Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I haven't put up a post in quite a while, so thought I'd take a moment to wish everyone in cyberspace a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous 2008. God bless you and yours.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

USA Book News Short Story Finalists

Eight Dogs Named Jack is now listed live, along with the other finalists and winner in the short story category for 2007. Check it out by clicking the title or here:

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Bruise online magazine

I graduated from Northern Michigan University in 1984. One of the things I remember with fondness from my time there in the 80s, besides my six-pack abs (really!) and mullett, was a cat named Mark Shepherd. Mark was maybe the most laid-back dude in the world, perhaps challenged only by Spiccoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High or "The Dude" in The Big Lebowski. Anyway, in addition to having really cool surfer looks, Mark was a very talented artist and designer. I later found out he has had his work published in mags ranging from Esquire to Playboy. The man's work is solid. His magazine, The Bruise is available online. I really have no accurate way of describing the Bruise other than to say it's totally unique and visually arresting. But there's all kinds of images, and if you want a take on what's now in pop culture, The Bruise is the place. I've added it to my links, so check it out. You can even submit work for consideration.
Way to go Mark!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's A Guy Thing is hilarious

My buddy Scott Seegert's book, It's A Guy Thing, (Three Rivers Press) is a flippin' hilarious take on the goofy ideas us men come up with. There are over 70 actual patents in it, accompanied by the drawings that were submitted with the papers. The great thing about the book though is Seegert's witty, dry take on each "invention". Make no mistake, even though his tongue is planted in his cheek as he's commenting on the absurd nature of these "contributions to mankind," there's a trace of awe and envy in his voice as he describes Jack's No-Slip Hairpiece, or Albert's Helmet-Mounted Pistol. I'm not making that up and neither is he; you couldn't try to make this stuff up. It's a great gift for anyone who is a handyman, or better yet, thinks he is a handyman. Show Scott some love and buy his book for the inventor in your life. Click the title of the post to go to his Amazon page, or look for it at the bookstore in the humor section.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sports Inferno shows me some love...

Yesterday my publisher sent copies of the book to, in my humble opinion, two of the best sports guys in the D. Hosts of the formerly titled The Sports Inferno, Mike Valenti and Terry Foster's talk show is now called, well, Valenti & Foster (regular listeners know the station and show have went through myriad names since 1270 AM went simulcast-crazy with the switch to 97.1 FM). Of course, being the shameless promoter of my work that I am (it's dog-eat-dog out there, pun intended), I was angling to maybe get shown a little love from these two fine gentlemen (i.e., interview). Terry Foster is a well-respected sportswriter for the Detroit News, and Mike Valenti continues his meteoric rise as the most entertaining and energetic man on the local airwaves (he'll be national one day-heard it hear first). If you haven't listened to them, their show airs from 2-6 p.m. Mon-Fri. Mike, being Italian, seemed a receptive audience for the kinds of stories that are in my book. He's spoken at length of disobedient hunting dogs, pinky rings and chesty women, and who doesn't like that combination?

Anyhow, I received a really nice email from Mike, saying he got the books, and that he said he'd give me a shout out during the week. Also, that he ordered two copies for gifts, etc. Again, a real thrill for me that folks actually find it interesting and worthwhile enough to go through the process of ordering or buying it, let alone shelling out hard-earned dough for it. But then, as I'm driving to the optometrist, listening to him and Terry on the radio, he thanks me for the book, gives a nice little synopsis of what the stories are about, and tells the audience where the last two signings are! Needless to say, I was knocked out. I'm hoping to maybe get on their show for a short interview, though with the BLOCKBUSTER trade the Tigers just pulled off (YEE-HA!), that looks doubtful, at least this week.
Anyway, check them out. There's a link to the right to go to their home page. They are truly knowledgeable and entertaining.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Come out of the cold for the last two signings of the year

Hey out there. If you're looking to give a unique holiday gift this year, I've got a great suggestion. A gift card to Best Buy is always the schizzle. What did you think I was going to suggest? Anyway, I have my last two signings of the year coming up. I'll be at the Borders on Orchard Lake this Friday from 7-9 pm, and the following day, Saturday, from 2-4 at the Borders on the Hill in Grosse Pointe. The addresses for each is listed on my Appearances page (see link above). If you have a chance to stop by, just to say hello, I'd truly appreciate it as it's always nice to have bodies milling around, even if they're not purchasing. Thanks for all the continued support.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

No Country For Old Men is no pick-me-up

I was anxious to see the new Coen Brothers film, No Country For Old Men, especially after having read the Cormac McCarthy novel a couple years ago. I was anxious because I thought if anyone could somehow convey the sheer emotionless landscape the film takes place in, not just geographically (Texas) it would be the Coens. I just got back from the theater and ol' Ethan and Joel didn't disappoint. Javier Bardem in the role of Anton Churgar makes Hopkins' Hannibal Lechter seem like a pansy. The movie is probably almost too true to the novel, both in dialogue and scene. I'm actually surprised it's getting the wide rave reviews I've seen given its adherence to McCarthy's bleak prose (NOTE: The worst review I've read was from the Metro Times, whose reviewer gave it a B, but they hate all kinds of good stuff, so I don't really count them). The cinematography is sparse and raw, and there's absolutely no score to guide you along. You barely catch your breath when WHAM! more tension. A buddy of mine joined me tonight, and at one particularly grisly scene, with perfect comic timing, he whispered, "This ain't High School Musical, that's for sure!" Indeed, although given the bloodshed, Carrie comes to mind. Bardem's character is a psychopath that sticks to a strict code of his own ethics, and it becomes apparent that he will do everything necessary to stick to his word. This is really a guy's movie, and the other male actors, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin, give very good performances, though Jones plays a character we've seen before. This is not really a date movie, unless you're dating Eileen Wournos. Still, I give it an A-.