Tag Archives: michael bradley

My Books Now Available at The Bookstore

I had a great signing this weekend at 16th Street and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix at The Bookstore.  The Bookstore now offers all six of my books for sale on their shelves if you are looking for a location to buy them.  Of course, the Store tab on this page has links for those of you wishing to buy online versions.

Thanks!

 

 

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Saturday at Keen Halloween…

I Read “The Hair” a short story in Twisted Nightmares for the Keen to Read horror story reading panel.  Spent some time at my publisher’s table selling and signing some books.  It was a good time.  Here are some pictures…Click to see whole picture and caption…

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Please Buy Blood Bank, my 5th Novel, Just Out Now!

Blood Bank is an adventure that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world with the strange start of a clerk who tracks blood for the controlling monsters.  My beta readers say it’s the best book I’ve written so far.  Your patronage is MUCH appreciated, as are any reviews posted to Amazon.  (Pardon my gratuitous begging…)

Here is the cover, illustrated by Alfred Trujillo and Cara Nicole at 183 Degrees studios.  Thanks to my publisher at Arizona Publishing Services, LLC.  There is also an alternative cover with Cara Nicole as the character Shawna which will be available on Kindle and at special convention events.

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Here is the Amazon link to purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AENMYUG

Here is a brief description off the back cover:  William believes he is the only non-bitten human left in the world. He spent his entire life raised by vampires to run their blood bank and keep track of deposits and withdrawals. One day, young Shawna, a human who grew up in the wild is dropped into his prison for companionship. Neither William nor Shawna really understand the world in which they live and they both become unwitting pawns in a final power play by their vampire Overlords.

The Alternative Cover:

http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Bank-Michael-Bradley-ebook/dp/B01A6I3NWW/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452462373&sr=1-2&keywords=blood+bank

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Phoenix Comic Con 2015 – Friday!

Here are some pictures from Phoenix Comic Con 2015 I took earlier today.  Most are outside my booth at 3118.  Please stop by to say hi, or even better, buy a book!

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Cosplayers – Rebecca Gau and Jaime Molera think you are “Offensive”

So here is the story on Azcentral.com.  That’s right, Rebecca Gau and Jaime Molera think that my weekly post of cosplayer pictures are racy and offensive.  I should not be able to work at the Arizona Department of Education according to them because you cosplayers are just so scantily clad and inappropriate, that if I post cool pics of you on my site, somehow it will destroy the morals of children across Arizona.  They also attack Cassie O’Quin, known to most of you as Cassandra S. Kyle.  I met her and interviewed for KWOD Radio because of all her charity work with children.  She deserves better than yellow journalism and hate-based accusations and innuendo.

Here is Jaime Molera’s lobbying firm contact information, if you wish to express your opinion:

602.279.9925 Phone
602.279.9935 Fax
300 W. Clarendon Avenue
Suite 220
Phoenix, AZ 85013-3422
info@ma-firm.com

Here is Rebecca Gau’s contact information in case you think her opinion is what is “offensive”:

Twitter – @RebeccaGau

602-926-1707
Don’t defend me.  These two are outspoken critics of my boss, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Diane Douglas.  I am used to criticism and could really care less what these two think.  However, they have essentially called the whole cosplay community a bunch of racy, degenerative sluts in their attempt to discredit me.  Despite my efforts on “cosplay is not consent” and supporting the cosplay community, there are still ignorant people like this who think you soft porn for dressing up like your favorite characters.  If you disagree, please let them know.
Now for the article – I think I have a wider circulation than the Arizona Republic, so I will help them out… 🙂

Racy photos on website of schools chief’s aide draw criticism

The online activity of Superintendent Diane Douglas’ chief of staff is raising questions among officials and influential figures in the education community, who view it as inappropriate given his position at an agency responsible for educating more than a million Arizona K-12 students.

Michael Bradley, who is in charge of day-to-day operations at the Arizona Department of Education, runs a website featuring items of general interest, including pictures of dogs and quirky news items, as well as thousands of photos of scantily clad women in costumes, and sexually suggestive images and humor.

It’s the racy imagery, including an image of one woman touching another woman’s breasts and women eating phallically-shaped foods that has caused concerns.

Bradley, also an author of “PG-13 and R-rated” science-fiction books, defended the images posted at www.mbtimetraveler.com and on a separate social-media site as typical of the popular hobby known as “cosplay,” or costume play where women and men dress as characters inspired by popular culture. He says his website is a “re-post website,” and that most of the content is sent to him by those who want their images shared. He said similar images are also available on social-media sites such as Facebook.

“You see more at a nightclub,” Bradley said of the images on his site. “It’s really harmless.”

Bradley noted that mainstream news sites, including azcentral.com, post photos of women in cosplay. Bradley said Friday that he plans to delete a collection of sexually suggestive photos of women eating food.

Douglas has known about the website and his writings for months, he said.

A Department of Education spokesman said Douglas was returning to the Valley from Yuma on Friday and was not immediately available for comment.

On the website, Bradley identifies himself as a full-time author and public speaker, but makes no mention of his position as the No. 2 official in the state Education Department.

Concern over Bradley’s website has mounted in recent weeks as knowledge of it has spread, reaching the highest levels of state government.

The Governor’s Office did not immediately respond for a request for comment.

Former schools Superintendent Jaime Molera says he supports freedom of speech, but that given his position, Bradley’s online activity crosses a line for parents and teachers.

“If he’s a private guy and this is his genre of writing, that’s his decision, and certainly there’s a whole lot of people who are into that,” Molera said. “At the same time, he’s the chief of staff to the state schools superintendent and there is a standard that they have to portray to the public — particularly schoolkids.”

Rebecca Gau, executive director of Stand for Children and a former gubernatorial education policy adviser, said she learned of the website weeks ago. She said the content is “offensive.”

“There are pictures of women’s breasts, there are pictures of paraphernalia related to women’s breasts, there are comments about women’s breasts,” said Gau. “I take my children’s digital footprint very seriously, I would expect state leaders to do the same thing.

“When you’re paid by taxpayers … there’s a certain expectation that you’re going to conduct yourself at all times in a respectable way.”

Bradley said the criticism stems from disagreement with the policies and politics of Douglas. He said he warned Douglas that her critics might use the website as ammunition against her.

“It’s just enemies looking for a reason to get mad at me,” Bradley told The Arizona Republic. “I don’t think anybody at the Capitol even knew I had a website, so for them to go to it and complain about it, they just disagree with whatever policy … the superintendent has, and so they want to find something to criticize me. I’m a pretty clean-cut person.”

“People will try to destroy me because they hate Diane Douglas,” Bradley said.

Bradley was thrust into the spotlight in February, when he orchestrated the attempted firings of two Board of Education staffers because of their perceived support for the Common Core education standards. The incident led to a standoff between Douglas and Gov. Doug Ducey over who has the authority to hire and fire Department of Education staff.

Bradley launched the website before he began working with Douglas and said he intends to continue operating the site and writing after his employment with the state ends. Bradley said he told Douglas he was an author, and told her about his books, telling her they aren’t available in schools and “I’m not a famous author.” He said his website has had more than 1 million hits, and about 3,000 hits daily.

Bradley, who earns $150,000 a year, said he does not blog during work hours, but schedules some content to automatically appear during the day.

Asked if the website is appropriate, given his position with the state, Bradley said, “I’ve kept my writing life separate.”

One woman featured in costume on his website has been hired as an executive assistant to Douglas, a $40,000-a-year position Bradley describes as “low-level.”

Bradley said he met Cassie O’Quin through the cosplay community. He said they became friendly, and after researching her background he asked if she would be interested in working as Douglas’ executive assistant. Quin’s position is at-will since she reports to Douglas, he said.

Records from the Department of Administration show O’Quin was hired on Dec. 24, shortly before Douglas was sworn into office.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Administration said she is unaware of any state policy pertaining to employees’ personal websites.

Former schools Superintendent John Huppenthal, who blogged under pseudonyms during his time in office, declined to comment on Bradley’s activities, saying he’s now a “private person.”

Political analysts have attributed Huppenthal’s secret blogging, which included remarks that people who receive public assistance are “lazy pigs” and that Spanish-language media should be shut down, as one reason for his loss to Douglas in the 2014 Republican primary election.

Reach the reporter at yvonne.wingett@arizonarepublic.com or 602-444-4712.

Follow on Twitter @yvonnewingett

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Wild Wild West Con 2015

First, I want to thank all the awesome people out there that put this together…

Co-owner and Director of Operations – Jason DrotmanJDrotman@wildwestcon.com

Co-owner and Director of Entertainment – Diana Given – DGiven@wildwestcon.com


 

Operations Department

Marketing Manager – Sarah CumberbatchMarketing@wildwestcon,com

Guest Services Manager – Nicole CantwellGuestServices@wildwestcon.com

Photography Manager – Wendy TrakesPhotography@wildwestcon.com

Security Manager – Ray Vaughn Rai – security@wildwestcon.com

Vendor Manager – Shamella Tribble – Vendors@wildwestcon.com

Volunteer Manager – Deena Johnson – Volunteers@wildwestcon.com

Here was what happened the last several days, ending at 6 pm today…

We’ve packed the first weekend in March with an amazing selection of Steampunk Fun!

• Concerts Featuring Abney Park, Steam Powered Giraffe, Frenchy and the Punk and The Cog is Dead

• See our list of over 35 FEATURED GUESTS!

• 62 Vendors • Contests • 80+ Panels & Workshops
• Entertainment and Rides • Fashion Show • Artists • Authors • Tea Dueling • Kids Zone • Performers • And more!

Lastly, thanks to the awesome mother/daughter Tucson Steampunkers (Susan McKinstry and Alexis McKinstry) that kept me company at the event!

Here are some sample pictures for you to enjoy!

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Amy Wilder – Model and Cosplayer – Get to Know Her Better…

Interview with Amy Wilder

By Michael Bradley

Today we are interviewing Amy Wilder, an extraordinary young lady involved in Steampunk Cosplay, the con scene, and professional modeling.  A photo collection follows.  You can click on the first picture and then arrow through them to see them full-sized.  NOTE:  This interview will appear in an upcoming issue of The WOD Magazine and an extended version will be podcast in the future by Patti Hulstrand on KWOD Radio.

Amy Wilder, Steampunk Cosplay

Amy Wilder, Steampunk Cosplay

Q.  Amy, thanks so much for this chance to get to know you better.  I first noticed you on a Steampunk site and reposted your picture on my blog with about forty other pictures.  Immediately, people popped out of the woodwork to let me know it was you in the picture, so you have some fans out there.  What got you involved in Steampunk cosplay and how long have you been doing it?

A. I guess you could say I was always a fan of steampunk style, though I didn’t hear the word till my first DragonCon in 2008… I thought it was just a cool way people dressed at cons, and for photoshoots. I discovered steampunk culture, and fell absolutely in love with it when I wandered into AnachroCon in Atlanta in 2013, and I’ve been immersed and obsessed ever since.

Q.  I was impressed that after working at Hooters for just a few years, you were selected as a candidate for their calendar and you made it all the way through.  How was that experience and was it exciting to be chosen from thousands of Hooters Girls nationwide?

A. Oh yes! That was my very first publication, and being one of just over 200 girls picked was amazing. I even had my own shot glasses, it was so cool. During my time at Hooters, I was also the regional “Hooters Girl of the Quarter” and a state finalist in their swimsuit pageant. I worked hard there, and gained a ton of modeling experience, but it was time to move on to bigger things. 🙂

Q.  You created your own Hooters Girl Superhero.  What gave you that idea?  That must have been a lot of fun?

 A. Oh goodness, that one WAS fun. Working at Hooters, I always joked that getting into uniform and doing that job made us superheroes, but one day while helping a friend buy fabric for one of her cosplays, I found a few yards of neon orange fabric on sale, and the rest was silly history.

Q.  You have two sides to you in pictures.  In your regular photos you’re the sweet girl next door with dreamy doe eyes and a pet cat.  In your modeling photos you transform into a sultry bikini supermodel with a bold look.  Do you feel different modeling or cosplaying than just being at home?  Do you take on the persona you are playing?

A.  I think I always feel like me… but there’s something about an awesome costume or outfit, and hair and makeup to the max that can bring out the sexy bombshell in anyone. I have tons of fun playing different roles and being different people in front of the camera… but behind all that, I still make faces and talk about my cat. 😛

Q.  Recently at San Diego Comic Con some haters criticized you for a skimpy outfit not being “Steampunk.”  I know many came to your defense.  Women wear less at the beach or at nightclubs but there are haters out there for cosplayers.  How do you react to this type of controversy?

A.  I think that cosplay and steampunk, just like anything else, attracts all kinds of people, and I’m never going to be everyone’s cup of tea. The outfit in question actually went over very well in person at SDCC, as I was able to explain the cheeky joke behind it. I just ask that everybody try to be a little kinder to each other and remember why we’re here. We didn’t get into steampunk to tell other people how to have fun, we got into steampunk to dress up in cool costumes, share our fantastical devices and mad ideas, and shoot each other with modded nerf guns. 😉

Q.  You work a lot with Thomas Willeford, one of the top Steampunk crafters.  Are you two friends?  How did you come to meet him and model his Steampunk outfits?

A.  Thomas is one of my all-time favorite people. I had been a fan of his work since I tried on a corset at my first DragonCon, his work is actually what first got me interested in steampunk. It wasn’t till years later that I got up the guts to introduce myself, and ask if I could model for him. But now I am one of his main spokes-models, an occasional apprentice in his shop, and consider him one of my dearest friends. Without his advice and support, I don’t think I would have taken my love of dressing up a step further and started modeling seriously.

Q.  You are tall but maintain a zero size and a curvy figure.  Do you have a strict exercise regimen and diet, or some other secrets to share?

 A. I have a workout regimen I stick to pretty faithfully including weights, body weight exercise, and tons of cardio. I like to think I’m strong enough to defend the innocent from petty villains, and fast enough to outrun a zombie horde… As for diet, I cook my own food when possible, and try to use fresh ingredients, but I eat what I want.

Q.  You are very young now, but like with athletes, models work long hours, have tough demands and a limited career length.  What are some of your long term goals, or are you taking it day by day and enjoying the current ride first?

 A.  Though I love modeling, my real hope is to finally get a workspace of my own set up and start designing. I actually studied fashion design and sculpture in college… I have a lot of ideas.

 Q.  You had a man sculpt you from scratch and recreate one of your Steampunk poses.  Who was that artist again?  That must have been very exciting?

 A.  Yes! Madsculptor! I was so honored when he chose to sculpt me, and he did such an incredible job! It is really an amazing experience watching your own visage come to life before your eyes. In fact, recently my likeness was also reproduced by famous pin-up artist Armando Huerta… As an artist myself, knowing I inspired someone else’s art will always be a big deal to me, and a huge honor.

Q.  As a southern girl from Georgia, do you have that Georgia Peach accent?  Does it get lighter when you travel and stronger when you go back?

 A. Nope! Actually, growing up with a dad in the Army, I have lived in every corner of the US, and been exposed to all manner of accents. I’ve been known to pick up the accents of people I am having conversations with… But no accent whatsoever to call my own.

Q.  You go to quite a few pop culture events and conventions.  As these have gained popularity, do you feel the security is adequate?  As an attractive young woman have you had issues with some of the inappropriate comments and touching that other cosplayers have experienced?

A.  I will be honest, I have never been harassed at a con… Maybe an enthusiastic suitor here and there, but always harmless and quite respectful. Of course I know that a skimpy, skin-baring cosplay is likely to draw more comments of the “misguided compliment” variety, but I’ve never felt offended or unsafe. In fact, I was THRILLED with the level of respect and politeness, (and the fantastic security that missed nothing) I encountered at SDCC, which I’d been warned would be a madhouse. The only times I’ve ever felt truly harassed at cons are when I have had to leave the con space in costume, I think sometimes the general public takes not understanding why I dress up as a license to be extremely disrespectful.

Q.  You have a fantastic look, so I am not surprised you were “found” by photographers.  Still, who was the first person to ask you to get involved in pictures?

 A.  The first modeling I ever did was at Savannah College of Art & Design for a fellow student majoring in photography. Corey Crowley (now Vampman Studios) approached me in the lunch hall simply because I was tall. I did tons of photoshoots for him, I gained a ton of confidence through that, and learned a lot about modeling, and how to act in front of a camera. I don’t know if I would have ever pursued modeling had I not done those fun shoots.

Q.  What would you suggest for others interested in getting into cosplay and into modeling?

 A.  Just do it, and do your best! Make contacts, attend events, and most importantly, HAVE FUN.

Q.  With all the travel you are faced with, what keeps you centered and so happy?  You always seem so positive.

A.  I guess that one is a weird answer, staying positive IS what keeps me so positive. We all have hard times, and get stressed or discouraged… We all have “everything is terrible, I’m terrible, and my goals and dreams will never work” moments… But I always try to look forward, see the silver linings, and hope for the best. Dwelling on something negative will never make it better, but reaching past, grabbing something positive, and running with it? That is what keeps a person going.

Q.  Who would you like to give shout outs to?  Great photographers, friends, supporters and others who have helped you on your path?

A.  Oh God… Everybody… can I say everybody? Every photographer who thought I was good enough to shoot with, every friend who encouraged me. Every designer who had me wear their work, every con organizer who hosted me. Every nice comment, every “like”, every photo share… Every person who recognizes me at a con, or doesn’t, but comes to introduce themselves anyway… You all keep me going! Thank you! ❤

Q.  Where can people contact you for photoshoots and other events?

A.  The best way to contact me is to e-mail me at AmyWILDERness@yahoo.com, or message me on my Facebook fanpage at http://www.facebook.com/AmyWILDERness. 🙂

Q.  Where can fans follow you online?

 A.  I am on Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram. You can follow me @amywilderness. 🙂

Q.  What else would you like to add?

A.  Thank you for interviewing me! Hope the read is enjoyable and that I didn’t sound too silly. 🙂

 

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