Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ten Reasons Why I Watched the Royal Wedding

I watched the recent Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan.
I did.
Not in real time but when I finished work for the day, I sat for hours in front of the TV with two shows on, one featuring highlights and backstory, one taped continuously from two hours before the wedding to after everyone cleared out of Windsor.

Why did I find this so fascinating seeing I never even knew Harry was dating an American until a few months ago?

1. She's American
2. She's 1/2 Black (a milestone for a White Royal Family
3. She's an activist, championing for poor children
4. He's an activist, championing for many worthy causes
5. Hats
6. I'm a romantic
7. Gospel choir singing Stand By Me
8. I've been to Windsor
9. The British accent
10. I needed something sweet and lovely in the news this week


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Screenwriters and Authors - Pitch Your Work to Producers!

It's hard to get someone to read your screenplay, love it, and option the thing for production.
The odds are probably up there with growing a third nipple.
Then, to get out of development hell and see the project on film is a whole other mountain that needs to be climbed.

Do you write Scripts? Screenplays? Books? Have you pitched to producers, film companies and those muckety mucks who hold your happiness in their hands? Standing out in the crowd of screenwriters in LA is a feat in itself. One way to pull away from the pack is to win a screenwriting contest. Another is to pitch when you have the attention of the producer. Pitchfests are difficult, even if the producers ARE looking for material.
How about pitching at an exclusively small conference that is hundreds of miles from Hollywood but filled with top-caliber people who are producing content for screens, big and small? A place where you have their undivided attention for several days. I went to a small pitch conference last year and my series got optioned for film!

Connecting Writers With Hollywood is an event/pitchfest/conference in Spokane, Washington (4 hours east of Seattle-with an airport) where you can pitch to industry heavy weights in such a setting. These producers are around all weekend, taking pitches, giving talks and are more than accessible to the writers attending. It was here I met the woman who optioned my book series for her film company.
If you are a screenwriter with a script or a novelist with a book and are actively looking for an agent or a producer, or both, you might want to consider this event in June. It draws writers from all over the west coast (including those savvy but tired of the competition LA screenwriters) and promises to be a weekend filled with screenwriting, learning and pitching.
If you are an author who envisions your book as a movie or series, go for it!

A producer from Affirm Films with SONY will be there (Rich Peluso), Reps from the Dove Channel, ISA, LINK Entertainment (David Katsman), Clover Entertainment, EPICENTER Entertainment, the producer of Z Nation (Rich Cowan), and more!
The woman who discovered WILD (Shari Smiley) and took it from a book to a movie is the Key Note speaker on Friday night and is taking pitches all weekend.
Laura Bradford will be at CWWH taking pitches in hopes of finding clients for her successful literary agency.
If you have a book that would make a great movie, you might want to attend. That was me last year. I went home, studied screenwriting, wrote the thing and the series was optioned by a company who's fully committed to making this movie. It's in development now, which is both exciting and amazing to me.

You don't get anything unless you go for it. Step out of your comfort zone.

See you in Spokane in June. I'll be there pitching my next project!

www.CWWH2018.com

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Public Speaking - Fun or Torture?


Rock Star Confidence...

No one is born a rock star, complete with over-the-top confidence and leather pants. An individual has to work for that. (And grow into the pants.) Ever heard that Nickelback song “We all just want to be big rock stars, live in hilltop mansions driving fancy cars”?
These days we use the term Rock Star to mean someone who’s achieved success in their field. Eg) Wow, kids, you finished homework. You are a Rock Star.
We tend to look at those who’ve achieved enormous success performing in a rock band as beyond ordinary. But remember, even Pat Benatar and Tommy Lee have baby pictures. They put their pants on one leg at a time and catch colds, just like you and me.


My Point: One must work at developing an image to fool the public into believing that you are special. It’s referred to as Smoke and Mirrors. And it’s human nature to want to believe it true, to see someone as super-talented, uber-wonderful. That’s not to say if you follow the advice I’m going to give you, you need to be so conceited your head won’t fit through the book store door. Believing in your own PR (public relations) is a slippery slope. A true Rock Star can take out the garbage when not in black leather and chains.


            Under the costumes, tattoos, makeup, piercings and hair gel, a Rock Star is simply another person in the world who has insecurities-- a human being who probably feels more comfortable in a larger-than-life personality when greeting the public. I bet Pat Benatar made lots of PB and J’s for neighborhood kids between tours and Tommy Lee played Little League before he joined Metallica.

            In my life I have known a few rock stars, celebrities, and movie actors of enormous proportions and I’m here to tell you that off stage and out of makeup, most are a bit shy--Steven Tyler, for example. I took him snorkeling in Hawaii once and he is a quiet man. Jamie Foxx, whose name is actually Eric was raised by his Grandma and is extremely humble. These people created a stage persona and you must too. If shyness is holding you back, you must dig deep to find that inner celebrity that we all have hiding somewhere behind the spleen. Once you find her she will help get through public events that would’ve otherwise leave you shaking in your boots, quivering in your Victoria’s Secrets, sweating through your sweat suits. (Note: Unless you are a sports star, I highly recommend you refrain from wearing sweat suits when trying to be a Rock Star.)

            On that note, the first step to Rock Stardom is physical presentation. Go into your closet and find yourself an outfit that says “__________”. You must insert your celebrity or pen name here and if you don’t have one I suggest you find one because this is how you will refer to yourself when it’s ‘ShowTime!’ My stage name used to be Kimberley Horn because there were too many syllables in my real name for my former talent agent. Now my pen name is Kim Hornsby. I did not deviate too far from the truth but you see where I’m going with this. Once you have a few killer outfits that make you feel special, check that the rest of you is ready for the spotlight -- hairstyle, shoes, jewelry. What makes you feel successful enough to have a Lear jet to fly to San Fran for breakfast on the pier. This is the side of you does not scrub toilets, make school lunches, clip coupons. She takes her pool boy (or husband) to South Beach on Saturday night to dance and sleeps until three the next day.
After your have the look, you must make yourself believe how wonderful you are. If you skip this step you’re in trouble. Affirmations, self talk, call it what you want, but do it just before called upon to speak in public.


            I want to introduce to you a character I love to laugh at on SNL, called Shy Ronnie. He is played by Andy Samberg and the one of the reasons he is so drop-dead funny is that we know Andy is not shy. Were Shy Ronnie a real person, it would be excruciatingly painful to watch him try to rap alongside Rhianna. When asked to speak up, his voice is so minuscule it’s painful to watch. But when his beautiful co-singer leaves the room in frustration, Shy Ronnie takes off. His shyness in front of Rhianna makes him not only unable to do his job but makes him look silly, due to lack of confidence. Remember this when you are in front of an audience – the people who have paid money or taken time out of their busy lives want to like you. When you open a book, you are hoping that the protagonist is someone to relate to. Likewise, an audience member wants to like you and will give you every possible chance to be worth their time. If they don’t like you (and you will probably never know this), it might be their own problem. Maybe they’re distracted, closed-minded, too focused on their own lives or not ready to listen.

            As you look out on the sea of faces, just remember, do not read your audience too closely. It’s the kiss of death. Just plough through, if you’re giving a key note speech, talking to a group at a book signing, whatever. Don’t assume you know what they are thinking. The expressions on their faces may not reflect their thoughts. Probably won’t if they are listening intently. Take your glasses off, look over heads but don’t read their faces.

            In recap, you must create a celebrity side to yourself complete with a pen name and an outward appearance that says ‘Someone Special is in the House’, practice self talk and remember the audience wants to like you.




Monday, April 23, 2018

Get in the VIP Club -- Kim's Krowd!

Just back from 3 days of talking about writing and marketing, my brain is going to explode if I don't get some of this wisdom on paper.
Virtual paper works too.
If I took any one message from the Chanticleer Author Conference this last weekend it is to be accessible to my readers and cultivate those relationships. Forget about hangin' and talkin' on FB to old friends or writers. If they don't read your books, don't put them first in your business account. I say this because I have very limited time and rarely have a moment these days for things like chatting with friends, cleaning the house, dressing myself. That last one isn't true but you get my drift.
I'm busy.

As a marketing author who's struggling to build a reader base, I realized this weekend I need to zero in on my precious readers and give them more fun and rewards.

So, I'm opening a Beach on FB called Kim Hornsby Beach (named after me because it's my virtual beach) and I'm going to have fun stuff going on over there for readers of my books. I'm kind of excited about The Beach. I'll have a grand opening maybe even on my birthday--May 8th.
A beach party!
Who doesn't like those things? For anyone who has to stay out of the sun, we'll have palapa huts and umbrellas and personal umbrella handlers who are very attractive and follow you around.
When the Kim Hornsby Beach opens, we'll have a bar open with pu pu's (appetizers) but remember that 5 o'clock rule because I don't want anyone getting arrested by the cops at my piece of property.


As well as the FB Site, I'm hoping to support my books with more ads, contests and giveaways to get new readers. People love my books, if they can just discover them, I'm finding.
So, I'm stepping up my game to give my Peeps the creds they deserve. Stay tuned on my FB account, Follow me on Twitter to hear what I'm doing and if you're on Instagram, I'm over there ever day or two with photos.

Here's my links and remember, you can always email me at kimhornsby@yahoo.com


www.kimhornsby.blogspot.com If you have a blog, follow
www.kimhornsby.com – Newsletter signup


Anyone who signs up for two of the above and has bought and read a book, qualifies to be in my VIP Club -- Kim's Krowd. 
Feel free to let me know by email and I'll contact you about the fun coming up for the Krowd. 


Kim

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Not Kidnapped, Writing!

I just spent 4 1/2 days with 14 women shut up in a house.
No, we weren't kidnapped.
And we weren't there under duress. We wanted to be shut in for days on end.

I was at a writers' retreat. An annual affair I selfishly organize so I can get out of town to buckle down with my laptop to live inside my  head, only coming out for short sprints to eat, see if everyone slept well and look at the passing deer and elk out the windows.
My hubby asked if there was any drama this year and I looked at him like he had two heads.
These woman are over 30, are there to be productive and are WRITERS. Writers don't get snarky, competitive, mean, vindictive, nasty, dramatic. At least the ones I know wouldn't even think of letting those agendas into their lives.
My women writer Peeps are supportive, interesting, giving, lovely human beings who don't worry about furthering their personal agendas on a writers' retreat.
We eat healthy food, we hunker down for hours at a time at our laptops and we support each other. Someone comes out of the den to say they finished their book and we cheer. Another asks what's a good country song a dog can trot to and we put our brains to it.
This year we trickled in to the Lodge from Thursday afternoon to Friday night, one person getting waylaid on the highway when an accident temporarily closed the road. There were great stretches of time where everyone was quietly working but at meal times, we came together, emerging from the bedrooms, den, suites, office to talk, share, network, support each other's work and hear each others life stories. We talked travel, kids, politics, heartbreaks and of course writing. Our group this year all writes fiction and I did a little talk on how to adapt your work to a screenplay, something I've recently taken up doing. We discussed writing stronger, writing longer, marketing smarter and even had a 4-hour long Facebook party on the Sunday afternoon where six of us took turns asking questions and conversing with anyone who dropped in to our virtual party to win a free book.
Monday we packed, cleaned the massive kitchen, put all the furniture back where it was when we arrived, said our goodbyes and formed a convoy to support each other as we drove back to the coast through a snowy Snoqualmie Pass.
Writing can be a lonely life but this weekend, it wasn't.

I love this writers' community I'm a part of. It keep me going when I need something wonderful to grab onto.

I wouldn't be a plumber or a doctor or a real estate agent, even if I could.

I'm a writer.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

ARROW to Dream Jumper?

My novel is slated to be a FEATURE FILM!
How cool is that?
Very, very cool, I'd say. When the film company sent contracts to my agent to option the whole series, I was over the moon excited and happy and thankful and vindicated. Yes, vindicated because when I tried to get this first novel an agent or a publisher, no one would touch it.
Because it involves dreaming.

There are numerous flashbacks and dreams and premonitions and the story is complicated. But, I have faith in readers and knew they could handle it.
THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE

This weekend, I have a friend in Washington D.C. who is lining up at #AwesomeCon to get an autograph from the man who I want to talk to about playing the lead in the film.

Stephen Amell (Arrow)

This is a shot of him yesterday at the Con with a fan.

James deBenedetto asked me if I'd like him to mention the film to Stephen when it's his turn to get an autograph.
Hell ya!
I think Stephen would be great in the role of Jamey Dunn, Special Forces soldier who has the ability to enter dreams. The movie is set on Maui, while he's on medical leave and encounters his ex-girlfriend whose husband has gone missing.

As a contributing producer and a bit of a go-getter, I've already sent him the script through his agent and heard that the material was well received. He won't read the script until a director is attached, which in Hollywood talk means he won't believe the film is going to be made until a really good director comes on board. Fair enough.
In the material I sent him this week, there was a letter to him personally to ask him to keep this project in his thoughts until we go into the pre-production stage and begin casting.
BUT, I want him to come on board as a producer. As with any film, there are many producers and each one has a varying degree of input. I am a contributing producer which means I don't make any final decisions and can contribute but not command. That's fine. I'm thrilled to be able to be a part of it.
So, today or tomorrow, James is handing Stephen the physical novel and a note from me to say "Imagine yourself playing Jamey..."

I'm hoping he takes the book, (not hands it to his assistant) and his wife reads it. Then, on Monday, someone in his camp looks on Amazon to see if the book has done well. It has moderate success with 323 reviews but wasn't ever a blockbuster hit for a big stretch of time.
If you haven't read the book but love ARROW, would you consider taking a look on Amazon and weighing in about his suitability to play the lead?
Amazon Link

If you read this book and liked it (!) and did not write a review, would you consider writing one now? The more reviews up there, the better it looks.
If you haven't read the book, would you consider buying it this weekend to get the numbers up? I left the novel at .99 this weekend for that purpose.
Even if you don't buy in to the paranormal, you'll see in my reviews that it's a book for all types of readers. It's paranormal lite, with the strangeness of entering dreams as the supernatural ability. Check out the first book HERE on Amazon Kindle.
As you read, tell me if you think this guy would make a good Jamey. My 16 year-old daughter says no but then she judges everyone based on their age and hair. And I have to think our audience will be older.
But then, ARROW is beloved by many.


If you can, give the book some love this weekend and stay posted to see if Stephen Amell responds positively.

Click Here to Find The Dream Jumper's Promise on Amazon Kindle

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Ten Authors, One Creepy Story

I'm part of a collection of incredible Suspense Authors called Moonlight and Mystery.

We have an awesome website for readers where we blog, give away cool stuff, tweet, we have contests, and we announce #FREEBOOKS. We also have Goodreads discussions, have a Facebook site, we have a street team, and it's a wonderful group to belong to if you're a reader who likes suspense books. You can be in our Inner Circle if you like to get all kinds of perks on books and giveaways.

Here's the website...

http://www.moonlightandmystery.com


This week was my turn to write the final chapter in a collaborative novel that got creepier as the story went on. Ten authors, ten styles, ten ideas of where this story was going.
And I got the supreme challenge to write the ending.
I read the whole thing through several times, made notes on what plot lines had to be addressed and started writing. I couldn't stop.
It was like I was writing another whole novel!
So much needed to be said about Annabelle, Preston, Max, even those ghostly apparitions that rose from the water to suggest justice.
I spent about 3 full days writing the 5,000 words needed to finish the story to my satisfaction. Considering I live with my novels for a year before publishing, this was a challenge and a cool writing exercise for this writer. Each of the other nine authors took the chapter before them and ran with it, keeping the tension high, the characters interesting and the story moving forward.
I want to keep editing and revising and changing my final chapter now and it's an exercise in itself to walk away from the story. I have another book to work on.
Check it out.

DARKNESS AWAITS

Read the 1-2 hour story and see if the ending works. I had loads of stuff to tie up. And now I shall go massage my aching shoulders!