2019 is a big year for Ghost Writer Press. Two years ago, fueled by a belief that independence in art is everything, I started this endeavor with the publication of Spirits of Jerome. I did several signings and release shows around the state, two with Stephen Ashbrook (who wrote the forward to the book) – one at The Crescent Ballroom and another at The Spirit Room in Jerome, Arizona. The book was received pretty well, and sold very well at the events. It is still on the shelves in several small bookstores around the state, but most sales at this point come through Amazon. Still, as far as an Indie release, with very little press (aside from The Entertainer Magazine, which was super cool by the way), it has done alright for itself. (Some Amazon reviews/ Goodreads reviews, etc. would be cool however, wink, wink, nudge nudge.
At around the same time as I began the publication process with Spirits, I jumped into creating a blog presence. This blog became Keep the Greasy Side Down, which is a nod to my grandfather always using the phrase when I left on my motorcycles (which he did not approve of). For me it has become a metaphor for life in general. Keeping the bad down is a good perspective to have. For me, I do that through music. Always have. So over time, the blog evolved into a predominately local music review blog, but always with a bit of my own creative spin. It stuck. I stuck. And over time, readership has gone up.
As you may notice, there are VERY few ads on my pages. This blog is not about making money, it is about networking. It is about establishing not only credibility, but a distinctive voice. A voice that, as time goes on, readership goes up, and interest is created may lead my readers to my own creative endeavors on Ghost Writer Press.
That said…. there is this…. Ghost Writer Press Catalog
The second release on the label was Kindred Spirits & Mirrored Souls. A book of poetry that my friend and I had always talked about doing while we were growing up. She died by suicide before that dream ever happened. This is not a project that a major book label is going to be interested in… like most of my work, they consider it too niche. It is niche. It is Arizona niche. It is supernatural niche. It is personal. These reasons do not make it un-publishable. With the help of Rhonda’s family, we were able to make our dream come true.
The book has gone out to many friends, many family, many survivors of suicide. Sales of the book generate a donation equal to Rhonda’s portion of royalties, to Arizona Suicide Awareness Charities. Although not carried in stores, yet, this book too sells on Amazon and has been a success.
Both books have been promoted through interviews on KWSS Independent Radio 93.9 FM, which has proven itself over and over again as the GO TO SOURCE for all INDIE – PHOENIX!
So, why is 2019 a big deal? This year, Ghost Writer Press will deliver two new books, both inspired completely by music, and local music in particular.
Early summer will see the release of ManInfest Destiny: a Novella. About three years ago, a friend of mine approached me with a concept album. It was titled The Attempt. The songs wove a complex story about one man’s awakening to “the problem of people”. As we talked it over, I brought up the Rush album, Clockwork Angels which, if you were not aware, as an accompanying book by Kevin J. Anderson and Neil Peart (sold separately). The book tells the story, as steam punk fiction, of the character traveling through the record. My friend, Jake, loved the idea, and asked if I would consider doing it: a novelization of The Attempt concept album. I immediately jumped at the chance, and completed the novella… two years ago. You see, The Attempt, failed, and two songs were never completed.
Enter my friend Joe, and his amazing instrumental band, Tapestrees. As we talked about the idea, he really thought it was groovy and agreed to do two original instrumental songs to fill in for the missing songs. Perfect!
As I had done with my very first novel, Grave Whispers, I wanted to commission an original painting for the cover. I am a huge believer in Art Inspiring Art, and that collaboration can be an amazing, mutually creative experience for all parties. I want the artist to read my work, or hear a series of songs that have inspired me, and then see what visions come to them in their experience. That pure inspiration, from a mutual source that leads to totally different mediums is very interesting to me.
For ManInfest Destiny, I reached out to an artist in LA that I had come to know over time through social media and networking, Michael Sean Degnan. I loved his style! The concept he came up with is perfect, a rendition of the light and dark side of destruction through the perspective of the last tree on the planet. Symbols and secrets are buried throughout the piece, only visible in different lighting. It is amazing, and proves exactly what I am all about.
Pure inspiration and true artistic collaboration.
Look for ManInfest Destiny this JUNE !!!!
The second release of the year is GHOST SONGS which will be released at Last Exit Live – Phoenix on September 27, 2019. The book itself will officially release in October, so the only way to get it early will be at the release event.
Ghost Songs is a collection of 18 stories, all of which draw some inspiration from local songs produced by local musicians. I have taken a thought, a lyric, an image that has resonated, and then spun it into something unique, different, and supernatural. Think of the songs as the soundtrack that would be made if there were a movie of the book. Below, is the link to the Spotify playlist, which with a couple of exceptions based on availability, is the Soundtrack to the Book.
As each story in the book has neared completion, I have released a small collage of clue pictures that give a hint to what I did to each of the inspirations. This thing is going to be a total trip folks!
For the cover, the playlist has been shared with a very dear friend of mine who now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan: Clint Carter. Clint has been developing a very unique style of art that blends paintings with original stencil overlays. I love them. Once again… the only inspiration that artist has been given is the music, and the slideshow images. I cannot wait to see what he comes up with!
For the release show, four of these bands will come together for a party in Phoenix: A fusion of art forms! Clint will be in attendance with his art, the book will be available for signings, and the bands will be plugged in to entertain and inspire! It will also be the only way to get your hands on GHOST SONGS before it’s official release on Halloween! It is going to be a great event, and the book is one that I am immensely proud of, and working hard on daily, and taking for workshop critique at the UA Professional Writers Group.
So yeah… by the end of Fall… Ghost Writer Press Catalog will have four titles. All derived from different places. All inspired by Arizona. Thanks for joining me on this ride, Amigos!