Sunday, November 11, 2012

And Now, For Something Completely Different...

Fellow author and all-around awesome pal Gale Martin tagged me in her "Next Big Thing" blog post, about giving a tease of our works in progress. Click on her name up there to travel Narnia-style to her blog and find out what she's working on (the title alone is enough to make you add it to your TBR list), and go check out her books:

Why you all opera in my business?

Shakered AND stirred.

As for the work in progress preview?

Sounds like fun to me. 

So let's do it.

Anyone out there who's taken a stab at storytelling or authoring a novel probably has had a situation like this when looking for a topic for their next big story: once the idea machine is in motion, several ideas can come rolling out at the same time. Like when you money-up the vending machine for a bag of Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips, but two coming raining down the chute - plus a Nestles Crunch that's been teetering on the edge for the better part of the day that takes a blow on the way down and lands in your hungry mitts along with the chips.

Snackpot, baby.


Ideas can be like that, too.

So Gale - who has several works in progress at the moment - has inspired me to throw out a JOEVEMBER preview of something new. Can't very well preview JOE3, since I'd likely be giving away some of the details in JOE VAMPIRE: THE AFTERLIFE before it's even on the shelves. So instead, I'll let you in on something entirely unrelated to the JOE VAMPIRE THREELOGY as we're calling it at the moment...that could change tomorrow, though. This one is a work I've had in progress since shortly after the Joe-ller coaster started chugging down the tracks. Funny that both of these ideas arrived so close in proximity to one another, though it's not entirely unwarranted: both take larger-than-life pop culture tropes, tilt the telescope to give them a more-than-slightly slanted view and slap on a starburst filter of post-modern self-awareness to ramp up the fun.

That's a lot of hooey, huh?

Lemme rephrase.

If you liked how I've skewered vampires, you're gonna love what I've done to rock stars.

Also: alien abduction.


WHAT IS THE WORKING TITLE OF YOUR BOOK? STARSTRUCK is the "memoirgraphy" of rock and roll chameleon Stellan Moonchild, an oversexed, over-chemicaled musician who's seen it all in his forty years in the music business. He's fallen and risen more times than his perpetual blood alcohol content should allow, crossed swords and butted heads and locked legs with all the so-called legendaries in the industry, seen and done and smelled things that a rare few will ever have the chance to experience...not the least of which is being beamed aboard an alien craft on the kick-off night of his "It's Me Again...Again" comeback tour. He has stories to tell, an identity to establish and a career to reignite one more time. And if he can find an exit sign, a parachute and a really good knocker of scotch, maybe he can pull it all off.  

WHERE DID THE IDEA FOR THE BOOK COME FROM? I've always been fascinated with rock star mythology; there seems to be an identifiable pattern in these Spandex-skinned, spiked-headed, chain-laden creatures. Every one of them has a string of too-big-to-be-believed stories that place them in the presence of the most unlikely of supporting players. And they loooove to tell you all about it in their memoirs. My favorite part is how they think their experiences are just "life", like everyone has a crew at their disposal and hobnobs with the stars for finger sandwiches and Dom. It inspired the line, "My life is really very ordinary; my topless identical twin Chilean personal assistants Maya and Gaea pull on my 24 karat gold-threaded zebra skin pants for me one leg at a time, like everyone else." It set the tone for just how ridiculous this lifestyle is by anyone else's standards. That led to me wonder: if everything seems so wonderful for them all the time, why it is that rock stars feel the need to reinvent themselves every so often? Certainly it has to do with trends in the industry and artistic freedom...but what if it were a personality type? What if these identity-changers really can't figure out who they are, and as a result never actually do, no matter how much they try? What would be the underlying cause of that? I wanted to explore it all, which makes the book essentially another character study, but one that stands as the polar opposite of Joe: he is all-identity and fights tooth and nail to keep hold of it through his predicament, whereas Stellan has no real identity and seems to be trying desperately to find one, even without realizing that he's doing it. As for the abduction theme: I'm a huge fan of the notion of alien/human interaction, and seeing as how Stellan has had pretty much every earthly experience imaginable, I figured it would be fun to see what he did with an extraterrestrial one instead. 

WILL YOUR BOOK(S) BE SELF-PUBLISHED, OR WILL YOU BE REPRESENTED BY AN AGENCY? We goin' Booktrope all the way with STARSTRUCK, kids. More info as developments unfold.

Pretty stoked to show all the JoeFolk another kind of character with Stellan, and I think the rock star alien abductee will make a great follow-up to the dude vampire. For now, work continues. And yes: the third JOE VAMPIRE book will be stumbling along right behind thatAnything after that is still hanging in the idea machine.

But I'm sure it won't be long before it drops, too.

As for JOEVEMBER, we've got BIG stuff coming in the next few days, lock it in and watch it closely. 

The blog, that is :) 

JOE VAMPIRE from Booktrope Editions.
Available at


  1. I LOVE your rock star alien abduction premise, Steven. Rock on with your bad self. Very fun post

    1. Thanks, Gale - and thanks for the inspiration to do it!