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Update on the Bizarro front

9.8.14 9:47pm

Got some big news people. If you will currently note, two of my bizarro novellas are currently out of print. These titles are Cucumber Punk and Captain K and the Bearded Manboy. There is a reason for this. This reason brings on some change and insight into a new direction I am going with some of my work as a writer and freelance graphic designer. With the publishing company Bizarro Pulp Press under new ownership I have decided to take the books I had under that house to a new location. It was a hard decision to make, but I felt like it was the right thing to do considering the transition of the company BPP. Although these two titles are currently out of stock, they won’t be for long. They will be getting a second edition release with bonus materials through an awesome publishing house, Rooster Republic Press. I have been working with those guys for a while now and love what they are doing. Not only are these two titles moving over there to join my novella, The Bikes, but I have recently become the lead web master and design consultant for Rooster Republic. We have just recently done quite a few changes to the site and will continue to improve on that. I am sure that in the near future I will also begin having a hand in quite a bit of the book cover and layout design. So, with that, keep your eyes pilled. Captain K and the Bearded Manboy and Cucumber Punk are getting a makeover and moving to a new location.

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Co-writing and the challenge it brings

9.6.14 8:57pm

I have finally written my first co-written novel with Dane Hatchell for Permuted Press. I asked Dane to write a little bit about the process. He has done other work with other authors as well and I felt like he might have a little insight into co-writing and what it takes to get it done. This is what he has to say.

Co-writing For Fun and Profit

I’ve been writing horror fiction for almost five years now. This includes forty or so short stories, one full length novel (Resurrection X), one co-written novella with Mark Scioneaux (Slipway Grey), two co-written novels with Mark Scioneaux (Insurgent Z and Thrill Me Kill Me), and one co-written novel with the multi-talented P.A. Douglas (The Dark Times).

One question I often get, especially from other authors, is: How do you co-write a novel? Some authors totally freak at the thought of sharing the fate of their darlings to the hand of another. And that’s totally understandable. Who likes leaving their kids at daycare? You never know what bad habits your protagonist will pick up without your total guidance.

Firstly, co-writing should be fun. Mark Scioneaux had some great ideas for a novel he’d been kicking around in his head for a few years. He felt bringing a fresh perspective into the plot would enhance the story and hopefully break down a few walls standing in the way. I was excited when he sent me ideas for the plot and asked if I’d like to get in on a co-write. You bet I did!

Fortunately Mark and I live in the same city, about 45 minutes away. We met up at a coffee shop and got down to the nitty-gritty. We had a blast. We were like two kids on a sugar high—except in our case it was caffeine. Mark had a cast of characters we initially divided up to write about. With the plot line written on paper, we estimated the number of chapters needed to get us from point A to point B to point C, etc.

I started the ball rolling with the first two chapters and Mark started with the third. From there, we would send a completed chapter to the other for proofing and changes. Using MSWord, we’d add comment boxes with opinions, changes, and suggestions for the future. We then would review the other’s comments and make changes accordingly.

The author of the chapter had the power to keep or change the content in his chapter. Because of that arrangement, we became sensitive to each other’s work. We treated each chapter like our own because it essentially was.
Something else we did a few times. If I wrote a chapter with certain character/characters, the next time those same characters appeared Mark would take the chapter. And vice versa. This proved to be a great way to add layers to characters’ personalities.

When we finished writing Insurgent Z, a few beta readers commented how the writing style stayed consistent. Honestly, when Mark and I were working new drafts we’d often get confused who originally wrote certain chapters.
When the novel was complete, I read it again for typos and inconsistences. I then sent it to Mark, who did the same. I proofed it one more time for typos before we began marketing.

Pat Douglas and I have been associates for the past several years. I’ve done first-pass edits on the majority of his novels. It’s been our desire for a while to team up for a co-write.

The opportunity presented itself when I struck a deal with Permuted Press for a reissue of my first novel Resurrection X. Part of the deal involved writing a new novel in order to boost interest in the reissue.
I had a few chapters of a prequel to Res X written, and I sent them over to Pat to see if he’d like to join in on a co-write. He did, and we plotted over the phone and email how to execute this new project.
Whereas Mark and I write in similar styles, Pat’s style is noticeably different. That was okay, because I’ve read so much of Pat’s work I knew how to adjust to his style. But one thing at a time. Pat and I agreed on a basic plot, and then he took the chapters I had written and rewrote them to fit the new direction. From there, his job was to be the main engine and write the novel to an agreed word count.

We had to co-write this way because Pat’s strength is based upon ideas that spawn in his mind and flow out of him. The thought of taking turns writing chapters threw up road blocks to his creativity. For this project to be successful, we had to play up to each other’s strengths.

Of course, along the way, Pat and I would stay in touch. He’d write a chapter and send it to me. I’d then did first pass edits and added dialogue and narrative. Pat usually wrote enough action that I didn’t have much room to add any. 
After four months the first draft was complete. Of course, it’s back to the computer for multiple drafts in order to make our baby shine. Much thanks to Sean Leonard, who did the copy edits on the second draft. The man is pure gold!
Permuted Press will publish The Dark Times by P.A. Douglas and Dane Hatchell in July 2015.

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Compromise your creativity

9.1.14 3:36pm

I have an affinity for the art of Jim Agpalza. I have been following his artwork ever since I read Unicorn Battle Squad, by author Kirsten Alene. That artwork captivated my interest. And ever since then I have been following his work through other book releases and online through his various sites. Although some of his stuff can be marked as controversial, what matters is his talent. He offers something for everyone. Funny. Gore. Weird. Slutty. And yes… phalluses. In the past I have commissioned him for titles like Captain K and the Bearded Man Boy among others. I have used his talents a lot with Bizarro Pulp Press back when I was the owner. So, not only does he got it going on, but as an artist he is serious about what he does. He gets it done. I recently asked him what it was like to find inspiration while working on something that left him with little to no personal creativity. For those of you who deal in commissioning your art regardless of its platform, you know what I mean. This is what Jim had to say about the compromise of meeting the client’s needs while still having freedom as an artist.

“I always look for space to insert my brand of weird, and if none is given, I cry a little and try to produce something that is satisfying to me first, then the client.Then work from there, you know compromising, and shit. That usually works. Despite compromises, what motivates me? The challenge motivates me. The challenge to try and depict what the author is seeing in their mind, to what I see in mine and accomplishing it to something acceptable to both parties is quite fulfilling. Now the stuff I do on my own, that’s when I fly man. I fucking fly! Though my freedom as an artist is mostly on the side, it’s been creeping in steadily into a lot of things I do. You just gotta find people who like your stuff, and who want to incorporate it into theirs. Win Win shark foreskin!”

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Stay inspired!

8.29.14 1:34am

I was just in the mood to write a little blog post. So here we are. I want to talk about writing and being inspired to write. At some point in your writing career you will crank out so many words that you become burnt out a little. There is a major difference in being frazzled as a writer and having writers block. A big difference. I recently wrote a 95,000 novel. The first draft of this novel was cranked out in roughly 3 months. That is a lot of words in a short time if you ask me. Especially for someone like myself who has a day job. Even after all that work you still have to do the editing and proof reading and mark-up approvals. It’s a lot of work at the end of the day. After writing thousands of words a day for a few months one can find it hard to get motivated to start a new project. I can admit that I have found myself in that place.

So here is the topic… how do you find the motivation to pick up a new project after crashing through another project?

The answer is simple: at least for myself. I would hope it can be the same for you as well. I have found that getting started is the only hard part about picking up a new project. That is all it is. Just get started. That’s all it takes. If you can get started, you will get inspired. And that is all there is. When you get burnt out and feel like it is time to take a year off from writing, just sit back and start writing. After you finish the first chapter you will be sucked in. And once that happens you will be feeling it. You know what I mean. That moment when writing literally happens all by its self. Your fingers just blowing through page after page.

So, what am I saying? If you ever feel burnt out but want to keep the pace going by starting a new book… just trudge through that first chapter. I promise that after that the rest will fall into place and you will find yourself knee deep in a new world with new characters… and having fun all the way to the bank.

Just keep writing.

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Howard the Duck

8.20.14 9:10pm

Okay, so apparently there are rumors going around that a new Howard the Duck movie is in the making. With that, something I am excited about, comes a new topic. What is up with all of this hate for the old movie? So many people seem to think that was a blockbuster bust. I don’t know about you, but I happened to believe that movie was freaking awesome! In fact, it was that movie that got me reading the comic books. It was the comic books that got me writing my own comics. All great things inspire. Enough said. If they are in fact making a new one. This guy right here is freaking pumped!

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Big news in the Bizarro World

8.15.14 10:02pm

Big news. A few posts ago I mentioned that I had some big news coming around the bend. Well, here I am to tell you that news. Those of you who know me well or keep up with my antics here on the world wide web know that I am the founder of BPP (Bizarro Pulp Press). I started the company in January of 2013. And since its birth it has grown to be a radiant breathing, living thing. The company is bigger than I would have imagined in just this short time. A lot of hard work went into it. Not only my hard work, but the hard work of many others involved.

Well, officially today I no longer own BPP. That’s right. It got sold. The company now belongs to Journalstone. I can spend some time in length explaining who they are, but instead just look them up on your own time. If you do look them up, you will see that they have it going on in the publishing world. And that means a lot for the people involved in the company I started last year. It is only going to keep on growing. Keep on getting bigger. And honesty, that is something I can look at and be proud of.

Although I am no longer behind the captain’s chair I know that it was passed off to the right people. I look at how far the company has come in such a short time and am excited to see where it continues to go without me behind the wheel. Who knows, something I founded may one day be the backbone to some major players in the literary world. And if not… if it stays at an indie level below the radar of the masses I will still be proud. Because, I gave birth to it. And all living things need to one day leave the home and grow on their own. It excites me to know that she will be growing just fine. Not only am I proud of her I am proud of the new acting CEO—the guy doing the PR for the new owner. He has helped me water and nurture it from almost the ground up. It feels good to know he is behind the wheel.

I can’t wait to see what see looks like a year from now.

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Tucker gets a makeover

8.3.14 6:21pm

I have been playing with the idea of doing color rather than black and white for this comic book stuff I have been working on. In the process I totally redid the look I have been doing for Tucker the Raccoon. I want to know what you think looks better.

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Limited Edition

7.27.14 11:57pm

Some really awesome news that I have been waiting to tell everyone. My novel, Hitchers, is going to be a limited edition hard cover release from Thunderstorm books. That’s right. Numbered copies at very limited supply. I am honored to be among some of the authors I look up to joining this company. Authors like Brian Keene and Shane Mckenzie, and Bryan Smith. Very cool stuff! The book looks like it will be coming out in the fall. I am not sure as to how many copies will be printed, but if I remember correctly I am thinking it will only be around 60 copies. I can’t wait for this to come out. Hitchers was probably one of my more favorite titles and yet, somehow, it managed to fall to the side like some books do. Maybe this will help give it a little bit of a boost.

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