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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

From aweful to fantastic?

I am probably going to get booed for saying this, but I really do not like the movie Wizard Of Oz. It was melodramatic and distasteful in its design.

Last year when I bought my iPad I rediscovered The Wizard of Oz when I downloaded the book for free. For those of you who are unaware, this book is a classic about an ordinary man who keeps up a facade to protect his people from the witches. He is not a wizard, but everyone believes that he is, including his enemies. The story is charming to say the least and ingenious on many levels. I greatly admire the work.

Recently I reviewed the new Spiderman movie and one thing I forgot to mention is that I really missed James Franco's portrayal of Harry Osborn. So yesterday when I watched the trailer for next year's Disney re-imagining of Oz and saw Franco as Oz, I was pulled in. This movie looks like a classic.

So now we have two big fantasy movies on the horizon: The Hobbit Christmas 2012, and Oz the Great and Powerful March 2013.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Venture into children's books

I have been sticking 11x14" sheets of paper on our living room wall for the past month now. Having two little kids of my own, I have been inspired to write a children's book for them! It is time-consuming but very enjoyable. A few people have asked about this project, in part because I have been so vague about it. I am trying to develop my own style along the lines of Virginia Lee Burton, who illustrated one of my favorite children's books: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. So here is a glimpse, if you're interested, of A Home for the Little Table (-:

Monday, July 23, 2012

The amazingly empowered reader

In the last eight years I have seen the shrinking respect that the general public has for professional critics. The most obvious example of this is the movie critic, but the same is vastly true of the book industry now, too. As the reading public, we don't often think the same way as a hired critic. We would rather hear what other readers have said.

Enter the broad range of reviews found today on blogs, websites, and social networks. Readers are flocking to Amazon to read the reviews before they buy a book. How do I know? Because half of the customers I run into at Barnes & Noble and other retail locations, tell me that they will check out the reviews on Amazon.

I like this. I like it a lot. It empowers the reader to look past the clique of professional critics, and instead consider it from the point-of-view of other book lovers.

What are your thoughts on this?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Five-star Amazon review for Key of Living Fire

Just noticed this review posted to 
I love getting feedback like this, and I have been getting a lot of it lately!

"This was an amazing book! It wasn't published when I started reading this series so I had to wait to get it. This book was the most adventurous, nail-biting book of the series so far! This book has the same amazing characters as the first two but it is packed with far more adventure. I can't wait for the last four books to come out!"
Kayleigh (13 years old)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Web-focused marketing

It seems that I have always enjoyed learning. Whether it is reading a new book, going to new places, or meeting new people. Now, it seems, I have hit a new learning curve in my author/writing career. After a long discussion with my agent, I have decided to focus my marketing efforts online for the foreseeable future. Does this meant that I will not be holding book signings? No. Definitely not. As a matter of fact I have a signing this weekend:
Henny Penny gas station, Madison CT, 1-5pm this Saturday

Moving forward, I will have a professional website designed and will be creating some study materials for youth groups. I need to narrow my marketing focus instead of trying to hit everyone. So I will be focusing on my bulk audience/most receptive readers; the Christian teens. I am very excited about this as it has the potential to enlarge my following in stronger, more spiritual ways.

Web savvy does not describe me, so please pray that I will have wisdom in learning and disciplining myself to maximize my use of the web to spread the word about my books.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Amazing Spiderman -a review

The reincarnation of the popular superhero is now out in theaters and left quite an impression on me. I will begin by saying that the prior trilogy of Spiderman movies was enjoyable, but they lacked something that I think this movie doesn't. Warning: The Amazing Spider-man is quite a bit darker than the prior series, so I recommend you not bring your younger viewers. The villain is dark in a vicious way.
Relationships are portrayed in a refreshing manner, instead of the constant "I can't be with you anymore because" kind of lines. Was anyone else getting tired of Peter's attachment games with Mary Jane? The guy had very little guts.
The new Spiderman attaches himself to the viewers on an emotional level in a more realistic way, and the actors played their parts smoothly.
In some ways I found the storyline predictable as it rehashed some of the incidents we've come to know in Spidey's past. But the writers did a great job keeping the story on track with clever dialogue and snippets of original humor.
The only things that kept this from a five-star rating, for me, was some language and a bit of suggestive material. I do not recommend this for kids.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Picture this...

Picture an engine similar to this soaring into the sky and out of Earth's atmosphere, a line of passenger cars in tow. Imagine that you are a passenger aboard The Star Train! Coming in my new novel.


"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.