Man oh man has it been one crazy summer! There’s just tons to share — including that my twins are due to make their illustrious entrance in less than two weeks! But for this very special newsletter edition, here’s a Q&A about Finders Keepers, which will be available before you know it.
So here goes …
Q: Russ, you’ve been working on Finders Keepers for quite some time. How does it feel to have a book deal?
Russ: It’s great. Really. Been a long time coming. I’m very excited.
Q: Who is going to publish Finders Keepers?
Russ: 3 Finger Prints, which is owned and operated by Rich Koslowski (www.richkoslowski.com), an award-winning comic book artist and writer. His impressive collection of work includes his absolutely hilarious, must-read comic-book series The 3 Geeks; award-winning docu-style Three Fingers; Elvis-themed The King; Santa Clause-meets-Die Hard romp, The List; and his newest book he illustrated, the blues themed BB Wolf and 3 L.P.’s, which is a re-imagining of the classic tale, and has been getting rave reviews. He is also a regular contributor to Archie comics, and is a licensed artist for Family Guy and The Simpsons.
Rich is a regular on the comic-book convention circuit, and publishes some of his work under his own banner, 3 Finger Prints which will be the publisher of Finders Keepers. This is his first publishing venture representing an outside author.
Q: Russ, why did you choose to publish under 3 Finger Prints?
Russ: Rich and I first met at a comic book convention in Silver Spring, Maryland in the late 1990s, although we really came together at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con. Rich has long been an enthusiastic supporter of Finders Keepers. There’s a real synergy between us.
Q: How so?
Russ: Even though Finders Keepers is a novel, there is a lot of overlap between the audience I’m targeting (and think will enjoy it) and Rich’s comic-book audience. If you like comic books, you’ll like Finders Keepers, as I intentionally wrote the novel with chapter-to-chapter cliffhangers, multiple characters and lots of humor. And if you enjoy TV shows like LOST, Heroes, Warehouse 13, Eureka and Quantum Leap, or books like Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy and Jitterbug Perfume, I’d say Finders Keepers is something you’d like to check out.
Rich: Agreed. Finders Keepers has all the feel of the books Russ mentioned and more. It’s not just a sci-fi/fantasy novel, but a character-driven novel as well. The dialogue is what really put it over the top for me and separated it from the ordinary sc-fi romp. Writing real dialogue is an art! Russ nailed that aspect of this book quite well.
Russ: Flattery will get you everywhere. Ha!
Q: Okay. You guys are obviously psyched about Finders Keepers. We’ve heard a lot about it … but what’s it actually about?
Russ: Ah, the devil’s in the details, eh? Finders Keepers is loosely based on a backpacking trip I took across Europe … set against the quest for a jar that contains the Universe’s DNA. You know, a nice family drama! Including our backpacking heroes Jason Medley and Theo Barnes, Finders Keepers features a galactic talk show host, Kiwi biker gang, drag queen, sizzling hot women and a talking brown Lab named Lex. The action takes place across Europe, New Zealand and the backbone of Eternity.
Q: Wow. So … what kind of genre does Finders Keepers fall under?
Russ: The genre is what I like to call ‘cosmic lunacy,’ or goofy science fiction. Finders Keepers partly takes place in the day-to-day reality that you and I know, and partly based in the realm of Eternity (as invented by my goofy, whacked-out brain) … and, as you can tell from that description, how those two worlds come together.
Q: Rich … how do you feel about Finders Keepers being the first publishing project for 3 Finger Prints that you haven’t written yourself? What drew you to Finders Keepers?
Rich: Russ really knocked my socks off with Finders Keepers I’ll admit, when he asked me to read it I was more than a bit skeptical if I’d really like it … and what do you tell him if you don’t? … I mean, we had become fast friends working the cons together. But I was absolutely blown away and devoured the book within days! I quickly became as involved as possible helping Russ in whatever capacity I could. We eventually started tossing the idea around of my publishing Finders Keepers.
Russ will be the first “outside” author I’ve taken on, so I’d hope that says a lot about how confident I am with his work. As a huge sci-fi/fantasy fan (LOVE Terry Pratchett, Peter David, Neil Gaiman), I’m pretty selective on what I like. Russ’ book more than holds up against the best of the best!
Oh, and the cover art kicks @$$!
Q: Speaking of the cover … who is the artist?
Russ: That is a Rich Koslowski original, and it’s pretty amazing. He really blew me away, as I expected he would. The colors alone just really pop. The main concept came together quickly, but it took us a little while to settle in on the background, and then Rich sent me this idea – this dusk setting – and immediately I said, “that’s it!” It wasn’t the way I was thinking about the cover, which is why I don’t do art. I’m often too literal-minded when it comes to art. But Rich told me from the beginning, “trust me, this is going to really kill. I’ve got some ideas.” And he was right. I love it.
Q: How did you guys decide that Rich would also create the art, as well as publish?
Russ: It was pretty organic, actually.
Rich: I wanted to do the cover and Russ agreed. As there are a lot of characters in Finders Keepers — and it’s a character-driven book — I wanted to feature as many characters as possible on the cover, but also focus on the three or four main characters. So I did a massive wraparound cover with the secondary characters on the back and the main characters on the front. It also had to be “cosmic,” so I had a lot of fun with that jar! It’s the focal point of the design and I think it works very well.
It is very dynamic … very eye catching. I think people will dig it.
Q: Who came up with the design? Was that Rich?
Russ: Mostly … yes. Since Rich knows Finders Keepers so well, I pretty much gave him license to come up with whatever he wanted. Rich sent me some original pencils, which I liked quite a bit, and then made some suggestions. What really knocked me out was the idea of having a wrap-around cover—the total artwork is on both the front and back cover, so that if it were laid out flat, you would see the entire piece like a mosaic. I never would have thought to do it that way, but then, that’s why Rich is the artist, and I’m just the writer dude.
Q: Rich … the front cover has four of the main characters leaping into the air, reaching for a jar that appears to be glowing. What’s going on there?
Rich: They’re all fighting for that jar … the jar that holds the universe’s DNA, man! It’s kind of important, and they all want it. ‘Course, some of them are the bad guys and some are the good guys, so we want the right people getting it.
Russ: If you want to check it out, it’s on the home page of my web site.
Q: Definitely will. Finders Keepers has such great visuals, and sounds really bizarre and fun. Any talk of a movie adaption?
Russ: Hell, yes! I talk about it all the time. If only Hollywood would listen! (LOL!) Seriously, though, I have gotten some interest at the San Diego Comic-Cons, but when the novel comes out, I expect the interest to pick up considerably.
Q: That’s great. Can’t wait to see it in full bloom. So let’s talk availability. When does Finders Keepers go on sale?
Russ: Finders Keepers will debut at the NY Comic-Con at the Javits Center, October 8-10, 2010.
Q: Not far off at all. How can we get a copy of Finders Keepers?
Russ: Rich. You’re the publisher. You want to handle this one?
Rich: Sure. You’ll be able to order Finders Keepers through the 3 Finger Prints web site (www.richkoslowski.com), plus some other vendors and distributors we’re working with. And we’ll both be attending various conventions, where you can pick up signed copies. We’ll update you as we finalize plans.
Okay, gang. So that’s my story and I’m sticking with it. Finders Keepers is coming your way! For more info about Finders Keepers, an expanded version of this Q&A will be available soon, which I’ll post on my Web site. Until then, Rich and I will keep you posted with updates, availability and our appearance schedule.
With that, let me just leave you with one final thought:
Finders Keepers, baby!