Archive for November, 2014


You know what’s kinda incredible?  I might have a better chance at selling a screenplay than I do a novel.

As y’all know, I’ve recently become very discouraged about simply getting an agent.  What doesn’t help us novelists is that far more people than ever are writing books, so agents and publishers are overwhelmed with submissions.

old movie set

Yet the possibility of selling a screenplay is supposed to be far tougher, especially for feature films—the odds are about 50,000 to one. It can even be extremely tough selling a made-for-TV screenplay for, say, the WE or SciFi channels (home of such film classics as Sharknado and Big Ass Spider).

So it’s really kinda wild when I found out that the odds of selling a screenplay are now tilted ever so slightly in my favor.  Say, only 10,000 to one.  You know why?

Because I know someone who knows a couple people in “the business” and he said he’d be happy to pass on my screenplay to them.

OMG!

Okay, sure, I still have to write the freaking thing.  I had only completed the first 15 minutes when I set it aside because I was too busy, too discouraged, and too much of a realist to think there was a chance in hell of selling it.  But the facts are these:

  1. If I finish my screenplay and it’s very good, someone who matters might read it.

  2. Since the story is set in Ireland, I can submit it to the Irish Film Commission and they might send it on to producers.

  3. I just plain love the story and want to write it.

irish sheep

So there you have it: a little bit of encouragement!  It’s kinda nice to head into the holidays with a faint glimmer of hope.

May all of you have a fantastic and happy Thanksgiving.  Please let me know how your own writing plans are for the upcoming holidays—I wish you the greatest of success.

Me Bad, Milo Good

on November 16, 2014 in Misc 12 Comments »

Today I’ve got good news and bad news

The good news concerns Milo James Fowler and his new release, Yakuza Territory. 

bore cat

But first, the bad stuff.  A second agent has rejected my Charity MacCay novel.  What hurt so much this time was that she criticized my book, whereas the first agent had praised it.  What’s more frustrating still is that these two agents had polar opposite opinions on a couple points.

First agent:  “Moreover, you have a keen eye for detail – sensory, emotional, and historical – that brings the setting vibrantly to life.”

Second agent:  “I had a hard time investing the historical setting of the novel…  I also didn’t find enough in the descriptions or the social exchanges between characters to really bring the historical setting alive for me.”

My reaction:  Stunned silence.

Anyway, when Mike Offut (the gifted scifi writer over at SLC Kismet) found out I was feeling down he wrote me a great email.  It was wise and deliciously snarky and made me feel better.  He pointed out that just about the only people getting major book contracts these days, besides established writers, have great connections or they’re famous or in the news.

Mike is right.  For so many of us obscure writers the traditional publishing scene is tougher than ever and can be spirit-crushing.  So I have made a couple of decisions.

As Mike advises, I am going to get on with my life and will write only when it’s enjoyable for me and ’cause I want to tell myself and my friends a story.  The ultimate goal of getting traditionally published MUST NOT be in the back of my mind.

Also, if I want to line up an agent and publisher, I should make them come to me.  And that means I have to become famous.  Since I have no idea how to get famous, I am willing to entertain any suggestions or ideas you may have.  The wilder the better.

Yakuza_Territory_-_Cover_Art_-_FB

AND NOW TO THE IMPORTANT GOOD NEWS…

Musa Publishing is proud to announce the release of Milo James Fowler’s most recent science fiction novella Yakuza Territory.

Take a moment to discover what happens when a hardboiled detective story is set in a science fiction world:

A detective with no way out.

A telepath with something to prove…

World-weary detective Charlie Madison has seen more than his share of war. When he stops by the 37th precinct late one night to check on his old friend Sergeant Douglass, the place is as quiet as a morgue. The last thing he expects to find: half a dozen Russian gunmen with a score to settle.

What starts out as a vicious Alamo-style battle soon evolves into something more sinister as Madison’s past comes into play. Will his ties to a branch of the Japanese mafia be a help or a hindrance? And who is the strange man in holding? Why are the Russians determined to break him out?

Struggling to survive the night, one private eye must rely on his wits to solve a mystery where he’s outnumbered, outgunned, and trapped inside a police station with a soulless killing machine.

Available from Musa Publishing

Add Yakuza Territory to your Goodreads bookshelf

MJFprofile

Milo James Fowler is a teacher by day and a speculative fictioneer by night. When he’s not grading papers, he’s imagining what the world might be like in a dozen alternate realities. He is an active SFWA member, and his work has appeared in more than 90 publications, including AE SciFi, Cosmos, Daily Science Fiction, Nature, Shimmer, and the Wastelands 2 anthology.

Visit www.milojamesfowler.com and join The Crew for updates about new releases as well as exclusive promotions.

Seriously, do yourself a literary favor and check out Milo’s book. Meanwhile, have a very good week, please tell me how to get famous, and go say hi to Mike at http://slckismet.blogspot.com/

blaise sword

I am way, way too old to be reading graphic novels. Especially ones that are mere collections of comic strips.  Because obviously comic strips are unintellectual, juvenile, and just plain beneath a smart (allegedly) writer person like me.

So maybe now I should confess to my addiction to Modesty Blaise.

You’ve probably heard of Modesty, although she’s a lot more famous in Europe.  Her strips were often absent from U.S. newspapers because she was sometimes scantily clad and on a few occasions naked.

Peter O’Donnell created the Modesty Blaise comic strip in 1963 and continued to write it until wrapping up in 2001.  He also wrote thirteen Modesty novels and one collection of short stories, all of which got great reviews from critics; a few even said they were better than Ian Fleming’s Bond stories.  But while Bond was turned into classic movies, Modesty had the bad fate of appearing in a few stinker flicks, even though one was made by her fan Quentin Tarantino.

While I enjoy the graphic novels, I like the real novels much more.  They’re well written and plotted, come with requisite preposterous villains, and they do a good job of getting into Modesty’s brilliant cool head as well as that of her loyal sidekick, Willie Garvin.  On the down side, several of the older paperbacks have silly, too-sexy and irrelevant covers.

 penthouseA while back I wrote here about the great backstory O’Donnell gave Modesty:  how she was a young orphan refugee who survived WWII and by the time she was a teenager headed up a lucrative crime syndicate (mostly gambling and high-end thievery, and absolutely no drugs or prostitution, which she hates).  While in her twenties she retires—which means she starts to work in an unofficial capacity for a friend in British intelligence.

But it’s the life O’Donnell gave Modesty that really appeals to me.  She is what I wish I were:  wealthy, free, gorgeous, in perfect physical condition, a martial arts expert, speaks about ten languages, is pursued by loving lovers, and is deadly when taking on bad guys.  She has homes in London, Morocco, Malta, and Paris, and servants who do the housework.   She never worries about money.  Above all, she has an inner calm and unshakeable self-confidence.   Mentally and emotionally, she’s not messy like me.

Peter O’Donnell passed away just a couple years ago, and I wish that I had discovered his Modesty Blaise earlier and written him a fan letter.  I’ve never written to any public figure before, yet I wish I could have told him thanks for his creation.

Is there any semi-famous writer you wish you had written to?  Or maybe you’re corresponding with one?

Have a great week.