Brian Paone

Author // Musician

Filtering by Tag: A Haunting of Words

Year in Review: books, music, movies

Let's talk books, music, and movies ...

First, let's get the shameless self promotion out of the way first with my two 2017 releases as an author: releasing a new novel is a big deal for an author. Heck, I consider myself a professional author (meaning I make a small, viable living from sales), and this year I only released my fourth novel in ten years (that's considered a small amount by industry standards) titled Moonlight City Drive. However, it was the first time where I had a proper book release party (in Cleveland at the Agora Ballroom during the big Dog Fashion Disco weekend) and the first time a book of mine came with merchandise (a campfire mug, a shot glass, and two matchbooks). It seems each book release becomes more and more of a spectacle, and initial sales (first 30 days of release) exponentially have grown with each release. I also had my third published short story of my career, "Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys)," become available to the world in the anthology A Haunting of Words.

Now that I've plugged my own material, let's move on to what I thought were the #1 best releases in books, music, and movies this year.

Music - Hands down, the best album of 2017 for me was Roger Waters' Is This the Life We Really Want? This is one of those picks where I did NOT choose just because I am obsessed with Waters and biased and worship every note and lyric he writes ... in fact, just the opposite. I am such a Pink Floyd and Waters solo fan that I was truly terrified for months (yes, months. I even laid in bed some night petrified that the album wasn't going to be up my standards in what I love about his music: the tyrannical lyrics, the militant musicianship, the layers of samples and overdub vocals etc ...) about listening to this album. I even had convinced myself at one point, while I drove around listening to Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking, Radio KAOS, and Amused to Death, that the new album was going to fall so short from what I loved about those album that I would despise it and my whole 35-year fandom of Waters' music would come crashing down with a single collection of songs. Heck, it had been 25 years since his last proper album (not including the random song here and there he has released over the past two decades). I got myself so worked up and nervous about this new album that on midnight of June 2 (release day) when the album was automatically (through pre-order) downloaded to my iTunes and I placed my headphones over my ears and pressed Play, I burst into tears within the first 90 seconds of the start of the album. It was like waiting 25 years to meet someone for the first time that you idolized but were convinced meting them in person was going to disappoint you. Sure of it, even. This album not only blew me away, but met all my high expectations ... and then some. Not only was it not a let down (which I had SO convinced myself it was going to be), but it even ranks higher in my personal favorite Waters album list than some of his "classic" albums. Sounding like a cross between Pink Floyd's Animals, Wish You Were Here, and The Final Cut along with his own Amused to Death album, this is why it's the best album of 2017.

Book - The best book I read this year was published in 2004 (unfortunately, I did not read anything that came out in 2017; I spent the year reading older books I had always wanted to read). It's that often that book gives me a sick feeling in my stomach and NEVER has a book left me with emotional PTSD, but Generation Kill by Evan Wright wormed its way so far into my psyche while I was reading it that I started having terrible nightmares and spent moments during the day reflecting on some of the passages I had read. This went so far as me needing to discuss the book with Stephanie because I felt if I couldn't talk about how I was feeling about it, I might just breakdown and cry. Generation Kill really got under my skin, laid eggs, and hatched a new breed of distress for me that I don't remember having while reading a book before. The atrocities of war, told in first person POV, about the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 was made more real due to the fact that the reader starts to feel like they know these marines personally, well enough to start calling them friends. So when the shit hits the fan, you literally feel like you are reading a letter written TO YOU from a family member about these events as if they are happening RIGHT NOW (not to complete strangers, fifteen years ago.)

Movie - Star Wars is my favorite movie(s) of all time, and Stephen King is my favorite author of all time, so you'd think at least one movie between The Last Jedi or the slew of King movies that came out this year: The Dark Tower, It, Gerald's Game etc would be #1. But honestly, I have to say Wonder Woman was my favorite film of the year. Don't get me wrong, I loved The Last Jedi and I thought It and The Dark Tower were absolutely fantastic, but Wonder Woman worked on so many different levels. I've been a WW fan since I was a kid with the old TV show so I feel like I have been waiting for a proper Hollywood blockbuster all my life. And the script and special effects were brilliantly done. The action sequences rivaled anything in the Marvel universe (I'm not a big Marvel fan) and sitting next to Analise in the theater and watching her eyes grow big as she saw a female lead superhero on the screen was magical for me as a father. I even got a WW umbrella for Father's Day this year, and I will protect myself from falling precipitation with pride when that logo is fully extended over my head.

Author Takeover: William Thatch and his "A Haunting of Words" story

Today author William Thatch takes over my page with a discussion about his short story, "A Wacky, Fantastical Misadventure in New Haven," appearing in the anthology A Haunting of Words, which also includes my brand new short story, "Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys"):

“A Wacky, Fantastical Misadventure in New Haven” is about a man who is being haunted by the mischievous ghost of Adolf Hitler. Wacky hilarity ensues.

What inspired you to write this story?: The general inspiration for an absurdist comedy story came from the Frank Burly series by John Swartzwelder. How precisely I came up with this story, I have no idea. There was no particular impetus. I just put fingers to keyboard and let the story take me where it did. I knew the bare bones of the ending and the journey there, but that was it.

How long have you been writing?: Twenty-three years. If my writing were a Hollywood child actor, it would have been to rehab twice, house arrest once, had career ruined because of a flippant offhand comment about Jews, and found religion by now.

What genres do you most associate with in your writing?: Science fiction, primarily. I like to pair it with other things like noir, western, comedy, etc.

What are you working on right now?: A novella named Renaissance—a sequel about a French hitman with a heart of gold. The Caper Chronicles—a dramedy teleplay about a heist. And my entry for the next ‘Of Words’ anthology, which presently has no name, no characters, no story, no concept—you might say I have nothing prepared for it, and I’d call you technically correct, but a little mean for pointing it out.

What else do you have available/published: “The Highway” is featured in A Journey of Words. It is about a dog named Connie who gets away from her abusive owner and goes on an adventure to see and smell all the things she hadn’t seen and smelled before.

What advice do you give to new writers?: Write. Be honest about what you did wrong and what you could do better. Write some more. Don’t repeat the same mistakes.

List links where people can find your work:
Website: http://williamthatch.wix.com/author
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The0s1s/
Twitter: @The_0s1s

Author Takeover: C.H. Knyght and her "A Haunting of Words" story

Today author C.H. Knyght takes over my page with a discussion about her short story, "The Last," appearing in the anthology A Haunting of Words, which also includes my brand new short story, "Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys"):

"The Last" is a twisted tale of a monster hunting an innocent. With her whole family taken one-by-one, Marie fears for her very existence as the hunter returns one last time; for her soul.

What was you inspiration to write this story?: I was inspired to write The Last during a weekend challenge set during the Writer’s Games, run by the Writer’s Workout. The Last fell one place shy of a winning entry, so I was free to edit, polish, and make it the best it could be. It was ready for a home and found it in AHOW.

How long have you been writing?: I have been writing since I was a young teenager. I was always a bookworm and my dad encouraged me to write.

What genres do you most associate with your writing?: Fantasy is my broad genre of choice, but anything with magic or a supernatural mystique might come from my pen.

What are you working on right now?: I am currently participating in the Writer’s Games for the third year; won a round too. My main project is getting my novel, Nightvision, ready for self-publishing. I hope it will be released by the next end of summer depending on edits and illustrations.

What else do you have published?: This is my first released story. More to come soon though!

What advice do you give to new authors?: Don’t stop. One word after another. Look what you have accomplished, not what you gave left to do.

You can find me at:
Www.facebook.com/chknyght
Www.twitter.com/chknyght

You can purchase A Haunting of Words (available in paperback and eBook) through the Scout Media online store at: www.scoutmediabooksmusic.com/a-haunting-of-words and get an exclusive companion soundtrack CD, or through Barnes & Nobles, Target, Books-a-Million, and Amazon.

 

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