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Random Thoughts for July 2016

Netflix started doing this thing called "Flixtapes." I'm not entirely sure if it's anything other than a complete waste of time but I am enjoying making different playlists. It'll make things a lot easier when it comes to giving people movie suggestions and, as someone who is often asked for Netflix suggestions by a variety of people, this little tool comes in handy. Here's the first playlist I made (obviously horror related): CLICK HERE!

Shameless is absolutely fantastic. I've heard about this show for so long, and it's always been appealing to me, but I'd never taken the plunge. With Netflix adding the first four seasons, it was a no-brainer to finally dive right in. William H Macy plays against type and Emmy Rossum steals the show in what is a show that everyone should be watching. These are people who are breaking the law and doing so in order to survive and feed their family.

Having a book out is both weird and exhilarating. It's been a very exciting experience and one that I still don't quite understand. Autographing books and doing phone interviews are not something that I'd really even thought about having to do so soon. That always felt like something in the future.

The second book is coming along great. I was able to plan it so I could start my next book, while still in the marketing phase of book one. It's been a little difficult at times, but the circumstances have all lined up for the book to be done in this timeframe, so that's what I'm shooting for. Regardless, the book won't come out until next year, followed by a sequel to The Crimson Summer. It's a lot of work but those are the things I've planned out and know I'll be doing. Anything past that, I haven't really thought about.

Stranger Things is amazing but not for everyone. I was really hoping it'd be one of those shows that I can recommend to anyone and everyone but this is clearly for a niche audience that will love it passionately. Speaking of which, it's been awesome to have so many friends reach out to me about this show and say it's tailor-made for me. The recognition of some of my favorite things by friends has been great.

I absolutely adore "slice of life" movies.
And no one does them better than Richard Linklater. From Dazed and Confused to Boyhood, he's always managed to provide insight into a decade long passed. Everybody Wants Some is just that and while it doesn't quite have the driving story of the other aforementioned films, it's still extremely satisfying. I had very high expectations for this "spiritual successor to Dazed and Confused" and it delivered. In fact, I'd say it's going to take a special kind of movie to knock it out of the top spot for favorite film this year.

I've been attempting to read more and more. Every month that passes, I've been trying to get through more reading than the previous. It doesn't always work out but it's been very mentally stimulating. If you want to see what I've been reading/am currently reading then head over to Goodreads.

Childhood All Summed Up

Jon Lajoie (Taco from "The League") has a new band, Wolfie's Just Fine, and they've released an awesome new music video inspired by "Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning."

I've watched this video at least five times now and I simply cannot get enough. Every aspect of this is aimed directly at me. It's hard for someone like me not to absolutely love this music video/song. While I didn't grow up in the 80's, the experience that this kid is going through is absolutely universal. That pure sense of helplessness as you watch some unsuspecting victim bite it is so unique to the horror genre. As a kid, I didn't fully understand how movies worked like I do now and was able to lose myself in them (something I wish I could do now). I WAS this kid.

I understand if you didn't have the same type of experiences growing up, I still believe this is a great video/song that is a lot deeper than the surface dictates. I keep watching the video and noticing new aspects that make it hit even closer to home. And the ending is just perfect.

Worried about violence? No problem.

Had to retake the "holding the book" pic for promotional purposes.

If there's one statement that has been prevalent when readers have been finishing up The Crimson Summer it's that "it's nothing like expected." So far, it's only been said in a positive light but it still made me wonder if I had done my job in promoting the book. Maybe I was making this seem like too "run of a mill slasher."

Let's get into the whole reason I wrote the book in the first place...

When I was a teenager I was absolutely obsessed with horror movies. It didn't matter what sub-genre it happened to fall into, I was watching everything and anything. My favorite sub-genre has always remained the same: slasher. A Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween, Scream and, of course, Friday the 13th were all staples of my teenage years. I would watch these films on loop, adding in whatever other similar movies I could find (Pieces, Happy Birthday To Me, Aprils Fools Day, etc.). I dissected these movies and knew the formula better than I did the one's in my math homework (my Math grade often reflected that). These were still the days of "First Time On DVD!" releases and I would pick up whatever horror movie it happened to be, regardless of whether I had seen it or not. But that obsession just wouldn't stop. So I took to Amazon to find something else that could fill my time: books.

Little did I know that the book I was looking for never quite existed. Slasher books were not and still aren't much of a thing. The ones that are out there are usually based on film franchises and even those still fell to the same logistical issues of the movies from which they were based. That's when the idea came to me: why not just write my own book? It percolated for a period of time while I went and pursued screenwriting and film-making. Then, with a choice in front of me, I decided to finally pursue what I had been thinking about for over a decade.

So I started the process of making my slasher book come to life. I quickly decided that I wanted to do a more logical approach to Friday the 13th. My plan was to create many different characters, really have you get to know them, and them kill them off in horrific ways. I wanted to abide by the moral code set forth by so many slashers before it while also deterring from that to throw some red herrings into the mix.

I'm not going to pretend that the book came easy. There were a lot of long, sleepless nights where I labored over making sense of it all. This book brought me to tears as I would read long passages and just hate everything about it. I had more ups and downs with this book than I thought could be possible with a Word Document, but I made it out the other side with a book I'm extremely proud of. It's MY version of Friday the 13th, which is to say it's nothing like Friday the 13th at all. The only thing that The Crimson Summer has in common with F13 is that there's a killer at a summer camp. That's where it ends.

So if you're hesitant about the book because you're worried it's going to be tasteless sex and glorifying violence, please know that's not the case at all. While many horror facets take that approach, it's never been an appealing route and all important works of fiction, for me, have been reliant on the characters. So that has always been my primary focus, no matter what story I'm trying to tell. So if you're wanting a character piece, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy here. I promise you won't regret it.

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The Crimson Summer - AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Synopsis: Summers at Camp Watanka are never easy. The buildings are dilapidated and the heat can be scorching, but for the teenage cam...