Showing posts from February, 2022

Not Enough Ghostbusting in ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’

I loved  Ghostbusters I  (1984) and  II   (1989). The iconic opening scene from the first movie, where the team investigates the New York Public Library, was enough to hook me in. Pure campy fun. And then there was the theme song. “Who’re you gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!” You could not get away from it even if you wanted to. The movie was huge. Ghostbusters II was good as well, although perhaps not as good as the original. It was still fun to see the gang together. The chemistry between the actors was as remarkable as ever. Again, pure campy fun. Sony Pictures tried to revive the original franchise in 2016 with an all-female cast. The effort ultimately was … unmemorable.  Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of the talented female stars in the movie, including Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. Unfortunately, the reboot was slow and self-indulgent, and many of the jokes fell flat. For me, the best part of the movie was Chris Hemsworth’s character. So you can understand why I dragged my heel

Korean Zombies Deliver the Scares in Netflix Series

I’m really enjoying Korean zombies. I recently binge-watched  All of Us Are Dead , the new Netflix television series about a group of students whose high school is overrun with reanimated corpses. The series, adapted from a popular webtoon, has everything you would want from a show about zombies. There are jump scares, close-contact situations of peril, close shaves, relatable and sympathetic characters, good makeup, and hordes of terrifying, shambling, hungry zombies. Each episode ended with a cliffhanger that made it hard not to rush to the next installment. There were perhaps too many character tropes in the series. However, that’s par for the course for most programs featuring zombies. Many people in the shows don’t live long enough to show their depth of character or to undergo personal growth. It’s not clear at this point whether there will be a second season. I’ll definitely watch it if there is one. While All of Us are Dead was good, I consider Kingdom —another zombie-centr

It’s My Book’s Birthday! So What Have I Learned About Publishing?

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I released The Geomancer’s Apprentice on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform. The book is an urban fantasy adventure about two underdog feng shui consultants who find, to their dismay, that they must save the world. It’s set in Washington, D.C., and borrows heavily from Chinese myth and folklore. When I hit the “publish” button on Feb. 4 last year, I had no idea what to expect. I was both excited and afraid. Would my debut novel see any sales? Would readers trash it and confirm my very worst fears? Despite my angst, it was magical to see the book displayed alongside other books on Amazon. Why did I go the indie route and self-publish? By mid-2019, I had a handful of completed manuscripts spanning fantasy, urban fantasy and horror. Instead of trying to acquire an agent, I sent two of the manuscripts to major publishers that accept unsolicited submissions. Predictably, both manuscripts were rejected. Given that many publishers prefer exc