New Article

A wonderful off-beat periodical site known infamously as Drunk Monkeys has published one of my articles today.

As a fan of professional wrestling (evidenced by the earlier post, a reference to the defeat of the Undertaker last night), I often ponder the weird universe its stories are set in, and just what a strangely bizarre and beautiful hybrid product televised wrestling is.  There have been plenty of discussions of how WWE Monday Night Raw could be a better wrestling product, but little discussion about how it could be a better television product.  In this article, I draw comparisons to Prestige Dramas (Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, etc) in an effort to demonstrate what other shows Raw might be able to take its cues from in order to improve the product it offers.

Give my article a read; I hope you enjoy!

Moving Day

I’ve lived in seven of the fifty states: Florida (twice), Texas, Tennessee (twice), South Carolina, Kentucky, Utah, and North Carolina (four times).  But this summer, I am moving yet again.  Actually, I’m moving twice.

I’ll be moving this June…somewhere.  We’re not entirely sure yet, though Asheville (North Carolina) is the current front runner.  Richmond Virginia is another possibility (so I could finally be RVA in RVA).  Places as far as Miami are being considered.  But that’s peanuts compared to the BIG move.

Around August, I will be moving to Scotland.

The current plan is I will be moving back and forth between the two locales annually.  The exact travel times will very, but let’s just say I’ll be in the USA 51% of the time.  The current window will put me returning to the USA in late December every year, in order to be back for the biggest party ever.  Since most of my conventions are between January and June, that’s the window I’ll be here.  The rest of the time, I’ll be in the highlands of Scotland.

So…yeah.  I don’t think this will impact my publishing and release schedules at all.  In fact, it’s been kind of frightening how little this is affecting.  I’ll still be carrying on most of my table-top role-playing games with the help of Skype (or similar programs).  Almost all of my work is done online, or over the phone.  So the impact should be minimal.  Just the location will be changing.

What an age we live in.  🙂

 

PS: Episode 02 of New Phase goes live this Friday!

Rhest for the Wicked and other books

In case you missed the announcement, Rhest For The Wicked is now available for the Kindle and other ebook readers, with the print version to come shortly (possibly this week).  But that’s not all!  Haven Publishing House, (aka my publisher) has also released The Pack by Dan Coglan and I Think? No, I’m Sure…God Hates Me by Manny Camacho.  The Pack is a fantasy story, while God Hates Me is a collection of various tales about conventions and the wacky world surrounding conventions.  Please check them both out…as well as Rhest For the Wicked, of course!

Again, these are all ebooks; the print editions will be available soon.

I first published Crossworld in 2001, so it’s a weird experience being a ‘new author’ a second time around.  Given the gap since my last novel came out, I feel like I’m almost starting my career over again.  I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.  In the intervening years since my first book, I’ve learned a lot about the industry.  But it was always as an independent author.  I failed more than I succeeded and I have the personal and professional scars to show for it.  But I also had a lot of fun and got to realize a dream.

Now signed with Haven, an indie company (and an upstart in its own right), it’s been interesting seeing many of the growing pains I went through when I was first published, only now on a company scale.  It’s been a hell of a ride just getting to this point.  But now that I/we are here, it’s like cresting a mountain.  It’s been long, hard, and arduous, but now we get to look out over the possibility that lies ahead.

This is an incredibly exciting time; professional, artistically, and personally.  Having the serials back online, being back in print, and now having a publishing house behind me, a new set of challenges and opportunities presents itself.  It’s exciting, to say the least.

For those of you who have been here with me through it all, thank you for sticking by me.  For those of you who are just now joining the adventure, welcome aboard.  We’re just getting started and there’s a LOT of fun stuff on the way.

And some of it will be showing up sooner than you think!  🙂

A Silent Voice

On March 7th, voice actor Hal Douglas died of pancreatic cancer.  If you watch television or movies, you are familiar with at least some of his work.  Probably one of the most amusing segments he has ever performed is this trailer for the Comedian, a rare instance where Hal Douglas got to show his face.

Hal Douglas didn’t have the most diverse voice-acting skills.  He wasn’t Seth MacFarlane, Frank Welker, or Mel Blanc.  In fact, he did very little voice acting and instead did primarily voice-over work, only occasional providing narration to a film or TV show itself.  Rarely was he a cast member within a tale itself.  He was a niche performer that provided a key element to the success of films and television shows for years.  And he’ll be missed.

As a fan of film and television, the passing of someone like Hal Douglas underlines the small but critical roles the ‘rest of the cast’ plays in the success of films.  We think of the headlining actors, the directors.  They define a movie.  When people talk about the Rock, they may refer to it as ‘a Jerry Bruckheimer movie’ or ‘one of Michael Bay’s movies’ or it starring ‘Sean Connery and Nichols Cage’.  And yet, it is one of Hal Douglas’ most iconic voice-over roles.  His dramatic narration in the trailer helped to redefine trailers in the 1990s.  Perhaps not the biggest accomplishment in the grand scheme of things, but trailers are an art unto themselves.  And to be trailblazer in any art form is something to stop and take notice of, and to respect.

Movies used to be made by dozens of people.  Now, they’re made by thousands of people.  Each one, an artist.  Each one hoping to put his or her stamp of creativity into the final product.  Each one doing their part to help bring to life a work of artistic majesty.  Next time you watch a movie, sit through the credits.  Read the names of everyone you can.  If you were Best Boy Grip or 2nd Unit Carpenter, you’d want your name read.

Think about your favorite movie trailers, and consider what it is about them that make them good.  The framing, the pacing, the shot selection.  The voice-over work.
And the next time you see the trailer for a movie, think about how many people went into the creation of that mini-film, whose sole existence is just to psyche you up for the film itself.

As an anime fan, I admire the work of voice actors and voice-over artists, perhaps more than most.  As a fan of trailers, that admiration is only compounded.  The loss of such a distinct voice like Hal Douglas is a loss to the art form.