Edward Owen – Author

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Racing Down the Homestretch (in Concrete Shoes)

Nothing cranks up my creative juices like starting a new project. Where some writers look at the blank page with trepidation and a feeling of being completely overwhelmed, I see it as my own personal sandbox/canvas. It is the tabula rasa (blank slate if you are Latin challenged) on which I am free to create the masterpiece of my choosing. A cursor blinking in white space does for me what the sun does for Superman; I type faster than a pouting muse, my prose is more powerful than than a critic’s opinion, I’m able to leap tall story arcs in a single bound; I become an unstoppable juggernaut of authorly awesomeness.

I race along pretty well for a while (plying my muse with chocolate and back rubs) with the occasional bump in the road that every writer faces but I push through. Then, somewhere between two thirds and three fourths through, the wheels come off.

I blame my Muse. I think the chocolate makes her fat and lazy and the backrubs have turned into full body massages with little or no inspiration in return. I start looking for other things to do. I’ve even been known to turn to (gasp!) editing to avoid writing. It isn’t pretty. What started with my Muse and I working in tandem genius has degraded into a state of debauchery; me wandering alone in the less reputable parts of the internet (Facebook and Twitter are Beverly Hills compared to some of the slums I’ve visited… Not my proudest moments) and my Muse passed out on the floor with chocolate covering her hands and face. An intervention would be in order at this point but there’s no one to perform such a service. I plod ever so slowly forward, my feet encased in concrete like a Mafia hit victim dragging my Muse by her hair caveman style. Somehow, we make it to the finish line and we smile at each other through the chocolate haze, only to realize that we are now faced with the less than savory task of rewriting. More chocolate. This is where heavy drinking would come into play if I wasn’t allergic to alcohol.

 Two things I find valuable to combat this affliction; deadlines and editors. I participated in NaNoWriMo last year and FINISHED the first draft of my novel Death in the Middle of Nowhere in thirty days. 53,300 words. Yes, it’s a little light and needs a lot of work, but it’s done. I am reading it to my critique group and noting their suggestions in Scrivener (more about this great program here). It will likely be a long while before it sees the light of day, if ever. But it’s done. My editor, Arial Burnz, is great at kicking my butt into gear and getting me to clean up my act writing. She and my Muse don’t always see eye to eye so I keep them away from each other. Red headed editor vs. Muse with a whip; not a pretty sight. Besides, they are both far too valuable to allow anything to happen to them. Just another challenge in the life of an Indie writer.

 It is nice to have allies in this battle. Other authors face the same challenges and hearing their stories often helps me cope. For those of you who write, you owe it to yourself to read Kristen Lamb’s blog here. I often get a chuckle but always get good pointers on the craft from her perspective. As the founder of WANA (We Are Not Alone) she is the torch bearer for our cause. Every little bit helps.

At some point, stories do get finished, edited, rewritten and published, but the last mile is grueling. I’d rather go to the dentist. Every day for a week. In my underwear (sorry for the visual). Thanks for letting me vent. Until next week, Dear Reader, scary concrete dreams.

Horror-able Violence

Most horror stories contain violence. It gores with the terror-tory. (Sorry, that was pun-avoidable. It will likely get worse. Did you actually read the title of this blog?) Nothing shakes our instinct for self preservation like the threat of extreme physical harm or death. Even if the act itself is not described in detail, alluding to it often serves the same purpose. If you suddenly found yourself floating in the middle of the ocean at night, what is the first horrible thought that enters your mind? That you are likely to succumb to hypothermia and drown? Probably not unless you have a lot of training or expertise in ocean survival. Most people would be scared shipless (I warned you) that they were going to get eaten by a shark, even though hypothermia is a certainty and several thousand times more likely to happen. Which ‘Accident at Sea’ incident makes for a scarier story, Jaws or Titanic? Exactly. Both involve the death of one or more characters but getting chewed up and possibly swallowed is a lot more terrifying than freezing to death and gently slipping beneath the waves. It’s violent and in all probability extremely painful.

The thought of dying violently is terrifying to most of us. The next best/worst thing is reading about it happening to someone else. I’ve talked before about the power of empathy, our ability as humans to put ourselves in the emotional shoes of another. It’s what makes books and movies popular. Did you cry when Old Yeller died? Cringe when Jack busted through the bathroom door in The Shining? Cheer when Rocky knocked the crap out of Apollo Creed? That’s empathy. Without it, no one would bother to read fiction, especially not horror.

I’m a big movie fan. Screenplays are just stripped down books in most respects. Some of the best movies started as books. I will admit I’m a much bigger fan of Sci-Fi movies than Horror. The Slasher movies have given Horror a black eye IMNSHO. Gratuitous gore and violence, vapid characters and flimsy, rehashed plots plague this genre of film making. For the most part they are laughable and not scary at all. I will admit I have not watched many and may have missed a gem or two, but I doubt it. Even some of the movies made from great books weren’t great movies. Kubrik’s version of The Shining didn’t work for me. Probably would have been great if I hadn’t read the book first, but I think Hollywood left it’s clumsy fingerprints all over the scene of the crime. Even so, it’s the violence or threat of it that makes the story scary. Ghosts? No big deal. Your Dad going after your Mom with an axe? That has decades of therapy written all over it.

I’ll admit I’m not as well read in the classics as I probably should be. I had a brief introduction to Mr. Poe in high school and have yet to indulge in the Lovecraftian world. Blame Stephan King and Dean Koontz. They pulled me into their worlds and I cannot escape. There may very well be horror tomes devoid of the promise of blood and violence, but none come to mind. Horror without violence is like a romance novel without kissing or sex. It goes (body) part and parcel with the genre and readers have come to expect it. I assure you, if you pick up one of my stories (thank you in advance for your support) you can count on the bodies hitting the floor… Even if they get back up and eat somebody. Until next week, Dear Reader, scary violent dreams.

A Spotlight on Indie Horror

OK, you could probably file this under shameless self promotion but as I have stated before, blogging is not an altruistic endeavor.

For those on both sides of the horror fence (readers and writers and fence straddlers like me) I’m happy to announce the coming launch of a new ezine, Dark Recesses. As the Managing Editor (the vote was taken while I was out of the room) I have the pleasure of working with two great people on this project. Elizabyth Burtis is our Creative Director and handles all of the layouts, website and other such things. Mark Harrington is our Operations Manager and  handles website maintenance, email and other such computer wizardry. Both Mark and Elizabyth are horror writers as well. Thanks to modern technology (thank you, video conferencing) we are able to collaborate even though they are in Portland and I’m in So. Cal. I met Elizabyth through the Coffee House Writers Group here in LA before she moved to Oregon. She met Mark up there (a very romantic story) and they started the Portland chapter of CHWG known as PDX. OK, back on topic.

Unlike other genre based ezines, we aren’t looking to showcase works of fiction. Instead, our contributing authors provide us with a glimpse into the inspiration that produced their book. We call it ‘the story behind the story’. For fans, it’s an opportunity to learn more about some of the up and coming authors in the world of horror. For authors, more shameless self promotion. Our focus is “the inspiration and motivation behind Indie horror”. In addition to the articles, authors and small publishers can buy ad space for further promotion. Contributing authors get a 50% discount on ads placed in any issue in which they have an article. We are also looking for original, unpublished artwork that is reflective of the genre. Submission guidelines can be found at www.darkrecessesezine.com. Our first issue is scheduled for October 1st, 2013. Just in time for Halloween, of course, with subsequent issues coming out each quarter. Not exactly altruistic, but doing our part to help promote Indie horror. I can be reached at uncle.fester@darkrecessesezine.com. Until next week, Dear Readers, scary ezine dreams.

Werewolves Aren’t Just for Christmas

So my editor posts on FB a question about werewolves and I made a very humorous reply as I often do and it got me to thinking. Horror fans by their nature have an affinity for supernatural beasties, but how cool would it be to actually have one in your life? I mean, Bella was in love with a werewolf AND a vampire… And had sex with one of them… Ack! Sorry, started to puke a little. I keep forgetting I’m Twilight intolerant. Redirect…

So, let’s think about this from a practical point of view. Let’s talk about the proper care and feeding of werewolves since a. They’re my favorite monsters and b. They started this stream of consciousness. So we have what amounts to a large dog that can walk upright (notice the avoidance of the word erect? Some of you have the sense of humor of a 12 year old and you know who you are.) seems cool… But… You can’t find a flea collar big enough to fit them and the poop? OMG, it would make Sauron’s orcs toss cookies. Don’t you dare ask who that is… Unforgivable. Not to mention that werewolves aren’t werewolves all the time. Imagine yours turns human and you find out it’s Mr. Hennessey, your high school gym teacher. And now he’s naked in your living room. And no, being a werewolf has not depleted his beer belly, quite the opposite. Go on, ponder the visual, I’ll wait. Now you know how I felt a minute ago when I mentioned Twil… Not gonna do it again.

Feeding a werewolf is easy as they will eat anybody anything. The are very useful for disposing of relatives, neighbors and/or coworkers you find annoying. Do be sure they finish the job or you’ll have another werewolf on your hands. This happened to a friend of mine and now his ex wife hunts him down every full moon. Makes PMS look like a trip to Disneyland by comparison. This brings up another good point. Not all lycans are created equal. Lycus lunas is your run of the mill specimen; human except during a full moon. They may waver one day either way, but for the most part they’re pretty consistent.

The next breed is lycanus reactus. Their change can be brought on by high levels of stress as well as the full moon. Oh, yeah, remember what I said about PMS? Imagine your ex at 350 lbs with 3 inch claws and 6 inch teeth. Reactus females can wreak havoc on your life so stick with a male… Unless they’re a politician or postal employee.

The third and by far most difficult breed to deal with is the lycanthropus maximus. They can turn at will and seem to prefer their wolf form to their human. First of all, feeding them is horrendously expensive unless you have a lot of enemies. Second, since they are rarely human, bonding with them can be a challenge. There’s also the danger that you could end up on the dinner menu. As cool as it is to brag about having a maximus, the extra headaches usually aren’t worth it.

Better off starting with a lunas and see if you’re a ‘wolf person. Not everybody’s up for the challenge. The shelters are full of lycans just waiting for a good home. I mean, sure, they let them out to go to work and school and apparently to the NSA and Homeland Security, but come the full moon their pitiful faces will be howling and snapping in their cages. It just breaks my heart to think about it. So if you’re lazy and self centered (i.e. you’re last name is Lohan or Kardashian) maybe you should try a zombie instead. You don’t want the ASPCW knocking on your door. The moon will likely be full and it won’t be pretty. Until next week Dear Readers, scary full moon, howling dreams.

Bribing you to commit: for everyone who subscribes to my blog, I will have a drawing this month (July) for a free download of the audio book version of “The GAME” narrated by Mike Hacker. Make sure you post a comment so I know to put your name in the hat. If you link back, I will put your name in again. Remember, you have to subscribe to be eligible. And yes, if you’d rather have the ebook, I will send that to you instead. See how nice I am? Thank you for your support.

Write Now, Right Now

Greetings from the mighty Freeway Flyer on another perilous journey to Los Angeles. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what to write about until I got to the word ‘perilous’. Sometimes the Muse works like that.

The three of you that read this blog know it is often constructed during my morning commute which begins at 4 dark thirty. Why? It’s nearly an hour of relatively quiet uninterrupted time. Also, I tend to be at my most creative first thing in the morning. (I hear you laughing, putting fingers in ears and humming la la la la la …. ) OK, it’s not exactly Pulitzer material but I AM WRITING. That’s what counts. That’s what writers do. It may not seem like much, after all, there’s no plot, no character development and no story arc. It has more to do with the discipline of putting out a weekly blog and getting the words down. A writer/blogger I read regularly is Kristen Lamb. She posts a new blog EVERY DAY and still writes books. (You can read it here) Granted, she’s a stay at home Mom, but the mom part involves a preschool age child. We all have our challenges. If you’re going to write, then do it.

A lot of people like to hide behind the excuse of ‘Writer’s Block’. Sorry, no sympathy here. OK, maybe the Muse isn’t being particularly cooperative with a plot twist. Write something else, like what a bitch your Muse is. (Probably not the best idea if you ever want to be inspired again, but it’s your choice.. and your problem) Point is, write about something, even if it’s why you can’t think of anything to write. That’s what it takes to be a writer. Pretty simple when you look at it like that. Now, get busy and write something, even if you think it sucks. You’ll get better. Until next week, scary typewriter dreams.

Tools of the Trade: Scrivener

My apologies for not posting last week. Life got the better of me and I found myself ill prepared to deal with everything. It happens. Working on getting caught up, but for today, at least there is a blog post. Small victories.

If you are an author in any genre and you have not checked out Scrivener, you owe it to yourself to do so. Published by Literature and Latte, Scrivener was designed to help writers get words on the screen/page. Period.

If you’ve ever written a novel, screenplay or other lengthy work, you know how difficult it can be to keep all your research notes and various versions of you beloved WIP organized. I’m a big computer geek; I can whip up folders and files like nobody’s business but even I found it frustrating to keep track of everything, not to mention switching between all the files. Scrivener solves this problem by keeping everything at your fingertips in an area called ‘the binder’.  Photos, websites, character and setting sketches are neatly organized right below the pages of your manuscript. This is especially handy if you are writing a number of books in a series. All your notes on recurring characters, not to mention each individual manuscript are readily accessible at the click of your mouse.

With Scrivener’s search function, you can locate any specific text string across your entire series of books. There are far too many features to list in one blog post, but you can try the fully functioning program free for thirty days. You’ll love it and wonder how you ever got along without it. There is a set of tutorial videos that make learning a breeze. www.literatureandlatte.com Available for both PC and Mac. Yeah! Until next time, Dear Readers, Scary typing.

Blank Page-itis

Greetings from the 10 freeway in Los Angeles. It’s Thursday morning once again and my self imposed Friday morning blog deadline looms on the (darkened) horizon. That’s OK, it’s a nice segue into today’s topic. Thanks to my friend and fellow horror author Elizabyth Burtis for inspiring this post.

The Blank Page. Every writer faces it on a regular basis. We have to start somewhere, no matter the subject matter, genre or writing style. Empty notebook paper, plain white page staring back from the carriage of the typewriter (yep, some people still write that way) or, more commonly, the illuminated word processor screen, devoid of life; they all demand our attention as writers and often mock our attempts at our craft. So what’s a writer to do? If we are to complete our stories, we must certainly begin them, but there are days when the muse is uncooperative. Mine gets cranky without her morning coffee and is prone to pouting, hence the day job in the City of Angels (note to self: blog post on famous misnomers). There is an ongoing discussion on this topic on our writing group’s Facebook page. Hey, I take inspiration where I can get it.

Personally, I rarely have this problem…. (excuse me while I sing along to American Pie on the radio) … OK, I’m back. Oh yes, blank page. I have a file with about twenty story ideas in it, everything from short stories to entire novel series. Getting started isn’t that difficult. Staying on one project and finishing, that is a different matter. Current WIPs: Editing the final short story for a collection of six coming out in October, screenplay for a web series, managing editor for an ezine also launching in October (more on that in future blogs) and critiquing an anthology of horror stories. Oh, and this weekly blog post. It might sound like a lot to those who don’t write, but I know writers who blog every day. In fairness, few of them have full time jobs outside the home, but it is still an admirable work ethic. Some of them also finish three or four novels a year. And every one of them starts with a huge, blank space before the first thought is put down in black and white.

The process is different for every writer. Sometimes I get one small idea and just start writing about it and see where is goes. For me, dreams are a great source of inspiration. The Chronicles of Alcamene series will be five books eventually. The entire series story arc sort of popped into my head as I was waking up one morning. The first book, Gunn Sight, was finished in about six months. Admittedly, I did not have that one edited and I have no plans to do so. It is what it is. I’ve lost some momentum on that series, but it will be there if and when I get back to writing it. Book Two is started, so there is always hope. I have another novel idea that is a steam punk/supernatural/murder mystery/romance. I just wanted to see if I could combine all those genres into one story. I really like the idea and it might very well be my next project. Or maybe the idea that the sasquatches of the Pacific Northwest are a race of aliens that crash landed on Earth thousands of years ago. I never know where my mind is going next. I’ve been told that it’s far too small to be out running around on its own, but that doesn’t stop the ideas from flowing.

No, the blank page holds no fear for me. I will never live long enough to write all of the stories that I have bouncing around in my head. More arrive every day. I try to make sure I make a note of the good ones and file them away. The well may run dry one day and I want to be sure I have something about which to write. Until next week, Dear Reader, scary, inspiring dreams.

The Trouble with Zombies

As far as I can tell, zombies are the new reigning royalty of the horror world. Step aside vampires, move over werewolves, your fifteen minutes is up. You’ve had a good run and I’m sure your day will come again, but for now the moaning, groaning, dermally challenged, speech deprived rotting hordes are the stars of the moment. The best part is, they are unlikely to be part of some teen-angst love triangle made into a long, heinous series of crappy movies. Yeah!

But there are some inherent problems with our undead friends and I just have to address this. First, every story (well, most of them, exception noted below) that involves zombies starts with the cause. What made patient zero into a zombie? Rouge virus? Government experiment? A curse? Zombies are actually related to vampires in this respect, being corpses reanimated by voodoo magic or some other supernatural power. How about a strange meteor that strikes planet Earth and releases a noxious green cloud? Nature, science and the supernatural have all had their turns at creating zombies. And then we have The Walking Dead, where no one is really sure where the virus started, but now everyone has it and death brings zombification without the necessity of a bite. Bummer. I prefer to blame the Government; those boys in the underground bunkers are always tempting Mother Nature to rise up and smack the crap out of the Human Race. Maybe that’s what zombies are, a huge bitch slap from the universe. “Got your attention yet?” the universe would seem to be saying. Go ahead, I’m paying attention now.


“Hi, we’re hungry and you’re lunch!”

 OK, I’ll concede the means of creating the first zombie. Let’s say that the Government was experimenting with a drug to make soldiers more resilient on the battlefield and it got away from them. The opening chapter of Stephen King’s “The Stand” is a good example of this type of problem. So we have zombie #1, or patient zero in terms of an epidemic. Maybe we even have several dozen at once. Here’s where I start to have a problem with the storyline. In almost every movie, zombies are slow moving hordes that overpower the still-living with their sheer numbers. But what if there were only twenty zombies in a group? C’mon, really? Darryl, Rick and Carl (Walking Dead reference) could clean up that mess without breaking a sweat. They’d be back in time for lunch. At some point, there were only a few zombies and why didn’t the military just come in and shoot them all? Or blow up the section of town they infested? Now, grant you, if there were some kind of space spores that floated down through the atmosphere and infected most of the population at once, then we would be overrun in no time. But that’s usually not how it happens. Zombie #1 bites human and human turns into zombie #2 and so on. Sort of like Amway without the laundry soap. If a pro football receiver got bitten, he would go from being a lightening fast, physically superior human to a stumbling, drooling, moaning animated corpse. I could outrun him with my bad fifty year old knees. So how, exactly to these slow moving, non thinking creatures get the better of humanity? I mean, we’ve shown that we can kill anything and everything, including blue whales, the largest creature that ever lived… in the ocean. We can’t take out zombies? You can walk right up to them and blow their heads off with a shotgun. Hell, you can kill a zombie with a shovel or a crowbar (usually). They’re just not that hard to kill, they’re not smart and they don’t move fast. How the hell do they take over the world? This is problem one.

Problem two. Zombies are always hungry. They eat anything alive, all the time. That’s why they are such a threat to us. We’re lunch to them. After a while, when zombies have taken over the world, there are fewer and fewer humans, dogs, cows, whatever, left to eat. So how do we end up with so many zombies in the first place? Why don’t they eat the people they bite? I mean, eat them up completely, leaving nothing but bones, if that. Skeletons cannot be zombies, they don’t have any muscles. So if the zombies eat people, who turns into the other zombies? Only the people who get bitten and then get away. If you’re fast enough to get away, how do you get bitten in the first place? So now I have problem #2, why don’t zombies eat everyone they bite and not make more zombies? Let’s add to that, why don’t zombies eat each other? I can’t imagine they’re all that picky about what they stick in their mouth. The movies always show them chowing down after they’ve killed their victims. You’d think zombies would go for each other; slow moving prey, doesn’t have weapons. Just have to make sure your lunch doesn’t eat you first. I don’t get it.

The Walking Dead is one of the best shows ever put on television. Ever. (See my post here about why I don’t watch it anymore.) The zombies play second fiddle to the normal humans, but they are very well done. The only thing better is the inventive ways Darryl & Co. take them out. My personal favorite is cutting their head in half with a machete… or removing it with a katana. My personal feeling about the suspension of disbelief aside, the animated undead will be with us for some time to come, probably forever. I strongly suggest we all work on our cardio, just in case. And watch Zombieland a few times. And take notes. Until next week Dear Reader, scary zombie dreams.

Why NOT Meeting Readers’ Expectations is Sometimes Necessary

As authors, we have a unique relationship with you, Dear Reader. While the choice of words, plot, character and everything between the pages is ours to make, you have the ultimate vote on whether or not our work meets your standards. Given that word of mouth can make or break the success of our books, you would think we would give you everything your heart desires. The guy gets the girl (or the girl gets the girl), the bad guys gets dispatched or at the very least arrested and they all live happily ever after (except the bad guys). We know that’s one of the reasons you read. Your fantasy world, your escape is subject to our the mood of our muse. (Mine is rather cranky before she’s had her morning coffee.) So why on Earth would we ever choose to kill off main characters and give you anything but the picture perfect happy ending? Because that’s our job. Bear with me while I explain.

As the father of three boys, the word “No” has come out of my mouth more than any other word in the English language, at least any I would put into print. When they were little, it was every other word. It was my job to guide them, nurture them and keep them alive. ‘No’ becomes a necessity. As a writer, my job is to elicit a reaction from you, Dear Readers. The stronger and more visceral the reaction, the better. The path to that reaction is not always a pretty one, especially in the horror genre. Even happy endings tend to leave a mark on our characters and sometimes the reader as well. Example: In Stephen King’s “The Shining”, the end of the story finds Wendy Torrance enjoying a sunny climate with her son Danny and Dick Hollarann (no, he does NOT die, they changed it for the crappy movie). They have been through Hell and back. They are alive but the experience has left scars, both mental and physical. And poor Jack, Wendy’s husband, overwhelmed by the spirits of the Overlook Hotel, did not make it. Yes, you breathe a sigh of relief that she is safe, but you share in her loss of her husband and probably a sizeable chunk of her sanity. Not pretty.

Novels are a self contained world. There is a beginning, a conflict and a resolution. At the end of the book, the characters go their separate ways and are no longer our concern. Unless they are part of a series. Now the stakes are much higher. Book series are almost the norm these days. They’re good for the writer; create characters once, reuse them, develop a following, sell more books. They are good for readers too. You get involved in the lives of the characters, get to know and like (or despise them, as the case may be), share in their triumphs and tragedies. As the dashing hero continues his adventures, writer and reader travel together on a journey of discovery. They become fantasy friends. And then we authors have the nerve to kill them off, or, at the very least, injure them in some horrific fashion. Tales of readers screaming in protest as our latest paperback goes flying across the room (an advantage of paper books over electronic ereaders) brings a smile to our face. Yes, we love you to death, Dear Reader, but sometimes we are going to do things you don’t like. Life is like that. We have a plan, so please be patient and hear us out. Our apologies to any pets or family members who may have been in the line of fire. Maybe the cover should include a warning label. Until next time, Dear Reader, scary dreams.

Terror and Texas Hold ‘Em

After writing, playing poker is one of my favorite pastimes. I even watch the games on TV. My wife can’t understand why I do this, but I find it fascinating. The gutsy bluffs, the heartbreaking suckouts and Lady Luck’s fickle moods keep me riveted to the screen. Considering my ADD, that’s quite an accomplishment. Admittedly, I’m often writing as I watch. This process led me to create “The GAME”, a novella about a terrifying game of Texas Hold Em.

The main character Edward Terraneau ends up in a game against the top pros in Vegas as well as the evil Darius Wellington. The stakes are life or death not for the players but for their loved ones whom Darius has kidnapped as well.

The idea just popped into my head one day while I was watching the World Series of Poker. I root for the players the way some people root for sports teams. I have been known to yell at the TV when I see a player making a move I know they’re going to regret.The GAME now available

The GAME now available

In sports, fans don’t know what the other team is going to do. Televised poker games show the cards the players are holding. Yeah, sometimes it’s like watching a train wreck happen in slow motion. I’m pretty good at predicting what players will do with a given hand, but I get surprised all the time. And that’s why I keep watching. A player may have the best hand, but he doesn’t know that for sure most of the time. Even when a player has ‘the nuts’ (best possible hand given the cards on the table) it’s still exciting to see how they try to lure the other players into betting more chips and getting the pot to grow.

The characters in The GAME are based loosely on the pros I’ve watched on TV. Daniel Negranu is one of my favorite players and he was the inspiration for the character of Edward Teraneau. If you watch poker very much, you will recognize other players in the in personalities of the characters. I tried to imagine how someone would behave in such an extreme situation. Poker pros by nature have to have a high tolerance for stress. The circumstances of The GAME push the players’ stress to a level none of them have dealt with before. Their abilities as poker players are strained and it causes them to make mistakes they would normally not make. Let’s face it, that’s about as close as I’m going to get to playing with players of that caliber. Thanks for tuning in; until next time, scary dreams, Dear Readers.