Friday, May 30, 2014

The Hangout Fest and The Hangfest, Reality Meets Fiction

The Hangout Fest. Heard of it? Been to it? The music festival takes place on the beach in Gulf Shores Alabama every May, and has for the last 5 years. A mini city is built 10 days prior to the gates opening to 40,000 (this year) visitors, consists of several stage setups for music performances, rides, and vendors. Every year we may come back blistered, but never enough that we’re not making plans for the next Hangout.

If you’ve been there, chances are we’ve passed. If you haven’t, maybe you have been and don’t know it…

Have you read Six Silver Strings Series

The HANGFEST on the  coast in Gulf Shores is where Marissa and Jack meet. Every book has an inspiration, and The Hangfest is the fictional Hangout Fest of that fateful fictional day. Here’s a story, and if you follow me on this—and know a little background on certain musicians—you may see deeper into the G-String Series inspiration.

Readers of the series know Jack and Marissa ran into each other in a tour bus parking area. A chance meeting because of “that stupid dog,” and the rest is history for this metal maniac and jilted fiancĂ©e.

The first Hangout Fest came just after the BP Oil Spill, nevertheless, it went off fine. You know those events you go to, and the jerks seem to come out to play? Hangout Fest is not one of those places, even under the harshest of circumstances—and that was a weird year.

Next year. Foo Fighters, surprise show announced just a couple of weeks prior, and The Black Keys. I knew, no matter how many came afterward, they would never get better than that. And you know what I’m going to say next. It did—or at least was equaled.

The White Stripes was one of my favorite bands, still is, but I use “was” since the band is dissolved. This particular year, Jack White and his mobile record store had been at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin—another great music (arts and everything) fest in a great venue. In the weeks between SXSW and HF, I had a feeling Jack White would be at Gulf Shores. I was obsessed with the possibility, because he--as a musician--is my obsession.

Every year, The Hangout Fest has ‘surprise guests.’ Sure enough, that year, Jack White showed. I’m sure Jack stayed in a really nice hotel, I wouldn't know… 

What I do know is several months later, I entered a short story contest thrown by one of my favorite authors Victoria Ashley. The guidelines for the story were: humor genre, festival setting, and it had to contain a Jack Russell terrier.

After mulling that over for an hour or so while washing dishes, I banged out Jack Who? in less than two hours—the short version. My readers on Wattpad went crazy. Having never experienced Wattpad fame, I found it cool when every comment after the last chapter was a plea for the story to continue. And so the story continued. The same after book one for book two, and so on. We still aren’t finished with Jack and Marissa.

I know I’m being random here, and if you’re still reading, you’re about to put the pieces together. While washing dishes, I thought about the area with the buses, and private tents, and the day I was sure I walked by Jack White. You know the dog is fictional—he had to be in the story. The bang is fictional—although I’m pretty sure my husband would let me do Jack White. But the festival is real, and if you love music, it’s one of the best places you will ever go.

A little disappointed because you read all that crap I typed up while I’m two-glasses-of wine-chatty, and you think that’s as deep as the story behind the series gets? Don’t be. It gets much deeper. Maybe nothing  in the paragraphs above other than the inspiration for the story has any direct relation to the series, but if you absorb all the details as a whole, and if you’re a Jack White and The White Stripes fan, you may be suddenly viewing characters, names, and places with different eyes—if you haven’t already when reading the books. Lisa_Gillis LisaGillisAuthor author lisa gillis

Monday, May 5, 2014

Plenty in life is free ~ but should it be? #authorRT #indie

Plenty in life is free ~ but should it be?

For a couple of years, a Craigslist ad and the response to it has been circulating social media sites. I've no idea if there’s any truth to it, but the short version goes something like this.

Ad: We are a small & casual restaurant looking for musicians to play in our restaurant to promote their work and sell their CD. This is not a paying job…but could eventually turn into a nightly event if we get positive response. …

Reply:  … I am a musician with a big house looking for a restauranteur to come to my house to promote his/her restaurant by making dinner for me and my friends. This is not a paying job…but could eventually turn into a nightly event if we get a positive response….

Being a fairly new indie author who cross promotes with indie bands, I see hard work given away FREE constantly—in the name of promotion and building a fan base.

Independent authors and bands are similar in this manner. It saddens me to see an artist or author put much time and energy into their work and then feel they have to give it away in the hopes of drawing paying fans.

No way would I say this is wrong—the twitter ‘Free Friday’ ritual is fun! However, permanent free indie work is becoming common—and even worse, expected.

I’m not frowning on the artists who go with free. I have utmost respect for those who take the indie path and the many hats they wear to get out there, get known, create a brand.

However, to consumers, I implore.

Respect the indies you love by supporting them in some way. Discover a free book or song you love? Buy another from the same artist. No money and that’s why you were browsing free? Write a wonderful review. Spread the word on your social media sites as well as word of mouth

Support Indie Authors & Musicians in whatever way you can.

It’s a new age. Unlike the past when you only heard or read what managed to get through traditional channels, you are exposed to it all and you are vital in the make it or break it stage of your favorite artists!

Looking for something free? Got you covered. (Bet you thought I didn't do free after that rant) My readers are my rock stars and for all you do, the Storm Cells series of novelettes will always be free to you. A Difficult Date is available if you don't have it yet, and June Bugs will be released next month! Here's where to sign up to stay informed.

email that rocks lisa gillis author

email that rocks lisa gillis author Lisa_Gillis LisaGillisAuthor author lisa gillis