May 22, 2018

eNJoy: Stories by the Sea -- SUMMER KICKOFF GIVEAWAY!



FRIENDS: good news! BingBangCo. is celebrating the upcoming summer weather the only way we know how. With eNJoy's #BookBirthday around the corner, I'm running a HUGE giveaway and multiple chances to win. See below for details:

  1. First and foremost: Stories by the Sea drops to $10 and Stories by the Sea: LOCALS ONLY drops to $15! AND you can get the standard edition for FREE on Kindle from May 24th - 28th.
  2. WIN a free signed copy by signing up for BingBangCo's newsletter. One lucky subscriber will be chosen at random.
  3. WIN a free signed Locals Only copy AND tote bag on this IG post. (Details in the caption). Unlimited entries, more tags = better odds!

All entries must be in by May 25th at 11:59 pm EST. Winners announced May 26th.



Here are some freebies:


Please spread the word. NJ is what we make it. Not MTV. 🖕 

We want to bring the lit scene to an already thriving jersey shore art scene. Put it alongside amazing artists like: Jay Alders, J-Mitchell, Maggie MazzaMegan JacobsonSean Bernhardt, Brittany KopfPredator Dub Assassins, Psychotic Submarines --- the list goes on. 

Support local art.

-------

Stay tuned for our upcoming STORIES BY THE SEA reading series. Our second event is coming soon. More details to follow. MUCH LOVE!

May 15, 2018

Q & A with Eric Keegan, writer, author, and photographer


Eric is originally from Portland, Oregon and moved out to Ocean County, NJ at a very young age.  Something about originating in the Pacific Northwest led him to dream about the wilderness, the stars, the oceans, and all things related.  He always wanted to become a writer but was never able to find traction or the proper motivation to get started.  It wasn't until falling in love with novel reading again a few years ago that he decided to try his hand at the written word.  Eric currently lives in New Jersey and works in manufacturing, while working on an online degree and writing as much as possible. Connect with him on Instagram @blankpagesofmine and Twitter @ekeegs815. And be sure to check out his debut novel, The Dioramist, available now!

-------

GB: Eric, thank you for taking time to talk. My first question is usually: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Any background info or projects worthy of highlighting for the readers?

EK: Hi Glen, thanks for taking the time to interview me! I guess first and foremost, I'm a writer.  I've only begun investing a lot of time into it over the past few years, but I feel like it's always been a part of me.  Lingering around inside a dusty cupboard somewhere, maybe.  I'm a Jersey native and even now being in my thirties, I still am awestruck by the shore and our beaches just as much today as I was when I was growing up.  You being a fellow shore-hound, I'm sure you can relate.  I've just recently published my debut novel titled The Dioramist, which is a fictional story about a man in his mid-twenties who goes through somewhat of a coming-of-adult age saga.  There are fragments of me in the story, as it usually goes with any writer's work.  I had an absolute blast working on this project.  The sequel is currently in the works, but I've put that aside to work on a comedy side project titled Both Sides of One Two, which will be releasing some time before the end of the year.

GB: On top of being an avid reader, you maintain a successful Instagram page. Does that inspire your writing at all? What impacts does that have on your work?

EK:  Instagram has been my home base in the social networking world.  There's something about a visual blog that is just so appealing in this day in age, especially because everyone's posting techniques are so clever and wonderfully unique. Words represent anything that you want them to, but pictures in addition to words mesh together like a timeless peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  I find that spending time on Instagram does not take away from my writing any, in fact, it inspires me to do more with it.  Poets, writers, photographers, motivational speakers, are just some of the many groups in this social world that harness inspiration and project it out unto us like paint splatter on a canvas. Creators always have to have each other's support, you know?

GB: The Dioramist was one of the most unique reads I've come across this year. Can you talk a little bit about its concept and influence?

EK:  Thank you for the nice words! The idea came to me on a whim.  I had been deciding what story I should run with because I'd half-finished dozens of works that never really clicked for me. The Dioramist was a way of describing the tribulations that I've had with becoming a writer and how there's that moment when a writer fully grasps what it's all about. Writing in the first person felt like I was playing ventriloquist to the main character and getting to know him from the time that the first word was generated, all the way to the closing of the back cover.

GB: What's your process like? Any difficulties you've overcome recently?

EK:  My process is slightly different than the conventional norm, I guess you could say. I write exclusively on my phone and edit the majority of my projects on there as well, before transferring documents to a desktop PC for final editing.  Most of my ideas come to me sporadically and I found that by trying to sit down at a computer and write, I was losing the momentum that I have when I'm just out and about.  One of the hardest things about the writing is that you can never have enough.  It's an addiction in the truest sense of the word.  Writer's block are two words that have as much of a hostile reaction as a Potterhead saying the birthright alternative to He Who Must Not Be Named, but I always try my hardest to break through that block with a hammer.  It's not always easy, and with everything we do, there is always a challenge lurking around to try and keep us from dreaming with our hearts and minds.

GB: You're a fellow New Jerseyian like me. How does that inspire your work, if at all? Care to share any stories that some of our local squad might eNJoy?

EK:  Being from New Jersey, to me, feels like we're all living on the cover of a vinyl record that has its own exhibit inside Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Everyone knows about our little state, who we are, how much we love salt water and rich sand, and that makes me feel like we're a society of our own.  Places like the Asbury Casino and Convention Hall, the Navesink Twin Lights, Grounds for Sculpture, and Cape May always pluck the creative strings inside of me.  They affect me in the way that Stonehenge, the NY skyline, San Francisco's Golden Gate, etc. get deep down inside of other people.  One story that I like to share is from a few years ago when I was in a creative rut with the writing.  I woke up early one morning and drove out to the Asbury boardwalk in the coldest of the winter months.  The wind chill was something fierce and not too many people were out and about.  I took the time to think about where I would go next with the writing and took a photography excursion that started on Cookman Avenue and took me all the way up to the most northern beaches of Sandy Hook.  It was one of the most reflective, soul-searching days that I've ever experienced and anytime I get snagged up on the writing, I think back to that day.

GB: What other types of art do you like experiment with? Why?

EK:  I've always enjoyed experimenting with words, pictures, and drawings.  The Dioramist is where I was finally able to combine all three. I love conventional writing styles, but I've always enjoyed creating my own and seeing how far it can take me.

GB: Who and what is on your MUST-READ list?

EK:  I've got two shelves filled with all-time favorite works that I could talk to you endlessly about.  In fact, I think that we've already done that several times before and some of your favorites have now become some of my favorites.  John Steinbeck, Ian Fleming, Cormac McCarthy, Jack Kerouac, and Haruki Murakami are the authors that I've devoted the most time to over the years.  Their writing styles are tremendous and it's their fantastical words that have ripped me from reality time and time again.  The books that have rocked my world the most are Cormac's The Road, Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County, Kerouac's Dharma Bums, Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, Murakami's Hear The Wind Sing, Hornby's High Fidelity, Charles Martin's Unwritten, and Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.  I guess I didn't give enough fair warning that I could discuss books all day... it's just as addictive as writing!

GB: What does "success" mean to you?

EK:  Success is a word that I think we all struggle with in our own ways.  To me, it means finding a passion that you adore and making it a part of your everyday life.  Like breathing, eating, or being in the company of those who make your world centripetal.

GB: If you could list one word or phrase to describe your message and what you are trying to provide for the world, what would it be and why?

EK:  One of my favorite phrases is actually the name of an episode from the television show Dexter, titled "That Night, A Forest Grew." It's a phrase that I took away from the show, despite my thoughts on it having nothing to do with the show itself.  Everyone wants to be happy and successful, and to do that, we need to break free of what holds us back from achieving those things.  Sometimes, you just need to step out of the shadows and let the forest grow.  Allow you to be you in the best way you know how and take every minute of it for what it's worth.

GB: What's next for Eric Keegan? Got any future projects we can look out for?

EK:  I mentioned before that I'd completed writing a sequel to The Dioramist, which I'm very excited about.  I'm planning for the story to conclude as a trilogy but would like to work on some other projects for the time being.  Both Sides of One Two is a comedic love story that I've been crafting to be more of an experience for the reader, as opposed to simply the next book in the TBR list.  Funny movies and television are two of the things that have always been a major part of who I am and it's great to be able to take a hack at it myself.