I recently had the privilege of sitting down to an interview with a man who’s known world wide; a man whose public persona is larger than life, but whose private world is shrouded in a centuries old mystery. In this three part series we will discuss his career, his home life, his influence and ultimately his legacy. This is by far the most in-depth post I’ve ever done that I believe you’ll find both eye-opening as well as entertaining. Today I sit down with none other than…
Part one of our interview takes place in Santa’s private quarters at his North Pole command center. Haggard and spent from last night’s epic trip around the world, he nurses what the elves tell me is his “tonic,” prompting me to open questions quickly and dive right into the meat of his story:
Even though I’ve been taking a break from SPaM in order to write the REAPERS WITH ISSUES series, I had to come back today in order to introduce to you all someone truly special. For those of you out there who may not know, there is a rockin’ chick among us who is somewhat new to blogworld. I’ll let her About Me page speak for itself:
Essa Alroc is an Orlando, Florida based freelance writer who published works include “The Blurb About Freshness on the Back of Your Deodorant” and “Understanding Your Utah 529 Plan”. When she’s not at work, fantasizing about setting her cubicle on fire, she is working on her first full length novel. It is not about deodorant or financial aid plans.
1. Your writing style is edgy, to say the least. What influences do you attribute to forming your particular writing style?
I was born and raised on heavy sarcasm and using humor in the place of emotions. My life’s motto is if your going to bitch about something, at least make it funny. That way people will actually listen. When I was growing up, I was an overweight kid with bad teeth, who wore my brothers hand me downs. If it wasn’t for my incredible ability to hurt someone’s feelings, I would have made one hell of a target. Luckily for me, the weight came off, the teeth got fixed with braces, but I never lost the ability to come up with some seriously scathing commentary. I also still wear my brothers hand me downs.
2. You live and write in Florida. How does living in the south influence what you write?
Florida both fascinates and horrifies me. I have a theory that something to do with the heat makes the people here crazy and violent. What I like about this state is that things that would be ridiculous anywhere else seem normal in Florida. I draw on a lot of my experiences here for both my fiction and non fiction work and I never seem to run out of things I write about it. What I dislike about Florida is all the rapes and murders…and lack of Jack in the Boxes. I miss their curly fries.
3. Your page MAKE ME YOUR BITCH speaks to your ability to write for hire. How does writing for someone else’s project differ from writing your own, and what can someone expect in the way of services?
My first love is humor writing, but in today’s market, it’s not a viable career option. Luckily, thanks to the plethora of jobs I’ve had, I’m able to write about a large range of subjects and still make them readable (and g-rated). My goal when I’m writing someone’s page is to get them SEO hits and at the same time, give value to the reader who was searching for their page in the first place. When someone types a query into a search engine, they’re not looking to get sold something. They’re looking for an answer to their question. My goal is to answer that question and still make my clients page come out on top. At the same time, I have to keep it free of my personal opinion and four letter words. Sometimes it’s easy, like when I’m writing an article about medical marijuana. Sometimes, it’s impossible, like when I’m trying to come up with 10 things I like about Mitt Romney. Number 1 was his hair.
4. Tell us about STRANGELY SOBER.
Strangely Sober was a novel born of frustration. Frankly, I was tired of reading about unworldly heroines who need the hero to show them how things are done. I’m not like that, and I don’t think most women are like that. Having a vagina doesn’t make me a bumbling, clumsy, insecure mess who can’t handle life on her own. I’ve lived a full life and I think a lot of people have. I created my protagonist, Angelica Salvatori, AKA Sal, because of that. She drinks too much. She smokes too much. She lives everyday like zombie apocalypse is right around the corner. She adapts and re adjusts as necessary. Personally, I think that’s what life is all about.
5. Tell us about ASYMMETRIC ANGELS.
I wrote Asymmetric because I didn’t feel ready to let go of Sal. There were some loose ends to tie up from the first novel and I didn’t think her story was over yet. Asymmetric has been a challenge to write, because it’s got some strong religions undertones in it, despite the fact that I am not remotely religious. It’s a sequel to my first novel and its where my heroine, Sal, tries to create a shaky opinion on faith and at the same time, tries to adapt to a world that is constantly changing for her. Asymmetric is a novel about getting to know yourself. It also has explosions, a high body count and a recurring Gary Busey hallucination. Can’t disappoint my readers while I’m trying to be artsy.
6. How does blogging effect writing, if at all?
Blogging is a release for me. Its entertainment writing in its highest form. I don’t use my webpage in my portfolio, because it’s my hobby. I don’t allow marketing on it, and even my own marketing blurb for my business is kind of a joke. I don’t want my readers distracted by ads. I want them to laugh. I don’t censor myself and I don’t want to do that for a sponsor. All my blogs are born out of an everyday experience that can be made ridiculous using the right words. The world is a ridiculous place, and the ability to laugh at that ridiculousness makes us powerful. I laugh at the Westborough Baptist Church, the economic crisis and child prostitution because I understand the power of humor. I go by the lessons I’ve learned from George Carlin and Richard Prior. ANY topic can be made funny when given the right delivery. That approach makes me fearless in my writing.
7. What have you learned most from writing your novel?
Be prepared for change. When I originally wrote ‘Strangely’, it was called ‘Unforgettable’ and it was written about a schoolteacher with eidetic memory. Two days before I released it, NBC released a show called “Unforgettable”, about a cop with eidetic memory. Instead of releasing it anyway, or trashing the whole series, I adapted it, changed it, until it was a completely different novel. Now, I’m glad that happened, because ‘Strangely” is about 10000 times better than what it was originally.
8. What advice would you give other would-be novelists?
Put your novel away for 6 weeks after you finish it and then read it again. It’s like being a first time reader. Maybe you realize your novel is, in fact, genius. Maybe you realize its crap. Maybe NBC puts out yet another shitty crime drama show and you have to start all over. Either way, you’ll be glad you did it.
9. Who are your favorite authors?
I love Jacqueline Susann, because she made trash literary genius. Read “Valley of the Dolls” closely and you realize that Neely O’Hara is Scarlett O’Hara. I love Piers Anthony because he makes sci-fi/fantasy a commentary on politics that hasn’t been met since Orwell’s “1984”. Finally, I love Tim Dorsey because he writes about Florida with tongue in cheek humor that delivers both admiration and disdain for this wild and crazy state. If Serge Storms were real, I would totally be stalking him.
10. Where do you see your next project taking you?
Well, the final book in the bar series, Gio’s Gift, is already breaking my heart because I’m murdering off a character I’ve grown very attached too. After I’ve uncurled myself from my sobbing emo ball, I’ll be working on something I’m calling the Dark/Light series, which I’m hoping comes to par with some of Anthony’s more political novels. It will be my first foray into science fiction and is loosely based on Nietzsche assertion that God is dead. Personally, I don’t think God is dead. I think he’s a sandwich artist at Subway…at least, he will be in my book. I hope eventually to make enough from my humor and fiction projects to focus on them full time. I think as long as I keep typing away and putting my best literary foot forward, it will happen.
Or I’ll wind up a sandwich artist at Subway.
GET A FREE DIGITAL COPY OF STRANGELY SOBER TODAY ONLY BY CLICKING BELOW:
TODAY IS THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF MY BLOG! TO COMMEMORATE THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCASION I HAVE DECIDED TO RERUN MY VERY FIRST BLOG POST.
PLEASE TO ENJOY…
So yeah, I wrote a book.
I must have been high when I wrote it because there’s no other explanation I can give for my 120,000 word upper YA novel where the only noun I used more than “boner” was “blood.” It goes without saying that I’m self-published. I didn’t even try to submit it traditionally. Can you just imagine the poor agent who gets my query letter?
“My novel, THE GODS OF ASPHALT is complete at 120,000 words and is the first in a series of five books that for some reason I’ve decided to write out-of-order. Each one is told from the point of view of a teenage male protagonist who has exactly zero supernatural powers (unless you consider perpetual erections a superpower). Oh, and it also has Spanish subtitles.”
On the good side, if you’re like me and are just a little too into music, motorcycles and all around badassery this is the book for you. If you’re not, I’m sure Jodi Picoult’s got a blog somewhere. You can find the opening to chapter one at the top of the page under the tab GOA REVIEWS and you can find my book on line at:
*** I AM STILL BEING HELD CAPTIVE BY NINJAS- SO THIS WEEK’S SPAM IS A REBLOG OF OUR GOOD FRIEND AND PLAYER RONNIE FROM THE LIBRA CHRONICLES ***
Take one part modern-day bachelor, two parts savvy player, add a splash of Cointreau and you get THE LIBRA CHRONICLES; an unapologetic blog that asks the question, “Can a blog really make it when the writer does not try to make a blog that targets special key words, certain audiences, weight loss or fitness or celebrities or some certain NICHE?”
I didn’t know the answer to that question when I first stumbled onto Ronnie Libra’s blog, but all it took was one look at his tag cloud filled with words like SEDUCTION, KEY WEST and POLYSOMNOGRAPHY to know that I wouldn’t be bored finding out.
*** So Ronnie, you describe your blog in your WHAT IS ALL THIS INSOLENCE page as an “experiment” in finding your target audience without the use of buzz words. Has your experiment revealed the results of who your target audience is?
I bet, like my mind, my target will be “Kid in a Candy Shop.” Or more appropriately, “Ronnie in a Bar.” So many flavors, why just settle for the same one all the time?
*** In your page THE SEDUCTION CHRONICLES you include stories that you describe as including the “rawness and reality” of seduction. What motivated you to include these stories?
Hundreds of posts on private seduction forums. People who’ve read them always tell me they are very inspirational, so I figured, what the fuck…. I may as well share them with more people. If I can reach out to that one person who get’s inspired then kick ass! I have done my duty.
*** In addition to dating advice you have posts that focus on philosophy and inspiration. What has inspired you recently that you’d like readers to take away from your blog?
Momentum… Keep doing what you love… Make it happen. Fuck failure and fuck the outcome. Go for it anyway. Even if you are failing, keep going because the more steps you take towards your goals the better your momentum will be to take those steps. Be cool with failing, dammit. Penicillin was a mistake. OOOOHhhhh and some kick ass music, Music is my life. I recharge off of it. I have a giant history in my mind of music I love and I feel that, most of my life, every day can have a theme song.
*** Many of your posts include sometimes graphic descriptions of many of your sexual escapades. Do you find it difficult to share these experiences with your readers? And what do you hope you can pass on in the way of knowledge?
Not difficult at all. If you read the book, “My Secret Garden” by Nancy Friday, which is a book on REAL women’s fantasies, my reports become rated PG. ;) I’m trying to convey the process of Seduction with my writing. Later, I may delve more into the actual sexuality and passion as well, I’m sure I will.
Here’s what I want. I want people to be cool with seduction. It’s not some taboo shit. It’s everyday reality. It’s happening all around us. The girl that I just looked at, while thinking, that made eye contact and looked away. It’s natural.
I want that guy or that girl who sees that sexy motherfucker they want to meet to go do it. Go meet that person!
*** What would you like men to take away from your blog?
I haven’t really thought about this. Maybe inspiration. Maybe to get a little mad or inspired inside and say, “If this asshole can do this so can I!”
*** What would you like women to take away from your blog?
Women readers seem to be the main readers so far in my blog. I would almost want to ask them, “What do you hope to find here? or Why are you coming back? or even, “Let’s say my blog was your dirty little secret that no one would ever find out about. What would you want it to be like?”
*** What can we expect from THE LIBRA CHRONICLES in the future?
Utter Sexy Randomness. Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry and sometimes Chicken Fried Rice. Ya, it doesn’t have to make sense. And music. Lots and lots of music.
Follow Ronnie at THE LIBRA CHRONICLES
Have a blog, book or music to promote? Contact me for your own feature on SPaM at email@example.com
This seems really odd to say, but today is the birthday I assigned the character of Sawyer in my novel, The Gods of Asphalt. His birthday features prominently in the book so I thought I’d answer some questions I’ve been asked over the past year about his character.
1. Why did you pick April 30th for his birthday?
I knew from the beginning he would wreck a motorcycle on his birthday so I needed it to take place during warm weather– but before his high school graduation. Research revealed that Nebraska high schools let out the first weekend in May so there was my time crunch. I wanted the added insult of him screwing up his life the instant it became his to own. Besides, Sawyer shares his birthday with someone pretty awesome.
Sawyer is sort of a default name. In my real life there is a real River, although he is nothing like the River character (I based the River character on someone elses life entirely). I always knew that I would name the character of the blonde older brother River, so I had to think of a name that was in the same vein for the younger brother. Thus Sawyer was born, and not Steve.
3. Why is Sawyer so tall?
Sawyer is tall because it allows him to be good at basketball. Sawyer needed a way out of his father’s life so I gave him basketball because it offers scholarships as well as being the perfect sport for a kid who lives on the road. Football requires gear, baseball requires a team, track requires good weather but basketball can be played anywhere, anytime with anyone. All you need is a ball.
4. Why do you describe Sawyer looking the way you do?
My kids helped with this one. My son Junior HATES being called pretty when compared to his good-looking, blonde older brother Prince Charming. I described Sawyer to my daughter and she instantly pulled up a television show called BIG TIME RUSH and said, “I think you are describing this guy.” In that moment James Maslow became my vision for Sawyer. I even wrote a little snippet in my book for him. I’m my daughter’s hero for that.
5. Why is Sawyer’s jersey number 13?
Because number 13 belongs to Steve Nash, my all time favorite basketball player.
6. How come Sawyer can sing?
Because I can’t. No, seriously; basketball was what Sawyer was good at, but music was what he loved and what his mother robbed him of.
7. Does Sawyer ever get Sarah?