Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tag - Interview with Me about Upcoming Projects

Author Paul Ben Jr. tagged me(and four other authors) on Facebook with a post where he answered these questions. He was tagged by Jason Brock. I was given a week to answer and tag five other authors. They have till next Wednesday to answer the same questions on Facebook/and or their blog. I am going to tag five authors who I am interested in who I think my FB friends should learn about.

Jordan Krall, Lisa Morton, Edward Morris, James Newman and Garrett Cook.

Question: What is the [working] title of your book/work in progress?

Answer: I'm working on three projects at the moment. The second draft of a coming of age horror novel called “Bootboys of The Wolf-reich,” and a collection pulp themed short stories and novellas with punk rock settings and characters. There are eight horror tales (all the classic tropes explored), a western, a spy story, a Fantasy and two sci-fi stories. The project I am about to dive into is a Science Fiction novel I'm co-writing with my friend Edward Morris (author of the Blackguard and the forthcoming There is a Crooked man series) called Flesh Trade. Were outlining and researching at the moment but should start first drafting soon.

Q: Where did the idea for the book/work come from?

A: Bootboys was inspired by my young adulthood. Stephen King wrote about coming of age walking the tracks in 1950's Maine, my story is about being a Skinhead in late 80's Chicago. Of course I added Nazi cultists and monsters. The punk collection kinda came organically I just wrote a few punk themed stories and then I thought it would make a fun themed collection.

Q: Which actors would you choose to play the characters from your book?

A: I did that a lot in my early work, but I have not thought about with these books. It is funny in my novel Hunting the Moon Tribe (2011 Little Otick press) I cast pretty much every characters with actors in my mind. The funny thing about it is that it came out about 10 years after I first seriously outlined it. A lot of the actors have aged out of some of the roles. The other thing is they are all Chinese actors, so unless your a serious Hong Kong movie fan your not going to care that I would cast Simon Yam as the master vampire.

Q: What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A: Bootboys of the Wolf-Reich is about Anti-racist Skinheads in a gang war with Nazi werewolves.

Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agent?

A: I am currently published by Eraserhead press so my books are published around the various Presses under that label. My novel Vegan Revolution...with Zombies was on Deadite the Eraserhead press cult horror line. Bootboys will be on Deadite, not sure which imprint will do the others. Edward Morris and I will probably shop our collaboration novel to an agent, but that is on down the line.

Q: How long did it take you to write the first-draft of your manuscript?

A: Bootboys took me about two months, The short story collection was written mostly over five months, but one of the novellas was written awhile back. The longest a novel took me was a year and half, the quickest was 33 days.

Q: What other books in your genre would you compare this story to?

A: I think of Bootboys as a coming of age novel. I know hollywood has trained us to say it's like this meets that. If I was forced to do that I would cringe and say it's like Romper Stomper meets The Howling. Oh that hurts. Honestly I am super proud of it, I grew up in the anti-racist skinhead culture. This might be my Boy's Life (Robert McCammon).

Q: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A: With the punk pulp collection I was inspired by lots of authors and styles. The idea was to have punk themed stories that explored all the different genres of pulp genre fiction. The story “Reunion Show” is very Phillip K. Dick influenced yet it is about the 1980's hardcore scene in D.C. The fantasy novella “Punkupine Moshers of the Apocalypse is like an eighties pun rock Tolkien style heroes journey fantasy, and my favorite story in it “Last Show at the Mortuary Collective” is a very Clive Barker influenced psychosexual haunted house story. That being said I don't think anyone but me could write these stories. It is very much me.

Q: What else might pique the reader’s interest in your book?

A: The collection has a lot of stories floating around. 'Punkupines Moshers of the Apocalypse' has been re-printed in the Best Bizarro Fiction of the Decade. 'Reunion Show' will be in the 22nd issue of Dark Discoveries, and the Twilight Zone style story 'Tasha and the Foutain,' is the new seventh issue of the magazine of Bizarro Fiction.

Book Review: Westlake Soul by Rio Youers

Westlake Soul by Rio Youers

243 pages Chizine publications

I discovered this novel from author Nick Cato's top ten books of 2012 where it took his top prize. It is also blurbed on the back cover by one of the most respected horror writers alive Peter Straub. I looked through quite a few Good Reads reviews and the worst review I found was three stars. I went into as blind as possible, not even reading the back cover description. Glad I didn't.

Westlake Soul is not a novel that sounds thrilling plot wise, it is the story of a champion Canadian surfer named Westlake. He is in a surfing accident that leaves him in a vegetative state. This is like modern sarcastic Johnny Got His Gun. You see Rio Youers is an excellent writer takes the story of a man and a vegetative state and makes it funny and compelling. It is also suspenseful at times, and tragic.

Westlake sees himself as a superhero with the ability to use the 90% of his brain, most humans can't use. Too bad he can't use the 10% we take for granted. His family attend to broken body, while he travels around the spiritual realm. The stress of seeing their Westlake only able to drool is hard on them and they are thinking about letting him die.

Westlake Soul is a powerful character driven slow burn horror novel. Others might tell you it is not a horror novel, but I found it to be very much a horror novel. It would not work if Rio Youers was not a gifted writer. This is not an easy story to carry over 200 plus pages but he pulls it off. The story is powerful because the characters are rich, the events are both funny and tragic. Very impressive debut novel.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Top 11 movies I am excited about in 2013

1.The Sorcerer and the White Snake Is a total cheat as it was made in China in 2011, but it will be released in the U.S. this year and I can't wait. Ching Siu Tung The director of my favorite Kung Fu movie of all time (Duel to the Death) reunites with Jet Li whose fights he directed in Hero. This movie looks amazing. Jet Li, Snake Demons and Wire fu. 'Nuff said. 2.Pacific Rim I am so glad that Del Toro quit the Hobbit! While I am bummed that he didn't get At the Mountains of Madness made the idea of a 3D Japanese giant monster by Del Toro...it is hard to beat that. 3.ELYSIUM New sci-fi movie from the director of district 9. Need I say more? The trailer does show much, I think they are trying to keep the story mum. 4. Journey to the West Stephen Chow writer/director/star of Kung fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer adapts a big budget adaptation of the classic fantasy novel of ancient China. For real it was first written in the sixteenth century. Chow starred in a series of FX challenged movies based in this novel in the 80's. There is also a movie based on the same book coming this year featuring Donnie Yen as the main character the Monkey King. (Jet Li played the character in Forbidden Kingdom) 5. Star Trek Into Darkness I am a huge Trek nerd, so I am stoked. I would be even more happy if they were not doing a Khan storyline as I wish they were doing something new. I know they will do it bigger and better. Also I still can't get over the whole ice planet scene from the first one. Spock just happens to be hiding in the one cave Kirk happens into after getting dumped on a random planet? Come on. 6. Mad Max Fury Road George Miller director of Happy Feet returns to the movies that made him famous. This would have happened years ago but the new Max Heath ledger was not available when filming was set to start. So Miller recruited the next Batman baddie to fill the role. No trailer yet, but check out this video of the cars, trucks and props. If you are a fan of the Mad Max trilogy you'll be stoked to see it. 7. Oblivion Say what you will about Avatar and 3D but it has been good for big budget sci-fi. District 9 helped too. So I liked the new Tron so I am excited to see what this director does with an original universe. This trailer looks good. 8. Grandmasters Arthouse director Wong Kar Wai is the man behind In the Mood for Love and Ashes of Time. His movies are often delayed as he re-does them over and over. Grandmasters is already on it's third delay. So it might be on my 2014 list. 9.THE GUILLOTINES 《血滴子》 Despite a few bad reviews, and a troubled production by Peter Chan (The promise, Warlords)I still want to see this one. It was set to be the first wuxia pan movie by Hong Kong crime director Dante Lam. After he dropped out the film was taken over by Andrew Lau. Lau is director of Infernal Affairs,(remade as the Departed)Storm Riders and A man Called Hero. I dig his movies. 10.After Earth I am aware that M.Night's last three movies were so bad. At least The happening was so bad it was funny. Lady in the water...ugh. Still he made Unbreakable which is a masterpiece in my opinion. Say what you will about Will Smith he knows how to pick em. I believe the script had to be good. I could be wrong but it looks amazing. 11. Stoker One of my favorite directors (Park Chan Wook) of the last decade the man behind one of the most disturbing revenge movies Oldboy making his English language debut. How creepy does Kidman look in this movie, reminds me of her in The Others which I Loved. How creepy does this movie look. I am nervous about Spike Lee re-making one of my favorite Korean movies Oldboy and Man of Steel, I am excited about kick ass 2. I am excited about the new Swarzenegger only because it is directed by an amazing Korean director.