MayDay Film Festival Official Selections

The MayDay Film Festival has become a great tradition in Evansville, Indiana. It’s been a few years since I had a film screened there, but I’m very proud to announce that I had a hand in producing four films screening at the film festival.

Two of the short films are based on short stories from the book Robot/Girlfriend. Cindy Maples’ horror short “Out of My Mind” has been tearing up the film festival scene and will screen in front of her hometown crowd. “I Almost Married a Man from Outer Space,” a short I directed and co-produced with my good friend Giavanna Signorelli, will also be shown at MayDay.

The Bowling Green Massacre,” a parody inspired by a gaffe made by a certain political figure a few months back, will make its film festival debut at MayDay. Claude D. Miles and I produced this poignant and ridiculous send up of the greatest tragedy that never happened on American soil.

Finally, my friend Giavanna’s short film “Species Survival Plan” will also be shown at MayDay. Gia and I co-write this little sci-fi comedy that captures an alien civilization’s attempt to save mankind by transplanting an unlikely “mating” pair to an intergalactic zoo.

The MayDay Film Festival takes place May 19-20 in Evansville, Indiana. For event information visit their Facebook page or the official website.

Upcoming Events

Jeffersonville Library Author Fair

Saturday April 8, 11 pm to 12 pm

Jeffersonville, IN

I will be signing copies of wrestling books as well as my kids books and science fiction at this local author’s event.

Heroes and Legends Fan Fest

Sunday, April 9

Ft Wayne, Indiana

Signing wrestling books at a huge fan fest featuring two wrestling programs and special guests Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Jerry Lawler, and more.

WBKI FANatic

Friday, April 14, 2 pm

Making my first appearance on this exciting new local program hosted by George Buehler to discuss Louisville’s wrestling history as well as the new book, Louisville’s Greatest Show.

New Release Now Available: ZORANA!

The latest fiction release is now available in paperback!

After suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of her arch nemesis War Eagle, Zorana, the world’s most terrifying super-villain decides to do the one thing she never thought she would do again: head home for the holidays.

Home, in this case, is a small town in Iowa called Smalltown, Iowa. The woman formerly known as Monica Deluna finds comfort in a familiar place as she reconnects with family and friends, but the joyous reunion is bittersweet as she also comes face to face with the faith she left behind.

Monica’s guilt only grows worse when the sins of her past follow her home. War Eagle, rival villains, and other enemies begin to converge on Monica’s hometown, hoping to make her pay for her crimes. Will Zorana meet a bitter end, or is there any chance a former super-villain can find redemption?

Zorana was first released in 2009 under the name “Demonica” and has undergone many changes in the years since. It was originally planned as a comic book series, then as a short film series. It evolved into a short novella with twelve chapters – six written by the main character, six written by her arch-nemesis, the hapless super hero War Eagle.

I’ve expanded the story several times over the years, and I’ve also written two short pieces as off-shoots from the main story. The newest version of the book includes these two stories, several new chapters, and one more brand new story written by my copy editor Austin Nichols.

I will be donating $1.00 from every book sold between now and February 28 to Waterstep, a Louisville based charity that provides clean water resources where they are needed around the world. Please help me to support this amazing organization by purchasing a book, or by making your own donation on their website.

Zorana is available to order on Amazon.com.

2017 Reading List

Just thought I’d hare the books currently stacked on my dressed and the ones in my Amazon cue, ready to pre-order. All goes well, here’s what I hope to read through in 2017.

Tom Clancy’s True Faith and Allegiance by Mark Greaney (Read)

Train by James Luceno (Read)

Star Wars: A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller (Reading)

Space Drifters: The Iron Gauntlet by Paul Regnier

Knights of the Apocalypse by Benjamin Wallace

Joe Vampire by Steven Luna

The Comedians by Kliph Nesteroff

Groucho and Me by Groucho Marx

The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

The Master of Disguise by Anthony Mendez

Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

Sisterhood of the Squared Circle by Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy

Loxfinger by Sol Weinstein

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming

For Special Services by John Gardner

Icebreaker by John Gardner

Feature Story in Reader’s Life

Trisha Ratliff just did a story about me and Robot/Girlfriend in the latest edition of her publication, Reader’s Life Magazine! It’s free to read, and if you don’t like what I have to say, you might find a new favorite in authors V.A. Jeffrey and J.L. McCann.

Click here to get the magazine.

Thanks, Trisha!

Writer Talk with Benjamin Wallace

One of my favorite reads of 2016 was a Kindle book called Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors by Benjamin Wallace. The ad I saw for the book on Facebook promised “Max Max Meets Monty Python.” It was that, and it was much more. It was a truly funny book that gave today’s post-apocalyptic science fiction the long overdue parody treatment it deserved. 

I recently contacted Benjamin Wallace on Facebook, and he was kind enough to answer some questions about himself and his writing journey. If you’re a writer like me who aspires to turn your hobby into a full-time gig, this will inspire you. 

What inspired you to start writing?

I never really liked the idea of working. I figured writing would be a good way to avoid that. And people.

How did the idea for the Duck and Cover series come about?

The idea of today’s society trying to get by without today’s conveniences made me laugh. We wouldn’t stand a chance, but I don’t think we’d give up either. I saw a lot of potential humor in that. Also the post-apocalyptic genre has been begging for a lampooning since it first came about.

What writers inspired your style?

Steve Martin’s Cruel Shoes taught me that writing didn’t have to be serious.
Joseph Heller taught me that funny could still be respected. E. L. James taught me that you can write like s*** and still find an audience.

My writing style was probably more influenced by movies and comedians than any author. Harold Ramis, Pat Proft, SNL in the eighties, the Simpsons, Buck Henry and the list of legends would just kind of go on.

How did you approach the marketing of your books?

With a great deal of frustration. I spent a lot of years in advertising and expected that traditional approach to work. But books are different. Funny books are different still. What works for the thriller genre or romance doesn’t plug a play with humor. It’s taken a great deal of experimentation and twice that in swearing to start seeing some real results.

Did you use more social media or traditional ads to spread the word?

Traditional ads (print, TV, radio, etc..) are cost prohibitive to most indie authors. And, in my opinion, not as effective as they once were. I don’t pretend to understand my kids, but they don’t watch TV. They watch youtube. I can’t say they’ve ever held a magazine or newspaper. They stream their music. They don’t listen to the radio.

Twitter worked great the first year or so. Facebook is the flavor of the month now. But, any small change can upset a strategy based on purely on social media. Algorithms, trends, terms of service. Things change. And they change quickly.

The only sure strategy is to build an audience through consistent quality work stay engaged, be appreciative.

How did you know it was time to leave the day job and live your dream job?

Once I realized a few things:

I could get by with a combination of books and freelance ad work.

It costs more than you think to go to work each day.

Job security doesn’t really exist anywhere.

There was more earning potential in my books than there ever would be working for someone else.

Also, they laid me off.

The real trick was getting them to lay me off. That took some doing.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned that you could share with other writers?

Writing the book is the easy part. But it’s a business and running the business is where the work is.

Put in the time and money it takes to market it to your audience. It’s frustrating. And it can feel expensive. Okay, it is expensive. But it’s an investment that will pay off if you write decent books. Or 50 Shades of Grey. There’s a market for everything. If you start thinking in terms of ROI instead of pure sales that will help ease the sting a bit.

Read Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors and the rest of the Duck and Cover series on Amazon Kindle. 

Sci-fi Kindle Deals for $2.99

If you got a Kindle for Christmas, I have good news: you can stock up on science fiction for only $2.99 each.

All titles below are only $2.99 right now. Download and enjoy!

First New Book of 2017

The first new book of 2017 is actually… an old one!

Zorana has undergone many incarnations over the last decade. Originally titled Demonica, the story was first conceived as a comic book series, then as a short film series. It evolved into a short novella with twelve chapters – six written by the main character, six written by her arch-nemesis, the hapless super hero War Eagle.

I’ve expanded the story several times over the years, and I’ve also written two short pieces as off-shoots from the main story. The newest version of the book includes these two stories, several new chapters, and one more brand new story written by my copy editor Austin Nichols.

Zorana tells the story of a super-villain who, after suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of War Eagle, decides to head home for the holidays. Home, in this case, is a small town in Iowa called Smalltown, Iowa. The woman formerly known as Monica Deluna begins to reconnect with family and friends she hasn’t seen in years, but the joyous reunion is bittersweet as she also reconnects with the faith she left behind.

What’s worse, the sins of her past follow her home. War Eagle, rival villains, and other scoundrels begin to converge on Demonica, hoping to make her pay for the past. Will Zorana meet a bitter end, or is there any chance a former super-villain can find redemption?

Zorana: Confessions of a Small Town Super-Villain will be released in paperback on Amazon.com.