Saturday, September 30, 2017

I Definitely Know How to Run My Mouth

September is creeping into October, Halloween is almost upon us (yay!), and looking back, I've had a productive summer. THE JOURNAL OF JEREMY TODD came out near the end of July, I hit Scares That Care Charity Weekend days later, and I've done three different podcast interviews that came out since then where I've talked about JEREMY TODD, CONSEQUENCES, and dropped some hints about my forthcoming novel from JEA Press, MUDCAT. In case you missed any, here they were:

Arm Cast Podcast Episode 165, Recorded Live at Scares That Care
Armand Rosamilia had a revolving door on his guest seat during this one, so in addition to the segment where I appear with Wile E. Young, you can also hear him chat with author and podcaster Tommy Clark, super fan Tim Feely, podcaster Elizabeth Katheryn Gray, and author and podcaster Frank Edler.

The Horror Show with Brian Keene, Episode 130
Brian was slammed with helping to keep Scares That Care running smoothly, so I got the privelidge of being Mary SanGiovanni's first solo interview that Sunday morning, with Dave Thomas providing occasional comments as well as running the technical end of things.

Unnerving Magazine Interview Series, September 25, 2017
I had a chat with Eddie Generous from Unnerving Magazine about the origins of JEREMY TODD, Stephen King's hit or miss movie adaptations, and other things for his Author Interview series.

In addition to those, I also made a cameo appearance in The Mando Method Episode 47, where I was a member of the live studio audience at Scares That Care, and was occasionally pulled in by Armand and Chuck as they talked about their experiences at the con.

I'll be adding all this to my Publicity page soon, but for now, you can feel free to follow any or all of the links above and see what I had to say. For that matter, check out their other episodes as well, as all of them are entertaining and - in the case of Mando Method - quite informative, especially to anyone who wants to try their hand at this insane profession of writing for a living.

Monday, September 11, 2017

You'll Float, Too: My Review of Stephen King's "IT: Chapter One"

Adapting a novel to another medium is no easy task. Add in a previous adaptation that has achieved a level of cult success, and things get even harder. When the work in question is from Stephen King, a man whose career is littered with a series of hit-or-miss (mostly miss) adaptations to the screen, the task might even start to border on the impossible. Finally, consider that the source material is a whopping 1,000+ pages, and many would prefer to give up before they even begin. The odds are almost guaranteed that you'll produce something closer to Maximum Overdrive than you will to Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile.

Thankfully, IT gets it right.

There's a balance to adapting a novel to a visual medium, be it comics or television or movies. The printed word allows you to get inside your character's heads, to be the character in a way. Since a book can be as long as it needs to be, the story can be a slow-burner to develop the characters and the world and the problems. Movies and television have a set amount of time to tell the story, so often such luxuries fall by the wayside. In Hollywood, it's generally accepted that 1 page of script is the equivalent of 1 minute of screen time. A thousand hours is longer than most television series ever get, much less a movie. So how do you adapt it, and do it right?

By getting to the essence of the story and the characters, and not spending a large amount of time on the fluff.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Real Ghosts from the Past: The Story Behind THE JOURNAL OF JEREMY TODD

Every story starts somewhere. For CONSEQUENCES, it was a local legend from my high school days. For THE JOURNAL OF JEREMY TODD, it starts more recently, but it does dig into things that happened as far back as middle school for me, and also digs into things that keep themselves hidden in the dark recesses of my mind, only coming out on occasion when I’m feeling especially vulnerable. Writing the story helped me to deal with those to some degree, and hopefully writing this “story behind the story” post will help me finish exorcising them. Will it get rid of them? No, they’ve been there too long, and have become a part of who I am. But hopefully they’ll lose what little remains of their sting, and that’s more important, anyway.

Since JEREMY TODD has only been out for a couple of weeks now, I’ll try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible for those who haven’t managed to get very far into it.

One of the themes in JEREMY TODD is bullying, and how victims of bullying deal with it as they get older. This is the first and only time I’ve ever gone into a story with even that much of a theme in mind. Usually, I just have the story idea and then I write it. I might find something during edits, some subconscious thing that crept into the story somewhere along the way, but it’s never a conscious decision. This time, it was. Everyone has their hot-button topic, the thing that sets their blood to boiling until the rage is nearly strong enough to consume them. For me, that topic is bullying.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How I Spent My Summer Vacation: Scares That Care 2017

This year, I decided to check out the Scares that Care Weekend in Williamsburg VA. When I first announced I was going to attend (as a fan this time around, not as a working author), I had several people ask for me to give a run-down on how it was and what I thought of it, so that’s what this is. If you’re curious about a first-timer’s experience as a member of that strange mid-ground world of both a fan and a writer, read on. If not, well, feel free to skip to the pictures and then move along.

A quick note on said pictures: most were taken as I met folks, and being a writer, authors are where most of my attention fell this weekend. There are some groups on Facebook where you can see the awesome cosplay pictures from the con, as well as the other actors and movie guys, so feel free to check those out as well.

Thursday
GPS declared this to be a ten-hour trip, so my friend and I decided to leave the Nashvillle area at around four in the morning (Central time) in order to arrive at the hotel just as it became check-in time. The trip actually took eleven hours, and neither of us got much sleep the night before, so Thursday already had all the earmarks of a strange and interesting day before it even got started.
Partners in crime! With Somer Canon.
The only event for Thursday night was Scaryoke at the hotel bar, so after kicking back and trying to relax, and grabbing a bite to eat, we headed from our hotel down the street to the Doubletree where the convention was being held. Almost immediately I ran into Somer Canon, whom I’d become Facebook friends with, and got the chance to finally meet in person. As I stood there having a beer and chatting with Somer and her husband, Kane Hodder decided to start messing with me over the length of my hair, and proved he is one of the funniest and nicest assholes in the business. Kane managed to pull C.J. Graham and Steve Dash into the joke, too, meaning I had not one, but THREE Jasons giving me shit. Kane promised this would be going on all weekend, and I had no doubt he was sincere. Want to insult me? Go for it. I took shit from Jason Freakin’ Voorhees, okay? You got nothin’.