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Sunday, October 28, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
A Special Halloween Double-Shot of short stories by PROGENY author Patrick. C. Greene. In the first, lonely widow Mrs. Tucker suspects something besides trick-or-treaters is lurking outside. Then - a second nail-biting tale of teenage pranksters and the real cost of choosing "tricks" over "treats."
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012
A glance at the venerated New York Times Bestseller List reflects whatever might pass for current "trends" in titling. Alliterative, (Gone Girl, Winter of the World) lyrical (The Light Between Oceans), to-the-point (A Wanted Man), enigmatic (The Casual Vacancy), whimsical (This Book is Full Of Spiders), and generic (Phantom, Down To You). Looking over these, I'm given to wondering if anyone has ever agonized -as I have- over the perfect title for their work.
It seems like a lot of factors to consider. Too pedestrian and it may not stand out as interesting. Too wordy might seem pretentious. A little descriptive might give away plot details. Too simple might give the impression that the author has little imagination. A perfect happy medium then, would hint at the story, offer a poetic hint and be easy to remember. Right? One would think.
If I'm honest, I have to admit that I lean toward the pretentious, or at least the imaginative. My novel PROGENY has at its core, a horror story about a ferocious family of sasquatches. If asked what it's about, I would be tempted to stress its theme of father/son relationships and the delicate dynamics thereof--and I'd pretty much sound like a jackass. The title makes that point--enigmatically and via a nifty vocab word that makes me sound smart. Now I have to rely on the cover art and word of mouth to convey that it has monsters in it. But I stand by that title. There are enough books and films with the word bigfoot in the title; more than one with that word alone as its title, in fact. Now if only there weren't a couple of dozen other books called PROGENY.
Still, mine is the only book called PROGENY that features rampaging bigfoots!
Some of you horror fans may have seen a film called Pumpkinhead. Back when that film was first completed, it fell into a sort of limbo. The distributing studio switched heads and may well have gone the direct-to-video route, thanks to the new suit, who wanted to re-title it Vengeance: The Demon, and dump it into video stores. Clearly, that title denotes little imagination and his decision shows no faith in its theatrical potential. Not sure what happened next; but obviously at some point, this guy was no longer in the picture. Pumpkinhead got its original title back and had a nice theatrical run. However, can I honestly say I would have been less interested in seeing it under the Vengeance title? No. I'd have probably seen it anyway. But I'm strange--what of the average filmgoer?
So there's another facet to my dilemma. How do I know whether my quirky sense of what sounds cool will ring to potential readers?
I've submitted scripts to filmmakers who have told me they liked everything but the title. I've had the same script dismissed by someone different-who then wanted to do something else with the title! I guess William Goldberg was right: nobody knows anything.
MORE TO COME
Monday, October 8, 2012
As fall winds usher in not only my favorite season but the occasion of my first novel, PROGENY, being published, I’m given to some introspection.
Four years ago in October, my father passed away suddenly. A journalist and novelist himself, Lewis W. Green was hugely supportive of my writing efforts. From my childhood’s Godzilla fan-fic pieces scribbled on yellow notepads to my more recent short stories and screenplays, my father was always enthusiastic in wanting to read my work. A short film I made based on a script I’d written in 2004 made him so proud he cried. He immediately had copies made to distribute to anyone who would take one.
He found the screenplay format confounding; offering little opportunity, in its leanness, for descriptive expression. He made an effort to look past this for the sake of giving me an honest critique. His reviews were always shining. While I was well aware of his bias, I was no less encouraged. He had several novels and a collection of short stories under his belt, had worked for years as a newspaper journalist and editor and taught classes in both creative writing and journalism. Whatever talent I can be said to have I owe to him.
On November 13th, the good folks at Hobbes End will release The Endlands: Volume 2. I’m lucky to be a part of this anthology, which, like the last volume contains a story of mine as well as my introduction. More importantly, it will also feature a story by my own son Deklan. To be published alongside my son is a special occasion for me, a milestone that fills me with as much pride as I hope my father would have felt if he and I had been published together.
I’m sad that he is not here to see that his grandson has also inherited his gift, perhaps in greater measure than I have. I wish he was around to see the publication of my first novel, as well as the production of whichever of my screenplays in development purgatory makes it to production first. I would like to have presented him with a copy, which he would have insisted on having me sign, and seen the smile and twinkle it would have brought to his eyes.
Being that PROGENY’s central theme is the often-stormy but deeply profound nature of father-son relationships, its publication is especially meaningful to me, this bittersweet October. I’ve dedicated it to Deklan, with the hopes that he too, will one day have the joy of an amazing son.