Authors Supporting Our Troops Winding Down #ASOT2015


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Well, not really… I have said it before and I’ll say it again… even though the official period for collecting and pushing the event ends on May 1st doesn’t mean the event will actually end. I will continue to collect author-signed books all year and ship them off to soldiers in remote areas, and I’ll still need your help with it. 

The books coming in (and going out) has slowed to a trickle the last couple of weeks thanks to me being super busy with my wedding and honeymoon and not keeping on top of the event. Now that I’m back and we have a few days left I’m asking for some help… 

Let all of your author friends know about us. PLEASE do not just add them to the permanent group, as that is rude. But ask them if they’d like to donate some of their signed books and give them the link, or simply share the link on your page and a friend’s page to get it out there. 

I would really appreciate it. I know we can get another push going and reach the goal of breaking last year’s 3,000 books shipped. 

Authors Supporting Our Troops permanent page #ASOT2015

Armand

Arm Cast Podcast: Episode 45 – Moncrieff And Strand


On this week’s stellar edition of the Arm Cast Podcast, two great authors join the crew…

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J.H. Moncrieff

Raised in the far north, amid Jack London’s world of dog sleds and dark winters, J.H. Moncrieff has been a professional writer all of her adult life.

During her years as a journalist, she tracked down snipers and canoed through crocodile-infested waters. She has published hundreds of articles in national and international magazines and newspapers.

When she’s not writing, J.H. loves to travel to exotic locations, advocate for animal rights, and muay thai kickbox. To get a free eBook and find out about her new releases, sign up for her newsletter: http://bit.ly/1Ek5RTO

jeff strand

Jeff Strand

Jeff Strand was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but moved to Fairbanks, Alaska when he was six months old, so his memories of Baltimore are hazy. He grew up in the cold, where he desperately wanted to be a cartoonist. Then he wanted to make video games. Then he wanted to write movies. Actually, he still wants to do all of those things, but for now he’s quite happy writing lots of demented novels.

He was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012. His novel PRESSURE has been optioned for film; he’s hoping the movie will be made soon so he can scream “My baby! What have you done to my precious baby?!?”

His novels are usually classified as horror, but they’re really all over the place, from comedies to thrillers to drama to, yes, even a fairy tale.

Because he doesn’t do cold weather anymore, he lives in Tampa, Florida with his wife and a deaf cat.

LISTEN To This And All Past Episodes HERE

Guest Post: Jasper Bark


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BLOODFELLAS

Jasper Bark

 

Ever had one of those projects you just couldn’t put down or let go of, no matter how hard things got? Something that grabbed you by the balls and wouldn’t let up until it was a a physical reality?That haunted you at night, like the ghost of Hamlet’s father, demanding revenge on all those who spurned it by making sure it got into print?

 

I have. My latest graphic novel from Markosia was just such a project. It’s called Bloodfellas and it’s a horror/crime mash up, set in the prohibition era of the 1930s, featuring zombie gangsters.

 

I first hit on the idea when my youngest daughter was being born. Not the most obvious place to dream up a horror story I know, but hey I was sleep deprived and there was a lot of blood involved, so you can forgive me if my twisted mind wandered.

 

They’d placed us in a hospital room that overlooked the morgue. As our new born child came into the world, I looked out of the window at the corpses leaving it. It struck me that a mortician would make an ideal fix ‘em up guy for Undead Gangsters on the wrong side of a gun battle. After all, the morticians spend a lot of time stitching up the corpses on their slabs, so a walking corpse would pose no problem.

 

This tiny germ of an idea grew into a story that I pitched to Desperado who had just resurrected the excellent anthology title Negative Burn. They really liked the story but before it could see print the anthology folded to the harsh economic realities of the comic market in the 00s.

 

By this point I’d realised that the world of the story was too rich to limit it to just one tale, this should be a series of hard boiled tales exploring a stark backdrop drenched in blood and shadows. I’d been working for Atomeka Press who put out the legendary A1 anthology and I approached them with the idea. They quickly snatched it up, then just as quickly went out of business too.

 

I touted the idea around a few publishers for the next couple of years all of whom made encouraging noises, none of whom bit. I even pitched it as a novel, at one point, to my then publishers Abaddon Books. They decided to go with another zombie novel instead, which became Way of the Barefoot Zombie.

 

The success of that novel attracted the attention of the British publishers Insomnia who commissioned Bloodfellas as a 90 page graphic novel. You can guess what happened next, that’s right – they went out of business. It seemed I had a publisher destroying idea on my hands, a cursed pitch that took down anyone who bought it. For a brief while I considered offering out my services to publishers as a way of taking down their rivals.

 

Then Harry Markos, head man at leading UK publishers Markosia phoned me to see if I still owned the rights to Bloodfellas now that Insomnia weren’t going to bring it out. I told him I did and he bought it sight unseen.

 

Finally I had a home for the work, but I was far from home and dry. The first creative team we put together fell apart within weeks of the script being completed. Harry and I soldiered on with the able assistance of talented writer and editor GM Jordan and eventually found a penciller in gifted newcomer Mick Trimble.

 

Mick is an adept story teller who went to great lengths to get the period detail right. His unique style was also perfect for recapturing the feel of the pre-code crime and horror comics that the story was paying homage to. Sadly, no sooner had Mick turned in his pages than our colourist quit on us, leaving the book high and dry once again.

 

Thanks to a recommendation from a contact of Mick’s we were able to get the astoundingly talented Aljoša Tomić on board. Colourists are the unsung heroes of comics, good colour in a graphic novel is the equivalent to a great sound track on a movie. Aljoša’s work on Bloodfellas elevated the work Mick and I had done and added greatly to the narrative. Mention should also be made of Dave Evans, editor and publisher of the award winning Futurequake, who helped on editorial duties and provided brilliant lettering as his alter ego Bolt-01.

 

When Markosia’s Editor in Chief Ian Sharman sent me the layouts of the finished book I could hardly believe it was going to happen. Given the project’s chequered history, I was waiting for the other shoe to fall. For an earthquake to strike the printer or a plague of man eating locusts or an outbreak of the Zombie Apocalypse. Let’s face it, anything was possible at this point.

 

So when I turned up at Bloodfellas’ launch at the London Super Comic Con a few weeks back, I hardly dared hope copies of the graphic novel would actually be waiting for me. But they were, it was finally a reality. What’s more we sold more than the combined sales of every other graphic novel and comic Markosia had on their stands for the whole weekend of the con.

 

Sometimes the hardships, pitfalls and discouragements you face when trying to get a project off the ground, aren’t setback at all. They’re tests of your mettle and your commitment. Like the fires of a forge, and the blows of a blacksmith’s hammer, they’re a means of purifying and improving your work. Bloodfellas wouldn’t have been half the book it ended up being if it had come out all those years ago. As tough as it was, every setback I faced opened the door to something better and in the end I’m grateful for every one of them.

Quick April Update for Authors Supporting Our Troops #ASOT2015


We’ve broken the 2,000 author-signed books in and I’m quite excited. The books themselves have been trickling in at a much slower pace. I’m confident more people will share the event page and especially the permanent page and get more authors involved. 

Remember… the event itself might technically last until May 1st but I won’t stop collecting books for the year… last year 2,500 books came in the first 4 months and another 500 the rest of the year. Great numbers. I’d still like to beat them both this year if possible. 

One great thing has already happened… with so many #ASOT2015 shirt sales and generous donations coming in, we will have more than enough money in the coffers to pay for at least 3,500 books! I want to thank everyone who has helped make this possible, and so quickly. 

Our goal is to do one more #ASOT2015 shirt the first week of May so everyone who missed out can still get one. And the money from the profits will get added in to begin the 2016 event (yes, there will be one) and in the event we get more books than we’re gauging for (which would be a cool thing). I’ll give you more details in May on the next shirt, which will be the last one for 2015. 

That being said, we are still in need of many author-signed books, so please keep spreading the word about it. Every book counts.

We are also in need of more soldiers as well. If we’re going to guess we’ll get in another 1,500 books, that means roughly 15 more soldier addresses are needed. Remember, we need soldiers in remote areas of the world with no access to the things we take for granted like game systems and e-readers. Get in touch with me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com for more information on any of this, please and thank you!

Finally… from about April 16th until May 1st I will be out of pocket, and out of the country for some of it. I’m getting married to Special Gal on April 18th with a honeymoon to follow. This means no phone, no internet… nothing. I will truly be gone with her for awhile. 

Any books coming in will be piled up by my son but not opened. When I return I will start the task of catching up on the new arrivals with separating them into boxes to be shipped, pictures for Facebook, etc. 

Again… thank you for all the hard work and for making this possible. I wish I was allowed to share some of the latest pictures I’ve received. The faces on the men and women protecting our country is priceless. If things change for certain units in the world and they allow me to share, I will do so…

Armand Rosamilia

Arm Cast Podcast Needs Your Questions!


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As you may or may not know, I am getting married on April 18th 2015. It is a fun but hectic time for me, and I have a lot to do both before and after the wedding. 

One of the ideas was to get a few interviews ahead with Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast, and I did… kinda. 

My damn laptop crashed and wiped out a bunch of stuff I really needed. Plus, my Skype and the program I record with will no longer work. So, instead of breaking things (and I came thisclose today to slamming the laptop on the floor), I have decided to go with Plan B, which actually was Plan A until I (foolishly) thought I had plenty of time to record an extra couple of episodes before I left. 

So, this is where you come in…

I have recorded over 40 episodes and over 80 people have been interviewed so far, with many more coming. Instead of taking a break, I’ve decided to do more of a free-for-all week or two, and I want to answer any and all of your questions. 

Do you have a question about a certain guest on the show? A future guest? Someone you would like to learn more about?

Any questions about my own work? My writing tricks or screw-ups? Just have a publishing or writing question you think I would know the answer to? Anything else you can think of?

I’d love to get a bunch of real questions in to answer them on an upcoming Arm Cast Podcast episode. I’ll give you a shout out and do my best to answer it. How does that sound?

If you’re interested, send your question(s) to me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com with Arm Cast Qs in the subject line so I don’t miss any. I’ll let you know when I’ll be answering them and which episode!

And feel free to let everyone know what I’m doing so I can get a ton of great questions!

Armand Rosamilia