Please Vote for Faebourne!

My novel Faebourne is up for a RONE award. The first round of judging is determined by popular vote. You know how I feel about that, but I’d still love to make it to the round in which readers actually judge the books. In order to do that, however, I need YOU.

  • Go to Indtale.com and sign up for an account if you don’t already have one. It’s quick, free, and they won’t spam you or sell your email. I know because I’ve had an account for 3+ years and get about two emails a month. Plus, their online magazine is really good. Worth getting in your inbox.
  • Once you’re signed up and signed in, vote for Faebourne under the Fantasy category here.
  • Spread the word! Tell friends and family to go vote!

I’m pretty small potatoes compared to some of these authors. But I’d like to see some support for an LGBT historical fantasy romance. Please, please, please vote!

Vote for Faebourne!

The beautiful cover Elena at L1 Graphics made for Faebourne is up for an award! Please click over and vote for it. While I usually don’t promote popularity-contest style awards, I truly believe our cover is the best.

The site will require you to make a log-in, but it’s free and I can say (based on experience) that they don’t spam your inbox. Thank you in advance for your support!

Should Streaming Movies be Oscar Eligible?

When I saw Steven Spielberg was a streaming topic on Twitter, I worried. I’m at that age, after all, when my idols are aging and dying off. But as it turns out, the chatter is just about how Spielberg plans to push an anti-Netflix agenda at the next Academy board meeting.

The question on the table: What should be the basic minimum requirements for a film to be eligible for an Oscar?

To be fair, the rules were originally made when the world of film could not conceive of streaming, and when the distribution channel was one clear tunnel of release in cinemas, then release on video (once video was a thing), then show some edited version on television (until movie channels came along and did not require ADR to mask the curse words). Now movies can be released in cinemas and on streaming simultaneously.

So maybe the deeper question is: What makes a movie a movie?

That may sound weird, but bear with me. We’ve long had a division between film and television. Movies that show on television are called television movies, just to differentiate. And television movies can win Emmys but not Oscars.

So is a movie a movie because it shows in a cinema? What if it only shows once? What if it shows in a cinema and on television at the same time? These are the questions the Academy needs to address.

And a large portion of the argument comes down to politics. Campaign finance to be precise. In this instance, it’s the fact that Netflix has a ton of money to throw into campaigning for films like Roma. Netflix can buy a few cinema screens outside of the usual distribution channels and therefore meet a bare minimum requirement that allows its films to qualify for an Oscar. So… should there be a cap on what can be spent on campaigning?

Another bone of contention is that Roma only spent three weeks in cinemas before moving to Netflix streaming. Should the Academy demand a longer period between theatrical and streaming?

It’s all a matter of opinion and perspective. I haven’t seen Roma, though I’m sure, based on all the enthusiastic feedback, that it is a lovely film. However, I’m inclined to agree that there should be more definitive guidelines regarding what is Oscar eligible. I don’t think of Netflix as a film studio. I don’t think of Amazon as one either. Or Hulu. And maybe I’m old-fashioned in that. I honestly don’t know.

On the other hand, it’s refreshing that Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are bringing out content very different from all the superheroes the studios keep churning out. They’re making quality products. But… Are they movies? Or television movies?

Used to be, movies were either made to be shown in cinemas or made to be shown on television. The processes themselves were different. The quality of the film, the aspect ratios—different. Now people have televisions that are almost as large as movie screens. Now the quality of what’s being made for television is as good or better than what’s being made for cinemas. Everything is blurred.

There’s a certain amount of snobbery involved, too, of course. We can accept that FOX studios decided to have a television channel. We have a harder time thinking of Netflix, or Amazon, or Hulu—all of which started out showing second-hand content on television—as a legitimate film studio. I mean, if HBO produced a movie and sent it to cinemas for a couple weeks then aired it on their own channel… Would it be up for Oscars or Emmys? Both?

It’s a knotty problem and one I don’t have an answer to. While I’m inclined to agree with Steven Spielberg, the bottom line is the Academy has to lay out some very clear criteria. A lot of it will look and feel arbitrary because it pretty much is. But without lines and guardrails on these roads, the situation is headed for a crash.

Super Sweet Blogging Award

Thanks, Christine Rains, for passing this along.

I will now answer five sweets-related questions.

1. Cookies or cake? Cake.
2. Chocolate or vanilla? Depends on my mood. I’m picky about my chocolate, though. Don’t like malt or dark.
3. Favorite sweet treat? Ice cream. And milk chocolate candy bars.
4. When do you crave sweet things the most? I get a little spike in the mid-afternoon when I’m writing, which is why I typically keep a stash of candy in my office.
5. Sweet nickname? “Sweetie.”

I’m supposed to give this to 13 other bloggers, but that’s not really my thing. Anyone reading this is welcome to take a to-go cookie for their own site.

And Then Sometimes . . .

There’s a little good news to follow the bad. Though 20 August did not make the Top 15 in the RIFF, it has just been nominated for a Spotlight Award in the Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition. Category: Best Role Written for a Leading Man. I’m hugely flattered. The notes suggested Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Lucky and Seth Rogen for Dixon. I realize the characters mean nothing to you if you haven’t read the script, but it’s an amazing compliment to have someone think characters I’ve created would suit these fabulous actors.

‘Tis More Blessed Winners + Screenwriting News

Thanks everyone who entered the ‘Tis More Blessed Rafflecopter giveaway! The winners were Stephen R. (for the Peter Stoller novellas) and Kirsten F. (for the signed copy of The K-Pro). Congrats to the winners; e-mails have been sent to each of you!

In other news, two of my screenplays made Quarterfinals in the Richmond International Film Festival. I’m very excited! Semifinalists are announced next week, so please send up positive thoughts for me and my work!

And if you haven’t already, please take a look at the various covers for the upcoming Peter Stoller collection and either vote or leave a comment to let me know which you think is best.

Thanks, All, for your continued support of my work. My readers (hopefully soon to be viewers) mean the world to me!

Vote! BBF Reader’s Choice Awards

As part of the Blogger Book Fair there is a Reader’s Choice Award for various genres. I’m hoping (if you’ve read my work, and I’m also hoping you have read my work) you’ll consider voting for me. The K-Pro is listed under Fantasy–Mature (2) and St. Peter in Chains is under LGBT. Thanks, as ever, for your support!

Sisterhood & Other Bonds

sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-awa[2]Carol Kilgore has been kind enough to award me with this Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Thanks, Carol! Any of my fellow sister bloggers are free to take it along to their own blogs. (Yes, I know it’s lazy of me not to name a bunch of people, but I’m really busy these days.)

I’m nearly done with St. Peter at the Gate, but I wrote a wrenching near-death scene yesterday and am worn out emotionally. I’ve bonded with Peter in a way I never have with any other character. So for his sake, I’m also worn out with trying not to make his experience too cliché. It’s hard work, being a writer. There is a mine field of things to avoid.

But there are payoffs. Like finding out the screen version of “Warm Bodies” (still don’t know if they’re changing that title) is in editing now. Mind-boggling to think I’m about to have my first film credit.

And coming up: Blogger Book Fair, week of July 22. Stop by here to meet all my guest authors and bloggers and such.

So, yes, very busy. Haven’t left the house in over two days, so I think today I may need to get out a bit . . .

A to Z Reflections & An Award

I did it! I survived my first A–Z Challenge! And I had so much fun with it, too.

For those who didn’t visit, my A–Z project was to take Peter and Charles, the main characters of St. Peter in Chains, on a trip around the world. Each post was a place beginning with the letter of the day. Some were longer than others, but really it was like a series of snapshots of their post-novella life together. The A–Z is the bridge between St. Peter in Chains and the forthcoming St. Peter at the Gate (due out in June; I’m writing it now).

My favorite letters/posts were H, O & W.

I also enjoyed U because I wrote it from Charles’s point of view (the novellas are all from Peter’s POV, and so most of the posts were too, but so many people wanted to see from Charles’s side, I gave in a little).

I really enjoyed finding other fun blogs to read during A–Z as well. I tried to visit lots from the list, and there were a few that were so good I went back pretty much every day, or at least as often as I could.

I hope next year I can participate again. But I’m not sure I’ll be able to find another such fun subject. I really enjoy spending time with Peter and Charles . . . Though maybe by the time I’m done with St. Peter at the Gate I’ll be well and truly sick of them!

I wanted to add that Christine Rains gave me this Zombie Rabbit Award for entertaining her during the A–Z. I’m glad I entertained someone, anyway!

Not sure why it’s a zombie rabbit, but I’d like to give this award to a fellow blogger who entertained me during the month of April:

Suzi @ Literary Engineer who did an A–Z of horror movies. Yay, Suzi! I don’t watch many horror flicks because I can’t stomach gore (do love a good psychological thriller, though). But Suzi’s summaries and critiques were awesome. And I appreciated the scales she used so I could figure out whether a movie might be too gory for me. Thanks, Suzi! You’ve earned a permanent spot on my links list.