Archive for September, 2014

Big Celebrities

Consider this post free advice for other writers.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not afraid to send an e-mail off to any big-named celebrity. Or Tweet to them on Twitter. I do both regularly. Why? A good example – despite the fact that it didn’t pan out that time – is from a few years ago. I e-mailed a very big name who runs his own film production studio. The message was in regards to a screenplay I have. I mentioned it to a friend who is in the film business, albeit the very, very low-budget part of things. He simply laughed at me – long and loud – and asked why I had bothered. He asked what the odds were of that big name having ever heard of me before. I replied, “That’s just it. If he hadn’t heard of me before, he has now.” My friend stopped laughing. He thought about it for a moment. He then brightened, and said, “I’ve never thought of it that way before!”

Take the chance. E-mail. Tweet. Whatever. If a huge celebrity with tons of Followers on Twitter replies back to you, they just got your name in front of a lot of their fans. Who knows where that might lead, even if the big celebrity has no more contact with you? An e-mail to a big name might result in a project getting off the ground. Or it could at least be the first step toward a camaraderie with that person that leads to something big down the road.

Again, take the chance. You never know what might happen. Don’t be afraid to approach someone just because they’re a big star. If you do, you never know where it might lead your career. A huge part of the entertainment business is who knows who. Connections play a massive role in this business – literature, and film. If you see the opportunity to make a contact, go for it. If not, make an opportunity.

Scott Harper

www.scottharper.net

Web-Series?

Web-series are quickly growing in popularity. They range anywhere from seconds-long, up to several minutes per episode. Their budgets range from no-budget camp, up to some fairly impressive, very professional-appearing end results. A few times in the past I’ve been in the process of getting a web-series up and running with someone. Sadly, each of those projects ultimately fell apart before they began. Some the reasons for that had to do with casting problems. Some with financing issues. Other times it ended up being something I’m not even going to go into here. Suffice to say that I don’t like it when a business partner screws me over on projects!

Anyway, I like the idea of working on a web-series. Especially if there would be money to be made from such a thing. I’m not trying to sound mercenary, here, but I am married, and we do have a child. Money is needed to pay the bills. If anyone is putting together a new web-series project that you think I’d be a good fit for, or has one running already, and you’d like me to come aboard the project, please get in touch. I have an idea for a web-series that I think would be very good, also. What I have in mind could go either way on funding – very little to the sky’s the limit.

I really would like to work on a web-series project at some point.

Scott Harper

http://www.scottharper.net

“Cereal Stalker” Revisited

A couple of years ago I tried an experiment on this blog. I posted a serial short story at a rate of one part per week for five weeks. It was light-hearted piece that made Desirée Lee – now my wife, then my girlfriend – simply give me an astonished look, and mutter, “You’re insane.” Granted, “Cereal Stalker” was a bit of a bizarre concept. Maybe it was too much so. The reaction to it was very underwhelming. Still, I thought that, given the time that has since passed, I’d link back to it. Anyone who enjoyed it can reread it without having to go looking for the original five posts. And, those of you who missed it, or have joined me since those posts went up, can read them now.

Why do I say that “Cereal Stalker” had a bizarre concept? Simple. It did. The protagonist in the story is a man named Chance Bainbridge. He has an unusual super power. Chance temporarily acquires various abilities from consuming children’s breakfast cereals, tapping into the collected imaginations of children stirred up by those cereals’ mascots and marketing efforts. In short, the more excited children are about a given cereal, the more powerful Chance becomes upon eating it. Hey, I keep saying it’s bizarre. To make it easy for you, here are the five parts of “Cereal Stalker”:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Looking back, I’m not sure what spurred this idea. I’m guessing I was eating cereal at the time. I honestly don’t remember, though. It just popped into my mind, and I ran with it, coupling it with the serial format – see what I did there? – as an experiment. So, read it, or reread it, and find out just why Desirée thought I was insane for this idea.

Scott Harper

www.scottharper.net

Marijuana

Cannabis

No, this isn’t a topic I’d normally be devoting a post to on this blog. However, I spent 14 years living in Florida, and still keep up on some of the things going on there. A recent poll from the state indicates that over half of the residents in Florida are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. For just over two years now I’ve lived in California. I think everyone in the United States is at least passingly familiar with the medical marijuana debate here. We live just south of the Oregon border. Several medical marijuana dispensaries are open in the areas of southern Oregon that Desirée Lee and I frequent.

I keep seeing more and more articles discussing how beneficial marijuana is. I’ve never done drugs. I’ve never so much as smoked a cigarette, and I’m 39-years-old. I have no personal, first-hand knowledge of what marijuana is like to use. However, I’m curious, in light of all of the benefits I keep hearing about. If even half of what I’ve head and read is true, then marijuana is great for pain management. It’s also said by some to help fight cancer. Some even go so far as to claim it will cure cancer. These sources seem to see America’s big pharmaceutical companies as the blackest of villains. Who knows? Maybe they’re right. The train of thought goes something like this:

A person is in pain (or sick, or whatever).

That person goes to the doctor.

The doctor writes out a prescription for medication.

But, often, side effects from that medication will force the need for another medication to counter that problem.

The person leaves the doctor’s office with one – or more – prescriptions to fill at the pharmacy.

Once that’s done, the pharmacy just made money from the sale of the medication, the doctor has made money from that same sale, as has the large pharmaceutical company who manufactures the medication(s) that were just sold.

However, these pro-marijuana sources I keep seeing claim that marijuana has no side effects. It’s 100% natural. Users receive all of the good things, without any of the bad. Any medication is dangerous in too large of doses. How many people die each year from overdosing on prescription medications, or over-the-counter medications? According to these sources, a whole lot more than the number of people who pass on each year from marijuana use. Is that true? I don’t know. I haven’t seen the studies. I have only the information reported by these admittedly pro-marijuana sources to go on.

Why am I talking time to discuss this here?

Simple. I suffer from migraines. I get them almost daily. Anything will set one off – heat, noise, bright light, stress, getting hungry, or tired. I had migraines on an almost daily basis even before Desirée and I had a child. Now, with a toddler in the house, the noise and stress seem to be never-ending. You get where this is going? I feel like I live on Excedrin Migraine. A dose is for 24 hours. When it’s leaving my system, my head starts to hurt. Again. It’s seems as if the medication makes you need more of it due to the pain you feel as it’s wearing off. I also have intermittent sciatic nerve pain due to a spinal tap that went wrong several years ago.

Would marijuana help me to combat these pain problems? I don’t know. I’m curious, though. From what I keep reading in those pro-marijuana news blurbs, it just might. And, it just might be a whole lot safer and healthier than a steady diet of over-the-counter pain pills, too.

The problem? Even if you live in a state that has legalized marijuana, it’s still illegal on a federal level. So, though your state might say yes, you can grow, or buy and smoke marijuana for medical reasons, the FBI, ATF, or some other federal-level agency might well take it away from you, and toss you in prison for a good long time. Why? Because you were using an all-natural pain management method that cuts the big pharmaceutical companies profits out of the picture?

What does everyone else think? Let me hear from you on this. Who knows? This post may be the start of a new book project!

Scott Harper

www.scottharper.net

Adaptations

Every since my fourth book, “Predators or Prey?” – which was the first book in my Wendy Markland series of novels – came out there has been interest in adapting it. Various parties have wanted to turn the book into a live-action film, a live-action web-series, a part live-action/part animated webseries, or a television series.

Soon after the release of my eighth novel, bestselling, award-winning “Quintana Roo, Yucatan”, a film producer expressed interest in adapting that book as a movie.

Unfortunately, none of that has ever happened.

Still, Desiree Lee and I recently attended a film festival. It made me start thinking. If anyone out there would care to adapt one of my books, or short stories, for an entry into a film festival, let’s talk. I seriously doubt that “Quintana Roo, Yucatan”, or “Quagmire Fen” would be within the scope and reach of a film festival budget to pull off properly. If so, great. But I doubt that would happen. Attempting live-action versions of “Winter’s Rite” or “Well Wishes” on such a scaled-back budget probably wouldn’t work, either. However, I’ve been told by a number of fans over the years that those books would make excellent animated projects – traditional hand-drawn, or CGI. Most of my short stories would make for low budget films. I keep giving thought to trying my hand with one of those, anyway.

Again, if you’re looking for material to adapt for a film festival project, please get in touch. I’ve written a wealth of material for you to choose from. Pick a title, and let’s discuss it.

Scott Harper

www.scottharper.net

“Protect Yourself” By Eldritch Thorn

Eldritch Thorn is a fellow Umbral Press author and friend. He was the first person that Desiree and I extended an invitation to publish when we launched Umbral Press. “Protect Yourself” was written and released by Eldritch Thorn before Umbral Press opened its doors. Even had the book been ready after Umbral Press opened, it isn’t something we’d have taken on via the publishing house. “Protect Yourself” is non-fiction, and that’s something we aren’t publishing via Umbral Press. However, as Eldritch Thorn is a friend, I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know about this bestselling book by him as Halloween is approaching.

Protect_Yourself_Final_Cover

You can find “Protect Yourself” here. It’s a paranormal self-help book that deals all a wide variety of supernatural threats – astral entities, vampires, dragons, werewolves, demons, zombies, ghosts, etc. There’s even an entry in the book on angels.

Eldritch Thorn is a bestselling pagan author of non-fiction, and hardcore erotica. Follow the link for “Protect Yourself”, and you can search for his bestselling erotica novel “Lovers’ Veil”, and find it on the same site. Eldritch Thorn has years of paranormal investigation experience. He knows what he’s talking about in “Protect Yourself”! Some of the things talking about in the book are from his own, personal experiences. Most of what he discusses along those lines in the book are not pleasant! It’s because of things such as those that he wrote the book.

So, if you, or someone you know, is coping with a supernatural threat of some type, grab a copy of “Protect Yourself”. It may well hold the key to solving a bad situation.

Scott Harper

www.scottharper.net

Mermaids

A couple of years ago Desiree Lee and I dropped our TV service in favor of Netflix. So, if a show isn’t on Netflix, and we don’t see advertising for it somewhere else, things that would be of interest to us slip by us once in a while. This is the case with the Animal Planet show “Mermaids“. Fiction or not, it got us both to doing a lot of thinking – both in general terms, and along the lines of projects she and I are currently writing individually. This thinking has spurred this post – and the idea for a possible new, non-fiction, project.

Has anyone out there reading this post has a sighting of a creature or being they would classify as a mer-creature? I hesitate to simply say “mermaid”, because that would only indicate the female of such a species. “Merman” would only indicate the male of such a species. So, I’ll say “merfolk” for the duration of this post. And any others I post here in the future on this topic. If you have had such a sighting, please get in touch with me via the “Contact” page on my website. I’d be very interested in hearing from you. Please don’t waste my time, or your own, with jokes. I’m not interested. This request is for serious eye-witness sightings. If I get enough of a response to this post, I’ll talk more about the potential non-fiction project I have in mind. If not, I won’t bother due to perceived lack of interest.

Scott Harper

www.scottharper.net

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