Tuesday, December 25, 2018


"The Prologue" is finally here. On this episode of Lilac Wine - The Podcast, author Bruce Janu reads the prologue to the novel, introducing us to the novel's main character, Abelia Brody.

This chapter was the first written some 25 years ago. After reading, Bruce talks about the challenge of writing a novel over many stages of life and how the prose sounds to him now 25 years later.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about the episode by joining the forum.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Inspirations, Music and Creativity - The Influences Behind Lilac Wine

On this episode of Lilac Wine - The Podcast, I discuss the inspirations for the novel and play a song from my favorite band, Over the Rhine.  In addition, I give a shout-out to a junior high school teacher who encouraged my writing more than anyone else.

Music plays such an important role in my creative process, especially in regard to this novel. How do you write? Music, for me, is a necessity, as important as air, especially in the pre-writing period.  On this episode, I talk a lot about music and, in particular, a band from Ohio: Over the Rhine.

Click on the image to listen to a selection of music from Over the Rhine and other bands who have played a big role in inspiring Lilac Wine.

A special thanks to Karin Bergquist and Lindford Detweiler from Over the Rhine for allowing me to play their World War I inspired song, "Flanders Fields" on the podcast. They are an amazing band and well-worth listening to. Their songs are folksy and soulful with a real truth at their center.  As I mentioned in a previous post, their songs play like old friends sitting late at night around the kitchen table, discussing love and life.  More information about them can be found on their website overtherhine.com

To get a sense of the passion and beauty of Bergquist's voice, check out the following songs:

Subscribe to Lilac Wine now so you don't miss an episode! You can subscribe on Apple Podcast, Google Podcasts or on any podcast service.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Preview Lilac Wine now!

The first episode of Lilac Wine - The Podcast has dropped! On this episode - a "preview" episode, if you will - I discuss the story of Lilac Wine and the purpose of the podcast.  Listen now. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Making of a Trailer

In getting ready to launch Lilac Wine - The Podcast, I wanted to make a promo that captures the feel of the story. I based the idea on a music video that I made a few years ago in which the pages of an old photo album come to life. The video was for a song by the Civil Wars called "20 Years." I made the music video for a contest. I didn't win, but liked how the video turned out, nonetheless.

I needed to find photographs that captured the spirit of Lilac Wine. Scouring the internet for public domain images from in and around 1917 was not too difficult.  Within a few minutes of googling, I found these pictures:

These images are from 1917, found in a Hungarian photo website.  I just love them. The image on the left really captures the feel of Lilac Wine.

I needed to add some wine to the image, so I went to a photo that I have from the Civil Wars music video. That video features pictures from a photo album I bought at an antique store. I simply took the bottle off of the table of this picture from 1902 and added it to the chair in garden the picture.

Add a flower garden picture from the early 20th century:

And finally, a World War I battlefield, courtesy of the Library of Congress:

Oh, and we can't forget the World War I soldier. This was from the original concept book cover I made back in 2010. I don't remember where I got that original image, though.

I then created a large image in photoshop with several layers, adding trees in the foreground and more colored flowers as well.

I positioned the layers in a 3-dimensional space in Adobe After Effects and moved the "camera" in and out and across the 3D space. I then added some royalty free music and narration from Rachel Vissing, a colleague and fellow collaborator on the We Are EG podcast at Elk Grove High School and voilĂ : the new trailer for the Lilac Wine Podcast.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Lilac Wine - The Podcast

It is official: Lilac Wine - The Podcast is ready for you to subscribe! Check out the promo below. You can subscribe on your favorite podcast service.  Although the official release is January 1, subscribe now to receive the prologue of the novel sometime in December.  New episodes will be published weekly starting January 1, 2019.

Special shoutout to Rachel Vissing for providing the voice over for that trailer. Come back soon for a behind-the-scenes on how the trailer was made.

In the meantime, go and subscribe to the podcast on either Google or iOS:

Listen on Google Play Music        Listen on Apple Podcast

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Coming Soon: Lilac Wine, the Podcast

It's been awhile since I posted to these pages. But that is about to change.

Although I haven't been actively posting, or writing for that matter, Abelia and Robert are always in my thoughts. They are a part of me and rarely does a day go by when I don't think about them in one way or another.

Life has gotten in the way of writing, I am afraid.

So how do I fix that? By taking this project to the next level. By making the creative process public. Very public.

Starting in January, I will be reading the rough draft of Lilac Wine on a new podcast. Each episode will feature a chapter, with some behind-the-scenes insight on the creative process. Currently, I have 250 pages of the novel written. And once we get to that point, I will have to write chapters as we go through this together.

I will open a discussion board on this website, and allow listeners to comment and make suggestions about the story as we go. Tell me what you think as we crowd source the creative process!

Stay tuned for more information.