JeanBookNerd Storytellers BOX

Let your adventure begin...

Marina Lostetter


Sean Penn


Marina Lostetter


Tom Bilyeu

Impact Theory

Mike Bond


William L. Myers Jr.


Veronica G. Henry


E.E. KNight


Robert McCaw


Gregg Olsen


Josh Duhamel


Naomi Kristzer

CHAOS ON CATNET Official Blog Tour

Evie Green


Alyson Gerber


Gene Doucette


Monday, June 14, 2021

Melissa Larsen Interview - Shutter

Photo Credit: Emily Hlaváč Green

Melissa Larsen has an M.F.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has interned and worked extensively in publishing. She lives in San Francisco, and Shutter is her first novel.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
This is such an interesting question! For me, it was a gradual realization. I grew up in a very creative household—my father and older brother are writers and my mother is a poet, and that’s just my immediate family—so I was always supported and encouraged and inspired by them. I was also very intimidated by them! They are each of them incredibly talented and dedicated artists. So instead of writing (barring a few very influential college writing classes) I really focused my attention on a career in publishing.

It wasn’t until I was settling into a job at a publishing house that I realized that my creative well was completely empty. This realization—that I was unhappy, not because of the job, but because it felt like I had no identity outside of it or my family and friends—was also slow to reveal itself. I left publishing, pursued my MFA, and I fell in love with the work of writing. This was, and is, an enormous privilege that I am very grateful for.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Holding the actual physical copies of the book! Shutter was just an idea that I’d thought and talked about for years. I’d printed it out myself (too many times to count), but this was really something that existed purely in my mind and my computer (same thing!). Because of my writing process, I hardly shared the book with anyone. One of my very closest friends didn’t read it for three years! She almost killed me during the wait. So now, many years later, to be able to give my family and friends a copy of it to hold, to read, has to be the most rewarding experience so far. I am also consistently overwhelmed with the joy that comes from seeing others reading it.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
There is so much to choose from, but there is one that comes immediately to mind, because I return to it again and again. In undergrad, I was lucky enough to do an Independent Study with Lara Vapnyar to write a novel—except I wasn’t writing. I hadn’t sent her any updates in a while, so we arranged to meet in person. I described my writer’s block to her in excruciating detail. The gist was that I couldn’t move forward in the story until I got the first few chapters exactly right, but I didn’t know how to get them exactly right without moving forward in the story. She listened closely. She let me talk myself out. Then she told me, “You’re using your perfectionism as a way to procrastinate. Stop. Edit later.” I still do this—I’m working on it!—but I hear Lara’s voice in my head every time and it helps.

In your debut novel; SHUTTER, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it
Of course! Shutter is the story of a young woman who runs away. In the wake of her father’s death, she runs away from her mother, her longtime boyfriend, and her hometown, and finds herself in New York City, sleeping on the couch of an old high school friend she has barely kept up with. She soon finds herself auditioning and agreeing to star in a mysterious filmmaker’s latest project, but he won’t tell her what it’s about. There is no script. She will just have to trust him.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
That they can’t put it down or sleep until it’s finished!

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Betty?
Everything about Betty was a surprise. Which sounds hyperbolic, but it’s true. There was a certain point in the first draft (I can’t tell you which without spoilers!) when I felt her take over the story. I was in the driver’s seat for the beginning of the draft—I was the one deciding where the story would go—and then suddenly, I felt her grab the wheel. Here’s what I’ll say: she’s tougher than she first appears.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?
Any kind of advice? Well… I would have to say, even though it’s been repeated a lot this past year: Be kind to yourself and to others.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Oh I love this question! I also have no idea how to answer it. There are too many options! I would want Betty to meet someone comforting. I just finished reading Outlander so of course my immediate impulse is to say Jamie Fraser, but that’s butting in on his relationship with Claire! Instead I’ll cheat—I’d like to take her out of the Shutter universe and plop her into The Princess Bride universe. Much more comforting.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Anxiety! I had to repeat Lara’s advice to myself a lot.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
Would I continue on living from that point in time? Or am I just visiting? I think if I would continue on living from that point in time, I would start over. Relive it all. Not to change anything, but to enjoy it.

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
I honestly do not know! We traveled a lot when I was young. I still hate flying, though. You’d think I would be used to it by now, but I am brutally uncomfortable the entire time. I’m just a wreck by the time I arrive at my destination.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?
I’m almost afraid to say it here, because I might summon it. I’ve forgotten the name of this phobia, but I’m not even going to search for it on Google because I do NOT want to see any photos of it. It’s basically…a fear of clusters of things? I am sickened by the seeds of a bell pepper or a papaya, for example. That’s all I’ll say. Too gross. Too freaky.

What is your most memorable travel experience?
While I was living in New York, my brother moved to New Zealand, and I wasn’t able to see him for about eighteen months. I’m very close with my brother, so this was a pretty difficult time for me. I managed to book a series of flights that would get me to New Zealand—in just a short 40 hours! I took three planes, flew around the world, and arrived in New Zealand a totally different person. And I got to see my brother again.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love with a guarantee of a heart break!

A young woman agrees to star in a filmmaker's latest project, but soon realizes the movie is not what she expected in this chilling debut novel.

In the wake of her father's death, Betty Roux doesn't allow herself to mourn. Instead, she pushes away her mother, breaks up with her boyfriend, and leaves everything behind to move to New York City. She doesn't know what she wants, except to run.

When she's offered the chance to play the leading role in mysterious indie filmmaker Anthony Marino's new project, she jumps at the opportunity. For a month Betty will live in a cabin on a private island off the coast of Maine, with a five-person cast and crew. Her mother warns against it, but Betty is too drawn to the charismatic Anthony to say no.

Anthony gives her a new identity--Lola--and Betty tells herself that this is exactly what she's been looking for. The chance to reinvent herself. That is, until they begin filming and she meets Sammy, the island's caretaker, and Betty realizes just how little she knows about the movie and its director.

You can purchase Shutter at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 11, 2021

Bella Mahaya Carter Interview - Where Do You Hang Your Hammock?

Photo Content from Bella Mahaya Carter

Bella Mahaya Carter is a creative writing teacher, empowerment coach, speaker, and author of an award-winning memoir, Raw: My Journey from Anxiety to Joy, and a collection of narrative poems. She has worked with hundreds of writers since 2008 and has degrees in literature, film, and spiritual psychology. Her poetry, essays, fiction, and interviews have appeared in Mind, Body, Green; The Sun; Lilith; Fearless Soul; Writer’s Bone; Women Writers, Women’s Books; Chic Vegan; Bad Yogi Magazine; Jane Friedman’s blog; Pick The Brain; the Spiritual Medial Blog; Literary Mama, several anthologies' and elsewhere.


Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born and raised in Long Island, New York. I call Studio City, CA (L.A. area) home.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
There have many rewarding experiences since being published, too many to name, but one highlight was hearing from a reader in Okotoks, a small town in Alberta, Canada, who found my book on a display table in her local library, and wrote to let me know how much my book meant to her.

A year after my memoir was released it won a silver medal in the “Body, Mind, Spirit” category of the Benjamin Franklin Awards, sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association. I’d never won an award for my writing before. I’ve experienced much more rejection than accolades as a writer. Years earlier, I was convinced I was a failure and considered quitting writing, but I couldn’t. I needed writing like I needed air.

But the most rewarding experience of all was internal. Many significant shifts came with publishing my work. I went from needing external validation to realizing I could give it to myself. When faced with obstacles and disappointments, I adopted a learning orientation toward life, which meant that I came to believe there was no such thing as failure—only opportunities for growth. In the past I’d had to dig deep to validate myself and my work, often in the face of menacing doubts and despair. But I finally understood that I was fine and didn’t have to prove myself to anyone, not even to myself. I realized that in grasping or clinging to things and people I thought would save, liberate, approve of, or validate me, I was ignoring and inadvertently pushing away my inherent gifts and goodness. I discovered I didn’t have to fight or conquer life to make it good. I could slow down, breathe, and relax—and still get everything I wanted done.

What inspired you to pen WHERE DO YOU HANG YOUR HAMMOCK?
Over the past decade, I’ve been blogging about personal transformation and growth for writers. I felt compelled to revisit and update that material to share what I’ve learned about liberating writers from doubts, fears, self-sabotage, and the mental strife that comes from navigating the inner critic, as well as the vagaries and frustrations of the publishing industry. What I found after chronicling hundreds of posts was that most of them fell into one of five categories: dream, nourish, write, publish, and promote. When you assemble blog posts thematically, rather than chronologically, each piece informs the others in ways that reinforce, expand, and recast your material.

Your Favorite Quotes from WHERE DO YOU HANG YOUR HAMMOCK?
  • “Without needing anything from your writing, you’ll find that it’s free to exist on its own terms, which are more powerful than anything your mind conjures.
  • Nothing outside you–no accomplishment or accolade–will bring deep validation, peace, or love. This comes from within.”
  • “The present moment is our point of power. It’s the moment in which we are free to act.”
  • “I followed my bliss and learned that what you love is your path.”
  • “I had traded the powerful peace that I am for the illusion that somebody had taken it. And my mind had been fixed. I thought things needed to be a certain way.”
  • “My rigid thinking was one thing, but the fact that I believed my rigid thinking was something else.”
  • “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear but moving forward in the face of it.”
  • “The difference between doing a little writing and a lot of writing is small. The difference between doing no writing and a little writing is tremendous.”
  • “The muse shrivels under a microscope.”
  • “Opportunities abound when you refuse to make rejection mean anything about you.”
  • “Do the best you can with what you’ve got.”
  • “It doesn’t matter which project you work on; the important thing is to commit to one and follow it through to completion.”
  • “Publishing, regardless what path you take, is about what you make of your experience.”
  • “The last thing you want to do is hang your freedom and peace of mind on the vagaries of the publishing industry.”
  • “Publishing is not an all-or-nothing proposition. There are more opportunities to publish now than ever before.”
  • “There’s no ‘right’ way to publish a book any more than there’s a ‘right’ way to live a life—except to do it your way.”
  • “There is never a good reason to reject or abandon ourselves.”
  • “Resist the urge to make rejection or failure all about you; it’s not personal.”
  • “Things work best when you’re not attached to specific outcomes.”
  • “If you’re wondering whether to take a risk, either personally or professionally, look not to your chances of success, but to the depth of your desire.”
  • “JOYMO is the Joy of missing out. When you follow your bliss there’s nothing to miss.”
  • “In grasping and clinging to things and people I thought would save, liberate, approve of, or validate me, I was ignoring and inadvertently pushing away my inherent goodness.”
What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read WHERE DO YOU HANG YOUR HAMMOCK?
I can do this! I can write, explore my truth, speak my mind, go after my dreams, take creative risks, and soar in ways I never thought possible. I can liberate myself from old, stale, conditioned thought. I am larger than I imagined. I will mine my treasure within. I will nourish myself. I will give myself permission to play, dream, explore, create, practice my craft, and respect myself and others, knowing no one is better than me and I am better than no one.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Honestly, there were no distractions writing this book. It poured out of me over two or three weeks. I wrote like a woman possessed. Although it came quickly, I was drawing upon material I’d written over ten years. My focus was laser-sharp to the point that I neglected food, personal grooming, and exercise.

  • 1. To ignite your creative spark, and be inspired.
  • 2. To cultivate peace of mind and joy.
  • 3. To feel held, guided, and supported in your creative life.
  • 4. To unblock and expand your creativity.
  • 5. To nourish yourself.
  • 6. To find spiritual sustenance.
  • 7. To learn about publishing options.
  • 8. To get excited about sharing your creative work.
  • 9. To learn a values-driven approach to book promotion.
  • 10. To cultivate confidence to move to the edge of your comfort zone, take leaps of faith, and fly.
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Dance naked in the rain. It helps if it’s warm outside, but it also works if you have hot water to jump into afterward. You obviously shouldn’t do this public, although I’ve danced in the rain in public clothed. But it’s not the same. Clothing sticks to you body and weighs you down. When you’re naked, you’re light and free and can let yourself be caressed and massaged by water pouring down from the sky. We have a Jacuzzi in our bathroom with French doors leading out to a redwood deck. There’s nothing like going from the warm water into a cool drizzle or rain. It’s refreshing. Invigorating. The dancing part is about letting go. Moving your body in whatever ways it wants to move. Allowing yourself to be drenched feels like a baptism, or a cleansing, renewal. You have to let go to do this. You cannot hold onto your inhibitions (even if no one is watching), or your sense of smallness when you become one with the rain. I recommend it.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
I’d return to a backpacking trip my now-husband, then boyfriend, and I took to Yosemite National Park. We were in our early twenties and I took my health and youthful vigor for granted. It was the first time I experienced wilderness, and was blown away by its vastness. We were small, but at the same time part of it all, connected to each other, but also to something larger than ourselves. We skinny dipped in rivers, watched sunsets, cooked meals over an open fire, and, when, on the last night, a bear ate what was left of our food, I realized that I was a guest in its home, which was way more impressive than the box I called my own.

In Where Do You Hang Your Hammock? seasoned coach and author Bella Mahaya Carter shows writers how to use their present circumstances as stepping-stones to a successful and meaningful writing life, navigated from the inside out. It encourages writers and authors to rethink their ambitions (which may be fueled by the tyrannical demands of the ego) and trust in their heartfelt purpose and values in the journey to becoming, or continuing on, as authors.

Many writers believe their self-sabotaging thoughts are trustworthy and true. They take rejection personally. They surmise that if they don’t achieve their goals they have failed, and lose sight of who they are and what matters most.

This book is for writers looking for inspiration and for authors daunted by the publishing process, who might lack the requisite author platform to get published the way they dreamed, or whose careers may not be unfolding as expected. It aims to be the friend and trusted expert writers turn to when hijacked by their own thinking. Ultimately, it reminds authors that they are infinite creators.

You can purchase Where Do You Hang Your Hammock? at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you BELLA MAHAYA CARTER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Where Do You Hang Your Hammock? by Bella Mahaya Carter.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Karina Kennedy Interview - A Not So Lonely Planet

Photo Content from Karina Kennedy

Karina Kennedy is a romantic writer and a restless spirit. Growing up in Florida, she cheated her Choose Your Own Adventure books by keeping fingers stuck in the pages so she could change her mind. Who wants only one adventure? Karina is inspired by strong, creative women in all walks of life and uses this passion to fuel her travels all over the world. As an intrepid explorer she is unwilling to miss out on a memory, willing to bend the rules, unafraid of her own beauty, and ready to share it with those who deserve it. Karina hopes to inspire and entertain other like-minded people to explore the world, fall in love, or just have fun.

Karina’s debut novel A Not So Lonely Planet releases June 8th from Cleis Press and follows Marina Taylor's journey to Rome where she dreams of writing a book about inspirational women. However, an undeniable connection with an irresistible stranger—and ability to attract disaster—just may derail her plans.

From Florence to Capri to the Amalfi Coast, as she stumbles her way through Italian virgins, French photographers, and Sicilian twins. Will she master the art of seduction in Italy—or will she once again prove more calamity than coquette? And what about Will, the ruggedly down-to-earth ex she left pining for her back home?


Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Storytelling is how we learn about each other. It exercises the imagination of the writer and the reader. It allows us to explore this world, transports us to other worlds, and creates shared experiences. But most of all, it entertains us!

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Talking to readers who really loved taking the journey with Marina through Italy, who laughed at the comedy, fell into the romance and learned from the notes on inspirational women. This is the most rewarding experience.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
There are always tiny things you would change, but most artists and writers are overly critical of their own work. I would have loved to have delved into Laura Mulvey’s ideas on the male gaze in Regina’s discussion of the power of the sexual gaze. But, there’s a tightrope you walk trying to entertain as well as educate, so some themes are better explored slowly. Maybe in the next book!

Can you tell us when you started A NOT SO LONELY PLANET, how that came about?
I’m a screenwriter and have a half-hour dramedy pilot called Wanderlust. It’s set in Key West, when Marina turns thirty. When her passport is stolen, she is forced to return home after traveling the world during her twenties, having adventures and romances. In the pilot she must face all the difficult and tricky relationships she left behind. She must also figure out if she’s the same person. The pilot has lots of sexy, fun flashbacks to Marina’s adventures abroad and I was having so much fun writing those, I thought—why not write a book as a prequel- her first trip abroad. Those flashbacks have now turned into a book series!

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
Hopefully the real facts about real Italian women will be inspirational, but I just want to inspire them to travel and have sexy adventures wherever they go!

What part of Marina did you enjoy writing the most?
I love Marina’s paradoxical nature. She’s bold and intrepid, trying to master the sexual gaze, but ends up bungling things and yet somehow still gets her man. She’s got a great imagination and she’s always trying to be the heroine of her own life romcom, which is something I think we can all understand.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
It’s always fun to write the sexy parts, and the research on different historic Italian women was really interesting, but my favorite chapter was Venetian masquerade ball. I had to figure out how she was going to save the day when everything tits up, and in a way that would capture our hearts and the admiration of the other characters—especially the illusive Frantonio.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d love to introduce Marina Taylor to Penelope Featherington from Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series, because they have a lot in common and would stir up a lot of trouble together. Although Catherine Lambert from Isabelle Lafleche’s J’adore series would be an amazing travel partner for Marina, both of them really know how to undress a new city.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Write what you love and what excites you. It won’t always be easy but if it’s never fun, there’s something wrong.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Have gelato at the Pantheon with someone that makes you smile.

Best date you've ever had?
A romantic hike—he brought a picnic of some wine and frittata he’d made himself.

What was the first job you have had?
Entertaining babies. I wasn’t even old enough to officially babysit yet I made these fliers to hand out to neighborhood moms, offering my services to play with their kids while they got work done. I actually got hired.

Which incident in your life totally changed the way you think today?
My first job living and working overseas was in Rome. This was a real perspective broadening experience, just to be submerged in a different culture. It was amazing.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’ve got a lot of places still on my list, but I’ve always wanted to attend carnival in Rio and I’m saving The Galapagos Islands for my 50th birthday.

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
I was with my sister. Somehow we can always make each other laugh until we cry. Usually we’re making fun of my parents or each other.

First Heartbreak?
College, my first real boyfriend and lover graduated and left me behind.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
It’s a time-tested cliché for a reason: it’s always better to have loved and lost. I have knowingly chosen this path before and never regretted it.

Marina Taylor is a bold, adventure-seeking writer with a one-way ticket to Rome and big dreams to write her book, Italian Women of Influence . . . but an undeniable connection with an irresistible stranger—and her penchant for disaster—just may derail her plans.

Inspired by actress and sex icon Regina Lombardi, Marina tries to master the sexual gaze as she researches her book and stumbles her way through Italian scholars, Turkish footballers, and Sicilian twins. From the nightclubs of Rome to a Venetian masquerade ball, Marina’s escapades leave her yearning for a particular French-Italian photographer. Will she catch her illusive stranger, or prove more calamity than coquette? And what about the ruggedly down-to-earth ex who's waiting for her back home?

Equal parts laugh-out-loud travel comedy and sexy adventure, Marina’s first trip abroad will inspire you to throw your own itinerary out the window and throw caution to the wind. Art, love, sex, wine—the Italian playboy and the boy next door—who says you can’t have it all?

You can purchase A Not So Lonely Planet at the following Retailers:

1 Winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

|Podcast| Brewmance - Christo Brock

Photo Content from Christo Brock

Christo Brock is an American Producer, Director, and Editor best known for directing and producing the iconic swim documentary Touch the Wall, the sports films Spirit of the Marathon and Hood to Coast, and the craft beer documentary BREWMANCE. Originally from a farm outside Philadelphia, Christo studied drama at Dartmouth College and filmmaking at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. After graduating Christo was Associate Producer on Mark Harris’ Academy Award winning documentary The Long Way Home. He mentored under the legendary editor Kate Amend, and worked alongside filmmakers Joan Churchill and Nick Broomfield, among others.

As editor Christo cut together fiction features Blunt and Memphis Bound and Gagged and documentaries Boobs: An American Obsession, Living Liberal in Kansas, Spirit of the Marathon, and Hood to Coast, in addition to numerous projects in television working as producer, director, and editor. 

Touch the Wall, a film about Olympic swimmers Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce and their journey to Olympic glory, debuted in 2015. After selling out theaters across the country, it went on to screen on Oprah’s Winfrey’s OWN network, iTunes, Netflix, and Amazon. It’s since become an iconic film for swimmers worldwide. 

BREWMANCE follows two sets of accomplished home brewers looking to open their own craft breweries. The film is interwoven with a Greek chorus of Craft Beer pioneers and gods to tell the amazing story of craft beer. It’s available everywhere you rent movies. 

Christo lives with this wife and son in sunny Long Beach, California.

JBN Podcast   JBN Podcast   JBN Podcast

A few years ago my friend Tom was getting into homebrewing, and he told me of a home-brew club meeting he had attended. It had been an open forum for sharing and tasting, and the mood was genuinely brotherly. Tom also told me of one of the home-brew club’s members was going to open his own brewery in Los Angeles. We visited that brewery (Smog City) just after they opened, and my mind was blown. Even though I considered myself a foodie, I hadn’t ever experienced the spectrum of flavors and tastes that these beers could be. I was hooked. 

And so began my years-long fascination with the story of craft beer. 

After research, I began to see the connection between the restless soul of the Homebrewer and the professional craft brewer. It became increasingly obvious that one begat the other, and the story of it would make for an interesting documentary. 

But just as craft beer is a living, breathing thing, I knew the film couldn’t and shouldn’t be one of those interview-and-pretty-pictures kind of films. Those types of films mostly bore me - they make the action feel as though it’s happened in the past, and this story was very much alive. So, I undertook to find homebrewers who were in the process of transitioning to craft brewer, and I found them at the Long Beach Homebrewers club of Long Beach, California. Dan and Jesse Sundstrom (Ten Mile Brewery) were serious, award-winning homebrewers who wanted to make the leap to professionals. They were an intriguing story as well - a father/son team who’d weathered Jesse’s turbulent teenager years and had bonded over making beer in the back yard. 

Dan led me to another group, the Liberation Boys - Dan, Eric, and Michael. Dan had been a rock musician for most of his adult life, the trombonist in the ska band Reel Big Fish. Dan had toured the world and tasted the nascent craft beers that were just emerging, and he was looking for his next stage in life. His friend Eric came from a food family, and the two teamed up to make a plan. They later added the business-minded Michael to stabilize the business. 

I saw these main subjects as walking in the footsteps of giants - those giants who’d pioneered the craft beer movement. And so I added the greats of the craft beer movement to the film - Charlie Papazian, Fritz Maytag (Anchor Steam), Ken Grossman’s (Sierra Nevada), Jim Koch (Sam Adams), and others. Turns out, it’s a great American story. 

Beer was incredibly boring in the US for many decades, culminating with bland, generic beers in the 1970s that were dominated by large industrial giants. It was in this climate that several intrepid homebrewers - led by the impish Charlie Papazian in Colorado - started brewing beers that they couldn’t find anywhere else. And so began a revolution that could have only happened in America. 

Over the three years and 600+ hours of footage I gathered I found some unexpected discoveries. Firstly, craft beer is a uniquely American story. It could only have happened in a land that values independent, out-of-the-box thinking, and anti-authoritarianism. It’s a product made by people used to working hard, not giving up, and persevering through the impossible times. It’s also a story of entrepreneurship, one driven by innovative capitalists who saw a way of giving the people something they didn’t know they wanted. And most of all, it’s a story of people who honored and respected each other, and redefined the laws of competition to include collaboration. Craft beer is a better place to be, and we are all better because of it. 

This, I hope, is the story of BREWMANCE. It’s a story that continues to be written.

The American Craft Beer movement began with a group of restless homebrewers searching for something genuine and flavorful. Today it’s evolved into a redefinition of beer and an international cultural phenomenon. That uniquely American spirit of rebellion and innovation survives in two groups of homebrewers from Long Beach, California who are looking to open their own breweries and bring their beers to the world. These include a Christian father-son team who grew close over making beer and a retired ska band rock star (Dan Regan, Reel Big Fish) looking for the “quiet" existence of a brewery owner. 

With the insight and commentary of legendary brewers Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada), Fritz Maytag (Anchor Brewing), Charlie Papazian, Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River), Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Jim Koch (Boston Brewing) and others, BREWMANCE reveals the soul of craft beer in the heart of America.

Jesse Sundstrom (Ten Mile Brewing) in Christo Brock's BREWMANCE.
Liberation is absolutely devoted to local craft beer. Opened in 2018 by three former mild-mannered chaps born and raised in Long Beach, CA, Liberation is forged from equal parts Mos Eisley cantina and a Tom Waits fever dream. A safe haven for workers, story tellers, shamans, down-n-out detectives, street samurai, graffiti artists, revolutionaries, punks, drunks, con artists, and pirates.
jbnlatestinterviews, jbnmediainteriews, jbnpodcast, jbnfilms

Guest Post with Colin Lancaster - Fed Up!

Photo Content from Colin Lancaster

Colin Lancaster is a 25-year Wall Street professional. He has run two of the highest profile global macro businesses for the top-performing hedge funds in the world and has worked directly for a number of the icons of the investing world. Most recently he was Head of Macro Strategies at Citadel and prior to that he was Head of Macro at Balyasny Asset Management. He has managed investment operations in London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Chicago, and San Francisco. Colin is a graduate of Princeton University and is a lawyer by original training. He and his wife have three daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and reading.


A First Timer’s Lessons in Writing a Book….from the author of Fed Up! Success, Excess & Crisis Through the Eyes of a Hedge Fund Macro Trader by Colin Lancaster.
"Keep super fast pace. Punchy. Say most possible in fewest words. Defender of American Dream. Defender of the middle class. Keep cheeky and irreverent."

These words were on sticky notes on my computer. They were my guiding principles.

I have never written a book before, But, I have always loved to read and have really admired people like Michael Lewis — people that can take complicated topics and turn them into an amazing story that people can’t put down. For me, I wanted to capture this extraordinary period of time that we have just lived through, and I wanted to do it through the eyes of a macro trader, which is what I know best. For me, to be able to capture this moment in time — and to be able to do it through the frenetic life of a trader during a pandemic — was an incredible challenge. Markets are always alive, but to be able to capture the heartbeat of markets during a period of isolation, quarantine, and fear was really incredible.

I also wanted to use the backdrop of the markets and the pandemic to address some incredibly important issues: I wanted to highlight the excesses in our current world and, what I would consider to be a new era of greed. Or as the main character — Boss would say — "This is much more than Greed is Good. This is steal as much as you can and if you are wrong we will bail you out….”

What I learned in the process is that writing is tougher than I thought. And, it is lonelier than you would expect. Being stuck with yourself and a big pile of words gets really hard at times.

I also learned that I needed to be patient. My first draft changed … a lot. In fact, I have over 14,000 words that I cut out of my draft. It was painful because as I wrote each one of those words I thought that they were perfect.

You also need to find your authentic voice. This is important. You need to decide how (and what) you want to communicate to your audience. If it is not “authentic” it will not resonate.

The fourth item I learned is that it was impossible to keep everyone happy. I needed to limit who I asked for advice. This was hard for me. Early in the writing, I asked a lot of people for comments. It confused me. Everyone had a different take on how the story should take shape and at the end of the day I could not satisfy everyone. I needed to be the master of my own universe and keep it to a limited group of trusted confidants. It is your story and you need to follow your own instincts.

Finally, I wanted to end this post with some of those words that I cut out of my original draft. I still think they are good and it really killed me to cut them out! They were originally part of a scene in which the main character — called Boss — is ranting to one of his colleagues. He had been in a recent trading slump and he was not having much success with the markets. His stress was beginning to boil over as he grew increasingly frustrated. I ultimately cut the section because it was too much of a rant and took away from the rest of the story. But, I still like the excerpt!

"So what causes wealth inequality and this big wealth gap that exists?

The biggest thing is obvious. Do Ra Me. The Benjamins. $$$$. Do you got it or not. This is the age old issue of Labor versus Capital. If you rely on your labor to get by in life things are tough and getting tougher every day and they will get even worse. The playing field is not level. Pretty much everything in life favors the guys with the Capital. Taxes, Opportunity, Education, QE. ALL OF IT. It is all geared to the rich. If you depend on your own labor to make ends meet the odds say that you are falling behind. But, if you got the dough to make it rain and can put that Capital to work for you it means that you are on a different level from everyone else. And the crazy thing is that the 97% that do rely on their labor have the votes to change this. But they don’t. Sheep are born to be shorn….

Easy Peasy."

Fed Up! tells the story of a global macro trader working amidst the greatest market panic we have seen since the Great Depression. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the world, readers are taken through the late-stage decadence of an exuberant market bubble to the depths of the market crash and into the early innings of a recovery. It provides readers with a front row seat on trading activity, allowing them to experience the heartbeat of the markets.

It's also about money and opportunity. It's about the moral dilemma of a man who is struggling as he reaches his own peak. Readers will experience the frenetic pace of life as a trader and will connect with the protagonist, experiencing his struggle to balance his personal values with the compromised values of the world around him. It shines a light on the largest policy issues confronting the U.S., while offering an entertaining and humorous look at the guys and gals who are the new market operators.

This riveting account of the 2020 market crash from inside the mind of a global macro trader will serve as an exciting, nail-biting record of current times. It is about making fortunes while the world slips into misfortune.

Will he beat the markets or will the markets beat him?

You can purchase Fed Up! at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you COLIN LANCASTER for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Fed Up! by Colin Lancaster.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
a Rafflecopter giveaway