Interview with the Awethors Featuring Mary Buckham

Welcome to this week’s episode of Interview with the Awethors! I know it has been pretty quiet on this end of the blog-o-sphere, but I’ve been compiling a list of some awesome authors that pack a punch in their novels. Now, today I have USA Today’s Bestselling author Mary Buckham! Her world in The Invisible Recruits Series will bring you into a mysterious world of magic and discovery oneself.

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William: Thank you for joining me today, Mary. I appreciate you fitting me into your schedule this week! What inspired you to write the Invisible Recruit Series?

Mary: I was talking to a Terrorist Threat Assessment specialist (some plane trips are worth their weight in gold) and he was talking about the fact that here in the US the recruitment process for undercover operatives  eliminated some of the very people who can infiltrate foreign situations. He said the screening process often eliminated everyone except farm-bred boys who’d never been away from home. I thought it was a fascinating insight. Who would you recruit to blend in best in real life situations? So I created a cadre of female operatives who came from diverse backgrounds—a debutante, a hairdresser, a kindergarten teacher, a temp and a fortune-telling con artist—for a new kind of black ops group. The first book in the series featured the debutante and was published as a contemporary romantic suspense. The month before the second book in the five book series was released, the publishing line folded and I received my rights back for the final four novels. There were very few options for the types of stories I wanted to write—strong female protagonists, sexual tension without sex for the sake of sex, women finding out exactly how powerful they were when things got bad, until Indie publishing arrived. I added in paranormal elements as well as supernatural and preternatural aspects and resurrected the series.

William: Thank goodness indie publishing came along because your story is truly a page turner. I know following Alex’s adventure took me only an overnight read and I was hooked!

In the story you describe many different types of magic and cultures across the world, what type of research went into creating these different types of magic?

Mary: I loved reading myths and fairy tales growing up, especially stories from around the world, so I knew there was a rich heritage of magic to pull from when I first started writing the series with a half-witch, half-shaman protagonist. I made sure she wasn’t well versed in her magical abilities as part of her back story, so as she learns about the magic and her gifts, so does the reader. The important issue to me about using magic as a large story element is to make sure that magic has limits and consequences. Nothing I hate more than when a character has a get-out-of-jail free card, meaning that because she is in a certain situation I as the author suddenly make it easy for her to whip out a new magical spell or a way to use her magic. For Alex Noziak, her gift of magic is her greatest asset and her biggest bane. That keeps things interesting.

William: And that is why I enjoyed your story from front to back. There was too many situations where Alex had to discover herself with her skills. So is there a specific person in your life that inspired the idea for Alex Noziak?

Mary: : I think Alex is the kind of person a lot of women would like to be—willing to lead with her heart, deal with the consequences, and not really worry about keeping everyone happy. I don’t know that she’s an easy person to be around all the time, and often strikes sparks off her equally strong-minded teammates. But she’s a good person and she cares deeply about those who can’t always care for themselves. That keeps her vulnerable and kick-ass at the same time.

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William: Judging by the cover, she definitely looks kick ass in this series! When did you discover your passion for writing?

Mary: I knew I was always a storyteller but it wasn’t until I was an adult, and I lost a two-month old son to SIDS, and I had to find a reason to get up and take care of my three other children, that I had to find the kernel that became turning stories into novels. It was a promise I made to my son. He didn’t live long enough to leave something lasting, so I’ll do it for him.

William: I am so sorry to hear about your son. A very motivational and admiring way to remember him and bring a lasting life for him.

How does it feel to be a USA Today Bestselling author?

Mary: Shiney! Actually it doesn’t change a lot. You still have to face the blank page. Expectations increase because the title is a form of external validation that reassures readers who don’t know me personally that I might be able to write a good story. It doesn’t mean they’ll like my stories, but that I’ve paid enough dues and made enough sales, to warrant giving my work a try.

William: Do you have any upcoming releases for the readers to be excited about?

Mary: In January, 2016 Writer’s Digest is bringing out a print version of my Writing Active Setting book, titled, A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting. This means more writers around the world as well as libraries and bookstores will be able to order it. Plus, it’s chock full of new examples. So I am excited about that. I am currently working on two under wraps fiction projects, which I will be sharing on my Facebook mary.buckham.author and Twitter @MaryBuckham pages. I am in the midst of wrapping up my first set of online workshops to teach hooks to writers (You can find more info here: MaryBuckhamOnWriting) and already looking forward to the next series of classes that I will be creating. 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year!

William: You are truly a very busy woman and an adventure seeker! Where was your favorite place to travel?

Mary: I don’t think that there is one favorite place, because I like how varied and unique our world is. It’s hard to compare Bangkok with small town Missouri, or Santa Fe with rural England, as each has it’s own magic.

William: Are any of your stories inspired by your travels?

Mary: Absolutely! To me the more you travel the more you find common treads of humanity that link us together and speak to all of us. Some of my stories have locations that I have been to personally and others include places I plan to visit one day.

William: If you could have magical abilities, what would be your strength and why?

Mary: I would like the ability to instantly transport to any location. What a time saver! Except, I haven’t figured out how to carry my luggage.

William: Oh, that would be a time saver! Also, if it was me, it would take away that fear of flying I have.

For people who are searching for that magic touch in their writing, what advice do you have for them to be as successful as you?

Mary: Like many novice writers, when I started out I thought all I had to do was write the story and it’d be a story worth being acquired by a publisher. Wrong. Writing never gets easier. The doubts never go away. But the craft elements can be learned with enough attention and work. You have to do the work. There’s no getting around it. Some people sell their first novel and that’s wonderful. What we don’t hear is how many times that novel was worked and reworked before it went through editorial review boards and the editorial revision process.

William: And that about wraps it up for this weeks episode of Interview with the Awethors thanks to all the readers and writers joining in on this episode. Please check out Mary Buckham and give her the joy of sharing a piece of her magical world of The Invisible Recruits Series.

 

Also, check out her guides Writing Active Hooks.

If you would like to connect with Mary Buckham and find out more about her upcoming books, or you would like to purchase her books, go to the links below:

Twitter: @MaryBuckham

Facebook: Author Mary Buckham

Hooks Class: MaryBuckhamonWriting

 

If you’re an author looking to be featured on the Interview with the Awethors Seriesplease leave your inquiry at lloyd.jr@aol.com

Horizon (Relaunched) Chapter Reveal

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Chapter 1

May 26, 2113

Sydney, Australia

Harbor

Engines roared beneath the surface of the water as fishermen departed to the Pacific blue. One boat remained though at the far end of the wharf. The Chanda II bumped against the wharf as it lifted and fell against the wakes of the water.

The captain of the boat, Aaron Lambright, wrestled underneath the sheets. He groaned shielding his blue eyes from the Sun’s light. Aaron threw the sheets off of him with annoyance and rose from the bed. His shaggy brown hair matted against the side of his head in a jumbled mess, while he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and reached for his alarm clock.

“7:30 am….” He yawned as he stretched his arms above his head feeling his bones crack from his knuckles to the middle of his spine. Aaron twisted the face of the alarm towards him again and slapped his palm against his forehead. “Damn, Abi’s going to kill me.”

He slung his legs over the edge of the bed and walked to the porthole. All of the other boats already set out for sea for the day. He walked away from the window and stumbled on an obstacle of beer cans underneath his dirty clothes. The odor of fish and sweat reeked in the cabin. He opened the bathroom door and leaned his head against the doorframe to balance him, while his hangover pounded at his temples. A bottle of Captain Morgan: Spiced Rum smiled at him from the countertop like a satanic jackal eager to tear into his liver.

“You really tore me up last night,” he said, tilting the bottle to his face. The amber liquid rolled up the side of the glass away from the label. “Mm….” He turned the label away from him as his throat gurgled with vomit. He clenched the toilet pressing his forehead against the wooden lid. His back arched as he puked profusely into the toilet.

He grabbed the edge of the counter pulling him back to the mirror. His bloodshot eyes were swollen and watery at the rims of his eyelids. Sweat beaded across face and trickled off of his soaked brown beard. He flung the medicine cabinet closed and pulled down the small white bottle of Advil.

“Thank God man made you,” he said, tossing two maroon tablets into his mouth. He reached for the bottle of rum and washed them down his throat. “Woo!” he cringed while shaking his head. “That’s rough.”

He set the liquor bottle back on the counter and turned on the faucet, splashing cold water on his dry face. His cellular phone rattled on the end table in his room, but he shut the door to ignore the call.

“I am currently too inebriated to take your call. Please leave me the hell alone,” he said, flipping over the knob in the shower to hot.

*       *      *

Aaron sat on the side of his bed after his shower with a white towel wrapped around his waist. He cupped his palms and relaxed his head in them pressing his elbows against his knees. He reached for his phone on the end table and saw the name Abigail scroll down his missed calls list six times.

“Nah, I’m not ready to call her back yet.” He tossed the phone to the foot of the bed and laid down.

THUMP! THUMP! THUMP!

He shot back up and tensed his posture when he heard the heels outside on the aft. He ran to the cabin door and locked it.

“I know you’re down there, Aaron!” Abigail yelled from the top of the stairs. He heard her stomp down the stairs clapping her heels on the wood like a horse’s hooves. The door rattled and she wrapped her fist against the wood with rage. “Open this door! Where the hell were you last night?”

“Shit!” he mouthed in silence. The towel fell from his waist as he ran to the dresser to find a pair of red swim trunks and white tank top. He quickly slipped the clothes on and dug into his top drawer, where he tossed balled up white and black socks onto the floor. “Just wait at the top of the stairs, Abi! I’ll be out in a minute!”

“Wait? Wait! You want me to wait? That’s just perfect. Two years, Aaron, and you still tell me to wait on your sorry ass! If you respected me, you would at least give me a courteous phone call telling me you weren’t going to show up last night.”

Aaron shook his head and pulled the black box from inside the sock drawer. The suede texture was soft against his fingertips as he flipped it open to find his mother’s wedding ring nestled in the crease of the fabric inside.

“Please save me,” he said, snapping the lid shut. He turned his head to the porthole, where Abigail’s face was peering into the cabin. “What the-?” Aaron gasped, falling back to the floor.

“I see you, Aaron! Open the door now and face me like a man!”

“Okay, I’ll meet you at the top of the stairs,” he said annoyed. He shook his head and walked over to the door, when he face disappeared from the window. He jammed the black box into his pocket and opened the door to meet her on the aft.

When he reached the top of the stairs, Abigail had her hands clenched to her hips like a boiling tea kettle. He watched her tap her toe with a menacingly constant beat. Her narrow jade eyes and tensed cheeks intimidated him.

“Abi, I can explain,” he said with his arms raised and palms out in front of him.

“Where is she?” She glared at him with contempt.

“What are you talking about?” Aaron walked to her with a sly grin. “How can you even think that? I mean… I’m appalled!” He stumbled with his words as he walked to her, but she pushed passed him and marched down the stairs. He chased after her but could not help but admire her black work attire that hugged against her curves tastefully. He slid down the rail of the stairs and entered the cabin behind her. “Now, Abi, you know this isn’t healthy. A strong relationship is built on trust. Accusing me of….

Abigail whirled around with her arm outstretched stopping Aaron from flapping his lips. “Don’t talk to me about healthy relationships, Aaron. I’m not in the mood for you back peddling so that the tramp you were with last night can escape.”

“Oh really? A tramp? Do you really think I’d open the door for you if another woman were here?”

She marched to the bathroom and slammed the door open. She came out with the half consumed bottle of rum. Captain Morgan’s grin sickened Aaron as he rolled his eyes and ripped it from her hands.

“So this is what you were doing last night?”

She stepped on an aluminum can and heard it crunch beneath her heel. She fell forward into Aaron’s arms. He smelled the fragrance of her melon shampoo enter his nostrils. His free hand grazed the curve of her hip which flooded fantasies of sex with her in his bed. She pushed him back and peeled the dirty clothes from the floor to discover a smashed beer can on the floor.

“I swear, I only had a few last night. The rest of those were from other nights,” he lied. He slicked back his hair with irritation. Glancing towards the bed, another surprise made his heart sink into his belly. A pair of red laced panties poked out from underneath his pillow.

“I thought you were over this stage of your life. You even went to rehab.” She dropped her arms letting the can bounce across the floor. “What did you tell me? Two years since your last drop?”

Aaron shrugged without a word from his mouth.

“I’m tired of all the excuses, Aaron.” She whipped her hair back and wandered to the porthole where the sun was peeking through. “You told me when we met that you wanted to stop. You wanted to build a better future for us. Now you’re starting again?”

Aaron rolled over the bed, while she looked away, and shoved the panties in the crevice between the headboard and mattress.

“You said that you wanted me to be sober. You even tricked me into thinking I was the reason you wanted to change.” She turned to Aaron with widened and moist eyes. “Has it all been a lie?”

“You’re making this out to be more than it is, baby,” he answered, reaching for her hands. She rejected him quickly pulling her hands away.

“Never call me baby again. I am no one’s baby.” She trembled with rage. “You can keep drinking if that’s what brings you closure, but I can’t be a part of this anymore. It’s not worth the pain anymore.”

“I’m overloaded with work, Abi. I don’t know what to tell you!”

“Ha! Overloaded with work? You sit in a damn boat all day and watch fish. If that makes you turn to drinking, you really have no control at all.” She rolled her eyes and walked passed him.

Aaron stood in the cabin alone, circling his room with guilt. “Wait, don’t go!” he yelled, chasing after her. He gently grabbed her wrist at the top of the stairs.

“Leave me alone!” She whipped her hand back and ran across the aft to escape Aaron’s attempts to mend what is already broken.

“Abigail Marie Thomas, will you marry me?” His hands trembled as he pulled the black box from his swim trunks. He flipped back the lid and the diamond sparkled in the sunlight.

Abigail lowered her head and glanced over her shoulder at Aaron. She hesitantly walked back to him.

“Are you serious?”

The diamond left her breathless as he slid it onto her ring finger. It was a perfect fit. A tear streamed down her cheek and dropped from her chin. She twisted her hand mesmerized by the beauty of the rock. She pulled it off of her finger though and placed it back into the box.

“I can’t say yes this way, Aaron.”

Aaron heard a woman’s hum echo from the wharf as they stood their alone. Abigail looked over to the ramp and saw a young woman with curled blond hair hop onto the boat. Aaron glanced at the woman’s white bikini top pressing against her breasts and her ripped jean shorts which came down mid-thigh. He closed his eyes knowing he lost Abigail.

“Oh, I hope I’m not interrupting,” she said, startled to see Abigail glaring at her.

Abigail shook her head and pushed the woman out of her way. Aaron dropped his arms and walked to the rail to watch Abigail storm up the wharf back to the parking lot. He crossed his arms over the rail and tucked his head down, pressing his forehead against the chipped wood.

“What was that about?” the woman asked.

He lifted his head up and stared at the black box. He shoved it into his pocket and looked at his assistant.

“It’s fine, Sandy, you probably just saved me from a lifetime of frustration.” He walked to the stairs to his cabin. “C’mon, let’s get out to sea. We have a long day ahead of us.”

He entered his cabin, where he pulled open the sock drawer and shoved the box back in. The bottle of rum rolled into the heel of his foot as a wave lifted the boat. He picked up the bottle, returning it to the counter in the bathroom. His palms pressed against the sink as he watched the disappointment pull from his eyes. Captain Morgan remained joyful with his charming smile like a serpent tempting him to have a sip. He wrapped his fingers around the handle and stared into the mirror.

“Fuck it,” he said, tilting the lip of the bottle against his mouth. The liquor burned as it flowed down his esophagus. He wiped his lips with his naked arm, but the heartbreak faded as the drunken spell grasped him once again.

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How God has Played a Roll in My Life

I’ve been digging deeper into my own spiritual journey these last few months. Especially since I’m currently participating in a bible study and a Disciple 1 class at my church. I never really dug too deep into my past like I have recently, and it’s funny that it all had to come to one of the darkest moments in my life so far.

Last year, I had stepped down from my management position at my job and realized that life should not always be about work. Then, I lived the part of the guy who has money and lives miserably, but now, I’m happy but living with less than. I’m looking at both of these men that I lived in my life, and I’ve realized that sometimes having less is better for the soul. Although I do see many people that are living happy lives with a more than comfortable living, I can’t help but hear all of the same stories from these people. The rag to riches story where God intervened and brought them to where they are at today. Now, I can’t say that God did or did not intervene to bring them to paradise in their own lives, but I can say what I am currently experiencing in my life.

When I was at the age of thirteen, I wanted to be a professional baseball player. I wanted to pitch for the Atlanta Braves and become one of the All-Stars of today. It was a dream I had wanted since I was about six or seven years old when I discovered baseball. I remember performing very well as a pitcher and third basement, but I was a very weak batter. Everything in my life at the time seemed easy, and I had all the tools to bring me to the point of stardom if I had practiced and pushed myself to that point.

Then, before I went into high school, I was playing in a minor league game at Dacula Park with the away team. I watched the batter move up to the plate and on the first pitch, the batter connected the bat to the ball. The ball shot towards me at third but took a nasty hop before it go tome. I couldn’t react in time and the ball connected with my eye. I fell over dizzy and couldn’t breathe. My eyes were spinning and all I could think of was getting the ball to first base. The player was safe and all I could do was collapse in pain and feel blood dripping into my palms.

I don’t know why this happened to me before I got into high school, but I ended up not making the team because I was scared of the ball. I kept putting my knee to the ground when a grounder came instead of using proper techniques. For me, it was very disappointing to see a dream shatter right before my eyes. Especially, the first one I ever had my whole life so far.

I ended up joining the school band and marching band my freshman year. What I didn’t realize was I was great at playing Tuba. I was asked to perform in the Wind Symphony which was the highest group of musicians at the school. Then, I traveled across the state to play in the marching and I met some amazing people through the whole experience. During my senior year, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe and perform the tuba as well in seven different countries. It was a very memorable experience.

All of this lead to my love of creation. I wanted to be able to create a work of art through music and through writing. It’s funny that this happened to me though because I had always enjoyed playing music and writing short stories, but I seemed to find myself caught up with baseball before high school though. Now, I had the time to do things that I really did enjoy. I even learned about myself through all of these journeys I took.

In Exodus, Moses was claimed to be a murderer among the Egyptians and the Hebrew slaves, but God still came to him to deliver his people from Egypt. Moses left a new life that he created in Midian and never had the slightest clue that he would be sent back to Egypt to free the slaves. You may be asking, what does this have to do with what happened in your past, Will? Well, if Moses didn’t kill the soldier and run away to Midian to create a new life, he surely would have been sentenced to death by the Pharaoh. If God didn’t intervene and appear to Moses as a burning bush, Moses would have never brought himself to go back to Egypt.

If I had not been hit by that baseball on the field, would I still be writing today? Or would I be living a luxurious life without any life lessons that have turned me into the man I am today? Yes, life would have been easy, but sometimes the rough roads pull the humble from the ashes and prepare them for what lies ahead in the future. Whether it’s pulling the slaves from Egypt, losing a job to rediscover yourself, or simply taking care of the sick, sometimes God will give you a nudge, or a baseball to the face, to deliver you from your hardships.

Day Job to Writing Part 2.1 (Eliptica)

This is a follow up post to the original post “Day Job to Writing“. In the previous post, I went through my outlining process, where I developed maps, characters, feuds, plot time lines, and schedules for myself. In these next few post, I want to go over the maps and world I am currently creating, which will hopefully help you guys put together your worlds in a more creative and sense filled manner.

Eliptica

Eliptica is the main world that I had originally started writing about. This island was supposed to start out the “Temperament Scepter Series”, but it was missing something when I reached the end of it. Anyways, I’ll get back to that later when I go over the characters in my series.

When I created Eliptica, I used three different senses to create each castle and village across it. I used the sense of smell, touch, and sight to understand the environments that I wanted to portray in each region/territory. For instance, think of your own country, or state (If you’re in the US.) The further north you travel, the environment is cooler and the air is usually thinner. Sometimes if it’s near a major city it could change different senses, but that’s why using examples in your head helps to understand the environments. Sometimes authors will actually have to travel to get the first hand experience so they can describe everything in their own senses.

Urealia

Let’s go back to Eliptica. I’m going to start with the southeast, where Urealia is located. This kingdom is actually the slums of Eliptica. It sits high on the edge of a climb over the ocean, where you can smell the salt in the air and hear the seagulls cry over the city. The walls of the city are just logs connected together by nails and wood. The streets are muddy because of the constant rains and the lack of care by the king. Now, if you are creating a poor city, you have to remember to add the reasoning behind it, whether it’s from tragedies, greed, or environmental reasons. In Urealia, I used a greedy fat king that wants nothing else than to steal money from his own people. Anyone else ever feel this way with the leaders today?

Farmlands Outside Urealia

Now, outside Urealia is the plains, where my main character and her family are from. This is where there are farmlands and plains all the way to Olmstead Castle, which is about two hours travel from Urealia. I put this together remembering the first week I was in Europe. I was in London and looking down from the plane window I saw all the green fields below in small square blocks. At least, that was from my view. When I saw this, it was the most spectacular sight I had seen. It actually inspired me to add this into Eliptica and to actually start writing Fantasy Fiction.

I enjoy writing about the land outside of castles better because they are the places your characters have their adventures. Yes, I like inside the castles too, but new worlds and creating them are the best feeling. It’s like discovering an alien world that you wish you could see because it’s the place that makes sense to you.

Port Amnalon

Port Amnalon was created as a place for Eliptica to export goods to other lands across the oceans and seas. Eventually, the Urealian King seized this area because Wolf Bloods from Four Points Chain were being smuggled into the region from here. The vision I had for this port was close to Port Jefferson on Long Island, and a little history from Key West, Florida with pirates. I wanted to put together a place that was small and beautiful, but the buildings and docks were dank and beat up from sea salt.

The environment is a little cooler with the breeze, but Eliptica is located closer to the “equator” so some of the places aren’t too hot or too cold. All of the territories are fairly mild and cool. More and less in some parts.

Legula

I wanted Legula to be a castle sitting against the walls of mountains near a bay. It had to have the beauty and mystical touch of an elvish kingdom, but it still needed to have that touch of man. I remember putting together a few of the castles in my head when I was in Austria. There was one castle that rested all alone in the middle of the bay that inspired me to create Legula. I can’t remember the name, but it was like walking into a fairy tale and living with the mythical beings that wander in our imagination. The air was cool and thin. It almost felt like I could breathe better. The view was like a portrait from inside the towers of the castle. The snow caps over the mountains and the gap that led out of the bay. All of the senses made my trip feel magical.

These are the castles and ports on the eastern side of Eliptica. All of them have access to water to import and export goods to each other, but greed has caused this end to live in poverty for the people. For now, this is Eliptics and in the next post, it will be about the Mid to Western side of Eliptica, where sorcerer villages, enchanted castles, and rugged mountain terrain collide to create the fantasy of my world.

Author FB Page

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https://www.facebook.com/willlloyd25

Here’s the link to my author facebook page. This is where you will find more interesting details about my novel, “Awaken Within the Darkness”, the first installment to The Temperament Scepter Series.

I will also keep you guys updated on any upcoming events/ book releases. Also, if you have any questions for me, or any of the amazing artists, editors, or readers, please feel free to ask. We welcome all and anything that you guys are curious about. Thanks again for your support and love.

And did I mention a possible Book trailer for Horizon soon?

Top 10 Bucket List Goals

10. Scuba dive with Great White Sharks.

9. Go to Alaska and pet a moose.

8. Move to Australia and live there for at least five years.

7. Jump off of a waterfall.

6. Take a road trip that hits every historical landmark in the United States.

5. Be snowed in.

4. Get married.

3. Become a zombie on the Walking Dead.

2. Go to Hawaii.

1. See if the stories are true about the Bermuda Triangle.

Horizon (Sample Chapter)

I’m having some issues with the indention on all of my paragraphs. Please forgive me if it’s a little confusing. WordPress is doing its trickery on me tonight. Hope you enjoy!

SAULTER

May 29, 2113
Los Angeles, California
Berringer and Son Law Firm

Saulter enters the law firm with his two CIA operatives, Foster Lancaster and Miguel Perez, close behind him. His stiff posture and masculine march brings everyone in the firm to a sudden silence as though waiting for one of their own to be sentenced to death. He pulls his badge from his pocket and reveals it with a swift snap of his wrist to the receptionist. The woman behind the desk cowers in her seat as she watches him return it to his belt. Saulter reaches for the desk tag and reads the name. A devilish smile appears on his cracked lips.
“Mrs. Rose,” he says underneath the raspy and barbaric undertones of his voice.
“Miss,” she replies.
“Really, now? For an attractive red head like you, I would’ve expected you to have a significant other waiting for you at home.”
“No,” she shivers. “Recently widowed.” She squints at his tag. “General Saulter Williams. Oh my, is there something wrong?”
Saulter removes his green hat. “Every day, Rose, something is always wrong. That is why I am always getting the tough assignments. It’s because I am the kind of man that gets the job done.” He smiles. “And you may ask, at what cost? And I will answer in a heartbeat—at any cost to keep the lives of this nation safe.” He leans back from the desk and returns the hat to his head. “Now, you can make my job easier by pointing me in the direction to a Mr. Nathan Berringer’s office.”
“I would, sir, but he is in the middle of a—”
“Tell him it would be in his best interest to speak with me at once. I am a very busy man, and I am extremely impatient.”
“I understand, sir, but he did give me very specific instructions not to interrupt him today,” she says, looking up at Saulter with her hazel eyes.
“Cute,” he answers, looking up towards the hallway behind her. “I’ll invite myself in then. On behalf of the President of the United States, I am authorized to go into that office.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a folded document. “Here is a warrant.” He tosses the papers on the desk and marches towards the door that has N. Berringer written across the glass.
“But wait, I can’t let you go…” Rose trails behind the men, still begging them to stop.
Saulter pushes the door open with both men close behind him. He discovers Nathan Berringer flipping through a mess of files on his desk. The stout man wrinkles his forehead as the three men enter without warning.
“Rose, I told you I can’t be distracted today!” Nathan exclaims as his glasses slide to the end of his nose.
“I tried…” she answers as Saulter slams the door behind him, locking it. Both of his men flank either side of the desk.
“Gentlemen, you can’t just barge into my office without an appointment. I’m a very busy man,” Nathan says in heavy breaths.
“No need for an appointment, Mr. Berringer. I have a warrant that comes straight from the Commander-in-Chief. So, in my professional advice, I would suggest you sit your ass down and listen up,” Saulter says, slamming his fists on the desk.
“I will not tolerate—“
“Oh, you will tolerate anything and everything I throw at you, Mr. Berringer.” Saulter turns to the bookshelves, taking notice of all the pictures of the lawyer’s family. “Not to mention the impeccable danger your family will be in if you don’t cooperate with us.”
“My family?” Nathan’s eyes widen in shock. “What do they have to do with any of this?”
“Nothing at all. It’s just in my nature to use people’s prized possessions as bargaining chips,” Saulter grins. “Let’s just see how much information I can squeeze out of you before I explain what my men will do to your wife and children if I don’t get the answers I want, okay?”
Nathan sits back in his chair and looks up at all three men. Saulter pulls out his badge and rests it on the desk. He sits across from Nathan in an empty chair. He stares at the lawyer’s frizzled brown head of hair and dirt cheap suit. The prime example of a compulsive liar and cheat in American society. He watches Nathan reach for the badge and bring it close to his face.
“Director of the CIA, huh?” Nathan chuckles. “Had nothing better to do today, I presume.”
“Nathan, you have something the president wants immediately, and he is going to get it whether you want him to or not,” Saulter answers, snapping his fingers to Foster.
Foster pulls out a manila envelope from his black jacket and hands it to the general. Saulter flips through the contents and pulls out a letter addressed to Nathan that reads: From the desk of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States.
“I just wanted to make this more formal. President Rashaad has requested that the inheritance and/or inheritances of Captain Weston Lambright be confiscated and not recorded to the decease’s immediate family members,” Saulter says, watching Nathan skim through the letter.
“As much as I would love to cooperate with this request, I cannot, General,” Nathan replies, setting the letter back onto the desk.
“And why can’t you do this simple task?”
Nathan looks down at Saulter’s badge again. “General, due to the moral code of ethics and attorney-client confidentiality clauses, I can’t release that information. In addition, my client specifically instructed me not to release anything to the government, only to his sons.”
“But there are no legal issues that you are obligated to. You would risk the lives of your family and yourself for this man?” Saulter taps his fingers on his lap. His light-hearted spirits turn to a ruthless darkness within seconds as his eyes narrow like a hungry predator.
“I think it would be best if you and your two pets leave now,” Nathan says, leaning back in his chair.
“Oh, you have some large balls, Nathan, but, unfortunately, mine outweigh your ignorance.” Saulter cracks his neck and looks at both of the stone cold faces of Miguel and Foster. He leans closer to the desk. “You know, I’ve dealt with many persistent lawyers who have, like you, used the constitution and law to keep the government’s hands off of important documents. Although I commend you for your bravery to stand up to us, I also recommend you beg for mercy from my pets? Isn’t that what you called them?”
Saulter stands to his feet, looking outside the blinds of the window and slowly shutting them. Thin lines of sunlight stripe the walls of the small office.
“My pets were instructed not to do anything too drastic to you, considering you have delicate information, but I am afraid they have not learned the meaning of obedience just yet.”
Foster walks behind Nathan’s chair. He clenches the brown hairs between his fingers and spastically bashes Nathan’s head onto the glass cover on the desk. Foster pulls Nathan’s head back to the headrest of the chair. Blood seeps into the crevices of the cracked glass. Nathan tastes iron on his lips and feels blood drip from his chin. His eyes are beet red and deep gashes line his forehead.
“Are you ready to hand over those documents?” Saulter shrugs and leans close to Nathan’s face. “You can make this easy for me, or messy for you. Honestly, it’s really your choice.”
“Don’t you have his records in your damn database? What more could you need from the inheritance he left for his boys, you sick son-of-a-bitch?” he cries. “You’re the fucking government for god’s sake!”
“Do you not realize technology has created firewalls to keep the government’s hands off of certain individual’s files? Weston has figured out a way to slip through the cracks of our system and now we are at the verge of world destruction as we speak!” Saulter growls, while tossing files and papers off the desk. “Stop feeding me bullshit, Nathan, and give us what we want!”
“Nathan keeps his mouth sealed tight. Saulter’s anger overwhelms him as his brain feels as though it could split at any moment. He nods at Miguel and walks away from the desk.
“Fine. I guess we’ll be here for a while then,” he says, reaching for the file on the floor. “Hmm… Becky Berringer. You have a file for your wife?” Saulter flips through the contents. He hears Miguel reeling back his fist and thrusting it into Nathan’s ribcage. He looks back to see Nathan heaving from the blow to his stomach. “Who keeps a file of their own wife, Foster? Isn’t a picture enough to satisfy a husband.” Foster laughs in the corner as Saulter tosses the file behind his head.
“You… can’t… do this. It’s against the law,” Nathan coughs.
“That is where you are very wrong, my friend. We actually can do whatever we want to suspected terrorists now. We can even do some pretty fucked up things to the family, as well. You should know this already though, you’re a lawyer.” Saulter sits in the chair across from Nathan again.
“You don’t understand. You have the wrong guy. I’m not a terrorist and neither is Weston. You guys are trying to frame us!” Nathan exclaims as blood spatters across the desk from his torn lip.
“No, you don’t understand, Mr. Berringer, the government decides who is a terrorist, whether it’s an innocent stay-at-home mom, or a corrupted lawyer.” Saulter walks over to the window again and watches everyone in the street. “We have passed laws only to satisfy the safety of our leaders, and we have desecrated the ones that our forefathers created to protect the people. This nation is no longer a perfect union for the people, it is now a country run by tyranny.”
“That’s bull!” Nathan interrupts as his head meets the surface of the sheet of broken glass on the desk.
“I didn’t want to jump to this scenario.” Saulter looks down at the photo of Becky. Nathan hocks a wad of bloody saliva towards Saulter. He dodges the red slime and looks up at both of his men with rage boiling in his eyes. “Please, do something about his mouth!”
Foster grabs the stapler on the desk and presses the metallic beam against Nathan’s forehead. He slams his fist against the top of the stapler as multiple staples puncture the lawyer’s forehead. He continues to press until he makes his way to the mangled lips. Miguel presses Nathan’s lips together as Foster staples his mouth shut. Droplets of blood rise from the wounds. Nathan moans as tears well up in his eyes and staples bend in and out of his head.
“Is the brave lawyer crying? Please, help him wipe away those tears,” Saulter laughs in amusement at the torture of an innocent man. He watches Foster seal his eyelids shut and press the stapler firmly against the rim of his eyelids.
Nathan’s shriek in his throat makes Saulter stop the two men.
“Do you have something to say now, before we permanently blind you, Mr. Berringer?”
“Mm…mmm…mmm,” Nathan mumbled behind his sealed lips.
“C’mon, let the guy at least have a chance to speak.”
Foster grabs the small staple remover from the desk drawer and wedges the sharp edges underneath each staple, ripping each one out with a slight tug. Saulter watches and listens to Nathan moan in pain until he can finally speak.
“Now, you were saying?” Saulter asks, leaning on the desk.
“Oh, god,” he exhales.
“Sorry, Nathan, but the big guy upstairs had to take a leak. It’s just you and me now.” Saulter grabs Nathan’s chin and turns the lawyer’s head towards him. “Could you stay coherent long enough to hand over those documents I so desperately need, or should I tell my men to torture your family ever so slowly?”
Nathan lazily tosses his head back. His eyes bulge as staples hang from his eyebrows like tiny meat hooks. His lip dangles from his mouth.
“Fuck… you…” he says under his breath.
“Wow! That’s a first from a lawyer, isn’t it, boys?” He looks up at his men with a devilish grin. “Usually your occupation requires you to squeal under pressure, but you, my friend, are the toughest bastard of them all,” he chuckles. “You should’ve joined the military instead. What a waste of talent.”
“Why are you doing this to me?” he asks.
Saulter clenches Berringer’s cheeks together. “This is what happens when you are a hero. It turns you into a person you never thought you could be. Almost superhuman.” Saulter tosses Nathan’s head back and sits back into the chair across from him. “It also turns you into a monster. Yes, you may get some nice feedback and decorate yourself with awards, but, in the long run, all people see is a scorched piece of shit.” He waves both men off of Nathan. “I don’t value the lives of anyone anymore. I only value the death of insubordinate citizens.” He looks out the window at the people in the streets with no sympathy behind his eyes.

Long Week

This week, well these last two weeks, have been extremely busy. Work and writing have been productive I guess you could say. I received one of my first writing jobs this last week with a long time friend of mine. It was just editing, but it was nice to know someone could trust my writing skills and let me put it to good use. Also, there are many people that I thank in my life for helping me grow as a writer, as well as, a person, but I will say there are many that I sometimes don’t remember because I have many people who support what I do. I wanted to sit down and thank one person specifically that has been through everything from the good, the bad, and the ugly. This person has especially dealt with the many rants that have come with working and trying to make it as a writer. Her name is Jennifer.

I’ve known her since first grade, and I know there have been so many instances, where I don’t deserve to have a friend like her in my life. In the last few years, I have lost many friends in my life the last few years because of my episodes of depression, as well as, my multiple rants about work, but Jennifer has been there to talk no matter what. Yes, we do have our little fights, but we always seem to work our way back around to say sorry and attempt to move on from it.

I just wanted to sit down and thank some one that has really been a great influence on my life, who has really pushed me to follow my dreams and been there through it all. Especially during my times of need when I was suffering from depression. If I didn’t have a friend like her to talk to, I don’t know where I would be right now. Thank you, Jennifer, for being there and reading every single piece of writing that I do from my blog to my novels. Thanks for being here and not making me a second thought when I’m going through my asshole episodes.

What to do?

Has anyone ever contemplated whether to A) Write B) Clean or C) Relax and just enjoy doing something else. Right now, I’m stuck in between these three categories. I started cleaning when I got home from work. Now, I’m contemplating whether I want to progress with my novel, or if I want to sit down and play Destiny for a little while. I know I really should write because as a writer professionalism is the key to becoming known and gaining more knowledge about the craft. It’s just really hard sometimes to sit down and really want to work hard. This is me being completely honest. I know I love to write, but so many distractions hinder me from wanting to finish and excel at my work.

Alright, here on out, games come last. I want to hit a little over 10,000 words a day, but I’m barely tipping the 3,000 marks every day. I even took down a cup of coffee to try and keep me energized with some caffeine. Like I said before, procrastination is a long and dirty battle that we are all probably going through as we blog about our lives, or teachings. So I’m taking a stand and telling myself to look at my future possibilities. Will I choose to continue to play games, work for the same company, and stay stagnant with my writing? Or will I be the guy that actually publishes 3-4 books a year, and creates an audience that is empowered by his words?

I really hope I can find a way to be the second guy. Time to write. I’ll try to answer messages later. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my blogs and kept me excited everyday this week. Sleep well!