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Reviews

Review: SALOON AT THE EDGE OF EVERYWHERE

sateoe

sateoeThe planets must have finally aligned, because our favorite resident blogger/Photoshop terrorist/space cadet has written a book. Not just any book- but a SciFi book with a blast of fantasy and a galaxy of humor.

And toilets.

I had the privilege of reading SALOON AT THE EDGE OF EVERYWHERE and am happy to say it was everything I thought it would be- a funny and sweet read that doesn’t take itself too seriously, just like the author himself.

A.H. Browne’s story was so irreverent that I just had to know more about the brain behind the book. Well thank our lucky stars, because today I get to bring you none other than Pouring My Art Out himself, A.H. Browne.

Why PMAO?

Why PMAO? I am assuming you are asking why I chose this as the name of my blog. I did a post in the first days of my blog explaining how I am all art-side-of-the-brain. I took a test, conceived by psychology students at a major university. I got freakishly high scores on the art side. My brain just doesn’t work like a normal person’s brain. I spend my life trying to figure out artistic solutions to logic problems. I don’t even drive like a regular human being. I don’t have my multiplication tables memorized.

So I do a lot of kinds of art. I write, draw, paint, carve tikis, write songs and play the guitar, and on and on. I have most of my art hanging in the garage. And I have drawers full of poems and stories and novels, not to mention the ones I started and never finished. The blog was originally started for two main reasons. To share all my old stuff was the obvious one, and to give me a place to vent all the crazy ideas that run though my brain, which works a little like a small cage full of squirrels… on crack. And to tell the stories that have occurred during my rather adventurous life.

But the other reason I started the blog is because someday my kids might have kids, and those kids might grow up to have kids. And sooner or later one of them is going to ask his parents why he is such a freak. And instead of explaining to them how they are just like me, they can just point them to the blog.

What is your writing process like?

My writing process in general tends to vary with what I am writing. For a song, I start with a good hook line, which might be the title, and work from there. For a poem, I just pick a topic and start rhyming from the beginning line. I can write a story based on a plot that I have already finished in my head. But for the novels, I tried something specific, both as an experiment and a challenge. I wouldn’t let myself figure out what was going to happen past the next sentence. I would invent a new character whenever the action slowed down for more than two words. Or just throw some crazy new idea into the mix.

The weirdest thing about this is that I created characters that I had no idea how important they would be in the story later. And that is what life is like. You meet someone and have no idea that they might end up being your best friend. It sort of reads like real life, but I made sure to pace it like a movie with no slow parts. So it is like my life in that way.

But I often got my hero into situations that I couldn’t figure out how to get him out of. I would get stuck for a day or a week, and then all of a sudden the answer would pop into my head. I love that moment.

What do you love most about writing? Least?

I write everything by hand in a notebook and then type it up at the end of a chapter. I love it when the ideas are flowing so fast that I can’t keep up. What I hate is when I can’t read my own writing when I try to type it.

What motivated you to write SALOON AT THE EDGE OF EVERYWHERE?

The novels came about because I have all these ideas in my head that want to get out. And I wanted to finish a novel and actually publish it. But most of all I wanted to make fun of everything that people take too seriously. And aliens give you a good way to do that. Because they don’t put things into the same context as we do. We think things make sense just because we are used to them being that way. Aliens have to try to make sense of it from their own perspective. I can take politics and religion and nudity and morality and art and racism and war and everything that happens on this planet and look at it from new angles. It was so much fun.

Explain THE OTHERWHERE CHRONICLES.

Okay, this is tricky. My daughter, Jessica, who helped me get the first of the series published, says I need a one minute ‘elevator’ pitch. Because explaining these would take as long as it would take you to just read them. The main character is human, over 50, lazy, sarcastic, irreverent, and… oh, who am I fooling? The main character is me. But not the me in this dimension. He lives in a reality much like ours, except that Earth has been discovered by the advanced alien races.

Our hero works as a custodian at a Texas bar on an alien space station. He plays poker with a group of human and alien friends, and during one game, alien pirates arrive on a hijacked Disney cruise liner. Arthur and his friends mount a daring rescue mission, and hilarity ensues. And the entire universe is watching as the whole thing unfolds because it is being broadcast live by aliens known as the Reporters. But it is important to remember that this is just book one, and I have three more finished, and more to follow after that… because San Francisco almost gets blown up, and then there is this human/alien intergalactic corporation that might just be a front for an invasion from another dimension, and assassins, and then Arthur ends up leading a ragtag fleet of ships against… oh forget it. It would be easier to read it yourself. There is action and adventure, and humor and… stuff…

Followers of your blog know you are of lover of music. How much does music play a role in your writing?

This is sort of a funny question, because most of the time I would have said that music doesn’t play much of a role in my writing. It is more like writing plays a big role in my music. But it just so happens that music does pop up in the novels. Arthur imparts his love of classic 1970′s hard rock to some of his alien friends, and takes them shopping in Berkeley when he goes back to Earth to visit his mother, right after he saves San Francisco from being destroyed. And I actually quote the words from a song I wrote way back in the day at the very end of book four when he goes back to the Saloon to say goodbye to his old boss. Because that song is about leaving Earth on a spaceship.

How did you celebrate the completion of your book?

I did a little dance when I saw the first paperback copy in my hand. But this is very much an ongoing concern. I leave the end of the fourth book with our hero having a way to visit any dimension, any reality, that he wants to. So anything I can think of, I can have him do. I may never finish writing these. I will have to get back to you.

Who was your biggest supporter during the writing of SATEOE?

Well, Jessica helped me get it published, but she still hasn’t read it. My wife doesn’t ‘do’ science fiction. I had a friend, Dave, and a cousin, Kelsey, who I emailed chapters to as I wrote it, and they helped a lot.

Who was your biggest supporter growing up?

My parents were very much the ‘you can be whatever you want to be’ parents. But we all realized early on that the way my brain works, I can create art but I can’t market it. I really need a manager. But yeah, my parents.

Teenage A.H. Browne wanted to be…

You don’t want to know. I was a rebel. I spent my time beating my head against the walls of authority. I had no goals or plans. I still don’t really have those. My brain doesn’t work that way.

If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

I have had more jobs than anybody I have ever met. You name it, I have done it. And it isn’t like I have made any real money out of this yet. I am sort of stalling getting another crappy job, so let’s just pretend we didn’t hear that question.

If you could have one drink with one author- living or dead, who would it be, and what would you drink?

I would love to sit down with Winston Churchill and have a pint of Boddington’s at a pub while discussing his series of books he wrote about World War 2. And his History of the English Speaking Peoples. Man, that guy knew the English language. And he lived history.

Tell us one thing no one would ever guess about you.

You would never guess that I am shy. Once I know you, I wont shut up. But I can’t just walk up to people and schmooze. I can’t even ask the waitress for a refill of my iced tea. It sucks.

REVIEW

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A.H. BROWNE IS IN VERY GOOD COMPANY

A.H. Browne’s story begins just as all good stories do, with a reluctant hero. Our hero is Arthur Blacke, a loveable loser whose life orbits around playing poker and maintaining the status quo. That is until a hijacked cruise ship full of intergalactic pirates interrupts his weekly poker game.

Once hostages are taken, Arthur and his friends are threatened with more than just harshing their calm. Does this affable custodian have what it takes to become the Space Cowboy the Universe needs to save it?

You’ll just have to buy the book to find out.

Book one of The Otherwhere Chronicles, A.H. Browne’s SALOON AT THE EDGE OF EVERYWHERE is a breath of freshly oxygenated air that I highly recommend.


REVIEW: Harem Master

HAREM MASTER  by R.B. Hatch

When I first chose to review HAREM MASTER I was concerned I’d find nothing more than a glorified Penthouse Forum article. Yes, it does involve a middle-aged man who is “entertained” by a self-appointed harem of females ranging from employees to contemporaries to nymphets. And yes, it is at times raunchy and raw and sexually charged. But R.B. Hatch’s development of the narrator, a man simply known as “John,” is well written and highly entertaining.

As a reader I found myself simultaneously repulsed by and sympathetic toward John’s actions that form the relationship between him and his “harem.” In “John” Hatch has created an “everyman” whose wit, intelligence and sense of mystery utterly charm the women around him into willingly becoming his objects of desire. It’s Hatch’s ability to endear John to the reader that helps to create a world that is not only plausible, but downright believable.

More than just erotica, HAREM MASTER is a plot-driven novel that delves into the mind and motives of its protagonist and speaks with a voice that will please its readers.


Jazz, Jesus and the 1 Star Review

jazz

jazzEvery so often there comes a moment when we see ourselves through another person’s eyes. Determining whether that’s good or bad depends entirely on what we see. Most of my epiphanies are delivered in the form of my sister telling me my ass looks fat in my jeans, whether I ask for her opinion or not.

Commentary on my fat ass or bad breath I can handle, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the reality of personal feedback in the form of reviews for my novella, Reapers With Issues.

Before I begin I’d like to state that every reader who reviewed my work negatively did not condemn me personally for what I’d written, despite not particularly enjoying the book. I’ve read reviews of other books where the reviewer took the author to task, and I am happy to say I’ve been blessed with a classy group of readers who didn’t feel the need to blast me.

I guess what confounds me most is that I expected there to be more blow back for subject matter. Portraying Jesus as a closet homosexual and writing a scene where Genghis Khan violates a shi-tzu wasn’t going to win me an audience with the Pope, and I knew that going in. I also prepared myself for a critique of the quality of the writing itself, which as it turns out I didn’t receive much of. What I did get was essentially the same question, asked in so many words, of what kind of person could conceive of the Reapers idea at all. Again, good or bad depends entirely on what we see.

[enter the dreaded introspection process]

The first thing I did was try to answer the question of what kind of person I am. Despite an obscene amount of navel-gazing I am no closer to that answer now than I was when I began. My motivation to write Reapers With Issues was just as strong and the subject matter just as easy to conceptualize as Gods of Asphalt’s was, so identifying a specific default in thinking didn’t pan out. The truth is that I’ve got a hundred different stories buzzing around in my head; everything from harmless children’s stories to British comedies to even more Reapers sequels (oddly there’s nothing milling around in there that remotely smacks of Erotica, but that’s a post for another day after an hour on a couch).

So after an even more shameless bought of self-contemplation I began to ask myself a different question, “Why do any of us write what we write?”

Do we choose our genre or subject matter because of who we are, or because of what we make of the world around us? I imagine it’s no coincidence that Reapers With Issues was written during the darkest hours of a friend’s battle with cancer, or that Gods of Asphalt was written while stuck in bed, listening to my two teenaged sons bicker amongst themselves and argue with their father.

It is also not lost on me that I wrote Reapers With Issues from a third-person point-of-view, allowing me to observe at a distance the story of a Reaper whose best efforts to gather souls are thwarted by a Savior, or that the overall theme of Gods of Asphalt is how brothers cope when their mother isn’t around.

I suppose in the end what we choose to write comes from the harmony of both who we are and what we see. I’ve learned that whether my writing is received as harmony or dischord depends entirely on who’s doing the reading, and no amount of alteration of my “music” will accommodate everyone.

For the record, I’m fine with that. I am a Jazz fan, after all.


CALLING ALL WRITERS/AUTHORS/BLOGGERS!!!

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Now that I’ve got your attention I’d like to make you aware of an ongoing project I’ve been spearheading that I am hoping you’ll want to be a part of. It’s a project to benefit a cause that’s close to my heart called LIBSTRONG, a community of friends who have gathered together in support of Libby, a dear young friend who is battling cancer.

We’ve put together a surprise project called WRISTS AROUND THE WORLD not only to raise money but to raise her spirits as she battles her illness. Keep reading to find out what it’s all about and to learn how you too can be involved:

From the WATW site:

Our latest endeavor is called WRISTS AROUND THE WORLD- a fun global project designed for people everywhere to show their support for Libby and her battle against cancer. Bloggers and non-bloggers alike are invited to purchase her LIBSTRONG wristbands and then snap pictures of their wrists against an iconic landmark of their city, state or hometown. Once the photo is taken it is emailed to us and then posted to our GALLERY.

The message behind our project is to show the world how Libby’s strength and determination touch more than just those around her. Her positivity reaches around the world!

When sending a picture please include information noting where the picture was taken. We would be happy to post your name or a link to your blog, although that is not necessary and we will respect all wishes for anonymity. We are requesting snapshots be of wrists wearing wristbands only, so even the most camera shy supporter feels comfortable enough to be involved.

LIBSTRONG wristbands are available for sale individually or in package deals combined with items donated from various blog supporters. Visit our MAKE A DIFFERENCE page for information on how to purchase the package that’s right for you!

To be a part of WRISTS AROUND THE WORLD send your snapshot to:

wristsaroundtheworld@gmail.com

I am asking my fellow bloggers everywhere to purchase at least one wristband not only to raise some much needed money for Libby’s cause, but to show her your support from your very own hometown. Package prices include shipping within the United States only. Since I would like the wristbands to actually go around the world, I would be willing to donate both of my ebooks for free to anyone outside of the United States who purchases even just one LIBSTRONG wristband to offset the cost of shipping which would be the responsibility of the purchaser.

As of the writing of this post, Libby doesn’t know about this project. We’d like to get as many pics around the world as possible and then reveal her site as a gift.

As for my part in the WRISTS AROUND THE WORLD project I’ve decided to donate both my REAPERS WITH ISSUES and THE GODS OF ASPHALT ebooks and paperbacks to be included in wristband package deals. I am also including the blog compilation project F*CKED UP FAIRY TALES for donation once it is completed. Each contributing author’s name of that work will receive an honorary mention on the FRIENDS OF LIBSTRONG page with links to their blogs.

Additionally, if you are an author you can contribute by donating your own books for package deals to be included on their site. For ebooks simply donate a free coupon for your book that others may purchase to raise money for our cause. For information on paperback donations, please contact wristsaroundtheworld@gmail.com for more details.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to stop by Wrists Around The World!

www.wristsaroundtheworld.com


Happy Blogiversary To Me!

COVER

TODAY IS THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF MY BLOG! TO COMMEMORATE THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCASION I HAVE DECIDED TO RERUN MY VERY FIRST BLOG POST.

PLEASE TO ENJOY…

So yeah, I wrote a book.

I must have been high when I wrote it because there’s no other explanation I can give for my 120,000 word upper YA novel where the only noun I used more than “boner” was “blood.” It goes without saying that I’m self-published. I didn’t even try to submit it traditionally. Can you just imagine the poor agent who gets my query letter?

“My novel, THE GODS OF ASPHALT is complete at 120,000 words and is the first in a series of five books that for some reason I’ve decided to write out-of-order. Each one is told from the point of view of a teenage male protagonist who has exactly zero supernatural powers (unless you consider perpetual erections a superpower). Oh, and it also has Spanish subtitles.”

Yeah.

On the good side, if you’re like me and are just a little too into music, motorcycles and all around badassery this is the book for you. If you’re not, I’m sure Jodi Picoult’s got a blog somewhere. You can find the opening to chapter one at the top of the page under the tab GOA REVIEWS and you can find my book on line at:

SMASHWORDS

AMAZON


REVIEW: Harem Master

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HAREM MASTER  by R.B. Hatch

When I first chose to review HAREM MASTER I was concerned I’d find nothing more than a glorified Penthouse Forum article. Yes, it does involve a middle-aged man who is “entertained” by a self-appointed harem of females ranging from employees to contemporaries to nymphets. And yes, it is at times raunchy and raw and sexually charged. But R.B. Hatch’s development of the narrator, a man simply known as “John,” is well written and highly entertaining.

As a reader I found myself simultaneously repulsed by and sympathetic toward John’s actions that form the relationship between him and his “harem.” In “John” Hatch has created an “everyman” whose wit, intelligence and sense of mystery utterly charm the women around him into willingly becoming his objects of desire. It’s Hatch’s ability to endear John to the reader that helps to create a world that is not only plausible, but downright believable.

More than just erotica, HAREM MASTER is a plot-driven novel that delves into the mind and motives of its protagonist and speaks with a voice that will please its readers.


REVIEW: Scenes From A Morning Drive

Scenes From a Morning Drive

SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE 

by Edward Hotspur

Nothing is what it seems in Edward Hotspur’s world. Inspired by the ultra-humorous author’s blog, his compilation book entitled SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE reads like a Lewis Carroll novel ghost-written by William Shakespeare as spoofed by Monty Python. More than just words, SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE is short fiction at its best.

With the weather often inspiring his moods and his esoteric musical stylings an ever constant soundtrack; Edward Hotspur waxes poetic on everything from road construction to cloud formations to office minutiae. His skillful way with words and unique perspective on love, life and laughter bring new meaning to the term “triple threat.”

Sometimes heartwarming, often tragic but always humorous SCENES FROM A MORNING DRIVE takes the scenic route through Edward Hotspur’s mind and shows you the world as you have never seen it before.


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