Our film is scheduled to screen Sunday, February 20th, 2011 at 1pm in the Eifler Theater as part of their "Kentucky Filmmaker" program. Over 59 films representing 5 countries were selected for the festival. 25 are international films, 7 are World Premieres and 2 are US premieres…and we are honored to be among them.
Tickets and passes will go on sale January 1st at 10 am Eastern Time via the Festival Website.
I have been inundated lately with invitations to submit my books to the London Book Festival, the Paris Book Festival, the San Francisco Book Festival, the New England Book Festival, the Hollywood Book Festival, the New York Book Festival, the Beach Book Festival, the Nashville Book Festival and several others.
They sound prestigious, don't they?
What these "Festivals" all have in common is that they have the same entry requirements and the same entry fees.
That's because they are actually all contests run by Bruce Haring's JM Northern Media and are, as the Miss Snark Literary Agent Blog aptly put it, "a crock of shit." Here are the details, for example, for the the 2011 Paris Book Festival:
The 2011 Paris Book Festival will consider entries in general non-fiction, fiction, biography/autobiography, children's books, cookbooks, compilations/anthologies; e-books; genre-based, how-to, photography/art, spiritual, music, teenage/young adult, unpublished stories and the wild card (anything goes!) categories published on or after Jan. 1, 2006.
Entries can be in French, English, Spanish, German or Portuguese and can be published, self-published or issued by an independent publishing house.
Our grand prize for the 2011 Paris Book Festival is $1500 cash and a flight to Paris for our gala awards ceremony on May 14, 2011 OR a flight to San Francisco, CA and a similar cash grant for our San Francisco Book Festival awards on the same date.
[…]Applications must be accompanied by a non-refundable entry fee via check, money order, credit card payment or PayPal online payment of $50 in U.S. dollars for each submission. Multiple submissions are permitted but each entry must be accompanied by a separate form and entry fee. Entry fee checks should be made payable to JM Northern Media LLC.
So let's examine those very discriminating rules. They will consider any book, published or unpublished, in almost any conceivable genre, written in one of five languages in the last five years. And you can enter the same book in as many categories as you want, as long as you keep writing checks for $50 to JM Northern each time.
That tough, rigorous criteria should tell you something about how prestigious and highly selective these "awards" and "festivals" actually are.
But if that isn't enough, look at what the winner of the Paris Book Festival will get… $1500 bucks and a trip to Paris OR "a similar cash grant" and a trip to San Francisco. You'll also notice that they don't tell you where exactly this "festival" is being held.
So I guess if you win the Paris Book Festival prize for your unpublished, 2007 collection of viking transgender time-travel poetry written in Portuguese….your prize could be $107.68 (which is similar to $1500 in that it's money) and a ticket to San Francisco (which is like Paris, in that it's a city) for the Festival which, for all you know, is being held at a Denny's in Daly City. Order the Grand Slam, it's tasty.
It amazes me that anyone falls for this, especially since winning an award at one of these "festivals" carries no prestige whatsoever, either in the publishing world or the entertainment industry. Or, as Miss Snark put it way back in 2006:
This is like being elected prom queen in a high school with six girls.
These kinds of "awards" are the latest crock of shit way to separate you from your money. They only need a couple suckers to make this thing profitable.
But JM Northern has been running these contests for years.…which I suppose means that there's still lots of money to be made from stupid authors, hungry for even meaningless recognition.
Every Friday, a bunch of mystery fans and bloggers pick their favorite forgotten or overlooked classic of the genre. THE MAN WITH THE IRON-ON BADGE was author Paul D. Brazill’s choice today and he said, in part:
The Man with the Iron-On Badge by Lee Goldberg is a classic PI novel full of great lines and twists and turns with a touch of the Rockford Files and The Big Lebowski about it.
Thanks so much, Paul!
I've been having some creative problems with the spec script I am writing, which is loosely based on an unfinished novel of mine. But then, in my moment of darkest despair, I got this life saving tweet from Brien Jones at Jones Harvest, an obscure vanity press:
Have you ever wanted to see your novel as a movie? Contact us about about our screenplay writing services!
Wow. What a great opportunity! I had to learn more. So I immediately went to their site, and saw this under their services tab:
Screenplay – One of our professional editors will write an industry standard screenplay from your provided manuscript.
They don't offer any more details, but even that little bit filled me with confidence. I could just send them my manuscript and their editors would make it into a script. What other publisher offers that great service?
I was curious what makes the "professional editors" at Jones Harvest think that, just because they can edit a book, they can also write a script. Aren't they very different skills?
So I looked up the screenwriting credits of Brien Jones, the publisher and editor of Jones Harvest, to see if he's a member of the Writers Guild of America or if he's had any produced screenwriting credits. He's not a WGA member and I couldn't find a single movie or TV credit to his name…but according to his site and photos, he has visited Los Angeles and taken a studio tour, so he probably knows his stuff.
Where do I send the check?
The paperback edition of MR. MONK IS CLEANED OUT hits bookstores, airports, drugstores, ebook retailers, and finer supermarkets nationwide today. The hardcover edition was a big hit and got some terrific reviews, including:
"Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out is one of those books that makes me smile when it arrives. I love what Lee does with these books. His ability to channel Monk is uncanny and almost makes me wonder if they based this character on him in some way when they developed the series for TV. In truth it's just that Goldberg is a Hell of a writer. California is broke, and this ends up hurting the city of San Francisco's police department and Mr. Monk is out of consulting work till there are funds again. Thinking he can manage to get by on savings Monk isn't too worked up… yet. Unfortunately all of Monks money was invested with a Bob Sebes who ran Reiner Investments. As it turns out, Sebes took all the money and has been arrested in the mother of all fraud cases. Monk is busted flat broke. When a witness ends up dead, Monk steps in to solve a case that involves the main suspect being under constant watch and not being able to leave his building. Using a story idea "ripped from the headlines" works great here and Goldberg weaves a tale that is fun, entertaining as hell and totally satisfying. I now associate Monk with Goldberg more than with the TV show." —Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine
"Lee Goldberg has done it again! He has captured Adrian Monk (from the TV series Monk) to perfection… Mr. Goldberg has every nuance, every gesture, every mannerism of Monk down pat. If you have seen the Monk series you will feel Goldberg's Monk is an exact match. Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out is a fun, easy read. Like Mr. Goldberg's other books it is a great escape. Sit back, relax, and enjoy! On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 5.0!" —Futures Mystery Magazine
"I've deeply enjoyed these novels. It is not easy to catch a character like Monk, and depict the reactions to him and his maddening ways, but Lee Goldberg manages marvelously well, book after book. There are some sterling moments here, as when Monk is a grocery checkout clerk—and solves a murder in the process of driving everyone else nuts. I hope this series will keep right on, regardless of the status of the TV show."
—Richard S. Wheeler, Spur Award winning author of MASTERSON and the "Barnaby Skye" novels
"One of the things that makes this series so distinctive is the full and realistic portraits we get of Natalie and her daughter Julie. The writing here is especially strong. Lee Goldberg is good at describing the way we live now. The old wrestling come on "This time it's personal" applies here because Monk plans to trap, humiliate, debase and defoliate the "dude" (who said Monk is out touch?) who took his money. A truly artful comedy that has a lot to say about the people who robbed us blind over the past three decades." —Ed Gorman, author of TROUBLE MAN and GUILD
"Lee Goldberg has become a genius in my book![…] As a reader, this novel delighted me in many ways. There was not a bad page in this book; each page is filled with humor, drama and emotion. While I cannot as a person understand Monk's obsessive compulsive disorder, I sympathized with the characters surrounding him. His problems were heartbreaking yet laugh out loud funny at the same time. Lee Goldberg has taken a serious disorder and turned it into one of the funniest drama's I have ever read—or seen." —Love, Romances and More Blog
"I keep thinking that Goldberg is going to run out of situations or new ways for Monk to react to the world, but he seems to be endlessly inventive. I found myself laughing out loud more than once in the course of the book. Monk's relationship with Natalie advances, too. I'm not saying anything more about that, but the relationship between them gets more complex with each book.This is fine entertainment, and I'm already looking forward to the next book." —Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine Blog
"Lee Goldberg's gift of humor is, I think, the main ingredient in making this series of novels work at such a high level. Taking such every day mundane situations or objects (like a bottle of water), and weaving them into a well-crafted novel that is moving and insightful from start to finish is no small undertaking, but he succeeds novel after novel. Mr. Monk Gets Cleaned Out is a fun summer read. It took the pain of missing the series out for me right away." —Gelati's Scoop Blog
"This highly entertaining tale takes place in San Francisco before the events of the show's final season. It adroitly explores the obsessive-compulsive behavioral problems of the brilliant but flawed detective.[…]This is great fun if you were addicted to the popular television show—you don't even have to read others in the series to enjoy it." —The Curious Book News Blog
"Lee Goldberg's Monk books are always worth reading. The mysteries are good, often laugh-out-loud funny, and Monk is simply a wonderful character who comes across as well on the page as he does on the screen…Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out is another solid read in the series." —Debra Hamel, The Book Blog
"For those suffering from withdrawal following the cancellation of the Monk television series, help has arrived… For a lighthearted, enjoyable who-done-it with an old friend, read Mr. Monk is Cleaned Out—you'll thank me later!" —Christina Forsythe, San Francisco Book Review
The founding writers of Top Suspense — Max Allan Collins, Vicki Hendricks, Ed Gorman, Bill Crider, Harry Shannon and Dave Zeltserman — have tag-teamed a short story that will play out for the next twelve days on the group's blog. Top Suspense is offering free books to the first five readers who can match each segment of the story to the author who wrote it. Dave explains how the tag-team story came about:
The rules for us in writing this story: no planning, no coordination, no safety nets. Each day one of us wrote up to 250 words of a short story and passed it onto the next writer, with each writer eventually working on two segments. The only leeway was the last writer got to go past the 250 word limit to try to finish up the story, and the only editing done was for consistency errors.
The first part of the story is up today. You can read it here.
Top Suspense is the brand for a group of acclaimed authors who've written terrific mystery, thriller, horror and western ebooks. I've recently joined the group…so you can expect to hear more about it here over the coming weeks.