Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

An Example of Propaganda

We get bombarded by propaganda consistently. Some “news” is even fabricated and made up (a.k.a. “Fake News”), although not as much as Trump likes to claim. But the most often, and most insidious, form of propaganda are the half truths, and all sides engage in it to some extent or another, both intentionally and unintentionally. Everyone has their biases, and sometimes they don’t have all the complete facts (the current need to put news out NOW NOW NOW tends to chuck the vetting process out the door more often than not), and such incomplete information can skew opinions. Humans are biased by nature, and there is no way around that outside of keeping yourself open to all the multiple views of an issue, and that requires the discipline to not chuck your critical thinking out the door the second you get told what you want to hear.

And then there’s the propagandists, who know that they are lying, who skew the facts intentionally, who care nothing about the means and care only about the ends. Sometimes it’s done to advance a political agenda, other times it’s done just for money. But regardless of the intent, the result ends up the same: an uninformed public easily led to accept moral wrongs that at any other time in their lives they would never have accepted.

Fortunately we have the Internet that provides those who aren’t intellectually lazy to fact check for themselves (and no, I don’t mean just looking up Scope or Fact Check.org, although that’s a good springboard. I mean by doing actual critical thinking). Also, the current propagandists are so mediocre at it they would make Joseph Goebbels roll in his grave at their sheer lack of skill.

Unfortunately, you don’t have to be a good propagandist to fool people when they’re all too happy to toss their brains out the window the second they hear what they want to hear. All you need for propaganda to be effective on people today is to simply have no integrity and care nothing about the truth.

The following is an example of blatant propaganda. Both videos are essentially footage of the exact same thing, done by news sites with clear biases: one conservative, one progressive. To their credit, neither news site denies they have a political biase, at least as far as I’ve seen (if I am wrong, feel free to show me evidence). But look carefully at how each one is done.  The first is from Blaze TV:

 

First off note the headline: “Former ICE Director Explains to AOC that Crossing the border Illegally is…Illegal.” That headline is clearly written to automatically give you a negative view of one Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Nothing new on that, almost all media these days engage in clickbait headlines. But also notice the thumbnail. An interesting meme, one that again is designed to paint AOC as blatantly dumb and ignorant of the law.  So from that alone, we clearly have the intent of what this video is for.

Also note that this video is 4 minutes and 25 seconds long. Keep that in mind because we’ll be getting back to that later. Notice the amount of editing in the video. Segments of footage are taken out of sequence (as will be shown in the unedited footage in the next video) specifically for a purpose.  To someone who hasn’t chucked their brain out, it becomes clear that something this heavily edited is likely not going to give the whole story. It is clearly intended to pander to an audience who only cares about hearing what they want to hear, to confirm their already established biases. This is how half truths are manufactured, and as Alfred Lord Tennyson once said, “A lie that is half the truth is ever the blackest of lies.”

Now let’s look at the next video, which will shed light on the deceitfulness of the previous video. This video comes from TYT. It is 4 minutes and 58 seconds, longer than the previous video and without repeating any sequence like the other one did. While they have a progressive biase, they are open and clear about it. But in this particular video, you will see no blatant attempts at propaganda because they have no need to. All they have to do is run the unedited footage and let the facts speak for themselves.

But even in this video, a critical thinker will note the title: “AOC Corners Creator of Family Separation.” A title that…actually fits what the hearing was actually about (radical, I know, to have a title that fits the subject of a news clip or article in this day and age), but also paints AOC as “cornering” Mr. Homan on the subject of the hearing. While one can argue there is some subjective biase in that title, it is not a blatantly misleading headline, because as you’ll see in the first minute of the unedited footage, that is exactly what she does. In fact, she corners him so clearly on the illegality of the family separation policy he ends up doing everything he can to avoid admitting its illegality, downplay his complicity in recommending it, attempts emotional appeals, and attempts to not only change the subject slightly but to move the goalpost altogether to a completely different law that has no relevance to the legality of child separation at all. None of which are things that someone confident of the legality of a policy would do.

The unedited footage makes it very clear the level of propaganda that was being used by Blaze TV (and other news outlets like it) were engaged in on this particular video, this particular subject.

And this example is just one example out of thousands that can be discovered with a simple 5 minute Google search, or in this case even just a YouTube search, on how issues are clouded by propaganda, falsified evidence, lies by omission, rhetorical emotional appeals, guilt by association, and repetition of half truths and even blatant lies at a level that would make Aldous Huxley not only roll in his grave but burst out of it screaming bloody murder. And while “both” sides do it to some degree (as if there’s only two sides to anything, which is an utterly laughable concept), at this point in time it is becoming very clear who are currently being the most egregious about it.

And the useful idiots in society keep eating it up. They have willingly allowed themselves to get fooled into believing:

That policies that are no farther left than FDR, Kennedy, and Eisenhower is EVILLL STALLLIINNIIIISSSST SSSOOCCIIAALLIIISSSMMM. (For fuck’s sake, I’m a libertarian and I know how stupid that sounds)

That caring about human rights = wanting open borders (talk about conflation. I wonder why they would conflate that, hmmmm?)

That concern for the rule of law = not caring about the law (I can’t even fathom the level of outright denial and cognitive dissonance that’s even required to believe that, or even the level of ignorance to what the laws actually are for that matter)

That having nuanced fact-based views=U STOOPID

That criticism and dissent, the highest form of patriotism=HATES THIS COUNTRY! HURR DURR DURRR! (a claim so stupid that it isn’t even worth the time to debunk. Seriously, you would have to have the intellectual capacity of a fucking amoeba to believe that)

And the current narrative by the enablers of our Narcissist-in-Chief: that a blatantly racist statement isn’t racist.

And this list could go on and on and on and on and on, ad infinitum.

I’m not going to claim that I haven’t been fooled from time to time by propaganda. I have. Everyone has. But the sheer level that certain segments of our population is willingly allowing themselves to be fooled?

C’mon! Grow some self-awareness already. Stop being so intellectually lazy. This shit’s getting so embarrassing that it’s downright painful to watch.

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July 20, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alita: Battle Angel Vs. Captain Marvel—The Fabricated Fight That Should Not Be

I thought about doing a review of each film separately, but after watching both I came to realize how integral both films currently are to our culture, why the cultural “catfight” being brewed (seemingly by design) between the two fandoms is both silly and a distraction to what makes these films so important, and how it’s entirely possible to love both, or even dislike one, without having to automatically be a racist misogynistic bigot troll (blah blah blah)…or a Russian bot, or even an SJW.

But first, let’s start with a brief one-sentence synopsis of each film:

Alita: Battle Angel—Female heroine with amnesia goes on a quest of self-discovery to learn who she is. Stumbles from time to time due to her pride getting in the way, but overall has a good heart. Along the way she discovers that she’s the most powerful weapon ever.

Captain Marvel—Female heroine with amnesia goes on a quest of self-discovery to learn who she is. Stumbles from time to time due to her pride getting in the way, but overall has a good heart. Along the way she discovers that she’s the most powerful weapon ever.

Granted, each story treats that theme in different ways, taking different paths, with different revelations, and providing different plot twists. They’re even in completely different genres (Post-Apocalyptic Cyberpunk for Alita: Battle Angel, Superhero Sci-Fi/Fantasy for Captain Marvel). But essentially, both stories are about the same thing: a story of empowerment by coming to terms with one’s true identity. And that is why the entire “us vs. them” dichotomy seen in the reviews of certain critics ring hollow and disingenuous while relying solely on vague, shallow phrases vapid and meaningless while resorting to idiotically trivial nitpicks like the size of Alita’s breasts or whether or not a butt double was used for Carol Danvers. None of which matters in the slightest when it comes to how relevant that is to the story or the execution thereof. And the fact that such established publications like Vanity and Salon, or even the New York Times, would allow such trivial garbage “reviews” to grace their pages (online or off) solely for the sake of clickbait, or to pander to a corporation (*cough* Disney *cough*), or hell, for any reason whatsoever, merely shows how far the mainstream media in the U.S.A. has fallen.

And don’t even let me get started on how some even misrepresented certain scenes or even flatout made things up just to maintain a predetermined, obviously biased, and (dare I say it) sexist and puritanical narrative. All of which they have every right to do. They can put anything they want in their publications, it’s their choice. Just don’t expect rational, sane people to take such publications seriously when they print such low quality, trivial, trash. It’s almost like fact-checking and vetting has become nonexistent.

Also, to the mainstream media: for the record, it is impossible to “whitewash” a Martian Cyborg. Did these people even bother to research the source material? Or, hell, even watch the movie?

So yeah, let’s nitpick over trivial crap instead of talking about the relevant and timely themes in these films. Such as the dystopian nature of Alita’s world or Alita’s willingness to risk death just to get her memories back, demonstrating how important identity is to the human condition. Or how humanlike her berserker body molds itself into, in response to how Alita subconsciously sees herself as, in contrast to the cyborg monstrosities she battles who look as inhuman as they themselves are on the inside. But I guess such discussions are too “deep” for modern day “critics” to handle.

And let’s completely forget how Captain Marvel, after finally breaking out of Kree brainwashing, realizes she had just spent six years as a soldier serving in an unjust war. Or how Nazi-like Kree society resembles in their views of Kree superiority, collectivistic attitude and disdain for individualism, or their desire to genocide the Skrulls. Because how could that possibly be relevant to modern day, right? Nah, the size of her ass or the actress’s out-of-context remarks in regards to a completely different movie are what everyone should talk about instead. Proving that sometimes, the Internet media can be just as lame as the mainstream. Granted, a lot of that was in response to how Captain Marvel was marketed. But criticizing a film before it was even out based solely on how it was marketed is, to quote Iron Man, “not a great plan.” Also, it’s not good film criticism.

It’s almost like our clickbait media with their clickbait ways are in the process of turning our society into a shallow, vapid, clickbait society. And if that’s so, we’re doomed. Because if our views on entertainment can be so easily manipulated, then one can only imagine how much more easy it would be for more important views (like on politics or science, for example) can be just as manipulated. But then, hasn’t that always been so, at least to some extent?

I went and saw both movies, and here is my honest opinion on both. Both movies had their good points and a couple flaws here and there like every movie does. Both movies made me laugh. Both movies made me cry. And both movies had me cheering on the protagonist. And both movies had me thinking about things I hadn’t thought about for a long time. And that is all anyone can ask from art.

Both movies were entertaining, and both movies had important messages about the nature of identity, the individual vs. the collective, and how under the right conditions good people can be manipulated into doing the wrong things (Hugo, in Alita: Battle Angel, and Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel). They are both movies worth seeing, both for their entertainment value and for what they can teach us about the human condition. And they are worth seeing multiple times because each time you watch them you discover something new; that is, as long as you’re looking for answers to much deeper questions than whether or not a female cyborg from Mars should have breasts and/or look Japanese, or whether or not an actress should smile more.

My advice: go watch both movies and see for yourself how good or not these two movies are. And if you like them, watch them again. Especially if you like Alita: Battle Angel because of the two that film is certainly the underdog of the two and needs all the support it can get (Marvel will make sure their movie makes what they want it to make). Fuck what all the critics with political agendas say, on both sides of the extreme. If there is a “culture war” being waged (fabricated or not) then it is imperative for all of us as individuals to take the power back and make up our own minds on what should be considered part of our overall culture, and not let collective extremism on any side dictate what we should or should not enjoy as our entertainment.

Feel free to like both movies, or to dislike either one, or to dislike both. But make sure your opinion is based on what is actually there and not some fabrication created for you by so-called “critics” with obvious agendas. And I’m not talking about all critics. I’m sure that for every faux “critic” with an agenda, there are hundreds of true critics who have reviewed these films honestly and based their opinions on what was actually in these films. I even personally know a few of them. But alas, the outrage mobs have been drowning these voices out for quite some time now. And it’s getting tiresome, for everyone.

Alita: Battle Angel Trailer

Captain Marvel Trailer

 

March 15, 2019 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Silverblade Prophecy Free for Kindle, or Physical Copy for $18.99

The Silverblade Prophecy now free on Kindle from 12th – 16th! Or you can purchase the physical book for $18.99! :D
 
 
 
Throughout the ages, messiahs have come and gone, and all have fallen.
After centuries of exile, Bantaka the Godslayer is active once more. The Seer manipulates the strands of Time and Space to bring together Pankea’s only hope: the most unlikely motley of misfits and cut-throats in the land, and a godling half-breed who’s bloodline heritage holds the key to saving—or dooming—all Existence.
 
Destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy to “pierce the heart of her ancestor,” Marian Silverblade is hailed as the current messiah of her age. But prophecies often get misinterpreted. And Lord Calahan Darkblade—Marian’s ancestor and Bantaka’s Herald—has plans of his own….
 
The Silverblade Prophecy is the first book in The Messiahs War Trilogy. When destinies collide in a war unlike anything before seen on Pankea, the choices made by the most unlikely of heroes may determine the outcome.

November 12, 2017 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse: Interview with Stephen Zimmer

StephenZImmer_AuthorPhotoToday, for the Rayden Valkyrie Blog Tour, I interview Stephen Zimmer and ask him questions about the editor/author relationship. Enjoy!

 

What would you like to tell readers about your Rayden Valkyrie novels?

The Rayden Valkyrie novels have loads of action, and all kinds of characters, creatures and other elements that fantasy and sword and sorcery fans love. But above all, these novels center around a very special character, one that I have found to be inspirational to me in my own life.

HeartofALion_CoverThough she travels another world in a setting that we would find ancient, she is a character that in my eyes is needed in the world of today. In a world that is shrouded in uncertainty, she serves as a beacon of resolve, self-determination, and self-confidence.

How important is having a good editor?

It is critically important, as a good editor saves you from yourself in many instances. When you are a creative individual, and at the center of a project like writing a novel, there are simply things that you may not see. A good editor helps in catching those potential pitfalls. They are your literary guardian angel.

ThunderHorizonCover_1200X800What are vital parts to the author/editor relationship?

It centers around the ability to trust and communicate. The author must see that the editor has their best interests at heart and wants the final manuscript to be in the best form possible. The author needs to be confident that the editor is not working to change their voice, but instead bolster it.

An author and editor have to have the kind of relationship where both feel comfortable discussing things that come up in the editing phase, without worry of anyone getting upset or offended. Authors should not be “thin-skinned” about the things that an editor might point out. In some cases, an element initially seen as problematic may just be a matter of the author explaining what is being set up for later in the case of a series.

Trust and a good environment for communication are essential for navigating the editing phase.

How many revisions do you go through before you feel a novel you write is ready to be sent to the editor?

I don’t have a strict number of revisions, but I do go back through a manuscript several times before turning it over to an editor. I aim to get my copy as clean as possible, and also work hard to try to find any problematic elements possible, and address them, before turning it over. Writers can easily find themselves revising things forever, but once I find that the manuscript is going smoothly and I’m not finding anything problematic on my end, I turn it over.

If your editor could be described as a song, what song would that be?

That’s a great question! I can think of many options to consider, but I’ll take the Joe Cocker version of “With a Little Help from My Friends” (I like his vocals!), because an editor certainly is your friend and they stick by you to help you get by, with more than a little help too!

Where can readers find your novels?

My novels are available in both print and eBook format, and can be found at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and all other retailers (and if you cannot find the print version on the shelf, the novels are available in the Ingram distribution catalog that most every library and bookstore orders through).

RaydenValkyrie_SolGeirsdottir_PhotoCreditSilvioWolfBuschRagnarStormbringer_BrockOHurn_PhotoCredit_SilvioWolfBuschSay, isn’t there also a trailer to a TV series pilot somehwere…?

Yes there is, the first teaser trailer to Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart! And you can find it right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7w_UI_RCg4&feature=youtu.be

August 21, 2017 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , | 2 Comments

Author and Filmmaker: Stephen Zimmer Rayden Valkyrie Celebration August 16-23, 2017

About the author: Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), and the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk).
Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot.
Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.

Book Synopsis for Thunder Horizon: A deadly menace stalks the shadows of the lands to the north, stirring the winds of war. Farther south, the power of the Teveren Empire spreads with every passing day, empowered by dark sorcery. Formidable legions bent on conquest are on the march, slavery and subjugation following in their wake.
Within the rising maelstrom, Rayden Valkyrie has returned to the Gessa, to stand with the tribe that once took her into their care as a child. No amount of jewels or coin can sway her, nor can the great power of her adversaries intimidate her.
With a sword blade in her right hand and axe in her left, Rayden confronts foes both supernatural and of flesh and blood. Horrific revelations and tremendous risks loom; some that will see Rayden’s survival in the gravest of peril.
Even if Rayden and the Gessa survive the trials plaguing their lands, the thunder of an even darker storm booms across the far horizon.
Thunder Horizon is the second book in the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy.

Book Synopsis for Heart of a Lion: Rayden Valkyrie. She walks alone, serving no king, emperor, or master. Forged in the fires of tragedy, she has no place she truly calls home.

A deadly warrior wielding both blade and axe, Rayden is the bane of the wicked and corrupt. To many others, she is the most loyal and dedicated of friends, an ally who is unyielding in the most dangerous of circumstances.

The people of the far southern lands she has just aided claim that she has the heart of a lion. For Rayden, a long journey to the lands of the far northern tribes who adopted her as a child beckons, with an ocean lying in between.

Her path will lead her once more into the center of a maelstrom, one involving a rising empire that is said to be making use of the darkest kinds of sorcery to grow its power. Making new friends and discoveries amid tremendous peril, Rayden makes her way to the north.

Monstrous beasts, supernatural powers, and the bloody specter of war have been a part of her world for a long time and this journey will be no different. Rayden chooses the battles that she will fight, whether she takes up the cause of one individual or an entire people.

Both friends and enemies alike will swiftly learn that the people of the far southern lands spoke truly. Rayden Valkyrie has the heart of a lion.

Heart of a Lion is Book One of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy.
Teaser Trailer Link for Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot:

Author Links:

Twitter: @SGZimmer
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stephenzimmer7
Instagram: @stephenzimmer7
Website: http://www.stephenzimmer.com

 

Tour Schedule and Activities
8/16 The Temple of the Exploding Head Guest Post
8/16 The Page Turner Guest Post
8/16 BOOKS TO CURL UP WITH Author Interview
8/16 Bookishly me Author Interview
8/16 DarWrites Guest Post
8/16 Sheila’s Guests and Reviews Guest Post
8/16 Sapphyria’s Books Guest Post
8/16 Deal Sharing Aunt Top Ten’s List
8/17 DarWrites Review
8/17 Bookin Around Town Author Interview/Podcast
8/17 Full Moon Bites Character Interview
8/18 BOOKS TO CURL UP WITH Review
8/18 The Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn Top Ten’s List
8/18 I Smell Sheep Guest Post
8/19 Paranormal Pleasures Review
8/19 The Page Turner Review
8/19 Bella’s Book Reviews Review
8/19 Jeni’s Bookshelf Guest Post
8/20 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! Guest Post
8/20 The Seventh Star Blog Guest Post
8/20 Stuart Thaman Books Guest Post
8/21 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape Author Interview
8/21 SpecMusicMuse Author Interview
8/21 Jordan Hirsch Review
8/22 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
8/22 Discover New Authors Author Interview
8/22 Butterfly’s Booknerdia Blog Review
8/23 The Occult Detective Review
8/23 Bookishly me Review
8/23 Jeni’s Bookshelf Review
8/23 Jorie Loves a Story Interview
8/23 Readers Life With Trisha Ratliff Review

 

Amazon.com Links for Thunder Horizon:

Kindle Version

Print Version

Barnes and Noble Link for Thunder Horizon:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thunder-horizon-stephen-zimmer/1126268394?ean=9781941706572

Amazon.com Links for Heart of a Lion:

Kindle Version

Print Version

Barnes and Noble Link for Heart of a Lion:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-a-lion-stephen-zimmer/1121113044?ean=9781941706213

August 20, 2017 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse: Interview W/Dan Jolley

 

DanJolleyPhoto[1018]Dan Jolley, Author of the Gray Widow trilogy is back for another interview to talk about his second book in the trilogy, Gray Widow’s Web.

Tells us about Gray Widow’s Web.
Gray Widow’s Web is the second book in the Gray Widow Trilogy, an Urban Sci-Fi story that I actually began working on back in 1996. I wrote a first draft, but ended up shelving it… wrote a second draft ten years later, but shelved it again… and finally, after I realized how to fix a major problem with the book, re-wrote it again and immediately got it picked up by Seventh Star Press. After all that time, being able to continue the story now on a timely basis feels fantastic.

The Gray Widow story centers on Janey Sinclair, a young woman in modern-day Atlanta who, as a teenager, mysteriously gained the ability to teleport from one patch of darkness to another. Janey’s life has been marked by a series of traumas—most recently when her husband was shot during a mugging and left with severe brain damage—and after years of trying to ignore this bizarre aspect of her life, she finally decides to put it to use, and attempt to prevent other people from suffering the kind of cruelty and injustice she has.

As she soon learns, however, not only is she not alone in having a mysterious “Augmentation,” but she’s also a part of a vast extraterrestrial plot that classifies humans as raw material. The trilogy starts off in superhero-flavored waters, but becomes more and more science-fiction as the enormity of the stakes reveal themselves. (There are also not-insignificant horror elements to it.)

Alien plots aside, though, it’s really all about Janey exorcising her personal demons and figuring out how to heal herself. On one hand, she’s a stupendous badass, and can break most people off at the knees. On the other, she’s very human, very flawed, and very vulnerable in a way I hope a lot of people can relate to.Grey Widow's Web_Final_1200X800[1020]

 

In what ways is writing the second book in a trilogy different from the first?
One of my primary concerns with the second (and soon, third) book is walking the line between explaining too much of what happened before, and making things clear enough so that if you haven’t read the first book, or if it’s been a while since you did, you won’t feel totally lost.

That’s just logistical stuff, though. What I’m most concerned about is allowing the characters to grow. In the first book, Gray Widow’s Walk, Janey’s in a situation where she knows, intellectually, that she needs to move on emotionally. And the way to move on is right there, right in front of her, and she knows it’ll be good for her—but she’s torn in half about it. In the second book, Janey might finally begin to give herself permission to be happy, even as she’s facing greater threats and encountering far greater danger than ever.

Likewise, Tim Kapoor, her love interest from the first book, undergoes a pretty significant change in circumstances in Book 2, one that forcibly alters the whole dynamic he and Janey share.

One thing I’ve learned and learned well is that, in any kind of ongoing story, it’s the characters that keep readers coming back far more than any plot shenanigans. So I want to take good care of my characters. Even if that means being horrible to them.

 

In what ways are they similar?
As I mentioned earlier, I wrote the first draft of what would become Gray Widow’s Walk a bit more than twenty years ago. The story has been kicking around in my head all that time, with varying degrees of focus, so now that I have the opportunity to tell the rest of it, it’s really just a matter of getting in the right mental space. Staying in the right groove, I guess you could say. Making sure the prose style matches, making sure the hearts of the characters remain true to themselves.

Of course, I would like to believe that I’ve improved as a writer over the last couple of decades, which is why I think Gray Widow’s Web is a bit better than Gray Widow’s Walk. With any luck that trend will continue, and the third book—Gray Widow’s War—will surpass the first two.

Gray Widow_s WalkCover1200X900[1019]

Did you plan for it to be a trilogy from the start, or did it evolve that way? And if the latter, at what point did you realize it was going to be a trilogy?
I think I realized I had more to say than just what was in the first book sometime around 2006. I love the cast, I love portraying our contemporary world as it really is, and there were always elements that I had left open-ended. It took ten years, but the answers to the questions posed at the end of the first book popped into my head one day, and I realized the story needed to continue past Gray Widow’s Walk.

I have a serious aversion, though, to stories that are supposed to just go and go and… go. Stories like that usually go and go right into the ground. Whenever possible, I tell stories that have a definite, planned conclusion, simply because I think it’s wise to quit while you’re ahead. Consequently, this trilogy will tell one complete story, beginning, middle, and end. If I decide to stick around in the same world after that, I’ll start up another self-contained trilogy. Sort of the Hellboy model: a series of mini-series.

 

What kind of music helped you in writing Gray Widow’s Web?
Music plays a huge role in my creative process in general, but it’s only in the stage before I set fingers to keyboard. I love getting in the car and driving around aimlessly while listening to loud, fast, aggressive music. It does something really good for my brainwaves. If I need to come up with a new idea, or if I’m stuck on a plot point or character detail, I’ll go drive around and think, and nine times out of ten, by the time I get back the problem’s solved.

Right now my favorite band is Disturbed. Immortalized is a fantastic album, followed closely by Asylum, not only for driving around, but also for when I’m doing cardio (which I don’t end up doing as often as I should, sadly).

 

Anything you want to tell your readers about what’s to come?
Gray Widow’s War, the third book in the trilogy, will be out in May of 2018, and if I can pull off what I’m seeing in my head, it’s going to be the biggest, craziest, most nail-biting conclusion I’ve ever written in my entire career.

If you’re looking for something almost, but not quite, completely different in the meantime (to borrow wording from Douglas Adams), I also have a Middle Grade Urban Fantasy series going at the moment called Five Elements. Book 1, The Emerald Tablet, is available now, and Book 2, The Shadow City, comes out at the end of this month. It’s about four best friends in San Francisco who get accidentally bound to the magical elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and end up conflicting with a century-old sorcerer who wants to merge Earth with a nightmare version of San Francisco called Arcadia. I am told by readers that it scratches the same kind of itch that the Percy Jackson books do.

 

Where can people find you online?
I’m on Twitter, @_DanJolley, and on Facebook, facebook.com/dan.jolley1. Feel free to send me messages. I am waaay better at responding to readers directly than I am at writing blog posts.

July 20, 2017 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author: Dan Jolley Featured Book Release: Gray Widow’s Web July 19-26, 2017

 

DanJolleyGrayWidowsWeb_BlogTourGraphic[1017]

About the author: Dan Jolley started writing professionally at age nineteen. Beginning in comic books, he soon branched out into original novels, licensed-property novels, children’s books, and video games. His twenty-six-year career includes the YA sci-fi/espionage trilogy Alex Unlimited; the award-winning comic book mini-series Obergeist; the Eisner Award-nominated comic book mini-series JSA: The Liberty Files; and the Transformers video games War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron. Dan was co-writer of the world-wide-bestselling zombie/parkour game Dying Light, and is the author of the Middle Grade Urban Fantasy novel series Five Elements. Dan lives somewhere in the northwest Georgia foothills with his wife Tracy and a handful of largely inert cats.

Learn more about Dan by visiting his website, http://www.danjolley.com, and follow him on Twitter @_DanJolley.

Book Synopsis for Gray Widow’s Web: JANEY SINCLAIR never knew how or why she gained her ability to teleport. She never wanted it, and for years tried her best to ignore it. But when horrible violence shattered her world, she vowed to use her mysterious talent to protect the citizens of Atlanta, in an effort to prevent anyone else from suffering the kind of agony she had. Wearing a suit of stolen military body armor, Janey became known to the public as the GRAY WIDOW.

But now the extraterrestrial source of her “Augmentation” is about to reveal itself, in an event that will profoundly impact Janey’s life and the lives of those closest to her—

TIM KAPOOR, who barely survived the assault of twisted, bloodthirsty shapeshifter Simon Grove and still struggles to pull himself together, both physically and mentally.

NATHAN PITTMAN, the teenager who got shot trying to imitate Janey’s vigilante tactics, and has since become obsessed with the Gray Widow.

SHA’DAE WILKERSON, Janey’s neighbor and newfound best friend, whose instant chemistry with Janey may have roots that neither of them fully understand.

And Janey’s going to need all the help she can get, because one of the other Augments has her sights set on the Gray Widow. The terrifying abomination known as APHRODITE LUPO is more powerful and lethal than anyone or anything Janey has ever faced. And Aphrodite is determined to recruit Janey to her twisted cause…or take her off the field for good.

Unrelenting ghosts of the past clash with the vicious threats of the future. Janey’s destiny bursts from the shadows into the light in GRAY WIDOW’S WEB, leaving the course of humanity itself forever changed.

Author Links:

Twitter: @_DanJolley

Website: www.danjolley.com


Tour Schedule and Activities

7/19/17 Jordan Hirsch Review

7/19/17 I Smell Sheep Top Ten’s List

7/20/17 SpecMusicMuse Author’s Interview

7/21/17 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Top Ten’s List

7/22/17 http://bookishlyme.blogspot.com/ Review

7/22/17 The Seventh Star Blog Author’s Interview

7/22/17 StoreyBook Reviews Guest Post

7/23/17 Sheila’s Guests and Reviews Guest Post

7/24/17 Infamous Scribbler Author’s Interview

7/25/17 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post

7/26/17 Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Mystery and More! Author Interview

7/26/17 Jeni’s Bookshelf, Reviews, Swag, and More! Review

Tour Page URL: http://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/dan-jolleys-gray-widows-web-blog-tour-urban-scifi/

Tour Badge URL: http://www.tomorrowcomesmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/DanJolleyGrayWidowsWeb_BlogTourGraphic.jpg

Amazon.com Links for Gray Widow’s Web:

Kindle Version

https://www.amazon.com/Gray-Widows-Widow-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B06XKXYCHQ

Print Version

https://www.amazon.com/Gray-Widows-Web-Widow-Trilogy/dp/1941706584

Barnes and Noble Link for Gray Widow’s Web:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gray-widows-web-dan-jolley/1126374474?ean=9781941706589

July 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ravenous #Review: The Silverblade Prophecy by Scott M. Sandridge

Check out this awesome review of my novel! 🙂

Source: Ravenous #Review: The Silverblade Prophecy by Scott M. Sandridge

July 13, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Silverblade Prophecy, Free on Kindle Until the 9th!

June 8, 2017 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Silverblade Prophecy, .99 Cents on Kindle for a Limited Time Only

Buy Links:
https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B071CM3PL6
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071CM3PL6
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B071CM3PL6
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071CM3PL6
Synopsis:
Throughout the ages, messiahs have come and gone, and all have fallen.


After centuries of exile, Bantaka the Godslayer is active once more. The Seer manipulates the strands of Time and Space to bring together Pankea’s only hope: the most unlikely motley of misfits and cut-throats in the land, and a godling half-breed who’s bloodline heritage holds the key to saving—or dooming—all Existence.


Destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy to “pierce the heart of her ancestor,” Marian Silverblade is hailed as the current messiah of her age. But prophecies often get misinterpreted. And Lord Calahan Darkblade—Marian’s ancestor and Bantaka’s Herald—has plans of his own….


The Silverblade Prophecy is the first book in The Messiahs War Trilogy. When destinies collide in a war unlike anything before seen on Pankea, the choices made by the most unlikely of heroes may determine the outcome

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Writerly Updates | , , , , , , | Leave a comment