Monday, December 13, 2010
This month filmmaker, and my good friend Brandon Bennett are trading places. I am the guest blogger on Indie Film Revue and I have turned the tables on Brandon, and subjected him to a Mini-view. Here are some interesting questions I had for Brandon and his incredible answers!!!
A Mini-View w/ Brandon S. Bennett
1. I know you enjoyed your time working on Steve Balderson's film Stuck, and I think it was a great movie. Is there a project that you would like to see Mr. Balderson shoot or an idea, book or character you want to work on with him.
Steve is such a talented director, and an amazing person all around. I think the thing I love about his films is that each one has its own feel. Even though they are all so different, there is just something about them that when watching you go “This is a Balderson film”. He talked to me before about how he would love to do a classic themed horror film, very much in the style of the Hammer Films. I know that he also has a sweet spot for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. So I guess I would love to see him peruse something along those lines. Perhaps a mix of The House on Haunted Hill, The Changeling, The Legend of Hell House, and The Innocents. Each of those films have ‘that something’ about them that you never forget, which is what makes Steve’s films stand out.
2. In an industry full of remakes and re-imaginings, what remake would you be unable to turn doing, if it was offered to you, or name a remake you would love to do. (Feel free to cast it too)
There are a couple films that I would love to see remade, if staying true to the source material.
The first would be Something Wicked This Way Comes, directed by Jack Clayton (The Innocents, The Great Gatsby) which Ray Bradbury adapted from his own book. The film still holds up quite well, but I would love to see Steve Balderson’s touch on the carnival scenes after watching his film Firecracker.
Second would be the 1976 film Burnt Offerings directed by Dan Curtis, based on the book of the same name by Robert Marasco. Curtis is well known for directing, writing, and being executive producer on the series Dark Shadows (the original, the movies, and the reboot) and directed both of the Trilogy of Terror Films. After seeing Nicole Kidman in The Others, I think she would be perfect in Karen Blacks role in a remake. The beautiful and talented Bette Davis played Aunt Elizabeth, and I think casting Karen Black as that character would be a great tribute to the original.
Lastly, I have always wanted to see an updated version of the 1973 film Don’t Look in the Basement, also known as The Forgotten or Death Ward #13. It was directed by S.F. Brownrigg who also directed Scum of the Earth, Keep My Grave Open, and Don’t Open the Door. All of these films had a certain dirty, gritty, and bleak feeling to them. There was always a certain bit of nail biting and sweaty palms when watching them. Luckily, this is a remake that will be seeing the light of day. Directors Alan Rowe Kelly and Anthony G. Sumner have decided to put their own twist on this story. These are two people that I feel understand the atmosphere in the original. I know my friends Marv Blauvelt and Jeff Dylan Graham are attached to this project along with Debbie Rochon, Deneen Melody, Carl Burrows, and Caroline Williams. This seems like a cast of people who fit a kind of grindhouse feel. It’s a film that I have had a small obsession with since I was young. There is a jealousy in me for everyone working on this. (laughs)
3. As a fan of all kinds of horror films what scares the shit out of you, in real life?
I have two very distinct fears. Strange, but distinct.
The first one is ladybugs. Weird huh? It all stems from when I was a teenager. My family had moved into a new home, I had a basement bedroom, and we had only been living there a few days. I woke in the middle of the night feeling my face itch, I reached over to turn on my touch lamp and found my face was covered in the little bastards! Not just my face, but they were crawling in and out of my mouth as well. It was traumatizing.
It’s funny you mentioned this, because the day you sent these questions I was faced with my second fear: NUTCRACKERS. Holy shit do they terrify me! I was riding in the car with my girlfriend the other day and we made a turn at a stoplight, when to my right there were two four foot tall nutcrackers on each side of a set of stairs. I believe the conversation that followed went something like this, “What the fuck! Oh my god! Are you kidding me? That’s just not even cool! Why would someone do something like that?” About that time my girlfriend, Melissa, tried apologizing saying she didn’t mean to drive by them on purpose. “No. It’s not your fault. What the hell are those people thinking?! That’s fucking terrifying! I don’t even know why the hell they scare me so much but they do! I think it’s those big fucking teeth. I mean come on! What other reason do they need them but to bite your damn nuts off! Look at them! They’re huge! What’s not to be terrified of?” I know I rambled on for at least 10 minutes. Of course my lack of sleep did not help the severity of the problem. Poor Melissa was just about crying she was laughing so hard. So, yeh. Fuck nutcrackers!
4. Besides film making, you are also really into music, but the two go hand and hand a lot...so name your top 5 Movie Soundtracks/Scores
This is a really great question. Tough, but great.
5. Judgement Night (1993)
4. Spawn: The Album (1997)
3. The Crow: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1994)
2. Lost Highway (1997)
1. SLC Punk: Original Soundtrack (1999)
A couple other notable soundtracks are:
The Soundtrack to Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond by Fabio Frizzi is just nightmarish.
And also, Mike Patton’s side project Fantamos’ 2000 release Delirium Cordia. This album is like listening to a horror film. The first time I heard it I was alone in my car driving from where I was living in Evansville, IN to my parents place in Petersburg. It was about midnight and pitch black outside. The album is 1 hour and 14 minutes long. I slept with the lights on that night!
5.You have a blowup doll, a copy of Purple Rain, a hammer and a bottle of whiskey...what are your plans for the night?
Hmmm.. Let’s see. I’ll be downing the whiskey like it’s Kool Aid, beating the blowup doll in its orifices with the hammer, while watching Purple Rain.
Check out more about Brandon, more Mini-views and my guest blogspot @ http://indiefilmrevue.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
It’s finally December a lot has happened over the month of November. As you might have guessed…I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo. I was busy on the road and working on other projects. It just wasn’t in the cards this year and I’m 99% sure I won’t even sign up for next year. Some people sign up for NaNo as a tool to motivate themselves to write. I don’t need that. I’m sure I wrote well over 50,000 words during the month of November.
During November I had a couple book signings, one in St. Louis, Missouri and the other in Bloomington, Indiana. Both had small, but attentive crowds. I’d personally rather have a small crowd of good people than a big crowd of people who don’t really care to be there. Of course the main goal is to get a large crowd of loyal fans that really want to be there, but as time goes on and I continue to get my work and my name out there, good things will happen.
Something I think that will help me achieve my goals is signing a new deal with an agent. I know I’ve always said I don’t need an agent to do the foot and mouth work I can do myself, but I have spread myself very thin and was given a very interesting offer at the same time. After turning down two agents, one has found me (thanks impart by the recommendation of two good friends) and it was too good of an offer to pass up.
A bad/good thing about the whole deal is that my book, Between The Lines, I was going to attempt to self publish in Febuary, won’t be out until it finds a publisher or the year contract runs out.
One of the many reasons I agreed to work with an agent is because it will allow me more time to work on my many film projects. My friend Brandon Bennett and I have recently worked on a bit for James Hawley’s film Jesus of Nebula. Brandon and I have also joined forces to create a production company called Well Hung Pictures. I have finished to first script we plan to shoot, which is an adaptation of Ernest Hemmingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. The next project we are already putting together is a mockumentary about the cult following of Scooby Doo, called Where are You? Both films should be out by the end of 2011.
I will also be working with Brandon Bennett and James Hawley in some capacity on a film project called Tales from the Tomb of Terror. So far everything I’ve heard about this project sounds awesome. I’ll have more details on this soon.
In other film related news. Darkrider Studios have optioned my story Contravention, from Eclectic Collection, for a short film that will be a part of a 10 production company horror anthology DVD. I have been asked to write the first draft of the script and I should have that finished and out to them by the end of this week. I hope to have more details on this project as it develops.
I was also lucky enough to get to hang out with some of my film making friends and meet a few new ones, this past November at The Dark Carnival Film Festival. It was great to see the monsters from Atomic Age Cinema, the good people of Clockwerk Picture, Muscle Wolf Productions, and Darkrider Studios. It was also cool to see my friend Tiffany Shepis, as well as new friends Deneen Melody, Jessica Cameron and the amazing Patrick Rea.
It was a great time and I saw some really awesome movies like: El Mostro Del Mar, Get off My Porch, Do Not Disturb, Now That You’re Dead, Slices of Life, Roses, House of Hope, Hypochondriac, Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer and more. I can’t wait for next year!!!
I think that is enough of an update for now. I need to get back to work on the scripts, a couple more short stories I have in my head and work on edits for Foreign Objects.
Check back often. This guy is busy and I’ll have more stuff to post very, very soon!!!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
It's finally here!
After almost of year of edits and multiple publisher issues Eclectic Collection is out. The only way to celebrate is to tour the cities that have been asking for this book and bring it to the people who want it. The Goddamn Eclectic Tour is designed to do just that.
Check out these dates and awesome bookstores!!!
Nov. 12th Subterranean Book - St. Louis, MO.
Nov. 20th The Mockingbird Book Emporium - Vincennes, IN.
Nov. 27th Boxcar Books - Bloomington, IN.
Mar. 25th - 27th HorrorHound Weekend - Indianapolis , IN.
More dates will be announced soon. All dates are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control.
It would be great to bring this tour to great cities like Nashville, Austin Dayton, Pittsburgh and Burbank. If you know any great conventions or independent bookstores looking for author events help us make this happen!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Just like last year, I will not be posting any new blog articles until after November. I plan to make it to 50k words. I came close last year and eneded up with Between The Lines.
This year I have a new idea and my outline and play lists are ready!
Good luck to all of my friends and everyone who are participating in NaNoWriMo.
See you on the other side!!!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Every year for Samhain and Halloween I post my current top five horror books or movies on my blog. I am going to have to do something a little different this year since I have not read or watched much horror in this last year.
Life has been horrific enough.
This year I would like to offer my Top 5 Halloween Soundtrack songs.
1. The Halloween Theme By John Carpenter or Celldweller
2. Pet Cemetery By the Ramones
3. Transylvanian Concubine By Rasputina
4. The Black Rider By Tom Waits
5. People Are Strange By The Doors
There it is like it, or not.
Sorry, Rob Zombie, Ozzy and Manson didn’t make the list this year. I would like to mention that anything by Los Straightjackets and Famous Monsters (former White Zombie bassist, Sean Yseult’s band) are all great spooky party greats.
If you are looking for a groovy, ghoulish party to attend The Mockingbird Book Emporium will be hosting a costume party on Friday the 29th. Costumes are a must, but if you bring a snack or a cover dish of some kind…you get a FREE BOOK!
If you are looking for horror this year from your friendly neighborhood J. Trav…I suggest my new book, Eclectic Collection. Eclectic Collection and my story in Toe Tags 2 will be the last horror I produce. E. C. only has 6 out of 15 that are horror, but it should still give you a good Halloween read and introduce you to my other work.
Until next…Remember: You can pick your friends and if they piss you off…you can pick where to bury them too.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I was instantly excited and interested in turning these young minds onto some great books. The theme of the first event was “Books with Beat.” As a fan of Kerouac and Burroughs I agreed with the "Books with Beat" theme and I had a few ideas.
This pipe dream of a neat presentation was quickly shat upon when I was told we should probably avoid "The Beats." The person I talked to told me “The Beats” may be "too much" for the high school. It was at this point I was ready to duck out of the event all together.
There isn't anything covered in their books that isn’t shown in an episode of Jersey Shore or an Eminem music video. The Beats were about self discovery and expression. Isn't that what high school is all about? Most of these kids are already experimenting with most of these ideas, and pretending they're not is only ignoring the elephant in the room and making the problem worse.
I could go on and on about Burroughs, but Kerouac is one of my top five authors and to keep me from talking about them surely means I would be expected to avoid Mark Twain, Chuck Palahniuk and any other controversial or formerly banned author. Surely if I went through with the presentation I would have all the freedom in the world to talk about Twilight or Dan Brown…fuck that!
The moral of the story is: a) It great if people are reading almost anything, but if people don’t open their minds they are only closing their eyes
b) Learn a little about who you invite to talk at your school. If you don’t want a free thinker with an opinion don’t invite me.
We have a lot to learn about society and life from those who came before us. The Beats were the literary voices of a generation in the same way Twain and Thoreau were for their generation.
Speaking of Twilight… I have tried to like this franchise and I’m happy it has kids reading, but I just can’t get into it. It may not be your thing, my thing or some other person’s thing, but I am sick of people bashing it for “turning vampires gay.”
i.e stupid Facebook groups like “When I was a kid vampires sucked blood, not cock.”
If anyone turned vampires gay it was Anne Rice. The Vampire Chronicles are filled with young boy “love” and living forever. That is gay and pretty fucked up. Being gay is fine with me, but the young boy thing is crazy shit. No thanks.
At least Edward and Jacob are trying to get in a girl/woman’s pants…until the last book when Jacob turns into a creepy pedo too, but I digress. Anne Rice sucks just as much as Stephanie Myer. If you want a cool vampire book pick up The Strain by Del Toror and Hogan or just read Dracula.
I’ve wondered WAY off the beaten path so I will bring this rant to a close.
Open your mind and most vampire books SUCK!!!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
As previously posted my friend B.C. Brown and I have opened a book store, in Vincennes, Indiana.
The store and other responsibilities have been very time consuming. The thing that seems to be suffering the most has been my writing. I have only turned out two short stories since I returned to Indiana, but I have started another novel and began to out line a short film adoption of a Ernest Hemingway story.
It’s good to be back in a smaller city. It is nice to walk down sidewalk and recognize folks, even if I don’t know them on a personal level. There is a certain level of safe feeling that comes with that.
A lot of people complain that many small towns and cities are boring, but I think that anywhere you live is what you make of it. If there isn’t anything that appeals to your interests, the smart idea is to find like minded people and start something. The way to make a difference is to stop talking make things happen. That was the idea behind opening The Mockingbird Book Emporium.
I can’t even remember the last time I was bored. If anything, I wish there were more hours in the day
The only downside to living back in this area is that most downtown and locally owned businesses close at 5pm. That makes it hard to shop local and avoid corporate giant beast like Wal-Mart and other national chain stores, which run “mom and pop shops” out of business.
I once say a bumper sticker that read “Wal-Mart: Providing minimum wage for an entire community.”
Living back in this area I think another appropriate bumper sticker would be. “Family Video: We have the best selection, because we run everyone else out of business.”
Even if I could find time to rent a movie and sit down to watch it, if our local Family Video doesn’t have it, I’m shit out of luck. My other options are to spend a few more dollars, wit a few more days and order it from Amazon, or just settle for another movie.
I guess it’s time to stop bitching and get back to it.
Fuck global. Shop Local…when you can!!!
Friday, September 17, 2010
I would love everyone out there in book land to check out my friend Molly's Musings.
Molly has recently posted and pictures from the grand opening of The Mockingbird Book Emporium and a blog about 'Publishers Behaving Badly.'
To all PUBLISHERS BEHAVING BADLY: Make time for your authors and pay them what you can...they are the ones making money for you!!!
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The Mockingbird is designed to be a new and used bookstore with a focus on local and bestselling authors of all genres.
“We wanted to be a part of the downtown business district and really make Vincennes a cool place,” Brown told one source.
The grand opening of the store will be on September 11th at 10am, with St. Louis author Joe Schwartz signing and reading from his book Joe’s Black T-Shirt. The opening will also feature refreshments, door prizes and several local authors in attendance. One door prize mentioned for the event is a signed copy of Isabella Moon by Laura Benedict. Other prizes will include more books signed by local authors and a gift certificate. The amount of the certificate will be announced at the opening.
Vincennes Chamber of Commerce President Marc McNeece was thrilled to tell the local newspaper, “A bookstore has been one of those things that’s been missing for a while.”
Brown and Grundon have several events and fun already planned for the store from a 10/10/10 ten author signing to a Mark twain tribute, that will coincide with the release of Twain’s highly anticipated biography.
The Mockingbird will also be having local play actors reading to children, one Saturday a month.
“This is something I have wanted to do for a very long time and I’m ecstatic to have so much support from the city,” Grundon said.
The published co-owners of the store have been very hard at work getting ready and the buzz about the store in Indiana’s first city is already huge.
Sept. 11th, 2010 - Grand Opening with Author Joe Schwartz
Sept. 25th, 2010 - Children’s Author/Vincennes Lincoln Alumni Dr. Ed Yosowitz Signing with profits going to the Ronald McDonald House.
Oct. 10th, 2010 – Ten Author Signing Event featuring: Co-Owners B.C. Brown and J. Travis Grundon, along with Thriller Author Jay Zimmer, Local Woman’s Fiction Author Molly Daniels, Non-Fiction Author David Boyer, Horror Author Brian Barnett, and several more!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The list is here for Papercut Books' tribute to H.P. Lovecraft anthology, Call of Lovecraft.
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” - H.P. Lovecraft
Ramsey Campbell- Cold Print
John F.D. Taff – The Tentacle
William Meikle – The Colour of the Deep
John B. Rosenman – I LUV RT
Carol MacAllister – Red Pine
J. Travis Grundon – Idol
Jacqueline Seewald - Legend
Lee Clark Zumpe – Izothaugnol Ascending
Brian Barnett – In the Mouth of the Chasm
Gregory L. Norris – The Green Dream
H. David Blalock - Shed
Scott Lefebvre – And in the Darkness I Waited
H.P. Lovecraft – Pickman’s Model
Cover by Billy Tackett
Look for this book sometime around Halloween from Papercut Books
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
On August 15th, actor, writer, director James Hawley will be crash landing on J.Trav Radio, to talk to Travis and Ali about film making, sewer monsters and Jesus.
Call-in Number: (347) 826-7633
Check out more about James here:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0370322/
Tune into the show 08/15/10 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jtravisgrundon/2010/08/16/james-hawley-of-nebula
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The T&A Show with Author Joe Schwartz 08/01/10
J. Trav radio is back with a new guest co-host, Ali Vlahos. Travis and Ali will be interviewing Joe Schwartz, the awesome author of Joe's Black T-Shirt:Short Stories
About St. Louis.
Call-in Number: (347) 826-7633
Monday, July 26, 2010
A writer’s job is to dream, to conceptualize ideas no matter how fantastic or sublime in mere words alone that others may read them, be entertained, and even possibly become enlightened. There is no harder artistic discipline available. You, as a writer, can only be enjoyed with severe commitment. No one is entertained by watching your book. Nobody is fully engaged by listening to your stories despite the popularity of recorded books. Words have a rhythm and cadence the mind alone speaks with to the reader.
When I was a young man I was a stupid reader. It was upon my discovery of acting that I was first trained to observe language, to hear the authors’ intention within the words. Even though at age sixteen I had been a full-time reader for more than a decade, I was but a word glutton. I consumed words with no more discretion or appreciation than a pig at a trough. My training as an actor taught me to read with purpose. I, however, am the exception to the rule.
In this modern age people are busy. If you expect to get someone’s attention and keep it, then you better be damn good. You are in competition with TV, iPhones, the Internet, DVDs, video games, and ten other gadgets yet to be invented that will devour time, precious spare moments somebody could be using to read your work. Towards that, all I can say is thank you God for the Kindle.
The first question writers must pose to themselves is what are they writing for? If the answer is money or glory, then do yourself a favor and stop. These are sidebars to the craft. The person, the audience if you will, should be yourself first and possibly alone. You should be your own worst critic, never your best cheerleader. Perhaps the worst writing I have ever read was by those in love with their work. Criticism is not a friend to them, but an enemy that will destroy the vain. A good writer has no illusions as to perfection. A tenacious writer will always complain in the face of praise that they always could've done better, but simply ran out of time.
Let's assume though you are a good writer. Now what? The second question that then must be asked is if there’s an audience out there who will find your work credible. Maybe. The best writers have doubts. This pressure can be overwhelming. Nobody is an instant success. Your first novel may get published, but probably will flop. Along with your second and third. The tenacity to continue in spite of such disappointments separates the men from the boys.
I have friends, authors who are tremendous writers published by big houses, that still work forty hours a week at brick-and-mortar companies for a paycheck and health benefits. They get up hours earlier than necessary to prepare for work so they may write. After a long day at work, while their families sleep, they write.
The bottom line, the unspoken mantra that drives them all is this: A writer without readers is worthless. I presume it is the same with any discipline. If you wanted to be an Olympic athlete, would you train when it was convenient or would you give it all you could everyday of your life? It's raining, I'm tired, I've got school or work or both today are excuses champions never speak.
That leads to the most important, final thing every writer must ask of themselves when they sit down to write. Whether it is a sentence or a string of words that stretches into the thousands.
How bad do you really want this?
At this moment, I too am still waiting form my "big break." I have one book to my credit, but it is self-published. Notwithstanding this fact, I have been shameless in its promotion. Book signings, interviews on public radio, Facebook and reviews on-line have been but a handful of methods I've used to expose my work. To date, it has been a little over a year, and although I have received remarkable praise by complete strangers, I do not have a publisher to my credit, much less an agent. However, by November I will have completed two more novels that I will furiously submit until either I have exhausted all resources to publish or I can basically accept what I have written is not all that interesting…right now. If that isn't self-righteous overconfidence, I don't know what is.
The thing to remember is that despite all the unhappy moments, the anxiety, the doubt, and the outright self-loathing, you wrote a book. Time will tell if you’ve written something worth reading. Until then, write everyday.
Life is short. Stories are forever.
Download ‘Joe’s Black T-Shirt: Short Stories About St. Louis’ for free at Scribd.com or purchase a real copy at Lulu.com. Look for Joe Schwartz and J. Travis Grundon the special first issue of .insidious.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
If you want to know what authors Janet Evanovich, J. Travis Grundon and Charles Bukowski's common tip for an aspiring writer is...check out my guest blog spot on www.bcbrownbooks.blogspot.com
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks here on J. Travis Grundon Dot Com soon!!!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Ebooks piss me all the way off.
Like many people I love the smell of a book and the feeling of holding a REAL book. Even when I read submissions for Forrest J Ackerman’s Anthology and the upcoming Call of Lovecraft, I would much rather read a hard copy, instead of staring at a monitor for hours.
The internet is an amazing thing for a writer. Sites like Facebook, Myspce, Twitter, and Goodreads are great networking tools and ways for authors to pimp their work. Even authors like me, that don’t support epublishing can benefit from these resources.
I have been called everything from a technophobe to just plain stubborn, but despite my frustrations the ebook shockwave is sweeping the world. It is moving ahead with or without me. Amazon has the Kindle, Apple has released their iPad and Barnes and Noble (and soon Best Buy) offer The Nook. I had always thought these ways to eread were killing print media, but I have a feeling it is not going to die completely.
My books HELP: An Anthology to Benefit Preditors and Editors, Concrete Blood and Forrest J Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead are available through Amazon. I have to admit that Black Bed Sheet Books even offers The Anthology of the Living Dead on the Kindle.
Some libraries are even offering ebooks to their patrons. The concept of a temporary ebook feels weird to me, but then I found out about B & N offering Nook owners a free “Bestseller” ebook for visiting their stores. The only catch is that you only get it for 3 days, but you have to go into the stores to get the free ebooks.
The whole e-conundrum was weighing very heavy on my head and heart when I learned about a writers workshop with Jane Friedman(of Writer's Digest Magazine) via Twitter. Like a good e-monkey I posted the event on Facebook and had the nearly the entire Midwest Writers Guild of Vincennes accompany me to Evansville, Indiana, for Jane Friedman’s Online Publishing and Social Media Workshop.
The event was hosted by the Midwest Writers Guild of Evansville and was well worth the drive. Everyone from the Red Bank Public Library and Jane were very nice and informative. During this workshop Jane talked about social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. She had a very convincing argument for electronic media. She even made me think about my own electronic future.
The base of the e-defense is not about ebooks or ireaders it is more about discoverability and accessibility. If someone really wants to write something and get it out to as many people as they can then why not offer it on every platform and option available?
It made me wonder if people had the same issues with plays being transformed into television shows and movies. Maybe there are still people who choose theatre over television or the big screen.
Maybe…there is enough room in the world for print and electronic media.
Maybe…just maybe…we will see Eclectic Collection on the Kindle…maybe some day very soon…
Friday, June 25, 2010
I am very excited to announce that I have been nominated for the Goodreads’ New Author to Watch!
Goodreads is a fun social networking site, much like Facebook, for books nerds. This site gives you a chance to learn about new book, inventory books you have read, books you own and books you want to read, as well as swap books with people from around the world. Some authors even run their own profile page to connect with friends and fans.
This poll is for authors that have been recently published who write good books that have yet to be noticed. Voters will be given the chance to pick 5 book/authors they want to vote for. I am asking everyone to please sign up for Goodreads and vote.
Please go on and vote for me and if you have any trouble picking your other 4, I suggest Markus Zusak (The Book Thief), B.B. Walter (Sister Light), Brian Barnett (Toe Tags) and P.M. Russell (The Wormhole Adventures)…just to name a few.
At this time I am up to #6!!!
Monday, June 21, 2010
The July 2010 issue of MOJO Magazine features one of my all time favorite singers, songwriters and actors, Tom Waits, as guest editor. Waits is all over the place with 3 Tom’s picks lists, a wild Hank III interview, and two of Tom’s Buried Treasures pieces. This magazine is a must have for any Waits fan, or anyone that loves great music.
The following is a list of Tom Waits’ current favorite reading matter according to the July 2010 issue of MOJO Magazine. Tom’s Picks: Books
1.) Breece D’J Pancake - The Stories Of Breece D’J Pancake (Little Brown and Company, 1983)
2.) Frank Stanford – The Light the Dead See: Selected poems of Frank Stanford (University Of Arkansas Press, 1991)
3.) Robert Frank – the Americans (Grove Press, 1959)
4.) Paul Trachtman - The Old West: The Gun Slingers (Time/Life, 1974)
5.) Charles Wolfe and Kip Lornell – The Life and Legacy of Leadbelly (Da Capo, 1992)
6.) Jack Kerouac – Pic (Grove Press, 1971)
7.) Charles Bukowski – The Last Night On Earth Poems (Black Sparrow Press, 1992)
8.) Tennessee Williams – Hard Candy (New Directions, 1954)
9.) J. D. Salinger – Nine Stories (Little, Brown and Company, 1953)
10.) Michael Ondaat Je – The Collected Works of Billy the Kid: Left Handed Poems (Anansi, 1970)
11.) Charles Bukowski – It Catches my Heart in Its Hands: New and Selected Poems 1955- 1963 (Loujon Press, 1963)
Monday, June 14, 2010
The J has nothing to do Forrest J Ackerman, though I did consider dropping the period after my J in tribute to him. I’ve since decided to stay the way I’ve already been published. With my work straying away from horror and Sci Fi the nod to Uncle Forry would be lost on my target audience.
Some people thought the J was “uncanny syllabic coincidence” with J. Elvis Weinstein, but I hadn’t even heard of the man until the name thing was pointed out. If anyone gets credit for putting the idea in my head, it isn’t a writer; it would be artist J. Scott Campbell. I had been a fan of Campbell’s comics for a long time and when I decided not to write as just Travis, J. Travis Grundon just popped in there…like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.*
So, what does the J stand for? It stands for John.
I have gone by Travis my whole life since my dad is named John it was less confusing. When I started writing I kept the J in my name, because many of my professors knew me as John. I knew my last name was not common, but I wanted everyone to know I was the same person. J. Travis Grundon also had, and still has, a good sound to it.
The next question I want to tackle is: Why is the 5 year old wearing a diaper in my Anthology of the Living Dead story Committed.
I have even been told that this is something that has pulled a reader completely out of the story.
I can understand how it would be had for some parents to wrap their head around, if their child mastered potty training, but not every kid gets it as fast as others. Some kids take to walking, talking, counting and other thing much easier. Many parenting books and magazine say it is natural and that most children who have problems potty training learn mental things faster than what is going on with their body.
The child that knows that they are wearing a diaper will keep playing and not feel the need to get up from playing to try to use the potty. It’s actually smart. Why get up to use the bathroom if you don’t have to. I know a lot of people who would love to just as soon mess their pants than have to find a bathroom and stop what they are doing.
I didn’t think the age of the child through very well. I just went with the age my daughter was when I wrote the story. I know she’ll love me sharing, but she was a late potty trainee, but she had it by five. She is also quick as a whip, with wicked smarts and talent to charm to beat the band!
Speaking of smart…I have a problem with people who continue to degenerate the English language with “text talk.” Allow me to rant about it.
It’s called “text talk” because it makes texting easier. It is not designed or even cool when used in a REAL conversation. We are grown ups, I hope. Let’s use our big boy and girl words. I mean, we didn’t spend all of the time in grammar/ grade school to stifle our words by turning them into cute little acronyms, which not everyone understands.
If you are one of the fortunate few people on Earth who has no idea what I’m talking about, lucky you!
What I’m referring to is crap like LOL, OMG, OMFG, BRB, WTF, BFF, ROTFLMAO, BF, GF, YMCA and M&Ms. OK, I just threw those last two in, and I don’t claim to be a master of language, but I think we are doing a major disservice to ourselves and our kids if we keep this valley girl, baby talk, bullshit up.
The same could be said for my potty mouth and the use of curse words. It has been said, and I agree, that people who use dirty words are not smart enough to express themselves in an intellectual way. The catch to that IS that there is no such thing as a “dirty word” or a “bad word.” The only thing that gives words any stigma is the intent of the person speaking them.
With all of that said, if I use a “bad word” the intent is very clear. If something makes me mad or excited enough to pull out the Book of DILLIGAF*, I’m not trying to sound intelligent. Sometime we need to forget ourselves and let it go, but it’s the every day, every word nonsense that makes us seem uneducated.
More “Text talk” slag. There is so much of this virus that it has its own dictionary. What is next?
That’s all, for now.
* Do I Look Like I Give A F@%#
*If you don’t get this, or find it funny, it’s time to watch Ghostbusters again.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
*looks left, looks right* Psssssst, we’re alone now, I think. Time for a little self exposure.
Not like THAT, you perv!
I was talking about an in depth and personal glimpse into the mind of B.C. Brown - um, me. My buddy here, J.Travis Grundon, has offered us the platform to get, personally, acquainted, and I plan to seize the opportunity in a very hands-on way.
Again with the perviness? Cut it out, will ya?
In actuality, there isn’t a whole lot to get to know about me. Other than the fact that I have a whole slew of super talented friends ( like J.Trav, Molly Daniels, P.M. Russell, Cindy Bauer, and Brandon Bennett, to name a few) who are faaaaar better at marketing and promotion than I am. What is she good at? you ask. (Or, at least, you ask inside of my head.)
Don’t look at me like that. I’m not some squeamish, simpering little chick who can’t tell you that I know I look good, I know I can dance, and I know I’m a good writer. It’s not conceit; it’s called self esteem. If I have two things in my arsenal, they are: self esteem and a pen.
The great thing about both of the items I’m good at is that I can inspire with both.
Short stroll down Memory Lane...
There once was a woman named...um, Kenzie*, who had this great romance/women’s lit. novel. A random occurrence that, um, Kenzie* was scheduled to share a book signing with moi, master of chat and awesome fantasy author. The lighting was optimal; our tables artfully displayed; and the positioning ideal to score peoples’ attentions as they came through the doors of one large Barnes N Noble store a beautiful March afternoon. I, not knowing, um, Kenzie* well, decided to feel out her approach to shoving her novel down people’s throats - you know, my approach. To my dismay, I learned that, um, Kenzie* was considerably more-
What word do I want to use? Considerate, tactful....nah...
-timid than I.
Shall we say door mouse to lioness approach, folks.
Never being shy on self esteem, I zeroed in on everyone who strolled through the front door by nearly getting in their business as soon as they passed the threshold. And, once I’d caught the perspective buyer’s attention, I artfully manuevered them back to both mine and, um, Kenzie’s* table, segueing an opportunity for her to talk about her novel. The pitch of my novel always wound down with...”And, if you’re not into kings, queens, wizards, and war, my friend, um, Kenzie*, offers something completely different you’ll love!”
How does this inspire? you ask inside my head. Well, with a little prompting on my end and a heaping dose of being shown how some serious self esteem works, um, Kenzie* is far more-
What works here? Blatant, artful...nah...
-domineering in her approach to the perspective reader/consumer.
Slightly longer stroll down Memory Lane here...
There once was a man named...um, John* who lived for art - sketching, painting, inking, etc. And, um, John* was a good artist and fancied himself happy with that particular career choice. Enter one dashing, stylish, and creative writer-
-who called her good buddy of long standing to tell him her awesome news: She’d been published! Such was her exuberance that, um, John*, who had been secretly writing and squirreling away stories for some time, decided to lay down his art pencils-
And the graphic comic and tattooing worlds wept!
and pick up a writer’s pen.
While this intrusion (although unbeknownst to me) and diversion from his previous path was completely unintentional, um, John* has published three books and countless short stories and has set himself on a successful (if fledgling for now) career in the publishing industry.
Both of these jogs down Memory Lane are shining example of the two things B.C. Brown-
-does well. I’m not going to say that these are the only two things I do well-
Hey, watch that gutter mind there, all right. This is a PG rated blog.
-but, as far as talents that inspire others and are used for the good of mankind, they are the most noteworthy for the purpose of this article.
And, while I don’t need the justification of knowing I’m a good writer, I can understand that many people are on a “Judge as I see fit” basis. So, if you would like to see for yourself that I am what I say I am - a good writer - feel free to visit my blog where I’ve posted articles pertaining to writing/being a writer http://bcbrownbooks.blogpsot.com or visit my website for some examples of my writing http://www.bcbrown.webs.com . Oh, and in case you are wondering what I might have “in the works”, so to speak, as an author, I am polishing a full length paranormal/mystery novel, A Touch of Darkness, for submission to Papercut Books, and I am busy working on adding to my inventory of short fiction, and working on my fantasy masterpiece, Of Shadows. I have several more projects in the works, also, but, since I am a multi-tasker, they are too many to enumerate.
Hope you’ve enjoy this forray into the mind of B.C. Brown - um, me. Won’t you stop by again?
(All names included with an * have been changed - and changed poorly - to be used without permission of the owner. Mainly, I’m covering covering my happy behind should these individuals not wish to be named outright!)
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Nothing ever happened with this book.
My second book was The Bartender’s Guide to Killing Monsters. This was a book of 12 short stories about Jackson Reed. Reed is the main character in my first published short story Femme Fatale. This story was the first chapter of the book and included 11 other stories. I was talking to an agent and other published authors that convinced me to sign a publisher I can’t name here.
This unnamed publisher took the book and wanted to put it out unedited and with a stupid, cheap cover.
After a bit of me vs. them, it was determined that I would not publish the book for the duration of our seven year contract, and they would not publish it either. It sounds stupid, but they have the rights, and I have picked 90% of the good ideas out of it for other stories.
Since writing these two books I have had many stories published and have started other book.
Eclectic Collection is the one stop shop for all of my published work and a handful of new stuff. This book has been on the back burner for a long time, while I focused on Forrest J Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead. E.C. is ready and will be out very soon.
In order to keep myself busy and honest, I would like to post…
“Books to Come from J. Travis Grundon”
Eclectic Collection - Spring/Summer 2010
Call of Lovecraft (collection) - Fall 2010
Foreign Objects - Winter 2010
1,000 Words (collection) – TBA
knockdowndragout – TBA
Between the Lines – TBA
Cloud 8 – TBA
Stay tuned and I’ll keep working on it!!!
Friday, May 14, 2010
We had a good show. Most of all, it was great to see friends like Harry Manfredini, Joel Robinson, Billy Tackett, Scott Lefebvre, Justin Brock-Jones and Robert Freese.
I served double duty at this show, promoting Eclectic Collection with Papercut Books and representing Forrest J Ackerman’s Anthology of the Living Dead.
Friday night also included a tribute for the late, great Uncle Forry. Scott Ford spoke about Forry’s influence on the likes of John Landis and Joe Dante to Ray Bradbury and many more. Mr. Ford also introduced me to talk about The Egyptian Theatre Tribute and the Anthology of the Living Dead. After I said my piece we all enjoyed the Famous Monster documentary.
Other developments over the weekend include selecting Billy Tackett as the cover artist for Papercut Books’ H.P. Lovecraft inspired collection…Call of Lovecraft. I will serve as the main editor on this book in the capacity I did of the A.o.t.L.D.
Submissions will be open until July 15th, but contributors already include a story by H.P. Lovecraft, the living legend Ramsey Campbell, John F.D. Taff (KILL/OFF), Brian Barnett (Toe Tags) and Scott Lefebvre, of The Anthology of the Living Dead. More names will be announced after the deadline and the final selection has been made.
For the record: I’m doing a great job of keeping busy, other than the Lovecraft book.
I have been working on several new short stories for Alfred Hitchcock Magazine, Mondo Sasquatch, and The First Line. I’ve also been putting a lot of time into revising my novel Foreign Objects, for a possible Winter release. I can’t even remember the last time I was bored.
Hopefully it won’t be as long until my next update on this site. Check out http://papercutbooks.com for more information on Call of Lovecraft, Eclectic Collection and future information on Foreign Objects.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
As many people are aware my mother passed away on April 1st. It’s just like my mom to die on April Fools day. I only wish it would have been a horrible joke. The truth is the loss of my mom has hit me harder than anything I have had to deal with thus far in my life. Her death comes at an even more horrid time, as I was working on the final steps of releasing Eclectic Collection.
Eclectic Collection has been a year in the making and it was set to be dropped on the masses on May 1st, at Con-tamination 2010. Due to these recent unfortunate events Papercut Books and I have decided to push back that date until I am fully ready to celebrate and commit myself to this release.
I promise to bring this book out soon. I just need a little more time to confront some very serious personal issues. While there my not be panic in the streets and a sea of disappointed fans, I do want to be honest and upfront with everyone who is actually wait for EC.
Papercut Books editor and my fellow author John F.D. Taff have agreed that this time is important. All parties have also agreed to hold the release of John’s book KILL/OFF, until we are all ready.
I will post more news and updates soon.
Monday, March 22, 2010
There are many great books scheduled to come out this year from Papercut, but I am excited to announce that one of the first two books to be released will be John F.D. Taff’s thriller KILL/OFF, and the other will be my long awaited book Eclectic Collection!
Eclectic Collection has been a work in progress for a very long time. This book includes most of my previously published work from The Silven Trumpeter, Help: An anthology to Benefit Preditors and Editors, Twisted Dreams Magazine, Concrete Blood and The Monsters Next Door. EC will be released with KILL/OFF at Con-tamination 2010, in St. Louis. At this convention John and I will be there to talk about Papercut Books and the other projects readers can look forward to.
One of those great projects will be the 1000 Words anthology; I had posted about in the past. More information will be available about this collection and an H.P. Lovecraft inspired anthology, on papercutbooks.com and here on J. Travis Grundon Dot Com, soon.
There are some amazing things to look forward to from Papercut Books and J. Travis Grundon…stay tuned…the future is NOW!!!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
My fellow author Molly Daniels has invited me to be interviewed on her website for the month of April. I had a lot of fun doing this interview and I wanted to share a sample of it, before the it's published in its entirety, on April 20th.
Is there any message you want readers to take from reading your work?
I want to give the reader the same experience I look for when I read a book. I want to change the way they look at something.
Even for people who've never read Psycho (or seen the movie), Robert Bloch changed the way we think about taking a shower, just like Stephen King made us change the ways we look at the death of a pet. Then Thomas Harris changed the way we think about fava beans and a nice Chianti. The author of Choke and Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk, even changed the way many of us looked at things like soap, a foot massage, and people we've know our whole life.
In my opinion a great story teller can change the way we think about everything. I want to be one of those authors.
I try to work in subliminal messages, about my work being as great as Chuck Palahniuk. It would be nice if readers caught that. Please, note: I probably only joking.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? And have you ever had a story take on a life of its own?
Every story I write takes on a life of it's own. 99.9% of the time I don't control what I write. If I need to finish one story, or start something with set guidelines, my mind will produce something on the other side of the fence. This is why I have so many “Work In Progress” files on my computer.
I also talk about my characters like they are real people. I'll hear their voices feeding me dialog, at the strangest moments. I'm sure a lot of people think I'm crazy, but I think you have to be a little crazy to write fiction. An author really needs a certain level of schizophrenia to write convincing dialog.
Check out Molly's page and bookmark it, for the April 20th, 2010.
Monday, February 22, 2010
If there's one most prestigious, genre-specific award in the world, it's gotta be the RONDOS! Every year, fans and pros alike vote for their favorite artists, products, publications and events. The awards are a treasured validation to all those folks working hard to keep Horror and Sci-Fi ALIVE!
This year marks the 8th annual RONDO HATTON AWARDS! And this year marks the nomination of: THE FORREST J ACKERMAN TRIBUTE as THE BEST FAN EVENT! If you were at the Tribute, I know you felt the profound impact of the experience. If not, you can read my account of the event at DREADCENTRAL.COM by clicking here: Forry Tribute
At the end of that article you'll have a chance to hear Forry's final farewell once more. Sad but sweet.
The competition is tough, but I believe the Forry Tribute is well worthy of this year's honor. The Tribute purely captured the spirit that lives within our genre and the incredible hand Forry played in perpetuating it and maintaining it over his 92 years. Thanks to The Egyptian Theater, Tim Sullivan, Dan Madigan and many others, this event not only honored the memory of our late hero, FJA. It also demonstrated how Forry's love of all things fantastical could live beyond him. Inspiring future generations of Monster GrandKids!
Please vote for:
17. Best Fan Event of 2008
- Tribute to Forrest J Ackerman, Grauman's Egyptian Theater, Hollywood, organized by Joe Moe
Vote at Classic Horror Film Boards by clicking here: Rondo Awards Ballot
Help me bring this one home to Horrorwood, Karloffornia for Uncle Forry!
Joe Moe is an authentic renaissance artist: a third generation Polynesian entertainer, studio vocalist (look for his solo CD: MAINLAND), screenwriter, FX artist and designer of dark-rides for international theme parks. Random trivia: Joe sculpted a monster mask for Don Post Studios (“Schizoid”), once operated the front half of beloved Muppet, Snuffleupagus, and swam with a 7-foot Tiger Shark (not intentionally)! Joe lived for many years in "Horrorwood, Karloffornia" where he cared for the late 92-year-old genre legend Forrest J Ackerman in the Ackerminimansion of Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Horror movie memorabilia. Joe Moe's day job is as Creative Director for 3MAC STUDIOS where he's gleefully occupied in development, writing, design and direction of intriguing movies like RED VELVET, WASTED SPACE and other existing and "coming soon!" Indie-gems.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Posted in Art & Society, Events, Gender, Horror, Movies, Sexuality and Culture, Women in Horror by Pam Keesey on February 7, 2010
It is women who love horror. Gloat over it. Feed on it. Are nourished by it. Shudder and cling and cry out — and come back for more.
~ Bela Lugosi
I still remember watching my first horror film at the age of 5. I can’t remember exactly which film it was, although I’ve narrowed it down to two*. What I can tell you is that it scared the living daylights out of me, and I had nightmares for weeks. But I loved it. Even when I woke up in a cold sweat, there was an electricity, a joy, that I hadn’t experienced before. I was scared, yes, but I was safe. And excited. Thrilled, even. I started looking forward to the next one, then the next one, and then the next one.
I was hooked, and have been ever since.
People are still surprised to discover my love of horror films. Even other women who love horror films. “There are so few of us,” one told me. “You’re the first other woman I’ve met who loves them as much as I do. I thought I was the only one.”
If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that we’re not alone. And when it comes to women who love horror, Women in Horror month has brought us to the fore and helped us to find each other like never before.
Hannah Neurotica, editrix of the awesome feminist horror ‘zine Ax Wound, proposed Women in Horror Recognition month to bring attention to women in horror. “We are writers, directors, producers, artists, eery musicians, creepy doll makers, FX artists. We are audience!” she writes. “If you are not deep in the underground with publications like Ax Wound, Pretty/Scary, Chainsaw Mafia, etc you might not even know women are out there doing these things.”
When I first started writing feminist perspectives on horror, there were a lot of women who were far from shy when it came to letting me know that I was a part of the problem, that embracing horror as an art form was tantamount to “perpetuating violence against women.”
Granted, there are many films where women are, as Hannah puts it, “bloody babes and soon-to-be gut piles in peril.” But there are plenty more where women are quick-witted, resourceful, self-reliant, resilient, and — perhaps above all else — brave.
In all the horror films that I have done, all of those women were strong women. I don’t feel I ever played the victim, although I was always in jeopardy.
~ Adrienne Barbeau
Scream queens. The genre is what it is, in part, because of women who made their careers screaming at the top of their lungs. These women were most assuredly women in peril. But they were not women who sat idly by while their men were out having adventures. No, they were in the midst of it all, deep in the fray.
In the beginning, there was Fay Wray. In film after film, Wray made good use of not only her looks and her talent, but also her lungs. And in doing so, she paved the way for the many scream queens who followed in her footsteps. While Fay Wray may have found herself in peril, she also played characters who thrived on adventure, whether as Joan Xavier in Doctor X, the young women who lures the maniacal killer to his eventual capture, or as Ann Darrow, the starving actress turned adventurer in King Kong, who not only endures the great ape’s attentions, but is also instrumental in bringing Kong, the eighth wonder, to New York.
Elsa Lanchester as the Bride of Frankenstein may not have had much choice in the matter when she was created by Victor Frankenstein to be the creature’s mate, but she certainly let her disdain for the idea be known through a blood-curdling (and now famous) scream.
Like the Bride before her, Julia Adams was less than thrilled with her paramour, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. While certainly in peril, she was also something more: a marine biologist, a strong (and strong-willed), intelligent, and resourceful professional woman at a time when women were expected to stay home and look after the house and children.
And these are just to name a very, very few of the now famous Queens of Scream.
Women aren’t always in front of the camera, screaming to high heaven. More and more, women are in behind the camera, too, as writers, directors, and more.
When I watched movies like The Goonies and E.T., it was boys having adventures. When I watched Nightmare on Elm Street, it was Nancy beating up Freddy. It was that simple.
~ Diablo Cody
With the release of Diablo Cody’s Jennifer’s Body last year, it seems the mainstream press discovered that women love horror films. Michelle Orange of The New York Times (“Taking Back the Knife: Girls Gone Gory”), in grappling with the seemingly contradictory reality that “box office receipts show that women have an even bigger appetite for these films than men” comes to the conclusion that “[a]udiences love a woman who can take back the knife.”
“Some of us just like that stuff,” Diablo Cody says in response to Orange’s questions about women and horror. “We like suspense, we like to be scared, we like to have visceral reaction in the theater.”
In “Horror Films…And the Women Who Love Them!,” Entertainment Weekly’s Christine Spines notes the ever increasing box office returns from women who love horror. Spines talks to women and men, producers, directors, and actresses, all of whom come back to the feminist theme of empowerment in horror.
“Horror films tap into the most primal fears,” says Orphan producer Susan Downey. “And when we put a woman through this mythological journey and have her come out at the end kicking ass, the guys get the eye candy they want and the girls get the sense of ‘I can face my demon.’”
It may be that it’s only now that the studios are discovering women as something other than woman in peril in the horror genre. Bela Lugosi knew it long before Jennifer’s Body or even Nightmare on Elm Street graced the Silver Screen. Whether it’s looking at the roots of modern horror by way of the gothic novel — consider The Castle of Otranto and The Mysteries of Udolpho, examples of a genre which was dismissed as the 18th century equivalent of “chick lit”) — or placing Frankenstein — an extraordinary tale written by a young Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and the true progenitor of the modern horror story — at the very beginning of the Women in Horror timeline, the truth is women have been at the center of the horror genre since the beginning.
Pam Keesey is well known for her writing on women in horror, including her books Daughters of Darkness, Dark Angels, Women Who Run with the Werewolves, and Vamps: An Illustrated History of the Femme Fatale. She is the editor and publisher of MonsterZine, an online horror movie magazine that, in the words of Dr. Frank C. Baxter of The Mole People (1956), explores the meaning and significance of horror movies in the 21st century. In addition to editing horror fiction and writing non-fiction about horror, Pam has also worked as a technical writer, a news editor, and as an editor of occult books in Spanish.
Check her out @
Saturday, January 23, 2010
The book world was blasted with major loss when Robert B. Parker, passed away on Monday, Jan. 19th, at age 77. Parker transcended genres with his superior writing, but it was his Jesse Stone and Spenser series, that left a distinct mark on the crime novels, in the same way Raymond Chandler or Mickey Spillane had in the past.
With over 60 books to his credit, Parker earned the title “The Dean of Crime Fiction.” He loved to write, and touched countless people with his characters, and the work he did with Chandler's classic character Phillip Marlowe. New York Times Best Selling Author, Laurell K. Hamilton, credits Parker's detective character Spenser as Anita Blake's literary father. It seemed as if nothing short of death would stop this legend from writing. His final moments were spent sitting at his desk, working on his next novel.
According to the Los Angeles Times; “He didn't concern himself with looking back. Instead, he wrote, and in the process irrevocably altered American detective fiction, forging a link between classic depictions and more contemporary approaches to the form.”
On a personal note: I was first exposed to Robert B. Parker, after watching Tom Selleck's portrayal of Jesse Stone in the film adaption to Night Passage. From there I picked up every Jesse Stone movie and novel I could get my hands on. Parker was a strong influence on my currently unpublished crime fiction.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I think a better slogan would be “I’m a Travestite”. The fanatics would finally have a name for themselves and it would remind everyone just how pretty of a man Mr. Grundon is.
As for what I will write about, I felt that I needed to stick with what I’m known for so as not to alienate you on our first formal date. If you haven’t figured it out already I am a ceWEBrity. Online I go by the handle Joey_Vee and I’m known for making snarky comments about terrible movies that no one will remember in a year. Just about every week I am featured on The Rotten Tomatoes Show, a weekly half hour video compendium to the most popular movie review website in THE ENTIRE WORLD, and even though I get paid less than the critic in your local newspaper, I am on T.V. which means people actually know I exist. It was by fate that I came into this gig. I was already seeing 100 or so movies a year in the theater and it was getting really expensive and I was desperate to find a way to pay for my habit. The Rotten Tomatoes show premiered about a year ago but it wasn’t until around May of ‘09 that they decided to pay people to submit their reviews and ever since I ripped X-Men Origins: Wolverine a new one, I have been on almost every week. Because of my love of movies and the need to review a new one every week I tried even harder to find ways to see them for free and over the course of the past year I have picked up quite a few tips that have helped me save a ton of money. I rarely like to share these secrets with people for the sake of not liking competition but I doubt your addiction to movies is as severe as mine so if I see you on my turf I will stab you with a whittled down toothbrush wrapped in duct tape. Just sayin’.
Probably the most popular way to see movies in the theater for free is to go to radio station or movie review websites and try to win passes to advance screenings but those are a real hassle. You have to show up an hour before the movie starts on a predetermined date and listen to old people bitch about their ankles swelling just so you can sit 5 feet away from the screen and give yourself permanent neck damage from looking straight up for two hours. I love going to the theater but I want to go on my own time. One thing I have always noticed is that theaters literally employ retards. I’m not trying to be rude, this just a fact ( I think they get a tax credit or something). Basically the only line of defense a theater has is the ticket ripper who is usually a drooling 17year old with his fly down... They have no power and they know it, so all really have to do is walk past them with some confidence, preferably while holding up a movie stub you found in the parking lot, and mumble something while giving them direct eye contact.
They will not stop you I guarantee it. In case they are a little pansy and feel like ratting you out in hopes of getting a promotion you can duck into the bathroom for 5 minutes and wait them out. It’s impossible to yell at a guy with possible diarrhea from the other side of a bathroom door. It’s embarrassing for everyone involved. If you feel guilty about stealing something that isn’t tangible then you can go buy a kid’s ticket from the automated booth outside the box office. This method will leave your conscious feeling especially clean because the money saved is the exact same amount as using their rewards card which entitles you to a free ticket after so many visits, except now you won’t feel like an idiot because you forget the damn card every time you go. As for theater techniques that have failed miserably, I once left the back door propped open but when I came back a week later the door was closed and I was out a pet rock.
Apparently stuff like “make sure doors are closed” is on the nightly closing checklist.
Also, I once payed to go to college because they always have free advance screenings but the tuition actually put me $15,000 in debt before I figured out that it was a terrible idea.
Next up is how to get DVD’s for free. At this point certain DVD’s are practically free already. Wal-Mart has these huge bins right when you walk in where they will pay you $5 just to take one, but since I’m a modest guy who is grateful for what Wal-Mart has done to enrich the lives of low income families everywhere, I don’t bother with taking their money. I even bring my own canvas tote bags so as not to raise suspicions. One time I was chased by a slow (in more ways than one) greeter but I was in a rush and didn’t have time to respectfully decline his money. A similar thing happened when I was cutting the box tops off of a bunch of Kellogg’s brand breakfast cereal boxes at my local grocer. Can you believe that they will mail you a copy of Mighty Ducks 2 if you send them 8 of those things? And speaking of getting DVD’s by mail, if you know anyone who has a Netflix or a Blockbuster By Mail account then you can wait for the post man to drop off their queue.
If you want this plan to work for a long time then you will have to watch the movies pretty quickly and put them back in the mailbox fairly undamaged. Any place where you can rent DVD’s is a great to go to because it is insanely easy to stake out the return box. Blockbuster, stand alone rental kiosks like RedBox, and even libraries have an outside drop box where vulnerable old ladies hobble out of their still running cars without a care in the world and can be easily tackled for a night of home theater enjoyment. It is a little silly to do it at a library though since the movies are free to rent in the first place, but library patrons are usually quite frail and put up the least amount of struggle.
If you are reading this there is a good chance that you either have a computer or haven’t had your library card revoked for looking at porn so that means you have almost instantaneous access to movies through the internet. There are legitimate ways to watch movies online through websites like HULU or paying for a Netflix membership but it can be hard to watch every movie in the world whenever you want it, especially when they are still in the theater. What I recommend is going to a site like OVGuide and find a site that streams movies using a very sketchy set of rules that makes them seem like they could be legal. I always try to stream movies from these sites while on my aunt’s computer just in case they do gunk up things. I mean come on, computers are expensive.
If things get really bad and you are completely out of options then I might recommend following a mini van with a flip down DVD player and adding your own soundtrack, or if you are brave, pull up alongside and ask them to leave their windows rolled down and turn up the volume for everyone to enjoy. This can also be applied to houses with windows.
There are also a couple of ways that I like to make money while watching movies. I have gotten into the habit of bringing a tiny digital camcorder and a tripod and leaving them in the back of the theater recording one movie while going to enjoy another one in a separate theater. I usually go early in the afternoon and pick the least crowded ones. You see the thing is that when the ushers do check to see if anyone is recording the feature they are looking for people with camcorders up on their shoulders like the news people have. You then take that shitty CGI kids movie and make a thousand or so copies and sell them at your local flea market or gas station. And finally, you could also decide to review movies yourself but I would strongly advise you against that unless you are ready to get involved in the most devastating toothbrush fight ever.
- Joey Vosevich
check out Joey on the interweb @
Joey is also a regular reviewer on the Current's Rotten Tomatoes Show
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I'm really trying to kick off 2010, with a big boot, as I team with my friends Justin Brock-Jones and Robert Freese for a B&N Book Signing. The guys and I will be in my old stomping ground of Evansville, Indiana with copies of Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead and news on our next collaboration, new publisher and upcoming solo projects.
Speaking of Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead...
The Preditors and Editors Readers Poll is in full swing and I'm extremely pleased to announce that I have been nominated for the Best Book Editor of 2009, for my work on this book.
I admit I did not do the bulk of the technical editing on this book, but the book was my idea and I am the one who pulled this interesting collection of authors together. I'm not implying that I am in any way more important than anyone else in this book. Most of the stories are even better than mine, in my opinion.
If you want to know why you should vote for me or the book in the readers poll, it's because the story of this book is just as crazy as many of the tales held within.
The Anthology of the Living Dead was spawned from zombiefriends.com and their sea of aspiring authors. I thought it would be a swell idea to combine these authors into a book, to promote zombiefriends. My idea for funding the production of this book was to offer horror stores (i.e. Fear Werks, Scars Magazine, Horrormerch) an ad in the book, for a small fee, designed to go toward the publishing cost.
Due to a struggling economy, and other tough times, even the people who wanted to contribute couldn't. The book remained in limbo, but I refused to give up on the idea, and continued to collect new authors and zombie tales. Eventually one version of the book was picked up by Triad Book, and later Hidden Gate Books. Both companies left us high and dry on a cloud of lies. This is something that made me look like a liar and made some people think the book was never going to be published. Some authors even pulled their stories and we lost two different editors
With much loss, two failed publishers, and two bullshit release dates, I sat at conventions and book signings where people were looking for this book, and were promised to see it. I can even admit that I was brought to tears, when the book didn't come out on the first scheduled date. At this point a lot of editors would have given up, but I felt good about the title and the 7 stories we still had. The only thing I could do was enlist new authors and find us a new publisher, but it wasn't until Joe Moe informed me that Forrest J Ackerman wanted to be attached to this book, that it really all fell in place.
We had new life and new stories from Robert Freese, Del Howison, Axelle Carolyn and our new co-editor L. B. Goddard.
Things really picked up when Black Bed Sheet Books agreed to publish us and we hit store in late 2009. Since then the weight of advertising and getting the word out on this book has fallen on myself and the other authors. Out of the 15 authors in the collection only a handful have really shared my excitement, and done the foot work to promote it. I understand that in most cases it's the publisher who does the bulk of the promotion, but that is not the way BBS Books works. It is a small company that doesn't have the resources, a larger publisher has.
This is not a jab at BBS, any of the other editors or any of the authors in the anthology. It is just the way it is.
With the story told, I have made it my personal goal to get the word out and make this book the most successful book it can be. That is why you should vote for me. Not to feed the ego of one guy, but more to vote for the guy who put countless hours, tears and sleepless nights into making sure this book saw print.
Please vote for J. Travis Grundon Best Book Editor or 2009
Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead for Best Anthology of 2009
Matty by Cassandra Lee for Best Horror Short Story of 2009
If Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead wins, one lucky voter will win a FREE signed copy of the book!!!
Fingers crossed, and appreciative for all of the support
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
As part of our overall effort to assist and promote writers, we are proud to conduct the annual Preditors & Editors Readers Poll. We hope that this small effort helps all publishers and writers on the Internet to thrive in what is still viewed as a highly experimental and strongly competitive environment.
Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead has been nominated for the best Anthology of 2009 in the Readers Poll. I served as an editor and contributor on this book, and I know all the blood and tears that went into it. If any book deserves to win it is Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead!
Cassandra Lee's story, Matty, from the anthology is also nominated for Best Horror Short Story. This is definitely one of my favorite stories in the collection, and I I wish her the best of luck, but it's the entry with the most votes in each category that will receive a beautiful customized GIF award.
Please go vote for Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead and Cassandra's Story!!!
Still need more of a reason to vote?
Prizes for randomly selected voters may consist of small cash prizes, books, subscriptions, t-shirts, and so forth. Please visit the sponsors to see what each offers. This is subject to change as more sponsors join in.
Do it for me. Do it for Cassie. Do it for Uncle Forry, or just do it for the fun and prizes...but please vote for us!!!
Forrest J Ackerman shall not die!