The works of Award winning author, Rick Pipito, and more

Posts tagged “Bob Mayer

Day 15 #Authorlifemonth -Pub Sib

While these authors are not necessarily with the same publisher as I, they are people whom I’ve met over the years, become friends with, or acquaintances.  If you’re looking for something to read, this list of authors has all genres covered… Plus, they are just awesome people.

Jonathan Maberry, Lucas Mangum, Bob Mayer, Janice Gable Bashman, Bryan J.L. Glass, Mike Yowell, Jen Talty, E.C. Myers, Jeri Walker, Olivia Stanton, H.N. Sieverding, Michael Thomas Knight, Joe McKinney, Diane Prokop.  and of course my mother Charlene Pipito, who has taught me everything I know about writing and been my biggest inspiration.

Who are some authors you like to read or have met?  Please share in the comments below.

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Day 30 -Inspiration in different times

img_6813The possibility of time travel has always fascinated me.  In college I took a class called “Paradox”, and mid semester I came up with an idea for a book on it.  That was about sixteen years ago, and the book is finally in the works (well three books to be specific).  Can I go back and retract that typo?  Sure, that’s what the backspace key is for, but what if we could go back and change something in our past?

When I was ten years old I read H.G. Wells’ THE TIME MACHINE.  It was the first book that really had me thinking about the subject.  The classic movie from the 60s wasn’t as good as the book, but it’s still one of my favorites to this day.  Even the remake done in the 2000s holds a special place in my heart.  Am I bold enough to say it is one of the best science fiction novels ever written?  Yes, and I’ll stand by that statement.  Wells came up with an idea to quell his own curiosity about what the future held.  While the book doesn’t go into alternate realities or changing the past (it is hinted at, but not a major component), it instead looks forward.  In certain aspects it shows a bleak future (far ahead of our own time), but there is something to be taken away from it all.  I feel the lesson written here is that we should appreciate what we have now.  No matter how bad things can get, it can always be worse.

Once I reached my teenage years there was a show on called QUANTUM LEAP.  It involved a character who was from the future and stepped into a time chamber.  He woke up in the past in someone else’s body.  The fun thing about this show was that each episode had him trying to figure out what he needed to make sure happened in order for him to leap to the next random time period.  The show was limited only to years in which the actual character had been alive on earth.  If he were to leap to another time he’d cease to exist, so it kept it very grounded in modern times (or at least the last 35 years prior to the show).  This series had me tuning in every week, but sadly it fell victim to what I call the “final episode”.  At the end of the series we are left with a cliffhanger of not knowing if he ever made it home or not.  Was Sam stuck in time?  Where did he go?  I still hold out hope for a reboot/sequel that will explain it all and maybe re-launch the series.

Lastly is the TIME PATROL series by Bob Mayer.  Mayer’s series takes a similar concept to leaping into a historical person’s body, but goes beyond that to actual events.  He isn’t limited to one time period, but instead has a selection of multiple in each individual novel.  One date throughout history is being affected by the mostly unseen antagonist in different ways.  It’s difficult to go into detail about it without being spoilery, but the Time Patrol is a fun and interesting ride.  It may even have you wanting to do some research on certain days or events in history.  I haven’t just been entertained by the highly anticipated novels, but have learned from them.  Where else can you have one story with multiple subplots going on in a book?

With the holidays fast approaching I’m frantically working on A COURSE FOR HUMANITY.  It won’t be out until early 2017, but in the meantime if you are looking for a great time travel story, I highly recommend all three of the above; especially Time Patrol, since it’s a current series.

So what are some of your favorite time travel stories?  Use the hashtag #scrypthalloween and you may be one of the lucky winners chosen to receive a free copy of one of my novels.

halloween

 


Day 13 of #authorlifemonth : favorite book in genre

Day 13 of #authorlifemonth is favorite book in genre. I have to go with series instead, and since I write across genres I put my two favorite series’ up. Area 51 by Bob Mayer and the Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown . (I had a hard time fitting them in the collage and am missing some of the newer title pics, but you get the idea). 🙂 #books #series

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NY Times Best Selling author, Bob Mayer, and his legacy

Bob Mayer & GusI’ve been asked countless times about which authors I look up to, and while I could give the typical responses, I’d be more honest by narrowing it down to one who has crossed multiple genres in his writing.  Bob Mayer is an accomplished author of Sci-Fi, thrillers, and informational works.  Because of the influence he’s had on me I’d like to review some of the novels that really made me want to write, particularly his Area 51 and Atlantis series, but others as well.

Realizing that all my readers may not be familiar with Mr. Mayer, I reached out to him with a little Q and A.  Despite his busy schedule he took the time to answer a brief interview.  The questions I asked were based on things I wanted to know as a fan and author, but also what makes him so unique.  Here are his responses and following that will be my reviews of his works, as well as links to more info on him.  My questions are in bold.

1) At which point in your career did you decide you wanted to get into writing?  What was your inspiration?

Bob: I was living in the Orient studying martial arts and other than that had some time on my hands. So I began writing; I had no thoughts of being published. I just wrote.

2) Your Green Beret experience shows in the way you write certain things (Military terminology etc.).  Did a lot of what you did help to inspire the thought process of your story concepts? 

Bob: I use a lot of my Special Forces experience in Write It Forward, where I apply it to the world of being an author. There’s two sides; the creative side (process) and the business side. I think an author has to integrate the two in order to be successful.

3) You’ve done everything from military thrillers, to science fiction, to historical, collaborative and informative works.  Which genre is your favorite to write?

Bob: I’m leaning more and more into speculative fiction. I don’t think I’ll be going back to military fiction as I have a lot of titles there.

4) You’ve collaborated with Jennifer Crusie on a few books now.  The both of you seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly in that it really feels as though it is seamless work.  How does working with someone else differ than your normal approach and time constraints?

Bob: You need trust. And it helps if you have different strengths and allow the other person their expertise. Going back to what I said earlier, a key is to know your own process and then understand the other person’s process.  I work with my wife on everything and she is quite brilliant.  The last group at my Write on the River workshop got a glimpse of that when she worked with them for a while.

5) Your Area 51 series is just one of your notables on the New York Times Bestseller list, and continues on through the Nightstalkers series.  Since it seems (after the latest Nightstalkers) that you are linking together it and the Atlantis series, do you plan to do so with the original characters as well?  There are places as a fan I still would have liked to have seen Mike Turcotte and Company tackle or answer. 

Bob: I don’t think I’ll dip back into the original Area 51 world.  I have linked a lot of series though with my new Time Patrol books: first, the Nightstalker team evolved into the Time Patrol, so that links those three books; then I have the Cellar, which links those two; and lastly, I have the concept from the Atlantis series, where there are parallel Earths that are battling. Essentially in Time Patrol, they have to keep another time line from changing out timeline and wiping us out.  And even with that, I’m bringing in the Rule of 7 from my Shit Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure books. So I’ve really connected a lot!

6) Speaking of Area 51 I know a while back you were working on a screenplay and movie rights for it.  Is this still something in the works or is there another Bob Mayer title coming to theaters or TV in the future?

Bob: Right now that seems dead in the water. I have a screenplay written by the guy who wrote Alien and Total recall and worked on Minority report.  Maybe interest will be renewed.

7) Dave Riley and Horace Chase have finally met in your Green Beret books.  They are worn soldiers who stand the test of time.  What are some books, movies or authors that have stood the test of time for you, either as entertainment or inspiration?

Bob: It’s hard to believe that my first book was published in 1991. I age my characters—Dave Riley is now retired from the Army. And Horace Chase—well I won’t say what happens to him in my last book The Green Berets: Chasing the Son

8) You do a write on the river and have your own publishing company now (Cool Gus Publishing).  Other than getting your past catalog from pen names out in the open again, it seems like your goal was/is to help others along the way.  Do you plan to expand Cool Gus?

Bob: We’ve actually contracted Cool Gus. At one point I think we had 16 authors; now we’re down to 7. We have to focus. Our goal now is to get 2 or 3 well-established traditional authors and help them go hybrid. We have the expertise that they need and make that transition very easy for them as we do all the work and they just have to write and get final say on every step of the process.

9) Every hero needs a sidekick.  You’ve been an inspiration for writers and fans, and are a hero from your military background.  Tell us about your sidekick dogs.  They are beautiful pets.

Bob: Gus and Becca are English Yellow Labs. He’s her uncle and we got them from the same breeder on Whidbey Island.  They actually have been a tourist attraction in Whidbey and everywhere people come up to the Jeep when I get out because they both just sit there, Becca in the driver’s seat and Gus in the passenger seat and are very calm.

10) What are you working on right now and what are you planning for future releases?

Bob: I just finished a draft of Burners, which will be out 6 October.  I’m very excited about it because it comes out of the best idea my wife and I have had; we started it four years ago and it only all came together this year. It’s the first book in a new series and I’m already outlining the follow-on book.  It’s post-apocalyptic, about a society in Puget Sound where society is divided into four classes based on life expectancy.  And it’s all run by Dealer, a super-computer. I don’t want to say much more, but I’ll have the pre-order up soon and more information on my web site at http://www.coolgus.com

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area51Reviews: Instead of focusing on the individual novels, I’ll touch on the series I’m reviewing as a whole.

Area 51 series: Originally Mayer wrote this under his Robert Doherty penname.  Area 51 follows the adventures of Special forces officer Mike Turcotte and Dr. Lisa Duncan.  This is the series that made me really want to write.  It made me enjoy reading more than I already had.  Mayer’s visual descriptions and knack for unraveling ancient and more modern mysteries make these all a compelling read.  Each book deals with a threat, but continue through until the overall plot is revealed.  I remember waiting for the next books to be released while reading these because I couldn’t/can’t get enough.  After the original series story was completed he began anew with his Nightstalkers series.  New characters and situations in an alternate world are presented here.  Despite being science fiction, both series are believable and a lot of fun.  His next novel begins the Area 51 Time Patrol books and will be out later this month.  The books in order are: AREA 51, AREA 51 THE REPLY, AREA 51 THE MISSION, AREA 51 THE SPHINX, AREA 51 THE GRAIL, AREA 51 EXCALIBUR, AREA 51 THE TRUTH, AREA 51 NOSFERATU, AREA 51 LEGEND, NIGHTSTALKERS, NIGHTSTALKERS THE BOOK OF TRUTHS, NIGHTSTALKERS THE RIFT, NIGHTSTALKERS TIME PATROL, TIME PATROL BLACK TUESDAY

Atlantis Series: If you plan on reading the Area 51 books then make sure to read this series as well before you get to the Nightstalkers.  I won’t say how, but they do tie in at some point, so it’d be better to familiarize yourself with them.  Plus, like Area 51 I find this series one of the best series of all time.  From characters to plot to outright unexpected twists and turns there isn’t a rating high enough to give.  The books in order are: ATLANTIS, BERMUDA TRIANGLE, DEVIL’S SEA, ATLANTIS GATE, ASSAULT ON ATLANTIS, BATTLE FOR ATLANTIS

Psychic Warrior and Project Aura: This really makes you wonder about what the government is working on behind closed doors.  Astral projection always intrigued me, but this series takes it to the next level.  It’s been years since I’ve read these, but they stick with me to this day.  I highly recommend them.

Agnes and The Hitman: Co-written with Jennifer Crusie, this book appeals to male and female audiences equally.  Romance, action, and humor make this feel like a true mob story that’s a hell of a lot of fun.  The dynamic that Mayer and Crusie have makes the reader smile and laugh out loud at times while still giving a thrill ride full of adrenaline.

chasingGreen Beret series: Despite having worked for the government alongside various branches of military service I had no particular interest in reading military thrillers.  My respect for our military goes beyond words, so I gave it a try, and again I couldn’t put it down.  While I felt the series started a little slow the characters really drove it home.  They are relatable and very human with decisions that push them to the limits.  Each installment is better than the one before it, and I can’t wait to see where it ends.  The beauty about these characters is they age as the books were written over years.  Although the situations in the earlier books might be dated by events in real time, that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable.  What I mean is younger audiences might not be able to relate to having anything other than touch phones etc.  The novels begin in the early 90s and the latest was just released a few months ago.  The novels in order are: EYES OF THE HAMMER, DRAGON SIM-13, SYNBAT, CUTOUT, ETERNITY BASE, Z, CHASING THE GHOST, CHASING THE LOST, CHASING THE SON

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I’ve read a handful of Bob’s other novels as well, and hope to catch up on the few I’ve missed due to my own writing projects.  I’d be all day if I kept going on every one I’ve read, but you get the point.  Bob Mayer is an author you don’t want to miss.  No matter what your tastes in reading he has something for everyone, and also an informative selection of non-fiction books you might want to check out as well.

Have you read any of his works?  If so, comment below and share your thoughts.

More info on Bob and his books can be found at http://www.coolgus.com and http://www.bobmayer.org .  He can also be found on Twitter @Bob_Mayer.

I’d like to thank Mr. Mayer for his time and countless hours of great reads.  Keep up the great work, and I look forward to what’s still to come for many years.


Day 29: Top 5 for Halloween

For today’s installment of my 31 days of Halloween I made a top 5 list of my personal choices for film, book, etc.  These are stories that not only have entertained me, but inspired me to continuously try exceeding what I did and topping each previous book I write.  I tried to keep them as Halloween related as possible, and even though some aren’t horror, they fall into the thriller category and have spooky elements.  What are your personal choices?  Feel free to comment below.

TOP 5 NOVELS:  The “Area 51” series by Bob Mayer (writing as Robert Doherty), Dan Brown’s “Robert Langdon” series, Thomas Harris’ “Hannibal Lecter” series, The “Atlantis” series by Bob Mayer (writing as Greg Donegan), Dean Koontz’ “Frankenstein” series (please don’t watch the movie because it’s terrible the books are great though. *Bonus All novels in the FLESH AND LEFTOVERS SAGA by Rick Pipito (had to add them, sorry.) 😛

 

TOP 5 TV SHOWS: Once Upon a Time, Arrow & The Flash (I put these as one because they crossover and exist in the same universe), 24, Law And Order SVU, Hannibal

 

TOP 5 GAMES: The “Tomb Raider” series, The “Resident Evil” Series, “Silent Hill”, “HeroQuest” (This is a board game I had growing up, and I just remember how awesome it was.  I recently found it in my parents’ attic), The “Doom” series.

 

TOP 5 SONGS: Dragula by Rob Zombie, Monster Mash by Bobby Pickett, Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr, Don’t Fear The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult (because everyone needs more cowbell), Mz. Hyde by Halestorm

 

TOP 5 MOVIES: Ghostbusters 1 & 2, The Goonies, Monster Squad, Van Helsing (Kate Beckinsale, Huge Jack Man, and monsters?  I don’t care if its cheesy.  It’s awesome), The Brendan Frasier Mummy Movies.

 

BONUS—-TOP 10 COMIC BOOK Movie List (in numbered order):

1) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2) X-Men Days Of Future Past

3) Avengers

4) Ironman

5) Captain America: The First Avenger

6) Guardians Of The Galaxy

7) Man Of Steel

8) Spiderman 2

9) Thor The Dark World

10) Batman 1989

*This list is current as of 10/29/14 of course.  It will most likely change, but it is the order I believe works.  I wanted to put both Punisher movies in there as well just for pure fun, but they didn’t make the cut.


Writing and Learning from your mistakes

Cover art for "Flesh And Leftovers" The novel - Art by Dan Pipito

Cover art for “Flesh And Leftovers” The novel – Art by Dan Pipito

I’ll be the first to admit, that while I’m extremely proud of the things I’ve done, I always look back and say, “Wow, I’m a better writer than I used to be.”  That’s because I try to learn from my mistakes.  I started off on this journey with writing, as a fan.  I was a fan of other people’s works.  I knew how good it felt to read stories, and I loved when people would enjoy my music.  It made me want to transition from music and expand to fiction.  If others enjoyed my songs, then why not let them enjoy the multitude of ideas I have in my head?

So my journey began.  I looked into independent publishing for my first project FLESH AND LEFTOVERS and have stayed with it ever since.  Would I like a major publishing deal?  Of course.  What passionate author wouldn’t, but I believe that things happen for a reason.  The aforementioned novel began as a joke of sorts.  I love zombies.  I love the many takes on zombie lore.  What I wanted to do was to combine them all, and that is why I went with multiple stories tying into one overall plot.

Cover art for "Blood The Second Helping" The novel

Cover art for “Blood The Second Helping” The novel

It wasn’t until halfway through the book that I decided to go on with vampires for the following novel.  I decided right away that I didn’t want to be stereotyped into writing one thing.  I didn’t want to be the “zombie guy”.  It’s been done too many times.  I knew that I could write sequels and make each one focus on something different, while continuing with the characters I love and keeping it something fresh and new.

Upon finishing the first novel, I began immediately writing BLOOD, THE SECOND HELPING, and mapping out more in the series.  My mind was set.  Then the reviews started coming in… There were an unbelieveable amount of outstanding reviews and feedback.  It became overwhelming to the point of people wanting more zombie stories.  I was adamant (still am) about doing more of the same in book form.  This is where sCrypt comics came in with my brother.  I could do spinoffs and appease that audience, while not

Cover art for "Bones At Breakfast" The novel

Cover art for “Bones At Breakfast” The novel

placing myself in a repetetive place.

Of course this is where my learning came in as well.  I wrote book one hastily, and while it is certainly one of the best zombie novels out there (yes I’m biased haha), it has its flaws.  Storywise it is fine, but I had no editor, so there are mistakes I made in writing.  Plus, there is only so much that can be done creatively with a zombie story.  I had a few messages telling me they found typos or that they didn’t like what I did in certain parts.  The cool thing about the latter is that as you write a series, you can correct or attone for certain things.  (I do want the audience to be happy too).  The down side is that I now have six novels completed in the series, and while each one works as a stand alone device, my weakest book is the one that cover art for "Souls 4 Supper"starts it all.

So what is a writer to do?  Well, I realized this by the time I was finished writing BONES AT BREAKFAST (my werewolf novel).  Then I decided, that if I write the series in trilogy format, I could have people really start with book 4 and then maybe want to go back and read the earlier novels.

Is this a good strategy?  Part of me believes so.  It makes marketing both easier and more complicated.  As a series it becomes easier to sell the installments, but as a whole, the impression of amateur writing in my earlier installments compared to that of what I’d consider professional writing now can be difficult.

Cover art for "Devil's Dessert"While writing novels has taken up much of my free time I have become limited to the amount of time I have to actually read.  Now I’m hooked on books on tape of unabridged works.  I tend to lean towards my influences on how to properly execute delivery of a concept.  Anyone who has read my books can see the historical and mythical influences.  I’m fascinated with legends and the unexplained.  Writing allows me to curb this need to know by explaining it fictitiously.  Point in case… the author, Bob Mayer, takes an amazing approach to explaining where things such as the Pyramids of Egypt came from and so much more.  He’s been one of my influences who I feel has taught me (just through reading) what it truly takes to be a successful author.

Everyone mentions Dean Koontz or Stephen King, and while they are also major influences of mine, I tend to think they are oft referenced by too many authors.  It is almost Cliche’.  While I learn from these great people, I also learn from writers who I find are downright appaling.  I could say names, but I won’t because I don’t condone trash talking, but there are Cover art for "Techno Feast" writers who have had their books made into films, and honestly it seems as if a ninth grader has written their stories.  I don’t care if a novel is geared towards a younger audience, literature shouldn’t be “dumbed down.”

In the end I strive for a few things.  1) I want to constantly evolve, and for my audience to see that.  It’s not a pride thing.  I do it for me sure, but I want to have people come back for more.  If I don’t write on a level that I’m proud with, then how could the audience be entertained?  2) Helping others achieve their goals is important as well.  Look, I may not be a NY Times bestseller (here’s to hoping one day), but I can guide others who are starting out or looking to learn.  Artists, musicians, writers… I’ve been all three, and want to share my mistakes as to help others get past them.  3) I have a desire to entertain.  While music will always do it for me, I don’t think it works on the same level.  I have what I like to call “voices” in my head.  These are my ideas.  I literally have a dozen more books mapped out in my head.  I just need the time to write, while juggling a full time job.  4) and finally, what this article is all about…. Learning.  As much as my “pride” may be hurt by negative comments or reviews, I realize that there is no such thing as negative feedback.  I’m a person who likes to take the negativity and turn it into something positive.  So criticism is a wonderful thing, and having positive feedback with it is equal.  They are the yin and yang of writing.

What are your thoughts?  Are you a writer?  If so, how do you approach your ideas?  Please comment below.  I’d love to hear how you work and learn.  As always, I’d also like to throw a thank you out to my brother, Dan Pipito, for the artwork on the covers, as well as my wife, Roberta, who not only feeds my mind with amazing food, but also tells me when my ideas are good or bad.

 


Inspirational Reads

The folks over at 5 Reads Blog gave me a guest post on my 5 most inspirational reads as an author.  Click on over to check out what my mentions are and how they’ve shaped me into the writer I am.  http://5readsblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/rick-pipito/