Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Birthday, Brad Meltzer and How I pissed off Walmart

I should ring the gazoo and show a little bit of happiness. Today is my birthday after all. It just officially happened mind you, but I like making every second count. So happy birthday to the greatest writer in the world (Looks behind him to make sure Brad isn't there)...me. :)

Well today was a bit of good news, bad news and indifferent news for me. I like getting the bad news out of the way first, so I'll begin there.

Sadly, I can't get my book into the poisoned pen. Sadly, my work isn't considered solicited by a publisher or distributor and as such I won't be able to get it in the store just yet. That's not cool, but that's the way it goes.

The good news is that I can work around that. It's now a matter of finding a distributor. Distribution is the key to my way into the door. I will crack it. It's true, oh it's true.

Now for the real good news: I got to meet Brad Meltzer tonight!

Brad Meltzer is signing a book entitled The Book Of Fate which from what I hear kicks butt. (sadly, I'm a poor man, but at least I now have the Zero Game! Another great book!) Brad is an incredibly funny guy. He told several stories, including his first agent experience, skirts and a bit about freemasonry. He's also got a lot of class and is a decent human being.

To my surprise, he actually knew who the hell I was. I had emailed him a couple of times and to my surprise when I brought it up, he actually remembered who I was.

Brad also has the distinction of right now writing the comic book series Justice League of America. It's a shame he can't do both. He's really good at making heroes very human. The voice that you hear them in makes them seem like someone you've known for years. In another novel of his, First Counsel he succeeds at this too. Making even presidents seem very human. That is a gift. And why Brad is one of the best in the business. All in all I had a blast meeting him. So Brad, if on the off chance you are reading this, thank you.

And now for my wal mart story. Well first, another first I have to talk about. I met a friend on a message board I frequent for the first time. Sean Boyle is a funny friendly guy. He's got a short story collection coming out in February and I wish him all the best with it. Anyways, I met him and we started talking in person. I brought up the concept of what is the greater evil, Wal Mart or Monsanto? At the mention of Walmart, a elder, large gentleman actually shuddered. Part of my brain told me that this guy probably worked at wal mart. Me and Sean talk about Wal Mart for a few minutes, ranging from funny to actual experiences (I'm one of the unlucky that has worked there.) Anyway, to make a long story short, you could actually see the gentleman in front of me become redder and redder. Finally, the gentleman turned around red faced and eyes filled with anger. He says to me specifically that he was the manager of walmart and that if I am going to bad mouth the company that I need to have my facts straight. Now yes, I'm terrible for rubbing salt in the wound, but I had fun. And if that makes me terrible, oh well. So all in all I had fun tonight.

Oh, I have one more piece of good news. I'm going to be writing comic reviews and interviews at the comicbloc. I'll announce when the interviews will take place. I want to specifically however, target the independents. There are a lot of good comics out there that just aren't made by the big two. IDW, Virgin, Image and Dark Horse comics make some killer books. And there's also webcomics. Web Comics are a part of the industry I feel doesn't get enough exposure. So I intend to try to remedy that in a David Letterman kind of way. Or maybe more like a Conan O Brien...with just a tad bit of journalism thrown in. I mean, how hard can journalism be. Fox News claims they are journalists...can it be much harder then that kind of slant? ;) Seriously, I want to see good books do well, and if a little press can help some little books become bigger, then it's worth it.

I'm not without some kind of selfish gain in this, and I won't lie about that. But all in all, I intend to have some fun with this.

And finally, I can finally sell my books at First Fridays here in Phoenix. I'm going to sell my books at the First Friday if all goes to plan. Which means that if my books are shipped down here, I can start selling them. Wish me luck.

Well then, that's quite a lot to read. I don't intend to ramble that much longer, but it seems like doors are opening for me down here. Hopefully by next year I won't have to worry about some of the problems I have now, and hopefully be closer to my goals. That's my evil battleplan.

Later all. Have a good day.

JP

Friday, September 01, 2006

What I'm Reading

First off, to those of who who have read Thrill Seeker, I thank you for the kind words. For those of you wondering what the hell I'm talking about go here and read. You should.

I thought I'd take a little break from some stuff and actually pimp out some of the stuff I'm reading. But since I read lots it's hard to narrow some stuff down. So let's begin with my novels, and go into comics.

Currently I'm reading The Maerlande Chronicles by Elisabeth Vonarburg. An interesting twist on the male/female hierarchy and quite imaginative. I'm not sure it's for everyone but it's solid science fiction.

Let's see, I'll be jumping into First Council by Brad Meltzer, Jennifer Scales and the Ancient Furnace by Anthony Alongi and MaryJanice Davidson. Brad Meltzer became my hero when he wrote this comic book called Identity Crisis. Now he's writing JLA. I want to know what it would take to allow him to stay on the book for another few eons, but will be happy to enjoy the run he is on. So anyways, I read the first chapter and I'm hooked.

Anthony Alongi on the other hand is something brand new. I still read teen fiction from time to time. And for those of you that laugh, remember, LOTR was meant for children...:D Anyways, I'll be givign her a try when I get my hands on it tomorrow.

Let's see, beyond that there's the realm of comics. I read so many I'm afraid it's becoming my permanent crack addiction. I just added a new comic called Wasteland written by Antony Johnston and drawn by Christopher Mitten and give it my highest recommendations.

Beyond that, I recommend this month's Analog magazine for a great story by Robert J Sawyer.

I wish people read more. Reading is a great joy that fewer people do today and that's a shame. Hopefully you'll give anything I recommend up there a spin.

Alright, I've said my piece.

JP

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The World of Immortality

This wednesday is the start of a new blog and marks my official countdown to The Immortality Syndrome, that novel I've been trying to make people aware of for a while. While I wait for the novel to be published, I figured I could write stories based on the world I created here. For a touch of background and the gist of the plot to the world, check out my prolouge here in order to get an idea.

These stories aren't in any chronological order. Some take place before others. There's no particular order. That said, there's no need to read them in any order either. You can just pick and choose your story.

I'd love to hear comments from others. Outside of that, enjoy. They're free.

Special thanks to Michael Alan Nelson, who writes a great online novel called Dingo. Which by the way you should check out here.

See you wednesday with the first short story entitled 'Thrillseeker'.

JP

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Conquering The World

That's right. I'm going to conquer the world. I mean not in any ways involving guns, bombs or any war propaganda. I'm talking about my personal goals. More specifically, my more out there goals.

Life is about goals. Some of us talk about the ones we believe we can do with ease. But what about the "unrealistic" goals? While most of us can freely admit that anything is possible, most of us have a more realistic view of what we can acheive.

Even though there are some things that seem more likely then others, we all have them.

Here's mine. Without further ado, here are my top 5 pipedreams.



5. Be number one on the New York Times Bestseller List


This one would be incredible. Be the number one book in the United States. Never mind how big my ego would be after a feat like that, it would be incredible for it to happen.

4. Win A Hugo


A Hugo for those of you who hate science fiction is the biggest award in science fiction. I'd want to win one just to say I did. It's usually a book that exemplifies the best in science fiction. I don't know if I'll ever write anything of that calibre, but then again, I say why not?

3. Write Green Lantern for DC Comics


I love comics. Sure, there's spiderman, there's wolverine, but Green Lantern is my favorite superhero. I've read him since I was 8 and would be truly happy if I accomplished this goal. I never would write another comic again. Because for me, this would be the mecca in that field

2. Write a Hollywood Big Budget Film


This one is number two only because I really don't have much interest in television. But a small part of hopes I can make that Star Wars or that Jurassic Park that everyone likes and talks about. Again, Why not?

1. To guest star on Oprah


This one is the ultimate mecca. Not only does something like this makes a career. But this to me would tell me that I made it. Not only that, how many people can say that they actually were on oprah? This is my biggest pipe dream, but again, why not?




These are my pipe dreams, my cartoons, my things that probably never happen but could. What are your goals? What are your wildest dreams?

Even if people say they will never happen, I believe you should have something like this in your heart. Why? Because we all need mountains to climb. But we also need mountaintops. And really, career wise, this would be it for me. Also, Because it just might happen. Life is funny that way. You never know what is around the corner. That big record contract from Sony might be inches away from your hands. That book you thought was never going to be noticed could tomorrow be a towering best seller. Fame and fortune in this world is truly fickle. It can happen to anybody, anytime and anywhere.

And those of you that truly doubt me, consider this...you've already overcome greater odds then this. You were born. So have your battle plans drawn up, your wildest desires in your heart. Because today they just might come true.

As for me personally, I don't honestly know if even one of these things would happen. I have a lot of hopes and a lot of dreams and crazy plans, but in the end I freely admit none of these things may happen.

That all said, it just might. And that is something worthwhile to hope for isn't it. What are your pipedreams. What are your ambitions? Your goals and your dreams? Cling on to them all. Especially the wildest ones.

JP

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The MySpace Experiment

I discovered MySpace about seven days ago and seem to have oodles of fun playing with it. That doesn't mean I won't post stuff here. Quite the contrary. This will become a bit more personal. The MySpace will focus on writing stuff more often. Though a bit of other things will crop up from time to time and vice versa.

I love MySpace's ability to connect with people. There are all kinds from all walks of life. That is the beauty of MySpace.

The not so beautiful thing about it is its censorship like qualities. My dad can't post his website on there for whatever reason. And I get the feeling the media control there is a little 1984ish.

But right now, it's a fun experiment and one I'm enjoying.

JP

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Trust

I think one of the last signs that you're really growing up is when you see your parents are quite human.

I found that out about my mother a long time ago. Now I find the same truths hold to my father. Just entirely in a different way.

My father is someone I've always put on a pedestal. He'd be embarrassed I think to read this, but it's true. My dad has always been my superman. He's got a lot of qualities that I always try to be...yet always seem to fall short on. Maybe all kids feel that way, I don't know.

Which is why it's so hard to see him in his more human moments. That pedestal seems to crumble down when I see it. As a kid I think I could ignore them easier. An adult doesn't have that luxury. Not if they know what's good for them.

Today I realized what My grandmother and him have in common as far as their not quite so good qualities. They don't trust. Once hurt, they can't regain that trust.

It's very hard to trust anyone. It's kind of like gambling that someone won't hurt you when you place any faith in them. Sadly for my father and my grandmother, tje gamble didn't pay off. Both of them are still devastated in their own ways. And I'm sorry it did.

And when the heart breaks, it needs time to heal. But I think you need to be able to learn to trust again in spite of the pain or the risk. That's something my dad nor my grandmother have yet to learn. Lack of trust isolates you. Sooner or later there comes a time when you have to let go and start to trust. To be able to hold on to that fear of being hurt...it's very human. And I wish I could take the pain away.

It's also something I hope I don't have in me. I hope I'm strong enough when its my turn that I'll be able to learn how to trust again. My life is lonely enough sometimes. I don't want that all year round.

When my parents got divorced I made myself a promise. Now that I see this, I make myself a second one. I want to have the strength not only to trust, but to trust again should that trust be destroyed. I don't want to make the same mistakes.

As for my dad, I pray he can learn to trust again. It would do him more good then he realizes. I don't know if it can be anytime soon. But I can hope.

JP

Monday, July 31, 2006

The Immortality Syndrome Cover

Here it is in all its glory. Feedback is appreciated. A special thanks to Milo for her hard work on it.

See it here and come back and tell me what you think.


The Immortality Syndrome is coming...

JP