Sunday, September 24, 2017

Cover Reveal: The Cursed Armor


Details

Synopsis: A young thief, nicknamed The Ghost, has stolen an ancient piece of armor. Each piece in the set grants her a new superhuman ability, but it also gives her an unending lust for blood. Will she be able to resist her thirst for power? Or will she be consumed by The Cursed Armor and propelled into her own personal hell?

Title: The Cursed Armor
Genre: Fantasy/Horror
Audience: Adult
Release Date: October 24, 2017
Length: Novella length - 135 pages in print / A little over 23,000 words


The Cursed Armor is now available for pre-order on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075YP73L3

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Writing Progress Updates

Virtual Wars: Running
First Draft: 47,199 words

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Possession

How do you think being possessed would feel? This is a topic of many horror or thriller films/books/TV shows. I recently watched Paranormal Survivor on Netflix and some of the stories there are harrowing. This is also a theme of the novella The Cursed Armor that I will be publishing soon. These kind of slow burn psychological thrillers are some of my favorite kind to write. They don't always involve possession, but let's pretend the dog ate the other stories.

Imagine a world where you are slowly being affected by another presence or being. They may or may not be communicating with you. They might not even speak the same language as you. It starts with a tickle or an object moving on its own. Something showing up later several feet from where you left it. A cabinet left open that you don't remember opening. Do you ignore the strange things going on?

This is something I didn't understand with the people who were in the show Paranormal Survivor. Many of them were warned or given signs of what was going on before it escalated. Some of them were harassed for months and months before it got to the point where they could no longer take it anymore. Why would these people choose to live with this torment? Spirits that taunt and attack you. Spirits that whisper things into your ears. How can you choose to ignore it?

Imagine blacking out then finding yourself in a different setting, moving from one room to another without thinking about it. Maybe you have done things you can't remember within that period of time you were blacked out. Imagine watching yourself take actions that you don't will your body to do. It is like you are a passenger within your own body while someone or thing is at the controls.

These are just a few of the things I think about when trying to write a character that is going through these types of experiences. What could cause them to allow such a thing to happen? Do they have a choice in the matter? How can they fight back?

If you have had any strange or paranormal experiences then I would love to hear about them. Please share them with me! Don't make me send Casper to haunt you!

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Writing Progress Updates

The Cursed Armor
Just received cover art!!! Will be making announcements next week.

Virtual Wars: Running
First Draft: 47,508 word

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Traversing Hell

What would it be like to walk across Hell? The actual burning inferno of a place that many have had nightmares about. The Bible gives us a depiction of Hell as a lake of fire that provides a place of constant torment. There are many other literary depictions of Hell, but none more famous than the portion of The Divine Comedy known as Dante's Inferno.

Dante's Inferno give us the most comprehensive view of Hell that has shaped how people have viewed it for centuries. The story follows Dante as he is guided through Hell by the Roman poet Virgil. It describes 9 circles of Hell in detail. Each circle is made for a specific type of sin with its own special punishment.

What kind of creatures would you find in Hell? There are many creatures that you might expect like demons, witches, warlocks,  and so on. In Dante's version he includes many of the mythical creatures you might see in fantasy novels like centaurs, the minotaur, cyclops, griffins, and others. Being in Hell these encounters could be terrifying. The creatures involved cannot have good intentions toward anyone they encounter.

These are the kinds of questions I ask to help build a story. The story of The Cursed Armor (formerly known as Season 1 of The Ghost) began with the question of "How could my character escape Hell?" I decided to lean on the most detailed version of Hell as inspiration for the version that would be used in the story. I had to rewind that a bit as I realized this journey through Hell was part of the middle and the ending, but the beginning had to be how the main character got in this predicament in the first place.

In the coming weeks I will delve further into the other aspects of the story that I found interesting. The creatures, the culture and rules of the Thieves Guild, the structure of Hell, and so on.

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Writing Progress Updates

Virtual Wars: Running
First Draft: 46,107 words

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Lost in the Shuffle

Art can be beautiful, amazing, terrifying, emotional, and a great many other things. What is most important is that art speaks to you, that it provokes an emotion or makes you think. So often we discount the whole because part of it is problematic. When you think about life in general we know that things are not always fair and just. By condemning it all and ignoring the rest we deny ourselves the parts that are enjoyable.

We all live within a shade of grey. No one is perfect no matter how much we may try. Expecting perfection in anything is a fool's pursuit. If you do this then you will constantly be disappointed in everything.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't point out things that are problematic and talk about why these things are harmful. I'm saying that we should also celebrate the things that are fantastic within the same scope and offer ways to improve. We can simultaneously talk about the things we love and hate about every piece of art we come into contact with.

The inspiration for this post is the film Birth of the Dragon. There is so much within this film to hate and love at the same time. The main message that I got out of this movie is fantastic and hypocritical at the same time. The fictional interpretations are laughably inaccurate and potentially offensive. The fight scenes are well choreographed and some of the best I have seen in a film so far this year.

One of the messages from the film that I enjoyed were that even a stubborn and ignorant person can be taught a lesson that may change the direction of their life. It is a long and difficult road to teach that lesson, but it can be done. There is a lot of hope that can be taken from that message especially in these times where many seem to celebrate ignorance.

The other message is that we should all think about how our lives touch and impact the life of everyone else. Every action we take should be moving toward making the world a better place for everyone. This message calls to me. I hope that I have a positive and inspirational impact on those around me. The makers of the film however did not take this lesson to heart. The fictional glue that they used to compose this story should have been more thoroughly thought out. If they had then they wouldn't have tried to whitewash the story by making the main character a white man enamored with an indentured Chinese woman. It doesn't make sense within the scope of the film to make him the main character in the first place. He ends up sharing equal time with the characters of Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man yet he is only used as a vehicle to push the story of the two real main characters.

The message is still valid and resonates deeply for me, but I also recognize the hypocrisy of the film itself that preaches one thing while doing something else. I will keep the message with me while rejecting the method that is used to project it.

This also leads me to the film Detroit which many user reviews blasted as being leftist political hype without seeing the film. To all of you who avoided the film, you missed out on a great film. For the most part the film is historically accurate based on first hand accounts of people who were there. If you think it is just fiction then I would invite you to use google to look up which parts are fictionalized.

I also encourage you all to experience art fully even if it is problematic for you. Embrace the parts you enjoy and reject the parts that are harmful. Seriously talk about what is problematic and why it is harmful while also celebrating anything positive you can pull from it as well. The more we can talk about things that are harmful and problematic the more awareness we can spread to others who don't see or understand it. Art, like the rest of us, lives in a grey area.

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Writing Progress Updates

Virtual Wars: Running
First Draft: 45,601 words