Posts

An Interview with Author Mike Bond

Image
An Interview with Author Mike Bond

1.  Who are your favorite writers?

Not in any specific order: Hemingway, Irene Nemirovsky, John D MacDonald, Alan Furst, Daniel Silva, Camus, Tolstoy, Malraux, St. Exupery, and many others whose new books I read when they come out.

2.  What motivates you to write?

I have lived very hard and very well, so I have many stories to tell. I also try to tell the stories of those who cannot speak -- the victims of war and human rights violations, the poor with no way out, the seekers, those haunted by the mystery of life. I write because it's what I love best to do.

3.  What should we know about your work?

All my books are a dialogue with death, a search for the grail, an attempt to understand the infinite mystery of living, of the universe and time, of how best to live. As mentioned in 2 above, I try to speak for those without a voice, to reveal the crimes of war and evil governance, of immoral corporations and crooked politicians. Most of the events in my…

A Note on The Age of Jive by Nate Maxson

Image
A Note on The Age of Jive by Nate Maxson
Word leads unto word in The Age of Jive by Nate Maxon.  Most often, the words spill down the page and onto the next page, and sometimes onto other pages.  Every now and then, Maxon fills a portion of a page, but most of these verses occupy many lines.
Consider, "Conquistador's Birthday," which begins on page 11 and wraps up with many lines in between over on page 16.  Not that Maxson always needs this room.  One of my favorites in the collection, which is no slim volume, is "Ophelia Before Jumping," which wraps up much sooner than some of the other titles.
Read more about Nate Maxon and other authors (including me) at publisher Red Dashboard's website: http://www.reddashboard.com/ and follow Red Dashboard on Twitter @RedDashboard

A Note on Collisions on a Non-Existent Highway by Rosalyn Marhatta

Image
A Note on Collisions on a Non-Existent Highway by Rosalyn Marhatta

The poems in this collection had a unique flavor of word choice and experience.  I recently read an article by Kurt Vonnegut that recommended "piquant" language in writing...this collections seems to have followed that advice.  There is the taste that comes through in "Epicurean Love" (pages 5-6), the narrative of "Showing In The Himalayas" (pages 9-11), and the sounds of "Himalayan Tea Song" (pages 14-15).

Finally, I will point out the memory and story of "A Tale Of Teeth."  As Marhatta writes, "My mind sees/her nine-year-old self/squeezing my hand/as we wander with her uncle/and siblings."  A collection worth savoring.

Read more about Rosalyn Marhatta and other authors (including me) at publisher Red Dashboard's website: http://www.reddashboard.com/ and follow Red Dashboard on Twitter @RedDashboard

A Note on Tomb Raider: Volume 1 - Spore

Image
A Note on Tomb Raider: Volume 1 - Spore
An adventurous graphic novel that reaches back to the first appearances of the character, and connects to more recent iterations.

The new Lara Croft feels like a grittier edition, and this book (as well as the new film) seems to follow suit.  The result is a nice cross-branding adaptation of the popular series, and I found it quite enjoyable.


Recommended for readers who want to experience more story with the character beyond pushing buttons and moving levels.  A highly polished graphic novel.

A Note on The Escapist: Amazing Adventures

Image
A Note on The Escapist: Amazing Adventures

From the work of Michael Chabon comes this graphic novel, which explores some of the world he created in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. 

Like that book, there is a unique interaction of reality and fiction in this book, evidenced by scenes of day-to-day living interspersed with scenes of high fantasy.  A unique read and reflection on this literary work.  I recommend both this book and its inspiration material.

Literary, visual, and well done.

A Note on You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames

Image
A Note on You Were Never Really Here by Jonathan Ames

Author Jonathan Ames delivers a gut-punching narrative, which is sure to make a compelling film.

Being a novella, the book is a fast one to digest, but Ames gives us images and scenes that stick in our teeth - in the very best of possible ways, plenty to roll around in our minds for a long time after the last page.

You Were Never Really Here is a closed fist of a book, and its effect lasts.  I read this last week in one sitting and I'm still thinking about it.

Recommended.

An Interview with Author Christian Boustead

Image
An Interview with Author Christian Boustead
1.  What inspires you to write? 

Sometimes its reading other fantasy.  Other times I look at a character and wonder what they might do and that is usually how it starts.

2.  What would you like us to know about your books? 

They are not just sword and sorcery though there is nothing wrong with that, they aim to look at deeper issues than that.  For instance in the Wereding Chronicles I am attempting to ask what of our culture would remain after a disaster such as the great burning.

3.  What is it about science fiction and fantasy that inspire you? 

They are areas that allow the imagination free and to me at least that is what writing is all about.

4.  Who are your favorite writers? 

Tulkine was probably one of the greatest influence on me, but I like Game of Thrones Martins and when it comes to scifi it has to be Frank Herbert.

5.  What are you working on now?

The third novel in my Wereding Chronicles fantasy series which has a working title of D…

An Interview with Author Clark Viehweg

Image
An Interview with Author Clark Viehweg

1.     What motivates you to write?

I write to get the stories out of my head.  Unless I write them down they forever and ever recycle through my mind.

2.     How would you describe your work?

I write poetry, songs, short stories, essays and novels.  So far I've only published two of my novels.  Unfortunately, I am a terrible editor and cannot afford to hire a professional.

3.     Please tell us about your writing process.

I write in the mornings believing that my brain is sharper at that time.  I set a word limit and when I stop when that is reached.  Usually three to four hours, however at times I have finished in two hours and sometimes six.  I attempt to edit each page as I write, ala Dean Koontz, but clearly without his talent.

4.     What should we know about your books?

I tell stories that are triggered by some actual event with factual locations.  What I write is my truths and what I have experienced.

5.     Who are your favorite writers?

A Note on Superhero Comics by Chris Gavaler

Image
A Note on Superhero Comics by Chris Gavaler

Scholar-author Chris Gavaler takes us through the history of superhero comics in a way that is accessible for any reader, and academically considered enough for any erudite.  Gavaler traces the genre from the beginning, commenting on how comic books and graphic novels reflected the culture and events around them, including war and eugenics.

Further, Gavaler relays details of how comic books are composed and read, and draws from a variety of literary and cultural influences to talk about how heroes and comic books are shaped (Joseph Campbell's monomyth, for example, makes an appearance).  Shifts in the medium are traced, with attention given to particular artists and writers.  The book also includes helpful resources at the end.

As a long-time comic book reader and lover of this medium, I appreciate the way Gavaler goes about this topic, and I am now poised to read more about the history and affordances of superhero comics, as well as con…

A Note on Pelé: The King of Soccer by Eddy Simon and Vincent Brascaglia

Image
A Note on Pelé: The King of Soccer by Eddy Simon and Vincent Brascaglia

I am far from being a sports fan, but I found this graphic novel biography to be very inviting and entertaining.  The panels are boldly and colorfully rendered, and the inclusion of real photography at the end reminds us of the true life at the center of this book.

Publisher First Second always provides high quality examples of ways that comic books and graphic novels can push normal boundaries.  Pelé: The King of Soccer is certainly no exception, and I would gladly use this book in my classroom, or purchase it for my personal library.

Recommended for sports fans but also for those of us that enjoy a good graphic novel.