Betsie's Literary Page Newsletter
Greetings Dear Members!
We hope you enjoy this week's newsletter, take good
care over the next month as we hope to see each
and everyone of you when we get back!
HAPPY HOLIDAY'S ^_^
National Library Funding Increases, But Less Than
Goal - Congressional funding for library programs
for FY05, which began in October, will be
$207,760,000, an increase of $9.5 million over FY04,
but that was $12.7M below the president's request
and $15.8M less than what the Senate approved.
A Directory's Debut - The Críticas team is
proud to present the first comprehensive directory of
domestic and international players in the U.S.
Spanish-language publishing market. This unique
resource will serve as an essential guide for
companies and professionals currently involved in or
soon to become part of this expanding market. Within
one simple guide, buyers and sellers will find the
numerous publishers, distributors, bookstores,
translators, literary agents, cultural organizations,
and trade fairs that make the market tick.
GEORGE D. ROBEY recently optioned his
corporate thriller, "The Climbers," to Hollywood-based
Rafelson Media Consulting, Inc. for a future large-
scale movie production. The Climbers is an action-
packed story of three employees plotting to supplant
their company's chief executive officer. The novel will
be converted into a script and pitched to major movie
studios. The film has a projected budget of at least
$15 million with no spending limits.
In January 2005 Scholastic will launch its
new graphic novel imprint, GRAPHIX, with the
publication of Jeff Smith's award-winning series Bone.
Publisher Jean Feiwel negotiated the deal with
Cartoon Books' president, Vijaya Iyer, and its regular
counsel, attorney Vincent M. Waldman of Los
Angeles. JEAN FEIWEL is publisher and editor-in-chief.
Colorado fantasy author SCOT R. STONE has
signed with The Belfrey Literary Agency based out of
California, to represent him. Stone met the founder of
the agency at a conference in Seattle, WA. "I believe
it is critical to meet an agent face-to-face. It gives
the agent and the author both a great insight about
the kind of person you are evaluating. There were
many excellent agents and editors at this particular
conference and I am grateful to find an agency as
talented as this one." The agency has worked for
over twenty years in the publishing, radio, television
and film industries.
Fresh from his success with Fahrenheit 9/11,
filmmaker and author-provocateur MICHAEL MOORE
has made a deal with Simon & Schuster for a new
hardcover, to be published this fall. "Will They Ever
Trust Us Again?" will consist of letters written to Mr.
Moore over the last year by American soldiers in Iraq.
The letters will be accompanied by commentary and
an introduction by the filmmaker, who included
interviews with soldiers and wounded Iraq war
veterans in his Bush-bashing documentary.
Screenwriter KEVIN WILLIAMSON (Scream, Dawson's
Creek) has signed a two-script deal with 20th
Century Fox TV for a mid-six-figure sum.
COMBS SUED BY FORMER EMPLOYER -
SEAN 'P DIDDY' COMBS is being sued by a former
employer, who claims the rap mogul and his
bodyguards violently assaulted him in November (03).
HENRY OWUSU, a former intern at Combs' BAD BOY
ENTERTAINMENT record label, has filed a $10 million
(GBP5 million) lawsuit against Combs alleging he was
arguing with the rapper's secretary when Combs
stepped in and made violent threats, reports website
SOHH.COM. And court papers claim Combs attacked
him and threatened to ''throw you out a window'' and
then ordered security to remove him from the
BEDINGFIELD'S $1.8 MILLION AMERICAN
CONTRACT - Pop beauty NATASHA BEDINGFIELD
has secured a staggering $1.8 million (GBP1 million)
record deal with American music giants EPIC. The
SINGLE star flew to New York to meet the label's
manager DAVID MASSEY on Sunday (21NOV04)
straight after scooping the Hot New Talent award at
Britain's SMASH HITS POLL WINNERS' PARTY. Natasha
and her singer brother DANIEL's manager NEALE
EASTERBY says, ''Epic's David Massey has been a
huge fan of both Bedingfields from very early on.
When the opportunity arose to work with Natasha he
jumped at it.''
COWELL AND OSBOURNE'S BURGLARY FEUD -
SIMON COWELL made fellow X FACTOR judge SHARON
OSBOURNE weep last night (25NOV04) by accusing
her of enjoying the publicity caused by her recent
burglary ordeal. Cowell met Osbourne at London's
WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARDS in London, and
mocked the theft of her wedding ring and other
jewellery worth more than $3.6 million (GBP2 million)
from her Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire home,
earlier this week (22NOV04). He told her, ''It was well
worth giving away those diamonds for that
coverage.'' Osbourne retaliated, ''It is really awful to
say that. I know in my heart we are not doing this for
publicity.'' She later added, ''Simon can say what he
likes but when you come close to losing your life, the
publicity we get just doesn't matter. ''Everyone has
something to say about it, like 'Why have they got all
that jewellery?' but I've worked hard and I've come
from nothing to where I am today.''
SO SOLID STAR ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH
MURDER - LATEST: SO SOLID CREW rapper
MEGAMAN was reportedly arrested yesterday
(25NOV04) in connection with the fatal shooting of a
man in south London last week (ends12NOV04). The
dance collective's MC - real name DWAYNE VINCENT -
has finally been questioned by Britain's Metropolitan
Police's black-on-black crime division about COLIN
SCARLETT, who died after being blasted with a
shotgun at close range in Tooting. Police have been
searching for the hip-hop star since the incident, and
allegedly alerted officials at ports and airports to stop
him if he attempted to leave the country, reports
British newspaper THE SUN. Scotland Yard
confirms, ''A man in his 20s has been arrested.'' A 23-
year-old named CARL MORGAN has been charged with
Covenant by Rusty Van Reeves
Publisher: Publish America; (October 2003)
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Rating: Highly Recommended
I Found Myself Lost Within The Pages Of This Fast-
November 22, 2004
This book opens with an image that set the tone for
this story. Superman stands tall holding his
wheelchair overhead, cameras flash as the room
buzzes with simultaneous activity and Christopher
Reeve - the Real Superman - has been cured of his
paralysis. He walks into the room as living proof that
the much-debated stem-cell research does in fact
work. Being that Mr. Reeve passed away recently, I
could not help but to feel sorrow for that real life
event. However, the tale that follows this impressive
opening made me feel triumphant and hopeful.
Dr. Michael Preston and his younger brother Matt are
hit by a vehicle being driven by an intoxicated
individual who has changed the brothers' lives and
relationship. Matt is paralyzed and confined to a
wheelchair and Dr. Preston blames himself for this
unforeseen disaster. The Doctor spends most of his
time following any research that will give his brother
a chance to walk again.
After many years of research and dead ends, Dr.
Preston receives information about a medical team
lead by a Dr. Kilmer who claims that they have cured
paralysis. Dr. Preston has been hand selected to join
the team and is pre-warned that there is a group
called the Covenant who have vowed to prevent the
cure from being made available to the public. This
group will block any and all attempts at curing
paralysis by utilizing any means necessary. The
Covenant resorts to mercenary tactics that usually
leave their victims dead and therefore unable to work
towards this cure. Many scientists and Doctors have
already been murdered and Dr. Kilmer and his
daughter Kayla may be next.
The Covenant is motivated by money and greed. If a
cure is found, the financial backing for insurance
companies and other research fronts would simply
dissolve. It is similar to the financial ruin that most
fuel companies would find themselves subject to
should an engine be developed without any fuel
requirements. Therefore, the financial factor has
outweighed the human factor and Dr. Preston and
other "players" have to prevent the Covenant from
carrying out the vow that they have made to each
The vivid scenes and characters converge towards a
final showdown of good against evil. Dr. Preston is
working towards curing his brother and preserving his
own life in the process as they are tracked by the
mercenaries hired by the Covenant. A mystery, a
medical thriller and a love story form the pieces of
Revealing the Covenant and the surprise ending will
fascinate you as well.
Rusty Van Reeves has woven aspects of his life into
his characters. He has a spinal chord injury that has
left him paralyzed from the shoulders down and is
hopeful that a cure will be found. However, much like
Dr. Preston's brother Matt, he realizes that life must
go on in the meantime. Like Matt, he has his own
software company. He writes, using one finger, to
tell a story and express innermost emotions. He
writes vivid poetry and he is also an excellent painter
(he can paint quite well with a brush placed between
Revealing the Covenant is a remarkable book
written by a remarkable Artist - in every sense of the
word. To learn of the Author before or after reading
his work will allow you to appreciate his unbreakable
spirit and his powerful words. I've enjoyed this book
and I look forward to his future projects.
"We live in a time when the words impossible and
unsolvable are no longer part of the scientific
community's vocabulary. Each day we move closer to
trials that will not just minimize the symptoms of
disease and injury but eliminate them."
Christopher Reeve, Testimony to US House
of Representative, 1999
Reviewed by Tyrone Vincent Banks
Publisher: Whitaker House (September 2004)
Genre: Historical Fiction
From a descendent comes: Godiva's Life &
November 22, 2004
This epic tale begins in the spring of 1016 with Viking
ships, adrift, choppy seas along the coast of England.
A fearsome King Canute the Dane, Viking conqueror,
invades. One town after another is devoured until
reaching the castle of Lord Leofwine and then
Godiva's hometown of Coventry.
Death and destruction overwhelms this northern
region, while a thirteen-year old Godiva watches
helplessly as the bloodthirsty invaders pillage her
once peaceful world. Canute's vicious army coldly
murders her parents, as well as friends. Godiva barely
survives and only due to the heroism of Sister
Osburga. Sister Osburga boldly draws the Vikings
away from the hidden Godiva giving her the
opportunity to escape.
Ten years pass and King Canute now controls
Northern Mercia. Godiva now an exquisite woman
marries the Earl of Mercia, Lord Leofric. Leofric under
orders from Canute is to collect the "danegeld" --an
exaggerated amount of taxes from the townspeople.
Against the taxation Godiva implores and tries to
reason with Leofric, requesting relief upon the people
of Coventry. Her appeals are ignored.
Taking matter into her own hands Godiva relinquishes
her wealth. Her jewels are contributed to pay for all
the taxes of Coventry's villagers. This is pure
insolence in King Canute's eyes. To alleviate Canute's
anger and postpone taxation Godiva now faces
dishonor and shame if his challenge of riding naked on
her horse through Coventry is accepted.
Godiva is David Rose's debut novel. The tale
of Godiva, a unique woman of her time, as Rose tells
it, has been handed down from generation to
generation in his family lineage. Rose is an Academy
Award-winner for film special effects, and it clearly
shows through description. Dialog on the other hand
is at times klutzy and characters in need of more
development. Still none of this takes away from this
Godiva is an entertaining book that highlights
a number of topics: religious beliefs, courage, love,
and survival. It is no doubt David Rose's debut novel
is a promising start as an author, and I certainly hope
to read more of this upcoming series! Thank you Mr.
Rose. Definitely recommended!
Reviewed by Betsie
by Terry May
Publisher: Publishamerica (June 2004)
Rating: Highly Recommended
A Western For Everyone!
November 23, 2004
After the civil war Hub Anderson looked to build a
better life for himself in Brazo, Texas, rounding up
wild stray cattle. He didn't count on meeting Sarah
Sarah an ex-captive of renegade Comanche begins to
show a defiant and brave side of her. After Indians
kidnap her son, Sarah, her father Ben, Hub, and
friend James Harper go to the rescue.
Many encounters with the crooked lawmen with
prejudiced ways friendly thieves and other dangerous
beings are meet along the way.
This is the western novel for all. This was not an
easy book to put down. With a smooth story-telling
style, author Terry May delivers a mighty wallop with
Reviewed by Demetria Harris
Productions by Celise Downs
Publisher: Gemini Mojo Press; (August 2004)
Rating: Highly Recommended
One-Third Love Story, One-Third Mystery and
November 23, 2004
I received an autographed copy of this book with a
very professional media kit a few weeks ago. I
advised the author that I was impressed with the
cover - which set the tone for the wonderful story
that was enclosed - and she passed the compliment
on to her illustrator. The matching bookmark and
other enclosures made me envious of Celise Downs
and her book - which is one of many to come.
Dance Jam Productions is a local television
show similar to American Bandstand or Soul Train.
They are hosting a dance contest that will assemble
a team of dancers that will become regulars on the
show. Mataya "Mattie" Black Hawk is a talented
dancer with a secret past. Forever reminded of a
personal tragedy that has scarred her for life, she
expresses herself through dancing and music to
escape from the load that she must bear. Her
confidant, protector and friend; Tykota Black Hawk,
has cared for her since she was young and provides a
positive environment for her to flourish in. She has
decided to enter Dance Jam Productions' contest and
in doing so - she will change her life.
She meets Jarek Thanos in her dance studio one
afternoon and they exchange words. They both love
to dance and are compatible in many ways -
however - Mattie is cautious, she does not "let
anyone in" too often. The two are paired up at the
dance contest and it is evident that they look well
together. While rehearsing for this contest - they
kiss. Mattie and Jarek feel a spiritual attraction to
one another and after a twist of fate; Mattie is
forced to tell Jarek "everything."
That "everything" explains Mattie's physical
appearance, including her beautiful blue-eyes. There
is so much more to this young lady and so many
memories that have shaped her being. Tykota, who
is also a father-figure as well as a big brother to
Mattie, also encourages Mattie to let someone else in
to aid in her healing process. Mattie will let Jarek in
and brief him on Tykota's mission. Teenagers in the
area are being abducted and their organs are being
sold on the black market. There is only one factor
that unites all of the victims, Dance Jam
Productions. Mattie and Jarek must team up to
prevent another horrible kidnapping and organ theft.
This book is one-third love story, one-third mystery
and one-third action-adventure. The words entice
you to read on and all elements of the plot are
strategically placed in a fashion that will captivate
your imagination. The end of the story is much like a
new beginning and we are certain to find Mattie,
Jarek and Tykota enthralled in another adventure
soon. Celise Downs has created a new type of hero,
based on reality and created from flesh and blood as
opposed to ink and paper.
This book is a must read for young adults and adults,
there is something for everyone at Dance Jam
Reviewed by Tyrone Vincent Banks
A New Life for Sir
Christopher by Richard M. Wainwright
Publisher: Family Life Publishing/Richard Wainright
Genre: Children's Fiction
Awards: Benjamin Franklin Award
Format: Audio CD
Also available in hardcover; 40pp
Rating: Highly Recommended
A delightfully charming story!
November 23, 2004
This enjoyable tale begins with Sir Christopher
wearing his bearskin hat and his family on a beautiful
sunny day at the beach. After the family finishes
their meal and lay down for a nap, Sir Christopher's
memories wander back to the time of his birth.
In London Stanislaw Kozako, a Polish immigrant and
doll maker by trade chiseled his block of wood in the
image of the Queen's guards. Stanislaw's wife and
daughters quickly went to work in making his uniform
and hat complete with chinstrap.
After a trip to Buckingham Palace to give glimpse of
his creation to the guards on duty, the U.S.
Ambassador and his family pull up in their car to see
Stanislaw's doll. This in return leads the Ambassador
to take Stanislaw and his family to meet the queen.
The queen is so taken by his work that she requests
more of these delightful creations, making Stanislaw
the "master doll maker of the queen."
Sir Christopher was then sold to the Ambassador's
daughter, Sally. Sally took him everywhere. Now on
Cape Cod, a bad storm is on the brink, as lightning
strikes and thunder roars. In a mad dash they pack
up and race for the car. Unknowingly Sir Christopher
falls out of the basket and quickly engulfed by the
incoming waves is swept out to sea.
At sea a shark takes off one of his legs. Battered and
dented Sir Christopher is thrusted onto the coast of
Maine. The next day Sir Christopher is rescued by a
retired sea captain named, Toby Chase. 70 year-old
Chase repairs the doll by giving him a peg leg and the
new name of Captain Joshua. Chase presents Capt.
Joshua to his crippled grandson, Matthew, as a
means of coaxing the boy out of his self-pity.
Award winning author Richard Wainwright, once again
displays the magic of words that is a heartwarming
story of a beautiful, wooden toy soldier and the
effect he has on the various children who own him.
Truly delightful and highly recommend the audio cd
for younger children.
Reviewed by Betsie
20,001 Food Facts,
Chef Secrets and Household Hints by Dr. Myles H.
Publisher: Bader Publishing; LLC (2004)
Genre: How To
Rating: Highly Recommended
The best kitchen encyclopedia ever!
November 24, 2004
This 2004 edition reads like an almanac of many
different food facts, household hints, and chef
secrets. The topics range from holiday foods to stain
removal. This manual is filled with so many helpful
hints that I am certain even the worst of
homemakers can find something useful!
Not only is there information on which oils are best
for what purpose, but this book also differentiates
floors, teas, dairy products, beers, wines, and
vinegars, as well as a host of other household items.
I particularly enjoyed the section on making stocks,
freezing and refrigerating tips, and sauces, in addition
to the recipes throughout the book.
This manual could easily be deemed the kitchen
encyclopedia for it is filled with knowledgeable tips for
all types of cooks: from those that can't boil a cup of
water to master chefs. Bonus features include:
information on free catalogs and food samples.
Reviewed by Juanita Reynolds
Going Down Memory
Lane by Laura Pfalz
Publisher: PublishAmerica (April 2004)
Battling demons of the past.
November 24, 2004
Ten years have passed since the adventurous
summer of 1983 when Theresa Jefferson Manzoni
receives a phone call from an old friend, David.
Theresa and her friends Beth Williams, and Donna
Morrison, openly share their experiences and traumas,
trying to erase their childhood demons. The six
friends agree to meet and in a series of flashbacks
take a trip down memory lane.
The year 1983, Theresa is the middle child of eight
and always felt singled out by her mother. A mother
so cruel and one, which never hesitated to display
her hatred for her own child. Beth's father is
murdered when she is five, she and her mother have
built a new life, still there is something missing. Donna
was considered the fortunate one and lives a
princess's life, her issues hidden and locked away.
The girls meet three boys, a set of brothers who also
have their own problems: Wil, David and Paul.
Enter chaos, better known, as the Jordan brother's
hell-bent on destruction and control. The first sets of
brothers interact with the three girls, while the
Jordan brothers decide to make Beth the object of
their obsession. Patrick's brothers are somewhat
terrified of Patrick and follow his every command.
Patrick upon realizing that Beth wants nothing to do
with him, beats her, kidnaps her and eventually
attempts to kill her!
Despite awkward dialogue, and somewhat
exaggerated characters Going Down Memory Lane is
an entertaining novel. Certainly worth picking up for a
night of light reading.
Reviewed by Betsie
*** BOOKS NOT YET RELEASED ***
A Tale of Times and Truth by James M. Becher
Publisher: Publish America; (2004)
Genre: Christian Fiction
How Do You Destroy Sin?
November 24, 2004
On June 1, 2025, the World Scientific Society's
Annual meeting has commenced. On this day, the
theory of time-travel will move from a theory to a
reality. A team of scientists will embark on an
impossible journey to rid the world of all sickness and
distress - by eliminating sin. They will locate and
travel to the Garden of Eden and prevent Eve from
eating the forbidden fruit.
A team of three scientists from different cultures and
religions embark on this journey across time. They
pool their individual knowledge and expertise to adapt
to the places and times that their strange vessel will
land. As they move back towards the Garden of
Eden, they encounter various individuals from the
Gold Rush, American Revolution and Camelot. By
unknown means the craft will even venture further
into the future to witness a war that rages without
reason. They witness firsthand the events that
announce the end of the world still certain that they
can change this fate through their travels.
The three time-travelers are of three separate faiths
and regard Christ as a good teacher or a type of
good fellow or simple prophet. They even witness
firsthand the crucifixion of Chris but they are still not
convinced of that event's significance. It is not until
they speak with one of Jesus Christ's disciples, after
the crucifixion that they return to their mission. They
are told that the original sin is necessary and that
without this event Christ would not have been sent
to rescue mankind from its destructive path. The men
have an epiphany of sorts and now they have to
determine if their impossible mission can be
accomplished. Can they solve the problem in the
past or in the future?
Reverend James Becher has written an interesting
story to ponder. I understand his message and the
fact that we can make some changes in the way that
we live to improve our future. Through Christ and the
belief that he died for our sins so that we may live,
there will only be more to gain from our existence. I
would have liked some of the historical context and
dialogue to be more authentic, but that is what the
Author within myself desires. The exclusion of those
aspects from the story does not take away from the
message. Including those items would serve to
captivate the audience further and evoke a powerful
response for those unprepared to accept
Christianity. Based on Reverend Becher's history as a
man of God, I understand why the message prevailed
over the Sci-Fi aspects that I have mentioned.
His message is clear and concise and I will repeat this
using words from his novelette: "Either you will all
become believers in Jesus like us before this is all
over with, or you will be destroyed in some way by
God or one of His messengers. Jesus Christ is the only
answer for the problem of sin and evil in the World.
There can be no other."
Reviewed by Tyrone Vincent Banks
LOOKING FOR A JOB?
ABC - New York - (212) 456-6300 x6880
ABC7 TV - (818) 863-7562
Atlantic Records - (310) 205-7450
BET - (202) 608-2800 x2
BMG Entertainment - (310) 358-4909
Capitol Records - (323) 871-5763
CNN/TBS - (404) 827-5144
Comedy Central - (212) 767-8600
Disney Studios - (818) 558-2222
Dreamworks Animation - (818) 695-7252
E! Entertainment -(323) 954-2710
ESPN - (860) 585-2000
FOX 11 KTTV - (310) 584-2280
ICM - (310) 550-4000
KMEX-TV - (310) 348-3590
MTV - (212) 846-2500
NBC - (818) 840-4397
New Line Cinema - (310) 967-6553
Paramount - (323) 956-5216
Sony Pictures Entertainment - (310) 244-4436
Turner Broadcasting- West Coast (310) 788-
Universal Studios (818) 777-5627
Warner Bros. (818) 954-5400
Just ask operator for the job hotline
Creating a Screenwriting Career
There's times a popular quote floats around
Hollywood-- "Every writer is just one script away
from a career." Translated, it means that with the
right screenplay, you're in business.
For some people, that "one script" is their first. For
others, it is their 20th. It all depends on how fast
you gain an understanding of the skills and concepts
that make a highly marketable screenplay.
This is Part 2 of a 12-step plan that can lead you to
the success you want. In the last issue, we covered
the first four steps. Here they are:
1. Start with a marketable concept.
2. Create characters that A-list actors will want to
3. Outline your script to make sure every part of it is
dramatic and fresh.
4. Write a great opening that will engage the reader
Those are a great start and absolutely essential if
you really want to sell your screenplay. But, of
course, you then need to turn out a script that is
extremely well written.
THE NEXT FOUR STEPS...
5. Make sure every scene is extremely engaging.
Properly designed, each scene will re-engage the
reader's attention. One scene will lure them in. The
next will surprise them. The next will create
suspense. Follow that with an ironic scene, then a
Whatever order you choose, you need to make sure
of two things:
A. That you have a variety of different scene
structures to make sure the script doesn't feel
B. That for each scene, you choose the scene
structure that will yield the most value in terms of
curiosity, drama, and entertainment.
Many overlook scene structure, but it can be a major
6. Make sure every page demands that the reader
In general, readers are overworked. So your job is to
make it almost impossible to put your script down
until every page has been read.
By the end of each page, you want them wondering
or worrying about what will happen next. The more
they are curious about the future of your story, the
more likely they'll continue reading.
It could be as simple as a line of dialogue calling the
protagonist's goal into doubt or the entire scene
could put your protagonist into the worst spot of
their life. Just keep them wondering and your script
will get read.
7. Use terse description that gives more meaning
Brief. Concise. Crisp. Get it?
Just as important, many times, a short sentence can
deliver more emotion and power than an entire page
when you've selected the right words. This is
especially true of initial character descriptions.
If you want great description, practice finding ways
to deliver a powerful message with as few words as
8. Have dialogue that actors will fight to keep in the
Imagine dialogue that is full of subtext, anticipation,
and surprise. If you provide that and deliver maximum
character in most of your lines, actors will absolutely
Great dialogue comes from understanding your
characters very well, but it also comes from having
the flexibility to create 25 or 50 or even 100 different
ways to say the same line. And that means truly
understanding the different places a character might
deliver a line from.
Consider a character that drops their plate in a
restaurant. What would they say if they were
embarrassed? How about angry? How about if they
have a strong need for attention? What if one of
their traits is "humorous?" Or "violent?"
Or "sophisticated." Notice how a small change in the
character will change their dialogue in the same
The more you know about different types of dialogue
structures, the more amazing your characters and
their dialogue will be.
Where's Your Power as a Writer?
Before I proceed, let's clarify something. If you are
writing JUST for your own enjoyment, this article
doesn't apply to you. But if you are WRITING TO SELL
or writing to get an agent, then this article will be
very helpful. In fact, it could be one of the most
important things you learn about writing screenplays
in your entire career.
To start this process, we need to understand what
the major players in this market want and need.
WHAT DO PRODUCERS WANT?
- Marketable projects that are well written
- Fresh/original material that fits their specific
- Easy to sell to their boss or to the studios
WHAT DO AGENTS WANT?
- Easily sellable writers who consistently produce
- Writers who have either a group of well-written
spec scripts or who have a great writing sample and
can turn out writing assignments every six weeks.
WHAT DO MANAGERS WANT?
- Writers with marketable projects who the
manager can develop into a major player.
- They also want you to have something that can
be sold now.
As I've stressed over and over, the key to your
success is creating highly marketable screenplays.
Each of the players above needs projects that are
designed for the market... and are easy to pitch.
Knowing that, imagine yourself sitting next to a great
Hollywood player listening to writer after writer pitch
Here are the statistics:
2% pitched a high concept
5% pitched a marketable story
15% pitched a well-designed story (including the 7%
And here's the bad news. 85% pitched stories that
were poorly designed. 93% pitched stories that were
SO WHERE'S YOUR POWER?
Knowing that agents, producers, and managers are
looking for the most marketable screenplays they can
find, (and 93% of writers present unmarketable
screenplays), where do you think your power is?
Consider this scenario:
Instead of giving a long drawn-out pitch, you
introduce yourself and say one extremely powerful
sentence -- a High Concept -- and then pause.
Your concept wows them and they follow with a
flurry of questions that you answer masterfully. Your
story is obviously well designed and clearly
They invite you to lunch and spend a delightful
afternoon discussing ways to get your movie
Do you see it? Do you see how writing a truly
marketable script can elevate you above the other
writers who haven't yet discovered this important key
Just to be really clear, here are the three items that
increase your power as a writer:
1. A High Concept.
From a marketing perspective, this is the most
valuable part of a screenplay. Until you pitch a High
Concept to Hollywood, you have no idea what it is
like to have producers and agents reverse their "No
unsolicited screenplays" policy.
Because a true High Concept is what producers, TV
networks, studios, and even financiers are looking
for. A High Concept is easier to pitch to stars, studio
execs, and to the public. It simply translates into a
huge increase in the chance that the movie (and
its huge budget) will pay off.
2. A great story that is well written.
The concept gets the story read, but then the
writing needs to be amazing...and if it is, agents,
managers, and producers will absolutely love you.
They'll see characters for A-list actors, openings that
will grip an audience, scenes that are fascinating to
watch, and dialogue that will be repeated all over the
Do that and your scripts will sell and you'll get writing
assignments from studios.
3. Well prepared pitch that communicates the
marketability of the project.
This third component may seem easy if the first two
are in place, but over and over, the real tragedy is
when a writer has a great script but pitches it poorly
You need specific pitches for different situations. A
great query letter pitch often dies when pitched in
person. An amazing logline doesn't assure an
For each occasion -- logline, in-person pitch,
synopsis, query letter, and One-Page -- you need to
absolutely maximize the impact that pitch has. And
that means that you communicate as strongly as
possible the marketability of your project...without
ever saying "It's marketable because..."
Put a High Concept together with a great story,
amazing writing, and a great pitch, and you've got
the start of a screenwriting career.
Most writers assume they should think about
marketability after they write the story. That is what
93% of the writers in those pitch-fests thought...and
that is why their scripts aren't selling.
Don't give up your power in the beginning stage of a
script. If you want an agent, manager, and/or to sell
your screenplays, make sure you have ALL THREE of
these important components of a marketable
I know it takes some work, but the power it gives
you as a writer is worth more than you can imagine
when you enter this market.
1. Check that you have given the reader all the
information he/she needs to understand a characters
2. Don't forget when planning characters to know as
much about your protagonists supporting cast, as
you do about him/her. Flesh out a whole bunch of
interesting characters, not just one.
3. Think about what journey you want the character
to make, what lessons will he/she learn in the book.
(This is my new favorite way of looking at plot)
4. Make sure that any character mannerisms remain
the same during the whole story.
5. It's great to let characters have specific phrases
or ways of speaking; it helps the readers identify
6. Characters have their own goals and driving
forces, make sure that they are staying true to them.
7. It's OK to have characters who have mixed
feelings, and are occasionally contrary- its makes
them people after all.
8. When giving characters in your stories 'life', make
sure that they all have different, colorful
personalities. Your story would be very dull to the
reader if every character seemed to act exactly like
9. Never make a 'perfect' character. Each character
has flaws and undesirable traits, either physically or
in their personality. Make sure to let the reader know
about these flaws, so they can relate to the
character and continue to stay enthralled in the
story. If they can't relate to characters, they won't
enjoy the story because it will lack that realism that
every story needs.
10. Don't let your characters have life too easy- how
can solutions to their problems make things worse
11. Never give your character a dialect you are not
familiar with, there is nothing worse than having a
character change dialect in the story, watch dubbed
movies especially Hong Kong ones, liverpudlian comes
out all wrong and lancashire that switches to
yorkshire is ridiculous.
12. Don't be afraid to let your characters go.
Sometimes, if you keep an important character
through like an entire series, they lose their purpose
in the novel and no longer become important. Let the
others that spent time with this character carry on
their traditions and dreams to make the story move
on. Sometimes it will have a significant amount of
feeling to the novel.
13. It's not only heroines and heroes that should be
interesting, if the villain isn't captivating then neither
will your story be. I personally find HOW and WHY to
be something more interesting than 'he just is OK...?
14. Characters will, if properly rendered, take on a life
of their own, and that is a magical moment. One of
mine veered off in one direction when I thought he
was going in another. On the whole I think this is
good, it means they have a life separate from the
writer, and are acting out their own personality. But
don't give him so much freedom he takes over the
15. Watch your point-of-view, it can be confusing to
the reader to jump around between characters.
Generally do not change point of view in the midst of
Try and avoid minor character point of view, this just
confuses the author into thinking that character is
Beating Writer's block
A few ideas that might help you crack it
1. Use incidents or memories from your own life. They
don't have to be exactly the same, but think about a
certain situation, how that made you feel. Take the
story from there.
2. Discuss your work up till now with somebody else.
It is always good to get someone else's point of view.
Other people might have valuable suggestions or
questions for/about your work.
3. Read more books. Most of your inspiration will
come from them. If you reflect on your work can
probably pinpoint where certain aspect of your story
came from. The more knowledge you have, the more
versatile your writing will become. In case of fantasy
writing I'd also recommend to read books on myths,
legends, folklore and history. You'd be amazed at
some of the outrageous things, which have happened
in times past.
4. One of the major causes of the dreaded WB is lack
of planning. Virtually painting you into a corner. A
brief outline may be the answer.
5. If you're burned out on one project, put it away
and take a rest by doing another bit of writing.
6. Try free writing. Let yourself relax and with pen in
hand simply let yourself write whatever comes into
your head. How about a change of locale? Take pen
and book and try a coffee shop. (Hey it worked for JK
7. This might be hard- by try looking really hard at
your work. Are you bored with it? If that's the
problem... it is likely it'll bore others. If so, is it really
a good way to spend your time?
8. Timed writing. Try forcing yourself to do fifteen
minutes writing on any subject to get the juices
9. Try keeping a journal, the physical act of writing
with a real pen on thoughts of your own, may also
start that elusive muse off.
10. Take a walk, do some gardening, go for a bike
Often new things can inspire, but don't let it become
an excuse to not do anything!
Five Costly Errors That May Be Preventing Your Marketing Messages From Getting The Results You Want
These examples can be applied to ANY business or
Costly Error #1 - Not Precisely Pinpointing Your
A leading networking company relied heavily on
seminars for its sales. To boost attendance at one
seminar, it placed an ad in the local newspaper
inviting anyone and everyone to attend. With its
wide-open y'all come approach, the ad-attracted
students looking for information and a free lunch.
Instead of desperately trying to fill seminar seats, the
company would have done better to more precisely
identify its target -- the information technology
managers and executives who make decisions about
Even if your message is the greatest, it will fail if it
doesn't reach the right people.
Costly Error #2 - Spending Money On The Wrong
A new video producer who was interviewed for an
article after creating a video about dog training, he
developed a marketing strategy -- to place a $600 ad
in TV Guide. After all, he reasoned, there has to be a
pack of dog owners among its 20 million readers.
Perhaps. But only one of them ordered the video.
He would have had a greater chance of success by
trying out an ad in a publication geared to dog lovers
or, perhaps, purchasing a list from one of these
publications and testing a mailing.
The better you can describe and understand your
market, the more likely you are to find them. And the
more you zero in on exactly where they hang out in
groups (such as readers of specialized publications or
newsletters), the less you risk choosing a time-and-
money-swallowing marketing medium.
Costly Error #3 - Putting a Fog Around Your Message
Sometimes business people write marketing
communications with the belief they should, above all
else, be clever. (Or, worse, they pay others to
concoct these witty or whimsical messages for
them.) As a result, their main message becomes
clouded. Another frequent fault is to obscure their
message with jargon.
Or they may bury their message beneath a display of
sensational verbal or graphic fireworks. Think of the
number of Web sites you've seen where the message
is submerged or nonexistent.
Be alert! Don't let anything come between you and
the message you want your prospects to remember
and respond to.
Costly Error #4 - Relying On Image And A Brochure
To Carry The Day
By image I mean marketing communications with the
sole purpose of creating an image and awareness of
your firm, product, or service. They attempt to be a
work of art. Watch out! Sometimes they take the
form of a glossy brochure with slick photographs and
The problem is they do not produce measurable
results, nor do they provide feedback to guide you in
improving your marketing message.
If you have $10 million to spend on marketing, your
image brochure (or ad) may work for you . . . some
day. It's unlikely that it can prompt your prospects to
Read on to find out exactly what goes in your
brochure or ad to grab your best prospects and urge
them to respond at once.
Costly Error #5 - Not Acting On The Power Of
What is marketing leverage?
Controlled studies by successful advertising experts
have measured the impact of headlines, offers, copy,
and graphics. By testing -- changing these elements
one at a time and comparing results from direct
response ads -- the experts discovered the following
differences between responses to the best and worst
versions of each element.
The champions, please...
·Headline: a response that was 21 times
·Offer: a response that was 10 times greater
·Copy: a response that was 5 times greater
·Graphics: a response that was 5 times
How can you take advantage of this information?
If your marketing communication does not have an
offer, develop one. If it has a lackluster offer, make it
irresistible. If your marketing document does not have
a headline, create one. If it has a humdrum headline,
generate one that grabs the attention of your
How about you? Do you suspect that one or more of
these errors caused your marketing messages to fall
By avoiding these expensive mistakes you will improve
your chances of success. Put these errors behind you
and produce marketing communications that get
attention and results.
** DO NOT SEND MATERIAL OR WORK WITH ANYONE
LISTED ON THIS BOARD UNLESS YOU ARE CERTAIN
COMPANY AND/OR PRODUCER IS LEGIT.
Ginty Films International
I am looking for completed screenplays that are
written in Hong Kong style, but can be shot in
Vancouver. Examples of Hong Kong style are 'Kill
Bill', 'Romeo Must Die', or films by Jet Li, Jackie Chan,
John Woo, Wong Kar-Wai, and Tony Leung. The
script needs to involve young adults and can be
horror, action or police stories. The script must
appeal to teens and young adults.
Budget will not exceed 3 million. WG and non-WG
writers are welcome.
My directing, acting and some of my producing
credits can be seen on IMDB.com
Please email a logline and synopsis followed by a
resume (if available) in the body of the email (NO
email attachments. Those emails will be deleted
without being read) to Robert Ginty. Please
include 'InkTip.com' in the subject of the email.
I am looking for a writer interested in creating a spec
script. The script will take place in contemporary
Mainland China. The story will focus on a young
woman from China's provincial villages who 'escapes'
(as the Chinese term it) to the westernized cities
(like Beijing) rebelling against an arranged
marriage and the traditional lifestyle of rural China.
But the modern cities can be dangerous for a
runaway. This film would be comparable to past films
directed by Yimou Zhang, Kaige Chen, or possibly Kar-
Ideally, I would like the writer to be a Chinese native
familiar with life in Chinese villages, although I am
certainly open to non-Chinese writers who have
an extensive background and knowledge of Chinese
Budget will not exceed $10 million. My background
includes: I currently run Mediola and Dan Cooper &
Associates. Previous experience includes co-creator
of the FOX News Channel, founding Broadcast
Producer for ABC News 20/20, Executive Producer for
King World Productions, Consultant to MTV.
Please email me your background as a writer and your
experience with the Chinese culture. (EMAIL
ATTACHMENT ACCEPTED - please send) to
Dan Cooper. Please include 'InkTip.com' in the subject
of the email@example.com
** Make sure that the address you are mailing to
corresponds to the company's published address.
Don't be in a rush to send out your material. Once
you are certain the listing is legit, submit material
through an attorney or agent. Never, never, never
send your complete script to anyone over the net. A
half page synopsis is all that should be expected via
email, the requestor should supply full postal details
for anything more. Unless you intend to make more
money from the potential lawsuit than selling your
script, make sure your script is registered with the
AWG. Best of luck!
Remember pitching your story idea to any magazine
will bring your book or product to the attention of
Utne Magazine covers the environment, the
economy, international relations and pop culture has
recently named Jon Spayde and Karen Olsen as co-
editors. The publication which is
pronounced like "Chutney", covers such subjects as
how to survive in the busy world, new efforts in
medicine, folk music , exercise, aging, new
magazines, and publications, politics, the
atmosphere, etc. Suggestions go to them at
1624 Harmon Place, Ste. 320
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Always query first! DO NOT send materials until
Blair Silver & Company Entertainment
P.O. Box 3188
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Careyes Entertainment [Mngmnt]
9000 Sunset Blvd., Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Concept Entertainment [Mngmnt]
Attn: David Faigenblum, Eve LaDue
9348 Civic Center Drive, 3rd Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 276-9477 (fax)
Don Congdon Associates, Inc.
156 Fifth Avenue, Suite 625
New York, NY 10010-7002
Telephone: (212) 645-1229
Fax: (212) 727-2688
Contact: Don Congdon, Michael Congdon, Susan
9 Mile Management
11271 Ventura Blvd. #329
Studio City, CA 91604
Notes: Los Angeles based writers only. E-mail
logline, brief bio and synopsis. Will reply if there is
interest. No phone calls or unsolicited scripts,
Fifi Oscard Agency, Inc.
24 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (212) 764-1100
Fax: (212) 840-5019
Contact: Ivy Fischer Stone
Trying to get your product on TV... here's your
NBC-TV's "The Jane Pauley Show" has the
following contacts: Michael Weiser is the executive
producer, with Colleen Halpin, the show's number two
producer. Meredith Paige is the show's senior field
producer. Other senior producers include Laurie
Weiss, who comes from local TV in Detroit, and
Jane Pauley Show at NBC
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York City, NY 10012
Contact Maury Povich with Show ideas,
comments and other viewer mail can be sent to:
15 Penn Plaza / Grand Ballroom
New York, NY 10001
Or Call: (800) 547-6912
499 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
You can email Charlie Rose personally at
The Oprah Show's season goes from
September through November, and January through
June. The closely kept secret is the names of staff.
The executive producer of the show is Dianne
Atkinson Hudson, with Dana Newton Utigard, Ellen
Rakieten and Katy Murphy Davis supervising senior
producers. They are reached at
110 N. Carpenter St.
Chicago, IL 60607
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn
c/o On-Camera Audience
224 E. Olive Ave.
Burbank, CA 91502
With thousands of listeners (to & from work or even
at work) it's hard to leave out radio stations and their
The Misread City: Literary Radio
Interviews novelists and poets
Talk to Tara
Tara is your Host on Evergreen Radio for AUTHOR
INTERVIEWS, CELEBRITY INTERVIEWS and BOOK
REVIEWS in RealAudio Tara's show PROFILES is now
being broadcast on Evergreen Radio Reading Service
which is affiliated with the Seattle Public Libraries.
To help independent authors worldwide, ArtistFirst
World Radio offers a weekly show series exclusively
about independent and undiscovered authors.
Send materials to:
ARTISTFIRST WORLD RADIO NETWORK
1062 PARKSIDE DRIVE
ALLIANCE, OHIO 44601
Ron Hogan, Editor/Publisher
By the Book
Author Interviews, Book Reviews, and other Fun Stuff
for Kids from Children's Author
Books and Authors
Author interviews, news, book reviews and more.
The Spiritual Bookstore
144-3495 Cambie St.
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4R3
Gotta Write Online
515 E. Thacker
Hoffman Estates, IL 60194
Phone: 847 882-8054
Ron Berthel, Book Editor
50 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020-1666
Reviewers Categories: Fiction, General, Non-Fiction
122 N 25th St
Reading PA 19606
Reviewers Categories: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror
CELEBRITIES ON LOCATION
If you collect autographs, it's a great idea to write
the celebrities below now, while on location. Authors
don't be shy - get those endorsements!
All the King's Men (Drama)
December 1 (New Orleans)
Phoenix Pictures/AKM Productions
2424 Edenborn Avenue, Suite 350
Metairie, LA 70001
Cast: Jude Law, Sean Penn, Meryl Streep
The Last Brown Beret (Drama)
December 2 (Los Angeles)
1055 Sanborn Avenue, #201
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Cast: Robert Beltran, Del Zamora, Mike Gomez
The Wrong Element (Action/Thriller)
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures Inc./Beacon
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA, 91522
Cast: Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany
STARTING JANUARY 1ST
Every Word is True (Drama)
January 1 (New York, New Mexico)
WIP/Killer Films/Longfellow Pictures
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Toby Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow,
Willful Blindness (Action/Drama)
January 1 (New York)
USA Management/P2M Prods.
32 Reilly Road La
Grangeville, NY 12540
Cast: Artie Pasquale, Victoria Daddario, Guy
Messenger, Marc De'Antone
Blake (working title) (Science Fiction)
January 3 (Boston, Los Angeles)
19 Albio Street, 3rd Floor
Somerville, MA, 02143
Cast: Amanda Young, Jude T. Norman, Abigail Marie
Young, Catherine Cox, Alex Verde
Darkness Rising (The Gamers: Second Edition)
January 3 (Washington)
Gamers Productions, LLC.
1901 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 110
Tacoma, WA 98402
Cast: Nathan Rice, Olesia Shewchuk, Brian Lewis,
Scott Brown, Christopher Doyle, Jennifer Page, Eric
Ugland, Geoff Gibbs, Don Early, Emily Olson.
Miracle at Sage Creek (Family/Western)
January 17 (Arizona)
10560 East Rio Verde Drive
Hereford, AZ 85615
Cast: Bruce Boxleitner, Billy Drago, Martin Kove, Buck
Taylor, Francine York, Paul Gleason, James Intveld,
Thadd Turner, DJ Perry, Anthony Hornus
The Town of Morals (Horror)
January 17 (California)
ML Madsen Productions
P.O. Box 2078
North Highlands, CA 95660
Cast: Autumn Withers, Brooke Mason
What many authors may not realize is that you can
call these bookstores, pitch your book, and ultimately
have the owner stock it on the shelf!
Then make sure you post this information on your
website under "available at the following locations."
Agneta's Books and Things
994 Farmington Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06107
85 Ferris Street
Bridgeport, CT 06605
968 Farmington Avenue Suite 1
West Hartford, CT 06107
215 Albany Tnpk. (Rt. 44)
PO Box 582
Canton, CT 06019
1-800-530-5124 TOLL FREE
The Danielson Book Store
89 Main Street
Danielson, CT 06259
Millrace Bookshop in the Gristmill
40 Mill Lane
Farmington, CT 06032
Tel: (860) 677-9662
Fax: (860) 677-0714
Diane's Books of Greenwich
8A Grigg St.
Greenwich, Ct 06830
11 East Putnam Ave
Greenwich, CT 06830
Phone: 203.869.5023 | 800.874.4568
Fax: 203.869.0633 | 800.874.4568
Just Books, Too
28 Arcadia Road
Old Greenwich, CT 06870
Phone: 203.637.0707 | 800.874.4568
Fax: 203.637.0760 | 800.874.4568
Trinity College Bookstore
300 Summit Street
Hartford, CT, 06106
Store Manager: Mohammed Farooque
The JOHN STEELE BOOK SHOP
15 South Street
Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759
Telephone: (860) 567-0748
R.J. Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
Phone: 203-245-3959 or 1-800-747-3237
Greene's Books & Beans
140 Bank Street
New London, Connecticut 06320
Baileywick Books, Inc.
50 Bank Street
New Milford, CT 06776
2075 Hillside Road
Storrs, CT 06269
So you can't get people to request your book in the
library? Well there's an easier way of solving this
issue - contact them yourself!
Cleveland State Univ. Libraries
1860 E. 22nd St.
Cleveland, OH 44115
Rare Books & Special Collections
Kent State Univ. Libraries
Kent, OH 44242
Rare Books & Special Collections
Edgar W. King Library
Oxford, OH 45056
Cincinnati Public Library
800 Vine St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Rare Books & Special Collections
Univ. of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221
Rare Books & Special Collections
Wright State Univ. Library
Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton, OH 45435
Rare Books & Special Collections
Vernon R. Alden Library
Athens, OH 45701
Univ. of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN. 46556
Rare Books & Special Collections
Ball State University
Alexander M. Bracken Library
Muncie, IN 47306
Indiana Univ. - Bloomington
Tenth St. & Jordan Ave
Bloomington, IN 47401
Rare Books & Special Collections
Indiana State Univ.
Cunningham Memorial Library
Terre Haute, IN 47809
A team of writing professionals with 45 years
combined experience in writing, editing,
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management. They are available to assist you with
editing/proofreading, transcriptions and will even help
you rework that book you're writing.
** FindTheRightWords is offering "Betsie's Literary
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WriterOnLine - is an e-publication dedicated
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business and technical writing, how-tos, articles,
reviews, freelance markets, jobs for writers and much
more, published bi-weekly.
Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, Inc. -
Since its inception in 1994, Phenix & Phenix has built
a reputation that ranks it among the industry's most
highly respected publicity firms, and the publicist of
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Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, Inc
2525 West Anderson Lane, Ste. 540
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