Category Archives: Upcoming books and projects

India

interesting development. Because one of the main characters in the story, First Sergeant Harbin Reel, is a Sikh, Michael Neal thought he’d run a low-cost advert in FB in India as part of the marketing campaign to raise awareness of the movie project. It’s totally blown out expectations (see the post below this one), even though the book at Amazon India has no reviews. I know it’s not sold a lot of copies overseas, but would not have guessed it would generate nearly two thousand followers on the FB page.

So a question: why the interest? What are visitors to the FB page and this page looking for, or hoping to find, in The Stars Came Back? Has anyone visiting here from India bought and read it?

Kickstarter movie prospects

I was looking at some of the Kickstarter stats for movies, as of 28 Dec 2016. Just looking at the “film & video” stats, I observe the following:

Of the 59,966 projects attempted, 21,995 hit their funding goal (37%).

Of those 22k projects funded, 14,987 (call it 15k, about 68%) were under $10,000 raised. 3,200 had between $20,000 and $99,999 raised, and $20,000 is about the bare minimum for a decent quality short segment, say one of the easier chapters with not a lot of f/x. On the higher end of that range, much greater quality, or a much longer segment or one with more interesting parts and f/x, could be produced. The whole book has ~16 hours worth of material or more, as is, and if done as a proper half-season of  TV it could easily be fleshed out to more than that to show the developing relationships and such-not. A reasonable quality segment that would be a two-hour movie (say, the first quarter or so, up to where the ship start flying and you get the idea there is more to the ship than a hull) would cost more than a $100,000, and only 325 (~1.5%) have been funded to that level. Some scenes need a set created, but once that set is made the marginal cost of shooting on it is relatively trivial. To do anything like the whole thing at basic TV quality would likely be in the million-plus range, for which only 6 have made it. Can we dream to make it seven?

But even a decent 20-minute short might have potential to generate enough interest to raise funding and investors to create the whole series and turn a profit based on syndication, Amazon (they allow self-publishing for videos now, much like kindle books!) or Hulu sales, etc. So it will be interesting to see what a real producer can put together WRT budget estimates, timelines, costs, profitability, investor versus donor options, etc.

Movie deal in progress…

Currently starting to work out the details on a movie deal. Not the whole thing, at least not at first. Currently exploring the idea of pitching a scene with two or three different budget funding levels depending on how much can be raised for it, with various “extras” depending on interest, etc. If only a shoe-string budget gets raised, we aim for more “proof of concept” and a short version of the scene. With more money we get more length, better location, better costumes, better actors, and especially the special effects improve. With enough money, perhaps enough of a Tajemnica set and F/X modeling can be built to allow for shooting a number of additional scenes at minimal extra cost.

Still early in the negotiations, but the fact that it’s being seriously considered by someone in the industry is exciting. Once something like a formal agreement has been made, pitch and production budgets outlined, and proper right option signed, I can post more, along with links to product demo reels from the people involved, where to go for fund-raising donations, etc.

Script to movie?

I’ve exchanged a couple of emails with Michael Neal, an indie movie-maker, and he’s reading TSCB now. He came this way via comments on a post at Vox’s blog about the latest Star Wars flick. He’s not a big-name media-mogul powerhouse in a big-name studio, but he’s got connections, currently working on Swords of the Insurgency (FB link). (trailer here, episode here, series website here). The first foot in the door is always the hardest one. No idea if anything will come of it, but even the potential prospect of getting the story on the screen is a exciting.

Given that the latest Star Wars episode appears to be more aimed at the Chinese market than the American one, making a movie aimed at the American market is due, especially after the election and ascension of The God Emperor (yes, that’s said tongue-in-cheek).

Monkish questions

I’m up to about 90K words on the founding of the monks of St. Possenti.  I think I’ve covered most of the bases as far as how they came into existence and how they developed some of their idiosyncratic methods and traditions. Are there any that bugged you when you were reading, and made you wonder where/when/how they came into being? If so, now’s your chance to ask, so I can make sure I’ve got a fairly complete back story. I’ve still got a few minor gaps to cover, I know, but its mostly there.

So: anything you wanted to know about them?

Not a biblical scholar

I’m not a biblical scholar. Heck, I’m barely more than Biblically semi-literate.

So, of course, in my odd little corner of the universe, it makes perfect sense to write a SF book about the founding of a new order of monks, the Monks of St Possenti. This puts me in a bit of a quandary. I like the stories I read to be plausible, and require suspension of disbelief on only a few things, but not everything. If you want to stipulate FTL in violation of current known laws, great, run with it. But what I hate is when a story is purportedly in this universe’s future and it gets a lot of basic facts about physics or history or people totally fouled up. So when I’m writing it only seems reasonable to get what facts I can correct, so that others don’t have that same “oh, heck, not that silly and often-disproven trope again!”

So I need a little help here, by readers who are also familiar with the Bible, and hopefully a few that are specifically intimate with Catholic canon and monastic orders. Continue reading Not a biblical scholar

Young Adult beta-readers needed

The prototype dust-jacket description is “16 year old Skaffington White has problems – not understood at home, stifled at school – and he didn’t think things could get worse than being suspended for a fight he didn’t start. He was wrong. Very wrong. But the darkest thunderclouds throw the brightest lightning to illuminate the path… if he can survive the storm.”

I’ve pretty much finished another book, called Komenagen: Slog. It’s a “Young Adult” (YA) SF book targeted at boys 12-18, and it takes place in the same universe at The Stars Came Back. It’s somewhat in the same vein as Heinlein’s Tunnel in the sky.  I’d like to get some feedback about it from actual 12-18 yo boys. If any of you readers out there are such, or have such a beast in your household and would like to give it a read -on the condition that you give some substantive feedback and write a review when it’s finally published – I can email you a copy in MS Word format. You can convert it e-reader format with Calibri and provide feedback in paragraph form, or have the sprout read it as-is and provide feedback using the review feature in word and add comments or corrections in-line. If you want to read it, email me or make a comment to this post.

Also, a bleg from any YA readers: after reading this book, suggestions for other Komenagen challenges to write about in future books are most welcome.