Sunday, July 27, 2008

Now for something COMPLETELY different

I’ve been saying that something needed to happen to shake up the western genre and it’s finally arrived. In fact, the Sci Fi Channel has stepped up with an amazing work of western cinema entitled Copperhead. It’s an entrhalling tale of a sleepy town that plays host to a man with a dark secret, a bloodthirsty outlaw and a kid trying to proove himself in a harsh land. Oh…then the town is overrun by snakes.

I haven’t lost my mind. I’m kidding.

Actually, Copperhead is one of those Sci Fi Channel original movies that are so crappy they’re amazing. Copperhead is a western and there’s western stuff in there, but don’t take it seriously. Nobody connected to the movie did. It’s good for a laugh and the snakes look like they were actually using computer graphics to render rubber toys. If you’ve got some time to kill on a lazy weekend, give it a go. Sometimes, a crappy movie fits the bill very nicely.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back from Gretna

I went to that speaking engagement at the Gretna Public Library and I don’t think I made a fool out of myself. Well, not TOO big of a fool anyway. It was a nice little library and the group that showed up was a lot of fun. They had a lot of great questions and kept me on my toes the whole time. I haven’t spoken like that for a while, so my throat feels sore today. I don’t mind it one bit, since it was a genuinely good time.

One of the questions raised was about whether or not westerns could make a return to TV. As much as it pained me to do so, I had to answer, “No…for the time being.” Personally, I’d love to see a weekly show along the lines of Have Gun Will Travel or Wanted Dead or Alive. It just seems like the TV corporations are too interested in the quick ratings grabbers like reality shows that are also cheap to make. Deadwood might have divided audiences a bit, but I thought it was something new and I liked it. Critics liked it, the DVDs sold, but that STILL got cancelled because it was expensive to make. I think a new (possibly more traditional) western series could do well, but it would need some time to get going. At the moment, the networks just don’t seem to have that kind of patience. Believe me, I would like nothing more than to be proven wrong on this one.

Another thing that was a pleasant surprise was the number of women at the library group. Now, this could just be that more women were members of that particular reading group, but the ladies there actually read The Accomplice and enjoyed it. The only reason this stood out is because westerns are always considered to have more of a male audience. I just wish I could shake the publishers or anyone else who makes the big decisions regarding which projects get made and say, “Look! People WILL read these! They WILL watch the shows! Just let more of them get out there and you’ll see.” Ugh. It’s a frustrating thing, but the writers don’t make the big decisions. We just write, so that’s what we’ll keep doin’.

That’s it for today. Thanks to everyone who showed up at the library and I hope to see you folks again sometime.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Researching myself

I speak at the Gretna Public Library tomorrow and I'm actually a little nervous. Sure, I get nervous before any speaking thing, but this is because I may be a little rusty in the subject matter. Oddly enough, that subject matter is me! It's been well over four years since I've written THE ACCOMPLICE and now I need to field questions about it from folks who've just read it. I just hope I don't get stumped by EVERY question. I love that book and I love that entire series, but a lot's happened inside those four years.

I'm sure it'll be fun and those folks will all be great. I just hope they're understanding if I stumble here and there. Just to be safe, I'll be flipping through the book today and tomorrow in preparation for the event. It's a little weird researching something I've already written, but I'm sure I'll enjoy the reading. It's some damn good stuff. Just kidding...I'm still nervous.

Friday, July 4, 2008

...and proud of it!

Happy 4th of July everyone! Being a writer has allowed me to revel in many of the freedoms that are distinctly American. Free speech and free expression are just a few. Being a western writer has allowed me to have fun with even more distinctly American things like cowboys, poker, riverboat gambling and saloon girls. Now that I've tipped my hat to the Stars and Stripes as well as to you guys, I'm off to revel in bar-b-q and the scent of burnt gunpowder drifting through suburban air. Ahhhhhh. Gotta love it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Gretna Public Library

On July 22nd, I'll be going to the Gretna Public Library to have a chat with their Adult Summer Reading group. They're reading THE ACCOMPLICE, so I'd better flip through it again myself. It's been a few years since I wrote that one. Heh. Hopefully I don't get stumped too many times by people's questions. Here's a link to the event's website.
I'm not sure if it's open to the public or if it's just for the reading group, but if you want to stop by and you're in the Gretna area, give 'em a call.