Friday, July 29, 2011

Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome


Syfy has got an upcoming two hour pilot movie for a new series that takes place in the Battlestar Galactica universe. Called "Blood and Chrome". Production for it began in February 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia (the place where such hits as Supernatural are filmed). The movie focuses on the adventures of a young William Adama during the 10th year of the first Cylon war.

According to an earlier press release, here's what we have to look forward to:
"Ensign William Adama, barely in his 20's and a recent Academy graduate, finds himself assigned to the newest battlestar in the Colonial fleet ... the Galactica. The talented but hot-headed risk-taker soon finds himself leading a dangerous top secret mission that, if successful, will turn the tide of the decade long war in favor of the desperate fleet."
It is to air this October 2011. That makes the creepy month of October even better. I will be glued to the television for not one, but two series... the second being the second season of "The Walking Dead"...AMC's blockbuster zombie megahit that I've been slavering for almost a year now. So yeah...this Fall's television lineup is going to be frickin' AWESOME! And not to mention inspirational. Perhaps the writing bug will bite me as I've been mostly uninspired this entire summer :).

Here is concept art for Blood and Chrome. Enjoy!



 Are you as thrilled as I am?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Frank Frazetta Movie

Frank Frazetta was an awesome painter and inspired the likes of Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, and other artists to give fantasy a look that would set it apart from other genres. I have been one of the people who wanted to see his work done well on the big screen as a live-action film. I mean, Peter Jackson did it for the Lord of the Rings artists Alan Lee, John Howe, and Ted Nasmith. Well, it looks like Robert Rodriguez is finally going to be the guy that completes the task for Frazetta.

Early next year, the director will start working on Fire and Ice, which you may recall was an animated film back in 1983 from director Ralph Bakshi. But this new film based on Frazetta's paintings will be live action, because Rodriguez wants it to look "like you just stepped into one of his paintings, where you get to see his world, and how he saw people, anatomy, and composition and color."

Here's the movie's official synopsis:
From his stronghold in Ice Peak, the evil Nekron sends forth a wave of deadly glaciers, forcing humanity to retreat to Fire Keep, a kingdom ruled by a generous king. When King Jarol's daughter Teegra is kidnapped, young warrior Larn teams with the mysterious and legendary Dark Wolf, to rescue the princess and the realm from Nekron's evil sorcery.
How would you feel if a movie was made that captured the essence of the concept art featured below?


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Funniest Prayer Ever.

I laughed my ass off when I heard this. I think it'd make a great first paragraph to a book that had to do with racing cars.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Buying Too Much Computer

Back in 2009, I was a competitive gamer. So, I invested in a cutting-edge computer put together by this company named Digital Storm in California. They did an awesome job and I got an i7 chip overclocked with two monster video cards SLI-linked together so that I could play some great games.

Well...I've had nothing but trouble with this beast and I want to advise to any people out there...just stick with the regular computer companies. Dell, HP, etc. Just to be clear...this is not Digital Storm's fault. I bought a computer that I didn't understand with too many gadgets (like liquid cooling and overclocked RAM).

I had my motherboard fry out on this thing so had to have it shipped back. I also had a graphics card go bad and had that replaced by NVIDIA (great customer service). Well the latest thing that's been happening is I cleaned all the dust and gunk out of it yesterday and when I reconnected it, the RAID 0 solid state hard drives fell out of sync. I eventually got them resynced using an Intel program that does this kind of thing but now I occasionally get the blue screen of death. The only thing I can figure is that installing the new drivers for the video card might have done something that occasionally causes the desktop to crash.

I understand a lot about computers. But I don't understand RAID 0, AHCI, or some of the other error codes that I get. So yeah...lesson to learn from my mistake...avoid buying too much computer and you'll be happy. And always backup your stuff. I backup everything so am good even if my pc crashes for like two months and I have to ship it back to Digital Storm for them to fix. It just sucks being without your machine for that long.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Wish I Had...

This much energy.
This much talent.
This much excellence.
Dudes with moves man... that's all I gotta say about that.

Happy Monday :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thoughts On Deathly Hallows, Part 2 O.o

Okay...first off, I did get my money's worth at the matinee. I know everyone that reads these words is thinking it is the best movie of your entire life, how will you ever live without another movie, the fact that you cried etc. for hours on end and yadda yadda yadda. I respect that and am not gonna even look at that. I just wanted to say that I didn't like it as much as everyone else but I have very solid reasons as to why.

SPOILER ALERT:

Okay...Just to be clear...I haven't read anything past Azkaban. I decided that it was dumb to do so when the movies were being made and I'd just watch the movies and read other books. So this is only movies I'm talking about here:

1) Bellatrix Lestrange. I've been following this character some eight or nine years. Great villain. "I killed Sirius Black!" etc. prancing around like a mad-woman, played by a great actress Helena Bonham Carter. I came to the movie thinking...this will be great. I get to see how this villain gets the kabosh. Okay the fight with her lasted maybe five seconds and the person that killed her was momma Weasley who had less lines than Darth Maul had in Phantom Menace. REALLY? So dumb. She even stole a line from "Aliens"... /facepalm. This is not how Bellatrix should have died.

2) J.K. Rowling's World. I have never seen a world so full of magic. Let me repeat that. I HAVE NEVER SEEN A WORLD SO FULL OF MAGIC ANYWHERE. Literally, anything is possible. We got resurrection, teleportation, giants, dragons...you name it. You could bust out anything and it would be believable. So why in the hell was the battle of Hogwarts so boring? I saw the sparkle effect on the wands and I guess that all you have to do when a wizard throws the lightning red death beam from the end of the wand is to raise your own wand to create this shiny plasma sphere for five minutes where no one gets hurt and everybody can sigh and think...how pretty. Additionally, the walking golems that Professor Minerva McGonagall summoned got completely owned by the giants. Did they kill anyone? When the death eater wizards attacked Hogwarts there should have been massive traps and all sorts of creative zappos, blips, and massive death everywhere. I saw nothing but the wand lightning things and a person frozen in the air and then tossed back out the window. How stupid.

3) Voldemort. He's supposed to be this all-powerful bad ass wizard. Yet, he can't figure out his own wand? Really? He thinks he figures it out but gets it all wrong. I honestly thought perhaps he was the wizard with downs. Then he lets Neville completely monologue. Why would you do that? If I was an evil badass wizard, as soon as Neville started giving his speech and rallying the kids out front of the ruined castle, I would have zapped him dead as a doornail. But nope. That didn't happen. Let's let the young man monologue and get everyone all rallied up with gusto!

4) The Goblin Banker. He wanted the magic sword of Gryffindor even knowing that it teleports around to give itself to a person that is in need of its power. Yet, he's supposed to be a curator of treasures. This is a bad bad investment and doesn't make sense. Also, he's too short to wield the sword. It would be like me wanting a trebuchet for my one-bedroom apartment. 

Anyway...don't egg me please. I got my matinee's money's worth and I know the movie is like 97% on Rotten Tomatoes so essentially it's considered a masterpiece. I just don't get it.

I don't. And that's my two cents.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The 2012 Song Of Ice And Fire Calendar

When I came across these last night in my internet wanderings I knew I had to blog about them. I love art so much and George R.R. Martin has enraptured some of the most outstanding artists in the industry. So without further adieu...here are the likenesses of the characters in his epic and I have to say, they match what I've been visualizing all along in my head. I can also pick out every scene...

For fans of the series, I'm not going to post any names. You can guess who they are in the comments.
1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9
10

11

12
If you make a guess, just indicate the number and list who you think it is. I'll tell you which ones you got wrong (if any). Also note that some have more than one character. To get it right...you have to name both. Other than that, just enjoy the great art. I know I do. I'm so going to buy this calendar in December.

The artist's name is John Picacio.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

There Are Days When...

I Weep For the Future...
Because more people watch this than know who the Speaker of the House of Representatives is.

Because these are the celebrity role models that the press writes about.

Because this is what your kids would rather do than read a book.

Because this man is a published author and on the most popular show on MTV of all time.

Because this is so so true.

Because I know people who feel that this really is being treated well.

Because wealth and beauty is all that matters.

I have no idea on what the fuck is going on here. But I do know that this is/was a POPULAR kids show.
...This needs no explanation.

Incoming Twitter/Facebook post and video uploaded to YouTube.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Review of A Dance With Dragons

The Short Review: 3 Stars out of 5
5 = perfect
-1 for bad editing
-1 for no story, just people training and doing things.

Review Summary: This book is filler. George obviously needed his dragons to be bigger (Miracle Grow for Dragons might have been a better name) for the last two "planned" books in the series. Therefore he is taking us through the daily lives of all of his characters rather than just say "one year later". And it shows...painfully so...as much as those superhero movies that spend an hour of the movie explaining the superhero's powers.  Well, George has all of his characters learning new roles and building their "powers" so to speak.


NOTE: I don't think I spoil any great details in my review. I've read it carefully and talk about generalizations more than anything.


The Long Review and me bitching:
First off, to the standards of Bantam which publishes A Dance of Dragons (and is an imprint of Random House which is the pinnacle of the publishing industry)...the editing in this book is absolutely atrocious. Maybe it's because they wanted to rush it to print because it took George seven fucking years to write it and people are angry (they should be), or, because he's just too powerful and arrogant as an author to even try to edit. I've no idea what's going on.  But there are examples of, "The column of horses north rode along the highway..." Only to a dyslexic person is "north rode" acceptable. It should be "rode north".

I caught Tyrion spelled "Tyron" in several places. This could have been found out by a computer that was programmed to flag this name in a spell check.

In the chapter "The Kingbreaker" he writes:
Those had had a good acquaintance with sword and spear and battle-axe even before Ser Barristan got hold of them. 
There should be a "who" in there or at least to break up the "had had".

Then there's just examples of incredible wordiness. George must say more than 200 times "He was not wrong," or "she was not wrong" or "they were not wrong." This as opposed to: "he was right" or "she was right" or something along those lines. It's so frequent that it really does start to bludgeon you over the head. This book is ENORMOUS. It could go on a diet. I am not wrong! <==that is supposed to be clever. But literally, 70% of this book could be chopped off the front and you would never notice.

Every chapter is top-loaded with absolute worthless crap for the first 70-80% and then the last four pages are AMAZING. And yes...it is these last four pages that drive me forward in the narrative. It's like I'm being fed gruel and then suddenly a tiny morsel of the best tasting roast beef appears which explodes in my mouth with flavor and quickly disappears and then there is more gruel.

Additionally...nothing notable happened for the first 1500 pages. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No action at all (my ebook copy is 2700 pages long--yes I'm blind as a bat and I increase the font to make life easier--think of it as size 14pt font on my iPad). It kind of got frustrating lol. I wanted to speak with Bantam and say..."someone needs to reign this guy in. This is why we have to wait 7 years for a bite of creme brulee or chocolate mousse...he's busy writing thousands of pages describing women parts and food and figs and filling things with unpronounceable names." Literally, reading A Dance With Dragons is like having a conversation in a book that reads like:
"a;'lkdn;l ;lkbi;'k of clan ';lkb;lk rubbed his thumbs over the hilts shaped like naked women in an almost obscene way. He turned to ;alkcn b;lke cl;kenj who was so fat that sails of yellow silk must have been used to cover all his jiggling suet. They both laughed and ate figs, cherries floating in sweet cream, and talked of how they would rip the heads off their enemies and drape their entrails from the city walls." And blah blah blah blah blah.
ENOUGH. I wish Bantam had the nuts to have someone that checked up on George. A little conversation like "George...just checking up on you today. What have you got for us?"

George: "I'm so glad you called. I'm working on The Winds of Winter. I'm in the middle of typing the thirtieth page describing Asha's c*nt."

Bantam: "Okay...George...that won't do. You need to only spend one paragraph on Asha's c*nt and then move on with the story. Not a whole thirty pages needs to be devoted to how sweaty and wet it is...okay? Are we clear?"

Here's another example of bad editing from A Dance With Dragons in a chapter called "The Iron Suitor":
"The day before that, three ships had come out of the south together--his captive Noble Lady, lumbering along between Ravenfeeder and Iron Kiss. But the day before and the day before there had been nothing..."
This is just bad prose. "The day before and the day before"... This should have been edited. It's like a broken record skipping when it reaches a scratch.

Some of the dialogue made me shake my head. I don't think this is a spoiler but there is a scene where a warrior attacking a woman says nothing but line after line of "c*nt! c*nt! c*nt!" and this goes on over and over as he's hacking at her with an axe.  Really? George defends all of his language and misogyny in his books as "Westeros is a medieval world".

Did I enjoy the book? Yes. Obviously I did. I read it all weekend. I like living in his world even if it is to follow Tyrion while he eats, walks, eats, walks eats...talks stuff...talks more stuff...talks even more stuff. Perhaps I should be beaten with a stick because I'm enslaved to these books. Will I buy "Winds of Winter" when he manages to crap that out in five years? Yes. Do I recommend people read his books. Yes. But keep in mind that he's a genius author that has decided to sell out and be a bad writer. That doesn't mean that occasionally you won't catch glimpses of that genius before it gets buried in a landslide of shit.

However, I have this to say in speculation of Winds of Winter. With all of this buildup of nothing that happens in A Dance With Dragons, the payoff in Winds of Winter is going to be the biggest money shot in the history of fantasy fiction. Storyline after storyline is going to come to a head in that book. It has to. It will probably be the most epic fantasy book ever written because of the fourteen year slow-boil that George is giving us prior to it. If I'm wrong and it's like this book, you may read about me in headlines. "A Salt Lake City blogger was arrested today after harassing GRRM at a comic convention with a yellow paint bucket in hand and threatening to paint a stripe down the "American Tolkien's" back."

And just for the record...George...you are no Tolkien. You may have his talent when you try, but Tolkien could stay on target.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

An Attempt At Writing YA

Teacher: "WHOEVER ANSWERS MY NEXT QUESTION CAN GO HOME."

One boy throws his bag through the open window.

Teacher: "Who threw that bag?"

Boy: "Me. I'm going home now."

GENIUS.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Twelve Words From The Master Of Fantasy

In reading Martin's opus, A Dance With Dragons, I find myself having to look-up words. This is one thing I'm grateful for with the iPad e-reader (I would assume it is the same for others as well). I just highlight a word, select "dictionary", and it gives me the definition. I think my vocabulary is vast...but George owns me when it comes to words (another reason why he's clearly a better writer than I). Here's my list as of 7/14/2011. Test yourself to see how many you know:
  1. niello - (n.) a black metallic substance, consisting of silver, copper, lead, and sulfur, with which an incised design or ground is filled to produce an ornamental effect on metal. 
  2. ascetic - (adj.) exceedingly strict or severe in religious exercises or self-mortification.
  3. courser - (n.) a swift horse.
  4. anise - (n.) a Mediterranean plant, Pimpinella anisum, of the parsley family, having loose umbrels of small yellowish-white flowers that yield aniseed.
  5. garron - (n.) a small sturdy pony.
  6. merlons - (n.) in a battlement, the solid part between two crenels.
  7. hirsute - (adj.) hairy or shaggy in appearance.
  8. rectitude - (n.) rightness of principle or conduct.
  9. vair - (n.) A fur much used in the lining and trimming of garments in the 13th century.
  10. effusive - (adj.) pouring out or overflowing.
  11. genial - (adj.) warmly and pleasantly cheerful; cordial.
  12. roister - (v.) to act in a boisterous manner. 
  13. breechclouts - (n.) a loincloth.
It may sound odd that as I go along I keep track of words, but I think it helps me to learn them so that I can use them in my own writing. Do you think that's silly and how many of these did you know?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reading "A Dance With Dragons"

SCENE: Picture it...George R.R. Martin and I in a room. I pick up his massive 2700 page book (that's how big it is on my e-reader) and start reading it. Don't believe me on that...here's pictures of his U.S. editor, Ann Groell, with only 95% of the manuscript earlier this year.



Me to George: "This formatting for this book is awful. Never start with a prologue that's forty pages. No one will read this, especially when it's unrelated to the book." Note: I continue to read prologue while sipping coffee. "Oh and this thing is fucking huge. No one will ever read 2700 pages." Note: I continue to read.

George: "Ah well...if you don't like my book no one is forcing you to--" He tries to take it back from me.

Me: "SHHHH." I slap George's hand. "You're interrupting me." I continue to read. A while later. "The editing in this book is bad too. Who types "'They north rode...' the editors at Random House rushed this thing out. It should say...'they rode north...'"

George: Tries to peel book out of my hand. "If you don't like it you don't have to read it."

Me: "Did I say that? I'm doing you a favor. I need to point out your flaws!!" I continue to read, clutching book protectively so George can't take it back.

George: "Gimme that thing..." He tries to grab for it. I bite him in the hand. I continue to read ravenously.

Me: "Back away from the book, George...just back away. I know I can't stab you in the belly because I need two more books out of you but I can kick you in the shins and run faster than you..."

SIX HOURS LATER:
Myyyy Precccioooousssss

Me: "OMG...I can't believe that happened!"

George: "I thought you hated it."

Me: "Shut up! Can't you see I'm busy here!" Tries to hide the wild look in my eyes.

I love this Tyrion line from the book. He's on a riverboat and eyeing a pious woman with whom he wants to have sex. They are speaking of turtles in the river.:

   "I like to watch the sun come up as well," It was like watching a maiden rising naked from her bath. Some might be prettier than others, but every one was full of promise. "The turtles have their charms, I will allow. Nothing delights me so much as the sight of a nice pair of shapely...shells."

I snickered at that one.  Here's another Tyrion line again with the pious woman who this time is bathing. Tyrion is a dwarf (a midget/small person) and disfigured to boot but his brother Jaimie is a beautiful, golden-haired man. He's had to watch his brother (and others) get attention all of his life simply because they are attractive (which is true of real life and something to which I can strongly relate). Here's the line:

   "The Mother and the Father made us in their image [Tyrion]. We should glory in our bodies, for they are the work of gods."
   The gods must have been drunk when they got to me. <== If I were religious, this is how I'd feel. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Chat With Author Patrick Dilloway On "Where You Belong"

I finished Patrick's masterpiece Where You Belong just in time for Martin's A Dance With Dragons. And Patrick's book really is a masterpiece...I can't say enough good words about it. If you like literary fiction, this has it all. Loveable characters, tragedy, love, loss (a lot of tragedy actually), gay marriage, and incredible dialogue. The story is told through the dialogue and through the narrative of Frost Devereaux who is one of the most likeable voices I've had the good fortune to stumble upon. Anyway, Patrick (who keeps a blog here) allowed me to interview him (one of the perks of having a blog myself--squee).

THE INTERVIEW:

1) How would you define the literary fiction genre and what advice would you have for anyone that wanted to write a book similar to "Where You Belong"?

First off, thanks for interviewing me and I’m glad you enjoyed the book!

Some people define “literary fiction” as snobby or artsy or boring.  Mostly I think of it as books that put characters ahead of action.  It’s like “Tree of Life” versus “Transformers 3;” one is interested in the relationships between the characters and how they grow and the other is about giant robots beating each other up.

If you want to write literary fiction, the best advice is “Don’t!” because it’s not a very hot market.  You’re definitely not going to get rich off of it.  If you aren’t coming from a big writing program then you probably won’t even get noticed.  But if all that doesn’t deter you, then as with any genre you should read some of the masters.  There are the classics like Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, and the Nab.  Then the more modern authors like my hero John Irving, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip Roth.  Or even more modern authors like Michael Chabon and Jonathan Franzen.

2) How did you come up with the title?

The title of the first draft was “No Matter Who You Are” which was the name of a Bob Seger song.  For the second draft as I was writing my notes about what should happen and what it was about, I knew the main point was Frost finding where he belongs, so that became the title.

3) What kind of research did you do in order to get all the details in the book exactly the way you wanted them? For example, is there a KY Academy located in New York or did you base it off of something? CLAW is obviously a combination of the race riots of the sixties and the infamous protestors of the Westboro Baptist Church (which I thought was clever and made for a good villain).

I’m pretty sure there’s not a KY Academy anywhere.  I kind of hope not.  It’s a composite—and somewhat of a parody—of the private schools used in John Irving’s novels.  He bases his off his time at Exeter, so I guess mine would be somewhat loosely based on that.  I don’t remember any specific research about CLAW but it is largely based on Westboro and other radical right-wing groups.

My comment==>KY was a running joke in Dilloway's book because it was a school for many gay men to attend (all male student body) and the initials "K Y" smacked of the lubricant that is advertised on commercial television. I thought it was clever.

4) There are obviously many conflicts that you could have chosen for the book to revolve in and around. Why did you choose to center the conflict around the evolving definition of marriage and love? SPOILER ALERT: This book has several profoundly deep and meaningful gay relationships in it.

I wanted to find an issue that interested me and that I cared about and gay marriage was one that struck me right away because to me at least it’s such an obvious abuse of civil rights and the excuses detractors use are always so pitiful.  All they say is, “The Bible says…” or some nonsense about “Next people will want to marry trees!”  But I didn’t want to say those people are WRONG and DUMB because there’s not much of a book in it.  My take on it, which is somewhat cynical, is that it’s not about genitals; it’s about compatibility of the souls.  Hetero marriages blessed by God and all that fail all the time, to the point where in the US it’s about a fifty-fifty chance of it ending in divorce.

So then I needed to think of how to say that in a story.  One day the thought hit me, “What if a guy married a woman and then a man?”  That got the ball rolling.

5) Are the stakes much higher in this kind of genre? I noticed in reading it that oftentimes the conflicts in Frost's life had the worst possible outcome, i.e., death.

More than anything that’s another influence of John Irving.  You read books like “The World According to Garp” and “The Hotel New Hampshire” and “The Cider House Rules” and there’s always the presence of death in them.  Though I am a bit morbid too; Death is my favorite character in the Discworld series.

6) If you could have anyone alive today play Frost, Frankie, Frank, and Kaufmann...who would you choose for these roles in a big screen adaptation and why?

In all honesty I think I’ve given this question more consideration than any other.  The problem is that if I’m playing casting director is that I’d want actors in their early-mid 20s so they can play the characters from late teens into their 30s when the story ends.  I’m not all that familiar with who the best 20-something actors of today are, so it’s kind of tough.  But here goes.

Tobey as Frost would be awesome in my opinion.
Frost:  My first choice would be Tobey Maguire just because he was already in “The Cider House Rules” and Frost is based a lot off of Homer Wells.  The problem is that he’s probably too old to convincingly play the younger Frost.  Second choice would be Jesse Eisenberg/Michael Cera.  I think either of them (they’re interchangeable in my mind) has the same understated, easygoing vibe.  Dark horse would be Jon Foster, who was in “The Door in the Floor” (an adaptation of John Irving’s “A Widow for One Year”) and “The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.”  He played the same type of character in both of those.  He’d probably be easier to get too.

I could see Shia LeBeouf playing literary agent Kaufmann.
Kaufman:  The best choice would be if you could get a time machine and kidnap Robert Downey, Jr. from about 20 years ago.  Because the adult Kaufman is a sarcastic smart ass spoiled rich boy.  But since we don’t have time machines I got thinking of Shia LaBeouf of “Transformers” fame just because he’s young and I don’t think he’d have to stretch to be a sarcastic smart ass spoiled rich boy.  He could pretty much play himself.
Jennifer Lawrence as Frankie. KATNISS!

Frankie:  You need a girl who’s got some dramatic acting chops.  I got thinking of Jennifer Lawrence who was in “Winter’s Bone” or maybe Saorise Ronan from “The Lovely Bones” although she might be too young.  Or maybe one of the Fannings.  I’m not familiar enough with Emma Watson from the Potter movies to know if she’d be a good fit.  Just not the girl from “Twilight!”

Abby:  You don’t list her but I got thinking of her anyway.  I think Ellen Page or Emma Stone would be good for her because she’s the sassy, cynical Lois Lane-type.

Alex Pettyfer is my vote for Frank Maguire.
Frank:  I have no idea.  The problem is that Frank is a complex character.  He’s a selfish, manipulative jerk a lot of the time, but he’s also tender and generous when he wants to be.  He’s also highly intelligent and often has an imperial bearing.  So you’d need more than someone who looks hawt.  Maybe someone else can figure out who could bring all of that to the table.

I'm intervening here and voting that Alex Pettyfer pictured at right plays Frank Maguire (Frankie's twin brother). Now I may re-read some of those sex scenes.

7) Why did you settle for the cover art that you did for this book?

Well the first cover was pretty much a generic template with a bit of Microsoft Office clipart.  Then for Xmas we got my mom a scanner thing and it came with Photoshop Elements and since my mom didn’t need it, I took it and put it on my computer.  Once I fiddled a little with that, I figured I could make a cover that looked slightly more professional.  If you look at a lot of literary books, or really any books, most of them don’t use art that’s drawn.  Most rely on photos, probably stock photos that are cheaper than paying someone to draw something.

I went to a stock photo site and looked for something with a sunset or sunrise because of the scenes where Frost and Frankie are sitting in her window and such.  I chose the one I did because I liked the desk and hat rack and so forth in it because the story is about Frost finding a home, so I think the picture conveys that meaning.

8) This book has obvious sequel potential. Are you thinking of writing one?

As a joke on my blog I wrote up an idea borrowed from “Spaceballs” called “Where You Belong 2:  The Search for More Money” that has Frost and company searching for buried treasure a la “National Treasure” or “The da Vinci Code.” 

In reality if there ever were a sequel, I don’t think it’d be for another 10-20 years or more.  Any sequel would have to cover what happens to Frost and company through middle age, into old age and I’m not at that point in my life where I could really write that.

9) I think that this book is a masterpiece. Did you even try to get an agent for it and were just unsuccessful? Why did you decide to self-pub?

I queried a couple-dozen agents and didn’t get much of a nibble.  To be honest I always figured that I’d have to self-pub because the book is very long and deals with controversial issues.  It’s not the kind of thing a mainstream publisher would be very interested in and smaller presses wouldn’t probably have the budget for it.  At the same time, I felt this one was too good to sit in a drawer or in a blog no one ever reads.  So self-pubbing was the way to go.

10) I think that Frost is a beautiful character and a gentle soul. Did it bother you to do so many horrible things to him? At times I was thinking...holy crap Patrick...ease up on Frost will ya? Let him have his happiness for Christ's sake.

I think Frost says it best when he says, “Were this a fairy tale I would have ended the story that night with "They Lived Happily Ever After." Certainly that's how I thought the story would end as I stroked Frankie's hair and listened to her soft breathing. 

But life is not a fairy tale.”

I don’t think anything really bothered me until I got to the very end.  I went through a number of different endings before settling on the one I did.  In one ending Frost goes back to Vegas after his father dies and scatters his ashes at the old casino where Jack used to hang out.  In another he goes back to help victims of the floods in Iowa and finds a new calling.  But I didn’t really like those.  Maybe because they didn’t really get back to the titular issue of him finding out where he belongs in love.  After everything that had happened I didn’t want it to be the kind of book that ends in some arbitrary place.  I wanted me and the reader to feel that this chapter of his life had come to an end without getting too dark or too happy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Oh Happy Happy Release Day!

I'm buying this at midnight on my iPad. My love affair with George R.R. Martin's world knows no bounds. George, if you ever happen to read these words...you're a real bitch for making people wait 7 years for this book. But, I get the impression that you could give a shit anyway.

Stay tuned for a review maybe later this week depending on how long it takes me to devour it.

Finally, I get to know who the hell Coldhands is and if he really is the flying saucer deus ex machina that I think he is. George has had seven years to make shit up about him. I think I could probably come up with a plausible explanation of his powers by then given the reach of fantasy which is essentially...well...infinite.

And maybe there will be some epic white walker stuff.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Six Stages Of Query Hell

Abandon all hope ye who enter... oh Dante, how I love you...

STAGE ONE: Fear. I will fail and it will hurt a lot. But fellow bloggers shall come to the rescue of my self-esteem. Ta Dah!
STAGE TWO: Excitement. I can do this.
STAGE THREE: You send your letter to agents that have read this manual...
STAGE FOUR: Rejection. At first you are like this...
And Later You Are Like This...
STAGE FIVE: And You ask yourself "Why don't they love me?" But there is no answer. Only silence. A deafening silence as if you are adrift in an ocean on a boat and there is no land for thousands of miles.
STAGE SIX: And you look at your successful blogger friends bragging about their agents and ARCs and how happy their lives are and you're like, "Congrats! That's awesome!" And then you read books that are bad and think that you could have written something better but no one appreciates your genius. So as rejections pile up you put on a show of this...
When in reality you're thinking...
I decided to walk into query hell this week and hope that I don't get burned alive but when it comes to life...I'm not an optimist. I think more often than not...bad things happen to good people. It's just my personal outlook and it keeps me from getting my hopes up. I hate querying but it is a necessary evil and every writer sooner or later must battle this devil. But that doesn't mean that I don't wish everyone else in query hell with me the best of luck. In Dante's Inferno, the way out required you to get past a very frozen Satan in the deepest and coldest pit before the way to purgatory was revealed.