Interview with Mike Klumpp

Interview with Mike Klumpp

by Joy Anne Shearer SPMG author Mike Klumpp recently published I Am: The Miracle, an insightful memoir of his experiences in Africa and how his faith grew during his time there. I Am: The Miracle  is an inspiring read and a great holiday gift. Now you can give twice: for each book purchased, $1 will be donated to victims of Typhoon Haiyan! Get your copies here: http://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Miracle-Mike-Klumpp/dp/1938444043 . Mr. Klumpp was kind enough to answer some questions for us so we could peek at his writing life, marketing style, and more. Besides writing, what other work do you enjoy? I have worked for two reasons in my life; one, because it allowed me to write, two, because I was working at the very thing I loved. Currently, I work teaching in a school in Hong Kong, I pastor a small church, I work with the homeless in the Philippines and Kenya and I train in the martial arts. I enjoy helping people; seeing a smile where there was no hope. What type of music do you listen to? I listen to an eclectic folk rock jazz blues and classical mix. Paul Thorn, Ray Willie Hubbard, and Matt the Electrician are at the top of the list the last few weeks. Before that Arvo Part, Bootsie Collins, and Mike Doughty were at the top of the pack. What is your favorite motivational phrase? Esse quam videri. To be rather than to seem. What advice would you give aspiring writers? Keep writing – strive for honesty and transparency – write about what you know – trust your instincts but be willing to live with the results – learn to be a team player – never cease to get educated Who is your favorite author and why? Wow – this is tough. I would have to say William Kotzwinkle. His books are profoundly funny and yet rip the cover off of modern culture. Next would be Kerouac for his honesty or Nicolas Gogol for his beautiful exposing of human nature in Dead Souls. Name a book, or a few books that have had an influence on you and your writing. Dharma Bums by Kerouac, Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut, Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Love in the Ruins, Walker Percy and The Fan Man by William Kotzwinkle, These books are among the most influential in my writing though in a memoir like I Am:The Miracle it may be less evident than in my fiction. Why do you write? I write because I always have. When I was young I was told by my parents to be seen and not heard. I would sit alone in a room in our home filled...

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Holiday Press

Holiday Press

by Merethe Walther With Thanksgiving over and Christmas around the corner, it’s about time to start looking for some great finds for the book lovers in your life! Spectacle has you covered! Whether you’re shopping for children, or those who are just young at heart, we have an assortment of titles guaranteed to please even the pickiest of readers. Love both engineering and the arts, but have trouble reconciling the differences between your right and left brain? Worry no more! Poetry for Engineers by Clayton Grow is sure to please the prose lovers and the analytical thinkers in your family. DX/DY curves don’t much like math. fortunately, there’s a little thing called INFINITY the magic ingredient in a castle full of secret serums how do we measure a dimension when the ruler keeps slipping? Get your copy of Poetry for Engineers on Amazon! Only $4.99 this holiday season! What do tea, spirits, and the gods have in common? They’re all things that get stirred up in Honey, a novel by Alison Lyke. When an angry ghost shows up in Honey’s shop and demands she stop brewing tea, Honey has no idea what the cataclysmic fallout will be. She stumbles on a journey through surreal planes where the very forces of the universe seem inclined to catapult the unfortunate barista right into a battle of the gods, and Honey just may rethink her day job. As she was drifting to sleep in a blur of intoxication and leftover musical vibes, Honey swore she felt a soft shift of pressure on the mattress near her feet. At first she thought it was Seth getting into bed, but then she remembered that he was gone. She opened her eyes and saw Jenny from the club sitting on the end of her bed. Slowly, it dawned on Honey that this wasn’t Jenny at all—this woman was older and more arrogant looking. Her lacy white dress looked like a cross between a wedding dress and a nightgown. Her black hair was wet and stringy. “Are you Jenny, the Maxwell’s daughter?” Honey asked in dreamy confusion. “No,” the woman said. “My name is Pearl.” “How nice,” Honey drawled, trying to be flippant and sarcastic with the dream figure, but suddenly, she felt weepy as an overwhelming sadness crept into her. Looking closer, Honey noticed that there was something wrong with the edges of Pearl’s body. She seemed to shift in space, even though she was sitting still. The shifting made her translucent, and Honey thought she may be looking at a spirit or a ghost. Get caught up in your own adventure with Honey on Amazon! Halloween is over, but that doesn’t mean that it’s...

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Coming Soon from SPMG: Kidtropolis by Ray Brown

Coming Soon from SPMG: Kidtropolis by Ray Brown

by Anna Tellman Stumpf Kidtropolis is found in The Book of the Imagination. This book is provided to a young Mya as she struggles with some of life’s bigger issues. One way to help a young person is to give them answers, but Mya’s grandfather hands her a book. A book with empty pages. Mya’s book takes her to Kidtropolis. Kidtropolis is a magical crazy mixed up world where kids run everything. The mayor is a kid, the policeman is a kid, and so is the fireman. Mya finds hysterical kids with fun lives, a rambunctious kid named Farticus, and even a very unhappy kid, Louie. Among the kids are helpful storks, forests and a village made out of poo. While these may not sound like keys to answers life’s big questions for a kid, they provide an entertaining backdrop to finding those answers through imagination. Read more by clicking here. Mya’s book takes her to Kidtropolis, which is a magical, crazy, mixed-up world where kids run everything. The mayor is a kid, the policeman is a kid, and so is the fireman. Mya finds hysterical kids with fun lives, a rambunctious kid named Farticus and even a very unhappy kid; Louie. Among the kids are helpful storks, forests and a village made out of poo. While these may not sound like keys to answers life’s big questions for a kid, they provide an entertaining backdrop to finding those answers through imagination. What a child will find in Kidtropolis is their ability to dream and to use those dreams to help shape their reality. Children will relate to Mya because she is confused by life and what better way to be confused than to step into an imaginary world that makes absolutely no sense? Kidtropolis is where Mya learns to dream and to believe. “Well, I’d say to try to only think on those things that matter. But don’t just think about it, believe it. That’s why we can do what we want, be whoever we want. It’s not that we think we can’t; it’s because we believe we can.” Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Monsters

Monsters

Monsters by Ashleigh Galvin  This time of year, there is only one thing on people’s minds. Vampires, witches, and werewolves (oh my). These three ‘monsters’ occupy a large portion of fiction. Most bookshops I’ve been to even have their own vampire section. The epic plight for ‘top spot’ between creatures of the night has raged on for centuries, constantly vied for by shape-changing hairy men and those who have waited too long to see the dentist. They’ve become tropes and, like all tropes, people will tire of them when the next big thing sweeps through. What will the next big monster be? This article touches on some of the lesser-known horrors and will help you begin to create your own nightmare. Let’s get straight into it. The big blue deep is often associated with all manner of horrific and in some cases, quite unique monsters. A large factor behind these scary depths is the fear of the unknown. To this day, we are discovering new animals with amazing abilities (search pistol shrimp and you’ll know what I mean). This is simply due to the size of the oceans. They’re huge and if you’ve seen a whale, you know these vast bodies of water can house huge creatures as well. Due to the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, there is one sea monster getting a surge in popularity: the humble Kraken. Heralding from Norse mythology, Kraken are squids of tremendous proportions said to be able to tear ships apart and eat them. Remember, monsters don’t have to be huge to be scary—small lakes also house those who wish to feast. The Kelpie are great examples of this. Celtic mythology tells of a water horse that transforms into a beautiful woman that lures men to their watery grave. The Kelpie also entice children to ride them. Once the child is on its back, its skin would turn sticky and the poor child is unable to escape as the Kelpie returns back to the bottom of its lake. If you thought staying out of the water would keep you safe, I’m afraid you’re dead wrong. Terra firma is also home to a host of horrors waiting to seal your fate. Let’s start with a creature you may recognize, the Dullahan. The name may be unfamiliar, but it is a classic specter of death. The Dullahan is a headless horse rider that carries it’s own rotting head under arm. Doors and gates open by themselves when a Dullahan approaches. Another great evil to stay away from is the often overlooked Mummy. Losing popularly slightly, the Mummy was once among the most feared monsters. While Mummies were written about as early...

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Halloween Reads

Halloween Reads

Something for all the Ghouls and Boils… by Merethe Walther There is little more compelling in horror stories than the unexplained and hidden things that go ‘bump’ in the night. And why not? Fear is a riveting source of entertainment. Why else would we sit, huddled in the dark around a television set, eyes glued to the screen, waiting for the monster or killer to jump out and scare not only the characters in the story, but also us, our pulses jumping just a *little* bit faster? For those of you who like the thrill of being terrified, the elation of a ghost story in the cemetery, and the fright of hearing noises when you know no one is there—we’ve got a little something for you. If you’re looking for a spine-tingling good tale, why settle just for one? Disturbing holds a collection of seven heart-hammering stories of the terrifying and the unknown. Disturbing is a compilation of the frightening; a tome of relentless, hauntingly creepy stories that leave goosebumps and uncertainty in their wake. Take a step outside of the ordinary and into a world where anything is possible, and everything is… Disturbing. “Truce.” She carefully unhooked her arm and reached up to clasp his hand. With help, Annie climbed up, swung her leg over the railing, and dropped to her feet on the other side. An odd, shivery sensation passed between them, leaving her a little disoriented when she eventually slipped her hand from his. His remained outstretched for a moment, suspended in the space where their palms had touched, until slowly, he curled his fingers closed and let his arm drop. His gaze never wavered from hers. Annie shifted away from his scrutiny and looked around. The dark expanse of bring yawned into the night from either side, with a single, sickly streetlamp to light the way. Something didn’t seem quite right, though she couldn’t explain why. “So,” Annie hugged her arms to her chest to ward off the sudden chill, “What are you doing out here? Really.” Her words frosted the evening air with little clouds of white. “Oh, you know,” he said. “Stalking.” “Yeah, right,” she looked at him, incredulous. “And girls on bridges just so happen to be on the venue tonight, huh?” He shrugged. “Those are the best kind, aren’t they?” Maybe you’re hungry for something a bit more gruesome than some ghost stories? Perhaps you’ve got a craving for something more to whet your horror appetite? How about a good old-fashioned, nail-biting, clawing, terror-inducing zombie attack to sate that craving? Welcome to a world in which the zombie apocalypse really happened, and see it from the view of those who kill...

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The Darkest Age Interview

The Darkest Age Interview

by Judy Spring Spectacle Publishing Media Group has recently published a horror role-playing game, The Darkest Age, collaboratively written by Eric Staggs, Rob Gee, and Julia Gengenbach. Based on the d20 OGL system, The Darkest Age is set in 14th century Europe where an unusual strain of the bubonic plague creates a world full of zombies, corruption, fear, and paranoia. Eric Staggs has answered a few development questions to give us insight to the frightening experience that is DA. Where did The Darkest Age originate? What was the motivation behind the role-playing game? There have been quite a few attempts in the tabletop gaming world to capitalize on the zombie craze. I wrote an elaborate research paper on the sub-genre of zombies when I was doing my undergrad. work and since then have spent much time considering this phenomenon. I wanted to try to explain all the inconsistencies, to create a viable game world that would allow players to explore a dangerous environment, yet without the futility of a true “extinction level event.” How did the project mature or expand over time? The initial idea was intense—profound almost. What happens when the Black Plague, which killed ¾ of Europe, also turns the infected into zombies? We had to determine how the world would react, how would a medieval/pre-Renaissance society survive? Could they at all? We had to do some detailed anthropological work, as well as extrapolate concepts from other writers, like Max Brooks (Zombie Survival Guide and WWZ). What aspects of DA are different from other RPGs? First, DA has unique character classes. Most character classes are based on a cultural concept—the Skald for example. We worked hard to find a way to logically create a measure of gender equality in this historical setting. The Midwife and Mystic are great examples. The mystic is a historical figure not often mentioned in church history—a heretic or prophet [with powers] a church official thought they might use to their own advantage. It’s pretty shady stuff, but imagine if you were accused of witchcraft, yet offered this chance to have the ear of a bishop? The midwife has evolved into something much more powerful than a nurse or medicine woman. They’ve become an organized power group that literally has control over the future of humanity. Further, The Darkest Age is a role-playing game. The precarious grip of this civilization requires players to be clever, and to think. The typical, “I draw my sword and attack,” scenario simply won’t work. What aspects were important to keep the same, and why? Well, it’s still a d20 based game system. This is important because anyone who’s played Dungeons and Dragons 3.0 or above will know...

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