Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Some Thoughts I've Been Having...

In light the abysmal state of America's presidential elections, along with some currant events, I will say that it amazes me how many people just happily share memes and click bait 'articles' without doing any fact checking.
"But...but...that's what I've always heard/been told!" or "But it's what I learned!"
Well, do you actually bother to look into "what you've always heard?" Sometimes even if something seems legit, it isn't.
"But it shouldn't matter as long as the OP's heart is in the right place!" or "But the meaning behind the meme is what counts!"
No there's never any excuse for spreading misinformation. Plain and simple. I don't care who or what it's about. True, none of us are perfect, but let's at least TRY to get our facts straight.
Add to that, when it comes to the posting and giddily accepting of misinformation, I have to wonder the following: 
What is it about Facebook and current social media that seems to hinder the critical thinking part of the brain? I don't ever recall this being nearly as much of an issue in the days of MySpace or LiveJournal (unless it just didn't happen in the circles I was in). And in addition to happily posting poorly researched memes and click baits, an article about something positive in humanity (past or current), or one that sheds honest light on an event or issue, won't get nearly as much likes and shares as a meme that compares a disliked politician to a blowfish, the wicked witch of the west, Hitler, Stalin, etc.
As I said, I find this most curious because I really don't recall these things occurring - at least not to this extent - in the days when platforms like MySpace or LiveJournal were widely used. Yes, I realize that stupid people have always existed and there have always been people passionate about their opposing beliefs, but what is it about the current social media platform that seems to bring out the worst in people from all ends of the spectrum? To the point where people who challenge beliefs (whatever those beliefs might be) and think critically are the bad guys?











*****



For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb
"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Interview with Mutli-Genre Author, Ashley Nestler

As some of you probably know, I had the pleasure of participating in the Brains to Books Cyber Convention a little over a week ago. In doing this, I had the pleasure of meeting several talented authors and bloggers, and Ashley Nestler was among them.
I will be review her two currently released novels in the near future, but for now, I am sitting down to chat with her a little. Read on and check out her work! :)



TA: First, for those who aren't familiar with your work, talk a little about yourself.

AN: I am a multi-genre author who has been writing all of my life.  I mostly write fantasy mixed with historical fiction of dystopian themes but I also love writing contemporary.  I try to aim my writing towards the young adult audience.  My first novel, “Beautiful Nightmare: Some Dreams Become Your Reality”, was published by SBPRA, an indie publishing company, when I was eighteen years old and graduating high school.  My second novel, “Into The Fog”, on the other hand, was published my Freshman year of college.  Both novels were completed during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I spent more than two years perfecting each novel.  

TA: Do you recall the first story you ever wrote?

AN: I do recall the first story I ever wrote.  It was actually published by my sixth grade teacher into an actual book.  It was a short novel about these children who were part of the orphan trains.  I remember spending days on end working on that novel, even in class.  I have always been passionate about history.

TA: How would you describe your stories to a person new to your work? What would you hope readers take away after reading your works?

AN: Well, for one thing I write all of my novels to revolve around a theme/message that I want the reader to dig out of it.  I want readers to leave reading my work changed, and that is my ultimate goal.  I would also want readers to understand that every book I write is different and that I rarely write sequels, because I like creating single novels that really pack a punch.  Readers should expect fantasy or contemporary stories from me and they should understand that many times I create my own beings in my novels and thati s how I set my work apart.

TA: How do your novels Into the Fog and A Beautiful Nightmare differ from one another? Are they similar in any way?

AN: Oh, these books are just about polar opposites.  “Beautiful Nightmare” is a Dystopian novel and “Into The Fog” is Historical Fiction Fantasy.  They are similar in their messages about love and relationships, but they differ in the plots.  I did create my own world and population in “Beautiful Nightmare”, but in “Into The Fog” I created my own species within 16th century England.  So I would say that they differ the most in the way that I created the world in “Beautiful Nightmare” but only the species in “Into The Fog”.




TA: Indie publishing or traditional?

AN: I honestly don’t think that one is better than the other.  I think that with traditional publishing you tend to reach a wider audience, but I feel that you have more freedom with indie publishing.  I can’t pick either one over the other, though, because I am in the process of working on getting my third novel published traditionally.

TA: Are there any new projects on the horizon?

AN: Currently I am working on the special editions of “Beautiful Nightmare” and “Into The Fog”.  Both will be re-released this year with bonus content such as concept art, character profiles, and insight from me on the stories.  Both books will also include revamped storylines.  I am also working on getting my third novel traditionally published, but I can’t talk publicly about it yet.   

TA: And finally, where can potential readers find you

AN: Readers can find me on:
















*****


For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb
"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound

Bragging Rights From My 18th Century Musical Gig this Passed Sunday

Hi everyone,

This Sunday I performed musically for an 18th Century Colonial Tea at the Depreciation Lands Museum.

And I have tons of photos and video! :D

















See more at the Depreciation Lands Museum's Facebook Page! And give it a 'Like'! :)











*****


For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb
"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound

Friday, April 15, 2016

Quick Update

Hi everyone,

Hope all is well on your end.

The last couple weeks have been quite busy between events and projects. I've been having music rehearsals for the museum's Colonial Tea (for which I will have photos and video), was part of an online cyber convention for writers (where I also acquired new books to review, as well as marketed my own), and am wrapping up some writing and music projects.
As you also know, I am delving further into my historical studies and uncovering new and not often chartered territory. Next week, my schedule will lighten up and I will be able to do a new YouTube History and Other Musings vlog. My next blog post will also be a list of some new historical facts uncovered (including King Henry VIII, more on the witch hunts, bare-breasted teas - which is exactly what it sounds like, tattoos sported by both men and women during the Victorian and Edwardian eras, the first known female tattoo artist, King Charles II and the women who protested coffee houses during his reign, and more on The Vanishing American).

I also want to get back on my Human Behavior series and continue with our victim culture. And my newfound area of study, the History of Ideas (I just got my hands on a copy of Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes).

Hope everyone has a great weekend!










*****


For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb
"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound


Thursday, April 7, 2016

A Passion for the Past or Why I Study History

Hi all,

I know it's been a while since I last did a real blog post. I am busy with a few gigs which include finishing up the next installment in The Birthrite Series, a couple live music gigs, a few educational history events with the museum, finishing a song for a paranormal documentary, planning future episodes for my webseries, and doing the audiobook version of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1).

Here are video clips of me in the studio working on the audiobook for Descent:



And this weekend, I'm part of the Brains 2 Books Convention at Goodreads, where there is also a Giveaway for Descent. 

In the midst of all that, my research into history has increased, especially as I begin to overturn some very little known territory. Recently, I was contacted by Henry, a Zane Grey enthusiast who has some involvement with the Zane Grey West's Society and also happened to see my video review of The Vanishing American:



After some email exchange, we spoke on the phone and he gave me some really cool new information on the real life people and events that inspired The Vanishing American, and some of his other stories. He also sent me a pdf file of a scanned copy of the promotional brochure for the film version of The Vanishing American from the year 1925. I've been looking through the brochure and it is so fascinating to get a glimpse into the production process, along with the tribute to the Native American being given by the cast and crew, especially from Zane Grey. I will get more into it in a future post, but for now, I will say that the more you dig into history and events throughout different eras, the more hidden treasures you will find. My studies, writing, and re-enactment of history has also led me to discovering some other pretty cool reading material. See my recent history book haul and feel free to check out some of the books:


In the video, one of the books I mention is one called Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft, written by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum. As some of you that follow my work probably know, the witch trials of Europe and America have been a fascination and a focus of mine. So far, this is probably one of the best books I've read on what happened in Salem and it will be part of a future blog post.

Yes, I do have a passion for "time-travel," if you will. The past is a foreign place and can be quite fascinating and scary at the same time. It seems to be a place people are afraid to go. Sure, they might dig it up when they are trying to (very indignantly) make a point of how their views are "right" and/or feel superior. The thing is, often when they do that, they are scratching at only the surface. Or worse: using an example that can very much be considered a historical 'myth.'
But here is something to think about until next week:

Perhaps people fear that by studying history, really getting into the good, the bad, the ugly, the heroes, the villans, controversial figures, their lives, fears, likes, and dislikes, they will see more of themselves and current society in those of the past than they would like to see. Perhaps by studying the history behind ideas, they will truly begin to understand the human condition, yet another place that many seem to be afraid of going to. (Thank you, Suzannah Lipscomb for that one)

Til next week. I look forward to blogging again. :)


Tiffany

PS- Check out my webzine, The Parting of Veils for a new episode and photos from my Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Tour. :)














*****


For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb
"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound

Friday, April 1, 2016

Update

Hello everyone,

Sorry I've been a bit absent from here. A lot has been on my plate, including trying to finish writing books and a new song for a paranormal documentary. I'm also prepping for upcoming events with the museum, doing work for my own webseries, and a cyberconvention on Goodreads with a few other authors.

And if you haven't yet, check out My Red Horse Radio Appearance :)

In addition to all that, my research on various historical events and eras continues. I am really digging up some good stuff. I am continuing my study into the witch trials of America and Europe (and attempting to get to the root of them), I am also further studying the Tudors, Zane Grey's The Vanishing American, and I am starting to explore the History of Ideas. Because getting to the root and intricacies of the various eras and belief systems at various points - while cutting out the one-sided stereotypes - in history can be the beginning of truly understanding the human condition, along with acknowledging that there is much in history that can bring us together as opposed to separating us as the media would have us believe and do.

I will be resuming these blog posts very soon. One historian I've started following is Suzannah Lipscomb. What I really appreciate about her is that she actually cares about getting to the root of certain events in history instead of just reiterating biased interpretations.

In fact, here is a video interview in which she discusses King Henry VIII.


Sure, it's easy to dismiss Henry as a monster and a tyrant who beheaded his wives, but how many actually bother to look at WHY he became the way he was? How many actually bother to research and find out that he wasn't always that way? Just like it's easy to dismiss the witch trials as nothing more than the work of a bunch of sexist pigs targeting women. But we may find more answers by not only studying the social origins of those particular societies, but also draw our attention to the ancient pre-Christian beliefs.

There is much to come. So stay tuned and til next time...

:)





DESCENT GIVEAWAY (Smashwords offers download formats for all types of e-readers):













*****


For first access to giveaways and other content not seen by the rest of the world, sign up for the free Messages from the Labyrinth Newsletter!

Paperback copies of Descent (The Birthrite Series, #1) and Sacred Atonement:Novelette (The Birthrite Series, # 1.5) available together for the low price of $21.00 at my Official Website


My music projects are available at CDBaby
My filmwork is on IMDb
"The Birthrite Series" and other books at Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOOK
 My books and music are also on Amazon and iTunes
Tiffany on Goodreads
Support great authors and independent bookstores at Smashwords and Indiebound