Monthly Archives: November 2009

Interview with Lilian from AMWC

Virtual Book Tour #12-Rise of the Darkness by C. A. Milson
November 17, 2009
Tell us a little about yourself as a writer.
As a writer, nothing is as satisfying as being able to sit down and write a great story. Now I am not going to say that writing is easy, as it is not. There are many times when we have to sacrifice what we want in order for our dream to be fulfilled. Not only is there outside influences that give you all the reasons why you cant, but you have your own inner demons that give you all the excuses why you shouldn’t. I’m sure we’ve all heard these ones we tell ourselves; “You need to work to reach your goal.”, “Can’t today, got too many other things to do, but I will get to it later.”
I love to write. In fact if I had my way that is all I would do. Unfortunately real life gets in the way, and in order to support my dream I balance life as a writer and marketing consultant.
My life as a writer is something that I enjoy as I love being able to create new characters, scenarios and the like, but, there is also the life I have outside of writing which is equally as important. So balancing my life as a writer, a parent, and marketer is something that is not always easy to do. But I do not think I would do things any other way
Describe your novel in a short paragraph.
Rise Of The Darkness. Alex Manning is The One. Born of a heritage that was once a powerful civilization before it was destroyed by the Giants that once walked among men. Now tonight, in a small town, after thousands of years of being bound in the Dark Realm, the Ancient Darkness has been unleashed, and they set about to finish what was begun. Only Alex can stop the Dark Forces from destroying this town, but will he fulfill his own tests and sacrifice his life for those would seek to betray him?
Where did you get your inspiration for your novel?
The original idea came to me in 1989 when I was living in Melbourne. The story for the original story came from a hobbytex picture my mother had on her wall. The picture was of a yellow moon behind a rustic shack. I remember that I was sat at the table staring at the picture and got the whole idea for Shack of Evil from that picture. That first short story was a 9 page story based on the character Jamiesonn. Even though it was my first “real” story, I still thought that I could do better. What can I say? I’m a perfectionist! Shack of Evil had always been the basis for Rise Of The Darkness.
Why did you choose self-publishing for your book? Is it, in your opinion, a better option for writers everywhere?
This time around I went with Lulu.com as the publisher. Primarily the choice was based on the creative freedom I had with the publication of the book. With that said, there is the downside to self-publishing. Such as lack of exposure, improper distribution by the provider and many other issues.
Now while there are advantages, in as much as being noticed at the right time by the right people, it is not always the right choice. Especially if you need a ghost writer or editor to smooth out the storyline. I will not say that the choice I made was a bad one, but it does have limitations that I should have explored more indepth before jumping in where angels fear to tread
I would advise writers to research the options more carefully before jumping in at the first good thing that comes along. Some may not agree with me here, but in my experience it is best to check all options.
What advice would you give someone who wants to publish a book but have no idea how to go about doing it?
There are probably a lot of new writers out there who have no idea where to start, but, if you are an aspiring writer looking to get your first work out there, start with a good letter to an agent or publisher. That is your starting point. A good letter with the synopsis of your novel will get the attention of the agent or publisher, even if the response is a “No thank you”.
Learn by my example. It took 14 years from the main draft of Rise Of The Darkness to now to get published, which shows that it is worth the wait. That is not to say that it will take 14 years for you to get published! I am saying this as I left mine sitting on the back-burner until I was ready. Yes, you will get rejection letters, or even worse yet, no reply at all. Don’t worry about that as it will happen.
Those rejection slips only tell you that you are on the right (write) track! Okay, now that you have your email draft ready to go out to agents/publishers, make sure you do your homework, by checking out what genres they represent. If it is unclear on their web if they are accepting new clients, don’t be afraid to ask! Make a mental note on some of the authors they represent.
What I will say in concluding is this: If you have the ability to write, you have a gift. Like any skill, it is a talent that should be nurtured and polished. Find your niche, and keep on writing, no matter what wanna-be’s may tell you.
C. A. Milson’s book can be purchased at his website in various formats. It’s also available in Russian so go check it out.

Want to be featured as an author/mangaka on the AMWC Virtual Book Tour? Check out our simple guidelines and we look forward to hearing from you! =3


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Astroboy – Movie Review

Astroboy – I can remember watching this show almost religiously each week as Astroboy fought to defend humans from evil robots, such as his nemesis Atlas.

So you can imagine after all the hype of the new movie that I was a little more than curious to see this. After all, this is Astroboy, and if they did the same as they did with Speed Racer and Transformers, I had expectations that this movie would be just as good.

What we think may not always be the case.. Especially when it comes to remaking of a classic. For fans of the comics and the TV show, you are going to be very disappointed.

Directed by David Bowers, it is easy to see just why this movie does not quite cut it. The movie in itself was good in terms of animation, but to say that this film is outstanding would not do justice to the creator Osamui Tezuka.

The film left out a  lot of the original storyline. Gone is the death of Dr Tenma’s son in an auto accident. Gone is the entire issue of Astro’s abandonment by his father who sends him off to a circus where he’s found and raised as a “normal” boy. Gone is Tokyo of the future. Gone is the notion of robots looking like people and the integration into society. Gone is the nemesis of Astro. There is a lot more things wrong with this, but I wont go on. Basically, this classic has been flushed down the sewer by American Studios, and that is putting it bluntly.

The villain of this trash was President Stone, played by Donald Sutherland. WTF?? Where was Atlas? Pook? Inspector Tawashi?

There were some scenes that proved favorable, and it will entertain the new generation of Astro fans, but that is about it.

Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist named Tenma (Nicolas Cage). Powered by positive “blue” energy, Astro Boy (Freddie Highmore) is endowed with super strength, x-ray vision, unbelievable speed and the ability to fly.

Embarking on a journey in search of acceptance, Astro Boy encounters many other colorful characters along the way. Through his adventures, he learns the joys and emotions of being human, and gains the strength to embrace his destiny. Ultimately learning his friends and family are in danger, Astro Boy marshals his awesome super powers and returns to Metro City in a valiant effort to save everything he cares about and to understand what it takes to be a hero

This movie will appeal to the new generation of Astro followers, but for those who remember the original series, this movie is as impressive as watching grass grow.

To quote Bart Simpson, it “sucks and blows”.

God forbid if Hollywood does a 3D animation of Gigantor, or worse yet, a remake of Saiyûki (Monkey)!

For fans of the show, wait til this goes to weekly rental at your local video store.

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Saw 6 – Movie Review

In Saw V, we saw the demise of Special Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) . Now Detective Hoffman has emerged as the unchallenged successor to Jigsaw’s legacy. However, when the FBI draws closer to Hoffman, he is forced to set a game into motion, and Jigsaw’s grand scheme is finally understood.

When it comes to movie sequels, there are few which make the grade. There are some really great horror sequels out there, but in most cases, the sequels should have stopped after the second or third installment.

Saw is not one of those that fail the grade. In fact, this series is definitely up there in there in the Top 5 of Best Horror Movie Series.

In the latest offering in the Saw Franchise, the opening game is pretty gruesome, with two “Takers” having to give of themselves in order to live. However, this game is not easy. Each person is in a cage and between them is the scale, and whoever gives the most apparently wins. In one cage we see an overweight male, and in the other a woman. Both are takers. So the game thus beings…. And a lesson to be learned…. (As Detective Hoffman later asks the woman who survived the game)…

It’s difficult to give a sentence that accurately describes what some movie goers feel after this installment, but it seems as if the year-wait paid off, because Saw VI is easily the best of the ‘second trilogy’ in the Saw series.

What makes Saw VI such a smarter film is it’s ability to play off the strengths of its predecessors. The film knows its destination, so we get a much more solid story this time around. It’s really incredible how everything in the plot came together so perfectly. All of the events that have occurred have demonstrated a Domino Effect — every character in the series is relevant, and one character’s actions can change the entire course of the story and lead to something else. Any questions brought up in the previous installments are cleared up in VI, so we finally get a solid conclusion.

When you look up the plot for Saw VI, it seems so simple: Special Agent Strahm is dead, and Detective Hoffman has emerged as the unchallenged successor to Jigsaw’s legacy. However, when the FBI draws closer to Hoffman, he is forced to set a game into motion, and Jigsaw’s grand scheme is finally understood.

There’s a lot more going on in this film than this. But one thing’s for sure, Jigsaw’s grand scheme is finally understood, and that’s what mattered most. All of the pieces of the puzzle come together, and you remain on the edge of your seat because you have no idea what’s going to happen to these characters. The plot takes dramatic twists and turns that will have your jaw hit the floor.

We begin to follow where SAW V left off, Hoffman emerging victorious, or so it may seem. And soon enough, the introduction of our newest test subject, William. It’s hard to get into the character without spoiling anything, so if I seem vague, you know why. William is an insurance agent, the vice president of his company as a matter of fact. In that, he made a formula on how to determine who should be eligible for health insurance. Needless to say, John Kramer was a former associate of his.

Jill, the ex-wife of the infamous Jigsaw Killer was also presented a box. The box plays a large role this time around and again. Her role in the grand scheme of things is further explained and finally understood. Everything between her past with John, her present with Hoffman, is revealed and we get to see a glimpse of how one person can influence the life of another, and we get to see a side of Jill that we never expected. (Could she be a new successor?)

As for the hard-core traps: Saw VI is without a doubt the most gruesome of them all. They really raised the bar with this one in terms of the amount of violence shown on the screen.

Saw VI was incredibly well done. The story and pacing was perfect. The acting from the main cast (Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell, Costas Mandylor, Shawnee Smith, and Peter Outerbridge) was great.

The traps were disturbing as hell. And, most importantly: a hard-core Saw fan left the theater with a smile on his face. Saw VI Director Kevin Greutert really did an astounding job with this one.

To quote Jigsaw: You think it’s the living who have the ultimate judgment over you, because the dead have no claim over your soul. But you may be mistaken.

One thing is for sure, this is a must watch movie, and I for one am looking forward to the next installment of Saw VII next year.

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