The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #39: Gymnastics and Acrobatics in The Thirteenth Hour

Episode #39: Gymnastics and Acrobatics

Today’s episode is all about flipping!  Although it’s pretty common to see acrobatics on TV and in video games today, at the time The Thirteenth Hour was written (1998), the whole extreme martial arts tricking community was still in its infancy, and it hadn’t really permeated popular culture to quite the same degree yet.  There were a few exceptions – video games like Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Tomb Raider (plus its many clones) that came out around then had flipping protagonists.  And there were Jackie Chan movies, plenty of older kung fu classics, and Gymkata showings on late night TBS.  But if you wanted to see traditional gymnastics, you generally had to wait four years for the Olympics.

I wanted Logan and the other Imperial Rangers from The Thirteenth Hour to learn acrobatics not only because of my own personal interest but because I thought it would make them more agile and help them push their limits.  In the book, they grumble about it a lot, but it’s hard to ignore the element of danger in learning movements that turn you upside down and occasionally have you landing on your rear, head, or neck if you’re not careful.  And although it’s totally anecdotal, I think finding your personal limits and working through the fear translates into better focus and confidence in yourself.

Here’s a representative excerpt from the novel:

“…That’s how we ended up in the tall, airy room that’d been built to train the Army’s special soldiers. The large room with mirrored walls was carpeted with thick, vaguely carpet–like mats. On those mats we were taught how to transfer the momentum of a fall to a roll without getting hurt, how to stand on our hands, and how to spring from our hands to our feet and back again. We were also taught how to flip in the air and how to run up a wall, flip backwards, and land on our feet. In the process, we were introduced to a new language, one born of bodies in motion.

So, it was awkward at first, but exhilarating in a way, and looking back, a lot of it had to do with conquering fear, so in that sense, it really was essential to our training. After several months of trying, I was able to fling myself over backwards and kind of land on all fours with all the grace of a drunken ape. And then one day, I succeeded in landing without putting my hands down on the floor …”

Logan flip

Sketched animation of one of the Imperial Rangers doing a front flip – note he gets plenty of air and does not bust his ass on the floor (that happens a lot, though).


Pixelart animation of Logan doing a backflip.  This was from The Thirteenth Hour game that didn’t get finished.

As always, thanks for listening!  Next week, part 2, focusing more on martial arts.


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Interview With Author Coreena McBurnie

Today, I’m delighted to present to you a recent interview I did with mythological fantasy author Coreena McBurnie.  She interviewed me on her blog a few days ago, so today, I get to return the favor.  Coreena is also interested in appearing on the weekly podcast, so watch for those details soon.   But without further ado, read on below for further details on how she successfully turned a Greek myth with controversial content into a young adult novel, what she wished she’d have known before starting her author’s journey, and where she’d go if she could time travel for one day. 


How did your book come to be?

I have always had a great love of ancient Greek mythology and studied Classics in university. While there I read the Oedipus plays by Sophocles. I was immediately taken with Antigone, Oedipus’ daughter — she’s strong, stands up for herself, and does what she thinks is right even in the face of death. When I was looking for a novel idea several years ago (because I was participating in National Novel Writing Month — a challenge to write a novel in November), I thought it would be fun to write about Antigone. I wasn’t sure how to go about it, especially as a young adult novel because some of the subject matter is delicate (i.e., she’s the child of an incestuous relationship), but finally decided just to tackle the story head on and not to make any apologies for what is the in the myth. Once I did that, Antigone found her voice very quickly.



What’s it like to tell other people you’ve written a book?

It’s an interesting thing, this sharing of a story that is a part of you, but then it’s out there for the world to see and critique. I’m quite an introverted person, so I actually don’t bring it up much. I get really nervous when I tell people, but so far, everyone is very supportive and happy for me.

If you could share a meal with any of your characters, who’d it be and why?

Antigone. I think she’s fun and amazing. And how great would it be to participate in an ancient Greek feast?

What are your influences?

I love the ancient Greek and Roman stories and they inspire a lot of my writing. My favourite book is probably Homer’s Odyssey. Growing up I loved CS Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe series, along with anything by Agatha Christie or Douglas Adams. Recently, I’ve read Kristin Cashore’s Graceling series, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, Eoin Colfer… One of the things I’ve really been enjoying is reading so many new and innovative indie authors.

Your hobbies?

Hobbies… Well, I love to read and I’m trying to learn to paint a bit, though this is more of a creative exploration than a mastery thing. I enjoy being outside around trees or water. I also have three kids, so is taxi driver considered a hobby? And recently I’ve become addicted to Supernatural on Netflix.

How do you find readers for your books (i.e. your audience)?  Friends?  Family?  Social media contacts?  Local library?  …?

This is my first published book, so I am still working on that. Family and friends are definitely my first readers. I’m having a book launch party in a couple of weeks, which hopefully will attract some attention where I live, and I’ve donated a copy to my local library. I’m also working on social media by reaching out to book bloggers who might be interested in reading my book and offering them review copies. So far, all of this is slow, but building (I hope).

What’s one (doesn’t have to be just one) thing you wish you could have told your pre-published author self?

Get beta readers sooner. I spent a lot of time editing and perfecting things, just to have the beta readers point out changes that needed to be made, and then I had to change everything again.

Your spirit animal is _____ and why.

A black jaguar — I dream about them a lot and love the protective, shadow qualities of a jaguar, especially a mother. When I am stressed out, I imagine a black jaguar looking out for me. I know it’s strange, but there you are.

How do you feel about clowns?

Really not my thing, they’re kind of creepy.

You see your book being sold on ebay.  You are ______ (fill in the blank).

Happy. Someone read my book and thinks it has enough value to resell it. Now maybe someone new will read it, someone who might not have otherwise found my book.

Your superpower of choice is:

Flying. I would love to see the world from high up, like birds. There is also a certain freedom to flying that is enticing, being able to go anywhere, any time.

Now imagine you’re a time traveler for a day.  Where and when would you go? 

To Alexandria right before they burned the library and find a way to stop that somehow. Can you imagine what was lost there?

Thanks for having me here today, it was fun! I love to connect with other authors and readers, so feel free to email me:

Other ways to connect with me:

Website & Blog: Coreena McBurnie

Facebook: Coreena McBurnie, Author

Twitter: @CoreenaMcBurnie

Goodreads: Coreena McBurnie

Amazon: Coreena McBurnie

Tumblr: Coreena McBurnie

Newsletter: Coreena McBurnie

Thanks, Coreena, for joining us today!  Congratulations on your debut book and wish it the world of success.  Looking forward to having you on the podcast!


“Broken” – New Psychological Thriller Promo

Many years ago, when I was still in high school, we watched a little film about a girl named Genie, who basically grew up with virtually no human contact.  I think we were studying how humans learn language, and the premise of the film (and Genie’s story) was that since she had little to no human contact, she had little to no opportunities to develop any kind of comprehensible language.  She also had a number of other odd behaviors likely owing to her time spent trapped alone in a house, and although you can read about her, it’s not a particularly uplifting story, as she basically spent time after her discovery being studied, then the rest of her life institutionalized.  It really does hammer home how when certain critical windows in human development close, sometimes they close for good.

Angela B Chrysler, who wrote a guest post here not long ago about the psychology behind character creation, recently wrote a new book, Broken, that reminded me of Genie’s story, at least when I read the back cover blurb she sent me.  I mean, check out for yourself:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00003] ” … entire life without love, comfort, family, physical contact, affection … spiraling into the worlds of her psyche all while toggling the lines of insanity.”  Wow.  H.P. Lovecraft would be proud =)

Speaking of which, check out this cover:

Broken by Angela B Chrysler 1600x2500

Doesn’t that look like an image right out of an Edgar Allen Poe story?

According to the author, Broken can appeal easily to readers of genres such as memoirs, psychology, thriller, and romance, though, in her words, it is best described as a “macabre memoir and psychology/trauma” tale.

You can find out more @

And, if you enjoy what you’ve seen so far, the book can be purchased at Amazon for the Kindle here or any of the pics above.

Author Bio:

Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, and die-hard nerd who studies philosophy, theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats.

You can read more of Ms. Chrysler’s writing and accomplishments at

Angela B. Chrysler