"Man Week" Begins!! And I have a Manly Author and Free Books!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
It's "Man Week" - Do you know what that means? It means The Unlocked Diary is going to delve into the mind of Man and try and figure out just what goes on in there. Yes, I know, I am very brave. Do I think I'll be successful? I have no idea. But I DO know that I have some fun stuff planned for my first ever "Man Week".

I have got two Manly authors and interviews this week who are both offering up a book (maybe two) to giveaway! In those interviews you will learn about their writing but also their feelings on things like going bald and bad dates.

Peppered throughout the week I will also be bringing all my Peeps HOT photos of the men we love to look at. What? You know you want it.

Before I announce who's first in the Man lineup I want to remind everyone that the Ecopy of Dirty Blood is still up for grabs! Hop over to that post and enter to win. I will announce the winner Friday.

So let Man Week Begin!!!!

Today author C.S. Splitter is stopping by to talk about "The Reluctanct" his debut novel. I have read it and you should too. Its a great read and also a great look into the mind of a man.

Splitter has gracefully brought along TWO copies of The Reluctant for a lucky follower so after you read his enlightening and hilarious interview leave your name and email to be entered!!

So let's welcome Splitter!  
First off I would like to thank you for being a part of “Man Week” you are a brave soul as I plan to pick your brain in an attempt to better understand the species of Man. Or maybe you’re just stupid. Hehehehe. But either way we are thrilled to have you at The Unlocked Diary.
Your first book, The Reluctant, was published this year by you and is a well written book with probably the most honest man character I have ever read. I would tell all women everywhere to read this and learn what we all already suspected about men: they think about food and sex all the time. Really, they do. And I would also tell men everywhere that the cat is now out of the bag and we women now know how you really think. (I am actually frightened).
Before the interview commences here’s a pic of our interviewee today:

Isn't his dog sweet? LOL.

So enough with the jabbering let’s get to the “beef” of the interview and see what we can learn about men. (Oh, yeah and his book, The Reluctant)

1. The main character in your book, Tom Crayder, is a real guy’s guy. When I read the book I felt like a lot of you came through Tom, would you say that you are a lot like Tom? If not did anyone else you know inspire this character?
Tom is not me, but I am sure there are parts of me in him.  When I go back and read about him, I can identify with him.  I think most guys can.  There is no “universal truth” about guys but, let’s face it, there are a number of generalities that generally hold true.  In general.
The cool thing is that women are recognizing Tom too.  They see in him some of the men in their lives.  Men that they love, sometimes in spite of their rough edges.
Tom wasn’t patterned off of any one guy but if I had to describe him to someone who has not read the book, I would say he has a bit of Jack Tripper, Tim Allen, Hawkeye Pierce, and just a touch of John Wayne.  If you asked Tom, he would probably say that he would like to be more like John Wayne, especially with what happens to him in The Reluctant.
A lot of guys would like to be more like John Wayne than we really are but, hey, he had scripts!  We don’t have scripts so we tend to blunder through life doing the best we can.

2. Tom is a guy with a really good life. A beautiful wife (who he loves), a son in college, a house to call a home and a plane of his own. Yet, deep down he seems bored…maybe even a little unsatisfied. Do you think a lot of men feel this way with their lives?
Don’t most people feel that way sometimes?  I think most of us are striving to achieve more in our lives, it’s not just a guy thing.  Women and men both have their own sets of challenges.
I don’t think anyone is completely satisfied with their life.  Often, however, what we think we want or need isn’t even close to what we really want or need.  Tom is bored and has his head turned by a pretty face even though he has a wonderful, beautiful wife at home whom he loves.  He isn’t bored with his wife, he is bored with his life.
The solution he chooses really has nothing to do with what is “wrong” in his life, especially since his troubles are largely internal.  Tom wants to be more than he is.  He wants his life to mean something. 
Why did the man climb the mountain?  Because it was there.
When a guy is pretending to nap on the couch, what you might see is a guy being lazy and trying to get out of his “honey do” list.  But, chances are, that guy is dreaming of some great thing he could be doing.
Yeah, it’s as screwed up as it sounds.     
By the way, the son will be in a story somewhere down the line.  He is studying criminal justice after all.

3. If you could have any car in the world what kind would it be and why? What color would it be?
I’m not a car guy, but I want any of the cars Major Nelson drove.  I noticed his cars sometime after I noticed Jeannie and her navel.  Jeannie was my boyhood crush.
But I digress.
Major Nelson drove late 60’s Pontiac GTO’s and Firebirds and all were totally “cool” convertibles.  I loved all of them so any one would do.  I would want it in blue with white interior (leather, of course) and a white top.  Actually, I’ll need two.  One model with a stick and hot engine for when I’m feeling frisky and one equipped with an automatic for when I’m just trolling around town.
My wife says I can get a cool car when the book sells enough copies.  She nixed the whole genie thing, however.  She says she won’t even wear the costume I bought her until I become an astronaut. 

4. What’s the best pick-up line you have ever used on a woman? Did it work?
I have never used a pick up line on a woman!  At least I don’t think I have.  Definitely not consciously.  I usually just smiled and made a stupid joke.
I didn’t have looks or a cool car on my side but I figured out early on that if I could make a woman laugh, she would talk to me.  If she talked to me, she might go out with me.
Do women really like lines?  I have never seen a guy be successful with a line but I have seen many women roll their eyes at the guy’s pathetic attempt to impress.

5. Would you ever use ‘Just for Men’ hair color? If you were going bald (are you right now?) would you shave your head or rock a bald spot? How do you feel about Hair in Can?
The only thing I have is good hair.  I wanted the chiseled cheek bones and six pack abs, but all I got was hair.  If I were bald, I would look like a giant snowman. 
Thankfully, I still have all my hair.  It is going gray though.  My wife would laugh at that statement and say that “going gray” was a generous term.  It’s pretty gray now.
About four years ago, when she was still “just my girlfriend”, she decided that since she looked ten years younger than her real age and since I looked ten years older than my real age, I needed to dye my hair.
She bought the dye and it was almost jet black.  I looked like “Elvis, The Later Years.”  She even did my eyebrows.  Oh, the things we do for love.
What neither of us realized was that I am terribly allergic to something in hair dye.  The first day, my scalp sort of tingled.  The second day, it started burning.  By the third day, it was oozing.  Yes, oozing.
I got an infection but, being a guy, I didn’t want to go to the doctor.  After two weeks of her handing me napkins to sop up whatever was coming out of my scalp (and eyebrows), I made a doctor’s appointment.  Of course, by the time they could take me, things were clearing up.
Now that we know that my hair is the only thing I am vain about, there is no question that I would rock the bald spot (including comb over) until I could get hair plugs.  I’m not ever going to go bald.  Ever.  You hear me?  Don’t even talk about it.     

6. Do you wear a wedding ring (Yes, ladies this man is taken)? If you don’t why? If you do why do you think that some men choose not too? (Ahem, Prince William of England)
Yes and no.  I don’t wear it around the house and sometimes forget to put it on when I leave.  I can’t stand having anything on my hands.  I don’t wear class rings or even a watch.  I have this irrational phobia of somehow getting something caught and losing a finger.
If anything, more women talk to you when you are wearing a ring.  Don’t ask me why.       

7. Boxers or Briefs?
“Chicks dig me, because I rarely wear underwear and when I do it's usually something unusual.”
The first commenter on your blog to name the movie that came from gets a free eBook copy of “The Reluctant”!
Real answer:  Boxers.  With a button on the flap.  That combination gives a man the freedom of boxers with the security of briefs.  No “escapes”.  Escapes may sometimes be unseemly but, worse, they can be dangerous.
Hey, you asked. 

8. Is there a time of day that you find writing comes easier to you? When?
I really don’t have a best time to write but I know that if I start writing when I am tired, whatever comes out is bad.
With me, it’s all about mood.  I do much more thinking than writing.  I drive a lot so that is a great time for me to work through scenes and dialogue.  Of course, that means I AM that guy who sits in traffic talking to himself. 

9. In your book, The Reluctant, Tom knows how to fire a gun (he goes to the shooting range a lot) and fly a plane. Can you do either one of these things?
"God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal."
My wife is rather tiny and one day after we moved in together, she came to me and said she wanted a gun because I was travelling a lot.  We talked and I realized that she had never felt safe being alone in her entire life.  I knew how to shoot but had never owned a gun before.
I did all the safety training with my wife and we went to the range.  She actually cried when she was done because, for the first time, she felt like she didn’t have to fear anyone ever again.  It was very liberating for her and since I see more and more women at the range these days, my guess is that a lot of them feel the same way.  It’s good to see.
She will only own .45’s and they have to be “shiny”.  If I buy a gun, she buys a gun…and hers are always more expensive.   Since her favorite movie is “Goodfellas”, I make sure she is happy.
As for planes, I have a lot of stick time in the right seat but I never got my license.  Someday, I will fulfill that dream too.  Flying really is easier than driving a car.  As long as nothing goes wrong, there isn’t that much up there to bump into.
I have flown simulators since the days when the latest and greatest computers had sixteen whole shades of gray.  I even have my own little cockpit set up at home.  Every trip that Tom takes in the book, I have made either in a friend’s plane or on a simulator.  That includes the cr…forced landing Tom makes.
My favorite experiences have been flying aerobatics a Pitts special, speeding along in a two seat Mustang, and doing simulated bombing runs in a WWII trainer.  I love flying but I will never, ever jump out of another perfectly good airplane.  You can’t make me!
10. You used to coach Baseball. Who is your favorite major league team? Have you ever been to the World Series?
I grew up watching the Baltimore Orioles so if I had to pick a team, it would be them.  However, they have been so bad for so long, it’s safe to say that I don’t have a favorite team anymore.  I still hate the Yankees though! 
Major League Baseball has made the games too long and the strike zones too small.  I only catch a few innings a week along with some Sports Center highlights.  Even then, I tend to look at batting stances, swings, and pitching motions instead of actually rooting for a team.
Truth be told, I would rather go to a good little league or highschool baseball game than go watch the pros.  The kids still do it for love of the game.
I worked with millionaires, prospects, and kids.  Kids were the most fun.  In ten minutes, you can make the kid a better player and help them enjoy the game more than they ever did before.  It’s an amazing experience when you see their eyes light up with understanding and, more importantly, confidence!
11. Choose a color: Lavender or Powder Blue
Lavender.  I think.  Isn’t lavender kind of purple?  I like purple.
At least you didn’t ask me about chartreuse…I don’t even know what that is.  It wasn’t in my big box of crayons.

12. I hear lots of women complain (me included)  that their husbands/significant others put their dirty laundry next to the hamper and the dirty dishes on the counter beside the dishwasher. What the heck is up with that?
A question for the ages!  This is VERY important!
There are actually several possible answers.
1)      We are lazy.  That is actually the least sinister answer.
2)      By cleaning up behind us, you are taking care of us.  We like it when you take care of us.  Yeah, leaving things just inches from their proper place is a really a silly way to go about getting that attention.  This is actually the least manly answer.  The term “Momma’s Boy” comes to mind.
3)      We’re getting you back for something and that’s our own little protest.  We know it drives you nuts, that’s why we do it.  THIS is probably the correct answer, by the way.
One of the worst and most common things that can happen in the relationship is what I call the “Downward Spiral of Resentment”.  No really, I trademarked it!  (I really didn’t but don’t steal it, k?)
Here’s how it usually starts: he’s randy and she has a headache.  So to get her back, he doesn’t take out the trash.  She gets mad because he didn’t take out the trash so she has a “migraine’.  Now he’s feeling rejected so he throws his wet towel on the bed.  That really aggravates her because he just happened to throw it on her side so she not only continues to suffer form the headache but also throws away his favorite t-shirt because it was “tattered” and she wouldn’t be caught dead with him in public if he wore it again.  Of course, he protests by doing something stupid like leaving the dishes on the counter instead of putting them in the dishwasher. 
So you see, it has nothing to do with men trying to keep women down or any other deep psychological causes.  We’re not that smart.  It’s just a stupid game and women play it too.  The only way to break the cycle is for one or the other to give in and do something nice for their partner.
This peace offering can include making dinner, jewelry, serving her breakfast in bed, or doing that thing that he really, really likes.
For the record, we prefer the last option.
If men had ANY idea that taking out the trash somehow corresponded with “special treatment”, the garbage cans at the curb would be eternally full.  Of course, women could just tell us these things, but no…they make us wallow in our ignorance until we learn the hard way.

13. Is writing something you always wanted to do or is this a relatively new dream?
I always wanted to write, but I wanted to write fantasy.  The problem was, I never had a good idea for a fantasy story that hadn’t already been done.  I kept writing by doing political pieces and industry rag articles.  Exciting stuff.
After more than a decade of trying to figure out a good fantasy story, “The Reluctant” came to me over dinner.  A friend said something that got me thinking and by the time we got home, I had Tom’s character and the outline done in my head.

14. When can we expect to see the next book in The Crayder Chronicles?
Book two, “The Willing” will be out in November unless something goes either horribly wrong or horribly right.  My goal is the first of November, Thanksgiving at the latest.
Once book two is out, I will start marketing the series.  Right now, I am just gathering reviews which so far, thankfully, have been excellent. 

15. What feature do you like best in a woman?
They will take my man card for this, but I need that smile that lights up a room.  Of course, with that smile go eyes that sparkle.  I’m particular though.  I don’t like perfect, fake teeth and I don’t like Barbie Doll noses. 
I know, you expected a different answer and when I was 25, I might have given you a different answer.
As I have gotten older, my priorities have changed.  I now realize that “pretty” and “attractive” are two different things.  At forty-something, I appreciate confidence in a woman.  If I see a woman who has taken the time to put herself together as best she can, she’s attractive.  If I see a woman who ran out of the house with a pony tail and baseball cap, but she really acts like “who cares, I’m just having fun”, it’s attractive.  It’s all about attitude.
Sexy is a state of mind.  I’ll take a seven with something to prove over a ten with a “look at me” attitude any day.

16. Beer, Wine, or Liquor?
I like good wine (red) and I like REAL beer with some body to it, but my preference is vodka.  Straight up and chilled with a dash of pepper chased by Coca Cola.  I did business with some old skool Russians who taught me how to really enjoy vodka.  No hangover either.  

17. Have you ever done anything crazy to impress a woman or one of your friends?
The Class Clown is the one who runs naked across the football field at halftime of the homecoming game.  The Class Comedian is the one who put him up to it.
I was not the class clown.  I let other people do the silly stuff.  You can usually tell something silly (and dangerous) is about to happen when you hear, “Hey, y’all, watch this!” Or “Hold my beer….”
I’m the guy who makes the suggestion and then holds the beer.  It’s safer.
18. Truth or Dare?
Truth!  It will set you free, after all.
Truth? Here is your question: What would it say about you on your man card?
The TRUTH is that I would probably be on man-card probation.  One of my favorite movies is “As Good As It Gets” which is sort of a chick flick.  I actually like chick flicks.  Then I didn’t answer “T” or “A” to that question of what attracts me to women.  I don’t like strip clubs and I had weird rules about sex and dating.  I won’t watch “Old Yeller” either because I know how it ends and it would lead to an unmanly moment.
One more slip up and they confiscate my man card.  I DID open a jar of pickles for my wife while I answered this question so I think that gets me a reprieve. (true story)               

19. Do men really read the articles in Play Boy or do they just look at the pictures?
Playboy is tame and fake.  Men have a whole Internet worth of porn to look at nowadays.  We all understand that the pictures in magazines are the result of airbrushing and cosmetic surgery.  The articles aren’t even that good anymore.
WOMEN look at Playboy and with a very critical eye.  My wife can spot silicone from orbit.  Playboy is to them what Cosmo is to us.  Yes, we read Cosmo.  As Tsun Tzu said, “Know thy enemy.”
Women think we read Playboy, but we don’t.  Don’t look at the history in our web browser, though.  Just don’t.  Seriously, you don’t want to know.      

20. Most of the characters in your book were men except for Lorena and Tom’s wife. Do you find that it is harder to write about a woman (or from her POV) than a man’s?
Men are so bad at writing women it’s not even funny.  One very popular fantasy series is laughable (and condescending) in its treatment of women.  Too much braid twisting and longing.
Female authors do a poor job at writing real men too.  They are either too good or too bad. 
Lorena is a character in my series that I really want to write.  Neither she nor I are ready for it yet.  I don’t want to be one of those authors who writes women badly. 
However, we get a LOT more Lorena in book two and I think you’ll like her.
Tom’s wife, Jenny, is a “too good to be true” character right now for a reason.  I wrote her that way on purpose….so far.  Some day, she’ll get her fair share of screen time too.
21. Finally, do you have any lasting sage advice for women and men out there?
Women marry men hoping they will change.  Men marry women hoping they won’t change.  Both are usually wrong.
Men and women both need to stop apologizing for who they are.  We throw around the word “typical” a lot, but no one is typical anything in every sense.  Be you and don’t feel the need to justify yourself to anyone except the one you love.  Vive le difference, I say.

22. Tell us where to find your book and you here:
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Reluctant-Crayder-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B004VS751O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1302413154&sr=1-1
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52864
Journal Stone:  http://journal-store.com/bookstore/the-reluctant/

I think it I also available on Diesel, iBooks, and Kobo now too.

Hey, Cambria, thanks for having me on!  I really enjoyed your questions and I look forward to our time on Journal Jabber.
I must go now, my brain is hurting from having to think.

 A big thanks to Splitter for joining me here today and remeber to enter for your chance to win a copy of his awesome book!!!!

Title: The Reluctant
Author: C.S. Splitter
Publisher: Published April 2011 by C.S. Splitter
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Format: Ebook
ISBN: 0011269340

Tom Crayder is living the American Dream. He has a wife he loves, a house to call a home and his very own plane to go with his fulfilled dream of being a pilot. But like many know, the American dream isn’t always as carefree as some might like to believe.
Tom’s consulting business is failing, he’s behind on the loan payments to his plane and his wife works too much. And, he’s bored. Turns out that the great life he has isn’t very exciting.
How to spice things up???
He starts taking some jobs from a local crime boss, delivering people and cash to various locations and, because that just isn’t fun enough, he starts flirting with a woman at the shooting range.
Tom finds himself caught up in a web of people and situations that turn his excitement into danger. How will he get himself out of the mess he’s in, and…does he even want to?

This book is a bit of a departure from my usual paranormal genre but I enjoyed it anyway. The plot was easy to get into and easy to follow, and it took twists and turns that I didn’t always see coming. Some of the things that happened to Crayder had me turning the pages to see what he would do to get out of his situation.
Tom Crayder is a guy’s guy, a married man with a bachelor’s heart. Even though I knew that a man wrote this book before I started reading it would have been obvious the minute I picked it up. In many ways I found it interesting because I really felt like me (the reader – and yes a girl) got a clear glimpse into a man’s head. He thought about food and women a lot. Big surprise there. He also thought about adventure and fun. Yet, Tom was also someone who thought about his friends and right and wrong. He had a conscious in him even when he was doing things that weren’t – shall we say – legal. I will say that his estimation of right and wrong sometimes went into the gray area and sometimes he was lead astray by his man parts…but I found that all to be in line with who Tom was. Hey, don’t hate the player - hate the game.
The characterization in the novel was solid as was the writing. I didn’t once get tripped up over a mistake or an awkward sentence and the book flowed well. This book set up Crayder and a cast of characters very well for the next book, which I will definitely read.
I will mention that I thought for being such an ordinary guy, Tom seemed to have quite a knack for getting himself out of sticky (and dangerous) situations. And sometimes his “I’m so cool because I’m a pilot” attitude made me roll my eyes.
My favorite part of the book was the ending and the Chihuahua. Want to know all about the little smiling dog with the underbite? Read the book, but beware not all doggies in this book are nice (my least favorite part of the book).
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes some suspense, good writing and to definitely all men everywhere.
You done good, Splitter, and I salute you.
So there you have it, my opinion.

Enter To win NOW!!!!


  1. Katy S said...:

    Hi Splitter! *waves* Nice to learn more about you and I LOLed several times, too. I came up with some smart-aleck comments, but decided to leave them be - we started enough trouble on GR the other day ... LOL

    I have a copy, so no need to enter me - just wanted to say "hey"

  1. Jenn said...:

    Amazing interview! Great answers and fab questions! I loved it!

  1. Cambria said...:

    Thanks for stopping by ladies!!

  1. Dranea said...:

    Fantabulous interview!! The man secrets are getting out, and all of the men are going to know where to find the one who's leaking them all!

  1. Nikki said...:

    The movie is Stripes :) ..see I read your interview. I really believe the clothes thing is an attempt to get a rise out of us ;) ..you guys are great at that! Loved the interview ...sorry about your experience with hair dye!
    Viajeradelmar @aol.com

  1. Hey Nikki,

    You are right! Let me see how Cambria wants to handle the no-charge e-book thing and we'll get it out to you ASAP!


  1. Cambria, you are indeed brave to try to get inside men's minds. Splitter, your character has elements of Jack Tripper? LOL Love the picture of your dog and that hair infection thing was really gross. "The term “Momma’s Boy” comes to mind". *rolls eyes* Great interview and good luck with your novel!

  1. Cambria said...:

    Jennifer- i am a brave woman. Lol. Thank you for stopping by!!

  1. Splitter, you really are a sweet, smart man...and I think you deserve an extra special man card :-) Great interview!

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