The Origins of the Woolaston Entertainment Books

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope your day is going well. Since it is Monday, its time for a new blog post. This week: the origins of the W.E. books. In keeping with this month’s nostalgic theme, I’ve been thinking back to how I started writing my books, years and years ago.

I wrote a lot of books for myself when I was a kid. In first grade, I’d staple several sheets of typing paper between to pages of construction paper, I create my own picture books. By the time I was in sixth grade, I began to develop stories with chapters, characters and plots. A few years later, I started collecting journals and unlined sketch books, and wrote my manuscripts in them. I created front covers for each books, spine labels, and summaries on the back covers. I didn’t have a computer at home, so hand-writing all of my books became a natural step. I wrote all of the time anyway, so I had no trouble working on two to four books at a time. To this day, I have 125 hand-written books. This may sound strange, but doing that, is what led me to publish a real book.

So, Valentine started out as a book I hand wrote inside of a journal. Fortune’s Wing and Our Lady of Righteous Rage were written in composition notebooks. When you don’t have access to certain materials, you learn to make do. I didn’t receive a computer in my house until the middle of my senior year in high school. I didn’t have access to programs such as Adobe Photoshop until several years after that.

Questions? Comments? You know how to reach me!

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B-Fest Results

 

 

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Saturday was my very first book signing. The event took place at the Barnes and Noble at Bay Plaza in the Bronx. The store was kind enough to take a chance on a self-published author, and ordered 30 of my books. By the time my portion of the event was complete, 24 out of the 30 books were sold! Anyone who purchased a copy of Valentine, received a copy of Valentine 2 from me for free! It was so much fun meeting new people and making new connections, and I especially enjoyed meeting young writers. I’m looking forward to helping them get started in the self-publishing industry any way I can. Thank you again to everyone who came out to the Bronx, purchased a book, stopped by my table, or simply liked my posts online. There aren’t enough words to express what your support means to me.

Pictures from B-Fest will be posted on the Woolaston Entertainment Facebook page later today. I’m happy to announce, I have been invited to return to Bay Plaza for an upcoming event! Autographed copies of Valentine, Our Lady of Righteous Rage, and Our Lady of Righteous Rage: Extended and Uncensored are still available at Bay Plaza, or you can order unsigned copies online or through the store. Plus, you can always order copies of any of my books directly from me.

 

 

The Indie Author Who Could

Being an indie author can be challenging sometimes. For anyone out there who is a self-published author, you know what I’m talking about. Choosing the right company to print your books for you. Finding a reliable (and affordable editor) or editing yourself. Cover designs and page layouts. And lets not forget marketing. It’s tough! And even after you have your finished product in your hands, there’s the really fun part: getting your book into a bookstore. Bookstores look at self-published books as if they contain the plague! But, you have to try anyway.  After one thousand no’s, you’re bound to hit a yes. I certainly did.

 

Barnes and Noble is having a Teen Book Festival known as BFest this weekend, and I am fortunate enough to participate. I will be appearing at the location in Bay Plaza in Bronx, NY on Saturday, June 11 at 3pm. I will be reading from “Our Lady of Righteous Rage”, and signing copies afterward. I will also sign copies of “Valentine”.  So, why is this event such a big deal? Simple: I’m an indie author, and BN doesn’t sell books by indie authors in their stores. To get in, you have to work very hard. So, this event is special to me. Will it go well? I certainly hope so. Whether I sell 3 copies or 30 copies, I’m happy I was accepted into a major bookstore.

To anyone out there struggling to get their work noticed by the public, I’m proof that you can’t give up. Giving up is simply not an option. Keep trying. Eventually, you will succeed. Good luck to all of my fellow writers and artists out there.

Sample from “Novocain”

Greetings, folks. Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been busy reading, writing and working. But I’m back now, and I intend to post more often. First up, is a sample from a book I’m working on. The working title is “Novocain”. I may change it between now and its completion. We’ll see. “Novocain” will serve as the in-between novel, that will bridge a gap between “Our Lady of Righteous Rage” and “Your Fame Will Destroy You”. The story is centered around Erin, a new character you’ll meet in “Your Fame”. Here’s a little sample. Enjoy.

At nineteen, I had decided to completely free myself. After all, who was going to stop me? I felt as though I had no choice in the matter. I had hidden away the things I held dear, for far too long. I had been keeping the real Erin under lock and key, only letting her out on Halloween, when I could wear all black and extreme eyeliner without having to explain myself to everyone. But this had gone on far too long. This had to come to an end. Keeping your true self hidden away from the world isn’t living…it’s just existing. I didn’t want to just exist anymore. I wanted to live. I wanted to be me.
My first attempt at freedom, was at a speed dating event, in Chelsea. The women sat down at tables while the men played musical chairs around the room, sitting and “dating” for two minutes at a time. Every guy who sat across from me, wasn’t quite what I wanted. Khakis, polo shirts, or sagging pants…not my scene. There was one guy, who began our date with a joke. He introduced himself as Holden Caulfield, so I told him I was Esther Greenwood. We both laughed; we were probably the only two people in the room who understood that reference. In that two-minute span, I learned Holden was a bookworm like me, but that was all we had in common. He liked classical music. I liked punk rock. He dressed in bright colors. I dressed in black.
Another guy noticed my black attire and asked if I was going to a funeral. I smiled and replied, “Soon.” He stood up before our two minutes had ended. Pity.
“He probably thought you were a witch,” Mom said, when I told her all about my mini-dates. “You’re not going to get a date like that, Erin. Men don’t want a creepy little Goth girl.”
“Some do,” I said. “I don’t want the Prep School Polo shirt wearing dildo who’s daddy is in charge of some hedge fund. That’s boring.”
“Then what do you want?” Mom asked.
I paused. “I’m not sure yet,” I said. “I just know what I don’t want.” I sighed, and shook my head. “Maybe I should just give up on dating, and buy a body pillow.”
Mom cocked an eyebrow. “A what?”
“A body pillow,” I said. “You know, one of those extra long pillow? The ones that are the length of your body? At least I’d have something to hold on to when I’m in my bed.”
“I don’t want to imagine what else you’d be doing with that thing,” Mom muttered. I playfully punched her arm, and she punched me back. Most of the girls I grew up with, could never have this sort of conversation with their mothers. But my mother was different. I suppose that developed from her being a single mother, as so many mothers are. Its been me and her for almost as long as I can remember, so we’ve always been able to talk about anything. For instance, I once asked her why so many women threw themselves at Mick Jagger.
“I mean, he’s not even that good looking,” I said. “I just don’t get it.”
“He’s got a lot of money,” Mom had replied. “And he probably has a huge dick. When you’re rich and you have a huge dick, you don’t need to be good looking.”
I had never laughed so hard in all my life! Anyone else who had heard their mother say such a thing would have blushed or felt embarrassed. But not me. That’s just the way it was between me and Mom.

I quietly made my way into am indie record store near Union Square. I was one of only two female patrons there. I found a rack full of discounted vinyl and began searching through it. A guy with dark brown hair walked over and stood beside me. “Looking for anything in particular?” he asked.
“Patti Smith,” I replied, looking up from my search only long enough to see he has blue eyes.
“Who?” he said.
Who? The fuck do you mean, who?
“Patti Smith,” I say again, as if this will suddenly educate or remind him as to who Patti Smith is.
“What kind of music does she play?” he asked.
I slowly looked up from the records, and turn to him, in silence. “Seriously?”

http://www.woolastonentertainment.com #ourlady #Novocain #writing

Sample from “Allan & Mac”

AMCS

Greetings, folks.  This week (and probably next week, as well) I’m posting sample chapters from my books.  First up, is “Allan & Mac”, from the Valentine Apart series.  This is a series that focuses on the lives of the people in Val’s life (I’m speaking of Val from the Valentine series).  Each book will focus on one or more characters; telling stories about their lives before they met Val, and what led them to become part of the criminal underworld known as the Syndicate.  So, here is Chapter One from “Allan & Mac”.  Enjoy.

Chapter One

What’s in the Trunk?

The dark blue Dodge Challenger pulled over and parked in front of an abandoned lot, covered with overgrown shrubs and bushes. The driver changed gears and put the car in “park”, shut the car off and pulled the key out of the ignition. She sighed. It was hot, and her air conditioner had stopped working weeks ago. She knew she needed to get it fixed; she’d been busy lately. It was quiet. Without the sound of the engine to muffle it, she could hear the thumping from the trunk a little louder now. She sighed, and used her index finger to trace the circular shape of her steering wheel. She began to hum a little tune she had just made up. She glanced over her shoulder, towards the trunk. She sucked her teeth, unbuckled her seat belt, and climbed out of the car. She slowly walked around the car, to the trunk. She slid the key into the lock on the trunk, and lifted it open. She stood with one hand on the lid of the trunk, and the other in the back pocket of her blue jeans. “I’m pretty sure we had an agreement,” she said, looking down at the contents of the trunk.

Inside the trunk, was a middle-aged man in a navy blue suit and tie. His hands and feet were bound with duck tape. He looked up at her through a pair of narrow gray eyes.

“We agreed,” she continued, “You would be quiet. I don’t think that’s asking very much, do you? So, are you going to be quiet, or are you going to force me to make a mess back here?”

The man nodded quickly. His mouth had a single strip of duck tape across it. She smiled, briefly. “Good boy,” she said. Then she slammed the trunk shut, and got back inside her car. Before driving away, she tilted her head to one side and cracked her neck. Then, she cleared her throat, and drove away.

A man in a button-down plaid shirt and jeans stepped outside of a deli, and stood on the sidewalk. He watched a dark blue Dodge Challenger pull up in front of him. He leaned down and smiled at the driver. “Hey, Mac,” he said.

The woman in the driver’s seat leaned across the passenger seat just enough for him to see her. “Hey, Allan,” she said. “Sorry I’m late.”

“No worries,” Allan said. He stepped up and opened the door, and climbed into the passenger’s seat, just as Mac sat up straight. “Busy day?”

“Sort of,” Mac said. “I had this thing I had to take care of.”

There was a soft thump from within the trunk.

Both Allan and Mac turned in their seats and looked back at the trunk.

“This freaking guy,” Mac whispered.

Allan chuckled and shook his head. “There’s a paint store down the street,” he said. “It’s been closed for a couple of months now. They have a parking lot in the back. Drive there and park behind the store.”

Mac nodded, and drove down the street. She had no trouble finding the paint store , located next to a struggling Chinese restaurant. There was a driveway beside the store, an she pulled up to it, and drove into the parking lot. The only thing there was a dumpster. She parked her car and shut the engine off. Then she and Allan climber out of the car, and walked around to the rear. Allan opened the trunk. He reached in, and ripped the tape off of the man’s mouth. “Hey there,” he said. “How’s it going?”

“You better let me go, you asshole!” the man in the suit shouted.

Allan and Mac turned to one another in surprise, then Allan slammed the trunk shut, and sighed. “Give him a minute,” he said. “He’s just worked up. He needs a minute.” Mac nodded her head. Allan looked up towards the sky, and watched the clouds as they slowly passed by. Then he looked down at the trunk, and opened it again. “You just met me,” he said.   “So I don’t know why the hell you’re mad at me. So, let’s start over, yes? What did you do?”

“What are you talking about?” the man asked. “I didn’t do anything!”

“Well, you must have done something,” Allan said, running his fingers through his dark blond hair.  “My sister isn’t in the habit of picking up random people and stuffing them into the trunk of her car for no apparent reason.”

Mac giggled to herself. “That would be kind of funny, though,” she said.

Allan smiled at her, then returned to the man in the trunk. “So, what did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything!” the man yelled. “And you’d better—-”

Allan slammed the trunk shut again. He and Mac stood in silence for a few seconds. They could hear the man cursing and yelling inside the trunk. Mac folded her arms and tapped her foot. Allan studied the palm of his hand. “We’ll just give him another minute,” Allan said, calmly. “I’m hungry. Aren’t you hungry?”

Mac cocked an eyebrow. “Actually, yes, I am,” she said. “Now that you mention it. I could eat. I could go for a taco.”

“That is so weird!” Allan said. “I was just thinking the same thing. I haven’t had a taco in about a month now.” He opened the trunk again. “What’s your name, buddy?”

“Kirk,” the man said.

“Well, Kirk,” Allan began, “Let’s try this again. What did you do?”

Kirk’s face was turning red. “Look, pal, you’ve got five seconds to—”

Allan slammed the trunk shut, and sighed heavily. He turned to Mac. “So, do you want Qdoba or Chipotle?”

“I could go for Taco Bell,” Mac said, brushing away a lock of dark blond hair that had fallen across her face. “I know you’re trying to go for something authentic, but I’m partial to my Americanized tacos.”

Allan nodded. “I get it,” he said. He opened the trunk again, this time, more swiftly than before. “Look Kirk, I can do this all day. I don’t want to, because I’m hungry and I want tacos. So, just tell me what you did.”

“He embezzled funds from his financial firm,” Mac said with a weary sigh. “Sorry, but I really want tacos now, and Kirk’s wasting our time.”

There were beads of sweat on Kirk’s forehead. “How did you find out about that?” he asked nervously.

“Well, I didn’t find out about it,” Mac said. “The person who discovered what you had done contacted me and requested my services. It was Doug, your partner slash brother-in-law. He’s very upset with you.”

“Shame on you Kirk,” Allan said.

“I was only borrowing the money,” Kirk said, quickly. “I was going to give it back.”

“Lies, lies,” Allan said.

Mac sighed and shook her head. “Look, Doug wants his money back,” she said. “And if he can’t get it back, well, you’re already in the trunk, so you can probably see where this is going. That means we solve this problem one of two ways. One, is you return the funds you stole—-all of it—-and move out of the state. The other, is I pop you right here. Now, I’m all for quick and simple solutions. But, if I shoot you, I’ll have to get my trunk cleaned for the umpteenth time this year. I really don’t want to do that, Kirk.”

“Although your car could use a good cleaning,” Allan said, quietly. Mac nudged him with her elbow.

“You…you wouldn’t kill me,” Kirk said, trying his best to sound confident.

“She would,” Allan said.

“I will,” Mac said. “So, what’s it gonna be, Kirk? Are you going to return the money and move, or am I going to have to mess my trunk up?”

Kirk’s eyes rolled back and forth between Allan and Mac.

Allan looked over at his sister. “Have you tried that new quesarito thing at Taco Bell?” he asked. “I heard it’s pretty good.”

“Oh yeah?” Mac said. “I might try that.” She looked down at Kirk. “Let’s go Kirk!”

“Okay!” Kirk shouted. “I have the money in an account at Chase. I’ll give it back.”

“And move out of New York,” Mac added.

“What?” Kirk said.

“And move out of New York,” Mac repeated.

Kirk blinked at her. “But, I can’t—-”

“There’s a place out on Long Island where we could dump him,” Allan said. “Plus there’s a really nice car wash nearby. They do interiors. They’re great at getting out stains.”

“Okay!” Kirk said. “I’ll move! I’ll move!”

Both Allan and Mac smiled. “Good boy,” Mac said. Allan closed the trunk, and the two of them got back into the car.

“That went well,” Mac said, as she started the car.

“Are we going to drive him to Taco Bell with us?” Allan asked.

Mac shrugged her shoulders. “I guess.”

Allan leaned forward in his seat. “Mackenzie?”

Mac groaned. “Fine,” she said. “We’ll take him to the bank first. But then I want tacos.”

“Okay,” Allan said.

“And a Mexican pizza.”

“Sure.”

“And a Mountain Dew Baja Blast.”

“Okay.”

“And maybe some of those mini Cinnabon balls they have now. Have you had those yet? Those things are awesome.”

“Please drive, Mac.”

“Okay. Sorry. I get excited about food.”

Mac drove to the rear parking lot of a grocery store, where she and Allan got out of the car and untied Kirk, and allowed him to ride in the front passenger’s seat. Allan sat behind him, and reminded him not to do anything stupid. Their next stop was a local branch of Chase Bank. They parked a block away from the bank, and before getting out of the car, Mac gave Kirk a few instructions.

“I’m going inside with you, Kirk,” she said. “All you’re going to do, is withdraw the money you have stolen. I know the amount, so please don’t try anything that will force me to shoot you later on. You’ll withdraw the money, and put it inside a black bag. It’s under your seat.”

Kirk nodded and reached under his seat, and retrieved a small black duffle bag. He gripped it tightly as Mac continued.

“Relax,” Mac said. “You look too goddamn nervous. This isn’t a robbery, after all. You’re giving back the money you stole. Then, we’ll take you home, and you’ll move out of New York. If I see you around the Big Apple, I will put a bullet in your ass. Understood?”

Kirk nodded his head quickly. “Yeah, sure, okay,” he said.

Mac smiled. “Good boy,” she said. “Let’s go.”

The two of them got out of the car and entered the bank, while Allan waited outside. Kirk tried to smile as he approached the next available teller and informed her, he needed to make a large cash withdrawal. The bank’s manager was called over to handle the transaction. Twenty minutes later, Mac escorted Kirk out of the bank and back to her car. She even opened the door for him. Once he was inside, she climbed into the driver’s seat, started the car and pulled off.

“Two hundred thousand,” Mac said. “You stole two hundred thousand from a company your brother-in-law founded. He was nice enough to give your sorry ass a job, too. You really do suck, Kirk.”

Kirk rolled his eyes and looked away.

“What was the money for?” Allan asked. “Gambling debt? Prostitutes? Smack?”

Mac cocked an eyebrow. “Smack?”

“Drugs,” Allan clarified.

“It’s personal,” Kirk said.

“Well, whatever the reason, you had no business stealing that money,” Mac said.

Kirk glared at her. “Who the hell are you to lecture me?” he snapped. “You’re a hit man!”

Woman,” Mac corrected. “I’m a hit woman. And who am I? I’m the one with the loaded gun. I’m the one who’s going to shoot you if you don’t honor our agreement. So, shove it!”

Mac pulled up in front of a house in Manhasset, where she snatched the black bag from Kirk, and gestured towards the house. “It’s been a pleasure,” she said. “Get out of my car, and get out of New York.” Kirk muttered something inaudible under his breath as he opened the door and climbed out of the car. As soon as he closed the door, the Challenger sped away. Kirk stood on the sidewalk for a moment, looking up at the front door to his two-story house. The lights were on; his wife was home. He wondered if she knew….

Allan sat across from his sister inside Taco Bell, watching her tilt her head to one side in order to eat one of three tacos. And this was after the Mexican Pizza.

“I had fun with you today,” Mac said, chewing up and swallowing a mouth full of taco. “We should do jobs together more often.”

“Yeah, we should,” Allan said, taking a bite of one of his own tacos. “Say, how did you grab Kirk in the first place?”

Mac picked up a napkin and wiped the side of her mouth. “I was pretending to dig through my trunk,” she said. “I was bending over and he was staring at my butt. Then I looked up at him and smiled, and waved him over. As soon as he was close enough, I used the butt of my gun to knock him out. He fell into my trunk, and later, I taped him up.”

“Wow,” Allan said. “There were a lot of butts in your story.”

Mac giggled. “Yeah, yeah there were.” She began to eat another taco.

“You know,” Allan began, “if you keep eating like that, you’re gonna get fat. And you of all people do not want to get fat.”

Mac paused, taco in hand. “Why’s that?”

Allan smirked at her. “Because of the obvious nickname,” he said. “You’ll be bigger. Big Mac.”

Mac narrowed her eyes at him.

End of Sample

Character Month at Woolaston Entertainment

CatCover

Welcome to the first Monday Blog for the month of May. Here at Woolaston Entertainment, May is Character Month. I’m celebrating the characters that make up the world of Woolaston Entertainment. Of course, there are all sorts. To make things easier, I will abbreviate the titles of my books and series as follows:

Fortune’s Wing series: FW

Valentine series: VAL

Our Lady of Righteous Rage: OLORR

Allan & Mac: AAM

 

Leading Ladies and Main Men: Every story has to have a protagonist. They’re the person you’re following throughout the story. Sometimes they’re telling the story, and sometimes you simply experience the events as they unfold around them.

FW: Fortune Oyama is our hero. He carries the burden of protecting the Wings and deciding the fate of the world. He’s only eighteen, but being charged with such an enormous responsibility has helped him mature.

VAL: It’s Val Entienne, of course! The gun-toting nineteen-year-old is fearless and will do anything to protect her family.

OLORR: Even though each character takes a turn in telling the story, Amy Edwards is considered the leading lady. She narrates the majority of the story, and most of the events are centered around her.

AAM: There are fewer characters here, but between Allan and Mac, Allan is the main character.

 

Villains, Bad Guys, and Just Plain Jerks: These guys are also known as the “antagonists”. If our hero has a goal, these are the characters who are out to ruin their plans. The “bad guy” doesn’t necessarily have to be evil (like tying someone to a railroad track or suspending them over a shark tank). Sometimes, their villainy is subtle.

FW: There are six remaining members of the Winged Seven, but it’s their leader Demetri who should be considered the primary villain. Demetri has his own plans for the Wings, and if he has to kill Fortune to get them, he will.

VAL: Crime boss John Rafferty is the man everyone’s afraid of. If you get in his way, he’ll have you killed. In the first Valentine book, he orders Jacob to make sure Val doesn’t make it to California, even if “she has to disappear”.

OLORR: If I must choose a “villain” here, it’s David. He’s not as supportive of Amy as she would like him to be. He even attempts to prevent the success of Amy and Nick’s potential band, by not participating.

The Best Friend: Whether it’s a cousin, sister, or sidekick, this is the character who provides support for the main character, and always has their back.

FW: Fortune has Ringo, Tony and Narumi for friends, but the truth is, his sister Haverdy is his best friend. She’ll follow him to the end of the world and back again. She has no trouble picking up a sword and coming to his defense.

VAL: Veronica is Val’s cousin and her best friend, too. She does her best to keep Val out of trouble, and she’s always available to provide emotional support.

OLORR: Delfino “Dee” Seybrook is Amy’s best friend. Their shared love of writing and poetry bring them together , and Dee has defiantly got Amy’s back, and she’s got hers.

AAM: Allan and Mac aren’t just brother and sister; they’re best friends as well. They hand out together, and on occasion, carry out hits together.

 

The Neutral Party: This is a character who can be a little hard to read. Is he a good guy? Bad guy? Maybe he’s both.

VAL: Vincent’s partner Jacob seems to be a neutral party. He’s ordered to prevent Val from reaching California, but he doesn’t put very much effort into stopping her.

The Advisor: They serve as a guide, usually for the main character. They offer advice and little nuggets of wisdom, usually based upon their own experiences.

FW: There are two here. First, is Adam, the little old man who arrives to inform Fortune of his destiny.  He doesn’t go on his journey with him, but he helps him get started. There’s also Verdonna Onnashari, the Oracle of Light. She uses her visions to provide Fortune with much needed guidance.

VAL: Once Val and Lola Vencent set aside their differences, Lola becomes a sort of teacher to Val. She even takes Val along on some of her “jobs”.

OLORR: Nic teaches Amy to play the guitar and encourages her to believe in herself.

 

The Big Brother or Sister: Sometimes they’re related to the person they’re looking out for, and sometimes they’re not. Either way, don’t mess with the person they care about; you’ll regret it.

FW: Fortune is definitely a big brother to his little sister Haverdy. Whenever their parents give Haverdy a hard time, Fortune always stands up for her.

VAL: Val and Melinda may not be related, but Val becomes a big sister to Melinda and is very protective of her.

OLORR: Amy has two older brothers and an older sister, but it’s good friend Aidan Sirci who is her real “big brother”. Aidan isn’t about to let anyone give his kid sister a hard time, not even the boy who teases her at school.

AAM: Even though Mac is armed and dangerous, big brother Allan still wants to protect her and keep her safe.

The Court Jester: They’re air-headed, and a bit clumsy, but they mean well. They can be immature, and perhaps cowardly, but they generally come through in the end.

FW: Fortune’s girlfriend Esrieve can be dizzy and afraid, but she still accompanied Fortune on his quest.

VAL: Melinda is fourteen and doesn’t yet realize what a scary place the world can be. But she still wants to do everything she can to help Val.

AAM: Allan’s friend Rudy wants to be just like him, but he just can’t get it right. Whenever he gets himself into a jam, he calls Allan to get him out.

The Leader with the Plan: Every group has a leader: the person who steps up and takes charge, and steers the ship.

FW: Fortune is the leader of his motley crue. He uses the power of his Wing Pendant to decide which direction the group should go. Whenever they’re under attack, he thinks quickly and comes up with a strategy to keep them safe.

VAL: Among Val, Veronica, Melinda and Victoria, Val’s the leader. She’s the one her family looks to for safety.

OLORR: Vanessa Vance comes up with the idea for the Urban Collective: the business she and her friends will own and operate. She takes all of the necessary steps to get things started, and even keeps track of all of the finances.

People on the Side: Lots of other characters appear in all of these stories. Some of them are only present for a chapter or two. Their purpose is to help keep the story moving. Think of them as extras in a movie.

FW: The members of the Winged Seven (aside from Demetri) and the Onnashari Clan. The Winged Seven provides Fortune with the needed opposition in the story. The story would be boring if he was able to simply go to the End of the Earth and save the world without facing any challenges along to way. And the Onnashari Clan enters the story to give us backgorund information about the Prophecy of the Wings

VAL: The people who Val encounters and helps on her way to California. The women at Allen House, and the mechanics at the repair shop, just to name a few.

OLORR: Mostly the owners of the places where the bands play their gigs, and people who are interested in working with them.

AAM: Allan and Mac’s clients, who hire them because someone needs to be disposed of.

Of course, these are just a fraction of the characters I have created for W.E. over the years. As I continue to write and publish, I’ll introduce you to more of them.

Please don’t forget about the Brooklyn Expo at the end of the month! Information is available here: https://bkexpocreativeshow.eventbrite.com

What Would An Interview with Amy from Our Lady Sound Like?

Band members generally do interviews, don’t they? If Amy from “Our Lady of Righteous Rage” did an interview, what would it be like? It would probably appear in Rolling Stone magazine.  So, for your entertainment, here’s a mock interview with Amy, with an RS cover to boot! OurLadyRSCover

 

Our Lady of Righteous Rage Plays Us A Song

 

Loud guitars, crazy lyrics and bouts of insomnia: Amy Edwards takes us into the weird world of Our Lady

By Nicole E Woolaston

 

Amy Edwards stands in the center of her closet, staring down at the row of shoes on the floor. They’re sneakers mostly; separated by brand. She wears only two: Converse and Macbeth. Everything else is a miss-mosh of various brands and styles acquired over the past few years from birthday gifts and photo shoots. “Almost all of my shoes have laces in them,” Edwards says, playfully kicking at a pair of burgundy Chucks. “Flats hurt the back of my heels, and high heels? Forget about it.”

Do you own any dress shoes?

“A few” she says. “But how often am I in a dress?”

It’s true: the girl from Bayside is, who she has always been. She’s not flowery dresses and brilliant manicures. She’s jeans and band tee’s. She wears her nails short on her left hand in order to play her guitars. She still hates the color pink.

“It’s despicable,” Edwards says. “It’s an okay color on its own, but not for clothing; not for me anyway. When I was born, I had almost no hair, and everyone thought I was a boy. So, until I was old enough to have my ears pierced, my mother always dressed me in pink. In fact, until the day she let me pick out my own clothes, most of what she made me wear was pink. So, I stared hating it. To this day, I can’t stand it.”

Which is why she has never worn the carnation pink sweater she received from a family member for one of her birthdays.

 

 

We move the conversation to the finished basement in the two-story house she shares with husband and band mate Rob Zickye. The entire basement is a musician’s dream, with Rob’s Sabian drum set, her guitars, recording equipment, Marshall amps, and a keyboard. On the walls, pictures of other bands, some of whom Our Lady has either opened for, or had the privilege of opening for Our Lady. Her first picture (and favorite) is on the far left.

“Me and [drummer] Tre Cool,” Edwards says, pointing to the picture in the black frame. “I met him completely by accident, when Our Lady was first getting started. One of the greatest experiences of my life.”

If you weren’t in this band, where would you be? What would you be doing?

She laughs, and shakes her head. “Probably still working retail,” she says. “Retail is brutal. I pity anyone with a retail job, especially cashiering. It’s the worst. And anyone who has never worked in retail who disagrees, needs to spend a year in retail. It’s a bitch.”

Would you want to do anything else?

Edwards pauses, thoughtfully. “I used to think so,” she says. “I mean, I can draw, and I do a lot of writing. But then I realized being in this band incorporates those other things. I get to write some of our songs. I help design our album covers. So, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Plus, I get to coach my son’s band.”

Edwards’ son Jon and two of his friends formed Sons Of War And Peace only a few years ago, but they’ve already come a long way. During an Our Lady tour last year, Sons opened one of their New York shows. “They were scared to death,” Edwards recalls. “We did a show upstate, and they opened for us, for the first time ever. They were nervous, but once Jon played that first chord, they were okay.”

Is that what is was like for you, the first time you went on stage?

“The first time?” Edwards asks. “Its like that every time!”

Really?

“God, yes!” Edwards says. “Its not something you ever really get used to. I think its because every show is different. Anything can happen, anything can go wrong. People tell me to be optimistic not pessimistic, but I believe it being realistic. It would be different if the same people came to our shows, but it’s a different group every time, so you can’t look out in the audience and be comforted by a familiar face. Its always new.”

What helps you get over your anxiety?

“I remind myself I’m doing something I love,” Edwards says. “With three of the people I love most.”

Of course, those three are husband Rob, and longtime friends Nick Lianetti and Aidan Sirci. The four have known each other since high school, and have been a band for nearly ten years. They started out playing under the name Torch, which was the name of Lianetti’s old band. They broke up, and Lianetti attempted to form a new band with Edwards and her then husband (and Lianetti’s cousin) David Sarconi. Sarconi dropped out of the band and he and Edwards divorced shortly after. In need of a drummer, they turned to Rob Zickye. They played as a three-piece band until Lianetti reached a critical decision.

“He (Lianetti) thought I was being wasted as a bass player,” Edwards says. “He heard me sing and said I needed to sing with him more. He got in touch with Aidan and talked him into joining us. He became our bass player, and I moved up front with Nic.”

I heard this wasn’t an easy change for you.

Edwards smirks and looks away. “No, not really. I mean, it was cool just playing bass and singing back up. Nic wanted me to be in the front, next to him, playing my guitar and singing. I was scared to death! But I was willing to try it for his sake.”

We’re momentarily joined by Jon, Edwards’ son. He comes half-way down the steps and pokes his head into the room. He says hello, and says he’s on his way out the door to meet up with his band mates. Edwards nods and waves him on.

Is he as dedicated to playing as you are?

“Oh yes,” Edwards says. “They play together nearly four times a week, a couple of hours a day. And they’re good. I’m not just saying that because of Jon….they’re really freak’n good.”

 

 

Our conversation transfers from Edwards’ house to her office at Our Lady’s recording studio. The rest of the band is already there, along with their manager, Mike Murnsen. Murnsen has been with them since the recording of the first Torch CD. The band has been offered contracts with major labels, but has decided to remain independent. I asked Lianetti if they would ever reconsider.

“Signing with a major label would mean surrendering a lot of creative control,” Lianetti says. “We had a meeting with a label who will remain nameless in this conversation. They had all of these stupid ideas for our next record. We’re a punk band, and they wanted us to play pop music.”

“Nic hates pop music,” Sirci chimes in.

“We outlined our plans for Rise Resist Reform,” Lianetti says. “They said it wouldn’t work; concept albums were dead. We walked away, recorded Rise Resist Reform, and watched it climb Billboard’s Top Ten.”

 

The next hour or so is spent inside the recording studio down the hall. Edwards and Lianetti work on guitar solos while Zickye bangs away on his drums. Sirci fills in the gaps with a bass solo he’s been perfecting on his own. Lianetti has been playing with different effects on his guitar, and he’s encouraging Edwards to do the same.

“I have absolutely no coordination for this,” Edwards whispers as she stares down at the array of switches on the floor next to a foot pedal. “I don’t know how Nic does it.”

She plugs in anyway, and begins to play one of the band’s new songs, “Seeing in the Dark”. She’s playing the song on Jack, her Fender Starcaster. As Lianetti once put it, it’s “not the Monte Blanc of the Fender family”, but over the years it has served Edwards well. She and Sirci have tweaked it to perfection: working on the wiring and changing the pickups. Jack can now compete with any of Lianetti’s Gibsons. As she strums a few power chords, Edwards launches into the chorus of “Seeing in the Dark”. “I don’t need you to light my way/ I don’t need you to light my way/ Without you/ I’m getting better at seeing in the dark”.

There’s a brief intermission; the band discusses their next move. Lianetti yawns. Its contagious, as everyone else begins to yawn, too.

“Nobody sleeps in Our Lady,” Edwards says. “You just learn to deal with insomnia. If you wake up in the middle of the night with lyrics in your head, you have to get up and write them down.”

How much sleep do you guys get per night?

Lianetti smiles weakly. “Maybe three hours.”

Sirci nods in agreement. “Three sounds about right.”

Lianetti picks up a guitar and announces he wants to add a new riff he’s been working on, to “Seeing in the Dark”. Sirci adjusts the strap of his bass, while Zickye seats himself behind his drum set.

Edwards says this is the way it’s always been. Writing crazy lyrics. Functioning with little or no sleep. It’s tough, but they manage to hold it together.

What helps you guys function as a band?

“I believe we pull it off because we’re friends,” Edwards says. “Real friends. We were friends before we were in a band, and I think that’s very important. So if the day every comes when we don’t want to do this anymore, at least we’ll still have our friendship. I don’t think every band can say that.”

After rehearsal, Sirci and Zickye head out to pick up food for the band, Murnsen goes into his office to make a few phone calls. Lianetti stays behind with Edwards. She begins to recall the day Lianetti taught her the value of believing in the power of what being accomplished.

“He played Ray Charles’ Money: That’s What I Want on stage at a club one night,” Edwards says, nodding towards Lianetti. “It was just him, his guitar, an amp and a microphone. His vocals were killer and he really went to work on that guitar. It was one of his best performances. Afterward he told me he didn’t really know how to play the song on his guitar. He just played the chords he thought sounded correct, and sang. It completely blew my mind, because he had the crowd eating out of his hand.”

“It’s not about how well you play,” Lianetti said. “It’s about believing in what you’re doing. Even if you only know a few chords, you can play any song. Give the audience a show, and you’ll own the stage.”

“Even today, I still feel like my playing ability is limited,” Edwards says. “But because of everything Nic has taught me, I learned to take a little bit of knowledge and stretch it out.”

 

I asked Edwards what the next Our Lady album will be like.

“It’s gonna be dark,” Edwards says. “We’re considering the title, Spectre. Nic has a sinister idea for the cover art. Most of the songs we’ve been writing lately have been sort of creepy. They’ve had this very dark element to them. We go through these periods where everything we come up with has a common theme: political, humorous, dark…and so on. It seems to be based on whatever was going on in our lives at the moment. Or, in this case, whatever was serving as entertainment.”

What do you mean?

“We’re into horror movies,” Edwards says. “A lot of horror movies came out last year, and it had an effect on our writing—-especially Nic’s. We’ve all been watching more paranormal shows lately (Edwards is a huge fan of Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures). Plus we’ve picked up more Emo and Goth fans, and I think that had something to do with it, too.”

Is that why the band changed their colors to red and black ?

“I think so,” Edwards says.

 

In the adjacent building, is another one of Edwards projects. Last year she created a clothing line, Punk Couture. Her line consists of pieces designed for her Emo and Goth fans. There’s also a line of lipsticks and nail polish, known as 30 Shades of Black. All of the colors are either black, or black mixed with red, brown, blue or fuchsia. “I have a hard time finding what I like,” Edwards says of her shopping experiences. “I’m very picky when it comes to clothing. That’s why I started designing. I know what I like, and I won’t wear something just because it’s in season, or everyone else is wearing it. I have my own style.”

So we’re not likely to see you in pink or yellow?

Edwards smiles and giggles. “I don’t think so. Maybe if there are little skulls on the clothing.” She pauses. “But I doubt it.”                                                                                                                    NW

 

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