Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"Louie" Illustration by Roxanne Bowman

Louie, the Lonely Lighthouse. Illustration (C) 2015 by Roxanne Bowman.

Sharing another beautiful piece of art by Roxanne Bowman for the upcoming book.

Louie, the Lonely Lighthouse comes out on May Day, may day (May 1st, 2015).

Forgotten. A relic. Louie despairs until, one dark and stormy night, his mighty light saves the day.

The story teaches the intrinsic value of each individual and encourages people young and old to keep believing in themselves.

WHY I wrote this book: I love lighthouses. Not only because of the romanticism, but because they have long been a metaphor for salvation. BUT I didn’t write the book simply because I like lighthouses—I want to help save them! This book was written to be a fund-raiser. 

Each keepsake paperback sold in a lighthouse gift shop or museum will create revenue for preservation and upkeep.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Proposed Cover Art for "Louie, the Lonely Lighthouse"

Here's what I'm thinking will be the cover for the new book coming out May Day, may day. 

What do YOU think?

Illustration by Roxanne Bowman, typography and layout by me.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


I just realized this morning that I'm rapidly beginning to book up dates for 2015 author appearances and signings. It all begins in April and, so far, proceeds into September. I thought you might like a heads-up and, possibly, give me a heads-up on any events or dates that I might include.

Below I have listed the events I will be at and dates that I have open for filling:

  • April 16,:Astoria Civic Center, 4-8 p.m. BOOK & BREW
  • May 2: LOUIE'S LAUNCH PARTY at Beach Books in Seaside, Ore.
  • May 9: Cannon Beach, Jupiter's Books INDIE AUTHOR & BOOK FAIR (pending, details TBA)
  • May 16, 23, & 30: THE LIGHTHOUSE BOOK TOUR various places along the north coast (at a lighthouses, maritime museums or bookstores) More information soon.
  • May 29: Astoria (Clatsop Comm. College) RAIN RECEPTION (reading)
  • June: all dates are closed except for June 27
  • July open dates on 11 and 18.
  • July 25 NW Book Festival, Pioneer Square in Portland, Ore ( books only)
  • Aug. open dates on 1 and 8
  • Aug. 15, Lincoln City, Bob's Beach Books NW AUTHOR'S FAIR (pending)
  • Aug. 21-23, Rockaway Beach ART FAIR & FARMER'S MARKET
  • Sept. 12 is open.
  • Sept 19 and 20: Rose City ComiCon, Portland, Ore. (books only)
  • Sept. 26: Florence, FESTIVAL OF BOOKS (details TBA)

I'm open to appearance at libraries, bookstores, coffee houses, churches, book events, farmer's markets, street fairs and other interesting locations.

I'll add to the list as new events or information become available, so please check back.
Hope to see you at one of these.

Another Delightful Bowman Illustration for "Louie..."

I just HAD to share another illustration for Louie, the Lonely Lighthouse, by Roxanne Bowman, with you. I'm sure you'll agree with me that it is wonderful. I'll soon be able to share the cover art with you.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

First Look at an Illustration for "Louie, the Lonely Lighthouse" Coming May 2015!

I am pleased to announce some very important news concerning my upcom-ing book Louie, the Lonely Lighthouse, due out in May. Hold on to your hats!

"Gone were the days when ships navigated by the sun by day
and by the stars at night." from the text by Greg Zschomler.
For several months I have been doing two things: 1) attempting to illustrate the book myself and 2) working with another artist to illustrate the book. Frankly, I was pursuing the two paths because I wasn't sure which one would work best.

Though I made several attempts with a variety of media, I was not happy with my own abilities to produce what I saw in my head, nor could I find the right technique.

The illustrator I was working with I met more than a year ago at a book fair. I liked her work then and I contacted her last year before Thanksgiving about illustrating Louie. She very much wanted to do so. I asked her to pitch me some sample drawings/paintings.

Note: My experimentation did result in my illustrating the cover of my last book, Rocketman.

Anyway, over the past several months she worked hard to produce pieces that would suit me. I saw several styles--some too cartoony, some too realistic--and, although her work was amazing, I wasn't sure she could do quite do what I wanted. The talent was there and I could tell she was very versatile, but I was doubting. Neither of us was giving up just yet (but I was pursuing the other option, just in case). And I was beginning to sweat it.

I'm glad we continued to work together--refining the style. She has been so very good about taking criticism and suggestion from me (and I can be a real pain) and, over time, we have settled into something wonderful. I think you're going to agree.

Needless to say, though she has been working entirely on spec up until this point, today Roxanne Bowman and I signed our contract making the collaboration official. In a few days I will release the cover art, but I have included one of the inside illustrations with this post for your preview (see above).

Roxanne is a painter, illustrator and wonderful digital artist (which I find amazing at her age) living in Florence, Oregon. Here is her bio:

"At the Age of 7 I had a childhood experience that would alter the future for me. I had been raised in a Parochial school. I was a poor student [and] getting Ds was the best I could do. I had a priest and two nuns speaking with my mom in front of me, saying, 'I'd better get a good man to marry me because I'd never amount to anything with my grades.'  I determined at that moment... the montra 'watch me suckers' running through my brain there after. After a harried life, three daughters a broken marriage, and now a successful second marriage I found a chance to fulfill my dream of [being] the first in my family to attain a college degree. I am a senior aged woman who has fulfilled that dream with the educational excellence of my college at Suma Cum Laude'. And although some say I am 'over the hill' at 62, I find my life and my degree a start to an exciting life for my future."

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Proceeding with the Screenwriting Process for "AVZ"

I just finished my first pass study of David Trotter's The Screenwriter's Bible today [left]. Now I'm going through my book (The Amish vs. the Zombies) and marking the book's scenes which I will then copy descriptions of onto a 3 x 5 cards.

Then I will rearrange them, figure out how to consolidate them, or eliminate them for the screenplay. After that I'll write the screenplay treatment (synopsis). During this stage I'll be reading Save the Cat: The Last Screenwriting Guide You'll Ever Need.

Here's what follows:

A screenplay generally runs 110 pages and consists of three acts; the beginning (10-25 pages), the middle (probably about 60 pages or so), and the end (about 20 pages give or take). Each act is broken up by scenes and each scene is broken up by beats.

I speculate that the first draft and first revision of the synopsis to take about two weeks (about 80 man hours from the time I begin marking the book) after which time I will present it to my tutor for comment and suggested revision after which time I will do a rewrite. Assuming he then approves the rewrite at that time I will proceed to write the actual screenplay.

I expect the first draft of the screenplay will take me two months (nearly 300 man hours) which includes a couple rounds of revisions. After that there will likely be a few more rounds of revisions suggested by my tutor to get it polished and pitch presentable. Could be a couple drafts could be several, so the whole process could take anywhere from three to six months (?) depending on a variety of factors.

I'll keep you posted along the way.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Coming to a Theater Near You? Hollywood Developer likes "The Amish vs. the Zombies"; Encourages Screenplay

Pinch me, I may be dreaming. 

This past week I met with a Hollywood Developer concerning the possibility of a movie being made from my book The Amish vs. the Zombies. (Have you read it?)

Though the developer is a recent acquaintance I did not solicit this action nor did I suggest he read my book. He bought the book--interested in the subject matter--and read it on his own accord. He then asked me to lunch.

Since we'd met recently through a mutual friend I thought this was to be nothing more than a friendly, get-to-know-you chit chat. I knew we shared a fascination for Disney and I also knew a bit about his work in Hollywood and about his writing on film, culture and Christianity, but not much more.

Well, we did chat Disney and family and enjoy our lunch together, but then he said, "I have something to propose to you."

From the conversation that ensued it was clear that he'd not only read the book, but had done so critically, with a vision for a cinematic restructuring. He knew my characters and plot-points well. Seldom have I seen such an intellectual grasp of a book read but once. He carried all the names and situations in his head and could discuss them readily. (Only once before have I met someone who could do this so well. Anyway, it kinda blew me away.)

I could tell he'd done this many times before--and, indeed, he has, having seen thousands of scripts, pitched hundreds of treatments, and worked to develop dozens of projects. If I were to name some of the screenplays he's helped develop, some of filmmakers he's worked with, or the projects he's worked on you would recognize them, though you might not know his name.

Needless to say this is the real deal and I am very honored to even have this considered.

Do I have visions of grandeur? No. Though I am a dreamer, I am also a realist. I know that at any point throughout the development process the whole thing can die or languish. There may be no further interest when the script is pitched. Then again some filmmaker or producer or studio may option it (buy the rights), but then never see it into production. Still, it could be made, but never leave the can.

And even if it should make it past all the hurdles and see the light of day, it may not reach the big screen, but go direct to video. And either way, it may never make money. Though that is the primary goal every producer seeks, that would not be mine. Not that I wouldn't like to see the royalties from the film and increased book sales, mind you, but my main goal is to share my message.

Thus, given the opportunity with which I am presented there is no way I can ignore it.

I knew this right away, but I had to pray about it and ponder the practicality. As I looked at the situation I could see that it was clearly divinely orchestrated. The timing of everything lined up to culminate in this opportunity. All that remained was my willingness to give myself to the process. This would require quite a lot from me.

First, I would have to devote a huge effort and a very large chunk of my writing time to writing the treatment and, thereafter, the screenplay; which would first require my re-familiarizing myself with the stringent structure of the beasts. (You can't pitch a script that doesn't meet industry standards--no one will give you the time of day if you don't look like you know what you're doing.)

Second, that would mean I'd have to put aside many of my other writing projects [To Hell and Back and Alien Ambush are currently in process] and push back their anticipated release dates. It seemed I could do that without too much disruption if I worked very hard.

Finally, this would at the very least be a challenge, a great learning opportunity, and the chance to do something I'd only dreamed of. I could not pass it up. And should a film actually be made I've the chance to influence a great many more people than I could otherwise.

Do I have concerns? You bet, but I'm going to do this!

From the book's trailer shoot (see trailer below). Photo by Isaiah Zschomler
And so, with some trepidation and self-doubt, I am committing myself to tackling the project head-on. I take comfort in knowing that I have a good tutor working with me and that the Lord is with me.

My main concern is the knowledge that what is my work can, in the hands of others, be reshaped so much that it loses what I meant for it to be. It is important to me that some of my voice remain in the finished project, but more importantly that my message remain front and center and that I am not misrepresented. I would not want my material bastardized. For example, I don't want to see a work attributed to me that has gratuitous sex or nudity, expletives or a false worldview.

[It should be noted that a movie of my book as it stands written would be rated R for graphic violence. The violence is important, but could possibly be scaled back. The question is: Who is my audience? Who is likely to see this kind of film/story and what must be done to make it appealing to that demographic? Even without the violence the content of my book, due to "adult situations," would be PG-13. These are things which I must contemplate.]

At any rate, I've been assured that care can be taken to make sure that my intent is not altered. Part of that would be accomplished by creating a very strong screenplay (adapted myself) assuring that it doesn't need a rewrite. The other part is being careful of contracts and controlling into whose hands it is given.

"In Development"

And so, for the next six months this it what I will "live and breathe." There will be the study and analysis period (this month), the drafting of a treatment (synopsis showing the three act cinematic structure and plot-points) and showing this to the developer (next month), and the drafting of the screenplay through numerous improvements (May through September), each critiqued by the developer. [I am told there will be a minimum of five redrafts before he can pitch it.]

If at that point it is actually ready to pitch it may take a while to make the rounds, and that's a whole nuther ballgame, I will embrace when I come to it. Then, if it is optioned and goes into production, we are looking at a year minimum, probably more and as much as three (generally speaking), before the movie is released.

And then, I'll have to rewrite the book to match the movie. Can you picture a movie edition?

Sunday, March 1, 2015


That's right! I have some VERY Special Specials on select books beginning Monday, March 2 and running through Sunday, March 15, 2015 (limited to stock on hand). Now is the time to buy! Just look at these deep discounts:

Buy ALL three Bayou Boys Adventure books (for middle-readers) at the ridiculous price of $20 post-paid. That's right, twenty dollars even for Voodoo Virus, Marsh Monster and Playhouse Phantom, signed, sealed and delivered wherever you please (in the USA). I have never before offered this set at this low, low price. While on-hand supplies last; I only have seven full sets on hand. When they're gone that's it for this deal! (AND you'll be the first in line to purchase the forth and final book in the series, Alien Ambush, when it comes out near the end of the year.)

I have four additional copies of  Voodoo Virus (originally $6.99) on hand and these are now just $5 each (and ship for $2 more). I also have four additional copies of Marsh Monster (originally $8.99) for just $7 each (and ship for $3 more). The price on this one has never been so low.

Again limited to supplies on hand. Sorry, no additional copies of Playhouse Phantom are available (but you can buy it for full price online or through your favorite bookstore).

BONUS: If you order any of the above books or sets now I'll also throw in a slightly blemished* copy of The Amish vs. the Zombies for the cost of shipping ($2). Limited to seven on hand. *There's an almost unnoticeable printing error on the front cover. Due to some graphic  content (violence) the book is recommended for readers 16 and up.

I also have ten unblemished copies of The Amish vs. the Zombies available. They usually sell for $9.99 plus shipping, but you can have one signed, sealed and delivered for just $10 even. That's virtually FREE postage!

Plus, I have just two copies of Big Papa Zee's Cajun and Caribbean Cookbook on hand. And I'm letting them go for dirt cheap. This were printed prior to the inclusion of my recipes for my Ragin' Cajun and Caribbean Jerk seasonings. They sold for $5.99 online and I have never offered them for less than $5, but you can have one for just $3 post-paid. And I'll even throw in the seasoning recipes (printing on an insert). Wow!

The New Books, Too!

I now have eighteen more copies of my newest book Rocketman: From the Trailer Park to Insomnia and Beyond on hand. The book of humorous tales, poems and other writings (along with a mess of photos) "from my sleepless life and addled imagination" sells for $9.99, but you can have one of these (again signed, sealed and delivered) for $10 even. Again virtually FREE postage! This offer is limited to the supplies on hand.

I also have nine copies of my children's picture book "I'm Samson," said Sydney (illustrated by April Bullard) on hand. They usually sell for $14.99, but you can buy one now (signed, sealed, delivered) for just $12. That's right, the price includes shipping. This delightful book of lovely illustrations and playful verse will be loved by any child under six. Limited to the supply on hand.

Finally, I have an overstock (50 copies) of Lights, Camera, Worship! (my text for pastors and church techs) on hand. They normally sell for $14.99, but I'm letting them go for $10 plus $2 postage. I also have nine more copies of this title which have a misprinted spine (nothing was printed on it) that I will let go for $5 post-paid. That's the best deal I've got! This makes a great gift for your church.

Remember: ALL these super deals are limited to ONLY the stock I have on hand right now. Fiirst come, first served, and when they're gone they're gone.