Gerald G. Griffin, Official Author Blog: 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, 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!”
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!
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.
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!”
A funny thing happened on the way to the Thanksgiving festivities.
Oddly beset with the true spirit of the Pilgram Fathers, I bought a live turkey — from quite a weird featured character, as I recall — the day before Thanksgiving, determined to prepare it from scratch as our first settlers had done.
But the novice I was at being a first settler, the turkey got loose from its pen in the back yard and swiftly disappeared with gobbly grunts of victory into the woods.
“Gads, so much for the pilgrim spirit,” I sighed heavily in disappointment. “I’m stuck with the stale chicken in the fridge!”
Following the turkey’s daring escape on Thanksgiving Eve, defying all turkey lore, I sought solace by rereading my novel Of Good And Evil on the open porch in back. Laughing and crying while immersed in deep thought, I found the book still to be fantastic reading. So fantastic that the turkey, safely hidden in the woods, mesmerized by all my laughing and crying, gobbled back in a dash and strangely demanded to read the novel (this daring turkey escape artist was so bizarre that it could do this, and with amazing speed). Finishing the suspense thriller, the turkey looked at me with those flashing, gobbly turkey eyes, and in its excited, gobbly turkey sounds (which even more amazingly I could understand), said to me:
“I’m getting you a copy of this spectacular thriller as a Christmas gift!”
Needless to say, these words were better than a White House pardon.
The turkey and I ended up eating chicken together on Thanksgiving.
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 be involved in their journey throughout the story..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….I look forward to a sequel to Good and Evil, and am anxiously awaiting to see it on the Big Screen…A wonderful, wonderful, novel.
Gerald G. Griffin, author of the novel, “Of Good and Evil”
List of works by Gerald G. Griffin:
THE SILENT MISERY–WHY MARRIAGES FAIL (Non-Fiction) 1974, Thomas
THE CORRUPTORS (Fiction) 1977, Condor Pub Co.
THE DEATH DISCIPLE (Fiction) 1977, Condor Pub Co.
THE LAST COMING (Fiction) 1978, Condor Pub Co.
OF GOOD AND EVIL (Fiction) 2010, Eloquent Books
Of Good and Evil: A Novel
Author: Gerald G. Griffin
Genre: Fiction – Thriller/Suspense
Published by: Eloquent Books (July 27, 2010)
Age Recommendation: 18+ For Mild Sexuality & Some Violence
Format: eBook & Trade Paperback
Number of pages: 342
conducted by Shane Porteous
“I made certain that the varying degrees of paranormal perceptivity of those characters whom possessed these abilities were understated rather than bombastic, with these exceptional abilities never being flaunted but used only when needed. Otherwise these characters seemed to be attempting to lead normal lives dealing with the conflicts of the real world..To others they always appeared to be normal human beings in normal settings dealing with the normal or unusual problems presented by the world that all human beings have to contend with, and to an extent they were exactly doing this. So much so that after a while the reader accepts their unusual abilities as a natural part of their lives and become gripped by other aspects of the story.
But who is to say that these written events don’t actually happen in real life? That the characters portrayed don’t actually represent real people among us? Maybe that’s why the story can sound so convincing. Need I say more? In all forms of life there are surprising anomalies!”
“I ensured that the romance felt genuine because it was based upon feelings taken from real life, feelings and devotion that would have naturally evolved in the given circumstances rather than being concocted to fit some writing formula. As to it not being corny, let me just say that it is beyond me to write anything corny. Love is not corny, and love is what you get in the book. That’s why the romance is genuine.”
“The short and simple answer is, “Yes.” But this is not to imply that I regarded the world problems as something too complicated for the average reader to understand. By no means. Rather, the world problems were inserted only when called for by the plot; inserted in a way that the characters themselves could understand, and thus the readers. This is what was important. Any expertise on the reader’s part beyond this was not necessary nor useful.”
“Not frustrating the reader on any front was certainly important, and that included the mystery element. I feel the reason the mystery was not frustrating was because it was such a naturally developed integral part of the story, some of it so subtle as not to be resolved until the end of the story, but then making sense in terms of what went before.”
“This is an impossible question to answer in words. The answer is more in a sensing and feeling that my creative process kept on top of, not the least of which was constant rewriting so as to eventually see and arrive at the true intellectual/emotional story I wanted to write, finally presenting it in such a way that was not overwhelming in understanding, only in impact.Your question is like asking a champion in the 100 yard dash: “How do you run so fast?!” There is no answer except to say, “I was born with the ability,” It’s somehow part of the DNA. A talent used to it’s fullest capability. This, in a nutshell, is the answer to your question.”
“Not really. The most important thing to me before I began writing the novel was to get some grasp of the story I wanted to write and the characters that would be needed, This required no research. Where the research came in, and there was plenty of it, was when I got into the actual writing,and the story begin taking on a life of its own, requiring research to meet its demands so as to be understood in a coherent fashion.”
“It was fresh and fairly handled because I tied the concept into current events from personal to geopolitical, but in a gripping and innovative questioning way that has rarely, if ever, been considered before, such as when is evil good and good evil, intermixed with an uplifting and remarkable spiritual possibility near the end of the novel.”
“Definitely. But my creative process, dedicated to the integrity of the book, prohibited any blatant expressions of my personal beliefs, though I believe a few subtly crept in at times through a couple of my characters. But when they did it was for a needed emphasis in the story, why my creative process allowed it through.”
“It happened naturally when it was seen to add to the compelling mystique of the story; put in with the grace of a surgeon.”
“Yes. For this occasion, my creative process allows this through:If my novel were a meal, it would be succulent. A rare taste to savor!Aside from this, I would like to emphasize to my prospective readers what you have already mentioned about Of Good And Evil in your questions. From you:My thriller aptly suspends belief, but at the same time convinces the reader that its written events could actually happen in real life.The ROMANCE between Amber and Ron is by far the most genuine romance that you have ever read.Of Good And Evil accomplishes MYSTERY in spades.The sheer scope of the novel is incredibly vast, but not overwhelming.The concept of good and evil is presented in a fresh perspective and contains intriguing symbolism.To what you have mentioned, let me just add: the novel is a dynamite of SUSPENSE — shooting out fire like a Gatling gun! As Starr Reina of Suspense Magazine concludes in her review of my book: “…the suspense will grab hold of you and keep you turning the pages. An absolute must read!”And too, I would especially like my prospective readers to know what another reviewer, Rick Friedman, Founder, The James Mason Community Book Club, said in his review of my novel, and I quote:“In creating the character of Ron Sheffield, Gerald Griffin has proven himself to be a writer of extraordinary skills. Of Good And Evil is a novel that is so finely written, so well plotted and paced, that the reader is immediately drawn into the book from the first page. That Mr. Griffin is able to use mere words to introduce the reader to Ron Sheffield is nothing short of breathtaking — it is not often that a writer can make so complex a character, a person with such internal torments and external gifts, resonate so perfectly with a plot and locations that keep the reader glued to the book from start to finish.“A JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB MUST READ!”And Lastly, I would like to quote our host from his review of my book:“It truly boggles my mind the sheer caliber of talent this author (Gerald G. Griffin) possesses. It is extremely rare to find such a skilled writer. Of Good And Evil is not only the best paranormal thriller I have ever read period, it is also one of the best books that I have ever read. Of Good And Evil is such a marvelous tale that you don’t even have to be a fan of its specific genre to enjoy it, and to me that is the mark of a brilliant story.”
Author’s blog: https://www.authorgeraldgriffin.com/Author’s website: http://www.authorgeraldgriffin.comAuthor’s Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Gerald-G-Griffin-Fan-Page/192664730783029?ref=ts“
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