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What’s Your Book About? November 4, 2009

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I don’t know.

That’s my answer to the title of this post. I don’t know what my book is about. Why don’t you read it and tell me.

But seriously, I get this question a lot. Okay, so for the first time, I’ll give you a sneak peek into my new novel, The Regal Family.

I wrote this book in order to tell a story about a fictional monarchy that’s been in my head since 2006. It actually came to my mind while I was walking through London’s Regent’s Park. For two years I tried (to no avail) to write something…anything…but nothing clicked. For you creative types, you should know how this feels. It’s almost as if you have something bursting to escape from your soul, but there’s no outlet for it, so it proceeds to drive you crazy. Well, in 2008, I decided to write it as a television show and the pilot script was a finalist in the 2008 Red Planet Pictures Scriptwriting Competition. I didn’t win, but it gave me a jumping off point to write this story as a novel.

I also realized that using print on demand technology was a real possibility through various services thanks to the Internet. Ah, the Internet makes everything possible. I decided it could be a smart business decision (although I think history determines “smart” business decisions) that could add to the intellectual property of Restless Children Media.

Okay, so what’s my book about?

Quite simply it’s about a fictional monarchy in the Kingdom of Andover. It’s set in the world of today, so those who loathe historical fiction (that’s me!) shouldn’t be afraid. What I wanted to do was peel back the curtain that separates the monarchy (or the regal family, as they’re known in my book) from the rest of the world. The regal family are real people with very real problems, but they are made to follow a set of rules that most of the world would find draconian. I do think that living in the United Kingdom for as long as I have & knowing people who know the royal family was an impetus for the novel. But after a while, these characters took on a life of their own.

What I wanted to do from the start (when I wrote the original TV script) was see the world through the eyes of the regal family. How do they balance self and duty versus their own desires? I mean, waving, smiling, and making polite conversation must get old after fifty years of duty to one’s country.

Once I have a solid publication date, I’ll post it to this blog.

I would urge everyone to buy a copy, read The Regal Family, and let me know what you think.

Until next time…

 

The Art of Networking, Taking a Stand, and Bureaucracy… November 4, 2009

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Making small talk with strangers isn’t exactly my idea of a fun Wednesday night. However, last Wednesday I went to an event at the University of Westminster which was called “YOU are Your Own Best Business Card”. The purpose of this event was to learn how to sell yourself before you even open your mouth because (as many of us know) people judge you based on your appearance, dialect, class,¬†perceived intelligence, and the like. I found the two-hour lecture quite interesting, although many of the “new ideas” she discussed were not very “new” to me. Despite that, it was an engaging session.

Afterwards, there was a wine reception for those who wanted to network. Network. How I shudder at the word. I wonder who came up with the idea of throwing strangers together in a sterile environment to get them to share ideas and exploit those connections to further their own careers. Well, I decided then and there to toss aside my own apprehensions and accept this challenge with gusto and a smile. By the time I finished speaking to Martin from Berlin, I was very much at ease with the process. It wasn’t frightening at all. To be honest, it was a chance to get to know someone while extolling my own virtues. What could be better than that? The networking session didn’t last long, but I was able to give out three business cards, which felt great.

What else is new?

Ever since I made my first short film during my undergraduate degree, I’ve had to deal with talent & crew contracts. It’s the nature of the beast. I won’t bore you with the boilerplate¬†intricacies, nor can I really divulge the terms of the issue I’m dealing with right now. Let’s just say that when you reach a preliminary agreement, the other party cannot change it because they don’t like the terms they previously agreed to. That’s not how it works. If an agent tried to pull that with Warner Bros. you can be sure that it wouldn’t bode well for that agent, the agency, or the talent (who would be branded difficult). That’s all I’ll say on the matter, but trust me, it’s a doozy.

In other news, I’ve sent my foreign LLC forms to the Secretary of State for the State of Washington to formally establish my company in that jurisdiction. It’s actually a great state to do business (no one pays state income tax), so check it out if you’re interested. Oh, and it’s cheaper than Los Angeles or New York City when it comes to setting up a foreign LLC and paying the yearly LLC fee.

For the first time ever, I went to the American Embassy to have a business document notarized. If you’ve ever seen the American Embassy in London, it’s a fortress that only the stupidest criminal would ever want to penetrate. ¬†(NOTE: The American Embassy in The Hague is even more fortress-like.) I spent about twenty-five minutes in “America” and that was easier than I ever imagined.

I’m almost finished with my second novel (five more chapters to write!), the business is taking on a life of its own, and I’m pleased.

I suppose that’s all for right now…

Until next week…

Bend, Bend, Bend, and Don’t Brake October 28, 2009

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Hello, everyone!

You may know me or you may have stumbled upon this blog by accident. Either way, I’m glad you’re here. I’ll tell you a little about me, what I do, and the purpose of this great blog in cyberspace.

I started Restless Children Media in 2008 with the backing of two investors. Thankfully, they’ve been great, supportive, and I couldn’t ask for anything more. This business grew out of a teenage dream of creating the next AOL Time Warner (which it was called when I interned at one of their divisions in 2003) or Disney.

Well, the idea was that sparked in the choir room of my high school just before 2000 finally came to fruition in 2008 when I formed the company to produce a pilot for radio drama called What Lies Beyond. I created, wrote, and produced the pilot with the help of a wonderful production associate named Stephanie in London during July of 2008. The experience was one that I wouldn’t trade for anything and although the pilot still hasn’t sold to a radio station or station group (the perils of business), I took time to rethink the business and approach it in a different way that still used my skill set. Ah, the power of positive thinking in the business world.

While I worked on my dissertation during the winter of 2009, I began to write a novel based on a script I wrote called Andover. The novel, The Regal Family, took on a life of its own and I wrote it in less than three months. Although I did have to take some time off in late March in order to finish my dissertation by my late April deadline. Thankfully, everything worked out for the best. (Note: The pilot script for Andover was a finalist in the 2008 Red Planet Pictures Scriptwriting Competition.)

Right now, the company is gearing up the presentation for a new business model for our dramatic content (more on that later). Also, The Regal Family is in the midst of pre-production before it is available to buy on Amazon.com (fancy, I know!) and I’m working on my second novel, Gossip.

One thing I do want to achieve from this blog…this living entity…is to give the world a glimpse into the world of my new business Restless Children Media. We have a business address and all of that fun stuff based in Seattle, but the company is run virtually. Yes, it’s the new frontier and it works. The Internet has changed the world and being a business isn’t equated with renting three offices in the downtown district of New York City or Omaha.

I’ll be as honest as possible with the developments that can arise from everything including filing business taxes (fun) to meetings with potential business partners (much more fun). Also, I’ll give you an insight into the my creative process through writing novels to creating a new television or radio program with the goal of having it professionally produced somewhere in the world.

So far the journey is still interesting, but it’s not as immediate as illustrated in the pages of Forbes or on CNBC. It’s a process. It’s damn hard work. But above all, it’s fun. I love it. The one thing I have to keep remembering is that I have to bend to make my product profitable and sustainable in today’s world, but you can’t break the original mission of your business. Because, after all, that’s why you probably started your business in the first place.