Category: writers

An Interview With Author A.J. Wright 

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A.J. Wright  is the author of Extraterrestrial Love and Lusting for Lei; here is a link to the Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Extraterrestrial-Love-Different-J-Wright-ebook/dp/B01NBFWW7S/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&qid=1497332536&ref_=sxts_1&sr=1

 

Q: What is Extraterrestrial Love about?

 

A: It is about a young girl, named Seyai, who came to earth with her parents to find her one true love. They are aliens, that originate from a planet, named Oceana. This planet survives and thrives on love. Everyone on the planet travels at a very young age, to earth to find there one true love.

 

Q: What gave you the idea for the story?

 

A: I was 19 years old at the time, taking a medical coding and billing course. I was in the classroom, at my cubicle, on my computer and some of my classmates were talking about this new song that they loved. I couldn’t hear it clearly because they were playing it from a mp3 player. It wasn’t very loud, but from what little I did hear, the song reminded me of a fairy tale. I knew the singer as Katy Perry so when I went home that day, I was able to look up the song and hear it for myself. I fell in love with the song immediately. The words felt so incredible and powerful. The song just made me imagine and fantasize about this young, teen girl who is just too beautiful, too precious and too innocent for earth that she must be an alien, from a beautiful planet. I also thought about this powerful cosmic type of love that could overcome anything and everything, thus, Extraterrestrial Love: A different world was born.

 

Q:  What makes Seyai Narvez a competing heroine?

 

A: The fact that she is strong, never gives up on anything and believes in the most powerful force in the universe, which is love. Her courage, determination, strength and even her beauty all come from love. The love she feels, the love she has, the love she is made and born from and the love she would die for.

 

Q: What gave you the idea for Lusting for Lei?

 

A: Lusting for Lei, is very dear to me. Not a lot of people I think would find a gorgeous, Korean male running away to Europe with a young wife and son and then falling in love with a beautiful, French prince an everyday gay, romance story. The thing is I was watching a suspense, thriller Korean movie with my boyfriend. The movie is called “Memories of Murder” It is a very disturbing movie, but one of the actors was very beautiful to me. Not many times I saw a young, Korean male that was gorgeous. He was so gorgeous I thought of a male find him gorgeous as well. I thought he could be considered gay. That is when I started brainstorming the part of a French Prince I do not know where that came from it just pop into my head and I really wanted to write a short, gay erotic book and after I had the visualization in my head on what my main characters would look like I just started typing away.

 

Q: What themes does the book examine?

 

A: With Lusting for Lei, obviously I wanted it to be very passionate and sensual, so erotica was one of the main themes. However, I didn’t want that to be the main focus or all that was in the book. I want my readers to also truly feel the love, between the two main characters. Some people I have spoken with have told me they don’t believe two men can truly be in love and it is just about the sex when it is two guys, but I don’t believe in that. Love knows no boundaries in that aspect. I have always believed that two, mature men can be in love and have a healthy, beautiful relationship just as a man and woman can. Real true love is another main theme my book examines.

 

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

 

A: J.K. Rowling has always been an influence to me because of her amazing story about her life and how she created a legacy that will live on forever. I think all authors strive for that success. I admire Zane a lot. She and J.K. Rowling are the main reasons why I fell in love with reading and through that I also discovered that I love writing as well. Zane is very bold and creative in her writing. I love how she communicates with her fans. I love and started reading erotica books because of her. The imagination she has and her charisma in her writing is mesmerizing to me. I love Stephen King. There are so many questions I wish I could ask him about his genius mind. He is brilliant and a master piece to admire as an author. I don’t use any of my influences in my own work because I being unique and making my own rules in writing will always be my main goal as an author.

 

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

 

A: I am a customer service agent. I work from home. A lot would assume, that because I work from home I would have a lot of time to write, but that is not true. When your an adult and you have bills and things to worry about it is hard to find time for yourself. I always make time to slip into my writing, imagination world. I just wish I had more time to do so. Hopefully, I will only have to write to make money one day, but I will always write because it is apart of my soul.

 

Q: What is the most successful thing you have done to publicize your book?

 

A: Publicizing your book is hard, especially when your not well known. Your not sure what promotion techniques will work and what company is actually real or not. It is also hard to predict what readers are looking for and you need a budget plan. When I tell people about promoting my book they tell me not to waste my money. I admit sometimes it is just not worth it with some companies, but other times with legit companies it is really profitable. After all how are people going to know about your book if your don’t promote it. I have to say the best company I have used so far is “Books Butterfly” Still I have to work harder on getting my books out there.

 

Q: What are the advantages of disadvantages of publishing on Amazon?

 

A: Advantages are everyone knows about Amazon, millions visit the site everyday and it is worldwide. Amazon does offer a lot to authors who want to self publish. Disadvantages are so many books are on that site it makes it hard for one book to stand out, unless your in the top #100 and that is hard.

 

Q:  To what character from literature would you most like to introduce Seyai?
A: Of course I would want Seyai to meet Harry Potter. I think he would have a crush on her. Katniss Evergreen and Seyai would be close friends, though Katniss would make it difficult at first.

 

 

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 J.J. Hemmestad

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J.J. Hemmestad is the author of Visions of a Dream; here is a link to her website:

 

http://jhemmestad.wixsite.com/justine-j-hemmestad

 

Q: What is Visions of a Dream about?

A: My story begins after Alexander the Great is king and as he takes his army to conquer the Persian King Darius III in Asia Minor in order to liberate the people from his oppressive rule.While there, he begins a spiritual journey that takes him through the universe of his mind, and answers as well as questions are revealed to him through his closest, most intense relationships (one with his closest officer Hephastion, and one with a Persian girl named Baphomet, who is fictional). He was inclusive of all people, and immersed himself in each culture he liberated, dressing like them, worshiping their god in their temples, and allowing them the freedom to retain their beliefs. He believed that each religion ultimately worshiped the same god. The end rift with his Army came when they insisted on spreading the Macedonian/Greek culture and were offended that he adapted to other cultures; and they mutinied.

 

Q: What made you interested in Alexander the Great?

A: I watched an A&E Biography about Alexander in the 90’s and I found his perseverance and persistence so familiar that I began to research him (especially through Arrian). In one of his battles he was hacked on the head with a cleaver that split his helmet in two, but he persisted.

 

Q: What made you start writing in the first place?

A: Writing was and is therapy for me. In 1990 (I was 19) my car was hit by a city bus – I sustained a severe brain injury, was in a coma, paralyzed, and the doctors thought that I would never recover. Within months I was walking again though and my husband and I eventually had seven kids (when the doctors told us we wouldn’t be able to). Reading was especially hard for me to learn again. In addition to my injuries I had severe PTSD and writing helped me cope. I used to have several stories going at one time, but my Alexander the Great story was the one I gained the most from. After my TBI I was essentially personality-less and the traits that I admired in someone I found myself adapting, which was the case with Alexander.

Q: What kind of day job or income source do you have and how does it influence your writing?

A: I’m a mother of seven kids, so I had to write through any turmoil and amount of noise. I learned to have intense focus, which was also something that was not supposed to have been possible with my severe brain injury. Sometimes I got up very early in the morning to write, too. Now three of my kids are adults and I only have four at home and I have a good routine I stick with. I’m also on disability due to my brain injury and my husband works full time.

 

Q: Who are some of your favorite characters from literature?

A: My ultimate favorite characters are Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights because they have to fight through so much and though their love gets warped in the end, it extends beyond death. I also love Frankenstein by Mary Shelley because people freak out so much when they see the creature and he’s banished, which is therapeutic to read because I felt very much like that after my accident.

 

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

A: I’ve hired a publicist, who has gotten many interviews; it’s a new thing for me but I’m very glad I did it. I was interviewed last year by a newspaper for my novella, Truth be Told, and I found that publicity is the most effective tool to gain readers.

 

Q: What made you chose Turtle Shell Publishing?

A: I spent 20 years writing, but only a few years trying to get published (split into different time periods), and I often felt belittled or taken advantage of by the publishing world. I knew I wanted to have a small publishing home which was run by a woman, which is exactly what I found with Turtle Shell Publishing. I can also talk to her about how exactly I would like my books to appear and my oldest son Bradley Hemmestad has the freedom to create the cover art for my books (Truth be Told was also published through Turtle Shell, formally Faith by Grace Publishing).

 

Q: What makes your writing style unique?

A: I write what I feel, from my heart, and I write in the sense of the story that I’m telling, so my writing styles shift because I want to be faithful to the characters and the story itself.

 

Q: What is the oddest piece of advice anyone has given you about writing?

A: No one has ever really given me advice because I’ve been writing on my own, not connected to people who may otherwise advise me. But I’ve taken many writing courses through the Iowa Writer’s Workshop (I’ve earned a BLS from The University of Iowa and am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Literature through Northern Arizona University), and what I’ve learned about writing has been invaluable.

 

Q:  If Alexander The Great could meet Donald Trump, what advice do you think he would give him?

A: Great question! I think Alexander would give the advice that he lived himself, which is that sincere, pure interest in a culture other than your own overcomes any fear of that culture. Also, he would advise Trump to think less about his pride and how favorably he’s seen as a leader and find his center (the source of his inspiration), and let that be his guide. Alexander knew his spiritual core and was willing to learn even greater wisdom than what he thought he had. He was never stagnant in his beliefs, but he was always evolving.

 

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 Todd Tavolazzi

Todd Head Shot

Todd Tavolazzi is the author of, Looking Into the Sun; here is a link to his Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Looking-into-Sun-Syrian-Conflict-ebook/dp/B01BG9O22A

Q:  What is Looking Into the Sun about?

A: It is a novel that follows a freelance war reporter and a young Hollywood movie star, researching his next role, into Syria to rescue Syrian children from a besieged Syrian town.

Q:  What is your personal connection to the story?

A: As a military strategic planner, I was tasked with studying the Syrian conflict in 2013. Through open source reporting, both print and video, I found that there was much more going on there than was being reported in the mainstream media. One of the reasons was that the Syrian government had kicked out all of the journalists. But there were still a small group of dedicated journalists, both amateur and professional, who would smuggle themselves across the border of Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey into Syria to report on what was going on.

I saw video reporting from brave reporters from many news agencies, but several from Vice News were harrowing and compelling. They showed a snapshot in a 15-20 minute blocks of what civilians were enduring inside Syria. The biggest shock I discovered was the atrocities not only against civilians, but against children. There were heartbreaking videos of wounded and dying children – suffering every day from the conflict.

I had two small children at home at the time and it made me angry that this sort of situation was not given more global attention. So, I decided that I would formulate a story based on the things I had discovered from those brave journalists and use the story as a vehicle to raise awareness and hopefully funds for charity organizations to help Syrian children.

Q: What makes Angus Conn worth reading about?

A: I created the Angus Conn character from a few different journalist personalities, both men and women, who have a deep connection with the region and are professional war correspondents. The thing that made this type of character interesting to me – and what I wanted to convey in the story – was not only this type of journalist’s dedication – but a sense that there is nothing else these types of people can do in their lives. They were born with a deep desire to find the truth and do everything they can to expose it and make more sense of the world. I also wanted Angus to be desperate that his efforts were not amounting to much – but he pushes on and continues his work, but eventually must decide whether he is going to go against his journalistic principles of “report the story, don’t be the story.” He decides he can no longer stand by and just report…he decides that if he has to “be the story” to save Syrian children from this conflict, then that is what he will do…along with his movie star companion. I thought that would be a compelling story that I’d like to read or see on a movie screen. Hopefully, others feel the same way.

Q: Who inspired the character of Jake Westin?

A: Jake, like Angus, is more of a stereotypical idea of a privileged Hollywood socialite. He’s not really based on any one real person in the world – just the embodiment of typical nihilistic, ignorant youth. And I mean ignorant in the most literal sense – because before I studied the conflict in Syria in depth, I was also ignorant of what was going on there. I needed a character that represented the classic ignorant person who is eventually shown the truth and comes to terms with it in his own way – and, I believe, is formed into a more enlightened and caring person on the other end of the experience.

Q: You are in the Navy; do security clearances and such limit you in terms of what you can write about?

A: My book is a novel and the stories, experiences, information, and impressions that congealed in my brain to form the story all came from unclassified material. I had no knowledge of any classified information or operations that dealt with Syria as I was writing. I purposefully made the story centered on humanitarian issues to get at the heart of what matters most there, the unnecessary violence against civilians, and particularly children.

Q:  You are donating proceeds from the book to Save the Children; what made you pick that organization?

A: I wanted to tell the story to raise awareness and more importantly, stimulate action. I wanted people to be know about the situation, get mad, and then take action. For most people, the action part of it is limited. So, I wanted to make the point that even a little bit helps. Even a small donation to a charity that helps Syrian kids or refugee families helps. So, my publisher (Pandamoon Publishing in Austin, Texas) agreed to donate 10% of all profit to Save the Children. To date, I have donated all of my author royalties from the book to Save the Children and will continue to do so. I also had great support from a local book store in Norfolk, VA (The Book Exchange) where they initiated a charity book sale and donated all funds from their book sales (over $1900) to Save the Children for Syrian kids.

I chose Save the Children because they have one of the highest percentages of their revenue go to children’s programs (89%). I wanted to make sure that the money that was raised for Syrian children actually benefitted them and did not go mostly to an organization’s salaries.

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

A: I have always enjoyed reading Tom Clancy, Frederick Forsythe, John LeCarre, and Robert Ludlum. But I know I can’t write like them. I wanted my writing to be quicker, to the point, and exciting. I enjoy writing dialogue and keeping the chapters short, something I appreciate as a reader (sometimes I don’t have time to get through a twenty or thirty page chapter – my chapters run about 5-8 pages to keep the story nimble and fast). I also try to keep the loose, fresh, and compact styles of Chuck Palahniuk and Ernest Hemingway in my mind as I write – not to emulate them – but to appreciate them and think how I can keep my writing a bit lighter, fearless, and less bogged down.

Q: What have you done to promote your book?

A: I have done a few podcast and local radio interviews, I did several book signings in my local area when the book was published in February 2016, and my publisher has been relentlessly promoting on Facebook and Twitter along with all of their other fabulous titles. I also try to drive people to my blog site (www.toddtavolazzi.com) where I have a few blog posts on why I wrote the book (to help Syrian kids) and who I am (a Navy pilot who got mad about the world situation and wrote a book to try and help). But both the physical book and e-book are available on Amazon.

Q: How did you get your book optioned for a film?

A: As I wrote the novel, I had always seen the story very clearly in my head as a movie. The novel is not structured like a film, but the scenes were very vivid for me as I wrote (probably due to all the video I had watched as I researched the topic). When the book was published, I set out to write a screenplay adapted from the novel. It took me about a month to hammer it into shape (which meant cutting a lot of things out, re-arranging a few important scenes for pacing, creating a few new scenes to show character development, and killing lots of darlings). But in the end, I had a script just short of 120 pages and I shopped it around via query letter to a lot of managers, agents, and producers with very little response (no surprise there). I also posted it on InkTip and noticed that an independent producer downloaded the logline and synopsis. I researched a bit about him, waited a few weeks to follow up and finally contacted him via e-mail. He mentioned that he was, indeed, interested in the premise and asked to read it.

Two short months of pulling my hair out waiting for the verdict, he asked to option it for film. The producer is Eric J. Adams from Sleeperwave Films – he produces award winning features with a conscience. My material was right up his alley and he understood exactly where I wanted to go with the material right away. He too agreed to donate a portion of backend profits to a charity organization.

Recently, we found an award-winning Egyptian director interested in directing the film. We also found a Syrian actor named Mohab Alshocough who is in a refugee camp in Greece. I have a few extraordinary souls, humanitarian volunteers helping refugees in Greece, helping me get our script to him to read. We want him to know that we haven’t forgotten about the Syrian people and we want him to help us tell their story through our film. We hope it will raise his spirits and give him hope in a desperate time.

We are now looking for funding for the film. We believe that this universal type of story will resonate with everyone – but for now – I need it to resonate with investors so we can make it and share it with the movie going public.

I have another novel about 3/4 complete but have put it on hold to write screenplays for a while. I have written three other feature-length screenplays with varying levels of interest from producers and managers (a few are on InkTip now…hint…hint). So, it’s an exciting time for me to be honing my craft (I was recently offered an opportunity from an independent production company to adapt a novel for them…it’s very flattering to have people take notice of my work and hope to keep the momentum going). I’m going to keep writing things that compel me and work to get that passion and emotion on the page through character and story.

Q:  If you could have any actor in Hollywood accompany you on a mission who would it be and why?

A: That’s easy…Clint Eastwood…Pale Rider, the Man with No Name, the Outlaw Josey Wales, Gunny Highway, and Dirty Harry all rolled into one…no question…Clint Eastwood.

That’s my frivolous answer…I believe that people like George Clooney (well known for his compassion for this cause – and other worthy causes like Darfur) and Jennifer Garner (already an Ambassador for Save the Children) embody the mind and heart of the compassion I’m trying to foster with this book and film project.

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 Drew Glick

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Drew Glick is the author of the upcoming novel, The WheelHouse; here is a link to the book’s Amazon page:

 

https://www.amazon.com/WheelHouse-True-Story-about-Dogs

 

 

Q: What is The WheelHouse about?

 

A: In order to describe what the novel [The WheelHouse] is about a reader must first know what is a Wheelhouse? A Wheelhouse is a metaphorical term that is used to describe the human mind, or psyche rather. Think of it in terms as you would Yin and Yang. Being that the human brain is divided into two hemispheres the ideology of Yin and Yang is the most logical way to define how our brains function; one side is light and the other is dark. Essential the novel [The WheelHouse] a constant struggle against light and dark wherein the character must be aware of his choices before he makes them so that he can predict what, if any impact his choices will have on his reality. Sounds like science fiction, right? The shocking truth is that the novel is a true story which depicts a man who struggles to understand his humanity only to learn what it means to human through his two dogs, Sasha and Gabbie…and, yes, that man would be me.

 

Q: What gave you the idea for the book?

 

A: The idea for the book started off simply enough as a short novella about a “boy and his dogs.” However, as I began to write it I concluded that I wanted to write a meaningful and heartfelt novel that would not only pay tribute to my beloved dogs, Sasha and Gabbie but immortalize them as well.

Q: What makes your characters worth reading about?

A: Well, for starters Drew is the sweetest asshole you will ever meet…and he is also one of the strongest people you will ever have the pleasure to know. However, let’s not forget that Drew would not be Drew if not for his two dogs, Sasha and Gabbie. It is because of their strength, love and loyalty that Drew was able to overcome incredible hardships such as: suicidal thoughts and tendencies, crippling depression and paranoia, constant disappointment, sickness, and, even, homelessness.

 

Q: Your biography says that you are full time as a red carpet camera operator and video editor . For what company do you work?

 

A: Yes, I work primarily for Watson Headquarters and The French Reporter. I have been with the company since December 2015. However, I will begin a full time position this summer with AfterBuzz.tv. Though, when I’m not on the red carpet I spend much of my time editing and designing titles and graphics for OMGossip.tv and other organizations as well. I am also a contributing writer for Downtown Weekly LA, and head writer for the fashion magazine, Compulsive.

 

Q: How did you get the job in the first place?

 

A: Getting the job as a red carpet camera operator (and video editor) was much harder then it may sound. I had to network, network, network! Actually, let me re-phrase that – getting the job was relatively straight forward but keeping the job was a whole other story. Filming red carpet is not like filming a scene for a movie or even a commercial. It is an incredibly fast paced environment where media is constantly fighting to get the shot of their favorite celebrity and by the time its over you just want to go home and sleep. Sadly, you can’t sleep because you have a twelve hour turn around time to get the piece up; no piece, no pay. However, with that being said it is also a fun and exciting job that lets me meet and mingle with some of Hollywood’s elite A-Listers.

 

Q:  Why do you think Hell is such a popular setting for books?

 

A:  Never forget what Keanu Reeves said in the movie, The Devil’s Advocate, “I’d rather rule in Hell then serve in Heaven.” I think Hell is intriguing, even empowering…but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I find the Devil attractive. In fact, I think the Devil is a total prick. Though, in many regards I agree that experiencing Hell can make a person mentally indestructible, not physically, of course (no one is Superman). I used to think that all those horrible events (like those I speak about in the novel) were punishment of some sort wherein I was being forced pay for my sins. It wasn’t until recently that I concluded that those events were in fact mere obstacles which God had put before me to make me stronger; to be a leader, a poet, and an inspiration (as many people have called me)…and don’t forget the old saying that goes, “God works in mysterious ways.” I think that to some degree I experienced Hell so that I may better understand God and what it is I meant to do while on this earth.

Q: What other kinds of writing do you do?

 

A: My published works range from sci-fi, fantasy, suspense and self help. I also recently started a personal blog where I write primarily about topics which relate directly to the entertainment industry as a whole. Occasionally, I publish “how-to” articles on video editing where I cover novice, intermediate and elite techniques and tricks such as Rotoscoping, Advanced Green Screen Tutorials, Color Correction and more. Periodically, I will also take time to write a short article about life, love and the pursuit of happiness (which can be found exclusively on my blog as well). I guess you could say I’m still trying to find my “niche.”

 

 

 

Q:  How do you go about selecting cover art?

 

A: The cover art for The WheelHouse was hand drawn by a good friend of mine, Eric Hunn. Both Eric and I wanted to convey an image of a man who is one with his thoughts; who knows who he is and who knows his purpose. To accomplish this we decided to recreate the iconic image of the bronzed sculpture known as, The Thinker (by Auguste Rodin). We felt that by re-creating an image depicting a modern day “thinker” we were able to capture the true ideology of the WheelHouse.

 

Q: What is the most successful thing you have done to promote your book?

 

A:  Well, currently the book is only available for “advance” purchase (it will be available worldwide April 7th, 2017). However, so far the book has been mentioned in a number of well known magazines which are distributed around the globe, and has been dubbed, “a must read!” In April of 2017 I will be speaking on LA Talk Radio to answer questions about the book and to further promote the idea of The WheelHouse. 

Q: If you had to go to Hell for some reason, who would you take as your guide? Please assume that Virgil is all booked up.

 

A: Let me start by saying that I have been to Hell many times throughout the course of my life. As I guide I am the best man for the job! Yet, if I had to choose someone to be my guide I would have to say Ronnie James Dio. Call it what you will but I love his music!

 

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 John Kildemm

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John Kildemm is a writer for the Eric Andre show and the author of the autobiographical book series, Hey Doorman; here is a link to his link to his Amazon page:

Q: When did you know you were a writer?

 

A: I knew I was a writer once I got into my major of electrical engineering in college. I disliked it so much that I actually started to read books again, which this sent me on a path of writing, in particular comedy. My mother would say that I was a writer before 5th grade, as all of my montessori teachers thought that I would grow up to be a writer based on all of my advanced reading (Stephen Hawking, Ian Fleming, Stephen King, Dean Koontz) and the fact that I used to write stories all of the time. These stories were some amalgamation of James Bond, sci-fi, and Kung-Fu as those were my biggest influences at that time. These are still major influences to this day, just add in Tarantino, Scorsese, Coen Brothers, David Fincher and Lynch, Spike Jonze and Lee, Jim Jarmusch and Bong Joon-ho.

Q: How did you come to be a bouncer?

 

A:  I became a bouncer due to two factors. (1) I am 6’3″, 200lbs, black, and look like I can whoop your ass. (2) A comedian buddy of mine introduced me to another comedy buddy of his in LA who worked as a bouncer. And that bouncer wanted some nights off, so he offered me some of his shifts. In other words, it was my physical appearance in combination with a lazy man that began my all too long career as a bouncer. Which is how at least two thirds of people get their jobs, right?

Q:  Is it true that they tell you not to let people in based on race, age and looks?

 

A:  It is true that at certain night spots in LA there are unwritten rules on who to let in which are based on beauty, race, age etc. I actually know a couple bouncers who work at those places. But for myself, I have never worked at one of those places. That being said, pretty women are ushered in at almost all costs, while a guy slipping a bouncer money will get you in just as quickly. The tricky part comes when pretty women are there with their male friends or boyfriends, because once we are near capacity a single penis will send your group to the back of the line. This is when, in my case, you need to have a witty/smart pretty woman to talk your group past the line. Because there is almost nothing a guy can say to me to get his group in, that isn’t sponsored by Jackson, Grant and/or Franklin.

 

Q: Did you ever actually have to rough anybody up, or do you just look intimidating?

 

A: Ninety-nine percent of the time I do not have to rough anybody up. Primarily because I work in West Hollywood, where there’s a bunch of models and actors. In other words, people who really need their faces intact and are generally of average human height and below average human weight. The few times I have hit someone it was more than called for. One time a guy was assaulting a woman. Another time a drunk guy was pummeling a small patron. Another time a guy intentionally knocked my book (Art Linson’s What Just Happened?) out of my hand so I had to strike him. If you don’t know that book, it has Robert De Niro on the cover. And no one fucks with De Niro, despite his poor movie choices the last decade.

Q:  Who was your most memorable drunk?

 

A: My most memorable drunk is a tough one, as there are too many to count. Plus I chronicle the best of the best in each volume of my ebook series, Hey Doorman. So I will go with the one that occurred when I wasn’t even working. It was at our company Holiday Party. A company employee got so drunk that he attacked the manager on duty that night for no reason and proceeded to pummel him until the barback stopped him. I saw this unfold on video the following day. The funny part was that the guy who attacked the manager had no recollection of what he did. He even showed up to work the next day, only to be informed that he was fired and formal charges were being filed against him.

Q: Why are people so fascinated with Hollywood nightlife, isn’t a drunk a drunk?

 

A:  Drunks are drunks are drunks. This is true. But people are fascinated by anything Hollywood (I.E. Los Angeles), because of what Hollywood represents: The American dream. Coming from nothing and rising to the top of everything. You can make an argument that, the actor, is the top spot in American culture. Our current president became pop culture famous from TV and former president Ronald Reagan was a b-movie actor. These two men became the most powerful men in the world and they weren’t even good actors. Imagine what a Meryl Streep or Denzel Washington could do? On the other side of this Hollywood coin, you have the greatest falls America has ever seen. Look no further than OJ Simpson. His meteoric fall was something that the nation, nor world, could look away from (so much so that his trial gave birth to an entire TV network). This immensely watchable dichotomy is why people are forever fascinated by Hollywood.

 

Q: How did you become a writer for the Eric Andre show?

 

A: I became a writer for The Eric Andre Show through my standup comedy connections. I have been performing standup for over 10 years, beginning in Chicago, where I met and became friends with Hannibal Buress. He and I share a similar comedic perspective and he thought I would be a good fit for Eric’s show, so he forwarded some sketches I wrote to Eric. Eric liked them and brought me into his writers room for Season 4, which I could not be more proud of as I have so much respect and admiration for his show. Since then I have also become friends with Eric, who by the way, has hands down the coolest birthday parties that I have ever been to. But due to a Non Disclosure Agreement I can not say any more (wink).

 

Q: What would surprise us about Eric?

 

A: Nothing would surprise me about Eric as I have known him for a while. But what would surprise some people is how diligent and un-crazy he is in the writers room. Eric is a good boss and writing partner. He is nurturing, kind, and open to creativity. Period. Just a good creative dude, who may or may not whip his penis out.

 

Q: Do you think the shock value of the show will ever wear thin or do you think you can keep taking it to new levels?

 

A:  I don’t think The Eric Andre Show’s shock value will ever wear thin, primarily due to Eric. He would rather walk away than not keep taking things to another thoroughly crazy level. Secondly, the format of the show doesn’t allow things to get comfortable as it has a running time of about 11 minutes. If the show was 30 minutes or if Eric was not so hands on, I would feel differently.

Q: Who do you think would win in a fight, Eric Andre or Lauren Conrad?

 

A: Lauren Conrad versus Eric Andre… Hmmm… While I am 100% sure that Eric can win the fight, I also know he is business savvy. Meaning he knows that the real money is in the rematch or rematches. So while Eric would not throw the first fight, he would most certainly exploit it for all that it is worth. There would be a lot of Vaseline and he would most certainly show up naked or at least wearing a banana hammock with Lauren’s face on it. He would then proceed to push the boundries of sex (without being pornographic; he needs the reruns to play on television), drug use, and violence. In the end, Lauren would be declared the winner. But the real winner would be the viewers.

 

 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 Preston Fassel

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Preston Fassel is the author of Our Lady of the Inferno and an editor at Cinedump.com; here is a link to his Amazon page:

 

 

 

 Q: What is Our Lady of the Inferno about?

 

A: Literally, it’s about the intersecting stories of two different women in 1983 New York: Ginny, a runaway from the Midwest who ends up overseeing the prostitution operation of a Times Square gangster in order to help care for her disabled sister; and Nicolette, a waste management executive who moonlights as a serial killer, kidnapping prostitutes and ritualistically hunting them down in her own dump after hours. At the start of the book, Ginny has sort of become a criminal kingpin in her own right, but the moral compromises she’s made are beginning to take a toll on her, and a series of personal tragedies and professional missteps push her over the edge. Meanwhile, Nicolette is entering her third year as a serial killer, and her ability to isolate her “normal” persona from her “killer” persona is slipping. Nicolette learns about Ginny while scouting for victims one day, and she becomes obsessed with making her the next victim.

 

Thematically, it’s an ode to the 80s movies I grew up watching that had these very vibrant, appealing female characters like Night of the Comet and Modern Girls, and I used that template to explore a wide range of ideas and topics, like PTSD, and retaining your identity after trauma; body image; and gender relations and gender roles.

 

Q:  Who inspired the characters of Ginny and Nicolette?

 

A: Ginny is an amalgamation. Consciously, I started her out as the kind of girl I’d have liked to have dated in high school, mixed with 80s archetypes—I once referred to my original concept as “the valley girl from Hell”— mixed with bits and bobs of several women I’ve known and worked with. Her surname “Kurva,” for example, is a bit of wordplay inspired by something that a filmmaker named Jen Soska once said to me during an interview. As I got deeper into the book I started to steal bits and pieces from my wife. She used to be an inner city high school teacher and I took a lot of Ginny’s interactions with her girls from the way I saw my wife handling her rougher students. My wife’s also very good at convincing people to get things done and I took Ginny’s talent for talking people into doing stuff from her, too. Physically, I modeled her on Andrea Rau’s character Ilona in the film Daughters of Darkness, on whom I had something of a crush in college.

 

Subconsciously, I realized after I’d finished the book, a lot of Ginny’s darker elements had come from me—her drinking, her depression— but so does her fascination with outer space, her scientific background, and her taste in music and movies. I don’t know what it says about me that I made my literary analogue a strong, sexy, 21 year old woman…

 

Nicolette was initially born out of my desire to write a story about a serial killer who thinks they’re the Minotaur. It’s such a scary idea but so many people have tried and failed to do it well. Dexter had like one episode where he was the throwaway killer of the week. The Venture Bros. had an episode where the Monarch thinks he’s the Minotaur, and it’s all played for laughs. American Horror Story had their minotaur die pretty much offscreen after one episode. So much wasted potential. I also wanted to create a frightening female horror villain, and I figured that if Ginny eventually emerges as this feminist ideal—independent, brilliant, ambitious, nurturing—then Nicolette should be the opposite of that. She’s the sort of woman who thinks that all women should conform to her standards, who views women solely through the lens of their sexuality and who sees the world very narrowly, who figuratively and literally cuts down other women to get ahead in the world.

 

 

Q: What makes them worth reading about?

 

A: I tried to make Ginny a real, strong, yet flawed female protagonist, and that isn’t something there’s really a lot of. Writers are still trying to figure out how to do that. They think that “strong woman” means either she just beats a lot of people up, or she makes a lot of sarcastic remarks, or she’s super disaffected. And when a female character is strong she’s 100% strong and when she’s vulnerable she’s 100% vulnerable. They have about as much complexity and depth as an 80s action movie hero, and that’s not interesting. I wanted Ginny to be real and I wanted the reader to fall in love with her. I made her funny, and smart, and vicious and petty and loving and spiteful and strong and weak. She’s the kind of woman that most other women would want as their girlfriend. She’s the kind of woman most guys would want to date.

 

Nicolette is, I think, genuinely terrifying. I tried to make her, to all outward appearances, seem simply shy and withdrawn but otherwise very normal. And inside she’s completely and utterly consumed by hate and also very rapidly losing her mind. Her sections of the book are focalized through her deteriorating mental state, and the things she thinks and sees become more wild and hallucinogenic as the book goes on. At the same time, though, I also put a lot of dark humor into Nicolette’s sections because the more unhinged she becomes the more bizarre her thought processes get. Like there’s a point where she sees a woman at her office wearing the same blouse as her, and she has to look down at herself to make sure that the woman didn’t steal it from her when she wasn’t looking.

 

Q: What interested you about the 1980’s?

 

A: I’ve had a fascination with the 1980s since I was about twelve. I think part of it is that every generation tends to romanticize the era they were born into, either because it’s colored through their fond childhood memories or because there’s a natural tendency to feel like you “just missed out on something”. Another reason is because I grew up in a fairly rural town in Oklahoma called Broken Arrow, and into the late 90s and even the early 2000s it still pretty much was the 1980s there. If you look at my high school yearbooks some of the photos look like outtakes from a John Hughes movie.

 

Then, too, I just grew up on the pop culture of the 1980s, both what I lived through myself and then what was on television growing up, the movies my parents owned, the music on the radio, stuff I’d rent from Hollywood Video and Blockbuster… There was a certain je ne sais quoi about films from the 80s that no other decade has ever produced or been able to reproduce. In a lot of ways I had a great adolescence but in a lot of other ways it was also very traumatic, and in those darker moments the 80s—more specifically its’ pop culture—became an escape for me. A safe place. I saw the 80s as this romantic time full of bright colors and incredible music and the sort of possibility I felt was missing from my own life.

 

Q: You work for an optical magazine and website. How did you come to work in that industry?

 

A: After I graduated college I got a job as an optometric assistant and optician for a Texas State Optical location in Magnolia, Texas. The office subscribed to a magazine called 20/20, and its’ online supplement, The Optician’s Handbook. One day, during downtime, I was reading Optician’s Handbook and came across an article that I thought was just terrible. In addition to it being written very poorly, it also advocated, I felt, lying to patients about certain aspects of their lenses in order to get a sale. So I wrote this super-pissy letter to the editor explaining what I thought was wrong grammatically with the article—I actually copy-and-pasted the text into the email and dissected it line-by-line— and also taking them to task for running it in the first place. I didn’t think anyone would actually read it. Instead I got a letter back from the editor, Mark Mattison-Shupnick, thanking me for bringing it to his attention and saying that they were going to pull the article. Then at the end of the letter he asked if I would be interested in writing for them and inviting me to submit a sample story.

 

In retrospect I really think that it was more backhanded than anything, like, “Oh, you know so much about writing, why don’t you try writing something for us?”  At the time, though, I took it literally and I submitted an article about the history of Pince Nez glasses. I was really surprised when Mark accepted it, and even more surprised when he offered me a consistent, paying job writing monthly articles for them.

 

After about a year of writing for The Optician’s Handbook, I got an email one day from a man named James Spina, the editor of 20/20, the print magazine, who said he was impressed with a piece I’d done on the influence of Mad Men on optical fashion. He said that he wanted to start having me write articles for the print magazine, as well. My first article ran in the late fall of 2013, and I’ve been consistently writing for them ever since. When I entered journalism, James—who used to be a music journalist himself—became a sort of mentor to me, and helped me get my footing in the entertainment writing world and gave me advice on interacting with celebrities.

Q: You are an editor at Cinedump.com. How do you go about procuring writers for your site?

 

A: We don’t really actively pursue anyone. We have an open-door policy that anyone can submit material at any time. Our editor-in-chief, Jessie Hobson, will review it and if he likes it he’ll share it with my assistant editor, Jason Howard, and myself, and if we all like it then we’ll run the article and offer the person a consistent position writing for us. We recently added a fourth writer, Pennie Sublime, with whom I’ve worked at Rue Morgue in the past. I’d really like to see a few more people come on board through 2017 to generate more content for the site.

 

Q: What defines a “Grindhouse” movie?

 

A: Grindhouses were movie theaters on 42nd Street in New York (and more rarely the Tenderloin in San Francisco) that specialized in playing films that couldn’t or wouldn’t be shown anywhere else: really sleazy horror movies, violent kung fu movies, more mainstream pornography, and even some foreign arthouse films that were too sexual or violent for more commercial arthouses of the time. The term “grindhouse” itself comes from the 42nd Street theaters, which tended to run double-and-triple features back to back, continuously “grinding out” films. Over time, “grindhouse movie” became a catchall term for the sort of movies that would be shown at these theaters.

 

Q: What steps did you take to get your book published?

 

A: I sought out small, independent presses and submitted to them. It’s very hard, if not impossible, for a first time writer to get his or her debut novel published by a major press, and it’s just as hard for an unpublished writer to find an agent. My high school writing teacher was P.C. Cast, who’s now well known for the House of Night series, and she was my earliest writing mentor. I remembered that she’d gotten her first novel, Goddess by Mistake, published through a smaller press and built her career from there.

 

On top of that, all the places I submitted were horror and thriller publishers. I always intended OLOTI to be a literary story with horror elements, as opposed to a straight horror story; but there was also enough there in the way of horror, and so much of the story was an homage to 80s horror movies, that I didn’t feel dishonest shopping it around to horror publishers. It’s much easier to get attention from a genre press than one focused on “straight” literary fiction. At the same time, I was also doing book reviews for Rue Morgue and developing contacts in the horror publishing world who could act as advisors or guides.

 

Several horror presses turned down my pitches and query letters; a few asked for the complete manuscript and then ended up passing anyway. I think about a dozen places passed on OLOTI before Fear Front picked it up.

 

Q: What compels a person to write movie reviews?

 

A: There’s a degree of narcissism to it, I guess. The idea that you’ve got unique enough a perspective on a movie, and that you can articulate it in unique enough way, that it warrants you putting it down in print for other people to read. Then, too, I think there’s a sense of ownership of a movie once you’ve critiqued it. Anyone who reads that review is going to be made to see the movie through your eyes. You’re literally changing other people’s perception of a work of art. And when you do that, you are, in some small way, changing the art itself; and there’s a sense that, in doing so, you claim a piece of it for your own.

 

Q: What famous person would you most like to have Nicolette meet at the dump?

 

A: What famous person would I like to have my deranged serial killer hunt down and axe to death… I don’t think there’s an answer that I can give to this question that won’t result in a visit from the FBI.

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.