New WKAR Book Review: The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore

Current StateI am back on WKAR’s Current State with a new book review! This time I am looking at the new Shakespearean satire by Christopher Moore, The Serpent of Venice.

You can listen to my review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-christopher-moores-serpent-venice

You can also read my book review below.

The Serpent of Venice can be found on Amazon here. If you would be interested in hearing/reading more of my NPR book reviews, you can do so via links on this page.

I hope you enjoy my new book review! Continue reading

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Singing Devils, Tigers, Hell and College Students! Discover the Comedy of THE DANTE EXPERIENCE

The Dante Experience“…a cross between Monty Python, the Marx Brothers, and the Airplane movies.” — Bennet Pomerantz, AudioWorld, January 2002

My comedy radio series The Dante Experience is now available to listen to directly via my site! Actually, the buttons right below. (I know you see them.) How cool is that?

Inspired by Monty Python and Douglas Adams, The Dante Experience (winner of the Golden Headset, and many other radio competitions) was produced by Mind’s Ear Audio Productions. I am really proud of this mad little series. I hope you will press play. (You know you want to.)

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

Episode 8

Episode 9

Episode 10

You can learn more about my series on The Dante 3 page.  If you would like to order a copy of the series, you can do so via the catalog for Mind’s Ear (here).

Radio Days or When I Was a DJ or Finding Voices

Claudius was hereI used to have nightmares because of Latin class.

I took Latin when I was in school for three years, between 7th and 9th grade. I was drawn to the classes, not because of it being a gateway to other languages, but more because of its literary history.  See, by this point, I was reading everything I could get my hands on, and usually my focus was on the classics, not what typical junior high kids were devouring. “No, thank you. You can keep your Stephen King, I’m re-reading Hemingway this week.”

Latin was a tie to great mythology, it was a connection to those random quotes in a novel that I had no idea what was being said. In a literary sense, it felt like the opportunity to dig around the base of a tree and see the root underneath.

The teacher of the classes was Mr. Black, and looking back over those three years with him I still can’t put my finger really on his personality. He could go up and down pretty quickly, did he like to teach or hate it? Did he even like us or hate us? Now I almost wonder if he was bipolar, and that could explain the oddness of the experience. (He would also show us I, Claudius in class, if you can believe it. He would run up with a big piece of paper to cover up the screen whenever the “naughty bits” would come on; of course, most of the time he didn’t get to the TV in time.  Yes, he taught kids like me all about the history of Caligula.)

Mr. Black would have the students recite and speak Latin in class, and while I was basically average in reading Latin on the page, I couldn’t do it aloud. It was too much for my tongue. It is those moments that used to haunt me, standing up, hands sweaty, all of the eyes on me as I tried to recite a passage perfectly. The other students would sometimes hide their laughter, many times they didn’t. And there was Mr. Black in the front shaking his head, frowning, with almost a mocking smirk hiding behind his eyes. Continue reading

Dante, Tigers, & Tap-Dancing Demons, Oh My! Listen to THE DANTE EXPERIENCE

The Dante ExperienceDan Brown in his latest book, Inferno, thinks he knows Dante’s Divine Comedy.

I. THINK. NOT.

Inspired by Douglas Adams’ The Hithchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series and Monty Python, the entire award-winning unpredictable and bizarre radio comedy series The Dante Experience is available to listen to online via soundcloud. All freaking 10 episodes! If you don’t know this work of mine, you are in for a treat. Listen below!

Produced and directed by Mind’s Ear Audio Productions, The Dante Experience follows a badly-managed attempt to instill a fear of the afterlife in the next generation of man. Robert and his friends were definitely the wrong young adults to choose for the tour, as his girlfriend dumps him for Mephistopheles the devil, his friend Susan forms an army with Julius Caesar to argue for the deads’ rights, and Steve seduces famous women throughout history. The afterlife is never going to be the same.

I hope you enjoy listening to my comedy series!

The Posts of an Anglophile

Guarding the QueenCheerio!

What inspired me to write my editorial this week, “The Happy Anglophile,” is that I am in the process of editing two different books- A Jane Austen Daydream (to be published in April by Madison Street Publishing) and Maximilian Standforth and the Case of the Dangerous Dare (which I am self-publishing and sharing the experience via posts, like this one where I discuss my great new cover artist). They are both very British books; one putting the spotlight on Miss Austen, the other trying to capture the world and vibe of Sherlock Holmes.

Not bad for a kid from Michigan, eh?

And it doesn’t stop there! I’ve been thinking about writing a post on a controversial belief I have on Shakespeare next week, and I have been debating myself for months on writing on my love of PG Wodehouse and Douglas Adams (I should have done the Douglas Adams one nearer his Birthday… damn).

Anyway, looking back over the blog, my anglophile-tendencies have been on display ever since I started writing, from books to movies to television to music. For your reading pleasure this weekend here are links to some of my more popular posts on my favorite second home.

Pip pip!

Jesus or Red Dwarf? I Choose the Return of Red Dwarf

First and foremost, this is not a love letter to a TV show. Sane and mature adults do not write love letters to sitcoms, especially science-fiction ones with campy special effects and a man pretending to be a cat. No, not at all.

Red Dwarf as a concept should not work as a TV sitcom premise; let’s get that point out of the way as well. Sometimes I am floored it ever moved forward to filming in the first place. It could never have sold in America (and for those that know the failed American pilot of it, it didn’t!).  I am serious when I state it is probably the darkest, most bleak idea for a series, especially a comedy.

Breaking Bad? Game of Thrones? The Wire? Oz? No, Red Dwarf is darker. They can’t even compete against it. Continue reading

That Damn Blank Piece of Paper: A May Writing Update

That Dante Thang

I’ve really loved re-discovering the world of The Dante Experience (You can hear the original production of the first part and the first scripts for the unproduced sequel, Time Out Of Mind, here). Maybe I am the only one reading the scripts for its sequel Time Out Of Mind, or listening to the original radio episodes; but, hey, it makes me happy, so there (Try to be nice Scott, the post has just started).

And because of this, I’ve started really thinking about how this comedy series can come back to life again; because, I truly think with the right cast and production it can have a following like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That is a thought that is always at the back of mind.

Well, I have an idea to bring it back to life finally, but the idea of how to move forward with it is the sticky point. See, I know who I want as my entire cast. Continue reading

Episode 7 of The Dante Experience

Where were you the first time you went to Hell? Well, if you have been listening to The Dante Experience chances are on a computer. Ha!

It’s Friday and time for episode 7 of The Dante Experience, the radio comedy series. You can hear today’s episode here:

You can catch up on previous episodes (and read more excerpts around the making of the series by the author, me) via the Dante 3 page on this blog.  If you would like to purchase a copy you can do so via amazon.com (here), or by contacting the producers at Minds’ Ear Audio Productions (here).

Exposure

Hearing your work come to life, for a writer in radio is a multilayered event. It is happy, but emotionally overwhelming; it is disappointing and surprising; it is a relief and a frustration; and there is a sense of peace. A great sense of peace because a chapter in your life is done. No matter what, that chapter is done. To be honest, it’s probably the same feeling I am sure most writers feel around movie, TV, and theater (Completing a novel is very different for me); and you relive in your mind all of the work you went through to get to that point. Continue reading

Episode 2 of The Dante Experience

I’ve decided to move forward with sharing the rest of The Dante Experience, on a week-by-week basis. There is also a page now above (The Dante 3) that links to the episodes that have already been shared so you can catch up on Episode 1.

Episode 2 is called “Our Time in Limbo” and can be heard here:

-Radio and Me-

There are two moments I remember clearly that started me down the path of wanting to write comedy for radio. The first was when I was in fourth grade. I was in the car with my dad going to visit my grandparents and I first heard The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Continue reading