Posts filed under "Writing Life"
…there’s bound to be fire or least that’s how the saying goes. Right now there’s a small fire kindling in my neck of the woods. I’ve been busy, maybe busy isn’t the right word, hmmm….okay, I think I’ve got it. I’ve been on fire. Burning with a desire to create and write, so much so that it’s consumed me along with the fact that I’ve had a son since my last update and he’s seven months and growing.
Awwww. Yeah, yeah, don’t go getting all mushy on me.
So this burning desire has been fed by countless hours of sitting at a desk, at a TV tray, on a bus, or a train, and even on an air mattress at one point in my life writing and writing and producing novels, comics and graphic novels that the world has yet to see. Why? Because if I don’t write I’ll die. I know those are harsh words but deep down it’s the one truth I absolutely believe in.
I’ve been toiling for over three years working at writing various things in a multitude of genres for different medias with no idea if any of it would make it past my pad (Yep, I still write with a pen and pad) and into the hands of you the reader.
Today I’m proud and a bit scared to say that those ideas are on the fast track to being in your hands for your enjoyment. How? Well I teamed up with my esteemed writing partner, Aaron Lewis, a fellow Columbia College Chicago grad and we decided that between us we had enough ideas to fuel a mini-studio and so we started Arion digital media group (Ariondmg.com) a multi-media entertainment group. Through Arion readers will finally get to read the entire 8 issue historical/horror series, Virgin Wolf or the Choose-your-own-destiny graphic novel, Dime. But comics and graphic novels are just the beginning in what we hope to achieve in the arena of TV, Film, and gaming, just to name a few.
What about prose?
No, I haven’t given up my first love and I never will. I just signed my first crime novel to a new indy publisher called, The Garrote, through them readers will get to meet detective Frank Calhoun in his debut within the pages of, Only the Holy Remain. I’m currently rewriting/editing the follow up novel entitled, Blue Religion. More info on a release date and readings to come.
Now you gotta be saying, wow-oh-wow, but the fire is just heating up. I’m also currently writing a 98 page graphic novel for a publisher while simultaneously writing a tribute comic on one of film’s most influential directors/writers for another publisher.
In between all that I’m also the co-writer for One Nation, a real world episodic superhero comic from 133art.com
(check out the preview here: http://www.133art.com/133ART/onenation.html)
As you can see that burning desire has started to kindle into what I hope continues to be a huge roaring fire. There’s some other secretive projects on the horizon that I can’t wait to tell you about, some that are really going to be game changers as far as what people perceive me to write while others will be really cool projects that I hope leave you begging for more.
I was asked recently by a fellow writer how these opportunities have come my way and I always say truthfully it was a bit of luck, a lot of writing and believing in yourself even when it feels like there are those that don’t, and lastly, taking chances and putting myself out there whether that meant a cold email intro, a facebook comment, a pitch where I was turned down, or even a face-to-face interview. I’ve learned that each interaction is fuel for the fire. Use every critique as fuel. Get Mad. Not at the person critiquing you but at yourself and tell yourself that you’ll do better next time because this time it was a learning experience, but next time it’ll be a win. No matter what keep writing and stay inspired by all things around you.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the free preview book or 200 pg graphic novel on ariondmg.com
So as always it would seem that my hands are in a few pots. I’ve decided to do a small update on just a few projects that I’m working on.
My first novel, Only the Holy Remain, has a contract on the table from a publisher. You can read an except here.
I’m currently rewriting/editing on my next novel, a follow up entitled, Blue Religion, which you can check out here.
I’m one step closer to signing Virgin Wolf to a publisher, so oh happy day when this story finally see’s the light of day.
Here’s a script that I did for my partner/director Aaron Lewis. The script is called Misty Blue. It’s a 7 page noir short with an impact! Check it out
Now as I said I’ve been working on a few projects. The first one is Dime, a neo-noir graphic novel, which I’m pitching to a few publishers now. If you haven’t seen the new cover check out it here.
My next mini-series is an action-adveture entitled, Palm, which follows the story of Paris Mulano, a young sicilian woman turned assassin after her family is murdered by a powerful American mafia boss. Here’s a look at the inked cover. Isn’t she beautiful?
Also, Zulu is back in production and I have two publishers interested in the book. Here’s a look at the cover to the second issue. Yeah, we’re gearing up to tell a very exciting story.
There’s a lot more that I wish I could share, but I hope you’ll stick around just a bit longer to see how I’m about to impact the world of entertainment. Thanks!
So I’ve been busy… as always. But I thought I’d take the time to drop an update. My short story, Pain” was recently published over at the Heated Forest. It’s a hard-boiled crime story filled with so much toughness it’ll make you second guess taking on the little man in the room. You can read it here.
Between adapting a screenplay into a graphic novel and project managing intellectual properties and adapting them into graphic form i.e. comic books I’ve also just finished writing my next novel, which is entitled “Blue Religion” It’ll be the follow up to my first novel “Only the Holy Remain” which has a contract on the table with a small publisher.
As I was writing this update I received two emails this morning from two different publishers. The good news is that it looks like Zulu has found a home and I hope to share more details about it soon, but for now you can check out the preview pages here. The other news is that some of my comic material will be published in a magazine over in India. Again, more details to come, sorry.
But I know you didn’t come to hear me ramble on. You want to see the cover to the Virgin Wolf graphic novel. Well Here you go.
The book will be coming out soon. Just gotta get a few more things into place, but be on the lookout for some cool giveaways.
In parting I leave you with these words. ”While you sleep I write.” and I hope that while I sleep you’re writing.
First point of view or third point of view? That is the question. It’s a parable that I’ve been wrestling with for a few months as I’ve tried to decide which point of view fits my novel. To better understand the way my kooky mind works you have to understand that I originally wrote “Only the holy remain” in third person and then I changed it to first person then back to third before realizing that the character’s voice better served the narrative in first person.
I came to this conclusion after listening to the character. Yeah, that’s right, I said, “listening to the character”. I know it sounds crazy but in truth it’s some of the best advice I was ever given. Listening to the character allowed me to find Frank Calhoun’s voice and in essence it allowed me to find my own. No longer did I feel as though I was imitating, and at times, parodying the works of other writers that had come before me. By allowing myself to be open to listening to the voice of my character I started to see that I was blazing my own trail, or in my case, going down my own dark alley and discovering what was around the corner.
As a writer, especially a crime writer coming from the tough streets of Chicago’s West side, I felt that I had a love/hate relationship with cops. At one end of the spectrum I lived by the unwritten street code that cops, and I do mean all cops, are bad. But on the other end of this spectrum I loved detective stories, and even felt a working class kinship (if it can be called that) to the everyday patrol officers. Now I know that every cop isn’t bad, but I’ve run into a lot of them that give the phrase “one bad apple” a strong conviction. I’ve also known some very bad criminals, which I could say the same about.
I guess this is why I wanted to write crime and suspense-thriller fiction, or more so, I wanted to write about “crime” without writing just about cops or just about criminals. I guess this is how “only the holy remain” came about. You see, I wanted someone like Frank Calhoun that understood the reasoning of having a legal system, but also understood that the streets lived by its own laws. I wanted a character that could blur the lines between the two worlds when needed, but not cross them, and more importantly, I wanted a character that came from a different part of Chicago. A Chicago I’ve never read about (so far, unless you count Native Son) but I knew existed. A Chicago that is grey and where only the holiest of those that believe in a brighter day fight to survive and remain.
This is why first POV worked for me. Because It allowed me to do all those things, but I wouldn’t have been able to do them unless I had allowed myself to listen to my character and follow his every command.
Read the first chapter of Only The Holy Remain here
Next update: Writing an animated Bible. You might as well just write a novella.
I know I’ve been away, but for good reason. I just graduated with my Masters in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Yep, one small step or something like that. Trust me, it’s been a loooooong road that I’ve had to travel. And in truth my journey is just beginning.
Now, that I’m officially a graduate I can no longer hold on to my internships and must now go into the world and work. Don’t get me wrong, I love to work, I love to work hard and earn a good buck. I’ve been working since I was 12, but that’s a story for another day.
Today is about giving you, my audience, a glimpse into my creative world. Over the past few months I’ve been writing my life away. Currently I have three new comic book ideas in development as I speak. And by development I mean that right now they’re being drawn.
Here’s a run down of what they are.
Guilds is a fantasy story about a young street performer named Adrian who discovers she is the last living heir to a magical armor called the Armor of Osiris. Haunted by a merciless warrior by the name of Brun the Skinner, Adrian finds herself accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, each a different species from a guild that helped to create the armor, as she sets out to assemble Osiris Armor and unlock it’s secrets in order to destroy the greatest evil her world has ever known…Shadazar the blighted.
In The Dead Of Night is the story of Detective Jimmy Bones and his Partner Frank Estrada who are investigating murders that could be linked to a serial killer who is copying one of the first serial killers in the world: Jack the ripper. With every crime scene Detective Bones discovers a clue, which helps him draw one step closer to catching the killer, but could these clues also be leading the killer to his most prized victim: Detective Jimmy Bones.
Palm is the story of Paris Milano. A young college educated Sicilian woman that returns to her hometown to discover that the local Mafia Don has killed her family. This in turn sends Paris on a wild and vengeful journey to America where she seeks Vengeance against the man that had her family killed. Torn between falling in love with the FBI agent that’s trying to capture her and revenge, Paris will have to decide if the blood on her hands is worth the price of her heart.
So that’s about it for now on the comic side of things. I’ll talk more about my 200-page graphic novel in another post. All I can say at this moment is that all the pencils are in.
I’ve also been writing a feature screenplay called “Relics” it’s an action adventure, thriller in the vein of Angels and Demons. Right now, I’m doing a rewrite on it. I hope to share it with you soon. Ah, what the hell, here’s the first few pages. Enjoy!
Now for you that continue to read on I’ve also been writing the animated series bible for Guilds. Let me tell you, writing series bibles are not fun. Especially for animated works because there’s so much building up of the world and characters, but I can’t lie, it’s been a lot of fun.
Now some of you may be saying, “how can you write so much” and I’ll tell you my secret. Now read this slow and out loud so you don’t forget it. Here’s my secret. I sit down and write. Simple as that. I give myself a deadline to keep myself motivated, but I sit and write, even when it’s not going well I write. I tend to write in the morning or late and I do mean late at night.
Now this little update seems to be going on longer than I anticipated. So I’ll talk about the webisode I wrote that will be shooting at the end of June in another update. Yep, one small step.
But for now let me leave you with this little bit of advice. Write from your heart. Believe wholeheartedly and sometimes foolhardily that what you’re writing is meant for you to write no matter what some may say.
Till next time. In the words of Veto Corleone, “Every man has but one destiny and in that destiny is his ultimate fate”.