Showing posts with label Kickin' The Willy Bobo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kickin' The Willy Bobo. Show all posts

Monday, June 29, 2015

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With...KIPJO K. EWERS

Derrick Ferguson: Who is Kipjo K. Ewers?

Kipjo K. Ewers: I am a first generation born of Jamaican descent from two of the greatest parents a kid like me could ever have. They kept me on the straight and narrow, while not wanting for anything. They pushed the value of a good education, being a good person, and reaching for whatever goals I aspired to as long as it did not hurt others. Formerly from Mount Vernon, I went to Catholic school all my life from grade school to college. As a kid growing up, I was heavily into martial arts, comic books, professional wrestling, Kung Fu movies, anime, writing and storytelling. My brothers and I would use either our G.I Joes or Transformers and play out these complex storylines that sometimes lasted all day and into our next play day. 

Now that I am older I’m still into martial arts though not as heavy (big fan of MMA and the UFC).  I’m a sword collector (I have my own set of Conan Father and Atlantean swords from the Arnold movie among others). I still watch anime from time to time, and I collect comics although I’m more selective with what I collect. I also make kitbash action figures; basically you take a base model twelve inch action figure and customize it. It’s a pretty cool and expensive hobby. I made my own Gen 13 characters, and a Dark Knight movie version of Batgirl. My other hobby is 3D artwork, I use programs like Poser Pro (2012 and 2014), DAZ 3D, and Photoshop Element to create them. I’m also a huge Star Wars fan, and will be dressing like a Jedi for the upcoming movie. So all in all I am a big Jamaican-American geek.



DF: Where do you live and what do you do to keep the bill collectors away?

KKE: I reside with my lovely wife in New Jersey.  I currently work in Risk Management Corporate Banking.

DF: Tell us a little something about your background.

KKE: I went to college for Business Administration while minoring in English. I self-taught myself 3D digital artwork because I wanted to put visuals to some of the ideas in my head. I’ve been doing my own artwork for about eight years.

DF: How long have you been writing?

KKE: I’ve been writing since I was seven years old, sporadically in my teens and young adult years. I never really published anything until now. I wrote a comic book with my younger brother who is currently an artist when I was twelve (we didn’t have a title for that one).  The story was about four of his superhero characters and one of mine which I called Infra Man. He was a Japanese anime version of Iron Man. I believe the plot of the story was that they were trying to stop some type of invasion. 

The second comic book we worked on with our cousin who was the designated ink man was titled “Letterman”. The hero “Letterman” was based off of a rap song from K-Solo. I remember finding the book a couple of years ago buried in our old room in our parent’s house and still being impressed with what we did. The first two novels I tried to write were titled “Armageddon Bioborg” and “The Dragon Princess”. I never finished either, but I still have them, and might complete and publish them one day. I wrote matches for wrestling e-feds, which are like versions of fantasy football. It was a simple hobby, but I realized now how much it kept my writing skills sharp by creating storylines and sometimes writing out full matches. Won me a slew of championships, I even have a couple of actual championship belt trophies that were mailed to me.

DF: What’s your philosophy of writing?

KKE: I like to write like I'm doing a movie, and when you shoot a movie you don't always shoot the first scene. Sometimes you shoot the end, the middle, that's how I like to write until I get a full chapter. I separate the chapters into different word documents so I don't confuse myself.

Afterwards, when I have written all of the chapters in full, I just combine them, adding and taking stuff out, until the story slowly comes together and becomes one. After that I can usually do two or three edits and then I send it to a professional editor.

I believe in writing from my soul and heart and not compromising or apologizing for anything. Writers I believe that don't compromise their work, and write with raw passion are the best and most powerful types of writers, as long as they're getting a message across, and it makes sense to the story.

I also believe in having fun with my writing. It's supposed to be fun. You’re creating worlds, characters, and having adventures. So I just play! Because the more fun I have, the more I believe people will enjoy what I wrote!

DF: What are your influences?

KKE: I’ve read all of the Robotech novels that were written by Jack McKinney, which in my opinion were way better than the anime series. I am also a fan of Shakespeare, “A Midsummer Night's Dream” is one of my favorite stories from him. For comic books it’s Stan “The Man” Lee of course. Geoff John’s magnificent run of the Green Lantern’s “Blackest Night Series” is what actually got me back into comic books. I also loved Greg Pak’s work, especially his run with Marvel’s Hulk.

Finally as both a writer and director I have to say Kevin Smith. I saw “Clerks” at a friend’s house when I was in college, and I have been a fan of his work ever since. I’ve seen all of his movies, and two of his Q&A sessions. Watching “Too Fat for 40” and “Kevin Smith: Burn in Hell”, where actually what finally pushed me over the edge to both write and publish something. Hearing about how his father died, and about how you have to have passion about what you do before you die is what struck a chord with me.

DF: What audience are you trying to reach with your work? Is there an audience for Kipjo K. Ewers?

KKE: My novel is for fans of superheroes, science fiction, and action adventure. People who have already read it have said they enjoyed the thriller aspect to it, and others love the characters personality wise both good and bad. It’s a thinking person’s superhero origin story that turns left when you think it’s turning right.

DF: What is The EVO Universe?  How and when did you create it?

KKE: The EVO Universe is an expanding superhuman universe within my novel series “The First”, which was created after the events of the first book. EVO is the term used for superhuman in the story, which is the next step of evolution of man. 



DF: Tell us about the character of Sophia Dennison.

KKE: The character Sophia Dennison is a normal woman, with normal dreams of having a career, wanting a loving marriage with children, and then one day her normal world is ripped away and destroyed through no fault of her own. Then after four years of being powerless and suffering her world literally comes to an end. Except by a miracle of sorts, as her old world came to an end, she was reborn so to speak with amazing powers and abilities. She uses these new abilities to escape prison, and find out who turned her old world upside down.

DF: Tell us about THE FIRST

KKE: “The First” is a superhero origin story of Sophia Dennison. Wrongly tried and convicted of the murder of her husband, she is executed in Texas via lethal injection. However Sophia does not die, she resurrects with superhuman strength, overpowering several correctional officers until she is brutally gunned down. But to everyone’s shock and dismay, she resurrects again. Completely healed, this time she is bullet proof and much stronger than her first death. She breaks out of prison and is on the run where she learns about her abilities and hunts for the answers as to who framed her for her husband’s murder.

DF: Tell us about THE FIRST: EVO UPRISING

KKE: “The First: EVO Uprising” is the aftermath of “The First” eight years later. Due to Sophia’s indirect actions of saving the West Coast she has changed the world. Through her, many people across the planet have been gifted with superhuman abilities. Some use their abilities for good taking up the mantel of heroes, others for evil becoming villains, while others join and form super human military units within their respective countries building towards another possible Cold War. Unable to fit in with the race she was once a part of, and unwilling to embrace the race she created, she lives a life of semi-isolation using her power and abilities to help people as she sees fit taking no mantle. However a new threat to the planet will force her to not only confront several spectrums of her past, but her possible destiny.



DF: Where does the story of Sophia Dennison go from here?

KKE: Right now I am holding off on writing the third novel to work on a spin-off novel for one of the major characters in the second novel. It will be titled “Eye of Ra”.  I imagine more adventures for Sophia in the near future and the further expansion of the EVO Universe with many more characters.



DF: What’s A Day In The Life of Kipjo K. Ewers like?

KKE: Rise and shine at 7 AM in the morning, breakfast either at home or at work depending on the time. Off to work in a corporate office, hit the gym for forty-five minutes, and then home after 5 PM. When I get home the fun begins. I spend some time with the Mrs., get on the computer to either work on my artwork or write. Right now I’m just taking time from writing to promote the novel as much as possible and get in the faces as many readers as I can. 

Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should know?

Kipjo K. Ewers: Currently we’re in the works of doing an actual comic book series on “The First” that we hope to release in 2016. We will soon be re-releasing the alternate cover novel with a new cover, and added digital content. It will contain some concept artwork of characters from the novel, and a digital comic preview of Chapter 1 and part of Chapter 2 that readers can re-read.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With...TOBIAS CHRISTOPHER

Derrick Ferguson: Who is Tobias Christopher?

Tobias Christopher: Well, I born on the wagon of a traveling show, mama had to dance for the money they stole, papa would- oh, wait. Tobias Christopher is a writer, movie watcher and some would say slightly not all there. I kid, no one ever said slightly.



DF: Where do you live and what do you do to keep yourself in cheese and crackers?

TC: I live in Greenwood, Indiana and I currently work in the slave mines of Wal-Mart.

DF: What writers have influenced you?

TC: Mark Waid and Grant Morrison in terms of comics since they were the writers whose stories first really got me into the comic scene with the Flash and JLA. In terms of books, Stephen King and Mark Twain were huge influences, but a really special shout out goes Pat Frank, the writer of Alas, Babylon, who inadvertantly inspired my first foray into fanfiction during an English assignment in high school. We were tasked with writing an alternate ending to the story. Things got insanely dark (my teacher even commented that I might have taken things a bit far) and I started to realize where my passion for storytelling would take me.

DF: Let’s jump right into it: why Fan Fiction?

TC: Because whenever I watch a movie or TV show, or read a book, I almost always ask myself "What if this character did this? Or what kind of adventures would he/she have after this? Or what's that guy in the background's story?" I just love making up new adventures for characters I love, so fanfic just seemed like a natural fit.

DF: How long have you been involved with Fan Fiction?

TC: Officially, since around (how long was that RPG Erik, MC and I were part of? 12- 15 years?) I'm going to say at least 15 years. Unofficially it goes back to high school when I was taking horror movies characters and making up new adventures for the likes of Chucky, Gage Creed, Macauly Culkin's character in the Good Son, etc.

DF: Why should we be reading DC Anthology and Marvel Anthology?

TC: Because DCA offers a place for the pre-New 52 Universe to continue to grow and prosper, and without 99% of the darkness that the actual DC Comics were putting out there even before the New 52.


And MA I believe gives the characters a chance to grow more since we're not shoehorning Wolverine and Spider-Man into every title. The lesser known characters are given a chance to step forward, like Jamie Primas' recently ended Avengers run, which didn't rely on the big guns of the Marvel Universe.


DF: What is your favorite series you’re writing for DC Anthology and why?

TC: Of the two I'm writing for DCA, I'm going to say TEEN TITANS. I'm not very far into the run, but I am enjoying the interactions between certain characters. An upcoming issue (#12) made me realize how much I love having Static as part of the team, and I'm looking forward to telling all the stories I have planned for this group.


DF: What is your favorite series you’re writing for Marvel Anthology and why?

TC: While I love Captain America and Iceman, I'm going to go with ALPHA, the character no one seems to like. In the 10 issues I've written so far, I've grown to love this character like he was my own. Plus I have a huge love of Saturday Morning cartoons, which is a massive influence on how I'm writing this series, so writing Alpha is like writing my own SMC series


DF: Detractors of Fan Fiction claim that those who write it are wasting their time they could be using to write original stories. What’s your response to that?

TC: Haters gonna hate. But seriously, there's nothing saying you can't do both.  You can tell stories about your favorite characters and still make time to build your own universe with your own original characters. I make time to do both, but of course I have no real life to speak of.

DF: What’s the best advice you can give someone wanting to write DC and Marvel Fan Fiction?

TC: Don't be afraid to take chances with your characters, that's what fanfic is basically for. And don't just rely on the huge names, use your stories to help give life to the little guys that barely have any backstory.

DF: Are you more of a DC fan than Marvel? Or vice versa?

TC: I'm more of a Marvel fan these days. I've pretty much given up on DC, they've gotten WAY too dark and serious for my liking.

DF: What’s your opinion of DC and Marvel these days?

TC: I think Marvel still likes to have fun with its characters. I mean, Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck have their own series now, if that doesn't scream 'fun', I don't know what does. As for DC, see my answer in the last question. They're way too dark and serious for me. A universe where guys dress up like bats to punch killer clowns, amazon women fly around with magic lassos, and an alien who can put on a pair of glasses and fool EVERYONE into thinking he's a completely different person shouldn't be steeped in realism in any way whatsoever. I think DC's missed the point of why people read comics.

DF: Is Fan Fiction a viable alternative for those readers dissatisfied with DC and Marvel?

TC: It depends on what you're looking for in fanfic, because there's an insane variety of stories out there. Not just DCA/DCO/MA/MO, but fanfiction.net and dozens of others.

DF: Why not just write original superhero fiction?  
   
TC: I actually have been for the last few years.

https://www.fictionpress.com/s/3024820/1/Omega-Guardians-Season-1

I'm currently writing the 4th season, although I am going back through and *remastering* the first three seasons to fix continuity errors and such.

DF: Do you yourself have any aspirations for writing professionally?

TC: I used to, and sometimes I still do, but for me writing's more of a hobby than anything. Maybe someday I'd like to get a book or two out. Lord knows I have plenty of original stories in me for that.

DF: What’s a typical Day In The Life of Tobias Christopher like?

TC: A lot more boring than most people would think. Wake up, get ready for work, work for 9 hours, come home, sleep, lather, rinse, repeat. Although there is the occassional murder attempt, but I just shrug those off and go on with my day like most people would.

Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we should know about Tobias Christopher?


Tobias Christopher: Well, Tobias Christopher is actually just my pen name, taken from a character from Animorphs (Tobias) and the first name of the actor who played him in the horrible live action t.v. series (Christopher). Beyond that, I know my style of writing isn't suited to everyone's taste, but I hope that those who do read my work do enjoy what they see and hopefully come back for more.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Kickin The Willy Bobo With...BEX AARON

Derrick Ferguson: Who Is Bex Aaron?

Bex Aaron: That’s a great question! Bex Aaron is actually something of a chameleon – I’m a little bit of everything. A long time ago, when forced to describe myself, I came up with, “I’m a lover, a fighter, a poet, a dreamer, a dork and a smartass…not necessarily in that order.”

Basics: I’m a 32-year old divorcee, who’s completely satisfied with that status. I’m an NBA historian (I seriously know more trivia about NBA/ABA than most guys I know, and I can quote stats like a pro), a Clippers fan, a Buddhist, a rock star, a raging smartass, a Mac junkie, an unapologetic smoker, a bullying survivor, a perfectionist and a master of accents.

If I had my druthers, I’d be Canadian…and green eyed…and at least three inches taller. But I must say, I’ve made peace with myself for the most part. It’s taken me some time to get to this point, so it’s definitely worth heralding.


DF: Where do you live and what do you tell the IRS you do for a living?

BA: I live in Texas, deep in the very heart of it (clap, clap, clap). I’m not enthused about living here. I don’t think I ever have been. I long for colder weather and more progressive thinking.

As for my day job, I’m a legal assistant at a personal injury law firm. My job entails everything from client intakes, setting up insurance claims, gathering medicals, preparing demand packages, negotiating settlements and finalizing cases. It’s riveting stuff. Oh, and the phone never stops ringing. It is a very stimulating environment – there’s never a dull moment, but at times, it can be very stressful, I won’t lie. The key, at least for me, is to take a moment to breathe and to remind myself that (in the words of my boss), that never-ending to-do list is job security!

DF: Tell us a little something about your background.

BA: I’m the only child of a single mother. We were kind of like The Gilmore Girls. I had the cool mom, the mom who not only allowed me to dye my hair pink at 14, she also did the back because I couldn’t reach it! She is still my most steadfast supporter and biggest fan. I’m everything I am today because of my mom, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. My mom was the very epitome of what a mother is supposed to be – absolutely nothing ever came ahead of me, and that’s the mother that I someday strive to be.

My life hasn’t really been that interesting. I dropped out of school in 9th grade, went back and got a GED at age 19, got married sometime in my twenties, realized what a profound mistake that was, subsequently divorced and started my life all over. The past few years have been the most turbulent of my life, but they also taught me a lot about myself, and I’ve come out much stronger on the other side of them…which, I guess, is the most anyone can hope for.

DF: What’s your philosophy of writing?

BA: I find that writing is a form of therapy. It’s a way to release some of your pent up tensions, it’s a way to lose yourself in someone else’s misery for a while…it’s very therapeutic. At the same time, though, it can also be very heart-wrenching. I am the writer that gets far too attached to their characters. I talk about them like they’re real people, and I hate the idea of them suffering…which is really ironic, given that I wrote the most miserable group of people you can imagine.

DF: Do you write for yourself or for the readers?

BA: Probably a little bit of both. I write to be read, absolutely, but I also write because I love these crazy people and this crazy world I’ve created. I think the validation trap is so easy to fall into when you are in this position. For me, personally, I’m far more about feedback than sales. I have given away more books than I’ve ever sold, in the hopes that it would generate readership and feedback. I’m a slave to it, which is a double-edged sword. The positive feedback is a great rush, and a wonderful confidence boost…and the sounds of silence devastate me.

DF: Are you interested in critics or criticism?

BA: Yes, as long as they are actually making a valid point. Those that criticize only to bring someone else down hold no merit to me. The best critics can balance positive with negative, and offer suggestions for improvement, rather than a laundry list of everything that they hate about your books. I immediately discount anyone that has nothing but negative things to say. There’s just not room in my life for negativity for the mere sake of it. Not anymore.

DF: What audience are you trying to reach with your work? Is there an audience for Bex Aaron?

BA: I’d like to reach fans of small town suspense, gripping human drama and lots of layered storytelling. Daytime or primetime soap fans. Those that enjoy a book where there are no easy answers, nor are there any happy endings. Someone who wants to immerse themselves in the messy, unraveling lives of characters that any of us could know. That sort of thing.

Is there any audience for me? Well…I’d sure like to think so. I have found a nice little core of people, who interact with me through my book’s FB page (http://facebook.com/havenpark), so I know there are people out there actually reading these books. I know that audience could always grow, though, and I certainly hope that it does!

DF: How important is it to follow your instincts while writing?

BA: Very important. My best advice to any writer is to know your characters inside and out. Work on your characterization until they feel like real people. I’ve always found that if you invest in them, it pays off. They sort of take over after a while. I’ve learned over time that my characters are much smarter than I am, and that if I just shut up and let them talk, the end result is much more satisfying. This is why I’m not really strict with outlines. I never used to do outlines at all, but I figured if I’m trying to plot a mystery series, it might be in my best interest to have some idea of how I’m going to go about it. Still, I always allow for the characters to improvise. It’s more enjoyable that way and feels more authentic to me…even if it makes the backseat driver in my own novel at times!

DF: Give us an overview of INDEPENDENCE DAY.

BA: INDEPENDENCE DAY is the story of a series of murders taking place in the overheated summer of 1966. Haven Park, Wyoming (fifteen miles east of Laramie) is the perfect picture of Americana. Violent crime doesn’t exist there. Everyone knows everyone else, and there’s a real community atmosphere…but there are also secrets that come to light one by one as more and more people end up dead.



DF: While reading Book One I couldn’t help but think that INDEPENDENCE DAY falls into a genre I like to call The Little Town With Big Secrets Genre. It starts out like “Twin Peaks” what with a surprising and horrifying murder that shocks the entire town. Then we move into “Peyton Place” territory. Are you a fan of soap operas?

BA: First of all, thank you for noticing! I always feel gratified when someone “gets it”, and you totally nailed it! J

I grew up watching soap operas. As I said, my mom was the “cool mom”, so I had my own TV, with no restrictions on what I could watch…of course, we didn’t have cable, so I couldn’t run across anything too risqué. Still, I spent my days watching soap operas and cooking shows, when I was about four or five years old. Funny thing, I can’t cook at all…but that soap opera influence has never left my writing, even after I gave up on the dismal soap genre.

What I strived to do with this book series was emulate a classic soap opera called “The Edge of Night.” For those unfamiliar with daytime, this was a series that premiered in the 1950s, and in the beginning, it was designed to be a daytime version of Perry Mason. It had the elements of mystery and classic soap drama mixed together, and that’s what I was hoping for here.

Now, when I say “classic soap drama”, I do wish to clarify that I do not mean camp, over-the-top antics like one might expect from today’s soap operas. I mean the character-driven human drama that used to be a staple of daytime television. Forbidden love, dark secrets – this sort of thing. I want to make abundantly clear that once someone dies in Haven Park, they stay that way! And nobody has an evil twin! J



DF: Is Haven Park entirely in your imagination or is it a version of someplace you grew up or once lived?

BA: It’s all my imagination, really. I grew up in a fairly small town, but nowhere near that small. I have, however, incorporated elements of my own life into the town. For instance, the church. I grew up in a Baptist church that was not unlike the one depicted in the book. The congregation largely consisted of elderly ladies who liked to backbite and talk about everyone else. There wasn’t much room for progression or change, and unfortunately, they didn’t have a pastor like Brett, who actually wanted to buck tradition and try something new. I quit going there years ago, but I suspect that it’s much the same way I left it. Cycles like that keep repeating themselves, I’ve found.

DF: INDEPENDENCE DAY is a five part story. Why five parts?  Why not write just one huge Stephen King sized doorstop of a book?

BA: INDEPENDENCE DAY actually has roots in webfiction – which, for those initiated, is a genre where one creates a website and serializes their novel, releasing one chapter at a time. The story was originally divided into arcs, consisting of ten chapters an interlude (or, as was the case of arc one, one prologue, ten chapters and two interludes).

I made the decision to remarket the story as a book series in 2011, after trying the webfiction route with little success for two years. At that time, I had two arcs completed and was laboring over the third. I decided to go ahead and release what I had at the time, and the arcs became the books.

The plan is once the story has wrapped up, I’m going to release the complete series as one humongous book, with paperbacks and electronic versions available. I have no idea how big those damned things will be, though, because this is going to be one long story.



DF: Once INDEPENDENCE DAY is done do you plan to do anything else with Haven Park and it’s good citizens?

BA: Absolutely, because I have one hell of a time letting go. My plan was originally do a prequel, but I’ve since scrapped that one. I am planning a sequel now, set 30 years later, in the summer of 1996. It would highlight the characters left standing, and how their lives have changed in the years that have passed. It’s in the very early planning stages, so I can’t really say too much about it, but I think it will be an interesting look at the characters we’ve established in a new, more jaded and even more miserable light…which, of course, is what I’m known for, so it should be fun!

DF: Anything else you’re working on that we should know about?

BA: At this time, no. I tend to be a writer that has a one-track mind. I wish I could work on multiple projects at one time, but I always feel disloyal to them when I do that. I just don’t possess that type of focus…perhaps this is why I just want one child, because I would never want to shaft either of my children because Mommy isn’t good at multi-tasking!

DF: What are your future plans for your writing career?

BA: I want to write as long as the inspiration as there and there are people still willing to read my stories. I’d love to eventually hit it big and see big screen adaptations of my novels – don’t we all want that? I try to be realistic, though. I just want to reach a few people. I want to provide them an escape, a world they can get lost in, and a way to forget about their own lives for a little while. If I can accomplish that, I’ve succeeded.

Derrick Ferguson: What’s A Typical Day In The Life Of Bex Aaron like?

Bex Aaron: Weekdays: Wake up, have coffee, smoke, get dressed, go to work, lose my mind in small increments over the course of the day, come home, unwind and settle into bed with my phone and Netflix. I’m not much of a partier. I’m a very boring old woman, actually…but I like my life, and that’s what counts.

Weekends: Wake up, have coffee, smoke, repeat, listen to Mmmbop (seriously, that is what I’m listening to as I type this), spend time with my mom and labor over my writing. I used to be able to knock out a chapter a weekend, but not so much these days. I need to get back into the habit, especially given that I have a deadline to meet! INDEPENDENCE DAY: Book Four, Dirty Little Secret, is coming on May 1.

Did you see how subtly I snuck that plug in there? I’m so awesome at marketing, as you know. Slick as all hell, I am! J




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kickin' The Willy Bobo With...TRACY ANGELINA EVANS

Derrick Ferguson: Who is Tracy Angelina Evans?

Tracy Angelina Evans: That kid you saw get picked on at school, but never really paid much attention to, ‘cos she seemed to strive for invisibility.



DF: Where do you reside and what do you do to keep yourself in cheese and crackers?

TAE: After “serving time” in South Carolina for almost 33 years, I am now residing in San Diego. Cheese and crackers are in abundance, since seven of her roommates are birds.

DF: Tell us something about your background.

TAE: I was born in Asheville, NC in 1967, but moved to  Duncan, SC at the age of 13.  My entire family were artists of some sort, but most were in love with writing or music.

DF: How long have you been writing? 

TAE: Between the ages of 4 and 7.  I was told by my paternal grandmother to go draw flies. Taking her literally, I began to draw flies, then flies in spider webs, and then I had to give a reason why they ended up in such a horrible position.  The writing of such a terrible tragedy was my first attempt.

DF: What are your influences? 

TAE: Music is my primary influence.  As for writers, Clive Barker is at the top.  His work is what eased me into the idea I’d always wanted to share:  The Monster Is the Beautiful One. Tolkien’s obsession with language is what drew me to him. Others include Carl Jung, Stephen King, Salvador Dali, Leonard Wolf (in particular), Russell Hoban, historical mysteries about the Cathars, the Great Mortality, the Dyatlov Pass, and a variety of “expert” books on Shamanism, prophecy, divine madness, and alchemy.

DF: What is your philosophy of writing? 

TAE: It’s kind of Quantum theory, I guess, since I lean toward the science that thought cannot happen without having happened before or happened in complete reverse.  That would certainly explain the similarities of Vampires from one culture to another.  But, to take it a step further, your mere thought of a thing brings it into existence.  It may seem to be fantasy to you, but in some spot in the multiverse, someone if fighting a real fight, and probably losing, against a spectre calling himself Cadmus.  Probable?  Don’t know.  Possible?  Maybe.  I’m not a Physicist.  The Vampire books I’ve written aren’t typical horror fair; rather, I consider recycled Faery stories, and folklore from around the world, with the added luxuries of electricity and social media.  Trying to combine the ancient and the modern is why I never give an actual time that anything in the books happened.  Also, I deliberately moved around the dates of actual events in our reality, so it would be difficult to place the narrative of the story with a calendar of any sort.

DF: What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

TAE: Both!  No, it really depends on what the story is wanting.  If I can outline it, I try to remain to true to that, in typical Virgo fashion.  But there are many times where I’ve seen the story go off the rail and refuse to budge.  This can be rather painful, especially when it involves Cadmus Pariah being needlessly cruel.  One of my editors, Jill Rosenburg, gave me the title of “method writer,” because I tend to go too deep, feel too much, and leave with wounds that may not heal.

DF: How do you use social media to promote your writing? What audience are you trying to reach with your work? Is there an audience for Tracy Angelina Evans?

TAE: I try to mention it and sample it as often as possible, everywhere I linger online, and do so in all social formats all at once, or at least close to it.  Our Internet is no longer a giant web, or an endless sea, it’s grown to the proportion of universe itself; as a result most everything gets lost in the miasma.  The more a worf, a phrase, or hashtag comes closer to the surface, the more like it will be to get noticed. 

Anyone who grows weary of Hemingway’s Iceberg Style of writing may enjoy these.  Those interested in Vampires, not so much the American version, but the earlier European version may appreciate this.  George Gordon Lord Byron’s groupies may also love Thiyennen.  Folks who like to read a book or story, then get to say near the end, “So this is why that happened!  Well, hootdang!”

So, yeah, I’d like to think I had an audience.  That would be great!  But I have no such delusion I will ever be a subject at the dinner table.  That’s okay.  The books were as much for my own understanding of the Great Ineffable as they are for others’ enjoyment, horror, or WTF moments.

DF: Two more questions before we get to discussing your trilogy. First; why the obsession with Shriekback and where did it begin?

TAE: Oh, where there is a story and a half for you.  I’d heard the name of the band over the years but growing up on the buckle of the Bible Belt with few record stores around, and even less money with which to buy them, I remained tight to my Electric Light Orchestra roots.  It was only until after cable finally made its way to my area that I finally got to see MTV, before it became the joke it is today.  I began collecting music videos, a lot of which would be more prevalent at night.  Since I was working 1st Shift at BMG, I would ask Aunt Tudi is she’d put my tape on record before she went to bed.   One night, after taping the Cure’s ‘Lullaby,’ which I been dying to have, she decided to leave the tape recording as she watched the video.

When I got up the next morning, she told me she got the vid I had wanted, but she also had a video I may be interested in, because it looked a little like “that Fellini movie you like so much.”  She was referring to Satyricon.    So ‘Nemesis’ was the first song I intentionally heard by the band.  It turned out years later, that I’d been listening to them four years before I saw ‘Nemesis,’ because one of my first VHS movies was the first Hannibal movie, Manhunter.  

  

It turned out that their music would have a large part in creating the essence with which I wanted to blanket the stories.  Between European Classical (mostly Czech in nature), Romani music, South African music, Klezmer, and Shriekback, I had before me a musical Nirvana I really couldn’t explain.  But I can say that the ebb and flow of The Relics are very closely tied to Shriekback’s songs.  That’s the primary reason a portion of their lyrics are offered as each chapters’ lean-in.

DF: And what are The Tim Roth Tutorials?

TAE: I started the Tim Roth Tutorials as a way of dipping my foot in the video-making process, because I wanted to create lyric videos for Illuminati’s songs, which have so far only been released once via the Shriekback Digital Conspiracy back in the early 2000s.  I didn’t know diddly about WSFTP, so this was practice for me.  Then it got some attention of some of Tim Roth’s “Hooligans” – his fans – who wanted more tutorials.  I think I have around 200 now?  I don’t know.  When I switched to Mac, I’ve been trying to learn iMovie, so I can continue them, ‘cos it’s a fun hobby, and some folk seem to like them.




DF: Why write about vampires?

TAE: I write about Vampires because I was raised on a steady media diet of vampirism, thanks to watching ‘Dark Shadows’ in my playpen whilst the mother unit toodled about.  Then came Shock Theatre on Saturdays, followed by reruns of the original ‘Star Trek.’  Being an only child, Vampires and space men became my siblings.  During college, I decided to study Vampiric origins and discovered that every culture describes almost the same thing, when asked about Vampires.  The great thing about 30 Days of Night is that it’s the most accurate account of Vampires, according to folklore.  Even if they are accurate, they still aren’t my favourite.  Neither is the modern, buddy-buddy attitude so many have to day.  Vampires do not sparkle. 

Honestly, though, I think I write about Vampires for the same reason many others do, if I may make such a bold assumption:  I write them because they allow me to be something on paper what I can never be in “reality.”  Going to that place where philosophy is uttered whilst a mage-like individual carefully vivisects his victim, because death would just ruin the moment, frees me to be kinder in real life, whatever that may be.

And then there’s this whole legendary vibe, where Vampires come into a story that has nothing to do with them and, if you read between the lines, you can almost sense how some of the earlier legends manifested.  Some of the greatest moments of archetypal panic are of the Great Mortality, heavenly events (that we can now explain), even crib death.  I believe everything is cyclic, and I believe in the ability to create Tulpas, and when enough energy is focused on one thing or belief, that thing acquires power.

DF: Do you think that popular culture is oversaturated with vampires? 

TAE: More often than not, considering the Twilight franchise.  But we humans, as a whole, prefer the presence of thought forms in our lives.  They’re familiar, they answer questions, especially about ourselves.  As such, every generation experiences a saturation of sorts.  We need it, to carry on the stories, satiate the monster with the blood of our imaginations.  It would be a much more depressing world, if we weren’t afforded that tinge of possibility that the succubus is right around the corner.

DF: What makes your vampires and your conception of vampires different from those we’ve seen recently in books, movies and television?

TAE: Well, they all owe their existence to a race that inhabited the planet before humans ever walked the surface.  So the first ten Vampires were of alien origin.  There is a science-fiction feel to the books, as a result, as well as a mythic/legendary vibe, especially in the second book, The Blood CrownVampires are mostly just like us, some can even withstand the sun.  Believe it or not, not all traditional Vampires would perish by sunlight.  One, called vrykolokas, from Greek legend, would often go to his job after he’d died, and go home to his family.  There were just those inconvenient times of drinking so much blood, he’d turn ruddy and look like a barrel.  That gave him the name “drum-like” – vrykolakas.  I haven’t been reading or watching much Vampire media in years, because I tend to soak things up and I don’t want to inadvertently steal something from someone else.

DF: Give us an overview of The Vampire Relics Trilogy.

TAE: The Vampire Relics Trilogy concerns three sacred objects that hold the entire nation of Vampires (the Great Hive) sway.  Each book is named for a relic and, even though it is the relics that drive the story, it is how the character behaves during and after the hunt.  More about the origins of the relics, the Vampires, and their maker comes to light with each book.

DF: Did you conceive of The Vampire Relics as a trilogy right from the start? And if not, when did you know it was going to be a trilogy?

TAE: The Chalice was supposed to be one book, ending with the imprisonment of then-villain Kelat.  At that time, in 1987, it was my attempt to come to grips with the idea of “soul mates,” how so many people find a kind of psychic completion when they meet that one, the one who finishes your sentences or shares memories of things that never happened to either of us.  This was when I started reading A Dream of Dracula by Leonard Wolf and Holy Blood, Holy Grail by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln.  Those books, combined with my life-long fascination with Arthurian legends, along with learning about “alternative” religions, where a cup was the most sacred of tools to have on an altar, because the cup represented the feminine force, life, and immortality.  I left it open-ended, not because I was planning on writing another book, but because I thought I might one day revisit those characters.



When I wrote a little drabble on my Live Journal about Cadmus interrupting Kelat as she meditated in what she thought was a secret temple, that gave rise to the second book of the Relics, The Blood Crown.

DF: Is it accurate to say that The Vampire Relics began with Cadmus Pariah? Who is Cadmus Pariah and why does he fascinate you so?

TAE: The stories that came to light in the three books were, some of them, decades old.  In the first bones of the story, Kelat was the antagonist, the image of beautiful evil so reviled by her hero brother Thiyennen, who happened to be a Vampire himself.  Character-building and story construction began in 1987.  I knew what I wanted to tell, but I didn’t know how I could tell it.  Also, I was very uncomfortable making Kelat out to be the antagonist, based upon all I’d then read about Goddess worship and attempts of the patristic tribes to wash any shred of history she had from human brains then and forever.  I wanted to mart of campaign.  But I was without a villain again, so the story and its mythologies lay dormant for almost three years.  When I listened to ‘Deeply Lined Up’ by Shriekback in 1990 that was the last straw.  It was that song that gave birth to the Pariah.



But it’s Rob Dougan’s ‘Clubbed to Death’ that has consistently aided in defining the character.  That piece possesses a quiet menace that is only magnified by the piano solo.  It’s a song of one-ness and alone-ness, and being perfectly all right with both states.  Almost everyone believes that Cadmus was born from one inspiration.  True to his nature in the books, he has several parents, and belongs to none of them.  

DF: You’ve taken great pains to create an entire mythology for your trilogy. How difficult is it to create a universe?

TAE: A lot of the mythology I used in The Vampire Relics is material I could never make fit into a proper book, and I perceive that “over” story to still be telling else.  The mythology was there so the trilogy could be born. 

DF: Which book was the most fun and easiest to write? Which one was the hardest?

TAE: The Blood Crown was the most fun, but the parts about what Cadmus does to Faust weren’t very fun at all.  Otherwise, it was a joy, because I got to study Orphaeus and Cadmus much more intimately than before.  Their travels, to me, took on a Hope/Crosby vibe, so that was a great deal of fun.

The Chalice was the first, and it was the one that hibernated for the coming of the Shrieks into my life.  After that, it was written pretty fast. The Augury of Gideon has been most difficult, because “real life” was taking up not only my time, but challenging the belief system from whence the books came.  There were some days I struggled with not blurting out what Gideon’s augury really was.



DF: I know you have a deep interest in conspiracy theories. How much of that went into and/or influence you while writing The Vampire Relics?

TAE: The back-story of the Apostate came almost wholly from the arcane legends of ‘The Brotherhood of the Snake’, the Cathars, and the Knights Templar.  The man, the human, who brought the curse of blood down on the ten Tarmi, was in the Brotherhood of the Snake, and a student at the Tarmian college of Khemeth.  As you can see from just that, conspiracy theories and ancient aliens take up a lot of my time.

DF: What have you got planned next? And where do you see your writing career five years from now?

TAE: Right now, I’m writing what I think will be a standalone book.  It will feature Cadmus, of course, as well as Orphaeus,Rebekah, and Mephistopheles.  It’ll introduce Cadmus’ rival, Flint.  The working title is TAE: The back-story of the Apostate came almost wholly from the arcane legends of ‘The Brotherhood of the Snake’, the Cathars, and the Knights Templar.  The man, the human, who brought the curse of blood down on the ten Tarmi, was in the Brotherhood of the Snake, and a student at the Tarmian college of Khemeth.  As you can see from just that, conspiracy theories and ancient aliens take up a lot of my time.

DF: What have you got planned next? And where do you see your writing career five years from now?

TAE: Right now, I’m writing what I think will be a standalone book.  It will feature Cadmus, of course, as well as Orphaeus, Rebekah, and Mephistopheles.  It’ll introduce Cadmus’ rival, Flint.  The working title is The Harming Tree, which actually exists, and was a musical instrument of sorts made by Barry Andrews. which actually exists.




DF: What’s a Typical Day In The Life of Tracy Angelina Evans like?

TAE: Get up, if I ever got down.  Get down, no matter what state you’re in.  Getting down is never a bad thing.  Attempt breakfast.  Clean the cat box.  Follow cookie crumbs and connect dots ~ kind of a synchronistic Yoga to help with sanity-management.  Research, research, research.  Promote, promote, promote (not me).  Read the latest news and let the anger flow through me.  Read the latest in space and physics news, and let the wonder flow through me.  Try to respond to all communications.  Then write, to music.  If there’s no music, there is no writing.

Derrick Ferguson: Anything else we need to know?

Tracy Angelina Evans: Everything you ever imagined might be in that scary closet in your is, is.  And it’s your fault for imagining it, in the first place.  Rest well, tonight.

Derrick Ferguson Is Trapped In Mike Baron's DOMAIN

Paperback:  342 pages Publisher:  Expanding Realms; 1 edition (July 23, 2017) Language:  English ISBN-10:  1944621164 ISBN-13:  9...