Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Are You Reading for World Book Day?

You may have noticed when you woke up today that #WorldBookDay is trending on Twitter. World Book Day is an event started by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing and copyright. In fact, it's full name is World Book and Copyright Day.

But, most folks focus on the "book part," and so the event has really become about promoting reading. Interestingly, the UK celebrated World Book Day before just about everyone else, which is why you're seeing it trend on Twitter today. For most of the rest of the planet, World Book Day will take place on April 23rd. The UK celebrates it early because that date conflicts with other holidays and events for them.

Which really just means that we get more than one World Book Day, and that's pretty awesome.

Anyway, the book I'm currently reading--and thus celebrating on World Book Day--is Clive Barker's Weaveworld. It's a fantastic dark fantasy/horror story about an entire world that was woven into a carpet to hide and protect it from mankind. Even if you're not a horror fan, I would highly recommend it, as it leans much more toward dark fantasy than a lot of Clive Barker's other work. I am re-reading it after many years, and enjoying it even more this time around.

So, what are you reading today?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy National Reading Month!

In celebration of the great Dr. Suess' birthday, today is known as Read Across America Day, and it kicks off National Reading Month in America. I happen to live in Springfield, Massachusetts, the birthplace of Dr. Suess. So as you can imagine, his birthday is a pretty big deal around here (there are Dr. Suess-themed events at all of our libraries throughout the month).

There are lots of ways to celebrate National Reading Month--create a reading challenge for yourself and your family, start a book club, or just dedicate some time to reading every single day.

For myself, I have a list of books (and comics) that I plan on getting through over the course of the month--Clive Barker's Weaveworld, Gail Simone's Red Sonja, and Kim Harrison's A Fistful of Charms to name a few.

So, how are you celebrating National Reading Month?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

See Brian Write--Episode #26: Matt Herring and Secret Identity

In the twenty-sixth episode of the See Brian Write podcast, I sit down with my Secret Identity podcast partner Matt Herring to talk about his NaNoWriMo experience, and how it kicked off a new career in writing for him.

You can listen to the entire episode right here in the player below, or head over to soundcloud.com/seebrianwrite to download the MP3. You can also subscribe to the podcast with these feeds:

RSS: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/44741447-seebrianwrite/tracks

iTunes: itpc://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/44741447-seebrianwrite/tracks



Intro
Secret Identity Podcast
www.secretidentitypodcast.com

Mo Stache webcomic
www.mostachecomic.com


Interview
Matt Herring
www.mattcantspell.com

Pow! Bam! Sell!
Comicopolypse
The Unofficial Doctor Who Companion
http://comics.drivethrustuff.com/browse.php?x=0&y=0&author=Matt%20(Matman)%20Herring


NOTE: If you are a writer and want to be on the podcast, either email me (brian@seebrianwrite.com), or DM me on twitter: twitter.com/seebrianwrite. I am now scheduling new interviews!

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Last month I wrote about that awkward period of time when your next book is almost ready to be released into the world. It's a time where you can get bogged down creatively, and I try to stay busy with other projects (podcasts, comics, etc.) so that I don't lose the momentum I've built up during NaNoWriMo.

But aside from the waiting game of the impending book release, the winter months are a tough time for me schedule-wise because I coach basketball. I've coached my daughter's team for three years now, and I absolutely love it. We've got a unique situation in that we are a fifth, sixth, seventh and eight-grade team playing in a 7-8 league (we didn't have enough kids for two teams). So, it's been a challenging season but a very rewarding one.

In terms of schedule though, coaching pretty much dominates my free time from early December until mid-March. In addition to multiple practices and games each week, there's a lot of prep time as well.

In a way, it works out well that NaNoWriMo wraps up and I roll right into basketball season. It keeps me from diving right back into edits on the draft I just wrote, and forces me to let it sit for a few months.

But as we come to the end of February, I can see the end of basketball season quickly approaching. And I'm like a caged animal thinking about what I'm going to do with that time when I get it back. So while I'll savor these last couple weeks of the season with the team, the write in me is doing jumping jacks.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Recommended Reading--Locke & Key

So I mentioned last week that I was going to be checking out Scribd, a Netflix-like service for books that just recently added some major comic publishers, including Marvel, Archie and IDW. Even though I'm on a free trial, I've already read a couple hundred dollars of content in my first weekend, including a book I can now cross off my reading pile of shame--Locke & Key.

Every once in a while, you read a book or a comic that seems to be completely tailor-made for you. For me, that book is Locke & Key. As both a horror and dark fantasy fan, Locke & Key flips all the right switches for me. Writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez teach a master class in visual storytelling over the course of six volumes.

This is one of those stories I don't want to spoil for those that haven't read it. But I will give you the setup. After their father is brutally murdered, three children and their mother travel across the country to live at their father's family estate in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. The estate is called Keyhouse, and not long after arriving, the kids discover why. One of them finds a very unique key that unlocks one of the house's many mysteries.

I've been wanting to get into Locke & Key for years, but I'm glad I waited. Getting to experience the entire story from start to finish in one weekend was amazing. This book easily makes my all-time top twenty. It reminds me a lot of Clive Barker's more fantastical works like Weaveworld and The Thief of Always. And in some ways, I feel like Joe Hill's style incorporates some of what I love about both Stephen King and Clive Barker, without any of the things I don't care for. Hill's story is both fantastical and grounded at the same time, and it's wonderfully detailed but there's not a panel of filler in the entire series.

As I said, I think Hill and Rodriguez have created a near-perfect story with Locke & Key, and I cannot recommend this series enough. The entire series is on Scribd now, so you could use your free month trial and read the whole thing.