On Inkshares Horror Novel

Have you guys heard about this? I recently heard about a crowdfunding site called Inkshares. It’s basically Kickstarter or Indiegogo crossbred with Createspace or Lulu. It looks like a site where you can crowdfund a novel that will have an ebook and physical presence in bookstores. Unlike Kikstarter or Indiegogo where you give them thousands of dollars and then the writer keeps a percentage and has to then hire editors and distributors, Inkshares does all of that. So if a project is successfully funded at Inshares, it includes a professional manuscript editor and distributor.

I had no idea how any of this works, so I figured I’d dive in and take a look see with my current manuscript. I’m working on a 90 thousand word novel about three strangers entering the witness protection program when they accidentally thwart a serial killer. They’re relocated to a new state, but their new home brings them into contact with horrors beyond imagination.

You can find the Inkshares page, along with fun FAQs and whatnot, and back this project here are: https://www.inkshares.com/projects/horror-novel

Thanks so much for your support!

This is Elliot Arthur Cross eternally grateful for your support. For any questions about the project, please email me at elliotarthurcross@gmail.com. Thank you and happy reading.

On American Idol pissing me off

This season of American Idol has improved a great many things (auditions focusing on talent, Hollywood week being streamlined, judges being awesome), but this week pissed me off. Idol producers: You want a final 30, then give us a final 30. I almost think the whole Judges-eliminate-one-last-round idea works, but not 10 people.

By this point, we’re invested in the semi-finalists, so let them sing. And you kept them in Hollywood, made them chat with Adam Lambert, Chris Daughtry, and Randy Jackson, so let them sing.

The guys are clearly a more talented group than the girls, although there are a few powerhouse entertainers in the women’s group who could take it all the way to the end. Last week, I saw Ethan Harris make it to the top 30 and I was so glad and I’ve been waiting a whole week to see him perform. But Idol didn’t want me to see him sing, apparently. And not only was I disappointed, but did you see 16 year old Briston Maroney’s face when he didn’t make it? He didn’t cry or anything, but he looked devastated; you could clearly see it in his face. Boy needs a hug.

Ethan Harris held it together well, but come on, let the poor guys sing. They spent all this time in Hollywood practicing and even performing in the rehearsal earlier in the day. Idol Producers: if you wanted the judges to cut one more round, make it one or two contestants, not five from both genders, that’s just cruel.

Anyway, here’s Ethan Harris’ official website and Youtube channel. Give the poor guy support on such a sad day. At least he got Keith Urban to sign his sketch; boy’s got mad drawing skills.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing American Idol didn’t rile me up so much.

On Newlyweds still being annoying

I don’t know why I keep watching Bravo’s Newlyweds. Each episode fills me with anger.

After bitching about not being the center of attention at his wife’s baby shower, John announces that their gifts are worth about $3,500, so they “made out pretty good,” and then renegs on his promise to make space for his baby’s play room. What redeeming quality is there?

Blair keeps screaming at Jeff about financial issues because his parents had a rough divorce (which sounds like he’s heading toward a self-fulfilling prophecy), and seriously told Jeff that he doesn’t want a joint bank account because if Jeff dies, Jeff’s parents can swoop in and take all of the money. Um, what? That’s not how bank accounts work. When you are an adult, your parents can’t just take the money out. Even if you’re a child, they’d need a court order if their names aren’t on the account. You’re not children, Blair, so don’t freak out about hypothetical possibilities concerning parents that literally cannot happen.

Tina’s trying to force Tarz into taking nude photos, except she wants feathers and wild regalia on. They try to tell her that she’s attractive without circus pageantry and she throws a fit. Guess what, Tina, your husband adores you, you’re both attractive, so put away the Sesame Street outfits. She finally agrees to go “nude” and wears a bra and a thong.

Alaska admits that his mother used to treat him like a prince. Yeah, that’s why you’re chauvinistic and need everyone to serve you. Kim only feels close to you when you’re emotional because you’re closed off. He even tells Kim that if he dies, that he’ll pretend she didn’t exist so he can deal with it. Great…

This is Elliot Arthur Cross contemplating deleting my season pass on the TiVo.

On opening to interviews

Hey gang, I’ve decided that since I have lots of followers (soon to reach triple digits), I’ve decided to network even more. If anyone wants to interview an lgbt author/Game of Thrones enthusiast/Survivor junkie/politics enthusiast/holder of a BA in Film Studies, then let me know. I’m mildly entertaining and I’d love to meet more people and share ideas. We could also possibly do some free book giveaways to your readers, as that’s a marketing approach I need to tap into more. Current ebooks are in YA, murder mystery, erotica, and horror genres.

And it feels weird to just email someone out of the blue. There are some great bloggers who interview people, but I feel odd contacting strangers to see if they care about me. So any interested parties, please email me at elliotarthurcross@gmail.com. I will respond quickly and pleasantly.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross looking forward to hearing from you.

On Newlyweds: The First Year

Is anyone else watching this series on Bravo? Basically Newlyweds follows the first year of matrimony of four different couples. Sounds kind of fun, and it is as times, but it seems like they purposefully chose irritating people to film.

Couple 1: Kathryn and John

I cannot stand greedy people. Kathryn is all right, but every sentence out of her husband’s mouth is about money. Did they just get married so he could get a check from everyone he knows and then judge them on how much they spent?

Couple 2: Kim and Alaska

Wow. Kim says she comes from Alaska’s rib so she should be subservient to the man in the relationship. Is it 1913 or 2013? I respect their religious views, but not when it’s used to create a master/slave relationship.

Couple 3: Tina and Tarz

Half of the drama is about Tina’s Indian father not approving of Aryan Tarz. He never will, there’s not much to happen here. Also, if Tarz is asked what’s more important, having a kid or work, and he honestly doesn’t know, then that probably means work.

Couple 4: Jeff and Blair

Just way too cutesy. They seem great and all, but I’ve never gotten going on and on and on about someone being the moon and stars and whatever. We get it, you love each other, you got married, now you’re going to fight for the rest of the season.

This is a cynical Elliot Arthur Cross signing off.

On Cochran’s Victory

I wanted to give myself a few days before reviewing Cochran’s unanimous win Sunday night. Where would I place him in my winners ranking? I’m going to go with around spot 10 to 15.

What was wrong with that jury? Brenda to Dawn: “Take your teeth out and I’ll vote for you.” Dawn takes her teeth out and Brenda votes for Cochran. Okay, so Dawn was way over the top emotional most of the time, she also was well-like half the time and people came to her with their strategies, which she used to eliminate them. The jury wanted to give the million bucks to Eddie, who had no clue what was happening the entire season and wasn’t even that good in challenges.

And Sherri kept her profession a secret, ran the dominant early alliance, planned on taking unlikeable Shamar and then Philip to the end, jumped ship during the merge, and didn’t anger anyone too much. That’s a lot better than many finalists in Survivor history.

Best player who didn’t win the season: Corinne! What a powerhouse, she nearly turned everything around and dominated the game.  If she wasn’t playing with paranoid Dawn, it probably would have worked.

That said, Cochran deserved his victory. Great underdog story and a strategic player. And just when I was hoping for a season without any returning players, rumors are swirling that next season (Blood Vs. Water) will be old contestants and their loved ones competing.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross hoping the season after that will be all newbies. Is that too much to ask for?

On Survivor Winners Ranking part 13

Let’s wrap this countdown up in time for the season finale tonight.

24. Amber Brkich, All-Stars, season 7
23. Natalie While, Samoa, season 19
22. Jud “Fabio” Birza, Nicaragua, season 21
21. Ethan Zohn, Africa, season 3
20. Danni Boatwright, Guatemala, season 11
19. Boston Rob Mariano, Redemption Island, season 22
18. Parvati Shallow, Fans Vs. Favorites, season 16
17. Tom Westman, Palau, season 10
16. J.T. Thomas, Tocantins, season 18
15. Vecepia Towery, Marquesas, season 4
14. Aras Baskauskas, Exile Island, season 12
13. Sophie Clark, South Pacific, season 23
12. Earl Cole, Fiji, season 14
11. Tina Wesson, Australia, season 2
10. Yul Kwon, Cook Islands, season 13
9. Richard Hatch, Borneo, season 1
8. Kim Spradlin, One World, season 24
7. Chris Daughtery, Vanuatu, season 9
6. Bob Crowley, Gabon, season 17

5. Brian Heidik (Survivor: Thailand, season 5)

The Ice Man Brian is a bit like Nixon. Brilliant mind, horrible person. Sure Brian did some soft-core porn with his wife, and sure he shot a little dog with an arrow and was charged with domestic battery and cruelty to animals, but the man knew how to play Survivor.

From taking control of his tribe immediately, and forming final twos with everyone important, Brian dominated the game with his car salesmen skill.

4. Jenna Morasca (Survivor: The Amazon, season 6)

Maybe I’m just sentimental for the old days of Survivor, but you have to appreciate Jenna’s skill in the game. Probably one of the best social games. She won the vote of Christy, who swore to never vote for her “evil stepsister” in the jury.

Let’s also not forget her brilliant move of giving her immunity idol to Heidi, which virtually assured Jenna’s place in the final two. When a smart player makes such a high gamble and it pays off, then they make top of my chart.

3. Todd Herzog (Survivor: China, season 15)

I’m sort of surprised Todd made it this high on the list, but also not. He’s masterfully controlled ego-maniac Amanda and tough girl/“fired” lunch lady. And yes, Courtney is a part of his win. Who could have foreseen her presence in the game? If anyone ever likes these rankings, I may include her in my “top whatever Survivor players who didn’t win” list.

2. Denise Stapely (Survivor: Philippines, season 25)

This might just be because the season is so fresh, but Denise survived 15 tribal councils, of which she was immune only once. She only received a handful of votes and crushed Mike Skupin and Lisa Welchel in the final jury vote of 6-1-1. And as rarely happens during a reunion, Jeff Probst asked the jury if the fourth place player was in the finals, if he would win. (Often in the past the third or fourth place player would have won, that’s what arguably prompted them to go to the final two system). Denise was still an easy victor. Smart, athletic, able to read people, well-liked, flawless game with the odds extremely against her while playing against players such as the brilliant Jonathan Penner.

1. Sandra Diaz-Twine (Survivor: Pearl Islands – Panama, season 7 and Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, season 20)

How can Sandra not reign supreme? She played twice and won twice. She was nearly put on All-Stars and Fans Vs. Favorites. Run the scenarios, she probably would have made it to the end on both series. Sandra nearly played a perfect game, came back and kicked ass again, against experienced players. She’s not athletic, she’s not super nice, and she tells you what she thinks of you, but her social and strategic mind is flawless. She’s able to read people expertly and give the rare ‘it benefits us both’ appeal. She’s also a game player, unafraid to vote off a friend.

There could be so much detail about each brilliant move Sandra made in both seasons. I would love to see her play again and prove that fantastic wins can come in three.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you happy finale night.