They Killed Brian!

RIP Brian Griffin

RIP Brian Griffin

Ok, so I go from Dick Gordon’s The Story going off air to a cartoon dog’s death on Family Guy. Hey, at least I have range.

Like most Family Guy fans, I’m completely distraught that Brian Griffin was axed off of my favorite adult cartoon. Family Guy has been a guilty pleasure of mine since it went on air back in 1999 and Brian the Dog was by far my favorite character. Who wouldn’t love a talking dog that drinks martinis and writes horrific novels? He also got the best lines in the show. Which brings me to why I like the show so much – the writing.

I can’t stand potty humor of which Family Guy is replete with, but when you put the slop through a figurative colander some really good juice comes out. The creator Seth MacFarlane is a brilliant writer and comedian and since he’s of my generation and comes from my home state, his pop culture references are totally relatable to me and bring back some great memories from my childhood. They once opened the show with the opening scene from The Great Space Coaster – I nearly bust a gut.

From what I understand, of all his characters Brian has the most characteristics of MacFarlane himself. I definitely see that and have watched both Brian and MacFarlane progress over the years. When Brian drank martinis, Seth drank martinis, when Brian switched to Scotch, Seth switched to Scotch. Brian is a tree hugging, pot smoking, Prius driving, womanizing Liberal and MacFarlane has never minced words on where he falls on the political and social spectrum and he’s rarely ever seen with the same woman. It was a very cool progression to watch – creator and character growing and becoming famous together.

The New Guy - Nothing Against Vinnie, But I want Brian Back

The New Guy – Nothing Against Vinnie, But I want Brian Back

I think from the brouhaha I’m reading in the news, blogs and on Facebook, Brian was certainly one if not, the most beloved character. So, why the hell would MacFarlane kill him off? I mean, this is a comedy after all, there’s no need to kill off a favorite character especially if he’s a cartoon dog. All I can think of is that it’s a “kill your darlings” situation. The producers said they wanted to “shake things up”. Well, they sure as shit have done that. A new dog “Vinnie” who also talks and has the voice and look of a New Jersey gangster voiced by former Sopranos star Tony Sirico, immediately replaced Brian. Kind of hacky, I think. I use the “kill your darlings” metaphor because I can’t help but wonder if MacFarlane is looking for a bigger challenge – like Brian was too easy to write, something like that.

I honestly don’t think this is going to work and cautiously predict a death knell for the show. Seth MacFarlane has made it no secret that he feels Family Guy should have jumped the shark five seasons ago, but insists on giving the fans what they want for as long as they want it. But, I have to wonder – is this what they want? I don’t. I want Brian back.

I Wish Robert Evans Was an Author

Robert Evans as Kid Notorious

Robert Evans as Kid Notorious

Ok, so technically Robert Evans is an author and I bet if he saw that tagline he’d defend his position as a published author by going into a huge self-aggrandizing yet bitingly self deprecatory explanation about all the success his book The Kid Stays in the Picture: A Notorious Life has had over the years. In fact, in his words: there has never been a more outrageous and unforgettable Hollywood memoir ever written. And, that’s why I wish he were an author.

Robert Evans is one of the best storytellers of the late twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Of course, all his stories are about himself, but they are fantastically woven into spellbinding accounts of Hollywood through his ever-present sunglasses. There has to be a lot of fiction laced in with his actual experiences – there just has to be. In lots of ways I compare him to Hunter S. Thompson – so over the top there’s no way it can all be true. But, we, the public don’t seem to care. We remain fascinated by people like Bobby and Hunter. Their outrageousness is so compelling they just cannot be ignored.

Just imagine if all that energy Evans used to create his public persona were directed towards fiction. I’ll bet Bob Evans could really pump out a great fiction piece if he had wanted to. Imagine all the material he would have to work with just based on his own career. All that actual Hollywood drama that could be exaggerated into gripping tales of everything we love to read about; sex, power, glamour, money, betrayal, Hollywood – shit, a treasure trove of ideas right there to be hammered down and forged into timeless stories that surely would pass seamlessly through the ages.

Here’s where I think the problem would lie; Evans wouldn’t be able to break out of himself. The man has been so caught up in himself all these years there’s no way in hell – to him anyway, there could possibly be a more interesting character than himself. Most authors will grudgingly admit under interrogation that a little bit of themselves resides in each of their characters. But, when you have a personality as robust as Bob Evans’s, I could see where it would be hard to create anybody even close to as interesting as himself. Maybe that’s ok, perhaps I’ve missed something here; Robert Evans’s world and his recounting of it could be all we need.

Insight from Anne Rice

Anne Rice

Anne Rice

I got lucky yesterday. I follow Anne Rice on Facebook not just because she’s one of my favorite authors, but also because she engages her fans and speaks directly to them. I think that’s really admirable and I enjoy getting insight into her personality and process.

So, yesterday Anne posted a link to an obituary for Syd Field. Field wrote what became known as the Screen Writers Bible back in early ‘70’s. I’ve heard of it but never read it. Anyway, here is what Anne posted on Facebook:

“In this obituary for Syd Field, there is much talk of his bible for screenwriters. Sounds like a book that might be an aid to novelists as well as those writing scripts. Comments welcome. I didn’t know Syd Field or know of him, but it sounds as if he made a very valuable contribution with his books; and surely many people will be ordering them today for the first time.”

I replied something to the effect that I couldn’t see how this book could aid me as it would probably change the tonality of my stories were I to follow it, but that I always try and make screen plays out of my short stories in case Hollywood ever calls. Lo and behold, she answered me! I was shocked and engaged her for another couple of posts. Here is how she replied:

“I don’t know about that. Sometimes these books can inspire. Years ago I read Aristotle’s formula for great drama — written for tragedy in Ancient Greece — and it inspired me mightily with my novel writing…something on the order of plot, character, spectacle — creating pity and catharsis. And voila. Interview with the Vampire.

I do think screen writing techniques can help a novel. One of the most popular novels I ever wrote — The Mummy or Ramses the Damned — started life as a long screenplay. I converted it into the novel in the space of a few weeks. The structure of my screen play — which was quite sloppy with notes and such — helped the novel to become a lightning read.”

First of all, I was in awe and amazement that I was actually conversing albeit electronically with the great author. If I were ballsier I would have tried to pitch 5 Tales, but I’m not like that anyway. I was just happy to glean any wisdom she was willing to impart.

I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking about what Anne said. My problem is I tend to be too technical when thinking about screenwriting as opposed to novel writing. The reason being as I’m writing, the scene is in my head but I’m less worried about characters’ stage direction, speech intonation, the scenery in general and am more involved in the meat of the story. Therefore, panic ensues when I think about writing backwards from a screenwriting standpoint. I would look at the physical format of the writing and be too worried about forming the character to the motion and flow in terms of the stage or set.

However, if you look at what Anne said, it makes total sense. It’s like looking at the story from the top down. Taking the drama and emotion of the stage/screen and injecting it into your writing makes perfect sense to me now that I think about it. Those screenwriting techniques Anne talks about and surely Syd Field teaches in his books could be just the salve needed to repair an injured piece of work. I have to give it a try. Lord knows I have plenty of unfinished novels to try it out on!

The Not So Great Gatsby

Just Awful

Just Awful

The audio version of this post appears below. Just click on “play”.

I just watched the most recent version of The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio. I know, I know, I’m a little late to the party, but I wasn’t sure I even wanted to see it based on mixed reviews from friends as well as how fast the Hollywood sizzle petered out. I finally gave in having found myself with a couple of hours to kill and the need for a blog post topic. I wasn’t even through the first scene and I felt completely assaulted.

As far as I’m concerned, Hollywood can take wide berth when it comes to interpreting an author’s work. In fact, I look forward to seeing different interpretations of my favorite stories. I know some people take offense when their beloved storylines get messed with, but not me, not at all. If I ever get big enough for someone to actually want to make a movie about one of my works – I seriously would look forward to seeing what they would do with it. Art is art, it should be fluid and pliable and fans of it must be willing to keep an open mind. I’ve only recently been able to do that and it’s made the experience of watching movie adaptations much more enjoyable.

But, this was an abomination of the largest order.

Much Better

Much Better

I feel completely assaulted and have no doubt Fitzgerald is spinning in his little Maryland grave. A whole generation of people will now go around with this ridiculous version of one of the best pieces of American literature ever created. Instead of getting the realistic view that the 1974 version of the film laid out – millions of people are walking around thinking that the twenties rolled out like a decades long P. Diddy white party and Gatsby was some kind of glorified MC. Which leads me to the most insulting aspect of the whole film – the music.

Holy hell what were these people thinking? When you tell a story, especially a period piece, the scene you are setting up needs to be true to the times and nothing is more important than the score in doing that. You want to fuse rap with jazz? Do it in a studio and play it in a club – don’t fuck up a masterpiece of a story.

The film process wasn’t much better. Gatsby wasn’t a graphic novel – I felt like I was watching Sin City; at any moment expecting Marv to come out and kill someone by tying them to the fountain and having a pack of wiener dogs gnaw at their ankles while we got a couple more cheesy shots of NYC in the background up over the top of the Gatsby manse. Which if you watched closely and know how a compass works – would have been Havana, not New York.

If I really wanted to go off on the casting, I could write for hours but let’s just take the most egregious mistake. Who in their right mind EVER thought a young Sam Waterston could be replaced by that hack Maguire? That was the most important role in the whole film. Talk about a miss. I should add, I felt the same way about Mia Farrow in the first film – she sucked.

Anyway, I have to stop myself before this becomes way too long-winded and even angrier than it already is. This was a train wreck and never should have happened. Erasing it from my brain is going to be rough. I thought maybe I would read the book and then watch the original movie with Redford because that might be good therapy, but this movie makes me not even want to re-visit the story. Maybe in a couple of years, I’ll be ready, but right now I need to forget about it.

Ok, ok, I like e-Books

Hard to read in bed

Hard to read in bed

I love books. Duh. Who doesn’t, right? I may even love books more than I do reading. In this house there are thirteen bookcases on three floors. I would say four to five times a day one could find me perusing through one of these bookcases just skimming titles and occasionally opening a book on just about any subject and reading a page or two. Sometimes I’ll sit down and spend an hour reading through subjects that catch my interest. But, most of the time I’ll just while away thinking about the books; trying to imagine where the idea for this or that story sparked from, making up scenes in my head of the writing process of whatever author the book was borne of, whether I know anything about the writer, or not.

The hardest thing for me to do is give up a book. I’ve dragged countless pounds of books from home to home for the last twenty years and maybe I’ve thrown out or given away a quarter of my original collection. And, I’m loath to give away anymore. I actually get anxious sometimes when I’m looking for a certain volume and can’t find it. My mind goes into a panic: did I throw it out? Did I give it away? Did I loan it to someone? Usually, it’s in some box somewhere, but I never rest until the mystery gets solved and if I don’t find what I’m looking for, I jump in the car and beeline it to whatever bookstore is available and buy it. I’m never back to normal until I have whatever I was looking for in my paws.

Thus, I’ve been slow to the e-book thing. I was just never willing to commit. To me it meant another device hanging around, a betrayal to my beloved print books and in general it just seemed like sacrilege. But, then it became time to publish 5 Tales and I couldn’t deny the allure of being able to proofread, edit, design and bring to market a book within a few weeks. And, then of course, I needed to proof it on all the various platforms. In other words, I was going to have to at least read my own book on a device.

Now, my favorite place to read is in bed and when you prefer epic tomes to quickie novels as I do, the books get very big and very cumbersome in bed. At times this has become a sore point with my very easy-going wife, Amy. Of course, it’s hard to remain easy-going when you’re getting smacked in the head three, or fours times a night when your mate is changing positions and getting comfortable.

Easy to read in bed.

Easy to read in bed.

So when 5 Tales came out I first read it on my iPhone. It was a Halleluiah moment. The font size was perfect; the backlighting didn’t annoy Amy anywhere near as much as a bedside reading light and my arms didn’t get tired. Yes, it is somewhat annoying to have to “turn” pages so often but it’s a small price to pay for comfort and readability. It’s also handy because since like most of the world I’m surgically attached to my iPhone, I can read during down time like waiting for the kid at school, waiting in line for coffee, etc.

I have to admit I was short-sighted and stubborn about the whole e-book world and although I still love books and will continue to buy them, it certainly won’t be in the prodigious amounts as I used to, but I’m still buying e-books and thus supporting the literary community and I guess that’s something.

Facebook Advertising Woes – Fix it, Zuckerberg! You’re in the Big Leagues Now

This morning finds me mildly pissed off. I use Facebook to advertise this blog and my book 5 Tales. I use the “boost” feature for both posts and to gather “likes” for my author page. I’m not really sure how effective this marketing program is thus far, but I see the utility in it. For a relatively small amount of money you do get some decent exposure for your stuff. Bringing traffic to your product in any business is the key to getting more sales and Facebook certainly can bring those numbers.

However, I’m already seeing a problem in how they are vetting their ads. At this point, I have had three posts rejected for two reasons. The first was for using “profanity” in my post title. This was the title: “You Bet Your Ass Dickens Would Have Rocked this Age!” It was designed to draw attention to this blog post on The Writer’s Lair. It was rejected for the use of the word “ass”. “Ass” is a pretty benign word, so I was kind of put off by the rejection. I changed the post by not putting in a title and just used the link to the blog without any description. That went through, but I lost my oomph factor on the posting.

Yesterday, I did a blog post entitled “Vampire – Porn”, which you can find here. The content of the article had nothing to do with actual porn. However, I was rejected for – get this: promoting adult toys and/or services. So, I re-posted the article without title again and was still rejected. This pissed me off as I really wanted to boost this particular post because the subject, vampires in literature, is always a hot one and I knew it would draw traffic to the blog.

If Facebook is going to be in the advertising business they need to find a better way to vet ads. I realize they are bigger than the universe and all, but they’re going to lose a lot of $ through this very topical method of scanning and prematurely rejecting material. Glad I sold that stock.

Vampire Porn

This is a Vampire

This is a Vampire

The audio version of this post appears below. Just click “play”.

 

 

I’m not immune to the wiles of Nosferatu. I’ve loved vampire stories for as long as I can remember. I have a vivid recollection of being very young, I’m guessing about eight years old, this was in the late ‘70’s, – I’m really taxing my mind here. A brother of a friend of mine packed the two of us into his wickedly cool Barracuda, popped a eight track of Seals & Crofts into a player the size of a friggin’ Wurlitzer and hauled us off to our local library to watch a Friday night screening of Dracula, like, the original one with Bela Lugosi. That was a vampire! Scared the hell out of us. In fact, that night at my friend’s house I puked just to get a pass on the sleepover so I could go home and sleep with mom.

Let’s see, Dracula couldn’t go out in the dark, hated garlic and crucifixes and could only be killed with a stake through the heart. Purism, baby. They were fond of black and red velvet, had VERY pointy incisors and absolutely had to survive by sucking the blood of their victims. Well, what the hell happened? A century and a half later, we’ve got a bunch of ripped, half naked Romeos and seductresses infiltrating our high schools, colleges and holding jobs from baristas to rock stars. Vampire porn, that’s what it is. The only difference between it being actual porn and figurative porn is that it exists in the mainstream.

I believe in evolution and maybe my disdain for the current status of Vampire-dom is because I really am getting old, but I just think it’s gone too far. A few years after my Dracula experience at the library I read and watched Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot and although I loved it (still do), it seemed to go off script. Now that seems completely ridiculous if you look what’s out there today. I’m not going to mention any specific authors or titles – that’s just hacky and bitter, but compared to what the public is exposed to today, Salem’s Lot was damn close to the original vampire script. It was the writing that made it so great. There’s the challenge I think, writing around the original vampire structure. A little tinkering is fine, but stay as close to script as possible. It’s a great framework – like the Constitution! Try and make it better, but keep the structure.

This is another Vampire

This is another Vampire

So, if Salem’s Lot threw me off a bit imagine what it was like when I started reading Anne Rice. To me, Anne is the second and my favorite generation of vampire lore. I won’t belabor what an amazing genius Mrs. Rice is, but her work does two very important things; she stays very close to the original framework of the vampire as created by Bram Stoker and the progenitor of it all John Polidori, and then adds in all the human elements to her characters which are relatable and thus, believable. She works from the vampire out, discreetly and erotically including all the human emotions we love to read and fantasize about. If Dracula reigned as the standard from the end of the 19th to the middle of the 20th centuries, then Lestat is the vampire ruler from then on.

No clues as to what this is

No clues as to what this is

The vampire world of Anne Rice is exactly as it should be – perfection. If it took almost a hundred years to aptly change the world of Dracula, it certainly will take another hundred to de-throne Lestat and crew. In my opinion what has been going on in the last decade is drivel. Don’t get me wrong, if this is what the readers’ want and someone is willing to serve them – more power to all. I may be intellectualizing Vampire-dom a little too much, but I like quality and I’m not seeing a lot of that in the writing these days – the production values of television and the big screen are stupendous, however. But, it’s the ol’ lipstick on a pig thing. Those big budget screen ventures are pretty, but the substance lying underneath is flimsy and insulting as hell.

Maybe I am just getting old and let’s face it, I won’t be here when the next great vampire story surfaces, but I’m ok with that.

Editing? – Pffft!

The audio version of this post appears below. Just click on “play”.

 

 

If you’ve read any of my stuff and you have anything north of an 8th grade education, then you’ve noticed I wield a lot of power over my editors. My grammar ain’t so good at times, my sentence structure occasionally makes one think I just go around creating my own languages and my punctuation reflects exactly how I talk. In fact, one of the reasons I got such a late start to writing is my fear of editors. I’ve always seen editors as judges, which is completely ridiculous. The writer/editor relationship is one of the most important aspects of a successful writing career.

However, and to me this is a big however – my feeling is that I prefer my editors to be more involved in the story aspect of the business. I like a lot of input and I use quite a bit of what I get. Of course, the egotist in me does kick in and I do my share of overriding, but if my stuff is any good at all, it’s hugely because of the input of my proofreaders and editors. I am a perfectionist in terms of spelling ( I was enraged when I found the e-published version of my book 5 Tales had a small spelling error) and the flow of the story, but if there is an errant comma somewhere it’s usually because I want the sentence to read in a cadence that reflects how I would tell the story orally.

It’s also the way I want to read other people’s work. I want to know what it is they are thinking, not their editors. I can tell when something has lost its original message even if it’s ever so slightly and that just pisses me off. I’ll forgive a misplaced gerund if the main message comes through loud and clear. I think things need to be cohesive and flow, of course. For instance Gertrude Stein’s work, which I’ve mentioned before makes me want to commit seppuku. Her editors must have had to smoke a lot of opium before trying to make sense of that rubble.

Where were all those ramblings really going?

Where were all those ramblings really going?

Hunter S. Thompson is easily one of my favorite personalities ever. I don’t really enjoy reading his stuff but I do love reading about him and I think that’s a tragedy. We all know the good doctor thrived and worked hard to keep his reputation as a drug addled genius – so hard, that many believe he’d lost the ability to write decades before his death. There are scads of accounts told by his editors at Rolling Stone including Jann Wenner, about how hard they worked editing Hunter’s stuff. It’s legendary. I would love to see the originals of all Hunter’s work – I bet I would like that a lot more than the edited versions floating around out there. Hunter was a genius for sure, you can tell just from his quotes, but like Hunter’s love of the booze and drugs, I want my Hunter un-watered down and straight up.

Self publishing in my humble opinion has helped to bring some really good writing to the table that if it were to be heavily edited by some big publisher would lose it’s panache. It has also brought some real shit into the picture, some of which is just unreadable, but the savvy reader has always known how to separate the wheat from the chafe. I write for the readers to tell what I hope are entertaining stories I have somehow harnessed from the chaos in my head. Obviously, I don’t wish to appear a literary idiot, but I also don’t want the content or tone of my work changed. I want my work to come out the literary birth canal exactly as I envisioned.

As you can probably tell – I don’t send these posts to the editors! (who probably will never speak to me again)

When Great Writers Use Bad Vernacular

Tom Wolfe looking white

Tom Wolfe looking white

The audio version of this post appears below. Just click on “play”

Tom Wolfe is a white guy, a very white guy, right down to that suit he’s been wearing since 1962. Tom says it’s to disarm people in order to get them to see him as a kind of Martian and therefore devoid of any preconceptions about anything – an empty cup to be filled up by the thoughts of whomever he meets. I think he may have drunk some of that Acid Kool Aid while researching for his work back in the 1960’s. I’m pretty sure when people look at Tom Wolfe they see a white guy looking white.

So, it is with great disdain and an almost palpable pain I suffer through his use of what’s commonly known as the black vernacular. I really do love Wolfe’s writing until I get to phrases like this from A Man in Full, in which Wolfe attempts to write some Rap lyrics:

GIRL, CAN’T KNOCK IT, SAY BE

LIMBO!

SHANKS AKIMBO!

HEY! YO! YOU UNLOCK IT!

GONNA TAKE IT OUT MY POCKET!

AN’ THEN I’M GONNA COCK IT IN-

CHOC-OLATE! MECCA! UNNHHH

You get that? I don’t. Never heard a Rap song like that before. Tom should have consulted Tupac who was still alive at the time. I would have subbed out that portion of the writing. “Shanks akimbo?”

There are so many examples of just this kind of travesty throughout all of his work. Bonfire of the Vanities is replete with this nonsense and after the first read renders the story unreadable a second time, which is a real shame because the rest of the book is so great.

The interesting thing is, Wolfe is less likely to use this questionable tool with his white characters. In A Man in Full, the protagonist is Charlie Croker who Wolfe describes as a Baker County Georgian from below the gnat line and who came from humble beginnings. Ok. I bet just about anyone living in the United States has an idea how that guy would speak. Occasionally, Wolfe qualifies a phrase or a word from Charlie just to remind us where Charlie hails from by having him use a pithy Southern phrase, as such: “Juh hear that? It’s easy to bet blue chips when you ain’t even got table stakes.” There. Just in case I had forgotten Charlie was from below the gnat line, I got it back. I don’t have to be slapped in the face with Tom Wolfe’s take on a deep southern accent in print form.

And, that’s the way it should be. Good narrative should set up the reader to understand exactly what the character is all about including how he/she would sound off the page.

W. Someset Maugham

W. Somerset Maugham

W. Somerset Maugham pisses me off in the same manner as Wolfe. Luckily, he doesn’t do it nearly as often as Wolfe. Maugham came from an upper class British family and I think it’s fair to say that anyone who knows anything about him shouldn’t have a problem with the moniker “aristocrat”. All of Maugham’s stories do exactly what they are supposed to do – put you in a scene, which makes you feel as if you are part of the story. To me Maugham is absolutely seamless with his narrative until he does something like this from Liza of Lambeth:

“Yus; she says she’s goin’ ter give you somethin’ if she can git ‘old. I should advise yer ter tike care.”

Yeah, ok, I got the jist. But, half the flippin’ dialog in the story is written that way. Admittedly, I’m not up to date on my turn of the twentieth century cockney – but, I’d be willing to wager neither was a dandy like Maugham even though he was employed as a doctor in a working class hospital at the time. I don’t think working in and amongst a certain population qualifies one to speak or write their language. Most of his stuff is written as if talking from the top down social strata-wise; to have him revert to this kind of thing is just insulting.

Does this mean Wolfe is a racist and Maugham is a classist? Not at all, but I do believe they both get away with using that horrible vernacular mechanism because they aren’t bigoted in their respective categories. Wolfe used his cast of New Journalism to mold stories that bring out the differences in race, ethnicity and class in a bold and raw manner. In fact, it became the template for all of Wolfe’s novels and a good portion of his other work – chronicling the injustices as he saw them. Maugham isn’t quite as easy to parse. He has such a huge library of material, some of which does have a common theme, but nowhere near as obvious as Wolfe’s. I do think it’s clear through his work that Maugham had a fascination with the lower classes.

There certainly are times where a writer will get more oomph out of slipping into the vernacular of this or that genre. I found myself in this situation this past winter. In one of my unfinished (aren’t they all?) novels, I have a Scottish character whose personality is layered with brashness, rudeness, and egotism all wrapped up in a coat of animosity towards everyone. I had to decide whether to describe his speaking manner with a few cues here or there, or flat out pull a Wolfe/Maugham and get the Scottish accent on screen. I agonized over this for weeks, each time I started to create the dialog indicative of a Scottish brogue; I called myself a hack and then deleted the whole scene.

In the end, I used a Scottish translator and went the Wolfe route. Am I a hypocrite? Probably. But, here was my reasoning: Nigel, was a minor character who only showed up briefly in one scene and I felt his effect on that scene had more impact when spoken in his native tongue. It was all of about fifteen lines of dialog after which Nigel disappears into the Santa Barbara sunset. I’ve read that page a million times and I’m ok with it.

Well, now that I’ve bashed Wolfe and Maugham, I’ll just sit here and wait for the onslaught!

Welcome to the Lair!

Welcome to the inaugural post of my new blog The Writer’s Lair.

This blog is a shameless vehicle through which to promote my books and gain some traction in the new literary world. As writers and readers alike are aware – the book business is undergoing a cataclysmic change. These days, in order to publish sometime before the “pushing up daisies phase” of your existence, you have do it all yourself. This means you absolutely must become author, editor, publisher, marketer, art director, promoter, publicist and chief cook and bottle washer. Otherwise, you ain’t going anywhere, baby.

 

In addition to providing a glimpse into my personal experience in this new world, I will also be attempting to bring a spotlight onto other authors’ works as they stumble down the same gnarled path as myself. There is a universe of great new material out there, which hasn’t been published by the big guys and is just whipping around the Internet like a cyber Tasmanian devil.

 

I also want to promote discussion on the body of work that is already out there. I’m fascinated by authors’ lives, writing processes and styles. I’m especially fond of the dark and twisted scribes of yesteryear. It was Poe who inspired me to write when I was around eight years old and I’ve always had a thing for exploring the morbid recesses of people’s brains, including mine. I’m also a lover of sardonic wit and find that humor mixed in with a fearless lust for delving into topics considered less than welcome in polite society to be a comforting salve in this journey through life.

 

Hopefully, my posts will bring some entertainment and provoke some thought as to the intentions of writers present and past in how they shape and hone their craft. I also hope to hear what other writers and readers alike have to say about their favorite works and the people who create them. So go ahead and take a look at my very first post Happy Dia de Muertos and let me know what you think.