jj palooka recent comments

written 24 days ago

So I didn't have time to actually start reading...but I accidentally began the first chapter and completely buzzed through it. This is excellent, excellent stuff.

'Each little chain of letters strung out painfully across the whiteness of the page...is another road to follow.' That's...that's beautiful.

All of your descriptions, for that matter, are beautiful. Sparse, but vivid, excessively economical. I'm a huge sucker for your style, and shall continue reading this, whether I have time or not.


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written 227 days ago

Yeah. This is okay. view book

written 285 days ago

I couldn't resist commenting on this book -- seeing how it closely resembles my own work, which is a bit dear to my heart. I'm putting this on my shelf without a second thought, and will return with brutally honest feedback.

=Brandt= view book

written 308 days ago

Just stopped by for a quick look -- Put it on my shelf and starred you after reading the first three paragraphs. I'll be back for a full critique. Love what I've seen so far.

=Brandt= view book

written 1210 days ago

Don't take this the wrong way, but...

I realize writers come here for different reasons -- I really do. Some people are here to read, to have fun with the community, to meet new and interesting people, to hone their craft. And some people are here because they think their book is worthy of publication. With that idea, they aim their project toward the Editor's Desk. You've asked me to read this book at least once. I frequently ignore spam (I strongly view requests for backings as pure spam, and nothing but spam), but, upon seeing how many bookshelves Savannah Passion is sitting atop -- 172 at the time of this comment -- my curiosity was piqued, and I submitted to a brief read.

All that said...

Do you really think this book is ready for the Desk, ready for an HC review, ready for an agent, ready for publication?

You're in the Top 5 right now, so I suppose this book WILL be reviewed by HC -- ready or not.

To be brutally honest, if I had opened this book while standing in my local Barnes & Noble, I wouldn't have gotten furtner than the opening line -- your hook, as it were. 'Hayley Falcon stood rigidly in front of yet another of the signs.'

I actually re-read that thing a few times in disbelief. This is your opening line? I don't have the arrogance to tell you HOW you should re-write this, but please know there are about a dozen alternatives -- especially if you use the succeeding paragraph.

Pushing onward...

'nightmare sprawl of luxury estates.' Try 'nightmarish' instead. Even that is a smidge melodramatic, to be honest.

There's another line about 'thumping heart' and 'dampened snare drum' and 'loud kettle drum' all in the same sentence. A bit much, I would say. There's another line somewhere about adrenaline rushing into fear to create a latent byproduct. I understand what you're trying to say, but there's nothing latent about adrenaline, or its effects on the body. If nausea is meant to be the 'latent byproduct' then why does she throw up almost immediately? Again, where's the latency?

Moving on...

Acidic frown? Purple-tipped digits? Bambi-killing pea shooter? Trudging out the road? Unsatisfying sip of lukewarm coffee? Why not simply 'sip of lukewarm coffee' then return to the line where his answer was as 'unsatisfying as her coffee'? Just a thought.

Anyway. I could go on. But I'm not trying to be mean. Trying to be helpful here. There's a lot of over-writing present in Chapter One, a lot of telling and not showing.

I'm interested to see what HC will say about this. I'm sure there's a market for this, and I wish you the best of luck.

=Brandt= view book

written 1216 days ago

First off: this is right up my alley -- but from reading my book, you already know that.

The style is great -- at first. But by chapter 5, I found myself distracted, skimming, yawning. I wanted to skip to the next patch of dialogue. The actual narration sequences are unpolished, dry, and fairly sloppy. I find myself doing too much of the work to make it all coherent. This can all be cleaned up with appropriate commas and periods and the like, so it's not a big deal. I'm not trying to be harsh; this is actually an extremely easy fix. And the book will be better for it. It just needs more snap.

So, this is a revenge tale...And they're burning down churches -- once a year? Just one church a year? I can't really figure out how often these acts of arson are happening -- Sorry if I missed that somewhere. I just got the feeling of 'being in the middle' of something, when, in reality, there would be so much downtime. Am I wrong? Let me know if I am, and I'll re-read.

I must admit, my little boy was using me like a jungle gym while I read this -- on a computer monitor. This book is one shining example of why e-reading blows. Put this in a paperback, let me turn the pages, let me peripherally see the story coming instead of constantly clicking downward, and you have a whole different experience.

It's on my shelf, and I'll continue to read. I'm a bit slow, I'm afraid. But I DO like this, in case I failed to mention that.

=Brandt= view book

written 1226 days ago

This has a lot of potential, but I personally found Fred a little too intelligent -- or, at the very least, introspective -- to be believable. I've only read one chapter so far, but I think the story would be better served if Fred's inner monologue was a little more Zombie-like. He could still be a 'thinker' as he calls himself, if the style itself actually resembled the streaming consciousness of an undead person (if that makes sense).

I have too many questions, I think. I mean, if Fred is so intelligent -- even philosophical -- then why is he forced into cannibalism? It's a virus, but he's literally not breathing? That gives it a more supernatural vibe, in my opinion. Clearly, some of these questions -- which are by no means deal-breakers -- might actually be answered in the next chapter, but my point remains: Most agents and publishers won't bother to read any further.

Have you ever read PYGMY by Chuck Palahniuk? The whole story is told from the POV of a young Chinese boy (I think) and is in the form of badly broken English. It's confusing, but the story squeezes through in its own bizarre voice. I wonder how Fred would sound if he spoke in broken English, his thoughts finding inertia and focus by his more primal, zombie-like needs for survival. It's one thing to be a smart zombie, but it's another thing altogether to not even sound like a zombie.

Of course, this isn't what you want to hear, and this is only my opinion (which isn't worth much). But this book HAS opened my eyes to the possibilities -- if approached correctly -- of a true Zombie POV novel. And for that, I thank you.

(...I'm also still reading...)


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written 1229 days ago

Thanks for looking at TAGGERS.

I don't have much to say about Dropcloth Angels that hasn't already been said. It's excellent, of course -- that much is certain, but you don't need me to tell you that.

I don't personally agree with the Harper Collins review, except for the good parts. I don't think HC really understands the market right now -- at least not the global market -- and judging by their list of recent publications this isn't going out on a limb.

I've always wanted to write a book like DcA, but could never find the right balance. I found myself identifying with Zane in certain situations, so I don't think finding common ground is a problem, let alone mainstream appeal.

This book is great. The writing is top-notch. Harper Collins is out of touch.

TAGGERS view book

written 1232 days ago

Dude, you should save your crying for the forum. view book

written 1236 days ago

I'm glad you read at least three chapters of my book, and then drew conclusions about my characters as if you had read the entire book.

Myself, I couldn't get through three paragraphs of this book. Sorry. Just my opinion. view book

written 1567 days ago

I guess I'm the only person here who doesn't care for the title? On an industry landscape three-feet deep with techie thrillers I would've -- ironically -- overlooked the uniqueness of this snowflake. I appreciate the symbolism, but, at first glance, I might have assumed this was a sappy story about a girl and her show horse.

Of course, it's not. And it's quite good.

My suggestion (for what it's worth): The end of Chapter 1 needs some reorganizing...

Jason reflects on Isabel's death, but you tell us everything in the paragraph starting with 'He still remembered the day...' which makes the following paragraph redundant and unnecessary. I would either not reveal she was pregnant in the first paragraph (waiting until the second), or omit the second paragraph altogether.

There are also some noteworthy grammatical errors: 'you computer' should be 'your computer.' And in the very beginning, there are some dialogue snafu's. For instance: 'The chief is dead,' he looked arouond the room -- could be 'The chief is dead,' he said, looking around the room...

Like I said, these are just some things I noticed. Only trying to help, so don't get angry with me.

All in all, this is a beautiful snowflake. I would love to see this at an airport bookstore -- and I mean that in the most complimentary of ways.

=Miles= view book

written 1572 days ago

This is a great pitch, and I'm backing it on the strength of that pitch alone.

Your very first paragraph -- are these guys talking about Cinderella? I'm confused, but I just started -- literally.

Anyway, I will be back with some more quibbles.

(in the short pitch, should it be 'wizarding' or wizardry?)

=Miles= view book

written 1572 days ago

There's something very relaxing about YA fiction -- it's so disarming. I guess, most of the time, I don't expect too much, so I always feel surprised when the story is even average.

Eve's Tear is completely above average, however, and a perfect fit for the genre. You've encapsulated your little universe well. Your characters are immediately believable and immensely likable.

I read the first two chapters, then skipped around a bit, landing on chapter eight...now I'm reading chapter 9, and I feel like I need to go all the way back and read every word. Anyway, my point is, if you've read anything I've written, you must know what an accomplishment that in of itself actually is. This couldn't be further from my target subject matter, but I couldn't resist the effortless charm of Alix and the adventure you're sweeping her through.

On my shelf, for two points, and much-needed attention. Good luck.

tAgGeRs view book

written 1573 days ago

A rare find in this overcrowded industry of pop-culture oversaturation. This is . at his galvanizing best. Another fucking classic.

tAgGeRs view book

written 1573 days ago

A formidable and coveted force?

I know you're just getting things rolling here on Authonomy, but spend some time editing real fast before your book -- which is great, by the way -- gets seen by too many nonforgiving eyes.

The Long Pitch, for instance, is all over the map. You have a great premise, but way too much information, and it needs some editing. Nothing major, but it's distracting.

For instance:
This is how I would re-structure your Pitch --

Something is coming...to Earth.

On a strange alien planet, past the veil that separates human life from extinction, a formidable and highly coveted power known as the Quinxtinella Orb has been in dangerous hands for nearly half a millennium. What secrets have been locked away under the Orb's surface? And what will happen when those secrets are unleashed?

.....And from there, well, the pitch really loses me -- first the MC, Everylyn, then her partner, then his brother, then the brother's coconspirator...? It's a bit much.

I'm a sucker for sci-fi thrillers, but if you can just zoom in a bit on the real focus of the story -- Everylyn and James on an intergalactic adventure, racing against time for the salvation of Earth.

I mean, that's what the story is about, right?

Anyway, I am not trying to be an ass -- so don't take any offense. Just trying to help.

I've read up to chapter 6 so far, so you definitely have a knack. This is a fully realized world, with a vivid and believable tapestry of characters. Your dialogue is center-stage, and I love it.

Your story feels epic, and you're meticulously constructing the universe here. Shelved for the points. I wish you all the luck in the galaxy. Fortunately, your talent is light-years ahead of the crowd.

tAgGeRs view book

written 1575 days ago

Tough subject matter, but you handle it with ease. You have a natural born talent. On my shelf for a few points. Good luck.

=MiLeS wAS hErE=
------TAGGERS------ view book

written 1665 days ago


I've read seven chapters, Simon, and I really want to say something critical before I begin praising, but the fact that I've read seven chapters already should tell you something...

In the first chapter: Luke thinks to himself, 'Why the hell...' This struck me as odd -- Luke seems naive and innocent, a fact confirmed by the bully incident, so the word 'hell,' as innocuous as it might be, felt out of place.

I agree with some of the others before me: New Title! I would overlook this in a bookstore based on the title alone. 'Ghostworld' itself seems more fitting. 'Dead Elementary,' 'Haunting High,' 'Death for Dummies.' I dont' know, something more playful, you know?

When I first started reading I instantly enjoyed the Ping-Pong narrative, and it works very well. It's very clean. I always know where I'm at. Kudos.

I love the character of Luke. I connected to him right away, mostly because of his desperation. The incident of the bullies forces me to feel this, and it's a no-brainer mechanic. I wish there was more going on during the Sheer concert, another layer to Luke's desperation. Maybe he sees the bullies in the crowd? Maybe his fight toward the stage is an attempt at keeping more distance between him and the bullies? Maybe he gets pulled up onto the stage against his will, as that sometimes happens? Maybe he jumps up on stage as a way to prove how 'cool' he is to the bullies? As it stands, I wonder if someone as unsure of himself as Luke clearly is would have the courage to jump up on stage of his own volition? I'm not saying he wouldn't, but there is a real opportunity to deepen his character portrait during this scene -- and with minor editing, too. All that aside, I greatly identify with his agenda, and, as a reader, I'm intrigued to see it through -- will he uncover the mystery of his father, or will he get revenge on the bullies? If his sole motivation is revenge, please refer to the earlier comment about the bullies during the concert, as this may need more fleshing out.

Alice is also a fascinating character. I know your story works wonderfully for your chosen demographic, but there is much more going on here. You sympathize with her in the opening scene, without a doubt. But you raise so many interesting questions: Did her mother have an affair? Do her parents really despise her? With just a few pages, you paint a very vivid picture of her mother -- a real witch, it seems. When Alice was proposed a choice between good and evil spirit, I was so hoping she'd choose to be evil to get some revenge on that gorgon of a mother of hers. But, again, adding more consistency to Alice, she chooses the former option and provides more depth to her character, and draws you in even more as a reader.

I love the whole premise of this. I love the faculty of this 'school.' The dialogue is very lively, if you'll pardon the irony, and the joke about the skeleton and the mop made me laugh out loud. I wish Rosalind was a bit younger, maybe a play on our English teacher schoolboy fantasies, but that's just me.

As of chapter 7, I can't tell if they spend a lot of time in this Ghostworld School, but I hope they do. I think you've introduced enough elements to keep me entertained already without ever revisiting the boring world of the living.

I shelved you twice, once for Luke, and once for Alice.

=Miles= view book

written 1668 days ago

This is very solid, and I've backed you, giving you thirteen points.

My only problem -- and it's minor, I assure you -- is why not cut the first chapter in half? I don't see the point in switching the perspective over to Colette, having her basically repeat everything we just read, if you're simply going to kill her off. I don't need to feel sympathy for her -- the act itself is brutal enough to illicit sympathy. And whether she knows any of this or not is irrelevant to the scene.

That's just my opinon, of course -- like I said, very solid, great pitch, and you have my backing. There's a huge market for this. Very apropos.

taggers view book

written 1670 days ago

Damn good.

On my shelf.

=Miles= view book

written 1671 days ago

Firecracker of a start. Any suggestion I might've had was quelled by the third chapter, when your narration really takes on a depth of its own.

The chapters are a bit long, but only when reading it on a screen. On real paper this would fly by. You have a real kinetic pacing, and it's exactly what this genre is all about.

Kudos. And I'll be happy to give you some points.

taggers view book