Novel Reading of SIDEKICKS, by Linda Palmer

Author website: http://www.lindavpalmer.com

Performed by Val Cole

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your novel about?

Mia Tagliaro was born with the ability to communicate with the dead, the reason her parents sent her to a weekend camp for kids with similar talents when she was just eight. With the help of seasoned psychics, she learned that she wasn’t a freak at all. There were lots of other people just like her, most especially a boy camper her age named TC, who got vibes from the living and the dead. By the end of their stay, Mia and TC had shared more than just secrets about their “sidekicks,” their nickname for psychic abilities. They shared a first kiss and a vow they’d never lose touch.

That was then. Now eighteen, Mia is quite comfortable in her skin and frequently passes along messages to the living from departed friends and family. She also helps the police with missing persons’ cases, loving the rush she gets when the lost are found. Though she hasn’t heard from her first crush, TC, for nearly a decade, Mia still thinks of him. So it’s quite a shock when they run into each other at a school dance. Tall, handsome, and athletic, TC, who calls himself Cooper now, seems just as amazing as she remembers. Then he tells her that his sidekicks deserted him years ago and actually uses the word “freak” when talking about them. Even worse, he lies when he says they can be friends again. Just when Mia is ready to give up on him, the ghost of Cooper’s dad begs her to try a little harder. But how can she reach a guy who not only thinks she’s weird, but deliberately keeps his distance?

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

YA/NA paranormal romance

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Determined heroine

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

This changes from day to day. At the moment, it’s Divergent. I’m hooked on Tris and Four.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

If Ed Sheeran opens his mouth to sing, that’s my newest favorite song.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Jane Eyre. I do love a good Gothic romance.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

A TV series about psychics. I began what iffing immediately.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Author Richelle Mead. Her Vampire Academy series is perfect, and that is very hard to do.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Music, books, movies, anything paranormal (but not scary).

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I wanted to hear it read with enthusiasm and passion.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Matthew Toffolo
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: Kimberly Villarruel
Camera Operator: Mary Cox

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Novel Transcript Reading of Crown and Steel, by Anna L. Walls

Performed by Val Cole

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Get to know the writer:

1. What is your novel about?

It’s about a young prince who had no worldly experience, because his father was a paranoid recluse. Since you can’t rule a kingdom exclusively from behind a desk, things fell apart. Now he has to put it all back together.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

This is mostly straight fiction with a slight religious tone. I call it Sword and Sorcery, but it’s more paranormal abilities than magic.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Good v Bad

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Ooh that would be a coin toss between Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Avatar.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

I don’t listen to a lot of music, but my favorites are Simon and Garfunkel and Loreena McKennitt.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

That would be The Lord of the Rings.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I just wanted to write something and this young prince came to mind. He of course would attain the crown, but it couldn’t be that easy. Hence the rest of the story.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I think I might enjoy talking with Leonard Nimoy. I’d also like to discuss LTR with J. R. R. Tolkien.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Family of course comes next, but I also love gardening.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I saw the add over on Crowdfire and thought I’d give it a try. It never hurts to try. If you don’t at least try, the result is always a fail.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Always try. Always try to be better. Always be willing to learn. And always write what you love. They say write what you know, which is good advice, but if you love what you write, for sure someone else will love it too.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

Novel Transcript Reading: MOST WANTED, by Linda Palmer

BUY on AMAZON

Performed by Katelyn Varadi

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your novel about?

Kate Lawless, nineteen, is all alone in the world and struggling at the moment to make ends meet. Although answering a World Security League all-call for psychics is dangerous in these phobic times, she is tempted by the promise of reimbursement for just showing up. Screenings take place in a hotel conference room. When hers goes very well—a shocker—she is checked in so that she can undergo further testing. Staying at the ritzy hotel is quite a treat for Kate. The Christmas decorations are beyond beautiful. The festive background music reminds her of past holidays, most of them celebrated with a foster family or with other kids living in the youth ranch or orphanages that have been her life since the age of two. Her holiday plans this year? Enjoy this surprise vacation to the max, take the money, and pay her past-due rent.

Nikolai Nycov, a Russian member of the WSL team, is assigned to her. While he claims that he’s only interested on a professional level, he won’t stop meddling in her personal life. He comes off as deliberately distant one minute; too helpful, the next. Although annoying, this actually intrigues Kate, as does the fact that her clairvoyance gets a psychic boost whenever Nikolai is physically close.

Distracted by her growing feelings for him, she finds it harder and harder to lock onto Mbali Tinibu, the ruthless Sierra Leone civil war criminal she is helping the WSL locate. Kate finally asks to work alone and is given permission in spite of Nikolai’s objections. Only then does she realize how unpredictable and dangerous her psychic gifts can be. And having an annoying Russian around? Well, sometimes that’s not so bad.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Young/New adult paranormal romance

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

independent heroine

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Divergent

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

There are five songs on my list of all-time favorites. At the very top is “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Yikes. Another hard question. It would have to be Jane Eyre. It introduced me to Gothic romance, mystery, and courageous, timeless heroines. (I own every movie, series, and miniseries of it that has ever been made.)

7. What motivated you to write this story?

My favorite books, movies, or TV shows are usually ones with a spunky heroine, an inappropriate hero, and an element of danger. That’s what I read and watch with the most pleasure. That’s what I tend to write (with the most pleasure).

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be

Richelle Mead, author of the amazing Vampire Academy series, which I have read and re-read so many times. I have a lot of questions for her and a lot of compliments to pay.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Reading, music, and movies.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I wanted to hear it someplace besides inside my head.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

The most important thing you can do is to grab a pen, a pencil, a recorder, or a keyboard and BEGIN. Writers write.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

Novel Transcript Reading: The Damascus Cover, by Howard Kaplan

http://howardkaplanauthor.com/

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your novel about?

A spy navigates the precarious terrain of love and survival during an undercover mission in Syria.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Thriller
Romantic Suspense

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Surprise ending

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

The Shawshank Remdemption

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

The Band The Weight

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

John le Carre Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Winston Churchill about perseverence

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Hiking, kissing, cookies

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Sounded like fun

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Don’t tweet about your writing process, it distracts you and nobody buys books from such tweets

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo – http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

Novel Transcript Reading: Ode to the Darkest Days, by M. Ryan Hollows

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Get to know the writer:

1. What is your novel about?

A young man named Astinos, his wife stolen and a prophecy on his shoulders, must find his strength in order to fight through not only a host of invaders that hail from darkness, but also the demons that are his doubts. He struggles to make sense of it, the inklings of truth that hide beneath the veneer of this battle of Light vs Darkness.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Adventure, Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Survival

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Deep Complexity

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Rush Hour (I used watch it with my dad a lot)

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

People Live Here By Rise Against

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

No; I’m usually disappointed with the Fantasy books I read (Bad luck maybe…).

7. What motivated you to write this story?

When I was 7 I started imagining a lot, and came up with what is now the story I’m writing. It’s changed a lot, obviously, but that’s just because it has never stopped growing since then. Now it’s grown into a series I’m planning. I don’t think I could ever write another series I’d love more, and so this first book is very special. But as for what actually got me to start typing it up, the short version is that I got a crush on this famous girl, and I was hoping writing it would get me a shot at her, but eventually, like my story, my motivation to keep improving grew. Now I’d say my motivation is wanting to do something positive with writing, both through inspiring people with it, and hopefully helping people through the money I make, if in fact I make any money from this book, and the others that follow it.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

James Joyce. I think two writers with an overwhelming ‘God Complex” would have some interesting, albeit heated, conversations.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I like thinking about what I’d do if my writing took off. I’d like to help new writers, teach them to be freer with their idea of how to write a novel. And as I stated earlier, I would also like to help people.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I wanted exposure. I need all I can get, as I’m terrible at advertising myself. So when I saw this, I figured I’d give it a shot.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

When you write, don’t think of what you are supposed to do, but rather, let your writing flow out in a way that best suits the story you are trying to tell. And also, try not to emulate other authors too much; if there are any authors you particular like, just try to write with the same type of spirit that they do, think of how they approach it, and use that as the foundation to begin your own. Lastly, don’t be afraid to try putting in something that seems strange or out of place in your genre, or novels in general; I think books, and life in general, would be more interesting if more people did ‘strange things,’ as there would be so much more variety to enjoy.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo – http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

Novel Transcript Reading: Ghetto Bastard, by Russell Vann

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

http://ghettobastard.com/

Get to know the writer:

 1. What is your novel about?

Ghetto Bastard is a story of survival. Malik was born into these circumstances–with no father to teach him how to be a man, and to a mother who didn’t want him. Malik must navigate his way to adulthood with only the streets as his guide–through the seventies heroin infestation, the eighties crack rage, and the nineties Clinton mass incarceration era, and AIDS epidemic.

Once he becomes a man, his vision broadens, but will it be enough to abandon the very ghetto that created him?

Ghetto Bastard is the intimate journey of an innocent child in search of love and self-worth. He just wants what we all want. And Malik Russell wasn’t born with any ‘quit’, so he’s got that going for him, but neither was his opponent: the ghetto.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Memoir and Biography.

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Hard, truthful.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Across 110th Street.

5. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

The Greatest Love of All by George Benson.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.

7. What motivated you to write this story?

My life and great grandmother has been the inspiration for my work.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

My great grandfather because he passed away without me knowing him.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Protecting and advocating for societies devalued people.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I was influenced to enter to get my story performed because the written word that becomes the spoken word is a treasure to the blind. I wanted my work to be enjoyed by all people who wish to enjoy it.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Don’t be afraid because fear will prevent you from maximizing your full potential.

Producer: Matthew Toffolo – http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Matthew Toffolo

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editor: Kimberly Villarruel

Camera Op: Mary Cox

February 2018 Novel & Short Story Winners

ACTOR NOVEL TRANSCRIPT Reading – SOMEONE GETS HURT
February 2018 Reading
by Sherrie Lueder
ACTOR NOVEL TRANSCRIPT Reading – TWO HEADED SNAKE OF KEY WEST
February 2018 Reading
by Marilyn Dalla Valle
ACTOR NOVEL TRANSCRIPT Reading – LOST UNIVERSE
February 2018 Reading
by Keith Brandon
ACTOR SHORT STORY Reading – TERROR AT THE STERLING
February 2018 Reading
by Jeff Dawson
ACTOR SHORT STORY Reading – THE WAY OF CATS
February 2018 Reading
by Garon Whited
ACTOR SHORT STORY Reading – MURIEL AND THE GOOD EATS
February 2018 Reading
by Lionel Walfish

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox