Posts tagged jack wallen
Ladies and gents of the Jackverse, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am about one of my upcoming releases — my first steampunk novel. So excited am I, that I am going to share with you a portion of the first chapter of this book. And so, without further adieu, I give you chapter 1:00 O’CLOCK from the first draft of Klockwerk Cabaret.
We live in a time of disturbing trends. From the “Me Generation” to war torn nations, to terrorism, to abject apathy — everything seems destined to force humanity on a collision course with madness. Somehow the immediacy of nearly everything has soiled our souls and stripped us of the one thing that truly defines our species — compassion.
Let’s face it, the world isn’t being taken care of. The leaders of the free (and not so free) world have pretty much chewed up the planet (and it’s population) and pooped it out into a steaming pile of “I don’t care”. Logic has pretty much left the building with Elvis and compassion was voted off the island along with intelligence.
This wouldn’t all be happening if I ran the world. How can I say that? The world is a tough place to run. It’s angry, confusing, and just generally in a constant state of PMS. But the leaders have pretty much run it so far into the ground that anyone with half a brain (and conscience) could do a better job. With that in mind, I thought I’d list out what I would do if the world was run by Jack.
As everyone in the Jackverse knows, I am about to complete the first book in my Klockwerk Kabaret steampunk series. During the process of penning this tale, I fell in love with the genre. Not only does it offer the joy of creating something wholly unique, it allows the writer to dive into worlds unseen; with a fabric so flexible, the dirigible-filled sky is the limit.
Before this book is released, I wanted to touch on the variations on the steampunk theme — so you can have a full understanding of just what steampunk is before you lay down your iron coins to purchase my book.
If you’re not in the loop, the next book to come out of the mind of Jack Wallen (after T-Minus Zero) will be Klockwerk Kabaret. This story is a dark steampunk tale about Nathan Gage and Olivia Nightingale, the proprietors of the Klockwerk Kabaret. As the name implies, the establishment (resting in the heart of Mainspring) is a cabaret that features the song stylings of Olivia as well as the mechanical, sensual wonders — the Klockwerk Dolls. But there’s so much more to the story than that!
Recently I read a letter of resignation from a long-time teacher who finally had enough of the system telling him he basically had to treat his students as if they were nothing more than an assembly line of open brains to be fed the same information in the same way. The idea that not only students should be treated as unique beings, each with unique needs, but that every teacher can better serve the educational system by teaching in their own, unique, style — was no longer accepted. The job of the teacher was to force Tab A into Slot B at all cost.
It should be clearly obvious that such a means of education would not only fail, but does a complete injustice to one of the most important pieces of the human puzzle — education. But what this also points out is something a bit darker and the conspiracy streak in me has glommed onto something I think most certainly worth sharing.
Conformity is the enemy of the soul.
I never thought these words would come out of my mouth, but here goes… Hollywood (and the silver screen) is getting pummelled into oblivion by television. That’s right, I said it — TV is besting Hollywood. And although the spectre of reality TV still poisons the pudding, television is riding a wave of intelligent, provocative programming while Hollywood is fading fast.
I can tell you, in a single word, why this is happening — books. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen of the Dark Hayride, the reason television is besting Hollywood is because of its source material.
Last week, a co-worker and I had a conversation that was very disturbing to me. The thread of the conversation went something like this:
- You go to high school understanding you must go to college
- You go to college understanding you must study hard so you can get a good job
- You get a good job so you can have a family and buy a house
- You spend about two to four waking hours in that home you bought a day
- You spend the majority of your adult life hating your job and wishing you would have followed your dream
- You die
Sigh. It’s an ugly reality, but that’s our society.
Ladies and gentlement of the Dark Hayride, I give to you the first look at the full line up of the cover reboot for the I Zombie I series. Take a gander at these sexy beauties! You may drool in fear if you like. Just make sure you have your straight-jacket on first.
The indie author boom has brought about the necessity for more and more audio book talent. But just like how self-publishing affords a lot of people who dream of being a writer (but shouldn’t bother), the same holds true for recording ebooks. I wanted to take a moment to lay out the challenges of recording audio books so anyone considering making a go at it can either say, with authority that, yes, they can do it… or run screaming.
It’s that time again. I was sent a two-fold question from reader Jeremy Hunt . Jeremy asks:
I have a question for Ask Jack. Of all your books, which did you enjoy writing most, and which are you most proud of?
I am a HUGE music lover. Music of all kinds. It truly is the food of love (and my life). At any given point, I could rattle off the “soundtrack to my life”. In other words — the music that helps to define a particular moment in time for me (or a span of time). I like to post these lists for a number of reasons. For one, it allows me to go back and reflect upon those moments. Second, it allows me to share with the Jackverse what is going on in the musico-emotional whirlwind within me.
So, without further adieu, I give you the current soundtrack to my life.
I’m a step-dad. I’ve been a step-dad for about eight years now. During that time I have learned so many important lessons. One of the single most import of those lessons was that of respect. The “R” word is that thing, not only sung out loud and proud by the Queen of Soul, but something that every person on the planet needs to understand to its fullest.
This is for the love of my life, the keeper of my soul and my heart.
That’s right, I can enjoy a nice good natured ribbing at my book titles. Hey, if you can’t make fun of yourself…
Now, where was I? Oh yes, the I Zombie series. There’s lot’s cooking in that crock pot o’ death and I wanted to make sure the Jackverse was as up to date as possible. So, hop on the River Styx Express and let’s chat about the undead.
On occasion, I write very bad things; from zombies eating babies, to a holy war between Heaven and Hell, to serial killers of all shapes and sizes. In light of the horror that has befallen so many across the world, I am often asked how I manage to pen the horrific and not lose my mind or my soul. I thought it time I addressed this issue — not only for readers of mine, but for other authors who might be grappling with the same type of issue.
I’ve often gone on public record to say I seek out inspiration from everywhere. As an artist, I feel it’s my job to see the unseen and find inspiration in unlikely or overlooked places. I’ve worked this way throughout my artistic life and it has yet to fail me.
Recently I announced I was going to embark on a bit of a genre tangent and wanted to highlight what it was that inspired my first purely sci-fi outing.
Imogen Heap, Mazzy Star, Jackson Pollack, Jack Kerouac, Arthur Miller, Samuel Barber, Damien Rice, Death Cab for Cutie… any of these sound familiar? They should. These are all artists, of various mediums, that are (or were) all considered ”indie”. Typically, being an “indie” artists brings along with it a certain respect and status. Those artists aren’t beholden to the “main stream” or dependent upon “the man”. Those artists are also often considered bold and driven by an integrity not found in the mainstream.
Until you get to authors. The general public opinion still seems to point a dirty finger at indie authors.
And, to a certain degree, with good reason. Let me explain…