Phoenix Entertainment and Development

Phoenix Entertainment and Development

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Melissa Bowersock Interview Part 1

Hello everyone, and welcome to back to the Writer's Revolution.  I am your host, the author of The Phoenix BladeAndrew Hess.  Today we take a closer look at Melissa Bowersock as she talks about her new book, Stone's Ghost.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I have been a writer forever.  I’m one of those people who can’t not write.  However, I decided long ago I wanted to keep writing as the fun and passionate vocation that it is, so I have always had a day job to pay the bills; allowing me to write whatever, whenever I want without pressure.  Currently I work for the National Observatory and I’m on a team that is building a large telescope in the Chilean Andes.  I live in Arizona with my husband and an Airedale terrier, and I’m also a certified hypnotherapist.  Nothing like a little variety!

That’s an impressive job.  I agree that is a variety of credits to your name.  With so much going on, what inspired you to write?  What type of genre do you write?

I write in multiple genres; whatever story gets stuck in my head and needs to bleed out through my fingers onto the paper.  I’ve got 10 novels and they range from action/adventure to romance to fantasy to spiritual to satire.  I’ve also written one non-fiction, the biography of my aunt who was an Army nurse and prisoner-of-war during WWII.  Like I said; variety.  But I found early on that traditional publishers did not see this sort of versatility as an asset.  After my first two books (historical romance) were published by a NY house, I thought I had an “in” in the business, but when I switched to a different genre, I was thrown to the back of the line like a newbie.  Luckily, with the huge changes in the industry and self-publishing, we authors no longer have to grovel at the feet of the gate-keepers and hope and pray they like our work.

You would think they would look at versatility as an asset for a writer.  I think it’s great that you didn’t let that setback deter you from what you love to do. 

Now as I understand it, you have a new book out.  Tell us about it.

My new book, Stone’s Ghost, is a modern ghost story about love and loss and friendship, mistakes and consequences and redemption.

Sounds intriguing.  Tell us about the main character, what makes them unique and what makes them tick.

Matthew Stone is the main (living) character. He’s a very successful small business owner with a gorgeous girlfriend and a bright future, but he has a distinct moody side to him. If you’ve ever heard Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s version of the Christmas song, What Child is This, there is a refrain that clearly describes Matt: Holding on, holding off, holding out, holding in. That’s my guy. When he encounters a female ghost and they become friends, he finds all his stoic defenses crumbling and he is forced to re-examine his beliefs, his relationships and the real value of life.

Sounds like a great read.  What inspired you to write this book?

I got the idea one evening when I was watching Arizona Highways on TV. They did a story on the London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and how it’s said that some ghosts came with the bridge when it was brought, stone by stone, from England and rebuilt over the Colorado River. I actually envisioned the story being more about the ghost’s disorientation at finding herself in the desert southwest, but I wasn’t very far into it before Matt’s barely-contained paradoxes became the main story. I love it when stories insist on writing themselves, even when it’s not exactly what I had in mind when I started.

That’s happened to me too.  I wrote a book with one intention and it took on a life of its own.  I think that’s when a book really take on a life of its own and becomes more than just a story.

Now tell us a bit about your other books.  Were they self-published or traditionally published?

My first five books were traditionally-published, the first two by the NY house and the next three by small presses. By that time, my first two books had gone out of print and the rights reverted back to me, so I began to investigate self-publishing options just to keep them viable. I published them with my original titles through iUniverse, then discovered Create Space, Amazon’s self-publishing company, and have used them ever since. Self-publishing is a lot of work, as all aspects of the process fall to the author or a paid contractor—editing, formatting, cover design, marketing, etc.—but I find having total control to be hugely satisfying.  Never again do I have to wonder what the title of my book will be, or how it will be marketed. Now when I publish a book, it is exactly as I have imagined it.

I have used both self-publishing options in the past and agree the self-publishing route is better for the author to have complete control, but have a serious drawback of having all of the editing, marketing, etc. fall on them as well.

So tell us about the other books or blogs have you written?

How much time do you have? I’ve got 2 historical (western) romances, The Rare Breed and Superstition Gold. These were my first two books and were originally published by the NY house, albeit under different titles (Love’s Savage Destiny and Love’s Savage Embrace). I always swore I would write another one and call it Love’s Savage Armpit.  I’ve got 2 contemporary romances, Remember Me and Lightning Strikes. My fantasy, similar to Lord of the Rings, is The Blue Crystal. I’ve got 2 action/adventure novels, The Appaloosa Connection and Queen’s Gold. I’ve got a spiritual novel called Goddess Rising, and a satire on romance novels called The Pits of Passion, which I never thought anyone would publish. It lampoons every cliché of the genre in outlandish fashion, so I always warn people this is not your mother’s romance novel. The biography of my aunt, Marcia Gates: Angel of Bataan, was my last before Stone’s Ghost. My blog is at .

Wow, that’s a lot to have written and quite impressive.  You really do like variety.
Let’s change pace a little bit.  Who is your greatest writing inspiration?

I had an English teacher in high school, Miss Okimoto, who was the first to encourage and support my writing. My classmates probably hated me because she would usually read my papers aloud as examples of well-written work, but she was the first to actually recognize my ability. Beyond that, I find exceptional authors to be hugely inspiring. If I’m in a funk and having trouble writing, all I have to do is read John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany or Rita Mae Brown’s Six of One and I am all fired up again. Inspired writing begets inspired writing.

I couldn’t agree more.  There are certain writers or books out there that give you that spark that reignites the creative fire.

That's all the time we have for today.  Tune in tomorrow for part 2 of our interview with Melissa Bowersock.  Make sure to pickup your copy of Stone's Ghost; now available on

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Melissa Bowersock

Hello, and welcome back to the Writer's Revolution.  I am your host, the author of The Phoenix BladeAndrew Hess.  Today we continue learning more about Melissa Bowersock and her latest book Stone's Ghost.  Yesterday, we took a look at this amazing author.  Today, Melissa is sharing a chapter of her book.

Chapter 1

The Javalina Cantina had still not quite hit fever pitch when Matt pushed through the door and walked out into the heat that shimmered up from the asphalt parking lot. He wasn’t sure which was worse: the stale, dead air inside the bar or the stifling heat outside. While midnight was only minutes away, the asphalt still held a store of heat from the day that it released consistently throughout the night. The high humidity of the summer rainy season kept the air thick and cloying, making him feel almost as if he were trying to breathe through a wet towel over his face. There was no getting around the fact that July in Lake Havasu, Arizona, was just plain ugly.
Not that his customers cared. Owner of a water sports shop, Matt Stone did a brisk business this time of year with Sea-Doo and Waverunner rentals, bathing suit sales and all other things wet and fun. While older folks, “snow birds,” flew north for the summer back to Michigan or Washington, the younger generation more than made up for the lack by invading Lake Havasu with plenty of money and beer coolers in hand. As long as California did not slide off into the ocean, Matt couldn’t help but make money.
“Hey,” Simon called, bursting through the door behind him. “You’re not going, are you?” Simon Alvarez was one of Matt’s employees, shorter and stockier and full of energy. Simon spent a good part of his workday checking out the tourists on the personal watercraft, making sure they could function out in the water without killing themselves or losing the craft. His hours in the Arizona sun just turned his normally brown skin even darker. He and Matt occasionally ended a night at the bar, decompressing from the business of the day.
“I haven’t decided yet,” Matt said. He’d stepped outside to clear his head of the smoke, the noise, the smells, but heading home was sounding more appealing as the moments went by. He was a little tired of all the commotion inside.
“It’s still early,” Simon said. “Come on back in and have another beer.” Simon’s words were only slightly slurred; he was obviously not quite parboiled yet.
“Tomorrow’s Saturday,” Matt reminded him. “We open at seven. I’d like to get a little sleep before then.”
“Seven?” Simon groaned. “Oh, shit, this is Friday, isn’t it? Damn.”
“You go back in if you want, but I will see you at seven,” Matt suggested heavily, his ice blue eyes as cool as shadowed snow.
Simon mulled over his choices. Younger than Matt by several years, he was not that far removed from the college crowd they served; finally the lure of one more beer won out. “I’ll be there,” he said. “But in the meantime ...” Smiling crookedly, he disappeared back into the depths of the bar.
Matt just shook his head. He felt old. At thirty he was no senior citizen, but sometimes the demands on his life weighed him down. The store, his mother, Carrie … How did he end up being Mr. Responsible? He used to be more like Simon, more willing to close down a bar than walk away from one. He glanced back at the cantina, hearing the music and laughter inside. Truth be told, he didn’t even want to go back in, so it wasn’t as if he were denying himself. Tonight he just felt … tired.
Sighing, he walked to his car and lowered his tall, lean frame into the sleek sedan’s front seat. Turning the key, he remembered when the low, throaty rumble of the V-8 soothed him like nothing else. Not tonight. He pulled out of the deserted parking lot and headed for the London Bridge and home.
The London Bridge, he decided as he drove up the approach, had to be the ultimate in kitsch. Leave it to an American to bring the storied stone bridge from England and plop it down over a spit of river in the southwest desert. Before that, Lake Havasu City was nothing but a trailer park beside the Colorado River; now it was known everywhere because it had THE BRIDGE. The aged span sported Union Jacks and ornate lamp posts at intervals, objects more at home with bone-chilling fog than the hot desert air that bleached out the colors and faded the metal. It was the ultimate incongruity—
Suddenly a dark form, blacker than the night sky and human-shaped, appeared directly in front of his car. He had no time to jam on the brakes or swerve, although he did both, but before the car could respond he had barreled directly over or through the thing standing in the road. Immediately hauling the sedan over to the side of the road, he set the brake and popped the car into neutral. Without even checking for traffic, he scrambled from the car and ran back to see what he had hit. He just prayed to God it wasn’t dead.
Heart pounding, he searched the dark roadway. It was empty. No trace of anything wet on the pavement that might have been blood, not even a stain. Even his frantic braking had not left a mark. He glanced further down the road to see if a truck or a bus had preceded him, perhaps belching exhaust or smoke, but there were no other moving vehicles anywhere. He considered a low-hanging cloud but knew no cloud ever looked like that, black and almost solid. He scanned the lanes in both directions, searched the sidewalks on both sides. Nothing. He even glanced over the sides of the bridge, noting that the ripples in the water below reflected only the normal flow of the river, nothing like what he would expect if something had fallen or jumped from the bridge. There was no evidence that there had been anything there at all.
Breathing deeply, still shaking, he shook his head as if to clear it. He wasn’t that loaded. He hadn’t even finished his second beer. How could he have imagined something so real? He hadn’t been nodding off; he wasn’t sleepy before and certainly was not now. There was no reason for him to see something that wasn’t there. He looked again westward down the roadway toward the island; nothing there at all, not even a leaf moved in the heavy air. It just didn’t make any sense.
He walked uneasily back to the car and examined it. The front was unmarred and shiny, as clean as the day he washed it last week. There were no dents, no bits of fur or fabric caught in the grille. He remembered the fleeting sense of the dark shape coming at the windshield but when he examined it, there were no scratches, no marks. There was nothing to indicate he had encountered anything at all.
“This is nuts,” he said to himself. Wiping his face with a still shaking hand, he pushed the shock of thick black hair off his forehead. His reaction, the way he felt, was completely at odds with the fact that there was nothing there. Obviously there was no reason to stay, no reason to search anymore, yet he felt leaving would be irresponsible somehow. He had an uneasy sense of incompletion, yet … what was there for him to do?
“There’s nothing here,” he said out loud. His own voice ringing in the emptiness of the night irritated him. “Screw it,” he said finally and got back into the car. Checking his mirrors, looking around in all directions, he slid the gearshift into first and pulled slowly away from the curb. Gaining speed gradually, he continued to monitor his rear view mirror as he drove on across the bridge.

He saw nothing else all the rest of the way home.

Pickup your copy of Stone's Ghost today; now available on

Make sure to tune in tomorrow to find learn more about Stone's Ghost.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 2 Preview: Melissa Bowersock

Welcome everyone to week 2 of this exciting summer series.  I am your host, the author of The Phoenix BladeAndrew Hess.  Before I bring up our next guest, I want to announce that due to the overwhelming responses, I am extending the series passed September and am booked through October.  I look forward to bringing everyone a some amazing writers with incredible stories to tell.

Now for our featured guest.

Melissa Bowersock is an eclectic award winning writer; who has written ten novels and one non-fiction novel and has been both traditionally published and self-published.  Her styles of writing have varied from contemporary, western, fantasy, romance, action/adventure, spiritual, satire, and biography.  Melissa is passionate about her writing which is shown through her words.  Her latest novel, Stone's Ghost, was recently released with an incredible launch party last Friday; focused on ghost pictures, stories, contests, and so much more.

Here is a brief sneak peak into Stone's Ghost which is available now on

The small hairs on the back of his neck stood up, as if light fingers hovered just above them. Instantly alert, he forced himself to stand still even though he would have liked to jerk upright and look about the bridge. Controlling even his quick, shallow breathing, he kept his head still but focused on the periphery of his sight. He felt more than saw it, but thought there was something standing to his right. Something dark. Slowly, slowly, he turned his head.

That shape. Smaller, shorter than the woman who had just passed, this person was almost petite, or at least he thought she would be under the heavy black clothes. She stood—floated—just scant feet away, hovering near the balustrade with a tension that suggested to Matt she would vanish at the slightest move. At the same moment that he realized he could actually see the bridge behind her—see through her—he also noticed the almost wild light in her eyes. Eyes that were looking directly at him.

Join us tomorrow for a more in depth look at Melissa Bowersock and her new book Stone's Ghost.  Check out Stone's Ghost on along with some of Melissa's other books.  I've already picked up a few.  I encourage you to do the same.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Anthony Charles Interview Part3-Acting

And we are back with Part 3 of our interview with Anthony Charles.  I am your host, the author of The Phoenix BladeAndrew Hess.  Fridays are always going to be bittersweet for me.  Fridays are when we conclude our interviews, but that means I get to bring on another exciting guest on Monday.  But for now, I bring you the conclusion of my interview with Anthony Charles.

Anthony Charles Interview Part 3-Acting
How did you transition from musician and podcaster to actor?
Well originally I was a musician in my teens and transitioned into acting during college.  I figured that the recording skills I picked up through music and the knowledge of performance with actor could merge into a descent show host. 
What kind of classes and training have you gone through to become an actor?
I went through a performing arts program not unlike the bulk of them out there.  It was pretty much standard theater, acting, history, classes with performances capping off the years studies. 
What were some of your earliest acting gigs?
They were all various theater roles in which I was a guy that wore a top hat.
Tell me about your first role?
My first acting gig was in pre-school where I dawned a top hat and cape.  I was the master of ceremonies and all the students were different animals.  I remember being so gung ho about being the lead in the play. 
Out of all the acting gigs that you had, take me through your most interesting and memorable one.
One of the most memorable moments I’ve ever had as an actor has to be when I played a character called Brundibar in a play by the same name.  The play was originally performed in WWII to the red cross by children in the Jewish internment camps.  The aim of the play was to convince the world that the camps were innocuous instead of the death camps that we know today.  The character Brundibar was supposed to represent Hitler and his domination of Europe.  Most of the cast did not survive the Nazi death camps, but I met one of the original cast members that did. 
I had turned the character into a very external malevolent character that still drew the attention and adoration of the townspeople.  I was getting into character backstage before a performance when the director came around introducing this woman to the cast.  When she looked at me, our eyes locked and without knowing anything about me, the look on her face brought her back to those camps.  I felt such sympathy and loss in that moment.  I still carry that moment with me. 
Past, Present, Future: If you could play any character from (books, movies, TV, or music) who would it be and why?
Batman. Without a doubt. I would love to tell a very human side of Bruce Wayne’s story and what drives him to become the Dark Knight. 
What would your dream role be (action star, villain, super hero, drama, horror, etc) and why?
I would like to try my hand at comedy.  I feel like I have a real knack for it, but a lot of the projects that I get seen for are dramatic in nature.  A good comedic role would be a lot of fun for me
Okay, crystal ball time.  Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Ah man, I really hate looking into the future because there’s so much to consider and worry about.  Ideally I’d be making a comfortable living as an artist.  I also want to keep having fun and going on adventures with other artists creating new things. 
Time to sound a bit creepy.  Where can people find you/follow you/or find out more about you?
That’s not creepy at all. Creepy would be something like, “So where can people watch a live webcam feed of you sleeping?”  I would say that would be the best bet.  You’ll find all the social networking sites on there, my blog, and episodes of my podcast.  If there was any one place to go for more content, that’d be it. 
Any last words?
Yes, I have no idea what I am doing. I am just making this whole thing up as I go along. 
Try not to succumb to the forces of entropy.  We are all temporary beings in this construct, and the fact that we exist at all is infinitely fascinating.  We are made of the same materials that form the cosmos, and the radiance of eternity dwells within us all.  So don’t waste that precious gift working some stupid job that you can’t stand. 

Join us Monday as I preview our next guest Melissa Bowersock, Stone's Ghost

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Interview with Anthony Charles part 2-Anthony Charles Podcast

Happy Thursday everyone.  Hope everyone is enjoying this break from the hot and humid weather.  I am your host, the author of The Phoenix Blade, Andrew Hess.  Today, we will continue our interview series with our guest Anthony Charles.  In part 2, we will explore the Anthony Charles Podcast and how this incredible idea began.

Part 2-The Anthony Charles Podcast

Q.Earlier you told us about post production work and producing other musicians; which led to the creation of the Anthony Charles Podcast.   Tell me a little about it.

A. The Anthony Charles Podcast is about the insights of creative professionals and the lives they lead to make their dreams come true.  We discover the tools, motivations, and desires that go into a successful creative career.

The Anthony Charles Podcast is an interesting concept. What made you decide to start the podcast?

The idea for the podcast started after talking to two artist friends of mine that have done high profile gigs.  I talked to both of them about how they got to that level.  One is a musician and the other is an actor.  I was really impressed with how much their words helped me get through a funk.  It made such an impact on me that I wanted to share these stories with others to help them get through tough times.

How long have you been recording ?

I’ve been recording for quite a while now.  I honestly don’t know the exact number of years but it’s probably creeping up on a decade already. Time flies...

What’s been your favorite part(s) of recording the podcasts? The guests, the topics, planning it, or learning about people and equipment?

My favorite part is getting feedback from listeners.  There are so many talented people out there, but this business is very difficult.  Having somebody reach out in person or online to let me know that they drew some inspiration, hope, or learned something useful makes the entire process worth it.

Take me back to the first podcast. Tell me how you felt. Were you nervous, excited? How did you set it up?

The first podcast was sort of a cop-out. I basically announced that I started a podcast.  I introduced myself, things I’ve done, and where I think the show would head in the future.  I was a bit surprised that I was doing it but I was invested in the idea behind the show.  I basically hooked up some audio equipment that I originally bought for recording music.  It was collecting dust and it was bumming me out.  So by recording a podcast, albeit spoken word and not full band production, it made me feel more productive.

Everyone has the one moment that sticks out in their minds. What was your most memorable moment or guest from conducting the podcast?

I’d have to say that I’ve been very fortunate with the guests that I’ve been on the show.  Personal heroes like Sahaj Ticotin from the band RA really blew my mind.  To be such an intense fan of someone’s work is one thing, but seeing their name on your caller ID is something completely different.
Another amazing episode was Paul Russell.  He is such an outstanding resource; who is gracious and empowering.  It was quite amazing to read his books and then speak with him.
But one of the coolest moment for me, was the episode that I did with Andrew Goffman & Charles Messina from the off-broadway show “The Accidental Pervert.”  They really put on a great show and treated me really well.  It was cool to take my show on the road and experience the guests in their own setting.

How has doing the Anthony Charles Podcast affected you and your life?

Honestly, it has enriched my life.  I feel humbled and thankful that all these people took the time to share their stories and things that they’ve learned along the way.  It has opened up some doors that I normally would not have had access too, but it has also been a great avenue to showcase personal friends of mine that are in the arts.
I consider the shows that I’ve done with friends as a sort of audio time capsule.  I know that even if nothing else happens, I’ll be able to look back on those episodes as snapshot in our lives.

Where do you see the show going from here?

I honestly am not sure. I just hope that the show continues to grow and inspires more to follow their passion.  I think that the show will keep evolving as the episodes climb though.

Where can our readers find and listen to the Anthony Charles Podcast?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Anthony Charles Interview Part 1 Music

Here we are the start of the first of many interviews in our summer series.  I am your host, the author of The Phoenix Blade, Andrew Hess.  Today we are about to journey down the life of a musician/producer/actor/Podcaster Anthony Charles.  Tonight we explore where he began his journey; as we look at his life in music.

Q. Let’s get to know Anthony Charles. Describe yourself in 100 words or less.

A. I am a human trying to navigate this dimension with a light heart. Hopefully we all can live, laugh, love, and learn together.

That’s an interesting look on life.  But then again, there’s a lot that our readers might find interesting about you.  Let’s go a little more in depth.

How did you first get into music?

Growing up, there was always a musical presence in my house.  It wasn’t until I was thirteen when I saw a special on MTV that showed how to play riffs from some very well-known popular songs.  I remember hearing these riffs and being amazed that someone could create something so powerful.

I agree.  Hearing powerful guitar riffs and solos are incredible to listen to.  I feel they contribute more to the impact of the song. 

So tell me, what was the first instrument you played?

Originally, my mom bought my first guitar when I was still small enough to fit inside the case, but the interest didn't bloom until I was a pre-teen.

So how when did you finally start playing?

After seeing the MTV special, I couldn't wait to pick up a guitar.  I begged for my mom for one for months, but she didn’t want to get her hopes up.  She told me if I wanted it bad enough, I had to save up for it.  So I did.  I saved all of my pennies until I had enough to purchase my first guitar.  I truly fell that massively long waiting period made the moment so much better.  I played that guitar until my fingers bled.

I think at one point or another every kid or teenager has wanted to be a rock star.  So tell us, who were some of your musical inspirations?

I’d have to say 311 was a huge influence on me, because of how their songs had a lot of groove and funky elements in a rock context.  Other than 311, I’d say Pantera, Sevendust, and Jimi Hendrix.  All of them really made a statement with their art and demonstrated how incredibly talented they were and what could be done on the guitar.

I remember listening to a lot of their songs growing up as well.  They’ve inspired a lot of guitarists over the years.  Now as I understand, you were a guitarist for a band.  Tell us a little about that.

I’ve been in a few bands. Usually I’ve met people socially which leads to everyone jamming in a room together. From there it tends to grow into a serious project if the chemistry is right.

Did your band release any albums?

Technically no, but I did release an album under the name “Gnosis”. The album is called “Awakening.”   It’s a concept record about the subjective experience of realizing a spiritual self.

Take me back to your first gig. What was it like? Where was it?

My first gig was a middle school talent show. I was in a band that I joined after having a guitar for three months.  It seemed like a very unlikely goal, and I probably wasn’t really ready, but it turned out okay.  I ended up getting twenty-five dollars as prize money for winning and I used it to buy my first CD.

Every musician has their favorite moment or favorite gig they played. Tell me about your favorite gig.

I think my favorite gig was at The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie, NY.  The standard practice at the time was to play a series of smaller clubs until you drew enough of a crowd to play the big stage at The Chance.  My mom told me that path was not the one I would take.  I ended up making a press kit, shaking some hands, and skipping the entire process of playing smaller clubs.  It was also my mom’s birthday.  Ever since then, we recall that experience as a paradigm shifting moment.  The lesson learned was, there isn’t just one road.  We can create our own path in life if we work hard and get out there.

Now all good things come to an end. Tell me what happened to the band and if you guys ever get together to jam anymore.

Personally I never felt like I was able to get all the pieces together with band members. We were always missing a bass player, or a singer, or the right drummer.  After a number of years it gets to feel like swimming upstream.  You could have songs, live gear, T-shirts, CDs, and a beautiful website, but without a complete lineup you’re not playing any shows.  You’ll be stuck in perpetual rehearsals.  I’m still friendly with most of the people, if not all of them, but you lose touch with some people over the years.

What have you been up to since your days with the band?

Since music, I wanted to find a form of expression that wasn’t dependent on others with great gear and music chops.  I wanted to find something that I had more control over.  So, in college I studied acting.  I’ve been able to do a lot more projects in acting than I ever have in music, but at heart I still consider myself a musician.  I do post production work with music and have also kept a foothold in music by producing other artists and bands.

Where can our readers find you and your albums?

You could find “Awakening” by Gnosis on iTunes,, and Amazon. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Anthony Charles-Preview

Welcome everyone to the first installment of our summer interview series.  I am your host, the man behind The Phoenix Blade, Andrew Hess.  Today we're going to preview the upcoming interview with Anthony Charles, a man of many talents including; guitarist, songwriter, producer, interviewer, instructor, and actor.  So let's take a closer look at the man behind the Anthony Charles Podcast.

Anthony Charles has grown up in the greater New York Area.  He is an accomplished musician and songwriter; in which he released a concept album under the name Gnosis, with the album "Awakening."  Since then he has helped produce a few indie artists, created the Anthony Charles Podcast, and started a career as an actor.  His most recent role was the real life Civil War Captain, Robert Newlin Verplank in a historical drama "On the Side of the Angels," which was written and directed by Joanne Zipay (Founder and Artistic Director/Producer of the Judith Shakespeare Company).  This play has received lots of attention that culminated in the winning of the 2012 GHHN Award of Excellence; a ceremony held at the Revered Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY.  

As stated earlier, Anthony is also the creator and host of the Anthony Charles Podcast.  A show all about creative professionals and the lives they lead; where you learn about the tools. motivations, and desires that lead you to a successful creative career.

Join us tomorrow for part 1 of my interview with Anthony Charles, but for now I'd like to share a couple of the Anthony Charles Podcast episodes to give you further insight into Anthony Charles.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


For the last year, I've been posting on this blog about helping writers.  I've posted some tips and tricks that I've learned over the years as a way to help others that wanted to know more about writer's block, coming up with ideas, putting out your first book, and of course first book signings.  But now I wanted to take this blog to the next level.  Within the next two weeks, I will be conducting interviews with various types of writers.  Authors, poets, musicians, script writers, and even actors will be my guest.  Join us in learning more about these great and inspiring writers and artists.  

If anyone would like to be part of this interview series, please contact me at, Message me on FB:!/TheRealPhoenix13 or follow me on Twitter:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

One Door Closes...Another Opens

I decided to keep looking over my old poetry and decided  to share another.  This one comes from 2011 as I approached my final days at one job before starting a new one.

One door closes…Another Opens
By Andrew Hess

Is it weird to be sad?
This road has finally ended.
It’s a joyous thought;
Yet brings tears to my eyes.

Those I’ve encountered;
Will slowly fade;
Making room for newer ones;
Embracing the new associates.

But long and behold;
They are never gone forever.
They will remain like the others;
Never truly departing from my life.

Instead they will merely visit;
Resurface when it’s their time.
Rekindle the friendships;
Living a new life together.

Then why so sad?
Am I afraid of the changes?
The idea of starting something new;
Has me feeling exhilarated.

In my heart;
I know I’m ready.
I can face the challenges;
That lay ahead.

Each day;
Each step;
Has me closer to my dreams;

Slowly making them a reality.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

At First Sight

I wanted to share an intimate poem that I wrote shortly after I met my fiance for the very first time.  It's called At First Sight.

At First Sight
By Andrew Hess

It was a surprise;
Something unexpected;
Yet welcomed;
Finding something I believed to be gone.

It was a freezing cold night;
During the warmest winter ever.
A month of talking;
Brought me to this point.

Sitting in my beat-up Sonata;
Waiting eagerly with a friend in the passenger seat;
Looking for a sign or car;
Ready to meet her for the first time.

She was tall; roughly my height;
Blonde and beautiful;
She was sweet, friendly, outgoing;
More than I was expecting.

We sat in a dimly lit coffee house;
Striking up a long conversation;
Forgetting our friends were there;
Only one person mattered.

I lost complete concentration;
But knew what to say.
I never fumbled for words;
Just spoke freely.

The hours ticked by.
The waiter was ready to kick us out;
Glad we left on our own;
So they could replace us with more customers.

Into the cold cloudy night we went;
Standing idly by the truck;
Refusing to break from the conversation;
Letting our time together expand.

Every other though that crossed my mind;
Was how much I wanted to break my rule;
To kiss her right there;
Despite our friends watching.

But the cold overtook the temptation;
Forcing everyone to retreat to their cars.
It took us away from each other;

Longing for just another moment with her.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Revolution of Change

Lately, one of my friends/associates has been posting older poems.  I decided it's been a while since I have looked at any of my old poetry as well and wanted to share one with you tonight.  This poem was the spark that ignited the fire that fueled my determination to become a writer and to inspire others to seek out their passions.  Hope you enjoy.

The Revolution of Change
By Andrew Hess

Let this be our declaration;
Not of independence of freedom;
But that we have set course;
In an attempt to initiate change.

We have set idly by;
Watched the world unfold;
And the feeble attempts by politicians;
To fix the problems they created.

Oh how different the world once was.
Their means of solving issues were extreme.
People might have been divided into various classes;
But how different is that to today’s culture?

Look to the Renaissance;
Many were revered.
They were put on pedestals;
Now view as icons of their era.

Musicians, writers, actors, and artists;
These were the individuals;
Who gave everything to the world;
Including themselves.

Today is much different.
The men and women representing those fields;
Are solely focused on publicity and money;
Becoming immoral role models.

That notwithstanding;
There are still many known artists;
Who are true and genuine;
Being what society needs.

There is more that’s needed;
Someone needs to represent it;
The movement;
The change that the world needs.

The voiceless shall be heard.
Children will have people to look up to.
The dreamers will have proof it can be reality;
Maybe then others will listen.

Now my brethren;
We shall rise up against injustices;
Our revolution begins today.

Who will fight for this cause?