Friday, December 20, 2013

Saving Miguel - Economic Armageddon in the future? Global warming? Read the link!

Saving Miguel. Available at better booksellers globally.
Saving Miguel is about the world after Global Economic Armageddon, a possibility in our future. The link below is the current status of global warming in the world. It is not quite as drastic as some pundits have led us to believe! 



Status of Global Warming Myth

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holiday Book Special by Author John Bradford Branney!

                                   Have an Adventure for the Holidays!
There is no better gift for the holidays than an exciting book! Take an adventure that transports your mind to another time and place! While supplies last, author-signed copies of any or all of these books are available.
Saving Miguel takes place in the not too distant future when the global economy collapses into the deepest abyss the world has ever known, pushing over seventy-five per cent of the world’s population into poverty. Most of these people lose to this global economic crash. Security, money, dreams, and most importantly, hope for the future all destroyed by the greed of a few. Out of this world comes an eight-year old boy named Miguel who initiates a roller coaster ride of events that turns this world upside down. Miguel is just a boy but he is the only hope the world has left…
Shadows on the Trail takes place at the end of the Ice Age on the plains and mountains of Texas and Colorado. The end of the Ice Age was a time of global warming, rising air temperatures and melting ice caps and glaciers. It was a time when several large mammal species went extinct and when small bands of humans roamed the mountains and plains attempting to survive in an unforgiving and violent world. This is a tale of three prehistoric tribes whose paths collide, culminating into an emotional thriller loaded with predatory animals, hostile encounters with other humans, and the unpredictable forces of nature.
Ghosts of the Heart is the second book in the Shadows on the Trail trilogy, the continuation  of the Folsom People’s journey from present-day Texas to the idyllic North Country at the end of the last Ice Age. The Folsom People faced so much adversity in Shadows on the Trail that the adventure quickly outgrew the first book. The adventure continues on the prairies and mountains of present-day Colorado as the Folsom People battle predatory animals, hostile humans, and the forces of nature in a harsh and unpredictable world. Publication will commence for Ghosts of the Heart in December 2013. Preorder it now with the other books and enjoy all three adventures! 
Prices for these author-signed books are as follows;
      ·         Any of the three books signed by the author for $22 each, U.S. postage included.*
      ·         Shadows on the Trail and Ghosts of the Heart signed by the author for $42, U.S. postage   included.*
      ·         All three books signed by the author for $50, U.S. postage included.*
Check, money order, or Paypal are acceptable means of payment. Offer is good while supply lasts.
Contact the author via personal message on Facebook at Saving Miguel by John Bradford Branney for orders.  
Unsigned copies of any of these books are also available at Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and several other booksellers in paperback and e book.  
*If the publication date of Ghosts of the Heart extends past the Holidays for any reason, the buyer will receive a gift certificate for the book and it will be shipped immediately after publication.    

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Saving Miguel - Life After Global Economic Armageddon!!

Saving Miguel - Click for Adventure!   

          The U.S. Government avoided a default last year by the skin of OUR teeth. But, when you look at the way the default was avoided and the partisan politics leading up to it, it was downright embarrassing. What was more disgusting was that the U.S. Government resolved nothing, as far as the debt and the budget deficits, the Congress 'kicked the can down the road'. In a few short months they did the exact same thing all over again! With all of the bandstanding and rhetoric from these politicians, they resolved nothing! An upcoming fatality for a U.S. budget crisis is still lurking out there, like a monster from a cheap sci fi movie. The ultimate joke is on the American people and those creditors who buy U.S. Treasury bills! This joke will not stay within the boundaries of the United States, sooner or later it will spread like a fatal virus around the globe.



Figure One - Barack Obama, President of the United States,
having a laugh at the country's expense.    
 
             In my novel, Saving Miguel, I describe the 'end of the end' or life after the global economy collapses. It becomes a time when a few powerful Oligarchs rule the world. But, before global economic disaster, the 'beginning of the end' came when politicians allowed the United States government to spend itself into default and ultimately bankruptcy. The bankruptcy of the United States started the dominoes falling when other major economies of the world also collapsed. The world ended up in the economic equivalent of nuclear holocaust - a global economic Armageddon that plunged the majority of people in the world into poverty! 
 
 
 
       Figure Two - John Boehner, House Speaker,
                               clown number two.
 
           In my novel Saving Miguel, there are a few politicians who have survived the global economic Armageddon. One of these politicians was named Senator Hallstein and he played a critical role in the book. I won't tell you whether Senator Hallstein is a good or bad guy, you will have to read Saving Miguel to find that out.
 
         In the below passage from Saving Miguel, Senator Hallstein is meeting for the first time with a criminal named Volk. He is the President of the Skulls, an outlaw motorcycle gang that has benefited from the economic chaos. See if you can tell from this passage from Saving Miguel whether Senator Hallstein is a good guy or a bad guy. 
 
               
                                          Figure three - Harry Reid, Now, out of the picture! 
                                                     

Senator Hallstein walked into the former restaurant on the south side of the city. Two humongous bodyguards from the Monarchy flanked him, one on either side. Hallstein stood in the doorway, allowing his eye pupils the time to adjust to the deep darkness of the restaurant before attempting to take a step. His nose was overwhelmed with the rancid smell of the cooking grease that had accumulated on the walls and floors of this greasy spoon restaurant over decades. Once Hallstein’s eyes could see shapes and objects, he spotted a ghost-like outline of a person’s long silver hair sitting in a booth at the back of the restaurant. Hallstein cautiously walked towards the booth, surveying the floor in front of him for trip hazards while his bodyguards mirrored his movements. Before the trio could reach the booth, two gigantic bikers with long hair and scraggly beards stepped in front of the bodyguards. The bikers stood toe to toe with the bodyguards, waiting for the bodyguards to make a move. The five people stood in the middle of the restaurant at a stalemate.  
           “Let the old fella through,” Volk ordered the bikers from the booth. “Search him first.”
A bearded biker patted Hallstein down and then let him pass to the booth. The bikers stood in front of the bodyguards, preventing them from going any further. A round stubby candle burned in the middle of the table, casting an eerie light on the bearded man sitting in the booth. Hallstein recognized this man from old mug shots he had seen in meetings in the Monarch’s office.    
            “May I sit down?” Hallstein asked Volk when he reached the dirty red booth.
“Yeah,” Volk replied, nodding his head at the seat across from him.
            Volk recognized Hallstein as well. During the height of Hallstein’s political career, a person could not open a newspaper or turn on a television without seeing Hallstein’s face. He was a bit older now, but his overall features were the same. Volk had no idea why Hallstein had requested this meeting, but he assumed it had something to do with the boy. Hallstein slid across the simulated leather bench seat of the booth when he sat down. He looked across the table at the dangerous man sitting across from him and took a deep breath into his tight lungs. Hallstein was on a mission into the lion’s den and now found himself within an arm’s length of the alpha lion.
“My name is Henrik Hallstein.” 
            “I know who you were,” Volk replied.
“I am going to get right to the point.”
            “I would appreciate that.”  
“I am here to present an extraordinary opportunity for you.”
            “I’m listening.”  
“Everything I am going to tell you should be considered confidential.”
            “Then don’t tell me,” Volk replied with a smirk. “I am not good at keeping secrets.”
Hallstein was stunned. He looked at Volk with apprehension. This discussion needed to remain confidential.
            “Just kiddin’,” Volk said with a smile. “Wild hogs couldn’t drag it outta me.” 
Hallstein peered down at his own folded hands, resting on the table in front of him. Volk was an intimidating character and Hallstein carefully thought through what he would say next. Hallstein had to be careful not to tell Volk too much information related to the future of the Monarchy, but he still needed Volk’s help.
         What is Senator Hallstein up to? Why is he negotiating with a murderous outlaw biker? what do they have in common? 
 
      You will just have to read Saving Miguel to find these answers! 
 
   
Saving Miguel!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Saving Miguel - The Aftermath of Global Economic Armageddon


Saving Miguel - the novel that tells
it like it is, what happens to the world
when the U.S. Government takes the
world into global economic Armageddon.
 
Prologue (outtake from the Novel Saving Miguel) 

        No one can pinpoint the exact year or series of events that started the world’s economy into its steep death spiral, but in 2006, the U.S. housing market began what was considered the largest decline in recorded history, dragging down with it large portions of the world’s financial systems. The collateral damage from the housing market crash was felt everywhere in the world with millions of people losing their jobs and home equity while the banks that had financed these risky mortgages fought to remain in business.  
        While the world’s economy teetered on the brink of financial destruction, another economic crisis of catastrophic proportions occurred in 2008. Widespread fraud and manipulation swept through the world’s financial institutions, walloped the markets and bankrupting well-known and respected companies. Banks around the world collapsed, resulting in the single largest money transfer in recorded history when governments took on insurmountable debt to bail out their respective financial institutions.

        While all of these catastrophic economic events were occurring, a shaky economy threatened to collapse the European countries of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Cyprus, and Italy. With the financial future of these countries in jeopardy, one of the bellwether currencies in the world, the Euro, fought for survival in the midst of a possible collapse of the European Economic Community.   

        In the 2008 presidential election, the majority of citizens in the United States liked the message of hope and change from one of the candidates. No one knew for sure where this candidate had come from or how he rose so quickly up the political food chain. Part of the nation believed he was the messiah who would unite a divided country while the rest of the nation believed he would drive the wedge even further into a divided country.

       The majority of the people elected this candidate to the presidency of the United States and with Congress’s approval, the U.S. government embarked on a spending spree never before equaled in the history of the world. The government, through its entitlements and social welfare programs, supplied food, housing, medical care, and even cell phones for all most citizens who asked. The government passed economic stimulus programs designed to prop up the weak economy and provided bailouts for failing companies and industries. The President promised affordable health care for every citizen in the country and Congress passed massive health care reform, adding billions of dollars of cost to the health care of citizens of the United States. Under this charismatic president, the United States migrated towards both socialism and bankruptcy.

       In 2012, the people of the country spoke again, reelected the President for another four years. The unprecedented spending spree by him and the Congress continued. The government spent far more money than they collected in tax revenues, spending money on wars, economic stimulus, international assistance, health care and domestic social programs.

       The U.S. remained on the verge of bankruptcy during the President’s second term and Congress remained ineffective, divided between two very distinct ideologies. Congress debated whether to raise taxes on the rich or to cut government spending. In the end, the President and Congress could not find common ground with their differences and the country’s debt continued to rise. Unable to even propose a budget that could deal with the ballooning debt, the government took the path of least resistance and printed more money, the equivalent of an individual citizen paying his mortgage with an already overloaded credit card.  

       It took nine more years of reckless spending, state-supported social programs, and failed fiscal policies to take the U.S. economy into a bottomless abyss, bankrupting the country and setting off a catastrophic domino effect that brought other major economies of the world to their knees. The value of the world’s major currencies plummeted and governments were unable to pay their bills. The payment systems between countries no longer worked and with the resultant drop in consumer demand, companies could no longer pay their employees, causing massive layoffs and unemployment. With high employment and no consumer spending, the downward spiral continued with even more layoffs, plant closures, bankruptcies and entire governments collapsing. The social welfare programs that had once supplied the basic living needs of millions of people around the globe went bankrupt, leaving the vast majority of the world’s population impoverished and homeless.
I wrote the above portion of the Prologue for my novel Saving Miguel in early 2013. Unfortunately, much of what I wrote appears to be coming true as far as the U.S. Government's extraordinary high debt coming to roost. The U.S. Government has spent itself into bankruptcy and the only reason it has not already been an issue is because the U.S. Government can hold nearly infinite debt and makes up the difference by printing its own money. It would not be any different than you or I printing money in our basements to pay for our high credit card bills. Just like what is happening to the U.S. Government, sooner or later our outlandish spending comes to roost and there is a day of reckoning. That day of reckoning appears sooner for the U.S. Government, rather than later. 

For several years, knowledgeable economists have been preaching about the deadly effects of the U.S. Government's debt. These knowledgeable people have also prophesized that a day of reckoning was coming. It is hard to believe that with all of the attention and recognition of a potential  Armageddon-sized problem (U.S. debt), why there was not more done to circumvent this catastrophic disaster. All it seems the President and the Congress of the United States are doing is pointing fingers at each other.
I am attaching a link to an interesting article on how the world is already bracing for this upcoming  global economic Armageddon. The exploding debt of the United States is not just a United States problem, it is a problem of gigantic proportions for the entire world.   
Read Saving Miguel  and find out my fictional version of what the world looks like after this Global economic Armageddon occurs. I am optimistic that the resilience of ordinary people will overcome what governments have done to unravel the global economy.          

 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The World Looks On As the U.S. Deals With Debt Ceiling

Saving Miguel - read it today.


Sometimes we forget how intertwined the various economies of the world are. They used to say, when the U.S. economy caught a cold, the rest of the world sneezed. It is not much different now. Since the U.S. borrows money from absolutely everyone and gives financially aid to numerous governments around the globe, it is easy to see why the rest of the world is concerned and the various stock markets around the globe are looking at the U.S. with frightened eyes.

Well, it appears today (October 10, 2013) that the U.S. Congress may agree to raise the debt ceiling, at least temporarily, quelling some of the short term concerns in the stock markets. However, it will not resolve the issue of the U.S. government continuously spending more than they receive in taxes. If a private citizen did that they would be bankrupt before you know it, well, shouldn't the government be held to the same standards??

What is more of a concern to me is that this U.S. President and Congress have piled on more debt in the last five years than all the other U.S. Presidents and Congresses combined in U.S. history. The U.S. government is truly a train off the tracks.


I am glad that it appears that Congress has agreed to increase the debt ceiling temporarily until they can come up with a better solution on the debt and this mega monster called Obamacare.

I am also glad that if Congress and the President can find a solution, my novel Saving Miguel will remain just good old fashion terrifying fiction and not prophetic fiction that became reality.       

The link below gives Europe's perspective on the U.S. Government's debt ceiling shenanigans.



Europe looks on as the U.S. Faces economic Armageddon



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

U.S. President and Congress Playing Russian Roulette with Our Lives...

Saving Miguel - available at
better booksellers.
Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress are playing Russian Roulette with the upcoming debt ceiling increase. When does the rhetoric stop and the work begins?

The attached editorial explains the implications to the U.S. and its citizens.

If you want to know what the world looks like if Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress can't get their acts together, read my novel Saving Miguel  and find out. Saving Miguel is available at better booksellers.  


Russian Roulette with U.S. Citizens Retirements

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

In This Game of Chicken We All Lose!

I am not sure what you think about the rhetoric and game of chicken the Democrats and Republicans are playing with our country and economy, but enough is enough. It is the average people who are going to suffer from the consequences of thei...r posturing. Interesting link to an article on the subject is below.

Read Saving Miguel if you want to find out what can happen to the world if these politicians do not get their act together. I, for one, want Saving Miguel to remain fiction and fantasy, not become reality!


In This Game of Chicken We All Lose

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Saving Miguel - Paints a Picture of Life After Global Economic Armageddon!

Saving Miguel - the only hope left
is an eight year old boy! Available
from better booksellers.
When I wrote Saving Miguel I never imagined it could possibly come true, but here we are in the eighth day of  the U.S. government's shutdown and two weeks away from the U.S. government debt ceiling crisis.

I wrote Saving Miguel under the premise of what the world would like after global economic Armageddon. In my scenario in Saving Miguel, economic Armageddon began when the U.S. government could no longer pay its obligations and defaulted on its massive debt. From that point in time, it was only a matter of time before other global economies unraveled and defaulted. In Saving Miguel, I wrote my version of what the world would look like after global economic Armageddon.  

On October 17, 2013 of this year, the U.S. Congress must raise the country's debt ceiling or the U.S. government will not be able to borrow additional money. If Congress raises the debt ceiling, the U.S. government will continue to pile on even more debt, but at least global economic Armageddon will be averted for the time being. If Congress does not raise the country's debt ceiling, the horror begins when the U.S. government is unable to pay its bills or borrow money. For all practical purposes, the U.S. will be bankrupt. This will start the dominoes falling towards a global economic Armageddon.

I have attached a link from a Far East newspaper that explains the implications. 

Global Economic Armageddon



Read Saving Miguel and find out where the world finds hope!
      

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Saving Miguel, the Novel - Good Guys versus Heroes

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_21?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=john%20bradford%20branney&sprefix=john+bradford+branney%2Caps%2C306
Click for John Bradford Branney's Books.
In Post Number 7 of the blog for my adventure novel Saving Miguel, I discussed a couple of the bad guys appearing in Saving Miguel and the characteristics that transform just a run of the mill bad guy into a A-1 prime villain. In the volatile and explosive world of Saving Miguel there were many bad guys, but only a handful were legitimate A-1 prime villains. But since there were villains in Saving Miguel, it only appears logical to have a few heroes in the book as well to counterbalance the diabolical evil.

below is a short scene from Saving Miguel where an unlikely character named Rabbit transformed himself from a less-than-heroic and ordinary person into a hero. In this scene, Rabbit discovered a bad boy sniper named Blaylock on top of one of the buildings and decided to stop the sniper from taking the life of one of his friends. In the scene below, another character named Ian is Rabbit's best friend.



Blaylock quickly moved the riflescope off the old man’s chest back to the front door of the restaurant, waiting for his target. The next person out of the front door was a very large black man.
Blaylock settled the cross hairs of the riflescope on the black man’s dirty stained t-shirt. The big black man peered up and down the street, looking around at the crowd. Undistracted by the crowd, Blaylock held steady on the middle of the black man’s chest. Blaylock gently squeezed the trigger of the rifle and whispered, “Bang, you’re dead.” The black man moved to the side of the restaurant door and Blaylock moved the crosshairs of his riflescope back onto the front door.

Ian and Rabbit kept pushing through the crowd until they finally reached the entrance of the building. Inside the building, Rabbit looked around for the stairwell and found it. He pushed Ian towards it.

"I cannot see anything, Rabbit!" Ian exclaimed. "Go without me!" 

 
“I c-c-can-no-not le-le-leave you here,” Rabbit stuttered.

“Go. You must hurry, there isn’t much time.”
Rabbit ascended the stairs, two at a time, while grabbing the handrail with his one good arm. Rabbit was not sure what he could do to the man with only one good arm, but he did not care, he would do something.
 
So, there was Rabbit, living a quiet and unassuming life, but circumstances dictated that he had to take matters into his own hands or else the dangerous sniper would kill one of his friends. So, what characteristics turned Rabbit the Ordinary Guy into Rabbit the Hero Guy? What characteristics do heroes have in general?  What do YOU think?
 
Here is my short list of characteristics that I believe transforms an ordinary guy or gal into a hero. Tell me what you think.
 
A hero has to have heart, even at the expense of brainpower.  If you remember in Blog Post Number 6 on villains, I proposed that for a bad guy to be a good villain, he needed intelligence. The example I used was Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. However, when it comes to heroes and heroines, I believe that heart matters much more than a brain. A hero or heroine does not have to be that smart, but must have the heart to accomplish what is required. My example is the fictional characters of the Wizard of Oz. They were all heroes, even before they received their gifts from the Wizard, and the reason was they all had heart, even the heartless Tin Man.

Courage, brains, and heart - the three 
missing elements in the Lion, Scarecrow, and
the Tin Man.
 



A hero is willing to sacrifice his or her own well being for the well being of others. There are lots of good guys out there that would give you the shirts off their back, as long as it did not impact their own well being. An example of good guys sacrificing their own safety for the welfare of others was the 9/11 firefighters. They were willing to sacrifice their own lives to save the lives of others. Many of these hero firefighters paid the ultimate price by sacrificing their own lives to save others! These were true heroes!!
9-11 Firefighter - A hero, no doubt 
Courage and bravery. A hero must have the courage to take that first step into the unknown, that first step into danger. Courage may not be in the basic personality of an individual, but when the time comes, it will surface in a person who is a real hero. There are numerous examples of ordinary people doing extraordinary deeds when the appropriate time comes along. Perhaps, the courage comes from adrenalin or from somewhere deep inside, but it does come out and catapults that person from ordinary to hero or heroine.

    Situation, opportunity, and circumstances. Last, but not least, for someone to become a hero, the right situation and circumstances must exist. I am sure that there are plenty of ordinary people out there that have the above characteristics and given the right situation, they will become heroes or heroines. Heroism is a seed and given the four characteristics above, that seed can germinate.    

 
What other characteristics exist in heroes or heroines? Read Saving Miguel and find out! Available by Clicking here.  

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
    
 
 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Villains in thriller SAVING MIGUEL, oh my!!!




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     In my adventure novel called Saving Miguel, there are numerous bad guys, sometimes more bad guys than the reader can count on one hand. But, some of these bad guys actually make it to a higher level on the Badness Richter Scale, they make it all the way to the level of...drum roll  please...VILLAIN!

    
     We all have our favorite villains from books, movies, and TV and we root for them to win or be defeated. In my opinion, the difference between a plain bad guy and a real villain is that the villain somehow makes the viewer or reader forget about the villain's dark side, even for a split second.     

   
     Below is a short scene I pulled from my novel Saving Miguel. In this scene, one of my characters named Mr. Stewart receives a package from a business associate. Based on what he finds, the reader should be able to determine that Stewart is not your normal kind of guy. From this short scene, is it possible to determine if Mr. Stewart is a good guy, bad guy or villain? You be the judge.

Stewart stood staring at the object. It was flesh-colored, cylindrical and small. Stewart lowered his head over the hood of his vehicle and noticed the object had a fingernail. He looked at the other end of the object and it turned out to be the bloody stump of a finger. After the initial shock, Stewart
picked the finger up and studied it. He was staring at the top two joints of a very small finger, still warm from the bubble wrap. This Ahmed character is one nasty bloke! Stewart thought, smiling at the discovery.  
 
Stewart set the finger down on the bubble wrap and peered into the manila envelope to ensure he had gotten everything out. Near the bottom of the manila envelope was a small piece of paper that Stewart pulled out. Written in a childish scrawl on the paper was the following; a sampel 4 DnA or figerprint. Stewart studied the clouds in the sky while regaining his composure. He then carefully wrapped the finger up into the bubble wrap and placed it in the envelope.  

    
     So what do you think? Is Stewart a good guy, bad guy or villain? You will have to read Saving Miguel to find out the answer if you don't already know. 
 
     So, what makes a memorable villain? What is the difference between a bad guy and a villain? I am sure everyone has a different opinion, but there have to be some common factors? I have listed a few factors that I believe influence a character to be categorized as a villain versus just an ordinary bad guy. 
 

1.      A redeeming quality or characteristic that allows the reader or viewer to ignore or overlook the atrocious behavior the person is demonstrating. This redeeming characteristic can be charm, a good sense of humor, being a good parent or something else that distracts us from the bad behavior.  One of my favorite villains of all time was Tony Soprano. The dark side of him was a murderer, philanderer, major criminal, and sociopath. But, underneath this harsh sociopath was a little boy who could be charming and persuasive. After all, his seedy behavior was his mother's fault or that's what he leads you to believe in the show! Tony was the life of the barbeque when he was on his best behavior and when he wasn't...watch out.

Tony Soprano - Villain or bad guy?

 

2.      Intelligence. The stereotypical bad guy usually does not have much in the old intelligence  department. They commit crimes until their stupidity catches up with them and then they are caught. It is hard to emotionally connect to these 'bad guys', but add a personality, some intelligence or a high IQ and that bad guy becomes a villain. Let me use Dr. Hannibal Lecter as an example. He was a serial killer and cannibal who once said, "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti." Even though he was a psychotic killer, some people actually emotionally connected with Hannibal the Cannibal, including young Clarice Starling, the FBI agent who became his confidant. Without his intelligence, Hannibal Lecter was just another run-of-the-mill serial killer. With his intelligence, Hannibal Lecter became interesting, someone to converse with about art or wine, as long as he was on the opposite side of the shatterproof glass.
Hannibal Lecter - Villain or bad guy? 



3.      Moral compass off kilter. This is one characteristic shared by both bad guys and villains. They are missing a moral compass. These people do not know the difference between right or wrong, or maybe they don't care if their deed is right or wrong. Where there is no guilt, there are no qualms.
 

4.      Believable. The character cannot be too far over the top. Extreme examples on both sides of the 'villain bell curve' will not be believable to the reader or viewer. They have to be bad enough to be a threat but not so bad that the character moves from believable to fantasy. 
Walter White - Villain or bad guy?


Check out the bad guys and villains in Saving Miguel and then drop me a note. Tell me what you liked about them, what you didn't like about them, and whether they are villains or merely just bad guys. While you are at it, Click to order another of my book, Light Hidden by Darkness, you can take a another trip without leaving the farm! ;).  
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