Dashing through the Thread / in an Open, snarky way …
It’s the first Open Thread of December, Overthinkers! And that means Grammy nominations! Bon Iver, Mumford and Sons, and of course Kanye West get nods.
(Speaking of music, did you get the new Black Keys album, El Camino? Did you? If so, let me know if it’s worth it)
In movie news, Roger Ebert’s experimental self-produced show “At The Movies” is going on hiatus. Michael Fassbender is starring in an NC-17 movie about sex addiction, which I’m sure some of our female readers might find interesting. An enterprising student snapped a pic of Daniel Day-Lewis made up as Abraham Lincoln for the upcoming biopic; in shocking news, the tall, craggy actor looks rather like our tallest, craggiest President.
And finally, the book that made history, Action Comics #1, sold for $2,200,000 in an online auction this week. I hope the buyer knows that all of the content within has been retconned at least three times. (I had another joke in mind about how much of DC Comics you could buy for $2.2MM, but DC Comics is pretty valuable, at least as a battery of intellectual property for Time Warner, so the byzantine entertainment market has once again rendered my irony obsolete)
Can I get a mic check for a shameless plug? Wait, I’m the only one here? Then let’s go:
John Perich’s debut novel, Too Close to Miss, is available today as an Amazon Kindle download or a Barnes & Noble Nook download for the low price of $0.99! At that price, you can’t afford not to buy it.
What’s it about? We’ll let the marketing copy do the talking:
Mara Cunningham knew that sleeping with a married man was a bad idea. But when her lover shows up in the hospital after his wife and son are murdered, the rumors about Mara turn dangerous. Now she’s the prime suspect in a double homicide, and the real killers will stop at nothing to silence her. Mara’s race against time takes her from the dense heart of Boston to the dark woods of New Hampshire, from gritty streets to the halls of power. Before she’s through, she’ll learn just which of her friends she can trust – and she’ll stare death in the face.
Buy it for yourself! Give it as a gift to an Overthinker or a fan of gritty thriller novels! And if that’s not your speed, don’t forget our other holiday gift ideas! We serve all kinds.
Could Daniel Day-Lewis survive if he were falsely accused of murdering the Black Keys on the mean streets of Boston? Or is there something we missed? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … Open Thread.
Congratulations, John! Overthinkers—let’s send his numbers through the roof!
Congratulations on the book! I’ve tried the NaNoWriMo and tried to write separately and I have personal understanding of just how incredible it is put a coherent novel together. Well done.
I feel like December is to pop culture what August is to news, a big gaping void.
Yes, congratulations on the book. How much of that 99 cents will you be getting?
About $0.35. PURE PROFIT!
John, what if I don’t have a fancy book-reading device? Can I like, give you a dollar and get a PDF or something?
This probably isn’t where you were going, but… anyone can download the Kindle for PC and use the store. You can then support John, and then go download the PDF.
And you can also get the Kindle app for iPhone. Then there’s a web-based client at http://read.amazon.com which you can literally use LITERALLY ANYWHERE.
That cloud reader is great – no hardware, no software, Linux compatible. John, you’ve got my $0.35 now.
Well, literally anywhere with internet access and electricity, and that is not underwater, in the vacuum of space, etc.
Although…to they have wi-fi on the International Space Station? I’d imagine the cosmonauts would want to keep their LiveJournals updated.
The combination of John’s novel and the iphone kindle sold me on the kindle ebook thing. The story feels more alive and present like it’s a breaking story when in it’s electronic. Not sure if it was intended but the italicized chapter headings make it feel like a “breaking news” heading because the pages sweep across when turned. But yeah, the story is compulsively readable and I’m really liking it so far.
Thanks! “Compulsively readable” is one of the things I was aiming for. Tell the world!
The Chelsea Handlerization of TV continues: in addition to “Whitney”, I saw ads last night for Ms. Handler’s show to premiere on NBC (presumably to cater to the audience that “Community” misses). It makes me weep a little for this country, I must admit.
Thursday marked the 76th birthday of Woody Allen, who is increasingly not in the movies that he directs anymore (I am guessing that his advanced age makes the idea of his main character squiring a much younger female costar downright uncomfortable). I can think of no other American director who is more iconic for his onscreen persona (well, if I gave it some thought I probably could, but I’m in the middle of making a point). What does it say about the Oscars that “Annie Hall” was the last time a major motion picture marketed as a comedy won Best Picture? Is comedy always going to be the bridesmaid at the Academy Awards? Anyway, happy 76th to the Woodman.
Best Picture movies need to be dramas, ideally about tragic topics or assassinated political figures. Also, a major needs to die during the third act. It’s also best if the movie is somehow about WW2.
Hey John, congratulations! I wasn’t aware of Kindle Direct Publishing – but I do have an old 200-page novel manuscript in my drawer. Thank you for pointing this out to me, now I plan to follow your example and make it available for $0.99.
Now that I think about it, there is a *lot* of overthinking going on in my novel. Which doesn’t necessarily give it a coherent, interesting plot. But you guys might like it – although you would have to learn German first.
Damn, maybe 99 cents is aiming a little too high…
Hey, but there must be some aspiring novelists here in the OTI community, right? After all, don’t we kinda want to be part of the popular culture ourselves? If you guys are out there, I would love to chat with you about what parts of popular culture may have had an influence on your writing.
In Re: Writing and pop culture. I started a couple projects a few years ago, but I abandoned them all for various reasons. I’d be able to better respond to your inquiry, though, if you gave your own response to it. I’m afraid the rant I have in mind is completely different from what you’re looking for.
Gab, feel free to rant away. This is an open thread, after all ;-)
@Timothy, that concept sounds awesomely interesting. Also, it is similar to my own experience, and to why I asked the question in the first place: If I look at my novel now, I find influences from heavy metal lyrics, dark romanticism literature – even glimpses of dialogue from beat ’em up games.
If that’s how actual writers do their work, I’d love me some annotated versions of some novels I’ve read.
I think it’d be difficult to list off “what” influenced my writing, individual item by item. It goes beyond just popular culture, but into societal variables and social constructions that push different approaches at any given time. Take The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, for example. She’s telling the traditionally male-dominated story (or stories) of Arthurian legend, but with a modern feminist perspective, expanding on barely-referenced women already established somewhere, or making up her own when necessary, in order to accomplish this. I guess, in that sense, I was directly influenced there, since one of my projects was from Andromache’s (best known as Hektor of Troy’s wife) perspective, and it included a bunch of other women that would have been around her at various steps in the story. But even there, other influences, including people I’ve known, showed up (like inserting a lot of one of my professors into Priam, directly quoting my mom a few times, etc.). And the project I came closest to actually considering finishing and pitching to publishing companies was deliberately modeled after one particular historical text, but it would likely come across as something completely different to anyone that didn’t know this. I think, ultimately, being a member of society entails myriad influences, recognized and deliberate or not; and when we create something, our own preferences are diffused into our creations. But I’m a social constructivist, so I’m all about the norms and influences that shape peoples’ behavior and beliefs, so yeah.
Of course, there are characters I’ve come up with (in other pieces) that talk about movies and music and comics, but since I’m not an omnipotent being, those references are always limited to things I know about and in which I’m interested (and also feel well-versed enough about to be confident in any references I make). But I think that comes down to the same thing, ultimately.
I’m sorry, that was prolly pretty downer-ish.
Oh yeah, I’d forgotten/overlooked the personal influences – friends and myself, mostly.
Every time I see a cool Kindle DTP project, I reconsider doing my own. My first novel, written between the ages of 14-16 is a retelling of my experiences (at a great distance) with the War on Terror, plus a bit of psychic powers, doomed romance, sleuthing and rock music in between. It’s very much influenced by novels that don’t just tell the story in straight prose – there’s newspaper articles, songs, casenotes from a psychiatrist and diary entries as well, and it doesn’t have a single protagonist either. The influences on it, when I sit down to think about seem to be as varied as Mission Impossible and Philip Pullman – and any allegorical action story, where the plot rattles along but the meaning is really about mistrust of governance, fear of corruption and the problems with not seeking peaceful solutions.
John, that’s awesome! Congrats, dude.
Did anyone else watch The Walking Dead? And am I the only one that got choked up?
A number of those nominees are actually veritable troops of people working on those (potential) albums of the year. I guess if the machine works, let it do its job? I wonder if the Grammys will ever double the nominee list for any category ala the Oscars. (Btw, there shouldn’t be an apostrophe, amirite?)
I got my Otis in the mail. I kind of squeed like a five-year-old.
Without going into spoiler territory for the others reading this, I was also touched and amazed by the latest episode’s climax. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the comics, but they started introducing some very clever variations into the TV show. This could become a good example of how you can change the source material while still being true to it. Then again, Season 1 had one sequence that was IMO an example of what *not* to change in a given story…
I’ve heard similar things from friends that have read the comics, namely that some changes have been very good, while others weren’t so much. I haven’t read it myself, however, but I imagine if the trend seems to be along those lines, it’s likely where they go from here is rather up in the air.
I do think the writers and actors do a good job of getting across emotions and dramatization. And that could have a lot to do with whether or not changes “work” or not. If the show hits at the same core elements of the comics in a way people exposed to both can recognize, the disconnect between events takes a backseat. But that can’t happen if the writing doesn’t make that core element clear, or if the acting misses the target.
The OTIs holiday ornaments should be arriving. We’d love to see pictures of you enjoying yours!
Thanks again to Zyloart from Frankenshoe for selling them!
That was what I meant by “Otis in the mail.” :)
Could this be the killer app that gets me to buy an e-reader? Stay tuned for details at 11.
Okay, hold the phone. I just stumbled upon this film trailer, featuring Bob Hoskins as Smee (again):
Ana Friel (from Pushing Daisies) as Hook? My interests are quite piqued. It appears to be a combination “gritty” and “fantasy.” I am most definitely planning on watching this. Especially since The Walking Dead won’t be on at that time…
And by “film” I meant “SyFy miniseries.