An Interview With Sports Pick Predictions CEO Josh Mallen

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Josh Mallen is the founder and CEO of Sports Pick Predictions in Las Vegas; here is a link to his website:

http://sportspickpredictions.com/

 

Q: How did your business come into being?

A: Well first and foremost, I’ve been a sports fanatic ever since I can remember.  I would watch and play sports non-stop each and every day.  From that passion, along with going to college in Las Vegas at UNLV and learning about sports handicapping and becoming enthralled in it, it was only natural for me to realize that with my knowledge of sports I could potentially make real money.  Once I began turning a profit, I wanted to help out others make money and advise them, much like a stock broker on Wall Street does, just with a different investment vehicle.

Q: What qualifies you and your employees to be sports handicappers?

A: We all have a passion for sports, a passion for beating the oddsmakers and the ability to analyze match-ups between 2 teams who are playing each other.  At the end of the day, you just have to win over the long term, that’s it. Our success is not measured on a daily or weekly basis, it’s over the long term.  Anybody can get lucky for a week straight, but the ones with the profits over a year’s time are doing something right and we all do that.

Q: What  kind of research do you do ?

A: Anything and everything.  From constantly reading news articles to watching games and seeing how certain teams perform under various different scenarios.  Also, we have a network of people in the know that we communicate with to stay up to speed on information.  Sometimes it is as easy as just watching the games and gathering mental notes.  Other times it’s crunching numbers.  Everybody has their own methods of coming up with their predictions and I would say we are 50% research and 50% gut instincts.

Q: What are some of the things you take into consideration when handicapping a game?

A: There are many factors we take into consideration.  How teams match up against one another on offense and defense would be number one.  Other key factors would be scheduling. If a team has played 3 games in 4 nights, we look at past results on how certain players perform during these situations.  Streaks is another thing we take into strong consideration. If a team is on a winning streak and playing good, 9 times out of 10 they will keep up their same high level of play.  Same can be said for teams that are on massive losing streaks.  Home field advantage is something that also should never be overlooked as it has a magical way of bringing teams performances up a notch.

Q: What kind of packages do you have and how does it work?

A: We have 4 packages.  Weekly, monthly, semi-annual and annual.  For monthly and above packages, we offer special webinars and exclusive access to e-books and blog releases that gives our clients a deeper look into what goes into providing top quality winning sports predictions.

Q: What do you think causes gambling addiction?

A: I think the number one problem is chasing losses.  I would estimate that the number one reason people get into holes they can’t get out of is because of horrible money management.  We preach day in and day out to our clients that if they follow our money management system that they won’t ever have these problems.  Losing at times in inevitable, but if you’re constantly increasing your bets to recover previous losses all at once, you’re setting yourself up for big failures.  The good news is that Gambler’s Anonymous is always an option and can help people that have lost control of themselves.

Q: Of the people who try your free trial how many stay as customers?

A: Roughly 70% of our free trials convert to customers.  We are one of the only honest handicapping services out there and we back up our promise of turning anybody into a profitable handicapper.  Some people just want to try us out and either don’t have a desire to have a handicapper or like making decisions by themselves, which we completely understand.

Q: What is FanDuel?

A: It is the largest and most respected one-day fantasy sports site.  Users go on and choose their best 9 man roster for that day’s events for a particular league, and they cover everything.  The catch is that every player is assigned a dollar value and you have to stay under a salary cap, just like real general managers do.  You can either play heads up matches, tournaments, or even play in special leagues set up with just your friends.  It is a welcomed change from traditional fantasy sports, where you typically have to wait until the season is over to determine the winner.  If you know a lot about sports, this can be used as another vehicle to produce profits.

Q: What is your strangest Las Vegas story?

A: A few years back during the Kentucky Derby, I was at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the prize pool for the main race was much higher than usual because of a very popular horse racing called “Smarty Jones”.  A lady about 90 years old picked 4 horses (randomly) and threw them into a superfecta, where you have to pick the first 4 horses to finish the race in that exact order.  The race was dominated by super underdogs and her $2 dollar ticket paid out roughly $1.2 million dollars.  I never saw that look of amazement/excitedment/shock on someone’s face before.  I also never saw a 90 year old lady jump in the air so high!  Who says luck doesn’t exist?

Q: If the ladies of The View duked it out with the ladies of The Talk who would win?

A: The View, hands down.  Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie Perez could probably hold their own in the UFC ladies division, more less a fight with hosts of another daytime talk show!

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Karma The Game Creator Rene Reyes

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Rene Reyes is the creator of the online dating game Karma the Game of Destiny; here is a link to the website:

http://renereyes.wix.com/karmathegame

 

Q: How is Karma different from other dating aps such as like Tinder and Grindr?

 

A: Even though Tinder, Grindr and Badoo all call themselves games, they are just people locators.  It’s distracting and even fun looking through pictures and fantasizing about all these people and maybe meeting someone, but they promote superficial relationships.  The Game gives privacy or control over who sees and most of all it allows Player to play with other players, by sharing music, hiding, doing astrology, playing Truth or Bomb and sharing private pictures through the Safe along with the ability to share and see other social networks with the click of a button with whom you chose.

 

Q:  How do you play the game?

 

 

A: First you have to choose to enter the Game through 1 of 3 doors, Values, Compatibility or Intimate Preferences.  Then you pick an Avatar and Enter the game.  Once in the game, the site is laid out as a playing board interface with easy to use buttons rather than a typical scrolling websites.

 

Q: What is a “truth bomb?”

 

A: A Truth Bomb is a “Risk” card like in a board game.  The idea is to create conversation of different levels regarding relationship, challenges and surprises…

 

Q: What does one do on the “adventures?”

 

A: The adventures of the game are the dates, playing online while courting and the adventures that the Truth Bombs will send people on.

 

Q: How do you prevent someone from making a fake profile?

 

A: There are basically 2 kinds of FAKE profiles.  Operated and Non-Operated (Profiles dating sites use to pretend they have more users to attract more users) Re: Operated There is no “free indefinitely” option which is where most fraud happens.  We only give the first 30 Days free.  We do not allow an IP Address to have more than 10 connections.  Going beyond this in a short time will “Tilt” the game and you won’t be able to operate from the same computer.  And

Here is where the magic lies and why it is called Karma.  People can create fake profiles just like they do on every other dating site.  However, because Players can ZAP other players, the fake profile operators will have to commit a lot of time resource to convincing other player they are real in order not to be ZAPPED.  And it’s a Game not a subscription so if someone knocks you off you have to pay again to play.  At least at the $1.99 level (1 Life for 30 Days).  If you get 6 live for $6.99 the you will lose a life and everyone will both know who ZAPS and who got ZAPPED.

 

Q:  How does one get zapped?

 

A: There are 7 GAME Buttons – HIDE, CHAT, GROUP, OUTING, MUSIC, ZAP and BAIL.  Once you pick an Avatar you can click any of these buttons to open the Popup with instructions and warnings.  If you’re sincere you probably won’t get Zapped, but if yu are rude or inappropriate it is very likely you’ll get Zapped.

 

Q: What kind of research did you do for your game?

 

A: If you know me you’d find that I have been studying relationships and community for most of my life but on the factual side, I started joining dating sites in 2007 after getting a divorce and had especially been pondering how I could build a dating site that was better or different than the majority of sites out there.  It wasn’t until 2013 that I had culminated all of my research into the idea of a Game and began developing the algorithms for the 3 Doors and the logic of the game.  I also quantified all of the knowledge that I had gathered by organizing all of the data on the industry for Dating as well as Games.

 

Q:  How does one become a brand ambassador?

 

A: A Brand Ambassador can make residual income even if just their friends are playing.  And depending on how many friends they have it could be be a substantial monthly return.  Maybe for buying school books or extra movie money or whatever you need a little extra income for.  Becoming a Brand Ambassador is easy.  Just click Ambassadors on the site and register.  Brand Ambassadors will also be able to add “Things to Do” from their private portal to the game.

 

Q:     Why do you think internet dating has become so popular?

 

A: The internet is a new reality.  A virtual space that we are just learning how to use.  We are social beings and many people feel alone, even in relationships.  The internet provides resources and connections that would have been difficult or impossible to have 20 years ago.  Even less.  Now that we can reach out, we will do so at ever increasing rates.  As comfort grows and people who are afraid to do it become less afraid it will become even more popular.  This market isn’t going away any time soon.

 

Q: What if I don’t have a soul, do I not get to mate?

 

A: I see you like to open all the cans of worms.  Lol.  For the Game a Soulmate is really more of a “like minded” individual based on likes and desires and honesty.  It’s a metaphor for feeling acceptable, as you are, to another human being.  The Soul is not really synonymous with Spirit (or the Energy that transitions from the Body to something else) but a reflection of the totality of who we are in our substantial skin within our cultural and societal group.  What makes us tick.  What turns us on.  What do we like to do.  What are our desires.  The Game will help you find you Soulmates, it’s up to you to determine if from within that group is your Soulmate.  (or your like minded partner.)

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

 

An Interview With Writer Carl Plumer

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Carl Plumer is the author of Zombies Ever After and the owner and technical writer at Plumer Consulting; here is a link to his website:

http://www.carlplumer.com/

 

 

Q: What is Zombies Ever After about?

A: t’s really about love. Love in the face of hard times, disease, and disaster. How does love survive? How does love continue on? It’s a zombie story, yes. But the zombie apocalypse is kind of a metaphor for all that: the human struggle to survive and find love in the every day madness.

Q: What inspired you to write it?

A: I really wasn’t thinking about writing a zombie book at all. I had read this article online about this woman who was mauled beyond recognition by a bear while on a hike on an otherwise ordinary day. And she was married and she and her husband stayed together, their love survived. And I liked that.

Q: Why do you think zombies are so popular?

A: We deal with the knowledge of our death almost from the moment we are born. From the cradle to the grave, like they say. It haunts all of us, every day. I think horror movies, especially zombie movies, are a way for us to process that knowledge. I mean, in a way, zombies are resurrected, aren’t they?

Q: Of all the jobs you have ever had in your life, which one gave you the most material to write about?

A: This is a tough question. You know, I’ve been a gravedigger in my past, and I worked a lot of the “graveyard” shifts, as they’re called. But it’s my corporate jobs that scared me the most, I think. A lot of zombies there. Not everyone, of course. But working nine to five (really, nine to nine) in a small cube. It makes you think about dying and how there has got to be more to life. I started writing at work, in my coffin-cube, I think just to stay alive.

Q: What are the advantages of owning your own business over working in corporate America?

A: There is every advantage. You control your own destiny, for good or bad. You can be much happier, too, in my opinion. Unless you are a dominant alpha dog who likes all the takeovers and hiring and firing and laying people off to see the profits climb, I don’t think many people get much satisfaction in the corporate world. That’s just my opinion, though, based on my observations. Lots of souls lost there.

Q: Who are some of your literary influences?

A: Italo Calvino. Herman Melville. Charles Dickens. Carlos Fuentes. Lots of new writers, too. I read some works by new writers today and I’m like, “damn!” I mostly read nonfiction, believe it or not.

Q: Do you think working in business stifles or inspires creativity?

A: Stifles, without a doubt.

Q: What is the strangest thing you have done to promote your books?

A: Went on television to promote my zombie book during the Christmas shopping season. I have no experience doing anything like that and I am mortified to be on any stage of any kind. So, there I was, yacking it up about my zombie book, between a pie cooking demonstration and easy holiday decoration ideas.

Q: How do you get selected for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest?

A: I have no idea. Funny enough, I “knew” I had not been picked. Every email I got from Amazon I just didn’t open. Why bother, right? Then one day I was working with my email client open and my wife walked in just as an email from Amazon arrived. She said, “What’s that?” And I said, “It’s Amazon telling me I’ve lost.” Well, it was saying the opposite we found out after I opened it. We went back and opened the other emails, too, each want congratulating me on having passed yet another elimination round. There’s a lesson there somewhere.

Q: What would a Zombie like about Dayton?

A: Plenty of other zombies already here! And great food, if they can hold off dying for a few days. And great beer, for the same reason. So, I’d say, if you get bit by a zombie, head to Dayton and spend the last of your money here getting drunk and eating great food.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

 

An Interview With Rapper Five X

fivex

 

Five X is a rapper from Queens who has just released the album Five X Genesis; here is a link to his YouTube page:

 

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC6ZWEeQnO7Dg1jKPpQ5DYSQ

 

Q: How did you know you were a rapper?

 A: I wrote my first poem at the age of 8, if I’m not wrong. I used to go with my older cousin to attend his guitar lessons when I was around that age. I always felt connected with music but never realized till my freshmen year in high school, where I met AMC in the back of Ms. Toskos Classroom we used to write rhymes making fun and cracking jokes. I was trying to be rapper back then but I was wack at it lol kids used to make fun of my rhymes I wish they can hear my EP now, It was all just for fun back then I never took it this serious, till I lost my grandmom in 2007. It took a big part of my life away from me, it took me years to recover. In 2012 I felt like a real musician no rapper/MC I just felt like straight up musician and I was ready to put out my EP but I couldn’t put it out because of some personal issues and I’m happy that I didn’t put out because what I have now is much better than what I had back then. I recently lost 2 of my good friends in the beginning of this year, R.I.P Matz, R.I.P Barry. I had to put my EP this year to show my people some respect. If I had to decide for myself, I would definitely say that i am a musician / rapper / beat maker / ghost writer.

 

Q: What is the overall theme of Five X Genesis?

A: The theme behind my name 5x hmmm so many lol ok so 5 is always been my lucky #, X hmmm I always loved DMXs music and his album covers were dope so I think I got my X from D to da mof***ing X. Theme behind the EP Genesis Chapter 1 New Breed, it’s pretty dope so the album starts a little negative but if you mind listening to the full EP I’m pretty sure that you will agree with me that it ends positively.

Q: What inspired the song Blizzard ft  AMC ?

A: Me and AMC we go back I mean way back, we started this rap stuff together and we did probably 40 to 60 songs together throughout the years. I always have a problem everytime I watch a movie or TV show they always show that Russia don’t like US and US always make Russia look like bad guys lol so I did this song to Unite 2 of the world’s biggest nations, which in pretty sure won’t happen with 1 song lol.

Q: Who are some of your musical influences?

A: I was always inspired by Nas

My top 5 rappers of all time

#5 Jay z #4 Eminem #3 Biggie #2 Tupac #1 Nas

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your creativity?

 

A: I have a crazy job and a crazy schedule I work 44hrs in 3 days lol I have a Sunday shift that starts at 6am and ends on Monday 6am supervising a valet garage.

 

Q: What life experiences do you draw from when you write?

 

A: Real life struggle everyday hustle i represent my city my block my people. We work like slaves but we eat like kings. We been through hard times but we also do know how to party, u feel me?

Q: What makes New York worth rapping about?

A: If I wasn’t living in New York I probably wouldn’t be rapping, everything started here in queens NY.

Q: What is your strangest New York Story?

A: Amityville horror house is for real.

Q: What do you like about the music industry?

A: I love watching URL battles and battle leagues, I don’t listen to radio music.

Q: What would you change about it?

A: music will change by itself because everything has its course.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

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An Interview With Actress Alycia Dean

AlyciaDeanHeadshot

 

 

Alycia Dean is an aspiring actress who appears in the short film Vintage Vehicle and in the pilot of Super Zeros ; here is a link to her website:

http://www.alyciadean.com/

 

Q: What made you interested in acting?

A: When I was in middle school, my mom took me to see a local production of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. I remember being enamored by the entire thing and thinking ‘I want to be up there’. I ended up joining that same local theatre group, and the rest is history. I fell in love with acting and the art of performing.

Q: What is Vintage Vehicle about?

A: Vintage Vehicle is a short, 6 minute flick about an action movie-star that buys his old car back to impress a girl. I think the cuteness and quirkiness of it is great.

Q: How did you become involved with the project?

A: I applied on Backstage, and Josh contacted me shortly after. He said he watched my reel and thought I could bring a great energy to the role of Cindy. Josh and I met several times after that to go through the script and throw out ideas for the film. Josh is a great guy and has been a joy to work with.

Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your ability to pursue acting?

A: Well, I am your classic cliché! I’m working evening shifts as a waitress at the moment. I keep my days open for auditioning and filming. It’s hard to find the right balance, but I think I’m finally getting it down.

Q:  What is Super Zeros about?

A: Super Zeros is a comedy pilot about ex superheroes who are looking for a new roommate (that’s me!). It’s very much ‘X-men’ meets Zooey Deschanel’s ‘New Girl’. When my character, Jen shows up, she figures out pretty quickly that her roomies are the infamous ‘Triple Threat Trio’ and gets star-struck in her quirky, Jen-ish way. Jen was a great character to play, and I had a lot of fun shooting the pilot.

Q: What role do you play?

A: I tend to go out for the ‘girl-next-door’ roles a lot. Although, I have also noticed a trend in getting called in for the ‘mean girl’ type too. Both are fun to play in their own way!

Q: What is your strangest Los Angeles story?

A: Hmm, I don’t know that I have one that sticks out in particular. Los Angeles is just a weird place in general! I have to say that it’s always weird running into or meeting celebrities. Sometimes I forget I’m in LA until I see a Kardashian or one of the ‘Big Bang Theory’ actors out and about. Oh, and earthquakes are weird too! I hate them!

Q: What character from literature would you most like to play?

A: That’s such a great question, but I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not much of a book-worm. I remember reading ‘The Hunger Games’ before there was ever the idea of a movie coming out about them. I wanted to be Katniss so badly! But, let’s be real, Jennifer Lawrence was definitely born to be Ms. Everdeen!

Q: What makes you fameworthy?

A: I don’t really know what makes me “Fameworthy” per-say. To be honest, I think ‘fame’ is kind of an ugly word. But I do know what’s going to make me successful in this industry, and that’s my persistence and positive attitude. From my experiences on set so far, every person I’ve worked with has told me what a great energy I have when I’m working. I’ve been told that goes a long way in this town. I also know that I am never going to give this dream up. When people ask me ‘What are you going to do if acting doesn’t work out?’, I don’t have an answer for them. It’s a silly question to me.

Q: If you could change one thing about Hollywood what would it be?

A: I wish Hollywood was located in West Virginia! Okay, okay, there’s definitely more things that I would change, but I miss my family every single day! I love acting, and I know this is where I have to be to make my dreams a reality. But, living without my family around has been the hardest part out of everything. I hope that one day I can afford to move them all out here with me. Then I would really be living the dream.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Housekeeper And Aspiring Writer Megan Dorei

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Megan Dorei is an aspiring writer who works as a housekeeper; here is a link to her blog:

 

https://plus.google.com/107300966219078564836/posts

 

Q: When did you know you were a writer?

A: I guess about the same time I learned how to draw. When I was three or four I started sketching these really crude images of what I guess were supposed to be people (they more or less looked like potatoes with eyes) and stapling the pages together to make a book. After writing became a more convenient and discernible way of conveying my stories, I started writing as much as  I could, and it became even more prevalent once I entered junior high and high school. My teachers probably thought I was a deeply committed note-taker, but while the rest of the class was learning about polynomials and linear equations, I was sending soldiers out to battle and making animals talk. Probably why I could never get the hang of algebra.

Q: What kind of themes do you like to write about?

 

A: Although romance and love play a big part in nearly every story I write, I don’t enjoy writing strictly romance stories as much as I do action, sci-fi or fantasy. It feels as though a lot of romance novels today are either trying to be the next Hallmark Valentine’s Day special or the next “Fifty Shades”. I enjoy love stories, but if there’s no alien invasion or government takeover going on in the meantime, it’s just not as much fun to write. That being said, I can’t usually commit to a story that has absolutely no romantic element, either. So for me it’s just about finding that healthy balance.

 

 

Q: Who are some of your creative influences?

 

A: As far as authors go, Stephen King and Ally Condie are my heroes, although from COMPLETELY different ends of the spectrum. I enjoy King’s raw, unfiltered and often darkly humorous way of storytelling, but at the same time I’m in love with Condie’s moving poetic prose. I also have a special literary soft spot for lyricists John McCrea and Pete Wentz, and their affinity for unusual description. The poet Lisel Mueller is another fantastic influence, for her beautiful imagery and masterful truth-telling.

Q: What kind of training have you had?

 

A: My high school English teachers and reading. Lots and lots of reading. After I started writing with the God-honest intention of publication- when it was no longer just some fancy, far off dream- I began reading books like a writer instead of a reader. I began to recognize intention behind metaphors and to discern bad writing from good, and good from great. And I like to think that my writing has improved quite a bit since that first hopeful submission. I’m a better writer than my past self was, and that’s a victory.

 

Q: How does your job as a housekeeper influence your writing?

 

A: Quite a bit, actually. Experiencing the world from a blue collar perspective instead of from a generic office setting is a real eye opener. That’s not to say that I have it bad- I actually really enjoy my job. I don’t have to deal with people much and I can usually just listen to my music while I vacuum and play around with whatever plot bunnies have been multiplying shamelessly in my head. It may sound cheesy, but I’ve learned quite a few things about “real life”, and maybe that’s just a “first real job” kind of thing but it’s definitely been an experience.

 

Q: What is the oddest thing you ever come across while cleaning?

 

A: Well I can tell you right now that one of the best things I’ve found has been a pair of Gorillaz Chuck Taylors. And once a tenant who skipped town left his Mustang behind. As far as strangeness, however, I’d have to say the stuffed broccoli toy with its blue kilt and vacant, demonic expression probably takes the cake.

 

Q: How great is the temptation to snoop?

 

A: I think, as a writer, the temptation to snoop is as ingrained as the instinct to narrate the world around you, whether you realize it consciously or not. The stories in our heads are always demanding to be fleshed out and clothed in experience. Writers snoop for knowledge, snoop for wisdom, snoop for anything that the stories hunger for. Of course as you grow up you learn to curb those cravings, and a writer’s curiosity is never intended to be rude or offend, it’s merely an essential way for the voices in your head to flourish. As a cleaner, however, I don’t really think I could care less about snooping…although occasionally I do partake in a bit of dumpster diving.

 

 Q: Do you work independently or for a company?

 

A: For a company. Eventually I would love to work independently- I mean, it is the American dream, to be your own boss and set your own hours and be successful at it- but all great things take time, effort, bravery and luck. That’s what makes them worthwhile, and I’m willing to pay my dues for that white picket fence.

 

Q: What is the biggest misconception about people in your profession?

 

A: About housekeepers? That they’re a lesser breed of people, firstly. College degrees are admirable, of course, but I’ve always held a special place in my heart for the people who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Secondly, that all our job consists of is a little bit of dusting here or there. That is very much not true; it’s hard work, and I’ve toned my physique because of it (not that I’m complaining!) The biggest misconception about writers? That it’s easy. I mean, sure, the writing itself is almost always enjoyable because it’s something I truly love to do. But that doesn’t always guarantee that it’s easy. It’s really terrifying putting your heart out there with the intention of letting other people in, and if you aren’t blessed with a thick skin you’re just asking for a bunch of well-aimed arrows. But every creative endeavor is a vulnerability, and worth every bull’s eye.

Q: What are you working on right now?

 

 A: A scattering of unfinished short stories and the first novel in what I think may become a series. The novel is most likely going to contain demons, unicorns, dystopian societies, vigilantes, Great Gatsby-esque parties and vampire warfare- you know, your basic fiction essentials. Also, stockpiling songs on my iPod for the apocalypse. Always that.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

An Interview WIth Screenwriter David W. Cooper

david cooper

 

 

David W. Cooper is the writer and producer of the television show Professional Development:

 

http://www.davidcooper.info/davidcooper.info/Home.html

 

Q: What is Professional Development about?

 

A: Professional Development is a television show about life in a high school environment. Essentially it’s about a new vice principal who is super enthused about doing his job and ready to make positive changes and revolutionize his world of teaching. Unfortunately, the staff is stuck in their ways and is less than enthused about making these changes. I took the term from the standard teacher phraseology of the days when the students stay at home and the teachers get to go to school.

 

Q: What inspired you to write it?

 

A: I had the opportunity one year to work in as a high school teacher. In many ways I thought it would be exciting, motivating and interesting. But in reality there were many obstacles to my work and when I discussed them when friends from private enterprise they simply couldn’t believe it. I left that school board and moved away. Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.

 

Q: You have been a quarterfinalist in the Nicholl twice; what were your winning scripts about?

 

A: Now that I think about it, they are both about animals. One is about a sign language speaking gorilla and the whole concept of animal rights of sentient beings. It’s a tear jerker drama. The other one is a cartoon about a bunch of crazy geese trying to escape from a wildlife centre. More of a Pixar type cartoon.

 

Q: What are some common elements that scripts that place in the Nicholl?

 

A: I have the opportunity to read many scripts in my work and my writers groups. Hopefully by the time you place in the Nicholl’s you are able to remove a lot of the common elements that are hallmarks of bad writing. Hopefully by this time there is a solid act structure, active protagonists, visual elements to the writing. If you pick up a Nicholl placing script it should be an interesting page turner.

 

Q: You teach Media Literacy; what exactly is that and how does one teach it?

 

A: Part of the Language curriculum in Ontario schools is Media Literacy. It involves exposing students to various types of media other than ‘the novel.’ I play advertisements to the students to see how the world of advertising tries to convince them to buy products. We create ads. We also create lots of visual media like videos and comics. So having a job where you get to shoot video during the day and write comics is quite enjoyable.

 

Q: What is the major difference between the American film industry and the Canadian film industry?

 

A: Money. Budgets are lower, audiences are smaller. However, due to our similar culture Canada makes a great place to film and have it look American. And perhaps it’s that I am Canadian, but I think that Canadian movies aren’t as – what’s the term I’m looking for – “Americentric” as some films can be. There isn’t usually a film where the world is almost destroyed, but Canada comes in and saves the planet. But hey, maybe there’s a good script idea in here?

 

Q: Why do you think so many films that win contest never get produced?

 

A: Money. There are lots of great ideas and great stories, but I’ve discovered in my quest to get my own work produced that nobody is ever in a hurry to spend 50 million dollars.

 

Q: Who are some of your influences?

 

A: I always admire people who are multi-talented. Anyone who can do something like write and direct impresses me. Mind you, I feel that would be closer to the original vision. So Tarantino would fall under this category. But I’m also impressed with someone like Louis CK and his show. He writes, directs, stars, and edits. That has to be tough! Anyone that can also pull off a coherent story with a non-linear timeline also impresses me.

 

Q: What, in your opinion is the greatest screenplay ever written?

A: That is one tough question – I’m a sucker for Tarantino’s work. Pulp Fiction is great. There is something to be said for simply reading a script and being motivated by it. Shawshank Redemption is a also a great one. There’s also something about “It’s A Wonderful Life” that gets me every time.

 

Q: If you could rewrite the screenplay for any film, what would it be?

A: I might have to make a change or two to “It’s a Wonderful Life.” If George Bailey never born, sure the town wasn’t as good and everyone’s life wasn’t as great as it could have been. When it comes to his wife, if George had never been born, what fate befalls her? Well, she ends up being – shock and horror – a librarian. Oh no! What a horrible ending for her. Mind you, I am a little biased since my wife is a librarian.

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

 

An Interview With Author Monty Schwarzenberg

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Monty Schwarzenberg is a former high fashion photographer and the author of the novels The Me Nobody Knows and Cuckoo Heart; here is a link to his website:

 

 

http://redmoonbiz.com/

 

Q: What is The Me Nobody Knows about?

 

A: It’s a love story between two loners that, in their reciprocal passion, find a safe haven to heal their spirits from the deep scars carved by horrifying childhoods.

She is a beautiful teenager in the run trying to leave behind years of physical and mental abuse. He is forty-year-old part-time fashion photographer and adventurer taking ingenious advantage of his good fortune and temporary success.

From the first moment they met, he felled irremediably in love. And, by means of good luck and powerful influences, he helped her to become a superstar. Achieving fame and making a small fortune out of their professional collaboration.

Soon after a rickety start, crammed with infidelity and frustration, she falls in love as well, and together they find a fulfilling path to make sense out of their lives, staying together happily ever after. Unfortunately, like in all love stories, there is no happy end because one of them would die before the other.​

 

Q: What inspired you to write it?

 

A: Love at first sight. I was compelled by that mysterious spark that drew people into unexplainable relationships every time a reciprocal passion was shared in return. I fell in love with six women along sixty years and every time, I was convinced of finding the real one; until the magical spark reappeared and love happened again.

To be alive has been the greatest experience and the way love affected my aging process found a new way out in the form of written words.

 

 

Q: You say in you bio on your web page that the supermodels you work with are “the last creatures on earth that fully understand their basic function as human being,” why do you think that?

 

A: Models are one of the few human creatures that truly understand that our most basic elemental mission is replicating ourselves in small copies. Descendants that we must feed and care for until they are ready to initiate their own new cycle and we can survive as living specie. By randomness in ours, females have the duty of attracting the healthier male partners to produce the better possible progeny.

Supermodels are the epitome of perfection and they exercise like none others the duty of seducing males for mating purposes. Even though 99% of that seduction process is just theoretical and should never be grounds for abuse, it is a constant reminder in a world where women are hated and degraded by fearful pathetic men.

 

Q: What are some of the projects you worked on as a high fashion photographer?

 

A: Galliano, Lacroix, Kenzo, Ferre, among my favorite and…etc., etc., etc​

 

Q: Were eating disorders as common as most people think?

 

A: Not at all. People tend to denigrate from anyone that achieves success, always with baseless assumptions. Fashion models are so thin because it is a job requirement and beauty is their priority. And aside from amazingly fast metabolisms, they eat less and better than the common and live healthier lifestyles with an emphasis in intensive physical activities, sex and pampering.

Q: What was your most memorable work story?

 

A: Once, I was filming a television spot with a supermodel that grew extremely impatient with a technician from my crew that needed to hook her up with a wireless microphone. She demanded that I would perform that task because the man was hurting her. I went to her dressing room not knowing that the wireless box was on and the sound mixer decided to record our conversation for unknown reasons…The results of that recording taught me that things are never as they seem to be nor as people perceive them. “Oh, you’re finally here,” she said. “We are kind of late,” I uttered. “Where do you want me to put it?” “I don’t care,” she responded. “Put it anywhere you want.” “Would you be okay if I put it behind?” I continued “I told you that I don’t care as far as you do it right.” She said. Moments later, “Ouch, it hurts.” “Sorry.” “Let me look at that thing… Oh my gosh, it’s so small.” “It is what it is and you need to deal with it…I won’t take long.” Therefore, don’t believe what you hear out there. The story went around the city and created an amazing false impression out of nothing.​

 

Q: Who are some of your literary influences?

 

A: I was deeply influenced by every single author whose stories I enjoyed to the end. I learned that people only read whatever is compelling to their lives and fantasies. ​

 

Q: When and how did you find out your father was a spy?

 

A: He told me on a winter night in 1964. He was under his usual alcoholic intoxication and he confessed the unbearable regret of having betrayed people that he cared for in the name of duty and love for the country. Amid drunken sobs, he told me that he spied for the allied forces during WWII and he carried the guilt sending some of his pretended friends to death or punishment. Like all human beings, he grew fond of the people he shared his life with and duty forced him to kill them. ​

 

Q: What is Cuckoo Heart about?

A: is farce about human integration between people with two different upbringings, education and lifestyles that are imprisoned and obligated to share their lives in a place that they can’t physically leave. At the end of the day, they were all equal…always ready to fuck, always ready to kill.​

 

 

Q: What life experiences did you draw from to write it?

 

A: From residing in South Florida for the last fourteen years and still being unable to determine if, Latinos will ever become Americanized or vice versa, a new breed of American Latinos.​

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

 

 

An Interview With Dates4hire Founder Louie Veleski

LOUIE-PORTRAIT

Louie Veleski is the founder of Dates4hire, which is a website on which to find platonic escorts; here is a link to the site:

http://www.dates4hire.com/

Q:  What inspired you to start Dates4hire?

 

A: I have always had a fascination with online dating sites in general, but I don’t believe that the concept of traditional online dating works for everyone. For males especially, unless they have a chiselled body and a face to match their chances of being seen with an attractive woman on their arm is highly unlikely. It is a well known fact that the majority of women on dating sites get way more responses and emails than their male counterparts. Many of the men on dating sites most likely have a lot to offer but are never given the chance to make that first impression. This is why I have always thought how amazing it would be if these men could go out with someone that is highly attractive and be seen with them in a public arena. It doesn’t matter if they are not romantically linked. The confidence that the person hiring the date would gain from this experience would be immeasurable.

 

The other side of the website allows people to sign up for free and become an actual dates for hire. They decide their own hourly rate and choose the days and times they are willing to work which is displayed in a calendar on their profile. I have always liked the concept of getting paid to go out and socialize and this was another major inspiration for developing the site.

 

Q:  What kind of professional background do you have?

 

A: For the last 25 years I have been involved in the entertainment industry as a singer. I still front a very popular Melbourne cover band called Sexual Chocolate ( www.sexualchocolate.com.au ) and have been doing this for the last 18 years of my life. Up until 6 years ago music was a full time job and the band was working about 4 nights of the week. But ever since I browsed my first internet page I have been enthralled with the endless possibilities that the world wide web had to offer.  I was very curious about how websites worked and especially how they were built. So I started teaching myself how to build a website by watching Youtube videos and doing various online courses. I started designing websites as a hobby but eventually it developed into a very profitable business. But developing websites for other companies was merely a stepping stone to eventually embarking on my very own startup.  I do have another developer that has worked with me on this project due to the complexity of the site but overall the concept and architecture of Dates4Hire is all me.

 

Q: What are some typical events that people hire dates for?

A: When you really think about it, a platonic date is nothing more than a companion. Therefore any event can be suitable when hiring a date from our site. You might have a wedding to attend but no partner. You might have just moved to a brand new city and would like someone to show you around. Maybe you recently broke up with a boyfriend and he’s already moved on and found a new girlfriend. You have both just been invited to a mutual friends birthday party and you know that his new girlfriend will be there. Hiring an attractive date from our site helps you avoid embracement and retain your dignity. Maybe you want to go and see a movie but don’t like to go by yourself. Or you can even hire a gym buddy as a date.. The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. We have many date categories to choose from on the site and are always up for suggestions from our members..

 

Q:  How do you avoid having your employees prostitute themselves?

 

A: Our Terms of Use are very clear about our stance on prostitution or any type of sexual conduct on the site.  We even have a disclaimer at the bottom of every page letting people know that prostitution or sexual conduct will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate termination of your account. Having said this, we obviously can’t control what happens outside of the website. Neither can any other website for that matter. It would be foolish of me to assume that this type of activity will never occur between some members outside of the website.  But what consenting adults agree to amongst themselves is not really our business or our responsibility to police it.  If any of our members report someone for conducting this type of activity then they will have their account terminated immediately.

 

Q: I didn’t see any men in your system. Do you think it is easier to get female employees?

 

A: For now this seems to be the case. We are getting more women signing up as dates for hire but for any charismatic males reading this interview we encourage them to get on the site and sign up straight away. Here’s the weird thing. The site was in development for around 2 years or so. During this period we had a temporary website that explained the concept and allowed people to fill out a form and express their interest. Much to my surprise the amount of women looking to hire a date from our site was a staggering 70% of the overall signups.  So yes we do currently have a shortage of men on the site but I think this is partially due to the fact that most men would find it hard to believe that women are willing to pay them for this type of service. We will however continue to create more marketing campaigns in the future so as to attract more males to sign up as dates for hire.

 

Q: What’s to stop a date from blackmailing a client?

 

 A: I am not entirely sure why someone would want to blackmail a member on the site nor would it be possible considering that sex is off the table.  Also members are encouraged to always meet in public places for the good of their own safety. There would be far more opportunity to blackmail someone on a traditional dating site than there would be on ours. But just to let your readers know we do have a very strict screening process and unless this process has been completed a members profile does will not be displayed on the site. As for someone that is looking to hire a date, unless their profile is fully completed they are not able to hire a date.  One of the main security measures we have integrated into the website is a phone verification feature. You basically input your cell phone number in the field provided and hit the ‘Verify My Phone’ button. Once you have done this we send you a 4 digit pin code which you input in the field below and click the ‘Verify Code’ button.. This is no different to online banking or even when signing up for say a Google account. Nothing is full proof but I know for a fact that not too many other dating sites have this security feature in place.

 

Q: What was the strangest request you’ve ever had?

 

 A: In all honesty we haven’t had any strange requests to date but then again we are fairly new onto the scene so I am sure that we’re bound to get some weird requests in the future.  But unless the request is of a sexual nature it is entirely up to the members common sense to decide on whether or not the request is doable.

 

Q: What kind of demographic do you primarily cater to?

 

 A: As I mentioned before we surprisingly have a lot of women requiring male companions for social events.  But having said this we cater for anyone that is over the age of 18 and looking to either hire a date for an event or become a date on the site and earn some extra cash while having some fun in the process.  Keep in mind that members dating on the site are able to choose their very own demographics and what type of people and age brackets they’re willing to go out with. If for example I was 40 years of age but the member in question was only willing to date someone up to the age of 35 then her profile would not even come up in my search parameters.

Q: What kind of prices are we talking about here?

 

 A: Members can charge anywhere from $5 per hour up to $300 per hour. They decide their own hourly rate and we do not interfere in their decision. They also can choose a minimum amount of hours that they would like to be booked for. I guess members can negotiate between themselves outside of the website and that is fine by us. We however do charge a small fee when someone wants to book one of our members.  We give people 2 options. You can either sign up for a monthly membership of $24.95 and gain access to all members on the site and book as many dates as you like.  Or you can choose the one time booking option that is only provided when a member has updated their calendar and actually has some available dates displayed. A single booking token is only $9.95 and if for whatever reason the member declines your booking it will remain valid until someone accepts it.

 

Q:  If I showed up on the arm of a model everyone would know that I hired him. Do you have any plain looking dates?

 

A: Not all of our dates for hire members are Super Models or a perfect 10 for that matter. Yes we do have models on our site and if that’s the type of person you would like to be seen with at your event, then by all means we encourage you to hire them. But that is the beauty of Dates4Hire. The fact that we don’t discriminate against people wanting to become a member for hire. We accept all types of people no matter the shape size or ethnic background. The only thing we ask is that they obey our terms of use and play by the rules. Above all they need to be genuinely friendly and a social butterfly at heart.

 

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)

An Interview With Former Homicide Detective And Author Dan Willis

Willis_Dan

 

Dan Willis is a former homicide detective who specializes in wellness training to first responders. He is also the author of the book Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responders Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart; here is a link to his website:  http://www.firstresponderwellness.com/

Q: What is Bulletproof Spirit about?

A: “Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responders Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart” is an emotional survival guidebook—a wellness resource for police officers, fire personnel, the military, paramedics, nurses, hospital trauma workers, as well as their spouses and loved ones. It provides, for the first time, over 40 proactive wellness strategies and emotional survival methods that work to protect, heal and nurture the spirit of those who serve—so they will no longer suffer from all of the negative aspects of their profession. The book provides first responders with a message of hope, and a path toward wellness.

Q: What made you decide to write a book?

 

A: I have been a police officer, now a captain, for nearly 26 years and not only have I suffered from the terrible things I have experienced, but I have witnessed numerous colleagues suffer from PTSD, depression, substance abuse, and many other physical and emotional ailments that have all been brought on and aggravated by what we experience at work. There really isn’t any effective training or information available that addresses how a first responder can proactively work to insulate themselves and protect, heal, and nurture their spirit so they will not only survive, but thrive throughout their careers.

 

Suicide is the number one cause of death for first responders. Every year nearly 200 officers take their own life. 21 military veterans and 1 active duty soldier kill themselves every day. 120,000 police officers go to work every day suffering with PTSD. There is a tremendous need to provide emotional survival information and training for all these heroes who sacrifice a part of themselves to protect and give life to others.

 

An officer with a damaged spirit is not only susceptible toward self-destructive behaviors, but they are also unable to provide the most effective and professional police services for the community, which needs and demands them to be at their very best. Bulletproof Spirit provides the training, resources, and essential information to keep them well.

 

Q: What kind of research did you do?

 

A: The genesis for the book began in 2010 when I attended the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. I took a course regarding emotional survival taught by a supervising special agent of the Behavioral Science Unit. Since then I have read numerous books on the subject—though none of them really offered effective wellness methods that could be used as a proactive strategy toward emotional survival. Much of the literature that was available primarily dealt with all the reasons why first responders suffer from their work.

 

I’ve consulted with several experts in the field, such as Nancy Bohl-Penrod, Ph.D., of the Counseling Team International, and have instructed with her. In addition, I have nearly 26 years of police experience, work on our peer support team, and have established and coordinated my agency’s Wellness Program. I continue to travel and teach first responders regarding emotional survival strategies.

 

Q: What are some of the professional experiences you drew from for the book?

 

A: Most of my career has been as a detective investigating murders, child abuse, and crimes of violence. I have also been a SWAT Commander and a member of our peer support team. I worked a child molest case where the suspect had over 700 photos of infants and small children being sexually assaulted; I have crawled on my hands and knees inside a body bag in order to collect maggots so that an entomologist could estimate the time of death. I have had my police car rear window shot out, I’ve chased attempted murder and armed robbery suspects at 120 mph and caught them; I’ve worked cold case murders, one taking me five years to solve.

 

I worked a case where a woman was attacked inside her home and stabbed 76 times, until the knife blade broke off in her skull. And I have witnessed numerous autopsies where I not only collect evidence from the dead body, but have gotten covered in skull dust as the Medical Examiner used a high powered saw to cut through the victim’s skull to remove the brain.

 

Every time I suffered with my victims, each case of senseless violence, every evil act that devastated so many lives—all became very toxic and poisonous to my spirit. Through many years of trial and error, I discovered what actually worked to breathe life back into my spirit.

 

Q: What are some of the major principles you teach in your wellness training?

 

A: The most important principle to realize, is that if we do not do anything proactive toward our own emotional survival, then we will inevitably suffer from the inherent negative aspects of our profession. First responders must also learn to become much more self-aware to understand how the job has changed them—their health and wellness, their relationships, their view of others, and the quality of their lives. When first responders neglect the importance and wellness of their spirit, then they are in danger of turning into someone their loved ones no longer recognize.

 

I describe several warnings signs that indicate that your spirit is suffering and not constructively processing stress or trauma. I also detail how first responders can overcome the daily hypervigilance roller coaster, how to prepare for and mitigate the effects of trauma, and numerous ways that our loved ones can become our most critical life-line of support.

 

It is crucial for first responder agencies to develop an effective peer support team, a wellness program, effective use of chaplain services, and ongoing proactive wellness and emotional survival training for the good of the officers, the agency, and the community.

 

Q: What case that you had as a homicide detective was the hardest for you to deal with emotionally?

 

A: The worst was a case where a middle-aged man was taken about 120 miles away from my city and murdered—and had his head and hands cut off. We never did find the victim’s head or hands and the body was dumped in an alley. We had no cause of death, no murder weapon, no murder scene (he was killed and cut up in another unknown location), no witnesses to the murder, no confessions, no DNA, no fingerprints, and no physical evidence of any kind of the suspects. I spent five years immersing myself in a world of pimps, prostitutes, violent gang members, and drug dealers. I received death threats from the suspects, and was being followed by one of their accomplices.

 

I became obsessed with working this case, while at the same time needing to work all my other cases that kept coming in. I got very little sleep, had difficulty in my marriage, and became very paranoid. However, after 5 years, 2 Crip gang members were convicted of first degree murder.

 

Q: What do you believe causes first responders to have suicidal tendencies?

 

A: Many officers suffer from PTSD without knowing that they have it. They suffer extreme panic attacks, horrible nightmares, debilitating stress, crippling intrusive mental images, and eventually they can begin to feel hopeless as the quality of their lives continues to disintegrate.

 

Officers also feel a great sense of helplessness. Often we are unable to save a child, stop someone’s suffering, or arrest a violent suspect before he is able to victimize again. This sense of helplessness can also lead to guilt feelings, where the officers continually second-guess their actions—thinking there could have been more they could do.

 

Additionally, there still is a sense that seeking help is a sign of weakness. What we all must realize, is that PTSD is not a weakness. It is not about what’s wrong with you; it’s about what happened to you. It is actually an injury to the brain’s ability to process a traumatic event. There are effective treatments available that can help heal the brain’s processing ability so that memories of the event are no longer crippling.

 

Q: What are some of the warning signs family members should look for?

 

A: There are several warning sings which show a first responder’s spirit is suffering:

  1. Isolation: First responders tend to come home and isolate themselves, so that they can unwind and get ready for the next shift. They become disengaged and indifferent. This creates distance and frustration in relationships.
  2. Anger: The first responder will tend to become increasingly angry at things that never used to bother them. Family members walk on egg shells fearing another angry outburst that they don’t understand.
  3. Sleep problems: 40% of first responders have serious sleeping disorders, and only get about 4-5 hours each night—when 8-9 hours are needed for our emotional, physical, and mental well-being.
  4. Depression: Left unattended, the negative aspects of our jobs can leave us feeling not only exhausted all the time, but depressed, moody, and agitated.
  5. Drinking as a perceived need: First responders have twice the rate of alcoholism as the general population. Drinking as a need in order to relax, fall asleep, or to forget, is a significant warning sign that your spirit has not been processing stress and trauma.
  6. Emotionally dead: As a way to cope with being able to do our job while in the midst of heartache and helplessness, first responders develop the natural reaction of shutting down emotional feelings. Over time this tends to make them unable to feel—being emotionally dead inside. This, of course, becomes devastating to personal relationships.

 

It is essential to treat, protect, and train all components that make us human, our mind, body, and especially our spirit. It is our spirit that is so critically important. It is our spirit that enables us to cope with stress, overcome trauma, and serve with compassion. Our spirit is the reservoir of our motivation to be committed to public service and helping others, to be inspired, and to be hopeful. Our spirit is the foundation for our mental, emotional, and physical health. We neglect our spirit at the expense of our own well-being.

 

Q: What do you think draws a person to a career in law enforcement in the first place?

 

A: Nearly all of us were driven to become a first responder because of our compassionate spirit to want to stand up to evil and to protect others from suffering. First responders dedicate their lives to protect and give life to others. This should give us great satisfaction and be life affirming—yet too often our service for others results in our spirits suffering.

 

I am constantly amazed and inspired by the level of selfless service, sacrifice, commitment, and dedication of those who work at my side. I only wish the general public realized how much we give of ourselves in order to protect and serve them. It is absolutely the best job in the world.

 

Q: What is the most misunderstood thing about detective work?

A: Probably the most misunderstood thing about police work in general is that we are human; we suffer, fear, and bleed like everyone else. Yet we often look past our own needs in order to help those who need us. Every one of my colleagues would willingly sacrifice their life if it meant they could save another. The heart and spirit of those who serve in the face of evil and violence makes them all heroes. Yet we have families too. Each day when we say good-bye to our baby or kiss our spouse as we leave, we know we may never see them again. We care about protecting others more than our own welfare.

 

 

 

 

Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects:)