This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.


BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.



Thursday, June 30, 2011

Busy busy!

Putting the final tweaks on SKINNERS 6. That doesn't mean I've caught every last mistake. After all, with so much awesomeness distracting my attention, some things are bound to slip through. If you'd like to know where I got my swelled head, click here to take a look at this AMAZING article that just appeared on the Barnes & Noble Book Club page about Skinners! Many thanks to Paul for bringing a much-needed smile during a hectic time.

Book 5 seems to be doing pretty well. I've abandoned the practice of checking in on sales figures and such. If they're good, I'll hear about it eventually and if they're bad, I don't wanna know. I'll keep doing my thing, always trying to do my best no matter what. Is that healthy? I don't know. I'm the guy who eats Ramen noodles most of the time for lunch and blew my load at the very sight of Brownie Crunch Cocoa Puffs. Those are pretty good, but not as good as the normal Cocoa Puffs, in case you were wondering. Anyway, I know my "don't ask, don't check reviews" policy works well enough. When I was keeping on top of it, I nearly drove myself into a heart attack.

The next project I'm working on is an installment in the Dead Man series of ebooks. These things are great! Very reminiscent of the slam-bang, hit hard and hit fast sort of books that I read growing up. The Executioner, Remo Williams, all that great stuff. Ebooks make them a lot easier to find, buy and read. Still madly in love with my Kindle, just to be clear. Heh. Not sure when my Dead Man book will be out, but the newest one is Blood Mesa by James Reasoner. The Kindle version can be found here and the Nook version here. Check 'em out!

So there's my update. Talk to you in a bit...

Monday, June 27, 2011

After the snafu mentioned earlier, I've decided to hire a new editor. Hopefully she catches some of this stuff that I might have missed.

She takes excessive breaks to "check her messages", but I can tell she's playing with a squeaky toy. At least she's cute.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It ain't easy being gr...wait...green with envy? Eh, to hell with it.

Yes, I read comics although it's become an expensive habit and I've fallen way behind. (see previous blog posts). Yes, I know some stuff about Green Lantern. No, I don't know everything. For GL trivia or lore, I always go to Webmaster Steve and even then it's a tangled mess of characters, deaths, rebirths, villains, changing alliances, etc. That's pretty much the case with any long-running comic series. With all of that said, I do like GL but have always found him to be kinda hokey. Don't get me wrong, hokey isn't a bad thing. In this case, it's more of a hokeyness harkening back to what makes kids like comic books in the first place. A lot of that stuff is hokey. Superman can do anything and wears a blue and red suit. Spider-Man sticks to stuff and wears a blue and red suit. What's the deal with blue and red?? The Flash goes really fast. Red and yellow. Green Lantern creates things with his ring. No blue and red to be found. At least he's not a slave to fashion.

When GL wants to punch someone, he makes a giant boxing glove. Somebody's falling? He catches them with a big hand or makes a giant mattress or something to break their fall. Again, this is just based on the limited amount of GL I've read throughout the years. Webmaster Steve has pointed out all the coolness to the character such as the awesome science fiction elements and the many other ways the ring is creatively used. I was convinced! I wanted to get into the books, but have yet to find a good diving-in point that doesn't get me lost in all the characters / bad guys I know nothing about. Still, from offerings like Blackest Night or Green Lantern: Rebirth, the character is a lot cooler than I'd previously thought.

So I went to see the new Green Lantern movie. I've heard bad stuff and good stuff about it. Most of the bad stuff sounds like it either comes from people who knew nothing about GL and found it too hokey or those who know everything about him and were disappointed by the condensed movie version. Personally, I thought the movie was AWESOME! It had a good amount of hokeyness (GL making giant springs to lift something or hit someone with the good ol' enormous fist) to be fun and perfectly retained the shiny, sparkling, "gee whizz" feel where all the science fiction elements were concerned. It felt like a comic book and I loved it. Seeing it in 3D was amazing!! I've become a fan of GL since Steve's big push to get me on board during the Blackest Night crossovers a few summers ago. Black Lanterns creating zombies of dead DC characters? Cool! That was the same summer as Marvel's Dark Reign crossover, which made for a dark summer. Awesome, but dark. I like dark.

I also saw X-Men: First Class. Like a lot of other people, I wasn't going in with very high hopes. After X3 and the Wolverine movie, (which I didn't hate as much as most, simply because I thought it was just a fun spectacle) the X movies seemed to have been tossed aside by quality film makers for some reason. As for total accuracy to the comics, let's face it, there is no possible way for ANY movie to get X-Men stuff accurate any longer. The comic story lines are so twisted up and feeding back on themselves that it takes several crossover events to make any of them fall in like with each other. The most a movie can hope to do is show the characters being true to themselves and adventuring in their own way. Did the Wolverine movie do that? I think so, more or less. Was it a great movie? Eh, it's fun to watch.

I love seeing Magneto doing his thang in any of the movies. He's just a great character with a power that looks freaking great on screen. And going back to the whole hokey thing, there simply isn't a way to see Beast in his full blue & furry form without him looking funny at first. That's the way Beast looks, though, and I got used to it. I'm WAY behind on X-Men comics, having given them up after not buying them for a while. Jumping back in is like flipping on a soap opera after it's been rolling for decades and expecting to know exactly why each character is mad at another. Because of that, I may have missed out on why Angel wasn't only a woman in First Class but that she had insect wings instead of feathery ones. Is that a new Angel from the books or just something for the movie? Hang on...I'll Google it and see.......

OH!! She's not THE Angel. She's Angel Salvadore  aka Tempest. Told you I was behind on all my X-Men stuff. I've read plenty of the books, but was always more of a lone hero sort of fan. Spidey, Punisher, Moon Knight, Batman, that sort of thing. Where teams were concerned, it's pretty much Avengers for me. Anyway, I still thought the insect Angel was cool too. It was also great to see Banshee in something other than the cartoons.

So now that I've seen these two plus Thor (did I talk about Thor yet? Also loved it. Damn, I seem easy to please. Oh well. Better that than my normal grumpy self) that still leaves Captain America and Cowboys & Aliens to scratch my comic book movie itch. Haven't been to theaters this many times for quite a while! Looks like I'll have popcorn stuck in my teeth all summer long.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

DOH!!!!!!!

Let me preface this by saying I DO pay attention when I'm editing my books. Skinners, especially, are a labor of love. Make no mistake, however, they ARE a labor. I created the series as a way to fashion a world full of cool monsters that I've always wanted to see. I wanted events to go from one book to another like a camera panning out farther and farther to show more and more of this world. By the time I got to #s 5 and 6, I realized how smart other series' authors are for keeping their urban fantasy squarely within the context of secret societies that only occasionally fracture the real world or having society being more or less ok with monsters among them. I didn't. I wanted Skinners to evolve into something bigger. Tough job and sometimes people pay the price.

Or...they pay the price, rise from the dead and pay it again.

A reader on the B & N discussion board (found here if you haven't already checked it out) found a glitch in The Breaking where someone was killed and was still feeling good enough to fire a shot on the following page. I must explain. In my epic, evolving world of Skinners, my characters are beyond such restraints as "going limp" or "losing command of their bodily functions" or "staying down" when they're killed. They're tougher than that. Cooler. Or...I screwed up in editing.

Someone else has emailed me about it and all I can say is... ooopsy. Editing those action scenes is rough and a lot of times, chunks get moved around. When that happens, it's like fixing a car. Pieces are taken out and when some are put into another spot, they must be welded so as to work seamlessly within the whole. Sometimes there's a rattle. Unfortunately, this car is off the production lines and on store shelves, never to be repaired again.

Too funny. I just gotta shrug. So does my main editor at EOS, my copyeditor and the other editor who went through the manuscript before it was sent to the presses. Where were you guys?? I thought you had my back!! Oh well. Happens to the best of us. In a fashion similar to how Lucas references his stormtrooper that clunks his head on that doorway in Episode IV, I can also reference my temporarily undead dude in future volumes. And speaking of Star Wars glitches....how come Jango Fett's head doesn't fall out of his helmet when Boba picks it up for that disturbing / touching moment in Episode II? Not trying to put my books in the Star Wars category. I was just wondering about that.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The wrong O word

Well, once again, South Park has knocked it out of the park. Ha. PARK. Didn't even mean to do that one. Their recent episode was about how everything starts sounding like / resembling shit after you hit a certain age. This is something that happened a while ago for me, but I've tried to ignore it. Sometimes I get cranky (ok..cranky-ER) but most of the times I go into newer stuff wanting to like it. Movies, TV shows, whatever. If I'm not trying to like something, I should just curl up into a ball and gripe. More often than I care to admit, this burns me.

It starts with music (as it did in South Park). Then comes everything else. My first encounter with this was MTV. I was a kid when it first hit cable and can clearly recall all the music videos as well as quality programming like Remote Control, The Young Ones, and the first few seasons of The Real World. I was going to college during the Beavis & Butthead years. In fact, I still suspect there was a camera hidden in the apartment I shared with my college roommate for Mike Judge to get inspiration for that show. FYI, my roommate and I switched off on who was Beavis and who was Butt-Head. Then came the decline (as illustrated by the rest of The Real World. That show is STILL on?? How much of the same angst can we watch??)

So, fine. MTV is for young audiences and I'm not young. I get it. I'm still kind of cool right? I did win a radio contest for a trip to attend the 1998 MTV VMAs. That's pretty cool! I was in the same building as Madonna and Marilyn Manson, for crap's sake! Personally, the Movie Awards were always my favorite. The last few years, they've devolved into the MTV Twilight Awards. So that's what the kids are watching. Great. Let 'em have it. I heard there was going to be a remake of Teen Wolf and my mind drifted back to the awesome movies. "GIVE ME...a keg...of BEER." Juvenile justice at the hands of gypsy curses. SWEET! I watched about five minutes of the new version and it was more angsty teens trying to be sexy and witty. And really, what the hell was I expecting?? The second half of this clip from The Soup pretty much sums it up. The first half is funny as well. I love this show (The Soup...not Teen Wolf)



Ugh.

So I'm old. This is yet another reminder. Whatever. Sometimes curling up in that ball is fun. Griping is fun too. I think I'll even start that as a new label for blog posts. Now, in order to pay my rent, I need to try and come up with a poignant, "edgy" yet sexy, socially conscious young character as well as a bunch of cute supernatural circumstances that amount to other characters looking even sexier and becoming even more sharp-witted. Let the zaniness ensue. Oh, and I can't forget the sweetie-pie nicknames for those supposedly horrific creatures. I'll jam those in with the 587,649th way to reference "that time of the month" when talking about a werewolf's transformation during the full moon. And you guys wonder why I take such pleasure in setting the Full Bloods loose in Book 5? Heh. Sweet catharsis.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Discuss-shawn

Did that title sound like the old Cajun Guy from SNL? Anyway, I meant Discussion. Get it? Ok, too far for a little joke. Anyway...The Breaking is one of June's Featured books over at the Barnes & Noble Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Book Club board. Click here to head on over and join the discussion. I try to check in frequently so don't leave me hangin'!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Get Broken!!

For some reason, I was convinced that Skinners 5 was going to be released at the end of LAST month. I was even telling people, "Check it out at the end of April!" like some kind of moron. Once I realized that was wrong, I forgot about it almost completely. Every now and then I'd mention something on Facebook, but then I'd go back to having to check the back of a promo cover for the actual release date. Well, no more of that because THE BREAKING is finally on store shelves!!

WOO HOO!!!!

This is one of the longest books I've ever written. Not such a landmark in itself, but there you go. There's a lot going on in this one and I think it's all pretty damn cool. I introduce some new creatures, some new Full Bloods, some new chaos into the world we all thought we knew, and you get to witness me unleashing my whole "what-if" wish fulfillment where monsters are concerned. It gets ugly, folks, but in a great way.


The UPS guy just showed up at my door with a box of new Skinners. This is the first time I've seen the actual finished book. Funny because some of you guys got to see it before me! I'll be digging in to my promotional attempts, but I wish I was better at that part. If I could just write new stuff and get it out there without worrying about PR, I'd be happy. I love this sort of thing as well as talking / emailing with readers, but the more official stuff isn't my thang. It's all part of the job, so I soldier on. Honestly, I feel bad sometimes for just talking about my books and harping on the titles, availability and all of that stuff. Stupid, but it's true. Most of that might come from an intrinsic belief that people don't care about what I say. The stories are one thing, but the rest.... Whether that's true or not, it makes it seem odd for me to get out there and promote as if anyone's listening. Welcome to my brain. Population: 87 (1 "eccentric" introvert and 86 other radically different voices that won't stop chattering about nonsense and evil plans).

In other release news, I hope you all have been checking out the Dead Man series of ebooks. The new one (The Dead Woman) is released today and you can get it on Kindle here or Nook here. The basics...
THE DEAD WOMAN is BOOK #4 in THE DEAD MAN saga, the action/horror series that readers and book critics alike are hailing as "an epic tale" that compares to the best of Stephen King and Dean Koontz...Matt Cahill thought he was alone with his torment, that he was the only one who could see the evil in people’s souls as rotting flesh. But in a small town in Tennessee, terrorized by a vicious serial killer, Matt meets a woman who may see what he does…and together they must confront a horrific and immortal terror that thrives on death. Amazing action in bite sized chunks and you all know I'm an expert in bite sized chunks. Heh. I'll let you know when my Dead Man book will be coming out.