World Art Day is an international celebration of the fine arts. Sponsored by the International Association of Arts (IAA), the goal of this day, is to appreciate art in general, and to spread world-wide enthusiasm and awareness for the arts.
There are many easy and enjoyable ways to celebrate World Art Day. Here are just a few ideas:
First and foremost, as individuals or in groups, visit museums and art galleries.
Museums and art galleries - offer extended hours today.
Museums and art galleries - put on special demos and educational programs.
Get the kids involved. Teach them about the different forms of art. Provide them with a hands-on way to experience the creation of artwork.
Purchase a piece of artwork for your home or office.
Wherever you go, make a conscious effort to be on the lookout for artwork. You will be amazed at how many works of art are prominently displayed, yet you walk by it everyday without noticing.
Help to support a "starving artist".
How I learned to love Art and History - and maybe the beginning of the Children of Stone
I've often wondered what events in a person's life point them in the direction of career, interest, and perhaps revelation of their place in the universe. For me, everything has always revolved around digging into the historical past, speculation, and the creating something that pulls all of the things I found together. Writing Children of Stone is, in many ways, a capstone of that life journey into art and history. When I was nine years old my father decided to move the family to Charleston, SC so he could return to school and pursue a PhD in Physiology. It was a journey that lasted until just before my 13th birthday. I didn't form friends easily at school, because I was regarded as different -- an outsider who had little in common with the other children who were either from the local orphanage or the spawn of faded Southern Catholic gentry. My parents took me to see the historical sights in a city just beginning to glorify its roots - before it became a tourist haven. We saw old houses, lived in two apartments which were certifiably haunted, toured all the gardens in the spring and wandered still wild beaches in the summer.
In the winter I went to the Museum. The Museum in Charleston was the oldest museum in the US, having been founded in the 1720's. It was a strange place in those days. housed in what I recalled as a large mansion-like two-storey building. The exhibits were arranged on two floors around a central covered atrium, with larger natural history and ancient world exhibits in the center. There was a large pharaoh bust, two winged bulls from the Middle east, little female snake goddesses from Crete and a female mummy in her case. I always remarked how small she was and spent hours thinking about the goddesses and what their lives must have been like. Other girls thought of fairies and princesses. I thought about gods and goddesses. The upper floors had Confederate artifacts and silver as well as mannequins wearing male and female period clothing. I don't remember much about those parts.
The only other meaningful part, and perhaps inspiration for later visions was an exhibit of minerals tucked away in a small room behind the monumental pharaoh. If a visitor pushed a button on the display, a black light came on and the minerals glowed like rainbows. Was that my first inspiration to later write of glowing rainbow colored stones that were actually intelligence from another universe - in Egypt?
Perhaps that's where the ideas started or, as I like to think, that's where the ideas that were already in my memory of ancient times, awakened.
Last we I interviewed emerging author Adam Joseph Stump. Today he presents his character, Mike
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
My name is Mike. I’m 10 years old and live in upstate New York in a small village called Edam. It’s a village of 400 people near Lake Ontario. I have a mom and dad, and I like Transformers and G.I. Joe. I like to ride my bike and play in the woods.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
I was born in Syracuse, NY. In 1979.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I’m a boy, 10 years old. I have dark hair and pink skin. I love my Go-Bots high top sneakers and my banana seat bike. I want to be an astronaut for NASA when I grow up. I don’t like the school cafeteria pizza very much, but the milk and graham crackers at snack time is pretty good. I like to read.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
I’m just a kid!
5. How old are you?
I’m 10. It’s 1989.
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
I’ve seen a lot of weird things lately. My life has been pretty strange this summer.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
Girls are gross! I have a few friends who are guys, and we get together every day and ride our bikes and hang out in town and in the woods.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
I have a really cool bike and a great comic book collection.
9. What are you obsessed with?
Saturday morning cartoons and Boo Berry cereal!
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
I go to church with my parents on Sundays. I believe in the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, and aliens on Mars.
11. Biggest fear?
Meeting the Wendigo in the woods!
12. What line will you never cross?
The town limits. My parents told me to never ride my bike past the town limits.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
The best thing is that I took a trip to Niagara Falls where I met a mummy. The worst thing is the day that I found a dead body.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
I one time peed on a toilet that was saran wrapped and it got all over my pants and I had to walk around with a big wet spot on me. Everyone was laughing at me.
15. Biggest secret?
I saw someone get killed one time. I don’t want to talk about it.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
I really want to get all the transformers for the construction Devastator!
And now, Rik Ty
What made you want to be a writer?
I was a visual artist, and I wanted to work with raw concepts. I wanted to partner with brilliant readers and really let the fireworks fly.
If you say “The dark waves came fast, and chopped hard," You don’t have to paint 30,000 waves. You just claim it, and the reader will visualize it as fully as they require. I find great freedom in that.
I almost started young. I liked creepy stuff as a kid, and thought “Maybe I’ll be a writer”, so I took out a bunch of Edgar Allen Poe stories, and couldn’t understand most of them. At the time, I blamed myself, and put the idea away. If I was born five years later, I would have encountered Stephen King, but by the time I found his work I had already closed the door on prose, and had turned my narrative eye toward comics.
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.
Thrill Kings “Not So Bad" will come out sometime in April. All Thrill Kings stories are interdimensional sci-fi -- but that’s a wide playing field. Some adventures will be terrifying, and some adventures will be light-hearted. I’m out to grab a lot of territory - 3,000 universes worth.
What books are out for sale?
The grand novel “Thrill Kings: Fragmented Sky" is available and ready to read. It’s the third act of a larger struggle, and tells of the WILD night the public becomes aware of interdimensional travel.
There are also severalBleed Zone mini-novels out. A Bleed Zone is an abrasion point between dimensions. When one erupts, the “Thrill Kings" (a sarcastic nickname) have to stop what they’re doing and return things to normal. Not So Bad is a Bleed Zone mission where the group has to corral a group of giant Cthullu-octopus-monsters in a town with a stony beach.
Alright, so I guess at this point, I’m going to be like a catalog writer, which, I will do at the slightest invitation. I will set the descriptions apart, so you can skip them if you like.
In “The Size of Minneapolis Upright" Nonstop has to evacuate a family from a farm house in the middle of a Bleed Zone that is about to get worse, but when he gets to the house, all he can find is the corpse of a friendly looking dog, and he has to find out what happened to the family, and what it is he’s up against.
In “The Gray Walls" Nonstop and Krork battle a strange inter-D in a Seattle office tower. The creature may exist by eating realities, and it may have already eaten the reality the team is standing in.
Lastly, in “The Shaftway", Nonstop follows a small inter-D down a condemned elevator shaft. He succeeds in sending the creature home, but not before it skunks him. As Nonstop climbs out of the shaftway, his thinking gets dangerous and trippy. The language of the story gets trippy too.
There are several 100 word Bleed Zone missions plastered all over facebook (soon, they’ll have their own spot on Thrill Kings Now.com. ). If you’d like to see them, you can scroll through toward the bottom of the Rik Ty page. I’ll include a bunch with the interview - you can post whichever you like -- if any.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
My first impulse is to answer “What? Are you kidding? It’s super-important," but my actual answer is that it’s up to the author. I enjoy enjoying a book, but I also read as homework, and now I read in support of other indie writers as well. There isn’t time enough to do justice to all the books that are out there. I’m going to be a little all over the place in this answer, but I’m trying to answer it honestly. I read because I like the feeling of having my mind engaged. When I find myself engaged in a book, I am not studying it. So saying that it is important for an author to read books is tricky. You need to know your craft, and you need to want to write. Reading someone else’s work is not actually required. It may not be required, but I suspect that even if you took that approach, other minds would call to you eventually. One day a few years ago, I was in Barnes & Noble with my wife, and I was just opening books at random, taking hits from whatever page I landed on. It was a very moving experience. So much wonderful work.
Do you remember the first book you read?
Three Boys and a Lighthouse
What book are you reading now?
On an indy-tear. Necrotic City by Leland Lydecker, The Dragon Dreamer by Jennifer Burke, Wakeful Children by Susan Oldham, Aliens Landed in My Backyard by Mike Van Horn, and Black Hat Blues by Gene Kendall (I have finished most of them, here, at this second attempt to finish this interview - but I owe reviews on all of them, and haven’t started Mike’s yet.)
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title?
My interdimensional vehicles idea started as a toy line idea back when Matchbox was an independent company in Moonachie New Jersey. The concept morphed and morphed and went through several names. One day, I was on the phone, and the first Batman cartoon was on tv (1990s). I saw that Batman solved problems by punching people. At the time, toy lines and tv shows were very connected, and I wanted an alternative to punching people in my offering - but I didn’t want to sound boring.
I came up with Thrill Kings. The project has been on the back burner many times. The entertainment model that spawned it is long over, but I still wanted to do something with all the ideas that had accumulated in my file cabinets -- to finally change accumulation into accretion -- so, for better or worse, the project is morphing again!
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
In my first novel, I have five main characters that I’ve split my aspirations into. Nonstop is free. Skyde is responsible. Varrage is assertive, Krork is soulful, and Norel is contemplative. There’s also a little nobody serving the bad guy who I feel very sorry for, and whom I identify with (do you remember the song lyrics - “it’s your world - and I’m just a squirrel - trying to get a nut - so move your butt. EVERYBODY DANCE NOW...") That’s him. That’s me. A squirrel, trying to get a nut.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
None. The book seeks to blast out of the mundane. There are human touches everywhere - to keep it relateable and accessible, but the book is a ROCKET away from the everyday.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
As soon as possible, that would be lovely. I suspect it would be a crazy travel trip too. You have to act out your scenes to gain insights. Early in Fragmented Sky, I have a character hit a monster with a belt. To investigate, I whipped a pillow with all my might - it felt like the bones in my forearm were trying to jump apart - and you’d better believe that I put that insight into the book.
Stephen King has a scene in Pet Semetary where the main character sleepwalks into his yard. King describes the cold jelly of the ground seeping between the character’s toes, and I said: “Stephen King went out in the yard!!!!" If I get eaten by an alligator acting out a swampglider crash, you’ll know why. If I get eaten by an alligator just LOOKING for the swampglider rental facility, that will just be business as usual for me.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I need both PEACE and quiet - two separate things. Nobody can be talking to me, and nobody can be mad at me. No competing narratives either - music with lyrics, or even evident structure can interfere. leaf blowers, dogs barking, all pop the bubble.
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
I drink coffee after coffee trying to stave off reaching for the goodies - but any carbohydrate will fall victim when I go werewolf.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Interfacing with the different web presences. I expect that I will foul up. I don’t always, but I always expect to.
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.
Total, and I mean total, lack of prose skills (Which, I know, is already evident). I did comics and related magazine writing assignments by the hundreds. I also studied screenwriting, ALL those arts are connected in their mindset. But prose is singular. Prose, the Queen of the Arts, is its own discipline, and is very hard to wield convincingly. (In prose, you are a mind in a landscape, in the others, you are a camera in a landscape.)
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
When I need encouragement I turn to my wife (hello Love). When I need EXTRA encouragement, I tell myself to man up and get on with it (yeah tough guy, mix that paint! Don’t you CLASH that blue with that pink).
How do you market your book?
Hilariously. I’m about to start exploring conventions and book fairs - which I wanted to avoid. Nothing I have tried has resulted in significant sales. My give aways have worked well. I have paid for a few freebooksy ads on two mini-novels. As a result, I have over 4,000 pieces on people’s kindles. I think that is probably a good advertisement long term. They are visible on people’s kindles, just sitting there waiting to get activated (my own kindle is FULL of indy freebies that I haven’t gotten around to yet). All my marketing is aimed at sight impressions. Eventually, I will trip apon a success, and then the past marketing will kick in, and people might start enjoying my project. But right now, I am just dragging the project behind me like Jacob Marley’s chains.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you.
Reviews yes. Readers no. Not yet.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
My Wife and my Sister.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
It hasn’t happened yet. I suspect the particular crickets that I’ll be hearing haven’t even been born.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
Be nice to each other.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
No idea. I’d like Vigo Mortenson to play Dr Norel. Maybe Jackie Chan as the voice of Krork (deepened) - I wouldn’t know on that one until we tried. Most of my characters are YOUNG, so I can’t imagine who would play them. Owen Wilson has some Nonstop characteristics - but casting isn’t a problem I have to solve - so i haven't - I’d LOVE to hear readers ideas on the subject.
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d like Stephen King to meet me. His books have been a lifeline to me, and i’d love to think of him liking my work.
Do you have any hobbies?
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I am enjoying the new novel-like aspect of tv. Breaking Bad is a novel (maybe a bit of a padded one, but it’s a novel). I enjoyed Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Anne with an E, Love,Death, Robots, What i’ve seen of Rik and Morty (first season), Girls, The Haunting of Hill House - I have complaints on all of them, but I enjoyed watching them enough to gather the complaints.
Oranges, Pineapple, crisp brocolli, grapes. (and also all the terrible, kill-you cheeseburger-parmagiana foods, and then all the terrible, kill-you desert-parmagiana ideas, and then everything salty and crunchy.)
What’s your sign, lucky number.
Cancer. 9, 27
What’s your favorite color.
I don’t have one. I used to have favorite color combos, but I don’t have any anymore. I even love the grays.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
Born again teen by Lucious. DEFINITELY try it on youtube - but don’t watch it. The visuals detract. Put it on the headphones, close your eyes, and groove to the irresistable trip. It is Thrill Kings. (I was doing my long drive to work, and trying to think of what music I’d like to use in a book trailer - I remember thinking that it had to be a rollercoaster built of bone and drumbeats, with a woman’s voice sailing along its surface using ambitious tones. One day I was driving along and I heard “Born Again Teen” on a college radio station - and i thought someone had been working off a similar checklist - a zietgeist thing. They are a great band. I love them.)
Do you have hobbies other than writing?
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Complain about young people.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
The answer that leaps to my mind is “sleep". The joke is “look for my car keys”. But i’d hope there was something my wife wanted that i could actually give her in that time, and that I could give it to her.
What do you want written on your head stone?
I will love you for all the days. (“All the days" is something my daughter said when she was very young.)(dibs!)
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
Nothing but. It’s longer than is smart to be. I didn’t use chapters. I wrote a book where several people, on motorcycles, have roles in the same scenes. I labeled a character ‘A GENIUS", and then had to try and write him (he’s SUCH a genius, that he’s come all the way back around to “folksy” ...so HA!).
I also did several experiments in the book. No one has complained yet - but some may.
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
I found it very helpful to get up early and write BEFORE my day officially started. I had my brain the freshest it was going to be, and whatever else the day threw at me, I had already moved the needle. Lack of sleep over years beat me up pretty good though.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
My Wife. (I resist saying her name on facebook and promotional stuff, but she has a beautiful name.)
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
Amazon and Kobo at the moment.
Social media links and websites?
A very expensive waste of time. Due for a major overhaul and then some actual usage. Learning as I go.
Rik Ty on facebook
THANK YOU! THIS WAS GREAT!
As an Indie author and often a small press author we spend a lot of time marketing our works. From the time I first published in Fall of 2013 I followed Goodreads and Createspace guidelines, offered free books for review, had giveaways, and presented books in online takeovers as well as online reader conventions. I faithfully posted and hosted, but in the background I came to realize that an author who isn't KNOWN isn't sold. One can pay for advertising or Personal assistants, but nothing "gets you out there" more than showing up, meeting potential readers and talking the books.
That means going to Group book signings where sometimes over 100 authors are presenting. Thank goodness I'm not an introvert. In fact I often have to "dial back" my presentation or take a visual cue that a passerby isn't interested -- or that they are. The downside is planning. I've had the terrible experience of waiting a little too long to sign up, only to discover there were no tables left for any price. I've seen an event fill up within a day of first posting. The take-away? Make that deposit - at least the minimum. The next thing is ordering books, creating a Pre-Order form and presenting books online at the event site as usual. Beyond that, it's all about attracting people to your table, having a display and a poster (preferably a 6 foot one on an easel) You need to have cards, bookmarks, S.W.A.G. (usually cute themed items with your contact info on them) A dish of candy is handy. Bring a raffle basket filled with your books, and themed goodies. Readers bid on these and the winner takes your basket and the rest of the loot home. For Children of Stone I would have things like a handwoven grass basket with sheepskin (Or maybe toy sheep and donkeys), Packaged pita bread and dates, a jar of honey, a sage bundle, little bags of gemstones, kohl eye makeup, Middle Eastern recipes, incense sticks, crystals and so forth. If it's a distance, you might need to get a motel room. Is all this worth it? I suppose I'll see. At my first outing I almost broke even, but didn't have a basket for the table, just my handmade bookmarks. It is worth it in networking with other authors, at least. Authors often buy each other's books or ebooks. Professionals are often there as well -- and models for the eye candy part. Because these are predominantly Romance/Erotica and Paranormal signings, look for a few new novella sized works with that angle by then, as well as my Children of Stone tales. So far for 2020 I have booked.
April 11, 2020 and
Watch for developments on all my pages and blogs.
Venus Trap (Hidden Portals trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition