Prompt Challenge: 070416 Road Rage

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! I was going to take the whole week off…just give myself a little room and rethink some things. I am trying to get my blog to a place that I am happy with. But I realized this is one thing about this blog that I am extremely content with and that is my prompt challenge. So, I put together a little story for you.

This story is actually inspired by an incident I had on the road the other day. A guy had a bit of road rage against me because I didn’t get out of his way quick enough. He proceeded to try and run me off the road. I am not going to lie, I have been terrified on the road since then. I haven’t even told many people other than my parents and my brother, but I don’t think it’s something that will ever leave me. I still have little panic attacks every time I see a big blue truck on the road.

So, this story is kind of inspired by what I wanted to do to him. And this is also an example of how this writer deals with stressful situations in her life. 🙂

Enjoy!

Prompt

BorderRoad Rage
Border

The road was quiet today. No other cars on the road but her, though it was like this often. In a world where you were either a hunter or the hunted, no one risked being on the road. Kenzie, however, didn’t care what troubles lay ahead or behind her. She had made a name for herself in the new world. She was feared by most and worshiped by others. She was a fighter that grew up in a cruel world. Her mother and father had left her to die in the desert and the Desert Wolves had raised her.
Don’t get the desert wolves confused with the Desert Wolves. These were not animals, but a group of highly skilled, extremely lethal woman that didn’t take crap from anyone. They collected the trouble makers, took control of entire cities, and the world fell to their knees at the sight of the Desert Wolves. Kenzie had grown up with them, learned their ways, and became their current leader. Kenzie was also known as the Lone Wolf. While she was the leader of the pack, she was often seen going off on her own, just to scout out the towns or feel the wind in her hair. No one could touch her and they all knew it.
At least, she thought everyone knew it. Until this day, this bright, sunny, and dusty day. On a dead road, a truck came up behind Kenzie’s small car. She was only out for a joy ride to give herself a break from the constant fighting. The truck flew up on her, bumping her back end. Kenzie moved her car over to the other side of the road. The truck flew by her and the man driving the car stared at her. Recognition crossed his face. He slowed down, but Kenzie could feel that he was not done yet.
The truck whipped in front of her, almost hitting her front end, causing Kenzie to swerve. Kenzie was getting mad now. Not because the man was an idiot, but because he was trying to damage her car. It wasn’t a fancy car, but it was hers that she had built with her own two hands. She had collected the scrap pieces and put it together. It was her pride and joy in this world full of dirty and distress.
The man in the truck slammed on his breaks, forcing Kenzie to put on her own breaks, whipping to the other side of the road to avoid hitting the bastard. She could feel her anger building and she gripped the steering wheel so tight she knew there would be indentions of her fingers. She stared at the truck, watching as the man rolled down the window to throw out his hand with his middle finger up. Kenzie couldn’t control her anger any longer. She didn’t like getting so angry, but she wasn’t going to hold back.
The windows in the truck burst inwards, causing the man to swerve off the road. As he gained control of the truck, one of the tires blew out, causing him to swerve again. Kenzie couldn’t stop herself. The truck flipped over, tumbling end over end a few times before coming to a stop with the wheels in the air, still spinning.
Kenzie stopped her car, put it in park and got out. She slowly walked over to the truck, hearing the man screaming for help.
“Help?” Kenzie laughed. “You want help now?” She raised her arms and spun around. “No one can hear you.” She smiled and crouched down to look into the truck window. “Help.” She mocked him. “Even if there was someone out here to help you, do you really think they would help you?”
“Please.” He said, reaching out to her. “I was just messing around.”
“You don’t ‘mess around’…” She said, hooking her pointer and middle fingers in the air… “With the Lone Wolf.” She sighed and shook her head. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you.” She said, standing up. “I’m not going to leave you here either.” She jerked the dented truck door open, grabbed the man’s arm and pulled him out. The man screamed in pain as his bloody body was drug from the crushed metal that was once his truck. “I’m going to turn you over to the collection.” She said with a smirk.
Kenzie drug the man to her car, grabbing a rope and tying him up. She threw him in the trunk of the car and left the scene of the wreckage. Men got a higher price in this world. Being the leader of the Desert Wolves, she didn’t catch too many for the collection anymore. The organizers of the collection know not to mess with what the Desert Wolves take for themselves. In fact, the collection pays the Desert Wolves to keep them safe. That was what Kenzie had created as the leader of the pack. She had struck fear in those that everyone else had feared before. She was changing the world.
It wasn’t just her fighting techniques or her skills of survival. There was a reason Kenzie had been left in the desert to die. She wasn’t a normal human. She had powers beyond anyone’s imagination. No one knew the extent of her power. She was out to take over the new world, and she was almost there. No one could stop her, not even some bone head man who thought he could run her over on the road. She couldn’t wait to tell the collection what to do with him.

Border

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Don’t worry, there is more content to come!

Prompt Challenge: 070116 Finding Truth

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! Are you excited for a new prompt? I know I was.

Just quickly, I wanted to share with you the process of picking a new prompt every month. I still live at home with my parents and my brother. So when it’s time to pick a new prompt, I take my prompt jar to everyone in the family to draw out a prompt. I obviously pick one myself. I then read the 4 prompts and either pick my favorite, or get my mom to help me decide which one to do. This month was a little harder to choose because the ones that were drawn were all so fun! But I narrowed it down to this one…

Prompt

BorderFinding Truth
Border

Jessa moved silently through the dense forest, listening for the heavy footsteps of the man she had been following for the past week. She had learned over the years that it’s best to take your time when tracking a male. Even after all of Jessa’s training, some of the males were stronger than her. She couldn’t be reckless and she had to catch them off guard.

Jessa watched from above the man as she sat on a limb in the tree. He had scouted out his surroundings, knowing the dangers of the new world. No one person was safe, unless you were a hunter. And only women were truly accepted as hunters now. Jessa had never asked what happened to the humans she had presented to Vic, just that she got more when it was a male. So she spent most of her time tracking down the men.

Vic was the head honcho, big man on campus, the boss lady. Vic was as muscular as any man that Jessa had ever captured. She wore her hair slicked back in a tight bun and always dressed in a suit. Jessa was sure the boss lady slept in her suit, if she slept at all. Vic was vicious and demanding. If Jessa was gone for too long, one of Vic’s dogs came for her. And Jessa was feeling her time running out.

She sat in the tree and watched as the man lit a fire, long enough to cook some meat and warm up for the long cold night. The man had no idea he was being watched and Jessa knew it was time to strike. She didn’t like what she did. She didn’t like taking people from the little freedom they had, just to turn them into Vic. She may not know what happened to them, but judging by Vic’s attitude, she imagined it wasn’t all that great for them.

Jessa waited until the man seemed to fall asleep. He was peaceful in his sleep, forgetting the terrible condition of the world. Not many people alive remembered the old world other than the stories that had been tossed around. A world where people lived in homes and worked from sun up to sun down and were able to go home to a warm bed. A world where people sat at tables to eat every night. A world where you could bathe under warm water whenever you wanted.

It was all just stories now. This world was dirty. You were lucky to have a proper bath with clean water and soap once a month, sometimes longer than that. Meals were eaten quickly while crouching around a fire. Your home was a bundle of sticks you had thrown together to look like just a random pile of forest left overs.

Jessa sighed as she crawled down from the tree and made her way to the man. She reached in her pocket and pulled out a spray bottle. The liquid inside was a mixture Jessa had created to keep any human calm and mostly asleep while she tied them up. It was a simple mix of jasmine, lavender, and black skullcap. She misted the spray in the man’s face and waited for his lips to turn blue. They were not the same blue as someone who couldn’t breathe or suffering from the cold. They were more of a sky blue and the effect only lasted 10 seconds.

She tied the man up, making sure the knots could not be undone.

“Don’t do this.” The man said, shocking Jessa. She paused for a moment, but grunted at him, refusing to speak to him. It was never good to speak to the person whose life you had just condemned. “You can still untie me.”

“Quiet.” She said as she sat him against the tree and began to prepare a stretcher to drag the man back to Vic.

“I have escaped Vic once; I know what she does to them in there.” He said, grabbing Jessa’s attention. She turned to him, listening, but not saying anything. “For the men, she castrates them.” He winced. Jessa continued making her stretcher, and the man continued speaking. “The women get off a little easier. They are impregnated by Vic’s chosen men. Then she puts them all, male and female, in the mines, finding as much gold as they can. There is rumor that she has other places, other camps, where they are forced to mine for other jewels and anything valuable. She says once the world is reestablished, she will be the queen of it all.”

“That is what happened in the first place.” Jessa spat. “One ruler destroyed the whole world. Too much power was given to one man.”  She looked at the man, her head cocked to the side. “Why would she be so stupid as to do that again?”

“Because she feels as a woman she will do a better job.” He told her. “But look what she has already done. She has turned human on human worse than what it was before. She kills the slaves once they are too weak to continue, and they weaken quickly. She does not feed them properly or give them enough water.”

“What do I care?” Jessa asked as she finished her project. She tested the knots to make sure the stretcher would not fall apart.

“Because you will be in there one day. Have you ever wondered why there are so few hunters? How many have you crossed in the past year?”

“It takes a strong person to be a hunter.” Jessa said with her hands on her hips. The man raised his hands, free of the knots.

“I was strong. I was a hunter and I brought in more men and woman than any other hunter.” He stood up, not threatening Jessa, but showing her she had failed. “Vic turned on me when I found out what she was doing. She is allowing women to be raped, and she is mutilating men.”

“Lies.” Jessa said to him.

“Why do you think she sends out her dogs to find you when you have been gone too long? She is checking to make sure you are not plotting against her. She is running the show already, but the longer she has to take control of it all, the worse it will be for the rest of us.”

“You are just trying to get free.”

“I am already free.” The man said, a frown on his face. “I can show you.” He said, taking a step towards Jessa. She didn’t move. She would not show weakness. “I can show you everything, prove it all. I can get back in the way I got out. We can save them all. Even the ones you have turned in yourself.”

“They would kill me.” Jessa said, a sick feeling in her stomach. Now that the man stood closer she could see the sorrow in his eyes, the pain and grief, the results of a hard life. She even saw guilt in his eyes. She knew he was telling the truth, she could feel it radiating from his very soul. “It takes more than two to rescue the world.” She said, shaking her head.

“There are more than just you and me.”

BorderThe End
Border

I hope you enjoyed. Let me know what you think. Come back next Wednesday for a new story!

Prompt Challenge: 060316 The Chosen

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends. I don’t have much to say other than, I am sorry. This story may be a little dark and super depressing. I don’t think I have the ability to write a normal story, and if it doesn’t involve supernatural beings, it’s really dark. Maybe I have some issues that I am not dealing with in my head??

Either way, here is this weeks short story. Again, I am sorry it’s not fluffy, frilly, and happy. But I like to think it’s a good story.

Prompt Quote

BorderThe Chosen
Border

He pointed me toward the opening in the tree. “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly large once you’re inside.” And then he helped me into the tree.

That is where I have been this whole time. He told me to stay and he would come back for me. I fear he won’t be back, it has been a while. I don’t know how long it has been. I used to hear people walking by the tree, some of them even yelling my name. At first I thought it was funny that they couldn’t find me. I thought I had been hidden really well, but it became old soon enough.

I tried climbing out of the tree, but I couldn’t get my arms or legs to work, they seem stuck in place. I tried crying out when I heard people stumbling around the woods around my tree, but I found that my voice no longer worked. No tears fell and I found that I could feel nothing but cold. Everything was so cold. I wanted to go home. I wanted my warm bed and hugs from my mother. I wanted to watch dumb football games with my dad. I wanted to go to the mall with my brother. I wanted to call my best friend. Yet, I am here alone and forgotten.

I don’t know how long I have been here, but I am ready to get out. No matter how hard I try I cannot seem to escape. I can’t sleep, I can’t scream, and while I know I have been here for a while, I am not hungry. I am just cold and alone.

I started to think about who put me here. The man with the pretty smile and the bright green eyes.  He told me we wouldn’t be gone long, but I can’t recall what happened between the park and the tree. My heart races as I try to remember and I stop trying to remember. I am afraid of the memory I have forgotten. But the thought always comes back.

I start to remember, even though I try not to. I remember following the man with the pretty smile to his car. He promised me and ice cream. He said it was a date.

He wasn’t a man, he was a friend. Actually, he was my best friend’s older brother. I had a crush on him and he knew it, because my best friend told him. He was a college boy and I had the biggest crush on him. I thought nothing of it when he offered to buy me ice cream. My heart fluttered when he called it a date. I knew I was too young for him, but I went along with it. I didn’t tell my parents where I was going because I knew they would be mad. Why didn’t I just tell them?

It wasn’t until after I got in his car that I felt something wrong. The sweet sparkle in his eye became a devious glint. I started talking a little crazy. He was telling me how pretty I was and how much he wanted to be alone with me. I am only 14 and I started to feel uncomfortable when he reached over and touched my leg. I told him that I needed to go home, that I forgot I had to be home early. But that devious glint became brighter. He pulled off the road and down a dirt road. I tried to call home, but he pulled the phone out of my hands and threw it out the window.

He stopped the car in a clearing and pulled me out of the car. I kicked him where my dad always taught me to kick a boy who was attacking me. I always thought my dad was paranoid, but then I was grateful for his advice. Though, it didn’t help. I don’t remember much after that. Evan, my best friends brother caught up to me. He hit me in the head and I blacked out. I woke up when he was putting me in the tree. I had forgotten what had happened at that point. I had blocked it all out. I still can’t fill in the pieces, but it doesn’t matter.

I hear the people again, they are quiet this time and they come right to me. I can feel relief rush over me. They easily reached in and pulled me out. I could finally stretch, or I thought I could. My body was stiff and I couldn’t move them.

Home. I made it home. I was standing in the doorway of the living room. My family was sitting on the couch watching TV. I could hear my mom sobbing. My best friend, Shelley, stood by my side, holding my hand and smiled. She didn’t say anything, but something about her was wrong. Something about me was wrong.

“Today, what we hope is the last body, was found.” The news anchor reads from his script. “We are not certain, but we believe that this was the first murder by Evan Newcomb.” My heart thudded hard against my chest. Evan Newcomb, Shelley’s brother was a killer? I looked at Shelley and watched a tear streak down her cheek. I hugged her close.

“Ari Shields, 14 when she disappeared, was found today.” My attention was back on the TV as a picture of me flashed across the screen. I looked back at Shelley. “The body was found just as the other had been found, including the body of his sister, Shelley. All the victims were dismembered and shoved into various trees with in the same forest. Every tree was only a few yards from one another.” No. This couldn’t be.

“According to police, all victims where young girls and all had signs of rape.” I struggled to breathe, not that it mattered anymore. I was dead. Shelley was dead. We had been murdered by someone we had looked up to at one point. Had he raped me before he disposed of me?

“Evan Newcomb was executed this morning by electric chair. After five years the families of these young girls have finally had some closure. It was known that the first victim killed, though found last, had been killed by Evan. Evan himself admitted to the crime just last year.”

I heard someone come up from behind me. Shelley and I both turned to find her brother, standing there, staring at us. That devious glint in his eye again. The world of the living only thought it was over. They didn’t know what was happening around them. We are the restless spirits that will live our after lives, running from the horror that took us from our human life. There is no safety, just constant fear and running.

Over all, Evan killed 14 girls before he was captured. In this hell, 14 girls ran from the monster that Evan had become. Shelley doesn’t think it’s really him. She thinks something happened to him while he was in college. But it doesn’t matter. Because of him, I am stuck in this dark world, watching my family move on, my brother grow older than me, the world forgetting about the 14 young girls raped and murdered by some sick boy. They think it’s over because he got what was coming to him. Why didn’t he rot in prison for years before they killed him? Instead they sent him here, to continue torturing his chosen.

Border

What did you think? Leave me some comments. 🙂

Prompt Challenge: 060216

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends. This short story was inspired by the tragedies that took place this week. First Christina Grimmie. I have been following her since her early YouTube days. I fell in love with her voice and her beautiful personality. Her death hit me hard, even though I didn’t know her on a personal level. And then the Orlando shooting. I can’t believe the hate that is littering our world. But some beautiful things have come out of this as well. Fans have gathered to raise money to help Christina’s family. And the US has come together to help those families of the Orlando victims. Out of this tragedy I hope that you all realize that our main focus in this life is to just love and respect one another, no matter race, religion, or sexual orientation. Their may be lifestyles that I do not understand, but at the end of the day, we are all one species and to survive, we must help one another.

With that being said, I started thinking about all that Christina missed out on in life. Which lead me to think of what the people of the Orlando tragedy missed out on. And well…this came from it. I am not even going to lie, after I wrote this, the black hole in my chest wasn’t quite as big. Writing is my passion, my escape, my stress reliever. And maybe one day I will look back on this and remember how deeply affected I was by this week.

Feel free to share your thoughts of the tragedy or the story in the comments. ❤

Prompt Quote

BorderHeaven for the Young
Border

He pointed me toward the opening in the tree. “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly large once you’re inside.”

I wonder to myself how I got here. Last I remember I was happy at a table, meeting my fans and signing whatever they threw in front of me. I remember a little pain, shock, and sadness. In the blink of an eye I woke up here, standing in front of a tree with a neon light flashing above the door. It was my name, flashing brightly. I smiled, knowing that this is what I wanted. My name was in bright lights, I was the staring attraction in this odd looking tree.

The man that spoke to me was tall and he stood so straight, a large smile on his face. His suit was flashy and classy. It was a tuxedo, black, but covered in sequins, making him sparkle as much as the neon sign. He nodded at me and opened the door to the tree. I gasped when the lights almost blinded me. The cool air and the music drew me in. “Your changing room is in the back, your wardrobe is ready for you. The makeup artist and the hair dresser will be in soon.” He began to walk towards the back of the club. Yes, it was a club with a large dance floor. A booth lined the walls all around the club. The second floor was more like a balcony with tables and chairs. A bar was against one wall and the bar tender was cleaning glasses. He looked up hearing us. He sat his glass down and waved at me, a smile spread across his face.

The man in the suit led me to the back and through another door that opened into a hallway. There were several doors, but my focus went to the one door at the end of the hall. On the door was a star and under it was my name. I could feel my own face stretch as I smiled. I didn’t need the man in the suit anymore. I walked into my room and squealed. The back wall was lined with clothes and shoes. A shelf above the clothes held wigs, not that I needed the wigs, but they looked fun. On another wall was a long couch and a table sitting in front of it. I plopped on the couch and sighed. It was the fluffiest, most comfortable couch I had ever sat in. Along another wall was a table with a mirror. On the table sat makeup beyond my wildest dreams and makeup brushes. The drawers of the table were clear and I could see more makeup there as well as jewelry and hair pins. It was everything a star could ever need.

“Call if you should need anything before the hair dresser and makeup artist come in.” The man said, walking away.

“Wait!” I shouted. “What is your name?”

“You can call me Steve. I am the club owner, but you are the star. Without you there is nothing for anyone to come to.”  He smiled.

“Where am I?” I ask, afraid of his answer.

“You know where you are.” He said.  “It is a tragic story, how you got here. But there is something beautiful that comes out of this tragedy.” He turned to take in the room. “Tonight, your headline show begins.”

“Thank you, Steve.” I whisper. He leaves, closing the door behind him. I am given a moment to myself to mourn what I have lost, to shed a tear for those I left behind. When a knock comes at the door I have cleared my head and cleaned my face. I knew that those I left behind would find me again one day and they would find me in this place, doing what I love the most. I decided at that moment, that I would be happy. I would be happy for the people I loved the most. I would make my shows great so when they find themselves here they will see that my talent was not lost, just re-homed.

I opened the door to find the hair dresser and the makeup artist, ready to doll me up, to prepare me for my show. I took a deep breath and let them in.

That night, I gave the best performance I had ever given. I started at the piano, where so many remember me. My voice bounced off the walls and filled the room as the packed club danced away, enjoying the music and the show that I gave them.

The second night, the club was even more packed. I didn’t think that was possible, but it was. All these people were new and they had come ready to dance. There was an air of sadness when they first arrived and I knew, they had just found themselves in this place. Like me, they had left loved ones behind, but they were brought her to do what they had loved. They were dancing the night away. They were dancing the pain and sadness away; coming to the conclusion I had the night before. Soon, those they had left behind would find them again.

Border

I hope you enjoyed the story.

Prompt Challenge: 060116 Not Wonderland

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! I can’t believe it is already Wednesday. This week is flying by. Lucky for you, Wednesday means a new short story. And this week it’s a new short story for a new prompt. So let’s get to it!

Prompt Quote

Border
Not Wonderland
Border

I shouldn’t be here, wherever here is. I should be at home in my bed, dreading getting up and going to work. Right now is about the time I should be hitting my snooze button for the last time. Instead I am in this place…this fantastical place that I should be happy to be in. I didn’t fall down a rabbit hole, walk through a closet, or take a train. I just woke up to a fairy dancing on my chest.

Yes! A freaking fairy! Dancing on my chest!

When I woke up, she giggled and darted away. Of course she came back, chattering away at something following her. Once the thing following the fairy held up a lantern I almost screamed when the light hit his face. At least I thought it was a him. In my mind it was a male anyways. It wasn’t until it spoke that I was sure it was a male. His voice was deep and scratchy with a little squeak when he exhaled. His skin was made of plastic and his eyes jiggled with every movement. I wasn’t even sure if he saw me or could focus. His creepy googly eyes just bounced all over the place. His painted on mouth opened and spread in a grin and one tooth peeked from the bottom of his mouth. “Well, hello.” He said as he walked closer to me. I backed away and he frowned. I instantly felt bad for being so rude.

“Where am I?” I asked, my breath escaping quickly. I gasped, trying to fill my lungs with air, but I couldn’t seem to get enough. The air felt thicker, damper, something other than what I was used to.

“Stay calm, Meg, everything will be explained.” I jerked when I heard my name. It wasn’t fear that set in, it was wonder.  Was this a dream? It had to be a dream, how else would this creepy walking and talking doll know my name. I stared at him and paused, what fear was left drained as the blood drained from my face. I knew this creepy googly eyed doll.

“Ollie?” I found him in an attic one day. I had been exploring my new home, thinking how sad and lonely I was. I had crawled through the cobwebs and dust, coughing as the dust stirred up and tickled my nose. I was taken by a sneezing fit, and when it was over I found myself in the corner of the musty attic. There in the corner sat Ollie. He was an old, beat up doll with googly eyes and a painted on smile. He wore a checkered blue shirt and a pair of jeans. He was all alone in the attic and he instantly became my best friend. Of course, then he was just a doll that didn’t talk.

“You remember me.” Ollie smiled at me. I reached for him and took him in my arms, hugging him tightly. He laughed, which reminded me that I should still be curious as to why my childhood doll was suddenly talking to me.

“What is this place? Why am I here? Where did you go?” I couldn’t stop my questions as I sat him down.

“Follow me.” He said. I stood and dusted off my pants, following my old friend, a doll who could talk. The fairy still chattered in his ear, but I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. Ollie peaked back at me. “This is your home now.” He said.

“Ollie, I can’t stay here. I have to get back home, go to work, pay my bills. I am an adult now.” I said. Not that I really wanted to go back, but it was the most logical thing for a 25 year old to say. Responsibility is what being an adult was all about, right?

“Your purpose has been served.” Ollie said, not looking at me. He continued down the path and I could only stare at his shiny, plastic, bald head. I was distracted by his strange walk. I had never seen a stuffed doll walk, but here he was, walking away, holding a lantern.

“My purpose?” I asked. What could he possibly mean?

“We were afraid this would happen. It happens to some of us. We forget that we are only a piece of time. There in the moment when the child needs us most. You have been on one of the longest jobs any of us have ever seen. It may take a few days for you to remember who you are.”

“What are you talking about?” We stopped in front of a large tree that was wider than any tree I had ever seen. I looked up and gazed at the opening that a set of stairs lead to. I looked back at Ollie, confused.

He pointed me toward the opening in the tree. “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly large once you’re inside.”

“What is this place?”

“Your new home, Meg.” He smiled and started walking up the stairs. “Don’t worry, it will come back as soon as you come in. I followed, mostly out of curiosity and partly because there was nothing else around but forest and I was slightly creeped out at the thought of being left out side alone. Ollie opened the door and walked in, lighting up the room. I gasped as I followed, recognizing the attic where I first meet Ollie. I shook my head and stopped in the doorway.

“This can’t be real.” I said, trying to find air again. I kept shaking my head and pinching my arm. I had to wake up from this nightmare.

“You were never real Meg. You are a doll. A beautiful doll that girls love and connect with. When they need you. When they are done with you, you come back here, you come back home to the attic.” Ollie says, trying to sooth me.

It started to come back in flashes. I had never gone to work. That was Coral, the girl who found me one day. She had kept me, needed me longer than most. It was her clock that went off. It was her that hit the snooze button too many times. I just sat on her shelf and watched it all, providing comfort when she needed it. It had been months since the last time she even looked at me. I guess Coral finally grew up.

I smile, happy for her, but sad that I am no longer with her. I wipe a tear from my cheek and walk into the attic. Ollie is sitting at a table of plastic tea cups, pouring steaming cups of air and serving plastic crumpets. What else would a doll do on her off time other than have a tea party with all the other dolls on break?

Border

Let me know what you think. But here is a question for you. Would you have a tea party with your dolls from your childhood if they showed up talking? I liked my childhood dolls, I would totally have a little chat and tea with them.

Author Interview: Debra Chapoton

Authorinterview

Hello friends! I know this is a little late and I apologize for that. But this Sunday I am brining you an interview from the author Debra Chapoton. I have had a wonderful experience with Debra. She was so helpful and quick to get to the questions I sent her. Also, her book, Exodia, was a fabulous book. You can find my review on Goodreads or Amazon and soon on The Reading Bud.

Without any more delay, here is a little bio about her, followed by the interview. At the end you can read an excerpt from Exodia.

Debra Chapoton has taught kids of all ages in her main career as a teacher. She has a BA in Spanish and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching English. She started writing in 2002 and was surprised to find out that the characters quickly take over the action and dialogue in the stories.

Her first YA novel, EDGE OF ESCAPE, was self-published and then discovered by Piper Verlag Publishing and translated into German. Stalking and obsession get a sympathetic twist in this story of physical and psychological survival.

Her second YA novel, SHELTERED, detours into a different genre as she writes about five teens who confront supernatural forces. Two boys and three girls all harbor secrets which make some of them susceptible to demon possession. Embracing all things supernatural might protect them, but are they ready for the consequences?

In A SOUL’S KISS a tragic accident leaves Jessica comatose, but her spirit escapes her body. Navigating a supernatural realm is tough, but being half dead has its advantages.

Chapoton has also written eleven children’s chapter books for middle grade kids, teen Christian fiction THE GUARDIAN’S DIARY, and a non-fiction work for adults, CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES.

A dystopian series, The Exodia Ledgers, was released in June, 2015 with EXODIA and OUT OF EXODIA. Based loosely on the ancient story of Moses, this two book dystopian journey is an adventure full of symbolism, hidden codes, and thematic imagery that will appeal to readers of all ages. These high concept novels bridge the gap from young adult to new adult and mix genres including sci-fi, dystopian, magical realism, and speculative fiction.

Her latest release, THE GIRL IN THE TIME MACHINE, is a time travel novel with an unusual twist. Laken Mitchell has been bullied one time too many, but using a time machine to make her tormenters disappear means putting her own future—and her past—at perilous risk.

When she’s not writing Chapoton enjoys the quiet of the full log home she designed and built with her husband. They live in the middle of 62 acres of beautiful woods in northern Michigan, USA.

 

  1. What inspired The Exodia Ledgers Series?

This is a really hard question. In fact, I answered all the rest first and came back to this one. Still don’t know how to answer. Pretty much ideas just float out of the sky and pierce my brain, painlessly, and then grow there like weeds until I pluck them, take a look, and decide to write or not. This one bloomed into two books. For me inspiration is a mystery—it just happens.

  1. I really enjoyed all the anagrams spread throughout the novel. What inspired the anagrams? Do those come easily to you or did it require a little prep?

Oh, yay, I know the answer to this one. The anagrams were inspired by the need to have some kind of special mental ability or quirk for the main character. Having the anagrams also be prophetic just kind of happened organically. It amazed me. Did it require a little prep? Well, yes and no. I have been playing with codes since I was maybe eight years old. That’s when I discovered cryptograms, secret alphabets, and anagrams. Nowadays when I’m forced to watch a sporting event I find myself mentally rearranging the letters on players’ uniforms to form new words, so though it comes easily, I had to use pencil and paper sometimes to figure out the longer anagrams.

  1. What kind of research did you have to do for Exodia?

I studied the life of Moses extensively since the plot is based on him. I also researched ancient Egypt and the Holy Land looking for ways it would compare to a post-apocalyptic world in terms of the struggle to survive without modern conveniences.

  1. When did you decide to become a writer?

About fourteen years ago a teacher friend of mine assigned his high school students to write a novel during the school year. I challenged myself to try to do the same. I had so much fun watching the characters take over my story that after I finished that first novel I wanted to continue creating more.

  1. Are you self-published? If so, what made you go that route as opposed to traditional publishing?

I self-published first, then I was published traditionally. I’ve been indie published as well and continue to self-pub.

  1. If you are self-published, if given the opportunity, would you go the traditional route? Why or why not?

I am open to all avenues. In fact, I’ve just begun to publish on Audible. It’s quite humbling to have a voice over artist or actor bring my stories to life.

  1. How do you set aside time to write? And do you have a daily word or page goal?

I try to write creatively every morning from about 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. or for as long as I’m inspired. My daily goal is a thousand words, which is about four pages. I might return to novel writing throughout the day or work on editing and rewriting or marketing.

  1. What did you find to be the hardest part about writing?

The hardest part comes after I’m all done writing and have to work on marketing and selling. I’d rather do rewrites and editing while standing on my head than market. I do, however, enjoy author interviews on wonderful blogs like yours [honestly speaking].

  1. How long did you work on the Exodia series?

Exodia and Out of Exodia took about two years to complete.

  1. What made you feel that you needed to write this series?

Because I usually write by the seat of my pants meaning I don’t know what’s going to happen next, I wanted to try my hand at writing from a plot outline where I would know what was going to happen next. I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that Moses murdered someone and then God used him anyway in one of the greatest stories of history. I don’t know why I felt I needed to write this series, but I enjoyed the challenge of reinventing the fourth most well-known character of all time.

  1. Is this series complete?

Yes.

  1. What are you currently working on?

Since the Exodia series I self-pubbed a sci-fi thriller called The Girl in the Time Machine. Now I’m working on a three book series with an interplanetary theme.

  1. Out of all the novels you have written, what is your favorite so far?

That is like asking me which of my four kids I like best. I can’t answer, but I will say that the Exodia books and my latest book, The Girl in the Time Machine, are the most complex and appeal to the side of my personality that loves puzzles. But … A Soul’s Kiss has that supernatural romance that makes me smile and Edge of Escape, The Guardian’s Diary, and Sheltered satisfy my need for suspense. See what I mean? I can’t pick a favorite, though I’m really into the sci-fi adventure I’m working on now.

  1. How long did it take you write the first book of the series?

About a year.

  1. Did you have a professional editor polish up your novel? If so, how did you go about finding them?

I don’t remember. I’ve written over 20 novels and they’ve all been either group edited, contest edited, self-edited (I have a Master’s Degree in English), or professionally edited.

  1. What kind of books do you read?

I genre jump and have 200 books lined up on my Kindle. I like all sorts of things, but suspense is my favorite.

  1. Do you have a favorite book or series? Favorite author?

I’m always asked this and the answer changes daily. Today, because I just finished a suspenseful novel and need something light, I’ll pick Evanovich’s series with Stephanie Plum. Those are so much fun to read.

  1. In the big debate of e-book or traditional hard copy, which do you prefer?

I have three Kindles, need I say more?

  1. What is your favorite movie?

Back to Future

  1. Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?

You’d think I’d say Moses, right? But I’d be too scared of him. I’d rather meet Jesus.

  1. Lastly, what advice would you give aspiring writers?

Read a lot. Take writing classes. Read writing books. Edit, edit, and re-edit.

  1. Anything else that you would like to add that I didn’t ask you about?

Nope, you covered a lot. Thanks so much for this interview.

  1. Where can we find you on social media?

Website: www.bigpinelodgebooks.com

Blog: www.debrachapoton.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BigPineLodgeBooks/?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Debra_Chapoton

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4089564

 

Books by Debra Chapoton

EDGE OF ESCAPE

THE GUARDIAN’S DIARY

SHELTERED

A SOUL’S KISS

EXODIA

OUT OF EXODIA

THE GIRL IN THE TIME MACHINE

THE SECRET IN THE HIDDEN CAVE

MYSTERY’S GRAVE

BULLIES AND BEARS

CROSSING THE SCRIPTURES

A TICK IN TIME

BIGFOOT DAY, NINJA NIGHT      

 

I didn’t forget! Here is an Excerpt from Exodia.

Part I: 2093

 Chapter 1 The Red Slum

 From the first page of the Ledger:

The black voice said, “Live in fire, wild, souls howl here.”

There are two paths to every man’s life. Some choose hell …

 IT’S AS IF I too am running for my life.

I sit transfixed by the scene outside the smudged window. A scrubby looking boy races away from a statehouse guardsman barely out of reach of the angry soldier’s whip. I clench my fists, press closer to the window, and let the pounding in my ears cover my idiot tutor’s droning voice:

“… after the Eurasian Nuclear War of 2049 when North America united into 90 states and declared trade independence from the rest of the world …”

The kid reaches the fence and scrambles up the chain links. The frayed end of the guard’s whip catches him on the ankle. Two small oranges spill from his pockets as he lurches to scurry over the top unfazed by the lashing or the broken barbs. He casts a casual, nonchalant glance over his shoulder and disappears out of sight.

My posture relaxes and my pulse returns to normal, but then my eyes fall to the words the tutor has scrawled on the wallboard: Eurasian Nuclear War. The letters jump around in my head and rearrange themselves into I aware casual runner. My heart skips a beat. I’ve been having more of these strange distractions lately. Words change in my head and I miss several minutes of time.

I slump down in my seat and glance at the three other boys forced to sit through this drivel with me. Not one is paying attention. We’ve heard it a thousand times.

“… post-apocalyptic immigration changed the culture of our new nation. Tattoos on the left elbow, red or blue, were given at birth to differentiate the two classes. Intermarriage is punishable by death and so is killing or breaking the bones of someone of the opposite tattoo.”

I fight the urge to cradle my left elbow even though it doesn’t matter since I’m wearing a long sleeved shirt. I can never draw attention to my fading tattoo. As grandson of the most powerful man in the nation, Executive President Bryer Battista, there should be no doubt that I am a Blue.

But I have a doubt. Something isn’t right. No one else’s royal blue tattoo has purpled like mine. For months now I’ve secretly dabbed blue dye on my skin, as much to hide the suspicion from myself as from anyone else, that maybe, just maybe, the tattoo I was given sixteen years ago was red. And maybe I, Dalton Battista, grandson of the cruelest tyrant ever, am not a true member of the elite ruling class. That maybe I belong to society’s religious outcasts–those poor hoarders, low class rejects, slave labor.

It takes a moment before the silence registers on my ears. The tutor is no longer speaking. Four sets of eyes are turned on me, watching, waiting.

“Excuse me? Could you repeat the question?”

“Certainly,” the tutor smirks. “What is the name of the resistance leader who tried to claim all of Exodia for the Reds?”

“Um,” I clear my throat. I love history actually. Half my life I was raised by a Red nanny whose tales of Ronel captivated me. “Ronel, David Ronel, he, um …” I run a hand through my hair, long by current standards, and simply stop talking. My fear of public speaking muzzles me even in this small group.

And now my mind swirls around the fact that this morning I ran out of blue dye.

*   *   *

Thank you so much Debra for allowing me to pick your brain. It was a joy reading your book and I hope to read some of your other works here soon.

Have you read any of Debra’s books? Do you plan on reading any?

Prompt Challenge: 040416 The Breakers

Prompt Challenge

Hello friends! Happy Wednesday/hump day. Hopefully you are all getting along well. If not…take a second and read a short story. You know, the one that I am about to share with you. 🙂

I hope you enjoy! It’s the last one of this month for this prompt. I’m not going to lie, I am ready to move on to the next one!

April Prompt

The Breakers

I work for the government. I used to sit at a desk and watch the norms. The norms are the people we only occasionally monitor. They are the low risk families. Up until a month ago, I didn’t even know what they were low risk for. I had no clue what the government even watched for.

Last month, one of the families I watched, the Peterson family, threw up a flag. One of the children was late getting home. All kids have a curfew, and no one is allowed to stay at another person’s home. It was only one of the many laws of our world.

It was little Suzy Peterson that was late and only by a few minutes. But my job is to report any broken laws. Little did I know that reporting this one tiny mishap would bring me where I am today.

I was suddenly put in charge of watching the Peterson family at all hours of the day. I had suddenly become one of the higher-ups in the government. I was one of the people that watches the Breakers. It came with a pay raise, longer hours, and maybe a day off every month or so. It didn’t bother me, I had no family of my own. I would sometimes pretend that I was part of the family, sitting on the couch with them watching their favorite TV shows.

Little Suzy is 13 and she has an older brother, Gregory, who is 17. They also have a baby brother, Jace, who is 5. The mother and father love their children and they were a beautiful family to watch. No more laws were broken for a month. The Peterson family was the model family.

Last night I saw it, I saw what I was looking for, what the government wanted. It started as a little glow on the screen. I didn’t think nothing of it, just thought it was a night light in Gregory’s room. But the light grew brighter and I realized that the light was coming from Gregory.

Only a few minutes later, Suzy lit up her room. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Suddenly, Jace lit up as well. I watched as the parents ran out of their beds to the children’s rooms, trying to dim the lights, trying to put out whatever had happened. It was then that I saw the wings jetting out of the mothers back. Her own skin started to show a faint glow, but she was nervous. Something had activated the family.

Before I could process what was happening, men in black permeated the rooms. They took the whole family hostage, tying down their hands and covering them in black sheets to cover the glowing skin. The only one not tied up and covered was the father. There was nothing special about him. He had no wings, no glow.

It took me longer than it should have to realize what had just happened. What I had just witnessed was the government weeding out the Breakers. They were destroying anything that could possibly be stronger or smarter than the government, or make people question what was actually real. The Breakers were not people, they were creatures of all sorts. I finally left my own terminal to look around. I watched from behind the other employees. There were so many different things. Creatures with big wings, like birds. Creatures with sharp fangs. Creatures like the Peterson family, glowing and batting their dragonfly like wings. Creatures with claws. Creatures with horns. Creatures with scales.

All creatures that were not human and the government was taking them away. I knew I had to find out where these creatures were being taken. I had to find out if the Peterson’s were safe. I had grown to know them, to love them. I wanted to free them.

The rest of the employees began to move from their own screens, looking around at one another. I thought I was slow at figuring things out, but these people were just starting to understand. Some were crying out for the families they had been watching. We all demanded to know what was happening, what would happen to these families. I left the room in a hurry. I needed fresh air. I heard the doors lock behind me and the sound of gas filling the room I had left behind.

It wasn’t until later that the gas they had released into the control room was a gas engineered to make us forget everything about the control room.

“It happens every time.” Someone said from behind me. I jumped and scrambled, trying to find a way out. “Don’t worry. I’m just like you. I was one of the lucky ones, I got out before the gas. They will send us back down, to the low risk watches. Until we spot another one. Then they will send us back here and start the whole cycle over.” The woman stood in front of me, her eyes were bright with anger. “I intend to stop them.”

“How?” I asked her.

“We wake everyone else up.”

4 Nerd Girl Rating

I hope you enjoyed this story and all the stories this month. If you wrote any short stories using this prompt, I would love to see them. So link them in the comments.

Also, any comments about the story are welcome. I would love to know what you think!

Prompt Challenge: 040316 The Unlucky Ones

Prompt Challenge

Hello friends! This one…I like this weeks short story. Really, I do. I am putting it in my file of stories that could be more. Woot! But let’s get on with this. It’s also not very long. So, yay for quick read!

April Prompt

The Unlucky Ones

The lucky ones are the ones that the government only checks in on about once a month. We don’t talk about the unlucky ones, but not for reasons you may think. The unlucky ones are not the ones that are under constant surveillance from the government, they are the ones that have crept under the government’s watch. No one knows their names, where they are, who they are, or what they plan to do next.

The unlucky ones are the ones that slip through the shadows and if they are ever spotted, they are shot on sight. The government does not have time for these people and the ideas they may get. There is a whole community of the unlucky ones, and I am one of them.

My name is Hera. But don’t let the name fool you. There is nothing special about me. I was born into a world where I am forced to hide. It started with my parents and their need to get out from under the government. After both of my parents died I found out that it was my fault that they had to go into the underground, to live among the unlucky ones. The year I was born, the government was killing every fourth girl that was born. It was something about population control and balancing out the ratio of boys and girls. The government is all about controlling the population and making sure there is an even ratio of boys and girls. The better to pair you with someone when you are old enough to marry.

My parents were in an arranged marriage and that didn’t bother them. They didn’t even blink an eye about the babies that were being put to rest because they were the wrong gender. Until it came to being their child that would be laid to rest, their child that would be killed just because I was a girl. It was then that their eyes were opened, and they ran.

The government tracked them down one day and killed them. I was 16 at the time and hid in the rafters of the warehouse we had been living in. We had been there too long and I told them so. They also killed my boyfriend and his family that same night. I have been on the run since. I have become the governments most wanted unlucky one. I have exceeded their expectations. I think now they want to recruit me, but I will never join the monsters that have killed my parents and friends. I will never stand behind the monsters that take children from their homes to control the population.

I have learned their secrets. It has taken me five years to get to where I am today, standing right outside the governments headquarters. They are a stupid bunch. It was only last year that I found out they had one home base. One government headquarters where all their information and important people have been kept. How dumb can you be? They think they are safer in numbers, but they have only given the unlucky ones an advantage. I only have one place to take down to start a new world where we are all free. The unlucky ones will bring light to those that are still lost in the darkness of the governments lies.

I have not come to plea with the government. I have come to destroy them. And behind me are all the unlucky ones, ready to fight, ready to die to free the ones who think they are the lucky ones. In this world the only lucky ones are those who sit in these buildings that tower over the chaos and decay of a sad world. I didn’t become the unlucky one’s savior, I became their wake up call. I became the voice they needed to push them to stop hiding in the shadows and finally take back what is ours. For my parents, my friends, and those yet to come, I am the harbinger of change, of death, of freedom.

4 Nerd Girl Rating

Tell me what you thought. Did you like it? Hate it? What would you rate it? I would love to hear from you.

Prompt Challenge: 040216 Bird Faces

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! Welcome to the second prompt challenge for this prompt. I wish it was better, but I didn’t have a lot of time to work on it. I know, I should take this a little more serious and set aside time to write like I need to. I am working on it, I promise. I found something that worked for me and I let myself slack.

So, while I am not completely happy with this short story, I am pleased with the general concept. I may revisit it one day and make it better. But today, you get the raw version. I hope you like it!

Warning, this one is a little longer than what I usually write. Please still read it?

April Prompt

Bird Faces

There are three types of people in this world.

The first are the ones that the government only looked into maybe a few times a year. They get a knock at their door, someone takes a walk through their home, and they are done.

The second are the ones that get monthly visits from the government. They get a knock at their door, the government walks through their home, looking under beds and through files. Usually these are the ones that had a questionable family member somewhere down the line.

The third group are the unlucky ones. You know you are the unlucky, but no one else knows. Usually you disappear from the family and cause the rest of the family to become part of the second group. Your family stops talking about you, they forget about you. Not because they hate you, but because it is safer to forget about you. Eventually, the family will work their way back into the first group and can breathe a sigh of relief.

I am one of the ones from the third group. Though, at this point I don’t know why anymore. Am I filled with rage because they constantly watch me or am I constantly watched because I am filled with rage? They keep me tied to a bed, strapped down like a science project, while they draw blood from me. They also pump medicines into my system and note how each drug changes my temper and blood. Sometimes those drugs can make me lose hours or even days.

I try to escape into my mind. I try to remember things about my life before this one. I try to remember my mom or my father. They are both just blurry figures, standing over me and crying. I know they are crying because I can hear their sobs.

The odd thing though, my father was not there when I was taken away. So why is he in my memory of when I was taken away? Why does he sob along with my mother as the government drags me away?

My father left my mother when I was a toddler, just learning to walk. I remember that day. My father was screaming and my mother was crying out. I waddled to the glass door as it slammed shut. I watched as my father threw a bag into his car and drove away. How do I remember that? Was that even my father? Did I even have a father?

Mom. She loved me, you know. She worked hard to take care of me. I was a young boy when they took me from her. I was maybe 15. How long ago was that? It feels like yesterday, but I know that it was much longer than that. I have seen myself in a mirror before. I look older than a teenager. It could be the stress, though. I could just look older because of all the test and drugs. Or maybe I was never 15. Mom, where are you? Why did you not stop them from taking me? Did I even have a mother?

They are here again, thumping a needle full of blue liquid. I laugh as they inject the blue liquid into my drip. I watch as the tube running into my arm turns blue. I think I can feel the blue liquid running through my veins. I think I can see it. What did they drug me with this time? Why am I here? Do I even have a body?

I scream at the people in white suits, their faces look like birds. Their metal beaks are long and sharp and their eyes are large and glassy. Masks. My mind tells me that they are wearing masks, but my mind tells me that to keep me calm. I don’t think they are masks. I once saw a beak open and close, as if the bird face was trying to speak to me. The light glints off the metal beaks, teasing and taunting me. Why do they hide behind the masks? What is behind those masks?

They leave again, but I know they still watch me. I don’t know where the cameras are or if they can see through walls. Those glassy large eyes could probably see through the walls. I think all the drugs are going to my head. Maybe I was crazy before they took me. Maybe that is why they took me and locked me in this sterile white room. The walls absorb all sounds. It’s maddening when I scream and the sounds soak up the noise. I want my voice to bounce off the walls. I want the screams to rip apart their heads like it does mine. Why can’t they see how mad I am? Do they know how mad I am? Do they know that I would rather die than sit through another test? LET ME OUT! I can hear it in my head, bouncing around the walls of my brain. But my words will never bounce around the room. It’s so quiet. Why is it so quiet? Why do they never speak to me?

LET ME OUT! I try to scream, but the walls eat up my words. The floor eats my tears. I pull at my restraints and for the first time since the crazy bird faces brought me here, the restraints release me. Is it the blue stuff they put into my blood? Did it make me stronger?

No, I was always this strong. My anger is what made me dangerous though.

I jump off the bed and walk to the door. I bang on the metal and the door falls to the floor. I knew I could do that. I could always do that. This drug, is a new drug, but it didn’t weaken the part of me that scares the bird faces. This is why they took me away, because I could destroy them. The government is afraid of me because I can make them pay for all they have done.

The bird faces run through the halls. They shoot at me, but I don’t stop. One runs up to me but I reach out my hand and snap her neck. The cracking of her spine is satisfying for a second and then I remember. My mother. MOM!

My knees hit the cold cement floor and I wipe a tear away. My mother did fight to keep me. But they made me kill her. They made me snap her neck so she couldn’t tell me her secret. She would have come for me, but they made me silence her.

A bird face stands in front of me. He reaches up to take off his mask and tears it away. This is not a bird face, this is a man. I stare at his face, recognizing the blue eyes. My blue eyes. My father. He did not leave my mother. He hid away to keep me safe, but it didn’t work.

Together we kill the bird faces one by one. Their faces do not tear away like the one my father had. These bird faces are not masked men. They are the government. They sick bird faces behind the disappearance of those who have something they want, something that will destroy them once and for all.

I may be one of the unlucky ones, one of the ones that are forgotten, but I do not forget. My madness is not mine, it is the work of the bird faces, the creatures that have tried to claim earth as their own. My father and I will find a way to bring them down. The government will not watch us anymore. The fear the bird faces bring will be defeated.

4 Nerd Girl Rating

I hope you enjoyed it. If not, it’s okay. Let me know what you liked or didn’t like about it in the comments. Trust me, I love to hear from you no matter what.

Author Interview: Anderson Atlas

Hello Friends. Forgive the late post. I’m telling you, when holidays hit and you work retail, your life becomes your day job and nothing else matters. I am so tired and so happy that Easter is done and over with. I hope you all had a lovely holiday.

Now let’s get down to business. I had the pleasure of interviewing Anderson Atlas. I had the chance to read a pre-release copy of his novel Fools Apocalypse. 

Sadly, I do not have the cover with the new title, so I will share the image of the original name. I like having pictures!

Now, Fools Apocalypse does not release until June 1st so be prepared. I really enjoyed the story and you can see my review over at The Reading Bud.

On to the interview!

Authorinterview

  1. What inspired Fools’ Apocalypse? While watching Walking Dead I realized that a long held fantasy about the end of the world was about more than just surviving hordes of horrible monsters, its about personal and political autonomy (self sufficiency) and greed. I wanted to be left alone from government and corporations and have anything I wanted at the tip of my fingers. But when I decided to write a book about surviving a deadly virus, I quickly realized how guilty I had for the ‘greed’ part of myself. It doesn’t take long for the medicines I use and the products I buy to go away or rot on the shelves. What is left is true isolation and self-sufficiency. While I still believe that freedom and the ability to guide our own lives is primordial and important for happiness, so is the economic system we are lucky to have been born into. Fools’ Apocalypse is a story about the people that contribute to the fall of society and how the guilt of it all, guides their every move, desire and changing beliefs.
  2. Are any of your characters modeled after any celebrities? No, but as an author who also loves movies, I’ve done my fair share of celebrity casting. For instance: Ian is Benedict Cumberbatch, Isabella is Michelle Rodriguez, Hana is a blond Emily Blunt, Markus is Charles S. Dutton, Ben is Kevin James ( a tough roll for him but it could be his break out of comedy role)
  3. What kind of research did you have to put into your novels? My antagonist uses my characters own political affiliations to manipulate them to do his bidding. This is based on all of my reading of political philosophy including Ayn Rand, Thomas Sowell, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek and others.

 

  1. When did you decide to become a writer? When I was twenty-five, I found myself working nine to five with no real aspirations. I was an artist, that’s all I knew, but I didn’t know what to do with my art. I only knew I had to do something.One evening, my roommate Dave, who is no longer with us, had to pick me up from the side of the freeway because my car’s tire blew out, sending me into the median. I didn’t have a spare because the tire that blew out was the spare. It was one of those odd-looking doughnut tires that don’t seem capable of holding up a one and a half ton car.
    Dave, who was always good at lightening the mood, laughed and asked me if I had another spare in the trunk to slap on because he thought the doughnut made my car look hip. I didn’t have a spare to replace my spare.
    At that time, buying one new tire was hard and buying two new tires, impossible. That night, Dave and I chatted about bills, life and careers. I don’t remember all the conversation, but I do remember his words of wisdom: he told me to just pick something and go for it.
    I wish he could see the result of his advice.
    I picked writing and illustrating books as my career choice. I focused on school and writing late at night and on weekends. Years later, I’ve found not only the ability to write and illustrate my stories, but the LOVE OF IT.
  2. Are you self-published, small press, or other? Fools’ Apocalypse is published by Synesthesia Books which is a new publisher dedicated to illustrated novels. I work with them and am helping them build their publishing list.
  3. How do you set aside time to write? And do you have a daily word or page goal? I write an hour a day at the minimum before I go to work then at night sometimes, if I just have to get something out of my head. Many Saturdays I write all day, which is when I really get going.
  4. What did you find to be the hardest part about writing? Editing, period. I’m a horrible self-editor. That is why my publisher has a fantastic team behind the book.
  5. How long have you been working on The Extremist Edge Series? This started pouring out of me about five years ago. It’s undergone many edits and sat on my digital book shelf for quite a while. But it is so perfect now, I’m very proud of the story and book 2 as well. That will come out sometime in the fall.
  6. What made you feel that you needed to write this series? This is my way of showing what liberty really is through story and art.
  7. Do you know how many books you plan on including in this series? There will be four books ( so far ) that will walk readers through the new world and into the revelations of all 6 characters.
  8. What are your plans after you finish this series? Move to the next story that is begging to come out of me.
  9. Do you want to make a career of writing or have you already made it a career? I will have a career of writing soon. I just need to find my audience and go from there.
  10. How long did it take you write the first book of the series? Give or take 4 years.
  11. Did you draw the illustrations in Fools Apocalypse and what made you include the illustrations? Yes, I started as an illustrator. But it was hard to find an author that wanted me to illustrate their story. So I wrote one. Then because of how terrible it was, I went back to school and years later, wrote another one.
  12. Did you have a professional editor polish up your novel? If so, how did you go about finding them? OH YES, this is a must. My editing team is finalizing the edits now. Fools’ Apocalypse will be released in June.
  13. What kind of books do you read? I read anything from The Light We Cannot See, to Lord of the Rings, to Enders Game. I love great stories!
  14. Do you have a favorite book or series? Favorite author? I’ve really gotten into the King Killer Chronicles by Patrick Rothfus, but there are so many authors I like.
  15. In the big debate of e-book or traditional hard copy, which do you prefer? Both. If I’m short on cash, I buy ebook. If I’m at a bookstore I pick up the hard copy. I tend to like holding a book in my hand though.
  16. What is your favorite movie? Too many to list.
  17. Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why? No one really. I respect the art of acting, writing, drawing, but I don’t feel the need to meet anyone.
  18. Lastly, what advice would you give aspiring writers? Write what you love. Even if you don’t ever get paid, the act of writing is so warming and you learn so much about language, intent and character it really helps in the day-to-day.
  19. Anything else that you would like to add that I didn’t ask you about? No, but thank you so much for reviewing and giving me the opportunity to be interviewed.

Where can we find you on social media?
Website: andersonatlas.com
Blog: andersonatlas.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anderson.atlas
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndersonAtlas
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5296641.Anderson_Atlas
endinterview

Thank you Anderson Atlas for allowing me to pick your brain! Good luck with the book launch in June!