Friday, June 28, 2019

INCOMING! PR HEATING UP FOR "APOCALYPSE BLUES" #BOOKTALKS: PHILOSOPHICAL RESEARCH SOCIETY (7/1) (7:30PM)


This just in from Book Publicity By Marlan:

Our press release submission went live TODAY on the Distribution Service PR.com!

Still early here in L.A. but we're excited that it's already been picked up by:

Broadway World Books News


Thomas Allbaugh's hilariously scary Apocalypse TV can be found at Barnes & Noble in Rancho Cucamonga, Vromans Bookstore (Pasadena) , The Philosophical Research Society (Los Angeles), and Amazon.

Dahlia Schweitzer's brilliantly amusing Going Viral can be found at the Philosophical Research Society and Amazon.

The End is near! Just three more days to catch this dynamic duo! And last chance to hear Dahlia present in L.A. before she heads off to NYC.

It's been a fun ride and I'm honored to be a part of it!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

REVIEW: EINSTEIN'S COMPASS



My Roadmap Girl's Book Buzz is a "Stop" on Lola's Blog Tours today!

EINSTEINS'S COMPASS: A YA TIME TRAVELER ADVENTURE

This Young Adult Fantasy/New Age/Revisionist History novel cuts a unique niche for itself in YA literature by inventing a Hero's Journey with "Al" Einstein as the hero and his compass, a jeweled magical time traveling marvel.

Authors Grace "Christian Mystic" Blair (aka Grace Allison) and Laren Bright have melded some daring elements of Germany on the brink of Hitler coming into power with a young genius coming to terms with his brilliance, being Jewish among Nazis, and all the expected elements of a Hero's Journey (one shapeshifting dragon...an older wise Mentor...supernatural talisman...).

It is doubtful that kids of the 21st Century place as much weight on Albert Einstein in their thoughts as those of the 20th Century did, thanks to his atom-splitting discovery that led to the invention of the atom bomb. And even more likely that few these days ponder Einstein's roots and development into the genius that he became. I had no idea that he grew up a non-practicing Jewish boy in Germany and was in school just before Hitler came to power (Wikipedia provides further details on his fleeing to Switzerland and later ending up in the U.S., as well as his reluctance for his research to end up as a horrible bomb). 

One of the wonderful themes of Einstein's Compass is its own brilliant running theme of "The Split." In the tradition of contemporary fantasy YA novels, there is Good vs. Evil; Light vs. Dark, and the authors make creative use of these concepts as they affect all of us personally as well as politically...and in the world of physics.

Another running theme is Energy itself. The heating up of hands when energy is channeled...the Light it can produce...whether it is being channeled for the good of humanity or its destruction.

Meticulously crafted and beautifully told, Einstein's Compass is garnering awards left and right, and rightly so. Fun for adults as well as teens!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Apocalypse TV: Midwest Book Review (Appearing in May 2019 Issue)


“His whole life has been a sham because he can’t accept responsibility for his failure to live by his own convictions.”—APOCALYPSE TV

What do reality TV game show contestants, religious fanatics, true believers, atheists, zombies, quarreling siblings, an FBI agent, Elvis impersonator, and an almost-fired English professor at a Christian college have in common? They all come together to interlock as essential players in Thomas Allbaugh’s tightly wound, often hilarious, debut novel, APOCALYPSE TV.

Shakespeare today might muse that “All the world’s a reality TV game show, and all the men and women merely players in their quest for prizes amid layers of illusions and media hype.” It is upon this slippery platform that Allbaugh has built a metaphor for our contentious world as viewed through the lenses of good vs. evil, secular religion vs. spirituality, and love vs. indifference.

The story kicks off when Christian intellectual, Walter Terry, takes a leave of absence from his conservative college in California to visit his dying father in Michigan. Walter has just been put on notice for allowing students to express non-conservative viewpoints, and fears his job is on thin ice.

Walter and his sister are approached in a Midwestern diner by a talent scout for a new reality TV show that claims to be “an investigation into American religious ideas.” He describes himself to the pretty interviewer as an “outsider in terms of religion,” but sees her write down “soft and vulnerable.” This pigeon-holing is exactly what makes these shows maddening, but also makes them fun for the fans.

Seduced by the promise of money and his own rationalization that perhaps a show like this could use an educated analytical thinker, Walter embarks on what will turn out to be a character-building odyssey. After he is entrenched in “Race for the Apocalypse,” Walter hears the producer refer to him as the show’s “sacrificial lamb.” And after that…all bets are off.

APOCALYPSE TV gradually amps up its madness, expanding reality until it pops with an outrageousness that is not quite Marx Brothers, but a fun romp nonetheless.

Allbaugh treads a fine line between crafting a thoughtful, moving plot with three-dimensional characters and satire. He keeps the humor subtle and deadpan, in the vein of Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22,” while never straying far from the book’s serious themes which examine secular religion vs. spirituality, truth vs. fiction, loyalty vs. betrayal.

Nothing turns out to be what it seems, the innocent must suffer, guilty baggage must be unloaded, and once a gun is introduced, it must eventually be used in the finale (with a nod to Chekhov). It is Allbaugh’s incredible juggling act that keeps the comedy, drama, and religious debates lightly airborne until they come back down to Earth, not with a bang or a whimper, but with the hard truths of Life and what it means to slog willingly through it.

APOCALYPSE TV will appeal to open-minded faith-based readers, as well as those who have no affiliation with a religion or belief. It argues against the extreme notion that only members of a certain faith are favored by God, while making a case for spiritual salvation through love, faith, hope, service…and the willingness to persevere.


Even when the chips are down.


Marlan Warren, Reviewer

#ChristianFiction #ThomasAllbaugh #ApocalypseTV #TVApocalypse #ChristianHumor #LiberalChristianity #Apocalypse #RealityTVSatire


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Marlan Warren, #GLAWS Special Speaker Event 
WC2 Presents Genre-LA Creative Writing Conference (Culver City) (3/29-31)

Now in its 22nd year, WC2 West Coast Writers Conferences presents the Genre-LA Creative Writing Conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31. The conference features best-selling authors, editors, publishers, literary agents, publicists, and film industry experts.

“Each program is ideal for aspiring, active, and accomplished writers who want to improve the quality of their work and increase chances for success as an author,” said Tony Todaro, WC2 Executive Director and President/Co-Founder of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS).

In addition to panels with topics such as “How to Develop Your Memoir with Appeal to the Widest Possible Audience” and “Things I Wish a Pro Had Told Me When I First Started Writing,” the conference offers one-on-one pro-critiques, and features solo speakers with industry expertise.

Behind the scenes, the Author Learning Center (ALC) will be videotaping interviews with selected presenters and panelists. Excerpts will be available on ALC’s website.

“Site visitors use our landing page to look for resources on a certain topic,” said Sheila Manna, Manager of Author Education. “We also use the videos to make learning content recommendations to our members.”

Venue:

DoubleTree by Hilton | 6161 West Centinela Avenue, Culver City, California, 90230-6306

For more info:

E-Mail: info@wcwriters.com | Phone: 310.379.2650


PANELS WHERE YOU CAN SEE ME AND WE CAN TALK:

Hope to see you there if you're in the L.A. area. The conference is also featuring a FREE speaker event at 1pm on Saturday, so if you're on a tight budget...here's a chance to get some great writer tips along with networking opportunities!

I'll be appearing on the following panels, speaking on topics covering my fields of expertise in writing, editing

FRIDAY (3/29/19)

3:15 pm  How to Develop Your Memoir with Appeal to the Widest Possible Audience

What makes “Eat, Pray, Love,” “The Liar’s Club” or “Angela’s Ashes” garner dazzling reviews or make readers weep or howl with laughter? How do you impose order on a thousand memories? Why is it important to resist the temptation to summarize your life?

In this workshop, we’ll identify what makes great memoirs unforgettable, as well as identify moments from your own life: the lowest ebb, the most unusual, shattering, funny or triumphant incidents that reveal your character and move readers.


4:30 pm  Things I Wish a Pro Had Told Me When I First Started Writing

Many aspiring writers waste time and brain cells when they first enter the world of writing professionally. Becoming a writer and then a published author is a steep, steep learning curve. Even for those with prior experience and previously published books, the rapidly changing landscape of the industry means you can easily make mistakes; in your writing, pitching, marketing and certainly when it comes to finding and signing a deal with a publisher or entering the shark-infested waters of the self-publishing pool. The aim of this session is to keep you safe, strong and smart as you progress in your work and career. Learn from industry pros many of the things you can avoid to save years of frustration and yes, brain cells, too.


SUNDAY (3/31/19)

10 AM Great Beginnings for Novels – Your First Line, First Page

You know that if the first paragraph of your novel isn't strong enough, agents and publishers won't read the first page, let alone the first fifty. Learn to separate fact from fiction and remain true to your story. Learn to draft a first line that will grab an acquisition editor and announce your authority as an author. This will cover first pages, first chapters, and first characters. This is a unique opportunity for you to learn how pros consider the merits of the material and the intent of the author, then offer improvements covering everything from glaring grammar errors to story-structure flaws to the overall storytelling and more.

Bring six (6) copies of your first 2 pages. Selected works will be read aloud, so the audience can follow along and learn how an agent or publisher reviews a manuscript. Time permitting, they may suggest improving the samples.

A panel of literary agents and professional editors

#GLAWS #GreaterLosAngelesWritersSociety #LosAngelesWritersConferences #CulverCityEvents

#Genre-LA #WC2  #MarlanWarrenWriter #MarlanWarrenPublicist #MarlanWarrenSpeaker #MarlanWarrenEditor

Friday, March 15, 2019

How to Build a Market for Your Novels and Short Stories (I'm on the Panel) (3/16)


Photo © Marlan Warren [Ex-Mural in Los Feliz]

I am excited to announce that as a new associate with the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS) Faculty, I will join fellow publicists to speak on the topic of "How to Build a Market for Your Novels and Short Stories" on Saturday, March 16 at 2:30pm at the Culver City Julian Dixon Library in the Ray Bradbury Room.

The event is free with limited seating.

It will be a special pleasure for me because this is the same meeting place where in 2012--as a fledgling publicist--I sat in the audience listening to the brilliant publicist and author, Carolyn Howard-Johnson give PR tips for authors. In fact, I still have my voluminous notes scrawled in pen on a yellow legal pad.

The Panel Topic According to the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society Website rolls out like this:

"In an age when authors often need to develop to their own market and fan base, the path to success can appear full of potholes, costly traps and dead ends. Beyond just traditional public relations and digital marketing, there’s an increasing number of routes that you can utilize to reach the public and more potential customers. This panel of experts will detail the basics, and reveal many secrets of success."

While the "basics" can be explained with crystal clarity, and the steps followed easily by most authors, the "success" side, in my experience, has been a combination of knowledge, skill, constant effort, and the marketability of the book (i.e., the potential readership/audience). And let's not forget...Fate (aka Luck; Good Fortune; and Out of the Blue God Shots).

Details are forthcoming!

If you are in the L.A. area, please stop in and gain some tips and tricks that may be well worth your while.

I will also be speaking on panels at the Genre-LA Writers Conference on Friday, March 29 and Sunday, March 31. Details are on the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society Website. I'm very impressed and honored that organizer extraordinaire Tony Todaro placed me on panels that line up perfectly with my eclectic skills sets:  
Book PR and Marketing, Memoir Writing, Fiction and Nonfiction Writing

Event Date and Time: Saturday, March 16 @2:30pm

Event Venue Address:
Culver City Julian Dixon Library
Ray Bradbury Room
2920 Overland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Event Website: Greater Los Angeles Writers Society Website
Book Publicity by Marlan Website: Book Publicity by Marlan

Contact Marlan:
E-Mail | marlanwarren@outlook.com
PR Blog | L.A. Now & Then
Book News Blog | Roadmap Girl's Book Buzz



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

SPIRITUAL JOURNEY OF A FIRE WALKER POET

Title: Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst
Subtitle: A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul
Author: Artemis Craig
Genre: Inspirational and Religious Poetry
(Sale Sheet Info Below)
Reviewer: Marlan Warren

I have respect for anyone’s spiritual journey. And I have a lot of respect for the poet Artemis Craig, whom I met at USC, while we were both in film school studying screenwriting. We only met once, in the changing room of the gym, but her feisty humor made a lasting impression.

“Before they’re done, this school’s gonna own the drawers on my butt!” she said. I don’t know about her, but that school does own the drawers on my butt. The one thing I do know that we share is post-film-school depression. A not uncommon affliction in L.A.

Now, a couple decades later, Craig has risen out of the ashes of Hollywood as an evangelical poet who has walked through fire, and lived to tell her story in the form of Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst: A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul.

With straightforward honesty and a gift for storytelling, Craig has arranged the poems in this anthology as an odyssey washed in the blood of heartaches, losses, and disappointments after returning home as the Prodigal Daughter. All the elements that make  “inspirational verse” inspirational are there (finding and praising the Grace of God), woven into searing moments from Craig’s life, told with her flair for dramatic prose and metaphor.

Her post-graduation first experience--pitching to execs at a major studio--soured her forever on staying on that track. Many film school alumni can relate (this one does). A sensitive soul, Craig stayed away from the written word until she began writing poetry in the 21st Century, finally gaining the spiritual strength to openly share it in 2013 with this book.

The poem that opens the book, “Speak Now,” reflects the pain felt by many a disillusioned film student:

Without words I became invisible which was fine by me,
Found a home for my anger and bitterness in my invisibility.
Disappointment and hatred festered inside all the while,
But none knew because through it all I wore a smile.

I felt personal resonance with her personal poems about loss. One deeply regrets missing the passing of her grandmother because Craig was busy pursuing her career on the other coast. I was at USC editing my film for class when news of my father’s sudden passing came.

One of the most moving poems is “Life Not Mine to Save,” remembering her futile attempts to save her father’s life when he died of heart failure:

One, one thousand, two, one thousand
Chest compressions like I’d been taught weren’t enough
Formed a seal over your mouth and into it blew a quick puff.
Stay with me! Stay with me! But you refused to wake

Afterward she fills such bitterness, that she questions God’s actions:

Though it’s hard to believe, your life was not mine to save.
Anger at God is all I can feel,
That along with the hope that somehow
This can’t possibly be real.

The poem plays out like a short film. With a “resolution” that is accepting and spiritual:

Away from me, Daddy, your body lies in the cold grave
It seems like only yesterday, try as I might,
Your life was never mine to save.
But mine to cherish in moments of panic and doubt,
To keep as memories when I feel trapped and can’t get out.

I had an elderly aunt who would tell the story of her life and end it with “I didn’t know they’d throw the book at me!” Here, Artemis Craig, has thrown a book out of her life for others to gain some solace as they grapple with their own journeys.

As Charles Bukowski once said: “What matters most is how well you walk through fire.”


About the Author
Artemis Craig was born in a rural town in Birmingham, Alabama to a steelworker father and educator mother. She graduated with a BFA in Cinema and Television from the University of Southern California. She is the mother of one son, Roderic, who is her inspiration. Her hobbies include writing poetry in the Gifts of a Wordsmith group at her local library, as well as, performing at the On Stage at the Carver Theater open mike showcase. Currently, Artemis is finishing her second poetry book, Southern Fried Comfort Food: Recipes to Encourage the Soul, as well as her first novel, a sci-fi murder mystery, A Little Taste of Death. She divides her time between Birmingham, Alabama and Newport News, Virginia.


SALE SHEET INFO

Title: Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst
Subtitle:  A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul
Author: Artemis Craig
Publisher: Artemis Craig Publishing (Nov. 6, 2013
Paperback: $15.00   Pages: 64
ISBN-13: 978-0989087605
ASIN: B00HLXV864
Genre: Inspirational and Religious Poetry

#ChristianPoetry
#FaithBasedPoet
#Recovery
#SpiritualOdyssey
#Evangelical
#Poetry 
#ArtistSurvival