Apr 21, 2015


Click HERE for full size puzzle.

For the Answers click HERE.

Screenshot 2015-04-16 12.15.58

Do you like this puzzle?  Would you like to see more? Let us know in the comments.



Promising to be one heck of a blockbuster, San Andreas, out this summer, offers exactly what the title describes; the end of California. Are they picking on California unfairly? Features Dwayne Johnson – the Rock amidst the rubble.

Screenshot 2015-04-14 15.42.14



Seriously, the YouTube blogger known as the Crazy Russian Hacker offers a wealth of “safety first” videos about life hacks that are funny and, often, quite useful. This one is about making bacon for a sandwich and how the traditional method of strips fried then placed on the sandwich is all wrong. Check it out.

Screenshot 2015-04-21 15.17.46



With happened since MAN OF STEEL, when Superman, despite the massive destruction of Metropolis skyscrapers, and the deaths of those inside, at the hands of General Zod, saved the planet, his home,and basked in the light?

Now he is hated, despised as an alien, whose powers make mere mortals fearful. Talk about turnabout.

In The Dark Knight Rises, it was Batman that was the hunted one, despised for his apparent lawlessness. Now, Bats, with the new body inside the new suit, is going against Supes. Holy Turnabout, Batman!

Will Superman meet his match? Will Lex Luthor be revealed to be the cause of it all? Will Batman and Superman become allies?  Stay tuned next year, same Bat channel….

What do you think about the spate of superhero movies? Will this one live up to the hype?





Most of us have left our wallet behind only to come face to face with frustrated store cashiers at that moment when you realize you are sans cash, cards or I.D.. Now you never have to lose your wallet again thanks to a hi-tech merging of the wallet and the phone.

It’s a Kickstarter now, but the way it works is simple.  Paired with your smartphone, should your wallet exceed a set distance (as would be the case leaving it at home), the Woolet also has a place for keys as well as providing you with an RFiD blocker.

Learn more HERE and get involved if you think it is worthwhile. http://www.woolet.co

Screenshot 2015-04-21 14.30.21



Dec 17, 2014


In what has to be described as the most stupid reaction to a threat from a North Korean dictator, Sony Pictures, today, pulled the release of the movie "The Interview" from movie theaters too fearful to run the film.

Now, quite honestly, the film, in all likelihood would have lasted a short time, certainly not one I would have paid to see, but now that the North Korean menace has not only hacked our country but hijacked our courage and right to determine our own fate, it annoys me to see how easily we have become a nation of sheep. 

Could someone attack theaters showing the film? Of course - we have enough home grown loons running around with military grade arsenals in their bedrooms, already doing that without any political incentive. But if we allow ourselves to be contained, deterred, fearful because Kim Jong-Un says so, we should just pack up the country, destroy the Constitution and surrender right now.

This reactionary response from Sony is cowardice. Sure, they got hacked and now we know that the head of Sony thinks Angelina Jolie is a brat, and the next Bond script was released - who really gives a care?  But because they have found a way into the network of Sony should be a challenge for the giant company to hire the best American hackers and give the North Koreans a virus worse that VD and something to remember. Get Liberace playing on all their radio stations. 

But to pull a film, even if it is a bad film, because someone made a threat, especially that little no one from North Korea who was lucky his own family didn't kill him at birth - had they known what would await them they may well have - should have no bearing on us. 

And so I started a petition at change.orgdemanding  that Sony release the film and that movie theaters across the country hold a North Korea night special and show the thing. I will even face death by ordering movie theater popcorn with that toxic topping they call butter, far more of a threat than anything North Korea can do.

Please join me in giving Kim Jong-un the American finger salute and sign the petition. Let's get this country off the couch and into the movie theater.



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Dec 6, 2014


The trouble with aging is that time speeds up. Last I recall, there was a new year, 2014. I remember it because I had the exact same sentiment for the prior year, each holding a promise of hope and yet the bittersweet of another year passed; not lost, merely added to the slate of time, the record of my life, and a reminder that the days ahead are fewer than the days passed.

This is not, by any means, a regret. It is merely an observation of the changes that have taken place thus far in my life.

As a boy, I remember being amazed that in the span of my grandmother's life, the development of the lightbulb through the airplane, antibiotics and radiation had happened. Man went to the moon, back then, a far greater achievement that we have done since.

She experienced wars one and two, and the wars between the wars, experienced concentration camp in China as the Japanese, then mortal enemies, enslaved the Chinese and British during WWII. My uncle was born in camp.

I have seen black and white progress to color. I have seen binary BASIC transform to Windows and Mac, a handful of TV channels to thousands, huge cell phones to miniature, huge floppy disks holding under a megabyte to miniature pinheads holding multiple gigabytes.

Time is the friend that accompanies us. Time is the enemy that taunts us. No matter our strengths, time promises decay and ultimately an end point. Yes, rage against it. Never accept it. But nonetheless, such is the human condition.

I never knew, as a young boy, the experiences that would lead to now. How lucky am I to have the chance to make this post, for those of you who will appreciate it, and how those, too young to grasp the weight of it, no worries; enjoy your time in the sun, a fleeting yet important part of living. No, I do not envy you; but I do enjoy watching it from an older perspective. Life is a tapestry endlessly woven.

As a young man, I was enthralled with the original release of Star Wars. And here, some thirty seven years later, the ongoing story continues. As much as it is commercialized, I cannot help but have a certain thrill, a certain warmth like an old blanket rediscovered. Those characters I was enamored with as a boy, now older, still provide an anchor, a reminder of youth and a promise of the future if we ever bypass wars and commercial greed.

Another Christmas approaches. For me, a new grandchild. That my mother, still living, is a great grandparent is, to me, incredible. I remember vividly watching her at age thirteen, concerned, herself, about aging, pulling grey hairs as she discovered them. That was a few yesterdays ago.

Likewise my first child, so young, so idealistic. And every child since. The youngest still young enough to hold the ideal tight.

Aging, the gift that keeps on giving. If I only had a brown robe, perhaps, I might, become as Obi-Wan, old, yet wise. Powerful with the Force, yet humbled by the magnificence of life, and thankful for each day, I might be!

I am! And you should be, too.

Someone said we are four weeks from a new year. Bring it on, I say. Bring it on!


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Nov 26, 2014

RESPONSA-DAMN-BILITY - Thank you Fredrick Wilson II


Someone got shot. He was not innocent. He was not nice. He robbed a store and assaulted the owner. He punched a cop in his car and left blood evidence behind. He verbally abused the cop. He failed to cooperate. He was shot. he died.

Because he was black and the cop was white, the court of public opinion - at least there - decided that this was a killing by a cop on an unarmed teen. In America, today, there is no arguing with that thought because:

a) It would not be PC to say otherwise
b) White people are afraid to argue with black people
c) Black people always blame white people.

To do otherwise brings lawsuits from discrimination, inciting racial hatred, and so on.

The parents go on The Today Show. The step-father is standing atop a car urging the masses to burn the town down. But according to the mother of the deceased, it is not his fault because he was upset. There is no accountability for the conduct of the deceased. 

Yes I am using deceased instead of his name because if we take black and white out of this, there would be no furor.  And the furor is always from the black community, still oppressed no matter what society does. At the time of this writing they are still rioting in Oakland, as well as other places. Ferguson has calmed down for a time.

When O.J. Simpson was acquitted - when the gloves that had been blood soaked shrank, as wet leather does - I did not see any white people rioting in Brentwood. 

Nov 19, 2014


I do not fly well and yet I love aircraft.

As a young boy, traveling across the globe, airports were, back then, lacking the swing ramps that allowed you to disembark through a walkway directly to the airport. Then, you walked down the steps that had been driven to the craft, and could stand below the enormous front wheels, staring up at the monstrously huge construct of metal that somehow managed to lift off into the sky.

Then, flights were fun, seats were wider, people, especially young kids, were offered a special experience, made to feel welcome and important. Youngsters received pilot kits, a packet including junior wings that they could pin on, often felt with gold and silver thread.

Now, your flight is a bus in the sky. Naming a craft the Airbus seemed appropriate. All that is needed is standing room poles to grab onto. Seats are a narrow 18" wide with barely enough room for your knees - mine always run into the seat in front of me. Gone are the days when you could drop your tray table and put your pillow there for a nap, albeit uncomfortable. I just cannot bend that far.

photo by Andre Gensburger
Sitting on a 747 with ten or eleven across seating, you quickly feel insignificant. Just one sardine in a very expensive can of sardines. The 777 I recently flew on, offered 9 across seating in a three-three-three format, still short on knee space and limited recline, or worse, the no recline-scoot-down-chair-back that slips your body into an illegitimate curve, hardly the most conducive or comfortable position.

So I choose the window seat, not because I enjoy clamoring over four other knees to use the restroom, but because aside from getting a better reference during turbulence - I get disoriented with turbulence - I can rest the pillow in the window groove and sort of sleep upright, perhaps, possibly, for a few minutes until the next baby screams.

That window is not a single window but made up of THREE sheets of material, glass, polymer, plastic, offering some sound dampening and beyond that the wind rushing past at seven hundred miles per hour, thanks to a Pacific tail wind. And that is all that keeps me apart from the world outside; three sheets and an aluminum skin wrapped around the spam can in which I am stuck for the next ten hours.

But at least you learn a lot about thermal currents, cloud structures and where the bumps are most likely. You can see the workings of the wing, the fact that the wing lifts, not the body of the craft which merely follows obediently, with the updrafts and lifts. You get to watch the tarmac rolling past at thirty miles per hour as the plane positions for takeoff, and then, as your body is pushed hard into your cushioned seat, you listen as the engines first whine, then scream, then roar with close to thirty or forty thousand pounds of thrust forcing the craft to accelerate to V1 speed and then the roll as front wheels and the rest of the body leave terra firma, wing ailerons moving up and down rapidly to accommodate the balance of the lift, the ground slowing as you gain height, wheels clanking, grinding, thumping as rotors retract these gangly legs back into the undercarriage slot. And you are ascending at a steady rate, through a thin cloud layer, wisps of cloud streaking past before sunlight breaks through. The flaps retract and the plane feels like it is sinking for a second. You know you have adequate height and still feel the lift, but then the pilot throttles back and for a moment you feel like you are sinking, losing altitude when really you are only losing an upward acceleration. Ladies and gentlemen the captain has turned off the seatbelt sign which means you are free to walk around the cabin - good luck with that since the flight crew is now rolling drink carts that fit exactly the space in the aisles and your desire for relief is overtaken by your desire for a stiff drink. I'll have water thanks. The only thing worse than regular dehydration on a plane is dehydration and more dehydration from alcohol. Stay thirsty my friends!

Nov 18, 2014


Conditioning dictates that reality is far more expansive than the dimly lit room in which I sit. Granted, it is the middle of the night and the orange lick of the fireplace only illuminates an area of the hundred square feet I occupy; nonetheless, my brain fills in the rest. I know the universe is out there. I know that eternity lies expansive and out of reach. I understand that my five immediate senses do not do justice to the complexity of my brain, in itself rudimentary to what a brain may become in a few thousand years.

It is, however, serene for the moment, free of obligation, duty, responsibility. Everyone else on this side of the world is still asleep. Life, it seems, has become a constant race to complete a To-do list, a list that grows regardless of my efficiency. Another item, issue, problem, task, taking precious moments that could be spent enjoying the freedom of the pre-dawn hours. Life, the gift, a blank slate before expectations get scribbled upon it, one generation hoping the next will follow on in their footsteps, yet reaching a point, mid-life, where they stop understanding that progress is the change from one generation to the next, no matter an improvement or not. And society, the trap that compels the race to meet obligations, secure commitments for time, finances and faith, with that ingrained need to perpetuate the species.

Pragmatists and pessimists. Idealists and cheats. Move things fast enough and people just cannot make sense of it, no longer discern the polish, the finer moments of civility that used to be worn like fine clothes for dinner, before the age of plastic forks and disposable cardboard plates.

In this mid-night place the pace is gone with the trappings of life. There is no one to text, no inane Facebook posting to make, no justification for the time I spent last week in the rat race, trying my best to believe that I did something useful - not something profitable, but if true worth. That's not a cynical or depressive response to exhaustion; just an apparent truth when the peace of night surrounds you.

Oct 15, 2014


We live in a time when society forgives our sins. Well, maybe not society, but lawyers, for sure. Murderers muddy the trial and the jury, often a conflicted mess, reportedly representing society fairly, return a less potent verdict, or, as has happened often, absolution.

The problem lies with "beyond a reasonable doubt", the standard by which capital cases must be tried. But who has no doubt when a million mitigating circumstances are thrust at a jury that just wants to get home?  The accused was raped by a family member at age ten. The accused was badly beaten. The accused was of a skin color that prevented him/her from achieving their life goals. After all, they could have been a "contender!" The accused believed there was an intruder....

(C) 2014 AndrĂ© Gensburger 
Now, science has added a new layer. The ability to erase memories. The accused had no knowledge of the crime.  http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/10686895-specific-memories-erased-successfully-in-uc-davis- 

This game changer will now allow you to remove accountability by removing the memory that could hold you accountable. Are you responsible if you do not know that you are? Isn't this the argument used for mental competence? 

I can think of many things I would just as soon forget. We all make mistakes in our life, leave a debris trail somewhere. Wouldn't it be nice to forget about it? Let everyone else deal with it while you happily continue unfettered by the burden. 

Are you better off carrying the pain of mistakes, a way to learn and keep you from repeating them? Or should we just pay to be erased, clean slate. 

It's a bold new age coming, so long as we remember it.


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Oct 12, 2014



© Sjors737 | Dreamstime.com - Thirsty Brazilian Boy Trying To Catch Water Droplets 
What is the value of a life unknown?  This ball upon which we live contains billions, most of whom we know nothing of. Most countries our students could not plot on a map. Most socio-economic conditions our students have no clue of. Dictators or friends, we know not. Even that which we do as a nation, in the name of a God upon which we cannot decide, we have no clue. And we like it that way.

We like it because in order to render judgement you must do so with no emotion. To know the object of your wrath unbalances the equation. It is difficult to hate a human being when you know the person. It is very easy when you know nothing but a face value.

DO YOU HAVE UBOLA - a fear of Ebola? FLUOLA - a rush to get the flu vaccine, SURVIVOLA - a fear that the end of the world is nigh?

Have we become one fearful nation? Ebola has captured the headlines with the few cases in the US. A few years ago the great H1N1 fear hype that did not materialize, the ongoing fear of some terrorist, between beheadings, sneaking some nuclear material into the US and exploding a dirt bomb in some busy place. And in a country with over 300 million people, we have had two cases of Ebola. How many have died from bullets? car accidents from drunk drivers? 

That is all we see on the news; bobble head reporters and experts that explore all possibilities, regardless of the viability of reliability. Case in point, Malaysian Airlines MH370, still without a single shred of tangible evidence as to its outcome. That did not stop CNN weeks of coverage, repeating the same points, and celebritizing an a aviation consultant that they had on to discuss the aviation aspect. Fear equals ratings.

We thrive on fear. Since 9/11 we have lived in a fear induced environment first created by the destruction of the twin towers in New York, then from the endless war against the unknown enemy. 

Oct 11, 2014


In a prior post, met with consternation by many, the question of unplugging a brain dead girl, Jahi McMath against the wishes of the her family led many to protest in favor of the hospital.

The family moved the girl and kept her on life support.

Now, nearly a year later, the family is petitioning to have her declared alive. And here is why.


And so again I posit: how dead is dead, really?

Jun 8, 2014



Are you worldly?  Do you know what happens across the globe or are you fixed to your local television/cable affiliate for local news only?  More importantly, do you care?

"Who is more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?" -Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars

We live in a time of instant availability, especially with the Internet. The only thing stopping you from exploring global news and information is a language barrier, something that even Google can help you with its built in translator.

Here are some headlines and their stories from across the planet. For the most part, we do not hear these stories. I suspect their relevance is limited to the local ad market, after all a large part of television advertising is paid for by pharmaceutical companies.

Seven stories from around the world for the last week! Enjoy and let me know your thoughts.

#1: I SHOULDN'T HAVE TO MAKE THIS CHOICE: In British Columbia, teachers are trying to avert a strike. Sounds familiar enough in America where the endless battles between school districts and teacher unions often result in such threats.   Read that HERE.

Photo from  Ethical Pioneer @ethicalpioneer    
#2: ANTI-HOMELESS SPIKES IN LONDON DRAW CONDEMNATION: In London, a furor is happening over spikes that are placed to deter the homeless from sleeping there, not unlike the pigeon spikes you see above retail store signs.  Read that HERE.

#3: THE TROJAN HORSE ISLAMIC TAKEOVER OF SCHOOLS: Again, in Britain, a huge story that has pitted the government against British Muslims who are attempting to change the education in the schools they have taken charge of.  ""Teachers and governors involved in the alleged “Trojan Horse” Islamic takeover plot face life-long bans from all schools in Britain under new powers being taken by Michael Gove."
This is not an issue we hear much about in America, although there have been some legal challenges made in a few states. Read that HERE.

#4: 209 KM TRAFFIC JAM IN ST. PAUL, BRAZIL, METER STRIKE WREAKS HAVOC WITH THE CITY:  Not quite like Chris Christie's Bridgegate, but if you think your commute is bad, take a look at the picture.
Click HERE to read that story.

Click HERE to read that story.

#5: From a Canadian blogger comes "AMERICA, WORRY ABOUT YOUR OWN TERRORISTS," an interesting, external perspective of the war on terror, the epidemic of gun violence and some blunt finger pointing.  No doubt your position on this one will be based on your position on gun control, nonetheless, it is a valid argument that should be in all conversations.  Read that HERE

#6: From Richard Branson comes a piece about the war on drugs: THE WAR ON DRUGS HAS FAILED SO LET'S SHUT IT DOWN. An interesting and valid point given the massive amounts of time, money and industry that goes into this seemingly never-ending battle.  And perhaps, like the war on terror, endless wars promote economic growth through the development of new technology, employment and more importantly, adjusting a collective American mindset that the future needs us to have government protection.  Read Richard Branson's take, less like mine, HERE.

#7: Another war, from within - the flood of illegal immigrants is not declining. Texas has implemented its own solution. TEXAS SOLUTION TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS - DUMP THEM IN ARIZONA. And Arizona is not happy. In fact, dumped is too rough a word, where illegals have been flown and bussed to Arizona after being rounded up by Border Patrol. "Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley sector apprehended 154,453 immigrants last year -- up from 97,762 the previous year" Read that story HERE

Do you have an answer whether we are kept in the dark unwittingly or through our own ignorance?


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Apr 14, 2014


Dear Spammers,

Yes you, the ones who post lengthy comments that have embedded links to Viagra, cheap air fares, refinance rates, clothing and more. 

NO ONE ever sees your posts! I have spam features turned on and most of your spam requires no action on my part - the blog snatches it and keeps it from posting. 

In other words, the fifteen minutes of trying to type some false praise about my blog, leading up to your rather uninteresting links, is nothing more than wasted time in YOUR life that you will NEVER recover! 

I do see the spam list in a daily digest - chuckle at the illiteracy, the sad effort at trying to appear involved in the blog itself, but frankly, for the most past, my young child could write better.

So thanks for coming to my page and boosting the stat count, and maybe, if you are able to read the English language, read a few posts before you paste your drivel on my site. Who knows, you might learn a few things.

With my kindest sympathies,


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Apr 8, 2014



I am very pleased to post my 5 question interview with bestselling author, Mike Wells. Mike was kind enough to take the time to offer some solid insight into his process, as well as allow me to bird walk in my interview. 

I first learned of Mike some years ago while from a Twitter search. As an author, and publisher, I did a search for other authors, wanting to see what I would find, how authors worked with social media.  Mike's posting - one, of many, he frequently repeats with obvious success - immediately caught my eye. 

And so I clicked the link and was immediately drawn into his story, a fascinating story at that.  You see, having printed all those copies, Mike discovered he had no outlet by which to sell them.  Click HERE to read the rest of his tale, then come back for the interview.

A quick look at his stats and you will find that Mike is not only prolific in his writing, but also in his marketing. On Twitter alone, he has 68,000 followers and, generously, he follows almost all of them back. Since he started tweeting, he has made over 42,000 Twitter posts alone. How did he do this, you ask?  

Mike offers Lust, Money and Murder, the first book in one of his series, as a FREE download. The book is an excellent example of how to setup and hook your reader from the start. 

Italy – Present Day 
The man picked her up in Vernazza, a picturesque village perched along the
rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera. 
From his salt-and-pepper hair, and his lined face, Maria guessed he was in his
early 50s. He bought her a drink, then dinner, then a new dress and a pair of pumps 
and a few other things, spending lavishly on her in the quaint village shops.
There were no pretenses. They went to his plush villa, which afforded a
breathtaking view of the sea. When she asked his name, he looked at her with his brooding dark eyes and said, “Are names important, cara?”
All she knew was that he was a businessman from Rome. She supposed it
didn’t matter.
excerpt reprinted with permission 

As I read the first chapter, I knew that this was such a great learning tool for other writers. It is concise, grabbing you from the first line, and pulling you along to an exciting, and literal cliffhanger. I won't spoil it, for those of you who have yet to read it, especially since you can download it from the link above, and at the end of this posting. 

The first chapter speeds by - you are surprised when you reach the end. And you hope that the next page will continue... Mike has you hooked. He can now tell the story his way, knowing you will be along for the ride, through all the books in the series.  And then, because you have developed a trust-relationship with an author you now know delivers a solid story, you will begin buying his other books.

Enjoy the interview and let me know your thoughts. 

Mike Wells
ME: "Lust, Money and Murder," Book 1, which you offer as a free download from your site, is an outstanding example of how to set up a novel, grab the reader from the first line, and swiftly move them through an action sequence, hooked all the way through the (literal) cliffhanger.  How do you develop your story sequences to make them so tightly written and how long do you spend getting it set up? 

MIKE WELLS: I spend huge amounts of time on the beginning of my books trying to make them hook the reader in as quickly and deeply as possible.  I have literally rewritten and changed the beginnings on some books 25-30 times.  This is probably a habit that grew out of the need to hook literary agents, back when I was involved in traditional publishing (I only self-publish now).  With most agents, you have about 60 seconds to get them interested or they chuck it.  But many readers are the same, and I'm one of them.  If I'm not firmly hooked within a couple of pages, it's my opinion that the author is not doing a very good job; his/her story needs honing.  That's not to say every book needs to start with an action scene or anything like that, but there must be something strongly compelling in the writing to hook you and make you want to read more.  

Despite what I've just said, I don't believe I work any harder on the opening of a book than I do on any other part of the book.  In today's market, your ENTIRE book had better achieve a super-high level of reader engagement, or you're in trouble.  The moment engagement drops, even a tiny bit--the moment the narrative tension grows a little slack--you run the risk of losing your reader to some other form of entertainment.  TV, movies, games, chatting, social networking--the list is endless and always growing, not to mention the massive number of OTHER books that the reader can turn to.  I believe the "unputdownable" quality of my books (something readers say about them, not my words) is the reason I have been as successful as I am, and I will always stay focused on that aspect of my storytelling.

ME: Do you plot out all aspects of your storyline ahead of time or do you have a general idea that you allow to develop as you write?

MIKE WELLS: The latter. That's a very clear and succinct way to describe it.  I start with a premise that I find intriguing.  A young woman begins to receive mysterious emails that accurately predict future events, and she places bets on them and starts making tons of money (Passion, Power & Sin).  A five month old baby starts talking, or so the father thinks, and he soon believes the baby is out to get him (Baby Talk).  A 14 year old boy's older, reckless friend begins to push him to take life-threatening risks to prove his manhood (The Wrong Side of the Tracks).

Once I have the premise, I often dive right in and start writing the opening scene, or various opening scenes, and go from there.  I might write 1/3 of the book before I actually zoom back out to the big picture and ask myself, "Where is this story going?  What will happen in the middle, and how will it all end?"  I will spend a day or two up at the outline level, working on the overall story structure, and then dive back into the details.  

Most of my writing process consists of exactly this - spending the majority of my time down at the detail level (writing or daydreaming actual scenes, dialogue, etc.) and then occasionally "climbing" back up to the outline.  This is what I think of as development.  It's very much the same process artists use when painting a picture.  First they make a rough pencil or charcoal sketch, then they dive into the details, and every now and then they step far back from the canvas to see how it all fits together.  

ME: "Wild Child," which has a whimsical, fantasy style about it, also pulls in the reader to want to know more. The search for answers appears prevalent in this story, as well as the relationship between characters. How do you decide a story is worthy of being written and do you start in any particular way? 

MIKE  WELLS: I think the answer to this question is evident in my last answer.  

For me, writing a successful novel is all about the premise of the story.  Period.  That's the kernel around which everything else is built.  If the premise is not intriguing enough for me, then I will never finish writing the book.  The telltale sign that I don't have an interesting enough premise (for me) is that I get a feeling of having to push myself too much to write the book, and it becomes heavy, like work.  It is no longer fun.  When I've got that great premise, I, as the author, want to know what happens next each and every step of the way--I want to see how it all plays out.  This inner desire to see how it all unfolds is what gets me through the arduous process of writing an entire book--it pulls me along, all the way through to the end.  I suppose this is what some people call inspiration.  Anyway, I have learned that if I am being steadily pulled forward by this magical force as I write the book, so will other people as they read it.

ME: You post on your site at http://www.mikewellsbooks.com how 3000 printed copies of "Wild Child" went from the trash can to the #1 Amazon spot. It is a very revealing look at how the publishing market has shifted toward e-books, I believe in a 70/30 ratio. When you write, do you do so with it planned as only being an e-book in your marketing focus, and is this a different frame of mind than you might have expecting it to be a print book? 

MIKE WELLS: I only publish ebooks now.  As far as I'm concerned, printed books are dead, except for certain kinds of books  - not most novels - and as collector's items.  As a professional writer, I can't work on inspiration alone - I make my living from my writing. This means that like it or not, I have to think about the practical side, too.  

I don't want to get into a discussion about the future of ebooks vs. paper books--I have my opinion on that, and I'm pretty sure I'm right.  But for me, it really wouldn't matter if the paper book market were holding steady or even growing relative to ebooks.  For me, paper books and ebooks are two different worlds.  Paper books represent the traditional publishing industry, a place that was not particularly friendly to me and one in which I was not very successful.  

Ebooks are the reason I'm a successful novelist, and the reason I'm sitting here giving this interview right now.  Despite all the hype that's out there, the paper book market is still controlled by the Big 5 publishers.  If you don't believe me, self-publish your book on paper and see how many copies you can get onto the physical shelves of a Barnes & Noble.  I'm not saying it's impossible, but with the massive effort it would require on my part to even get a few copies in a few physical bookstores, I could sell thousands and thousands more ebooks.  So what's the point?  I have to focus my energy on what works for me, not what doesn't work or feels like an uphill battle.  

There are some things I do to give me an advantage, and which would not work with paper books.  Your citing of "Wild Child" is a perfect example.  It's just too short for big publishers to make money on as a paperback book unless it takes off and becomes a worldwide bestseller, which rarely happens - a matter of luck in many ways.  Ebook readers don't care how long the stories are, so to speak.  An ebook is just a digital file, has no tangible form.  There are other things I do to take advantage, but the flexible length aspect is the main one.  And this works on both ends of the length spectrum.  For example, the full "Passion, Power & Sin" set (books 1-5) would be over 800 pages in a printed format (according to Apple), which would be very hard to publish on paper in a single volume.  I certainly wouldn't want to drag it around!

ME: You are a prolific writer with many books (many of which are part of a series.) You have also managed to pick up many thousands of Twitter followers (68K, I believe), essential to getting the word out about your writings. Your followers are such that whatever you write, you are guaranteed a buying audience. What advice can you give to writers trying to build on their social media follower base in order to expose more of their work, and how long did it take you to reach that number of followers?

MIKE WELLS: Every fiction writer I know who is successful does it a little differently - there is no one size fits all formula that works for selling books (or anything else, for that matter).  Depends a lot on what you're good at, your personality type.  

Some writers use Twitter, others prefer Facebook, still others use Goodreads, and some use no social networks at all and yet still sell thousands of copies just based on the genre, cover art, title and synopsis.  

Yes I do have a lot of followers on Twitter (took me almost 3 years to build that up, mostly by following other people first and offering them a free book).  But only a fraction of my readers are on Twitter (maybe 15%) - most find out about my books from a number other of different forums: my blog posts, browsing on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Goodreads, recommendations from friends, reviews on book blogs, Linkedin connections, interviews like this one, reviews in large publications such as The Evening Standard, an article in The Daily Mail (about "Wild Child")...they're pulled in from a very wide variety of sources.  

I would advise new authors to use a multi-pronged approach and try as many avenues as possible. I know one author who is very successful and yet uses nothing but Pinterest.  I find that very strange, but it works well for her because she's learned how to use it effectively.  

ME: Mike, my thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, and permission to utilize the first chapter of "Lust, Money and Murder," Book 1, as a writing tool for other writers. I look forward to future conversations. 

MIKE WELLS: In closing, I'd like to say you asked some very good questions in this interview, and I've enjoyed answering them.  Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Download Lust, Money and Murder, the first book in one of his series, as a FREE download.  

Mike can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Audible (audio books), as well as on his website at http://www.mikewellsbooks.com

Apr 6, 2014


The search for the Malaysia Airlines jet is starting to resemble a Super Mario Brothers game. Each level offers strange and interesting twists. The latest, without explaining the how and the why, is that what appears to be a do it your self, hand held, underwater acoustic receiver made by the Chinese, has detected the pings of what might be a black box, or other oddity of the ocean. 

Despite a lack of floating debris in the general area, the flotilla of search vessels has now regrouped to investigate. Who knows what they will find. 

I wait with baited breath!


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