Awkward Press

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Archive for August, 2010

Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Jeffrey Dinsmore

August 31, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

Jeffrey Dinsmore

Jeffrey Dinsmore, also known as Jeffrey D, is the main brain behind Awkward Press and the man responsible for 90% of the content of this website.  He is also responsible for 90% of the world’s orgasms.  That second part isn’t true, but what is true is that Jeffrey is one of my favorite people in the world.  He is that incredible rare combination of someone who is both wildly talented and deeply good.  He’s also one of the funniest people I’ve met, and one of the luckiest as his wife is one of the coolest wives I’ve ever met.  The biggest compliment I can pay him is to say that he’s an inspiration to me — which sounds Tony Robbins-y  I know, but is true.  (Blushing now, Jeff?)  For more about Jeffrey, read pretty much anything on this website, or check out his weight loss progress at www.jeffreydinsmore.com. If you’re interested in giving him money, visit portfolio.jeffreydinsmore.com for work samples.  -Kyle

The Interview Portion

1) Who are you and why are you here?
Jeffrey Dinsmore. I’m here because I have a naïve belief that if you put creative things out into the world and treat people decently, the universe will eventually reward you in some way. So basically, I’m just in it for myself. (more…)

We Make Mistakes

August 30, 2010 By: Category: Awkwardness

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to proof a 104 page book. Once you’ve looked at it a dozen times, you start to accept certain things as set in stone, even though a 2 second glance would tell you they’re completely wrong. I thought we’d minimized the typos in Awkward Two to a comma here or there, but it turns out we’ve made some major screw-ups that need to be addressed. So far, these mistakes include:

1) Vinnie Penn‘s “Saved by the Smell”: Vinnie Penn wrote a hilarious story for the book called “Saved by the Smell.” Great title, right? Only you’d never know this was the title if you looked at the table of contents or the comments in the book. In each of these places, the story is referred to as “The Apartment.” Major, major screwup, and I’m very sorry to Mr. Penn for the mistake. Please know that the actual title of the story is “Saved by the Smell.” If we ever do reprints, we’ll make sure this is corrected.

2) Matthew David Brozik‘s “Baldfaced Lawyer”: Matthew David Brozik is referred to as Matthew Brozik on the back of the book and in the table of contents. A writer’s name is his brand, and mistakes like this are unforgivable. Mr. Brozik should not forgive us. Again, corrections will be made.

3) I haven’t actually heard from the writer on this one, but same deal with Shari D. Frost … we left out the D.

Hopefully none of these mistakes affect the integrity of the stories, but they are really annoying and somewhat insulting to the authors who have worked their asses off to help us out. If you have a story in Awkward Two and you notice an error, please let me know … I’ll put a correction on the website and make sure it gets edited for the digital release. I apologize wholeheartedly for the errors and will do my best to correct them in any way I can.

Shame-facedly,
Jeffrey

My Conan Promo Is Live!

August 30, 2010 By: Category: News, TV

Over the two years that Awkward Press has been in existence, I’ve written a lot of posts about all the awesome things my partners Clay and Kyle have been doing. Because they do truly awesome things, like getting a story in Akashic’s Richmond Noir collection and releasing classic rock n’ roll records. Well, I’m proud to report that I finally have some bragging of my own to do. About a month ago, a company I work with in LA called Roger was tapped to do some promos for the new Conan O’ Brien show on TBS. I wrote up a bunch of ideas, and one of them got picked. Within days, the crazy-talented guys at Roger had whipped up a sample video. They asked me to come in and do the voiceover, thinking they’d be asked to put together a more complete version with real actors later.

A week goes by, and the TBS people call them up to say, “Hey! We love it! Thanks!” The Roger guys (none of whom are named Roger, BTW) ask them when they’d like the final version, and TBS says, “This is it! We’re done!” So airing on TBS right now is a promo for Conan O’ Brien that I wrote and narrated. I feel like a high school girl in Passaic who just got asked to prom by the orangest juicehead in New Jersey!

The sound is a little tough to decipher since we did it with a USB mic in iMovie (!), but there you go! Modern advertising at it’s best. Check it out after the break! (more…)

Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Rachel Lieberman

August 30, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

Rachel Lieberman

Rachel Lieberman is a victim of her own brilliance. As I mention like every day to anyone who will listen, Awkward Two is more than just a book … it’s also an experiment in instant adaptation. A few months ago, we gave copies of the stories to a selection of independent filmmakers and invited them to try and adapt them for the silver screen. Rachel’s piece, “Instructions for Operating a Heartbreaking Machine,” was an instant favorite among the filmmakers. One of these filmmakers decided to try and adapt the piece for a Showtime contest that was going on at the time. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and the film has yet to progress past the planning stages. We do have some kick-ass frames, though, which I’ll probably include in the “conceptual extras” portion of the book or somewhere on the website. Book, web, iPad … it’s all the same thing nowadays, wot?

I’m very sad that we never got a chance to see the finished version of what would have undoubtably been a masterpiece of the short film format, but at least we still have Rachel’s ceaselessly entertaining story to fall back on. And not only that, but because “Heartbreaking” was on the shorter side of the micro-short spectrum, Rachel was kind enough to provide us with one more thoroughly entertaining piece to round out the book. Her enthusiasm, talent, and absolute coolness have been much appreciated throughout the process, and I look forward to the day when you’ll gobble up her work and roll it around in your mouth like a lovely Sweet Tart, as it deserves.

1) Who are you and why are you here?
My name is Rachel. I’m here because Jeffrey and the rest of the Awkward crew liked my work. I think that’s pretty neat. I also think Awkward in general is pretty neat. (more…)

Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Joanna Whitmarsh

August 27, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

Joanna Whitmarsh

Look, here’s the thing. As I’m doing the intros to these profiles, you may start to notice that I happen to know quite a few of the writers personally. “Nepotism!” you cry. “Awkward Press is nothing but a bunch of nepotisers!” But see: it isn’t like that. When we went through the submissions, we were not allowed to read stories by writers we knew. We did not pick our friends for this book. It just so happens that we know some kick-ass writers.

The fact that Joanna Whitmarsh is a kick-ass writer came as a complete surprise. I met her in a community art class that I took at Barnsdall Park in Los Feliz. The same community art class, in fact, that was taught by awkwardpress.com legend Victoria Howard. See how the world works? Circles.

Joanna and I were the only people in the class younger than 87, so naturally we struck up a bond. Come to find out she’s a sketch comedy writer. “Well!” said I, “What do you know? I happen to own a publishing company, and we’re looking for short stories! Which are like sketches without all that acting nonsense! Also: I’m a notorious nepotiser!” A week later, she sent me a submission, which I promptly sent along to my partners. And they loved it! And wanted it in the book! And then I read it! And totally agreed! And I came back to art class and broke the news to Joanna and we screamed and jumped around the room in glee, smashing amateurish attempts at pottery to the ground in joyful abandon.

The point of the story: Joanna is the best. Her story is great, and I have no doubt that you will soon love her as much as I do. By the end of this profile, I predict!

1) Who are you and why are you here?
I’m still figuring out the who part a little but, I come in peace. Most of the time, anyway. (more…)

Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Shari D. Frost

August 26, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

Shari D. Frost

Shari D. Frost is another of the fabulous writers who found us out there in the ether. There are a lot of great stories in Awkward Two, don’t get me wrong. 33 of them, to be exact. But Shari’s story “My Girl” was the only one in the bunch that really, truly threw me for a loop. I don’t want to give too much away, but she somehow manages to fit 3 major twists into a story that is under 1,500 words. Just when you think the story’s about one thing, it veers in a different direction. It’s a really unique take on our expectations of genre that kept me enthralled from the first word to the last, and I can’t wait for you to read it!

The Interview Portion

1) Who are you and why are you here?
Still working on that one…I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime I’m open to suggestions, so if you find any clues in anything I’ve written, let me know. (more…)

Meet the Awkward Two Writers: James Veitch

August 25, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

James Veitch

We only had one rule for Awkward Two: each submission had to be under 1,500 words. James Veitch, a playwright by trade, rose to the challenge and gave us a play that fit the criteria. His piece, The Romantics, is clever and engaging and certain to secure the first-ever Tony Award nomination for best play that only exists in an anthology of short stories. I have, sadly, never met Mr. Veitch in person, but by all accounts he’s beloved and admired by people on every side of the pond. Just look at that face! If anything says “admirable and belovable,” it is that face. If you’d like to learn more about Mr. Veitch and his admirable, belovable face, please visit www.james-veitch.com.

The Interview Portion

1) Who are you and why are you here?
I haven’t figured that out yet.

2) Why do you write?
To impress girls.

3) What’s the best thing you’ve ever written?
A poem for my friend Carla. (more…)

Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Wayne Scheer

August 23, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

Wayne Scheer

The best thing about running a publishing company is meeting great people you probably wouldn’t run into otherwise. Wayne Scheer is one of those guys.

As you may know, we’re doing a little experiment with this issue of Awkward in which we’ve asked five filmmakers to shoot adaptations of stories from the book. Wayne Scheer’s Zen and the Art of House Painting is one of the stories being adapted. The shoot has been delayed a few times because these are the things that happen when your primary form of financing is favors. It’s now almost 100% certainly going to shoot next weekend. The cast is superb, the script is excellent, and I have full confidence that the talented director, Joel Maguen, is going to pull off a work of art. But in the meantime I’ve really put Wayne through the ringer with the delays, and he’s been a complete pro and mensch through the whole thing. A pro mensch, that’s Wayne Scheer in a nutshell.

The film is going to be great, but it couldn’t get there without a fantastic piece of source material. Wayne’s story is a real highlight of the issue … funny, moving, and quirky in all the right ways. It’s a story that could only have been written by a master craftsman. If you want to check out some of Wayne’s excellent work, you can download Revealing Moments, a collection of twenty-four very short stories, absolutely free of charge at http://pearnoir.com/thumbscrews.htm.

The Interview Portion

1) Who are you and why are you here?
I think of myself as the most married man in America, forty-three years, and I’m here instead of with my wife because Jeff asked me to answer these questions. (more…)

Meet the Awkward Two Writers: Paul Kavanagh

August 23, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

Awkward Two, a collection of 33 micro-short stories by 25 incredible writers, will be released to the public on September 27, 2010. (You can pre-order it right here.) Who are these incredible writers? Let’s meet ‘em! We sent the same 9 questions to all the writers. Here are their answers.

Here’s what I know about Paul Kavanagh: man. Lives in Charlotte, NC. Used the word “yod” in an early email. Possibly of foreign extraction (unconfirmed). Wrote a gorgeous, moving, disturbing, wonderful story called “Cancun.” Only answered four of the questions, but that’s okay. It is far better to have four excellent answers than nine mediocre answers. It becomes poetry.

Become a fan of Paul’s right here and here.

Paul Kavanagh

2) Why do you write?
To lose weight.

5) Name two books that have blown your mind.
1. Gunpowder: Alchemy, Bombards, And Pyrotechnics: The History Of The Explosive That Changed The World by Jack Kelly. 2. The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes (more…)

It’s Not a Popularity Contest! (It’s Totally a Popularity Contest)

August 20, 2010 By: Category: Meet the Writers

One of the most fascinating things about this Awkward Two author profile experiment has been watching the results on that little column to the right, the Most Popular Posts column. To date, we’ve posted 11 profiles of the 25 authors in Awkward Two. As could be expected, Clay quickly shot to the top. Let’s not beat around the bush: everyone loves Clay. His Top Ten Horror Movies of 2009 is a perpetual awkwardpress.com favorite, even though we’re well into 2010. And with reason – it’s a really great and informative list that I return to every time my wife is out of town and I can actually watch a horror movie. Or the first 10 minutes, anyway, before I get way freaked and have to cleanse the palate with a little Babe: Pig in the City. (Further digression: I didn’t think Clay would ever lose the crown of Most Popular Awkward Post, but then some mysterious combination of keywords catapulted the perfectly innocuous “Adidas Created the Soccer Ball” to the top of the list. According to Google Analytics, people in Australia are all over this fascinating story.) (more…)