#IAmFromAlabama

I’ve been thinking about making a post like this for quite some time. So here it is. People make widespread stereotypes about the South. I understand stereotypes. I am in no way saying I think people from the South are the only people that have stereotypes associated with then. However, stereotypes about people from the South are often incredibly mean spirited. They lead to things being said that are hateful. How is this acceptable?

No really, I would like to know how it is acceptable? How is it acceptable to say that all people who live in the South are ignorant, uneducated, racist, inbreds who live in mobile homes? Some of you are going to laugh at that sentence. Why? Why is that funny? Many other stereotypes will either label you as a racist or a bigot, but stereotypes about the South are generally seen as being acceptable.

You see it everywhere. You see it when you interact with people on the internet. Now, I’ll admit, I talk a little slow and have a bit of a Southern drawl, but not all people from the South speak “redneck.” This is something you always see this time of year, with the Iron Bowl just around the corner. I like to read sports articles about how people think the game is going to turn out. I should always stop at reading the article and not move on to read the comments, but I always read a good portion of the comments and they always contain people who spew stereotypical hate and ignorance about people from the South.

So here goes nothing. I am from Alabama. There are things I love about the state and things I hate about the state, but I have lived my entire life here and I’m proud of it. I have a college education. I can speak proper English. I was not related to my wife when we had our wedding. I am a computer programmer and I own a small brewery that I am currently in the process of finding a new home for. I have written two full length novels and self-published one of them. I have said it once and I will say it again, I am from Alabama and I am proud of it!

I doubt this will take off. I doubt anyone will pay a single bit of attention to it, and it will be but a flash in the pan, but I’m tired of the ignorant and hateful remarks that are tossed in our direction in the name of humor. Sometimes, they’re just tossed our way in the name of hate as well. If you are from Alabama and you are proud of that fact then go on Twitter, use #IAmFromAlabama, and tell everybody why you don’t fit into their cookie cutter stereotypes.

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Another Flash Fiction

Here’s another Chuck Wendig Flash Fiction entry. It’s going to see a little disjointed because it’s just the first 200 words of a story. I decided to also turn this into an exercise in first person present tense narrative. It’s something I want to do more of and definitely need a LOT of practice.

“Lying nude in the middle of this cotton field, I sense things differently than I have in sometime. I’m cold. It’s the first time I’ve felt cold since she died. The air flows over my body like ice cold water from a stream. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I can’t help but to hope that I die in this field. I’m, however, smart enough to know that’s not going to happen.

Nothing has felt the same since they killed Adrianna. Every day I roam from city to city, hoping beyond hope that someone will recognize who I am and decide to take my life away. It never happens. Every now and then someone will recognize who I am, but usually they are too frightened to do anything about it.

I don’t blame them. I did some very nasty things at the end of the last war. Several countries banned me from entrance. I, however, did what I needed to do to make sure that the war ended. I did what I was paid for. Little did I know that the immortality they offered as payment would be spent in exile, trying to come up with ways to bring back Adrianna.”

Chess With Devil

OK, this is a little flash fiction story I wrote for a challenge Chuck Wendig is doing. You can see more about it on terribleminds.com.
The challenge was to pick an opening line and write an 1,000 word story using it. Mine turned out 1,025 words. I hope it’s not bad to be off 25 words. The opening line I picked was “Every second Saturday Tom Pope had a beer with Devil.”

And here is the story…

Every second Saturday Tom Pope had a beer with Devil. He could always count on Devil to bring one hell of a mean brew. The journey was torture and he hated it, but no more so than Devil hated being called Devil.

The two would play chess while drinking to the point of being unsure which board they should place their piece on. It was never as much about the game as it was about the idle banter that inevitably occurred. Devil and Tom had been great friends since Tom first appeared on Devils’ radar. Tom had arrived in Devils’ office after committing his first murder. It was Toms’ humor and nonchalant demeanor about the whole ordeal that amused Devil.

That day, in the middle of Devils’ office, he challenged Tom to a game of chess. The stipulations of the match were clear. Tom would live if he won and he would die and come to Hell otherwise. Devil, however, is a very sore loser. He continued to challenge Tom until it eventually just became a bi-weekly event.

One Saturday, Tom was several hours late for their scheduled match. Devil had already started drinking and was nearing the point of belligerence when Tom opened the doors. “Yooouuure late!” Devil stood up and stumbled over the chess board in front of him. “Yoooer upposed ooo be eer tree ours go!”

Tom laughed and helped Devil back into his chair. “Yes, I see you wasted no time getting started. I also know you’re not that much of a light weight so stop fucking around. I ran into a jam and had to escape some authorities. I was also given shit by one of your minions at the gate. He was convinced that I’m not supposed to be here.”

Devil grinned and positioned himself in the chair. “You never let me have any fun. Sorry about the misunderstanding at the gate. It must have been Fred. He just died last week. He still hasn’t grasped how everything works. I’ll send him to coal duty next week if he hasn’t put his shit together by then.”

Devil filled an ivory mug with a Double IPA whose floral aroma wafted all the way across the room. “You have some catching up to do, and if I remember correctly, I played white the last time, so you start this time.”

Tom made his first move then leaned back in his chair and began to sip from the mug in his hand. He wasn’t much in the mood for their typical idle banter. Nearly being caught that morning had set him on edge, and being held up at the gate didn’t help the situation. He knew that his demeanor would ease up greatly once he’d had time to consume several more brews.

The match went very much like it always had. Devil would curse uncontrollably every time Tom made a move he didn’t like. Tom would just sit there, drink the beer, and tell Devil about the people he had killed that day. There was never anything new or exciting about the conversation. It usually devolved to nothing but, “That’s what she said,” jokes.

Tom did his best to compensate for his being late and consumed the beer that was being poured for him as though it would leak out if he didn’t finish it first. The room started to move on its own and the wall made of Demon flesh was actually starting to look somewhat homely. Despite his increasing level of inebriation, he moved his Queen across the chess board and declared, “Check Mate! I win again Devil!”

He leaned over to taunt Devil and fell out of his chair in the process. Then Devil said something that jostled Tom into sobriety. “You know Tom, I really like you.”

Tom quickly stood up and stared at Devil with his mouth hanging wide open. Devil grimaced for a moment then started laughing hysterically as he realized how his words could have been perceived. “No, no, no Tom! That wasn’t meant in a homosexual way.”

Tom giggled like a teenager. “Are you so sure of that?” Tom sat down and winked at Devil.

Devils’ face would have been turning red if it had been possible for his face to be any more red than it already was. “Don’t make this hard on me Tom.”

“That’s what he said.” They both realized the situation and started laughing uncontrollably. Several minutes passed before either of them were capable of stopping to breathe, none the less having any capability of speech.

Devil sat straight up and became serious again. “Ok ok ok, you got me on that one, but I’d like to be serious for a moment. You’ve been visiting me for several years now. I know what you do. I know when you’re going to die. I think there really isn’t much doubt that you’re going to end up down here. That’s both fairly obvious and inevitable.”

Tom looked at Devil quizzically. “Yes, what are you getting at?”

“Well, I need help. As you already know from the greeting you got at the gate, it’s hard to get good help down here. I don’t have time to train all of them, and I definitely cannot trust them to train each other.”

Tom started laughing at first, but then he became very serious. “Wait, you’re not joking are you?”

Devil shrugged and sighed. “No, I need help. We’ve had a terrible influx of damned souls lately and there’s just not enough of me to go around. I need your help. You would be in charge of training the minions and I could go back to doing what I like, torturing damned souls. It’s so hard to find any time to do any torturing lately.”

Tom raised his finger to his head and thought for a moment. “I’ll be down here instead of up there being tracked down by various authorities, and I won’t be tortured?”

“Yes.”

“Will we still have our bi-weekly chess match?”

Devil nearly burst with laughter. “Yes, yes we will.”

Tom stepped forward and shook Devils’ hand. “You can count me in.”

Coming Home From Vacation

Two weeks ago I released my first self published book onto the world.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Final-Requiem-ebook/dp/B00FSBWOP0/ref=la_B00FTSJBDK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381547963&sr=1-1

Then I went on vacation. Well, despite a complete lack of any effort at marketing on my part, I have still managed to sell nearly a dozen copies or my book. That’s a lot more than I thought I would have. None of the people who bought the book have left a review yet either so I would imagine that sales will increase a little once I start getting reviews.

It’s been a great vacation, but now it’s time to go back home, go back to my day job, work on getting the brewery running again and work on trying to sell a few more copies of this novel. I hope to do a fair amount of guest blogs in order to get things going. I also would like to do a few more podcasts. I had fun being a guest on the podcast I did with 5 seconds in the paint and I have a feeling that stuff like that will be really helpful to get the word out.

I also plan on doing the formatting to get a print on demand paperback version ready through CreateSpace. I didn’t have the time to get the formatting done before I went on vacation so I just put that off until I came back home. I am hoping that will help a good bit since a large number of people don’t own ereaders.

I also want to do a good amount of research on marketing overseas and in India. Have any of you successfully marketed your book overseas? Do any of you run a podcast about writing in India and would be willing to have me on? I would imagine the best place to advertise in these areas would be where people from those areas look to decide what they want to read, but I am having a terribly hard time finding out where those areas are. I doubt there are any people that follow my blog who live in India, but on the odd chance that there is somebody that stumbles upon my blog who reads fantasy and lives in India, I would love to know where you look to decide what you want to read and what draws your attention to a book. Any information and advice you might have to offer would be greatly appreciated.

Well, tomorrow we fly back and then Monday it is back to work. I should also be posting more frequently on my blog once I get back home. I have greatly neglected everything social media wise while I’ve been on vacation.

Introduction to The Final Requiem

Last night I self published my novel The Final Requiem to Amazon for Kindle. It is the first book I’ve ever published. I’m both excited and terrified to see what people are going to think about it. I thought it would be best to do a blog post as a brief introduction to my story so people can get an idea of whether or not they want to read it before they buy it.

Don’t worry if you don’t have an eReader. You can download a Kindle app that will let you read the book at this site.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771

You can buy the book itself at this site.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Final-Requiem-ebook/dp/B00FSBWOP0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381504889&sr=8-1&keywords=B00FSBWOP0

Here is the description of the book.

Michael is a normal guy that has been thrust into an overwhelming situation. An eternal war is being waged between Angels and Demons. The Angels have assigned Michael the task of going on a treacherous journey to close the gates Demons use to travel between Hell and Earth. Somehow, even though Angels have been visiting him in his dreams since childhood to tell him something was coming, Michael finds himself unprepared, and in the middle of it all.

One way or another, everything will change.

and here is the prologue and first chapter…

Prologue

His legs quivered and shook as if incapable of holding his weight. A dark figure loomed in the distance. As the figure drew closer, quivering turned to trembling, which turned to something very closely resembling convulsions. The boys legs’ finally succumbed to the pressure and he crashed backwards onto the cold, unforgiving ground. He began to sob uncontrollably. The room felt very cold, harsh, and distant to his plight. He looked all over to find reassurance, but the figure in the distance was the only thing noticeable and it was getting closer with each foreboding step.

It was not long before the figure was standing directly over the crying boy. The boy looked through squinted eyes at the man standing over him and began to sob even more violently. Dressed in a fine white button down shirt, black dress slacks, and brown Italian loafers, there did not seem to be anything unusual about the man. Striking red hair flowed from the man’s head, across the pale, nearly translucent skin of his face and down to his shoulders. The man ran his long, almost claw-like fingers across the side of the boy’s face as he picked it up and held it in his arms. Desperately the child craved warmth and comfort, but all the embrace had to offer was a harsh, cold chill that spread to the depths of his bones.

​“Michael, Michael, Michael, even in your dreams you lack the strength to stand on your own. I would think by now that you would not react so strongly to my visits.”

The air became cold and vacant as the adult Michael looked upon the childhood image of himself. Every night during youth he was visited the same way; however, the dark figure had not visited his dreams for well over ten years. He could remember those dreams as if watching them through a window.

The dreams had never changed. They were the same as they had been when he was a child and they would always be the same. Something always drew him back to relive that interaction. He mouthed the words, knowing word for word everything that was going to be said. A long claw-like finger came from behind him and brushed his cheek, sending chills down to his very core.

“How sweet of you to remember our times together Michael.”

​“What do you want?”

​“What do I want? What do…I…want? Why the need to be so short and abrupt? It has been such a long time. I would think you would want to spend some time catching up on the good old days.”

​“There were no good days Azrael, we both know that. You have not come to visit in fifteen years; why are you here to visit me now? We both know I am too old to be within the scope of your corruption.”

“That is true Michael,” An evil grin crept across the face of Azrael like a crack spreads across ice. “You are beyond my reach of influence. Oh, how deliciously gratifying this is going to be for me! Gabriel and all his fellow angels reveled in their glorious might when they kept me from corrupting your immortal soul.” A loud bustling laughter erupted from the belly of Azrael.

“I have news for you, Michael. You never were the target. We wanted Gabriel and the rest of the archangels to believe that you were the target. It is too late now. Our plan has been set into motion. The last protector of the one we truly seek has fallen. Our time is now!” Azrael disappeared, and Michael woke up with nothing but questions on his mind.

Chapter 1 – The Collapse of Antonius

The veil of light crested and flickered on the crystal blue water. Antonia Borresca lived in a small area of Venice and had long been a respected member of the community. Her unexpected death sent shock waves throughout the city. The entire gathering had retreated to the chapel dining area for a brief after-funeral celebration of her life.

Antonius, her son and only surviving kin, was weeping and crumpled into a ball next to the grave site. Antonia had been his everything, his very reason for living. Antonius, having very little memory of his father, had moved with Antonia to the big city of Venice when he was very young. She comforted him when he had nightmares, when dark things came to talk to him in his sleep. However, Antonia was a very busy business woman and was often not around. Her absence led to many nights that Antonius would spend alone.

The mind of man is a strong and resilient thing, but even the sturdiest of minds has its breaking point. Antonius’ mind and will had been tested throughout every turn of his life and the only things that had been constant were Antonia and the figures that visited him in his dreams. Over the years, the figures began to have increasing control of his thoughts.

The day quickly turned dark as clouds came out of nowhere and blocked out the sun. Thunder rolled like menacing laughter, and the sky threatened rain, but there was none. The cloud cover offered no respite from the unbearable heat of the summer’s day. Sensing the pending rain, the outside help started putting things away.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of putting up chairs, rolling up carpet, and taking down flowers, Antonius continued to lie there motionlessly. He hoped that he would wake up to find that the whole thing had been a dream. There was no way that could happen. He knew he did not have dreams like that. The only dreams he had were the ones where the figures would come and tell him what he was to become.

The dreams always worried him, but his mother possessed the ability to ease his mind whenever she was around. That was not the case anymore. Had the figures been telling him the truth when telling him what his role was to be? Antonia would no longer be around to tell him otherwise. He knew the figure would visit him in his dreams that night. Then he would be able to talk to the figure about his destiny.

A short man timidly walked up to Antonius and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I’m sorry son; we need to lower the casket. Maybe you should go inside and spend some time with the rest of the people. Talking to the others about the good things that happened during your mother’s life might make you feel better.”

“No, there is nothing that could make me feel better right now! This should not be happening! She should still be alive.”

“I’m sorry son. There’s nothing we can do. We have to lower the casket now.”

“No!” Anger started to rise through Antonius like he had never felt before. It began as a mild irritation, but it was not long before he was completely infuriated. Who were all these people? Where had they been all of his life? Where were they when he had no company other than the figures in his dreams?

No, none of the people knew him. They had all met his mother during her many business travels. They were clients, coworkers, and bosses. None of them knew or even cared about his lot in life. None of them approached him to express their condolences. They were all there for the perceived obligation that walks hand in hand with the passing of a colleague.

He knew his purpose. He had no doubts about the way he felt. Clarity enveloped his mind. He stood up and pushed the small man to the ground.

The smug looks on the faces of the attendants burned in his mind like a wound being exposed to acrid water. The sudden impact against the cobble stone path rendered the small man unconscious. Antonius stepped over the body and walked towards the dining area. Several other workers tried to subdue Antonius, but he had developed an unnatural sense of purpose. He sidestepped them and threw them out of his way.

The chapel dining hall was a shining beacon of everything that the city of Venice had to offer. A large building, it loomed over the rest of the town. One set of doors served as the only means of entering and exiting the building. Modern safety codes had not existed hundreds of years ago when the building had originally been erected.

A single phrase echoed through his mind as he approached the door. “No way out, there will be no way out. There will be no way out. This structure shall be cleansed with the fires of righteous damnation. There will be no way out.” No one paid any attention as he approached the dining hall. They were too busy tending to the men lying unconscious on the ground.

Antonius stood in front of the door, and an inkling of doubt began to creep through his mind. The entrance was composed of two heavy, white wooden doors. Each door arched upwards and had a small silver cross perched at the upmost tip. There were heavy stone benches and columns with various assortments of flowers set to either side of the doors.

The benches and columns had been placed on rollers so they could be moved easily. The benches weighed several hundred pounds each. Each column weighed nearly a hundred pounds. The people inside were oblivious to what was going on as he pushed the benches and columns in front of the doors.

Soon, one of the people in the building realized what was happening. They gently tried to push the door open. The door grazed against the hard, unrelenting bench, but it did not budge. Casual attempts to open the door turned to frantic and frenzied ramming of the door. It was not long before other people in the building began to notice what was going on. Mass hysteria spread from person to person.

Every scream, every shout, every pound on the door out of sheer desperation made the flame in his eye seem to gleam brighter. A fire doesn’t start without a spark. The spark had been created the moment the figures started talking to him and had grown to a roaring fire inside his soul. There was nothing left to do but to release that fire upon the world. Without hesitation, he grabbed a lighter from his pocket, lit the door on fire, and walked away.

There could be no looking back now. He had made his decision. There could be no changing it. He knew there would be no going back. There could be no getting out. The world would need to be cleansed by the fires of righteous damnation. He was near his flat when the sound of sirens became audible throughout the city. He could not help but let a sick, sadistic smile cross his face. Part of him felt horrified while another part of him thought that it was hilarious.

It wouldn’t take long for word to travel. He needed to find a place to stay. The building he lived in was unusually quiet. Being almost in the middle of the city, all traffic went through the area in one way or another. It was a flat that anybody in the city would have given vast amounts of money to live in, and normally he would not have been able to afford it, but his mother had bought it for him as soon as he was old enough to move out on his own.

A lady his mom worked with lived across town. She had been at the funeral. He took a sick bit of satisfaction in knowing that she would not need her place that night. He decided to sneak across town and find a way in. He would stay there until he could come up with a plan.

The journey across town didn’t take as long as he thought it would. It was no surprise to see that the city had returned to normal. It was as though the occurrences of the morning had never happened. He knew the city wouldn’t be in mourning, but seeing everybody so happy and joyous made him sick to his stomach. It started with a simple knot in his stomach and evolved to the point that he felt violently nauseous.

The world started spinning, and everything turned red. Each heart beat pounded and resounded with his foot steps. Thud thud, thud thud, thud thud…it was no longer his own personal actions carrying him. Pure inertia and gravity were moving him towards his destination. He arrived at the building seemingly without anybody noticing that he was there.

Luckily for him, but not for the lady that owned the flat, the day of the funeral had been an unusually hot day, and she had left her back window open. The fire escape led directly to her window. That gave him a perfect way of being able to get in. He would be able to stay there long enough to make contact with the figures in his dreams.

It was not far into the night, but Antonius only had one thing on his mind. He wanted to sleep. He closed his eyes, and darkness enveloped his line of vision, but he wanted it too much. Was it necessarily that he was not tired? That did not make sense. It had been a long and exhausting day.

Thoughts swirled around his head. He recounted the actions of the day. He had gone from being at the lowest point in his life to the newfound resolve and purpose that he now had. Sleep, however, would not come. What could be done? The level of activity circling through his brain would make it impossible for him to achieve any level of rest.

The flat was a sizable one. There would have to be something in it that would make it easier for him to sleep. Every thought and every memory rang in his head like a loud reverberating chorus that refused to be quiet. It seemed to grow louder and louder with every moment he continued to be awake. The conductor in his head was on the podium. The orchestra was primed, and they were crescendoing and surging to a level where any ability to think had ceased to exist.

Fumbling, reaching, searching, he looked through the flat for alcohol or sleeping medication or something that would help; something that would bring silence to his mind. A bottle of sleeping pills seemed to be the only sign of possible solace. He grasped it, held it tightly, cracked it open, tossed a couple pills in his mouth and washed them down with a nice healthy gulp of red wine.

“Hello Antonius.” A man wearing a white button down shirt, black dress pants, and brown Italian loafers walked up to Antonius. “You have done well. You have done very well. I am glad to see you have finally decided to accept your role. We knew that you eventually would.”

“There was nothing to hold me back.”

“There never really was anything to hold you back Antonius, other than your own self conceived personal boundaries. Boundaries are a false concept created by the limitations of the human mind. The more the human mind is developed, the further the boundaries of possibility are removed. I am sure that you have plenty of questions for me. I will answer your questions in due time, but that time is not now. A war is coming, and there is much that needs to be done to prepare for it.”

“I am not safe here. They will eventually find me.”

“It is very true that you are not safe in your current location. Even as we speak, there are people looking for you. There were people that noticed you on your way here. If we had not already had a plan, you would have been found by the morning.”

“You already have a plan?”

“Oh Antonius, Antonius, Antonius, we have had all of this planned out well before you were even born. These times have been prophesied for several millennia. The angels do not know the role you have to play. We have kept that carefully masked from them. They are too busy tending to what they think is their chosen one to pay any attention to what we have been cultivating in you. You are being taken care of as we speak. You will wake up in the custody of some; well I guess you could call them friends. They will explain what is going on, and tomorrow night I will answer any questions that you might have.”

“They are already handling me? I will wake up in their custody? What does any of this mean? You have been visiting me in my dreams for so long, but I don’t even know your name.”

“You have so many questions. I knew you would, so I do not fault you for that. This is a large amount of information for any mortal to absorb. Trust me. You are being handled by people who are amenable to our cause. They will have many of the answers that you seek. Ah, but there is one question I am able to answer. I am mostly known by the name Azrael.”

I hope you like what you’ve read so far. You can get the book to read the rest at this site.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Final-Requiem-ebook/dp/B00FSBWOP0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381504889&sr=8-1&keywords=B00FSBWOP0

How Global is Global?

This is going to be a bit of a departure from what I usually post about, but it’s something that’s been on my mind. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the global environment is pretty wide open these days. You can have video conversations with people on the other side of the world. You can send a message to somebody across the ocean and have it get to them in the blink of an eye. One thing I find very strange is how incredibly difficult it is to relocate from one country to another.

One argument you often see people make (and I think it is quite possibly one of the most absurd comments ever) is the old “well if you don’t like if here in country x then why don’t you just move somewhere else?” It’s always said. It doesn’t matter who has the power or who wants things to change. Somebody is always going to tell people to take their ball and play somewhere else if they don’t like the way that person wants to play ball.

I live in the United States and have lived here my entire life. Personally, however, I am very fascinated with Europe. I think the European mentality fits the way I think much better. I’ve done a fair amount of research on what would need to be done in order to relocate overseas (even though I would probably never actually do it) and it is an incredibly difficult process. The process of getting a work visa to work in another country or getting citizenship in another country is insanely hard. Why do countries make it so hard? It would be nearly impossible to renounce citizenship and move to another country and then stay there without working until you could establish citizenship.

Are countries afraid that there will be an influx of people coming in and taking jobs if they lower their relocation requirements? Do they not trust the businesses to make the right choice? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. I can open a shop, create a web site for it and sale my product over the internet to people all over the world. With how open everything is in the global market digitally why are we so intent on closing our physical borders?

I guess this is just something I don’t understand. Like I said earlier, I think a lot of it stems on fear. Many countries are still struggling with economic difficulties. They’re afraid of losing jobs when they don’t necessarily have enough jobs for their current citizens as it is. In some ways I guess that is a valid argument. It is hard to know for sure what would happen. I would like to think that if every first world country loosened their restrictions that at some point equilibrium would be established. We all know, however, that the fear is introduced when you factor in the unknown and the variables that don’t necessarily fall into the calculation of people simply moving from one first world nation to another first world nation.

It’s very intriguing. Even though television shows like Star Trek show a technologically advanced world where we all share a common bond of being the same species, it seems in the real world that the more technology is developed and furthered the more countries actually try to close their borders. I don’t know if I am alone in my thinking on this. It is just something I have had on my mind lately and I thought I would toss it out there to get the perspective of other people. Also, maybe it is not necessarily that other countries are closing their borders off from each other as much as they are closing it off from us (and of course by us…I mean the United States). That would not be too terribly hard to believe. The United States on the whole as a country is not very liked by the rest of the world. Our foreign policy and the general attitude of superiority that many Americans portray does not necessarily make us the most like able country in the world.

If any of you from Europe (or anywhere else outside of our bubble over here) is reading this, I would love to hear your view. Are countries, despite the increasing development of global technology, rapidly closing themselves off from the rest of the world in terms of who they allow to relocate or are they primarily just closing themselves off from US? I also don’t want to look like I’m not being all inclusive in my post. I know the United States is just as exclusionary in our regulatory policies on allowing immigrants as any other country.

Battle Results

As I get closer to being ready to self publish my novel, I thought it would be a good idea to make a post that has a list of the guest blogs I have been doing to promote the book. I have to say that I’ve had a lot of fun doing these guest blogs so far. Azrael has such a vastly different personality than I so it is very interesting to try to write things from his point of view and think the way that he would think. I still have several more to write and get out there and hopefully I’ll have even more to do after that. Here are the ones that have been posted so far and I am going to try to keep this updated and edit it as more guest blogs are posted.

CJ Davis Blog with Azrael Discussing the Afterlife
5 seconds in the paint, Azrael interviews me
Troy Jackson blog with Azrael discussing the book
Cult of Me, Azrael discusses the horror genre
Scottish Bookworm in Quebec, Azrael discusses the book

I also did a podcast with 5 seconds in the paint that you can check out here.

If I did a guest blog on your site and did not put it here then feel free to leave a comment or send me an email and I will make sure I edit this post and get it up here. I should have another 1 or 2 posted on other sites by the end of the week. If you have a blog and like what I’ve done with these guest blogs then feel free to let me know and maybe I could do something for your blog. I really like doing the guest blogs where it is geared towards whatever you typically blog about. So it doesn’t matter if you blog about cupcakes or painting or your favorite thing to eat on Wednesday, if you want me to do a guest blog for you then I’m sure we can find a way to make it work. The more guest blogs I get out there the more exposure I will eventually get for my novel. It doesn’t matter if 99% of the post is about your site, having the post be from the point of view of a character from my novel will hopefully make the reader of that post want to learn a little more about the character and in turn want to learn a little more about the novel. Make sure to keep watching this post. Hopefully there will be many more entertaining guest blog posts to link here in the future.

*** Update: added a link to the new guest blog at Scottish Bookworm in Quebec ***