Teenage Singer/Songwriter Sneaks Up on 2015

Gina Royale is recording her first EP of original material. All of 17, the petite, soft-spoken budding singer-songwriter moves about the studio as if it is her bedroom; petting a lazy dog, giggling at the occasional quip, and half-listening as the producer adjusts the levels on what will soon be a drum track for “Tightrope”, a highly stylized mid-tempo slice of pop/rock. You would never guess this is the composer of a track everyone, including her dad, is working hard to realize. And that’s the way Royale likes it.

“I want to surprise people,” she whispers to me later, a wry grin creasing her alabaster, be-freckled face.

gina_bwSurprise people” is exactly what she did a few weeks before I stopped in to see her record at Boonton, New Jersey’s Audio Pilot Studio. She surprised me, for sure. I was asked to emcee an event for a close friend, who had survived cancer – a party/benefit in West Milford boasting a line-up of local bands, food and fun. It was a lazy late-summer day, and the music thus far had been entertaining if not mostly forgettable. Royale’s dad, Andy Rajeckas, a pianist, was set to play instrumentals as the guests partook of the catering.

“My daughter’s going to sing a couple of her songs,” Rajeckas leaned over to inform me seconds before I was supposed to announce him. “Her name is Gina Royale.”

And so I did, condescendingly prompting the audience to give it up for the young, adorably quiet girl for which her daddy ceded his modest stage time. She sat at the keyboard, mumbled something into the microphone, and began to softly play. I probably made it four to five feet off the stage when the voice hit me; bluesy, honest, arrestingly emotive. I turned; half expecting to see if someone else had wrested the mic from this kid. Nope. Royale was kicking ass.

Her set was maybe five songs, all of her own material, save for a very moving rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, which in her hands appeared far more meaningful than I’d heard since the ex-Beatle was gunned down in NYC 34 years ago. Throughout, I could not take my eyes from her, not for dynamic or seductive reasons; it was the voice, and the flow of the songs that seemed achingly mature for someone you might cast in High School Musical.

She received applause, but nothing like what I experienced while working my way through the crowd, such as it was. People were stunned that what they had heard wasn’t a CD or wondered how we suckered an obvious recording artist to play at this thing.

My effusive praise made it to Royale’s dad, who for all intents and purposes is her acting manager. And why not? Wouldn’t a manager make sure his client got on a bill wherein she would debut free of expectation and…well…surprise people? And, of course, her manager/dad told me all about her upcoming recording date and here we are.

I am sitting in a typically ragged studio-type couch watching intently as Royale runs down another number that will appear on the EP, “T-Shirt”, a song she describes as an experiment in taking an innocuous item and placing undo import, as in the t-shirt of a boy possessed by a smitten girl; a charming metaphor for an adolescent heart. “I usually start with the title of the song,” Royale explains, as if describing the building an engine. “I find a unique title and then work out the chorus and find a rhythm to go along with that, work out some lyrics, build a chorus, build whatever comes right before the chorus, and then the rest of the song…in that order.”

Royale’s drummer, Josh Grigsby, on loan from a local band called the Karma Killers, the dad, who added keyboards to the tracks, and producer/studio proprietor, Rob Freeman, who also plays guitars and bass on the project, surround her. I can just about make out that innocently proportioned face, those piercing green eyes, and the obligatory wisp of blonde locks, as she begins to unveil the song – half heartbreak, part defiance, all playfulness. It is already, even without accompaniment, a stellar pop vehicle. Doubtless, anyone would be happy having this as a potential hit. It’s quick to the hook, turns around with panache, and is fueled by the voice that turned a few benefit-goers heads only weeks before.

“I want to hear my songs on the radio,” Royale says later. And although it is an obvious statement millions of dreamers might utter in their spare time, this is a young lady who truly means it. “I want people to enjoy my music. It’s not that I am straying away from my own style just so more people will like it, I love pop music.”

“I want people to enjoy my music. It’s not that I am straying away from my own style just so more people will like it, I love pop music.”

Royale began absorbing music at an early age, beginning on flute and saxophone, then enduring the inevitable piano lessons any daughter of a musician would be expected to, but it was hearing Taylor Swift’s Red at age 14 that made her think in terms of composing. “When that record first came out, I thought the lyrics were so amazing and beautiful and deep and I wanted to write songs like that,” she says. Studying vocals from a classically trained perspective provided her a foundation, but it was one that she fought, as more and more classic pop music began to enter her transom; The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer would all work as undercurrents to her craft.

And it is indeed a craft for Royale, whose approach to songwriting echoes the Brill Building era of hit song assembly lines, ala Carol King, Irving Mills, Neil Sadaka, et al. To better underscore this workman like demeanor, she attended a songwriting camp last year at William Paterson University and literally worked at developing her technique of playing with chord progressions, honing melodies, and finding the elusive bridge. “It’s a strategy,” she smiles.

And that strategy will lead her this coming autumn or perhaps even January of 2016 to a college with a heavy emphasis on music. “I want to study contemporary vocals in college, but it’s hard to find a major like that,” says Royale. “Thirty schools in the country have it. The majority of them are in California, but I’m looking at Berklee College of Music in Boston. They are specifically a contemporary music school in general, so their vocal program is only contemporary. I’m also looking at the New School for Jazz Contemporary Music in New York City, The University of the Arts in Philly, and William Paterson University here in New Jersey, which also happens to have that major.”

Even in the quest for high education, Royale remains pragmatic to the core: “My reach school is Berklee, but being more realistic, it would be William Paterson, which is affordable. It’s easier to get into and it’s a university, so I can still have something to back me up if music falls through.”

And one wonders with all this strategy, schooling and purpose, if perhaps something of spontaneous combustion might be missing from all this songwriting equation. Yet, Royale is not totally unaware of this. “If I didn’t have that influence, I would probably do a long emotional rant on the piano,” she answers matter-of-factly. “I am not a depressing person, but I like to write depressing songs or like songs about heartbreak. I can always draw more emotion from that, and although not that many sad things have happened to me, I feel like I can describe more emotions that way. Every time I try to write a happy song it ends up being dumb and cheesy. My goal is I want to have a radio-appeal song, but I don’t want it to be cheesy. I still want it to be unique on its own.”gina_color

Lyrically, Royale combines universal pop tropes of love and loss and yearning with honest experiences from her own teenage life, as in the betrayal of a friend and the infinite coming-of-age battle between integrity and popularity. This is evident in “I Don’t Need You”, the third song on the EP Royale is calling Heir, a clever play on the double-meaning between her moniker and being the offspring of a musician: “I don’t wanna take your calls/I don’t wanna hear your voice/And I don’t wanna kiss your lips/I don’t need you boy” is something of a feminine call to arms for all young girls caught in a bad-boy grip.

This sense of renewed independence, whether autobiographical or melodramatic, is a theme Royale feels comfortable with, as in another original composition she brings up during our conversation that is not included on Heir, “Courage”, fueled with the kind of righteous indignation that could only be roused by growing up.

“Last year I was supposed to sing ‘Respect’ by Aretha Franklin as part of this Memorial Day Veterans tribute,” recalls Royale about the origin of the song. “I was so excited; I knew my part and everything, and the day before the show I was kicked out by this girl who was in charge of it, all because her best friend wanted my part. The next day the girl wouldn’t even talk to me, because she felt so terrible. One of my favorite lyrics from that song, and I always hope she’ll hear them, is when I mention her going to James Madison University in Virginia; ‘Your sly tongue won’t take you very far/Take it out to Virginia and see where you are.’”

Perhaps Heir’s most infectious song is “Hello Heartbreak”, wherein Royale defiantly sings a torrid verse of impenetrable fury: “You had all the traits of a crook/Wanted more than what you could have/You have no idea what you took/And I don’t know, I don’t know if I’ll steal it back,” the final line is repeated three times to drive the rancor deeper. It attacks from the opening verse and refuses to let up. It may also be Royale’s most effective Taylor Swift homage, using a bouncy melody to express torment, which is only part of its allure, which hits home when you could swear you’ve been singing the thing your whole life.

Not to say that Royale is overtly derivative, but the arrangement of the songs on Heir reflect a modernity that you would expect from youth, and, quite frankly, what you need to hear from youth, as if heralding a new order or at least reminding you that being young is still as much a weirdly explosive amalgam of exhilaration, confusion and angst as you remember it to be.

But to hear Royale say it, and as she performs it, she is happy sneaking up on everyone.

“I want to be that kid, who, you know, most people don’t expect that I can even sing,” she says smiling, as if it is all transpired in her head already. “In school, I am a hermit. I don’t talk to anyone. I have like three friends. It’s not that I’m shy. I just don’t like anyone in my school. People never assume I sing, and then when I do, I’m this short, tiny girl and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, you can actually really sing! You can really hit high notes!’ I want to surprise people.”


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James Campion – Gonzo Journalist for a new century of mayhem


jc in 1997

Born to James and Phyllis Campion on 9/9/62 at the northern tip of Manhattan, jc spent his formative years on Van Ness Avenue in the Bronx, New York. Sequestered from the swirling chaos of the 1960’s by a loving family, his imagination was fueled by fantasy, comic books and the distant music from passing cars and open windows. Creating fantasy worlds far from the heat and cement of city life kept him from being scarred by stringent Catholic School rules and rough neighborhood wounds. His close relationship to his mom, grandmother and aunt has led jc to often refer to these years as paramount in experiencing the plight of the underdog. This lead to the inevitable questioning and rebellion often displayed by personalities educated in the belief of freedom and expression at home.

Phyllis and James Campion -1993

“My dad spent much of his time either at work or school trying to make a better life for my brother, Philip John and me,” jc told “I didn’t have that constant male presence. Very talented, emotional and brilliant women with an indescribable inner strength raised me to question everything and give your all in the face of any challenge.” jc’s mother noticed his penchant for ignoring the status quo very early in life. “James could never conform to the way things were right from the start,” Mrs. Campion told us. “We couldn’t understand why he didn’t take his first day of school as hard as the other kids. Then the next day when I asked him if he was ready for school, he responded, ‘I already did that yesterday.’ Of course we tried to explain to him that he had to go everyday so he could meet new people and play with their toys and learn new things, but he simply thought it crazy to leave his own friends and toys behind for some group dynamic.”

In his father’s company, jc’s imaginary worlds were transferred to sports or the silver screen. “My dad had this knack for taking me to movies that were incredibly thought provoking,” he remembers. “I developed my love of film and storytelling from those afternoons.”

By the age of ten, jc found himself in the grips of suburbia when his father’s hard work paid off and he was able to move his family out of the city and into a Central New Jersey town called Freehold. Moving again two years later to yet another neighborhood taught jc to adapt quickly to the cruelty and challenges of childhood politics. “When you’re small in stature and the new guy on the block,” he told an interviewer in 1996, “you learn quickly that you have to prove yourself time and again.” Eventually the new kid in town turned to the radio for solace and a source of endless imagination. There, in the din of corny 70s’ pop music, singer-songwriter honesty and the echo of athletic heroes pulsating through its tiny AM speaker, jc developed a nurturing relationship with music and a rabid infatuation with sports. He fell in love with their compact medium of telling compelling stories through song and drama, and with no formal musical training and lacking the body to compete at the highest level of sports, he pined to be the voices who brought those images to him..

jc and cb
jc and Chris Barrera on location of “The Package” – 1997

It was in the bucolic splendor of Freehold that jc also developed his love for reading and began to display an acute aptitude for writing. His budding friendship with neighbor, Chris Barrera, two years his junior, bloomed into a partnership of vivid imagination. Before long, their fascination with comic books and fantasy evolved into their own humble comic book empire. Everyday for countless hours the two would bang out stories of heroes and villains in the basement of jc’s house; Chris sketching the harrowing pictures, and jc penning the dramatic dialogue and plot. Sometimes the kids in the neighborhood would clamor for the latest tale, other times the stories would live and die under a naked light bulb above a black card table where the young team huddled together. “I read Stan Lee’s autobiography on how he conjured up those amazingly complex characters for Marvel Comics,” jc remembers. “The idea that someone sat down and wrote these things from out of their head and the result ended up on my nightstand intrigued me greatly.” In his grammar school year book in the spring of 1976 jc wrote one word under the heading, Desired Occupation: Writer.

This was also a time of great awakening for jc on the subject of politics. “I had this incredibly articulate and entertaining civics’ teacher in eighth grade, Tom Antus,” jc told Westchester Weekly in the fall of 1998. “Height of the cold war, hostages in Iran, Watergate fallout, Kennedy assassination conspiracy rumors; this was a fertile time to unload these things to a kid just formulating his way intellectually. I was hooked from the start.” Having spent two summers earlier glued to the television during the Watergate hearings, jc’s curiosity with power, corruption and the system of government soared. It would be an important theme in his thinking that expanded in a social conscience and fueled many rabid debates throughout his youth, eventually becoming an integral part of his writing career.

When his creative partner, Chris Barerra moved away, and high school began, jc took his writing skills to the school newspaper and monthly student poetry collection. Studying the classics as well as modern mavericks in literature, and covering the school sports teams, jc tackled all his favorite subjects. “I was an avid sports fan and spent most of my time in high school reading,” jc told us of his teen years. “Aside from listening to the Rolling Stones, watching the Yankees and reading Kurt Vonnegut or The Great Gatsby, I can’t register most of my time in High School. I was a lousy student and had trouble buying into established rituals.” Through those years, jc began dabbling deeper into poetry and song lyrics, sometimes corresponding through the mail with Chris. The two built a modest song catalog of original compositions. Once again jc provided the words, and Chris, veraciously learning guitar, the colors. When college life began, jc left behind volumes of work published and unpublished, and armed with awards for poetry and journalism, he set off to capture the dream of being one of the voices lucky enough to bring music and sports to the public.

Over the next few years, jc studied the electronic media, spending quality time on the campus radio station at Mercer County Community College and Trenton State University. “I wanted to be heard,” jc says of his time as a student of radio and television. “Having been weaned on radio, that was my best chance.” Continuing to work on school newspapers and penning commercials and skits for campus radio, jc began to branch out to other forms of writing and performing. “I was influenced by 70s’ satire like Saturday Night Live, Second City, and George Carlin,” jc says. “Irreverence as an art form reeled me in.”

It was also a place where he discovered the unusual bending of his favorite craft by the controversial Beat Writers. “Reading (Jack) Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’ in college truly changed my life,” he fondly remembers. “I know a lot of people always point to that book as a watershed for many reasons–especially young men–but for me Kerouac, (William) Burroughs, (Kurt) Vonnegut, and Hunter S. Thomspon; these were guys who not only wrote, they wrote from the gut. I’d never seen anything like that stuff. It jumped off the page and made me feel somehow more at home with the idea of putting pen to paper.”

It is during this time jc began to teach himself several musical instruments and write more personal songs. Although he worked in radio and dabbled in journalism, he made time to join small bands and was wooed by the seduction of immediate audience gratification. All those years dreaming of being the man cueing up the musical stories and describing sports heroics paled in comparison to being the one getting the cheers. For jc, the bellow of a hyped-up rock and roll crowd beat a lonely radio studio all to hell. He was not only hooked, but not too long after, with his parents moving once again, he was off on his own to chase the footlights.


Satyre – 1986

By the early 80s’ and entering his early 20’s, jc found himself well ensconced in the Westchester, New York music scene; which wasn’t much of a scene at all. During those years and well into the mid-80s’ jc’s band Satyre played wherever and to whomever would have them; four young men from different places and backgrounds creating original songs and attempting to grab an audience fueled jc’s artistic juices. And while Satyre’s audience wasn’t overwhelmingly large, it was faithful. Its songs of passion and rebellion penned by jc, had a flair for culling the rabid fanatic. His performances as lead singer also raised eyebrows. He was using words to evoke emotions much like the movies and songs of his childhood. “I was so involved in lunatic causes then it was ridiculous,” jc told the Journal News in 1994. “It’s that time in a young man’s life when anger and curiosity take hold. I thought everything was worth writing about and eventually fighting for. That kind of blind commitment, coupled with this internal struggle to reduce all human endeavors to meaningless bullshit, finally turned me into a cynic. By then anything raised my ire, which was everything possible.”

By 1986 Satyre had a single and the financial backing to make a record and go on the road. But money troubles and lawyer squabbles ruined the innocent pursuit of creativity for jc, and although he was personally pursued by several professional talent outlets, by 1989 he was out of the business all together. “A lot of people tried to make me something I wasn’t,” he remembers. “I guess that’s the point of a business based on something resembling art. But that’s not why I went into it.” However, the love of making music remains a major part of jc’s personal and professional life. In 1991 he began a project with local producer and musician, Ken Eustace. The two put together a collection of jc’s songs for a CD called Days that is still circulating around. Since, jc has collaborated with many New York and New Jersey singer/songwriters on various projects including former Satyre band members, Peter G. Stevens and Tony Misuraca.

His appetite for performing, coupled with his original romance with broadcasting, lead to jc resurrecting his career as a respected broadcast journalist in the greater New York area. (See Sports Bio) By the early 90s’ jc drew rave reviews and scores of viewers for his local “Sports Club Live ” call-in television show. At the same time, he began a three-year run as writer, producer, and host of the acclaimed and cable-award winning baseball show, “The X-tra Inning” . These were years spent interviewing the game’s greatest talents like Ken Griffey jr., Tony Gwynn, George Brett, Don Mattingly, the late/great Yankee broadcaster, Mel Allen, and many more. “I spent plenty of afternoons and evenings as a kid in the stands at Yankee Stadium,” jc recalls. “Next thing I know I’m on the field, in the locker room, and chatting with ballplayers.”

jc parlayed his work on local television and radio into a sports column called “Sports Shorts” for the North County News, and during his time there its sports section won annual awards for coverage and quality. Moreover, his continued literary correspondence with friend and foe during his years with Satyre had kept him inside the journalism field. It was through those relationships that jc eased back into the craft of his first love, writing.


Sports Club Promo
Promo photo for Sports Club Live -1991

During the early 90s’ jc began research for a book he planned to base on the miraculous comeback of the 1978 New York Yankees. “That was my team,” he said at the time. “I want to put to paper what it meant to a sixteen year-old punk to have heroes come through in an age where everyone seemed to fail everyone else.” Culling interviews with many members of the legendary team, and compiling reams of information, he called it more a “labor of love” than anything resembling a book. Through his constant contacts in the literary world there was some interest in the manuscript, but by early 1995 jc had become wary of making a sports’ book his first published statement. “Pounding my head against the wall for social change and all that crap really made me recoil into the playful world of sports where the most inane detail takes precedence over the terrors of the real world,” jc pondered during a seminar for independent authors in New York City in 1996. “Sports is where journalists go to escape having to make a difference. It feels good, believe me.”

DogVoices at Sea Shell
DogVoices during the summer of Deep Tank Jersey – 1995

It was then jc received a call from one of Satyre’s former band members, Peter G. Stevens. Peter had stayed the musical course and landed in a wildly popular New Jersey club band called Voices. The band was adding Rob Monte, a popular front man of another top Jersey act called Who Brought the Dog to the fold. The harried result called DogVoices would not only set out to expand the success of both bands, but do it on the fly. It would be the band’s first summer on the road in a baptism of fire between a huge fan base and an amalgamation of raw enthusiasm. jc smelled a story, dreamed of a book, and told Pete to save him a spot on the bus. “The writing of Deep Tank Jersey was perfect timing for me,” jc said in a 1996 interview. “I had just gone through an incredibly horrible breakup, there was a goddamn baseball strike, all my closest friends had either moved away or gotten married. I was motivated to do what all my teachers and mentors had been telling me to do since I was a kid; shut up and write. So, I did what any self respecting American boy would do, I packed up and joined the circus, only I brought along a tape recorder and notebook.”

In the summer of 1996, Deep Tank Jersey hit the stands. An independently published rant on self-discovery, while battling the demons of fame and rapture inside the subculture of nightlife, it was read on every beach along the Jersey Shore and beyond. Real stories of real people doing incredibly insane things all in the name of fun, escape and camaraderie spoke to a generation of party animals and music lovers. Even those in the industry gushed about it’s cruel honesty and attention to sordid details. For jc, Deep Tank Jersey was a triumphant marriage of his love for music, artistic expression, obsession with “being heard” and writing “from the gut.”

jc in Jerusalem
At the Western Wall in Jerusalem – 1996

The success of the book was not only the product of timing, it had been the culmination of literary observations made on the move. For jc, the years leading up to the writing of Deep Tank Jersey were spent in the company of women and friends throughout the boroughs of New York, where he channeled a lifelong love affair with Greenwich Village into personal expression. Expanding his literary vision, he began to strategically move about the country for short stints, periodically delving into the lifestyles of Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco. But his dream had always been to travel to the Holy Land. Literally hours after Deep Tank Jersey went to print he was on a plane to Jerusalem and the wonders of Biblical mystery. An avid reader of spiritual tomes with a fascination for their founders, jc spent nearly a month in Upper Galilee and Jerusalem in the hopes that it would become the basis of his second book. But upon his return, and the start of the manuscript, the world of journalism came calling.


On the Trail
Covering the George Pataki gubernatorial campaign – 1998

Almost immediately after embarking on his spiritual sabbatical, the offers for jc’s services came pouring in. By 1997 he was firmly back doing what he loved, writing. His work as a freelancer took him from sports and satire to the national magazine scene. Many of the publications learned of jc through the growing buzz around Deep Tank Jersey, which afforded him a new underground audience, but it was in the manning of his infamous, “Reality Check News and Information Desk” that jc found a home. His weekly column for the edgy, and oft irreverent, Aquarian Weekly provided jc the pulpit in which to shine.

“It was always about awareness for me,” jc told a publisher’s conference at the headquarters of BLAZO!! recently. “I was part of that 60s’ radical revisionist movement in the 80s’ when it wasn’t hip to be young and struggling with human rights issues. This was before all that Live Aid stuff. In the time of Reagan, with greed and selfishness run rampant, it was more important to make the grade. But having lived through all that, it’s easier to see that just knowing you’re being screwed by a system or abuse of authority is enough. People mostly know they can’t do a damn thing about the atrocities of this world, they just want to be aware it’s all happening. Don’t tell us everything’s fine. It’s fucked. Let’s come to grips with that and see it for what it truly is.”

jc’s coverage of politics, pop culture and current events in his Reality Check column has brought reaction both glowing and scathing from every faction of society. This period of his work is well chronicled in his second book, Fear No Art. Published in the Spring of 2000 by BLAZO!!, an experience reception network for the new millennium, it catipulted jc into the pantheon of the Gonzo age and helped him share the satirical realm with his mentors and heroes like H.L. Mencken, Mark Twain, Lenny Bruce, Kurt Vonnegut and Hunter S. Thompson. Owner and creator of BLAZO!!, Bo Blaze launched soon after to allow web surfers a chance to absorb what he called. “The Campion Experience.” Meanwhile Fear No Art helped BLAZO!! signal a maverick age in information dissemination. “BLAZO!! is important for what I’m trying to do now,” jc told us that Summer. “The idea of working with a creative mind like Blaze in an atmosphere of utter insanity and depravity excites me in ways better left unsaid.” The results of which proved fruitful in a host of Internet cartoons including , “Rabbi Blazo Sings the Classics” and “Lil’ Pengy”, both of which jc acted as head writer and co-producer.


Erin D. Moore pictured with her work at SUNY Purchase College – 1998

In between the long hours of freelance journalism, pounding out a script for an independent film called “The Package” in the summer of ’97, and pulling together notes and essays for Fear No Art in late 1999, jc found time to fall in love with an artist/photographer,Erin D. Moore. A trusted friend and creative soul mate, Erin is an exquisite talent in her own right; with the brash toughness, emotional honesty and a dry wit that would have the two marrying in June of ‘99, shaving their heads and heading West where they camped in the California desert and strolled the wondrous hills of Big Sur. Throughout their romance both have been each other’s creative motivation and often the subject. jc has written several songs and a short story about Erin and Ms. Moore has used jc as a model for her magnificent mosaics, sculptures and was the photographer for the back cover of Fear No Art and his latest effort, the controversial and mystical, Trailing Jesus. She also created the stunning mosaic for its cover. Ms. Moore’s work is available for viewing and purchase at

jc in 1999

Finally completing the six-year opus about his Holy Land journey with Trailing Jesus, jc has accomplished his labor of love and what he now dubs, “the most honest piece of work I’m capable of.” Trailing Jesus is jc’s most ambitious work to date, mixing philosophy, religion, mysticism, politics and revolution in a swirling journal from the edge of the Judean desert. Visions of the Galilean sage come alive as jc follows in the footsteps of the western world’s most enigmatic figure and what he finds is hard to forget.

Today jc’s Reality Check column is bigger and badder than ever. And with the help of this web site it has become an international sensation. is read in over 20 languages by hundreds of thousands of people every week from all walks of life, gender, race and generation. Its biting and witty prose has infiltrated the very heart of controversy and hyperbole with a style fresh and honest. His critics call him mean and aloof, his fans deem him good and tough. After the terrible events of 9/11/2001, two of jc’s controversial and touching five-part series on the tragedy appear in the charity compliation, Glory: A Nation’s Spirit Defeats the Attack on America. Later that year he followed it up by contributing a stirring account of his generation to the fourth volume of the wildly popular, In Our Own Words collection.

With the release of his third book, Trailing Jesus, published by his very own company, Gueem Books, jc embarks on a new venture that he hopes will touch many more authors. “My hope is that Gueem Books will allow other struggling writers find a voice for independent publishing,” he notes. “It’s all the rage with film, why not literature?” In early 2003 jc signed on with Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists with the hopes of attacking the mainstream media the way his work has succesfully cracked the literary underground. Later that year his first novel was optioned for a film by the Hal and Cheryl Croasman production team. The manuscript is currently in review at several publishers. A street date is not yet known.

“Art is the most important thing left to humans”,” jc told in late 2002. ““It’s our last frontier. So let’s not screw it up.””

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