True Review
Current Issue Number 82 Vol.25   October 2012

Excruciatio Amor

(“The Agony of Love”)

(An open letter to students considering a career in journalism.)

He was always very emotional about things. Especially print.

Mr. Frank Palumbo, my high school journalism teacher, loved the Garden Spot High School yearbook. It was equivalent to an addiction. Do you know what the definition (the true definition) of an addiction is? When the feeling received from participating in the addiction is far more pleasurable than it could be. Than it really should be.

Well, for Mr. Palumbo – we called him “Mr. P” -- indeed, working on the yearbook with very many talented photographers, writers, and editors was very pleasurable to the high school educator. To see what they could craft would literally dazzle the eyes. His eyes and our eyes. Literally.

For the 1978 yearbook, the theme was “G.S. Suits to a T.” The big fad then (the yearbook was all about 1977-1978 fads) was silk-screened T-shirts with all types of sayings. The front cover was a bunch of photographs of students, minus faces, wearing their favorite shirts. The photos were laid out in the shape of a “T.”

The yearbook won first place at the Columbia University Press Awards in New York. The yearbook was literally a thing of beauty.

The award came with a big cost - producing a volume with a Columbia University First Place Award took its toll on Mr. P. You see, Mr. P. worked much too hard – far too hard – on the yearbook and neglected his health. He died of congestive heart failure as a result of a severe pneumonia and infection when he was just 47 years old, passing right after the final yearbook deadline. The love of journalism took its sad, fierce toll. And he never lived to see the award.

I’m 52 years old. A career in journalism has certainly taken its toll – emotionally, anyway.

Back in the late 1970s, newspapers were king. This was before the Internet, before Facebook, before cell phones. If you wanted to find the news, you tuned into television or radio. To read the news, you came to the newspapers.

The newspaper industry was vibrant, strong, with no competition, literally. A career in newspaper journalism looked extraordinarily promising.

With the advent of Internet and blogs and social media, competition for print has been stifling. The Internet has all but destroyed a lot of print media.

My son Kevin and I speak to each other from time to time. He received his certificate in printing from Brownstown Career and Technology Center.

This was back in 2006, before the Great Depression II.

I reminded Kevin what his grandfather once told him: you better learn something you love to do, because you are going to be doing it for eight hours a day, five days a week (at least).

And if you are going to enter into a publishing/printing career, you’d better love it, and love it dearly, completely – because it will test your very soul. If you don’t love it to death, it will kill you first.

The love I share for publishing has been a love/hate relationship, or more so, a love/torture relationship. The road has been rocky, miserable, laden with mines – an agony of love. A litany of torture with few rewards. But the rewards have been magnified because I have grown to love it so completely. It is a marriage of talent and emotion, a twining of capability and devotion.

I began my career this month back in 1977 – 35 years ago, working for the high school newspaper, SPARTANews, first as writer, then as editor. My adviser and boss: none other than Mr. P. Thirty-five years.

I celebrate this anniversary with a caveat to all contemplating a career path in this field. Love it, because it may kill you, emotionally.

Excruciatio Amor.

An agony, a love most everlasting.

Andrew M. Andrews

In This Issue

Red Rain Other Worlds Than These Lilith Alien Contact Multiples

Some Remarks Long Black Coffin Coffee Table Book of Doom Happily Ever After Irish Country Wedding Cover

Keepsake: A Novel Cover The Take-Charge-Patient Cover Click on Book Cover for Review The Skeleton Box Cover Defining Moments Cover

Next Time In True Review
Zombie Apocalypse! Fight Back Cover


ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE!, created by Stephen Jones. Running Press (, 2010, (no marked page count), $14.95. ISBN 978-0-7624-4001-6 (click here to purchase)

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! FIGHT BACK, created by Stephen Jones. Running Press (, 2012, (no marked page count), $13.95. ISBN 978-0-7624-4598-1 (click here to purchase)

The human reanimation virus, called “the Death,” infects the dead and brings them back to life as walking zombies intent on destroying human life – but we learn of the fight by surviving members of humanity and the first book, from 2010, marks the beginning of the “end.” The second book in the series, FIGHT BACK, explores what surviving members of humanity must turn into to effectively stop the destruction. The books contain lots of zany, eyewitness accounts, personal diaries, reports, memos, e-mails, blogs, transcriptions, records, etc. to describe the fight.

Andrew M. Andrews
The Celtic Conspiracy


HOUSE OF SKIN, by Jonathan Janz. Samhain Publishing (, 2012, 309 pp., $16.00. ISBN 978-1-60928-921-8 (click here to purchase)

Paul, nephew to Annabel and Myles Carver, arrives at the estate of Watermere, only to deal with horrors that await Paul and his love, Julia Merrow, when they arrive.

Andrew M. Andrews
The Listeners


THE LISTENERS, by Harrison Demchick. Bancroft Press (, 2012, 311 pp., $21.99. ISBN 978-1-61088-081-7 (click here to purchase)

Fourteen-year-old Daniel Raymond lives in a world gone mad, inundated with a terrible plague that distorts the human mind, turns people into zombies, of a sort – except for a chosen few. So he joins the “gang” called the Listeners, whose promise of protection from the plague-ridden is going to be a risk that he may have to take to stay alive.

Andrew M. Andrews
Worth Their Weight In Blood


WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN BLOOD, by Carole Jahme. Mira Publishing (, 2012, 343 pp., $. ISBN 978-1-908509-01-7 (click here to purchase)

Renowned animal psychologist and journalist Carole Jahme (who was instrumental in a documentary about Michael Jackson and “Bubbles” the chimp, his favorite animal), has assembled a novel about real vampires – a result of blood disease? If vampires are animals, like chimps, then mature chimps – like mature vampires – could be dangerous indeed.

Andrew M. Andrews
The Sinner Cover


THE SINNER, by K. Trap Jones. Blood Bound Books (, 299 pp., $10.00. ISBN 978-0-984978-21-2 (click here to purchase)

“Research a sinful man” seems to be the basis of THE SINNER by K. Trap Jones. The “essay” structure in the form of informal poetry details a farmer, locked away in a cave, who writes of his encounters with evil in all its forms.

Andrew M. Andrews
Agathie Christie Cover


AGATHIE CHRISTIE, An Autobiography, by Agatha Christie. William Morrow/HarperCollins (, 1977, 2012, 542 pp., $18.99. ISBN 978-0-06-220457-8 (click here to purchase)

I long for a world in which there are no noisy distractions, like TV, smartphones, e-mail, etc. I look toward how Christie grew up, surrounded by a culture that cared for the classics, who read the classics, who were immersed in the classics, and thus was able to foment her great talent as one of the best authors of our age. And for those who think multimedia is everything, in this autobiography, pictures are included.

Andrew M. Andrews
The Moon Stealers Cover


THE MOON STEALERS, by Tim Flanagan. Tim Flanagan Books (, 2012, 151 pp., $10. ISBN 978-1-47813-670-5 (click here to purchase)

Peter Crisp from Parsley Bottom has a special talent – special vision. After spending a night in a graveyard, he goes missing, and his friends try desperately to find him. Not only do they have to find Peter, but they are in the middle of a government secret attempt to stop the spread of alien bacteria from a meteorite.

Andrew M. Andrews
Your House Is On Fiire, Your Children All Gone Cover


YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE, YOUR CHILDREN ALL GONE, by Stefan Kiesbye. Penguin Books (, 2012, 198 pp., $15.00. ISBN 978-0-14-312146-6 (click here to purchase)

Four young children -- Christian, Martin, Linde, and Anke -- grow up in a claustrophobic world of ancient superstitions, pagan rituals, and wartime secrets. Devil’s Moor has a grand manor house, a small pub, the old mill, and the darkest secrets of the village are parcel to what the youngsters will need to deal with, to survive.

Andrew M. Andrews
Blood Of The City Cover


BLOOD OF THE CITY, by Robin D. Laws. Paizo Publishing (, 2012, 355 pp., $9.99. ISBN 978-1-60125-456-6 (click here to purchase)

Luma, fighter and spellcaster, helps the Derexhi family formulate one of the most fierce and effective mercenary companies in Magnimar. But when a job goes bad and Luma ends up in the Hells prison, Luma finds out more evil exists in Magnimar, even with those whom Luma formerly respected.

Andrew M. Andrews

Next Time In True Review
Cold City Cover


COLD CITY: Repairman Jack, the Early Years, by F. Paul Wilson. Tor/Forge (, 368 pp., $25.99. ISBN 978-0-7653-3014-7 (click here to purchase)

Andrew M. Andrews
Defining Moments


FAIRY TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM, by Philip Pullman. Viking (, 2012, 431 pp., $27.95. ISBN 978-0-670-02497-1 (click here to purchase)

Andrew M. Andrews