Writing Update

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It has been a while since I have posted my writing progress, so I want to give an update on what I have been doing. I posted a while ago that I want to write a first draft of a novel every six months or so, and I am on target with that goal. I hope that the first draft I am currently writing will be between 200-250 pages, and I currently have about 40 pages written.  At the pace I am going, I should have it complete in June.  This is book two in my YA series.

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I am also very busy working on revisions of my horror novel Evil Lives After and the first book in the YA series. In both cases these revisions are minor. I believe both books are ready for submissions; I will see what kind of results I get.  In the case of the YA, I have been getting excellent feedback and reaction from readers. I have also received excellent advice on the horror novel, and I have cut some and rearranged chapter order, so I believe it moves along much faster and better than before.

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On the academic writing front, I am working on revising an article on Gothic literature as well as conducing research for a book on an obscure Irish playwright, Seamus Byrne. I hope to send the article out again soon, and I will work on drafting a chapter of the book in the summer.

I will give an update every month or so on my progress.

 

 

 

 

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Favorite Horror Movies of the 1930s: Dracula: a Reposting

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When I first considered doing an examination of my favorite horror movies, I thought that going decade by decade would be sufficient, but I realized that some periods have far more excellent films than others.  A simple examination of 2-4 movies from the 1930s will not work, so I am going to look at one film at a time for that decade. I will begin with Dracula, a film I love, and which I have taught in college classes such as Literature and Film and Gothic and Horror.  I also hold the novel to be an excellent and very important book.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Dracula, made in 1931, and released for Valentine’s Day–a nice touch–was a huge success and established Bela Lugosi as a top box office star. This production was itself based on the very successful theatrical play Dracula by Hamilton Deane and James Balderston. Stoker’s novel did not see great success during his life, but after his death and the success of the play, it became one of the best selling novels of the 20th Century–worldwide.

Carl Laemmle Jr, capitalized on the story’s growing popularity and produced the movie.  Tod Browning, who had directed Lon Chaney Sr. in several movies, directed this piece. This film is highly atmospheric with a Gothic set and influenced by German Expressionism. Lugosi was brilliant with his authentic Hungarian accent and menacing presence. His performance and voice set the standard for the image of Dracula and vampires for decades to come. Dracula was a sensation and terrified people; today’s audience would probably find it slow and not at all frightening, but that reflects our jaded views that have been glutted with gore as the staple ingredient of contemporary horror.  This film depended on story telling, atmosphere, and acting. The film’s success created an era of classic horror films through the 1930s and part of the 1940s with Universal studios leading the way.

Additionally, Dracula is generally accepted by most film critics as one of the best horror films made.  I certainly consider it to be one of the best and most important.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

It is an interesting and little known detail of film history that in addition to the English language version, Universal also made a Spanish language film at the same time.  The  two films shared the same sets, and the same basic scripts, but with different actors and a different director: George Melford directed, and Carlos Villarías stared as Dracula.  While not as well known, an argument can be made that this is a better film than the more established English language version.  If you ever have the opportunity to see it, I recommend that you do.

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Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I by Charles F. French is available for purchase on Amazon either as an ebook or a print book!

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

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Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

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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.

Jonathan-Maberry

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

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http://luanne-abookwormsworld.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-vintners-daughter-kristen-harnisch_12.html

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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!

A Goal Reached

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I wanted to finish a first draft of my third novel by the end of this month, and I have done that.  I am not impressed by the draft, because it needs a mountain of work.  I see numerous serious narrative issues that I will need to address in future drafts.  In fact, I am not sure if I will continue with this one–I have to let it percolate for a while before I decide what to do with it.

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This completion of the first draft does lead me directly to my next immediate writing goals.   I intend to attack the completion of the third draft of my second book, a Young Adult novel over the next couple of months.  I want to have a third version complete by the end of May, which is optimistic, or June at the very latest, which might be more realistic.  If the third rewrite moves well, I will then aim for formal editing, and perhaps, just maybe, begin submitting it.

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As the semester grows to a close,  I will soon be able to finish my grading work and devote more time to the work on this revision.  I hope I am able to complete this goal.

Revisions, Submissions, and Drafts—Oh My!

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It has been a wild and whirling period of writing. I finished a draft of an academic article, submitted it to a journal, and have been working on a seventh draft of my first novel Evil Lives After. In doing this, the writing of the first draft of my third novel has been postponed for a week or two. I will, however, resume that composing very soon, and I still expect to have a first draft done by late spring.

I have continued the process of submitting query letters to agents for Evil Lives After, and I have received nice rejections of the work. I decided to give it another read; it has been a while since I had looked at the text, and I realized that I could tighten it considerably, so I am doing that now, and I hope to have this draft complete in one to two weeks. I am approximately ¼ of the way through this draft.

I have also found a few publishers who will accept un-agented (is that a real word?) manuscripts, so I will probably send the novel to them also. I continue to hope for both acceptance by an agent and  publication, of course, but constructive criticism would also be very helpful.

So, back to the revision I go!

 

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