Favorite Horror Films: Part 11 — Cat People

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In 1942, producer Val Lewton and director Jacques Torneur, advanced the making of horror films by expanding the possible topics and boundaries. This extraordinary film is not one that relies on a standard “monster”; instead, Torneur employs psychological suspense and subtle development of terror.

This film offers a sophisticated and understated treatment of sexuality and its impact on people. The main character, Irena, a fashion designer, born in Serbia, and played by Simone Simon combines the modern world of high fashion in New York City with the old world beliefs that she is descended from people who are shape-shifters and who turn into big cats when sexually enticed and aroused. Torneur builds a new variation on the established theme of lycanthropy, in which a male changes into a wolf. Additionally, the film demonstrates the tension between science and superstition, the modern era versus the medieval times, and religion versus secularism.

While to a contemporary audience, this movie might seem dated and subdued, I believe it still carries great impact in its study of horror that is felt rather than seen, slowly created rather than visceral, and suggestive rather overt.

Cat People did very well at the box office, but it received a mixed range of reviews at the time. Since the 1940s, it has come to be seen as one of the more important horror films of the 20th Century.  If you have the opportunity, I recommend watching Cat People.

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At The 2018 Writers Digest Conference!

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This is a quick post to let everyone know that I am attending the 2018 Writers Digest Conference in New York City this weekend.  I will be pitching my YA novel The Ameriad: The Monastery of Knowledge at the agent pitch session. Wish me luck!

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I am also trying to learn as much as I can about the world of publishing and marketing as well as writing.

And I get the opportunity to ride the Staten Island Ferry twice a day, and that is something I love!

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Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

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Available on Amazon

Back From the Writers Digest Conference!

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I have not posted anything in the last few days because I have been busy at the 2017 Writers Digest Conference in New York City, and it was a great time! If you are a writer, and you want to learn more about the world of publishing and to have an opportunity to pitch to agents, then I recommend this conference to you.

I attended many sessions with publishing professionals and writers, and I learned something useful at each session, including about writing, marketing, and various other aspects of the world of publishing.  I met and networked with other writers, and that was also extremely important and valuable. To those I met, it was delightful, and I hope we keep in contact.

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Perhaps the most exciting event was the Agent Pitch Slam, which is essentially like speed dating, with a strictly enforced 3 minute maximum with each agent, and then the writers move on. If a writer does well in pitching his/her book, then they might see 6-8 agents. I was able to pitch to 7, and one requested my entire manuscript–my YA novel The Ameriad: The Monastery of Knowledge by Charles F. French! Now, I know that is not a guarantee, but it is a major step forward, and I am excited about it.

I also want to say thank you very much to my in-laws, who very graciously opened their home to me while I attended the conference. They are wonderful people, and I love them.   Again, thank you!

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The Travels of Maledicus: Part I

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Beginning with this post, I will occasionally show photographs of my book Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I as it travels to various locales.

These were taken on a ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan during a recent excursion my wife and I took  into the city. I love traveling on the ferry, which is still free! Actually, I love riding on any kind of boat or ship, so this part of the trip, no matter the weather is always exciting for me.

This one was taken as the ferry was departing from its slip in the Staten Island Terminal.

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(Liz French 2017)

And this one shows the novel traveling comfortably on one of the ferry seats!

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(Liz French 2017)

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

I Attended A Writing Conference This Last Weekend

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I attended The Writers Digest Conference for 2016 in Manhattan this past weekend, and I had a wonderful time, and I learned a great deal of information about writing and publishing.

First I would like to give my deepest thanks to my extraordinary mother-in-law and father-in-law.  They are wonderful people, whom I love, and I am grateful for their hosting me for the weekend.  They live on Staten Island, and I made the commute to uptown Manhattan by bus, ferry, and bus. The part of the commute I loved was the ferry ride, which is still free.  I love any kind of boat or ship, so I felt as excited as a child to ride the ferry.

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The conference was both fun and educational.  I was able to meet many other writers, attend valuable sessions that gave important information on a variety of subjects that writers need to know, and the agent pitch slam went very well.  During the pitch slam, each author has 3 minutes to pitch his/her book and take questions from the agent. If the agent is interested, he/she gives you a card and instructs what to send them. I pitched my YA book: The Ameriad: The Monastery of Knowledge to seven agents, and six requested I send them a variety of information.  While nothing is ever certain, I still consider that to be successful.

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Finally, I want to mention that author David Baldacci gave the main keynote address, and he was exciting, informative, honest, humble, and amusing.  He showed a very human side and was a very warm and gracious person.  I have read most of his books, and I think they are among the very best thrillers written.  As a person, from the little interaction I had with him, he struck me to be a warm and genuine human being.

This was a very successful experience, and I recommend it highly to any authors who can attend in the future.

 

About the 2015 Writers Digest Conference!

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I spent the weekend attending the 2015 Writers Digest Conference in New York City, and it was an extraordinary experience.  This was the second year in a row in which I went to it, and I plan on returning again next year. The conference, which ran Friday through Sunday, was full of sessions that covered issues of craft, details of writing query letters, inside information on the publishing world, the scoop on self-publishing, how to promote a book, and agent pitch slams, among many others important panels.

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I filled a legal tablet with notes from the conference.  Yes, while many people were taking pics of the slide shows, I was scribbling away in the old-fashioned manner–using pen and paper!  I have committed to being a hybrid writer–attempting to publish traditionally and through self-publishing.  Because of what I learned at this conference, I realize that I have much to learn about the business of publishing as well as the art and craft of writing; I am throwing myself into learning as much as I can about the business aspect as possible.

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I was impressed and delighted by the gracious and welcoming nature of several of the writers who gave talks and presentations.  I was able to speak with Jonathan Maberry, Kristen Harnisch, and G.P. Ching after panel sessions, and they were all willing to share advice with a newcomer.   I want to thank and recommend them as authors and as good people.

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Jonathan Maberry, Best Selling Author, To Speak at Closing Session of Social Media Conference

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I came away from the conference filled with information and determination to continue to learn and grow as a writer and as a business owner (at least in the future!).   One belief I hold that is essential to being a writer was reinforced there–persistence, discipline, and dedication are essential to finding success as a writer. I will post pics from the conference in the not too distant future.  I still took them the old-fashioned way and have to get the film developed.  I am slowly making my way into the 21st Century!

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To any writers reading this, plan to attend writers conferences if you can.  I have found them to be very valuable places to learn about the craft and the business.

Happy writing!

Going to a Conference!

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I am going to the Writers Digest Conference in New York City this weekend, and I am very excited about it. This is one of the largest writers’ conferences in North America, and it will be the second time I have attended.

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When I went last year, I had no real idea of what to expect. Of course, I had done research, but a writers’ conference, especially one this large, is significantly different from academic conferences I had attended.

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This year I will be there with my pitch for my horror novel Evil Lives After prepared, and with specific expectations of what I will try to gain and learn. One specific quality of this event that I realized last year is that every session is valuable. I intend to gather as much information as possible about writing and publishing as I can.

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The main focus for me, as I am sure it will be with many other writers, is the agent pitch slam, a kind of speed dating or elevator pitch session with agents, in which each writer has a 3 minute time span to greet the agent, pitch the novel, and answer questions. I have done my research and planning and know which agents I will try to pitch first. I will let you know how that turns out.

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I have to mention that I am staying with my wonderful and gracious in-laws, whom I love as my own parents. A big thank you to them!  They have a house on Staten Island, and I will make the commute on the ferry—and I love riding the ferry!—and then take the subway to Grand Central Terminal, which is only a couple of blocks from my destination.

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