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Monster Hunters, First Review: Booklist

Krulos_Monster_7(1)Booklist is a publication of book reviews produced by the American Library Association “and is widely viewed as offering the most reliable reviews to help libraries decide what to buy and to help library patrons and students decide what to read, view, or listen to,” according to their website.
Well then, thanks for giving this nice review of Monster Hunters!

Booklist—May 15, 2015
The most important thing you need to know about this book is that it doesn’t take a stance on the existence of UFOs, lake monsters, the chupacabra, ghosts, or Bigfoot. Proving or disproving that these phenomena exist or don’t isn’t his mission. His plan is simply to follow the investigators, or “monster hunters,” as he calls them, along with some skeptics, to see what makes them tick, to find out why they believe so passionately in what they are doing. Krulos introduces us to some pretty interesting people: the curator of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine; the founder of the Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee; a noted skeptical investigator; and many others. The author treats his subjects with respect and courtesy (even when there are opportunities to ridicule or dismiss them); his approach seems to be not that these are wacky people with weird beliefs, but that these are ordinary people with beliefs most of us don’t understand—all of which adds up to an informative book for skeptics and believers alike.
David Pitt

Monster Hunters on Goodreads:www.goodreads.com/book/show/23398567-monster-hunters
On Amazon: LINK
On Chicago Review Press’s website: www.chicagoreviewpress.com/monster-hunters-products-9781613749814.php

Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

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Art by David Beyer, Jr.

Some of you have heard me yak on and on about my next book, Monster Hunters (Chicago Review Press, June 2015). The book is about the lives of people who search for unknown entities which we can categorize under the umbrella term “paranormal.”

I spent a lot of time joining people in the field as they searched for ghosts, demons, Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, UFOs, Skunk Apes (that’s the stinky cousin of Bigfoot) and other things that go bump in the night.

In order to celebrate the June release of the book, I wanted to do something that would be kind of a big deal. Something bigger than myself. And then I thought, why don’t I do something that Milwaukee is currently lacking? By that, of course, I mean a Paranormal Conference.

Here’s what I got so far:

*The conference does have a venue in downtown Milwaukee that is about 99% sure right now. It’s a good spot. I won’t announce it officially until paperwork is signed, though. We are pretty solid on the date which is Saturday, JUNE 6, 2015. It will be a one day, all day event, about Noon-7pm or so.

*The conference will feature a variety of guest speakers from the Midwest, mostly Wisconsinites as well as some guests (hopefully) from Illinois and Michigan. These speakers will give talks on subjects including ghost stories, paranormal investigation, cryptozoology, ufology, and folklore.
I’ve spoken to several (but not all) of the speakers I’d like to feature and have gotten a very positive response. I will soon be setting up a WordPress site for the con and we will begin to reveal guests there in the future.

What else will be going on? I’ll be reading an excerpt from Monster Hunters. There will also be a tabling room where guest speakers and other guests will have books, art, and ghost tour slots for sale. Possibly a documentary screening. We’ll also have a “get your picture taken with Bigfoot” booth. And much more. We’re working on ideas.

This message is just not an announcement. In starting to put this plan to paper, I quickly realized this is not something I would be able to pull off alone. A couple people have already been helpful behind the scenes. Here are some things we need help with:

*Financing. The venue I’m looking at is offering me a fair price for a Saturday in June, but it’s not dirt cheap. Anyone who has done an event knows that other costs will add up quick–printing flyers/posters/programs, printing t-shirts, there will be a lot of fees I haven’t even thought of yet. It will be a lot of money I will have to shell out up front, more than a semi-employed writer dude from Riverwest can afford.

Most conventions would recoup their costs by charging an admission, but see the crazy thing about me is I’m somewhat determined to have this event be Free. Yes, that’s right, admission to the con: free. Or maybe I should say: priceless. Soooooo, that means I need to think of other ways to raise money. One idea I’m keen on is sponsors. If I can find a few local sponsors that would invest in this and have their logo on display on the programming/ advertising, it would go a long way. I suppose a GoFundMe or a Kickstarter might work, too, but the idea of doing one of those makes me kind of googly eyed. What else? Fund raiser/ benefit show? I am open to any advice anyone has on this topic.

*Volunteers. I need ’em. I need a volunteer coordinator, volunteers to help set up and break down, help with the guests, hand out programs, find the Bigfoot, I need tech people to monitor the AV, I need a security person or two, help with the website, help making everything run smoothly. What’s in it for you? You’ll be helping launch an interesting event and we’re going to come up with some cool swag for you.

The next step here is we will get a WordPress site up and running for the con with official name and venue. This will go live on…Halloween (October 31, 2014).

If you’d like to contact me about any of the aforementioned, e-mail is best: teakrulos@gmail.com

2013 Krulos in Review

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Signing copies of Heroes in the Night at Barnes & Noble.

Feb.-May 2013: I moved down to Arcadia, Florida. While there, I worked on what will now be a future book (maybe my third?) and did some freelancing for publications like The Guardian and M magazine. Things did not work out for me in Florida and I moved home to Milwaukee in May. I have no regrets. It was just another one of my hundred lives.

June 2013: Throughout the spring and summer I worked with my publisher on final edits of Heroes in the Night. They were pleased with the book and asked what I had in mind next. My initial idea was passed on (for now) but then I pitched the idea of doing a book that discussed the lives of paranormal investigators. They were into that idea, and the paperwork got signed in June. I immediately got to work. I made a connection with local group Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee (PIM) and have been hanging out with them as much as I can since.

July 2013: First travel for new book to Vermont for “Champ Camp,” hosted by Believe It Tour @ Lake Champlaign.

August 2013: Me and David Beyer, Jr. set up a blog for our comic book collaboration, Ballyhoo. I wrote the script (a fiction set in a circus in 1955) and David has been working on the art. Progress on this project has been slow as we are both busy dudes. But page by page it is happening and David’s art looks absolutely amazing. Hopefully Ballyhoo will be rolling out issue one in 2014.

September 2013: Second whirlwind trip took me to Point Pleasant, WV, Wilder, KY, Portland, ME (where I spent part of my birthday at one of my new favorite places on earth: the International Cryptozoology Museum) and Ochopee, FL (as well as a visit to Arcadia.)

October 2013: Oct. 1 was official release date for Heroes in the Night. How exciting! I had a great hometown reception at Boswell Book Company w/ after party at Stonefly Brewery. Good local press, including various bits in Shepherd Express, Onmilwaukee.com, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee mag, and The Onion’s local A.V. Club (R.I.P.) I also made in-store appearances in Chicago (Quimby’s), Madison (Westfield Comics), and Saint Paul (Common Good Books, with good attendance due in part to a feature in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.) Friends from around the country posted photos of them with the book at various bookstores around the country. Such a cool moment in my life.

November 2013: Tabled at Milwaukee Zine Fest with my friends David Beyer, Jr., Lance Orr, and Michelle from Skill Shot MKE  zine. I had a zine of goofy poetry I wrote titled Palookaville. This is currently being expanded from 16 to 36 pages and will be available as a chapbook/ e-book in 2014. Also did an event at Barnes & Noble in Brookfield Square.

December 2013: Participated with Milwaukee Real Life Superheroes The Challengers at their annual Christmas charity toy drive.

I’m now at about the halfway point for my paranormal book. I have accomplished a lot on it, but there is still a lot of work to go to get to the June 2014 deadline. I will be doing another trip, to Arizona this time, in February and have some other small trips and interviews and a lot of final drafting to do. I also have a couple side projects, we’ll see what happens with those.

I could really use a team of unpaid interns right now!

After I turn this book in, I’m not quite sure what my main focus will turn to, but I’ve got a couple of ideas. I’ll be reworking some old ideas and trying some new ones, too.

A salute to 2013, and cheers to 2014!