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Interesting article from geek.com on piracy (both of books and music):

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Talk to anyone fairly high up in the publishing world and chances are they will tell you piracy is killing the business and driving down revenue. But you have to ask what evidence they have for such statements? Downloads do not directly correlate to lost sales and may actually increase them if this example gets repeated.

Artist Steve Lieber probably agreed with the publishing industry a few days ago, but now he sings a different tune. The Underground graphic novel he illustrated for Image Comics was scanned and uploaded to 4chan in its entirety a few days ago. Rather than getting upset Steve joined in the conversation about his comic and offered to answer questions about it. Here’s the important part of the post he made on the 4chan thread:

As for putting all the pages up here. What can I say? I get that this is how things go, and I’m trying to live in the same decade as everyone else. If nothing else, I’m flattered someone thought enough of the book to take the time to scan and post it.

Anyway, that’s that. If anyone has any questions about the book, post them here or ask me on twitter @steve_lieber

Steve describes the discussion that followed as “genuinely fascinating” but what he didn’t expect was the bump it gave to the sales of the novel. Here’s the image he posted showing exactly how engaging with the 4chan community can have a positive impact on your sales and therefore your income.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE:

Cheers!

Brian M

ThatActionGuy.com

Screenwriting
  1. Go Into The Story: UNC-Chapel Hill and UCLA screenwriting professor Scott Myers updates several times a day with wonderfully diverse material suitable for beginners and professionals alike.
  2. johnaugust.com: Any screenwriter looking for handy advice should read — if not submit to — the regular Q&As featured here. In addition to everything else, of course.
  3. Complications Ensue: Screenwriting involves television programs and films, and this blog has been providing valuable advice on both paths since 2004.
  4. The Thinking Writer: Stay on top of the latest conversations on the screenwriting industry and read over some nice insights into the creative process.
  5. …by Ken Levine: This Emmy Award-winner thoughtfully dissects television and film with humor and more than a few great writing lessons.
  6. Screamwriter: Aspirant screenwriters frustrated with the steady stream of rejections and minimal leads can certainly relate to the harrowing process of getting produced. Be sure to read the reviews and analyses of television shows and films as well!
  7. ThatActionGuy.com: hundreds of articles on screenwriting, novel writing, filmmaking etc from some of the best writers in the world.
  8. Screenwriting from Iowa: Scott W. Smith philosophically peers into screenwriting and the creative process that goes into the craft.
  9. Running With My Eyes Closed: Three screenwriters voice their opinions on television, film, digital media and, of course, their art!
  10. Screenwriting Basics: As the title promises, Screenwriting Basics offers up a comprehensive overview of what to do and what to expect when it comes to the film and television industry.
  11. Sex in a Sub: The self-deprecating, humorous and intelligent William Martell pulls from his screenwriting and festival juror experience to
  12. Creative Screenwriting Magazine: Jeff Goldman, senior editor at Creative Screenwriting, posts alerts about his latest podcasts discussing the craft with some of the industry’s top performers.
  13. Screenwriter’s Corner: With podcasts, videos, articles reviews and more, Syd Field’s Screenwriter’s Corner blog has plenty to pique the interest of the pre-pro.
  14. Marilyn’s Movie Candy: Visit this eclectic blog for some amazing tips and tricks on penning a rocking screenplay and stimulating the creative glands.
  15. Just Effing Entertain Me.: Advertising itself as “for the passionate screenwriter,” consider this utterly engaging and valuable site a must-bookmark.
  16. Script: Script magazine presents the latest news, views, people and trends shaping the screenwriting scene today.
  17. Shouting into the Wind: One of the most detailed screenwriting blogs around, Shouting into the Wind provides plenty of great articles on a number of relevant subjects.
  18. Bamboo Killers Emily Blake wants to break into screenwriting and production, and her experiences along the way make for some excellent lessons for anyone else hoping to pitch and sell their scripts.
  19. Scriptshadow: Carefully read over the reviews of screenplays both obscure and well-known for some amazing tips on what to do and what to avoid.
  20. Amanda the Aspiring Writer: A professional reader who hopes to someday write a screenplay of her own shares her thoughts on the different trends she routinely observes.
  21. Screenwriting Tips…You Hack: Get daily pointers on how to write screenplays that aren’t entirely awful.

Filmmaking

  1. Edgar Wright: Fans of Edgar Wright’s kinetic, humorous films can turn to his blog and learn all about his creative process.
  2. Sheri Candler: This marketing and advertising professional specializes in helping independent filmmakers spread the word about their latest projects.
  3. The New Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry: The beloved writer and performer and writers weighs in on his latest projects and oh-so-much more, granting readers some insight into how he approaches his projects.
  4. Kid Sis in Hollywood: For independent filmmakers, most especially those who work in the thriller and horror genres, the president and CEO of Shero Media (who also writes, produces and directs) offers an incredibly handy resource.
  5. Pulp 2.0: Another great blog largely targeting creative types with a passion for the cult and the pulpy.
  6. Ricky Gervais…Obviously: Take a peek inside the acclaimed comedian’s head for insight into how successful movies and TV shows get made.
  7. indieWIRE Blogs: Get perspectives from across the independent filmmaking scene through these exceptionally useful blogs courtesy of indieWIRE and Snag Films.
  8. News: The Filmmaker Magazine Blog: Filmmaker Magazine is an essential resource for anyone desiring to shoot a short or a feature-length project.
  9. The Art of the Title Sequence: Read some seriously cool interviews and analyses by filmmakers who delve into the details of their memorable and artistic title sequences.
  10. Directors Notes: Independent and world cinema share the spotlight here as an eclectic selection of filmmakers provide perspectives on their chosen art.
  11. Lights Film School: Between its technical and creative advice, interviews, equipment reviews, tutorials and competitions, Lights Film School makes for an essential read for the beginner moviemaker.
  12. Blogs at Filmmaking Central: Read up on the latest product reviews and events of interest to both novice and seasoned filmmakers — and be sure to stop by the rest of the website as well!
  13. Editor’s Blog at Fest21.com: Follow the latest filmmakers making splashes at festivals worldwide and their strategies for artistic success.
  14. Film Directing and Film Making Tips for the Independent Filmmaker: Film Consultant Peter D. provides anyone aspiring to work in any aspect of moviemaking with sound advice.
  15. Deb Patz’s F.I.L.M. Blog: Get tips on landing a job in the film and television industry from the author of Film Production Management 101.
  16. All About Film School: Learn how to succeed both in and out of film school with this straightforward resource.
  17. SynapticLight: Filmmaking and social media have begun blending together within the past decade, and this blog looks at how they inextricably intertwine.
  18. Independent Lens: PBS provides an amazing forum for independent filmmakers to showcase their works and the creativity and labor that went into producing them.
  19. Hope for Film: Award-winning producer Ted Hope weighs in on the professional, social, creative and political issues that impact filmmakers today.
  20. 1001 Positively True Stories of a Writer/Director: Nearly every corner of filmmaking gets covered on Angelo Bell’s essential blog for the independent creator, so be sure to give him a bookmark!

Film/Television News and Reviews

  1. CHUD.com: Members of the Cinematic Happenings Under Development community voice their opinions on all things related to movies and television. Be sure to read beyond the blogs as well!
  2. Film Threat: Film Threat keeps readers updated on the latest movie and television news, with interviews, reviews, film festival overviews and much more.
  3. /Film: Considered one of the best resources for all things related to the cinematic arts, /Film hosts plenty to keep moviemakers and their audiences interested.
  4. GreenCine Daily: GreenCine mail-based rental service also offers a lovely film studies and commentary blog covering every genre imaginable.
  5. IFC Now: The Independent Film Channel’s official blog may not update often, but be sure to visit the website as well as the archives for everything related to the movie scene outside of Hollywood.
  6. Cinematical: Even Moviefone has gotten itself into the film blogging scene, keeping its news and reviews accessible to most audiences.
  7. Pajiba: Pajiba’s unapologetic approach to reviewing stirs up some (comparatively) long, vibrant conversations in their comments sections!
  8. Videogum: This extremely enjoyable blog also looks at viral videos and web series in addition to the usual films and TV programs.
  9. Television Without Pity: Television Without Pity certainly delivers on the premise of its title, offering no-holds-barred insight into the best and worst of the small screen — in addition to news, interviews and musings on the medium as well.
  10. Bright Lights After Dark: Stop by the Bright Lights Film Journal‘s official blog for razor-sharp insights and critiques of today’s film and television scene.
  11. Film Blog at The Guardian: All of the contributors here at the oh-so-imaginatively titled Film Blog cover an interesting and eclectic mix of news, critiques, reviews, interviews and events from independent and mainstream sources worldwide. The Guardian also keeps the TV & Radio Blog as well.
  12. Women and Hollywood: Save for actresses conforming to very strict, very arbitrary standards of beauty, the contributions of women in Hollywood go almost entirely ignored. Melissa Silverstein hopes to change that using her strong feminist voice.
  13. Cartoon Brew: Explore the wonderful and oft-overlooked world of animation with Cartoon Brew’s fantastic selection of videos, commentary, news and insights.
  14. The A.V. Club: Although a general pop culture resource, The A.V. Club plays host to some of the Internet’s sharpest interviewers, reviews and media insights. Everyone wanting to enter into film or television should archive binge their extensive offerings.
  15. Ain’t It Cool News: The steady stream of DVD, movie, television and comic book news can get extremely overwhelming after a while, but this blog remains one of the most trusted and popular around.
  16. UGO: Hit up UGO for the latest news and reviews from the movie, television and video game fronts, with almost all genres considered.
  17. Category D: Dissect the media with an academic scalpel, courtesy of Temple University’s ever-insightful Chris Cagle.
  18. Observations on film art: Aspirant screenwriters wanting to focus on creating experimental or art films should read Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell’s detailed, intelligent opinions and observations.
  19. Movie Morlocks: Contributors at Turner Classic Movies’ Movie Morlocks blog absolutely love delving into the most niche, obscure films they can find — but they don’t ignore the assets of the well-known ones!
  20. Blogs at Movie City News: Keep track of Hollywood above and below the metaphorical “ground” through this impressively thorough resource.

Please LINK back to this page / site from your own website to share the love and share the writing information!

Cheers 🙂

Brian M

http://www.ThatActionGuy.com

Stumble It!

Good Paula Guran interview with prolific horror writer, Brian Lumley.

Enjoy!

ThatActionGuy.com

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Brian Lumley: His Vampires Do a Lot More Than Just Suck

Brian Lumley doesn’t just write novels (and short stories and poetry) he writes series of novels, and series of series of novels. He’s a seemingly unstoppable force of nature — or perhaps, considering his subject matter, a supernatural force. The prolific British author (over forty books and still counting) is best known for his “Necroscope” series, a rich tapestry of vivid characters and complexity that begins by combining the unforgettable Harry Keogh, a man who can speak to the dead, with Cold War espionage and a race of vampires from another world.

Invaders (published by Hodder and Stoughton in the U. K. as E-Branch: Invaders), just out this spring from Tor, is the first of the “E-Branch” trilogy that will end the Necroscope-related titles at 13 books altogether. The first ten Necroscope books have sold 1,500,000 copies in the U. S. alone and they have been or are in the process of being published in nine other countries. (Lumley’s total sales for Tor overall have now passed the 2,000,000 mark.) Comic books and a role-playing game have been based on Necroscope themes as well.

Lumley waited for two decades to write about vampires. “When I read Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend (God, how many years ago?) it put me off writing my own vampire novel for the first 20 years of my writing career. It was THAT good,” says the author.” But what’s in will out, so eventually I did write it…and as we’ve seen, the thing got to be like Topsy. But I was conscious that quite a few vampire tales were being written, and I wanted vampires that did a lot more than just suck. They had to have histories, they had to have an origin, there had to be a damn good reason why they hadn’t long since taken over the world, and so on. It became very involved, and the more story I told, the more there was to tell.” The complexity of the mythos he has created will, he admits, probably will be the death of it. “The big problem now is that while I used to do lots of historical, geographical, and political (if you will) research, now I have to research my own books! There are so very many threads running through them that if I’m not careful I might easily trip myself up. That’s why the series will probably end with this trilogy. It’s simply getting too complicated to continue.”

A fan of horror and fantasy fiction since his teens, Lumley was almost thirty when he began writing in 1967. He was serving as a Royal Military Policeman in Berlin. “I was on Night Duty on the desk and had nothing much to do in the wee small hours. I read August Derleth-edited Arkham House collections.” (Derleth and his small press, Arkham House, were noted for the posthumous popularization of H. P. Lovecraft.) “They saw me through many a night and shaped the style and contents of my first stories. I actually wrote some of those stories on duty, on that desk in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. And I typed them up from my scrawly longhand and sent them to Derleth who bought them.”

By then he was no longer a part of the fan scene, “I hadn’t been since I was a kid, 13 or 14 years earlier. I didn’t know a damn thing about professional publishers or publishing. And I definitely didn’t know that Derleth was the dean of macabre publishers, the man who had first published Van Vogt, Bradbury, Bloch, Leiber, Lovecraft (of course), and so many others that they’re literally a Who’s Who of our favorite genres. So these stories of mine were single-spaced things on oddly-sized sheets, unnumbered pages, stapled in one corner, rolled up and stuffed into cardboard tubes, and posted surface mail to Wisconsin … from Berlin! It’s just amazing that they ever got there — let alone that he read them! Can’t you just see him trying to unroll them, and having to nail them to his desk top in order to read them? But it appears I was lucky then, and I’ve stayed lucky ever since.”

Lumley returned to civilian life in 1981 and became a full-time writer. He produced –among many other titles — the science fictional “Psychomech” trilogy — Psychomech (1984), Psychosphere (1984), and Psychamok! (1985) — in which a hero with enhanced psychic abilities fights bad guys with similar powers; Demogorgon (UK 1987, US 1992) features the spawn of Satan himself using his supernatural powers to fight his dark side and against his unholy father; four books in the heroic fantasy “Dreamlands” series, and, of course, the Necroscope books which began in 1986.

Lumley’s early reputation was linked to his liberal use of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos in both short stories and his earliest novels — the “Titus Crow” series of the mid-to-late-1970s. Crow, an occult detective, tangles with Lovecraft’s monsters in a fantastic extradimensional void in the series. “Without Lovecraft there would never have been a Titus Crow. All Mythos stories are dependent upon HPL, of course. But another big influence was the much-maligned August Derleth, the boss of Arkham House. He viewed the Mythos from a different angle, and if he could do it so could I. Burroughs was probably an influence, likewise Abraham Merritt, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, that whole bunch. But you know, I’ve read and talked Lovecraft until I really can’t do it any more. Why can’t we just say of him that he was an original, one of the greats, and that he influenced so many of us that he probably is the most important cornerstone of the weird fiction tradition today…and leave it at that?”

The Titus Crow and Necroscope books are also a Cold War metaphor. “The Necroscope books were guided by what was going on in the world while they were being written. The new trilogy is set in the future a couple of years, so it’s pretty much guess-work. And it’s mainly ecological as opposed to political. I’ve been lucky in my predictions so far; the Channel Tunnel I mentioned in the second Crow book (Transistion, 1975) is now a reality. But I really can’t say if it’s protected by star-stones from Mnar or not. I suspect not…”

Future worlds? Fantastic other dimensions? Star-stones? Politics? Was Lumley intentionally crossing genre boundaries to synthesize, horror, science fiction, and fantasy? “No, my crossing genres wasn’t planned. It was just me trying to learn the business of writing, experimenting and finding out what I could do best and where it would take me. The first paperback book I did, The Burrowers Beneath, was a horror story “after Lovecraft”. Its sequel, Transition, was a fantasy. The next two sequels were science-fantasy, and the last book in the series, Elysia, was pure fantasy. I was trying ’em all, that’s all. But Necroscope? It has bits of lots of genres, but chiefly horror. Let’s face it, the best of the “horror” movies do much the same thing. Is Bodysnatchers (original and remakes) horror or science fiction? Is The Thing, or Alien or Predator? See what I mean? On the other hand short stories I’ve done — such as Fruiting Bodies and The Sun, The Sea and The Silent Scream — are pure horror. So if you ask me what I am … I’m a horror writer.” Fruiting Bodies won Lumley a British Fantasy Award in 1989 and he was given a Grand Master Award at the 1998 World Horror Convention.

A couple of decades in the military, is not exactly common training ground for most horror writers. Although the author will agree that his first career has enhanced his writing career, he also feels writing offered him an escape from from his military career. “The army took me places, showed me a lot of things, let me meet a great many diverse people — all grist for a writer’s mill. But in places as dreary as Berlin was in 1967, writing did provide something of an escape.”

The military also gave Lumley a taste for travel. He’s visited or lived in the United States, Cyprus, Berlin, Malta, and more than a dozen Greek islands. He and his American-born wife, Barbara Ann, now live in Devon, but they still enjoy travel and Lumley particularly enjoys visits to the Mediterranean where he can indulge a bit in moussaka, and imbibe a little retsina, ouzo, and metaxa.

What would he do if he weren’t writing? “There are lots of other things that I haven’t done, places I haven’t seen. So eventually I’ll have to find time for those things while there still is time. We’ve got one life and the older we get the more we come to realize how short it is. I just like telling stories. Writers are in the entertainment business, and it gives me lots of pleasure to entertain my readers. But I’m no longer driven to write. Now I have to drive myself.” Lumley’s books have inspired music as well as reading. “There’s a British heavy metal group called Necroscope; I’ve never met them. And in the States there are a handful of groups that have dedicated work to me. No mistaking the source of inspiration on tracks with titles like ‘What Will Be Has Been,’ or ‘From Northern Aeries to the Infinite Cycle of the Unborn Lord.’ Those are from a CD by a group called Epoch of Unlight. HEAVY!” One of his close friends in the U. K, is Keith Grant-Evans of The Downliners Sect. “Sect’s been around all of twenty-five years and more; recently did a new CD called Dangerous Ground with yours truly doing voice-overs on ‘Escape From Hong Kong’ and ‘Bookworm’.”

But music’s been an influence on Lumley as well. “Way back when I was 15 and 16, I had three main hobbies: Rock ‘n Roll, the jive (the dance), and SF. I’m talking 1953, ’54 here. I was a founder-member of NEZFEZ, the North-East Science Fiction group. We used to meet in a little town close to Newcastle at a pub called The Red Lion and talk books and like that — you know the scene. I was doing artwork and “poetry” for fanzines (UK and USA) with titles like CAMBER, PEON, SATELLITE, etc. That was the, er, “intellectual” side of me. But I was also buying that vinyl and teaching the jive at a local dance hall. No, really — at 16, yes! Hey, it was a great way to meet the girls!”

“So music has always been in me,” he continues. “I suppose since I was ten and my big brother brought back all those 12 inch records from Germany with him in ’48, after he’d finished his National Service. And was I ever into the big bands! Artie Shaw, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller, the Dorseys, etc! Today, I have this really excellent Ray Charles collection that I started to put together in 1960 in Germany, and been at it ever since. I’m usually listening to Ray while I write.”

And where will the future find Lumley? “The future is a devious thing. We’re all time-travellers, albeit pretty damn slow time-travellers. We only go forward at a speed of one day per day, one step for every step. And maybe that’s the right way to take the future: I’ll just let it sneak up on me. I mean, it’s been doing it for 61 years, so why try to change things now? More to the point: when the E-Branch trilogy is finished, I think I may return to short stories awhile, just to keep my hand in — or even to get my hand BACK in! I mean, it’s quite a long time since I did any short stories. And I think I’m looking forward to it…”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS ARTICLE CLICK HERE

 

Cheers!
Brian M Logan
ThatActionGuy.com
EMAIL ME HERE 

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