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Exclusive new story – Last chance!

Something Like FallI won’t badger you about the movie in this post, because I’m sure by now, you’ve heard all the exciting details. If not just poke around on this blog. Let’s talk stories though, because this weekend is your last chance to get Something Like Fall. Simple as that. To reserve your copy, contribute to the Indiegogo campaign here. Something Like Fall won’t be sold separately outside this campaign, so if you want to read it, be sure to contribute before midnight PST time on Sunday on December 14th. That’s tomorrow, or today, depending on when you’re reading this post. So please, hop to it! Don’t forget to remind your book-loving friends and family too!

 
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At last! Meet Tim Wyman!

Davi Santos is Tim WymanThe suspense sure has been building for this one, and to my surprise, that has been a learning experience for me. I know Tim inside and out, but the casting of him made me really boil his character down to a handful of qualities, all of which an actor would require to portray him. Handsome? Yeah, obviously, but that’s highly subjective. So at the very least, I was hoping for an actor with dark features, both in regards to skin tone and hair, and one that most people would agree is attractive. Tim’s actor would also need swagger. Jace might put on the charm, but Tim knows how to crank up the smolder. He also has his boyishly goofy moments, so the actor would need to be playful. Then there are the rare moments when the mask slips and Tim allows himself to be sensitive, vulnerable, and affectionate. All these things are crucial, and a tall order for any one actor to deliver.

When the movie producers first mentioned the name Davi Santos to me, I was just about to board a flight. I only had enough time to Google him and see that he was hot. That was good. Only later did I seek out every clip of the guy I could find, and boy are there a lot! His beginnings in acting school, solo performances, commercial spots, staring roles in independent films, appearances on major network television, and of course theater. Davi Santos seems to have been everywhere and done everything. This made it harder for me to get a handle on him, because he’s all over the place, and I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense. Davi Santos seems to live and breathe acting. While watching so many clips that it made my head spin, there were definitely many moments where I saw my Tim. A cocky smile and some shameless flirting. Or moments of introspection and flickers of vulnerability. So yeah, already in my mind, the names Davi Santos and Tim Wyman are becoming synonymous.

Davi Santos got the smolder!All that’s needed now is taking all four cast members and putting them in the right situations. It’s one thing when a new James Bond actor is announced, but it never feels completely real until we see him doing James Bond stuff. Just imagine Davi Santos squaring off with Ben Baur in an argument, or getting knocked over by Austin McKenzie cruising along on his Rollerblades. Seriously, just try to picture those things for a moment, because this is really happening. To ensure the movie is a amazing as it deserves to be, we still need your help, so please treat yourself to one of the fun perk packages available on the Indiegogo page and help spread the word. Want to know more about Davi? Check out the new episode of Big Gay Movie below. Also be sure to watch Davi in The Cure, a short film he co-wrote. The boy’s got talent!


 
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Tim Wyman, where are you?

Missing! Tim Wyman
Last week was pretty spectacular if you’re Team Jace. We got to see a tantalizing glimpse of Baur in character as Jace, a new perk was announced paying tribute to one of Jace’s little idiosyncrasies, and just last night a new video was revealed, showing Ben and Jace getting all snuggly together. It’s starting to feel like this movie is just about them. Wasn’t there another guy? I’m pretty sure I wrote a whole book about him. So what’s the deal, movie people? Where are you keeping Tim? Well, director JT Tepnapa and producer Carlos Pedraza have appeared in their mysterious white void again (they exist on the astral plane, only returning to the physical realm to make movies) to explain what’s up with my beloved Mr. Wyman.

What do you think? I say we trust them. After all, what would be better for the Indiegogo campaign than announcing Tim? Unless they’ve got something to hide! But they don’t, because after being locked in my basement for three weeks, they cracked and told me who they intend to cast. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about their decision because this is Tim we’re talking about. I took my sweet time deciding if I was happy with their choice or not. Recently I concluded that I am, because I suspect the actor is just as complex and layered as the character I hope he’ll portray. There’s more to Tim than just a pretty face, and the same can be said for this person. Handsome, creative, and at times, kind of silly. I’ve got a good feeling about him, so stay tuned, and in the meantime, please keep spreading the word. Many thanks to all of you who already have and continue to do so!

 
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Jace – The Fortune Cookie Connection

Ben Baur (Jace) with director JT Tepnapa

Ben Baur (Jace) with director JT Tepnapa

Lately the producers of the Something Like Summer movie have been doing cool stuff with Jace’s love for fortune cookies, but if it’s been a while since you’ve read the book, you might be a little confused. What’s this all about exactly? Well, it starts the first time Ben visits Jace’s apartment, where he notices “an inordinate number of paper fortunes lying around, implying that Jace liked Chinese takeout.” Somebody needs a maid! Once they get settled in the living room, the topic is broached:

    Ben set his glass on the coffee table, pushing paper fortunes out of the way to do so.
    “You sure like Chinese food!”
    “Not really.” Jace looked embarrassed. “I just really like fortune cookies. There’s a restaurant down the road that sells me full shipping boxes. I know it sounds insane, but they’re my absolute favorite treat.”
    Ben laughed and shook his head. Every time Jace opened his mouth, another eccentricity was revealed. Maybe it was this strangeness that scared potential boyfriends away. After all, Jace was attractive, intelligent, and funny. And he had a steady job. What else could anyone want in an eligible bachelor?

What else indeed? Later in the book, Jace takes Ben on his first international trip. Unfortunately, when landing in Rome, they have a brush with a pair of unsavory brothers, almost losing their luggage in the process. Ben’s bravery and a little quick thinking prevent this from happening. His motivation? He didn’t want to lose the surprise he made for Jace and brought along.

    Feeling more like himself again, he dug into his own bag and brought out a small cellophane-covered basket. He handed it over to Jace and waited nervously for his reaction.
    Jace pulled away the plastic to reveal a basket full of fortune cookies. They were a little misshapen but came in a variety of different colors.
    “Wow! These look amazing,” Jace exclaimed. “I love the colors. Look, a blue one! Where did you get them?”
    “They’re homemade,” Ben explained. They were a huge pain in the ass to make, but the expression on Jace’s face was worth it.
    “No way! What about the fortunes?”
    “Check it out.” Ben smiled as Jace broke one open and tossed half into his mouth.
    “Mmmm, good. What’s in my future?” He examined the scrawl on the little strip of paper and raised an eyebrow. “A thousand kisses will soon cover your body.” He raised his gaze from the fortune to look at Ben. “Let’s see if we can make this one come true.”

The scene ends there, which seems a shame, but I have it on good authority that they spent many nights fulfilling this prophecy. Fortune cookies are briefly referenced twice more in Summer, and of course it would be impossible for them not to get a mention in Autumn, which tells Jace’s life story. He’s out having dinner with his sister Michelle and his best friend Greg as this scene takes place:

    When the waitress brought their bill, three fortune cookies rested on the plastic tray. Without having to ask, all three were shoved in Jace’s direction. He felt a surge of affection for them both.
    “You don’t have to give them to me.”
    “Everyone knows what a whore you are for them,” Michelle said with a grin. “Just don’t forget to give us our fortunes.”
    Jace felt a little embarrassed, sitting there and eating all three cookies while they watched, but damn if he didn’t love how they tasted! Why were people always going on about chocolate chip cookies or whatever when they could be eating something so wonderfully crisp? Mixing up the three fortunes, he passed them out randomly.
    Michelle read hers first. “‘Ignorance is the greatest cause of arrogance, and knowledge the best cure for both.’” She thought about this for a moment. “Well fuck you, fortune cookie!”
    Greg laughed and then read his. “‘One doesn’t need to travel to find love, not if one is already home.’”
    “What’s that supposed to mean?” Jace asked.
    Greg’s cheeks looked a little flushed. “I guess I’m staying in Warrensburg. What else could it mean?”
    Jace eyed him, shook his head, and turned his attention to his own fortune. “‘Never loose your sense of humor.’”
    “Loose?” Michelle asked.
    Jace double checked. “Loose.”
    “Think that’s intentional?” Greg asked.
    Regardless, they all started laughing.

I actually got that last fortune in a cookie when working on Autumn, so it seemed appropriate to include it in the story. I kept the fortune for a long time before it disappeared. I suspect Andreas threw it away without realizing it was THE MOST IMPORTANT TREASURE IN THE WORLD! Ahem. We also learn in Autumn why Jace’s apartment was such a mess, and in Spring, I have Jason mention how he can’t stand fortune cookies as a playful way of distinguishing him from his similarly named predecessor. So as you can see, fortune cookies are a fun part of the Something Like… series. I really like that the movie people have taken this small detail and run with it. Today they just announced the creation of special Something Like Summer themed fortune cookies! The fortunes inside will be customized, so maybe quotes from the book, or cheeky references to events? I don’t actually know! But I’m excited. The only way to get them is through the Indiegogo campaign. The bag of fortune cookies will be autographed by Ben Baur, who is playing Jace in the movie. You’ll get a digital photo of him doing so, an HD download of the finished movie and the soundtrack to the film, and access to the weekly production diary. Not bad! The campaign is only running for one more week, so hurry up and get your cookie on!

 
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Something Like Fall – Get it RIGHT NOW!

Costars Austin McKenzie (Ben) and Ben Baur (Jace) meeting for the first time.

Costars Austin McKenzie (Ben) and Ben Baur (Jace) meeting for the first time.

I hope you’ll forgive the sensational headline, but I maintain that it’s accurate. Right now really is your only guaranteed chance to get the new story. The Indiegogo campaign for the Something Like Summer movie has reached and surpassed twenty-five thousand dollars! $25,000! That’s so amazing! Thank you to everyone who stepped up and contributed. I love you guys. For real. This means of course that Something Like Fall will be written, and that everyone who contributes will get a copy, even if the campaign doesn’t reach the full goal of $100,000. It’s important to note that Indiegogo is different than Kickstarter. Over on Kick, if you don’t fully fund a project, it doesn’t happen. One advantage of Indiegogo is that the money raised can still be utilized, even if it isn’t the full amount. So if you’re waiting to see how close we get to the finish line before you bother—as I sometimes do with Kickstarter campaigns—there’s no sense in holding back now. If the producers don’t get the full amount, your contribution will still be put to good use, and investors will be sought out to cover the rest. This could mean delays, or budget cuts, so if we want this movie to be the best it can be, it’s crucial that we rally and do all we can.

Thanks everyone! That’s why I’m happy to write Something Like Fall without expecting any profit in return. None of the funds raised will be given to me for doing so. It’s me chipping in, because I love these characters, and I really want to see them come to life on screen. I know how passionate you guys are about this story too, so please contribute, or share, or dig around in your grandma’s purse while she’s sleeping. Er, maybe not that last one. Just do what you can within the confines of the law. Contributing any amount is the only way to get Something Like Fall. Right here, baby! Considering how few people will be getting the story, even good ol’ Pirate Bay probably won’t be an option. So please take advantage of my willingness to work for free, chip in however you can, and let’s make this happen!

 
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Giving and Receiving. I like both. ;)

Published on December 2, 2014 by in Random

Damien_Mander_IAPF

He’s sexy, Australian, a sniper, and is launching a drone to save animals. … I’ll explain later.

Lately I’ve been asking a lot from you guys. I’ve asked you to feed my ego and make my dreams come true. Gee, is that all? Maybe I’ve been too caught up in the current zeitgeist. Thanksgiving is mostly about gorging ourselves on food, Black Friday puts an especially ugly spin on materialism, and Cyber Monday is just as cold as it sounds. I’m relieved then that Giving Tuesday is here. When first starting my life as an author, I promised myself that if I found any success, I would pay it forward. Basically, the better I do financially, the more I try to give to charities. Andreas and I aren’t rich. Not by far, but I think most people in the western world can spare twenty or thirty bucks a month for a good cause. Or occasionally a little bit more. I’ve lost too many loved ones to cancer, both people and pets. It’s truly an atrocious disease, but luckily there are brave people out there searching for cures and better treatments. The Cancer Research Institute awards grants and fellowships to support scientists at leading research universities and clinics around the world. Their funding has helped develop a number of cancer vaccines, treatments that extend lives, and much much more. Today, on Giving Tuesday, donations are being matched dollar for dollar at CRI, meaning the five hundred bucks I scraped together will magically transform into a thousand. That’s pretty cool! People are always looking for ways to double their money. Well, there you go!

Below are some of my other favorite charities. I’m proud to say that Andreas and I manage to give to each of them on a monthly basis. I have you guys to thank for that, because without your support, this wouldn’t be possible. So give yourself a pat on the back too. Please also browse the following charities, and even if you can’t afford to give something today, maybe you could bookmark this page for later reference, or mention some of these causes to friends and family. Some of us have more time than money, and if that’s the case, there are numerous volunteer opportunities in your area. I also encourage people to donate wisely by first consulting sites like Charity Navigator or GiveWell.

Animals AsiaAnimals Asia – Moon bears spend their entire lives in cages so small they can’t move so that their bile can be extracted. The conditions are horrific and the gains purely monetary. AnimalsAsia campaigns to free these animals and gives them new life in beautiful sanctuaries. Stephen Fry was cool enough to narrate a documentary which you can start watching here. Andreas and I were pretty broke when I first learned about this situation. I remember meeting him after work and trying to hold back tears as I explained it all. He simply turned to me and asked how much I wanted to give. I told him, and he said we should make it monthly. And we managed, even back then. Gosh I love that man!

PAWSPAWS – The Performing Animal Welfare Society provides sanctuary for animals who have been the victims of exotic and performing animal trades. Elephants and tigers don’t belong in a circus, performing tricks for our entertainment before being shoved back inside a cage. Imagine them instead romping through open fields, having the time of their lives! Or just watch this adorable video of a PAWS elephant enjoying a mud bath. It might not be as thrilling as seeing an elephant stand on a ball, but I definitely prefer it.

plan-internationalPlan International – I greatly favor charities supporting animals, since they don’t have a voice of their own. Children are very much in the same situation. Plan International works tirelessly to promote children’s rights and to end poverty. You can sponsor a child—like Andreas was eager to do—or donate to specific causes such as their girls campaign, which helps ensure young women get the education they need to live a fulfilling life. There are also urgent appeals, such as one responding to the Ebola crisis. One time donations are also possible, of course.

International_Anti-Poaching_Foundation_LogoInternational Anti Pouching Foundation – Did I mention that I like animals? I do, and while I accept that many animals are tasty and will always be eaten, I’m definitely not down with people killing endangered species just to make a profit. The long-term solution to this problem is very complicated, but for now, someone needs to protect these animals before they are lost completely. Who better than a former sniper who served twelve tours of duty in Iraq? That’s the hot guy in the image at the top of the article. He’s the founder of this charity. Poachers beware! The IAPF empowers park rangers so they can do their job more effectively and reaches out to communities to help raise awareness and change attitudes. They also capture bad guys. And give animals a glass of milk before tucking them in at night. Probably.

 
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