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Friday, January 29, 2021

Interview with Daniel Ståhl

Daniel Ståhl

Requiem – In Memory of All That Should Have Been




Requiem is in the genre of Poetry

It is a double-tiered heroic crown of 211 interwoven sonnets

Daniel, can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?


Like so many others, I imagine, it’s as though I always needed to have some kind of creative project running in the background. While writing has been one outlet for that, it used to be mostly games development. For the longest time, though, I started way more projects than I finished, but that all changed when I first became a father. Literally from one day to the next I had no time for myself – as a parent, I’m sure you can relate.


I have six kids. I can totally relate!

At that point I made a conscious decision: if I were to get anything truly done, I would need to focus on one project at a time, and stick with what offered me the highest creativity-to-time ratio. And that was writing. Not long after I published my first novel.


I always found that inspiration comes from that twilight zone nestled in between constraint and freedom. That’s why I quite enjoy the strict format of a sonnet – it provides a frame within which the mind can get to work. 

So how do you work writing in with your other responsibilities?

I split most of my time between being a developer, researcher and writer in the software industry, and teaching as an associate professor of software engineering. And whenever I’m not at work, I’m with my kids, so what remains to me is pretty much my lunch breaks. Sometimes I need to do lunch meetings and such, but for the most part I have my lunch breaks to myself, so that’s when I get to do most of my creative writing. For the Requiem project, I aimed to get one sonnet done per lunch. I almost succeeded.


It’s not necessarily something I would recommend, though. A little bit of time pressure can be a good thing, but trying to squeeze out a sonnet in 45 minutes, and then again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that… It can get stressful.


Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?

I always found that inspiration comes from that twilight zone nestled in between constraint and freedom. We all know the terror of a blank sheet of paper; it can be torturous to try to produce something out of nothing.  That’s why I quite enjoy the strict format of a sonnet – it provides a frame within which the mind can get to work. It gives the imagination purchase on the paper, a foothold. And then all you need is to seed that process with something; it can be anything, something you overheard on the bus, some phrase you picked up in a book, something you read in the news that morning that stuck with you.


Please tell us about your current release.

Through its 211 interwoven poems, this double-tiered recursive crown of sonnets takes the reader on an epic journey to the heart of mankind’s would-be nemesis – herself – and back again. Does her destiny await in the unexplored depths of the cosmos, or in a toxic wasteland of her own making? Does she have the will to shape her own future, or is she a slave to her myopic wants and impulses?

Requiem takes the existential threats facing humanity – from the destruction of the environment to nuclear holocaust – as a lens through which to reflect on the fate of civilization, humanity and ultimately conscious life in the universe.

That is a lot to undertake! Do you ever feel like there is a kryptonite out there preventing you from writing?

Kids. To paraphrase my PhD supervisor: I love them to bits, but they can be quite time consuming.


I understand. For me, I always wanted to write. It took till most of mine were out of the house before I could carve out the time. Kudos for you making it happen at your stage of life.

Thanks again for talking. One more time, where can someone go to purchase your book?


Saturday, January 23, 2021

My favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie


 Yes, a recipe. I have had a few people ask me for recipes I make. So I thought I would do it here. I will start by writing a seven page novel about my childhood and how my grandmother used to....

No. No. No. I hate the recipe blog that you have to scroll for three minutes past multiple ads and text to get to the thing you want to make. Especially when you discover that their recipe involves things like trips to the Himalayas or eye of newt. No. Simple. Easy. Readily enjoyable. 

I am all about easy recipes using whenever I can pre-made helps. So without further adieu....


1 yellow cake mix

1 stick of butter

1 egg

"splash" of milk (3-4 tablespoons)

1tablespoon + vanilla extract (Not imitation!)

8 ounces chocolate chips

I know. You are saying, "That's cake mix. It makes cakes." Trust me.

Let's get cooking! 

-1. In a mixing bowl Soften your butter. Preheat oven to 350

(my microwave has a setting for this. Or leave it out overnight. The butter, not the microwave. Actually, you can leave them both out of the fridge. It is okay.)

-2. Add all other ingredients except the chocolate chips. Mix.

 (I use a mixer, but you can do it by hand. Just mix it well!)

-3. Once you get it to cookies dough consistency, "roll in" the chips. 

I use a big soup spoon. Pour them in and then just slowly mix by hand to get chips in every bite. I suppose you could mix the chips in originally, but in my experience they break up with the electric hand mixer.

-4. Spray a pan and scoop 1.5-2" balls a few inches apart.

I use baker spray which has vegetable oil mixed with flour as opposed to regular PAM spray. But either works.

I scoop mine by hand. A little tip is to run cold water in your sink. Put your fingers in it every couple of times you form a cookie dough ball. The cold water evaporates out, doesn't impact the taste, and makes it soooo much easier to work with the dough. 

If you can, place your mixing bowl in the fridge 30+ minutes before scooping. They cook a bit better if they go in the oven cold and are easier to hand scoop and roll.

If hand rolling balls terrifies you, it is okay. Use a small scooper. I'd get one with the lever the pops the ball out. 

-5. Cook on top rack for 11 minutes.

I let mine cook another minute or so on the pan. If you like yours with a browned bottom keep them in 13 minutes. The test I use is if I stick a toothpick in and no dough sticks (chocolate will if you poke through a chocolate chip!)

Also... I am not officially telling you to eat any raw eggs. It is a bad idea. Don't do it.  Officially I am telling you to not eat raw eggs and don't sue me if you do!! However, at my house some people don't listen to me at risk of their own peril. I might be one of those people.

Explore how big or small you want your cookies. I like cookie dough balls because they don't flatten as bad. One time I did it and it became a cookie sheet cake. It was delicious anyway. In fact, we have since done this in a casserole dish and made it a cookie cake.

And that is it. Move them to a plate after they cool a few minutes. 

Easy, and you will be asked to bring these places. I promise.

Want more? Just double, triple, etc...


A few notes: 

3 tablespoon of milk is an estimate. I'd start there, but if the dough is dry and the cake mix isn't joining the other ingredients another tablespoon will help.

Vanilla is key. I would say minimally one tablespoon. Three is probably over the top, but I'm not judging. Find your vanilla preference.  



I have not been this excited about a movie in a long time.


Yes... Watch the video trailer... watch it now... do not pass go... you will collect so much more than $200.

Here is what the Den of Geek says:

"As comedy, each of the set ups have great payoffs, and the running gags never trip up, even if Eddy slips into Shakespearean soliloquies before exiting, stage left."


Den of Geeks

 IMDB offers this great quote straight from the script:

Eddy Pine: My mother's a junkie whore. My father's an alien from outer space. Killer clowns are out to get me. My a**hole's the portal to the Sixth Dimension - and they cancelled my f***ing series! Do you really think everything's going to be ok?


Which brings us to our next point... What is this film about? You have watched the preview (if not, you MUST scroll back up and do so NOW), so you probably have already deciphered that this is the classic tale of the out of work actor. Well, an out of work actor that discovers he is part of an intergalatic battle involving clowns and aliens.

I imagine the script was written like this:

Elfman: Okay, before we get started, I've handed out slips of paper. Everyone write down a type of person,  three adjectives and a verb involving intergalactic space travel.

#1: Here is my slip. (hands in slip along with other writers). 

#2: Here is mine. So what is this movie about we are writing today?

Elfman: It is the classic tale of an out of work actor trying to find his purpose in life after his series is cancelled.

#1: So was the slip of paper like an icebreaker game? Some fun before we get started?

Elfman: No. In fact, we are done. We just wrote it. (looks at slips of paper). Our actor will now have to battle clowns, aliens, gangsters, and hipsters. There will be vomitting lasers, intergalactic lollipop spinners, exploding heads, and little people. Oh, and some vintage cars. Any questions?

#2: Do we need to be writing this down? You know... for the script?

Elfman: Nah. Let's start filming. This story just tells itself.

 And I, for one, can not wait to sit in a theatre to watch it unfold. I should warn those of you with sensitive eyes, there may be a bit of crude humor mixed in to the shakespearean overtures. If that is not your thing, then you had best stay away. Which allows me to social distance while eating my popcorn anyway. I will probably even buy some peanut M&M's to mix in my popcorn. That is how much anticipation I have of this film.

Truly, I have not been this excited since the last time a noble American discovered a plot of intergalactic warfare. Yes, Roddy "Rowdy" Piper in John Carpenter's masterpiece "They Live."

THEY LIVE official movie preview

This is the film where down-on-his-luck all American Piper, the wrestler who once slammed a coconut on another wrestler's head, finds some sunglasses in a trash can that allow him to see the aliens posing as humans.

It leads us to perhaps one of the greatest lines in film history:

"I have come to chew bubblegum and kick a**. 

And I am all out of bubblegum."

But we digress. On January 29th. Or last year. Or in March. It all depends on which website you believe. But someday soon or very recent past we will be able to watch Aliens, Clowns, and Geeks.

Go now to the Den of Geeks. They are a spectacular location on the web. And really our primary source for all things related to the best film of 2021.


Start looking for your tickets now. 

"Just Go Man" by Patrick Warren


Today, we have an opportunity to talk to Patrick Warren. Patrick has written the book, “Just Go Man: Hiking and Wild Camping in a Foreign Land During the Worldwide 'Pandemic'”.  What interested me about the book was how it came to be. After getting stuck in the EU and suffering a loss of income during the worldwide "pandemic", Patrick decided to head to Croatia and live off grid for a few months while hiking and wild camping. 

First, let me thank you for joining me.  I appreciate you giving me your links and I want to share those with our readers.


Author: Patrick Warren

Websites: youtube.com/truegritproductions and guardianangelbooks.com 

Buy link: https://amzn.to/35UCu07

Book title: Just Go Man: Hiking and Wild Camping in a Foreign Land During the Worldwide “Pandemic”

genre: non-fiction travel/adventure

Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?

I started writing non-fiction recently during my world travels. With everything going on in the world right now, it seemed like the right time to start recording my observations and sharing my experience with others using the written word. 

Do you write full-time or around another job? How do you schedule your time to write?


I don't write full-time but it's definitely an essential part of my job as an online entrepreneur. I tend to write blogs and sales copy for various websites that I run. While that might seem unimportant to the casual observer, writing sales copy teaches you how to concentrate on making everything- every word- matter to the reader. 


For the book I would sit down and write 1500 – 2000 words in a session, which usually took me about an hour. I really liked writing directly after I finished hiking for a few hours. With all the blood pumping, your brain spits out more ideas than you know what to do with. 


Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?


My inspiration comes from the thought that maybe sharing insight or the details of one of my daily experiences might positively affect a single soul out there. My YouTube channel has taught me that even the smallest thing can have an impact on someone else's life. As someone who watches videos myself from content creators around the web and rarely tunes into mainstream news or typical television, I know it's true for me from a viewer standpoint as well. 


For me, writing is all about hooking your audience with curiosity, making a promise, then delivering value and making good on your promise. Having respect for your audience's time, their attention and potential interests keeps you grounded and focused on the point you want to make as you tell your story. It guides you and keeps you honest.


I drew upon “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger and “Roughing It” by Mark Twain for the format and style of my book specifically. I appreciate how these books impart a slight feeling of dread as you tag along with the writer during their journey. The minor and seemingly mundane details really add to the feeling that you're there with them, which I think is essential for making what you write come to life. People can relate a little bit to suffering and vulnerability, but not too much of it, and it often helps if you smooth it out with some humor.


"I chose to go to Croatia because they were one of the few countries allowing in Americans and it was a short train ride from Germany and Austria where I was in August of 2020." 

Please tell us about your current release.


This book is about a period of time during my current perpetual world travels which began long before the “Coronavirus Crisis”, but continued throughout and still do to this day. I was in Germany when everything started to lock down, so ever since March of 2020, it's been a game of hot potato for me, having to find countries that will actually allow an American to enter and hopefully not overstaying my VISA.


I chose to go to Croatia because they were one of the few countries allowing in Americans and it was a short train ride from Germany and Austria where I was in August of 2020. In addition to this, my income post-pandemic from my online business decreased dramatically during 2020, so I wanted to experiment with living in a tent to save some money while hiking down the coast. 


Free exercise hiking through a country. Wild camping (hopefully I won't get caught). And buckets of sweaty hot sunshine with free baths in the Adriatic Sea.


Book Excerpt


“Hiking along the Croatian coast is like walking through a cemetery with a breathtaking view. I've walked by more roadside memorials and tombstones for the departed than in any other country in the world or scenic coastal drive, and I've spent a fair share of time driving along Highway One in California, as well as some winding roads in the mountains near San Diego. 


I'm assuming most, if not all, of the memorials are for people who died in car or motorcycle crashes. Whose fault? I don't speak Croatian, but I'm sure it's probably not written on their grave. That would just be tacky, I suppose. After you've seen about 15 – 20 of these makeshift grave sites, you kind of become desensitized to them. 


Some of them even have pictures of the deceased on them- one even had a picture of a dude and a separate picture of his motorcycle, which as they say, is worth a thousand words. On one memorial, let's call it a mass grave since it was for 2 people, they put up the photos of the guys who died and the pictures were maybe just a little too telling. They kinda looked like scumbags, maybe not school shooter or terrorist level, but they definitely had the look of dudes with attitudes, and not good ones either. 

Sometimes the roadside memorials have fresh flowers and candles, or maybe they're plastic, battery-operated fake candles, and I've checked the date of death just to see how long people are still honoring the memory of the lost. I've seen it go as high as 15 years into the past.” 


Who are your favorite authors?


Shakespeare, Orwell, Dickens, Twain


Now, I noticed you have gotten several reviews, including one who apparently felt offended at your book?

If you're not making somebody angry, then you're probably just a pussy.

One more time, where can someone go to purchase your book?


On Amazon, the book can be purchased through this link:




Tuesday, January 19, 2021

On Audible!!

Twelve Hours on the Block is now on AUDIBLE! Support an indie author and enjoy some urban fantasy. What would happen if the Aztec Gods were in a modern prison? Find out HERE

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Interview with Darryle Purcell

Darryle Purcell


Today, we have an opportunity to talk to Darryle Purcell.  Darryle has written the book, “Mystery of the American Yeti.”  


First, let me thank you for joining me.  I appreciate you giving me your links and I want to share those with our readers.


Author name: Darryle Purcell

Web site: amazon.com/author/darrylepurcell

Mystery of the American Yeti 

Genre of book: Western Neo-Pulp


That is great.  Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?

I started off as a cartoonist. Following serving as an Army paratrooper, including a year in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, I worked my way through college studying art. While in school I began selling editorial cartoons to a variety of publications in the Los Angeles area. I also made my own animated films in college, which led to fulltime work at Filmation Associates in Saturday morning cartoon programs. Later I worked a few years illustrating and art directing educational comic books and young reader books, all the while selling freelance cartoons. In the early 1980s I began working in daily newspapers, starting as an editorial cartoonist and spending most of the ’90s and up to 2005 as a managing editor. I spent my last eight years in the workplace as a public information director for a county in Arizona.

I began writing in college, but it didn’t become a big part of my life until the ’90s. I learned it was just as fun to write a column or editorial concerning a political situation or official, as it was to draw a cartoon. The majority of my opinion-page columns were humorous takes on current events. I carried that style over into my current fiction. I like writing action and adventure stories but I learned in Vietnam, survival depends on finding humor in situations. Without it, reality can become a little too dark. 

Do you write full-time or around another job? How do you schedule your time to write?

I’m retired and living on a few acres in rural Arizona, where I can write, draw, work on my property, talk to the coyotes, or anything else I want whenever I want. But when I’m working on a novel, I try to write every day. 


Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?

There are a lot of things going on today in the news that are similar to what was going on in the late 1930s and early 1940s, especially in politics. Historical research can be eye opening. I also use my own experiences of dealing with angry officials in my capacity as an editorial cartoonist, columnist and managing editor. Some of my villains are very close to current politicos. My knowledge of jungle warfare, parachuting and attitudes of men in combat tend to move things along in a few of my books. My love of the wonderful B-westerns of the old days is the glue that brings the Hollywood Cowboy Detectives humorous adventures to fruition. 


What are your hobbies and do they ever play into your writing?

I’m old. And after many years of writing and drawing for newspapers and other employers, I now write and draw for myself. 


What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?

If you are young, take college classes and find work as a public information officer or reporter where you will be writing every day. 

With your fiction, write what makes you happy. There are a lot of critics out there, but the most important one is you. Research your settings and create a tight plotline to get from A to Z. Develop characters you like, as well as some you don’t. But put living, breathing beings on paper and, sometimes, let their characters speak, act and choose directions.

If you enjoy your work, you will do a good job. Don’t write “End” until you are happy with your product.


Please tell us about your current release.

Here is the descriptive blurb I wrote concerning “Mystery of the American Yeti.”


The Hollywood Cowboy Detectives ride again! 

It’s early 1941 and Germany’s National Socialists have joined forces with Russia’s Soviet Socialists to sabotage the American way of life. Republic Pictures flack Curly Woods, studio chauffeur Nick Danby and western film stars Hoot Gibson and William S. Hart have saddled up to put their lives on the line for the red, white and blue in this full-length non-stop action adventure. 

The cowboys travel to the Cascade Mountains in northern California to track down information on a newsreel crew that vanished in 1929 while attempting to catch the legendary Sasquatch on film. During their efforts, they discover an ancient hidden city built thousands of years ago, which has been taken over by a psychotic madman who is funded by the Nazi and Communist regimes. The evil despot’s fortress contains a hospital of death where innocent civilians become victims of sadistic experimentation. Curly and Hoot, with the help of Bill Hart and Nick Danby, battle foreign and domestic saboteurs, gigantic metal creatures designed to kill and destroy, and an army of enemy fanatics. And then there’s the Sasquatch! 

“Mystery of the American Yeti” boils over with pulp-action sci-fi western thrills reminiscent of the amazing Saturday matinee cliffhanger serials of the 1930s and ’40s. 


Can you read / provide us with a small exert? 

The old man’s eyes burned with hatred behind his two revolvers, which were aimed at the five surly men.

“Get off my porch!” he growled through his clenched teeth as he kicked the front door wide and advanced toward them. 

The men, who were wearing lumberjack boots, Levis, knit caps, and heavy flannel jackets, began backing down the steps.

“Stay on the walkway!” he ordered. “And don’t step on my lawn!”

“What lawn?” a scrawny man wearing his cap at an angle sputtered. “There’s nothing there but dirt and rocks, you delusional old fart!”

A .38 caliber slug slammed through his hand, causing him to drop the timber axe he was carrying. The others quickly followed suit by releasing their large forestry tools to fall on the alleged “lawn.”

“We meant no harm. We just came to warn you,” the leader, and largest asshole in the group, said as all of the men backed down onto the stone walkway.

The elderly resident shoved the hot barrel of his right-hand weapon against the leader’s forehead and quietly snarled, “And I’m warning you. Show up on my property again and I’ll bury your mangy hides here!”


What exciting story are you working on next?

I recently turned in my latest Hollywood Cowboy Detective novel and illustrations to my publisher (J.M. Stine of Buckskin Editions). The working title was “Mystery at Satan’s Corona,” but that may change to “Mystery at Winchester House,” for obvious reasons.

It’s summer of 1941 and the Hollywood heroes battle against an occult evil during their most bizarre and dangerous adventure. Republic Pictures flack Curly Woods, studio chauffeur Nick Danby and western film star Hoot Gibson encounter supernatural beings, enemy agents with occult powers, alien monsters from another galaxy and a good-guy ghost from the future.


Who are your favorite authors?

Fiction: Craig Johnson, Lee Goldberg and the late Stuart Kaminsky.

Columnists: Two late writers, Mike Royko and Lewis Grizzard. 


What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Back in the 1950s, I saved my quarter-a-week allowances up so, when I would go into town, I could buy delightful, imaginative pulps and paperbacks. Today I try to recreate the enjoyment I got from those escapist adventures.


Anything additional you want to share with the readers? 

Since I’m an old guy and most of my working years were before Kindle, I prefer ink-on-paper publishing. Right now, I have 10 Hollywood Cowboy Detectives paperbacks and two Man of the Mist paperbacks. There is a third Man of the Mist Kindle edition that hasn’t been released as a paperback yet. 


One more time, where can someone go to purchase your book?

Go to amazon.com/author/darrylepurcell and select “all formats,” “Kindle Edition,” “Audible Audiobook,” or “paperback.” Many of my earlier Hollywood Cowboy Detectives paperbacks contain bonus short stories. Right now, I only have one audiobook, “Trail of the Bat Beasts,” (also available in Kindle and paperback) which is one of my Man of the Mist pulp adventures.

Another site is: http://www.menspulpmags.com/search/label/Darryle%20Purcell