Friday, September 23, 2016

Meet Valancourt Books

We are so close to the big day! Fall is officially here, Gourd Of Thunder is flowing at Strangeways Brewing and our guests still have no idea what they are in for at Books, Brews and Boos! Just like we like it...

We will be summoning our host from the other side and inviting mysterious forces to join us for this event. But first, we must introduce you to our FINAL guests!... RYAN CAGLE and JAMES D. JENKINS of VALANCOURT PRESS!! <WOOHOOO!! THIS IS SO COOL!!! EVERYONE IS CHEERING!! HUZZAH!>

James D Jenkins
Ryan Cagle
We are very excited to have these gentleman joining us this year! Not only did we want the perspective of a publisher on our panel but we are thrilled to learn that they are based right here in Richmond! With our desire to bring the horror community together and to share as many wonderful books as we can get our hands on, this was a natural fit.  Valancourt Books is an Independent Publishing house founded in 2005 by Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Cagle. They specialize in finding and reprinting forgotten Gothic gems and getting them into the hands of new readers.

How many books and short stories have you published at Valancourt Books?
We've published a little over 400 titles in the last 12 years. We started out by publishing books from the 18th and 19th centuries, like Matthew Lewis's THE MONK, which we reissued with an introduction by Stephen King; Richard Marsh's weird horror novel THE BEETLE, which came out the same year as DRACULA and was originally more popular; and Sheridan Le Fanu's lesbian vampire novel CARMILLA. Right now we're publishing mostly modern stuff, like bestsellers from the '70's and '80's horror publishing boom by Michael McDowell, Bernard Taylor, Frank De Felitta, etc. We've also published three books by Charles Beaumont, one of the great scriptwriters for The Twilight Zone, Stephen Gilbert's Ratman's Notebooks (basis for the film Willard) and Christopher Priest's The Prestige, which was a major film a few years ago.

Can you tell us about your most recent book or series?
Next month we are releasing the first volume of our VALANCOURT BOOK OF HORROR STORIES, an anthology that spans two centuries of horror and features short stories from the early 1800's all the way to the 2000's by authors like Michael McDowell, Christopher Priest, Stephen Gregory and Charles Birkin. Also in October we have a 430-page volume of fiction by Robert Aickman, one of the 20th century's greatest masters of weird fiction.

Who has most influenced/inspired you to be a publisher?
Ryan Cagle: For me it wasn't an individual author, it was the lack of access to books that were out-of-print. Many of the books I was interested in at the time, early Gothic novels, weren't just out-of-print, they were inaccessible unless you had the time and resources to travel to a handful of rare book collections around the world and read them. 

James Jenkins: For me it was also about bringing back books that deserved to be in print. There wasn't really a specific inspiration, although if I had to pick one, it would be Penguin, which was founded in the '30's with the idea of making great books available for less than the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Unlike a lot of small presses that publish very expensive hardcover collector's editions, we've always done our best to make the books available to everyone at a reasonable price. Not sure what cigarettes sell for these days, but our ebooks are cheaper than a 6-pack of beer, and our paperbacks are less than a growler! 

What is your favorite book of the moment?
RC: My favorite series at the moment is HAP AND LEONARD by Joe R Lansdale. I'm a little late to the party, but I've been spending a lot of time catching up. I can't think of another series that I've enjoyed this much. The characters are so enjoyable and relatable on many levels.

JJ: So hard to choose! One book I read within the last year that really stuck with me was Marlen Haushofer's THE WALL. It's a novel originally published in the '60's with a similar premise to Stephen King's UNDER THE DOME. Except instead of a whole town stuck under the dome, it's just one woman and her dog. How do you survive when such a bizarre event cuts you off from the outside world? And maybe the bigger question is, would you even want to?

What was the moment when you realized horror was the genre for you?
RC: I was introduced to horror movies at an early age by my grandmother. We used to watch a lot of Hitchcock movies, most often The Birds, when I visited. Naturally that led to an interest in horror fiction as I got older.

JJ: I've always been drawn to horror. As a toddler, my favorite show was (and still is!) Scooby Doo. When I was 7 or 8 I snuck behind my dad's back to watch episodes of Friday the 13th: The Series. In elementary school, I must have checked out Nacy Garden's books on werewolves and vampires from the library dozens of times. By middle school I was stealing Stephen King and Dean Koontz novels from my parents' bedroom to read in secret. My tastes have evolved and refined over the years, but I've always been a huge fan of horror movies, TV, and books.

What is your favorite character/ monster you have helped bring to print?
RC: Ben. the rat in Willard. James and I saw the 2003 remake in theater. We never could have imagined that one day we'd republish the book.

JJ: Probably my favorite monsters are the elementals from Michael McDowell's 1981 novel THE ELEMENTALS, which is a true classic of modern horror and has been by far our most popular title.

Stephen King or HP Lovecraft?
RC: Clive Barker

JJ: M.R. James

Would you rather be a vampire with hemophilia or a werewolf with fleas?
RC: I'm more into wolves.

JJ: Definitely the werewolf-- you can always take a flea bath, but the hemophilia might be tougher to get rid of!

If you could ask a celebrity (living or dead) to help you hide a body, who would you choose?
RC: Cary grant. He has the experience.

JJ: RVA's own Edgar Allan Poe, of course! He'd help me brick it up behind a wall or hide it under some loose floorboards.
Nothing to see here...

What unusual hobbies or interests do you have that you believe readers wouldn't expect from you?
RC: I like to backpack in South America once a year. That's not too unusual but I probably don't come across as an outdoorsy type.

JJ: One of my hobbies is learning foreign languages. This year I've been working on Spanish, Dutch and Romanian. As a horror fan, be glad you're a native speaker of English: In some of these other cultures, a tradition of horror literature is almost totally nonexistent.

What are the biggest challenges of being an editor... and dealing with writers?
RC: Most of our authors are long dead so my biggest challenge is trying to track down the copyright holders for the estate. That doesn't sound very exciting but sometimes I get to take a fun road trip and dig through wills at a probate office! Okay, that still doesn't sound very exciting.

JJ: For me, the hardest part is figuring out how to get people to discover the books we're publishing. Right now, there are more books being published than at any other time in history, and at the same time people have less and less free time to read. As a tiny publisher, publishing older books that are sometimes a little obscure, it can be tough!

Anything else you would like to mention:
Thanks so much for inviting us to take part. In addition to being horror fans, we're also beer fans, so Books, Brews and Boos sounds like it will be a great event. We're looking forward to it!

I am so thrilled to have these guys hanging out with us! Not only do I have a much longer to-read list after this interview but I am dying to hear what kind of stories or insight they bring to the discussion. Make sure you check out their library and support a locally operated indie press putting out tons of great books that deserve to be read! Follow Valancourt Books on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and also see all the sweet, sweet, beautiful books on their website HERE!

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know all the fantastic people we've invited to chat with us. Books, Brews and Boos will be at Strangeways Brewing from 8-10pm. Don't forget! There will also be trivia and prizes throughout the evening. We look forward to seeing you there.

(pssssst!! Make sure you tag @redveinarmy  on all your social media sites if you come out and take pictures. #drinkstrange #readstrange)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Meet D. Alexander Ward

The first day of fall is upon us and we are bursting at the seams for more scary stories. I can think of little that is better than autumn wind, rustling leaves, and a chill crawling up your back! We are only halfway through our Books, Brews, and Boos introductions and thankfully have more scary stories to read and thrilling writers to discover. 

Our next guest is actually a Richmond area native. We love horror... and we love it even more when it's roots are in our area! Admit it, you LOVE reading a book and seeing your town or state mentioned. I know I do! It gives me great pleasure to announce our next guest for 2016... D. Alexander Ward!!! <EEEK! So much excitement! RVA REPRESENT!!>

Mr. Ward has published two novels, one novella, and a collection of short stories. He is also an editor and has put together some very cool anthologies featuring some spectacular authors. His novel BENEATH ASH & BONE, "is a somewhat traditional Gothic horror/mystery tale. Except instead of set in Victorian England, it is set in Virginia (just like us!) during the time right before the Civil War. It concerns Sam Lock, the sheriff of a small town in the foothills of the mountains, who is summoned to a sprawling estate to search for a missing boy in the middle of a nasty winter blizzard, This sets off a series of events where Sam is trapped in the manor house not only because of the weather but also because of his obligations as a lawman, as he tries to solve the mysteries that he finds while he's there. This means battling his own demons as well as other evils that come to the fore, both human and supernatural. 
"I've been told by some that it's a bit on the 'literary' side. So if you would like a Gothic fiction from Poe, the Bronte Sisters, and Susan Hill, mixed with the more contemporary Southern Gothic and Western touches of authors like Cormac McCarthy and Joe Lansdale, then BENEATH ASH & BONE might be right up your alley."

This is what Mr. Ward responded to our questions...

Who has most influenced your writing?
DW: Although my themes are often very different, I have to say that I'm always conjuring the presence of Poe and Lovecraft when I sit down at the keyboard. Even though their influences may not be glaringly obvious on the page.

What is your favorite book of the moment?
DW: My favorite book of 2016 so far is PAPER TIGERS by Damien Angelica Walters. I can't say enough about that book.

What was the moment you realized horror was the genre for you?
DW: I've had a love for fantastic, weird, and spooky things as far back as I can remember. In 8th grade though, I got into a lot of fiction on my own. Stories like "The Monkey's Paw" and "The Lottery" and "The Tell-Tale Heart" really whet my appetite and then losing myself in the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, Ramsey Campbell, and Stephen King made me think maybe I could tell those kinds of stories, too. Then my 9th grade English teacher encouraged me to write, followed by a 10th grade Creative Writing teacher. After that, I was hooked.

What is your favorite character/monster you've written?
DW: It's hard to pick characters so let's go with favorite monster. It's going to sound like a predictable plug for the book but I really have to go with the Wasp King from BENEATH ASH & BONE. He's not terribly complex at all but everything else about him... whenever I think of him, it still gives me the creeps.

Stephen King or H.P. Lovecraft?
DW: What the hell kind of question is that? Um... without Lovecraft there would be no King, so... LOVECRAFT is is!

Would you rather be a vampire with hemophilia or a werewolf with fleas?
DW: A werewolf with fleas. Whenever the flea bites got to be too much, you could just go into a blind, murderous rage and rip apart any and everyone near you. Hey, maybe that's why werewolves are usually so bloodthirsty. Might be on to something here.

If you could ask any celebrity(living or dead) to help you hide a body, who would you choose?
DW: A coked-out Chris Farley. Why? Because it would be HILARIOUS!

What unusual hobbies/interests do you have that you believe readers wouldn't expect from you?
DW: Music and cooking. Not at the same time, though. That would be weird.

Anything else you want to mention?
DW: Just a big thanks to the RVA Horror Book Club and RED VEIN ARMY for inviting me to be a part of Books, Brews, and Boos 2! I am really looking forward to it.

And we are very happy to have you!

I hope that you will come out to meet D. Alexander Ward this Friday at Strangeways and will consider picking up one of his fine books right... HERE.

You can also follow him on the social medias here:
Twitter: @DAlexWard

We have one more interview to share with you. Check back tomorrow and meet the duo that runs Richmond's very own Gothic Press, Ryan Cagle and James D. Jenkins of Valancourt Books!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Meet Ronald Malfi

We are officially PUMPED! Talking books, meeting authors, thinking about Strangeways brews.... particularly the Gourd Of Thunder.... It's like fall is just a couple of days away and we NEED more horror goodness in our life to get us in the moooooood. The spooky mood! 

If only we had more authors with spine-chilling tales to share....

Oh wait! WE DO have more! Are you ready to meet our second guest for the 2016 lineup of Books, Brews, and Boos? Yes, Kitty! We are so very excited. Oh, the suspense is killing us!! Okay, I can't draw it out any longer... Without further ado... Well, maybe a little ado... Meet RONALD MALFI!! <<Cheers! Applause! Glitter bombs! Everyone is going to need a minute to recover... it's just too exciting!>>

Ronald Malfi is the author of 14 published novels and 7 novellas, as well as a number of short stories. He is the recipient of two Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Benjamin Franklin Award for Popular Fiction, Vincent Preis Award (Germany), the Beverly Hills Book Award, Bram Stoker Award nominee, and was shortlisted for the American Library Association's Years Best in Genre Fiction. The list of recognition alone makes me interested in what people see in his writing (and luckily I've read it myself to know that the awards are well deserved!). 

His most recent novel ,THE NIGHT PARADE, is about a father and his 8-year-old daughter on the run from the government during the final stages of a disease outbreak that has decimated the world.

RED VEIN ARMY had the chance to meet Mr. Malfi at Scares That Care two years in a row. So we already have a tiny inkling of his personality... and we know he will bring great conversation to our panel. Because of this, I was really curious as to what he would say to our interview questions...

Who would you say has had the most influence on your writing?
Ron Malfi: When I was younger, it was most certainly Stephen King. Since then, I've become a huge fan of Peter Straub, Dan Simmons, Robert McCammon. I read a lot outside the genre, too, and have a strong love for the fiction of Ernest Hemingway.

What is your favorite book of the moment?
RM: I just finished reading Paul Tremblay's wonderful Disappearance at Devil's RockIt was outstanding. 

What was the moment/when did you realize horror was the genre for you?
RM: Probably when people would read my work and comment that it was "horror." I don't think I actively set out to write in that genre--it just sort of happened. Conversely, I've done plenty of writing outside the genre--and in fact, many of my books walk the blurry line between genres--but I've always been naturally attracted to darker fiction.

What is your favorite character/monster you've written and why?
RM: I've got a strong affinity for a number of my protagonists, since there are pieces of me in all of them, but lately it has been for the main character of my current novel, The Night Parade, David Arlen. He's a father who will stop at nothing to prevent harm from coming to his young daughter, even if his actions sometimes make him unlikable. I'm the father of two little girls, so I can certainly relate. He's my current favorite.

Stephen King or HP Lovecraft?
RM: Stephen King.

Would you rather be a vampire with hemophilia or a werewolf with fleas? Why?
RM: I'd rather see them bite each other and turn into some vamp-wolf hybrid...with fleas.

If you could ask any celebrity(living or dead) to help you hide a body, who would you choose and why?
RM: Jimmy Hoffa, because he'd know the perfect dumping spot.

What unusual hobbies/interests do you have that you believe readers 
wouldn't expect from you?
RM: Well, I write music and play in a rock band. It was something I'd done for years, having stopped to pursue my writing, get married, have children. But I'm currently playing again, and it's been a blast. Not sure if that's so unusual, but it's pretty much the only hobby I have time for at the moment.
Ron playing with Veer! You can catch them playing with Sponge in November. 
Come meet Ron THIS FRIDAY, September 23rd at Strangeways Brewing. You can pick up a fancy signed copy of his newest book or pick from some of his other works right  NOW! Follow him on the Book of Faces, the Tweeter,  and also check out his website...

After you've had your spooky fill of books and beer at Books, Brews and Boos... you should consider checking out his band, Veer, in November. They have a pretty cool show coming up! 

We have two more fantastic interviews to share with you. Come back tomorrow and meet D. Alexander Ward!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Meet James Crawford

It's no secret that I swoon over books and get giddy over the opportunity to discuss them. Especially Horror!! Lets talk about every messed up thing the characters did and... OH! HOW SHOCKING!! Then I want to wonder about the mastermind behind that masterpiece of fear and delight. You've got to wonder about anyone that can write a story so shocking that it causes you to throw the book across the room or rock incessantly in a corner for days after. That is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to host Books, Brews and Boos. I want to talk to the people that make books! Not only that, I want to share this love and excitement with others. Our region is FILLED with fantastic talent. Spectacular writers, editors, publishers, artists and of course, readers. This is the reason I joined RVA Horror Book Club and RED VEIN ARMY; to bring the horror community together. 

With that being said, it is my great honor to introduce to you our first guest for the 2016 Books, Brews and Boos lineup.... JAMES CRAWFORD! <Wooohooo!!! Excitement! Cheers! Applause! We are officially kicking off our party now!>

Mr. Crawford is the author of four novels (including the BLOOD SOAKED series) and a number of short stories. He is also a pirate an amateur bladesmith and a dabbler of other arts.... possibly including some that are considered quite dark.... but mostly of the renaissance kind. His most recent novel MANLEIGH CHEESE, delves into the world of food trucks, fairies and politics. 

"A food truck vendor and his staff run straight into a government conspiracy in the form of a catering gig at the White House. Little do they know that the intrigue arises from a bargain made with a particularly vicious supernatural being. How could they possibly know that the world around them is much more than it seems..."

In preparation of Fridays panel discussion, I had the opportunity to ask each of our guests a few questions. This is one of my favorite parts because it gives me a pretty good glimpse into who we will be hanging out with at the Brewery. Here are a few of the answers we got from James...

Who has most influenced or inspired your writing?
James Crawford: Jim Butcher, maybe Richard Kadrey

What is your favorite book of the moment?
JC: Mark Reefe's  The Road to Jericho

When did you realize horror was the genre for you?
JC: Actually I didn't. It happened because the original inspiration for my first book was a weapon for fighting zombies. The book had to involve blood and guts!

What is your favorite character/monster you've written and why?
JC: I've got two so far. Frank from "Blood Soaked..." and Toll from "Manleigh Cheese."

Stephen King or HP Lovecraft?
JC: Their bastard lovechild.

Would you rather be a vampire with hemophilia or a werewolf with fleas? Why?
JC: Werewolf with fleas. There's instant potential for humor and connection with the character. Who hasn't had an itch that won't go away?

If you could ask any celebrity... living or dead... to help you hide a body, who would you choose and why?
JC: John Barrowman, because he'd make sure we dress fabulously (or completely absurd) for the task. Probably have laughs and cocktails afterward.
Yes, yes, yes. All the yes.

What unusual hobbies/ interests do you have that you believe readers wouldn't expect from you?
JC: Studying human behavior, art, cooking, depression awareness, and a ton of metal/art related hobbies (but that's no surprise).

Anything else you want to mention?
JC: Never ever tell a clinically depressed person to "just feel better." You're contributing to how poorly we feel about ourselves. Be patient, even if you can't understand our reactions or why we feel the way we feel. 

I want to thank James Crawford for taking the time to answer our questions and for coming out to join us at Books, Brews and Boos THIS FRIDAY September 23rd, from 8-10pm at Strangeways Brewing! Pick up a copy of one of his books RIGHT NOW or grab one from the author after the discussion. You can follow Mr. Crawford on all the social medias: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and of course his website,

Come back tomorrow and I will introduce you to RONALD MALFI!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

I Know I Said I Would Write...

I know, I know... I said I would drop a line now and again... Maybe stop by for a quick visit and tell you that I think you're pretty. I have not done that. And I do think you're pretty. You are so very pretty I just want to eat you up! I love your face so much and you deserve to know that! In fact, the last time I gave this apology was right about this time last year... (You Only Call When You Want Something).

So here's the thing:

I'm still staying busy, doing my thang, being awesome, and bringing horror to the masses with RED VEIN ARMY. In fact, we are opening our brand spanking new Haunted Attraction this October at Hanover Vegetable Farm, RED VEIN Haunted House. It's kind of a big deal...
*cough* the boss HATES all these memes... I gotta add more

Since we last sat around for tea and chatted over a plate of scones, RED VEIN ARMY and I have done some fascinating things. We built an escape room in a brewery, summoned Mr. ScreamFreak to read scary stories in a blanket fort, AND returned to Scares That Care Weekend Charity with a bigger, better and more thrilling haunted attraction. That isn't even the complete list. We've done a lot of things and had a lot of fun.  Yet, all that fun does not come without a lot of hard work.
Courtesy Tami Peters Anderson Photography

Before our grand-opening, we have planned a number of other exciting activities, events and special appearances. Our next event makes me giddy because it's near and dear to my heart! That's also the reason I finally decided to check in. This time it's not about our hard work. it's about others.

See, I'm not selfish.

Boils and Ghouls, Pretty and Putrid, Handsome and Heinous! May I once again announce the return of BOOKS, BREWS and BOOS to Strangeways Brewing!!! <cheers! applause! OH MY GAWD, all the JAZZ HANDS>

This year we have invited five guests to join our panel and discuss books, the world of horror and the best ways to hide a body. things that keep you up at night.  Joining us we have James Crawford, Ronald Malfi, D. Alexander Ward, and Ryan Cagle and James D. Jenkins of Valancourt Books.  We will have a very special character host leading the discussion as well as trivia, prizes and LOTS of great beer. Did I mention that Strangeways will have released GOURDS OF THUNDER, their Imperial Pumpkin Ale just in time for Books, Brews and Boos?! If this evening doesn't get you in a spooky mood I don't know what will.

Over the next couple of days, I will help prepare you to bask in the glory that is our lineup by posting an interview with each of our guests. Check back each day so you can read about each author. We are very excited about this lineup and to have the opportunity to share this with our community. So many incredibly talented people making sure YOU have great books to read!

Come see me tomorrow, will ya? I want to introduce you to James Crawford!
Hey that's me! Kinda. See you at Strangeways September 23, 2016 from 8-10pm! 

P.S. We will have some trivia questions and just a little hint... some answers will be found in the interviews!

P.P.S. PRIZES for trivia!

Friday, January 15, 2016

This Is Not An Ode To David Bowie

This week has been plagued with death and not even the good our-dreams-of-a-zombie-apocalypse-have-finally-come-true kind. We have lost our muses and our mentors. I wanted to write this after I heard about David Bowie, that's the one that has hurt me the most. The week interrupted my plans but the sentiment is still here days later.
Returned to the Stars, 1947-2016

This post has nothing to do with zombies, monsters, horror or any apocalyptic scenario. Unless you consider this an artist apocalypse. Let's go with that. Otherwise, I don't care. I write what I want.

I love David Bowie. I can not remember not loving him. When I was a kid, I knew his music without knowing his face; I had to wait till Labyrinth for that. Luckily, the wait was short and one of the most memorable parts of my childhood. Labyrinth was one of my favorite movies, tied with Legend. I wanted to be Sarah. I wanted to wear the beautiful gown, explore the Labyrinth, and I wanted the goblin king to take my brother away; really, really wanted to get rid of my brother. The only flaw I saw in Sarah was at the end, when she turned Jareth down. His offer to come away with him, to have everything but just do what he says... oh yeah, I would have gone. I was still waiting for him to come take me away when I heard the news. Sure my brother is older and now one of my best friends but there were still pretty dresses, goblins, puzzles, and dancing to be done!

Oh yes, Jareth, I do!!!

But as I said, this is not an ode to David Bowie. It is not a memorial. Nor is it a retrospect of his many personalities through the years, the way he flawlessly reinvented himself with only help from the stars. No not an ode. I refuse to close my eyes and think of the way his music filled me, inspired me, moved me. Not right now. Every great muse is eternal. This is a call to action.

Music has been and will always be my first love. I wrote songs in Kindergarten, recorded on my My First Sony and performed for my family on my Star Stage. I have no idea how my family tolerated me. As I got older, I learned to play instruments but continued my preference for singing. I would sing constantly and without inhibition. I didn't care if I was good but I believed I was and it wasn't till high school that I started to hesitate. Music is not a career, not realistic, this is a waste of time, even if you're good, what are the chances.  There were no believers. I took to poetry. It was personal, private, often filled with angst and most importantly, an outlet. I wrote everyday. wrote everywhere, rhymes flowed and I still heard music. At 18, I immersed myself in the DC music scene. Spoken word, art, live music and writers everywhere. There was magic! An unmistakable feeling of euphoria when you stepped in a room of artists. Those artists are still some of the best people I have ever met and I love them dearly. But I was scared. I performed on the same stage as Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald but I always held back. I was scared to take chances, to take a risk that would shed the skin suit I would wear of what was ordinary. To be myself, what I felt inside means being vulnerable to judging eyes. So I quit.
I kid you not; I sang anything. circa 1989. Me, my brother clearly not taken by the Goblin King, and the uncle responsible for introducing me to Star Wars and popular music. Thank you for everything, Uncle Phil.

If you've met me, you may have heard a number of reasons as to what led to me hanging up the mic but it all boils down to one thing: Fear.

David Bowie wasn't scared. His passion transcended any definition of "good." He just was. He was amazing.

I tell you this not because I think it's interesting but so you understand why I feel so strongly. Why I believe we need action. I speak not just to you, dear reader, but to myself. No matter how you happened upon these words I need you to witness that the fire has not been extinguished and dares to burn brighter still. We need a call to action. Action from the artists, the dreamers, supporters, lovers, musicians. The creators. We grieve our idols and accept our fate to be a world absent of inspiration. Our future is doomed because the musical movement is lacking and seemingly non-existent. The greats are gone.

This will not be the case.

This is the Apocalypse of the Arts and there will be a rebirth. We will rise from the ash, the soil the past has nurtured and fertilized. We will shed the skin of fear, regret and conformity. We will move forward embracing ourselves, our passions and blossom in the new day. We are of the stars.

We are not canvas, blank and forgettable. We are the ink, the paint, the notes on the scale, the words on the paper. We leave behind us a path no one can follow.

Go create.

It's okay to be spectacular. It's even okay to be terrible. You might inspire someone else. Someone like David Bowie. Someone will remember what you did. Go support others. Buy art, listen to local music, read everything. Explore and let yourself be inspired.

This is not an Ode to David Bowie. This is a call to action.

But Ziggy, you will still be missed.