F&B Indie Book Review: Gagaku Meat

Indie published journalistic bio of Steve Richmond: Gagaku

Indie published journalistic bio of Steve Richmond: Gagaku

Hard to find, but an incredibly gritty and worthwhile read for poetry fans, Gagku is the biography of “meat” poet Steve Richmond. Llike many poets and artists and authors, he led a difficult life—of epic proportions.

Book Gagaku Meat: The Steve Richmond Story
By Snow Ryan

A promising indie release—worth the hunt but hard to find—from small publisher Stovepiper Books Media caught the attention of many with it’s hard journalistic approach to a biography of poet Steve Richmond. Gagaku Meat: the Life and Times of Steve Richmond, a 19,000 word publication, won wide acclaim on the Huffington Post and other website. At times, it reads like a crazy mystery, at others like a dark, slice-of-grim life biography, and always it is emotional and gritty.
Steve Richmond was an accomplished poet who began publishing in 1964. He is probably best known for the works in the Wormwood diaries. Journalist-biographer Mike Daly gives a gritty picture of Richmond’s difficult life and how the poet struggled through life.
Daly’s work is masterful as he details the life of this iconic poet. Richmond’s life is widely regarded as a difficult one—like many artists, poets, struggling authors and indies—and the book details his decades long struggles.
Poet Richmond was a Southern California native, known for this tough, masculine form of writing. He could be compared with the other masculine poets of the day, and was involved in what is known as the meat school of poetry.

"Meat poet" Steve Richmond was a heroin addict

Meat poet Steve Richmond was a prolific poet, heroin addict, who spent part of his life in homeless shelters, and the last few years as a millionaire.

He was also associated with the mid career of poet Vicent Bukowski, his mentor.In Gagaku Meat, Daly unravels the chaotic forces and influences that led Richmond to compose his poetry. He discusses some of the development of his work. Notably, Richmond was a heroin addict most of his life and saw and witnessed plenty of the seedy side of life.
After living in homeless shelters, Richmond inherited a 2 million dollar settlement from his Southern California family, and spent the majority of it on drugs until his eventual sobriety. Unfortunately, it was a short lived experience. He died in 2009 only 3 years after becoming sober.
Gagaku is poetry based on Japanese Shinto verse. Like Shinto verse, Richmond’s work used meaty, simple verses and cadences in poetic rhythm.
Daly does a great job in the book of discussing the tortured life and psyche of Richmond who dove and dug into the heart of poetry to ferret out what was important to him, and to make a difference in the publishing world. His friend and collaborator Bukowski described him as a talented but disturbed man.
Other important facts to know both about Richmond is that he composed approximately 8,000 to 9,000 poems in his lifetime. He was quite prolific, and had a stark view of reality, as would befit a junkie.
Daly does a thorough job in this book of tracing Richmond’s life, his ideals and influences. He talks about Richmond’s time with the underground press and his influences by Jim Morrison and small media publishing outlets of the day. He interviewed Ben Pleasants who did a story on Richmond for an LA paper,as well as the mentor Bukowski.
Gagaku Meat the Life and Times of Steve Richmond is a must for anyone who loves poetry. I recommend this book for all of those interested in counter culture poetry, and it’s effects.
The book is difficult to find, but worth the search.
Published April 20th 2009 by Stovepiper Books Media (first published April 2009)
ISBN13 9781127644421
Gagaku Meat: The Steve Richmond Story
Author Mike Daley

F&B’s Review of 99 cent Books: Endgame, USA?

Endgame USA? a 99 cent book on Amazon

Endgame USA? a 99 cent book on AmazonReview of Endgame, USA?
by Edward A. Lawrence

F&B’s 99 cent Review Picks
To help promote indie authors and self-published authors, we occasionally review titles that we consider “below market value”, for example 99 cent ebook titles. We pick the ones that we consider worth far more than their ticket price.

By Tamara Wilhite

Endgame, USA?
is a novel written by first time author Ed Lawrence. Playing off of the current economic fears and upcoming 2012 chaos, in whatever form it may take, Endgame, USA? is a worthwhile read for fans of survival fiction. As a fan of the genre, I give this book four stars.


* Endgame, USA? is imaginative look at the worst case fears of many conservatives, the loss of freedom in the United States after the chaos of an economic collapse and attempted pacification by U.N. Peacekeepers.
* Though it includes classic survivalist scenes reminiscent of the works of J.R. Rawles, it includes more humor and character development than many of Mr. Rawles’ stories.
* Endgame, USA? focuses on long-term efforts to make the United States self-sufficient, as compared to fighting off the rest of the world.
* Endgame, USA? is a book unto itself. It wasn’t written with the hope of future sequels, so there is not a mess of storylines at the end left dangling without resolution.
* While there is a fight against an oppressive government and guerrilla warfare scenes, this book is not “gun porn”. You won’t find pages and pages of descriptions of weapons, bullets, sights and ammo. Nor has the author tried to use the book to teach lessons about survival. It’s a story, and it is written as such. And at roughly 250 pages, you’ll be able to enjoy it in a single evening.
* One lead character only reveals his true colors midway through the book. While some of the scenes within the intelligence agency are probably not realistic, they are fascinating.
* The budding love between two older characters is an interesting story arc in Endgame, USA? and is something you don’t find in many modern works of fiction. While there are young lovers, too, the courtship and love story of an older couple is realistically portrayed and something that older readers could enjoy while younger ones could learn from it.
* Luck does play a part in the success of the rebellion, but it does not strain credibility.
* There is discussion of tactics and guerrilla methods, but there is no “war porn” or graphic descriptions of bodies blown to bits. The book is PG or PG13, safe for anyone to read.
* Endgame, USA? is available on Amazon.com for just 99 cents.


* The book would benefit from more development of the female characters than simply existing as alternately competent, professional, beautiful, supportive or motherly. The female characters are based upon stereotypes of a prior era, elegantly described but lacking personal depth contained in the male characters.
* While there is some effort to add depth to the foreign characters, some stereotypes bleed through. The book would have benefited from a deeper look at these characters’ thoughts instead of shifting to a third person perspective when they were featured in the book.
* Ed Lawrence is a retired engineer and avid amateur radio operator. His technical expertise is clear in the reading.
* This book is only available through Amazon Kindle. You can get Amazon Kindle for your PC or handheld device, but this may limit its availability to interested readers.

In a Changing Publishing Market, Where’s an Indie to Go?

Publishers Group West is a distributor for indie book publishers

Publishers Group West is a distributor for indie book publishers

Distribution groups such as PGW (above) and Independent Publishers Group, scale up resources of independent publishers, allowing them to reach wider retail markets.

F&B Business Feature
Opinion by Asherry

Small indie publishers who can’t handle their own distribution due to scale and retail issues rely on distributors to get to market. Also, writers who are entering the industry need a reliable book publishing company to help them grow as writers or a distributor if they self-publish. From my own research, here are a few prospective indy-friendly resources to consider if you’re ready to find a distributor.

Independent Publishers Group
is a distributor that has displayed quality and dependable services, which people can rely on. Whether you are a new publisher or author, this company has risen above most competitors by offering exceptional services. With more than 41 years in the industry, the company has tailored its services to appeal all those who want to conduct business with them. Rewarded for their enormous contribution in the development of quality content, the company will remain a favorite for a very long time.

Publishers Group West is another major book distribution company that enjoys favor in the eyes of many indies. Termed as the largest book distributing and sale company in the US, it has played a major role in the development of the industry. Today, it is estimated to have worked with over 100 independent clients, besides publishing many titles that have made their way into the markets. The company is also known for setting the standard for excellence, by providing digital conversions and book venting services through out the country.

Lastly, Author Solutions is another company (perhaps a little less indie since they’re now owned by Penguin) that has given the writing community a reason to smile. The venue like any other depicts integrity, quality work and professionalism in all its dealings with its clients. It is engaged in book marketing, book publishing, writing services such as blogs and e-book and many more. Over the years, it has unveiled many opportunities where upcoming writers can venture to establish themselves in the industry. These are some of the many publishing companies that have left a mark in the publishing world. In closing, the market continues to witness a growing need for writers who are required to provide exceptional contents. It is this concern has given raise to the many publishing companies that have emerged in the recent past to fill that void.

F&B Indie Book Review: Secrets of the Apple by Paula Hiatt

Available as a Kindle Book, Secrets of the Apple is a genuine love story

Available as a Kindle Book, Secrets of the Apple is a genuine love story

Paula Hiatt’s Secrets of the Apple received starred reviews from respected reviewer Kirkus.

Secrets of the Apple
Review by Winnie Wans

Paula Hiatt’s Secrets of the Apple is striking for visual descriptions of a touching love story, deftly written to involve the reader. Secrets of the Apple is rich with interesting metaphors that bring the reader to engage in the developing love story between the two main characters, Ryoki and Kate.
This book is mainly about the family unit, love, romance and the dynamics that shape up a family. It brings about the variations in culture as well as past relationships that shape up people and the entire family. The book brings out a contrast that exists between a life that is successful as well as a life that is meaningful.
The plot centers on Kate, who is a young American. It also brings about the character of Ryoki who is a wealthy businessperson from Japan. Both Kate and Ryoki are divorced and they live single lives while focusing on their careers.
The two are brought together by business and they pair up as a result. This happens when Ryoki is in need of a personal assistant and that is when he meets Kate.
However, the two are not aware that their two families have developed a business relationship and therefore have great respect for each other in return. Initially, when Ryoki meets Kate, he doubts her abilities to perform well when she is recruited into his office. He therefore thinks that she will damage the reputation of his business as well as his profession in its entirety.
However, Kate proves him wrong by working hard. They also collide when she feels like Ryoki is a workaholic and as a result Ryoki is annoyed by this. When Kate goes away, Ryoki develops a feeling of loneliness and realizes that he had grown fond of her and probably had started liking her on a different level. Ryoki develops the interest of wanting to know more about Kate hence he sends her an invitation for her to work with him in Brazil. He preparers a place for her to stay at a guesthouse, which was outside his own home. The aim was to keep her closer to him. In Brazil, they still maintain the professional and platonic relationship that they have. Both of them love the fact that they are away from the busy city life. Kate also wonders why Ryoki had to go through the trouble of getting a personal assistant while he could actually manage to do the work on his own.

The book trailer for Secrets of the Apple:

Ryoki also realizes that he is in love with Kate when he becomes jealous after another man appears and poses a threat to him. At this moment, he realizes that he has developed tender emotions for Kate and therefore becomes afraid to act on this particular issue.
This book is interesting especially to the people, who have an eye for modern fiction. It also develops a love story from a level where it was not expected to a level where the two people actually realize that staying together makes them to grow fond of each other.

F&B Indy Book Review File
File Size: 663 KB
Print Length: 400 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Mayday Publishing (March 23, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B007O3181G
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Genre: Romance novel

%d bloggers like this: