stuntman

Hello friends!

After seeing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I left the theatre asking myself which was better; older movies with natural stunts from Stuntmen, or computer generated imagery special effects, which have replaced the need for dangerous stunts.

I did enjoy the movie very much, but as with the last Superman movie, felt as if I was watching a video game. The movie setting always seemed to be in the dark, combined with the numerous explosions and destruction of property, which left me thinking that the video game special effects mentality in movies has gone too far. Oh sure…I understand that computer generated imagery is now the best option for flying superheroes around, and for destroying buildings in order to avoid the cheesy special effects, like in the older films such as the original Superman movies starring the late, great, Christopher Reeves. Or is required in movies like The Amazing Spiderman to make the stunts look realistic. But also watch again, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and see how awesome a movie can be with natural stunts. Indiana Jones running from the huge rolling ball in the cave was epic stunt work at its finest!

I was also recently told that the Die Hard movies starring Bruce Willis used stunts more than computer imagery, and ditto with the James Bond movies of past and present. If true, those are some great movies, even without all the computer generated special effects often found in many current action films.

When it comes right down to it, I’d prefer a 50/50 balance of natural stunts and computer generated imagery if possible. For example the 2002 release of Spiderman in which William Dafoe claimed to have done 90% of his own stunts. That’s what I’m talking about! A realistic and natural appearance not a video game appearance. Just compare the earlier Spiderman movies starring Tobey Macguire, to The Amazing Spiderman, and see the difference between natural stunts and computer generated imagery special effects. Although I like  both, I prefer the stunts in the original Spiderman movies. I’m no expert on this subject, just a fan of these fantastic movies both older and new. There’s something to be said about the usage of jaw-dropping stunts and explosions over fake imagery, and I hope movie producers begin trending back again. I also have a friend who works in the stunt department in Hollywood, and I would like to see him keep his job.

Which do you prefer?

Thank you!

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marketing

Hello friends!

Before I begin, let me inform you that the opinion’s in this blog, are my own personal views based on different experiences, learning curbs and frustrations, as well as gut instincts over the last year or two, when it comes to marketing on Twitter and Facebook. My views might not apply to other Authors, and I would always recommend that any new Authors, heed the advice of their publisher, agent, or those far more qualified to give marketing advice than myself. However, if you’re a recent new Author like me, you just might relate to what I write. Now that the disclaimer is over with, let me begin.

 

Since Village of the Full Moon Curse was released in 2013, I’ve heard from a number of sources that Facebook is the most important place for Author’s to market their books, and it’s probably true. However, for the past year, my number of new followers on Twitter has been skyrocketing, including Retweets of my websites. But on Facebook, I often feel as if I’m treading water, while wondering what the best approach to take for marketing is. This experience has made me recently question where most of my marketing energy should be focused.

 

I often visit other popular Author’s Facebook pages in search for new ideas to use for my own page. I’ve noticed that many big time, popular Authors, seem to flourish on Facebook. They’ve already built an enormous fan base from all over the world, their books are highly popular, and readers regularly inhabit their Facebook pages for hopeful conversation, or any inspirational quotes that they can find. Facebook definitely works best for the popular big boy Authors that everyone is familiar with! But what about us new unknown Authors, who folks outside of our small local markets have never heard of?

 

We can start a Facebook page, blog, post information about our books in hopes of growing a fan base, but honestly, it feels like it’s a slower than cold molasses process. I’ve conversed with other new Authors on Twitter and they share the same frustration. Some have even departed Facebook, and would rather market solely on Twitter. Why? No one has heard of us, and what better place to spread word about a new book across the globe than on Twitter. Seriously folks, I have followers from all over the world there, and I follow them as well. Many Retweet post and links to my books to their followers, and I return the favor to my followers. Thankfully, I now have over 9000 followers on Twitter, and in the last 28 days, my tweets have earned 67,854 impressions! I’m not sure what that means but it sounds good.

However on Facebook, I often feel fortunate and thankful to have one post shared. The same post that struggle to get views, likes, or shares on Facebook, get several likes and Retweets on Twitter. Now where do you think I want to spend more time marketing? You guessed it. On Twitter! At least it’s more fun there.

Another frustration that I sometimes have with Facebook, is on what material to market there. I write vampire, werewolf, and alien Science fiction books, so shouldn’t I be marketing for the fan base of that genre? There’s only so many pictures of aliens, vampires, and werewolves that I can post, and when I have tried, the views and interest seemed to be low. So I began posting scenic photos of Alaska in hopes of drawing more interest, which is currently working. However, I’m not Alaska magazine, so shouldn’t I be marketing Science fiction material instead? Lest I have folks visiting my page in order to admire the beautiful photos of Alaska, and who aren’t interested in my vampire, werewolf, and alien novels. So if you’re asking me how I intend to market my books on Facebook in the future, the answer is, ‘I don’t know.’ I don’t know how I should be marketing there. I’m still experimenting, learning, and it feels like a work in progress. But on Twitter, all you need to do is gain some followers, get a few allies to Retweet with, and you’ll start growing followers very quickly, and the word of your books will spread with it.

Don’t misunderstand me please. Although I prefer Twitter much more than Facebook, marketing on as many social avenues that you can find, is what’s recommended. Facebook allows you to converse with readers more than Twitter, and has far more potential once you become established. Market on as many social media sites as you’re able to handle. The proof of how you’re doing will ultimately be in the number of sales. Book sales will be the final judge of what works best for you, and I wish you all the best.

Thank you!

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Hello Friends!

Have you ever known someone who was on a self-destructive path toward rock bottom? And regardless of any wise council or offers of help they received, they wouldn’t listen and continued spiraling downward. For example, I’ll use NFL Quarterback, Johnny Manziel. The man had a great collegiate career, was a Heisman Trophy winner, and a 2014-22nd first round selection in the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns. Instant story of success…right? Not exactly. Despite all of this good fortune, the man has had a tumultuous career filled with off field issues so disruptive that the Brown’s Organization has finally had enough, and waived him. In fact, he’s in serious jeopardy of never playing in the NFL again, because at this time, no other teams seem interested in him. At least not until after he gets the help that he sorely needs, and he changes his foolish attitude, if he’s willing. He’s been offered assistance, been giving sound advice by many respected coaches and peers, and was even put into a rehab program by the Browns, but yet, the man continues to implode with off the field destructive behavior. Some will say, that he just don’t get it, or he don’t care. Maybe he needs to hit rock bottom before the light switch comes on. Sadly, that’s what it takes for some folks, and even then, foolishly refuse to change, either finding themselves behind bars-or worse yet…dead.

Personally, I get annoyed when I hear the talking heads say, “They need to get him help.” Who needs to get him help? You can’t help someone who doesn’t listen to council or want to change, and he doesn’t seem to want it. So as far as I’m concerned, if he’s too proud and foolish to seek help, then let him learn through the school of hard knocks! Toss him into prison, where he should be after beating his ex-girlfriend. But these days, it appears that athletes get slapped on the wrist for off the field ludicrous behavior, unlike the rest of us folks, which is one area where I think our justice system is flawed.

 

Manziel’s career has been similar to that of another former quarterback named Ryan Leaf, whose NFL career and personal life also capsized, and he has recently mentioned, ‘It’s like a mirror’ when referring to Manziel. Ryan Leaf has been quoted as saying, “There’s always a solution, but it’s so hard to see when you’re on this pedestal and you think you don’t need help.” I suppose that could be titled, when pride goes wrong. Leaf eventually found himself in prison, which was when the light switch finally turned on for him. He had to hit rock bottom and it’s possible that Manziel will as well. At least if that occurs, you hope that he finally gets it.

 

There is also another rock bottom man mentioned in the Bible, in Luke Chapter 15: 11-32. He was rich too, and foolishly left the easy life under his father and journeyed into a far country, where he wasted his substance with riotous living. In didn’t take long for him to find himself in serious want. In fact so much so, that he survived by eating pig’s food. Now that’s rock bottom!

Verses 16-18- And he would fain have filled his belly with the husk that the swine did eat: and no man gave to him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee.

 

The man had to hit rock bottom before he finally came to his senses, but the good news was that he finally came to himself. And because of it, everything worked out for him in the end, and his father eagerly accepted him back into the fold, and they lived happily ever after. My advice for Johnny Manziel or anyone else in a similar dire situation would be to come to your senses, like the son in the Bible. There’s always hope, and there’s always help. Don’t wait until you hit rock bottom to seek it.

Thank you.rock bottom

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Village of the Full Moon Curse, a novel about a cursed werewolf embarking on a dangerous quest to save the woman he loves from the hands of an aged powerful vampire. He receives unexpected assistance from two outsiders who help to save the entire village of Circa, Alaska from the hands of evil vampire minions. Village of the Full Moon Curse is exciting vampire/werewolf fiction providing romance for Twilight fans, suspense and drama for Vampire Diaries readers, shooting action for Van Helsing enthusiasts, and werewolf/vampire battles for the Underworld movie goers, along with sarcasm and witty humor. IMG_1747

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Sky Streak of Terror, a novel about heroism, love, and betrayal, when a young man from the small community of Spruce Hills, Alaska, has his peaceful farming life turned upside down, when he learns that he is responsible for freeing an immortal and murderous, extra-terrestrial prisoner from a fallen meteorite. The gifted young man with newly acquired enhanced abilities is soon forced into action. He entered the conflict between the devastating alien shape-shifter and nearby military’s doomed and decimated troops, in order to save mankind from imminent destruction, while also battling his personal feelings of love, guilt, and demons of tragedy. Sky Streak of Terror is a sci-fi, alien super thriller, which will keep readers guessing with suspense through each and every page. The story is loaded with explosive action and powerful suspense and drama. And its romance, along with the many twist, turns, and unexpected plots, will leave readers craving for more.IMG_1746

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Unearthed, a Sky Streak of Terror sequel and saga featuring the return of gifted super-soldier Benjamin Jones, and his comrade-in-arms, Master Sergeant Adrian Wilson. The two heroes are immediately sent into action, after a newly discovered sinkhole results in the mysterious disappearances of an entire costal region’s population in the small city of Nomo, Alaska, including renown sexy agent Taryn Cruz. During their intense investigation, the men horrifically discover that a fifteenth century family of vampires were responsible for the may-hem, when amassing an army of vampire minions, in seeking to avenge themselves against a powerful clan of nomadic werewolves, responsible for their burial beneath Nomo long ago. Ben and Adrian soon find themselves in grave peril as well, after being caught up in the centuries old feud, which places them in a race against time to stop them, and ensure the survival of mankind. Unearthed has all the exciting action, emotional drama, and intense suspense of Village of The Full Moon Curse and Sky Streak of Terror, including an enhanced romantic undertone that makes this novel a must read for fans of this genre. IMG_1748

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Hello friends.

Increasing gun violence, illegal drugs flowing across our borders, rising drug use and growing addictions, gang violence, robberies, and yet more shootings! Is there a way to slow America’s escalating epidemic of self-destruction? I would like to hear the political candidates address this topic more, and come up with their new ideas to slow it down, and one that doesn’t include the legalization of drugs or banning guns. Maybe Donald Trump touched on it a little, when he mentioned building a wall along the Mexican border, but if I were a Presidential Candidate, I’d have a few of my own ideas to share with the American people.

 

Not long ago, while I was doing a book signing at a grocery chain store, an store employee told me that someone was recently arrested for trying to rob their pharmacy, after breaking into it from the rooftop. That same evening while watching the news, a big city pharmacy in another state, was robbed at gunpoint, and the suspects ran off with a number of various narcotic drugs. When I was on the Grand Jury last summer, most of the cases presented to us by the District Attorney were drug related cases. I even once worked with a nice fellow, who eventually was arrested after robbing a bank, because he was desperate for cocaine. Who suspected? Not me. Sadly, even Emergency Rooms have restricted the amount of pain medication they prescribe to those who truly need it, because of the numerous fraudulent visits by addicts or dealers over the years, looking for drugs.

Seemingly every night, the news channels are filled with armed robbery horror stories and shootings, which raises suspicions of drug involvement. Of course, not every shooting is drug related, and many are disturbing attacks by terrorist, criminals, or mentally unstable citizens in the heat of rage. School shootings are also heinous crimes  that needs addressing, but that’s another blog for another day. But whether it’s right or wrong, each time I hear reports of gang shootings, armed robberies, or assaults, in most cases, I’m suspicious that it’s drug related. If so, what to do? Is it possible to fight both increased gun violence and illegal drug use simultaneously, by any means possible? I’m not talking about preventing your neighbor from taking drugs, or recreational use mind you. Everyone needs to make a personal choice of right and wrong, although I support marijuana for medical use only. I’m talking about stopping the more serious crimes of gang violence connected to shootings, and illegal drug sales and abuse by criminals on both sides of our borders.

 

If a Muslim extremist gunned down innocent people on a Chicago City street, he would be branded a terrorist, and outrage would ensue, and rightfully so. But gang shootings seem to occur there on a daily basis, and the innocent often die, but our hands seem to be tied. Gang members showing no remorse, riddle bullets and spray gunfire with reckless abandon to send a message, and often bystanders are also struck in the mayhem. If gunning down other citizens is not an act of terrorism, what is? Because their crimes are so heinous and involves guns, maybe we should consider revoking their legal rights as citizens, and treat those criminals as terrorist, as with extremist.  

Illegal drugs are smuggled across the border because of the high demand, and we seem helpless to slow it down. Maybe it’s time to give the Mexican Cartel the terrorist label and treatment.  I understand that we have laws that govern our country, but maybe it’s time to tinker with a few of those laws. Maybe it’s time to permanently place military personal and equipment along the Mexican border, and make drug smuggling a terrorist act, instead of a crime. Stop the Cartel by any means necessary, including by the use of drones, bombs, military ground attacks, air strikes, and whatever else it takes to permanently wipe them out! The same force that we would inflict on Al Qaeda. Destroy the Cartel’s existence, and means of growing and transporting illegal drugs across the border, and drug related violence in our country should also decrease. Cut the snake’s head off! Naturally, I don’t want to see American turn into a police or military state, but I want to see a tougher approach taken against heinous crimes, including Capital Punishment. I realize that in our inner cities, the lack of jobs is part of the problem there, but first we have to make those streets safe, before business will want to come. Who wants to start a business in a war zone. It also doesn’t help that selling drugs brings more power and profit than many jobs. I’m not endorsing higher wages but instead, making the streets safe. It’s pathetic for anyone living in those areas, to fear for their lives. Drive or walk down the wrong street at night, and it could cost you your life. Seriously? In America? I say enough is enough!

 thEOMRI8W0

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Hello friends!

Each February 14th, many people exchange cards, Love Poems, candy, gifts, red roses, a romantic dinner, hugs and kisses to their special “Valentine.” For those folks who don’t have a special someone, this day can be torturous, and my heart goes out to you. However, I believe that if you’re patient and wise, your special someone will be found.

I had to go online to research Valentine’s Day in order to find its origins, and I was a little surprised by what I found. Apparently, the day of romance is named for a Christian Martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has roots in the Roman holiday Feast Lupercalia, a bloody festival, and a violent murder. That’s enough reason for me not to celebrate Valentine’s Day! I hope my wife will understand. Ha! Of course I’m joking, because I value my life too.

There are several versions and legends associated with the popular day, along with the Middle Ages belief by the people in England and France, that birds began to mate from this day. I’m not buying into that belief, which sounds a tad bit ridiculous.

It is said by Historians that the Romans of ancient times, honored Juno on February 14th, The queen of Roman gods and goddesses, and who was also a goddess of Women and Marriage. On the following day, they began the fertility festival called Feast of Lupercalla, in order to honor two more false gods of agriculture, Lupercus and Faunus. It further continued throughout that year, by pairing boys and girls together after drawing written names out of a jar. Is it me, or were those folks a little out of touch with reality.

Another story goes that a romantic at heart priest of Rome Saint Valentine, defied Emperor Claudius II bloody campaigns, and orders to cancel all marriages and engagements. He secretly continued marrying couples anyway, which landed him in the dungeon, where he was brutally beaten and put to death on February 14, 270 AD. If true, that takes conviction!

According to another version, Valentine was killed because he attempted to help Christians escape from the Roman prison. Yet another popular version of the legend states that while in prison Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter who visited him during confinement. Before his death, he wrote a farewell letter to his sweetheart from behind bars, and signed ‘From your Valentine.’ What a guy! He was thinking of her before his death, instead of his last meal. The expression became very popular amongst love struck then and is still very much in vogue.

Around 498 AD, Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as St. Valentine’s Day to honor the martyr Valentinus and to end the pagan celebrations. Hooray! The popularity of Valentine’s Day has spread in countries across the seven continents and is still increasing by the year. If you’d like to learn more, there’s a ton of websites addressing it.

Thank you!

thGJM47DXA

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Hello friends.

Rocky versus Drago! Godzilla versus any giant creature! King Kong versus a giant snake, and soon to be released, Superman versus Batman! What are your favorite Hollywood fictional combatants’ of all time?

Release a cool superhero movie like The Avengers, Spiderman, or X-Men, and I’m watching! I even enjoy PBS shows like Doctor Who, but especially love the CW TV series-The Flash, and The Originals, and all the supernatural skirmishes those characters often get into, as well as the new show on CBS, Super Girl. It’s been cool seeing all these comic book heroes and villains being introduced to film and TV shows like Small-Ville, Gotham and Arrow in recent years, and now rumors of The Rise Of The Justice League, and Wonder Woman coming to the big screen, is super exciting and been long overdue. In fact, I love this genre so much, that I wrote three novels with both mortal and supernatural heroes and villains inside their pages!

I rank my top-five, favorite fictional combatants of all time, and their deadly confrontations that helped to inspire my imagination beyond belief.

Number five- Freddy vs Jason!

The movie is a little gory, but seeing these two legends of horror that never die, being locked in brutal combat, was fun to watch. Freddy Krueger had the advantage in his dream world, but once Jason Voorhees brought him into the conscious realm, the advantage drastically swung in his favor.

Number four- Species 8472 vs the Borg!

For anyone who ever watched and enjoyed Star Trek-The Next Generation and Star Trek Voyager, you remember how badass the Borg were. They were a powerful species of Cyborgs that struck fear into the hearts of every other species that encountered them, and nearly assimilated humankind into their collective, turning them into Borg. They were at the top of the alien food-chain, until they eventually encountered, and messed with the wrong species from the Delta Quadrant, a species which proved to be more dangerous and powerful than themselves,-Species 8472!

Number three- Alien vs Predator!

I fell in love with the first Predator movie that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, and featured an imposing alien creature with incredible stealth, size, and strength, as well as advanced weaponry and technology, hunting a commando team in the jungle. I also liked Predator 2, albeit not as much as the original. However, I didn’t think any alien could best the Predator in a one on one confrontation, until I began watching the Alien vs Predator movies. Pure adrenaline rush!

Number two- Tyrannosaurus Rex vs Spinosaurus!

Did anyone watch Jurassic Park 3? The fight to the death, between the two mammoth carnivores sent a chill down my spine! I loved the newest release Jurassic World, even more, and viewers were treated to another thrilling confrontation, involving a T-Rex, Velociraptor, and hybrid-species. Now I want to see the hybrid from the latest movie, take on the Spinosaurus from the third movie. That would be cool.

Number one- Vampire vs Werewolf!

In my opinion, these are the most exciting supernatural battles in film or TV. Any movies or Television series, which show deadly fights between vamps and werewolves, like Underworld, Van Helsing, Twilight, The Originals, and Vampire Diaries, are my favorite thrillers, and they helped inspire me to write my first novel, Village Of The Full Moon Curse.

Thank You.


stock-photo-spinosaurus-vs-tyrannosaurus-246085705 stock-photo-werewolf-fighting-with-vampire-320615798 th thMJ1168J9 thPZN6M2QA

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Hello friends!

When I moved to Fairbanks, Alaska during the summer of 1990, with $1000 in my pocket, I needed to find a cheap place to rent that I could afford with my $7.00 per hour job at a local carpet store. I stayed with a friend for a month, while searching the newspaper daily for an efficiency apartment to rent, until I eventually landed a semi-secluded, dry-cabin less than a mile outside of the city. Dry, means that it had no indoor plumbing or running water, and I knew it was going to be a tough adjustment making it through my first winter. But at $125 per month, the rent was too cheap to resist, as was the electric bill, which enabled me to afford food, pay bills, and save some money. It was perfect for me at that time of my youth! I also quickly learned that many other folks in the area rented dry cabins as well, and I quickly found their favorite local laundromats to wash my clothes and take daily showers at.

However, the size of the cabin was very small…roughly twelve by twelve, which barely gave me enough room for my personal belongings, or to stretch my legs; especially with a shelf, refrigerator, TV, electric stove, microwave, loft with a mattress on top for my sleeping quarters, and an old drip-stove that was supplied with heating oil from a fifty-gallon drum outside, as a source of internal heat. The carpet floor was always cold during the winter, and the heat from the stove seemed to linger from my chest and higher, which made the loft my favorite hangout whenever I ate or watched TV. It had a sink as well, but since no running water was available, I hardly used it. If I had to wash my hands, I would dump drinking water over my hands, rub soap in, and then rinse them off by pouring more drinking water from the fridge over my hands. I carried drinking water in with a five gallon jug that I filled at a nearby water supply business, called The Water Wagon. Even today, my wife and I bring in drinking water from the same business, despite the fact that we now have running tap water from a well. The water is very hard and full of iron in North Pole, along with many other places as well. Hard to imagine the interiors’ water being bad, and we refuse to drink our tap water. Even with a water-softener, the bottom of our washing machine is discolored with an orange color, and the tub and toilet need constant cleaning, to prevent the same condition. Imagine drinking that water.

Back at the cabin, I relied on paper plates and plastic utensils whenever I ate, but confess that I rarely cooked, and mostly ate out. What about a toilet? I’m glad you asked, and let me tell you about it. I had an outhouse approximately twenty-five yards behind the cabin, and it had a Styrofoam covered seat for warmth. Nothing worse than sitting down on a frozen seat at 40 below! You use the toilet as quickly as possible in those conditions, after you can no longer hold it in. It was vital to keep a clean path shoveled to it during the winter months as well. Wouldn’t want to wade through the deep snow, should a midnight emergency arise. Not only this, but I shoveled snow by hand from my long driveway as well, which took me over an hour, depending on how much snow had fallen. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been so tight with my funds, and should have bought myself a snow blower. If I could have bought a cheap four-wheel drive truck, I should have done so. It would have saved me from a lot of work, or getting stuck in the driveway, making the winter slightly more tolerable. Some co-workers and friends during those days, would scratch their heads and question my sanity, when wondering why I chose to live that toughly. In hindsight, I can’t believe it myself. The first winter nearly broke my spirit. I guess I was tougher then, but I wouldn’t do it now. But back then, it was affordable and the right fit for me. I guess you can adapt and adjust to nearly anything, if you put your mind to it. It wasn’t all tough times, for the summers were easier living, and In time, I got used to it, and lived there for eight years, until I was married in 1998, and moved my wife and I into an efficiency apartment with running water. In a few years’ time, we were able to save more money and purchase a house, where we still reside today. God has been good! Compared to those days of lore, you can call me a big softy now.

Thank you


Scan

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