We’re moving to the part of the book writing process that is out of my hands. That’s always a little unnerving. For one, I’m still hanging on to all the little thoughts gnawing at me to improve a phrase or cleanup a passage. No book ever feels like it is “done.” Fortunately, I still have a few more opportunities to polish things before its official release.
Two, this will be the first time others experience the story. I’ve been talking about it for so long, but now a handful of people actually get to read it. This is less scary than it has been in the past–don’t know if that’s because I’m more confident as a writer / storyteller, or I’m just older and don’t care, haha. It’s certainly not “don’t care”–having anyone read my work is still full of neurosis.
A quick bit of housekeeping—a bunch of old articles have been archived and are no longer available online. The majority of these articles can be found in my book, The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional.
After almost two decades, it’s time to allow these articles to retire. Super fans and those still needing access to these articles can find them in The Mixtape Manifesto hardcover coffee table book. This adds a bit of value to the hardcover—this content can only be found here—and rewards my readers by making this content exclusive to them. Only the cool kids have the hardcover!
Stevie Pearl is the biggest pop star on the planet. Her earnest Texan roots blend with California idealism to construct a force never before seen in the entertainment industry. The attention surrounding America’s favorite sweetheart is absolute pandemonium, and after a decade of limelight, her stardom is beginning to feel like a prison.
Alex Nopah is an illustrator. The graphic novel he draws for is budding into a super-franchise. Hired as a consultant for the upcoming motion picture, Alex is introduced to Hollywood and the woman that will forever change his life. Born on a reservation, Alex’s humble upbringing polarizes the wealth and attitude of LA, along with the new life he’s trying to construct for himself.
THE BALLAD OF STEVIE PEARL presents itself as a sickeningly sweet tale of a young woman crossed somewhere between the bubblegum pop of Taylor Swift and the glamour of the Kardashian’s. Breakups, drama, and paparazzi act as a smokescreen, shadowing the true genius behind the empire and a powerful businesswoman taking command of her career. Faced with corruption, collusion, and greed within her own organization, juxtaposed against systemic racism, sexism, and classism within society—much like the coy smile of Stevie Pearl, the story’s teeth sinks much deeper into the mind then its glossy exterior.
Once all is won and Stevie Pearl embraces the love she has longed for within Alex Nopah, the final pages take an abrupt and unexpected turn. What can only be described as utterly horrific—tragedy strikes the couple deep within the Mojave Desert. Prolific anguish can’t describe the tear soaked ending, making THE BALLAD OF STEVIE PEARL one of the most unexpected and conscious novels written in recent years.
This novel is supported by a humorous and entertaining ensemble of characters, providing the reader with a deep emotional connection to Alex and Stevie. This drama / tragedy reads as a quirky romantic comedy up until its final pages, combining pop culture references, witty dialog, and a soundtrack for each chapter. Its diverse character selection and provocative undertones makes THE BALLAD OF STEVIE PEARL a modern fish-out-of-water story, Cinderella crossed with Romeo and Juliet.
I work pretty hard at creating all of this stuff. Aside from editors and those generous enough to donate their time to proofreading my books, everything else in this enterprise I’ve done myself. Writing the books—formatting the layout and converting them to digital, paperback, and hardcovers—all of the cover art and graphic design… I built this website myself. There’s now hundreds of pages and articles—which is absolutely crazy to think about. Attending all of the comic cons and live events—I can’t quantify the amount of time I’ve spent in an effort to bring you high quality, professional content.
As a one man show, it’s incredibly satisfying. Your emails, comments, and support isn’t filtered. I see each and every one of them, and I’m so humbled by how much everything has grown. I hit a big milestone this week, according to Alexa Rank this website has surpassed the 500,000 mark. That means that out of all of the websites in the entire world, this one is now in the top 500,000. That may not mean a lot to some of you, but I started this website in 2004 and I used to rank in the 10s of millions. I’m proud to see this grow and those little milestones are mentally so important—I know my work is reaching you.
Well, it has been quite the summer. Those of you who keep in touch and check out the site from time to time probably have noticed that things have been a little quiet. Quiet online, yes—not so much in the real world!
It’s been a busy few months. I graduated from UNLV, I moved back to Colorado, a good portion of my office was lost in the move (no data though, thank Gods), not to mention the many things I had to fix and build at the new house. Life stuff—nothing of terrible interest—but it has all been very consuming.
I did have an event at the end of August, the Colorado Springs Comic Con. The show was a lot of fun, I’m really starting to get to know the other vendors as we seem to be doing the same shows all over the country. This is now my “home town” show and I hope its success continues for many years.