My First Six Novels

Rebecca Bryn

I began writing about twelve years ago when a friend, who was writing while convalescing, got me hooked. I love creating my own worlds and populating them with imperfect characters with whom I fall in love. They take me to places I thought I would never go and make me experience things I’d otherwise not experience. They live, love, cry, laugh, hope, and dream. These are the novels, the stories, they bring alive.

The Silence of the Stones is a psychological thriller set in West Wales, where I live. Alana, like me, is an artist. She is left a cottage in West Wales by an aunt she didn’t know existed and, despite her parents pleas, she grabs the chance of a new start in Coed-y-Cwm. Little does she know she is catapulting herself into a thirty-year-old conspiracy of silence over the disappearance of two toddlers that will change her life…

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FREE? … Well perhaps a little piece of your soul will suffice…

FREE? … Well perhaps a little piece of your soul will suffice…

Last night while you all slept safely in your beds, oblivious to the secrets that lie in wait in the darkness of the night, little did you know that plans were well underway to disturb whatever comfort blanket you use to help you sleep. The true darkness is about to descend once more you see, only this time there will be no place to hide.  Sometimes, there is nothing like a little teaser…Forget the final season of Game of Thrones… Darkly Wood III is coming… Here is a hint of what is to come for the uninitiated and for those who have already strayed into the heart of Darkly Wood…


 She lay there quite still, with blood slowly oozing from the near bald patch at the side of her head where only moments before, there had been a lush braid of thick, red hair. Pain is very subjective and if anything, often circumstantial. It wasn’t pain she felt when she looked down and saw her missing right foot. It was something new. She could hear a very familiar sound and in truth, while she knew it had something to do with her present predicament, she really didn’t care.

Two feet stood planted inches from her face and when she recognised them for what they were, she at last realised that she was lying on her side on the ground.  They were very fine shoes made of leather. The toes narrowed to an almost impossible point and they were shiny, save a little dirt around the edges from the debris on the forest floor.

She scrambled to remember, as creeping into her consciousness was the rather frightening sound of an animal snarling.  Something was pulling at her one remaining foot. What was it that she wanted to recall?  There was something she was supposed to do, but it was impossible to gather her thoughts.

The fine shoes shifted on the earth beside her and the owner of the feet that filled them, looked down at her pathetic, frail little body. His lips curled to form a smile. Smiles came easily to him. Darkly Wood had seen many vile and dangerous people step beyond its fringes, but nothing compared to this man. The latest fresh face to visit Cranby, that little village tucked neatly below the hill that led to Darkly Wood, was far more menacing than anyone that had come before. He was truly dark and twisted, and he had brought with him something that no one could ever have expected.

That he didn’t look like much of a threat was deceptive, for looks are indeed deceiving. He had come with purpose, a creature devoid of fear, unmatched in cruelty and he brought something beyond darkness to the wood. The tales that had been told, the best of them, the worst of them, were all but a gentle prelude to the true darkness that had finally arrived. It wouldn’t be long now. Soon, the time would come for him to reveal his purpose. He raised his hand and the snarling stopped. There was a familiar scent in the air. The breeze when it came, carried a name he knew well and it gently ruffled the red feather in his fedora. Things would never be the same again in Darkly Wood…

zzfed …If you are still waiting to dip your toe into Darkly Wood, now is the perfect time. The first book in the series will be FREE from Thursday 13th September until Monday 17th September, so grab it while you can… but a note of caution… you might want to leave the lights on… Watch the trailer then click on the link below to download from your local Amazon store. Remember Book one is FREE from tomorrow, well I say free…but there is still the small question of your soul…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links

Listening to a stranger’s bloody yarn on the road to nowhere…

Listening to a stranger’s bloody yarn on the road to nowhere…

I met an old man the other day, deep in the heart of the Galway countryside as I travelled across this lovely little Island to a meeting. He was driving a big old Massey Fergusson on a very narrow country road. Now as you do, I squeezed my car as far into the ditch as I could and he considered doing the same, but it was clear there wouldn’t be enough room for him to pass me as he had a wide cutting machine attached to the back of his tractor.

Now I don’t know how this would develop in whatever part of the world you live in, but in the west of Ireland on narrow bohereens, no one is really in that much of a hurry. What should have been a conversation prioritising a solution to our dilemma, turned out to be something entirely different.


Now Jimmy (that was his name as I quickly established) had a brother, who he suspected I should know because he had some vague connection to the same business I’m involved in. He struggled to understand that I didn’t know him, despite the fact that I lived on the far side of the country and there are another four and a half million of us floating around, but to be fair, I don’t know them all.

As we chatted blocking the little road in the middle of nowhere, I stood leaning against the side of my car, while he sat high in his tractor with the door open. It was initially a strained conversation over the noise of his big tractor engine, but somewhere along the way he turned it off. I didn’t even notice until after the fact. The quite was simply splendid, framed by sporadic birdsong or the buzz of the occasional bee as they passed by my head, intend on completing some work of their own.

He enquired where I had come from, by which he meant from which direction, as it was as clear as the nose on my face that I was from Dublin based on my D reg and my  accent.  He didn’t ask me where I was going for that would have been nosey. When I told him I had come from out the Oranmore direction, he told me he had a sister or sishter as he pronounced it, who nearly married a fella from Oranmore, but he turned out to be a bit of a blaggard and himself and the brother, had dealt with that problem. I asked how long ago that was and he had a little think, before telling me that was in nineteen hundred and forty seven, the same year his aunt had died. It was at that point that I realised how old he was so I had a good close look at him.


He must have been ninety if he was a day and there he was, a big fine agricultural looking man, still working, hands like plates and a head the shape of a turnip.  I thought he had a look of invincibility until he flittered onto his next story.

Hi aunt had died in a farming accident ,something he didn’t elaborate on but instead diverted as it reminded him of his own dice with death last year.  He had been trying to shift a bullock, to where or for what reason I didn’t question, and he had the creature tied up beside his tractor. Apparently the bullock took offence to being tethered and swung about, forcing the poor man onto the cutting blades attached to his tractor.  Again out of politeness, I allowed him assume that I could make full sense of the picture he was painting, but my big urban head just imagined a Transformer-tractor stabbing him with a sword.  I began silently singing my own version of the Transformers song in my head. “Transformers… Tractors in the nude”

I implored him to tell me more and he didn’t need much imploring, but first he had to clarify some detail. He was not at home at the time you see, but doing a favour for a cousin. He wouldn’t have minded, only sure wouldn’t it have been easier to get a pulse from a dead man, than to get the very same fella to put his hand in his pocket and stand you a round. Anyway the cousin lived near Loughrea by his account, and didn’t the blade slice open his stomach, Jimmy’s that is not the cousin (I had to keep up as he had a tendency to meander.) He lifted his auld geansaí and showed me his scar with pride.

Didn’t it slice open his stomach as he said and out came his guts. He was standing there in the middle of a field all alone, trying to tuck his guts back into himself, covered as he was in cowshite and muck, with not a soul to help him. You know I asked him what he did of course.


Now here is where I really did admire him, not for what he told me next, for it was clearly not true that he walked the 40kms (25 miles) to the hospital in Galway, holding his guts together with a pair of cowshite covered hands, but I admired him for the fact that on another day, a lesser man might nearly have believed him.

Content at having retold his story to a complete stranger, no doubt something he had done many times, he showed a little vulnerability. I’ve not been the same farming since, he told me. To be very honest, he continued, he had become nervous and stopped working with livestock altogether. He was getting a little old for that side of things. Suddenly through all the bravado and tall tales, I saw that this wasn’t a fine big sturdy farmer, rather a frail, lonely old man, once mighty no doubt, but weakened by the vagaries of old age. I admired him even more.

Anyway he said, he’d best be getting on. With that, he turned on the tractor engine and bid me adieu telling me I’d best step off to the side of the road for a minute. I stepped to the back of the car and he raised the big old yoke at the back of his tractor high in the air, and he was able to pass me by without a problem.  He could of course, simply have done this in the beginning. But sure then we wouldn’t have met, nor passed the time of day and I wouldn’t have heard his story. Isn’t it a grand little country I live in…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links

A Date With. . . Max Power

A Date With. . . Max Power

Frank Parker's author site

My ‘date’ this time is Dublin born author Max Power. In his response to my first question he agrees that his Dublin childhood is an important influence, but goes on to say that it is only part of the story.

“The Jesuit maxim of ‘give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man’ is not something I buy into. It’s never too late to change direction. Perhaps the greatest influence in my writing has been the deaths of my mother, my father and my elder brother who died all too young aged 53. I struggled with grief when my mother passed in particular and I know in hindsight that I was damaged by not dealing fully with the loss at the time.

Love, loss and death are central themes in all of my books, I suspect largely because of how my life has developed…

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We are more than just Starstuff…

We are more than just Starstuff…

I broke my first tooth on a blackjack when I was seven and I’ve hated the dentist ever since. Creepy old men with big needles who like to inflict pain on children, that was my early experience.  My most recent venture into the world of dentistry, was a relatively painless affair with a rather pleasant young lady who liked to hum as she worked. My God the world has changed. Women dentists, they’ll be driving buses next! Yeah yeah I’m joking of course so keep your powder dry. Really my experience just goes to show that one’s early experiences can taint you for life, for despite my last few fairly uneventful visits to the dentist, I still get a cold chill down my spine when I even think that I may need to sit in that chair.


It doesn’t apply to everything or indeed everybody, but fears and phobias are easily created as a child and hard to shake off. For years I have struggled with bees and wasps for example, yet I cannot imagine why anyone is afraid of spiders. Oddly enough, when I was a kid I used to catch dirty big bumblers in jars half filled with flowering clover so they’d have ‘something to eat.’ I was even stung by both bees and wasps which was never that bad, so I can’t quite recall where that fear began.

I’m much better these days and even forced myself into a little aversion therapy by standing in  a flowerbed surrounded by literally dozens of bees buzzing around my bare ankles. Wasps still freak me out though. The biggest problem in that regard at the moment is that I have a ruptured bursa in my shoulder, so I have very limited movement in my left arm. As this is wasp season, this week I have twice been buzzed by the angry little baxtards, and instinctively tried to swat them with the arm attached to my messed up shoulder. Well! Jesus wept! The flippin’ pain.

Now I have a theory about wasps that I’d like to share. You see when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, my Ma told me that if you killed a wasp, all the other wasps would know that you killed it.  They would in fact, hunt you down in some twisted insect revenge scenario. The first thing to happen is that they  find the place where their fallen comrade has died by some hyper sense of smell, or perhaps through a super high-pitched call for help with its last breath that we couldn’t hear but they could.  Then and while this part was never fully explained, it was in fact an accepted logic among my peers as a child, every wasp who came across your path, would know that it was you, who had killed their friend.


Now ok, to be fair that wasn’t exactly what my Ma told me, but I was a kid growing up in different times. We had no telly during the day and we had to fill in the blanks with our imagination. Mine was pretty vivid. Either way, the wasps would get you and they had long memories, and given that I am still being attacked by them, I suspect they pass that knowledge about wasp killers down through the generations.

Somewhere right now, there is a family of wasps sitting around a fireplace, the auld grandpa wasp telling the story about how his great-great-great-great-great grandfather was slain, stamped down in his prime by a little fella called Power and how the family had vowed ever since, to keep track of me so that they would always recognise me to enable them to exact revenge for the death of their beloved family member. He’s probably telling them that in recent times there is a rumour that my left shoulder is fecked and that if they attacked me from that side, not only would I be unable to swat them, but that in making an effort to do so, I would suffer great pain.

It all makes perfect sense of course. Now you see there are a few holes in the story I know, this but let’s not get bogged down by the facts. I learned many things in my Dublin childhood from days of yore, much of which turned out to be less than true.  Like for instance apparently according to Robert Brennan, if you wet your finger and scratched out the contents of your ear and smeared it on your lips, then gave a girl a ‘Frenchie’, she’d get pregnant. Fortunately this turned out to be bad advice which even more fortunately I never tried to follow. To be fair when I heard it at first, even though I was only seven, I was kinda thinking I might  give the whole sex thing a mix.


Speaking of which the old ear wax thing was only the tip of the Iceberg when it came to dodgy information back then. When eventually at the ripe old age of thirteen, the fine Christian Brothers decided to explain the mysteries of sex to us, they left me even more mystified than I was when I started. There were prayers beforehand, prayers afterwards, all devoutly completed on one’s knees, there was a ‘ladies go up to the auld scratcher first’ to ‘prepare themselves’ though what that involved in that preparation routine I still haven’t worked out ,and they made sure the light was out before you got to clamber in beside them.

Apparently in between prayers, the fella would ask “Are ye ready?” and then there would be a performance of ‘The act.’  The good brothers gave us the  impression that it might be best to get that sort of a thing over with as quickly as possible, so all in all  if it wasn’t for my very confusing, raging hormones, I would have been put off sex altogether at that stage.

Early experiences can be damaging and lasting, if not life changing. I caught my little eight year old tinkler in my zip , a story retold in some detail in another blog and that tear inducing, eye squeezing, butt clenching event, left me scarred for life. It was not a physical scar you understand but an emotional scarring, largely due to the fact that my mother brought in the neighbours from either side of us to help unhook my twinkle from the grasp of the metal zipper. Oh the flippin’ shame! You have no idea how careful I have been with my precious appendage ever since.


There are some weird aversions for me though. Accordions – I feckin’ hate accordions! Whether it was some Rumplestiltskin-faced, Irish Gypsy cursing, auld gouger that scared the life out me in my pram, or some other lugubrious event that turned me against them, I don’t really know. Maybe I just hate the noise they make but they give me the willies. But my weird pet-hates don’t stop there…oh no.

I don’t even know if they make Charlie perfume anymore, but I can tell you that if you spray it on, I will literally leave the room. In the case of Charlie I recall the actual event that scarred me and it wasn’t good. For some reason back in a time when hot water wasn’t always available, in fact central heating in our neck of the woods was a pure fantasy, some people didn’t see a bath (forget the idea of a shower) except maybe once a week – on a Saturday and it wasn’t unknown for multiple siblings to share the same tub, if not bath water. Ah the good auld days.  It should come as no surprise therefore, that the occasional burst of body odour didn’t catch you off guard as much as it might in today’s shower obsessed, deoderant infused world. It was not uncommon to sit beside someone on a bus and get a belt of B.O. You just took it in your stride unless it was particularly bad.

The problem of course, was that I was brought up under the theology of sugar and spice and all things nice, relative to snips and snails and puppy dogs tails, so one didn’t expect girls to have quite the same stank as us scruffy street playing boys. To some extent they generally weren’t as bad as us lads to be fair, whether the auld rhyme was true or they actually washed more often was debatable, but with the odd exception, I was happy with the general principle that girls …well… smelled fresher.

As we hit our teens there were attempts for some girls to mask the odd festering odour with perfume and embedded deep in my mind is the combined smell of Charlie over sweat. O sweet Jebus! Specifically, I recall being cornered by an amorous young lady who had spent quite a bit of the evening at the school Disco actually dancing.  The upshot was a rather pungent odoriferous outpouring that became particularly malignant when she attempted to mask if with the aforementioned Charlie. 


Lord above she trapped me in a corner and in her sleeveless dress raised one arm against the wall near my face as she tried to flirt with me. I have a strong gag reflex at the best of times but it really was too much. To this day the bang of Charlie would make me physically sick, even without the added puissance. I suppose whether we like it or not, the things that happen to us in our lives influence our behavior and our way of thinking.  Whether it is being stung by a wasp, getting trapped by sweaty betty at a school disco, catching your nethers in a zipper or something perhaps far more deep and meaningful be they small things or great, we are more than our genes. I remember a quote from Carl Sagan;

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.

But of course we are much more than that…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links

It’s to Hell in a handcart for me…

It’s to Hell in a handcart for me…

Following on from my recent post on the art of bending the truth, I caught myself in the act yesterday. It turns out that I’m not just a liar but I am a dirty, rotten, filthy liar of the highest degree…and that’s just my opinion. It all started as I chatted with two friends of mine and we were talking about one of my buddy’s favourite fantasies, winning the lottery.

The thing is, he has this theory. As he puts it, the winning lottery ticket is always purchased in some small sh*t-hole of a shop in the arse-hole of nowhere. Whether or not he has any scientific evidence to back this theory up is irrelevant. Perception is his reality. The upshot of this is that anytime we end up in some God-forsaken, back of the beyond outpost on the road to nowhere in Ireland together – and we do occasionally – he insists on buying at the very least, a scratch card. It is something he does with great gusto.


The first time I experienced this was when we were travelling through the wilds of Donegal and we stopped for a toilet break after a long drive at a service station. There was a Lotto sign outside and as he rubbed his hands together he explained his middle of nowhere lotto winning ticket selling shop theory.

Now it really was a tiny place with only one toilet so I decided to buy us a couple of coffees to go while he went for a wazz. We hit the till at the same time and as I paid for the coffee I did my usual flirt with the auld dear taking my money (Can’t help it – what can I say)

“We were just wondering why all the local shops around here employ models to work for them?” I gave her a twinkle.

“Go away outta dat” says she, her false teeth nearly falling out of her mouth. “You fellas from Dublin would try to charm de burds from de trees”  She’d sussed the accent straight away. We both smiled and my friend chirped in..

“Don’t mind him, he’s outrageous.” I smiled and changed the subject.

“My young friend here has a theory that the winning lottery is always sold by beautiful women in far flung places.” She giggled. The poor woman looked like an auld wan who hadn’t giggled in years. “You’d better give us a couple of scratch cards.” She actually blushed as she Zimmer-framed her way to get them.


Now here’s the thing. I’m not a lottery ticket kind of person. I couldn’t be arsed. But apparently there’s a  whole lottery ticket buying etiquette that I was completely unaware of.  She handed me two tickets and I pulled them apart giving one to my pal. Well Fup me if he didn’t look like I had stood on his mother’s grave.

You see the shopkeeper has to decide who she gives the ticket to… did anyone reading this know that? I sure as hell didn’t. If you didn’t, let me explain. By all accounts there is an actual chance that one of us could win money on the stupid things and while that would be a good thing, by me taking charge of the distribution of the two tickets, I interfered with the random nature of the mystical world of good and bad luck. What if I won? Maybe that ticket was destined for him…and vice versa of course. I told him I’d share. He said I could fup right off if he won. He’s a good friend that way.

It was all good fun but I learned just how seriously people can take such things, which brings me on to my earlier reference to me being a good for nothin’ low down two bit varmint of a liar. You see the two lads were chatting with me as I sat at my desk and reminiscing  about the self-same lottery story I just told you, when I kinda went into ‘let’s run an auld fable up the flag pole and see how far I can hoist it’ kind of mode. They started talking about Winning Streak lottery cards, where if you get three stars or some such nonsense, ( I’m not really sure I only really zoned in at that point) you get to go on a TV show and win prizes.  Good old Roberto start complaining because he’d saved up a bucket load of qualifying cards and sent them in, yet he still didn’t get on the show.


Now I’m not a bad man and I’m not religious, but if there is a God who made me, he endowed me with certain gifts, so I can’t help myself.

“Sure you’ve feck all chance of getting on there – it doesn’t matter how many tickets you send in. It’s weighted.”

Now for the inexperienced yarn spinner, or for the suckers out there who have fallen for such a line, this is what we call the bait.

“Weighted?”  they both seemed very sceptical and it’s at this point a lesser man would falter. Not me.

“Of course it’s weighted – by county.” I watched the sneers of disbelief and then I tossed a shiney lure into the water.  “Sure otherwise with a quarter of the population in Dublin- then throw in Cork, the poor auld Culchies (Country people)  would never get a look in.”

“I could see them thinking about this, they needed more persuading. Have you ever watched the show?” Says I who never watched the show but knowing full well they did…and here’s where I took the gamble to nail the story. “Its wall to wall Culchies. Lads from Monaghan and Cavan, Rosscommon and Leitrim for feck’s sake. I mean Leitrim! Sure there’s only 12 people in Leitrim and half of them are in the one family.”

Now in fairness to lovely Leitrim and the lovely people of Leitrim, this is some way from the truth, but the hyperbole worked.

“Now that you mention it…”oooh I had them. But you see here’s where I caught myself.


As I was filling the pair of them with a load of auld guff for no other reason than my own amusement, I found myself googling The National Lottery. Before I knew it I had searched for how draws were made for Winning Streak and if they were weighted by county, like I had told the lads ever so convincingly. Well I’ll be damned! It had finally happened.

After all these years, I had told a tall tale so feckin’ convincingly that even I was starting to believe the tripe coming out of my own mouth. I was googling a non-fact to see if it was true – I doubted myself.  I was wondering if what I had just said was true! When you can make up stuff of such quality that even you begin to believe it, you’re in trouble. I’m telling you, I am going to have to repent and change my ways. If there’s a Hell, they’re down there rubbing their hands thinking, “That one’s in the bag.”

But what will I do if I can’t tell the odd innocent tale, albeit a little far-fetched at times. I can’t help it if I have the gift! I’m so full of sh*t that if I don’t let some of it out from time to time …sure I’d explode and no one wants to clean up that mess let me tell you. Now I’m afraid I have to go, there is a limo waiting outside to take me to an awards ceremony. Apparently I have won an award for best looing and most desirable Irish male… no seriously…It’s outside now… Really…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

Universal book links

A satirical peek through the window…

A satirical peek through the window…

As an outsider, it would be easy to mock when I look at the current President of the United States of America, but my mother always said ‘Mocking is catching’ so I try not to, even when mocking a man like Donald Trump is the equivalent of scoring an open goal.

I think the problem for most people outside of America and indeed for many Americans, is that they misunderstand the nature of what has happened and indeed what continues to happen right under their noses. Donald Trump’s ascent to kingship has been not unlike most 20th century dictators. The rise to power of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, bear many resemblances to the current American President’s elevation to the White house and his efforts to maintain control of his position of prominence….Not that I’m suggesting anything mind…

The chattering classes, the literati, the educated, well-healed, educated middle classes miss the point entirely. While they criticise and reel at his ever increasing absurdity, they are singularly complicit in his rise. In dismissing him during the time of his ascension, they forgot about those who felt disenfranchised. That he appeals to the less affluent, less educated American is no coincidence. Again 20th century dictators appealed to the same demographic, pointing fingers at the wealthy, powerful elite as the cause of their problems.  That Donald Trump himself belongs to the wealthy elite is irrelevant and therein lays the paradox for those that would wish him unseated from his throne. He speaks with a simplicity that his loyal audience crave. What is said is less relevant than how he says it. He doesn’t seem to care. He gives the impression of a man who is not bothered by what the nay-sayers say and he tells his audience that he does this to stick up for them. When the press slated him pre-election, he told his followers that they were trying to silence him and by reflection, them.


He has elevated himself to saviour, the voice of the people standing up to all the bad people who have kept them living in hardship for years. His vacuous promises sound sweet to the ears of the dispossessed.  He will take back what is theirs and they will flourish. Although he hasn’t changed their lot, that really doesn’t matter – why? Because of the enemies of the people, the Democrats, the fake news, the liars and fools he has had to sack, and the people who are out to get him. His enemies are their enemies and there are plenty of them, but do you know what? They are only proving his point, that the establishment doesn’t want him to help the down to earth, hardworking, God fearing, ‘real’ and patriotic Americans who support him. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

He is mighty, building walls to keep out pesky Banditos who will surely rape murder and pillage at the first chance they get. He built up ‘Rocket man’ to be a far greater foe than he ever truly was, to demonstrate that he could win on a world stage. He slags off historical allies, because they disagree with his actions and has private meetings with the man many suggest bought him the last election, despite being the traditional enemy of America. The world is laughing at him but he doesn’t care, for he knows the average American doesn’t look outside their locality for news. He plays to the local audience, panders to his followers and his detractors lose sight of the ball in his three cup shuffle.


Perhaps it is arrogance that has begun the undoing of America. A once well respected nation, has become an International joke because of one man. The propaganda machine that is Hollywood, has been so effective in portraying the importance of one man, one office, that of the U.S. President, that when a buffoon takes the office, that buffoon becomes the personification of all Americans.  Such blockbuster movies like Independence Day and Air Force One (to name 2 of many) may seem innocuous, silly pieces of entertainment, but they are just a tiny example of how much of the world sees America.  No one believes they are true of course, but propaganda is pernicious. They in fact portray American Presidents as heroic, displaying all the fantasies, idealistic characteristics that many Americans would like to see in themselves, bravery, loyalty, patriotism all to their last breath if necessary. The truth of course is entirely different. Presidents are career politicians for the most part. Ambitious men with very particular agendas and far less power than most Americans believe…Yet…

Along comes a spider, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the village idiot, promising a great America, building walls to keep out enemies, promising jobs and goodies for all. While the sensible people dismissed him, he baseball-capped and hoo-ra’d his way into the minds of those who had nothing to lose and little to gain from traditional leaders. Could he? Would he? And they began to believe, and then…


Once elected, much like his 20th century counterparts, the King set about ensuring no one would take his throne. Still reeling from the surprise, those thoughtful Americans, the ones who believed they lived in a democracy, where their opinions would win out because those were the ones they read in the papers and saw on TV, were blindsided by a  man intent on reinventing the American system, squandering the goodwill that generations had built up. My mother would say he needs his arse slapped.

All news is fake news. Everything the man says can be unsaid, then resaid to mean a different thing.  By dispossessing the free press of its moral authority, the man without any, no longer needs it.  All he needs now is authority. Morals be damned.  Racism, bigotry, chauvinism, and throw in anything you like, here we now have a U.S. President who can say and do what he pleases. It doesn’t matter that he said the opposite last week. It doesn’t matter if it is true or false because as he has convinced the masses – all news is fake news.  The only truth is what he tweets and only for as long as it takes for him to write the next one.

I listened to a woman in Alabama being interviewed about why she voted for Trump instead of Clinton. Her main reason wasn’t blue or red, left or right, policy or direction. Her main reason was that Hillary was a woman. In her best Alabama accent she told the reporter that “Bein’ President ain’t no job for a woman.” I sh*t you not.  It would be so easy to dismiss this woman’s opinion as a freakish thing, not representing what ordinary decent Americans think. But that is how America – a very particular part of America has missed the point.  Whether it’s simmering racists interpreting Trump’s loose language as support, or unemployed steel workers fantasising that this Donald fella will help them out, it doesn’t matter. He has found a rich vein of support among the least possessed.


When the man calls third world countries Sh*t holes, and while the New York Times reader might be shocked, there are some raising a sneaky smile of admiration, mistakenly believing that this un-presidential language, demonstrates a courage that other, disconnected Presidents lacked. When he says build a wall and equates desperate migrants to rapists and gang- bangers, he is not without support from people who listen to bar talk and see the world through sound-bites.  Not for them, lengthy thought-provoking arguments about the true nature of the plight of those who cross the border into America every day. Implicit in what he says are age old tactics of fear and protectionism. He might as well say ‘They’re taking our jobs and our women.’ He is a veritable arse slapper, biting his lip not to use the N word and everyone can see it. What the good folk, the ordinary decent American keeps forgetting, is that he’s not the only one…

American racism is part of the culture at this stage. It is undeniable except for those who say some of my best friends are Black – sorry African American.  It is endemic.  Rosa Parks bus issues may seem a long time ago, but that world is a world in living memory for many. Identifiers like Hispanic, African American, and Muslim American only highlight the disparity in America.  Where are the Americans?  Isn’t everyone born in America American?  Lessons learned from conflict are ignored in America because, technically there has been no conflict – no war. The white supremacists of the 1960’s were not defeated in any battle. They slinked off into the night.  They haven’t gone away you know. But differences need to be put aside to create equality.  True equality comes from believing and acting out on those beliefs and if I stopped ten random Americans, would most honestly not display some form of racial or religious bias? It isn’t just in America that racism exists of course, but it offers tantrum throwing narcissists with a little bit of power place to start…


Mr. T can hint at, then deny.  The hint gives a nod to the extreme view.  Hinting that he thinks women are sexual objects gives him currency in some areas, denying what he said as the media creating fake news, gives him a get out clause. I love women he says.  The Hispanics love me, he tells the world. Hinting that racism is ok, works the same way and ‘Fake News’ is his denier.  Kicking Muslims out, building a Mexican Wall, deriding third world countries are all washed away with the catch all of fake news. That he can call a woman ‘A dog’ is honestly astounding to me. Frankly it has astounded much of the “fake news media” but they’re out to get him of course. ..

I watched one of the most popular Irish politicians ever, later to be exposed as a crook and a thief, debate with another Irish politician, an educated, thoughtful man on TV.  The latter, explained in great detail what needed to be done to right the faltering economy and he supported his argument with statistical analysis.  The former responded with a sneer and a flick of his hand, dismissing the argument with one word. “Statistics!” He, like Trump won on populist, simplistic, lowest common denominator politics and it took years for us to find out just how corrupt he was. By then it was too late. America beware.

Now the scene is set. One term down, the opposition so bewildered still by his ability to fool ‘the people’ with his blatant lies and hypocrisy, that there is no viable candidate to stand against him next time round.  What will happen then? He will certainly be buoyed by a second election success and with no third term on offer, it will be time to take the same route as his 20th century counterparts. If he can’t change the rules to stay in power Putinesque style, then he will find another way. Watch out for crackdowns on free speech, imagined threats from within and without, maybe even a pseudo war to clinch the deal. What deal? Why the one that keeps the same president but gives him a new title, official or not, Donald Trump – President for Life. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
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