I’m going to try and avoid the reflective bit this year. It’s been a while since I had a new blog and I wanted to talk a little bit about the reasons why. One of them is that this month the day job was extra busy and I took the opportunity to do some things with it. This month I did not have the time to conduct any interviews, nor did I really get the chance to write some new material. The later of this is being corrected right now as I type this. I am currently working on my next book to be released this coming year. I am genuinely excited about the opportunities that have already come my way so far at the end of the year and I am going to take advantage of.
Yesterday I spent my evening freezing in the cold shooting a little video that will be making its debut real soon. I’ve said in the past that I’ve wanted to do some more work with video and I’m taking a shot at the director’s chair right now. The big part of this video was filmed last night, and I want to take the opportunity to thank Miranda Tubman and JR Stewart of Dorkable Productions (or @DorkableFun if you want to follow them on twitter.) As well as Erik Sorenson and Ray McLellan for their time and energy yesterday. You will see the result soon enough.
To me, the idea that I’d end the year with a book, which is available any website you wish to order it from – that I have been blessed to go across the country to do signings and conventions about this is damn cool.
But that’s not all:
I was able to do my first ever webcomic. Paradigm appears at http://paradigmcomic.wordpress.com. It’s been a fun project. I honestly had no expectations when I started this. I did it, to have fun, and I think reading it you can say we did. Feel free to check it out. I accomplished this with both Twyla April and James Reddington and I want to take this opportunity to thank them very much. James is a consummate professional and truly deserves more recognition. I have never ever understood why letterers and smaller pieces of comic book creative teams are given as little credit as they are, but without his work this book would not exist today and I thank him.
And as for Twyla – she has been a blast. It has been a pleasure to be on the road with her and Jon Morrell, her significant other this year across the western frontiers of Canada. Thank you to both of you, and to her daughter Casia for adding something special to the printed edition. The idea that I printed another comic is awesome.
But that’s not all. I have had the distinct pleasure to interview some really cool people. I want to thank Simon Rose, Ksenia Anske, Brian Hades, Drea Darc, Tommy Hancock, Rae Hope Pantalleresco my sister, Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Andrew Lorenz, Christine Steedham and the School of Bitches for their time and energy is awesome. I evolved my style of interview this year and it wouldn’t have been possible without these individuals. I got to admit my sister is a bit of soft spot for me this year here, but honestly all of them are good and fun.
I even got something cool and unexpected this year being a part of School of Bitches – The book of Genesis number 4 which is out in the UK. There is a special interview that is only there. So yeah, I got published in the UK this year. How cool is that?
All in all I’ve had the chance to travel two countries, talk to creative, talented people about their dreams and aspirations and move forward on mine. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty good year.
And it will continue.
The best piece of advice this year I got was from my dad. He pointed out that volume is the key to success and that I have to continue. And I am and will. I will keep making volume, whether it’s paradigm 2 or book 2 of the Watcher saga or one of the other projects I’m working on as we speak. I end this year with a statement:
I am one of those people that has zero problems making an ass of myself on stage. I did karaoke the other night, and one of my co-workers of my day job remarked that they’d never have the guts to butcher a song like I did. I pointed out that there isn’t really anything to lose. You might suck going out there, but you never know until you do. While I wouldn’t give up my day job to be a singer, I have no problems being bold and sticking my neck out there.
So that is my wish for all of you. Whatever you dream, whatever you go for – do it. There is no real failure unless you quit or not try, so do neither and keep moving forward. Make your own noise and volume.
As for me, I’m looking forward to working with Kristen Denbow, Florence Chan, JR Stewart, Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred this year. I also hope to keep cultivating new relationships and see where this journey continues to take me. I am going to have an awesome 2015, and I wish you all the same.
So yeah, this is out now.
There is nothing quite like seeing your own book come to you in the mail. It looks better in person than in this image does justice. I really want to take the opportunity to thank Florence Chan as much as possible. She is responsible for the look and feel of the book in so many ways. My gratitude cannot be fully expressed in words.
Same with Kristen Denbow. She has put up with editing my work for the last couple of years. Their hard work made this all possible.
So that leaves one last piece of business: The Smashwords version. I’m going to make it free as soon as I finish typing this. It is not the ideal version of the Watcher. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other places have more polished, professsional versions of the book. That said, if you feel like a free sample of the book, it will be there.
I’m not going to take too much longer. Only to mention and ask that each and every person in here that reads it and buys it give it a review? I’d greatly appreciate it.
If you bought the book already, thank you. For those that pass it, thank you.
This was a major achievement for me. This was a major goal of mine achieved. We’ll see what happens next, but it’s always cool to see your own goals.
Now from Mirror World Publishing:
THERE IS MORE.
On the top of a tower, guarded by dragons, the Watcher gazes out into the horizon. While the rest of his tribe work and toil, The Watcher questions what is beyond the walls. Determined to find out, he escapes his captors trying to find out just what is out there.
An imaginative and engaging story, The Watcher will help you see poetry in a whole new way. Escape into the world of a slave boy who dreams of something more and journey with him as he discovers what mysteries the world holds.
There is more. The Watcher proves it. Discover it for yourself.
Mirror World Website:
Barnes and Noble:
I came into the interview expecting Brian to be interviewed about his publishing company Edge. After talking a bit about publishing with Simon Rose a few weeks back, I thought that I’d get some information from one of Canada’s most premier publishers. Edge Publishing produces some of the highest quality science fiction and fantasy in the world, whether it is short collections like Tesseracts or novels by such talents as Adrian Cole, Tanya Huff, Rebecca Rowe and K.A. Bedford, to just name a few.
Indeed, we did talk about Publishing, and I learned a lot. Brian is a pleasant, and armed with knowledge about the industry that has come through years of producing quality work. I got quite the education that day, and I want to already thank Brian for giving me insights I never would have considered.
What I didn’t know, and realized as we sat at the coffee shop to chat about publishing and his works, was that I was being interviewed as well. The first part of this conversation will seem like he was interviewing me, and I think he was.
That said, I enjoyed our conversation, and think you will too.
Brian Hades: So what do you want to do?
Joshua Pantalleresco: An interview. We can talk about your company and stuff, and whatever comes to mind.
BH: That’s cool. What have you been up to?
JP: I just published my comic book Paradigm. I got my first book deal with The Watcher.
JP: Thank you. And I’m about to start my next project. The one I told you about.
BH: I remember. Do you mind if I ask you how you work?
JP: With what?
BH: Your comics and the artists you work with. Do you do full scripts with the artist?
JP: It depends on the artist and the project. When I don’t know the artist, I tend to do full scripts. With Twyla in this case, I went all out on full script for the first issue.
But if I do know somebody well and what they can do, I tend to be a little looser. Artists are creative people in their own right, and usually have a better idea of how to tell a story with pictures than I do. One artist I know worked in comics. They would get their scripts in pages of three at a time. It’s not a bad thing per se, but instead of getting them in order, he’d get something like say four, five and six one day. The next he’d get 15,16,17.
BH: So basically he couldn’t contribute because he has no clear idea of the story.
JP: Exactly. I may have an idea of where I want it to go, but I think it would be foolish. Artists are better with pictures than I am. I just write stuff you know?
BH: You should put that on a business card.
JP: I just write stuff? *laughs* That would be awesome. I will.
JP: To finish my point, I kind of see any project I work with people at as a collaboration. Everyone has ideas and brings something to the table. Artists in general usually bring something to the table I can’t, and it’s usually better than anything I can come up with.
BH: You have figured out how to get people involved in your work. A lot of people never quite understand that. So tell me, what do you want?
JP: Creatively speaking?
JP: I want to just write man. But you know as much as I do it doesn’t work out that way. You have this idea, and then next thing you know you are hiring cover artists for your work, and then you are contacting printers. I’ve gotten more of an education on how to do things doing this than I ever imagined. I’m not just a writer. I’m human resources. I’m management. I couldn’t do this for a living.
JP: Let me rephrase that. I got no problem managing my own stuff. It’s me you know? I just couldn’t do it for someone else. I’ve seen how management is treated in companies. A lot of them are in the position they are for one of two reasons. They either are incompetent and that is putting them somewhere where they can’t hurt many people.
Or, they are fantastic at their job and they are stuck where they are at. I couldn’t take it.
BH: Management ultimately is a path to being unqualified. Most people rise up the ranks as long as they are equipped to do the tasks in front of them. Once they get to a point where they cannot do anything anymore they are stuck. You get to the point where you can’t move any farther up because you have hit the limit of what you’re qualified to do.
JP: Exactly. It’s different when it’s yours. But I couldn’t do that for someone else.
BH: Where do you see yourself with writing?
JP: I kind of see myself straddling the line between working for publishers and myself for the next little bit. Eventually I see myself going completely on my own.
I kind of see publishing as kind of like a club. With all of the mergers and all of the shrinking of the industry, writers are only going to get into that group when they are invited. That list will grow smaller and smaller as the years pass by.
BH: You would be right on that.
JP: I feel like publishers missed the boat on Amazon years ago. When they were coming into the scene, I think they should have made steps back then to do it.
BH: Can I speak from the other side of the coin? A lot of them would tell you that they couldn’t. You can. You’re independent, you’re spry. You can keep up with the trends and can move with them. The big five publishing houses are like large ships on the ocean going a certain way. Turning them from their course into some kind of new venture is very slow going. It takes steam and time to turn the ship into the new direction and catch up with everyone else. Once they catch up though they just overwhelm you with their size.
JP: But this time, they are losing, aren’t they?
BH: You can kind of see the chunks of the sails being hit bit by bit as Amazon takes the market share?
JP: Exactly. The only thing about Amazon that scares me is that they could become the Wal-mart of publishing. I’m not sure anyone wants that.
BH: Did you hear the news today about them?
JP: No I haven’t. What’s going on?
BH: France passed an Anti-Amazon law today. [author’s note: check out link here: http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/06/27/france-passes-anti-amazon-law-bans-offering-discounts-free-shipping/#.U7JxALGTsrw%5D France pretty much stopped Amazon from being able to do business like they’ve been doing with that law.
BH: It’s a pretty damaging blow for any company when a country doesn’t want to do business with you and does things like this.
JP: Absolutely. I think we’re actually ready to get to the interview now.
BH: Oh good! Questions!
BH: I have a sage personality. I tend to want to impart wisdom, and help people achieve what they set out for.
JP: Is it just creative people, or people in general?
BH: Everyone. I believe people should aspire to be the best they can be. Hopefully they are passionate with something.
JP: Why did you call your publishing house Edge?
BH: After many months of looking at all types of names, it came to me in a dream. My partner at the time and I justified the dream in the sense that we would want to publish books on the edge.
JP: That is awesome! What was your dream about if I may ask?
BH: I don’t remember.
BH: Yeah. You’d think that something like this the dream would be vivid, but it’s not.
JP: Never would have thought that. Okay then, at Edge, with the work you have done, what’s your favorite stuff?
BH: Hmm…tough one. I’m very proud to have continued the Tesseracts series. Tessaracts is a collection of canada’s best submitted work we receive. I made it a personal mission to produce the book yearly. It’s the best of the new stuff. We have not missed a year.
JP: Who are your favorite people to work with?
BH: The reality is that every relationship that I have developed with – not just writers, but artists and the production staff, and everyone that works on these books each have created unique relationships with each one of them.
I had great, fun experiences with Rebecca Rowe for example. She was an absolute joy to work with. I’ve also had really frustrating experiences with certain writers that did not want to be edited, but found a road that we could go down with together. Each book, each relationship brings its own joys and challenges. It’s part of the fun.
JP: I can see that. What are your next books coming up?
BH: We’re doing an anthology on expiry which is called Expiration date and is edited by Nancy Kilpatrick. Because everything has an expiration. Things, people, events, all things come to an end.
JP: Wow. That’s a neat idea. I just got a great story idea on this.
BH: Submissions are unfortunately closed.
JP: That’s too bad.
BH: You can try to submit to Tesseracts though.
JP: I just might.
BH: We’re also doing an anthology project based on Professor Challenger. That anthology will be coming out in the spring. The next Tesseracts will be coming out in the spring as well.
JP: Where does your love of writing come from?
BH: I used to write puppet shows back in the sixth grade. I wrote them and made puppets and performed them as a kid.
JP: That is just amazing. Animatronics and everything?
BH: Oh yeah! Love the stuff! Loved building them and putting them together.
JP: Were you a Jim Henson fan by any chance?
BH: I was just a mechanical nerd period. I used to build mechanical rockets when I was a kid as well. We’d build them in our back yards and launch them into the air, kind of going into our own frontiers
JP: There’s a science fiction connection there, I think.
BH: A little bit, yeah. I’m always on the road doing local shows and the big cons in Canada. We’re doing a reading series this fall. We’re inviting authors to read their own stuff while a scientist is there piecing the value of science fiction and science together.
JP: Sounds cool. I’m going to ask you two more questions. One of them I’m sure you’ve heard a thousand times. The other, is a twist on it.
JP: What do you look for?
BH: I do get that one all the time. What I look for is your ability to tell a good story. If you can’t, I will read no more than 4 pages, whether it’s a novel or short story. No matter how cool the idea may be, if you can’t tell a story, I can’t sell it.
JP: Fair enough. Where do you see publishing going in a few years?
BH: There’s a lot of different ways I could answer this, but I’m going to come at this from a business stand point. A lot of people think of this as a print and digital question. To me, print and digital doesn’t really matter. Content is content, and whether it’s in print or it’s on a kobo, writers are still peddling their works out in the open market. It’s the same thing in a lot of ways. Right now, print is what we focus on primarily because print is the primary focus. If it changes, so will we.
But from a business standpoint, publishing as a business is going to morph into publishing as a consulting. Knowledge that I have and others have will be used to help guide writers into the maker, so that they know who to go to and try not to make some of the mistakes that we did.
We’re still going to be guiding talent. I think though that it’s going to become more and more independent just like we discussed earlier. The knowledge will still be valuable.
JP: Anything else you want to add?
BH: Our website is finally being overhauled. We’re finally getting to be mobile! Our website will be phone friendly as of August 1st.
Reading this again for the website, I feel like I learned a few other things as well. I want to thank Brian for his time. Expiration Date is coming out this fall and is edited by Nancy Kilpatrick. Edge’s website is going mobile as of August First. Check it out at http://www.edgewebsite.com for updates. Edge Publishing also has a facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ EDGEfbpage. You can follow Edge on twitter @EDGEpublishing. I want to thank Brian for the time and the opportunity. Hopefully this will not be the last time I interview him here.
JP: Is the story over, or will there be more sequels with the character?
JP: Finally, tell me about the Gravedigger.
BR: Charity Grace grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Doing whatever it took to survive, Charity became a petty thief… until the night she broke into the wrong house. Killed by the mysterious man who lived there, Charity was revived by something called The Voice, who offered her a second chance at life if she agreed to become its agent of vengeance on Earth. She accepts but there’s one more catch: she only gets three years before she’ll be judged by The Voice. If she’s redeemed her soul, she’ll be rewarded… but if she’s found to still be wanting, eternal damnation awaits.
Discovering that she’s the first woman in a long line of warriors known as The Gravediggers, Charity must become Sovereign’s grimmest defender.
JP: You have Gravedigger, The Rook and Lazarus Gray crossing over. Does that mean all your stuff has a continuity to it ala comics? Or something along the lines of what Stephen King did with the Dark Tower?
BR: They all exist in the same universe, yes. At the back of each book is a detailed timeline showing how it all fits together!
JP: To date, what is your favorite story you’ve written?
BR: That’s tough… I really thought the first two Gravedigger books (only volume one has seen print yet) were good and I think Lazarus Gray Volume Four (coming soon) is also a fun read.
JP: What is your advice to writers trying to get into any industry?
BR: Network! Meet other writers and editors. Make friends with them. Honestly, that’s very important.
JP: What’s coming up next for you?
BR: I work so far ahead that the things I’m writing now may not see print until 2015 or even 2016! But people can expect to see Lazarus Gray Volume Four and Gravedigger Volume Two this year, along with a G-8 and His Battle Aces story from Moonstone.
For further information about barry, check out his webpage at Http://www.barryreese.net where he updates with news and blogs on a regular basis. His twitter handle is @BarryReesePulp and you can sample some of Barry’s many wonderful works at either his website or his Smashwords Page right here. We only talked about the tip of the iceberg – Barry has accomplished a lot of great work in a short time. I encourage you to check it out.
Finally, if you have enjoyed this interview you can check out my book The Watcher at my own Smashwords page. Thanks for reading.
I’m writing this at nearly midnight Monday January 27th, in Calgary Alberta, waiting for a phone call I know will signal the end of my grandfather’s life in Windsor Ontario. This morning I received a phone call that my grandfather had a stroke. I had no idea of the severity at the time, and wouldn’t find out until much later the complications involved. They aren’t important for this blog. What is important is to note that my grandfather had a choice, and that was to spend the rest of his life hooked to a machine, or to pass on. I found this out at 7:30 pm today from my sister who was already in tears.
Today I have come to dread phone calls.
At this moment, my grandfather is sleeping, and soon, will never wake again. (Before I finished, I got that call. He died on January 28th, 2014 at around 1 am. It was peaceful and in his sleep.)
At the end of this week, or the start of next week, I will be heading to a funeral. At this moment, I’m not sure what to feel. So I thought today while I wait for the final phone call of the day, I’d write about a man that taught me to love games.
When I think of my grandfather I think of three thing: Games, The Detroit Tigers, and Gardens. I’m not as close to him as others in my family, but when I was a kid I could think of nothing more fun than playing rummy with my grandfather. He always had a weakness for aces. Aces to him were like collectors items. I am convinced to this very moment that he could lose EVERY game of rummy but as long as he had those aces he was fine.
He cheated at cards too. You see, the way we played rummy is that you had to have a discard. He would constantly draw extra cards to find what he needed and would get that victory quicker as a result. As he got older, his quick draws were a tad slower, to the point anyone could see them. When it happened, Opa would say in his thick accent. “Oh, I drew already? I’m sorry.”
I got to tell this story, it’s so funny. I still do a magic trick with cards. It was myself, my uncle, oma, opa and rachel and I was doing this card trick to my uncle. Now my uncle was smart enough to realize that this card I magically would reveal that he pulled earlier to start the trick was a card I saw. He never could figure out though when I saw the card. Opa on the other hand did. In fact, he went and tried to do the same card trick himself. He had my uncle pick a card and sure enough, he knew the secret. He took that card my uncle had, turned it right around and put in the deck. It was awesome.
Almost as much he loved games, he loved those Detroit Tigers. Not a day that went by in that house he lived in when the game was on the radio that he didn’t listen or watch the game. He’d be happy when they were winning, and belting out a “Sacredi!” when they lost.
I remember the last time I saw him. Time had taken its toll, and he was suffering from dementia. We had a great time. We played cards, I told jokes, I had him laughing. And then he called me Tony, my dad. And then he realized something was wrong. I knew at that moment, he was starting to wind down.
On Christmas this last month, I called Oma and got a chance to talk to him. He was in good spirits. I made a promise that the next time I saw him, we’d play cards. He was so happy and I really did look forward to that game.
The saddest thing about today is I’m never going to be able to keep that promise.
But I’m relieved too. He still had coherent days. He made the choice today to move on, and as much as I’m going to miss him, I’m happy he was able to find peace, still intact.
Somewhere in the next life, there is a garden and in that garden a man now is working, and in that scene a little radio is talking about a tiger getting onto the plate. It’s the bottom of the ninth, and the tying run is on base. The pitch is thrown…and whatever way it swings, that man is content, and at peace. For that I am forever grateful.
I’m going to miss you Opa. I love you and always will. Thank you for being a part of my life.
What the heck is this?
I really, really don’t know yet. I’m going to figure this out at I go.
I suppose I should start with what I’m doing. If you have been following this blog, it is a known fact that I’ve been doing interviews on this thing off and on for about two years. I got to thinking the other day – In light of me releasing my first ever ebook – The Watcher which is available at this site here – I got to thinking how scary it all is today to actually publish something.
It’s scary today. We are all on this little island on the internet plugging, promoting and doing stuff. It’s hard to separate signal from noise, which is a fancy way of saying I’m scared to death of this whole sales thing. It makes my day when even one person buys a book. So I got to thinking; what the heck can I do to promote this thing? Also, to promote future set things as well?
It occurred to me the only real tool I have at the moment is to write. So that’s what I’m doing. This column literally is anything. I may write a story about surviving a zombie apocalypse. I may write and talk about an alternative health option for a sickness. (Really, REALLY tempted to write about my dad’s natural antidepressant and why you should try it.) I could just write a a childhood story.
In short, this column on my site is going to be about…Anything. Once a week, I’d like to get one interview done. I really like interviews. Everyone has a story, and it should be told somewhere. People are fascinating.
But the other major trick I need to do is write something original. This is what this is going to be. The real trick is consistency. It may take days, weeks, months, years, decades. Maybe no one will care. Then again, maybe, just maybe like anything else out there, if I stick it out and yell, my voice will be heard..
Nothing to lose in either case.
I think that’s it for now. Next week I’ll try some kind of fun dialogue or something to introduce it. Something random in this case. Anything goes for this. It’s how I’m going to roll.
I’m on twitter @jpantalleresco. If I’m not there I’m facecracking it. My name is easy enough to find. The Watcher is my latest book.
Until next week…
The Watcher isn’t out yet and I just thought I’d go out of my way to explain why.
On Monday night, heading home from work on the day job I slipped and fell literally under the bus right as I was boarding it home. Monday was one of the coldest days of the year to date, and combined with the fact that I busted myself open, left me into shock.
I’ve been spending the last two days recovering. It hasn’t been fun but the pain is gone and I’m ready to go.
The Watcher will be coming this weekend.
We now return to regularly scheduled programming.
That was longer than I thought it would be. I intended to concentrate on this wordpress blog when I had finished looking for a new place. That didn’t happen due to Calgary’s insane housing situations. The floods made it worse. That and one more important announcement that I’ll talk about shortly put me behind on this. Today is a new day and I figured I’d use today to gt back on track.
I’m handing in my first column for a website while typing this. I just woke up and am refreshed for the day. Look for updates on that in the foreseeable future.
The Announcement: This November I will release my next book. I’m still torn on the title of the thing, but it’s something that’s unique. It is poetry, but nothing I’ve done before, or may ever do again. It was a story that came into my head and I just wrote my heart out. I’ll talk and show previews of it in the months to come.
Besides that, I got comics to work on. Lots of them. I got another eight page script due today (1) that I have to get started on, and then once that is done, it’s back to short stories and novels.
But here’s the cool thing, and maybe even more important than the announcement: I’m writing. Still am writing after all these years. I’ve seen my work blossom into something better than it was. I’m having people come to me for work, and while I’m still not at the point where I can be self employed, I’ve stayed the course and kept the faith.
How many people say that about their dreams?
Thanks for the birthday wishes. May you keep striving in your dreams as well.
I’ve been off this blog a lot longer than planned. You see, I figured that I’d have found a place within a couple of weeks at the end of April and I’d be on my way. I have a good day job, and I’d be able to concentrate on freelancing full time.
We are now in July, and I swear to the universe I’ve seen everything these last few months. Crazy landlords wanting full security checks, (fingerprints and all) to a letter from nigeria (I kid you not. It happened.) to a lot of waiting. I’ve spent so much time looking for a place I’m sick of it. It’s interfering in my plans and put some things behind.
I’ve set a financial goal. If I hit that financial goal before I find a place, I will leave Calgary. I find it absurd that I can’t find a place. I will not put up with it.
I didn’t come here to settle. I can settle anyplace, anytime I choose. Life is just too short – if you aren’t doing what you feel called to do, then why the hell are you here?
Needless to say, I’m pressing on with the freelancing and the hunt for an apartment resumes. I have some goals next year and they matter to me. I will have a comic finished by the end of the year – maybe two, maybe three (!) and one of them will not only be written, but drawn by me.
That’s right. I’m only starting, and I’m terrible, but I’m doodling. In the fall I will start a story where being bad, might actually be a good thing. More to come.
A long overdue interview will be going up soon. In the meantime, if you are in calgary and reading this, I’m looking for an apartment…for a little while longer anyways.