The Man Who Changed the Music Industry Forever

The 1980’s saw the advent of new wave music and electronica. The world may have left big hair and parachute pants behind, but the music of the age has never gone away. Bands like U2, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Blondie, and OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in The Dark) continue to refine the spirit of the 80s with their dance-inspiring beats and high-energy personalities. Sold out crowds pack their concerts to hear their favorite songs and get a glimpse of their musical heroes. Turn on any popular radio station, such as Jack FM (KCBS-FM), or Sirius XM’s 1st Wave, and you will likely be welcomed by the energetic music of both traditional 80’s dance music and alternative classics.
 

Today’s music scene would be very different if people like Richard Blade had not helped those 80’s acts find a place to share their music. Andy McCluskey, the front man of OMD, had this to say about Blade’s role in the growth of his own band:
 

“Richard Blade is understandably synonymous with British New Wave music in the USA, and for OMD he is indelibly connected with our career in the States. We have been perennial fellow travelers on a musical journey. From our earliest visits to KROQ where he interviewed us and played our records as an alternative pop import, through our biggest hits of the mid-eighties, and to the present day playing our ‘heritage’ tracks and also new songs on digital radio. I saw Richard’s depth of influence,” continued McCluskey, “and the love and respect with which he is viewed when my own Californian friends were visibly moved upon meeting him a few years ago, explaining that he had personally provided the soundtrack landmarks to the most formative years of their lives. The positive voice, using music as his catalyst, to guide them through the best and sometimes worst of times. A generous and kind man in an industry not usually associated with either quality.”
 
 

Blade, born in England, was the voice for the music scene of the 1980s. From his DJ booth at KROQ in Los Angeles, where he was the top-rated morning drive DJ, Blade interviewed and showcased bands, such as OMD, The Police, Culture Club and more, injecting American radio with the British new wave.
 

Richard Blade has continued in his career making waves in radio, TV and directing, including hosting the syndicated TV shows MV3 and Video One. He also co-starred in the hit movie “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” with Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt, and has won many awards, including The Golden Microphone, California’s Best DJ and the ADJA Lifetime Achievement Award. Blade is currently heard nationally every day hosting 1st Wave, on SiriusXM Ch. 33. Blade’s latest career move is his autobiography World In My Eyes, which released this past November, and quickly became a National Best Seller, showing again that 80’s music is here to stay.
 

Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran had this to say upon hearing the news of Blade’s autobiography: “I just want to say thank you, Richard Blade, you been with us since the beginning and since those magic moments in the Magic Castle, and you’re a face that I always look forward to seeing when I come to Los Angeles. Can’t wait to read about Duran Duran in your book.”
 

While it is no secret that Richard Blade has led an intensely influential life and career, friends like Billy Idol sum it up eloquently, “Richard was the British blade that cut through the state of US radio and TV in the 80’s. He personally supported me when many others didn’t believe or couldn’t accept the new sounds and styles of fashion and music pouring out from the bruised and battered psyche of young people in those days. Richard has gone on to a varied and long lasting career that still evokes the era we all came from, all power to him and long may he rock on.”
 

The 80’s will never leave us, and judging by the enthusiasm of fans packing stadiums for bands like OMD and Depeche Mode, and buying books such as Blade’s, they wouldn’t have it any other way. “World In My Eyes” is an uninhibited tell-all look at Blade’s life as he moved through the music and entertainment industry. This unique insider’s story encompasses more than just one decade, and pays homage to those formative years that paved the way for icons who thrive in today’s cultural climate.
 

World In My Eyes is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and here on our website.
 

For more information about Richard visit his Facebook page!

Portraying a Character’s Thoughts

Imagine watching a play where the characters continually address the audience, giving them insight into their thoughts that the other characters aren’t aware of. It allows the audience to be more involved and gives them the satisfaction of knowing more than the characters themselves!

 

The same can and should be done in your novel. Readers love it when a character’s thoughts are portrayed on a page for only them to see. It creates a more complex character who is constantly thinking and analyzing everything he or she comes into contact with.

 

Just take a minute to consider how much of your day is consumed by your thoughts. People’s minds are constantly operating and jumping around. Why shouldn’t a novel’s character function the same way?

 

The most important time to bring in a character’s thoughts are when they are in contact or conversation with other characters. Have them say one thing, but then think something else that shows how they really feel about the situation. Take this scene below for example:

 

I got a call from Bob about helping him move this weekend.

“Yeah, sure Bob, I would love to come over and help you,” I responded cheerfully.

Who in the world wants to spend a weekend helping their grumpy neighbor move? I sure will be glad when he’s somebody else’s neighbor and can ask them for favors all the time.

“I’ll be there 8 A.M. sharp, yes sir, see you then,” I said just as cheerfully.
 

Without the narrator’s thoughts, the reader would understand him to be happy about helping Bob move. However, showing the narrator’s thoughts captures his emotions and mindset about this situation and relates to the reader that he is not enthusiastic about helping Bob move. It rewards the reader with inside information that the other characters don’t have access to.

 

So, have fun when creating your character’s thoughts! Make them creative. Make them scatter-brained. Make them philosophical. Make them over-analytical. Make them confused. Make them a hopeless romantic. The possibilities are endless!

Gifts for Writers

By Tanner Chau and Evangeline Murphy

 

Christmas is right around the corner – literally. If you are anything like me, you find yourself scrambling almost last minute in order to find the perfect gifts for the ones around you. But, I’m here to help you find the perfect gifts for the bookworms in your life. So, here is what’s on my Christmas list!
 

1. Notebooks.

 

This one is probably obvious and the bookworm/writer in your life probably has a ton of notebooks they haven’t touched yet, but don’t get dissuaded. We have a love for collecting notebooks and journals so getting more is exciting! One of the great things about notebooks is they can come personalized to our tastes. So when you’re browsing the notebooks section there are a few questions to ask yourself: Does this person like college ruled or wide ruled? Do they need lined paper or a sketch book so they can jot down stuff wherever and whenever? Or a small notebook to fit in their bag without taking up too much space. There are plenty of options and, yes, we want more!
 

2. Some nice pens.

 

We need something that is the same in value for our new notebooks. Why use a barely functioning pen in a brand new notebook we don’t want ruined with scribbles and indents? A nice, smooth pen gliding across fresh paper is so satisfying! Plus, our ideas will look as pretty as we think they are.
 

3. Literary candles.

 

Of course we want candles that smell like books! Have you smelled books before? We want to wrap ourselves up in that smell and live in it forever. Also, there aren’t just book scented candles. There are ones that smell like the fictional libraries we read about or the food the characters eat. Sometimes gardens. There are a ton of varieties out there to choose from and many examples of these candles across the web. Find your writer’s favorite book and explore the possibilities.
 

4. Comfy pants and fluffy blankets.

 

Sweat pants, yoga pants, baggy pants – it doesn’t matter. All that matters is we have some comfy pants to wear so we can lounge around all day. Or invest in a nice fluffy blanket. Not only will it keep us warm and snuggly, but it helps if we stay up late writing and then pass out on our couch. It also helps catch all our tears when we reach that point in our writing process. Or both. Both are good ideas.
 

5. A nice pair of headphones or earbuds.

 

Sometimes we want music. Sometimes we want silence. Some noise cancelling headphones are perfect for this. We can effectively ignore the noise around us so we can enter into our own little world of creative bliss.
 

6. Books.

 

This should really be a no-brainer. We want to own all the books around. We want to own our own libraries that are just for us and filled with what makes us the happiest. Why not give us more for our collection?
 

7. Caffeine… or Christmas Spirits.

 

This really depends on where we are on the writing process. Ernest Hemmingway says it best: Write drunk, edit sober. Choose wisely.*
 

*Even if you don’t choose wisely, neither option will go to waste.

Keeping One Eye Open

By Tanner Chau

 

If you have never been in an abusive relationship, you have probably had the thought “That would never happen to me” or “I would never let that happen.” The unfortunate reality is every survivor of abuse thought the same thing and this mindset of “no, not me” is a dangerous thought to entertain.
 

Melissa Sachs’ new book One Eye Open is a first-hand account of domestic abuse, some of which was written while she was still living in the relationship with her abuser. One Eye Open hits home for me and I found myself having to set it down once or twice and breathe because, even though I left my abusive relationship years ago and thankfully did so before it got physical, my own trauma of emotional and mental abuse caught me off guard. What makes her account truly unique is the real time account of the mental state Sachs was in. To be in the moment with her, to see what the mind of an abused soul looks like is a gift to us to understand the trials of abusive relationships.
 

But the comfort I find, as a reader, is the affirmation that what I experienced is a similar experience of others, which is an invaluable feeling. Sachs’ book is truly a message of hope for survivors who are taking back their lives and for those currently living the nightmare. I found her book to be cathartic and healing to my personal experiences, even though I have continued on well in my life after my own abuse.
 

Sachs’ book is a prime example of how one becomes trapped in abuse. The abuser mimics you, becomes the “perfect” partner, they sweep you up in a whirlwind courtship and suddenly you are separated from your own life, family, and support system. Her book details the complexities of loving an abuser and hating an abuser all while being abused. Her vulnerability, her honesty, her pure thought about her experiences is reassuring to survivors in that it validates our own journeys. As someone who has loved an abuser, it is remarkable how similar the patterns, the behaviors, and the stories are, because when I was living in it I remember feeling so alone.
 

My personal take away from her book — something I advocate for as a survivor of abuse — is abuse is not exclusively physical abuse. Someone can be in an abusive relationship without any physical violence. The emotional and mental manipulation is the bonding-agent in keeping someone in the cycle of abuse. The abuser won’t lay a hand on you to get you to stay or to have you come back. Someone returns because of the pleas, the apologies and the promises to change, just as I did, just as Sachs did when we were living our abuse.
 

The greatest defense against domestic abuse is education on how to recognize it. Education on what an abuser does, what the behavior looks like, how to recognize the signs, and how to support someone trying to leave a dire situation which can, at any moment, become life or death. Discussing domestic abuse can be scary, but I would love to hear your perspective on the topic to encourage an open conversation.