My first novel, The Count of the Living Death is free on Amazon this Monday-Wednesday (e-book only, of course). It's a short, fast-paced YA fantasy that should appeal to all ages (I mean, I wrote it, and I'm 40!), so give it a try or your money back (well, it's free, so...)
Here's the blurb: Count Leopold always wondered about the strange chest sealed with three magic locks. His father warned him never to mention the Box—nor pry into the secret chamber where it was kept. Now the Box has begun speaking to Leopold, begging him to find the key and undo the hateful locks. If he does so, it promises him to fulfill his every desire, even offering him the hand of the forbidden—and forbiddingly named— Lady Mary Bianca Domenica de Grassini Algarotti. However, before unfastening the third lock he catches a glimpse of something unspeakable inside—and turns to the only man who shared his father’s secret, the legendary Conjurer-Magician, Hildigrim Blackbeard. A man who, if the stories are true, will exact a terrible price in return for his service.
You can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Count-Living-Chronicles-Hildigrim-Blackbeard-ebook/dp/B00FQ6711Y/ref=pd_rhf_gw_s_t_1
ALSO, you can read a preview of the book at the bottom of this blog.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Sunday, August 3, 2014
In Act V of The Merchant of Venice, the two lovers Lorenzo and Jessica are listening to music on a moonlit night. Though Jessica is uneasy about the music—and possibly Lorenzo’s faithfulness—Lorenzo proclaims the power of love through music:
For do but note a wild and wanton herd
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud,
Which is the hot condition of their blood;
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
Or any air of music touch their ears,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turned to a modest gaze
By the sweet power of music...The man that has no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, strategems, and spoils...Let no such man be trusted (V.1.).
In Hollywood, it’s generally assumed that there are few such men—or women—in the audience. Indeed, the “wild and wanton herd” is always ready to be manipulated by the blood and guts power of music, which is arguably the key component to movie magic. To test this, mute a particularly action-packed or emotional scene and compare it to the original. More than the dialogue is missing: a crucial element of the atmosphere dissipates, leaving a kind of shadow play on screen, recognizable only to those who have seen the original. Oftentimes scores can be needlessly obtrusive or sentimental, and for this reason can get in the way of the story and the actors. At their best, however, music accentuates the drama and makes us feel things ‘between the lines’ of a film which no amount of acting or dialogue can possibly create. Bette Davis famously complained that Erich Korngold’s surging, Romantic scores all too often upstaged her, which can be well imagined when listening to the soundtrack to Elizabeth and Essex or Captain Blood. So what is the proper role of a movie soundtrack: background support or lead actor in its own right?