|Posted on December 9, 2012 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
Not only that, but from Bob Yates, a screenwriter with some real cred.
I want to share this process as it progresses. But formatting the screenplay for blog loses some of the effect. So here's a PDF version of an early draft. It's for the first half of the first act.
Once it's further along, we'll talk about what to do next. I know little about the movie business. But like anything else, I'll figure it out as we go. Big things could happen. Or they might not. Either way, I'm sure to learn a lot.
You can stay one step ahead of the screenplay by reading the novel itself. It's available on Amazon for Kindle and print, as well as at Barnes & Noble for the Nook. If none of those work for you, check out Smashwords.
|Posted on October 10, 2012 at 8:15 AM||comments (0)|
Not by me, mind you, since I have no idea how to write for the screen. By Bob Yates, a screenwriter who's actually gotten somewhere in Hollywood. Back in the day, he was also a ubiquitous talk radio host in Minnesota. As a bonus, I didn't even have to twist his arm to adapt it.
There are a couple reasons Yates said Cleansing Eden was saleable:
1) The story is presented in linear format, which makes it easier to adapt. Unlike books, it's more difficult for film to jump around time-wise. This makes the screenwriter's "carpentry" easier.
2) It could be shot entirely in Los Angeles. This is something I'd never thought of before, because I've not pitched a movie. Producers/studios taking a chance on a film don't want to fly all around the world to do it. Not unless you're a guaranteed money-maker. (Which, I'm more than willing to admit, I'm not). A local shoot in LA makes it more palatable.
3) Cleansing Eden is about Hollywood. Writers have writer porn. Hollywood has Hollywood porn. OK, maybe that's a bad analogy, given all the actual porn shot in LA. But you get my drift.
I thought I'd share the first adapted scene. It's pretty cool to see this come together. You can read the chapter it's based on here.
A screenplay by Bob Yates
Adapted from the novel by Benjamin Sobieck
EXT. NEVADA CEMETERY - NIGHT
OLDER MAN, 60’s, bald, southern drawl, and YOUNGER MAN, 20’s, scruffy stoner, dig with shovels -- disturb an existing grave to bury a bloody CORPSE that lies nearby.
Statue of the Virgin Mary oversees this unholy exercise.
(falls back, exhausted)
I need a break.
(to Younger Man’s look)
You keep digging.
(tired, drops his shovel)
Can’t ... can’t ...
(kicks at the corpse)
You did this, didn’t you?
(to Younger Man’s sad nod)
Look, son, if it makes you feel any better, the guy was good as dead when we got to him. We just sped up
what cocaine would’ve done in a few years. And you know what? The world is better for it. This is a cause
bigger than ourselves.
Younger Man looks anxiously to their car, parked in b.g.
Don’t even think about makin’ a run for it. You’ll get your dope soon enough ... for a job well done.
I am so damn proud of you. You already finished the killin’ part. But we can’t just leave this celebrity piece of shit lyin’ here. There’s no going back now.
Younger Man rises, sighs, gathers himself, resumes digging. His shovel clangs against something. He looks up, puzzled.
That would be the coffin. Time for our bold-face name to join the sixfoot club.
They drag the corpse to the grave, rudely shove it into it, toss dirt on top of it.
Funny, ain’t it? People all over the world knew this guy from the movies he made. More Americans can name him than the president. Now he’s the perfect picture of nobodyness. We took a famous guy and took away his name. Made him anonymous.
Older Man stops shoveling, lets Younger Man finish the work.
It’s only fitting. He made that name as a Hollywood hack who made a fortune stealing other people’s identities. His fans replaced their identities with his. Puttin’ his face on their walls. Wearin’ the clothes he wore. Becomin’ him in as many ways possible. You follow me?
(to Younger Man’s grunt)
People with no true sense of themselves, definin’ themselves by Hollywood bullshit. So whattaya get? Identity drain. A society of mediocrity.
It’s so incredibly simple, I can’t believe I have to be the one to say it.
Younger Man slumps, sighs, weary. Grave is covered, shovels collected. Follow their trudge to the car.
You’re okay, kiddo. I think I’ll
keep you around.
Can I have my dope now? My Bluegrass?
Oh hell yes. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
They get into the car. Older Man hands over a baggie of drugs. Younger Man fires up a joint as they drive away.
|Posted on September 5, 2012 at 9:40 PM||comments (0)|
All this month, you can get the Kindle version of my crime thriller novel, Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders, for less than $1 at Amazon.com.
OK, that's a little misleading. It's 99 cents. I don't see that as being necessarily less than $1, do you? It's a dollar, people. Really, what is a penny worth? Close your eyes, take two breaths and check your bank account. Someone probably just paid you a copper to do that. Sure makes for some good marketing lingo, though.
Anyway, it's a whole novel for 99 cents for September.
Click here to get Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders for 99 cents.
|Posted on July 30, 2012 at 8:05 AM||comments (0)|
I always like when a reviewer "gets" my crime thriller novel, Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders. Not that readers have a hard time understanding the plot, but there are elements underneath that require some digging. And when a reviewer nails them, it makes me smile.
Click here for the latest Cleansing Eden review. Good way to start a Monday.
|Posted on July 23, 2012 at 7:00 PM||comments (0)|
A company called Stork Media is selling the print edition of my novel, Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders, here on Barnes & Noble's website for $34.58.
Seem a little high?
It should. Amazon sells it for $14.95 here. That's the new, still-warm-from-the-press price.
So what gives with Stork Media selling it for $34.58? Is it a special edition? Unless you count being ripped off as "special," it's a pile of crap.
Stork Media's game is selling print books far higher than the MSRP. When someone falls for it, Stork orders a copy at the regular price and sends it to the customer. It pockets the difference.
I contacted Barnes & Noble about this shady business. I want that book off the site yesterday. BN's customer service told me to they're helpless:
"Your book is currently available on our website through our 3rd Party Marketplace Sellers. These are independent booksellers who set their own prices for used copies of many books. We do not have any say in their pricing, which may vary from the Suggested Retail Price set by the publisher."
I reminded BN it's not helpless as to what goes on its site. I also pointed out keeping Stork Media on its site is driving business to Amazon. I doubt anyone will care.
Guess I'll be at BN headquarters tomorrow, squatting in the offices. Set up a tent, light a gas stove and make myself comfortable. After all, BN is helpless to make me move.
I also left a damning "review" of the book warning people not to buy it. BN has yet to approve it. Maybe my mention of Amazon's lower (aka real) price has something to do with it. Again, you're not helping yourself, BN.
I'm not the only author to have a run-in with these shysters. After putting the word out on Facebook, several authors told similar stories. Stork even priced one book at $200.
I have a sinking feeling none of this is illegal. But it sure ain't right. Vote with your dollars. Never buy anything from Stork Media. The legit titles all have cover images (Stork doesn't bother with cover images, probably for copyright reasons).
If you have any questions about the legitimacy of my titles, don't hesitate to leave a comment here. I'll get right back to you.
|Posted on July 18, 2012 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
I'm thrilled to announce the launch of the special crime fiction e-book bundle at Groupees.com. For $2, you can get your crime fix from 27 great crime authors, including me, Vincent Zandri, Fiona Johnson, Dana King, Laura Roberts and the roster of the damned from Black Heart Magazine.
Here's the catch. You have the option of paying more than $2 for your e-books. Why? Because there are extra e-books we'll release if the bundle hits certain goals. These are great extras you won't want to miss.
Also, the top buyer will receive a handmade, autographed print copy of Dana King's Wild Bill. How cool is that?
The next four top buyers will receive an autographed copy of Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders, by me.
If that wasn't cool enough, 20% of all sales will be donated to the National Kidney Foundation. It's a cause close to home, since I received a kidney transplant in 2010.
Don't wait! The offer ends July 31. Click here to go Groupees.com and get your bundle.
|Posted on June 30, 2012 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
Here's how I sold 12,000 crime fiction e-books: I didn't.
At least, not in the way you think of a transaction. I "sold" them, not sold them, through Amazon's KDP Select program.
Readers of e-books will feel their eyes glaze over after that last sentence. But know this. The piles upon bloated piles of free e-books you've stuffed into your Kindle's digital gizzard are offered gratis only because of the KDP Select program from Amazon.
Here's how the program works. First, an author signs a 90-day exclusivity agreement with Amazon on a per-title basis. That means e-books in the program can only be sold through Amazon.
In return for jumping into the turrets of this market-grabbing blitzkreig, the author is given five days for giving away the e-book on Amazon. Authors can spread them out through the 90-day period, in chunks or all at once.
Getting the e-book out there for free increases the chance readers will buy it once the gratis days end. Amazon is happy, readers are happy and the author is happy.
Now back to that 12,000 number. Since February, that's how many free copies I've "sold" of Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders in the US, UK and elsewhere. The novel even got to #43 in all of Amazon for free titles.
I say they were sold even though money didn't change hands. Every "sale" (when someone got a free e-book) was like a tiny ad in a larger campaign. An ad campaign that put 12,000 e-books in front of readers' eyeballs would've cost me a good amount of scratch. It's opportunity cost. Profit has as much to do with expenses as income.
That's not to say exposure pays the bills. There are plenty of rants about this, such as the Harlen Ellison video below. Try explaining to your landlord or mortgage company that you'll get a payment in as soon as the exposure comes through for you.
Here's the but.
BUT exposure from KDP Select does seem to pay off. I'm not going to throw out any numbers, but I can safely say hitting big freebie numbers does translate into at least one traditionally defined sale.
That's the dream right there. There's no greater compliment an author can receive than having a reader pay for a work. It doesn't matter if it's a lot or a little. Authors need to be read. Readers need authors to write. The KDP Select program is making that happen.
|Posted on June 27, 2012 at 6:10 PM||comments (0)|
More or less making this post and screen grab so I can refer to this later. This is the stuff that lands you agents and publishers. And I don't want to promo it too much, because I don't want to dilute the tactic I used to get it there.
Seem counterintuitive? Welcome to the crazy world of e-publishing.
And it's alllllllmost there in the UK.
|Posted on June 26, 2012 at 6:30 AM||comments (0)|
Disclaimer: OK, it's not actually Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders, my crime thriller novel. The review is of Pick Your Poison, an anthology of my work that includes Cleansing Eden.
Technicalities aside, reviews like this one from Montpellier, France, make me extra daisy-sniffin', kitty-pettin', brownie-bakin' happy. Gal-damn rosy, son. Because the reader "got it."
No, not in the douche-tastic way some snob premiering a painting might want people to "get it." I mean the reader took time to understand some of the literary devices I used to tell the story.
Such as, well...I'll just let her do the 'splainin'.
'Cleansing Eden' is a story about the evils of drugs and celebrity worship fed by the media. There are two main characters - the 'older man' and the 'younger man'. They remain anonymous for most of the story, identity being a connection to self-awareness and consequences.
The younger man is anonymous because he is a drug addict, and his identity has been lost in the subjugating influences of drug abuse. The older man is anonymous because he is a criminal - he makes and distributes recreational drugs. For him though, the worst evil in modern society is celebrity, and because he believes that celebrities steal the identities (metaphorically) of a worshipping youthful public, they should be eliminated.
Interestingly, as he becomes increasingly insane, the younger man does the opposite. He starts to wake up and work out what he wants, a thought process long since dormant from drug abuse. The denouement of the story is based around the challenge of his new awakening and desire for life.
There is much social comment in the story. The older man goes on at length but the message is clear. It manages not to turn into a preaching novel of moralising boredom thanks to the skill of the writer.
An entertaining, thought-provoking read, added to which are a number of short stories not linked to the original novel.
And if you think I'm shittin' ya, here's the link to the review on Amazon UK.
Now to celebrate with some Freedom toast.
|Posted on June 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM||comments (0)|
I've waited years to type these words: Cleansing Eden: The Celebrity Murders is now available at Amazon as a print book.
In addition to a great crime thriller story, this print edition comes with some bonus features:
* You'll get the e-book version for FREE. Use the link located on the title page of the book.
* Look for a short story after the end of the novel, Maynard Soloman Solves the War on Drugs. It's nice, light dessert after that thick meal of drugs, death and demagoguery.
* Various Easter eggs hidden cryptically throughout the story and formatting.