On joining Facebook

I did it. I crumbled and joined the masses. I now have a Facebook page, which is bare bones and empty now, but I plan on filling it out in the next few days or so.

Check it out here, like it, and enjoy it when I put stuff up.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross shameless promoting himself. Good night, all.

On Game of Thrones Season 4 thoughts

Not sure if I’m mentioned my Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire obsession before, but it’s pretty bad. So, in my ongoing attempt to blog about something people care about, I’ve decided to share some book research and discuss my thoughts on what season four of the show will entail in very mild spoilers.

The show started on a loose 1 season equals 1 book approach for the first two seasons, but then split book three, A Sword of Storms, into two seasons. The book was much larger than the previous two and was split into two volumes in England (sub-titled Steel and Snow and Blood and Gold), but season three covered much more than half of A Storm of Swords (in addition to catching up with characters absent from previous books like the Reeds and Tullys and showing flashback scenes written about in later books, like Theon’s torture). Swords consists of 80 chapters with a prologue and epilogue. Of that, only the last 23 chapters and epilogue have not been shown in the TV series. This of course means that if one season presents about 60 chapters, leaving only 23, then the next season must contain a lot of material from books 4 and 5 (which take place mostly concurrently with one another, only separate by geography).

To those of you thinking that there’s lots of scenes added and characters fleshed out and there are probably great end of season moments for people in book 3, I’ll tell you what those chapters consist of. 5 Tyrion and 5 Jon chapters. 4 Sansa chapters. 3 Jamie chapters. 2 Arya and 2 Sam chapters. A Daenerys/Khaleesi chapter and the epilogue. While Tyrion/Jon/Sam/Sansa’s entire season will probably be contained, I’m fairly certain we’ll see more than 2 scenes with Arya and Daenerys. And what of Bran, Davos, and the Greyjoys? Surely chapters from later books will be pulled forward so we don’t go a year without seeing key characters.

And so season 4 of Game of Thrones will most likely begin the great time warp of the series, with some characters finishing their book 3 story lines, and others progressing to books 4 and 5. This will surely enrage some book purists and mystify others. I’m eagerly anticipating seeing how it all plays out on the mostly faithful adaption.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross wondering whose ass you think should rightfully sit on the iron throne?

On Sliding Beneath the Surface

I received this book free from the author for an honest review. This did not color my opinion. Mild, first 1/3 of the book spoilers ahead.

Sliding Beneath the Surface is the first in the St. Augustine Trilogy, a series of supernatural YA books steeped in the rich history of America’s oldest city. In the first book, teenager Jeff Golden has recently moved to St. Augustine and finds himself troubled with repeating nightmares that set him on a crash course with a centuries old battle between US soldiers and Seminole Indians.

Author Doug Dillon clearly has respect for historical facts and I found myself actually interested in learning about a time period I’m no expert in. He paints the city of St. Augustine as a colorful place that I’d actually like to learn more about, and probably can when the two sequels are released.

Cons: I had a few issues that kept pulling me out of the story. The book is narrated in the first person by the protagonist, which is fine, but it’s far too conversational. Things like “you know what I mean” and “don’t ask me why I did it” are fine in dialogue but jar me in narration. This seemed to happen less often as the book progressed, or I settled into the rhythm, but it was a stumbling block in the beginning. Also, the narrator seemed oddly attached to people he only just met, or knew for a couple weeks. This isn’t a huge issue, but it pulled me out of the story a few times when he was shocked that the Native American shaman he just met smiled, as if he’d spent years with the man and never seen him smile before. The only other problem I had was the speed of the story. On my iPad, the first 100 of 340 pages was Jeff telling his friend about his nightmares, crossing the street, and learning that supernatural elements really do exist from the shaman. That didn’t need 100 pages. I think with some tightening the book could be a lot stronger.

Pros: Once the story got into it, I was interested in what would happen with Jeff’s supernatural problems. The characters were interesting, the setting was great, and the history was fun. I could tell how well researched the Seminole Wars were and that the facts weren’t made up for the story, which the author verified in his notes at the book’s conclusion.

Final Thoughts: Three out of five stars. Liked it, didn’t love it. Once the protagonist learns that the supernatural exists, things do speed up slightly, which makes me interested in book 2, which I may read when it’s released.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross letting you know you can learn more at DougDillon.com. Happy reading.

On 388 Arletta Avenue

So I’m searching through Netflix for something to watch and this pops up. A movie with Nick Stahl and Devon Sawa? I’m in. For those of you who don’t remember the 90s, Sawa may mean nothing to you. Look up Casper, Final Destination, Idol Hands, Slackers.

This is a found footage movie about a voyeur who has dozens of hidden cameras around a couple’s house, cars, and workplace. We cut from camera to camera, following them as the unseen voyeur starts messing around with them. It’s creepy.

Cons: Little slow. Little convenient just how many cameras there are. Minor pet peeve about film in general: why does everyone sleep with a shirt on? Does anyone in real life? It’s Canada so it’s colder maybe?

Pros: Nice slow burn type of movie with an unnerving feeling. If I was going to have tons of hidden cameras watching someone, it would probably be Nick Stahl. Kidding…

So I’m going to go with 3 out of 5 stars only because it is a little slow and there’s not tons of meat to the story. Would have made a better short and entry in the V/H/S series.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross hoping there are no hidden cameras filming me…

On Ghosts of the Riverview cover

I love sharing new covers of upcoming books. And I hope you enjoy it, too. My next ebook, Ghosts of the Riverview, comes out early next month. Much more on it, soon. In the meantime, take a gander.

GhostsoftheRiverviewcover

This is Elliot Arthur Cross looking forward to August 4.

On writing One Frightful Date

Suppose I should share more about the whole writing process. My recently released Young Adult short One Frightful Date came about from challenging myself.

The story follows a gay teenage boy named Bobby who is set up on a blind date with a musician. Frightening things ensue. Now, Bobby is blind, and so I wrote the story through his perspective.

Any writer will tell you how hard it is to convey action without using visuals. I have met blind people before, but I needed to do some more research. I checked message boards and help sites as well as Tommy Edison’s Youtube page. Tommy was born blind, and answers questions, as well as reviews films. He’s got a great sense of humor and I highly recommend checking out his videos.

I think the end product is a fun read that will hopefully make the audience think about everyday life in another way.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross sharing the Amazon page for One Frightful Date. Happy reading.

On guest stars in procedurals

Following up on my murder mystery post, I’d like to say something to TV producers everywhere: stop casting guest stars as the killer of the week!

Oh, my God. You watch The Closer, Law & Order, CSI, Perception, Psych, etc. etc. and there’s some murder and the detectives talk to the friends and family and you only recognize one of the actors? He or she is the killer. Give it thirty minutes and the detectives will figure it out. Happens every damn time.

SVU breaks the mold occasionally. They had Jeremy Irons on a while back and it looked like he raped his daughter, but nope. Didn’t do it. Actually had him back on again. I miss B.D. Wong, and if it wasn’t for The Borgias, then Irons would probably be the resident psychologist on the show. Also, they occasionally get two or three guest stars in one episode, so you’re not sure which of them did it.

In closing, give the undiscovered actor a break. Cast your Fisher Stevens or Judith Light or Raphael Sbarge, but make the unknown guy the killer. Sure, you probably can’t name the actor, but you recognize his face. And that’s all it takes.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross telling you what I’d do if some studio ever gave me a budget to make a series. Peace.