Thursday, January 23, 2014

Why STRANGELAND irritated the crap out of me: A Movie Rant

Okay, I'll come out and admit that I'm twice as disappointed in this film because I'd had such high expectations. Dee Snider is awesomesauce. Even if you don't enjoy TWISTED SISTER (which I think is pretty good, but not among my favorites) One cannot help but applaud the way he takes on the U.S Senate and Tipper Gore regarding music censorship and comes out on top.

Seriously, watching this is a kajillion times better than the film.

To sum it up, Mr. Snider is an extremely intelligent guy. I'd expected an intelligent film. But alas, it was mostly infuriatingly stupid-ly unbelievable and sends messages that Snider himself argued against in real life.

Before I rant on the details, I'll quote a Summary from IMBd

A schizophrenic sadist by the name of Captain Howdy lures teens through the internet into his painful traps. A detective starts pursuing him after he captures his daughter. Eventually they catch up with him and send him to a mental hospital. But upon his release, the townspeople don't accept the new, peaceful former Captain Howdy, and attack him. Howdy goes nuts again and in revenge starts everything all over, only worse. Can the detective stop him?..."

And I gotta admit, "Captain Howdy" which most people think is a nod to The Exorcist, but is really a 1984 Twisted Sister song about a child molester/murderer (But not in the film) is pretty damn terrifying.

Now for the rant...

1.) This movie makes pierced and tattooed people look like psychos. 

Seriously, as the villain tortures the ever-loving shit out of his victims, he spends half the film declaring that his tats and piercings are his identity and make him superior to others.

The majority of the tattooed and pierced folks I know are the among the nicest I've met and it bugs the crap out of me that someone who argued vehemently that self-expression and being different doesn't make you a bad person gave the opposite impression in his film.

Why the hell couldn't he have been the hero and the bland-looking cop been the villain?

2.) This movie also makes people who are into kink/ BDSM/ sadomasochism look bad.

I've met many people whose tastes run that way and AGAIN, the majority are nicer, and better mannered people than most "vanillas" I've met. I sang karaoke with many and did I get kidnapped and tortured? No, we sang songs and I received an education on their culture. I was also treated with more respect than I was among other groups of friends. They wouldn't so much as shake my hand without permission and protected me from drunk pervs who tried to cop a feel. 

A culture which is centered on RESPECT, MUTUAL CONSENT, and SAFETY!

The sadomasochistic villain kidnapped non-consenting victims and sewed their mouths shut before playing with them "so he could educate them and show them the glory of pain and pleasure." Hell, Pinhead and his cenobites were smarter than that. If he really wanted anyone to "understand" his lifestyle, he could have found many willing students on a fetish site ... or I dunno, that "metal" club that was full of kinksters? And they could have TALKED about each other's desires. ::Facepalm::

3.) Waaaay too many incidents that were incapable of suspension of belief.

..and now for a sub-list.

a.) The hero, a cop whose daughter is one of the victims, doesn't know how to use a computer. The film took place in 1998. Cops knew how to use computers by then. He has to have his freakin' niece point out that maybe his daughter was missing because she met someone online. Then she had to teach him how to go into the chatroom and look up the guy's profile.

b.) After looking up the guy's profile, and pretending to be a teen in the chat room, the cop automatically pegs him as the kidnapper when invited to a party.

c.) Getting an invite to a party was enough to get a house stormed by cops without a warrant or anything.

d.) However the villain gave them the wrong address (They storm in on old people having sex and almost give them heart attacks which is funny). ...BUT when the cop finds the villain's REAL lair, he goes poking around on his own, which is stupid AND illegal.

e.)  Outside of the villain's house, the cop trips over a garbage bag full of surgical needles.

 Tattooed and pierced people are very hygienic and would never dispose of their sharps that way. Hell, the villain was wearing gloves and being all sanitary with his victims, but he just tosses a bunch of bio-hazardous evidence in his backyard? What in the ever-loving fuck?

4.) The story ALMOST gets interesting, then takes a nosedive.

The villain gets busted, but since the only one of his victims died (and from a heart-attack, not from torture) he manages to get a verdict of "not guilty due to insanity" and gets out after only 4 years in a mental institution. He's "totally rehabilitated" and removed his piercings and covered his tats with makeup. 

He now dresses like a total dork and seems like a meek nerd.

...Then he moves right back into his old house in his old neighborhood, where an angry mob protests outside. 

2 cool parts about that. 

a.) The protest sign that read "We're Not Gonna Take It" made me grin.

b.) Seeing THIS GUY in the mob.


 You might recognize him better as THIS GUY

 And in a most delightful cinematic twist, the guy who played Freddy Krueger, a character who was murdered by an angry mob, led an angry mob and lynched the villain.

...who ended up surviving because the tree limb broke after the crowd left.

And this is where the movie really went to shit. The rain washes off the villain's makeup and then in the next scene he's magically pierced up the wazoo again and goes back to torturing people. Though I admit the sight of "Freddy" being a victim was amusing.

Anyway, the villain and the cop have a big showdown (again, stupidly alone) and that's it.

What would have been much more interesting would be if Robert Englund's (Freddy) character was a murderer and Dee Snider's character ended up redeeming himself by helping bust the guy. I know that rips off Silence of The Lambs, but hell, this movie was already doing that in other ways anyway.

Now back to other things

5.) There's just something wrong about the guy who wrote the 1984 song "Street Justice" (Which is similar to the back-story of Freddy Krueger, but clearly advocate citizens taking matters into their own hands)  playing a sexual predator/ kidnapper/ murderer who goes on a vengeful rampage after being "wronged" by vigilante justice.

In conclusion, I must ask you, Dee Snider, why the hell did you, an intelligent man who's always stood up for heavy metal, self-expression and individualism and stood against rapists, pedophiles, murderers, and our crooked legal system make a film that was not only full of logical fallacies, but appeared to denigrate your alleged values?



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Why I've Decided to Become a Hybrid Author

Wrenching Fate was my 2nd novel and first big learning experience. Even though my third novel, BITE ME, YOUR GRACE, ended up being the book that launched my career, WRENCHING FATE, unlike other trunked projects, refused to leave my mind. So between working on other novels I continued to play with it, revise it, send it to beta readers and critique partners, revise it again, and repeat.
I eventually landed an agent with it, however, like all the agents who passed on it, he knew that it would be a tough sell. When editors see "Vampire" these days, it's an automatic "no."
But I couldn't stop dreaming of the characters in that series.
And when the release date for my 2nd historical paranormal romance series was delayed, to the dejection of my readers, I made the decision (With my agent's blessing) to release WRENCHING FATE into the wild.
I am not doing it for the money. Lord knows paranormal is a crowded market.
I am doing it for the readers. For all of you who have been eagerly anticipating my next book. For you who want something to tide you over until ONE BITE PER NIGHT comes out. For those of you who've already read this story and loved it.
I am also doing it to gain new knowledge and new experience, and, WOW, I have indeed learned a ton about how to prepare to self-publish. It definitely isn't "at the push of a button," no matter what some say. Not if you're going to put out a quality product anyway.
The book's not even out yet and already it's been a lot of hard work. I doubt I'd be able to handle doing more than one of these a year and I have no idea how self-pubbed authors who put out multiple books a year handle it.
Therefore, I am content to be a hybrid author and leave most of my books with a publisher, editors, and marketing team.
So to my historical paranormal romance readers, don't worry. I won't be abandoning that genre anytime soon.
In the meantime, wish me luck on this venture and maybe check out WRENCHING FATE

 "Silas McNaught, Lord Vampire of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is elated when he finds Akasha Hope, the woman his psychic visions revealed to him centuries ago.

To his surprise, Akasha is infuriated when Silas interferes with her life. Furthermore, she is nothing like the sweet woman he’d envisioned. Not only is she a foul mouthed mechanic, she is also the accidental result of a military experiment with the strength of ten men….and government agents are looking for her. 

Matters are further complicated when Silas’s vindictive ex lover spurs the Elders to investigate Silas in hopes to destroy Akasha and gain control of her friends, which are the key to an 
otherworldly prophecy. 

As government conspiracies and vampire politics collide, Silas teaches Akasha the meaning of trust…and love."

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What's Happening in 2014

This may be my most exciting year yet.
I'm kicking off 2014 by officially hanging out my shingle as a freelance editor. I've been doing editorial work on and off for a few years and figure it's a good time to generate some business. I already have my first client of the year.
I am also venturing into the wild world of indie publishing and releasing my first urban fantasy romance, WRENCHING FATE on February 14th. I'll go into further detail on that decision in future posts but for now, here's the cover:

I'll also be looking forward to receiving Proofs and ARCs for ONE BITE PER NIGHT!! I am beyond thrilled.
Another thing that has my pulse pounding is the fact that I'll be attending RT 2014!!!! It'll be my first convention ever and I decided to go BIG. It's been my dream to visit New Orleans since I read my first Anne Rice novel, and I've been wanting to attend a romance convention and meet other authors ever since I started writing romance. So RT this year will be a dream come true.
My agent is currently shopping my heavy metal romance novel, for now titled, HIS ROADIE. With any luck I may be signing another book contract. 
Also, I've sent my editor the pitch and first chapter of a 4th Regency Paranormal romance. 
TONS of editing. Between freelance work and editing my own projects, I think I'll do twice as much editing as I did in 2013.... which was a lot.
Thankfully, I'll also be doing a bunch of writing. If my editor likes what she sees, I'll write a 4th Regency Paranormal romance. Most likely I'll be working on a 2nd Heavy Metal Romance as well.
ONE BITE PER NIGHT releases in August. With all the delays it's been a torturous wait, but I hope it proves to be worth it to my readers.
I also might be releasing Brides of Prophecy book 2, IRONIC SACRIFICE at the end of the year, or the beginning of next year, depending on the release schedules for my other books.
I'm already short of breath from sharing all this news and have no idea how I'm going to sleep tonight.

In other news, my doctor decided to up my Xanax prescription. No, I'm not joking. 
What exciting things lay ahead for you this year?  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2013 Recap

I know, I know, I'm late on this one.

2013 was an exciting year for me. The best part being:

MY first book release. 
Holy hell, you guys, this was even more exciting and stressful than I could have possibly imagined. I still have to pinch myself to make sure it was real.

I gave away cookies and raffled off gift baskets full of books, chocolate, and wine.
Then I Graduated College (Again)

Since I messed up my shoulders, my automotive degree isn't very useful in the real world. So I did what many writers do. I got my English degree. Aside from continuing to write and picking up freelance editing jobs, I haven't done much with it yet. But oh well. I love college.
Received cover(s) for ONE BITE PER NIGHT

For some reason they decided to change covers on this one. I liked the first one better, but oh well. 

The new one is fabulous as well.


That book was a hell of a journey. I've been wanting to write Rafe's book ever since he showed up in BITE ME, YOUR GRACE!  I already have the cover and I LOVE it! Alas, I'm not allowed to show it off yet.
Signed with an Agent.

His name is Eric Ruben and here's his website: He's pretty cool

Finished edits on ONE BITE PER NIGHT

 Arcs are coming in April. I CAN'T WAIT!!

Finished edits on my heavy metal romance, HIS ROADIE.

It's with my agent now and hopefully we can find a good home for it.
Got divorced.

Not much to comment on here other than it was a difficult decision, but the right one.
Edited and critiqued other author manuscripts

OMG, I got to read so many awesome books in advance and I am so excited for the authors and readers! 

Entered RITAS

I highly doubt I'll final, but it still feels good to participate.

Finished edits on WRENCHING FATE.

After my release date for ONE BITE PER NIGHT was delayed until August, I decided to go indie with this one. More on that soon. 

All in all, it was one hell of a year.  How was yours?