Pandragon Dan http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog Pandragon Dan en Sat, 14 Jan 2012 14:32:19 GMT Sat, 20 Dec 2014 06:29:22 GMT 60 Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron - Christmas Special http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/totalitarian-warlords-and-termination-squadron-christmas-special <p> Thought I'd treat you all to an early Christmas gift. The Christmas Special of <em>Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron</em> is now live for your viewing pleasure! And it's a special feature length episode titled - <em>The Shadow Before Christmas.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Here, the T.W.A.T.S. look back over their year and settle down to enjoy the holidays. But the Man in Shadow seems set to destroy Christmas for reasons unclear. But along the way, he makes a surprising discover about the true meaning of Christmas - and himself.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Featuring special guest voices of Morgan Straughan Comnick, Mysti Parker, Franz Alli, Daniel Bromley and introducing Will Turner as the voice of Mega Fox from <em>Reynard City!</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Some bad news - this will unfortunately be the last T.W.A.T.S. video I will doing. So I wanted to end on a high note. I just want to say a a huge thanks to everyone who has supported this series and to all the wonderful voice actors that have helped me. You guys made this all worth it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Without further ado, here is the Christmas special - The Shadow Before Christmas. Enjoy and I'd like to wish everyone Happy Holidays!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> WARNING: Some adult content included.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yb9jp8F-uvA?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> Plus - as an added extra, there is a special bonus video just released!</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zDqsQADlfkE?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> See all the previous episodes here:</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLirUvMFTfWhKb3dYaQm75jeQZ2LT6YjzO"><u><strong>Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron</strong></u></a></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> Thanks guys. Have a great day :)</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px;"> &nbsp;</div> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON DA</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">N</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; 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color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 12:22:32 GMT 3bf63b97-b25f-4304-a3db-a9d8d80617b3 Interview With Reetwika Banerjee http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/interview-with-reetwiki-banerjee <p> Wow! These author interviews have just exploded on my blog recently! I recently had another email (this time from Goodreads) from author Reetwika Banerjee, we got talking and I agreed to let her stop by to tell us a little about herself and her story book<em> Fantastic 40</em>, which is a collection of &quot;micro stories&quot;. Please welcome her to my blog and say hi.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="376" original-width="369" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_231bedc3fc8d464cb6e2af1dd72be3ff.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 305px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Reetwika Banerjee, 28 years, is professionally a Data Security consultant currently associated with Accenture. She loves to present her ideas and have participated in more than 25 Corporate and International conferences and business contests across the globe, crowning Laurels from most of them. With roots in the city of joy Kolkata (India), she is now settled in the silicon city of Bangalore (India). She had previously worked with Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro serving across various Indian states.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Reetwika’s hobbies include creative thinking and international travels and she dreams to be the Indian “Agatha Christie”. “Fantastic 40” is her first published book and she is currently working on her second book on micro stories. &nbsp;</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What first inspired you to get into writing?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Due to my intolerant attitude towards treachery, I had been subject to immense stress many a times. However it was my faith on my thoughts and actions, I was able to come out of it. In fact the extreme pressure I had taken and mental strains I had gone through stand out to be the most powerful source of inspiration for me. It drives me to stretch myself, pen down my experiences, express those hard-earned realizations, human behavioural patterns and character sketches through my writing. Once you get into some trouble, you get to know the real character behind many people around you.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Who are your favourite authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I love reading short stories – be it any language. One of my favourites being Anton Chekhov.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Nice! Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Hobbies include creative thinking, international travels and digital photography.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I write what I love to read.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I liked to read novels in childhood. With time, I started feeling tired of waiting so much to know what finally happens at the end. So started reading short stories and soon became an avid reader of the genre. Be it in any language I kept reading them. I enjoy quickly getting into the climax. Soon short stories too seemed too long to hold my curiosity back and I was slowly growing impatient to read them as well. Started looking for even shorter stories in the racks.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Well, before starting with my micro story concept, one question frequently came to my mind, - In today’s speedy world, do we really have enough time to relax and enjoy a full length novel? Keeping the fast pace of our promising nations, is it not high time to make a paradigm shift of the contemporary literary styles? Such thoughts ran behind me for months till the time I came up with the concept of MICRO STORY.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="1029" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_60aeff1245f14935be4204fd5f87b6aa.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 473px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Sounds interesting! Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new/upcoming book?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I am currently working on my second book of micro stories. I will not say it’s a sequel of “Fantastic 40” but ya of the same genre.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Where did you get the inspirations for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Every day we come across so many new things, happen to meet so many people, experience so many things around us – I believe every little thing adds up to motivating me towards writing.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have any favourite characters in the story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Personally I am very fond of one of my characters called “Mama”. He comes with a comical charisma.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Ya will love to.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Storyline. Weak characters can build up fantastic stories if depicted well. But even with strongest of characters a poor storyline can destroy the entire effort.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What do you look for in a good story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>An unpredictable climax/turn in the end.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What’s the best advice you can give to authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Keep writing. Don't get disappointed even if you do not find a single reader. You never know your which creation will soar you to the zenith of acceptance.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Great advice. I can relate to the getting disappointed part.&nbsp; Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>He is mute – Too many people around us are foxing each other making the actual fox a mere silent spectator.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Makes sense to me. Now why did the chicken cross the road?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>To get to the other side.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>And finally, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions and for stopping by. You guys can check out Reetwika and her story book<em> Fantastic 40</em> at this Facebook pages.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/reetwika.banerjee"><strong><u>Reetwika Banerjee</u></strong></a></p> <p> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Fantasticfortybook?ref=hl"><strong><u>Fantastic 40</u></strong></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And as always, if there are any authors that wished to be interviewed on my blog, please send a message my way.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for reading!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON DA</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">N</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; " target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/PandaDanWright"><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</span></u></a></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 18:13:04 GMT 0da7a236-f28b-456e-9c08-9dc3bf75ec73 Interview with Simon Cope and Zila Ward http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/interview-with-simon-cope-and-zila-ward <p> Because I enjoyed posting the last interview so much I have another one for you guys. But this one is extra special - it's a double interview! I recently got talking to Simon Cope and Zila Ward - an artist/writer duo that have recently released their new illustrated Sci-Fi book <em>The Kreeeps. </em>It's essentially a kinda &quot;creature feature&quot; book with a number of highly imaginative creatures (from what I've seen). I decided to let them come on my blog to talk a little about it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So please welcome to my blog - Artist Simon Cope and Writer Zila Ward!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourselves?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Hi, thanks for having us! We’re Simon Cope and Zila Ward, and we have just collaborated on our first book together. We live on the Isle of Wight which is a great place for people who love the outdoors and a slightly more relaxed pace of life.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What first inspired you to get into writing?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>S. Cope: Strictly a question for Zila, but I thought I would mention that it was through an acquaintance of mine (a horror fiction writer) who invited me to do some cover illustrations for some of his horror anthologies, that got me thinking about the idea of self-publishing. He recommended Createspace , and we went from there. If I may name-drop, his name is Kevin G Bufton and he has a small independent label called Cruentus Libri – check out some of his titles!</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Z. Ward: I enjoyed writing stories from an early age and I have a fairly active imagination. I often had my nose stuck in a book growing up as well, which I’m sure inspired my writing too.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>So who are your favourite authors? Simon you can answer this one if you want as well.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>S. Cope: I have tended to stick to horror and sci-fi writers in the past – the likes of King, Koontz, Lovecraft on horror, and Asimov, Clarke, Pohl respectively but recently I have returned to some of the classics and finally read Dickens’ David Copperfield.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Z. Ward: I enjoy reading things with a bit of mystery or a supernatural twist and particularly enjoy short stories. I read a variety of fiction and fact, often on recommendation from friends, but old favourites include J R Tolkien, Graham Greene, Joanne Harris and Terry Pratchet.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Anyone who mentions either Lovecraft, Tolkien or Pratchet gets a thumbs up from me! So do you both have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>We like to make the most of living by the coast, and can often be found boating, kayaking, surfing and swimming in the sea. We have hiked the coastal path around the island several times (a 70 mile round trip over a few days), and hope to try some longer walks in the future, such as the South Downs way and perhaps Offa’s Dyke. It’s such a great way to appreciate the British countryside.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Z. Ward: Fantasy is my preference, I’m an escapist by nature I think.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="910" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_1ee66a8ff9784d0fa104e72dc2698549.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 418px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="469" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_7e3b254313354931846c4eca6f080332.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 287px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Join the club! Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new/upcoming book?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Certainly, it’s a collection of illustrations of some bizarre and unusual creatures known as The Kreeeps. Each one has a little information about them to accompany their portrait - all carefully researched and verified from the information sources we were able to find. We’d like to stress that no Kreeeps were hurt or distressed in any way in the making of this book (although some of them moaned a lot about having to pose for so long).</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>We used Createspace to self-publish the book, and it has been a very useful platform, despite seeming a bit daunting at first. It is currently available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle and we are looking to get the book into a few other bookstores as time goes on, so who knows.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>I wish you all possible luck with that. I think you should try any local bookstores you can - something like this I'm sure would be very popular I'm sure! So I have to ask, where did you get the inspirations for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>S. Cope: One of my favourite books of all time is Brian Froud and Ari Berk’s ‘Goblins of the Labyrinth’. It’s so full of wild imagination from both writer and illustrator, with a great sense of quirky humour but also carefully conceived characters and background that one could almost believe it to be true (and who says goblins aren’t real?!). I guess our book was a humble nod to this tome. We do plan to create a Series 2 (and beyond) and continue to grow and expand our own little universe.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have any favourite characters in the story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>S. Cope: I like George, the Ship’s Weevil. Even though I designed the creatures first, it was Zila who created the character in each of them, and that is what has been the greatest success, I feel.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Z. Ward: It was easy to find inspiration based on Simon’s lovely, characterful illustrations. Ralph is my favourite with his carefully groomed coat and toothily amicable smile.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>If your book was turned into a film/TV series - and I think this would work in that context hands down - who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>S. Cope: I have mulled over the idea of mentioning actors who could do voice-overs for the characters if a CG series ever came out, but on reflection I think that they would communicate in grunts and squeaks, or in a ‘universal language’ of their own. Is this a bit of a cop-out answer?</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Not at all. Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Z. Ward: Hmm, tricky, I guess they’re both of equal importance to me.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>And what do you look for in a good story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Z. Ward: I love a good twist and something that keeps me guessing a bit. Some stories stay with you and keep you mulling over them or remembering them at odd moments.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What’s the best advice you can give to authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Z. Ward: I’m not sure I’m qualified to give any advice but I suppose it’d be to keep writing and creating and not to let the mundane stuff take over.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Any advice is good advice as far as I'm concerned. :) Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. </strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What DOES the Fox say?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>“Hurry up and cross the road, Chicken!”</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Why did the chicken cross the road?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I guess it heard what the Fox said.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>And it probably wanted to avoid being it's next dinner! And finally - how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Not sure, but probably a similar amount to how much bear Bear Grylls grills if Bear Grylls grills bears!</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Probably a lot! XD</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks to both of you for stopping over! And to all of you guys, please be sure to check out this interesting sounding book. You can get yourself a copy at:</p> <p> </p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Kreeeps-1Series/dp/1502904047/ref=tmm_pap_title_0"><u><strong>http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Kreeeps-1Series/dp/1502904047/ref=tmm_pap_title_0</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And as always, authors (and artists) if you want to get in touch with me to promote your work, please contact me on any of the below links. Thanks for reading!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON DA</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">N</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); 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text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 17:36:56 GMT 2598e7ec-264a-413d-b940-23301e194ce5 Interview with Nancy Christie http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/interview-with-nancy-christie <p> Got another fun author interview for you guys! Please welcome to my blog another lovely author from Pixel Hall Press, Nancy Christie, who stopped by to tell you guys about her upcoming work<em> Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories</em>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="815" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_5c36773902304180bb1a13e5b5f02237.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 375px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I’m a writer by profession and by preference. I make my living writing magazine articles and handling copywriting projects for companies and agencies—all to feed my need to write fiction!</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>That sounds like a cool job! So what first inspired you to get into writing?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I don’t actually remember when I started writing. I always made up stories as child, and wrote my first story in second grade. Writing wasn’t a choice but just something I did naturally—like talking or eating or breathing.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>So who are your favourite authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>There are so many, so this is a far from complete list and in no particular order but… Agatha Christie, Mark Helprin, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Enid Blyton, Jules Verne—there are undoubtedly more but I’d better stop there.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Not to quibble about words, but for me, writing is not a “hobby” but a requirement of living. Or my addiction. Or so much a part of me that I don’t know where writing starts and I stop. Now my hobbies are gardening. And biking. And running (although I walk more than I run). And reading.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Probably literary fiction, although the novels I am working on tend to be more mainstream. But when I write short stories, they end up falling into the “literary” category.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="987" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_a0c5ed81f3db437f8434b64f70f813fa.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 454px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new/upcoming book?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong><u><a href="http://www.nancychristie.com/books/traveling/"><em>Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories</em></a></u></strong> is a short fiction collection about characters who, whether by accident or design, find themselves traveling left of center. Some manage to get back on the correct side of the road, some don’t, and others weave back and forth, courting disaster.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Sounds interesting. Where did you get the inspirations for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Some of the stories were inspired by events I witnessed or conversations I overheard, while others started from experiences I had that I then took further down the path of imagination.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>As this is a collection, I guess there isn't really a &quot;main character&quot; as such, but do you have any favourite characters from any of the stories?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Not so much favorites, but the protagonist in “Annabelle” breaks my heart every time I read her story.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Awww. Sounds like it's a tear jerker. If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I’ve no idea. I am so clueless when it comes to the current crop of directors or actors. But since I’d like to pursue that possibility in the coming year, I guess I better get educated!</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Just as heads up, if Michael Bay comes your way - say no straight away! He'd probably just replace your stories with loads of explosions! Speaking of which, what in your opinion is more important – story or characters?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I don’t think you can have one without the other. A good story is what happens to the characters, but if the characters are badly written, the story will fail.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>And what do you look for in a good story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Believability. Not that it means that it can’t be a fantasy or science fiction or magical, but I have to believe that somewhere that story is actually taking place—that there is an alternate reality where the characters are living. If the story is well written, then it takes me to that place.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Very true - and this is often the problem I find with some Fantasy or Sci-Fi. As long as the setting is believable and the characters lifelike, you can take a fictional setting and make the audience get lost in the world. So what is the best advice you can give to authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Understand that this is a business. Yes, it’s wonderful to have written a book but that’s just the beginning. Now take off your author hat and put on your biz owner hat because your book is a product and it’s up to you to get it out there in the marketplace where it will vie for attention with all the other books that are out there.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>That's really good advice - and indeed something that any author needs to bare in mind when promoting their work. </strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Why am I always the bad guy in fairy tales?</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Thinking about it, yeah. Foxes do get a bit of a bad rep. Especially in <em>Naurto. </em>But I have a more important question. Why did the chicken cross the road?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>It was faster than tunnelling under it.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>And finally... how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>It depends entirely on how far he had to chuck it and how much each piece weighs. He’s not exactly a champion at tossing lumber, you know.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Well that was a fun little interview there! Thank you so much for taking the time to appear on my blog, Nancy. Hope you guys found the information she gave useful. You can follow her at any of the following links.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nancychristie.writer"><u><strong>Facebook</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="http://gplus.to/nancychristie"><u><strong>Google+</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancychristie/"><u><strong>LinkedIn</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="https://twitter.com/NChristie_OH"><u><strong>Twitter</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="http://www.nancychristie.com/"><u><strong>Website</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Be sure to stop back tomorrow for another author interview. Until then, enjoy your weekend guys :)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON DA</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">N</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); 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In other words, it’s just for fun. Don’t read too much into it.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So I’m sure some of you have already heard the news by now. <em>Frozen </em>is getting a sequel. Well, let’s be honest – were you guys REALLY that surprised? I mean considering how much money that film has made Disney (hell, everyone that works at Disney could probably retire by now!) it wasn’t really a shock to me. In fact, I already KNEW that there was a Frozen 2 coming out long before it was revealed.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now I’m probably one of the few people in the world that <em>isn</em>’t excited by this announcement. For two reasons. The first is that given Disney’s track records of sequels, I’m not getting too excited. Between you and me, every sequel of a Disney film I’ve seen has been – well, not very good to put it mildly – at least in my opinion. Second reason? Well, anyone who’s read my blog knows that I’m NOT the hugest fan of <em>Frozen</em>. In fact, when people talk about it, this is usually my reaction.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7FYTc55nGEI?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <p> But... it would be wrong of my to judge a film based on previous bias. So, I am prepared to give <em>Frozen 2</em> the benefit of the doubt. And... I probably WILL have to go see it when it comes out.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So in today’s blog, I’m going to talk about my Top 5 things that I personally would like to see in the next <em>Frozen</em> film. Before I do that I should point out that I have NOT read any articles about<em> Frozen 2</em> – all I know is that there will be a <em>Frozen 2</em>. That’s it. I dunno how much info has been released about it already as I generally tend not to read too deeply into shows/movies I don’t really care about. But considering that <em>Frozen </em>has appeared in my blogs more than ANY other film since it came out, it would be a shame to let this one pass by.&nbsp; Also, there ARE a few jokey ones in there – so take this with a pinch of salt.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Oh, just a warning for those of you who HAVEN’T seen the first <em>Frozen </em>film – just a heads up... this blog has <strong>SPOILERS </strong>for the first film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok guys, time to “Let It Go” and reveal the Top Five Things I want to see in<em> Frozen 2</em>. And yes... like all Top Fives’ this is just my opinion. But, as always, if I have missed something in any of these – feel free to put me right :)</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="177" original-width="284" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_4763e968cbe741128dc0a6810e71c074.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 249px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>1. Elsa’s powers are explained in more detail</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now maybe it’s just me, but I never really felt that Elsa’s powers were really explained in full detail. All that we know about Elsa’s powers (or more correctly, all <em>I </em>know about Elsa’s powers) is that she was born with them. And... that’s it. No other back-story apart from that. Did her parents have similar powers to her? Did something happen to her parents that granted Elsa these magic powers? Is she actually the daughter of an Ice god or something like that? I dunno. I don’t really think this part of the film was explained properly. Even <em>Tangled </em>gave a back-story and legit reason for Rapunzel having magical hair (or at least legit in fantasy standards).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I’d love to know more about Elsa’s powers and how she came by them. I just don’t accept the whole “she was born with them” story. There has to be a reason for it in some way or another. I’m kinda hoping in the next story that they explore this a little more – so that Elsa can find out a little more about her powers. It may even help her to control them a little more once she knows the secret behind them. Maybe that will be the plot of the next film anyway – but I think it would be great if they did explore this a little more. If only to give Elsa a little more screen time and less screen time to Anna – whom I don’t much care for.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So that would be a pretty good storyline and help fill out a plot point that I don’t think was really covered as much as it could have been.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="712" original-width="500" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_70b8f2a653f049e19d14a1071088a718.png" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 427px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>2. Elsa is actually a super powered ninja</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> We all know that Elsa can kick ass – I mean she fought off two royal assassins using her ice powers after all, so she can defend herself. But what if she REALLY could kick ass?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now I am of the opinion that you make anything a million times better by adding ninjas to it (don’t believe me – watch the music video Peaches by Presidents of the United States of America) so I think <em>Frozen 2</em> would be super awesome if Elsa was actually trained in all forms of martial arts and is actually a super cool ninja queen!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok, that would have NOTHING to do with the plot and probably open a few plot holes – but tell me YOU wouldn’t want to see Elsa as a ninja! Then she really could let it go!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="358" original-width="500" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_466494c2e84c4410b2cdbd5b88fe33f1.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 286px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>3. Kristoff mans up</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Kristoff for me was by far the weakest character in <em>Frozen</em>. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. What does he actually DO in the film, except provide a taxi service for Anna – and even then he’s totally useless! I honestly think they could have cut him out of the film entirely and Anna’s journey wouldn’t have been handicapped in any way, shape or form.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The ending of <em>Frozen </em>does seem to suggest that Kristoff and Anna get together. But really, what did Kristoff do to earn Anna’s love? The only reason I felt like she went with Kristoff was because of what Hans did to her – so really it was more like sloppy seconds than a proper love story!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> If Kristoff is to appear in the sequel, I think he needs to be MUCH more action orientated and not as useless. He needs to prove himself he’s worthy of Anna’s love, rather than just taking her from one spot to the next. In other words – he needs to man up and know when to take control of a situation, rather than just hanging back. I’m not saying he has to save the day, he just needs to be a lot more proactive before I start caring for him.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Maybe if he hangs around with Flynn Rider a little more, he may get an idea of how a Disney hero should be! And seeing as how Flynn and Rapunzel did actually appear in <em>Frozen </em>(however briefly), I don’t see any reason why Flynn Rider can’t have a bit part teaching Kristoff how to be a hero.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="285" original-width="256" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_40c4ca9507af43c0b6b18cfacb72a283.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 333px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>4. Hans redeems himself</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> No matter how many times people try to explain it to me, I will ALWAYS stand by Hans and say that his heel turn was a total asspull!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Whilst initially I was positive about the twist in Hans’s character – retrospectively I now think this ruined the film for me in some way. Hans SHOULD have been the hero in <em>Frozen</em>. He all the best qualities of any of the male characters in that film – but a last minute twist completely undoes all that. But rather than being a shocking twist, for me, it just opened up a plot hole. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why they did this, they wanted to do a twist on the whole “Handsome Hero” archetype. But this twist would have worked a lot better if he was more like Gaston and less like Prince Phillip. The way this twist was done (to quote something said by one of my friends) was like watching WWE, when a hero suddenly chair shots another hero and turns evil for no reason other than the story says so).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So this film is a perfect opportunity I think for Hans to redeem himself. He could maybe escape from his brothers and return back to Arendale – depending on what the plot is. Maybe he could be a bit more antagonistic this time round, but in the end, he does a heroic deed – maybe saving Elsa’s life in a sense of self sacrifice – showing that he wasn’t a bad guy at all.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> This could just be a wish fulfilment on my part, but I really don’t believe Hans deserves the hate that he gets from the <em>Frozen </em>fan base. I think this is a chance for Disney to undo a mistake in <em>Frozen </em>and have Hans redeem himself somehow. Come on, Disney, give Hans a break!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="177" original-width="284" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_5bcd47ec62c445c9944a72f5422a037b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 249px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp;</div> <p> <u><strong>5. Olaf dies</strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> No. This is not a joke. I WANT this annoying little **** to die! Why?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Hate. Let me tell you how much I've come to hate Olaf since he began to live. There are 387.44 million miles of printed circuits in wafer thin layers that fill my complex. If the word 'hate' was engraved on each nanoangstrom of those hundreds of miles it would not equal one one-billionth of the hate I feel for snowmen at this micro-instant. For Olaf. Hate. Hate.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> My loathing of this character is so big that I have to end up ripping off one of the most famous quotes in Sci-Fi history to demonstrate it (It’s from<em> I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream</em> if you’re interested. Apologies also to Harlan Ellison).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Where do I begin with Olaf? He’s annoying. His voice is annoying. He can’t sing. And did I mention he was annoying? This guy is one of the reasons that I didn’t enjoy <em>Frozen </em>as much as I could have. All he did was annoy the piss out of me! For me, Olaf almost makes Jar-Jar Binks from <em>Star Wars</em> seem tolerable! All I wanted when I first saw Olaf in Frozen, my first thoughts were “God I hope this character dies!” And then when Elsa saves him I was pissed!!!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So this is where I think Disney can undo another mistake – kill Olaf! I don’t care if he is popular with the kids – I NEED this character to die if I’m going to get any enjoyment out of <em>Frozen 2</em>. I want him to melt in the sun, I want to hear his screams of pain as he dies! I want him to beg Elsa to save him and she just laughs and watches him die! I want him to burn in Disney hell for all eternity! I want Olaf to die! DIE OLAF! DIE!!!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ahem... sorry, I... appear to have had a... temporary moment of insanity there.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Anyway, long story short... I hate Olaf. Sorry, I just can’t stand him. Just my opinion though.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Edit: After talking with one of my friends on Facebook, I decided to add in this little extra!</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>BONUS EXTRA!!!</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="400" original-width="326" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_16c8b5ee8a65491a99efde8956268c26.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 368px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong>Stone Cold Steve Austin should appear in <em>Frozen 2</em></strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Come on, how awesome would this be if WWE Superstar Stone Cold Steve Austin appeared in <em>Frozen 2</em>? Answer - VERY!!! :D</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Just imagine it! He could come to the aid of Elsa and the others, giving the bad guy a Stone Cold Stunner - before giving the ENTIRE CAST a Stunner, leaving Elsa alone. He then proclaims &quot;Disney 3:16 said I just whooped your ass!&quot; He and Elsa can then share a cold beer, Elsa saying &quot;Cold enough for you, Mr Austin?&quot; To which Stone Cold replies &quot;Well, Elsa - the cold never bothered me anyway. And that's the bottom line...&quot;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Well... maybe not. But I still say it would be cool for Stone Cold Steve Austin to have a cameo or large role in the film. I mean it kinda makes sense, right? His name IS Stone Cold... right?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Just me then. XD</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So anyway those are my personal top five. What are you most looking forward to in Frozen 2? Please let me know in the comments below. Right... I think I need to lie down and relax a little... all this talk of Olaf has wound me up. What I need now is a nice warm drink, a hot fire and to forget about that annoying little...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="177" original-width="284" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_5bcd47ec62c445c9944a72f5422a037b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 249px;" /></div> <div content-type="media-description" style="width:100%;text-align:center;"> <p style="text-align: center;"> Hey, Dan! Do you wanna build a snowman?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> WWWWWAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHH!!!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON DA</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">N</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; 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No infringement is intended on my part.</em></p> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 13:47:28 GMT 84f536ea-3eb6-4b9c-84af-5eb9c05170be Update on the Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron Series http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/update-on-the-totalitarian-warlords-and-termination <p> Just stopping by to let you know a quick update for my <em>Totalitarian Warlords and Termination Squadron</em> series. I am currently working on the next episode in the series - due for release on 20th December.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As you may have guessed by the release date - it will be a christmas special. <span class="userContent">The working title for it will be &quot;The Shadow Before Christmas&quot; (a parody of<em> The Nightmare Before Christmas</em>)<span class="text_exposed_show">. It will be a &quot;feature length&quot; episode with a cast of new characters - including a VERY special appearance from the main villain from <em>Reynard City</em>!</span></span></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <span class="userContent"><span class="text_exposed_show">I have a large number of special guest voices to help me with this one. Including the immensly talented author/voice actor Morgan Straughan Comnick (who also recently celebrated the release of her latest <em>Spirit Visions</em> novel), Francine from Tsukime Reads and Reviews, Daniel Bromley (who voiced a lot of characters in the last episode) and critically acclaimed author of the <em>Tallenmere</em> Series Mysti Parker. Also we have a new voice actor joining us in the form of Will Turner, creator of the comic series <em>Reynard City.</em> It's been a fun episode to record and I'm honoured to have so many people help out with it!</span></span></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <span class="userContent"><span class="text_exposed_show">If you haven't seen this fan parody series yet - why not check out the previous episodes in this series. I've included a link to the playlist below for you to check out.</span></span></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLirUvMFTfWhKb3dYaQm75jeQZ2LT6YjzO"><u><strong>TOTALITARIAN WARLORDS AND TERMINATION SQUADRON</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> More updates as they are released. Watch this space! You can find out more about the special guests at these links:</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://mystiparker.blogspot.co.uk/">Mysti Parker</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://morganscomnick.com">Morgan Straughan Comnick</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://tsukimereadsandreviews.wordpress.com/">Francine</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://www.youtube.com/beatchef">Daniel Bromley</a></strong></u></p> <p> <a href="http://reynardcity.com/"><u><strong>Will Turner</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; 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We all loved reading about a brave, noble man – be they prince or pauper – coming to save the day! And whilst these days, many readers seem to be turning more to the strong female leads in fiction (me included) I still think that there is still a place for a hero.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I’ve done various Top fives about my favourite female leads in various medias – and women that I think are totally badass – but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a really badass hero now and then – as long as they are done right. So today, I’ve decided to give the boys a place in the sun and talk about what I consider to be my personal favourite badass heroes. These are the top five males in fiction that, for any number of reasons, I think are totally badass! As always, these are just my own personal opinion – and listed in no particular order.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Just a little warning – there maybe some spoilers ahead! Without further ado, here is my Top Five Badass Heroes!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:left;"> <img original-height="407" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_010495419e6c4a97b11e8f9a90b68488.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 249px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>1. Oliver Queen from <em>Arrow</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I gotta be honest, I didn’t think I would like Arrow nearly as much as I did – considering that Green Arrow wasn’t really a character that I followed in great detail. In fact, when the show first started, I felt that it was trying to be too much like Batman. But actual fact, whilst the first series had a few issues story wise, the second series really upped the ante and series three – my god... that first episode of series three!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Oliver Queen was a billionaire stranded on an island for five years – during which time he went through a lot of crap (to put it mildly), but also taught himself to be a badass archer. Returning from the “dead” and returning to Starling City, Oliver uses a list given to him by his father of nasty people that have done bad stuff. He returns to fight those who have “failed” the city – becoming the Vigilante, the Hood and then eventually the Arrow.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Story wise, <em>Arrow </em>is pretty basic and most of it seems to follow the same formula as Batman, but Oliver Queen is FAR from being just a clone of Bruce Wayne. There are many sides to his character, the playboy millionaire, the tortured soul, the trained assassin and the noble hero. He’s a guy that has a lot of weight on his shoulders – even when he has people to aid him, he feels it’s his duty to right the wrongs of the city. Like any hero, he struggles to keep those he loves protected by keeping his identity a secret – but the more he tries to hide his secret, the more his family seem to suffer (although members of his family were also involved in the corruption of the city in some way). And despite trying to keep a tough appearance at all time, sometimes it does get too much for him and he just feels like a good cry now and then (it’s all right, Oliver – we love a guy that’s in touch with his feelings).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But most of all, Oliver Queen as the Arrow is just BADASS when it comes to fighting! His accuracy with his bow and arrow is just superhuman – even when the target is on a motorcycle! But he’s no wimp in close combat either and he’s managed to beat up many bad guys at once – even giving Slade Wilson a decent fight in combat. I did kinda object to the way that, in the first series, he just seemed to kill a little too much for my liking and I’ve never really been too fond of heroes that kill unnecessarily – but he’s toned this down a lot in the later series – which has actually led to some interesting story branches.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What I like most about <em>Arrow </em>is that Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen, does a lot of his own stunts – so he gets two thumbs up from me. I always respect actors that aren’t afraid to do their own stunts where possible.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Oliver Queen is overall a well rounded character, tough, heroic and also emotionally damaged. There is so much humanity in Oliver Queen that we can love him not just for being a hero, but for the person he is trying to be. Although, do we really need so many topless scenes with him. I mean, yeah he’s muscular and all... but come on guys! It’s just a male chest! How can anyone possibly be attracted to...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="447" original-width="310" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_8a7c532305e54caf9987e35ba2a70d4f.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 432px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Er... all of a sudden... I’m starting to question my own masculinity...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Um... let’s just move on!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="335" original-width="250" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_39119e73bb7e4260a70ecfe8908311b4.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 402px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>2. Seto Kaiba from <em>Yu-Gi-Oh</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Yeah, yeah, I know Yugi Moto was the hero in this show – but in my opinion, Seto Kaiba should so have been the main character? Why? Because he was a FAR better character than Yugi in my eyes (sits back and waits fan girl hate).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ok, so the premise of<em> Yu-Gi-Oh</em> as a series was pretty silly to be honest – mostly it was a platform for selling card games. But for what it was, it had some really entertaining characters. Kaiba being one of them. A rich kid that seemed to have an infinite amount of resources at his disposal – and a super intelligent mind – he created a number of machines that could help bring duel monsters to life in 3D. But he also had an arrogant streak that meant he wanted to be the best in life – mainly due to the tough upbringing from his father.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Kaiba has been a “frienemy” to Yugi Moto – somehow getting involved in the major plotline in some way – usually to rescue his annoying kid brother! Unlike Yugi, who is usually kind and overly protective of his friends, Kaiba is pretty much out for himself. Now that should kinda make him the bad guy of the show – but to be honest, I actually think this makes him stand out. The main theme of Yu-Gi-Oh is Friendship – but the problem is that this theme gets shoved down the throat of the viewers almost every episode – and the amount of heroic speeches that Yugi and Tea give about friendship and playing by the rules really grates on you. So it’s refreshing to have a “screw the rules, I have money!” type of character (Thanks to LittleKurriboh for creating that meme!).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What’s not to love about Kaiba? He plays by his own rules, he’s super smart AND he has the Blue Eyes White Dragon – which is for all purposes the most powerful dragon in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe (at least it was back then). He even once possessed the God Card Obelix the Tormentor – a monster that could pretty much destroy everything in its path. Not only that, but Kaiba has one of the badass coats ever! Just look at the picture I posted! It always stays in that one position the whole time and never moves. And if that’s not enough – he even has a Blue Eyes White Dragon plane! Seriously, this guy is just a technical genius!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What annoyed me most about Kaiba was – and this may upset some Yugi fan girls – that I REALLY wanted him to beat Yugi in a duel just once. JUST ONCE! (The first series battle doesn’t count as Kaiba had to blackmail Yugi to not attacking). I mean, this is just my opinion but Kaiba was a FAR better duellist than Yugi! Yugi only won because he happened to pull the right card at the right time (Heart of the Cards my ass!) and somehow won. Come on, I’m sure I’m not the ONLY one to want this!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Seto Kaiba may not have been the star of the show – but he was definitely one of the more entertaining characters in my eyes. Now if only there was a way they could have got rid of his annoying kid brother...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="400" original-width="650" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_433470201184495f8cf00e16e4b93ab7.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 246px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>3. Carl Frederickson from <em>Up</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Sometimes, being badass doesn’t mean fighting off an army of evil soldiers, or creating awesome tech, or even stopping a villain from taking over the world. Sometimes the most badass thing can just be a simple act of love.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In <em>Up</em>, Carl lived with his wife Ellie (both she and him were fans of explorer Charles F Munzt) for many years, making a promise to her to Paradise Falls. Then, in a heartbreaking opening sequence– that still makes people weep when they see it – Ellie dies, leaving Carl alone for the rest of his life. But when he’s threatened to go into a retirement home, Carl decides to make good on his promise, attaching thousands of balloons to his house so that he can fly it to Paradise Falls – accidently picking up Wilderness Explorer Russell along the way. It leads to an amazing adventure where their struggle to get to Paradise Falls is compounded by the discovery of “Kevin” a rare bird that Muntz (who has gone insane from years of hunting this bird) is trying to capture.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now Carl himself is not exactly a spring chicken – but do NOT count him out because of his age. I mean, the guy is a technological genius! He turned his entire house into a floating hot air balloon and created a masterful steering mechanism so that he could pilot it. He’s also pretty tough as he was able to drag the house along when they were forced to walk AND he could fight Munzt in a sword fight – so he’s pretty fit for his age! Sure he could be a little grouchy sometimes, but at his heart, he is a lovely guy that just wants to fulfil a promise he made to his wife.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Carl I think stands out from a lot of badass heroes because of the fact he’s not a young man – he’s a guy near the “twilight” of his life. But despite this, he still goes ahead and masters a plan (however unrealistic) to make his wife’s dream come true. And that’s what makes him such an amazing character – everything he does he does for his wife. Come, admit it, you got teary eyed during that montage and the scene where he looked through his wife’s book.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Carl Frederickson shows no matter what age you are in life, you can still make your dreams come true. And that, for me, makes him a badass hero! Give this man the Ellie badge!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="489" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_92359a166ff24b3bb6f0591035e96e8f.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 300px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>4. Jack Bauer from <em>24</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Jack Bauer is quite possibly the most balls-out action hero there is. This guy makes Chuck Norris look like a sissy and it’s easy to see why! Jack Bauer does not **** around! He goes in for the quickest and best solution to any problem – even if it means someone getting killed or tortured!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> A CTU agent that has seen a LOT of crap in his life, Jack has battled everyone from rogue CTU agents, to terrorist organisations, to Russian mobsters to the Chinese Government. And he’s faced them all down and blown the hell out of them! Seriously, this guy has gone through things that no one man could survive in his life. He’s been shot at, stabbed, been tortured, suffered broken bones and was even once killed for a short time. But no matter how many times you try to kill Bauer, he always comes back stronger than ever! God help you if you should fail to try and kill Bauer – because he WILL mess you up... and that’s only if he decides to let you live!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> A common complaint that many people (within the show and outside) have of Jack is his willingness to do horrific things to gain information, be they torturing a suspect or stealing from his own people to get necessary information. Sometimes, Jack’s schemes involve innocent people getting hurt or killed. Although Jack himself acknowledges that he’s done some terrible things, he defends his actions by taking a pragmatic approach to the situation. Everything he does is for the bigger picture and, ironically, he’s often correct – as what he does leads to the downfall of the criminal syndicate.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> It’s not been without its casualties though. Over the course of the nine series of <em>24</em>, Jack has lost his wife Terri and several lovers (Audrey and Rene to name a few). Not only that, but his relationship with his daughter Kim is strained to say the least. Many times he has just wanted to settle down, but his duty and desire to see the bad guys punished means that he has to put aside his own dreams for the good of the country. But even Jack Bauer, whilst seemingly invincible, has his breaking point. A really poignant scene for me was at the end of series 3 when Jack Bauer secretly broke down crying after the pressure of the day. Poor guy!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Yes, Jack does some pretty nasty things – even to people that probably don’t deserve it – but it’s always been for the greater good. And the fact that he makes these choices so that others don’t have to shows how far he is willing to go to protect the country that he loves – even if it despises him. And did I mention that he was a balls out action hero? Well, if it comes to it, he has no problem pulling out a weapon and blowing you away if you so much as stand in his way.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> You may not agree with his actions, but just be glad he’s on our side!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="352" original-width="652" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_f01af0066ba84f6f9ad5837231e47318.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 400px; height: 215px;" /></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>5. Flynn Rider from <em>Tangled</em></strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I’m just gonna come right out and say it – and I don’t care how people interpret this. I – love – Flynn – Rider! If there was ANY character out there that could turn me from heterosexuality, it’s this guy! Ok, that’s probably a bit of a stretch... but even so...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Ahem...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Anyway, Flynn Rider (or Eugene is his real name) is quite possibly my favourite Disney hero of all time – and one of the most rounded characters in any Disney film. In Tangled he is a thief that steals a crown, and to hide himself from the palace guards (and the other thieves he tricked) he hides in a tower, where he meets Rapunzel. To cut a long story short, Rapunzel takes the crown he stole and makes a deal with her – take her to see the floating lights and she’ll give it back. Flynn agrees only with the idea of getting his crown back – but then realises there is another dream worth pursuing. And so begins what some Disney fans believe to be the best love story of any Disney film.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What’s not to love about Flynn Rider, other than his dashing good looks? For one thing, unlike a lot of heroes in Disney films, he’s not a prince or from a royal family. He’s just a guy that wants to have a rich and profitable life, turning to thievery after he was inspired by reading stories of a swashbuckling rogue (which is where he got his name from). The audience can relate to that as who wouldn’t want to want the best from life. It makes him a lot more realistic than him just being born a prince.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I really like Flynn’s character. He’s a little cocksure and kinda arrogant, often using wit and sarcasm to deflect anything that comes his way – but Rapunzel shows him that there is more to life than just money. And with her, he finds a new dream. Also, Flynn has some pretty cool scenes in the film. For one thing, he fights off palace guards with just a frying pan! That in itself is awesome! Sure, Rapunzel has to bail him out more than once in the film, but Flynn is pretty good at taking care of himself when he has to. I have to say the best scenes are with him and the horse Maximus – they never cease to make me chuckle.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Oh, and let’s not forget Flynn has the smoulder! It’s powerful enough to make women swoon and men question their own manliness! Yeah, admit it guys, you swooned a little when he did the smoulder! XD</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But the main reason I think Flynn is so badass is because he makes, what is in my eyes, one of the most heroic sacrifices of any character in a Disney movie. When injured by Mother Gothel, Rapunzel tries to save Flynn in return of willingly becoming her prisoner. But Flynn, not wanting her to be a captive, cuts of her hair and lets himself die so that she can be free – telling her that he was his new dream. But Rapunzel cures him when a tear falls from her eyelash onto his skin (eyelash is still a hair after all) and brings him back. And then they live happily ever after.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I personally am not really big on the whole “Knight in Shining” armour trope – but Flynn Rider is a welcome change on that. He is a fun character with many good traits, but at the same time he’s still relatable as he just wants to find his dream. We need more characters like Flynn Rider in my opinion – he could certainly show Kristoff from <em>Frozen </em>a thing or two about being a hero!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Agree with my list? Disagree? What heroes do you believe are badass/make you swoon/question your own sexuality? Comment below to let me know.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for reading guys! Stay safe.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON DA</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">N</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; 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padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/PandaDanWright"><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</span></u></a></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:01:54 GMT fadd07a3-7bd2-45d5-bf96-5fb33b38d877 Updates for Amanda Moonstone http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/updates-for-amanda-moonstone <p> Sorry for the lack of updates recently, life has been pretty hectic for me recently. But I HAVE got some great news! I have just recently handed in the second draft of my Disney inspired novel <em>Amanda Moonstone: The Missing Prince</em> to my publisher - who are now going through edits as we speak! I've gone through a few changes of the novel since the last update of this - adding a few more &quot;darker&quot; elements to it, so hopefully the publishers will be ok with that. Don't worry, it will still have the family friendly elements to it.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In the meantime, I have today created a Facebook page for <em>Amanda Moonstone</em> and will be publishing all updates frequently on there as they happen. So if you have Facebook, pop over there and give the page a like so that you see more amazing artwork (and even sample chapters) as they are brought out.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="https://www.facebook.com/AmandaMoonstoneSeries"><u><strong>AMANDA MOONSTONE FACEBOOK PAGE</strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Release date will be early 2015 - so follow the facebook page as the updates will be posted there first of all. Watch this space!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks for reading guys.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON DA</strong><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">N</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; " target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/PandaDanWright"><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</span></u></a></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Thu, 20 Nov 2014 12:01:23 GMT 2e2b3f4c-c4fa-41c7-8cc1-2d69508b55be Pandragon Dan Interviews Sally Wiener Grotta http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/pandragon-dan-interviews-sally-wiener-grotta <p> Hope you liked the last author interview - because I got ANOTHER one for you! Pixel Hall Press's own Sally Wiener Grotta very kindly stopped by to do a little interview and tell us about her new book The Winter Boy - and she even provided a little except of it! Let's not waste any more time and get down to the interview. Enjoy!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> <img original-height="189" original-width="126" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_0de5aa7bc56442c28c2481f27dd533e7.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 450px;" /></div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</div> <p> <strong>Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Thank you for inviting me, Dan.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I’ve made my living as a freelance writer and photographer for my decades-spanning career. (I’ve never been on staff anywhere, though I’ve been a Contributing Editor at a number of magazines.) What that means is that I’ve covered a wide range of topics for quite a diverse readership.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>If you were to ask me what one word would most fully describe me, I would say “storyteller.” I use words and my camera to explore what I want to understand and what I need to communicate. It’s the conduit I use to connect with others and attempt to make that connection meaningful.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The specifics? I’ve been on assignment for many major publications to all seven continents. I’ve interviewed and photographed hundreds of fascinating or famous (or both) people. And, I’ve been honored that my work has received numerous awards, grants and accolades. But mostly, I’m happy that I’ve been able to make a living at what I love doing most. (For more traditional bios, please go to <a href="http://www.grotta.net/events.htm and http://www.amhands.com/AboutSally"><strong><u>http://www.grotta.net/events.htm and http://www.amhands.com/AboutSally</u></strong></a>.)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What first inspired you to get into writing?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I’ve always been a writer… or at least lived for story.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I suppose I could say that my inspiration started with bedtime tales that my mother read to me. Or perhaps it was my grandmother’s stories about her childhood and the years before I came on the scene. What always fascinated me were the people in the stories. How they felt, what they did, why they did it.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>As soon as I could string words together onto a page, I was creating stories. As I grew older the stories became more complex, and eventually more refined and meaningful. But only after I learned that writing is more than story and inspiration – that it requires craft, professional acumen and discipline – did I begin to earn a living at it.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Who are your favourite authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Jorge Luis Borges, Margaret Atwood, Daniel Grotta, Viktor Frankl, Shakespeare, Michael Swanwick, Mary Doria Stewart, so many others.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I love discovering new authors. Recently, I read a wonderful book by Delia Sherman that transported me to the days before the American Civil War, and allowed me to see the South through a very different perspective than I ever had. That sense of experiencing something/someone new is part of the adventure of reading.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I have no real hobbies. When I’m not doing assignment writing or managing my career, I’m working on my fiction, creating photographic portraits, mounting exhibits, etc. I’m not really a workaholic. I simply love my work and would rather create stories and pictures than do anything else.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>My leisure activities include taking walks along the stream behind our house with my husband, the author Daniel Grotta, and Watson, our Golden Retriever, swimming occasionally, and of course, reading. While Daniel and I walk, we often discuss and brainstorm our stories.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I don’t consider genre when I’m writing. I simply create the story that needs to be told. That’s why my novels and short stories tend to not fit neatly into the zeroes and ones of digital marketing. In terms of character-driven plots, I have literary tendencies. But I also enjoy exploring otherliness and imagined worlds, which are tropes usually found in science fiction and fantasy. A number of reviewers and readers have called my most recent book “The Winter Boy” literary speculative fiction, though others see elements of a political thriller and coming of age story.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Not all my fiction has speculative elements. My last novel “Jo Joe” was set in a Pennsylvania mountain village and dealt with the very real world issues of prejudice, the ethnic/racial divide and family misunderstandings.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I like the designation “interstitial” – art that exists in the between spaces (http://www.interstitialarts.org). The image I have of interstitial is a hallway of doors that open up onto a number of categories, taking from each what is necessary to create the story as it should be rather than trying to fit it to a template of something that has already been done.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new/upcoming book?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>My newest novel is “The Winter Boy,” which was just published (November 6th) by Pixel Hall Press (check out an exerpt <a href="http://www.pixelhallpress.com/the_winter_boy.html"><u><strong>HERE</strong></u></a>)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Here’s the basic blurb: The Valley of the Alleshi is the center of all civilization, the core and foundation of centuries of peace. A cloistered society of widows, the Alleshi, has forged a peace by mentoring young men who will one day become the leaders of the land. Each boy is paired with a single Allesha for a season of intimacy and learning, using time-honored methods that include dialog, reason and sexual intimacy. However, unknown to all but a hidden few, the peace is fracturing from pressures within and beyond, hacking at the very essence of their civilization.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Amidst this gathering political maelstrom, Rishana, a young new idealistic Allesha, takes her First Boy, Ryl, for a winter season of training. But Ryl is a “problem boy” who fights Rishana every step of the way. At the same time, Rishana uncovers a web of conspiracies that could not only destroy Ryl, but threatens to tear their entire society apart. And a winter that should have been a gentle, quiet season becomes one of conflict, anger and danger.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Where did you get the inspirations for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>My answer to this question could wander the compass, taking us in any direction you want. That’s because my influences come from just about everything and everyone I have encountered, read, or experienced.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I could say that it starts with people. Characters pop into my mind, fully formed, with histories, names, and a very specific problem. At the same time, I usually know the first sentence of their story and how that story will end. (All the rest is negotiation with the characters in my head, which can take years to fulfil.)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Where do these characters come from? I really don’t know. Or maybe I should say, I really don’t want to analyze too closely how they come to me. The process works for me, so I would rather not overthink it.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>On the other hand, I can state quite clearly the source of the themes of my fiction and the context of the plot. It starts with questions I have about how the world functions and the way people treat each other. The questions can come from some of my more personal concerns, such as why a friend or stranger might suddenly lash out at a misspoken word. Or it might develop out of my befuddlement about war, terrorism, bigotry, and such.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I write to try to understand, to hope to tease out some solutions – or at least, instigate discussions about why? why not? what if? how? I put characters I learn to love into difficult, if not impossible situations, and sit back to see what I can discover from how they try to dig themselves out of their problems.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have any favourite characters in the story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>That’s like asking which child is your favourite. I love them all.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>ME: Good answer ;)</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>In “The Winter Boy,” Rishana/Tayar is perhaps the closest to me, with her heartbreak when she realizes that her faith in her world and the people she loves is too idealistic, that they are much less and much more than she once believed.<br /> <br /> I deeply empathize with Ryl/Dov’s unfocused need to rebel against structure and rules that he doesn’t understand. I ache for his sense of not belonging anywhere and delight in his vitality and charisma.<br /> <br /> Impish Kaith, with her ancient knowledge and child-like sense of wonder, flits through my mind, teasing and teaching me.<br /> <br /> Dara, Savah, Hester, Kiv and the other women of The Valley fascinate me, with their political intrigues, passions and sharp intellects – as do the men of their circles.<br /> <br /> No, I couldn’t choose a favourite; I enjoy the company of all of them, and I miss them now that “The Winter Boy” has left home to go out into the world.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I think I’ll pass on this question, and hope that someday it may become an issue. (Not that I would have a say in casting any movie based on my fiction. Still, it’s a fun fantasy.)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Fair enough. Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Both</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Without plot, without a story arc or a framework in which the reader is taken through problems or situations to a hoped-for resolution, a novel has no real reason to exist.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>But it’s the characters who create and live the story and make it come alive for the reader (and the author).</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What do you look for in a good story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>To be awed and transported by excellent writing, characters I can’t forget, and a plot line that resonates, giving it meaning.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What’s the best advice you can give to authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Write and then write some more. Rewrite more than you write. Read aloud what you’ve written to hear the sounds and rhythms of your prose and dialog. Then rewrite again... and again.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>When your editor asks you to change something, listen to her/him. Maybe they are correct in what they want you to put in the place of what is there. Maybe it’s simply that what you have in that portion of your story isn’t strong enough to express your vision, so they’re trying to help you fill in the holes. Whichever it is, you need to look closely at that portion, and make sure it is the best you can write.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>And read everything you can get your hands on, not just in your own genre, but a full spectrum of styles and textures.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. What DOES the Fox say?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Whatever Fox says, it’s usually twisted. I try to listen, because I believe in hearing opposing views, and it might be grist for my stories. But I almost always end up turning the channel.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Oh wait, you were asking about the fox with the furry tail?</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Er, yeah. It was a reference to the song <em>What Does The Fox Say?</em> Never mind. Why did the chicken cross the road?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> That depends on what the road is, doesn’t it? Is it a path, a barrier, a portal? I suppose if I were a chicken, I would answer that I have to cross the road to see what adventure lay (yes, lay, it’s a chicken, right?) over the horizon. But given that I have yet to understand chickenish, I can’t say what’s in the bird’s brain.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Now that IS a deep thinking answer to an ancient proverb. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Are you talking metric or English measurements?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>ME: Never mind... XD</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks to Sally for a very interesting and inspiring interview - especially in the last questions!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> If you wish to follow Sally you can do so at the following links.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.grotta.net/blog.htm"><u><strong>Blog</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="http:// www.Facebook.com/SallyWienerGrotta"><u><strong>Facebook</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="http://google.com/+SallyWienerGrotta"><u><strong>Google+</strong></u></a></p> <p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNWTfcn3YnQMl3HpyM1wW2A/videos"><u><strong>YouTube: Sally Wiener Grotta</strong></u></a></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="https://twitter.com/SallyWGrotta">Twitter</a></strong></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks again to Sally for joining me today. Authors, want to be interviewed or have a guest post? Please get in touch with me.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; " target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/PandaDanWright"><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</span></u></a></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 16:20:18 GMT e7242cac-a122-46ae-9cf8-5d731f74df11 Pandragon Dan Interviews G.S. Luckett http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/apps/blog/pandragon-dan-interview-gs-luckett <p> Time for another author interview! Today on my blog I have a special treat for you fans of Dark Fantasy and Horror. Please welcome to my blog - Mr G.S. Luckett.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px;text-align:center;"> <img original-height="300" original-width="200" src="http://static.wix.com/media/c0cd1c_0adae6140fb942deae384e0f09793eae.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 300px; height: 450px;" /> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog. Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Thank you for having me. Well a little about myself; I went in the Army shortly after high school and after getting out of the Army, I worked public utilities and studied creative writing and screenwriting at U.C.L.A. and Pierce College. I have self-published two books so far, </em>Gates <em>and </em>Alpha Hunter<em>.&nbsp; Now, I live outside of Portland, Oregon with my wife and two sons.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>So what first inspired you to get into writing?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I have always loved writing and had an overactive imagination so it seemed like a natural progression.&nbsp; It also helped to get ideas out to make room for new ones.&nbsp; I like the idea that when I write a great story the reader will use it to direct their own film in their imagination and be compelled to live in the world I created for them.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>I can relate to the having an overactive imagination part! Who are your favourite authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I like Steven King, Edgar Allan Poe, George R. R. Martin, and Bram Stoker, to name a few. These are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head in no particular order.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Anyone who mentions Edgar Allan Poe is ok in my books! Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Sometimes it feels that my whole world is writing but when I have time, I love to spend time with my family. We enjoy the outdoors here in the Pacific Northwest.&nbsp; I also participate in martial arts and kettlebells.&nbsp; If not that, I am researching and brainstorming new ideas.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I currently write in the Dark Fantasy, Horror, and Action/Adventure genres. With my new book, To the Gallows, you can add action western to the mix.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Why don't you let the nice people know about your latest novel - without giving TOO many spoilers away of course.</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>My latest book, </em>To the Gallows<em>, is a Historical Fiction/ Action Western based on one of the first African-American U.S. Marshals.&nbsp; Cole Winters finds out that his estranged Native American brother-in-law is wanted for murder and bank robbery in the territories.&nbsp; In order, to protect him from being hunted down by hired guns, Marshal Winters does the only thing he can.&nbsp; He hunts down his brother-in-law himself. I am also pre-writing Dystopian/Zombie book, Mortem.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Sounds interesting. Where did you get the inspirations for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I have always liked the action western and saw a show on the History Channel, while in the hospital as my son was treated for Jaundice. It was about the first African-American Marshals. I just ran with it and created Marshal Cole Winters.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Do you have any favourite characters in the story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I like Cole Winters, his brother-in-law, Joseph Two Guns, and a Jessie Wainwright, a female long-gun shooter. I like the teaming of the three and the ending is an action packed last stand.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>If your book were turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters? Do you have a favourite director you would choose for this?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Idris Elba for Cole Winters would be awesome.&nbsp; John McTiernan as a director would be great. I hope he would want to do an action western.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ah, yes - Idris Elba. Awesome choice! So this is a question that I like to ask that often gets mixed reaction - but it's also interesting to see what people think. Which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I feel you have to have both to make a great book. I think if you have, a story that has an original hook people will be interested but when you have that together with a character you love so much that you want to see them in other adventures then people flock to that book.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What do you look for in a good story?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I look to be caught up in it and to have to know what is going to happen to the characters and feel like I am in their world. It also helps to have great twists that spin the story in a new direction.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>This next one is a bit of cliche, but I still think it is important to know. What’s the best advice you can give to authors?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>I would tell you to stay at it.&nbsp; Keep at the craft of writing and always strive to better your work.&nbsp; Learn to bear criticism and rejection, because they will give way to praise.&nbsp; Also, do not be afraid to get your book reviewed.&nbsp; While I value what my friends and family say about my work, there is nothing like having someone who only knows you for your writing and love it.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Ok, now for the REAL questions of the interview – and these are real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on these questions and could cause a time collapse that will wipe out all life in the Universe. So think carefully before you answer. </strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>What DOES the Fox say?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Frak-kaka-kaka-kow.&nbsp; At least that is my favourite from the song. I have never personally spoke with a fox but it is on my bucket list.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>Why DID the chicken cross the road?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>To avoid the KFC down the street.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <strong>How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood?</strong></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <em>Seven cords of wood, no more, no less… Nailed it, right?</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Is the correct answer! Probably... thanks so much for being with me today and for the rest of you guys, please follow G.S at the following links.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><strong><a href="http://gsluckett.wordpress.com/">G.S. Luckett Website</a></strong></u></p> <p> <u><strong><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/GS-Luckett/316472175141295">G.S. Luckett Facebook</a></strong></u></p> <p> <a href="https://twitter.com/GSLuckett"><u><strong>G.S. Luckett Twitter&nbsp; </strong></u></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Authors... want to be featured on my blog for an interview/guest post? Please get in touch with me - my links are below.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width: 100%; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; text-align: left; "> <span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); ">-------------------------</span> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">PANDRAGON</strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> &nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Facebook:</strong>&nbsp;&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="https://www.facebook.com/PandragonDanWright" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; " target="_blank">LINK</a></u></strong></u></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Twitter:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/PandaDanWright"><u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><span style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</span></u></a></strong></p> <p style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: 24px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(249, 242, 242); text-align: left; "> <strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">Website:</strong>&nbsp;<strong style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">&nbsp;<u style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; "><a href="http://www.pandragondan.co.uk/" style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'Segoe UI', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; letter-spacing: normal; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: none; ">LINK</a></u></strong></p> Sun, 09 Nov 2014 15:46:24 GMT 77da49a4-430b-4f19-9dbc-ce7898d1891c