Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How Kevin Smith & Quentin Tarantino Inspired Me

I love movies and yes, I have my favorite writers and directors. And then there are those that if I met them I'd have a total fangirl moment with. I'm going to take a moment and talk about two of my favorite directors/writers of all time, Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, two of the most influential directors/writers of my generation.

Both of them are brilliant dialogue writers, both of them are funny as hell, and both of them inspired thousands of passionate idiots such as myself to follow my dreams.

Quentin, simply put, is a god. Everything has a beginning middle and end. Quentin, with Pulp Fiction revolutionized where in the story those things happened. The movie started in the middle and ended in the middle. Was funny, dark, bloody, and downright weird. Bring out the gimp weird. Awesome weird. I also loved Resevior Dogs. And Kill Bill 1&2. And Inglorious Basterds where I think Brad Pitt showed just how awesome he could be. And there was this other film during this time From Dusk Till Dawn, that he wrote. Greatest vampire/action film ever. (Of course this is all subjective, I could just be talking out of my ass) I wasn't as big a fan of True Romance OR NBK but I do recognize how great those scripts were.

Then there's THE guy of my generation. A man after my own heart. I've read his books, seen his films, okay so I loved them all but Mallrats and Jersey Girl, but hey, Jersey Girl had Ben Affleck in it AND George Carlin and it had some great Smith touches. And still there are tons of people who enjoyed those films. But I fell in love with Kevin Smith's work one night when I was working in a video store and I'd taken the screener home for Clerks.

Hilarious! Great dialogue dead on impressions of the customers and workers (maybe hyperbolized a bit but awesome all the same, it was a movie afterall), and done by grit, scraping, and pulling together of ALL your resources no matter what it took. Sure he was young. Maybe a little bit crazy. But if he could do it why couldn't I?

I've made a few guerilla films since then and I have to tell you the man has to be a saint. I've dealt with Ohio Valley Weather. Suffered tropical depressions twice. Lost power twice. Hot weather. Drunks. Divas. Actors who were too busy wanting to sleep together to be bothered with making the film. But there were the awesome things too. Seeing your hard work come together. Making great connections. And having actors to touch base with in promoting my books. See http://lostlegacies.blogspot.com/ there's a new installment coming soon.

But these indepent minded artists inspired me to take my own path to success. I'm more an author than a filmmaker but I love movies. I have two series in place to launch at http://museituppublishing.blogspot.com/ and I'm working on launch my own self pub imprint Doves Publishing with the title Storm Chaser. I'm going to place an ad for my sci-fi erotica series on their smodcast closer to time of October 28th. It'll take some scrimping but I'm going to do it. Thanks Kevin for being a trailblazer. You are totally awesome and may the Force be with you.

Monday, May 30, 2011

MEET JQ Rose & Take A Stroll Down Sunshine Blvd!

Who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard?  Follow Jim and Gloria Hart, snowbirds who annually migrate to Florida for warm sunshine, fun, and games in snow-free winters. However this season, Jim Hart, a volunteer First Responder in his retirement community of Citrus Ridge, is drawn into the investigation of the mysterious deaths. Even in the midst of the unfortunate demise of the residents on Sunshine Boulevard, the Harts try to enjoy the winter with friends. They don't realize that their friends are getting together for their own kinds of affairs with each other. The neighbors are in a dither over the deaths, but perhaps more intrigued by the gossip about the affairs and why the naked lady was found lying in the geranium bed


Excerpt:

“Jim, Jim!” Gloria threw her keys on the kitchen counter and then stashed her mat and barbells in the hallway closet.
            “Jim!” She called louder. He was not in the Florida room. She gingerly stepped from the kitchen to the carport. She darted into the attached shed housing the laundry room with storage in the front and Jim’s workshop in back. She walked through the workshop and out the door to the neat little back yard and found him watering their garden plot.
            “Did you hear about George McDonnell?” Gloria shook her auburn hair, compliments of her favorite brand of hair color #118. Her clear blue eyes filled with tears.
            “Yes, I heard.” Jim kinked the hose to stop the water flow and dragged it to the faucet on the back of the house. He slowly turned the tap to cut off the stream of water and dropped the hose to the freshly cut grass.
            “How sad that he died alone. Oh, Jim, he wasn’t discovered for so long his body just ro...” She couldn’t say it.
            “Gloria, come in the house. I have to tell you something. I don’t want the neighbors listening in on this conversation.” Gloria knew her husband of thirty-five years well enough to realize something wasn’t right.
            As they stepped into the bright kitchen, Jim turned to her. Looking straight into her eyes, he said, “Royce called this morning. George’s death was peculiar. I guess, that’s what the Medical Examiner is saying.”
            Jim was friends with the county M.E., Royce Williams. They worked together on investigations involving the First Responders Unit. Living in a retirement community, the Medical Examiner and medics were frequent visitors. An ambulance at a home was not a significant event at Citrus Ridge. It was part of life and death.
            “Royce told us George’s body did not rot. It couldn’t have decomposed that quickly because Miss Lottie checked on him every day when she brought him the mail in the afternoon. She delivered it the day before he died. He was alert and talked about the weather.
            “When Lottie called 9-1-1 at one o’clock yesterday, she was so upset she couldn’t even speak. They traced the call to her house. When the police arrived, she only pointed to George’s house.”
            Jim stopped a minute. Gloria saw the anguish in his face. “They discovered George sitting in the living room in his recliner. His body was mustard yellow. His clothes were melted to his body. The odor was not a rotting smell, but rather like burning or scorching. In fact the fabric in the chair was charred. Ron was the first responder. He told me when he and the paramedics touched the body, it turned to powder.”
            Gloria cried out in disbelief. She covered her face with her hands. “Dear God. What happened, Jim? What could have caused such a thing?”
            “Ron arrived at the scene first. You know Ron. Always talking and telling greatstories.” Gloria remembered the usually fun-loving raucous Ron.
            “Royce told me there was such a look of horror in Ron’s eyes. He was traumatized by what he saw. Ron told him he moved George’s wrist, and his hand fell making a pile of yellow ashes on the floor.”
            “Dear God.” Gloria sat down at the dining room table feeling nauseous.     Jim wiped his eyes. “I don’t know how Ron and Lottie will ever forget this nightmare.”

                                                                    *****

Character Blog—Jim Hart, Sunshine Boulevard

I didn’t want to be pulled into the investigations of mysterious deaths in our senior community of Citrus Ridge. I’m the captain of the community’s First Responders made up of volunteers in our area. I am called for emergencies to the homes of many of our friends and neighbors.
The death scenes haunt me. I have years behind me as a First Responder and never have I seen or smelled such a body. They are yellow bodies that turn to powder when you touch them. And the homes are filled with a sickening stench from the mummified bodies.
I’m Jim Hart a retiree. My wife and I escape to Florida in the winters to enjoy fun and games with our friends in Citrus Ridge. However, this Florida winter season is not the ideal retirement days we have experienced in the past. Inexplicable deaths are occurring on Sunshine Boulevard, the main road that circles our entire community.
The investigations continue. There are theories of the cause of death, but no one knows who or what is killing the seniors on Sunshine Boulevard.
Please tell our readers where they can find your book and more information about you.
The e-book is available at Muse It Up Publishing Bookstore
Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/4czwr6h as well as at many online booksellers.
 You Tube Book Trailer

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dreams

I had a dream last night. A once upon a time dream. I dreamed I was looking for my shoes and socks. That my former stepmother was going to kick me out of her home for my younger sister Brandy, and that even though there was this pretty stick thin girl who was as dumb as a box of broke rocks, me and Ryan Reynolds were going to end up together anyway.

Okay, so the dream makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Except for the part where I was intensely in love with the Ryan Reynolds guy LOLOLOLOLOL. I'm juggling two manuscripts and two heroes. Ryan (aka Luke Logan, is the hero of my dark romantic suspense tale) and he must've been on my mind when I went to sleep because dude he was HOTTTTT in my dream. But I had just written 1200 words on another hero, Daniel Craig (aka Alec, a storm chaser in my western, maybe to become a sci-fi western, not too sure yet. But I think storm chasers are modern day cowboys, just my opinion.)

I've never had much success when I've juggled two manuscripts and when I started writing on them just now my Alec suddenly looked like Ryan Reynolds. Sigh, what's a girl to do? Go with the flow I suppose and breakout the champagne and introduce the new Alec (ala soaps) to the party. I mean can it really be that bad sleeping with an Alec who looks like a tall, broad shouldered, narrow hipped, brown eyed, blond haired, cut like an Adonis Ryan Reynolds...geez is it getting hot in here or is it just me? ;)

I'm going to go with it. Alec has some insecurities when it comes to the heroine, (he blames himself for the accident that caused her blindness) and runs a Mustang ranch after retiring from storm chasing. James Bond would have never stopped chasing. So I guess I have my answer, unless I have another dream. This one about a hot Daniel Craig storm chaser. Then what will I do...hmmm this is a PG-13 rated blog. But I am an R rated kind of girl LOL.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Delilah: Take Two

Folks, when it rains it pours. Good things come to those who work for them. I'm editing Another Way To Die. I received my cover for that novel and loved it. I'm working on two novels. One the second the Lost Legacies series and the other one I've been inspired to self publish. My short sci-fi erotica No Ordinary Love is one I'm poud of and just finished content edits on and am awaiting line edits on.


I will be interviewed by the Pioneer News. I will be appearing at Fandom Fest in Louisville, KY in July, the 22nd-24th. I may be at Killer Nashville in August. I will be at Karen's Writing and Charity Lounge the second week of October. I will be at Kat's Writing Pen Blogtalk Radio Show on October 7th and will be teaching a Social Media class at the Muse's Free Online Blog Conference on June 1st.  And in February I will be receiving a review in Romantic Times Booklovers Magazine. Checkout June's issue of the Book Breeze. I'm there too.

The most awesome part of all of this are the people I've met through my writing before publication and after. You are too numerous to count but I love you all.

The icing on the cake, I got my second cover, my No Ordinary Love cover. Check it out! I love it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

My First Delilah Cover

Okay, I'll admit it. I was shaking in my boots when it came to my first cover from Muse It Up Publishing. I'd seen some that I liked some that I didn't. But then what do I know? I'm not a graphic designer and don't know all the hard work that it takes to create one. But when I finally opened my first gift from Muse It Up Publishing 's resident graphic artist I have to say I think I can't wait to enter the thing in cover contests or I can't wait until different sites take notice.

Another Way To Die is the first in my Lost Legacy series which so far has three books planned. Maybe four. It is a dark romantic suspense novel that is one part Casino Royale, one part The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and a love story all rolled into one. I really wanted Delilah to have the freedom to see the book cover as any graphic novelist did as she saw it. Because as much as I know about novel writing I know squat when it comes to graphic art.

So when I opened my final product last night I have to say I was doing the happy dance. It looked like a REAL book cover. (I'm a real boy as Pinnochio would say) It looked like a thriller was supposed to look. Delilah, call me a convert. I adore my cover and I plan to show it off to anyone who'll look at it. Including my family and hopefully the people at Fandom Fest and Killer Nashville in June & July and RT when Another Way To Die drops in January of next year.

Monday, May 23, 2011

GRATITUDE

One finds gratitude in the most unexpected of places. I mean there are the usual suspects, friends and family. But there's other places too. The freelance editor who understands where you're coming from and offers to go so far as format your finished book for Smashwords for your self-pub novel. The angel you met who's become a dear friend through your publishing house (though I love you all) who gave you some much needed advice even though you drive her crazy on the phone lol.

Then there are those you call your closest of friends. They stand by you through thick and thin, even when you make them a little crazy or even a lot crazy. To them I say thank you.

To all of my friends, my close friends, publishing family, and otherwise I send out a huge thank you :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Coping With Anxiety

Part of living with Bipolar Disorder and being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse is dealing with the anxiety that comes with it. Late at night, when I lay down at night I'm a kid all over again. The first thing I often think is, what if someone breaks in? Then I close my eyes and pray for sleep to come quickly. Yet because I'm so anxious sleep becomes difficult. And sometimes for me that leads to flshbacks and/or nightmares.

Last night I got a taste of both.

There first thing I had was a memory, or a piece of one. It seems to be one I've been trying to have for some time now. It was the same thing. I lay in bed, I can't see the perpetrator but I fight them, trying to get free from them. And I fight HARD. I push them. I kick them. I roll out of bed and try to flip them over my head.

I woke up. Bad memory gone. I closed my eyes and drifted off to to sleep and a full on odd nightmare came. And if I wasn't afraid of incurring the wrath of my sister I would call her just to put my mind at ease.

I just remember having large cuts up and down my chest and the door to my apartment impossible to guard and against the intruder breaking in. I don't pretend to be normal. I'm writer of course I'm not normal. But sometimes I wish I could sleep and rest normally. I wish I could be without the anxiety that I live with. However I know that comes with the package.

So how do I cope? I have friends. I try to cut back on the caffeine when it gets really bad. I try anyway lol ;) And I write even though sometimes the anxiety interferes with even that.

So a big shout out to everyone who has heard about my anxiety before now. And to those who haven't success is possible with this condition. Don't let anyone hold you back. A special thanks to my closest friends Missy, Pam, and Elise. You gals rock for being there to hear me when it seems like no one else does.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Hero, New Inspiration

When searching for a hero to fall in love with I'm looking for a little lust to spark the fuse with. I wrote four stories with Daniel Craig as that man. But on the http://lostlegacies.blogspot.com/ series I realized I couldn't use him again if only because he had found happily ever after Almira. Which vexed me to no end. Missy (my screenwriting partner) begged me to write Luke's story. In one draft Luke exists. In another he's not even mentioned (but he is a side note in the screenplay version lol). I found myself wanting to tell Abagail's story. Abagail is Daniel Logan's missing daughter. But if Luke is Daniel's half brother putting them together is OUT OF THE QUESTION. So who was her hero? Who was the man she was she to fall in love with? I didn't know.

I wrote 3 stories while trying to figure that question out. I look brooding characters who are haunted by their pasts. It's just the way I'm built. So it's the way my characters are built. The smart ass thing in life is true to me as I live. But give me a good brooding hero and I'll follow you anywhere onscreen or on the printed page or digitally as the case may be. Then I started watching Body Of Proof (sorry Pam, I can't help myself, I love the show). The heroine broods and she has a former cop who teams with her and the actor's name is Nicholas Bishop. Dear God does he brood and the man rings my chimes in every way imaginable.

So yesterday as I was struggling with the story I realized I couldn't poof make Luke unrelated. I had lived with him as Daniel's brother and there was just no sparks between him and Abby. But as soon as I put the character of Nick, army doctor in there it was ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner. The attraction between the characters was almost immediate.

And the nice thing is it's the first draft and if I want I can cut the first 14 pages in the editing bay or I can rework them down the line. It's up to me. So I'd like to thank ABC for renewing Body Of Proof. Now come this fall I'll have my weekly fix of 'Nick' until I finish with him as a hero for my stories.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Today's Guest: Rochelle Weber

Jake Johnsrud saved Annie Peterson’s life.  Now slaves on that God-forsaken rock, the Moon, how will they survive?


Annie Peterson:  I’m sending this by burst in hopes that it will not be detected at either end of the transmission.  Captain Andrews is a pretty nice guy, but he’s still technically our warden.  And if any of Freezeland’s people see this, we’ll all be in trouble.

Q:              What's your story/back story? Why would someone come up with a story about YOU?

Annie:      I’m no one special. I was a wife and mother working in an accounting firm as an administrative assistant in the Bay Area when President Freezeland threw out the Constitution, disbanded Congress and took over the US as a dictator.  I went to the protest with my husband, Paul.  I guess I took it way too lightly, because I left my baby, Bobby with my mom. I figured we’d maybe get arrested, spend a night or so in jail and be home in a week.  Then the troops started shooting and they killed Paul and Jake Johnsrud saved my life and now we’re here on the Moon.  Jake is a miner and I’m a… a… Well, I’m here for the men.

Q:              Jake saved your life at the protest and now you’re together on the Moon.  Is he your boyfriend now?

Annie:      Oh, no! He’s just a friend.  We’ve never even kissed, let alone… He’s not one of my clients, either.  Who told you I liked him?  No. Not at all.  I still love Paul and I always will.  I mean, I’m grateful to Jake for saving our lives and he’s funny and sweet and he can even cheer me up when I miss Bobby.  But, no—I wouldn’t call him my boyfriend.  Although I’ve noticed that he hasn’t used the Conjugal Cubes at all since he’s been up here.  Not with me or my friend Crystal or anyone.

Q:              Speaking of the Conjugal Cubes, how have you adjusted to that part of your job?

Annie:      It’s been awhile since I’ve vomited on a client, but I still keep a bowl handy.  I can almost look the men in the eye the next day, but I still blush.  If Crystal hadn’t taught me how to put myself in a trance before I enter the Cube, I probably would still be vomiting on the men.

Q:              I was going to ask how it was kissing your hero, but since you haven’t kissed Jake yet, I guess we can skip that one.  So… That’s all the questions we have for you tonight, Annie. Thank you for speaking to us.

Annie:      Thank you for caring about us.  But please, don’t let Freezeland catch you, or you’re liable to end up here in the next wave of prisoners.  Meanwhile, if you’re ever in the Bay Area visiting the nurseries and you see a little boy about two with brown hair and big brown eyes with golden flecks in them. Tell him his mommy is alive up here, and that I miss him and I’ll find a way to go back to him when my indentures are up.  I don’t care what Jake and the Captain say about how weak I’ll be in Earth gravity by then.



Create Space Buy Link:  https://www.createspace.com/3559316
Barnes & Noble Nook:  http://tinyurl.com/RockBoundNook


Excerpt

Noon, July 4, 2051

Washington, DC

The protesters pushed against each other, trying to hold their signs up high above the crowd. The smell of sweat hung in the muggy July air, as Paul, Annie, and Crystal struggled to find a place to spread their blankets near the Lincoln Memorial. The passion of the crowd’s chant rang across the Mall.

“Restore the Constitution! Restore free elections!”

The Mall was so crowded they could barely breathe. Paul went in search of drinks and was gone over an hour. The first speaker mounted the podium.

“Can you believe they’re charging five credits a bottle for water and seven for pop?” he asked, as he handed the women their drinks.

“Now don’t you wish we’d brought the cooler from the car?” Annie asked.

“I know, and you’ll never let me live it down,” Paul lamented. His warm, brown eyes smiled at her.

“Well, if water’s five credits, how much’ll a sandwich be?” Crystal asked.

“I already checked. Burgers’re fifteen credits and fries’re another five,” Paul replied, as he settled on the blanket between the two women.

“It’s a seller’s market. They’ll charge all the traffic will bear,” said a man sitting on the grass next to them. “I’m Jake Johnsrud.” The man’s bright blue eyes twinkled momentarily when his gaze met Annie’s.

Annie smiled at him. “This is my husband, Paul, our friend Crystal Petrie, and I’m Annie Peterson. Why don’t you join us on our blanket?”

“Thanks,” he said.

“Nice to meet you, Jake,” Annie replied. “Scrunch over there, Honey.” She patted the blanket next to her as she moved closer to Paul in the middle to make room for the tall, raw-boned man.

“Well, the price of pop isn’t our only worry,” Paul said. “There are troops surrounding the Mall. I think we can pretty much count on being arrested.”

“Then we’ll all be arrested together, just like my great-grandparents in Chicago.” Annie linked her arm through Paul’s and sang slightly off key, “If you’ve been to jail for justice, let me shake your hand.”

Folk songs by the group Peter, Paul, and Mary had been staples in the Swanson household when she was growing up. Her great-grandmother had sung her to sleep with “Puff the Magic Dragon” and had sung along in the car as she listened to the group’s re-mastered files. And now, a century later, the music had been rediscovered. By the end of the day, it would be banned.

They stood up to listen to the speakers.

Annie followed Crystal’s gaze to the soldiers. She didn’t believe what she saw, and tried to process the sight of them raising their weapons. Crystal dropped her sign and yelled, “The bastards’re firing on us!”

Paul’s head lolled forward, the charred hole still smoking, and Annie fell to the ground trying to cradle him. She sobbed, crying “No! No! No!” Crystal’s arms were around her, as she sat on the ground, clutching her dead husband. People were trying to run but there was nowhere to go. Annie felt Jake fall atop her and Crystal. Oh, my God! He’s dead, too!

“Stay still,” he said. “We’re liable to get trampled.”

Annie felt the weight lift all too soon, as Jake was roughly pulled to his feet by a soldier, who separated him from the women. They handcuffed Annie with a plastic tie-up, and dragged her away from Paul’s body toward an Army truck.

“Nooooooooooo!” she screamed. “Paul!”

They threw her in back of the truck, and Crystal landed next to her. She scooted closer to Annie.

“Cry it out, Sweetie,” Crystal said. Annie leaned her head on the other woman’s shoulder and sobbed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Change May Be Good But...

Have you ever heard someone say change is good? I don't know about good but it sure as hell beats the alternative lol. Change is good, but it's not easy. And even though it wasn't intended to be it often tears down the old to make way for the new.

I've been privvy to a lot of change since February. Much of it good. Unfortunately I'm experiencing some growing pains too. If I wanted to make the final leap to self-published I've gotten some signals that this was something I was ready for but would be swimming upstream to some degree on and those signals were less than well, comfortable ones.

This last week there's been a lot of tearing down of the old to make way for the new in my life and right now I just feel a little bit raw from it all. I realize sadly, my need to please, and need to be validated may be quite normal in the grand scheme of things but can be swords worked and manipulated against me too.

Self-publishing is a gutsy move. And I plan on publishing audio versions of my stories as well. I find the only person or people in this world I can depend on in this crazy world are my friends (you know who you are;).  And while I enjoy being contracted for publication even that has its pitfalls if one is not careful. Although my current house MuseItUp is a perfectly wonderful place. I am not speaking of you.

Like I said just feeling a bit raw from life this week. If you are too be sure to join me in a bowl of Rocky Road ice cream pull the shades and hide from the world for the day. Sometimes it's good just to hide for a little while.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rolling In the Deep

Sometimes you choose the story. And sometimes you choose the story. Rolling In the Deep, book 2 in the Lost Legacies series http://lostlegacies.blogspot.com/, chose me.

The hero of Rolling In the Deep, Luke Logan bears little resemblance to his half brother in personality to his half brother from Book One, Another Way To Die. Often times it's a song which will inspire me. The Lost Legacies series has been a morphing series since about halfway through Book 1. I knew Luke Logan before I ever wrote about him and I knew he would have his own book.

The seed was planted when I saw the preview for the Green Lantern this summer and Ryan Reynolds did a helluva a job showing the vulnerability of a superhero. Of course seeing him naked in The Proposal didn't hurt either :). I had a dream about Ryan Reynolds as a character and suddenly a new story was nagging at me.

But I didn't want to write about Ryan Reynolds I wanted to write about Daniel Craig lol. So I wrote No Ordinary Love and Ain't No Other Man.

Daniel Logan from Another Way To Die, was a brooder, damaged, in need of love and a take charge kind of guy a dark knight in shining armor. He made no apologies for who he was and man, was he hot as hell.

Luke Logan, to the outside world anyway, is a wise cracking hacker who knows where the safehouses are, can break any codes and can find a needle in a haystack and that's where we find him at the outset of Rolling In the Deep. He's on a mission to find his brother's missing daughter Abagail but soon finds himself the target of the very men his half brother pissed off.

I just started Rolling In the Deep and must say Adele's song is no small reason as to why I finally found my way into this story. Have a listen and watch into my inspiration visually and otherwise:

The Green Lantern Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NWGl_A3b60&feature=BFp&list=PL356430CD7A1F2E34&index=1

Adele: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYEDA3JcQqw&feature=BFa&list=PL356430CD7A1F2E34&index=2

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Daytime Rules!

Daytime television has definitely taken a hit these days. What with the proliferation of 'better yourself talk shows' and Judge Judys you have to wonder where did Soaps go. I had a guest on some time back who said they were going nowhere. To be honest the world of those who are employed by the soaps live a volatile and unstable life. General Hospital just got a one year renewal. AMC and OLTL just got the axe. B&B and Y&R seem to be solid while Days Of Our Lives has a vocal following that keeps it going.


To all those who look down on soaps as just stupid daily escapes for bored housewives let me give you a refresher course. Luke & Laura were once household names and their marriage made the front of Newsweek. Michael Keaton's Mr. Mom was addicted to Y&R and had a nightmarish fantasy where his wife came home and busted him with the hot to trot neighbor and shot him.



The Abbotts. The Newmans. The Quartermaines. The Hortons. Underground worlds. Aliens. Yes sometimes silly, but at times they could be the place for groundbreaking storylines. HIV, interracial couples, gay and lesbian couples, and though it is at times sensationalized rape and child abuse. There have been stories about mental illness, organ donation (anyone have a dry eye at the not Barbara Jean moment, or when Tony placed his ear to his dead daughter's chest?). People write these stories. Crews build sets, direct, light, and shoot these stories. Make up artists and designers clothe and make sure the actors and actresses of all ages are ready to perform and look their best for these stories.

And then the actors and actresses themselves. Soaps are a training ground for some, a home for others, and the fans aren't just fans they fanatical in their devotion to them and to see all of this swept aside for yet another talk show is just obscene.

I love Oprah, she's created a brand and down herself proud. But when she got on television and said the old makes way for the new, well it kind of made me mad. She got to call when her show ended. And she's not really going anywhere, she's got a channel full of reality shows that really aren't any better than the mind candy Jersey Shore or her show (which I will repeat I do love).

So everyone follow the link in the sidebar to Daytime Connect and see what they're doing. I think big things are in store for them if the cable networks get with it and pick up some of these shows that have so unceremoniously been dumped by their dancing partners.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcome Heather Kuehl!

The Process of Far and Away: a collection of flash fiction and poems
By Heather Kuehl


I didn't start to take my writing seriously until 2007. Before that I had written several novels that, to this day, have never been finished. I had written some short stories, two of which were published by my local newspaper, but I looked at my characters as anything more than a hobby. However, in 2006 I started writing about Sarah Vargas, a character that has appeared in three books that have since been published with Eternal Press. Also in November 2006, I rewrote Promises to Keep for National Novel Writing Month. Even with a finished book, I felt like I knew nothing about the publishing industry.

Because I didn't.

Besides the two stories that were published in my local paper, I had never been published. I wanted to get a taste of the industry before sending my books out to potential publishers, and I decided to do that with short stories. Many of my first short stories were flash fiction, a story of 1000 words or less. I learned that I was especially skilled at writing stories of 100 words or less, and focused on getting those published while I worked on longer stories.

To date I have over thirty flash fiction stories published, and I wanted to collect them in one book. What better way to do that than in an anthology! Far and Away is a collection of those previously published flash fiction stories, as well as a handful of poems I've had published. Far and Away also includes ten works that have never seen the light of day. This anthology takes readers into a world of possibilities. Join a bride on her wedding day where all isn't as happy as it seems. See life through the eyes of a beloved pet as he tries to make the great escape. What is hiding in the dark? I made sure to include my award winners, such as "Miscommunication" and "Beauty is the Beast."

In my opinion, Far and Away has something for everyone. I use flash fiction as a way to experiment with other genres, so within this anthology I have paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, romance, and contemporary genres.

I had a lot of fun putting this anthology together, reading my earlier work and realizing exactly how far I've come.

Heather Kuehl Buy Links

Fade to Black (Sarah Vargas Book 1)
Ebook: http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781926704692
Print: http://www.amazon.com/Fade-Black-Heather-Kuehl/dp/1926704770/

Malevolent Dead (Sarah Vargas Book 2)
Ebook: http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615722037
Print: http://www.amazon.com/Malevolent-Dead-Heather-Kuehl/dp/1615722041/

Blood Moon (Sarah Vargas Book 3)
Ebook: http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615723065
Print: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Moon-Heather-Kuehl/dp/1615723072/

Promises to Keep
Ebook: http://eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781770650480
Print: http://www.amazon.com/Promises-Keep-Heather-Kuehl/dp/1770650539

Dragon Sent
Ebook: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49712

Amythist Dreams
Ebook: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49843

Through the Rosebush
Print: http://www.anthologybuilder.com/view_template.php?template_id=639

Free Read - Struck by Beauty
Ebook: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49914

Far and Away.
Ebook: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/hkuehl


Heather Kuehl Coming Soon

Dream Lover. Eternal Press, August 7, 2011
"Raising the Dead." Aoife's Kiss, October 2011.
At All Costs. MuseItUp Publishing, December 2011.
Epiphany. Decadent Publishing, TBA.
"Into the Dark." Ruby Red Cravings, TBA.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Am I A Real Writer?: Doing what you love

I've received lots of writing advice over the years a lot of it sought out but even more of it unasked for. Sometimes I wonder if I'm any better. There are a lot of romantic notions tied to the writing life when the truth of it is it's just a lot of hard work.

Doing what you love sometimes comes at a high price. At least if you desire to become successful at it and if you're sitting there reading this asking yourself Am I A Real Writer? Here's the only thing you really need to know in order to answer that question: Are you above all else compelled to write? If you are chances are you're a writer.

No if you're asking me is it easy to become a successful writer, well that's another question and a much more nebulous question at that. What do you mean by successful? Contracted? Published? Best Selling? Agented? If you need any of these things to validate you, well be prepared to bust your ass because none of them are guaranteed. Let's break these things down.

Contracted: The definition of contracted hasn't changed. But what goes in that contract and who contracts you has. The e-reader has changed the game so the Big Six doesn't hold the keys it once did. There are e-publishers out there looking for product--it still has to be high quality but if you want to be established in the contracted world there are places to do it. The home for my two contracted works Another Way To Die and No Ordinary Love is MuseItUp Publishing http://museituppublishing.com/. You can find other e-publishers at http://epic.org/. (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition)

Published: There are lots of avenues open to the writer with Kindle, Smashwords, ect. self publishing is a perfectly legit option. Just make sure you have quality cover art, formatting, editing, and good writing in place and do so with caution. But don't let anyone tell you it makes you less of a published author--because it doesn't. Of course you can still go traditional and e-house. I'm striking a balance between the two.

Agented: The role of the agent is changing. I'm not an expert in this area. I recommend seeing Bob Mayer and J.A. Konrath for advice.

Best Selling? Total crapshoot. That all falls to what writers dread--self promotion. I'm going to tell you what one writer told me I needed- Email Loops, Twitter, FB, Blog, and a Website at the very least. But more than anything you need to write your ass off.

So what makes you a real writer? You write. You don't bitch you don't moan and you certainly don't give yourself any excuses not to write. And certainly don't do it around me. If you want tea and sympathy go to your friends and family. I am here to tell you becoming a successful writer takes everything you've got and then some and it is not for a second guaranteed. Easy for me to say right? I have contracted work. NOT easy. I write and promote most of my days. I'm single. And social settings aren't my strong suit. Promotion is HARD. Those contracts did not come overnight. It's blood sweat and tears and most of the time there isn't someone you love saying way to go or as excited as you.

So if you're a writer, write. Because in the end if you're a writer it's what defines you and you are driven to do it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

THE BOOK BREEZE is Blowing Into Town

I'm going to take some time today to talk about a new magazine for book lovers and authors. Its The Book Breeze. Available in both print and online formats (http://thebookbreeze.com/) it is burgeoning with promise under the leadership and vision of its creator and editor Donna Keihle.

Brought to my attention by romantic suspense author Karen Cote (http://karencote.tv/) and host of Reader's Choice Lounge this magazine is a veritable one shop stopping for the booklover in all of us and a prime place for authors hawk their wares at resonable rates.

This June is the RWA Nationals. People come from far and wide to take part in this conference and while I can't join them because of monetary restrictions the owner and editor of The Book Breeze is going to hand out her magazine and that means valuable exposure for anyone advertising in the June issue!

Well I jumped right on the horn and went a checked this magazine out. There are reviews, informative articles, and interviews with people in the know. There are also some contests which help get an author name recognition. And of course there is a new releases section for avid readers.

The editor has a vision for this paper, come find out what it's all about and take this opportunity to be a part of it. I know I am, with a little help from my friend Elise VanCise http://gladiatorspen.blogspot.com/ and the professional eye of The Book Breeze's editor http://thebookbreeze.com/ I'm sure to make a splash at the RWA Nationals all the while sitting in my cozy pajamas and weilding my pen.

Friday, May 6, 2011

On Adapting: From Book to The Silver Screen

This summer I've set out to do something I've never done before, an adaptation of one of my books to screenplay format. And I even have two betas in place to help guide me.

I've written and produced short original screenplays for 14 years now but have never broken through on any mainstream level. But I haven't minded. I've been introduced to some of the most talented regional film actors who've been happy to work on an indie level while maintaining their 'day jobs' and RL lives in the process.

Let me say this, the indie world is just a place where I happily function as a filmmaker. One of my betas for the screenplay is even a great touchstone of the indie world in the Kentucky community. I won't mention his name because I don't want him flooded with requests that he won't be able to handle. The second beta is an uber talented 'reluctant producer'/screenwriter whom I met through a social network who was honored to do some beta-ing for me.

Of course I recommend registering your work with the WGA before doing any of this but that's a no brainer but as I sit down during edits this summer I wanted something 'creative' to keep me from going insane. And doing a screenplay version of Another Way To Die of my book version seemed like the perfect fit. I don't know if I'll regret it but I love film and action-drama but there's nothing I would like more than to see my book on the big screen.

Happy Scribbles

Thursday, May 5, 2011

SPECIAL GUEST TODAY!!!!

Interview with Carolyn Samuels from If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor

Today my guest is a girl who has suddenly been thrust into the media. Recently she gave a talk on Karen’s Chaise Lounge and now she is a featured guest on this blog. How is it affecting this young girl who has graciously agreed to talk about the events of her freshman year in high school.  Since Carolyn was a little nervous about her first big interview she asked the author of her story, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Barbara Ehrentreu, to interview her.

Welcome to both of you. Barbara and Carolyn.

Barbara, please ask your first question.

Carolyn, would you please tell us a little about yourself?
There’s not much to tell. I live in Mill Valley, which is in Westchester, NY and I attend Mill Valley High School. My best friends are Becky and Janie and I love Math. Oh, yeah, I have a Newfoundland dog named Max and my favorite cookie is chocolate chocolate chip homemade by my mom. My mom works for an ad agency in the city. That’s what New Yorkers called New York City. My dad is a criminal lawyer. I’m an only child, but you couldn’t ask for better parents. Except they don’t pay much attention to me.

On the surface it looks like you have a great life. Why, then did you come to me one day crying and telling me you hated Jennifer Taylor and she made your life miserable? Who is Jennifer Taylor and why do you hate her?

Jennifer Taylor has made my life a living nightmare since middle school. I call her Miss Perfect, because she is a size two and her father owns half the town. She’s on the path to be an Olympic gymnast so she’s excellent in gym. Jennifer is the most popular girl in the freshman class. I think she knows everyone in the class. And to top it all off she has this hot boyfriend, Brad, who is a Junior and the quarterback for our football team. He’s so amazing and I don’t think she deserves to be with him. Okay, maybe I have a crush on Brad myself.

What happened last year on the first day of school?

I’m not sure I can talk about this, because it brings back awful memories. Do you want me to go all the way back to the rope line incident? I mean that’s what started all this.

Yes, tell us as much as you can.

Well, I got up on the first day of school after having this incredible dream where I was popular and a cheerleader and my boyfriend fed me a piece of chocolate cake because I was thin and blonde and didn’t gain weight. Of course the truth is I am a little overweight and my hair is dark brown and hangs like shriveled spaghetti. But still this was a great dream, wouldn’t you agree? I wanted to stay in bed, because when my alarm rang I realized I might run into Jennifer Taylor. 

You see I hate her and I also want to be like her. It’s awful and here’s how it started. When I was in seventh grade we did the ropes course. One part of it , the zip line, required you to climb up to this platform and you were given a harness. When you got up there you had to clasp yourself to the line and then you could slide down. A few people went in front of me and then of course, Jennifer did it perfectly. When my turn came I froze. Then I started breathing funny, because I have this thing. I hyperventilate when I’m nervous and that day I started turning blue. If I can’t start breathing I can faint. I started feeling dizzy and couldn’t clasp myself onto the zip line. Jennifer was on the ground and saw me. The teacher saw me too and raced up the ladder to the platform. She said to me, “Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.” Then Jennifer started saying too and soon all the kids who had been on the line echoed her. As I came down the ladder I wanted a big hole to open up and swallow me. So then Jennifer started bothering me at odd times every day. She’d sneak up and say “Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.” Or she would whisper it in class when I had to go up to the board. We were in Math class together and I started to dread it. So when I was in her Math class again and the teacher put us together as partners I didn’t know how I could stand it.

What happened?

Well the first day of school after being pushed together with her for a Math project I was put in front of her in line for gym. I don’t know what happened, but all of a sudden I didn’t want to be anywhere near Jennifer and I started hyperventilating until I fainted. I guess that’s when I got connected to Jennifer in a much more serious way.

Oh, my goodness, your story has more to it?

Oh yes, I learned way too much about Jennifer and wound up holding her secrets until the end of the year. I mean, I did meet Brad and well, I don’t think I can say anymore. This is all really painful to talk about, you know?

Yes, Carolyn and thank you for telling us a little bit about your story. I guess if you want to learn more about what happened that year you will have to read the book, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor coming from MuseItUp Publishing in September as a cool e-book.

Thank you, Amy for hosting us today.

Yes, thank you Amy. This was my first blog interview and thank you Barbara for helping me through it.

My pleasure, Carolyn. I know talking about these things is hard for you, but you did very well.


Bio:
Barbara, a retired teacher with a Masters degree in Reading and Writing K-12 and seventeen years of teaching experience lives with her family in Stamford, Connecticut. When she received her Masters degree she began writing seriously. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Barbara’s first YA novel, was inspired by Paula Danziger. Barbara is a NY Literature Examiner for Examiner.com with several articles for them. Her blog, Barbara’s Meanderings, http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com/, is networked on both Facebook and Blog Catalog. She hosts Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages on Blog Talk Radio every 4th Thursday. In addition, her children's story, “The Trouble with Follow the Leader” and an adult story, “Out on a Ledge” are published online She writes book reviews for Authorlink.com. and several of her reviews have been on Acewriters and Celebrity CafĂ©. She is a member of SCBWI. Writing is her life!
 

If I Could Be LIke Jennifer Taylor

Carolyn Samuels’ freshman year becomes a series of lies to cover Jennifer Taylor’s terrible secret in return for popularity.
 
Carolyn Samuels is obsessed with the idea of being popular. She is convinced that the only thing keeping her from happiness is her too heavy for fashion body and not being a cheerleader. Hyperventilating when she gets nervous doesn’t help. When she is paired for a Math project with the girl who tormented her in middle school, Jennifer Taylor, she is sure it is going to be another year of pain.With Carolyn’s crush on Jennifer’s hunky Junior quarterback Brad her freshman year in high school looks like a rerun of middle school. After Jennifer’s the only student who knows why she fell in gym class, Carolyn is blackmailed into doing her math homework in return for Jennifer’s silence. Jennifer takes on Carolyn as a pity project since she can’t be seen with someone who dresses in jeans and sweatshirts. When Jennifer invites Carolyn to sleep over to make her over and teach her to tumble, Carolyn learns Jennifer’s secret and lies to her own friends to cover it up. Will Carolyn become a cheerleader and become popular? Does she continue to keep Jennifer’s secret? Or will she be a target of this mean girl again?

OTHER WORKS

 
“Out on a Ledge”

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Adventures In MayNoWriMo & Savvy Author Bootcamp

This year I decided to use one story as my May adventure. I thought how hard can 50,000 words be? I'd done it for NaNoWriMo, why couldn't I do it for May? So I signed up immediately for Savvy Author Bootcamp and MayNoWriMo since I could use one book as the goal for each challenge. Then April 30th came and BOOM, the hammer dropped, I got a letter in my email from Savvy saying I would need 60,000 words by the end of May.

As Frank Barone would say Holy Crap!

I usually barely make the 50,000 word mark for NaNo, how in the hell was I going to make 60,000? Then there was this talk of Revision Hell and July Pitching and I was FREAKING OUT! Finally my bestie and soul sister slapped me a few times ala Sophia Petrillo from the Golden Girls and we had a long talk. I would self-publish this one.

Now I haven't made this decision lightly. There was a lot of back and forthing, hand wringing and debating as to what the best route would be. And right now all I can do is promote my book with MuseItUp Publishing, Another Way To Die due out in January of next year and build on my current author platform.

I have assembled a team to help me though, I have my beta readers, a freelance editor (she's the bomb! Check out her blog Outlaw Prose, there's a link to it in the side bar), and a cover artist (she's uber talented check out her blog The Gladiator's Pen). Both of them are rising stars in the publishing world and I wish them both the best.

The name of my current WIP is  Ain't No Other Man. Have a look at the video and Christina Aguilera song and fan video that inspired my 1930's Prohibition era dark romantic thriller:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XUXLBTNR2Y

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

LOST LEGACIES!

Today I'm officially launching my Lost Legacies Blog. It's a site that is still under construction and that will include monthly updates, sometimes weekly updates as the story demands. Being from the film industry it gives me access to som of the best regional actors and actresses in the Kentucky area. Karen Cote inspired me to do this and I think it's going to prove to be one of the best tools at my disposal.

At Another Way To Die-the Lost Legacies: Book One you will have a chance to meet Daniel Logan the mercaenary with a dark past, a lost soul looking for redemption he never counts on meeting Almira Sands.

Almira Sands is running from her past and just desires to find an ever eluding peace of mind and when Daniel Logan grabs her she never expects it to change her life for the better.

Luke Logan is a sneak peek into the future of the series--and Daniel's sexy younger brother.

Jack Sands is Almira's evil for evil's sake of a father--or is his?

Come find out at the Lost Legacies blog! And check back often for updates to the adventures leading up to their exploits in Muse It Up's January release- Another Way To Die- http://lostlegacies.blogspot.com/.

Monday, May 2, 2011

To Publish Or Self-Publish

I'm a people pleaser. It's a horrible disease that infects everything that I do and quite often in affects an otherwise clear vision I have for myself. I am currently working on a book that I plan on self-publishing. I shared this with someone who has an agent and a book deal. Now let me say this, I ADORE this lady and love talking with her on twitter. She helped me immensely with feedback on my book that landed me a deal with MuseItUp Publishing. Woot! Woot! Let's hear it for Muse.

The ironic thing is I have access to a freelance editor, and a cover artist. I wish I could tell you how much the traditional mold doesn't fit well on me as a real. Not because of the edits. That's just the reality of the situation. (They make my book better and I couldn't ask for a better one at Muse.) But my background as an indie screenwriter/filmmaker really comes from a deep seated place in me. And while dropping another book into a deep blue sea of lots of fishies doesn't seem like a wise idea it's what feels right to me.

Now, I'm not dropping it there to languish but I have to be honest I'm something of a control freak with an independent streak a mile wide. I hear the naysayers. Everyone from the established writers who say get an agent and let them shop it to the e-publishers who tell me it's harder than I think it is. I know it's hard. I know my chances for success are slim to none. And if I were in it purely for the money...well I'd tell you to get into another business altogether.

I find myself with avenues open to me that wouldn't be open to me at all if I hadn't gotten an e-publisher (big ups to Lea Schizas! woot! woot!). But my screenwriting partner said this much--do what your heart is telling you to do. And if you want do both. There's no law keeping you from doing so. Thank goodness for best friend sounding boards.

I'm no trailblazer, but I am an indie at heart with some shadings of wanting that brass ring. I dream of RT awards and EPPYS. I dream of fan mail. Who wouldn't. I'm even doing my first radio interview with Kat Holmes on Kat's Writing Pen on BLOGTALK Radio this Friday, May 6th starting at 6PM. Come give a listen or drop by the chatroom. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.