Category Archives: pantera press

Killing Adonis Mixtape

A lot’s happened in the last four years. Australia’s had 3 Prime Ministers, the Catholics have had 2 different popes, scientists confirmed the existence of the Higgs boson and I finally fucking finished my third book. After signing with the wonderful Pantera Press two years ago, the novel has shifted and morphed in strange, wonderful and surprising ways and ended up like the Super Saiyan version of its original embryonic form. I am incredibly, stupendously, tremendously excited to unleash this little collection of letters and thoughts out into the world. I’m confident that it’s unlike anything else that will be released this year. That doesn’t guarantee that will people will like it of course, but people go wild for dinosaur erotica or goji berries for no apparent reason so there’s no point trying to keep up with the zeitgeist if you ask me. For all I know the next book craze will be a YA series written from the perspective of a time-travelling monkey ninja who speaks only in alliterative rhyming couplets (I would read the hell out of that book).

_P0E9741

“The camera loves you JD! Actually, no, it doesn’t. But it’s okay I’m a great photographer so these’ll still look good.” -Actual quote from the photographer.

As a strange sort of preview ahead of the book’s release I made a mixtape for you. Yes, just for you. Now I know what you’re thinking, and it’s both repulsive and physically impossible. I also know what you’re thinking about the word ‘mixtape’ being applied to a book. I’m well aware this is typically the territory of wannabe rappers and gangly sixteen-year-olds trying to get laid, but I’ve been both in my time and I believe that when it comes to art, it is very much about what you can get away with.

Each of the 37 tracks here mirrors one of the chapters in the book, serving as a sort of literary soundtrack. Most of these bands were on constant repeat while I was writing Killing Adonis, so it’s also something of a snapshot of the creative process (for those of you who take an interest in such things). In addition, it features a couple of bands from my beloved hometown of Brisbane, where the novel is set. The selection samples everything from orchestral to electronic to hip-hop to post-rock. I hope you find something that takes your fancy, and as a musician myself I strongly encourage you to go out and buy the albums of any of these bands that you enjoy here. Most of them have a bandcamp site where you can get their stuff for super cheap.

Get your eyeballs ready, Killing Adonis is coming in October!

PS I just got confirmation that I’ll be appearing at the National Young Writers’ Festival around the same time the book is released. Feel free to come and heckle me.

The Next Big Thing

I was selected by my friend Rebecca Bloomer to be part of this blog chain called The Next Big Thing, where authors pick some of their friends and favourites to talk about upcoming works. Thanks to Rebecca for the nomination, I have in turn nominated Mandy Beaumont and Daniel Wynne.

1)   What is the working title of your next book?

‘Adonis Comma Coma’. Or possibly ‘The Hobbit Part III: The Official Film Adaptation’ (legal confirmation pending).

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

"it was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times?!? You stupid monkey!"

“It was the best of times, it was the BLURST of times?!? You stupid monkey!”

From my ideas factory, which is a facility I have in an underground bunker beneath an abandoned warehouse where I have a team of elves on laptops, monkeys on typewriters and vampires on tablets just pumping out ideas in exchange for biscuits and the odd human sacrifice. (Don’t worry, I just give them tinned Spam mixed with oil, the tears of exploited workers and ground up hundred dollar notes and tell them that it’s the corpse of Clive Palmer. They apparently can’t tell the difference.)

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It falls roughly under ‘dark comedy’, but it would rather fall gracefully into the wise embrace of ‘Booker prize winning literary fiction’ or daintily into the strong and burly arms of ‘supernatural erotic fiction.’

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Lauren-Ambrose-pilot

Lauren Ambrose partially inspired the main character, Freya, so I’d get her for starters. Then I’d probably have to have a lot of long, candlelit meetings discussing the finer points of the script. I’d probably get James Franco to play Jack and then just reanimate the corpse of Ronald Reagan to play Harland Vincetti, because as well being an actor he was also the forefather of the economic ideology that Vincetti uses to incrementally ruin everything.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

It’s basically ‘Arrested Development’ meets ‘Six Feet Under’, but more psychotic and supernatural.

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It’s signed to Pantera Press with an expected release date of September 2013. I had an agent but he wasn’t very useful so I ended up “donating” him to the ideas factory.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Roughly the amount of time it takes to watch all eight seasons of the acclaimed series ‘24′ a hundred times over.

24 - 2 24 - 3 24 - 4 24 - 5 24 s8 24s7cover  24-124_Season_6_poster x 100 =  time required to write a book. 

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

mry I think Scarlett Thomas does similar things in that she discusses lots of strange and disparate concepts through her characters and uses a plot to hang all those ideas together. I’ve been told the manuscript also has a few parallels to Murakami’s work as well. I’m heavily influenced by Japanese writers who don’t over explain everything. I like to credit the audience with a little intelligence.

 

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A character in an anime film I saw years ago had this monologue talking about how we are all really three people: The person we see ourself as, the person others see us as, and the person we believe others to perceive us to be. Being a fiction author, that concept of perceived reality vs fantasy vs objective reality fascinated me.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

Preliminary scientific research indicates that reading this or any of my other books alters the brain at a subatomic level allowing the reader to change the chemistry of their system at will. This alteration allows them abilities such as excreting pheromones that make them irrestible to their potential sexual partners as well as being capable of great feats of strength, super rad skateboard tricks and sweet guitar licks.

“Look ma, I got a book deal!”

 

Why hello there!

I have an announcement to make. A big one. As in, the size of an obese elephant with elephantiasis that has had an enlarging rhinoplasty procedure recently undertaken. No, I'm not getting married and I'm not pregnant (after all, any IDIOT can get married or have kids!)

Elephant

I've found a new publisher and I've entered into a long-term arrangement to give them first rights to all my future books. Which, I suppose, is sort of like a business marriage come to think of it. So if you'd like to provide me with large quantities of expensive silverware and white goods please go right ahead! I chose to sign with Pantera Press for a number of reasons.

Pantera-press

1) They asked me. Yes, I know, very droll, but I'm serious. Even after having a moderately successful first book that had rave reviews in a number of magazines and decent sales for a first time author with almost no marketing, as well as getting my second book picked up by another publisher, it was still ridiculously hard to find publishers willing to take a chance on an author who refuses to write crime fiction, erotica, vampire romance or diet tips. 

Gay marriage

2) Pantera's motto is 'good books doing good things.' They have a strong philanthropic ethos and they support causes such as the Smith Family's Let's Read program and the Walkley awards for excellence in journalism, because reading is fucking important and some people seem to forget that (I'm looking at you Campbell Newman). They also publish the Why vs. Why series, which promotes public debate on issues like gay marriage and nuclear power. I'm not shy about my political views, but I think whatever side of the fence you stand on it's important to be educated and informed about issues and not just shove your uninformed vitriolic diatribe down other people's throats (I'm STILL looking at you Newman!)

3) Pantera are a family run independant business, distributed through Simon & Schuster, one of the largest publishers in the world. This means that they have the innovative, adventurous and ambitious approach of a great indie publisher partnered with the distribution and marketing reach of a large publisher. Also, their royalty rates are insanely generous. I know art isn't supposed to be about the money, but it is hard to keep that in mind when you've just had to sell a kidney so that you can pay for your phone bill. (I've only done this once. It should be fine. Humans have like, six kidneys, right?) 

The first book I've given them, which will be out next year, is Adonis Comma Coma. It's a twisted dark comedy that I'm going to describe as being a bit like Arrested Development, only more psychotic and supernatural. 

 

I've just about drunk my own weight in champagne during the last week celebrating, and will now need to drink my own weight in berocca to recover. I want to say a really big thank you to everyone that's supported me so far, whether it's been just reading this blog or my first book or writing reviews on amazon or goodreads or proofing drafts or buying me beers or collaborating on anthologies or whatever. It really does mean the world to me. I promise when you bring out your first book I'll do the same for you! Or you know, your restaurant or particle accelerator or skin moisturiser enhanced with jojoba extract and DNA altering exfoliants or radical quantum theory or whatever the hell else you want reviewed and promoted.