Monthly Archives: March 2013

Title announcements!

The first RIP novelette, “Touch,” has been out for a few weeks. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, feel free to go ahead and do that now.

I’m working on the next four installments. Those episodes will be titled…(imaginary drum roll)…

“Alone,” “Strength,” “The Crazy Line,” and “Point B.”

My original plan was to release each one individually for $0.99 apiece. Instead, I’ll compile them — along with the first book — into a single volume for $2.99. So, that’ll be a better value for all involved and should facilitate a more indulgent reading experience. Continue reading

Get to Know…Nicolai Grunnet

Welcome to Get to Know…! Each week, I’ll interview a creatively inclined individual, such as a writer, illustrator, actor — all sorts of fun folks!

bannerAFirst up, we have fantasy author Nicolai Grunnet. Welcome, Nicolai.

Tell us about your latest work.

First, allow me to say what an honor it is to be here! I’m thrilled to be able to tell you more about ‘Pandegnomium’ my first book in the comical, psychological fantasy series of ‘Heureka’. It’s a story about a world, originally part of an enormous, cosmic game of cards, on which an international crisis breaks out. The government decides to kick start the economy by inventing the gardening gnome and soon the strange little constructs become smashing hits. But alas, the gnomes are about to take back the gardens; possibly even destroy the world. So we follow the young wizard Etnil, who suffers from Arcane Deficit Casting Disorder and is therefore not very good at spells, as he sets out into the world to find the ancient weapon ‘The Banhammer’. A powerful relic able to stop the devious critters before there is no world left to save. But talking hippos, obese old ladies, tyrants and board games are but a few of the dangers he will meet along the way. Continue reading

Converting a script into a book

RIP began life as a television pilot script.

It was a semifinalist in the 2011 PAGE International Screenwriting Contest in the TV Drama category and a finalist in the 2010 People’s Pilot Competition.

I ultimately decided this story was better suited for a novel — or, to be more precise, a series of novelettes that will eventually combine into one large novel. I’m essentially converting a season of television into a book.

I had already written about four and a half TV episodes, some more polished than others. The first episode, “Hi, I Kill Dead People,” became the first e-book, “Touch.”

Here’s an excerpt from that pilot script: Continue reading

Adventures in make-up

I have been makeup-free since January 2005.

I had a lot of fun acting in plays in high school and college, but I always dreaded the makeup.

The final time I had to endure the wretched stuff (well, only wretched when it’s on me) was the final time I acted in a play, Gilbert & Sullivan’s Ruddigore at the College of William & Mary.

I knew when I auditioned that would be my last time acting. It was my senior year of college—I had my fun for several years, and it was time to focus on some other areas.

There’d be much to miss about acting. Not the makeup, though. But I figured I could tolerate a little bit one last time. Continue reading

Casting

This is my final pre-written installment of the theatre education series for high school students. If you’d like more, please let me know.

Continuing the series on theatre education for high school students…

Casting a show can be fun, but there’s one potentially stressful part. For most school one-act festivals, you’re competing with several other directors for the same pool of actors. You probably won’t get everyone you want. You have to realize that going in.

As I said before, you need to consider alternative cast members before you meet with the other directors. That way, if one actor isn’t available, you have someone else in mind you’re comfortable with. Continue reading

Find an assistant director

Continuing the series on theatre education for high school students…

Here’s a simple little bit of advice: If you’re directing a show, even just a short one-act, find yourself a reliable assistant director.

Assistant directors can serve several invaluable purposes:

1) When the actors first go off-book, the A.D. can follow the script for anyone who needs to call “line.” This frees you, the director, from having to divide your attention between the page and the live scene.

2) If an actor misses a rehearsal, you have someone handy to read the lines. Continue reading

Opening lines

Call me Ishmael.

No, please don’t.

The first line always deserves extraordinary consideration from the writer — or, in the case of plays and screenplays, the first visual. I once opened a one-act with a “chicken” crossing the stage, only to get hit by a car immediately upon exiting. It’s good to make an impression.

I’ve now launched two e-book series. Let’s take a look at the first lines of both first books and see how they fit with the series blurb. Continue reading

Note-taking during auditions

Continuing the series on theatre education for high school students…

So you’re the director going into auditions to cast your wonderful show. You’ve got some excellent cold reading pieces picked out, and you’ve thought of some sample directions to throw at people. Plus, you know precisely what sort of actors you’re looking for.

You’ve got it all figured out…except for one thing.

While the actors are jumping through your hoops, what are you supposed to be doing?

Simple: Take notes. Good notes. Continue reading

Thou shalt not eat meat on Fridays

I’m a terrible Catholic.

I thought I should confess that, given that it’s been more than 20 years since my last confession.

Come to think of it, my last real confession before a priest was my first confession and only confession. I don’t even remember what I confessed, but it resulted in some Hail Mary’s.

When it comes to church attendance these days, my record is awful. It’s not the worst. I usually try to attend mass on a quarterly basis. Instead of only showing up on Christmas and Easter, I show up Christmas, Easter and two other random days.

This is despite the fact that the first three years of my K-12 education took place in a Catholic school, and it’s despite the fact that I made my Catholic Confirmation. Continue reading