About Me

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My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and imagination. A simple raindrop, the smell of a trash heap, or the touch of a bee's stinger is enough to immerse me into a new story idea. My passion is writing and my inspiration is everywhere. So far, my focus has been in short stories, however I have many novels floating around in my brain. Recently I have also been handed the opportunity to review the works of others and share them with everyone that reads my blog. Feel free to find me on facebook (facebook.com/esselprattwriting) the web (EsselPratt.com)or follow me on twitter (@EsselPratt).

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day: Thanks and Remembrance To Those That Serve Us

As I sit here at my keyboard on this cold and rainy Memorial day, Sipping my my thick black coffee, I cannot help but feel safe a d secure inside of my humble abode. My cat, Spike, just rubbed past my leg meowing that she would like for me to fill her food dish. Outside, my husky Castiel vocalizes his desire to come in to his soft bed. Our other two dogs are fast asleep in the bedrooms, as are my Wife and kids. Since today is a day off of school and work, they all took advantage of sleeping in. As I sit here, relaxing, anticipating some time with my family today, as well as some time to work on my novel, I cannot help but to think how easy our life is despite any challenges that might arise from the dark corners of the world.

Without those that served on behalf of our wonderful country, who knows what life would be like for me and my family today. Would any of us have even been born? Would my wife and I even have met? Would I have the option of free speech to even begin to write a novel of my own design, or even this little article? Without those that dedicated their lives to keep not only our country safe, but also far off lands that were unfamiliar to them, our world would be a much different place.


Today I give thanks to all of the service men and women that not only risked their lives and well being, but also their hearts and souls and blood, sweat, and tears, to keep us safe from those that wish to do us harm. I give thanks to those that fought for America to separate itself from England's rule, to those soldiers of today that continue that very fight to keep Lady Liberty standing tall. I give thanks to the soldiers of all walks of life, and those that know fight for foreign nations that might not share their same beliefs and/or religions...not because they are forced to, but because they realize that America is a melting pot of all religions, races, beliefs, etc... I give thanks to the soldiers that realize and accept that a group of those that might want to hurt us, regardless of race, religion, beliefs, etc..., do not define an entire nation or culture, and put aside their dislike or hate for the enemy in order to help those that do not share the same beliefs.


Our military, regardless of the branch they had dedicated their lives to in the past, present, or future, deserve our thanks today, and everyday. Take time out of your fun filled day to thank those that have served, and those that plan to serve, but don't let it stop there. Give thanks to those same people everyday. And don't forget to do your part on a local level as well. Help someone in need, share the American spirit with someone not from here, Help protect your neighborhood with a watch program. These little things may seem insignificant, yet they allow the troops and veterans to focus on much bigger issues, rather than splitting their time.


To all of the troops, that have come and gone, and wish to be, I salute you.

 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

For The Night Is Dark and Full Circle: Electronic Afterlife Vol.1

Recently I have had the opportunity to read a couple of fantastic books and thought I would share my reviews with you here.

The first is an anthology with an amazing group of writers.  "For the Night is Dark" is a fantastic collection that plays on the fear of the dark.  Published by Crystal Lake Publishing, this is a book that you must add to your collection of horror!


FOR THE NIGHT IS DARK
CRYSTAL LAKE PUBLISHIING




Format:Paperback
For The Night Is Dark is a fantastic collection of short stories by a group of magnificently talented authors! Their ability to capture the primal fear that sometimes suppresses itself inside of us, until the lights go out, is awe inspiring. To fully experience the atmosphere of the collection, I read it from the Kindle App on my Motorola Xoom tablet. The soft glow of the illuminated screen provided the only light within the darkened room. My children were asleep and so was my wife, so it was just me, a cup of hot mint herbal tea, For The Night Is Dark, and my imagination. Losing myself in the visuals provided within each story, the darkness around me closed in fast. Absorbed into the print on the screen I was unaware of the demons that lurked within the shadows of my own house. I was on page 125 when I grabbed my now cooled cup of tea and took a sip. At the same moment, my 6 month old husky puppy decided to howl loudly, signaling his desire to relieve himself outside. Not only did I jump at the unexpected noise, but so did our 7 year old cat, Sakima... Who just happened to be sitting on the back of the couch near my head. The normally stoic feline morphed into a scaredy cat and scratched my face as he ran past me. Well Played Sir. Castiel, Lyric of Oberon (my semi obnoxious husky pup)... well played...

After pulling my heart out of my throat, I let Castiel outside, made another cup of tea, and finished the amazing collection of stories. This is a must read for any horror fan, specially if you are brave enough to read it in the dark and allow your imagination to control your surroundings.


The second is a fantastic futuristic/time travel story by Alfred R. Taylor titled Full Circle: Electronic Afterlife Vol. 1.  Self published through Createspace, you can tell he put his heart and soul into the work!

FULL CIRCLE: ELECTRONIC AFTERLIFE VOL. 1
CREATESPACE


5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book by its cover May 23, 2013
When I read Full Circle: Electronic Afterlife Vol. 1, I was a little unsure of what I was jumping into. I was actually able to pre-read it before the release, as my wife was given the opportunity to assist in the pre-reading/editing process. While it was sitting on a table, I picked it up and gave it a shot. I guess I am the "Techy" type, and the use of technology intermixed with the historical aspects of the book melded together seamlessly. My favorite parts of the book were the scenes that centered around Mr. Abe Lincoln, and Mary Todd. I am not sure what the future holds for the next installment in the series, but I could definitely see this becoming a widely popular anime if put in the hands of the right director. Very well told Me. Taylor! My only complaint is the cover of the book. The woman is a bit too stereotypical, and the banner at the top makes it seem like it is from an 80's series (it actually reminds me of an old Choose Your Own Adventure. Of course, as a writer myself, I know that the cover is only a minute cosmetic detail.

I look forward to seeing more works by Mr. Taylor!









Friday, May 10, 2013

Tag, You're It!


I got tagged in this Bloggy Blog Hop thing us authors are circulating around by a good writer friend of mine, Charles Day So I did my best to answer the questions that were thrown at me.

What are you working on right now?


I am actually working on four projects at the moment.  Two of them are short stories.  One of the shorts is for an upcoming anthology in which the proceeds will benefit children with cancer.  Unfortunately, I am not happy with what I have written, so I am letting it sit on the side for a while until I can figure it out.  As of now, there is no way it would be accepted and I cannot be proud of it.


The second short story is for an upcoming Zombie Anthology, in which 100% of the proceeds will benefit a yet to be determined veteran's group.  The only rules are that it must feature a radio show, a zombie, and a public servant.  I have a couple ideas floating in my head, and will start writing it shortly.  


One of the big projects I am working on is a novel based on a short story that I wrote recently.  I am writing it for my last assignment with the institute of children's Literature and am supposed to have three chapters complete by the end of June.  I have the outline complete, so I am confident I can make it happen.  Its core audience will be children 13 and under, as it stands, but I am hoping to make it more YA.  I have a couple publishers in mind for when it is finished, and will look for more as I get closer to being done.  The story takes place in a Dystopian world in which magic has returned.  The heroes Journey to defeat evil and the hellions that are born from the evil.


The last project is a horror novel with a minor religious influence.  The hero is a very unlikely character, and is aided by his brothers in the end.  I don't want to get into too much detail, but I am VERY excited about this one.  I have three chapters outlined so far.


Of course, you can also find my writings over on Infendo.com and Nerdzy.com if you are into the video game culture!

What experiences have influenced you?


The obvious answer would be the multitude of amazing writers that I have met within the last year.  I have met some great people that have inspired me to write and keep writing.  The tougher answer would be everything.  Sometimes a falling leaf, my psychotic cat, a random noise or smell, basically anything can influence me to write something.  


Why do you write what you do?

I started writing horror/sci fi because I enjoy the freedom that it fosters.  There really are no rules, per se.  I have the opportunity to create my own worlds, lives, situation, and I control the entire process.  My writings allow me to rummage through the dark recesses of my mind and re-discover forgotten figments of subconsciousness and share it with the world.  


Ever since I was a child, I have had a massive imagination.  On days where there was nothing to do, I could easily escape into my mind and wander the strange areas within.  Whether wide eyed, or tightly shut, I could visualize my escapades within the alien terrains I set foot into.  After High school, I decided to start writing my adventures down.  To help, I enrolled in the Institute of Children's Literature and made it as far as lesson six before dropping out because life called.  Sadly, I never got around to writing the stories down until last year.  Somehow, I found a publisher that had a few open anthologies.  I took a chance that I had not yet taken and submitted a story to each.  Two of my stories were accepted, and the third was rejected (only to be picked up by another publisher).  The exhilaration of being accepted helped to fuel my passion once again.


How does your writing process work?


Many times, an idea will pop in my head.  If I have pen and paper handy, I will jot it down for a later time and let it simmer.  Sometimes I will forget about it until later and get excited when I find it again.  When I am finally ready to write, many times I sit down with a cup of coffee, tea, or cold beer, and just write.  I try not to look back until I am complete.  Then I edit, maybe edit a couple more times, then submit it if I have an open sub in mind.  However, I had to create an outline for my last assignment with the Institute of Children's Literature, and found it to be very helpful to plan out ahead of time.  So, I think for my larger projects I will outline more often.


What is the hardest part about writing?


For me, it would be managing my time.  With work, and a family, it is not always easy to schedule a time to write.  So, I do it when I have the opportunity.  Sometimes it could be twenty minutes, sometimes hours.  If I could have a set schedule to sit down and create, I would be living in pure bliss.


What would you like to try as a write that you haven't yet?


Long term I would like to write for a living and have the opportunity to support my wife and kids through my creations.  Since I am not there yet, I would have to say that I have a few ideas floating around in my head that would cross over into every story I have, and will write.  Basically, it would allow me to intertwine a complete universe that connects everything I write.  From Children's stories to adult horror, they would all take place in the same world.  Doing so would allow children to grow with my writing and still be familiar with the settings.  And as adults read to their children, they would understand the subtle hints within the environments.  Just like real life, there is innocence surrounded by some crazy/twisted stuff.


Who are the authors that you most admire?


Any author that puts their heart and soul into their writings are admirable.  However, the ones I really look up to are:


Clive Barker: The visions he creates are mind blowing, and the world he built is where I want to live.

C.S. Lewis:  He took my childhood to another level.  without the Chronicles of Narnia, I might not have even      birthed the desire to write.
Harper Lee: To kill a Mockingbird showed me that innocence and hatred can coexist in an environment beautifully.  The Yin and Yang are essential in my writings

Those are the three biggest influences on my writing career, however I have met a lot of fabulous authors within the last year that I could just as easily add to that list.

Who are new authors to watch out for?


Rather than name specific people, I would say that anyone with a passion for what they do, that is not afraid of rejection, that is willing to take that rejection and mold it in their favor, is who I would watch out for.  It is far too easy to be rejected and give up, but those that turn it around and focus it...they are a force to be reckoned with!


What Scares you?


Spiders.  Those creepy little devil's spawn are worse than the red guy himself!  I guess my only other fear is that my children are growing up in such an uncertain world.  I have faith that they will make the right decisions in life, but know that others will not always make the same decisions and my kids could get caught in the middle of one of their schemes.


Now, since I was told that I have to tag three victims in this blog thing, I tag:


Erin Britt

Katie Crabtree
Steve Lowe


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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Become The Chaos


Writing can be chaotic.

Too many times I try to balance my family life, work life, and writing life, only to consistently shove my writing to the side for a later time.  All the while, snippets of the story flutter through my brain looking for an escape route.  At night it is the worst.  As I try to sleep, my mind is abuzz with stories new and old.

Currently, I have two big ideas ready to escape.  One is what I would call a Semi-religious horror novel and the other a fantasy adventure novel.  The first one is going to be a little different than the norm, when you think religious.  There will be no possessions.  The second novel will be written for my last assignment at the Institute of Children's Literature.  I have already written a short story that it is based on, and it has been very well received.  So, I am hoping to publish it with the same publisher that praised it.  It was also well received from a great group of pre-readers!

So, with so much racing through my mind, it can be easy to get lost in thought and lose track of my sanity.  I don't think that is bad though, right?  In fact, recently I coined the motto, "Become The Chaos".  Chaos is a normal part of life, and it is up to us to find the beauty within the chaos.  Without it, life would be sort of dull.

If you see me out on the street and I seem lost and confused, don't worry...I am just contemplating my next writing experiment.

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If you have not already checked out The Evil Jester Presents Indiegogo campaign, now is the perfect time!  With 82% of the campaign funded this is sure to be a success!  Head on over, pledge a couple dollars and become part of the beginning of something fantastic!  After you pledge, make sure to share it with your friends!