Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, October Movie Preview, CassaSeries Tour, Screen Rights, and New Releases

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 Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Mary Aalgaard, Madeline Mora-Summonte, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

October 2 question – It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

We need to read to see how it’s done – both well and poorly –we just can’t adopt another author’s style as our own.
Of course, if you’re reading a genre outside your own and a style very different from yours, then it’s cool. But if your sweet love interests suddenly turn maniacal killers, then there’s a bigger problem…

Important dates:

This month’s Write…Edit…Publish challenge:
As you sow so shall you reap. What will your character sow - dragon's teeth, elven bones, gouged eyes from tormented souls? Most of our members go with horror or speculative for October. But that's not written in stone ... or blood.

January’s IWSG post day will be on January 8, the second Wednesday. The first Wednesday is New Year’s Day – do not post that day! Note it in your calendars now – January 8.

The next #IWSGPit - our Twitter pitch event – is January 15, the third Wednesday. This will be our fifth one and last year there were thousands of agents and publishers watching, ten thousand Tweets sent out, and #IWSGPit became a trending topic. Polish your pitches and check the site for full details.

CassaSeries Tour

Silver Dagger Tours is hosting a month-long tour for me that includes a giveaway for an Amazon gift card and swag.
Here are the final dates:

Monday – Guest post at Daily (w)rite and stops at Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author and 4covert2overt-A Place In The Spotlight
Tuesday – Guest post at Inside the Insanity and stops at Defining Ways and Speculative Fiction Spot
Wednesday – Stops at Better Read Than Undead, Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin', and
Thursday – Stops at Casey's Corner, Taryn Jameson, and Teatime and Books
Friday – Guest post at Introspective Press and stops at The Book Dragon and Twisted Book Ramblings
Monday October 7 – Stops at The Bookshelf Fairy, Word Processor, Romance, Cats, Kids and Creed, and Yearwood La Novela

Screen Rights by Damyanti Biswas!

Thank you Alex for the support on my debut novel, You Beneath Your Skin. It is a literary crime novel—a story that raises various social issues within the framework of a crime thriller. A woman from Delhi upper classes suffers an acid attack, and this case is investigated amid the backdrop of a crime spree. Unclad bodies of slum women are found stuffed in trash bags, their faces disfigured with acid.

This story is now being represented for screen rights by a top agent in Bollywood, and I’m writing a summary for adaptation pitches. It is so very different from a literary summary.
More pacey, more sensationalised, some literary parts suppressed. I’ve been at it for the past two days but am not even close to finishing.

I’m told that I need:
· a better logline,
· a short character sketch of the main voices
· less setting and characterization, and more action
· good handle on the beginning middle and end.

To the audience of this blog, and to Alex, my question and request would be for advice. Has anyone written a screen treatment? How do you go about it? Do you have any advice for me? Have you read You Beneath YourSkin?

Damy, here’s hoping you get those screen rights!

New Releases

One Good Catch by Heather Gardner
The next book in the Maguire’s Corner series
Find it on Amazon

A Sampler of Shadows by Roland Yeomans
Find it on Amazon

For a great laugh, visit Roland’s IWSG post today – he has some fun with me.

And here is the main character in Roland’s Dark Hollywood Cycle who's spoken of in several stories and appears in the last one in this collection:

September Movie Preview

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

4 –

A gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society.
Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Jolie Chan
Yes, I’ll go see it. No, I don’t think I’ll like it. (And have to add after seeing it, while I'll never watch it again, the film was brilliant. Set in DC's Detective Comics world. Phoenix will get an Oscar nod.)

11 –

Gemini Man
An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself.
Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Will Smith, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong
Didn’t we see this already and it was called Looper?

The Addams Family
An animated version of Charles Addams' series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family.
Directors: Greg Tiernan | Conrad Vernon
Stars: Catherine O'Hara, Charlize Theron, Finn Wolfhard, Chloë Grace Moretz
From television show to movie to television show to animated movie – what next, Claymation?

All unemployed, Ki-taek's family takes peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.
Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Woo-sik Choi
The true story of kimchi gone bad…

18 –

Zombieland: Double Tap
Columbus, Tallahasse, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Bill Murray
Zombieland Two – Electric Twinkieloo

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play.
Director: Joachim Rønning
Stars: Angelina Jolie, David Gyasi, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer
Are we sure this isn’t just an Angelina Jolie biopic?

25 –

The Aeronauts
Pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) and scientist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) find themselves in an epic fight for survival while attempting to make discoveries in a hot air balloon.
Director: Tom Harper
Stars: Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Himesh Patel, Tim McInnerny
Rogue One meets Harry Potter meets Jason and the Argonauts.

What do you think about writers who don’t read? Participating in WEP this month? The CassaSeries tour coming to an end – have you visited a stop or two and entered to win? And what movies catch your attention this month?

We are going on a family vacation, leaving next Monday and coming back the following Monday. So I won’t be posting those two weeks or visiting anyone next week. See you on October Twenty-first!

Monday, September 23, 2019

CassaSeries Tour, What Worries Me When I Write, New Releases, and Movie Trailers

The CassaSeries tour continues!
Silver Dagger Tours is hosting a month-long tour for me that includes a giveaway for an Amazon gift card and swag. Full list at their site.

Monday – stops at Chapters through life, Books all things paranormal and romance, books are love, and Luv Saving Money

Tuesday – guest post at Maiden of the Pages and stops at Tome Tender, Books, Authors, Blogs, and Craving Lovely Books

Wednesday – stops at Dragon's Den, A Wonderful World of Words, and Breanna Hayse Romance

Thursday – stops at TNT Book Promotions, A Blend of Sass and Class Blog, and T.L. Gray Blog

Friday - stops at Drako's Den, eBook Addicts, and Girl with Pen

What Worries Me When I Write by Jacqui Murray

Six years ago, when I prepared to publish my first book, I shared my worst fears with blogging buddies. Now as I publish my seventh book, The Quest for Home, I still don't feel like I have my shine on. Here's the list now:

That I'll get a bad review on Amazon. You can't unring that bell. It ruins your averages.
That I'll over-think what I'm writing, take myself too seriously. I have to shake it out and start over.
That my characters come across as shallow--people even I wouldn't want to know.
Anton Chekov once warned: "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." What if I miss that? What if I miss it twice?
That I'll spell 'siesta' with an 'f'--or 'Freud' with an 'a'. How about 'luck' with an 'f'? So much to worry about.
That I'll use 'was' twelve times on one page and drain the energy out of my story like a leaky boat.
That I'll 'tell' not 'show'.
That my novel will have so many problems, when new ones come along, it'll take me two weeks before I have time to worry about them.
That agents will say, 'There's a story that didn't live up to its query letter'.
That I've written a Goldilocks story--not too fast, not too slow, just boring.
That my writing has more enthusiasm than expertise.
That my novel will reach a climax and I won't notice. The corollary to that: I won't know where the beginning is.
That I'll think 'seriousism' is a perfectly good noun to use.

As if this list isn't bad enough, I found a bunch more on Twitter that sounded like me:

That I'll start to believe statistics like 83% of new writers don't get published, or the average American has one testicle and one ovary.
That I will bury my voice in the effort to 'follow the right rules'
That I will turn a world class ending into a mediocre one.
That my muse will abandon me.
That even now, the fat lady is singing.
That my lips will get tired before I finish all the writer's how-to books I need to read.
That my woke story will come out stupid.

And here's my #1 fear and it's a bit of a conundrum: If I write from my heart and no one reads it, have I really written anything?

How about you? What's your worst fear?

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2021.

New Releases

This one is from a very dear blogger buddy of mine and I am so happy for her!

You Beneath Your Skin by Damyanti Biswas
From Simon and Schuster IN

It’s a dark, smog-choked new Delhi winter. Indian American single mother Anjali Morgan juggles her job as a psychiatrist with caring for her autistic teenage son. She is in a long-standing affair with ambitious police commissioner Jatin Bhatt – An irresistible attraction that could destroy both their lives.
Jatin’s home life is falling apart: his handsome and charming son is not all he appears to be, and his wife has too much on her plate to pay attention to either husband or son. But Jatin refuses to listen to anyone, not even the sister to whom he is deeply attached.
Across the city there is a crime spree: slum women found stuffed in trash bags, faces and bodies disfigured by acid. And as events spiral out of control Anjali is horrifyingly at the centre of it all …
In a sordid world of poverty, misogyny, and political corruption, Jatin must make some hard choices. But what he unearths is only the tip of the iceberg. Together with Anjali he must confront old wounds and uncover long-held secrets before it is too late.

Buy it on Amazon


Already Home by Heather Gardner
A Maguire's Corner novel
Book 1 in the Maguire's Corner series

Find it on Amazon

New cover. Completely rebranded. Same corpse-raising middle grade adventure.
MOTLEY EDUCATION: The Urd Saga, book I by S. A. Larsen

"A deftly crafted ... and entertaining read!" - Midwest Book Reviews - Children's Watch 2017

Motley Junior High: School for the Psychically and Celestially Gifted Terms of Enrollment
Order signed books from The Children’s Book Cellar via Facebook message.
Find it online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Smashwords There’s also a Twitter Giveaway.

New Trailers

Some interesting looking movies and shows coming soon…

What are your writing worries? Picking up some new books? Do those trailers look enticing? And are you following any of the CassaSeries tour?

Monday, September 16, 2019

CassaSeries Tour, Alien/Area 51 Conspiracy Movies, Carnival Row Review, and 100 Years of Time Travel

Robyn at Life by Chocolate and I were asked to step into the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Claus for some kinky counselling at Just the Cheese - check it out! (Beware – a little raunchy.)

CassaSeries Tour

It continues!
Silver Dagger Tours is hosting a month-long tour for me that includes a giveaway for an Amazon gift card and swag. Full list at their site.

Monday – Guest post at The OCD Nerd News and stops at Tara Tyler Talks, Rita's reading room, and Paranormal Palace of Pleasures

Tueday – Guest posts at Always Love Me Some Books Blog, Reviews and Promos by Nyx, and The Magic Of Wor(l)ds, and a stop at Midnight Book Reader

Wednesday – Stops at nanasbookreviews, TrueYABookBlogger, and 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!

Thursday - Book-Lover, A Pinch of Bookdust, Book Corner News and Reviews, and Paranormal Romance Trance

Friday Guest post at Tyrean's Writing Spot and stops at Bedazzled By Books, Bookriot and Sapphyria's Book Reviews

Interview with Authors from We Know the Truth, Do You?

An Anthology to Celebrate the Raid

QUESTION: What is your number one favorite alien/Area 51 conspiracy movie?

Annie Walls (Author of Lavish Lure) - Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Nothing scarier than a quiet invasion that you can’t do anything about until it’s too late.

Beverly Ovalle (Author of The Road to Eden) - My favorite is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I love a good comedy and this is funny and the action is great.

Cass Alex (Author of Them Versus Us) - Alien Nation (movie and series). I love the idea of what could happen after possible alien integration on Earth, when separate species try and live together.

Chrys Fey (Author of Detective Heavenborn) - Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been freaked out by alien movies. But I’d say Independence Day because of the Area 51 scenes. Those scenes helped me with my story, Detective Heavenborn.

C.L. Roman (Author of Not Your Father’s Area 51) - My favorite has to be Men In Black. I loved the first one and enjoyed the others mainly because of the acting and the human reactions to advanced alien tech.

Harley Easton (Author of In the Air Tonight) - The World's End - A ton of awesome British actors play high-school friends going on a drinking weekend, but the movie takes the unexpected turn of aliens invading a tiny town.

Jennie L. Morris (Author of Galaxy Genetics Inc.) - My favorite alien conspiracy movie is Signs. I thought it was well written, and having it centered around one family with little information about the world at large, made it suspenseful.

Jennifer Wedmore (Author of What We Became) - The only movie I can think of is Independence Day. I love this movie because of the epic speech to get them pumped about fighting aliens.

Arthur M. Doweyko (Author of P'sall Senji) - Independence Day - Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum save the world. The scene where we enter Area 51 underground hanger and discover we've had a working alien saucer all along is way fun. Add to that that the President didn't even know.

Sherry Rentschler (Author of Mermurings) - My first conspiracy series/movie seduction happened during the mid-1960's Outer Limits TV series. I always got the shivers when the TV went to the little white dot and we heard the voice say, "Do not attempt to adjust your set..."

Valerie Puri (Author of Burner Phone) - My favorite alien conspiracy movie would have to be Independence Day. It has suspense, action, and a fantastic cast to bring to life a plausible first contact scenario, albeit one that doesn't have a great outlook for the human race.

Don't bother with the raid. Stay home and learn all about it in the comfort of your own home.

What’s in Area 51? Is the government hiding aliens? Elvis? Maybe the set of the Apollo moon landing? Do you know?
We do.
Join this multi-genre group as they explore the hidden recesses of Area 51, which up until now have only been whispered conspiracies. Don’t bother with the raid. Stay home, read these awesome stories and learn all you need to know.
The truth is just a page-flip away.

*All proceeds will go to US Veterans.

Visit their website and purchase the book at Universal Book Links.

Review – Carnival Row

From the IMDB:
A human detective and a fairy rekindle a dangerous affair in a Victorian fantasy world, where the city's uneasy peace collapses when a string of murders reveals an unimaginable monster.
Orlando Bloom stars as the main character, and he’s someone you can root for – he’s a good person. Cara Delevingne is also intriguing as the fairy.
The setting is great. Something about a Victorian setting that just exudes magic.
I like that it’s a detective story with supernatural twists.
The production values are great. The makeup and special effects are first class. What I don’t like – zero humor. (You see that in a lot of shows now.) It just makes the show joyless. I can’t recall one smile or laugh in the five episodes I’ve watched. It’s difficult to go back for more when each episode is more depressing than the last. (There are eight total.)
If dark, deadly, and joyless is your thing, you’ll enjoy it. On Amazon.

100 Years of Time Travel

Courtesy of Enlightened Digital!

Have you been following the CassaSeries tour? What is your favorite alien/Area 51 conspiracy movie? (I'd have to go with a television show - The X-Files.) Have you seen Carnival Row? What do you think about time travel?
Don’t forget to visit Just the Cheese and the CassaSeries tour hosts today!

Monday, September 9, 2019

CassaSeries Tour, It: Chapter Two Review, And Superhero Love

CassaSeries Tour

Silver Dagger Tours is hosting a month-long tour for me that includes a giveaway for an Amazon gift card and swag.
A full list of the tour is posted at the Silver Dagger Tours site. Here are the stops this week:

Guest post last Saturday at Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor - Where Did the Character’s Names Come From?

Monday – Guest post about music at Writer's Gambit and stops at Just Jemi and The Story of a Writer

Tuesday – Guest posts at Mars Occupation Force - Press Office and Sandra Cox plus a stop at Blog of Author Jacey Holbrand

Wednesday - Guest posts at Elizabeth Seckman and Angela Brown plus stops at Keep on Booking and Authors and Readers Book Corner

Thursday – Guest post at Readeropolis and stops at Antrim Cycle and Java John Z’s

Friday – Stops at Book Review Virginia Lee, Literary Gold, and 2 Chicks and a Book

For the Love of Superheroes

Aquaman. I just love that movie! Have you watched it yet? If not, go watch it first and then come back and read this post. It will blow your mind.

I grew up with DC. The animated version of Superman, Batman and weird cross-overs where Green Arrow looked like Robin Hood and Wonder Woman didn’t look like she could do much. Honestly, I can only remember Superman and Batman as being the heroes whose stories I followed, even though I watched it all.

Which is why this new Aquaman movie is so awesome. He isn’t the last guy you call when you are in trouble…

Back to what I grew up with:

Superman was this goody-goody with only two weaknesses: kryptonite and Lois Lane. He had a best friend named Lex Luthor who wanted to thwart him at every opportunity. Batman was this weirdo obsessed with bats, Alfred and bad guys. He made friends with scary women like Poison Ivy and Cat Woman. Both of these heroes knew every hero that came along – like Green Arrow, the Flash, Hawk Man and every other DC hero. (Don’t get on your high horse: it’s how I saw it as a six-year-old.)

And if you break it down like that, you know exactly what the stories should be about, and what is important to the hero. They even call for help – from everyone except Aquaman.

Then Smallville came to TV and things became even weirder, though Aquaman did get a bit more credit for being a hero. Until they decided that he was only an environmentalist blowing things up… (I haven’t watched it in a while, so forgive me for remembering it like that.)

And until recently, I didn’t think that Green Arrow could do much more than be a glorified Robin Hood. (Blame the animation.) But then Arrow came to our screens along with Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. While things were good, I thought that they should make a series about Aquaman, too. And when everything except Legends fell apart, I was relieved they hadn’t.

As for the movies… The recent series is rather good. I’m not a fan of Man of Steel, I just didn’t relate to their Lois and Clark, and Batman versus Superman has too much politics – though the action scenes are really good. Wonder Woman is an amazing movie that will leave you in tears. Justice League is something you can watch over-and-over again just for fun (or when you are ill and have to stay in bed).

And Aquaman… The worldbuilding, the drama, the humour, the villains and antagonists, the blind spots of the main characters – it is absolutely amazing. Each time I watch it, I see something new to admire about how they have taken Aquaman from being the last guy the Justice League would call for help, to the first guy you’ll run to for safety.

These are characters and worlds we all know and love. Each time a new writer (or group of writers) takes on the challenge of recreating it for a modern audience, they have to keep the essence and add what the audience needs. Which is why, when the Flash asks Batman what his superpower is, he answers: “I’m rich”, and why the Flash and Cyborg believe that they are the accidents. Because a modern audience needs heroes – the accidental ones and those who take the resources they have and use it for good.

I did something similar with my latest book “Magic at Midnight”. I took a girl and put her in an impossible situation to save everyone she loves – and she finds her “superpowers” in the process. Some call it Cinderella meets Miss Congeniality. (DragonSpireUK) Some call it a Cinderella reboot with a twist on the reality show, The Bachelor. (Lee Lowery) Others call it a delightful mix of Pretty Woman and Cinderella. (Word Dreams) While others are in awe of the pegasi and her dedication to them. (Sandra Cox)

But truth be told, it was my love of DC that inspired a lot of what happens in this princess fantasy adventure.

Any stories that have been retold so many times that you know exactly what will happen, but you’re still surprised when the writers come up with something awesome? Do you love DC? Have you watched the new Justice League, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and other movies?

Award-winning author Ronel Janse van Vuuren mainly writes for teens and tweens, though she is known to write mythology-filled short stories for anthologies aimed at older readers. Her dark fantasy works, usually full of folklore, can be viewed on her website and on Goodreads. All of her books are available for purchase from major online retailers.
Sign up to be notified of new releases, giveaways and pre-release specials – plus get a free eBook – when you join Ronel’s newsletter.
Connect with Ronel online - Website, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, Instagram, and Amazon

It: Chapter Two Review

Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back.
You do need to see the first chapter before seeing this one and I wish we’d rewatched it to refresh our memories. They reference a lot from the first movie that I didn’t remember.
The cast is excellent – they found great actors not only for the roles but who had good chemistry together. They also interspersed the adult versions with the kid versions. (Which helped to figure out who was who.)
I’ve not read the book, so not sure how closely the movie follow it, but overall the storyline was very familiar horror trope. When the film worked, it was effective – when it didn’t, it was derivative of other horror films.
It’s also close to three hours long. While I never felt bored or looked at the time, it could have been trimmed a bit more.
There’s a direct line from John Carpenter’s The Thing in relation to a similar creature. (Not sure if it’s a nod or if King stole it.) Speaking of whom, Stephen King also has a cameo role in the film.
I will say Pennywise’s origins was a bit disappointing.
Overall I liked it but not as much as the first one.

We also watched Godzilla: King of the Monsters again this past weekend. Even better the second time!

Anyone else catch It: Chapter Two? Who’s your favorite DC superhero?
Hope you get to visit some of the tour sites this week and sign up to win the giveaway!