several languages fluently), and glamorous.

A Bright Future Devastated by Thai Tsunami

It was the day after Christmas 2004, when a gigantic wall of water swamped their beautiful holiday resort in Thailand. Her last sighting ever of her love, Simon, was glimpsing him clinging to a bungalow roof.  Pounded by waves as she was swept out to sea, her pelvis pulverized, Petra clung to a tree for eight hours in absolute agony, before finally being rescued.

Along with more than 250,000 other people in Southeast Asia, Simon Atlee lost his life.

Scarred and broken, physically and figuratively, Petra began to rehabilitate herself.

[Note: Every Boxing Day (December 26th) is the anniversary of this tragic natural cataclysm.]

Purpose Provides a Happy Heart

It’s the screams of children, as she clung to that tree, that continued to haunt Petra. She needed to do something substantive, so as to honor Simon’s life and fulfill some useful purpose after the wreckage.

Four months later Petra returned to Thailand.

For those gone there was nothing else that could be done, but for the countless lives displaced by the ghastly tragedy there was much-needed by those who’d so terribly suffered–especially all the children. With support and succor from others, Petra launched the Happy Hearts Fund (HHF). A wonderful program to keep up and build support for communities after the First Responders and aid organizations had moved on to the next crisis.

“Unlike malaria or polio, we can’t work towards a cure for natural disasters or prevent them from ever happening — but we can restore hope by helping communities get back on their own feet through rebuilding in safe and sustainable ways and creating opportunities for a better future. And that’s exactly what the Happy Hearts Fund strives to do.” Petra Nemcova, Founder, Happy Hearts Fund

My rush-to-judgement had long faded. Clearly, this woman was anything but shallow. In fact, she was positively inspiring.

But I needed to understand the underlying cause for knee-jerk prejudice against beauty.

Why are we prejudiced against beauty? Here are 6 clues:

#1 Resentment. The presumption that everything is far too easy for those blessed with beauty. That access and opportunity present themselves with no more effort than a bat of an eyelid. This has been deemed an unfair advantage by the rest of us mere mortals saddled with an average appearance.

#2 Kardashian Effect. In our 21st century, the trivial is substantially rewarded. Vacant, vulgar, but beautiful celebrity has become the holy grail of success. We enjoy reflecting in the afterglow of these plastic “stars”–but we certainly don’t respect them.

#3 Hollywood Mythology. The beauty versus intellect narrative was perpetuated by the motion picture studios. Marilyn Monroe and her sister’s of the silver screen embraced Betty Booppersonas, and in the process perpetuated the myth of the “Dumb Blonde”.

#4 Photoshop Fakes. Between Photoshop and plastic surgery there’s a visceral sense that modern beauty is no longer genuine. Hence, if a woman’s appearance is judged to be contrived, faked, then the assumption is that her persona suffers a similar fate.

#5 Overcompensation. Not wishing to overwhelm based on her physical beauty alone, some woman may “sabotage” their intellectual brawn (or, dumb themselves down) in an instinctive effort to be better accepted by peers. This leaves a false impression.

#6 Rejection. This is probably nearest to the truth. Who among us hasn’t had the yearning for a beautiful companion? Especially during one’s formative years; such as, that unattainable soul-throbbing crush seen across the schoolyard. Invariably it remains unrequited. Either due to lack of courage (never asking her out!), or worse, cold rejection. Rejection results in resentment, which in turn morphs into a growing pejorative opinion of the once revered “object of one’s desire.”

I’m sure you have other suggestions…

Happily, however, I’m completely cured.

she-warned-him-not-to-be-deceived-by-appearances-for-beauty-is-found-within-1

Petra Nemcova & Mark Fine selfie

 

Ms. Petra Nemcová has taught me never to make hasty assumptions aboutanyone. As such she graciously volunteered to take this “Beauty & the Beast” selfie with me:

And, as an author I have now garnered deeper insights into the complex facets of an individual’s life, and the true nature of a substantive life (whether pretty or otherwise). All lives deserve to be explored properly. A “rush to judgement” based solely on a pretty facade makes us sosuperficial; the very attribute we glibly label those lovelier than us. In truth, in the process of living a full life–warts and all, we have all developed into compelling characters.

 


 

Question:

If you have any stories of a similar nature to share; a hasty dismissal of someone beautiful (or handsome), only later to be pleasantly surprised. Please let us know in the comment section below.


 

ABOUT MARK

Author Mark Fine was a record label chief for PolyGram. Variety magazine named him “Music Executive with 20/20 Vision”—good thing too as Fine is tone-deaf. His failed efforts to compose a song resulted in the critically acclaimed novel, “The Zebra Affaire”. As research for his life story Fine immigrated to America from South Africa, in doing so he championed causes such as freedom of speech, wildlife conservation, breast cancer awareness, intolerance, and Indie Authors. He’d be delighted to hear from you at FineBooks.co or via Twitter @MarkFine_author.

My meeting with David Bowie: unconventional, curious & gracious

 david-bowie-soundvision

 

 

A most unconventional meeting for some music guys.

To his credit Robert Goodale took my call. More important was his willingness to listen.

This wasn’t the typical hustle: we need your client make a charity appearance, or guest in a video, or licence a track for a K-Tel compilation. No, this was markedly different.

As David Bowie’s business partner, Robert Goodale was not surprisingly an “out-of-the-box” thinker.

For the viability of our project, and future innovation, it was crucial Bob grasped what I was trying to say.

After a couple of calls and a face-to-face meeting in New York, he certainly did.

It’s like trying to fly a plane while attempting to build it

The 80’s were reaching their nadir and we had a deadline to meet. The technology was brilliantly conceived but awfully difficult to implement.

In fact it was the first time I’d heard the expression, “It’s like trying to fly a plane while attempting to build it.”

As Vice President of Entertainment for American Interactive Media (a joint technology venture by PolyGram Records and consumer electronics giant, Philips N.V.) I was strapped into a metaphorical business class seat on this bucking, unstable aircraft.

We were all up to our elbows in the mechanics of this new technological frontier, the interactive optical disc—specifically CD-i. The Compact Disc Interactive format uniquely interleaved audio, video and computer code on what appeared to be a conventional audio CD.

More profound. The CD-i player was a Trojan horse, designed to place a computer in the living room disguised as a sexy consumer electronics appliance attached to a TV.

philips-cdi-205Philips Compact Disc Interactive Player

 

 

Not remarkable now, but back in 1986 it was mind-bending.

Truthfully, CD-i desperately needed a public face that represented all of humanity, a face that was creative, innovative and courageous. Not some soulless geek squad avatar conversant only in the techno-babble of bits and bites.

We needed our Leonardo (as in “Da Vinci”), we needed our very own myriad-minded man…

Maestro David Bowie was the ideal candidate.

A very surreptitious, yet quietly auspicious meeting.

Robert agreed to set up a meeting with Bowie.

I flew in from Los Angeles.

A colleague, Daniel “the marketing guru” Savage discretely set up a private room in PolyGram’s Manhattan HQ.

As Bowie was affiliated with another record label, it would not do having him seen “visiting” our building. So we sneaked him into the building with all the intrigue of “Game of Thrones.”

Fortunately, Daniel documented his thoughts about that meeting:

I only had one interaction with Bowie, when he came in for a meeting with me, Mark Fine and a couple of other people at PolyGram in 1990 or so. We were talking about developing a CD-Interactive title based on Ziggy Stardust. I was really struck by a number of things, especially comparing them to all the other artists I had dealt with before.

For one, he was EARLY. During the meeting, he showed a keen interest and intellect having to do with the subject matter. He was with a woman (it might well have been Iman) who we presumed to be a girlfriend and he spoke to her with genuine kindness and gallantry, explaining it all to her so she felt included in the conversation, not just arm candy to be patronized.

Presenting to Mr. Sound+Vision

It was my responsibility to do the pitch.

Peering into those inquisitive, curious eyes (heterochromia—one eye blue, the other brown) I was intimidated enough. Attempting to communicate the merits of CD-i to this legend added further complexity to the challenge.

Those days the notion of manipulating and controlling a “multimedia” consumer-friendly disc was difficult to comprehend. The lexicon was unfamiliar to most; interactivity, man-machine interface, disc image and such only elicited blank stares. 

Where words failed me, I resorted to illustrations.

Those days I carried with me a battered schoolroom composition book for note taking. As his excitement grew at the potential of CD-i, Bowie began to add doodles and diagrams of his own in my workbook—then, in apparent appreciation, he autographed it for me.

A treasured possession! 

Of course the musical architect of SOUND+VISION had immediately grasped the implications of multimedia: he found it creatively liberating. He understood that the linear paradigm of music playback was destined to be shattered.

As such David Bowie had granted me his full attention.

A privilege I shall never forget.

Regretfully, no project was forthcoming from that meeting. More a product of the lengthy technical gestation period of CD-i, and the confused agendas of the stakeholders, than lack of enthusiasm from David Bowie.

However, subsequent to our meeting Robert Goodale became the interactive entertainment pioneer for all David Bowie copyrights.

In 1994, Bowie released “Jump” as an interactive CD-ROM that enabled his fans to create their own custom video from his music track.

Does this mean my meeting with David Bowie was well worth his while?

I hope so.

 


 

 

 ABOUT MARK

Author Mark Fine was a record label chief for PolyGram. Variety magazine named him “Music Executive with 20/20 Vision”—good thing too as Fine is tone-deaf. His failed efforts to compose a song resulted in the critically acclaimed novel, “The Zebra Affaire”.  As research for his life story Fine immigrated to America from South Africa, in doing so he championed causes such as freedom of speech, wildlife conservation, breast cancer awareness, intolerance, and Indie Authors. He’d be delighted to hear from you at FineBooks.co or via Twitter @MarkFine_author.

Readers Review Room & Traci Sanders – interview with the founder

Traci Sanders is an amazing lady I had the pleasure of meeting a while back in an online writers’ group. Apart from being an early educator and caregiver, she is an award-winning multigenre a…

Author Mark Fine said, “Traci is an impeccable example, as are you, Anita, of the wisdom, enterprise, creativity and innovation of the Indie Author. Both of you are making great strides in legitimizing the Indie Author scene. You refelect the fine writerly talent that’s been constantly ignored by ‘snobbish’ media and publishers row in New York, London and elsewhere. Keep up the good work! #IndieCred4Authors.”

Source: Readers Review Room & Traci Sanders – interview with the founder

Short Stories. It’s time to write ’em and read ’em. Mark Fine Interview.

TWISTED TALES & AUTHORS – The Mark Fine interview

ON 24/05/2016

The amazing author of the Zebra Affaire, and an all-around creative machine of a man, visits my blog today. The man who has been mingling with amazing world famous artists all of his life certainly has a lot to write about. It is a privilege to have him over as a guest.

Twisted Tales short story collection featuring author Mark Fine
Karmic Odds by Mark Fine

Author: MARK FINE

STORY: “Karmic Odds”–from Twisted Tales short story collection

1. Why did you accept to write a short story for Twisted Tales?

Hello there, Anita. A belief in the value of short stories in our busy 21st Century lives. I like the idea that a reader can enjoy the full arc of a complete story during those in-between moments in life; waiting for a bus, lunch break at work, and all those other gaps in time that would otherwise turn to impatience.

2. What is your story about and what made you write it?

Though I’ve lived in America for three decades, I still have an accent from my native South Africa. It’s amusing how people respond to it. Some regard it exotic. They project on me a level of worldliness that’s not, to be honest, correct. In ‘Karmic Odds’ I riff on this stranger in strange land theme of an ‘exotic’ foreigner that finds himself a beautiful bride. Will they live happily ever after in domestic bliss, or is there a twist? It’s up to the reader to find out…

Mark Fine short story, Karmic Odds
Karmic Odds by Mark Fine. Featured in Twisted Tales short story collection

3. What is the biggest challenge for you in writing short stories?

Never attempted it before, so it was the challenge itself I found so motivating. Short stories demand efficient craftsmanship. The ability to wedge into a few thousand words the richness of character, time, place and plot really pushed me; and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

4. What is your favourite famous traditional short story, or short story author and why?

Roald Dahl. A stunning story titled ‘A Fine Son’—I was drawn to it for egocentric reasons; the use of my name ‘Fine’ in the title. Wow! Not a typical surprise twist yarn but the revelation at the end is shocking. One heck of a fine story…just to let your readers know it was subsequently published under another title, ‘Genesis and Catastrophe’.

5. What did you like about writing for Readers Avenue Park?

Readers Avenue Park is international community of Readers, a kind of virtual book club…and that’s why I write; to be able to weave words into the minds of readers, everywhere. I appreciate the invitation from Readers Avenue Park to participate in this unique short story anthology.

6. What do you like most about the Twisted Tales?

The brief was liberal, as in not restrictive. As an author I was free to express myself freely, genuinely, without the constraints of some artificially imposed criteria. That’s rare in this exploitive, commercial environment.

7. Can you share a favourite quote from your TT story?

Sure, how about this one, ‘… the fragrance of her was breathtakingly real as it drifted toward me across the ocean breeze. And so there I stood with trousers rolled-up and damp, with my nude toes clawed in the sand, awaiting swift execution.’

8. Any message for TT readers or potential readers?

I must champion the short story format. For me they are like a hit single, rather than the full music album. As such they are easy to enjoy, especially in the context of our busy, busy lives.  Also, they provide a marvelous insight into the mechanics of an author’s mind. In other words short stories are the perfect ‘sampler’ when a reader is seeking out fresh author voices. By the way, download yourself a FREE copy HERE!

 

Mark Fine Author links

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Mimagey thanks to Anita Kovacevic for this interview originally posted on https://anitashaven.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/twisted-tales-authors-the-mark-fine-interview/

Author: Mark Fine

Author Mark Fine was a record label chief for PolyGram. Variety magazine named him “Music Executive with 20/20 Vision”—good thing too as Fine is tone-deaf. His failed efforts to compose a song resulted in the critically acclaimed novel, “The Zebra Affaire.” As research for his writings (and opinions) Fine immigrated to America from South Africa, in an effort to better appreciate being a stranger in a strange land. Due to his African roots, he is a strong advocate for wildlife conservation and is an ardent #RhinoProtector. Readers may follow him at http://www.markfinebooks.com and http://www.facebook.com/ZebraAffaire.