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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Meet Chris Davis, Author

Chris Davis is the author of a new young adult novel, The Adventures Of Merrick The Viking. You can learn more about the book by visiting www.theadventuresofmerricktheviking.com. The novel is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. See also this link to find the book in other ebook formats.

1. What gave you the idea to write The Adventures Of Merrick The Viking?

I really started looking at time periods that intrigued me, and I am a bit of a day dreamer, so I would wonder what it must have been like to grow up as a young teen in about 700 to 900 AD when all of Europe is still new and pre-America. So one thing led to another, and my protagonist turned out to be a young boy who happened to come from a long line of extremely well-crafted boat builders in a small Viking village. From there the adventure starts.

2. Have you always been interested in the history of Vikings and Scandinavia?

I have been an admirer of history and how cultures evolved over time, and I am particularly interested in the Viking and Irish culture, but mostly the advancements in trade and influences on culture not necessarily on the violent history. I also tried not to mention any exact locations or historical names, just more of a reference. Also, I added in some hidden fun references to the Viking famous folklore.

3. Would you tell us a little more about the character of Merrick and what he experiences during the course of the book?

The main character is Merrick, and I am writing this as a series of books with Merrick as the main character. He starts off around 16 to 17 years old, forced out of his village, and he really finds himself growing up pretty fast. Luckily for him, he has special traits that make him unique. He finds himself in survival mode but still keeps his adventurous personality as a coming of age teen. Plus, yes, once he makes it into an Ireland, he happens to start a new romance with a real headstrong Irish redhead girl, Kira, that keeps him in check.

4. What do you see as the challenges of writing for a young adult audience, and what do you most enjoy about writing for this audience?

I see the challenges of a writer these days is a difference with how young readers want immediate action and also wants to follow and enjoy characters into series of books, letting their imagination turn page by page. My biggest obstacle was from the beginning: it is hard to market a book with Vikings that is not gruesomely violent, but I do have to acknowledge, yes, in history they did have groups of Vikings that plundered and destroyed villages, so I am carefully keeping the story more on a positive adventure.

5. Are you working on any new writing projects at the moment?

Yes, I am currently writing the second book in the series which I refer to as Merrick Book 2 and should be a similar style and design so this should make for happy readers to continue the journey. To me I am just fascinated of the time to pull your boat up into an unknown port and be able to communicate and trade your goods--plus exchange ideas, technology, techniques, and food items. Even how that time period was able to put a universal price on their goods and services.

Thanks, Chris!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Meet Nicole M. from EmailOnDeck

EmailOnDeck was founded on the belief that you shouldn't have to give your personal email address to anyone who demands it. It was built by a few privacy-minded engineers with extensive backgrounds in email/SMTP systems and software. EmailOnDeck provides free temporary email addresses for everyone to use. Learn more by visiting: https://www.emailondeck.com.

1. What was the inspiration behind starting EmailOnDeck?

We feel that the internet is becoming a place where every site seems to be demanding your personal information just to access the site. We still believe that the internet is like your local library: what you research and learn about online is nobody's business but your own. More practically, there's an issue of providing your personal email address to a web site you've just visited for the first time. A common concern is: "What will this website do with my personal email if I give it to them?" Websites frequently sell your email address, and ultimately that can lead to one receiving SPAM which could include viruses and phishing emails. We built this service in hopes of allowing one to help retain and protect their online privacy.

2. What sets this project apart from other free email providers?

EmailOnDeck proactively focuses on providing you with temporary emails that work. With access to a large domain pool, EmailOnDeck can create a greater variety of temporary email address increasing the difficulty of advertisers tracking you online. EmailOnDeck also provides you with your own private temporary email inbox; it is not a public inbox for all to view. Finally, once you are done with your temporary email address, it will automatically be securely wiped and all emails securely erased in order to ensure your privacy.

3. When are the times that someone might want to use a temporary email, instead of something like a "backup" email aside from their primary one?

Any website that asks for your email before letting you visit or view their site. This is a great way to protect yourself from untrustworthy sites. Once you get comfortable with a website, then you can decide if you would like to provide your personal email address to them.

Interestingly, though, I actually like to point out when it's not a good time to use a temporary email address. If you're going to be giving a company your credit card number or mailing address, using a temporary email can actually make things more difficult. First of all, they have your personal information, so you're not really being much more private. Secondly, if the company needs to send you an email to confirm your purchase or subscription in a few months, you would no longer have access to that temporary email.

4. How do you keep your service available for free?

Since we're constantly securely wiping emails, our storage costs are very low. We do place non-intrusive ads on certain pages of the web site. We also have plans to provide a paid "pro" version that's ad-free and provides more convenient features. More on that soon...

5. In addition to using a temporary email address, what else do people need to do to protect their privacy when using their computers, tablets, and phones?

If you can clear your cookies and cache after you're done browsing the web, that would be your first basic step. If you are willing to learn (just a bit) about blocking javascript, you can really increase your security by using a browser extension called NoScript. And finally, check out Privacy.com for a way to create virtual credit cards--very cool because vendors will never have access to your actual credit card. This is a life-saver for anyone that has ever been a victim of credit card fraud.

Thanks, Nicole!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Meet Andy Williams, Author and Publisher

Andy Williams is the author and publisher of My Favorites Are The Herbivores. How To Make Friends With A Plant Eating Dinosaur, a children's fantasy book for ages 6-9. The book is available for download as a Kindle ebook.

1. Why do you think kids enjoy both fiction and nonfiction stories about dinosaurs so much?

I believe that kids feel safe about creatures that supposedly existed in the past who were frightening and dangerous. Learning about their characteristics in a secure context such as books makes children eager to confront scary issues. Kids really believe they are protected now from being conquered by dinosaurs. This especially includes making new friends and getting along with different sorts of people. A fantasy adventure such as My Favorites are the Herbivores. How to Make Friends with a Plant Eating Dinosaur will definitely help kids build boundaries to lay a strong foundation for their lives.

2. What do you like best about publishing books for children?

I felt that being the book's publisher gave me a new understanding of how children process information about life's journeys. The additional illustrations that come with book have given me expectation that this ebook has the power to uplift children's imaginations, no matter how strange they may seem to parents and other care-givers.

3. As a children's author, what are the advantages of publishing for the Kindle format?

The benefit that publishing for Kindle provides is they have a really large audience for this specific category. Further, they are keen to spread the word about books in their network once they reach a certain level of readership. This kind of PR helps authors along with their other halves to make decent income and promote the brand. Who can refuse publicity? Certainly not us!

4. What else would you like readers to know about you and your work?

As a children's fiction and non-fiction provider, I would like children and their guardians to have something interesting, such as a ten page ebook, that is accessible and affordable. Kindle does a good job with the task. Other platforms are also catching up with sort of advertising online. Children's fiction and non-fiction portray another time. It allows them to experiment with their feelings while they face different realities. One reviewer on Kindle have even given My Favorites are the Herbivores. How to Make Friends with a Plant Eating Dinosaur, a 5 star rating. It is a privilege to bring hope and a bright future to a child and have no doubt that similar minded educators feel the same as I.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Meet Dahshanae, Singer, Songwriter, and Producer

Dahshanae Denise Jones, known as Dahshanae,is a singer, songwriter, producer, actress, and dancer from Chicago. Check out her latest song, "Sashay," on SoundCloud.

Dahshanae is currently managing her little brother's career as a upcoming rapper. He has a project coming out in June called G.A.S. Her oldest brother is also a rapper named Tazzie H, and he and Chewy Bandzz just came out with a song called "Rock," which is also on SoundCloud right now and doing amazing. Dahshanae was the director and shot the video for this song.

You can keep up with Dahshnae on Twitter as well as Instagram. Her website is at www.Dahshanae.com.

1. How did your career as a singer/songwriter get started, and would you tell us a little bit more about your family members being involved in music as well?

I've always had a passion for music since I was little. My entire family is like a boombox. When I was about 9 or 10 years old, I started a singing group with my two cousins and we called ourselves The Talented Angels. We were like the young Destiny's Child, and I was Beyonce lol. We used to perform for family functions, and then we evolved to talent shows and competitions. I would always choreograph our dances and write our songs, if we weren't performing someone else's. It was nothing but great times.

As of now, I am a solo artist, of course and that venture is always exciting working on my projects and working with my brothers, Tazzie H and Kaza Block, who are both amazing upcoming artists.

2. What was your process like in producing your latest project, the "98:An Imperfect Masterpiece" EP?

Now that was an amazing experience I will never forget! I always knew that when I put out my first big project, I wanted to produce it myself, and that's exactly what I did. Every aspect of that project came from a soft spot in my heart for 90's music, and I love how everything came together. My whole thing was, this era of music is nothing compared to the 90's era, and one of my favorite things about music from that time was the pureness and how it made you feel. It made you feel things you didn't know you could, and I just wish we could bring back that aspect of music we so desperately need in this generation.

3. How have people been responding so far to your new single, "Sashay"?

I've been getting a lot of feedback and positive vibes so far! I hope that more people listen to it and love it as much as I do.

4. Who do you look to in the industry--are there people you see as reference points for your own work?

I look up to strong woman in the industry who continues to make the impossible possible. I love to listen to artist like Beyonce, of course, but I love Janet Jackson, Erukah Badu, Jill Scott, Amy Winehouse, Kehlani, and the list goes on. I also look up women outside of music like Taraji P. Henson, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine, Monique, Viola Davis, and the list goes on again. I like to take from those amazing women when it comes to patience, creativity, and confidence.

5. What are you working on now, and what projects are coming up for you over the next year?

I'm literally the multitasking queen right now lol. I'm of course working on my music. I'm working on a few special projects that will be released this year. I also recently came out with my official merchandise, which is on my website right now. I'm working on some modeling and acting projects, and I'm in the process of writing books and so much much.

I am also working with my two brothers. Tazzie H and Chewy Bandzz just came out with a hot song called "Rock" on SoundCloud. I shot the video for the track and their working on a dope project for July. My younger brother, Kaza Block, is also releasing a dope project for June called "G.A.S". Right know, we're all just non-stop working and can't wait for everyone to see what we're made of.

Thanks, Dahshanae!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Meet Christopher John Scruton of Anarchy Brothers Press

Christopher John Scruton is the owner and operator of Anarchy Brothers Press, an independent comic book publisher and digital store. Passionate about writing from the age of nine, he had a rough upbringing and often turned to comic books as a refuge away from the horror around him. He was born with a learning disorder, and in elementary school, a teacher sexually molested him. That teacher never served any time in prison, and as a result, Christopher has been distrustful of authority figures throughout his life.

In high school, Christopher was a victim of bullying, called names like "faggot" by his peers and "lost cause" by his teachers. Shy and soft-spoken, he kept his head down until graduation, at which point he matriculated into the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in order to study computer animation. There, he honed his skills as an artist and expanded his mind by experimenting with substances such as marijuana and LSD.

Outside of comic books, Christopher is interested in punk music and tattoos.

1. When you were a kid, what drew you to writing as an art form?

I don't remember when what drew me to writing. All I remember is when there was computer in front of me, I began to write. I haven't stopped writing and have no plans to stop writing. If there is a day when I stopped writing, it would be the day I ran out of stories.

2. How did you decide to start writing comic books?

I started writing books. Nothing got published, but I think over time I kind of lost passion on writing books. I always loved reading comics, and I still remember every comic I read. So one day I decided: I'm going to write and create my own comics. I still love writing--it is just that I chosen a different medium.

3. How do you come up with the images for your comics?

The best way to describe this is I am creating a storyboard, and I am the director. I have to know where the camera is and how much lighting the scene needs. Sometimes there are images that don't go into comics and I have to know where I want to take this story.

4. What inspired you to start Anarchy Brothers Press, and how did you choose the name for the project?

When I was writing books, I was rejected by many, many book agencies. I thought there had to be one person out there who liked my work, but the more I got rejected, I kind of felt no one wanted to hear about what I was working on. So I decided that to hell with all the agencies who rejected me--I am going to start my own publishing company. It first started out to be an independent publishing company, and it evolved into a comic book publishing company. The name came from being a punk: I can do things for myself and the love of being that there is no government, but anarchy. Also, I dedicated this company to my brothers who are no blood related, but I feel that they are brothers from another mother.

5. What are you working on currently, and is there anything else you'd like people to know about your work?

Right now I am working on issue number 4 of Dark Web Stories. It is called The Hunters vs The Preys. It is about the story of The Most Dangerous Game but it does have a twist. It is about the rich that are willing to hunt people who are poor and not just kill them, but to bet on them on the internet on who can survives the longest.

My work is kind of dark. I don't like fan fiction, but if there is a movie or video game I played, my mind looks at it and I start to think I can create a story out it and all of it is original. For example, one of my comics, I Have No Use For A Name, is about the apocalypse. There have been many comics and movies about the apocalypse, but these other stories don't take up subjects that no one wants to talk about, like pedophilia.

I always had distrusted people of authority and that shows up a lot in my work. The thing is I don't believe if someone is a cop or the president that means you have to respect them no matter. The thing is you have to earn my respect.

Thanks, Christopher!