(Yeah, I’m in it)
(Yeah, I’m in it)
I got to “sit down” and talk with Kelly Edwards, author of Scorcher, and ask her what it’s like to have a book out, how and why she chose the route she did, and a lot of other things that have absolutely nothing to do with writing at all. She was a fantastic sport and great fun to talk to.
Nerdmobile: So, Kelly, tell everybody what the book and series are about.
Kelly: Scorcher explores the concept that supervillains are people too.
They’re not always megalomaniacs with dreams of world domination.
Sometimes they’re just people doing whatever they must to get by.
Aidan Grey is a college student with goals for the future, a drive to
succeed, and little time for romance. She’s also a woman with a
secret. At eleven, she was orphaned due to the accidental use of her
pyrokinetic abilities. She was taken in by the secret criminal
organization known as Iris and trained to use her abilities for the
organization’s profit. Marty Knox is a police detective who loves his
family, tries to genuinely make a difference in the world and falls
hard for Aidan. He shows up just as Aidan is starting to question her
loyalties to Iris and she’s surprised to find that she can’t resist
him, even if it would be dangerous to get involved with someone on the
right side of the law. What Aidan doesn’t realize is that Marty has a
secret of his own, one that would endanger both their lives if
discovered by Iris.
The series itself expands on this topic as Aidan struggles with
figuring out where her loyalties lie and fights for the freedom to
make that choice for herself, as opposed to allowing the organization
that’s owned her for half her life to continue to make all of her
Nerdmobile: You are a brand spanking new author, but that doesn’t mean you just now picked up writing. How long have you been at it?
Kelly: I’ve been telling stories since I was a kid. I used to write plays to perform for my parents. In middle school and high school, that morphed
into poetry and short stories. And I must say, thank goodness the
internet wasn’t really a thing back then. Or else there might be some
of that middle school poetry coming back to haunt me.
Nerdmobile: What drove you to the method of publishing you used?
Kelly: I’m a control freak. Seriously though, I really liked the idea
of getting my book out there on my terms and spending time building my
audience instead of spending time trying to sell my novel to
publishers. I also enjoy some of the other things that have come with
marketing, from working closely with my cover artist to designing my
own website and running my own promotions on Facebook and Twitter.
Nerdmobile: Will you continue with self publish, or are you hoping to be picked up by a publishing house?
Kelly: At this point, I’m really enjoying the self-publishing process
but I wouldn’t say no if the right offer came along. Right now, I
think that my books fall into a niche market as they are unabashedly
genre fiction. While genre fiction can and does sell to traditional
publishing houses, it is a tougher sell.
Nerdmobile: In your opinion, what is the difference between the two?
Kelly: The biggest difference between the two is the degree of control
an author has over the finished book. With a traditional publishing
house most authors have very little, if any, say in what the cover or
layout look like. They are also under deadlines from the publishing
house instead of self-imposed deadlines. Of course, with a traditional
publishing house there is a chance for wider distribution so if that’s
what you’re interested in, there are many times when it’s worthwhile
to give up some of your creative control so you have the chance to get
your story out there to a wider audience.
Nerdmobile: Is writing your first love?
Kelly: Actually, my first love was a boy named Jimmy who was the He-Man to my She-Ra. Sadly, no one told us that they were brother and sister. But
after Jimmy, telling stories was my first long-lasting love.
Nerdmobile: Would you marry writing?
Kelly: No, I’ve already got a wonderful husband. Writing is just the sexy,
alluring mistress that I lavish with gifts and spend most of my free
time with. (Sorry, honey!)
Nerdmobile: If you and writing had babies, … oh wait. That would be your
book. What was your inspiration for this particular story?
Kelly: This story, like most of my stories, started with the characters.
Aidan came to me first. I really liked the idea of a character who has
reasons for being a villain and who might not be looking for
redemption at the start of the story but isn’t fully evil either. The
story evolved naturally from there. I had help from a dear friend,
Paul Leone, in developing Marty as someone who is both the anithesis
of what Aidan is but is similar enough to forget a strange sort of
Nerdmobile: So you’re a character driven writer, have you ever attempted to write a story that focuses not on the people but on the situation?
Kelly: I’m working on a story now where I came up with a basic sketch of
an idea first and then started filling in the characters. I would say
that the plot or situation tends to feed and inform the characters and
Nerdmobile: Do you fall in love with your characters?
Kelly: All the time. It’s getting rather full in my heart because every
character I’ve ever written has carved out a spot. If I don’t write
with them for awhile, I will start to miss certain characters. I also
frequently feel guilty if I’m not writing often enough to get their
Nerdmobile: Writers read, that’s a given. Who is your favorite author?
Kelly: I have a confession. I am a book slut. My favorite author changes on a semi-regular basis and I’ve never committed to just one favorite.
Authors I’m loving quite a lot currently are Seanan Mcguire, Jim
Butcher, and Jim C Hines. Susan Ee is also my new favorite up and
comer to watch.
Nerdmobile: So there’s not one author that you’ve read since you were younger that still holds up for you today?
Kelly: Lois Lowry and J.R.R. Tolkien both stand out, though it’s been
awhile since I’ve reread either author. Unfortunately, my reading time
is very limited now so I usually try to seek out books that I haven’t
read yet and don’t have as much time as I would like for reading the
Nerdmobile: What is your favorite book of all time? How many times have you read it?
Kelly: See above, re: book slut. The Harry Potter books are my go-to comfort books for when I just want to read something familiar. I’ve lost count
of how many times I’ve read those. I’ve also lost count of how many
times I’ve read the Dresden Files.
Nerdmobile: Do you have other nerdly pursuits?
Kelly: Aside from the standards: reading comics and sci-fi and fantasy books, watching sci-fi and fantasy TV shows and debating them online, I’m
also really into making superhero costumes and of course, wearing them
to conventions and charity events.
Nerdmobile: What was the first comic you read?
Kelly: While I have loved superheroes for most of my life, I’m actually
relatively new to reading actual comics. I started reading them about
7 or 8 years ago. The very first comic I read was the trade of Batman:
Nerdmobile: Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
Kelly: There are a lot of superheroes that I absolutely adore, but I
would have to say that Black Canary (II, ie Dinah Laurel Lance) is my
all-time favorite. I could write an essay or two on why I love her but
I’ll try to spare you all the reading. I love her because her
backstory includes a mother-daughter relationship that is complicated
and not cut-and-dry. Dinah took up her mother’s mantle against Dinah
Sr’s wishes, and so you have both an act of rebellion and following in
her mother’s footsteps in one. In the best comics where Dinah is
featured, this informs her character beautifully. Dinah is also a
character who has a great power (her sonic cry, which can knock people
out, shatter just about anything, etc) but chooses to rely on the
abilities that’s she’s gone out and learned as opposed to simply
relying on the fact that she has a superpower. She was also
essentially ‘fridged’ in that she lost her superpower in a heinous,
violent way and yet instead of ceasing to be a hero, she continued on
and became even stronger for working through that loss and finding
ways to thrive without her superpower. And for all my good intentions,
I’ve still written you a novelette so I’ll leave it at that.
Nerdmobile: What is your must watch show currently?
Kelly: Once Upon a Time is currently my must-watch show. I’m a sucker
for fairytales and especially when they’re told in an interesting way.
Nerdmobile: Do you have a show that you go back to a lot? Rewatch again and again?
Kelly: Buffy and Firefly are two of them. I adore Joss Whedon because he
is always pushing the limits of the genres he works within and he
writes some of the most well-rounded female characters around. Even
today, that’s still something that’s harder to find than well-rounded
Nerdmobile: Batman or Superman?
Kelly: I love them both, but for me it will always be Superman. Why? Because he is unabashedly a square. He has his morals and he sticks by them,
in spite of the fact that he has the powers of a god and could simply
pummel people until they had no choice but to see things his way.
Nerdmobile: If you were able to choose a superpower, what would it be? Why?
Kelly: Is the ability to run on no sleep considered a superpower? If so, I
would definitely choose that because there are not enough hours in the
day. Otherwise, I would choose teleportation because I’m impatient and
hate waiting to get places.
Thanks to Kelly for taking the time out of her schedule to chat! I wish her luck in her future ventures and hope she enjoyed the interview as much as I did. I’m still curious as to her favorite villain, but maybe that’s a closely guarded secret for a reason.
Maybe she’s her own favorite villain…
DUN DUN DUN!
I am proud to say that shortly before I made my massive cross country move, I managed to finish BioShock. Not that it took a lot of effort. As it goes with games that you’ve fallen in love with, the time slips by unnoticed, you’re startled and confused when you see the sun coming around your curtains or peeking in through the little window in the kitchen door. Really, if I’d only had one day to go through this whole game, I would have done it. Even if it meant driving 26 hours with blurry eyes and the inability to think about anything but Little Sisters and if I should Harvest them.
Overall, a very enjoyable game. Very enjoyable. I will be playing this game again, there is no doubt about that.
Despite my small inability to save the Little Sisters, as I spoke about in a previous post, I did not regret the choices I made or the actions I took. I can play it again and try to save them this time, instead of saving one and then harvesting the next three on reflex. Or… I can try and fail. We’ll see.
I was very happy, very very happy, when I got to put on a Big Daddy costume and lumber about. There are certain sounds that I’m attracted to in games, and I can’t quite explain it or even really know when a particular sound is going to grab a hold of me and make me adore it. The sound of the Big Daddy is one of them. So the fact that I not only got to dress like one, but that I ended up sounding like one, well, it really tickled me. If I could have had more time with that, gone back to some old places and just kind of kicked around for a while, killing those fucking weird ass half dead junkie assholes wantonly, I think I would have been a happy girl for at least a few hours without further need of plot or direction.
I don’t know how I escaped knowing about that particular feature of the game. It’s not like (even though it may at times seem so) I have been living in a cave. People around me have been playing and talking about this game since it came out. SINCE IT CAME OUT. Yet, I had no clue. Somehow the spoilers of this joy flew by me like greased pigeons. I was well and truly surprised at the discovery. And joyful. I cannot go on without saying the word joyful some more. Joyful.
I’m excited to play the next game in the series, whenever I can get my hands on it. Which, given how long it took me for this one, might very well be right around the time they’re making the fourth. I would roll my eyes at myself, but then I’d have to get up and go look in a mirror, and I’m just not that into moving at the moment.
There is nothing more that I can really say. Truly. Love. Deep, penetrating love, filled to the brim love, a little glad I’m behind so I don’t have to wait for more love. Play this game. Play it a lot. Never sell it. Not even if you’re going to starve to death if you don’t.
I know a lot of people who have played this game and found it to be disappointing. I have heard plenty of complaints about the story and the gameplay, that they were haphazard the both of them.
I, however, very much enjoyed playing the Secret Apprentice again. I thought the story made sense, and I thought that it was very interestingly played out. I didn’t have any issues at all with the game itself.
Of course, there may be some that argue that this is due to my overwhelming love for Star Wars. But I can assure you, there are things within the Star Wars universe that I don’t enjoy. Like the first two prequel movies. And as a gamer, I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed a game if I only liked the concept of it. I play video games because I think they’re fun. If a game is not fun, I put it down. I have done this a couple of times, though for the most part I’ve been pretty good at picking stuff that I enjoy very much.
So yes, I genuinely enjoyed having Starkiller brought back, and I think that they made it so it could happen again. Both endings for Force Unleashed II open things up to another game. Which was something I was concerned about going in, since Force Unleashed didn’t exactly leave room for that. I didn’t know how they were going to pull off explaining how a second game could happen. But I’m satisfied with what they did.
I’m also happy with the mild changes in control of force powers and leveling them up.
On top of really loving this game, the fact that it’s Star Wars and the game itself, I also gained an added bonus for it while playing. I broached 20,000 gamer points with it.
Netflix got the rest of the Tudors for streaming, and I decided I wanted to watch it. The sad thing here is that I didn’t remember at all that I’d already seen the first two seasons. I completely blanked all of it.
Then when I started to watch, all the episodes of those seasons were at 99% watched. I was a little confused. Even sadder is the fact that I made a whole post about how much I loved the goddamned show.
I have no idea how I managed to forget it completely. I just don’t. Luckily, all it took was rewatching the final episode of season two and it all came back to me. It was like I was an amnesia victim who had triggered the release of information to bring me up to speed on my own life.
Anyway. I did enjoy the rest of it as much as I loved the first two seasons. I found myself more infatuated with certain characters than I was previously, and still quite envious of the way the women dressed. I don’t care what anybody says, if I can ever afford it, I’m going to have a whole wardrobe made in that style, and then I’m going to wear the dresses all the time. All. The. Time. Even to the grocery.
I was pleased that Jonathan Rhys Meyers held up his end of things perfectly to the end. I was happy to see some characters die. And I was only mildly perturbed at the actress choice for the last wife. I just don’t like her as an actress, though.
There are very few shows that have a definite ending, and it’s kind of nice to have everything all wrapped up neatly. Most shows get cancelled before they have a chance to decide how the story should flow, and have to rush to get it to a point where people won’t have to wonder. Of course, sometimes shows just get cut off and you don’t get anything even close to an ending. Not that I want all my shows to have a pre-imagined end point.
It’s rare for me to find a show that does end and I’ve liked it all the way through. Arrested Development is one, and I hold all shows to that kind of standard. The Tudors Arrested Development standard, I think I’ll call it from now on. The Arrested Tudors Development standard… Arrested Development Tudors standard…
Anyway. Start to end, I adored the Tudors. Very rich in imagery, very factual (though I’m sure some things were fudged, but without Henry the VIII standing there telling you the story, it’s hard to know every single tiny detail).
I actually finished this game not long after I made the post about finally buying it. I guess I should have written this up then, but I didn’t even think about it.
As I said previously, I first played this game when I was a game tester. I would fiddle around with it when I was on breaks and when there was nothing else for me to do. I loved it then. The second time I played it, I was sharing an Xbox, and when I finally got my own, the game wouldn’t transfer.
Well, this time I was finally successful in playing through the whole thing. Maybe not the whole thing, because I didn’t know about all the extra stuff that they’d added since the last time I’d gotten a chance to play. The downloadable content is crazy. There are all sorts of challenge maps to do now. I haven’t even started on those.
But the core game, the thing that I’d been aiming for, was everything I remembered. It held my attention through the entire thing, and even managed to make me angry a couple of times. There’s nothing like trying to build a space station with a specific goal in mind when you’ve got aliens bombing you and a timer ticking away to raise the ire.
I’m glad that I finally made the purchase and that I finally got to play through the game all the way. I’m also glad that I didn’t have previous save games to start from, because I would have been lost pretty quickly. I had forgotten what every button did by the time I started it all back up again.
Next up: Trying out those other maps. They seem pretty interesting.
I gotta say, I really thought there would be a post preempting this one to say how much I was actually afraid to play this game because I liked it so much that the first night I played it, I played for 8 hours straight and didn’t realize until the sun was shining through the window on my kitchen door.
It did continue to eat my life, don’t get me wrong. The second time I played, it was for four hours, and I just finished it up with a three hour stretch. There was no way for me to put down the controller, it just wasn’t happening. The story was great, the game was fantastic.
Remember when I said, back when I talked about the first one, that I wished that there were two more missions? I know why there wasn’t now. Not sure exactly why I didn’t expect them to make another one, the movies are a trilogy, after all. And now I can expect that this will end as a trilogy too. Can’t I? I hope I can.
I really enjoyed some of the added elements in this one. I loved being able to fly to different cities and explore them. Although, I hated Florida. Mostly because it’s really easy to get lost in Florida, and end up going to an island you didn’t intend or need to go to. I was doing that constantly. And it’s my fault, I know. I don’t really use the map system like it’s supposed to be used. I just try to get to the dot. I drive toward it without paying much attention to roads. It results in getting lost, car accidents, and a lot of dead pedestrians.
Don’t think it’s just this game, either. Cause it’s not. It’s all games with maps. I love having maps, but I totally misuse them, and I can admit to that.
I really liked doing favors for people in this one, too. I do wish the favors would have been more random and of a wider variety, but I can’t say it exactly got dull killing people and tearing apart a store.
One of my favorite parts was driving around with the classical music station on, because for the most part it played the more comedic music. William Tell Overture and the like. The things you see in movies to accentuate the funny bits. It really gave a nice soundtrack to things as I ran people over or crashed headlong into cars in the opposite lane because I wasn’t paying attention to the road, just the map.
I was pretty fucking amused the entire time I played, too. Between the story, my own antics, the side quests, the beatings and all the rest of it, I can honestly say that there was not a moment of dullness in this whole thing.
There is one recommendation I want to make: If you’re going to use your guys to go try to take over a business without you, have something of your own to do while it happens. Just sitting there and waiting is probably the one thing that could ruin your play time. I didn’t do this much, myself. I’m more the hands on kind of boss. I like to get in there and shoot guys myself. Also, in doing so, you get to coerce more money out of the owners through violence. How could I say no?
Some thoughts I had while playing
– Does it mean anything that my gangsters all look like greasers?
– Fuck Florida
– No! Guys! Don’t shoot the cops, you’re only going to make things wor… fuck. FUCK. Fuck fuck fuck.
– Well. I didn’t mean to actually kill that guy. Oops.
– Goddamn it. Why would you give me information on how to kill guys in a different state?
– That’s it. I’m killing you all.
– STOP TRYING TO STEAL MY SHIT.
– You wanted to fuck with me, and now your whole family is dead.
– Hey, guy? Could you please come heal me? Before I die? You have two seconds. You fucker. Were you whacking off over there? I should shoot you in the face.
– Man. I like being in Cuba, but the cops hate me there.
– MOTHER FUCKING FUCK FUCK FLORIDA HIGHWAYS FUCK YOU.
– Now that you’re all dead, I’m going back to Cuba.
– Why are the cops so after my ass all the time? Oh yeah. I tried to assassinate their leader.
– Wow, that sound is dirty.
– I should probably get out of this building before it exp…lodes. …
– My roommate thought this would be amusing to watch before, she should see it now that I have armored cars.
– That’s right, bitches. I rule your world now.