Welcome to Ink & Magick. I'm your friendly neighborhood witch. What kind of spell can I get for you (or your character) today?
Alan Henson: I have always wanted to be a lucid dreamer and be able to control the direction of my dreams. Can you help me out with that?
Oh? I think I have just the thing for an imaginative person like you. But be aware, that lucid dreaming takes practice. Don't be disappointed if it doesn't work the first time.
1. Begin when you are ready for bed. Start by burning some mugwort. You can get a mugwort smudge stick or sprinkle the dried herb over a lit charcoal. I prefer the smudge stick myself. Sit quietly in a comfortable position and breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. SIt for as long as it takes for you to completely relax. Then, put out the mugwort, and air out the room a little.
2. Climb into bed, and get comfortable. Take three to ten deep breathes, again in through your nose and out through your mouth. Tell yourself you are asleep.
3. Now, imagine yourself as you are. Then, image yourself changing into what you want to be. You could add wings, or change your appearance for example. Tell yourself you are asleep.
4. Now, imagine where you want to be. It could be a real place or a magical world. It could be the past or the future. Imagine yourself interacting with that world. Doing chores, meeting someone, or just walking around and taking in your surroundings. Tell yourself you are asleep.
In this relaxed state, you should have no problem drifting off to sleep. Sweet dreams!
Now that I've fulfilled your magical needs, why don't you tell me about your sci-fi novel, The Lazarus Spawn?
As a world-class assassin, Vigil is without equal. The Agency regularly uses his unique services, but never questions his methods. He is a ghost in the intelligence community and specializes in targets that are seemingly immortal. His primary goal is to resolve an elusive target known only as Ankh.
Ankh is impervious to the usual assassination methods and is becoming a greater threat with each passing day. Vigil will need to use every resource at his disposal to find and subdue Ankh before he can begin another rampage of slaughter. It isn’t going to be easy. Ankh has many allies who are just as psychotic as he is, and just as dangerous.
For the first time in Vigil’s career, he may have met his match.
Vigil’s eyes didn’t want to focus. Objects were little more than blurry images with outlines like broken glass. Something was illuminating the area, but he couldn’t tell what the light source was. He had no idea how long he had been out this time. Zuriel was standing next to one of the larger monoliths in the arrangement of stones. His visage was distorted by the intense cellular disruption Vigil had suffered. Zuriel's face looked as if it was malformed in some grotesque fashion. His eyes appeared sunken to the point of only being empty sockets, and his mouth seemed frozen in a toothless smile. Vigil tried to open his eyes wider, but it hurt too much. There was not a part of his body that didn’t pulsate with pain.
He wanted to move, but couldn’t. He wanted to die, but also couldn’t. Vigil was trapped in a tormented limbo from which he could not escape. Still, Zuriel simply stared at him with an unrelenting mocking grin. The thought of finally losing his life had seemed like a remote possibility for centuries. Now it might possibly be happening. In his profession, he knew that it would probably be an enemy that would do him in, and Vigil could accept that. He just didn’t want the enemy to be Zuriel. He was one of those tremendously obnoxious winners that Vigil couldn’t stand. He would rather just die and get it over with.
Intriguing. Which one of your characters surprised you?
AH: I was surprised by Becca Dark. I didn't expect her character to go the direction that she did. But to be fair, most of my characters have minds of their own.
I love it when characters run the story. It makes writing almost easy. Who is your favorite or least favorite character and why?
AH: My favorite character is the lead character, Vigil Kroy. In spite of the fact that he is a hired assassin, he has a good heart and a strong sense of morality. He is also an expert with a wide array of weapons and electronic surveillance devices. Finally, he has a network of skilled government agents that are also his friends.
OOOOO sounds badass. If you could time-travel, would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go, and why would you choose that time period?
AH: I would be nervous about traveling to either one. I have considered the possibility of going back in time and changing things that I felt didn't work out right in my own life, but there would be so many things I would lose as a consequence. Going to a more distant Past would be fun though...I think. I don't think I would go forward in time. One shouldn't know too much about one's own future.
There are so many to choose from. I have always had a special attraction to the Victorian Era. Visiting it would be like going to a Steampunk Renaissance Faire. Plus, I could do the whole Sherlock Holmes thing.
Whaaaaa! You said the magic words: steampunk and Sherlock! YES! What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
AH: Very simply, suggest it to their friends and family. Guide them to my Amazon page and fan page on Facebook. They can also share the links to my books and pages on their own social media. Oh, one more thing: once they read my book, I would really appreciate a review on Amazon. I don't mind if it is a bad review even. Let me know what you think and how I can improve if improvement is necessary.
You heard the man. What can we expect from you next?
AH: It's a book about time travel to the Victorian Era. The characters will be going back in time from the year 2061 trying to solve the mystery of the Jack the Ripper killings without using the technology available to them in their own time period. I am having a lot of fun with it.
That sounds incredible! I can't wait to read it. I hope to you will come back and talk about it when it's out. Thank you for stopping by. See you again soon!
Alan D. Henson was born in a medium-sized Midwestern town during the same year that introduced the Chevy Corvette. From an early age, his tastes always ran a bit different than that of his family and others his own age. Both reading and writing short stories were his way of escaping his mundane life.
After graduating high school, he worked as a specialized hospital orderly, spending a fair amount of his workday assisting in the Emergency Room. A few years later, he worked as a corrections officer in a Maximum Security Prison.
His life experiences shaped much of the atmosphere of his novels; and his anthology of short stories is dark and maybe just a bit disturbing. His novel Death Harvest touches on his passion for riding his Harley Davidson and recounts places he has travelled throughout the country. The locations are real but the people, both living and undead, are fictional.
In addition to writing, Alan is also a graphic designer and award-winning cartoonist. He also loves to cook and may publish a cookbook in the not too distant future.