What will 2014 bring?

jason landry, author, writer, collector“Opportunities will come at the unlikeliest of times. Sometimes they’re because of instant connections.” ~ Jason Landry

 

The biggest event for me in 2013 was getting my book published. I’m sure you probably figured that out by now. What will 2014 bring? I am not going to bore you with any New Year’s resolutions, rather, I’m going to tell you a few things that I will be doing for certain:

1.) I will be cooking more. Late in 2013, I got the cooking bug. I never really cooked much in our house. Either my wife cooked, or we’d go out. Okay, I would cook pasta once in a while––that’s not that hard. I’m also a master at making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. What I’m talking about is cooking real meals, ya’ll––and desserts too! We just purchased a whole new set of pans and I’m ready to get my chef on! If any of you have any recipe suggestions or good mobile app suggestions to find the best recipes, let me know.

2.) I will be spending more of my time helping others make connections. This is one thing that I learned from the people who have mentored me. They gave me direction over the last couple of years and helped me create the network that I currently have. I wrote about these mentors in my book Instant Connections ––it’s now my turn to give back. It’s not like I haven’t given back. It’s just in 2014, I’m really going to give back. This is something that makes me feel good.

3.) I will begin to write a new book. I have a few ideas brewing, but nothing that I can share with you at this time.

I hope that you all have a great New Year.
Try new things.
Set some achievable goals.
Meet some new people.
Shake some hands.
Break some rules.
Read Books.
Give back.

That’s all.

30 Days After Your First Book Gets Published: A Reflection

It’s been a little more than a month since my book Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography was released. I have been pleasantly surprised by the comments that I have received––both emails from people that I know, and some that I do not know at all. When I read things like, “the things that you talk about in your book I am experiencing right now in my own life”––these words strengthen my belief that I was meant to write this book.

Although I would like the book to be for everyone, I know that it won’t be. I’ve heard that some people like the interviews better than the essays, while others said they didn’t care about my personal stories, and at least one person was bothered by my potty mouth. I didn’t think using the F-word 34 times in a book with 85,000 words was a big deal. I do hope however, that those who have read the book (cover to cover) found the importance of the word “connections”. The other thing that I hope you took away was that I tried to make the reading effortless and down to earth, as if we were having a conversation in a bar or in a coffee shop. Although I am a collector, gallery owner, writer/author and educator, I tried to speak to you from the same level––never above you.

Instant Connections may not have landed on the New York Times Bestseller List nor the Wall Street Journal List, but for a brief period it was #2 on Amazon’s list for Critical Theory > Photography books––I’ll take that, even through it IS NOT critical theory.

Usually books are cataloged in book stores under a certain type like non-fiction, or fiction, or essays, or interviews. These “types” are usually printed on the back cover of the book. One person suggested the other day that it should have been categorized under “cool shit”. I’ll take that as a compliment.

If you haven’t picked it up yet, I hope that you do.

Happy Holidays, from Me to You.

instant connections, jason landry, book, essays, interviews, writer, writing, author, photography

Instant Connections: Now Available

Instant_ConnectionsIt’s finally here!  My book, Instant Connections: Essays and Interviews on Photography is now available. Published by Boston-based Doolittle Press, this book includes essays, interviews, poems and quotes about photography. Most of what you will find in this book is coming from my own point of view––that of someone who was a photographer and who is now a collector, educator and gallery owner.

I never in a million years imagined that I would write a book. I have to give thanks to my wife who got me motivated to write and to my editor Debbie Hagan who pushed me to make each and every essay the best it could be.

In the world of photography, I have primarily been a giver. I give my time reviewing portfolios, mentoring students and emerging artists. As a gallery owner, I spend a lot of time promoting the artists that I represent––helping them to build their network, and grow as artists.

You will like this book if you like or can relate to:

Photography, Art and Galleries
Collecting Photography
People who want to be photographers
People who ARE photographers
People who write about photography
People who went to art or photography school
People who are self-taught artists
People who want a behind the scenes look at the photography industry
People who know the importance of having a personal network of friends and connections
People who have had a mentor and it has changed their lives

Click on the book cover or visit Amazon.com or as soon as you can, or contact any one of your local independent bookstores and buy a copy through them.

I will thank you the next time I see you. Maybe I can help you make an ‘Instant Connection’. All you have to do is ask.

Sincerely,

Jason

 

My Life in Heavy Metal

steve almond, heavy metal, book, authorI may be a late bloomer to Steve Almond’s book My Life in Heavy Metal, but I’m glad I picked it up on my most recent trip through the Harvard Book Store.  I sat in on a session with Steve at this year’s Muse and the Marketplace literary event hosted by Grub Street and found him quite funny.

I grew up listening to heavy metal––Ozzy, Metallica, Ratt, Poison, G&R, Aerosmith––you name it, but wasn’t as adventurous with the ladies and my relationships as detailed in the first chapter of his book. Maybe I should’ve waited to finish the book so that I could have given you a more detailed review, but if the rest of the book reads as the first chapter did, well, I’d make it one of my suggested readings to all of my friends.

His more popular book, Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America, is a non-fiction story about small candy companies doing it the old-fashioned way. My candy vice growing up was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Can’t wait for Halloween. Hopefully I can score a few freebie style!

But back to heavy metal, here’s an essay flashback of one of my metal stories for you to read when you got a minute: Driving Around With Metal Heads Without Seatbelts.

Book Covers

I’ve been real anxious over the last few days. I was trying to determine if it was the switch from light to dark roast, or if it was the bottle of Coke or the sugary babka loaf I’ve been snacking on. Maybe it’s the change of season––I know we have to change those clocks again soon. But in all honesty, I know it’s none of the above. It’s the anticipation of my soon to be released book: Instant Connections.

So I spend last week looking at book covers. It’s getting exciting now! Once the overall design was finalized, then we moved on to color or no color. Here were some of the samples I was given.

jason landry, instant connections, book cover designs

The design firm suggested that having color on the cover would help it stand out. But what color? A few days ago, a friend and I were at a bar and I would whip out my phone and open the PDF with the color samples and ask total strangers: if you were publishing a book, what color would you choose? They all gave different answers. I eventually settled on a light orange––looked like a Creamsicle.