Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Little Conversation with...Adam Iler

I met Adam when I started working at Blue Chip Casino and Spa, in Michighan City, Indiana (Free Plug!). Someone told me he'd published a children's book and I approched him to see about guidlines for submitting a manuscript. I never got back to him about that, since I rarely saw him.
When I started compiling a list of people to interview, I remembered Adam and asked him if I could interview him. He graciously gave me some time to answer a few questions about his book, Squealer's Adventures. Here's what he said...

1) How long have you been writing?

Writing is pretty new for me. I was always on the illustration side of things. I figured with all the techniques that I've learned over the years with my art, I could add details towards my characters and expand and enrich my work by writing the stories as well as drawing them.

2) What drove you to write Children's fiction?
I love how you can come up with off the wall situations and characters, and nobody will question you as long as you make it flow with the story. I've always liked to look at and draw cartoons, so to write a kids book was a no-brainer. As an adult, I still watch and read cartoons and comic strips. I went with fiction because my story wasn't ordinary, it didn't have everyday scenarios or story plots.

3) Squealer's Adventures is your first book. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Squealer's Adventures is a story about a space pig/spy  named Squealer, that goes on these wacky jobs for his boss. Squealer rides around on a scooter from place to place. He's got a special  backpack that gives him different objects to help him out. The head villain in this story is a robot named Roller that wants to take over the planet so he builds robots to do his dirty work for him.

4) Do you have any other projects in the works?
I have a few stories waiting on the shelf to be put into print, I'm still trying to figure out all the ins and outs. I'm working on illustrations for other peoples' books. I hope to make another Squealer's Adventures story so I can keep the series going. I'll keep creating illustrations for people and collaborating on ideas with others if fit.

5) Any words of advice for anyone looking to begin a writing career?
I would say never give up on your dreams, that's a big one for me. Never stop learning whatever field your trying to break in to. Do your research, listen and watch whatever you can get your hands on. Keep true to yourself.

You can purchase Squealer's Adventures on

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kickin' It Ol' Skool...Alphonse Mucha

Today, I'd like to give props to the Father of the Art Noveaux Movement, Alphonse Mucha (Pronounced Moo-Hah).
He was born on July 24, 1860 in Ivancice, Moravia and art was a hobby for him, but that began to change when he moved to Vienna in 1879. The theartical design company he worked for burned down, Mucha started doing freelance artwork and was discovered by Count Karl Khuen of Mikulov and hired to do murals in his castle.

The Count was so impressed with Mucha's work, he became his patron and sent him to Munich to attend the Munich Academy of Fine Art for formal art training. Mucha moved to Paris in 1887, continuing his schooling and working freelance. On Christmas 1894, He went into a print shop where it just so happened, that the Sarah Bernhardt led show, "Gismonda" at the Theatre de la Resistance needed a poster for the show. Mucha volunteered to make a lithograph within two weeks. On Jan 1, 1895, the poster was very popular and earned him a six-year contract with Sarah Bernhardt.

From there, he gained fame and notoriety through his many posters, book illustrations, jewelry designs and the like. Mucha's printed masterpiece was a seiries of illustrations about the themes of the Lord's Prayer called Le Pater.  Another of his major artistic works was the Slav Epic, a series of painting chronicling the history of the Slavic People.

Detail from Le Pater

Detail from Le Pater

Detail from Le Pater

Detail from Le Pater

A scene from the Slav Epic

Scene from the Slav Epic

Alphonse Mucha died in 1939 due to complications from pneumonia contracted when the German Army occupied Czechoslovakia and he was arrested and questioned by the Gestapo.

Apothiosis of the Slavs


Other various works by Mucha

Mucha's work has inspired and influenced many artists like Joe Quesada, Mark Brooks, John Baizley,
Naoko Takeuchi, Masakazsu Katsura and many others.

Joe Quesada

Mark Brooks

Masakazu Katsura

Naoko Takeuchi

There is a museum dedicated to Mucha in Prauge and a website called Mucha where there is more information and plenty of images of his work.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Random Photos

I keep forgetting to post photos here. Since I am a bit of a picture taker, like Charles Cronin O'Malley, it only makes sense to share some of the things I see. Now, if you don't read Andrew M. Greeley (and shame on you if you don't) that reference just went very aerodynamically over your head. But I digress...on to the photos...

Kim and Mya sharing a salad

                                                                     Snowy Morning

                                                              Getting some Perspective

E.C. Corner

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Sample of a new short story, "Consquences"

In a previous post, I mentioned a story of mine that Julie Hyzy had commented and critiqued. Here is a small excerpt of that short story, Consequences. This isn't part of a collection yet so you're getting to see some new unpublished work. Read and enjoy it, retweet it, leave a comment...


I sat up, hissing in pain. My brain felt like it was on fire. The lights weren’t on, but I heard the power stop and cycle back on. The house computer issued a warning as it did a quick reboot.

“What was that?” Paolo asked as he sat up, shirtless, beside me. It was hard for me to concentrate when he had his shirt off. As if him being dark haired, olive skinned and possessing a perfect Roman profile weren’t distracting enough.

I was about to answer him when another wave of pain crashed on me and a bright flash blinded us as the protective wards I’d laid on my house were violently dispelled. The house computer did a really bad Max Headroom impression and died a moment or two later.

“Did your wards just die?” He asked.

“Yeah,” I said as I got dressed. Paolo was already dressed and striding towards the door.

“I’ll check it out. Stay here.” I sighed and felt my heart do a little dance when he said that.

“I appreciate that, sweetie, but I’ll check the front and you get the back.”

“Fine.” He agreed. I could tell he didn’t want to, but I’m glad he did. I gave him a quick smooch and went to the living room. I got there just in time to watch the front of my house explode.

“Aero Crebar!” I shouted and the air in front of me hardened and deflected the oncoming debris.

When things finally stopped hitting the shield, I looked up and saw my living room. What was once so beautiful and ordered and homey, now looked like Mogadishu on a good day. The furniture was blown out of place, water sprayed from the broken water lines and the house computer system and other electrical wiring sparked and smoked, the ozone tang of the compromised systems hung heavy in the air. The only thing that hadn’t moved was the fireplace.

I was about to lower the shield when I saw someone moving through the smoky ruin of my living room with purpose. Anger pulsed from their aura and reflected in the set of their shoulders. They raised a hand and the smoke parted to reveal Miri Angelo, in a cranberry blouse and black pants with matching boots. It was cute, except for the murderous look in her dark eyes. Actually, they were white and glowing. Not a good sign.

“Where is he?” she asked.

 “Oh, you mean Paolo? He’s not here,” I lied.

“His car is parked in the alley,” Miri pointed at me and I was frozen in place. I couldn’t move. Miri raised her hands and I obligingly floated in the air in front of her as she asked, “Again: where is he?”

I was going to answer truthfully. Really, I was, but the bitch just fried my wards, killed my computer and destroyed part of my house. Any fear I felt was burned away as anger replaced it. I told her to go to Hell.

She slammed me against a wall. I was partially protected by her teke spell, but the back of my body was livid with pain. I was still conscious, though just barely, but I wasn’t gonna let Miri get away with this shit.

“Arcios!” I shouted and lightning leaped from my eyes and struck her in the chest. I fell to the floor as Miri cried out in pain. I stood up, leaning heavily on the wall. It hurt to move, but I had the momentary advantage and I made sure to press it. Hard.

“Tempestas Orbis!” I snarled. A tornado sprang to life around Miri, lifted her off the floor and spun her like a top. I stopped the spell and watched her fly into a wall and fall to the floor. She stirred and started to get up. I called on more lightning but it flashed harmlessly against a shield. Miri flinched and looked as surprised as I was that the bolt didn’t hit her.

“Cate, stop.” Paolo said as he ran to me. He looked genuinely torn seeing his mother and girlfriend fighting. My heart broke for him. I was looking at him, but I should’ve kept an eye on his mother.

Miri stood up, her eyes and hands glowing bright red. Paolo stood between us to keep something, anything from happening, but it was obvious that Miri was going to cast her power at me. After that, all bets were off.

Ice formed around her feet and flowed upward until her whole body, except for her head, was encased in clear, cold crystal. Miri’s hands stopped glowing and she bellowed in pain and frustration.

 Paolo and I looked towards where the front door used to be. Giuseppe, Paolo’s father stood there.

He was older than me, the gray in his brown hair was ample proof of that, but he still looked strikingly handsome (which meant Paolo came by it honestly).Normally, his face held a smile and a twinkle of mischief in his eyes. Right now, there was no mischief, but a steel hard glint of barely restrained anger. The look softened when he looked at Paolo and I.

“Good evening, Caitlin,” He said with a sad grin. “Sorry for barging in like this.”

“No problem. Good timing actually.”

“Well, Agatha called and told me that she let slip about you and Paolo to Miri during their lunch date.” He looked around at the ruin of my home. “I’m guessing she didn’t take it very well.”

“That’s an understatement,” I said.


I turned to Paolo. “I thought you talked to your parents about us.”

His face turned red and he crossed his arms. “I was going to tell them tonight.”

“Just for future reference: Sooner is better than later.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

(c)2012 W.L. Sherrod