Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Orphan Book Rescue Society

It's a crying shame, but there it was. That poor book stood proud among the other rejects and misfit books in the Dollar Store bargain bin. It had a magnificent cover, an intriguing title, and a great story concept. What's wrong with this book, I wondered?

I turned to the back cover and read all the glowing reviews, opened to the back flap and saw the Random House logo in all its glory, along with the author's photo and short bio. Everything was certainly in place and the book was in pristine condition. No remainder marks, no stains, no dents, no curves, a straight spine. It was a brand new hardcover book in perfect condition.

I flipped to the first chapter and began reading. Sounds like a good story, a strong opening, filled with intrigue. Nice first chapter cliffhanger. Gotta have it. WTF! Why is this book in the bargain bin? Beats me. I've never heard of it though, or its author. What gives?

Then it hit me. As an author, peddling my own literary mystery novel, is this what I have to look forward to? Uh, yeah. Why should I expect my story to do any better, especially these days? Can things possibly get any worse than for a great book to wind up in the bargain bin of a Dollar Store? I thought the Dollar Store was already a bargain.

Hey, it's not all that bad though. The books weren't tossed about like yesterday's trash. They were neatly stacked and displayed with a good measure of dignity. They just looked like lonely orphans waiting for someone to rescue them. They seemed helpless. I rescued all 37 of them and took them home where they stand tall in my library. I'll keep my favorites and give the others away as gifts.

Come to think of it, some day I hope to reach this level of success in today's publishing world. The Dollar Store dollar bin. Heck, might even be a step above self-publishing.

You see, I knew there was a bright side, after all.

But, the real question is. What's an "emerging author" like me doing at the Dollar Store anyway? Oh, I get it. I'm not the next James Patterson. Right.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Was So Bored, I Joined Shelfari

(This article is from my initial ProseFreak Blog concept. I had to scrap it for lack of time and segued into this one. I'd finally realized there were only 24 hours in a day and I needed at least 4 to sleep.)

Here's the classic article and what really happened:

I unleashed one of my classic, and extreme ProseFreaks, just for Shelfari readers, inside my profile, and it goes like this:

The books I enjoy are like music. I'm really selective about what I read because life is way too short to waste time with a book that you're not absolutely crazy about. I do stick with mostly mainstream and popular titles. For me, it's many of the classics: Tom Sawyer, The Catcher in the Rye, and the tried and true; a lot of the books that have been made into films, such as: The Scarlet Letter, The Bridges of Madison County, The Hunt for Red October, Apocalypse Now, Platoon, All The Pretty Horses, to name just a few.

I also love to read screenplays because they’re much faster to get through: Moonstruck, The Fourth of July, JKF, Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction; you gotta love Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino. Too many others to mention: The Godfather Sagas, great dramas, and just about every war movie you can think of. Kubric’s Full Metal Jacket, a favorite. (How can you not love a movie that inspired the song, “Me so Horny”?) A few romantic comedies/comedic movies: Monster in Law, Meet the Parents.

I’ve also authored several screenplays and my first novel, A Death for Beauty. What can I say, it’s inspired by many of the great books that I’ve read and it’s a story that’s very close to my heart and soul--I enjoyed writing it. I love mostly literary fiction, westerns and coming-of-age stories.

Biographies/Anthologies: My favorites so far, Norman Mailer’s, The Spooky Art. And Summer's/Swan, Sinatra.

Yeah, I’m also a big Frank Sinatra fan: He's the subject of one of my screenplays. His daughter, Nancy Sinatra’s, classic oldies hit: These Boots are Made for Walkin', is cool too. If only she could’ve realized that my story, some day would also become a classic. After all, I did make Nancy the subject of my letter, but I prosefreaked my pitch right into it, near the ending. The moment she opened that letter, and I know that she did, I swear that I felt the tectonic plates of planet earth, shift and moan, ever so slightly in my direction, in the form of a curse.

Yeah, I was brash (and stupid) enough, and tried pitching my Sinatra screenplay to Nancy Sinatra ( I made a big point about how she was mentioned in it, as a baby.) but she still wasn’t interested. Where did I go wrong? Well, I could hardly believe it, but I had dug deep into her website and came up with her home address in Beverly Hills. And I sent her the sweetest letter ever, trust me.

The day after she got my pitch in this gigantic certified envelope, she yanked her address off the website so fast, that I think her Webmaster is still reeling from it. Did she really think that her home address would be safe? She could thank her agent for dodging me for so long.

That was soooo wrong, but I knew it would be fun somewhere along the line. Either that or I might’ve gotten a call. (Sure thing.) Gotta work on my pitch, the screenplay is on the “dinero” folks.

Uh…still planning on selling that Sinatra story. Trust me, it’s a modern cult classic (waiting to happen, unless I die a horrible death first).

This PF is extreme because I worked my shameless plug into it.

Be proud Shelfari Reader: You’ve just been tagged by ProseFreak!