Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Guest post from Dermot Cooke

Sometimes the life of a writer can be very challenging. I often seek refuge in those who uplift me. I am fortune to have such a friend who believes in postive thinking. His name is Dermot Cooke and he resides in Western, Ireland.  Today I will share his feelings about depression.  

Depression is not a physical entity in the form of a disease. It is a thought process that reacts to the negative or positive images we feed into it. If one is constantly brooding about unsavory happenings in their lives rather than the very happy ones, then they themselves are fertilizing the seeds of unhappiness in their minds. Unhappiness which is commercially labelled “depression”. I vouch for self-help and my motto is: “we are the products of our own thoughts”. Therefore, we can control our own moods and depression. The raising of one’s own self-esteem and the recognition and elimination of one’s self pity will open the doors to step out of the darkness and into the bright sunshine of stability and happiness. Many moons ago I was in that dark tunnel and came out into the light and it has been bright sunshine all the way over the years since and many others have shared my happiness. If self-help as advised above was the main agenda the Government would find itself getting change from its investment and startling change in the health of the nation. People are made stronger upon realizing that the helping hand they need is at the end of their own arm.
--By Dermot Cooke © 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Fallout series by Becky Doughty

Today I am featuring The Fallout series by Becky Doughty!

SERIES TITLE: The Fallout Series
Book One: All the Way to Heaven (FREE)
Book Two: A Light in the Dark
Book Three: A Long Way Home

TITLE: A Light in the Dark: Book Two of The Fallout Series
On stage, Tish Ransome sings about heartache and passion, betrayal, and about love gone wrong… but she knows very little about any of it in real life. The rock-star princess who swears like a pirate—literally—is loved and adored by family, friends, and fans alike, and her world is filled with good things, her future bright.
Behind the scenes, however, trouble is brewing. When Tom, her best friend and co-founder of the Marauders, tells her he’s leaving the band after graduation, Tish must find a new wingman to step into Tom’s hard-to-fill shoes. The moment she hears Sebastian Jeffries play, she knows he’s the one.
Yet with Sebastian comes a taste of the things Tish only writes about, and she can’t resist the lure of the tortured artist. Sebastian, likewise, is drawn to Tish’s brilliance, but like a moth that hovers too close to the flames, is he killing himself just to be near her? Can Tish save Sebastian before it’s too late, or will he pull her down into the darkness with him?
BUY LINKS (The Amazon one is my affiliate link, so feel free to change it to your own!):
A Light in the Dark (Book 2): Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~ Apple
All the Way to Heaven (Book 1) - FREE:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Apple
BOOK TRAILER LINK: https://youtu.be/QiJ0kbMwK2g
AUTHOR BIO (Or see the attached "Fun Facts about Becky"):
Becky Doughty is the author of the best-selling Elderberry Croft Series, The Fallout Series, The Gustafson Girls Series, Waters Fall, and more. She's also the voice behind BraveHeart Audiobooks. She writes Women's Fiction with strong elements of romance, as well as Young Adult and Coming of Age Fiction. Becky is married to her champion of more than 25 years. They have three children, two of whom are grown and starting families of their own, and they all live within a few miles of each other in Southern California. They share their lives with too many animals, a large vegetable garden, and a strange underground concrete room they're certain was built for dark and sinister purposes....
Facebook Author Page

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Exciting new release by Lila Felix!

While I'm working on final edits for the second book in the Forlorned series, I've decided to feature some of my favorite authors. Today, I am featuring Lila Felix and her novel, Lightning Kissed!

Colby Evans can leap from one country to the next in a heartbeat. She can see every sunset in every time zone in the same day. She can travel across the world in a flash. She defies gravity and physics with every breath she takes. She's tested her abilities and found them limitless. 
She is the lightning. She is Lucent. And nothing can stop her. 
Except him. 
Theodore Ramsey isn't supposed to be able to flash like Colby. The power of travel is passed on from mother to daughter in their people. Except once in every hundred generations. 
Theo is the one. 
He can flash like Colby. And it makes him a target to their enemies and to himself. His abilities change everything he knows about life and throws his future into an uncertain tangent. In fact, the only thing certain in his life is the love he feels for Colby. 
Their love defies time and space and has been the only constant thing in their lives since childhood. But even their infallible love will be stretched to its limits. 
She will risk her life to protect him. But he will risk everything to protect them all.
Interview with Lila Felix
What would you be doing right now if you were not an author?
If I were not an author, I would still be editing books for indie authors and loving every second of it.
5 years ago: what were you doing?
Five years ago, I was working nights at Wal-Mart in their cash office, counting tons of money every night.
Do you have a certain writing ritual?
My writing ritual is to listen to some inspiring music for about a half hour or read some before starting. After that, I try to write whenever I can, sneaking in the time gaps in our schedules.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
My toughest criticism has been that my endings aren’t always what the reader expected. I see this as a criticism and a compliment. I don’t really want to write what everyone expects.
Ever fangirled over another author? Who was it?
Absolutely! I’ve totally fan-girled over so many authors. I’m first and foremost a reader after all! It was actually Shelly Crane. I flew to Florida to see her and wigged out hard.
Is there an author you'd like to meet?
I would love to meet Jay Asher. 13 Reasons Why is a book that continues to impact my life every day. It makes me think about who I am and how I treat others in every situation. He’s a brilliant author. I’d probably faint.
Biggest writing pet peeve?
My biggest writing peeve is that horrible little word count box at the bottom of the page. Once I learned to make that sucker go away, I was in heaven.
Do you read other's reviews of your books?
I read other’s reviews of my books in the first month of their release. After that, I check them every 6 months or so. It can be painful and humbling to see what others think of our books.


Newsletter sign-up link: http://eepurl.com/zb5ET


Friday, February 26, 2016

Reaching Your Film Making Goals

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing."
~Walt Disney~

As a young child, I  always looked forward to Sunday nights when The Wonderful World of Disney came on television. I especially loved Mr. Walt Disney with his warm and charismatic ways. Mr. Disney wore several hats, was a self starter and brilliant businessman.  As anyone in the motion picture industry knows, filmmakers often wear several hats in order to obtain their goals. It takes hard work and dedication to get things done. It takes more doing and less talking, just as Walt Disney said. Making a motion picture was a huge undertaking. Thank Goodness for all the people that helped me in the process. Now back to Mr. Disney. Walt Disney was a voice actor and cartoonist and as I said earlier, a suburb businessman--not to mention a cultural icon. He and his brother, Roy, founded The Walt Disney Company.

My favorite ride at Disneyland is The Haunted Mansion. I really love the spooky atmosphere, like the haunted paintings, ghosts and "Doom Buggies." This creepy ride comes with state of the art theatrical effects plus vintage ones as well. Maybe this is why I chose to write a screenplay that included a spooky, haunted mansion.  My motion picture, The Forlorned, was shot in a historical mansion in Somers, Montana. The filming took place in the dead of winter--in below zero temperatures. Although this was very hard on the actors and crew, it created the perfect "chilling" atmosphere for the movie. Filming in the dead of winter came with a lot of worries, thank goodness the production company charged ahead and did it anyhow.  

Remember, if you want something done--you have to just do it (even if its in the dead of winter with no heat or running water).

Sometimes it's hard to get started. Why not take the first few steps. Start with getting a solid script together. Go through the script and figure out your budget. Don't forget to include insurance, props, actor fees, food, lodging, etc. There are many helpful guides online for budgeting for filmmakers. Get it all roughed out on paper and plan the next few months out in small goals.

The journey isn't easy but you have to start taking steps down the path in order to reach the end. Give yourself plenty of time to make the movie and to find distribution. Any questions, please contact me. I'm always glad to give helpful tips or advice when I can. Have a Wonderful Weekend!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Breaking into the movie Buisness

Breaking into the Movie Business

By Angela J. Townsend

A few years ago my writing career as a traditionally published author took a turn to motion pictures. Since that time I’ve had a flood of emails from authors seeking advice on how to obtain a motion picture deal. There are many ways to break into the industry. In this blog post I will be sharing the way that worked for me.  

I’ve learned a lot since the start of my motion picture adventures, which began in 2013. As strange as it sounds, I always envisioned my novels as movies, right from the very start. This is because I’m a visual writer. I absolutely live in the world of my creating and it is a bright and vivid place for me. In order to have a sellable screenplay, you must be able to envision the landscape that is your story. You must know every single brick in your story’s foundation, every little detail about how the world works. You must know it like you know your own soul.

A question I am often asked is, do I need a screenplay version of my novel in order to sell it? The answer is simple. In most cases, no. If you find a producer interested in your work, send them your completed novel. They’ll read it and decide if it’s a project worth pursuing. This is how it happened in my case.

If you do have a screenplay, keep in mind that every scene and element of the script will cost money to produce. So in addition to writing a wonderful script with a niche audience in mind, narrow down locations, characters and difficult special effects. It’s much easier to sell or produce a movie that doesn’t require an extra-large budget. Keep in mind movies can be very expensive to make, most studios have a budget in the millions to work with. Most independent films are generally made on a much smaller scale. 

Once you have a solid script, see if you can gather a group of volunteer actors to have a table read. Hearing the screenplay acted aloud for the first time is an unforgettable experience. I will never forget the first time I heard my words spoken from the mouths of talented actors auditioning for The Forlorned. It was life changing for me. Our casting agent held auditions in another state. I watched the actor who played one of my main characters and fought back tears. Not only was it a surreal experience for me, it also gave me ideas of how I could make every word count to push my screenplay forward.

I had an advantage with being familiar with the genre in which I wrote. I suggest you do the same. Do your homework and know your target audience. What hook will you use? What are the popular trends in your genre in the film industry?  You may find most of your answers by performing a simple google search. Go to Google and sign into ad words. Once you are there, try Google’s keyword planner. This is a wonderful tool that will allow you to input words that will give you an idea of how many people are searching for your particular genre and if there is a genuine interest in what you write.

The next step is to find a producer with a solid background and connections to the industry. A seasoned producer will also have connections to funding sources. To get started I recommend searching IMDB (Internet movie database). This is a wonderful way to find out what movies are produced in your genre and the quality of the work. If you love the movie, look and see who produced it. Gather a list of names to contact.  

Everyone involved in my film, The Forlorned, can be found on IMDB. It’s a trusted resource for me. Make sure whoever you work with are experienced with connections in the industry.

After you find a producer interested in your work, I suggest that you obtain an Entertainment Attorney. Make sure they have experience and a proven history in Entertainment law. I work closely with mine and I find that his advice has been priceless. Every state in the U.S. has a bar association. These associations will give referrals and also keeps public records on disciplinary actions taken against attorneys. It’s a great way to make sure who you work with can be trusted. You can find the bar association for your state by going to the American Bar Association website and looking under State & Local Bar Associations tab.

Last but not least, you must believe in yourself and your project. It takes hard work and dedication. If you have questions I’m always happy to help. The quickest way to reach me is through my twitter account for The Forlorned (please see below).


American Bar Association: http://www.americanbar.org/aba.html

IMDB-Internet movie database:  http://www.imdb.com/

Entertainment production software: http://www.lightspeedeps.com/

Capture Audience leads:  http://www.aweber.com/easy-email.htm

The Forlorned on twitter: https://twitter.com/TheForlorned


Monday, February 15, 2016

Finding Time To Write and Make Movies

This is a very busy time in my life. I not only have many books to market, but I am also working on marketing and finishing more movies scripts, contracts and projects.

The Forlorned is definitely not my only or last movie. I'm so excited that there will be many more movies in my future. It hasn't all been easy.  I will never complain about my job or the time it takes up. I am truly doing what I love to do--my dream job. I love my book fans and I cherish their friendships. I am so grateful to those that support me and keep me moving forward.

A huge thank you to all of you! Although its hard for me to respond to all your emails, I will try to write to as many people as possible. You really do matter to me and I appreciate your endless support!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

From Novel to Big Screen

When my novel, The Forlorned was adapted to a screenplay for a motion picture, the majority of the plot was changed in order to meet the demands of a budget and time restrictions. A lot of the fans of the novel will notice many differences between the book and the movie, especially the last half of the movie and the ending.

The good news is that although the film is not an exact replica of my book, it still cares the same message. A message that no solider should be left buried and forgotten--no matter how long ago the death occurred.

As I near completion of the second and third script adaption for The Forlorned movie sequels, I get more and more excited. What started out as a single film has now grown into several. I feel that as a writer, I have finally found what I love to do most. To create stories and to share them!

Please stayed tuned for more updates this week. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Forlorned Motion Picture--How I broke into the Movie Business

Many people have asked how I was able to get my book turned into a movie.  The answer is simple, with hard work, endless dedication and lots of faith. Years ago a wise old sage informed me that only with hard work does one achieve success. Although I believed this advice was true, I found it hard to keep moving forward and to not give up. I was a struggling author and a single mom. Even though there were moments I wanted to quit, I kept working long hard days and nights. Most nights I would work until nearly sunrise, I'd go to bed for a couple hours and then be up again in time for work the next day.

There were many times I wanted to give up. I was exhausted, but I persisted in going after the brass ring and I'm glad that I did.

At the start of my journey I did a lot of research into horror movies, how they were made and who directed and produced them. I wanted someone top notch to do my film. I was lucky to connect with a director right away---And no, it wasn't a "catchy title" that caught their eye or some other gimmick, it was the a story that stood out in the genre. A unique tale of a young man alone on a lighthouse island haunted by ghost soldiers from the War of 1812.

Getting my novel turned into a script and then onto the big screen took a monumental amount of work. My director and producer read my script and quickly adapted it. Those two extraordinary people made my novel come to life on the big screen and I will be forever grateful to them.

The key to any successful project is to find believers. People who support your goals and ideas. I was very fortunate to have a producer, director and a business partner who were willing to work alongside of me for a common goal.

One particularly hard day, I sent a text message to my director Andy Wiest. I told him I wanted to give up. I just couldn't go on. I will never forget his reply. "I'm sticking this out with you until the very end Angie, no matter what." Andy's words of support kept me going.

I encourage all struggling artists to find people who believe in them. People willing to work together to achieve a common goal.

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