Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Plus July Movie Preview, Baby Driver and Despicable Me 3 Reviews, and CassaStorm Giveaway

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.


My awesome co-hosts today are Tamara Narayan, Pat Hatt, Patricia Lynne, Juneta Key, and Doreen McGettigan!

Today’s optional question - What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Never underestimate my actual readers – or who they are. My books appeal to as many women as men, something I never foresaw happening, especially with science fiction stories. But I accepted it and wrote to please my actual fan base, both men and women.

The IWSG is hosting its first Twitter pitch party - #IWSGPit!
We have a lot of agents and publishers lined up who will be watching the Twitter feed that day.
You don’t want to miss it! Details HERE.

Submissions are open for The IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit.
What are we looking for?
Anything writing related – books, journalism, articles, whatever.
What have you tried that was successful?
What have you tried that didn’t result in sales or making money? We need to know what doesn’t work as well!
Submissions are open to all IWSG members – monthly blog post members, Facebook, and Goodreads. Details here.

And in case you missed it - the Insecure Writers Support Group site made the Writer’s Digest 19th Annual 101 Best Websites for Writers! This has been a goal of mine for the past several year and we finally made it. Thanks to all of YOU for making the group and the site awesome. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Audio Book Giveaway

My publisher, Dancing Lemur Press, has been giving away an audio book every week since the beginning of May.
Today is the last day you can enter to win a copy of CassaStorm.
Just go to @DancingLemurPre and click the pinned Tweet to enter.
Thanks for helping me spread the word!

Movie Reviews

Baby Driver

After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail. Staring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx.
This film is classy and stylish, slick but casual in its execution. It takes you on a ride that is both exhilarating and laid-back.
One of the coolest things about this film is how the music and action line up perfectly. From Baby lining up music for a getaway scene to the overall score, it is in perfect harmony.
The car chases and driving are amazing. Your jaw will drop at some of the tricks and stunts.
Baby is a sympathetic character. He’s a good person caught in a bad situation. He loves his foster father and cares about people in general. He and Debora (Lily James) have real chemistry on screen and make a good couple.
Reviews for this film have it at near-perfect. While I wouldn’t give it an A+, it was an excellent film.

Despicable Me 3

Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.
In a nutshell – silly and fun.
The Minions and Gru end up parting ways, so there becomes two storylines. Three if you count Judy’s efforts to find her place as Mom to three young girls. That's probably the movie's biggest fault - too much going on.
Dru – the twin brother – could’ve been annoying, but he’s not. He’s a good balance with the more dour Gru.
The animation is stunning. Some of the best I’ve ever seen. Some of the scenes were so real, it was incredible.
Fans of the 80’s will also get a kick out of the villain, Balthazar Bratt. Or you’ll have horrible 80’s flashbacks – one of the two.
While not the best animated flick I’ve ever seen, it was entertaining. If you enjoyed the other films, go for it. If not, then Minions in prison will not change your mind…

July Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for July! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

7 –

Spiderman: Homecoming
Following the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Peter Parker attempts to balance his life in high school with his career as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man.
Director: Jon Watts
Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei
It’s getting great review and buzz- and it’s not an origins story! Ninja happy.

14 –

War for the Planet of the Apes
After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.
Director: Matt Reeves
Stars: Toby Kebbell, Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Judy Greer
This could be the movie of the year. Advanced word – amazing and heart wrenching all at once.

21 –

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.
Director: Luc Besson
Stars: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Elizabeth Debicki
Pray it’s The Fifth Element and not Jupiter Rising…

Dunkirk
Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.
Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance
Batman loses his short term memory and moves to Alaska to tap into people’s dreams…oh wait, I’m mixing up my Nolan films…




What have you learned since you started writing? Sending an entry for the IWSG anthology? Entering #IWSGPit? Want to win a copy of CassaStorm on audio? And what movie catches your eye for July?

134 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - I'm waiting to see Dunkirk ... saw Churchill and My Cousin Rachel - good British films! What have I learnt ... believe in myself, and get on with things?! Cheers and happy rest of July - Hilary

nashvillecats2 said...

Congrats on the ISWG making it to the best seller's site.
Enjoyed the news and reviews. Enjoy July.

Yvonne.

kaykuala said...

One lesson learnt is that Writer's block is real and amazingly it is self- imposed, much as we dislike to admit. If caught in the rut it may sustain itself for some time. All the new releases are very much encouraging. Thanks for the info AleX!

Hank

Laura Clipson said...

I absolutely love sci-fi and fantasy stories - they're my favourite genres.
I had no idea Spiderman was out this month - that one I'll have to see. The others all look great as well.

Elephant's Child said...

I am so impressed at the ISWG's achievements. Congratulations to all of you.

Pat Garcia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat Garcia said...

And thanks to you, Alex, for sticking with your goal. That the IWSG is now among the best has to do with the vision given to a person. You embodied that part of your vision and it has become a reality.
All the best,
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G at Everything Must Change

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

Thanks for reviewing Baby Driver. I appreciate the wise use of music in movies and it sounds like Baby is pitch-perfect. Sympathetic characters and screen chemistry are also important to me and I enjoy a well executed car chase. It's nice to see old favorites like Kevin Spacey, Marisa Tomei and Woody Harrelson in new films. Enjoy the rest of your week, good buddy!

Truedessa said...

Believing is an important element in every dream. Next, comes the task of putting your dream into action. Every dream/story has a beginning and an end, it's up to you to full in the pages in between. Make it amazing and good luck to all those struggling in the quest.

Thanks for the review of Baby Driver I wasn't sure about that film. I am passing on Spider-Man.

Have a wonderful day!

Karen Walker said...

Alex, what you've created with IWSG is truly extraordinary. Congratulations on the Writer's Digest 100 best writers inclusion. You should be so proud of yourself. I've resisted Twitter like the plague, but perhaps I need to re-think that. Wonder Woman caught my eye - we saw it at one of those places where they serve dinner while watching the movie (actually they serve it before the movie starts). It was a great experience.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I actually just saw Wonder Women and loved it. There isn't much coming out in July that I'll be rushing to the movie theaters for. I never hard of Baby Driver, but that one does sound good.

I believe men and women do like to read science fiction, I know I do. I hope you have a nice vacation. Have a good week.

Erika Beebe said...

I think I'll take my kids to see the new despicable me movie. I think several of the movies look outstanding, especially with your great summary. I'd love to win a copy of CassaStorm on audio. I really like audio books. Have a great rest of your week Alex.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I've been looking forward to the new Spidey movie.

Lynn La Vita said...

What elements do you add that appeal to both men and women?

I always thought the story itself either slanted to the interest of a man or a woman.

Love these first Wed. hops. I always learn something new!

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's a great lesson about readers. If I ever get published, I'll remember that one. Wish I had a finished project for the pitch contest. Maybe another year.

Stephanie Faris said...

Free audiobooks--can't beat that! And yes, there are a LOT of female sci-fi readers. Fantasy, too. In fact, I think women will cross all genres, but you don't see many men reading romance!

Jennifer Hawes said...

As soon as I return from vaca I'm watching Baby Driver!! Hope you have an amazing holiday week.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

That's so interesting re realizing your actual fan base/readers!

I am so ready for fun and silly - bring on the Minions! :)

Jennifer Lane said...

Thanks for the movie tip about Baby Driver--I love crime stories.

It's true that we can't predict how our books will be received, in many different ways. You're definitely a dude but you seem to have a softer side, too, so maybe that's what women are responding to.

Christine Rains said...

Truly never underestimate one's readers. And yay for the IWSG making the Writer's Digest list! I actually got out to two movies this past week. Despicable Me 3 was fun, and yes, some of the animation looked incredibly real. We also saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2. It was the first "big kid" movie we took our son to and he loved it. He really wants to see the new Spiderman movie. Now I get to see that too! I laughed at what you said about Valerian. It looks spectacular, but yes, The Fifth Element type, please. :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Yes, women definitely enjoy your books!!! :)
It always surprises people when they learn my love for sci-fi

Tara Tyler R said...

yay and good luck to those doing the pitmad - wish i had something ready... next time!

i'm happy spiderman is not origins too - though i'm tired of spiderman, glad he was reintroduced with the avengers, cause i like this guy!

always love your sneak previews!

happy july!
Tara Tyler Talks

Deb R.H. said...

That's good advice! I'm doing a writing marathon at AgentQuery Connect, so I'm not sure I'll have something ready for the IWSGPit. Maybe!

Truedessa said...

Fill the pages in between - too early:)

Emma Charlotte said...

All the movies seem interesting but I think that Despicable Me 3 is the one movie that got best rating according to user reviews. Thanks for sharing your review.
Emma Charlotte | TheAcademicPapers.co.uk

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, thank you!

Shady, you would really appreciate Baby Driver, especially all of the older songs.

Karen, glad you saw it - and thanks!

Erika, good luck then.

Lynn, wish I knew for certain. Maybe it's my focus on character.

Stephanie, I have read one though!

Jennifer, that must be it.

Truedessa, anything before noon is too early...

Thanks, everyone!

Joey Resciniti said...

I'm really excited to see Despicable Me 3. I love me some minions.

I had no idea any of those movies were coming out in July. I blame the DVR allowing me to skip all commercials.

Jen Chandler said...

Hi there and happy summer! Still aren't any movies I'm looking forward to seeing. We did go see the new Pirates movie last month. I enjoyed it. It was a heck of a lot better than the last one.

What have a I learned since I started writing? This is a very recent lesson: you cannot force a story into existence. This has been the toughest and the most enlightening lesson for me. When a story is ready to be born it will be and boy had you better get out of the way and let it come. Otherwise, no amount of coercing will bring it forth. Oh, sure, you can eek out a draft but it will feel stilted and forced and will not be the story it's meant to be. After my writing experience so far this summer, I'm way more aware of how alive stories really are and how much respect I need to have for them.

Happy July!!
~ Jen

Jen Chandler said...

OH! And congratulations on making the Writer's Digest BEST list! If you ask me, it's about time :) I love this group!! It's truly a light and has helped me keep going forward with my writing goals :)

xo

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I loved Despicable Me 3 and already have a stuffed prison-clad Minion.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I saw previews for Baby Driver and just wasn't sure, but based on your review I think we'll see it after all. I know my husband would love the car chases! And very excited for another Planet of the Apes movie-- I've loved every one of them.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, I agree with you that we must never underestimate our actual readers.... we never know who will love our books or be inspired by our stories. And I'm trying to polish my book in time for #IWSGPit

Chemist Ken said...

Spiderman movie, definitely. Can't get enough of those Marvel movies. And to think I've always been more of a DC comic fan.

Pat Hatt said...

So glad Spiderman isn't a third friggin origin story. Looks like they finally got it right too. Baby driver does look and sound like a good one. True, you never know who your readers may be sometimes.

Rita Fitzpatrick Writer said...

Hi Alex, congratulations on the IWSG. I've only recently joined; it's a sea of brilliant information and lovely people. I rarely go to the cinema, but I'll be going to see Dunkirk this month. My Grandad survived the evacuation, so I'll be watching it with him in mind.

Tamara Narayan said...

I saw Despicable Me 3 with my family and I wasn't expecting to be wowed and, let's just say, it lived up to my low expectations. Of course, if I didn't have kids, I would not have gone. I need to see something geared to my age group.

Crystal Collier said...

Never underestimate readers... Love that.

We're pretty stoked for Spiderman. It looks awesome anyway, and since when has the Marvel franchise let us down? (Well, I'm not looking at you, Age of Ultron...) ;)

Carol Kilgore said...

Dunkirk and Spiderman. Wouldn't that be a mashup :)
Happy July!

Juneta Key said...

So Happy IWSG made WD top site. That is awesome.
' Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Stephen Hayes said...

In my writing I've learned that less is more, Not everything needs to be said.

cleemckenzie said...

#IWSG had been a great help to me and so many others. I'm pleased to have joined the team and I hope I can contribute to its continued support for writers. I'm booking Dunkirk for a must see movie this summer, but I hope Batman doesn't put in a Cameo appearance. That would ruin WWII for sure.

Sandra Cox said...

Good morning, Alex.
I haven't seen a Planet of The Apes movie since the first one (at least of this series), but I'm very intrigued by this one and want to see it. Unfortunately, the HH isn't at all.

Charles Gramlich said...

Very glad to see that the new Spidy movie is not an origins story.

Bish Denham said...

So excited to learn IWSG is on Writer's Digest list! Whoot, whoot!

What have I learned since I started writing? That failure doesn't mean the end, it only means that "approach" didn't work, try another approach. It's like of like hacking through a jungle using a machete. :D

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm really looking forward to the new Spiderman movie. And that's a sentence I never thought I'd write.

It was great to see the IWSG on the Writers Digest list. Congrats!

Jeremy Hawkins said...

I am sort of glad, the world shutdown the Transformers after a week... we are needing a solid story over blowing stuff up for 2 hours. I am stoked about Spider-Man: Homecoming, it's fingers-crossed a solid story... I am not sure I am in for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and Dunkirk... but for sure the War for the Planet of the Apes.

I am sort of saving my cash for those of a super-hero nature... though I am a fan of Luc Besson's collective works.

Baby Driver and DS3... not my bag, baby.

Have one heck of a day!

Jeremy

Loni Townsend said...

Glad you're writing for both genders! :)

Baby Driver sounds like a job for a babysitter. Do you think they could've chosen a different name?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joey - funny!

Jen, when they come alive, they explode.

Karen, they are a bit depressing but so well done.

Rachna, hope you do!

Ken, I am as well but I will take both.

Rita, welcome! And what a blessing he survived.

Carol, that would be!

Lee, you have contributed a lot.

Jeremy, not even the Oriental market was interested in the new Transformers. Now please make them stop.

Loni, it's based on a song. And the lead's name is Baby.

Megan Morgan said...

I hear you about misjudging your reader demographics. I write romance of course, which has a largely female readership, but I've found a lot of guys read my stuff too. It was quite unexpected!

Shah Wharton said...

Congrats on making the Writer's Digest BW4Ws. :)

I'm looking forward to War for the Planet of the Apes - Such a great series.

I learned: Don't publish till you're ready.

Shah X
http://shahwharton.com

Chrys Fey said...

I wonder if I'm the only one annoyed that they're doing another Spiderman movie with a different actor. *shrugs* Oh well. I'll probably watch it...when it goes onto TV in a million years. haha

Em-Musing said...

LOve your movie reviews but it's aways with a bit of sorrow as most of them come here but in Spanish only. Damn! I need more Spanish lessons!!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Definitely want to see Spiderman and I'm hoping for something good with Dunkirk. My kids are excited about the Planet of the Apes. Me, not so much.

Toinette Thomas said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and offering encouragement. It means a lot.
That's cool about your readers. It's the opposite for me. I don't expect men to like my stories, but the few who've read my Eternal Curse book really connected with it.
Yeah, Baby Driver looks like a good movie to see in the theater.
I like the Despicable Me series so far and will probably see this one, eventually.
Dunkirk is probably the only new movie I'm not interested in. I have to really be in a mood to watch war movies.
Great post, as always.

Nick Wilford said...

I think your writing is universal because it features good characters that people can root for. That's why it appeals to so many.

Inevitable that I'll end up seeing Despicable 3 at some point, but it's not a bad thing!

Andrew Leon said...

This summer isn't shaping up for much movie seeing.
Unfortunately.

I.B. Nosey said...

Yo, Alex, you still hitchhiking through the galaxies, dude?

Glad to know you were Feeling Nosey? today and stopped by. Heh heh.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Megan, and nice when it happens!

Leigh, yes you do!

Toi, so do I, but it's Nolan.

Nosey, I am!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I am a World War II book and movie addict so will certainly watch Dunkirk at some point. I just finished reading The Zookeeper's Wife too, which I highly recommend.

Tyrean Martinson said...

It's awesome that you learned your fan base is bigger than expected!
Thanks for all the great movie reviews and previews.

erica and christy said...

Congrats!!! So much to consider. I'd love to submit for the anthology... And I know my kids will be ready to see Despicable Me 3. One of the things I've learned about writing and publishing is... I'll never be done learning! Christy

Liesbet said...

That is a valuable and a rewarding lesson, Alex! And good for you to adapt to the readership. It sure is getting busier and busier with the IWSG; so many events and excitement planned. Wish I had a pitch ready, but not yet. If we could pitch with a WIP, I would join the party. :-)

Stacy McKitrick said...

What have I learned since I started writing? That the first draft is crap and that you really don't know what the beginning of your story is until you've written the end. :)

Karen Lange said...

I've learned so much since I began writing, and continue to learn more as I go. A big part of this info comes from fellow bloggers and writers, and for that, I am grateful! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, heard it's a great film.

Christy, we never will.

Stacy, I'd agree with that.

J E Oneil said...

I'm so relieved we're not going to have to go through Uncle Ben dying AGAIN.

I'm not surprised that you have as many women readers as men. everyone's always underestimating our interest in sci-fi!

Jo said...

Didn't know about Dunkirk, sounds like a movie I/we would enjoy. Did you know that boats and yachts that took part in the evacuation of the beaches were given plaques to display on their boats as a commemoration of a fantastic rescue. Of course I lived through Dunkirk but was too young to remember. Matt, on the other hand......

Liz A. said...

Baby Driver is getting lots of good press. I heard they actually filmed the action sequences with the music going.

Kim Lajevardi said...

You're the second person that I know to give Baby Driver a good review, but my son (19 yrs.) only rated it an okay. It's funny how perceptions about movies vary so widely. I wonder if it's age? The other good review was from an older gentleman.

Lee Lowery said...

Looking forward to several of the movies you listed, but will wait until we can watch at home. I am so over the theater experience. A big congrats on the Writer's Digest best list. This is, without a doubt, the most amazing website for writers. BTW, I have been a big fan of sci-fi forever - grew up with McCaffrey, Le Guin, Heinlein, et al. :-)

Victoria Marie Lees said...

My daughter saw Despicable Me 3 and thought there was too much going on as well. I enjoyed the first Despicable Me the best. The second one wasn't too bad.

Bravo to you, Alex, for knowing your fan base and writing toward them. That's the point of creating stories; having a readership who appreciates them. All the best to you, sir.

Birgit said...

Love your film reviews! I heard the same thing about Despicable Me. I am really looking forward to Dunkirk. I have saved the original film, also called Dunkirk, on my DVR. I am so happy about the IWSG being on the Writer's Digest Best list. Have you been watching Face Off? I actually missed a couple but watched the one last week-wowzers!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

You've peaked my interest in Despicable Me 3. It looks really funny.
Happy everything, Alex. =)

Olga Godim said...

Like you said: we find our readers in some unexpected places, but we have to treasure them all. Great lesson to learn.
Despicable Me 3 sounds like fun.

Patricia Lynne said...

My nephews wanted me to stay at my parents' longer so I could go see Despicable 3 with them. My 5 yr old is especially in love with the Minions (and Scarlet Overkill.)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jo, that's cool.

Liz, about the only way to line up the two.

Lee, science fiction rocks. Heinlein was a big influence on my work.

Thanks, Victoria!

klahanie said...

Hi Alex,

Yep, look who has actually dropped in. No, not literally!

Penny, that ever so talented Jack Russell, will go and visit the IWSG Twitter pitch party, although, when it comes to pitching, she's never played baseball. A bit of cricket, yes, but baseball, never.

Thanks for all the movie reviews.

I learned that writing can cause me to get a really stiff neck and possibly, tennis elbow.

Take care, good sir.

Penny's fictional character,

Gary

Botanist said...

Interesting observation about books' appeal. I always used to think sci-fi was male-dominated until I started writing, and discovered there seems to be an even balance among both writers and readers of the genre.

emaginette said...

Wow! As usual you have so much going on. I don't know how you do it. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Mason T. Matchak said...

One thing I've learned while writing is that you can never tell what people will get from your stories. I've had people tell me they loved things about characters or worlds or plots that I never intended, but I could see it once I looked for it. And I've had a few people tell me how my stories helped them, which warms my heart like you wouldn't believe. ^_^

Movie-wise, I've already got plans to see Spider-Man this weekend. It looks like it's going to be so good.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! Dunkirk, Valerian, and Planet of the Apes are on my list ~ We shall see how many I actually get to. I hope that you are having fun visiting around today!

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

I really wanna see Valerian! Fingers Crossed!

T. Drecker said...

Ooo Dunkirk looks/sounds interesting. Never underestimate us women scifi fans. I think most just don't admit it :)

Joanne said...

I liked your comment about never underestimating your audience. Excellent advice these days.
Baby Driver was darn slick and I loved the soundtrack. It was a winning combo of cast, car chase, and young love. Rev that throttle and crank the tunes. Also saw The Beguiled - total opposite. It's a slow burn in the Civil War south. Tension filled twists.
Do I really want another Spiderman? Hmm. Probably. Dunkirk looks epic.
This summer has been slow - time for things to kick up a notch. Otherwise, I'm back on my flamingo pool float! Happy July

Stephen Tremp said...

Wifey and I are looking forward to seeing Baby Driver.

Despicable Me 3 seemed like a money grab. The minions are expensive to develop for an animated film and what short footage there was there was little movement. Can you say budget cuts and money grab?

looking forward to Spiderman: Homecoming. The poster has a bit of Deadpool theme to it.

Love WWII movies and the theme of Dunkirk is not all mass killings but a story of overcoming. Hope it lives up to it's billing.

Jenni Enzor said...

I really liked how you were surprised that women liked your book too and how you adjusted. Good advice! Summer isn't usually my time for movies as I'm not much of an action fan, but Dunkirk does look intriguing. Thanks for giving your take on Baby Driver.

L.G. Keltner said...

I've had people look at me weird on occasion when I tell them I love reading and writing science fiction. What can I say? People love what they love. I'm glad you have a broad audience enjoying your books. That's always a good thing.

N. R. Williams said...

I used to worry that men wouldn't like my stories. I've since learned that they do.
Nancy

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Alex,

Looking forward to seeing Despicable Me 3.... should be fun! Congrats again to you and your fellow teamsters for making the IWSG a top 101 website! AWESOME!!!!!!! So proud of all of you! Your work is truly appreciated by us all....

Lynda R Young said...

I am nervous about Valerian. I really want to like it but I'm scared they focused too much on the CGI and not enough on the story or characters.

Helena said...

I like how you've discovered you have so many women readers--and I'm not surprised. Even the tough he-man Lee Child learned that most of his readers were women. We ladies can have a pretty sophisticated taste in books!

mail4rosey said...

I'm excited for Spiderman. I thought Baby Driver was a kid's movie, boy was I off on that one. ;)

Raimey Gallant said...

Is the goal for #IWSGpit to get as many authors participating as possible, whether or not they participate in IWSG? If so, send me an email/note on Twitter, and I'll spread the word on the more popular author hashtags.

Cathy Keaton said...

You mixed up your Nolan films! LOL. I love reading your little comments at the end of the upcoming film synopses.

Sean McLachlan said...

Hmmm, I might have something for the IWSG anthology.
I'm still on the FB group and loving it, but sadly I had to leave the regular blogfest behind because deadlines and travel mean that I can't reliably keep at it.

G. B. Miller said...

Not sure if you heard this about the upcoming "Dunkirk" movie, but the snowflakes are already complaining about the historically accurate film being too white for their tastes.

Btw, just joined up with the FB group, so we'll see how it goes and I posted the IWSG post on my FB page, for those of you who are curious.

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

I'll watch the new "Despicable Me" movie once I'm done with the new writing project I've taken on... and once I'm done rewriting and watched the rest of "Arrow"! The twitter pitch party looks great - though I'll just be watching this year while polishing my MS :-)

The Cynical Sailor said...

What an interesting lesson about your audience being just as much women as men. I think some women "secretly" like sci-fi, but don't admit it as readily as they think it's more of a guy thing.

Lori L MacLaughlin said...

Something I've learned since I started writing — don't every try to force the story. It will go where it wants. Be ready to follow.
The Spider-Man movie looks good. We may go see the Minions. Sometimes we're in the mood for a little silliness. Yay for IWSG making the Top Sites list!!

Julie Flanders said...

Congrats again on making the WD list!! So exciting and impressive.
I've heard lots of good things about Baby Driver. Definitely want to see it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Gary, I bet she's really good at cricket.

Mason, now that is good. And you bet - going to see Spiderman tomorrow.

Tonja, that would explain a few things.

Joanne, it was amazing how well the music fit the action.

Thanks, Michael!

Lynda, we'll just hope they get it right.

Helena, I appreciate that.

Rosey, not at all! Rated R for a reason.

Raimey, we'll take them anywhere! I'll send a message.

Cathy, I am here to amuse.

Sean, that's all right. Hope you send something for the anthology.

GB, good for you!

Ellen, my wife enjoys it.

Lynda Dietz said...

I think it's great that your books appeal to both men and women, though I'm a science fiction fan no matter what. I suppose I've never thought about it being a male/female thing.

I've heard from a few people that Despicable Me was not nearly as good, and for exactly the reasons you stated. I loved the magic of the first one and didn't want to spoil it by seeing the followup movies, so I think I'll give this one a pass.

Sandra Cox said...

Did Renee get in touch with you about the twitter pitch?

Barbara Fisher said...

Hi Alex, I’m looking forward to Dunkirk and Spiderman not sure of the others.
I’m sure I congratulated you re the 101 Best Websites for Writers it really is a marvellous achievement.
I will try to remember the #IWSGPit! and will endeavour to retweet some of the tweets.

Lidy Wilks said...

Congrats to IWSG making the top 101!
The New Spiderman has caught my eye and War of the Planets too. Just wish I didn't have to wait until November for the Justice League movie. :-/

Mark Noce said...

Got to love Despicable Me movies:) But another Spiderman film? I'm looking forward to Dunkirk :)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congratulations on IWSG being in the top 101 of Writer's Digest sites. I saw it in the magazine and said I know this one. So excited for you.

July is a busy month. Good luck to all who pitch their stories.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Despicable Me 3 was okay, but we went to see it at a drive-in and it rained. The windshield was so wet and blurry we couldn't see half the movie. :-/

Good thing the kids will probably watch it 100x when it comes out on video.

Doreen McGettigan said...

There is so much going on with the #IWSG, I love it! I think I am going to enter something for the anthology. I'm really looking forward to the Twitter Pitches too.
I love the Despicable Me Movies so looking forward to this one mostly because I take my lil grandkids.

Karen Peterson said...

I was pleasantly surprised by Baby Driver. I don't feel like it's as amazing as other people think, but it was a lot of fun!

Sharon Marie Himsl said...

Hi Alex. Thank you again for leading this wonderful organization, ISWG. You and the team inspire so many of us! Reader audiences are sure hard to pin, as you point out and discovered firsthand. I keep thinking of The Harry Potter series. Publishers had no idea at first it would have such a wide appeal.

M Pax said...

Writing for our actual readers is a must. I learned that as long as I'm happy and have some happy fans, I am a success.

Yolanda Renée said...

Baby Driver, such an odd nickname and an even odder movie title...

Not into the movies this summer, and really wish I had an idea for the IWSG book. Hmm ....

Enjoy your summer!

John Wiswell said...

I keep hearing great things about Baby Driver. I'm not sure if I have the time for another theatrical visit before Dunkirk, but I'm sorely tempted.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

"Baby Driver" is just *such* an odd title for that film. I can't seem to get past it, although I've heard it's super-good.

My son is looking forward to the Dunkirk movie!

Cherie Reich said...

That is a valuable lesson. I'd love to see Spiderman: Homecoming and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing Dunkirk. Just about the only contemporary films I watch are historical dramas or foreign films, and Dunkirk fits right into the first category.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sandra, you mean Raimey? Yes.

Barbara, that would be great.

Lidy, me neither!

CD, sure that's a good thing?

Doreen, please do!

Karen, I didn't think it was super great either, but it was solid.

Sharon, thank you for being part of it.

Elizabeth, it gets its title from a song and the main character's name. Yeah, odd.

Deborah Drucker said...

Congratulations to IWSG for award for one of the best sites for writers. I love science fiction and I am have written a few little science fiction pieces. I am looking to write something longer now. Thanks for welcoming me to IWSG.

Nicki Elson said...

Shoot, I chose Wonder Woman over Driver Baby the other night. I liked WW fine, but I think I would've liked Driver Baby better. Oh well, got to go back to the movies!

Sometimes we can't know our audience until we get something out there. It's good you were able to adapt to the surprise.

Blue Grumpster said...

Not an origin story... But... will it end up in the um... studio's cut :D

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I know what you mean about underestimating your reading audience. I've been stunned by how many men have read and liked my book. Who knew?

Thanks for the two movie reviews. I KNOW I want to see the Despicable Me one, (I mean, come on! Who doesn't love the minions?) but I wasn't sure about "Baby Driver." Now I am. You convinced me when you mentioned the car chases. Thanks!

Michelle Wallace said...

It's a busy month for the IWSG!
Enjoy your summer, Alex!
...and now I shall return to my grapple with the CampNaNo beast...

Rhonda Albom said...

Another Planet of the Apes movie, and a potential winner - I'll be there. As for my lesson, it would be to always save the old draft when you make a major re-write, and if someone tells you to make a major change, get a second opinion. Now I hate my book, and it's been put aside for almost a year.

Angela Brown said...

As for the IWSG question of the month, I've learned to do a better job controlling my mind's need to make comparisons. I'm growing more okay with my situation, for whatever it is, and returning to the joy of writing.

I hope Susan Kaye Quinn is a contributor to the next IWSG anthology. She has shown a great deal of success as an Indie author and would have some great advice.

My daughter and I watched Despicable Me 3 and enjoyed it. She loves the minions so it was fun for her. And I liked it as well.

I've been hearing great things about Baby Driver. The first time I watched the trailer, I was befuddled with all the things going on. But the more I've looked into it, the more I've gained interest. The idea of music being such an integral part of the plot and scenes, very intriguing.

I watched a brief video about Tom Holland and the skills he brings to the part of being Peter Parker/Spiderman. Although I've understood it can be a grueling task taking on the role of a superhero, Tom's parkour and physical work ethic make it easy to see him in this role. Plus, it's kind of cool seeing Spiderman as a kid with school and friendship issues like any other kid.

There are a couple of other movies I hope to catch this month, but I want to mention Atomic Blonde. The first time I saw the trailer, I couldn't help being so excited to see a spy thriller with a female headlining the kick butt action. And Charlize Theron has some impressive acting chops so it would be awesome to see her in "James Bond" mode. This also gives me great hope for a Black Widow solo movie :-)

Spacer Guy said...

Writing for profit is a neat idea. Many sucessful authors like Jack Canfield have found a niche and no longer struggle to turn a buck. He credits an entire team from Janet Switzer for all her herculean effort to many others who championed, encouraged, edited and were brilliant. So in closing I agree everyone here brings out the best in one another, I wish I had the team and eloquence to express my ideas but never mind. Long Life and prospering be yours.... ahh its time for a movie. hmmm I wonder which one will settle on?

Cynthia said...

It must be cool to see you have a bigger fan base than you'd initially thought!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Deborah, glad you are with us.

Nicki, go see as many movies as you like. We do!

Susan, go and enjoy both.

Rhonda, I'm sorry.

Angela, feel free to invite Susan. And Tom Holland fit perfectly as Spiderman.

Well said, Spacer Guy.

Cynthia, it is!

Robert Bennett said...

Hey! I have a twitter now! I can do the giveaway! :3

That aside, I think I've learned a great deal of focus since I've started writing. I've always had a chaotic imagination that results in pretty intense day dreaming, actual dreaming, nightmares, etc. and writing was a wonderful outlet. The problem was being able to shape and galvanize that maelstrom into a form that is coherent and enjoyable for a reader. That process has also had a useful feedback loop that helps me better understand the crap that runs through my head.

mshatch said...

My sister and brother went to see Baby Driver last night and loved it. Sis also said the music was amazing. I stayed home with my niece so my sis could go.

Sandra Cox said...

Good for you, Alex, for having a mixed base and writing for both. Isn't that wonderful when it happens?
Enjoy your Sunday.

Magic Love Crow said...

I think it's excellent that you have such a wide range of a fan base! Good for you Alex! Thanks for the movie reviews!

Trisha F said...

Hmmm, maybe I should see Baby Driver after all. I hadn't been planning on it! If the music's well done then I'm gonna be sucked in.

Deniz Bevan said...

Despicable Me sounds silly but fun. They've been giving out stuffed minions at the grocery store. Maybe when toddler's old enough, we can watch the movie together...