Home > CR Interviews
A Short Interview With Jamie S. Rich
posted January 1, 2007
Jamie S. Rich is one of those people in comics who's been around the industry for just about the same length of time I've been around comics, but through accidents of parallel focus and divergent interests we've never ended up talking to one another. A prominent editor at first Dark Horse and then Oni Press, Rich left what looked like a career that could have lasted the span of his adult life to take on the more solitary path of a prose and comics writer, first finishing up a novel Cut My Hair
. That first work is now the initial release in a planned, eventual trilogy.
Rich has also written comics. His latest works in that medium are the series Love the Way You Love
, with Marc Ellerby, and the original graphic novel 12 Reasons Why I Love Her
with Joelle Jones. The latter is an archly constructed breakdown of a relationship that if you've read it will make you think "Oh, of course" when Rich brings up the Albert Finney/Audrey Hepburn film Two For the Road
as a kind of spiritual forefather. Rich also wrote the most formally sophisticated short story to appear in the anthology Four Letter Worlds
earlier this year, "F For Fake."
As I admit below, I'm probably reading Rich's comics from a slightly different perspective than most of his intended audience, and I appreciate the up front manner in which he answered questions from someone who sees as many potential roadblocks as on-ramps in his chosen areas of creative exploration. I think it's likely there will be a lot more writers like Rich in the future, suspended between prose and comics, pursuing both fields without hiding one from the other, and I was happy to get to talk to him. He sure knows how to meet a deadline.
TOM SPURGEON: Jamie, can you give us an idea of how your professional time breaks down? I know about your comics work and your novels, but is there other writing that you do, or another profession you have?
JAMIE S. RICH:
I've been a freelancer writer exclusively since August, having left a part-time retail job. In addition to my own stuff, I work on the English scripts for manga
, polishing translations for Tokyopop
and Ice Kunion
. I've also been writing articles for Shojo Beat
and DVD and movie reviews for DVDTalk.com
Right now, I've got a pretty good handle on balancing my time. I work five or six days a week, sometimes straight through, but I move around my work schedule as movie screenings and other things require. I tend to stay up until 3 or 4:00 in the morning, and I get up by 11:00, answer e-mails, exercise, and then get to work as the muse strikes. I tend to work on the foreign comics the first couple of days of the week, either Sunday and Monday or Monday and Tuesday. Then I use the end of the week to write my comics or my prose, squeezing in my other writing, including my blogging, as needed. The schedule for my own stuff is far less dictatorial than my money work. I coordinate the comics with James Lucas Jones
and the artists, and my prose is usually up to me. I'm pretty dedicated, so I get a lot done.
SPURGEON: People talk about working in the comics industry as more of a final destination than as something you might do at one time and continue on from... are there skills and experiences you developed during your time at Dark Horse and Oni that you continue to draw on today?
Well, as an editor, the most important thing I picked up was a healthy respect for deadlines. Deadlines are my best friends. I like the pressure, and I like that there is a finish line. Otherwise, I can run around in circles on something forever.
I also have a very practical knowledge of what it takes to get a comic book out. This can be good or bad for my editors and publishers. In some ways, I know what is possible and so don't demand too much, and in others, I know what is possible and know when I am getting too little. James has it particularly bad because he used to be my assistant, and so I know how he works and he knows he can't slip anything by me.
Sometimes I wish I had left editing sooner, because I really wanted to get going on the writing a long time ago, but I think the editing experience ended up being invaluable just for what I sucked up in terms of storytelling. I spent ten years watching over stories as they were being put together, and you can't help but absorbing the process. I tend to work on my instincts, so I'd like to think I walked away with a knack for knowing what fits on a comic book page, and what you can squeeze in from the front cover to the back.
SPURGEON: Can you talk a little bit about how Portland has changed as a comics town in the last ten years? It seems incredible to me how many cartoonists have moved there. Are there changes that you have noticed? Or does the number of cartoonists you could lay your hands on in a 24-hour period more just the answer to a trivia question than something that has an impact on anything?
I'm not sure it's changed all that much, except it makes our parties bigger when we do end up hanging out as one big group. I arrived in 1994, and even then, comics people congregated in their little pockets. Like any society, it has its cliques, and we keep to ourselves. I'm actually one of the worst for socializing. There are people I only see at San Diego
every year, and we live in the same city, work in the same profession. Even back at Dark Horse
, I was that way. I had my life at the office, and then I had what I did when I left, and I often kept those things separate.
Probably the biggest changes have been the introduction of Top Shelf
and Oni Press to the community; the creation of the small press workshop through Reading Frenzy, a sort of legendary 'zine store; and the formation of Mercury Studio
. The first made it so that the entire community wasn't just some fluky thing that revolved around Dark Horse, and the workshop put comics into the broader-based DIY artistic community that kind of defines Portland. The guys at Mercury showed that Portland isn't just a place for the crazy indies, but that there are a lot of mainstream artists here, as well. Plus, with Colleen Coover
, Steve Lieber
, and Jeff Parke
r as members, they also bridge that gap between indies and the "Big Boys."
The funny thing is, it's far more noticeable to people who don't live here than Portland itself. It's still just as hard to get any attention in this 'burg for doing comics. We've always had one or two champions at the various press venues throughout the years, but most of the papers are still obsessed with all the rock bands that play in our dingy clubs. From my experience, the only thing harder than comics to get press for in Portland is prose literature, so there are times when I feel doubly screwed. We're almost like this secret minority, an underground society. When I tell people I work in comics, they get this weird look in their eye and say, "Oh, I hear there are a lot of you." It's really strange, and unless you're Brian Bendis
or Greg Rucka
and you happen to wander into a store where a fanboy works, it's an anonymous artistic lifestyle.
SPURGEON: Do you have role models in comics? Who? How about writing?
RICH: Matt Wagner
and Mike Allred
have always been my heroes, because they are both true mavericks. You never hear them talking about jobs they took because they had to, everything they do is because they want to. Matt I look at for the sensible approach. He has a clear sense of his career and maintains a forward momentum and is very smart about it. Mike is more of a wild card. You don't tell Mike he can't do something, because he'll make you eat your words. Both have been very successful doing their own things, and they both have a bibliography that shows a lot of variety. I was fortunate enough to become friends with both of them when I got to town -- and particularly Matt, who I was already a fan of and Grendel
was directly responsible for me getting a job in the industry. Mike was a discovery after I arrived.
As far as writing, currently, I don't have any contemporary authors who I am following. I am woefully ignorant of what is popular now. I'm pretty out of step with what is going on, and for all the comparisons I get to Nick Hornby
, I actually had completed my first book, Cut My Hair
, before I'd ever read High Fidelity
. I'd be much happier being mentioned in the same breath as F. Scott Fitzgerald
and other classic authors, really. And over the past couple of years, film has been a much heavier influence on my work than anything. Perhaps it's the marrying of forms, somehow the middle between words and pictures, but it's mostly just time and what can be digested. If there is any contemporary auteur
I wish I could be, it's Wong Kar-Wai
. I'm fascinated by how he puts a narrative together. I feel he makes movies like a novelist, and I want to learn to write novels like he makes movies.
SPURGEON: Do you feel part of a Portland writing tradition or community? Is there a Portland writing tradition or community? Do you know of other people in roughly your age group pursuing similar goals?
Not at all, actually. I know there are a lot of writers in town, but I really know hardly any of them. My work on some of the alternative weeklies put me in contact with Kevin Sampsell
, for instance, who published Sarah Grace McCandless
back when she was in the marketing department at Dark Horse, and that was really the extent of it. Matt Wagner and I did the graphic novel panel at Wordstock
this year, which is a new literary festival in town, and I think we were almost seen as this kind of oddity. The author who introduced us, Marc Acito
, was really fascinated by what we were doing, and from there I ended up seeing Marc everywhere I went, and I thought maybe I had unlocked the door to this secret world of writers, but no such luck.
In all honesty, that's probably my fault. I'm just not social. I've been going to press screenings of movies for months now, and I've never talked to any of the other critics except David Walker
, who I already knew. I quietly sneak in, and quietly sneak out, and there's a perverse part of me that has turned it into a kind of game. How long can I go with no one knowing who I am? So, there are probably people out there who are in line with what I do, but I've never actively sought them out. When it comes to career advice and similar goals, I actually turn to musician friends, as they tend to have a very realistic viewpoint of art vs. big business.
SPURGEON: You have a visible net presence, one that's recognizable as a writer with a certain amount of work on your plate and in your past. As a public author, is there any danger that effort put assuming that role can have in changing the act of writing, or even crowd out the time and devotion and distance one needs to write? How do you stay productive?
Well, I've scaled back my net presence since I left Oni, where I felt it was more required of me to be a public face for the company. Even then, though, when people thought I was spending a lot of time online, they weren't really aware of how fast I worked at such things. I don't linger on a message board post, I just go with it. To keep it from getting out of hand, I also have rules about my engagement with other people online. You can fall down deep dark holes of circular arguments, and I learned you had to be ready to get out rather than drown.
A lot of my online stuff, particularly blog posts, come as warm-ups. If you look at posting times, it's often in the morning or the late evening. Most of the artists I know sketch before they start working on a comic book page, and so if I write something for my blog, it's like sketching. It's getting the fingers warmed up, the mind working. If I go for days without posting, then you know I'm particularly busy, because I will avoid the computer. I'll even go work in coffee shops without wifi connections so I can meet a deadline. For the more social interaction of the Internet, it's just like socializing in real life. As a freelancer, you have to be prepared to police yourself and say, "No, I can't go do that, I can't hang out today, I've got to work." I've waited all my life to do what I'm doing, so I'm not going to screw it up.
As far as how it might affect the writing itself, again, I have to point at my talent for compartmentalizing. I'm very aware of what I am letting out online, of what I might be using. My work is seen as very personal, and I have a pretty hard time keeping myself on one side of the line and my fiction on the other. Part of it is I like to tweak perceptions and tease my reader with certain aspects of me vs. my characters; part of it is just the nature of my passions when it comes to storytelling. I don't write about most of my life on my blog because that way anything that happens to me is still mine, and thus still fodder for stories if I need it while still giving me plausible deniability.
SPURGEON: Are you still rewriting manga? What have you learned about comics through that particular assignment?
Again, a lot of it is osmosis. By going through a comic page by page, balloon by balloon, the mechanics of it start to seep through. I think it's changed how I approached a page, and I've definitely found inspiration in some of the stories I want to tell. The ongoing soap opera element was a big influence on Love the Way You Love
, for instance.
Otherwise, I look at it like working out. Because I've done many different genres, from horror to romantic comedy to fantasy, I feel like I've gotten my exercise in a lot of different writing styles. Each manga or manwha is like a specific kind of aerobic activity, the writing zeros in on some particular muscle sets, and I walk away with a more facile understanding of how to work a line of dialog.
SPURGEON: Can you make a case for comics as a medium in which to do romance stories? I was thinking about romance as a comics genre and it was a real latecomer, with very blunt financial goals, and it's since built an aesthetic history that's not exactly up there with comics' history with humor work, say. What do you find that comics does well that suits romance? Or is a medium more of a blank slate with you?
It's kind of a blank slate. My knowledge of the history of romance comics is practically zilch, and for me, the first elements of the genre I would have seen would have been the ongoing affairs in [Chris] Claremont
and then Los Bros Hernandez
. Claremont in particular had a lot in common with daytime television soap operas, in that both things take their sweet time getting where they are going. I was watching Days of Our Lives
at a girlfriend's house in high school, and I took some time off from it when I went to college. When I'd go home on vacation and see new episodes, I'd be shocked that the characters and story lines were all in the same exact place. It was designed so that you could come and go and never be lost.
I stopped reading X-Men
around the same time, and I only returned when Steven T. Seagle
, a guy I hugely admire, and Chris Bachalo
took over, and it was like, everything was exactly as I remembered it. My guess is that Claremont got that element from manga more than Days of Our Lives
, as manga is really good at that, too. So, I would suppose that for ongoing series, you have a venue where people are ready to invest a lot of time into the story.
Or, on the flip, if you want to do something complete and quick, then original graphic novels allow you to work in a structure similar to classic romantic films. 12 Reasons Why I Love Her
is very much like that. In prose, the story would be kind of light, but for a movie or a graphic novel, you can have a couple meet, fall in love, and go through the whole arc of their relationship in a very digestible time frame. There is actually a part in the 12 Reasons
script where I lament how much luckier filmmakers are because they have the montage, and comics don't quite have the same tools for quickly glossing over a specific expanse of time. We went for it in 12 Reasons
, in that first date at the restaurant in Reason 1, but it was a little tricky.
In truth, I think the comics community is still getting educated in romance. I remember back when I was editing Cheat
by Christine Norrie, some people felt the story didn't bring anything new to the genre, and I felt like it did in that there isn't much to compare it to in comic books. I felt the same way about what Blankets
did for coming of age stories in comics. We need to lay the groundwork for these genres that haven't traditionally been part of the sequential medium, and in that sense, we may have to tell some stories that might be considered conventional if done in a different format. Arguably, romance comics can work very well because comic books seduce through image and words, and most people are turned on by what they see and by what they hear. I think a beautifully executed drawing of the back of a man's hand brushing across a woman's cheek is a million times more effective than a drawing of a sock in the jaw. If you look at someone like Joelle Jones, she draws very sexy, and she can alter her line to make you feel a certain way. If you look at Reason 8 in our book, it's an extremely intimate sequence, composed entirely of tight shots and a sketchy, almost hazy look to how our lead female is drawn. It's very seductive, and I think for most readers, the point in the book where they know for sure they are in love with Gwen. That use of line, no other art form can compare.
SPURGEON: Can I ask how you and Andi Watson worked on your story "True" in
Four Letter Worlds? Your short story is very wordy, but also formally ambitious, lurching back and forth between spoken presentation and dramatic scene work, an essay in comics form. Can you talk about any story models from which you were working?
I would say the only real influence was Bendis' Fortune & Glory
, the conversational tone and the presentation of himself as a talking character. I suppose that has its roots in Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics
, too. In a way, I am sure John Cusack's performance in High Fidelity
also had an impact, and maybe a little bit of Amelie
, but really, it was Bendis and the way he could use an abstract, cartoony world to get his anecdotes across.
I don't recall if Andi was already signed on to do the story before I wrote it. I would say probably, because if it hadn't been Andi, it would have been Chynna Clugston
, and she was already in the anthology. It was a good choice either way, because I knew Andi's stuff intimately and knew he could handle wordy pages. I know the actual writing was just one of those things that happened and I stepped back from it utterly baffled by how I had pulled it off. I only had the germ of the idea, maybe the word "True" and that I would have to somehow tie it into fate, and the story about lying about my middle name. I was out for a walk, probably with headphones on, and it just started to run through my head. Before I knew it, I had written the whole thing and had to rush home before I lost it.
It's a frustrating thing, because usually the space between your brain and your hands dilutes everything, but in this case, it poured out exactly as I wanted, fully formed, and we tweaked very little of it. Andi was incredible because he was always able to take my descriptions a few extra steps forward and improve on them, and he made it all seem very manageable. He recently did that again for two pages we did for Usagi Yojimbo
#100. I turned in a so-so script to Diana Schutz
, kind of feeling too constrained in the short space, and Andi took a decent anecdote and made it sing.
I've really wanted to do more stories like that "True," but I've never really found the venue for it. I've done some other anthology work, but it's been more straightforward. I really owe Eric Stephenson at Image
for inviting me into his whacky idea and just turning me loose. "True" is one of my favorite things I've done.
SPURGEON: How did you and Joelle stage the shorts that comprise
12 Reasons? I'm interested in how you keep a level of visual interest going in a story that's driven by dialog and body language.
I was very conscious of the fact that I could end up boring my artist by not keeping her challenged, and as a result, we'd bore our reader. The phrase "talking heads" is a pejorative in sequential art, and I know that's what I write. I often write scenes in my comics as just dialog and then break it down into panels and pages. So, here I had largely a two-person story and it takes place in a handful of places, because for my money, the important parts of relationships take place in confined spaces. Part of the original concept was that some of the reasons would be more abstract and less narrative-based, like Gwen describing the seasons. So, that helped there, because we had short chapters that would be visually different by their very design. Other times, as I wrote, I just thought about how I could keep them moving. Could there be action in the background, for instance, or could we bring some of the abstract elements into the more straightforward scenes. That was how we got Gwen walking across treacherous rocks when she has to make a delicate explanation in Reason 11. I also thought about times when I just needed to get information out, and that's when I borrowed from Bendis again. A full-page illustration with a bunch of balloons can work wonders for getting over a conversation hump.
There are times, too, when I had to be secure enough to say, "You're better than this than I am, so here are five panels where I have only dialogue and hardly any description." The fight in the taxi cab in Reason 1 was like that. I let Joelle move the camera. I think, too, Joelle wanted to keep herself interested, so she'd toss in little touches, like when Gwen plays with the pen in Reason 2, pulling its cap off and looking inside. The people were alive for us, so it was just a matter of letting them be themselves.
SPURGEON: For that matter, can you talk about how you work in general if it hasn't come up in your answers to the previous questions? Do you do full script? How much back and forth do you seek with artists at various stages? How much tweaking do you do in the process of getting the story onto paper in its final form?
I tend to work in full scripts, though I will take various routes to getting a page laid out. 12 Reasons
was almost the easiest because I wrote one chunk at a time, solved its particular problems, and that was that. Like I said, sometimes I'll write the conversations before the action, just because that's what comes easiest for me, and conversation is the backbone of so much of what I do. If I'm having a hard time, I'll sketch out thumbnails and troubleshoot that way. They are ridiculous looking drawings, and I never show them to the artist, but I can type off of them and get what I need.
In the early stages of my relationships with both Joelle Jones and Marc Ellerby on Love the Way You Love
, I was far more specific about what I wanted to see because I didn't really know yet where we'd fit. After working with both of them, I was able to loosen up and leave space for them to work. I know what they are capable of and what they can bring to the table, and when their skill outweighs mine, no sense in forcing them down to my level. Neither have challenged me very much when it has come to story points, but they know they can. Plus, I think Marc in particular knows that I have a bad memory for what I write and he can just go ahead and change it and I'll think I wrote it that way. With Marc, I also changed the pace of the story to bring in some elements I know he particularly wanted to draw in a time frame that would suit his commitment to the book.
Joelle's influence on me can't be overstated. We have formed a true collaboration. This summer, I should be publishing my novel Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?
, and when I do, I'll be at a point for the first time in nearly two decades where I don't know what comes next for me, particularly in prose. I'll have achieved all my goals I left Oni to do. All I know is that Joelle and I have several ideas we are working with, things that have largely come out of her telling me what she would want to do. Our next graphic novel, You Have Killed Me
, came about like that. 12 Reasons
was going so well, I think we had only been working on it a couple of months, but I didn't want to lose her to anyone else, so I asked her if she would work with me again and what she would want to do, I'd write her anything. She said she wanted to do hardboiled crime, and since I had the same passion for it she did, I jumped at it, even though it scared me because it was so different from what I'm known for. She's challenging me in incredible ways I would never challenge myelf.
I should note, I always feel bad for Marc Ellerby
, because I answer something like this and it almost feels like I'm minimizing our relationship. I have great affection for Marc and think he's going on to great things... but I've always known he was going on. I'd love to work with him again, so much so that I've even expressed my willingness to help him on his own books. For those who know how little I want to do with editing anymore, you'll know that's not an offer I make lately. Marc also lives in England, as opposed to three blocks from me, so it's not like we can go drinking together! If he wanted me to write him him again, I would in a heartbeat.
SPURGEON: I was interested when reading some reviews of your work that people pointed to its realism, when my general reaction to
12 Reasons was that it was more of a really stylized fantasy, these very stage-like conversations, and idealized figures and even the whole practice of looking back and naming songs and all that. Do you feel your work is rigorously realistic or working out of stylized idealism or both or neither? Working in a romance, are you obligated to balance these features?
You know, I felt a lot of the negative reviews of 12 Reasons
took it way too seriously, and maybe some of the positive ones, too. One review basically dismissed the book as autobio, and my only response was, "I wish! If only my life were that interesting!" I think you're very right in that there is a balance. I think the situations are realistic, but the characters talk with style and they move within the structure of the story. I am not scared of dialog that sounds like dialog, or in stories with events that bend in ways stories are supposed to bend. My goal is to wrap you up in what's happening so you just go with it and it works for you. Most storytelling that I see labeled as "real" is so very not real. Life is sloppy, people speak poorly, and if you were to capture it as it really is, no one would want to see it. Reality needs to be edited. 12 Reasons
is very calculated to create an emotional response. All of my work is. Even the novels have surreal moments and flights of fancy. So, yeah, I think you're pretty much on the money.
SPURGEON: A theater director in Chicago once told me that every male playwright writes two plays they're better off not producing: one about his first love and one about the group of friends with whom he grew up. He said it's too difficult to have any perspective when it comes to those things, and the danger is finding yourself at the mercy of those emotions, or simply wanting to relive the experience, than being able to say something of value and interest about them. As you're getting older, how do you avoid the trap of writing a young man's work over and over again?
That's kind of the crossroads I'm at right now. I've tended to stay several years ahead of all of my characters. Cut My Hair
was written in my 20s but is about a guy who is 18, and I started The Everlasting
when I was 28 and it's a novel about being 25. The fantasy element is definitely a part of it. If I borrow something from my own life, then I get a chance to rewrite it, but more important than what happened to me, I listen to other people. I watch what friends go through in relationships and I draw from that. I look at how people behave toward one another, that's what fascinates me. If 12 Reasons
were about a real love of my own, it couldn't be as sweet and tidy as it is. Some of it gets mean, but I've never been in a situation where we are that good to one another.
Perhaps why Joelle is helping me now is encouraging my branching out into other genres, giving me places to explore while I figure out what I have to say about being in my mid-30s and beyond. One of the graphic novels we may do after You Have Killed Me
takes me back to relationships, but in a darker way. It's still got fantasy elements, but it's much more in shadow, and it will probably be more erotic. Most of my work I have seen in terms of pop songs, and this book would be in darker hues. It would actually be taking me closer to realizing my Wong Kar-Wai ambitions. Setting the stage for Joelle to do her thing is also releasing me from myself. I've had plenty of ideas I've had to reject because I think, "Well, I did that." When I write for her, I write as a fan who is coming up with the things I want to see her draw.
SPURGEON: Can you talk about the ending to
12 Reasons? Because on the one hand, I can recognize the time-honored tradition of ending with the beginning, a method that allows you to kind of reconsider and drink in the entirety of what's being depicted. On the other hand, did you feel like there was any danger in making that the exclamation point, kind of reducing the more complex aspects of the relationship as secondary to the thrill and rush of meeting someone new?
I think in retrospect, that has happened to a degree, that people have not lingered on some of the finer story points. I've joked that the end is like a new test of optimism vs. pessimism, and whether you think the couple is still together or not is the indicator of whether you're a glass half-empty or glass half-full kind of person. For the most part, though, it has worked because I really did want people to walk away with that initial blush, with the feeling of endless possibilities. Regardless of what came after, this is where you began and the feelings felt were important. It's my love for Stanley Donen's film Two for the Road
coming through. For whatever downside, it also helps sidestep some pitfalls of cliche. Had I ended on Reason 11, the big fight, then the book would have been about a relationship dissolving, rather than just about a relationship in all of its facets. Had I ended on a big reconciliation or a wedding or something, then it would have run the risk of being treacle with a big orchestral flourish that no one really believed.
My hope is that people will finish 12 Reasons
and like the two people they met and be glad they met them, and that some of what they witnessed as readers will stay with them so they'll go back and look at it all again, see how different pieces fit, and find more there. When reviewers focus on the realism in the book, it's that aspect that I appreciate them pointing out, the breadth of the narrative. It may be idealized, but that doesn't mean we chickened out when it came to the fact that there is a downside to love. If you really love someone, it's for all the things about them that strike you, good or bad. And I like that the point of view character, Evan, is not only honest about Gwen's faults, but he's even more honest about his own.
SPURGEON: Ideally, where would you like to be career-wise in ten years?
Getting by comfortably doing what I want to do. I like the swimming pool I've dug for myself, and I hope I'll be able to keep splashing around in it. If I can make enough scratch to get me a little cabin somewhere that I can just go and hide and be alone with the cat, that would be pretty swell, too.
SPURGEON: How are you enjoying the holidays?
It's pretty much over for me, thank God. This time of year really gets under my skin. People making asses of themselves and going into debt for the privilege, that's my idea of a good time! Christmas itself was pretty nice. I didn't do any work, just lay around and watched the complete UK The Office
, and then wandered over to Joelle's for mimosas
and omelets. In a gesture of holiday good will, her very mean cat even sat on my lap. The first time ever! It's enough to make even a Grinch
like me restore happiness to Whoville.
* photo by Whit Spurgeon, 2003
* panel from 12 Reasons
* cover to Cut My Hair
* page from "F For Fake" that shows off the wordiness and switches in presentational tone, trimmed slightly to make the text pop a little when reprinted here
* page from 12 Reasons
that gives you an idea of how you switch perspectives to keep up visual interest
* cover to prose book #2 of 3, The Everlasting
* Marc Ellerby art from Love the Way You Love
, featuring that most youthful of settings, the club show
Jamie S. Rich's Personal Web Site
Cut My Hair
12 Reasons Why I Love Her
Four Letter Worlds
Love the Way You Love