Friday, January 13, 2012

The exceedingly generous James Ferguson has posted a review up at HorrorTalk.  The Continuing Case of Manny Tippitoes was not written with scariness in mind but everything from Hammer Films to H.P. Lovecraft has influenced the creation of the characters and book.  I hope to integrate these kinds of elements into Book 3 of the Manny Tippitoes trilogy.  I'm already working on a place I call
The Burning Shadows....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

NP: Michel Legran "The Thomas Crown Affair" OST

I tripped across The Thomas Crown Affair on television the other night and found myself riveted.  Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway are great in the movie, as are the accoutrements like clothes, canes and a dune buggy.  There is a caper involved, crosses and double crosses and a world that Manny Tippitoes would probably love.  But what really caught me caught me by the ears.  The soundtrack is composed by Michel Legrand and verges from artsy schmaltz (like the version of "Windmills of Your Mind" by Noel Harrison) to a frantic, almost manic cocktail jazz.  Legrand's piano tinkles and tumbles across the soundframe in a very percussive manner that comes close to Steve Reich's marimbas.  The movie deals with the inherent tensions of deceit and the soundtrack communicates a barely controlled hysteria of it's own.  Sound and vision portray a world of affluence and pretense, one that seems to teeter the risk of revelation and collapse.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Reference books and ongoing preparation
A new year has dawned and along with many other acquisitions during the holiday season, I have been gifted with three reference books published through Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Reference books, and the library, play prominent roles in The Continuing Case of Manny Tippitoes.  My characters wander through the stacks, come across books and one is even writing a reference guide.
  So, in short, I love to have big, thick reference books sitting around so that I can thumb through them when looking for information or just pick a page at random and start reading.

5,000 Years of Royalty is written by Thomas J. Craughwell, who seems to be a veteran at pumping out quick overviews of history and historical personages.  I say this with absolute respect because as a reader you have to start somewhere when you want to know who King Stephen I of Hungary was. 
  A glance through Craughwell's Amazon.com listings reveal dozens of titles with a special emphasis on Catholic Saints and urban legends.
But enough on that.
 What excites me about 5,000 Years of Royalty an the other two EB guides I've gotten (The Book of Art and The Book of War) is the combination of words and illustrations that reward and encourage my curiosity.
 As I continue work on the second Manny Tippitoes book I plan on keeping these tomes by my side.  I'll be using them for edification, distraction and inspiration - three processes that I find to be intertwined.