Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Harry Potter Mania

As a publishing phenomenon, I find the extraordinary success of the Harry Potter series of books (and movies) pretty interesting. As an avid devourer of fiction, I was unable to resist reading the first book to see what all the fuss was about. I found it to be a fairly enjoyable read, but by no means life altering. If I had read it when I was 10 years old, perhaps I would have been fully caught up in the Elvis/Beatles/Menudo-like mania (sorry, I simply could not resist a Menudo reference). But as an adult, and an author, it is beyond my comprehension why these books have become quite as popular as they have. I found nothing between the covers of the first one to be especially unique or ground breaking. To me it simply seemed to be engaging young adult fantasy fiction, well enough written to find a wide audience for sure, but not to inspire a literary revolution. If a single kid picks up a book to read that he would not otherwise have done because the Harry Potter titles make reading "cool", then it is a revolution that I wholeheartedly endorse even if I can't quite understand it. Yet as a writer who also works 9-5 in publishing and tries to keep abreast of what's going on in the industry, I do find it baffling that while J.K. Rowling makes an obscene amount of money due to one of the greatest jobs of marketing I've ever witnessed, there is a substantial amount of quality literature being written that cannot find homes at mainstream publishers or an audience of significant size. This I find to be a shame, not that anyone in particular is necessarily to blame for it. We simply happen to live in a world that celebrates mass appeal mediocrity over thought provoking brilliance. The phenomenon of Harry Potter makes about as much sense as people refusing to get bored of American Idol or young girls being allowed to wear pajama pants to school. That said, here's a link to claims of alleged revelations of the most dramatic happenings in the final Harry Potter installment by somebody who supposedly broke into the publisher's computer system and gained prohibited access to an electronic copy of the book. This may be the truth or it may be a hoax. The mystery will be solved soon enough. For those whose curiousity gets the better of them every time, here you go...


Link to article about multiple people claiming to offer legitimate Potter finale spoilers - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19816389/?GT1=10150

Monday, June 18, 2007

We're Back!!!

It was our initial intention for this blog to be a regular endeavor, although Erin and I never specified exactly how regularly (daily, weekly, every 2 weeks, monthly?) we would get to it. Those of you who have been stopping by have no doubt noticed the considerable gap between our previous postings and those we have entered today. What can I say about that but "Ooops, our bad". The process of day-to-day tends to interrupt even the best laid of plans. Or to put it more profoundly by paraphrasing from one of the great songs of our time - "Fish don't fry in the kitchen; Beans don't burn on the grill. Takes a whole lotta tryin' Just to get up that hill."

We won't promise to do better, but we will promise to try. After all, chronicling our best efforts at being artists / parents / spouses / entrepeneurs / legends in our own minds / is what this blog is all about. As you can tell from Erin's latest posting, we have been doing a little more than just twiddling our thumbs. Despite our back-to-back trips to Virginia and New Mexico, along with a much shorter trip to DA BRONX, Erin did manage to create another wonderful ACEO -
  • Elephant
  • - and to do some artistic brainstorming for projects she'll eventually get around to sharing with the world. As for me, I made the decision to work towards getting my novella [Feeding the Squirrels] published as an ebook. If all goes according to plan, a copy of it in electronic format will be available for purchase in the not too distant future from SynergEbooks. Erin has designed the cover, so it's guaranteed to look sharp.

    I suppose I could take up some time and internet space to express the wonder of being embraced by the extraordinary landscape of New Mexico, or share my thoughts on fatherhood now that I've had the gig for over a year and almost know what I'm doing half the time, or write an essay on how to get your property landscaped for no cost and practically no effort. But for the time being I will keep these matters to myself and save the energy for future blogging, which I plan to do on a far more regular basis from this point on. When I become as accomplished at "doing" as I am at "planning to do", I will be able to officially declare myself the greatest of success stories. Until then, I have some more fish to fry and beans to burn. Take care.

    - Roy

    Bronx Zoo

    We spent Father's Day at the Bronx Zoo - one of my most favorite places. Luckily, we arrived nice and early so were able to see lots of the animals moving about before the heat of the day set in. Ava had a blast, seeing the animals and playing with her cousins. Roy shot a full roll of film for me for future illustrations... there will be lots more to follow after the Elephant.

    Elephant I, 2.5" x 3.5", ink on acid free paper

    copyright Erin Rogers Pickering