Monday, June 1, 2015

On Writing, Nonsense, and Writing Nonsense

Once upon a time ago you guys asked us a ton of questions. Every other week we make an attempt at answering them. Today we're taking some time to explore the questions that asked us about writing and our career as writers, particularly since Mr. Briane Pagel of Thinking The Lions wanted us to share 7 things about our writing that you didn't know. So here's an entire post devoted to our writing. BUT... we don't want you to get bored/sick of the serious questions, so we're also interspersing the absolute weirdest/wackiest/WTF questions we got. Let's get started... with one of those! WTF?

C.W. Martin: I just went on my long desired trip to the ruins of Mycenae in Greece. First, which beer did your great-great ancestors leave lying in the ruins? Second, which one did you leave when you visited last year? Third, which one did you have to serve to get the damn archaeologists off their asses and working?

Actually, we were in Greece putting our archaeology skills to good use as we braved lots of temples and arks and Nazis in our search for the Holy Ale.


So that wasn't beer left behind. That was Brandon's melted face (our bad).

Chiz: 1) In reference to the cover of Dead And Moaning in Las Vegas, did you guys pay the artist a one-time fee that included the copyright of the image, or do you have to pay him a stipend depending on how many books are sold a month?

Bryan: Well, we tried to pay her in beer, but apparently artists only accept "money."
Brandon: We paid our artist, the kick-ass Erin Yant, a one-time fee for the commissioned piece. We retain all rights, though she'll always get credited... y'know, cause we're not dicks like that. 

2) What are some of the less obvious benefits and drawbacks of self-publication?

Brandon: The biggest benefit is that we don't have any remaindered books to deal with, i.e. the unwanted bastard orphans that didn't get bought in your local Barnes and Noble whose memory will haunt you to your grave.
Bryan: Yeah, we knew a guy who had a garage full of about 10,000 of his unwanted books, and while at one point he tried selling them for a discount he couldn't even give those things away. I think he might be using them for kindling now.
Brandon: The biggest drawback is if your book is a giant pile of illegible shit, you've got nobody to blame but yourself.
Bryan: Whereas with traditional publishing you have the luxury of blaming your cover artist or marketing director or editor for your book being absolutely terrible (spoiler alert: it's still your fault).

3) Do you guys do all of your own editing, or do you hire someone?

We does all of our own editing. Reely, who else are you going to trust if you allready has the skils?

4) Why does the atmosphere get colder the closer you get to the sun?

Sounds like someone needs to familiarize himself with Scientology if he wants the answers to those great universal questions.

5) If you could travel around the world at one time zone per hour, will you live forever?

Brandon: No, because if you live forever, eventually airline crash statistics will catch up with you.
Bryan: As mentioned last time I can't swim, so once I reach one of the time zones that's nothing but ocean I'm dead in the water. Literally. Because I'll just drown in agony.

6) Who's your favorite author (if you had to choose one)?
Brandon: Peter Straub
Bryan: Richard Matheson

7) What book has been your guilty pleasure?
Brandon: Lolita. Because it's great. But dude, come on.
Bryan: The Game of Thrones series, because I don't think people realize what a gigantic pervert George R.R. Martin is. Like, for example, how Daenerys Targaryen isn't some sultry 20-something year old woman like Emilia Clarke portrays her, she's actually a 13 year old girl. So just think about that next time you see her getting plowed by the big barbarian guy in the TV show. Also, I just noticed that based on that my answer is almost identical to Brandon's. Creepy.

Andrew Leon: Have you ever poked a giant douche bag with a stick? Did it pop? What came out of it? Did it hurt when the giant douche bag said that you're not funny? Have you ever considered doing a comic of said giant douche bag as a giant turd monster? Do you think that would be funny even if not quite original?

Is it lonely up there on crazy mountain? Alright, you wanted to see us fight with a turd monster, so here you go.











The moral of the story is that you can never beat a turd monster. As Confucius says...


D4: Out of the books you've written, (either separately or together) which was (were) the most fun to write?

Bryan: Honestly, I think the one we're working on now is the most fun we've ever written. It's called Tuck Watley: The Freedom Fighter Fighter, and it's about a bumbling NSA agent who's trying to fight terrorism by tapping into private citizens' everyday calls.
Brandon: No matter how far we've come, the end goal (for a humor novel, at least) is just to make each other laugh. And with a novel like this, it's a blast to work on it and send it back and forth to see how hard we can make the other guy laugh.
Bryan: The last chapter of this book had Brandon laughing so hard he woke up his wife. I consider that a victory... even if she probably hates me now.

Which of your books are you most pleased with, post-writing?

Probably The Graveyard Shift. We weren't really expecting much from a horror novella anthology, but we felt it turned out better than either of us could have ever imagined. Plus, it really threw some people off with its dark, twisted stories. In other words, after reading our goofy comic antics, I don't think they were expecting necrophilia, heroin addiction, or hunting hikers for sport,* and told pretty damn well to boot.

*All real stories from the collection

Do either of you have any projects with promise you've left for later, or grown tired of?

Brandon: If we've grown tired of it, then it didn't have promise and wasn't worth working on anyway.
Bryan: The first story we ever tried to work on together to test out the whole collaborative writing thing is so dreadfully bad that we didn't just shove it in a closet, we burned it, stomped it into ashes, and then burned the ashes. That's probably the only story we've ever really shoved aside. Outside of that, we're good about finishing what we start and about only committing to stories we really want to write.

Have you either considered ghostwriters? What do you think of the concept as an aid to writers similar to you guys?

Brandon: I think it's a slap in the dick to our fans.
Bryan: Even our fans that don't have dicks. First off, I don't think a ghostwriter could capture our personality and our humor. That's unique, especially in our writing. Also, I'd feel like a huge turd monster if we slapped our names on something and someone else had written it. I mean, I'm a writer. That's my job. If I can't even do that, why do I exist? (I'm looking at you, soulless ghostwritten book-shitting factory that is James Patterson)

If you could take one massive fajita-night dump on just one book, which book would that be?

50 Shades of Grey. Not just because E.L. James has no business writing a grocery list, much less a novel. Not just because it has no story whatsoever. But because it's not even her own. It's just Twilight fanfiction about Edward and Bella that ultimately had the names changed for copyright issues. Say what you will about Stephenie Meyer, but at least she created her own world and characters. E.L. James didn't even do that.

Pat Hatt: When you go camping and you drink beer in the woods, does it make a sound?

Of course it does. Most people don't know this, but beer actually has feelings. So they tend to scream when you drink them, especially in packs.



When changing from a football head to a round one, how does the brain shrink to fit? Was it big in the first place?

Like all men our brain is actually located in the penis, so no matter what shape our upper head is we're always of the same intelligence down below. And if you've ever noticed that we're dumber in the winter, well, cold does tend to shrivel things. Including our netherbrains.

Mark aka The Rambling Person: 1. I know a lot of things happen because you touch yourself at night, but just WHY do you touch yourself at night?

Brandon: Gotta touch somethin', amirite?
Bryan: Sometimes I fear if I don't hold onto it it'll just get up and walk away, never to return.

2. How does writing together even work? Do you plan the novel together but then one of you writes it, or do you write individual sections or have control over a character? The only time I've really seen collaborations work is in comics and manga where one person writes and another draws.

We usually write individual chapters. We plan something out, then we start trading chapters, taking turns. Nothing ever turns out like we'd planned, the story takes off on its own weird jackass tangents, and there's usually a whole lot of whiskey involved in bringing it all back together. But it's an art. Every single book is 50% Brandon, 50% Bryan. And at this point, we'd be damned surprised if you could tell who writes what.

3. How do you guys promote your books, and typically how much do you spend on it? Do you ever buy advertising or things like that?

We do most of our promo here on the blog, which usually means a big drop in traffic (OH NO THEY'RE SELLING SOMETHING TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES, ATTENTION SPAN DEACTIVATE) but it does help quite a bit with sales. At this point, we don't buy any advertising, though we probably should. But that stuff is expensive. It would be pretty fucking cool to have an ABFTS billboard, though, on your local interstate.

4. All in all, how many ideas would you guys say you have left? I can tell you three books I want to write, and you should always have more to write, so how many ideas do you have floating around you could seriously have a go at?

Tons. Not to brag, but we really do have a lot of ideas. We're working on four new books right now and there's plenty of stuff bouncing around for the future.

Arlee Bird: Are you guys ever serious?

Today while discussing our career as writers, which truly means the world to us and is our livelihood, we posted about melting faces, punching turd monsters, and murdering beers in the woods. So... make your own call on that one.

Cheers and stay classy, friends,
B&B

Music: Tear Council
Beer: TRVE Hellion Ale



134 comments:

  1. The only way to fight a turd monster is to let it decompose on its own.
    I think a billboard would be awesome.
    And I hate the airlines. Damn them for ruining everything!

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    1. Ohhh, THAT'S how you beat a turd monster. Well, don't I have shit on my face with that one.

      They say planes are safer than cars, and yet there are just enough horrific plane crashes each year that make us go, "Oh really? So why do I not feel any better about strapping myself into a gigantic flying deathtrap that could potentially plummet straight into the ocean?"

      Delete
    2. Exactly! At least in a car I have some control over my fate. You have an accident in the air, you're dead.

      Delete
  2. So much feces. Of all the fecal talk, I have to give credit to D4 with the graphic image of, "one massive fajita-night dump." When fighting a turd monster, you use a high-pressure hose. Soak those turds until they dissipate. Am I the only one who has fought a massive, sentient turd before? It was interesting to hear about your writing process. I wondered how a duo brings together a cohesive story.

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    1. Can we use that for a blurb on our upcoming novel?

      "It was extremely cohesive." - Pickleope Von Pickleope of Strangely Naked

      Also, I just find it funny that D4's question had better descriptions than the book we took that fajita-night dump on.

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  3. Well I suppose given that one of my ideas is a seven book series I'm set even if I don't have tons of ideas. Thanks for the answers guys. Having read your work I can conclude that I can't tell who is writing what parts anymore. I'd rely on marketing myself through my own means, such as on my blog, but I have barely the audience you do.

    Though, hey, if you let me borrow it one day that'd be great.

    Hint hint.

    To that end I do have some money set aside and some cheap advertising and marketing options. I should have at least a press release and an interview. Hopefully.

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    1. With advertising, we find that it has to either be all or nothing. Either you dump a ton of money into it, or you don't at all. Like, spending $10 on ads isn't going to net you anything. There are plenty of inventive ways to advertise yourself without breaking the bank.

      And you can borrow our audience but try to return them mostly unsoiled. Dry clean only.

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  4. You two are so creative together. Not many people have that vibe where they just get in synch with each other. Ever thought of some sort of stand up comedy routine? I'm serious! At least in the writer's room. You guys would kick ass!

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    1. I think that's definitely something we need to try once, just to say we did. Especially as a duo. We'd be like Laurel and Hardy, only one of us isn't morbidly obese and definitely no Hitler mustache.

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    2. No no no. You need to go for Abbott and Costello. They mixed in some verbal wit with their slapstick.

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    3. We'll take anything as long as it's not Milli and/or Vanilli.

      Delete
  5. You totally made me day. Not only the turd-boxing, which should be a sport we can get Mike Tyson to be President of, but beer as murder. Now when I stress drink, it will be 100% more satisfying picturing their soul's corpses traveling through my lower intestine. I'm feeling better just thinking about beer murder.
    I can't wait for your next book, you're right that no one else could copy your humor. Stephen King is a horror writer, but he has a really weird sense of humor so no matter how many tangents his tangents go off upon, I'm right there grinning like Jordy Verrell.

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    1. Damn, that's a good Stephen King reference! I think we love you more than ever now. Well done. Also, I hear that turd monsters are just the digested souls of screaming beers, so we have no one to blame but ourselves.

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  6. I think you might really be underestimating the value of a ghost writer.

    I haven't written any of my blogs in years. Hell, I have someone else writing this very comment for me right now.

    It usually works out well, except when my ghost writer doesn't know my position on something and guesses wrong. For instance, I'd never publicly endorse the concept of ghost writers, which means my comment ghost writer has gotten this very comment wrong.

    Still...

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    1. That comment just blew my freaking mind.

      So if you're speaking purely in comments, I don't want a ghost writer. I want a secretary. Because it just sounds so much more pretentious.

      From the office of B&B, Esquires:

      Thank you for your comment. It was well received. Brandon and Bryan are currently in a meeting, but will reply to your comment within 5 business days.

      Regards,
      Mabel Axelrod
      Senior Comment Analyst

      "Dance like no one's listening, sing like no one's eating, live like no one cares." - the Internet

      This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.

      Delete
  7. I cringed a bit as the turd monster splattered, blah lol

    Wow, I never knew the feelings of beer was so delicate. Yeah, I walked into the second one. Advertising sure does help in some spots, recently used a few things and got 5000 dwls last month, which cranked out a good 100 or so more sales then usual because of it, works for me. Blog can only do so much, but yeah you're right, isn't cheap.

    Oh and I'll throw some cat shit on 50 shades of smut to help it fertilize the soil better.

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    1. Battling turd monsters is a messy business, but someone has to do it.

      I just feel sorry for the people that do something like dump money into Facebook and end up not getting a single sale. Not all advertising is created equal, and stuff like that is often just a scam (but it's FB, so most people should have seen that coming anyway).

      And Fifty Shades is so bad that it actually can't even be used as fertilizer. It kills anything it touches, including souls, creativity, and plantlife.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I tried facebook once as an experiment, complete garbage. Same with that goodreads advertising, I'll never touch that one. Just because a site gets millions of views doesn't make it good to advertise there.

      Delete
  8. "usually a whole lot of whiskey involved"
    HA! BUSTED! Here and there you're spewing bleach and urine jokes, but secretly you both enjoy a good glass when the time is right. I knew it.
    Interesting to read a bit more about your overall writing process though. Care to do a more in-depth post on that one day? (How about a "meta" blog for more serious/personal content?)

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    1. Fun fact: beer makes us both tired if we're sitting still, so we can't really drink that while writing. Whiskey, on the other hand, does not. So that's our preferred writing drink. Don't tell no one, though. We'll lose our cred as beer guys.

      Also, that's a great idea for a future post. We may have to do that. Crack a few jokes, throw in a few comics, and even the most spastic and inattentive of our readers couldn't be bored.

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  9. I'm a big fantasy buff, so it stands to reason that I'm fan of the Game of Thrones series. But yeah, I always find myself cringing at the sex scenes. Tommen's 7-years-old in the books, but the show writers made him 12-years-old and act as if it's not all that odd to depict him sexing up a 33-year-old woman. Also, Lolita is on my reading list, but I feel like people who give me dirty looks if I whipped that book out on the train, so I haven't invested in it yet.

    And you're working on 4 books!? I can hardly yawn and piss at the same time.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time answer my questions!

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    1. We can hardly yawn and piss at the same time too. But we can write 4 books at once. Everyone has their own unique talents.

      If you think Lolita is bad, or Game of Thrones, read the Marquis de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom. It's exactly what the title implies and you'll never look at the human body the same way again.

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    2. Hah, I have that book saved on my reading list too. I'll have to start with something lighter before I even consider delving into that book. Luckily I have a Kindle, so no one has to know what I'm reading.

      Delete
  10. Mark asked about book promotion and that's something I've always wondered about. I know Pat uses other means of marketing for his books and I assumed you guys did as well. I've never asked him about how that effects his sales though. The cost of using a heavy duty promotional team would be outrageous though.

    I'm curious about how much product you move by just using your blog as a means for promotion. Do you move enough to get noticed by people who shop for Indie books on Amazon, Barnes Noble, etc.? There are just so many Indie writers out there today, it's easy to get lost amongst the multitudes.

    Back in the days when brick and mortar stores were the only means of selling books and author had a better chance of someone actually seeing the spine of his book there on the shelf. I remember browsing the shelves and picking up authors that weren't known to me simply because they were placed near someone I read or because the artwork grabbed my attention. With an online book store that's not going to happen. How do you get the attention of a casual browser in an online store?



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    1. The blog probably only accounts for about 10% of our sales, if that. The secret (for us anyway) is just to get enough sales to get the ball rolling. Get some strong reviews. After that, Amazon is pretty good about showing our books to random users and getting us random sales. So we don't need to get the attention of a casual online browser; Amazon does that for us. After all, they want to make money, too.

      Outside of that, our biggest method of promotion is simply book signings. We can clear out an entire order of books in a weekend that way, and meet some cool new friends in the process. And we do thankfully have brick and mortar stores at our disposal, in which having eye catching covers helps. Interestingly enough, we don't have to do any in-store promo because of that. All of our books are located in 3 big chain book stores throughout the Denver area, and each title (which has 4 stocked copies of each book at at each store) has sold out and had to be restocked at least 3-4 times, meaning our books were just bought by folks like yourself that saw our book next to a popular book they recognized and decided to give us a chance. It's a cool feeling.

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    2. I didn't know how Amazon went about deciding which books they would provide visibility for. One of the ways they get me to look at a different author is by putting books in the "other people viewed this" and that will get me clicking onto new authors.

      I'm so glad I asked more questions. I knew you'd done some book signings in the past, but I wasn't aware that you were doing them regularly or that they were so lucrative. It's also good to know that brick and mortar stores are still vibrant places where Indie authors can get a foot in the door. I would think that having this kind of popularity at the regional level can then lead to opportunities at the national level. If you're submitting to a publisher, they would be more likely to be interested if they see you already have an audience.

      It's so hard to make a living in any of the creative arts. Not just in today's world, but throughout history. People have always been willing to let their best talent starve for their art. That's just plain wrong.

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    3. Having a big marketing platform and having any kind of regional presence definitely helps with getting a big publisher. We hope between that and the awesomeness of our new story that our agent can sell it to a big house.

      And you aren't kidding about making a living. We don't like to boast, but we've sold a great many books over the years, and that number only continues to grow. And yet we're very, VERY far away from making a living of it. If you think of it, you only get but a few bucks for every book you sell. That means you have to sell tens of thousands of books every single year just to be able to call that a career. And don't forget taxes being taken out. It's really not a lucrative career until you're at the New York Times bestseller level... aka the 1% of writers who have truly made it.

      Delete
    4. It's like in the music industry where everybody gets a piece of the artists pie and the artist is left with a few crumbs at the bottom of the tin. And it seems that everybody gets their cut before the artist gets theirs.

      I think I read somewhere that at any given time there are only 3,0000 people making a full living as a writer. Now that's an astonishingly low figure.

      Delete
  11. I think 50 shades is a complete turd monster. I attempted to read it because it seemed like everyone was reading it. I loved Graveyard shift.

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    1. Then you, in our completely biased opinion, have fantastic taste in books.

      Delete
  12. No nuclear resistant fridges? I'm so disappointed.

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    1. The fridge was full of Keystone Ice, making it just as poisonous on the inside.

      Delete
  13. Your turd monster really does talk shit but what other way could it speak. And if you put an ad up on a billboard, you might cause a few traffic situations. I don't think even HBO could have got away with making the characters as young as they are in the books. Martin is a pervert.

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    1. I love South Park's rendition of Martin where all he wants to do is show the children wieners. I think that's probably the most accurate version of him we've seen in the media.

      Delete
  14. I know you were joking about the turd monster (and the comics were very funny) but there was some truth in there, too. I hope Lee was paying attention;) When you try and fight any sort of turd monster you just end up splattered with crap in your face. Best to bury that shit. I like Pickleope's solution as well. Water also works.

    I, too, was wondering how your collaboration actually worked. That's some interesting stuffs. Congratulations, Bryan, on being so outrageously funny that you've made an enemy for life in Brandon's wife. That takes serious talent.

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    1. There was definitely some truth in that turd monster, and its likeness is not an accident. That was very much aimed at Lee, and I'm impressed you picked up on that. That's alls I'm saying on the matter.

      And Mrs. Brandon probably already hates me for a myriad of reasons, but at least this is a reason I can be proud of.

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  15. You guys keep out-doing yourselves with these Q & A posts. This is fantastic. The questions are hilarious too - especially Andrew's. And I got a hearty laugh out of your answers regarding touching yourselves at night.

    I think I told you that you two have the same exact writing voice - which shocked me in Graveyard Shift. Plus, I keep getting creeped out by that guy looking through the fence panels from the neighbors' yard. Seriously, you wrote the whole book so well. And I can't wait for Tuck's release.

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    1. Since you've come to know both of us pretty well, I'm flattered that you still can't tell who writes what. Or that we could creep you out with our writing. Or that you aren't bored of these nonstop Q&A posts (we still have at least 2 more before we're finally done). In other words, if you were setting out to massage our egos, consider it a job well done.

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    2. Nah, just being honest. Perhaps there is something to the whole Work Horse Clone (on crack?) theory.

      Delete
  16. My momma always told me when I was growing up, she always said "Never, EVER punch a turd!"

    I'm glad I listened. It's not so much the smell, it's the splatter effect. Don't want any part of it.

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    1. I wish my mother taught me about punching turds. Instead, she just taught me stupid, useless things like manners. Now when the fuck am I going to use those?

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    2. Meh, manners are out-dated and over-rated. Mother's just don't know how to keep up with the times.

      Well except for my mom, she taught me how to roll a doobie and now look....weed is on the verge of being legal everywhere.

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  17. B&B:
    Love that "holy ale" adventure...brilliant.

    And some things I never knew about SELF-publishing...very cool
    (Used to work for W.B. Saunders in Philly during the 70s - med-science publishers, so I saw the OTHER side of that coin)
    Learned something new today...thanks!

    Richard Matheson - fave author, hmm?
    (The Shrinking Man comes to min, as does I Am Legend...still have both paperbacks)
    And Bid Time Return made a great movie (imho) - Somewhere In Time.

    I will NEVER "fight fair" when it comes to turn monsters...
    That's what Wifey's hairspray and a lighter come into play...bwahahaha
    (Watch James Bond - learn a crapload of cool stuff)

    Excellent post -got me LMAO again..
    (makes people wonder why I bust out laughing in public for no reason...just recalling your posts...what else?)

    Stay safe out there, guys!

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    1. If a regular turd monster smells terrible, I don't think I want to smell a burnt one...

      I think I Am Legend is still my favorite Matheson novel. Too bad the Will Smith movie was terrible. I loved that story.

      Thanks, as always, for the kind words.

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  18. The questions are intriguing - the answers hilarious. It makes for a good mix. I think there's a book in here somewhere. The Fifty Shades of Beer. It would contain 50 questions (the bizarre and unusual) and your uncensored (which means normal) answers. I love tell-alls.

    Oh… I might add I strongly agree with your 50 Shades of Grey comment. I did not, nor would I ever, read such turd - it definitely is a turd monster's book! Actually, a turd monster wrote it! So, I guess it really is a turn monster's book! Damn, I'm on a roll, down a slippery slope!

    As always - fun, and insightful.

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    1. Did you see today it was announced that E.L. James is getting a huge book deal with Random House to release a 4th Fifty Shades? This one is simply called Grey, and it's the exact same story but told from the perspective of Christian Grey. The EXACT fucking story. Seriously, as if she wasn't already unoriginal, she's telling the same story twice but from the view of the asshole. This turd monster is out of control. :(

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    2. You know what's interesting is how the media is all over her. What's her claim to fame other than writing the same book four different ways - the fourth being her newest, and from the guy's perspective. Do guys actually read this? Hey, maybe they do? Maybe it should be labeled "self-help" - I don't know. Seems a lot of good press is being wasted on really crappy writing.

      Reminds me of "Gone Girl" - starts of with a bang, ends with a turd monster still married to a pile of dog's barf. God, I'd love to know what their offspring turned out to be? That was one book that should NOT have gotten the raves it did. Looking at it purely from the point of how it was written, whether one liked the characters or not, Gillian Flynn did a piss poor job of taking what potentially started as a strong page turner to what ended as as a pathetic piece of trash. It's like halfway through she just gave up - and yet, the press loved her. I laughed when I read that the producers of the movie had required her to change the ending. Seems I wasn't the only one the barfed up cold chicken fingers!

      Wow… gee, I think I had too much coffee. Look at that rant! Hmmm… Fifty Shades of Pissed Off! LOL

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    3. It's a great rant, though, and we couldn't agree with you more. I hated that book, and I hated that a lot of people justified the ending. But it didn't come across as a clever way of dealing with the story, it came across as 'well I have no idea how to actually give this a conclusion so I'm just going to make them stay together forever LOL whatever.'

      Delete
    4. Exactly. Thank you.
      Gillian Flynn copped out. Apparently, when I googled reviews of the book, after I went out and killed some dandelions, quite violently I might add, I saw I was not alone in outright hating the ending.

      The lame, bullshit storytelling, of two easy to dislike characters and their pathetic relationship, needed a powerful, violent, finale. One of them, preferably the bitch, needed to be seriously axed (no holds barred) at the end.

      The interesting thing was, last year at the SIWC (a writers conf) I was in a class and the book came up in discussion. I listen quietly to the "yeah, great book" bullshit, then, when the last loser had spoken, I piped up. Gave my two cents worth, highlighting the fact that anyone that liked it hadn't the foggiest clue about good writing.

      The lecturer, who had earlier said he had "really enjoyed the book" sheepishly responded with "well, you've got a point, the writing was terrible". After the class was over, I questioned him privately as to why he would say he enjoyed something so poorly written. He actually owned the fact he'd bought into riding the wave of media excitement and hadn't really thought of how is answer sounded. Wow, that was epic. I never, I mean really never, say I like something if I don't. What's the point. It only makes a fool of the person uttering the words.

      Delete
  19. Hey, Confucius is a 'wise' guy, and I take that saying you posted as a life lesson, as s**t always happens and seems to multiply like bacteria. . .and please don't don't don't ever resort to a ghostwriter, you guys are a guilty pleasure to read. . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We try to sneak important life lessons into the particularly low brow jokes so that people can feel like they learned something here. Move over, Bill Nye! Today's kids are getting a lesson from the turd monster.

      Delete
  20. There's a slew of reasons I love this post, but the highlights are: Turd Monster and your dislike of Fifty Shades of Grey. I'd kiss ya if I could. Oh, I'd wipe you down with disinfectant, too, but it would be a show of affection. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd probably want to wipe us down before administering that kiss, as there is still turd monster EVERYWHERE. You wouldn't believe how much scrubbing it takes to get that guy out of human flesh.

      Delete
  21. You know, I can usually tell the two of you apart. I think it's all the hair in the chapters that Brandon writes. I made some small pillows out of that stuff.

    You do know that you are now well on your way to Kevin Smith levels of fame now that you've done your own turd monster thing, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You think that's nice? You should see the large throw pillows he makes people for Christmas gifts. The pungent musk they omit is fairly relaxing.

      And hey, fame is fame. Better to be famous for writing about a turd monster than for being one.

      Delete
  22. Turd monsters. I don't know, but I think I just might need eye bleach. lol I haven't watched Game of Thrones and haven't read the books but I hear they are really good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are really good. And I enjoy them immensely. Don't get me wrong. But George R.R. Martin is clearly a pervert and anyone who says otherwise is delusional.

      Delete
  23. Well, Turd Monster simply HAS to become a regular character now. How could he not? . . . Hmmm, perhaps I'm wrong to characterize TM as male. From now on, I'll say "it" instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How gender neutral of you. Worry not, Turd Monster is a dude. But now that he's going to be a regular staple of this blog, I think we also need to introduce the Turd Monstress. She's every bit as foul and nasty as he is.

      Delete
  24. I'm glad I am not a beer drinker, I couldn't bear the thought of murdering the poor little things. I don't think I would keep Turd Monster as a permanent member of your blog, it would end up stinking to high heaven.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You get used to it after a while. It's like how I can eat veal without feeling bad that I'm chewing on a cute baby cow. And everyone like TM, so I have a feeling we'll have to bring him back. When we do, we'll at least try to leave the window open and light a match.

      Delete
  25. I'm usually talking or playing loud music when I open a beer. From now on, I'll make sure of it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know whether that makes you kind or a sadist. Either way... we support you!

      Delete
  26. Keystone ice and archaeology... did you crib that from the horror anthology?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No but that's a great idea for our next horror anthology. The Beer That Was Pee.

      "It wasn't beer... It was pee!"

      -the tagline

      Delete
  27. I HATE that 50 shades is twilight fanfiction! Because 1. I have read SO much better fanfiction than that, and 2. most other fanfic writers dont try to make $$$ off someone else's characters. Also, I hate that people think that is quality writing. They should read more fanfiction. Or regular books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'd feel like a complete dick if I made millions off of someone else's characters and stories but I guess that's just me. Slightly related, but I'm both eager and creeped out to read the very first fanfiction someone writes about one of our books. I bet it involves gay sex. What am I saying? Fanfiction almost always involves gay sex.

      Delete
    2. The fanfic won't be about one of your BOOKS. It'll be about you two boys personally. Oh wait, I've said too much . . . .

      Delete
  28. Confucius also said, "Man who go to bed with itchy butt wake up with stinky finger." Smart dude. He knew of what he was speaking when it came to turd monsters, too. I think he might also warn that it's safest to stick with battling one's own monsters, because as everyone knows, one's OWN monsters don't smell nearly as bad.(Unless one eats limburger cheese... then all bets are off.)

    As far as ghost writers go, it's ironic that when a writer has it "made," he thinks it's okay to publish drivel written by someone else and attach his byline. I guess they figure readers are too stupid to notice. Did you happen to read the Michael Crichton book that was published a year or so after he died? Allegedly, he'd started it, and a co-writer merely finished it. Yeah, right. It was an insult to every Crichton fan. Nothing but a big fat money-grubbing ploy by a greedy publisher.

    Fun post! But I'm really glad I don't drink beer. When I sip on a bit of bourbon, it never ever complains.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you think the Michael Crichton book is bad, you should see the "new" Tom Clancy books that are still coming out. Sure, Tom Clancy died 2 years ago, but that won't stop publishers from slapping his name on new books.

      Tom Clancy - Support and Defend

      Delete
  29. Now, Have you ever seen the movie "Dogma"? There is an actual scene where the heroes must fight a big turd monster. I'm not kidding and it is a great movie! Stars Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, silent Bob and the other guy, Selma Hayek, Chris Rock, Alan Rickman etc... I'm just saying this has been done-fighting shit, umm, doo-doo. So glad you think the same of 50 Shades of of blah, blah. What did that woman do to get so much press and have it sell? I often believe it is the hype that made people read this crap.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, we remember Golgothan the shit demon and how Silent Bob destroyed him with a blast of Lysol to the face. If only it was that easy in real life, but sadly, this isn't the movies, and in the real world, turd monsters don't melt, they spread like herpes.

      Delete
    2. How true that is. I would be spraying lysol at least 10 times per day

      Delete
  30. Turdily cool post guys! I'm going to print it out and fan it over the tomatoes...

    Actually, you guys crack me up every time I pop by, and that's worth more than free organic fertiliser!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meanwhile, you just taught us a great new vocabulary word - turdily. And we are turdily gonna use that all the time now, so thank you for being turdily awesome!

      Delete
  31. I love your shitty art. In fact, it reminds me of a movie that stinks as much as your art. I just saw it on Netflix. You wouldn't think so from the title, but it was very powerful:
    F.A.R.T.: The Movie (Video 1991)

    So.... a few weeks ago in your comments after I mentioned how you think like George R. R. Martin and you replied with a list of his perversions, my first reaction was...

    doth protest too much, methinks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just watched a "trailer" for this film and I have to wonder two things.

      1) How you managed to sit through 90 minutes of this
      and
      2) What the hell does F.A.R.T. stand for?

      And I doth not protest, verily, for I am also guilty of perversion. Though I kind of think that necrophilia is just a little bit more of a victimless crime than, say, gangbanging a 13 year old girl.

      Delete
    2. You'll have to watch the movie to find out what it stands for.
      90 minutes of bliss.

      F.A.R.T.: The Movie Reviews & Ratings - IMDb

      Breath-taking. What can be said about the world's most perfect movie? The cinematography was stunning, the acting was surreal and the script seemed to flow naturally like the mighty Mississippi. One is reminded of the time that Moses was handed the Ten Commandments from God himself; we have been handed FART: The Movie from a being higher than us all. The plot isn't hard to follow, making it easier to enjoy all of the delightful poots and farts that our antagonist, Russell, expels throughout the film. Russell loves his farts as if each one was his own child, one different from the next. His wife, Heather, endures all of Russell's little "problem" even though it affects their social and personal lives. The farts are so realistic that on several occasions I looked around to see if someone else in the viewing cube in suspicion that they broke wind. This movie is great, and will now replace Cannonball Run II as my favorite movie of all-time.

      Delete
    3. If you're going to make me watch this terrible movie, please tell me you've at least seen Tommy Wiseau's The Room, aka the Citizen Kane of bad movies. I can watch that movie once a year and still bust a gut laughing.

      Delete
    4. I have never heard of The Room but I looked it up and despite horrible reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb it scored a whopping 4.3/5 on Amazon! LOL, I'll def. have to check it out!

      But perhaps we should not waste our time on these lesser films when there is the granddaddy of all bad movies: The Human Centipede

      Delete
  32. Hey Guys, this was amusing as usual. I had a few good laughs reading through this post. I was surprised you only generated about 10% of your sales through the use of your blog. I guess that means you guys really enjoy blogging..hmm..you have me wondering about these ghost writers? I think you guys should do an open mic sort of thing you have some hilarious stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Without getting cocky, just because it's 10% doesn't mean it's a tiny number. ;) It just means that we've sold a ton through Amazon's algorithm, and book signings, and the physical book store, which is pretty cool. It actually gives us faith that this whole blog thing is working - that's what gets all of that going in motion.

      Delete
    2. Oh, I didn't mean to say "just" - I thought more revenue came from blogging as I have read comments from other writers who said they blog because they were told to by their publishers. It is nice to know your hearts are in your work and I can '"see" you adore your followers. I guess I stuck my foot in my mouth this time..sorry guys...have a good day..

      Delete
    3. No need to apologize for anything! Open mouth, remove foot, insert beer. Or wine (I think that might be more of your thing). All we mean is this - when we release a book, all of our initial sales come from blog friends and existing fans who follow us via the blog. That number pretty much stops dead in its tracks after 2 weeks. But the random Amazon sales, and book signings, and stocking our books in physical stores - those sell consistently over time thanks to the sales we got from the blog, so eventually they surpass those blog numbers and leave them in the dust.

      It's great, though, because it means our blog friends don't wait or hesitate with our books. When we release a book they're eager to buy it. We both love that. It shows how much our blog friends like our writing.

      And yes, we do adore our blog friends. That most certainly includes you. :)

      Delete
  33. >>... We does all of our own editing. Reely, who else are you going to trust if you allready has the skils?

    Gud anzer!

    That "Turd Monster" question was pure genius!
    You know, in the same sort of way that Bob Saget is pure genius.

    (As Deputy Dawg would say...) "Wait just a cotton-pickin' minute dere, boys!"
    You don't like Jeff Dunham?!?!
    "I just don't love you anymore. It's all over between us".

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a theory that Bob Saget is a comedic genius and he's just playing us all for fools. But like Andy Kaufman, he's still doing a damn good job of convincing the world he's dead.

      And when it comes to jalapenos, I prefer mine in a beer, not on a steeeek.

      Delete
  34. Okay, there's a LOT of information in this post. I'm not entirely sure how to begin. I think the best and most important thing to address here is that "The Raging Turd Monsters" would be an excellent name for a rock band. Although I think I'll skip watching all of their music videos and most live concerts...

    It's got to be a blast having found a way to work with your best friend on something collaborative like writing stories together. I mean, it's even better than having two soup cans strung between your tree houses and whispering secret messages to each other about how dreamy "The New Kids on the Block" are. Yeah, that's right! You thought I didn't know about that, but I have my sources.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I still maintain that Donnie Wahlberg is the dreamiest of all of the Wahlbergs but I guess I can hardly fault someone for loving Marky Mark and his Funky Bunch.

      Delete
  35. I thought the 50 Shades "writer" was a turd monster. Don't even get me started on the abuse books and the fact that there's a rumor she has another one coming out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, she does. And it's going to be the exact same story all over again, just told from the guy's perspective. That's the only change. She is truly worthy of Queen Turd Monster.

      Delete
  36. Ok, I know I posted a comment here today. For some reason though, I've been leaving comment boxes and forgetting to hit "publish". I'm old. Senile.

    Nevermind. I'm sure I'll forget again. What were we talking about :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU. YOU'LL HAVE TO SPEAK UP. YOU SAID YOU ROASTED AN OMELETTE?

      Delete
  37. "I'm looking at you, soulless ghostwritten book-shitting factory that is James Patterson." <-----------------------Thank you! This infuriates me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They say that in writing truly there's no right way and wrong way to write. But I disagree. If you want to know how NOT to write, just read anything by James Patterson. Or should I say the sweat shop employees he pays $10 a book for.

      Delete
  38. Turd monster!
    Great post! The bits about writing were interesting (and some useful to my needs). I'd always wondered about collaborating. I've never been able to finish anything I started collaborating with someone. Mostly because I'm selfish and they suck. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We've tried to collaborate with others too and it ended in mass suckage. One particular dickbag actually tried to steal the story from my cohort and call it his own. Finding the right collaborator is tricky, but when you do, it's worth it. It's really helped our overall writing and editing skills. The key is to be able to say, "Sorry man, this sucks. But we can both work to make it not suck." Nothing good ever comes from, "Yep, this is great," when it's not. After all, that's both our names on the cover.

      Delete
  39. It's good to know I'm not alone in my lack of seriousness even when being serious. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, we're "seriously" disturbed, if that counts for anything.

      Delete
  40. I found the turd monstering a little sobering and conquering.
    The thought of being covered in sh*te is so brutally dynamite.
    Thanks for the beers, cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some people say coffee sobers you up, but I don't think anything will sober you up quite like a little turd monstering. We'll drink to that!*

      *We'll drink to almost anything, really

      Delete
  41. Re: the question about self-publication...do you not have leftover copies due to a small press run or is everything an electronic version?

    I self published a few volumes of poetry (actually song lyrics) a couple of decades, and realized I had failed to keep a copy for myself. And the computer I did the files on was long ago scrap.

    While I do not often look to read my own work, I wish I still had a copy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The physical books are print on demand, so we just order them as we need them. We always try to keep ourselves stocked so that we can restock at the local book stores, but we never need more than about 50 at a time and they always go quickly. And even if they didn't, well, we're only out 50 books. We're not left with 10,000 sitting in our garage.

      And damn, that sucks. If it had been print on demand you could have just ordered another copy for yourself. Funny story - we always end up giving away or selling our personal copies because people will express interest and it'll be all we have on hand. So we keep having to reorder copies just for ourselves. At this point, I'm sure every single book on my personal shelf is at least a 5th 'edition'.

      Delete
    2. If I can't find someone local with a set, I may have to ask Stephen T McCarthy or Arlee Bird to send me their copies so I can scan 'em!

      Can you do print on demand in a hardcover? I was thinking of doing one last volume, compiling the old material and adding crumbs from the last two decades, but I wanted to try to get a cloth bound volume.

      Delete
    3. You actually can do hardcover. So Createspace is all free to setup, but if you wish to do hardcover, it's a one time fee of $99 to get the hardcover created (or so I hear - we haven't actually done it as we're happy with soft covers for our titles).

      And then you can order them any time you want, via that whole print on demand thing.

      Delete
  42. Franklin and I wanna be yer edditers. Thanks fer punching the George Zimmerman turd loving turd. Everyone in Florida is crazy, inclooding moi.

    Love,
    Junie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, we like crazy. And we wood love to half you as an editor, but unphorchoonuttly we can't a Ford you. :(

      Delete
  43. Firstly, I must congratulate you both on the size of your "turd monsters." Perhaps, your next post will be how we can achieve such satisfying results.. I like how you gave him/her personality with those luscious curves and nerdy specs. You should definitely send the next batch over to Dr. Oz or Ripley. A clever way of sneaking in some writing tips too!

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, Dr. Oz is a turd monster, and if you want to know how one is created, just get a doctorate's degree out of a Cracker Jack box, appear on Oprah a few times, and then spend your life telling old people who don't know any better that hokey diet pills are medical science. Boom - instant turd monster!

      Delete
  44. If there's ever a billboard, let me know so I can drive by and snap a pic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you'll know, because everyone will either love or it be wildly offended by it. There is no in between.

      Delete
  45. I remember that time I was a giant turd monster and explained how you were all just jealous of 50 Shades. That was a good day. I never mentioned the folk artist got a little upset at your returned comment. It never bothered me, she wasn't that good.

    I wasn't expecting so much info on such a cool idea! It sounds like a lot of potential, do you guys have a ballpark release date for this Tuck Watley guy?

    And I know you guys take turns with the chapters, but only because you've mentioned it quickly before. I've tried to pin down differences in writing style but it's true. It really isn't possible. At least not for me, and I was looking hard when I read through The Missing Link.

    As far as the ghostwriting goes, I kinda feel the same. I think it's more pure if you're making and taking all the credit, I admire it. Then I started diving into how many iconic novelists use them and I started wondering where the magic lies. Does the puzzle maker have to fit the puzzle together. Even Stan Lee is known for having created general idea, plot point, and twists, and leaving story gaps to others. Comics are a slightly different game, and Stan took on a LOT of projects at once, but it doesn't mean it doesn't happen and that good things don't come from it. It's really interesting to see your take on it. It's like you haven't been perverted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone upset at a comment of ours? That doesn't sound like us. No wait, yes it does.

      So with Tuck Watley, we're handing it off to our agent as soon as it's done and we're giving her a few months to sell it to a big house. If she can't in that time frame, we're going to put it up ourselves. It's too good of a story to just sit and wait on for years. We're really hoping for a release this year unless it gets a big deal, so we'll see.

      We both like Stan Lee, but especially as they mass produce comics, some of the ideas and stories can get kind of lame. Like, I'd feel odd if someone took one of our stories, mass produced a bunch of separate stories, and suddenly one of our characters was killed off, and now another comes out as gay, and another one has an evil twin that's trying to sabotage the others... in other words, 'we've run out of story ideas so now we're coming up with gimmicky bullshit ones.' This, more than anything, is why we haven't written a sequel of any of our existing books. We don't want to beat a story idea to death.

      With that said, though... Tuck Watley will be our first ever series. We have plenty to keep him going for quite some time without the premise becoming stupid or gimmicky or overdone (or so we think).

      Delete
  46. I recently realized the age difference of characters between the show and the books in Game of Thrones. Though to be fair, Martin says he wants his story to be just like reality of times like those. One of the reasons why "waiting for marriage" does not work out well in the modern world.

    In the olden days, father would marry off their daughters as soon as they got a period. Ain't that disturbing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind the age stuff, because it's just a story and it fits it well, but that is kind of a funny excuse, isn't it? "Well, I'm doing it so it's more like reality," he said, while a 13 year old girl is a mother of dragons, and a Stark is a zombie woman, and ice demons are coming to kill everyone for... reasons. Hey, it's fantasy. After all that other stuff I mentioned, I'd never question if Daenerys really was a smokin' hot 28 year old unmarried chick.

      Delete
  47. Number three had me rolling. Looks like some of my writing on those days I just don't "feel it."

    When I first started reading you guys, I tried so hard to figure out who wrote what but it was nearly impossible. You guys have seamless transitions from one person to another. I've read comments over the years from a couple people that they can tell, but, I'm not so sure about that....you guys just make it flow.

    I tried to read GOT but just couldn't get through the second book. Love the show though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know how seamless Tuck is? As I go back over it and read earlier chapters, there are many spots that I genuinely can't remember if I wrote it or if Brandon did. So our collective voice is now so good WE can't even tell.

      Delete
  48. I've been gone so long that your page has been updated and all sorts.

    Not disappointed to find I've returned to advice on fighting giant turd monsters. Not disappointed AT ALL. If I've learned anything from working with one it's that punching them is definitely a sackable offence...which is a shame.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not only that but we're not even the original Brandon and Bryan. They were killed in a massive fire. We're Brandon and Bryan 2.0, and we're faster, stronger, funnier, and theoretically fire resistant. Welcome back!

      Delete
    2. Don't underestimate the Version 1.0 guys. Those two guys with the football-shaped heads and circle hands had a lot going for them.

      Delete
    3. Yes, but grabbing any kind of object or wearing any kind of hat or helmet was not one of those bonuses. No wonder they died so easily in the fire.

      Delete
  49. That's interesting, I would have thought that self-publishing is the one that leaves all those unsold copies in your garage. My knowledge of the publishing industry :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, everything's print on demand, so you just order more whenever you want more. With traditional publishing they typically do a 'print run', so if they believe in you, let's say they order 20,000 books and try to sell those. If they can and people want more, they'll order another print run. This is where things like "first edition" and "second edition" come into play, and you can see why first editions of very popular books are highly sought after.

      If the author can't sell them, though, and you're left with 10,000 in your garage, you're labeled a failure and probably won't get a second print run or even a second book deal through them. :)

      Delete
  50. Ooooh, The Graveyard Shift looks great. I'm going to add it to my TBR list on GoodReads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks! We hope you like it, but let us know either way what you think. We dig honesty.

      Delete
  51. My son had come up with this notion of a planet made of turds. I'll have to tell him about your turd monsters. He'll think they're great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're always happy to hear when we can inspire those as immature as we are.

      Delete
  52. Classic ABFTS.
    Sorry I'm late to the party.
    I had Hibachi Grill for dinner last night along with sushi.
    You should have seen the turd monster I fought with this morning.

    Seriously though, I'm glad you guys can do what you love. It takes a lot of balls and a bit of know how to get it done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's nothing. Eat an entire Chipotle burrito and you'll be fighting turd monsters for days. The kinds that leave blood in yer drawers.

      And hey, thanks! Doing what we love is pretty cool, even if it doesn't come with beach houses and Lamborghinis. That's what a good imagination is for anyway, right?

      Delete
  53. Ummm...thanks for reminding me that you're boys.

    Agree on the E.L. James shit though. Pun intended.

    ReplyDelete
  54. That was too serious. Maybe you can try to be funny again. Ha ha LoL LoL LoL :) :)

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Wrote By Rote

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody wants to see the clown cry. Or just to see the clown period. Those things are creepy as hell.

      Delete
  55. With the help of NerdyMates, you don’t have to worry about deadlines anymore. This educational company provides students with excellent academic papers, have a peek at the weblink to find more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. NerdyMates sounds like a dating site for nerds and I'm keeping this spam link up here only because it's so incredibly idiotic.

      Delete