Tag Archives: showtime

Working Atmosphere for Me

When I visit with people at the various book signings I attend, some new authors or people who want to try their hand at writing are always curious about the environment in which I write.

In his book, On Writing (which I highly recommend), Stephen King mentions that he normally and prefers to write in a room with the door closed but with some type of classic hard rock (AC/DC) blasting from speakers.

I'm a little different. I have a multiple monitor setup and often when I'm writing I will have some movie or television show playing on one monitor while writing on the other. Whatever I'm streaming is usually something I've seen before, often a series where I particularly like the writing or characters. An example of this would be Showtime's Shameless since I've seen all of the episodes repeatedly and I think 90% of the work on the show is genius level (by everyone involved from the writers to the actors).

Sometimes I feel like listening to music and so I will imagine that the novel I'm working on has been turned into a movie, and try to pick out some songs which would fit on the soundtrack. For instance, I'm working on a book about a supernatural or weird western twist on the Doc Holliday story. My playlist for that one includes the songs in the list below (in case you don't know them I'll also put the YouTube video for it and then the link to where the song can be bought on Amazon if you'd like) as well as some others. If you'll notice, the genres are mixed but each of them fit a scene I have in my mind. Often, if I know I'm going to work on a certain book on a day, I'll listen to the playlist songs to get me in the mood and to start the ideas flowing.

Kudos for Good Writing

Of course I love to read, but I'm a fan of good writing for the movies, television, or anywhere else it applies (like advertisements). 

Just last night I was struck by the fact that some of the best writing being done now is on the series done for HBO and Showtime.

I was burnt by a short lived series called John From Cincinnati that was on HBO. It was a series about God, aliens, family, and most importantly, surfing. However, it was cancelled after the first season leaving a zillion unanswered questions. I can see why it was cancelled since it was very much out of the mold of mind numbing pablum that the general public demands. It required a lot of thought and didn't serve up any easy answers. Nonetheless, it was a phenomenal show and I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind putting in a wee bit of effort to try and understand the ideas behind it. Plus, you may spot something i didn't and be able to share your insights with me.

I've told you before of my fondness of True Blood. Unlike the books, the series just seems to get better as it goes on and doesn't bounce around as much. The books appear disjointed and at times the author completely disregards the timelines she has created,which can cause a but of confusion. This is one of the times when a screen adaptation actually surpasses, or at least enhances, the books since you can now envision the characters she discusses. I think the writers of the small screen versions have done a great job of taking the basic idea behind a single book and turning it into a season long series.

Boardwalk Empire is one that I waited until the second season to start watching, primarily because I wasn't sure that it would make it to Season 2 and I didn't want to get disgusted again. I watched Season 2, and then bought Season 1 on DVD so that I could catch the back stories. It is absolutely phenomenal. Steve Buscemi is a great actor, he always has been in everything he has played, but they have finally managed to find a role that is big enough to allow him to be a non-typical leading man. However, it isn't his acting that makes the show it is definitely the writing. The characters are complex and deep, the story lines fold and unfold, and history is interwoven with fiction. I did hate the turn that Season 2 took at the end, with the loss of a great character, but we'll see how the show develops next season.

That's enough for today, other than to urge you to read my books. I'm still hard at work on the second book in both the Junebug and the Noah Chance series as well as working on another novel and occasionally piddling with my zombie screenplay.

The books should be available in printed form soon but in the meantime you can find them all at my author's page on Amazon.com and on BarnesAndNoble.com for the Nook reader at here, here and here.