Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wampus kitty and tales o' West Virginny

Legends of the Mountain State Vol. 3 is now available, with a forward by Homer Hickam and tales from Elizabeth Massie, Mark Justice, John R. Little and more, featuring local legends of West Virginia. My own entry is "Wampus Cat," based on an Appalachian legend of, well, the wampus cat. Editor Michael Knost is doing a real sharp job with his different projects, which includes the Writers Workshop of Horror. He's rapidly becoming one of the most reliable editors around--and that is no small feat.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

As a football fan, I am always annoyed when the game moves away from "pure game" and becomes a celebrity, pop-culture fest--the Super Bowl being the biggest offender, when the commercials seem to tbe the reason for the game and all the timing rules are changed to allow more talking-head blather and corporate sloughage. It's the age when what a player does with his Twitter account gets more attention than what happens on the field. But major props to Eagles DB Sheldon Brown for this pre-game Jason mask. As far as I know, no footballs were slashed in the making of a crushing Eagles defeat, but hey, he'll be back for a sequel, count on it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Frankie B. Washington

Interview with artist Frankie B. Washington

How did Marooned on Mogo Come About?
2009 - Spring, I answered an ad on for a children book illustrator. I've always been fascinated with the genre yet my attempts in the past to try and get a job doing such work never came to fruition. MY thought when I sent my reply to the ad was that I was most likely not getting the gig. As a professional illustrator you have to be a realist when approaching any new potential clients- there's a 50/50 chance every time.
Well my odds turned into 100%, because Andrew S. Leiter chose me over 95 other artist to try and launch his newest title: Marooned On Mogo.

I asked Andrew where the concept came for the story- so here's his quote :
"Originally, I did not have desire to write an easy reader book. I was encouraged by a pre-school teacher and my wife because of a discussion they had. They had both come to the conclusion that there was not enough easy readers books geared for boys and tons for girls. Then shortly after that, I had two other people totally out of the blue state suggest that I write for young kids. So the Seed was planted.

I don't recall exactly how I came up with the idea Marooned on Mogo. I knew I always wanted to do a story about people being stranded on another planet. I decided to pick four kids Two boys and two girls because I knew it would appeal to both sexes of readers. I came up with the Clark Lewis name because of the famous explorers Lewis and Clark. Than I just named the other three kids with names that started with C's and of Course Lewis was their last name. Next, I thought about what appealed to kids. Pirates, dragons, dinosaurs, treasure, alien creatures cute and aggressive and incorporated them into the story."

When I saw the script, I immediately thought about Johnny Quest and Lost In Space. I could totally see everything in an animated way but definitely high adventure with a strong message of family as the strength of the story. My hope is that my illustrations help to amplify Andrew's story and in the end become something memorable for our readers.

Marooned on Mogo is available through and Barnes& you can reach it through our website :

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fetal typewriter

There's a general consensus that 10 years is more or less the gestation period of a writer. I'm a year or two past that now, so I guess I was getting published during my apprenticeship. Some writers never seem to improve once they get published, because they figure--quite reasonably, if it's paying the bills--that what they're doing is working. others regress in a desperate attempt to find what's trendy. others create new challenges and blossom both artistically and commercially. I'm not sure which future is mine. All three look possible for me, except I can never figure out what's trendy, so that detour is probably off the map. I do know that when I put in a good day's writing and fight the good fight, I feel nigh on invincible, whether such stuff gets published or not. I always tell writers to write for that feeling, that moment of triumph, because that might be the only reward. Now if I can believe it myself..

Monday, September 7, 2009

Jonathan Maberry reads from "The Dragon Factory"

Jonathan Maberry reads the prologue from "The Dragon Factory" at DragonCon
The Dragon Factory: A Joe Ledger thriller due out in March 2010

Live (for the most part) from DragonCon, Scott Nicholson, Jonathan Maberry, Stacia Kane, and Cherie Priest. Dark fantasy and horror authors, on a panel about scary stuff.