Friday, September 27, 2013


I’m certain my eclectic life and my lack of specific concentration have caused many a reader to SAY WHAT?  They pick up a novel of mine by accident.  They enjoy the read so they choose another from my inventory. BZZZZ. SAY WHAT??? They look at the title, check my name and discover an entirely different genre; a theme that wouldn’t normally interest them. 

This erratic and scrambled collection of novels I have written is a parallel to my life.  I’m an adventurer; always seeking the other side of the horizon.  My novels reflect my experiences and observations because I’m too lazy to do research.

The contrast between my novels, BOOMER, and my most recent, SHOOTER, are one-hundred-eighty degrees apart.

 Although the covers could be interchanged, the stories are from different periods.  BOOMER is a period western that is for general audiences.  SHOOTER is a story about the family of assassins that killed President Kennedy and several other notables.  There are a few teenage kisses in BOOMER, but several graphic sex scenes in SHOOTER. I can go on and on with the differences but you get the drift.

A consistency of theme runs through my contemporary westerns, UNTAMED, PARTNERS, and CRYSTAL COWBOY. Another theme is portrayed in ExPat and TRES PIEDRAS.  The MURDER IN PANAMA (Jimmy Hart trilogy) is just that – an action adventure 3 book series with Panama as the backdrop.

The two BIG novels in my inventory, THE LAST FRUIT STAND ON GUAM and ALASKA BE DAMNED, both well over one-hundred-thousand words, are again as opposite as night and day.  I have had readers that loved the bawdy romantic comedy, LFS and wasn’t overly thrilled with the action-drama, ABD -- And vice versa. 

I guess the point I’m trying to make is this.  Before you purchase one of my novels, use the free sample and read the first couple of chapters.  I don’t want you disappointed or surprised by the content.

A lot of my favorite authors don’t have this problem.  One of my favorites is Zoe Saadia.  She writes pre-contact historical fiction.  I love it.  I can buy any of her novels and not be disappointed or surprised because she has a consistent genre.  Oh, the Indian tribes will be different, and the circumstances will change but overall, her work is consistently good; the same with Bob Dunbar, Terry C. Johnston, Michael Blake, G.E.Nolly, and Chloe Thurlow.  All excellent writers that stay within their genre. They found their niche and I’m proud to read them.

Writers like Larry McMurtry, John Nichols, and the classic authors of years past like Edward Abbey, Hemmingway, Stienbeck, and London are all over the map.

Perhaps I am emulating my old time mentors.  Who knows? I understand one hard fact about my work.  If I don’t enjoy the story, I won’t write it.  Hell, I won’t even consider writing something just to be a commercial success. Genre challenged?  Perhaps!

Saturday, September 21, 2013




My guest today is Ed Wheeler; Photographer -- extraordinaire, Cinematographer, director, and writer.

EDWARD WHEELER - Creator, Director, Producer

Being a professional martial arts instructor and acting since high school, Edward became a stuntman performing in live shows and television around the country, eventually writing, producing and directing his own shows. With this experience he became a stunt coordinator, working behind the camera with many directors to learn his craft. Edward has worked on 20 films, 16 television shows and over 70 stage productions. His projects include Court TV's, Haunting Mysteries, soap operas One Life To Live and Guiding Light, and the Fox Series New Amsterdam. More recent directing credits include Good Will Industries documentary Breaking The Cycle, pilot episode for The History Channel's Woman Warriors and the television pilot for The Territory. Edward is now aMedia Production Director in New York City and a staff photographer.


I met ED while he was directing a trailer for a pilot Television series entitled the TERRITORY.  At the time, he was doing a lot of the filming in Tucson’s Old Trail Dust Town.  I was a weekly fixture at that establishment.  I had a table set up outside Pinnacle Peak’s and was selling and signing my novel PARTNERS.

Ed is the photographer who allowed me to use his exquisite B&W photo for the cover of my novel, HART RULES.

Q.. Ed, let’s talk about THE TERRITORY. I noted that when I posted the old poster on my blog a few weeks ago, I received a lot of action.  Since it didn’t get off the ground during the 2006 depression, do you think it’s time to revisit the project?

A..In many ways the timing is more right now than back in ‘06. We had a very real, gritty idea for how it should be shot that is more in style now than 7 years ago. The main creative team of Alberto Bonilla, Jerry Woods and myself have put a lot of experience under our belts since then. Also the technology is much more accessible.

The nice thing about doing a period piece is they come back into fashion over and over, particularly westerns. I’d like to believe this story transcends the genre, but maybe that’s just me.

So the answer is yes, we’d love to revisit this project.


Q . . In the promo piece you sent me, the following excerpt caught my attention.  Is this still a valid assessment?

The Territory delivers drama, action and rousing romance in the style of Dances With Wolves, Last of the Mohicans and Legends of the Fall.


A……Did I write that? Those are big, big budget films, so of course ours would be scaled back, but the world we would want to deliver is similar. Those stories took place in a world you could buy into, believable.I consider Last of the Mohicans Mann’s best work and I’d be honored if we could capture even a little of Edward Zwick’s vision in our project. There’s no flying through the air fight scenes and impossible stunts. The characters in those films were involved in an amazing adventure, not an impossible one. It’s very important to our team to “keep it real” and magical at the same time.


Q..Let’s leave the TV format for a moment.In the above examples, those are all full length movies. Dances with Wolves was way over the two hour norm.  What is your opinion on that venue for your story?


A..Well I believe the line between venues is increasingly blurred. TV is shot like film and vice versa.

Back in 2009 I was approached by a financial backer who was interested in the project, but as a feature, not a series. So I worked up a treatment that I felt worked great. In many ways it’s easier to get in and get out with a feature. Obviously the funding I mentioned fell through, of events that should have been made into a film of its own. I had to fly back and forth from New York to Tucson, the backer was crooked, police got involved, I had to testify to the TPD…it was very exciting. The good part is I developed a solid feature treatment for the story.


Q..Let’s assume you move forward in resurrecting the project.  What is your next step?

Securing funds, finding the talent and finalizing the script. Some of the members of our team have moved on. Our good friend Bob Morgan,producer and horse wrangler, has passed away and is sorely missed. The rest of us are ready to carry on.I’m a big fan of getting the dialogue up on its feet and work shopped with actors, historians for accuracy and great story tellers, like yourself, Robert, that can work the script over, make it as clean and powerful as possible. Story, story, story. That has to be right and we’d love your input!

Budget of course affects all of this, but that’s the great thing about shooting this story in Southern Arizona; we can make a budget go much farther than most would expect.We shot the pilot for only $3,500.

Of all the projects I’ve worked on over the years, completed and not, I believe in this production the most. Everything is just waiting for us to “pull the trigger”. We’ve developed original characters in an exciting story, in one of the most starkly beautiful places on the planet. We’re ready.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


As I do the rewrites of my novel, SHOOTER, I often get so immersed into the story and the changes I’m rewriting that I don’t take the time to promote my current work.  I usually post a novel a day on Face Book, use Twitter for an hour or so, and make several postings on my blog each week. Plus, I’m still offering limited free novels on the weekend for those units still enrolled in amazon's KDP.

Normally I’m able to keep up and still be creative – advancing on other novels.  That process has been bogged down because of an adjustment on my overall strategy. 

THE LAST FRUIT STAND ON GUAM is being printed and will be available on Amazon and other retailers, soon.  I‘m paying attention to this proofing and designing process being handled by my good friend and associate, Steve Caresser, owner of  I’ve been through this process before when I was being published in the conventional manner – Agent, publisher, publicist…

The difference is: I’m now in control as an Indie publisher.  Steve is helping me as an outsource company; just as he does in formatting my e-books; the same with all the editing.  It’s outsourced to Melissa Gray and not part of a big publishing firm. I pay these people and the US government for recording my copyright.  I pay for the ISBN, and then I publish my novel through the various retailers; the most notable being Amazon. The difference is HUGE.  I retain all my rights and make decisions – right or wrong about who sells my books and for what price.  Since I retain all the rights, I’m also able to have more than one printer.  For instance, THE LAST FRUIT STAND ON GUAM will be printed not only for the USA audience, I am contracting with a firm in Manila, Philippines to print the same novel and several other titles that seem to sell well in that part of the world. There is no conflict with printers versus publisher because I decide. I’m the INDIE. 

Freight on books is outrageous. Shipping the proof to Panama for me to inspect cost $17.67.  I’m confident I can lower those costs by shipping by boat but I’m still going to look for a local book printer.  My plans are to tour Panama with personal appearances at locations frequented by North Americans and Europeans.  Once Xmas comes and goes, I may take my show on the road in the Philippines where six titles are being printed.  Plans after that trip?  Who knows?  I’ll decide when I decide.
Soon most of the retailers that sell my work will also be able to sell an unusual package.  A novel plus the adapted screenplay included at the back of the book. (a full two hour movie script)  Currently I have five novels that that will be packaged in this manner.  Currently I’m writing another novel that is only a screenplay but will round out the Curtis and RC series.  Announcements will be made this later month.

Monday, September 9, 2013


A dear friend of mine just returned from a six week vacation in the states.  As usual, she returned with goodies one can’t acquire here in Panama.  For me it was lids for the wide mouth canning jars and peppermint oil.

We spent the other day catching up. She described in detail all the food she expressly sought, where she visited and the activities in which she participated.  Then she mentioned the food again.

I have other friends who left last week.  The husband of the couple is going to visit his family. His wife has a different agenda.  She e-mailed it to me a week before they left.  

**** FOOD WE WANT WHEN WE GO BACK TO USA!! in no particular order ****

  1. TacoBell
    1. Stephany - only beef & cheese tacos w/Hot & Mild Sauces...Cheesy Nachos...Chicken Quesadilla...Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes...Cinna Twists
    2. Stephen- Supreme Nachos
  2. Chili's
  3. Cuban restaurant (miami/atlanta)
  4. Puerto Rican (Cuti's) - moro w/pernil (pork)
  5. Cheesecake Factory
  6. Nathan's Hot Dog(@Airport)
    1. hot dog w/cheese & fries combo (light ice on drinks, since no refills)
  7. Dominican food
    1. breakfast - mangu, salchichon, queso frito, scrambled eggs, and passion fruit juice to drink
    2. lunch - sancocho de habichuela
    3. snacks - morir sonando/habichuela con dulce
  8. Ruby Tuesday (**USE BUY 1 GET 1 FREE COUPONS**)
  9. Chipotle Mexican Grill
  10. Bahama Breeze
  11. Five Guys
  12. Buffalo Wild Wings
  13. Rally's or Checkers
    1. French Fries & Strawberry Milkshake
  14. NY Pizza in NYC or NY Pizza from Pizza City off pleasantburg rd
    1. Xtra Chz Lg Pizza
  15. Arby's
  16. McDonald's
    1. Caramel Frappe
  17. Carrabba's
    1. Pasta Carrabba w/no mushrooms
    2. Chicken Marsala
    3. Lentil & Sausage soup (appetizer for two)
  18. Wendy's chicken sandwich w/cheese, no tomatoes
    1. ask for french fries with no salt & then add my own salt (wendy's uses sea salt)
  19. Entenmann's Chocolate Chip Cookies (buy @ publix or walmart)
  20. Sonic limeade w/extra cherries
  21. Publix vanilla cupcakes (for Stephany only)
  22. Long John Silvers (for Stephen only)
  23.  Staxs Omega
    1. breakfast
  24. Dennys
    1. breakfast
  25. Cracker Barrel
    1. Breakfast
  26. Cici’s Pizza Buffet
  27. Ryan’s
  28. Uncle Poon’s Chinese restaurant
    1. Pork Fried Rice, no onions, add bean sprouts
    2. Crunchy Noodles
    3. Fried Chicken Wings
  29. McAlister’s Deli
    1. Loaded spuds
    2. Iced Tea
  30.  Moe’s
  31. Cook-Out
  32. MexicoLindo (Spartanburg)
    1. Stephen – speedy Gonzalez combo w/coca cola
    2. Stephany – grilled chicken quesadilla w/lemonade
    3. Queso dip
  33.  Bruster’s Ice Cream
  34. Sugar n Spice
    1. Souvlaki (greek)
  35. QuickTrip (QT)
    1. 50 cent icecream
    2. Drinks/Slushee
    3. Donuts, after 3pm freshly made from that morning go down to 50cents
  36.  Haywood Mall
    1. Thai food – mango chicken & lomein
    2. Japanese teriyaki
  37. Filipino food
    1. Lumpia
  38. Cinnabon
  39. Dunkin Donuts
  40. Starbucks
  41.  Hardees
    1. Biscuits
  42. Jack In the Box
  43.  Chick- Fil-A
    1. Breakfast, lunch
  44. Salvadorian food
    1. Popusas – meat,beans, and cheese
  45. Movie theatre – Hollywood 20
    1. Popcorn w/melted butter (refillable), nachos w/cheese, xtra napkins, raisinets, skittles, xlg drink (w/refills)
  46.  Outback Steakhouse
    1. Alice Springs Chicken
  47. Target – popcorn $1.00


Thursday, September 5, 2013


Amazon has a plan they call the KDP select.  It allows a member of their PRIME to borrow an e-book that is enrolled in the program to be read for free.  It also allows the author to create FREE promotional days; up to 5 days every three months.  Unless notified – they always renew a title in the program.  I’m trying to get out… some titles will be hooked into their exclusivity for the next sixty days.  Since I have 12 titles and a 13th on the way, I could be giving a book away almost every day. I choose not to because there are too many hoarders and not enough readers.  My previous post was all about the low-life individuals that receive free books and then have the audacity to criticize the author.   Certain novels I will never give away again.  Once they come out of the KDP Select, they won’t go back.  Others I may continue to offer for FREE.  MURDER IN PANAMA is one that I will offer from time to time.  CRYSTAL COWBOY is another.  Both of these novels are available in the next couple of days; on a limited basis.  A third novel, TRES PIEDRAS will be free on Sunday.

Most of my other work will be for sale at other retail points; my second choice for sales is: ePrinted books.