Tag Archives: Novel

Sunday Showcase: The Fault In Our Stars

I’m not ashamed to admit to you dudes that I cry when reading some books.

Like, for instance, the entire last third of A Prayer for Owen Meany. A more recent tearjerker is the young adult novel The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

Green rapidly is being known for writing books filled with quirky characters facing odd problems with very witty dialogue. This book, though, isn’t really that odd a problem.

It’s cancer. And the book, while a bit predictable in places, is devastating.

And now they’ve gone and made a movie about it, which surely will be a less involving affair than was the book. Considering the black, black, black humor of the source material, I’m not sure if the movie will be the type to actually make any money.

When one of the biggest running jokes is about a kid who loses his remaining eye to cancer and is blind from then on, you know you’re in some pretty dark territory. No pun intended.

So, anyway, here’s the first trailer for the movie to let you get an idea of what’s going on.


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The Next Big Thing

by Richard

This probably isn’t coming as a surprise to anyone here, but I’m a writer.

I know, dudes. Quel shock, no? It’s not like I’ve mentioned that A Dude’s Guide to Babies is coming out on April 15, 2013 any times here on the online Guide or anything.

What you might not know is that I also write a lot of fiction. Not that I’ve managed to get published by any big-time publishers, but I have sold all the short stories I’ve written to small-press magazines. Anyway, a writing friend of mine, Sharon K. Raemer, author of the great book called Primary Fault, has dragged me into this, well, this thing. It’s called The Next Big Thing and it’s where a bunch of writers talk about what their next project is going to be.

The writers send around questions and then ask their friends to answer those selfsame questions.

Sure I could go with the obvious and talk about how A Dude’s Guide to Babies is coming out, soon, but I thought I’d talk about my next fiction project, the one nearest completion. So, here’s the answers to those questions about

The Next Big Thing

1) What is the working title of your next book/short story/project?

It’s called Reptile Wisdom and that’s going to be the title for reals. Unless a publisher wants to buy the book and deems a name change necessary. Then it gets changed. Yeah, I’m a sell out. Nothing new there.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

It’s odd, really. I’ve been writing a series of short stories all set in the same fictional “universe” for a while. Stories like The Hand That Feeds You, The Accidental Ghost  and Freakshow are all part of it. A couple of years ago, for National Novel Writing Month, I was searching around a day before it began for a story idea and I thought I would try and combine the characters from my various stories into one book. Reptile Wisdom is the result. I had no plot, only characters. Then I decided to open up the book with a really big explosion. No idea what was exploding or why, but it seemed like a good idea. Then I was off.

I kept the book under wraps for a year or so. Then, for last NaNoWriMo in 2011, I decided to haul out the book and rewrite it, one chapter a day for the month of November. That happened. No problem, cranking out an average of about 5,000 words a day was relatively easy since I already had the bare bones for a plot. Now I’m going through and trying to do actual editing.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

If anything, I’d say it falls under the category of Urban Fiction, although it’s really a genre mashup of sorts.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I have no idea. To my, the characters in my book could be amorphous blobs, for all I know. They’re a bundle of tics and characteristics wandering around a volcanically erupting landscape. Still, if you held a gun up to my head. . . Hubris Jameson, disgraced former newspaperman, current paranormal investigator and universal scrapegoat worn down by life and our the main character, might look good played by the worn-out Michael Madsen. Natalie Harper, the girl genius behind the Freakshow science/magic research division, could look good as played by Natalie Dormer, who can be seen as Margaery Tyrell from HBO’s Game of Thrones. While the former police turned firefighter could be played well by a shaven Mark Boone Junior, currently seen on Sons of Anarchy.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Once sentence? Geez, not sure about that. CurseWerks is all that stands between the Earth and those things that go bump in the night while holding onto a high-tech raygun and a barely restrained hunger so it’s probably too bad that CurseWerks exploded seven minutes ago.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Well, I’m hoping it will published by an actual publisher, but I’ve not sent the manuscript around to any yet.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

See above. I ground out the actual first, complete draft in 30 days.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Not really sure it could be compared to any of them as it’s a genre blend of fantasy and science fiction.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to read a really cool book that had bits of fantasy and bits of science fiction, full of good characters, a farcical sense of humor, a slam-bang plot. And zombies. Can’t forget the zombies. Even though they’re just a distraction.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Hey, it’s a darn good book. Seriously. It’s got laughs and fears, gasps and tears and all that good stuff. Mad science cackles madly in the corner while unknown things bump in the darkness of unreality. A former police seeks redemption. A girl genius seeks a day without snot monsters. A cynical former reporter seeks a little peace. One out of three is too bad, but it’s what we’re going to get. And zombies.

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Fair Warning, Smoking Fingers

by Richard

November is a special month. Not only is it the month where we celebrate the birthdays of my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Celebrated As She Deserves, my nephew Crusher and me, and we celebrate Thanksgiving and the pre-Christmas holiday shopping season’s beginning, but it’s also something else.

November is NaNoWriMo. For those not in the know, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a worldwide phenomenon in which people pledge to write 50,000 words of a novel during the month of November. That averages out to about 1,670 words every day from Nov. 1-30. Seems like a lot, but a lot of people do it.

I am one of them. Sort of.

I didn’t want to just pump out 50k words and then not be finished with a book. I know I’m a procrastinator, so I know I probably would have a hard time going back and finishing. I decided to do something a bit different. I decided to write a chapter a day. I recently did an outline of the book on which I’m working and I have, oddly, 30 chapters. One chapter per day. The book’s called Reptile Wisdom and it’s proving to be a beast.

So far, I’m on track. Today is day 16 and I’m working on Chapter 16. The good news is I’m already past the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words. I’m right now averaging about 4,000 words a chapter.

My fingers are starting to smoke when they get near the keyboard.

I’m going to try and keep up with the site here for the month, but posting might be a bit light.

Just to let you know why.

Wish me luck.

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