2018 year in review; Looking to 2019

So what happened in the writing world of Brian Paone in 2018:

  • I wrote my novel, Moonlight City Drive 2, and sent it off to my editor for a 2019 release.

  • I wrote a short story titled “Two Gunslingers”, which was published in Scout Media’s anthology, A Contract of Words

  • I wrote a flash-fiction piece titled “Wayward Corona,” which was published in Scout Media’s anthology, A Flash of Words.

  • I wrote a short story titled “Come Moonshine or Fog” to be included in Scout Media’s anthology, A Bond of Words, for a 2019 release.

So what’s going to happen in the writing world of Brian Paone in 2019:

  • Moonlight City Drive (Part 1) will be released in audiobook.

  • My novel, Moonlight City Drive 2, will be published at some point during the first half of the year.

  • I will begin working on my rock-fiction novella adaptation of Digital Underground’s Sex Packets album.

  • I will write a flash-fiction piece revolving around a game for Scout Media’s A Flash of Words 2 anthology.

  • My short story “Come Moonshine or Fog” will be published in Scout Media’s A Bond of Words anthology.

  • I will begin working on my memoir about my wife’s deployment titled The Nightly News, for a 2020 release.

"Moonlight City Drive 2" has been submitted to my editor

I started writing the sequel to my 2017 supernatural crime-noir novel, Moonlight City Drive, back in July. I had never expected the book to become a trilogy, so when I wrote the first part, I wasn’t worried about finding loopholes or ways to extend all these characters’ storylines. That proved to be the hardest part of writing a sequel to a novel that I had no intention of ever writing further.

But, here we are, middle of December, and the second draft of Moonlight City Drive Part 2 (subtitled Electric Boogaloo) has been sent to my editor for a first-half release schedule in 2019. However, this time I was smarter. I went into writing the sequel knowing this was now going to be a trilogy (with Part 3 slated for 2021), so I could purposefully leave larger breadcrumbs, and I didn’t feel so guilty about leaving bigger plot holes wide open. I was able to set the characters into specific places, like playing chess, so their movements and behaviors can be continued (and finalized) in Part 3. That was also slightly difficult for me: to leave characters slightly unresolved, knowing their story will be wrapped up in another book. I have never had to write/think like that before with any of my novels.

So now, I’m just sitting back at the pool with an umbrella-adorned cocktail, waiting for my editor to return the novel so I can work on the third and final draft.

(My band) Drop Kick Jesus' "Depress the Heart" album turns 18

Eighteen years ago this month, my second band, Drop Kick Jesus, released our second album, Depress The Heart. Grammy Award Winning Producer Neil Kernon recorded it in Haverhill, MA, and then mixed it in Tornillo, TX. We moved into both studios during the recording, and it was one of the best times in my musical career.

I was in a weird place during the writing of this album. I was very angry at a lot of things: myself, religion, the state of the world … and I think of the 6 albums I have been the lyricist for throughout my life, this album is the #1 album that shows that level of anger and frustration through my lyrics toward things I couldn’t control. This is also the last album I wrote where the lyrics weren’t cryptic or in story form. The 4 albums I wrote after this (the Grave Machine album, the 2 Transpose albums, and the latest Yellow #1 album) all were conceptual and thematic. Depress the Heart was the last album where I was writing individual songs, and the words I chose were very specific about what I was angry about. No reading between the lines.

The album is harsh, aggressive, in-your-face, and even after 18 years, it still sounds current and relative. I’m glad I was the front man for a band and an album that seems to have stood the test of time. Too bad this was our last album before we broke up. I think if there wasn’t so much in-band fighting after we got off tour for this album, we could have written a 3rd and even better album.

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