In paradise with the BASTARDS

June 17th, 2015
MERCURY WALTZ cover Under the Poppy Boys together, men together, partners and lovers and friends for a lifetime . . . It's been a long road, and preparing to say my goodbyes to the story of Istvan and Rupert is more than a little bittersweet. What I thought was the full story turned out to be only the first half of the first book, that grew to a second, that now includes a third. THE BASTARDS' PARADISE, coming this fall from Roadswell Editions, completes the journey begun in UNDER THE POPPY and continued in THE MERCURY WALTZ - but journeys end in lovers meeting, so all bows taken are full of gratitude to the readers who made the journey along with these gentlemen of the road, and their puppets, friends, colleagues, enemies, and gods large and small, errant and invisible, all along the way. Title Card MW02 - Cry the Mercury RSLOGO  


June 4th, 2015
Selectric Artists logoWriting is a solitary task. When things go well, when they go ill, when they don't go at all . . . It's one person's toil and one person's vision. But when the words are done, nothing gets done without the energy, encouragement, and effort of someone who believes in the worth of those words before anyone else has seen them. Christopher Schelling has been the champion and accompanist for my writing for many years, and I'm beyond grateful for them all: and for him, his guidance, his wit, and his tenacity. This fall, Roadswell Editions will publish THE BASTARDS' PARADISE, the final book in the UNDER THE POPPY trilogy, and it could have no better home. Thank you, Chris, for always playing that accordion, and playing so amazingly well. RSLOGO        

A screamingly bad review

May 15th, 2015
The goal of writing is to communicate, but the goal of communication goes beyond just being heard: it's being understood. What the person who understands then does with the communication received, well, that's past the writer's purview. Which is why bad reviews - really, scorchingly, over-the-top bad ones - interest me. Call the book names, call me names: now I know - you proved - that you heard what I had to say. Of course I'm happiest when what you heard pleased you greatly, but sometimes we scream the loudest when someone's told us something we do not want to hear. Munch_The_Scream_lithography

STRANGE and BAD and made of art

May 13th, 2015
Austen Bandy just wants to paint pictures and reunite with Emily, his ex - very ex - wife. Book cover illustration   Grant Cotto just wants to help the gifted and troubled Robin Tobias - help him create his art. Book cover illustration   How could everything go so immensely wrong for them both? Is art that dangerous?   BAD BRAINS and STRANGE ANGELS, available in ebook now.

A 30-minute Ring Cycle?

May 11th, 2015
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA As our commissioning patron Stan Mendenhall notes, "The entire Ring Cycle, consisting of 4 operas (Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried, and Gotterdammerung), takes 15 hours to hear in their totality. If we produced all of these and started at 8pm, we would be done at 11am the next day. "We are pleased to announce that ours will be the only 'complete' production of the Ring Cycle in 2015 in the United States. Of course we had to cut corners a bit to get it down to 30 minutes, but ... Dr. Daniel Jordan, our librettist and PhD in Microbiology, and producer/director Kathe Koja ... have reduced the number of characters in the 'real' Ring Cycle from about 36 to 3 (Wotan, Siegfried, and Brunnhilde), and Annie Gallup will be playing sections on the guitar. (Wagner on the guitar? Who knew?)" Musical thrill and thrum, our nimble cast of three - Steve Xander Carson, Egla Kishta, and Jonathan West - plus the set and costume creation talents of Rena Hopkins, a wee Valkyrie drone in the skies and the lush summer landscape all around us  . . . Thirty amazing minutes. We're going to have big operatic fun on the folly. (Folly #2 above, with Daniel Jordan, Kathe Koja, and Steve Xander Carson.)

The madness of art

May 1st, 2015
We work in the dark - we do what we can . . . The rest is the madness of art. Book cover illustration Book cover illustration Austen Bandy and Robin Tobias, two men who made art as art made them, transformed them, overtook them. Two novels where vision means everything. "Koja hot-wires her character's descent directly to the readers' perceptions with her punk-poet writing." BAD BRAINS and STRANGE ANGELS are back. [Quote: Henry James. Book covers: Rick Lieder.]