Books

The Story Behind Crossline

Here’s my blog post on the Crazy 8 Web site, about the origins of my new book, Crossline:

http://www.crazy8press.com/2013/03/01/crossline-explained/

As with all great stories, Crossline was inspired by — what else — a girl.

I’ll explain.

Crossline is actually the melding of two completely disparate ideas I developed a dozen years apart. Back in the late ‘90s, I had an idea for a sci-fi comic book mini-series. A buddy of mine helped me see how big Crossline could really be, so I upped the action and then we put the very beginning of Crossline into layout. But the comic book never took off, so to speak.

Yeah. Okay, great. But … what’s this about a girl?

Well … back in high school I had a crush on a redhead, who was a tried and true American Irish lass who also happened to be fiery and passionate about all things Ireland and the IRA. So of course I had to write about it, because who better to capture ‘the troubles’ then a 16-year-old Jewish kid from Long Island who knew absolutely nothing about Ireland?

And so a trilogy of short stories came to be. They were lumpy and unpolished, but there was a real cross-border love story set within political action and intrigue, and each story was an improvement over the last. The framework for something special was in place.

(For the record, I never published the stories, and to my chagrin at the time, I never got the girl.)

And yet … I held onto the story idea, and when at long last I saw how the sci-fi component could really raise the stakes to this human drama, I started writing the novel. It took almost 25 years, but Crossline has finally arrived.

The space adventure gets the action rolling, but there’s a saga that comes with it. And lest this all sounds a bit heavy … fear not. I replaced the original teenaged angst with some philosophical musings, cosmic shenanigans, and loads of humor, cuz like Plato himself liked to say, that’s just how I roll (or maybe it was Confucius, I forget).

In any case, if Crossline sounds like your kinda thing, it will be available both in print and e-book through my pals at Crazy8 Press. Coming soon.

Crazy 8 Press to Publish Crossline

Here’s the blog from Crazy 8 Press announcing my new book, Crossline:

http://www.crazy8press.com/2013/02/16/coming-in-march-crossline-by-russ-colchamiro/

Up until now our little gang at Crazy 8 has published books by just our little band of writers — the founding members, as we like say (ahem-hem). But we finally thought, you know, it’s time we opened our doors to some of Russ Grooves an Alien

our fellow writers and bring them into the Crazy 8 family. As announced at Farpoint this afternoon, this will be our next offering and one we’re excited about.

With that, let’s  welcome our newest brother in arms — author Russ Colchamiro.

If you don’t know Russ, his debut novel was the hilarious sci-fi backpacking comedy Finders Keepers, which he published to some nice fanfare through 3 Finger Prints.

In fact, review site Ruled by Books had this to say about Russ: “There are only a handful of comedic authors that I enjoy, tops among them being Douglas Adams and Christopher Moore. After reading Finders Keepers … add Russ Colchamiro to that list.”

And now he’s back with his latest novel, Crossline, which will debut in Mid-March as the first official Crazy 8 novel written by an outside author.

So what’s Crossline about?

If you ask Russ, he calls it a modern-day Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon-style space opera, with his usual time-bending, philosophical shenanigans mixed in, as well as action, space soaring thrills, some deadly, but lovely ladies, and of course, loads of humor.

Space battles? Check

Wormholes? Check

Alternate realities? Check

Pot smoking shaman? Check

You want more? Keep checking in with us here  for further updates and pretty soon we’ll hear from Russ himself about how this crazy space opera came together.

Finders Keepers Hits NY Comic-Con 2012

Sorry I’m a little late on this one, but I’m still catching my breath after the NY Comic-Con.

I was there on Thursday of the 4-day event, but I got more than my money’s worth. Comic-Con is always such a madhouse, with Thursday being the most manageable day by far.

While there I got to see some of my writer pals, including No Small Bills and Too Small For Tall author Aaron Rosenberg, and Glenn Hauman — both with Crazy 8 Press — as well as Keith DeCandido and Star Trek author stud David Mack.

And, as always, I had my adventures with long-time partner-in-crime Rich Henn, who was out there slinging comics like a madman. We wound up having late-night burgers and beers — all was good in the end. Although the fries were wire-thin curly cue, so you had to eat them with a fork – or by the handful. Not prime French fry logistics, but that should only be my biggest problem.

During the show itself, I was out there doing the usual Finders Keepers promotion, and made a new fans, including:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, this dude:

 

 

 

 

This will likely be my last show of 2012, but based on what’s in the hopper, it’s starting to look like 2013 will be quite a year indeed!

 

Russ’ Newsletter: Vol. 6, Issue 2 – Crossline Follows Father’s Day

Hi Gang-

I’m back after a bit of newsletter hiatus, as I had an unusually hectic few months that required my attentions on multiple fronts. But I’m happy to report lotsa good stuffing coming. The best news, of course, is that my little ninjas are happy and healthy, and in fact have their second birthday coming up in August, if you can believe it. Good gravy!

As for my writing endeavors:

* At the end of March I had a table at the annual ICON sci-fi event in Stonybrook, where Finders Keepers sales were a bit off from last year, but still posed a very strong showing. The questions I was asked most often throughout the weekend? When is the sequel coming out, and will a movie follow?

The answers are: I start the first of two Finders Keepers sequels at the end of the summer and …. I sure as heck hope so! I’m working on it! For an inside look into a potential dream movie cast, click here.

And check out some new integalactic fans:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was also fun catching up at the show with fellow authors Aaron Rosenberg, Keith DeCandido and Patrick Thomas.

* Speaking of Finders Keepers, here is a recent compliment, one of the most passionate responses I’ve received in a while: “I can spend an eternity here reading this stunning tale. It was an addicting sling of words that spun a silken web around me, entombed me and I just couldn’t pry myself away from it.”

* As for my newest endeavor, here’s the latest and greatest on Crossline. I will be spending the rest of this month doing intense line edits, fine tuning every last word to ensure that we come away with a rock’ em, sock ’em ass-kicking space adventure … with my usual time bending, philosophical shenanigans included.

After that, I turn the manuscript over to my loyal, trusted and fabulous copy editor Barney O’Neill — who did a bang-up job in the same capacity on Finders Keepers — to ensure that there’s not a word out of place.

And then … get this sucker published!

* Last but not least let me give a special shout out to my beautiful wife, Liz, who just celebrated a birthday, and also to all the dad’s out there for a festive and happy Father’s Day.

That’s all she wrote for this edition. Liz and I are headed off next weekend for a much-need vacation to Spring Lake, N.J., where we’ll spend three days on the beach, staring out at the ocean, while my ninjas and Simon storm the castle, er … get quality time with their grandparents.

Until next time …

All the Best,

Russ

ICON 2012: Where’s the Finders Keepers Movie?

Sorry for the delay in reporting back, but after ICON I got hit with a wave of colds and allergies that kept me in no-man’s land for a while. But now that I’m back in action, here are the highlights:

While sales were not quite as brisk as last year, I still sold many copies of Finders Keepers. And the biggest reason I didn’t sell more: many of the attendees bought a copy last year! So I better get cracking on the next book.

And the top two questions I got all weekend:

•When does the sequel come out?
•When will see a Finders Keepers movie?

The answers are: I start writing the sequel once Crossline is done and … I have no idea. Of course I would LOVE to see Finders Keepers get the movie treatment, but Hollywood is a tricky business. Although I do have a few ideas up my sleeve, so all I can say is … stay tuned!

And speaking of movies, check out some new fans I made:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also spent the weekend next to a vendor from Ohio who spent the entire three days complaining about how much he hated New York and how the Democrats are ruining America. Not to mention how they’re all making waaaaaaay too big a deal of how we’re ruining the environment. Cuz, like, in the real world we don’t really drink  contaminated water and breath polluted air and eat tainted food. It’s all just liberal propaganda.

Riiiiiiiight.

Anyhoo … I’ll be back at ICON next year, where they are moving the convention from Stonybrook to Hofstra, so maybe by then the magic elves who secretly run the world will decide on the only real, important option that will unite us all: bring Finders Keepers to the big screen!

 

Russ’ Newsletter: Vol. 5, Issue 11 – Happy New Year!

Hi Gang-

2011 has been a heck of a ride on numerous fronts, so I thought this would be a good time to recap the year, offer many thanks and give some insight into what lays ahead for 2012.

So as my hero Jackie Gleason used to say … and awaaaaaay we go:

* More than anything else, 2011 has been absolutely incredible watching Abby and Nate come alive. Abby will one day rule all of Metropolis, if not the Galaxy (and be a wonderful, wide-eyed leader at that), while Nate seems destined for the comedy circuit along the lines of John Belushi and Bill Murray, without, of course, all the personal drama.

Until then,  they are as fast as ninjas and twice and smart, keeping Liz and I on our toes at  every turn.

With a soft launch at the end of 2010, Finders Keepers made its way into the world in a big way in 2011. Among the highlights:
* Endorsement from Publishers Weekly
* National distribution contract
* Picked up by Barnes & Noble

And while the great reviews keep piling up, here’s my absolute favorite:

Ruled By Books reviewer Jaime Chambers said the following about me:

“Comedy writing in any form is hard to do well. The intangible stuff that makes people laugh can be hard to grasp and even harder to deliver. There are only a handful of comedic authors that I enjoy, tops among them being [best-selling authors] Douglas Adams and Christopher Moore. After reading Finders Keepers, I was happy to add Russ Colchamiro to that list.”

Here’s a link to the full interview:

http://www.ruledbybooks.com/author-interview-with-russ-colchamiro/

To be considered among the greatest comedic authors … ever? Wow. I’ll take it!

* With Finders Keepers in full groove, I’m now putting the finishing touches on my next book, Crossline. A stand-alone space adventure, Crossline is in the Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon style of space opera, with my usual time-bending philosophical ruminations that really give the adventure some extra layers of zing.

Good buddy and fellow writer James Chambers — who at one point collaborated with Spock himself, Leonard Nemoy, on some comic book projects — is editing Crossline, so I’m feeling pretty darn good about the process. Jim will be handing over pages to me any day now, and then I’ll spend the next few months staying warm, putting the final touches on what will be a rollicking adventure.

* So what’s in store for 2012? Oooh … so glad you asked! As noted, first order of business is wrapping up Crossline and then lining up a publication deal.

Then … I’ll be doing some conventions in the spring, where I’ll be signing copies of Finders Keepers.

And as I continue to promote Finders Keepers and line up that Crossline deal … I’ll start work on book No. 3 … the first Finders Keepers sequel!

In between, I’ll be out there on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads, trying to squeeze in a few blogs here and there, and chatting up my fellow creators along the way.

Somewhere in there I’ll also find time to you know … go to work every day, buy a house! Ahh! … and spend as much as time as possible with the family, which is my source of strength and inspiration.

Which leads me to …

* For this issue’s shout-out it’s a two-fer!

First, let me thank everyone who has and continues to support me. As I’m sure you know, this publishing gig ain’teasy, and there are days when I just ain’t in the mood. But your unwavering support and enthusiasm is nothing short of phenomenal, so to all who are behind me, my deepest thanks and gratitude. You rock!

Of course, Nate and Abby are an endless source of love and joy. My life has changed forever in the most remarkable way, and watching my children grow is simply spectacular.

And finally, to my wife Liz … who stands behind through it all, with my endless piles of paper and notes clutter here, there and everywhere. Since even before we met, she has always been the one. And while she may be my wife, she will always be my girl.

Okay. That’s all she wrote for this … year! I’ll be back in January with more updates, so until then … be festive, be safe … and Happy Holidays.

All the Best!

Russ

www.russcolchamiro.com
@FindKeepNovel

Follow me on Facebook and Goodreads

Russ’ Newsletter​: Vol. 5, No. 10 – Top 3 Comedy Authors – Douglas Adams, Christophe​r Moore and … Russ Colchamiro​?

Hey Gang-

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so with the leaves changing and some gobble gobble in the air, here’s the latest tasty meal I’ve got to report about my adventures in publishing:

* About a month ago I went through a three-day span that had me super high, super low and then pretty jazzed up again. The short version is that I received an email from USA Best Books 2011 announcing that I was a “finalist” in their book of the year contest in the new fiction category. Sweet! But …. the next day I discovered that it was actually a bogus “contest,” and that unsuspecting authors such as myself sent in a $65 “entrance” fee to compete for their “awards.” Needless to say, I was pretty freakin’ miffed.

But with the Universe unfolding as it does, a few days later …

Ruled By Books reviewer Jaime Chambers said the following about me: Comedy writing in any form is hard to do well. The intangible stuff that makes people laugh can be hard to grasp and even harder to deliver. There are only a handful of comedic authors that I enjoy, tops among them being [best-selling authors] Douglas Adams and Christopher Moore. After reading Finders Keepers, I was happy to add Russ Colchamiro to that list.”

So now I’m being spoken about — in some circles at least — as one of the best comedy authors … of all time! Um … overall I’d say I agree with Jaime’s assessment! Ha!

Here’s a link to the full interview:  http://www.ruledbybooks.com/author-interview-with-russ-colchamiro/

* Keeping up with the Finders Keepers mojo, last weekend I hung out with the gang at PhilCon, an annual sci-fi convention that has since relocated to Cherry Hill, NJ. Sales were a little on the slow side, but I signed books, hung out with returning and new fans, caught up with my fellow authors and made some initial inquiries about a possible Crossline publishing deal. Very early stages, nothing concrete to report, but progress nonetheless.

For my full PhilCon blog: https://russcolchamiro.com/2011/11/philcon-2012-fans-authors-and-the-bupkis-effect/

* On the family front, Nate and Abby are happy little monkeys, racing around and generally loving life. More and more Nate is developing into that Bill Murray/John Belushi-type rascal with the Jack Nicholson raised eye brow thing, who is also so darn cute you just can’t get mad at him no matter what kind of mischief he gets into. Meanwhile, Abby seems pretty intent on ruling all of Metropolis, which, at the rate she’s going, should happen any day now.

* And for this month’s shout-out, give up some big props to my good pals in powerpop band The Turnback, whose video for their single “Celophane Sky” went over the 100,000 view mark. Their album — in support of lead guitarist and film director Todd Gilio’s great little movie DRAWING WITH CHALK — is now available: www.theturnback.com

* And with the holiday season in full swing, here’s a joyous invitation to pick up your very own copy of Finders Keepers! It is readily available at many Barnes & Noble locations, and of course you can buy it online through Barnes & Noble as well:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/colchamiro?keyword=colchamiro&store=allproducts

That’s all she wrote for this edition. I hope everyone has a festive Thanksgiving, and I’ll be back at the end of December to wrap up with some final 2011 thoughts and well wishes into the New Year.

All the Best!

Russ

PhilCon 2012 – Fans, Authors and the Bupkis Effect

PhilCon was a bit of a mixed bag this year.

For an annual sci-fi convention celebrating its 75th anniversary, there wasn’t so much as a banner to mark the event, and more than one author — including myself — was more than slightly annoyed at not having been invited to speak on panels, which is one thing. But we didn’t even get so much as a “Sorry, we’d love to have you, but we’re all filled up. Hopefully next year.”

We got bupkis. Nothing. Nada. Not a peep from anyone.

We all appreciate that conventions are run by volunteers and they can often get overwhelmed with requests, but silence isn’t necessarily the most thoughtful form of communication.

But I digress.

As always it was great to mingle with new and returning fans of Finders Keepers, and though I didn’t sell a ton of books, I got to catch up with some of my fellow authors and editors, and even laid the groundwork for a potential Crossline publishing deal.

Nothing in stone, but at least conversations are taking place that could result in some exciting news next year.

Here’s me at the table, which I shared with fellow author James Chambers, whose own work tends to focus more on horror and the supernatural, including tales about zombies, gouls, fairies and other creatures that go bump in the night.

Part of the fun at these shows is just getting our geek on, chatting up our favorite (and least favorite) comic book movies. I’ll mention that the Spiderman franchise come up quite a bit, but I’ll save the rankings for a separate blog entry.

I also met up with the editor of Space & Time Magazine, who said that Finders Keepers is next in line for a review. So fingers crossed that they actually like it!

PhilCon was actually my last show of the year, so I’ll be taking a breather until spring 2012, when I’ll be back with a number of shows, which I’ll announce once I’ve locked in my appearance. Until then I’ll keep plugging along online and keep you posted on all the news that fit to print.

 

Douglas Adams, Christopher Moore and … Russ Colchamiro?

I’m always appreciative of kind words about Finders Keepers or my writing in general. In that spirit I’d like to share this intro, from book reviewer Jaime Chambers of Ruled By Books, who had these very kind words for me during our interview, comparing me to two of the best — and best selling — comedy authors of all time:

“I cannot believe that I read and reviewed Finders Keepers by Russ Colchamiro all the way back in June. I still find myself telling friends with a bent sense of humor about this book that had me laughing heartily. It was a well written first novel that, I have to admit, surprised me. Comedy writing in any form is hard to do well. The intangible stuff that makes people laugh can be hard to grasp and even harder to deliver. There are only a handful of comedic authors that I enjoy, tops among them being [best-selling authors] Douglas Adams and Christopher Moore. After reading Finders Keepers, I was happy to add Russ Colchamiro to that list.”

 
   Click the link below to read the full interview: http://www.ruledbybooks.com/author-interview-with-russ-colchamiro/

Author Interview with Russ Colchamiro … with a Zombie Twist

Ruled By Books reviewer Jaime Chambers interviewed me about my novel Finders Keepers, advice for new writers, and thoughts on my latest project, Crossline.

Plus … final thoughts on what I’d read if I had time to kill on my way to becoming a zombie.

 
Here’s the link:

http://www.ruledbybooks.com/author-interview-with-russ-colchamiro/

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