Archive for The Ancients and the Angels

Writing and the Morality Shift

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2013 by royalmanaball

When you write, you will find yourself inside of a pigeonhole no matter if you are indie or self-published. And it’s not just with the Big Six, folks.

I am known for my YA saga, The Ancients and the Angels. Although the content of these volumes may be dark and unpleasant at times, no blue language is printed, and all of the sex is “offscreen.” There’s tons of violence and vomit in them, though, but parents just don’t seem to give a crap about this. Whatever.

As anyone in this business understands; a writer writes. In a recent blog post by my friend and fellow scribe, Ksenia Anske, she examines the topic of writing and “genre-jumping.” I say, “go for it!”

The burning question is whether this is good for an author’s business acumen. From what I’ve seen, it doesn’t really seem to matter much as long as the work is solid. C.S. Lewis who was renowned for his children’s literature, had written remarkable nonfiction tomes on religious philosophy. Philip K. Dick would alternate between out-of-this-world sci-fi versus weird dramas that criticized Nixonian America. J.G. Ballard took a 180 route with The Atrocity Exhibition and Crash from his more conventional sci-fi offerings.

Writing is an art and an artist is going to explore and you won’t stop this process. I simply cannot write YA and nothing but it forever. Sure, my elves and angels will return, I promise you this, but for the rest of this year, I have the uncontrollable urge to delve into the realm of Bizarro.

This stuff is NOT for children. Already, one of my short stories entitled Conduct Disorder has been green-lighted (lit?) for inclusion into James Ward Kirk’s horror anthology Serial Killers Tres Tria. The piece is nothing less than revolting and cruel. Now, I’m not that kind of a person, and there still remains a strong moral ethos to this tale, but I just took the dark alley (very dark) to get there with this ditty. And it works! So, did anything really change?

Look at it this way; many actors of children’s films extend their feelers into other areas of cinematography. After all, Anne Hathaway of The Princess Diaries has shown the world her boobs plenty of times. Oh, the horror!

Yo, my bewbs rawk!

Yo, my bewbs rawk!

It may sound like I am apologizing here. I am not. No artist should ever apologize for their product. You are responsible for it, sure, but you are also the one who had invested so much time and energy into making it in the first place. Yes, you may get egg on your face when you throw the masses a curve ball, but responsibility is the first phase of accountability. Just take that accountability like a good Scout and be prepared for it.

The bottom line is that genre hopping can involve a moral shift in content. As a writer, you will have to be brave enough to venture into places unknown, and sometimes, they’re bad neighborhoods.

That’s all I’ve gotta say about that.


Author Spotlight: ME! M.C. O’Neill (Thanks to Lada Ray)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2013 by royalmanaball

Hey, Manaballers. I just have to say that I’ve been needing to give the old Royal Manaball more love, but May has been hectic and everything happens all at once, you know? Short story submissions, Novel releases and formatting, and, as always, editing.

Whatever. The work paid off and the tree bringeth me fruit. In my one year of first being published, I’ve had such an amazing experience. Two novels under my belt. Interviews on The Vinny Eastwood and Jeff Daugherty Shows. Interviewed by THEE Maria DeVivo, author of the Amazing Coal Elf (which is soon to be a series of books). A spotlight on the Silver Bullet Sunday, Flash fiction published by the Stephen King of Canada – James Roy Daley, as well as work published in the blog Writing Upside-Down (a big favorite of mine).

Need I brag more? Well, yeah I do. The astounding paranormal author Lada Ray, who pens the mighty Earth Shifter series AND it’s ancillary series The Earth Keeper, actually blogged an Author Spotlight on me! It’s so cool. You can read it right here.

How ya like me now? Photo credit: Indigo Moran

How ya like me now? Photo credit: Indigo Moran

I can’t find the words to thank her enough! It’s a big highlight for me and I am forever grateful, mainly because she is a visionary and a forerunner of the YA Revolution. As many of you may know, the YA Revolution is a collection of YA writers who are driving this reader demographic toward the light and away from that trite nonsense which gluts the market (and may bottom it out) this very day. We aim to hold line – by doing something new.

YA Revolution!

YA Revolution!

Well, I’m going to take the rest of the day off because I need to reboot my brain. You do know that I’m a cyborg? But that’s okay!

Speaking of cyborgs, I just read a book about Mr. T who became a cyborg zombie. No foolin’. It had the funniest line of dialogue in literary history: “Don’t give Mr. T. no jibber-jabber! Lemme eat them brains, fool!”

Archons Now Available!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2013 by royalmanaball

Folks, I have just gotta say that it has been a busy two weeks, so, sorry to be so scarce. Launching a new novel can be a daunting task. Last-minute edits, checking and double-checking. Oh, and then I had to design TWO book covers.

Anyway, with that being said, I now present unto you The Ancients and the Angels: Archons!

archons logo final2The saga continues as we follow Quen’die Reyliss and company. If you thought Celestials was dark, this one is even more so. Not only is it available on Amazon, but you can also find it on Smashwords.

On a grand note, Celestials is now available on Smashwords too! Finally! It had to happen. Check out this cool new cover to the e-book version!

celestials logo final2Pretty nice, huh?

Well, even nicer, is my BRAND, NEW DEAL! As a part of my contribution to Lada Ray’s YA Revolution, I am now GIVING AWAY the e-book of Celestials – FOREVER! That’s right! Call me insane, but I’ve gotta spread the word. You can only enjoy this offer from Smashwords, as Amazon is stupid and they make me sell it for 99 cents over there. So, uh, yeah… get it off Smashwords.

So, grab a copy of each today! Go on Smashwords and enjoy TWO entries to my awesome saga for only $2.99 – TOTAL! Not too shabby.

If you want, you can find my Amazon editions for kindle here and here

Have fun, and happy reading!

Authors! Join Lada Ray’s YA Revolution

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2013 by royalmanaball

Thanks to the genius of author Lada Ray, I have been recruited into an army, and an amazing one at that. With this transmission, I present to you the YA Revolution!

Here is the YA Rev HQ!


Lada Ray has been a gigantic inspiration for me, even though I’ve only known of her for a few months. To let you know, she is the author of The Earth Shifter saga and its accompanying mini-saga, The Earth KeepersYou can read my Author spotlight of her work here.

It bears repeating. The following is my FIVE STAR Amazon review of The Earth Shifter and I really suggest that all of you Manaballers read it. I’ve stated that it’s the best book I’ve read in two years, and I stand behind that.



This is the main saga written in tandem with Ms. Ray’s series “The Earth Keeper.” Read her book “Catharsis” to get a rundown of an amazing preamble to humanity itself!

Warning: Lada Ray knows more about human nature than Gandhi himself!

With that said, she is able to craft a wonderful tale that will entertain where other writers would steer their great knowledge into penning a pedantic. I’m so glad she didn’t go that route. The Earth Shifter is a very “aware” novel, but one that fails to preach overtly, thus not suffering the reader with a moral or lesson. These elements are present, yes, but encapsulated in the guise of a thrilling tale.

But really, once you’ve read the book, you’ll be quite frightened (and I do mean FREAKED) to see how prescient the themes presented are. After all, our world has just been attacked by meteors…

In all seriousness, you can’t take my word for it. Read “The Earth Shifter” and you’ll see a new definition to YA fantasy. I cannot wait to read further into Ms. Ray’s masterful works!

Loved this!


Lada will be doing a virtual world book tour for The Earth Shifter series from April 30th until May 2nd.

Look, folks, the reason the YA Revolution had to occur is for authors of the many Young Adult genres to use this opportunity to promote works that carry a positive message to the youth that read them. As stated on the YA Rev HQ, e-publishing can offer writers the ability to publish spiritually-sickening, low-frequency garbage, only to slap on the YA metatag just to drive youth traffic to their products. When I used the word “sickening,” I do mean that in a holistic sense.

But, as I’ve reviewed in my post about the dubious nature of The Hunger Games Omnibus, Big Six publishers are also guilty of pumping out negative-frequency tales. Due to the power of words and “spelling,” when a reader engages with a book, that person is experiencing an intimate form of magick. It doesn’t matter what your message or intent, it simply is what it is, and authors need to know this and take responsibility for it. It’s inherent to the craft of writing and there is no getting around that.

With that being said, and let me state for the record, that YA Revolution books have all the action and drama that you could hope to enjoy with your purchase, but the violence isn’t glorified. The “bad guys” aren’t your friends, and if they appear so, it’s all a ruse.

I vow never to underestimate the intelligence of the youth, but the human brain can continue to grow until the whopping age of twenty-six! The mind is a labyrinth and we at the YA Revolution promise to not pollute it with minotaurs. Eh… I meant that figuratively. YAR-writers can have all the minotaurs they want in their books!

At the time of this transmission, The YA Revolution has new writers joining its ranks every day! Fantasy authors such as Lada Ray, M.C. O’Neill (that’s me!), Maria DeVivo, author of The Coal Elf, and Aussie novelist Dionne Lister who pens the Circle of Talia saga have joined or expressed great interest.

You said you want a revolution, well, you’ve got it!



M.C. O’Neill Interviewed by Maria DeVivo

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2013 by royalmanaball

Maria DeVivo is the esteemed author of the wonderful YA novel The Coal Elf.

Just for the record, I can sometimes be a bit of a cold bastard. Yeah, that’s right. A cold bastard, but The Coal Elf had me in tears.


The book is published by Twilight Times Press and is making some real waves in the market. I’ve reviewed it on this blog before and I’d recommend every one of you Manaballers to buy and read it. You can read my five-star review of it here.

When I was approached by Ms. DeVivo to be interviewed on her personal website, I about choked on my egg fu yong! What a remarkable honor! I felt like Stannis Baratheon charging onto King’s Landing for a proper ass-kicking!

On March 28th, the interview went live and you can read it here.

Today I felt like I was lifted upon the shoulder of a giant. Maria is a great writer and I cannot wait for her next offering. I promise to be its first customer.

Thank you so much, Maria. You are one for the YA Revolution!



M.C. O’Neill on The Silver Bullet Sunday!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2013 by royalmanaball

Folks, I am on fire this month! It’s time for M.C. O’Neill to conquer Europe!

I’ve been following the Silver Bullet for a while now, ever since I had first seen him on my old pal’s site, The Vinny Eastwood Show!

It’s no surprise – I have much in common with Silver and he provides the viewers with a great and entertaining show. Well, one day earlier this month, the Silver Bullet himself invited me as a special guest to his show! I was so honored! I was featured on Silver Bullet Sunday!

Of course, my series, The Ancients and the Angels, was a topic of focus, but we had to take a journey down the rabbit hole and delve into the secret world of what is really happening behind the scenes of daily life. Thankfully, we didn’t find any rats down there.

Anything and everything from the fiat currency of the Federal Reserve, fake gold cut with tungsten, and even our supposed moon landing were up for game! We even talk here about graffiti art and street art as a method of political awareness.

Yes, we even focused on Vaughn Bode.

Yes, we even focused on Vaughn Bode.

But don’t take my word for it. Watch the show right here! It’s in two parts, so just follow the links and PLAY!



You can find the Silver Bullet Posse at Mystery Management.

And the Mystery Management channel which features all of his videos and shows!

I also want to give a special shout-out to my talented photographer Indigo Moran of Enchanted Waters Photography whose photos of me were featured on the show. Thanks a lot, Indigo!

Indigo Moran of Enchanted Waters Photography

Indigo Moran of Enchanted Waters Photography

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day, everyone!

The Can’t’s, Shan’t’s and Mustn’t’s of Writing

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 13, 2013 by royalmanaball

Read the title to this blog entry. I have a hard time not heeding them, yet the anarchist in me automatically wants to be defiant.

Back in Art School, the professors said never to use black. What did I do? Bought a shit-ton of Mars Black paint. Couldn’t help myself! True, after a while, I learned that mixing your own black does indeed make for a better, richer painting, but I had to bite of the Forbidden Fruit.

All across Twitter, I see warnings, shibboleths, firm advice and critique of style. When I strip these articles down to their bare essentials, I can only read matters-of-taste, pet peeves, and anal-retentive obsessions owned by that particular author.

Yes, some of these peccadilloes they pray you avoid can indeed be trite. For instance, describing your protagonist through a mirror scene. Shoot, my novel has a whopping count of three mirror scenes! Don’t give a fuck.

I impart the wisdom that you, the writer, do take these opinions (and they’re only opinions) to heart for about three minutes before you transgress, but frankly, I say use them if you want. But use them intelligently. Make fun of it! Subvert them! Hell, invert them! There is nothing like meta-referencing bad writing in your book as it makes for fine irony and ultimately, comedy.

Writers are artists. Be artful if you want to delve into the realm of the hackneyed.

Oh, and for God’s Sake! Good literature is not Queen’s Diction! I’d rather watch earthworms screw than read such light bulb-polishing tripe!


Here’s the lynchpin to any novel, and author David Van Dyke blogged it best: BE ENTERTAINING!

You can read about it here:

Have a good day, folks and keep writing as you like it!

NB: As to the title of my blog, I have scoured Google and the Illinois Blue Book for the rule of writing plural contractions. Could not find it. So, I went with the rule of If’s, and’s or but’s, hence the two apostrophes.


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