Book Release: The Fear Of Growing UP

The much anticipated follow-up to Where The Clouds Live is now available from all major booksellers!

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“It’s been ten years sinceThe Pine Cone Playhouse (America’s favorite childrens’ show) was cancelled. Yet, somehow, the show is more popular than ever! Through a series of unexpected events, Maxwell Lombardo (better known as Lumberjack Max) decides its time to bring the show back with new episodes and a new message.”

New Multimedia Project: “Lumberjack Max”

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Almost one year since the publication of Where The Clouds Live, Stuart Troxel has announced his latest, yet-to-be titled project. At the center of this project is the story of “Lumberjack Max,” the ex-host of a fictional children’s program entitled “The Pinecone Playhouse.” As part of this multimedia project, a comedic novel will tell the story of Lumberjack Max ten years after the cancellation of his beloved television show, and his heroic attempt to get the program back on the air while mentoring his most avid fan. The hardcover book will be accompanied by a unique series of painted works and a soundtrack album of music that explores many of the book’s themes.

Stay tuned over the next few months for updates and news regarding this exciting project!

Why Print Books?

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There’s no doubt in my mind that by offering my novel, Where The Clouds Live, in the from of an ebook I could easily double or even triple the revenue I’ve made so far as a paperback writer. In digital from, the book would be available for purchase almost anywhere in the world twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week from a variety of sources on a variety of devices. But while I aspire to one day possess the power of using dollar bills as construction paper, putting my personal interests and beliefs first helps me sleep at night. Without being radically charged on the subject or being a “retro” person, I often voice my opinion regarding the importance of authentic publication loudly and proudly.

I’m not completely anti-streaming, anti-digital, or anti-technology (after all, you’re not reading this on a carved rock), but I am pro-substance, pro-experience, and at heart, a romantic. Ask anyone born in the era of vinyl to compare a record’s quality to that of a digital download and ten times out of ten you’ll get the same answer: there is no comparison. From holding the sleeve in one’s hands to the warmer quality of sound, buying and listening to a record was in itself an experience. If one wanted to hear his or her favorite artist, he or she had to purchase the album in person then actually make a small effort to play it, especially if they wished to skip a song or hear the second side. There was no such thing as listening to Blonde On Blonde at the gym or the ability to stream the entire Simon And Garfunkel discography to avoid talking to strangers on a bus. To enjoy an artist’s work, one had to take some time out of his or her day, hang out, and experience every word, note, and nuance in a meaningful and almost magical way. The less effort put toward an experience, the less effect said experience will have on a person.

The same goes for reading a book. In an era in which there are literally billions of books and blogs and easily accessible articles to be read in the palm of your hand, it’s difficult to tell what’s special anymore. But when a work is printed on tangible paper, something deeper and more real occurs, much in the same vein as old photographs or seeing one’s own name in the newspaper as opposed to online. Although ephemera is the basis of tangibility, the work itself becomes far less ephemeral. As a printed book, words become more meaningful and gratifying. The story, without the possibility of countless alternatives at ones’ disposal, has far more depth and impact. Given the respectable nature of literature, humor works better in print, as does drama and horror. Characters have a chance to live and breathe. A printed book is a world in itself, not a world in a vast, digital solar system of varying quality.

I try not to be a materialistic person but I openly admit having a soft-spot for books. I love the experience of reading and re-reading books. I love holding books. I love getting lost in books. I love seeing books on my shelf as decorations. I like the smell of old books and new books. I like buying used books and finding hidden notes and written passages from previous owners. I love libraries. I love bookstores. I love reading books to my daughter. I love giving books away as gifts. I love receiving books as gifts. I love knowing my words and art are actually on a real book that people can flip through and experience. By holding and reading something that I’ve created, friends, family, and total strangers can read my thoughts, ideas, and jokes without me having to be in the same room. Owning a physical copy of my book is a way for one to experience my spirit without experiencing me, physically.

“The Groucho Movies” Book Cover

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Matthew Coniam, author of the highly acclaimed book The Annotated Marx Brothers, has graciously requested my talents for the cover of his next project, the first-ever book dedicated to the work of Groucho Marx solo on film, TV, radio, and the stage sans his famous brothers. According to Coniam, the book will be “the story of Groucho’s solo career, from the end of The Big Store to the end of his life, stopping off to consider his prose, theatre and radio, and focusing in detail on the behind the scenes stories of his major solo appearances in film and TV. As with The Annotated Marx Brothers there will be plenty of surprises and, I hope, things you never knew before. (There are already some things I never knew before…) Specially written appendices on such topics as ghost-writing and the infamous cigar joke round it all off, and I’m especially excited to say that a key player in the Marx Brothers Scrapbook controversy will be going on the record for the first time…”

The painting I created for the cover depicts an early-1950’s Groucho, sans the trademark greasepaint mustache he abandoned years before growing a real one in order to be more visually recognizable when his quiz show, You Bet Your Life, transitioned from radio to television. Groucho has played an important role in my life (he is one of several topics my father and I bond over) and has influenced me in more ways than one. I could not be more proud to have my work paired with such a historic and influential figure and most of all, I can’t see what Matthew Coniam is going to bring to the table in this fascinating new book.

The Groucho Movies is set for release in 2016

“Where The Clouds Live” Book Signing At Indy Reads Books