Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rest in Piece Warrior - A tribute to a fallen hero

"Where are my angels, where's my golden one
And where is my hope now that my heroes have gone." - Jewel

This is a very special blog post today dedicated to one of my childhood heroes. The Ultimate Warrior, wrestling's thundering phenom, tragically passed away at the age of 54.
It was sudden and shocking. Days before he had just been inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and he made an appearance on WWE Raw television with an interview that now seems eerily prophetic, as though somehow he knew he was going to die.

But Warrior (his legal name changed from his birth name Jim Hellwig) was a man who LIVED his life. Everything he did he did with passion and determination. Even after he left the wrestling ring he went on to inspire millions of people with is Warrior University, his messages on Youtube, and  through other speaking engagements.

His return to WWE was a full circle event. Finally hardships were buried and he took his rightful place in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. It's almost as though that is what he was waiting for. That piece finally came to him and he was called home.

I feel bad for his wife and daughters and his mom as well. You could see the love they all shared went very deep, especially with his little girls. And this is what people forget when they mock a fallen wrestler. It had to be steroids or other drugs. So what? How many musicians or actors have died from drug overdoses. They don't get mocked, they have their work praised even though many of them were not nearly as philanthropic as some of the wrestlers have been.

Warrior certainly was a man who cared about other people. And he knew how to push you in a way that made you get off your ass. He was my favorite growing up watching the WWF. At a time when everyone cheered for Hulk Hogan, I liked the Warrior! He was the Batman to Hulk's Superman. The edgy, almost rockstar-like quality his character embodied was just super cool! And he used to cut a promo (interview) like nobody else.

The passing of the Warrior is a big hit. It means part of my childhood is over and that seems to be happening more and more lately. Yes, there comes a time to grow up but the memories are precious and eternal. Revisit your own memories and make some great new ones. Build a life you can be proud to look back on. As Warrior would say: "Do the Work!"

Tell me, who are some of your heroes...either now or in the past?


Sunday, April 6, 2014

What About Fiction? Tip 1: Events

Hey guys, a few changes are in the works. First, I'm rechristening my blog "Cyn City." All this really means is that I'll be presenting you a great variety of topics. As I am from Las Vegas I thought it would be interesting for readers to find out a little bit about the city from someone who is born and raised here. But rest assured there will still be plenty of posts about the craft of writing.
I begin with a series on marketing specifically for fiction authors duly titled "What About Fiction?"
Time and time again I've read these books, and columns, and so forth on marketing and promotion for authors. And time and time again it all relates back to non-fiction, as if in the fiction world you just write the book and it magically appears on the best-seller list.
We all know that is not the case. But it is frustrating to me, and probably to you other novelists out there, that the advice on marketing and promoting novels is few and far between for us. We either run into the same methods or nothing at all.
I'm going to get really deeply involved in the marketing and promotional aspects I'm using for myself; I'll talk to other authors; answer your questions; and really get into the nitty-gritty of promotion for the fiction writer. There will be some tried and true methods that you may already know about but I'm going to peel back layers on them for those who may not understand how to set-up a proper website or what those #hashtags really mean.
But on top of that I'm going to try to go outside the box and deliver to you some new content. And to have some fun with this I'll be including some video discussion as well. This starts with my first tip for authors which is about events. This is typically any type of meet-and-greet or public event where you are showcasing yourself as an author and signing/selling your books. Because that's what we're here to do right?
We want our books to be read. We put in the hard work and we have a story to tell. So I'm here to try and help you get that story out there at the same time that I'm telling my own. We can effectively help each other!
I think it is great when those in a position to help reach out and do such. Recently I asked Anne Rice for one piece of advice she could pass on to struggling authors and she came up with a great answer:

'Ignore those who don't "get it." Keep going!'

That's brilliant advice and if any young writers are out there you should listen to it. Because not everyone is going to be your biggest fan. Write what you are passionate about, don't follow the trends...be a trendsetter instead!
Now on to the event!
I do annual signings at my local library. They like to hold events to promote reading and I am more than happy to help out. At this particular event I pulled out my camera to document some things and even got some interviews with a few of my writer pals:

  To sum up:
  1. Eat before the event
  2. Get something with wheels to carry your items
  3. Decorate your table with information
  4. Have something to prop your book up
  5. Bring pens!
  6. Showcase your work
  7. Arrive early to set-up your table
  8. Network!
 Thank you to my friends ShelleyKay Saunders and Debra Gauthier

Saturday, March 29, 2014

An Interview with Debut Author Andy Peloquin


Andy Peloquin

Where are you from:
I'm a Canadian, but I was born in Japan and lived there for many years. 

A little about your self:
I've been reading since I could first hold a book, and have spent many a day curled up with the words of men like A.C. Doyle, R. A. Salvatore, E. R. Burroughs, L. Sprague de Camp, and the list goes on. I've loved to read fantasy since I was a teenager, so its only logical that I begin to strike out and write it myself.

Tell us your latest news?
I'm releasing a novel titled In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. It is a historical fiction/fantasy/science fiction novel set in Atlantis in the final days before its fall. It's a riveting read, and it's the kind of story that I could have read just to enjoy it for the first time!

When and why did you begin writing?
I actually started writing when I was 11, and it was thanks to an English/science teacher of mine. He was an incredibly creative man, and he inspired me with his passion for writing, acting, and studying. He still writes and performs his plays. Thanks to his inspiration, I took up the pen myself.

What inspired you to write your first book?
Honestly, I love writing. I write for a living, but it's more blog content/articles for websites instead of fiction. I've always loved the concept of writing fiction, and have turned out dozens of short stories and poems. I started this book almost a decade ago, but put it down for a few years. I have only now taken up the pen once more.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I would love to say that I think my writing is a fusion between Scott Lynch and Glen Cook, but I can't truthfully say what my style is. I like to add gravitas to my stories, and I think that shows through.

How did you come up with the title?
It came from a song I heard. The lyrics say, "In the days when the earth was divided, and Atlantis sank into the sea." The title is in reference to the earth being divided.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Fiction always has a bit of the author's flavor, no matter how much fantasy or sci-fi it is. I can truthfully say that I have never faced off against assassins and backstabbers, but I have always loved to travel and see new places.

What books have most influenced your life most?
A lot of my influences come from writers like Glen Cook, Scott Lynch, Robert E. Howard, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Sherlock Holmes series played a  very central role in my development as a young reader.

What book are you reading now?
I'm currently trying to finish up Watcher of the Dead by J.V. Jones, as well as Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Next in my queue: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.

Do you see writing as a career?
I certainly hope so! I am a freelance blogger/writer for a living, and I write for a number of websites as a guest blogger or an expert. However, I love fiction writing, and I would be thrilled if I could devote more time to producing those stories I want to read.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding the time to write. Writing as a career already takes up a lot of time, and doing it as a hobby/future career is difficult. What with four kids and an active life, it's tough to find the time to sit down and hammer out the words from my brain onto paper.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I'd have to say that Scott Lynch is currently my favorite. I love how he paints such a complex picture with so few words. His stories have you sitting on the proverbial edge of your seat, and you can't wait to pick the book back up and find out what happens next.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Once again, finding the time.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that it takes a lot of hard work to turn out a book, and it takes time. I tried to fit it in between my work and normal life, and it was difficult. I think for the next book I write, I'm going to make more time to sit down and really write.

Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I'm also a martial artist, and I love reading comic books and graphic novels. I actually have one coming out very soon--more details on my website!

What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Arrow, The Walking Dead, Da Vinci's Demons, Castle, The Big Bang Theory, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine all rank as some of my favorites.

Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?
My site is www.andypeloquin.com. You can find my musings there, as well as chapters of my book to get an idea of what it's like.
If anyone wants to chat, I'm always on Facebook or Twitter:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

An interview with Eddie Zeder from Lucky Sevens

What is your story?
I'm not that much different than anybody else, really. I'm just a guy trying to get by in this world. Sure, I have assets most people don't have. But a rich family isn't all it is cracked up to be. Fortune comes with its own set of problems.

What is your problem?
I think you mean problems...plural. If it isn't blackmail then its corruption, or lost wages, ever murder. I didn't know inheriting a casino would be so problematic.

Do you have a problem that wasn't mentioned in the story?
Maybe if it is safe to speak here I can tell you about it. I'm running scared see. I'm up shits creek without a paddle and at the mercy of a madman. The magician...Chris King...he's more powerful than primadonna. And the blow, see, the drugs, they're starting to affect my thinking.

Do you embrace conflict?
Hell no, I have people I pay to handle such things!

How do you see yourself?
As I told you, I just want to be a regular guy. A guy out there making his mark and a name for himself...not being pigeon holed into a name that has already been established.

What do you want to be?
I wanted to be a lawyer. Not some ambulance chaser looking to earn a quick buck, no I wanted to help people and uphold the law. It was the closest, and safest, route I could think of that was like being a superhero.

What are you afraid of?
My father, his temper is off the charts. If I make another mistake I don't know what he'll do. We're past getting sent off to boarding school. And the magician, Chris King, I told you he is unstable. I guess when it comes down to it I'm afraid of a lot of things.

What, if anything, haunts you?
The death, that night. The girl. That's all I'm going to say on the matter. Dad had it cleaned and covered. But Charles Vega, his death still haunts me. I think his ghost is still around the hotel.

How do you envision your future?