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Monday, March 30, 2020

Shawn Reviews Apple TV's The Banker- One of The best Movies of 2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Interview with gboot2786 from 3-28-2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose Easter Eggs

One of my readers wanted to know what inspired me to write John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose. So here are all the Easter Eggs, ideas, inspirations and influences regarding the third book in the John Haynes series.

John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose follows up on events in the first chapter of The Man Who Rules The World. In that first chapter, John is confronted by Marcus Jeffries, The Block. After John snaps his fingers, he gets Block arrested.

The Title The Man With Nothing To Lose was inspired by something I heard Dwayne The Rock Johnson say in an episode of Smack Down back in 2001 when he was feuding with D-Generation X. Back then he said when a man has nothing to lose he’s at his most dangerous. And I thought to myself that a man with nothing to lose would be like a demon possessed destroying everyone and everything in his path just to get at the person they wanted to get revenge on. That kind of guy would be a threat to a man like John who supposedly had everything.

This is the second book to be inspired by a wrestler catch phrase. The First was The Man Who Rules The World which was inspired by Sid Vicious’s 1999-2000 catch phrase.

The Block was supposed to be the original villain for The Man Who Rules the World. But the character’s motivations didn’t work when I wrote the first few chapters of that story. So God Katious wound up taking his place in The Man Who Rules The World and Block got sent to Rikers until Shawn could put together a story for him.

Marcus Jeffries, AKA The Block, is inspired by the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls. Before he was murdered Biggie was going into acting with appearances on shows like Martin. I always thought Biggie would be perfect for a super villain role like The Block.

Marcus Jeffries, AKA The Block gets his name for primarily his size. At seven feet tall and 650 pounds he’s designed to be a mountain of a man that’s tough to overcome in a fight.

He is also called The Block because he runs his South Bronx neighborhood. As the man who runs the drugs, the numbers and all the hustles, he’s the man who runs the streets in the housing projects in Morrisainia.

Block’s jogging suit is inspired by Daredevil villain Bullet from the Ann Nocenti/John Romita Jr Run and the track suits oldschool rappers like RUN DMC and Eric B And Rakim used to wear back in the 80s. I thought Bullet’s his black suit with a single white line would translate into a badass design when I fused it with a track suit. When I saw Mike Williams’ interpretation of it I was FLOORED.

Seeing Mike’s version of The Block I know a live-action version would kick major ass. Unfortunately with Biggie passing I don’t know who I’d cast to be the Man Mountain with nothing to lose.

This is the second Ann Nocenti era Daredevil character to inspire me, Mad Matilda from the Spinsterella Trilogy was inspired by Nocenti’s Typhoid Mary.

Block’s powers of Irresistible Force and an Immovable object come from my science classes way back in junior high school. I thought the idea of a villain who used those scientific concepts of irresistible force and immovable object in a supernatural fashion would be a fascinating character and provide a great challenge for John to overcome especially if that person had nothing to lose.

Block’s ex-girlfriend Katrina is an OLD character from the first John Haynes story I wrote back in 1990. She was inspired by on girls I used to know in Park West High School.

Originally Katrina as supposed to be a loudmouth hoodrat who harassed John, but I could never get her to work when I wrote stories with her. So she sat on the character shelf for 30 years. Wow.

Mike Green Katrina’s new boyfriend, is another OLD character from the first John Haynes story I ever wrote in 1990. He’s based on a lot of the dope boys I used to go to school with at Park West High School back from 1987-1990.

Block’s rocky relationship with Katrina was taken from my first John Haynes story from 1990. Back then Katrina was verbally abusive and disrespectful to Mike, the same way she’s verbally abusive and disrespectful to The Block. Back in 1990 I wanted to show how girls who got involved with dope dealers were golddiggers. And I was able to make that point in John Haynes: The Man With Nothing to Lose. Once Block’s money was out, so was Katrina.   

The Butler Houses and the Webster Houses are actual housing projects here in The Bronx on Webster Avenue. Many of my classmates in CES 132 and IS 148 used to live in the projects nearby.

WGMS is inspired by WBLS, a black-owned radio station here in New York. And The Family Fest John And E’steem are attending is inspired by events like the JVC Kool Jazz Festival and Essence Musical Festival. Back in the day these were big events that brothers and sistas used to go to in order to see R&B and Hip hop acts during the summer.

John’s friend Scott Grayson was inspired by actor Malik Yoba. Whenever I write Scott I used to hear Malik Yoba’s voice. When I saw Malik in New York Undercover back in the 1990s I thought he had the perfect look and swagger to play Grayson.

Scott Grayson’s name is an amalgamtion of Two comic characters alter egoes names: Marvel’s Cyclops (Scott Summers) and DC Comics Nightwing (Dick Grayson). He was originally called Grayson to signify his role as John’s sidekick, but the character became a bit more of a cad like Scott Summers. Grayson stole John’s first girlfriend Tisha  

The great tragedy that led to John breaking up with Tisha and getting with Scott Grayson has gotten me in a lot of trouble in real life over the last 30 years. Many people think that part of the story is actually based on real life events in my life, however it’s completely made up. Seeing people get emotional about that part of the story, just shows me how compelling the loss of John’s first love is.

The revelation behind the tragic breakup of John and Tisha was something that had been building as far back as The Temptation of John Haynes. Readers got hints of it in Isis: Escape From Transylvania when John accidentally hit Isis in a sparring session and talked about how he holds back in fights. And I wanted to build on that plot thread in John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose.

The Fight between John Haynes and The Block in the schoolyard is meant to bring things full circle for John. That part of the story was about John breaking free of his fears regarding taking his power and to show him he doesn’t need to hold back against his enemies.   

The fight in the climax between John Haynes and The Block takes place in the front yard of IS 148 in the South Bronx on 169th Street and third Avenue. That yard is above the auditorium (I believe) and thanks to that auditorium there’s about 15 feet between where the high point of the yard is from Third Avenue and the sidewalk.   

John’s girlfriend E’steem is inspired by actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield. Whenever I write E’steem’s narration and dialogue I hear Salli’s voice. Whenever I have artists draw E’steem I try to have them put some of Salli’s likeness in the design.

Lucifer is inspired by actor Keith David. I always hear Keith David’s baritone voice whenever I write a narration or Dialogue featuring the Lord of Hell. Whenever I imagine The Devil, He looks like Keith David in a red custom tailored Suit and Stacy Adams shoes. Pimpin!

The red 1976 Buick Electra Limited John drives in The Man With Nothing To Lose is a tribute to my late father. My Dad used to take me to get haircuts in that car, and sometimes afterward we’d go to McDonald’s for a Big Mac. I loved riding around in that car when I was a kid, with its white leather seats and White Landau roof. It was always my dream to get that car and drive it like John does, but Dad took it down to North Carolina. Since I never got to drive it, I let John drive it in my stories.

Since this was a story about John’s past I wanted to go for a grittier tone than the previous John Haynes stories. While the previous two John Haynes stories John Haynes: A Conversation With Death and John Haynes: Dark Succubus had more of a fantasy feel I wanted a bit of an edge for this story.

I was going for a bit of a Netflix Luke Cage Season 3/Batman The Animated Series episode with this story focusing more on psychology and the psychological motivations of the characters rather than a full display of powers. One of the things I used to LOVE about Batman: The Animated Series was the use of psychology as a motivation for the characters and what drove them to commit their crimes. I find using psychology makes the stories far more compelling and draws the readers into the story. I wanted the mind games between John and The Block to be like Chess game, where both men were trying to outwit each other to gain the checkmate.  

John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose was the first book I wrote at my new place in Parkchester. After the move I was in a rough place creatively and I was getting adjusted to a new place writing this book, Isis: The Main Event and Eternal Night. But I’m starting to find my creative groove again.

John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose is the first paperback book in the SJS DIRECT imprint to feature a Variant Cover. 2019 marked 10 years of SJS DIRECT being in print and I wanted to do something to kickoff the flagship book of the 2020 catalog. So I commissioned Mike Williams to design the “A” or regular cover for the book and Josh Howard, one of my favorite artists to do the “B” Cover.

The “A” Cover is based on Luke Cage Hero For Hire #14 where Cage Takes on Big Ben. Mike did an AMAZING job on that MASTERPIECE of a cover where he took the story I sketched out to another level. When people look at Mike’s cover they tell me they get drawn into the story in his cover. Some say they can’t stop looking at it because there’s so much going on and so many great stories being told in that single image. In some ways it reminds me of a painting with all the nuanced layers told between the lines of the story. 

Josh’s cover is based on an image of John Steed and Emma Peel from the 1960s UK series The Avengers. The Avengers was one of my favorite UK shows with its offbeat stories and the dapper John Steed and the sexy Emma Peel were a fantastic team. I thought an image of John and E’steem posed like Steed and Peel would show them as strong Black man and Black woman ready to work together to take on the Bad guys. I love how Josh took that formal image of the British Steed and Peel and made it contemporary and casual American.

 So far feedback on John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose has been extremely positive. Everyone who has read it loves the story. The positive feedback has led to some readers picking up previous John Haynes series books like John Haynes: A Conversation With Death, John Haynes Dark Succubus, The Man Who Rules The World and The Temptation of John Haynes.

I’ve completed the first draft of the next  John Haynes story, John Haynes: Taking Care of Business. Hoping to have that one out in 2021 And I’m running ideas for a story where Death and John Haynes team up one mo gin. Getting ready to kick things into second gear John Haynes series, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose is Now Available in Paperback and Kindle Unlimited!

John Haynes: The Man With Nothing To Lose is Now Available in Paperback and #KindleUnlimited

ISBN:  978-1650623900 Mike Williams Cover 

ISBN:  978-1650623900 Josh Howard Cover

Power! Six months after losing the criminal empire he ran in the South Bronx, Marcus Jeffries is a man with nothing to lose. When Lucifer gives him the power to get revenge on John Haynes, the man who he believes took everything from him he becomes The Block, an irresistible force who seeks to destroy everything and everyone who gets in his path to make John pay. Can the Man Who Rules The World move this unstoppable man mountain out of his way?

To Celebrate SJS DIRECT being in print for 10 years I'm offering a regular cover by Mike Williams  and a Variant cover by Josh Howard. Both books feature the same action packed John Haynes story at the same price, just with different covers. I'm testing the waters on variant covers on paperbacks, if this one does well I'd love to offer more to readers on future books like the upcoming Eternal Night. 

Pick up your paperback copy of John Haynes: The Man With Nothing to lose at online Booksellers everywhere and on Amazon's Kindle today!  

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