Hot damn I got a little media attention for my iPad version of Rock Critic Murders in San Antonio, thanks to my friend, author Joe O’Connell. The link is here and the text below. And just in time!! Tough Baby should be out on Kindle and in the iBookstore within a week or two. I’m just finishing the proofing and artwork. So stayed tuned or should I say iTuned.
ALSO, don’t forget two things: You can get the Kindle version on Amazon here, along with my memoir, Never the Same Again; and you can get the iPad version on iTunes, with MUSIC, VIDEO and LOTS OF COOL PICTURES and EXTRAS.
One more thing, HOWLIN WOLF TRIBUTE SHOW June 9. Be there!
The fictional band Cloud 19 made its first appearance in Jesse Sublett’s trio of rock’n’roll mystery novels released by Viking in the late ’80s and early ’90s. He eventually wrote the song titles mentioned, recorded them and gave out cassette tapes to fans, including best-selling crime author Michael Connelly.
Sublett has gone high-tech since then, but he’s still mixing music and fiction.
The frontman of legendary Austin punk band the Skunks — San Antonio’s Sons of Hercules covers their song “Gimme Some” — has re-released “Rock Critic Murders,” the first of his mysteries featuring bass player Martin Fender, using iBook Author 2, a program that allowed him to create an interactive love letter to the time period.
“For me, music and writing have always gone hand in hand,” he said. “They feed on each other.”
Authors re-releasing their out-of-print works in eBook format, particularly for Kindle, has become commonplace — a good example is Texas author Michael Zagst, who recently reintroduced his three critically acclaimed literary novels electronically.
But Sublett has created a multimedia extravaganza.
Those Cloud 19 songs are there, as well as vintage and more current clips of the Skunks, photos and interviews with real-life people such as music critic/author Joe Nick Patoski, the inspiration for Sublett’s characters.
In contrast to Sublett’s punk-rock background, “Rock Critic Murders” is set in Austin’s 1984 blues scene.
The iBook includes videos recorded on Sublett’s iPhone and iPad that highlight what remains of that era, when an oil bust slowed Austin’s growth, yet the music scene stayed vibrant with acts such as Stevie Ray Vaughan playing at the Continental Club and other venues.
Sublett, a Johnson City native who was valedictorian of his high-school class there, had left Austin for Los Angeles by the late ’80s. He had given up on the rock-star dream and replaced it with a burning desire to be the next Raymond Chandler.
He started writing and managed, without an agent, to attract the interest of a Viking editor who had heard of the Skunks. She liked his manuscript and signed Sublett to a three-book deal.
In the old days, it took two years from manuscript acceptance to Sublett’s mystery novels’ appearance in the marketplace, which seemed wrong to a guy coming out of the do-it-yourself world of indie rock.
Plus, the folks from New York publishing are known for inserting saguaro cactuses on the covers of Texas-set novels, with the assumption the plants grow here (they don’t), notes Sublett.
When iBook Author 2 was released in January, Sublett, who long ago returned to Austin, was frustrated that it took him a few days — with the help of an Apple tech who was still learning the software — to get his new creation on iTunes.
“Why wait?” he said. “If you can do it yourself, you don’t lose your groove.”
In the publishing world, the big recent news is that Amazon.com now sells more electronic books than print copies. Is this new format yet another sign of the death of traditional publishing?
“I don’t want to totally give up on it, but it looks pretty grim,” said Sublett, whose memoir of rock ‘n’ roll and his personal challenges with cancer and the murder of his girlfriend, “Never the Same Again,” came out through the more traditional route in 2004. “There is a sense that there’s a gold rush out there.”
In addition to iBooking his other two Martin Fender mysteries, “Tough Baby” and “Boiled Concrete,” Sublett’s next project is “The Blues Cat,” which he described as a musical play with songs interspersed in the story.
“There’s not an obvious outlet for it,” he said.
Perhaps there is now.
Joe O’Connell is an Austin writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/books/article/Punker-turned-iBook-author-3549759.php#ixzz1ugHc5Qdj