Are You Kidding Me With This Month?

August is just plain silly. The last week especially so. I’m getting emails from friends at work talking about their high scores at sporcle.com, you try and email around to get together for some drinks and you get auto-replies telling you that people are in various insane vacation spots for absurd lengths of time and, oddest of all, my favorite deli is closed for vacation.

Naturally, working from home, I’m impervious to all such distractions and have been a terminator-like robot recently in terms of rewriting.

Oh, wait, no I haven’t.

If it wasn’t for the greatest fans in the world (my fans) sending in their sketches this whole “Late August” thing would’ve seemed like a waste.

Thank god you guys are picking up the slack. Keep the work coming in and I’ll get back on my game here…soon…hopefully…though this coming weekend is a beach weekend and my annual attempt to turn a gigantic cut of pig into pulled pork.

More on that later.

Oh and if anyone has a great idea for a cover for the new book drop me a line.

August.

Writing a Recap is Horrible

One of the things on my to-do list for the upcoming book launch, beta release thing is to put together a “quick” recap of Probability Angels to place at the front of the new book. I figure it’s been over a year for a lot of you and you might need a refresher. Hell, I wrote the book and I needed a refresher. It happens with sequels. The other option is to try and cram a recap into the new book somehow, but I hate doing that. It usually results in ridiculous conversations between characters that no real people would ever have. Nobody turns to their friend and asks them to please, real quick, tell them about all the events that happened in the past year which they were also around for but for some reason need a refresher in. And when I try to cram the recaps into the prose itself…well that just sucks too.

Unfortunately my recap method is equally awful and is resulting in a rather confused mess. Condensing something that you needed 100,000 words to say into less words is an annoying excersice. If you could have said it in less words you would have. Plus, as you try to casually lay out any information you think might possibly be relevant in the sequel, you sort of feel like the annoying kid who has already been to Disney World but is now at Disney World with you on your first trip who won’t stop fucking prepping you for every ride and attraction and making sure you totally get what is going on so it will be just like his first time through. “Oh my god you have to see the robot pirates! Did you see the robot pirates? Make sure you remember the robot pirates because later on? At this other part? You’re totally gonna want to know about the robot pirates. Because they like jump out at you and if you didn’t know there were robot pirates it won’t make any sense. It’s awesome. I mean it’s totally gonna OHMYGODLOOKOVERTHEREATTHEROBOTPIRATES!!! Did you see them? Wasn’t that awesome? With the robot pirates? Yeah I knew you’d like that.”

Which is to say I’m having a hard time deciding what parts of the story I can leave out and what parts need to be retold in this less than stellar format.

Also…fuck that kid. Fuck him right in the ear.

I’m a Genius

So I have about five artists reading through rough drafts of the first two parts of the new book, all of them picking out scenes to draw up. This is stupid amounts of fun and I’m quite glad I thought it up. Frankly it’s getting harder and harder to sit on this stuff and not share with you all. But, my desire to host a little countdown is outweighed by my desire to say, “Checkthisoutthisissocool!”

Though not by much.

Plus it’s late August and the world is on vacation and I think I’d rather show the work of these artists to you when your brains are actually turned on.

So I’ll just continue to sit on my ever growing pile of super awesome mystery pictures from the coolest fans ever.

No problem.

The New Book’s Title

I honestly can’t remember if I’ve mentioned the title for the new book anywhere yet. I said something on Twitter the other day but outside of that…well at the very least there has only been informal chatter. So today I decided to do a quick Q&A with myself as part of the official title announcement. This is like when they held a press conference to tell us that the new Star Wars movie was going to be called The Phantom Menace. Only this won’t be horrible.

JD: So, let’s get right to it. What’s the title for the new book?

JD: Persistent Illusions.

JD: Interesting. Interesting. What’s the explanation behind that?

JD: Well it’s taken from a quote by Albert Einstein concerning the rather fuzzy nature of things at the quantum level. As he put it: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” It seemed like a fitting notion for my current group of characters.

JD: I see. And that’s the entire reasoning behind it?

JD: There’s that, but also there’s the fact that Einstein is sort of woven lightly throughout the book. No appearances by him or anything, but his presence is felt.

JD: Of course, every author knows that the way to draw the teen crowd in is to include references to science.

JD: Nothing sexier than a physisict.

JD: Hahahahahahaha….how about that.

JD: Yes. This interview is sort of a strange exercise.

JD: No it’s not. Now before we let you go, is there anything else you care to share with us? Any teasers or things like that?

JD: No.

JD: Really?

JD: I dunno. What do you want me to do, say the same crap that everyone always says about their new books?

JD: Yes.

JD: (sighs) Well you’re going to be seeing all of your favorites, Kyo and Epp and Mary and Matthew and the rest of them, in a whole new light. Their characters really get explored. And of course they meet some new friends along the way…not to mention a few new surprises.

JD: You’re right, that was terrible.

JD: Told you.

JD: So that’s it. All we get from you is the title?

JD: Yup…but seriously you get to see all your favorite characters in a new light as they face old foes and new surprises.

JD: I think we’re done here.

JD: Yeah, maybe we should stick to letting our readers do the promoting. They’re so much better at it…

Nothing New to Report

Today I went to pick up lunch at the local deli, Lansky’s, and I saw this guy filming a show of some sort. He was the runner up on The Next Food Network Star. I guess they gave him a show anyway even though he didn’t win. They had all of the tables in the middle of Lansky’s taken up and a bunch of people were eating some sort of giant meat platter. And then he was saying things to them and asking questions and people with cameras were yelling things. It’s always very weird to see a television show being filmed like this because unedited, and without background music and verbiage on the screen and interesting cuts…television shows are boring as hell. It was just this guy talking and you couldn’t hear anyone else, though you presume their fun comments were being picked up by their microphones, and it’s the same deli you go to all the time and you’re like, “What the hell?” And then you manage to catch the show when it airs and it’s totally different and barely even looks like your local deli.

Rewriting is moving along despite a fever today. I moved an entire day of action from Paris to Frankfurt…so there’s that. Really, as the title of this post suggests, there’s not a lot going on, though Part 2 should be released very soon to the early readers so we’ll get to see what they have to say. And a handful of busy artistic bees are making me more art for the release.

So I guess there is a lot going on but it’s Monday and so I feel like nothing is happening.

Right.

One Reader’s Opinion

So as I’ve mentioned, some of my long time readers have been sent chunks from the new book. Likewise some of my new artist friends have been given sneak peeks (If you’re an artist and want to help with the release of the new book please check out my last post.)

I received this comment from one of my oldest readers in response to Part 1. I felt I had to share:

“I’m hooked. Sucked me right in. Your transitions from character to character are flawless. Send me more. Any answer to this request other than ‘Yes’ you can stuff in a sock and fuck it.”

Lord, I love you people.

It’s going to be a fun launch.

Call For Artists

With the rewriting well underway I’ve begun thinking about how I want to structure the release of the new book.

What I’d like to do is have a little countdown here on the site leading up to the general release. And what I’d like the countdown to consist of is drawings (or paintings or whatever your medium is) based on the new book created by you, my readers. I already have a few people working on this but I could always use more.

So if you want to be a part of the countdown to release and get to read some early sections so you can pick out a scene or character to draw drop me a line.

Yes. You get to read the book early.

And so far the early readers are loving it.

Teased much?

Mwahahahhahahhahahah….

The Great Laptop Experiment

With family coming to visit for most of the summer I decided to try and turn myself into one of those “tele-commuters” that you hear about on the news shows these days. So I acquired a laptop computer and have been visiting with various branches of the Devon clan these past few weeks with the intention of getting my rewrites done while on the road. This hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly. I have a hard time saying no to my nieces and nephews so any request to play Candyland or make cookies or race Mario Karts pretty much causes me to drop whatever I’m doing and oblige. And then after dinner and bedtime I wind up sitting around talking to my brothers and sisters and then it’s late and I figure I’ll get some work done tomorrow. Only tomorrow has yet to arrive.

I really want to make this work and will attempt to kick myself in the tuchas here so that I can release this book soon and not ignore my family. I mean it’s only been two days so far so maybe I shouldn’t declare this experiment in telecommuting to be over, but without my desk and my morning routine to set me straight I appear to have the attention span of one of the six year olds constantly climbing over me.

Here’s hoping I can turn this around. Currently the only winners in this situation are the children…and who the hell cares about them?

Underground Grilled Cheese

We here at Joseph Devon Industries thoroughly enjoy anyone who is doing things completely outside of the normal areas of operation. And if they are successful in their endeavor that’s even better. Better yet is if they are in our hometown of New York. Even better is if they are using cheese. Lots of cheese.

Here is the Facebook page for a grilled cheese restaurant that isn’t. “Ronnie,” as he is known, will take your grilled cheese request via text message, make up your sandwich in his brother’s apartment, and then meet you on the street for a hand-off where you give him cash and he gives you a brown paper bag with your product. I would like to say that I’ve tried out his wares, but he has blown up in popularity so much over the past week that his number is now no longer available.

I also say that he is known as “Ronnie” because he doesn’t actually give out his real name. As has been mentioned, he’s completely off the grid, so much so that he’s scared of what the Health Department might have to say about this whole set up.

It brings up some interesting questions. I mean, in a similar situation if I text my friend that I want a grilled cheese and he brings it to me, should the Health Department get involved? Does it matter that I’m giving him money? Wouldn’t it be okay for me to reimburse my friend for the costs involved in making me my sandwich?  Does this constitute a restaurant? What is the nature of a food service enterprise?

And, most importantly, if someone is willing to hand deliver you a sack containing a  Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese Sandwich…well does anyone really give a shit about all that other stuff?