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A Midnight Walk with Stephen Zimmer – Fourth-Wall Friday

Stephen Zimmer - Fourth-Wall FridayStephen showed up the cabin with bacon, a four-pack of Monster Energy Drinks and these three books with this wild look in his eyes. He suggested I take a walk with him.. I knew he wanted to tell me about how much Boston had affected him, and he knew how it affected me but I had no clue he was going to tell me about a strange meeting… my mouth watered all I saw was bacon…

A Midnight Walk

I was taking a late night walk in my neighborhood, savoring the tranquility that arrives when the hustle and bustle of day tucks away for a few hours.  A light breeze and cool touch to the early spring air always feels invigorating, especially under a bright moon.

The feeling of privacy on these walks is one I welcome.  Save for an occasional car here or there, and once in a blue moon another pedestrian taking advantage of late night hours, the atmosphere is largely undisturbed.

This particular night I needed it.  A lot was weighing on my mind, as earlier in the day I had a troubling incident occur at my part time job.  Entering the same gate I’ve entered for years, I was stopped by an officer who has seen me enter through that same gate many mornings.  He was a guy I had greeted several times before, and who definitely knew me, but on this particular day he had the look of a stranger.

He had a much different air about him, and insisted on checking my lap top bag.  While doing so, he expressed that he was needing to check my laptop bag for “potential bombs.”  Needless to say, being the freedom-loving guy I am, I was both dismayed and a little angered.   I wondered what happed to the whole “innocent until proven guilty” thing, when I’m being treated guilty until proven innocent.

Yet I’ve expected this kind of thing, as I’ve seen it coming on the horizon for more than a couple of decades when I first started writing the Rising Dawn Saga.  Still, I find myself getting more upset as the society in that series increasingly mirrors the one in our world.

Unfortunately, I doubt it will be much longer before I can’t take a walk in the neighborhood without being stopped for identification, or being recorded on ubiquitous cameras, or any number of things that run roughshod over the things I hold dear.  Hopefully I can afford to get away from all of this before the gates are locked, and live somewhere where there are no TSA’s, DHS’s, IRS’s, ATF’s,FBI’s,CIA’s, EPA’s or any other of the teeming alphabet-agencies increasing the chokehold on all of us.

I don’t fear the nutcases that engage in acts of violence.  They can never harm my freedomsm as in order to do so they would have to be able to take the kind of control that let’s them force their will upon me and all of society.  They would have to be able to set their own laws and enforce them.   Rather, I distrust those who move in the wake of violent acts to erode freedoms, and that crowd has acted predictably in the aftermath of every atrocity.

Okay, I digress a little, and am ranting a bit, but these were the kinds of things weighing heavily upon my mind as I decided to take another route on my walk and go to a Speedway that is open all hours, to get something to drink.  The detour to get there took about fifteen minutes, and when I reached the establishment there was only one SUV parked at a gas pump.

Inside Speedway was the sweet older lady who works far too hard.  Like many people I am seeing these days in a down-sliding economy, she is in a situation where she is working a very tough schedule as she needs all the shifts that she can get.

Day shifts, overnight shifts,  every kind of shift, I’ve seen her at all hours in that store.  I can tell from the look in her eyes most days that she is exhausted, yet she always has a merry smile and we talk about everything ranging from her family to what books I’m working on lately.   I really have immense respect for her, as she is always so warm and friendly when I know she’s enduring a tough daily grind.

Monster Energy

Monster Energy (Photo credit: SidneySplash)

While inside, perusing my favorite part of the store, the section of the line of coolers containing the beautiful array of Monster Energy drinks, I noted two other customers, presumably associated with the SUV outside.  One was a rather huge figure, a man with broad shoulders, long dark hair, and a close-cropped beard.  The other man was about my height, of medium build, with bright blond hair.

As I made my way with a fruit-punch flavored Monster Energy drink towards the counter, I got in line behind the other two customers.  They both seemed amiable enough, though there seemed something familiar about the blond-haired man of the pair.

Both of them were talking with my friend as they made their transaction, and I caught a hint of the discussion as I stood there.  They were talking about recent events involving an entire city being placed under de-facto martial law, while a manhunt was being conducted for two wanted individuals suspected of a major act of violence.

“So what do you think about locking down an entire city?” the blond-haired man asked me, unexpectedly.  “What if every time a violent criminal is on the loose, they impose a form of martial law, I guess they call it ‘Shelter in Place’.  Do you think that should be the new procedure?”

At first, I paused, as I’m always careful when talking with strangers about certain sensitive topics.  Yet after the experience I had at my part-time job earlier that day, I was definitely in the right mood to offer an opinion.

The Rising Dawn Saga ARTWORK

“I think it is dismaying, and it’s another step on a really bad road,” I responded, ready to defend my position if need be.  “Besides, all that lockdown didn’t find the suspect.  Some guy noticing something awry in his backyard and calling on the telephone was what located the guy.”

I wanted to fill the man in on the fact that one of the themes I write about is the destination that this kind of road leads to.  One does not need to be a seer, as the incremental progression towards that destination is highly visible over the last hundred years, with a huge acceleration in the last decade or two.  I’ve examined the history thoroughly, as it has helped in the foundation of the book series, as far as the plot progression.

“I’m with you, Stephen,” my friend behind the counter said, expressing solidarity with my position.   “It isn’t good at all.”

The blond-haired man nodded. “You are both right  It is another step on a dangerous path.”

“Just seems too many people are willing to go along with it, though,” I replied, with a frown, as I thought of how easily people toss aside things that others fought for, and worked so hard to attain.

“Why do the people of this land accept that?” the big, long-haired fellow asked in a deep voice.

Beyond the more formal phrasing, he had an interesting accent, one that I could not readily place.

“I guess because it is easier to just obey,” I said.

“Do they not know it gets much worse … if they let them do this?” the large man asked.  He then said, with an unmistakable air of certainty.  “It will get much worse.  I have seen it.”

The blond-haired man looked to his friend, and they shared a glance, though what the purpose was I could not fathom.

“I agree,” I said.  “And I really feel it is going to get a lot worse.”

“When you do not have the courage to hold on to the rational, and you allow the irrational to predominate, what can you expect?” the blond-haired man asked.

“A return to common sense would be nice,” I remarked, finding I really liked the way the guy thought.

“Indeed it would,” the blond-haired man replied.  He turned back towards my friend behind the counter, and smiled.  “Here I am, talking and talking.   Don’t let me keep you from other business.”

“I don’t mind at all,” my friend replied amiably.  “Helps me pass the time on nights like this.”

The two men wrapped up their transactions and politely bid my friend a good evening.  I stepped up to the counter as they made their way to the front door, and walked outside.

“Interesting fellows,” I commented, as my friend worked the register and counted my change.  Without any prompt, I held up my Speedway card for scanning, adding to the considerable amount of points I’ve never used.   “Seen those guys around here before?”

“Can’t say I have, but they’re nice guys, and it definitely helps keep a shift like this interesting,” she said, with a laugh, though I could see the weariness behind her expression.   “So how’s your sister doing these days?”

“About to graduate nursing school, doing well,” I answered.  I added with a chuckle, “Hasn’t she been by to harass you lately?”

“Haven’t seen her lately, but be sure to tell her hi for me,” my friend responded.

“I definitely will,” I said.  “It was great to see you again, take care!”

“You too,” she replied, as I made my way to the door.

I walked outside and started back across the parking lot to begin the walk back home.  The two men who had been inside had not left just yet.

The blond-haired man was standing by the side of the SUV by the gas pump, while the bigger one was arranging a few things in the back of the vehicle.

He looked up to me as I neared, and I said, “You guys have a great night.  Really good talking with you in there.  After the day I’ve had, I’m glad to know there’s a few still out there who can see what’s going on.”

“Good talking with you,” the blond-haired man replied.  “And both of us can see what’s happening very clearly.  We’ve been down this road before.”

The response caught me off guard, echoing some of the words of the big fellow from inside the store.  Everything in me wanted to ask several questions.  But before I could figure out a response, the man continued.

“I think you’ve looked down this road yourself, if I’m reading you correctly,” he said, with an expression that I found curious.

I also found his choice of words very interesting, especially the remark about reading me.

“It’s something I think about, more than a little,” I replied.

“You’ve got your work cut out for you,” the blond-haired man replied.  “Not easy to shine lights on the things of the abyss.”

“No, it’s not,” I replied, amazed at his words, and giving the only response I possibly could.   After a moment, I added, “Sometimes I wish there was another world to go to, the way I see things heading here.”

The blond-haired man grinned.  “Quantum physicists appear to be agreeing with the mystics who have said for ages that there are other worlds and planes of existence.”

I smiled.  “I love that development, and I also found the recent announcement that scientists find that the universe resembles a kind of computer simulation to be very interesting too.  Always gives me a little hope that this isn’t the end all and be all of things.  Maybe the asshats don’t have the final word after all.  Sorry about my language there, I just love that word a friend of mine from Alaska taught me.”

The blond-haired man chuckled for a moment and shook his head.

“No apology necessary.  The ones you are thinking of deserve a far harsher description.  But as far as your concerns about them having the final say, I strongly suspect that there’s a lot more to the story,” the blond-haired man said with a wink and a grin, right as his larger friend shut the back of the SUV. At the sound of the latch clicking in place, he turned towards his companion.  “Ready to go?”

The big man nodded.

The blond-haired man turned back to me.  “Time to get back on the road.  Our business is done here.”

“Nice to meet you tonight, and take care.  I hope to see you again in the future,” I said.

“In this world or another,” the blond-haired man replied, with a smile.

He walked up to the driver’s side door, unlocked it, and got inside.  The engine rumbled to life a moment later, but before he pulled away the blond-haired man turned and looked back to me.

For a moment, I swear his eyes were a luminous, solid blue.

About the Author

Born in Denver, Colorado, Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning fantasy author and filmmaker based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Stephen has two series being published through Seventh Star Press.

One is the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series (which includes Crown of Vengeance, the winner of a 2010 Pluto Award for Best Novel). The series stands at three titles.

The other is an epic-scale urban fantasy series, The Rising Dawn Saga. This series stands at three titles, with the fourth scheduled for release in winter of 2012/2013.  Book Three, The Seventh Throne, polled fourth for Best Novel in the 2011 Tor.com Reader’s Choice Awards.

Both series are now affiliated with two growing collections of eBook short stories. The Chronicles of Ave short stories are set in the world revealed in the Fires in Eden Series, while the Annals of the Rising Dawn short stories are set in the world of the Rising Dawn Saga.

His other published short fiction includes the short stories “In the Mountain Skies” and “An Island Sojourn” in the Dreams of Steam I and II steampunk anthologies (edited by Kimberly Richardson), from Kerlak Publishing.

Stephen Zimmer

StephenZimmer-small

As a filmmaker, Stephen has credits in fantasy and horror, including the supernatural thriller Shadows Light (feature), The Sirens (horror short film), and Swordbearer (fantasy short film featuring a special appearance by former WWE wrestler Al Snow, and based upon the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant.)

FACEBOOKTWITTERBLOGWEBSITEAMAZONGOODREADS

You may have noticed Stephen mentions Monster, and myself, in his piece. Well this is not anything new to those who know him, but for those that do not, there is a current campaign underway to get Monster to recognize the amazing Marketing blockbuster they have sitting there in the form of the Zimmer… he blows me away with his abilities, which he at times has been known to boast he owes all to Monster! Seventh Star Press would not be where they are if it was not for Stephen…… and therefor in turn, Monster. Join me today, a vote for Stephen is a vote for Indie Publishing!

Vote for Stephen Zimmer by sending this TWEET to your TWEEPS TODAY!

Let your VOICE be heard by @MonsterEnergy

STEPHEN FOR MONSTER ENERGY DRINK

(RIGHT click and open up in new tab or window for the above button. This is a custom tweet specifically to drive the attention to the campaign to have Stephen officially sponsored by Monster. Though I am a wizard of wonderment and figured out how to get a button to do this, have yet to figure out to have said button be a pop up with jshortcodes!)

English: Original six flavors of Monster Energ...

English: Original six flavors of Monster Energy plus Absolute Zero (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The Seventh Throne (The Rising Dawn Saga #3)

The epic saga advances, as the shadows deepen … Friedrich accompanies the powerful Avatar Enki into the depths of the Abyss. They seek to discover the fate of Erishkegal, who crossed the Veil to spare a horde of outcast Nephilim ages ago. The quest will take them to the brink of hell itself, but it is one that may hold astounding revelations. Elsewhere, martial law is installed across the UCAS during the outbreak of a deadly virus, and the onset of a war to the Far East threatening the stability of the entire world. The imposition of a diabolical technology looms, as centuries-old organizations in the service of Adonai race to confront the looming menace. Ex-marine Gregory Andreas leads a budding resistance to the authoritarian government, while Dagian Underwood, the mastermind behind the oncoming Living ID technology, reaches out to the dark realm of Set to gain the help of an ally with a rare, formidable ability. Seth Engel and his teenage friends venture forth once again to seek proof of spreading rumors; this time of rounded-up townspeople being herded into large detainment facilities close to Godwinton. Even the shape shifting An-Ki are caught in the maelstrom of uncertainty. Godral and the others of Sargor’s clan struggle to find their place in the strange modern world, while Uria leads his renegade new clan into the unknown. Threads intertwine as the dangers escalate swiftly. The Seventh Throne will leave the reader hungry for the next installment, after a revelation of tremendous magnitude culminates the latest Rising Dawn Saga adventure.

+GOODREADS  AMAZON

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The Exodus Gate 
by Stephen Zimmer

The Storm Guardians (#2) 
by Stephen Zimmer

The Seventh Throne (#3) 
by Stephen Zimmer

Fourth-Wall Friday

Ever wonder what happens if you were to break into your world build and sit down and have a beer with your main characters? I think I would love to have tea with Jane Eyre, or discuss the best way to take care of vampires with Jane Yellowstone…maybe having Susie Shotgun take me out for some Angels Tears…

Interested in being part of Cabin Goddess’ Fourth-Wall Friday? I will soon be opening up my schedule from July through Christmas and have a few limited reserved Friday’s for special Fourth-Wall Friday spots (Sign ups for July – December 2013), such as book releases and tours. Contact me at [email protected] for more info. I hope everyone (authors and readers alike) takes time peruse the archives and find out just what other authors have done and enjoy a lot of amazing world builds!

Fourth-Wall FridayAllow yourself as an author to open up a new avenue of sharing your AUTHOR PERSONA & WORLD BUILD in a unique and creative fashion.. Just take a chance, write fluidly and from within that “place” you hangout at with your muse. Or perhaps walk in the door, tuck into a corner & watch your characters get into trouble before you take a chance and talk to them…

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6 Comments

  1. Love this feature, definitely had to stop by for Mr. Zimmer. Thanks for the fun, Stephen! 😀

    • Oh Hannah! I am so pleased that you stopped by and joined me and Kriss at the Cabin! I will always share my Monster Energy drinks with you, and the great Kriss should have a sizeable stash of bacon available. 🙂 While it has a serious note, I enjoyed writing this post a great deal.

  2. This is a fabulous post! Absolutely loved it and now I’m totally intrigued by the books – must add them to the never ending ‘to read’ list.

    Thanks to Kriss for introducing me to Stephen a while back. I love working with both of you 🙂

    • Hi Angela, thanks for reading the post! Yes, my book themes hit close to home for me so this post was a great fit for the Rising Dawn Saga. Hope you enjoy them! Not your typical urban fantasy, LOL

  3. What would we do without the Fourth Wall to run through? This is great Stephen! (Friend from Alaska?) I share your sentiments and can’t wait to read more of your books. Thank you for sharing!

    • I know you know what I’m getting at Dianne, and really appreciate that you’ve been reading The Exodus Gate, that’s just the foundation…things escalate and really fire up in the ensuing books! 🙂

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