More shameless plugging of my novel “Impossible Monsters”

So, while I toil away trying to get the attention of some literary agent (as they, in turn, sift through what I imagine are stacks and stacks of manuscripts devoted to vampires, eventually getting to my tome), I figured I might as well keep posting chapters from my book here and there, lest anyone cares to read them.

Now, since my book doesn’t actually have traditional chapters, per se, but rather sections arranged by narrator, I don’t feel as bad making posts that are seemingly out of order. The point of the book is really to dissect these main characters and their interactions and relationships with fellow students over the course of a few months at the fictional Wellington Ayers University. I mean, ultimately, this is what college is about, in my opinion—for the first time in your life, typically, you are in total control of what you do and who you spend your time with, and this unfurling of adultness creates many unique situations as you progress throughout your years of study.

This section is narrated by Vikram, a graduate student at Ayers born and raised in Goa, India (a very touristy, artsy resort city on the West Coast of India). He is a Sikh, devout for most of his life, then, suddenly, is thrust in a world that excites and tempts him, a world he has only seen from a distance so far–a world of carnal sins. In this specific instance, Vikram is attending a party being thrown by his flatmates for his birthday, and, being that it’s first time drinking alcohol, I decided to write this section in stream-of-consciousness, trying to invoke what it’s like to be drunk the first time, experiencing a wave of conflicting emotions and feelings. I think, at times, this section sounds almost melodic. Hope you enjoy.

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Grievances against demanding schedules, a chapter from ‘Impossible Monsters’

Eek! Terribly busy week, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be an easy day today. Yikes. Yes, I’m thankful to have a job, but that doesn’t mean I can’t complain about being busy. It’s the American way!

Anyway, I’m actively trying to get my novel Impossible Monsters published, which, at this point, means I’m attempting to get a literary agent interested in representing it. Daunting, to say the least. However, I have faith in my abilities as a wordsmith, and while my novel could be classified as literary fiction—a genre that, for some reason, scares the pants off a great many readers—I know it is only a matter of time before something happens.

So, I was perusing the book, just randomly reading sections, and figured I’d start posting some of it online, here and there, because…well, because I can. The book is narrated primarily by three characters, students of varying ethnicities and hang-ups passing their time at the fictional Wellington Ayers University (in jolly ‘ole England). In the following section we find Anthony, a nineteen-year-old American student, getting ready to meet his father for a quick bite at Heathrow during a layover. You really get a sense of who Anthony is in this section, of the strained relationship he has with his dad and how that seems to affect how he sees/interacts with the world.

Hope you enjoy.

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ANTHONY

Heathrow, early evening.  Sixish.  Sitting on a bench next to the Currency Exchange closest to the security check, not far from an escalator that seems to rise up and disappear into an abbreviated McDonald’s.  Waiting.  Listening to The Kinks on my MP3 player and humming along to the words, Long ago life was clean / Sex was bad and obscene / And the rich were so mean.”  Check my watch and realize I’ve been sitting here for an hour.  I have a clear shot of the departure/arrival screens and I know his flight is on time, so I decide I’m leaving in ten minutes if he’s not here.  See a threesome of Asian tourists walk by, a family.  Father: Visor, puffy navy jacket with brown fur-lined hood, exasperated look, skinny jeans, patchy beard, squinty eyes, no smile.  Mother: Long hair ponytailed, thick black ski jacket, green shirt that says Von Dutch in pink, dark denim with a high waist, all white skater-looking shoes, two bags on each arm from the Duty Free, camouflage bucket hat, thin lips, long nose, small breasts.  Daughter: Fuckable, pigtails, bowed legs, dark tight denim, shoes similar-looking to her mother’s, zipped up baggy blue hoodie with red flowers painted all over, green knee-length hooded puffy jacket, nude-colored tote bag with Japanese writing in black surrounding an art deco version of Hello Kitty, smiling, confused.  They pass by speaking sharply.  Disappear into a crowd of blond-haired Pan-Europeans waving their hands as they’re being counted off by a tour leader.  Yawn.  Look up to the ceiling and study the avant-garde pattern of the rafters.  The individual terminals for each airline.  The goddamn ants stuck in line. The looks on their faces.  My hands shaking.
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Look at me! I write comics!

So, I’ve been writing most of my life, and at the same time been a fairly avid reader of comics, but it wasn’t really until this past year that I combined these two passions to become…(drumroll)…a comic book writer.

Sure, it helps that I started my own comic book company and all, but I’m aiming big time, and plan on pitching some ideas to established studios such as Image, Dark Horse, and Oni (to name a few), as well as nurture the series I helped establish at Saint James.

That being said, there truly is no greater feeling than walking into a comic book store and seeing something you wrote/created on the shelf (even better when you’ve been informed that the store sold two earlier that day).  I imagine it will be a similar feeling, seeing my novel in bookstores eventually, but for now, this is pretty damn cool.

The comic I’m holding is the first issue of the Saint James series Indego Blue, written by myself and Jesse Young, with artwork by Howard Russell (no relation).  Click here to see how you can get your very own copy.  Help a brother out!

Updates galore! Comics, travels, mayhem!

After a distastefully long absence from posting on my own blog (it’s my namesake!), I’m back with a vengeance, and I plan, from now on, to update much more frequently.  Pinky swear.

SAINT JAMES – So, I started a comic book publishing company in January of 2009 (Saint James Comics LLC) with my good friend Jesse Young.  Things have picked up tremendously since then, as well.  We currently have two comics printed and available for purchase, as well as a series of webcomics offered free on our site.   Check it all out right here: www.WhoisSaintJames.com.


AUSTRALIA!
– No, not the movie.  I took a trip Down Under in September of 2009 with my good friend E. Kula and had a blast. Check out pictures on my Facebook page here.  PS -kangaroos are delicious.

WRITING – I am currently hard at work trying to get my novel, Impossible Monsters, noticed by a literary agent (or two).  It’s a long, annoying process that I’m only now beginning to really pour myself into (I should hire an assistant for this part).  The synopsis, via me:

The novel, set in 2005, deals primarily with the escapades of two characters: Richard, a twenty-five-year-old American graduate student, a handsome writer-in-training who constantly worries about his troubled long-distance relationship while trying to impress his professors and colleagues, and Anthony, a nineteen-year-old American student, an outsider amongst outsiders who numbs himself with narcotics while struggling to fit in anywhere, even in his own skin. The story alternates between both protagonists’ perspectives over a month’s time during the fall semester at the fictional Wellington Ayers University in England. A plethora of secondary characters take their own turns at narration, thereby giving unique and varying perspectives of Richard and Anthony outside of their own egos as reminiscent of Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.

I’m also researching like mad for my next book, a revenge story set in the world of outlaw bikers. Seriously. Couldn’t make this stuff up. I’m debating if I should job shadow a real motorcycle club here in Detroit. Only if I bring my brass knuckles, I suppose.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  I plan on making this a regular thing, updating about my life, writing, comics, whatever, so stay tuned, true believer! (Please don’t sue me, Stan Lee.)