Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Neo-Noir in the works

    Like I have said in past posts, I have creative A-D-D, and what good creative person doesn't. As I started to compile notes on the third instalment of my series The Five, I suddenly got the idea to do an anthology of flash fiction of the criminal persuasion. So I sat down and wrote, tweaked and expanded a collection of short crime fiction stories. I now have 12 stories all together.
    At roughly 8,000 words I needed more for the book. Since I love art and all the pulp crime novels of the 1950's-1960's I decided I needed to add original art to each story. I can draw and love to draw. My drawings never match up to what I see in my mind so I usually scrap it. I'm not good enough but I know who is... Each story will have it's own "Cover" page. I am leaving the art up to the artist. So far I have three artists on board and hope to add a couple more before the anthology is over.
    As for the stories...they will be flash fiction crime pieces around the 800 word mark. 800 words count came to be as I wrote with the goal of 700, and I did it for most of the stories. At 700 words the stories were crisp and to the point as flash fiction should be, snapshots into the lives of people you wouldn't normally want to meet. Each story came together and was shelved for the next. Once I had them all I went over them and over them and then once more. A tweak here and add on there. Soon each story began to fill out at the 800-850 mark. I was satisfied with that and I feel the readers will be too.
    So far a few of the titles are (tentatively) Nail Bitter, Dog Walker, Iron that Binds plus a few more.
Here is a sample to wet your crime pallets...

Her eyes, the color of envy, had me frozen. It didn’t matter either that the blood on her hands was still wet and dripping at the end of the tire iron.

    As I wrap up this post and the bourbon soaks into my liver I am ever convinced I will draw one of those covers myself. Not sure which one.

P.S. I don't have a title yet so if you have one leave it in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

New Project Old Goals

     I admit when it is slow at work I plug in my flash drive and write. Lately I have been writing a lot. I started a new novella that accompanies The Five series and I decided to write a screen play for an idea that came out of some photos my friend and co-author, Jorge Sastre took.
     Our mutual friend, Jose, posed for a photo shoot and Jorge with his sick mind came up some killer (pun) shots. I told him there was a story in there and the two of us got to creating. Jorge was busy finishing photography school and didn't have time to write. I had too much time. So I wrote. Then I did nothing. Blocked.
Jorge and I doing a read through for our book trailer from The Collectors

     Last week a comic book artist, Darwyn Cooke passed away. He was 53 and had done a series of graphic novels, Parker, based on the Richard Stark (Westlake) novels about a thief named Parker. I loved his stylized art with shadow for that noir two tone shading. I was sad to hear he passed. The point I am making is this: I need to do something. Something bigger than I have done before. Something that includes my closest friends. That something would be a film. I dusted off the old script and jumped in.
    Since then I have completed almost two acts. I have also begun to do what I do best, assemble a team. I think its from watching A-Team as a kid and of course I'm Hannibal. Face when I was younger and had hair.
     This is going to be tough and grueling but it's what I want, for me and for my friends.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Back to Writing!

    I saw an Instagram post today that really struck a cord and that cord reverberated all day. It read, "Being a writer is like having homework for the rest of your life." So true! I stopped enjoying "free time" the day I realized, rather than go crazy, I'd write stories. After that day I replaced free time with homework.
    The thing is, as a kid, I hated homework. I believed it to be a tool for lazy teachers who couldn't get it down in the classroom. I have to admit now the practice of doing homework after a day at school is paying off. See, I work at a school now and do my homework at night. For a long time now I have done very little homework. I focused more on thinking about how to get out of it than actually just completing what I could. Call it a muse or call it resorting back to what I know, either way I have begun to write again. Homework has never been so fun.
    In my so far completed trilogy, The Five, there is a three year. Those missing three years had always been planned to be filled in. Well, after a few years it has come time to do that. My coauthor and I have begun finalizing our book "ideas" and finally getting back to doing our homework.
   Keep checking back for updates, chapter samples and the best part, the art that goes along with it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Two authors walk into a bar...one is Joe Haldeman

     I got a text from a bar manager I know. He says, come to the bar tonight I want you to meet a friend of mine. So of course I go because I know who he is talking about. His friend is Joe Haldeman, author of many science fiction books, most notably Forever War.
     Just before 7, the agreed upon time, I get there and grab a table in the back so I can see most of the place. The waitress brings me my beer and I wait. The manager comes over and says, come with me. We take two strides and stop at the table in front of me. There sitting with his wife and sister-in-law is Joe. I got nervous.
    The introductions are made and I babble on. Surprisingly they ask me to sit. So I sit and continue to babble. Slowly it turns into pretty good conversation. Gay, Joe's wife, couldn't be nicer. It turns out we have similar day jobs so we talked shop while Joe ate his pizza!
     After a while I went back to my table and texted as many people as I could, recounting my time with Joe over and over. It wasn't over just yet.
     As they paid their tab, Gay came over and asked if I wanted a picture with Joe and she also asked for one of my business cards. I couldn't believe it. Thanks to my writing partner, Forrest, I had some on me and we exchanged contact info.
    What a great night. It was so cool to meet a giant in the field of scifi and talk to him like a regular guy. This was no comic con snap a pic for $75 and be ushered off. They made time for me and I greatly appreciated that.