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Why is OmegaBooks “Home of the World’s Most Unique Fiction”? (Repost from my author blog, March 2, 2018)

But before I do the repost, here is some news regarding my The Prodigal Band Trilogy e-book to be published by Lulu Publishing: I have just sent in the manuscript revision sheet for the final proof…and I couldn’t believe how many typos and grammar issues I had to revise! And I’m sure I forgot one or two… Printed copies of the three-books-in-one will also become available, and Lulu will send me a few when it is completed…complimentary copies.

Onto the repost…

Originally posted March 2, 2018 on my Blog

I know that sounds bloviated, unrealistic, conceited even, to call my little independent publishing company hardly anyone has ever heard of “home of the world’s most unique fiction.” But folks, I do believe it is true. Here is why:

None of my fiction books fit into a fiction genre. My books are not simply romance, though there is romance in them. Or spiritual, though there is much spirituality in them, and the same goes for the “Christian” label–my novels contain sex, drugs, and rock and roll–now how “Christian” is that? Or fantasy–but there is plenty of fantasy in my novels! Or horror–but there are elements of horror in all my novels, such as Satanists drinking blood like vampires. Or adventure–but there are adventures in all of them, and even a bit of “western” in my forthcoming “The Prodigal Band.” Or the notion of “based on a true story”–no novel is based on one particular true story, but many truthful events which at some point I will document. One “truthful event” scenario that prevails in all my novels so far is the well-worn notion that rock and roll artists, from simple rock stars to mega stars, have “sold their souls to the devil.” Thus my novels are spiritual, fantasy, horror, with a bit of adventure, romance, “Christian” and western thrown in. Historical facts are also at play here.

The over-riding theme, being spiritual, is simply this–and I hate to play spoiler here–a rock and roll band learns how to defeat evil and accepts the ultimate destroyer of evil, but not to spoil anything I won’t say Who. So, folks, are there any other novels out there with the same theme using a rock and roll band? If so, let me know.

The main characters in these books were created by me when I was somewhere between the ages of 12 and 14, the time period being 1964 through 1967 or thereabouts–the time of the Beatles, Stones, Who, Cream, etc.–that is, the beginnings of the true “classic rock” period. Now, what do the bands mentioned above all have in common? They are Brits. To me, these English bands made the genre, so therefore, after spending about 6 weeks in England as a HS graduation gift, along with five others, one my best friend, and learning about living in England (we lived as guests with families near Brighton and attended lectures at Sussex University), I decided my main characters would be from England, and would be in a rock band. (Besides, I love hearing English accents, especially northern ones).

Now isn’t it conventional wisdom that one’s novels almost always contain characters and landscapes similar to or exactly where one grew up? Stephen King’s novels almost always take place in Maine, where he is from, right? JK Rowling’s Harry Potter novels are set in England, where she is from, right? My fave American author if all time, Kurt Vonnegut? He is from central-upper New York State, near Ithaca, and aren’t many if not most of his novels set in that area? A great English novelist, Charles Dickens, has most of his books set in or around London, where I presume he is from, right? So, another “unique” aspect to my novels is that my main characters, which originally were from my birthplace on Long Island when I first created them, were moved to England around the time I went there. But not because I know a huge amount of stuff about England or even would rather live there, but because since they would be in a rock band, in my opinion they had to be from England, which created the best rock music in my day. Plus, I had become an Anglophile, so to speak.

Why a rock band? Two reasons. One, rock music was one of my very few connections to my generation and friends–I was mostly a loner then and I am mostly a loner now…an introvert. Being a fan of rock music allowed me to have at least some good friends and become, if not “A-list” in High School, at least “B-list.” Two, because when I was a teen I wanted to become either one or two things–either an author or journalist, that is, a writer, or a rock star with guitar. I learned some guitar when my grandparents got me a regular guitar for Christmas in 1965 and learned mostly chords. I got more lessons from a friend who happened to be the front man for his local band, which after some lessons I joined–and this band was quite good. But it split up in 1969 or so. Plus, I was okay at guitar as well as singing but not really up to professional standards. So as for college, I had become pretty good at art as well, so I went to art school in NY City but dropped out after a year–I was good, but again, not professional. So then, why didn’t I become a journalist? Because I realized that “journalism” was what the editor and newspaper publisher wanted one to “journalize” about! I did not want to be a “journalist” who had to re-write the truthful story into falsehood just to please my “bosses.” So, after a period of years, I began my first novel featuring a fictional rock band.

If I was never a rock star, how could I write about fictional rock stars? Ever hear of Rolling Stone magazine? The “magazine about rock stars” from the late 60s until today? Research, folks. Plus what happens at gigs, how music/tracks/albums are recorded, back then and today with digital, various instruments, etc. The music business, recording contracts, managerial connections, etc. The research isn’t that hard–and I did most of it back before I had internet! But though fictional rock stars are featured in my novels, the novels aren’t about “rock stardom.” The novels are about good vs. evil. And did I dance with evil! The occult, witch craft, tarot cards, Ouija boards, séances, etc. Just to try it out so to speak–but after one particular horrifying séance were I and two other friends actually called up the dead and the “dead” responded–sending the Ouija board into the air and the curtains in the room flying hither, thither, and yon!–that was the last of my doing “witch” stuff!  So, my novel characters also wind up calling up what would turn out to be demons and wicked angels to “assure” their huge success. If I could do it (never mind success)…

And, if my novels present and future do achieve sales success, it won’t be because of evil spirits, but Good Ones if you know what I mean. I’m on a “mission from…” Remember that line from the movie Blues Brothers?

 

 

 

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why (Originally Posted on Blog in 2018 in Five Parts)

For the original blog posts, they are here at the Blog.

Since Lulu.com is now in production mode of my “three-e-books-in-one” The Prodigal Band Trilogy, now is a good time to rehash “the why” I created these books beginning years ago.

Part One

As I have said in previous posts, I began my journey as a writer of fiction around the age of 8 or 9. I was returning home, on Long Island, New York, with my parents and older brother in a car from a visit to my grandparents (mother’s side) who lived in Mount Dora, Florida (about 20 miles from what was then Orlando). It was the summer of 1962; thus, I was 9 at the time. And I just happened to bring some non-lined notebook-sized paper and pencil with me. The paper was folded in half, width-wise, and looked like a “paperback book.”

Glad I brought the paper and pencil, because I was bored. I do not remember what my brother, in the back seat with me, was doing–he was 14 and likely listening to transistor radio up to near his ears (and folks, before the Beatles came along, pop music was very very boring, cutesy-wootsey “love songs” and other meaningless tripe about teenagers falling in love. From the time of the plane crash of Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly in 1958 until the Beatles in 1964, “rock” music, if you could call it that, was IMHO, tripe. Dion and the Belmonts and Del Shannon and perhaps the Four Seasons were about as good as it got, and who the heck was Elvis? But anyway…) I had no idea what my parents were doing other than driving.

This was my first journey into the “deep south.” And the only thing I knew about the “deep south” related to the Civil War and the abominable institution known as slavery back then. There were times along Route 301 or even what was then I-95 when I would see what were called “negro shacks” along the way, plus we all visited some Civil War Confederacy monument somewhere, can’t remember. Now I was a “buff” so to speak of Civil War history. So I decided I was going to make up some story about this kid in the South during the Civil War who, along with his friend, a black kid who had been freed from slavery somehow and lived with the kid and his family, hated the south and slavery! So what he and his friend did was help the Union Army blow up a Confederate “ammunition dump.” And they did. I did not mention the state the kid lived in, or even the kid’s family name, but I called him “Johnny Reb” and the black kid was named Sammy. So, I named a kid who would blow up a Confederate ammo dump Johnny Reb? When my dad actually read the “book” (named “Johnny Reb” and was about 20 pages long in pencil) he brought up this irony! After all, weren’t the Confederates called “Rebels”?

Around that time I also had a diary–didn’t all young girls have diaries then? So, there I was in late 1963 just starting to have any interest in the watered-down “rock and roll” back then. When it rained outside, and in the Northeast US, home of “Nor’easters,” it almost always rained some in the fall and early winter, the public elementary school kept all the students in the gym after lunch, too wet to play outside. I was in sixth grade at the time and, not being popular so-to-speak, no boy wanted to dance with me. So all I did then was listen to whatever 45 RPM record discs were put onto the record player. Not being a ‘A-list’ or even ‘B-list’ (more like ‘D-list!’) that’s all I could do as most of my friends were dancing on the gym floor with boys whom had asked them to dance. Well, I had to try to ‘fit-in’ somehow so, even though I thought the music was boring tripe, I pretended to like it anyway. Thus, in my diary I would make up stuff about myself–in terms of a fiction character I can’t even remember the name–being popular and folks like Chubby Checker or Frankie Valli (spelling?) wanting to ‘dance’ with me (not knowing the actual hidden meaning of ‘dance’ at the time…’dance’ was code for a certain ‘f’ word if you know what I mean!) And of course I made up the boy characters as well. And named them the same names I have used for the original rock band characters in my books! (Note: the band concept came about in the latter 70s, and then I added two more band members, then deleted one of the originals in the 80s only to put him back in during the 90s). The reader is going to have to wait to find out the names of the characters for a bit.

Part Two

Continuing from Part 1, no boy would dance with me in the public school gym on rainy days, so I pretended they would using a fictional diary character, a “new persona” so to speak, just to make myself feel like I was okay and not the ‘D-lister’ I imagined everyone else thought I was. I didn’t even think my neighborhood friends thought I was up to snuff (and I don’t mean “snuff film snuff” either! If this happened to day I’d have been called a “geek” or “emo”). Four of the fictional diary boys later became four of my Prodigal Band fictional characters.

But in late December, 1963, before school was let out for Christmas vacation, I noticed a magazine picture on a shelf along the blackboard wall headed out the door. On the picture were four young men dressed in dark-colored suits and long-ish hair…back in those days boys or men generally had either crew cuts or short hair not below the neck line. These four men had much longer hair than I was used to seeing! The name or title above the men was written as “The Beatles.” Well, that was it, no other mention by any other student that I’d heard. And I had no idea who put this picture on the shelf, or why. The teacher was in her 50s–certainly she wouldn’t have put it there!

Then Christmas came and wouldn’t you know it but my older brother got two Beatles albums as a gift! (Did he put the picture there? Likely not, he was already in High School. But clearly he’d heard of the Beatles or else why would he request Beatles albums, LPs back then, for Christmas?) So he let me listen to both; one was Introducing the Beatles featuring ‘And I Love Her’ and several others I can’t remember, and the other was Meet the Beatles featuring ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and “She Loves You.’  Well, that Meet the Beatles LP just blew me away, especially ‘She Love You’ (Yeh, yeh, yeh…) Now THAT was rock and roll! So, I became an instant Beatles fan, and nearly went crazy when I watched them on the Ed Sullivan Show in February, 1964. And then went even more nearly crazy when I saw the movie, A Hard Day’s Night, that summer in a nearby movie theater.

But it wasn’t just the Beatles. By summer, 1964, the so-called ‘British Invasion’ was in full swing and pretty much took over the airwaves from American acts by then. After the Beatles came, in spring, the Dave Clark Five (who I actually got to see live in early 1965), and other Liverpool groups like the Searchers and Gerry and the Pacemakers; then in summer, the Rolling Stones and the Animals; then in fall, Herman’s Hermits and the Kinks. Then in 1965, the Hollies and the Yardbirds (both of which would lead to even greater things with Crosby, Stills and Nash and Cream and Led Zeppelin).

Note about the Animals: ‘House of the Rising Sun’ originally by Bob Dylan was one of my fave songs back then, and, when I saw them on the Ed Sullivan show, he interviewed them after they performed and what got me was that while I could understand what the Beatles were saying (they of course are from Liverpool and speak ‘Scouse’), I could barely understand what any of the Animals were saying! They were from Newcastle-upon-Tyne and had a very strange accent! And, in a later post, I will explain how I became fascinated with this strange accent, called ‘Geordie’.

But as for my fictional diary characters, since I didn’t know squat about how rock and roll bands did things and couldn’t play guitar then anyway, I didn’t yet have them form some fictional band–they became a gang. American, of course. Didn’t know squat about England–yet.

Part Three

Continued from Part 2, I said my ‘boy diary’ characters became a gang, but not a drug gang or a violent gang. Just a close knit group of boys, and all these teen boys had girlfriends. Remember, this was fantasy stuff in my fake persona diary that I kept, basically, because I loved writing and writing about a persona that was very popular among boys literally kept me sane (even if it seems as though making up fantasy personas seems insane! I will say this: I am sure any friends I had did think I was a bit on the weird side because I was such a non-conformist. And love of rock music was almost the only way I knew I could fit in with ‘the crowd’).

But, as rock music went psychedelic beginning with the 1967 ‘summer of love’ in San Fran’s Haight-Ashbury district, hippie central, and the release of the landmark Beatles’ album, Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—you know, the one with Aleister Crowley on the cover—I suddenly found myself absorbed in this music and decided I wanted to learn guitar. For Christmas in 1967 I got an acoustic guitar and a chord chart and a lesson book. Then in 1968 I got lessons from a teen around my age (16) who had his band, a neighbor. It turned out I could play an electric guitar much better than an acoustic one—the frets were narrower and the strings were closer together, a benefit to one with shorter fingers and a wee bit spastic in the ring finger who had trouble with chords that required outstretched fingers such as B, B flat, A flat, etc. So that I got good enough to play in this band as well as sing. Well, this got my ‘boy diary’ characters out of ‘just a gang mode’ and into ‘gang and rock musician mode.’ While the band I played with some broke up shortly, at least I got a taste of what being in a rock band was all about. By 1969, I had my fantasy boy rock band made up, and I wrote ‘stories’ about how they made records and toured and stuff.

And then came 1970 when a boy—he was pimply as all get up and curly blond hair and not exactly ‘A-list’ either—asked me out on dates, and even the senior prom. I turned down the prom offer, but at least I got to ‘make out’ so-to-speak. By then, I was ‘B-list,’ and working at an afternoon job at a local supermarket. Near graduation time from high school my best friend showed me an ad in the New York Times about a ‘university lecture program’ for students interested in European affairs from a British point of view at Sussex University near Brighton, which is on the English Channel and a seaside resort of sorts, with the added bonus of ‘living’ with a local family, as part of what was called ‘Inter-Teach.’ My folks knew I was somewhat an ‘Anglophile’ (thanks to Brit rock bands mostly along with a fascination for British accents…heck even American accents are fascinating to a degree), so they decided to put up the money for me to partake in this program as a graduation gift.

The program began in mid-July, 1970 and my friend (who had just turned 16 and I was nearly 18) and I and three college students and one HS freshman (we almost never saw…he was there solely for the education) lived in houses of program patrons in a Brighton suburb and attended daily lectures at the university given by three professors, one of whom was Welsh. In addition to  lectures we all did the following: saw a Shakespeare play in his home-town of Stratford-on-Avon, got coffee at Oxford University, saw several museums in London including one honoring one of my fave authors, Charles Dickens, some folk music festival near Guilford in Surrey, and various trips to pubs (without the freshman…while my friend and I weren’t quite 18 yet and thus weren’t old enough to consume alcohol, no one noticed that and for the first time in my life I drank warm beer. My friend and I also made a special trip to the northern London Hackney district so she could see her aunt, her mother’s sister, and her cousin for the first time (they lived in a tower block…at the time, Hackney seemed okay; now, it is supposedly an ‘Asian’ (read Muslim) district and there were riots there several years ago!). And various car trips with the family I stayed with.

We were supposed to leave England around the 25th of August, but my friend and I and two college students stayed an extra week or so. To attend the second Isle of Wight Rock Festival, Britain’s Woodstock (the other two on this trip returned without us) we learned about when we met some young men at some youth hostel or something. And no way was I going to miss a chance to see the Who, Pink Floyd, Traffic, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and many others. (Note: the final day, Sunday, featured Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, but we had to leave during that day, or else we never would have been able to return to the States in time—it took days for everyone to leave Woodstock in August, 1969, and this was on an island!)

The festival was wonderful and interesting, but that really wasn’t the best part of this extra-week stay. The best part was a trip by van (driven by a male college student who quickly learned how to drive on the left side of the road in the right side of a vehicle!) into and around Wales, including the Cambrian Mountain area (spending a night at a bed and breakfast in said mountain area), then onto Bristol and Bath—named for ancient Roman hot baths—then onto Stonehenge, then onto South Hampton (or was it Portsmouth?) for the night to take the ferry to the Isle of Wight the following morning. So we spent the night ‘camping’ by the van, but before I went to sleep in the front seat of the van I had a very interesting conversation with three men in their twenties that spoke with that very strange accent I mentioned in my last post.

Part Four

The four of us—my friend and I and two college students—parked the van we rented in the overnight parking lot next to the ferry dock for the Isle of Wight to head for the Isle of Wight Rock Festival the following morning. Next to our van was another van, and next to us in front of that van were three men likely in their twenties that really only I spoke with, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Of the three, I could only really understand one of them; the other two had much thicker Geordie accents. No matter, the accent was fascinating (and, in fact, most English accents are somewhat fascinating). According to this Northeast England website,   this accent/dialect is derived from the Angles (not the Saxons) and is related to Celtic tribes that border Scotland. (In fact, all northern England accents/dialects derive from the Angles instead of the Saxons). Nor was this dialect affected by the Viking invasions and subsequent Danelaw kingdoms that were later conquered by the Normans. In fact, from the time of Robert the Bruce’s successful take-back of most of Northumria (above the Tyne, at the site of Hadrian’s Wall above the city of Wallsend) until England took it back in the 1740s, that area was part of Scotland. If you hear the Geordie accent, it almost sounds Scottish.

A couple of things to note this accent/dialect: one, instead of “ow” or “ou,” they say “oo,” and instead of the long A sound, it sounds like the long E sound, a sharper long I sound and long O sound, the short “a” sounds like “aaa” or “ah,” and the short u sounds (as with other northern accents) like a cross between “u” and “oo” (for instance, take the “u” in “push”, but not quite the “oop” for “up.” And other different sounds. And more, such as the expression “to hell with it,” they’d say “to hell wi’t.”

And that, folks, is why my band fictional characters are from this area. The accent.

And the history as well. I mentioned Hadrian’s Wall before. Then, in the latter 700s (as seen on the History Channel TV series “Vikings”) Norsemen raiders from mainly Norway sailed, among other places, up the Tyne River and nearly took over the Kingdom of Northumbria. Later the area was Christianized and today there is a famous monastery in the city of Jarrow, also made famous by the “Jarrow March” of striking coal miners and ship-yard workers in 1926. Across from Newcastle is the city of Gateshead that features an angelic-like or winged-bird-like statue, near the entrance point to the world’s first suspension bridge. The point about the ‘angelic statue’ plays a role in my novels. One has likely heard the term “coals to Newcastle,” and of course this river is a major shipping artery for more than just coal. In fact, and I didn’t even know this until after my first novel was published, there is a direct shipping lane from the city of Stavanger, Norway, to Newcastle. This also plays a role in my novels.

So I kept all this in mind when I seriously started writing the Prodigal Band Trilogy.

Part Five

Now is Part 5, discussing the various changes I made over the next twenty or so years from 1970 until the final version of the first novel in the series, Battle of the Band, was published, that set the stage for the next two books, including the FREE PDF of The Prodigal Band.

In the early 1970s I had planned to write the story of a 60s band, but that made no sense since no prime plot was set, and why write a story about a 60s band when the 60s were over with and in the mid-70s the music genre was changing? And, oh yeah, the mainline pop music at the time was a genre I hated—Disco! And then in 1975 another rocker I had no regard for, Peter Frampton—remember him?—was suddenly foisted on us rock fans at the same time the early 70s wunderkind, Led Zeppelin, was stagnating? Just as with today and my feeling that rock is dying or died with Chester Bennington and Chris Cornell resting in peace, I felt that by the latter 70s rock was dying as well. What was around was milquetoast at best (with a few exceptions like the Eagles and one or two others). Thank God for punk—the Ramones, the Cars, the Police and others. As I said, a 60s or a 70s band made no sense to me, and again, what was the over-riding plot?

And, oh yeah, I was in my mid-20s and had to support myself and figure out my life, right? That meant working full time, and then later, attending college, which I thought would help me figure out just what I was going to do with my life. So, from 1972 or so until about 1981 I stopped writing (except for college term and research papers).

In 1981, I graduated from a state university in New York. I had been accepted for a master’s degree/PhD at the New School for Social Research in the midst of New York City, a very expensive college, with the goal of getting a PhD in Psychology. Well, President Reagan screwed that one up by signing into law a provision whereby graduate students could no longer apply for Pell Grants or other grants, which was how I was planning to pay for college (and then there was the issue of getting room and board in New York City besides). I was NOT going to force my parents to pay for all this; they had just retired and moved to snowbird central, the Tampa-St. Pete area of Florida (where my mother’s folks lived). So, thanks to Mr. President, I had to put off my college plans, so I moved in with my parents in a nice retirement HOA home in a very nice subdivision with swimming pool, golf course, etc. But in 1982 I was hoping to head back to New School after having worked at several jobs. In the meantime, I began working on the band story again for a month or two. Then, in early fall, an event happened that would put the story off for years—I met my future husband, who lived in far west Texas, a beekeeper and lifeguard near the Oasis of far west Texas, mostly mountain and desert country. We married in a small Catholic church in a town of 600 people, then a couple of years later bought property in a local POA, then built a house there. In the meantime, I returned to college, Sul Ross State U, and got a teaching certificate in secondary math and English, then taught math in local high schools. In 1993 after having two kids, I got a Master’s Degree in Counseling, but never got a counseling job—my Spanish wasn’t good enough! (Note: I lived within a hundred miles of Mexico…).

So there I was…being a wife and mother and beginning to home school my kids and such in the middle of nowhere in the mountains in the early 90s and was no longer teaching (getting the Counseling degree in the meantime, then teaching a year in El Paso since we badly needed the income for various reasons I’m not going to get into here…but might be explained later in a non-fiction book I plan to write about an event that really happened in my neck of the woods in the mid-90s). One night in the early 90s—I can’t remember the year, but it was in the middle of autumn—I prayed and prayed for Divine intervention because I was feeling as if I must get these characters out of my head if I was to be a proper mother/teacher/wife, as if these characters haunted me. And that is why over the next couple of years the stories I had in my head became my first book, written on someone else’s Mac computer and then finalized on my own Mac computer in early 1996. Because of praying for Divine intervention, this book morphed into the spiritual genre.

Of course, that was the plan all along.

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Happy Resurrection Day…or Easter, Whichever You Prefer

Or, if you are Jewish, Happy Passover.

And, speaking of Passover, there are some believers in Christ who actually do Passover. After all, Christ is our “Passover Lamb” so to speak.

And while most believers on Christ call it Easter, I prefer Resurrection Day since it is the day Christ was resurrected, that is, came back to life as seen by Apostles, Disciples and others.  Easter or Resurrection Day follows Good Friday, where Christ died in the crucifixion (as would the Passover Lamb die as the sacrifice for sin), and then Holy Saturday, where Christ “descends into Hell” as the Apostles Creed states in order to liberate good souls who did not have the opportunity to claim Christ as Savior but did God’s will anyway (such as the prophets, John the Baptist, and others). But instead of a Passover sacrifice which would have to be replicated year after year, this Sacrifice was for all sin, for all sinners, for all time. If you are not a believer on Christ, please consider that act as an option for you.

That is, if you are Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or atheist or whatever,have a good day anyway but please consider the “accept Christ as Savior” option. If you need a little nudge in that direction, maybe downloading the FREE PDF e-book The Prodigal Band. If a sinful rock band can do it…

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Feel Censored? Use Fiction to Tell the Truth. Plus: More Spring Sales

First, about the spring sales…out in my neck of the woods in this mountain rural community we have (sponsored by our Community Church primarily to help our volunteer Fire Department with donations)…last year I “broke even” financially with sales of my two printed novels Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band at this event. I have sold some more at the “second annual” spring event and handed out “business cards” with the URL for downloading the FREE PDF e-book FREE PDF e-book The Prodigal Band.

Before I go on to the main topic regarding present-day censorship especially with narratives, political and otherwise, I must say that I have a problem with Christians, including authors, that get on my case because my characters cuss or play rock music. Sorry, folks, but if you really think no Christian ever cusses (and I don’t know a Christian who doesn’t cuss every now and then!) or if you think rock musicians are all “devil worshipers” then you haven’t done your homework or you have bought into nonsense. Plus you have Christians who think all “Christian rockers” are really devil worshipers! Stryper then, Hillsong now, right? Did Stryper sing and play about Christ? Yes. Does Hillsong today sing and play about Christ? Yes, despite the appearance of Justin Bieber (I’m being facetious, okay?), and despite some “symbology” issues some have with Hillsong. Now, why would a non-Christian sing and play about Christ? A joke, right? Harking back to the late 60s and Norman Greenbaum’s hit song, “Spirit in the Sky” about Christ–and assuming Greenbaum is Jewish–why would he do a song about Christ? A reminder–the late 60s saw a surge in a movement called “Jews for Jesus.” Maybe Greenbaum was part of that.

There are people who are Christian authors who believe all “Christian authors” should write a certain way and not have cussing characters or characters who sin before they accept Christ as Savior. All “Christian author” novels should be squeaky clean. Sorry, but I can’t write that way when, first of all, I accepted Christ as Savior after repenting of the following behaviors: dabbling in the occult (as one of my band characters does); having pre-marital sex (as several of my characters did); being rebellious against some authority; cussing (I have dropped the “f” word but occasionally use the “s” word–and it was hard for me to type that “f” word into my novels, but my characters are my characters!); and questioning what has been certain interpretations of the Bible, among other sins. Because of this, my novels are not “Christian adult fiction” but “adult fiction.” My novels are meant to try to get non-believers to consider believing on Christ. Isn’t that what Christ said? “Make disciples of all nations”? I’ll let others “preach to the choir.”

Now, the main point: my novels also include a certain amount of satire and parody of how the music industry works, and it’s not just the “sell your soul for fame and fortune.” It is actually more sinister, what with signing recording contracts whereby the label virtually owns you unless they dump you, and both the label and the distribution outfit (the corporation that owns the label) take well over half of the take on sales (today it is supposedly most of the take) and where the recording artist must pay for recording studio and production and album cover art and even tours, assuming the recording label pays out some “advance” which also must be paid back. (And I thought authors had it bad!). But the really big time acts (as chosen by the moguls, that is) do get more leeway and more of the take–for a price, which is not a “sold soul to the devil” price literally, but agenda-wise. Once you are made huge, you are forced to stick to an agenda that you might eventually discover is laden with evil. And then the crash begins…And, if you start to oppose the agenda…watch out!

But why do a non-fiction book about some band that underwent this agenda years ago that I would have to interview for the truth when the possibility exists that one or more of these band members “suicided” or whatever when I can state what I know to be true by writing a fiction novel?

And then you have politics and the powers-that-be. Take George Orwell, who was somewhat of a socialist but understood the dangers of socialism-communism-fascism. Now, he could have written some non-fiction trope about life in the 1940s Soviet Union or 1930s Nazi Germany, but instead he wrote “1984” and “Animal Farm.” Truth, disguised as fiction. What would occur when censorship reigned. Since I am not political and do not trust any political side, I have no intention of writing fiction about politics. Spiritual is what I do. And take Aldous Huxley, from a very prominent political-socialistic-Fabian Society family and a member of the Fabians as well who knew backwards and forwards what the elites he hung out with planned to do. Most everyone has heard of his dystopian magnum opus “Brave New World” (and some scientists seem to be carrying out the gene-editing designer-babies scenario these days), but where he really tells what he knows is the fiction novel set in 1920s London, “Point Counterpoint,” about various elitists in the scientific, political, social, educational, and religious/atheist circles and their plans to rule the world to their specifications, what with a rebel or two trying to put a stop to these plans (the rebels, of course, are socialists and some working-class patsies.) Since it would have been heresy of sorts for a member of the elites to state the truth in non-fiction, he did it with fiction. Then you have Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451″…Prescient, or what?

If anyone needs a reason to write fiction these days, I’d say telling the truth about something you need to tell the truth about is as good a way as any!

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Revised “The Prodigal Band FREE PDF” Now Uploaded and Available (Updated)

So as to be assured no snowflake celebrity who might get “offended” if they think I “insulted” them by saying my book character singer is better than they are, or if I implied some celebrity is a satanist or, even worse, a Christian…I removed ALL living celebrity names from this revised version. I can deal with snowflakes! What I can’t deal with are financial liabilities with those who are already filthy rich but just for the sake of vengeance they’ll try to “sue me for libel” anyway.

Here is the link: The Prodigal Band FREE PDF

Further, all existing media companies and brands were also removed. These companies did not exist when I wrote my two printed books, but now? There are thousands of media outfits, record labels, etc. So I had to change these brands as well. I also removed car and jet brands, store brands, and other famous brands–none of which I “denigrated” in any way, shape or form, but again, many of these companies are run by those who would love to take everything I own.

I did keep several names of dead famous or historic people (Laurence Olivier, Shakespeare, William the Conqueror and a few others). I also referred to parts of several well-known literary cliche’s, without the reference, since well-known literary works from the past have been copyright-renewed.

Some may think I “caved” to political correctness. Folks, I don’t “cave” to political correctness or to bogus “you hurt my feelings” crapola. But why should I give anyone any excuse to sue me for libel, especially when parts of this book are satirical? Fiction is fictional. Except of the fiction is based on a true story, there is no reason to use the names of famous people when it is obvious anyway that certain famous individuals are referred to, just not be name. As for brand names, the reader can use his or her imagination. for instance, I use the fictitious media brand name “BritishTV.” I am sure everyone is thinking “BBC” when I mention that fictitious media name, right? I did this for one reason and one reason only–so I won’t get sued for libel! I don’t have millions of dollars to settle such a suit! I should I set up some “GoFundMe” site?

BTW, ALL smart fiction writers do this same thing! I am an obscure writer now, but who knows what could happen in the future? Only God knows. So I have to be smart.

What replaced brands were generic names: car instead of car brand, guitar instead of guitar brand, etc. I also replaced some real names with similar names spelled differently, or name initials. Fortunately, some brand or place names do not exist so I could keep those names. All large city names were kept, and a few smaller city names as well. But some place names were changed so as not to “insult” the residents.

And residents or affictionados could feel insulted! Because this free pdf e-book is riddled with satire!

Folks, I strongly believe evil has overtaken this world, which is why I must do whatever I have to do to try to get folks to want to change this evil into good. If I have to remove names and things or even places, so be it. But the main focus on GOOD vs. EVIL and the Forces of Good vs. the forces of evil will never be removed!

Shine over evil!

PS: The original The Prodigal Band Trilogy FREE PDF is no longer available. Further, the updated revised version will be submitted to the Library of Congress very shortly.

Update: It has been registered with Library of Congress copyright.

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Memo to Fiction Authors–Make Sure It’s Fiction!

Boy did I learn a thing or two after submitting my complete “three-books-in-one” e-book, The Prodigal Band Trilogy, to Lulu.com for publication and distribution! NEVER, and I mean, NEVER, indicate in any way shape or form that anything in your fiction is “based on actual events” or “based on true events”…or, perhaps, “based on a true story.”

Why? Because if you say anything on any copyright page or whatever that anything in the book/novel is based on any actual event, that (unlike the old days when one could write a novel “based on a true story” and call it “fiction”) apparently that is no longer the case.

In these days when it is so easy to “offend” someone–and I’m not just talking so-called “SJWs” here…does no one have the capacity to develop thick skin anymore? Is it against the “law” to develop thick skin these days? In these days when “getting offended” is the prevailing narrative, can a fiction novelist such as myself get into trouble for putting actual “brands” into my novels?

Here are some of the “brands” I have used in my three published books and copyrighted with the Library of Congress:

Musical instrument companies Fender and Gibson–Gibson guitar and Fender bass.

Car companies–Bentley, Rolls Royce, Ferrari, BWM, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini and others.

And other brands. But guess what? NONE of these brands appear in The Prodigal Band Trilogy. Why? Because I could be sued for LIBEL! Because someone at one of the instrument “brands” might get “offended” that I used a competitor’s brand in my book! After all, any use of any brand could be construed by someone as being “negative.”

Gee, will someone get offended because one of my band characters is bisexual? And, when he repents of being bisexual, will an actual bisexual be offended?

And then you have record labels and media outfits. Back in the late 90s before zillions of indy recording artist labels came about, I could take an actual record label that had been around since the 1960s and change the spelling of it a bit–no problem. For instance, I could take the actual Atlantic Records label (that Led Zeppelin among others used) and fictionalize it into “Atlantis” and no big deal. Well guess what? Atlantis is now a record label! Found that out on a site called “Discogs” which lists EVERY song by EVERY recording artist on EVERY label that has EVER existed (and even lists VINYL records for sale! Would you believe they still make VINYL records?). So then I had to change that label name to an actual FICTIONAL label name! It only took me two days to figure out what the fictional record label would be! I spent two days on this! Another record label I used had to have its spelling changed as well, because the actual label had a couple of “discogs” listed! I had never heard of this label, but never mind…

And two more days on changing the names of the media conglomerates I mentioned in my novels! Thank God I’m not a best selling author–I’d have been sued a zillion times by now!

Finally, EVERY real person known to be a real person had to be expunged from the e-book. AND I COULD NOT EVEN MENTION THE BEATLES, THE BAND MY FICTIONAL BAND IS FASHIONED AFTER! No Elton John, no Jimi Hendrix, no Jimmy Page, no Kurt Cobain, no actual rock band, no actual pop star (I even removed the late Michael Jackson! Just because…).

No actual business, government department or agency, non-profit org, no actual religious group except for the fact that major religions exist, no actual churches, no mention of actual books, records, movies, works of art, buildings. And no mention of actual presidents, prime ministers, royalty. Even historical figures are taboo..but I did mention William the Conqueror aka William of Normandy. Will that have to be expunged also?

And I am NOT BLAMING LULU.COM for this! I am not blaming Lulu.com for me having to take two weeks to revise my manuscript. Lulu is only doing what any wise online company would do in the day and age of zillions of “libel” suits for no reason. One of my fave news sites has been sued for using a photo without “attribution” to the photographer EVEN THOUGH THE PHOTO CAME FROM A COPYRIGHT-FREE AND ROYALTY-FREE WEBSITE! Because suddenly one day the photographer figured he or she would null the copyright and royalty free status of the photo…just because!

That is why my e-book cover art WILL use a photo that I took in 2009 of a July 4th fireworks show at an actual amusement park at night. Since I can no longer trust actual photographers anymore!

So, my advice is this: before sending any manuscript to Lulu or Kindle or whatever for print or e-book publication, use your fave search engine to see if the company you think does not exist actually does exist. I mean, there are only about a million media outfits these days! Need a record label? Make sure discogs.com doesn’t list it anywhere! If there are only one or two listings, DON’T USE IT! If you need to use an actual well-known person or celebrity, make sure that person is dead! Dead persons cannot sue for libel!

Finally, since you will likely use the name of an actual person who actually exists, make sure you indicate that “names of real people, real places, and real things are used only for fictional purposes.” Instead of using “brands,” use generalizations: car instead of car brand name, hotel instead of actual hotel name, guitar instead of Gibson guitar, etc.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy E-book to be Uploaded to Lulu.com Tomorrow or Monday

All I have to do now is the “Afterword” or something at the end of the book to explain how this book and the three trilogy original books came about. By Monday the latest, the e-book The Prodigal Band Trilogy–the three-books-in-one e-book that should be available on Amazon Kindle, Kobo (now including WalMart), Barnes and Noble Nook, Lulu and other platforms in a few months, after all the formatting by Lulu’s “team” and cover art is done, and I, the author, gives my okay.

When the e-book is being distributed on various platforms, I will likely reduce the price of both printed books, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band, but shipping, between four and five dollars, will remain the same.

The FREE PDF The Prodigal Band will remain available for download for Free here.

Above is another possible piece of cover art, based on a photo I took in 2009 at Sea World in San Antonio, Texas. As much as I like Pexels.com, someone I know is now sued by a photographer for “copyright infringement” for using a “free stock photo” from Pexels! Not blaming Pexels here, but apparently that photo he or she posted there was removed by the photographer later so the bogus “suit” could go through. So from here on in, if I need cover art, I’ll just do it myself. And Getty images charges too damned much for the rights to a license over a photo! If Lulu wants to change the cover art that’s up to them.

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E-Book Almost Complete. Now for the Hard Part–Cover Art

Having not posted since December and revising the parts of The Prodigal Band that will be included in my forthcoming e-book, the all-inclusive The Prodigal Band Trilogy, I have completed the proofread and edits using large PDF printing through Word’s export mechanism. One final read-through is on the way and I’ll be sending the completed manuscript to Lulu later this week.

Because I just completed the hardest part of the job–the cover art.

Now I used to be an artist of sorts: I’ve done paintings, silk-screens, airbrush including t-shirts, and drawings, and created the covers for Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band print editions in 1996 and 1998.

The cover art for the FREE PDF e-book The Prodigal Band uses a free stock copyright-free and royalty-free photo from Pexels.com. But I have read about some bloggers and others getting sued for “copyright infringement” when using what they thought were copyright-free photos including a site that is advertising my books for free, and this site has provided hundreds if not thousands of free book downloads as well as book sales. Just knowing a site I trust is being harassed just because law firms love to make money off of phony “copyright infringement” suits brought to bare by shyster photographers and lawyers has turned me away from Pexels and other free-stock-photo sites–at some point, photographers just might want to remove their photos from these sites or the site might remove the photos at photographer request…and then the photographer can sue the user of the once-free stock photos! (In this case, the photographer would have to notify me so I could remove the photo from the e-book cover within a certain time frame.)

In a day and age when “it’s all about the money,” this is not a good time-frame to be using photos or artwork one did not create oneself.

So I went through my entire “pictures” folder of photos taken by me or a loved one on various vacations from cruises to boat rides to graduations to camping trips to whatever and I finally found a photo I took in summer of 2009 at San Antonio’s Sea World at night during a fireworks display. Since the ‘three-books-in-one’ book is about a rock and roll band’s journey to righteousness and victory over evil, I wanted my cover art to feature a bright and overwhelming light above the darkness, and what better image than a fireworks display? Plus there is a pond or water at the bottom of the photo, which represents the “sea” in the Book of Revelation which stands for “the nations.” So, I chose my photo.

Then the problem happened. The photo I chose had 180 dpi, or dots per inch. Lulu’s book packages, as well as self-publishing, requires 300 dpi or greater! Now I had two photos from Pexels (I think) on my computer with 300 dpi, and ALL of my self-produced or family-produced photos were or 180 dpi or less. Most were less than 100!

So, what was I supposed to do while NOT using a Pexel stock photo, or PAYING Getty Images over 100 dollars for ONE STINKIN’ PHOTO? (Because Getty Images requires one to get the usual “premium” pay-to-play account and pay them about 100 dollars when all I needed was one photo! Heck, I have already paid Lulu 800 dollars to assure my book would be distributed over several markets! Because I hate to say it, but if you want results more often than not you must “pay to play.” Because “pay to play” is becoming SOP on the internet!

But then I became the “me” I am and figured–why can’t I turn some photo I am editing in Microsoft Paint into a 300 dpi photo? Believe it or not, one can use Microsoft’s free Paint accessory program to turn any photo in your photo library into a 300 dpi cover art.

Here is how.

And here is what I did. First I recording the pixels for height and width for the photo I wanted to increase the dpi on. One can find this info out by right-clicking on the photo in question, left-click on “properties,” at the bottom of the menu, then left-clicking on details, which shows the pixels for height and width as well as dpi. Jot down the width and height pixel numbers, then open the photo you want to increase dpi for, in Paint, by clicking “Open with” and then choosing “Paint.” Make sure the photo is saved in JPEG or .jpg format! And, while that file is still open, do the same with any file you have in 300 dpi, any 300 dpi photo you have in your library (if you don’t have one, go to Pexels and download one!). Before the edit, though, make sure the 300 dpi photo you will edit has the SAME PIXELS, width and height, as the photo you will paste into it! If not, it won’t work! And what you are going to do is “edit” that 300 dpi photo by copying the photo you want to increase the dpi for and then pasting it in the 300 dpi photo file! Now your original less-than-300-dpi photo (with the same number of width and height pixels) is a 300 dpi photo! All you have to do after that is change the file name when saving it.

To make sure you did it correctly, go here and check their instructions.

And you don’t have to be a good photographer to create your cover art. I should know–I am not a good photographer!

Note that I should have everything for the e-book ready by the end of the week.

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Forthcoming: The Prodigal Band Trilogy-Combined E-book for Sale! And Happy New Year to All Downloaders of My FREE PDF “The Prodigal Band”!

Just checked the stats for the first time in 2019. More downloads of my FREE PDF E-book “The Prodigal Band” than I expected! Thanks for downloading this book! Happy New Year to you all!

But here is why I have no posted since around Christmas when I had been posting articles about my books and the characters: Since late December, I have been working on formatting ALL of the three Prodigal Band Trilogy books, printed and PDF, into ONE E-BOOK, mainly for the sake of those folks I know who simply cannot read the FREE book on their E-Readers (Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Kobo, etc…folks, it won’t even work on the free Caliber e-reader that Lulu recommends!), and also for those who would rather pay for the two printed books by credit card–I am NOT taking credit card payments, period, because of privacy issues and also hackers…in the last five years our credit card account has been hacked numerous times! All a hacker would have to do is hack into my (possible) PayPal account to screw up a customer–or PayPal could–as has been done to other free speech advocates, for I am a free speech advocate–simply close my (possible) PayPal account, for no reason other than “it’s personal”… So I figure, since I am re-typing the two printed books into Microsoft Word format (that is, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band), why not re-format the PDF The Prodigal Band as well? All I have to do is re-format the most important parts and “tell” over parts I am not including (the revisions will mean the book section will be about half the size of the original PDF). By the end of January, I will submit the “three books in one” The Prodigal Band Trilogy to Lulu Publishing, the will finish the formatting and whatever else needs to be done, and then distribute the e-book to various e-book sellers (Lulu, Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Kobo (that is, WalMart and others), etc. and I will link to the sites on my Book Store.

When the project is completed, I will let everyone know! Thanks for your support! Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

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About the Prodigal Band Trilogy-Main Characters-Part 5: the Good

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

If there is a large number, or a cabal, of evil-doers in my Prodigal Band Trilogy, then there has to be those on the side of good. Good people, good spirits, good angels, starting with God, known in my series as:

The Creator: Also The All Mighty, The Creator, and the One we call God, Who rules all schemes. That is a direct quote from at least one of my books. The Creator, Who rules all schemes, in the case of my books, has His helpers. Just as the Evil, Corion, has his helpers, spiritual and human.

The Tooters: Here is an interesting fact–I named these good angels The Tooters, back in the 70s, before I even knew anything about God’s angels “sounding the trumpets” in the Biblical Book of Revelation! But I named these three angels The Tooters because I had seen several angelic statues seemingly blowing trumpets in several places. And it was this notion of angels blowing trumpets or horns that helped drive my narrative of angels battling demons to put out a fire which burned an entire city in the year 1136 AD. (Why that year? I have no specific reason other than the 1100s in English history presents a lot of turmoil and a lot of peasant revolts many years after Norman Conquest. A conquest by a foreign power almost always has serious ramifications many years later, especially in a place such as England which was, from the Roman period until the 1200s–nearly a thousand years!–under constant threat of conquest: Romans, then Anglo-Saxons, the Vikings (Danelaw), then the Normans.) While The Tooters are a granite three-part statue, this statue is the portal or gateway through which the evil Demons first arrived that year and through which the three good angles then appeared, put the fire out, and prevented the Demons from returning to their Abyss–as they prevented the Demons, on God’s orders, from ever doing such a thing again. They would also keep Corion in check.

Morwenna, aka ‘the Witch of the Hovels’: As ‘the Witch of the Hovels’ (called that by locals who believed a ‘witch’ inhabited the Hovels, a slum for the indebted), she was a spirit that existed as a human at various times when necessary. As a witch, only chosen individuals could see her, hear her, talk to her, and feel her. When necessary, the witch was the human, Morwenna, who could be seen by all, but still would only contact those chosen by The Tooters for contact. As Morwenna she was young, but would grow old to the point where she became a spirit being.

Why female spirits, when the Bible says angels were the ‘Sons of God’ and were male only? In my original printed versions of both Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band, I made a serious misinterpretation of the Bible with Zechariah 5:9, which talks about female spirits, and since Babylon is also referenced, I now assume these were evil spirits as with the Whore of Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18. In both of my books, The Tooters appear to be female due to this misinterpretation (and several Christian friends who I had review the first book pointed this out; still I refused to listen and put female Tooters in the next book!). That mistake was removed in The Prodigal Band. Still, I decided to keep Morwenna female, as ‘witches’ are considered female, and who is to say those female spirits in Zechariah 5:9 are truly evil?

In any case, both The Tooters and Morwenna are the guiding forces for my fictitious band to seek truth and good, and renounce evil.

And then there are the narrators, one of whom is an angel in human form–the Bible references angels in human form in many places: the angels who spoke to Abram/Abraham, the angles who prevented Lot from letting sexual perverts into his house before Sodom and Gomorrah were burned, the fallen ‘Genesis Six’ angles who mated with the ‘daughters of men’ and thus created ‘the giants’ (called Nephilim), various angles such as Michael who spoke to Biblical prophets such as Ezekiel, Gabriel, who told Mary she was ‘with child’ (Jesus) before she even had sex with Joseph–all of these angels presented themselves as male humans.

Jay Elliot, also known as the ‘Counselor Angel,’ is the narrator of The Prophesied Band while being a Rolling Stone free-lance reporter (and Counselor Angel in Battle of the Band). Among other human jobs he has, he is the one that tries to convince the fictitious band, Sound Unltd, that they are ‘the prophesied band’ heralded in a previous fictitious hit song of the early 80s.

Lloyd Denholm, fully human and also Christian, is another Rolling Stone writer who eventually gets to help the band see righteousness, with Jay Elliot’s help. It begins with Denholm debunking the notion made by phony Christian preachers that Sound Unltd are ‘devil worshipers’ (a notion that gets repeated over and over when it comes to actual rock stars–sorry, they may want fame and fortune more than anything, but that doesn’t mean they are ‘devil worshipers’! Some are, of course, but not all, and, further, even rock stars are capable of repenting and accepting Christ. So there!).

Those notions are part and parcel with my book series–to speak of how and why we all need to accept Christ as Savior (Christ, not religion) and why ANYONE, even evil people, can repent and accept Christ. It is my job, not to actually convert anyone, but to try to get folks to consider it, and the benefits thereof. So far my FREE PDF e-book The Prodigal Band has been downloaded hundreds of times by what my stats tell me, so that’s a start.

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Merry Christmas to All Followers and Readers of This Site and My Books!

Remember–Jesus is the Reason for the Season! Be Blessed!

And don’t forget to download my FREE PDF e-book The Prodigal Band here. You can read more about the book here.

Will post more about my book series Tuesday or Wednesday. Cheers!

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About the Prodigal Band Trilogy–Main Characters-Part 4: the Evil

With this trilogy or series of novels themed primarily as a battle between good and evil, there must be an evil side. As I stated in a previous post, when the first novel, Battle of the Band, was being finalized, I began researching what forces might have been behind the events at Ruby Ridge in Idaho, the David Koresh cult church in Waco, Texas, and the various militia groups tied to the Oklahoma City bombing, the last two events of which happened under President Bill Clinton, as well as former President George HW Bush, who was the first world leader I ever heard mention ‘new world order,’ and was president during Ruby Ridge. Did Bush’s ‘new world order’ speech cause various militia groups to be formed as a response to increasing globalization toward a ‘one-world-government’? Such a scenario is prophesied in the Book of Revelation–that an ‘anti-Christ’ would unite the world under a false peace and then turn the world on its head in an orgy of death and destruction to all whom opposed this one-world-government run by evil. For it is research into Bible prophecy that caused me to consider this battle between good and evil as the theme for my books.

There are several ‘one-world-government’ or globalist organizations that, in my research, became well-known to me in the 1990s–the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderbergers, and others. They all seem to work together and all seem to contain world leaders, politically, economically, militarily, and even culturally. There were or are even entertainment celebrities that have been involved in these groups, most notably Angelina Jolie, a CFR member. A rock star, U-2’s frontman, Bono, is also notable to have been seen around oligarchs like Bill Gates and even the Pope.

It is not that world unity or world peace is a bad thing. But what makes a one-world-government or ‘new world order’ a bad thing is that it will ultimately be led by evil forces, headlined by the Dragon (Satan, the anti-Christ), the Beast (a one-world-system designed to eradicate belief in Christ and destroy individual freedom and liberty in favor of collectivism), and the False Prophet (a religious or spiritual leader who will cause even believers in Christ to ‘fall away’ and buy into Satan as ‘the false messiah’). And what better way to lead especially young people to evil than by using popular culture icons–such as rock stars–to carry out this agenda?

And not just rock stars–these days, rap and hip-hop almost seem to have taken over pop culture from rock music, which has ruled pop culture since the days of the Beatles. Beginning in the 2010s, gangsta rap and hip-hop appear to be much more prominent, as well as pop icons like Beyoncé and Jay-Z and Kanye West. But, rap, hip-hop and the three icons I mentioned are all black. I am white, I do not listen to rap and hip-hop and Beyoncé and them, and I began my book timelines in mainly the 1980s into the 1990s–therefore, it would make no sense to write novels about black rappers or hip-hoppers or folks like Beyoncé. Further, in Britain and Europe anyway, rock music is still prominent, and in Asia, is becoming far more prominent. Some of rock music’s most prominent acts these days are from Japan and Korea.

However, the main reason my main characters are rock musicians in a Beatles-like super band is that so many people who follow popular culture today, and have followed it for years, truly believe rock music is a huge reason why evil has taken over world events. You Tube video after You Tube video purports to ‘prove’ that rock and roll is ‘the devil’s music’ and that rock stars are all ‘devil worshipers’ and, therefore, have no chance of salvation through repentance and taking Jesus Christ as Savior. This mindset, in my opinion, is full of fallacy. As I state in ‘The Prodigal Band’ toward the end of the book, some of Christ’s most important apostles were either wealthy ship-fleet owners or sons of such (such as Peter, owner of a fishing fleet, and James and John, sons of fleet owner Zebedee), or wealthy or prominent community leaders or officials (such as Matthew, a tax collector; Zacchaeus, chief tax collector and wealthy man; Jairus, temple leader; the Centurion, a Roman, and Nicodemus, a Pharisee). Then, you have folks like Mary Magdalene, a prostitute and a woman possessed by demons, possibly even a devil worshiper. The fallacy that members of the elites, or members of morally corrupt groupings, or both–such as wealthy, ‘devil worshiping’ rock stars–can never be saved because they carry out Satan’s agenda to morally corrupt the young for fame and fortune, is indeed, a fallacy.

Very likely there are few rock stars that have accepted Christ as Savior. Supposedly a guitarist for the death metal band Mega Death–I forget his name but he is mentioned in these videos– has openly avowed belief on Christ. So has rapper DMX. These two are likely two of the more prominent music celebrities that have. Some videos claim others have claimed that as well, but are faking it. Folks, it is difficult in a popular culture ruled by the ‘almighty dollar’ for a star celebrity to give all that fame and fortune up to truly accept the Way of Christ. But it is possible–yet one must give up the debauched lifestyle that one had led previously, and that is not easy.

So that, while it is unlikely that a star celebrity would give all that up to serve Christ, it is still a possibility, and to deny that such a thing could happen, to me is a fallacy, and a false belief that needs to be repented. To believe such a thing, in my opinion, is evil! For anybody can accept Jesus as Savior, and didn’t Jesus come to save the sinner?

As one of my characters mentioned earlier, Billy Preston, former band manager, says toward the end of ‘The Prophesied Band,’ to his former charges–“It’s not how you start, but how you finish.”

I will discuss my ‘evil’ characters and groups in the next post.

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About the Prodigal Band Trilogy–Main Characters-Part 3: Support Characters and Women

While not quite as important to the novels as the six band members of Sound Unltd, all big-time rock bands or rappers or pop singers or whatever have ‘administrative staff’–managers, road managers, roadies, producers, promoters, accountants, lawyers, consultants, and what not. A few of these types of support staff personnel within the three books are important characters that appear in all three books. And they are–

Manager Joe Phillips, son of a banker-oligarch who heads the ‘evil side’ (I will get into my ‘evil’ characters in the next post), and has the pony-tailed ‘Laurence Olivier’ look, with typical upper-class London accent. While he is descended from an evil family, he is opposed to this evil. But his family influence definitely aids the band into reaching huge success.

Former manager and mentor Billy Preston is the man who helped put the band together in the early 1980s and also adopted two of the band members, Jack and Tom, who came from poverty-stricken and abusive or neglectful families. Preston is mostly bald and rather plump, whereas Phillips is thin. Preston appears in all three books, primarily in The Prophesied Band and The Prodigal Band.

Road manager Billy Hallslip is a prominent character in The Prodigal Band, is rather short, porcine, has a Cockney accent, dresses weird and is actually the manager until Phillips takes over.

Chet and Stu, head roadies, are Hell’s Angels bikers, large and brutish, with north London accents and tend to get into bar fights. Bry is their boss and he has to bail them out at times. Some roadies are full-time, but many are part-time or even fan-temporaries.

Bobby is one of the ‘fan-temp’ roadies, who not only ‘baby-sits’ some of the band on road trips, but also helps the band later while they are on their ‘righteous journey.’ Bobby is a teen, and is also into the occult before he goes to jail for robbery and is set straight by a Christian convict.

Pearson, Rogers, and Rudi are important ‘personal assistant-butler’ types who help some of the band members get over drug or alcohol addiction, and other supports.

There are also many rival and friendly rockers, groupies, ‘lovers’ of various sorts, old friends and even family members, including children, that appear at varying degrees in all three books.

The Women

There are four primary female characters that appear in all three novels, to varying degrees. All become successful super models–matching the stereotypical meme that rock stars date super models, if not actresses. And all create their own business models–cosmetics, clothing lines, jewelry lines, body boutiques and the like–to become as successful as their men.

Ger, which is pronounced ‘Jer,’ is Erik’s ‘something,’ his ‘queen’ so to speak, originally from central London from a middle-class background, is medium height as he is, with ‘bedroom eyes’ and ‘sultry-sexy’ look about her, with page-boy brown medium-length hair. Of the four women, she is the most prominent. Her original name was ‘Geri’ but I decided to shorten it.

Laurie is Jack’s woman, but he doesn’t always treat her as well as he should, suspecting her of infidelity and having a lack of trust, which later backfires on him. She is gorgeous, long haired-blonde, tall, skinny and sexy, with a toughie voice and lurid smile. She is the first super-model of the four. As a teen, she is neglected by her father, and she lost her mother at a young age.

Jarris is Keith’s girl and marriage partner, abused by her own father which forces her to become very tough and thick-skinned, with flowing red hair and high-pitched voice, and very skinny even before she started modeling and later developed several profitable businesses. She and Laurie are often antagonists, but friends the same.

Mo is Bryan’s wife, though their marriage is rocky despite having three boys. While Bryan’s folks are confirmed atheists, Mo’s father is an Anglican vicar! Only her father calls her by her real name, Maureen. She is red haired, medium length, large boned, but thin enough to model. She is manipulative when it comes to her husband, with consequences for both.

Other women-

There are several groupies mentioned, but one in particular stands out–Princess Tina of the fictitious principality called Leandro, set inside the Italian peninsula. She is Tom’s ‘only love’ and due to his ‘low birth’ he must meet with her in secret. He has a very good reason for wanting to associate with her and her kind, aristocrats and other wealthy folks. Another one that becomes important and is in The Prodigal Band is Julie, a classmate of Mick’s in Music School and later a lover. She plays first chair violin in the city orchestra.

And finally there is Morwenna, but she is as much spiritual in nature as human, and will be discussed in a future post.

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To Heck With the ‘Consensus’: Try it Anyway

There are Blogs or Sites within the writer-author community here on WordPress doing great, and there are those not doing great, just as there are authors mega-selling and those who aren’t. I’m not going to get into the reasons for that (except to say that if you aren’t a ‘celebrity’ you’re likely not going to be a ‘mega-seller’ until you become one!)

And how does one become a ‘celebrity’? I’ll sum it up in one word: consensus.

Here is how the consensus works, for examples.

The consensus ‘greatest rock band of all time’ is the Beatles, and nothing any other rock band does is going to change that, even if some band comes along in five years to revive this music genre that has–mainstream, anyway–fallen by the wayside somewhat as ‘everyone’ (according to the consensus) has now made rap, hip-hop, or ‘pop’ music their favorite (again, I’m not going to get into why this has happened, but I think it’s obvious why this has happened. The proof? Guitar companies like Gibson have declared bankruptcy, and guitar seller-outlets have also…because rock music isn’t THE popular genre it once was). Remember, this is the consensus, not necessarily the truth. And another thing: this is only true ‘consensus-wise’ in the US. In Europe it is still likely number one, and it has been growing in Asia for years.

The consensus ‘greatest guitar player’ in rock history is Jimi Hendrix.

My opinion? Hendrix IS the greatest guitarist in rock history, while I DISAGREE that the Beatles are the greatest rock band in history. While NO ROCK GUITARIST could play like Hendrix could back then, or in the 70s, 80s, 90s or today–could Page or Clapton or Walsh or Vaughn play his guitar like Hendrix played the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock? I  doubt it! So then why would the consensus claim the Beatles are the greatest rock band in history? Influence. Not talent, not music-writing, not stage performances (and the Beatles stopped touring in 1966 anyway! Too much Maharishi?), or personality (though John Lennon certainly tried here). Influence? Basically, as I’ve already states on other posts, the Beatles revived the genre that was already fading by 1963-64 what with most ‘Billboard’ chart-toppers being ‘boy meets girl’ tripe (and enough one-hit-wonders to make it tripe…thanks, American Bandstand!). Then came the Beatles and the so-called ‘British Invasion,’ which also revived the best of the American groups including the Four Seasons, Jay and the Americans, Bob Dylan, and a host of mostly Afro-groups and pop-soul stuff such as by the Supremes and the Four Tops and others.  Add to that the Beatles influence in the ‘psychedelicizing’ (as the Chambers Brothers would put it in their monster hit, ‘Time Has Come Today’) during the late 60s, new age stuff contrasted to Lennon’s huge faux pas in denigrating Christ in 1965 which nearly led to the out-casting of the Fab Four in the US on radio anyway, and Lennon’s ‘anti-war’ stances, again contrasted to George Harrison’s support for the Bangladesh ‘independence’ movement from Pakistan (and dependence on India…some even claim Harrison was a proxy agent for the Indian government under the Maharishi’s guidance!) and his crapola ‘My Sweet Lord’ nonsense supporting Hari Krishna’s cult (I had a friend who was victimized by this cult, and I do NOT appreciate Harrison’s promotion of this cult!)

Whether or not the Beatles are the greatest band ever by the consensus and whether or not you believe this (I don’t) doesn’t matter. What matters is how the consensus influences one’s thinking, one’s conformity (as I am someone who prefers non-conformity), and one’s buying habits. And one’s writing habits or creative habits, as well.

Don’t write something just because ‘the consensus’ would prefer that you do. Stephen King and Kurt Vonnegut–two of America’s greatest fiction writers IMHO, to heck with ‘the consensus’–wrote what they wanted or were inspired to despite what a so-called ‘consensus’ wanted. In the 1990s virtually nobody self-published with printed novels (and only James Redfield of “Celestine Prophesy’ fame made it big in this business!), but I did so anyway because I was inspired to despite NOT having lots of money to do this. Today, anyone can self-publish, including in print (Lulu.com has some really affordable print-e-book programs if you want to check it out). I’d like to say these days ‘the consensus’ is meaningless, but I won’t, because it is only meaningless for me, a non-conformist and proud of it.

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Want More Views (and book sales)? Post Links to Your Sites in Comment Boxes!

Believe it or not, I have had many more referrals and clicks to this website, including referrals marked “Download FREE PDF e-book The Prodigal Band” from websites where I have posted comments with links to omegabooksnet.com or my free PDF e-book ‘The Prodigal Band’–meaning, if I post a link to this page or other pages including “bookstore’, I get referrals from these sites!

If one is discouraged by lack of referrals and views to their sites (or book sales), try this method if you haven’t already. Never be discouraged, a famous hymn says–‘Take it to the Lord on prayer.’

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About the Prodigal Band Trilogy–Main Characters-Part 2: the Band

The fictitious rock and roll band that is on a journey to either choosing a good vs. evil path that ultimately all must take at some point called–for a very good reason–Sound Unltd, consists of six musicians of worthy talent, ambition, drive, and goals, with an instrument make up resembling most rock bands regardless of origin: guitarists–in this case, two–bass, percussion, keyboard-synthesizer, and lead singer/frontman. Since the time of the Beatles, this has been the usual configuration, more or less. Some of the six can play other instruments, as well, and some also have classical or operatic training. Three of the six come from musical families.

Descriptions of the band members:

I will offer physical descriptions two ways: one by actual overall description in word, and also a comparison to actual rock musicians or singers that should be well known…that is, character A looks like or plays his instrument like “so-and-so.” The word description of each band member comes from the beginning of the Prologue of ‘The Prodigal Band’, and I will name the character within the description:

“A lead singer (Erik) with dark brown shoulder-length hair accentuated by sensuous bangs on a baby-face was slender, thin-lipped and of medium height. Voice a Godly gift. Yet, some said, the devil’s tool.”  Within The Prodigal Band I compare his looks to Elvis Presley, but a lot skinnier; plus he has a Nordic complexion. His mother is from Norway, thus his name is spelled with a ‘k’ and not the usual ‘c’ ending. His voice is also similar to Elvis, deep and rich sounding.

“A tall, angular-faced guitarist (Jack) possessed dirty-blond hair now growing on once-shaved sides of his head. Now without the screaming instrument he fired into immortality.” I don’t really have an actual guitarist he resembles, but as for his playing style, it is not quite Hendrix, but still innovative, and has various qualities one would expect from Clapton, Page, Townsend, Walsh, or Prince.

“The dark, strapping bass guitar player (Keith) with bushy black hair and dark-coal eyes walked without his trademark gold chains.” The closest comparison to a renowned bassist is Jack Bruce of Cream, who, in my opinion, is the best bassist in rock history. And, for the sake of diversity which is rampant in England since the 60s, Keith’s grandmother is African, from Nigeria. I made Keith part-black while I was writing ‘Battle of the Band,’ but I did not stress this change until ‘The Prodigal Band’, where I bring up the issue or racism–I hate racism of any kind! As for looks, he certainly isn’t as dark as Hendrix! He and Erik call each other ‘bro.’

“The tall, lanky, beak-nosed, ringlet-haired album producer and master of many guitars (Mick) worried over his past perversions.” Mick is a cross physically between Jimmy Page, Alice Cooper, and Ozzie Osbourne, but much taller and skinnier (his nickname is ‘Skinny’). As with Page, he is an occultist, more or less. Jimmy Page bought occult cult leader Aleister Crowley’s Loch Ness occult estate, while in the books, Mick lives in an ancient occultist castle in the Cambrian Mountains of Wales near a burial site of an ancient Celtic occult high priest. The supposedly satanic memes of Page’s Led Zeppelin also provide a comparison for my fictitious band.

“The pot-bellied, biker-esque keyboard-synthesizer player (Bryan) famed for red hair wild as the wind, fiery as his brew, bore a downcast of regret.” I really cannot think of a keyboard-synth or piano player in rock music that has a similar description, but he does look like a typical Hell’s Angels biker. His nickname is ‘Bry’ or ‘Redbeard.’ As for playing style, his style reminds me of the keyboardist for Dire Straits, but the keyboardist of the previously referenced 60s group the Animals, Alan Price, is also a reference here, if you remember back to those days. Plus, he also plays Northumberland bagpipes and some horned instruments.

“A short, curly-blond percussionist (Tom) once angered by lost love approached with the others to an unknown destination, glad with a full life behind him.” The closest resemblance here is to Ginger Baker, rock and roll’s version of the greatest drummer of all time, Gene Krupa, who was the drummer for Benny Goodman’s Orchestra, an icon of the ‘big band era’ of the late 1930s and 1940s. Plus, Tom also looks kind of like Baker, with blonder and curlier hair, and shorter a well. Tom’s nickname is ‘Shorty.’

Music style–One reason I named them ‘Sound Unltd’ is that they can play virtually any rock and roll style, from fifties throw-back to progressive-psychedelic-late 60s to heavy metal to punk to new wave to grunge to rock-rap to even orchestral and rock-aria and operatic. There is a scene in ‘The Prophesied Band’ where the narrator, a fictitious ‘Rolling Stone’ reporter, imagines lead singer Erik on operatic stage while performing a rock aria he wrote. Their stage performances resemble the gigs of the 90s, with all the pyrotechnics, raunchy stage-mic stand-sex antics, guitar-bashing (first performed by the Who’s Pete Townsend in the 60s), faked amp burning, and other attention seeking behaviors.

Music influences–The Beatles, certainly, but also Mick Jagger’s notorious stage antics, and Led Zeppelin’s supposedly occultist influences as well. Other influences include Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, Prince–who is one heckuva musician–Michael Jackson even, with his dancing on stage, and, of course, Jimi Hendrix…there will never be another guitarist like him!

That’s all I’m going to say about the characters and their personalities. If you want to really know their personalities, read the books! Hint: my own daughter loves these guys! Maybe so will you.

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About the Prodigal Band Trilogy: the Main Characters, Part 1

In the previous post and other various posts, I stated that my main characters morphed from a gang or clique of boys in the area I grew up, Long Island and New York City, to rock musicians from England–a decision influenced by, first, the fact that I actually made it into a local band; second, rock music was my main connection to youth culture of my generation (60s and 70s); third, my fave bands of that era–and the most influential bands of that era–were Brits, and I had visited England as well as attended the 1970 Isle of Wight Rock Festival which featured the Who, Traffic, ELP, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix (who died in London a few weeks later) and others of note (some whom I missed since we had to leave early to get the flight back to the States).

That the most influential rock bands of that era were from England was a major reason my fictional band, Sound Untd, is from England. And what band from that era had the most influence on how I constructed my fictional band? Why, the Beatles of course! The so-called Fab Four–whom many claim are the greatest rock band of all time…basically re-invigorated the genre leading the so-called ‘British Invasion’ in 1963-64 as rock music in the States had been, IMHO, flat-lining since the plane crash of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens in 1958. One doesn’t need to read the ‘Rolling Stone History of Rock and Roll’ books to know that from 1959 until the Beatles, rock was tripe, was cutesy-wootsey, was just ‘boy meets girl, boy ‘dances’ girl’ stuff (and you know what they mean by ‘dance’–having sex, right?), with a few true rock outfits to keep the genre alive (Del Shannon, Dion and the Belmonts, Beach Boys and a few others). Folks, it wasn’t until the Beatles came around–and the groups that followed them–that I had any interest in rock music at all. With the arrival of the Beatles, my world–and the world of my friends–became consumed by listening to the radio and records, reading ‘fan magazines,’ including the British one called ‘Melody Maker,’ and even getting together and pretending we were the Beatles on stage as the Beatles records played on victrolas or stereos (and not just the Beatles, either) in bedrooms or basements. It was this “pretending” to be John or Paul or George that would later give me the idea of learning guitar.

It was the Beatles and the other groups that helped me to grow up amongst my peers and not just be the loner, sort of, that I had been before. Finally, I was able to ‘fit in.’ Finally, I became interested, somewhat, in boys–it would take several years, however, before boys became interested in me. I wasn’t exactly a ‘hot date’ if you know what I mean. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I even thought I was good-looking enough (despite my acne) and finally landed a boyfriend of sorts (whose acne was even worse, but anyway…). Oh, as for my friends–most were better looking than me, and one of them, who looked like the model ‘Twiggy,’ (remember her? And she appeared in the movie ‘Blues Brothers’ as well toward the end), actually had a rock musician boyfriend–lead singer and lead guitar, of course. Another friend also dated once or twice another band singer who graduated the year before I did. And another friend had her band and she could sing like Janis Joplin! So, folks, since I knew I had writing talent since I’d been writing since the age of 8 or so, what better way to get the ball rolling than to write fiction stuff about an imaginary rock band?

But from England…but where in England?

My fictitious band absolutely could NOT be from Liverpool because that’s where the Beatles are from, and because they spoke with one of the weirdest accents on God’s green earth–Scouse. Sing-songy, to the point of crazy (and yes, folks, out here where I live a recent property owner just happened to be from Liverpool). And anyway, no way was my group going to be from where the Beatles were. London? Nope. Several bands, especially the Rolling Stones, were from London and, as with the Beatles, the Stones were prominent enough to where they, too, would be a serious influence on how my band was created. Manchester? A group that hit it huge for about a year, Hermann’s Hermits, was from there, but after a while they just did what I thought was tripe. And it seemed to me that most of these British Invasion groups were from either Liverpool, London, or Manchester.

Another group from another part of England hit it big in the summer and fall of 1964, and this group did some very interesting–and different–music, more bluesy, and with a really, really good keyboard player that really titillated my ears–the Animals, whose first hit was a remake of the Bob Dylan song, ‘House of the Rising Sun.’ Later songs had a bluesy style, such as ‘Boom Boom’ and ‘Bo Diddley.’ I saw them one night on the Ed Sullivan Show, and, after performing, Sullivan started to interview them, and–well, talk about weird accents! Neither I–nor by the looks of it, Sullivan–could understand about half of what they said, but it turned out they were from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which is way up north and close to Scotland. In fact, the accent had a Scottish lilt to it–and that was the fascinating part. Their music, and their accent.

Then, in 1970–and I’ve stated this in a previous post as well–the night before taking the ferry from Portsmouth (I think, or South Hampton) to the Isle of Wight, I just happened to meet three guys from Newcastle, and while one of them was hard to understand, the others were easier–but still, they spoke with that fascinating accent, called Geordie. Several years later after meeting some folks from Scotland, they told me the Geordie accent (and there is a dialect, as well, but I won’t get into that) was very similar to and actually derived somewhat from Scottish. Historically it makes sense: Hadrian’s Wall, which the Tyneside town of Wallsend is named for, was in fact the old time border between England and Scotland. The portion of the county of Northumberland (or Northumbria) north of that wall was part of Scotland off and on for centuries, and was finally incorporated into England in 1744, the days of ‘Bonnie Prince Charley” and that war. And, the more I hear Geordie (YouTube videos and the like), the more I’m glad I chose that area and that accent for my characters in the band.

They come from the fictitious city of Walltown (south of Wallsend on the Tyne river where they build boats and stuff, and east of Newcastle), and the main tourist attraction of this fictitious city is an angelic statue called The Tooters (referencing the horn-blowing angels in the Book of Revelation). Well guess what? Across from Newcastle is Gateshead, and it just so happens that the main tourist attraction in Gateshead is–and angelic statue! (The thing is, it looks more like a bird, but at least it has wings, if not horns). And bear in mind I didn’t know ANY of this when I started writing my book(s)!

Finally, why did I call my group ‘Sound Unltd’? The original name for the group was the actual original name in my books, the Smash. Later, I changed it to ‘Smash Unltd’ (you do realize ‘unltd’ is short for ‘unlimited,’ right?). Two things caused me to change it to ‘Sound Unltd’–one, the fact that a group called ‘Sounds Incorporated’ existed in the 60s (of course, they never made it here), and that spiritual inspiration that came to me in the early 90s. Further, the name Sound Unltd is so ‘pretentious sounding’ that I figured no one would ever call themselves by that name, and so far, no one has–and they better not, since the name exists in copyrighted manuscripts! I do hope I never to lay out a couple o’ hundred dollars to trademark it!

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Posting Links on Facebook? Yep, Folks, I DO Have a Facebook Page After All

Now I’m not being cutesy-wootsy here. I am 66 years old and I have a Facebook page? Heck, it’s even called “OmegaBooks!” I’ve had this page for about eight months and being so “tech ignorant” I didn’t even know one could push a “Facebook” button at the bottom of the post and link to the article on Facebook. Here is the link to the Facebook page.

Now, why does some old lady need a Facebook page? Because I’m learning how to do things MARKETING-wise using a technology I’m not very good at. Why not take the risk and make a Facebook page to help promote my books? After all, I am a month or so away from getting my two printed books Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band formatted and uploaded to e-book sellers. Why not?

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About The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Theme-Good Triumphs over Evil

I began writing a book that would eventually work its way into three books that make up the Prodigal Band Trilogy–Battle of the Band, The Prophesied Band, and The Prodigal Band–back in the late 1960s in diary form as the characters morphed from just a group of guys in a gang or a clique, with or without girlfriends, living on Long Island-then-New York City, to rock musicians with or without girlfriends, living in England. Why the morph? Because of my own interest in rock music as well as actually having participated in a local band for a few months, and having gone to England in 1970, as well as the notion I had the rock bands from England were more worthy overall than American ones (and Brit bands were my fave bands anyway.) These topics have been discussed in previous posts here and on my blog.

The names and looks of the characters were created in the mid-60s with other characters being created in the mid-80s, which was when I started getting serious about the books, which was still just one book novel. But instead of a diary to write stuff that would later make up the book(s), I just wrote on notepad paper with pen.

In the meantime, I had a teaching job–more than one–and children, which of course took precedence over novel writing. Then came the use of an old 48K Atari computer that I typed ten chapters on, and, really, the whole thing was random…this character did this and that character did that and it was as if it was just a satire on the lives and loves of rock musician celebrities. It was funny, but meaningless in a way. At that point in the early 90s what I was typing onto 4.5 inch floppy discs was just a matter of getting these characters out of my head onto printer paper.

I do not remember the year–1992? 1993?–that I went outside one night and the spirit of the theme took over my head, “telling me” to remake the book(s) into a fight between the forces of good and the forces of evil. One problem–if this was going to be about a rock band, Brit or not, then I had to get with ‘the program’ so to speak because by the early 90s I had lost touch with rock music…the last I remembered was punk and new wave of the early 80s. Living in a rural remote area of far west Texas–where country music reigns supreme and rock music is considered by the hardcore fundamentalist Christians out here as some kind of devil worship (!)–I had no idea how rock music was evolving into what in the 90s was called ‘grunge’ or ‘rock-rap’ or ‘death metal’ or ‘emo’ or whatever. Until 1994, when I got a teaching job in a gang-ridden high school in El Paso. The job sucked, but the themes rustling around in the pop culture world of the high school didn’t. The majority of my students were Hispanic and at the time a female singer from south Texas, Hispanic–I don’t remember her name but she was huge among my students–was the rage, as was rap, especially among the few black students I had. But I did have some white kids as well, mostly children of Fort Bliss parents–these kids were into, primarily, Nirvana with Kurt Cobain–a major influence on my characterizations–and grunge groups like Nine Inch Nails and Green Day. All American groups–what happened to the Brits? Well, it turned out, I discovered, that the Brit bands from the latter 80s were still around.

And that, my friends, is why my fictional band, Sound Unltd, stemmed from the 1980s. Originally, they were supposed to be late 60s-70s group, but rock music had changed so much since then that I did not think it would be wise to make them a 60s-70s group.

Then, when I really began to get really serious after resigning the El Paso teaching job and moving back to the rural remote in 1995, I had a decision to make–just write a satirical book making fun of rock stars and celebrities with all the fun of sex scenes, orgies, drug use, and sex-drug-rock-n’-roll themes, or write a book or books exposing the fallacy so many who lived in my area believed to be true–that rock stars are all devil worshipers, and rock music was the ‘devil’s music.’ And more.

Around the same time, what with events like Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the Oklahoma City bombing–all around the time of a series of Satanic holidays beginning April 19 and ending with Beltane, Walpurgis Night, and May 1–and the so-called “Patriot Movement” against the so-called ‘New World Order’ (spear-headed by both Presidents George HW Bush with his 1989 ‘New World Order’ speech and Bill Clinton’s screeds about globalism throughout the1990s)–I felt it might be another good idea to incorporate an ‘Illuminati-CFR-Bilderberg-type’ organization into the mix, representing the ‘evil’ side…I mean, the symbolism they use–the ‘All-Seeing-Eye’ on the dollar bill and all atop a pyramid with the Latin phrase within-“ANNUIT COEPTIS NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM”–which means, “Announcing the Birth of the New World Order” (or some say, “New Order of the Ages.”). And, having read Biblical prophecy and growing more interested in the possibility that the so-called “end times” were getting closer to fruition, I figured this whole notion of “one world government” was not just some conspiracy theory, but getting closer–and who would lead this one world government? Those who clearly sought power and likely had the money to buy power–bankers and their minions in government and also the media and entertainment industries–and would willingly side with ‘the anti-Christ’ at the end.

Just a note here: the Biblical Book of Revelation, on which so much ‘end times prophecy’ is based, mentions three parts of the so-called “Beast System” which has to exist for all this prophecy to occur: the Dragon (Satan, or the Anti-Christ, or some person Satan/the anti-Christ inhabits), the Beast (which I suppose is a system that supports Satan) and the False Prophet (and there are all sorts of theories as to who or what the False Prophet is!). Thus, it is this notion of an evil system that provides the novel’s notion of ‘bad guys.’ And, according to prophecy, after the anti-Christ comes and sits in the temple in Jerusalem, the true Messiah, Christ–accompanied by a huge number of good angels–returns in the ‘second coming’ to overthrow the evil. Prior to this happening, all humanity must make a choice–side with evil or side with good.

And that, folks, is the overarching theme of my books–my fictitious rock band of world-wide renown must make that same decision before it is too late. The Prodigal Band Trilogy is their journey to that decision, and what they do with it.

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Being a ‘Non-Conformist’ Author: You Don’t Always Have to ‘Follow the Script’

In the mid-1990s I joined a local far west Texas writer’s group called ‘Texas Mountain Trail Writers.’ While working on the first printed novel I would call Battle of the Band, I needed ‘tutoring’ so-to-speak on absolutely what had to go into the novel to make it a legitimate novel, to market and sell the thing–that is, get some literary agent to ‘sell’ it to a big time publisher. No literary agent came a-calling, so I had to do it myself.

And this was what I picked up in all of these discussions and even annual writer conferences, which I will now list:

  1. ‘Show, don’t tell.’ Anyone who writes novels or books knows what this means. And I believe in ‘show, don’t tell,’  but there are times the ‘tell’ part has to be used perhaps  more than some would find acceptable, as I discovered finishing up my first book.
  2. Your setting must be a setting one is familiar with. After all, aren’t most of Stephen King’s novels set in Maine, where he is from? (And why do I always use Stephen King as an example? Because other than literary genius Kurt Vonnegut–from Ithica, New York (quite a few of his books are set in that part of New York state)–no writer has influenced me to write than the best suspense-si-fi-horror novelist in US history.
  3. Your characters must be from the setting you use that must be one you are familiar with.  Not all, but many of King’s characters are from Maine, or at least New England.
  4. Your characters, because you must know your characters–especially the main ones–must be part of you and even as you are. (Characterization)
  5. Dialogue–your characters must speak in a way that characters from a particular setting would speak, thus you must know how these characters would speak, which is why they ought to come from a particular familiar setting. Further, you characters must speak in a way that it is obvious for that character and the reader knows that is how the character talks. Use catch-phrases as well.
  6. Genre–this is the item that has and will give me the most headache. My books are not genre specific, but a mix of spiritual/satire/adult-rated R not X/horror/suspense/fantasy, so that could be why no literary agent touched my books–literary agents tend to be genre specific, or at least that’s what I was told by the first published author I ever met, a romance novelist (with plenty of the required ‘sexual tension.’)
  7. Theme–The only way I can describe any theme in my books is this: good triumphing over evil. If it isn’t ‘good vs. evil’ in fiction, then I am not writing it-ultimately, good vs. evil is the only issue that matters to me.
  8. Plot–Within the realm of the physical and mental and real and spiritual worlds, the plot revolves around an 80s-90s rock and roll band that, upon achieving great success, must choose their good vs. evil path, with triumphs, trials and tribulations along the way. Because they are ‘rock stars,’ they are ‘gonna do what a rock star is gonna do.’ Which is why these novels are adult–sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll–and not young adult or Christian or rated G. Sorry about that, but if my characters are going to be real, they’re just gonna have to cuss every now and then, or engage in free sex–and one of my characters is bi-sexual, by the way.

Did I miss anything?

So, here is where I ‘go off the reservation’ so-to-speak. ‘Show, don’t tell’? Who gets to decide if you I don’t show enough and tell too much? Folks, I have NEVER read a novel without some ‘tell,’ okay? Read JRR Tolkein’s “Silmarillion’ some time…there is so much ‘telling’ in that book that one would think one of the greatest novelists ever couldn’t write a novel to save his life! But of course, he has to ‘tell’ about how the elves and what not came to be, from what heavenly spirits, and the rest. Then you have books loaded with dialogue–in fact, one friend-turned-book-critic once told me that my two printed books had too much dialogue! “Too much telling,” she told me. After all, dialogue is kind of like telling, right? In my opinion, however, nothing SHOWS a character like his or her dialogue, and how he or she says it!

Where I really go off the reservation though is setting, for actual setting and in terms of where the characters are from and how they speak. I intend to fully explain the whys and what-fors of this issue in posts I have already written and just need the right time to post (since I am busy re-typing/re-writing my two printed books for e-book formatting purpose for sale on Kindle, Nook, Lulu, etc). But for now I will sum it up–since my characters are in a rock band of the 80s and 90s, and since I grew up in the 60s and 70s when British rock reigned supreme for the most part (beginning with the Beatles), and since I spent about two months there in mostly the southeast (Brighton area) and also met three twenty-somethings from Tyneside (Newcastle, of course) and I just loved hearing that Geordie accent… Okay, you get the idea. But just to make it a bit easier for me to deal with creating these books, roughly half of the settings in all my novels are in the US, either New York City or California between LA and San Fran. I grew up on Long Island and lived in NYC. I have visited southern and central California and know several folks from there  (and my brother and his family used to live near Silicon Valley). A number of supporting characters are Americans. Finally, for the most part, my Brit rocker characters spend most of their time in the most affluent part of England, which just happens to be the part of England I am most familiar with–the southeast, including the affluent county called Surrey. Thus, one really cannot accuse me of not knowing the settings and the ways of speaking (though I do use slang words every now and then that are more American than Brit, and one big mistake I made originally in the printed books was listing the dates American style instead of Brit style: instead of writing ‘the 15th of July’ I wrote “July 15.’ Or used the term ‘called’ instead of ‘rang’ on occasion…any slang terms I screwed up in my first two books will be rectified, I hope, in the e-books.

Finally, as I will explain in my posts that will be posted as soon as possible, my entire life generally does not ‘follow the script,’ and I’ve been for the most part a non-conformist my entire life.

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Keys to Formatting E-books for EPub and Various E-book Platforms Besides Kindle

I do hope that the author of books who also has the desire or urge to format their printed books into E-Books isn’t just considering formatting for Amazon Kindle. For one thing, Amazon’s payout looks to be a pittance compared to some of the other platforms, especially Lulu. Now I do intend to format for Kindle because everyone and his or her mother has a Kindle device, right? And I know it is a very good idea to format for Kindle–for one thing, a friend of mine who downloaded my Prodigal Band FREE PDF complained that it was hard for her to read the PDF on her Kindle! That is likely because the Kindle Create format is different from a PDF format, which is simply an export from Word or WordPerfect. So, to satisfy folks who only have a Kindle reader which uses MOBI formatting, I will just have to accept a lower payout. Oh well, such is Amazon and it’s money-craving owner, Jeff Bezos, who will never have enough money (and, BTW, he is NOT “the richest man in the world”–which he knows and that is likely why he craves more and more money…it’ll take him years to catch up to the richest man in the world, which is the head of the Rothschild Banking dynasty, not Bezos! Bezos is “only”” worth a trillion or so. Rothschild, who OWNES the Federal Reserve Band and other central banks, is likely half-way to quadrillionaire status….a quadrillion is a one followed by 15 zeros! or the number 10 to the 15th power!). When you have this kind of money, money becomes meaningless in a way.

In any case I have finished formatting Battle of the Band for Lulu’s EPub format which also allows e-book buyers to purchase the e-book from other “partners” such as Barnes and Noble’s Nook platform, Apples iBook, the various Smashwords outfits such as Toshiba Book Place, Kobo and others–and even Amazon! (Just not for Kindle Readers..one would have to download  another e-Reader such as Calibre E-book Reader.)

There are two very important formatting issues one must address when using the EPub formatting tool, the Guide which can be downloaded here. One is using the “Styles” tool when using Microsoft Word (best to use the newest version, but I used Word2013): the Title, Copyright, and Intro-Preface-Foreword-About the Author pages and other intro pages MUST use Heading 1, while Chapters must begin using Heading 2, and subsections using Heading 3. And a lower Heading must NOT be above a higher heading–and all Headings must begin on the very top line of the page (the regular printed words use Normal, with paragraph spacing). And speaking of paragraphs…

If your paragraphs are NOT formatted correctly, your book will be rejected…

This is because EPub format does NOT allow numbered pages and the way it is formatted is how the Table of Contents is created. If your Headings and paragraphs are not formatted correctly, the Table of Contents is garbled, and your book  will be rejected.

It is extremely important to follow exactly the Lulu EPub Guideline PDF book. Make sure you use either “In Line formatting” or “Block”…In Line for novels and Block for non-fiction, or whatever. Finally, format your paragraphs the same way for not just “normal” Style, but Headings 1, 2, and 3 as well, according to the Guide. Hint: Use indent only for Normal, and keep Headings 1, 2, and 3 at 0.0 indent.

Hints: One, click on the paragraph symbol at the very top of the document on the Home ribbon next to the W (Word Doc) and the refresh circle, and a “paragraph” window comes up. Follow the instructions for each Heading or Normal Style guideline. Two, once one’s indents and “First Line” under the “special” function are established, right click on all Headings 1, 2, and 3 as well as the Normal Style boxes and you will see in all cases the “Modify” function. In each case left-click on Modify and choose font (Times New Roman, Garamond or Ariel are the only fonts allowed; I use Times New Roman) and font size, with Heading 1 being the largest and Headings 2 and 3 being smaller, and Normal being the smallest (I use 36 for Heading 1, 24 for Heading 2, 14 for Heading 3, as well as italics, and 12 for Normal). After fonts are dealt with, then click on the Format button below at the left and do what you did for the original “paragraph” function (or just use this tool and forget the “paragraph” tool, it’ll work either way). But you must do this for EACH of your Styles Headings and Normal.

Finally, there are instructions for auto-typing and auto-formatting that the guide says must be done as well. Go to the main menu under the FILE TAB. Click on the Options tab, and then click on the Proofing, then click on Auto Correct Options, then follow the instructions in the Guide regarding “Auto-Format” and “Auto Format As You Type.”

To make sure you are formatting correctly, click on the little “paragraph” symbol in the “paragraph” box right next to where the “Normal” square is in Styles. You will then see the various “Paragraph” symbols up and down your page. Larger symbols must come before the smaller ones in order.

One last thing–do NOT put your cover art (or what Lulu calls “marketing image”) on the very first page of your book! The very first page MUST be the Title page! You will submit your cover art separately, and guidelines for cover art (number of pixels and size and colors) are a whole other set of instructions! If you don’t want to spend days and weeks creating your own cover, go to pexels.com and download your COPYRIGHT= and ROYALTY-FREE image which you can then modify with your book title, edition, and author name. And one last thing–your Title page MUST only include what’s on the cover, or your cover must only include what’s on the Title page….that is called “metadata”…

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Project Alert–Will Post More About My Books Soon (In Case You’re Wondering)

Right now I am working on turning my printed books, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band into e-books. That is, they need to be formatted for e-book purposes and sold through e-book outlets (several, in fact, not just Kindle or Nook.) That is, I have to re-type them! My printed books in 1995-6 and 1997-8 were formatted for ancient floppy discs on an ancient Macintosh LC475 computer using Mac OS 7.5! Both Mac computers (mother was an early PowerMac with Mac OS 8), both desktops, have had their hard drives removed and sold as scrap. Since I can no longer access these ancient computers (I now have a laptop with Windows 7, and no floppy drives anyway!), I am re-typing both books. Hopefully, Battle will be finished by the end of the year –and keep in mind, I have to format it according to specifications of the book seller, including a table of contents and a new cover.

Why? Because multiple people want me to do this, and because since I live way out of town it is not easy to go into town every time I have to send out one of my printed books. Our Post Office keeps weird hours, the price of gas is high in these rural areas, and my vehicle right now is not in good shape!

Here, and on my book blog, I will as soon as possible post articles about not only the characters and the story itself, but the factual events and historical narratives that these books are based on and drove me to write them. As I am re-typing Battle of the Band, I am realizing just how satirical it is! Since I’m not really into genres, the genre of “satire” might work for this one: genres–satire, horror, spiritual, adult.

But not “adult-adult” if you know what I mean. And I am taking out all the “f”-words if you know what I mean. The “s”-word is staying. My characters are my characters, right? Folks, I’ve never met a man who didn’t cuss–ever Christians cuss a lot!

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The Reality of Why I Wrote My Books–I Had To.

Divine inspiration–something!–caused me to go outside within the beauty of star-surging sky around midnight in the early 90s and receive a “message” to finally get those rock band characters out of my head and onto paper, and then computer. God? Angels? Spirits? Because it was not the devil or demons–the devil or demons would not want me to create a trilogy about a rock band fighting evil (and, after a miraculous event in 1997, accept Christ as Savior!).

Now my characters could not be goody-two-shoes-types or boys who could never do wrong or only sin occasionally. They could not be boys like we have out here in far west Texas that claim to strictly follow the Bible and wear jeans or regular pants and button-down shirts, having sisters and mothers that wear nothing but long skirts and their hair up in a knot…Mennonite, but not Mennonite. Folks, does a Christian writer have to write fiction only with “God-fearing” (or not) characters?

Now, a Christian writer can write what he or she wants and however God guides them, but darn it, before I truly became a believer in Christ I was a sinner. Period. I cussed like my characters do. I had sex out of wedlock, which is defined as fornication, I think. I also dabbled in the occult for a short time (until the occult scared the living daylights out of me!). I also dabbled in atheism, but, again, God made sure this wasn’t going to become a permanent mind set! I could spend all day telling how and what and why God gave me messages and events that set me straight.

And I will say again why my main characters make up a rock band–because growing up in the 60s, rock music was one of my main connections to the world and my friends and classmates and generation. Listening to the Beatles and others, watching shows like Ed Sullivan and music-act shows I cannot even remember the names of, reading in pop culture mags about this or that rocker, buying LPs–you know, vinyl records–learning and playing guitar and being for a short time in an actual rock band that didn’t accomplish much, but still…and having friends who dated other rock band members that also didn’t accomplish much… If not for that, my teen years wouldn’t have amounted to a hill of beans! I would have been a depressed teen-aged girl with no hope of ever fitting in. Being a non-conformist is fine, but being a non-conformist exclusively is never a good idea for a teenager. It is the teen and early twenties years where one must explore the world around them, and then make decisions–hopefully the right ones.

And my books follow that proper narrative: six teen boys discover their music abilities and talent and, given a lack of prim and proper upbringing, more or less, take advantage of that talent and aim at rock and roll stardom, fame and fortune, not realizing that stardom, fame and fortune are double-edged swords and can lead to evil. And, mirroring the reality of evil in the music business that I have done extensive research on starting in the 70s, especially as relates to the hidden agendas of those who ultimately run the business and still do today, I can honestly say that my characters and the story lines and plots of the Prodigal Band Trilogy accord with this research and truth regarding the business of recording and performing the music that has influenced young folks from the late 1950s onward.

These three novel works are partially based on factual events of which I will state in future posts on this site as well as my OmegaBooks blog.

I will now bring up one truth that appears in the Free e-book The Prodigal Band, as relates to ‘prayer rituals’ performed as the ‘master disc’ is produced–the master disc, both in the pre-digital age and today’s digital master age, is ritually ‘prayed’ over by the makers of the disc (recording artists, producer, engineers, and record label personnel, for instance). The link to the video below features John Todd, who, in the 60 and 70s before he became a believer in Christ, participated in these rituals as a big shot with Zodiac Productions. Zodiac Records, a major label in the 60s and 70s, had several top rock band acts. The link is below.

John Todd exposes master disc prayer rituals.

There are more videos on this topic as well on YouTube.

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Breaking News: Cost of Shipping Will Be the Same for All 50 US States

After sending copies of Battle of the Band and the Prophesied Band to various US states including Hawaii (but not Alaska, yet), I have discovered that basic rates for shipping to the various contiguous 48 states and Hawaii (by boat, that is–by plane it would be more expensive, and I do not want to add $3 or $4 more to the shipping cost…the packages they would be shipped in cost a little over a dollar)–that various shipping rates are basically the same, roughly $4.50 whether to Texas, Oregon, New York, or Hawaii.

Note: I was shocked to find how cheap it was to send a book to Hawaii! But it did take a while before the recipient got the book. Volcanoes, maybe?

Therefore, as one will see on the Bookstore page, all shipping costs for one single book will be $4.50 as long as it is being shipped within the US, and costs for shipping for both books will be $5.00 (since two books are being shipped in the same package).

Overseas costs will not change until I determine what the shipping cost to Canada or Europe would be. Keep in mind, both books are in the English language only.

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If I Can Start Self-Publishing With Almost No Money in the Age Before Online Self-Publishing and Social Media, Almost ANY Writer Can Do It Today

I have been on the WordPress Writer/Author scene since mid-February, 2018, and have read dozens of posts by newbies and established writers-authors and bloggers who have advice on writing and self-publishing. Read the advice, but, folks, you have to figure this one out yourselves, even if you lose money in the process. I am what one would call a “tactile learner,” that is, I learn by doing.

For instance, I learned by foolishly trying to transfer a domain from BlueHost, who claimed to be ICANN registered but aren’t (or else why would they send me an e-mail stating I needed to go through whois@BlueHost.com, when Whois is part of ICANN? WHOIS LOOK-UP is indeed part of ICANN), that transferring a domain is a fool’s errand unless you already have done such a thing in the past and succeeded. So, all I could do was withdraw my complaint against BlueHost. BlueHost can throw my domain I paid for in the trash, or hand it over to some whatever for free. When the domain comes up for renewal I will not be renewing it.

Back to the original storyline.

In 1995, I completed my first book for print—there was no online e-book platform back then that I could access since we didn’t have internet until 1998 anyway. The novel is called Battle of the Band, and, in those days if you didn’t have one of the Big Publishers as well as a literary agent, you either spent thousands with a vanity publisher (a very bad idea…paying them thousands, while you STILL had to market the books yourself! And you also had to sell the books yourself!), or you spent your own money on setting up your own indy self-publishing company, getting your ISBNs, sending your book to the Library of Congress for registration (usually two copies), and paying to get the book printed. No problem—unless you unwisely got more copies printed than you knew you could sell on your own. In fact, I believe that was truly the only mistake I made: I got 1,000 copies (and over-copies besides) printed when I probably should have gotten only a few hundred.

By 1998, when I had completed the second novel in the trilogy, The Prophesied Band, I only ordered a hundred (plus over-copies), and because of that, actually made a small profit. Lesson learned. And, when we got the internet—dialup—I got with a company called BookZone, was interviewed by some BookZone woman, and sold some copies through them. But mostly, I sold copies on my own.

But here is the beauty of it: ALL copies of these two books were sold with NO ADVERTISING COSTS (at a very to cost to BookZone…they got minimal take from their sales, but that’s it)! The only advertising I did besides BookZone was showing up at buy-sell-trade events like the local Fourth-of-July festival or the Writer’s Conferences held by a local writer’s group called the Texas Mountain Trail Writers, or doing press releases in the local papers.

So I didn’t make much money with OmegaBooks back then. But I did get the experience of self-publishing through my own indy publishing company. And I did it when I was mothering and home schooling two young children. And other motherly and wife-ly chores. And not earning any money in the process other than some book sales.

Fast forward to today. After working five years as an office manager for the local Property Owners Association, I retired what with the kids in or out of college on their own. In 2016, I got serious and began on the completion of what has been posted, the FREE PDF novel, The Prodigal Band (which tells the whole story from beginning to end), here. Because I had been working and saving money for this effort, I now have the funds at my disposal (and am on Social Security and Medicare—most of the savings I have made will go toward medical expenses, which are outrageous in the USA…and dammit if I need to I’ll get it done in Mexico! I don’t live far from the border). But OmegaBooks will get what is needed.

As I’ve said in other posts I had been rejected by big publishers and literary agents, so I had no other recourse but to do it myself. But now? Writers and authors, you do not even need a big publisher and you certainly don’t need a literary agent unless you’re a “celebrity” or something who likely doesn’t even write the thing! And don’t literary agents take a big swipe out of your take? Let alone big publishers? Go back to read here my post on how Stephen King got screwed before he became a celebrated author.

If you have the time to write, you have the time to set up your own company, your own website, your own Amazon or whatever account, your own PDFs (using Word or WordPerfect—both can now be immediately exported to PDF), get your own ISBNs and Library of Congress registrations for $55 (which guarantees your copyright against Adobe Acrobat-owning pirates who download your book, then steal from it trying to ‘copyright’ what they have stolen!) and DMCA-documentation as well for a measly six bucks! Also, copyright anything you put online or any portions of your online books on your sites. Put your book on a Cloud format (such as Adobe Acrobat DC Cloud or Google Cloud or whatever)? Make sure you copyright it for real and submit to the Library of Congress.

If a 65-year-old non-tech-savvy person can do it, so can you.

If you are Christian? As the song What a Friend We Have in Jesus says, ‘Never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer.’

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Good News! This Site Is Succeeding!

Sorry about the lack of posts here and on my Omega Books blog. But it has been a very busy last couple of weeks. For one thing I have been ‘re-hired’ by the local POA board to help mentor the new POA office manager, about ten hours a week at 15 an hour.

Plus I am  mentoring a Christian writer who is working on his first fiction novel, and has a WordPress blog as well.

Finally, a couple who run a news website   that may be one of the few ‘non-click-bait’ alt-news sites out there, and consider me a friend of sorts, have posted FREE ADVERTISING for my two printed books and my FREE PDF e-book! Because of these free ads, I am now getting at least one or two and sometimes more DOWNLOADS of my free e-book as well as now book sales, daily! I recently sent a copy of Battle of the Band to Hawaii! The book buyer lives on the ‘Big Island’ where that volcano is, so prayers for her are in order. Keep safe my friend, and God be with you!

Hopefully soon I will be putting up a PayPal button link so one can buy my books using e-checks, which is a lot easier payment method than sending cash or check. Further, it will allow me to post more exact shipping charges. The book I sent to Hawaii was shipped a lot cheaper than I thought it would be shipped, so I’ll owe the buyer a refund of sorts. I would rather have gotten it right the first time!

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Spiritual

Moving on to the spiritual aspect of why I wrote these books…

In the fall of 1993, at night with the myriad of star-shine visions outside the house at night in the mountains, a view of the heavens, thinking some divine entity was hovering above, a thought came into my head, in my own voice, telling me that now was the time to begin to compile all the character and theme and setting and story and all the stuff I had carried in my head since the mid-60s. The time to write the novel was nigh….

Since I was raising a toddler daughter at the time, I had limited time to do this work, but I managed to get the rough draft manuscript done by the summer of 1994 only to have to go back to work teaching secondary math–in El Paso, in what was then a ‘gang land high school’ and put up with not only gangster students but a principal that couldn’t handle gangster students (the ONLY time I noticed serious discipline in the hallways was the one week this so-called principal was at a conference in Washington, DC! During that week, the assistant principals and security guards were actually able to do their jobs, and not one student of mine tried sneaking out of class or wanted to roam the halls…the only time this happened!) After the kids went to bed at night, when I wasn’t grading tests or whatever, I edited the rough-rough-rough draft. I quit the teaching job in June, 1995.

That summer I began the actual rough draft on someone else’s Macintosh computer, from 6 am until 8 am, when I had to go back home to home school my kids. In fall of 1995 I bought my own Mac computer with System 7.5. When I had time, I finalized the first novel, Battle of the Band, which was completed in 1996–after a writer/retired teacher friend of mine Beta Edited the novel twice.

And what she told me through her proof-reading/editing caused me to think maybe divine intervention WAS at work in this first book:

Read the rest here.

Download the FREE The Prodigal Band PDF e-book here.

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Get the Word Out About Your Books? Start with Your Neighbors

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As I have said in previous posts about how I began selling my first self-published novel, Battle of the Band, in 1996 WITH NO MONEY SPENT ON ADVERTISING, I was able to sell between 200 and 300 books within the first two years of its publishing and printing SOLELY by selling at the following:

  1. Local writer conferences (I belong to Texas Mountain Trail Writers)
  2. Neighborhood stores on consignment
  3. BookZone, an early indy book publishing platform that did charge a small fee.
  4. Just talking about the books to neighbors
  5. Local events such as the Fourth of July parade and vendor fair, again paying a small fee to set up a booth.
  6. “Press releases” in local papers.

And this, folks, happened in far west Texas, the Big Bend area, in which the largest town, Alpine, has a population of about 5,000 people! The closest town to me is Fort Davis, population about 800. The POA I live in had a population at that time of about 200, now it is closer to 400 full-time residents. And, while there were folks in other towns such as Alpine that bought my books, the book store in Alpine refused to sell them on consignment. The book store in Fort Davis sold a couple; the local store in my POA sold a few. BookZone sold a few, but not enough to cause me to keep paying their fee, so I closed that account in 1999.

As to sales of Battle of the Band, at least 90 percent of sales came through three sources: the writer conferences, the local vendor events, and getting with neighbors. As for the second book, The Prophesied Band, with about 60 copies sold (I only got 100 printed…I learned my lesson about getting too many copies printed), most of those sales were again due to the conferences, vendor events and getting with neighbors.

Small indy publishers and self-published authors MUST be smart about spending money on advertising, on-line and off-line, even if you are just creating e-books for sale on Amazon or your own store. At some point you are going to want to get your books printed—don’t forget, there are still people out there who either don’t have internet or spend little time on the internet or don’t buy stuff online.

My suggestion (because for me it works)? Either print your books (if the books are fiction, I’d say no more than 250 books on your first printing) or create e-books, then sell them at local events or writer conferences you attend and among your local writer’s group AND create cards and flyers with some kind advertising with links to your e-books you sell yourself (or give away) or through Amazon or other platform, and do whatever you have to do to get the word out to your neighbors. If I can do this in a very rural remote area of only 400 people and still sell some books myself just by telling them about the books, then anyone can.

Note: This past Saturday our local POA had a “spring fling” vendor event—buy/sell/trade/swap/garage sale—with donations to the local volunteer fire dept., sponsored by the local non-denominational church. About 100 people showed up, and I sold ten books! I’d say my method works!

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Read the Privacy Policy!

Especially if you want to buy my OmegaBooks novels and download the FREE The Prodigal Band PDF e-book AND you are a citizen of any European Union nation including the English-speaking UK and Ireland (since my products are exclusively in English!…and my main novel characters are English!)

Here is the link to the OmegaBooks Privacy Policy.

This Privacy Policy is new, just formed on May 21, 2018 to COMPLY with the new GDPR rules of the European Union regarding data policy as well as private information necessary for OmegaBooks to sell to European Union nation citizens my printed books, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band, as well as give away my FREE PDF e-book, The Prodigal Band.

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BOOKSTORE Is Set To Go!

I just added a Book Store link so one can purchase one of the printed Prodigal Band Trilogy novels, Battle of the Band or The Prophesied Band, or BOTH! When you purchase BOTH in the same order you save $5.00 on the cost of the books as well as saving on shipping costs!

To purchase either or both books at once, click here!

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 5

In Part 1, I stated why I became a writer-story-teller. In Part 2, I stated why the characters I made up were a gang and then a rock band. In Part 3, I stated why the rock band morphed into one from England, and in Part 4, why they were from northeast England, where the initial setting would occur. Now is Part 5, discussing the various changes I made over the next twenty or so years from 1970 until the final version of the first novel in the series, Battle of the Band, was published, that set the stage for the next two books, including the FREE PDF of The Prodigal Band.

Read the rest here.

Download the FREE PDF The Prodigal Band here.

 

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 4

Continued from Part 3 , the four of us—my friend and I and two college students—parked the van we rented in the overnight parking lot next to the ferry dock for the Isle of Wight to head for the Isle of Wight Rock Festival the following morning. Next to our van was another van, and next to us in front of that van were three men likely in their twenties that really only I spoke with, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Of the three, I could only really understand one of them; the other two had much thicker Geordie accents. No matter, the accent was fascinating (and, in fact, most English accents are somewhat fascinating).

Read the rest here.

Download the FREE The Prodigal Band PDF e-book here.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 3

Continued from Part 2:  I said my boy diary characters became a gang, but not a drug gang or s violent gang. Just a close knit group of boys, and all these teen boys had girlfriends. Remember, this was fantasy stuff in my fake persona diary that I kept, basically, because I loved writing and writing about a persona that was very popular among boys literally kept me sane (even if it seems as though making up fantasy personas seems insane! I will say this: I am sure any friends I had did think I was a bit on the weird side because I was such a non-conformist. And love of rock music was almost the only way I knew I could fit in with ‘the crowd’).

But, as rock music went psychedelic beginning with the 1967 ‘summer of love’ in San Fran’s Haight-Ashbury district, hippie central, and the release of the landmark Beatles’ album, Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—you know, the one with Aliester Crowley on the cover—I suddenly found myself absorbed in this music and decided I wanted to learn guitar.

Read the rest on the OmegaBooks Blog: The Prodigal Band Trilogy, the Why, Part 3 here.

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The Prodigal Band Trilogy: The Why, Part 2

Continuing from Part 1, here, no boy would dance with me in the public school gym on rainy days, so I pretended they would using a fictional diary character, a “new persona” so to speak, just to make myself feel like I was okay and not the ‘D-lister’ I imagined everyone else thought I was. I didn’t even think my neighborhood friends thought I was up to snuff (and I don’t mean “snuff film snuff” either! If this happened to day I’d have been called a “geek” or “emo”). Four of the fictional diary boys later became four of my Prodigal Band fictional characters.

But in late December, 1963, before school was let out for Christmas vacation, I noticed a magazine picture on a shelf along the blackboard wall headed out the door….

Read the rest of this blog post here.

 

Download the FREE Prodigal Band PDF here.

 

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New Blog Post May 4, 2018 on Omegabooks Blog

Want to know why I got this entire Prodigal Band project started in 1962-1963? At the age or 9?

Click Here to find out what led me to begin this adventure!

Download the FREE PDF The Prodigal Band here. Or read the Prologue here.

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On This National Day of Prayer

I just have a few minutes left to pray to ask my Father God and His Son my Lord and Savior Christ to turn the hearts, minds, and souls from evil and accept Jesus Christ as Savior. And to thank God for giving me the writing “mission” He gave me which, I pray, will turn hearts, minds, and souls to Good,  His will be done. In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

The Prodigal Band FREE PDF download by clicking here

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Finally! The Prodigal Band FREE PDF Download is Available!

Again, FINALLY! After working for a month thanks to BlueHost’s screw-up and my own pissy reaction to this screw up, and a week of setting up this site having almost no tech background at all (since html went by the wayside years ago), I, by, indeed, the Grace of God, have finally gotten my finalized The Prodigal Band FREE PDF registered at the Library of Congress yesterday (April 30, 2018) and the site set up yesterday afternoon and evening.

Further, I “cleaned up” the manuscript text some. Thanks to Allyson Kennedy of Authoring Arrowheads  I was motivated to get rid of SOME of the cussing through my characters (but not all of it…I want my characters I created as a teenager to be seen as real people, and don’t most folks cuss every now and then, including Christians?), and wanted to clean up some of the “sex scenes” because, after all, someone under the age of 21 might want to download the book–I really don’t want to be sued by their parents for ‘indecent exposure’! So that, instead of “so-and-so” did “such-and-such” to “so-and-so”  in a more graphic way, I changed it to “so-and-so” “made love” or “had sex” or “lit into” or some other much less graphic type language.

Why? “Edify” as the Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:29. It’s in the Bible.

Generally I do not assign a “genre” to my books. Allyson Kennedy, for instance, writes Christian fiction. Now, anyone can read Christian fiction, but I assume mostly Christians read Christian fiction. I am Christian, but my “mission from God” (and I cam NOT stealing from the movie Blues Brothers here!) is to write to NON-Christians. Thus, I would call this e-book (and my two printed books Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band) within the “spiritual” genre if there is such a thing. It was GOD, not me or my parents or ancestors, that gave me the talent and motivation to write these books.

Here is the link to the page from where one can download the FREE PDF (I could link directly to the e-book for download, but below the link is the entire Prologue to read, and then one can decide if they want the FREE e-book or not):

The Prodigal Band FREE PDF

 

 

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Just for Fun: Country Name Words Used Often, or Sometimes, in the English Language (with usually different spellings)

Can you name five or six nations that have names that are also common (or not so common) to the English language?

Rules:

  1. They cannot be names of people UNLESS the word is also used to describe an item or thing. Names like Israel, Jordan, Georgia do not apply.
  2. They must be commonly referred to by a single word only. Names like Czech Republic do not apply.
  3.  They must be single words, not country names that in English would contain two or more words. Names like Denmark (den and mark), Iceland (ice and land) do not apply.
  4. They must be independent nations, not colonies, overseas territories, commonwealths, or groups of islands forming a nation, such as Micronesia.
  5.  They must be defined as English words with proper pronunciations that are English. Meaning Chile is out…while many still pronounce Chile as “chilly” or “chili” the proper dictionary pronunciations is CHI-LAY (the Spanish e being a long a sound) Other names like Ecuador, which is Spanish for “equator” are out. Also, Qatar, which is often pronounced “cutter,” is also out; it is pronounced “cotter” or “cot-tar.” (and not “guitar” either!)

I will provide one example just to make sure folks know what I mean:  Greece. Because Greece is pronounced like the word “grease.” The example of Greece ought to give you a hint as for two more nations with English word names. The other two won’t be so easy.

Have at it in the comment box below.

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Welcome to Another Fine Adventure With OmegaBooks! This Could Be It, Folks!

After NOT BEING ABLE to transfer my ‘omegabooks.net’ domain from BlueHost, as if they were stealing my paid for domain just because they could–maybe they didn’t and maybe I screwed up but I’ll never know the truth of it…BlueHost employees work for BlueHost, not their customers….I mean, isn’t that the mindset these days?–because when I unlocked the domain on BlueHost, then got a “secret code” called an EPP after I removed Privacy from the domain on BlueHost (it was the “privacy” thing that got me into trouble in the first place, but I am 65, am not a techie, so what did I know?), I got an e-mail from WordPress about “following instructions on an e-mail from ‘whois@BlueHost.com'” and, since BlueHost DELETED my domain site, I could NOT access any e-mail at ‘whois@BlueHost.com’! And no techie help at BlueHost solved this issue, so now basically BlueHost controls my paid for domain, ‘omegabooks.net.’

So this is what I am doing. WordPress, for some reason–good for WordPress–gave me a free domain, namely, what you see in the URL location atop your browser, ‘omegabooksnet.wordpress.com’ that is a FREE DOMAIN that I can turn into an actual ‘omegabooks.net’ website on WordPress WITHOUT having to pay for the domain again! But I will have to pay the $96 for the Premium plan. Fine. I was going to do this anyway if BlueHost would have done the right thing and allowed the domain to be transferred.

So it is this site on where I will either post the FREE PDF version of The Prodigal Band, or a link to it on a cloud server or whatever. Plus, I will be selling, either using PayPal or Amazon or some other platform my two already printed first two novels of the Prodigal Band Trilogy, Battle of the Band and The Prophesied Band. I will also be linking back and forth from my other Omega Books site