Bret Michaels, I Hope You Wanted to be a Doctor When You Grew Up……

The hallway was always quiet at this time of the night, the hum of the florescent lighting the only sound breaking the endless silence. In the distance came a sudden, loud explosion, shattering the stillness of the night. Screams could be heard coming closer as muffled gunfire echoed through the halls. The overhead intercom system crackled to life, the static-filled voice tiny in the increasingly loud sounds of fighting. “Paging Dr. Sychak, Dr. Bret Sychak. You are needed in the lab. Bring security backup.”

Writing is fun, no doubt about it. When someone ticks you off, you can always make them into the bad guy in some twisted storyline, kicking their ass six ways from Sunday. And depending on just how messed up your imagination is (in my case, it would be a long stretch with serial killer Ashton Jones BEFORE he grew fangs and a conscience), those who have wronged you can either have a quick demise or a long, drawn-out and very painful time in the story. You get to make up worlds, rules, control everything and everyone in that world (usually, but all us writers know how our characters like to grow minds and opinions of their own and refuse to do what we tell them to do). You get to take readers on the most wondrous adventures, limited only by your own imagination. And for some of us, me included, those imaginations seem absolutely limitless.

There really is nothing like being a writer. For me, the majority of my characters are based in part from someone important in my life. The antagonist Sergeant First Class Steven Hall is a real person who really is a Sergeant First Class in the air force. He was a very dear friend of mine who I forever immortalized in the ongoing BTSR series. Ethereal is the name of a character I made up and used back when I was heavily into online RP games. The LeeLee character that will be introduced in an upcoming book in the series was another one of my RP characters. Her love interest, Akito, is based off of another online friend who also played in the games and is near and dear to my heart. The Vampire Stealth was coined in part after the wonderful Don Henrie. Because my characters are molded after real life people, they seem as real and are as dear to me as the people who inspired them. For me, these characters ARE real, as real as anyone else that I know in my day to day life.

Now I have decided to forever immortalize my mentor, Bret Michaels, into the upcoming novel IMMORTAL SINS, the next book in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series. I plan to write two different characters into the series, the first one using his birth name and made into a doctor, Dr. Bret Sychak. The second appearance made by Bret Michaels will be in a yet –to-be announced novel. I may even bring him into another novel in the BTSR series before it is all said and done. Bret is an incredible person and has inspired me in so many ways throughout the years that the very least I can do for him is to write him into a book, or maybe even two or three.  And if I’m very VERY lucky, he might one day read all about those characters and all those characters that so many other people in my life have inspired.

Creating characters after those who have inspired me and then writing them into my storylines is my way of paying homage to them. It’s my way of saying “thanks” for all they have done for me directly and indirectly, for all their inspiration. It is a fun thing to do, and I do so hope that no one will ever become angry because of it. For writers, creating characters after real people not only help the characters feel more real, but it allows them to pay a great respect and a big “thank you” to these people in their own way.

So if you find yourself suddenly immortalized in an author’s novel, take a moment to realize that you have been greatly honored by the author, for they are paying you homage in the most sacred and special way that an author can. You touched their lives so greatly that they saw fit to coin a character after you – even if it is one getting his ass kicked six ways from Sunday.

Bret Michaels, THE RED FANG, and a Totally Rockin’ Gift

Bret Michaels with his autographed copy of THE RED FANG.

Bret Michaels with his autographed copy of THE RED FANG.

 

Dedication page of THE RED FANG - dedicated to Bret Michaels

Dedication page of THE RED FANG – dedicated to Bret Michaels

 

Before I start this, I want to make it clear that this article isn’t really about Bret Michaels having a copy of my book. Bret does not endorse me, he is not affiliated with me, and I can’t say he’s a reader of mine, although it is possible he might become one, if I’m super lucky.

 

I suppose I should start from the beginning, but to do that would be to go back approximately twenty-seven years, back to when a gawky thirteen year old was living in hell on earth in an abusive home, back when she heard salvation on the radio, a voice, his voice, the voice of the man who would forever change the outlook a scared, abused thirteen year old girl would have on life.

 

I don’t want to rehash the past because it’s too painful, and I have come too far and wrestled with too many personal demons to start dredging up old pains. So instead, let’s just leave it with saying my home life growing up left a lot to be desired. But no matter how hard things got, my saving grace through it all had been Bret Michaels.

 

I have often posted about why Bret means so much to me, why he is my mentor. I see in him a kindred spirit, someone who won’t take “no” for an answer and is unphased by rejection. I see my love of music and the creative process mirrored in his eyes, the expression on his face. Because of him, because of his ability and willingness to look adversity straight in the face and say, “I will make it regardless of what you say or do to me,” I too have felt inspired to never waiver in my dreams of becoming a published author. It is through Bret’s courage that I have found my own courage to not only keep writing over the past three decades, but to take that step into the publishing world by creating my own publishing house and becoming a 100% independently published author.

 

So I know you are all wondering what any of this has to do with this blog article. Let’s fast-forward to January of this year when I came across the Bret Michaels FaceBook Fan Club community. I was already a member of so many groups and communities, but after looking through this one I wanted to be a part of it. So many smiling faces sharing photos of themselves and Bret over the years. It was awesome to behold, so many people who had been touched by Bret much the way that he has touched me over the years.

 

If anyone has actually read The Red Fang, you know that the book was dedicated to Bret. That’s a photo of the dedication page above. More than anything else, I wanted Bret to know just what he means to me, not only the ‘me’ that has grown up over the years, but the ‘me’ that is a writer, that part of me that can’t stop doing what I love no matter how many rejection letters I get and no matter how many bad reviews I get.

 

So I took a chance. I posted this photo in the fan club and pretty much confessed my desperation to get my book into Bret’s hands. I work full time, I have 3 kids and a husband, and I write whenever I get a few spare moments. The chances of me actually ever getting to meet Bret, much less be able to give him my book in person, just isn’t likely to happen. So I asked if someone was going to a meet and greet and would be willing to give Bret an autographed copy of my latest novel, the novel I dedicated to him. Would there be anyone out there who would be willing to take a book written by some independently published author, from Mississippi no less, to an uber famous rock star and say, “This book is dedicated to you and the crazy self-published author insists you have a copy”?

 

That is when I met super cool, totally awesome, I-am-forever-in-her-debt Bret Michaels fan, Connie Saucier-Peck.

 

Connie, the luckily lady that she is, has been to more meet and greets than I can count. She’s like a Bret Michaels connoisseur. And oh-so-lucky and over-the-moon-happy me, she was willing to use her meet and greet pass, her one shot to speak with Bret, her one time to interact with this man, to actually hand him MY book and tell him he has another crazy author-fan out there who dedicated a book to him. That in itself is absolutely phenomenal. It’s humbling to know that Connie was willing to share her precious seconds with Bret to speak about a no-name author who she met in an online fan club and hand him his autographed copy.

 

The real kicker is that she not only managed to talk him into taking a photograph holding the book, but that Bret Michaels is the kind of person who was willing to pose for such a photo. She didn’t have to ask, and he didn’t have to agree to it, but damn, when she sent me this photo I started crying, and I was shaking so bad that I had to sit down. There simply are not words to describe how excited, and humbled, and totally awe-struck I was at that moment. I still can hardly believe it. And when she told me that Bret handed over his own personal cellphone to one of the event staff members so he could get a photo of him holding the book as well…I am not ashamed to admit that I might have wee-wee’d myself a bit.

 

As I said, this article isn’t about the fact that Bret Michaels now has a copy of my book, which Bret Michaels might actually, accidently read it, maybe, hopefully, if I’m really, really lucky. What this article is about is the human spirit, those people who come into our lives and help out strangers out of the kindness of their heart. Connie did not have to waste her time taking that book to him, and she certainly didn’t have to get him to pose with it for a photo, and she didn’t have to send me that photo, and Bret didn’t have to agree to take the photo, but out of the kindness of their hearts, they both agreed to help this unknown, struggling author see part of her dream come true.

 

And from where I’m sitting, those dreams don’t seem so far out of reach.

 

XOXO

Nicola

 

 

 

 

Bret Michaels, I Soooo Hate You Right Now

 

 

Late Saturday evening on 7/9/11 I was scrolling through my Twitter account when I came across a tweet from Bret that was posted approximately 1:30 the previous afternoon.  It said “Playing football with the fans on the beach hours before the show in Biloxi tonight. Awesome!” and had a pic of him standing in the water down in my birth place (see above).

STOP.  EVERYTHING.

DUDE!  I totally could have been at that show!

It appears that I’ve managed to miss Bret all the way around this year.  First I missed him and his band back on May 28th at the Hard Rock.  Now I’ve missed him and the rest of my boys, along with the Crue (the freakin Crue damnit!) on July 8th.  The whole thought makes me want to cry.  Who knows how many more shows The Crue will put on?  Who knows if I’ll even have the money to pay my light bill next year, much less find some cash to go see Bret at the Hard Rock in May?  Who’s to say that Bret will even bother to come back to the Hard Rock?  And Goddess knows I will never actually meet the guy so why should I even care?  Oh, wait.  I really like concerts.  And I worship Bret Michaels.  That would be why I care.

Well, Bret, since I’m not destined to meet you any time soon, allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Nicola Chey Matthews, Mistress of the Erotic Night, gothic erotic fantasy and horror novelist and one of very few registered female perverts … that admit it, at any rate.  My mind stays in the gutter and I enjoy doing 80 mph down the interstate with my music blaring wide open … with my car still on the road, mind you.  The gutter is reserved solely for my brain.  I like creating movies out of words and inviting other people into my very warped imagination.  I don’t think like most people, I have a very warped sense of humor, and most people don’t really get me.  Oh yeah, and I consider you my personal hero and mentor, so much so that I dedicated the first novel in the BEFORE THE SUN RISES series to you.  But I don’t think I’m someone you would want to meet. 

All kidding aside, I do so hope that I will have the opportunity to someday meet Bret.  Until then, I’ll just have to keep pounding away at the keyboard and hope that other people enjoy reading my brand of perverted imagination as much as I enjoy writing it.  Of course, if Bret liked it too then that would just be the giant cherry on top of the whipped cream that sits atop the big chocolate cake of life.  But I know not to press my luck ;D)

 

25 Years of Blood, Sweat, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

 

Unfortunately, I missed seeing Bret Michaels this past Memorial Day weekend.  It’s also looking like I will be missing Poison and Motley Crue when they come down the weekend after the 4th of July.  Between time restraints, no money, and the fact that my husband would probably get arrested for punching some random dude that looked at me wrong, the Fates have decided that I shall miss out on all the great shows this year.

I suppose it’s not a complete loss.  While I had hoped to shove Bret’s own personal autographed copy of my latest novel The Red Fang right up under his nose since it is, after all, dedicated to him, I guess I will have to settle for mailing him his copy instead.  I’m just thankful that I finally finished writing the novel.

Thinking of Bret and his awesome gigs brings me back to last year’s show.  The Hardrock was Bret’s first concert after his harrowing health scares.  The place was sold out, fans were going crazy (myself included), women were crying and clawing at the stage, the room was electric with emotions and spirits were running high.  It was epic.  As the show progressed, I looked around to see women my age with their 8-year-old daughters beside them, both mom and daughter screaming and dancing and enjoying the pure energy that pulsed throughout the stadium.  I glanced over to my right to see a woman who had to be in her 60s with her fist thrust in the air, keeping beat with the music while she kept a death grip on the railing in front of the stage so she didn’t lose her place.

It was then that I had a sudden vision of my future.  I could see myself and Bret, 30 years from now.  Bret would be up on that stage in a wheelchair if need be, the air more electric than ever with emotions from thousands upon thousands of his loyal fans.  I saw myself there, my walker raised in the air screaming, “You rock, Bret!” as he thanked his audience for allowing him to continue to perform and God for granting him the strength and health to do what he loved.

It’s been 25 wild, wonderful years of ups and downs with some of the best music ever heard by mankind.  I hope that Poison and Bret see 25 more years of electrifying shows and screaming fans. I hope that I’m right there with them, screaming and dancing along with all the other rabid Poison and Bret Michaels fans, eager to announce to the heavens that I am a Bret Michaels fan.

And Bret?  You still rock!

XOXO

Nicola

This Book is Dedicated to Bret Michaels…

Last year I sat heartbroken and terrified, along with half of the known world, having heard of Bret’s health problems.  I feared for his life, and for mine, for I owe this man my sanity, and in some small way, my life.

I will not harp on the details in this post.  Anyone wanting to get a rough idea of what Bret has done for me and what he means to me need only to surf to the top of this blog and click on the page titled “Why Bret Michaels is My Mentor.”

I held my breath as May 28, 2010 got closer and closer, waiting to hear that the concert that I had tickets to was being cancelled or rescheduled.  I had been through a lot that year; in all honesty I had been through a lot in the past several years.  This new development was just another ordeal in a long line of ups and downs for me.  During that time, I had relied on the sound of Bret’s voice and my ethereal-like bond with him to get me through another rough patch in an endless road of trials and triumphs that was my life.

May 28th rolled around, and I discovered myself on the Gulf Coast of my home state, standing one row back from the stage, feeling as if I was going to jump clean out of my skin.  I honestly kept waiting for someone to come on stage and tell us that Bret had some sort of set back and had been carted off to the hospital once again.  I kept praying silently to whatever Higher Force there may be that Bret would be okay.  And as promised, at 8 pm Bret took center stage to a sold out crowd of 1400 screaming, thankful fans.  I was just another face in the ocean of smiling, loving faces tilted up to see a man who is both mortal and immortal, an icon, a man among mice….and my hero.

It has always been one of my dreams to meet Bret Michaels.  However, I have a confession to make.  I have always had this gnawing suspicion that if I were to ever meet him, something would happen to him.  I know that sounds nuts, but I really, truly fear that if we were to ever come in contact with each other, it would mean something tragic for him.  I guess I have always considered myself a nobody, nothing special, nobody worth meeting or mentioning.  Yes, I think I’m a pretty decent writer, an author, but as a person….well, I guess I still have the same self-worth of the scared twelve-year girl who had it beat into her every single day that she was nothing and would always be nothing.

I suppose that I know that if, by some miracle, I were to ever meet the man who I deem my own personal savior, I would not make any type of impression on him.  Just another fan in an ongoing parade of fans, another face in the crowd, just one more person who is screaming, “I love you, Bret!  I’m your biggest fan!” 

I know that others feel just as strong of an attachment to Bret as I do.  I guess there may even be some people out there who have similar stories as mine.  I guess what depresses me the most, what I simply do not want to happen, is for Bret to never know that there was a small girl out there in the world, a small girl who grew into a woman, whose life he touched in such an astounding way that she stopped her suicide attempts cold turkey because she didn’t want to leave this earth without first shaking his hand.  A little girl, who still to this day, follows his career, is thankful every day that the Higher Force, whatever it may be, placed him in her life. 

I was so excited to learn that Bret will be back at the Hardrock on May 28th of this year as well.  Unfortunately, it is looking like I will not be able to make the concert this year.  I am once again heartbroken and depressed, although when put into context with what was going on this time last year, I’m once again thankful that I will not make the concert due to personal issues rather than Bret’s health.  Still, I can barely stomach the thought that Bret will be a mere 100 miles away from me.  In the context of the cosmos, that’s practically touching distance.  So close, yet so very far away.  The whole thing makes me want to weep in frustration.

I had so hoped to have finished The Red Fang by May and would somehow be able to get the book to Bret.  Yeah, I know, big dreams there.  But last year there were people putting gifts up on the edge of the stage through the whole show.  I figured that I could always do that, and maybe, just maybe, he might someday read the dedication page.  Because even if I were never to meet him in person, I could at least rest in the knowledge that he knows he has a fan who appreciates him so much that she dedicated her latest novel to him.  I guess, to put it simply, I just want Bret to know that I exist, because if Bret Michaels knows my name, even if it is a pseudonym, then that would somehow make me worth something.

In honor of Bret’s continued good health and his upcoming concert on May 28th at the Hardrock Casino in my birth city, I would like to share with my readers the dedication page that will be included in the novel The Red Fang.  This book is not just dedicated to Bret Michaels, rock star, but Bret Michael Sychak the man for just being the wonderful, talented person that he is:

This book is dedicated to Bret Michael Sychak, a.k.a Bret Michaels.  You have been the shining light in my life, my inspiration, my mentor, my hero.  Seeing you tread fearlessly into the spotlight doing not only what you love, but doing so in the face of tremendous odds, has given me the courage to let loose upon this unsuspecting world a barrage of utter crap the likes of which the world has never known before.  I can’t write for shit, but that shouldn’t stop me from doing it, or others from reading it.  Rock on!

Love, Poison, and Bret Michaels always,

Nicola

*Please feel free to link back to this article, Tweet it, post on Facebook, Myspace, etc.  My hopes are that if enough people get the word out about this article, Bret might at least have heard of the erotic fantasy writer known as Nicola Chey Matthews.

Congratulations to My Mentor, Bret Michaels

It’s been a really long time coming.  I must give my absolute whole-hearted CONGRATULATIONS to Bret and his fiance, Kristi.  I am so happy for the two of you!  All I can say is, “Bret, it’s about damn time man!”

All my love and my prayers for many more years of happiness for the two of you and your beautiful family,

XOXO

Nicola Matthews

Bret Michaels: A Little Girl’s Hero

The following article originally appeared on Hub Pages as a sit-down interview with yours truly. 

The following is an article based on an interview with the little known underground erotic writer Nicola Matthews. Nicola talks about her life, her work, and her personal hero, singer/songwriter Bret Michaels.

In the Beginning:

“I first heard the song Every Rose has its Thorn way back in 1989 when I was only twelve years old. Back then I had never heard of Bret Michaels or Poison. But there was something in Bret’s voice that spoke to me, a hidden sorrow that suggested that even though he may have lived a charmed life compared to most, that he still knew what it meant to suffer emotionally. It didn’t take me long to dig up everything I could about the band. I came to think of them as “my guys,” like they were part of the family or something. Stupid, I know, but that’s the way I felt about them. I felt a kinship with Bret more than any of the other band members. It’s hard to explain, but there was just something about him, about his voice….he could speak volumes by singing just a few lines. I think it’s that way with a lot of his fans. A lot of people will come across that certain singer or musician that they feel some sort of ethereal connection to. For me, it has always been Bret Michaels.”

“Bret saved my life.”

“I grew up in a broken home.  These days having divorced parents or parents that have never even been married is nothing unusual.  In fact, it seems that me and my husband are in the minority, having been married for fifteen years now.  But back then, people just didn’t get divorced.  My parents didn’t just divorce.  My mom up and left when I was eleven years old.  My father had just had a triple bypass done on his heart and hadn’t been home but like maybe two months when she left.  I remember my dad telling me, ‘If you go with your mom then I’ll blow my brains out!  I will, I swear I will!  Don’t you go with her!”  At the age of eleven all I could think about was who was supposed to take care of my dad if I left?  So I stayed.

Things were okay for a while.  But soon it became apparent why my mom had split.  Without her there, there was no one to protect me from tirade of verbal abuse that came from my father.  I know I’m not the only one to have ever been emotionally and physically abused as a child, but unless you have been there, you honestly don’t know what kind of mental and emotional scars it can leave on a person, especially a young child.  I was told so many times that I was ‘useless’ and ‘worthless’ that I began to shut people out.  I was very lonely growing up.  Every time I made a close friend my father would find some reason to forbid me to see that person outside of school.  It got to the point that I was too embarrassed to have anyone over any way.  The beatings and verbal abuse didn’t stop just because I had a friend over.  It was just easier to be by myself and pretend everything was fine.  But it takes a toll, you know?  By the time I was twelve I had already attempted suicide twice.

And then I heard Bret’s voice.  As corny as it sounds, I decided at the age of twelve that I was not going to leave this earth until I had met Bret Michaels.  In his own way, Bret saved my life.”

A Funny Story…

“When I was in eighth grade I had a very close friend named April.  She, like me, had a horrible home life.  Her mom was a nurse who worked four days a week at a hospital in New Orleans.  Now the story of how I got a backstage pass and ticket to a Poison concert was told to me like this:

While the band was playing in New Orleans one of the techies fell off a catwalk and broke his leg or his hip or something like that.  April’s mom was one of the nurses assigned to take care of this guy.  When she found out that he worked for Poison she told him about her daughter and her friend who were these huge fans of the band.  So this guy, who was nicknamed Studs, got her two tickets and two backstage passes for us for an upcoming show scheduled to be held on the Gulf Coast.  April, being the wonderful friend that she was, gave me the other ticket and backstage pass.  I was fourteen years old and might as well just have won a $100 million lottery.

Well, my life being what it was and my dad being the kind of person that he was, refused to let me go to the concert.  I had to give the ticket and backstage pass to April’s boyfriend at the time, Brian.  However, Brian was nice enough to get C.C. DeVille to autograph a shirt for me.  I had wanted a pair of Bret’s undies, but beggars can’t be choosers.”

Music Spawns Creativity

“I started writing when I was about six years old.  I can remember as a child that I loved to make up stories.  As soon as I learned how to write, I began to write down stories to amuse myself.  I was an only child, so I learned to read at a very early age.  Once my parents split up, I escaped my world of sorrow for adventures across the globe in books of all kinds.  I tried my own hand at writing and attempted my very first novel when I was eight years old.  By the age of ten I had tried to write two additional novels, without much success.  At thirteen, I began writing on a romance/mystery that I entitled Big Dreams and Nightmares.  It took me my entire seventh grade year to complete.  I would sit in front of my stereo with headphones on and listen to Poison’s Open Up and Say…Ahh album over and over again while I wrote.  The guys inspired me to do more than merely jot down my random ideas and thoughts.  It was then that I realized that deep down, no matter how smart I was or how good my grades were, I would always be a writer.  It was the one God-given talent that I had been granted, and I wanted to share it with the world.

You asked me why Bret was my hero.  It’s because no matter what life has thrown at him, no matter how dismal things may have seemed,  no matter how much people told him that he “couldn’t” he looked life straight in the face and said, ‘Oh yes I can!’  I guess Bret reminds me of myself.  I have been to the depths of hell and back over the years, and no matter what, I have always crawled back out of the hole that life had dug for me.   Bret Michaels is my hero, and I still refuse to leave this earth until I have met him.”

Personal Message for Bret:

 We caught up with Nicola on April 23, 2010 in regards to the brain hemorrhage suffered by Bret Michaels on April 21.

“My husband and I had went out to eat Friday night.  When we got home he got on the internet and saw the news banner on Yahoo!  He was the one who told me about it.  After reading the article I went into the bathroom and cried like a baby.  I was terrified for him, for his family, for his two girls.  I didn’t even want to fathom a world without Bret in it.”

MS:  Do you have any personal words for Bret?

“Bret, we are all standing behind you and praying for your recovery.  You hang in there, and fight.  And always remember that little girls, even when they are all grown up, will always need their hero.”

Original article appeared here:  http://hubpages.com/hub/Bret-Michaels-A-Little-Girls-Hero