An Interview With Singer Aleisha Simpson

 

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Aleisha Simpson is the lead singer for the band Heart Avail; here is a link to their self titled  album:

 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/heart-avail-ep/id1175584934?l=en

 

 

Q: When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

 

A:  I’ve known I wanted to be a musician since the 8th grade. I was in choir and was being tested on some music theory. I started singing and the whole class went quiet and my music teacher put me in the select choir that day. I was a really shy kid so getting that kind of attention and realizing I was really good at something, changed my life.

 

Q: Why heavy metal?

 

A: I think we are considered more symphonic metal then heavy since we have the operatic vocals instead of screaming. Honestly I always figured I would end up doing music like Sarah McLachlan or Sarah Brightman. I play piano and that’s how I began composing music. But once I met Greg, I knew I had finally found my nitch. Greg writes really symphonic and complex pieces that somehow are perfectly fit to my voice and range.

Since our first attempt at songwriting I knew I never wanted to go back to just being a classically trained singer. I love the challenge that each new piece presents and makes me go outside of my musical box.

 

Q: Who are your biggest musical influences and how can we hear it in your music?

 

A: Heart Avail is very heavily influenced by European rock. Bands like Nightwish and WithinTemptation are some of our biggest influences as they also do really strong operatic vocals with a heavy symphonic instrumental sound. The U.S. hasn’t quite adopted this form of music yet with the exception of Evanescence. When I heard my first Evanescence song, I was instantly hooked. Greg and I defintiley follow the style of our fellow female fronted European bands and since we intend on traveling there we think this works out just fine for us J

 

Q: What kinds of life experiences do you like to write about?

 

A: Oh gosh, we have had so many. Honestly some of my favorite experiences are meeting other bands and our fans. This last tour we did for New Year’s Eve was one of our most memorable for sure. We met up with LaRissa Vienna and the Strange, another female fronted rock band that I had been trying to get together with for a year. They got signed with our management company to which I was thrilled and so we finally got to meet these guys on December 30. And it was amazing; the bands had instant chemistry with each other and were totally supportive of every member. It’s so rare that you meet bands that not only have talent but are humble and in that band, we found both. The bands danced with each other, stayed up together, had breakfast in the morning, we all talked to our fans and treated them in a thankful manor and just showed such a sense of comradery that I left tour with a full heart.  Our New Year’s Eve was brought in with style and full celebration together and I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend it.

That’s just one of the many experiences but it’s the one freshest in my mind and honestly one of the best moments of my musical career.

 

Q:  Who is your biggest musical influence and how can we hear it in your music?

 

A: I think this is a repeat of question three but I will see who my biggest musical influence in my life was my grandfather. When I was a little girl I used to sit at the guitar with my grandpa. He would write and play music for me and those moments were always so special. When he died I knew that I had to continue on the legacy and make him proud.

 

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

 

A: I currently work at a drug and alcohol treatment center for teen girls. For me personally, music isn’t just about getting my music out there. Musicians have the ability to have a huge impact on the world around them and that has always been my goal. I want to inspire these girls that no matter how hard their circumstances and no matter what they have been through, that they can live their dream. I want to give them hope that they can get past this addiction; they can live a better life, a life that is full of promise and hope and has so much beauty in it. In our music, a lot of our lyrics are inspired by loss and depression and conquering both of these things. I want that, I want to inspire everyone around me, that they can overcome anything.

 

Q: You are a female fronted heavy metal band. Have you had to deal with much sexism?

 

A: Oh yeah. I started out this sweet innocent girl with big dreams and a view that everyone is good and wants you to succeed, which people instantly tried to crush so I had to become much harder. Unfortunately if you don’t take shit from people, you are instantly labeled a bitch. If a guy is rough and a jerk to people, he’s metal as hell, but if a girl doesn’t take shit from anyone and runs her band like a business, we get the “bitch” label. The problem is when you aren’t a female who takes off her clothes in music and refuses to be pushed around; you have to work even harder to get people to listen to you. To me, just because I’m a girl, it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t be treated as an equal in rock. I’m not going to start bawling in the middle of a set, or throw tantrums, like I’ve seen a lot of my fellow male musicians do, and yet there is always this stigma that girls just aren’t as good. It’s always funny to see the look of shock on people’s faces when they hear us for the first time. Yes I’m wearing a dress and my hair is curled and I just rocked your face off, get over it. My fans know I love and appreciate them and I didn’t have to sleep with anyone to get where I am and I am really proud of that.

 

Q: What is the song, “Broken Fairytale” about?

 

A: “Broken Fairytale” was written in the middle of a very bad breakup. When I was little I had this dream that I would meet a prince on a black, not white horse that would come rescue me and we would live happily ever after. Unfortunately, that prince never came and each one that came a long crushed a little more of my heart. So when Greg presented me with the music of Broken Fairytale we discussed how we wanted a really happy instrumental sounding piece with really dark lyrics. So I made my own fairytale out of the lyrics. Broken Fairytale is a metaphor for a broken relationship that almost destroyed me and a warning to girls who try and stay in destructive relationships.

 

Q:  What have you done to promote yourselves?

 

A: The first thing I realized about music was that no one is out looking for you. In other words I had to find every outlet possible to get our music heard because I believe we have a good product worth “selling”. So I began to search for podcast radio stations, online magazines, anyone who said they were looking for Indie artists I sent music to, no matter how big or small those companies were. It took a lot of time, I no longer have a social life, lol, and sacrifice, but we began to get noticed and approached by companies instead of me approaching them. When we got offered opportunities to hang out with people in the industry and get pointers on how to be better musicians, we took those opportunities no matter how much money they cost because we want to be the best musicians and band we can possibly be. We have run an 8 week radio campaign with our single “Broken Fairytale” and it topped online charts for 10 months. We then did a 3 month press campaign with Asher Media Relations where he got us published worldwide and we released our first 5 song EP with on iTunes through our distribution label, Milagro records. We also played at Sundance Film Festival last year and spent 10 days there networking with people and also went to Nashville, and California to meet up with industry people as well. In other words, a whole heck of a lot. I am promoting our band 24/7.

 

Q:  What is your most horrible music industry story?

 

A: Uhhhh. This year we got invited to attend a music conference in Nashville Tennessee with the intent on meeting people in the industry who wanted to teach musicians how to succeed in the music industry. We were told we were handpicked and that our music would be distributed to labels, radio stations, sponsors etc. but we had to pay to get to Nashville. So we bought our plane tickets, booked our hotels and Greg, my manager Kim K. Jones and I flew to Nashville. The first thing we saw was this “Christian” based event had jacked up parking to $25 a day just for their lot. We then got into the building and registered for the classes we wanted to take. And so began the four day conference. During this conference everyone was pretty much told, you are not good enough in the music industry, its evil and the only way you can succeed as a musician is if you donate your talent to “God” oh and pay this guy or that guy money so he can make you a better musician. Everything involved large amounts of money that was musicians were expected to pay and then told they needed to preach to people about the grace of God…….one guy insisted if you paid him $400 you could be as good as Taylor Swift. Each speaker told horrible stories of how they had lived, and really really bad stories that just made you feel dirty and then a speaker would get up and say and I quote “None of you are going to be good enough to make it in the music industry but God will take you. “ Bands had traveled from all over the world for this event to be told, you aren’t good enough. It was horrible and discouraging as hell and we left angry. Luckily my manager salvaged the trip by introducing us to an incredible guy with an amazing music studio and we did have a good time once we realized we did not want anything to do with this company and in fact skipped the last two days so that we could just tour Nashville, which is cool as hell fyi.

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 A.C. Greenlee

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A.C. Greenlee is the author of Genesis: The Awakening; here is a link to her Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Awakening-Paranormal-Fantasy-Adventure-ebook/dp/B01MFE154P/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Q:  What is Genesis about?

 

A: Genesis is about a young woman who is quite literally a walking anomaly, her relationship with a “grounded” Grim Reaper and their battle to not only save his world, but to keep each other alive. The main character Victoria Bouchard has a super brain and absorbs information like a dry sponge, even supernatural information that makes her quite the dangerous weapon should she fall into the wrong hands. And she does, finding herself at the mercy of the most heinous being to ever walk the earth; the Devil himself.

 

Q: What events in your life inspired you to write the book?

 

A: I was heavily influenced by an impromptu visit to the Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca Iowa. Learning about the gruesome murders that took place there and imagining a bunch of supernatural situations definitely played a role in the books creation and is even a major plot point.

 

Q:  What is Victoria’s most unique characteristic?

 

A: Victoria is unique in the way that she’s a multi-faceted character with feminist ideals. She exemplifies the feminist ideology in the way that she’s not afraid to do whatever she wants and deal with the consequences in her own way. She’s outspoken and brash, but still has the capacity to be soft, yielding, and emotional. Victoria is the truest character I’ve ever written because she is literally an amalgamation of every strong, unabashedly brave, woman I’ve ever met.

 

Q: What separates your book from other paranormal fantasies?

 

A: I would like to believe it’s my characters. Anytime I’m interviewed I will often go on and on about the people I create, mostly because they are just that in my mind; people. I want my readers to take away more than a good story when they read my books, I want them to have an experience. Experience the rich, vivid worlds and the vast array of characters that inhabit them. I want you to walk away from my books having made a new best friend or even a book “boyfriend” you’ll never forget.

 

Q: Who are some of your writing influences and how can we see those influences in your book?

 

A: Anne Rice was one of my biggest influences growing up as an aspiring writer. You’ll see traces of her in the fact that my characters take on lives of their own. And they’re often annoying enough that they’ll have you thinking about them months after you’ve already put the book down.

 

Q:  What kind of day job or income source do you have?

 

A: I am a graphic and web designer by day, video game addicted nerd by night.

 

Q:  Do you think it helps or hinders your writing?

 

A: I think it absolutely helps my writing. From making graphics for my books that give visual representation to whatever wacky activity my characters are a part of or sending my readers on virtual treasure hunts through websites I design; it’s just another faucet through which my creativity can flow.

 

Q: What made you interested in writing erotica?

 

A: I was never really interested in it to be honest, but my readers fell in love with my romance scenes and demanded I give it a shot. And it took off. Luckily they believed in me more than I did, otherwise it never would have happened.

 

Q: What trends in the genre do you find annoying?

 

A: The billionaire bad boy and stepbrother trends annoy me. I understand that they’re popular because of the demand, I just personally don’t like them. Don’t get me wrong, fantasy smut is something I think is healthy and wholly support being written and read, it’s just the overtly common tropes that make me itch. I also strive for originality in my writing and what I enjoy reading, even though everything has already been done before, so I tend to stay away from things that are trending.

 

Q:  How exactly does a Grim Reaper get banished from Hell?

 

A: Well, Kaizer was banished from the Guardian Realm, an alternate dimension that is home to others of his kind. Reapers are essentially bureaucrats; everything is executed concisely and is backed up by a crap ton of paperwork. And, when those Reapers step out of line, they face extremely harsh punishments, one of which is “grounding”. They are then sent to earth to live amongst the mortals they reap and atone for their sins. Let’s just say that Kaizer isn’t the most…cooperative Reaper in his realm. He’s prone to disobedience and flat out insubordination, which lands him in hot water just as much as you’d think.

 

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 Country Singer Richard Lynch

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Richard Lynch is a country singer who just released the single, We’re America Proud; here is a link to his YouTube page:

 

 

 

 

Q: What inspired you to write “We’re America Proud?”

 

A: It started from the need to have a jingle for a radio show I am doing on Renegade Radio Nashville, so the jingle was wrote and I aimed it towards true all Americans such as truck drivers, farmers and soldiers.   I was inspired to mention God and then the jingle was born.  My wife thought the jingle should be made into a full song.   So I wrote the country song We’re American Proud
Q:  What separates it from other country songs?

 

A: I have a true love and appreciation for what our country is all about and that is what inspired the song and sets it apart from other songs

 

Q:  Who are some of your musical influences and how can we hear it in your music?

 

A: My influences have been my Dad Woody Lynch who was a great country singer as well as the greats such as Keith Whitley, Conway Twitty and Mel Street

 

Q: How did your band get together?

 

A: I have been friends with and known my bass player for almost 35 years, he played with me the first time when he was just 15.  My drummer and steel guitar player have been with me over 20 years, I have a new guitar player and the keyboard player we used had been a member of Yankee Gray.   All of us are from the southwest Ohio area which has a huge country music influence from all of the people who migrated here from Kentucky and the Appalachians

 

Q: You work as a barn designer. How did you get into that profession?

 

A: I grew up on farm and my Dad taught me how to maintain the buildings that required a lot of upkeep and I have made a living for more than 35 years building and designing barns

 

Q: How does t effect your ability to perform music?

 

A: I am not building as many barns as I had in the past because of how busy we have become with our music.

 

Q: What are some common misconceptions about country music?

 

A: The biggest misconception is that the new music being played on mainstream radio is not country music.  Country music has more character than drum loop, generic lyrics you cant understand that has downgraded the music that it has no country soul to it

 

Q: What is “A Better Place” about?

 

A: A story about lost love that ends in tragedy and yet the love continues in the fellow’s passing away

Q:  What has been your greatest professional accomplishment?

A: Hearing my music being played on internet shows, radio, TV and to see people in the audience sing songs I have wrote.

Q: If you could write a song for anyone who would it be?

 

A: I have wrote songs for and about my Dad and he continues to influence my music every day

 

 

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 Bogdan Dzakovic

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Bogdan Dzakovic  is a former security specialist who is the author of the book, “Fortress of Deceit: The Story of a 9/11 Whistleblower.”

 

 

Q: What did your role as a security specialist entail?

 

A: I had four basic jobs as a security specialist.  Three with the Federal Aviation Administration leading up to the 9/11 terror attacks and the last with the Transportation Security Administration after the attacks.  The first job was a Special Agent in which I documented (thru inspections) the state of aviation security.  This was the second most irrelevant job ever invented.  Basically just do the same thing every year never improving the system.   The second job was serving as an Air Marshal Team Leader.  Really liked this, excellent training, world wide travel – was an elite organization at the time, not to be confused with the current air marshal program.  Problem was, however, there were so few air marshals that we were basically irrelevant in the ultimate scheme of things.  My next job was pivotal.  Serving as a Team Leader in the Red Team.  The Red Team was an adversary team designed to replicate the tactics and equipment that terrorists would use in the commercial aviation environment.  Served in this position from 1995 until 9/11.  This job helped put me into the mindset to be able to think like a terrorist.  I knew as early as 1998 that a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 was imminent.  Attempted to prevent it.  Failed of course.  But filed a federal government whistleblower disclosure with the United States Official of Special Counsel (which reports directly to the President) right after the attacks.  The Special Counsel agreed with my allegations that FAA was a grossly inept organization.  Which leads to my last job working for TSA.   After 9/11 the government terminated FAA’s involvement in aviation security and established the TSA.  As punishment for trying to prevent the 9/11 attacks TSA buried me in an entry level staff job for the remainder of my career spanning from shortly after the attacks until I retired in 2014.  This was the most irrelevant job ever invented.  You could have trained a monkey to do what I was assigned.

Q:  What is Fortress of Deceit about?

 

A: The book is a professional autobiography spanning my thirty-two years working for the federal government wonderland highlighting some of the more egregiously inept, wasteful, and even treasonous activities I witnessed and/or participated in.  ALL of which was and still is considered perfectly normal behavior on the part of federal employees and managers.  The first half covers my early years in the military and in law enforcement including a brief stint engaged in the war on drugs.  The next quarter concerns the efforts I (and some colleagues) made to try to prevent the 9/11 attacks.  The last quarter focuses on how I (and other federal whistleblowers) are treated by the government for abiding by our oath of office and to adhere to the Constitution.  An epilogue follows on how to fix this broken system.  When President Obama was first running for office he made some comments about having the most open government in history and proclaimed that whistleblowers are an important part of this process.  The reality turned out to be much different.  Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than all the previous Presidents COMBINED.  I consider myself extremely lucky to have made it to retirement.

 

Q: What are some of the things the government could have done to prevent 9/11?

 

A: Simply hardening the cockpit doors would have prevented the attacks.  It was proposed as early as 1992 to do this as some gifted FAA employees recognized that nothing else FAA was doing would prevent a hijacking (I wasn’t involved in this particular event).  In my book I go into why this (and other) simple steps weren’t taken in the lead up to 9/11.

 

Q: Do you think the Patriot Act has really improved national security?

 

A: Absolutely NOT!   In the latter half of the 20th century many countries were plagued with their own indigenous problems of terrorism, guerrilla warfare or low intensity conflict.  These were primarily in Central and South America and in Africa.  In virtually all of these situations the government’s knee-jerk reaction to combat these threats became an even bigger danger to their own citizens than the terrorists could ever hope to achieve (which is actually a key goal of the insurgent mentality).  Before World War II, Stalin butchered millions of his own people.  After World War II, Mao butchered even more of his own people in China.  All in the name of state security.  When it came to killing his own people, Hitler was an amateur compared to what when on in the Soviet Union and China.  The point of this being that pin-headed politicians and bureaucrats are the same everywhere.  The clowns we elect into office as well as the senior bureaucrats they appoint to run the respective agencies are no different.  They’ll do whatever they can get away with.  The Patriot Act should be rescinded in its entirety as well as the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration.  They are all unbelievably wasteful, inept, are black holes absorbing tax dollars and are unaccountable.  Yes, we do have a serious problem with terrorism, but there’s a smarter way to go about this and do so while remaining within the Constitutional boundaries of limited federal powers.  How federal whistleblowers are retaliated against by the government when they attempt to stop illegal or immoral government activities just reinforces this notion that federal politicians and bureaucrats will do everything they can to maintain the lucrative status-quo they thrive in.

 

Q: How do you think the Trump presidency will effect international security and terrorism?

 

A: I’m very optimistic.  Take a look at the problems our traditional establishment politicians have caused (not even counting prior to 9/11).  President Bush and his inner circle of misfits should be spending the rest of their natural lives in the worst prison in the country as war criminals.  What more heinous activity can a country engage in than war – when its not in self-defense (aside from killing its own citizens).  Iraq, in particular.  Obama and Hillary Clinton should be in the adjacent cells just for what they did in Libya, instigating its collapse.  Congress has made itself (with rare individual exception) completely irrelevant to keeping the executive branch in check when the President steps way outside his authority under the Constitution.  We started wars in the middle east and central Asia that clearly didn’t meet the minimum threshold as defined in the Constitution, we destabilized much of this area resulting in the killing of who knows how many innocent civilians, thousands of US troop casualties, we have the largest refugee crisis since World War II, and we have the largest national debt since World War II.  Trump was elected because Americans had it with these people.  He has the opportunity to bring some really creative energies into solving or minimizing a lot of these problems.  I think more bloodshed is inevitable given how nutty people have proven to be around the world, but I’m very optimistic that Trump will be a positive influence.  WE started a forest fire in the middle-east, unfortunately there’s no way to take it back, WE now have to deal with the consequences.  I think Trump will bring a more scientific or rational approach to tackling this problem.  Remember a few years ago when the viral contagion exploded out of the Congo.  The international community joined together and fought the disease head-on without fogging the situation with political correctness.  The place was cordoned off, specialists were sent into the country to kill off the disease using the best tools and understanding we had.  Lots of innocent local people died in the process.  Anyone that escaped the country was quarantined until the threat was neutralized.  No happy way to do this, but it had to be done.     Trump will hit the terrorism problem head-on.

 

Q: What was your oddest work story?

 

A: This is a tough one, so much to choose from.  I checked my big Webster’s dictionary on this to try to narrow down the meaning of “odd”.  The definition I am using is:   “Not usual or ordinary, singular, peculiar, queer”.  Particularly “peculiar”.  I mention some anecdotes in my book that some people might ascribe to paranormal activity.  But the most peculiar thing was when I had a great revelation:  Prior to 9/11, I (and some colleagues) ended up going to Capitol Hill to talk directly with our elected officials in an effort to get them to do something to stave off the imminent terrorist attacks.  I naively thought at the time, that our Congressmen would put aside their party loyalties and bickering and actually put their country first.  I remember standing near the pool in front of the Capitol Building, just staring up at the enormity of the building and the flag blowing in the wind,  saying to myself – “This is a damn peculiar place”.  What I later discovered is that Congress very deliberately and willfully sacrificed the lives of the 9/11 victims rather than upset the ways of the bureaucracy or the lucrative lobbying industry they thrive in.  They did an excellent job of covering up their involvement after the fact.  The 9/11 Commission was a whitewash.  Since then I’ve used a bit stronger words to describe the trash we elect into public office – with some exceptions.

Q: What would you change about the media’s coverage of 9/11?

 

A: The news media needs to take a lot of responsibility for exacerbating each and every terrorist attack by sensationalizing the event.  In the eyes of the fanatics and nutjobs watching their dog and pony shows, the news makes the killers out to be heroes and people to emulate.  Fighting the Great Satan, what better way to get your name in the world news, by dying in a blaze of glory killing as many infidels as you can.  Remember a few years after 9/11 when the space shuttle exploded upon re-entry.  I remember the news talking heads making comments similar to:  “Was this the result of terrorism and we should live in fear as they can reach out and touch us anytime they want, or was it an accident and you can go about doing your normal life?”  Some of the folks in the news media, particularly the TV talking heads, are as crazy and self-serving as the politicians.  Yes, we need to have a free press, but when they endlessly sensationalize this stuff I hope they at least have sleepless nights knowing they are largely responsible for egging on the next attack killing innocent folks.

Q: What can Americans do to stay more informed about national security issues?

 

A: As with many things in modern society this is a very complex issue and can be overwhelming to contemplate.  I can’t stand even looking at this crap anymore and I spent a career in it.  That’s why we hire elected representatives to deal directly with these issues.  The main thing Americans should do is READ the United States Constitution.  It’s a beautiful document and provides a working template on how our government is supposed to function.  People need to start electing people into federal office that have a track record of supporting and abiding by the Constitution, or at least with a commitment to do so.  When they step out of line we need to vote the bastards out.  In extreme cases charge these people with treason and hold them personally accountable.  Also, federal government whistleblowers need to have protections from retaliation that actually work, and hold government bureaucrats directly accountable when they do retaliate against dedicated public servants.  The federal government is so big and so complex that it takes dedicated employees on the inside to make sure the respective bureaucracies and the policies they enforce stay on the straight and narrow.  As I put in my book, after 9/11 I met over a hundred federal government whistleblowers, most of whom worked in the various agencies engaged in national security work.  The stories they related and the retribution they suffered is nothing short of horrific.  US citizens should demand that federal whistleblowers (who work in their behalf) are protected from retaliation and prosecute those who do retaliate against these dedicated federal employees.

 

Q: How were you selected to testify before the 9/11 Commission?

 

A: After 9/11 I had some communication with a few of the families of the 9/11 victims.  It was my understanding that they pressured the commission to have me testify.  Unfortunately, none of my relevant testimony is included in their final book.  I’m a footnote on page 400 and something.   The Commission also didn’t want to have any of the other good folks I worked with trying to prevent the attacks testify in front of them (namely Steve Elson and Brian Sullivan).  More importantly, nor did they want the piles of documentation offered to them.  The 9/11 Commission was an excellent whitewash in keeping the government’s bloody hands off the chopping block.

 

Q: What institutions do you think terrorists are likely to attack next?

 

A: I document in my book that I have a terribly good track record in predicting major terrorist attacks against the United States – and reference the documentation proving this.  Not only 9/11 but others.  I use the word “terrible” here because you cannot imagine what it feels like when you KNOW a major disaster is looming around the corner and try to prevent it only to be stymied by self-serving pin-headed politicians and bureaucrats whose only loyalty is their own pocketbook.  Then after the attack you get beaten down by these same people for daring to threaten this system they thrive in.  So I try not to even think about this anymore.  My book is a last desperate attempt to shed some light on this deplorable situation in government and hopefully someone in the next generation will learn from this and start fixing this broken system.  I do describe in my book, however, the methodology I used in making these very accurate predictions.  Basically it entailed examining the world-wide terrorist trends by looking solely at open source material such as newspapers, periodicals, radio and even TV talking heads, etc. Apply a bit of Sherlock Holmes’  deductive reasoning; combining these two with a Red Team mentality (which helps put one in a frame of mind to think like a terrorist); and presto – you’ve got a really good chance of being right.  Unfortunately this methodology is way beyond the capability of our illustrious intelligence, federal law enforcement and security agencies combined; these people couldn’t predict the timing of the next sunrise – at the cost of billions of tax dollars wasted.  Generally though, depending on Trumps effectiveness; I think it’s a safe bet that lone-wolf type terrorists will continue targeting venues where lots of people gather around.  What really has me concerned though is that critical infrastructures lag way behind the security measures required in this day and age.  Not just from terrorism but from state sponsors such as China, North Korea and Iran.      Fighting terrorism was easy, fighting bureaucracy and politics was what proved to be really difficult, indeed insurmountable. Hopefully our new President will start fixing things and hole these bastards accountable.

 

 

 

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 Hip Hop Artist Vincent Cruz Montano

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Vincent Cruz Montano is a hip hop artist; here is a link to his YouTube page:

 

Q: What made you interested in music?

 

A: Music has always been a delivery of validation. Remembering back to the first song I enjoyed as a kid was by a female artist named Paula Abdul called Rush, Rush. Other than having an early spark toward the music my parents were listening to, I have also enjoyed listening to all kinds throughout my years into adulthood. Not until I started making music did I feel an inner spike which has me by the heart. It’s like being an artist helped my appreciation and feeling of content towards nowadays artist which assist me in catching their drift.

 

Q: What sets you apart from other hip hop artist?

 

A: Every artist whether Country or Hip Hop has their one percent illustrated through craft. Nothing specifically sets me apart though I can only surmise a few differences that might be substantial. For example, my song called “Donkey Kong Beat” took me about three to four weeks to get it sounding the way it does. If I did have to site something specific, it would be the one percent statement in other words. I try my best to have multiple one percent’s isolated from one another vs. one percent’s that coat tail from radio format. Not that there is anything wrong with coat tailing. My preference is to only practice that formation based on your own signature for development and growth.

 

Q:  Who are some of your musical influences and how is that evidenced in your music?

 

A: Tom Petty, Third Eye Blind, and Cyndi Lauper to name a few of my most liked besides Chvrches. Specifically Tom Petti in a song I use the lyric “Last name Jane first Marry what’s the chance?” Listening to Out Of The Vein by Third Eye Blind, upon recently graduating Burlingame high school, was I very pleased and subtly influence towards the concept of lyric being personal and containing memento vibe. Cyndi Lauper blows my mind with a few of her songs. “Money Changes Everthing” makes me consider the dedication and obligation of and to being a Star boy.

 

Q: What is the most innovative thing you have done to promote yourself?

 

A: Other than almost buying in bulk customized thumb drives, I have collaborations with a few rappers that have seemed to reflect the level of energy on target for radiation. Also, I once did a radio show though I am not sure how many people were able to listen. I have preferred to stay low key with my music. I also got propositioned to play my song at a club for a c-note by Ric Lee. Though I declined and used that payment toward another track. He gave me a heads up I wasn’t ready for. Getting your music out there takes a lot of resources.

 

Q: What trends in music annoy you?

 

A: No specific trends annoy me enough to call them out at face value. Irritation occurs when fifty one percent of the song is about you and what you think vs. know. Figuring something out was the most exciting thing that artist usually do as they start out. Then either you stick to that through mimicking, which works for some. Or you reach outside your comfort zone and make some songs with a message people can learn from through applying to themselves.

 

Q: What kind of day job do you have?

 

A: I work at a Homeless Shelter. Due to importance of school having illustrated itself at this point, I plan on going back to school once it starts up again. I also have a moving job that occurs between two and three times a month. Though my moving job pays healthier than my job at the shelter, I feel that my shelter job gets me use to my fall back area of focus should music never find me. At least I can share with people starting today till my last. Being able to share music at work has been successful so far. I have a few new fans.

 

 

Q: How do your experiences at your day job influences your writing?

 

A: Nodaway I find myself writing poetry. Sharing with those around me has had its moments.

Being able to hang around with individuals with a wonder wall has its perks and moments of reality check. Engaging in conversations enables the message and energy to illustrate validation uncontested. Whether or not someone can change post a single conversation is debatable. However I find myself changing after simple interactions and quality of bounce back pertaining to respect. Listening to the way some are closed vs. being open has me very validated and content with my line of work. This holiday season allows for friendly suggestions being at least considered. Such as, just a phone call sends a message of love regardless of circumstance when you are just checking in for holiday wishes.

 

 

Q: What kind of themes do you like to explore in your music?

 

A: The theme of metaphors is fun to explore. Something to be taken away from the experience with aims to captivate. Being able to deliver a theme that tries to float as universal is a go to for me and music.

 

Q: What inspired the song Tropical Shawdy?

 

A: My First real girlfriend took me on vacation to Hawaii for the first time I had even been. I had the best time of my life through exploring what a real vacation feels like. Upon coming home, I was asked by a friend to make a second trip in the near future at that time. I invited my gf to come along though I did make the mistake of informing her that it was an all guys trip. But asking my friend if she could go, he responded with an of course. The flight time was only days away when he informed me that two of his gf’s would be attending to make the trip more affordable and to have some wing ladies. She found out and was not too happy.

 

Q: What is your theme song and why?

 

A: The “Donkey Kong Beat” is only rivaled by one other for top spot in area of theme song. I say this because the DK project took me several weeks to make acceptable. I have a number of rough drafts that needed to be combed over till it sounds the way it does. Not only the time but the energy and effort happened to go into it has a message about direction for The Vandals. My family helped me out with this song by providing their dedication as well. Though I know for a fact that I was a nuisance to Scandal for how many time I asked him to work on this project. He would always ask “why are you still working on the same song for such a long time?” Maybe eight years in the future you will have a worthy answer I would tell him.

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 Designer and Reality Star Kari Ann Peniche

kar

 

 

Kari Ann Peniche is the owner of Revamp Décor. Ms. Peniche is a former Miss United States Teen and reality television star; here is a link to her website:

 

http://www.revampdecor.com/

 

Q: What made you interested in design?

 

A: I moved around quite a bit growing up and after University, and with each new place, I felt I had to personalize and create a statement before I could call it home.  I wouldn’t settle for living in a generic space, even if I hadn’t planned on living there long.  It has always been important that my home represented who I am. Friends started asking me to help with their places, and I soon realized that there are many people that don’t have the patience or desire to do what I love doing.  After I got married, my husband, who’s a residential developer asked me to be involved with his projects, which led me into the full time world of design and decor.   Designing peoples homes has allowed me to apply my creative energy and artistic sense into interior spaces as designer which has had a profound impact on me, as well as my clients and their surroundings.

 

Q: Why should someone looking for a designer hire you?

 

 

A: My expertise lies in understanding the unique vision of each client with the belief that anything is possible.  It is my passion to create original interiors, as well as finding creative solutions for budget-conscious clients.  I have put the leg work into sourcing materials and furnishings by creating and sustaining relationships with fabric designers, manufacturers and builders, which in the end will save a client valuable time, money and headache. For all my clients, I diligently strive to create their dream home by capturing their personalities, goals and aspirations, while at the same time adding value to their space.

 

Q: Your site says you offer mood boards. What are mood boards?

 

A: A mood board is a group of pictures taken from magazines, books or websites, fabrics, textures, color swatches pretty much anything that can help express the mood, feeling or overall look you are wanting to achieve.  It’s something I really like working with because it can help a client visually see my direction.  It also helps me me get an idea of what clients are drawn to and if any changes need to be made in the overall feel of the design.  I always use a mood board before jumping into the expense of the project no matter how big or small the project is.

 

Q: What kind of training do you have in design?

 

A: As anyone will tell you, the most valuable training comes from actually doing the work. For the past 10 years I have worked with a group of exceptionally talented manufacturers and principal designers. The knowledge I’ve gained from hands on experiences has been and continues to be invaluable. The theoretical lessons and guidelines learned in becoming certified in “Design Psychology”, and “Home staging” has given me a foundation on which every job begins.  It continually amazes me to watch how my clients wellbeing and quality of life changes once we begin the process of designing their homes.  Design Psychology is about understanding the impact these environments have.

 

Q: You were a Miss Teen USA. What do you think would surprise most people about the beauty pageants process?

 

A: I have found that most people are surprised when I say that I believe pageants offer a great opportunity for personal growth.  Preparing for a pageant is doing everything you can to become the best possible you.  How often do we get the opportunity to focus on ourself and give the attention needed to become our best both inside and out, physically, mentally and spiritually?  Not very often.   People often think pageants are about competing against other girls but the truth is you’re competing against yourself.  At the end of a pageant every delegate leaves a little more poised, confident, has better speaking and interview skills all of which require really getting to know who you are, what you believe in, what your goals are, what you stand for and what you want others to know about you.  I think having the experience of pageantry translates in a positive way to other areas of life and career.

 

Q:  You lost your crown when you posed for Playboy. Do you regret your decision to pose for the magazine or did it help your career?

 

A: I do believe Playboy was a positive stepping stone in my entertainment career but that was over a decade ago and my career goals today are so different than what they were when I posed for the magazine.    I was 20 years old.  My experience working with Playboy was all positive and it was also a fun time in my life.

 

Q: You have appeared on a couple of Dr. Drew’s rehab shows. How were you selected to be on these shows in the first place?

 

A: My manager David Weintraub pitched this new VH1 show called “Sex Rehab with Dr Drew” which was a spin of the successful “Celebrity Rehab” series. David, having been a producer and casting director for “Celebrity Rehab” knew what the show was looking for, and stressed how being on the show would be good for my career and that the network was looking for a new starlet. I wasn’t sure I agreed with him and I didn’t consider myself a sex addict, but to be honest I was interested in being on television. It had been five years since I was in Playboy and the opportunity to be on the screen was tempting. To make a long story short the following day I was the first member cast for “Sex Rehab with Dr Drew”.  Producers liked me and I was asked to be a part of Celebrity Rehab and then Sober House.

 

 

 

Q: Do you think you were portrayed fairly on the show?

 

A: No, I was not portrayed fairly for who I am in real life.  I was cast for a part.  Reality TV is not real!  I portrayed a character that the producers were looking for.

 

Q: After being evicted from Dr. Drew’s Sober House for violent behavior, you asked the other residents if you could return and they said no. Do you now understand why they did that?

 

A: I needed to leave the show to take care of some personal things that had come up and I was told to ask the other members if I could come back, it was pretty much staged to look that way.

 

Q: If you could design a house for any reality star who would it be and what would the house look like?

 

A: I’d love to design a house for Donald Trump and not just any house but the White House.  Now, if I could just do anything I wanted to the house, then I would go with a mix of its classic American history and Trumps gold bling style he does to most of his properties.  It would be an old world modern vintage that sparkles.  An understated elegance with a little flash.  However, since I’d be working for Donald Trump it would be a collaboration of ideas. I’d be focused on what he and his family’s visions were and I’d be there to bring vision to life.

 

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 Jaie Vee

yes

 

Jaie Vee is the author of Getting her to YES; here is a link to the website:
https://www.createspace.com/6653395

 

Q: What is, Getting Her to Yes about?

 

A: THIS BOOK IS EXCLUSIVELY FOR MEN.  This book is exclusively for MATURE men, showing average men how to get ladies or the wife to give SEX. It details a lady’s mind-set, so men are clear why such cheap and simple tactics are effective. It includes erotic sex stories that can excite dominant male, and submissive female emotions. One can preview the first seven pages at eden3000.com/yes.html and see Reader’s Favorite 5-star review at the link attached there.

 

Q: What made you decide to write it?

 

A: I started tinkering with writing about sex many years ago, because I was always helping men I knew “get sex”. Just a few basic “tips” changed their entire sex lives from no sex to lots of sex. Men know so much about a lot, but nearly nothing about female’s motivation for sex, or how to get sex.

 

But I couldn’t write a complete “understanding” till I was in a relationship with a gorgeous talented, self-driven amazing man. He was so wonderful to me each time I came back to him, then fairly quickly removed all MY gifts, leaving just the sex. I’d hint about this and that, but like many females, I couldn’t flat out tell him stuff. I left the last time feeling “used”, though I know he believed he was really trying. Then is when I realized, no matter how smart a man is, men really have no clue what ladies get out of the sex dance. And no woman will ever tell them.

 

As a strong woman, it took me “a lot of guts” to write that females choose the submissive position in sex, and why we ladies biologically have to. I reveal all the secrets we ladies will never tell our man. I had to, because, though those secrets are of short-term benefit to ladies, in the long run, ladies lose because men have not any clue what makes us want sex.

 

Q: What qualifies you as an expert in this area?

 

A: Having never desired children, and never needed a man’s money, company, or help, I got to observe the relationships of others with some emotional distance. And emotional distance is what a lady would need to state some of this stuff.  I got all the attention a lady could want when I worked as a dancer (in states where the men could not touch). Also, as an engineer and inventor, I tend to know stuff others want to learn, so I always get plenty of “feeling needed” attention.

 

My mom just read the first 24 pages and said she’s,  “finding it hard to stop reading.  So far, a very interesting book and I do agree with you.  Good job, I think you have sorted things out pretty well.” I never expected Mom to read it, but that was a great compliment.

 

Q:  What kind of day job do you have and how does it effect your ability to write?

 

A: I run a small business, mostly involving the sales of my top-rated Silent Sleep  Snore Stopper(R) nasal inserts. When on Amazon, the Slim/Avg. size was the 593rd best selling product on all of Amazon. I sell less than that volume now on my eden3000.com website, but I also get friendlier customers, like half of which write me thank you emails.

 

When selling on Amazon, large-nosed men would buy the most popular Slim/Avg. size, then write “doesn’t work” one star reviews. I’d have to convince them to return the insert for the correct LARGER size, then I’d wait the painful weeks for them to change the review. Sometimes they would not return it because it cost so little money, it was not worth their time, so they’d leave the bad review. The issue was more due to the way Amazon set things up, to let the customer stab the seller with a bad review, versus having the customer contact the seller first. Such size issues are important for products like mine.

 

I’ve also spent the last few years renovating two houses, entirely replumbing, rewiring, adding gas, fixing foundations, rebuilding rotted floors, changing walls, etc all myself, using mostly free or used supplies. That gave me lots of time to think and write the most concise and clear book I could, as well as work on other non-physical projects.

 

I take on new odd projects every year. Last year I did a property conversion to business for someone else, which required knowing all the building codes, drafting, and “how to build stuff”. That was great fun.

 

Q:  If your tips don’t work is there a money back guarantee?

 

A: Well, I don’t know how Amazon runs the book end of things, but I have a Twitter account listed in the book, for men to ask me questions, and I will do my best to reply. But, frankly, men know so little about how to get a woman to want sex. Often, only one tip of the hundreds I state will fix a man’s sex life. Simply reading the “why” will help men the most. I write the book in a conversational style with lots of examples from my own life, and those of others I know, so to give some dimension to the tips.

 

Q: Who are some of your writing influences?

 

A: I read mostly just technical and biological stuff, no novels. I learn best by experimenting and tactile work, and searching out those who are willing to give negative feedback.  Like, I found a guy who does reviews, who suggested putting “yes” in the title. What a great tip! I put requests up on Craigslist to read a draft of my book, and got lucky that an editor type guy volunteered to comment on the first 40 pages. Without his advice, my book would not have been something most men would actually listen to. He suggested the conversational style and adding my own stories. Great advice!

 

Q: What makes your book different than other sex tip books?

 

A: That’s easy! Most sex books focus on the PHYSICAL aspects of sex. The physical aspect of sex is what the MAN enjoys. It is the emotional and fantasy part that excites the female. It is a complete reverse thinking than what is out there in books. Some books might say doing chores can help get a lady in the mood. That’s way too boring and abstract for a man to “understand” the “why”.

 

Q:  What are some common mistakes that men make when trying to seduce women?

 

A: I go through most of them in the book, but saying they are “very passionate”, touting their manly sports as a main focus of their free time, and thinking just “being friendly” or “giving her stuff” will move ladies towards sex.

 

Q:  What is the weirdest thing a man has ever said to you when hitting on you? 

 

A: No man has ever said anything “weird” to me. The sickest thing a man ever did was, after my sister divorced my brother-in-law, he actually tried to kiss me at Thanksgiving. Gross.

 

Understand, I most often dress in paint-covered, multi-layered sweats, mostly wear two hats and never wear make-up (but for photos), so men cannot quite define what “I look like naked” to “hit” on me. I also don’t even glance at men as if I am “looking”, cause I’m not “looking”. (“Glancing” is the only thing men are good at spotting). Men instead talk to me as the source of information that I am, especially on construction, code issues, patent writing, etc.

 

I find “being hit on” to feel like someone wants to take a bite out of me, and that is NOT a good feeling. Because I have confidence in my physical appearance, I do not need or desire others to boost my ego by flaunting myself. (That body shot I took of myself this September, when I got in the mood to “make a book”.) The few men that dare hit on me? I give them tips on how to get sex from someone else.

 

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book? 

 

A: YES just got published Nov. 2, 2016, a few days ago. I got a Reader’s Favorite 5 star review, saying my book will “revolutionize the way most men view sex”. I am trying to get a review in a chosen male-oriented magazine. I’ve investigated the politics with the magazine, its owners, and other stuff like how reviews are distributed, publisher’s issues…  I am looking for the loose mortar no one else is targeting in the brick wall that is in front of “getting noticed”.

 

It may come down to want versus NEED. I have two 5-star rated children’s books. No one needs another children’s book. But men really need my YES book. It’s like my Snore Stopper inserts, where I did zero advertising to get to ranking 593 on all of Amazon. Once the word gets out about my YES book, I hope every man on earth reads it.

 

Women might never see anything interesting in my book, because they know this stuff. The problem is, men don’t know ANY of this stuff. Ladies, if you accidentally buy my YES book, PLEASE, give it to your dad or uncle! There is ZERO romance in the book. There is nothing of any value at all for the ladies in my book.

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