Monday, June 20, 2016

Cover Reveal: A Pizza My Heart


ISN'T IT DELICIOUS?!!

Last month, I told you about a new pizza-themed fiction anthology I was going to be a part of--A Pizza My Heart. Well today, I am happy to share with you the amazing cover that Haley Crosby designed for this project. I think you'll agree, it's mouth wateringly good.

If you missed my last post, here's the info on this fantastic project, which was put together by my amazing writing partner, Jolene Haley.


Book Genre: YA fiction anthology
Book release date: November 12, 2016 (National Pizza with the Works except Anchovies Day)


A Pizza My Heart Blurb

Gooey cheese and warm pepperoni, with a side of kissing and murder.

A Pizza My Heart is a quirky and fun anthology that crosses all genres. Fifteen extraordinary authors have united to tell stories of mystery, mayhem, romance, danger, deceit…and pizza.

Sometimes spicy, sometimes cheesy, but always delicious, A Pizza My Heart invites you to explore life, happiness, and the pursuit of pizza.


Stories Include:

A Slice of Adventure by Maria Carvalho
Between Slices by Andy Grieser
Fresh, Hot, and Deadly by Rena Olsen
KissingDancingPizzaMURDER by Darci Cole
Kneadful Things by Jenna Lehne
Love Pizza No. 9 by Vanessa Rodriguez
Madame Miraval’s Pizza Place by Kelly deVos
Password Is… by Jolene Haley
Pizza by Emily Simon
Pizza Buddy by Brian LeTendre
Pizzamergency by Brett Jonas
Survival Pizza by Rebecca Waddell
The Last Stop at the End of the World by Jamie Adams
The Pizza Guy by Jessi Shakarian
Where There’s Pizza by Jasmine Brown

About the Publisher

Established in 2014, Hocus Pocus & Co. loves to bring unique voices and stories to fruition.

Join the book buzz using hashtag #Pizzathology

Friday, June 17, 2016

Stryper Rocks The Chance

My love of '80s rock and metal is well documented, from the Thrash it Out podcast I do with Antony Johnston, to the Liner Notes segments that have been featured on Secret Identity for years. I went to high school from '88 to '92, so I grew up in the MTV era and was a teenager during the height of the hair metal movement.

The past ten years have seen a real resurgence of the bands I grew up listening to, and many of them are putting out music today that stands alongside the best stuff they've ever done. A lot of them are also touring again, and are just as great live as they were back in the day.


Stryper is an interesting band because many people dismissed them for their Christian themes and lyrics. As a kid who went to Catholic school through sixth grade, Stryper was the one metal band that my parents actually didn't mind me listening to. And listen to them I did. Stryper was among my favorite bands, and still is to this day. 

Sadly though, I didn't get to see them live when I was a kid, because I was always too young to get into the venues they played at. The first time I actually saw them in concert was in 2009, and they were amazing. 


So it was with great anticipation that I drove down to Poughkeepsie, New York this past Saturday with my pal Matt and my nine-year old son to see Stryper play at The Chance Theater, a venue that has hosted everyone from the Police to Twisted Sister to David Bowie.

Matt is the host of the Stryper podcast, and he interviewed both lead singer Michael Sweet and Guitarist Oz fox before the show. We got to tag along, which meant my son got to not only meet the guys, but to hang out on the tour bus for a bit. It will probably take him a few years to realize how amazing that moment actually was, but he was psyched to meet the band and hang out for a bit before the show.


After a few opening bands, Stryper took the stage and ripped through 22 songs that featured a great mix of old and new, as well as a few covers. I am a huge fan of The Yellow and Black Attack album, and they played three cuts from that one--"You Know What to Do," "Loud 'n' Clear" and "C'mon Rock." Of course they also played hits like "Soldiers Under Command," In God We Trust" and "To Hell With the Devil," a song for which they invited 15-year old Mariah Formica up on stage to sing lead vocals for. She was amazing. You can watch the video of that performance right here.


All in all, the show was great, the night was great, and the memory of sharing it with my son is one I will cherish forever. If you get a chance to see Stryper live, take it. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Editpalooza 2016: Week Four Report

So, you may have noticed that there was no update last week. That's not because there was no editing going on, because let me tell you--there's some editing going on.

The reason I missed last week's update (and almost this week's) is because I have a bad sinus infection, something I learned when I went to the doctor today after a week of being stubborn and trying to will this illness away. Lesson learned.

So, let's talk about edits! I am just about through my first pass of Orchard Pointe edits, and Jolene is deep into her first pass as well. So, she's reading through edits I've made and making more of her own, and as I go through another time, I'll be reading through her edits and making more of my own, and so on and so on. We are also having weekly video calls where we are discussing story points, making decisions together and just generally making sure we're staying on the same page.

The great news so far is that nothing is broken. From a functional standpoint, the story works. Which means we can focus on making it better.

So, that's the latest on the edits front. I'm looking forward to getting through this sinus infection so I can put my full energy into getting this book finished. Thankfully, I have the best teammate in the world, who has been killing it as usual.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Editpalooza 2016: Week Two Report

Jolene and I in action
Jolene and I wrapped up our second full week of Orchard Pointe edits with a two-hour Google Hangout yesterday. It was perfect timing, as there were some edits and revisions over the past week that were pretty substantial, and we're getting into the heart of the book now.

I am constantly amazed at how on the same page Jolene and I are when it comes to the worlds and characters we create. There is 100% creative trust between us, which is so important during the editing process, because that's where everything solidifies.

With these updates, I'm trying to give a little insight and specifics about how we work together, without spoiling the story for anyone. So, I apologize if this sounds a bit vague. But last week I mentioned that in this round of edits we're trying to get to the action quicker and trim some of the fat. Jolene is excellent at this, and she needs to be, because it's not my strong point. I tend to over-explain things, and I often fall down the rabbit hole of writing scenes where the characters are hanging out, but we're not really moving the story forward. If "hangout fiction" was a genre, I would be a bestseller for sure.

Just hangin' out.
Anyway, this week we cut out a scene from the beginning of the book where one of the supporting cast was introduced. It was unnecessary, since there was a perfectly good opportunity to introduce the same character a couple chapters later, when she showed up for a second time. Jolene surgically extracted the scene we didn't need, and I tweaked the next couple scenes featuring that character so that her second appearance became her first. It worked out well and we made our story leaner.

So, edits are going well, and the world of Orchard Pointe is starting to really come together. Oh! I almost forgot--here's a little taste of the in-depth editing conversations Jolene and I get into when we're working on our doc at the same time:




Friday, May 20, 2016

Get Ready to Laugh, Cry and Eat With A PIZZA MY HEART


I am super excited to announce that I'm part of an upcoming anthology about a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

Pizza.


From the mind of my good friend and writing partner Jolene Haley, A Pizza My Heart is an anthology featuring stories by fifteen authors across all genres, from romance to horror and everything in between.

We'll be revealing the cover for this delicious project soon, but you can add the book to your Goodreads list right now!

Here's are the details on the anthology and the fantastic group of authors that I was lucky enough to sneak in with:

A Pizza My Heart: An Anthology



Book Genre: YA fiction anthology
Book release date: November 12, 2016 (National Pizza with the Works except Anchovies Day)


A Pizza My Heart Blurb

Gooey cheese and warm pepperoni, with a side of kissing and murder.

A Pizza My Heart is a quirky and fun anthology that crosses all genres. Fifteen extraordinary authors have united to tell stories of mystery, mayhem, romance, danger, deceit…and pizza.

Sometimes spicy, sometimes cheesy, but always delicious, A Pizza My Heart invites you to explore life, happiness, and the pursuit of pizza.


Stories Include:

A Slice of Adventure by Maria Carvalho
Between Slices by Andy Grieser
Fresh, Hot, and Deadly by Rena Olsen
KissingDancingPizzaMURDER by Darci Cole
Kneadful Things by Jenna Lehne
Love Pizza No. 9 by Vanessa Rodriguez
Madame Miraval’s Pizza Place by Kelly deVos
Password Is… by Jolene Haley
Pizza by Emily Simon
Pizza Buddy by Brian LeTendre
Pizzamergency by Brett Jonas
Survival Pizza by Rebecca Waddell
The Last Stop at the End of the World by Jamie Adams
The Pizza Guy by Jessi Shakarian
Where There’s Pizza by Jasmine Brown

About the Publisher

Established in 2014, Hocus Pocus & Co. loves to bring unique voices and stories to fruition.

Forthcoming Cover Design by Haley Crosby


Join the book buzz using hashtag #Pizzathology