Sunday, August 26, 2012

Q: Who is Glenn M. Benest? A: Award winning writer/producer

Glenn M. Benest got his bachelors degree at Harvard University and his Master of Fine Arts at U.C.L.A. in playwriting. 

He is an award winning writer/producer with seven produced film credits. In 2004 he wrote and produced his own independent film, “Hungry Hearts,” which was picked up by Shoreline Entertainment for worldwide distribution. It has won numerous awards, including the Special Jury Prize at the Houston International Film Festival (Worldfest) for best low budget feature and Best Dark Comedy Feature at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

Glenn has written two high profile films for acclaimed filmmaker Wes Craven: “Deadly Blessing,” starring Sharon Stone and Ernest Borgnine and “A Stranger In Our House,” starring Linda Blair and Lee Purcell.

Mr. Benest is also the Creative Director for The Freeman Group, which writes independent films and video games for companies around the world. They have worked on projects such as Marc Ecko’s “Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure,” for Attari Europe and “Terminator 3: The Redemption,” also for Attari.

Mr. Benest teaches professional level screenwriting workshops in the Los Angeles area. Five feature films have been launched from these groups, including “Scream,” “Teaching Mrs. Tingle,” “Andre,” “Event Horizon,” and the latest “Niloofar,” which premiered at the American Film Institute’s International Film Festival and screened at the Berlin Film Festival and Cannes.
Many of Glenn’s students have gotten their work optioned and have been able to get managers and agents because of the work they’ve done in class. Former students also work now on high profile series such as “Dexter.” Glenn lectures around the world on screenwriting and has been a lecturer for many years at the Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles.

Mr. Benest also is the creator of the Facebook group: “Secrets of Screenwriting Group,” which currently has over 1350 members. He sends out mini lectures weekly on every facet of screenwriting – including developing great characters, writing memorable dialogue and creating great narrative for the reader.

In addition to his screenwriting privately with screenwriters all private consultations, providing as well as guiding screenwriters workshops, Glenn also works over the world. He gives feedback on completed scripts through the process of writing their screenplays.

Glenn is currently writing a paranormal romance - more on that here soon!

Tips on screenwriting - Glenn's web page - HERE 

If you have enjoyed reading this post, please share via facebook and Twitter. 
Many thanks, Patti Roberts.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

YA Series coming soon - Book Cover Release - Ominous Love - Book 1

Patricia Puddle's exciting new YA Fantasy book - Ominous Love - will be release within days.


Patricia has a Competition and the prize will be a free copy of Ominous Love when it's released.

The competition is for you to guess the ages of the couple in the picture below. Just leave a comment and the first person to guess the correct ages will win a paperback copy. The second and third guesser will win an eBook copy. Enter HERE

My very first Young Adult Book is due out soon. The cover, banner and poster were all created for me by Patti Roberts, a wonderful author and entrepreneur at  Paradox Book Covers & Trailers Custom MadeThank you so much Patti, I couldn't be more thrilled.

In my MG Children's Books, I draw my own illustrations for the covers, or use the photos of my nieces and create them with the help of my sister, but with this Young Adult book, I was looking for a great image of an Angel for my cover. I couldn't find the right picture anywhere, but then I went to Patti Robert's website and wham! There he was, the perfect Angel for my character. I just had to have him.  I asked Patti if she could add a young couple that looked like my characters. She did and also asked me about the story. She's fabulous, she not only added the beach, but also added the lightning and put the Angel right where his enters the story. Thanks Patti Roberts, you're a doll.
Patricia Puddle. Author

About Patricia's earlier work: Patricia writes and illustrates humorous books for children, but she particularly loves writing stories for reluctant readers. So with her memories of being a mischievous seven-year-old, she created her series, (Adventures of Rascals, Polly and Gertie.)The first two books in the Rascals series, (Star-Crossed Rascals and Rascals Sing at The Opera House), are aimed to make kids laugh, adults too as they read to their children.

Volunteering for a wildlife rescue charity also gives Patricia inspiration, so she created another series for children called: (Adventures of Molly Gumnut.) 

Patricia has also written a Fantasy Series: (Adventures of Velvet and Roseberry) 

For further information, you can contact Patricia directly on her facebook page HERE.


Authors Book Cover Designer - HERE

If you have enjoyed reading this post, please share via Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Author Interview - (LEIGH RUSSELL) (Geraldine Steel series of crime thrillers Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed #Ficstory #Crime

Hi Leigh, where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born and grew up near London, and I’m still here. That’s one reason why my detective moved from the home counties to London in the latest book in my series.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in less than 30 words, what would you say?
Death Bed is the 4th Geraldine Steel novel, following the career of my detective who tracks down murderers as I explore what drives people to kill.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Death Bed follows Cut Short, Road Closed and Dead End, and seems to be following their success. Among other highlights Cut Short was shortlisted for a CWA Dagger Award, Road Closed was a Top Read on Eurocrime, Dead End reached the Top 50 Bestsellers list on amazon and was voted a Best Crime Fiction Book of 2011 in a poll on Crime Time, and Death Bed was selected for the amazon kindle Summer Reading Marathon and reached the Top 50 Bestsellers chart for WH Smith’s Travel. The 5th book in the series is with my publisher and will be available to download this year, in print next year. I am half way through the 6th. I think my publisher will carry on commissioning them as long as the series continues to sell so well.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?
I’m lucky to be on the circuit where I meet some of my favourite authors: Jeffery Deaver, Peter James, Lee Child, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Ian Rankin and many more. Crime writers have a well deserved reputation for being friendly.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
I have nothing against e-readers. They make books accessible and portable. Sales of ebooks (excluding free downloads) are now outstripping print sales (paperback and hardback combined) by 114 to 100.  It took four years for this to happen in the US.  In the UK it has taken just two years. In the autumn our only major bookshop chain, Waterstones, will be selling kindles. What concerns me is that we will reach a tipping point where physical bookshops are no longer viable. We may already have reached it, with Waterstones surviving only with funding from Russian billionaire Mamut. If he withdrew his support, Waterstones would fold overnight.

Where do you prefer to buy your books?
I use amazon for convenience, but prefer to go to a bookshop when I can. I would never buy a book from a charity shop as this puts no money at all back into the dying publishing industry.

Are you a self published (Indie) Author?
I am with a traditional publishing house who are wonderful. All I have to do is write, and they deal with everything else. But I love going out and meeting my readers whenever I can.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?
I am currently reading a book by Peter Murphy that is due for publication in 2013, as I have been approached for a blurb quote. Fortunately, I am really enjoying it so far! 

Are there any Authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?
There are far too many to mention here, although I have to mention Jeffery Deaver, who is a fan of mine, and Peter James who I’ll be interviewing on the phone next week for Mystery People.  A phone interview is a very different experience to an online interview – I’ll have to be on my toes! I’ve been the interviewee in phone interviews many times, of course, speaking to journalists and BBC radio presenters, often live, but have never interviewed a fellow author on the phone before. Wish me luck!

Who designed the cover of your book?
My publisher looks after all production tasks. They consult me about covers, but the choice of image is ultimately a sales decision, not an artistic one. I’m waiting for the day when my name appears in huge letters on the front of a book, with nothing else but the title
. That’s when you know you’ve really made it, when your books sell in hundreds of thousands on the strength of your name alone!

Do you buy a book by the cover?
Not necessarily as I tend to know what I’m looking for, based on my knowledge of the author’s work, or recommendation. But covers are important as they give a first impression of a book.

Do you have a book trailer?
No, and I’ve only ever watched one which was shoddy. Should I watch more?

Do you have any advice for other writers?
I give seminars on how to prepare manuscripts for submission, and run workshops for the Society of Authors, so I could write a book in response to this question!  The short version is: work hard, be brave, and be lucky. Don’t write in hopes of being published, because the chances are very slim, however good your writing is. It’s great to be a published author, but the real thrill comes from writing. So if you don’t love the process for its own sake, find something else to do.

Do you write under a pen name?

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?
If I get up in the morning with a day of writing ahead, I might not waste time getting dressed before I start. There are times when I am very focused on what I’m writing. 

White wine or red?
Any wine will do.

Coffee or tea?
Both. Either. Put a cup in front of me and I’ll drink it, but no sugar please.

Do you like to cook? Do you have a favorite food?
I can’t cook. Left to my own devices I would grab whatever I could find in the cupboard and only go to the shops when there was nothing edible left in the house. Fortunately I live in a household of brilliant cooks who like going to supermarkets. Every evening one of my housemates puts a wonderful dinner in front of me. I’m very spoiled.

What do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?
My husband makes me breakfast every day – eggs, beans, toast, coffee. (I told you I’m spoiled!)

What are 4 things you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?
Pens (including a purple one in case anyone asks me to sign a book for them,) notebook, filofax, make up bag.

Sleep in or get up early?
I go to bed far too late so sleep in when I can.

Laptop or desktop for writing?
Either.  A desktop is far better for posture, but I love my little netbook.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Anywhere, any time.

Your thoughts on receiving book reviews - the good and the bad.
I prefer the good! My books have been well reviewed in journals like The Times, and from top crime reviewers like Barry Forshaw, in the UK and the US alike. I’m sure this helps sales. That said, I welcome constructive criticism where I can understand it, and where it is justified. How else am I going to improve as a writer? But it’s best if the constructive criticism comes from my brilliant editor, not from reviewers when it’s too late to change the book!

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?
Peter James, Lee Child, and Jeffery Deaver. They are all exceptionally charming, tall enough to pick fruit that’s out of my reach, and full of brilliant stories to while away the hours.

Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?
I’m never happier than when I’m at home.

One of your favorite quotes 
I have a so many favourite quotations, it’s hard to pick just one. “I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” (Agatha Christie)

An actor or a book character you have a crush on.
Colin Firth and Mr Darcy.

What is a movie or TV show that you watched just recently and really enjoyed?
I watch crime series, and Frasier, Spooks and Hustle.

Where can your readers stalk you?
Links to facebook, twitter, blog, amazon (print and kindle), youtube and lots more are on my website and I can be contacted via my website.  I can’t promise to respond straight away, but I always respond to emails. If you’ve read this far, please follow me on facebook and twitter as well! 

Among many accolades in journals like The Times and US Publishers Weekly, LEIGH RUSSELL is described as "a brilliant talent" by Jeffery Deaver. CUT SHORT (2009) was shortlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger Award for Best First Novel. Road Closed (2010) was listed as a Top Read on Eurocrime. With Dead End (2011) Leigh's detective Geraldine Steel was Number 1 on amazon kindle's bestseller chart for female sleuths. Leigh enjoys meeting readers and there is a schedule of her appearances here. Leigh gives many interviews online, in the press and on BBC Radio stations and appears at literary festivals, in bookshops and libraries, giving talks, running workshops and, of course, signing her books. She can be heard talking about crime fiction, how to get published, and many other topics, as well as reading from her books, on

You can find Leigh's books on Amazon - HERE 

If you have enjoyed reading about Leigh, please share by Tweeting and Facebooking this post.

Many thanks to Leigh, and to you, the reader!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Is Your Novel "Long Enough?" By guest Blogger Michael K. Rose. Does size really matter?

The Long and short of it - Does size really matter? Welcome to Guest Blogger and Author Michael K. Rose.

As you may know, I've recently released Sullivan's War: The Complete Adventure. It collects three novellas (called Sullivan's War: Books I, II and III) which were released individually but make up one story line. Those novellas, usually priced at $2.99 apiece, have been selling fairly well. But The Complete Adventure's sales have been fantastic, selling in twelve days nearly as many copies as Book I, even though Book I's price was reduced to 99 cents near the beginning of the month.

I had suspected that I would see an increase in sales once I released The Complete Adventure, and here's why: I'd read long ago that many readers prefer to read only novels. They do not particularly care for short stories, and novellas? What the hell is a novella? The unimpressive sales of my collection Short Stories seems to support this idea. Even though Short Stories has a good number of positive reviews and I promoted it as heavily (if not more heavily) than Sullivan's War: The Complete Adventure, I sold nearly 7 times as many copies of Sullivan's War as Short Stories during July. And remember, Sullivan's War: The Complete Adventure was only available for the last twelve days of the month.

Now, I'm one who has always been a champion for short stories. I write them, obviously, and I even wrote a blog post called "Why I Love Short Stories." Another post I wrote as a guest on ME Franco's blog is called "Short Fiction is Dead?" In it, I propose that the eBook revolution will see a reemergence of shorter fiction. One thought is that a short story or novella can be published without the concern of making sure a "book" is of a profitable length. Now that printing costs are not a factor, any length can be a profitable length, assuming the story is sufficiently attractive to readers. Well, the three Sullivan's War novellas have been profitable, as have a few of the short stories I released individually. But my experience these past two weeks with Sullivan's War: The Complete Adventure has convinced me that full-length novels are going to be even more profitable. And while profit should not be a writer's sole consideration, it is unavoidable if one wishes, as I do, to make a living at it.

So is your novel long enough? What is long enough? The dividing line between novels and novellas ranges from 40,000 words to 60,000 words or higher. Will readers be "unsatisfied" with a 40,000-word novel? Does the word novella scare some people away? And what can one reasonably charge for short stories, novellas, short novels, long novels? I've been publishing my fiction for less than a year, and I'm still trying to work all of this out. But the sales of Sullivan's War: The Complete Adventure have convinced me that, for now at least, I should probably not focus on writing short stories quite as much. Novels are what readers want, and I have about a dozen novels waiting to be written. I just hope I can make them long enough.

What do you consider to be a minimum length for a novel? If you prefer novels over novellas or short stories, why? I'd love to hear any thoughts on this topic; just leave a comment below.

Michael K. Rose - I am a writer of science/speculative fiction. Please feel free to friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. E-mail me at:

Michael's Blog - HERE
Visit Michael on AMAZON 

If you have enjoyed this blog post, please Tweet or facebook. Many thanks. Patti Roberts.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Siren of Paris, the debut work of historical fiction by David LeRoy

Summary of the Novel (from Amazon):

In German occupied Paris, a group of unlikely people join in collaboration to smuggle Allied airman south to Spain. One of those intrepid heroes happens to be American. The Siren of Paris, the debut work of historical fiction by David LeRoy, tells a searing story of love, betrayal, forgiveness, and war that brings to vivid life the shimmering City of Lights during its darkest hours during World War II.

The story starts in 1939, when Marc Tolbert, the French-born son of a prominent American family, takes off for Paris to follow his dream of becoming an artist. Marc’s life soon sparkles in the ex-pat scene in Paris. His new friend Dora introduces him to a circle that includes the famous Sylvia Beach, owner of the bookstore Shakespeare & Company; and he accepts a job with William Bullitt, US ambassador to France. At art school, he finds himself further enchanted by the alluring model Marie.

Marc’s Parisian reverie, however, is soon clouded over by the increasing threat from Germany. As Americans scramble to escape Paris, he finds himself trapped by the war, and nearly meets his fate on the disastrous day of June 17, 1940, aboard the RMS Lancastria. Upon returning to Paris, his fate grows more troubled still, as he smuggles Allied airman through the American Hospital to the Paris Resistance underground, until a profound betrayal leads him into the hands of the Gestapo and onto Buchenwald.

Rigorously researched and vibrant in historical detail, The Siren of Paris reimagines one of history’s most turbulent times through the prism of an American abroad in Europe’s most harrowing days. Poignant, gripping, and thought-provoking, The Siren of Paris mines the human dilemma of revenge versus forgiveness, and vividly captures the conflicted state of survival.


     “Marc, I have a question for you,” Marie said. “Yes,” he said nervously, wondering if the argument would escalate. “I model for another class, and the male model has been called up. There is a session tomorrow night and I need a model for some classic poses. There will be a few seven-minute poses and likely one longer pose of thirty or forty minutes. I think you would be perfect.”
     “I have never modeled before,” he stammered. “Oh, it is cake. Don’t worry. Besides, it will give you a new appreciation when you are drawing your subject. It is important to know what life is like on the other side. Your work is very good and this will make it even better. What do you say? Class is at six in the evening.”      “Uh … what kind of poses?” he asked, relaxing a little.

     “Classical,” Marie said. Marc arrived before Marie. The instructor showed him the dressing room. Marie entered a few minutes later.

     “Are you nervous?” she asked. “A little,” he said, shaking out his hands. “I’m not sure how I will do.”
     “I am always nervous just before, but it goes away.” Marie removed her blouse and dropped her dress. “Do I strip here?” Marc looked left and right nervously.

     “Of course. I know. It is odd, but it makes sense since we are going to model together.” Her slip dropped to the ground. Marc removed his pants and shirt, neatly folding them before putting on the robe. He found himself getting slightly aroused, but quickly focused on an art object in the window, willing his arousal to pass. The full impact of the stupidity of agreeing to her request hit him as his heartbeat quickened.
     “If you get hard, don’t worry. It is not like the first time,” she joked.

     “Thanks, you’re really helping here,”

     “I am just trying to help you relax, Marc. You have to see the humor in all this at times.” She laughed a bit more as she put on a dressing robe.
   “We are ready,” the instructor called. Marc and Marie walked into the center of the room to the circular stage, around which sat twenty students behind easels. Marc stood over Marie like a soldier in the first pose. Then Marc posed, looking back at Marie as she was turned away. Marc sank to a point where he became relaxed posing nude with her. It seemed as if the students’ eyes disappeared, as if no one else was in the room and he was safe with her.
 “Marc, I need you to put this around your neck. Don’t worry, we will not pull it.” The instructor gave him a rope. “Marie, you are going to be standing above him, with this staff extended over him. Make sure it is comfortable for you.” The instructor turned to his students. “Now, class, when you combine two classic poses such as this, it adds a new element to the composition. There is a relationship to ponder.” Marc posed, lying horizontal on the stage with his right arm bent at the elbow, torso straight, his legs crossed and extended, and his head bent downward with the rope around his neck. Marie stood over him with a vertical staff and her head slightly downturned, yet looking directly forward.
     “Marc’s pose clearly is the classical death of Gaul,” the instructor explained, “but Marie’s posture is intentionally uncertain. Is she his rescuer, or betrayer? Is she the one who pardons Gaul, or condemns him?” The long scream of the air raid sirens rose throughout the city just then, and the lights started to go out through the districts of Paris.      “And the reason the pose is neutral is that the composition is stronger if you leave the question of the relationship to the viewer,” the instructor said. The whining howl grew louder as sirens closer to the building joined in the chorus. Shouts and hollers filled the streets outside the windows.      The instructor took a deep breath of frustration and ran his hands over his face and hair. He said, “Can one of you get the lights? It appears we have another blackout.”

LeRoy, David. The Siren Of Paris

David Leroy did extensive research on the German occupation of France for his debut novel The Siren of Paris. This historical novel follows the journey of one American from medical student, to artist, to political prisoner at Buchenwald Concentration Camp during World War Two.  

About The Author:

My first passion in life is art. I started taking photographs when I was very young, until one day, I just started drawing and painting. It was my love of art that brought me to Europe in 2010. I never suspected that my art studies would lead me to writing a novel. I consider myself more of an accidental author, and I approach the task of writing with all the same creative visual tools I have from art studies.
In writing my first novel, The Siren of Paris, I drew upon my longtime interest in philosophy, the visual arts, myth, storytelling, psychology, and Ocean Liner travel. During a visit to France to study art in the fall of 2010, I became increasingly intrigued by the French Resistance, particularly when my research revealed the role of Americans in the Resistance, as well as the limited means of escape from Europe as the war escalated. I hold a bachelor of arts in philosophy and religion.
I am drawn to stories of struggle, resistance, and overcoming incredible odds. My choice of scene creation is absolutely impacted by my visual mind. I pre-visualize the scenes in my mind first, and then use what tools I have through the written word to describe the action.

You can purchase The Siren of Paris in Kindle e-book format from Amazon -- HERE - - and learn more about this author and novel at

For more information about this virtual book tour, please visit --

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