Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jane Eyre ... Is on Fire

OK, so I've been working on the latest bizarro entry in the Voltaire saga (see link to Voltaire's Adventures), in which the lovely Jane Eyre finds herself on fire and in need of assistance. She's not yet Mrs. Rochester, so things have really gone astray in this tale.

The story basically blends Murder by Death with Jane Eyre and a bunch of strange references. So far we have:

* Belgian metal band ADX
* Micromegas (a short story written by Voltaire)
* Manilla Road (another metal band)
* References to the orignal Voltaire story
* Flip Saunders
* A Yoda impersonator
* A cleaver (unpossessed in 1484)

I'm at 136 pages or so, including bonus material. Bizarro like this really doesn't have to be overly long, so it's probably almost done.

QUESTION: What would you like to see in this? What culture reference? Pop star? Soft Drink..? Should it be longer than 150-60 pages? Do you care? Do I exist?

Here's a cheap-o cover, done in GIMP. Probably worth spending some money on it, eh?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vampires... Again

OK, so in this old post,, I talked about all things vampire and why it's getting old.

Then I saw the advert for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, and it gave me a brief pause. It sure sounds like something that can't be messed up--one of America's true heroes against the vast horde of the undead. Cool.

But then I started rifling through the collection of books my dad had left me about Lincoln.

The Lincoln Papers:

Lincoln: A Biography:

Abe Lincoln Grows up:

... And then one realizes that the dude really was an amazing man, and the real stuff is sometimes better than any fiction. It is like the various minor religious miracles that occur. Again, why would God put the face of Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich...? Look at the universe, the nebulae out there, blossoming into entire galaxies.

Reality can be much more powerful than fiction.

But, here we go again with the vampires. I'll gladly take one for the team and increase my intake of garlic.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Shill Stops Here

I posted this over on my review blog,

I still struggle with putting out those poor, two-star reviews, but again, it's what the person was in for when requesting a review, right? Plus, it's just my opinion...

OK, folks, in my little review guide I mention briefly how shill reviews, sock puppets, and well-meaning bloggers/reviewers have cheapened the entire indie/small-market publishing community. When everyone gets five stars, it really makes you wonder: Is there anything bad out there?
Because the entire stream cannot be filled with shining gold, sparkling champagne, that's impossible. Sometimes it's clogged with piss and shit.
There are some really super awesome indie/small-market books out there, folks! Really! I'm finding a ton of gems even as I write this, and am blogging them. Some come to me by request, others I find on my own.
I'm sorry to say that not everything is Jane Eyre.
There will be reviews on this site that are rated low. When I built this site, I expected that would happen, but not until these pieces crossed the transom did I realize how hard that would be. You see, I'm a writer too, and if someone hit me with a two-star review, I would be sad. I thought, "gee, do I really want to give out these two stars? How would I feel if I got a low ranking?" The more I pondered and evaluated however, the more I realized I would need to embrace such reviews, work on what needed improving, showcase the various thoughts about my work, and move forward.
And so, with a slightly heavy heart, I will be posting some less-than-stellar stuff here. I've decided I can't shirk from what I've committed to do. There will most likely be consequences, but I have steeled myself and am ready for them.
But, please, please, please, please, keep this in mind: This is my opinion! I am one person in the great web of nets, one little dude. And so are other readers and reviewers. Someone may even choose to buy your book because of my reviews! Think—a book/story with a balance of opinions is indicative of a good work. 100 five-star reviews does not highlight skill or genius to me, but is the result of a carefully built network of shills, well-meaning friends/relatives, or reviewers afraid to give anything less than five stars. Balance, folks, balance, is the meaning of life.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Bizarro Reviews

I'm now dipping my big left toe (the one with the eye of newt and .5mm pencil tip growing out of it) into reviewing bizarro fiction. Looking for indie/small-published authors, but I'll pick anything I darned well like, too.

It's fun.