So you can read my books

Sunday, May 29, 2011

THE LAST SHAMAN by best-selling author - Roland Yeomans

{Cover format courtesy of Wendy Tyler Ryan}

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside,

somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God.

Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be

and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature."

- Anne Frank

THE LAST SHAMAN is another novella submitted to Kindle for their Singles Division. Wish me luck there.

The time has come to listen to the echoes from our land...

the wisdom and teachings of the mountains, streams, and woods.

Their words are simple and their voices are soft. We have not heard them, because we have not taken the time to listen.

We have been too busy smothering them in crypts of concrete and steel.

Perhaps now is the time to open our ears and our hearts to the words of wisdom whispered on the last winds of this world

before the final sunset bleeds across the horizon.

Journey with the last Lakota shaman, Wolf Howl. The white govenments call him Drew August. Those who hunt him call him Death.

His is the power of the mind unleashed. His is the curse of seeing that the world is sailing into regions of space where different rules apply,

where different predators hunt, and the race of Man is heading towards that final conflict the Mayans predicted so long ago.

The last day of Man has dawned.

Watch as Wolf Howl turns to meet his human hunters. Shadow, the love of his life, returns to aid his hunters. Then, Mankind's death descends. Can he save Shadow before the world's time runs out?

Give it a try. It's only 99 cents. How cool is that?


Saturday, May 28, 2011


Some good news ...

I received this email this afternoon :

Hi Roland,

We are very pleased to inform you that your story "It Just Seemed the Thing to Do"

has been accepted for the Stories for Sendai anthology!

The charity anthology will be released on June 30th.

In the meantime, it would be great if you could help spread the word;

remember, the more copies we sell, the more we can help Japan!

Thank you once again for your contribution!

J.C. Martin

Think about the hurting in Japan when June 30th comes around. Roland


Friday, May 27, 2011



RAQUEL BYRNES ... who has done a post on FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE and moi :

Denise Covey and Francine Howarth

have devised a Glitz & Glamor Romantic Challenge for us :

My 399 word entry is again from LET THE WIND BLOW THROUGH YOU :

Luke Winters has spent his whole life straddling two worlds,

Lakota and White, belonging in neither.

The woman he has loved all his life has become the feared donna of the crime family which controls the state.

Join Luke as he enters a party where revenge is the main course :

The driver dropped me off, disappearing into the night. A disapproving waiter led me into a modest drawing room the size of Missouri.

Rubies and diamonds sparkled on ivory throats and wrists like drippings from the sea.

The low rumble of the music was muffled by the rise and fall of empty conversation and brittle laughter.

I looked at the ebb and tide of desire upon wealth, greed upon opportunity.

The social elite milling through the room seemed to be talking against a darkness that pressed in on them or fought to escape them.

I was caught up in a sense of unreality as if the world of sun, mountain, and desert had slipped out of reach somehow.

It wasn’t the first time. In fact I had lived most of my years in Boston in that twilight world.

My years. A long trail of disconnected moments that had failed to add up to a life. A deep voice suddenly sneered beside me.

“It is only the superficial qualities that entice. Man’s deeper nature always is rancid in some fashion. Isn’t that right, Dr. Winters? Oh, I forgot. You lost your license, didn’t you?”

I turned. Dr. Winwood, the city’s leading psychologist.

His block chin jutted out at me like a blunt instrument.

His smile was a mask, behind which his calculating mind peered out, weighing the blush here, the furtive glance there.

His smug face said he knew the bills in my mailbox and the sins of my past. He had too much free time.

“Still his success rate is higher than yours, Winwood.”

I turned to my left.

Victoria, elegant in a retro-Titanic gown that was suddenly all the rage, one arm tucked behind her back. As always the sight of her hit me like a physical blow.

Her body was as slim and slight as the branch of a birch. Her shoulders were the white of mountain peaks.

Her long, sparkling gown blazed under the bright lights as if spun from fresh-shed blood. And her face? Her face.

It was beautiful and terrible beyond any singing of it. I found myself holding my breath as I lost myself in her green eyes.

Most found those eyes frighteningly cold. But that was just a polished front to hide the fact that they’d lost their way a long time ago.

Perhaps my own eyes looked the same.


Thursday, May 26, 2011



My good friend, Donna Hole, has done an entire post reviewing my historical fantasy, RITES OF PASSAGE :

Go visit and tell her what a great friend she is for doing this, will you?


There is a fascinating article on Flavorwire :

Director Steven Soderbergh's believes that 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' is way better without color. When he wasn’t busy filming Haywire or talking about retiring, the director spent the last year watching some very good films and reading copious amounts of books/plays/short stories.

A couple fascinating take-aways from the list:

Soderbergh saw The Social Network 4 times before it hit theaters and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark in black and white 3 times in 6 days.

3D is the current craze, but could color in films have robbed us of certain films' beauty and mystery? What do you think?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


*{Blogger is not allowing me to sign in, resulting in me not being able to comment on some of your blogs.

Are any of you having the same trouble? Blogger will not respond to my pleas. Big surprise there.}

What do actresses Holly Hunter, Frances McDormand, Jodie Foster, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn have in common?

They were all considered for the roles of Thelma or Louise in the now classic film released 20 years ago this May.

Bruce Willis' notorious bomb "Hudson Hawk" actually out-earned it for third place. But the word of mouth on the movie was so strong that "Thelma" became a sleeper hit,

earning over $45 million in the U.S., about three times its budget.

And it was a critical favorite, earning six Oscar nominations and winning the award for Best Original Screenplay.

Geena Davis gives us some insights into how she and Sarandon were able to stay cool during the roadhouse scene.

“We asked the prop guy, ‘Do you have any real tequila? Because it’s easier to act if we taste alcohol,” she says.

“So we pounded back quite a few, and we’re laughing between takes and both feeling, We’re so drunk! This is great!”

"Thelma & Louise" is one of those rare films that didn't just bring people into a movie theater, but kept them talking after it was over.

Its story of average women who become fugitives sparked nationwide discussions about the changing nature of feminism in the new decade of the 1990s.

Mostly, though, the film sparked debate with its ending. Cornered by the police at the rim of the Grand Canyon, Thelma (Geena Davis) tells Louise (Susan Sarandon) "Let's not get caught; let's keep going."

Louise hits the gas, the women hold hands, and their 1966 Thunderbird convertible goes sailing off a cliff. The picture freezes with the car in midair and then fades to white.

It's an iconic moment, but it's not how the movie was originally going to end.

You don't actually see the car crash; it just drops out of sight. Afterwards, Hal (Harvey Keitel),

the sympathetic detective who has been chasing the pair, runs to the edge of the canyon and stares down. A helicopter swoops down into the ravine, and Hal turns back to rejoin the massive police force waiting there.

Director Ridley Scott provides commentary on why he changed the ending from what he shot.

He said that giving the final moment to Harvey Keitel's character instead of Thelma and Louise, "eclipsed what their decision was...

I wanted the ending to be on them."

He also thought it was important to hold on the car in the air, rather than watch it fall. He said, "I didn't want to bring [the ending] down. I wanted to go out on the high of the car, in control."

And now, you see how the ending of your tale can make or break its dramatic impact.

You see? I did have a writing reason to wax nostalgic about the 20 year anniversary of THELMA & LOUISE.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Rachel Morgan & Cally Jackson have a fascinating blogfest idea :

You have no more than 300 words to brew tension into your scene - jealousy, familial, danger, sexual or something even more primal.

My entry is from my YA urban fantasy, THE LEGEND OF VICTOR STANDISH, the whispered tale of the 13 year old street orphan who wanders into the dangerous world of my undead Texas Ranger, Sam McCord :

My 300 word entry comes from the chapter entitled : THEATER OF BLOOD/LESSON OF PAIN --

I slowly woke up. I hurt all over.

My head. My wrists. I looked up.


I was hanging from my bleeding wrists, slowly swaying. A spotlight stabbed down upon me.


I was hanging from handcuffs attached to chains from a stage's ceiling. I blinked my eyes to clear my throbbing head.

Hard footsteps to my left. Boots. As black as the Nazi S.S. uniform of the man heading towards me.

Seeing the man sent an ice pick stabbing into my chest.

Captain Sam had pointed this guy out to me. He'd warned me to stay away from this vampire with the strange stitching all around his neck.

Major Strasser.

He stopped a foot away. He ignored me. My feelings weren't hurt.

He turned to the slowly swaying people in the front row of the theater. I fought down a shiver.

They were swaying to the beat of my heart.

He smiled. "You are new to the Hunger. I will begin your orientation with a lesson on Blood Bags."

Their swaying got faster as my heart became a jackhammer. I was more scared than I had ever been. But I was Victor Standish.

"Can I skip class, Teach?”

He slashed my cheek with a riding crop. "Blood Bags are to be silent!"

"What about dirt bags?”

Again the riding crop. "Silence! The next slash will take out an eye."

I could take a hint. I shut up.

He turned to the new vampires.

"Blood Bags are slow."

He hit me in the cheek with the crop.

"Blood Bags are weak."

Again with the crop.

"Blood Bags are ...."

He swept down in the same arc. I ducked, snatching his crop from his hand with my teeth and spitting it out onto the stage.

"... unpredictable, Fritz."

Strasser roared in anger.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Wow! Denise Covey and Francine Howarth have graciously given me the honor of :

"Featured Romantic Friday Writer of the Week."

It was for my entry for the LOST theme, taken from my urban fantasy, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE :

If you would like to read my entry go to their featured writer web page :

Better yet ... join in the fun and become a Friday Romantic Writer yourself. You never know who is dropping by.

And for those of you who liked NIKITA (whose Maggie Q could play Meilori in a movie) here is :

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Come. Sit with me at McCord's table. He will arrive eventually.

Who am I? Once that question would have disturbed me.

But since my friendship with McCord, I understand that the artist should have a different ambition than to be remembered.

It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history,

leaving it markless, no refuse save the printed books.

I wish I had enough sense to see ahead thirty years ago,

and like some of the Elizabethans, not signed them.

It is my aim, and every effort bent, that the sum and history of my life, which in the same sentence is my obit and epitaph too,

shall be them both: He made the books and he died.

Who am I?

I am William Faulkner,

and much of my perceptions were shaped here in McCord's legendary jazz club, Meilori's.

Meilori’s :

the center, the focus, the hub; sitting looming in the center of the French Quarter’s circumference

like a single cloud in its ring of horizon,

laying its vast shadow to the uttermost rim of horizon; musing, brooding, symbolic and imponderable,

tall as clouds, solid as rock, dominating all: protector of the weak, judge and curb of the passions and lusts, repository and guardian of the aspirations and hopes of the helpless.

Here, McCord and I would talk about everything :

How words go straight up in a thin line, quick and harmless,

and how terribly living goes along the earth, clinging to it,

so that after a while the two lines are too far apart for the same person to straddle from one to the other.

That sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they have forgotten the words.

The world in minuscule would be scoured by our words. The shadows themselves seemed to gather around our table to listen to us where glass and bottle clinked.

The three potted palms around us hissed like dry sand in the dark moving air.

I can hear him still :

“All life asks is to look at it and listen to it and understand it if you can. Only the understanding it isn’t really important.

The important thing is to believe in life even if you don’t understand it.”

I can hear him laugh.

“Not that you’ll ever get it quite right. But that’s all right. Because tomorrow

Life is going to be something different, something more and new to watch and listen to and try to understand …

and even if you can’t understand, believe.”



I thought I knew what I believed in about life. Until that night when McCord asked me to his table to talk of a mysterious 75th year anniversary.

He talked of impossible things in such a way that I believed. He held his tale fixed yet vibrant so that seventy-five years later, when I, a stranger looked at it, it moved again since truth is living.

If you would be caught up in his narrative as I was caught up, read ADRIFT IN THE TIME STREAM.

If you would gaze upon the timeless beauty of Meilori, alas, you cannot. But one mortal woman comes close ...

Saturday, May 21, 2011


May 16th the CDC issued a Social Media: Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse :

It is such a popular announcement that it often crashes. So out of civic concern, I am distilling the announcement to its essentials :

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for.
Take a zombie apocalypse for example.

That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now,

but when your bank teller starts to dig through your scalp to make a brain withdrawal, you'll be glad you read this.

And hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident Evil),

but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much?

The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. But they are quite different than the infamous Alice Wentworth, who, legends say, wait for the unwary by the crypt of Marie Laveau.

The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen.

In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder

“How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?”

So what do you need to do before zombies…or hurricanes or pandemics for example, actually happen?

First of all, you should have an emergency kit in your house.

This includes things like water, food, and other supplies to get you through the first couple of days before you can locate a zombie-free refugee camp

(or in the event of a natural disaster, it will buy you some time until you are able to make your way to an evacuation shelter or utility lines are restored).

Below are a few items you should include in your kit, for a full list visit the CDC Emergency page.

•Water (1 gallon per person per day)
•Food (stock up on non-perishable items that you eat regularly)
•Medications (this includes prescription and non-prescription meds)
•Tools and Supplies (utility knife, duct tape, battery powered radio, etc.)
•Sanitation and Hygiene (household bleach, soap, towels, etc.)
•Clothing and Bedding (a change of clothes for each family member and blankets)
•Important documents (copies of your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate to name a few)
•First Aid supplies (although you’re a goner if a zombie bites you, you can use these supplies to treat basic cuts and lacerations that you might get during a tornado or hurricane)

Never Fear – CDC is Ready

If zombies did start roaming the streets,

CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak.

CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation.

This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine).

It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin,

learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated.

Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas

(I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work).

Friday, May 20, 2011


Come join the romantic fun :

Denise Covey and Francine Howarth challenge us to write a romantic post of 400 words on whatever occurs to us when we think LOST.

My entry is a 381 word excerpt from FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. Samuel McCord is sitting in the shadows of his Katrina-ruined jazz club. His arch-enemy is coming for the last battle between them -- a battle McCord has no chance of winning.

Samuel is unafraid. He died 7 years earlier when his beloved wife left him :

As I sat in the shadows, I listened to the music coming from the speakers on the ceiling. It was a recording of Meilori playing my favorite piano sonata, Quasi Una Fantasia. Most knew it as Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.

Meilori's lovely playing both hurt and helped. The Moonlight Sonata was never more haunting than when she played it. Beethoven had dedicated the sonata to his seventeen year old pupil, Countess Giulietta Guiccciardi. He loved her. He lost her. Not a new story.

I stared into the dark of my night club, Meilori's. It was all I had left of my wife. She had left me. But not before she slapped my face. Meilori had slapped me. Me. I had taken her love for granted and paid a terrible price. That had been seven years ago to the day.

In the dark quiet that shivered like a dying breath, I almost saw her. Meilori Shinseen. I thought about her. She was one of those haunted-eyed women you attached your own hidden fears and silent sorrows to. And her face.

Lord, her face. Aside from being beautiful, which it was ... so much so that the whole world seemed to center around it when I looked at her. But there was more. Besides being hauntingly beautiful, it was a good face. And I'd not seen many beautiful faces that were.

There were whispers in her jade eyes of tragedy and of pain, but no self-pity. Instead her past seemed to have given birth to a wry understanding, laced with echoes of bitter humor.

There were disturbing depths of sadness in her eyes. Depths which whispered of age more ancient than the Aztecs, more haunted than even my past. They both called and warned at the same time.

I had lost myself in their green depths where the monsters swam, the monsters which drive us or haunt us or both. We had both done terrible things in our past, but in each other's arms we found some small measure of peace.

Until ....

I shivered at the memory of that day seven years ago.

I had lived a life of fire, had died a death of ice. But it was only until I met Meilori that I realized before her I had not lived at all.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Join a quest for magic ...

Movie Magic!

With Clark Schaffer as your Gandalf,though he insists he looks much more like Aragorn.

Hibbs, if you're going to snicker, go outside and pretend you're Iron Man again.

The delightful, fun Jo Schaffer asks you to join her husband on this grand quest.

Her husband's film project CLEVERER is still on Kickstarter :

He's giving away some great prizes to those who help out with a donation.

Even a few dollars will get her husband closer to his dream of making his own film--

after years of making other people's movies.

Please donate and pass it on!

Any of her Followers who would be willing to blog about Clark's Kickstarter project will have their name put into a drawing to win a face plate of the Iron Man mask made by Clark for the Iron Man 2 movie.

(I've asked not to be put in the drawing. Friends help just because they're friends. But wouldn't you want to win that mask?)

After blogging it--if you also Tweet, Facebook or get it out there any other way your name will go in again for each way you passed on the word.

If you're really ambitious you can blog it up to three times through May and June -more chances to win!

Keep her informed via comments or write her at jo at

The drawing will not take place until the Kickstarter deadline has passed. Please help us spread the word!

Get involved in the movie biz and make her husband's dream come true!

Thanks everyone!

Now, from the bellowing I hear, I have to help Hibbs get his head out of the trees again.


After Hibbs got over the shock of "pawing" it from Utah to Canada,

he and I made pretty good time to the lovely home of Wendy Tyler Ryan.

Hibbs collapsed in the flower bed, moaning about paws worn down to nubs. And Wendy and I started our interview :

Roland :

Wendy, why the decision to self-publish?

Wendy :
In the beginning, it was terrifying to even consider it. I foolishly thought that self-publishing had this dark, black aura around it.

The query road was long and hard, but also affirming. I can't tell you how many times I heard, "great writing, but..."

- "wonderfully executed, but"...

I soon realized that the market was tight and narrowly focused with regards to genre.

My main character didn't bite or shapeshift so I was out. I believe that every genre is a "niche genre".

Someone somewhere will want to read what you've written, so I dove in.

Roland :
And your cover alone is a work of art, much less your magnificent book trailer. But what do you think is the biggest drawback to self-publishing?

There isn't an easy answer to that, but for one, just learning how to do it all can be a huge challenge.

I know there are services out there, but most can't afford them.

By the time you pay this person and that person and the other person, how many books are you going to have to sell to make that money back?

My advice would be to pay for the services you absolutely can't do on your own and learn how to do the rest.

I can't stress enough how important a cover is to a book. Equally important is the editing. Don't put a book out with spelling errors and poor grammar.

Another huge undertaking will be marketing your book. Unless you know thousands of people personally, you are going to have to spend a great deal of energy on finding creative ways to get it in front of people.

Once you've exhausted your friends and family list, you can't let your book wallow in obscurity. You will have to be vigilant.

Hibbs sticks his head in the window :
French Quarter what?

That's right, furface. Laugh it up. Just because your book has 8 great reviews and Sam doesn't! Anyway, Wendy, do you think you will find that "niche" for your book?

I hope so. Fire's Daughter is the first book in my Fire Through Time trilogy. It is a Fantasy Romance with a medieval feel and a healthy dose of adventure.

After all, who doesn't love a woman with a sword?

Hibbs snickers from the window :
Guess who has an autographed picture of Xena on his wall?

Wendy kindly ignores my furry friend :
And who doesn't love a woman who risks everything for the one man she loves?

After maturely sticking his tongue out at Hibbs, Roland asks :
After your trilogy is finished, what's next?

After the trilogy I plan to publish what I guess would be classified as "women's fiction" (can you tell I hate genre labels?)

The title is "Between Friends" and it's the story of two women who meet and become the best of friends,

each unaware that they are involved with the same man. I might have to sell a box of tissues with each copy!

Roland :
It certainly sounds like it will be a grave test for those two women's friendship. But I'm a sucker for books or movies like BEACHES. Thank you, Wendy, for being such a gracious host.

Wendy :
No, thank you so much, Roland, for letting me blather on about myself and my book, I really appreciate it.

Hibbs, his head still sticking through the open window :
Really? You got any honey?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Under the Utah Moon _Clark Schaffer and Movie Magic

Once again, Hibbs and I walk under a Utah full moon to find magic ...

Movie Magic ...

And its Wizard, Clark Schaffer :

Roland :

Hi and thanks for taking the time to do this interview.

Clark :

My pleasure. I thought you were bringing Hibbs, the cub with no clue, with you.

Roland :

Ah, he's out looking for the fork.

Clark :

The fork?

Roland :

You see, Hibbs figures that in a place called Spanish Fork,

there has to be an impressive fork somewhere around here. And where there's an impressive fork, there has to be impressive food to match so ...

Clark :

I understand. He's off for some impressive food. That does sound like Hibbs all right.

Roland :

Would you mind telling us a bit about yourself?

Clark :

I’m an art director and visual effects artist providing designs, models/ miniatures, creatures and matte paintings for the film industry. I operate my own fx house, Schaffer Studios, and have recently began producing my own independent features.

Roland :

Where you always a fan of the Sci-Fi / Fantasy genre or was that just something you got into through your professional work?

Clark :

I’ve always enjoyed science fiction and I have to say that designers like Ron Cobb, Joe Johnston, Syd Mead and Ralph McQuarrie embedded in me an even greater appreciation for the genre.

Roland :

What was your favourite film?

Clark (rubbing the back of his neck) :

Tough question. As far as films that inspired me to want to make movies and create visual effects I’d have to include Star Wars, anything that Ray Harryhausen did,

Roland :

As a child, I loved THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD. I found it on a late night TV marathon. What other films did you like?

Clark :

So many -- Alien, the Dark Crystal, Indiana Jones, Planet of the Apes, Back to the Future, Ghost Busters… I followed the work of ILM and Rick Baker religiously.

Roland :

How long have you worked as a professional film maker?

Clark :

For twenty years.

Roland :

Wow! You must have really honed your talent over that time.What was the first project that you worked on?

Clark :

I worked first on a mostly forgotten about film called Free Jack after which I worked at BOSS Film on Batman Returns. I worked on various parts of the huge Gotham City model, focusing most of my energy on building the ornate Gotham Cathedral.

Roland :

How did you get started as a professional model builder?

Clark :

Since I can remember I had always wanted to be a visual effects artist so I had always drawn or sculpted or built models with this in mind. As I got older, mostly right out of high school I began documenting all of my work and keeping a photo portfolio.

Once I felt that I had a large enough body of work to represent my skills as a sculptor, painter, and model maker, I went from my home in the San Francisco bay Area and spent a few days interviewing with various FX companies.

I met with BOSS Film, Fantasy II and Dream Quest, and they all said that if I were living in Hollywood I would be working. I moved to Hollywood two months later.

Roland :

But your studio is now in Utah?

Clark :

Yes- long story. When my wife and I started raising a family we both felt strongly about providing a different atmosphere as the backdrop of our kids childhood than LA offered. We moved about ten years ago, went first to Oregon, then to the Bay Area

and then a production brought us to Utah where I was surprised to find a rather big and established film industry. I have since established myself as the place to go for anything visually out of the ordinary,

I still work for the studios on select jobs and our boys are growing up with white Christmases at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

Roland :

Now what about you producing your own films?

Clark :

Since I was a kid I’ve wanted to tell my own stories on film and now with my own studio and over 40 films under my belt I’m finally doing it.

Roland :

And tell us about the original way that your making it happen.

Clark :

The biggest drawback with making a film is that it cost a lot of money and it takes a special kind and rare person to invest in a film.

There is a site online called Kickstarter that allows artists and filmmakers to present their projects to the world and it lets individuals contribute to projects to make them happen.

I need $100,000 for my first film and I feel very confident that there are enough people out there who will find my story compelling enough to help me reach my goal by July. It’s a “strength in numbers” approach to accomplishing something great.

Roland :

What can the people who contribute expect?

Clark :

Everyone who contributes gets a variety of potentially valuable gifts; I’m even offering an actual x-wing model from the original Star Wars film. Then they can follow the progress of the film over the course of its production, get their name on the credits and receive a copy of the film upon completion.

Roland :

That sounds terrific.

Clark :

Yes. We are excited. We are encouraging everyone to check out the site and contribute whatever they can.

Roland :

In closing, what project would you have loved to have worked on if you could have (from any time) and why would you have loved to work on it?

Clark :

The original Star Wars. It changed the way films were made. It took model making to its greatest place. It would have been fun to be part of that energy and creativity, to be part of the creative, hippie artist group that was assembled and to have had a hand in creating such a historical piece of film.

Also anything that Jim Henson made. He died just before I got into the industry so, sadly, I never got to work with him.

Roland :

Thank you so much for the time you took out of your busy schedule for this interview.

Clark :

As I said at the start, Roland, it was my pleasure. Now, let's go find Hibbs before he gets into too much trouble.


Sunday, May 15, 2011


Lydia Kang and Leigh T. Moore are joining forces to give us all a smile this Monday :

Check it out and add to the laughter. Here's my entry :

Although the spirit of Gypsy still curls up in the corner of my apartment to give me snarly remarks, she has taken to wandering of late:

Gypsy strolls up to The Pearly Gates to Heaven. St Peter is receptionist at

the entrance.

St Peter : "I know you! You were a great friend to Roland, so I want to offer a gift to you of one special thing you have always wanted."

Gypsy: "I'd like my very own tree to snooze under."

St Peter: "That's easy. Granted."

Next a group of mice appears.

St Peter: "Ah, I remember you. You were such good mice on earth. You didn't steal food from anyone's house and never hurt other animals.

Therefore, I want to grant you one special wish you always wanted."

The Chief Mouse replies, "Well, we always watched the children

playing and saw them roller skate, and it was beautiful, and

it looked like so much fun. So can we each have some tiny roller skates, please?"

St Peter: "Granted. You shall have your wish."

Next day, St Peter is making the rounds inside the Gates, and sees

Gypsy just back from having given me a hard time.

"Well, Gypsy, are you enjoying your very own tree?"

Gypsy: "Oh, indeed I am. And say...that "Meals on Wheels" thing was a nice touch, too!"

Saturday, May 14, 2011


As sailors read the skies and gamblers sense the winning cards,

so does Samuel McCord sense the encroaching darkness creeping closer to his beloved city, New Orleans.

In the French Quarter, the last thing the setting sun sees is the transformation of St. Peter Street to the cursed Rue La Mort.

At the corner where it clashes with Royal Street, the jazz club, Meilori's, shimmers into being for all the children of the night to behold.

It is the Crossroads of Worlds. Within lies hallways leading to realms long thought legendary.

Outside the club stands a being from beyond Time itself, waiting for his chance to extinguish all light, wrapping comforting darkness around himself like a womb once more.

Meilori's owner, the man with the blood of Death in his veins, is the gatekeeper there along with his best friend,

Father Renfield, a vampire priest. During the month following Hurricane Katrina, the shadowlanders that McCord and Renfield have kept restrained are unleashed.

And the being from outside Time knows his chance has come at long last.

The artistic Wendy Tyler Ryan has once again crafted a stirring, evocative book trailer. Isn't it awesome? Let her know by email or comment here how you feel about her fantastic work.

Steve Z, the creative wizard behind STEVE Z PHOTOGRAPHY :

took the stunning photograph that is the cover to CREOLE KNIGHTS, headlines this post, and graces my book trailer. Drop in to his blog and take a look. You'll be pleased that you did.

Last of all, wander over to Amazon, courtesy of my links in the sidebar to your right, and pick up FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. If you enjoy the modern adventures of the cursed Texican, Samuel McCord, read its sequel, CREOLE KNIGHTS.

You won't be disappointed, Roland


Friday, May 13, 2011


Life is never certain. Yesterday proved that for all of us.

What we take for granted can be suddenly snatched away from us without warning.

How do we respond?

With fear?

With anger?

With love and forgiveness?

My DIRE MOMENT post for Denise and Francine :

My entry is an excerpt from my Kindle Single, LET THE WIND BLOW THROUGH YOU,
seen through the eyes of a disgraced Lakota psychologist back in his home town.

The woman he has loved all his life has become the feared donna of the crime family which controls the state. She has mastered all her enemies but one --

the disease that is now killing her. As she fights rival crime bosses sensing her weakness, can the psychologist save her from herself? And at what cost to himself?

(677 not 400 words_Give a man an inch, and he'll take a mile, right?)

Her eyes. I had tried to forget them my whole life. They were giving me a look that would have set driftwood on fire.

Luckily, I was more dense than driftwood. Yes, that was a joke. At my expense. Story of my life.

The dark quiet of her office seemed a shroud. “You’re a fraud.”

“You talking me being a red man in a white man's world or the Psychic Reader sign on my door?”

“Psychic? You don’t believe in the supernatural any more than I do.”

“My clients do. That’s all that counts.”

“You don’t remember, do you?”

I arched my right eyebrow in a question. Not exactly a lie. Just not the truth.

“First, you were in all my elective classes in high school. Then there you were in all my classes at the University of Houston. Harvard was the same story. Were you following me?”

“I was following the money.”

“Like all the other men in my life.”

“Not you. The scholarships.”

“But then you stayed in Boston. And I -- I had family obligations.”

She meant family in two ways. Blood. And crime. Yes, that was another joke. At everyone's expense.

The “family” she ruled dealt in both blood and crime. She just dealt it out with more elegance than had her father -- as she had for nearly a decade and a half.

Her face became a map of old hurts. “When we are young, we try for it all and so lose what is right before our eyes.”

Her wet eyes saw me again. “What all did you want, Mr. Winters?”

“Very little. Not to be alone. To be loved. To finally belong.”

Her lips curled. “And you did not get even that.”

“No. No, I didn’t.”

“Nor did I.”

I said, “You have to learn to let the wind blow through you.”


“You can’t forget the consequences of your choices any more than you can stop feeling the wind blowing upon you.”

“Is this leading anywhere?”

“Depends upon your resolve.”

Her face hardened. “I have filled graveyards with my resolve.”

“If you learn to let the wind blow through you, you will take away its power to knock you down.”

Her eyes hollowed even more. “How do I do that?”

“If you let the memories of your mistakes blow through you without letting them catch on your anger or your pride, you will not feel them. You will learn from them.”

I smiled sad. “Perhaps you might even start down a new path toward a better tomorrow.”

Her voice became a husk. “Tomorrow? How many of those do I have left, psychic?”

She thrust out her palm. I had spent years counseling the dying. I knew the pallor to the skin, the shadow to the eyes. Victoria was just beginning to show the signs.

I couldn’t resist doing what I had dreamed of doing for years. I took her
hand gently. It trembled in my fingers. I traced the irony of her long, long

“Victoria, the doctors have already told you the answer to that question.”

She tried for a smile, almost making it. “But you have a better bedside manner.”

She gently pulled her hand away. “I am throwing a party at the Country Club tonight.”

Her smile flashed death-cold. “Repaying old debts.”

It became almost human as she said, “Luke, my car will pick you up at Eight O’ Clock sharp.”

Her eyebrow arched. “You do still have a decent tuxedo from your days as a respected Boston psychologist, don’t you?”

“I was never respected, only tolerated. The token Native American.”

“Yet you insisted on acting like some Frank Capra hero. I hear it finally did you in.”

I smiled sadder. Did me in? It had brought me back to the town of my birth to hold the hand of the woman I had loved all my life and could never have.

“I’ll be ready.”

Her eyes went to the shadows and within her fears. “Are any of us ever ready?”

“We Frank Capra heroes are.”
Accompany Luke Winters into a night of revenge, death, madness, and a mystery revealed. Price of admission 99 cents.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


As sailors read the skies and gamblers sense the winning cards,

so does Samuel McCord sense the encroaching darkness creeping closer to his beloved city, New Orleans.

In the French Quarter, the last thing the setting sun sees is the transformation of St. Peter Street to the cursed Rue La Mort.

At the corner where it clashes with Royal Street, the jazz club, Meilori's, shimmers into being for all the children of the night to behold.

It is the Crossroads of Worlds. Within lies hallways leading to realms long thought legendary.

Outside the club stands a being from beyond Time itself, waiting for his chance to extinguish all light, wrapping comforting darkness around himself like a womb once more.

Meilori's owner, the man with the blood of Death in his veins, is the gatekeeper there along with his best friend,

Father Renfield, a vampire priest. During the month following Hurricane Katrina, the shadowlanders that the McCord and Renfield have kept restrained are unleashed.

And the being from outside Time knows his chance has come at long last.

The artistic Wendy Tyler Ryan has once again crafted a stirring, evocative book trailer. Isn't it awesome? Let her know by email or comment here how you feel about her fantastic work.

Steve Z, the creative wizard behind STEVE Z PHOTOGRAPHY :

took the stunning photograph that is the cover to CREOLE KNIGHTS, headlines this post, and graces my book trailer. Drop in to his blog and take a look. You'll be pleased that you did.

Last of all, wander over to Amazon, courtesy of my links in the sidebar to your right, and pick up FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE. If you enjoy the modern adventures of the cursed Texican, Samuel McCord, read its sequel, CREOLE KNIGHTS.

You won't be disappointed, Roland


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


On this day in 1907 Kenneth Grahame wrote the first of a series of letters to his son, Alastair,

describing the Toad, Rat, Mole and Badger adventures that eventually became The Wind in the Willows.

Grahame had been inventing such bedtime stories for several years and the letter, occasioned by his being separated from Alastair on his seventh birthday, picks up what seems to be a continuing tale:

"Have you heard about the Toad? He was never taken prisoner by brigands at all. It was all a horrid low trick of his."

Alastair was an only child, born blind in one eye and with a squint in the other.

He was plagued by health problems throughout his short life. Alastair eventually committed suicide on a railway track

while an undergraduate at Oxford University, two days before his 20th birthday on 7 May 1920.

Out of respect for Kenneth Grahame, Alastair's demise was recorded as an accidental death.

Mother once told me that the folly of most two-leggeds was that they wanted "happy endings"

when the best one could hope for was the appreciating of the happy moments in between the dawning of the light and the dying of it.

"Can't we have both, Mama?," I remember asking, coughing from double pneumonia.

She ruffled my hair and smiled sadly, "Perhaps you will be the exception, Little One. I will pray so."

Perhaps Alastair's suicide was brought on by his handicap and his maladjustment to an adult world that seemed, to him as to Rat, more than adventure:

"And beyond the Wild Wood again?" [Mole] asked: "Where it's all blue and dim, and one sees what may be hills or perhaps they mayn't, and something like the smoke of towns, or is it only cloud-drift?"

"Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World,'" said the Rat. "And that's something that doesn't matter, either to you or me. I've never been there, and I'm never going, nor you either, if you've got any sense at all."

Grahame himself is described as one who pined for but never took the Open Road,

as an escape from his banking career and a loveless marriage.

When he offered THE WIND IN THE WILLOWS to his publisher he described it as a book "of life, sunshine, running water, woodlands, dusty roads, winter firesides, free of problems,

clear of the clash of sex, of life as it might fairly be supposed to be regarded by some of the wise, small things 'that glide in grasses and rubble of woody wreck."

My own THE BEAR WITH 2 SHADOWS grew from my own childhood tales told to me by Mother

as she hugged me as I shivered and coughed from double pneumonia. We were iced in our basement apartment in Detroit by one of the worst ice storms in remembrance.

Phones down. Just new in town. All alone.

So Mother merged bits of myth and legend she remembered from both sides of her bloodline : Lakota and Celtic.

She was sure I would die, and she wanted my last moments to be filled, not with fear and dread, but with awe, wonder, and magic.

She told of The Turquoise Woman, whose touch was icy but whose heart was warm. My shivers were from her embrace.

And that hulking shadow at the foot of my bed? Why, that was Hibbs, the bear with two shadows, protector of all hurting children.

He was there for me.

And a world of wonder and magic opened up in my feverish mind, birthing a happy moment for my mother : despite the odds, I grew better. I lived.

Have you heard about the bear? He saved a little boy once. A bit of that little boy still lives ... in my heart.


Monday, May 9, 2011


Some things are universal and eternal :

hate, terror, and love.

They are the subconscious melodies in the background of humanity's thoughts. It sounds surreal but it isn't :

Mankind shares a soundtrack.

Music is the breath of humanity as a species. Anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, neurosurgeons, and psychologists attest to it.

They belive the area in the brain which processes music actually gave birth to human nature.

Music predates agriculture. It existed before language. Its melodies promoted the cognitive development necessary for speech.

Americans spend more money on music than they do on prescription drugs or sex.

On the average, they listen to music at least six hours a day. For many it is the breath of their daily lives.

In Sanskrit breath is called prana, the very breath of life.

That breath is filled with vibrations :

the cry of a lost child, the wail of a bereaved mother, the shattering of a store window. So many sounds in a single night of terror, creating a haunting melody ...

a French Quarter nocturne for a mortally wounded city. Its name?


I was one of its notes.

Though I have a Master's degree in Psychology and a Bachelor's degree in English education,

I, like so many others, survived as best I could.

And so I found myself working as a blood courier to New Orleans in order to support myself. I used that experience to aid me in writing the Noir Fantasy, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE.

With a name like that, it involves music. How could it not? Its actions centers in the French Quarter, the birth place of jazz.

It is important to the lead character, Samuel McCord, too.

It is no coincidence that he owns a jazz club. A jazz club he named after his wife, Meilori.

Music to him has become a remembrance of shadows, an echo of times spent with friends, and a glimpse back into a time when he was loved.

He is a monster who mourns the loss of his humanity. So much so that he nutures it in the souls of those who pass his club, lost and hungry.

McCord sees life in terms of music. When he first views the flooded streets of New Orleans, he hears Bette Midler singing, "I think It's Going To Rain Today" ...

... especially the refrain "human kindness is overflowing."

He championed the tragic jazz legend, Billie Holiday. His wife's favorite song was Billie's "You Go To My Head." He hears it throughout the novel.

And when he is facing his death before overwhelming odds, he once again hears that song before murmuring the one name he promised himself would be the last on his lips :


And why is all this important to you as a writer?

What is the musical score to your novel? Every good book has one : stirring, haunting, light with laughter, or heavy with sorrow --

or all of the above. The music of your novel is the heart of your novel. And the heart of your novel is your pitch to the agent.

Think of the image on the posters for the past five movies you saw.

It evoked a sense of the story to the movie. If you could look into the past, it would have been the essence of the pitch to the studio heads for the movie itself.

Like every good melody, the structure of your novel is comprised of two intertwining themes :

A) The physical goal of your hero ... what she/he wants.
B) The spiritual goal of your hero ... what she/he needs.

The A theme is what attracts the agent/reader to your story.

The B theme is what keeps them there, what brings them back to re-read it again and again, making your novel a classic ...

and a bestseller. Why not work to make your novel one of the great ones?

Music is all about transformation.

You are not quite the same after hearing a good song. A good novel is about the same thing :


Your hero has emerged transformed at the end of your novel, taking your reader into the process.

It all comes down to that one moment of faith :

when your hero takes that leap into the darkness, not knowing if he will survive --

only knowing he would not be able to live with himself if he did not make the attempt.


I am preparing to go down lonely, dark rural roads to bring very rare blood to a struggling baby.And a tune is haunting me.

The Icarus Wind.

It's a lovely song by the equally lovely {and evocative} Thea Gilmore.

The Icarus Wind is also the spirit which sweeps us up and hurls us into the misty clouds where our dreams live.

It is a dangerous realm. There is no promise of success. And there is no safety net to catch us should we fall.

The post of yesterday brought back memories of my bookstore and my customers.

Yes, I owned a bookstore for a time. I needed an understanding boss who would allow me to accompany my mother on her distant trips for chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

I figured I could be pretty darn understanding.

So I emptied my savings, and with the added financial help of two good friends, I started my bookstore. I had not thought of sales as a way to make a living. But luckily, the people coming in pretty much knew what they wanted.

After coming in for awhile, they knew I wasn't going to hard-sell them anything. I got to know them and pointed out things I thought they'd like. I was usually right.

And it's come to me that once again, as with my bookstore, I am back in sales ... in a sense. But only in a sense. Like in my bookstore, I have to get to know my customer {potential agent.} I have to learn her likes and dislikes.

But unlike my bookstore, the agent hasn't gotten to know the wonderfulness of myself. No. I'm coming in cold.

In another sense, I'm also coming in hot :

no time to build up trust or to ratchet-up the tension. Like a space shuttle without fuel, I'm flying like a razor through the cyber-void. I have seconds, ten seconds if conventional wisdom is correct, to win the agent's interested attention.

That's not much time to hit a home run.

To follow the trajectory of the baseball analogy, I have to quickly present a winning ...


Line Drive.

Home Run.

Think : Speed. Focus. And ... out of the ball park!

My target agent is eye-weary, computer numb, and conditioned by thousands of terrible queries to expect yet another boring turkey.

I have to flash a surprise crack of the bat and get her attention. I'll use my 90,000 word urban fantasy, FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE, for an example {Yeah, what a surprise, right?} :

A man who no longer believes in God must fight a being who believes himself the Devil.

Doubt. Faith. Death. All three collide in Post-Katrina New Orleans where the dying of the lights bring out the predators from both sides of the darkness.

In post-Katrina New Orleans, an undead Texas Ranger battles inept politicians, Russian mobsters, and DayStar, a being with god-like powers.

Helped by a vampire priest, the Ranger faces mounting opposition from all corners of the supernatural realm, all eager to take advantage of the chaos following the hurricane. And in the wings watching the Ranger get weaker and weaker, DayStar sets his last trap for his hated enemy into motion.
Post Script :

Many times we writers don't even get the opportunity to audition for the agent. We get the intern.

Imagine getting your X-ray read. As you hand it in to the desk, you ask, "The doctor will read this, right?"

"No, the intern will."

"She's trained in reading X-Rays?"

"No education. No salary even. But she's optimistic and hopeful."

"Yeah, well that makes one of us."

"Oh, it's always been this way. That's just the way the system works."

"Yeah, they told Lincoln the same thing about slavery."

"Oh, so the intern's been complaining about having to re-arrange the agent's bookshelf, has she?"

"No, I haven't talked to her. So she has to re-arrange the agent's books, too? Where does she find the time to grovel?"

"Oh, there's always time to grovel."

"Words to live by," I smile and walk out the door.

Post script II :

The really great news?

You know what the success ratio for a super-star agent is? 50%.

Ouch. Or not so ouch.

It takes the pressure off. It is what it is. We try our best and enjoy the journey.
Here's the music video of Thea singing "The Icarus Wind."

Sunday, May 8, 2011


It's Mother's Day. My own mother's spirit has long since traveled to that Land which knows no shadow.

I know she waits for me there with Sooner, the wolf-dog that once roamed the hills with Mother when she was a young girl.

I've written of their love, Sooner's long, loving devotion, and the tragic reunion between Mother and Sooner.

I choose to conjure, not the ending, but seeing them both young and happy, racing along the hills of their childhood.

I'm heading into my 7th day working straight, now on first call. I am weary and battered. I can hear my mother in my mind :

"Oh, Little One, the battleground of the heart is the storm. The storm does not try to knock you down --

though it will if you let it.

No, the storm is trying to teach you how to stand tall."

"How does it do that?," I remember asking.

"It does that by making you strong."

Her fingers ran through my hair. "The weakest step forward, Little One, is stronger than any storm."

"How is that, Mama?"

"Because when you face life

instead of running from fear, from pain, from the dark,

when you walk into the wall of the cold winds, you build the muscles of your heart, your spirit."

She smiled sadly, "And you become strong ... strong enough to be kind to others who chose the dark path of selfishness and fear and running from pain ... and from themselves."

"How can anyone run from themselves? That's as silly as trying to run from your own shadow!"

Mother nodded, "You would be surprised how many never come to that simple child's wisdom."

"Then, why be kind to them, Mama?"

She mussed my hair again,

"Because by choosing the dark path of running from pain, from life, from the testing by fire ...

they have chosen to be weak and to always be less than what they could have been."

She tweaked my nose. "They have hurt themselves enough. Do not add to it by being angry with them. Be strong enough to feel compassion for those who have none for you. Understand?"

I nodded "yes" though I hadn't a clue. Mother just laughed and hugged me.



Saturday, May 7, 2011


Sandra, my best friend, told me one lonely night when we were both missing our absent mothers,

"An ounce of mother is worth a ton of priest."

To me, mothers share a lot in common with farmers.

Like farmers, they toil every day. They sow seeds without a promise of a sure harvest.

Under the most harsh conditions, they till the soil, pull weeds, and prune where they believe it is needed.

With no promise of a certain return or a good harvest for all their labor, they work on.

What did my own mother often tell me? "Mothers hold their children's hands for only a short time -- but their hearts forever."

And for all their efforts, their loving kindnesses, their reluctant punishments --

they tend to slowly fade into the shadows, hidden from the spotlight of their children's ever-growing focus upon themselves, their wants, their lives.

Mothers often grow ghost-like even in the eyes of their husbands, chained to the demands of job, bills, and a vitality that is frighteningly leaving them.

For all you mothers out there who feel they are slowly becoming invisible, unappreciated, and alone. Here is a video I borrowed from Kimberly Job's lovely blog, SCRIBBLED SCRAPS :


Friday, May 6, 2011


Come join Cherie Reich's FLASH FICTION BLOGFEST :

{From the journal of Captain Samuel McCord} : (500 words)

What did Oscar Wilde write me?

“A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight,

and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

The house is dark, its empty windows more like vacant eyes than dirty glass.

They give the building the look of some discarded skull of a lost god.

I don't like this.

Lt. Trifle (yes, that's her name,

and why she got a black belt in Karate)

called me out here in the middle of nowhere.

Nowhere being on the outskirts of Metairie --

which is on the outskirts of New Orleans --

which, itself, is on the outskirts of Hell some nights.

She said I was needed out here and then hung up.

Or got the phone snatched out of her hand.

I came as soon as I could.

Was I in time? Time. I could stop it for awhile --

if I was willing to pay the price.

I was. It hurt like hell. I deserved worse.

Ask a thousand widows what the undead McCord deserved, and they'd tell you the same thing.

The time-snared air felt like heavy invisible water pressing in against me. I endured.

It's what I do.

I made my way to the back of the house. I tried to cat-foot in out of instinct.

Reality trumped instinct.

The weight of frozen time made each step feel as if I were lifting the weight of the world. Cat-footing was out.

Lumbering like a dinosaur with arthritis was all I could manage. I smiled sad.

Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.

And time was mine. For as long as I could endure the pain.

The house of shadows was deserted. No furniture. Lots of needles. Lots of spoons. Discarded rubber tubing.

A crack house.

I made it to the front room.

It wasn't empty. A young punk had Trifle dead to rights.

Mostly dead if I didn't act fast.

How he got the drop on her was obvious. She was cradling an unconscious girl. Trifle's heart had blind-sided her.

I released time.

The addict yelped in surprise. He jerked his gun towards me.

I spoke low, hearing the thunder sent by the Turquoise Woman above me.

"How young can you die of old age?"

"What the fuck?"

Sad last words.

I answered my own question.

I sped up time all around him. He squealed, squirmed, then wheezed into raspy coughing. He aged into an old man in seconds.

As he fell, he crumbled into dust right in front of Trifle. The moon caressed the hot sunset of her hair as she looked down, the beauty of her pale face twisted into ugliness by horror.

The mound of dust drifted away with the faint breath of the night. Trifle turned hollow eyes to me.

"You're a monster.”

What had Oliver Goldsmith written?

‘Silence gives consent.’

I left without saying a word.

Become part of Hollywood magic :