Monday, January 21, 2019

Going Into the Eclipse

I took some pictures going into the eclipse to celebrate Starbreaker's birthday.

Photoshop isn't my thing, but you can see the progression I got to see below.

Hope you enjoyed the eclipse.

Hope you enjoy the book even more! :)

Pictures by Sheralyn Pratt


Words by Sheralyn Pratt



Friday, January 18, 2019

Starbreaker Gets Ecliptic Release Date

It’s time for a new book.



“When?” you ask.

Oh, in two days.

I hope you’re ready.

I’ve kind of been terrible at the whole marketing and building anticipation thing. I was focused on writing and, I have to say, that when a book is in my brain, I don’t multi-task well.

At all.

And Starbreaker was a bit an intense creation process for me.  I actually wrote it eight times.

Yes, eight.

Terribly inefficient, I know. Even more so since these weren’t drafts of the same, but completely different takes on the arc.

And version 8 is the one you will get in your hands this Sunday.

Why, Sunday? That’s an odd day for a book release, right? I was going to be traditional and do it on Tuesday, but then I saw something.

The last total lunar eclipse of this decade is on Sunday.



There are some other cool celestial happenings that day, too, and those prompted me to move the day up by two because there are characters in the series who are very into the stars and celestial events—one of which you’ll meet Sunday.

So I went with the sky for a release date on this one, and I really, really, really hope you like the book.
A few things to know about the moon:
  • The moon is 400X smaller than the sun but 400X closer, making them appear the same size when overlapped
  • If the moon was not tilted, there would be an eclipse every month
  • Lunar eclipses can be seen by half the earth (where it is night when the alignment takes place)
  • Lunar and solar eclipses often take place 15 days apart (not always, of course, but if you are lined up for a casted shadow on one side you are likely lined up on the other side)
  • Lunar eclipses always happen on a full moon, solar eclipses always happen on a new moon

There you go! A few fun facts to remember about the moon and lunar eclipses.

Hope you enjoyed the random tidbits, and that you enjoy the book even more! This one was a doozy to write, but I hope it all pays off as a reading experience in the end.

Hugs, and thanks for reading!!!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, STARBREAKER!

Friday, December 7, 2018

STARBREAKER Synopsis, Book 1 FREE for 2 Days

For those of you who have been waiting with extreme patience, PIMPERNEL: STARBREAKER is finally up on Amazon.

Release Date: January 20, 2019

It was going to be the 22nd, but then I saw there was a total lunar eclipse on the 20th and I had to go with that day.

Are you ready for the synopsis? (Of course, you are!)



Vic Davalos is one of the most successful models of her generation. She's also scheduled to be taken out by a hitman by the next new moon. 

Jack Cavanaugh, also known as the Pimpernel, has less than a week to change the woman's fate. The Cupid who brings Jack this news insists he must save Vic so true love can succeed in bringing two soulmates together who will change the world for the better. 

While Jack is always happy to stop a murder, his personal motive is to catch the Starbreaker that's been hired to make sure Vic Davalos doesn't survive past the new moon. Statistically speaking, saving Vic and catching the Starbreaker is an impossible feat. If historic lore is to be believed, no one has caught a Starbreaker since the 1700s. They are notorious for never leaving fingerprints on their handiwork and, therefore, leave no trail to follow.

A Starbreaker has to be caught in the act, or not at all.

The chances of Jack succeeding with an extemporaneous plan and only the assistance of his new Shade, Kali, are so close to zero they aren't even worth calculating.

But he has to try.

--

Can't wait to get this book into your hands!

To celebrate the release date, Book 1 is FREE on Amazon today (Friday) and tomorrow. If someone you know has yet to pick up a copy, now is the perfect time to get it in their hands, so feel free to share!

Get Pimpernel FREE for the next 2 days here.

Pre-order Starbreaker here.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Cover Reveal: Pimpernel Book 3

Are you ready for a new Pimpernel book this fall?

Because it's coming!

Get ready for Pimpernel: Starbreaker



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The Preacher and The Pundit

One of the most viral news interviews of this year was the interview between Jordan B. Peterson and Cathy Newman. (I'd like to thanks Chris for asking me to analyze it because this is a fun one.)


If you missed this interview somehow, or need a refresher, you can check the video out above.

Jordan B. Peterson is a Canadian professor who gained fame for opposing Canada's new laws of compelled speech. The law in question deals with issues like mandating transgender individuals be referred to by their chosen pronouns.

But Peterson claims he doesn't care what the intent of a compelled-speech law is. His stance is that a government that seeks to control the words its citizens must speak, with legal recourse, should be opposed.

Taking this stance destabilized his job security and made Peterson a figure of controversy both in Canada and abroad.

This interview with English reporter Cathy Newman took place expanded his exposure immensely.

The consensus of many is that Peterson not only held his own in the interview but emerged victor in the interview-turned-debate.

To see if there is some science behind the general impression, let's take a look at how their conversation plots out in my system.


In this conversation, Jordan B. Peterson scores as a Pundit (this type presents insight on a specific topic with the inherent bias of presenting themselves as accurate and contenders as less informed.)



and Cathy Newman scores as a Preacher (this type places all information into an ongoing narrative they maintain we collectively share, whether we know it or not.)



So what do all those colors mean?

Think of them this way:

  • Green invites a response from the other person
  • Purple shows collaboration of ideas
  • Red indicates asserting ideas
  • Yellow shows where objective information is introduced
  • Orange reveals where information is being framed within the discussion
  • Grey squares indicate prompted responses that are discounted in scoring

You can see that Newman asks more questions than Peterson does, which is appropriate since she is the one conducting the interview.

In an ideal world, Newman would score as the polar opposite of her current score by providing the information and research she wants to discuss with Peterson and walking through/challenging his responses.

No interviewer can go wrong scoring as an Explorer

The path she took instead was to make assertions and frame her conclusions as definitive while speaking with a subject matter expert.

This led to a conversation where Newman sought to assert her thoughts as a framework of facts, to which Peterson responded with actual facts/statistics and reframes of her assertions. His reframes and statistics came across as well-informed enough to make Newman's assertions seem wobbly to anyone who wasn't in Preacher mode with her.

Throughout the entire discussion, Newman fights to frame her claims as both accurate and aspirational, but Peterson doesn't let her walk away with either trophy. In American-speak, there is "reasonable doubt" as to whether or not she is correct in her assertions when faced with Peterson's counter-claims.

Newman goes all-in putting Peterson on trial for his stances, and not only does she not get him to move, she often proves his points in her eagerness to gain traction.

Peterson's main weapon in making Newman's claims slippery is all the yellow you see on his chart. Peterson walked into the interview with facts he could frame, and Newman walked into the interview with frames she presented like strung-together, cherry-picked correlations.

The result was that Newman likely converted no one in this interview while Peterson demonstrably gained more followers and attention in the aftermath.

Why?

To get a better idea as to why his approach to hot-button topic resonated with so many, look at the flow of conversation one more time and let the colors do the talking.

Green and Yellow open up the conversation.
Purple shows attempt at collaboration
Red and Orange narrow and direct the conversation

Looking at the graphs alone, can you see why most people come out of the interview viewing Peterson as the victor?


Have any questions or angles you'd like me to address?

Thoughts welcome!

Feel free to tweet me ideas and requests @SheralynPratt.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Why 3 Preachers Don't Make a Choir

A tweet popped through my feed that looked like a good lead to a video to show you how my system works.

The tweet looked a little something like this:


A search for the video in question led me to this interview:


In one aspect, this is a terrible example to show a diversity of types within a conversation. It doesn't take a system like mine to reveal this is in an abrasive and aggressive interview openly leaning one direction.

But let's look at a map of each individual's participation in the exchange anyway:


* Grey squares indicate non-scored, prompted interactions that score the same across all types.


The color-coding of my system is designed to reveal the icon using color association.

The colors that appear the most reveal the communication style used in this video.




As you can see, all three men score as Preachers, although you can see Paris Dennard's possible tendency to have more of an Influencer or Entrepreneur style if placed in a less defensive position. (This is why 7 proofs are required to prove a type in my system and this conversation in its entirety only counts as one.)



What is a Preacher? Preachers are assertive framers who place all information into an ongoing narrative they claim impacts everyone--whether they know it or not. One of their more common fallacies is the belief that A = Z, therefore A cannot happen.

This conversation is a chorus of preaching--the host included. The host's score is may be one of the most noteworthy aspects of this exchange, considering the role of his occupation lies on the opposite end of the spectrum. An excellent interviewer will often score as an Explorer.

Why?

Because Explorers create space in a conversation by infusing information and asking questions that mediate extremes. This skill has the ability to expand a conversation while simultaneously retaining enough objectivity to keep it from going off the rails.

In this instance, you can see that the host is aligned with Philip Mudd, along with all the consequences that brings. Mainly, enablement of over-aggression. It may seem like a favor in the short-term but, when enabled to escalate too much, can ultimately be a disservice.

So let's bring this back to Trump's tweet.


Did Mudd make his case, or did he leave the door open for Trump to make his?

I'll give you a hint: Trump is the only one who ended his argument with a question. And a question makes space for conversation.

This is what Trump's tweet looks like mapped:


What do you want to bet that a choir will show up to fill that space he just opened for them to respond to his assertion?

Time will tell. This is all happening real-time, but I would expect this to become a talking point among Trump supporters.

Have a video you want me to analyze? Tweet me a link @SheralynPratt.

Learn more about Pirate Lenses on the PIRATE LENS page.

Monday, August 20, 2018

BETA TESTING: Pirate Lenses

This past year, I did a thing.

I didn’t mean to do it. In fact, I meant to do the exact opposite of what I ended up doing.

Funny how life works out that way sometimes, isn’t it? But the good news is that terrible ideas can lead to great ideas … even if it takes longer than your pride would like to get you there. That's pretty much what happened to me.

So what’s this thing I’ve done?


What if I told you I had developed a system that helped you identify rhetorical bias in your news sources? What if I told you this system works on other information sources as well? Topic doesn't matter. Neither does charisma or background. The math treats everyone equally and the scores reveal the rhetoric style.

Would you be interested in tweeting me links to interviews with public figures who interest you in exchange for finding out where they land on my scale?


I hope so, because I now that I have my system, I’d really love to build a library while showing you how it can help you.

So what do I need?

This system is most accurate in analyzing dialog between equals. So I need LINKS to interviews and conversations.

Peer-to-peer conversations are best, and I would love links to clips or transcripts of interviews between people in the public eye.

Learn more about Pirate Lenses here.

Tweet LINKS to videos or transcripts of dialog @SheralynPratt and classify individuals of interest.