Monday, October 1, 2012

New Digs and New Books

If any of you readers are still landing on this page, please be aware that this place is pretty much non-active now. All content has been imported to, which is my official website, and all current and future updates are/will be there. So if you haven't checked that out yet, you might not know that my novel, The Day I Left, is available for purchase.

Buy The Day I Left in Paperback. Want an autographed copy? Contact me at jasonkorolenko (at) gmail (dot) com.

Buy The Day I Left for Kindle.
Want a personalized, digital signature? Request that, HERE.

And check out the Facebook page for my next project, Relentless - The Book of Sepultura, an in-depth history of Brazil's heaviest export, HERE.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sepultura Returns to North America

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Sepultura is back in the US! In a couple of weeks, I'll be following them on my own little mini-tour to do some field research for the book I'm writing. In the meantime, enjoy this article by my friend Emanuel, who spoke with guitarist Andreas Kisser (and myself) about the tour. Read the original, Portuguese version on Emanuel's blog HERE, or the English translation I've provided below.

And check out Sepultura when they hit your town!

After a marathon of shows in Eastern Europe (15 appearances in 19 days, passing through five countries - more about the tour: the Brazilian band Sepultura begins, this Tuesday, April 10, a North American tour supporting their most recent album, "Kairos." The "North American Kairos Tour 2012," that will pass through 21 cities in the United States and Canada in 22 days, also includes the bands Death Angel, Krisiun, and Havok. The first show will take place in Santa Ana, California.

This will be the second time Sepultura has toured the continent during the course of a year. This time, the Brazilians present the album "Kairos" to the North Americans. Andreas Kisser, speaking exclusively to this blog about the subject, said, "The tour from last year was excellent and Kairos had not even been released yet. Now, with the album more well known [by the fans], it's going to be even better."

Sepultura was the first Brazilian band to venture outside of the country and be successful in their aspirations. Since 1989, when they toured Europe with German band Sodom, there had never been an opportunity to tour outside of Brazil with other Brazilian bands. The "North American Kairos Tour 2012" finally sees this possibility, with local gunslingers Krisiun taking part in the tour.

Andreas revealed his excitement to have Krisiun playing alongside Sepultura. "Finally we have a Brazilian band with us, especially a band that is well known internationally, is fantastic on stage and are great friends, I'm sure we'll enjoy it very much."

Along with the expectations of Andreas Kisser, we have also the opinion of Jason Korolenko, long-time fan of Sepultura, who is writing a book about the history of the band called "Relentless" (the title of one of the songs on "Kairos," which means implac├ível in Portuguese).

Jason Korolenko, a 36-year-old writer from Laconia, New Hampshire, has already secured tickets for three shows (in Burlington, Pawtucket, and Albany), with the possibility of seeing two more shows (in New York City and Montreal, Canada). He tells us that he is very happy to see Sepultura again so soon in the US (less than a year since their last tour in the country) and is "sure that the shows will be legendary."

The "North American Kairos Tour 2012" begins on April 10 in Santa Ana, California, on the west coast of the United States, continuing on until May 1, wrapping up in Jermyn, Pennsylvania (east coast). Concerning this marathon of shows (so soon after the tour in Eastern Europe), and questioned how he deals with the intense rhythm and pace of Sepultura, Andreas said, "I love what I do, so that makes things easier." And the fans are grateful for such dedication to Sepultura and the music.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Music To Write To

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Some writers need soundtracks while working. Me, I have a hard time writing to anything that has lyrics. If I'm shooting for a particular atmosphere, I'll sometimes use movie scores to help me get the job done. To amp up the creep factor, for example, the old standbys are Bram Stoker's Dracula and The Ninth Gate (or anything else by Polish composer Wojciech Kilar, for that matter). The Omen also works. The Exorcist works.

But music with lyrics? I find myself wrapped up in the singer's words and emotions, wanting to write my version of what I'm hearing.

Either here or on some other blog or some other forum, I occasionally posted my "First Fifteen." That is, I'd throw my iPod on shuffle and list the first fifteen songs that played. I'm doing that now (results listed below), thinking about (when I should be working on) all the various projects I have in the pipeline, and stumbled onto an idea.

Letting the music lead the way, I've decided to turn the "First Fifteen" (and that's a copyrighted name, so don't steal my shit) into a fun little writerly game. Starting with a blank page and a zen mind, I'll throw the iPod on shuffle and write a story inspired by the first fifteen songs played.

And I might even post some of them here, just for fun.

Tonight's First Fifteen (sans story, since I only came up with the idea somewhere around song 10):

1. Sepultura - F.O.E.
2. System of a Down - Revenga
3. The White Stripes - The Hardest Button To Button
4. Danzig - Stalker Song
5. Noir Desir - I Want You
6. Strapping Young Lad - Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing
7. Metallica - Some Kind Of Monster
8. Emperor - Cosmic Keys To My Creations And Times
9. Rebel Meets Rebel - No Compromise
10. The White Stripes - Do
11. The Beatles - Don't Let Me Down
12. Noir Desir - Sweet Mary
13. Alice In Chains - A Little Bitter
14. Lacuna Coil - In Visible Light
15. Anathema - Leave No Trace

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yeah, I'm a Sell-Out. So What?

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A week or so ago, author Brian Keene wrote something that I've been thinking about a lot lately. At the Horror Drive-In forums, regarding the rise of digital piracy and the glut of Kindle e-books that are either FREE or priced at 99 CENTS, Brian wrote:

"We are training an entire generation of readers and consumers to expect the book for free, or next to nothing. I can't feed my sons on free or next to nothing."


For some reason, writers have been conditioned to believe that you must give your work away for free until you "make a name for yourself." This practice is becoming more and more common with the ease of Kindle Direct Publishing, where anyone can upload and sell (or give away) their books or stories or self-help manuals or instructionals on how to crossbreed frogs and monkeys. And it's a practice that makes me shudder almost every time.

Here's why.

Question: When was the last time either of these scenarios have happened?

1.) As a working professional, you attended a job interview for your dream position. You were dressed smartly and didn't smell like you had washed up that morning in a McDonalds bathroom. The bosses, impressed with your education, said, "Okay, we're going to offer you the job, but you'll have to work for free until we decide you're worth paying."


2.) A fancy new restaurant opened up just down the street from your house. You were there on opening day, with your family and friends, and you all cozied up into a booth with a scenic lake view. When handed a menu, you said, "The prime rib and garlic potatoes sounds good, and so do the crab legs. I'll take both, but I'm going to come back tomorrow and try a few other things, and I want it all for free until I decide your food is good enough to pay for." And they agreed.


I left that blank because it should be obvious.

Now, let's take those metaphors and translate them into terms that concern us as writers. Let's say Editor A has one open slot in an anthology about real life encounters with zombie chickens. Along with his submission, Writer #1 puts in his cover letter, "I have fifty stories available for free on my blog, and each one has been viewed fifty times." Writer #2 submits a story, and writes in her cover letter, "I have sold one story to Editor B for inclusion in [nationally distributed magazine of your choice]."

Question: Both stories being equal, who do you think is going to get the nod? The writer who gives his work away for free or the writer who convinces the editor that her work is worth paying for?


I left that blank because the answer should be obvious.

Writing is hard work. Like any other skill, it takes time and study and patience and, yes, even natural talent. And before you can convince an editor that your work is worth paying for, before you can convince readers that your work is worth paying for, you have to believe that your work is worth paying for.

In very simple terms, the biggest difference between a professional and an amateur is that a professional gets paid.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What Are You Doing On March 18?

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If you're local, you should come out to RJ's in Dover, NH, where I'll be reading as part of the "Like Life, But Shorter" indie film series. Get there early to check out a short, silent comedy called "Bundle of Joy," and stick around after me for a brutal "Finale" (the trailer for which you can watch below). This film looks sick, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Editor For Hire

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Are you a writer who hates to edit? Have you finished a novel, and now you're seeking a pair of critical, educated eyes to give you a new perspective? Read on. My offer may interest you.

In an effort to build my portfolio as a freelance editor, I've decided to throw out a few special deals for interested parties. For the moment, I'm focusing on novels within the 55,000 - 120,000 word range. The level of editing and/or critique will be tailored to each author's specific needs or desires. Want me to line edit? You got it. Want developmental editing, my comments on things like character arc, plot, or pacing? Sure. You just want me to proofread? Will do. 

My rates are extremely competitive, and just so you know what you're getting yourself into, I'll edit your first ten pages (12 pt. font, double-spaced, one-inch margins) for free. If you like what you see in those ten pages, we'll outline a plan and then start talking expectations, deadlines, and cost.

Credentials? I hold a Bachelor's Degree in English Language and Literature from Southern New Hampshire University. In the summer of 2012, I'll be awarded my MFA in Fiction Writing from that same university, where I've had the pleasure of working with--and learning from--a gang of talented writers and editors, all of whom are award winners or national/international best-sellers. (Side note: I can't say enough good about SNHU's MFA program. If you take your writing seriously, and you want to improve your craft - and we all have room to improve - clickety clickety on that link.)

So, looking for an editor? Shoot me an email at jasonkorolenko (at) gmail (dot) com and let's talk.


Friday, January 20, 2012

A Little Bit O' The Bond

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Yes, I Google myself. So what? Besides finding old stories (really bad old stories) I posted on a generic website almost ten years ago, sometimes I find cool stuff. Like today, for instance, when I discovered my name in the December 1, 2011 issue of The Hippo. Taken from their website, "The Hippo is New Hampshire's largest circulation weekly and second largest circulation newspaper."

They ran an article about a little film I co-wrote with Rick Dumont and Carla Bonney that you can read here in the "Rising Up" section: See The Art You've Been Missing

But they did get one thing wrong. I'm not a director (although I did once command a small family of squirrels to do my evil bidding).

As for the status of the film? There were a few hang-ups, but Mr. Dumont has assured me that all the red tape has been cut away, and you'll finally get to see "The Bond" sometime this year. Maybe even as soon as March.