This is my wanna-be liner notes section where I get to show appreciation and thank those who have helped me along the way. The creative process requires a community—we'd be nowhere without the help and support of one another. And I, without a doubt, appreciate all of the support I've been given.
This page is a public display of appreciation to those who have helped me achieve a fantasy—I wrote a book, guys! A couple of them! I still can't believe it... and these are the people who helped make that happen. Thank you for your honest reviews and critical commentary, spreading the word to your friends and family, contributing your expertise and talents, and above all—the moral support. Completing a book is long road...
I met Caitlyn in college. She was young, blonde, and beautiful and we skipped class for pancakes more than we went. We instantly clicked—saw some sort of reflection in each other that has carried us throughout the years. We have what I can only assume is a cosmic understanding—we don’t always agree on earthly matters—but we don’t need to. All is solved with a nod and smile, and always having mutual respect.
Thinking back, she is essentially responsible for all of the great things that have happened in my life. She got me my job at Sony Music. She introduced me to some of my favorite artists and thinkers. She was an immovable pillar of support all throughout the six year writing process of The Final Book: Gods—not to mention, a very tangible editor and shaper of the final product.
Caitlyn is now very much a woman. Strong, intelligent, capable—still beautiful but now filled with a bit more poise and grace. Throughout all the years with the various paths that have woven us a part and curiously brought us back together again, she is a friend. You don’t get many of those in life—true friends—and I can’t thank her enough.
I don’t even know where to begin about Devon- she’s been so helpful and considerate throughout the years… I met Devon on Warped Tour where she was a die hard fan of Heart & Soul Radio (back then they were called Animo, and before that DORK). After I took the reigns and started managing the band, Devon became captain of the street team and much more importantly the person I went to for critical and objective opinions regarding all things digital and visual. She was my extra set of bloodshot eyes to proof read and make sense of the madness that we were releasing out into the world. Thankfully, she’s continued to be my friend to this day and still corrects me when she finds a typo!
Music is my life! I love going to concerts and supporting my favorite local bands! Photography is quickly becoming a passion of mine especially if it means take pictures of bands during their live show. I just think its magical how the photo lasts long after the note has faded away! MUSIC=LOVE!
Follow Devon on Twitter.
Jim’s part of the team. He has been instrumental in helping me grow as a writer and pushing me further than I’ve dared to go by myself. He is the editor of The Final Book: Gods, and likewise, he’s had to comb through my rough drafts and rambling insecurities. His bedside manner helps me keep an open mind to restructuring and changes as I know his heart is in the right place. His ability to keep the integrity of the story but also see the larger picture of what is best for the book is second to none. I can’t thank him enough.
His first job out of college was with Portland-based comics publisher Dark Horse Comics, and he continued his career in comics and graphic novels when he later moved to New York City to join the editorial staff of DC Comics. He was privileged to work with and learn from the late Archie Goodwin, one of the comic industry’s leading editor/writers. Jim later moved to Hachette Book Group where he managed the editorial department at Yen Press.
Jim left NYC behind to return to the Pacific Northwest and set up shop as Working Vacation Studios. He currently provides editorial and prepress production services for such clients as Vendome Press, Hachette Book Group/Yen Press, HarperCollins, and board game publisher Action Phase Games, as well as numerous independent creators.
Learn more about Jim and his services at his website, Working Vacation Studios.
Kellen and I have been best friends since 6th grade. We lived across the street growing up, he lived with my family to finish high school after his family moved away, we were roommates off and on throughout and after college, and then he finally grew up and got a wife and had a few kids. Uncle Sean now occasionally sleeps on the couch! Kellen and I have traveled country together many times, been lost in the wilderness countless times, and escaped death a handful of times. He’s still the first person I turn to talk about everything in life- though now our conversations seem to revolve around homeowner’s insurance, the cost of day-care, and fantasy football.
He’s a great man, a good friend, and most of the experiences and inspiration within my pages wouldn’t be the same without him.
If there were ever to be a hierarchy of this list, these two belong at the top. Aside from the obvious, I literally wouldn’t be here doing this if it weren’t for them.
At this point in my life, and looking at what my parents have done for me, I am most awed by their amount of patience. I was supposed to be a big-boy-adult long ago. The high expectations I have for myself have been self-inflicted, but the “normal” things one should want in life—the things I know they hope for me—a wife, kids, house, retirement plan, a place in society; my parents have been extremely forgiving. Or, at least, silently held their objection. I’ve lived a lot of dreams, I’ve packed a lot of life into a short amount of time. I’m sure that once the music industry passed through my system they had a sigh of relief—"oh thank god, now he can finally move on with his life." Well, I don’t think that chasing baseball was what they had in mind. Then a novel after that?? Grow the fuck up, kid.
However, they never said that. Not once. In fact, they supported me. Gave me a free place to live while I drained my savings and wrote. They were the first to read my rough drafts, and the first to say how proud they were of me when all I wanted to do was light the thing on fire and jump off of a bridge.
I have no depth of understanding of what it means to be a parent. It’s certainly not a rational endeavor. I know I got sick of myself a long time ago—my whims, dreams, and idealism. However, they continue to be there for me. I hope I can one day show them how much I appreciate that… how much I appreciate them.
I want to be successful to show them that it was all worth while. However, I know that doesn’t matter to them. That’s not how they judge me. I assume everyone wants the best for their children—my parents happen to have an enlightened and sophisticated definition for the word “best.” They know me, intuitively understand me, and the things I need to be a whole person. Best for me is living life a little differently, and they’ve given me the freedom and acceptance to do that. Again, it’s their patience that astounds me.
Sarah’s resume is nothing short of impressive. She has contributed to countless projects, cartoons, books, and television shows. Critics do their best to humble the Harvard graduate, but often relent to her superb artistry and storytelling. Am I gushing? I should be. This visionary is my cousin and I am so unbelievably proud of her! Though she's way beyond my influence at this point, I will take credit for introducing her to Riot Grrrl during her formative years, haha.
Hailing from spooky New England, I’ve been overenthusiastic about visual storytelling, digital media, and education in a professional capacity since 2006. I work as a cartoonist, writer, illustrator, and graphic designer.
Susan crushed The Mixtape Manifesto—she was awesome. I wish we had found each other years earlier. With more than 25 years of editing experience under her belt, and more importantly an irrational love for rock n’ roll, she was the perfect person to work on this book. Not only was she witty, fun, and I smirked many times at her “red pen in the margin” comments, but she’s good. She found the smallest mistakes that made the biggest difference. Being an author is a lot easier, all smoke and mirrors, when you have someone like her on your side. She makes me a lot better than I really am.
Despite dreams of growing up and being a zoologist and a DEA enforcement agent (hey, she wanted to drive Sonny Crockett’s cars. Can you blame her?), the one thing Susan could never get away from was words. Fictional words, most precisely, and she found herself enrolled in the United States’ oldest creative writing program at the University of Pittsburgh. She’d already been working at a record store for a few years and … her passion for Rock Fiction was born. Her love of editing came soon after, as she took a job at the Pitt News as a copy editor.
In regards to both writing and editing, she hasn’t looked back once, even turning down jobs at record labels (yes, more than one!) in order to pursue her love of the written word.
From Pitt, it was on to the country’s second-highest-ranked graduate school in Bowling Green, Ohio. After that, Susan worked as a non-fiction editor, taking on the occasional fiction project when she missed her red pencil.
Learn more about Susan and her services at her website, West Of Mars.
I'm the new guy in the group, but it's reassuring to know that there's a band of authors out there still practicing a bit of continental philosophy. The Final Book has definitely found its genre and this fine group of people are also helping it find its audience. If you dig this sort of thing, be sure to check out other authors in the genre and read the alliance’s blog—it’s all quite interesting.
Visionary Fiction embraces spiritual and esoteric wisdom, often from ancient sources, and makes it relevant for our modern life. Gems of this spiritual wisdom are brought forth in story form so that readers can experience the wisdom from within themselves. Visionary fiction emphasizes the future and envisions humanity’s transition into evolved consciousness. While there is a strong theme, it in no way proselytizes or preaches.
Visionary is a tone as well as a genre. The ‘visionary’ element can technically be present in any genre and set in any time.
“Visionary Fiction speaks the language of the soul. It offers a vision of humanity as we dream it could be.” ~ Jodine Turner