I will be at Ohioana Book Fest next week for my book “The Ren Faire at the End of the World.” I am attaching the 19 page newsletter from them for you to peruse at your leisure. I hope to see you all there.
Category Archives: Writer stuff
My literary wing-man, Sheldon Gleisser, felt compelled to create a scaled for the obtusity of movies after seeing Annihilation. Not that it was a bad movie, but even if you had read the book which shared a title and few other points with it, you still had no idea what was going on when the credits rolled. It may have been artistic, but it was definitely obtuse. Perhaps not as mind-numbingly obtuse as 2001, but way more than the Andromeda Strain that made sure to explain the scientific process through-out and wrapped up with a voice-over. Voice-overs are Kryptonite for obtuse movies.
So, sitting down at the local B&N with hot beverages, we hammered out a ten point scaled for Movie Obtusity: The Gleisser-Matulich Obtusity Scale, or GMO. You really don’t want this GMO in your popcorn.
In considering if a movie is Obtuse, there are three primary factors we looked at. The first is Accessibility. If the film is set in a milieu that is recognizable to the audience, like a contemporary drama or frequently seen historical era like the Western or WWII, the audience will be able to grasp the context without too much effort. A thriller set in Pre-Columbian Central America without English dialogue risks being Obtuse.
The second factor is Plot Clarity. If everything on the screen does not need explanation, or is explained in grueling detail, the film is not Obtuse. If the hero of the film moves from a vehicle in space to a prolonged special-effects sequence to a French Provincial bedroom, this is Obtuse.
The final consideration is Interior Logic. If every single event in a film comes from a previously seen event and extends to the next event, it is a least less Obtuse. If the teenage hero is haunted by the dead man in the rabbit suit he will accidentally kill in the third reel, not so much.
So here is the initial version of the Gleisser-Matulich Obtusity Scale. Feel free to suggest additions or changes of point value. Just, please don’t be obtuse about it.
Level 1: Where the Hero is always right & no-body thinks too much.
The Andromeda Strain
any Steve Reeves gladiator movie
most John Wayne movies
Level 2: Well, That’s Something New.
Level 3: Yeah, I Guess That Makes Sense
The Legend of Hell House
The Towering Inferno
Level 4: Whatever…
The Poseidon Adventure
Level 5: Here be Anti-Heroes & Ambivalence
Kong: Skull Island
any of the Clint Eastwood Man with No Name films
Level 6: I’ll Watch This Again Later
Star Trek: the Motion Picture
Level 7: I Think This Might Be Bad
The Shape of Water
The Manchurian Candidate
Level 8: Everything You Know is Wrong
Level 9: Would Someone Care to Explain This?
Level 10: WTF Did I Just Watch?
Jodorowski’s Magic Mountain
I got Kirkus to take a look at the final volume of my Arcanum Faire trilogy, The Ren Faire at the End of the World. I am proud to say they liked it. I think you’ll like it, too.
In this final installment of a comical trilogy, a contractor faces zombies and other obstacles while trying to build a Renaissance faire.
Marc Sindri is constructing a permanent Renaissance faire in Arcanum, Ohio. Marc may be a skilled contractor, but his current assignment is anything but easy. To say that the work site has been awash with witchcraft, sex, and conflicting personalities would be an understatement. Book 3 begins in February, and with the planned opening of the faire in May, time is rapidly working against Marc. His first hurdle comes in the form of an angry phone call from one Jeremiah Stone II, who wants to know who stole his son’s body from the family mausoleum. Marc was certainly no friend of the caller’s son (also named Jeremiah), but he has nothing to do with the missing corpse. Marc soon finds himself fighting a reanimated version of the deceased in order to save his beautiful girlfriend, the witch Brenwyn. But this battle is merely the beginning of Marc’s struggles against the undead, as the area around the faire is infested with zombie rabbits and other unsettling creatures. Then there is the foreboding moment when, during a ritual between Marc and Brenwyn, it is predicted that the faire’s opening will be disastrous. Marc and his cohorts see themselves through their trials with abundant sexual innuendoes (one woman smiles at the idea of being “well-drilled”) and occasional wordplay (a character named Eleazer remarks: “I do not have a jealous bone in my body, milady, not even a bit of envious cartilage”). The result is a story that is more zany than clever, albeit with enough action to keep the wackiness from becoming dull. Whether it is naked witches performing a ritual or humans slashing at zombie animals, something is always happening. Readers may question certain details in Matulich’s (Power Tools in the Sacred Grove, 2015, etc.) novel, such as how Eleazer, who is supposedly successful at seducing women and uses terms like “milady” constantly, can talk to anyone without getting a good thrashing. But whether or not the faire comes together as a great success or failure, there is excitement in finding out how all the dust (and blood and amulets) will settle.
While unapologetically over-the-top, this supernatural tale maintains a fervent, magical pace.
I don’t think book trailers are absolutely necessary for a book’s success, but it is one tool in the kit. They aren’t worth the fees some production houses are asking, though. This afternoon, I created a video on my PC. Here it is. Try not to panic.
The month of December has been a rough month: I’ve been ill, I’ve lost my writing mews, and my family has been inundated with tuxedos (long, but different story). On the positive: we are hosting my book release party at The Alley tomorrow for The Ren Faire at the End of the World, we have matching black kittens Yule and Solstice, and I did this radio interview with my publisher PMP, link below.
I would like to blather on, but I have a party to prepare for and a reading to practice, and I am still not one hundred per cent. Hope to see many of you tomorrow!
My third book in the Arcanum Faire trilogy, The Ren Faire at the End of the World, is now live as an ebook on Amazon. Other venues to activate shortly. You can see at the link below.
It is a little sad to leave the town of Arcanum, OH and its whacko inhabitants after over a decade. but there are new adventures to chronicle. I am nearly done with my tale of the Squirrel Apocalypse. After that, I attack my non-eurocentric steampunk series.
For those of you who are Netgalley accredited reviewers, the second book of Arcanum Faire, Power Tools in the Sacred Grove, is available for request/download. With luck I will be able to upload RFEW to be available December 1.
We are just days away from the release of “Ren Faire at the End of the World”, the third book of my Arcanum Faire trilogy. It will be November 28th for the trade paperback edition and November 21st for the ebook. Dread Central will be hosting a cover reveal on their site between now and then. This link will be live as of 11/16/17 at 09:30 PT:
Until the 28th, I have a little taste of the opening of RFEW to pique your interest. As always, watch the bushes and keep a shovel handy at all times.
THE THREE LURKERS
A paparazzi, an OSHA inspector, and a Vatican priest hunkered down behind the bushes outside Camp Arcanum.
Unfortunately, there is no punchline to this story, Jeff Lazarro thought as he knelt in the ice-cold mud. Ms. Snowden, the disgraced OSHA inspector with a face like a weasel sucking a lemon, squatted just behind him. Her pale wool coat matched her short platinum blonde hair, which fortunately blended into the drifts of snow behind them. Monsignor Valcarcel, on Jeff’s other side, wore a navy pea coat over his black priest’s cassock. Only the white tab of the rugged old man’s color and his ruddy nose gave him away as anything other than a tree stump.
All Jeff wanted was some nice juicy pictures. With the trifecta of Sex, Suicide, and Satanism following Jeremiah Stone’s death, demand had pushed prices into the stratosphere. Marc Sindri had cost Jeff his next boat payment when he had caught Jeff and erased the card that held a few dozen images of a New Year’s Day co-ed fistfight just outside these three Airstream trailers
Snowden’s mission in life was to prove that either monsters were real and lurking on the grounds of the renaissance faire or that Sindri had rigged the whole thing as a prank to scuttle her workplace inspection. Sometimes, she speculated that he had maybe hired the monsters. Also, she wanted her clipboard back.
The priest, when he spoke, warned of a threat to souls of all involved in black magic and New Age heresy at this renaissance faire. Having Valcarcel tag along gave Jeff the same guilty feeling he got after admitting to his dentist he’d forgotten to floss, but their resources together were far better than lurking in separate bushes…
Valcarcel took a sip of his fortified coffee and pulled down a branch to get a clear view of the old barn, gravel track, and trailers that made up Camp Arcanum.
“You know,” the old priest muttered, “I would give my left nut to know what’s going on in that trailer right now.”
Jeff didn’t know what use a celibate priest might have for his testicles, but his feelings were pretty much the same.
It is Veteran’s Day, a day of commemoration that was first a celebration of the Armistice of WWI. In the century since its inception, vendors have raised money for military charities by selling silk poppies. These are inspired by the carpets of red poppies that grew on the Fields of Flanders, many atop trenches that had become mass graves.
For those who have served, thank you for your service and your sacrifice. War is not an environment that leaves anyone untouched. For those who have made the ultimate, we remember you and hope to atone for those who died for vanity or profit.
A century after the War to End All Wars, the clash of saber against shield can still be heard in diplomacy. It is a glory to give your life for the weak and innocent; it is a sin to make that sacrifice just another chit on the bargaining table.
All the files for “Ren Faire at the End of the World” are complete and in the hands of the publisher. The release date will be sometime before the end of the year. We have a quick turnaround here at Post Mortem Press. To prepare for the completion of the Arcanum Faire, I’ve already put in applications at Ohioana Book Fair and other events like Confusion for next year.
Though RFEW was written to stand up on its own, you get all the jokes and twisting arcs if you read all three.
The first two books, “Camp Arcanum” & “Power Tools in Sacred Grove”, are also up for review on Net Galley. CA will be available until Oct. 30th. Boo. PTSG starts its 30 day on November 1st. REFW will be sometime after that, most likely Dec. 1st. If you are a credentialed book reviewer and you haven’t read either, please stop by and request a file for download.
Keep your eyes here as I make arrangements for a cover release and other promotional skullduggery.