Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Bird of Time has but a little way To fly --- and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

A very happy November to you all!  I have a trailer to the movie I wrote with Brent Huff, “Black Rose”

Looks pretty cool, I think.  Black Rose will be released in January nationwide (Russia nationwide, that is) in theaters, and will be seen on DVD some time in 2014. My second film to be shot in Moscow, The Boy, goes before cameras in December of this year.  I’ll be heading to Red Square this time around, hoping to see Katherine’s jewels and shoot some groovy vodka. In January, I co-produce a film in Connecticut from my script, A Fatal Obsession, which stars Eric Roberts, Tracy Nelson and yours truly as The Beaver.  Busy 90 days ahead, providing my cirrhosis doesn’t take over and I’m forced to kill some baboon for his liver.

The news continues to demoralize as do politics, so I shall remain shrewdly quiet on such matters.  On a more personal animal note – and it reminded me how kind animals can be to one another (a trait I wish was more apparent with human beings) – I walk by a street corner daily to fetch some fresh gourmet coffee.  Every morning, someone comes over and pours out a ton of bread crumbs in a shallow sand basin for a kit of neighborhood pigeons.  The birds enjoy breakfast, as such, on a daily basis.  Two mornings ago, I recognized a stray bird – actually, a banded pigeon, clearly someone’s property, perhaps just hooking up with the flock on his travels or simply lost and joining in the festivities.

He looked exhausted, and after eating pecking about for a bit (I watched the birds dine for about ten minutes) the guest bird crouched to a resting position and blinked sleepily at the feeding throng around him. A small hen approached this more sophisticated rock dove and began gently picking out mites from the weary traveler and in such a way that could only be construed as altruistic rather than bored abandon at scarfing down a dessert mite. The guest bird continued to blink sleepily and allowed the nuzzling.  It was a very touching sight to behold and made my entire day.

A truck passed suddenly and the group took to the sky, with the guest bird flying off on his own, toward his own personal destiny.  I watched him disappear over the horizon and whispered to myself “safe journey, brave soldier, safe journey.”  We all travel alone in this life, whether we have a mate or not.  Our own singular journey is very private and complex.  We can either traverse the course with some degree of happiness and a sense of adventure, or alternatively, with an inconsolable sense of dread and fear.  I choose the former, for better or for worse, whether there is a Great Creator or not. Life is a blessing. We should endeavor to celebrate it daily and with an inviolate sense of gratitude to whatever gods may be.

Now please glance at Amazon and peruse my many literary offerings.  I need bread for the birds should the old homeless person who feeds them daily suddenly keel over dead and leave his feathered children starving in the streets. 

We can’t have that now, can we?...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Maya - like Miley - lets it all hang out as a wonder!

So, just got back from the sweltering jungles of the Yukatan Peninsula wherein I climbed one of the highest pyramids in North America (located in Coba) and reflected on all things spiritual and literary. That and consuming my body weight in tequila and beer on a daily basis.  Fascinating people, the Mayans; a clearly advanced society in terms of science and architecture, yet horrific in terms of their approach to humanity ... it was nearly non-existent.  Human sacrifice was the hobby of any given occasion - not just virgins (a horrible waste under any condition) but adults, children and babies.

The Mayans had a ball game, for instance, wherein they played in a huge court (beautifully intact) at Chichen Itza.  Much like soccer, they played with a rubber ball utilizing their knees, feet, elbows, head, etc. ... but no hands.  The captains of each team struggled desperately to win for a great prize rendered only to them should they emerge victorious:  they were allowed to be beheaded.  Yay!  I win. I get to naked above the shoulders to honor the gods.  This is because the Mayans believed that the next life beat the shit out of this one (arguable at cocktail hour).

They also followed the planet Venus and its cycle and it matched NASA's calculation to within an hour (you can google for more detail - I'll spare the reader the voluminous info in this blog).  All in all a fascinating adventure and I recommend it to one and all (it is now one of the 7 wonders of the world). So far I've seen 3 of them: The Coliseum in Rome, The Christos in Brazil and Chichen Itza. Gonna try to see the Great Wall of China and Stonehenge (and possibly the pyramids in Egypt), by hell and high water, sometime in 2014, depending on the $$$ coming in from all of you reading my books, dear fans.

So get going, read up on the Mayans and buy my crap.  Please.

Thank you.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Peace In Our Time Doesn't Always Work When Dealing With Child-Murderers

At the risk of alienating some of my readership, I am posting the below on a subject I feel too strongly about to ignore.

I find it fascinating and depressing that the international community remains largely quiet on the Syrian debacle vis a vis that regime's use of chemical weapons against civilians and in particular, children. It voiced various degrees of outrage or support for the ill-advised criminal Iraq war perpetrated by the recidivist Bush regime but with clear evidence of inhumanity alive and well in Syria, well deserving of punitive military response, the world wishes to remain silent or, worse, like the UK, inactive and Neville Chamberlain-like passive. Only the United States is contemplating decisive action against the death merchant, Assad, and his evil retinue of murderers. Obama should exhibit no hesitation in committing U.S. forces to pounding the hell out of Assad and his minions; that should be the measure of U.S. resolve, and the longer we wait on such action, the more the salient message reverberates: My name is Assad and I can murder people with impunity. Go f__ yourself, world, and particularly you, America.

Let not wickedness triumph, Mr. President. Attack now. Unlike Bush, show the world you risk war for moral and decent reasons outside of political and territorial expansionist interests.

I quite understand the UK in one way inasmuch as their resources have been over-extended in both the Iraq and Afghan theaters; people are simply tired of fighting an enemy which is consistently horrendous in terms of civilized behavior (or lack thereof).  War has taken toll on the democratic peoples of the world and folks are weary.  But now is not the time to shy away from a clear, egregious example of virtual genocide, perpetrated by a regime clearly lacking in any moral foundation and contrary to all rules of not only war, but the basic precepts of decency and humanity.  

It is my prediction that President Obama will not wait long to hit Assad hard.  The question is will the President's characterization of 'hard' deter Assad from further acts of murderous euthanasia against the Syrian people? He has stated that the U.S. is not interested in a 'regime change' - by which he means to say he plans to allow Assad to continue living and holding sway over a defenseless population - and that he has no interest in committing America or its allies to another protracted debacle in the Middle East and beyond, such has been seen in the Iraq imbroglio and the Afghan landscape.  So that leaves the 'surgical' alternative: carefully calculated attacks on targets in Damascus designed to deter further weapons offensives and to demoralize the Syrian leadership sufficient to arrest Assad's homicidal acts against the native population.

Will it be enough?  At this stage of this ominous game, we can only wait and see. But if action is not taken, America's message to the world as the only remaining superpower is:  weapons of mass destruction and their utilization by outlaw regimes and/or governments will be tolerated ... because we're all so tired of fighting for the right thing.

And that, dear friends, would be the most tragic thing of all. For it was once said by a poet or some philosopher that evil prevails when good men stand by and decide to do nothing about it....

I would like to believe this is not the tacit mandate for the United States of America. Because, after all - and this is no joke - we're the good guys.  We must act as such, then goodness will continue to be blessed upon us.

On a lighter note, please note my books on Amazon and buy my crap accordingly.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

It's Raining Sharks

So here's a fun little tidbit:  my partner, whom I wrote and produced Mutant Vampire Zombies From The Hood with awhile back, ends up writing "Sharknado".  As you may know already, that little pix has gone more viral than your basic herpes outbreak.  We've acquired the Gersh Agency as our reps and are now pitching a parody of the old Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea series to networks. It's called DIVE! Please wish us luck. 

My last three books of the year remain sequels to Gray Area and the nearly completed action-thriller, The Lynx Factor. 

Do try to catch Sharknado, as my partner Thunder Levin, will be most appreciative.  It hits theaters next Friday.  They don't make the classics like they used to!  It be raining sharks, mon!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Press release for my film, Black Rose, and other announcements

Black Rose, a crime-thriller I penned some time ago with Brent Huff, is finally shooting in Moscow, as of June 19. Wrap date will be July 8.  Great cast w/Robert Davi, Adrian Paul and Kristanna Loken (she was the hot Terminator-bitch in T3- Rise of the Machines).  A press release is below.

I'll head out to Moscow for my second picture, The Boy, sometime later this year.

In the meantime, The Lynx Factor, a new action adventure book, will be launched in July and am finishing up Gray Area 2 and 3 - sequels to the very successful Gray Area last year.

More updates to follow in coming weeks. 


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Word on Branding, Prince and the Magic Quest and Gray Area 2

Hello, one and all.

Yes, I've been 'dark' on the blog circuit these many months.  Been hard at work on a film of mine shooting in Russia come early July, called "Black Rose."  The film ostensibly will star Alexander Nevsky, and Kristanna Loken (the bitch-kitty robot in Terminator 3 - Rise of The Machines). I'll have a role in it as well, a detective. Also helping out a buddy on his film, Guardian Angel, filming to start on June 21.  Both films are thrillers.

I wrote another YA book a few months ago with a buddy of mine called Prince and the Magic Quest, and for the first time, have a small readership in Japan.  My Asian friends apparently love fantasy, especially where swords and dragons are concerned.

And, yes, to my many queries, Gray Area 2 is on its way to launch by the end of summer, followed hard upon by Gray Area 3.  Special Investigator for the LAPD, Lou Diamond, returns in all his hard-drinking, cynical glory, this time as a by-proxy single parent to two ten year old girls.  It's not an easy balance, shooting up bad guys and engaging in tea-cup parties with the youngins'.

Finally, to all you hard-core writers out there, veteran or novice, who are trying to find your 'brand': Terribly important to do so from a business perspective.  There are numerous blogs out there extolling the merits of branding and I embrace those precepts so stipulated by those who have been in this self-publishing business longer than myself. Find a genre (or two) and stick with it/them, preferably one that lends itself to a franchise, and stick to the keyboard.  I've been doing this Amazon self-publishing thing now for just over a year, and while not making $50K or more a month as yet, I have seen steady income.  I have not yet really honed in on my brand as yet, but will do so assiduously this coming year to ensure higher sales.

But why have I not secured 'branding' for myself as yet?  Because I've actually enjoyed the process of writing and creating stories in a variety of other genres.  My non-fiction work has been the most successful thus far and constitutes the bulk of my monthly revenue, followed hard upon by my hard-boiled crime and to a lesser degree, my science fiction offerings.  Horror and YA has been softer, and this is probably due to the fact that in the past 14 months I've served up a wide-array of genres and my name has not been hard-and-fast secured to a particular kind of book.  "Oh, Saunders, yeah he's the action-adventure guy" or "Right, old Saunders, he dishes out that hard-core sci-fi stuff!"  This will come in time.

Writers ... don't suppress your urge to write what you want.  Branding is great for $$$.  But sometimes the literary soul must be hearkened to and not dismissed for the sake of fatter cash intake.  Perhaps I should have taken the advice of some who mentioned I should write under a separate name for my respective genres so as not to confuse my audience, but I did not, and do not plan to suffer for it.  I took a year to get my feet wet writing whatever I bloody chose to write.  Now, I shall pursue a branding course of action and suffer not too greatly for it.  Sometimes we must simply follow for a time the beat to our own personal literary drummer.  I have done so and have no regrets.

Marketing your books is still key, however, and the only reason I'm not selling ten or so books or less in a given month is due to assiduous efforts in marketing, including free promos, joining book clubs, twittering, etc.  These are all vital components for selling your work.  Writing alone will not make you a dollar and a cent in this very competitive business.  Letting the world know you have something to say - that you have a voice - is just as critical to your success as proving to that world you are the next Hemingway.

So get to work and buy my crap while your at it, okay?


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Things Change ... and Stay The Same

A Happy New Year to one and all!  I've not blogged in 90 days due to family, holidays and multiple complications with problem drinking and the law, e.g ... life is like that sometimes...

Okay, little joke as preamble.

So, we've had an election and the world failed to end, both for America and in spite of the Mayan forecast of doom and gloom ... though some of my Republican friends are still in an agoraphobic phase of 'the sky is falling' after Obama's re-election.  And, yet ... in spite of that, the U.S. trundles on.  Politicians are still creatures to be leery of whenever possible, as well as vacant-eyed psychopaths wearing hoodies and carrying automatic machine guns.  We have a near-object flyby of an asteroid on February 15 that is about the size of a football field which will thumb its meteoric nose at us then run off like a whore in a nunnery.  The economy continues to struggle ... but in time, that, too, will change.

As all things do.  Yet also, paradoxically, things remain the same.  I'm still paying too much for gas, young supermodels have zero interest in me and my Chinese bartender and cook still tries to convince me that the recooked kittty in my moo-ho-I-just-don't-know rice dish is really chicken.  I now only drink home-distilled grain alcohol and have refrained as much as I can from milk and dairy.  Yet ... I continue to gain weight.

The other night I was walking across the street, thinking there is no God.  A car races in my direction, without his lights on, and had I not happened to look to my right in that split second, I would have been splattered.  Weird. I believe one writer called it a God-wink.  Apologies, my atheistic friends ... I remain unconvinced in your convictions. A change for me ... because I doubt so very often in most everything.

Where things haven't changed (in my view) is in the world of publishing.  We can still be surprised.  Writers - you crazy kids - did you notice your sales jumped by nearly three times in January compared to prior months?  The same is true for this month.  Why?  I think the clear answer is that Amazon/Kindles must have had a fine holiday season in the marketplace.  More Kindles - more downloading.  One theory only.

Or ... I've just turned from a hack into F. Scott Fitzgerald nearly overnight.  Or people are confusing me with Lindsey Lohan (an obvious and pardonable mistake).  I dunno.  But I'm kinda happy about the overall results.  Please feel free to contact me and let me know how your sales are doing.

Last, we all continue to mourn the horror of Newtown, Connecticut.  There is no rhyme or reason for this kind of evil.  Except, perhaps, that evil and psychosis (going happily hand in hand) simply exist and will always do so.  We can only pray for those families daily and likewise do the same that this kind of tragedy never occurs again.

I wish you all a prosperous 2013.  And thank you for not smoking.