Tuesday, June 5, 2012

IRONIC

Recently, while reading a blog comment on a sheet of paper, a devoted but perplexed friend of mine, Sue, approached me and stated:

"For gosh sakes, when's your next posting? Don't you know bloggers are supposed to post every week...or at least once a month."

I gazed up at her with a vague look. "Really?"

"Yes, really. And you haven't posted for over four months, leaving me hanging! I so enjoyed your last fascinating and eye-opening post and have been eagerly anticipating your next one. But after four months --- NOTHING?!"

My vague look dwindled. I sighed. "Easy. Sorry, I've been quite busy."

"So busy as to ignore your blog --- your followers," she reprimanded, frowning. "Some darn blogger you are!"

I returned her frown. "For heavens sake, don't be so critical. I've been too pressed finishing my screenplay for OF GOOD AND EVIL to write a new blog post."

"No excuses. Unacceptable. A blogger blogs ---regardless!"

My frown deepened. "Boy, you give no quarter, do you?"

"Not on this!" Sue was adamant.

"Just out out of the blue, what do you expect me to post?"

"Anything! Right now, I'd settle for...for...You mentioned your screenplay. How about something on that?"

My frown eased into a profound expression. "Okay, you want screenplay, you get screenplay. But before beginning, you must understand that for the mind a novel is more internal and meditative, whereas a movie is more external and visually expressive. I learned that in spades doing the screenplay; really learned the difference between a movie and the book it's based upon"

Sue's lovely features suddenly sparkled. "Now you're talking!" she exclaimed, excited. "What did you learn?...Did you have any help with your screenplay?..."

"Actually, the inital screenplay drafts were written by a movie script pro working with my film representative. Then all corrections and changes in their script --- plenty of them, no mean task, I can tell you --- were left for me to make, this becoming the final draft."

"I take it that was a problem," Sue said, a sympathetic tone.

"At first, yes. A big problem. You see, the screen script they gave me was limited in scope compared to the novel. At one point it even lost me."

"That lousy?!"she shuddered.

"No, no. The screen script was amazing in its own right --- still captivating...moving with graphic lure...sticking to the gist of the storyline. But for me the problem was that the perfect resonance between the characters and the plot in the novel was choppy and abrupt in the screen draft; this, as I discovered, dictated by the constraints of movie reality."

"Oh, my."

"Oh, my, indeeed! Some major scenes in the book...some minor characters...had to be cut, as well as some essential character threads, nuances and developments, sort of deleting part of the book's soul. I tried as best I could to restore this soul; restore what I felt was needed for plot cohesion, but I couldn't completely. I had no choice but to compromise for the movie's sake else the screen script would be too long. The script I ended up with would be two hours of movie as it was."

Sue stared at me in alarm. "Will the book's magnificence be lost in the movie?" she asked, a certain sadness in her tone.

"My film representative certainly doesn't think so. When I presented the final corrected screen script to her, and after she read it, she replied to me, and I quote:

"Griff, YOU ARE AMAZING! THE SCRIPT LOOKS AND READS as in PERFECT! I AM YELLING THIS OUT OF PURE JOY AND DELIGHT! God only knows what they will do when we actually send it out....Thank you so much for helping us to fix your script. It was a biggie because you are a Giant as in...a really good soul. I am honored to know you and to work with such a sweet, kind and understanding spirit as you. I am blessed."

Hearing this, Sue seemed transfixed, for a momet becoming strangely still. Then she pursed her lips, then spoke in a quiet voice. "I have a feeling about your script. A spiritual one."

"Spiritual? I'd settle for good timing and good luck."

"No, I don't think you'll need so much of that with this movie," she said, more energy now in her voice. "If what your film representative says about your screen script is true, the movie will automaticaly achieve its own unique magnificence. I just FEEL it!"

"Wow, you're really into this."

"You bet I am. Now!" Sue's dark eyes were flaming with spirit. "Besides what you've heard from your script pro and your representative, what have others said about the possibility of your movie?"

"Well, for an inkling, read this." I handed Sue the sheet of paper I had been reading when she arrived. On it was commentary from Leigh Savage. Standing in for me, Leigh had answered as if she were me to a question directed to myself by a reader on her blog 'Comments' section at the bottom of Leigh's author interview with me on my novel.

Engrossed, her eyes glittering with amazement, Sue began reading Leigh's commentary:

"Vickie, thank you for your question. This is Gerald's answer. 'I feel very close to the military. Many on both sides of my family have served in the U.S. Military, as well as close friends, a couple in Special Forces. In addition, while a psychologist in private practice, I had in psychotherapy several returning military veterans having difficulty adjusting to normal society because of continuing combat trauma. I was presented first hand what they unhappily endured, as though I was with them in combat. This background with the military --- very close to my heart, in addition to the 9/11attacks and other factors of national security, are what prompted me to write the story of my novel. This type of storyline in OF GOOD AND EVIL, with some of the same characters, is continued in the novel's sequel. In spite of my novel OF GOOD AND EVIL receiving powerful reviews and presently being explored for the screen, it is lacking in sales one would expect from such a powerful book. It is ironic and unfortunate that it may take a movie to bring this captivating novel to a broader range of readers and the literary world. Whatever can be done to spread the word of the novel, before a possible movie is made upon it, would be a great contribution to that world.' "

When finished reading, Sue immediately gave me a resolute look. "We've got to get busy on this. Never mind the blog posting!"



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION THAT COUNTS!

I had long concluded that New Year's resolutions were rather meaningless; holiday ritualistic fantasies sounding good but soon forgotten because of the difficulty in carrying them out. So as 2012 approached, I had resolved to skip making any resolutions.

I was to change my mind.

At a small holiday gathering, a book signing for my suspense thriller Of Good And Evil, I was sitting at a table with copies of my novel on display, full of enthusiasm with that enticing carnival barker facade I've found to be essential for such occasions.

An attractive, well-dressed woman in her early 30s picked up a copy of my book from the table, quickly glanced over the first page, taking no more than a few seconds, then put the book down and commented to me, "This is strictly a man's book!" With confidence in her conclusion, she then strolled off.

Watching her, my face dropped and my carnival barker facade evaporated. Then and there, out of my dismay, my New Year's resolution was born: correcting this erroneous and hastily concluded impression.

So ladies, my New Year's resolution if for you; proving that Of Good And Evil is as much a woman's story as a man's tale. To begin, the novel has a beautiful, unusual and captivating love story, as well as strong, vibrant women essential and pivotal to the story's plot and its outcome. But I'll present to you more than my word.

Shane Poeteous, author of Rasciss, GraveCaller and How Gods Bleed, said in his review: "Now I must admit that I've never been a big fan of romance in stories, but of the 100s and 100s of books that I have read in my life, the love between Amber and Ron, the main characters in Of Good And Evil, was by far the most genuine romance I have ever read about."

But let's let's hear from women , those who actually took the time to read the novel rather than just hastily glancing at the first page, not realizing what was in hand.

Backing up Shane's words, Starr Reina of Suspense Magazine, a discerning woman, said in her review of Of Good And Evil: "An absolute must read!" (for both men and women)

And here's what Camille Kelly of New York, an avid female reader, said: "Of Good And Evil definitely had me interested from the very first chapter...This novel contains everything that a good suspense novel should have...Mr. Griffin has captured the essence of each character and made his readers involved in their journey, and a wonderful journey it is. Each chapter was gripping and, as a reader, I wanted more....Every person in this story had a definite part to fulfill and Mr. Griffin accomplished that. The story was written beautifully and I felt all the emotions that each person entailed. I laughed, I cried, I was holding on, in parts, for dear life. A wonderful, wonderful novel."

From Jan Zabel's 5 star review: "Of Good And Evil is a book for readers of different tastes. It is a military story, it is a romance story (among other things)...Many adventures ensue...Before the government can terminate Ron, the Mafia takes him out. Only a woman, Amber...can save him."

From the review by Lindsay Home, presented with great enthusiasm: "Wow, there was SO MUCH GOING ON in this novel...I was most impressed by the author and his writing...I was literally on the edge of my seat with each turn of the page...I can see the provoking great discussions about philosophy among a group reading it."

And then there is the review by Tracey Alley, author of Erich's Plea and Ursula's Quest: "I believe that writers, especially those who are great writers, are born and not made. They have burning passion to put pen to paper, they're tormented by stories that need to be told and see characters as real people rather than imaginary friends. No where is this driving need or this kind of talent more important or more necessary than for the writer of contemporary fiction.

"Gerald G. Griffin is an author with just such talent. In his brilliant thriller "Of Good And Evil" he takes the reader on a wild ride with the world as his background and makes the the reader believe in his plot and characters. He's also gone that step further that separates writers from great writers....Gerald has given his audience a well-conceived story and has delivered it with the talent of a born writer...Ron Sheffield, Gerald's gifted but tormented main character (and Amber Ash, his beloved), has everything a great writer needs to engage a reader on an emotional level. This is one of the gifts of a great story-teller."

So there you have it, ladies. I rest my case...and fulfill my New Year's resolution.

Women love my novel!