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Sunday, June 12, 2016

My pitch for a trilogy of Galactica films

Fans of Battlestar Galactica likely heard the recent news that Universal has hired a new scribe and director to work on a feature film reboot of the show.  (Lisa Joy, writer-producer of the new Westworld show, and Francis Lawrence, director of a Hunger Games film, are attached.)  All indications are that it will be a variation on the original series and not a reboot of the recent series.

At this stage, I'm somewhat ambivalent because we know next to nothing about the film and how it will be handled.  But I've played in that universe before to some minor acclaim.  My wheels began to spin, and I crafted an outline for a trilogy of films that blend elements of both the original and reimagined series.

Now, I know.  Putting both the '70s and the '00s shows into a plot blender?  I bet it'll end up like this:

I would have said the same.

However, after having written this out, I could enjoy it.  Is it derivative?  Sure, but I think it has the potential to be an action-packed crowd pleaser.

Since there are SPOILERS for a movie that'll never get made, I'll post my pitch after the JUMP.

Friday, May 20, 2016

My son & I review Ray Harryhausen films

Followers of mine know that my son and I like to watch a bunch of movies together.  We review a great many of them over at my Tumblr page.

We started a couple of years ago, watching and reviewing about ninety kaiju-type films in the lead-up to the release of Godzilla (2014).  

Last year, we watched and reviewed about seventy-five Universal & Hammer-style classic monster movies.

Now, at my son’s request, we've watched and reviewed the filmography of the great Ray Harryhausen.


I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Harryhausen about a decade ago at an event wherein he discussed his career.  It was a cool event, largely because he screened the then-unreleased completed version of his “Tortoise & Hare” short.  (The only black mark, in my opinion, came when he criticized the recent movie King Kong [2005] for being soulless.  I thoroughly disagree with him on that point.)

Click the links to read our reviews:

Monday, May 2, 2016

"The Art of Death": Real Museum Pieces in the Book

I've made no secret that the real Virginia Museum of Fine Arts heavily influenced the fictitious Richmond Museum of Fine Arts.


After the JUMP, you'll see pics of many things at the VMFA (and elsewhere) that inspired various scenes and such in The Art of Death.

Even if you can't make it to the VMFA, maybe it'll make you want to visit your own nearby art museum.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"The Art of Death": Monsters

The Art of Death is available now and its big attraction, I think, is the preponderance of monsters.  Lots of monsters.  Maybe too many.

This is going to get spoilery, but I'm going to list all of the monsters and give (in brief) some of their powers and attributes.

Personally, I'd rather you just read the book yourself and discover them all in turn.  But we're an impatient society, I guess.

Find the monsters after the JUMP.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"The Art of Death": Characters

There are six primary human characters in The Art of Death (download links are HERE).

What follows the JUMP is a semi-spoilery examination of them and their inspirations.  If you want to go into the book virginal, I'd suggest not reading.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"The Art of Death": DOWNLOAD NOW!

Dr. Mason Karlow is a distinguished art museum director and curator with decades of experience around the globe. He's entering his twilight years as he prepares to open his latest and greatest facility. He's also quite evil. 

In a bid for eternal life, Karlow has found a Babylonian artifact and must perform an ancient ceremony in the light of a Blood Moon. He needs sacrifices, lots of sacrifices, and he gathers monsters from the world's folklore to do his bidding. 

Follow Karlow's victims as they fight for their lives in one hellish night at the museum. Vampires, werewolves, mummies, and more await you in The Art of Death!

Available at Smashwords HERE ... use code FR93K to get it for just 99¢
Available at Amazon HERE for $2.99
Available at iTunes HERE for $2.99
Available at Barnes & Noble HERE for $2.99
Available at Kobo HERE for $2.99
Available at Inktera HERE for $2.99
Available at Blio HERE for $2.99

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

"The Art of Death": Deleted Scene and Tone

My initial inspiration for The Art of Death came from the idea of an evil museum curator gathering a bunch of artifacts and raising the classic Universal monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, Wolf Man, etc.) to do his bidding.  Sounds pretty fun.

I couldn't use trademarked characters, of course, so that sent me looking around the world for "real" monsters of folklore and myth.  I found quite a few really, really cool ones.  Unfortunately, "real" monsters aren't very fun.  They're gruesome.  Parts of this book became a splatter fest thanks to these things.  I mean, I needed to consult for "entrails" synonyms.

Needless to say, some of the "fun" concepts I had in mind early on seem painfully tone deaf now.  Below, you'll find one such scene.  It's been altered in the final book.

"Wait."  The others stopped in the outer room and looked back at her.  Reed walked toward the portrait that Leigh had been staring at.  "I've heard noises before in here.  Beeping."  She pulled on the frame and it didn't budge.  Then she reached for the right side of the frame and tugged.  The portrait swung out from the wall, revealing an electronic safe.

"Wow," Terry said.

"Good work," Chaney said.  He walked up behind her and saw the keypad.  "Any idea about the combination?"


Leigh looked at it and said, "How many digits?"

"Looks like four," Lyons said. 

"Are there letters on the buttons?" she asked.

"No.  But what if the safe locks up after three failed attempts or something?"

Millie shook her head.  "I don't even know where to begin."

Griffin took a step back and sat on the arm of that leather chair.  "Well, he's supposed to be evil, right?"  Terry looked at him and the former officer said, "Try six-six-six."

Leigh shook her head and Terry said, "Really?"

Millie tapped the keys and three sixes appeared on the panel in blue light.  Then the safe clicked.

"You've got to be kidding me," Lyons said.

"But that's not even four digits," Leigh said.

One "funny" thing I will be keeping are some of the chapter titles.  I chose many of them depending on the focal monster, but I also chose some because they're over-the-top dramatic (eg, "The Grim Gala").  There are also a few that feature a group of monsters instead of just one.  For those I went with titles derived from Bobby "Boris" Pickett's song "Monster Mash."  Sure, we all know "Monster Mash," but did you know that there were three sequels?  You'll see the names for those in the book.

The Art of Death will go live on Wednesday.