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 cancelled TV shows

Okay, here’s what really grinds my gears: TV studios cancel shows way too early. I’m not talking about ‘hey, they could have squeezed one more season of How I Met Your Mother or Lost out’ but I’m talking about ‘hey, the premiere episodes wasn’t record breaker so we’re cancelling it after two episodes.’

Fun fact: If Seinfeld premiered this year, it would have been cancelled midway through the first season. Why’s that? Because most shows need some time to breath, to come into their own, and to find an audience. Even the much beloved Star Trek: The Next Generation started rocky and didn’t hit its stride until season 2 or 3.

Let’s take a look at he cancelled shows that I was watching this year:

The Neighbors
Cheesey? Sure, but the cast was delightful. The show harkened back to the good ole times when sitcoms were about witches, monsters, or genies. I should consider it lucky we even got a second season, but ABC shoved it in the Friday Night death slot, which only few shows ever recover from.

Suburgatory
Another show that lasted enough to get me hooked on. At least it got Jane Levy enough exposure to star in the great Evil Dead remake/reboot/sequel/whatever it was.

Super Fun Night
A fat girl, her nerdy friend, and her lesbian friend star in awkward city misadventures? Count me there. But apparently I was the only one. One short season flew by, and I looked forward to watching more zany fun from the crew. Oh well.

Bad Teacher
Based on the movie of the same name, this series features a fantastic cast with great timing. This one had the potential of being a real super star, but CBS cancelled it after airing two episodes. Not cool.

Friends With Better Lives
Probably my favorite show on this list. Much hyped by CBS as the new Friends, they cancelled the show after three episodes. This was the biggest mistake on the list. James Van Der Beek, please find a vehicle that lasts. And Kevin Connolly, please continue to be hot well in your forties. Thank you.

Dads
I watched this one because hey why not? I liked the cast, but it was cringe worthy. Fox, this was a good decision. Well played, for once.

Enlisted
What do you do with a feel-good comedy about the military with a hot cast (I’m looking at you, Chris Lowell) and a quirky sense of humor? According to Fox, you throw it on at a random Friday Night Death Slot with little fanfare and air the episodes out of order. No surprise the show was cancelled after that treatment. The series should have been paired with Brooklyn 99 and found an audience. Poor move, Fox.

Raising Hope
Fox took the series, gave it a new showrunner and a new night, and only gave it one season. I guess we were lucky to have that one extra season. The show probably had run its course.

Surviving Jack
A victim of circumstances. American Idol’s been slipping, and the first season was shortened due to scheduling conflicts. This nostalgic look at the early 1990s couldn’t find the audience that The Goldbergs (similar style to the early 1980s) found.

Community
For a series that’s been on the bubble since the first season, I considered every year to be lucky (even the year of the gas leak). Of all the series on the list, this one is the only one with a chance of continuing on somewhere else (I’m looking at you, Netflix).

The Michael J. Fox Show
I was a fan, mostly because of the star. Give him a better vehicle and start over. I agree with this one.

Sean Saves the World
I actually really liked this one, and it definitely got better as the season progressed. The cast started to gel together and the writing improved. Of all the sitcoms cancelled, I think this one had the best shot of really growing into a lasting series. I’ve no doubt Sean Hayes will find something new, and I’m pleased Tom Lennon’s already in for the Odd Couple remake.

That about sums it up for me. Any of you agree/disagree? Did you love one of the other dozens of shows that got canned that I never watched? Let me know.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you better luck for your favorite series next season.

On Veronica Mars film review

I recently took a short road trip to the theaters to see the Veronica Mars movie. Here’s my history with the franchise: I never watched it when it aired, “girl teen detective” sounded really stupid to me, and eventually I let a friend lend me the three seasons on DVD. I loved them and devoured the series in 2 weeks. The kickstarter came up to fund the movie, so I helped out with a whopping dollar donation. Yep, I sure helped make it.

The film picks up years after the series ends, and embroils Veronica (the impeccable Kristen Bell) in another murder mystery back in her hometown of Neptune. You don’t need to have seen the series, but you should have if you want to get the references (season three optional).

Cons: The murder mystery part has always been the weakest point for me in the series. They usually don’t drop in any clues about the killer until Veronica figures it out. So it’s more of a ‘how will the detective find the killer’ than the audience playing ‘whodunit.’ I won’t spoil the solution, but I figured out the killer very quickly. Besides that, there’s the whole evil organization sub-plot that never gets resolved. It felt like set-up for a future movie (fingers crossed we get one). And I was bummed at some of the character deaths.

Pros: Humor, acting, script, direction. It’s a really fun movie with some big payoffs from the series. A movie continuation from a TV show could easily suck, but this was Veronica Mars at its very best. The series had great cameos from well established actors, and the movie continues that tradition (Jamie Lee Curtis, James Franco, Justin Long, etc.). The best part of season three was the introduction of Piz (played by Chris Lowell), and there’s lots of great Piz action here (I love Chris Lowell and his character, but why that horrible name?).

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars. Fun, witty adventure with high stakes and great characters.

This is Elliot Arthur Cross wishing you happy viewing.

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 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 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.