Archive for YA

Author Interview: Ksenia Anske

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2013 by royalmanaball

Ksenia Anske is an author of reckoning. Probably the first writer to ever be interviewed by The Huffington Post – without having published! How cool is that? She is the proud author of the brave trilogy The Siren Suicides. It’s an irreal, bizarre and sad tale of Ailen, a teen who commits suicide in order to escape her morbid home life only to transform into a siren, or rather, a vengeful mermaid upon her death. Despite her new-found existence, her problems fail to cease…

This transmission, we are interviewing Ms. Anske and are going to pick her wild brain about her writing process, her books and her coping mechanisms with life, love and happiness as an author. Let’s begin!

The author in her natural environment.

The author in her natural environment.

Hello, Ksenia! So nice to have you on Royal Manaball. We have a few questions that we and many of your fans are sure to be interested.

This is a question I must ask about the nature of Ailen. Is she undead or has she been reborn?

She is undead, kind of like a watery zombie, and she can only be killed by a very high frequency noise that will literally blow her up. It could be done two ways, either the classic old-style way (they’ve been blowing up sirens like this in the Middle Ages) by a whip, cracking it so what it produces a sonic boom, or by a special sonic gun, blasting her at close range into her chest.

Speaking of death and undeath, what does death mean to you? How instrumental of a concept does death hold for your writing?

I was very close to death when I wanted to take my life, but when I decided not to go through with suicide, I sort of felt reborn, but better than reborn, I felt like I was a clean slate, a clean piece of paper, and that I could build my life anew any way I wanted to. Because of this experience death is a very big topic in my books, I suspect, it will be in the future. I tend to have a birth and a death in every one of my novels, so it might become a recurrent theme? In any case, birth and death are two things that are part of life, so I think they have to have central place in any story. And a clock, because life is ticking away and we are closer to our end every minute . I think Chuck Palahniuk said at one of his book tours that I attended that every story needs a birth, a death, and a clock. I took this advice to heart.

Now, as we talk about life, how has your life changed since publishing The Siren Suicides? Does it feel like a rebirth for you?

It felt like a beginning of something new. I couldn’t believe I wrote a whole trilogy (still pinching myself), and because of it I feel like I can write books now. I mean, if you have written 3, then the 4th one doesn’t seem so scary, does it? I have also connected to people on a level the depth of which I couldn’t imagine. These are people I have never met, these are my readers from all over the world, from France, to Australia, to Egypt, to UK, to even Russia (yes, I am from Russia, although I write in English). These people said that they felt EXACTLY like Ailen, and they so far have sent me in the mail: postcards, checks with money, boxes of chocolate, shoes painted with an image of the siren, t-shirts with my quotes, and even flowers. I mean, my readers became my family, and I love them to pieces, and they love me too, across the boundaries of space and time! What else could one ask for?

Once a saga is complete, how does it feel for you? I mean, how do you feel in that it’s over and the main event has passed? Is there a sense of grief that you and Ailen aren’t playing together anymore, or do you feel fine putting her back in the toybox?

I feel relieved. It was very painful to go back into my own memories, extracting my feelings, and writing about them. I had to drag myself almost by the hair every day into my pain, to get it out. I felt cleansed and happy every day after writing, but to start was torture, because everything I’ve written about I have felt for real. Now that it’s over it feels like I cut it out of myself and gave to the world, leaving a hole behind that is already healing, and hopefully is helping others heal as well. So to me it’s a stage of my life that is over, but to every new reader it’s current, happening now, so when I get their feedback, I go back to my story, and think, wow, did I really feel all of this, did I really do through this Writing, like nothing else, has helped me see my own change and growth. It’s an amazing feeling, really. I recommend to everyone to write a novel, just for therapy.

In regard to my previous question, do you feel the characters of your saga are like toys or dolls and your books are the “dollhouse?” I see it this way with my YA work. No matter how grim or grotesque the plot gets, I still have fun playing with my characters and wondering what they might do next.

No, they felt real to me when writing. In general, when I write, I dive into the story fully, as if scribbling down complete scenes of a movie. I get fully submerged into it, with music, images, smells, and touch. That’s why it is hard for me to start sometimes, because to me writing is like acting, I have to get into character, only then do I produce good work. The down side of this is, of course, getting out of character, but that’s a whole another conversation.

Tell us a little about your upcoming release, Rosehead. Does this tale hold similar facets of The Siren Suicides? Is it YA?

It’s very different, on the surface. But deep underneath it has the same longing of a child to have a family, something I never had. So, on the surface, it’s YA. There are no swear words, no nudity, no sex scenes, as there are in Siren Suicides. The main character, Lilith Bloom, a twelve year old from Boston, is very polite, likes ballet, books, and handmade knit berets. Her pet whippet Panther can talk and is her only friend. They typically engage in a very sarcastic banter, imagining themselves Holmes and Watson. Lilith and Panther to Berlin, to Lilith’s gradnfather’s mansion for the family reunion. Alfred Bloom is the owner of BLOOM & CO, the company that grows and produces exclusive roses, shipping them fresh all over the world. And so, the entire book happens in the Bloom property, in the mansion and the rose garden, which eats some very strange things, as Lilith and Panther discover. They embark on an investigation of the mystery, that is both funny and bloodcurdling.

The author in her not-so-natural environment.

The author in her not-so-natural environment.

Now, I do this with all my interviewees – Word Association. I give you a word, and you tell me what comes first to your mind. Shall we?

Russia.

Vodka.

America

Flag.

Lightning

Thunder.

Dolphin

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Water

Ocean.

Flower

Bloody rose.

Speed

Motorcycle.

Monkey

Zombie monkey chasing me across the field.

Okay, that was painless, yes? Thank you for your time, Ms. Anske and I do appreciate your time with us. We at Royal Manaball wish you all the best of luck with The Siren Suicides Saga and Rosehead. Below are all of the relevant links to Ksenia’s work including her magnificent blog. Be sure to pick up The Siren Suicides today!

Click the pic and get your copy!

Click the pic and get your copy!

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Google+

YouTube

Instagram

Flickr

Goodreads

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!”

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.

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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!

 

 

The Ancients and the Angels on the Vinny Eastwood Show!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2013 by royalmanaball

Vinny Eastwood is one of those pioneer podcasters that really breaks the mold for conspiracy theory reportage. Transmitting from his command center in, as he calls it, “beautiful Fukushima-irradiated Auckland, New Zealand,” Mr. Eastwood works day and night to bring his viewers truth and awareness.

Yours truly was fortunate enough to secure a guest spot on this amazing show and here I discussed many interesting topics with this audacious Kiwi. Good times were had and you can see it right here!

http://www.guerillamedia.co.nz/content/18-february-2013-ancients-and-aliens-mark-oneil-max-mogren-ski-bum-truth

Direct Video Link:

My first book, The Ancients and the Angels: Celestials, features several key conspiracies that parallel what is happening to this very day, but on an ancient earth ruled by elves. This book has it all: compromised governments, spiritual warfare, occult conspiracy and child sacrifice. A ruse perpetrated by low-frequency entities, social panic, disinformation, martial law and a criticism of Rapture theory.

You can find this great book here on Kindle and trade paperback!

The Ancients and the Angels - Celestials

Aside from plugging my novel, Vinny and I examined the nature of conspiracy theories and what it is like for a person to become aware to the fact that much of what you have been told your entire life may be not as advertised and how to deal with it once that pitcher of cold truth has been splashed in your face. Another great topic we touched upon is the predictive programming prevalent in the media aimed toward the youth of today’s generation, and namely, in YA literature.

As for the truth, I have developed a four-level scale of conspiracy veracity. How well-documented or proven is what you learn all over the internet and other dark corners of the globe? Click the pic below for a higher resolution.

infograpfontsonline

Also featured is what’s in store for M.C. in the future. In March, I’ll be releasing the thrilling sequel to The Ancients and the Angels: Celestials entitled The Ancients and the Angels: Archons! In this grand addition to the series, the drama continues and even more conspiracy abounds as this saga delves into the realm of horror.  Mass mind control and demonic possession. A bio-engineered depopulation agenda featuring chimeric bio-technologies and ancient chemtrails. Not to forget, the TRUTH behind crop circles – and it ain’t UFO’s…

I always give props where props are due, and great new friends and talents such as Lada Ray, author of The Earth Shifter series, Jeff Daugherty of NCK & Friends podcast, and author Maria DeVivo of The Coal Elf  were mentioned on this transmission.

Click the vid to see the author of this great series in hi-def glory on the Vinny Eastwood Show! It’s the lighter side of genocide! Be sure to donate to the show and grab a copy of my book at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com!

So, become a fan!

Follow Vinny’s amazing site here!

Follow Vinny’s Youtube Channel – MR NEWS!

Find my official Goodreads author page here!

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Wake up! Time to die. The Hunger Games.

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

Didn’t want to do it, but having just completed the Hunger Games Trilogy, I feel compelled to impart my take on it.

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Many in the conspiracy circles have decried this series as anything from predictive programming to the satanic masturbation of dead children. Red magick gone wrong.

Here, I will not give you a definitive answer as to if this omnibus is either, but there are some defenses and suppositions that I would like to examine to these allegations.

Plenty of readers of these books have criticized it as Battle Royale West. And it is. Indubitably. Both works focus on a government-sponsored arcade of child sacrifice. Bloodrite sacrifice. Even President Snow stinks of the red stuff and may even imbibe it. The public loves this spectacle (as do you) and cannot tear their eyes from the screen as teens and preteens eviscerate the shit out of each other (and they do).

Welcome to Panem, punk – where life is cheap!
Life isn’t just cheap, but death is glorified. Molochian ceremony is the order of the day. The age-old tale of virgin sacrifice (the sweetest of bloods).

We all know by now that this is a landscape in where a (hemo)globalist regime has cemented power after a struggle with District 13. District 13 lost

In recompense, the people from each remaining district must give forth a neophyte tribute for sacrifice in The Hunger Games annually. Not only is resistance to this demain verboten, it is encouraged. The sheepish folk of each district hope for their chosen child to win so that they can increase their caloric intake for the year. He who controls the food controls the people and blah, blah, blah.

Right, then.  The Games are afoot. CRUSH! KILL! DESTROY!

In contrast, Battle Royale was written and filmed for the NC-17 crowd, and it was even banned in many countries at the time of its release (2000-ish). The gore and blood would make Monty Python jealous. Jets of the red stuff would spray like rain from each of the fallen’s necks like manna from hell. The proprietors of Neo-Fascist Japan in Battle Royale were stinky old men in military fatigues. Author Koushun Takami had rendered the bad guys as BAD and ugly. The protagonists of this tale pledged to fight the establishment in book one just for the love of their own humanity as well as the love of their fellow classmates. Not all recruited adhered to this philosophy, but these child-villains were drawn as stupid and greedy.  Some of the enforced contestants even committed suicide out of love for each other (and their own free will) as opposed to playing up to the sick carnival.

Not so with The Hunger Games. Here we see the despots as not just a military establishment, but a posh, lavish class of people who were designed to be an inspiration for the Great Unwashed. Lady Gaga with a gun. Katy Perry with a bullwhip, Taylor Swift with a flamethrower. No young man or woman in Panem could dream of being barred from this Prime District. Money, fame, endorsement and, most of all, food for his or her people was the prize. The manipulation of human tribalism at its worst. A cheap holiday in everyone’s misery.

Let’s examine the author. Yes, Suzanne resides in the forever-infamous Newtown, Connecticut (Jonestown U.S.A.) and carries the dreaded surname Collins. According to Fritz Springmeier, she is of one of the thirteen elite families of the Illuminati. She and I share the same Alma Mater of Indiana University (Represent!).  On videos, she has bragged about supping with the DuPont’s (another family of the thirteen).

So what? I went to college with a DuPont. The kid was a bit crazy, but he was a sweet guy.  His granddad invented nylon. Ms. Collins was a Nickelodeon employee and went on to write for Scholastic. An instant “in” to the publishing world. I cannot fault her for that. I too am guilty of some of her connections, but I do not in any way, shape or form defend a Globalist hegemony.

As the series unfolds, you, the reader are treated to an eruption of rebellion against President Snow and the Capitol dictatorship. Let’s see those underclasses destroy the vainglorious ideals of U.N. Agenda 21 realized (look it up, I’m not explaining it here). Lake Tahoe from sea to shining sea for the elite. And YOU are not invited, plebe.

Human life is not only a throwaway for the dictators, but for the masses as well. Our heroine, Katniss, struggles with her predatory instinct to kill out of necessity frequently throughout the trilogy. Even to her, human life is disposable if the situation calls for it. Yes, this is a war, but her main goal is not to take President Snow to justice, but to KILL him. Death has been conditioned here. Even her “friends” are a second’s length away from her thirsty arrows if they cannot get with the program.

Collins claims the basis of the story is reality TV spliced with Theseus and the Minotaur. But when checked against the transhumanist ideals of the global elite, The Hunger Games falls in lockstep. Bioengineering, eugenics, abject slavery of the underclasses, paradise after the Big Kill, and centralized, regionalized production of goods and resources.

This isn’t really predictive programming, as this is indeed happening right now, just not as in such bombastic overtures. Or so we may believe…

Although many have considered the third installment of the series, Mockingjay, to be the trilogy’s saving grace, I found it to be the most telling and disturbing. Enter President Snow’s enemy, President Coin. Coin presides over the remnants of District 13 and rules with a spartan, iron fist. Apparently, this is out of necessity, but we get the feeling something isn’t right with her either.

Mockingjay is, dare I say, Luciferian in that it features Monarch Programming (Peeta), personality replacement (think: Beyonce=Sasha Fierce/ Katniss=Mockingjay), mind control and, here, the death is no longer controlled in an arena, but focused in a rebellion.

Yes, war is war, and humanity will never rid itself of it. Per evolutionary psychology, we are nasty, omnivorous predators. Get over it.  Due to the first person, present tense P.O.V. we get Katniss’s take on the situation and nothing but. As our ego into this tale has lived the life of a Liberian child soldier, for lack of a better comparison; the girl is a freakin’ sociopath.  She’ll kill you for being in her way (and she does this multiple times).

This is what raises my right brow. Katniss kills a woman after breaking into her home and feels really nothing about it. Later, she kills anyone in her way during a gas attack. Shoot, even the Baader-Meinhof Gang didn’t stoop this low!

Mockingjay relishes in massacres and megadeaths. Collins illustrates the proposed mass-suffocation of a bunker fortress, details the turkey-shoot of civilians (including the graphic riddling of a baby girl), and most morbidly, a masturbatory account of the daisy-cutter bombing of a crowd of children. And all this is perpetrated by the GOOD GUYS!”

WTF???

All right, that’s fine and well. We’ve read plenty of discourse on this in many reviews, but one of the most telling factors of this book isn’t the book itself, but the hyper-advertised hype and even the enforced reading of it.  In many public schools, your children HAVE to read it. This to me is suspect. In my opinion, when the mainstream establishment champions anything from McDonald combo meals to fucking Stafford loans, it can’t be good for you.

Cue the laugh track. All in all, I loved these books. No, seriously, it is a cornucopia of conspiracy and a soup-to-nuts catalog of what we very well may see in the future as per current socio-political trends. Is it a warning? Does this illustrate what we have coming to us as Suzanne Collins and her honeyed buddies cackle like a coven of pennangalan?  This is still inconclusive to me, but a bit alarming.

If a society like this does come to fruit, please, just take me out behind your favorite municipal building and put a bullet in my head. I don’t want to live in Panem.

Review – The Coal Elf

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2013 by royalmanaball

As I write tales exclusively about elves, I was searching around and had stumbled upon a book called The Coal Elf and just had to get it. As you can see by the cover’s illustration, one may think this is a classic take on The Lord of the Rings/ Elder Scrolls-variety of lanky, lean beauty. Majestic beings who stand a good foot taller than humanity.

I was wrong.  Let me explain.

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Collapse! The lungs malfunction!

After a few swipes of the Kindle, I realized that I was reading about SANTA’s elves! I can’t believe how I didn’t put two and two together (bad kids get coal = coal elf).

This story focuses on wee Ember Skye. The elfmaid is from an upper-middle class, soft-skill family from the North Pole.  The Skyes do honeyed work such as songwriting, fashion design, graphic design – stuff you’d expect to see guys named Bertram doing on Michigan Avenue. From birth to age ten, this is the only life Ember knows and it’s sweet.

Upon her tenth birthday, all elves are put into an apprenticeship for their Lifejob. As the moniker indicates, you are chosen to do this job forever.

Maybe it was a clerical error, maybe it was dumb luck, but Ember is assigned to the Mines to dig coal for naughty kids until the day she drops dead. Being from softer gentry, no one in the Skye family can figure out why she was chosen for such work, but once your number is drawn, there’s no going back; debate is verboten. Ember is to stay in these mines and never see daylight again. The only notion of day or night is the rush of bats leaving the caves for the evening.

As expected, this book does have hot cocoa, candy canes and lollipops, but the elven society is a sugar-coated hell and author Maria DeVivo pulls no punches. These beings live under Santa Claus’s jackboot.

By the time Ember is sixteen, she has been dredging the Mines for six years and has begun coughing blood and lung-bugs. One day, Santa allows her to enjoy a forty-eight hour weekend pass to revisit her old life. From here, things get worse.

Central themes to this novel involve the examination of the nature of systems and their architecture of checks and balances. Tyranny is also examined, but this book questions why a society runs the way that it must, despite the heavy hand.

Solipsism is reviewed here as well. What is reality? Who is running the show and is it all a lie? Through the mechanics of negative reinforcement and conditioning of behavior, here, systemic flow is maintained.

This story is not a plea for egalitarian sunshine, like so many fantasy/sci-fi novels, but a consideration of what happens when you get what you wish for.

Five stars.

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