Sunday, January 19, 2020

RED FLAGS AND RED HERRINGS


There is a bill going through the Georgia House right now that some refer to as ‘Red Flag’ legislation. Briefly, Red Flags give police officers the authority to confiscate personal firearms if a person is deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. In some states, these laws simply require someone to make a complaint and the bench warrant is immediately issued. That does not appear to be the case with the Georgia bill.

If I am understanding it correctly, this bill, HB 435, requires a hearing before any form of confiscation. In other words, the person whose Second Amendment rights are being abrogated has the chance to defend themself before it happens. The question is, is this a common-sense approach to some form of gun control?

It appears that HB 435 has bipartisan support and is likely to pass. Interestingly enough, there is also an anti-Red Flag bill being circulated. I have no word on the amount of support that bill has, but I’d bet the farm it’s fairly low.

So, my problem with HB 435 is why have it? What we are talking about here is competency. If a person is making threats, or somehow acting out with a firearm, doesn’t the law already provide for that? Wouldn’t the person already be required to be under psychiatric evaluation and have a competency hearing?

Any state or local laws that seek to somehow side-step the Constitution gives me cause for concern. I can see the law being challenged before the Supreme Court at some point. More to the point, whose job is it, in an HB 435 hearing, to prove their case? It sounds like the person who is about to have their firearms taken away has to prove that they are okay to keep them rather than the state having to prove they aren’t. How does one do that?

When it comes to individual rights, how can the burden of proof be on the person whose rights are being taken away? That doesn’t make sense. Do you stand before the judge and say, that you are really okay, or that you were joking? How much weight is that going to carry?

The fact that someone put this bill in and so many people think it’s a good thing is a little scary. It says to me that the only people who have thought this through are the ones who don’t want anyone to have guns. Unless there is a standard, a threshold that must be met where the state must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, I believe this bill is the first step down as slippery a slope as exists.

Please take the time to think things through. Have a great weekend.

KM

Friday, January 10, 2020

WRITING, SELF-PUBLISHING, AND MARKETING, OH MY!


I have been writing and self-publishing novels for five years. Not a long time compared to many other authors in my genre. Believe it or not, writing novels is the easiest part of this 'business.' Getting a decent-sized audience is the hardest part.

You will notice I did not say, selling books more books. I have, at various times, offered giveaways on my novels without much success. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of books on the market promising the 'secrets' of marketing your books, some of these are free. Most of these books try to get you to sign-up with the author for lessons. Frankly, if I had thousands of dollars to spend, I'd use it on a real ad agency.

I will freely admit I am not a marketer. More importantly, my books to-date are extremely niche. The Senses Novels cater to the Christian Apocalyptic Fiction crowd. I am amazed, at times, that some non-Christians read and give good reviews of my books.

As I have stated in a previous blog post, I am tired of wasting my money on advertising that doesn't even pay for itself. There is only one marketer out there who offers a full money-back guarantee if you aren't satisfied. I've used them and not had a lot of luck. They did their best, so I haven't tried to collect my money (they have given me extra advertising which only produced more of nothing.)

I firmly believe the best advertising is word-of-mouth. That's why I am placing this 'call to action' for all the fans of the Senses Novels. If you have enjoyed the books, please tell others, write a review (you have no idea how much they help,) put it on your social media, help get the word out there. Also, ask people to sign-up for my mailing list (they can do this by going to https://kmaul.com.)

There is an advantage to signing up. One of the novels I intend to write is a prequel to the Senses Novels series. While I will be putting it up for sale, subscribers to my email list will receive a free copy to download when it comes out. By-the-way, I don't spam people. I rarely send out emails at all, they are usually reserved for important announcements, like a new book being published or a giveaway.

The novel I am currently working on is in a different genre. One of the interesting things about the main character in this book is their family tree. I will be offering a complete genealogy of this character to mailing list subscribers only (it's longer than most of my books!) and will not be a part of the novel itself.

I look forward to a fun and productive 2020 and pray you are doing the same!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

LESSONS


Welcome to 2020! I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday season. As we all wind down from the whirlwind that the last thirty-or-so days have been, I wanted to take a few moments to look ahead into the new year.

While many people find the tradition to be somehow comforting, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never seen the point in picking a certain time of year to begin a regime or change of habit. If you are serious, why not simply start immediately? Everyone is different, and if the new year makes it easier for you, by all means, you should start now.

That doesn’t mean I don’t start new things at the beginning of the year. I have begun to take the time to learn my preferred writing program better. I use Scrivener to write my novels. For a lot of people, it is an intimidating program, but I have discovered that I am using a fraction of its power and want to be able to do much more with it.

As I look into the actions already taking place in this new year, and the ones I believe are on the horizon, I think that 2020 is going to be a year of turmoil. That probably isn’t what you wanted to hear. I believe that there could be a showdown in Virginia that will spark civil unrest in this country, unlike anything we have seen in over 100 years. Any time there is open conflict between a tiny minority of government officials and a majority of civilians, it is going to descend into chaos quickly.

Threats by Virginia government officials of forced confiscation or use of the National Guard is more dangerous than over 90% of the counties in that state declaring themselves to be 2nd Amendment Sanctuaries. Something that Virginia lawmakers should remember, when George Wallace attempted to use his authority to violate certain students’ rights in Alabama in 1963, the President federalized the National Guard and turned the entire thing around. I hardly think that the governor of Virginia and the representatives of that fine state want to be taken into custody by the National Guard.

Can we expect to see an impeachment trial in the Senate? I don’t know how much longer Ms. Pelosi can hang onto the articles of impeachment before the President goes to the Supreme Court about it. She’s violating the 6th Amendment, the right to a speedy trial, already.

Will the violence with Iran escalate into full-fledged war? For the world’s sake, let’s hope not. I have very little doubt that if Iran pushes the US too far we will, for the third time in history, use at least one nuclear weapon on them. I don’t really care about world opinion, but it’s terrible for the environment.

China is going to continue to play trade and money games. People seem to forget that even though the Chinese government allows some amount of capitalism, it is a communist country. Their government will continue to build up and bolster ‘private’ Chinese companies making it nearly impossible for US companies to compete. There are some simple ways to stop this, but the Chinese people would suffer greatly.

The southern border of the US is another flashpoint we need to be ready for. The more we restrict illegal immigration into the US, the harder it becomes for the cartels to get their product across the border as well. The cartels are armed with fairly advanced weaponry and retain a class of criminal that have no compunctions about murdering civilians to get what they want. Unfortunately, the cartel leaders don’t understand that the more they kill or hurt civilians, the greater the rage against them becomes. They believe that it will cause fear and force the US to back off when the exact opposite is true. If things become too bad, Mexico may see black operations occurring on their soil no matter how much they protest.

I think we can expect to see more withering away of countries we consider allies. Their economies have grown because they haven’t contributed properly to their own defense, they’ve relied on the US to do it for them. Under President Trump that is changing, and they don’t like it. Some countries have already been invaded from within, Germany, France, and even England face daily struggles with the people they have allowed to come into their countries unchecked.

We are living in the age of terrorism. It is not something that we have to accept. We, all of us, can fight it and win if we are willing to stop hiding from it. We need to start mending the fabric of our society.

People who decry our actions against known aggressors to this country need to be allowed to speak and then they need to be shouted down ten thousand to one. People who revile our first responders should lose the privilege of having them at all, let’s see them depend on criminals to help them when they are being attacked or robbed. People who are verbally or physically attacked due to their political beliefs (left or right) should have the right to defend themselves, physically if needed, no matter if it is in a restaurant or a stand on campus.

Let me be a little clearer. If I were to wear a MAGA hat and be asked to leave a restaurant because of it, I’d sue them for discrimination; I wouldn’t tell them, I’d just do it. If there was a derogatory comment on my receipt or cup or whatever, I’d sue the establishment for discrimination the same as above.  If I were verbally abused by another patron, I’d call the police and let them know I was being assaulted and then give back as good as I got, probably much louder. Until and unless we all start standing up to this bullying, which is exactly what it is, our society will not become civil again.

I pray that the direr of these ‘predictions’ do not come to pass. I also pray that you will all have the courage to stand up for what is morally right and Constitutionally correct in the coming year.

KM

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

ANOTHER DIRECTION


I will be honest, this is not the post I initially set out to put up today. That post was relatively negative and probably would have hurt some people. I don’t want to do that, it’s not what I’m about. Instead, I am turning today’s post over to a report I read this morning, a far more positive article. Please take the time to read about this amazing woman.


 
I pray that God continues to bless and prosper Ms. Nicole Weider and that her message spreads.

KM

Saturday, December 14, 2019

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS


In writing, there are seven basic plots, everything else is either a combination or spinoff from these:

·      Overcoming the Monster: The hero must defeat a force that threatens them and/or someone or something they care about.

·      Rags to Riches: Our character is poor, but manages to acquire wealth, influence and/or love, loses everything and gains it back.

·      The Quest: The hero sets out to find something important or to get somewhere specific. Along the way, they face obstacles that are designed to sidetrack them.

·      Voyage and Return: Our character travels to new places, and, after overcoming danger, they return with experience.

·      Comedy: This can be a fun and humorous character with a happy or cheerful ending or a dramatic work in which the central motif is the triumph over adverse circumstances, resulting in a successful or happy conclusion.

·      Tragedy: The character’s flaws or great mistake becomes their undoing.

·      Rebirth: Some traumatic event forces the main character to change their ways and often become a better (or worse) person.

In my series, The Senses Novels, there are six individuals faced with an implacable enemy and overwhelming odds in an adventure that spans over two-thousand years. In other words, the story is a mixture of many of these basic plots. Ultimately, the novels boil down to one central theme, people doing what is necessary regardless of the danger to themselves.

If we look back in the Old Testament, we can find a parallel. In the book of Esther, Mordecai, her uncle learns of a plot by Haman to kill all the Jews. Horrified and dismayed, he tears his clothing and pours ashes on his head (a sign of mourning) and sits in front of the palace where Esther has been crowned queen. Mordecai wants Esther to know what is happening and go to the king to ask for help. Esther hears about Mordecai sitting outside and sends one of the servants, Hathak, to find out what is going on. We pick it up in Esther 4:9

9 Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

I have said before, The Senses Novels are written on many levels. They are a modern version of the book of Revelation, an allegory, a classic good versus evil story, and many more. Ultimately, they are a pointer to who and what we are or may become.

I have no way of knowing what battles you face or are currently in. You may have physical or psychological challenges. You might be struggling in the area of finances, politics, ethics, or law. What I can tell you is, no matter what you are fighting with or against, courage, honesty, and dedication to God will get you through. We are all here for a reason. There are no unimportant people in this world.

What is the plot of your life right now?

Each of us has been placed here to take a stand. He has put us in this time and place for such a time as this.

KM

On December 20, 2019, and until December 25, 2019, the entire Senses Novels series will be available as an ebook boxed set for an incredibly low price ($9.99.) If you haven't read this series yet, this is your chance to get the set for almost half off. So that you don't miss this one-time opportunity, you can pre-order the set here:

 The Senses Novels Boxed Set

Remember, this offer will only be available until Christmas 2019.

 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

UPDATED VIDEO


I have updated this video so that the cover matches what was published. It’s still the coolest video for one of my books ever made.
The Final Darkness is available on Amazon.


Monday, December 2, 2019

The Final Darkness Release

The last book in the Senses Novels series, The Final Darkness, has been released and is now available on Amazon.

 THE FINAL DARKNESS