LEVITATION (A Jaque Collins novel Book 1)

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But I hope and trust that the web site will be more regularly updated and subtantially improved in the months to come. One thing that beginning writers tend to overlook is the number of interviews, for sources small and large, print and Internet, that are asked of even such a non-celebrity author as yours truly.

These tend to add up, especially when -- as in my case -- one's novels have been translated and reprinted in several dozen European, Asian, and other nations. The following questions were sent to me not long ago by a magazine and connected web site in the Czech Republic. In the normal case of events, the author's American readership never gets to read such an interview so I thought I'd share this one with you.

Oddly enough, I have wanted to be a writer since I was very young. In some ways, I compare that aspect of my past to that of my friend, the great writer Harlan Ellison. Harlan knew when he was five years old — knew it as certainly as if it had been a divine revelation — that he would be famous someday, either as a cartoonist or a writer. I could draw.

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My older brother was a professional cartoonist and I was drawing decently when I was quite young. By the time I was in high school, I received a scholarship offer to the best art school in my Midwestern state. But I turned down that offer in order to go to a liberal arts college because I knew that I needed thatbroader, liberal-arts knowledge of literature, history, science, art, and writing in order to become a professional writer. Only the other kids as my reading audience mattered, their opinions and comments.

Even when I was eight years old, I knew that writing should be subversive rather than approved and official and driven by the marketplace, never by the state. I was too dumb and unlettered to know that Frank L. But my sequel was a hit with the other kids. I still remember the pleasure of writing certain scenes — such as when Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man the Cowardly Lion was off on a different adventure stepped over a wall into a land of living ceramic dolls. Our protagonists were giants there and they had to step very carefully.

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To me and to most of my fourth-grade readers , twenty-five scribbled pages was a full-length novel. Eventually though disaster struck when our teacher, Mrs. Shives, intercepted the grubby pages as they were being passed from one reader to another. I expected hoped for? Shives commended me for writing such an epic and even read a page aloud to the class. I hated it. I hated the attention and hated the.

I quit writing for an audience at school for a year after that but I did write a story at home, picking out each letter on a huge, ancient Underwood typewriter that had once belonged to my business-secretary mother. All of the lunar beings were troglodytes! Somehow, seeing my story typewritten — even with all the typing errors, penciled inclusions, and white-out corrections — convinced me that I had to be a published author someday. It was a wonderful three-year effort, researching as I was writing. Sometimes little research bits can derail a writer.

I remember my friend George R.

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I knew all this and more, but which way did the wheel rotate??!! I had a very romantic and important scene aboard one of the cars on that first Ferris Wheel and I knew exactly what they would be seeing as the car rose to its zenith and descended passengers got two revolutions before the cars were unloaded.

Was their rising view of the White City of the Fair and then Lake Michigan, or were they looking first at the Turkish Pavilion and then the railroads beyond the perimeter of the Fair and then — far away — the great prairies themselves?? Almost all modern ferris wheels around the world rotate clockwise only, but that told me nothing about this giant Ferris Wheel in Eventually I had to turn my web site forum people loose — like the Baker Street Irregulars — in helping me dig up obscure research.

One of the best diaries was a long description of the Fair by a beginning writer Edgar Rice Burroughs and his wife — the wife doing the best descriptive writing. In some cases, they were obviously describing a giant Ferris wheel that rotated clockwise, giving the passengers in each huge car a view of the White City and the Lake first.


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In other first-hand descriptions, however, it seemed that the Wheel was rotating counter-clockwise, showing the passengers a view of the prairie and then of the Lake and Fair only when the cars pass over the top. For almost two precious weeks I work under a month deadline for all my books , I searched for those engineering specs. Finally I found them. And then I found a postcard written by an fair-goer who described how she watched the giant Wheel rotating clockwise for several nights — every car and part of the wheel illuminated by hundreds of new-fangled electric lights, plus giant searchlights illuminating it from below — only to see it rotating the opposite direction the next week.

Now I could continue with the actual writing of the novel and on to my next little research challenge. And when writing about Ogalala Sioux tribes, language, warfare, and culture, there were more than a few such challenges. As both parent and author of many books, I know that one shouldn't say anything about which child is the favorite. Of course, I have only one child -- my daughter Jane -- so it's only in books that I have to be careful not to announce a favorite.

But that's almost as important as a parent's choice. Books have feelings, you know, and they tend to sulk if their creator gives them anything less than unrestricted love. I'm also not sure authors are reliable if and when they say which of their works is the "best". In his later years, Hemingway treated and wrote about The Old Man and the Sea as if that elongated, overwritten story were his best work -- he did receive the Nobel Prize for it -- but down deep he must have known that it was a deeply flawed work and that it couldn't hold a candle to his early stories or the best work in parts of his better novels such as The Sun Also Rises or For Whom the Bell Tolls.

In truth, of course, none of Hemingway's novels best served his rare gift -- that is, of using his complex and well-honed style of ellipsis to levitate the best of his prose -- but a writer who'd been working primarily in novels for four decades found it understandably difficult to say that his "best" work was to be found in his early short stories.

I could probably go through my novels and suggest certain pages or passages or perhaps entire chapters and then say -- "This is pretty good. Like most writers, I want to feel that some of my best writing is in my more recent work and I try to avoid that syndrome, but I do still enjoy and celebrate certain sections of The Terror and Drood and the complicated effort that was Black Hills.

My current work waiting to be born next summer in the States and the UK, Flashback , is too new, too fresh, too still-in-the-mind to allow any fully formed opinion. One can only hope. I'm delighted that you say you were charmed by Ilium. It was a labor of scholarly love in the sense that I chose to write both Ilium and Olympos simply because I wanted to spend two or three years reading almost every translation of the Iliad as well as much of the scholarly criticism and speculation about Homer and that work.

The idea of combining two such disparate historical periods Homer's era and the odd and depressing human future thousands of years hence was easy; the practice of actually doing so, writing it with some fluidity and verisimilitude, was damned hard. As far as which book gave me the most trouble -- I can think of research and creative difficulties with most of them, but I'm not sure I can choose one book as the most troublesome.

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I've never started a novel and then abandoned it. I seem to have some sense as to what will work and what won't. Readers may not always agree. I was young er when I took on the massive megillah that was Carrion Comfort and it had so many characters and plot lines that my study walls were covered with long strips of brown paper with timelines, character lines, and plotlines all filled in with magic marker, character lifelines and subplot lines crossing and crisscrossing like some mad puzzle.

I learned a lot from writing Carrion Comfort when I did. It was the most troublesome book in the sense that getting the page novel published, in one volume and in the shape I wrote it, took several years, a World Fantasy Award for another book of mine, and a kind intervention by Dean Koontz.

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But that's another story. My primary dream regarding writing was to become a full-time professional writer. According to studies, there are only about writers of fiction in the United States population ,, who make a living only by their writing. That was enough of a challenge for me and it was first met in So far, so good.

I simply love history. He soon had a change of heart and betrayed the Mandarin to save the Avengers. Despite his heroics, the Swordsman left the ranks of the Avengers, knowing the Mandarin would now be against him. The Swordsman went back to being a supervillain for hire and battled the Avengers on numerous occasions. Under Black Widow 's leadership, the Swordsman teamed with the original Power Man and fought the superhero team, capturing nearly all of its members. Eventually, the Swordsman briefly rejoined the Avengers in a war against Ares in Olympus.

In his last mission, Duquesne aided the Avengers in the conflict that involved Kang 's quest for the "Celestial Madonna". Humiliated but determined to show Kang his true worth, Swordsman tracked the captive Avengers to Kang's pyramid base in Gizeh , where he encountered Rama-Tut , Kang's chronological alter ego. With his help and the assistance of Hawkeye, who had just returned from a leave of absence, Swordsman managed to free his fellow Avengers.

It was later revealed that Mantis was in fact the "Celestial Madonna".

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After Kang's plans were foiled and he decided not to leave the Madonna to anyone else, the Swordsman sacrificed his life by intercepting Kang's energy blast which was meant for Mantis. During the Chaos War storyline, Swordsman is among the deceased heroes released by Pluto in order to defend the Underworld from Amatsu-Mikaboshi. The Swordsman is an Olympic level athlete with no superhuman powers, and is a cunning strategist and highly adept at unarmed combat.

The Swordsman is a master in the uses of bladed weapons, especially swords and knives, and his main weapon is a sword modified by the super-villain Mandarin from Makluan technology. By pressing one of the buttons on the sword's hilt, the Swordsman can project a concussive force beam, a disintegrating ray, a large jet of flame, electrical energy in a form resembling lightning, or a stream of nerve gas that induced temporary unconsciousness.

He also carries various throwing knives and daggers as needed. Philip Javert, a Swordsman from an alternate universe, was a member of the Gatherers.

The Gatherers were brought together by Proctor an alternate version of the Black Knight to hunt down every Sersi throughout the multiverse. Proctor and the Gatherers travelled to the mainstream Marvel Universe Earth to kill its version of Sersi. The Swordsman, along with fellow Gatherers member Magdalene , turned against Proctor and briefly joined the mainstream version of the Avengers. A new heroine named Swordswoman later appears as a member of the European superhero team known as Euroforce.

A new Swordsman later appears, wielding a vibranium alloy katana and claiming to have inherited the mantle of Jacques Duquesne. He attempts to extort money from the town of Sauga River by threatening to flood it, but is defeated by Captain America. A zombified Swordsman is seen attacking and devouring Magneto. A version of the Swordsman appears as a native of the " Heroes Reborn " world, which was created by Franklin Richards. He and his world were created after the Avengers "died" battling Onslaught. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Swordsman Swordsman on cover of The Avengers Vol.

Main article: Fenris comics. Stan Lee Don Heck. Clint Barton Kate Bishop Bullseye.


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