Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone has a great Memorial Day. It's a great time to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. It's also a great time to celebrate and enjoy the day off with the family!
We are fortunate to live in a free country and many have given their lives to keep it that way. I certainly enjoy my freedom to write whatever I want to write without fear of censorship.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dangerous Kitchen

I wandered across a cool new blog today. This one is not about sci-fi or fantasy or any of my favorite entertainment subjects. This one is about marketing. I boring is that? Along with loving all things sci-fi, I also like to write and create and I hope to continue to grow so that it will behoove me to understand how to connect with people.
So, I periodically read about marketing (not selling...big difference from sales. My kind of connection marketing means you don't need someone in sales).
The blog is done by a marketing firm named Dangerous Kitchen.
It's definitely a well written blog. Not dry or boring. Short entries so it gets added to my RSS feed easily enough without being too much of a distraction.
I definitely find it worthwhile. Maybe you will too.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Prince of Persia

Went and saw Prince of Persia last night and I have to say it is highly recommended. Really beautiful sets, costumes and action. If you like the swashbuckling feel of the video games, then you will find it well captured in the movie. Also, it had a good deal of leaping, flipping and climbing that was remniscient of Assassin's Creed (and I think this is a good thing).
I was a little surprised by the lack of Persians, meaning no actors of Middle Eastern descent that I could see, but I understand Hollywood going for star power I suppose. Jake Gyllenhaall did a good job as Prince Dastan.
The magic in the movie is well done. It was a good adventure story with cool bad villains. The bad guy was a little bit "evil for evil's sake" meaning I can't see him going to sleep at night thinking he is doing the right thing. Usually the best bad guys think they are in the right.
Am I knocking the movie? Not at all. Go see it. If you are a fan of sword and sorcery movies, action adventure movies or just really cool settings then you will enjoy Prince of Persia.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stephen Zimmer

I'm pretty careful about following too many blogs. I don't have a ton of time to read them all during the day, even with the wonderful RSS reader that serves them up in bite-sized pieces for me to enjoy.
One that I do like to check up on regulary is Stephen Zimmer.
Stephen is an author (this may not surprise you since most of the peope I talk about are authors, artists, musicians or some sort of world-changers - why is that? Walk with the wise and you will become wise...but I digress)
Stephen has written a cool little series available from Seventh Star Press. And has just started releasing his second series.
You don't have to read the book on my word (though it is cool) but his blog is a fun one to follow. I met Stephen at Con Nooga in Chattanooga, TN and what impressed me was his enthusiasm. This guy loves what he is doing. He is really into the worlds he creates and if you talk to him, or read his blog, you'll find that his enthusiasm is pretty infectious.
So not only is it fun to go along for the ride, it is also motivational for any of us who hope to put art in front of people.
Stephen understands that creation is part of the equation, but the other part is production. You have to ship stuff. You have to put it out there and let people see it. He's good at both. And he writes about it weekly on his blog.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Green's noodle at work

Had a great discussion with Green of GreenGates today. He was telling me about his inspiration for a new story. It is a bit of a mash-up of some horror cliches, with a heavy dose of homage to some heavy duty classics, a bit based in reality all tied together with our signature characterization, intermittent humor, cutting dialogue and immersive imagery.
Why am I so excited? Because it is just plain fun to create. It's even more fun to ship products, but in order to get to that part you have to do the "push ups" first.
So, the working title is "Stitch" and it is a send up of both Frankenstein and Golem.
You won't find it on the GGE website yet. It's still too fresh, but we'll get it up there as it develops.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Coming of the Horseclans

First off, let me apologize if my posting as been erratic. I try to maintain a "nearly daily" posting schedule. I do a good job during the week as I have a set hour a day (at least) to write. Weekends are tougher. Friends ply me with adult beverages, grilled food and late night conversations and I lose track of time. Then again, I should not complain about having good friends with free flowing beer budgets. I had to post today though to talk about my new aquisition.

I'm reading my new used copy of "The Coming of the Horseclans". I ordered the book the day Frank Frazetta died because I had this books when I was young and I mistakenly thought Frank drew the covers. I wanted the books again to stare at the covers and reflect on what an awesome artist Frazetta was.
Well, I was wrong about the cover artist. Turns out that it was Ken Kelly. It made me feel better though when I read that Ken Kelly was a student of Frank Frazetta.
So anyway, I got in my new copy of "The Coming of the Horseclans" and immediately decided that I needed to re-read the series. The author is Robert Adams and he was a career soldier before becoming a writer. His background appeals to me, but also how much time and energy he devoted to crafting the world of the Horseclans makes me want to explore his creation. For anyone who doesn't know anything about the Horseclans, here is a brief summary (you can get tons of detail on the wiki site).

It's set in post apocalyptic America but all technology is gone. Some people (Horseclans nomads) have gained the ability to mindspeak (telepathy - I probably didn't have to tell you what mindspeak was) with Horses and giant Cats (called Prairie Cats). The Horseclan Nomads fight "The Dirtmen" (farmers). The heroes of the books are those cursed with "Undying" and the are immortal (like the dudes in "Highlander").

So, I love the book. It is a self-described "lusty" tale, so it can get a bit bawdy (no complains from me). It has a real pulp fiction feel, like early Conan, but with a good mix of Sword and sorcery, post apocalyptic stuff, super powers and tons of action. I wonder if it could get published today, or if it would be viewed as a bit too pulp fiction-like. I don't know, but I am really enjoying re-reading it and I will be buying the rest of the series (1st editions if I can find them so I can stare at Ken Kelly art). I'll keep you posted and since I never finished the series back in the 70's, I'll let you know if it "jumps the shark".


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Granton City Press

I may have posted about Granton City Press before, but eve if I have, do yourself a favor and check it out.
Why would you do that? It's an awesome world of pulp style adventure sprung from the creative mind of Calvin Daniels and there are some awesome heroes and stories coming out of there.
I have already pre-ordered my autographed copy of Black Wolf: Pulp Hero #1 (there are still 4 of those left of you want one)
The site is cool. The artwork is awesome. The writing is good. The music is even a sweet, edgy dark little tune (and I usually hate music on websites).
Maybe what I like most is that Calvin has created a shared world concept and protects the continuity of the world. Reading their stuff is like getting in on the Marvel Universe at the beginning.

Go on over and tell them Joel sent you. Calvin and his coauthors are great folks and the stories are just plain cool!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

News on The Forsaken

Good news! Got a contract on "The Forsaken" (GGE's Western Goth tale). I signed said contract and fired it right back. Now we start the process of deciding how much polishing is required and setting release dates and all that jazz.
It's with Wild Child Publishing, which is great for me. I admire them a ton. Primarily in the Ebook business, which appeals to my sense of "green" but if sales are high enough, there is a print option in the contract. I'll provide some mored details soon (along with my fervent hopes that you will buy and read the book).
I am always nervous for all of those things that can happen between contract and publishing, but I will do everything I can to please our new publisher and get "The Forsaken" out as soon as possible.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Cape

I have to re-post this link from an awesome blog for movie info and the like.
It's called "The Cape" and it is an upcoming show about a superhero who uses his cape and other gear to fight bad guys.
The trailer looks great. Cop, falsely accused, forced to go into hiding and strikes back as The Cape. All while hiding what he's doing from his family. Sort of "Robocop" in the family tie-in.
Summer Glau is in it (Purrrrrrr). All of her recent shows have been shows that I loved, so it bodes well for The Cape.
So head over, check out the trailer. I hated to see Heroes go, but The Cape might be a good replacement.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Smallville Season 9 finale

Just watched the Smallville Season 9 finale. Good stuff - Zod is gone. Clark got the uniform from his Mom. there was an awesome glimpse of the future (2013) with a typical Superman rescue of the daily planet building.
Here is my only gripe - we had a war with the Kandorians and the Justice League was mobilized, in the field, with Kryptonite weapons. I would have loved to see some clashes between Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, Impulse and some Krytponians. Could have been awesome. The fight scenes have really stepped it up this year and this feels like a missed opportunity.
Even still, I am pretty stoked about season 10.
Is it going to be Darkseid? Do we see him in the Uniform? Will he fly? Will we see more of the Justice League? Was that Granny Goodness in Tess's hospital room.
Here is what I want. I want a full scale invasion from Apokolips. I want the Justice League to all be scene like the cool episode from season...6? I think?
I want him to fly and I want him in the uniform. don't wait for the series finale to show him suited up.
Or, if you do wait, then turn around and launch a show called "Metropolis" and lets get Superman on primetime.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is Writing Fun?

Steve Pressfield asks (and answers) this important question today on his latest blog post.

Is Writing Fun?

If you are an artist, entrepreneur or anyone who tries to fit what you "love" in with what you "do" then go check it out. I will probably sound familiar.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Frank Frazetta

Frank Frazetta passed away yesterday at the age of 82. I seem to be late in finding this out, but I am really bummed by it. I love Frank's art and I have since I was a kid. I remember covers of The Horseclans books and how I would stare at them for a long time just marveling at the artwork.

I had a hard time picking a favorite pic to accomplish this post, but I went with the good old Death Dealer. He is just too cool.

I don't have any great news to post, just the fact that I will miss a world with Frank Frazetta in it. He followed his dream from a young age and that persistence, coupled with immense talent gave the world some awesome fantasy artwork.

Rest in peace, Frank, from a long time fan.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ray's Advice

"...I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. when this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room..." - Ray Bradbury

How great is that quote? And we are all better off that Ray never listened to those people nor let opinions distract him from his calling.

Who are you listening to? Should you be listening to someone else? Yourself maybe?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Writing this weekend

This weekend looks open for writing and lots of it. Spent some time writing on the Pendragon Chronicles a day or so ago, but this weekend, I also need to move forward on the next major GGE propert. Right now we are shopping The Warchitect around as well as The Forsaken. work on Danger Guild is proceeding apace so things are moving forward, but I have not been as busy personally with school and the spring race series I (foolishly) entered. All that is winding up so I can get rolling on some new GGE properties.

What's hot now? Of course fantasy and science fiction, but there is always our Western Gothic stuff as well as Steampunk and Pulp Adventure. We've got storylines in all of those genres and it's just a matter of having time to bang out the work. It's true that no one can do your push ups for you (figuratively or literally I guess)