Shout Out to Jude Landry

Every once in a while I like to give a shout out to Jude Landry.

Jude is an amazing artist.  He’s won all kinds of awards and when I needed an artist to design the cover to my book, Andropia, he immediately sprang to mind and he nailed it.  My basement is literally full of Jude’s artwork.  He does play posters, festival promotions, font design, illustration work, book covers, CD covers – he can literally do anything you need.

Lately, my wife and I have been trying like crazy to find art for our daughters’ playroom.  Kristen suddenly remembered seeing some children’s art posted by Jude and realized it would be a perfect fit.  We got in touch with Jude, and within a matter of days, the art was printed and mailed.

Jude is a fantastic artist, a conscientious vender, and a wonderful person.  I urge you to visit his website and I know you’ll find something you’d love in your own home.

Pay him a visit at:

http://judelandry.com/

I’ll post pictures of the children’s art he mailed us as soon as they arrive!

Andropia Vs. The Dark Knight Rises

* This post is taken from Jude Landry’s blog: http://judeinitaly.blogspot.com/2011/07/andropia-vs-dark-knight.html .  Jude is the incredibly gifted artist who designed my Andropia cover.  He brings up an interesting argument …

“The new Dark Knight film released a poster yesterday that is very similar to my book cover for Foley’s ANDROPIA, which I designed in 2008/2009. My cover features a sideview of a human head with the sun located in the brain area. The Dark Knight poster uses the same concept but with some slightly more photorealistic graphics and the sky in the shape of the Batman symbol. They probably didn’t rip me off; the chances they saw my cover are very small. Pretty interesting, though!”

So what do you say, readers?  An amazing coincidence, or does Jude have a fan in pretty high places?

Andropia Is Here!

My latest book, Andropia, is now live and available for purchase.  I like to think of it as philosophical science fiction, heavily influenced by the world events of the last five years as well as classic works of literature such as Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451.

Andropia is the world’s last city, a utopia for its citizens known as Andropians.  They exist to please the Maker, he who created them in his floating Citadel.  Andropians cheerfully question nothing as they go about unnecessarily purifying air, cleaning water, and raising livestock.

When Isaac arrives from the Citadel, his many questions lead other Andropians to compare him to the deviant Amelia.  Soon Amelia and Isaac’s paths cross, and she persuades him to help rescue their people.  For she long ago discovered a suspected harbinger of destruction, an object that could mean the end of life as they know it.

Isaac and Amelia invade the Citadel and confront the Maker, but nothing could have prepared them for what they learn and their final fates.

To get your signed copy of Andropia, simply follow the link:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=KYL4N7D8D4XHG

or send $13.95 to:

Scott William Foley
P.O. Box 174
Normal, IL  61761

The shipping is free, and please allow up to three weeks for delivery.

If you’d like to read the first few chapters, click on this: Andropia Sample Chapters!

Andropia is also available at Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Andropia-Scott-William-Foley/dp/1450222366/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1274142161&sr=1-1

and Barnes and Noble.com:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Andropia/e/9781450222365/?itm=1&USRI=andropia

I truly hope you’ll give Andropia a try!

Sincerely,
Scott

Check Out Jude Landry’s Cover To My Latest Book!

Jude Landry is someone who will be revered one day as an artist … mark my words.  Originally a friend of a friend, I asked Jude almost two years ago if he’d design the cover for a book that I planned to release.  Because I  loved his previous work, I knew Jude would come up with something fantastic.  And so he did.  Best of all?  I like to think we became great friends in the process.  Behold Jude Landry’s cover to Andropia:

Be sure to visit Jude Landry’s website and look at his amazing work by clicking HERE!

And don’t forget, you can use PAYPAL to order a signed copy of Andropia by clicking HERE!

RE: VERSE STRIKES AGAIN!

Dear Educators, Librarians, Writers, and Poets,

Downtown Bloomington’s TheatresCool is excited to again present RE: VERSE, a night of poetry reading and performance. All ages are welcome to attend this open mic event, and anyone fourteen or older is encouraged to perform an original poem or dramatic reading. We’d like to keep this a monthly event, so please help it continue!

This month’s RE: VERSE will be on December 8th from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. It’s a free event, but $5 donations are greatly appreciated.

Know a poet who would love to take part? Forward this message to him or her! We are thankful for any help you can provide in facilitating the love of art. This rare venue is such a great opportunity for our artists, let’s not squander it!

Here’s a link to the location and its address:

http://www.theatrescool.com/
403 N. Main Street
Bloomington, IL

Questions? Feel free to get in touch and I’ll answer them.

Sincerely,
Scott William Foley

All-Ages Open Mic Night Needs Poets and Performers

Dear Educators, Librarians, Writers, and Poets,

Downtown Bloomington’s TheatresCool is excited to present RE: VERSE, a night of poetry reading and performance. All ages are welcome to attend this open mic event, and anyone fourteen or older is encouraged to perform an original poem or dramatic reading. We’d like to make this a monthly event, so please help make the inaugural session a raving success!

RE: VERSE will begin November 10th and occur the second Tuesday of every month from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. It’s a free event, but $5 donations are greatly appreciated.

Know a poet who would love to take part? Forward this email on to him or her! Do you have a space where poets and performers frequent? Print off the attached poster and put it up! We are thankful for any help you can provide in facilitating the love of art. This rare venue is such a great opportunity for our artists, let’s not squander it!

Here’s a link to the location and its address:

http://www.theatrescool.com/
403 N. Main Street
Bloomington, IL

Questions? Feel free to get in touch and I’ll answer them.

Sincerely,
Scott William Foley

Do Not Deny Me by Jean Thompson – A Book Review

Do Not Deny Me is one of those rare short story collections that actually gets better as it progresses.

I must admit that I picked this book up simply because it was a short story collection and, as a short story writer, I try to familiarize myself with successful authors’ styles and subjects.  When I read the author biography and discovered that Thompson only lives fifty miles away from me, well, I automatically wanted to like the book and support a fellow Central Illinoisan.

We got off to a rough start.  The first story in Do Not Deny Me, entitled “Soldiers of Spiritos,” began promisingly enough but then fell flat as it detailed a burnt out professor and an “emo” student.  “Wilderness” was not much of an improvement as it followed the stories of two middle-aged women—friends—and their troubled love lives.  The third story was almost enough to make me put down the book; “Mr. Rat” was the typical jerk at work story focusing upon an egocentric young man.

But then, with the fourth story called “Little Brown Bird,” things markedly improved.   From that moment on, nearly all of the following stories were extremely good.  In particular, I enjoyed “The Woman at the Well,” a story about a female prison Bible study group; “Escape,” a story about an elderly man still suffering from the ramifications of a stroke trying to gain his independence again; “How We Brought the Good News,” a story about a spurned lover discovering amazing art in her workplace and hunting down the artist; and, my absolute favorite, “Treehouse,” a story about a middle-aged man who just doesn’t much see the point of anything anymore, and so he builds himself a tree house as a coping mechanism.

Thompson excels at presenting identifiable, realistic characters that will most certainly remind us of people we know (if not directly ourselves).  While few of her characters are heroic, their idiosyncrasies tended to win me over (though not always), and it’s obvious they were as real to Thompson as the keyboard I’m typing upon is to me.  Her stories are well-plotted and her craftsmanship is faultless.  She succeeds in giving us just enough detail to satisfy our mind’s eye, but she does not overindulge as so many writers are prone to do.

There are five stories in this collection that more than justify the price of this book, and if you’re a fan of character-driven, convincing, adroitly written stories that reveal the hardships of the average person, then I whole-heartedly recommend Do Not Deny Me.

The Unfinished Novel and Other Short Stories by Valerie Martin – A Book Review

Without trepidation or hesitation, I declare this a very good short story collection and wholeheartedly recommend it to devoted lovers of art and literature.

In The Unfinished Novel, Valerie Martin not only displays expert craftsmanship, but she also concocts truly identifiable, interesting characters with extremely engaging plots.

It’s rather common knowledge that hardcore bookworms have flirted either with the idea of writing something themselves or with some other artistic endeavor.  This makes The Unfinished Novel the perfect collection for such insatiable readers.  Each story focuses upon an artist of some sort – whether it be a painter, an actor, a novelist, or a poet – and each artist struggles not only with life and its challenges, but also with their craft.

Martin composes eloquent, vibrant sentences with powerful diction, and she also comprehends what it means to be a creator, thus presenting authentic, flawed characters for whom we have no trouble imagining and owning.

My only complaint with The Unfinished Novel is that Martin tends to end her stories on an abrupt, often haphazard note.  She lays such solid foundation that I found myself surprised when her endings came out of nowhere and, in some cases, seemed to exist independently from the preceding plot.  In most cases, this was a forgivable offense, but with the story entitled “The Bower,” it really ruined an otherwise exceptional tale.

That being said, the installment titled “The Unfinished Novel” is one of the best short stories I’ve ever read, and I assure you, that’s not hyperbole.  Making up most of the book’s content, this short in particular is worth the purchase price alone.

Like I already said, if you love art and literature, appreciate fine writing and astounding vocabulary, and can’t get enough of realistic, captivating characters, then The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories is a must-read.

Baby Emma By Aunt Dixie

Several weeks ago we received a mysterious package in the mail.  I saw it came from my Aunt Dixie, a very talented artist who deserves far more recognition than she’s getting.  I opened it, and my heart just melted.  Aunt Dixie had drawn a portrait of our daughter based upon the Christmas cards we sent out!

Here is a picture of Emma sitting next to her picture:

portrait-by-dixie-month-6

Dixie Petticrew is an amazing artist and I hope you’ll check out her website at:

http://horsey90.tripod.com/id10.html

If you’d like to get in touch with her to commission a work or buy her preexisting art, just drop me a line at scottwilliamfoley@gmail.com.

Ex Machina: Ex Cathedra (Volume 7) – A Graphic Novel Review

Ever since getting on board with Ex Machina after its first volume, I literally cannot wait for each new volume to be released.  That’s why, after months of looking forward to Ex Cathedra, I couldn’t help but initially feel a little disappointment.  However, after a second reading, my opinion changed drastically.  More on that in a moment.

Like I said, because I count down the days until certain books come out, I tend to pick them up as soon as possible and tear right through them.  I did that with Ex Cathedra, neglecting to let it sit on my tongue and savor it.  I forgot what originally drew me to Ex Machina was the fact that it was really unlike anything else, and so when I first read Ex Cathedra and didn’t get it, I thought, “What is this?  I waited for this?”  It seemed directionless, pointless, and haphazard to me.

But then I decided I read it too fast, and (as much to get my money’s worth as anything), I determined I should give it another go.

On the second read, I picked up on a lot of parallels that I missed the first time around.  In Ex Cathedra, Mayor Hundred (a former super hero who stopped the destruction of one of the Twin Towers) is invited to the Vatican to visit the Pope before his death.  When Hundred arrives, a Father reveals he arranged for Hundred’s visit to investigate the origins of Hundred’s abilities, even claiming the mayor may be the antichrist.  However, the Pope still wants an audience with Hundred, which prompts a Russian conspirator to use Hundred as an assassin by tapping into Hundred’s machine-friendly mind.  I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s say that Hundred has some incredible revelations as he tries to resist killing the Pope. 

Brian K. Vaughan offers a very brief story (four issues) full of nuance and punch-if read carefully.  As usual, Vaughan interrupts the present-day unveiling of the tale with flashbacks to Hundred’s The Great Machine days (his super hero identity).  In this volume, those flashbacks each deal with a different perspective on religion, which amplifies the main story, the one unfolding in Hundred’s here-and-now.  This author technique is effective because it continues to give us insight into Mayor Hundred’s character, his days as a super hero, and his various reactions to different situations involving religions.  This, of course, helps us understand his motives and reactions when meeting the Pope.

Artist Tony Harris continues to rock on Ex Machina.  His figures, clothing, architecture, and layouts are charismatic without being distracting.  His art works to supplement and progress the story, which is the idea in such a visual medium.  Harris, in my opinion, is one of the best in the business and deserves more recognition.

Finally, Vaughan takes the time to help us get to know Commissioner Angotti a little better by giving us some background on her all-the-while moving she and Hundred’s professional relationship forward and in a new, less combative direction.  While this stand-alone issue has some very serious themes, there’s also quite a bit of comic book in-jokes, especially involving another famous hero and Commissioner team. 

In Ex Cathedra, I was initially guilty of forgetting what draws me to Ex Machina on a regular basis.  I forgot I love this title because it’s like nothing else, and once I slowed down and gave it the time it deserved, I really saw it for the gem it is.