Tag Archives: Star Wars

The Dedicated Dead

What are you a fan of? Is there a television series, book series, comic, or something else that excites you like nothing else?

Just the other day, I was discussing this subject with a coworker of mine trying to figure out what I’m a big fan of.

I enjoy some of the suspected franchises. I’m a big fan of Star Wars. I’ve read several of the books, seen all the movies, been to midnight releases, and played some of the video games. I don’t collect memorabilia or create my own costumes though, and I couldn’t have an in-depth discussion on which sith lord is the most powerful and back it up with “facts” from the books or expanded universe.

I used to read comics. Judge Dredd, Batman, and the X-Men were my favorites. Still, I’d lose in any argument that requires more than surface knowledge of these characters. I enjoyed the comics, tv shows, and movies, but my level of interest only goes so far.

My entertainment interests are like a person called a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” I’ve got a great surface knowledge of most of pop culture, but the depth isn’t there. I have enough understanding to appreciate most new ventures, but lack the committed time to the deeper competency in the subjects.

However, through our discussion, I did come to the realization that I did have a pretty good knowledge of and committed interest in one brand or show: The Walking Dead.

I’ve watched the original show from the beginning. I remember when my wife and I eagerly awaited the first episode. I hadn’t read the comics before then (still have only read a few of them since) but the commercials for the show looked amazing. And zombies? Yeah, I was in! We’ve watched every episode since.

File_000 (4)I can tell you a lot about the characters on the show, their back story, their motives for what they do. I’m invested in them. When certain ones die, I’m crushed.

I own several pieces of merchandise from t-shirts to coffee mugs to pop figures. Last year my wife and I went on a trip to Savannah, GA and left a day at the end of our vacation to visit Senoia, GA where they film The Walking Dead. We spent an entire day in that little town, doing a guided walking tour, eating at Nic and Norms (a burger restaurant owned and ran by Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on the show, and producer Greg Nicotero) and enjoying one of the coolest gift shops with a small Walking Dead museum inside.

So yeah, I guess I do have a pop culture franchise I’m all in on. What about you? What’s your guilty pleasure that you know way more than you should about? It’s ok, all are welcome to share here! Leave yours in the comments below and lets leave the judgement aside. I’m curious to know what else all of you enjoy.

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Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

Hey everyone, I wanted to share a few reviews with you today. I’ve never commented like this on reviews so let me know if I’m committing some faux pas.

For writers and authors, reviews are the lifeblood that pushes us forward. They can also make us cringe and get all defensive, though retaliation is a horrible thing to get involved in. It’s much better to suck it up and deal with the review as a learning tool, as a means of improving your craft. You gotta take the bad with the good and balance it out.

Anyway, here are three reviews I received recently for my book The Selection.


File_001I loved this review! So many great comparisons. I’m a bit humbled by them to be honest, but there’s a lot going on here that makes me think I nailed the feel and tone of the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 


File_000 (2)This review further emphasized to me my tone and feel of the book was what I hoped it would be. It’s so tough to know how people will react to your work until you start seeing the proof in the reviews.

 

 

 


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So this was my latest review and I love the honesty. The end of The Selection is pretty tough to take and I wanted a big hook to make the reader want more. So far, for the majority of readers it has gone over like I wanted. There are some who don’t agree with how I ended it and that’s perfectly fine.  I wouldn’t argue with any review that said the end sucked (or about anything in the book for that matter). That’s the opinion of the reader and I respect that.

 


 

There you have it. Three of my most recent reviews. I’m still in awe every time someone reads my work and feels compelled to leave a review. It’s fulfilling to know what I present to the reader is being accepted and enjoyed.

If you want to see for yourself what all the chatter is about, you can get The Selection on Amazon for only .99 now through August 31st. If you have Kindle Unlimited, it’s free to read. When you do, please consider leaving a review. Honest reviews are the best ones, even if you hate it.

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The Games People Play

With all my current writing obligations you’d think I’d keep my fingers on the keyboard and toss out distractions as unwanted wastes of time. Nope. Not even close.

I used to play console video games daily. At first my occasional vertigo caused serious motion sickness problems for me. I doped myself with motion sickness pills chased with Monster energy drinks to power through my first few gaming sessions. Soon I was able to play the games without any problem and spent hours at a time racing through Renaissance Rome with Ezio or fighting the Locusts with Delta Squad. It sounds ridiculous that I needed pills to play games, and yeah it kinda was, but I wanted to try something I’d never really done before.

About two years ago as NaNoWriMo approached, I spent a couple hours chasing bad guys in Gotham and when I was done, I felt like I developed a horrible hangover because of my motion sickness and had to lay in bed for hours after playing the game. That was it. I stopped cold turkey. Like an addict faced with a life altering decision, I chose to leave gaming behind. Besides, I had a month of writing ahead and I needed my time for that.

Sometimes I miss playing games late into the night with my friends, but the steps I need to go through just to play isn’t worth it.

Now that’s noMarvel_Contest_of_Champions_(video_game)_logo.pngt to say I don’t still play any games. I’ve gone to mobile gaming, ltemple-run-2-eaving the ranks of the “hardcore” gamer to join “social gaming” on my phone and iPad. I’m hooked on “Marvel’s Contest of Champions,”  “Temple Run 2” (which I’ve played every day for 417 straight days) and “Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.” I can spend way too much time playing these games when I could be writing or interacting with the human race.

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I don’t mind playing the games when in moderation. Like most things, the games aren’t bad as long as they don’t consume all your time and resources. But when they suck all your life because you gotta get that crystal or daily award or whatever enticement they throw at you, then there’s a problem.There’s huge money in gaming whether it’s console games or mobile games, money is the goal for most developers.

In all fairness and disclosure, I was fortunate to write missions for a PC game last year that will hopefully release some time in the next couple years. The team behind the game had a deep love for games and decided to put their energies into something they have a strong fondness for. I was thrilled to be part of the team and see the process from the other side.

Games are fun yet powerful forces that can get out of control if not careful. What games do you play? What takes up your time? Leave a comment and share with the rest of us. Maybe we can help each other break free and use our time for other things.

Now if you don’t mind, there’s a quest I need to finish.