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Posts tagged ‘horror’

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)

AUTHOR INTERVIEW w/BLOGS of a BLONDE BOOKIE!

February 6, 2016

brookeburgess

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Hey friends — hope that 2016 finds you all happy and healthy and diving into fresh creative ventures!

Thought I’d share a snippet from a recent interview with a cool book blogger that just got posted. We cover lots of ground (yeah, I’m not just pimping this time :P), so be sure to click through to the full meal deal at the bottom of this post!

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YOUR CAT IS GORGEOUS! SO TELL US BROOKE, WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?

I just kinda stumbled into it by following the path of least resistance. I used to get in trouble in school for daydreaming, scribbling poetry, and writing short stories. That graduated into crafting tabletop role-playing campaigns and videogame concepts. My grades in English and Creative Writing remained strong throughout university, and as a part-time actor (yes…I dabbled) I began to write scripts for self-produced Fringe Festival plays.

With a few awards under my belt and an offer to write and produce big titles for an AAA videogame company, I guess that’s when it started to feel like being a ‘writer’ was a real thing.

WOW! THOSE ARE TRULY HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENTS. THE STUFF THAT WRITERS DREAM ABOUT. WITH ALL THAT IN YOUR WHEELHOUSE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?

I hate to choose between my ‘children’, as even some of the shortest pieces inspired some pride, and seemed to make a memorable impact. But I would have to say that the 3 YEARS spent writing and producing the world’s first ‘Motion Comic Epic’ – BROKEN SAINTS (www.brokensaints.com) — garnered the most acclaim/awards, and reached a worldwide audience on the web that was hungry for smart, scary, and (dare I say it) spiritual storytelling.

BROKEN SAINTS LOOKS AMAZING! I JUST MAY BECOME A HUGE FAN. SO WITH ALL YOUR EXPERIENCE, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?

The isolation. It’s an incredibly lonely profession, and it’s often harder for writers vs other artists to connect ‘in the flesh’ with their audience. Musicians and actors and dancers do live performances. Painters and visual artists can do gallery showings. But poor writers work in a vacuum by comparison, so we have to have a lot of faith that our stories aren’t just pebbles getting tossed in the big, black Ocean…

Click here the rest of the interview.

THE 10 MUST-SEE FILMS OF 2015

January 1, 2016

brookeburgess

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Happy 2016, faithful readers! With a new year shifting into gear, it seems like the blogosphere gets compelled to crank out ‘Best of‘ lists. And honestly? I’m no different. It’s just that mine tend to focus on stories.

That said, I’ve got some sticky truths I need to own up to from 2015: 1) I’ve been too swamped to read enough books (proofing your own ad nauseum doesn’t count), 2) I’m way too biased to share my fav TV (Mr Robot and Rick & Morty would sweep, son!), and 3) I’m too damn ‘fiscally challenged’ to rate any interactive stuff besides free Android apps (I love you, Piano Tiles 2!)

So…that leaves movies. Thankfully, the past year has been a stellar one.

Some points before cueing the drumroll:

  • POST-OSCAR: I’m only counting flicks that were not up for 2015 Academy consideration, even if they were release after Jan 1.
  • YET-TO-SEE: I still need to screen Carol, 45 Years, Beasts of No Nation, Macbeth, The Danish Girl, and a few outliers. I’m sure they’re all fine films, and will consider updating if one or more knock my flip-flops off.
  • ‘BETTER AS DOCS’: I left out a pair of strong films – The Big Short and The Walk – because Oscar-winning documentaries on the exact same material (The Inside Job and Man on Wire respectively) were already rocking your Netflix queue.
  • CRITERIA: I tend to rate flicks on the strength of the script, performance quality, direction skill, overall production…AND, most importantly, whether something ‘gives me the feels’. I shift this a little for non-fiction docs, but the structure remains pretty much the same.

Alrighty then…drumroll, please!!!

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A SILVER MEDAL (just in time for the holidays!)

November 23, 2015

brookeburgess

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Got a lovely surprise in the post today – a silver medal for my debut from the 2015 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards!

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I’m sure that for most of you following this blog, it’s been a bit of a drag getting ‘spammed’ with book stuff over the past year. I totally get it, and appreciate those who have resisted clicking ‘Unfollow’ up ’til now. The support is honestly priceless.

But what you may not know is that The Cat’s Maw is an extremely personal story (some would dare say autobiographical) that uses the power of fiction to trace and uncover the first seeds of a troubled child’s spiritual awakening — a modern ‘Buddhist Narnia’, if you will.

 

So now, with the year coming to a close, I thought it high time to address you all:

To those that donated to my publishing campaign…

To those that gave thoughtful beta reader feedback…

To those who hunted down an eBook or paperback for themselves…

To those that took the time to actually read and review the story…

And to those finding a spot under the tree for it this Xmas…

Thank you. All of you. Truly.

And now…Volume II awaits…in the Shadowland.😀

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

October 5, 2015

brookeburgess

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POETRY CORNER: ‘Whispers…’

September 23, 2015

brookeburgess

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(to celebrate the 100th blog entry, I’m re-posting a short poem scribbled on FB last week, based on true events. I was driving on some spooky/abandoned back-roads on the island — pondering everything to come in The Shadowland Saga — and then this happened. Make of it what you will…)

Lost in a trance on jungle roads
Twisting the throttle and banking hard
Flashing through the night, wheeled firefly
Tracing unseen things and
Whispers on the Wind

Three street-lamps flicker down the hill
And beneath each one: a cat
Unmoving and unblinking in the strobes
Holding vigil between the worlds
Of Wakefulness and Dreaming

So I slow, and nod to each in turn
Thanking them with secret names
Before flitting back into darkness
To chase more shadows and
Whispers on the Wind

The Cat’s Maw gives middle graders a good, creepy story!

May 19, 2015

brookeburgess

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The annual meditation/detox retreat is officially complete, and this lovely post was there to greet me upon entering the ‘real world’ =)))

Mom Read It

catsmawThe Cat’s Maw, by Brooke Burgess (2015, CreateSpace), $10.99, ISBN: 9781500971656

Recommended for ages 10-16

Billy Brahms has luck, all right – it’s all bad. He’s an accident looking for a place to happen, and an easy target for bullies. His parents don’t know what to do with him, but they don’t seem to try too hard to connect with him, either. When he’s struck by a car and risks losing his leg, they’re all at the end of their respective ropes. One day, though, Billy wakes up to discover a cat has adopted him – he just shows up at Billy’ bedside. His mother puts up a fuss, but the neighborhood cat lady manages to talk her into letting Billy and the cat have some time together to bond, saying it will be good for poor Billy, who’s stuck in a cast all summer.

That’s when the dreams…

View original post 314 more words

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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