Monday, December 05, 2016

Nano 2016 Winner

It was a bit of a slog towards the end, but I'm happy to report that I won this year's NaNoWriMo by completing my novel The Last Giant Killer. I had my doubts as I was one I was starting from scratch and I had a week of vacation out of the country to contend with. I managed to come back strong the day I returned to the states and caught up to where I was supposed to be and even managed to pull ahead. Then I finished two days before the event ended.

Not bad.

Those last few thousand words were killer, though. I swear it was like my inspiration was drained out of me and even with an outline I was having a hell of a time putting words to paper. Now it is done and I can get back to editing I Was a Teenage Sex Robot and finish up the cover too so I can get that published this winter. Hopefully I'll be able to put the next book to bed after that and then circle around to The Last Giant Killer and make that the next release, as I really like it.

Cheers!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016

It's that time of year again--November to be specific. The time when Halloween is not yet even a fading memory that those who are so inclined break out their notebooks and computers and what have you and begin the ultimate adventure.

That adventure, of course, is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. This is where thousands of people decide to test their mettle and see if they can pump out 50,000 words of a novel in one month. This means, of course, hitting a daily limit if you want to finish by the 30th of November. This also means, that you will probably be surly, cranky, anxiety ridden and sleepless as you try to get those words down in addition to all the other things you have to do in life.

You know, like work.

Or having dinner with family.

Or seeing family, for that matter.

It's a tough grind. Some people finish way early. Some are working right up until the buzzer. I try to be the former but I'm usually the latter. That doesn't make it any less fun, watching as your words fall out of you onto the page and start to form a little word of your own.

Until you hit that one blank page. You know the one. It's always there, mocking you, saying that you will never be able to put a single word on him. That page is a son of a bitch, and you must make him pay. Make him eat your words, and make his friends do the same. Keep making them choke until your very last word is crammed right down their throats.

Then congratulations are in order, because you have just written a novel.

Now you just have to edit it.

Anyhow, that aside, I'm partaking again this year. Last year I came close but didn't win. I did manage to get a heck of a book out of it and I'm hoping the same will happen this time.

Good luck to everyone and I hope to see you in the winner's circle.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

End of September Status Update

With FNF Book 3 ready to be proofed, I've started work on Book 4, which is tentatively titled "Cheerleaders of the Blind Dead." I'm toying with the idea of working on it for Nanowrimo but I've got too many ideas for it I need to get out and I'm not sure they'll last until November. So I'll probably be writing it all through October instead. Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to work on in Nanowrimo. Maybe that sci-fi novel I keep thinking about.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Friday Night Frights Returns

The second novel in the Friday Night Frights saga is here! Fledgling vampire hunters David Gale and Arvid Johansen are taking a few days off to relax at a leadership camp they received an invitation to. They expected campfire stories and trust falls and a little vacation from the undead. Instead, it looks like one of the local legends has come to life when campers start disappearing. Add in a beautiful vampire with a grudge against them and it looks like this will be one sleepaway camp they might not walk away from. 

The Madman of Lake Mongawonga is my loving tribute to the slasher movies that I grew up watching with a few twists and turns thrown in to keep it fresh and fun.

You can find it in paperback and Kindle versions on Amazon.

Happy reading!

Friday, December 11, 2015

We Are Still Here

This post title works both as identifying the movie I just watched and to let you know that I still update. I originally purchased this Blu-Ray with the intent of watching it during Halloween. Things intervened and I was unable to complete that goal. I am glad I waited however as the movie is set during the winter and a chill in the air and snow on the ground while you watch it help set the mood even more.

Of course it's 65 here and sunny but I digress.

The Sachetti's are moving into a new house in a new town in the year 1979. Their son died on the way back home from college and they think that a change of venue will do them a world of good.

They may have miscalculated that last bit.

From the moment them move in, things don't seem right around the house. Anne (played wonderfully by the talented Barbara Crampton), thinks that Bobby, their son, has moved into the house with them in spirit and that explains the strange goings on. Paul, her husband, just thinks that it's an old house with accompanying old house problems, like a furnace that turns the basement into a sweltering hellhole whenever it is on and power that flickers regularly.

It doesn't help things that the townsfolk are rather put off by the newcomers to the town and are giving them the cold shoulder, save for a man named Dave and his quiet wife Cat, who are friendly but still a little off.

Enter Larry Fessenden and Lisa Marie as Jacob and May, who have a way of communing with spirits and will help reveal what exactly the presence in the house is trying to do and what dark secret the townsfolk don't want them to know.

This is a beautiful little film from first time director Ted Geoghegan. Even thought it's a period piece, it could play in any time with it's rural New England setting that I've seen many times in my trips up and down the coast. You can see the pedigree of 70s horror that runs in its veins, with a heavy nod towards the films of Lucio Fulci (House by the Cemetery in particular), though I don't think it gets as weird as some of those. It shares that dreamy quality that I recall from Let's Scare Jessica to Death but still has grounded scenes like the bar scene that bring to mind The Wicker Man, among others.

There is a slow burn to it, ramping up with the happening until all hell breaks loose in the third act, that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen to the couple and if they'll be able to make it out of the house before the previous occupants force them to stay--permanently. Of course I would be remiss if I did not mention the copious gore in the film. I should have expected it in a movie that people had described as "Fulci as fuck" but it surprised me as to how much there were. The majority of it is set in the last act but it was well worth the wait.

We Are Still Here is beautifully shot and acted and well worth seeking out if you are a fan of haunted houses and horror movies. It's nice to see a homage to the movies that I grew up with that, while steeped in the, works as its own movie and doesn't rely too heavily on your love for the past to win you over. I'm looking forward to see what else Mr. Geoghegan comes out with in the future, as this movie has definitely put him on my radar as a talent to watch.

Check it out.


Tuesday, December 01, 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

I tried. I struggled valiantly. I was diligent as I could be, could beyond the call of duty at times and others barely squeaking out the words for the day.

But I failed.

The Thanksgiving weekend, where I would usually make up for tons of slacking earlier, proved to be my downfall as I wrote barely anything as I met the commitments of family and building a train table for my wife's Christmas village. This put me into a deficit that I vainly clawed at the sides to get out of, but in the end, I slid down the sides to my inevitable doom.

Mark my word count at the time of demise at 47,070.

It is a goodly amount of words, but it is not enough to win.

I'm sorry novel, I have failed you.

Or have I? You see, despite being about 3,000 words shy (2, 930 to be precise), the novel is complete. It has a beginning, a middle and a hell of an end. I even tacked on an epilogue I didn't think I'd need but it managed to wrap things up nicely.

Now all that is left to do is flesh it out. The skeleton is there and you can see the connective tissue, but I will have to go about fattening it up and stringing the flesh onto it so it goes from looking like a gaunt, emaciated hell creature and into something a little more fetching.

So in failure, I did manage to get a small taste of victory. And for that, I am happy.

Now to get back to Friday Night Frights 2 and finish my editing on that once and for all.

Then maybe, The Girl at the Bottom of the Bottle can finally get out as well.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ant-Man

I don't get out to the movies much anymore. It's a lot harder when you have a kid who is still too young to watch all of the horror movies I want to see. Fortunately, I did get out to see Ant-Man while the rest of the family was occupied. I'm glad I did. It was a wonderful film with smaller stakes than a lot of the superhero movies lately but easily the biggest heart.

No pun intended.

The movie follows Scott Lang, a thief who is fresh out of prison and trying to start life over so he can do right by his little girl. Unfortunately, that's kind of tough when you have a prison record and most honest jobs don't want anything to do with him. Enter Hank Pym.

Hank has a problem too. His protege, Darren Cross, is about to recreate Pym's research into Pym particles which allow you to shrink and grow objects at will. Cross wants to sell this to the military and have the whole concept of war revamped. Seeing how this could be devastating, Pym recruits Lang to help steal the prototype suit that Cross would use to show off his work. As you might imagine, Lang is in a bit over his head. Fortunately, Pym's daughter Hope is around to show him the ropes and help train him in becoming Ant-Man.

What results from all of this is a fun and action-filled heist film that is grounded in the Marvel Universe and loaded with great characters you can't wait to see more of. The fights when Lang is shrunk down are particularly great, as something as simple as a bathroom can become a massively new terrain with hazards and dangers to navigate.  The effect is dizzying and dazzling and looks really great in 3d, which I'm usually not a fan of.

The smaller stakes in the film also help it feel like an issue of a comic book. There's not a massive threat bearing down on the city or the world that has to be handled. Instead, it's about taking down one man and solving a problem that the Avengers would be too busy to handle. Speaking of which, there's a great cameo from an Avenger that is one of the highlights of the film. I don't want to spoil though the trailers on TV did that for me.

The cast is great and have a great chemistry together. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly as Scott and Hope are terrific and I'm looking forward to a sequel where they can be the dynamic duo that the movie hints at. It's just a shame that with all the movies on Marvel's slate, we'll most likely have to wait awhile to see them in their own film. Here's hoping they have spots in Captain America: Civil War and the Infinity Gauntlet.

Check it out