Sunday, October 8, 2017

Bouchercon 2017 - Speaking & Ghost Hunting

Bouchercon is The World Mystery Conference for writers and readers held every year in a new venue. Last year it was New Orleans, this year it is Toronto, Canada and takes place October 12th to 15th, eh?

I'm going!

For several reasons:

1. I like Canada
2. I can visit my sister in Toronto
3. I need to get out of my messy house
4. I want to be surrounded by mystery/suspense writers

I was accepted to speak on a panel Saturday October 14th at 2:30 called Fraught with Romance along with Heather Graham (!) and before that hour, I intend to soak up all the information about mystery writing I possibly can. I love mystery, love to write mystery, and love to read mystery, so this won't be a bad thing at all.
I also have an important meeting on Thursday in Toronto that I can't tell you about for another week. We'll see how the meeting goes, then I can reveal what it was. Let's just say it has to do with my new career as the producer of a movie. A movie that is the adaptation of my bestseller seen to the right here...

I'm headed to TO early, to spend Thanksgiving with my sister, will write on Tuesday and Wednesday to finish my Christmas Romance that goes into my newly published-for-presale box set Romancing the Holidays. 
Then Thursday, I'll hit the subway, head to the Sheraton Center with a box full of books and attend workshops. Insert important meeting here at 3 pm.
Thursday night, I'm thinking of going to U of T for Hart Hanson's event for his hit crime novel --The Driver. The talk is called Scribbling for a Living. I loved the book, and Hart is a great speaker, having loads of interesting things to say as the show runner/creator of the TV show Bones.

Ghost hunting in Seattle
Friday, back to the Sheraton Center to soak up anything that's leaking.
Saturday is my big day back at the conference, including the talk at 2:30 and a book signing after. I'm not sure I have any Canadian fans but I'll be there with a pen in hand.
That night, I'm signed up for the ghost walk tour and I'm excited about that! You know I love that stuff. I'll report back if I get any taps on the shoulders. Or feel an entity enter my body.

Things to remember in Canada:

16 degrees is 60 F
Loonies are dollars, Twoonies are two dollars. The Canadian dollar is worth only .80 US so yes, have that extra drink, buy a T shirt.
Be extra polite. They will be.
Toronto is NOT the country's capital but still pretty cool.
Asking for a toilet or bathroom? Say washroom.

If you're going to Bouchercon2017, have fun and be sure if you see and recognize me, come up and say hi. I look like this:

KIM HORNSBY is a Canadian who now lives in Seattle, writing Suspense and Romance. Find her on Amazon at her Author Site and read how she once opened shows for Jamie Foxx and The Smother's Brothers.
While there, consider supporting by buying Romancing the Holidays.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Dancing With The Stars- Armchair Dance Judge!

I used to mourn the absence of The Bachelor and curse the beginning of Dancing With the Stars but I've done a flip lately. I'm not sure what that says about me maturing or growing into being a dance fan, but when DWTS began last night, I was jubilant.
Continue if you don't care that I got the names wrong on this first night of figuring out who is who.

I hadn't really researched the lineup ahead of time so was surprised to see Debbie Gibson from the 80's, the guy from Hamilton, the Lachey's (being treated like one person,) and that tiny gal with the violin who my teenage daughter watches on YouTube.

I'm going to love this season, I know.

Cheryl Burke is back and being punished for some reason.
Vanessa Lachey and Maks
Last night they scored her partner (one of the only guys with dance chops) Terrell Owens really low and as we sat sipping our chardonnay, my hubby and I wondered WTF. He's good. Granted, he went first but come on Len, Carrie Ann and Bruno! Next week, he'll earn at least a 7 or 8, I'm sure.
Did anyone notice that Barbara Cocoran of Shark Tank, sounded like she was trying to deflect lack of dance talent with cougar fun? Too much. She did what women have been fighting against for years. She objectified someone to gain favor. She went for her pro, Keeto, as a sexy object. BC did everything but take him down in the missionary reverse right there on the dance floor in a display of horny promo. Tone it down, Babs. Please. No deal to you.
Nick Lachey was in the boy band that couldn't dance, he said, and it kind of showed, but time will tell. He's funny and fun and might stick around long enough, just to see his wife, Vanessa Lachey go to the finals because she's that good and a proud MAMA of 3 children!

Lindsey Stirling, the elfish violinist who tours and dances and wears crazy costumes and hair, was a delight to watch as well. Matched with the returning genius of Mark Ballas, she's destined to go far.
Victoria Arlen and Val
I loved watching the gal who was basically in a vegetative state for years, came out of it and ended in a wheelchair for many more years and now walks. Not only walks but she's on DWTS! Victoria Arlen will be a fan fav for sure. I love these stories of determination and so do the producers on this show. Watch Victoria Arlen.
Can't wait to see what next week brings! Nikki Bella, Derek Fisher, Terrell Owens, Debbie Gibson, Frankie Muniz, Drew Scott, Sasha Pieterse and more!
I can't critique everyone but as people get eliminated, this armchair dance judge and her hubby will be able to keep up.

Go here for real names and info on last night's show.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

What to do on Maui!

Maui - NO KA OI (Is the Best)

Me and kids at Hyatt with flamingos
Having lived on Maui for over a decade, I often get asked to recommend hotels, beaches, restaurants. Although the restaurants change every few years, the beaches do not. I try my best to keep up on the changes by visiting yearly :)

Here are some tips for Maui, if you’re planning a vaca to the Valley Isle this winter.
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen.

When you get off the plane and get your car, consider going to Costco on the left if you’ll be making meals in a condo. It’s cheaper than Safeway on the West side.
Kmart is also a great stop for beach shoes, towels, snacks and snorkel stuff too.
We always make these two stops to load up.

Whale Season is January to March, not usually before or after, no matter what is said. Whale watches are usually successful. They are out there jumping, breeding, birthing but you can catch awesome glimpses of them from the Pali (cliffs) on the drive from the airport to the west side of Maui. Just don’t stop all traffic trying to turn left on that twisty road. Another great place to view whales is on the far north side of the island before the road gets treacherous to navigate.

Beaches for young kids

Westside Baby Beach – Lahaina  - Off north front St. is beach access (look for the blue sign) near “Jesus Coming Soon” Sign. Park on street and walk in to a sheltered long, beach facing Lanai.  Very calm, shallow with nice view of Lahaina harbor and Lanai.  Not good snorkeling but at high tide it’s possible. No toilets or tables but there is a shower.  All beaches in Hawaii are public and must have access. This is a great map of the west side.

Baby Beach – Sprecklesville – near Kahului Airport.  Take road to Paia/Hana but just before Paia turn left before big, modern sub-division.  This will be after turn to go up Haleakala.  Drive down road towards ocean and turn right to parking behind beach.  The beach is in front of Maui Golf and Country Club and parking is a bit tricky to find but it’s a good secluded beach for kids if the wind is blowing off shore.  There is a natural jetty that protects the shoreline from waves.

Wailea beaches are good too on most winter days.  Try next to the Intercontinental Hotel where there is a public beach access sign and excellent parking. Good snorkeling in there and restrooms. (I once took a young woman scuba diving there who had no use of her arms and legs!  It was tricky but rewarding!)

Kapalua Bay
Kapalua Bay has a lovely little beach but you must get there before noon to get parking. The access is north of the Napili Kai Beach club. Good parking and restrooms.  The best snorkeling is on the right side of the protected bay, just as the rocks start to disappear on the surface. Experienced snorkelers will love going around point to the north in amongst the rocks.  It’s a long way but gorgeous if the visibility is good. Turtles hang in here.

Airport Beach, north of Kaanapali is now called something Hawaiian but it has great parking, rest rooms, showers and a good enough stretch of coral parallel to shore to snorkel. Just north of Black Rock, across from the Sugar Cane train station, turn towards the ocean. This beach can have surf but on a calm day it’s wonderful.

Black Rock is wonderful because of the sea turtles who seem to hang there daily. If the surf is crashing in on Kaanapali Beach in front of the Sheraton, don’t bother.
Try parking at the 12 free spots just north of the valet parking for Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

Olowalu Stop for Goodies
Mile 14 marker at Olowalu can be very good snorkeling although the beach is close to the highway.
Tide differences in Hawaii are only 2-3 feet so low tide isn’t really an issue.

Restaurants – These change with the seasons but we like the Hula Grill on Kaanapali Beach at Whalers Village (lots of paid parking).  The kids can play in the grassy area if you get a table on the edge.  The Barefoot Bar next door has a sand floor which is fun too and you can get good pu pus (appetizers) there.  Sunset is visible and they have live music. We used to let our young son play with his trucks under the table while we listened to music.

Go to Kaanapali Beach Hotel for a drink and appetizers. The hula show at 7 is free and super fun. Friday night is kids’ hula. Very cute to watch. This hotel is a wonderful throw back to the old Hawaiian style. Love it. The restaurant is very good too.

Hailiimaille General Store if you are over near Kahalui or Sprecklesville at lunch.  It’s out of the way but renowned and a fun, funky place. If you’re over on that side go watch the surfers past Paia .

Cheeseburger in Paradise with once teenage son
Avoid Front Street for meals if you can – it’s really pricey.  Although Cheeseburger in Paradise is fun if you don’t mind paying $12 for a burger.  Longhi’s is world famous for pasta. I like Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina or Mala, next door. Also Cezanne's.
Hard Rock Café or Bubba Gumps is good for kids at the north end of Lahaina at Front St.

Thai restaurants on Maui are good too. I like Siam Thai Cuisine in Wailuku if you’re over there at the Iao Valley.  I like the walk around the Iao Needle.  It shows you the true Hawaiian foliage and jungle feel of the islands.  Wailuku is most like old Hawaii and the Iao Theatre is a fabulous old theatre featuring plays, on Market street.

Makawao Malasadas
If you’re in Makawao or upcountry at lunch or dinner  Poli’s Mexican is great food and kid friendly.  Makawao is a cowboy/ artsy town with lots of art in galleries.
Kihei has a Poli’s too - at Sugar Beach (north Kihei).

For finer dining and a real treat we love the Plantation House Restaurant on the Kapalua Golf Course – go at sunset.  Food is exceptional and kids are welcome.
Drinks at the Grand Wailea in Kihei, The Ritz in Kapalua, or The Hyatt Hotel is fun.
The Hyatt pool is fabulous for kids and adults!! Take the kids to see the penguins and flamingos and let them swim in the kiddie pool while you have a Mai Tai. Parking at the back of the hotel is free.

Parasailing just off Kaanapali Beach in front of Leilani’s at Whaler’s Village is great.  It’s a happy face parachute.  Not scary at all. They have a tandem set up so you can go with your child.

I think Condos are essential with kids
Look online for deals
We like Lahaina side because that’s where I lived.  The weather can be nicer, depending on time of year. 
North of Lahaina (Kaanapali to Kapalua) April-October sunny and nice but rainy in winter.  Recently I’ve stayed at Maui Eldorado which I found online somewhere.  We stayed in a beautiful 1 bedroom looking at one of the 3 pools and facing the ocean.  You have to walk through the golf course to get to Whalers village and the beach but we loved it and the price was right.
Napili is kind of secluded and too far away from stuff we like to do but cooler for sleeping and more quiet than anything in Lahaina.
Kihei is the other tourist side - down south and has lots of good condos. Families love Kihei for the beaches.  
Kamaole Sands condos are clean and nicely appointed.  Few are actually on the ocean side of the road.  You’ll go to the beach every day and be out in the car anyhow so ocean view may not be essential.
A rental car is absolutely necessary.  Public transportation is poor at best.
If you’re staying in Kaanapali at one of the large hotels, there is a nice boardwalk along the beach connecting to Whaler’s Village.

Sharks – There are VERY few shark attacks in the Hawaiian islands. The water is very safe. That said, stay out of murky surf at sunset, just in case. If you find yourself eye to eye with a shark, feel free to hook the eyes and dig. 

Do an introductory scuba dive while there.  Off a boat is more fun, easier and cost effective than from a beach. You'll see so much and have a wonderful time.

Souvenirs at Hilo Hatties or ABC stores. Cheaper.

The Road to Hana
The trip to Hana is fantastic but difficult with small children because of the long drive.  It’s very winding and twisty and car sicky.  There are lots of pullouts and waterfalls to look at along the way.  Start very early and zoom on through or be prepared to be on a long string of cars trying to get to Hana. Visit the general store while in Hana. George Harrison used to live a few miles down the road. If you save the sightseeing for the way home, you’ll beat everyone else. 
Go the extra few miles to Oheo Gulch or Seven Sacred Pools and if you have time I highly recommend the hike up to the waterfall through the bamboo forest.  The black sand beach is interesting at the Black Sand Beach Park with a nice walk along the cliffs.
Don’t drive the southerly back way to Kihei even though it looks shorter. It’s not. The road is very bad and a rental car company will not come if you have a breakdown.

If you love to hike –Haleakala Crater is wonderful!  Try to get as far as you can into the crater so you can really experience the desolation inside.  Sturdy shoes necessary as well as warm clothes.  Two months before going, enter your name in the monthly lottery to get a cabin (very, very rustic) in the crater.  There are 3 cabins in the crater that hold about 12 people on bunks and are found through the park service. Sleeping bag necessary.

The Ocean Center in Maalaea is a good rainy day activity with kids.

While on Maui, read THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE. 
It's a mystery suspense novel, set on the West Side of Maui and is scheduled to begin shooting for the film version in 2018.
Find it here on Amazon

Have fun and try not to do too much while on Maui. Relaxing is as important as seeing everything.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Interview with Jamey Dunn

Jamey Dunn is a character from my Dream Jumper Series, someone I find infinitely interesting. He lives in my head, yes, but sometimes I'm surprised by what he comes up with. Sometimes I don't consciously give him the answers to questions. Jamey made his first appearance in book 1 of the series...

The Dream Jumper's Promise

A Husband Goes Missing, An Old Boyfriend Surfaces, The Dreams Begin... 

Tina Green's husband is presumed dead from a Maui surfing accident and now she's being haunted by otherwordly dreams. When former boyfriend, Jamey Dunn, turns up at her Lahaina dive shop and offers to help,she can't believe his preposterous claim -- he can enter dreams. As James deciphers her dreams, the mystery unravels for Jamey, Tina, and her best friend, Noble. But secrets, lies, and heartbreak rise to the ugly surface and soon we realize that no one is entirely who they seem. One person is an impostor, one, a traitor and one is flirting with insanity.

Jamey Dunn Interview (conducted just before the book begins)

Tell us a bit about who you are. 

My name is Jamey Dunn. I’m a former Seattle cop and current Special Forces American soldier, stationed in Afghanistan, now on extended leave. I can’t tell you what I do over there and I know people joke about saying because then I’d have to kill you, but in my case it’s almost true. If you knew there’d be hell to pay on my end and maybe some deprogramming from a guy called Milton, so let’s just leave it at that. Moving on.

Where were you raised? 

I was born and raised in Carnation, Washington, a small town on the Tolt River east of Seattle. It’s really pretty there with snow-capped mountains in the distance on a clear day. Mostly farming. Lots of red barns, miles of crops, winding roads, friendly people. I lived in the same house my whole life and my Pops still lives there on the river on ten acres. It’s kind of a rundown house now but when anyone drives up they’re invited inside for a cup of coffee at our big kitchen table. Pops will chew your ear off with questions about yourself. (smiles) He might even get out the Scrabble board so don’t go inside if you don’t have time for a visit.

Family members? 

I have a younger sister, Jenny, who is a great mom and accountant, and two older brothers. Gavin works for Microsoft and Robert lives in San Francisco and is married to a lawyer. He’s a stay at home dad. Pops, is seventy and raised us four kids after my mom walked out on us when I was five and Jenny was two. Pops is the backbone of the family and all that we are is because of him. We grew up swimming in the river behind the house, making forts with wood that drifted in to our beach and running wild all over the town. It was a great life. Poor Jenny with us older brothers. She turned out tough. Married a really wimpy guy and she bosses him around like nobody’s business.

Did you attend college? 

I tried. See I have this ability to read people way beyond what others can do. I call it hyper-intuition. I’m different. My life has been a wild ride trying to deal with knowing what people are going to say before they say it. Same with school. I knew test answers, most times, before I thought about what the question meant. I dropped out of college after one semester and went to the Seattle Police Academy where I thought my ‘gift’ would be put to better use than if I became a communications major. It was a good place to land for a long time.

Are you athletic? 

Well (laughs) I guess you could say I’m athletic. When I’m over in the Sandbox I train obsessively in the gym because it’s good to be in shape and there's not much else to do while waiting for a mission. But, I could never really play team sports for the same reason college didn’t work. I had this unfair advantage of knowing what was going to happen half the time. It isn’t exact, but still. It was a matter of ethics. Even when I was decorated as a policeman, I felt shitty, like I’d used skills other people didn’t have. Back to athletics--I like to challenge myself, work on personal best times. It takes the place of sex. (laughs) Not many dating prospects in Afghanistan.

Did you always want to be a cop?

No. I had dreams of wanting to be an astronaut and stuff but you have to remember that I had this intuition and these visions early. Since I was five, I guess. Five or six. And it was scary. I always knew I was different. My Uncle Don had it too and he was a cop, so by the time I was a teenager, I thought I’d follow in his footsteps. And before you ask if I’d always wanted to be a soldier, I never wanted to be a soldier. I still don’t. They drafted me sort of forcibly if you can call guilt forcibly. They have me by the short hairs to work for them. After my divorce it seemed like I should do something with my life rather than hang around Carnation and stare at my ex-wife and daughters, so I put everything I had into finding…Hey, tricky! I almost told you what I do over there in Afghanistan. You are very good, you know that. And I don’t mind telling you that I see a chunk of money coming your way in the next year. See how handy that intuition is? I’m like a walking fortune cookie. (laughs)

Tell us about Tina, your former girlfriend? 

I'm going to have to plead the 5th on that one. Her life is private and it's kind of painful for me to talk about her. I made a huge mistake and lost her. But, I'm told you can pick up a copy of The Dream Jumper's Promise and get the full skinny on what I did and how I tried to correct my mistake.

If you had one thing to tell your twenty-year-old self, what would it be? 

Don't worry so much. You won't be alone forever.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Screenwriting Soul-Sucking Coverage

I took up screenwriting this summer and in my typical "I Can Do Anything I Set My Mind To" optimism, I ended up with what I believed to be a pretty good script!
I was the author of the book, I knew the characters better than anyone having lived with them in my head for about seven years, and I knew the critical plot points like no one's business.
Granted, it was just a spec script, not a REAL script, but still, I was happy with the final result and was patting myself on the back by the first week of August for a job well done.

I had my agent read it, she had some suggestions, I re-worked it and in the meantime, I had a friend read who knows scripts. She had a good idea and I reworked it again. Easy fix!
I sent the script to two screenwriter friends who've studied the fine art for years, one who's had a  movie on the Lifetime Channel, and more suggestions were made. I deftly incorporated their ideas into the script. Then I gave it to my dear friend and Editor Extraordinaire, Christine, who is known as the Editor Devil. The critique she gave was fantastic, mostly praising the script, but suggesting a few small changes to make the thing read better for prospective actors etc. Stronger verbs, take out weak words etc. Love her brain!
Then, on the advice of a screenwriter, I sent the screenplay off for coverage to a reputable company that was having a mid-summer sale. I wanted a script doctor to give me an honest opinion of the marketability of the script. This place has a check list they use to determine if a script works so I was confident that I'd at least get my $100 worth with that checklist.
I paid extra for expedited service and waited.
The coverage came back exactly 3 days later as promised and was somewhat brutal. How can something be somewhat brutal, you ask? The checklist was completed but the comments were harsh.
Here's the deal: I know this is a strange concept, (dream entering) a difficult paranormal ability but dreams have to be the main focus of the story.
The woman who critiqued the merit of the screenplay had Googled me and the book and basically told me to keep it a book. Her wording was harsh. She said it didn't work as a screenplay. I hadn't told her that it was an adaptation but maybe in her confusion about dream jumping she looked me up and saw that The Dream Jumper's Promise was a book. And a successful one, at that.I Googled her to better understand how much credibility to give her opinions.
Her advice was taken with a grain of salt. She called my protag a pill-popping alcoholic who she did not like. I understand there are people who don't realize that lots of women take anti-depressants and still drink alcohol. Yes, Tina does that. She's in crisis.
Over the next few days, I whittled down her insults and confusion and made some changes to the script but didn't follow what she said is a Hollywood rule to not include flashbacks (unless they involve the protagonist) and dreams. If there is some such rule, try to tell Slumdog Millionaire, or Casablanca. And no dreams, she said, or at least take out most of them.
The Dream Jumper's Promise is about a guy who can enter dreams and uses them to solve a mystery. Yes, the woman, Tina, is the protagonist and it's her journey we follow, but Jamey is an integral part of the story and the dreams are characters themselves. The flashbacks are absolutely essential for us to understand him.
After getting out of the fetal position, I realized that this script will appeal to people who understood Inception, loved The Time Traveler's Wife, were intrigued by Momento. The story is not a cakewalk and I wrote it that way purposely. I want the reader/audience to be kept in a state of confusion.
I did a few minor changes on the script, things I felt were solid advice and not an opinion, and sent off what I'm hoping is the final script edits before a real screenwriter takes the thing and turns it into Academy Award Winning material. The coverage lady said I'm not a screenwriter and the script reads like a novel. (I'd purposely added description on the advice of everyone who read it!)
I never intended to be the final writer on this story for film. Never! I want someone great to be hired. Then they will read the book and write their vision of what would make a fantastic film script.
As you've realized by now (if you're still reading) I needed to vent. It's now a week since I went into the fetal position (metaphorically) and I see the coverage for what it was. I did get $100 out of what I got back and even if I don't take her up on fixing the screenplay for a fee, I found a place for her words (harsh though they were) in my brain.
Somewhere in there was a lesson and I hope I absorbed it.
The coverage gave the script a PASS which I took to mean that she gave it a passing grade (Yipee- but so not true) and she said I'd never get a producer to read past the first page.
The irony is that the books are optioned and filming begins next year. Lucky me.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

My Dream HAS Come True!

I'm trying to be really professional this week, displaying just the right amount of excitement but it's difficult to contain my enthusiasm.

My novel, THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE, is optioned for film.

That means a film production company has paid me money and signed a contract to reserve the book (all three in the series, actually) for a set amount of time while they prepare to begin pre-production to make the first book into a feature film.
This is a dream come true. I've been working on getting this story to a big screen for over a year and now it looks very good.

There is no doubt in my mind that the company who optioned my books will go into pre-production with this project in the next months. They are very serious about making this film. I know this because when I first met the president of the company in May, she'd just finished reading the first book and was a HUGE fan.

Luckily, at the time, I had no idea who she was and promptly gave her the next two books, thinking she was simply a reader fan. She read the second one in the next two days and we talked about Jamey and Tina and their struggle to get back to each other and Jamey's gift of entering dreams, which ruins his life sometimes. We were simply having a reader/writer conversation about my book. I was at an exclusive conference in Spokane Washington called Connecting Writers with Hollywood, hobnobbing with Hollywood people who'd flown in to teach, connect with prospective clients and listen to pitches. I'd arrived knowing my manager, JD wanted me to meet someone and was hoping to drum up some interest in my book series, not realizing the drum had sounded, someone answered the call and I was talking to her as I answered questions about the first book.

On the recommendation of J D deWitt, who represents this series and introduced me to the film people (and happens to run the conference-- CWWH), I came home and proceeded to write the screenplay for the first book and was glad I'd taken classes in screen writing AND had a friend who's a produced screenwriter with advice and how-to books! Of course, I had to go to Maui to write on my friend, Lynn's, deck for my inspiration. I wrote the spec screenplay, came home to work on polishing it and finally submitted it to JD and some others who know more than I do about screenwriting.

Cut to mid-July, the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association Conference in Spokane Washington, and the president/producer flew in with JD specifically to talk with me. Over margaritas and enchiladas we discussed the books, what was my fondest wish if it went to the big screen, and all three of us agreed it would best translate to a feature film, not a Netflix series to be watched on a phone. The scenery is too lush, too visual to be reduced that way.

We were on the same page, and I left that dinner knowing the producer would honor the story I'd written and wanted to make a gorgeous, compelling film. I can't tell you the particulars of how I know this without betraying private conversations but if you believe in amazing connections between women, you'll understand my confidence that I can trust this woman even though she is a business woman first. I know she won't change my characters drastically, or the location, or the story line.
At that dinner meeting, JD listened, added her ideas, directed the business conversation and represented my books like the pro she is. I'm in awe of this process, and her, and how it all came about like three ends of a rope coming together to form a beautiful knot.

We had a verbal agreement. Cut to the last days of July when the contract came through, honoring everything we talked about, giving me everything I ever dreamed of for this book and dispelling all doubts I had about handing over my baby to these people. With a few tweaks, the contract was signed and now I am an author with a book optioned by an Indie Film Company.

5 X 5 Media is best known for reality TV like Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Fashion Star, and The Rock's Wakeup Call as well as a TNT weekly tv show with Dwayne Johnson, The Hero. They always planned to head into film production for features and now they will, with my book.
This project was not taken to the studios like Sony, Paramount, Universal etc by 5 X 5 because of the possibility it might be optioned and never made, taking a place on some shelf like hundreds of other possible screenplays that mega studios had optioned, paid money for, and let fall by the wayside. THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE does not need $20 million but only a few million because there are no huge crowd scenes, no special effects, no location changes. The whole story takes place on Maui except for some flashback scenes of Kandahar, Afghanistan that can be done on a set. Having an Indie Film Company at the helm would insure the story stayed true, the film got made and the people who believe in this story, will be in the driver's seat.

In the next year, I hope to learn a hell of a lot about this process, if they let me. I've made a good case why they should at least let me lurk, having been a scuba instructor on Maui and having a direct link to movie people in Hawaii because of my entertainment connections. Regardless, I plan to document this process every step of the way on this blog so if you want to keep up to date on the making of the film, I suggest you follow my blog at the very least. Look to the right to the follow button.

Here's my social media info too where I very actively announce everything:

Monthly Newsletter Signup - Free stuff, Announcements and Recipes!   NEWSLETTER
And if you're interested in checking out the little book that is in the Development Stage of a Feature Film (I'm capitalizing everything that sounds cool!) pick up a copy of THE DREAM JUMPER'S PROMISE here for only .99 this month.
In September the price goes up.

Kim's Amazon Page

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, August 1, 2017

The Men Agreed to Play a Gentleman's Game

Last night on The Bachelorette's, The Men Tell All, we got a glimpse in to a fine looking group of men who were competing for the same woman on National TV, but that didn't deter them from remembering their manners.

Early on in the season of competing for Rachel's attentions, apparently, they agreed to play a gentleman's game with respect to each other. Not get nasty.
How cool is that? This group of bachelors was the most articulate, honorable, respectful group I think I've ever seen on Men Tell All, and I've seen pretty much every episode since the beginning.
In the group, there was one man who did not play a gentleman's game. He chose the low road, baiting one man to distraction, making his experience miserable and causing The Bachelorette, Rachel, to doubt both men. It was a shame that Lee ruined the game for Kenny and we knew that if Lee showed up to Men Tell All last night, he would get raked across the coals.
He did get raked, from the Bachelor producers and from the men, but with the men it was in a gentlemanly fashion. The men eloquently articulated how Lee played the game dishonestly, they backed Kenny and Lee confessed he lied and cheated to make Kenny look bad. Lee's on-camera interviews made my skin crawl to think that someone was out to ruin another man's chances at love. And Kenny is a father, a single father raising a ten-year-old girl!
In the first half of last night's show, Lee still had that smarmy grin on his face but when Chris Harrison pulled up a sexist tweet and a racist tweet from Lee, a year ago, that grin left Lee's face in a moment of "Oh, shit, this is bad!" We got to see what we think is the real Lee, telling America he learned a lot from this experience and is still learning. Apparently there were two Lee's--the one we got to see in those private interviews and the one that made two friends in the house.
Lee is an aspiring singer/songwriter and we know why those people come on The Bachelorette, don't we? After this display, I'm not sure this villain will get any contracts offered.

Last night's Men Tell All was a bold show and could've gone so sideways when those tweets hit the screen but Lee saw the writing on the wall (literally) and apologized to the men and later to Rachel. He saved his skin and Kenny did the honorable thing by saying on National TV that he did not think Lee's vendetta was race-based then agreed to hug it out with him.

Watching Men Tell All last night was one of the first times I've ever felt enlightened in anything socially important by this show. The men, especially the African American men who talked about race problems and persecution and the NCAA, should be proud of what they did last night to educate the American audience that playing a gentleman's game (in life) is the honorable way to go.
I walked away from The Men Tell All feeling like I'd learned something, I'd witnessed something great on TV, something historical. And that is not easy to say with a show like The Bachelor!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

More Random Tips from PNWA 17

PNWA  Conference -- Part 2

I taught a class at the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association Conference, something I've been jonesing to do for years.
The class was called Survival Kit for Your Virgin Year - Tips for First-Time Authors.

Aside from having to speak in a microphone and stand at a podium (which I find terribly impersonal) it went well. OK, my new retainer thing in my mouth kept making me salivate and was distracting, and then there was that time I sneezed and it almost flew out on the stage, but I tried to rattle off as much info as possible in 90 minutes. People stayed and listened. I promised to send them my free KDP Select manual if they emailed me. Many did and I've sent it out to a bunch of new friends.

Here's the gist of what was said at the talk, for those who missed it:

You've written your book. Now what?

For self-pubbed authors...

1.       Cover-- Must catch the eye, be suitable for the genre, look professional, Kindle Cover Creator works too if you can’t spend money on a professional photo from Stock Photos, Dreamstime etc. Standards must be used to upload a photo. Professional cover creators charge from $100 and up, depending on the cost of photos. Find covers you like and email the author, or tweet message to ask who did the cover.

2.       Formatting-- Have it done professionally if you’re not sure.  Follow standards – 12 point, margins etc. At the beginning of your document, be sure to include Title page, Copyright page, Dedication, and anything else you’d like the reader to see before beginning the story. Remember Epages are free. At the end include Acknowledgements, Referral to web pages etc. Some writers put reader guides for bookclubs, some recipes, photos.

3.       Title – Must be catchy and genre appropriate, Use popular keywords in subtitle to aid in visibility, The title must be larger than your name until you have a readership. Font is important to genre.

4.       Content – Make sure you have a catchy beginning and keep the pace snappy. Imagine a contest submission for the first ten pages, then thirty etc. Use beta readers before you publish and listen to their comments, especially if several have the same criticism, Follow advice on how to write a compelling novel. Writing a good strong story without typos and problems is your best defense against fading into obscurity. Use a pro editor if you can afford one.

5.     Keywords and Categories – Amazon Keywords can make or break a novel, Make sure you have the ones that will put your book in front of readers, Learn how to request a unique category to boost sales.

6.     Promo – Free Days on Select, $0.99 Promos, Kindle Matchbook, Kindle Countdown Deals, Online ads, Some promos and sites are better than others for visibility.

FOR ALL AUTHORS--Self-Pubbed or Traditional

7.       Reviews – Must get reviews right out of the gate. Encourage friends and strangers to write you a brief review. Manage the review section of Amazon by engaging readers. (I thank every reviewer but don't comment on bad reviews!)

8.     Social Media – Pick two and do them well. Facebook has a wealth of groups you can join, use for promo, Photos! Make an Author Page and get likes, Pinterest is up and coming with a large female following, Twitter is a great way to spread the word. Follow back. Brand yourself.

9.     Friends – How to use your friends and family to get the word out without looking like a leech. Refer them to a blog on how to write you an honest review. Tell them you have a goal of 20 reviews by Month’s End. Use friends to find appropriate readers, share on Facebook, Give them a free copy to pass on.

1       Stamina – Pace yourself because you’re in this for the long run, Take short social media breaks, Keep writing, Set a 5 year plan with goals to release new books, Write short stories to promote your novels and give you a break from the full length commitment, Have short stories feed into the more expensive novels. Make them perma free, Accept the disappointments as challenges and keep going.

I have a manual on advertising and where to put money to have successful promotions on Amazon KDP Select. The booklet includes over 50 sites for free and cheap ads when you have a promotion and saves the author over 20 hours of searching for ad sites. email me for the manual and I'll send it.

Random tips

Create a great bio on Amazon's Author Central and link everything to social media
Mail Chimp for author newsletters
Don't include last names in acknowledgements or they may not be able to review
Start a group blog like this
Share readers with other similar writers- band together!
Always ask readers to sign up for your newsletter, collect readers like they are gold!
Have a pro author photo taken
I thank all reviewers bad or good to create engagement on Amazon
Ignore Goodreads reviews because their star system is brutal
Take out ads! Promo the heck out of your book like it's the best read since Harry Potter!!!

Email me for the KDP guide at kim hornsby @ yahoo .com (no spaces)

Go Get'em, Virgin!

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

PNWA 2017 Was Awesome! -Part 1

I just got home from attending the Pacific Northwest Writers' Association Conference in SeaTac this weekend and man, I'm on information overload!
I took in way too much for the size and age of my brain. It may blow up. I'm staying outside just in case things get messy if I explode.

Web page for the Conference

I was not exactly attending the con every day but was helping authors with pitches Thursday night, doing the book fair Friday night, and was officially at the Con all day Saturday beginning with an 8 AM class with beautifully eloquent Laurie McLean of FUSE Literary.

Let's start there, shall we?

Laurie McLean must've been up since 4 AM because she was so awake and spot on, and informative, it made me feel like a front row sloth on NyQuil. I managed to take some strange notes and the following is from my chicken scratch...

- Print is not necessarily on the rise, ebooks rule and are still on the rise.
-Think about marketing towards the phone generation who are getting older and do everything on the phone.
-Audio are still subsidiary rights for authors
-Do something different like alternate endings or a YA version of your thriller, keep current of what can be done for an eBook.
-Do a Goodreads Giveaway for your ebook
-Podcasting is popular now! Get a youtube channel
-Book Baby is like KDP
-Book Scanner has something to do with checking ranking (cryptic notes)
-It is possible an agent will rep an audio book only-kind of a new idea that Laurie might have invented.
-ACX - you can do a royalty flip or one time fee to the narrator
-Do Facebook Live events everywhere you go that's interesting!
-Submit your book to agents who rep book to film deals
-Don't forget merchandising rights to all things connected to your book. eg) create a line of clothes or jams, or toy swords etc
-Word Press looks like a web site but is a blog and it's free
-Follow Bestselling authors who write better than you in your genre and comment on Twitter and FB
-Laurie McLean is a wealth of info, from a tech background as well as literary and says this publishing biz is a revolution that didn't change for decades and now changes drastically every week! Keep up with the changes, author.
Being repped by FUSE must be awesome!

Next, I went to Social Media Marketing with Lisa Dawn of The Wild Rose Press
She knows a ton of stuff and was really well-spoken!

-Social Media most effective Wednesdays and weekends
-Create a community who think you're great and want to be like you
-Have your brand and tag on EVERYTHING
-Have FB cover reveal parties, rafflecopter giveaways, invite co-host authors, give them 15 minutes at the party to talk, promote, ask them to invite 200 followers, Invite people from events you attended. Time your party with your preordering release day
-Twitter parties are frenetic, be ready, create a hashtag, 7-9 Eastern time is best to grab everyone.
-Give away Amazon gift cards, have co-hosts
-Pinterest is a place to find new people you'd never have access to otherwise.
-Make boards for your books
-Pin your covers directly from Amazon, not your jpeg
-Boosting FB ads works great when you customize who will see it
-Have key words in profile to link back to your books
-Posting tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, is content management. Roundteam does auto posting so you can do all your posting one day a week.
-Twitter - Go to to clean out your twitter.
-Post bits of dialogue on Twitter.
-Make memes with Pic Monkey to sneak more info and words in first glance
-Thunderclap an event, launch or do -- one big tweet at once
-Search Engine Optimization- Use keywords for spiders to find your book
-All bios must use good keywords for the spiders to find you
-Change out your KDP 7 keywords every few weeks.

At this point I had lunch, talked a lot, needed to look at my notes about Surviving your First Year of being Published and then taught the class.
Tomorrow's blog will be about the talk I gave called How to Survive Your Virgin Year.
Stay tuned! Or sign up for my blog notification and you'll get an email when I upload blogs.

I heard such amazing stuff on all the talks and wish I'd had the opportunity to sit in more. Next year, I will. Never again will I hold off on registration for a highly recommended event just because it's in the middle of summer which is my most cherished and guarded time all year.

The conference next year is September!! Can't wait.

KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist who lives in the Seattle area and writes books about women in dire circumstances rescuing themselves.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Young Wild - A Band to Watch

Do you ever hear a song and it touches you deep down, somewhere so close to the heart of you that you almost cry when you hear it? This happens to me every few years and rarely has to do with the lyrics, although well-written lyrics help. Chandelier by Cia was such a song, Salisbury Hill by Peter Gabriel another.
This connection to emotion may be because I have been a musician in my life, worked as a singer in bands, wrote music, have been involved in producing music, was a studio jingle singer and appreciate all that goes in to a good song, but I don't think so.
It's more than just diggin' a great song. It's a connection to an emotion that is beyond explanation for this writer. Music has the ability to touch me so profoundly that today I'm writing a blog about one particular song--  In The Wild.

When I first gave The Young Wild--a San Diego band -- a listen years ago, I knew they had something. They are very good at what they do and getting better every year. Bryan B William is one talented musician and over the last decade has grown to being ready for national attention and beyond. William  has written stacks of music. Each time I hear a new song, I like what they are doing more and more.
So much so that I want to write a screenplay around the video for -- In the Wild.
If you click on the YouTube link above, you'll see a music video that appears to be behind the final credits of a movie. The credits roll on and on, indicating a huge film with an epic cast and crew. It's all fake.
William, not only a gorgeous guitar player, is a film maker and staged this video to look like final credits. It fooled me when I first saw it and I went on to Google my head off looking for the movie attached to this song. The mystery of what the movie is all about is enticing, along with the musicality of the track running behind the credits. Then I heard that there was no movie. (Not yet, anyhow.)
The work that went in to staging the music video of In the Wild is worth national attention beyond the fact that the song could be playing on every radio station all over the world and soaring to the top of the charts. In the Wild has mainstream appeal, a simple melody and chant that will appeal to everyone who likes to sing along to the music in their car, or while exercising. In the Wild
Their title track from their recently released EP All the Luck, is just as engaging with their signature guitar riff that makes you want to play the air guitar along with Bryan B. William.

William also made a short film series called You've Seen This Before, We Know,  about struggling as a musician in Los Angeles, marketing, playing the promo game. It's hilarious and  features a marketing team that suggests they call themselves The Baby Wild and has Bryan holding a cigarette 24/7 as part of a branding/image idea, like he's measuring how little he cares about playing the LA game.
Funny stuff. Clever and suggestive of talent and creativity.
Did Maroon 5 start out this way? I wonder.

The Young Wild plays what they call 80's alternative music and features Bryan B. William on vocals and guitar, Vanessa Nelson on vocals, Gareth Moore on bass, and Brandon Zedaker on drums. Last summer they released their debut EP - All the Luck --  featuring production by Kevin Augunas (The Lumineers)
Having opened for Blink 182 on tour, you'd think they'd be a musical household name by now but not quite.

Give them a listen, see if you agree with me on the band's potential to go places fast...

For sale or listen on iTunes

Check them out on Facebook

KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist who lives in the Seattle area and writes Suspense books. Kim has loads of opinions on all kinds of stuff and writes blogs so she doesn't get herself in trouble saying all this out loud. Her Bestselling Series Dream Jumper is currently being optioned for film.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Quick Tips for Writing Your First Screenplay

I just wrote my first screenplay from one of my novels and in some ways it was easier than I thought it would be. But, keep in mind that no one has told me yet they want to buy it, develop it, and make it into a major motion picture so I could be fooling myself into thinking that my screenplay is worth anything.
What made it fun is that I adapted my novel to a 100 page script. That means that I knew the story inside out, knew the characters (especially because I wrote 5 books with the same two people at the heart of each story) and I was deeply familiar with what drove the story forward.

Here's what I learned about adapting a novel to a screenplay, in point form because we are all busy people!


- Read all the books on how to write a screenplay, including Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
- Read them again, make notes
- Read 10 screenplays that are similar to what you are writing
- Watch movies to see how sparse the dialogue actually is
- Without re-reading your novel, write down the ten key scenes that MUST be in the movie
- If your book doesn't begin with a scene that grabs an audience and sets the tone of the whole movie, write one.
- Buy a set of index cards and figure out 50 ish scenes for your story. Put them in order.
- Combine scenes to end with 40 ish scenes (You can do it!)
- Make sure you follow the 15 Beats that Blake Snyder suggests and hit the marks at appropriate page numbers. eg) page 5 mention the heart of the whole story
-Start scenes as late as you can, finish early.
- Feel free to move scenes around to create a better flow.
- Buy Final Draft software so you can write this thing in the proper format ($200)
- Start writing scenes. Keep it lean. Imagine the big screen.
- Avoid wrylies, slug lines must be capitalized, don't give actors direction, don't mention camera angles or music.
- Keep it around 100 pages for a spec screenplay - movie people get bored easily.
- Re-read it 20 times for typos, dialogue problems. Tighten the action lines.
- Assume the director and actors will read the book to get the gist of the story/characters
- Print it according to specifications if you're sending it out.

I'm at the point where I have read mine 20 times but I'm still finding typos. eg) knarly is spelled gnarly.
And, I'm seriously considering using a company that does script consultations seeing this is my first screenplay and my books are being optioned and the film company asked me to write the spec screenplays. (they have faith in me- yikes!)

Good luck with your screenplay and if you are a novelist, remember that you are already a writer and now you just have to edit the thing down to almost nothing, like reducing a sauce on the stove to make it less watery and more flavorful.

KIM HORNSBY is an Amazon #1 Bestselling novelist who lives in the Seattle area and writes books about women in dire circumstances rescuing themselves.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

#KimGoesToMaui - Travel 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...