Saturday, January 23, 2010

Goodbye Parker


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 Parker was a strong influence on my currently unpublished crime fiction.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

Guest Blog Movie Tips

Hello there fans of the J. Travis Grundon way of living. This is the first time that I’ve ever been a guest on someone else’s blog but I was especially excited to be asked by J. because I know that he is mostly known as an “editor” which makes me believe that he is too lazy to finish anything on his own. I only recently met Mr. Travis but I can see why you like him. Besides being an excellent writer and an amazing father he also is very willing to let me use my fame to elevate his status, so for that I thank him. Hopefully by using me and other pseudo celebrities Mr. Grundon can get enough unearned recognition that this very website makes it to the front page of Digg every week and he can actually get some advertisers and publishers to throw money at him so that he can finally be a provider to his lovely woman like he promised many many years ago. Also, if he can build up enough of a fan base he might actually be able to sell some of those “i hate J. Travis Grundon” T Shirts that have been sitting on Zazzle.com forever.

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 @

http://myspace.com/7143980

and/or

twitter.com/joey_vee

Joey is also a regular reviewer on the Current's Rotten Tomatoes Show

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Story Thus Far...

Starting soon J. Travis Grundon Dot Com will be opening for special guest bloggers. I have already talked to several good folks about gracing us with their words. I'm very excited to have these people drop knowledge on my small, but loyal fiends!

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

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/bookeditor.shtml

Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead for Best Anthology of 2009

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/antho.shtml

&

Matty by Cassandra Lee for Best Horror Short Story of 2009

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/shortstoryh.shtml

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
- Travis

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Please vote Forrest J Ackerman's Anthology of the Living Dead

The Preditors & Editors Readers Poll

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!!!

http://www.critters.org/predpoll/

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!

- Travis