Author Interview – Adolphus Writer

My author interview with Jade Kerrion went live this morning. Here is the raw material we submitted. We thank Jade for the opportunity.

Author: Adolphus Writer

Book Title: Tiānmìng – Mandate of Heaven

Adolphus Writer PictureShort author bio: Adolphus travelled to Europe, the Middle East, and Far East after graduate school. Arriving back in the USA, he took a job in a large defense firm applying his creative and analytical skills to pressing problems. In early 2012, he established Mandated Memoranda Publishing, LLC, as a way to support the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed. He says he likes to eat on a daily basis and stay debt–free.

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Tianming CoverBook Synopsis: Tiānmìng – Mandate of Heaven is an everyman’s spy adventure. It is a reluctant journalist’s tale of economic calamity, geologic catastrophe, geopolitical power shifts, and the beginnings of a hands–on surveillance state. The protagonist, Michael Babbage, grows through his ordeals and comes out a more experienced, if not wiser, person. He’s supported by Buck Jefferies, his recruiter, and a mysterious organization Michael only knows as CWNS.

Desired posting date: Friday, August 30, 2013 to coincide with a free book giveaway on Amazon.


1.       Tell us a little about your book.

The primary author, Nomi T. Smith, could not be with us today. Her initial manuscript had a slightly different slant on the story. We chose to reorient the plot around Michael Babbage to gain wider acceptance for an everyman’s spy adventure. The book is not part of a series and it has political, techno–thriller, and science fiction elements to it.

 2.       How did you come up with the title?

While we were forming Mandated Memoranda Publishing, LLC, Nomi approached us with her novella. We were steeped in the idea of the Mandate of Heaven because of the research we did to name the company. We used the Chinese translation, Tiānmìng, to give the book international appeal. In a nutshell, the title fit the novella’s theme and guided the reorientation.

 3.       How much of the book is realistic?

Too much, I’m afraid. The book was published June 8th, three days after the first NSA disclosure. The naval battle scenes are more dramatic than those actually occurring at–sea but the technologies we were able to discuss are accurate. Finally, scientists are making remarkable progress toward the biological–machine interfaces described in the book. I hope the rest of the story remains fiction forever.

 4.       What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

I can’t speak for Nomi, but I enjoy the research that goes in to a work of fiction. For Tiānmìng – Mandate of Heaven, we have over two gigabytes of corroborating materials covering: political, technological, editorial, and predictive analyses.

 5.       If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?

One of our readers strongly suggested we should not have changed the focus of the story from Nomi to Michael. However, some of Nomi’s original plot line will be published as short stories in Tragic Wonders, Stories and Essays to Ponder.

 6.       Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?

I have to thank my advance copy readers, they know who they are. Story simplification and elaboration simply wouldn’t happen without them. They drive the “show versus tell” process, even in works not due for publication until 2014. As a policy, we recruit trusted readers for every publication.

 7.       Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?

Absolutely, she gave us guidance though every step of the development process. Her mentoring was invaluable. She had prior experience as a magazine editor and as a published author. Mandated Memoranda Publishing will not issue a book without employing professional editing.


 8.       What factors influenced your decision to self-publish to Amazon?

We self–published Tiānmìng – Mandate of Heaven exclusively as a Kindle Edition to keep overhead costs low, maximize our exposure worldwide, and keep control over our property. Additionally, we are participating in the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program to maximize profits. However, we hope to keep prices low for our readers of this and future publications. Some books cost too much money; money we just don’t have any more.


 9.       Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I can remember standing up in class, at age seven, and declaring I wanted to write a book about nuclear energy. I read widely in fiction and non-fiction throughout my schooling and afterwards. I had always planned on writing and publishing after retirement. The economic downturn merely accelerated the schedule.

10.   Tell us your latest news.

Mandated Memoranda Publishing, LLC plans to release a second Kindle Edition called Tragic Wonders, Stories and Essays to Ponder, an anthology delving into our souls’ deepest fears and needs. Expect it on shelves by the fall, 2013. Book three is a retelling of a beloved story for our times. We call it A Digital Carol, due Christmas, 2013. Book four is Who Shall Be God, a fictional account of the struggles between two families, the Stadists and the Libertas, who live in a Midwestern city, north and south of 38th street, respectively. It is due in 2014.

Inflammation – Tomarick Fescidia

We Can Do It poster for Westinghouse, closely ...We used to be people who fulfilled our needs before our wants. We valued those things necessary for life. We saved for things we’d like to have if we were able. Sometimes we provided for needs to the exclusion of our wants so we’d have enough to share with others. Now we can’t wait to put on credit the newest electronics we saw unboxed online. We hold down multiple jobs to “sacrifice” for what we think we want. All the while, our families, relationships, and community fall by the wayside.

We used to live in places that had stories to tell. We valued the historical diversity of our nation. Now we all go down for our morning pick–me–up to the local franchise, offering the same experience in every city and town across the nation. We shop when we’re anxious, burn with passion for the latest trends, and forsake human companionship for electronic simulations of various forms and intensities.

When did we give up our culture? How did we become a consumer society? Why have we given ourselves over to our invisible overlords? To those who, however ineffectively, pull the strings which control our collective thoughts and actions. To them, it turns out, we, the American public, had a problem in need of a solution. What was our problem? Instability.

The solution was the active use of propaganda to direct the American collective unconscious towards social stability. You may remember, propaganda is the use of psychological manipulation or coercion to influence opinions and actions of individuals and groups toward stated or unstated goals. This was their chosen method to engineer the “consent of the governed.” Not the means that our founders intended when they penned those words, I’m afraid.

Propaganda in the twentieth century proved effective to promote democracy during World War I and the Final Solution during World War II. The same techniques were effective in regimenting and controlling the American public. Plans were instituted without many of us being aware of their influence. And there was money to be made for those who caught on. Lots of money.

Consent engineers, also known as public relations specialists, maintained that we Americans inherently distorted any information we took in. We made up our minds before we gathered and analyzed the relevant facts. We operated with partial facts corrupted by our preconceived prejudices and were unable to reach sound conclusions. Because of this situation, we were deemed incompetent to direct the public affairs of our democracy. An elite would rule the nation.

The specialists envisioned a utopia where individuals’ otherwise unconscious instinctual biological urges were controlled and directed by the elite to the service of some purposeful goal. Over the centuries, some societies built pyramids, some constructed hanging gardens, and many tried to rule the world. In our nation’s case, the goal was economic prosperity. The elites, which the specialists served, happened to own the means of mass production and directed the irrational desires of citizens to consume their wares. This had the simultaneous effect of satisfying the biological forces that might tear society apart.

By directing our own desires, the elites built a stable society. Citizens could work off their frustrations by spending on self-gratifying goods and services. These goods and services represented a common identity to which citizens were to adapt their self-images. Each citizen would acquire from what they consumed a sense of self, purpose, and history reflecting current attitudes and social patterns. The society and environment at large would also take on this immediacy and impermanence. No longer would we inherit our self–images or environs from previous generations.

Conscious and intelligent control was deemed important for democracy. Those who performed this duty were the real rulers who directed of the country. They used media tools to manipulate an unsuspecting public. The press release informed readers of the ‘news’ about events, products, or attitudes to adopt. Leaders were used, with or without their agreement, to sway those who followed them. Polling, focus groups, or other “democratic” means were employed to shape opinion rather than just measure it. Events, or better, spectacles, were created that purported to inform or celebrate when what was intended was to influence acceptance of new concepts and perceptions by the unconscious minds of many.

But weren’t they really tapping into humans’ ancient underlying motives. The scriptures say that the fear of death brings lifelong slavery. It was really this fear into which modern propaganda taps. Do I need to explain the concept of “duck and cover?”

They thought scientific manipulation of public opinion was necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in society. However, they knew that public relations propaganda could be used to subvert democracy as easily as it could be used to resolve conflict. It is in use to this day and we find ourselves at a crossroads.

None of this is new. It has been happening for millennia. All I did was gather the information in one place for you to read. I urge you to decouple from the hype, search your conscience and a Bible, if you’ve got one, and make changes starting with yourself first. Skip the hearty breakfast and don’t go shopping! Instead, find a church to participate in that reveres Christ, our only savior from our bodies of death. And let the love of Christ rule your reason and passions. Maybe we can still recover the life and community we’ve surely lost, before it’s too late.

Every Good Story – Thysdor Ya’Rosel

Dorothy L. Sayers offered a very interesting hypothesis in an essay she wrote long ago. It goes something like this.

Description: Front side (obverse) of one of th...

Nobel Prize Medal (Wikipedia)

Every story has a beginning, middle, and end. If the author is a good one then the story fits within a self-consistent world. Each character and setting has a backstory that supports the plot. Characters are born, are shaped by childhood experiences, become educated or not, and venture out into the world where we meet them. The settings that the characters inhabit have histories and origins. Someone had to dig the foundations, build the walls and pave the roads. These beginnings are often untold but are clearly important and materially affect the story.

Although also untold, the characters have futures. Some could rise to great heights while others come to ignoble ends. The settings might tumble to ruin or rise to new grandeur. They might be swept up by titanic forces of destruction or innovation or remain just as the author portrayed them in the story. Ultimately, the backstory influences and carries the story as if it already happened or will happen in the future.

A good author desires that we enter into and identify with the story and characters. The author starts their story as late as possible in the action to enhance the story’s drama. They prevent unnecessary author intrusion by introducing materials through view-point characters. They craft clear transitions from scene to scene and chapter to chapter to enhance the story’s momentum. All these techniques aid our understanding and appreciation of the author’s story.

Classical analysis suggests the story must follow a narrative arc where the main character, or protagonist, comes to understand their goal and the penalty for not attaining it. The protagonist then struggles to attain the goal while overcoming obstacles. He or she makes a key decision or performs a heroic act to ultimately realize the goal or fail tragically, sometimes in opposition to a key adversary. Next, the protagonist uses the results of the decision or act to progress toward the goal while contending against adversaries or unfavorable circumstances. Finally, the protagonist confronts the adversary and either wins or loses bringing about resulting consequences.


With this background, what if a perfect Author existed with a completely consistent imagination? An Author, unlike human ones of limited capability, who was able to bring forth Their story with substance and overwhelming power. Suppose They decided to create an immense and ancient universe with a comprehensive history. Within that universe, they formed our Earth. And in, on and around it, They placed all that we have or will ever find: minerals, gems, fossils, fuels, animals, water, air and such. And They did all this so that everything created pointed to the Author’s eternal power and divine nature. No mere cosmos written on paper but in reality.

What if They decided to skip ahead for drama’s sake and populated the Earth with us — actually, just with our original parents — and gave them one rule to obey in a garden they would tend. Suppose They provided our parents with an adversary who hated their very existence and wanted them to disobey that rule?

Having planned the outcome, the Author provided means for our parents to be restored once they failed, yet outside their former relationship – separated from the Author – experiencing death even while they lived. Why would the Author have done all this to have it end in tragedy? Perhaps the Author had a greater plan in mind.

Our first parents offspring did amazing things, some good and some desperately evil. The adversary ruled through death and each generation died one by one when their time was up. After a cataclysmic flood wiped the Earth clean, eight souls repopulated it. Later, one man, although past his prime and as good as dead, believed the Author’s word that in his offspring all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

Later still, the Author established a people from that one man to represent Themselves to the world. These people received laws and ordinances which set them apart from all other nations. Failure to obey these laws meant certain death. The people failed to see that the laws were impossible to keep apart from the kind of trust in the Author that their ancestor had shown. They rejected call after call from the Author’s representatives to trust and obey the Author.

After the Author’s people rejected all the representatives who had come before, the Author sent the Son in the world as one of them. The Author always planned on entering directly into the story when the time was right. The Son perfectly obeyed the laws given to Their people and thereby deserved life and not death. However, the Son took the evil of those who were His upon Himself in a death perpetrated by that hateful adversary from the garden long ago.

Having overcome death through an indestructible life, the Author created a new people. At first, They drew from the original people. But soon, They called out new ones throughout the world. All of these followed the Author through the Author’s written words and the Author’s Spirit. The adversary, knowing his time was limited, raised up opposition to the new people and sought to lead them astray. Perhaps the adversary could still win?

However, the Author has given Their people aid against their adversaries. And They enter once more at the end of this story to rescue Their people, mete out justice to the opposition and vanquish the adversary. Finally, the Author promises sequels filled with peace and rest for those who trusted and obeyed and filled with never-ending torment to those who opposed.


The scientific among us would declare this position is unfalsifiable. Some call it the ‘Last Thursday’ hypothesis as if that terminology were derisive. However, one of their own declared a theory is only unfalsifiable to those without the imagination to figure out how to do so. I would claim you are undertaking the test at this very moment and its conclusion awaits only your demise. Then you will know the outcome. Then, of course, it will be too late to change your bet. The die would be cast and the case closed. No study grant or Nobel Prize for you.


Maybe, on the other hand, you realize that you are part of the Author’s story. It is happening all around and in you this very moment. Now that you know the Author’s ending, what will you decide to do? Every good story has a beginning, middle, and end. How will yours end?

Nothing to See Here – Pearl Thanes

I conspired once with my son to cover-up an incident. I broke a treasured ship-in-a-bottle that my husband constructed as a gift to me for our fifteenth wedding anniversary. We blamed it on the dog, for years. My husband never much liked the dog after that. Poor dog died without knowing why he was on the outs. Sorry, hon, I should have told you; it was a good dog.

English: President of the United States Richar...

Nixon was purported to have said that without Martha Mitchell there wouldn’t even have been a Watergate scandal. Almost foolish in its goals: securing information from the Democratic National Committee in the effort to reelect the president; these events brought Nixon down. Conspiracy turned to cover-up and scandal. If no one spoke up, it would be a conspiracy today.

Many things go on every day in the world. Most of it results in nothing. Some leads to tragedy or triumph. These consequential events cause a few to wonder what lies behind the veil. Is there a secret cabal ruling the world, did someone stand to gain, or was it all planned to the last detail?

Why do we ascribe bad motives and devious planning to others? Well, first, we don’t know what they intended and we hate not knowing. And second, we know what we might do in their place and it is usually not good. We violate the golden rule in thought and deed.

Professor Emeritus M. Barkun says conspiracies can be grouped as: event, systemic, or super conspiracy. A mysterious assassination is an example of an event conspiracy. Infiltration of a group with broad goals into an organization is a systemic conspiracy. And multiple event and  systemic conspiracies linked in complex, hierarchical ways extending over time and distance is a super conspiracy.

Job, an Old Testament poet, was subjected to a conspiracy of sorts. God sought to prove Job’s goodness to the adversary, Satan. God allowed the adversary to destroy all but Job’s life and his wife. We witness the transactions in heaven, but Job doesn’t.

To him, his entire calamity seems without justice. If only he could argue his case. If only a mediator would step in between God and man to reconcile them. He knows his redeemer lives and that he will see Him in the flesh after his death. And Job displays this confidence without having beheld God at any time.

After God reveals Himself in the whirlwind, Job retracts his charge of God’s injustice and repents in dust and ashes. God thereby proves His claim about Job to the adversary through Job’s faithful obedience and repentance from sin.

It is never clear if Job finds out why he was tested. To him, it was a trial for endurance. And, yet, we are told that unseen powers and principalities were contending for his downfall and their supremacy over him and God.

Job’s trial presages another trial that happened at a more opportune time, the very fullness of time. Many kingdoms rose and fell through conspiracy and intrigue in the intervening period. These came to bitter ends; unremembered, except through equivocal stone monuments to greatness and squalor. All that is now hidden will be revealed at the Judgment throne. Dead men will tell tales. At that time, will you be like Job or his adversary?

People Are Human – Richard Grinnell

People are human, a fact which we may forget in the course of doing our jobs. Obviously, we expect the person with antisocial personality disorder to forget this fact in the course of doing her job. But this omission is also perpetrated every day by many knowledge workers, service providers, and even manufacturing laborers. People are not to be fixed (or destroyed), plied, maligned, underestimated, or any of a myriad of things. They are to be given dignity and sought after by digging (figuratively) beneath the surface. Dale Carnegie advocated this very position.

We dig below the surface to find out who they are, what they want, and how we can help them get it. Sounds like a marketing ploy, doesn’t it. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Asking caring, discerning questions of someone shows we care about them. Following up at a later date shows we value them as a person. Helping them meet deep-seated needs shows them they are meaningful participants in our community. Our ends come too quickly to neglect this obligation. For many in the US, we live an average of only 28,600 days plus or minus 950 days from start to finish. We try and fail to prolong it much beyond 43,830 days.

What happens after a rain when you dig in a garden, in your lawn or at a playground? You bring up mud and maybe things a lot worse. There are a few persons in every circumstance who are not safe with which to interact. Turn these in to the authorities, if possible. If not, flee them. There are some others who will cling to the attention giver. These must be told that they are responsible for their own wellbeing and that no one person on earth can fill their need. You must maintain boundaries for their good and your own. The majority will want to be known and will appreciate the attention and care. To the contrary of the exceptions, the majority may not reciprocate the gesture seeing no need to do so towards you.

Life is the one opportunity we have to make a positive difference both in our own lives and that of others. Are we taught to be indifferent, to objectify others, or to hold others at arm’s length even while we might provide care, service, or labor? Yes and no. We are afraid to get hurt so we say it doesn’t matter. We face so many needs in a day, perhaps life and death ones, that we disassociate the needy from their humanity so we can cope without our total emotional collapse. Perhaps we recognize the need and seek to serve it so far but no further. We definitely train ourselves in these behaviors through repeated practice.

However, and more fundamentally, we can change our behaviors and feelings of authenticity will follow. This requires us to exert our wills, knowing what must be changed in our behavior and doing it. Through practice it will ‘take’. Get up from failure and try again. This is the way we’ve been made.

You may not accept it but we were made by a righteous Maker who expects perfectly right behavior. He went so far to free us from the ties that bind us to wrong behavior that he paid the penalty for our actions. The cost to Him was the death of His Son as a substitution for our own so that we might live. His Son’s death was payment for an infinite debt each of us owes to a just God. He will attribute the merit due His Son to us if only we surrender to Him from our hearts.

Mean Ends – Luxe Hso-Dualy

Paraphrasing Aldous Huxley, let’s be clear, most of us are ignorant of certain, uncomfortable concepts because we choose not to inquire of them. In this age, when information exudes from every surface, we consciously reject it.

Like Huxley, if it suits our desires then we proclaim that the world has no meaning. Because we decide this, we strip our adversaries of reasonable ways to refute our premise. This position gives us license to do what we want without opposition. We use the levers of power we have available to make our choices rule the world.

So long as we can do whatever it is that we want in the here and now, what do we care for the consequences to others or ourselves in some supernatural eternity? We declare there is no eternity and it must be so.

We are gods and nothing will be impossible for us to do.