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20 Years… A reflection…

As this title suggests, “20 Years, A Reflection”.

This is an opportunity for you to share with me in this journey that has brought me this far, and as you read further, I will be giving readers the opportunity to purchase a Commemorative Autographed E-Copy of Rise Of The Darkness.

Although I tend not to blog much these days, there is good reason for that, which I will go into later.

It was 20 years ago when I first started writing. It was July 1989, and I was in Winchelsea Victoria at the time, living on a small piggery, located 5 or so miles out of town.

Winchelsea was – and still is – a small town in rural Victoria, Australia. More or less the type of town where there was 1 bank, 1 pub, about half a dozen shops, and a post office which doubled as the local grocery/convenience store. Back then, the population boasted in the hundreds, and life was very quiet, which seemed to suit me just fine.

I remember I was living with my sister, her partner (Scott), and another guy (Leroy, who we called LaRoy for some bizarre reason), in a 3 bedroom cottage farm house, which was situated some 100 yards or so off the main road. If you stood on the front porch, you could barely make out the highway past the 5 foot high grass 馃檪

That old weatherboard house, the town, and the surroundings, fueled my creativity. In many scenes of Rise Of The Darkness, there is a definate parrallel between Winch and Winmont… After all, Alex’s adventure had to have some element of truth. Even if that truth was based on a small town 馃檪

Our mornings were usually met with the overwhelming stench of pig waste, as the piggery was pretty much situated right behind the cottage.

I found that the quiet country life quickly became a starting point for my writing. Apart from the definate comparisons to several scenes in Rise Of The Darkness – Such as the clearing, the hospital, and alot of other locations – I did write several other short stories in the old house.

If I wasn’t going to Geelong or Torquay, I would often sit at the kitchen table with a notepad and pen and write, write and write some more. My days were often like that. I would start my day with coffee and cigarette, sit at the table and pen away like there was no tomorrow. There were times when I would be writing away, and my sister would be in the kitchen making Coconut Ice or baking bread, which was cool as I got to try the food first 馃檪

At that table, in that house, outside of that town, in the middle of nowhere, Shack of Evil was born. A 9 page story which eventually became Rise Of The Darkness.

But, writing stories did not stop with Shack of Evil. I wanted to branch into other genres also, such as Sci-fi, drama, and childrens stories. After SOE came – I believe – a short story titled Fangs.

Fangs was the story about a Yeti that is brought into captivity by hunters, and how they sadistically experimented on the animal. Although it was written in a sense of “horror”, there was also a side of the creature that I tried to make feel human compassion. The ending scene of Fangs was touching, as the beast was killed. The story left a tear in my eye, so I soon followed up with the sequel, Fangs Lives.

Unfortunately – or fortunately – Fangs Lives never got past the first 5 pages. The idea may have been good, but the idea was scraped.

Then along came the sci-fi short stories. The Battle For Time, Time Master, and some others that are less then memorable. Pretty much those stories were stories that are best left in the crypt – for eternity 馃檪

During that time, I also wrote a children’s story titled Fun In Tailytown. I wont go into details about the storyline, 聽as that is just one of the stories which will be re-written in time to come.

In the mass of stories, was also a christian horror, titled Revelation, taken from my understanding of the Book Of Revelation. That story ended up being about 15 pages. Yet another that would stay in the crypt of my mind – for now.

There was also another title in development – Infestation – which was the story of a paranormal investigator, who for some reason is sent to investigate the infestation of 25 foot long cockroaches in New York City underground. Cockroaches that have a hunger for human flesh and give birth to live young. Now, just why I had a paranormal investigator as the main hero, I will never know. But in 1989, I thought I had a great idea. But after the wave of Hollywood films of similar scripts, I think I will leave that in the crypt also, unless I re-work the entire plot.

There was also a story about love gone wrong. Well, not exactly, but it was the story of forbidden love; As one man fell in love with a girl, and he knew that the love he had for her could never be reciprocated. The idea was taboo and will probably remain just another that will remain in the dark.

In that time of my life, for the months I lived in Winch, I managed to write 26 short stories. Now, although some will be re-written (majorly) and released either as novels or as part of my Short Story Anthology, there will obviously be some that will remain dead and never will resurface. The basis of some of those stories may have merit in their own way, but for me, I feel that it is best that they lay where they are. In the crypt of my mind.

I first started seeking representation for a publisher in 1989 also. I remember I saw an ad for a publishing firm in NYC. They were called Vantage Press. A definate vanity publisher, which, in 1989, agreed that they would publish my anthology for the nice sum of $10,000USD. Quite a price to pay just to be published! And I must say, that I am grateful that I did not have $10,000USD at that time, as it would have been a huge mistake on my part to have published stories that were very VERY amatuer.

Yes, I admit it. My writing style was very amatuer and even I did not like my own work. Why? Because I knew I could do better. I knew that those stories were nothing what they could and should have been. So it was a good thing that I never went ahead with Vantage Press.

But, in 1989, I was 20 years old, and knew narda about the writing world. I was nieve and an “easy target” for vanity publishers. All I had was a dream and delusions of grandier. 馃檪

After I left Winch, I went back to Brisbane, and for the next 5 years my writing sat in a dark vault of my mind, waiting to be released.

In 1994, I found a reason to write again. 聽I was sharing a house with some college kids, and one person I shared the house with – J.B. – I found I had a connection to. She had a creative mind also, and although her passion was singing, we did bounce around many ideas for stories in the wee hours of the night. I had only known her for about 16 days, but for some bizarre reason it seemed that we knew each other for so much longer. Maybe she was a kindred spirit at the time.

She inspired me to write again. So I wrote the basis for what will be soon Bloodline Of Darkness.

But soon after the series of events in that house, I found myself living with my father again, and again I threw myself into writing. As I did 5 years before, I would start my day with coffee and cigarettes and write as fast as I could, while listening to music that was being played on Brisbane radio station Triple M or B105.

1994 I rewrote Shack Of Evil into what was back then The Chosen One. Of course, I did have so many titles in mind, which I have mentioned in previous posts.

After I had finished what was a 2 part, 300 page book, I decided to ask for a review and critique from family members. Of course, the reception I received less than favorable.

I remember my father said, “Oh you want to be a writer so you can big-note yourself!”

My aunt said, “Your writing is repetative and is that of a child. I could write better.”

Okay, that was crushing, and was enough for me to stop living in a fairytale for a time.

So began a new journey. That in marketing. That journey has spanned the last 15 years, but I am not here to talk about that 馃檪

Many years passed. 13 to be exact. 13 long years of not wanting to write, but always, the niggling feeling – the biting – still haunted me. Taunted me. Niggling me to start writing again. But I chose not to. Partly because I didn’t want to, and partly because I never found the time.

But I am glad I did make time.

In 1997 I was living in Auckland, New Zealand when I started a search for a publisher. I sent out a mass of email enquiries, and 50-odd rejection slips later I got an offer from a POD publisher in Baltimore MD. That day changed my life.

Which brings me to today.

Although The Chosen was first published in 2008, it was since reworked and was re-released in 2009, which includes the some of the original characters that were chopped from the first release. The title was also revamped to Rise Of The Darkness; The first book in a trilogy.

For those who may not know the Synopsis:

From the time that the Darkness ruled the ancient tribes, The Elders prophesied of a time when a descendant of The Gods would arise. Tonight, in the town of Winmont, an Ancient Legion has been awoken to finish what they started many millennia ago. Now, the fate of humanity is in the hands of One, but can he overcome the forces that dare to challenge the bloodline of the Gods?Alex Manning is The One. Born of a heritage that was once a powerful civilization before it was destroyed by the Giants that once walked among men. Now tonight, in a small town, after thousands of years of being bound in the Dark Realm, the Ancient Darkness has been unleashed, and they set about to finish what was begun. Only Alex can stop the Dark Forces from destroying this town, but will he fulfil his own tests and sacrifice his life for those would seek to betray him?

I recount the years that have passed from the time I began writing. The journey has been a long and often difficult road. Especially from the time I started in 1989 to 1997. A period of 18 years it took for me to become a published author. Which is a milestone in itself.

Once I became published, the world seemed to change. Or the way I see it has changed. Not that I am going to “big-note” myself as one would claim as that is not who I am. Truth be told I rather sit infront of my PC and write the next novel than doing book-signings and all the rest of the public spotlight stuff. But, being a writer, one has to deal with that.

Along this journey, I have made some friends, and lost some friends, but that’s life. Some things I have written have been blasted and that is okay too. I express my opinion and sometimes those opinions do not meet favorable feedback.

One thing though, I am thankful for the readers and those who have supported me during this journey.

Which brings me to today. And the reason why I have not blogged much.

As some will have noticed, this site has been modified a little, and comment moderation has been changed so that a person needs to register in order to leave feedback. This was done because in recent weeks there had been a flood of messages on this site, to the point where I had to delete all several hundred “pending messages” several times a day. I am not joking. I had 200 to 300 spam messages a day waiting moderation. So to combat the spam I changed the settings where if you want to leave feedback on a post, you have to register.

Now to explain what is happening. I have not been on here as much as I would want to. mainly because of other projects that are in the pipeline.

If you have been following me on Twitter, Facebook or Tagged, you will notice that these last few weeks I have been busy filming on location in Samara, Russia.

There are 2 projects in development right now here. One is the video titled, “C. A. Milson’s World – Samara.” 聽The video we are producing right now is a tour of Samara. From the Metallurg to the Embankment, and some interviews with local celebrities. Everything that you could want to know about travelling in Samara, taken from a tourists’ POV.

The video, when complete, will be available for distribution online and will hopefully be on the likes of Travel Channel Network.

Although there has been a short posted online titled “Out-takes“, that is exactly what that clip is. Out takes and goofs while filming, and is not a representation of what the finished version will look like. The finished version will run between 45 to 60 minutes when complete, and will give any traveller an insight into Samara; From the customs of Russian people, the architecture, local shopping, places to see, how to get around, and some local legends, some of which are listed on my blogsite.

We have discovered that filming is not as easy as we would hope, so this video will take some time to complete. But we hope to wrap up production by August.

After the travel video is a wrap, we will be moving on to our new projects:

No Ordinary Girl – Set the the music of Caribbean Blue, the film is about a young woman who lives an ordinary life, but at the same time she has a creative world going on inside her. The film mixes documentary-like images with creative imagery, as the film reflects on an ordinary day in the life of a not so ordinary girl. This will be available for viewing on YouTube and AtomFilms.

Darkness Unearthed – What if the world you knew was nothing more than a shadow of realism? Based on The Chosen Series, the new screenplay by C.A. Milson will be released in 2010.

There are also other stories and books in the pipeline, which you can read about here.

As part of my 20 year journey, I am giving readers the opportunity to purchase the聽Commemorative Autographed E-Copy of Rise Of The Darkness. Rise Of The Darkness is a 302 page supernatural/horror novel that will appeal to anyone who likes the works of Stephen King or H.P.Lovecraft.

The Commemorative Autographed E-Copy of Rise Of The Darkness is available in PDF format for the special discount price of $3.00USD.

To order the Commemorative E-Book, you can make payment using Paypal to: leadsnz@yahoo.com, and dont forget to add your Email address.

I wanted to thank you all for taking the time to reading this long entry.

Stay Scared!

C.A.Milson

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Book Synopsis

The Chosen is the story of Alex Manning, who is “The One”, well actually Alex Manning is a nice guy, with anxiety attacks who has visions. He dosent know he is “The One” until he gets wrapped up in the investigation of a series of hauntings in a small town. Then he is drawn neck deep into betrayal, battling demons, and falling in love again tossed in for good measure.

Full synopsis: From the time that the Darkness ruled the ages, The Ancient Ones prophesied of a time when the last descendant of The Gods would arise. Now, in the town of Winmont, the Ancient Legion has awoken to finish what was started many millennia ago. Now, the fate of humanity is in the hands of One, but can he overcome the forces that dare to challenge the bloodline of the Gods?

Buy Your Copy Below:
Amazon.com
B&N.com
www.waterstones.com

Bio:

C.A.Milson has written 26 short stories, 2 novels and is a guest writer for SchoolEnglish Magazine.

My writings have been described as: 鈥淎 must read for Stephen King fans鈥, and 鈥淐.A. has shown he has what it takes to stand among the horror peers.鈥

Reviews:

BITTEN BY BOOKS: Review by Cassie. 5 Tombstone Rating
The Chosen is a well written, extremely enjoyable horror novel by C.A. Milson. The character development and story flow are well thought out and full of great details. As you read you can easily visualize the events that are taking place. This is one of those books that you can read over and over again and still get something new out of it each time. In fact I have read it twice already and caught some great parts I had forgotten about the first time.

Review by Jacquie ~ Calliope鈥檚 Coffee House: Visions, illusions, supernatural visitations, demons, angels鈥 if that is what you want to read about, then this debut novel by C. A. Milson is packed to the page edges with them.

Alex Manning is seeing things, particularly malevolent things; the human race is under threat from demons who will enslave us all. There is something special about Alex and unfortunately the evil entities know it and decide to take steps. 鈥淭he Chosen鈥 is the story of his search for a way to fight for mankind鈥檚 deliverance from evil, and to keep from getting killed in the process.

The book is classed as supernatural/horror and it lives up to its genre. Initially I thought 鈥淚鈥檝e been here before鈥, it was familiar and gave me that feeling of 鈥淚 know what鈥檚 going to happen next鈥.

In my opinion the plot has elements of 鈥淭he Second Coming鈥 and 鈥淭he Book of Revelations鈥. That and the author鈥檚 style put me in mind of some early Graham Masterton and Guy N. Smith novels. There is blood, possession, demons, sex, and of course there is also the one who must put his life and soul on the line. A couple of chapters in though and the familiarity receded. The story took on a life of its own, and carried me right along with it. I was as unsure as Alex whether the visions were visitations or illusions or precognition. I was kept on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next and if anyone was going to come out of this unscathed.

Amberkatze鈥檚 Book Review: Seventy percent horror and thirty percent paranormal The Chosen will appeal to Stephen King fans who love a little bit more supernatural. Well written this novel is very dark, deep and even disgusting at times but full of details to keep the storyline on track and worth reading.

If you like your books full of evil, heavy with horror and a powerful plot then this is definitely worth your time. A little to hard for my personal tastes but I still enjoyed the book for what it is.

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Facebook Vs MySpace Vs……

Okay this is the second version of my last post.. Unfortunately I had pressed the wrong button while I was typing and I lost all the stuff I had written (Doesn’t that just suck!!)

Okay this blog is well overdue, and although there are many posts on the web about this, I though I would add my two cents worth about the whole Facebok Vs MySpace Vs…

Lets start with the most common user interfaces:

MySpace: I discovered MS about a year or so ago, and at the time it seemed like a novelty, especially when I was receiving “add requests” from bands and rockstars, it sure can make a person feel like they are wanted on the Community. Dont get me wrong, I thought the idea of having every band requesting to add me was the best thing since sliced toast, but that novelty quickly wore off when I discovered how tedious using MySpace was.

MySpace is anything but “user-friendly” for anyone. Lets start with the Myspace鈥檚 admin screen. It is so full of useless bullshit it鈥檚 hard to comprehend. You have to scroll down to see if you have any new friend requests or messages. Then you have the “Comment Requests” from every new Rapper wanna-be who got some kind of deal from some fly-by-night record producer just because he has a rap song about life-in-da-hood-with-da-hoes. Seriously, who cares! I didn’t like rap music when Bobby Brown was popular, I didn’t like it when Vanilla-Ice sang “ice-Ice-baby“, and I still DON’T like it! And although I am willing to support your latest one hit wonder, please try and refrain from plastering a poster on my wall that is larger than my computer monitor! (You know the ones… Some rapper plasters a poster on your wall so large that you have to adjust your IE window to 25% just to see it!)

And who can forget those bulletins you see. Okay, I admit, I am guilty of reading alot of them as they can be great for a laugh, especially from the likes of some air-head blonde bimbo with 60DD silicon boobs who just has to post on the bulletin board”Add me and my sexie friends“, (she obviously has difficulty in spelling!), and who can possibly pass up the chance of getting “60,000 requests in your inbox in 48 hours“! Although I would be thrilled at the thought of having 60,000 people requesting to add me, I have enough trouble keeping up with the 20 or so requests I get a day from people I have no clue who they are, apart from the obvious fact that they are either rappers or goth wanna-be’s! Seriously, I dont think my inbox can handle 60,000 requests. Does that mean that I am going to be bombarded with 60,000 Poster Comments from every rapper on the planet, and 60,000 Notifications for Apps that I have no interest in? As much fun as it would be to sort through 60,000 Emails, I will pass on that idea thank you very much!

Not that I intend to slam anyone on MS, as I do have a small (note: SMALL) net of friends I chat to once or twice a year!

And who can forget those “Technical Errors!” You know the ones I mean here. 98% of the time when you are replying to an email, putting a post on a group, or writing your latest piece of work which is, without a doubt, the greatest thing in literature history, you get this error message “Sorry! an unexpected error has occured. This error has been forwarded to MySpace’s technical group” (Notice that grammer is NOT something the MySpace idiots are good at either!). Then you click back a page in the hope that somehow, your masterpiece has not been lost, but alas, the best thing you have ever written is gone… Doesn’t that just frustrate you! So then you have to spend the next hour re-writing your masterpiece, only to discover that all those fantastical cliches are now not as funny as you first thought! 馃檪

And who can pass up those Captchas! Have you noticed that if you happen to try and add someone, put a post on a group, start a group, or pretty much do anything, you have to type in the Captcha code. Now, although I admit it is good to verify you are the owner of your account, but for the love of … , surely once you have verified you own your own account you DONT NEED to re-verify everytime you add someone!! It is annoying enough having to go through the hassle of typing in their code, not once, but at least three times on the one person/post, as MS doesn’t seem to recognize that their code and the code you have entered is the same!

Apart from the bulletin boards which can be a good way to waste time, MySpace is a definate waste of My Space.

Facebook: Fb is quickly becoming a juggernaut of the VR world. With fun apps and easier to use interface, it will not be long until Fb outshines MS. However… As easy to use as the new version is, Fb does still have alot of drawbacks. I came across Fb some time ago, when they were still running the old version, and of course, to view anyones profile, you had to wait at least an hour for their profile to load (That is, if they had every app available plastered all over their profile). But, then came “The New Facebook“. Okay, I admit, this version is easier to use, and is not cluttered with the crap that you see on MS.

As much as I do hate to disappoint you all, I am not interested in being a ninja, werewolf, vampire, zombie, pirate or anything else that will otherwise clutter my profile with useless crap that I will look at once and never look at again. And for the record, I am stunned that you think my photos are worth over $1Million, and thrilled to see that some chic is worth $500Trillion, but seriously, can I use that cash in the real world? If I thought for a second that I could use that money to buy real things, I wouldn’t be on here right now. I’d be sitting on a 46ft Bertram Yacht, sipping champagne and contemplating buying Hawaii! But that is not going to happen anytime soon, unless i can redeem those “Fb Dollars” for something tangible like gold or cash money..

Which brings me to my next point. Friend Me. It is wonderful to see that Jane wants to add me to her friend list, and since we haven’t spoken a word to each other since Second grade, you would think she would drop me an email asking how I am and what I have been doing? But does she? Heck No! She just “Friends” me because I happen to be on her “Friends you may know” list, and she thinks it would be a cool idea to collect my profile (Hmmm.. Maybe she can trade up my profile for Pogs or some kind of Japanese Anime collectable) :-). Then there are the other ones. Kirk. Kirk decides that he would “Friend” me since we haven’t seen each other since Junior High. Of course, we didn’t talk much then either. The only talking he seemed to do was with his fist.. Thanks Kirk but I will pass on that request. And as jealous as I would be to see my old high school crush, Ms Sterling, living the high life, I will pass on that one too!

With the downside to Fb, there are some cool features on the new Fb. You can easily block unwanted apps from showing up on your notifications. Another downside to Fb is what they call “overuse”. Okay, according to logic you can only email or add so many people a day. But, for a writer, the best way to connect to people is by getting the word out about their latest feature. But, Fb seems to see this as abuse, and tends to remove someone’s profile without hesitation.

And what’s with those groups? Seriously, there are more people interested in joining groups named “Ban the new Facebook“, “One Million against the new Facebook” and “Join this group because I’m a bimbo“, than what there are in artists. Groups like that have no real purpose other than to waste everyone’s time. If some put just as much energy into groups for those of us who are in the Arts, then people like me would not see 1 book sale for a month (YES. ONE). I have seen some othe authors have their account removed, and some who have given up the whole Fb thing because of the real lack of interest in books. It is sad to see that people would rather spend their time joining a group for Bimbos and adding Apps than connecting with real authors. That is why alot of us are on here. To connect.

Okay, that is my rant on Fb. Not to offend the friends I do have on Fb as I do like to chat with you all, and I have been able to meet lot of wonderful people. But still, one does have to wonder if Fb is going the same way as MS.

Amazon.com: Amazon.com is, without a doubt, the most popular place to buy books. The new Amazon Connect program aims to increase the connection between author and readers by providing an Amazon hosted 鈥榖log鈥. Unfortunately, no comments are allowed and no RSS feeds, and another drawback for Authors that I have experienced is that one cannot participate in the discussion forums unless they have made a purchase on Amazon.com. (This is the message I got when i tried to add to a discussion: ** You must have purchased items from Amazon to post). How helpful is that to an Author? How is an Author meant to participate in Group Discussions if they can’t use the feature!

Another feature Amazon has for Authors is Kindle. This tool is supposedly great for authors who want to promote their book in Digital format. Yet, the BIG drawback to this lovely piece of brilliance is that in order to participate, you are required to have a US Bank Account and US SSN. A definate drawback for Authors who happen to live outside of North America! What about us Authors who happen to live elsewhere, like in the UK, Australia, Europe?

Hello Amazon! 聽There are other published authors OUTSIDE of the United States!

Blogspot: Definately an easy to use platform where you can post blogs and photos online and get your own custom domain if you want. I started to use Blogspot as a way to promote my novel, and although the features were easy to use, and adding Widgets was just as easy, I did find that Blogspot did lack one major functionality.. The ability to create more than one page. Granted, some will use Blogaspot once a week or less-so, but for authors, they need something a little more modern than “one page to show off their work”. Honestly, who will sit there reading through one blog at time to get to a particular blog they want? Although the sidebar offers a “Menu” of posts, I found the convenience just not what I was wanting.

WordPress: Without a doubt, this comes close to what I would want a website to look like, without having to build my own with Publisher or Frontpage. The benefit I find with WP is that it allows you to create multiple pages, remove/add features and connect with other WP members. For authors starting out, I would recommend WP. It has more templates than Blogspot, and in general an easier to use interface. An added feature is that you can import your blogs from other blogsites.

Paypal: 聽Yet another interface that is meant to be “User-Friendly“. Paypal is owned by the company E-Bay, and is a great way to buy and sell goods online without the hassle of setting up a CC-Biller option. However, there is a BIG drawback to using Paypal. As widespread as Paypal is, it is still not available for people in Brazil, China and Russia. Of course, if someone happens to live in one of these countries, they can still be a “paypal member”, but they can only SEND money NOT receive. That is a major downer for anyone. The only equivelant I have seen in Russia so far is WebMoney. Still researching options on this ….

Okay, that’s me done until I find something else to write about.

Happy Reading 馃檪