Wendy Jones – Scottish Detective Novelist and Bookaholic

Wendy JonesWendy Jones is the author of the Detective Inspector Shona McLeod Mysteries. Her passions are God, reading, technology, blogging and social media. She lives in Dundee, Scotland and kindly decided to have a seat in my virtual interviewee chair. You can follow her on Google+, the blogs Bookaholic or Learning from Life . She also has her own book review site Book Review and Writing Blog Wendy,

Vago: Let’s start with the easy stuff ….you were in the British Military! Wow. Which novel about the British Military is your favorite? Why?

Wendy: I was in the British Military both the Army and The Royal Navy for 23 years, although I should probably point out I was a nurse. It is really difficult to choose my favourite book about the Military but if I was to choose a series I would have to say the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell. These are so well written and Cornwell has an eye for detail and a writing style which brings both the story and the characters alive. The books take you back to a time when men were men and women were… Well I won’t go into what the camp followers did but sufficient to say they dispensed general comforts to the troops. They show the Army as they were then.

The Naval equivalent of these is the Jack Aubrey novels by Patrick O’Brian. Also a sweeping series which takes you back to life in the Royal Navy warts and all. These are epic adventures which are well worth reading.
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Cuneiform and Midwest Corn – Meet Wynne Linden

Wyne LindenWynne Linden describes herself better than I could in a few words.  She says: “Loud, Curious, Excitable! I am definitely me!”

This mom of two is funny, supportive, and knows how to read and write Cuneiform! She loves music and has lived all over the US and Turkey. She is an SEO expert and I highly recommend you follow her on Google+, Twitter (@wynneweb), and Facebook.

You may also want to keep an eye on her reviews on Yelp! Her personal website is Wynne Web Adventures Wynne was kind enough to sit with me for one of my virtual interviews.

Vago: Let’s start with the easy stuff ….what’s the most profound thing you’ve ever read in Cuneiform? :)

Wynne: A list of all items owned by a wealthy landowner.

Vago: For those who don’t know…can you explain what Sumeria was and why it matters? You list your job as learning cuneiform. Wow. Tell us about that. What do you do? How long have you done it? How did you get into it?

Going for an AwardWynne: Sumeria was a city born in the cradle of civilization.One of the most notable finds in archaeology between the Tigris and Euphrates (at least when I was a kid in the late 60’s and 70’s) were the tablets of clay with a type of writing called cuneiform. The scribes of Sumeria used a stylus with a pointy end to press indentations in the clay to create symbols that represented words and numbers. The need for written language in this civilization probably came from the stabilization of humanity (not so much hunter and gathers and more farmers and craftsmen, etc.) They probably wanted a way to keep records of all that they owned, traded and grew. Really not much exciting here. I simply have always wanted to be an archaeologist and to discover amazing lost civilizations from a time when we believed did not have records or organization. Prior to hearing about Sumeria I was completely enamored of ancient Egypt. I cannot explain my fascination. My best guess is that I’ve never felt like I belonged “here” and perhaps I missed my true timeline.

Instead of doing that – when I grew up – I joined the Air Force. I joined because I grew up in a small mid-western, Bible-beltish, rural community, the 4th (and youngest) child of deaf parents (who were unable to obtain jobs above minimum wage – so we were quite, quite poor), a female with all the usual social stigmas. No one ever encouraged me to go to college (nor did I believe I could) and all I could hope for was a successful marriage. I was however, unwilling to be average and predictable. So I joined the Air Force with the hopes of seeing the world, paying my dues (patriotism) and learning things I could never hope to learn about in my hometown. Continue reading “Cuneiform and Midwest Corn – Meet Wynne Linden”

Elektra Kosh Edwards – Short Arse British Crossing Guard

elektra kosh edwardsYou may have never heard of her before now, but Elektra Kosh Edwards has been keeping British children safe for years and not only that, she is one of the funniest artsists you are likely to meet.

Over the past months she has been telling at least one joke a day at the Google + Headquarters of the Micro Victory Army where she holds the rank of Commander.

If you follow her on Google+ your stream will be filled with happy “How Ya Doins?”, jokes, and funny memes like “Seems Legit”. While she is shy about sharing it, Elektra Kosh is an artist and a self described hetero-aesexual. In other words, she’s not interested in you, so back off bub – but if you want to swap jokes or stories …she’s your gal.

I was fortunate to be able to virtually sit down with the facebook hating Kosh and she gracefully agreed to share some of her art with us too.

Vago: Let’s start with the easy stuff ….you’re a short arse crossing guard? Come on tell about that…

Nokturnus final photo nokturnus.jpgKosh: Over here in the UK, we have what we call ‘Lollipop ladies/men’ who in more posh terms are called School Crossing Patrol. This involves said poor blighter, to cross children and parents over a busy road or street- depending on where your post is. We are dressed in florescent colours so not to be missed by drivers and we also have a prop- a six foot long sign with STOP on the top and Children on the bottom separated by a black line on the blade- this looks like a giant lollipop and that’s where the name came from. The short-arse bit? Well I’m 5 ft tall and that is rather short, apparently.

Vago: You’re art is very fantasy/gaming inspired…can you share a bit about how you got into it, who your influences are, and why you do it?

WIP Elektra Kosh EdwardsKosh: I’ve always wanted to draw things- even from an early age as my mother taught me to draw my very first swan when I was four. Over the years I was inspired by films like’ Jason and the Argonauts’ and ‘Clash of the Titans’ and started wanting to draw monsters- I also loved Greek Mythology at that time and drawn my own version of a Hydra- which looked more like a dragon with several heads and I started to love drawing dragons since watching  a movie called DragonSlayer- it was duff but I liked Vermithrax Perjorative so I wanted to put more detail into my scaly creations.

When I reached 14 my tastes changed and thought to create my own characters since there were comics and animations featuring men and boys as heroes, I wanted a female to be the heroine- no love interests just action/sci-fi fantasy with some magic thrown in. It was then I created Elektrakosh and Hirato whom have evolved over the many years I have written/ drawn them. Since then, I have saw a few Japanese animations and had a go at trying to incorporate that style into my work. I figured to just go along with my own as it seems more personal- even if it is deemed messy.

Vago: Lately you’ve been telling some hilarious jokes and sharing them on G+. What’s your FAVORITE joke?

Kosh: You asked for it!

In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear conflicts, the Montana Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and keep alert for bears while in the field.

“We advise that outdoorsmen wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears that aren’t expecting them. We also advise outdoorsmen to carry pepper spray with them in case of an encounter with a bear. It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear poop. Black bear poop is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear poop has little bells in it and smells like pepper.”

Vago: You mention in your G+ profile that you write stories. What do you write about?

KoshKosh: Those pictures you have looked at- are all characters and creatures in the story I’m writing. Basically it starts with a girl who had travelled to another place without realising it and setting an ancient demon free from his subterranean prison. She fled for her life and hid for months but was finally confronted by the demon  in a building he chased her outside and used a confuse flare so he may kill her at his leisure luckily for her, she found a sharp piece of metal and severed one of his hands bringing him to  from his rage.

After seeing this girl and showing her a neat trick of regenerating his severed hand, he realised that she was his waker and wanted to know her better. After introductions and Elektrakosh giving him a name, he erased that portion of time from her memory and shipped her to a work colony. After that things go awry and she ends up mortally wounded. She wakes up in a hospital to find she was healed and that she had a blood transfusion. That’s when her powers manifest with  sometimes hilarious scenarios.

Vago: Are you a religious or spiritual person? What role does God play in your artwork and your writing?

Kosh: I’m not a religious person nor a spiritual one. I rather wished I was more spiritual in a sense. My teacher is life and life can give you so much wisdom. My work -my writing especially has gods in it but I don’t think that is relevant to this question.

Vago: What about influencers in life? Who has had the most impact on your life? Why?

Elektra Kosh EdwardsKosh: My mother had the most impact because of what she and I had to go through when I was young. She was the one who kept me at her side and did not give up on me. Our past had never been so forgiving or kind but that has forged me into who I am. I’m forever grateful for my mother. I just hope she realises it.

Vago: What book do you suggest everyone read? Why? What film do you suggest everyone watch? Why?

Kosh: My favorite book of all time so far is Satan’s Snowdrop by Guy N. Smith. I like the older style of writing plus references of the horror people had to endure in that stilted house that is featured in it. Nazi phantom, horrific killings torture  and nightmares. Nice combo.

The Machinist is my favorite movie – psychological thriller about an  insomniac factory lathe operator. When he’s involved in an accident at work, his co-workers turn against him. He starts to find strange notes in his apartment and see people that apparently aren’t there crazy stuff that can confuse you if you look away for a moment.

Vago: What is your next project?

Kosh: I have nothing planned yet  as I have writer’s block and need some inspiration for my art. Hopefully it will come to me soon- until then, I shall continue to tell everyone on G+  my terrible jokes. That’ll keep me busy.

Vago: What’s your favorite number Elektra? Why?

Kosh: My favorite number is 18. Always been drawn to it. Maybe it was because I had to travel on the Number 18 bus for about three years.

Vago: Please make a prediction of something interesting that will happen in 2013. (You aren’t accountable if it does or doesn’t happen unless you do it) —

Kosh: The next sensation for this year will be something to do with animals- a movie or video. It will inspire people to echo it and flood the ‘net with their variations.

Survivors not Victims. Get the fuck up and do something!

In 1996 I was working in a Northwest bar frequented by militia members, Vietnam vets, and bikers. This was what one of them had to say. I found it interesting enough to write it down. Now I’m sharing it.  Profound and powerful stuff.

~Vago Damitio

The idea is absurd that domestic violence is man beats up woman, that doesn’t teach anybody anything and if you can’t define domestic violence than nobody can deal with it.

Its about power and control. It’s not about sex and neither is rape and neither is incest, predators are all survivors of domestic violence and incest themselves. The self medication from alcohol and drugs is a result of not being able to deal with whats going on.

People learn to sedate them selves cause they never learn to deal with it cause they don’t know what it is. It’s people. Not man or woman or children verbally sexually physicly biologicly socially abuse each other any way they can and if we keep portraying it as man beats up woman no ones gonna know how to deal with it.

PTSD is the same kind of stress.Survivors of floods, disasters, fires, lightning strikes…if you feel like your life is threatened or could end, the end result is post traumatic stress disorder and theres many people that have that severe and their social skills don’t allow them to participate.

So those are the kinds of people we try to teach new skills….don’t lie, don’t cheat, here help me pick up some garbage and some appliances off the ground, and dont tell anybody you did it, then you can feel good about doing something. You helped out you know and you’re doing something for the environment. if you start with self esteem, you gain discipline, cause self esteem is pride.

Discipline can come from fear or pride but leadership, the ability to guide and direct somebody is the best kind of discipline because it comes from within, you know what I mean. Esprit de Corps. And thats what we provide you know, we provide a gold arrow, a symbol of hope, we provide a motto..forward which is optimistic and its red for the blood spilled in combat, and then, we provide a acreed, Anyone, Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere we can.

Can, we never say can’t.

And the problem with all of these dysfunctional people is they’re isolated. If you can get them out and make them feel good, they’re on the way up. You don’t have to teach them anything spiritually, they already believe in something you just ask them what do you believe in and whatever they tell you you use that as a spiritual foundation and build upon what they already believe in, you don’t have to change what they believe in.

Another Madman Writer: Anthony Mathenia

A couple years ago, my novel Douchebags, Fags, and Hags was in a competition with a bunch of other novelist’s novels. It looked like the winner was going to be me or this fruity guy who was writing a Jehovah’s Witness coming of age story called Happiness and How to Find It. (At the bottom of the interview, you’ll find the links to find it.. :)

anthonymatheniaIt wasn’t what I’d expected as I read his work. It was raw, gritty, sexy, and not at all like something I would expect from a Jehovah’s Witness bible beater more like what I would expect from an alcoholic wearing a wife beater. That’s because the guy who wrote it had been expelled, excommunicated, and banished from his church. Why? Because he’s awesome. The Witnesses couldn’t handle that much awesome. From that competition (which both of us lost to a 15 year old with a million facebook friends and fans) was born a friendship.

You may know Anthony Mathenia from his incredibly entertaining family travel writing on Vagobond.com – Syncopated Family Travel now is your chance to get to know him better through some no holds barred questions from me. Get ready to be shocked.


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