Greetings. I'm trying something new today: my first ever video blog. Recently, my good friend Frankie Nasso came to town and stayed with my wife and I for a couple days. Frankie is a well-known music-video director and film producer (Mudvayne, Hell Yeah, Hatebreed, Emmure, Chevelle, Night Falls, Officer Down, etc.). He is the founder and CEO of Nova Entertainment Group and his body of work and client list is remarkable.
*More on Frankie and Nova Entertainment here: http://novaent.info
I first met Frankie when he did the Lupara video for, "No Pity On the Ants," and we've been great friends ever since. Frankie is currently working on the treatment for my book-trailer (The Armageddon Chord). While he was here, Frankie also filmed and edited my video blog. This piece of video is meant to be fun...it's amusing, and gives a peek inside my world (aka: "Wagner World") where I work and surround myself with books, movies, guitars, horror stuff, and most important, my family.
Speaking of family, you don't see anyone else in the video blog, but rest assured, they're there, waiting to bring me back to Earth. The house, paintings and decor are all my wife's doing and her tastes in these areas surpass mine. On that note, I have to give credit to my gorgeous Kym...you see, it's really not Wagner's World as much as it's "Kym's World"--it's always been this way and I'm living in it--and loving it.
Holy cow!!! I haven’t blogged in a bit. I’ve been terribly busy—in a good way—with early preparations for the Armageddon Chord and writing new fiction (and music) projects.
For my new blog, I decided to use a posting I did in the Shock Totem forums recently. If you haven’t heard of Shock Totem, Shock Totem is a bi-annual dark fantasy and horror publication and it rocks. Check them out here: www.shocktotem.com
With that, here’s my new blog for y’all…I title this, “Never Give Up.” Enjoy:
Relevant to queries, submissions, etc. to magazines, agents, editors and the like: I meet lots of writers every year and most of them are fledgling scribes (and I’m not far from that nest) who want to do great things with their creations and they shop their work around either trying to get an agent, or selling a story to a magazine.
That said, I see alot of these newbies becoming frustrated and giving up on trying to get their stuff out there because of rejections and/or they feel they have exhausted their efforts shopping stuff.
To that I say, "you probably aren't really into writing as much as you thought." I say this because writing, like any other art, should be done because you sincerely love it and get joy out of it. That's my opinion. Entering into writing with the only goal to get rich isn't very realisitic nor does it have much integrity. Writing fiction and producing stories is much like writing music and recording a demo CD. When you're finished with the final product, you shop it around and try to get some kind of deal that will lift you and your work to a higher platform and give you more visibilty as an artist. If you make money at it, great. If you get recognition worthy of your art that's also great. But no matter what happens or not, do it out of the desire you have to make these stories tangible and becasue you fucking LOVE doing it! Somewhere along the line you will find some level of success and satisfaction if you work hard enough.
I've had so many rejections from record labels, promoters, booking agents, literary agents, publishers, and magazines that I've got the thickest goddamn skin ever. I've also had so many bad reviews for my albums and stories that my skin is now armor-plated! You new writers better get used to rejection and let it roll away.
To the point on rejection, I advise writers to keep on writing newer and newer stuff no matter what...and to write EVERYday if possible. My advice here is not only to urge writers to stay on path and move past rejection, it's also to urge writers to embrace their love of writing and continue to get better at their craft--that's what writing every day will accomplish.
In addition, I know what it's like to work toward a goal and to have the hunger and dream of being published...outside of loving the craft, I'd be a hypocrite if I said I never wanted to be published, because that's the dream and I have toiled away to make it happen. In this life, I truly believe anything is possible and the things you wish for may happen if you put the effort in, and more importantly, NEVER GIVE UP!
Last month I traveled to Australia and had some of the most amazing experiences-most memorable and important to me was getting married for the first time to my gorgeous wife, Kym.
I thought about keeping a diary of my events while I was there and blogging about them later. Instead, I ended up just updating my Facebook page with my adventures on a daily basis.
A few of the coolest details I didn't post on Facebook were specific to my time in the beautiful city of Sydney. The good times included hanging with my old friend and former Broken Hope bandmate, Brian Griffin, and the guys in Lamb of God-who fucking sounded amazing and owned the Sydney crowds every night. Thank you, BRIAN for treating Kym and so well.
Also in Sydney, I met one of my favorite rock photographers-Ross Halfin-and also visiting Blender Gallery in Paddington, Sydney where I took in the first ever, "Ross Halfin Ultimate Metallica" exhibition. It was there that Kym and I bought a few exclusive Halfin prints.
During this time in Sydney, I gave away autographed copies of the zombie anthology, "Hungry For Your Love," (featuring my story, "Romance Ain't Dead"), to the guys in Lamb of God, Ross Halfin, and Kirk Hammett. *I'd say autographing my book for Ross Halfin AND Kirk Hammett, and then having Ross AND Kirk sign the "Ultimate Metallica" photo book for me will go down as one of the coolest fucking experiences I've had in this life.
The Ultimate Metallica Exhibition was quite amazing. The collection of photos filled two floors of Blender Gallery. I saw famous and rare photos of Metallica-from the first photo shoot Halfin ever had with the Metalliboys in '85 to more recent pictures from the Death Magnetic world tour.
Some of my favorites were there; pictures of Cliff Burton playing live at Donnington and pics used inside for the jacket and inner sleeve of the Master of Puppets album. Aside from taking in these incredible and limited edition prints, was the fact that Ross Halfin was on hand to answer questions about the photos and he was kind enough to tell the story behind the photo if you asked him. I must say, I really like that guy and he made the entire experience that much better.
Photos of the signing session as well as METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich's personal tour of the exhibition can be found at RossHalfin.com. More pictures are available at the Blender Gallery Facebook page.
Check out some of my pictures here from my Sydney trip. Also, note Ross Halfin and Kirk Hammett holding copies of, "Hungry For Your Love."
*A plug for Ross Halfin: METALLICA photos taken between 1985 and 2010 by legendary rock photographer Ross Halfin appear in his newly released book, "The Ultimate Metallica" (Chronicle Books). I highly recommend picking up this book! If you're a Metallica fan and want to get your money's worth on the finest Metallica photo book ever produced, then buy this book! Halfin has documented METALLICA for nearly 25 years, from their beginnings as a scrappy, furious garage band to their current status as the heaviest and most popular metal band in the world. Featuring a foreword by Ulrich and an afterword by guitarist Kirk Hammett, "The Ultimate Metallica" collects the best of Halfin's amazing images, taken over the years with access granted exclusively to him as the band's main lensman. His candid photographs - taken on stage, backstage, on and off tour - are supplemented by text from many people close to the band, including managers and music writers, plus some colorful personal observations from Halfin himself.
What a fantastic week it's been. On Monday, Publisher's Marketplace announced my new deal for The Armageddon Chord with kRP Publishing-and today (Sunday), Publisher's Marketplace sent out their Weekly Lunch Deluxe to subscribers and once again mentioned my new deal as the only mention under the Thriller genre title. Moreover, on Thursday, both Blabberouth.net and Brave Words ran the official press release and announced to the world that my book deal had gone down and everyone can expect The Armageddon Chord to hit their local bookstores in August 2011.
I'm thankful to the publishing and music industry sites listed above for their help in giving my novel it's first round of major visibility. Also, the countless sites who picked up and reposted the news are much appreciated by this author.
I spoke to ESP Guitars and my publisher about doing some great things together to promote The Armageddon Chord. As 2011 rolls along, you can expect to see more news on the book, cool contests, and some exclusive happenings all related to my debut novel.
Speaking guitar stuff: I just got another Line 6 Spider Valve II/Bogner-fueled guitar head for the home studio. I love it as much as the same head I use at Lupara practice and live. It totally crushes-slamming/heavy-as-hell tone and great diversity in all of the channels, amp-models, effects, etc. I recommend all guitarists to try this head ASAP.
My entire house is now wired with control pads for the all the A/V systems, lights, and HVAC. With that, I just got Rhapsody integrated into the system, and to my delight, I discovered all of the Broken Hope and Lupara albums are on Rhapsody and I can jam on all my band's tunes and more-all on demand and anywhere in the castle.
*I like my Cocoa Pebbles in the kitchen with a little Broken Hope "Felching Vampires."
Welcome to jeremy–wagner.com...welcome to my nightmare...
Blame it on Kelli Owen (Dunlap). This past year when I attended HorrorFind in Gettysburg, PA., I was passing out these Jeremy Wagner “writer/guiterrorist” business cards. I thought the cards were cool, I mean, they had skulls on them and my Facebook address–the FB contact was going to be my website. Right on! I really thought I nailed it and was happy handing the cards out to all of my horror writer friends and new aquaintanaces.
It wasn’t until I handed a card to my pal Bob Ford and the fantastic badass author, Kelli Owen (Dunlap) that I was sawed down a few notches. Something like this:
Kelli smokes and studies my card. “Facebook address? You CAN’T use that. No one’s gonna take you seriously. You have to make a website.”
Jeremy wears a forlorn expression, looking from Kelli to his ‘cool’ biz cards and back at Kelli. “But...I just made these. They’re cool.”
Kelli shakes her head and blows smoke at Bob Ford’s face. “No. They’re not cool. Throw ’em out and get yourself a website.”
Kelli was right. I realized a website was definitely in order if I was going to have exclusive content and a domain with enough capacity to host all of my ideas and news I wanted to share with the world.
So, I flew home to Chicago and thought about what my website would entail. I have two major passions in my life: writing music and writing dark fiction. I figured I definitely needed music info and news as Broken Hope and Lupara put me on the map in the first place–not to mention that I will never tire of performing, creating killer songs, and playing guitar–all of this I can blab about with tremendous enthusiasm. Moreover, my short fiction works have been seeing publication more and more and being a novelist is probably the most rewarding and strongest of the two passions, That said, the website leans heavy on the writing side of my life which I work at every day.
This site is brand new and fresh out of the womb, but as I add to it every day and in the months to come, you’ll find music and writing news, publishing info, tips for bands, tips for writers, links and other data that I hope my visitors will find useful and entertaining.
Again, blame Kelli Owen (Dunlap)–or thank her. Check out her own website at: www.kellidunlap.com and buy her books!