Book Signing Video from May 25

As you can see, my two special guest stars made this such a fun event. I cannot thank them enough!!

Solo S’mores

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Last night’s experiment in Star Wars confectionary treats was not exactly photogenic…but I assure you the result was delicious!

Happy Memorial Day…Thanks For Your Service

As it turns out, in addition to Chewie, one of the boys in white was able to attend my book launch event. Here he is with my book:

Literary TrooperThis actually happened…

A Vietnam veteran and his wife spotted the Stormtrooper’s glossy white personage, not to mention the seven-foot-tall fuzzball in his custody, while driving by the coffee house and rushed in for some photos. I overheard our disconcertingly friendly Stormtrooper (in appropriate comlink voice effects that make him sound EXACTLY like the troopers in the movies) say, “Thank you for your service” to the veteran. And this big, gray-haired veteran with a smile from ear-to-ear replied, “And thank you for your service. You’ve made my day!”

Teared me up! So I’m posting this to say Happy Memorial Day to everyone, but most especially to ALL of our veterans, and may the Force be with you…always.

NOTE:  There are many more fun photos of the event, including plenty of Chewie and yours truly. I will post them all over – here, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, etc – very soon. However, we’re going to take a day to unplug and go hiking. Have a safe, fun and refreshing weekend!

Dark Vader Chocolates

Sometimes giving in to the dark side can be delicious….Dark Vader ChocolatesThese luscious Dark Vader chocolates will be one of the possible “gift with purchase” options at my Book Launch event tomorrow evening at Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee in Roswell, GA. Which is convenient. Because these dark Sith lords taste even more dark and delicious with an Iced Toddy or Vanilla Chai Freeze.

Reminder: Book Launch May 25

NSLA_BL copyThe address is 352 South Atlanta Street, Roswell, GA 30075

Reminder: Win a FREE signed copy of the book

There’s still time.

Post a comment over at Faster Than Kudzu before FRIDAY at Midnight, EST, and you could win a SIGNED COPY of my book.

Don’t let this guy get all the credit and claim all the reward:Stormtrooper Keyboardphoto credit: ShellyS via photopin cc

It’s Official Release Day!!! Check out my Faster Than Kudzu Interview

Today will be a day long remembered…it has seen my beloved book officially released into the big, wide world AND we are being featured on Faster Than Kudzu – the blog of NYT bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson. Joshilyn is one of my most favorite authors and I’ve been following FTK blog for years, so this is VERY exciting for me.

Click here to check out my interview and for a chance to win a free copy of the book!

SW 1977 Action Figures

“People are still asking me if I knew Star Wars was going to be that big of a hit. Yes, we all knew. The only one who didn’t know was George.”

Carrie Fisher

Hey! Why are you still here? Go check out Faster Than Kudzu. See you back here soon.

photo credit: wallyg via photopin cc

Managing a Movie Theater in 1977

America Theatre MarqueeBack in 2007, when I was struggling through the original draft of NSLA, NSFA, I posted a plea for information about working in a historic theater in 1977 on the Cinema Treasures website. I received lots of assistance in response to my post. (Read my original post and all responses here.)

The hilarious “70’s Flashback” comment by AlAlvarez was an incredible inspiration that sent me running back to my manuscript full of ideas. I laugh out loud every single time I read it. So I’m going to share an abridged version here in case anyone else thinks what Al wrote is as interesting and entertaining as I do.

In the mid seventies, if you were working for a theatre chain, it was all about cutting costs and not reinvesting in theatres. It was mostly about managing an unstable audience and staff in a crumbling building. Here are some memories…as a manager around 1977 that may spark your imagination:

  • No cleaning between shows as there was only one usher budgeted at a time.
  • The cleaners quit every time we showed THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at midnight.
  • An x-rated musical version of ALICE IN WONDERLAND stunned the crowd.
  • A seriously misinformed local cop threatens to close the theatre for letting kids in alone to watch PG films.
  • Due to the way movies were booked, Streisand’s A STAR IS BORN continues to play forever even after holding-over was unwarranted. Staff sings along to the empty seats.
  • The midnight show of THE LOLLIPOP GIRLS IN HARD CANDY in 3D turned out to be hard-core p*rn in 3D! With the little red and blue glasses to boot. The local college students pack the place.
  • At this beautiful theatre that once showed SINGING IN THE RAIN, a double feature of TORSO and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.
  • The odor of pot smoke permeates the auditorium so strongly at the midnight show that the senior citizen matinée audience the following day comes out stoned.
  • In spite all the movies above, the locals get upset at the dirty language in SLAP SHOT and the posters for NASTY HABITS.
  • A rat has moved in under the popcorn machine and runs out to fetch whenever popcorn is dropped on the floor behind the stand. The staff have named him BEN.
  • BLACK SUNDAY is coming!
  • BLACK SUNDAY is coming!
  • BLACK SUNDAY is coming!
  • BLACK SUNDAY is coming!
  • Two weeks later – BLACK SUNDAY is gone!
  • The promiscuous stoner girl working behind the stand has been forced to quit by her mother. It turns out she is only 14 years old and working with false I.D.
  • ANNIE HALL opens and the audience watches quietly but buys no popcorn.
  • Our film buyer refuses to book Bob Marley’s reggae film THE HARDER THEY COME as a midnight show because she insists it is gay p*rn.
  • The midnight show of MIDNIGHT COWBOY comes in labeled wrong and the reels play in the wrong order with opening credits in the middle of the film. No one complains.
  • An usher finds a heart, a liver and part of a lung on the auditorium floor after the movie. Police are called and discover they are plastic replicas left behind by a local medical student.
  • A stoned-out midnight crowd falls asleep during Monty Python’s JABBERWOCKY. We have to go around waking them up after the film and sending them home.
  • The drive-in will get THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, A BRIDGE TOO FAR and THE DEEP this summer and we’re stuck with THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT and some kiddie sci-fi flick called STAR WARS.
  • New “Light in the dark footballs” (a flashlight shaped like a football) on sale at the concession stand. You can now play football at night!
  • A new ending for EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC on week two upsets a couple who actually came back to see it again. Tumbleweeds practically roll by during the second week.
  • SENSURROUND installed for ROLLERCOASTER makes STAR WARS unwatchable in the other screen. Head office couldn’t care less.
  • The first five rows are closed in twin one due to a ceiling leak that dates back to the sixties.
  • A midnight showing of a film about VOLUNTEER JAM featuring the Charlie Daniels Band goes wrong when the good ol’ boys find themselves waiting in the lobby with men in high heels and fishnet stockings. Future showings are segregated with ROCKY HORROR people in the lobby and redneck rockers outside until the movie starts.
  • The Jolly Rancher candy bags on display do not have sell by dates but I can trace them on the inventory to 1972 without a new delivery.
  • The thin walls from the bad twinning effort make it possible to relive the light sabre battle during boring parts of NEW YORK, NEW YORK.
  • HERBIE GOES TO MONTE CARLO in Twin One. THE HAPPY HOOKER GOES TO WASHINGTON in Twin Two.
  • A man is caught m@sturbating during a showing HERBIE GOES TO MONTE CARLO.
  • Police start monitoring the theatre roof with binoculars looking for drug dealing in the parking lot.
  • Negotiations go badly when the projection union demands a large increase per hour. The resulting contract forces the closing of weekday matinees and the resignation of the chief projectionists who no longer has a full-time job as a result.
  • A three-way fight breaks out in the lobby when three men in drag all insist on playing the main FRANKENFURTER role in front at ROCKY HORROR. I am summoned to make the all-important decision.
  • A seventeen year old usher finds a bag full of “fat naked girls” p*rn magazines in the auditorium. He delays turning them in for hours. A gentleman in a suit comes in to claim them in the evening.
  • The first showing in Twin One has sound problems. Someone stole the speakers from behind the screen.
  • The projectionist puts on reel of soft core midnight movie GUMS instead of Walt Disney’s THE RESCUERS for the first matinée of the day.
  • Six staff members fail to show up Saturday night, some calling in sick. Peter Frampton was live in concert that night.
  • Rattling in the seats of Twin Two during the movie turns out to be a crab from the nearby swamp that somehow got inside.
  • What on earth could a KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE really be about?
  • A man has a tantrum in the lobby when an undercover policeman takes his quaaludes away and flushes them down the toilet. Back-up cops are stunned by the now lacking evidence.
  • An upset woman starts screaming when her toddler comes up from between the rows with a used condom in his hand.
  • STAR WARS is back and people are starting to bring their own light sabres into the screen and we have to start confiscating them until after the movie due to complaints.
  • The midnight show fills up prematurely when someone removes the exit door hinges and lets the crowd in for free.
  • The Jujy Fruits stick to the box and need to be slammed against the counter daily to loosen them up so people refrain from doing so during the film.
  • LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR appears to be a seminal film that will become a classic with a timeless disco soundtrack and a social commentary on unfocused lives and promiscuity. SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER appears to be kid stuff that will soon be forgotten.
  • VALENTINO is coming!
  • VALENTINO is coming!
  • VALENTINO is coming!
  • VALENTINO is gone! STAR WARS is back.

Thank you AlAlvarez! You are a gentleman and a cinema treasure in your own right!

Theatre Doorsphoto credit: Heritage Vancouver via photopin cc & Pete Zarria via photopin cc

Star in Your Own Space Soap Opera

Look at what I made:

Star Wars SoapStar Wars gift soaps. Aren’t they adorable? I don’t care how old I am, it’s still a thrill to lather up with Han Solo or the Millennium Falcon (*smiles innocently*). If you agree, you probably want to know how you can get your hands one of these.

There’s two ways:

  1. Come to my book launch on Saturday May 25 at Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee House in Roswell where I will be giving away gifts with purchase, including these adorable soaps (while supplies last).
  2. Go to ThinkGeek to purchase silicone Star Wars molds (and while you are there, I dare you to check out without adding a few extra items to your cart because that site is like geek utopia). Then go to Michaels to purchase their ArtMinds™ melt and pour soap base, fragrance oil, and silver color (or any color that tickles your fancy, I think my next batch will be blue). Set aside an hour or two to make your own Star Wars gift soaps…but, why do all that when you could just come to my book launch?

The Zen of Zoey

Before the realization spreads deeply into Zoey’s consciousness that monumental and wondrous events are taking place in my life and the world as we know it will never be the same.photo-57 copyAfterphoto-57