Monday, February 13, 2023

Vampire Movies, Reviews (Katatonia and Willy’s Wonderland) and News, and Box Offices Totals

Vampire Movies by L. Diane Wolfe

Alex asked me about vampire movies.

While none really mirror the setting of my story, I picked a couple fun vampire stories.

Fright Night

The original with Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowall is so much fun. “You’re so cool, Brewster!” I fell in love with this film when I saw it in the theater in 1985 and it’s still a fun film.

Hotel Transylvania
There are now four movies and they are so much fun. Sadly, we watched the first one when our cat Spunky had just gone through his cancer surgery. It was snowy that day and with poor Spunky on my husband’s lap, we watched the first movie. It’s not the greatest in the world, but I just love it.

Let the Right One In
The foreign version of this is SO much better than the American version. It hit the right notes and was creepy, moving, and sad.

Dracula (1979)

I’d seen other Dracula films, but this one with Frank Langella really stuck with me. It’s scary and sexy and so atmospheric. It’s a slow and steady pace but such a great film.

The Lost Boys
Cheesy, commercial, and yet it works. The soundtrack is super. I might even enjoy it more than the movie. Some great stars: Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Corey Feldman, Jami Gertz, Dianne Wiest, Alex Winter, and Jamison Newlander.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Gary Oldman really took on the role. He was sexy and the story was so consuming. I remember a woman coming into the place I worked and seeing my Dracula t-shirt – she said it was so disturbing. I told her that it was a beautiful love story.

Shadow of the Vampire

This is a fictionalized account of what happened during the filming of Nosferatu. Willem Dafoe is Nosferatu and he is spot on! It’s just an odd, quirky film but so fascinating.

The first and unauthorized version of Dracula and the vampire legend. The vampire is renamed Count Orlok and he is incredibly creepy. This is a must-see for every vampire fan.

Again, none resemble my story at all. Think more of a medieval fantasy quest that just happens to feature vampires. And a bit of a love story!

A professional speaker and author, L. Diane Wolfe conducts seminars, offers book formatting, and author consultation. She’s the senior editor at Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
Find Diane at website, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads

In Darkness: The Vampire

By L. Diane Wolfe
Romance/Paranormal/Vampires - Fantasy/Paranormal - Fantasy/Romance
eBook ISBN 9781939844903 $3.99

Souls shrouded in darkness…
Stuck working as a barmaid for her demanding father, Anna dreams of adventure. When mysterious strangers enter the bar, she overhears they seek Zancrela, an ancient fortress filled with treasure and a magical library. Taking her chance, she offers to guide them. The conditions: deliver Zancrela or die.
As they journey through the wilderness, she discovers their secret: they are vampires. And most view her as food. One takes interest in her and her heart dares to hope, but it might not be enough to change her fate. Will Anna find Zancrela or become a vampire morsel?

Links: Amazon / iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Scribed / Goodreads

News and Reviews

Katatonia - Sky Void of Stars

Katatonia is one of those rare bands that have endured, and they are celebrating thirty-plus years of awesomeness with what is (for me) their best album. Their roots may be doom/gothic metal, but this album is progressive and full of energy. Every song is on point with great hooks, catchy choruses, and intense grooves. It clocks in at 51 minutes and it’s all meat, no filler. There are eleven tracks and if you ask me to list some favorites, I would say song one through eleven. They’re all great! It’s February and I already have a contender for album of the year. If you like your Scandinavian metal with clean vocals and a singularly unique sound, you must check out this album.
Highly recommended!

Willy’s Wonderland

From the IMDB: A quiet drifter is tricked into a janitorial job at the now condemned Willy's Wonderland. The mundane tasks suddenly become an all-out fight for survival against wave after wave of demonic animatronics.
Yes, you read that right – the animatronics come alive and kill!
This is another case of Cage playing a bat-crap crazy person. (He doesn’t say one word during the entire film.) It’s watchable though and funny in some places.
You’ll think twice about going into a Showbiz Pizza or Chuck E. Cheese’s after this film!
If you are looking for something really unique, give it a try.

Available February 14:

Balance of Love: A Sweet Fantasy Romance (Influenced Book 2) by Patricia Josephine Lynne
Enemies to lovers sweet romance fantasy
Order from all retailers HERE

Box Office

It’s been a while since I did a recap of the current worldwide box office.

Here are the top movies from 2022:

Avatar: The Way of Water - $2,213,093,090
Top Gun: Maverick - $1,488,732,821
Jurassic World: Dominion - $1,001,978,080
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness - $955,775,804
Minions: The Rise of Gru - $939,628,210
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - $842,121,221
The Batman - $770,945,583
Thor: Love and Thunder - $760,928,081

And here are the top grossing films of all time:

1 Avatar - $2,923,706,026,  2009
2 Avengers: Endgame - $2,799,439,100,  2019
3 Titanic - $2,216,990,964,  1997
4 Avatar: The Way of Water - $2,213,093,090,  2022
5 Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens - $2,071,310,218,  2015

There are now fifty-one movies that have made over a billion dollars! The oldest one in the bunch is Jurassic Park, 1993. Next oldest is Titanic, 1997. Both of their totals are impressive.

Three of the top five are from James Cameron for a take of over seven billion dollars. He’s not hurting!

What vampire films do you like? Picking up Diane’s book? Heard Katatonia or seen Willy’s Wonderland? Seen all of the big box office winners last year or all time?
Enjoy your February and I’ll see you March 1 for the next Insecure Writer’s Support Group post.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Special Friends, Series to Watch, and February Movie Preview

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.

The awesome co-hosts for the February 1 posting of the IWSG are Jacqui Murray, Ronel Janse van Vuuren, Pat Garcia, and Gwen Gardner!

February 1 question - If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?

My publisher will touch base with me to get a better description of a scene they are considering for the cover. Then I just wait and see what they design. And I’ve yet to be disappointed!

And thanks to everyone who participated or spread the word about #IWSGPit on January 25 – we were trending! (And trending so well, we were getting spammed with a ton of ads.)
If you participated and end up with requests or even a contract, let us know.

On February 1, WEP is back, better, bigger, bolder. We’re in our eleventh year, so Team WEP has learned what writers want.  If you’re a writer who practises your skills on a regular basis –- likes to try out your WIP -  get feedback on your writing - win an editing prize from professionals - be included in a book of the best of WEP writing, be part of a supportive online writing community -- WEP is for you.

This year our bi-monthly prompts are based on movies – so we give you the Year of Movies. We have a Challenges 2023 page packed with creative ideas.

Posting for this challenge is February 15 - 17.

Check out our new-look website here!

Special Friends!

My special friend, Robyn Alana Engel sent me a case of Hot Tamales and a wonderful note. She says her word of the year is gratitude, and I am certainly grateful for a friend like her. (Be sure to pick up one of her books.) She definitely rocks!

And no, these Hot Tamales will not last the year.

What to Watch

The Rig

A strange fog rolls in on a remote Scottish oil rig and crazy stuff ensues.
This one has great characters. A couple of them you really hope will make it to the end.
It does have a couple issues and missteps, but the storyline is still good and enjoyable.
If you like science fiction weird with a Scottish accent, this is the series for you.  Streaming on Amazon Prime.

Battlebots: Champions Tournament

Yes! More Battlebots. Battles with some of the best bots on the circuit.
The funny thing about Battlebots is when it ends, you just want more Battlebots.
Season ends soon so jump on this one quick!

February Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for February. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

17 –

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Director: Peyton Reed
Stars: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Jonathan Majors, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Douglas
Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, along with Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, explore the Quantum Realm, where they interact with strange creatures and embark on an adventure that goes beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.
They’re doing a movie based on an album by The Who? Oh wait, that’s Quadrophenia. (That one’s for the Boomers.)

24 –

Cocaine Bear
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Stars: Ray Liotta, Keri Russell, Margo Martindale
An oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists, and teens converge in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound black bear goes on a murderous rampage after unintentionally ingesting cocaine.
This will be a trilogy, followed by Crack Squirrel and Meth Badger.

Do you work on your own covers or have input? Did you participate in #IWSGPit? Watching either show? Either movie rock your boat?