It’s an incredible day indeed! Today is the day that I can present the final cover art for my novel, Leather to the Corinthians, which will be available in about 30 days. It’s taken the better part of a year to get it from draft manuscript to press, and the reward for completing – write another book, you dog!
Here’s the final, final, final version of the cover, as designed by my old friend and artist extraordinaire, Sean Bieri (be sure to visit his blog, The Man Who Japed, if you haven’t already).
Quite honestly, I have spent some time just staring at this image. It’s made the whole process real in way that it wasn’t before. It captures the spirit of the book and very accurately provides the reader with a clear idea of what they will find inside. THE PERFECT COVER. It should also get a few people to take a chance because it is so DAMN EYE-CATCHING. It’s just BOOM.
For those who love process, here’s the evolution of the cover:
Now that we have all caught our breath, I have a couple questions for my fellow blogthors (that’s a combination of blogger and author – don’t know if works, but F it.)
I fully plan on making this art available as t-shirts, mugs, etc. Anyone have experience with this? What site provides the best service, price, etc. that will let me set up a store page? I am evaluating Red Bubble, Zazzle, and Café Press but I would love your feedback and experience!
It’s fairly critical to get reviews up on your Amazon page once the book is available. I am wondering if there are a few of you out there that would do me the honors? I will get you an advance PDF copy for review, and once it is available either a free download, t-shirt or some other goodie. Or, if you prefer, a favor to be named later. Please hit me up via the contact form here if you are interested: Contact Me. I’ll give you a few more details when you do.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Last night a friend of mine lamented that children don’t seem as motivated to get out and play as they once did. He provided the usual examples to illustrate his concerns – the Internet, social media, World of Warcraft. Are the children of today simply glued to their screens, texting in broken English, clicking “like” on anything that remotely fires a thought across their brain? Are they becoming fat blobs of stupidity as they cram value menu crap food down their gullets while they download music off of offshore pirate websites?
I don’t know if it’s quite that bad, but I really hate the whole sagging pants thing. I am more than happy to turn into a cranky old man whenever I see some teenage boy’s underwear a full 5 inches over their waistline. Makes me wish I had a pet Tiger I could send after them, just to watch them attempt to run and trip over their stupid Ed Hardy jeans. How many views would a video of that get on YouTube?
Growing up in the 70s, my friends and I liked to make Super 8 monster movies with makeup kits we bought from the back page ads found in comic books. Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman – the classic Universal monsters, fascinated us. Meanwhile, in the movie world, a different kind of monster was becoming popular – the human monster – thanks to movies like Halloween, The Last House on the Left, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and so on. The 80s would bring Freddy, Jason would be fully entrenched, and the psycho slasher would be the foundation of popular horror.
Everything cycles, and we are all now firmly back into a vampire/werewolf culture (zombies too). I blame Twilight mostly, but there are many other guilty parties. Vampires have certain qualities that will always find an audience, there’s no doubt about it.
Personally, I am a bit tired of vampires, although I must admit that True Blood is a guilty pleasure. That aside, unless something is truly unique – possessing some kind of original twist – I will give it a pass.
That’s what makes Let the Right One In so refreshing. It’s not a typical vampire tale. Without spoiling much, it’s about an emotionally damaged boy who befriends a vampire (stuck in a child’s body) who eventually learns there is much to learn about his new friend.
I found the book to have much more in common with classic vampire tales than any of the paranormal romance material that’s out there. No dig on those that like these books, or the authors who write them. I just prefer my vampires without sprinkles. If you feel the same way, you’ll dig it.
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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was an angst-filled teenager who felt completely different from the world, self-absorbed with my emotions, unable to understand my place in the world, and a boatload of esteem issues.
You know, I was completely normal.
One thing I was obsessed with was my looks. I hated them. I wanted to look like just about anyone else, except for the really ugly kid in my class. Not him. If there was one thing I could use to comfort myself through those awkward years, was that I wasn’t nearly as ugly as that kid. His nickname was “Ugly,” for crying out loud. I hope he found a great therapist. I still can’t find him on Facebook; he’s probably gorgeous now. Or dead.
I suppose if Jude Law had been doing movies during my formative years, I probably would have wished I looked like him every night as I cried into my pillow. He’s pretty dreamy. Lean body, sexy accent…the guy has it going on. No wonder he’s a successful movie star.
Jude Law did a fun little sci-fi move a couple years ago, Repo Men, with Forest Whitaker. The basic concept is that in the future, artificial organs of all varieties are readily available, and grotesquely expensive. It’s easy to get one, and soon afterwards you are buried in payments you can’t afford. When you fall behind, a few company toughs come and rip it out of your body and leave you for dead.
If you bought a house in 2005, you probably know how this feels.
In the film, Jude is one of those toughs, has the tables turned on him, goes on the run, and fights the system. All the while, he is writing a book about his experiences. Everyone wants to write a frakking memoir! Even fictional people…how tiresome.
The title of his tell-all book is The Repossession Mambo. This is a nice Meta touch. I always loves me the Meta.
The Repossession Mambo, the book you can actually buy, which you might think is a narrative version of the film, or perhaps the inspiration, is actually neither. What’s fairly interesting is that the book and the film were developed at the same time, and although most of the story is the same, the final act is different. In this case, if you have seen the movie, you don’t know the book.
That’s kind of refreshing and fun because if you liked the movie, you’ll actually like the book for other reasons. Works in reverse too.
The book itself is a fine little read. It’s dark and satirical, and also as grisly as you would expect considering the story. It’s a future that is plausible, and almost somewhat likely.
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My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Regret is a pair of glowing red eyes that stare down at you from the corners as you fitfully fall asleep.
Murder is the dark bile that flows through your veins.
Sudden loss is the demon spirit that pulls your heart from your chest and sets it aflame.
Addiction is the midnight pitch that diminishes all it touches.
James Ellroy is a man who was predetermined to become a researcher of the inky blackness that lives within mankind. He is best known as a virtuoso of the criminal thriller, and an expert of the LA criminal justice machine; most are familiar with his book/movie L.A. Confidential. He is also painfully knowledgeable on chemical enhancements and self-destructive behavior.
Ellroy is a product of the old writing adage, “write what you know.” He is an expert on LA crime and cops, as his life fell into its path in 1958, when his mother was brutally murdered and the crime unsolved. This tragedy led to a tormented, lifelong journey to answer the haunting question the police simply could not answer. Ellroy attempted to process his thoughts and feelings through writing, but could not shake it.
Years of developing contacts within the LAPD led to a reopening of the case in 1994, leading Ellroy on a march with shadows, as he attempted to finally close the file and exorcise his demons. My Dark Places chronicles the man’s pain, offers readers intimate and revealing details about his life, and crosses difficult terrain. It’s amazingly candid, respectfully honest, and deeply insightful. It’s a punch to the gut, but if you are all familiar with his books, you will want to read this, because with it will come a true understanding of his work.
Sometimes a writer’s inspiration does not come from a muse.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For the most part I like people, even though many of them suck. I am also convinced that the world grows a bit more stupid every day and that we slowly move away from any kind of social evolution. Sure, there’s plenty of technological innovation, and dentistry is a far better experience today, but people don’t seem to be improving.
We still love screwing each other over, arguing about false issues, and murdering each other. Infrastructures are straining under corruption, graft, and greed. Congress is highly polarized and our “representatives” do little beyond hooking their friends up and padding the checking account.
The worst part of it all is that stupid people just keep breeding.
Anthony Burgess, perhaps best known for A Clockwork Orange (most likely you’ve seen the Kubrick film) had this book published in the same year (1962), and it fits nicely along other literary dystopic works such as 1984, Brave New World, and Anthem. However, as much as I loved it, it’s probably not in the same weight class.
The Wanting Seed begins in a world that is vastly overpopulated, and extreme measures have been institutionalized to handle it. People live in tiny box apartments, homosexuality is the social norm (and it’s policed), and everyone eats a protein mush as there just aren’t enough damn cows in the world to handle the load. As you wrap your head around this world (seems like it would be easier to just castrate people instead of implemented totalitarian fabulousness), Burgess throws a curve ball and suddenly society collapses.
Yep, you’re just reading along, dum dum dum dum dum, and hey, the world’s ending.
The citizens of the world respond to their overcrowding and repression by engaging in mass cannibalism, groovy sex parties, and general mayhem. No, this isn’t a spoiler alert, it’s on the damn back of the book, so no comments please. Then, as you would imagine, things level out a bit.
There’s this brainy back story to the book, that Burgess is essentially commenting on the cyclical nature of human history (which you’ll also find in A Clockwork Orange and I’m sure in his other books as well). In short, people suck, they have always sucked, and they will continue to suck. So, why not read a good book and forget about it for a while?