Monday, December 21, 2015

The Lost Heir (New Release)

The Lost Heir 

(New Release)

Isabella Foxworthy was just another girl…until she learned she was an empath, able to read the energy of others. A secret world known as the Violet City lies beneath her family’s hotel in Los Angeles. Through this discovery, Isabella is catapulted into a whirlwind of magic, adventure, and danger. The Violet City holds the key to protecting her stability; her family hotel, her friends, and her very sanity. With morphlings, empaths, and fair folk also comes a powerful entity that twists her mind into knots, threatening everything she loves. Now, Isabella and her new friends—a guitar-playing jock, his gifted but neurotic brother, and a set of over-indulged twins—have until her 16th birthday to save her world with the help of someone who's been lost for a very long time...the lost Foxworthy heir. But will they find him in time? And will he be a friend or foe?

About the Author

Allison Whitmore was born in Los Angeles and studied literature and writing at Long Island University. She spent several years teaching English and history after earning her master's degree at Mount St. Mary's University. Outside of writing and reading, Allison loves classic Hollywood films, and spending time with her family and friends. In 2011, she started working on The Lost Heir (Book I in The Diadem Chronicles) with two of her good friends, Erin Virginia and Grace Arden. She is grateful to have them along for the ride as she developed the characters and etched out the massive story world of the novel and the exciting series-to-come. 

The Co-Authors:

Erin Virginia spent the first years of her life in Tokyo, Japan before finishing her formative years in a suburb of Chicago. She attributes her wild imagination and her love of reading to her family. She loved working with her two best friends as the three of them created mayhem and magic with The Lost Heir in her new home, Los Angeles. 
Grace Arden was born in Philadelphia. She has always lived in the imaginative world and grew up fascinated by dark stories, fantasy and romance. Grace plans to empower the world through her looking glass mirror perspective on life. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

Publishing Goals for the New Year!

Publishing Goals for the New Year!

What is your favorite writing/publishing memory from 2015?

2015 has been one of the greatest years of my life! Hands down, publishing Rise of the Flame was my favorite memory. This is the story that I started when I was eleven years old. I've kept these characters in my heart and dreams for such a long time, it was amazing to see them come to life. I initially self-published Rise of the Flame, but life took an even better turn when my publisher, Booktrope, picked it up and re-published it! I'm also super excited to work with Patchwork Press for a few of my new releases!
What story are you most looking forward to working on in 2016?
This is such a difficult question! I have so many! I would have to say Night of the Storm: The Eura Chronicles Book Two and Lyrinian Blade: The Chronicles of Koa Book Three. Both books are part of series that I enjoy writing so much. Fans write me on my Facebook page all of the time to ask me when these books will be released. I cannot wait to surprise them with the release of these books!
Are you the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?
I try to set goals for myself each year. I think it's important to set goals and actively try to attain them.
What area(s) of your writing/publishing process are you going to work on improving in 2016? (dialogue, marketing, output, pacing, formatting, etc.)
I really want to try new forms of marketing. Recently, I started being more active on sites such as Wattpad, Instagram, and Tumblr. I also want to go to more conferences, conventions, and book signings.
How would you describe a successful publishing year in 2016? What goals are you working toward?
In 2016 I plan to improve my pacing. I really want to put out more books. My goal is to publish a book every two months. So, if I can have 6 books published next year, I would be thrilled! Wish me luck!
If you had to guess, what do you think your biggest challenge will be when it comes to publishing and writing next year?
Time! That was so easy. Everything gets put on hold when you have a baby. My family will always come first. Still, I make time to work on my writing whether that's when my son takes a nap or goes to bed for the night, because when he wakes up, he is my primary focus.
How far ahead do you plan your writing schedule? Do you prefer to prepare or to see where your muses take you?
I really don't have a stringent writing schedule. I write every day, but I really just let the stories form how they will. My book manager has urged me to put my schedule in writing and it does help to have a visual plan for when my books will be released.
Tell us about something non-book related that you’re currently looking forward to for 2016.
I am really looking forward to finally taking my honeymoon with my husband! I know I'm going to miss my son, but we need a vacation! Also, I look forward to watching my son grow and learn more things about this beautiful world.
If you could offer up one piece of advice to other authors and writers for 2016, what would it be?
My advice would be to stay consistent with your daily writing, never lose sight of what you want to accomplish, and connect with your readers as much as possible.

What about you? What goals (bookish and otherwise) are you planning to work toward in 2016? Let us know in the comments! Weapenry will be giving away ebook packs of both Refilling Your Inkwell by Kellie Sheridan, and Surviving First Drafts by Erica Crouch to three randomly selected commenters across the posts going up this week. Be sure to either include your email address or to Tweet at us @patchwork_press along with your goals so we can get in touch if you win!

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Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Scarlett Legacy Teaser Trailer

It's live! Check out the teaser trailer for The Scarlett Legacy! Woodland Creek​

Wizards. Shifters. Murderers. 

Welcome to Woodland Creek, where one family of wizards gives new meaning to organized crime. 

Evie Scarlett is a shy college student. She also happens to be a wizard. She wanted two things: marry Parker Drake and leave Woodland Creek and her crazy family of wizards behind.

But when Hugh Prince, a dangerous crime boss, is mysteriously murdered while awaiting trial for her father's murder, all eyes turn to the Scarlett family. 

The arrival of Hugh's youngest son, Avalon brings a century-old feud to a dangerous climax. From the Old World of magic, this vengeful wizard is more powerful than anyone in her family, and gives Evie's older brother a choice: die or give Evie to him. 

When Evie's plans for escape are broken by familial duty, she must find a way to protect those she loves and win back her freedom. What she finds is an ancient power that she never knew she had...and an unmistakable attraction to the man that threatens to ruin everything good in her life.

Friday, December 18, 2015

An Interview with author Valerie C. Woods “Katrin’s Chronicles: The Canon of Jacqueléne Dyanne, Vol.1”

 An Interview with author 

Valerie C. Woods 

“Katrin’s Chronicles: 

The Canon of Jacqueléne Dyanne, Vol.1”

Valerie C. Woods

Ms. Woods is a film and television writer/producer working on network and cable drama series such as Touched By An Angel, Any Day Now and Soul Food. She is a Co-Executive Producer/writer on the mini-series Tulsa for the Oprah Winfrey Network and writing/developing the film Tempest Rising for actress/producer Phylicia Rashad.

An avid reader while growing up on Chicago’s South Side, Ms. Woods began writing when, as a struggling actress in New York, she couldn’t find suitable audition material for women of color. This led her to write a book of audition monologues, Something for Everyone (50 Original Monologues). The book was initially self-published and is now published by renowned theatrical play publisher, Samuel French, Inc. (

After adapting an average play into a better screenplay, Ms. Woods was awarded a Walt Disney Screenwriting Fellowship and followed that up with writing and producing on network and cable drama series such as Under One Roof, Touched By An Angel, Promised Land, Any Day Now and Soul Food.

But fiction, her first love, compelled her to enter the world of prose. She had always written bits of fiction, short stories and a little poetry here and there.
In November 2012, Ms. Woods founded a micro-press: BooksEndependent, LLC ( to support her work and the work of other new, independent authors of fiction and non-fiction.

The first title was Ms. Woods’ novella, I Believe... A Ghost Story for the Holidays. ( Then, what began as a gift became her second publication.
Several years ago, needing a birthday present for her sister Ms. Woods wrote a short story about a girl detective -- a highly fictionalized autobiography of the adventures she and her sister experienced in childhood. Another story was written for Christmas, then one for Mother's Day. That’s when Ms. Woods realized she was writing the kind of novel she and her sister would have loved to read as children, but which didn’t exist – the adventures of African-American Girl Detectives!
The result, Katrin's Chronicles: The Canon of Jacqueléne Dyanne, Vol. 1 is now available in paperback and Kindle edition at

An Interview with authorValerie C. Woods
“Katrin’s Chronicles: The Canon of Jacqueléne Dyanne, Vol.1”

1) You've had a very successful career as a television writer.  How is writing a novel different than writing an episode of television?  

Both forms of writing require specific writing skills. What’s common to both is telling a good story. When writing for television the storyteller utilizes dialogue, great characters, action and interesting settings to convey the complexities of the story.  And though dialogue is very important, television is a visual medium. Whenever possible, “show” rather than “tell” the audience.  The writer needs to know what will successfully play onscreen, in a visual sense, and what is better played in dialogue. And also, write in such a way that the director, the actor’s, casting, set design and everyone else involved in bringing it to the screen can visualize the world from your script.

When writing a novel, the work of the author is to use prose to create the entire world in the mind’s eye of the reader. The author does the casting, set design, special effects, location scouting, directing, the reshoots, editing (at least the first pass!), all with the power of prose.

I remember the first time I was on set for a script I’d written. It was wonderful to see it come together, often just as you imagined. And, I love hearing from readers who became immersed in a world I’d created in a book. It’s all good!

2) Did you read a lot as a kid?  Have you always been interested in "genre" (mysteries, SF, fantasy, etc.) material?  Name your favorite book and author from when you were Katrin's age, and explain why it appealed to you so much.

As a child, reading was one of my favorite pastimes. I saw my share of television, too. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized my mom limited our television viewing. Television was never our “babysitter.” But we could read to our heart’s content. And although we were athletic and active kids, especially in the summertime, some of my best memories are about sitting on our back porch reading. One time, I was there reading a book called “The Sherwood Ring”  -- about a modern day girl on a lonely estate where she becomes acquainted with the ghosts of her colonial ancestors. I was so completely in that world, I had no clue my picture was being taken, until my sister showed me the photograph.

I never thought of myself as having an interest in “genre” material, but when I look at my childhood reading list, then I guess that’s exactly what I read. Aside from literary classics like “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” or “The Secret Garden,” there were my genre favorites, like “A Wrinkle in Time,” “Encyclopedia Brown,” Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, The Merlin Trilogy, Nancy Drew, Harriet the Spy.  And I remember the first book I read that didn’t have illustrations was called “The Ghost.”

And, looking back to the 1960s, I also realize the absence of adventure stories featuring people who looked like me. I didn’t question it then, but now, I’m like, where are the black girl detectives? That’s one of the main reasons why I wrote Katrin’s Chronicles. The other is that I needed a birthday gift for my sister, so I wrote her a short, and wildly exaggerated, story about us growing up.

3) How much of this book is autobiographical and how much is pure fiction? Name a few parts that are examples of each.

"That’s kind of hard to say. I was the same age as Katrin in this time period and was the youngest in the family, living on Chicago’s South Side. I have an older sister who is very smart and very intuitive. And we did have adventures in which she was the organizer and leader, when we were young. So the basic bones of the book are taken from my personal history. And a great deal is straight from my imagination.

For instance, my sister and I were big readers and visited the library often. My mother was the church secretary at our local church and my father did work construction. However, the experience the characters have at the Central Library is pure fiction, there was never an alleged kidnapping plot with the church minister’s son, and my father, well now that I think about it, he was pretty much the man I wrote about."

4) Why do you think kids growing up in the 21st century will be interested in stuff that went on in the 1960's? Which stuff in particular, and why?

"As a child of the ‘60s I certainly enjoyed reading novels about kids my age from historical time periods. A favorite book of mine was “Johnny Tremaine” as was Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy that started with “The Crystal Cave” and tells of Merlin as a child into young adulthood.

What I related to in these stories were relationships, struggles, politics, rivalries, heroes and villains – they all existed then and they still do in each generation. The details may change, but the essence of truth, of good vs. evil, these are eternal truths and it was helpful to me to know that kids like me got through tough times then and I could get through any tough times now.

There is a young woman who did an advance review of the book. She noted certain things in the book were still true today. For instance, at one point Katrin’s Mom says, “You two are stronger than I was at your age. Tougher. I guess you have to be these days.” This 14-year-old reviewer wrote in the margin '[This is] what people say now, in 2013 as well.'

To young people in 2013, the childhood of many adults (the 1960's) is a historical era they don't much know about.

The times were on edge in the 60s and they are again in 2013. Though the characters in the book are not directly involved in the national issues, they do become involved locally. I hope the story shows young people they can contribute at whatever level to which they have access. And, most importantly, to trust the wisdom of their inner voice."

5) How is the city of Chicago like a non-speaking character in the book?

Ah, Chicago! I loved growing up in Chicago. And it was because of my parents. They raised us to explore, reach out, be independent and recognize that our neighborhood is also part of a much bigger world and to not be afraid to access that larger world. My father especially loved the city. As a construction worker he had jobs in a lot of different areas. Like most Chicagoans, we’d spend summer days at the lake, or visit Buckingham Fountain at night to see the multi-colored light display. And, like in the book, we made trips to see the Christmas displays on State St. at Carson Pirie Scott or Marshall Field’s Department Stores.

Chicago landmarks are fascinating to me, especially the old Water Tower that survived the great Chicago Fire of 1871. The city is known for its architecture. In 1968, the Hancock Building was still being built. There was no Sears Tower yet, but we have family photos of pictures taken at Buckingham Fountain, (I think all Chicagoans do!) in front of the Museum of Science & Industry, Jackson Park Beach, Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, the list goes on.

Chicago’s identity was mirrored in each of us. It anchored us. And Chicago also has an attitude like no other city. And I hope the characters reflect that. It would be an entirely different story if set in a different city.

13-year-old, Katrin DuBois decides it's never to soon to start an autobiography. She needs to set the record straight about the outrageous rumors concerning certain adventures that began when she was in 6th grade. That's when her elder sister, 8th grader J. Dyanne, began exhibiting extraordinary detecting powers. Volume 1 begins in the late summer of 1968 on the south side of Chicago, a turbulent time before cell phones, laptops and text messages became essential elements of pre-teen life. The girls manage to thrive in a world of social change with multi-generational family support, creative quick-thinking and fearless inquisitiveness. The dog days of August find them prohibited by their parents from visiting the Central Library downtown because of the riots during the Democratic Convention. However, there's plenty of adventure in their own neighborhood as they become swept up in family mysteries, neighborhood political schemes and discovery of a surprising legacy of psychic, even supernatural, talent.

"Katrin’s Chronicles is not a novel—it is an experience. It is the kind of story that can only be written by someone with a deep, knowing love of their characters and an abiding sense of place and time. This is a novel you can fall in love with. The atmosphere, the smells and the sounds of this beautiful world, created by Ms. Woods, is surely a world she has inhabited.

Although the funny and exciting adventures of the two young detectives would seem to be perfect for young teenagers, I also think this world of long ago will be a welcoming and healing place for many adults." David Man, author of "About Acting...and Surviving the Sharks

"My grand daughter likes strong girl detectives and I downloaded the book for her. She loved it and hopes there will be more. I asked her to tell me the plot and that took an hour of complicated stories. So I guess she really liked the book." Shirley Sacks, author of “Bella Mellman”

"When I finished reading this book, I found myself thinking, "Boy, I can't wait for the next book in the series!" Katrin's Chronicles is great fiction. Well written, thoughtful, and funny, it is a mystery about two sister detectives in Chicago in the 1960's. It was a great read for me, as well as for my 10 and 13 year old girls who found themselves immediately drawn into the characters and the situations and couldn't put the book down! I highly recommend Katrin's Chronicles!" – Dawn Comer-Jefferson, co-author of “The Promise”

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

K.N. Lee Parties with the Yelp Elite!

Tonight I partied with the Yelp Elite! Check out my mini-documentary and interview with the NC Community Marketing Representative of Taco Mac!

How to Travel Affordably!

Today I share my super saver tips for travelling affordably. I really hope it helps you guys. Do you have any tips? Put them in the comments. And don't forget to share with your friends.

An Interview with Author, J.M. Kay

Children of the First Star: Volume I
J.M. Kay

An Interview with Author, J.M. Kay 

Can you give us a summary of your book?

“Under the Shadow” is a story of self-discovery. Two thirteen-year-old boys, Jason Swann and Daniel Elliot, are forced into friendship as they are accidentally abducted by the Archivist, a robotic being created by an ancient alien race known as the Shantar Anar for the purpose of studying the universe. But of course, things that seem like coincidence reek of deeper mystery as the boys and the Archivist find themselves lost in an adventure on a foreign world, Ranis Anjiran.  What they discover there only further dismantles the myths surrounding their accidental abduction and their connection to the Shantar Anar.

While the boys are in far off worlds, their respective families in the small town of Ashton, in the American Midwest, desperately seek to find them, thinking the worst. Their search uncovers a hidden history with ties to the events surrounding Jason and Daniel’s journey.

What was your inspiration for writing Under the Shadow – Children of the First Star, Vol. 1?

I wanted to write a story that wasn’t just about good versus evil but about an evolution and about the ability to become a better version of oneself by looking within.  In that sense, it’s my homage to T.S. Eliot, whose poetry I fell in love with in high school and has always made me want to better understand who I really am as a person.

When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

I don’t know if there was ever a “light going off” moment, but the need to put my thoughts down onto page has been with me since probably late high school.  Writing was a way for me to empty my anxiety and my stress, to literally take it from my own body and put it on a page and I would always feel better afterwards.  From then, my desire to write evolved into a love of bringing my imagination into the world in a way where it would have a home and not be forgotten.  From there it was just a natural progression to thinking, wouldn’t it be amazing if this were my job?

Have you always been interested in science fiction?  

Science fiction and fantasy were without a doubt my favorite genres growing up and in many ways they still are.  I have always been very fond of astronomy and physics and if my math skills were better I definitely would have pursued a career in a hard science.  Some of the best science fiction I have read isn’t just about spaceships and aliens but builds on a platform of real scientific research and imagines potentials based upon these theories.

Name your favorite book and author from when you were the age of the characters in this book and explain why it appealed to you so much.

That’s tough, a lot of choices, but maybe “The Seventh Gate,” which is the final installment of the Death Gate Cycle (Fantasy not Sci Fi)  by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.  I read the series for the first time at around fourteen.  The world was very original, it employed a great magic system, and the depth and range of the characters they imagined into being were really amazing.

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

I think it took me about two and a half years from first word to final draft, though that doesn’t include a stretch of about a year where I had to set it aside for work related issues.

What was the most challenging part about writing your book?

The most challenging part was not throwing it in the garbage and going to look for something else to do with my life after the first time I had a real editor do coverage. I was used to having writing critiqued but not to the extent where I knew I was going to have to spend months and months tearing apart and writing a new story, which I was already happy with. 

What are your writing goals for the next 12 months?

In the next 12 months I hope to be able to finish my outline for “A Moment in the Glass: Children of the First Star, Volume II” and be well into writing the first draft.  If I have the time, I’d love to keep working on a series of humorous short stories I started a little while back and some poetry here and there always seems to find a way into the mix.   


Are you working on something right now? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’ve started working on the plot points and the outline for Children of the First Star: Volume II which will continue the adventure of Jason and Daniel on the home planet of the Shantar Anar and will find those searching for them on Earth closer to the boys than they might ever have imagined.

If you could meet three authors, which authors would you choose?
Really tough question and I’m not sure how I could even pick so I’m just going to choose three authors who’ve written books that changed the way I look at life.
Joseph Heller – The sardonic humor of “Catch 22” is melded so perfectly with a profound understanding of the human condition and it inspired the title for my first collection of poetry, which I wrote during college “Snowden’s Secret.”

Milan Kundera – While I’ve read many of his books, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” broke my heart during a time when I had lost a close friend.

Alexandre Dumas – The unabridged version of “The Count of Monte Cristo” is simply and without doubt the best book I have ever read in my entire life.

About the Author

J. M. Kay started writing seriously his sophomore year of college at University of California, Santa Barbara. A few poems here and there led to several collections of poetry, a book of short stories, and many other writing projects. Under the Shadow, Children of the First Star: Volume I is his first novel. He, his wife and their adorable Shih Tzu all hope that this is just the first book of many, as being a writer, for all of its aggravations, is still way more fun and rewarding than what he used to do.

To learn more about the author, visit:

Book Details

In the small mid-west town of Ashton, two boys are accidently abducted by a universal archivist from a distant planet. The boys must travel with the archivist to a planet filled with secrets, all the while hoping it is in the interest of the archivist’s superiors to send them back to earth. In Ashton, the apparent kidnapping of the two missing teens spark old hatreds and suspicions in a town that once before suffered a very similar tragedy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How to Write a Book!

I get asked this question all of the time. Today I share my tips and advice for getting that book written! Good luck ;)

Monday, December 14, 2015

My Top 5 Favorite Hobbies!

Today I talk about my top 5 favorite hobbies! I also reveal what my next video will be about. Hooray!

Chet Baker: The Missing Years: A Memoir by Artt Frank **Book Blitz**

Chet Baker: 

The Missing Years: 

A Memoir by Artt Frank 

**Book Blitz**

Happy Monday! Today we are featuring a memoir by a jazz legend! Check out Chet Baker: The Missing Years: a Memoir by Artt Frank.

"top ten list of beautiful, romantic ballads that I personally like, and

Chet used to sing and play most of these also"

1- 'My Foolish Heart.

2- My Funny Valentine

3-This Is Always
4- Someone To Watch Over Me
5- Living For You (or, Easy Living)
6-Everything  Happens To Me.
7-Bewitched, Bothered And  Bewildered
8-O' You Crazy Moon
9-I'm Old Fashioned
10-Young And Foolish
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame Bop drummer, composer, lyricist, and vocalist Artt Frank is one of the few authentic bop musicians on the scene today. He is best known for his friendship and professional association with trumpet immortal, Chet Baker, with whom he worked for many years.

Michael Armando, jazz musician and President of MJA Records, says of Chet Baker: The Missing Years: A Memoir by Artt Frank, “Artt tells it like it was, what it was like being a friend and a drummer for this great legend Chet Baker … When reading this book for the first time it is almost like you are being drawn into a time warp going back into time. Artt Frank takes you from the dark back alleys of drugs and despair to the shinning genius of Chet's playing smoke filled clubs and the streets … If you are a musician you will cherish it after reading it. Non-musicians will learn how great Chet Baker was and how great a friend drumming great Artt Frank was to Chet. The truth will set you free and Artt Frank has done this with his memoir. Amen... I give this book 10 stars...”

As reviewed by premiere jazz journalist and critic, Doug Ramsey, this memoir “…shows us sides of the great trumpeter that few people knew. In gripping detail, he [Artt] tells of the well-known drama in Baker’s life—the sudden fame, the struggle with drugs, the effects of a beating that almost ended his career. But Artt gives us new insights into Chet’s warmth, his love of family, his steely determination and the early emergence of his astonishing talent…This is a book of revelations."

Available on Amazon

Praise for Chet Baker: The Missing Years, A Memoir by Artt Frank

In August of 2012, jazz great Dave Brubeck gave the following review of Artt’s memoir:
“Artt Frank, the author of Chet Baker: The Missing Years is a devout Christian who practices what he preaches. His personal memoir of his meeting and subsequent friendship with the jazz genius of the trumpet is an unvarnished, honest portrayal of Chet Baker. In depicting Chet’s struggle to recovery, Artt reveals great compassion for a sensitive soul fighting for a life, and puts to rest the rumors and gossip that circulated about Chet’s ‘missing years.’”
Dave Brubeck, Legendary Jazz Pianist and Composer
“About Chet a lot has been written, but alas, much of it is nonsense, repeating other nonsense. To get reliable information, we have to turn to the few people who actually knew him. Artt Frank not only knew Chet but kept in touch when it seems like the world had forgotten him; a period he calls 'the missing years,’ and rightfully so.''
Jeroen de Valk, author – Chet Baker: His Life and Music

“Chet Baker’s friend and drummer Artt Frank shows us sides of the great trumpeter that few people knew. In gripping detail, he tells of the well-known drama in Baker’s life—the sudden fame, the struggle with drugs, the effects of a beating that almost ended his career. But Artt gives us new insights into Chet’s warmth, his love of family, his steely determination and the early emergence of his astonishing talent. Frank’s photographic memory for conversations rivals Truman Capote’s. This is a book of revelations.”
        Doug Ramsey, Author of Jazz Matters and
        Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond
Chet Baker: The Missing Years is perhaps the most accurate account of Chet’s life and true spirit to date. Superbly written by Artt Frank ... the book gives fresh insight into the man behind the music. A must-read for everyone from the casual jazz fan to the serious student of jazz history.”
        JB Dyas, PhD, VP, Education and Curriculum
        Development, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Artt Frank, bop drummer/composer, and author, is one of the few authentic bop musicians on the scene today. Born in the small paper mill town of Westbrook, Maine on March 9, 1933, Artt is best known for his long-term association with Chet Baker, with whom he collaborated for over 20 years. Artt has also been worked with an impressive list of jazz luminaries over the past sixty years including the great Charlie Parker, Tadd Dameron, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Jimmy Heath, Al Cohn, Ted Curson, and many others, including one memorable night with the great singer, Billie Holiday
In 2004, Artt completed his book “Essentials for the Be Bop Drummer” with Pete Swan and published by Tim Schaffner, publisher (and drummer!) of Schaffner Press, Inc.
Artt Frank was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in November, 2010.
He currently lives in Green Valley, Arizona with his wife, Lisa Frank.
To learn more about the author, visit:


Chapter  1
Our First Meeting
met Chet Baker in March of 1954 in a Boston jazz club called, “Storyville.” But the first time I heard Chet’s music was over the Armed Forces radio aboard the USS Des Moines in ’53 toward the end of the Korean War. Listening to Chet’s trumpet on that radio, I cried inside, unable to understand how a trumpeter could affect a drummer so much. Right then, I sincerely sent up a prayer that I would get home safely and get a chance to meet and play with Chet Baker.

Since I was about six years old, I’d been playing drums on anything I could find. By the time I was in my teens, I tried to imitate the beats of my favorite drummer, Gene Krupa, on the tabletop at home in Westbrook, Maine. Still, the only other musician who had affected me the way Chet did, was when I first heard Charlie “Bird” Parker and the new form of jazz – Be Bop. At 17, I hitchhiked to New York City from Westbrook, just to hear Bird in person at The Royal Roost. And maybe get the courage to ask him if I could sit in. I did, and he and Max Roach were kind enough to let me play.

Now, at 21, the war was over, I was honorably discharged and home working at the paper mill, like my father and most everybody in Westbrook, and still in love with jazz and drumming.

Chet Baker had just won both the Downbeat and Metronome jazz magazine polls for America’s number one new jazz trumpeter. That night in ’54 when I got to Boston, the Storyville club was jam-packed. My first impression of him was not only was he gifted, but also he was a very handsome young man as evidenced by all the beautiful young girls surrounding him. I waited until most of the girls and fans left, then made my way over to the bandstand to say hello. I wanted to make him think we had met once before, so as I approached I extended my hand, and said, “Hi Chet, Art Frank. Remember me?”

He looked at me for what seemed an eternity, shook his head, and said, “No, no, I don’t remember you, man. Sorry.” He said it softly but directly. I learned right then and there that Chet was very quick, intent and painfully honest. He looked you in the eyes when he spoke. It seemed like he could pretty much read your thoughts on the spot. I got the feeling he’d tell you the truth even if it meant his losing a fan by doing so. Man, if Chet had been a gunfighter during the old Wild West days, he no doubt would have stared down Jesse James. That’s how intense he was. And conversely, he was quite approachable.

As I spoke, he studied me for another few seconds or so and asked when and where we were supposed to have met. Rather than continuing to lie, I confessed that I hadn’t really met him in person, but how terribly moved I’d been by his sound and the way he played when I’d first heard him on the radio aboard ship during the war. He smiled, obviously liking what I had said, and when he did, I couldn’t help notice that one of his upper front teeth was missing on the left side. I was about to ask him how he’d lost it when the bass player, Carson Smith came over and stopped my train of thought. Chet introduced us, and we shook hands briefly. Carson excused himself and walked off toward the bar area. Chet didn’t appear to be in any particular hurry to get rid of me, smiling and nodding at the beautiful young chicks as they walked by.
I went on to tell him about the prayer I’d made when I had first heard him play; that I’d be able to meet him one day, maybe even get the chance to play with him and his group. He studied me curiously and asked what instrument I played. I told him I was a drummer, and had sat in with Charlie Parker at the Royal Roost, and a lot of other great bop musicians along 52nd Street. Bop drummer Stan Levey had also given me a lot of inside tips on how to play. Chet seemed impressed and smiled warmly. As far as getting the chance to play with him one day, he said in his soft, melodic voice, “One never knows, man… one never knows.”

Carson and Russ were on their way outside and asked Chet if he wanted to go out for a breath of fresh air. He nodded, excused himself and left me standing there. Much to my surprise though, he stopped, turned half way around and gestured for me to join him. I couldn’t believe it. Here was Chet Baker inviting me to join him. Once outside the club, I lit up a cigarette and offered one to Chet. He just shook his head and told me he didn’t smoke. He stood by watching the traffic whiz by. He had the interest and intensity of a little boy on some long ago Christmas morning watching his father operate a set of Lionel trains on a miniature set of tracks on a worn out linoleum covered floor.

After a minute or so, Russ and Carson told him they were going back inside the club, but Chet was too focused on watching all the cars go by and didn’t respond. They left and I don’t think Chet even realized I was standing there beside him until a minute or so later. He turned around and asked me where Russ and Carson had gone. When I told him what happened, his face lit up with a smile. He told me that whenever he watched a lot of cars speeding by, it brought to his mind one of the few things he would most like to do in life -- drive a race car at Le Mans and win. “What a thrill that would be, man,” he said, a kind of daydream look in his eyes.

While I stood there listening to him, it occurred to me that I was talking to the nation’s number one trumpet player, and he’s telling me how he’d like to be a racecar driver. I told him he could probably do anything he set his mind to. Where I came from in Maine, racing cars against each other was what most of the young guys did every night and weekends for excitement. Hearing that brought another smile. He told me that most of the young cats in L.A. were doing the same thing. I guess it must have been pretty much the same way in every city and town across the country.

I asked him where he and his group were going after they left Boston. He said they would be doing back-to-back gigs in different cities before winding up doing a full month at “Birdland,” the world-renowned jazz club in New York City. The first two weeks of that gig he would play opposite sets with Dizzy Gillespie’s group, and the following two weeks, opposite sets with Miles Davis’ group. He was real excited about the prospect of that. He was gracious and told me that if I could make it down during one of those weeks, I’d more than likely get the chance to sit in with him. I was ecstatic when he said that, and told him I’d do my damnedest to make it down on one of the nights he’d be sharing the stand with Miles Davis. He said he hoped so, and I believe he genuinely meant it.

I knew he had other things to do, and I didn’t want to get off to a bad start by taking up any more of his time. He still had another set to play, and I had a hundred and five mile drive back to Westbrook, Maine. Also, I had to be at work at the paper mill by 6 a.m. the following morning. I worked the ‘swing shift.’ One week I’d work the 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. shift, the following week I’d work from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., the next week I’d work from 6 p.m. to midnight, and finally, I’d work the graveyard shift, from midnight to 6 a.m. I hated the swing shift because it was very difficult to make plans to do anything. I really didn’t want to leave the club, but knew I had to. I shook Chet’s hand and told him I hoped to see him again when he played Birdland, and left the club reluctant, but elated.

Almost as soon as I had driven out of Boston, a mixture of snow and rain started to fall softly, causing the roads to be a bit slippery, not the least unusual in early spring. But I didn’t care. I was absolutely ecstatic because I had finally met and talked with my main inspiration in jazz, Chet Baker, and he’d been very warm toward me. I praised and thanked God for hearing my prayers about meeting Chet.

The snow continued to fall but it never really amounted to anything, at least until I hit Route 1 in Maine, where the road became even more slippery. I made it home just before 5:00am, about the time my father would be getting up. He had to get up at that time each morning to get the wood stove fire going so he could make his ‘Eight O’Clock’ brand coffee. He’d have to do this in the spring, summer, fall and winter because we only had one wood-burning stove in the house and that was in the kitchen. Whenever I’d get home late, as I did in this case, I’d come upstairs very quietly so I wouldn’t awaken him. But lo and behold, there he was, already up, dressed and sitting at the table waiting for the coffee to finish perking.

It seemed that every winter morning in Maine was a particularly cold one, and this March morning was no different. My father busied himself putting pieces of wood into the stove in order to have it warm for my mother and the other kids who’d soon be getting up. I swear, every other room in that apartment was freezing and the floors were as cold as glaciers. There was absolutely no insulation or storm windows, no central heating system nor even running hot water. In order to have hot water, we would have to fill a pan with water and heat it on the front of the stove.

This was a routine my father did each and every morning before he would sit down and enjoy his cup of coffee - after which, he’d put on his light weight frock coat, a railroad cap, leave the house and go out into the freezing cold. Not having a car, he’d walk the mile and a half through deep snow to get to work at the local paper mill. But God bless his heart, he was happy for me when I told him about the whole episode of meeting Chet. My dad played a C Melody sax, which is comparable to a soprano saxophone, but he never really got the opportunity to play in any of the nightclubs in nearby Portland. He was too busy working seven days of every week to support seven of us kids.

While we sat there talking, my mother woke up and joined us. Still being excited, I went over the whole story again, filling in each and every little detail, and later the same day, I relived it again with my three brothers and three sisters. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s how important it was for me to have met Chet Baker.

My mother, having a ‘steel trap’ memory, recalled how I’d bought a record by Chet the year before, the day after my discharge, and wanted me to play it. I got the turntable from my room and played it for them. Hell, all I did for weeks and weeks was play The Lamp is Low on that Chet Baker record until I nearly wore the grooves out. There was something in Chet’s music that got to me. I was so excited about the possibility of seeing Chet again that I wanted to share his music with everybody. I’d open the windows and play his record so the neighbors next door would be able to hear the sounds too. Some of them didn’t mind. But there were a few others who always squawked. They were too square, but I played the records anyway!

As luck would have it though, when it came time for Chet and his quartet to begin his month at Birdland, I was working the top part of the swing shift, 6 a.m. to 12 pm - which meant that by the time it came around for Chet to be playing his two weeks opposite Miles Davis, I’d be working the 6 p.m. to midnight the first week and the midnight to 6 a.m. shift the second week. Unless I could find someone to swap shifts, I’d not only miss the chance to see Chet again, but also miss the chance to sit in and play with him and his group. To say that I was frantic would be an understatement. I called the other two guys who worked the swing shift, and asked each one if they’d be willing to swap their shifts with me for the last two weeks of the month, but unfortunately for me, they could not for each had made plans of their own. So that March night of 1954 in Boston turned out to be the last time I would see Chet for the next fourteen years.

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