These guys are hilarious. I laughed ridiculously hard watching these guys lip sync. I think Stephen Merchant and Joseph Gordon-Levitt killed it. Check out their lip sync battle here courtesy of the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon YouTube channel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Facebook page.
I follow several blogs and subscribe to even more emailings & newsletters that specifically advertise book releases, galleys (eCopy or otherwise), and ARCs. I get a ton of inside information and advanced copies for review, but rarely do I read a blurb or press packet and get that ‘I must have it’ feeling.
One of the aforementioned (and most-popular) email blasts that I subscribe to is called “Shelf Awareness.” They send me a core email and a digest twice daily, and they are always chocked full of interesting book releases and information.
One such email graced my inbox yesterday (and ‘yes’ I still use Netscape.net as my email client) and sported a truly awesome advertisement for a novel called, “The Clockwork Scarab” by Colleen Gleason What immediately grabbed me was the advertisements plug, which reads as follows:
Evaline Stoker, Sister of Bram, & Mina Holmes, Niece of Sherlock
This concept is truly brilliant. Combining one of the most popular characters and writers of the 20th century (Sherlock Holmes & Bram Stoker) in a singular supernatural novel is something that needs to happen more often. I recall first hearing about the sequel to Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” by his great grand-nephew, Dacre Stoker, and only then has my intrigue been rivaled by my interest in “The Clockwork Scarab.”
Considering the similar nature and tone of the source materials along with all of the wonderful television adaptations of Sherlock Holmes and modernizations of “Dracula” it makes perfect sense for these two classics to converge.
I look forward to cracking into Gleason’s “The Clockwork Scarab”– She had me at the proverbial “Hello.”
- The clockwork scarab : a Stoker & Holmes novel by @colleengleason (booktrailers4kidsandya.wordpress.com)
- Watch Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) Movie Online Megavideo (lamphs1.wordpress.com)
- Bram Stoker’s Dracula 1992 (meangoblin.com)
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (stuartayrisblog.org)
- Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” (anag7.wordpress.com)
- ‘My Vampire Tooth and Reading Dracula’ by Fiza Pathan (insaneowl.com)
- Reviewing a Classic: Dracula by Bram Stoker (theroamingreader.wordpress.com)
- Trading Card Set of the Week – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992, Topps) (blogintomystery.com)
- Dracula: From Bela Lugosi to Jonathan Rhys Meyers (geek-news.mtv.com)
With the release of Stephen King’s “Doctor Sleep” right around the corner (9.24.2013), buzz has started to generate en masse– Numerous websites, blogs, and book sellers are running contests offering FREE copies of “The Shining” sequel dependent on the contestants involvement in their site or the plugging of King’s novel.
One such establishment, the Early Reader’s Club, has been steadily and frequently uploading posts concerning “Doctor Sleep,” while staggering their announcements of the winners of their coveted “Doctor Sleep” editions.
On today’s post, they released the “Doctor Sleep” TV promotional trailer, which can be viewed here on the Examiner by clicking on the attached video. It is definitely a bit eerie and surreal, but if it wasn’t…I would have been disappointed.
Check back here for more “Doctor Sleep” news as it becomes available, and if I’m lucky an early review of the novel itself.
- Stephen King’s “Doctor Sleep” promotional trailer released (Video) (examiner.com)
- Stephen King Loses His Blood (esquire.com)
- Stephen King Will Pick Up Where ‘The Shining’ Left Off With ‘Doctor Sleep’ (contactmusic.com)
- Stephen King Discusses The Shining & Doctor Sleep On The BBC (firewireblog.com)
- King ‘nervous’ about Shining sequel (bbc.co.uk)
- VIDEO: Stephen King returns to The Shining (bbc.co.uk)
- The Shining Sequel Preview Available at Apple’s iBookstore (macobserver.com)
- Stephen King Returns In Doctor Sleep, The Sequel To The Shining (booktopia.com.au)
- Here’s Danny! ‘Doctor Sleep’ Picks Up Where ‘Shining’ Left Off (npr.org)
- Stephen King ‘nervous’ over Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep (theweek.co.uk)
Cogswell College in Sunnyvale, California proclaimed today that their director of the Digital Media Management program just released his first novel “Among the Veils” this past August. Sweet’s wife described the novel as: “Harry Potter meets The Wire.” Definitely a unique and intriguing mash-up Sweet was inspired to write during a darker, more tragic period of his life when his father was suffering through Alzheimer’s and was eventually hospitalized for the condition.
I wrote this story in my mind while watching over my father–I wanted to create an interactive experience for the reader and really involve them in every aspect of the story,” says Sweet. “I call this genre, ‘urban sci-fi’ or ‘street sword and sorcery.’
“Among the Veils” follows protagonist Clay Durward who works as a psychiatrist in San Francisco’s more impoverished districts. When summoned to protect a little boy at a crime scene Clay discovers that the boy is not precisely what he seems. Possessing the spirits of ancient, Egyptian deities, the boy and Clay eventually become embroiled by a mythical war that encompasses the darker parts of America’s corners.
Bret Sweet’s will be launching his book in San Francisco with a public signing and reading on Saturday, October 5th, 2013, at the Excelsior Branch of the YMCA. For those that can’t attend the October 5th launch party, other events are scheduled in and around the Bay Area.
“Among the Veils” is intended to be apart of a larger series dubbed the ‘Paper Thrones’ series, so come back soon to read up on more information regarding Bret Sweet’s newest novel and series.
- Cogswell’s new engineering director on why it can be the school the tech industry needs (bizjournals.com)
- Cogswell College & Stanford University Collaborate on the Soundtrack of Soon-to-Be-Released ‘Driven’ Animation Short (virtual-strategy.com)
- Biggest museum theft in Egyptian history: Over 1,000 artifacts stolen (rt.com)
- U.S. Concrete’s San Francisco Bay Area Operating Company Reduces Traffic and Neighborhood Impact for Sunnyvale’s Moffett Park and San Francisco’s Presidio Parkway Projects (virtual-strategy.com)
I have been on a huge “Planet of the Apes” kick lately, which is odd considering that my interest in the series has been sporadic and never immersive. I have never dived so headlong into the franchise until now. I have been a cursory fan for the better part of two-decades– A mere acquaintance to the series and its inhabitants. My mom introduced me to the Charlton Heston classics at a young age, which most-likely helped cultivate my current love of science fiction as well as fantasy in almost all mediums.
Very few things can compare to the first time you Heston coming upon the Statue of Liberty at the finale 1968’s “Planet of the Apes.” It is a classic in its own right, but that scene is so revelatory and momentous that it is difficult to explain its significance. In the span of only a couple secondsFranklin J. Schaffner ties American culture and pride (through the use of the Statue of Liberty) to the heart of science fiction.
Nevertheless, I’m starting to digress. Long story short, the 1968 version of “Planet of the Apes” is phenomenal and is a must-watch for anyone with even (just as I had) a cursory interest in the genre and/or series.
Flash forward several years later– At the age of twelve, I am eagerly awaiting Tim Burton’s reboot of “Planet of the Apes.” It is 2001. The film has high expectations, a solid cast, and a high profile director. William Broyle, Jr.’s script was the largest part to the failure of the film. It was flat, strove for clever plot points (which resulted in confusion), and paid absolutely no homage to the five films before it.
Another ten-years pass and Fox decides to reboot the series once more with 2011’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” starring James Franco. Most people I come in contact with love James Franco. I can’t stand him. He is like Michael Cera in the fact that he can act as himself. As my friend, Josh, would say, “He is a one trick pony.” However, I like Cera’s trick, (opposed to Franco’s) and here is why: I never feel like Franco brings anything new to the table, or improves as the films and years wane on. His stoner movies are shallow, and represent a culture that I’m not too fond of (or find amusing), so on the whole I shy away from him. His brother Dave, though…not a half bad actor– I can’t wait to see him future films.
Again…long story short, I resisted watching “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” because I dislike James Franco. Ironically enough, I received a copy of the film from my mother last Christmas, and after all these months I finally sat down and watched it.
It was amazing.
I absolutely loved the film. James Franco’s performance was spectacular, the plot was fantastic, the CGI was more than exceptional, and besides paying respect to Heston’s classic it forged its own path like a true, quality reboot should strive to accomplish.
Besides having thirteen-years, a MacBook, and a checking account on my twelve-year-old self– I also have Wikipedia and Amazon. The “Planet of the Apes” universe was my oyster and I was going to crack it slowly, so that I could enjoy it.
The first bit of knowledge that I gleaned from my Wiki source was that the series was originally based on a French novel of the same name by Pierre Boulle. I could have purchased a cheap copy for my Kindle, but I decided to go cheaper by purchasing an original 1963 English translation by Xan Fielding. After $5.45 and several days, I had my worn paperback in my greedy little hands and I began reading. It is a quick read at roughly 130 pages– It only took two sittings to finish the novella.
I was simply flabbergasted. It is an amazing book. It hits upon humanism, racism, science fiction, futurism, the dissipating Nuclear Family, and a myriad of other real world problems topics and problems that continue to be relevant today. It more amazing than the Heston films and is a must-read by anyone with a working brain. The most surprising part about the whole affair is that such a fantastic novel could have been written by a Frenchmen…who knew!?
Just as selfishly as I was when purchasing and reading into the “Planet of the Apes” lore, I am sharing my new found nerdery with you. I honestly don’t have any wisdom to impart, just good ol’ fashioned fandom at its finest. My next course of action is to purchase the original five film “Planet of the Apes” Blu-Ray collection, and repeatedly cycle through them in high definition so that I can further my addiction.
Have you ever dived headlong into a new or old series and felt the same sort of elation? The want to know and experience everything and anything about your particular love? If so, drop me a line and tell me about it. I’d love to find me a new nerd addiction.
- Damn Dirty Japes: Planet Of The Apes (1963) Revisited (thequietus.com)
- Genre of ’68 – “Planet of the Apes” (nerdist.com)
- ‘Planet of the Apes and Philosophy’ Breaks Through the Forbidden Zone of the Mind (Review) (popmatters.com)
- The Planet of the Apes 1968: Behind the Scenes (markosun.wordpress.com)
- Chicago performer/writer Ian Belknap wants the head of James Franco (voices.suntimes.com)
- 5 Dystopian Movies Worthy of Remakes (matthewhanover.com)
- James Franco Is Our Shaven Grace! (perezhilton.com)
- The Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011) (harshilfilmreviews.wordpress.com)
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) (vorganamovies.wordpress.com)
- James Franco Shaves His Beard Off (lukewilliamsgossip.wordpress.com)
Check out Andrew Kaplan’s “Scorpion Deception,” the newest entry in Kaplan’s “Scorpion Series,” which just released last Tuesday (28 May 2013). Last year about this time, I had the pleasure of winning an ARC of “Scorpion Winter.” I praised Kaplan’s engaging prose and solid narrative. His writing is incredibly reminiscent of the classic spy novels of the past several decades, and his style can easily be compared to that of Ian Fleming, Raymond Benson, John le Carré, Tom Clancy, and Joseph Kanon.
Following Kaplan’s first two entries in the successful “Scorpion Series,” “Scorpion Deception” aims to raise the bar on the spy genre once-more.
Kaplan had this to say about his latest endeavor:
Frankly, with Syria in the news and the U.S. contemplating military action against Iran that could escalate into war, I can’t think of a book that will give readers greater insight into what’s happening today in the undercover war of espionage and more importantly, what’s going on inside Iran, posht-e pardeh “behind the curtain”, than Scorpion Deception. All this in an incredibly suspenseful story about love – Scorpion’s most passionate love ever – and deception that rockets from the refugee camps of Africa and across Europe to Tehran’s ruling inner circles. This is by far, the most timely and perhaps important book I’ve ever written.
So, if you are looking for a no holds barred, spy romp that is fast-paced and chocked full of intelligence gathering and espionage, than “Scorpion Deception” is the novel for you. “Scorpion Deception” is currently available in print, ebook, and audio books formats wherever books are sold. Check it out, and give it at least a ‘Cheers’ in appreciation.
I am huge fan of the author Jeremy Robinson. I try to follow his posts and updates through Goodreads, and for the most part I am successful. This post particularly caught my eye, because the act of critiquing and being critiqued is a hard pill to swallow for anyone especially a writer. I think that Jeremy Robinson sums it up best in his latest blog entry.
To Read or Not To Read…Reviews by Jeremy Robinson
I’ve seen a good number of blog posts recently from fellow authors focusing on the issue of reviews, which can be, and often are, posted by folks with rude dispositions, grudges, agendas, etc. For a new author, even an honest negative review can be soul crushing. To the experienced author, with thicker skin, negative reviews can be a distraction. So the advice being given is generally this: don’t read reviews for your books. Sounds good on the surface. By not exposing yourself to these negative opinions, you are protecting yourself from the pain delivered by Internet trolls with nothing better to do than harass an author. The troll might be angry after reading the first line of a book sample, or might disagree with the pricing, or might be annoyed that Harriet Klausner gave your book 4 stars, or any number of silly reasons for an anonymous rant. And YES, these people should be ignored. They’ve likely taken to the Internet for attention, because the people in their real lives have begun ignoring their sour mood.
BUT, by ignoring ALL reviews you are also missing out on some well thought-out critique. Many readers, including some die-hard fans who know your books better than you do, take time to offer honest opinions, often based on a lifetime of reading. To discount this suggests a few things that I don’t think are good for any writer, new or experienced:
1) That your writing is flawless, or at least so far advanced that Joe-reader can’t find a flaw.
2) That you can’t learn from your fans, or even from your detractors.
3) That readers are, in a way, the enemy, if they don’t like your book.
4) That you are detached from your fans.
Now, before anyone hates on me for implying authors who ignore reviews are fan-hating ego-maniacs, that’s not what I’m saying. The point is that they’re missing out. On connecting with readers. On improving as authors. On increasing sales (in the long run). As someone who has received his fair share of angry, spiteful and even hateful reviews, I understand the temptation to turn away from reading reviews entirely. A bad review, especially a scathing one that is…accurate…can ruin your day. But they can also make future days brighter, if you pay attention to what is being said.
I didn’t begin my creative career as a writer. I went to art school. And every day, we would draw or paint, carve or shape, pouring ourselves into the creation of an image in the same way that an author does a novel. And at the end of every day, we would line them all up and spend a half hour critiquing. And not always gently. And this is universal to art schools. There is something about visual arts culture that recognizes the best way to improve is through frequent honest critique and listening to that critique. This process became part of my creative experience and still is today. I love critique, because whenever someone takes the time to work out the flaws in my art, or writing (and there will always be flaws), I get better.
A few years ago, after the release of THRESHOLD and before I started writing SECONDWORLD, I went to my editor and said, I’ve done three hardcovers for you now. I want to take things to the next level. Tear me apart. Tell me what I can do better. And he did, but not before saying, with a trace of amazement, “You are the first author to ever ask me to do this,” which surprised me at the time, but I’ve since learned that authors really don’t enjoy being told what’s wrong with their writing, or stories, and maybe their blog posts on the subject. But the result of this critique, and my applying it to SECONDWORLD, was that sales doubled, the book got a lot of press and my audience grew.
As a writer, I began as a self-publisher. Without any connections in the writing world, I had only two sources of honest critique: my wife and my readers. I released five novels on my own (what I now call the Origins Editions), and the improvement from book to book is pretty obvious. Without honest readers, I’d never have improved, and I’d never have signed a deal with Thomas Dunne Books and 47 North, or become a bestselling self-published author.
But why am I still reading reviews? I have an editor. Hell, I have FOUR editors. And an agent. And lots of author pals. Why still read the reviews?
Because I am not writing for my editors, or my agent, or my author pals. I am writing for YOU, the reader, and for ME. While I pick the content most of the time, I listen to my fans. I’ve written and am writing sequels, because of requests from fans. I’m currently writing I AM COWBOY because of how many people expressed their love of the Czech Cowboy from SECONDWORLD. And I’m still reading reviews because I want my future books to be better than they are now. And that’s only going to happen if 1) honest people speak their mind, and 2) I listen.
Last October, I released RAGNAROK, the fourth Jack Sigler book, co-authored with Kane Gilmour. Kane did an amazing job at matching my style, and we worked closely throughout the process, but I knew it would be different than the previous three. That it would feel different. That there would be flaws introduced simply because it was a collaboration and because I’m not perfect, and neither is Kane (and he would agree). So I was very pleased when a few reviewers spotted these flaws that I couldn’t see and pointed them out in reviews. And after reading them, I agreed with many of them and discussed them with Kane. We’re working hard to apply them to OMEGA, which will be an even better book than RAGNAROK, which I should point out was my first Amazon.com bestseller and has a 4.5 star rating after 110 reviews.
So, if you’re an author, buck the trend that says you don’t need to read reviews. Yes, ignore the nut-jobs. Skim the 5 stars if time is short. But pay attention to those 2 – 4 star reviews. Critiques shouldn’t be feared, ignored or undervalued. They’re good for you. Sure, there are tons of people reviewing books, and not all of them are right, but those nuggets of insight from dedicated fans and readers are invaluable. If you really believe that a reader can’t possibly improve a writer, you’re mistaken. My readers, who are awesome, dedicated, intelligent and invested, are the very BEST people to critique my books.
And if you are one of my readers, know that I am listening, that your opinion matters and that I am doing my best to make sure each and every book is better than the last.
– Jeremy Robinson
- Authors Behaving Badly (Insecure Writer’s Support Group) (outwherethebusesdontrun.com)
- Why Should I Listen To You? (lorisinnergoddess.wordpress.com)
- If You are a Writer of Stories, You Should Focus on Storytelling (katmicari.wordpress.com)
- Beta Reading 101 (kristinmcfarland.com)
- Writing with a partner, continued (floridawriters.wordpress.com)
- A View on Reviews (imagineerebooks.wordpress.com)
- Your honest opinion please (sashacameron.com)
- A Jackpot of Bad Moves (fredrayworth.com)
- Writers as critics (writeaubreywrite.wordpress.com)
- Finding Feedback: Constructive Critique DOES Exist! (kiralynblue.com)
The hotly anticipated “Doctor Sleep” by Stephen King is the sequel to his immensely popular and famous novel, “The Shining.” The idea has apparently been toying around the horror master’s brain for several years now, but was not confirmed till the audiobook of “The Wind Through the Keyhole’ was released and a prologue to “Doctor Sleep” was included as a bonus. For those interested in a text version of the aforementioned “Doctor Sleep” prologue check out Stephen King and Joe Hill’s joint eBook endeavor, “In The Tall Grass” found on Amazon.com.
“Doctor Sleep” is set to release September of 2013, and until now the cover has been a closely guarded secret amongst the folks at Scribner. However, the cover has finally been released! While you are gandering at the beautiful cover image up top, check out Cemetery Dance Publications special slipcase edition of “Doctor Sleep” by visiting their homepage and ordering now.
Although, “Doctor Sleep” is being published by Scribner, Cemetery Dance Publications has produced custom-made slipcovers for the past several King novels and has decided to included “Doctor Sleep” within this catalogue. These slipcovers add to an already great product by creating a wonderful talking point amongst friends, family, and bibliophiles.
Here is a synopsis of “Doctor Sleep”:
Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.
Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood winter, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”
Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival.
On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.
This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.
- Scribner Reveals the Official Artwork for Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep (dreadcentral.com)
- First Look: Stephen King Releases The Book Cover For ‘Doctor Sleep’, The Sequel To ‘The Shining’ (pinkisthenewblog.com)
- A Look Inside Cemetery Dance’s Special Editions of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep (dreadcentral.com)
- Cemetery Dance Publishing Special Editions of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep (dreadcentral.com)
- Stephen King Reveals The Origin of ‘The Shining’ Sequel Doctor Sleep (firewireblog.com)
- Doctor: Sleeping is great for boosting memory (time4sleep.com)
- Sleep Your Way to Better Heart Health (liheart.org)
- Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep Book Cover Revealed (firewireblog.com)
- Pre-ordering Today: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King (randomizeme.net)
- Cover and Synopsis for Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep (tor.com)
For the past two years, I have been writing and compiling an anthology of short stories, quotes, and nonfiction interludes in a collection named, “Human.” At this juncture, I now have enough material to finish my anthology, but now I need backers. I have decided to self-publish this go-around, because I wanted to get people involved–I want external support to make this a successful project, and with the popularity of KickStarter rising I decided that it would be a good idea to use it to finance the self-publication of “Human.”
I am trying to raise $3,800 to pay for the publishing, marketing, and editing services of Amazon’s CreateSpace, the rewards that the backers will receive, and the fees that KickStarter and AmazonPayments will deduct on a successful campaign. I want this to be a success; a first of many.
Check out my KickStarter campaign page by clicking the KickStarter logo below and please donate what you can. $8 will nab you an electronic copy of the anthology and $20 will get you a signed paper back with the rewards only climbing from there. However, feel free to donate even just a dollar, or at the very least spread the word. Share this post on your blog or your Facebook/Twitter account–I would greatly appreciate it!
Thank you for reading this post, and I hope you will give this project a chance. I look forward to reading your name in the ‘Thank You’ section of the short story anthology, “Human.”
- “Rory Winters” in the “Independent Author Index Short Story Compilation, Volume 1.” (politicalstrife.wordpress.com)
- [The Goblin Beat] #067 Chris Birch talks Achtung! Cthulhu (goblinbeat.com)
- Let’s Party at a Writers Conference! (faymoore.wordpress.com)
- Achtung! Cthulhu KickStarter (goblinbeat.com)
- Lightweight and Compact Fix It Sticks Multitool on KickStarter (complex.com)
- Kickstarter – Achtung! Cthulu (realityrefracted.com)
- Signs that you might be an entrepreneur – Infographic (howtowriteabusinessplan.com)
- A Work in Progress for a New Anthology – An Old Story Rewritten in German (wildandwickedcowboys.wordpress.com)
- Writer Alison Wells: Putting Joy and Energy Into Our Lives (thebestchapter.com)
- Anthologies looking for submissions in 2013 (gailkavanagh.wordpress.com)