Join host Russ Colchamiro as he leads this live Zoom panel with acclaimed authors Charles Salzberg, RG Belsky, and SJ Rozan as they discuss the enduring appeal of crime, mystery and seduction in suspense fiction.
About Russ Colchamiro
Join host Russ Colchamiro for this live Zoom interview with best-selling Star Trek author Dayton Ward, discussing his new book Star Trek: Kirk Fu Manual: A Guide to Starfleet’s Most Feared Martial Art.
Come join this FREE Zoom interview with author Keith DeCandido, who has written for such franchises as LEVERAGE, STAR TREK, and more.
Wed, June 17, 2020
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT
Russ Colchamiro interviews science fiction, fantasy and YA author Mary Fan about her love for intrepid heroines and running away with the circus.
Big news folks!
I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my newest book — a re-imagined version of my debut novel Finders Keepers: The Definitive Edition.
Below is a Q&A with publisher Crazy 8 Press to talk all about it!
Nearly a decade after making his debut, author and Crazy 8 Press member Russ Colchamiro has gone back to the beginning with a new and updated version of his first novel, the wild scifi backpacking comedy Finders Keepers.
Crazy 8 Press: Finders Keepers is one of the novels you are most known for. What inspired you to issue The Definitive Edition?
Russ Colchamiro: Haha fair enough! When I first published Finders Keepers back in 2010, it was intended to be a stand-alone tale of cosmic lunacy in the vein of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, with a complete, self-contained story I very much wanted to tell—and in the way that I wanted to tell it.
But when I expanded the adventures into a three-book series, which include the sequels Genius de Milo and Astropalooza, I wanted the first book to more closely match the tone, pacing, length, and style of books two and three, so the entire series feels more cohesive.
C8P: Makes sense! What’s different about the new version?
Russ: Looking back on the original Finders Keepers, there were elements I wanted to change. Passages that needed to be cut, sections that could easily be combined, and a few character traits I wanted to approach with a bit more nuance, especially as the original was a bit rough and raunchy in places.
Maybe this updated version is me showing my age (or maturity or a few bumps on the head!), but I came to accept that some of the more raucous, sex comedy elements in the original might be distracting from the rest of the story (consider the original the Raw and Uncensored edition!).
C8P: New readers won’t notice any changes, but what about for fans of the original?
Russ: First off, for anyone who read and loved the original and thinks, “Whoa! Dude! What gives? We love Finders Keepers the way it is” … you’re awesome! But have no fear! This new version contains the same plot, the same adventure, and the same characters … only with far fewer f-bombs and naughty passages.
It also comes in at a lean 81,000 words, down from nearly 95,000. (Yup. I killed my darlings. Lot’s of ’em.)
C8P: Whew! Sounds great! For those who haven’t read Finders Keepers… what’s it about?
Russ: Finders Keepers is still about our bumbling backpackers Jason Medley and Theo Barnes, two guys in their early 20s from opposite ends of the Earth, caught in that netherworld between college and a career, zig-zagging Europe and New Zealand to have one last hurrah before they have to… blarg!… become responsible adults.
And while they’re out there, find a way to get the girl, discover the meaning of life, and, of course, save the universe, whether they realize they’re doing it or not.
RussC8P: You’re calling this the Definitive Edition. Does that mean…?
C8P: Thanks, Russ! Where can folks pick up Finders Keepers: The Definitive Version – and the entire series?
A: Sure thing! You can find Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo and Astropalooza here on the Crazy 8 Press site. They’re also available through various online channels, including but not limited to Amazon and Barnes & Noble .
Russ Colchamiro is the author of the rollicking space opera, Crossline, the outrageous SF/F backpacking comedy series Finders Keepers, Genius de Milo, and Astropalooza, and is editor of the SF anthology Love, Murder & Mayhem, all with Crazy 8 Press.
Russ lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ has also contributed to several other anthologies, including Tales of the Crimson Keep, Pangaea, Altered States of the Union, Camelot 13, TV Gods 2, They Keep Killing Glenn, and Brave New Girls.
He is now working on three collaborative novella projects and the first full-length novel featuring his hardboiled intergalactic private eye Angela Hardwicke.
For more on Russ and his books, visit www.russcolchamiro.com, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @AuthorDudeRuss, and ‘like’ his Facebook author page www.facebook.com/RussColchamiroAuthor.
Russ is repped by The Zack Compnay.
At long last we are thrilled to present here the official cover for our new scifi-themed Love, Murder & Mayhem anthology coming out in July, debuting at Shore Leave in Cockeysville, MD.
As always, our pal and cover designer extraordinaire Roy Mauritsen did a fantastic job on the cover, with the collection featuring stories from an all-star author lineup including Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, Michael Jan Friedman, Peter David, Paul Kupperberg, Glenn Hauman, Mary Fan, Hildy Silverman, Meriah Crawford, Kelly Meding, Paige Daniels, Karissa Laurel, Patrick Thomas, Lois Spangler, and editor Russ Colchamiro.
In this great collection you’ll get 15 stand-alone stories, including those featuring superheroes, super villains, A.I., off-world, space cruisers, private eyes, a monster mash and … one DuckBob!
This blog was originally posted on the Crazy 8 Press web site – http://www.crazy8press.com/2017/04/18/cover-reveal-love-murder-mayhem/
The Russ Colchamiro Astropalooza Interview
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by Russ Colchamiro, author of the Finders Keepers science fiction comedy series, which includes Finders Keepers, Genius De Milo, and his newest book—the final in the trilogy—Astropalooza. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge, Russ
RC: Thanks, guys!
SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across the Finders Keepers trilogy previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about the story leading up to the release of Astropalooza, the final part of the trilogy?
RC: Sure. The first book in the series – Finders Keepers – is loosely based on a series of backpacking trips I took through Europe and New Zealand, set against the quest for a jar that contains the Universe’s DNA. Think Bill & Ted meets Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
So you have these two knuckleheads – Jason Medley, from New Yok, and Theo Barnes, from Auckland, New Zealand, who are on their last hurrah – after college – but before they have to pay rent and be responsible adults! So while they’re backpacking, their biggest worries are … can I get the cute girl? Can I make my train to Amsterdam? I’m hung over … again. Meanwhile, the fate of the galaxy is hanging in the balance, and they’re at the center of it, with characters from Earth and the Cosmos hunting them down, to claim this jar of the Universe’s DNA, which, if opened prematurely, could dissolved the Milky Way. Only, the guys don’t realize it, and you do, so as the reader, you’re in the joke, and they’re not.
In Genius de Milo … Milo, the Universe’s Great Disruptor – essentially, the Universe’s gremlin – squares off against the Minder of the Universe, essentially, the God the character. They are Cosmic foils basically battling for the status of the Universe.
In any case, Milo seems to have initiated the end of the Milky Way, and possibly worse. Only this time our bumbling backpackers are trekking across America to once again retrieve that jar that keeps causing trouble. But in both books, every time the guys think they have saved the day, their ‘solution’ actually makes things much much worse! LOL! Which takes us to Astropalooza.
SPS: Was it always your intention to write the story as a trilogy?
RC: Ha! No! LOL! When I wrote Finders Keepers, it was a stand-alone adventure. I had a very specific story I wanted to tell, and tell it in a very specific way. But I intentionally gave it an open ending, because deep down I suspected there was a lot more story.
SPS: How far through the series did you plan? Have you always known the eventual outcome?
RC: After Finders Keepers, I took time away from those characters to start an entirely different novel, Crossline, which is an action adventure in the spirit of Firefly, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Farscape, and Escape from New York. Our space pilot hero, Marcus Powell, while testing experimental warp thrusters, is forced through a wormhole and into a parallel Earth, and gets roped into this wild scenario that actually links back to his home Earth, where the CEO of the private space program that launched that flight through the wormhole has his own motivations … and not necessarily to Powell’s benefit. It was loads of fun, and got tremendous reviews.
But as I was writing Crossline I had that classic a-ha moment where I suddenly knew the basic concept for the Finders Keepers sequel, which became Genius de Milo. I knew then that I was going to tell a trilogy. About half-way through Genius de Milo, I worked out the conclusion to the entire series, including where every character would end up. That allowed me to write Genius de Milo with a lot more confidence and assertiveness, because not only was I telling a self-contained story for that book, but I was laying the groundwork in a very specific way leading up to the third and final book in the series, which became Astropalooza.
SPS: Would you say that your writing style has progressed through the trilogy?
RC: No doubt. In Finders Keepers, there’s a definite frenetic, madcap energy to it which I absolutely love, whereas with the next two books the tone and feel are more similar, my writing more confident and expansive (IMHO) as the books progress.
SPS: Was there anything you wished you’d done differently in the first two books when it came to writing the third?
RC: I’m extremely proud of Finders Keepers, especially given that it was my first book. But sure, there are a few things I would have changed if I knew then what I know now. Kinda like life! Ha! But live and learn, huh?
SPS: What can we expect from this final part of the trilogy?
RC: With the conclusion of the second book, Genius de Milo, which I saw in my mind’s eye from the very first moment I wanted to write that book, the guys do again ‘save the day,’ only this time they have inadvertently set in motion the next Big Bang. So in Astropalooza we have these two huge energy waves of the Universe’s DNA barrelling across the Universe towards each other.
Whereas the first two books are split between Earth and the Cosmos, Astropalooza is set almost entirely in the cosmic realm, where the guys have to stop these energy waves from crashing into one another before the start of Astropalooza, a celebration of the Universe itself. The stakes are as high as they can possibly be, yet the characters all still get their own intimate, personal arc, once again juxtaposing the big with the small. And then there’s the whole ‘saving the Universe’ thing going on!
SPS: What do you think a reader will take away from reading the whole trilogy?
RC: My hope is that readers say, “Wow, that was loads of fun! That was crazy!” But also as they stop and think about it, they realize that the narrative actually ruminates on the nature of the Universe, asking the big questions, and maybe challenging you a bit to think about what’s really most important to you. It’s a theme that runs through all of my books. I read a lot about philosophy, mythology, and world history in my personal time, and those ideas filter into my writing.
SPS: Was it hard letting go of the characters, or have you left any scope to ever revisit the characters or ‘universe’ again in the future?
RC: I’m still so deep into the marketing phase that I really haven’t let go! Plus … I’m working on a spin-off series, based on the Angela Hardwick private eye character I introduce briefly in Genius de Milo and who has a larger role in Astropalooza. Now she’s getting the ‘star’ treatment! Her stories will mostly include new characters, but the ‘world’ I’ve created is very much a part of the Finders Keepers universe. It’s loads of fun. My hope is to write several Hardwicke books, all in that classic Same Spade style, only … with my usual scifi slant to it. In fact, Hardwicke will be appearing in a short story I just wrote for an upcoming anthology I’m editing – Love, Murder, & Mayhem – which will be out through Crazy 8 Press in July.
SPS: Would you say Jason and Theo have grown, as the series comes to a head, or are they the same two guys we meet at the start of Finders Keepers (Book One)?
RC: Ha! They both go through incredible journeys. I can tell you that their relationships with each other, everyone they know, and even themselves, looks in some ways like it always did, but other ways does not even resemble their lives from how they started.
SPS: How easy do you find it to write the comedy aspects of your work?
RC: My writing style is naturally to lean towards humor, although I find there’s a big distinction between ‘fun’ and ‘funny’. Fun leads to a smile on your face, while funny has you laughing out loud. They are part of the same family, but not the same, although they often go hand in hand.
SPS: If you could give one reason for someone to pick up the trilogy and read, what would it be?
RC: You’ll have a wild time you’ll never forget!
SPS: Thank you for joining us today, and all the best for the future.
RC: Thanks! Had a great time.
SPS: For more information on Russ and the trilogy, please do visit www.russcolchamiro.com, follow him on Twitter @AuthorDudeRuss, and ‘like’ his Facebook author page www.facebook.com/RussColchamiroAuthor. His books are also available for sale through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
And enjoy the FINDERS KEEPERS book trailer: http://bit.ly/16SNh8Q