+Author Guest Post+ Genre-bending stories attract me due to their dexterity to become fully realised in two separate schools of thought. This was the basis of my topic for AshleyRose Sullivan!

Posted Wednesday, 21 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Guest Post by ParajunkeeAshleyRose Sullivan

Proposed Topic: Genre-bender stories are a new favourite discovery of mine as they endear you to purport your mind to jump straight out of the expected and into the realms of where the impossible lives free. How did you conceptually perceive the format of Awesome Jones and how did you take the conception of this unique story into the finished style that it is now? Did you storyboard out ideas for the components of the comic sections before you wrote the narrative? OR did they organically fuse together as you wrote?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com I originally revealed my intentions to read ‘Awesome Jones’ during my most recent contribution to my Feature: Jorie’s Box of Joy! Whereupon I revealed that I have a particular attachment to a certain ‘kind of superhero’ as much as I have an affinity for wicked comic illustrations; well, perhaps I did not quite go into as much detail in this last regard but it was floating through my mind to disclose! You see, I have always appreciated original art and illustrations when it comes to books, comics, graphic novels, and all formats of story-telling (including the Story Boards for motion picture!) where a sketch artist, a graphic designer, an illustrator, a painter, or digital illustrative artist is needed to bring to life the characters, setting, and world set within a story itself. I cherish original art as much as I cherish original stories — aside from the film adaptations of literary works, of course! There is a particular essence to an original artwork coinciding with that of the fictional world by which it is representing!

I have nodded a keen awareness towards my preferences in today’s flash in the fire world of book covers, where I extoll the virtues of publishers like Seventh Star Press & ChocLitUK who go the extra mile to ensure that their cover-art and/or inside illustrative plates are not only ORIGINAL and EXCLUSIVE to their stories but they create art which is a living representation of the STORY inside their volumes of creative work! You can well imagine how wicked sweet it was to see the cover-art for ‘Awesome Jones’ for the first time! I had this inertia of excitement well up inside me, wondering about the marvels of what was awaiting my eyes to drink in!

Simply look at the cover yourself and tell me what it brings to mind afterwards in the comment threads!

 Awesome Jones by AshleyRose Sullivan

 Book Synopsis: 

The only thing Awesome Jones wants is to be a super hero. Until he falls in love.

Despite his colorful name, Awesome Jones is a painfully average man who dreams of being a super hero, just like the ones who patrol his city. It’s been that way since he was a little boy, raised by his grandfather after his parents’ death.

The day Jones starts his new job as a file clerk at Akai Printing Company he meets secretary Lona Chang and everything changes. Lona sees something in Jones that no one ever has and the two quickly become inseparable. But when the perfect pair’s domestic bliss is threatened by a super-powered secret from the past, Awesome Jones has to make a choice. He must decide whether he should play it safe or find the strength to live up to his name and risk everything he’s come to love to save the day like he always dreamed.

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}: How AshleyRose Sullivan

created her own path as a writer :{

My favorite movies are a little (a lot) weird. Buckaroo Banzai. Big Trouble in Little China. Amelie. The Life Aquatic. Everything Miyazaki. For me, their appeal comes from their endearing characters, their snappy dialogue, and–perhaps most of all–their creative use of genre and trope bending. Buckaroo is all about a super scientist/rock star/martial artist/cowboy and his gang of similarly gifted friends. It’s also a sci-fi adventure love story. And, it’s not in any way ironic. It’s 100% earnest and all I want to do is spend time in that crazy universe. It’s basically the film equivalent to seven layer dip. I can’t get enough of it.

I guess, then, it’s no surprise that when I started writing, I naturally gravitated to twisting and braiding together my favorite genres. With Awesome Jones, I mixed superheroes, fairy tales, alternate history, and art together to form what is essentially a comic book in prose. But, it’s also a love story. It features an alternate version of our history. And it’s full of illustrations. How all this comes together is evident not only in the story but in the format itself.

That formatting seems to be getting a lot of attention with readers so here’s some information about it: The paragraphs are not indented. The dialogue is indented–but it’s not tagged. And then there’s the art. All this stuff came organically as I started writing Awesome Jones. I begin books in 9.5×6” notebooks and this was the novel that started that trend. I hand-wrote the first fifty or so pages and, as I was going, that’s the format that came out. Including the illustrations. Originally they were hand-drawn on notebook paper in the middle of all the text–just as they appear now in the published version.

There have been a few changes. Originally, the dialogue didn’t have quotation marks at all. Just a hyphen preceding the line. Over the years, though, I ended up just changing it to quotation marks. Publishing industry types are incredible sticklers for manuscript format. Double Space. One Inch Margins. Quotation Marks. Indentation. Well, the manuscript I presented to my mentors and professors in my MFA program, my beta readers, potential agents, publishers etc. was single spaced with no indentation and all this weird art and that totally freaked people out. The lack of quotation marks was one point I was willing to concede. It was one less hurdle I was making them jump over. The thing is, once it’s in printed form, it’s single spaced anyway and the lack of indentation feels more subtle than it looks in a Word document or on an 8.5×11 sheet. But, what can I say? People have been typing up manuscripts a certain way for a long time–I shook up the system as much as I could without causing an earthquake of automatic rejection.

(It’s worth noting that when I approached Seventh Star with my crazy formatting, they didn’t bat an eye. They were totally onboard. That’s cool, man.)

The art itself went through several iterations over the seven years that I worked on the book. First, they were hand-drawn. When I started typing up the MS, though, I didn’t have a way to insert the art. So I made text boxes where I could (a lot of the art comes in the form of newspaper articles, postcards, etc.) and because I was doing the art as I was going along, more and more pieces grew into word-based illustrations. Then, a while back, I finally got enough money for a scanner. I started doing art on paper and scanning it in but I didn’t like the look and mostly just left text boxes in as stand-ins. Gradually, I went through a few digital art programs and figured out how to mix my artistic style with the text that needed to go into the art and I did a bunch of rough pieces. That’s where it was when I sent it to Seventh Star. I said, “I can do better versions of all this art but here’s what I’ve got right now.” Or something lame like that. Anyway, I got lucky and my publisher saw the potential in it. So then I spent a few months just re-doing every single piece in the book. And, in case you’re wondering (including the journal entries in the last third of the novel) there are 44 illustrations.

Artwork Credit: AshleyRose Sullivan
Artwork Credit: AshleyRose Sullivan

I’m working on the next Awesome Jones novel now and it’s just as much a braided together genre-bender as the first novel. I’m excited about doing a whole new novel’s art. I went through such a long process before finally settling on the style that’s in Awesome Jones and I’m glad I can skip the learning curve on that this time and concentrate on the art itself. I spent several years on the first novel and I don’t have that luxury now but those years bought me an intimate knowledge of the Awesome Jones world and its characters. So, I’m going into it excited and (mostly) unafraid. My dream is that my weirdo books will land in the hands of the people who will appreciate them the way I appreciated Buckaroo Banzai. Whether that’s five people or five million, my goal is to make someone’s day by saying, “This is the crazy universe where my heart lives. Yours can live here too.”

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Author Connections:

Site | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Converse via: #AwesomeJones, #AshleyRoseSullivan, #superherofairytale

& #7thStarFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comBeing that I had not heard of any of the motion pictures Ms. Sullivan revealed as her absolute top-notch stellar favourites (aside from “Amelie”), I decided it might be best to seek out the Wikipedia pages in case this would be true of my visitors & readers alike! And, can I simply take a moment and reveal that I think its bang-on brilliant that she genre-bent comic superheroes with smashing narrative fiction story arcs!? I was always seeking a wicked good story set around comic superheroes OR a comic which was a bit more bent on story than graphics. I found The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles had run for three editions before going scarce to non-existent when I found my niche. I always fancied the Sunday Comics in the papers, but I always wanted the strips to continue past what was in front of me. This is a bit why I loved Adam West & Burt Ward as Batman & Robin because the entire show was not just slap-stick comedy but it had the air of a comic superhero about it!

I even like when superheroes are re-invented and the genre is bent even more outside its regular scope such as my penchant attachment for “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” which I am *still awaiting!* a sequel which at this point must be a canned idea! Too sad. I love when writers take us on a journey into a new dimension of story craft as much as they heighten how stories can be told as they re-define the art of how a story can be transitioned between dialogue and narrative. IF there were more pulp science fiction films hitting the silver screen like ‘Sky Captain’ I’d be plumb mesmerised more often!

Like Sullivan, I have a quirky side to my motion picture appreciation as I adored Rango” for blending motion-stop action sequences with a clever twist of Weird West(ern) & classic friend-foe set-ups inside of anime characters on the silver screen! The irony is that I had not realised how oft I am in a position to watch a ‘Weird West’ installment as I have over the years grown fond of: The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.; Legend (Richard Dean Anderson & John de Lancie – how could I not watch?); Back to the Future: Part III (my favourite aside the original!); Wild Wild West (although re-watching it lost its appeal); and others I am sure I am forgetting to mention.

My mind automatically started to read the context of the story Sullivan gave inside ‘Awesome Jones’ to the brink that I had to re-read her notation about its quirky style of typeset and layout on the pages! I think perhaps my history of always remaining keenly aware and on the forefront of story as it evolves forward towards new dimensions of immersion for the reader; my mind was able to auto-remember this style from the adventures I had when I was younger and up until now had not yet experienced again. It’s tricky finding your groove,… there is a heap of cover-art illustrations I love in Manga, but as far as the interiors of the graphic novels themselves, I found myself less than agreeable to purchase the books. I am quite curious how to learn to ‘sketch!’ Manga art, as far as monking around and being inky with a medium and range outside of my traditionally classic art training as a child. I want to push the limits of my own artistic skills and wander into new mediums which tie together my past with my present knowledge of how I’ve grown as an artist.

When I see a writer like AshleyRose Sullivan who not only dared to embrace a genre-bender story as it alighted inside her heart but dared to have the confidence to find a publisher who recognised her vision is not only awe-inspiring it is the foundation of how each of us needs to remember to ‘own our muse, own our work, and carry-on forward’ until our stories reach the hands of the readers who believe in us too.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comBlog Book Tour Stop, courtesy of Tomorrow Comes Media

Awesome Jones Virtual Tour via Tomorrow Comes MediaFun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comCheck out my upcoming bookish events to see what I will be hosting next for

Tomorrow Comes Media Tour Host

 and mark your calendars!

{NOTE: Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.}

Be sure to jump over to my tour stop for “A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court” an Editor Interview as I am hosting a reader poll to determine what is the favourite fantastical character in fantasy! Be sure to leave a comment in those threads on a recommended title and/or author!

Coming up next is my Book Review for “Awesome Jones”!

Stay tuned!

Watch my tweets!

And return back to this blog!

What do you love about genre-bender fiction!? What kinds of stories do you wish were bent together more often?! Which authors and books would you highly recommend reading more than once to get their full effect!? What are your thoughts on Sullivan’s gift and vision for uniting comic superheros & fantasy fiction narrative!?

{SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsis, Book Cover, and TCM Tour Host badge were provided by Tomorrow Comes Media and were used by permission. Jorie requested an Author Guest Post from AshleyRose Sullivan through Tomorrow Comes Media of which she received a reply. Her interest in genre-bending stories grew out of seeing more of the field of offerings being uniquely reflected by today’s Indie Authors. Guest Post badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 21 May, 2014 by jorielov in Action & Adventure Fiction, Alternative History, Blog Tour Host, Bookish Discussions, Comic Book Illustrations & Story, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Genre-bender, Graphic Novel, Indie Art, Indie Author, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Seventh Star Press Week, Superhero Adventure, Tomorrow Comes Media

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