discovering grace novel

MAKE YOUR DREAM

SOUNDS EASY, RIGHT?

It Is Easy.

As long as I can remember, I've been a daydreamer. As a young boy, playing in the backyard of my Lynchburg home ... As a teen, playing in the woods with my neighborhood pals ... As a young adult, playing music on the radio as an announcer ... As an adult, playing alongside actors in a film ... And now, as a maturing adult, crafting stories out of thin air, about people and places and all the mystical places in between...

I've Always Been Dreaming.

And from those dreams have come an enormous amount of success.

My first dream was to be an artist. So, I began sketching as a child, turning those sketches into paintings, until one day, I began to sell those paintings. To date, I've sold works in every city in which I've lived, to include: Va Beach, Detroit, Chicago, LA, New York, Philadelphia, and Charlotte. I suppose I best get busy if I'm to sell my work in Encinitas!

My next dream was to be a big-time radio host. So, I began practicing in the shower, while walking to school, driving my car on the way to work, until one day I walked into a radio station and demanded the worst shift on the worst day when no one was listening. I got the job. That determination let to a bigger station, then a bigger, and then a bigger market, and then an even bigger market, until one day, I landed at the very top, and a "Morning Radio Host in New York City." Note: my goal, at age 15, was to perform on at least five of the Top 10 Markets before I turned 40. I hit the top 5 ... by 38!

My next dream was to make a film. So, I began practicing by writing little "short scripts" about things that interested me. Note: My first screenplay draft was something like 210 pages. It eventually became 98.

The first story was about an elderly couple searching for the fountain of youth. It is a dark thriller where nothing was as it seemed. REWIND

The next short was about a therapist who helped his patients with their insecurities. It is a romantic comedy where the patients were animals and the doctor a bachelor. POKE THE SLEEPING BEAR

The next short was about twin brothers who were completely opposite, yet desired the same thing. It is a dark comedy about trust and murder. TAKE TWO

From there, I set my sights on a full-length feature. My first attempt, while thoroughly original from the standpoint that we wrote, cast, shot, edited, scored, and finished a feature film in just 30 days. It is a dramatic fable about a man who visits a passport office, looking for the next adventure; it results in a mysterious ending that leaves you breathless. THE LAST PASSPORT

My next dream was to write a book. So, I began reading about how to write a book, how to self-publish (as I was certain no one would buy my first attempt). I figured it would be smart to write about something I knew about. I chose: growing up in a super-strict, faith-based home in the conservative south where life is black and white and leaves no room for the gray.

After realizing I had a knack for writing, I tried to do a sequel, a year later. And it worked. After coming to the realization that "family stories" weren't really my cup of tea, I took the main character, Carter Matheson, and spun his life into a big, bold military-themed thriller where he worked as a retired Special Ops Sniper-For-Hire.

I turned that dream into three novels: LUCKY STRIKES, BEHIND THE 8 BALL, and late last year, KNUCKLE DOWN.  Note: LS and BT8B were written during the NaNoWriMo Contest (Goal: a minimum of 50,000 words in 30 days).

This quickly became, and continues to be my life passion. I love creating people and places with unique names and faces, while creating mysteries and thrillers, full of heroes and killers.

Next?

My next dream was to imagine: What if I take my two favorite passions of films & books and make a film from one of my books. The book Discovering Grace, a family thriller about redemption and the power of forgiveness became the film Chasing Grace.

Was it a success? You bet. We sold the film in late 2016 to Word Entertainment, and today you can see it on Pureflix, Hallmark's Feeln, and on DVD in family bookstores, and on Amazon.com.

While I don't mean to brag, I DO mean to say this: If you can dream it, you can have it. We're all given the same 24 hours in a day, the same 7 days in a week. So, stop bullshitting yourself about how my dreams are too big and unachievable.

Instead, make reachable goals, one at a time, put them into motion, be diligent about seeing that you "water the seeds of dreams" everyday, push through the obstacles of doubt, fear, lack of faith or hope, and practice the mantra: All Things Are Possible With Focus & Work.

I've never really thought any other way ... than to believe that I could have it, IF I were willing to put in the time.

To this day, my gut reminds me of this: If I'm going to spend the time dedicating myself to a craft, and every single opportunity is possible, then why not dream as big as I can, reaching as high as I can, while believing it will come to me.

Just remember: No One Will Do It For You. Only YOU Know Your Dreams.

In closing, I encourage you to take the graphic above that I made to remind myself and you:

MAKE YOUR OWN MARK, as you GO YOUR OWN WAY, while you LIVE YOUR OWN DREAM.

Be brave. Reach high.

#itellstories

PS: Be sure to catch our weekly THE DAVE + TAMMY TOUR Podcast. SUBSCRIBE HERE:  

 

ALL FILMS ARE VIEWABLE ON THIS WEBSITE. GO TO THE DEMOS TAB.

IT'S ALIVE!

OKAY, I CAN'T HELP IT ... I'M A PROUD PAPA.

For those reading this blog who may not know what this post is in reference to, please allow me to back up a second.

I've been telling and writing stories for a better part of my life. However, it wasn't until sometime around the early '90's that I thought (read: felt) I may actually have what it takes to write.

To make a long story much shorter, it wasn't until several years later, while home for Christmas, that my sisters and mother told me that I "had the gift" and that I should "keep writing."

It was then, like many other writers before (and since), that I "gave myself permission to write."

Note To Self: I believe this is crucial to becoming a writer. It's the first step, and it's important to:

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION

Yes, sometimes it takes only that. But it's a very important step.

Anyhow, so sometime around 2009, I had this idea for a book and thought I can either write my first novel then try to find a publisher and/or agent, or I can try this thing called Self-Publishing. That's what I did, and "Discovering Grace" was born.

While it enjoyed a very modest success, both in online Amazon sales and what I call Out-Of-My-Trunk Sales, I moved on to write the sequel.

Then, I spun-off one of the main characters of both of those books, Carter Matheson, and wrote my first thriller, called LUCKY STRIKES. The books BEHIND THE 8 BALL and KNUCKLE DOWN followed behind. 

That's when I began to imagine what my book would be like as a FILM.

I had written and produced the short films REWIND, POKE THE SLEEPING BEAR and TAKE TWO (all can be viewed on this site), so I knew how the machine worked. But was I ready to create a feature?

So, I set out to (a) adapt the book to screenplay, (b) find a DP who would share my vision, (c) raise the money to make the film, and once that was raised, (d) cast it, (e) find the locations, (f) shoot it, and after all that, (g) edit it, (h) get it scored and sound designed, then (i) SELL it.

And, as you can imagine, that took much longer than expected. But we did it. The well-known company, WORD ENTERTAINMENT (Word Films) bought it, and took it to market. Shortly thereafter, they sold some of the rights to CURB FILMS (Curb Entertainment) and together they continue to get into the marketplace. It premiered on Hallmark's FEELN earlier this year.

So, what began as a germ of an idea, went from idea, to paper, to book, to screenplay, to film. And man, is that a fantastic feeling of accomplishment!

Here we are, EIGHT YEARS LATER ... (WHAT?) ... and it's finding people with a message about redemption and the power of forgiveness.

I don't know about you, but I think (read: KNOW) we ALL need a little forgiveness.

Want to watch the TRAILER and the FIRST 10 minutes of the film? CLICK HERE

As I said at the beginning, I'm about as proud of this film as anything I've ever done. And to those who've asked, "Will there be a sequel?" I answer, ONLY if there is interest, particularly from (a) investors and (b) distributors, because if you don't have those, then it's a much tougher road.

THANK YOU to so many people who helped put this film together. In fact, want to see just a small smattering of people who helped make Chasing Grace a reality? GO HERE + CLICK CREW

#itellstories

Get In Touch With Your Creative Spark

It's Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 in the afternoon. While my "last hometown of New York City" fights bitter cold and stacking snow, I'm enjoying weather that's much different. And ONLY BECAUSE Tammy never heard me on the radio, but longs to hear what it used to be like, I'm including a tiny sample of a Time Check. 

Yes, it's sunny, with zero chance of rain in Encinitas. Snow? Less than zero; the temp, not the book.

Speaking of which, it was 32 years ago that Bret Easton Ellis wrote LESS THAN ZERO; a book that USA Today called, "Catcher in the Rye for the MTV generation."

Was it cool? Yes. Mesmerizing? You bet. Some have said that it "defined a new genre of fiction writing." While I enjoyed the movie, introducing me to an actor that DEVOURED the screen: Robert Downey, Jr., I still believe the book was better.  But then, isn't that nearly always the case? 

Well, except in the case of my latest film, CHASING GRACE; that film was 99% better than the book DISCOVERING GRACE.

Yet, I digress.

Perhaps, I should rename this blog entry: TAMELESS TUESDAY.

I'm sitting in what Tam & I affectionately call my treehouse. Why? Because it's on the 3rd floor, looks out over the tops of 80-year old palm trees, and glances west toward the blue pacific. There's a breeze blowing in the windows from three different sides.

My writing space (and video editing space, and voiceover space, and meditating space, and disappear-to-stare-at-the-ocean space) is smaller than your bedroom. Heck, it's about the size of a good walk-in closet (but with a slanted roof).

It's simply adorned with mid-century furniture, a worn Pottery Barn carpet and an old tower, a new laptop and several stacks of books (my novels and other books about writing). The most eye-catching accoutrement is a long arm of clear bubble wrap adorning the lowest edge of the ceiling; thus helping to prevent yet another SMACK to my head.

By now, I realize this post is becoming more random by the minute. Frankly, I like it. And if you're still reading, then perhaps you do, too.

Today, I've been digesting material from James Frey's book HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD MYSTERY. It's really good; well-structured, simple to understand, and confirming.  

Click below to see a list of the chapters.

If you're a writer, want to be a writer, or dream of one day becoming a writer, please allow me one suggestion:

DO IT!

  • Don't let anyone tell you that you can't.
  • Don't let anyone tell you you're not any good.
  • Don't let anyone tell you that it's been done before.
  • Don't let anyone tell you it's boring, or no one will read it, or whatever.
  • Don't let anyone tell you that it's impossible to get published.

Instead:

  • Give yourself permission to write. Write ANYTHING!
  • Give yourself encouragement, knowing YOUR VOICE is different than anyone on the planet.
  • Give yourself time to practice and improve. After all, it takes as much SEAT TIME as anything.
  • Give yourself a timeline; perhaps, you write an hour a day, a day a week, or 15 minutes at a time (whenever that is).
  • Give yourself the knowledge that in this world of self-publishing, you can get your book printed, ebook-ed, or audiobook-ed -- without having an agent!

My biggest (and best) point is one that will appear in an upcoming book:

EVERYONE HAS A BOOK IN THEM

Yes, I said it. And I believe it. You know why? Because...

EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL

Trust me. It's true.

While I continue to craft #seductionatdaybreak - my latest novel, and first foray into the world of mystery writing, I am beginning to observe a number of different ways to orchestrate details in the story. Things like: teasing the audience with potential antagonists ... possible dual-protagonists ... and plausible plots, sub-plots, and sub-sub plots. It's an everyday adventure!

Okay, I've got to wrap this puppy up. I have some writing to do. Thanks for skipping along on this scattered blog. I hope you can appreciate a good case of non-sequitur.

Until we exchange again, answer me this:

If money were no object, and time was a-plenty, and responsibilities were nil, and you had the support of those around you...

WHAT IS THE BOOK IN YOU?

Cheers!

#itellstories

 

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