I’m very happy—excited really— to announce that Jim Spivey of Working Vacation Studios is editing my sci-fi novel! As many of you know, getting The Final Book to this point has been a long process. Years. However, I couldn’t be more happy with the man smoothing out the edges or more excited for the future.
Jim has had a long career as an editor and has worked on countless fantastic projects. His resume is truly impressive, but more importantly he seems to be the right fit for this book. He’s a nerd in all the good senses of the word and has a passion for mythology and the unconventional. He understands good sci-fi, character development, and compelling writing in a way that I don’t—and I’m so happy he is on my team to bridge that gap.
It has been a nerve-wracking and stressful process getting the book to this point. Not only was finding Jim—someone I feel comfortable turning the book over to—a challenging process, but this is my first “real” effort at a novel. I’m new, I’m making mistakes, and I’m still consumed with paralyzing self-doubt. I know there’s strengths in the book, and I love this book dearly, but I also know there are a lot of weaknesses. I was intimidated to approach Jim with this project because he has worked on so many incredible books, comics, and games—I wasn’t sure if my writing was up to his caliber. I was also afraid that in removing some of these imperfections, the book would lose its soul.
So far, Jim has been nothing but supportive and encouraging—I think of him more as a “coach” rather than an editor.
“A compilation of articles spanning more than a decade woven together to create the misguided anti-love story of a young man learning about the opposite sex through music, movies, and television.”
LAS VEGAS, NV, July 13- Music and sports industry professional, SW Hammond, re-releases his debut collection of real life short stories The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional as part of Surf Star Media’s ePublishing line.
Originally titled Mojo And The American Female, the new release contains additional articles, photographs, design enhancements, and editing by Susan Helene Gottfried. The eBook underwent significant changes during its conversion to hardcover, constituting an entire new publication. The Mixtape Manifesto: A Pop Culture Confessional will mirror its digital counterpart and provide a seamless experience for readers.
Hammond, while spending more than a decade working for Sony Music Entertainment, Warped Tour, and Major League Baseball, has been documenting and reflecting upon his career and life. The Mixtape Manifesto is a selection of his articles that were contributed to numerous music, athletic, pop culture, and lifestyle publications, along with personal essays and memoirs never before shared with the public.
Raised on rock n’ roll, with a particularly strong affinity for women who rock, Hammond blends an unparalleled view of pop culture and philosophy that follows him from his early twenties through his early thirties. The Mixtape Manifesto is rich with photography capturing Hammond’s days as a tour manager on Warped Tour and working for Sony Music Entertainment, as well as bringing to life the music, movies, and television that has plagued his rational sense of love and relationships. From childhood viewings of Full House leading to his lifelong hatred of John Stamos, his introduction to the Riot Grrrl movement and Kathleen Hanna, and to a questionable infatuation with The OC’s Summer Roberts - each story blends a reflective Kevin Arnold-like inner monolog with Wild Turkey.
The Mixtape Manifesto is the byproduct of one too many romantic comedies. Inspiration, enlightenment, and delusion fuel Hammond’s quest as he searches for a bit of meaning to life and someone to share it with.
While the book went through editing and was released in digital form a while ago, I felt it was necessary to have an additional set of professional eyes to look things over before heading to print or devoting any marketing toward the project. The content, heart, and soul of the book will remain the same—Susan will help with the technical aspects and hopefully make me look like less of an idiot when it comes to foolish mistakes…
Mojo is a unique book—I’m not even sure what to think of it at this point. It’s something special to me, and I think provides a certain level of entertainment to those warped by pop culture such as myself.
I’m about 8 chapters into a new novel, and I’m consumed by it. It’s such over the top poppy romance, but then kicks you in the balls with a sickeningly beautiful heartbreak… Anything that takes me away, like spending today catching up on web updates, feels like I’m cheating on it! The realities of everyday life pales in comparison to this little universe I’ve built—I just want to get lost in it and never come back, haha. I see it so clearly… Is that how people go crazy??
One thing that I didn’t expect is how much I’ve learned about myself while writing this novel—namely that deep down I’m a 15 year girl at heart, haha. One of the main characters is a pop star and it seems I’ve discovered an obsession I never knew I had! I’ve always been a rocker through-and-through (Van Halen, not Van Hagar…).
Researching this book has been way different from digging through ancient philosophy, mythology, history, and religion—complete opposite spectrum! Now it’s all tabloids, garbage celebrity gossip sites, and reading up on the bios of The Justin’s, Miley, and Selena Gomez. I think that’s why this new project is a good follow up to The Final Book—diversity in my writing, and if nothing else but to give my brain something different to chew on than the creation of man.
I realize I’m being rather vague on the details, but I’m thinking of doing a social experiment. I’m going to start floating some things out across the net and social media, and want to keep it as organic as it can be. It’s one of those times I wish I had a ton of money to dump into a marketing campaign just to see what would happen, haha. This book is still quite a ways out, but I’m excited for it.
Anyway, The Final Book is in the editor’s hands and I have a few weeks before I’ll get it back. I have every intention of building a website for the book and starting the pre-release promotion, not to mention building all of the press materials, but I can’t seem to pull myself away from this new project! Strike while the iron is hot, right? I have a feeling things will start moving here pretty quick—as always, it will happen here first!
After another re-write, I needed to get the book to an editor that I had lined up. Editors, as most professionals in the world, have a schedule and their months quickly fill up with projects. The editor I was going to work with is also an author and she was giving me a great deal—we were basically trying to support one another. Well, just as we were getting started, she dropped the project due to Booktrope’s sudden and unexpected closure. All of her books, 6 or 7, were handled by the online publisher and she was left scrambling trying to figure out her own future. She told me that she would eventually get back to my book, but that it could possibly be months down the line. It was a polite way of suggesting to look elsewhere.
It was like a kick in the nuts at first. I didn’t know where to go or who to turn to, I don’t have vast connections in the publishing world. I went online and started searching editors—what a shit show. Buyer beware. There are a lot of companies out there preying on the hopes and dreams of inexperienced writers, and it’s almost impossible to sift through the deceit. I have a lot of experience working with producers in the music industry, an editor is a similar widget, and good producers are worth their weight in gold (and also very hard to find).