Archive for June, 2009
If you happen to be in North Carolina at a beach next week and think you see a beached whale? Scream “Tim” and see if I turn my head. Yea, the Irish-American and family is beach bound for a week. This means no interview next week.
But if you want a great site to visit while I’m gone and well after, be sure to visit scholar/author/wit-for-hire Amy H. Sturgis’ newly designed website. I interviewed Amy in the early days of this blog and I’m always pleased to shine any light on her fine work.
July will see the release of Nancy A. Collins‘ third installment in the Vamps (HarperTeen) series: Vamps: After Dark. As detailed in her bio: “Collins is the author of several novels and numerous short stories. In addition, she served a two-year stint for DC Comics’ Swamp Thing series. She is a recipient of the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Award and The British Fantasy Society’s Icarus Award, as well as a nominee for the Eisner Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and an International Horror Guild award. Best-known for her groundbreaking vampire character, Sonja Blue, Collins’s works include Dead Man’s Hand, Knuckles and Tales, and Sunglasses After Dark. Her most recent work is the Vamps series, published by HarperCollins. Collins makes her home in Cape Fear, North Carolina, appropriately enough.” My thanks to Collins for the email interview. It’s great that young adult readers are being introduced to her storytelling talents, giving them another novelist to seek out down the road.
Tim O’Shea: How did you first develop the Vamps concept?
Nancy Collins: The vampire society of Old Bloods and New Bloods emerged from a scuttled comic book series I created for Vertigo Comics called “Dhampire”. It was about a half-human/half-vampire hybrid and how he didn’t fit into either world terribly well. For several years I tinkered with the basic structure of that world, extrapolating on it, until it became the VAMPS world. I had the society and social structure down, but didn’t have a storyline/plot to go with it until my agent suggested that I try and pitch it as a YA series. After that, it was merely a matter of creating the various teenaged vampires and their families.
Kevin J. Anderson is broadening his appeal–building from his strong fanbase from his myriad novels–with the first installment of his new trilogy, Terra Incognita. The first novel in the trilogy, The Edge of the World, was released earlier this month. As described here:
“Terra Incognita – the blank spaces on the map, past the edge of the world, marked only by the words “here be monsters.”
Two nations at war, fighting for dominion over the known, and undiscovered, world, pin their last hopes at ultimate victory on finding a land out of legend.
Each will send their ships to brave the untamed seas, wild storms, sea serpents, and darker dangers unknown to any man. It is a perilous undertaking, but there will always be the impetuous, the brave and the mad who are willing to leave their homes to explore the unknown.
Even unto the edge of the world…
Kevin J. Anderson’s spectacular fantasy debut is a sweeping tale of adventure on the high seas, as two warring kingdoms vie for the greatest treasure of them all.”
At the same time, Anderson is involved in Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon, a progressive rock CD companion effort to the trilogy by Roswell Six. Here’s the official description on the CD (Now available from ProgRock Records):
“Kevin and [his wife] Rebecca [Moesta] have written the lyrics for all songs on a new CD with music by accomplished keyboardist/composer Erik Norlander (Rocket Scientists). Vocals by rock legends James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER), Michael Sadler (ex-SAGA), John Payne (ASIA Featuring John Payne), and Lana Lane (the Queen of Symphonic Rock). Performers include David Ragsdale (KANSAS), Gary Wehrkamp (SHADOW GALLERY), Kurt Barabas (AMARAN’S PLIGHT), Chris Brown (GHOST CIRCUS), Chris Quirarte (PRYMARY), and Mike Alvarez.”
Last month I was able to talk to Anderson about Enemies and Allies (a “prose novel is set in the 1950s and tells of the first meeting between Batman and Superman. “) over at my comics blog home, Robot 6. And he piqued my curiosity so much about the multimedia efforts behind Terra Incognita that I asked to interview him here about it. My thanks to Anderson for his time.
I’ve been friends with Richard Coker since the mid-1980s. I’m normally not this direct/borderline irreverent when interviewing a person. But Richard is one of the most intelligent and unflappable people I know. I’m fairly certain I could wildly opine that his birth was instrumental in the breakup of the Beatles and he would not blink an eye, plus he’d likely have a balanced challenge of my absurdity. This is not the first time I’ve interviewed Richard for this blog, in addition to his solo acoustic work (which we discuss in this interview) he is also a member of the Crumsy Pirates (aka the subject of the blog’s first interview). My thanks to Richard for his tolerance of my questions and his willingness to discuss his new release, a collection of twelve-string songs, Loa.
Tim O’Shea: You sing with a British accent at times, don’t deny it–and it’s never intentional, I know. Does it annoy you when people think it’s an affectation on your part?
Richard Coker: I’ve loved British music all my life, but I have never purposefully tried to sing with an English accent. No one’s accused me of affecting it, though. Maybe said accusations are lacking because so few people are familiar with my music. However, linguistically speaking, there are far more traces of British Isles speech among Southerners. Appalachians still use Elizabethan words (at least they did before satellite dishes). Perhaps, too, when I’m singing I favor softer, more Englishy, vowel sounds. I like the way they feel when I sing them.
O’Shea: How many songs have you written over the years?
Coker: I’ve been writing songs for over twenty years. I still have lyrics for over three hundred songs. My current acoustic set has about seventy songs to it. If I had to guess, my total song output is somewhere around four or five hundred.
In a TalkingwithTim.com first, with this interview, I have the pleasure of talking with Lee Goldberg, the brother of someone previously interviewed here (Tod Goldberg). Honestly, when I contacted the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), I had no idea I would end up interviewing Lee (who co-founded the group). So this was merely a great coincidence. In addition to talking about IAMTW (a group “dedicated to enhancing the professional and public image of tie-in writers…to working with the media to review tie-in novels and publicize their authors…to educating people about who we are and what we do….and to providing a forum for tie-in writers to share information, support one another, and discuss issues relating to our field…”), Lee and I discuss his media tie-in work with Monk (he has a new book, MR. MONK AND THE DIRTY COP, due to be released in July) and Diagnosis Murder. My thanks to Lee for an engaging and informative discussion (now I need to go find those old Rockford Files novels that I just found out about…)
Tim O’Shea: IAMTW was initially established by you and Max Allan Collins to enhance “the professional and public image of tie-in writers”. Have you found that Mystery Writers of America, Science Fiction Writers of America, and the Romance Writers of America have given greater credit to tie-in writers since the formation of the group–or what metrics do you use to evaluate the effectiveness of IAMTW’s efforts to date?
Lee Goldberg: We aren’t interested in getting acknowledgement from other writers’ organizations…our goal is to increase awareness of, and appreciation for, tie-in writing among the general public, booksellers, publishers, and the media (print, Internet, broadcast, etc). In that regard, I think we’ve succeeded. We’ve seen a LOT more press about tie-in authors since our organization started, much of it directly mentioning the IAMTW or our Scribe Awards (ie Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Mystery Scene, etc)…and we are noticing increased recognition from publishers, who are starting to mention Scribe Awards and/or nominations for their authors in sales catalogs, promo materials and book jacket copy.