(insert pithy rejoinder here)

Posts tagged “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

2013-08-10 09.30.42

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.


Confessions Of A Star Wars Virgin – Anniversary Reblog!

19fk32sw3nt1wjpg

 

19fk32sw3nt1wjpgI have a confession to make. I’ve never seen Star Wars. Or The Empire Strikes Back. Or Return of the Jedi.

So on the prompting of a certain wunderkind who calls himself  THE ELITE I’ve decided to actually sit down and watch these movies back to back. I’m leaving now to watch Star Wars and I’ll return to the post with an assessment when I’m done.

************************************

600full-star-wars-episode-v-the-empire-strikes-back-posterFirst, I need to apologize for all the SciFi geek jokes I’ve made over the course of my life, because that movie friggin’ ROCKED!!!!

So Han was hot and all but Luke was super annoying. I honestly don’t know how Han didn’t just kick him off the Millennium Falcon on day one. I also wanted to smack C3PO upside the head throughout most of the movie.

But if you ask me, what made the entire film was Chewbacca. Honestly, if I’d known more about his character it wouldn’t have taken me so long to see this movie. He’s the only one that makes any sense and he doesn’t have a single coherent line of dialogue! Now, onto EMPIRE!

 ***************************************

Totally did not see the whole Han/Leia romance angle coming, although I probably should have. Leia’s every bit the “denies/doesn’t show romantic emotions” pain in the ass I am.

Return-of-the-Jedi-Movie-PosterLando’s kind of a dick, but my boy Chewbacca nearly tears him to pieces so that was wicked awesome. I also wish at some point Yoda would have kicked Luke’s whiny ass right into the swamp. Best of all I FINALLY got to see the “Luke, I am your father” scene I’ve always heard people talk about.

But the part that pissed me off most was that at the end of the movie Han is still frozen. I suppose I’m not so upset about it for my sake, seeing as I’m about to watch the next movie in a moment, but I can’t imagine what it must have been like back in the day when people had to wait years for it to hit the theaters. Alright, time to bring on JEDI!

 ****************************************

Uh…ok…

Please all you fans out there, tell me the whole reveal of the “Luke/Leia twin” thing was a late to the table script add-on and not part of the original story arc. Because I went back and skimmed through Empire looking for a specific moment I was sure I saw and……..yeah.

As usual, Chewy rocked. Jabba was awesome and the Ewoks were…well, let’s just say they were cute, but I’m trying to understand why they were necessary. And…I kind of wish Luke didn’t take off Vader’s mask, but that’s just me.

All in all I’d have to say that the movies were excellent, even though I watched them after seeing more recent CGI fueled films like Transformers. And while I doubt I’ll be attending any conventions any time soon, I finally understand how the fans are as dedicated to the films as they are.

Now, my original plan was to watch the next three movies or prequels tomorrow; but my boys made me promise to wait a couple of days. They said they want the euphoria of me finally getting to see the original three wear off before I watched the next ones and got really, really mad.

Whatever that means.


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.


Reapers With Fangs

RWFbCover

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, the day is nearly here when we will unveil Book Two of the four book compilation series called REAPERS WITH FANGS. The sequel to Reapers With Issues follows the Grim Reaper on his journey through middle management Hell.

For those of you who have not read Book One of the series entitled, REAPERS WITH ISSUES but would like to purchase a copy visit www.wristsaroundtheworld.com where every purchase donates 100% of the profit to a great cause that you too can be a part of. Don’t forget to visit the REAPERS WITH ISSUES website and sign Grim’s DEATH BOOK. Now onto a preview of:

 

REAPERS WITH FANGS

 

Death’s bag landed with a thud, dumping its coconut scented contents and nearly a pound of beach sand onto the cold, office floor. “When was someone going to tell me about this?” Grim asked the three Horsemen scrambling to form a line in front of him.

“What ‘this’ are you referring to?” Famine asked, backing away slowly.

Grim stepped forward and shoved a pink, bubble gum scented memo into Famine’s bony hand. “THIS is what I’m referring to. This memo that’s nearly two weeks old. I count on you three to cue me into this kind of thing when I’m gone. I shouldn’t have had to hear this from Lucifer.”

Pestilence flinched at the word “Lucifer,” but said nothing. War looked to Famine who, after returning a stony glare, reluctantly answered. “No one wanted to bother you. We all agreed you needed the break.”

“So you thought waiting until I got back from vacation to walk into this mess was the better idea?” Grim asked as he snatched the memo from Famine’s hand and tossed it atop a monstrous stack of waiting paperwork.

“No, that’s not what we thought at all,” Famine explained. “We agreed we’d do some recon first and get a handle on who this Ashli person was before we decided whether or not you should worry.”

Grim startled. “Worry? Why? Who is she?”

Without saying a word Pestilence slowly lifted Grim’s mug off his desk and then went for coffee just as Famine produced a silver flask from deep inside his cloak.

“That good, huh?” Grim asked, not convinced he wanted to know.

“I’m not sure “good” is the word you want here,” Famine said as he poured a stream of red, viscous liquid into the steaming cup of coffee. Pestilence blew the billowing smoke away before handing the mug to Grim who promptly set it on the desk behind him.

“I’m not a Cherub, Fam. You don’t have to pussy foot around me. Just tell me straight out who this Ashli person is.”

Famine took a quick sip from the flask, steeling his courage before he spoke. “From what we’ve been able to gather Ashli is…well, let’s just say word around the Cloud is that the boss has got himself a new girlfriend.”

Grim stood frozen for a moment before he snatched the flask from Famine’s hand, tipped it back and sucked it dry.

“We’re still not sure what this is, so I see no reason to assume the worst,” Pestilence said in an attempt to put Grim at ease.

“Bunch of bullshit is what it is,” War blasted. “Give me five– no, four thousand real Reapers and we’ll take care of business no problem I guaran-fucking-tee it. We don’t need no Bible bitch tellin’ us how to do our jobs. We–“

Famine backhanded War into silence just as Grim dropped the flask to the floor. “Wait–what’s he talking about?” Grim asked, wide eyed. “What did he mean by, ‘telling us how to do our jobs?’”

Famine hung his head and sighed. “Yeah…I hadn’t gotten to that part yet.”

“So what are you saying?” Grim asked. “That I finally got Skippy and his shih-tzu out of my department and now….now I’ve got the girlfriend setting up shop here? Are you telling me she is actually in command of the OHD??” Grim’s shocked reaction forced his eyeballs to pop out of his skull and roll along the floor.

Famine picked the eyes and his flask up and set them all on the desk. “I’m afraid that’s the way it looks,” he reluctantly replied.

“Well that’s just fucking great,” Grim said as he ripped off his best tanned meat suit, stopping short of revealing a heart-shaped tattoo with the words Fran Forever emblazoned across the bicep. A tattoo that for the life of him Grim could not recall getting. “I need to sort this shit out so give me a few minutes alone, please. Pronto.”

Famine nodded and then led the Horsemen out of the office. As soon as he was alone Grim headed straight to the closet to change into his regular uniform. His official cloak, Grim decided, would put him in the right frame of mind to deal with the fact that once again, God pulled the rug out from under him.

As Grim slid on the heavy, black robe he set to putting this new dilemma into perspective. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad, he thought. Anything had to be better than Jesus and his Reaper disaster. After all, the Big Guy never kept a woman for long, and he was sure it would only be a matter of time before this new one grew tired of his continued absence. Running the Universe for an eternity isn’t the nine to five job most women think it is.

Still, there was reason for concern. Even though this wasn’t the first time God took a mate, it was the first time in at least two thousand years he’d been this public about it. As Grim could recall, Lucifer was the reason behind God’s last romantic debacle. Grim wondered just how deep into Ashli’s pie his demon colleague’s fingers were, and just how bad the blowback to the OHD might be if God found out.

His mind racing with new concerns, Grim threw open the office doors and called for his Horsemen. “Have any of you spoken to Lucifer yet?” Grim asked once they arrived. “He’s the one who forwarded the memo. He’s got to know how this happened.”

“We…didn’t think it was such a good idea,” Famine tentatively began. “We didn’t know how much of this action originated from the Southern offices, you know, considering how Jesus’ Reaper solution went down.”

Grim ran a bony hand back and forth along his spinal column. “I do know what you mean, but it seems like a lot of risk, even for Lucifer. This isn’t Jesus and his shih-tzu we’re talking about, this is the Big Man and his woman. Anyone remember Lilith?”

“Come on, Boss,” War interjected around a wad of chew. “You know you can’t trust ol’ whistle britches, especially when there’s a female involved. Don’t matter who she is. He nails ‘em faster than Jesus to a cross.”

Hearing his Horseman echo his thoughts reinforced Grim’s suspicion of Lucifer’s role in Ashli’s sudden appearance at the OHD. Determined to get answers, Grim reached for a phone that rang as he grabbed it. “Hello?”

“Why Grim! You’re back!” Lucifer announced with mock cheerfulness. “What’s the good news?”

“You tell me. I’ve been skull deep in sand for the past two weeks.”

“Hmm…how very odd. I’d have thought your ponies would have alerted you to the magnitude of the situation by now.”

Grim shot his Horsemen a look of death as he spoke. “Never mind all that and just answer a question for me. Did you have something to do with this Ashli bullshit or not?”

“Hold your Horses,” Lucifer snickered. “The answer’s no, I had nothing to do with this. Although I wish I had, because this is more glorious than any plan I could have concocted.”

“Plan? What fucking plan are you talking about?”

A sudden, thunderous crash resonated throughout the office followed by a sulfurous puff of smoke. Lucifer appeared at Grim’s side. “Sorry about the theatrics Grimmie old boy, but I just had to be here when you got the news.”

Grim rubbed his skinless temples in exasperation. “Fuck the news and just get to the plan.”

An expression that was both gleeful and menacing at once took hold of Lucifer’s face as he stared into Grim’s and said, “I can sum up the plan in one word-

Vampires…

FOR MORE REAPERS VISIT:

http://www.reaperswithissues.com

TO BE PART OF A GLOBAL PROJECT AND GOOD CAUSE VISIT:

http://www.wristsaroundtheworld.com


The Early Bird Catches The SPaM

spam-gif

Even though I’ve been taking a break from SPaM in order to write the REAPERS WITH ISSUES series, I had to come back today in order to introduce to you all someone truly special. For those of you out there who may not know, there is a rockin’ chick among us who is somewhat new to blogworld. I’ll let her About Me page speak for itself:

Essa Alroc is an Orlando, Florida based freelance writer who published works include “The Blurb About Freshness on the Back of Your Deodorant” and “Understanding Your Utah 529 Plan”. When she’s not at work, fantasizing about setting her cubicle on fire, she is working on her first full length novel.  It is not about deodorant or financial aid plans.

With blog posts entitled TEN WAYS TO GET FIRED or HOW NOT TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND one can’t help but wonder what goes on in the mind of Essa Alroc.

1. Your writing style is edgy, to say the least. What influences do you attribute to forming your particular writing style?

I was born and raised on heavy sarcasm and using humor in the place of emotions. My life’s motto is if your going to bitch about something, at least make it funny. That way people will actually listen.  When I was growing up, I was an overweight kid with bad teeth, who wore my brothers hand me downs. If it wasn’t for my incredible ability to hurt someone’s feelings, I would have made one hell of a target. Luckily for me, the weight came off, the teeth got fixed with braces, but I never lost the ability to come up with some seriously scathing commentary.  I also still wear my brothers hand me downs.

2. You live and write in Florida. How does living in the south influence what you write?

Florida both fascinates and horrifies me. I have a theory that something to do with the heat makes the people here crazy and violent. What I like about this state is that things that would be ridiculous anywhere else seem normal in Florida. I draw on a lot of my experiences here for both my fiction and non fiction work and I never seem to run out of things I write about it. What I dislike about Florida is all the rapes and murders…and lack of Jack in the Boxes. I miss their curly fries.

3. Your page MAKE ME YOUR BITCH speaks to your ability to write for hire. How does writing for someone else’s project differ from writing your own, and what can someone expect in the way of services?

My first love is humor writing, but in today’s market, it’s not a viable career option. Luckily, thanks to the plethora of jobs I’ve had, I’m able to write about a large range of subjects and still make them readable (and g-rated). My goal when I’m writing someone’s page is to get them SEO hits and at the same time, give value to the reader who was searching for their page in the first place. When someone types a query into a search engine, they’re not looking to get sold something. They’re looking for an answer to their question. My goal is to answer that question and still make my clients page come out on top. At the same time, I have to keep it free of my personal opinion and four letter words. Sometimes it’s easy, like when I’m writing an article about medical marijuana. Sometimes, it’s impossible, like when I’m trying to come up with 10 things I like about Mitt Romney. Number 1 was his hair.

4. Tell us about STRANGELY SOBER.

Strangely Sober was a novel born of frustration. Frankly, I was tired of reading about unworldly heroines who need the hero to show them how things are done. I’m not like that, and I don’t think most women are like that. Having a vagina doesn’t make me a bumbling, clumsy, insecure mess who can’t handle life on her own.  I’ve lived a full life and I think a lot of people have. I created my protagonist, Angelica Salvatori, AKA Sal, because of that. She drinks too much. She smokes too much. She lives everyday like zombie apocalypse is right around the corner.  She adapts and re adjusts as necessary. Personally, I think that’s what life is all about.

5. Tell us about ASYMMETRIC ANGELS.

I wrote Asymmetric because I didn’t feel ready to let go of Sal. There were some loose ends to tie up from the first novel and I didn’t think her story was over yet.  Asymmetric has been a challenge to write, because it’s got some strong religions undertones in it, despite the fact that I am not remotely religious. It’s a sequel to my first novel and its where my heroine, Sal, tries to create a shaky opinion on faith and at the same time, tries to adapt to a world that is constantly changing for her. Asymmetric is a novel about getting to know yourself. It also has explosions, a high body count and a recurring Gary Busey hallucination. Can’t disappoint my readers while I’m trying to be artsy.

6. How does blogging effect writing, if at all?

Blogging is a release for me. Its entertainment writing in its highest form. I don’t use my webpage in my portfolio, because it’s my hobby. I don’t allow marketing on it, and even my own marketing blurb for my business is kind of a joke. I don’t want my readers distracted by ads. I want them to laugh. I don’t censor myself and I don’t want to do that for a sponsor. All my blogs are born out of an everyday experience that can be made ridiculous using the right words. The world is a ridiculous place, and the ability to laugh at that ridiculousness makes us powerful.  I laugh at the Westborough Baptist Church, the economic crisis and child prostitution because I understand the power of humor. I go by the lessons I’ve learned from George Carlin and Richard Prior. ANY topic can be made funny when given the right delivery. That approach makes me fearless in my writing.

7. What have you learned most from writing your novel?

Be prepared for change. When I originally wrote ‘Strangely’, it was called ‘Unforgettable’ and it was written about a schoolteacher with eidetic memory. Two days before I released it, NBC released a show called “Unforgettable”, about a cop with eidetic memory. Instead of releasing it anyway, or trashing the whole series, I adapted it, changed it, until it was a completely different novel. Now, I’m glad that happened, because ‘Strangely” is about 10000 times better than what it was originally.

8. What advice would you give other would-be novelists?

Put your novel away for 6 weeks after you finish it and then read it again. It’s like being a first time reader. Maybe you realize your novel is, in fact, genius. Maybe you realize its crap. Maybe NBC puts out yet another shitty crime drama show and you have to start all over. Either way, you’ll be glad you did it.

9. Who are your favorite authors?

I love Jacqueline Susann, because she made trash literary genius. Read “Valley of the Dolls” closely and you realize that Neely O’Hara is Scarlett O’Hara. I love Piers Anthony because he makes sci-fi/fantasy a commentary on politics that hasn’t been met since Orwell’s “1984”. Finally, I love Tim Dorsey because he writes about Florida with tongue in cheek humor that delivers both admiration and disdain for this wild and crazy state. If Serge Storms were real, I would totally be stalking him.

10. Where do you see your next project taking you?

Well, the final book in the bar series, Gio’s Gift, is already breaking my heart because I’m murdering off a character I’ve grown very attached too. After I’ve uncurled myself from my sobbing emo ball, I’ll be working on something I’m calling the Dark/Light series, which I’m hoping comes to par with some of Anthony’s more political novels. It will be my first foray into science fiction and is loosely based on Nietzsche assertion that God is dead. Personally, I don’t think God is dead. I think he’s a sandwich artist at Subway…at least, he will be in my book. I hope eventually to make enough from my humor and fiction projects to focus on them full time. I think as long as I keep typing away and putting my best literary foot forward, it will happen.

Or I’ll wind up a sandwich artist at Subway.

 GET A FREE DIGITAL COPY OF STRANGELY SOBER TODAY ONLY BY CLICKING BELOW:


Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!!!

ninja_guitar_duel

WEDNESDAY! WEDNESDAY! WEDNESDAY!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! WITNESS THE SPECTACLE THAT IS DESTINED TO BE KNOWN AS THE DUEL OF THE CENTURY! WATCH IN AMAZEMENT AS BLOGWORLDS’ OWN LILY-LADEN LOTHARIO EDWARD HOTSPUR MATCHES WITS WITH THE ENIGMATIC CLOWN PRINCE HIMSELF- LE CLOWN IN A DUEL SO INTENSE IT’S SURE TO MAKE HAMILTON AND BURR LOOK LIKE A SLAP FIGHT!

BUT WAIT…THERE’S MORE!!!

WATCH AS TEAM EDWARD’S OWN LOVELY AND TALENTED GINGERSNAAP OF OHMYGODJUSTDOWHATISAY FAME, FLANKED BY THE VERY HANDSOME EL GUAPO FACE-OFF AGAINST LE CLOWN’S OWN WORDSMITH EXTRODINAIRES MADAME WEEBLES AND SPEAKER 7.

The winning topics:

  • Furries (fetish), suggested by Carrie Rubin (16 votes);
  • Group Sex in Retirement Adult Community, suggested by Rutabaga (10 votes);
  • Protection Identities, suggested by The Ringmistress (9 votes).

The face-offs will be as follow:

  • September 19 – Furries: Ginger Snaap VS Speaker7;
  • September 20 – Protection Identities: El Guapo VS Madame Weebles;
  • September 21 – Group Sex in Retirement Community: Edward VS Le Clown. 

All posts written by Team Iron Gonads of Iron Fire will be published on Le Clown‘s blog; posts from Team Dachshund will be published on Edward‘s blog. Winners will be crowned by the amount of LIKES each post will get. So you, readers, will have the final say as to who’s this blogosphere’s force to be reckoned with.

TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR THE EPIC BATTLE ROYALE AT THE DOOR FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!!!

THEY’LL SELL YOU A SEAT BUT YOU’LL ONLY NEED THE EDGE….


Interview With…Pestilence

HE: Today’s interview has us sitting down with Creeping Death himself, Pestilence. Good morning, Pestilence. How was your trip to Earth?

PEST: Good morning, Miss Ellis. Considering I had to get a bus transfer, it wasn’t bad.  Once you make the transdimensional leap from Purgatory to the mortal realm several times, it’s old-hat.  Little known fact: Purgatory started as a sort of safe zone for travel from Earth to and from either Heaven or Hell.  It’s a sort of pressurization chamber, like divers use.

***

HE: What confounds you most about mortals?

PEST: Body odor [makes face].  I have no idea how God managed to create Humans in his image yet chose to have them excrete smelly substances.  And this is coming from me, the Bacteria and Virus King.  Eew [shudders].

***

HE: Where is your favorite place to reap?

PEST: Tropical climates are by far the best for reaping within my domain.  I mean really, I almost don’t have to do anything except follow the molds and fungi around and pick up after them.

***

HE: If you were mortal, what job would you want to have?

PEST: Oh, I don’t know.  I’m not sure I could be mortal and sit in my own cloud of stench all day.  In fact I need a shower now.  But I’ll be fair and answer your question.  I guess perhaps a lab technician at the CDC.  That or a postal worker.

***

HE: Has a mortal ever escaped you?

PEST: Yes and fiddlesticks!  Those Humans are so goshdarned clever that sometimes I think they’d do a better job than I would at reaping a la Pestilence.  Do you know why viruses mutate?  [waits for answer]

HE: Oh, you’re actually asking me [rolls eyes] – why do viruses mutate?

PEST: They mutate because I’m constantly having to make new strains to keep ahead of your best efforts to counter me.

***

HE: What’s the most negative aspect of wearing a meat suit?

PEST: Body odor.  I’m sorry, am I obsessive here?  A little Freudy-Doidy? Haaa ha  hah ha… ahem.  But seriously, body odor.  I also tend to be very disturbed by no-reason boners.

***

HE: Is it hard working for God?

PEST: I’d like to say yes, and I’d like to say no.  The sad truth is, he tends to come up with awesome creations but then inserts middle managers between him and his creation when he finds it too difficult to manage.  So for in-the-trenches marks of performance, I have to give him an ‘F.’  However, for his strategic vision, nobody beats him.

***

HE: Is Lucifer as bad as they say?

PEST: He’s a doodie head.  He does wear nice clothes though.

***

HE: What do you have to say about the Mayans?

PEST: I’d say they were pretty susceptible to infection just like everyone else.

***

HE: Your dream date is?

PEST: Hmm… so many to choose from.  I think the day the Black Death started in Europe has to be number one, and the Spanish Flu thing there I did wasn’t bad either…

What?  Oh THAT kind of date… uhm, well… I’ve never been on a date [hangs head].
***
HE: Beatles or Elvis?

PEST: Oh, I’m sorry.  Neither?  Okay, truth is I love classical music.  You Humans got that right.  I like most of what your composers created, and I am particularly taken by the Baroque artists.  Rock and roll sounds like… sweaty Humans.

***

HE: Favorite sports team?

PEST: I’m not really into sports so much.  I like watching Kasparov play chess – now that is exciting!

***

HE: Where do you see yourself in five years?

PEST: Reaping, of course, but can I sort of qualify that?  Okay.  I want to be better at what I do in five years, you know.  Like perhaps I’ll make a better form of Ebola.  It just kills me that after all that time and effort, that virus is only about 95% lethal.  I think I can get it up into the high 98% range.  Sometimes I secretly dream of creating some whole new type of pandemic… I mean, there’s bacteria and there are viruses… what if there was a whole new thing out there.  I have dreams too!

***

HE: What would mortals be most surprised to learn about you?

PEST: I like to collect stamps, and macramé.

***

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with the Reaper better known as Pestilence. Tune in tomorrow when we sit down with everyone’s favorite Horseman, War. Stick around this weekend when we’ll be sitting down to chat with some of the upper (and lower) members of the Office of Heavenly Affairs. Until then, stay well and avoid the Reaper!


Interview With…Famine

famine

HE: We continue our interviews with the mysterious Horseman known as Famine. Good morning, Famine. How was your trip to Earth?

FAMINE: You assume I left, ha, that’s… that’s funny.  I haven’t gotten away from Earth in what seems like eons.  Just when I think I might get away, some jack-hole gets me involved in another bunch of crap that I can’t delegate out and I can’t pass on higher up the chain.  Story of my fucking life… uh, death… existence.

***

HE: What confounds you most about mortals?

FAMINE: Toy dogs.  Fucking ‘Toy’ dog breeds.  The women and gay guys carrying these things around are the same ones freaking out and jumping up on chairs when they see rats and mice.  What the hell, man?  And cocaine.  Why the hell would anyone want to do ANYTHING faster and with more sweating?

***

HE: Where is your favorite place to reap?

FAMINE: Depends, easiest or most fun?  Easiest: L.A.  Just ask a broad if she’s expecting or if she just had a baby, *BAM*, job is done for you!  Not only will she stop eating, she’ll puke up Thanksgiving dinner from three years ago!  Most fun?  Suburbs of Atlanta.  Have you ever watched a 350 pound guy looking at a plate of ribs or chicken and waffles and suddenly realize he isn’t hungry?  Funny as shit!  They get mad.  Rumplestiltskin mad.  I could do that all day!

***

HE: If you were mortal, what job would you want to have?

FAMINE: Sales associate at Abercrombie. Every time some skinny bitch walked out of the dressing room I could say, “Uhm, Honey, you want me to get you the next size up?” I think I could be pretty happy with that.

***

 
HE: Has a mortal ever escaped you?

FAMINE: Victoria Beckham.  But the game ain’t over yet.

***

HE: What’s the most negative aspect of wearing a meat suit?

FAMINE: Grooming.  I mean, the showering, the cleaning, the de-stinking.  Really a lot of work.

***

 
HE: Is it hard working for God?

FAMINE: A boss is a boss is a boss, you know?  They give you bottom lines and you’re just supposed to run with them.  My budget barely not-feeds the westernized world!  Don’t get me started on trying to juggle maternity leave rotations for those slutty Succubi!

***

 
HE: Is Lucifer as bad as they say?

FAMINE: No.  We get each other.  He’s got a job to do, he’s got to get it done on time and under budget just like the rest of us.

***

 
HE: What do you have to say about the Mayans?

FAMINE: Fucking nutty.  I mean, I like a good party, but, to quote a well known space cowboy, “Eating people alive? Where’s that get fun?”

***
HE: Your dream date is?

FAMINE: Tina Majorino.  Freaking adorable, I love her.  She’d finally notice me, in the bushes, with the camera and be all like, “Hey! Are you the one sending me those letters? You wanna hit the Olive Garden with me?”.  And I’d be like, “Olive Garden?  Really?”.  And there would be this split second of us looking at each other and we’d both screech out “UNLIMITED BREAD STICKS, SUCKER!”  It would be awesome, you know?  Magic…

***

HE: Beatles or Elvis?

FAMINE: Uhg.  Uhm, Elvis, if I had to choose.  If I got to pick, Cheap Trick.  I’ll take Elvis because Zander kicked ass on Don’t Be Cruel.  Why always Beatles or Elvis? Beatles or Stones?  What about The Clash or Abba?  Iron Maiden or Prince?

***

HE: Favorite sports team?

FAMINE: The Eagles.

***

 
HE: Where do you see yourself in five years?

FAMINE: Probably doing the same fucking job, but with a three and a half percent increase in pay, those cheap mother-fuckers…

***

 
HE: What would mortals be most surprised to learn about you?

FAMINE: Hmm.  Not sure… Oh!  Okay, I got one!  No one ever believes me, but I had nothing to do with Karen Carpenter.  Seriously, that was all just fucked up psyche and shit.  Hell, do you have any idea what I went through over that?  Jesus loved her.  I swear, that’s the reason I haven’t even been considered for a promotion!  Hell! I was sending her fruitcakes and candy grams just to save my own ass!  And I do I ever get the credit for Mama Cass?

***

That concludes our interview with the Horsemen known as Famine. Tune in tomorrow when we sit down with Creeping Death himself, Pestilence, followed by War on Thursday and a special mystery guest on Friday. We round out the weekend with back to back interviews with the Big Man himself, God on Saturday and a one on one exclusive with Jesus on Sunday. Stay tuned!


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


The Gods Must Be Crazy – The Redux

divinetalescover

Something must be in the air, because not only am I working on a four-book compilation of short stories, my friend Dayton over at       THE FOG OF WARD has just completed a joint effort himself entitled ReDues: Divine Tales.

 

FROM THE BACK JACKET:

 

The gods have returned.

All of them!

The change promised by the ending of the Mayan Calendar in 2012 manifested itself in an unexpected manner. Every pantheon of gods and goddess, from every belief the world over, have returned … changing the world forever.

As the pantheons settle into their ancestral lands, they vie for worshippers, gaining or losing power along the way. They find the world of man a bewildering, crazy quilt, and each wishes to remake their lands in their own image.

Come and meet some of the inhabitants of this strangely familiar world in eleven new tales that explore what it means to worship in this new reality. A Knight Templar hunting mysteries. A rookie pitcher with a unique belief system. A wounded solider returned to battle by a goddess. A reporter who isn’t sure what to believe. A homicide detective on the Manhattan beat. A man out to kill the gods. A single father trying to survive in a world without Santa Claus. And many more!

Chronicling this new tomorrow are Dave Galanter, Allyn Gibson, Phil Giunta, Robert Greenberger, Paul Kupperberg, William Leisner, Scott Pearson, Aaron Rosenberg, Lawrence M. Schoen, Dayton Ward, and Steven H. Wilson. Join them and discover a world where everything old is new again—even the gods themselves.


ReDeus: Divine Tales, published by Crazy 8 Press, will premiere at the Shore Leave convention in Baltimore the weekend of August 3-5, and will be available in both trade paperback and electronic format on or around that time, as well.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,069 other followers