Monthly Archives: May 2014

An update ala a Blog Hop

So I hope you’re new here as part of the blog hop. If you’re a long-time visitor, thanks for your continued support. A blog hop is when bloggers encourage their readership to visit other bloggers, as I will do at the bottom of this entry. I haven’t participated in many blog hops mostly because I don’t really think I get a lot of new readers and so those who come here pretty much know the usual info in a blog hop. So I’m mostly doing this one because a)Kayla asked me to participate (you should go visit her blog since she was kind enough to send some of you my way—AND, she said really nice things about me!); b)I still needed an entry for this week—I skipped last week…was busy grading—yuck!; c)the hop is different from most of those I’ve seen cross my path.

So, without further adieu, the hop questions are:

What am I working on?

I’m working on several things at the same time. I’m one of those who tends to keep a lot of irons burning just because you never know when a project will collapse, fall through, etc. And I’ve had my fair share of projects to disappear. At the top of my list are a couple of projects I’ve already blogged about: Beah and Citizens. Follow the links to read more about them. I’ve also got other comic projects in various stages getting ready for pitch: The Rejects (with JC Grande), Cat & Mouse (with Henry Martinez), Demon’s Tails V2 (with Patrick Rolo); Unnamed with Kevin Tuma (we’re still in the “talking about the story” phase); an unnamed with Gabriella Rossetti (just wait until you SEE this one!). I’ve just finished a Graphic Novel adaptation of a horror film which is slated for a September release. Oh—Four of the projects now have FB pages. Go LIKE them here: Beah, Citizens, Cat & Mouse, The Rejects.

On the prose side, I haven’t done as much to work on my current novel. My agent is still pushing The Interns…but I’m about to toss in the towel on that one. Yeah, I know, I’m sad, too.

I thought I had a little web-series that was going to happen—even assembled a tiny writing team—but it looks like that might not happen either. Was exciting to think about that, though. So, for the meantime, I’ll continue to focus on comics…just because I’m so dang excited about them.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Gee, that’s tricky, isn’t it? There are some things that I would consider as “personalities” of my work…and that combination makes it uniquely me. I tend to write strong female characters, stories set in the South (my beloved homeland!), stories about individualism and about individuals overcoming tyranny, oppression, etc. I try to infuse my faith into my work without it being overbearing and/or annoying…but I think that’s important to my work.

The problem with my answer to this question is that most of my work is in comics, but “comics” isn’t a genre, it’s a medium.

Why do I write what I do?

I write because I enjoy writing. I write comics/graphic novels because I absolutely love the medium and what it can do. We have an unlimited special effects budget and are limited only by our imaginations. Comics/Graphic novels is also a visual medium in which the reader controls their experience. When you watch tv or a movie, your experience is determined by the director. The reader controls their own reading experience when reading a graphic novel. And I find that very cool.

How does my writing process work?

I don’t know that I have only one process, but the one that tends to work for me is starting from a concept; moving to a character and giving them an attainable goal; putting them in a world; tossing obstacles at them; building an outline…and THEN sitting down to write.

Who’s next in my Writing Process Blog Hop?

I’m happy to push you to a couple of writers I like. First, go take a peek at my pal Sid Williams’s blog. I’ve known Sid for a looooong time (since the late 1980s for those of you really keeping track), and he’s got the write-stuff! Check out SidIsAlive…and tell him I sent ya there! I’d also like to web-direct you to the web home of Wes Locher. Wes is just days away from earning his Creative Writing degree from Full Sail but has already published a bunch o’stuff. I’ve read much of it (tempted to say “all,” but that might not be true) and he’s going places! You wanna get in on the ground floor of an up and coming writer, start watching his site here.

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Momma was a Mann

It’s not unusual to hear that line when you attend a Mann family reunion. After all, the married females who were born Mann change their last name and so when their descendants attend the reunion, everyone wants to know where in the tree they fit in. Mom and Dad work hard on making family tree charts and it’s very interesting to look at all the branches on the tree (ie., the cousins). Our reunions have been the descendants of John Wesley Mann, who was my gggrandfather (John Wesley->Robert Earl->Walden Bill->Billy Richard->me!).

I’ve always gotten a lot of mileage out of my last name. I mean, kids always poke fun of names (as well as a lot of other things) and it was always something that I just embraced. It isn’t unusual that I’ve heard “What’s up, Man? Get it? Mann.” It’s one of those things I’ve heard so much it’s always funnier to the speaker than to me. My first name has also been the source of my fun-poking. I’ve heard the theme song to Rawhide all my life, but the best one was probably when my gradeschool pal Kendall Jones sang the Rolo theme song for me. My nickname in that group of friends was, of course, “Rolo.”

When I got married and started to contemplate names for my kids, I wanted to embrace the name and make it work for my kids. We opted to be surprised at the sex of our first baby so we had to come up with names for both male and female. For a girl, I tried to convince BJ to go with WonderWo. You see? WonderWo Mann?

Yeah, it was a bit of a stretch and Brittany tells us that she is thankful today NOT to be named that.

When Brett was born, we knew his sex before he arrived. It was a lot easier, I thought, to come up with a name that worked for a boy. So I pushed pretty hard. I thought “Batt Mann” or “Spyder Mann” would make great names for a kid! Can’t you just see it now when he’s in 7th grade; “Mrs. Johnson, can you send Batt Mann to the office?” How cool would that have been? When I tell Brett this, he doesn’t get all gung-ho about it, but he’s not as vocally opposed to it as Brittany is to WonderWo.

So the Mann reunion was a fun time and we got to meet and chat with many cousins; some we’ve never met before and some we see only every reunion. And for those whose last name is not Mann, they often say “Momma was a Mann,” which is kinda funny…yes, even to us.

While I’m trying to talk Dad into backing up one more generation to John Wesley’s father, we haven’t done that yet. We did, however, have a cemetery dedication for William Montgomery Mann, a private in Co. E, 5th Arkansas Infantry CSA. My dad worked hard to get this done, and I was very happy to see it done. It’s something I’ve wanted since around 1987, when I first joined the SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans). Here’s a link to a video I made of the service if you’re interested.

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