Brian Paone

Author // Musician

Photoshoot for upcoming 2018 dependent-military novel

I guess you could say I am working on 2 novels right now concurrently... even though I won't start the physical writing of the second one until the one I'm writing now (the supernatural, crime-noir, pulp-thriller detective novel) is finished and edited. The detective novel (an adaptation of Dog Fashion Disco's concept album "Adultery") is my 2017 release. But my 2018 release...

... is a comedic-military novel about the eight months my wife was deployed to Djibouti, Africa, in 2010 and left me home alone with two toddlers, and the learning curve and craziness that ensued during those months. Every night I would send her an email reviewing that day's shenanigans(subject line always "The Nightly News"). The main composition of the book will be centered around the content of those emails, using the first-hand account of what I went through while she was gone. (Think Mr. Mom). Basically I got to the point where my motto was: "If both kids are still alive and the house didn't burn down, it was a good day."

I'll go more into the details of the book as I get closer to the actual writing, but so far I have printed out all 750 pages of emails and gone through each one again, highlighted the moments that I want to be in the book. And the photoshoot has happened.

We shot the front cover of the novel (which is basically a destruction shot of my living room, recreating an exaggerated abandoned breakfast) and the author photo for the back cover. Why did we already shoot the front cover and my author photo of this book isn't being released until sometimes in 2018? Because I was dead-set on having photographer Paul Nimmo handle all the photography for this novel. Paul lives in the same county as me and is moving out of state in July. I knew he was the only one that I wanted to helm the direction of the novel's cover so I needed to snag him before July.

He spent 3 hours getting the perfect shot of a destroyed dining room table, and I think his talent is really going to help elevate the book's overall quality when its published next year.

...more on this upcoming novel later, but first.... back to helping a detective chase a killer through the desert...

when the band you are adapting, gives you a shout-out on stage...

So it was officially announced last week that work has begun on my next novel (my 4th). It's a supernatural crime-noir thriller (think Dick Tracy meets Jacob's Ladder meets American Psycho). But, as a rock fiction author, there is obviously some music attached to this next disasterpiece. It's a novelization of Dog Fashion Disco's concept album, "Adultery."

That album takes the listener on a chaotic, jarring, and almost hypnotic spin through one detective's obsession with catching a killer. A killer who specializes in cleaning the streets of prostitutes ... after he's had his way with them first, of course.

At the beginning of the month, I drove from North Carolina to Baltimore to attend the CD release party of Dog Fashion Disco's album, "Erotic Massage" (this album has nothing to do with my novel, but it was the reason why they were playing a show). This concert was only 1 of 3 shows the band is playing in all of 2017. The other 2 are in Cleveland, and I can't get out there for them, so Baltimore it is!

I had VIP treatment at the club; all the VIPs were allowed inside 2 hours before doors opened to watch soundcheck and hang out with the band etc. Since Jasan (the guitarist) and Todd (the singer) had green-lighted the book to be written a few months ago, we hadn't really discussed it further. Mostly because I was outlining and still trying to figure out how I wanted to approach turning the album into a novel, from a creative standpoint.

I was able to discuss my outline, what I have written so far, and my plans for what's to come with Jasan, and he was very receptive and seemed genuinely excited to read what I'm coming up with so far. But it was during the show where the greatest endorsement from the band came.

In between 2 songs, Todd asked the crowd if they knew there was a novel being written for "Adultery." Many attendees clapped and cheered, acknowledging that they were aware. Then Todd told the crowd that the author was here in the audience, called my name, asked where I was, and I was hoisted into the air by other people around me as I tried to wave to the crowd.

The whole moment took maybe 15 seconds. But its the little breadcrumbs that are dropped during the journey of adapting an album into a novel, that can really make everything click. I don't know what else could top, as a rock fiction author, than having the band I am adapting, themselves, endorse and give a shout-out to me, on stage, in front of a few hundred people. It shows their faith in turning over what might be their most fan-loved album to me, to try to turn its sung story into some form of cohesive narrative.

I have had some really cool experiences since becoming a published author 10 years ago in 2007. Some of them are directly related to being a rock fiction author, where members of bands have reached out to me, and I've connected and networked with some "celebrities" because of my novels and stories being adapted from pieces of music. But having Dog Fashion Disco take time to highlight me on stage, at a show that was all about them and their accomplishment of making it to their 20 year anniversary and celebrating a new release, definitely is high on the list of "magical moments" for me as a rock fiction author.


Work has officially begun on the next novel.

My most recent novel, "Yours Truly, 2095", was released in 2015. Since then, I have only written and published 3 short stories. I have not even thought about the next novel. Until now...

At the beginning of the month I finished my outline for what will be my 4th novel, hopefully released later this year. It's a sinister crime-noir thriller that follows a down-on-his-life detective who is hired to tail a man that may or may not be committing adultery. Turns out, the man is a modern day Jack the Ripper, and the detective's feelings and moral standings about the killer's activities become less and less steadfast as he is thrown into the killer's world. Oh, and there may be a few "things that go bump in the night" helping our killer on his mission, all thrown in for good measure of course. I'm going for a Dick Tracy meets Jacob's Ladder meets American Psycho vibe.

Once again, this is a novelization of a concept album: Dog Fashion Disco's "Adultery" album. But, the beauty of rock fiction (for everyone who has read any of my novels or short stories and had no idea they were adaptations of albums or songs) is they are also stand-alone books. Just like you don’t have to have read a book to enjoy or understand the movie adaptation, you don’t need to have heard the album (or even need to have ever heard OF the band before) to understand or love a rock fiction novel. Rock fiction novels are unique in the sense that they already have 2 built-in audiences right out of the gate: the fan base of whatever band’s album is being adapted, and the fan base of the genre the book is written in. It’s not a prerequisite to know the album to read a rock fiction novel. In fact, I bet most people read a rock fiction novel purely based on its blurb and have no idea it is an album adaptation.

Now that a new novel is being constructed... there will be a lot more updates.

...more (very) soon...



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