Athanasios's Blog, page 13

February 13, 2012

Addendum: I had wanted to put this up earlier and thought I did but instead of clicking Publish I clicked Save Draft. Damn thick Spartan fingers.


Part of the Valentine's Day Blog Spot hosted by Book Luvin Babes.


I've been with the same woman for closing in on 20 years. I don't see that changing and I know her enough to say that any public statement of my love for her would make her uncomfortable.  Suffice to say that's not what you'll be reading here. Instead I'll tell you about a different type of interaction, of human kindness and civility.



I usually take the train or drive to get around.  I haven't used the subway, or as we call it in Montreal, the metro for at least a few months.  I had occasion to do so and thought nothing of it until last Friday.
I sat in a single seat, opposite another single seat, and listened to Howard on my iPhone.  I barely noticed an older, slight woman sit directly in front of me and pulling the hood of her winter coat down decided to catch a nap.  A few stops later she looked blearily up and in french, asked me how many stops are there till Berri UQAM stop. That was when I caught a whiff of booze on her breath.  Berri was a good 12 stops further and I told her so to which she was surprised I even acknowledged her.
I hadn't noticed before, but she was dressed shabbily and looked incept. I didn't think she was homeless because she told me she lived near the metro station.
Two seconds later she made a motion under her eye of a tear and smiled nervously. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was sad, she couldn't remember the last time anybody took the time to speak to her. She then promptly thanked me and said I was kind and a gentleman.
This unsolicited praise and uncomfortable situation was very surprising to me. I became further uncomfortable when in between stating how lucky my wife must be and how you don't see civility like mine anymore she told me she wanted to die and that her life was full of torture. I told her I didn't know what to say, I just met her and she shouldn't put that much stock in people she just met.
As I got up to get to my own stop she thanked me again for talking to her and she reached out to shake my hand.  Before I could understand what she was doing she took my hand in both of hers and kissed it like I remember kissing the hand of priests during Easter Mass.  I shakily said goodbye and went on my way to work.
This wasn't a romantic story, but it was one of compassion and kindness. I spoke and treated this drunken, overly affectionate old lady with the same civility as I would've anybody else and she was beyond grateful. Despite the looks and stares, and more than an occasional snicker I didn't get up and go somewhere else in the metro car as some people nervously did but I stayed and showed her some simple human interaction. It wasn't profound or life altering on my part, but it obviously, at least made her day.

Mad Gods – ReduxMadGods-Volume IMadGods-Volume IIMadGods-VolumeIIIMadGods-Volume IVMadGods-Volume V

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Published on February 13, 2012 03:41 • 19 views

February 5, 2012

I give over my blog to my biographer Athanasios. Keep whining away you little girl.


I just finished a six-month relationship with over 30 people. It wasn't a long running sexual marathon; it was a blog tour that ran its course. I'm here to add my viewpoint to this tour that thankfully has a beginning middle and end. I rather like that.
I've grown up with North American TV programming of long unending serials that are thrown off the TV because viewers loosing interest. I've recently begun watching UK programming and was surprised to see that each of their seasons are a short story arc that have a beginning, middle and end. I saw this with the recent Idris Elba police procedural show, Luther and with the SciFi programs of Primeval, Sanctuary and Being Human. I rather like that better than shows like Stargate, Breaking Bad or True Blood that are great programs don't know how to tell a story where there's no end in sight.
It makes the watching and investment in the characters rather difficult if you don't know how long you'd have to endure their behavior whether it's good or bad.
I'm Athanasios and I write the Occult/Horror series of books known as Predatory Ethics. Predatory Ethics is in its second part titled Commitment the sequel to the premiere book: Mad Gods. This series definitely has a beginning middle and end in that it'll discuss all the major religions and faiths we've come to let rule our realities. I'm talking Christianity, its predecessors of Paganism, Judaism, Buddhism and the current Entertainment, Commerce, Tradition and the eternal Tribalism.
Some have termed Predatory Ethics ambitious and even pretentious.  I, just call it fiction. The type I would read and enjoy because it will make you ponder your own reality and every day, waking existence. It gives me the same interest as TV shows like Torchwood: Miracle Day, Sons of Anarchy, Homeland, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Walking Dead, Supernatural and Game of Thrones on both TV and the books.
I thoroughly enjoy writing and reading Predatory Ethics because, though I am writing it, I don't know where it will go until I finsh. I've sat down to work out the mechanics of my story and in the writing, the characters have dictated the story to go someplace I hadn't intended in my original plot outline.
Case in point, I'm currently writing the third book, In Whom To Trust. The title itself was dictated by a chapter in the writing of Commitment and the wider story arc of this book three of Predatory Ethics was begun by behavior and the happenings of book two: Commitment.  That's what started it, but since sitting down to write it I've gone in a completely different tangent and am captivated and compelled to keep writing only to see where I'll take it.

Mad Gods – ReduxMadGods-Volume IMadGods-Volume IIMadGods-VolumeIIIMadGods-Volume IVMadGods-Volume V

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Published on February 05, 2012 03:08 • 20 views

January 19, 2012

 It was a very easy and pleasant experience to interview Mary Findley, prolific writer of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction.
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Blogsite for books and elkjerky.


You have a number of books out, are they all in the same genre?

We have 10 titles, 2 non-fiction, 2 in a Historical Adventure series, one YA Historical, Three Adult Romances, and one SciFi. Two of the titles have illustrated versions. My husband wrote the SciFi book, and we co-wrote the non-fiction.Is there a common theme or spirit that is felt in all of them? Not counting the obvious: the author.

The common theme is the importance of the Bible and serving God.



Which one or ones are currently commanding your attention?

Just did new covers on all the books (Thanks for your input, by the way, though I don't hold you responsible for how they look now. Had another redesign brainstorming session on one of them as of yesterday.) We are working on a sequel of sorts to Antidisestablishmentarianism, called the Conflict of the Ages. The concepts introduced in the first book are really important to us.



There's a lot of biblical references on your blog, so I'm guessing you're of the Christian faith. Care to give a quick paragraph on your denomination.

We have a blog post my husband wrote called, "Why I am a Baptist." That's how we both grew up, but we have been told on a "Loving Discussions" group of different Christian faiths that ours is not the usual brand of Baptists. We trust the authority of the Bible above any other, but we understand that there are all kinds of Christians and other people in this world. We simply want to deal with others with honesty, respect, and graciousness, and hope to be treated the same.



Now I'm not judging with this question, but your title of "Elk Jerky for the soul, (It's tough, but you need it.)" That's not a bible passage I'm familiar with, why do you think people will need that? I'm not saying they don't I'm just curious why you believe they need it. Is it representative of you telling them to quit being so soft and passive?

No, it isn't a Bible passage. But you gave a good description of what we want to communicate. There's "Chicken Soup for the Soul." And there's "the pure milk of the Word." Sometimes people need those things. They can look elsewhere and find them. The Bible talks about a time when we stop asking for milk and start eating "strong meat." We want to equip people for battle, for the Conflict of the Ages. You don't carry chicken soup to battle. But you might very well have some jerky in your pack.



Are many of your books directed at young adults? I'm asking this because much of your cover choices seem didactic and are trying to give a quick view of the story therein.

Most of our fiction is directed at young adults, yes. We tend to aim at a high school or early college level in our books. There is one exception, the adventure series that begins with a 10-year-old. But he grows up fast!



You have one that is a student and teacher edition of bible studies, I presume that is a text for home schooling on the bible? Which edition of the bible?

Yes, Biblical Studies is mainly targeted at homeschoolers. We rely on several translations of the Bible in our works. KJV is a common one, and we use the New American Standard and New International Version as well. Our Bible Doctrines review is based on a book that uses the RV (English Revised Version), an update of the KJV done around 1910. We also have background material on the Bible, its languages, and translation history.



Are your children home schooled? I hope so because if not my next two questions will fall flat.

We did homeschool our children part of the time, though they are now in their twenties.



That must be a handful, to take care of their home needs and have a teaching plan in place. I have some knowledge in this because my sister teaches in the Cree Nations of Northern, Quebec, Canada.

Your sister has a very challenging job. All teachers do. I am not a well-organized or well-disciplined person, so it was very difficult for me to buckle down and get it done. We also taught in private schools, so that helped somewhat with creating materials and carrying out plans.



What are their age ranges and subjects do you teach?

I taught all the subjects, Kindergarten through 11th grade, for one kid or another. Sometimes finances dictated I work and they go to public school. Sometimes they went to private school. My husband is the hard Science and Math guy and he helped a lot with those subjects on the High School level.

Mad Gods – ReduxMadGods-Volume IMadGods-Volume IIMadGods-VolumeIIIMadGods-Volume IVMadGods-Volume V

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Published on January 19, 2012 11:58 • 32 views

January 15, 2012

So I've returned to this here blog in this new year of 2012, with an apology to the few who might read it. I haven't had much to say that I haven't been able to vent through Twitter, @mad_gods.  I get it all off my chest without having to go into any great depth.
until now.
I began watching a new BBC series titled, well I've retitled it, Sherlock Holmes: 2012, shades of Camelot 3000 for the comic book savvy few out there. This series is AMAZING! I've never been much of a great detective-phile but garsh this updating has an immediacy that I'm sure the original Sir Arthur Conan serials must've for Victorian England. Top notch stuff and it completely works on a very psychological and modern level, showing Sherlock as a, as he puts it himself, "high functioning sociopath". Really cool.
I'm looking forward to the return of Californication, or as I like to term it, Califuck and see what the self obsessed Frank Mooney does to screw up his life yet again. David Duchovny is better suited as a morose, brilliant writer than the porn obsessed and bookish Agent Mulder.
Supernatural has also returned to a tepid welcome by me. It was ok, nothing superb about it.
I've begun to get into Todd and The Book of Pure Evil, in a Wayne's World, Evil Dead fanboy gleeful obsession.
Castle is still great prime time, mainstream cerebral fodder.
Where's my Shakespearian biker drama at? I can't wait for SAMCRO to return, Sons of Anarchy has got to be one of the best dramas on TV. Its family dynamics and crime plot twists are as I said Shakespearian in their depth and emotion, especially in the backstabbing, lying and competition for trust, honor and Jack's love and attention.
Howard's back and I'm psyched that he's gonna be going onto America's Got Talent.  I couldn't care less about the show until now but I'm so excited that the rest of the people in mainstream viewership will see what a great talent this guy is. Not his clever thoughts but just his full package of honesty, insight and self deprecation while at the same time knowing his worth as a performer. He can't sing, he's not the greatest actor but his mind knows how to be himself and present that better than anyone else out there.
AMERICA & THE REST OF THE WORLD IS GONNA LOVE HOWARD!!! As his coolaid drinking acolytes already do.
I've taken a good look around at other blogs and my own and I'll be doing some additions and work arounds for this ho-hum site in the near future, stick around and find out.

Mad Gods – ReduxMadGods-Volume IMadGods-Volume IIMadGods-VolumeIIIMadGods-Volume IVMadGods-Volume V

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Published on January 15, 2012 11:11 • 16 views

December 19, 2011

Traditions is something you've got to be consciously practicing. I've felt a desire to do so but never really put much effort into it. This weekend I went over to my parents and asked my mother to show me how to make my favourite Xmas treat, Melomakarona. They're a traditional Greek Xmas cookie that I love.  A great recipe is here, along with some great mouth watering pics:

melomakarona_01
melomakarona

Melomakarona Recipe
So I made a batch with my mom and then decided to try it on my own.
Let's just say practice makes perfect. The first batch had too much of baking powder, in that I misread my own notes and added 5 tablespoons instead of 5 teaspoons. The next batch came out runny, not enough flour to keep them the right consistency.  The one after that I burned because, you're supposed to leave them on broil for the last two or three minutes but I left them for too long and burned them.
Now I've got two more batches to get it right. I'm confident I'll do it.
One of the great things about Melomakarona is that they're dunked in a honey, sugar syrup right after the cookies cool down.
When they're done you sprinkle crushed walnuts and enjoy. Yet there are many who don't know the last key step in making them AMAZING! Put them in the fridge and serve them cold. Oh Gods, they're great!
Years ago I also learned how to make my other weakness, something I eat, and eat and eat till I finish whatever of it I have on hand is: My Mom's Rice Pudding.
I now know how to make my two favourite desserts and that's a dangerous proposition. I've known how to make Rice Pudding for years and occasionally make it but not too often because I'd keep eating it.
I've capitalized Rice Pudding and Melomakarona because they're THAT GOOD!
I've made it for my neighbours and many times they finish it all in the same day.
When I get the hang of the Melomakarona they'll be that good too and I'll not be able to make them too often because I'd eat them too.
So I'll leave whoever reads this blog with the skewed view I have on everything in my life. I know how to make myself VERY happy, but I don't do it too often because I'd enjoy it too much and expect it. Like I stated, skewed.

Mad Gods – ReduxMadGods-Volume IMadGods-Volume IIMadGods-VolumeIIIMadGods-Volume IVMadGods-Volume V

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Published on December 19, 2011 10:14 • 14 views

December 15, 2011

Today we're interviewing LeAnna Shields author of the first in the Alestrion Chronicles: Slaves Redeemed. 


Alestrion Chronicles I


Slaves Redeeemed on Smashwords               Slaves Redeemed on B & N                   Slaves Redeemed on Amazon Paperback   Slaves Redeemed on Createspace    LeAnna's Blog



In a recent post you mentioned you were home schooled. Which grades were they from? From kindergarten on or later? 

I was home schooled through my high school years. That would be from 9th grade through 12th. I know it sounds kinda odd to take a kid out of school at that age range, but my mom saw that the public school system was failing me and she decided to try teaching me herself. She found ways to teach me using my creative mind.



You said this was due to your bullying in school? I grew up a chubby kid, and was also bullied so I understand the angst with it, but my story was different in that it was in grade school and at that time, mid 1970s, yes I'm that old, you could still get into fistfights in school and you weren't expelled or put into juvenile courts.  Why were you bullied?

Let's see Some reasons that stick are A. I'm overweight so I heard every name for that. B. I'm a coward when it comes to wasps, so the kids would constantly tease me about that. and C. I'm biracial my mom's white and my dad is black, and no this wasn't that long ago. Around the late 90′s



Much of my own creativity stemmed from my being by myself much of the time. We moved to a small town where we opened a restaurant and being the only Greek family in town I had few friends.  This never bothered me because I had & still have a vivid imagination.  You seem to be very similar in that respect where do you think your imagination took hold from?

Too many cartoons as a kid? Lol I'm kidding. Really I've always had this imagination I think. I know being off on my own strengthened it, but I think things that really made it take hold was cartoons and books I read as a kid. I loved books like the Babysitters Club, The Boxcar Kids, etc.and used to imagine myself in them. Though there are still some imaginary friends I had that I have no idea where they came from. My active imagination had a bad side, due to my imagination I couldn't stand the ghost stories my classmates loved around Halloween time.



The Alestrion Chronicles seems to be a elves in space look from the cover. Is that your intent or is the book about something else entirely?

I didn't really intend for it to be that it's really a story of rescue and adaptation.The story follows the main character as she is rescued from slavery and must adapt to life as a free being. The journey ultimately preparing her to be the leader that she was intended to be. The divided image of the character is to show the transformation she undergoes physically and in her status as she grows up.



The subtitle is Slaves Redeemed, does that mean in the Alestrion Chronicles slaves are damned? 

I certainly hadn't thought of it in that way. My intention for using slavery was an image for being trapped by sin. My main character is redeemed from that life and placed on a way to become what she was meant to be.



What does Alestrion mean? Does it have a meaning?

Ha!Ha! I truly didn't think the name meant anything until now, I wanted a name that just seemed to fit a phoenix. Your question made me do some research and I found this. http://www.baby-names-and-stuff.com/c...



Mad Gods – ReduxMadGods-Volume IMadGods-Volume IIMadGods-VolumeIIIMadGods-Volume IVMadGods-Volume V

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Published on December 15, 2011 11:35 • 19 views

December 12, 2011

we're in a time when many people will be going apeshit about 2012 and proposed doomsdays whoever has proposed them. This brings to my mind how terrible our selection process as a species is.
everyone chooses what they want to put their attention on. So many will choose to put it on a possible end to all things that they'll miss out on so many things.
this same has happened over and over in history. One example that sticks in my mind is early Xianity and more specifically their brutalization of all things not Xian.
look at their complete destruction of the Library of Alexandria. In the years of the 5th century the library stood as a symbol of learning, knowledge and reason in a world of blind faith. The library was a light amongst a sea of darkness from pagan to the new, militant Xianity. This was a depository of every work known to man at the time because it had long been held as custom to copy every book that came into the city.
Alexandria was a major hub of commerce, with their bustling port and easy access to the rest of the middle east and beyond. With that it was decreed centuries before that whenever a ship came into their harbor one of their obligations would be to turn over any written works to be copied by the Library for the edification of whoever might one day want it.
I chose to put my attention on what if their scribes were so adept in their craft that their copies were indistinguishable from the original? What if they then gave over said copy to the owner who would never be the wiser and the Library now held all originals of every major and some minor works of intellect and reason ever known?
that would've made the Library's destruction all the more tragic.
how about another what if? What if the originals were then held hidden from the impending intolerant mobs for fear of what did eventually happen to their public rooms? What if these priceless works and thoughts were still under modern mountains of concrete and the sea of humanity that lives their lives, unknowing that forgotten wonders are all under their feet?
cool huh?

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Published on December 12, 2011 03:57 • 24 views

November 28, 2011

It's been a while since I've let fly. The world's been encroaching on my head and it hasn't found its usual outlets being that the world been squishing all the holes my thoughts seep from shut.

I'm still into my shows so I'll geek out or freak out as the situation warrants. Here we go:



Boardwalk Empire is still awesome. Steve Buscemi is an unbelievably malleable actor who can make you care about him and despise him in the same scene. A simple look on his face can project every emotion he wants you to know without his speaking a word. In season 2 ep 9 he is as shocked as any viewer at what happens to an IRA member but an instant later his mind measures the pros and cons and decides to say nothing. Fantastic. Michael Pitt is a troubled and troubling new crime boss of Atlantic City who is surprisingly tender to his disfigured friend Richard but distant to his wife who feels trapped by his chilling behaviour. Let's not forget Agent Van Alden the repressed and maniacal Prohibition Agent who can barely control his emotions and is obsessed with Nucky Thompson. Stellar show, truly stellar.
Dexter is still solid but not quite as good as last season.
The new show that had me hooked from the fist ep was Homeland. Wow! I would classify it as 24 without the constant cliffhangers and the overly melodramatic and far fetched plots. It is very well thought out and surprisingly different from what you would've expected of a CIA procedural show. Top notch.
Pan Am I cant take or leave. The stewardesses are not realistic for me, they seem to be checklist characters who were thought up so they could appeal to as many divergent viewers as possible. What's next their token nonwhite girl who is passing for white yet is in constant fear she'll be discovered and fired?

Mad Gods – ReduxMadGods-Volume IMadGods-Volume IIMadGods-VolumeIIIMadGods-Volume IVMadGods-Volume V

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Published on November 28, 2011 11:02 • 25 views

November 11, 2011

After a little bit of a hiatus because I released Commitment my second book in the Predatory Ethics series I've returned to the IWU Blog tour with a long standing member of Indie Writers Unite, Connie Barrett, author of Big Dragons Don't Cry & Dance With Clouds.


-Big Dragons Don't Cry Amazon       -Dance With Clouds Amazon                               -Website for Connie Barrett             -Connie Barret's Blog




Big Dragons Cover
Author's Cat
Dances With Clouds Cover

 

Your books Big Dragons Don't Cry & Dance With Clouds seem to have a child like innocence & naiveté  to them, in the way they portray the main characters of a a kitten, a young woman and a dragon. Did they originate in your youth, if so explain when you first came to know Tara, Serazina & the dragon.

I think part of that impression derives from their natures. Druid and Tara aren't human. Because of that, they're free of the hidden agendas and complex patterns of negative behavior that often characterize human interactions. To use an example, if you step on a cat's tail, it may avoid you for a little while because it knows that foot is capable of repeating the painful action, but it's not going to go off saying, "That person really doesn't like me. What does he have against me? Sometimes it seems like everyone's out to get me. I feel like such a victim. Life is so dangerous. . . ."


Serazina, although human, feels alienated from most of her species because she is a feeling, intuitive being in a society that respects only reason and logic. In her reliance on inner knowing, she has a simplicity that differs greatly from the tortured intellectual reactions of those around her. She does have an excellent mind, whose existence she denies, and when she begins to use both sides of her brain more regularly, she demonstrates the power of a whole human being.



I know from my own experience with Commitment my own sequel the story just picked up where Mad Gods left off. The sequel to that will be even more natural.  Was Dance With Clouds an easy sequel to Big Dragons Don't Cry or did you labor to continue the story. 

It was easier because the characters were basically established. However, since characters are the heart of my books, I had to create settings and circumstances that would allow them to continue to grow. Also, I created a new country, which is always an interesting challenge. I find world-building one of the most exciting aspects of fantasy. I also needed a crew of new characters, especially a new species of dragons, the air variety. I asked myself how they would differ from water dragons.


Of course, the further you go into the series, the more you have to review preceding books to make sure that the details are consistent throughout.


So, while the challenges are different, they still exist, and that's a good thing.



You've found an interesting way to portray the difficult and at times tedious subject of endangered ecology in both stories. Was this intentional from the beginning or did it evolve in the course of your writing. Let me explain what seems to be a confusing question. Were your earlier versions of each book more preachy about nature, harmony & ecology. If so what steps did you consciously take to make the subject more entertaining to audiences.

Fortunately, I'm easily bored, so I knew when the "We are all one" rap threatened to become tiresome. Certainly, I worked much more closely on those sections.


I had two advantages, one that my mantra is "Show, don't tell." As writers, we lack the abilities of artists and photographers to convey certain truths in a stunning way. That world-famous photograph of the My Lai massacre said more about the Vietnam War than untold numbers of speeches, for example.


We can, however, create word-pictures, dialog, and actions that showcase the essence of our ideas. In Big Dragons Don't Cry, an unscrupulous politician wants to lay waste to a swamp that's home to a great many animals that the reader comes to know. He may get away with it because everyone is senselessly terrified of a perfectly harmless dragon who lives in the swamp. That simple plot element packs in several of my beliefs without my ever having to state them directly.



Do you write full time or do you squeeze it in wherever you can during your day. Where and how do you find time to let the stories in your head play out. Describe your day.

My stories play out mostly at night before I fall asleep, which I find a very productive time. I do counseling and write courses, but that doesn't take a lot of my time. I'm fortunate in having enough time to write. I don't work with the goal of writing X number of words per day or with deadlines of any kind, although I do set goals.


I generally intersperse fictional and nonfictional writing throughout the day. This exercises both sides of my brain. I also devote part of my time to my cats, because it just makes life easier, and they also sometimes tell me what to write.



What author, if any, made you wonder at the stories and world they created.  I don't mean influences but just books and stories that made your imagination take flight and picked you up or transported you from a dreary day.

The first one I remember was John Steinbeck, whom I think I discovered in my early teens. I have to admit that I did enjoy my parents thinking I was reading great literature (Nobel Prize winner!), when I was actually learning a lot about whorehouses. However, the quality of the writing kept me reading, and he was the first author who inspired me with the idea that I wanted to be a writer.


Mythology at an earlier stage of life also absorbed me. The idea that people have pretty much always had the same issues, challenges, and problems made me think and probably led to my focus on fantasy as a writing medium. Shakespeare held the same fascination for me.


I could go on interminably about influences. Suffice it to say they have been many and varied.



Are there any authors out now who've done that?

I love reading the books of Terry Pratchett. He, too, is a mythmaker, as is Neil Gaiman. Every now and then, I need to be reminded that there is good in the human species. For that reassurance I will reread a novel by Maeve Binchy. It's like eating the most delicious dessert that has no calories. (Yes, chocolate can transport me, too.)



Do you wish for a day when you do nothing but write, without concern for aught else. I'm talking promotion, and the extras that are the norms for indie writers?

Truthfully, I would waste that day. I don't usually like to write in long stretches. An hour at most is my limit; then I have to walk around or check my email. What I really need is a break for ideas to simmer and to discover the next direction for the story or insight for a character.


For the past few days I've been working on an ending for a non-fantasy novel. If I had forced myself to stare at the screen until I got the solution, it wouldn't have happened. I've discovered that I need either to sneak up on ideas or let them sneak up on me. I can't tell the difference. As long as it works, I don't question it.


Mad Gods – Redux MadGods-Volume I MadGods-Volume II MadGods-VolumeIII MadGods-Volume IV MadGods-Volume V


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Published on November 11, 2011 08:49 • 27 views

November 1, 2011

This week I'm revisiting an indie author that had their first full length feature book come out earlier this month: Fresh Flesh.  The first time he was on this blog was @: Todd Russell:Shrill or Just Mental? He talked about Fresh Flesh and his first anthology Mental Shrillness so I've followed up to see how Fresh was the Flesh.


-Todd Russell WEB                           -Todd Russell twitter                                                  -Todd Russell facebook                   -Todd Russell SMASHWORDS                              -Mental Shrillness Amazon Paperback            -Mental Shrillness Amazon KDP  -Mental Shrillness B&N Nook                               -Mental Shrillness iTunes               -Fresh Flesh WEB



I would like to follow up and see what's going on with Fresh Flesh. Liked and tagged by the way. 

Thank you for checking back in with me, the liking and tagging. Always appreciated!



Did it come out as you expected? What are the early rumblings from beta readers, your editor and whoever has read it?

Early response has been positive. One reader wants me to adapt the book into a screenplay and I'm thinking the idea over. I think Fresh Flesh would make a good movie. It wouldn't be an expensive movie to make either, I think. I've written one teleplay, but never any movie screenplays, so that could be a fun, new experience to try.



Are there reviews forthcoming?

Some readers have told me they are going to write and post reviews, so yes, soon, hopefully. It took almost 45 days for the review of my first book (Mental Shrillness) and they've trickled in after that. Even though the reviews are for other readers, not for me, I'm still curious what kind of enthusiasm for more books in the series will be mentioned in the reviews. I've stated in other interviews that part of my motivation for how frequently I return to the Fresh series will be based on reader feedback.


With that said, I haven't actively pursued reviews because my head has been down working on other books. I just started a big LibraryThing giveaway and am asking for reviews there. 144 Fresh Flesh ebooks will be given away  at this link @ Library Thing.



Have you fleshed out the sequel or are you already hip deep into it. Do you have a title yet? 

I've only worked on the outline and haven't written anything yet. I'm waiting to start on the 23 year anniversary of the first draft of Fresh Flesh which will be November 2, 2011. The first draft of Fresh Flesh was started November 2, 1988.


The title hasn't been officially announced yet, but mock cover art along with the second book's title is included at the end of Fresh Flesh. The mock cover, title and teaser blurb gives readers some idea of where Fresh #2 is headed. I have about 80% of the outline completed and plan to begin writing the first draft as my NaNoWriMo 2011 book. I think (hope) this draft will go very fast as the story has been playing through my head for some time now.


I also have a little bit of the third book roughed out and am getting excited about starting that too. Depending on how much momentum is there and, again reader interest, I might continue after finishing the first draft of Fresh #2 and start the first draft for Fresh #3. I have also worked out titles and some basic concepts for several other books in the Fresh series.



I found that something in the sequel to Mad Gods sparked much of the plot in the third part of my series. The start of a recent guest blog post even sparked the first line. Does that happen for you? Something you're doing for something totally unrelated boost your creativity in your primary work? 

Something I've read, seen, researched or studied that piques my curiosity can find its way into my stories, sure. Today, I was thinking about an idea for my daily short story and a popup obscured the article I was reading. This annoying disruption became the seed of today's story. One of my current goals is to write a new short story (minimum 250 words) every day and, as of this interview, I'm up to 64 days now.


I'm a little concerned about being able to keep my short story streak going during NaNoWriMo 2011 next month, so we'll see how that goes. Should prove to be an interesting additional challenge, anyway. If the streak is still alive on December 1, 2011 I'll have 100+ consecutive days.


Mad Gods – ReduxMadGods-Volume IMadGods-Volume IIMadGods-VolumeIIIMadGods-Volume IVMadGods-Volume V

As seen on perezhilton.com & joblo.com & athanos1964howardstern.comgeektime.com & enigmaTV & JAKonrathblog

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Published on November 01, 2011 14:07 • 16 views