Casting your characters

Every subject starts with a spark and some fellas with tanks of gasoline. True, sometimes the subject gets over heated, but it’s not necessarily the case when the topic is that interesting.

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I had a fun chat with a college friend of mine who had finished reading my novel, who was also one of the people who led me to become a writer. One fact about him is that 70% of his body is made of movies. So he threw this topic on the table, we began spinning the sticks and a fiery subject started…. We began casting for my novel. And here are the results for three of the main characters; Hassan, Adam goldfish and Elizabeth.

Hassan

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I got to say, I had a difficult time with the main character, Hassan. I couldn’t place an actor’s face on him because I based him on my old brother, who is also named Hassan. Since my friend didn’t have the same bond attached with Hassan, he came up with the proper actor for that roll.

Joe Manganiell got the looks alright, but I like mostly how he appears when he is older; Hassan will get old at some point in the story, and Manganiello Fits my image of old Hassan.

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Adam Goldfish (Shark)

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Adam Goldfish is a man who was imprisoned for 13 years and was in his quest to get back even with the one who caused him to lose those years… and much more. He is what a shark would look like if you placed a drop of blood in his tank.

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Speaking of blood, actor Alexander SkarsgardIs is an actor in True Blood, he plays a vampire, and I’d like to mention for reasons that will some day make sense in the future, that vampires… Well, they bite :).

Elizabeth

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Everyone emits vibes, and I am picking from Marsha Thompson an artistic aura that fits perfectly with Elizabeth, the first love affair for Hassan during his college life. She has the smile and the eyes, place a white spotted red scarf and hand her the paint brush and she’s good to go.

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We started casting the eight ghosts but then the conversation became more humorous and it swerved off course. If you want to add to the list of cast, you can give your opinion after learning a little about them through here.

(Meet Sara and Emma, Jack and Reed, Chow and Joseph, Rod and Mason)

I would like to say that casting your characters is a really energizing and beautiful process to get yourself involved in. I would recommend all the authors to get into it, especially with a reader who can help second your opinion.

~ A. H. Amin

Meet Sara and Emma…

 

Before releasing a spinoff from a main series I think we should first learn who will we be spinning with? That is why in the coming days I will host guest honors from the series, and since my last post placed me in a good mood, today I will introduce two characters from the ‘Psychs’ series.

‘Psychs 1st’ is a spin off that tells the story of young Hassan, a guy with eight ghosts connected to him by the tragic event of his birth, he decided to visit the United States in an effort to put closure to the 7 ghosts who are connected to him by visiting their families and give them letters with a fake story of how he got those letters, only to discover that he is there to do more than that, and probably to try and survive.

So without further stalling and teasing, here are the first two ghosts, and I think it is only appropriate to start with the one who gave birth to our main character.

~ Sara

 

SaraThe first time they found her she was pregnant and only a click away from her death, right after she had lost her husband and Hassan’s real father. Strangely for everyone and even her own son, she appears as the most ghostly looking spirit of the group because she has wide eyes and looked as if she came out from a Tim Burton movie. She was the first ghost to appear to him and the most to stick around Hassan.

 

~ Emma

EmmaOther than the fact that she is one of the soldiers who found Sara, outside the military life she is a lover of fantasy, she is a Star Wars fan and a very good climber in her previous life, all that was an influence from her father. She is an only child. She was the closest person to Sara when they all died.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Sara and Emma, they would be really pleased to have met you all if they were real, but who knows, maybe they do exist in another world and I dreamed about them.

Will be introducing the rest of the family in the coming days.

 

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What have I been up to recently…

“Easy reading is damn hard writing” ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Today and every previous day I am polishing what I wrote so I can present them in the best desirable form for avid readers. I am working hard so I can release (hopefully) three titles this year; Psychs 1st, which is a short story and a spin off from the Psychs series that tells the story of young Hassan’s visit to the United States in an effort to put closure to the 7 ghosts who are connected to him, by visiting their families and give them letters with a fake story of how he got those letters, only to discover that he is there to do more than that, and probably to try and survive.
My second finished work is Kima, a short inspirational story about a true event that occurred in South Africa in 1928, following the old Kima who tells an unbelievable story to young Alice and Alex, and they will learn so much from this fantasy story… Or is it a fantasy?
And last but surely not least, Iblis, the second novel of the Psychs series… This one I’m not revealing more than two things. First, Iblis is Arabic for ‘Devil’, and second, here’s a look inside the prologue.

Iblīs

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Enjoy your weekend, I’ll be working hard during… No rest for the wicked.

~ A. H. Amin

What’s real is not…

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This is true… And you know what that means? It means that physical reality is basically an illusion… We are all fictional characters, created in this fantasy world and we are living our adventures.
So live your lives with a purpose, act as the protagonist you already are.

Read more about it here

~ A. H. Amin

It’s my birthday… So here’s my surprise

Today I pass again through the thresholds of the door that brought me to this world for the 28th time, maybe more if you believe in reincarnation. It was a day that I have been waiting for, not to be showered with gifts, but to share a surprise that I have been holding for far too long.
I have mentioned a surprise I have stored for you before, when I talked about Kima, my new inspirational novel. I mentioned it quickly so I can be discreet about it until the day I open the lid on it and spill it out for everyone; it was a Psychs related news, and it was not related to the second book, Iblis. So here’s a picture that says it all.

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Psychs 1st is a short story that follows Young Hassan, the U. S. military ghosts and the spirit of his mother to a trip to the United States.
After giving their lives to save Hassan’s while he was still in the womb, they became connected to his existence, well, only eight spirits did. That sacrifice gave him gifts, knowledge, protection and most importantly, a life… Or lives. So as a way to show them his gratitude, he decides to go to the United States of America to deliver messages to the ghosts families… But what he will find there could cause him his life, and the life of one of the ghosts family member.
Psychs 1st will be shared online here and on my other social network sites, for free. It is after all a gift from me to you.

Feel free to visit my website to learn more and to get involved.

Facebook fan page

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My biggest thanks…

My biggest thanks to all the lovely readers who are supplying me with enough fuel and keep me motivated. You make my efforts worth while.

Here are my favorite e-mails, messages and tags that I have received throughout the year.

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My best friend after buying my book

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Kuwaiti book club after choosing my book

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The book club tagging me after becoming a local Bestseller

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Tagged after the meeting with the club

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First prank related to my novel… A whatsapp message

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After the release of the new and reviewed edition

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My best friend after he asked me to sign his copy

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Tagged on Twitter by a little British birdie in the U. S.

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Tagged by a fierce reader

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One of my favorite e-mails

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The last page of my novel with the word amazing written at the end… Chirp chirp twitter

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And my recent favorite… A private message from my pre-release readers after reading the second book of the Psychs series

Everyone should know that The Remnant will be changed into Iblis later on, and the final modifications are not far away from completion.
You can check out Goodreads reviews to know more about what people are saying regarding Psychs, and feel free to visit the website to get more involved

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Summer eBook Giveaway: Shadows of Penumbra

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Author Margaret Alexander is giving away 10 of her recently born urban fantasy thriller, Shadows of Penumbra! Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win an ebook copy.
The giveaway will be open until June 13th, when the winners will be drawn and awarded.

Here’s what you are allowed to know about Shadows of Penumbra (Blurb):

Seven sins. Seven souls. Seven weapons.

Something sinful resides in Diane’s memories, she’s certain of it. That’s why she traded them in to protect her father and her best friend.

Trained in the task of erasing criminal masterminds’ memories, Diane yawns at the notion of converting yet another Rebel. But when her target turns out to be a little less than human and a bit more than demon, a whole new breed of beings invade Diane’s world and lure her into another dimension, where the world is a ruined, enchanted mirror of reality.

Some of them are ideal doppelgangers of humans called Shadows; others are hybrids with sinister intentions. And they’re about to reveal a lot more than the reason for the trauma in her past or why the world is ending. Like who are the biggest pawns in a conspiracy to “perfect” mankind. Diane must push her mind past all limits and master a set of elements no human has ever controlled to stand any chance of confronting the organization responsible.

After they’re through with her, the Shadows give her a choice: to live the life she’s always wanted or conquer seven powerful devices that will even the odds. Good thing Diane always has a trick up her sleeve, and a partner in crime…

If you like the taste of this cup of tea, then you are in luck today. Here is the link for the Giveaway, click and start reading.

You can also find the author on Amazon, Goodreads, Blogspot and Twitter.

Link to giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Y2JmOTUxZmI2YWFiYTE3ZTUxMzYxM2I1YjNiN2E0OjE=/

Shadows of Penumbra on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AK6K0ZE
On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16010453-shadows-of-penumbra
Official Site: http://www.apocalypseexalted.com
Author’s Blog: http://www.margaretealexander.blogspot.com/
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/markedforpower

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‘Iblis’, The second book of the Psychs series…

Here is the first look inside the second book of the ‘Psychs‘ series, entitled ‘Iblīs’. You can learn about Psychs by visiting my website or by reading the reviews on goodreads.

Have a great read.

chess

The sixth attempt to find what he wants, Nicolas stood in front of an orphanage. He wore fake glasses for appearances and he held a small briefcase in his right hand, a briefcase he clings to and had never let go off ever since he and others like him have been trusted with keeping them. Today that briefcase was useful in giving him the appearance that he wants to reflect in public.

     The sixth orphanage… maybe it’s an omen? He thought.

     He got out from the orphanage, feeling upset. He knows what he is seeking for will take time. But he was afraid that his faith in his plans will dampen. In his dark state of mind his surrounding became obscured, he came back to his senses when a car caused the waters from the street to splash on him, leaving him with wet clothes and a concern from the thoughts interrupted by the street puddle.

     He returned to the safe house available for him in that country. They have many in almost every place in the world. There was a man in that house like the rest of the other houses, a man whose job includes patching the agents and supplying for their demands. Today he was there to make sure that Nicolas wakes up two hours from now, so he can leave the country and keep searching for that special kid that no one will ask about.

     ‘What made you get wet?’ The man asked Nicolas while offering him some coffee.

     ‘My damn luck’ he bitterly answered ‘so as you can see, I couldn’t find whoever I want’

     ‘Orphans… with no families to care for’ the man said. Abandoned by the father… is there a better soldier to adopt?

     Nicolas changed his wet clothes and then he went to his bed, the seven hours he had spent in his search left him so heavy he sunk into slumber by an incomplete blink of an eye.

     Nicolas felt a grip on his shoulder, it woke him up.

     ‘Time to leave’ the man told him. He looked right next to him on the floor, and then he sat in an upright position and looked all around the room.

     ‘Where is my briefcase?’ He asked. The man searched around and then he said ‘Where have you put it?’ That statement sobered him up. He always leaves it right next to him. He looked around for that case but he couldn’t find it.

     ‘Damn it! Where is it?!’ the man in front of Nicolas was frightened, thinking that he had just made his biggest, and maybe last mistake. Nicolas went to his wet jacket and then he took out his GPS… the case was not inside the house.

     They both were in the car now, heading towards where the device identified the whereabouts of the radio frequencies’ source. It took them thirty minutes to reach the location. The car pulled over and Nicolas got out from it, looking at an old and abandoned house that was missing half a roof and plants were part of the decoration. Who lives here?

     ‘Keep the car running’ He told the man and then he took out his sidearm. He moved slowly. His eyes checked every corner for a security camera and he looked down to spot any traps too. He went through, and with each step he looked for some kind of a hindrance that can cause him to be noticed. He spotted a couple of trap wires, following their courses with his eyes, he learned that they were related to some glass bottles. Someone here doesn’t like guests.

     Nicolas was old enough to not let such amateur espionage tricks pass him by. He took his time to move silently inside the house until he was able to hear some noises.  He heard sounds of papers. Someone is searching the briefcase’s contents. His weapon was ready, and whoever is there, he is cornered. He got out and pointed his sidearm.

     A small figure sat in the corner, his eyes widened, pointing directly toward the weapon Nicolas was holding. Nicolas was surprised, he studied the kid, he was covered with what Nicolas thought could be charcoal smoke and he was surrounded by the contents of the bag. He was scared, his blue eyes showed that even though he was sitting still. Nicolas lowered his weapon.

     ‘You’re the one who stole my briefcase?’

     ‘Yes… you can have it back if you want to… you don’t have to shoot me’ the young kid answered in a calm, yet child like tone. The way that kid spoke, he thought, analyzing him like he does with other kids in the orphanage. He sounds almost like an adult, you can’t teach real life to a kid confined in an orphanage.

     ‘You went through the chimney, didn’t you? Why did you steal my briefcase?’ Nicolas said.

     ‘I… I thought it had something worth stealing.’ the kid said.

     ‘Why this one? What made you think it worth something?’

     ‘I saw you protecting it from the splashing waters near Mary Magdalene’s orphanage… I thought it had something valuable’

     Nicolas couldn’t believe what he is looking at, what he is hearing from that kid. It is fate.

     He looked around and realized that the kid lives here, probably with someone, too. He needs to act fast.

     ‘Are you alone, kid?’ Nicolas asked.

     ‘Yes… No one lives here besides me’

     Nicolas smiled at the young boy and then he came closer. ‘You are a bad liar… but don’t worry, I’ll fix that.’

     The man in the car looked at Nicolas as he was holding the unconscious kid. He placed him inside the car and ordered for the man to go. The kid’s head rested on Nicolas’s lap, people could mistake him for his son. Suddenly, Nicolas started to hear a faint noise as the car was moving away. He turned to look behind and saw a little kid running behind the car, a girl screaming a name that dissipated in the air and couldn’t catch his ears. The car moved away, leaving the little girl to her fate.

     Two weeks later, a man Nicolas sees every month had just arrived to get a live report. He learned that Nicolas had found a new kid. He saw Nicolas looking at him from an open window.

     ‘That’s a nice Royce you have there.’ Nicolas said.

     ‘It’s a 1976 RollsRoyce Silver Shadow; they won’t release them until next year.’ A man Nicolas only knows as Bill said.

     ‘It doesn’t hurt to look classy, even if we are in a cold war and an economical war. So I understand that I am to see the kid you have been bragging about, the one you told me he’s not like the others?’ Bill said and Nicolas led the way.

     One storey bellow the ground there was a different place. It had two soldiers and three people who appeared as they have never held a weapon before. Could be scientists. Bill thought.

     They both reached to a door, Nicolas flicked a light switch and Bill saw some light coming from underneath. Nicolas opened the door.

     ‘After you’ he said to Bill.

     Bill took his first steps inside, the temperature was different, it was much warmer. His nose picked up a couple of smells that he was able to interpret later after his eyes witnessed the horror.

     There lied a kid, not more than seven years old, every inch of his skin screamed pain, showing bruises, blood, sweat and tears. He was half conscious with what little life left in him. The kid looked at Nicolas, and then he looked at the new face, a man he sees for the first time.

     Bill spun towards Nicolas, and then he left the room. The kid was sealed again in the dark.

     Nicolas looked at Bill’s shocked and confused face. He placed a hand on his shoulder and then he said.

     ‘That’s what it takes to create a devil’

A quick recap on ‘Psychs’ before I reveal the second book of the series…

previously on psychs

 

I have mentioned for a while now that I will be revealing the prologue of the second book of the Psychs series, entitled ‘Iblīs’, but a wise woman once said in her poem, ‘To know your future, you must know your past’ ~ Margaret Jang. So in order to take the first step forward, let us look back and trace our steps so we can’t get lost.

There are no major spoiler’s alert, just the gist of the first book of the series and the characters. You can learn what people are saying about my thriller on goodreads, and you can visit my website and my facebook page too to learn more.

Psychs is a story that tells the history and future of a man named Hassan, explaining how his tragic event of his birth caused eight spirits to be connected to his existence, and how he started to build his relationship with them and the people around him. His history which revealed through a form of flashbacks will explain the reason why Hassan decided to pursue psychology as an academic life – which will prove to be rewarding sometimes – and then a military life as a way to put his ability to good use, using the spirits for his advantage which will give him an edge.

Another story unravels to introduce a man named Adam Goldfish; a person who was a U. S. Marine and for thirteen years presumed to be dead. The story of Adam reveals how he was betrayed by his superior and how he had spent thirteen years in a prison away from home. Adam Goldfish, also known as Shark in the story, will execute one of the greatest escapes of his time, and he will seek the one who took more than time away from him.

United, but not from the start, by a common enemy, Hassan and Adam will collaborate, the former will do so to see an end to the chaos the country is experiencing, the latter to see through his revenge… and both to try to survive from the unknown.

I hope you enjoyed what you have learned from the first book, and I hope you will enjoy the first look into the second book in the series entitled ‘Iblis’

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