Posts tagged writing
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…
Many of you probably know by now, I am working with the metal band Unsun. What started out to be a one-off effort has turned into much, much more. I have now submitted to them lyrics for four songs and am now working on a fifth. I’d worked in the form years ago with a band that I was in, so the process wasn’t altogether unfamiliar. So… I thought it would be a fun distraction to chat about my process (along with some tips and tricks) on writing lyrics for bands.
Ladies and gentlemen of the Jackverse, I am tickled undead to be able to bring to you a supahstar author who has won awards o’ plenty and writes plenty of dark tales to creep, freak, and tweak you out. She’s smexy, intelligent, and wears lipstick like no one! I give you… the Jacking of Mercedes Murdock Yardley.
I have been tagged in The Next Big Thing by Red Tash. Who WOULDN’T want to be tagged by Red? So in this game of “Tag, You’re it” my current Work in Progress gets to be tagged and then I have to tag 5 other writers’ WIPs. Look for the five writers I have tagged at the bottom of this post – their “Next Big Thing” posts will be posted between the 18th and the 24th of September.
Well hello beautiful cats and kittens of the Jackverse! How have you been? It’s been a while since I’ve posted information on a work in progress, so I thought it time I shake the lazy out of my be-boned fingers and give you some tasty bits about the up comping release… Hell’s Muse.
Bare with me o’ lovelies of the Jackverse — I have a wee bit of a bone ta pick. No, not with you… you’re all slathered in awesomebutter. The bone I must to be picking is with Barnes & Noble. But why? They are a book seller and I write, well, books. How can I have such a beef?
Let me ask you a question — or, rather, set up a scenario for you. You create a business and start selling a product. You don’t actually create the product, you just distribute the product created by a small faction of creators. Well, along come another group of creators that sell a similar product with just enough variation that consumers want to buy it; so you decide to allow those creators to sell through your company. After a while, the new creators outnumber the original creators and are selling their products cheaper. The consumers want their products, so you sell them. But…
I was riding my bike the other day (as I am wont to do) and noticed a number of new eateries popping up around my stomping grounds. Now, I should mention that Louisville, Kentucky has a LOT of really cool, unique places to break bread that are menu, style, and user-base specific. It’s actually suprising how many great places to eat we have.
I have a point that is universally awesome — stick with me.
Everyone in the Jackverse knows how important music is to me. It has served me in so many ways over the years — as motivation, joy, emotional healing…therapy. Music has also, in many cases, been a source of inspiration for me when writing. For example:
- Breaking Benjamin’s ‘Evil Angel’ was a huge inspiration for Endgame.
- Chevell’s ‘Antisaint’ helped me find the core of Lie Zombie Lie.
- The Flower Duet was pivotal for A Blade Away.
- Pet (A Perfect Circle) and Rev 22:23 were crucial to Gothica.
On Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 I was villified on Facebook. The lies that were spoken cut deep and were only made worse because they were said by a member of my family. I won’t go into detail, simply because that is not what this post is about. What I want to say to this, however, is incredibly important to anyone who uses the internet for anything. I said it in the title of the post, but it bares repeating (over and over):
Some things cannot be unsaid.
As everyone in the Jackverse knows, I loves me some horror. I have since I was a child (thank you Sammy Terry). I should have known that passion for fright would lead me on a collision course with a career as a writer of horror. At the moment, I am knee-deep in the gore of working on a number of horrific projects, including:
- Lie Zombie Lie (the fourth entry in the I Zombie series)
- To Be Written (a horrific tale about an arrogant writer getting just what he deserves)
- Lamentations of Madness (a theatrical script for Screampark in Lexington, Kentucky)
So I am quite consumed by the gaping maw of the macabre. With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you my thoughts on exactly what makes for good horror. This could be applied to fiction, film, haunted houses, or some good ol’ ghost stories.
The other night I took the time to finally watch The Woman In Black. This looked to be a nice, atmospheric ghost story that could be a real gem. I hadn’t read any of the reviews (intentionally) and grabbed some pop corn and soda, turned out the lights, and hit play. My expectations were well met. It was full of mood and atmosphere and did a good job of establishing the scare. That is…until the last five minutes. Then…it tanked. The entirety of the movie…ruined because of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad ending. After giving this plenty of thought, I wanted to put together a post on how easy it is to ruin a good ghost story.
Ask anyone who knows me to describe what sets me apart and I’m fairly certain the answer will be passion. I’m not talking about the passion one finds tucked within the underpants of erotica or romance novels (though I have that passion as well). The passion I refer to is that passion as defined by Merriam Webster dictionary as:
Intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction
And when you ask those people, they will most likely say I am a man of many passions. But this post isn’t just about those things that I am passionate about. I want to give myself a chance to speak out to anyone who might call themselves an artist to beg of you to dig deeply into the wells of your own passion.
Another working day has ended
Only the rush hour hell to face
Packed like lemmings into shiny metal boxes
Contestants in a suicidal race
Lyrics from Synchronicity, by the Police. We all know exactly what they are referring to. Lemmings have been been ill-perceived as a rodent that does little more than follow its fellow rodentia — even to their death. There is no truth to that myth, but the image holds strong. When you see one person doing nothing more than what the person in front them is doing, you think Lemming.
Annnnd we’re back with another episode of Get Jack’d. This time around I have the pleasure of jacking fellow author du’ grim Axel Howerton. As everyone on the Jackverse knows, the getting of jack’d is a deep, funky process… so let’s skip the pleasantries and get knee deep into the big funky.
I not only write fiction, I also write tech articles. I’ve been writing technology-based articles for nearly fifteen years and during that time the one thing that always shocks me is how many people do NOT back up their data. As writers, our data is our life. Imagine the horror of spending months on that new manuscript, only to have a disaster (a broken hard drive or fire) take it away from you. To prevent this type of loss you only need do one thing — back up your data.
Recently I had an extended conversation with a dear writer friend that spanned a vast number of topics. From that conversation a number of conclusions were drawn — but one of the most important conclusions was the different types of writers there are. I’m not talking about genre writers or those that hand write first drafts — I’m talking about those that look at this craft as a business vs. those that look at it as nothing but an art. It became very clear to me that I fell closer to the latter than the former. But what was even more important was how neither type could survive without balance. That’s right, a perfect mixture of the business and the beauty.
Up until now, my process for writing a book went something like this: I would hand write the first draft of a book (usually in bed). Once the first draft was done, I would transfer the written copy to electronic form by typing up the digital copy. During that process I would also take care of the first rewrites. These first rewrites tend to be the bulk of the reworking the manuscripts get (I’m pretty hard on myself). Once the first rewrites are done, I then ship the MS off to the beta readers. When the beta readers send me their feedback, I integrate what I think is necessary and then ship it off to editors. But that process about to change a bit — and I’m nervous about this change. Why? I’m superstitious.
I’m going to regret that title. I know, full-well, I will be inundated with spam — simply because of the word “porn”. But what better way to describe the glut of horror films and books that have turned the tides of my (our) favorite genre? But what is “torture porn”? If you have to ask, you probably don’t want to know.
I recently had the eerie privilege of interviewing a very like and very dark soul who also happens to be quite the brilliant writer of things horror. Her name is Nina D’Arcangela. Get used to it — you’ll be hearing a lot about it soon.