Archives: inspiration

Reading at Buckhannon-Upshur High School (My First Author Appearance!)

Last Tuesday, I had my first ever appearance as an author! It was terrifying and exhilarating.


I graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 2003, so this event was a homecoming of sorts for me. I’d only been back once or twice post-graduation to pick up my siblings, but I knew to expect the odd mixture of familiarity and strangeness. So many things had changed, and yet so many remained the same.

Welcome Home Ms Traci Loudin - When All Is Lost posterA few of the same: My former sophomore English teacher, Miss Cupp, brought some of her students in to hear me speak. And my former creative writing teacher, Ms. Ramsey Boyce, also brought her students in. Before the event, Ms. Ramsey Boyce had contacted me to tell me that she was reading my book and that so much of it seemed familiar. So although I have no doubt I’ve grown as a writer over the years, my voice is apparently much the same!

I was greeted by this wonderful hand-painted poster based on the cover for When All Is Lost. It’s a very close representation of it! I’m amazed at the level of detail, and extremely flattered that Ms. Wager, the art teacher, would take the time to create something like this for me. It now resides in my office so I can see it while I write.
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The Seductive Nature of the Apocalypse

I’ve loved the post-apocalyptic genre since I was a teenager. With the recent success of movies like Mad Max: Fury Road and video games like Fallout, Half-Life 2, Gears of War, and The Last of Us, I started thinking more about why we love the apocalypse.

The apocalyptic subgenre can take place in three different time periods:

The End Times

How You Picture Yourself In a Zombie ApocalypseSome apocalyptic books and movies begin before the catastrophic event that brings about the end. While there are plenty of memes about how we like to think we’ll be one of the survivors (only the strong survive, right?), I think that’s too easy of an answer.
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Scifi and Fantasy Music Videos

This is my friend Darin Kennedy’s release week for The Mussorgsky Riddle, a paranormal mystery about a boy lost in the labyrinth of his own mind and the psychic who tries to save him. You can find it on Amazon and B&N.

In honor of his debut novel, which contains musical themes throughout, I thought I’d write a post about music. I cast about for music videos with a science fiction or fantasy element to them and set up a YouTube playlist. Since my favorite genre is metal, this playlist mainly consists of rock and metal (so… content warning), but I branched out a little.

Heads up! I’ll be at his Facebook event tomorrow evening to talk about his book and this blog post. Come and say hi!

Scifi & Fantasy Music Videos

Ballad of Mona Lisa by Panic! At The Disco is the featured steampunk selection here. If you’ve never heard Panic! before, this is a fun, peppy song that’s visually appealing. As you know, I love steampunk, so this video definitely caught my eye.

Bring ‘Em Down by Lostprophets just seems grungy until you get to about 2:12, and then there’s some future tech going on. You’ll see what it does at the end.
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