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Newsletter Dated: 12/30/2010 11:19:29 PM
Subject: Andrea Campbell*s Soup*s On
Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, professional friend of Andrea*s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine.
In this issue:
• From the Author*s Desk
• The Undead, interview with Janice Bashman and Jonathan Maberry
• How to Retain 90% of Everything You Learn
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
Happy New Year 2011. Welcome and thank you for being a reader, fan and subscriber. We dabble in the undead this month and learn how to remember more of what we learn.
*** The Undead with Gable Bashman and Maberry ***
Q.: Welcome. Today we are talking about the book Wanted Undead or Alive. Can you give Soup’s On Readers a short synopsis?
JANICE GABLE BASHMAN: WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE deals with the struggle of good vs evil in film, comics, pop culture, world myth, literature, and the real world. Everything from vampire slayers to paranormal investigators to real life/legendary heroes to FBI serial-killer profilers.
Q.: How is the book organized?
JONATHAN MABERRY: Each chapter tackles a different theme. Serial Killers, Vampires, Ghost Hunting, and so on. We also interviews with experts ranging from Stan Lee to real FBI profilers.
BASHMAN: And, the book is fully illustrated by top horror, comics and fantasy artists.
Q.: Tales are passed down through history, how does one separate fact from fiction?
MABERRY: That’s often impossible. History is filtered through personal viewpoint and often unsubstantiated eyewitness accounts. Mix that with the supernatural, paranormal, celestial, and the unknown, and you get a grab-bag of accounts that often rely on belief.
That said, the purpose of the book isn’t to prove anything. It’s an exploration of the themes of good and evil (and their variations, like good and bad, our side and their side, etc.) and how those concepts have manifested in politics, religion, art, literature, folklore, pop culture, comics, and our modern world.
Q.: In the book you say that evil is intention. In fact, in criminal law there is the act, but it is not a crime without intent. Why is there that distinction?
MABERRY: Many crimes are committed accidentally, or during a moment of confusion –such as an argument, a riot, a natural catastrophe. Intent is key because that speaks to why a crime was committed. In the book we use an example: Driving a car up onto a lawn and running over a puppy is a violation of several laws. Does that make it a crime? Deliberately chasing the puppy up onto the lawn with the intention of running it over is definitely a crime. Or is it? Cold facts are not ‘big picture’ enough to make that determination. What if the puppy is rabid and is about to bite a toddler in a sandbox? Would using the car to save the child still be a felony? Or does it then become an heroic act? Intent matters.
Q.: Wanted Undead is actually a complete guide of many different evil entities, can you speak to that?
MABERRY: Evil, badness and corruption exist in all aspects of human culture. Not just the extremes of evil, but its shades and variations. For example, if a vampire believes himself to be of a different species from human, then can human values of good and evil apply? We don’t apply them to, say, sharks or tigers and yet they prey on humans. Or, if a person rises from the grave as a vampire—their first night as a vampire in fact—are they innately evil? If a vampire hunter tries to stake them that first night—before the vampire has even had a chance to hunt for human blood—why is the hunter not the evil felon and the vampire the innocent victim? Evil is all about shades of gray.
Q.: Why is it that readers are drawn to evil do you think?
BASHMAN: Readers are drawn to evil because it speaks to us, to that deep dark part of humans that we all—at least most of us—would prefer to keep buried and well hidden. Evil fascinates us because it scares us. We search for a way to conquer it and gain control of it, to make sense of our lives.
Q.: What is a “monomyth”?
MABERRY: It’s a concept coined by James Joyce but explored in great depth by Joseph Campbell in his ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’. In short, if you look at myths from around the world there are some storylines that seem to crop up everywhere. Similarities abound, even in cultures that can’t easily be historically connected, such as the Navajo and the Greeks.
Q.: Two part question here: Vampires have an incredibly long history, what new facts did you unearth from the past and how did you possibly choose what to tell?
MABERRY: We focused on the vampire hunter, and on the myths and misconceptions associated with folkloric vampirism. For example, we discuss the various ways in which a person can become a vampire. Being bitten by a vampire is the least common way, by the way. A common way is to be born with a caul—an amniotic membrane covering the face—in some cases indicates the presence of evil within the newborn. Vampire species created through this means include the Wume of Togo, the Nachtzehrer of Germany, the Strigoi of Romania, the Upier and Ohyn of Poland; while in other cultures it’s a sign of great positive spiritual power.
Q.: So what’s up with ghost hunters?
BASHMAN: In many cultures, ghosts are feared; others embrace spirits. The fascination with paranormal phenomenon is nothing new. In fact, inventor Thomas Edison (1847-1931) was convinced it was possible to design a device to communicate with ghosts, although he never created one. Modern technology has given ghost hunters the means to seek and obtain scientific evidence to prove or disprove the existence of ghosts and other phenomenon. Today’s ghost hunters use photographs, video footage, sound recordings and a variety of other equipment to scientifically collect evidence of ghost activity.
Q.: What did you learn about behavioral profilers?
BASHMAN: What we see on TV or in the movies or read about behavioral profilers is only part of the picture. The word “profiler” refers to an aspect of the job and not a job title. Profilers attempt to determine the type of person who committed a crime based on patterns and similarities among killings. In addition to trying to catch serial killers, behavioral profilers work on all types of crime, help law enforcement establish probable cause and obtain search warrants, and help prosecutors with jury selection and ways to cross-examine the killer.
Q.: Who did you interview and how did you approach such an undertaking? Did working together help and how did that come about, your co-authorship?
MABERRY: We worked separately for most of the project. We divided the topics and generally conducted the research on our own until we had a draft of a chapter. Then we swapped drafts so that the other person could review it, make any changes, additions or deletions. Then we each did a pass on the full book so that it had a uniform ‘voice’.
BASHMAN: Over the course of the book we spoke with Stan Lee, Mike Mignola (creator of HELLBOY), horror actresses Amber Benson, Amy Lynn Best, Christa Cambpell and Monique DuPree; authors Charlaine Harris (True Blood), Rachel Caine, Shiloh Walker, Russell Atwood, James Moore, Charles Ardai; filmmakers John Carpenter, Lloyd Kaufman, Mike Watt; and so many others.
Q.: Anything to share about your publisher? Did you use an agent to sell the book?
MABERRY: This book was part of a package of five I sold to Citadel Press in 2005. The four previous books are: VAMPIRE UNIVERSE (2006), THE CRYPTOPEDIA (2007; winner of the Bram Stoker Award for Best Nonfiction; co-authored by David F. Kramer); ZOMBIE CSU (2008; winner of the Hinzman Science Award and the Black Quill Award); and THEY BITE (2009; co-authored by David F. Kramer).
Q.: What will you be doing for promotion?
BASHMAN: We’ve already had a bunch of book signings and have more in the works. We’ve been interviewed or reviewed on numerous blogs and written guest posts for others. We also have a strong presence on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Word of mouth is one of the strongest and most effective means of marketing, and we’re using these platforms to help spread the word.
* * *
Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestseller, multiple Bram Stoker Award-winner and a writer for Marvel Comics. He has written a number of award-winning nonfiction books and novels on the paranormal and supernatural, including THE CRYPTOPEDIA, VAMPIRE UNIVERSE, THEY BITE, ZOMBIE CSU and PATIENT ZERO. His latest novel is ROT & RUIN. Visit Jonathan’s website at http://www.jonathanmaberry.com/.
Janice Gable Bashman has written for THE BIG THRILL, NOVEL & SHORT STORY WRITER’S MARKET, THE WRITER, WILD RIVER REVIEW, and many others. Visit Janice’s website at www.janicegablebashman.com
*** How to Retain 90% of Everything You Learn ***
Imagine if you had a bucket of water. And every time you attempted to fill the bucket, 90% of the water would leak out instantly. Every time, all you'd retain was a measly 10%. How many times would you keep filling the bucket?
The answer is simple: just once.
The first time you noticed the leak, you'd take action You'd either fix the bucket or you'd get another bucket, wouldn't you?
Yet that's not at all the way we learn.
Almost all of us waste 90% of our time, resources and learning time, because we don't understand a simple concept called the Learning Pyramid. The Learning Pyramid was developed way back in the 1960s by the NTL Institute in Bethel, Maine. And if you look at the pyramid you'll see something really weird.
That weird thing is that you're wasting time. You're wasting resources. You're just doing everything you can to prevent learning. And here's why.
To summarize the numbers (which sometimes get cited differently) learners retain approximately:
90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn when they've learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they've learned from lecture.
So why do you retain 90% when you teach someone else or when you implement it immediately?
There's a good reason why. When you implement or teach, you instantly make mistakes. Try it for yourself. (In this article for instance, after I'd read the information, I cited the loss rate as 95% instead of 90% to begin with. I had to go back and correct myself. Then I found three more errors, which I had to fix. These were factual errors that required copy and paste, but I still made the errors).
So as soon as you run into difficulty and start to make mistakes, you have to learn how to correct the mistake. This forces your brain to concentrate.
But surely your brain is concentrating in a lecture or while reading Sure it is, but it's not making any mistakes. What your brain hears or sees is simply an abstract concept. And no matter how clearly the steps are outlined, there is no way you're going to retain the information. There are two reasons why.
Reason 1: Your brain gets stuck at the first obstacle.
Reason 2: Your brain needs to make the mistake first hand.
Reason 1: Your brain gets stuck at the first obstacle.
Yes it does. And the only way to understand this concept is to pick up a book, watch a video, or listen to audio. Any book, any video, any audio. And you'll find you've missed out at least two or three concepts in just the first few minutes. It's hard to believe at first, but as you keep reading the same chapter over and over, you'll find you're finding more and more that you've missed. This is because the brain gets stuck at the first new concept/obstacle.
It stops and tries to apply the concept but struggles to do so. But you continue to read the book, watch the video or listen to the speaker. The brain got stuck at the first point, but more points keep coming. And of course, without complete information, you have 'incomplete information'.
Incomplete information can easily be fixed by making the mistake first hand.
Reason 2: Your brain needs to make the mistake first hand
No matter how good the explanation, you will not get it right the first time. You must make the mistake. And this is because your interpretation varies from the writer/speaker. You think you've heard or read what you've heard/read. But the reality is different.
You've only interpreted what they've said, and more often than not, the interpretation is not quite correct. You can only find out how much off the mark you are by trying to implement or teach the concept.
So how do you avoid losing 90% of what you've learned?
Well, do what I do. I learn something. I write it down in a mindmap. I talk to my wife or clients about the concept. I write an article about it. I do an audio. And so it goes. A simple concept is never just learned. It needs to be discussed, talked, written, felt etc. (I wrote this article, ten minutes after reading these statistics online).
The next time you pick up a book or watch a video, remember this.
Listening or reading something is just listening or reading.
It's not real learning.
Real learning comes from making mistakes.
And mistakes come from implementation.
And that's how you retain 90% of everything you learn.
Which is why most of the people you meet are always going around in circles.
They refuse to make mistakes. So they don't learn.
They'd rather read a book instead. Or watch a video. Or listen to an audio.
Their bucket is leaking 90% of the time.
But they don't care.
The question is: Do you?
Reprinted with permission of Sean at Psychotactics.com Why Customers Buy (And Why They Don’t)
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters we will share a new interview or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area you would like to discuss, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. :0)
Copyright©2011 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.