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2014: Lessons Learned and Wishes Granted

December 28, 2014

brookeburgess

(by Brooke Burgess)

Dearest Friends,

I hope your Holy-days find each of you in the midst of loved ones — feasting on all things homemade, gravy-soaked, and likely carbicidal — and looking back fondly on another cycle of us all whirling together around the Sun.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who downshifts into more reflective, contemplative gears upon December’s end. Seems to be par for the cultural course, right? One of the few rituals we all still embrace on some level.  And for me? The past 12 months have been unlike any other chunk of calendar to pass in…well…pretty much ever.

WARNING:  this will be long post. Like, TLDR-cubed kinda long.  And it may seem a smidgen mid-lifey.

But if you hang in there ’til the end?  If you tough it out, you may just find some diamonds in the dross.

Worse comes to absolute worst, there are some pretty pictures.

Alright.  Are you ready…?

TIME MACHINE GO!!!

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THE REVIEWS ARE IN!!!

November 4, 2014

brookeburgess

CM Sweden

From the old guard of children’s literary journalism and reviews…

To mature readers yearning for the shadowy corners of childhood…

To young cubs getting their first taste of dark mystery and adventure…

It turns out that THE CAT’S MAW hit the haunting Halloween sweet spot!!

Adam CMaw

 

Burgess leaves readers clawing for the sequel.  Kids will enjoy it; adults will love it.”

~ KIRKUS Reviews

Bri and Me

If you (enjoy) being the first to know about something important, it’s high time you read this. Because this is important.’  ~ THE GUARDIAN (UK)

Cheryl Son


FIVE STARS
 a haunting fantasy not for the faint of heart.’

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

CM Ardan

Cinematic…lyrical…and often extraordinary.”

~ SEAMUS CASHMAN

Nepali Maw
Delighted…heartbroken…terrified
~ BLOG LOUDLY
Marije
So now that the verdict is in from around our world and the depths of Shadowland? Here’s how you can help the cause, and join in the fabled feline fun:

 

IT IS HAPPENING AGAIN! 7 Must-haves for the TWIN PEAKS Revival on Showtime

October 7, 2014

brookeburgess

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(by Brooke Burgess)

I am full of secrets. It’s true. But there’s one thing about my journey as a storyteller that has never been a mystery:

Twin Peaks was (and is) one of my biggest creative influences. Ever.

 

You want proof?  These things I tell you will be true:

  • I watched the whole series when it aired. Live. Yes…yes I am dating myself, but this old Owl is not what he seems.
  • I saw the feature film – the much maligned, yet now overwhelmingly respected slice of suburban horror, Fire Walk With Me (FWWM) – six (6) times in the theatre. At least one of those viewings was sober. Honest.
  • I’ve since owned every available edition of the pilot, collected series, and film (except for Japanese laserdisc. I know, I know…slacker).
  • The TWIN PEAKS Entire Mystery BluRay is on my Christmas list. If Santa doesn’t love me, I will steal a player just to see the 90min of delected scenes from FWWM, which I have signed four petitions to help bring to life.
  • I wrote an award-winning Fringe Festival play in 1996 whose climax paid direct homage to a scene from the film. People gasped in horror. There was weeping, and much gnashing of teeth. I was happy.
  • David Lynch’s obsession with creating mood and tension and surreal ‘hyper-reality’ states with audio became my own. I did my darnedest to slip some of his tricks into early game work at Electronic Arts.  Maybe you should try hunting down one of these
  • I attended the 1998 Twin Peaks Fan Festival in North Bend, WA. I had donuts, cherry pie, and many a mug of coffee. Oh…and I spent a whole night with this man from another place, learning to speak backwards.
  • BROKEN SAINTS, in many ways, was a 10-hr homage to Mark Frost’s serialized storytelling chops, and Lynch’s A/V style. If you think that’s an exaggeration, then you haven’t seen the intro to this.
  • My new children’s fiction books – THE SHADOWLAND SAGA – are structured like a limited run TV series peppered with quirky characters, absurd humour, a layered mystery, and chilling otherworldly dreamscapes. The first book (The Cat’s Maw) has no fewer than three nods to Peaks dialogue. And yes..there will be a contest.

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BOOK 2 ‘KICKSTARTER’ IS LIVE!!!

June 19, 2014

brookeburgess

Chapter2

(by Brooke Burgess) With a personal ‘patronage drive’ around my birthday, the funding for Book 1 in the new children’s fantasy series — The Shadowland Saga — was raised in less than 10 DAYS!  Now, it’s time to sound the call beyond my walls and reach out to lovers of literature, classic children’s stories, and…CATS! Enter PUBSLUSH — the ‘Kickstarter’ for books:

PUBSLUSH_logo

With this 40-DAY exclusive crowdfunding campaign:

  • I’ll be raising all costs (layout, illustration, editing, audio, etc) for BOOK 2, and beyond!
  • There will be more REWARDS for contributions, including $10 and $25 levels!
  • You’ll be able to contribute with SECURE VISA/MC donations!
  • 5% of every $ goes to Pubslush’s CHILDREN’S LITERACY charity!
  • See DAILY TRACKING for goals, rewards, and compaign updates!
  • ‘Stretch Goals’ for localized versions, and much, much more!
  • Easy SHARING to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and all your social media!

At the very least, please take a few minutes to check out the campaign page. It’s got fresh content — project background, an interview, even a live chapter sample! — and, by clicking ‘I’M INTERESTED!’, you help build buzz on their main hub for the project.

And…for all of you who sent such generous and supportive gifts my way already?

Here’s a sassy Q&A follow-up, just for you <3

‘SHADOWLAND’ FUNDRAISER and FAQ!!!

June 2, 2014

brookeburgess

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(by Brooke Burgess)

Q: What’s this all ABOUT?

Like the video says – I’m seeking support for my 5-book middle grade (8-12yrs) contemporary children’s fantasy series: The Shadowland Saga.

Q: What’s the quick and dirty way to donate?

PAYPAL or INTERAC e-PAYMENT (for Canucks) to my mail:

bb@brookeburgess.com

<3

paypal donation button

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Q: Why not a formal KICKSTARTER/Indiegogo?

Scope. The stats show that the formal crowd-funding campaigns that tend to be the most successful are related to tech, games, film/TV, and content with established brands (I’m looking at you, Reading Rainbow).  This is just a bunch of books – and the funding goal ain’t that high – so I wanted to keep the focus on close friends, industry peers, and hardcore fans of my previous work with this more personal approach.

Now…if the series takes off, and there’s a rabid audience eager to fund the launch of a full blown transmedia experience of the narrative world?  Then you’ll see Shadowland on Kickstarter in a big way. Count on it.

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A Serious Question: Can Children’s Novels Explore Extreme Emotion?

December 27, 2013

brookeburgess

The Dreamer and the Dreamed

Hello friends, and happy impending 2014!

With the new year fast approaching, I find another journey is on the verge of ending; I’m about to complete the first draft of my debut novel. For better or worse, I’m trying to see the accomplishment for what it is, and release any and all expectations surrounding it. And with that? Well, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t getting a smidgen excited. But just a smidgen…or two. ;)

I’ve been tweeting and Facebook’ing a string today about children’s stories – specifically ‘mid-grade’ novels (for 8-12 year-olds ie: Potter, Narnia, Dark Materials, Percy Jackson, etc) – and whether it’s possible for these to contain intense emotional arcs.

I’ve been reading a lot lately, and find that many of the established series limit their protagonist’s emotional range and ‘stakes’ (at least until later instalments), while choosing instead to focus on ‘world-building’, large character rosters, and causal plot triggers.

So here’s my question: do you think that issues like self-worth, abandonment, betrayal, extreme doubt/terror, and the like are exclusively an ‘adult’ domain? I ask because, with the end in sight, I’m seeing that my tale is pretty darn dense with complex emotions already — things I personally experienced as a child — and the feeling I have now is that this dynamic has entrenched itself as the bedrock of the greater (ie: 5 volume) narrative.

Without high stakes and real struggle, isn’t a story merely ‘stuff happening in an interesting place, with random people’???

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An Early Present

December 17, 2013

brookeburgess

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Seasons Greetings, friends and followers — I truly hope the season finds you happy, healthy, and sharing/basking in goodwill with all!

It’s been quiet in this space for a few months, and there’s a reason for that. As some of you already know, I’m working on something new. Honest. Not a sequel (to this), or a one-shot (like this), or even another screenplay. This labour of love is the first in a five-book fantasy series for ‘middle grade’ readers (8-12yrs) — think Narnia or Potter, but more contemporary. With (appropriate) horror. And pirates. And lots and lots of cats.

Early Concept Cover -- Art by Dane Cypel and Sara Machajewski

Early Concept Cover — Art by Dane Cypel and Sara Machajewski

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THE SHADOWLAND SAGA

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TIMELINE:  Current – 2018

PLATFORM:  E-Books / Print / Transmedia App

GENRE:  Middle-Grade Fantasy / Adventure / Mystery

A BOY. A CAT. A NIGHTMARE LOOSED IN TWO WORLDS.

In the sleepy town of Appleton, a young loner follows a cat onto the road and is struck by a car. A leg is shattered, a summer is ruined, and the troubled life of Billy Brahm goes from bad…to cursed. When the mysterious cat appears at his bedside, Billy is haunted by strange and prophetic dreams — the creatures in them speak of Watchers, and Shadows, and the Enemy that Awakens. Does this impossible realm hold the key to healing the broken boy? Is the golden-eyed cat there to help him…or to make the nightmares come true? Too frightened to share the truth with his strict adoptive parents, Billy realizes that the only ones he can turn to are the local vet’s daughter, the town’s ‘crazy cat lady’…and the mystical tiger from his dreams.

 

‘BECOMING’

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TIMELINE:  AVAILABLE NOW!

PLATFORM:  Graphic Novel (96 pages)

GENRE:  Psychological Thriller / Horror

CLIENT:  In-House IP / Arcana Comics

Featuring the pencil and inking talents of hot newcomer Dane Cypel, the rich colour palette of Sara Machajewski, and based on an original concept by rising genre star Curry HitchbornBECOMING is my return to graphic novel storytelling after completing the original version of Broken Saints in 2003!

SYNOPSIS

When a troubled student at a remote university challenges his professor to share his ‘secret knowledge’, he is drawn into a horrifying game of life and death.  To play, he will learn that the only rule is PAIN, and that the only key to salvation is the desire to KNOW…and the WILL to overcome.  

TRAILER*

(*trailer features original music by yours truly and Tobias Tinker – cut and conceived by BB)

‘BECOMING’ TRAILER IS LIVE!!!

August 30, 2012

brookeburgess

PBecomingPg20Final+copy

 

It feels like I’ve been teasing this project forever…

You can get the ‘official poop’ from the press release here, and the publisher page here.  Expect exclusive pics, interviews, and creative revelations in this space soon!

And, if you’re the impatient (and tablet-toting) type, snag Act 1 from COMIXOLOGY!  They’ll be releasing the follow up parts in Sept and Oct before the official print release later in November.

Special thanks to Saintly maestro Tobias Tinker for the chilling trailer tune, which we hammered out together in his family’s idyllic country home last month.  As a result, I’m seriously craving more quality collaboration :D

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