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Thursday, May 31, 2012

INDIE AUTHORS RISING

As another Publishing House crumbles with the filing for bankruptcy by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. of Boston, when the publisher filed for bankruptcy in court in Manhattan taking more than twenty affiliates down with them as they go.  Slowly but surely the gates of the old Empire are falling.


In the wake of this terrible news in the world of traditional publishing the Indie Authors are rising.  In the numbers of authors getting their books published, to the number of books the authors are publishing, to the dollars they are squeezing out of the coffers which were once held so tightly by the established traditional publishing companies.
The report I read about the newest collapse in Traditional Publishing blames the global financial crisis over the past several years.  It couldn’t be that the sales of paperbacks and hard cover books are falling so dramatically from the increase in e-books sales since its emergence around 2008.  It couldn’t be because the old system of business that existed and worked for well over a hundred years is broken down and doesn’t work any longer.  It couldn’t be because publishing companies don’t know how to compete in the new digital age which moves as fast as lightening.
The authors are still writing but they aren’t barred from the play ground any longer!  People are reading more today than ever before.  This day in age is a reader’s heaven as new authors dying to be discovered are giving their books away just so somebody will try them.  The new slush pile is scattered across the web and the Agents which determine which books will make it and which will not is the reading public.  There is a plethora of stuff to read only a click away!
The difference is you will not see the true winners or losers for some time until the dust settles as Indie Authors slowly build their digital bookshelves with the books they have written.  The sales slowly climb as they are discovered and the word is spread from reader to reader about the best of the books that are out there to be explored.  The Independent Authors are increasing in sales and exposure and plodding along.
I love traditional books and hope they are a continued part of my future and that of my children’s but if the Traditional Publishers don’t step into the arena with the Hulk that is known as Amazon they will only be in more trouble.  As much as I love books, and have since become an author of my own books, I had to self publish in order to BE Published!  I know there are tons of people who haven’t hoped on the band wagon of self-publishing, whether through self-doubt or high hopes of the mystical query letter sparking a fire to some agents pants so that they in turn can sell it to a publisher.  The old system is broken!  It doesn’t work any longer.  When everybody who has a book to sell figures this out, it’s over!
I may have to dig up the post I did last year where I explained a viable option for publishers to jump into the deep end and get into publishing in really big digital way.  Even if I did it would only be read by those who visit my blog and fall on the deaf ears and blind eyes of those who still work for big publishing companies.  Because what do I know?  I am just a budding Indie Author with two little books, and almost ready to release my third.  I know my sales are through the roof compared to a 2002 study of traditional books published that year and the numbers of books actually sold in comparison to those published.
It reminds me of that story of a child who faced a Giant with three little stones and a sling shot.  What was that story again?  It was part of a really big Book I read once.  It was a number one best seller also.  Oh yeah, The Bible!
If you work for a large publishing house and are just a wee bit curious as to my ideas to save Big Publishing, e-mail me at StorytellerTDW@yahoo.com.  Put Curious in the subject box.

AVENGERS Review!!


I’ve been a little off this week, which for a crazy person who is kind of off kilter to begin with who pours his wild imagination and the whispering from my muse into stories for readers to enjoy in the future, means I’ve been a little way off kilter.  Between my family, work (my day job), stealing time in the evenings to try and finish my third book, losing a friend this week to cancer, I’ve been plagued with all the feelings, thoughts and emotions to the point I’ve felt a little over whelmed.  So I finally went to see the other movie I’ve been dying to see, The AVENGERS!
I didn’t grow up a DC Comic fan; I came into late in life and through Television and later more recently the movies.  I was and still am a huge fan of WONDER WOMAN, the television series because of an infatuation with Linda Carter.  I watched the Hulk television show with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, and even follow the blog of Allan Cole who used to write for that show.  I hooked up with him on Linked-In.
Of the movies which belong in this series the only I haven’t seen yet is THOR but it’s on my list of movies to see.  I loved that they were able to do this with the same characters from the other movies.  That really added something to the movie adventure – seeing all the same characters together in one film.  CASTING – FANTASTIC!!!
Special effects were off the HOOK!!  Story was incredible, amazing interaction and dialogue between the characters!  I bet the writers who worked on the screen play had a freaking hay day of a good time piecing that script together.  The movie was serious, exciting and hilarious!
It was a great pick me up and I can see why so many people have seen it over and over!  I got home and told my wife that when they come out on DVD I want to buy Battleship and The AVENGERS!  I remember reading a bloggers take on how the Hulk detracted from the movie because it was unrealistic that he would be able to jump around the way he did.  I am sorry but in my opinion each of the characters had great moments, awesome lines, but the HULK stole the show in a few parts.  When a movie can make the audience yell and clap out loud by thrusting your emotions to the point you can’t stay quiet that is one of the marks of a great movie.  Two parts come to mind where the audience went nuts!
Hulk sucker punching Thor out of the blue!  The other was the Hulk’s reply to Loki expounding on being a God!  Both brought the house down!!  Oh My God!  I think I hurt myself laughing!
Awesome movie people!!  There is a thing where the characters out of costume from AVENGERS are lined up and it says something like “What have you got?” or “It’s your turn?”  They are taunting the upcoming movie, “Dark Knight Rises,” which is the new Batman movie due out shortly.  Christopher Nolan and Crew should be worried.  The AVENGERS will be damn hard to top!
Allan Coles Blog of his Hollywood Misadventures can be found at http://allan-cole.blogspot.com/
Very funny stuff and a behind the scenes look at writing and Hollywood.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lost the Battle and I Thank You


Thank you to all who took part in the sale of my book over the past holiday Memorial Day weekend.  I cannot express what it means to have others read your work, to purchase your work, and share the literary experience in this manner.  It validates the author’s time and work into creating and putting the work out there.
Now to a much more important matter.
Back In April I did a Blog Post   * A really weird Place *

The following is an excerpt of that post . . .

In just a matter of days around the beginning of July I will have been in my current employment twenty years, a milestone. The guy who hired me all those years ago is still a close personal friend of mine, and so is his wife. His wife has been battling cancer for over a year now, she won a few battles but its back and they found out last Tuesday it has entered her brain. My family and I traveled a bit north this weekend to visit my friends, it was great but it was hard in ways I can’t begin to explain. This is the man that gave me chance to have a stable job for all these years. The guy who took a chance on me. I still vividly remember sitting in the interview with him thinking “I hope I get this job even if it is only in the warehouse, within six months I can find something better, I just really need a job right now.” I had a baby girl at home, a wife and a thirty year mortgage, not to mention just getting by.

This job which didn’t allow me to further my education but which had a library down the street did get me into reading, reading a lot! I thought many times that if couldn’t go to school that it didn’t mean I couldn’t further my education on my own, so I read any and everything. Through the following years and through the urging of the book club ladies I am now not just still employed at the same place but I am a published author. I have found my passion. Along the way I got divorced and re-married to Wonder Woman, and have two small boys from that heavenly union, more Passion!! To see my friend and knowing that a major part of his passion is about to lose the war and pass on to my heavenly fathers care and leave my friend behind, is bitter sweet to say the least.
My Friend lost his mate, his wife, his friend May 28, 2012 at approximately 6:00PM to Cancer.  I was in contact with him only just before the holiday weekend in regards to an update on her condition.  My memories of my family’s visit to see them last month, 36 days ago, are still vivid and clear.  I will forever remember her infectious smile, her awesome sense of humor, and the strength of my friend as he endured probably one of the hardest things we as human beings can endure.  I know millions of people have faced this demon and its effects on their families and loved ones and friends.  Today I am back in that weird place, happy and hopeful for the future, trusting in my miniscule faith that my friends wife is in a better place.  Her battle is over and that she isn’t suffering any longer.  My friend did everything imaginable for her, to take care of her, and was there through it all to the bitter end.  I pray he finds the continued strength to finish his grand life without his better half.  I am sure he would agree with that statement!  It is by no means a slam or detracts from this great man and good friend.
May God Bless you!  Live each day as if it were your last!  Memorial Day Weekend will forever hold a more special place in my heart.  Remembering Ruth!
She may have lost the battle, but she won the War!  She lived a Great Life with a Great Man!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Breaking the Rules


Is it breaking the rules when the rules are not written down, when no committee or convention has conviened to determine these are the rules?  If they are not written down, posted for all to see, or available in some format as in an instruction manual, is it breaking still breaking the rules?
Case in point.  What I call elevator ettiquite.
These rules are followed by all who ride together in elevators, pre-established by some social force of nature, not written or explained to the participants.
When you get an on elevator and it’s empty you step in turn and face the front, select the floor you want and either stand on that side or be preemptive and move to the back or the otherside in case somebody else happens to board the elevator.
One note here is that an empty elevator with just one person or a couple who knows each other is a funny thing because people realize they are alone and get stupid.  This can be testified to by the multitude of security personnel who watch elevator security cameras.
The fun and rules begin when more than one person is riding in an elevator who are previously aquainted with each other.
You’re on a elevator and the door opens and another person enters the elevator.  They will push their button, if you are on the button side they will move to the other side.  If you are in the back of the car or on the side opposite the buttons they will stay on the button side or move to the back.
Everybody faces the front of the car.  You equally subdivide the space of the car in order to share the space with the other riders.
This dividing of space, sharing the button space or being socially open and trusting enough to ask someone else to push the button for the floor you want.
The title of the post was about Breaking the Rules.
Ways to do this would be to reach into people space to pucsh your floor button, and to stand in the absolute center of the car facing the rear of the car with your back to the doors.
This violates about every rule of elevator ettiquite and rules!  People may not even realize what you’re doing wrong but you will distrub everybody in the elevator for this social misbehavior and blantant nonconformity.  People will bolt off the elevator even if it isn’t their floor.  People will mess with the bags or stuff they carrying.  They will not make eye contact with you.  Most will not even realize what it is exactly that you are doing that is making them so uncomfortable.
I love identifying these areas of social conformity and unwritten rules that society follows just so I can subtly go against the conventional way just to screw with people.  It’s harmeless fun and messing with peoples minds without letting them know how your messing with them.
It is a lot nicer than stopping the one of three of the only registers open at Walmart, of Mc Donalds during a lunch rush while they have to request a manger because you asked if they take Hawiaiian Money?  I’ve done this!
Remember this Memorial Day weekend my Book WHISPER is on sale on Amazon for .99 Cents.  A time traveling adventure of a Navy ship an dmy first book.

Friday, May 25, 2012

One of the reasons I enjoy writing books.

I don’t have to work as hard as I do, but I enjoy what I do (most of it – editing still sucks), so it’s a passion and drives me to do as much as I can every day to get closer to my goals as a writer.  I remember when my writing goals were not as lofty as they are now.  When I was happy to peck away and type a page or two in a day, and maybe connect with another author on-line.  To read something about writing to try and learn what I ought to know to be a successful writer.

One of the reasons I enjoy writing is the sense of accomplishment it gives me when I look on my book shelf and see my two books.  Each day I know I am getting closer to more of my stories being published and joining them.  With each new book comes new experience gained through the process of writing and self-publishing.
As the days wear by at what seems like an ever increasing speed I can see my books develop before my eyes.  Everybody is busy and we each are responsible for exactly where we are at this time.  I choose to be a writer and therefore spend every spare moment I have thinking about writing, writing, doing research for my writing, proofing, editing, promoting or something to do with writing.
I also get to watch and track the sales of my books.  I can watch the number of books sold climb each day, week after week, month after month as I am slowly becoming discovered in the literary world as an author.

Your time is yours.  How you spend it is up to you.  When I think of all the years I wasted that I could have been writing it makes me sick.  It took me 44 years to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, what I enjoy doing more than anything else.  Almost anything else, I still enjoy playing with my kids and wife more than writing.  Now as the days go by I know I have done the best I can do that day.  In the mornings I hope out of bed and can’t wait to get back to work at doing what I love.  I am doing more each day to get closer to my dream than I ever thought was possible.  I am seeing results of my work that I would never have believed two years ago.

The best part is when I read a review from someone who has discovered one of my books and they obviously loved it.  They got what I was putting out there, they understood it, and enjoyed it.  Then I feel more than fulfilled because I got to share the magic and joy of reading through one of my stories to a reader.  Hopefully I have gained a lifelong fan from that point onward as long as my stories don’t get cookie cutter or predictable.

My Book Whisper is on Sale through the Memorial Day weekend for .99 Cents.  Get your copy today and Meet Captain Wiley Randolph and the Crew of the Whisper as they travel through time.  There is still time before the Sequel comes out this summer of 2012.


Is Time Travel Possible?


Discover Magazine years ago posed this question to ten different physicists.  They asked each one if they thought it was possible and to provide some theory on how it might be achieved.  What I found more surprising than the ten affirmative answers was ten different theories on how one might go about attempting to effectively build a time machine.
My first novel “Whisper” is a tale about a ship experimenting with sliding an object, the USS Whisper out of sync with time in order to make it disappear.  When the unknown happens while testing this phase shifter, they find themselves transported over 200 years into the past.


Available on Amazon dot com on sale for 75% off this Memorial Day weekend, treat yourself to some high anxiety time traveling fun with the Navy and the crew of the Whisper.
For .99 Cents you can ride along with Captain Wiley Randolph, his EX Carl Sanford, Teddy their Chief of the Boat, and Russell Reynolds the Physicist who created the phase shifter.  Just in time to read the first in the series before the sequel comes out this summer.
There is bonus material at the end of the book as you also get the first chapter of “Leviathan Deterrent” the sequel to “Whisper” along with the first chapter of “No Rules Of Engagement” the first book of the Alexander Hawk series.  The sequel to “No Rules Of Engagement” should be out by years end, hopefully in time for the holidays.
http://amzn.to/TW_Whisper

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Masks We Wear

On Pinterest I have a whole board dedicated for masks.

The Lone Ranger wore one, Zorro wore one, Batman wears one, they wear them for Mardi Gras, and as children we all enjoyed getting up and wearing a mask.  The masks are a symbol for my true fascination which isn’t so much the mask you can put on but the mask you wear for the world every day in public.
We all do it.  Very few people are truly what you see is what you get type of people.  Most everyone wears a mask of one sort or another.  The masks we wear are every bit as elaborate as the ones on my Pinterest board.

My point is that you truly don’t get to really know the people in your life unless you invest the time to get to know them.  Do things with them.  Play with them.  Even then many of the people we know are hiding things we would never imagine.  There are those who think they are wearing masks but we see them as they are anyways (I love those people – They are fun to screw with.)  There are those people who change their masks right in front of you, or at work, or as they walk into church on Sunday morning.


I am just as guilty because even though talking about books, my stories, my books, or anything about the book industry, or any of my other hot buttons which includes History, Warfare, Tanks, Planes, Motorcycles, or woman’s breasts, are all favorite subjects of mine which will get me going in a heartbeat.  Most people I know have no clue I write books.  Hell many of them don’t know I have been in the tire business for almost twenty years.
I am considered rude by my wife and she has expressed that I have the social skills of a nat.  Which I attribute part of that to my being slightly autistic (Very slightly) coupled with OCD that makes me appear to be rude.  I actually think I am one of the friendliest people I know.  I pride myself on being able to have discussions with just about anybody regardless of their background or level of education.  I do confess to intentionally screwing around with the lessor mentally developed individuals I might run into on a daily basis because being stupid hasn’t been outlawed and is running rampant in the part of the world I happen to inhabit.
I’m not talking about screwing with handicapped people!  I am talking about all those who will never see or read this post because if it isn’t in a video game, on television, or on the radio so they will never see it.  It is like Craig Ferguson doing Amish jokes on the Late Late Show, because they will never see or hear about it.  I’m talking about the people who have a million and one uses for a book besides opening it up and reading it.  Yes, the Brilliant individuals who have no concept of history, geography, religions of the world, who can’t read a clock or understand why it’s a different time somewhere else.  Those individuals who have never graced a library with their presence and ask me fun questions such as can I get Angry Birds on my Kindle.
Ok, I might be a little rude, especially to stupid people.  Go figure my favorite comedian is Bill Engvall, and the stuff he does about stupid questions and “Here’s your sign.”  Good News, if you’re reading this you’re definitely not stupid.
Wow, did I get off point.  People wear all kinds of masks.  I especially like people, even the stupid ones, they make life entertaining for free.  I love it when I can get past the masks and get to know people for who they really are.  I know a man who has this special gift where he makes each person he speaks with feel as if they were the most important person that he spoke to all day!  I hope someday to be remembered as such a person.
Get to know the people you think you know and get past the masks if you can.  Meet new people and try not to hide behind your mask.  Make everybody you speak with today feel like they were the reason you got out of bed today.
Welcome to Pinterest Author James Rollins, one of my favorite authors!  I hope you follow me and check out the wonderful collection of masks on my Masks Board.  Anybody can follow me, it’s  Thomas Wilson   StorytellerTDW.  Check out my boards.
Warning Pinning can be addictive, as well as Angry Birds.  It’s a good thing I suck at video games otherwise I probably never would have finished writing a book.


 
My novel “Whisper” is on Special for .99 Cents for the Memorial Day Holiday weekend.
A time traveling adventure aboard the USS Whisper.  Join Captain Wiley Randolph and his crew as they battle a Frigate from 200 years ago, a Japanese Zero, and Wolf Pack of German U-Boats as they try to make their way back to their rightful place in history.

History Tidbits for May 24th

Yesterday and Today May 23-24, in 1962, Scott Carpenter’s historic flight in Aurora 7, as part of the Mercury Project where American Astronaut Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 Capsule.

The Bismarck



Also on this day in History in 1941, the German Battleship Bismarck sunk the then Pride of the Royal Navy’s Fleet, the HMS Hood.  Only three crew members survived that engagement.  Churchill made it job one to sink the Bismarck after losing the Hood.






               The HMS Hood






And lastly but not least one of New York’s Icons, The Brooklyn Bridge opened for traffic this day in history in 1883 after fourteen years of construction.  This bridge has been featured in more films than Kevin Bacon!!  My favorites include “Kate and Leopold” because it involves time travel and the Godzilla movie where Godzilla didn’t look anything like what he is supposed to but does end up trying to cross the bridge.




Notice the skyline in these pictures, and the absence of sky scrapers.  With all this city has been through over the years the Brooklyn Bridge is still there!





I tried to find a picture of the Bridge from the same angle without the Twin Towers in the background but I couldn't.  So we have the early pictures before the sky scrapers and a picture of Sky Scrapers which are no longer there.  It's not that I don't like this picture, I just know how seeing the Twins makes me feel when I remember 911 and I've never been to New York.  It still causes a pang of pain in my heart when I remember that dreadful attack.

Just like the above pictures may cause some pangs for our allies across the ocean in the UK.
But just as with 911, I am sure there are those of us who will never forget.  I still post History Tidbits not cause hard feelings but so we can remember, for some to learn, so we may not repeat the Past.

Remember this weekend my book “Whisper”, a time traveling tale about a Navy ship will be on sale for .99 cents through the Memorial Day weekend.  Some people have said it is a Love Story, I still contend its Science Fiction Action Adventure.

May God Bless and have a Safe Holiday!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

BATTLESHIP Review

In this author’s opinion the movie battleship kicked ass!  I know the reviews have been less than favorable and it can’t hold its own against the awesome cast of Super Heroes in Avengers, but I still loved it!  These days’ going to the movies is a luxury that you have to weigh into your budget.  It’s not like when we were kids and it was nothing to buy a bag of popcorn, a soda pop and go watch a movie for a couple of bucks.  Nowadays when it costs you $75 - $100 dollars to fill your cars tank up and a movie costs $8.00, and the popcorn and soda cost you more than the movie, you choose carefully if you can afford to go at all.
Battleship didn’t have a deep plot, the main character was just this side of an idiot but he was entertaining.  The interaction between the main character and the Japanese guy were some of the best parts in the movie.

For Veterans and fans of the old World War II sea battle movies this is a must see.  For fans of the USS Missouri, one of the stars of the movie, it is a must see.  The way they treated the part where the new Navy meets the Veterans of the Navy to sail and operate what is currently a Museum piece was priceless in my book.  I don’t mean to spoil anything, but this young commander and the new Navy guys walk up to a collection of old retired sailors from the Missouri who the day before were at a ceremony honoring them.  The dialogue and interaction between the sailors old and new was awesome!  Most of the people in the theater were yelling with me.  “Hell Yeah!”
The aliens were BAD ASS, their weapon systems unique, devastating and scary.  I would describe it as Independence Day on steroids!  The special effects were incredible, from the alien ships, to their weapons and destroying three destroyers, to the most amazing part making the USS Missouri come alive again.

For those who aren’t familiar with me or my blog, I reside in Independence, MO.  The home town of US President Harry S. Truman.  The Second World War in the Pacific was officially ended on the deck of the USS Missouri!  She served her country from 1944 until 1955 when she was decommissioned.  She fought in the battle of Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and shelled the Japanese mainland.  She later served throughout the Korean War.
THEN, 30 years later in 1984 she was pulled out of dry dock, refitted with new up to date weapon systems and put back into service AGAIN for her country!  She later served in the first Gulf War!  Very few ships have ever had such a glorious and extended life as this battleship.
Is the idea of hoping aboard the Missouri and taking off to fight aliens preposterous?  Yes, but no more so than The Avengers!  That’s why we go see movies!  I have stood on the deck of the Missouri since she was placed in Pearl Harbor.  I walked through the ship.  To see them cut the mooring lines with torches, light the boilers (no nuke power on a battleship), and just drive her out of Pearl Harbor was incredible!  I thought seeing that was better than the alien ships!

To see the spray of the Pacific come up over her bow as she slammed her way through the sea stirred my heart.  To see the giant turrets swivel over the side of her deck and then fire all at once moved my soul!
I write Science Fiction novels and my first novel is about a Navy Ship called the USS Whisper.  I was born on an Air Force Base and myself am a  ex-Tank Crewman from the U.S. Army.  I grew up watching the old War movies and loved the ones with the ships fighting.
Midway, Tora Tora Tora, In Harm’s Way, The Enemy Below
To catch a glimpse of the USS Missouri in action again was magical!  It was worth every freaking penny it cost to get in there.
I just wanted to add my two cents worth after hearing about the bad reviews of this must own movie.  When it comes out on DVD I will gladly add it to my collection of war movies!
Remember that my book “Whisper” will be on sale on Amazon this weekend for .99 Cents!
The sequel will be out in a month or so, so there is still time to read the first one if you haven’t read it yet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dandelion Rubber


I did a blog post at the end of last March 2011, where I described some of the obstacles facing the tire industry and mentioned the rising costs of rubber.  In the post last year I mentioned Germany and Continental Tire were experimenting with rubber from dandelions to possibly replace the rubber from rubber tree plantations.  The benefit from Dandelions is they can be grown all over the place opening up the possibility of rubber farms popping up everywhere.  Dandelions don’t take five years from planting to produce rubber like the rubber trees do.

Tires are made from natural rubber and synthetic rubber.  The natural rubber comes from very limited areas of the planet where the climate is sufficient to allow rubber trees to grow, effectively creating a monopoly of sorts on natural rubber.  Most of the world’s natural rubber supply comes from Ceylon ( Sri Lanka ), Indonesia, Singapore, and British Malaya.  There has been stories about Mega speculators stock piling natural rubber to make the price sky-rocket on the world market.  

Whatever the real culprit is it has forced those who rely on natural rubber to find alternative means of supply.
Whether the Rubber industry has been hit with bad production or the hoarding of natural rubber by speculators in order to drive the price of natural rubber up in the world market it has definitely impacted the price of tires dramatically around the world.

Yesterday a story released in Tire Industry News Sources tells about how Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations is working with PENRA (Program for Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives) based out of Ohio State Universities Agricultural Research and Development Center, working with Russian Dandelions as a viable source for natural rubber.
That’s right the scourge of lawns worldwide, at least one variety of it, may create an industry to provide rubber for the use in rubber products the world over, namely tires.  If the massive increase in prices was caused by market speculators and industries turn to alternative markets such as this in the future it may destroy the viable market of rubber from existing rubber tree plantations throughout the world.
Too bad we aren’t working on alternatives for gasoline to run our cars and free us from getting raped at the pump by the oil companies.  You hear about how this causes the price of gasoline to go up and that causes the price of oil to rise, and yet you see the posted earnings of the oil companies and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is really going on.

If I could grow dandelions or some other plant and produce gasoline from it I would plow under the grass in my yard tomorrow!  As it is fields of dandelions may soon be popping up all over for the production of the natural rubber to be harvested from these weeds!

Remember if you have not read my book yet, it will be on sale for 75% off over Memorial Day Weekend at Amazon Dot Com.  Just click this link “Whisper.”
Just in time to enjoy while relaxing over Memorial Day Weekend, a time travel adventure aboard a navy ship.  Join Commander Wiley Randolph and crew on a harrowing adventure through history.

Are We There Yet?


Anybody since World War II who has taken a vacation in car has dealt with this question at one point or another.  Of course today with video players mounted on the backs of seats where the kids can watch movies while belted into their safety seats it is somewhat better.  The advent of air conditioning has helped cut the parent rage factor down and almost eliminated the seats sticking to your legs.
Yet my history tidbit today takes us back to 1843, and starts in this author’s hometown of Independence, Missouri.  Independence is probably most famous for being the home town of U.S. President Harry S. Truman, but it also noteworthy from before that as being the starting point of three great trails that headed West.  The California Trail, the Sante Fe Trail, and the Oregon Trail.  The city has a festival every Labor Day weekend commemorating the three trails called Sante-Cali-Gon Days.
On this date May 22, 1843, a massive wagon train made up of one thousand settlers and a thousand head of cattle set off on the Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri.  This was known as the Great Emigration.  It took the group until October to reach Oregon which was two-thousand miles to the west.  Five months in a covered wagon crossing two-thousand miles with everything you own and living off supplies you’re carrying. 


That makes our trips in the family mini-van, complete with air conditioning, entertainment in many forms, cup holders, with food options such as stopping at a restaurant or pulling into a drive through seem like a dream vacation.

As you’re planning your get-a-way for the upcoming Holiday weekend for Memorial Day, please remember to check out my book “Whisper” which will be on sale all weekend on Amazon dot com, at 75% off.  That’s right for .99 cents you can treat yourself to a time traveling adventure aboard the USS Whisper and her adventures.
See the trailer on YouTube here - http://youtu.be/sb6HB3EdglM

Monday, May 21, 2012

Old Friends


Back in the mid to late eighties I was in the Army and made a lot of friends and even more memories.  Through all of that I have stayed in touch with one friend from that period of my life, T.J. Hooker.  Not the TV character played by William Shatner, but an old tanker Army buddy who shared many of my adventures in the Army with me.
Until Saturday night and this Sunday morning the last time I saw him was six years ago.  That was way too long.  It amazed me at how time flies when you’re not paying attention to it.
It was so good to see my old friend, even with such a small visit it meant so much to me.  The flood of old memories it brought to the surface.  I know we both look much different and have changed a lot over the years, but just like that phenomenon where you don’t feel any older inside, I could still see my friend the way we used to be twenty-five years ago in my memories.  I still have the year book of our basic and AIT with pictures of us covered in mud and climbing around on the tanks stuck between the pages, on my book shelf.
Most days my time in the service seems like a million years ago, in a different lifetime.  Yet you look in my sock drawer and see the socks rolled and stacked just so, and the tank top under shirts I wear folded and stacked just so in my drawers, and you realize some parts of your training never leave you.  We visited an air show at Whiteman AFB earlier in the day Saturday where I was showing my two young boys this giant machine that was on an old World War II airplane and got to brag to my boys that I got to shoot one of those mounted on a tank when I was in the Army.  Between the airshow and hearing about my old Army buddy coming by for dinner they keep calling the airmen at Whiteman, Army men.  They are very young and got a little confused.
All in all it was a trip down memory lane, and seeing all the wonderful old aircraft from our nations fighting past it was nostalgic to say the least for me.  I was born on an Air Force Base (Castle) that doesn’t exist any longer and have had a love affair with airplanes since my first memories.
I realized something this weekend which is odd and I have never been asked about during my many author interviews.  Born and raised as an Air Force Brat, that joined the Army when I came of age, how is that my first book is about the Navy and warships?  I don’t have an answer for that either, except my stories are just about stuff that I would love to read that haven’t been written yet.  My First book “Whisper” is exclusive right now on Amazon dot com for $3.99, but this upcoming weekend, Memorial Day weekend it will be on sale for .99 cents!  So if you’re looking for something new and exciting, a Navy military adventure that deals with time travel and you haven’t read it yet, make a note to get your copy this upcoming weekend.
Remember there is now bonus material at the end of the book.  The first Chapter of my second and the first Chapter to the sequel of “Whisper”, which will be titled “Leviathan Deterrent” and by released in just a month or so!
Oh, by the way my old Army buddy is one of the followers of this Blog and has a blog of his own!!  T.J. Hooker, so check him out!  He is supposed to send a link to his blog and when he does I’ll share it on an upcoming post.
May God Bless and thanks for dropping by and sharing.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Shady Side Of Characters


Throughout history some of the most notorious and famous people have been bad guys.  If you read enough of history, past the general grade school crap you will discover that some of the most outstanding people of history weren’t so untarnished or shiny in regards to their character.
Famous people who did shady things that were covered up, forgotten, downplayed in the light of their more noteworthy history making achievements.
Examples include famous statesmen who were shall we say had promiscuities that history doesn’t focus on too much.  Famous sailing Captains of renown who were also notorious pirates in their time, helping their countries under a dark flag and profiting in doing so.  Generals who committed heinous acts, cavorted with dark figures to further their means, protect others political futures, and discover intelligence about their enemies both foreign and domestic.  Presidents who ordered assassinations of individuals to further their own careers, protect national security, or maintain that certain things remain secrets.
I am not going to name names or provide a thesis on the corruption of man and the ideals we should all strive for.  I write this to possibly peak your interest to read some great books on history.  Several of them that come to mind are dry and boring to read but extremely illuminating in their insight to the true nature of life, governments, and the shady side of otherwise well-known highly respected people of history.
I also write this to instruct that your characters, to be real people, have to have flaws.  They are allowed to be shady and do stuff that makes them not so shiny and spiffy clean.  Your villains can be nasty, mean, horrible and so disgusting you get creped out just reading about them.  To make them real that have to be allowed to screw-up occasionally, make questionable decisions, and make mistakes.  We’re human, people make mistakes, even the ones we think are the greatest people who ever graced the planet screwed up now and again.
If you don’t believe me read some history books, biographies, autobiographies, and then get back with me in a few years.  Better yet, watch the news and hear about all the crap non famous people are doing every day and getting caught doing it.  What makes me shiver is the shit that happens that we will never hear about.  Then again as a writer I try and imagine what that shit might be and turn it into stories.  I have a series I will be writing in the not too distant future which will involve organized crime but from a whole new prospective.  Something I have never seen before and going to new levels of criminal activity.  The criminal stuff I imagine and have been saving up for years will come flowing out like a dam breaking with that series.
Stay Tuned ! !

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Guns in America


Even though the number of registered hunters is declining the number of registered gun owners is about to break an all-time high for the past twenty years.
Last year there were over 600,000 thousand registered hunters in Wisconsin alone.  According to stats from one blog I’ve read that makes Wisconsin hunters the world’s eighth largest army!
That’s more people with guns than men in arms in Iran.  More than France and Germany combined, and these are just seasonal hunters of Wisconsin.  That doesn’t count the 750,000 from Pennsylvania or the 700,000 from Michigan.  During hunting season in these three states alone that’s 2,050,000 that went out with loaded weapons hunting and returned home safely.
 
After reading all of this it got me curious so I checked into how many registered gun owners are there in this country?  I couldn’t find a number but I found a survey done in 2011 that showed that 34% of adult Americans own a firearm.  With a population of 311,800,000 people in 2011 that equates to about 106,012,000 Americans with Guns!
The survey said that 47% of American households has a gun on the premises!
46% percent of these are owned by men, while 23% are owned by women!  Way to go girls!!
This doesn’t include people serving actively in our armed forces who obviously have and work with some of the worlds most sophisticated weaponry in the world.
It doesn’t include those paranoid people who have guns that aren’t registered for fear that our own government will try and take them away from us.
This doesn’t include the arsenal of illegal weapons in this country you can’t register because they are illegal to own, even though some people do.
This doesn’t include those who are off the grid and living here, illegal aliens with weapons, drug dealers weapons (I don’t believe Drug dealers or modern gangsters register their work weapons.), Gangsters, Security Personal (Police, Swat, CIA, FBI, DEA, and the list could go on for days) who have weapons for work which aren’t registered to them personally.
Not that America would never get invaded, but God have mercy on the Army that does!  The right to bear arms was by far the greatest step of freedom and forward thinking our founding fathers ever came up with.  I’ll shut up and keep my freedom of speech suppressed before I give up my gun!  I’ll live under tyranny until it can be overthrown and the government returned to the people before I give up my gun.  Our founding fathers knew the time would come for a Mulligan of the very institutions they created, because we are human!  So they instituted a basic freedom to make a dictatorship or conquering the country as hard as possible!
My fear is not the fellow people of the world, or their armies, or ideologies.  My fear is our own government getting to the point they actually think it is in our best interest to be disarmed or stupid enough to try and disarm the country by force.  Either way will escalate into a blood bath.
Oh, I never mentioned the fact that of that 106,012,000 million Americans with weapons, how many do you think are ex-military, who voluntarily signed up and served to defend this great nation at one time or another?
May God Bless and Let Freedom Ring!!
Nobody prays for peace more earnestly than the soldiers!



Friday, May 18, 2012

Fantasy Book


I generally don’t read fantasy stories, not to say that I never have, they just generally aren’t my first choice.  Recently I started a Fantasy book that I am really enjoying, so as readers like to talk about what they are reading, I thought what a perfect time to share.
Cleanse Fire: The Kinir Elite Chronicles, Book 1

Excerpt from Chapter 8
A groan escaped him as he unbuttoned his shredded tunic. His hand brushed over the crest of Kinir embroidered on the front. Two lions reared up on their hind legs, one of each side of a crown atop a letter ‘K’. Silver and green threads woven together to create a metallic green look. His fingertips felt each thread, each rise in the design. How could Palto betray us?
A ragged sigh left his lips and he tossed the uniform to the floor. He wiped the dirt and grime off his skin with a soft cloth. The water turned brown. Dried blood flaked off him and landed to float on the surface of the murky water. He couldn’t take his eyes away from the bowl. The liquid swirled, making his stomach churn.
Derac’s knees collapsed from under him and he landed hard on the floor. He dragged the cloth down his face in an attempt to wash the mines and everything from his memory. Nothing helped. When he closed his eyes he saw the tortured and starved faeries and Kie panicking in the dark.
He scrambled to his feet and dumped the murky water out the window. Full of clean water again, Derac plunged his face into it. Using the pitcher, he poured more water over his head. The dirt, he had to be rid of it. All of it.
Derac straightened and squeezed the excess water from his hair. Dried blood, chunks of dirt, and who knew what else turned the water to a thick mud. He threw the contents out the window again and wiped the bowl clean.
He yanked his brush from his pack and raked it through his black tresses. Tears stung his eyes. He told himself it was the tangles in his hair but it was a lie. How many faeries had died before the team could rescue them? How many lost their innocence at the hands of a dwarf?
Derac fell to his knees and bowed his head toward the open window. Moonlight poured in, but it did little to dispel the chill he felt in his bones.
Kie willingly entered the place of her childhood nightmares. How did she muster the courage? Why wasn’t she a wreck like him? He pulled on her strength and forced himself back to his feet. Breaking down was not going to help anyone.


To find this great book use any of the following links.

Purchase Cleanse Fire


Author Bio

Anastasia knew she always wanted to write. She began at a young age, writing those little stories about the apple tree in the yard. Though her love of stories stayed with her through her poetry stage in high school, she didn’t begin writing novels until she was almost an adult. That’s where she found her true passion.  

Her characters visit her dreams – and sometimes during the day – to share their stories with her. Anastasia is merely the writer, but the characters are really the storytellers.  

Anastasia lives in Columbus, Georgia with her husband and son. A stay at home Mom, she loves spending time with her son during the day, then writing furiously at night.
To follow and try and keep up with this Great Author use these links to her: 

Facebook, Kinir Elite Page: http://www.facebook.com/TheKinirElite
Kinir Elite Website: http://kinirelite.com
Author Website: http://avpergakis.com

Author Page on Amazon (US) http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005UUVY5A

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Intrigue, Muse Whispering, & Inspiration


I see lots of blogs about where story ideas come from.  Author interviews where inevitably somebody asks what the author’s inspiration was for a story.  Whether it is a muse whispering in your ear or simple intrigue from something the author saw, the seeds of inspiration come from everywhere.
I personally feel most of mine come from thinking about concepts and asking questions, or something I see that doesn’t quite add up, therefore causing that initial intrigue.
So today I thought I would begin an experiment which I shall visit repeatedly as this seed grows.  It will develop into a story idea and eventually lead to a story or it will fizzle out into the hogwash of useless knowledge and tidbits gained from years of researching related crap for my other stories.
I mentioned in my last blog post that my next book “Leviathan Deterrent” will deal with Wiley Randolph’s training to command a Submersible Aircraft Carrier.  Part of my research for the book was to determine what the current qualifications are for becoming a Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine Commander.  I also had to figure out what the qualifications for becoming an Aircraft Carrier Commander.  What classes do these guys have to take?  What training do they require?
Along my journey I ran across an unusual website which mentioned a guy seeing a sign in the middle of the desert on a fence for U.S. Navy Underwater Warfare Training Center.  The site goes on to discuss this person’s investigation into this seemingly unlikely place for an underwater warfare training center.  It includes reports of interviewing undisclosed former navy personnel who claim that enormous underwater caverns exist than run under the Pacific Northwest as far inland as Nevada.  Where this secret training facility is located that happens to have a sign on the fence with the actual description of what it is, on the sign.
While the stupidity of our government never fails to amaze me, like the underwater phone listening and taping device we had submarines place over underwater cables between land and the Soviets Naval Base, which had a label affixed to the inner casing of the device, “Made in the U.S.A.”  Not exactly what you want labeled on the inside of blatantly espionage hardware left to spy on your cold war enemies.  So it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch to see such a sign on such a facility even if they were trying to hide it.  This is the same government which deems it necessary to put on a page in a manual (This page is intentionally left blank.)
While I am aware of underground water tables and monstrous aqua ducts as not too far away is Mammoth Springs.  North of there is a sink hole where you can throw in a bale of hay and later that same day the bale of hay will bubble up through the Springs down south.  It has been determined that the water from Mammoth Springs originates from Canada and travels over halfway across the United States to gush forth from Mammoth Springs.  Is it possible giant underwater caverns exist that extend from Nevada to the Pacific Ocean and that the U.S. Navy has been aware of them and mapping the caverns out since the 1930’s.  Possible?
Then comes the questions.  What if the author of said blog about this secret base is crazy?  What if it doesn’t exist?  Well that would be the best case scenario for writing a fictional science fiction story about a secret base and some mission involving submarines.
If it is real, that poses more questions.  What if the sign is really there as retarded as that would be?  What if it really is a secret underwater warfare training center?  What if the caverns exist?  Would you be blowing the lid off something that should remain a secret?  Would you be compromising National Security in any way by writing a story about the place?
The last thing I would want to do is spend a year or better writing my next block buster edge of your seat keep you up all night reading masterpiece to have the CIA sweep in and clear my computers and present my with an injunction to stay away from computers and no more writing or I will get locked up in prison!
So this is the seed of an idea.  Now comes the checking it out, subtle research, talk to some old retired Navy vets, research water tables, and see what percolates.  Later after I get some more information I will still need to develop an initial mission that would take us into the caverns, something that could go wrong, and something to add some tension to the otherwise boring secret base that nobody is going to believe exists anyways.
I will revisit this post and develop this idea, piece by piece, here on my blog so aspiring authors and readers can follow along the journey.  It will either turn into nothing, or it will grow and develop into a story, that who knows may someday be that next great book.
It helps to be creative.  I am a Sci-Fi/Adventure Novelist, so off the top of my head.
If we can drive submarines from Nevada out and into the Pacific Ocean what would keep an enemy from driving a submarine in from the Pacific Ocean and detonating a nuclear weapon subterraineously under our country?  Would a nuclear weapon going off down there blow up through the surface, or just cause tidal waves in the Pacific from clearing out the water in the giant caverns?  Could it cause a geothermal event such as an earth quake or volcano in Nevada?
If my blog stops after today it will more than likely be because I just exposed some terrible threat to our country and gave away a huge government secret and I am in prison with my books writing my next novel on a roll of toilet paper with a crayon.  So whose crazy, the web site guy or the Sci-Fi writer.  Stay Tuned ! !

 
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