All posts by Russ Colchamiro

The Writer’s Tale: A Love Story


Russ photo 2

So far my novelist career has been comprised of outrageous science fiction adventures, a mix of screwball comedies and multi-dimensional chaos.

But within those pages … are love stories.

In my scifi backpacking comedy Finders Keepers, Donald and Danielle are newlyweds in Eternity, who, through bizarre machinations, accidentally knock a jar of the Universe’s DNA into the still for
ming Earth.

As these two characters fret about the disaster they’ve caused, they individually go to great lengths to protect the other. As Donald says at one point of Danielle, “She’s not just wife, she’s my girl.” But when he says those things … that’s really me talking about my own wife, Liz.

We’ve been together now for more than 13 years, and have two children together. Yes, she’s the mother of my children and indeed she is my wife. And she’s my girl.

Crossline coverSwitching gears to my scifi adventure Crossline, our hero, space pilot Marcus Powell, is displaced into a modern-day, parallel Earth, desperately trying to get back home to his wife and daughter. When he laments his predicament — that he is responsible, at least in part, for his own misfortune — he’s expressing his innate desire to be reunited with his girls. Nothing else to him matters. Continue reading

My New Year Resolution – Listen to Hank

Russ photo 2When I think back to a year ago — one year ago exactly — I was in a similar, but distinctly different place in the world.

I was geared up, feeling good, had lots of positive mojo going, and beyond work and the family, I knew that 2013 was going to be a huge year for me on the writing front. I knew it in my bones.

I was about to finalize Crossline, my first original novel with Crazy 8 Press, and I was working on the re-launch of my debut novel, Finders Keepers, also with Crazy 8 Press.

And then ……. I got bronchitis. I typically don’t get more than one or two colds a year, but I managed to pick up some super strain from my kids, and I was really sick.

For four. Straight. Months.

Not fun.

Then, the day I finally stopped coughing, and felt good … I got nailed with some wicked stomach virus that wiped me out for three days. Grrrrr.

Crossline coverI ultimately got my health back, and I did, in fact, release both books through Crazy 8 Press, to critical praise. But I was also in the process of selling my apartment in Queens, and buying a house in New Jersey, which also meant packing, and moving, and lawyers, accountants, realtors, plumbers, electricians, painters, and so much more. Continue reading

Orphan Black. Accept No Substitute


Although I’m a little behind this season I’ve really been enjoying Arrow, and based on how it’s developed so far I’m confident it will keep getting better and better. Agents of SHIELD is, well, let’s just walk on by and leave that to others to pick on.

But if we’re talking about genre shows that I love, where I just can’t get enough, the conversation begins and ends with Orphan Black, on BBC America.

Orphan Black is a dark, twisty, fast-paced conspiracy thriller with maybe the best performance … ever? … by an actress in any show, and I would argue the best of any genre show for sure. Tatiana Maslany is nothing short of brilliant playing nine — yep, nine — totally unique versions of the same character. I have no idea how they pulled it off, but man oh man they did.

But it’s not a one-woman show. It’s got a full cast of characters you either root for, or against — a shout out to Jordan Gavaris as Felix – and whereas they could have dragged out this 10 episode season into multiple seasons, just to milk it, they went full throttle and brought us so far so fast, without ever leaving us behind, that you just have to hang on try to catch your breath. Continue reading

The Origami Effect – Blade Runner

Blade-runnerSure, I have fond memories of the Gil Gerard Buck Rogers movie and TV show, and as a kid I loved the so-bad-it’s-good Flash Gordon movie with the Queen soundtrack.

And if you haven’t read it, the novel version of 2001 — which was actually a short story in 1948 but came out in novel form after the movie — is actually a lot more optimistic than what Kubrick did with it. And by the way, Kubrick’s version is incredible, although not the kind of movie I run back to very often. Too ominous.

For my money, the best prose-to-visual translation of sci-fi begins and ends with Blade Runner, from Philip K. Dick’s Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep?

The next question becomes … which version of Blade Runner? And my answer is … all of them.

They each have their subtle distinctions, and I’m not going to get into those now, but as a stand-alone, 2-hour movie, I just love the atmosphere, the noir tone, and the underlying question of what it means to dream. Continue reading

Author’s Inspiration: Taking a Stand for Stephen King

The_Stand_UncutI’ll just come right out and say it.

I rarely read Stephen King. Not because he isn’t good. It’s that I don’t like horror.  So me and his stories … not so much. And therein lays the irony. Here’s why:

As part of our Crazy 8 Press theme this month, we challenged one another to blog about a piece of writing that inspires us as authors ourselves.

In my previous life I received a degree in Secondary English Education from Buffalo State College. My plan — as man much younger than I am today — was to become a full-time high school English teacher. But after graduation I switched gears and went into journalism instead, and now I write novels.

Anyhoo, as part of my teacher’s course load at the time I was required to take a class in teaching writing. Enter said mad author scientist Stephen King. For my final paper — which counted for half of my semester’s grade — I wrote about (and gave a presentation on) the inherent value in teaching The Stand.

In particular I noted the epic novel’s modeling of dialogue, setting, tension, and character development. Granted, I found the book’s ending a bit weak, but the first 850 pages — eight hundred and fifty! — are absolutely mesmerizing. Trashcan Man. Fran. The Walking Dude, a.k.a. Randall Flagg. Whoa. I’ll never forget them. Continue reading

The Jelly Jar Fatality

It began with a jelly jar, and ended with a doorknob.

Okay. So I need you to be with me for a minute.

Being a writer, particularly an author who takes a year or two complete each novel, the research and writing process is predominantly a solitary experience, and one that readers — for the most part — don’t see.

Well … here’s a peak through that window as I look to finish the first Finders Keepers sequel, and my third novel under the Crazy 8 Press banner:

The last few months have been a whirling dervish. I recently sold my apartment in Queens, NY, and, at least for the time being, I’m living in my in-law’s loft in Central New Jersey.

And when I say “I”, I’m talking me, my wife, my three-year-old twins, and my dog. So, yeah … it’s an adjustment.

During this process — which is still ongoing — I’m also trying to buy a house in Northern New Jersey. If all goes well, it’ll be another 2-3 months, and then we get to start our new life, all living in one place with all of our stuff. Coolio. Continue reading