Literary Listening: The Unofficial Crossroads Playlist

You know the best part about movie trailers?  No, it’s not the teasers and spoilers that you may glean from a two-minute synopsis of the plot.  That’s the obvious answer, and it’s also the wrong answer.  The song selection is the best marketing strategy for any upcoming release.  You might be in another room when the trailer comes on your television.  You can’t see the commercial, and you probably won’t be able to make out any dialogue or voice-over story-telling, but I bet the music will creep its way into your ear canal.  It might be faint.  Possibly even subconscious, but once your synapses begin making connections, you can tell what the trailer is without even looking.  OR, if you aren’t already familiar with the title, then you have an undeniable need to run into the other room to see what the movie is.

So you’ve finished the first book in the Kings of Chaos Motorcycle Club series and you can’t stop thinking about the magnificent plot and fully developed characters.  Hell, maybe you even thought to yourself as you were reading it, “Self, I can hear this song playing in the background of this scene.”  Well, maybe you were right.  Let’s think about it for a minute and take a look below! Continue reading

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Bards Against Hunger Indiana available now!

Remember when I said I was a pretty serious poet? (Scroll down a little bit, and that should help refresh your memory.) Well, the latest collection of poetry that I was fortunate enough to be featured in has been released and you should all stock up while the getting is good! All proceeds will go to benefit The Homeless Advocacy Center of Anderson and Madison County. Order your copies here and help support a great cause!

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My Ship Don’t Sink! available now!

I am excited to finally share the finished product with you of the first joint project from my writing partner and me.  Take a peek at our first foray into children’s books with a fun story about an impossibly buoyant toy boat.  Try not to laugh when you’re reading this book to a small child and they exclaim, “My ship don’t sink!”  Order your copy here, and stock up for upcoming baby showers and the holidays!

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Pretty Serious Poet

Last year I came across a call for submission for poems pertaining to the night sky. The poems were to be collected and published in book form, and the proceeds would go to benefit a planetarium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Being a Ball State grad, I was instantly excited and started grinding the gears in my brain to see what I could crank out. I started ruminating over Indiana nights, clear country skies, and lightning bugs. Fireflies to be more precise.

My wife and I had been binging the wonderful science fiction television show, “Firefly,” and I knew right away that I had to come up with an ode to Captain Malcolm Reynolds. The words came naturally and flowed freely. It’s a beautiful dedication to cult pop culture.

From there, I went real deep. You know, like a real poet. “The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favorite paintings ever (much like everybody else on the face of the earth), so I really dug into the artistic process that went into creating that masterpiece. Weeks of thought went into this poem and weeks more of tweaking it to get it right. In the end, it turned out great – if I do say so myself. Continue reading

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Crossroads excerpt featured on Authors Read podcast

Recently, I had the opportunity to record an excerpt from Crossroads for a new podcast called Authors Read, where you guessed it, authors read excerpts from their works.  I think it’s a really cool concept, and I was excited to be selected to be featured.  I’ve always toiled with the idea of trying to record an audio book version of Crossroads in my own voice, since the narrative of the story is essentially told through my point of view and with my own personal speech patterns and quirks.

Luckily, I have a friend who has his own podcast (One Hour Wasted), and has a nice setup for recording.  Even better still, he was willing to assist me with recording my reading.  I read two chapters, and it took three hours of recording/editing before my thirteen minute segment was completed.  The recording quality was top-notch.  My performance on the other hand…yikes.  Overall it was a great learning experience, and the episode was just released!  You can follow the link here to find the podcast and here for the website.  I’m hoping to follow-up with a reading from Crossfire once it’s released, so stay tuned for part 2!

 

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Cover reveal: Crossfire

The much-anticipated sequel to Crossroads is nearing completion, so it’s time to start sharing some sneak peeks!  The first three drafts are out-of-the-way, and the graphics have been completed.  I’m waiting for the last round of notes from my proofreaders before shipping the finished manuscript off to the publisher.  While the official release date is still pending, I’m excited to share the synopsis and finished cover art with you, so check it out!

“Once upon a time, in a far away land, there was a knight who tried to save a princess. That’s an example of how this story doesn’t start. This is no fairy tale folks, so if that’s what you’re looking for then you’ll have to keep looking. This is more of a nightmare. My nightmare.”

Will McGee is back! Just when he thought he could take a breath from infiltrating and toppling an outlaw motorcycle club, he realized just how much his tiny hometown of Rough River Falls, Kentucky truly needs him…even if it appears that they don’t want him. The town is imploding as a direct result of his actions against the Kings of Chaos Motorcycle Club, and the impact is starting to rear its ugly head in multiple ways. The lawman’s battles have left him scarred and weary, but he’s never been one to leave things alone. Can he restore order to the chaos he created, or will he get caught in the Crossfire? Grab a helmet, this ride could get a little out of control.

 

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Crossfire Book Trailer World Premier

So it turns out book trailers are a thing.  Now I’m not talking about a trailer full of books.  No, that would be a bookmobile.  Stay with me here – it’s a movie trailer but for a book.  I know, it seems so simple now, doesn’t it?  It also seems kind of silly to create video footage and visuals for an otherwise non-visual medium.  Books are meant to engage your imagination and put your mind’s eye to work, right?  Well there lies the challenge.

Once I was introduced to the concept, it also compelled my hyperactive brain to see what I could come up with.  At the core, book trailers are intended to help build hype surrounding a title that is coming soon or newly released.  Similarly to a movie trailer, you just want to tease your audience without giving anything away.  A major difference between the two though, is casting.  In a movie, it’s all about who is starring in it.  I suppose the same could be said for a book, but in a completely different way.  Fictional characters should be up to the reader to imagine and picture in their mind, so a book trailer needs to be very careful not to provide any distinct, identifying information.  You want to use overly generic footage, or B-roll if you will, so the reader is still free to imagine things as they see fit.  The tricky part then is creating a trailer that doesn’t provide any distinct features, doesn’t give away any details, yet still somehow manages to draw in and captivate the audience.  Suddenly it doesn’t seem so simple, huh?  Well needless to say, based on the title of this post, I decided to give it my best effort. Continue reading

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