As most of you know, my writing has always been the product of dreams and meditation. I really don't know another way to come up with a story. The times I suffer from Writer's Block are times when I'm not dreaming effectively. The way I write has a name: Lucid Dreaming. More on that later. First:
WHOOPS - Sometimes it happens. I've recently interviewed an author named Olga Olha, but failed to mention there was a pen name involved.
It's none other than O. N. Stefan. Just to bring the rest of my readers up to speed and any fans of O. N. Stefan's up to speed here are some links to a couple awesome trailers that made me certainly want to run and 1-click.
Lucid Dreaming and me
In 1970 I began to study the occult and various other esoteric things. One of these was the possibility of reincarnation. More on that later. I'd actually considered the possibility of immortality of a sort and multiple identities throughout time for a number of years. Whenever I saw live action movies as a child I would play parts in them with school friends or just by myself. I was Davy Crockett grinning a "bar". I was the man on the flying trapeze. I was the woman criticizing St. Peter on the night Jesus was awaiting crucifixion. I was Ishmael. That's not so unusual, you say. Mine were different, I think, because I became characters. I dreamed about the movies and often discussed them with a sparkling azure colored friend named Starr. Later, most of them were about sailing ships or silvery-white glowing people who never died but were placed in special coffins in a cave that opened to another dimension where they had to remain most of the time. At that time in my life I had never read about the lands of faery, or caves that had portals but once I did, it fit my dreams. My first two novel attempts at age 15 and 16 were about sailing ships and a replica of the HMS Bounty which was stolen by young people and then lost in the Amazon. When my children were small we went on that replica during a Tall Shops tour and I told them the story. Not long after that, some young people manned an expedition in that ship and it was lost in a hurricane off the coast of North Carolina - with a more tragic outcome than my teen-aged dream. Was I seeing the future? At 16 I wrote a novel set in Regency England and early America but this time the dreaming was different. I could actually wake up from the dream and the following night after I had written notes about it I could dream again starting at the point where I had stopped. The other odd thing was that I saw myself as a man in the dream - a rakish and wealthy male of Scottish descent named Jamie - an adventurer and writer of 'penny dreadfuls'. I followed him through his affairs and watched his life fall apart as he descended into alcoholism and despair ending in his death of exposure on the Cape Cod shore. It wasn't the future. Was it the past? My meditation teachers and friends said it was a past life, though I never found a historical reference to someone named James MacPherson of any note in that era. But what fun it was to go into a lucid state and travel through history - to be part of history. My friends and I catalogued and drew pictures of many eras in which we had known each other. We were always drawn to the Minoan and Pre-Greek cultures and then to Post-Roman Britain. Still later we found ourselves in Early Spanish Mexico the decadent early 1700's and in the Roaring Twenties. Other times the dreams were even more fantastic. We weren't even on Earth. During that time we also channeled spirits and experienced ghostly apparitions. One of them, Raemkai, was the first to insist we look at ancient Egypt.
(<- Early drawing of Marai as seen in a dream session)
We did, and then the stories continued on an almost daily basis. These became the basis for the series Children of Stone. In that series of dreams I was a woman but still an adventurer and today what we'd call a drunken whore. Many years later I DID find historical reference to names of royalty that came to me. When I wrote the book, I couldn't leave them out. The name I used for a manipulative High Priest Horsophet synched up with ancient scholar and priest Hordjedtef. His assistant Kaf-User became the real Prince Wserkaf, the priest of Ra and reluctant king through the machinations of his wife Khentkawes. And Raemkai? This evidently was a name of some princes. A tomb of one of them has been found, but he died young and was likely named for an older one. So... Was it reincarnation? Was it some form of time travel? Were we channeling spirits from other eras? Seeing into other dimensions and alternate universes? Was it lucid dreaming? Was it Remote Viewing?
Lucid Dreaming has been defined as becoming self-aware in dreams - and with that comes the ability to control the dreams. You can be or do anything you want in these dreams (experts say). One of the best references to Lucid Dreaming and remote viewing I've found is a book by Wm. R. Fix called Star Maps which shows how shamans and even Ancient Egyptians practiced the viewing and how people are studying it through the use of isolation tanks and chambers. Here's a link if you are curious.
One of the oddest things I discovered was that the same dream becomes clearer over the years. Perceptions evolve. When I first saw what would become Children of Stone, the people in it seemed like extras from Cecil B DeMille's Ten Commandments - cheesy costumes, white skin and all.
Over the years and revisited, I see everyone as some shade of brown - from paper bag or golden tanned color to darkest brown/black - curly to nappy hair - far from the pale color I had originally seen. Does that cast doubt on it being a past life as opposed to a lucid dream, since the look changed. I can honestly say I really don't know. BUT RESEARCH AND DREAMING CONTINUE
Last week was DM week but I stated that I'd follow up with some comments that were left about the Influence Role Playing Games and being a dungeon Master had on writing.
Mark McQuillen I've been a game master since the very beginning of AD&D and have been playing since 1974. The Valkyries from my books Malice and Mist were player characters at one time. The setting for the books was my campaign world thats where I acquired my world building skill
Mark's book Valkyrie Darkness https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016FES2CW?ref_=dbs_mng_calw_0&storeType=ebooks
John Fulton My work is based on over 40 years of running games. The Edge of Darkness: The Sword of Darkness https://www.amazon.com/Edge-Darkness-Sword-Book-Two-ebook/dp/B01NATQ9G4/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=rich+DiLeonardo&qid=1552260678&s=digital-text&sr=1-1-fkmr0
Angel Medina or Angel Ramon has been a gamer most of his life and now writes Horror and GameLit for a living Angel's Nightmare Adventure 1.5 Kindle Edition by Angel Ramon is an example https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D81SG9B/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0
Last week Kevin G. Chapman attorney and author told us of his double life as a lawyer and an author. Today we meet his character Mike Stoneman from Righteous Assassin
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
Detective Mike Stoneman. Manhattan Homicide division. I’ve been on the force 24 years, the last 17 as a detective. In addition to my case assignments, I teach classes to aspiring (and current) detectives and officers about crime scene protocol, evidence gathering, witness interviewing, and other matters. I’m a tough teacher. One of my hispanic officer/students referred to me as “culo de peidra” the “ass of stone.” That moniker stuck with me, and I kinda like it.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
Born and raised in Uniondale, Long Island, in the shadow of the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I’m a cop. That’s how I want people to think of me. I’m not a hero. I’m not Sherlock Holmes who can solve any crime just by making observations at the crime scene. I work hard and follow my leads and take care of my evidence. The criminals are usually stupid and they get caught. That’s my job.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
I had a pretty standard suburban childhood. Uniondale was a pretty tough town, so I got into my share of scrapes as a kid. Graduated in the top third of my high school class, but I was no genius. My father worked for the Long Island Railroad, so he got me a job working for the LIRR after high school.
I worked on the trains and then one night a crazy guy with a knife tried to slice up his ex-wife and her baby between Jamaica and Willet’s Point. I intervened. After that I moved over to security and worked there for a year. My boss encouraged me to enroll at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and to think about a career in law enforcement, so that’s what I did.
5. How old are you?
Fifty-two. But that’s not for public consumption. I’d like to be thought of as in my late 40s.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
My childhood was fine. Like I said, a little tough at times, but no worse than anybody else.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
I don’t talk about relationships much. I dated a little bit after I joined the force, but I always was too busy and working crazy hours so I didn’t really have time for women.
My relationships were more with my partners. My last partner, before Jason Dickson, was Darrin Curran. That relationship had an effect on me because Darrin has a wife and kids and I kind of adopted them – or they adopted me. I got to be close with his kids, who called me “uncle Mike.” I also really liked his wife, Maggie. I was a wreck for a while after Darrin got shot.
It was partly may fault. After that I guess I felt a little bit of a void in my emotional life, which is when I started thinking about Michelle McNeill, the Medical Examiner. We had been friends and colleagues for years, but suddenly I was more, well, interested. We’ll see how that works out.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
9. What are you obsessed with?
Crime Scene Procedure. I teach a class in it. Evidence collection and handling, chain-of-custody documentation, observation techniques, witness interviewing techniques. This is the stuff that makes or breaks an investigation, so you have to care.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “beliefs.” I believe in doing the right thing and protecting people from harm. I believe in justice and punishment. I hope that makes life better for everyone.
11. Biggest fear?
Spiders. Please don’t tell anyone.
12. What line will you never cross?
I would never betray my partner. A detective’s partner is his other heart. You have to trust him (or her) with your life. I had a little trouble getting there with Jason Dickson, my current partner, but I think we both got over the hump recently.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
Best thing was making Detective. I had to take the exam four times. This is where I need to be, so getting there was huge. Worst thing? Getting onto the radar of the New York press. I hate the press. All they want to talk about is your “human interest” story, or the gory details of some crime scene. I wish they never knew my name.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
I was once a witness at a trial while I was deeply immersed in another investigation. I confused the case I was working on with the case I was testifying about and ended up giving entirely incorrect testimony. It was a full ten minutes before the junior prosecutor handling the case realized that I was not even talking about his case. He was embarrassed, but I was mortified.
15. Biggest secret?
Until the events at the end of Righteous Assassin, biggest secret is that I allowed myself to be seduced by a female suspect in an investigation, and then I ignored some evidence that implicated her. I even hid the evidence – a toxicology report – in the file of another case I was working on at the same time, so that there would be a plausible explanation for how the report got put in the wrong file. I paid the emotional price for that mistake when the woman killed again.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
Determined. I don’t let anything, or anyone, get in the way of completing my investigation and making my arrest. Well, almost never.
17. What is your current goal?
To convince the Police Commissioner to let me keep working full-time as a trainer and consultant so that I can stop running all around the City chasing down leads and interviewing idiot witnesses.
Righteous Assassin is available as a Kindle ebook or paperback from amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07JJDZZC1.
Readers who want to bypass amazon can go to this link for other retailers for the ebook, including Barnes & Nobel, Kobo, and others:
I’ll be happy to send an autographed paperback copy to anyone who wants to order one directly from my website at www.kevingchapman.com.
Note that from March 13 through March 20, 2019, Righteous Assassin will be available as a Kindle ebook for only $1.99 on amazon.com. This is a special promotional price, so get ‘em while they’re cheap!
A few weeks ago we saw the Press releases for Amanda Rose's books. This week it's her turn for the interview portion. Welcome Amanda!
What made you want to be a writer?
I’ve always loved the English language. Reading books transported me into amazing worlds, which brought me so much joy. It made me want to create my own worlds to share.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
My 7th book is releasing March 29th, titled Manifesting Money, the 3rd installment in my manifesting series. These books focus on the Law of Attraction and how to incorporate it in our lives. After struggling for years in my early adulthood with finances, I took it upon myself to get very invested in self-help and was shocked by how fast my circumstances changed. That inspired me to want to pay it forward.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
Incredibly important. We learn and pick up new techniques, ideas, and inspiration from the books we read.
Do you remember the first book you read?
Not the first book, I know I read a lot of introductory books in Kindergarten that I’ve forgotten. ‘The paper bag princess’ comes to mind as one of the earliest I remember. I also had comics from hooked on phonics and adored the story of Dracula!
What book are you reading now?
You are a Badass Every Day by Jen Sincero.
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
The Fire Fury Saga was originally one book, which was under the working title Freedom. The name never quite felt complete to me. A few years ago, I rebranded my home business under Fire Fury, and when it came to launch this series the title jumped out, Fire Fury Freedom. It resonated so much with the struggles the characters of this dystopian world that I’d built had to face.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
In Fire Fury Freedom Suako, in Fire Fury Frontier Freya.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The interpersonal relationships sprang up from life experience, both mine and relationships I saw between my friends and family. The plot, however, is entirely imaginative.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, I’ve always found everything I needed to craft a world within my mind.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I prefer music when I write, it helps me to focus, gives me energy, and sets the mood. I prefer rock, and usually opt in to listen to Marilyn Manson while I write.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
A cup of tea or cold coffee are always next to my laptop when I write.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
I find editing and rewrites can be tedious, though I wouldn’t go as far to say that I detest them.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Figuring out how to do it. My first book, Fire Fury Freedom, was written and sitting in a file folder on my computer for 16 years before I finally kicked my own butt to get it published.
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
There’s some incredible authors I’ve connected with on social media, we keep each other on track.
How do you market your book?
There’s a very long answer to this question. Marketing is a multi-pronged strategy. Social media, pay-per-click advertising, magazine ads, getting blogger reviews, editorial reviews, setting up book signings, the list goes on and on. At least half the job of an author is to market, that’s why I started teaching others how to do it successfully, most authors have no clue.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
Many times. It’s hard to pick just one comment that stands out, however it makes my heart happy to hear when someone has enjoyed a great story, or seen massive life change from one of my self-help books. The whole reason I write is to help others find joy.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
My husband, close friends, and professionals. An author’s biggest fear isn’t having their work ripped off, it’s obscurity.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
It was an amazing day. I’d booked the signing at our local Indigo book store, Canada’s biggest chain library. Friends and family turned out all day, the table was beautiful, and it felt like validation that I really was a professional author. The staff were so helpful and friendly too; it was one of the days I’ll never forget.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
Though my manifesting series I want readers to know if you Master your Mindset, you master your life. Through my fiction, I want to create awareness for taking care of our planet, mental health, and creating a positive global community.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fire Fury Freedom I’d love to see Karl Urban playing Mack.
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Marilyn Manson, because he’s a brilliant, thoughtful artist.
Do you have any hobbies?
I love playing video games and spending time with my cats.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love sci-fi shows and films, star trek, star wars, The Expanse, Battlestar Galactica; I find them inspiring.
Dates, peanut Butter, chocolate, popcorn.
What’s your sign, lucky number.
What’s your favorite color.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
It’s fairly grand scale, so I’d think orchestral.
Do you have hobbies other than writing?
I love to cook, arts and crafts, and reading.
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Is this a trick question? Haha, I’ll always write.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my husband and cats, playing video games, chatting, and enjoying good food.
What do you want written on your head stone?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve never thought about it because I don’t plan to have a headstone, I plan to be cremated.
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Oh plenty. Forgot page numbers, Footers and headers
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
Do it! Don’t procrastinate, get it done.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
MANIFESTING MONEY: https://amzn.to/2CT26LD
MANIFESTING ON PURPOSE: https://amzn.to/2CCk9ai
MANIFESTING YOUR BEST LIFE: https://amzn.to/2EFtJvC
All Stars Fall: A Seaside Pictures/Big Sky Novella Kindle Edition by Rachel Van Dyken 3-12-19 https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C8MXG6Y/ref=pe_1884310_378545940_pe_re_csr_ea_title
So This weekend Dr. Jackie and I head off to Perrysburg, Ohio for my one and only signing so far this year. You've seen the ads and read about a few of the authors who will be there. I've ordered my books, made bookmarks, had a poster ordered, made sure I have cards, filled my pre-orders and taken extra. Now I need to make copies of my printed material and practice my friendliness. I plan to see Andi Lawrencovna who got this website off the ground and created a poster for me, Darlene Kuncytes who was my first author acquaintance and went to a few shows with me in other years. Renee Jean whom I interviewed, a seatmate Christy and the folks who ordered books from me or helped out: Susan, Tina, Dyana, Rochelle, Kylah, Martha and Wendy Next week I'll post a photo or two about how it went.
TIL THEN BUILD A DREAM AND MANIFEST A WORLD! be a writer.