Best Laid Plans . . .


Stokpic

Stokpic

Greetings!

I had plans.  I had good plans.  I had plans to host several authors over the summer.  Some I have shared,  others I didn’t get scheduled.  It’s not their fault –  they sent me their stuff.  I’ve been neck-deep in getting things ready for my release. If they agree, I will share  with you in the future but I’ll have to get with each of them individually  to reschedule.

I had plans to work on more posts on writing – I have several in my drafts folder,  that I wanted to fine tune.  Those  will have to wait until a later date.  I had plans to start a series when  college classes began –again,  that was put on hold.

What I have been doing is working on my book.  I’ve been proofreading, editing, revising, looking at proofs, choosing a cover, going back over proofs –  all those little details that nobody but the publisher and the author care about unless an error appears in a book and readers go ballistic.

I have a confession,  I am a terrible typist.  Contrary to what y’all may think, I do know how to spell.  Typing is another matter entirely.  My fingers have a habit of getting out-of-order.  I don’t watch the keys when I type, and if not for spellcheck – well, let’s not go there.

The point is,  I haven’t been laying in the sun soaking up the rays as my summer series picture might have you believe.  This has been one of the most stressful times of my life!  I have a retirement party coming up, my sister’s wedding, then the Kentuckiana event – my weekends are full!

For now however,  I have books on order! YES! They will be available for pre-order soon! I will have my cover reveal on September 4th and I have a few bloggers that are helping me to share the news!

I am going to order a pizza for dinner, set up an appointment for a manicure and kick back  and enjoy a date night with my hubby man!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

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G. Mitchell Baker – Part Deux


This was supposed to go up yesterday. However, since my gastrointestinal system  decided to revolt,  I was not online.  I’m sure you don’t want me to go into anymore detail. Moving on.

Today, my guest  G. Mitchell Baker is sharing an excerpt from ANNT: Axiom I & II.

ANNT: Axiom I & II

Chapter 1

Bhutan, the High Himalayas – 2025

My name is Dr. Niles Gens, born September 11, 2001. Doctor Austina Doceo, also born September 11, 2001 and I were fourteen-year-old geniuses when we began to collaborate, and invented, some say created Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology.

Originally approached to provide solution to the problems of the world, we have worked with ANNT because we learned that World War I was the Chemists war, that World War II was the Physicists war, and that World War III would be the Biologists War, if we did not provide solutions. Now, you ask, how can they do that?

It all began with curiositas. That is, the question about how the fruits of science will be used. Curiositas made it possible for us to consider the possibilities of Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology. We understood early on, the minute we started to think about technical applications that the societal questions would be relevant. There would be the moral questions, the moral obligations of the community. We knew the morality; the things done, and debated about ANNT, should be in public … not in secret. We knew we had to live by values. That value should be a part of our lives.

We did not want to escape those responsibilities and we understood that ANNT, this new nature, made the possibility of escaping our values more difficult … appropriately so. I recall when we looked at one another after we discussed all this and both agreed that we liked where we were going with our ideas.

The stories I share with you, and tell you about Doceo and ANNT include ANNT demonstrations and, then there were ANNT missions and of course just doing what we wanted when we felt like meeting the challenge of solving the problems of the world. If you have not figured it out by now, Doceo and I invented Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology to compete with old Mother Nature or oMN. Our solution to the world’s problems was to invent and create an Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology to compete with, and perhaps work better than old Mother Nature. We figured this was a sound approach for resolving world concerns on a global scale. Again, we liked where we were going with our ideas.

As I sit not far from where Doceo is in her Remote Decision and Control Center, I ponder whether I am comfortable with my genius. At this point in my life, I have also wondered if my partner, Dr. Austina Doceo was ever comfortable hers. I think I know why Doceo is here now, high in the Himalayas, but I cannot be certain. She appears to be conducting business here, and, does not know why I feel I have to be nearby. I am also sure she does not care. She most likely does not know I am here, as I rest in my extreme weather tent high in the extreme climes of oMN.

I have answered many questions, solved many incredible problems through the years, but I do not know if I will ever be able to answer questions about my comfort and Doceo’s genius. Just how comfortable Doceo and I can be anymore, given Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology has been so successful, in fact remarkable, remains an open question.

Perhaps this question of comfort, as well as many more that will come up about ANNT will be for you to consider.

In any event, as I tell you stories, and you learn more about Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology, the Neo-Nature of ANNT, I encourage you to figure some of this out for yourself. Through my experience, the stories shared with you, it would be nice for you to be encouraged to ask your own questions, and decide whether you are comfortable with your own genius. I am curious just how you might manage the capabilities of the Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology, if Dr. Doceo or I do not get it quite right.

 

ANNT: Axiom I & II (2015)                                                 ANNT: Axiom III & IV (2015)

annt axannt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By G. Mitchell Baker

ANNT is a new Science Fiction series for kids and adults alike. Enjoy thinking about the future, science, technology, government, and society as Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology and old Mother Nature

compete for the role as the world’s default nature. Left to decide is whether ANNT or oMN will be humanity’s preferred nature provider.

ANNT Facebook: Shop Button: http://on.fb.me/1bp8UQY

ANNT Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1Q1Qbsz

ANNT: Axiom I & II

GM BAKER

Author Bio:

Within each genre of interest, G Mitchell Baker writes with a purpose and foundation in social value that includes a sense of family and community. Baker brings this commitment and purpose to the reader in a forthright and intense manner … a style that engages the reader with character, intriguing plot, and a sense of purpose for making a difference.

With traditional publications in eBook, paperback and, with feature-length screenplays sometimes optioned for film production, G. Mitchell Baker enjoys writing professionally and loves to meet new friends and fans! You can find him at:

Facebook G. Mitchell Baker, Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/GMitchellBakerAuthor

Facebook ANNT: Axiom Page: https://www.facebook.com/ANNT.Adaptable.Neo.Nature.Technology

Facebook The Involvement of Emerson Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheInvolvementOfEmerson

Facebook Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies Page: https://www.facebook.com/SoccerTommiesBaseballMommies

Facebook Lethal Believers Page: https://www.facebook.com/LETHALBELIEVERSNOVELS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/G_MitchellBaker

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/1gmbdelta505/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6877294.G_Mitchell_Baker

Author Website: http://www.gmitchellbakerauthor.com/

 By G Mitchell Baker

Novels in Fiction

 

Thanks you for taking  time to share in my little corner of the world, and thank you G. Mitchell Baker for being a wonderful guest. If you like Michael Crichton books,  check  out  Baker’s books!

Write on my friends, write on!

G. Mitchell Baker Interview


Today’s guest is a charming man with a vivid imagination.  For all of my sci-fi fans, I think that you’ll find his books enjoyable. I found it quite interesting poking around in his mind, and I hope that  you will agree. Tune in as he answers my questions, then tomorrow he will share an excerpt. 

Please welcome G. Mitchell Baker! 

GM BAKER

Tell me a little about yourself.

Always a work in progress, sometimes I wonder whether the creative tension comes from me, or from the stories. I have lived in many places and done many things. It is nice to draw on experiences lived, but I never draw on any one experience exclusively … Oh wait … there is one project, Lethal Believers: DVM (Master Koda Select Publishing, 2013) where I drew on an experience after learning about it in a veterinary malpractice case. It involved the abuse of a horse. Simply put, there was no other way to write the scene after being the attorney in deposition, who solicited the testimony of a ketamine abusing sociopath and horse killer. I guess, having said as much, if there is a little about myself to be said, I have never shied away from tough situations, and, as in this example, have always tried to bring compassion to the party when possible.

What genre do you write?

I am, or have been published in genre to include Paranormal/Mythology (Lethal Believers Series); Young Adult Contemporary Fiction (Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies); Science Fiction (ANNT: Axiom Series); and, Contemporary Fiction (Emerson Series).

What genre do you read the most?

My reading has always been diverse and I have never landed and settled in one genre. There are genre I am not interested in, like the prurient ‘romance’ but otherwise I read a lot of different stuff from a broad range of interests.

OUCH! I’m crushed.  You wouldn’t read my book? It’s a contemporary romance. The next one is a different genre, but with an element of romance. Anyway, moving on.

Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

No question, the book I have read the most throughout my lifetime is The Bible (versions of The Bible). I heard, it was by far the most read book in the world so I guess that makes it the longest running Number 1 Bestseller. Kind of humbling for this novelist.

I would have to agree on that point,  The Bible is probably the book I have read the most, and keep reading. I am surprised at the number of people who claim to be Christians that have never read the Bible.  In my opinion, if you are going to profess a religious belief then you should know what it is that you are professing. But that’s just me. Anyway, moving on. What do you most value in a friend?

It has to be respect … respect that flows easily back and forth as a mutual respect. Respect allows for the sharing of beliefs and other common values, which in turn strengthens the friendship. I fear there are too many young people who are not experiencing these values given their preoccupation with social networking and access to far too much information that is salacious, prurient or simply what I call ‘Nut Celebrity’ or ‘Fool Celebrity’. Gosh, we owe our children more than what we offer now. Are we even friends with our kids anymore … of not is it because respect is just so lost in all the noise and distraction out there?

Which book that you have written is your favorite?

The Involvement of Emerson, 2nd ed. And soon to be released in series, The Consistency of Emerson are my favorite novels. These books contribute a whole lot to the conversation about friendship, fathers and families values. I know the topic isn’t that sexy, but I do a good job with the characters and thematic and will always be proud of this work.

ANNT: Axiom is also a favorite because this Sci-Fi Series, is written so young adults may feel comfortable critically thinking about science, technology, government, and society as they grow on into their near futures.

I hope to continue writing the Emerson series planned, to include The Awareness of Emerson and The Nurture of Emerson. I believe I could write the ANNT Series forever, and as long as there is an interest in the material.

Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

In my latest Blog on Tonto (UK) I write about this and, while providing an example from a current project. I talk about electronic Flight management (EFM) and Exceptional Father Management (EFM). Go figure. Kind of lets my audience in on a fun aspect of my writing process. http://tondo.is/post/g-mitchell-baker-novelist-of-picasso-and-introduction

Do you use real people as your characters or do you completely make them up? Describe your process.

No. I do not rely on real people to create a character. In general, character development in my work is a two-step process. First, I will take at least three character/appearance traits (often many more) and combine them. This will be a starting point. Usually, about a third of the way into the writing the character starts to take over and leads the way. However, there are times when the character is just not that original or interesting. At this point, I will pause and ask myself what, if anything, I can do to make the character more original or interesting. Usually I do not whittle the character at this point and do what I call ‘180’. The 180 is taking the character and rewriting it to exactly 180 or the opposite of everything I have already written. More often than not, the results have been quite fascinating. This process usually energizes the project as well and by this time, there will be no ‘real people’ remotely similar, unless by total coincidence.

How do you handle research? Do you gather all data first or start writing while still gathering?

I have always loved research. I will sometimes start out with a researched concept, but for the most part, I will sense inspiration or work in Picasso moment and when I feel the idea is solid some may require research and others not. If the developments requires research I will do it immediately and satisfy and outstanding questions before I proceed. I find research contributes new fuel, a positive energy to my writing process.

For example, in the ANNT Axiom project, there is a lot of research to make sure the science is solid. For me it never seems like work. It always helps to continue with new idea and to move the story forward.

In ANNT: Axiom, I recall researching the Square Cubed Law, (or cube-square law) which is a mathematical principle, applied in a variety of scientific fields. It describes the relationship between the volume and the area as a shape’s size increases or decreases. It was first described in 1638 by Galileo Galilei in his Two New Sciences. This principle states that, as a shape grows in size, its volume grows faster than its surface area. When applied to the real world this principle has many implications, which are important in fields ranging from mechanical engineering to biomechanics.

It helps explain phenomena including why large mammals like elephants have a harder time cooling themselves than small ones like mice, and why building taller and taller skyscrapers is increasingly difficult. Well this could have killed the entire series… then I started to research other science and technology and the genius characters in the book had viable alternatives to work with, courtesy my research and my draw from other incredible scientists and prodigies. The Square Cubed Law should be a real problem in the Jurassic park movies, but alas is not … I kind of like the idea my geniuses dealt with the problems straight up. I’m not sure libraries even wonder about things like this anymore… again … I am trying hard to promote critical thinking in kids … not just the irresponsible sensitization.

Wow! That’s some  interesting research.  I have to say,  in a world that has gone mad over bad writing and sensationalized stories, I won’t mention the titles of best-selling erotica or sparkly vampires, ahem,  it was refreshing to read Ender’s Game.  It involved critical thinking, and I feel that the world in general has been  in autopilot mode  to the point that they don’t engage their brains AT ALL.  

This reminds me of  Michael Crichton’s books, (since you mentioned Jurassic Park)  in which he  had a tremendous amount of scientific research.  In Timeline (much better book than movie by the way even though it did have Gerard Butler in it) his conveyance of quantum physics is delightful.

Alright, moving on to the next question. Do you outline or are you a pantser?

Never outline. Too much of it in law school. My structure comes from the process of naming my chapters in early drafts. The chapter titles are detailed enough to always remind me where I am in the story. In the later drafts, if it is adult fiction the titles are dropped. If it is a young adult project, I usually retain the chapter titles and hone the titles.

Having said as much, the word ‘pantser’ is intriguing. It is a NaNoWriMo term that means that you ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ when you are writing your novel. I can’t say I do that … between the research, processes for character and structure, I’m pretty sure I’m not flying anywhere and that the seat of my pants is not an issue. *smiles*

ANNT: Axiom I & II (2015)                                                 ANNT: Axiom III & IV (2015)

annt ax annt

By G. Mitchell Baker

ANNT is a new Science Fiction series for kids and adults alike. Enjoy thinking about the future, science, technology, government, and society as Adaptable Neo-Nature Technology and old Mother Nature

compete for the role as the world’s default nature. Left to decide is whether ANNT or oMN will be humanity’s preferred nature provider.

ANNT Facebook: Shop Button: http://on.fb.me/1bp8UQY

ANNT Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1Q1Qbsz

ANNT: Axiom I & II

 

Author Bio:

Within each genre of interest, G Mitchell Baker writes with a purpose and foundation in social value that includes a sense of family and community. Baker brings this commitment and purpose to the reader in a forthright and intense manner … a style that engages the reader with character, intriguing plot, and a sense of purpose for making a difference.

With traditional publications in eBook, paperback and, with feature-length screenplays sometimes optioned for film production, G. Mitchell Baker enjoys writing professionally and loves to meet new friends and fans! You can find him at:

Facebook G. Mitchell Baker, Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/GMitchellBakerAuthor

Facebook ANNT: Axiom Page: https://www.facebook.com/ANNT.Adaptable.Neo.Nature.Technology

Facebook The Involvement of Emerson Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheInvolvementOfEmerson

Facebook Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies Page: https://www.facebook.com/SoccerTommiesBaseballMommies

Facebook Lethal Believers Page: https://www.facebook.com/LETHALBELIEVERSNOVELS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/G_MitchellBaker

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/1gmbdelta505/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6877294.G_Mitchell_Baker

Author Website: http://www.gmitchellbakerauthor.com/

 By G Mitchell Baker

Novels in Fiction

Thank you for taking your time to share in my little corner of the world.

Tomorrow, an excerpt!  Be sure to tune it!

Write on my friends, write on!

 

Untamed -An Interview with Madeline


untamed

My guest today  in my virtual studio is the lovely Ms. Madeline Dyer. We met through that wonderful/horrible social media world of Facebook via NANOWRIMO.  Madeline is a pleasure to talk to and discuss writing with.

Hi Ellie!

Tell me a little about yourself. 

I’m a twenty year-old speculative fiction writer, and my debut novel released in May 2015 from Prizm Books. I’ve always loved the “What if?” aspect of writing, and how, when you create a new world, practically anything can happen.

When I’m not reading or writing, I can usually be found on our farm—we breed Shetland ponies!—or doing some art. I love drawing animals.

What genre do you write?

Most of my work falls into the Science Fiction/Fantasy category. I absolutely love the freedom that fantasy and science fiction offers, but I’m also fascinated by human nature and the capabilities of man—for this reason, most of the societies I write about can be classed as dystopias. This is certainly true of my first novel, UNTAMED, which is a dystopian fantasy for young adults.

How did you get started?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing! Even as a small child, I remember trying to write a ‘book’. It was only a few pages long, and at that point, I was more interested in doing the illustrations of fairies to go with it! But as I got older, I started writing more and more. When I was nine or ten, our schoolteacher wanted us each to write a story. We were told to write it by hand, then type it up on the computer in the next lesson. I remember being shocked that I was the only one who changed my story, adding in new bits and taking out several scenes, when we were in the computer room. No one else in my class could understand why I was doing that. In the end, I didn’t finish typing it up in the hour—in fact, I never finished typing it up at all, as the next day we were learning something entirely different. But, that’s really the first time I can remember having the desire to edit something I’d already written and make it better.

From there, I never really stopped writing. I had all these ideas that I just needed to get down on paper.

When I was fifteen, I started writing seriously, reading up on the craft and how to edit. At sixteen, I had my first short story published, and had completed the final draft of a 137,000 word novel. Incidentally, I’m still waiting to go back and edit that manuscript!

I got my first book contract when I was nineteen, and UNTAMED was published when I was twenty.

Wow,  that’s a great start and at such a young age.  KUDOS to you for going for your dream. This should be motivating for young writers or those of us that started later in life. Can you describe your writing routine?

When I’m not working to deadlines, I don’t really have that much of a writing routine, as I just sit down and write most days. I suppose, mostly I write the first thing in the morning, or the last thing at night. The words seem to flow better then. The main chunk of my day is often spent working on other things—marketing, promoting, researching, reading, thinking. But I do try to write everyday. Sometimes, I only manage a few hundred words. On a good day, I’ll get about 4,000 words done. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve managed 12,000 in a day.

If I’m on a deadline, I tend to spend all day—or as much of the day as I can—working on the manuscript.

I’m also a student, studying for an English degree, so I have to fit my studies in as well!

It is certainly difficult to fit writing time into an already busy schedule. Unfortunately it takes money to pay the bills, therefore we work/go to school/ and fit our writing in whenever we can. What part of writing do you find to be the most difficult?

The first section of the first draft is always one of the hardest parts, for me. This is the stage where I don’t usually know the characters that well, the plot, the setting, or the shape of the manuscript. I tend to just have a simple idea in mind, or an image, and know very roughly what I want to happen by the end of the manuscript. But the beginning? The lead-up? Who the characters are, and how they’ll help or hinder the main character’s goal and the final image? I have no idea; I just have to feel my way around, experiment with different opening sections, until I write the ‘right’ one. And this can take many attempts. But once I’ve got an opening that I’m sort of happy with (even if I know it will change during subsequent drafts), I find it a lot easier to continue writing. And, by the time I get to about 35,000 words on the first draft, I usually know exactly where it’s going and how I’m going to fulfill the original idea I had. Then I find it much easier to keep going with this draft as I’ve built up momentum, made myself interested in this new story.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Just to write. Write what you enjoy, and what you want to write, not what someone else wishes they were writing. So many times, I hear people say something like, “Oh, I’m writing this book because my friend though this would be a cool idea” or “She/he said they want me to write this idea for my next story.”

No!!!!!!!

You should be writing what you write. It’s your story—not anyone else’s. (Unless, of course, you’re co-writing).

But, most of all, have fun.

I’ll admit,  I’ve fallen into that trap myself. I’ve followed the conversations in various threads in writing groups, then doubted my own writing to the point that I either gave up on it,  or changed things. Most of those are sitting in my dead-file.

 Have you ever trashed entire scenes or changed the direction of your story after you get to know the characters better?

Yes! This happens all the time, particularly in rewrites and edits. With UNTAMED, during the pre-sub edits, I cut out about 15k words worth of scenes, and during edits with my editor, we got rid of three or four scenes that just didn’t fit the tone. But quite often, a large portion of my first drafts (particularly the beginnings) get trashed anyway.

I tend to write in a chronological order, so I know the characters a lot better at the end of the draft than at the beginning. This nearly always means that I scrap the first opening (usually a 30k word chunk) and rewrite it, introducing characters in a way that is more appropriate and moves the plot on faster.

Which  part of the writing process is the easiest for you?

Hmmm. I think maybe working on a completed first draft. I love editing. I love trying to make my writing better. And, always, when I’m editing and revising a manuscript, I’m researching as well. I try to fact-check everything, and put as much detail in. Often, in the first draft I use placeholder names, and now I need to sub these out. Typically, this happens with the cars my characters drive, the clothes they wear, the background possessions they have. Once I’ve got a first draft done, I know my characters well, and I can go back and add details, trying to be as specific as possible. After all, I think you should be able to tell what sort of person the character is from the material goods he or she has.

Which book that you’ve written is your favourite?

I think I’ll have to go with UNTAMED on this one. I absolutely loved writing it, and I adored the editing processes. Although it was the third completed manuscript that I wrote, it was the first book that got me an offer from a publisher. (Well, four offers to be precise). UNTAMED is very close to my heart, and I’m so pleased with the feedback I’ve had so far. I’m currently writing the sequel, so still get to play in the Untamed world.

What are your top 3 favorite books?

Ooh, this is tricky. My top three books change a lot each year, depending on what I’ve recently read. At the moment, I’d have to say Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel and The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

Very interesting choices. If you watch the movie Gone GIrl – a bit of FYI,  it was filmed in Cape Girardeau, Missouri where I attended college. It’s a wonderful little town. I am truly surprised that you have read Jean Auel’s book.  Most people of your age ( you are the same age as my oldest daughter) either don’t read,   or list only contemporary YA novels. 

How do you handle research? Do you gather all data first or start writing while still gathering?

When I’m writing the first draft, I try to keep the heavy research to a minimum (unless it’s absolutely necessary), as I’ve found if I leave the writing and get bogged down in details it slows me down a lot and I lose a lot of momentum. Because I write SFF, I rely heavily on my imagination. That’s what I love about speculative fiction: the freedom it offers. How anything can happen. How I can invent technology, societies and traditions, and not need to rely too heavily on researching ‘current’ things.

However, usually before I start the first draft, I do carry out some research—particularly if the world is based on existing mythology, or if I’m writing science fiction. I can’t be too ‘out there’ with my new SF technology—or if I am, I want to explain how it happened, what it arose from—and I like to have some scientific explanation as a sort of basis to any technology that I do create. I think it makes it more realistic then, and isn’t that what we want?

I also do a lot of research around human behavior and emotion during the later drafts. I’m really into body language as a major part of communication between my characters—as it reflects real life and also helps with the whole ‘show don’t tell’ rule—so I spend a lot of time researching this.

But yes, the bulk of my research comes during the second and third drafts. Mainly, it’s fact-checking stuff really, or finding images of landscapes that work for the setting and then working my own descriptions of these into the manuscript.

Do you outline or are you a pantser?

I think I’m a bit of both.

Before I start writing a new manuscript, I always have a rough idea and know where I want to end up. Sometimes, I’ll know a few of the events that will lead the main character there, but I won’t know how to get from one stepping stone to the other, or what the consequences of the events will be. Also, the only character that I can claim to know at this stage is the narrator, and so when I’m writing I suddenly find subplots unfolding thanks to the motivations of other main characters (who suddenly make themselves known), and secondary characters.

I’ve found working like this is best for me. Because I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen, I still find it exciting myself to write, as if I’m reading it for the first time, being introduced to this new world. I have to keep myself interested, make myself want to write more. If I’m not interested, then I don’t think readers will be either.

Thanks, Ellie! These were some great questions.

UNTAMED, BOOK #1 IN THE UNTAMED SERIES

About Untamed…

As one of the last Untamed humans left in the world, Seven’s life has always been controlled by tight rules. Stay away from the Enhanced. Don’t question your leader. And, most importantly, never switch sides, because once you’re Enhanced there’s no going back. Even if you have become the perfect human being.

But after a disastrous raid on an Enhanced city, Seven soon finds herself in her enemy’s power. Realizing it’s only a matter of time before she too develops a taste for the chemical augmenters responsible for the erosion of humanity, Seven knows she must act quickly if she’s to escape and save her family from the same fate.

Yet, as one of the most powerful Seers that the Untamed and Enhanced have ever known, Seven quickly discovers that she alone holds the key to the survival of only one race. But things aren’t clear-cut anymore, and with Seven now questioning the very beliefs she was raised on, she knows she has an important choice to make. One that has two very different outcomes.

Seven must choose wisely whose side she joins, for the War of Humanity is underway, and Death never takes kindly to traitors.

Published by: Prizm Books, the YA imprint of Torquere Press.

Genre: YA dystopian/fantasy/science fiction

Word count: 95,000 words

Pages (paperback): 314

Pages (kindle ebook): 301

Find Untamed:

Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Waterstones  |  The Book Depository  |  Books a Million  |  Kobo |  Prizm Books  |  Torquere Press  |  Indigo Books  |  iBooks  |  Smashwords |  Hastings Books  |  All Romance ebooks  |  Omnilit  |  Goodreads

Praise for Untamed: 

From the first line, Untamed pulled me in. This is the sort of book that is incredibly difficult to put down, the kind of book you can fall into and forget the world, forget you’re reading words on a page. Our narrator is a true heroine in a tumultuous futuristic world in which the [Enhanced] Ones are “better, faster and stronger than you.” The premise is unique and engrossing, and by the end of the book I was left wanting more (good thing – it’s a series). As a person who rarely reads fantasy/sci-fi but grew up with it always on the nightstand, Dyer’s book reawakened in me a buried love for the genre.” – Jen Knox, author of AFTER THE GAZEBO.

Seven is a satisfyingly human main character, whose strength arises not from athleticism or fighting prowess, but loyalty and tenacity, in the face of wobbly self-confidence and the powerful attraction of a superficially attractive lifestyle that’s there for the taking. The other characters are recognisable and individual in their particular failings and weaknesses, and occasional redeeming strengths. The action is plentiful and the pace high as the Enhanced close in – there’s not a lot of stopping to smell the roses. The ending managed to twist and turn [and] left me with no idea of how things might pan out, so I look forward to future installments in Seven’s journey” – Matthew Willis, author of DAEDALUS AND THE DEEP.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the rest of the series. […] Seven was really a heroine I could root for – she was imperfect, conflicted, and real. I could identify with her struggle to choose the easy way versus the way that meant more work and pain. Something almost everyone struggles with at one point or another. […] I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes young adult sci-fi/dystopia” – Samantha, Amazon Review.

Madeline Dyer, author of Untamed

Madeline Dyer, author of Untamed

Madeline Dyer is the author of Untamed, a YA dystopian fantasy novel from Prizm Books (May 2015). She is currently working on book two in the Untamed Series, as well as a new dystopian trilogy for adults. Aside from writing, Madeline enjoys reading, painting, and inline skating.

Madeline can be found at:

http://www.MadelineDyer.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/MadelineDyerAuthor

http://www.twitter.com/MadelineDyerUK

If you haven’t read a dystopian,  you should.  If you are looking for agood summer read – look no further!

Thank you Madeline for a lovely interview and thank you to all the followers for visiting my little corner of the world!

Write on my friends, write on!

Dominus: Von Trapp Interview


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My guest today is author Von Trapp.  He submitted to my interrogation, I mean, . . . an interview for your reading pleasure.

1.  How do you manage writing with the rest of your life?

I’m a night writer. I usually have to wait until after work, once everyone goes to sleep. I mostly write between 10pm and 2am. I function pretty well on four hours of sleep. It also helps that I write mostly on my phone. I use Evernote. It’s really handy. I write a lot laying on the couch. I try to make time on the weekends, but my wife usually has the weekends pre-planned, so literally when I can.

2. How in the world can you write with your phone? I’ve tried to use my phone, but I can’t do it. Maybe it’s the type of phone. 

*Von laughs, telling me I need to up my thumb game*

  1. What part of writing do you find to be the most difficult? Other than finding time? Dialogue. Just filling in the gaps with dialogue. Creating dialogue that helps move the story along in between action.

I can relate to that. I have in my mind a certain bit of dialog, then I have to fill in around the edges to make it believable.  At least I hope it’s believable.

  1. Which is the easiest for you? Developing a general story and character backgrounds. I see the big picture. I know what I want to happen almost immediately. I know the beginning and ending, it’s just getting the characters there.
  1. What is your most treasured possession? It’s always my current cell phone. I’m lost without it. I have a mini panic attack when I can’t find it. I’m one of those people.

I can relate. My husband and kids told me I was addicted to mine. I’ve recently cut back but it was a hard process – like staying in a rehab place to dry out. 

  1. What is your greatest regret? Do you need her name, or … Other than the girl who will remain nameless, it’s not writing sooner. I’m not a naturally driven person. I wish I would have had more confidence in myself to chase my dreams down. Now that I’m older I definitely regret that.

 7.  Which book have you read the most in your lifetime? The Odyssey by Homer. I used to really like Greek Mythology and such and this was my Bible.

  1. What advice would you give to aspiring authors? My advice would be to never let your dreams die. When you’re a kid people tell you that you can be anything you want to be and you believe them. You dream these huge dreams and you’re naïve enough to believe they can come true. Then we get older and the same people who told us we can be anything and do anything tell us to quit dreaming and be realistic.

Ain’t that the truth!  The very same people. It’s always  “Get a real job.”

Why do we do that? So, we put our dreams on the shelf. My advice would be to never put your dreams on the shelf. If you wake up every day and the first thing you think about is writing, then you are meant to be a writer. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  1. What are your top 3 books? Really? Three books. Oh, okay. The fact that you are only allowing three… anyway. 1. The Catcher in the Rye. I was sixteen when I read it. I was Holden Caulfield. All the angst and cynicism – that was me. 2. The Alchemist. I just read this a year ago. If I would have read this instead of reading Catcher in the Rye, it would have changed my life forever. It should be required reading for middle and high school students. 3. Bridge to Terabithia. I read this in 6th It almost ruined me. People weren’t supposed to die in books. Especially not kids. Up until this point everything was happily ever after.

 I’ve been told before how cruel I am for only allowing three.  You get the nice version actually.  I used to only allow one favorite but as I couldn’t stick to it myself I decided to loosen up. 

  1. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing? A lot of my ideas come from dreams. I am a really vivid dreamer. Most of the time I can remember them when I wake up. Other than that, I just have a really amazing imagination.
  • ON the subject of dreams as this is a fascination of mine. Some people say they never remember their dreams, and as a vivid dreamer I can’t fathom it. There are times when I can’t remember them but on the flip side I can remember in vivid Technicolor and detail dreams that I had when I was a child. (We won’t go into how long ago that was.)
  • Do you ever have repetitive dreams? Do you put any stock in dream interpretation, or prophetic dreams? Did you ever have night terrors as a child? Or nightmares? Have you ever had sleep paralysis?

     I dream about random things. It’s always in color. For this book, I dreamt it as an episode of Scandal. Like Olivia Pope had to help this lady who was the madam of DC. Lol.
  • I think it is fascinating how our subconscious mind takes the things from our conscious life and contorts them into something far removed from reality.

11. Do you use real people as your characters or do you completely make them up?  Describe your process. I used characters based on real people. I use people as identifiers in a way. I will use them as a basis of how I want a character to look or sound so I can be more descriptive. Sometimes it’s not even the person themselves, but maybe a character they’ve portrayed – or an attitude they’ve given off, maybe some of their mannerisms. For Dominus the characters are physically/aesthetically based off actual people. For example, Jennifer Sparrow-Gallagher is Charlize Theron in my head. I kind of pretend everything I write will be made into a movie and base my characters on the people I would want to play them. Sometimes though, I inject myself into the story. I write what I would say or how I would respond.

A certain writer friend of mine has stated that he feels that every character is in some way an extension of ourselves, the writer. Do you feel that you do this?

Yes. At least in what they say. If they reply in a smart ass manner, that’s basically me saying what I would say.

Interesting. I hadn’t thought about that aspect of it, in the dialog. 

  1. Do you outline or are you a pantser? I’m a jotter. I jot down ideas and scenes. It’s not a full-fledged outline, but I usually have a general sense of the storyline in my head. Any new ideas or storylines I usually type in Evernote so I don’t forget them. I try to write in sequential order … except for when I don’t. Sometimes I’ll have an idea and run with that and incorporate it if/when I can. I have “jots” that didn’t make it into this book. Some may not make it into any book. I don’t know. I just write.
  1. Is there one book that you wish that you had written? (Not for the profits – but for the quality of the writing.) Again, one book? Oh, okay. Well, I’m giving you two. I already talked about The Alchemist, so I won’t go into detail. The other is Queen by Alex Haley. This book is amazing. Mr. Haley traces the roots of his grandmother back through slavery. I don’t know. The story is layered. There’s love, hate, morality, introspection and a study on the human condition. Its epic in every way and it’s what I aspire to as a writer.

You can read Von’s current book now.

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Available in Paperback and in Kindle edition.

 

 

 

That’s just a brief look into author Von Trapp’s creative mind.

About the Author:

Von Trapp – 36/M/OH.  I’m a married father of four. I like to write things. I like to think I have a good personality. I’m funny, I think. Sarcastic definitely. What else …? Oh, I go by the pen name Von Trapp.

(By the way, he’s right.  He has a wonderful sense of humor and a delightful sarcasm. Well, the sarcasm that I got a taste of was delightful.)

Write on my friends, write on and read a good book today!

 

 

I Once Had a Farm . . . Guest Siggy Buckley


My family always had a garden when I was a child.  Nothing beat my dad’s home grown corn, vine ripened tomatoes or the fresh green peas in the spring.  It’s also a great way to  save on the grocery bill while providing fresh nutritious foods for your family.

We never had livestock, but we raised poultry. At one time my father raised chickens, turkeys, pheasant, and quail.  By the time I was in grade school we only had chickens and I was terrified of the rooster we had – a big Rhode Island red named Charlie.

I enjoyed the garden much more than the chickens, specifically the strawberry patch.

My guest today has experienced the full farm life. Something I don’t ever wish to go back to, but see the value in.  Please welcome  my guest today,  Ms Siggy Buckley.

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About the book:

A wheelbarrow, a cable drum, gardening tools, and a pickaxe are unusual items on a wedding registry. They are what Mac and Siggy, a German professional couple, need to fulfill their dream of organic gardening. When Chernobyl blows up a few years later, they are scared enough to undertake fundamental changes in the lives of their young family to seek a simpler and healthier lifestyle in an unspoiled country.

They buy a farm in Tipperary, Ireland. They give up their jobs, friends and home to raise their children in an unpolluted environment. Although Siggy shares her husband’s environmental convictions, she would prefer a warmer climate, maybe an olive farm in Tuscany.

A period of intense learning and acquiring new skills follows: how to raise chickens, pluck geese, breed cattle and sheep, and how to grow all kinds of vegetables. Soon they find out that farming means a never ending workload. They almost kill themselves ─and each other─ to produce healthy food.

I Once Had a Farm in Ireland not only gives advice for budding organic gardeners but it is also the story of a woman who sacrifices her own ideals for the sake of her family until she discovers her own dreams.

Endorsement:

“As the descendant of central Virginia agricultural families, I relate to the candor of Siggy Buckley’s words – “For almost ten years, we nearly killed ourselves — and each other! — producing healthy food.” Buckley’s book I Once Had a Farm in Ireland: Living the Organic Lifestyle is a ‘must read’ for any one who considers or views modern day homesteading as idyllic. For, enabling an organic life-style as Siggy found, can be an all consuming life altering experience.

Sylvia Hoehns Wright, an eco-advocate, challenges all to ‘Move from eco-weak to eco-chic – green life’s garden, one scoop at a time!” Sylvia Hoehns Wright is a nationally recognized eco-advocate, contributing writer and communications specialist; in her spare time she is a passionate historian and member of the American League of Pen Women.(www.NLAPW.org).

To learn more about Wright’s eco-legacy: Wright’s eco advocacy, visit web site http://www.TheWrightScoop.com

Review:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Magnificent Story, Straight From The Heart

May 28, 2015 Excerpt:”So what was I doing on an Irish farm? I was a German city girl and a high school teacher. My then husband — let’s call him Mac — was a CPA and accountant with a legal background and also German. We had strong leanings towards the Green party, sympathized with most environmental movements; we were both scared by news of deteriorating environmental conditions all around us at a time when we started a family. We cared about what was in our food, worried about the poison of the day, food additives, E-numbers, growth promoters, and chemicals — you name it, the whole shebang. That’s what a lot of German people did at the time, in the eighties. Like so many others, our awareness about the environment had been given a jumpstart by the nuclear disaster around Chernobyl and we were downwind. We had gone green as far as we possibly could. We had been members of Greenpeace and environmental activists for years. How much more can you do as an individual to achieve your goal of a healthy lifestyle? Escape to a remote island?”

siggy

 

Siggy Buckley, Hernibs1@comcast.net, http://www.SiggyBuckley.blogspot.com

Educated in Germany with a Master’s Degree in English, Siggy Buckley lived in Ireland for over 15 years, first teaching at the University of Limerick as an adjunct professor, while building up an organic farm. She later ran her own businesses in Dublin before coming to the USA in 2003. In 2005, Siggy married an American and pursued her life-long dream of writing.

Contact Information:

Website/Blog: www.NextTimeLucky.com;www

SiggyBuckley.blogspot.com

Email: Hernibs1@comcast.net (for contact purposes only)

Amazon author page

Facebook

Twitter: @Hernibs

Goodreads

Publication History

Memoirs:

Next Time Lucky: Lessons of a Matchmaker (self-published with Createspace 2011)

Next Time Lucky: How to Find your Mr. Right, 2 nd extended edition (self-published with Lightning source/Ingram) 2014

I Once had a farm in Ireland: Living the Organic Lifestyle (self-published May/June 2015, Lightning Source) and all books are on Kindle too.

Short Stories There is No Going Back (Selfpublished 2014) Kindle edition Mother Knows Best (Selfpublished 2014) Kindle edition Poems Special K, published on Akashicbooks.com

In the media:

My interview with Sylvia Hoehns Wright on Blog Talk Radio Book trailer on Next Time Lucky Book Trailer for I Once had a Farm in Ireland On YouTube

Interview with IT Matters Radio On TV on Dating advice; on Home Swapping Spreecast blog talk radio:

It Matters: on Home Swapping Siggy Buckley appeared several times on local NPR with Melissa Ross’ First Coast Connect and On First Coast Living (Local TV ─ NBC) and had numerous interviews on blog talk radio. Her experience as a former Irish matchmaker makes her a welcome guest for local paper interviews.

She also wrote articles for http://www.Opednews.com and http://www.Americanchronicles.com.

I Once had a Farm in Ireland: Living the Organic Lifestyle Author: Siggy Buckley Cover: Tayyana Bano Genre: Memoir ASIN: B00WVMQ3G0 Ebook $2.99 ISBN: 9781943274659 ; tradepaper pp.2 40 ; 5.5.X 8.25 List price: $12.80 Available from Amazon.com

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If you have any interest in hobby farming or on a larger scale,  you should check this out.

Write on my friends,  write on!

 

 

 

Foul Is Fair – A Fairy Folk Chronicle


Jeffrey Cook has been quite busy! In addition to the previous featured book: Sound & Fury, Foul is Fair has also been released this year!

Foul is Fair (Book I in the Fair Folk Chronicles) is a Young Adult contemporary fantasy novel.

FoulisFair

Blurb:

Lots of girls play Fairy Princess when they’re little. Megan O’Reilly had no idea the real thing was like playing chess, guitar, and hockey all at once.

Megan had known for a long time that she wasn’t an entirely typical girl. But living with ADHD—and her mother’s obsessions—was a very different thing from finding out she wasn’t entirely human. Somewhere out there, in a completely different world, her father needs help. There’s a conflict, revolving around Faerie seasonal rituals, that could have consequences for humanity—and if Megan’s getting the terminology straight, it sounds like her family aren’t even supposed to be the good guys. As she’s further and further swept up in trying to save her father, Megan may be getting too good at not being human.

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XDPIA7O/

 

Excerpt (PG):

“So…” Megan asked, finishing a bite of the sandwich Lani made her and occasionally wincing at the disinfectant being applied to her arm. “My dad is what, ’80s David Bowie? glammed up, stealing babies, turning into owls?”

Lani frowned. “Sort of, but don’t get me started on owls.”

“What is your problem with owls?”

“I’m not scared of them, to be clear. I’m a big girl. I just think they’re up to something”

“Okay, okay, forget the owls.”

“Gladly.”

“So aside from something about attachment issues with the father I’ve never met, exactly what’s going on? Why would someone want to kill me?”

“I’ll take this one,” Cassia said. “Faerie is all about politics and schemes. Bad blood can last a lot of centuries, and your dad is one of the major players. He’s done a hell of a job hiding you all these years, particularly after he managed to spend four years with your mom. The people who knew were either actual allies, or weren’t willing to cross him. Now that he’s missing, somebody also leaked word on who you are and where you are. As word gets out, plenty of people want to meet you—and at least a few others are just as interested in making sure you’re not around to meet. The redcap may just be the start.”

Despite the threat to her life, Megan fixated on another part of the explanation. “My dad is missing? Like, missing from, uhm, Faerie, missing?”

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you,” Lani said. “I got some advance notice from Ashling, but not much. I knew it wouldn’t take long for more people to find out.”

“How did Ashling find out?”

“After the thing with her wings,” Cassia said, “Riocard took her in. She’s been his hunting guide for a while, when he’s not sending her to keep an eye on you.”

Megan scratched her head. “I’m having trouble keeping track of who is on what team here.”

Lani applied a little more disinfectant and started bandaging Megan’s arm. “It’s not always about teams. My dad might disagree with him a lot of the time, but it’s absolutely critical that we find your dad before Halloween and get him back where he’s supposed to be.”

“So he’s … he’s not even on your team. You’re just worried because he’s my dad?”

“Not just. I want you in on this because it’s important, and you deserve to know. But just because we’re not affiliated with the Unseelie doesn’t mean they’re not important. If I’ve learned anything from Neil deGrasse Tyson, it’s that without Autumn, we’d all freeze to death.”

“How are you trying to use science geek stuff to explain to me that… that we’re faeries?”

“Well, we’re only half.”

 

Jeffrey Cook

Jeffrey Cook

About the Authors:

Jeffrey Cook lives in Maple Valley, Washington, with his wife and three large dogs. He was born in Boulder, Colorado, but has lived all over the United States. He’s the author of the Dawn of Steam trilogy of alternate-history/emergent Steampunk epistolary novels and of the YA Sci-fi thriller Mina Cortez: From Bouquets to Bullets. He’s a founding contributing author of Writerpunk Press and has also contributed to a number of role-playing game books for Deep7 Press out of Seattle. When not reading, researching, or writing, Jeffrey enjoys role-playing games and watching football.

 

 

katepicKatherine Perkins lives in Coralville, Iowa, with her husband and one extremely skittish cat. She was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and will defend its cuisine on any field of honor. She is the editor of the Dawn of Steam series and serves as Jeff’s co-author of various short stories, including those for the charity anthologies of Writerpunk Press. When not reading, researching, writing, or editing, she tries to remember what she was supposed to be doing.

 

Links:

http://www.facebook.com/dawnofsteamtrilogy

http://www.amazon.com/Jeffrey-Cook/e/B00IRMC3H6/

http://http://www.authorjeffreycook.com

@jeffreycook74

Enjoy this fascinating story this summer!

Write on my friends,  write on!

Truly Organic


My guest today is no stranger to the Mack studio,  he’s been my guest in the past for  a previous novel.  It’s my pleasure to have Angus H. Day as my guest today,  science fiction author.  I don’t know how he cranks them out, but he does consistently.

 

Truly Organic A Next You Novel

Science Fiction Space Opera

 Angus H. Day

 

Aaron Prekel rescues his family through Pizza and a Micro-brewery.  Did he realize he would open up the stars for a segment of the human race in danger of being destroyed?  Large forces on Planet Earth move in to thwart his efforts and keep space to themselves.  Intrigue, assassination, espionage and risking global nuclear war are just the hors d’oeurves served hot in the first portion of this tale.

I’m pretty sure Aaron had no concept of Cyborg aliens and a planet where anything mechanical would be attacked by flora.  He watches from orbit as the colony he seeded takes root and begins to thrive until the day when a sentient creature takes possession of the colony and shoves him and others into a camp.

A couple of centuries later the Interstellar Alliance begins to come under attack in odd places and they have no idea why or from where.  Why is my salad attacking me?  How come my Next You prosthetics stop working?  Who wants ice cream anyway?  Finish the story to find out why you really don’t want to be what you eat.

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Excerpts:  PG

The four rescued persons exited the Trauma Center at the rear entrance.  Mary and Munson set off as one pair jogging lightly into the night west of the Center while Abramowitz and Crewman Ortega headed south.  North was the ocean.  Roughly three kilometers from the center Mary felt her features change and she paused to look her reflection in a shop window.  She had been a brunette with hazel eyes and now she was bleach blond with striking green eyes.  Munson who was one point eight meters and showing signs of a beer gut now stood two meters and seemed to be chiseled from granite, he was so ripped.

Mary gasped in surprise and noticed Munson do a double take.

Munson “I know there is something odd about this but I’m enjoying it.  How about you?”

Mary laughed “Yes, I’m enjoying being hot, getting interested responses from hot guys and not being the mousy-brainiac-research scientist with no looks for a change.  Oh dear, was that an overshare?”

Munson laughed this time.  “No, glad you did it.  Shall we pay for this?”

Mary’s smile took on a maniacal gleam “Yes indeed.  Then maybe we can start addressing more of our…want list.”  She moved to step past Munson but stopped just long enough to cup his manhood with her right hand sending a wave of ecstasy through him.  Munson almost fell over backwards but was saved by Mary grabbing his lapels.  “Not yet buddy.  Work first.”

Munson moaned and smiled “Okay by me.”

They started walking again, embraced, looking like other couples on the street out for an evening stroll.

Buy Links:

Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Truly-Organic-Next-Universe-Novel-ebook/dp/B00TUIP7KQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432944033&sr=1-2&keywords=Truly+Organic+in+Books

Smachwords  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/521323

 

Angus H. Day

Angus H. Day

Author Bio:

 Angus H Day is a manufacturing chemist for a pharmaceutical contract manufacturer.  He lives in Fort Collins with his wife and son.  Hiking, kayaking, lots of reading exist in his environment.

When not writing Science Fiction he enjoys podcasting, trail running/walking, and various geek pastimes. He can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

I love to meet new friends and fans!

Write on my friends,  and read a good book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sound & Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk


I have a special treat for  my readers today – a double feature of sorts.  One book – two authors.

sound and fury

My guests today are the bookends of this PUNK anthology.  Carol Gyzander, author of Mac and Jeffrey Cook, author of From the Winter Tale.

Fury & Sound

Airships and sky pirates! Brain Modification chips! Technologically enhanced nymphs! Shakespeare goes punk in this first volume of stories from Writerpunk Press (www.punkwriters.com). Profits to go to PAWS Lynwood (www.paws.org), an animal shelter and wildlife rescue.

What happens when you ask a bunch of eclectic writers to write stories inspired by one of the greatest dramatists of all time? And cast the stories in various punk genres: Cyberpunk, Teslapunk, Dieselpunk, Steampunk, Clockpunk.

Result: an innovative collection of stories inspired by the Bard, with a twist! Punk stories show the path not taken or the path that shouldn’t be taken. Let us reshape your world.

We are a small, somewhat anarchic writers’ collective. Sound and Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk is our first anthology of stories based on the Bard’s work. We have taken the plays that audiences have enjoyed for hundreds of years and reinvented them as punk tales. Featuring comedies and tragedies as well as a wide variety of punk genres, this collection has something for everyone. A spirit of subversive fun is strongly encouraged!

About the Authors:

Stories by Jeffrey Cook, H. James Lopez, Warren C. Bennett, Katherine Perkins, S.A. Cosby and Carol Gyzander.

 

 

 “Mac” by Carol Gyzander in Sound & Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk

Blurb:

In a cyberpunk version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, we find Mac living in a post-apocalyptic world with a moddy chip controlling his human emotions — including his ambition. What will happen when this control is lifted? Will his wife push him on, or will he decide his own fate? Or, perhaps he will set in motion the events that will lead him to a future more grim than even he can imagine.

CHAPTER ONE

Fair is foul, and foul is fair

 The Precision Castings Factory Manager, Cawdor, stepped into the darkened production bay, his footsteps echoing down the empty hallway behind him. Stopping just inside, the FM frowned and looked around the empty room for the source of the blue glow he thought he had seen. The hulking machines of the production line stood still and silent. The area was lit only by the safety lights at the perimeter of the bay and the yellow work lights of the cleaning bots. He had no idea these would be the last things he would ever see.

FM Cawdor shook his head; the shift time was not complete, yet there was no one working on Mac’s assembly line. Again. Raising his arm, he consulted the data display linked to the moddy chip at the base of his skull, and his frown deepened. He just didn’t get it. Moving to the transport area at the end of the production bay, he saw twelve pallets of completed product snugly stacked and bound, ready for transport at the end of the shift.

He looked up at the short, spiky black hair and piercing eyes of Mac, the day Shift Supervisor of this production line, shown in the group of photographs hanging on the wall. He didn’t understand why Mac kept changing things.

He shook his head again and shrugged. Mac had instituted procedural changes that made things more efficient, and Mac’s workers left before the end of the shift when they had attained their quotas. No other production lines in the factory even met their quotas, much less finished early. FM Cawdor didn’t get the point.

The faint whirring sound of the pair of cleanup bots approached from the other side of the pallets. Bots were ubiquitous, always present; his conscious mind did not even register the faint sound as he walked around the row of pallets with his pocket light, idly double checking the count. One bot swept the floor, and the other scooped up the pile of debris and extended its scoop to dump into the refuse bin on its back.

Coming around the corner of the stack of pallets, Factory Manager Cawdor startled when he finally noticed the bots; he tripped over his own feet and fell directly into the path of the scooper bot that towered above him.  It stopped abruptly when it detected the presence of a human within its perimeter, but the unbalanced weight of its extended scooping arm caused it to topple forward and fall onto the Factory Manager, trapping him beneath it.

His cry rang out and echoed across the empty production bay, abruptly silenced as his head struck the floor. No people were nearby to hear, but the scooper bot’s emergency beacon came on immediately, sending a signal to the Corporation’s home system that was passed through the factory network.

The last thing FM Cawdor saw was a series of bots coming towards him out of the storage bay, drawn by the emergency beacon. The sweeper bot extended its squeegee to trap the blood that pooled across the floor from his head.

When they no longer detected his pulse, the bots paused momentarily then continued their cleanup activity. Two bots extended arms with cutting tools on them, and proceeded to dismantle the scooper bot that had been responsible for the death of the Factory Manager. Another one scooped up the man’s dead body onto a rolling cart, straightening his arms and legs with gentle care. He looked as though he was sleeping.

A specialized bot with a red emblem on its side rolled down the hall into the factory bay and stopped by the body. Extending a narrow arm, it felt along the back of the dead man’s skull and inserted a thin probe into the back of his neck. Pulling out the small moddy chip, it inserted the chip into a slot on its own console and sent a signal to the home computer.

Within a matter of minutes, the entire scene had been cleaned and scoured. The bot responsible for the forbidden death of a human had been dismantled, the Factory Manager’s family had been notified of his death and a message sent to the home office. The body of Factory Manager Cawdor was rolling down the hall on the makeshift gurney. The room looked as though he had never entered it.

Moments later, a blue glow shone through the darkness. Three women were standing in a circle in the production bay. A rumbling sounded, like thunder.

“When shall we three meet again? In thunder, lightning, or in rain?” asked the first.

“When all the change has come,” replied the second.

“That’ll be before the day is done,” said the third.

“Then, to the Fringe.” This from the second woman.

“There to meet with Mac.”

All three joined hands and threw back their heads as they laughed. “Fair is foul, and foul is fair. Let us away through the smog and filthy air.” They disappeared, and the blue glow faded.

  

Carol Gyzander

Carol Gyzander

Author Bio:

Carol Gyzander writes under her own name, even though few can spell or pronounce it (think “GUYS and her”). She was a prolific reader of classic science fiction and Agatha Christie mysteries in her early days; since they moved every two years, she had lots of time on her hands as the perpetual new kid. But she became adept at people-watching in order to fit in at each new school, and followed this up by studying anthropology – the study of people and their culture – and lots and lots of English literature at Bryn Mawr College. Now that her kids have flown the coop, she has gone back to her early loves with an amateur detective novel and more science fiction in the works.

Sound & Fury: Shakespeare Goes Punk is a charity anthology.

 

Excerpt (PG):

From The Winter’s Tale by Jeffrey Cook

“Not like that,” Olivier corrected sternly, parrying Treveur’s blade to the side.

“What went wrong that time?” Treveur inquired earnestly.

“You leave yourself open to the riposte,” he replied, demonstrating the maneuver.

“Oh, go easy on the boy,” called Isaac from where he rested in the wings.

“Would you like to take over his lessons, then?” asked Olivier without looking back.

“I daresay I would love to take over his lessons, but we’d start somewhere other than swordplay. He’s already the fourth-best swordsman in a hundred miles.”

“Pray tell, then, where would you begin?” asked Rene, not glancing up from his book. “Drinking, wenching, or fleeing?”

“Fleeing is a highly underrated skill, I’ll have you know. Once upon a time, any real man would accept a duel. Now it’s all firing pistols wildly and angry mobs. What’s a man to do?”

“Perhaps not sleep with wives of men who keep angry mobs within shouting distance?” Rene responded, still without looking up from his book.

“Well how am I to know which those are? Perhaps with more practice, I’ll develop a more discerning eye.”

Olivier shook his head. “Too easily distracted, that’s your problem.” Seeing Treveur’s grin, he rapped him lightly upside the head with the basket hilt of his sword. “And you too. Focus.” Another glance back to the audience. “Besides, the Marquis would have your head if he heard you even suggesting teaching the boy wenching or drinking.”

“He’d have to catch me first,” Isaac countered, not losing his grin. “Fleeing. Very underrated skill.”

 

 

Jeffrey Cook

Jeffrey Cook

Jeffrey Cook lives in Maple Valley, Washington, with his wife and three large dogs. He was born in Boulder, Colorado, but has lived all over the United States. He’s the author of the Dawn of Steam trilogy of alternate-history/emergent Steampunk epistolary novels and of the YA Sci-fi thriller Mina Cortez: From Bouquets to Bullets. He’s a founding contributing author of Writerpunk Press and has also contributed to a number of role-playing game books for Deep7 Press out of Seattle. When not reading, researching, or writing, Jeffrey enjoys role-playing games and watching football.

Katherine Perkins lives in Coralville, Iowa, with her husband and one extremely skittish cat. She was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and will defend its cuisine on any field of honor. She is Jeff’s editor and sometime co-author on a number of novels and short stories. When not reading, researching, writing, or editing, she tries to remember what she was supposed to be doing.

 

Links:

Amazon

Punk Writers Site

www.punkwriters.com

@punkwriters

Write on my friends, write on!

A Contemporary Romance


Since I write romance, I think most of my readers will appreciate my guest today,  Linda Bolton  – author of Take 2 and  Incantation.  I’ve had the privelege of knowing Linda for  three years now, and it’s amazing how many similarities  we share. In some aspects we are very much soul sistas.

Here’s a little teaser to get you interested in her latest release – Incantation.

Blurb:

Is the hand quicker than the heart?

Christina is a Dallas entertainment reporter wanting to do a story with more substance, when she is sent to Las Vegas to write a promotional article for a magician. Her love life is as dry as the Vegas desert.

Tristen is more than a magician, he’s an entertainer. He’s handsome and can get any woman he wants. Vegas hasn’t seen magical talent like Tristen’s before, no one has. He has Las Vegas under his spell, will Christina fall under his spell too?

From Master Koda Select Publishing

  

Coming soon to paperback! (1)

 

Where Do I Get My Ideas

I’m often asked where my ideas for books, my answer is everywhere! Contemporary romance affords me the ability to look at the people around me and embellish a story. The series I’m working on lets each book stand alone or can be read together. Incantation is the story of a magician and a journalist. Tristen, the magician, is based off a famous magician where I’ve taken true life and gave it a twist. Christina, the journalist, is based off one of my closest friends. (Yes, she knows she’s a character.) I’ve taken some of her experiences and put them in a new setting. If you’d like to be a character in a book, be friends with an author. I have friends and co-workers asking to be in my books. Their wish is my command, although it’s anyone’s guess whether they’ll end up heroes or villains. The voices in my head make that decision.

Linda Bolton

 

book-2-Kindle

Excerpt:

At five fifteen, Christina walked in to Barney’s, the blinds closed to keep out the glaring setting sun. She stopped just a few feet in to let her eyes adjust and see where her small crowd would be sitting. In a few seconds she heard her name and arms waving at the end of the bar.

“Christina! Here!”

Nancy had managed to get eight of their girlfriends together for a good-bye.

“So tell us about this new job! Nancy said there was a guy?” Glenda asked.

Karen made it but was fashionably late. She was redhead, petite and could get any man she wanted. At forty-four she’d been married twice and was working on a third. Out of all of her husbands, number three was the best catch: wealthy, good looking, doted on Karen and all her whims. Christina had known Karen from college, briefly being roommates for part of a semester. Karen spent the better part of her dating time stealing everyone else’s boyfriends. When Christina moved to Dallas, Karen saw her byline in D Magazine and contacted her.

They had always gotten along well but since reconnecting in Dallas, Christina had noticed there was something off in their relationship. When Christina had invited Karen to meet up, Karen only came when she had news to share. If nothing special was going on with her, she would find an excuse not to meet. Christina had been surprised she showed up to happy hour since this evening was clearly about her and no one would be particularly interested in anything happening with Karen.

Christina enjoyed her cranberry vodka drink as she told her friends about her new job and Tristen. The gals were all gathered at a table and some were on their second drink by the time Karen arrived. Christina had been in the middle of her story about the night she saw blood for the first time on Tristen when Karen walked up.

“Hi everyone, sorry I’m late. Ted wanted to give me a present ‘just cuz’ before I left. See?!” She announced as she waved her right hand for everyone to see. A large pink diamond jutted out of a cocktail setting on her right ring finger.

As if it had been planned, the women all commented, ‘Oh’ at the same time and then Nancy quickly added, “Christina, finish the story!” All eyes were back on Christina.

The night continued on with Karen trying to cut in to each tale Christina told. By the end of the evening, a couple of the women finally gave in and let Karen tell them about her new jewelry and her wonderful husband, all the while feigning attention. She was finally glad to have someone’s attention and held them captive as long as she could.

Christina drank her last cranberry vodka for the night and listened to her friends congratulate her on her new beginnings. She felt like it was happening to someone else. Nothing like this had ever happened to her. It felt so surreal.

Meeting Karen

 Karen, this excerpt doesn’t show you in a favorable light. Is this really how you are?

Oh, of course not. I’m a nice person and care about my friends but, let’s face it, my ring is beautiful. Don’t you think? (she waves her hand at me, flaunting the rather large pink diamond)

Aren’t you happy for Christina and her new life?

Oh yes, I am. If it’s really true. You see, I think its a bit exaggerated. I plan to drop by and check it all out. It’s going to be a surprise. (she winks at me mischievously)

Oh, well, I’m sure Christina and Tristen will be glad to see you.

I know he’ll be glad to see me. Look at all this (she points to her figure), who wouldn’t be?

So, Karen, this is your third marriage?

Yes, the other two just couldn’t keep up with me. I need certain things to keep up this look (she smiles and bats her eyelashes). It’s not free, you know.

Karen, will we see more of you after your surprise visit to Vegas?

Oh, you never know. I may pop by Christina’s again….you’ll have to read and see.

 

Buy Links:

 Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Incantation-Linda-Bolton-ebook/dp/B00L8A3DF0

http://www.amazon.com/Take-2-Linda-Bolton/dp/0985983833/ref=sr_tc_2_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432157144&sr=1-2-ent

 

 Website http://authorlindabolton.com

 

 IMG_4868 copy

About Linda Bolton

 Incantation is Linda Bolton’s second novel. She is currently working on additional romance novels, as well as dabbling in other genres, to be released in the near future. When she’s not writing, Linda is GiGi to her granddaughter Z, and working full-time. She spends everyday with a cup or three of coffee and tossing ideas around.

 

Where else you can find Linda Bolton

 Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/pub/linda-bolton/7/a16/70b

 Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/lindambolton

 Facebook http://www.facebook.com/lindaboltonauthor

 Twitter http://twitter.com/!#/lindalou42

I want to know more!  Does a boyfriend stealing friend get your blood boiling as well?  Surely Tristan won’t fall for Karen’s  charm.

Write on my friends, write on and enjoy your summer reads!