Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mockingbird Lane ~ Really?

As a member of what is known as television generation, I cringe at the thought of classic television shows being toyed with or remade. Friday night saw the return of The Munsters to primetime network television. Nearly 45 years after they were cancelled.  Only this time it's called Mockingbird Lane and our dear lovable family of ghouls aren't so lovable.  Nor laughable.


 This show is being labeled as a drama. Heading up the family this time seems to be focused on Grandpa and not Herman. Grandpa is played by actor Eddie Izzard. While this could be a good thing as I am a fan of Eddie Izzard. He's brilliantly funny and a fine actor. I just can't get past the fact that he's, well—Eddie Izzard. I never see Grandpa, I see Eddie Izzard doing an impression of Grandpa and sounding like James Mason.

Of course If this were 1974, I think audiences would be thinking Grandpa was being played by Paul Williams.

I think part of the success of the original Munsters was that it had charm and was genuinely funny. Fred Gwynn always did a remarkable job of making Herman so silly and at times the biggest doofus on the block. He was like a big kid. So far the true actors I believe in their roles are little Eddie and Marilyn.

One thing I could't believe they did in the opening sequence where a werewolf attacks a troupe of boy scouts, a moment is completely stolen from a b-rated horror film in the late 70's called. "Prophecy" starring Robert Foxworth and Talia Shire.  The kid hopping around in his yellow sleeping bag and the monster hits him and of course the bag hit the tree and feathers everywhere. The moment I saw the kid in the yellow sleeping bag...I turned to my wife and said..the kid in the bag....about to be smacked into the tree. Bingo! Thank you...major steal. Shame you guys!

As for the rest of the cast, I'm not too keen on Jerry O'Connell, Portia De Rossi as Lily I saw at times she actually looked like Yvonne De Carlo. I was pleased to hear the original theme played in the underscore throughout the show. I will cross my fingers for something interesting to happen, since I love the set and Eddie Izzard. However I fear, it will be back to the coffin by end of season one.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

YA Book Season: Giveaway of Forever Me by Thomas Amo! (Int.)

Want a chance to win a FREE copy of "Forever ME" on your choice of Kindle or NOOK? YA Book Season is offering a chance to win your own copy!

YA Book Season: Giveaway of Forever Me by Thomas Amo! (Int.): Hey Everyone! I've got another surprise today! Thomas Amo is offering a Nook or Kindle copy of his new release Forever Me! Here's some...

Friday, October 19, 2012

HOT BOOKS DAILY: A Warm Welcome to Thomas Amo!

HOT BOOKS DAILY: A Warm Welcome to Thomas Amo!: Please tell me about your book. “Forever Me” is a YA novel about sixteen-year-old, Hannah Richards. A plain Jane type of girl who lives a...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Forever Me Launch Day.

Hannah Richards isn't your typical 16 year-old at Wichita Falls High. Fashions, trends, cosmetics and style are unimportant to her. An avid reader, guitar player, classic movie and television buff, Hannah marches to the beat of her own drum. Visible only to her Father the town Sheriff, and her two best friends. Hannah lives a simple, un-pampered life as an "Eastie."

After coming to the aide of Taylor Monroe, a popular member of the ultra snobby "Stilettos" at school, Hannah's life beings spiraling out of control. As she starts spending more time with Taylor, her best friends abandon her, after a series of misunderstandings, causing Hannah to re-invent herself.

Hannah quickly gets caught up in a life much different than the one she knows, where status, glamour, makeup, appearance and acceptance become her masters.

Can Hannah survive the lies, deceit, jealousy and rage that are now waiting for her behind every corner? Will she succumb to the pressures of popularity? Or will she be crushed under the heels of the "Stilettos"?

~High school is hard enough just being yourself, let alone trying to be someone you're not~

Get your very own Kindle Copy of "Forever Me" Kindle  

Thomas Amo took up the pen and began his writing career after a trip to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. From that day on he knew he wanted to write and tell stories. During the late 90s he became a full time theatrical producer and began writing plays for this theatre, Smiler's Comedy Playhouse. Since that time he has returned to doing what he loves most which is writing novels. His latest release is the YA novel, "Forever Me."
Available on Kindle KDP Select. 

Connect with Thomas Amo online.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Roger Corman—It's All Your Fault!

As I get closer to finishing my next novel, the YA drama, FOREVER ME, and 5 months and 3 days from turning 50! I began to think about how was it, I became a writer? In most interviews I tell about the tale of being taken to Disney's Haunted Mansion in 1973 and how my experience there made me want to write scary stories so I could make enough money to buy my mom a house. While that story is true, it's not completely accurate as to how and why I truly ended up becoming an author. Oh sure I always wanted to be an actor too. I followed that dream, and worked in movies, independent television and even became a full time theatrical producer for about a decade. But outside of my love for acting, film editing, directing and producing. I always come back to being a writer. And while perusing NetFlix yesterday, I saw an old gem of a movie that takes me back to where for me, it all began.
It's 1971 and my older sister is on a date with her boyfriend at the time. Where do most couples go in the age of post hippies, and free love? Where else, to the Drive-In. Well my mom was no fool, she knew what couples do at the Drive-In, and so, guess who got to see a whole bunch of R Rated movies at the age of 8? I guess my mom should have known they weren't going to see the latest kid flick, and certainly not at The Motor Movies on old Hwy 50! (That's where they show all the booby movies!) Well it was also where you could see all the scariest movies of the time too. I remember seeing the trailers for, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte in Re-Release co featured with the new Alan Alda film, The Mephisto Waltz.

Anyway, I digress. The whole point of sending me was so my sister couldn't shag in the car. I think maybe perhaps they were always hoping I'd fall asleep, but I'm television generation baby! I don't go to sleep when there's scary stuff and boobs on the screen!  So tonight's feature is Roger Corman's exploitation drama, The Big Doll House, starring a very unknown at the time, Pam Grier. (Yep Rosie's cousin for those of you who follow football and knitting.) Now I haven't seen this picture since 1971 and I'm sure by today's movie standards, it's pretty much a turd. Hell even then it probably was too. But who's keeping score. It's a basic woman's prison movie, only it was set in the Philippines. But it had this crazy lady warden who used some sort of electric device to shock women into submission..and oddly enough shocking them in well...shall we say specific regions. (I'm thinking Frankenstein here kids and nothing more.)
Anyway there's guns, boobs, girl fights, boobs, explosions and yep...more boobs. However, not to be infantile about my mammaries of days gone by. (boob joke in case you missed it.) You have to remember on a screen that big, every girl is Chesty Morgan! The girl with the 73 inch set of knockers. The basic story always stayed with me. A group of people caught in a bad situation forced to die or form a plan to escape. So for me I have to say, thanks, Roger Corman, for making a cheap movie, shown on a cheaper screen in the cheapest of seats, an 8 year old boy was inspired to one day become an author and learn to not objectify woman in spite of the frontal assaults on my eyes. So love or hate my work, either way, it's all Roger Corman's fault. And when I cash my first five figure royalty check, I'm going to tell him so!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time Machine Saves Book From The Abyss.

Oh my god, I've just lost my entire book! The worst feeling any author can experience in the world of word processors, smart phones, iPads and so on. If only there was I way I could go back in time! Well thanks to Apple there is. Well as far as your Mac is concerned.

Yesterday, I had just finished writing two very important chapters in my new YA novel, "FOREVER ME." As always I click save after every sentence I write and when I get to the end of writing, I usually send a backup copy to email. However my iMac has been dying a slow death due to a worn out video card. But times being what they are, you can't always just run out and buy a new Mac. So you work with it as much as the computer will allow. So in between the screen blacking out in the middle of anything, or just out right freezing, to say it has been a challenge is an understatement for sure.

So, very happy with my work, I save to email and it freezes, no fear I got the email it's okay. I reboot and open the email and....nothing but a mess of scrambled letters, numbers and symbols. If it weren't such a terrifying moment, I'd laugh and say, so that's what my book looks like in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. "Oh no, the file is corrupted! My most recent email save, is two days ago! Before I wrote these two amazing chapters!" Well you can imagine I said every four letter word I could think of more times than Jonathan Demme said "Um" in his Oscar acceptance speech for "Silence of the Lambs" (It was over 40 for those of you who need that info.)

No problem though, thanks to my friend and fellow author, Michelle Muto, I have the Time Machine backup drive. My entire computer is SAFE. So I click Time Machine and my Mac freezes. Only once do I see the timeline of the save before I sent the email. Otherwise it just kept crashing...CRAP! But a little sleuthing and I see I sent the email at, 12:25 and most recent save was 12:10. Maybe it won't be so bad, but I can't see the files because Time Machine keeps crashing the Mac.  Time to call a superhero.

My wife Ashton comes to my rescue. We take the Time Machine and connect it to her Mac laptop find the 12:10 version and I only lost half a paragraph! She saves it emails it to me and tells me, "Come on, we're getting you a new Mac! You can't write like this!"  My hero! She not only saved my book, but she saved the day and yes I am writing this blog post from my new iMac. To give credit, my Mac lasted me six years trouble free. I can NOT say that ever about a PC.

So the point of this blog is all about SAVE YOUR STUFF!!! Get a backup drive, save to email, use a flash drive, print out a hard copy but do not take any risk that could result you losing months if not years of hard work in the blink of an eye. If you own a Mac get an external HD and plug it in, Time Machine automatically goes to work for you. I paid like $140 for a 1T HD. So worth the money and peace of mind. So this morning I am once again feeling good about my novel, a new computer and naturally feeling very blessed by a wife who believes in my writing. I have to say thanks to all my friends who sent me posts yesterday on FB, cheering me and encouraging me about what steps they take to keep their stuff safe, but I would be remiss if I did not mention my friend from high school, Sean and his absolute amazing observation: "Something to be said about good old fashioned, pen and paper, hmm?"  Point taken Sean! Reminds me of the space program. Americans spent millions of dollars trying to design a pen that would work in space but zero gravity did something to the ink. "What are the Russians doing?"  You guessed it. "Using a pencil."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Meet The Authors! Or How to not let the audience know you're giddy!

Saturday, June 16th, fellow author, M.E. Franco and I were guests of the Stockton Library, M.E. was instrumental in making the event happen in the first place. She tried to get Barnes & Noble to do a local author event, but alas, we  weren't
B& N material...but that didn't bother us, we loved being guests of our local library and it helped me see the need to support our hometown library. They were so gracious to both of us, purchasing copies of our books to help support local authors. We in turn agreed to come, speak, and autograph the raffled copies.  It was truly a wonderful event.

So play by play:
For what M.E. and I understood this would be an adult event to which we readily agreed as both our novels are adult themed. But as the time clicked closer to begin, more and more parents with children filled the room. M.E. and I exchanged deer in the headlights expressions..."DOH!"

Both of us had arranged certain chapters to read from our books and now...both scrambling and looking for F-bombs, mention of boobs, passion or anything that wasn't kid-friendly. I took the stand first as this was my second public event and M.E.'s first. I let the audience know, our books were adult in nature but we were taking the kids into consideration so they wouldn't worry, or rush them out the room, like bad parents who took their kids to see films like the Exorcist or Jaws back in the 1970's.

For a brief moment I thought this is how Quentin Tarentino must feel when he goes to an event as a guest speaker for a 70's night...and finds out...70's are how old everyone is! Seriously it went really well, M.E. and I didn't miss a beat. In fact she quickly found an alternative chapter and she sounded brilliant as if she had planned it all along.

So the time comes for a Q&A and the questions were great the audience kept us laughing and when it seem to come to a lull, my wife came to the rescue with a new question that got us back on track!

Now we have to select a winner for each of our books. They asked anyone who wanted to win, to put their name in each bucket for the book they wanted and M.E. and I had to choose the winner. Low and behold, wouldn't you know it...a child won both times! We were both busting up by this time. M.E. told the little boy who won.."Give this to your mother!"  And the little girl who won my book, M.E. told her, "Read it when you're 18!" LOL!  Then something amazing happened, people actually wanted to come up and get their pictures taken with us! We were both floored by that. Some people actually bought copies of our books and M.E. had some awesome swag to give away. I couldn't find my swag as I just moved and it's in a box somewhere in the Bermuda Garage.

All in all, the experience was awesome, not only did we get to support our local library but we got to meet a lot of wonderful people, who were so supportive of us as writers. I encourage indie authors, go to your public library, offer them a free copy of your book in exchange for an author event, bet they'd be pleased to agree!  It's good to get out there and meet the public! Who knows who might be in the audience...The nice thing...they invited us back when we release our next book!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From Drama Class To Published Authors.

Authors, M.E. Franco and Thomas Amo, have more in common than being Indie authors, they have been friends since meeting in drama class sometime in the last century. "Instantly, I knew she was talented! She was not only hysterically funny, but she was joy to share the stage with." Oddly enough the two years I shared a drama class with M.E. Franco in high school, we wouldn't actually be in a show together until, 1997 when I opened up my own all comedy theatre, "Smiler's Comedy Playhouse." Previous to that experience though, the two of us were in a movie together, "The Revenge of Chris White" and the sitcom, "Passport, Please." (Don't look for those gems of T.V. and motion picture entertainment) you won't find them anywhere. They're most likely buried alongside of Jimmy Hoffa.

This Saturday, our dynamic due continues on their trek in the world of arts and entertainment, as now we have both gone from being, stars of stage and screen to published authors. (Yes, this is a self serving blog.) Both of us have been writing all of our lives. I was published, in 2000 with my adventure romance novel, "Silence." It would be another eleven years before I was published again and for good reason. I still had a lot to learn about being a writer. During the 1990's while I owned my theatre, I began writing my own plays for the stage and that taught me a great deal about plot development and how to get the story moving from the beginning. If you own an all comedy theatre, then yours shows should begin with a laugh and end with a laugh...if you can't manage shouldn't be writing comedy.

I was thrilled when I spoke to M.E. about the fact she was going to publish her first novel! Now just over a year she's about to release her second in a series. So to celebrate, we are appearing together at the Stockton library this Saturday, June the 16th at 2:pm where we will be reading from our novels, "An Apple For Zoe, & Where Will You Run?" We will also be talking about the world of Indie publishing and doing a Q&A as well.

It's an exciting time for any author to be asked to come and speak about their work. I want to thank the Stockton Library and M.E. Franco for being the liaison for the event. So come down this Saturday and say hello if you're local! We'd love to say hi and meet you!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

UK Model Will Be The Face of Hannah Richards in FOREVER ME

U.K. Model, Zoe Harrington has signed on to be the face in the forthcoming YA novel by Thomas Amo, entitled, FOREVER ME.

Creating the right cover for a book is important, as it sets the tone, but finding the right face is crucial to giving the book a life of its own. 

Many authors don't like to use models to represent the face of their main character as they feel sometimes it stifles the reader's mental idea of what that particular character looks like. The argument might be, write good details and the readers won't need a face, but me personally, I am drawn to covers that use a face. It's no different than a movie poster, it is an enticement to draw a prospective viewer or reader in this case. Not that I can't imagine the characters in my mind but if the author has decided to show me, and I'm agreeable to it, then all the better for me as I dig into the story.

I'm sure there are as many books that do just fine with a plain cover, but me personally, I want to give the reader a serious reason to want to pick up my work, and let's face it (no pun intended) who doesn't like a pretty face?

Zoe is an author as well and she totally gets the idea of knowing what your characters look like from the outset. I was thrilled beyond words when she agreed to become the face of sixteen-year old, Hannah Richards. We talked about what Hannah was like, and her habits, then we shared some ideas and the result is going to be a gorgeous cover. The book is scheduled for a Spring 2012 release, pending edits. It is ironic that a model named Zoe is going to be the face of my next female lead considering my last novel is titled An Apple For Zoe. And yes there have been times where I nearly called her Hannah because whenever I think of Hannah, I see Zoe...I suppose the good thing is the model for An Apple For Zoe wasn't named Hannah! Then I'd really be a mess.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cracking The Top 100 on Amazon.

Last week I did a free promo for my sixties spy comedy, "Let's Get Lade." This was my second time doing a Kindle select free promo. It's a wild ride in no uncertain terms. It seemed so strange to cheer for your book to be given away for free. Now didn't I get into publishing to make a living? So why would I be excited about giving my work away for free? Well in a blog several blogs ago, I talked about how freebies sometimes are the just the thing that makes your product buyable! It doesn't make any sense to me, but I suppose in a way, it's a way to let people give your writing a try, see if they want to read more of your work. I hope the readers do feel it was worth it. (even though they didn't have to pay for it.) However value isn't just placed in dollars is it? Time is valuable too. How many times do we stand in line, sit at a very long red light and lament about how we've been robbed of precious minutes of life we can never get back. Many readers feel this way too when they've invested themselves in a book that doesn't live up to it's promise.

Our world is becoming so very tied together now, it seems if we make a major blunder, basically everyone with a twitter or Facebook will know about it in less than five minutes. If readers don't like us, it will take no time to watch the fire of word of mouth spread.  While the internet is an amazing's still word of mouth (fingers a typing) that drives it all. So that being said...once people found out I had a free did they ever go hog wild on the downloads.
Suddenly I felt like my book was a Wonka Bar! About every 15 minutes another 100 copies was downloaded. All I kept thinking was..damn what if this was paid? This must be what it feels like to be J.A. Konrath, lol. Anyway before the end of the first day I found out...I had cracked the coveted Top 100!  There was my name at #49! Not only had I got into the Top 100 I was in the Top 50! 

For some this is like Kindle makes their books take off. My first time I didn't make it into the top 100. First time I only saw 1505 downloads. This time I was 73 shy of 7000 downloads. WOW.
I have to give the bulk of that credit to ENT. (Ereader News Today)
with their amazing 240k followers on FB, they really made a difference. I am hoping the sales will continue. I have to say even for the Free Store it sure does feel good to be one of the writers that got to experience that!
Thank you everyone who grabbed a copy, shared a link or retweeted me! Now most importantly...I hope you like the book!

Get your very own copy of  Let's Get Lade on Kindle! CLICK HERE

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mr. Amo's Wild Ride! By Scott Cherney.

Back in the Prehistoric Era, tickets were required for each of the attractions and rides at Disneyland. The ticket books were alphabetized from A to E, indicating the level and/or appeal in ascending order. A was reserved for most kiddie rides or something a bit duller like the People Mover. But E tickets were the top of the line, guaranteeing thrills and chills for the most coveted of attractions like the bobsledding spectacle known as the Matterhorn.

This little history lesson will explain why I consider Tom Amo's AN APPLE FOR ZOE: THE FORSAKEN an E ticket ride. Once this supernatural roller coaster gets into high gear, it doesn't slow down for barely a page. There are twists and turns that'll whip you around like a crash test dummy on an out of control luge.
Amo incorporates the paranormal with well-researched Hollywood lore and serial killer history into AN APPLE FOR ZOE in between the lightning speed action, making it much more than just a fast paced thriller. However, by the end, I did feel the need to reach for an oxygen tank because I was a little out of breath especially after the introduction of two of the best villainesses I've run across in quite some time: The insane Russian female twin assassins known as The Baranova Sisters. Holy Smokin' Smirnov! What a pair of hot psychos! I think I'm a little smitten. For these characters alone, AN APPLE FOR ZOE: THE FORSAKEN is an E ticket attraction of the highest order and will make you clamor for the next installment.
CLICK HERE to get your OWN COPY. FREE for Prime Members.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

OFFICIAL UPDATE January 26, 2012

Just In Time For Spring Break!
Here's an advance peek at the teaser poster for my upcoming YA Novel.


scott cherney's etc.: The Doctor is In

scott cherney's etc.: The Doctor is In: About a year ago, I had been introduced to a co-worker’s grandson as “This is Scott. He writes books.” “What kind of books?” the pre-teen...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So You Are A Star!

So your are a star? The Hudson Brothers wrote this amazing cool tune and it hit #21 in Billboard back in 1974.  Now that you are a star, what happens when you're only a one star?  What I'm referring to is the dreaded one star review for your books.

If you're a author, indie or traditional, and you've been published, then chances are you have received your first one star review. They suck don't they. I know this subject has been written about in plenty of blogs already and the rules of engagement when it comes to this very prickly subject. However my blog today is to toss my two cents in and support my amazing friends who are authors and know the sick feeling in the pit of their stomachs when they see that single digit hanging over their name and title of the book.

The consensus is DO NOT EVER reply to a reviewer unless you say thank you.
Even that may not be a good idea. Engaging with someone who's not favorable on your prose
usually will lead to even more bad words and hurt feelings. Understand the person who wrote it,
is stating an opinion, regardless if it's on or not.  Our initial reaction of course is to strike back when someone bashes your book, because it's hard to not feel like it's a personal attack on you.

Example of  mean and petty review: What a piece of garbage! This writer (if you call them that) has no business writing emails let alone a book. They should personally apologize to every person who wasted their time reading this blob of #$%^, and I think they owe everyone a refund since they can't get back the hours spent reading this mindless junk. The plot sucked, there's no way this would ever happen, blah blah blah...
Okay you get it...right.  That's not a review...that's just ranting and what they are saying is really more about them not your book.

Example of negative review.
Writer XYZ's, new novel, 123 is a story about a group of words being strung together to tell a story. While I loved the concept, I didn't feel any personal attachment to the numbers. However that being said, I can see how appealing this story will be to readers who enjoy numbers. While this book wasn't for me, I would think there are many others out there that will love 123 by XYZ.

Maybe that review was a bit Disney, but my point is you can not like a book without trashing the work and the writer.

Recently an indie friend addressed this on her FB and the way she summed it up really helped me to see it in a different light. Your book is a PRODUCT not a child. Even though you do have a very personal attachment to it, it's no different than a movie, song or sporting event. Now I absolutely am NOT a fan of sports. I get annoyed when I hear people going crazy over a touchdown, but my total dislike for sports does not affect the industry in the least. And I have to think all the people who scream at touchdowns and how happy it makes them to enjoy their love for sports. Who am I to rain on their parade? It's not for me so I don't join in. I feel no loss and am happy to seek something that makes me cheer and scream.

I always console my writer friends in the fact that every one gets one star reviews. Even Stephen King. Just because you get a one star review doesn't automatically reduce you to a failure, it may be something very constructive that can help you avoid a future problem in your writing.

When that bad boy one star shows up in future, think about when it came from.
Did it come from a reviewer who doesn't read your genre?
Make certain when you ask bloggers to consider your work that they read what you write about.
If it was a random reader, well there can be a hundred reasons why they didn't like it.
Taking the time to actually post a review means the person who posts it had a real reaction to your work, good or bad.  You can upset people sometimes with subjects you never dreamed would cause someone to go postal on you. If a child or animal is killed in your story....some people will react with extreme responses.
And then there are some people you cannot please. Next time the one star shows up, see what they are saying about other books they reviewed. If they're hating on everyone...then really it's not you it's them. If you are there only 1 star review...chances are they weren't mean or petty.

You're not a failure, you're a star, because you wrote a book, and you dared to publish and put yourself out there. That in itself is an accomplishment! No one ever said it was going to be a yellow brick road to OZ.
I finish this off with a line that a published playwright tells me all the time.

Writing ain't for sissies! So toughen up put your armor on and keep writing!