Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Prometheus--yes, thinking required

It would be easy to just give a straight fangirl assessment of Prometheus and tell you, it was awesome as hell; go see it, but I’m actually jacked enough over the film to discuss it a little further (without getting all spoiler-y in the process).

I’m not a crazed sci-fi (or Sy-Fy nut)—I haven’t seen Avatar and don’t care that much about Star Trek really, but I do like dark, elegant, intelligent science fiction. That’s what Prometheus was. The last time I saw a “space” movie that was so effective was the under-appreciated 2009 movie Moon, directed by Duncan Jones. Before that, of course, there was Alien. There’s just something about the claustrophobic gloominess of being stranded where “no one can hear you scream.”

George Lucas managed to thoroughly sour me on CGI, so I am always half-expecting to see cartoonish spaceships and creatures (this notion does not apply to WETA productions) but this movie is visually stunning. I was sucked into that world immediately. The effects were seamless and simply spectacular. I didn’t see the 3-D version and now wonder if I missed anything. The opening credits were complimented by a Vangelis-esque soundtrack (by Marc Streitenfeld) that swept across a gorgeous, but foreign landscape, reminding me of Scott’s Blade Runner three decades ago.

I particularly enjoyed the introduction of David and thought he brought a great twist to his android predecessors, Ash and Bishop. I have to say that he would make a beautiful replicant, if Scott does indeed direct another Blade Runner installment.  The other characters, while not as compelling as the crew of the Nostromo from the original Alien, are interesting. I especially appreciate that Scott holds true to the legacy of Ellen Ripley—no weak women. In a world of Bellas, it’s good to be reminded that women can have more balls then the guys. Thank you! Charlie was a bit annoying—like a frat boy in space, but it was not enough to become completely off-putting. Didn’t see the connection between him and Shaw, however. Maybe she just preferred dumb, sulky, drunk men…

All-in-all, I can’t understand the mixed reviews. Yes, the movie is deeper than the last Mission Impossible. You have to think more than you might have if you saw Rock of Ages (suffered through that trailer—who the hell would pay to see that monstrosity?), so I believe some of the negativity stems from people who just “don’t get it.”

**Read a few Amazon reader reviews from any number of incredible books and you understand what I mean. **

Great movie for those who don’t mind thinking. Otherwise, the new Men in Black flick is probably playing at the same theater. See it instead.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This is a re-post of an article I wrote for the Indie Author Rockstar website a couple of months ago.

This time last year, I was sending Darklands around to agents and the few publishers that would look at unagented work. It was an encouraging process—I received some requests and even spoke to a couple of known agents over the phone. Still, in the end, there was no contract and no prospects on the horizon.
So, I took the plunge and uploaded Darklands to KDP, Pubit!, and Smashwords. The rest wasn’t exactly history, as they say, but it has made for an interesting year.
As I celebrate my first anniversary as an “Indie” ( “shudder” ;-P), I thought I would take a look back at how my views on publishing have changed.
• I now realize that Indie publishing is an alternative, not a last resort. I hate the term “failed author” when referring to Indies. There’s no failure in gaining readers who enjoy your work, seeing a paycheck at the end of the month, and knowing you’ve done something by yourself, for yourself.
• There is definite “us” and “them” attitude between traditionally published authors and Indies. I used to think it was envy on our part, but I now think growing number of “them” wish they were “us.”
• Writing is no longer a hobby, it’s a business.
• I’m no longer shy about telling people I am a horror writer—a self-published horror writer. Yes, I still get those looks (you know the look I’m talking about), and the little “So, you’re self-published,” comment. Lately, I tend to respond with “So, you’re still a cashier (waitress, Realtor, teller, etc.).” They have no shame in what they do, so why should I apologize for what I do?
• Things are no longer one-sided with the legacy authors enjoying the upper hand. An Indie product can be interchangeable with those from the “big guys.” Lately, I’ve noticed some backlash toward Indies, but people are allowed to make sweeping generalizations, no matter how misinformed those generalizations are. There will always be ignorant people who will try to avoid us, so it is up to us to “trick” them. We’re out to sell books, not Indie books. Traditional publishers wrap up a lot of crap in the guise of a pretty cover and a blurb from a known author. They often get away with it. We don’t have that luxury. We have to set a new standard. We are beyond the point of uploading just anything and crossing our fingers. Intelligent readers are after a good story, first and foremost, but we can’t stop there. Editing, good cover design, and proper ebook formatting are readily available, even those of us on a budget.
• Finally, I’ve found the Indie community is one built on mutual respect, encouragement and sharing information. I’m not sure traditional publishing can claim this.

Monday, August 22, 2011

A chat with Greg Mitchell, author of the “Coming Evil Trilogy”

A chat with Greg Mitchell, author of the “Coming Evil Trilogy”