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Posts from the ‘Development’ Category

Of Success and Spare Change

August 6, 2016

brookeburgess

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I woke up today with a gut full of guilt.

Damn…the last time you blogged you were shopping for winter coats, son!’

Life, distractions, and general head-up-assery too often gets in the way of productivity and good intentions. Lame, right? But I take a whisker of comfort from the fact that I’ve actually been making stuff. Pretty good stuff, too. The Iron Maiden game that I helped conceive the story for came out this summer, and is doing gangbusters with hardcore fans. The epic Cat’s Maw audiobook has, at long last, launched in all its haunting, hypnotic, and David-Kaye-virtuosic glory. And the secret ‘two-novels-worth-of-Pratchett-inspired-dialogue-AAA-fantasy-mobile-RPG‘ I’ve been crafting for the past year is about to drop worldwide next month:

Somewhere Over the Blood-Stained Rainbow…

Yet in the midst of all that noise? I could hear the flow of an old, familiar River…

Yes sir. A change was coming.

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THE CAT’S MAW

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TIMELINE:  Nov 2014 – Current

PLATFORM: Paperback, eBook, and enhanced audiobook

GENRE:  Fantasy / Mystery / Horror (10-14yrs)

My prose fiction debut ‘for brave young readers and cat lovers of all ages‘ was released during the 2014 holiday season to a flood of reader raves and critical acclaim. I was especially pleased when random folks described the story and style as ‘Stephen King meets Neil Gaiman…meets CATS!’ 

And then, flying in the face of all sober and modest expectations, it began to climb up the Amazon sales charts in the Spring of 2015 and by the end of the year, snagged some serious literary kudos!

  • BEST YA MYSTERY 2015 (Gelett Burgess Children’s Award)
  • JUNIOR FICTION MEDALIST 2015 (Moonbeam Children’s Award)
  • TOP SHELF HONOREE 2015 (VOYA Magazine)
  • ‘TOP 100 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO READ IN A LIFETIME’ (Goodreads.com)
  • AMAZON UK #1 eBook / AMAZON US #4 (Children’s Fantasy — March 2015)
  • WATTPAD FEATURED STORY (Wattpad.com)

REVIEW TRAILER – The Guardian, KIRKUS, Midwest Book Review, and more!

AUDIOBOOK  – feat. DAVID KAYE (Transformers, Ratchet and Clank, John Oliver)

IRON MAIDEN: Legacy of the Beast

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PLATFORM:  iOS and Android

TIMEFRAME:  Spring/Summer 2015 (for a Spring 2016 release)

Working hand in (devil-horned) hand with the digital alchemists at Roadhouse Interactive and 50cc Games — and the heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN!!! — I mined decades of the band’s trademark lore, lyrics, and imagery to create the high-concept story pitch and full-blown narrative treatment for this genre-busting mobile action/RPG title.

LINK:  www.ironmaidenlegacy.com

A ‘YEAR IN REVIEW’ meets ‘The Saddest Day of 2015’

January 5, 2016

brookeburgess

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I gotta say it, folks — 2015 was quite the whirl around the burning ball in the sky for BROOKE M. BURGESS (Mumford? Moriarty? MA$E? Let the pointless speculation continue!)

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In January of last year, necessity brought me back to Vancouver, where I slipped into the ol’ prostitution pants like I never took ’em off and pimped my junk with newfound aplomb (A dope global IP-turned-action-RPG, TBA this month!). And then, as I chipped away at a veiny slab of debt in Sisyphean style, I had the chance to reconnect with some dear old friends, engage in further whoring (Another hush-hush mobile narrative coming this summer!) and spend a month Skype-surfing the velvet-throated waves of voiceover king (and Deep Cove Theatre homie for life!) DAVID KAYE for this spring’s audiobook release:

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THE ISLAND HIDEOUT

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Website advisory and crowdfunding copy for English versions of this breathtaking new retreat, opening its doors to culturally conscious and environmentally-minded travellers in 2016.

You can learn more at www.theislandhideout.com

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The Cat’s Maw turns 1!!!

October 5, 2015

brookeburgess

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PATTERNS = Memos from the Muse

September 15, 2015

brookeburgess

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Apologies for the sparse posting this summer, my friends. Work, travel, and Life got in the way (as they so often do), but I intend to hop back on the blog-horse for regular features and updates over the next 6 months at least. As always, your patience with my scheduling weirdness is infinitely appreciated. And speaking of weird…

In my creative and my personal life, I see patterns. 

Something as seemingly random as a rush hour commute with all-green-light intersections takes on prophetic business meaning. Pairs of butterflies circling the deck every morning for a week becomes a relationship omen. Monthly jolts awake after the same bonkers dream, only to see the same goddamn numbers glaring back at me:

(And the less a superstitious double-Gemini says about the thrice-annual shit-show of Mercury Retrograde, the better — back up those files and don’t sign contracts for a month, kiddos…the pattern of ‘Karmic fun’ starts tomorrow!)

Sure. It could just be my monkey brain’s way of making some desperate sense out of absurd, everyday, garden-variety chaos. But what fun is that? Especially when some of the greatest creative and scientific minds in history were/are ardent believers that recognizing patterns and potential connections between objects and events was the key to attaining higher knowledge and artistic excellence???

And that brings us to today’s topic: MEMOS from the MUSE.

Over the past six months or so, a common theme has reared its strange and fantastical head in the stuff I’ve been working on, as well as projects I’ve been brought in to help shape: the WHIMSICAL. The damn term keeps popping up in personal writings, in random conversations, highlighted in reference material, or even blurted out during conference calls. And it always came, it would seem, with the same qualifier: DARK.

How can you NOT smell a pattern like that? If the Muse keeps tickling your brain-balls, then it only makes sense to hear Her out over rib-eyes and a nice cab-merlot, amirite?

So I do what I like to call ‘tracing it back‘.

Follow the breadcrumbs of influence. Find the Alpha of the thought that’s recurring, which might help you predict the Omega of the path that you’re on — IE: the end result of the pattern — what it’s been trying to tell you from the start.

I recalled the shows and movies and books I loved as a kid.

I pondered the stuff I’m drawn to, and the tales I’m now driven to tell.

I revisited the last studio gig I agreed to, and the direction I gave to the team:

The music on that Hellboy 2 short is by my genius composer cousin, Tobias Tinker. We’d been making musical magic together for 7 years…and then that was that. I went off on walkabouts. He made more cool shit.

Last month, I flew my weary ass to his home in Berlin to see if our mutually-creative fires could be rekindled. It only occurs to me now that another 7 years had passed since our last big jam. And there we were, discussing the score on a massive (and massively daunting) audiobook project

‘What’s the vibe you’re after?’ he asked.

Dark, of course,’ I said, ‘but there’s something else…’

I sat up, and I think I felt the ghost of a gear click into place as I spoke the word. And then, in one afternoon, we built the following piece around our masterful narrator‘s silky boom:

A pained music box. Flourishes of harp. Mysterious choir. Moody strings.

WHIMSY.

A month later, I couldn’t help but smirk when discussing part of a (secret = SHHH!) reality TV project’s score with its producers. There was a scene near the end that needed a special sonic touch —  ‘heavier’ than the rest of the program, but still retaining a hint of playfulness and ‘hope’.  I referred the editor to a section from Howard Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring.  

You can probably guess what two words were exchanged.😉

That brings us to just last week. A designer on a seriously epic (and another SECRET!!!) game thingie asked me for input on the soundtrack.

Let me say this — if you were privy to the IP in question and what these cats have planned for it? Then you’d barf up the same goddamn tags I’ve been chucking since springtime. But that might mean very little to someone not lost in the vortex of signs and symbols…you know…like yours truly.

Thankfully, since I’d been bashing my head on this whimsy trip for months (nay, a lifetime!), there was an easier way to communicate. To share the PATTERN, whispered long ago through the Chaos by the Muse…

To be useful in this moment.

Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away = bombs of whimsy, yo!

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen = fanciful theatricality and fairytale decadence to legendary excess!!

The Dark Crystal = ground zero for ‘dark whimsy’ from my childhood!!!

So…

What are some of YOUR dark and whimsical favourites?

And what patterns have played a role in YOUR creative and personal lives?

Sound off in the Comments…right below the kitten in a top hat…

Because WHIMSY!

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ROADHOUSE INTERACTIVE

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TIMELINE:  Fall 2014/Ongoing

PLATFORMMobile (Android, iOS)

GENREMultiple

Contracted for text/dialogue creation, cinematic scripts, and ongoing narrative design consulation for this Vancouver studio’s diverse mobile game slate. Titles include action/sci-fi (WARHAMMER: Carnage), niche/casual (Trophy Bingo),  and a celebrated global music/entertainment IP. (TBA 2016)

On Napster, the Creative Class, and the Future of FREE…

April 29, 2015

brookeburgess

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(Note: listen to this featured chapter sample first and then, if you smell what we’re cooking, read on for the related transmedia insights)

Dear Friends, Fans, and Feline-aficionados,

I was catching up on eps of Silicon Valley the other day. I love the show. My tech and venture capital pals assure me that the portrayal is pretty much an accurate one. And, as I watched the latest, I was reminded of something I used to ponder often.  Specifically, when the douchey, monied bro’ below spouted the following:

‘I put Radio…on the Internet.’

Yes. That happened. And not just on the show.

Napster changed everything. But was it for the ‘better’? I can’t help but feel some days that they were singlehandedly responsible for planting the grotesque, rarely-before-thought perception in the minds of a generation of consumers — that they hand-birthed the reality where music (and, by association, nearly ALL creative output) should be free.

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READY? AIM! BRAIN BULLETS FIRED!

March 9, 2015

brookeburgess

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Got a story to share with the world?

Join the freakin’ club.

Stats show that over 15 million ISBNs (book registry #’s) were created last year alone. That’s up from the LOW 6-figures just five years ago. The market is officially flooded, my friends. Tsunami’ed, even.

And with that knowledge comes the demoralizing realization that the lion’s share of folks will NOT be willing to take an impulse deep-dive into uncharted waters. That’s why we like sequels. And reboots. And re-tellings. Because people’s most valuable commodity is time, so they’d much rather play it safe and invest this precious resource in what they know.  

It’s like buying stock. In Apple.  Even if you think the new watch is bullshit. At least it’s familiar bullshit.

$10K+??? Totally reasonable...like Scientology.

$10K+??? Totally realistic…like Scientology levels of reasonable

So then…how can the little guy (ie: the independent author) chip away at well-established and deeply-entrenched mindshare (in this case, Big 5-published IPs)? What can we do to turn the tide as Amazon ‘free days’ go flaccid, cheap eBooks glut the market, and mainstream media channels — newspapers, review blogs, and core book sites — crinkle their collective noses at anything beyond their immediate (ahem…payola’ed) gaze?

A BAG FULL OF BRAIN-BULLETS

Enter the ‘meme’.

Coolcat Maw

If you’ve written a cool story, chances are that it’s chock full of interesting ideas. Pithy observations. Humorous tangents. Snappy dialogue. The whole damn gamut. And if these snippets are crisp enough, while still maintaining the core brand message with a complementary image?

Then they are primed for your arsenal.

With a Google Image search and a virtual armoury of free (and idiot-proof) text generators, you’ll soon have an album full of unique promos for your book, blog post, screenplay, comic, or marketing blurb. And this ‘ammunition’ can be fired at so many willing targets. Facebook. Twitter. Tumblr. G+. Reddit. Imgur. LinkedIn. Pinterest. Hell, you could even throw Yahoo a bone.

It’s as if media dashboards like HootSuite were made for this — to scattershot your creative brain bullets far and wide, scoring as many flesh wounds and critical hits as you can with daily firings.

Because the rules have changed, writerly friends.

The language of the Web has evolved to favour the visual.

And as indie authors..?

We’d be fools not to learn how to speak it.

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