Thursday, June 22, 2017

#KimGoesToMaui - Travel Day

EXT.   LAHAINA, MAUI    DAY

Okay, so I'm writing a screenplay these days and my mindset is thinking like a movie script. Bear with me. This is how you start new scenes in a screenplay.


I'm on Maui for 5 days for the Maui Film Festival and while here, I am determined to hunker down with no distractions in my open-air deck office except for the noisy myna birds and the friendly geckos.


I arrived last night on the 6:35 flight from San Francisco, was picked up at OGG by one of my all-time besties, Lynn, and we drove to the West Side in the dwindling light of a cloud-filled sunset. Stopping at Safeway for a few things, we continued on north to Kahana, where Lynn lives.
It feels indescribably amazing to be on Maui, even though I was here in January. The scent of the air is uniquely fragrant here, the bird calls, the laid-back vibe. the expensive wine!
I know it's costly to ship stuff over, and at the Lahaina Cannery Safeway last night, I was reminded of this fact. A few groceries came to $75 but hey! I'm on Maui. And when on Maui, one needs cheese, crackers, fruit, coffee, cream, and wine.
After tapas on the deck at Lynn's and a lively discussion on whether Edward Snowden did the right thing to leak NSA information, I fell into a bed with 800 thread count sheets and the trade wind wafting in the window.
I slept like a baby until waking at 5:30 to a phone call from someone on the mainland who doesn't realize Hawaii is three hours behind. I didn't answer and am still not sure who called.

Today, I'm perched at my desk on the deck, getting ready to work on The Dream Jumper's Promise, a movie I'm hoping will be filmed here, on Maui in 2018. I'm chomping at the bit like a writer who has no idea what writers' block is.

A swim at Kapalua Bay is in my future this afternoon as well as a little snorkel, then on to the Maui Film Festival to watch a movie about riding the biggest waves in the world, while the ocean is only a few feet away.
I can't wait to pull up my low backed lawn chair and watch a movie under the stars about surfing the ocean's dangerous waves!


Keep posted for Day 2 tomorrow...



Thursday, June 8, 2017

Stephen Amell - From ARROW to THE DREAM JUMPER


If you know the hit TV series ARROW, you've seen the star, Stephen Amell, wearing both a leather-ish hunter costume and his skin shirt. Both are proof of brilliant costuming, athletic conditioning and savvy marketing.
Stephen is not only nice to watch, but his acting chops are Emmy-worthy.
Mr. Amell can act, looks great on camera, is athletic, seasoned but young and perfect to play the part of Jamey Dunn in the soon to be shooting movie, THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE.

If you are a fan of ARROW, or Stephen Amell, you won't be disappointed to see him in this film that shoots on Maui next year. If he takes the part. We are hoping...
He would play a tough guy with a soft heart who can enter other people's dreams and does that for the American Military in Afghanistan. Although the first movie is set on Maui, and has beach scenes, house scenes, dive shops scenes and boat scenes, there are flashbacks of Jamey inside an al Qaeda member's dream. And he has a fight scene with an antagonistic hula dancer who hates him. So, if you love to watch Stephen's martial arts moves, you will get a taste of that.

The role of Jamey is juicy. And perfect for Mr. Amell. And a slight deviation from his usual parts.
Read on...
 Jamey Dunn is a complicated dude. He's late thirties, from the small town of Carnation, Washington, raised by a single dad in an old house on the Tolt River, grew up with brothers, was a Seattle cop, is now divorced, has twin girls-- age 8, was recruited by the US Military for his secret abilities. He has what he calls hyper-intuition. Life has been one big disappointment after another because of his 'gift'. Years earlier, when he foresaw that he couldn't have the love of his life, he left her and went to Afghanistan to use his abilities for the greater good. Jamey is an honorable man. He's never lost his feelings for Tina who now owns a dive shop on Front Street, Lahaina, Maui.
A disastrous dream jump has left him unable to jump and he's on leave to re-gain his gift. Jamey heads to Maui, runs into Tina, now a new widow, learns that the husband's body was never found and Tina is in bad shape. She's having haunting dreams, feels like she's going crazy and Jamey has to help her. It's his fault she's in this mess.
It's an active role for Stephen--Jamey goes scuba diving, flies an airplane, drinks beer, has war flashbacks, reads minds. and falls back in love with Tina, who is cautious around him because of their history.

If you want to see more, I've got the ebook on Amazon for only .99 for the month of June. Cheap! Read it on your phone, Kindle, laptop, tablet, anything with the Kindle app. The novel is a Supernatural Suspense with Romantic Elements and is an Award Winner, Amazon Bestseller, and Indie Phenomenon. It has 309 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5* rating out of 5!

Click here for the link on Amazon.


In the meantime,if you'd like to see Stephen play Jamey, let's unite and tell him that. I'm sure his decision will partly involve what his millions of fans want to see. It's all about selling tickets. And, maybe if he wants to take a Maui vacation next Spring after shooting ARROW, this project will look attractive.

If you have Twitter, copy and paste:
@StephenAmell #BJamey The Dream Jumper's Promise - Bestselling Supernatural Suspense on Maui http://amzn.com/B00AA4FAJC
#Maui @KimHornsby RT pl

If you have Facebook, copy and paste:
I'd like to see StephenAmell of ARROW play kick-ass psychic, Jamey Dunn, in the movie THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE He'd be perfect and I'd buy a movie ticket to that!
http://amzn.com/B00AA4FAJC


KIM HORNSBY is a National Bestselling Author who lives in the Seattle area writing at a desk that overlooks a tree-lined lake and mountains in the distance. She once taught SCUBA on Maui and has faced a hammer-head shark head shark underwater.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pitching Your Book for a Movie Deal!

Writers Take Note: If you are hoping to pitch projects to Hollywood, not all books adapt best to a feature film. Some stories will transfer well to a small screen because...

Screens are getting smaller, entertainment content is getting shorter.


This is something I learned from the Connecting Writers with Hollywood Conference this weekend. Sad, but probably true. The future of entertainment--movies, TV, screen viewing, is shorter stories to be viewed on smaller screens, like a tablet or phone.
When our children grow up, they will be used to viewing on a phone screen the size of their hand. My son says he'll always want to watch good movies in a movie theater but for the most part, the market will head towards projects that can be viewed on small screens.


If you are writing and want to tailor it to what Hollywood is looking for, here's some nuggets from Entertainment Agent (formerly with William Morris, now with The Wayne Agency) Shawn West:

Must have a RELATABLE HERO, STRONG VISUAL, 3 ACT STRUCTURE, 2 HR LIMIT,
And Hollywood wants writers that take responsibility.

If your story  has franchise potential, that's great.
Also mass appeal, like young men, young women, old men, old women.
Is there merchandising potential, like dolls, happy meal toys, etc.
Can it be made for under 10 million in easy-to-shoot locations?

If you have a story that involves thousands of cast members, ten international locations, CGI and 30 million to make it, you will need a very large studio to make the movie.
If you have a story that involves only several key players, it takes place in basically one location and no CGI, it will appeal to more studios and film makers because it will cost less, the risk will be less, the possibility of making back their money will increase.

If your story can be made into 6 shorter parts to be viewed on HULU, that is something different from a feature film and will have different appeal to a studio.

One thing Shawn said in his talk was write what you know and be authentic. Great advice because no one else can do you, like you can. Write your 10 second log line and go get'em!

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Books Make Great Films!

I just returned from a conference in which I behaved like the Prima Donna I want to become.

Don't get me wrong. I wasn't mean to people, I didn't trash my hotel room rock star style, I didn't have people toting and fetching for me (well maybe I asked someone to run upstairs to get my business cards) Oh, I did ask someone else to run to the ballroom to cancel my next meeting while I talked about the logistics of making my book into a movie but both my fetchers were friends, going that way anyhow. Phew! I behaved like a Prima Donna in believing my own PR. I am big stuff. I write books. We tend to downplay that but I'm going to up-play that now! I want to be an approachable celebrity, one to make people say "She's so nice, considering her success!" Now I just need to get successful.

Last weekend, I attended JD deWitt's Connecting Writers with Hollywood Conference in Spokane, Washington, a lovely, small city close to the Idaho border that is teaming with creative people. I heard Chuck Palaniuk speak (author of Fight Club), Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins), Shawn West (The Wayne Agency), Brian Bird (BIG producer and writer in Hollywood!), talked adaptation with producers, film makers and directors and generally felt like an author who might possibly get a movie deal someday.
I signed up for the Con last summer to attend in September 2016, it was moved to May 2017 and by the time I attended the thing I had a book to film agent and interest from a production company who loved my novel The Dream Jumper's Promise.
When May rolled around, I didn't need to pitch to agents, but schmoozing was on the agenda, something I love because I'm a super-social person. I went to the conference to socially network, increase my visibility, teach a class on self-confidence in public, meet potentially interested and interesting people and represent my business, which is me.
I tacked on a book signing and talk at the famous Indie bookstore--Auntie's on the Saturday afternoon to make the trip more worthwhile and then forgot my box of books on the doorstep back in Seattle! So, I talked and peddled my friends' books.
I'd heard that adapting a novel to a movie is entirely possible but had always assumed you needed a screenplay to pitch. Turns out you can pitch the book without having someone write the screenplay.
Last year, I went to see the movie Nerve, a YA thriller written by a Seattle author, Jeanne Ryan, who got a call one day from Lions Gate Films to say they wanted to buy the option on her book. I'm sure there was more to Jeannie's story than just answering the phone, but the point is that her book was made into a movie. Someone hired by Lions Gate wrote the screenplay. See where I'm going here?
Book Adaptations are golden nuggets of material for studios, producers, and all the folks who need good stories for the big screen. I've heard this enough now that I believe it to be true. Great books make great films for the most part and are sought after, sometimes more than a screenplay in Hollywood. If you are a successful Indie author with a successful novel and a built in reader base, your book might be attractive to an film maker. The story is there, the characters are already fleshed out, the locations are chosen, the platform is there.
That was a clear message from everyone who spoke at the conference this weekend and one I attended last year. Books that have done well make great options for film and TV. Especially if you have something unique. Don't look for a trend because by the time you write, film, and produce that project, the trend is over. Instead, set your own trend.
If you are an author with a great book, consider learning to write a treatment, which is a 4-20 page synopsis of the book, complete with more information about the logistics of your book's success.
The treatment often has dialogue from the book. Choose only relevant, clever passages.
Once you have that, consider getting an agent who specifically handles book to film. They are out there. Google it. Most studios will not take a look without representation, I've learned.
Once you get that agent, get ready to field offers while you sit in your office with fingers crossed. Let the agent do their magic while you dream about who to play the leads! Like Stephen Amell would be perfect for the role of Jamey in The Dream Jumper's Promise. He looks the part, is the right age, has the acting chops, is a swimmer, likes Hawaii, might be available next Spring when we shoot (I'm getting way ahead of myself here but that's OK) and we have the same birthday and are both from the Toronto area. It's kismet. If you know me or read my books, you know that I believe in all that mumbo jumbo like numerology, kismet, co-incidence, intuition. Oh, and Stephen worked with Brian Bird who I met this weekend and has a connection to my agent. AND Stephen has a winery in Walla Walla which has absolutely no connection to anything except it's in Washington State, where Jamey, my character, is from.
Tomorrow's blog, I'll drop my first choice pick for the role of Tina!

In the next week, I'll be blogging about all the informational nuggets I learned at Connecting Writers with Hollywood, so become a follower of the blog if you don't want to miss that information.

Or like my FB page over here www.facebook.com/kimhornsbyauthor  where I will probably post as a new blog goes live.
Or twitter www.twitter.com/kimhornsby

And if you have a book that would make a great movie, whether it's Blockbuster of epic proportions or a quaint Indie story that takes place in the same two rooms with only two characters, you could see your name on a book to film contract someday. Find an agent, pitch that story and keep your fingers and toes crossed!

Kim Hornsby is the author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months, escaping to Maui when possible to scuba dive and get fodder for her next books.







Saturday, May 20, 2017

Shy Writer to Rock Star

This week I'm talking to anyone who'll listen at the Historic Davenport Hotel about self-confidence. Actually, the talk is based on how to create the rock star side of yourself to present a polished social patina to either a Hollywood producer who's looking for a new idea for a movie, or a crowd of 500 writers who are hanging on every word you say to find out how to follow in your successful footsteps. I'm at the Connecting Writers with Hollywood conference In Spokane, Washington, teaching, pitching and then doing a book signing at Auntie's Bookstore on Saturday, three events that will require me to change from a hair don't care, bathrobe wearing writer to a Bestselling Author.

The workshop I'm teaching on Thursday for conference goers is called Channeling Your Inner Rock Star and I will begin by breaking the myth that rock stars like Steven Tyler, Fergie, Pat Benatar, Alice Cooper and Tommy Lee don't take out the garbage or change their kids' dirty diapers.
They do.
I've met many celebrities in my day because of my brush with show biz and when rock stars take off their makeup and leather pants and are faced with a family party with their kids, they are just regular folks. Well, maybe they still look a bit weird with the long black hair, but my point is that Smoke & Mirrors is everything when summoning confidence to perform.

Anyone can think of themselves in the celebrity sense and should if they are called upon to promote, whether it's a one on one pitch or a keynote speech. In the former, you need to exude confidence in your project, forget nerves and present an enthusiastic but professional side of yourself to get through the pitch. For the latter situation, it is helpful to call upon the inner you who loves to speak in front of an audience.
The amazing transformation from nervous Nelly who practically lives in her head most of the day, to a poised celebrity can be achieved by creating an alter-ego, one who recognizes when it's show time and can handle the spotlight.
I tell my clients to think of themselves as a celebrity, like rock stars do when they put on the makeup, chains, leather boots, and all other aspects of a rock star costume that precipitates the transformation. Wear something you wouldn't normally wear as the writer behind the computer screen, look different, act different, take on that persona and own it. Imagine that you are big stuff, have something amazing to say, can change the world of the people listening to you. It's not such a stretch to imagine that. You might be big stuff to someone out there, you can change someone's world with your writing. See?


Now go put on your power suit, grab those embossed business cards and be a Rock Star!







Kim's workshop, Channeling Your Inner Rock Star, is about empowering shy introverts to present their best version of themselves in public.
For information about this workshop, contact Kim at kimhornsby @yahoo.com, or take the 90 minute class at Connecting Writers with Hollywood this week in Spokane Washington.


Find Kim:




Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Author's Pitch Sheet

When pitching to movie people about your book, you have a short time to absolutely WOW them with how great your story will be on the big screen. Then you're gone. You might want to leave them with something to remember you by, like a pitch sheet.

A Pitch Sheet includes the log line and a synopsis of your book. One page is plenty to hand over after a quick pitch, if there is interest or not.

You don't need to tell them everything on the first meeting, just enough to make them realize that your book would make an awesome movie and get them hooked.

A synopsis over four pages in the biz, is called the Treatment. If they ask for a treatment, that is GREAT news.

To fluff up the sheet to pitch pack status, you may also include bios on the main characters, other interesting factors like locations, music etc, and a dream cast of who will star in the movie.

A Treatment -  This is longer than a synopsis and can be between 10-20 pages. There is much confusion in the industry over the length of a treatment but if you are asked to submit one, keep in mind it's a very long synopsis. Many industry pros differ in what they call the Treatment or the Sheet.

If you are lucky enough to talk to a producer, studio head, director, film maker, just realize that your time with them is extremely short and every minute counts. Be concise, relevant and compelling. In your pitch, answer why would they benefit from making this movie?

For most pitchers, you will only need the pitch sheet initially, until the story is optioned. Then you might need the pack.
If you are a screenwriter, they may ask for a Beat Sheet, a bullet point list of scenes.

Here's a good blog about terminology from the guy who wrote Sweet Home Alabama:


A log line is the one to two sentence summary of your story.
Use action words and powerful writing!

Who is your main character and what does he want?
Who or what stands in his way?
Why is this story unique?

eg) A young man and woman from different social classes fall in love aboard an ill-fated voyage at sea. (Titanic)
This is an example of a short log line.

eg) An older man is forced to deal with an ambiguous future after he enters retirement and his wife passes away. Ultimately, he finds hope as he comes to terms with his daughter's marriage and his own life.(About Schmidt)
This is a longer one.
Both are acceptable and not especially memorable. How would you rewrite them?

When writing your synopsis, be sure to describe the scenes like you are watching a movie. 
I've included my Pitch Sheet below, but I'm not entirely convinced it's anywhere near perfect. For the one-page version, I leave out the synopsis and only go with the blurb.

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.



Title: The Dream Jumper’s Promise

Adventurous Thriller with Romance and Supernatural Elements, Set on Maui,

Contact Information:
425) 444-xxxx


Log Line

A hardened soldier who once misused his psychic ability to change the future in order to save a girlfriend must set a wrong right by attempting to find her missing husband. Dead or Alive.

Blurb

Jamey Dunn has freakishly accurate intuition and can slip into other people's dreams. On leave from his posting in Afghanistan where he dream jumps for the military, Jamey crosses paths with his lost love, Tina Greene, who's life is in a downward spiral after losing her husband to a surfing accident-- presumably dead without a recovered body. Tina doesn't trust Jamey, after walking out on her ten years ago but when she confesses to having strange recurring dreams of her husband, Jamey reveals his secret and offers to help by entering her dreams.--it's Jamey's fault that Hank is missing. In the dream world and awake, Jamey joins Tina in a search for her husband’s missing body off the Maui coastline in search of an underwater cavern guarded by a Tiger Shark. As Jamey tries to redeem a broken promise to protect the woman he loved from a con man and life of misery, they find the cavern, the body, the shark and a ghost that won't let Tina go.

Inception Meets Romance on Maui

Characters

Tina Greene is a mid-thirties, girl next door type from the upper class of Seattle who owns a dive shop in Lahaina on Maui. With her constant companion, a pit bull mix named Obi Wan, she’s made her mark on the Maui Scuba scene. She’s recently lost her spunk when her new husband went missing and has succumbed to depression. Haunting dreams have Tina convinced she’s going crazy and that her Lahaina shrink is in over her head.

Jamey Dunn is a complicated dude. He has hyper-intuition (telepathy) and can enter people’s dreams—an unpredictable gift of three decades. He’s fit, handsome, fastidious, and has loved Tina from the first moment he saw her ten years earlier and knew he couldn’t have her. On leave from a Sixth Sense unit in Afghanistan where he enters dreams of POW’s, he’s recovering after a debilitating dream jump with a member of al Qaeda.

Noble Santiago is a con man. He grew up in LA’s barrio, and has been pulling cons all his life with his brother. They follow a con job to Maui, it falls flat and they take up with Tina who has priceless inherited paintings. Noble hides in the guise of a hula dancer and lives in a cottage in Tina’s backyard.

Hank (the husband) is Noble’s brother, pulling off cons his whole 40 years. When they end up on Maui and their target goes soft, they see the perfect con. But Hank ends up married, in love with his wife, Tina, and dead.



Locations

Maui – Lahaina Towne, Front Street, the Dive Shop, restaurants, bars,
              Tina’s house, a plantation-style large cottage surrounded by property and palm trees
               Jamey’s condo overlooking Ironwood beach in the windswept area of Kapalua up north
               Dive scenes underwater – Tank Dive, Cavern Dive, Molokini Crater and the dive scene to the dark cave
Molokai – Keanakakai downtown and the Molokai hotel
                    Diving on the Sweeping Molokai Sea Cliffs and underwater off the Kalaupapa Leper Colony
Afghanistan – Flashback of his unit that uses the 6th Sense to interrogate prisoners and withdraw information
                         Dream jump in war-torn Afghanistan


Synopsis

Jamey Dunn bolts upright in bed after a nightmare in which he sliced off a young al Qaeda’s head. After a few deep breaths, Jamey remembers he’s on leave, on Maui and gets out of bed to step in to the shower.
Tina Greene is opening her dive shop for the day in Lahaina, Maui. The charming whaling town is coming to life as the sun rises over the West Maui Mountains. When a policeman enters the store holding a weathered wallet, Tina recognizes it as Hank’s. The cop says they found her missing husband’s wallet at the popular surfing spot, Hobbit Land, a rocky pullout with a trail leading to a favorite wave break. It’s believed that Hank died surfing eight months earlier and assumed the sharks got the body. Tina can’t accept it.
She settles in at desk to tackle her scuba business that’s teetering on bankruptcy and hears a scream in the shop. Bolting in to the store, she sees her shop girl, Katie, hugging a man who turns out to be Katie’s uncle, Jamey. He’s on leave from his posting in Afghanistan and Tina has agreed he can dive free while on Maui. When he turns, she realizes Jamey’s the man who left her without an explanation ten years ago. Tina takes his hand and a jolt passes between them and she passes out.
That night, she dreams of scuba diving with Hank, who turns into a tiger shark. She wakes up wet, clutching a hunk of coral from the dream. She calls her shrink who is treating her for grief and depression. A medication adjustment is suggested. The day passes freakishly quickly and on her way home that night, she pops in to the Honokowai Superette to buy beer and sees Jamey with his wife, the perfect woman Tina always imagined Jamey left her for.
When she wakes the next morning, Tina realizes the pending storm has arrived with palm trees bending sideways in the wind and rain pelting her front yard. She cancels the morning boat dive at her dive shop only to realize that yesterday never happened. She never woke with coral and never saw Jamey at the grocery store. She was still dreaming. Tina ties a ribbon to her dog’s collar to determine dream life from reality, hopes it works, and heads off to see her shrink.
That night she arrives home to find Noble worried about her. He lives in the cottage on her large property and has been her rock during this tragic time. Noble is fond of Tina, protective of her, and together they are trying to pick up the pieces and move on after Hank’s disappearance. He’s been sleeping with her, (platonically,) to get her through the night. But there is interest on Noble’s part.
Tina can’t go near the ocean without seeing Hank’s mangled body below the surface and can’t dive anymore. But the next day her boat captain falls sick and she steps in to drive the boat. Jamey is on board the 8-passenger dive boat and she is plagued by memories of how much she loved Jamey years ago.
That night, she wakes after her recurring diving dream with Hank and finds her nightgown wet, on her floor. She’s unknowingly changed her clothes since going to bed. In fear, she runs to Noble’s cottage and tripping, wakes up in her bed to see her dog, Obi, wearing the ribbon on his collar. She’s had another WILD – Wake Induced Lucid Dream with a false awakening. Insanity looms.
Jamey wakes on high alert. He senses something is wrong and phones his father in Seattle to check on his ten-year-old daughters from a failed marriage. They talk about Jamey healing from brain trauma during an Afghanistan Dream Jump and Pops asks about Jamey’s diminished ability to enter dreams. That morning, Jamey senses Tina is in danger and takes a spot on the morning boat dive.  At Molokini Crater, Tina must replace her sick instructor as the dive leader. Her dreaded hallucination of a mangled Hank with his skin falling off shows itself and has her surfacing quickly. Jamey takes over to lead the divers back to the boat.  
When Jamey corners Tina back in Lahaina, she’s hesitant to divulge anything to Jamey, who she thinks betrayed her ten years earlier. Especially after hearing the heartbreaking news that Jamey married his ex-girlfriend and had twins after promising to return to Maui for a life with her. Like a slap in the face, Jamey’s fatherhood hurts more because Tina and Hank had been trying to have a baby when he disappeared.
The next day, Tina’s dive boat captain is still sick and she asks Jamey to lead the dive on a wrecked sunken tank with experienced divers. On the boat, her feelings for him soften when he makes her laugh.
After the dive, Tina mentions her strange dreams of diving with Hank, and Jamey feels responsible for the mess of Tina’s life. He asks to meet at the Barefoot Bar in Kaanapali, thinking she might be more likely to meet at a bar on the way home from work. where he cautiously reveals his psychic ability and that he can enter dreams. She doesn’t believe either claim until he reveals something only she would know as they walk along a darkened Maui beach with the huge hotels of Kaanapali in the background.
That night, he finds himself in a dream with Tina, as Hank, and is surprised at how much Hank loved his wife. He’d assumed otherwise.
Hank’s broken surfboard turns up and Tina takes it home from the police station. Noble comforts Tina, admitting his growing feelings for her. He suggests they’d make great parents. Things heat up, but Tina is unsure about getting involved with Hank’s best friend, reminding herself she’s vulnerable.
Jamey thinks about his last tragic dream jump in Afghanistan and the secrecy involved, including his pseudonym, Freud. A young al Qaeda member was killed in prison after Jamey’s finding from his last jump and Jamey’s nightmare about the beheading resurfaces.  Flashback to Jamey’s last jump to find a weapons cache in Kandahar where the dreamer somehow knew he was a jumper and tried to kill him in the dream.
Tina’s recurring dream of diving with Hank has her surfacing in the ocean to pinpoint a location. A stony beach and a sheer cliff are seen before she wakes. Skeptical of dream sharing with Jamey, she agrees to give it a try that night. Her parents show up on Maui from Seattle for her birthday and Tina is less than thrilled. The parents are rich, meddlesome, and don’t approve of Maui. Tina drinks too much at dinner and later, at her house, Jamey shows up to dream jump, as planned. Noble takes an immediate disliking to the handsome stranger in Tina’s life and she asks him to leave.
When Tina falls in to a dream, Jamey succeeds in jumping her dream with Hank leading her to a cave. She wakes wet, and worries that Jamey is acting aggressively. She’s still dreaming! Jamey and Tina wake together and Jamey reveals his theory-- Hank is dead and his spirit is still in her bedroom trying to help her find his body. Privately, Jamey wonders whether he has regained his full jumping capabilities or if Tina is now the jumper, entering his dreams.
Tina recalls that she and Hank were happy once. When they met, they flirted at a Lahaina poolside party but Hank was engaged to an art dealer. The engagement was broken and Hank showed up at her dive shop one day. They became a couple and eventually married.
Tina’s parents are driving her crazy, trying to get her to return to Seattle with them for a break. What she needs is to find Hank’s body. She and Jamey take the boat out to look for the dream dive site--the rocky beach from her dream but can’t find the beach.
Jamey has a dream that he and Tina making love in a bed suspended over the ocean, a gorgeously ethereal scene, and when he realizes he’s jumped her dream, he leaves. The next day he and Tina take a small plane to search the coastline of Maui for the stony beach. Tina is livid that Jamey let her make love with him in the dream but Jamey defends himself saying he left the dream. And that it might have been Tina’s dream that he jumped, not his.
They don’t find the dive site by air, but talk about Hank’s past as an art dealer and Tina reveals she owns expensive inherited paintings in air-tight containers in her garage.
Jamey makes headway communicating with Hank in Tina’s empty house, through automatic writing. He’s given a clue that’s difficult to decipher. MO As he searches for clues, Jamey remembers a dream with Tina ten years earlier. She was dancing at her own wedding reception with a skeleton. Having promised his dream-jumping uncle never to interfere with the future, Jamey walked out of Tina’s life knowing she was headed for marriage to another man and ultimately tragedy. It was one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do. Especially when he met Hank years later and intuited his interest in Tina involved a con job.
The parents find Jamey at Tina’s house and order him to leave. It’s Tina’s birthday and Jamey takes her for breakfast on Front Street overlooking the ocean at Longhi’s restaurant. They flirt and enjoy each other’s company. Jamey is funny and Tina almost feels like she did when she first fell in love with Jamey years ago.
Coming home from a strained dinner with her parents, Tina finds a house full of surprise party guests. Jamey wasn’t invited but Noble was, although the parents seem to ignore him. Tina gets tipsy and is put to bed. When Jamey arrives to dream jump at midnight, he finds Noble in bed with Tina. Jamey is concerned but tries to jump Tina’s dream from outside the house only to find that Tina has jumped in to Noble’s sexy dream of them making love.
Jamey helps Tina get out of the dream and she wakes, disoriented. He’s still on the front lawn under her bedroom window, sure Noble drugged her. Tina tells Noble she’d like to sleep alone.
The next morning Tina’s father accompanies her to the shrink to suggest that Tina belongs in Seattle under expert psychiatric care. Meanwhile, at the house, Jamey tries to summon Hank’s ghost, but Tina’s mother arrives and banishes him. 
Jamey suspects that Molokai is the clue he’s channeled from Hank and rents a plane to scour the Molokai coast for the stony beach in the dream. A still groggy Tina vows she’ll come to Seattle for one week but must get her dog situated first. As her parents make plans to take her from Maui, Jamey suspects Tina will be gone for longer than a week if her father gets power of attorney. He hunts for the stony beach. Noble supports the parents in taking Tina “home”.  Mid-afternoon, Jamey finds Tina asleep in her bed and he jumps her dream to see the Molokai coastline he’d just flown over. Noble arrives and Jamey ducks into the closet to hear Noble speak ill of Jamey.
When Noble leaves, Jamey tells Tina about the Molokai dive site and pleads with her to postpone Seattle. Noble returns and a physical fight breaks out between the men. Tina orders them both out of her house and goes for a walk on the beach with her dog to clear her foggy head. Jamey phones to say he’s got a plane waiting to verify it’s Molokai. Her flight leaves soon but she goes with Jamey and finds the dream beach. Under Jamey’s advice, she stays at his place and passes out on his bed with her dog, having taken her prescribed meds for the night. Something is not right and Jamey suspects Noble has been drugging her through her meds.
The next morning, Jamey and Tina take the boat to Molokai, but the S belt breaks in the channel. They eventually drift and paddle in to Kaunakakai and overnight on Molokai while waiting for a part to be flown in. Tina and Jamey feel a reprieve from the heaviness of late. Like a pocket of borrowed time. They eat at a beachside restaurant, dance to a Hawaiian trio and Jamey confesses how, years ago, he saw her future didn’t include him. The dream of her wedding with Hank made him leave her suddenly with no explanation. She’s touched that Jamey did the honorable thing when he found she’d marry another man. He married his ex-girlfriend after finding she was pregnant with their twins.
That night Tina and Jamey fall into bed together on Molokai and make love like they’d never been separated by ten years and two marriages. When they fall off into a dream, Jamey finds himself in the scene of Hank’s death at the picturesque cliffs of Hobbit Land on Maui. In the dream, it’s revealed that Noble and Hank were con artists, brothers, intent on stealing Tina’s paintings, but along the way Hank’s feelings for Tina turned into something more and he wanted out of the con to stay with Tina. When Noble refused, they fought and Hank fell to his death on the rocks below the cliff. Noble threw his brother’s body and surf board in the surging ocean, hoping it would look like a surfing accident.
Tina and Jamey wake from the shared dream finally knowing how Hank died. On their way to find Hank’s body, Jamey phones to ask Katie, the shop girl if she has seen Noble. He plans alert the police to Noble’s guilt in Hank’s death. But Katie says that Noble is dead. He shot himself months ago in Tina’s cottage. She warns Jamey not to speak to Tina of Noble. She’s under the care of a psychiatrist to work out her denial of Noble’s suicide.
Jamey is shocked. He and Tina have been communicating with a ghost and Tina has blocked out Noble’s death. Jamey keeps this to himself and when they find the dream dive site, the two suit up to dive. The surge is dangerous, also making the dive murky, but they find the cave. Tina sets up a rope pulley to use against the current to get inside the turbulent cave. Once in, she sees Hank’s body blocking the blow hole opening. She panics and tries to exit. But the strong surge prevents an exit. Just as she runs out of air, Jamey pulls himself around the cave’s doorway on the pulley. He only has a few more breaths left but gives his regulator to Tina. A twelve-foot tiger shark, the one from the dream, emerges from the cave’s shadows and as it swims by, Jamey grabs the dorsal fin to get them around the corner. They rush to the surface and gasp for air. The shark is gone.
Police divers are summoned to recover the body. Jamey will stay, and Tina will return to the Molokai hotel to wait for him. But she reroutes the police helicopter to Maui where Noble is waiting for her. A confrontation has him apologizing for the con, saying he wasn’t sure if he was dead or alive and begging Tina to come with him to the afterlife, like Hank did to him. After telling Noble no, she forgives him for everything, and Noble’s image fades to nothing.
Jamey frantically arrives at her house thinking Noble might have killed her but she’s waiting for him, having just called her mother who admitted to using sedatives to make Tina compliant to leaving Maui. Tina is glad to see Jamey, though in shock. She has heard Hank’s voice on the television, telling her he loves her. She tells Jamey she believes Hank has moved on. He agrees Hank spoke through electronic voice phenomena.
Jamey knows he must bury the secret that he wrote her parents anonymously to out Hank’s criminal history, a year ago. He’d just met Hank on Maui and sensed he would take Tina’s money. He can’t tell her it was his letter to Tina’s parents that ruined her marriage.
Tina and Jamey make love and finally fall asleep. He dreams of them on a beach with a child. Their child. He wakes to rest his hand on her tummy and senses life growing within her.




Thursday, April 20, 2017

Page to Screen - Pitching Tips for Book to Movie

Are you an author? A screenwriter? Have you ever pitched your work to a producer or a studio in hopes of seeing your book on the big screen?

Now you can.
In Spokane, Washington. The link to Connecting Writers with Hollywood is at the end of this blog, if you think you have something that would adapt well.

I've written blogs and magazine articles on my experiences pitching to producers, studio heads, screenwriters etc but today I want to offer something more hands-on, practical, to anyone who is headed somewhere with the intention of pitching their book to anyone who might adapt it to a big screen (or a little screen!)

First, remember that you have a product to sell and you're not taking up someone's time if their job is to acquire material (product) for their company. You don't need to feel beholden to the person you pitch to. They are looking for people like you and should be eager to listen to your pitch.






Do your homework. Prepare until you are sick of the sound of your own self-promoty voice.
Here are some questions that will help you prepare your pitch so that you come off as the confident sales person you are.

Book or Screenplay?:
Title:
Genre: (High Action War Movie. Romantic Comedy, Dystopian Young Adult etc)
Logline: (One sentence crux of your story- see below blog)
Short Pitch (in about 200 impact-filled words - Each section must drive the action and build the suspense of what’s coming next. The conclusion should be tight and must tie up all loose ends.)
Why will your project make an AMAZING movie?
-Location/Setting (See your setting through a movie camera lens)
-Story line (Touch on Goal, Motivation, Conflict)
-Action (make a list of all the action scenes in your story)
-Characters (Make them come to life in description)
What is the Essence of your story? (Describe the soul of the book in one sentence)
What actors could play the leads (Use well-known, current, successful, popular in that genre stereotypes, not your favorite, little-known actor who usually doesn't play this type of role)
Film or TV Series (Imagine how your project would look as a Feature Film, an Indie Film, or on an HBO limited series, or a sit-com on Network TV)
LOGLINES: Very important! Take time to write a great one. 
WHO?
GOAL?
OBSTACLE?
If it doesn't take you at least an hour to write the perfect logline for the movie of the adaptation, go back to fine-tune it. A meandering log line or pitch suggests a poorly written story.
Here are example log lines from movies:
A Pennsylvania steel-town ambitious and hot headed high school coach tries to spoil a football hero’s scholarship dream. 
A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.
A team of explorers travel through a wormhole in space in an attempt to ensure humanity's survival.  
An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more. 
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.
 A writer and wall street trader, Nick, finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby.
   __________________________________________________________________________
Now go write a log line.
Just before you pitch, gather all the enthusiasm you can muster (think of the time someone asked you if you love your newborn baby) and pitch like this is the best idea EVER and the person in front of you will benefit greatly from your genius. Pretend you are telling a campfire story, not rattling off sentences.
You only get one chance to pitch and then it's GONE!
Join us in Spokane!
Connecting Writers with Hollywood - Spokane Washington, May 25 - 27th
www.cwwh2016.com
(Don't be fooled by 2016 - This is the site for the 2017 Conference where I'll be teaching on the Thursday afternoon - just before Chuck Palahniuk, who wrote The Fight Club!)

Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Keywords Are Key!

Are you published on KDP? 

I am, and have often wondered about keywords. Fretted is a better verb. 

How important are they? What do I choose to lead people to my book? If I use the absolute best keywords possible, will I shoot to super-stardom in the author world? 

Recently, I got one of those helpful, informative emails from Amazon Publishing and clicked on a few links only to discover that I could be using my keyword feature more effectively. Take a look at what they say below. I've highlighted the passages I found MOST helpful.


Best practices with keywords

Combine keywords in the most logical order. Customers will search for military science fiction, but probably not for fiction science military. 

Use up to seven keywords or short phrases. Keep an eye on the character limit in the text field. 

Experiment. Before you publish, search for your book's title and keywords on Amazon. If you get irrelevant results, or results you dislike, consider making some changes—your book will ultimately appear among similar results. When you search, look at the suggestions that appear in the Search field drop down.

Think like your customer. Think about how you would search for your book if you were a customer, and ask others to suggest keywords they would use.


Useful keyword types

  • Setting (Colonial America)
  • Character types (single dad, veteran)
  • Character roles (strong female lead)
  • Plot themes (coming of age, forgiveness)
  • Story tone (dystopian, feel-good)
For suggestions on search keywords based on browse category, read more here.



Do NOT include the following in keywords

  • Information covered elsewhere in your book's metadata—title, contributor(s)
  • Subjective claims about quality (e.g. "best")
  • Statements that are only temporarily true ("new," "on sale," "available now")
  • Information common to most items in the category ("book")
  • Common misspellings
  • Variants of spacing, punctuation, capitalization, and pluralization (both "80GB" and "80 GB", "computer" and "computers", etc.). The only exception is for words translated in more than one way, like "Mao Zedong" and "Mao Tse-tung," or "Hanukkah" and "Chanukah."
  • Anything misrepresentative, such as the name of an author that is not associated with your book. This type of information can create a confusing customer experience and Kindle Direct Publishing has a zero tolerance policy for metadata that is meant to advertise, promote, or mislead.
  • Quotation marks in search terms: Single words work better than phrases—and specific words work better than general words. If you enter "complex suspenseful whodunit," only people who type all of those words will find your book. You'll get better results if you enter this: complex suspenseful whodunit. Customers can search on any of those words and find your book.
  • Amazon program names, such as "Kindle Unlimited" or "KDP Select"
Note: This list is not exhaustive and all keywords must comply with our Terms and Conditions.


Other metadata tips

  • Customers are more likely to skim past long titles (over 60 characters)
  • Focus your book's description on the book's content
  • Your keywords can capture useful, relevant information that won't fit in your title and description (setting, character, plot, theme, etc.)
  • You can change keywords and descriptions as often as you like
  • If your book is available in different formats (physical, audio) keep your keywords and description consistent across formats
  • Suspense Crime, Supernatural Suspense
  • Make sure your book's metadata adheres to KDP's Metadata Guidelines















Good Luck Authors! And now I'm going to select the keywords for this blog...








Kim Hornsby is the Author of Award-Winning The Dream Jumper's Promise available on Amazon Books. She is a Bestselling Supernatural Suspense Author who lives in the Seattle area where she writes during the rainy months.