Category Archives: jonathan maberry

The Next Big Blog Thing

The Next Big Thing is a blog project designed to help writers get the word out about their latest works. Author Kevin R. Tipple tagged me, and I’ll be tagging a few writers at the end of those Q&A, and they’ll be doing their own blogs about their work next week. Check ’em all out.

1. What is the title of your current book?

Strange World is a short story anthology put out by Biff Bam Pop!, featuring previously unpublished tales of suspense and horror by various authors from across North America. My story in the collection is called “Live to Write, Write to Live.”

2. Where did the idea for the story come from?

Believe it or not, writing on the toilet. Since getting an iPhone, I have stopping using small notebooks for writing notes on the go. I have almost exclusively moved to doing it on the iPhone with the Notes app. Sometimes this happens, ahem, when ‘occupied.’ This image is at the start of “Live to Write” and propels the plot from there.

3. What genre does the book fall under?

Strange World contains thirteen tales of thriller, horror and suspense. My own story in the collection, while containing horror and suspense elements, I feel is more black comedy than anything else. You’ll have to read it yourself and see.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie?

Wow. I never really gave this one any thought. I would say that Naomi would be well served by an aged and ragged version of either Sharon Stone or Michelle Pfeiffer. Mandy Patinkin as he looks in “Homeland” would make a good Blaine Taylor. The others you’ll just have to use your imagination.

The truth is the characters are actually modeled on folks I know, but I ain’t telling who they are. If I did, I’d have to kill you. And them. 😉

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your story?

Write what you know is not always the best policy.

6. Is your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Strange World is self-published by the Biff Bam Pop! pop culture website and staff, the first of several books. Keep a look out.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Unlike a lot of stuff I write, I wrote the story in a whirlwind of passion and creativity over a couple days. It is the first short story I have written and finished in decades, and the one done in the quickest time.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Oh my, I couldn’t say. I would hope anything in the horror or suspense genre that has a sly wisp of subtle humor.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this story?

You mean besides writing on the toilet? I have nothing but kind words, gratitude and praise for Andy Burns, editor-in-chief of Biff Bam Pop!, for kicking me in the butt and getting me to submit a story to Strange World. It is all his fault. 😉

10. What else about the book might pique a reader’s interest?

Besides my own, there are twelve other terrific stories in Strange World by twelve other very talented writers, like Jason Shayer, Lucas Mangum, Anne Michaud, David Sanford Ward, and the aforementioned Andy Burns, among others. And don’t forget, the book features an introduction by award winning author Jonathan Maberry.

You can purchase an ebook copy of Strange World on Kobo here.

One week from today, be sure to check out what Marie Gilbert, Fran Metzman, Ann Siracusa, Suzie Tullett and Bex Aaron have to say in answer to these questions, too. And also check out what my tagger Kevin R. Tipple has to say on his blog as well – he’s a terrific writer and friend, always worth reading.

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Scooby and Shaggy at Biff Bam Pop!

Over at Biff Bam Pop! they’re counting down their favorite (or favourite for the native Canadians) couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

So far they’ve covered Buffy and Angel, Kitty Pryde and Colossus, Jabba the Hut and Salacious B. Crumb, and Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson

On February 5th, I got a chance to say a few words about everybody’s favorite animated bromance, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. This boy and his dog, best friends, comrades in cowardice, and foodies supreme have been buddies since 1969. You can read my take on them, and the origins of the whole Scooby gang here.

And don’t miss today’s entry as author and guest-blogger Janice Gable Bashman takes a look at the tempestuous relationship of Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter and Clarice Starling. She even invites a few other notable writers to help her out. You can read it here.

Stay tuned to Biff Bam Pop! for more favorite pop culture couples throughout February until Valentine’s Day!

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Remembering L.A. Banks

Author Leslie Esdaile Banks passed away yesterday morning after a relatively short battle with cancer. She also wrote under the names L.A. Banks, which I knew her by, as well as Leslie Esdaile, and Leslie E. Banks.

Banks wrote prolifically, with various projects and genres to her name(s), including horror, crime thrillers and romance among others. She wrote the Vampire Huntress and Crimson Moon series, two “Soul Food” books based on the TV series, and the Laura Caldwell books, among others.

Back in the day, L.A. Banks was also the first professional author I interviewed as host of the Fear of Writing Chatroom, later The Writer’s Chatroom. She was very sweet and understanding of newbness in doing the whole chat interview thing, and was a wonderful guest. She even came back a couple times, hopefully when I was better at it.

Banks was a wonderful teacher and always took time to help writers, new and experienced, both in those interviews and outside them. When I finally met her years after those interviews, she remembered me, which meant a lot. She taught me a lot, every time I saw her or saw her talk, I learned more about the craft. We have lost not only a terrific writer, but a wonderful woman and teacher as well. She’ll be missed.

Leslie’s friend and fellow author Jonathan Maberry announced in various writers groups yesterday the following event: “Leslie was a great writer, a brilliant speaker and teacher, a tireless supporter of literacy, and a dear friend. Her friends and colleagues in the Liars Club will host Leslie’s Big Hug Writers Bash to raise money to help Leslie’s daughter. (Saturday, August 6th, beginning at 7 p.m. and going on till closing at Smokey Joe’s Bar located at 208 S. 40th Street in University City on the University of Pennsylvania campus.). Silent Auction items include manuscript critiques; ebook and print-on-demand manuscript design services; tickets and a backstage tour for Jersey Boys on Broadway; full scholarships to writer’s conferences; and signed books by New York Times bestselling authors such as Charlain Harris, Heather Graham and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Tickets are available at the door and via eventbrite.”

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The Wolfman

The Wolfman ~ This 2010 remake of the Universal classic has so much going for it – a script by Andrew Kevin Walker, a novelization by Jonathan Maberry, and a phenomenal score by Danny Elfman that features an almost Jaws-like opening. I was surprised and liked it however, it didn’t knock my socks off.

Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins are at best adequate in subtly over the top roles that require their level of talent to pull off and yet neither steps up to the plate. Rick Baker’s make-up effects are stunning, and they should be – the original flick is what made him want to do make-up in the first place. He’s come full circle.

Speaking of the original, this is a fairly tight remake. The Walker script has lots of nods and winks here. I especially like the reference to the actual French werewolf murders at Gevaudan, and the brief glimpse of topiary animals a la Stephen King’s book “The Shining.” And the asylum scenes are very brutal.

This remake is very moody, very atmospheric, and unfortunately very dark. A light here or there wouldn’t hurt, folks. You have the care going with everything else, you don’t need the dark to help you – especially when it hinders the visuals. And as far as visuals go, the climax is quite impressive. Check it out.

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The New Wolfman

The new film version of The Wolfman starring Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins opens February 10, 2010.

And don’t forget to check out the novelization by Jonathan Maberry.

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Wolverine: Ghosts

Yeah, I’m a comics guy, but for the most part, things like Wolverine and Punisher are off my radar. It’s just not my taste. I solidly believe that heroes don’t kill, won’t kill, and shouldn’t have to kill. It’s the main reason for the better part of two decades I haven’t read Wolverine.

Jonathan Maberry having a short story in Wolverine: The Anniversary changed my buying habits. I have a lot of respect for Maberry’s skills both as a writer and as a writing teacher, so I had to see what he was up to with everyone’s favorite X-Man. His story, “Ghosts,” illustrated by Tomm Coker (who might be better known as the writer/director of 2007’s Catacombs), is a mere eight pages long. But page count doesn’t matter. In an economy of words, Maberry takes Wolverine down to basics and tells a tale of love and vengeance, and one of the core of the character. It is truly a marvel of words and images, dancing together in battle choreography both of the body and the mind. This is a deeper Wolverine than I’ve seen in a while.

Word on the street is Jonathan Maberry will also be trying his hand at the Punisher, another Marvel Comics character I’ve never really cared for. I’m placing my order now.

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