Talking with Nick Cole and Editing Blastzone Magazine (TM)

This has been an interesting week.  I was recovering from an illness (that nasty viral stuff that congests the lungs and nose, leaving you with a single nostril that may or may not provide enough air; forcing you to be a mouth-breather at night to survive) and had a million things on my to-do list.  After getting as much sleep as humanly possible to build up my strength, I moved ahead with a head of steam (no pun intended).

One of the best things that happened was getting an opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Nick Cole, author of The Wasteland Saga and the Wyrd series (among other things).  In as relaxed a manner possible (it was done using Facebook messenger and I was in my pajamas), I let my fingers speak for my befuddled brain.  Hopefully, Nick wasn’t completely taken off-guard by the format of my rambling.

I have been working with the Ebook Blaster group – indie authors, artists, poets and publishers – to put out their inaugural volume of Blastzone Magazine (TM).  The group is a mix of some really intelligent writers and creative folks.

Having been asked to act as editor of the first issue (tentative release at the end of April), and using my indie publishing company to ‘print’ it, I was really trying to find the most interesting content possible.  That meant reaching out to contacts I had already developed and hoping that my first opportunity to do a project like this would accurately illustrate the type of people involved in the group – and connect writers with readers – the overall goal of the magazine and the Ebook Blaster group.

I had just finished reading Cole’s first book in the Wyrd series: The Red King.  Fellow Blaster team member, and fantasy/sci-fi writer Wes Hart was reading the second book, The Dark Knight.  After having a short discussion about how excited we were about the books, I contacted Nick and set up the interview.

Having lived in Los Angeles County (California) for nearly two years, the ‘scene’ of the Wyrd series evoked a ton of memories:  the Santa Ana winds on a late-January day; wild parrots and their cacophonous activities in the tops of orange, grapefruit and Ceratonia siliqua (Carob) trees; the smell of exhaust combined with taco trucks, In-N-Out Burger on the corner and the slight, salty ocean scent that was an undercurrent but present.  It reminded me of the hot asphalt that burned the soles of shoes as the sun burned through the ozone haze of industry and machines full of people around and on I-5 (Interstate 5) at a blasting 108 degrees (Fahrenheit) on a summer day.  In my mind’s eye, I could see the pink and cream stucco-sided townhouses with clay tile roofs, deftly-trimmed lawns that would brown without a constant sprinkler system, the palm fronds blowing overhead.  And at one point, when reading The Red King, I remembered a time that I burned a dress in Angeles National Forest (unaware that there was a huge – and I mean HUGE – fine due to the nearly ever-present danger of fire that could be whipped up so easily and torch Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena to the ground in a hot second).  That dress burning may have been a rite of passage, a celebration of an anniversary in Southern California for me, but wowzers could it have ended up being as big of a nightmare as the avocado groves going up in a firestorm in Cole’s book.

I am excited to present the full interview with Cole in Blastzone Magazine (TM) and hope that readers will take a look at his first two books in the series ahead of the magazine’s release.  Click the covers below to pick up your copies (They’re 99 cents of fabulous adventure).

As a teaser:  Cole expects his third book in the series to be out shortly after the magazine publishes.  I promise that the reviews that claim The Red King and The Dark Knight are pulpy zombie books is false.  There may be zombie-like creatures in the books, but that is not what the books are about.  Pulp fiction, yes.   A fun, fast-paced plot-oriented story that has plenty of flawed characters, creative imagery in the words and an underlying humor that can be both dark and outright funny? Yes.  And intensity that builds and builds…guaranteed.  Fantastic graphic novel-like covers, check and check.

And just a heads-up:  There is still time to submit items to Blastzone Magazine (TM) if you are interested.  The due date for submitting is April 5, 2016 – so please go to the Ebook Blaster website and find out the details.  I would personally love to add more great material to it.


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