Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Voice in the Wilderness

I shall be gone from you dear readers for a short time. I am off to the Wilderness of Akish on the River Wimahl, to better investigate the murder of the Kennewick man.
Fear not, I am prepared and will post again as soon as the culprits are found.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Few Quick Pics For Inspiration

As a writer I know the travails of inspiration, the despair of doubt and heartache at lack of motivation so here is a few pics to help get ideas flowing again.

I saw this on Monster Quest:Bull sharks are coming up the Mississippi.
Those Israeli commandos are something else.
That guy is such a Nimrod.
Yes, Virginia, these are the Nephite cities.
How to show emotion in your writing.
Dinosaurs don't kill Chuck! Chuck kills dinoasaurs!
I made this to help you all feel better.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Gerald Lund Book !

Anybody else heard about the new Gerald Lund Book?

He is someone I am inspired by. I have never read any of his
books but that he is still writing them, I respect that.

Pic gratefully stolen from

Friday, August 7, 2009

On Location With My Book Trailer

Here are some publicity shots from my upcoming book trailer for Heroes of the Fallen. We have gone all out hiring some big names to portray main characters and a supporting cast of extras numbering in the tens.

Here is a wide shot of some of the leading actors and actress's of my book trailer. Pictured from left to right are Taharka the Nubian, Bethia a Nephite runaway, Amaron a Nephite captain, Reuben a lovable old coot and Ezra his nephew a reformed Gadianton apprentice. These were not necessarily the actors I wanted but they were within budget and they were also the actors that the director hired, I had no say. I regret that due to contractual issues I cannot release the names of any of them.

Here is the actress portraying the villianess Lilith. I argued with the director that she should not be wearing this guady get-up for her scenes but he over-ruled me in favor of appealing to the favorite of common denominators. I said this book is not geared toward common denominators but he said it was, I just didn't know it yet.

Dramatic moment of spine tingling action when the actor portraying Amaron fights the actor portraying the Nubian Taharka. I discussed problems of setting with the director as this scene is supposed to be out of doors but he insisted that his vision would allow my "humble little story" as he refers to it to shine out from under the bushel I was hiding it with.

Here is the actress portraying Bethia the runaway Nephite heroine. I argued with the director the deceased John Huston (I love Treasure of the Sierra Madre) that this actress was all wrong, Bethia is a brunette but through the ouija board with which we communicate for said project he insisted that if he was going to be attached to this book trailer that he got the actors and actors he wanted. Alright fine.

Here is the actress portraying the Lamanite princess Sayame, again I tried to reason with the director but to no avail.

Actor portraying the ruthless Judge Hiram, a Gadianton master. Here he demonstrates the proper method of shielding your train of vision from the bright sun despite the fact that he is within a closed set indoors. He was not hired for his common sense.

Rare shot of actor portraying Amaron and actress portraying Bethia in a Lamanite city set wherein neither are ever actually at within the book, nor are they ever in the same scene together within the book. This may call for a serious rewrite.

A tense moment when the actor portraying Anathoth the Ishmaelite general really tried to take down the caterer for giving him luke warm Postum.

The actress portraying Bethia offering a refreshing beverage to the cameraman. It was not Postum.

Between shooting the cast really like to take breaks from the tense battle scenes and loosen up with some joking around as well as some impromptu musical numbers.

Again the actress portraying Lilith taking her cat for a walk near the set.

Here is a good shot at the band relaxing between developing the score for the complicated fight scenes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Crossing Over

I've been pondering after a number of things I have read online lately and I would like to hear what others may think of the idea on what it would take for an LDS novel to cross over into a semi-notable position within the national market. Not unlike any number of Jewish, Catholic, or Afghani books.

I personally can't think of anything that has done it yet by my standards. Just being an LDS writer with national success does not count as crossover to me. And for as big as some LDS series have been I have extreme doubt that they made any impact outside of the fold.

If its unclear what I am saying, I am thinking IF Bella had been LDS that would count, but she isn't so it doesn't. IF anyone outside of the fold read Work and the Glory that would count, but I don't believe it really sold outside.

I sure don't think for a cross over to happen it needs to be the great Mormon novel or even a Melchizedek novel (TH) but it does have to be good enough for people outside to care about a universal topic, which is why I don't think a conversion story could do it.

I am beginning to wonder if a cross-over novel will be done upon an inspired accident. What do you the viewers at home think?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Book's Read This Week

Noble and Great Ones, by Kris Cooper

Kris is new friend of mine, that I found online when I googled Nephite art. Heres a guy doing awesome art relatively just down the road and I am only now discovering him. The book was printed in 2005. I especially like his stuff because we have some similar tastes in art and reading, we both like Frank Frazetta's art and we both like Robert E. Howards book's and of course we are both well into the Book of Mormon and that is what Kris's book is all about, the Noble and Great Ones of the Book of Mormon. He has done a variety of portraits and scenes of events from the Book of Mormon, covering almost any notable person you can think of as well as giving his own uplifting commentary about such. Including references to his youth and his mission. I heartily recommend it to art-lovers and those with an interest in faith promoting tales.

The book is hardback and is just over a hundred pages long. The book is self-
published but of a fine quality for his art's sake. Kris's blog can be reached on my sidebar, click the Spartan/Mulek or drop me a note and I will relay it to him. I don't know if he wants me to advertise his number yet. You gotta make yourself easier to find Kris.

The Sword and the Mind, translated by Hiroaki Sato

Speaking of art, this new English translation contains photos of the original seventeenth century scrolls detailing proper sword technique. Such as "Itto Ryodan; Splitting the opponent in two with a single stroke" How's tha grab you? I have always like reading Japanese strategies and techniques books from the age of samurai. My all time favorite is Musashi's "Book of Five Rings" but this one is also very good. It details a variety of differing viewpoints from leading and oft times opposing members of the Shogunate. Here is an especially good line of advice and or philosophy from the book (it is full of them) "Weapons are unfortunate instruments. Heaven's Way hates them. Using them when there is no other choice-that is Heaven's Way" I like that because I read this after writing Heroes of the Fallen but it captures exactly what I have some characters say in an early chapter about why they fight.

Why Nations go to War, by John G. Stoessinger

This was written by a man who decided to analyze the causes of war, at least throughout the twentieth century (this was written in 1971 and updated in 1981) and his last predictions of war in the Persian Gulf have been proven correct. He looks in depth at economics and a host of other typical reasons given for war and comes away with the conclusion is that while those all affect things it is still the human condition specifically of the leader and his ego that drives nations to war. I thought about this a lot and found I think I agree with him. The populace put a man in charge and expect him to tell them what to do and oft times this is not to their benefit, the studies point out men who allow ego and drive to pursue events that lead to war when there are much more rational things that could be done. I am not sounding academic at 2 in the morning I know, but still the books logic seems sound to me when looking at megalomanical world leaders of the past. I especially found I agreed when thinking in terms of the ancient world, whether they be Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Amalikiah and on and on.

War Commentaries of Caesar, translation by Rex Warner

Love this book. The insights into Julius Caesar's mind are fantastic and while there us no doubt that he is serving Rome and himself, he is not without mercy and goodness. He uses a multitude of natural born strategies that would make Sun-Tzu proud. And has wonderful observations of philosophy and wit to boot. You will see a variation upon this soon "When the gods wish to punish mortal men for their crimes, they often allow them for a time a more than usual prosperity and an even longer impunity, simply so that they will suffer all the more bitterly when their fortunes are eventually reversed."

The Sword-Edged Blonde, by Alex Bledsoe

I heard about this just recently and liked the concept of a fantasy private eye, called a sword jockey here. This is not urban fantasy but a high middle ages perhaps early Renaissance type world. Therein lies the problem. Bledsoe's writing is tight, its good he captures your attention well, you want to find the mystery because this is every bit a mystery as much as a fantasy. Twists abound but the one thing
that kept throwing me out was the language and I'm not talking the swearing though there was some but the anachronistic manner of every ones speech, as if this was all happening in our day. It's funny but in my novel I wanted things to be clear for my reader and I wanted the characters speech to be easily understood enough to the point of I considered making them speak close to how we do and my editor caught just a handful of things that were too anachronistic to stay. This book would give her nightmares in comparison. As much as I didn't think it would bug me it really does, but I think that's exactly what Bledsoe was going for. A noir take on fantasy which needs that shot in the arm of something new under the sun.

So good writing, great characters and great mystery, though it may not sound like it I think it has a relatively original storyline, my one beef is with the manner of speech. Bit of violence and sex too, if that bugs you, Melanie. I don't want anyone to say they weren't warned. I can't say its a great book but I think I liked it enough that I will get the sequel that is coming out in a couple of months, so that means it is above average.