I've got a problem. I really love helping people. I really do. And the people I love helping most are writers. I've been blessed to have made my living as a writer for a long time--over twenty years. Never Slow Dance With A Zombie is my first attempt at YA, but by no means my first attempt as a writer. I know how fortunate I am to have made a career out of it, and I love giving back. But lately--not so much.
Lately I cringe when anyone asks for writing advice. Here's why. Lately a few wonderful people I know have decided to become writers. And some people I don't really know have decided to become writers, too. And they all want me to mentor them--but not really. They want me to tell them how good they are... but they're not.
And that's my problem. I know how important it is to encourage writers, to nurture them. But how can I encourage when the work I've been seeing lately is bad. Very bad. I can't tell them the truth, can I? And I also can't lie. Right? I wish I could tell them their work is brilliant, or even promising. But I isn't. When I do give the bad news I see the crushed looks on their faces, hear the silence on the other end of the phone. And I find myself not wanting to look at anything any beginner writes anymore. I find myself no longer wanting to help or nurture young writers. I find myself not wanting to be the guy to deliver the bad news.
Does anyone have any advice for me? I could really use it.
And I know it's Wednesday, but the Hollyweird Tuesday Trivia Challenge doesn't end til Saturday. Get your answers in.
It's time for the second edition of the Hollyweird Tuesday Trivia Challenge. If you're not familiar with the challenge, every Tuesday I quote a line from a famous Hollywood movie. Your job "should you decide to accept it" is to identify the line. Each week's winner will receive a free $10.00 Amazon gift card. And you don't have to be first to win. You also don't have to know the answer on Tuesday. You have until Saturday to come up with your answer. Every correct answer will be included in the drawing. On the Sunday following the challenge I will put all the correct answers in a hat, and draw the winner to be posted on Tuesday. It's that simple. Anyone can play. I'm doing this to honor my journey towards publication of my (yet to be sold) YA book series, Hollyweird. I will keep you posted on what's happening with the manuscript as well.
The correct answer to the very first challenge question is: Heathers. "What is your damage, Heather?" The winner of the first challenge is Rachel Smith at Bitten By Books. Congratulations, Rachel. You will be receiving your free Amazon gift card very soon. For those of you who had the right answer but did not win, don't despair--round two of the Hollyweird Tuesday Trivia Challenge is coming right up. But first...
If you haven't seen the dark comedy, Heathers, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater you are missing a real Hollyweird movie treat. If you enjoy off beat, dark comedy, you will love this movie. I suggest you add it to your Netflix queue. And for all you Hollywood trivia buffs out there, Here's a little Heathers movie trivia for you:
Did you know the role of Heather McNamara (played by Lisanne Falk) was originally offered to a then 17 year-old Heather Graham. Heather's parents decided against letting her do the role because of the dark subject matter... And check this out: Brad Pitt auditioned for the role of JD (played by Christian Slater) but was turned down because he was considered too nice.
If you have any other Heathers trivia, or personal movie trivia you'd like to share, drop it into the comment section so everyone can see it.
Now it's time for The Hollyweird Tuesday Trivia Challenge #2. The second edition of the challenge is a two parter:
In a famous 80s action film the villain utters these foreign words "Schies das fenster." 1)What do these words mean in English? 2)What is the name of the film?
Huh? I told you this week's was going to be harder. But I know some of you movie buffs are all over it already. Isn't this fun? Please share this challenge with your friends and followers. If I can get a large enough number of fans I will up the ante. If you're new to the game there are a few things you will need to do to qualify, and they are:
1) Be a registered follower of this blog or 2) ...follow me at http://www.evanlowe.com/ 3) leave a comment on this blog in the comment section on any of my posts anytime during the week of the current challenge. 4) send your answer to me at firstname.lastname@example.org 5)mention the Hollyweird Trivia Tuesday Challenge either on your blog or in a tweet the week of the current challenge. Meaning, each week you compete, you'll have to give me my props.
Do 1 +3,4&5, or 2 +3 ,4&5 and you are entered to win. Good luck.
For the next several weeks, in honor of my recently completed unpublished novel, Hollyweird, I will be hosting a new weekly contest right here at E's blog. I am so excited about my new novel. It's the first in an ongoing series. The title of each book will be my take on an old movie title, like Mommy Deadest, which is a great title I plan to use, so don't steal it.
The contest is called the Hollyweird Trivia Tuesday Challenge, where every Tuesday I quote a line from a famous Hollywood movie. Your job, should you decide to accept it, will be to tell me what movie the line is from. The winner each week will receive a $10.00 (ten dollar) Amazon gift card. And you don't have to be first to win. Every correct answer will be included in the drawing. On the Sunday following the challenge, I will put all the correct answers in a hat and draw a winner to be posted on Tuesday along with the new challenge.
Okay, movie fans, are you ready?
Here's the very first Hollyweird Trivia Tuesday Challenge:
In what late 80s film did a female character ask: "What's your damage?"
This (I believe) is an easy one. Let's see how you do.
Their are a few things you will need to do to qualify, and they are:
1) Be a registered follower of this blog or 2) ...follow me at http://www.evanlowe.com/ 3) leave a comment on this blog in the comment section on any of my posts anytime during the week of the current challenge.
4) send your answer to me at email@example.com 5)mention the Hollyweird Trivia Tuesday Challenge either on your blog or in a tweet the week of the current challenge. Meaning, each week you compete, you'll have to give me my props.
Do 1 +3,4&5, or 2 +3 ,4&5 and you are entered to win. Good luck.
There are interviews, and then there are interviews. The one I did with my good friend, author, Christopher Meeks, is my all time favorite. He's known me since grad school, so he knew the right questions to get me talking. If you'd like to know more about me, check out the interview here.
And stay tuned, in the next couple of days I will be starting a weekly Hollywood film themed contest. This is to put some positive ju-ju on my yet to be published novel, Hollyweird. Brush up on your lines from cinema folks. I'll be back. Okay, I'm not going to use that line. And if you don't know what movie it's from, you really need to brush up. Keep checking back, contest and rules will be posted here soon.
My son is getting a new car. What makes this event so momentous is that I am not buying it for him, giving it to him, or putting up the down payment. He is doing it all on his own. I am going along, but only as an advisor. How about that? No help from dad. I'm proud of you, son.
When I was a kid I was scared to death of horror movies. Sleeping with the lights on, never entering a darkened room alone, closing my eyes during the gory sequences—scared. Out of this heightened emotion came my love for all things that go bump in the night.
As I’ve said here before, I love writing; I love being a writer. And like many writers I try to infuse my writings with personal experiences, lessons I’ve learned, challenges I’ve faced. But I can’t seem to keep those darned monsters out of it. In my up-coming novel, Hollyweird, I wanted to explore the challenges of being a gifted child. My brother was gifted, and I have to admit, his gift was a challenge for us both. But the idea of writing about my relationship with my brother seemed boring until I put a monster in it.
In Never Slow Dance With A ZombieI hearkened back to when I graduated junior high (they didn’t have middle school back then). I decided I needed to do a full makeover for high school. In this makeover I would be popular, a great athlete and have a girlfriend. But a year into high school I realized nothing had changed. That’s pretty much the story of Margot Jean Johnson (in the book) until the monsters show up.
Now, it may be that these stories of my youth might have been interesting on their own. I’ll never know, because every time I come up with a story, as soon as I begin to develop the idea, up steps a monster.
A few weeks ago I was taking a walk and looking in shop windows along Wilshire Boulevard. I love women’s fashion, and was looking at the gorgeous gowns in the window of Baracci when the idea came to me that I’d like to do a story about fashion. And what was the next thing that popped into my head? Zombies, of course. Fashion and zombies. Wow, I thought. Women’s fashion is good, but with zombies, it’s a WOW!
As it turned out, that night I was visiting the studio of my good friend, illustrator, comic book impresario, and all around crazy person, Michael Davis. I told him the idea, and instead of telling me how utterly ridiculous he thought it was, he said he loved it. And that’s how my next project, an illustrated novel featuring women’s fashion and zombies was born. Michael and I are putting together the proposal now. As soon as it’s done I hope to post some of the artwork here.
I know I haven’t answered the question why I like zombies, monsters and things that go bump in the night. Truth is, I’m not sure why, I’m just happy I do ;-)
*The photo (taken by my friend G) is of friend and fan, James, getting his zombie thing on at last year’s Never Slow Dance With A Zombie Fest.
My good friend, Carl, got married recently and asked me to be his best man. I chose this photo of us because for a couple of old dogs, we look gooood.
I live in Los Angeles, a town that treats friendships like disposable diapers—any crap comes up and they’re gone. I’m from New York, the East, where we understand that friendships, like all relationships, have their up and downs. I have a friend in Rhode Island who met her best friends in grade school. She’s in her thirties and they’re still her best friends. Out in LA, lasting relationships are rare—which makes my relationship with Carl all the more special.
When he asked me to be his best man, I was surprised. Carl and I haven’t hung out regularly in many years. But our friendship has gone through its ups and downs, and we still feel like brothers. I was honored to say “yes.”
Carl is a great guy. He’s always been a hard worker, and he raised his daughter alone. That’s partly what attracted me to him. We were young guys, but he was serious about his parenting. I respected him for that.
Carl, I wish you and Dorinda the best. She’s got herself a great guy. I love you, brother.
…And finish that damn screenplay, or I’ll put you on blast on my blog ;-) It's really awesome.