Monthly Archives: January 2010

First Excerpt from Tad Williams’ Shadowrise

Tad Williams' Shadowrise
Tad Williams' Shadowrise

Last week, I covered Deborah Beale’s use of Twitter to market (husband and business partner) Tad Williams‘ upcoming release–Volume 3 in the Shadowmarch series, Shadowrise. In a follow-up to the interview, Beale was kind enough to provide compilations of her tweets. Here is the first of three excerpts. Over the next few days I will post two more excerpts.

In this first installment, enjoy an excerpt from Chapter Three (Silky Wood):

“I have a plan, bird.” Barrick Eddon unwound another strand of prickly creeper from his arm, hook by barbed, painful hook. “A very clever plan. You find me a path that doesn’t take me through every single thorn bush in Fairyland…and I won’t flatten your nasty little skull with a rock.”

Skurn hopped down to a lower branch, but prudently remained out of Barrick’s reach. He fluffed his blotched feathers. “It all do look different from up in sky, don’t it?” The raven’s tone was sullen. Neither of them had eaten since the middle of the day before. “Us can’t always tell.”

“Well, fly lower.” Barrick stood up and rubbed at the line of small, bleeding holes, then pulled his ragged shirtsleeve back down.

Continue reading First Excerpt from Tad Williams’ Shadowrise

Claire Small on How Do You Like Love?

Claire Small (Photo: Valerie Fremin)

In researching an upcoming Peter Bradley Adams interview, I learned about the music of Claire Small, and found myself drawn almost immediately to her songwriting and voice (the latter of which reminds me of Shawn Colvin). I love Small’s succinct and effective bio: “Claire Small is living out her musical adventure that includes leaving, losing, loving and moving to Texas to sing her heart out.” This spring (May 18, 2010 to be exact)  will see the launch of her third release, How Do You Like Love?,  for Freedom Records. But in the runup to the May release, Small will be offering folks the chance to buy  pre-release packages very soon. Also to whet listeners’ appetites, Small recently revealed that the album’s title track (“How Do You Like Love?”) will be available to download for free sometime in February. She also will be opening for Asleep At The Wheel for a few shows in Arizona, and then returns to Austin to play the Cactus Cafe on Feb. 13, 2010, with Terri Hendrix. My thanks to Small for her time and thoughts.

Tim O’Shea: What was the big attraction to move from Nashville to Austin, Texas a few years ago?

Claire Small: I actually moved to Houston first to be with someone I was in a relationship with but only stayed there about 5 months. When things started to not go so well I knew I had to leave but I didn’t want to go back to Nashville. In 2006 I had been to Austin to play ACL Fest and really liked the city. It seemed so laid back and the people were really nice and very into live music. So, I thought I would go and check it out on my own and stay a week to see if I liked it enough to live there permanently. I haven’t left since.

Continue reading Claire Small on How Do You Like Love?

History: Paul Harvey and J. Edgar Hoover

I’m grateful to Robert Feder for pointing out the Washington Post’s January 23 article on the 20-year friendship between Paul Harvey and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Understandably, after gaining access to more than 1,400 pages of documents through a Freedom of Information request, many details are brought to light about the friendship. As noted in the article:

Previously confidential files show that Harvey, whodied last February at 90, enjoyed a 20-year friendship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, often submitting advance copies of his radio script for comment and approval. Harvey wrote Hoover and his deputies regularly. Hoover, in turn, helped Harvey with research, suggested changes in scripts and showered the broadcaster with effusive praise.

The article is a fascinating read. But what most amazed me was the revelation that Paul Harvey, at one point back in the early 1950s,  attempted to become the original Geraldo Rivera.

…He routinely hammered officials for being lax on security, in particular those in charge of the Argonne National Laboratory, which conducted nuclear testing 20 miles west of Chicago.

After wrapping up his television broadcast on the evening of Feb. 5, 1951, Harvey set out to prove his case — and make some career-enhancing headlines for himself.

Harvey guided his black Cadillac Fleetwood toward Argonne, arriving sometime past midnight. He parked in a secluded spot, tossed his overcoat onto the barbed wire topping a fence, then scampered over.

I would love to know if, in the 1980s/1990s when the biographies of Hoover started coming out, did Harvey ever report on them–or did he just steer clear of them. I’ll do a little digging and should I find something, I’ll be sure to post. In the meantime, be sure to read the Washington Post article. And by all means, bookmark Feder’s blog, as it’s a great resource for interesting items like this.

YouTube: The Criterion Collection Now Has a Channel

The Criterion Collection–the folks that as they so succinctly put it: “Since 1984 . . .  has been dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements”–now has a YouTube channel. I assume it will be mostly populated with trailers, nothing full run. But, of course, with YouTube trying to compete with television, I could be proved wrong in a few months. Check it out.

As a Wim Wenders fan myself, I was pleased to find this trailer from PARIS, TEXASWenders’ 1984 film.

I wish I could embed the video here, but YouTube apparently does not allow that on the channels. How odd.

Deborah Beale on Using Twitter to Preview Tad Williams’ Shadowrise

Tad Williams' Shadowrise
Tad Williams' Shadowrise

As damn fine a writer and editor that Deborah Beale is, I consider her equally great as a marketing genius. I’ve written before about some of her and husband/business partner/writer Tad Williams marketing ventures before in this post from last October. I recently joined Twitter (find me here as Talkingwithtim) and have started observing how folks that I respect utilize it to their advantage. This March, Volume 3 in Williams’ Shadowmarch series, Shadowrise, will be released. To whet the appetite of fans anticipating the book’s release, Beale is twittering (as MrsTad)  excerpts from the book. The most recent series of tweets started on January 23.  I had to ask Beale a few questions about the effort, and she was more than happy to oblige me in this mini email interview. My thanks to Beale for her time and efforts, as always.

Tim O’Shea: How did you come up with the idea to start sharing excerpts from Tad’s new novel, Shadowrise via Twitter?

Deborah Beale: It wasn’t a flash-bang moment; it just occurred to me sometime back that it would be a cool thing to do. I was waiting for a finished manuscript from Tad, and I wanted to fit in with the publishers wishes too, which means streaming something close to publication date. Now, of course, I’m wondering who else might be doing something like this. There was one fiction-experiment last year, I can’t remember the details but it didn’t end well. I’m just throwing stuff out there for our followers and mailing list (who got a free short story for Xmas.) And I’m having fun with it.

Continue reading Deborah Beale on Using Twitter to Preview Tad Williams’ Shadowrise

Interviews Delayed

Most of the time I have an inventory of interviews to run, but in recent weeks, I’ve been making it week to week. This past week, it just did not time out well. I hope to get back on schedule this week, but can make no promises. In the good news department, I was able to score a quick mini-interview that I will be posting later today.

Over at Robot 6, last week I had the pleasure of taking part in one of the best interviews I’ve gotten to do–with Joe the Barbarian artist Sean Murphy. Murphy gets the credit for the interview’s greatness.

Hulu: John Huston

So I was knocking around hulu tonight and stumbled across John Huston‘s 1956 film, Moby Dick (starring Gregory Peck). This got me curious as to whatever Huston films that might be sitting on hulu.

And that’s how I found 1977’s Tentacles. This film is a product of its times, clearly trying to capitalize upon the popularity of 1975’s Jaws (and apparently only a few months before Orca was released)–it was supposed to be a horror film. But appropriately enough, hulu has it listed as a comedy.

Huston does not direct this gem, but rather he acts in it, alongside other folks that leaves me asking “Was money that tight in the 1970s for these folks): Claude Akins (as a sheriff [pre-1979 BJ and the Bear no less]), Henry Fonda and Shelley Winters

Interviews Elsewhere: Sam Phillips

It’s been awhile since musicians Sam Phillips and T. Bone Burnett divorced. In fact, I believe they divorced around the time of my divorce. I have not listened to Burnett’s music from around the time of their divorce, but I did listen to (and enjoy) Phillips’ work from that period (in the mid-2000s).

I ran across a recent interview with Phillips in OutSmart magazine. The subject of her divorce came up at one point and I was quite struck by this quote.

“I don’t want to go into the gory details but … it’s just that for us it was really complicated. It wasn’t like, ‘Sign a piece of paper and it’s over.’ It was a ripping apart, that’s the only way I can describe it. And I wrote about it. T-Bone wrote a little bit about it on his record, but not as much. I just kind of tore open my heart and laid with it as politely as I could. And I didn’t want to tax my listeners, but I felt that it was the most honest thing to do, because it was really an intense time for me. The last two years have been great, but I think the five years before that were very, very tough. But I think in a funny way I feel that we’ve had a successful marriage and a successful divorce, because we still have great affection and respect for each other and are able to work together to raise a child. In a broken situation, that’s the best you can do, or hope for or ask for.”

I really admire the way she discusses the impact of the divorce (and the importance of working together) for their child. Not every divorced parent thinks that way, but fortunately I can say for my son, working well together is something that my ex-wife and myself aim to achieve.

Phillips is allowing folks to subscribe to her music, and gain access to her digital EP releases. Here’s a YouTube sampling of one of those digital EPs, Hypnotists in Paris.

RIP Carl Smith (Mr. Country)

If you’re like me, you’ve heard of June Carter Cash–and you’ve likely heard of her daughter, Carlene Carter. But until his death this past weekend (as noted in this NY Times obit), I had never heard of Carter Cash’s ex-husband (and Carlene’s father), Carl Smith.

As I have quickly learned, Smith was one of the most popular country singers of the 1950s and 1960s. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2003, having been a major influence on many of country’s most popular acts. According to the Tennessean‘s obit: “Waylon Jennings did not attend his own 2001 induction, saying that he would not go into any hall of fame that didn’t include Mr. Smith.” Part of the reason most folks my age never heard of  Smith (also known as Mr. Country) was that he left the industry in the late 1970s. As noted by the NY Times coverage, he “might be better known today if he hadn’t retired from performing to become a gentleman horse breeder in 1978”.

Not many singers can claim that they “had 58 consecutive Top 40 hits on that chart from 1951 to 1965”, but, according to the NY Times, that’s exactly what Smith did.

Remembering MLK: 1963’s I Have A Dream Speech

In the United States today we observed the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. It is supposed to be a day of service. I’ll be honest and admit, I slept in, went to the dentist and spent time with my son today. We watched some of the coverage on the news, but in no way, shape or form did I perform public service.

Although I did not perform any service today, I can offer a link to the PDF of his 1963 I Have A Dream speech. Consider this excerpt:

“This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.”

I snagged this PDF link from Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, which provides a variety of resources, in multiple languages and formats, about the life and efforts of MLK.