Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Computer Problems

My Blog might be a little slow this month, I am having severe issues with Gmail and Blogger. As I write this, I am using a different computer, the laptop I normally use is very messed up, and I have tried everything to fix it. Google has the cruddiest customer support EVER. I called them, waited 45 minutes, for the staff to say like they were half-dead, "What is your problem?" Very rudely. So sorry if there aren't very many posts this month, until I go to the Geek Squad at BestBuy, this problem will continue.

Book Review: Ark Angel

I recently read a great YA thriller. It was Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz. The book follows Alex Rider, a young agent working for M16. He had recently been shot in the chest and was at a fancy hospital and London. His next door neighbor happens to be the son of Multi Billionaire, Nikolai Drevin. Alex protects his next door roomate when several armed terrorists walk into the hospital asking about Paul Drevin. The book was full of action, it was very suspensful. It reminded me of the Young James Bond series, same concept, only Alex is working for government agencies, and Young James Bond is a butt-kicking schoolboy who happens to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ark Angel is full of suprises, but I didn't feel they were executed very well. The book's description was good, although the setting was very similar everywhere Alex traveled. I liked the book, and plan on reading more books in the series. It overall earns a 4 and a 1/2 star rating.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Interview with Jack Silkstone

What is PRIMAL Origin about?
PRIMAL Origin tells the story of how the PRIMAL organisation started. Who are PRIMAL? They're a team of elite operatives, hell bent on fighting for the downtrodden and oppressed. A renegade agency waging a secret war against the untouchables; powerful criminals, greed driven corporations, and twisted politicians. With cutting-edge technology and tactics they strike across the globe with impunity, stepping in where governments fail to take action.

Where is your book available?
PRIMAL eBooks are available on Amazon and Smashwords. PRIMAL Origin is out now. PRIMAL Unleashed will be out on Sunday 16 October.

Where did you get the idea for your book?
The PRIMAL concept was born in Kandahar, Afghanistan where I had the pleasure of working with some of the world's finest Special Forces. UK SBS, US Green Berets, SEALs, Delta as well as Canadian JTF2 and Australian SAS and Commandos. Immersed in a world of targeting Taliban Commanders and other High Value Targets I constantly found myself imagining what these guys could achieve without the caveats of Government control. If they could wage unconstrained warfare against the world's worst. So as I interacted with these amazing warriors I started to build a concept, a concept that would evolve into PRIMAL.

How did you come up with the title?
A brand name was tricky to come up with and I originally brainstormed a huge list to choose from. Ended up going with an acronym - PRIMAL stands for PRiority Movements and AirLift. This is part of the cover story for this covert organization.

Who designed the cover?
I came up with the cover concept myself, organized a photoshoot for the picture, and got a designer friend to make it look professional.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?
Fortunately I didn't have to travel for my first couple of books because I've already been to many of these places! But in the future I'm planning on travelling to some very interesting places for research...
Modern writers have greater flexibility because of the internet. It's now much easier for them to cover areas they haven't visited. I even used Google Earth and streetview to virtually travel to some of the places in my books and digitally walk the ground.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
PRIMAL Origin is my first book and I'm in my 30s! You must be some sort of ninjabookmaster Spence to be cranking out books at only 12 years old!

If your book was a movie, who would you pick to play the main characters?
Most of today's actors are a bit soft around the edge to play PRIMAL characters. Might give Jason Statham a part, he's pretty hard.

Do you plan on writing sequels?
Primal UnleashedHell yeah, I'm working on PRIMAL Vengeance right now. It's shaping up to be a ripper, heaps of action and a great cast of bad guys for PRIMAL to pit themselves against.

How long did it take you to complete PRIMAL Origin?
It is only a short story and it took about 2 months to write including editing. PRIMAL Unleashed, the full length novel took just over a year to write.

What made you decide to write espionage fiction?
I firmly believe that you should write what you know, for me that was espionage, action, technology, weapons and tactics.

What is your best writing advice?
Matt Reilly gave me the best advice. He told me to never ever give up. If writing is what you want to do, never let anyone tell you you can't.

How do you and your friends film your videos for PRIMAL? They look professionally made.
The PRIMAL Creative Team is awesome. Our director is great as is our VFX director. We're all mates so we have a fantastic time filming. I've just started planning the next video, going to have more guns, more bad guys and at least one hot female operative.

Jack on MountainAbout Jack Silkstone:
Jack Silkstone is a writer with a background in Military Intelligence, Counter-Intelligence and Special Operations.

His Website: http://www.primalunleashed.com/

Social Media sites:

YouTube: www.youtube.com/jacksilkstone
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jsilkstone
Facebook: www.facebook.com/primalunleashed

Links to where his book is available:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/PRIMAL-Origin-ebook/dp/B005CA42X4
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72958

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Developing Your Characters

No one likes the typical no emotion Vin Diesel book character. In some books, you'll notice the main character is some guy with no emotion, feelings, or any background. He is just there so the story can function. The character is never developed, and seems to be very boring. That creates a problem for most readers. They like an in-depth character that they can relate to and feel for. So, when writing your story, don't just describe the outside features of your characters, describe their opinion and feelings on a situation. It doesn't have to be "crying" emotional, but how the character feels. This will normally provide anger or love for your character, depending on what you make him do or think. So when writing your next story, remember to add detail and background to your characters, it will make it a much better story.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Interview with Carroll Bryant

 What is the Children Of The Flower Power about? 
  Children of the Flower Power is about a family, really. The grandmother, Jennfier Kapshaw. The grandfather, Wesley Morris. The rebellious daughter, Christine Williams, and her 15 year old daughter, Sally. The story takes place in 2003 in the small town of Beddington, Maine. Sally is a born and bred New York Teen who has to spend part of the summer at her grandparents old hippy commune. It's really quite hilarious to watch as this young girl tries to bond with these old hippy grandparents. She makes good of what she perceives as a bad situation. It is also about friendship and love. This soon becomes evident when she meets Josh Terwilliger, the local town hunk. (Every town has one) LOL But more than that, it is a story about people coming together again, and learning life lesson's and how to deal. It's about coming of age, accepting ones upbringing and coping with death.

Where is your book available?
> Children Of The Flower Power is available for E-readers only, and their affiliated sites. (Kindle) ... (ipad) ... (Sony Reader) ... (Nook) / Not available yet in paperback.

 Where did you get the idea for your book? 
  The idea for "Flower Power" came from a song by the nineteen seventies group, 'Redbone'. I like to listen to the oldies and I used to keep a portable radio  in my bathroom to listen to when I shower. On one particular morning, after turning the radio on, I stepped into the shower and at the same exact moment, the song "Come and get your love" started playing. The moment of the songs opening riff, I saw the words flash before me in my mind. It read, CHILDREN OF THE FLOWER POWER. And it followed me from there. I like to compare it to the doc in 'Back to the future' when he slipped and fell in the bathroom, hitting his head on the side of the tub and having the vision for the "flux capacitor" which we all now know, makes time travel possible.  At first, the idea was to write about an active commune in the year 1969. That idea transformed and manifested itself into what ended up becoming the final product. I think it turned out well. Girls from the age of 12 and up to 70 will probably enjoy this book. So would many men.

How did you come up with the title? 
 The title came up with itself as I previously described. However, I did tinker with the notion to change it. One possible option was just to call it "Flower Power". I even considered "Flower Power Rides Again." LOL But ultimately, I realized the first vision was the best one. And Children Of The Flower Power was the final decision.

Who designed the cover? 
  The cover design was my concept. It was brought to life by the art team of my Ebook publisher, Bookbaby.com. I wanted it to reflect a happy, and fun vibe while at the same time, project a hippy-type feel to it. Even though, the book itself is not saturated with the hippy culture.

Do you have to travel a lot for your books? 
  Interestingly enough, no, I don't travel for my books. I have never been to Beddington, Maine. I do all my research on the Internet for the locations of my characters in my stories. I had about five locations to choose from and I chose Beddington because of the name. The first three letters in it is Bed. It sounds like a really sleepy, laid back place. A far cry from New York, where Sally was born and raised. Thrusting her into a new environment that is completely opposite was the interesting part of the story. Watching her as she slowly adapts is hilarious.

When did you write your first book and how old were you? 
  I wrote my first book at the ripe old age of 21. I didn't even start writing until my 18th birthday, when I wrote my first song with a friend of mine at the time, Paul Kauffman. From there, my penchant for writing emerged. I must have written well over 600 songs and lyrics when I finally decided to pen my first book with a portable typewriter my mother got me for my birthday. I was living in Tampa Bay, Florida at the time. And it really wasn't a book as much as it was a movie script. I haven't converted it yet to a book format, but I am thinking about doing it. Ironically enough, it is a science-fiction/fantasy story. It took me about three months to write. Now, I can knock them out inside of 4 to 6 weeks. "Flower Power" was actually my 4th book. The other two are science-fiction and a horror/thriller, very gruesome. I haven't decided yet if I want to publish it or not. For the record, I now have written between 1700 and 1800 poems/song lyrics.

If your book was a movie, who would you pick for the main characters? 
  If Flower Power were to be made into a movie, I pictured Jane Curtain as Jennifer Kapshaw. Jane has the eyes I want Jennifer to have. Wesley Morris would be played by Tommy Lee Jones. Christine would be played by Faith Hill and Jack Terwilliger would be played by Tim McGraw. Sally and Josh would have to be played by new up and comers, unknowns. As for Ian Finnegan, probably Tommy Chong. The rest of the clan would be made up with the likes of Shirley Jones, Doris Roberts perhaps and other big named stars from the 70's. Just to give it a real 70's feel. Florence Henderson comes to mind. I would also want Lee Majors and Lindsey Wagoner in the movie as well. And Santana and Michelle Branch.

Do you plan on writing sequels? 
  I have no plans on writing a sequel to "Children Of the Flower Power." - I considered it. I even wrote the first chapter for a sequel, but then discarded it. I just couldn't see how I could re-create the magic. Although, I do have a five book sci-fi series coming up in the near future.

How long did it take you to complete Children Of The Flower Power? 
  I got the idea for "Flower Power" around 1996. I started writing the first chapter in 2003. I stopped and picked it back up in 2006. It took six months to complete. And that includes writing on it seven days a week, about 10 hours a day. It went through 25 edits to get it to where it is now. And yes, I did each and everyone of the edits. I am a perfectionist. Of course, wouldn't you know it, after all of that I ended up releasing an unedited version by mistake. This led me to having the original release pulled from the Ebook shelves and I quickly moved to release the 2nd edition. The "FINAL EDIT" version. So, when you go to buy it, make sure you are buying the 2nd edition. I would estimate I have from start to finish, about 1500 hours invested in "Children Of The Flower Power." Which may be why it is getting such high praise.

What is your favorite book? 
  My favorite book I ever read or wrote? I'll answer both ways. The favorite book I ever read is without a doubt, "Gone With The Wind." It was also the first novel I ever read. As for what I have written, my favorite is "Children Of The Flower Power." For as long as it took and for as many characters it has in it, and the difficulty of it, I had a blast writing it. It is my baby. My master piece. LOL

About Carroll Bryant: 
  I started writing songs and poetry long before I started writing novels. In the fall of 2010, I released my first musical CD called "Rock That Country." - A 12 track disc of country, country rock, pop, pop rock and rock-a-billy. A really fun CD. I am currently working on my 2nd CD which I intend to call "Judas Wept". Mostly, it is a rock, hard rock collection of songs. No, I do not sing on any of my songs. I get other singers to do that. Outside of writing, I enjoy football. My social life has taken a bit of a hit since I began to focus my attentions on my writing, but something had to give. LOL Currently, I spend as much time as possible on Goodreads.com to meet new and wonderful people. I probably should be trying to promote my book(s) more, but I spend most of my time talking to friends or trying to make new ones. I live alone. I just recently got a kitten, and I sleep very odd hours that change as constantly as the seasons. Most of my free or spare time, I am hanging out with my manager and best friend, David Henderhan. I'm not really looking for a relationship, but if one just happens to fall into my lap. I certainly wouldn't toss it to the side. However, I have been told that I am difficult to deal with or so, that's what the opposite sex claims anyway. LOL And yes, I am single, never been married, and have no kids. 

>Social Media Sites:
 
 The only social or media site I am a part of is Goodreads.com

> Links To Where the Book is Available:
 The book is availabe at ... http://www.amazon.com/   - http://search.barnesandnoble.com/ <http://search.barnesandnoble.com/> - http://www.theapplestore.com/ - http://www.thereaderstore.com/ and of course at http://www.goodreads.com/

Monday, October 3, 2011

Extended Writing Periods

Writing for extended periods of time will gradually decrease the quality of your writing. Or, it does for me. I suggest writing for 3 hours tops, but at a point I find my writing starts to get sloppy. That will only make proofreading your book harder when you come across your "sloppy" areas. I notice when my writing starts to lack in quality, and I take at least an hour break before coming back. Writing is fun, but writing for too long is something I wouldn't suggest. Especially if you are writing in the perspective of a villain, it is said that you absorb some of the villain's qualities and moods when writing in his/her perspective. So if you are writing in the villain's perspective, be careful on how long you write. All in all, MY opinion of writing for too long is as follows: Take plenty of breaks and don't continue writing for an extended amount of time.