THE AFRICAN CONNECTION – Now Available in KINDLE & Paperback

Genre & Sub-genre:  Magical Realism/Action & Adventure/Time Travel/Fantasy

The enigmatic tiny flying being name Bee whisks Francis Frick and a young Hatty Parker twenty-five years into the past in the heart of Africa, hot on the trail of master international criminal Heinrich Ulrich.

Meet BEE: a strange child-like creature who has been “haunting” businessman Francis Frick for years – now they are partners in a strange, time-traveling type of way as they head twenty-five years into the past hot on the trail of international criminal Heinrich Ulrich.

Meet ASH: Bee’s faithful warrior companion, but he has many unexpected threats to overcome if Bee will ever be satisfied.

Meet HATTY: a young woman with a heart for serving the needy in Africa. But when she discovers what her boss Monroe has been up to, her path mysteriously crosses with that of Francis Frick and Bee.

Meet HADDOCK: the faithful lackey of Mr Frick. The errand boy who’s been doing Frick’s dirty deeds for years. But now he is tasked to discover Frick’s ancestral roots in Scotland. What he finds is something otherworldly!

Meet ADAMS & O’MALLEY: Two hard-nosed FBI agents who have been trying to link Frick with Ulrich. But now they too will be entangled in the the strange adventure.

Meet RUTHY FRICK: Middle-aged daughter of Francis Frick, who has endured every bit of verbal abuse from her father that a woman can take. Why can’t she turn away from him?

Meet ZETTE: The hideous creature from beyond who tries to thwarts Bee’s plans on earth. But things may not be as they appear on the surface.

Shocking secrets, twists and turns, laughs and suspense: THE AFRICAN CONNECTION will take you on a whirlwind adventure around the globe with a cast of unforgettable characters.

AVAILABLE NOW (JULY 6, 2018): BOOK TWO: THE AFRICAN CONNECTION  (KINDLE & PAPERBACK)

BOOK ONE (DECEMBER 2017): A MAN TOO OLD for a PLACE TOO FAR

BOOK THREE: Coming in 2019

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The and Teh: How My Brain Teases Me

I spend a lot of time punching out words on a keyboard. I am a fairly fast and accurate typist, thankfully. It was the best skill I ever learned in high school, and the only one I still remember. I took a business class and during one six-week period we studied typing on those lovely old electric typewriters. I never would have suspected that the burgeoning era of personal computering was right around the corner, but when it arrived, I already knew how to type. I couldn’t be happier especially after I’ve seen my fair share of hunt and peckers throughout my days.

But, even on a good day, any typist will make mistakes. One mistake which I have been making a lot lately is I’ve been typing TEH for the THE. Now any general observer might thing that’s a just a mistaken switch of two letters rendering a meaningless word that I must swiftly correct. However, if you have ever visited Malaysia, you will know that ‘teh’ is not a random word. It means ‘tea’ and it forms the beginning of one of my favorite drinks in the world – a drink so luscious and rich that I think about it all the time – now literally all the time when my ‘the’ becomes ‘teh.’ What is this lusciousness called? teh ais

Literal translation is ‘tea ice’ but this is not your standard ice tea of America. Ha. I scoff. It is the wonderful Malaysian pulled-tea (teh tarik) with ice added to it. It is a tempting blend of black tea, ice, and sweetened condensed milk, blended to an incredibly satisfying concoction which couldn’t be a better compliment to the spicy and fragrant dishes which used to accompany me every lunch in Malaysia.

Every typing mistake ‘teh’ brings me back to the hold and smoldering lunch stalls with fans buzzing wickedly overhead and so much sizzle and smoke in the air that it was sometimes hard to breathe. Ah, I miss it!

I don’t know whether to thank or scold my typing skills. Are my mistakes trying to taunt me, or are they bringing back the good memories for me to savor?

Ah, teh ais. Here’s to you:

A Teh Tarik Master

 

Publishing 7, Writing 8, Planning 9

I guess I’m hopelessly a writer. It doesn’t depend on how many are reading my works. They continue. I couldn’t stop them if I tried, and it’s all rather exciting.

I’m on the brink of publishing my 7th novel,  THE AFRICAN CONNECTION, which is part two of my new trilogy entitled THE FORGOTTEN CHILD TRILOGY.  I’m currently writing my eighth novel which will conclude the trilogy. Today is a wonderful writing day. Already clocked in over 3600 words and it’s only 1:30 PM. I’m rearing to go. Watch out.

At the same time, I’m ready a book which is part of my research for novel #9 in the works which I will completely keep under wraps at this point. I absolutely can’t wait to get to it though. I will tell you the genre: alternate history, and I’m finding it absolutely fascinating to plan it out. It will once again be different from anything I’ve ever written.

That actually seems to be a theme for me. Try something new. It’s not necessarily a great way to market yourself: watch out, the next book may be different. I’ve had reviewers, actually, which have commented how different my books are from release to release, but luckily, they have said they have liked them all. That’s a blessing, of course.

I write what comes to my heart. I have never thought about what readers would like. I suppose that has hurt my marketability. But I have to be true to who I am and what is going on inside of me. If people love to read it, great. If not, well, maybe next time.

But for me it’s always about writing the very best story which is currently on my heart.

What do you think? Is that silly? Noble? Insane in this day and age?

No matter, it’s what I love to do. And so, this blog post is simply a short break from novel 8. So back at it.

Hope to see you in the pages.

50% OFF – Pre-Order of “The African Connection” Thru July 6

Kindle pre-orders of The African Connection – part 2 of The Forgotten Child Trilogy – are now at 50% off – only $1.99 – through July 6. Don’t miss this exciting adventure of a Manhattan businessman who is visited by an enigmatic flying being, thrusting him into bizarre time-travel adventures throughout the 20th century.  This is contemporary, time-travel, and magical realism at its best. Oh yes, slightly dipped in fantasy.

Pre-Order HERE for only $1.99

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Pre-Order Now Available: The African Connection

THE AFRICAN CONNECTION, book 2 of THE FORGOTTEN CHILD TRILOGY is now available for pre-order on Kindle. It will release on July 6. Grab yours now and get ready for part two of the unique adventure into the 20th century – this time into the heart of Africa.

PRE-ORDER THE AFRICAN CONNECTION HERE!

The action continues one week after the explosive ending of book 1.

SHORT BLURB: In part two of The Forgotten Child Trilogy, enigmatic beings from the realm beyond—Bee & Ash—team up once again with old Manhattan businessman Francis Frick. Joined by a mysterious new recruit, Frick must fight to bring Ulrich to justice and continue searching for the truth about the forgotten child.

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If you haven’t read book 1 yet – A MAN TOO OLD FOR A PLACE TOO FAR – there’s still time to catch up on the story before the release of book 2.

Book 1 HERE!

I would love to hear your thoughts on these stories. Thanks for your support.

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A (Really Good) Week in the Life

Some weeks are ordinary.

This is not one of them.

The daily rhythm of life can, at times, pull us away from that which we most desire on this earth – connection, family, and the glimpse of a dream.  All of that stuff is happening to me this week, and it dwarfs whatever daily gripes or complaints I may have had during this past year.

It all started as my first year of teaching theatre finished in Saudi Arabia, and so we headed “home” to the USA for a blissful summer of family, friends, and functions.

The festivities started when we arrived in New York and were whisked away to see my first grandson for the first time ever. Wow doesn’t begin to describe it. I shall, at another time, write more fully about what becoming a grandfather means to me, in addition to what it means to time–I’m not as young as I once was. But the joy that a four-month-old brings a family is palpable by the minute. Joy oozes from the cries, the coos, the laughter, and the smiles. Those smiles. Wow. Those smiles. I was overcome with joy and so proud to be a grandfather.

I also made it home in time to witness the baptism of my grandson with the child’s other grandfather, from Korea, able to officiate over the ceremony with all of the family from both sides of the world present. It was a precious moment, good enough for mounting on a greeting card.  I hadn’t seen any of my children in six months due to the nature of my work, so it was special to all be together to say the least.

Now, my first week back in New York will end on a far more insignificant note: I, for the first time, get to see one of my plays produced in New York City.

While it may pale in comparison to holding my grandson, it will, nonetheless, be a remarkable moment to sit in the audience at the Gallery Players’ Theatre in Brooklyn to watch the world premiere of my short play: “The Birth of Technicolor.”

Yes, I feel blessed.

 

For the Glory of Stagecraft: Broadway Flats

Stagecraft. It’s an art form without limits in many ways because the artistry of stage craft can achieve stupendous monumental artistic heights. Most theatre productions, however, are not quite so grandiose in reach – including my own productions. My artistic abilities certainly have their limitations. I depend greatly upon actual artist to draw and paint and create much of the visual magic which takes place on stage.

I am, however, interested in stage craft, and I’ve been learning the different methods of creating backdrops and visual textures on stage. One indispensable part of building a set, in my opinion, is the Broadway flat. Essentially, Broadway flats are wooden frames with taut muslin fabric stretched across them. Here, let’s look:

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This is the backstage view of the flats we made for our show “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” I decided I wanted a static background which represents the entire show. So we built the frames, stretched the muslin over it, and treated the fabric with diluted white glue which helped to tighten it so would be good for painting. You’ll notice that Broadway flats (ours were 8 ft  x 4 ft) need wooden jacks which support the flats. The jacks were attached to the flats with metal l-brackets and then attached to the stage floor with small screws. Weights or sandbags would also work if you aren’t allowed to screw into the flooring.

Here’s what the front looked like:

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These cloth flats have the illusion of being solid wood. Even my tech person didn’t know they were made out of cloth. What’s great about them is that they are very light to move in case you need to strike the set during the show, and very cost effective because when the show is finished, you can paint over them for the next show.

I also love to use them for colored textured on stage. When painted white, they can be splashed with color or the pattern from a gobos to create great visual backdrops for drama, dance, or music.

Creating Broadway flats was one of the first things I wanted to do at my new school since they didn’t have any. In my opinion, they are an essential element of theatre production, and a really enjoyable project to make with students.

This particular backdrop added a lot of color and life to our production.

So, do you love Broadway flats as much as I do?