Category: Uncategorized

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!

IRONIC

Recently, while reading a blog comment on a sheet of paper, a devoted but perplexed friend of mine, Sue, approached me and stated:

“For gosh sakes, when’s your next posting? Don’t you know bloggers are supposed to post every week…or at least once a month.”

I gazed up at her with a vague look. “Really?”

“Yes, really. And you haven’t posted for over four months, leaving me hanging! I so enjoyed your last fascinating and eye-opening post and have been eagerly anticipating your next one. But after four months — NOTHING?!”

My vague look dwindled. I sighed. “Easy. Sorry, I’ve been quite busy.”

“So busy as to ignore your blog — your followers,” she reprimanded, frowning. “Some darn blogger you are!”

I returned her frown. “For heavens sake, don’t be so critical. I’ve been too pressed finishing my screenplay for OF GOOD AND EVIL to write a new blog post.”

“No excuses. Unacceptable. A blogger blogs —regardless!”

My frown deepened. “Boy, you give no quarter, do you?”

“Not on this!” Sue was adamant.

“Just out out of the blue, what do you expect me to post?”

“Anything! Right now, I’d settle for…for…You mentioned your screenplay. How about something on that?”

My frown eased into a profound expression. “Okay, you want screenplay, you get screenplay. But before beginning, you must understand that for the mind a novel is more internal and meditative, whereas a movie is more external and visually expressive. I learned that in spades doing the screenplay; really learned the difference between a movie and the book it’s based upon”

Sue’s lovely features suddenly sparkled. “Now you’re talking!” she exclaimed, excited. “What did you learn?…Did you have any help with your screenplay?…”

“Actually, the inital screenplay drafts were written by a movie script pro working with my film representative. Then all corrections and changes in their script — plenty of them, no mean task, I can tell you — were left for me to make, this becoming the final draft.”

“I take it that was a problem,” Sue said, a sympathetic tone.

“At first, yes. A big problem. You see, the screen script they gave me was limited in scope compared to the novel. At one point it even lost me.”

“That lousy?!”she shuddered.

“No, no. The screen script was amazing in its own right — still captivating…moving with graphic lure…sticking to the gist of the storyline. But for me the problem was that the perfect resonance between the characters and the plot in the novel was choppy and abrupt in the screen draft; this, as I discovered, dictated by the constraints of movie reality.”

“Oh, my.”

“Oh, my, indeeed! Some major scenes in the book…some minor characters…had to be cut, as well as some essential character threads, nuances and developments, sort of deleting part of the book’s soul. I tried as best I could to restore this soul; restore what I felt was needed for plot cohesion, but I couldn’t completely. I had no choice but to compromise for the movie’s sake else the screen script would be too long. The script I ended up with would be two hours of movie as it was.”

Sue stared at me in alarm. “Will the book’s magnificence be lost in the movie?” she asked, a certain sadness in her tone.

“My film representative certainly doesn’t think so. When I presented the final corrected screen script to her, and after she read it, she replied to me, and I quote:

“Griff, YOU ARE AMAZING! THE SCRIPT LOOKS AND READS as in PERFECT! I AM YELLING THIS OUT OF PURE JOY AND DELIGHT! God only knows what they will do when we actually send it out….Thank you so much for helping us to fix your script. It was a biggie because you are a Giant as in…a really good soul. I am honored to know you and to work with such a sweet, kind and understanding spirit as you. I am blessed.”

Hearing this, Sue seemed transfixed, for a momet becoming strangely still. Then she pursed her lips, then spoke in a quiet voice. “I have a feeling about your script. A spiritual one.”

“Spiritual? I’d settle for good timing and good luck.”

“No, I don’t think you’ll need so much of that with this movie,” she said, more energy now in her voice. “If what your film representative says about your screen script is true, the movie will automaticaly achieve its own unique magnificence. I just FEEL it!”

“Wow, you’re really into this.”

“You bet I am. Now!” Sue’s dark eyes were flaming with spirit. “Besides what you’ve heard from your script pro and your representative, what have others said about the possibility of your movie?”

“Well, for an inkling, read this.” I handed Sue the sheet of paper I had been reading when she arrived. On it was commentary from Leigh Savage. Standing in for me, Leigh had answered as if she were me to a question directed to myself by a reader on her blog ‘Comments’ section at the bottom of Leigh’s author interview with me on my novel.

Engrossed, her eyes glittering with amazement, Sue began reading Leigh’s commentary:

“Vickie, thank you for your question. This is Gerald’s answer. ‘I feel very close to the military. Many on both sides of my family have served in the U.S. Military, as well as close friends, a couple in Special Forces. In addition, while a psychologist in private practice, I had in psychotherapy several returning military veterans having difficulty adjusting to normal society because of continuing combat trauma. I was presented first hand what they unhappily endured, as though I was with them in combat. This background with the military — very close to my heart, in addition to the 9/11attacks and other factors of national security, are what prompted me to write the story of my novel. This type of storyline in OF GOOD AND EVIL, with some of the same characters, is continued in the novel’s sequel. In spite of my novel OF GOOD AND EVIL receiving powerful reviews and presently being explored for the screen, it is lacking in sales one would expect from such a powerful book. It is ironic and unfortunate that it may take a movie to bring this captivating novel to a broader range of readers and the literary world. Whatever can be done to spread the word of the novel, before a possible movie is made upon it, would be a great contribution to that world.’ “

When finished reading, Sue immediately gave me a resolute look. “We’ve got to get busy on this. Never mind the blog posting!”

A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION THAT COUNTS!

I had long concluded that New Year’s resolutions were rather meaningless; holiday ritualistic fantasies sounding good but soon forgotten because of the difficulty in carrying them out. So as 2012 approached, I had resolved to skip making any resolutions.

I was to change my mind.

At a small holiday gathering, a book signing for my suspense thriller Of Good And Evil, I was sitting at a table with copies of my novel on display, full of enthusiasm with that enticing carnival barker facade I’ve found to be essential for such occasions.

An attractive, well-dressed woman in her early 30s picked up a copy of my book from the table, quickly glanced over the first page, taking no more than a few seconds, then put the book down and commented to me, “This is strictly a man’s book!” With confidence in her conclusion, she then strolled off.

Watching her, my face dropped and my carnival barker facade evaporated. Then and there, out of my dismay, my New Year’s resolution was born: correcting this erroneous and hastily concluded impression.

So ladies, my New Year’s resolution if for you; proving that Of Good And Evil is as much a woman’s story as a man’s tale. To begin, the novel has a beautiful, unusual and captivating love story, as well as strong, vibrant women essential and pivotal to the story’s plot and its outcome. But I’ll present to you more than my word.

Shane Poeteous, author of Rasciss, GraveCaller and How Gods Bleed, said in his review: “Now I must admit that I’ve never been a big fan of romance in stories, but of the 100s and 100s of books that I have read in my life, the love between Amber and Ron, the main characters in Of Good And Evil, was by far the most genuine romance I have ever read about.”

But let’s let’s hear from women , those who actually took the time to read the novel rather than just hastily glancing at the first page, not realizing what was in hand.

Backing up Shane’s words, Starr Reina of Suspense Magazine, a discerning woman, said in her review of Of Good And Evil: “An absolute must read!” (for both men and women)

And here’s what Camille Kelly of New York, an avid female reader, said: “Of Good And Evil definitely had me interested from the very first chapter…This novel contains everything that a good suspense novel should have…Mr. Griffin has captured the essence of each character and made his readers involved in their journey, and a wonderful journey it is. Each chapter was gripping and, as a reader, I wanted more….Every person in this story had a definite part to fulfill and Mr. Griffin accomplished that. The story was written beautifully and I felt all the emotions that each person entailed. I laughed, I cried, I was holding on, in parts, for dear life. A wonderful, wonderful novel.”

From Jan Zabel’s 5 star review: “Of Good And Evil is a book for readers of different tastes. It is a military story, it is a romance story (among other things)…Many adventures ensue…Before the government can terminate Ron, the Mafia takes him out. Only a woman, Amber…can save him.”

From the review by Lindsay Home, presented with great enthusiasm: “Wow, there was SO MUCH GOING ON in this novel…I was most impressed by the author and his writing…I was literally on the edge of my seat with each turn of the page…I can see the provoking great discussions about philosophy among a group reading it.”

And then there is the review by Tracey Alley, author of Erich’s Plea and Ursula’s Quest: “I believe that writers, especially those who are great writers, are born and not made. They have burning passion to put pen to paper, they’re tormented by stories that need to be told and see characters as real people rather than imaginary friends. No where is this driving need or this kind of talent more important or more necessary than for the writer of contemporary fiction.

“Gerald G. Griffin is an author with just such talent. In his brilliant thriller “Of Good And Evil” he takes the reader on a wild ride with the world as his background and makes the the reader believe in his plot and characters. He’s also gone that step further that separates writers from great writers….Gerald has given his audience a well-conceived story and has delivered it with the talent of a born writer…Ron Sheffield, Gerald’s gifted but tormented main character (and Amber Ash, his beloved), has everything a great writer needs to engage a reader on an emotional level. This is one of the gifts of a great story-teller.”

So there you have it, ladies. I rest my case…and fulfill my New Year’s resolution.

Women love my novel!

SANTA’S CHOICE! Guest Post by Richard Gazala (Blood of the Moon)

Richard’s chat with Santa (below) shortly follows my chat with Saint Nick in the posting following this one.

“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” wheezed out of a juke box as I perched myself on a squeaky stool next next to my beefy buddy in the red suit. I ordered the bartender to mix me up something tricky. Then I turned to Nick to watch him scowl over a long, long scroll while he mumbled silently on chocolate chip cookies between sips of milk.

“Surprised to find you cooling your sleigh here tonight,” I said. “Just nine nights to the big day, and you’re loafing in this joint?”

“Relax, friend. I’m working,” Nick grunted at me without looking up. He jabbed a quick finger at the scroll. “Going over this year’s nice and naughty list.”

I sneaked a peek at the list, trying to spy my name. “Well, you aren’t sounding too jolly about it.”

“That’s because naughty is outnumbering nice in a big way.” He gave me a knowing glance. “It’s been a tough year.”

The bartender sat a tall glass full of dark, bubbling amber liquid in front of me. Black smoke oozed over the tip of the glass and crept along the top of the bar. I raised a questioning eyebrow at the tender, but he just winked and promised me this was one very tricky drink. I shrugged and took a deep swallow. It tasted like chicken.

I tipped my chin at Nick’s list. “Where’s my name?”

Nick’s blue eyes wandered from me to my drink and back again. “Let’s say don’t be surprised when Rudolph bolts past your rooftop without slowing down even a little bit.”

I sighed as my fingertips drummed against the smoking glass in front of me. “I keep forgetting what a nosey guy you are,” I muttered.

“Hey, what can I say? Like the song goes, I know if you’ve been bad or good.” A grin formed under his rosy cheeks. “It’s a gift.”

I slurped down the rest of my slurpy drink, peering at my hefty companion through the bottom of the glass. “Okay, I admit it’s been a rough year for me. Sometimes I had to go naughty. I’m not proud of it.”

“So ‘Be good for goodness sake’ just kind of slipped past you, huh?” he said.

I gave his scroll a dimissive wave. “I’m saying you should ease off this whole list of nice and naughty thing. Give me a break! It’s too much for you to leave something awesome under my tree just because my moral compass jammed a few times this year?”

Nick’s considerable gut wobbled like jelly as he guffawed in my face. “A few times?” He wiped a tear from his eye.

“Just one cool gift, Nick. I’ll mend my ways next year. Make you proud. You’ll see.”

Nick surveyed my pleading eyes while he nibbled on another cookie. He didn’t say anything.

I slapped a palm on the bar, startling the tender. “Your lists are clouding your vision. Lists of nice and naughty, of good and bad…”

A huge smile broke over Nick’s face. “Of Good And Evil,” he said.

“Great,” I mumbled, rolling my eyes. “Another list.”

“No, fool,” Nick replied. “Since you swear you’ll mend your ways, I’m giving you that break you want so badly. Tis the season , after all. You want something great under your tree? You got it.” He reached into a big red bag on the floor next to his shiny black boots and handed me a book wrapped in a gleaming gold ribbon. “Put this under your tree.”

My eyes ran across the cover. It was a copy of Gerald Griffin’s “Of Good And Evil.” I couldn’t believe my excellent fortune.

The bartender pushed another tricky drink at me. I waved it off and pointed at Nick’s milk. “I’ll have what he’s having.”

Nick nodded at me. He stood up and grabbed his red bag. “Merry Christmas,” he said. Then he put a finger beside his nose, and vanished like he was never there at all.

But I know he was there. I have a copy of Griffin’s “Of Good And Evil” to prove it.

A TALK WITH SANTA

I had a funny dream last night. I was a kid again and sitting on Santa’s lap, peering expectantly into his startling Adriatic-blue eyes. But he remained silent, the weathered ageless features of his bearded face set in disquieted resolve.

Uneasily I asked, “No HO HO HO…no asking what I want for Christmas? What kind of Santa are you? Why did all those other kids run away from you crying?!”

“Tough year, kid,” Santa finally spoke, his resonant voice sad and not so soothing. “No toys — for anyone! I had to lay off all my elves, get rid of my reindeer. Even fired Mrs. Claus, a belly full, anyway.”

“But…but how can there be Christmas without your toys?” I squawked. “We need those toys as a reward for being good and nice all year. I worked dam…darn hard at that. Only a few slip-ups.”

Santa looked at me solemnly. “There are worst things in life, kid, than not getting toys on Christmas. Sorry, but good or not, I’ve been wiped out, like untold others. These are bad times! At least I’m telling you face-to-face.”

“All that goodness for nothing,” I sighed, disheartened. “I should have been naughty — like kids really want to be. No toys, no being good!”

“The true Christmas spirit is giving gifts to others. Your parents, your uncles and aunts, others.”

“But what gifts can I buy? I’m just a kid. I make no money.”

“You receive an allowance.”

“But that’s measly!”

“You can supplement it by catching crickets and digging worms, selling them as fish bait. Anyway, the gift I have in mind doesn’t cost much. And it’s the perfect gift for this year; highly appreciated by those who receive it. They’ll be thankful to you forever.”

“What gift is that?” I squinted, really not believing what I was hearing.

“Your novel. Of Good And Evil.”

WHAT?!!” I squirmed on Santa’s lap. “But…but I won’t write that until many, many years from now. So how can I give it to anyone as a gift?!”

Santa finally smiled. “Remember, this is just a dream. Anything’s possible in a dream.”

Santa pulled out a sheet of paper from inside his red jacket.

“What’s that?” I asked, more astonished than curious.

He now grinned broadly, eyeing me admiringly. “A review of your suspense thriller Of Good And Evil. By Tracey Alley. Like you, an author in the future.”

“You carry around reviews?”

Santa broke into laughter, a loud, naturally infectious laugh. “In this dream, yes.” Then calming down, he said, “Now listen. Let me read parts of it to you.” He began reading:

“In order to be able to engage the reader from the opening paragraphs and hold their attention throughout, to be able to let the reader suspend their disbelief for the duration of the novel takes a special kind of talent. Gerald G. Griffin is an author with just such talent. In his brilliant thriller ‘Of Good And Evil’ he takes the reader on a wild ride with the real world as his background and makes the reader believe in his plot and characters.”

I gawked at Santa startled. “Gosh, I did that?”

“Quiet. There’s more.” He read on:

“Gerald has given his audience a well-conceived story and delivered it with the talent of a born writer. He’s also gone that step further that separates writers from great writers. He’s worked hard at the mechanics of the novel so that the plot flows smoothly, the characters are believable and the reader is able to sit back and enjoy this page-turning thriller.”

“Wow! This Tracey thinks I’m a great writer!”

“Will you hush, kid. Let me finish reading this.” Santa continued:

” ‘Of Good And Evil’ has received several well deserved 5 star reviews. Ron Sheffield, Gerald’s gifted but tormented main character, has everything a great writer needs to engage a reader on an emotional level. This is one of the gifts of a truly great story-teller.”

Finished reading, Santa adamantly said to me “You see, what did I tell you? This is the gift! The gift of Christmas! The gift everyone should receive.”

Santa once again broke into laughter, the laughter becoming spasms. Through his laughter, Santa quipped, “You see, kid, dreams too can become true. Merry Christmas!”