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New Something Like… story, a contest, interviews, and audiobooks. Wow!

Something Like Fall coverSo much is happening! Let’s hop right in! Something Like Fall has been released, and no, I’m not talking about Jace’s story. That was Autumn. I decided to write Fall to help the Something Like Summer movie fundraising efforts, and to give thanks to you guys for pitching in. The story sees the return of Benjamin Bentley, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. During the fundraising campaign, anyone who contributed was promised Fall, so some of you only had to throw down a dollar, although most of you gave more. That was a limited time offer, but you can still get the novella (around 35,000 words) by purchasing the $25 perk level, which the producers have kept open for latecomers. This also gets you an HD digital copy of the Something Like Summer movie the second it is released to the public. You also get the warm fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing you helped make the movie better with your contribution, because any money raised goes straight into the film budget. If you’re interested, please visit the official movie site for payment details. If you’re completely broke at the moment, I’ll try to find a way of releasing Something Like Fall somewhere down the road. I don’t know how, other than I promised the standalone version would remain exclusive. I definitely don’t know when either. Assuming you’re as impatient as I am, and that you’ll want to own the movie anyway, this seems like a pretty good deal to me.

Speaking of the movie, the contest to create a poster is still ongoing. In fact, the deadline has been extended, which is probably for the best, since Ben looks a little different than he did earlier in the year. Find out more about the contest, the cool prizes, and the adorable YouTube star judges right here.

Let’s keep talking about the movie, or more accurately, let the movie people do the talking. J.T. Tepnapa, the director, and Carlos Pedraza, producer and scriptwriter, were just interviewed by Your Hollywood Pro. As you might recall, I was on that show last week. Together, these interviews give you an excellent behind the scenes understanding of how the Something Like Summer movie came to be, and a hint of what the final product will be like. You can check out both episodes by visiting the Your Hollywood Pro site.

thunder-lightningI’m also pleased to announced that I’ve commissioned two new audiobooks. Something Like Lightning and Something Like Thunder will be coming your way this autumn. Those that have read the books know that Lightning ends on a cliffhanger, but audio listeners won’t have to wait long for the conclusion, because Thunder will be out in short succession. Thank you for continuing to make these audiobooks possible by buying them and helping to spread the word. The royalties of each release pays for the next one. I honestly couldn’t afford to keep producing them without your support. If you haven’t listened to any of them yet, I have a free short story and sample chapters available.

And finally, if you speak Italian, my Lambda Literary Award winning book Kamikaze Boys is now available in that language. I also have a selection of French, German, and even Chinese books available too, with more languages and titles on the way. You can check them all out here on the foreign editions page.

Lots of news, but with the movie due to begin filming next month, the excitement is just beginning!

 
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Audio Origin Interview!

Published on July 25, 2015 by in Random

Something Like Summer is a story of humble origins. Some guy who—quite frankly—had no idea what he was doing, scribbled the story down while blubbering his eyes out. Then he sent it around, got the cold shoulder, and turned to his husband for help. How the movie came to be isn’t so different. Something Like Summer is in essence a story about an underdog finding his place in the world, so it’s only fitting that both the book and movie have similar beginnings. That’s what I spoke about recently in an audio interview. I normally don’t do such things, preferring to hide behind a keyboard where I can look up all the fancy words I need. Jordan, the host of Your Hollywood Pro, had to chase me down and then coax me out from under the bed with some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Only then would I agree to talk to him about the Something Like… series and why a grown man still plays with action figures. If you’d like to find out for yourself, you can listen to the interview here. And hey, if you enjoy yourself, you should check out the other shows in the series because there have been some great guests on Your Hollywood Pro, and you couldn’t ask for a better host!

 
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Q and A with U and I

Published on July 18, 2015 by in Random
Chicago

Chicago. It’s home now.

Hearts on Fire Reviews has very kindly invited me to do an interview on their site, and it struck me that in a way I’m always being interviewed. By you guys! I get a lot of wonderful messages from people who have read my books, many of them asking great questions. Unfortunately, only one person ever sees each answer. So I thought for this interview, you could provide the questions. About what? Anything you want! My books, my personal life, your personal life. Maybe you need some advice. Perhaps you’ve got a beef with me. Is there an unresolved plot thread that’s been driving you crazy? Anything goes!

Ten of the most interesting/ridiculous/infuriating/poignant questions will be selected. Will there be prizes? Uh… Okay. Let’s make it something digital though, since an ocean still separates me from all of my possessions. If your question is selected, I’ll send you a story as an eBook. Already have all my stories? That’s what you think! Questions can be submitted below. Or anywhere really. It’s all good.

You have until August 1st to submit questions. Thanks!

 
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So Long, and Thanks for All the Schnitzel

Published on July 1, 2015 by in Random

Dungeons & Dragons cartoonI grew up reading fantasy novels. One breed in particular appealed most to me. I loved stories about normal humans who get transported to a mystical land. Maybe they were searching for the back of a mysterious wardrobe, or perhaps they answered a classified ad that listed a magic kingdom for sale. Or maybe they just happened to get on the right roller coaster at the right time. Anyone remember that cartoon from the eighties, Dungeons & Dragons? You know what I really hated about that show and other “whisked away” stories? How the main characters were often desperate to get back home. As the reader, there was nothing I wanted more than to enter a land of fantasy, so it annoyed me to no end that these characters were taking their luck for granted. Hang up those ruby red slippers Dorothy and party with the Munchkins instead!

When the prospect of moving to Germany was first discussed, I felt like I was finally given my chance. I would travel to a strange faraway land where I couldn’t speak the language and where the cultural customs would leave me baffled. Best of all, I would do so in the name of love. As you know, I ended up moving to my fantasy world without a single thought of how I’d ever get back. I won’t pretend that it was nothing but carefree adventures from there on. Sometimes I broke down, or I cried, or I got angry. I too longed to go home, but then I would look again at my surroundings: Berlin! London! Paris! These and so much more at my doorstep! For the most part I loved it all too much to quit. I was not going to be one of those people who hurried back to the real world. Why were those stupid kids in Dungeons & Dragons so eager to trade their magic powers for homework? Idiots.

One Last SunsetAnd yet, here we are. Late last year, Dungeon Master told me he’d found a portal that could return me home again. Well, not exactly, but close enough. An opportunity to return to the U.S. presented itself, and I found myself nearly salivating at the prospect. This hunger caught me off guard, but I couldn’t deny it. I wanted it. Bad. But why? Germany is the better country. I’ve felt that way for over a decade now. The health care system works. People are taken care of. I’ve never seen poverty here like I did in the States. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but it’s a lot rarer. People rarely fall through the cracks here. A public transportation system that spans the entire country, a great recycling program, gay rights that—at the time—were years and years ahead of my own country… The political system is superior and even the groceries are cheap! It’s easy to live a good life in Germany, and we did.

Perhaps that’s the problem. Everything here is so damn reasonable. I’m not saying Germany is perfect. History’s greatest example of humans losing their sanity took place in this country. But when it comes to the wacky and weird, those news headlines that are impossibly ridiculous, then it’s hard to beat the good ol’ U S of A. It’s not difficult to believe that anything is possible there. The United States is a dream factory. A fantasy land. Maybe I’ve gotten the story wrong this entire time. Maybe, twelve years ago, I traded one magical world for another. Only one way to find out. Today I say goodbye to Germany. I’ll miss it dearly, especially the people, but I’m certain about this decision. I’m tired of being a stranger in a strange land. I miss the days when I was dating a goofy foreigner, and not the other way around. I’m going home. To where exactly? We’ll talk about that some other time. For now, let’s play Where’s Waldo? Keep your eyes peeled next time you’re in public, my fellow Americans. Maybe you’ll see me, walking down the street and staring at everything with newfound wonder.

It was good while it lasted!

 
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Brand new Ben!

Brand New Ben!  Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to meet the actor who will play Ben in the Something Like Summer movie? If you thought the lead role was already taken, it was, but that’s the movie business for you. Eric Stolz was originally cast to play Marty McFly in Back to the Future. Can you imagine that trilogy without Michael J. Fox? I sure can’t. Or how about Indiana Jones, a role that was originally given to Tom Selleck. Seriously, look it up. If I’m honest, I feel we’re in a similar situation here. After the role of Ben was originally cast, I happened to see an audition video of a different actor. The way that person read the lines, the energy he gave Ben, really clicked with me. I felt he understood the tone I was going for in the book. But hey, the dice had already bounced across the felt and settled. Hadn’t they?  Apparently not, because after a twist of fate, here we are. Grant Davis, the young man who impressed me late last year, will be playing Benjamin Bentley. Best of all, this wasn’t my decision. Grant was put through the paces just like the other six hundred hopefuls who were competing for the role. Grant came out on top because he’s driven, talented, and if you ask me, he’s simply right for the role. Once the movie is filmed and we get to see him in character, I suspect that you’ll all agree with me too. Perhaps most importantly, he’s passionate about this role, and I have no doubt that he’ll dedicate himself to it completely. No doubt you’re eager to see more of him, and to hear him sing. Well, I just happen to have a video for you. Consider it my book report on Mr. Davis. I hope it gives you a glimpse of his potential. With the movie set to begin filming in just a few months, Grant has his work cut our for him, so please give him a warm welcome to the Something Like.. family and offer him your support. Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to meet the actor who will play Ben in the Something Like Summer movie? If you thought the lead role was already taken, it was, but that’s the movie business for you. Eric Stolz was originally cast to play Marty McFly in Back to the Future. Can you imagine that trilogy without Michael J. Fox? I sure can’t. Or how about Indiana Jones, a role that was originally given to Tom Selleck. Seriously, look it up. If I’m honest, I feel we’re in a similar situation here. After the role of Ben was originally cast, I happened to see an audition video of a different actor. The way that person read the lines, the energy he gave Ben, really clicked with me. I felt he understood the tone I was going for in the book. But hey, the dice had already bounced across the felt and settled. Hadn’t they?

Grant Davis singingApparently not, because after a twist of fate, here we are. Grant Davis, the young man who impressed me late last year, will be playing Benjamin Bentley. Best of all, this wasn’t my decision. Grant was put through the paces just like the other six hundred hopefuls who were competing for the role. Grant came out on top because he’s driven, talented, and if you ask me, he’s simply right for the role. Once the movie is filmed and we get to see him in character, I suspect that you’ll agree with me. Perhaps most importantly, he’s passionate about this role, and I have no doubt that he’ll dedicate himself to it completely. Interested to see more of him and hear him sing? Well, I just happen to have a video for you. Consider it my book report on Mr. Davis. I hope it gives you a glimpse of his potential. With the movie set to begin filming in just a few months, Grant has his work cut out for him, so please help me welcome him to the Something Like… family and offer him your support.



 
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After the Storm – News Roundup!

The Best Cure...
Stuff is happening! First and foremost, just in case you haven’t heard, Something Like Thunder is now out. Many thanks to everyone who has written reviews. I’m flattered that so many of you enjoyed the story! For those who haven’t read Thunder yet, you can find purchase links on the right, or free chapters on the product page.

Thanks also to everyone who participated in the trivia contest. If you missed out you can still play along for fun by watching the daily videos in previous posts. I’m particularly fond of the one for day five, since Andreas joined me on camera. The video for the finale is also uh… interesting. If you like seeing me make an ass out of myself, there’s plenty of fodder on my new Instagram account.

Movie news! Many new cast members have been revealed. The Bentleys, the Wymans, that guy Allison dated in high school, that girl Tim dated in high school, a bully, and a (super adorable!) homewrecker. Many of these roles are small, but they sure make the world of the movie universe feel a lot more real. You can check them all out here.

sampleposterIf you have artistic inclinations, then this poster contest is for you! The producers of the Something Like Summer movie are welcoming submissions for eye-catching art to represent the film during production. The winning entry will be featured on IMBD and you’ll get a copy of the poster signed by cast and crew. Chances are it’ll be hanging up in my home too, so please make sure it looks nice. You’ll also get a free HD copy of the movie. None other than Will and RJ of YouTube fame will be deciding on the winning entry. Neat, eh? Find more details here including how to enter.

What does the future hold? A novella called Something Like Fall. Financial supporters of the movie will get first crack at it this summer. The potential of a wider release is still being explored, so stay tuned. You might have also heard a rumor that Andreas and I are moving. It’s true! I’ll talk specifics at a later date. We have a very big journey ahead of us, but it should be business as usual, aside from me being unable to ship things out. If you want a set of autographed art cards, please order them soon, because there will be many months where they—and pretty much everything else I own—will be slowly crossing the ocean. Life’s about to get crazy, my friend! I can count on you to be my anchor, right? My rock in stormy seas? I thought so. You’re the best!

 
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