Introduce Yourself: Introducing Guest Author William Ablan

 

What is your name and where are you from?

Thanks a lot for the opportunity to introduce myself, and I hope I do your space proud.  So here goes.

When I was a child, I asked one thing of God. I asked that I never live a boring life.  I just know the minute I made that prayer that God leaned back, smiled, and said: “Okay, buckle up Mr. Adventure!”I guess you really need to be careful what you ask for. You just might get it. My name is William Ablan (not my real name, of course).  I write under a pen name for one reason.  About seventy-five percent of what I write about happened, and doing so under a pen name gives me the chance to put some distance between me and it.  More on that later.

Okay Mr. Adventure, what was your childhood dream?

I was raised a cowboy, and I can do all the cowboy stuff to include riding, roping, branding, and so on. I’m the son of a rancher but realized at an early age that wasn’t the life I wanted.  My eyes were fixed on the stars, and I wanted to ride a rocket into space (still might someday). I took my degree in the second most useless thing in the world and then couldn’t find a job.

Aww. That sucks. What then?

Two months later they called, and I spent the next twenty years being a police officer.  As I said, I wanted adventure, and I got it.  I worked not only the streets but undercover narcotics, plainclothes investigations, protected VIPs, been an Undersheriff and a Chief of Police.  I can’t say I regretted my time working in Law Enforcement.  During that time I’ve been assaulted several times, stabbed twice, and shot at a few times.  It opened my eyes to the dark side of the human race.

It also showed me that there’s good in everyone.  Sometimes, you have to dig to find it, but it’s there.  Sometimes the last person on Earth you’d think would be at your side are the ones trying desperately to save the life of a stranger, or going into a dangerous situation and doing something heroic.  Or something as simple as being vulnerable to try to talk to someone.  The good is there, and when people let it out, it’s dazzling.

With, you being a former law enforcement officer, I have to ask. What do you think of police brutality in the black community? How would you solve this problem?

Any brutality isn’t good. I think I’m ill-equipped to answer that question.  The towns and counties I was a police officer in had no black community.  That said, it still happened, maybe not to blacks, but certainly other races.  I knew Hispanic cops that got themselves in a bind being racist against whites, and the reverse is also true.  But I also knew Hispanic cops who brutalized their own and the same concerning whites. The first time I was around a lot of blacks was when I was in the military.  I never had any problems and count a huge number of blacks among my best friends.

What’s the answer?  I wish I knew.  Part of me says better training and better screening of potential police officers.  I suspect the truth is simply being a better human being.  I only know one way to get that, and that involves God.

William, what are your thoughts on race in general?

The genealogy stuff factors in with my views on race.  I don’t get it.  From what I’ve been able to learn, my ancestors got ran out of almost every decent country around, got here, and ran into more of my ancestors who did their best to scalp them.  Somehow they managed to get along long enough to produce me.  I’ve got blood connections to almost every people who have ever walked the Earth with the possible exceptions of China, Japan, and India (and it wouldn’t surprise me too much to find out it’s folded in there someplace).

Now an admission I wish I didn’t have to make.  My parents were rather racist, especially against whites (and here I am, half white)  I found their views disgusting.  They openly expressed hate, and I thought that’s not logical.  By their thinking, I’m having to hate part of me.  I guess I’ve extended that thinking to all people since I have a pretty good idea of what became me.

Available now on Amazon

Let’s talk about writing a bit. Why did you start writing?

I started writing because I’m into genealogy.  I always heard stories about some of my ancestors, and with very few exceptions, none of them left more than the barest records of what they’d done and who they were.  In some cases, the stories I heard weren’t true.

I can understand that for sure…

An example is my great, great grandfather.  The story I heard was he was in the Confederate army, had been captured, and spent the war in the Union POW camp in Allentown.  Now, granted, the POW system back then was a mess, but if you spent four years someplace, you would think your name would turn up.  I could never find anything from the Confederate Army reference him either.  Then one day, I got an unexpected break.  Turns out he was never in the Confederacy, but in the Union Army.  And he was an officer to boot.  Where did the other story come from?  Near as I can figure that since he was from North Carolina, they made it up so he wouldn’t get beat up!  Later, he and his family came out west with the Mormon’s, and he was a General in their militia.  I’d love to have known his stories and heard what he had to say.

What a story.

So, that’s why I started writing.  I’ve not only been in places where history was being made but in some cases, helped shape it.  I didn’t want my great, great grandchildren trying to figure out who I was.  I’d leave a record for them.

But writing it down involved taking a step away from myself.  Some of the events were still pretty raw and I had to report the best I could.  I invented a character and inflicted my adventures on him.  And a really funny thing began to happen.  I discovered writing was healing.

I take it you are religious William…

Yes.  I’m a Christian.  Now why I’m a Christian involves what I could know I’m capable of being.  In the Bible, we read the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.  The Pharisee stood in the temple telling God how cool he was, and that he did this and that.  Basically, he was telling God that God was lucky to have him on his side.  The Tax Collector didn’t do that.  The Bible tells us he stood there, admitting again and again that he a sinner.  The Bible tells us it was the Tax collector who went away justified before God because he was being honest with God.

Well, I was the Pharisee.  As a Police Officer, I saw it my duty to protect the world, and while I never abused anyone, took bribes, or such, I was viewing myself as the perfect person.  It’s easy to do.  What I didn’t realize is there was a monster in me.

I see…

One day, I ran into it.  We were in Saudi Arabia, a few short days from invading Iraq.  We had a Platoon Sgt who was horrible at best, incompetent at worse.  He thought you pushed combat troops the same way you push recruits (you don’t, in case you’re wondering). He went down with us saying he wanted to get the purple heart.  By day two, we were all willing to help him.

So, we’re breaking down and getting ready to move up to the border when he comes up and starts screaming at me about something.  To this day I can’t tell you what he said.  All I know what something in me said, “Screw him!”  as he turned and started walking away, I suddenly felt a hand on top of mine.  A friend of mine was whispering in my ear, “Will, he’s not worth it.”  My pistol was halfway out of its holster.  My friend had stopped me from doing something incredibly stupid.  Had he not been there, you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

You got some stories in you William!

I got a glimpse of the monster in us, and it terrified me.  I realized I was no better than some of the people I’d sent to prison for murder.  It was a very humbling encounter.  That night, I prayed, maybe for the first time in ages.  I asked God that if he got me out of this intact, and my mind sane, I’d serve him.  And I thanked him for putting someone in my life for stopping me from killing that man.

It was six months before I started trying to keep that promise.  Today, I can’t imagine ever having been the guy who almost killed a man.

Enough heavy stuff.

Okay. Let’s switch it up a bit. Tell us more about you, what foods do you like? Music? That stuff.

I’m a huge fan of hamburgers.

Lol! Yes to hamburgers!

While I love County-Western music, and Rock, I spend most of my time listening to Classical music, especially when I’m writing. I’m into some of the newer stuff that has a classical sound to it (think the soundtrack to Tron by Daft Punk).

Umm.. no idea who that is but carry on.

And if there was a single artist I could shadow, it would be the country artist Charles Russell.  I’d enjoyed spending an afternoon with him riding across the open plains.  He wrote about and painted the land he loved.  I guess it’s his passion I’d want to tap into.

What genre do you write in?

I write what can best be called Police Adventure. I published my first book last year.  It’s called the Cross and the Badge, and to a large degree is about learning to live with the pains of the past. My next book is a direct sequel called “Dead Friends.” I’m aiming for a release date of 1 Sep.

Congratulations on the new release! I don’t think we discussed what you are doing now.

My wife and I live in a not so little town anymore called Greeley, Colorado. Some of my fondest memories is time spent with her. Like when we’d be coming back late at night from a gig she’d played (she played in a Country-Western band), stop under a star-filled sky, and talk until dawn.

I’ve children and grandchildren and could acquire great grandchildren here real soon.  I’ve threatened my grand kids with death if they do that to me anytime soon.  I’m too young to be a Great Grandfather.

And I like to introduce myself as a Writer who moonlights as a Systems Administrator.  I’ve been working in Information Technology for over twenty years now.  People consider me an expert (definition of an Expert – Someone who knows nothing about everything…)

Ha!

…in Virtualization, Information Security, and Disaster Recovery.  I must know something about it.  I also teach it.

If you had a superpower that could chance the world, what would it be?

It’s odd that one of your questions would be about having a superpower and using it to change the world.  I think I discovered I had a superpower while I was a police officer.  It was the ability to change lives, often times for the good.  Granted, there are people I sent to prison.  I thank God we have prisons to put some of those people in (some of them were a lot dangerous or crazy or whatever.  Suffice it to say, they killed people and enjoyed it).  But often times I was able to intervene in things and get people the help they needed to get them off the path that led to those places.  I guess if the superpower had a name it would be called “caring.”  I found myself being a mentor, a counselor, and an encourager.  As I see it, I’d been placed in a unique position, and I’d be a fool not to try to help people out.

While I hung up my guns over twenty years ago, I still find myself helping people.  As part of my church, I find myself working closely with veterans, gang members, and people life has beat up.  And I suppose in some crazy way, that answers one of your questions about what love is.  I know there’s the love I have for my wife, children, and grandchildren, but this is the kind of love Jesus has I suppose.  The kind of love that tells someone that they’re important and not something to be feared or cast aside.  I always remember that one of the miracles he performed was with a leper.  A leper was someone who should never be touched.  Before Jesus healed him, he touched him.  He acknowledged that person as important.  To me, that was a true miracle.

So, you don’t need to be able to fly, or have knives come out of your wrist to change the world.  Sometimes you just need to stand up and try.

Thank you William for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!


Copyright©2019 William Ablan

Bio.

William R. Ablan is a graduate of Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado where he majored in Astronomy and Physics.  Because of the tough job market, he spent the next twenty years in Law Enforcement where he’s worked as a Police Officer and Deputy Sheriff.  He’s also held several important positions to include Undersheriff, Chief of Police, and Regional Emergency Manager for the San Luis Valley.  He’s also an eight-year U.S. Army combat veteran where he served as a Military Policeman where he worked undercover narcotics and investigations.  He’s been decorated several times for heroism and performance in both Law Enforcement and the Military.

He’s currently the author of “The Cross and the Badge.” His second book, “Dead Friends” will be released September 1, 2019.  It’s what he calls, Autobiographical fiction in that the majority of the cases happened, but he’s taken some literary license with the facts to turn them into a work of fiction.

Will hung up his guns in the 90s, and has work in the Information Technology field since.  He’s considered an expert in Network Security, Cloud Technologies, and Virtualization.

He resides in Greeley, Colorado with his wife Julie and works with veterans through his local church.  He has children and grandchildren, and currently lives in dread of possibly becoming a great grandfather.

Be Sure to Follow this Author Online!

https://williamablan.wordpress.com/


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#Book #Review – Ivory Dawn (The Razor’s Adventures) by P.S. Bartlett

Title: Ivory Dawn (The Razors Adventures)

Author: P.S. Bartlett

Print Length: 20 pages

Publication Date: May 15, 2015

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B00XQPBJ6K

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Ivory Dawn is a short story and the first book in The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Series. The prequel to Demons and Pearls, the story is about four young women living life on the banks of the Ashley River. All cousins, they are led by Ivory Shepherd who quickly emerges as the group’s leader. When the women are raided by a group of pirate men seeking to do them harm, it is apparent that these are not ordinary women. With blades and guns, they prove prepared to handle their own. However, the battle is not yet finished. Captain Christopher Barclay of Demon Sea and his men pay the women a visit and so is the beginning of The Razor Adventures.

Ivory, Miranda, Cass, and Keara have obviously been through some challenging times which have helped strengthen them in many ways. This first book serves as an introduction to the characters and opens with the attack on their farm. We then watch as the women defend themselves while protecting each other with fearlessness. As a woman who strongly believes in survival and preparation, I think it’s important for women to know how to defend themselves in any situation. I enjoyed how the author also managed to show us their soft, emotional side as they sat around the fire to ponder their now serious situation. Despite how tough, they are still women and I think it was important to show off that feminine caring side of them as well. The side that is concerned and warm as opposed to hard and cold. Bartlett highlighted this emotion well against the warmth of the fire. And as Ivory takes hold of the rum and four glasses, though the strongest of the group, I find she has probably suffered the most. It will be interesting to see what kind of pain and struggle is behind those eyes.

I’m a little behind on this series so the next adventure for me is Demons and Pearls, which I am reading next. I look forward to reading more about the women’s backstory and seeing how the adventure develops.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

You Can Find Ivory Dawn

The First Book in The Razor’s Adventures Series

on Amazon

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“I’m taking a fantastic voyage. Won’t you join me?” – P.S. Bartlett

#Book #Review: A Tale of Three Cities by Alexander McCabe by @ahouseofpoetry

Title: A Tale of Three Cities
Author: Alexander McCabe
ISBN: 978-0-9940447-1-6
Release Date: November 2, 2015
Rating: 5/5
Advanced Review Copy Edition

*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*

“A Tale of Three Cities” is an amazing story involving two women who do not intimately know each other, but whose lives become connected in a horrific span of events that is sure to leave both women changed forever. While occupying the waiting room of a dental office, bank cashier Melissa Chisholm is reading a magazine when her attention is snagged by a missing persons headline accompanied by a photograph of a woman she is sure she knows. Enticed by the million dollar reward for any information in regard to a Kristy Bradley, Melissa sets out to redeem the much needed cash, being reassured that she does in fact know the woman who changed her name to Lady Penelope Munro. According to the article, the two love birds married out of High School and settled into a financially stable and happy life before Kristy was allegedly kidnapped by Anthony Di Silva, a mob boss masquerading as CEO of a Waste Management Company and currently serving 25 to life after 34 million dollars and Michael’s wife went missing. Now Melissa is flying from Glasgow Scotland to Harrison New York on a quest to assist Kristy’s poor husband in finding his long lost wife.

Sitting in her car outside of Michael’s front door, Melissa is unaware of the man behind the smile in the magazine. As she waits nervously for him to read the documents she slipped into his home and to listen to her message on his answering machine, she has no idea of the maniac she has just involved herself with. As she waits, watching Michael faint at the documents contents with streams of tears colliding down his face, Melissa doesn’t know about the secret hatred more so than love pulsating through his veins. When his true character is revealed, it made me think about the stigmas that still exist surrounding a woman’s submission, what it means to submit and how abusive men take advantage of women who do. Nonetheless, as Melissa waits, it will be a hard lesson for her in the end.

Meanwhile, in Invernesshire, Scotland, Zacchaeus is torn between his love for his girlfriend Penny and the anxiety of her acceptance of that love. Having inherited the large Auchtershinnan Estate, she’s a woman who is certainly in no need of financial assistance from a man and though they occupy their dream home and live a dream life, Z doesn’t know how to feel about this and wonders if the fortune diminishes his wife’s dependability on his authority as head of the household. Having invited his parents over to their castle of a home as a surprise to Z, Penny is a confident woman who may not need him as much as he would like to be needed while his mother advises that he should do away with his feelings concerning the outdated gender roles. But Z’s struggle with finances and gender roles will later become the least of his worries when Andy, the estate’s caretaker, comes barging through his bedroom door. To Z’s confusion, Andy reports to the couple that “THEY are here” and urges Penny and Z to dress quickly. As Penny cries her eyes out in the sheets only once drenched with passionate lovemaking, Z cannot understand what has happened to the beautiful moment just seconds passed, who THEY are or why Andy has just called his girlfriend Kristy.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I was not too excited when I discovered this book was 500 pages long and the cover did not excite me much either. However, McCabe has written an adventurous tale that will engage all of your senses. His attention to detail is remarkable and I found Z’s sense of humor hilarious at times. Not that his jokes were even that funny but the fact that they weren’t somehow made it funnier. Because of Z, I am now cautious of my usage of the word “however” when I can really just say “But”. On a serious note, I also enjoyed how the author displays Michael’s deranged demeanor against Melissa’s sympathy for his loss. Having lost her parents in a car wreck years ago, her loss drives the naivety and compassion she feels for a man who has seemingly, like her, lost everything. I also enjoyed the parallels between Melissa’s life and Kristy’s and like a single thread that weaves fabric together, the dynamics involving the two women brings it all in.

This book has a lot going on but I really like how the author tied everything together and it is a testament to his skill. What I enjoyed most is the similarities and comparisons he created between the characters which gave it a “six degrees of separation” type feel to it (that is everyone being connected somehow). No one in this story is insignificant to the plot. From the prominent characters we are immediately introduced to, to the police officer on the street, they all play a role in bringing it all together.

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A Tale of Three Cities releases November 2, 2015. Please visit Alexander at his social networking sites and be sure to pick up this book! It is a must read. Though I read it already, I would love to still purchase the paperback for my collection when it releases.

Website: http://aasmccabe.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aasmccabe
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexandermccabeauthor
Instagram: https://instagram.com/aasmccabe/