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Your Paracast Newsletter — August 14, 2022

Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
The Paracast Newsletter
August 14, 2022

Parnormal Investigators Tobias and Emily Wayland Reveal Amazing Fortean Paranormal Encounters on The Paracast!

The Paracast is heard Sundays from 3:00 AM until 6:00 AM Central Time on the GCN Radio Network and affiliates around the USA, the Boost Radio Network, the IRN Internet Radio Network, and online across the globe via download and on-demand streaming.

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This Week's Episode: Gene and guest cohost Tim Swartz present Tobias and Emily Wayland, founders of The Singular Fortean Society. Tobias is a passionate Fortean who has been actively investigating the unusual for over a decade; the first several years of his investigative career were spent as a MUFON field investigator, and following that he investigated independently prior to becoming the head writer and editor for the Singular Fortean Society. His books include "The Lake Michigan Mothman: High Strangeness in the Midwest" and "Strange Tales of the Impossible" and he and Emily continue to work in investigating a variety of seemingly impossible events. Emily is an ardent craftsperson and devoted monster enthusiast with degrees in both photography and design. An accomplished artist, designer, and photographer, she is responsible not only for the Singular Fortean Society's aesthetic, but also the examination of any photographic or video evidence.

After The Paracast — Available exclusively for Paracast+ subscribers on August 14: Paranormal investigative team Tobias and Emily Wayland, founders of The Singular Fortean Society, return to speak with Gene and guest cohost Tim Swartz to focus on their ongoing research into ghost phenomena. They were wed at a haunted mansion, and describe the appearance of a possible apparition in a live iPhone photo of the event, which contains several seconds of movie footage. They go on to reveal other sightings of possible apparitions over the years. Tobias and his wife Emily have been involved with the Lake Michigan Mothman investigation since its advent in the spring of 2017, and published a book chronicling the experience, "The Lake Michigan Mothman: High Strangeness in the Midwest." His second book about unusual phenomena, "Strange Tales of the Impossible," continues their work in investigating a variety of seemingly impossible events.

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Some Odds and Ends About Writing Stuff
By Gene Steinberg

When I tell people I’ve written all or part of over 30 books, people wonder if I’m boasting, and perhaps hiding my yacht or exotic gull-winged car somewhere.

In this reality, writing books, assigned or otherwise, is rarely profitable. I recall, for example, Jim Moseley’s only “real book,” entitled “Shockingly Close to the Truth: Confessions of a Grave-Robbing Ufologist:,” co-authored with Karl Pflock. Released in 2002, the title was contracted through the efforts of a literary agent. But the advance was just $4,000 for what represented many decades of Jim’s life as Ufology’s court jester.

The book never did earn out, meaning that sales didn’t exceed the advance, and there were unsold copies left in the warehouse that the publisher offered to sell Jim real cheap.

I have to boast that I did receive much higher advances on a few of the of titles I wrote about personal computers. But the publishers were really smart about those numbers. Royalty checks were rare.

As printed books of that sort began to fade in the early 2000s, I finally came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth the time to work hours a day chugging away at a very regimented format with fewer returns. So I gave it all up.

I did continue writing consumer electronics articles and reviews for a time.

Now I began to write as a teenager, as a young UFO investigator. My theories were pedestrian, mostly reflecting the conventional wisdom that we were being visited by spaceships and that the government was hiding the truth from us for its own purposes.

As the years progressed, I tried to hone my craft. That would sometimes take strange paths. So for a few months, my old friend, Ken Alpert and I grabbed a copy of a thesaurus and looked for sometimes obscure alternate words. We’d get together every few days comparing our notes.

In the real world, some of our writings were barely readable as a result, but we had a good time.

I began to settle down in the real world as a writer when I took my first paid gig, as Managing Editor for Jim’s Saucer News. I began to study different writing techniques, and devoured the AP style manual. If you wanted clarity, that was the place to find it.

For a while, I even became a student of writing styles, more or less, learned to imitate those of the people I worked with, including Jim and his friends Gray Barker and John J. Robinson.

Now Barker was a brilliant writer, so I am not going to compare my skills to his. But I did manage to capture the basic flavor of his articles for a piece or two in Saucer News.

Perhaps the most important lessons I learned as a writer occurred when I worked as a radio broadcaster at several radio stations. At one outlet, the sales manager was looking for someone to write a 60 second spot for a local merchant. I volunteered, and soon found myself writing virtually all of the station’s host-read ads. I even read a few.

Later on, I drifted from being just another disk jockey to covering news. Talk about brevity, though one station manager kept complaining that I didn’t offer enough detail in my stories about local events. When my newscasts went way overtime, at his urging, I recall the morning person not-too-subtly seething in the main studio.

In 197o, my first wife, Geneva and I created our own magazine, “Caveat Emptor,” a mixture of UFOs, the occult and counter culture. We both wrote commentaries and book reviews, and I enjoyed issuing lengthy responses to letters from our readers. Here I was emulating Ray Palmer, who mastered the skill of managing such columns and prodding readers to write him.

By the mid-1970s, with Caveat Emptor history, I more or less gave up writing.

Until I didn’t, when in the late 1980s, I revitalized Caveat Emptor for a time.

I also got involved in consumer electronics, when the owner of an audio company, Bob Carver, somehow came across an article I wrote in Caveat Emptor, and asked me to write product manuals for Carver Corporation.

That deal faded shortly before the company’s board ejected Carver, the founder, in a move that ultimately killed the company.

At the time, I was involved in the forums at one of the early online services, AOL. As an electronics tinkerer, I learned about personal computers, particularly the Apple Macintosh, and had grown into a forum leader, a fancy title for a moderator. For a while it was a paid gig.

One day, I got a letter from a Macworld editor asking if I’d like to write product reviews for the magazine. Of course, I accepted. Around this same time, I caught an announcement from a publisher, Macmillan Computer Publishing, seeking authors for a book about AOL.

I volunteered, submitted writing samples, and soon had my first genuine book contract. It wasn’t super lucrative, but it was enough to pay some bills, and raise my confidence. I was, at last, a genuine book author, although it was an assembly line book with rigid stying. But now I was the AOL expert.

That takes us to the present.

For years, I’ve published The Official Paracast Newsletter, which features content about the paranormal and a few side topics.

Books? I really didn’t know if I had much to say beyond the show and my weekly commentaries.

That takes us to a few months ago, when Tim R. Swartz, one of our cohosts, asked me to convert and expand one of my commentaries into a book chapter for a forthcoming work that actually was begun before the late Timothy Green Beckley died.

So I guess I’m sort of back in the game.

The book just came back from the printer, and it’s entitled “Timothy Green Beckley’s Alien Artifacts: Incredible Evidence of Exotic Material from UFO Encounters.”

The authors are listed as Sean Casteel and Tim, both of whom worked with Beckley for years.

There are also a number of contributing writers that include Paracast guests, such as Scott Corrales, Mark Olly, Calvin Parker, Paul Dale Roberts, Alejandro Rojas, Lon Stricker and Diane Tessman — and me.

The printed book has a clean, easy-reading design, with large enough text for those who are forced to reach for reading glasses. It’s available via Amazon, of course.

Does that mean I’m returning to book writing? I honestly don’t know. This may have been a fluke, but I have material that might be worth expanding some day.

Time will tell.

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