6.25.2009

A Book to Film, and my lame tie-in story.

I went to see The Hangover last week, and saw a trailer for a new comedy based on a book which is still sitting on my bookshelf UNREAD that a friend gave to me maybe two years ago.

Yes, this humorous novel from Ecco Press by Larry Doyle, was given to me as a gift from my friend Kim who said something to the effect of, "This reminded me of your writing - but I know you can do better if you just stick with it."

Sure, I'm an editor, but I've always dabbled in writing, all my life, and I've been meaning to pick up the book and read it already [Kim - apologies, I never meant any insult.] In fact Kim knows I haven't read it because we're still part of a writing group we affectionately named WRITE CLUB, several years ago. In fact, we've met on and off for close to 8 years I think.

Also please know I mean no offense to the author, of whom I am in no position to judge as I still haven't read the book yet, especially as he has done what I have not which is get a novel published, something which I'm not actively pursuing at the moment [although it is one of my life goals]. He was also a writer for The Simpsons, so no slouch there. I very much look forward to the read.

His book, originally published in hardcover in 2007, will not need any help from me, as I hope it sees a nice resurgence in sales as the movie gets closer to release date which is right around the corner as July 10th [according to the IMDB page on the film]. But, I am more than happy to discuss it here, as I plan to read it soon - better late than never. And as I pack up books to move to a new house, this is one of the books I'll be leaving on my shelf until the move, as a reminder to dive right in.

I openly admit, I am sometimes a slacker. Ask my friends, ask my wife. Hell, the name of this blog is Bookrastination, a not-so-subtle play on procrastination [of which I am the king]. This'll prove how much of a slacker I am, as I grabbed the book off the shelf to double-check the publication date, I noticed I had the front flap used as book mark, I was only on page 10.
Well, I'm glad to see someone saw something special in this book which is about a high school nerd who puts it all on the line during his graduation speech, enough in fact to develop and make it into a film. I vow to read it before the movie comes out, and I hope a lot of people do the same. I got about three weeks.

I must end with mentioning that the fantastic jacket illustration and interior chapter illustrations are by none other than Evan Dorkin [a magnificent comic book creator and very, very talented man].

If anyone has anything to say about this book/movie/story, please feel free to comment below, I'd love to hear your angle.

6.21.2009

Tim Akers signs with Pyr Books. Sweet!

I was stoked to read Lou Anders' post on facebook that he has signed up-and-coming fantasy author, Tim Akers' second novel, The Horns of Ruin to Pyr Books. Read all about it here [I also added the Pyr Books blog to my blogroll].


Like Lou, I've read an early version of Tim Akers' debut novel, Heart of Veridon, which will be coming out from Solaris books this Fall. I thought it was really something [although I must confess I was involved in working on a small aspect of the editorial development of this book], but am I wrong in wanting to tell people how much I liked it? I think not.


Let me just quickly also say that I met Tim last year at World Fantasy Con in Calgary and he is a hell of a nice guy and we talked videogames, Magic the Gathering, and other assorted nerdy things over dinner. Soon after I wound up coincidentally working on his book and really loved the world he created. It was fantastical, action packed, and the world ticked with a special mechanical hum. A great read if you're looking for something to sink your teeth into at the end of the summer when it releases.

I simply wanted to echo the great news here. Bravo Lou & Tim!

6.15.2009

Interesting blog discussion on character, story, action!

Hi friends,

An interesting discussion has just begun by friend and fantasy author S.C. Butler over on SF & Fantasy Novelists site. His post: Give Me Narrative or Give Me Death, starts off an interesting discussion on what is most important to a reader in a book.

Head on over and chime in (I did). I'm aware the conversation and opinions can go various ways, but isn't that the fun of comments and blog posts anyway? To throw in your two cents and see what everybody else has to say?


Talk amongst yourselves.

P.S. New post soon on a fantastic bound galley I picked up last week.

6.04.2009

Other Books I'm Excited About from BEA

I wanted to run through a few more of the advance reader copies, that I picked up at BEA that I have only just started reading. Now that there are plenty of books on my to-be-read shelf, let's take a peek the newest additions that I picked up at the show.

First up is my off-center photo of the advance uncorrected proof of Beg, Borrow, Steal: A Writer's Life by Michael Greenberg from Other Press. This collection of autobiographical essays was first written by Greenberg for the Times Literary Supplement. A native New Yorker, describes his life as an aspiring writer, describing in vivid detail all the struggles, the highs and lows, and at only 66 pages in I feel connected to the author by his New York experiences.

It has even already affected my personal journal writing, as I'm already trying to keep in mind the panache which the author writes about the everyday, the mundane, and the seemingly ordinary. He writes about topics such as documenting his daily commute, the transport of garbage to the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, and other goings on and how it ties into his life, his father's scrap metal business, and all the menial jobs he's had in the struggle to survive as a writer.
Swinging back to graphic novels as I often do, I wanted to talk briefly about the advance reader's edition of a new book from IDW, an adaptation of Richard Stark's Parker novels by the award-winning Darwyn Cooke in this first installment, The Hunter.
Adapted with the blessing of Richard Stark (Donald Westlake) before he sadly passed in 2008, the Cooke adaptations are moody, highly stylized, and in my opinion - dead on.
Illustrated in black & white with only a wash of blue ink throughout, this effect sets up a noir-ish atmosphere that other books seldom accomplish. IDW is so behind this new series, they printed a limited number of hardcover advances to give away at BEA, and I'm glad I was able to snag one. More to come soon.
Oh, and I had to post this picture of the King, as I found him rocking out not far from the Diamond booth.

6.01.2009

BEA weekend from my eyes.

It was a fun weekend for me, attending Book Expo America at the Javits Center. Long but fun. Lots of walking around, handshaking, grabbing books, grabbing iced coffee, and taking rests. But between seeing old friends, and meeting so many new ones, I was pleased. I know the press has reported that attendance and giveaways were down from the last few years, but it felt like a rallying show to me in the eyes of the larger world and the doom-and-gloom feelings. I had a blast.

I had the pleasure of joining in the Blogger Signing Event hosted by Firebrand & Netgalley on Saturday at 4pm, which was really neat. I was sharing the table with bloggers: Stephanie of Stephanie's Written Word, and Gayle of Every Day I Write the Book. They were super-nice and it was a treat to be seated with them and talk about books & blogging about them.



Also, I wanted to mention again, one of the books I'm most excited to finish, the graphic memoir by David Small, STITCHES. I snapped a photo of the advance copy, I scored at the Norton booth.


Creepy, sureal, and yet happy and sad at the same time, I'm less than 100 pages in and already swept away by the honesty and cruelty of the story, and I'm attached to the sad story, a touching memoir with emotional art reminiscent of Bill Plimpton and Chester Brown, among others. Here is a photo of the author signing at the W.W. Norton booth - I was glad to see so much buzz generated about this terrific new book.


As Heidi MacDonald summed up at The Beat, it didn't matter one bit that this was a memoir written as a graphic novel to anyone grabbing up a copy. Everyone I spoke with seemed highly impressed with the format and style.

More to come on books I'm excited to read that I picked up at the show and other assorted highlights.