Sunday, May 25, 2014

Authors Writing Process Blog Tour 2014

May 24th, 2014

I am jazzed and privileged to have been invited to this blog tour by not just one, but two of my author friends -  Aaron David and Lisa Vandiver. You can find out more about Aaron's book "The Tale of the Ancient Marina" here and Lisa's (several) books here. These two great authors both invited me to be part of “the writing process tour” with the aim to give an insight into how (or why) we do what we do and I thought, "Hey, I'm big enough to be able to spread myself between the two of them," right?

1) What am I working on?
That's a loaded question. As I've stated many times, what I'm working on today may not be what  I'll be working on tomorrow, but that doesn't necessarily mean that what I'm working on today will be finished by the time I start working on something different tomorrow.

Does that make sense? Probably not, unless you understand that the story idea process rooted deeply within my skull doesn't always allow me to finish one story before it begins nagging me to start work on a new one. I try my best to finish what I've started, but it isn't always possible. For instance, just today as I was thinking about who-knows-what in my life, I came up with two new plots, both sci-fi stories. I jotted down the basics of what I knew about them at the moment and went on with the train of thought I had been on at the time.

Currently I'm working on a novel I tentatively have titled "Chronicles of a Bare Naked Nudist". Seriously. This one is a straight drama, which I don't usually write, with a crime story element involved and some romance plot-lines thrown in for good measure. Where it will end up is anyone's guess, but it's currently at almost 85K words at the time of this writing. I think I'm about two-thirds to three-quarters through writing it, but I never know for certain until I'm completely finished.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Err, I guess because it comes from MY brain, not that of a normal, straight-laced, reality-based individual. No one has ever called me "normal" in my life and everything I write tends to prove that fact. How many drama/crime/romance novels have you ever read that were centered around the life of a newly-widowed police detective who decides to retire from the force and take up life traveling from one nudist club to another within the Continental United States? Exactly.

3) Why do I write what I do?
Because no one else ever does. Take a look at my past books and you'll find mostly storylines no one else ever thinks of writing stories on. Although superhero movies are HUGE these days and even TV shows are starting to evolve around superhero/comic book themes, not too many authors are writing about superheroes they've created. Those were the first stories I typed out from my brain, through my fingers and onto my keyboard and they won't be the last. Even my current novel theme, though it has nothing to do with super-powered people in any way, is something no one else has ever tackled and probably, had I not undertaken it, no one else ever would.

Then there are the vampire novels I've written, which are generally considered quite different from the typical vampire stories out today. For one thing, my vampires don't "sparkle", they burn up in direct sunlight and can't even move around during the day. These vampires drink blood - from living humans, not refrigerated bags, and are not lost in fits of depression over it. They are vampires. They accept that fact and act accordingly.

4) How does my writing process work?
I wish I knew. Usually when I'm holding a conversation with someone, or taking a walk, or working out, or watching a movie…You get the idea - pretty much during anything I happen to be doing I suddenly get a sniggering thought explode within my skull and quite often that explosion results in a plot idea that carries me through to a full-blown novel. I was once sitting in my apartment talking to my wife when I heard some people out by the pool (not far from where we live) and I paused briefly. When the moment passed I had the beginning of a plot wherein a man's entire life was changed in an instant of time with his world having been turned completely upside-down by the sudden and brutal deaths of his wife and grandchildren - who had been visiting him at the time. I still haven’t written that one, but the kernel of it is still rooted in the mush of my brain and one day I'll get around to it.

That's it for this blog tour entry. If what you've read about me compels (*hint*hint*) you to read one or more of my books, then I guess this was a successful entry, eh? You can find my eBooks at:
Barnes & Noble

Looking for more on this blog tour?

Aaron David

Aaron David is getting perilously close to fifty [Yeah, just wait another ten years, bub], lives in Bolton, the north of England, is married and has three (almost) grown-up kids. He is a tradesman and brilliant novelist, having written a handful of books currently on the shelves: “The Tale of the Ancient Marina” (Novel), “The Skiffies” (sci-fi shorts), “The Almost English Dictionaarony” (Shorts), “Rhyming stuff” (poems) and “The Complete Works” (everything in one volume). His second novel; "All the Loft Insulation You can Eat" is on it's way but don't hold your breath.

Lisa Vandiver

Lisa Vandiver has always been in love with the art of storytelling and has written poems and short stories since childhood. Her very first piece was in the local newspaper and it was simply titled, Santa Claus. She enjoys blogging and from time to time pens out free stories for her blogs, Imagination Alley and Lisa's Place. She also enjoys conducting interviews with her fellow authors on these sites as well. She has had one poem published with eFiction magazine in September, 2011. She currently has three romance novels - Where She Belongs (book one and two) and Josie's Thorn - published with Deadly Reads, one screenplay in edit, and is currently working on its novel version. In addition, she is in preparation of releasing her first horror/sci-fi story. She enjoys interacting with readers and fellow authors, so please, feel free to find her at the popular social sites, and say 'hi'.

Andrew Peters

Born in the swamps of Glamorgan, Andrew has wandered the world, generally with a guitar in hand.
He now resides in a beautiful village in central Spain, where the sun shines, the lake is warm, the drink is cheap and the people and animals are friendly.

He shares his place with two gorgeous local cats, more guitars than he can count [but remember, he is a Welshman] and a fridge full of wine.
Oh, and he writes stories. Many of them about Otis King, Memphis' Number One Welsh Blues detective. Others about Angels, murderers, failed Super-Villains and ingrowing toenails.

He'd be happy if some of his stories amused you for a while.

Andrew currently has eleven books published and is included in the Blood Bath anthology by Stephen Leather.

You can locate Andrew Peters and his books at: 

Shaun Allen

A writer of many prize winning short stories and poems, Shaun Allan has written for more years than he would perhaps care to remember. Having once run an online poetry and prose magazine he has appeared on Sky television to debate against a major literary agent the pros and cons of internet publishing as opposed to the more traditional method. Many of his personal experiences and memories are woven into Sin's point of view and sense of humor although he can't, at this point, teleport.
Shaun's books include:
A supernatural thriller described as 'a masterpiece', 'dark, disturbing and amazing' and 'incredible', and compared to Dean Koontz and Stephen King
13 stories. 13 poems. 13 doorways of the mind for the demons to enter through...  'Brilliant!'
An offbeat collection of poetry for children, including Mojo Jojo, Spider on my Ceiling and My Cat (the Vampire). 'A fantastic read' 'Very creative and expressive'
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Below are two choices for the cover for my in-progress (and hopefully next-to-be-published) novel, "Chronicles of a Bare Naked Nudist". leave a comment and let me know which one you think should be the cover.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day means FIGHTING for Our FREEDOM!

Previously on my blog I wrote an entry as a tribute to the Soldiers of World War II, and it was a tribute that was well-deserved, because those soldiers went through hell to keep the worst dictator in human history up until that time from enslaving the entire world, which he may or may not have done, but he was certainly trying.

In this entry I want to address the subject of Memorial Day, what it really means and where we go from here.

Memorial Day, without getting into all the dry specifics of it, which you can find easily enough if you run a search on this day and then click on the link under the Wikipedia entry, is a time to not only observe and remember those who have served in this nation in the different branches of the United States Armed Forces, but who have given their lives in service to this country and its people. Whether these soldiers served and died during World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq or Afghanistan Wars, or any other time even before these dates, we take the time during this day and even this entire weekend to remember them, pay our respects for them, and pray that no more soldiers will ever have to die as these have in service not only to their country, but to the world around them in order to keep it free from tyranny and fear.

Unfortunately that is not a prayer that will easily be seen come to fruition. As we watch the war in Afghanistan come to a close and our soldiers brought home (if the current regime in the White House is to be believed in their promises), already forces are uniting from many sources and directions to form an army of foreigners who are not and never have been American citizens to enlist and serve for no other purpose than to fight against true Americans when the man in the White House and all those who are united with him in his treasonous intentions declare martial law and begin forcing True Americans to submit or be killed.

What is happening today in this once great nation is an atrocity and even worse, it is a slap in the face to every soldier who has ever lived and served in any branch of the US military. It is a declaration of war against the memory of each and every fallen soldier who has bravely fought for the cause of freedom and liberty, and for that We the People living today within the boundaries of the United States of America MUST rise up and declare we will NOT concede to the inane and traitorous babblings of the pretender in the White House. We will NOT cease speaking out against tyranny in EVERY form, whether it be foreign or domestic. We will NOT lay down our weapons and become obedient sheep being led to the slaughter. We will NOT defy the desires of our Founding Fathers who fought to bring about this nation born from the hardships of attaining liberty and freedom for all, of our fore-fathers who fought and died in many wars and battles to keep this nation the last strong bastion of and for freedom throughout this world. If we, like so many others today, give up our rights and freedoms and lay down our weapons we have not only dishonored those who fought so bravely and earnestly for this nation, but we have betrayed our children, to whom we promised a better world simply by giving birth to them and allowing them to enter into this world, in this nation of their birth.

On this Memorial Day weekend, We the People MUST declare openly, proudly and loudly, that we will FIGHT to the DEATH in order to continue to have the RIGHT to observe days such as this, for without our continued Civil Disobedience even leading up to and including outright and open REVOLUTION this nation is sure to fall and those who fought and died in days past will have been proven to be fools for giving their lives for something which this generation was not willing to do in turn.

Rise up, Americans. Rise up and declare your intention to FIGHT for the FREEDOM which your fathers, and grandfathers, uncles, brothers, sons, daughters, mothers and all others have given their lives to obtain and retain. Do not sit on your asses and merely click your mouse over a "like" button, but get up onto your feet and DEMAND the pretender in the White House, Barack Obama, step down from office and that Congress wipe from the books each and every false law this traitor penned and placed into "law".

If Congress will not heed the demands of We the People, then we MUST be prepared to FIGHT!

Honor those past who died for America this Memorial Day by standing up physically and demanding FREEDOM!

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Band of Brothers - A Tribute to the American Soldiers of WWII

Names of E Company fallen on the monument in Foy, Belgium
The following has nothing to do with science fiction or fantasy, nor even fiction of any kind, but is something I felt I needed to write about and share with others.

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A few minutes ago I finished watching the tenth episode in an HBO miniseries that aired back in 2001. Until a few days ago I had never seen that show before, although I had heard the name of it mentioned a few times over the years. That show was Band of Brothers. If you have never seen this mini-series or even heard of it, it was based upon the service of "Easy" Company, part of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. This show carried on from jump-training for this company all the way through to VJ Day, the surrender of Japan to America, and tells the story of these brave men who served their nation and fellow human beings during the last authentic war America has ever been involved in.

That last line will be argued by some, but for those old enough to know what has ensued within the politics of American government since the end of World War II, there is no disputing the fact that each and every war since then has been one strictly of politics and not of necessity to keep this world free from fascist oppression.

The authenticity of these wars, however, is not my reason in writing this entry; it is the fact that in watching this ten-part series I was left with a deep sensation of having been more than a simple observer during the conflicts of this war; I ended each episode with a sensation that grew stronger with each new episode of having actually been a part of "Easy" Company and having known each of the men who served within this unit intimately as friends. My congratulations to Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks for having ensured this strength of feeling would be experienced from this retelling of so great a company of soldiers.

Having grown up in a culture where war movies and those centering around WWII were numerous, I can honestly say that none before this show came as close to allowing me to experience the ravages of war, the brutality of conflict, the senselessness of man-killing-man as has Band of Brothers, though Saving Private Ryan came extremely close, most likely because it, too was produced by Spielberg and Hanks.

My heart went out to those men who served in "Easy" Company and especially those who died throughout the many conflicts of battle they were sent into. My soul wept with each new death and indeed, at the very ending of the tenth episode, tears fell from my eyes and ran down my cheeks as they never have for any other movie of any kind. Why? Because this was reality, so much more so than all the "reality TV shows" combined; this was life and death; this was bonds forged between men through the worst of human conditions and the loss of friends who gave their lives so that others may live free.

I salute those men of "Easy" Company and all the rest of the soldiers from every branch of not only the US Military, but from all the services of all the Allied Nations during World War II, for they were brave men who did what was needed and most did not wait to be drafted, but enlisted voluntarily, knowing there was little chance that they would return home to those they loved. Were it only so that politicians would learn from accounts such as this that men ought not to be made to war one against another we would be a happy people living upon this earth, but as long as there is greed within the hearts of those who would conquer all others and make them as servants and slaves, then the necessity will be laid upon the rest of us, and I hope we all heed that call, to serve as did the men of "Easy" Company in World War II.

A list of the names of all who served in "Easy" Company can be located on this page.

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Learning From the Old Ways

My people are known as the Lenni Lenape , which translates as the True People . This is how we thought of ourselves, since back then ...