Some of you may already know, but I was just a teenager when my mother remarried and moved us to California. Leaving the small town I grew up in, (less than 3,000 residents) and moving to Los Angeles was one helluva culture shock for this country grown boy. From the females introducing themselves, to the size of the city, it was a great adjustment. I personally witnessed the Watts riots and the turmoil that accompanied it. The fear that spread to the surrounding areas would spill over into our communities. I witnessed several business owners taking their weapons to protect their property, but lucky for everyone, it was contained in Watts. Over the years, I witnessed more riots including the East LA riots where the Hispanic community exploded. Up to that point I only wrote mysteries, but the last riot made me think. What if a real catastrophic event hit Los Angeles and the authorities were unable to rush in and keep things under control. There had been many stories about earthquakes, but I knew when they occurred it would not be total collapse because outside services would rush in and stabilize the situation. It had to be an event where others were occupied, unable to respond. I picked a nuclear war as the backdrop of my story. With the armed forces occupied fighting a war and protecting the home land, they would not concern themselves with activities in one big city that was nuked. So that was the side story. Next I had to create my main character, which I did by creating Brad Phillips, a handsome man and a survivalist that makes the story more believable. His beautiful sexy wife, Vicki and their three children, Cindi (17) Brian (16) and Brad junior (9). A perfectly normal family that starts to become dysfunctional when Brian joins a neo-nazi type group, dumping his old friends and making new friends. Brian is extremely jealous of his perfect older sister and starts to hate her. His willingness to do his sister harm becomes part of the story. As an added part of the story I had Brad and Vicki trying to survive in different locations. They, with their neighbor Phil, built a bomb shelter on their property lines planning to survive there, but like all plans, it didn't occur when they expected. The story centers around Brad and Vicki, but being in different places, they each had their own problems. As an added twist, I had Brad surviving alone with a sexy, partime actress, Michele Davies. To add to Brad's woes, she was falling for him. So there you have it. I will write more in a day or two, I didn't want to make this post too long. The picture on this post is the cover of the first story of this series.
Talk back, I'm listening as always. Have a great day.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Welcome to my tour stop for "IA: Initiate" by John Darryl Winston. This tour runs from March 21 to 25. Please refer the tour page for the full list of bloggers who are participating in this tour.
Name: IA: Initiate
Author: John Darryl Winston
Publisher: Purple Ash Press
Release Date: April 19, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Buy @ Amazon
Release Date: April 19, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction
Buy @ Amazon
IA: Initiate is origin story and a hero’s journey that follows thirteen-year-old orphan Naz Andersen and his nine-year-old sister, Meri. They live in a present day alternate Detroit/Chicago-like city known as the Exclave where they are surrounded by poverty, gang violence threatens every corner, and drug dealers rule the streets. Naz thinks he is ordinary except that he hears voices, has nightmares, and walks in his sleep.
The most important thing in the world to Naz is protecting Meri and getting her out of the Exclave and into the prestigious International Academy. But Naz has a secret, one that he is oblivious to, and only Meri knows. When Naz becomes the target of a notorious street gang he begins to discover the voices in his head, the nightmares, and sleepwalking are actually telekinesis and telepathy at play, a gift from his father of whom he has no memory.
Present Day …
It is the city, a city that never dies although some of its inhabitants meet that fate daily. The city lives and breathes day and night, dark or light. In contrast to the city’s downtown with its skyscrapers, arenas, and casinos, the northern neighborhoods are like a sea of identical blocks attached to a grid of intersecting lines. Suburbanites pass through the city into its downtown then return to their perfect palaces. This image from high above suggests a pattern of order that is betrayed by the chaos found below where uncertainty is the only certainty and chaos the only order. This chaos is reverently referred to, with pride by its indigenous population as the Exclave.
Smoke and its accompanying aromas fill the hot humid air on this early, late summer morning. There is smoke from late night and early morning cooking, smoke from all manner of narcotics, and smoke from smoldering house fires set and put out through the night—although some are still ablaze.
And there are the sounds that set this scene: a dog barking relentlessly, sporadic gunfire, sirens in the distance, a train that passes through like clockwork, and a constant beat and rhythm coming from somewhere … everywhere … nowhere, that define the “silence” of the Exclave at dawn.
It is feared by those who are on the outside and rightly so. But it is home to those inside its invisible walls. Like a modern-day Troy, it is safe haven for some; however, for others, it is a place from which there is no escape. But there are a few that see bigger things and different places—other worlds.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Darryl Winston is a recording artist, turned educator, turned author. He dates his love of storytelling back to reading the bible with his father and sisters and later when he first saw Superman The Movie as an 11th grader in his high school auditorium. He got the idea for his debut series while piloted a Boys’ Read program as a Detroit Public School teacher. He is the founder of the Adopt an Author program, which has as its mission to create an atmosphere where boys and girls learn to love reading and writing.
He has written songs with and for Grammy winner David Foster and record mogul Clive Davis. He has been a recording artist on Arista and Polygram records, and has written and/or produced songs for Gerald Levert, Jordan Hill, Gerald Alston, and many others.
He’s a graduate of the Recording Institute of Detroit, The Motion Picture Institute of Michigan, and Wayne State University. He has his MA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University and will be graduating, June 2016 with his MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes. He lives in Detroit with daughter, Marquette and plans to buy an African Grey Parrot when he conquers his irrational fear of birds and name him or her Tony or Toni.
GIVEAWAYJohn is offering ecopies of IA: Initiate to the 5 winners of the below Rafflecopter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Talk back, I'm listening
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
When I was young, I wanted to be a politician since I read about them everyday in the newspaper I delivered. Then my hero President Kennedy was assassinated putting my dreams in limbo. I wanted to be the first President elected from the state of Arkansas, Bill Clinton did it instead of me. Lucky or unlucky for me that dream died when I moved to California after my mother remarried. There, I found a whole new way of life. It was a culture shock for me coming from a small town of less than 3,000 people to the city of Los Angeles. It took me a while to fit into that life style. I then wanted to be a singer and song writer but I didn't have the voice for it. Later in life because I always sang along with song on the radio, my daughter told me not to sing anymore when she was in the car with me. I respected her wishes and did not sing in her presence. When I turned eighteen, my mind was just on making a living and later giving my family a home to grow up where they would be happy. As time went on, I slowly gravitated into management in the metals industry working my way up the corporate ladder while attending college. Management can be high stressful, so I took to writing to relieve it. In time, the stories piled up and it wasn't until a couple of years before I retired that my wife after reading one of my stories suggested that I get published. I pondered on that for a year then took the dive. Having no knowledge of the publishing business, I sought out a company that were willing to print my book for me (Vanity press of course). After that, I learned a lot about the publishing industry from LinkedIn and over the years have had several books published that I didn't pay to have published. Now, looking at my recent writing, I feel I have honed the craft and each book I write is better than the one before. Even the readers have agreed with that as my books continue to sell. I wonder if years ago, I had sent out letters, I would have become a better writer sooner. That would have been the correct path for my life to follow since I read constantly since I learned to read, if I had the desire I have now, I could have been another Stephen King. LOL he writes in a different genre.
Talk back, I'm listening as always. Have a great rest of your work week. I will be busy banging away on the keyboard.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Following those with a lot of followers is a waste of follows. They never follow you back unless they have something to sell you, then they might. As a writer, I tend to reach out to a variety of different people hoping they might take a look at your writing and think about using one of your stories in their circle of contacts. I guess all writers except those that have had a best seller or two that everyone wants to jump on their bandwagon. I know I'm doing a little ranting today, maybe because the mood I'm in. I went to twitter earlier and noted I had 13.1k followers whereas I follow almost 14k. I guess that is not bad considering I have only been active on social media for less than five years. What can I expect in the next ten years, hopefully I will triple my followers but who knows?
I put the top portion of the cover of my first book instead of the usual writer's photo. That book is still doing well on Amazon Prime and was the first book I ever twitted or blogged about. Sort of an anniversary posting. Remember to Talk back, I'm listening and have a great week. Catch you on the down side.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Today I had a five hour drive and listening to music made it bearable. Not headbanging stuff but songs where you can hear the lyrics and feel what the singer is singing about. I never could get into rap or songs with cussing in them. Just not my style. I go for soft rock or old style rock. Old style country is acceptable as well. I know most people don't discuss the type of music that mellows them out without drinking or smoking something but I thought it would be a good subject as I am back home and sitting at the keyboard. What brings you to a state of calm, I know fighting traffic is not one of them. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to get somewhere. I laugh when someone passes me by whipping in and out of my lane, then I catch up to them without driving like a idiot, exceeding the speed limit and I'm courteous by allowing others to merge in without cutting them off. My wife didn't go with me, I drove alone because she has been living in a small town so long now that she gets tense and stressed whenever we go into a high traffic area such as found around and in large cities. Do you have a stress free time while driving? How much time to you drive each day?
Talk back, I'm listening and have a great weekend.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
My wife thinks I had a couple of spider bites that was the reason my wrist swelled up and my fingers wouldn't move. So I had three days of no computer work. Writing was out of the question. So I spent that time I normally used to write by writing the rest of "Saddle Spur" in my head. Then today I went to type it into the computer and found the story as it flowed in my head was way ahead of what I had actually typed before my wrist refused to work. I expected to be behind on my typing but not that far. It seems I wrote three chapters in my mind. Now, I had to backtrack to pick up where I left off. In my mind I wrote some good stuff, I just hope I don't forget it by the time my typing catches up with my mind. My wrist is still not 100% yet but functioning enough for me to get a little work done, such as this blog. Has that ever happened to you that you write a book ahead of your actual writing? I was unable to take notes so unless the lost chapters come back when they are needed, I'm S.O.L. How is your week going. Read any good books lately, go ahead and comment on them at the bottom of this post. I always like good books.
Talk back, I'm listening. Have a great rest of this week.