Truth

Sunday, December 14, 2014

24 Days of Christmas Author Showcase: Brae Wyckoff

Today marks day #14 in the As You Wish Tours Author Showcase! 

JOIN the EVENT: 24 Days of Christmas Author Showcase (click this link) 

Like the AS YOU WISH TOURS facebook page: As You Wish Tours 

So, what should we talk about? Oh, I guess about my books but that is kind of boring since that is what we always do. I want to tell you about my 4 year old grandson named Avery instead. He has a wonderful imagination which I help him explore by telling him fun stories that pop into my head. He knows that I write fantasy books that revolve around adventure but he has to wait until he is old enough to absorb the content.

What does a 4-year old do in this situation? Well, he looks into my eyes and says plainly, "Grandpa, will you write me a book?"

How can anyone refuse that! I said, "Yes, of course I can." Well, that is what set in motion my first children's book of about 46 pages. I remember his face lighting up with joy when I told him that I finished writing his book and now it was time to read it to him at bedtime. I peeked periodically as I delivered each line and watched his imagination go wild because this story had no pictures for him to follow along with...it was just the story, but what mattered most to him was it was HIS story. Someone took the time for him and that made it all that more special...for him and me.

Like my other books, The Orb of Truth and The Dragon God, I took the same characters and placed them into a child friendly format with no violence or weapons. I took the main characters including the loveable red bearded dwarf named Dulgin and came up with a story that delivers a message. The book is titled: The Unfriendly Dragon.

There are big plans for a release party coming soon and a big reveal of the cover which is something you don't want to miss...why? Well, because I was able to get an artist from Disney, yes, Disney, to illustrate the entire book. How is this possible? Well, I went on a missions trip this year to the Philippines and low and behold one of the team members that joined us was none other than Seth Weinberg, a twenty-year veteran with Disney and Hasbro. He is a man of God and now a dear friend of mine. His wife, Sandy, is a gem and together they are dynamic.

When I wrote this book I knew it had to be published not just for my grandson but for all children. Bringing messages of hope and helping kids understand their destiny burns bright within me because that is something I longed for as a child to receive. Getting the right artist mattered and God literally gifted me with Seth. You won't believe what he is doing with the art and I'm excited to reveal it to everyone in the coming weeks so stay tuned on facebook and also follow my blog.

My wonderful Social Media Manager, Aileen Aroma, will be handling the big reveal. You can contact her on facebook. If you are an author then please contact her to help you market your works...she is amazing!
Aileen Aroma (click here to contact her)

The Orb of Truth is currently on sale in December for only $0.99. The Orb of Truth ebook

The Dragon God is the sequel for $2.99 in ebook. The Dragon God ebook



To win a free e-book copy of The Orb of Truth, please leave a comment in the comments section below by telling me your greatest desire in your life to accomplish.  Winner will be chosen by randomizer.

Love you all!

Check out this special giveaway from As You Wish Tours!  From December 1st to the 24th, As You Wish Tours will be spotlighting different authors and their books.  There are so many gifts and prizes in this giveaway, it will make your head spin!  And then there's the big giveaway (insert drum roll here) ...a Kindle! Enter below to have a chance to win the Kindle. Don't miss a day of this spectacular author showcase!

 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Exodus: Gods and Kings - I see an EXODUS of people leaving the theater!

Hollywood fails again...why? Because they think by changing what the Bible says to meet their own storytelling ability will make it better. I'm not opposed to artistic license but please make it a good movie. Exodus will cause nothing but an exodus from the theater.

I give it one star out of ten...horrible. I had high hopes for Ridley Scott, the director of Gladiator and other epic movies like Blade Runner. He has the track record of epic movies but this one falls way short. If he had just focused on the story of the Bible then I think it would have done well.

Spoiler Alert!!! (don't read any further if you don't want to read spoilers)


Let me break this down for you.
Moses doesn't carry a staff but instead gives it to his son before going back to Egypt.
There was a burning bush but then a strange child which supposedly represented God shows up to speak instead of the bush. The child shows up throughout the story and comes across as a spoiled, bratty kid that wants to flex his godlike abilities on the egyptians.
Moses never goes to Ramses to say "Let my people go." God never directs Moses to do much of anything actually which was quite strange and comical at times.
There was no staff thrown down to eat the snakes, no Moses telling Ramses of the plagues coming, no Moses fleeing to the desert.
Speaking of the desert...wasn't Moses supposed to be hiding out there for 40 years...well the movie shortens that and has him go back after 9 years.
Parting the Red Sea was a epic failure as well. Moses was just crying on the shore until all of the sudden the tide starts to decrease lower and lower. Moses suddenly tells the 400,000 (which should have been a million) people to walk across with him...to believe in him...which is funny since he didn't do anything actually.
Moses never carried his staff to the water and caused the water to part...What was even funnier was Moses and Ramses meet together in the middle while the wave of water is going to crush them...well, you can guess it...they BOTH survived the oncoming wave of water which really matched the epic failure of the story that Ridley Scott directed...uggg!
Oh, and they kind of left out the pillar of fire to slow the army down so instead they have the chariots going along a narrow ridge and the ridge gives way causing a few hundred deaths. I would have liked to have seen fire instead of an avalanche but who am I...

Who am I? Well, I'm the one not going to pay to go see another Ridley Scott movie nor go see any Hollywood movie depicting Biblical stories. It wasn't even entertaining. Where are the Christian directors in Hollywood who will step forward and make something amazing for all to see? We need some go getters in the industry to turn the tables and make an epic movie of biblical proportions.

Okay, enough said, but if you must see the movie can I highly suggest you wait for video? If you can wait for video then I would suggest waiting for it to be free on Netflix...save your money and go see something amazing like The Hobbit or Star Wars. (They changed the book of the Hobbit but at least it is entertaining).

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Guest Blog by Author D.M. Stoddard



Today I have a special guest on my The Orb of Truth blog page and I met this amazing person in Reno, NV at a large book signing event that I was invited to attend and speak at. I read his book The Legend of Jerrod where I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Here is the link to his book for purchase before I let him take over the page: The Legend of Jerrod Amazon ebook for $2.99

Ladies and Gentlemen...I introduce you all to the amazing and gifted Author---- D.M. Stoddard!

Thank you Brae---It is an honor to be here to say hi to all your readers!

One of my favorite articles on the fantasy genre is 10 Writing “Rules” We Wish More Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Would Break by Charlie Jane Anders (available at io9.com ). I embrace omniscient narration and descriptions of creative fantasy worlds. Fantasy readers want “to see it”! I also like to character hop within reason. I want to let the readers know what’s going on and how the characters feel about the circumstances. What do Jerrod, Amanda, Drin, and Fraum think when they first see a dragon cub on Nathanial’s shoulder, its tail wrapping under his arm and around his chest?

Fantasy is a mental release from the stresses of the mundane world, as many fantasy groups call reality. Like Tinkerbelle’s pixie dust it can carry us across the world and through the stars to wonderful adventures like Brae’s story of Bridazak. I have been trying to finish TheOrb of Truth while I finish my manuscript of Amanda’s Quest. Hopefully both these goals will be completed soon.

I think that generally fantasy authors love to hear reader’s feedback. We are not always certain what the readers want. I remember reading about a beat made between Steven King and George Lucas, who reported felt at one time, that he (Lucas) had the lesser story. Let us know.

The Kingdom of Torrence Series

The first book, The Legend of Jerrod, was my debut that was release in January 2013 with a revision in 2014.  Jerrod finds himself in love with the mysterious Amanda, who is dress in black leather, and the druid princess, Rhonda. Seeking a lost treasure with a wizard, sage, a knight want-to-be, and an Elvin archer, they fight to survive. Unbeknownst to the group, treachery grows as they race to reach their objective. Readers watch the greenish-blue dragon cub, Rok-lin, grow to become an adult dragon.

“Move over, J.R.R. Tolkien. There ‘s a new fantasy author that’s arrived on the sword and sorcery scene…”  Bruce Barring, managing director of the San Francisco Book Festival. http://www.kingdomoftorrence.com/files/Download/2013_SF_Book_Faire_Critique_-_The_Legend_of_Jerrod.pdf


The sequel, Amanda’s Quest, will be released in 2015. Amanda goes on to fulfill a blood-debt she owes in payment for priests saving Rhonda’s life, but like life, you can’t always do things alone. The book explores tension between the followers of Olympus and a new religion, the Order of One. There are not only dragon battles, but a great war between several kingdoms, including the Fendür who are the ancient enemy of the forest.


About the author…

My bio is at the bottom of my web page, so what don’t you know about me? I love swords and archery. I am an outdoorsman, of sorts. I have spent my entire life serving the people, first in the military and then as an employee for the State of Nevada. I have studied several forms of martial arts which I incorporate into some of my fight scenes. If I had the ability, I would study swords, practice martial arts, and write all day.

Brae, thank you for the opportunity to meet your readers.

Thank you for being on the "show"...what a great blog post. I'm looking forward to your new book coming out. I also have a new book coming out early 2015 so it will indeed be a good year for us both. 

Blessings upon you my friend!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Star Wars Episode VII Teaser Trailer is finally here

Well, the much anticipated JJ Abrams movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, episode VII of the epic series has finally come out in the form a short teaser trailer. Enjoy and I will see you in line December 18th, 2015 when it comes out in theaters.

May the HOLY force be with you!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Brae's Open Vision

Yes, the title of this blog post is exactly what it is. I had a vision within my mind that was so vivid that I couldn't write fast enough to get it all down. It happened during a worship service at Beach Chapel Church in Encinitas, CA on 7-2-14. My wife was painting which you can see in the picture.
Here is what I saw in my vision:


Brae’s Vision 7-2-14 at Beach Chapel Church in Encinitas during Worship
I am running in a race and along the way I see other runners. It is not a competitive race, but instead a race of endurance, a race toward a common goal, and runners are encouraging each other to press on.

I suddenly saw what looked to be dead people on the side and as I went further I realized they were once runners. They were each marked with words such as

FEAR, HOPELESSNESS, DEPRESSION, IMMORALITY, ADDICTION, SELFISH, HATE, HEARTLESS, UNFORGIVENESS, PRIDE

I noticed angels by each body, kneeling and pleading for their soul, calling out to what appeared to be a lifeless person, but there was hope in their voices.

I continued to run and even among the tragedy I felt encouraged and soon realized an angel was running behind me with his hand on my back.

“What about the others,” I called back.

There was no response. My inner being wanted to stop and help. Maybe they weren’t dead.

Suddenly, a runner in front of me began to slow down.

“What’s wrong? Keep going,” I said.

“I’m tired, so tired,” he said weakly.

I locked into his arm with mine and said, “Let’s do this together.”

There was a surge of energy that propelled the runner. I was filled with encouragement and I took a chance and stopped by a fallen man with FEAR on top of him.

“Do not fear,” I whispered, but there was no movement. I knelt down and laid my hands upon his chest and said with more conviction, “Do not fear.”

There was sudden movement and I repeated the phrase. The man’s eyes opened and he sat upright and looked around. He gazed at his surroundings to get his bearings and FEAR began to creep back in.

I helped him up, but he was visibly shaken and uncertain.

“Come on. Let’s go,” I said.

“I can’t. I can’t. You don’t understand.”

“Why can’t you?”

“I just can’t. I’m afraid of failing.”

“Me too, but moving forward in our fear will turn to courage but we must move forward.”

“But how?”

“I will show you. You can do it.”

We both walked together and then our pace quickened and soon we were jogging and then running. A smile was on his face as we went further and further. FEAR lifted away altogether.

“Keep going,” I said as I slowed.

“What are you doing?” he asked while running forward.

“I helped you and want to help others.”

I stopped and watched him press further on. I looked down at someone incapacitated by DEPRESSION. I knelt down and said while looking at the praying angel, “It is time. Don’t lose faith.”

There was no movement, but my confidence did not waiver as I had seen this before.

I said with authority, “I believe in you.”

The man’s eyes opened and he looked at me. I smiled, but he instantly looked away. I turned his face back toward me with love in my eyes and said, “I believe in you. You matter. You have a purpose in life.”

“Who are you?” he responded.

“I’m someone that is on a journey just like you, but if I travel alone on this path then I should just lie down and give up to. I can’t do this without you.”

“Why me?”

“Why not you? Now get up and dust yourself off. I can show you the way.”

A new voice said behind them, “And so can I.”

I turned and there was the runner I had helped before. He was healthy and whole. He came back to help. We surrounded the fallen man, lifted him up, and locked arms with him together.

Our walk soon turned to a jog and then we were running. The three of us banded together and stopped to help others and soon we had a union of people beyond measure. We could not count the massive amount of runners. It was a sea of people and these waters, to continue the analogy, could not be stopped. These waters seeped into the darkest of areas, bringing life, bringing love, and raising those fallen back to life, back to their destiny.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Importance of a GOOD Book Trailer

I have watched some good book trailers and I have watched some very bad ones...I mean really bad and I'm sure you have to.

According to Dennis Loy Johnson, “The book trailer is a commercial which is not really a new art form . . . they need to be short and sweet.”

My suggestion is to have a trailer no longer than 2 minutes and if it is that long then it needs to be stellar...good visuals and awesome music.

Music is key for drawing people in as it correlates to the visual effects that you have in it.

I personally called in a favor to a "techy-friend" and this is what was produced...an epic book trailer.
 As it stands now over 1,000 views and growing...not bad for an up and coming author.

Notice that my genre is epic fantasy, so pulling off a good trailer is difficult, especially when most try to bring in pictures or live action, which comes out extremely "cheesey".

I met an author recently at the Great American Author Expo in Reno, Nevada. I was invited to attend and had my own booth. Vincent M. Wales was across from me and we were able to share ideas and eventually he showed me his book trailer. I was impressed. It is live action and although it runs over 3 minutes it is well worth the view. It is called Reckoning and is a speculative fiction book about superheroes. Enjoy.
RECKONING Trailer

Not bad, right?

Okay, authors especially like to ask, "Do book trailers work? Do they help you sell books?"
The answer is, "YES!" (if they are done right- meaning, they need to be professional and not a picture slide show that someone does at home that you normally reserve for your family to watch on the big screen)

Just like producing your book, you need it done PROFESSIONALLY...now, don't go out and spend thousands of dollars on a book trailer, that is absurd. Search around, ask questions in facebook forums or other social media sites, and ultimately do your research.

Here is my 2nd book trailer done for my sequel. It is called The Dragon God and is only 30 seconds.
video

I use my book trailers at events and especially for speaking engagements. It is a great intro to show right before I go on stage. Why? Because it shows professionalism which in turns means that people will trust me and if they trust me then they will invest in my work.

My advice to up and coming authors...be professional and bring excellence into all that you do. Our readers deserve it but more importantly you deserve it so don't undersell yourself by being crude and crass.

Be blessed and happy writing!

The Wisdom of Stephen King for Writers




1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

2. Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”

3. Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend.”

4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”

5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”

6. The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

8. Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

9. Turn off the TV. “TV—while working out or anywhere else—really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs.”

10. You have three months. “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.”

11. There are two secrets to success. “I stayed physical healthy, and I stayed married.”

12. Write one word at a time. “Whether it’s a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ the work is always accomplished one word at a time.”

13. Eliminate distraction. “There’s should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with.”

14. Stick to your own style. “One cannot imitate a writer’s approach to a particular genre, no matter how simple what that writer is doing may seem.”

15. Dig. “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

16. Take a break. “You’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.”

17. Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings. “(kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.)”

18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story. “Remember that word back. That’s where the research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it.”

19. You become a writer simply by reading and writing. “You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”

20. Writing is about getting happy. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”