I try to keep things pretty much the same here. The process is simple: write story -> edit story -> record story -> post story to website. That is pretty much what composes dannymachal.com. Keeps it from getting personal, and keeps me from contributing “nothing” to the blog universe; you see that so many other places. So keeping that in mind I feel this is important. Part of becoming a writer is respecting the people you look up to and becoming part of a team. A team that encourages each other and helps spread the word for each other. So let’s talk about the thrill ride that my hopefully future teammate JC Hutchins authored: Personal Effects – Dark Art.
Hutchins’s book is about a man suspected in 12 murders. He is currently being held at Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital and his name is Martin Grace. Martin Grace isn’t your average killer/crazy person, for he is also, blind. Now, Personal Effects – Dark Art is told through the eyes of hipster art therapist Zach Taylor. Zach helps the insane by letting them express themselves through art work, painting, quilting, etc. He gets assigned to the Grace case and has a week to determine if Grace is sane enough to go to trial.
Personal Effects – Dark Art takes you into the mind of a complete mad man. Martin Grace claims there is a force that rules him, he talks about, the “Dark Man.” Even Zach isn’t immune to the Dark Man’s infectious evil and finds himself slowly being sucked into his own psychosis as he unravels the dark details of not only himself, but also Mr. Grace. Things are not what they seem with Brinkvale’s newest resident, and Zach must learn that. He must discover it all, even dipping into his own personal darkness.
This is more than a story you just read and walk away from. Look at these pictures I took.
See all that? Those are the photos, birth certificates, death certificates, identification cards, scribbled notes, forgotten letters, ancient accommodations and other important documents that are all part of the Personal Effects – Dark Art universe. Go to My Flickr! page to get the big versions. It isn’t just a bunch of paper and plastic, no, there are websites and contact numbers. That is MY cell phone with Zach Taylor’s phone number. Call it, I dare you! Zach isn’t the only number in my phone, there are other numbers I discovered as I read through the book.
When I first got the book I spread out all the stuff that comes with it (as you see) and started to take notes and organize myself. That is the notebook you see there. I was glad I did, there is SO much extra stuff beyond these written pages I can’t even begin to tell you. Well I could, but Zach Taylor does a better job. I got it on Thursday of last week and I stayed up until 3 a.m. I finished reading all the text but then I spent two days just exploring the rest of the Personal Effects – Dark Art world. It is truly the evolution of story telling. No movie, no game, and no television program will ever get you as involved in a story as Hutchins’s revolutionary method. Get yourself a copy and check it out!
If this isn’t enough – Hutchins has started releasing the prequel novella to Personal Effects – Dark Art. It is called Sword of Blood and if you ask me, it is way more bat shit crazy than Personal Effects. Sword of Blood also started me on a personal quest, a secret quest. shhhhhhhhhh
p.s. The story hasn’t ended for me, I don’t know that it ever will. I tore out page 179 and I carry it with me now. You were wrong Hutch, it does mean something, and I will figure out what.
Danny Machal June 17th, 2009