REMEMBRANCE OF NOBILITY

“You ready to go on?” Bollero — my butler sidekick — grimaced, not too sure I was.

I gave him a quick stare. “Time already?”

“They’ve been waiting awhile for your first blog on the new website. I’d say an expectant crowd after your trailer buildup.”

“Tough act to follow. How do I look?”

“Fine…except your tie could be better.”

“No fretting over that. Look, just get on with introducing me. And make it simple.”

Reluctantly, Bollero peered at the viewers, then in a booming, bass voice, announced: H-E-E-E-E-E-R-R-R-R’S GERALD!

I waved to the scant applause and a couple of giggles, squeezing out a Broadway smile. “Hi, folks. Welcome to my new wonderland.”

“Your tie’s CROOKED!” a viewer yelled.

Always a heckler, I thought. “What I’m about to say will take your mind off of that,” I answered, a profound edge to my voice.

“I hope it’s to tell us why we should buy your book,” another viewer piped up. “Especially at $19.50 when we can get eBooks for ninety-nine cents.”

That elicited a sardonic smirk. “But what do you GET? Not rare quality, which emanates from every page of my book. Such superb quality doesn’t come cheap.”

“Aw, c’mon,” another viewer yelped. “Romance is romance, and we can get it cheaper!”

“Not this romance. But my book is not a romance book, though it has strong elements of romance. Neither is it a mystery book, though it has strong elements of mystery; nor is it a thriller, though it rings of strong elements of one; nor is it a mystical book, though it deals with the unknown. No. Spitting out genres like a Gatling gun, The Gods Of Winter is above any one genre in achieving its nobility, slowly accumulating its touch of rare quality in riveting gasps.”

“Nobility?” a viewer questioned. What gives your book nobility?”

“In part, a noble life,” I pointed with a solemn finger.

A quiet stillness settled over the viewers.

“The life of my fiancee’,” I continued, “Jane Valentine — portrayed by Gloria Hopkins in the novel, fiction based upon fact. As the story’s odyssey unfolds, you will see the nobility of Jane in Gloria. See Gloria — Jane– as such a wonder of life, possessing such a rare gift for savoring it, embracing it, eagerly reaching out and sharing its zest and love with others, with animals, embellishing their lives with the enhancing joys of living, so thankful for the marvels of life and being alive to enjoy them. For Jane, life was an amazing bundle of rainbows to be savored to the fullest, their every moment precious.

“Jane died a tragic death before her time, leaving a vacancy of spirit that will never be filled. This, too, is in the novel. Her unexpected death was the driving force urging me to write this novel; its writing a spiritual quest so that the wondrous memory of Jane would never be lost to the fading whispers of time.

So now, I ask for your help in preserving the memory of this gallant, selfless, noble being, a rare creature of nature, the likes of which we may never see again.

Buy the book, not for me, but for Jane, carrying on her memory, while the glow of her spirit transforms you with awe.

The Gods of Winter

NEW NOVEL COMING SOON

Ah, yes folks, my cherished loyal fans and others, it has been a while since I have last posted — gads, almost two years!

It has been tough clearing out all the cobwebs here, and my butler and staff have long cleared out, leaving me nasty notes, some with lewd drawings. But undaunted, a new butler and staff are on their way here to join in a most remarkable undertaking, rather breathtaking.

You see, my absence in posting is because I have been preoccupied in the gut wrenching, emotionally draining, teary-eyed task of writing a new novel, one different and unequaled, a story so powerful that my publisher expects it to sell in the thousands of copies.

This novel is THE GODS OF WINTER, fiction based on fact, some of the facts touching upon the author’s personal experiences; a suspenseful tale of captivating happenings and interlocking, vibrant, unforgettable characters, centering out of this varying mix, two of  them — a man and woman, each notable and compelling in their own right — are unlikely brought together, as though by fate, developing a rare and daring love of endurance between them, all the while their love is cruelly set upon by a mysterious, crafty unknown force lurking with the inexplicable seeds of madness, inexorably leading the couple down a harrowing path shattering the life of their love, and the lengths one is driven to, to save that love. Love and madness pulling in a range of characters to an eventual intense, ravaging backdrop of failing hopes, trickery, blackmail, and sanity, and an unexpected ending.

This short overview in no way can give you the undefinable impact of the story, for really, it is beyond words and description, and has to be felt, sucked into the very cells of your being as you become immersed in the story’s unfolding, ranging magnetism; immersed in its wonder of humor and laughter, tragedy and sadness, hope and despair, and the unexpected bafflement of life unraveling before you, leaving you pondering in deep awe.

THE GODS OF WINTER will be coming soon, to be released sometimes around this coming October.

When it is released, I will be making another posting.

In the meanwhile, tennis, anyone?

 

A TALE OF TWO BOOK REVIEWERS II (continuation of A TALE OF TWO BOOK REVIEWERS)

Attired in innocuous garb so as not to draw undue attention, Shane Porteous and Tracey Alley moseyed into the Blues Haven Lounge, a quiet, cozy, out-of-the-way place. After obtaining their drinks at the bar, the two slyly maneuvered their way through the low voices at scattered tables and huddled themselves into a corner table, there sitting across from one another.

“You sure Gerald will be waltzing into this joint?” Shane asked in a resonate baritone, his words contemplative as he sipped at his martini, his look that of a sleepy hawk, not unlike that of a hit man in patient waiting as he scrutinized the people sitting at the other tables.

“Not to worry,” Tracey replied assuredly, sipping her gin and tonic, her voice soft, in tune with her flawless complexion, a confident gleam in her eyes. “I was informed he never misses popping into this lounge — his favorite hangout when he’s in town, and I’ve learned he’s in town…somewhere.” Following another sip of her drink, she added emphatically, “As ingenious as Gerald is in eluding us, this time we’ll NAIL him!”

“Ha!” Shane smirked in that suave manner of his. “No one nails Gerald, no matter what — unless he wants to be nailed.” Pausing, reflecting back with another sip of his martini, he continued. “With his mysterious nature…so unpredictable, figuring out what he’s going to do — nailing him — is like trying to figure out some metaphysical riddle.”

Shane paused again, sipped at his drink, took a deep breath, sighed, then managed a paradoxical grunt. “But I shouldn’t be complaining,” he confessed. “The genius of that nature gave us Of Good And Evil, that ROYALTY of thrillers!”

That reflection suddenly enlivened Shane’s mood. “That thriller royalty,” he beamed, with roguish self-congratulations, “I SO brilliantly alluded to in my gasping, unequaled review of the novel.” Shane sighed — almost ecstatically, then declared, “Such a MASTERFUL review…one for the ages…one whom no OTHER reviewer can possibly TOP — or even come close to doing so in their inept attempt to review the book. My review is just too MAGNIFICENT to beat — EVER!”

Tracey’s eyes glazed over in flabbergasted disbelief upon hearing what Shane had just said, then she felt her face flame, taking his remarks as a nasty slap at HER review of Of Good And Evil. Arching her brows, jutting out her jaw, her eyes now like daggers, Tracey’s rancor laid into Shane with a no-holds-barred verbal barrage.

“What EGO!…what GALL!” Tracey began, “appointing yourself as God’s gift to reviews. Well, let me tell you something, BUSTER! You’re no gift. You’re nothing but a bombastic braggart carried away with shameless self-indulgence! And let me tell you something else. MY review TOPS YOURS — HANDS DOWN — leaving your review withering haplessly in the wind compared to mine.

“As for you’re…you’re royalty of thrillers indulgence, my review defines that royalty more meaningfully…proclaiming more elegantly that Gerald has the rare talent of a born writer…the gift of a true story-teller going that step further that separates writers from great writers…that special way of his taking burning passion to pen in engaging the reader with harrowing action and spine tingling romance right to the end. And Gerald’s SCOPE …taking the reader on a wild ride, the world his background…making the reader believe in his daring plot and his vivid, vibrant characters…leaving the reader to sit back spellbound and with on edge suspense reading his page-turning thriller!

“That, Buster, is THRILLER ROYALTY, thank you! As set forth with majesty in MY mind-blowing, masterful review! So THERE!”

Catching her breath, Tracey quickly took a hard swig of her gin and tonic.

Poker faced, Shane had listened quietly and calmly to Tracey’s incoming, with only an ever so slightly crinkling of the eyes. It was when Tracey was gulping down her drink in respite that his eyes begin to twinkle. Then a faint smile sneaked about his lips, and he said glibly:

“I love it when you get WORKED UP like this. You’re so beautiful…so passionate, giving me such strange stirrings!”

“Now STOP THAT!” Tracey snapped. “None of your wiling guile tricks on me! Just stick to the subject — our reviews.”

Shane shrugged, his smile evaporating. “Okay,” he said. “I’ll meet your review and raise you a review. I’ll mention the great maturity Gerald displays in his writing…never seen in MOST writers’ work. I’ll further point out his uncanny knack for dealing with love. Of all the hundreds and hundreds of books I have read in my life, the love between Ron and Amber in Of Good And Evil is by far the most genuine romance I have ever read about. Not only does it boggle my mind the sheer caliber of talent Gerald possesses, it also boggles my mind that his book is not on the New York Times best seller list. It’s the very embodiment of what a paranormal thriller should be, and…”

“While wrestling with all your mind boggling,” Tracey interrupted, her manner more calm, her ire having waned since Shane’s inexplicable wiling, “I’ll tell you why it isn’t on the list. It’s Gerald’s lack of internet marketing.”

“Ah, so,” Shane begrudgingly agreed. After a measured breath, he quietly concluded, “Gerald doesn’t take to marketing — especially on the internet. He regards it as madness! Well need to twist his arm on this. But speaking of marketing, do you still carry the links to Gerald’s  book with you?”

“Why, yes. In my purse. You want to see them?”

Shane nodded. Tracey fumbled through the contents of her purse until she found what she was searching for. She handed a small sheet of paper to Shane. With the focus of a master strategist. he studied the sheet’s links  while finishing off his martini, gulping down the olive, as master strategists do.

The links he first pondered were those for purchasing OF GOOD AND EVIL, all of them provided on Gerald’s blog my clicking the “Buy the Latest Books!” box at the top of the blog’s Home page. As Shane continued to ponder these and the other links, he grimaced, shook his head, and began rubbing his chin, exclaiming, “Gerald needs a BURST of MAGIC to bring these links to life, so people will be clicking these links in mass. He needs to hit the Internet with real jumping sold out FLOOR SHOWS. He needs to wallow in them!”

Then Shane cringed. “I shudder to think how Gerald will hiss and growl — like some cornered Siberian tiger — and pounce on me for bringing all of this to his attention. But it has to be done. He must get word of his novel out. Its story — a rarity of art many know nothing about — deserves it. A lot of scrambling is needed to extend the thriller’s reach.”

When Shane leaned back, sighing in further contemplation, he noticed that his glass and Tracey’s were both empty, and said, “Just as important, we need another round of drinks, one for you…one for me.”

Tracey’s attention was suddenly grabbed by what she was eyeing at the front of the lounge. “Better make that four drinks,” she said, rather flatly. “The tiger…Gerald…just popped in, waltzing through the door with a tigress purring on his arm, some dazzling blonde looking like the cuddling type.”

WHAT?!…” Shane’s eyes popped wide as he stared at the front door’s entrance, and what he saw brought on an immediate discomfort. “My GOD,” he gasped, “that blonde is Cynthia Westland, the Boston Beauty…some claim the Boston Bomber. She’s another DANG book reviewer. She tried to outdo my review in her’s by parading Gerald’s book as a true masterpiece!”

“Well,” Tracey sighed, looking a bit envious, “I’d say he’s got his hands full with a true masterpiece now.”

“This joint is beginning to crawl with book reviewer lizards!”

“Maybe we could start some kind of weird convention, with Gerald and Cynthia providing the floor show!”

“That’s a TAKE!” Kruger von Griffin yelled out. “Performances…dey SPLENDID! JA…JA!”

 

A TALE OF TWO BOOK REVIEWERS

MY butler — and then some, Bollero, was so shocked that I’m making another posting in the same month as my previous posting, that he had to be hospitalized. Not only that, but when he learned I was making a second posting immediately following, he had to be rushed to the Intensive Care Unit under heavy medication and placed on a ventilator with a tube down his throat because he had stopped breathing.

Ah, such are the perils of life, but Bollero seems to be making a slow, closely monitored recovery from his “posting” trauma in the hospital. Since Bollero always handled my postings here, I’m going to have to handle these two — A TALE OF TWO BOOK REVIEWERS and A TALE OF TWO BOOK REVIEWERS II — myself, so bear with me. It would be of help if you would send flowers to Bollero’s room, where psychiatrists are at the ready. He could certainly use the flowers’ calming effect.

But on to this posting, which is not so calming. It’s original idea was to honor my very good friend, Tracey Alley — among her enticing novels ERICH’S PLEA and URSULEA’S QUEST — and my exceptionally good friend, Shane Porteous — among his compelling novels RACISS and HOW GODS BLEED. Both of these authors, the stars of this posting, have given fantastic reviews of my thriller OF GOOD AND EVIL.

The way I was to honor my two friends was to write a story — which I did — that evolved into Shane and Tracey, rather heatedly, not unlike the banjo contest in the movie DELIVERANCE, debating one another as to who had given the best review of OF GOOD AND EVIL.

But when I finished the story I had strong second thoughts about using it. You see, though I had permission from Shane to use him in the story — sort of like in any way I saw fit, I didn’t have such permission from Tracey. I couldn’t contact her.

My uncle, Kruger von Griffin, the infamous film Director — in an odd twist of DNA, he had a strong heritage of German, with little UK ancestry, while I had a strong UK heritage, with little German ancestry, suggested that I use the story in the form of a dream. As he stated, “Who vould  hold you accountable for anything dat occurs in a dream? Dreams…your dream, acts vith a force of its own beyond your control, so who can hold you responsible for it? Dat vould get you off der hook vith Tracey.”

“Marvelous idea… and solution,” I replied, feeling a greatly relieved..

Further, my uncle suggested that instead of making the story just a dream, make it a movie scene dream under his strong-handed direction, with him responsible for how the dream plays out –he dictating what Shane and Tracey will say, how they will say it, what they will do, their expressions and emoting, and so forth, even if none of this is true or accurate in the two author/reviewers’ real lives. It’s only a dream.

Hearing this further suggestion from my uncle, I felt a certain inner glowing. “Even more marvelous!” I smiled. “Let’s go with that.”

So, before shooting on location in the dream, my uncle had me read these lines, “As dreams go, this one is a doozie! I dreamt it after falling asleep at a P.T.A meeting.”

These lines…my lines, would be the narration heard as a lead in to the movie scene dream action.

Also before shooting, my uncle took Shane and Tracey aside on the movie set in the dream, and said to them, “Ve vant dis scene to be JA JA MOVING, so give it SOME LIFE! Ve don’t vant me yelling, ‘Cut..Cut..Cut,’ so give great performance on der first take! Dat saves money!”

Then Kruger von Griffin shouted, “Everyvone quiet on der set! LIGHTS!…CAMERA!…ACTION!”

(The dream scene action begins on the next post — A TALE OF TWO BOOK REVIEWERS II)



.

 

DISCOVERY!

“It was the best of times. it was the worst of times,” so the words on the old pages go. But in these times, at this time, Bollero was flabbergasted! At first lost for words, not knowing what to think, my sudden arrival so unexpected.

“Gerald, wha…wha…” he sputtered, a vein popping out on his forehead. He couldn’t believe his eyes, now popping out in rhythm with the vein.

“Just calm the nerves,” I deadpanned quietly. “It’s not becoming…not like you.”

Bollero strained to collect himself, finally calming down a bit. “But…but — THIS is not LIKE YOU! You only show up when there’s a posting to be made, but you just MADE ONE a month ago, and you never make another one so soon again, not at least for several months…even a year. So why are you here now? Certainly not to ask me to make a posting for you.” Then a harsh thought overtook him. “Oh, God!…Don’t tell me you’re here to tell me…tell us..that you’ve sold…”

Bollero couldn’t finish the sentence, nearly choking on the thought.

“No, I haven’t sold the place,” I assured him. “I’m too fond of it…of you,, the most dedicated of butlers, then some…the rest of the staff.” Hearing these words, Bollero exhaled a gigantic sigh of relief, allaying the abrupt, desprate need for a stiff martini the thought had brought on.. “And yes, I’m here for you to make a posting.”

“God, so quickly after the last one. The followers will have heart attacks!”

“Just as long as you don’t have one, my friend. This posting is quite important. One for the times.”

“The times?” Bollero blinked, then a brightness crept into his eyes. “Ah, now I get it,” he said, a certain expectant cheer in his tone. “You must be speaking of the coming holidays. You want a post getting the jump on all the other authors. A clever, persuasive narrative as to why your book would make the best gift for Christmas — with plenty of  HO, HO, HO cheer from Santa egging people on to buy your book for all their friends and relatives, making for them the most perfect merry Yuletide.”

 “”No…No…No!” I grimaced.  “Nothing so crass…so brazen! Of Good And Evil is not a Christmas book, but a book for all seasons, for all reasons. Anyway, some gurus — from India, I think, straight out of The Razor’s Edge — have passed the word that my novel has great appeal to turkeys — giving them sort of a last hurrah…a last uplifting of glory, a kind of solemn courage, like found in kamikaze pilots, before sacrificing themselves as  bird patriots, stuffed with goodies and  sometimes overcooked, to be placed on the holiday table before a ravenous family tribe fighting over the white meat…occasionally the drum sticks.. If there was a holiday for the book’s appeal, according to these gurus, it would be Thanksgiving, not Christmas, but this posting has nothing to do with holidays.”

Bollero flinched, as if taking a blow to the head, not liking being wrong, taking great pride in the accuracy of his guesses. A long pause followed, a deliberating silence. Then Bollero’s eyes lit up again. “The posting has to do with the movie!” he exclaimed, confidently. “Yeah — that’s IT! The movie is about to be released, and you’re going to dazzle people with the story behind it. Am I not right?”

“Wrong again, Kemo Sahbee. Still no cigar.”

Bollero’s eyes took on a pissed-off look, on the verge of recoiling. “Then  WHAT?!…dammit!”

“Calm down and I’ll tell you.”

“All right,” Bollero pouted. “OKAY!”

“It’s a new slant on Of Good And Evil. A discovery — deuces wild! Perhaps the most important element of all about the book– save for rabid seekers of daring action and gut-gripping romance, who would buy the book without it — to grab people’s interest in reading the thriller.

“I was being interviewed by this gung-ho reporter, the kind who goes ape about everything. He wanted an EXCLUSIVE…a real SCOOP…from me on Of Good  And Evil — something that I hadn’t mentioned to anyone, anywhere, before. I told him that I had already covered with others everything that was possible to mention that was significant about the novel, covered it all until I was blue in the face. Told him that anything exclusive had long been exhausted. That there were simply no scoops left. But this persistent reporter wouldn’t sit still for this. I thik he was ego driven, pushing for the Pulitzer Prize.. He insisted I go into deeper thinking in search of something new that hadn’t been revealed before and, reluctantly, I did just that.”

“And I bet you were gurgling a martini all the while,” Bollero interjected in a last frustrated attempt to guess correctly. His bad guesses were taking its toll.

“Yes, as you obviously need to be gurgling a martini right now. But my martini helped me in my uncanny focus. Helped me in searching the shadowy reaches of  my mind for wandering or random thoughts stumbling about which, when consolidated, gave me a new and significant slant on what I had actually written. It became evident that the notion that evil succeeds when good people do nothing is really what my novel is all about, something I never mentioned before. That and that the ruthless use good as a veil masking their evil, disguising evil so it appears to be good, turning evil into good. And that some of the people whom are basically good, because or ignorance or gullibility, fall like suckers for this sinister deception, thus unwittingly help evil to triumph., making them as evil as the evil they’re against.”

Bollero was gawking at me, a bit breatlhless and rather mystified, not even knowing what to guess about as I added, “That was my deuces wild scoop for the reporter.That’s my new posting. Now post it, after you  have collected yourself with a martini…or two. And don’t forget in your posting to mention where people can get a copy of Of Good And Evil. In the U.S. at http://www.amazon.com/dp/160976014X ; in the UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/16076014X. Or from other outlets by clicking the “Buy Book Now” heading at the top of the blog’s Home Page.

For a moment, Bollero and I remained still, encased in quietude. Then I rubbed my fingers over the prickly-like whiskers about my chin. “I need to shave.”

“I need that martini,” Bollero answered. No bad guessing there.

The FOREST

After many, many moons of being away, I felt none too relaxed about this truancy, and like some wayward shadow, I sneaked home and through the back door. This gave me enough time to make it to my office and sit down at my desk. Then came the expected knock on the door. Knowing what I was in store for, I took a deep breath, one styled in a slight grimace..

“Come in, Bollero,” I said expectantly.

The door opened and there stood my butler, impeccably attired in his butler garb. But Bollero was more than my butler. He also helped me with my blogging and kept on top of my followers, and when we were alone together, our discussions were always quite informal and to the point.

Bollero entered the office in his typical manner of propriety, but no smile. He looked none too relaxed himself. Then closing the door, he took on a more informal demeanor and said, with a dogged grimace of his own, “Gerald, where the hell have you been?…So long, no word, and…”

“I know…I know,” I said, a weary tone as I gestured a hand above the desk. “And the followers are going APE!…Right?”

“You’re quite the mind reader.”

“Too much so. Anyway, this unfortunate lapse couldn’t have been helped. Life has its unexpected demands…and they’re driving me ragged! You’re lucky I’m even here now.”

A hint of brightness took hold of Bollero’s dark eyes. “So let’s take advantage of it,” he said, his voice suddenly clamorous. “Get out a quick posting…a new blog bringing the haggard followers, and others, up to speed and off our backs.” Bollero quickly grabbed a large note pad and pen from the top of the desk. “All right, I’m ready. What do you want to say to them?”

“Nothing.”

“NOTHING?!…How can there be NOTHING?!”

“It requires creative genius to say nothing. NOTHING is bliss. So think of all the bliss I’ve brought to many over this past year.”

Bollero gawked at me as his mouth dropped open, his eyes disbelieving, their brightness gone. “BLISS?!…Have you ever been drove ragged! You should read these DAMN letters! They’re climbing the walls now. No WAY this crowd will stand still for your nothing!”

“Nothing is better than bull.”

“But THAT’S what they want, man! They NEED and CRAVE bullshit! And you’re the master at it. Some say your humorous bullshit can’t be beat!”

“I don’t feel humorous.”

“Ah, so that’s it — your MOOD. There’s the answer. We need to get you in a better mood. Okay. What say I mix you a nice, relaxing martini?”

“With olives?”

“You bet. Gin or vodka?

“Vodka. I want to get in a Rasputin mood. So go easy on the vermouth.”

Bollero wasted no time pushing a button on my console, ordering the proper ingredients. In no time they were delivered by the maid, whom Bollero thanked, then rushed off. Hastily, but making certain he did it correctly, Bollero made the martini with a devilish grin of triumph.

When he handed me the drink, I immediately gulped down the first few sips, then slowly my reluctant edge began easing away, and I felt more receptive to Bollero’s questioning.

“Okay, now that you’re enjoying your martini, I can see that better mood coming on, so give me something to write down— anything, but none of that nothing bit,” Bollero said with expectancy, his pen and pad ready.

“Well, I’m thinking of how hard it is to see the forest.”

Bollero didn’t dare interrupt my train of thought, so went along with what I said. “Because of the trees?”

“Yeah, THAT’S IT. Those damn trees that kept creeping in. Before their intrusion, I could see the whole forest clearly. So majestic! Its beauty awe-inspiring and transcending! Revitalizing the soul! But then those weird trees began popping up all over, hindering and distorting my view of the grand forest, those weird trees polluting and entangling everything around them, as if on a separate and deviate mission of their own, with everyone hugging these weird trees, like they hug the bullshit you spoke of earlier. Madness!”

“Is that the grabber you intend to induce the reader with?” Bollero finally questioned in puzzlement.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get your martini’s worth. No, the grabber is in reading my gripping love/action thriller, OF GOOD AND EVIL, with its captivating romance, the book available in the U.S. at http://www.amazon.com/dp/160976014X ; in the UK at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/160976014X . The novel gives you a clear and wondrous view of this enchanting forest and its transcending beauty. That’s true bliss!

INTERVIEW WITH AN ACTRESS

It’s always something. Some things can add up, overflowing your plate, delaying your blog postings. Before you know it, these postings become irregular, few and far between, not good for your followers whom you love and adore.

One of these somethings keeping me away from my blogging is my involvement  in making my psy thriller OF GOOD AND EVIL into a movie, its Producer Alexandria Altman, to whom I refer to as Alex.

Then it dawned on me. Instead of having the movie keeping me away from my blogging, why not bring my blogging into the movie process? And what better way to begin than by having an interview with an actor who will be playing the role of one of my novel’s leading characters.

From my observations and conversations with those associated with the movie, and from other related feedback, I’ve put together a dialogue with an actress. Let’s call her Sue. She will be playing the part of Amber Ash, the heroine of OF GOOD AND EVIL. That dialogue begins as follows:

Sue, full of vim and vigor, cheerfully enters the room as I said,  “Ah, thanks for making yourself available, Sue. My blog followers are going to love our chat.!”

“Delighted, Gerald,” Sue smiled, her voice soft and sultry. She was dressed in a fashionable caftan as she seated herself across from me, her long raven hair tumbling neatly down just over her shoulders. “You’ve come to my rescue when I needed it. Heaven knows.”

“With heaven’s help, let’s make this a good interview.”

“With you, I’m sure it will be,” she laughed, her brown eyes sparkling.

“Good. Just sit back and relax. This interview won’t be that structured. I’ll simply begin with a question, you answer it, and we’ll let the discussion evolve from there. Okay?”

Sue grinned. “You’re starting off as the psychologist with me, I see.”

“The writer will come along soon enough.”

“Probably just in time. What’s the first question?”

“Did you read my book before you became involved with the movie?”

Sue paused a moment, then, “Your first question would have to be an embarrassing one. No, I didn’t read your book, sorry to say, and I like thrillers. The first time I heard about it was when I read the working script Alex gave to me. Then I read your book,” she added enthusiastically, “and was really surprised! Compared to the working script, your book was even more incredible…more complete…more of a fantastic story, and your writing style is just awesome!

“Oops!” Sue brought her hand to her mouth, “Am I allowed to say that? Alex told me beforehand  that this interview was to focus on me, not you.”

“Don’t worry about it. This is all on tape, and if Alex objects to any of your remarks, they’ll be deleted from the interview. But for now, feel free to say what comes to your mind.”

“I know she’ll kill this, but the heck with it!” Sue proclaimed with a sudden fiery spirit. “I’ll love you forever for preparing me the way you did for that…that whatever you call it — a screen test? Was that a casting call?”

“Let’s just say a special audition.”

“It was special, all right. The pain you took presenting to me the very soul of Amber Ash.” She shook her head in amazement. “That’s what delivered the role. The love of your characters…getting me to absorb and act out the effects of that love.”

“Once I found you, I helped you because you were the best actress for the role. Your audition proved it…powerful! Now that you have it, what do you think of the role of Amber?”

Sue’s eyes became aglow. “It’s…it’s so hard to put into words…almost spiritual, but I think it’s one of the best roles I’ve come across for a woman. Challenging…unusual…magnificent. And what a love story! It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. And the psychic thing. Wow. It will require everything I can give to interpret the right nuances for the role. How do you come up with such phenomenal characters?”

“I give all the credit to my creative process. But what’s important now is how you bring Amber Ash fully to life on the screen.”

“Don’t worry, Gerald. After giving me the opportunity for the role, I don’t dare let you down.” Sue paused a moment, reflecting, then asked, “But what about Ron? He’s so crucial to all of this. Who will play his role?”

“Casting is still searching. Like yours, Ron’s role is not easy to fill.  Is whoever is chosen to play Ron of concern to you?”

“Damn right!” Sue exclaimed wide-eyed, lifting her brows. “I don’t want the Casting Directer playing with my brain by saddling me with some flake! Someone who can’t pull off Ron’s strong, uncanny character and your masterful story. Someone who just doesn’t have that special spark that mesmerizes.. Whomever the actor is who’s chosen, our chemistry together has to be right. It has to click and come across on the screen. With the right Ron, this movie could become a blockbuster!”

“Let’s hope Casting digs up the right actor.”

“I bet you’ll have a hand in the digging, like with me. But…” Sue now appeared a little drawn.

“What is it?”

“It’s just…just…It’s just that I want this to be the best in film making. Your story deserves it. I just don’t want to see it screwed up.”

“Alex wouldn’t let that happen.”

Sue gazed at me in question.

“Maybe this is a good place to end the interview,” I said.

“Suits me. I could use a drink!”

“What say we do lunch?”

OF GOOD AND EVIL can be purchased by clicking the “Buy the Latest Book!” box at the top of this blog’s home page. Or, in the U.S.,  it can be ordered by clicking, http://www.amazon.com/dp/160976014X ; in the UK by clicking, http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/160976014X

ONSLAUGHT

Being a night person, 8 o’clock in the morning was much too early for me to rise, new blog posting or not. My head felt like a Santa hangover on New Year’s Day, and my movements, at best, were a poor imitation of sleepwalking.

I bumped around in the bathroom like a zombie in training, then awkwardly threw on a shirt and slipped into a pair of slacks, loosing my balance several times in doing so. Then I moseyed uneasily through the private doorway into my home office, feeling like some squalid animal walking on its hind legs. None too steadily, I plopped myself down into the swivel chair at my desk and stared at the small clock perched on its rear corner. The clock was a blur, and its hands seemed to gaily dance and multiply.

Suddenly I wasn’t alone. My personal secretary, Ginger — a  petite brunet, no more than 5 foot 2, short hair, mid 50s, efficient and diligent, dressed smartly in a dark pants suit, had just entered the room through its main entrance, closing the door behind her.

“I see you’re up and about, ready to go,” she chirped. Her clear and dutiful voice had a ring of cheer.

“That’s debatable,” I challenged quietly, blinking my eyes, not facing her, still staring at the clock and asking myself, “How do the hands do that?” Then, oddly, came a striking thought. “A premonition?”

“You want breakfast?” Ginger asked, snapping me out of my strange reverie.

 I slowly swiveled around, facing her, my eyes still blinking in disorientation.”What?”

“Breakfast?” she nodded.

“Uh, no…not now,” I blinked. “But I desperately do need some coffee!” Amazingly, I managed to press one of the many colored buttons on my console, the special one signaling for coffee. Then struggling to appear more cognizant, I asked Ginger, “How’s the Inbox?”

Ginger sighed. “The usual smorgasbord, but nothing earthshaking.”

“Well, just delete the obvious garbage. I’ll try and take a look at the remainder later.”

“Oh, a Mr. George Knox phoned. He wants you to call him back as soon as possible.”

Frowning, my blinking ceased. “Damn…as though I need that! Look, not to be unkind, “I sighed, “but if he calls again, for God’s sake, don’t put him through. I hate to have you do this, but tell him I’m out of town…in Europe somewhere.”

“I gather you won’t be calling him back.”

“If you knew George, you wouldn’t call him back either. That guy’s impossible! He can talk nonstop…on and on and on. Continual triviality…anything that pops into his head…constantly changing the subject without ever taking a breath in between. I have too much to do today — especially putting together a blog posting, without it being disrupted and delayed by his infernal yakking. My followers expect a timely posting…deserve it.” I sighed again, the talking seemingly bringing my thoughts into focus.

“As far as that goes,” I continued, “don’t put any calls through to me today — unless it’s my film Producer!”

We were interrupted by a knock at the door. “Come in” I acknowledged.

The door opened. Standing there, looking quite dignified in his butler garb, was Bollero. “Your coffee, sir,” he stated with stoical aplomb. In the presence of others, Bollero always addressed me as “sir.” But when we were alone together, he relaxed and addressed me by my first name. Our casual pact.

As Bollero brought me my coffee in a huge cup on a silver tray, Ginger nodded and left the room. Once Bollero left, I began sipping my coffee and gazed back at the clock on my desk. It’s hands had finally steadied. A good sign. Then, taking a deep breath, I got down to writing the first rough draft of my next blog posting on a legal sized pad of yellow paper. Not long into this, my console buzzed, a signal from Ginger. I pressed a console button putting Ginger on the speaker. “Yes?”

“Alexandria Altman, your movie Producer, is holding on line 2,” Ginger singsonged,  a certain reedy timbre to her voice.

I pressed another console button and put Alexandria on the speaker as my coffee sipping advanced to lighting a cigarette. “Alex, delighted to hear from you. What’s happening?”

“Things are moving, Griff. Your movie’s pre-production is about finished, then we’ll be ready for full film development. We should have you here soon.” Her voice was energetic and ebullient, that Hollywood “marvelous” sound.

“About time things were moving.”

 “Moving so well as to leave me in awe and speechless!”

“I can’t imagine you ever speechless.”

She laughed, an invigorating laugh. “I’m not speechless about  you! Being the human being you are…the finest, kindest man I know, that alone sells me. But in addition, I have your book…one of a kind…and your wonderful, perfect script, all allowing me to lift your movie up.”

For a moment I was breathless, an exciting numbness.

“Must run, Griff,” Alex continued. “Get on with this.But I just had to tell you. I’ll be back with you soon. When this gets out, you’ll be bombarded. An onslaught!”

“Onslaught! What kind of onslaught?” I was suddenly fully awake.

“People are going to be after you. Among other things, just for starters, you’re going to see a mass of them come to you and ask you where they can get a copy of your book and ask for a part in your movie. And that’s only the beginning.”

For some reason, George Knox came to mind.

Ten minutes after Alex was off the phone, Ginger unexpectedly rushed back into the office. “Gerald,” she exclaimed excitedly, “you’ve got to see this! An email from one of the writers, Cynthia Westland, in that Crime Fiction group.

Still grappling with what Alex had just told me, while at the same time finding it futile to focus back on my blog’s rough draft, I pivoted around in my chair and shot Ginger a quizzical look. “What’s so pressing about it?”

“Her review of Of Good And Evil. Just posted on Amazon. Take a look.”

I pivoted back around in my chair, booted up my wireless PC, clicked Internet, then clicked Cynthia’s email on the Inbox page, and intently read her review:

“Gerald G. Griffin has mastered the art of intelligent and suspenseful writing in this book. With each page, the reader is informed, challenged captivated and finally obsessed with this story of love, honor, evil and political tumult.

“Exquisitely crafted, Griffin weaves a gripping tale of Captain Ron Sheffield’s quest for redemption and purpose, while battling his personal demons. The love story of the beautiful and mysterious Amber Ash and Captain Sheffield is poignant, sensual, strong, and is an integral part of the novel, making the book equally appealing to both men and women.

“The fast pace and suspense of the novel kept me engaged from beginning to end. One of the best reads of the year, Of Good And Evil has all the elements of a best seller, and more. A true masterpiece!”

“Wow!” I enthused, my eyes dancing and multiplying as the clock hands had done earlier. “Succinct but powerful…and to the point!”

“That should keep the ‘Buy the Latest Book!’ box at the top of  your blog page busy,” Ginger smiled cheerfully.

“Yes,” I agreed quietly. “Let the onslaught begin.”

OF GOOD AND EVIL can be ordered by clicking http://www.amazon.com/dp/160976014X . Put this link on your browser.

MOVIE AUDITIONS for Of Good And Evil

It was quiet, the enigmatic hush in the room making my return seem somewhat eerie. Though it was the holiday season, I felt like some phantom who had loomed in from outside through a strange morning mist.

My odd mood was interrupted by an expected knock on the study door. “Coffee, sir,” came a stiff, masculine voice on the other side.

“Come in.”

The door opened and a tall, beefy man, late 50s, dressed smartly in butler’s livery, entered the room carrying a silver tray with an over sized coffee cup placed neatly in its center.

“Ah, thank you, Morris,” I managed to smile. “I think I’m going to need this potent brew. Just set it down here.”

“Very good, sir.”

Maintaining his aplomb as he approached me, the butler set the tray on the edge of my desk. Then in a gravelly voice, he deadpanned cheerlessly but politely, never losing stride in his well-mannered behavior, “Sorry, sir, I’m not Morris. The name is Bollero.”

My smile disappeared, my mind off the coffee. “Bollero?!” I looked at him quizzically, the eerie feeling resurfacing. I swear you’re a dead ringer for Morris. You’re not a ghost, are you?

“I beg your pardon, sir?”

I wondered if it was against Bollero’s nature ever to smile. “Never mind. What happened to Morris?”

The wrinkles appeared to tighten in Bollero’s face. “He left many months ago. You’ve been absent from blogging for such a  long a time — I believe your last full blog post was June 12, 2012, that it was more than he could endure. He…well, became fed up and left, if you can pardon my frankness, sir.”

“Fed up?!” I grimaced with a disbelieving air. “For crying out loud! You know where he is?”

“Not my business, sir, but I expect he’s associated with other blogs. Those that blog on a regular basis.”

“He’ll come scampering back. Few blogs can match this one.”

“Yes, if your blog posts were not so far in between, sir. That is the problem!” Bollero’s thick eyebrows jumped in reprimand. “Even the blog followers are on the verge of revolt, demanding more frequent posts. There’s a huge collection of complaint emails…even a few letters. Very nasty, if I may say so, sir.”

“You’ve read them?”

Bollero shrugged his hefty shoulders. “Beats the boredom in your absence, sir.”

“Well, as you can see, I’m absent no longer. I’m back! A short break from this hectic movie business and book marketing madness.”

Bollero’s dark, gloomy eyes finally displayed a hint of cheer. “May I assume, sir, that you will finally be making another blog posting?”

“Yes. Maybe a biggie!

It was as if this was too much for Bollero to contain, forcing his eyes to sparkle as he was overwhelmed by an uncontrollable rush of excitement. Momentarily, he was lost for words. But he needed some expressive release, so said in a more genial manner, “Sir, your coffee. It will become cold.”

I immediately picked up the cup and took a sip. “Ahhh,” I savored. “Tastes heavenly!”  As requested, the coffee was blended with brandy. “Thank you Bollero. You’ve earned your keep.” A faint smile softened Bollero’s features. “So enough of this “sir” business. From now on, address me as Gerald.”

Bollero fought the idea of such familiarity, but lost the fight. As I sipped the coffee, he replied, “Yes si…uh, Gerald.” It was slowly dawning on him that our relationship was changing. Emboldened by this realization, he asked, “May I inquire as to the substance of your new posting?”

“Auditions!”

Bollero hesitated, furrowing his brows in confusion. “Gerald, what does that mean?”

“Simple. I’m going to invite the readers to audition for roles in the Of Good And Evil movie. Not the major characters, you understand…such as Ron Sheffield…Amber Ash…Jonathan Ash…Drew Vandiver…Dominick Valenti…Rachael Di Salvo and such — those roles are reserved for the big name actors.”

I paused a moment for more coffee sipping, then lit a cigarette. “But you see, “I hastily continued, “there are plenty of minor characters who the readers can choose to audition for, roles I can have an influence with — Mafia…nurses…doctors…villa staff…government people…people at fashionable parties…FBI agents…terrorists…secret society members. The list goes on. A cast of hundreds.”

“I know,” Bollero readily interjected. “I’ve read the book in your absence. Several times. Fantastic story!” His eyes actually beamed, relaxing further his guarded composure.

I knew there was something behind his ostensible praise. “What do you want?” I calmly asked.

“I want to audition for the villa butler,” he answered excitedly. “Where do I sign up?”

“Right here. On this blog posting.”

“Then I’m home free!” Bollero was outright jovial.

“Not so fast,” I quickly cautioned. “You’ll have to do what is required of all the readers before they can request an audition.”

“Like what?”

“Like, first, reading the book. How else can the reader come to know the characters and get a feel for which character best suits his or her audition preference?”

“But I’ve read the book, so surely, Gerald, you’ll select me to play the butler. I want that role! The acting will come so naturally, be so realistic!”

“Now, now, Bollero. No favoritism. Others may want the role of  that butler.”

“How do you know the others you mention will read the book?”

“We’ll have to see that they do…at least give them the chance. For those who haven’t read the book, and who wish to do so for the auditions, they can obtain a copy Of Good And Evil by clicking the “Buy the Latest Book!” box at the top of where this posting appears, the HOME page, and simply follow the clear and easy instructions popping up that will take one directly to the novel’s page at another site where the thriller can be ordered.”

Bollero smiled impressively. “Fine. Help them. See what good it does. No one can beat me in the role for the butler!” Bollero smirked.

“There’s more to the requirements.!

“Now what?”

I leisurely sipped more coffee, then enjoyed a long puff of my cigarette, slowly exhaling smoke rings upwards, their circles hanging indifferently in the air as I stated emphatically, “Each request, including yours, my confident one, must be accompanied by a narrative, as brief as possible, stating what there is you like about the character you’ve selected to audition for, and why you feel you’re suited to portray the character in a movie.”

Bollero smiled more confidently. “No problem.”

Downing the remainder of my coffee and dashing out my cigarette in an ashtray, I added, “These requests are to be submitted as a comment to my new posting here and, at the end of each request, an email address must be provided, the means by which, if I accept the request for person-to-person audition consideration, I can contact the party and we proceed from there. Requests must be submitted no later than March 1, 2014.

“There you have it: read the book; select a character and state your case for playing the character’s role; and submit your audition request as a comment, with email address.”

“Easy requirements to meet,” Bollero enthused ecstatically.

“Okay. As a movie director would say, ‘That’s a wrap’. Now I’ll arrange the new posting.” With a wink, I said to Bollero, “You can help, and with your help, who’s to say —“

Awwriiight!” Bollero shouted lustily, hitting my hand in a rowdy, high-five salute. “I play the movie butler!…Say, more coffee, Gerald?”

“Why, yes. Thank you, Bollero.”

Bollero laughed. Then he began shaking up and down, the laughter quickly elevating to hilarity. His laughter subsiding, he turned and grinned foolishly, gleefully, and did a hop and a skip to a little jig and sang merrily, “The butler’s mine…so divine…leaving me so fine…”

Bollero’s transformation was eerie. But that’s the movie business. Intoxicating!

Let the auditions begin!