Monday, June 19, 2017

Spring Cleaning in Preparation for Camp NaNo

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in less than two weeks, and boy do I need it. I have really struggled to get any momentum going with my writing lately.

This past year has been a challenge for me, for a variety of reasons. And I've spent more time thinking about writing than actually writing in the past few months. And despite the factors in my personal and work life that have affected my writing time, my current lack of production is a problem of my own making.

See, I've allowed my writing life to become too cluttered. Quite simply, I have too many book projects in various stages of production. I got away from the creative process that had worked for me in the past, which was very simple. I never focused on more than two book projects at a time, and I never focused on more than one during the drafting stage. When I moved into final edits for the first project, I could start digging more into the creative process for the second project. But when it came to the initial writing, I stayed in the headspace of one project at a time.


Currently, I have three books and a novella written and in various stages of edits and rewrites. A fourth book is about a third of the way drafted, and a handful of other projects are in the outlining and planning stages. On the one hand, that's a positive, because I have lots of exciting things to work on for the next year or two. But for me personally, splitting my focus between too many book projects has resulted in me not making headway on any of them. And so I have been doing some spring cleaning as far as my writing. I am bringing my focus back to where it belongs--on getting the books I have already written polished and released.

So, my focus for the remainder of 2017 is on getting two book projects that are already in the editing stages finished and out the door.

The first is Haunted, the second book in the Woodsview Murders series that I co-write with my good friend Jolene Haley. We are deep into edits on this book, and I am beyond excited to share it. Jolene and I love this series.


The second project I'll be focusing on until its release is Chasing the King in Yellow, a Parted Veil series novella. This book follows the cast of Courting the King in Yellow, and shows what they've been up to during the events of Lovecraft's Curse and Lovecraft's Pupil. I am in the early stages of revisions now on this one.


So, those two projects are what I'm focusing on until they are released. Specifically for Camp NaNo I'll be working on edits and rewrites for Chasing the King in Yellow.

As far as non-book projects, I've still got Secret Identity, Co-Op Critics, Thrash it Out and the See Brian Write sites and podcasts to keep me busy. And I'll be sharing big news about one of those in the very near future. I also have a couple posts a month over at the Midnight Society (my most recent one was about Creepshow). I'll be posting weekly here as well, and next week's post will be about reclaiming my writing time, which is something the past year has wreaked havoc with.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Mr. Big Rocked the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den on 6/9


I went to see Mr. Big at the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den on Friday night and they were fantastic. Seeing Billy Sheehan and Paul Gilbert play live was so great.


Their original drummer Pat Torpey has Parkinson's Disease and cannot fully play anymore, but he is still very involved with the band and helped create their new album. On Friday night, Pat joined the band on stage for most of the set, playing tambourine, singing background vocals and even taking the kit for a couple songs.


It was awesome. Here's the setlist:

Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy (The Electric Drill Song)
Undertow
Alive and Kickin'
Temperamental
Just Take My Heart
Take Cover
Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
Everybody Needs a Little Trouble
Price You Gotta Pay
Guitar Solo (Paul Gilbert)
Take a Walk
Wild World (Cat Stevens cover)
Around the World
Bass Solo (Billy Sheehan)
Addicted to That Rush
To Be With You
1992
Colorado Bulldog

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

David Lynch Inspires the Hell Out of Me

This is not a post about Twin Peaks.

Well, maybe a tiny bit. Let's just say that I am a big fan of Twin Peaks and the first four episodes of the new series have been beyond my wildest expectations.

But this post is really about the man behind Twin Peaks--David Lynch. Because every time I experience something Lynch has created, or listen to him talk about creativity, it inspires the hell out of me.

Just watch this brief clip of him talking about ideas:



Beautiful right? And it's exactly how I feel about ideas, too. They are never fully formed when they come to me, just a small piece. I usually call my process "letting an idea marinate," where I let the idea just float in my mind and become flavored with other, ideas, events, emotions, etc. I scribble down notes and record voice messages when other bits and pieces come to me. And when that original idea has marinated to the point hat it's become something I can build on, I take it back out and start working on it.

This past weekend I read Lynch's book Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity. And it proved to be a great reminder of something that I think I had lost track of--staying true to the idea.

Lynch talked about this in relation to a lot of outside interference regarding the movie Dune. The gist is basically that the idea is what matters most, and you have to follow that. You shouldn't stray from your idea to fit into someone else's box, or because you think that's what other people might want or like. You have to stay true to the idea.

I think it's very easy for creators to get pulled away from their original ideas, especially when they try to anticipate what people will want to read, or what they think will be successful. You convince yourself that "this is too weird," or "I need to add this to my story," or "I need to fit my story into this genre." Or you let other people tell you that you need to change your story.

Because we are our own worst critics, it can be easy to get pulled away from our original ideas. But more often than not, when that happens, we are less than satisfied with the end product. The stories I am most proud of are not my always my most popular ones, but they are the ones where I stayed true to that first, special kernel of an idea that beckoned me to follow it.

To bring things back around to Twin Peaks, I am so incredibly thankful that we are getting 18 episodes of pure, unfiltered David Lynch. I don't care what the critics think of it. I don't even care what everyone else thinks of it. I'm just glad it exists.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Come See Me at Broad Brook Comic Con 5/21!


Another month, another great local show! This Sunday (5/21) I'll be in Broad Brook Connecticut at the first annual Broad Brook Comic Con! The show will be at 98 Main Street from 11-5, and will feature writers, artists, vendors and more, and it's only $5 to get in!


Of course, I'll have copies of my Parted Veil books with me, as well as the second edition of Making Ear Candy, featuring a gorgeous new cover from my pal Chris Giarrusso.


So if you're in the Broad Brook area on Sunday, come down to the show and say hi!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Come See Me at AvonCon 4/22!


It's time to celebrate the bad guys!

My Secret Identity co-host Matt and I are super excited to be a part of this year's AvonCon at the Avon, CT public library! From 11-4 this Saturday we'll be hanging out, selling books and hosting panels. AvonCon is an all-ages, family friendly show that will feature writers, artists, podcasters and vendors, plus a ton of programming throughout the day.

The them of this year's show is "Rise of the Villains." Matt will be doing a Doctor Who-themed panel at 12:30, and I'll be doing a panel on creating villains at 1:30.


I'll have copies of my newly revised podcast book Making Ear Candy on hand, as well as my Parted Veil books.


You can find out all about the show on its official page at the Avon City library website. And if you're in the area, come on down and hang out with us!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SBW Podcast--Episode #32: Amber Love Talks Mysteries, Podcasts and Comics

A new season of the SBW Podcast is here! I mentioned a little while ago that I was bringing SBW back, and in the thirty-second episode of the podcast, I got to hang out with my friend Amber Love. We talk about Amber's Vodka O'Clock podcast, her Farrah Wethers mystery series and her work both covering and writing comics.

You can listen to the podcast right here in the player below, or you can grab it on iTtunes or Spreaker at the links in the show notes.

Listen to "See Brian Write #32--Amber Love Talks Mysteries, Podcasts and Comics" on Spreaker.

Intro
SBW is now on iTunes and Spreaker!
iTunes Link
Spreaker Link

Guest--Amber Love
Amber's website: amberunmasked.com
Vodka O'Clock Podcast
Rise: Comics Against Bullying
Amber's Patreon
Amber's books on Amazon
Amber's books on Barnes & Noble
Vodka O'Clock episode with Amber, Brian and Jolene

Wrap-Up
Brian's Amazon Author Page
Brian's Books on Drive Thru 
Secret Identity Podcast
Co-Op Critics

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Cover Reveal: MAKING EAR CANDY (2ND EDITION)

Last week I wrote about one of the projects I've been working on lately--an update of my 2013 podcasting book, Making Ear Candy: The Audio Confectioner's Guide to Podcasting. I also mentioned that as part of the update, I was getting a new cover from my good friend and amazing artist Chris Giarrusso (G-Man, Tales From the Con).

Well today, I am ridiculously excited to share with you the cover for the second edition of Making Ear Candy:


If you have followed my podcast Secret Identity over the past several years, you know I am a huge fan of Chris' work, and he made a banner for Matt and years ago that captures everything Secret Identity is about. He has now done the same for Making Ear Candy, I could not be more delighted. The book is a light and fun guide to starting your own podcast, and I think that comes across loud and clear with this cover.

I just ordered a print proof of the book, and if everything looks good, I should have some print copies with me for the shows I'm doing in late April and early May. You'll also be able to order print and digital copies at Drive Thru Fiction, and I'll have a digital version on Amazon as well. Stay tuned for more info on that front.

In the meantime, please head over to www.chrisgcomics.com and bask in the awesomeness that is Chris' work. I wholeheartedly recommend his G-Man books, a fantastic all-ages series. He's a great guy and deserves your support.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MAKING EAR CANDY is Getting an Update!

Sorry I've been slacking on the blog posts lately. I have a ton of stuff going on (most of it good), and March has been one of my busiest months in a long time, both creatively and personally.

On the writing front, I have spent the last month updating my book about podcasting, Making Ear Candy. It's been almost four years since the book was released, and while there is a lot of evergreen content in there, a lot of things on the technology side have changed. I've also had four more years of podcasting experience, and have tired a lot of new things since then. So, this new updated version features new content on equipment, podcast hosting services, free and inexpensive tools for podcasters and more. I also added a chapter on video, because I've had a lot more experience with it over the past few years, primarily for the Co-Op Critics YouTube channel.

I'm also getting a cover redesign for this new edition, and it's going to be amazing. My good friend and amazing artist Chris Giarrusso (G-Man, Tales From the Con) has created a cover that perfectly captures the spirit of the book. My goal with making Ear Candy is to provide fun and helpful guidance for anyone looking to start their own podcast, and Chris' cover nails that vibe. I can't wait to show it to you. In fact, here's a little tease from the pencils Chris has done (don't tell him I showed it to you yet):


I know, right?!! So awesome.

Anyway, once the cover is finalized, I'll be getting a print proof and making any final revisions before I make the book available in both print and digital. I'm hoping to have copies at the shows I'm doing this spring, including AvonCon on 4/22 and the Free Comic Book Day event at the Springfield Public Library (Forest Park branch) on 5/6. Stay tuned for more details!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SBW Podcast Updates--iTunes, New Episodes and More!

Whew!

This past week I finally did it--I migrated all of the back episodes of the See Brian Write podcast from SoundCloud over to Spreaker. I've been using Spreaker for the Co-Op Critics podcast and I love it, as it's a much more flexible platform than SoundCloud is for podcasters with multiple shows. And now that I've gotten all of the back episodes over to the new platform, the next phase of the See Brian Write podcast can begin.

First off, the podcast is now available on iTunes, and will soon be available on Google Play as well. I won't bore you with why SBW wasn't on iTunes before, as it has to do with SoundCloud. But all thirty-two episodes of the show are available on iTunes now, and you can subscribe on iTunes right here. You can also see them on the Spreaker page for the show (and use this RSS feed if you want to subscribe with a different podcatcher).

You can also listen to any and all of the episodes right here in the player below:

Listen to "SBW: Conversations With Creative People" on Spreaker.

Secondly, the show is going to be rebranded a bit. You'll notice the title of the podcast is now SBW: Conversations With Creative People. I feel like this title is a more accurate representation of the show and where I want it to go. SBW will always be a podcast that is predominatly about writing, but even more so, it's about the creative process. I've had horror writers, romance writers, comic creators, poets and more on the show, and I will continue to do so. If you make things, I want to talk to you about them.

Which brings me to my last point--new episodes will be coming soon! I am in the process of reaching out to a few people I've been meaning to have on the show, and I will hopefully be recording some new interviews soon. My original plan was to have this next season of SBW focus on horror, and that's still my plan.

So, go catch up on the back episodes for now, and stay tuned for more information about the upcoming season soon. Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A PIZZA MY HEART Features an ORCHARD POINTE Teaser

First off, you can still pre-order A Pizza My Heart for $0.99, and you can it at that price for the next couple weeks. After that, the price will be $2.99, so grab it while it's hot! Either way though, you're getting an pizza-filled anthology for less than the price of a small pie.

And an awesome anthology it is. I've had a chance to read all the stories in it, and I feel so lucky to be a part of this project with writers who are much more talented than I am. I think everyone who reads this will find a new writer to be a fan of--there is something in this anthology for everyone. Kind of like when you go to a party and there's a bunch of pizzas with different toppings there for you to choose from.

One reason I am super excited about this anthology is that it features the debut of a major character in the upcoming Orchard Pointe series that Jolene Haley and I are writing together. Kit Marsh is a huge part of OP, and the short story I wrote for A Pizza My Heart features Kit, a stray dog, and a drifter who just might turn up in the pages of an Orchard Pointe book one day (okay, he totally will turn up, but probably not until book two).


Jolene and I had originally planned to release Orchard Pointe last summer, so this would have been the second time folks were reading her. But I'm kind of happy things turned out like they did, because I think this first introduction really demonstrates why Jolene and I love this character so much. And those who enjoy this story will have plenty to look forward to when Orchard Pointe releases later this year.

But my story is just one slice of the delicious pie that is A PIZZA MY HEART. So grab the book, order your favorite pizza and enjoy!

Monday, January 30, 2017

A PIZZA MY HEART Arrives February 9th, But You Can Pre-order Your Pizzathology Now!

A while back I first talked about the upcoming anthology A Pizza My Heart, and how ridiculously excited I was to be a part of it. My amazing pal Jolene Haley has once again pulled together a fantastic group of creators (as she always does), and allowed us to celebrate one of the most important things in life--pizza.


A Pizza My Heart will be releasing on February 9th--National Pizza Day--for $2.99, but get this--you can pre-order the book on Amazon right now for $0.99!



A Pizza My Heart

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 On the Brain 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