|Posted on November 24, 2012 at 3:55 AM||comments (2)|
I wanted to be a lot of things when I was a boy: a baseball player, a professional wrestler. I went through a stage when I thought it would be great to be a mailman. But writing was always my number one passion. The only thing that compared was to be a rock star. I wanted to be a famous guitar player since the night I saw Dexys Midnight Runners perform on Solid Gold.
But writing was my first love. I was always writing silly things as a kid: song parodies, poems, forged prescriptions. Every greeting card I gave my parents was filled with my nonsensical junior high school humor and a script for 20mgs of Oxycodone.
Then in one of my high school English classes we read “Muck-a-Muck,” the short story by Bret Harte. Not the wrestler Bret “the Hitman” Hart, mind you, but the American author and poet who wrote tongue-in-cheekly about pioneering life in California. It was hilarious, and I was the only one in the class who appreciated it. My friends were all, “Let’s go smoke some cigs in the boys’ room and beat up nerds,” and I was all, “This story is funny, you guys. LOL!” Then they were all, “What’s LOL? It’s 1990, weirdo!”
I spent the next 22 years writing Puppet Shows. Well, not really. I’ve written other stuff along the way – poetry, essays, screenplays, you name it, buster! However, there is one story, “Dinner at Wither Port,” the tale of everyone’s favorite mental asylum, that I first scribbled on cocktail napkins and fig leaves years ago in college when I was doing acid and drinking a lot of hairspray. When I got out of rehab at the turn of the century, I went on a writing spree that resulted in tiny portions of some of the other stories in this book, mostly just the beginnings of sentences, so none of it made any sense. I later found out that I had turned at the wrong century and a lot of my writing ended up ruining books by Mark Twain and O Henry.
It was only after a group of paleontologists in Boston were able to get the same dinosaurs that wrote the Bible to comb through all of my gibberish that this collection really went anywhere. Those brainy lizards cleaned it up, took out all the love letters to Debbie Gibson and the numerous references to Satan as the “one true Dark Lord,” and Puppet Shows was born.
I guess the other thing you should know is where the title came from. I was at one point writing this as a tell-all about my torrid love affair with Prairie Dawn from Sesame Street, but her lawyers are brutal, man. I’ll probably lose my house and children just for mentioning this here. Anyway, that project was quickly scrapped. I kept the title and went back to the original plan. That’s when the dinosaurs came in and saved my life.
Michael Frissore's book, Puppet Shows, a collection of totally off-the-wall stories that would do Monty Python proud, was released yesterday, and is available in all formats through links on this site or from most on-line book sellers. You can follow Michael on Twitter and Facebook.
|Posted on September 27, 2012 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
6th Best Accomplishment!
Though I take most of the credit for my five beautiful daughters, I can’t take it all. FOOL ME ONCE is a creation I claim alone! It’s an unlikely comparison; giving birth to a child—giving birth to a novel, yet so alike. To bring words to life, watch as they grow, take on a life of their own then ending with a hopeful future is equally as satisfying; equally frustrating and yields a tremendous sense of pride.
Priorities led me to devote my life to my girls, but I never stopped yearning for my 6th ‘baby’. As three of the girls grew and moved on; the last two now teenage, I decided to tackle my dream. For years, I knew exactly what I wanted to write. I dove into Children’s genre for the love and impressionable minds that children have at young ages. Those stories are inside the vault. The nagging teens took control, insisting their story be told.
Finding a contest for debut authors really gave me the push I needed to release the voices. To say I knew the story beginning to end is an understatement. I had a timeline for this contest and pounded it out in a month’s time. It was weak and more a novella than novel. I didn’t expect to win; I just used the contest’s deadline to motivate myself. I had done it! There was much more work to be done to say the least, but I had taken the first step.
Aside from having five cheerleaders boosting my confidence, a sense of pride filled me—urging me to do what needed to be done. Editing is not my forte (for my own work) and I was struggling with sticking with my tenses. I stuck it through, listened and watched my MC’s fill in some missing pieces to their story.
My two youngest have learned to share—finally! By that I mean, when it’s their time, I am completely committed—however, if they happen to come in while I am in front of the keyboard, they wait their turn. They have watched this novel come together from the beginning. They know I am as dedicated to my stories as I am to them.
The toughest part through this process had to be trusting in myself. I knew I had a really good story (of course it’s good; I wrote it!), but would others think it was as good as I thought? It was time to throw myself into the fire, testing my writing with a few beta readers. Thanks to their critiques, a few suggestions and a whole lot of encouragement, FOOL ME ONCE was born! (Geeesh, that was a long labor!)
It doesn’t end there… there is still much to do to watch this one grow. It will start with baby steps and we’ll see where it goes. Book two is already in the works and who knows; maybe I’ll have a 7th best accomplishment!!
Thanks to Writers Amuse Me for being the best publishers ever!! Your kindness, support, ideas make us all feel like we are a small part of a great family! I’m so honored to be included with the many awesome writers at WAMM!
See Ya Soon
|Posted on September 25, 2012 at 9:30 AM||comments (0)|
As I understand it I am supposed to write something about why I wanted to be a writer. The sad truth is that there is no “want” about it.
I can never remember a time that I wasn't writing or thinking about writing. We have a snapshot of me writing when I was just over a year old. Every morning about dawn I would climb out of my crib, go to the dining room table and scribble on paper with a pencil. When asked what I was doing out of bed, I would answer writing. One morning Dad snapped a picture of me. I am in a baby nightgown with a pencil in my hand and a paper in front of me, frowning at the flash. In my mind I was doing what I was supposed to be doing and was a little irritated that no one was taking me seriously.
And that is still the way of it. At least with my family. My teachers were always encouraging me to write but everyone in my family knew that scribbling on paper was not going to pay the bills. With my family dreams were to be avoided at all costs—they were a waste of time and money. Talk about parade pissers! So I kept my writing secret.
My mother did believe that someday I might have a nice column on the society page of the Great Bend Tribune but that hope died when I stopped wearing bras and teasing my hair—never mind that every other girl in my generation was doing the same thing. My lack of sixties fashion sense was the last straw.
Mom could see that I would never make the society page or snag a husband without a pointy bra and bubble hair. She flat refused to pay college tuition unless I went for nursing or teaching. I hate blood more than grading, so I became a teacher.
Wonder of wonders I did manage to marry, have three children and a couple of careers. Of course, I always wrote, but only for myself, usually in the early morning hours because the house was quiet and no one could piss on my parade.
At first I just scribbled in bits and pieces, kind of like quilt blocks. Even I could see that my writing wasn't very good. But I couldn't stop. Thank God. Forty years is a long time to do something without improving on it. Slowly, over the years, I got better and the blocks came together to form novels.
I daydreamed Show Me the Way while driving through Rush County on my way to classes at Fort Hays. My husband told me about his cousin nearly strangling on a worm—that story, interwoven with stories about funerals and bedbug crazy families, became Robe & Crown. My newest novel, Quick Fixes is based on a couple of three stories I heard in college about skinny dipping, communes, and crushes.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~
Watch for Shakey's Novella, Quick Fixes, which will be released November, 2012.
The next installation in her Dupees of Gray County Series, Fruit Salad and Wings, will be released in early 2013.
|Posted on April 27, 2012 at 4:40 AM||comments (1)|
A Few Words from our Crusty Leader
“It will never work!” “You are just a bunch of writers who started this publishing house to get your own junk published!” These, dear friends, are just a few of the statements made to my partners in crime regarding WAMM.
Here we are a year old; sales going well. We have authors who believe in the house, that yes indeed, were having trouble getting really fine work out to the reading public; they tell us that life is good for them, that they have not been lied to, that nobody has asked them for anything other than working to help us publicize their books, that they have great books, great covers, and great friends here. I suppose the question is ‘are we authors who could not get our work published for whatever reason and are we just playing?’ Here is the answer----HELL NO!
The reason for the WAMM publishing house is indeed to offer our fellow writers an opportunity. Those that know me know when I say something, there is no bullshit. Nothing has changed.
As ever there are no fees, as our writers know. The money flows to them. There is not a soul involved in the creation of this endeavor who has made a single penny from the house -- yet. That will change. You can bet on it.
We make some cash, our authors make some cash. We did not start this place to do anything but be successful. We are; you are. Make sense? Damn right it makes sense.
Those of you who have jumped over your shadows to publish with us, ignored the crap spewed by others who cannot imagine past their noses, join us in a happy celebration of light, life, and literature. We deserve a clap on the shoulder as you all do.
From all of us here at WAMM thank you.
Editor in Chief
|Posted on April 26, 2012 at 10:25 AM||comments (1)|
Books. Words. Stories.
For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with the written word. I recall when I was able to obtain my very own library card. If you have seen the movie, Matilda, you have a pretty good idea of me at a young age, minus the magical powers. I keep books in my car, suitcase and often read 3 at one time. Years ago, I decided to try my hand at writing. I joined a few writing forums and have been blessed to meet so many brilliant, talented, unique writers. Two of these writers are part of the WAMM home of which I am honored to be a part. We have watched the publishing industry do some mighty strange things in the past few years, making it impossible for some of the finest writers to break into the publishing world. It is a dream of the Three Musketeers of WAMM to give voice to many of these writers. One of the many things I am proud of is the fact that our editing staff goes to great lengths to assist the writers, beginning with the submissions. We do not offer standard rejections nor do we fall in love with each and every write. What we do is look at the story, get a feel for content and if we collectively feel it has merit, we then work very closely with the writer until it becomes the most strong, powerful, and cleanly-write piece it can be. I am truly honored to be surrounded by so much talent. My dream is for Writers Amuse Me to grow continually and become home to those with a story to tell.
|Posted on April 25, 2012 at 8:10 AM||comments (2)|
Well, I had a crazy story so I wrote a little book
'Bout the pink rig that I was driving and that skinny Dash, the schnook
We stopped one day to fuel up, grabbed a snack meant just for me
Bought a ticket that would win us a tremendous lottery…
Cold cash, money on the barrel, taking a payout.
Well, I wrote my little book then I wondered what to do
Cause there dotted in the pages I had used a curse or two
But the agents wouldn’t look at it, they couldn’t give a damn
So I wrote up a great query and I sent it off to WAMM
Publishers, that is, Writers Amuse Me… they like cursing.
They took a chance on me, and they lived through their first year
Despite a sequel to my book, they still greet me with cheer
But now Dash and I are off again, a new continent to wreck
We’ll search for Russell Crowe, we’ll all wind up in heck
Cause this is a family rated poem… so I can’t say hell.. or anything else I normally would.
So I wish a happy birthday to the WAMM staff and their crew
It will be lots of fun as we drive together through year two
There might be bumps and curvy roads encountered as we go
We’ll just grind some gears and stomp the gas and stop signs we shall blow
On our way to success and fame and fortune. I added all those ands in just for Dave el Lobsterino… he fears me. If we need to sacrifice something to keep going for another year, I volunteer Dash.
Happy WAMMiversary, and many more to come. This stupid poem doesn't have a title. I was told never to write my own titles.
Love and all that crap,
Mandy Pandy Poo