"We created this blog as a hub; the nerve center of our collective social-networking, homepages, books and distribution.

This is a place for our unyielding, genuine selves to pool together as many badass books and as much information about as many rock-star writers as we can.

We've done this to give readers, fans, players, and watchers of badass entertainment the badass material they need...

We do not fit the stereotypical author profiles.
We like heavy metal, epic movies, video games, and high octane, in-your-face, full throttle materials.
Many of us have a dark mindset, others are just wild and scattered, and some may or may not need an attitude adjustment.
But that's just the way we like it.
Raw, real, harsh to some, but an epic home for our ilk.

Some of us you may not have discovered until the moment you set your digital foot into this space, but we have bound together a group to prove that quality writing isn't restricted to genre-favoritism and big-publishing.

Our philosophy:
If you like a Thriller written by a badass, chances are, if that badass wrote a Fantasy, you'd like it too. So, if another badass with similar a mindset wrote a fantasy, we believe you may just enjoy that too.

Genre is now irrelevant in this new publishing world.

Instead, we take a good long look at the people behind these stories, and suggest you read them based on who they are; not what genre they write.
Because a badass book is a badass book no matter where it lands on the shelves!
This is because their authors share badass interests and have similar mindsets...Mindsets like your own!

Many of us aren't even "just writers," but artists in a variety of forms.

Here, you fans of the badass slice of life we all thoroughly enjoy, will have a source for new and unexpected originality, and a powerful, ever-expanding collection of soulful stories by badass people.

But more than just books; you will find more about the artists themselves than you might find in other blogs.
We give you their social media, home pages, distribution and the like, so you can connect with some of the most accessible, badass writers out there."
~M. P. and all the Badasses

...Welcome to our second home...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Badass Interview - Author on Author

Here at Badass Authors, part of our M.O. is taking things into new lights and approaching from different angles. Today, we have interview #2 in the Author-on-Author style interviews we conduct to give you a better picture of who we are and what it is we do.
Badass Author, C.A. Sanders and Badass Author & Admin, M.P. Ness square off in the battle of the century...
Ok, well, not exactly. But we do have a chat.
Let's get this rollin.

C.A.SANDERS: Ok, I'm here with Mike, otherwise known as M.P. Ness; head poomba and fearless leader of Badass Authors. Mike, you wanna tell us a little bit out your background? How did you get into writing?

M.P. NESS: I actually got into it immediately after high-school, when I realized H.S. taught nothing about life after. I had a cousin who was going to write a book, and my late father was told often that he should be a writer. So, when looking at life, asking myself what I should do with it...I thought of what I enjoyed most; reading fantasy. If others could write it, so could I. And so I wrote a single scene in 2000, and never stopped.

~I would be curious to find out what brought you to the literature world in turn? As I'm sure the readers would be as well, as I honestly think you've got better chops than I.

C.A. SANDERS: I was reading before I was three, and by the time I was six, I was already writing short scenes on my gramma's old typewriter. By third grade I was already writing short stories. I honed the skill in college and grad school, and I've been writing professionally (in one form or another) since right out of college. It's what I was born to do, and no other path ever entered my mind.

M.P. NESS: Wow, started young, didn't you?

C.A. SANDERS: Sometimes, you just KNOW.

M.P. NESS: I began reading epic fantasy in the 4th grade, myself. And I thought I'd started young.

C.A. SANDERS: You youngins don't know how easy you got it. When I first started, the Internet barely existed. You had to send stuff into magazines by snail mail, and they almost never took new writers. It was like bashing your head against the wall.

M.P. NESS: Still is in some cases, C.A.. 

C.A. SANDERS: This is true, though the rise of self-publishing has evened the field.

M.P. NESS: But, you've managed to get into a small house. Can you help us see what that effort looks like?

C.A. SANDERS: I use a website called Duotrope.com to find homes for my stories. It's a search engine that helps you find the magazines and publishers best suited to a particular story. It led SONG OF SIMON to Damnation Books, and they took it. I was shocked, since I had about a dozen agents pass on it.

M.P. NESS: Have you bagged an agent since? Or have you not needed to try that now that you've joined a house?

C.A. SANDERS: I think I'm going to look for an agent for THE WATCHMAGE OF OLD NEW YORK. Contracts are a complicated thing, and since the serial is already hosted on JukePop Serials, any future contract will be more complicated.

~E.L.F started at JukePop as well. What drew you to them?

M.P. NESS: I was just going to mention JukePop!
~An accident brought me there. I was cruising creative writing type classified ads, found their beta website ad, a call to writers of genre fiction, and ignored it; considering there's lots of shady stuff out there. Can't be too careful with your creative endeavors. But then I was cruising visual art classified ads, looking for work to do as a painter, and saw someone who'd got accepted to JukePop looking for cover art work.
So, I changed my tune, submitted, got accepted in the "Original" JukePop line-up, and had phenomenal success with E.L.F. As you know, #1 for two months (jan-feb 2013).

~As for Watchmage. Love it. Just gotta say. It's why I think your chops are better than my own. That story is fantastic. What inspired Watchmage? I know you have an affinity for old N.Y.

C.A. SANDERS: I was born in The Bronx, in an area called Co-Op City. I moved out to the near suburbs when I was 10, but I still consider it my home. After SONG OF SIMON, i was looking to decompress with a light short story. I had this idea of elves immigrating to New York for a while, and the wizard parts grew out of that. What was meant to be 2000-3000 words became a massive 16,000 word monstrosity. JukePop was the only site that was hosting such huge stories. The rest is history.

~I know some about E.L.F. but would you like to summarize for the audience?

M.P. NESS: Describing E.L.F. in a word? Morals. Morals. Morals.
E.L.F. is a fairy tale. Of course, it’s a modern, harsher, pull-no-punches, play-no-patty-cake fairy tale. Not at all like traditional "G" rated fairy tales.
Reviews have indicated it is unlike any "elf" or "fae" story out there, which is about the best response I could hope to hear. It's epic in scope, visual, and I'd just be happy if people saw it like I do; a film for the mind's eye.
I'm very interested to hear what people take out of it as for those morals, which are what make it a fairy tale. Some of the responses have been pretty cool to hear. But I won't blatantly TELL you what they are, as I enjoy the subjective responses to the work. Part of what I do in stories is work to have things suffer the interpretation bug.
To summarize the story and plot is a challenge I've always struggled with.
But in very short - Elves exist in our world, and they've deemed us, standing upon our own terminus, heedless of ruin. They've decided to eradicate the plight our presence imposes upon the nature world. But, the scope leaves that raw concept in the dust by the time said dust settles.
It gets pretty massive.

C.A. SANDERS: I was impressed by the detail in it. How much of that did you draw for real life experiences?

M.P. NESS: Actually a fair bit.
When I was a kid, growing up in Western Washington, full of forests and playing D&D and Magic the Gathering, Elves were my imaginary WORLD.
So, given much of my experience in Washington and games has come to play a part in the real-world-building aspect of E.L.F.
Moreover, I did some considerable research on the real-world E.L.F. (Earth Liberation Front), the eco-terrorist organization based here in the Pacific Northwest. So much of that also plays a part in the mechanics of the tale, though I omitted a lot of the research's actual facts and persons of interest to keep away from infringing on individuals and keep it more on the fictional side; away from getting bogged down in the documentary-like details.

C.A. SANDERS: What do you think the Earth Liberation Front would think of the fictional E.L.F.?

M.P. NESS: Oh, I've wondered if they'd be pissed, to demean their efforts, and portray their wrongdoings as wrongs; for naturally, they think they're doing the right thing.
Problem is, they're misguided.
They have a great idea, and their motive is pure. But they're execution is terrible.
~If they burn down a housing complex to rebuke mankind's encroachment on nature...those houses are just going to be rebuilt, and that will only cost the companies more money, as well as cost the environment more of the precious trees they're hoping to save.

C.A. SANDERS: Then again, your protagonist is a member, and I would consider her heroic, especially compared to the elves.

M.P. NESS: Yes, this is because, in my mind, nothing is ever as it seems; not even ourselves. Shannon Hunter in E.L.F. is a good person. She wants to do the right thing, and that's based on her perspective. But then she realizes the errors of her ways, and must cope with them.

C.A. SANDERS: It's natural to make mistakes. It's part of the Heroic Journey, and she certainly goes through that.

M.P. NESS: Whereas, the Elves are kinda the villains, in this story.
I always hated stories where the ultimate creatures (in my eyes) were portrayed as bad.
But, with E.L.F., while the Elves are villains of a sort, because they're against mankind(and the human protagonist), they're also still good people with good intentions. They're just as misguided as the human E.L.F.
They're looking out for the world itself. But, as with nature, good intentions oft pave the way to hell, as they say.
Its really one of the morals I can reveal from my perspective.
The world isn't a black-n-white world. It’s filled with gray areas. Everyone is a villain, and everyone is a hero.

C.A. SANDERS: Words of wisdom. I tried to do the same thing in SONG OF SIMON. There aren't just anti-heroes in fiction anymore, there's anti-villains and anti-everything in between.

M.P. NESS: I personally LOVE the anti-hero archetype. Many of my stories are consumed by that type of protagonist.
~Tell me a little about SONG OF SIMON that I can't get from the blurbs, would you?
Start with Simon.

C.A. SANDERS: SONG OF SIMON is my attempt to give a big fuck you to the fantasy genre. Too often in fantasy, the writer gets off on writing these epic, gory battle scenes that run like a D&D game (we were talking about this earlier). I happen to like those, but too often the writers forget about the emotional impact of violence.
Violence is traumatic; it fucks you in the head. I wanted to write a story that showed the effects of violence on someone. Every character is affected by and reacts to war differently. Some rise above, some are emotionally destroyed by it. I felt that using a character from "our world" and putting him in a fantasy world would be the best catalyst.
Beyond that, I just wanted to write a good coming of age/heroic journey, with some "romp ‘em stomp ‘em" action.
Simon is a teenage from Westchester, NY, a suburb of the city. An incident with bullies leads to what appears to be his death.
Instead, he is pulled into a fantasy world, where their God has been imprisoned by the priesthood.
Simon is shy, he's been abused both at home and in school. But he has a quick wit and a talent for music. It would be simplistic to say that he represents me, but we share many traits. I've been playing guitar for about 30 years now; i also took some shit from bullies in school.
I think that Simon is someone that's easy to relate to.
He's timid, he's nervous around girls, he tries to make people laugh so they accept him.

M.P. NESS: Holy, brilliant idea batman!
I like that angle. I tend to gloss over the effect of trauma in heroic characters in heroic settings, as its often common knowledge what you'd expect someone to go through facing massive adversity.
But, like you with Simon, I did focus on Shannon Hunter in E.L.F. having repeated failures in the face of absolute, inexorable monstrosity despite being a strong female protagonist.
Taking a cue from Lovecraft and the unbelievable power of true horror and evil...even the most well-prepared person, even the most hardened of heroes, WILL collapse when confronted by such wickedness, if it was utterly, unquestionably real.
I once had a near-heart attack because I saw something disturbing that I wasn't prepared to see. My adrenaline shot through the roof in the blink of an eye. I just couldn't handle witnessing it. I'm not going to say what it is. But that's the notion I'm talking about.
Even someone completely desensitized by modern media would fail in terror if confronted by a monstrosity from beyond our realm.

~ back on the JukePop note, I find it gunny how JukePop is a culture of competition...and yet, where You and I were enemies at one time, challenging one another, fighting for the same goals; now I consider us good friends. That may be a topic to discuss for another time; competition breeding alliance and equality and friendship.
But back to point.
Where you dealt with bullies, I personally escaped that stuff. Most liked me, or didn't know what to make of me enough to leave me alone, really. I had a...persona that deterred assaults in any form. I went through those years like a ghost. So, I write a fair number of aloof hero-types. The guy who fits everywhere and nowhere. He may be part of a group, but he's his own group at the same time. He may have allegiances, but he isn't bound to them. I hope to really exhibit this with my future release, Pheinixfall.

C.A. SANDERS: I mentioned guitar for me, what are your hobbies?

M.P. NESS: I used to play bass guitfiddletar when I was in my teens and early twenties. But it fell by the wayside when I got into art and writing. I was just better at them, and more interested in them. I used to sing choir in youth, and I am told I have a good speaking voice. However, I fear I'm slightly tone deaf after all the heavy loud musical years.
Now, my hobbies are my professional pursuits, Art and Writing. Its the best of both worlds right now...self-entertainment and self-professionalism. I'm living the fuckin’ dream. haha.
I also used to play video games, but again, they took too much time away from the big two.

C.A. SANDERS:  Its always awesome when your job and hobbies mesh like that.

M.P. NESS: Right?! We’ve got it made! If people only buy our books. :)

C.A. SANDERS: Hahaha...Sooooooon!

M.P. NESS: So, what are you waiting for? Go buy SONG OF SIMON!

C.A. SANDERS: And go buy White Leaves ~ ELF #1!  Buy ‘em both! Buy all of our books! Buy buy buy!!! …sorry, I got a little carried away there.

M.P. NESS: Its okay. We ALL get carried away from time to time.

Thanks for reading!

You can follow the works of C.A. Sanders @ Home

Purchase C.A. Sanders' "Song of Simon" via: Damnation Books

And follow him @ Facebook Fan Page
To catch C.A's FREE serial fiction, "The Watchmage of Old New York" visit:
Juke Pop Serials 

And Vote for it to keep him going!

You can follow M.P. Ness @ Facebook and Twitter 

And purchase book one of the E.L.F. saga "White Leaves" basically everywhere books are sold!
Amazon Kindle

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