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  1. ANGEL KILLER to be developed for television by Twentieth Century Fox and Temple Hill Entertainment

    Hey folks, here’s the announcement from Publisher’s Marketplace:

    Andrew Mayne’s ANGEL KILLER and subsequent books, featuring the magician-turned-FBI agent with a dark past who must confront the grisly and possible supernatural crimes of an elusive serial killer, to Twentieth Century Fox to be developed for television, with Temple Hill Entertainment executive producing, by Erica Spellman Silverman at Trident media Group.

    TV development, like film, is a numbers game. The odds of a project ever getting produced are slim. But this is exciting none the less and the people at Temple Hill have a great track record with adapting books. You might have heard of a little movie series they did called Twilight? They also did the Fault in Our Stars, Maze Runner and the upcoming show Rosewood for Fox.

     
  2. Name of the Devil is available now!!!

    This is the second book (although you can read it as a standalone) about Jessica Blackwood, former magician turned FBI agent, who is on the hunt for some of the most sinister criminals who commit crimes that some people think are supernatural.

    There’s some awesome reviews up on FreshReads plus this one for Publishers Weekly:

    “In Mayne’s exciting second Jessica Blackwood novel, the cunning FBI special agent applies her magician training to investigating a bizarre explosion…. A fast-moving thriller in which illusions are weapons for both good and evil.”

    (Publishers Weekly)

    Available at your local books store and here:

    Amazon
    http://amzn.to/1S3clLV

    Barnes & Noble
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/name-of-the-devil-andrew-mayne/1120682442?ean=9780062348890

    iBooks
    https://goo.gl/X3mAfd

    Google Play
    https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Andrew_Mayne_Name_of_the_Devil?id=gmydBAAAQBAJ&hl=en

    HarperCollins
    http://www.harpercollins.com/9780062348890/name-of-the-devil

     
  3. Thanks to you guys we’re the #2 best-selling murder mystery on Amazon right now!

    http://andrewmayne.tumblr.com/post/120631624739/angel-killer-on-sale-for-just-99

     

  4. Angel Killer on sale for just 99¢

    Get the ebook now at the following book sellers!

    Amazon

    Barnes & Noble

    iBooks

    In this bestselling e-book by a real illusionist—the first thriller in a sensational series—now available in paperback, FBI agent Jessica Blackwood believes she has successfully left her complicated life as a gifted magician behind her … until a killer with seemingly supernatural powers puts her talents to the ultimate test.

    A mysterious hacker, who identifies himself only as “Warlock,” brings down the FBI’s website and posts a code in its place. It hides the GPS coordinates of a Michigan cemetery, where a dead girl is discovered rising from the ground … as if she tried to crawl out of her own grave.

    Born into a dynasty of illusionists, Jessica Blackwood is destined to become its next star—until she turns her back on her troubled family, and her legacy, to begin a new life in law enforcement. But FBI consultant Dr. Jeffrey Ailes’s discovery of an old copy of Magician Magazine will turn Jessica’s carefully constructed world upside down. Faced with a crime that appears beyond explanation, Ailes has nothing to lose—and everything to gain—by taking a chance on an agent raised in a world devoted to seemingly achieving the impossible.

    The body in the cemetery is only the first in the Warlock’s series of dark miracles. Thrust into the media spotlight, with time ticking away until the next crime, can Jessica confront her past to embrace her gifts and stop a depraved killer?

    If she can’t, she may become his next victim.

     
  5. Free download!

    Fire in the Sky: A Jessica Blackwood short story

    Headstrong, sarcastic, and fiercely intelligent, magician-turned-FBI agent Jessica Blackwood knows better than anyone how easily people can be fooled. So she’s not happy about being sent to Louisiana on what appears to be a wild goose chase hinging on an elderly man’s recollection of an event that occurred decades ago. Especially because her boss, FBI consultant Dr. Jeffrey Ailes, has paired her up with young, earnest rookie agent Nadine. After risking her life to help the Bureau catch the serial killer of the century, this is her reward?

    As she and Nadine clash about how to handle their strange assignment, Jessica must accept that, despite her best efforts, she’s having trouble moving beyond her past as the rising star in a dysfunctional family of magicians. Raised in a world dedicated to deception, her refusal to accept things at face value is one of her strengths—but is it also a weakness that could cause her undoing?

    In this compelling short story from Andrew Mayne, master illusionist and the author of Angel Killer, we see a new side to Jessica Blackwood—and get an electrifying sneak peak at her next adventure, Name of the Devil.

    Available now for free at the following book sellers!

    39 pages

    Kindle
    Nook
    iBooks
    Google
    Kobo

     
  6. #thwp

     

  7. My Secret Creativity Tool

    Sometimes you need to come up with a lot of ideas. Right now I’m a little obsessed with 2-sentence short stories, so I’ve been trying to think up as many as I can. I might sit down and have 30 of them, or I might struggle for one before going to bed. You never know when inspiration might strike. A creative mind is always on (unless it’s not).

    I have a little thing I do to make this easier. I’m a big believer in creating the shortest path from your brain to the real world. A lot of really good ideas never make it into reality. Shortening the path is helpful. This is one way to do that.

    I’ve used this method over and over again. When we were planning the first season of my television show, Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne, we needed hundreds of ideas for magic effects. Fortunately, I had a database of concepts to start from – an actual, literal database.

    Compiling it was pretty painless. If you use Google Drive, you’re probably familiar with its ability to create forms. This is an easy way to collect email addresses on a website, fill in questionnaires etc. But forms don’t just have to be something you share with the world. I create forms for myself. For the TV magic stuff, I created a form to input an idea whenever I had one. The form let me add fields for the kind of trick and other useful information that made it easy to sort through. All the data goes into a spreadsheet you can sort through at your leisure.

    Here’s where it gets kind of cool. On your iPhone or Android device you can save that form to your home screen as a web app. I keep a couple on my main screen. Whenever I have an idea, I press the icon and the form pops up. It’s pretty easy to just dictate whatever I want if I’m on the go or just too lazy to type. I click submit and BOOM. Idea saved.

    You can customize your form however you want. You can create a general idea database, or be more specific. I like to have different spreadsheets for different projects.

    Step 1. Go to Google Drive and create a new form

    Step 2. Fill in the fields for what information you want to capture

    Step 3. Open the form link and save it to your phone home screen as a web app

     

  8. How Star Wars Conquered the Universe

    image

    Get How Star Wars Conquered the Universe on Amazon

    When I first heard about Chris Taylor’s book, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, I was hesitant to pick it up. After all, I’d read just about all the biographies on George Lucas I could find and considered myself an amateur expert on the history of the film franchise. Ever since my brother and I sat on the floor of the Portland Public library and watched a behind the scenes documentary on the making of the original movie, I was fascinated by the world building behind the movie that’s my earliest memory. What could this book possibly tell me I didn’t already know? It turns out, quite a lot.

    Taylor’s book opens up with a trip he took to a reservation where Star Wars is about to be screened for the very first time dubbed in the Navajo language. This is one small glimpse of the effort he’s gone to get the true story of the film franchise. Taylor doesn’t just reprint old answers to questions. He digs deeper, sometime uncomfortably pestering people – such as the case of Darth Vader actor David Prowse (now suffering from dementia) – in order to reconcile lingering questions about what really happened.

    Taylor painstakingly traces the evolution of Star Wars script in its many, many iterations; the earliest of which are barely recognizable. For aspiring writers or creators it’s worth reading the book for this alone. Seeing how truly bad the greatest narrative franchise could have been (and never reaching the screen), reinforces the fact that great works don’t come from sudden flashes of brilliance, but is an agonizing process of reiteration after iteration.

    Unlike Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs that felt like it was written by a very reluctant writer who never really understood his subject and glossed over pivotal points in his life because they didn’t fit the narrative he’d predetermined, Taylor’s story is genuine. While at the onset we know it’s about Star Wars, and really Lucas, our understanding of the man grows deeper as we follow the creation of his empire. Lucas’s strengths and flaws are on full display, but we come away loving him all the more for what he achieved. He’s not a mythic god that conjured up Star Wars at the snap of his fingers. As Taylor shows, when Lucas tried to capture that magic again, with his heart a less into it and without the enthusiastic help of his peers, we got the prequels.

    The story that unfolds isn’t just a play-by-play of how the films were made. Besides Lucas’s journey, Taylor reveals the cultural impact and tells the stories of fans who walked out of the theaters changed by what they’d seen. For example, we get an inside look of the 501st, one of the largest costumed organization in the world, that’s gone from being a lone man in a Stormtrooper suit to a global organization that’s been ambassadors for Lucasfilm and appeared in everything from car commercials to escorting their spiritual creator, George Lucas in parades. We meet R2D2 builder clubs and find out how a couple of fans found their way to working on the set of Episode 7.

    Taylor analyzes why Star Wars fandom is special. While Harry Potter devotees (such as myself) may feel the same way towards Hogwarts as our own alma maters, there’s something about that galaxy far, far away that draws us back again and again.

    He covers an impressive amount of ground in the Star Wars universe: Everything from the Alan Dean Foster Splinter in the Mind’s Eye novel in the 1970’s that could have been the movie we got in an alternate universe where Star Wars was a mediocre success, to the launch of the new Star Wars cartoon series, Rebels. Taylor digs up the fullest accounting of the Star Wars Holiday Special I’ve heard to date (It was originally conceived as a backdoor pilot for a television series!).

    I recommend this book with the utmost amount of enthusiasm. Even if you have no interest in the Star Wars, but consider yourself a creator, it’s a wonderful biography of one of the most successful filmmakers of all time with a detailed behind the scenes analysis. As a historical biography, it’s probably the most well-written, originally researched one I can recall. It’s one thing to dig up interviews from old copies of Starlog magazine, it’s another level of dedication entirely for an author to put on a Boba Fett suit and stroll through a convention and see the fan reaction firsthand.

    I’m excited to see what Chris Taylor writes next, even if it has nothing to do with wookies or galaxies far, far away.

    As a side note, I listened to the book on audiobook format wonderfully narrated by Nick Podehl.

    The small, small print…My one tiny note, and it’s a very minor one at that, is a chapter towards the end. Taylor mentions George Lucas’s wish that Star Wars would inspire a generation to want to explore space and claims that it fell short of that. While he explains NASA’s malaise of purpose, he overlooks the exciting things happening in the private space industry in conjunction with NASA. When Lucas expressed his hope that a young Star Wars fan would grow up to colonize Mars and “try to find a wookie,” I was expecting Taylor to mention SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk. Musk, is a huge Star Wars fan, not only has he expressed a desire to colonize Mars and dedicated his fortune to that purpose, the rocket he currently sends to resupply the International Space Station is called the Falcon, as in the Millenium Falcon. Think on this for a moment: Elon Musk is a privateer doing cargo runs with a ship called the Falcon. Two weeks from this writing, Musk plans to try to land the first stage of the Falcon on a barge, making it reusable. What does he call the four stabilizers that pop out for landing? X-Wings. You can’t find a greater example of fandom than a man naming his billion-dollar rocket fleet after the Millenium Falcon and developing X-Wings to make the dream of reusable spacecraft a reality. This is just a footnote I’d add to an amazing book.

    Available at Amazon.com 

     
  9. I took this at Griffith Observatory using a Ricoh Theta and a monopod. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

    I took this at Griffith Observatory using a Ricoh Theta and a monopod. https://theta360.com/s/ZvA

     

  10. Which of Your Ideas is Best?

    We may not have met, but I’m going to tell you your problem. Have a seat on my couch. Please help yourself to some Red Vines. Ready?

    You have a head full of ideas? Constantly thinking up new projects? Yet never seem to get anything done?

    Why is it some nights you burst awake with an idea and million gigawatts of enthusiasm, but a week later it’s the most boring thing you can imagine?

    The answer is simple: You’re creative.

    That doesn’t just mean you’re expressive or that you have a clever way of looking at things. It also means you’re compulsively seeking new connections and patterns. You’re an idea junky. You love the little fix your brain gives you every time you think up something new.

    This is a great way to be. But it also has its drawbacks. We’re creative because we want the world to be a little different. We want our own path. We hate the dull, boring parts of life.

    The problem with getting anything done is that some of the things we have to do to get us there aren’t the cool parts. Writing a book and need to create backstory when you want to jump right into the plot? Want to make a movie but there’s a lack of script in the way? Want to bring life to a roles as an actor but the audition process is wearing you down?

    These are the most critical moments you face. Successful people find a way through. Unsuccessful people find something else shiny and new.

    99% of my life has been spent chasing projects I gave up when I came up with that newer, more awesome idea. Was it really a better idea? Probably not. It only seemed more awesome because at the starting line I can’t see all the hurdles or truly understand what that lung-burning exhaustion is going to feel like when the finish line is still out of sight.

    For several years my daily conversation with my buddy Justin Robert Young was my new, awesome, world-changing idea. We’d drive to Taco Bell, Arby’s or Costco on sample Fridays and I’d explain my latest scheme. For the most part, I’m sure they were all quite clever. In practical terms, they were useless. Because no matter how excited I was as I explained my concept over roast beef and curly fries, it was a safe bet that in 24 hours I’d have moved on to something else. Does this sound familiar?

    The problem with being creative is you can come up with a million reasons to give up on something. You convince yourself you’re not quitting, you’re just going in a “better” direction. You’re fooling yourself. You want to do the new thing because you realized the old thing is hard.

    Great things come from getting through the hard parts. And the best solution isn’t to just “power through” them. The smart solution is to apply your creativity in a new direction on the same problem.

    Does your story feel boring halfway into it? What can you change earlier on to make it more exciting? Is there a way to make your character more deeper and interesting than you realized? Trying to finish a script but not making much progress? Pick ten great movies and steal one thing from each one to add into your film. Making a weekly podcast and getting bored? Change the topic to your new passion.

    My greatest successes have always come from the ideas I stuck to, even when I had a million better ones. Next time you’re on the verge of changing directions, don’t do it. Finish it. A completed mediocre idea is infinitely better than an unfinished stroke of genius. Now get off my couch. We have work to do.

    Your best idea is the one you’re working on right now.

    Check out my novel Angel Killer

     

  11. Why You’re Staring at a Blank Screen

    Favorite beverage: Check. Comfy clothes: Check. Snacks: Check. Here you are, all set to write your epic and you’ve already managed to drink and eat all your provisions without moving the cursor. What happened on this trip through imagination? Why did the boat never set sail? How come time is moving forward, but you’re standing still?

    In my case, I can always blame one reason: I didn’t have a map. Sure, I knew I wanted to get to Awesome City. The problem is, that’s all I knew. A story isn’t what happens. It’s how it happens. Did we take a boat? Fly? Was the airport crowded? Did the crew threaten to mutiny before we got aboard?

    There are generally two ways to write. One is to sit down and just keep writing until you get to some sort of conclusion. If you’re Stephen King and you realized halfway through you’ve created far too many plotlines; you arbitrarily murder a few in the middle of the book. If you’re George RR Martin; well, you just keep writing more books and murder them at your leisure.

    The other way, used by lesser mortals like myself, is to have a plan. I sit down with a clear idea of the whole plot and then proceed to show my audience the story. I don’t have everything figured out. Far from it. Mainly, I think of all the problems that are going to get in my hero’s way. I set them up to fail and then try to help them figure their way out of the mess.

    When I’m staring at an empty screen and an empty box of Red Vines, it’s because I had an idea of what happened, but no clearly defined conflict. There was nothing pulling me the writer (and ultimately the reader) into the story. All I knew was that Ms. Z needed to find out some crucial information, like the dead man’s lungs were filled with salt water. Life is complicated. Storytelling is communicating all the interesting conflicts.

    When I’m stuck like this, I have a simple solution: I get up from my keyboard and take a walk. Twenty minutes later, I inevitably have my solution and a renewed enthusiasm.

    To avoid this happening, I try to break my outlines into a clear series of conflicts. At each step I need to know what all my character’s objectives are and what’s stopping them. That makes it crystal clear to me at the start of each chapter what it’s about and when it’s over.

    This isn’t for everyone or every style of writing. Some genres thrive on meandering plot lines that never really go anywhere. Romance and period books are often really just about spending time inside that world. Readers pick these books up for escapism, not clever plot twists or information. They just want to be somewhere else while they read them. When you write these kinds of stories it’s okay to take all the time you please. Often enough in those stories, once the relationship is consummated, it’s all downhill from there anyway.

    You can also write and write and then trim it down later. That’s the way documentaries are made. Some of the greatest examples of literature came from whittling away much longer stories. This is an equally valid approach. it just takes forever…

    Regardless of your approach, if you’re staring at that screen and your fingers aren’t moving, it’s probably because you need to step away and ask yourself why things happened instead of just what.

    Check out my novel Angel Killer

     

  12. How to Write a Bestselling Novel on Your iPhone

    I arrive at the restaurant early. I have 30 minutes to kill. I can either waste that time on some social news site reading things I won’t remember an hour later, or do something slightly more productive. Usually I opt for the time waster. Sometimes though, I resist temptation and make better use of this time: I use my phone to write a book. Maybe not the whole novel or even half, but I still manage to thumb type chapters and sections at a time.

    Writing something long form using your thumbs sounds like a form of torture to most people. The truth is, once you get used to it, it’s not all that bad. Yesterday I wrote two chapters for an upcoming Jessica Blackwood novel using my iPhone while laying on my couch. I didn’t feel like sitting down at my computer. So instead, in the most lazy way possible I still managed to write.

    When it’s time to write the book itself, I like to be in a distraction-free environment – which can be on an airplane or in the middle of a shopping mall. The distractions I try to avoid the most are the ones I invite on myself.

    Sometimes, we can’t control those things. My friends often complain that they don’t have the time to write because life gets in the way. I call BS on that. Just about anybody can write 2,000 words in an hour. All it takes is 30 hours spread over weeks or months and you have a novel.

    The problem is that most people find themselves staring at the screen watching the time fly and the word count not move. Their mistake is that they waited until they had some free time to write to actually think about what to write.

    When people imagine themselves writing they conjure the image of the solitary figure hunched over a keyboard hammering away their epic. The truth of the matter, at least for me, probably only 50% of my time spent writing a book is sitting in front of a computer. My novels are outlined over and over on yellow legal pads. Chapters are written and shuffled on index cards. Web pages are saved to Pocket, Wikipedia articles are printed out.

    I’ve written as much as 20,000 words in a day. The trick of it was that I’d solved all the little problems that would have had me staring into space beforehand. That’s where planning comes in. That’s where your iPhone, Android, iPod or whatever is here to save you.

    A novel is a narrative that unifies a bunch of ideas. These ideas can form characters, plots and the details that make your story unique. A really good novel has a lot of ideas. You can come up with more ideas in 5 days than 5 hours. That’s what your phone is for. It’s probably near you 24-7. Any time inspiration strikes, not necessarily in the form of prose, but the actual molecules that make up a story, make a note.

    Ever stare into space thinking up character names? Should a conversation take place in a car or on a side of the road when a taxi got a flat tire? Where did your character go to school? What’s the scariest thing that ever happened to them? What kind of house does you antagonist live in?

    These are the kind of ideas you can come up with anytime. Just a half dozen pre-planned ideas per chapter will make it all the more interesting.

    The problem with a lot of amateur writing is that it feels like they’re trying to figure things out too late. Once they have an original thought, the perfect time has passed.

    Your phone is the perfect device to capture all the seeds that will flower into the garden that’s your book. As I’ve learned, I can even write my novel on my phone. If that still sounds painful, imagine writing an entire novel, long form using a quill pen.

    We don’t get a lot of unbroken, distraction-free time to write. We do have lots of fragmented moments to have singular ideas and thoughts. Use these times appropriately. You won’t need to steal away moments to write your novel on your phone if you plan wisely. But if you have to, with clear direction, the time will be much better spent.

    Who knows, you might even find you enjoy the time thumb typing away your story. Strangely enough, I do.

    So, here’s how to use your iPhone to write a novel:

    1. Use your note app to write down ideas that will make your novel more interesting and deeper.

    2. Make a lot of notes. Have a lot of ideas.

    3. Get a mobile app like Daedalus Touch so you can write anytime you feel like it.


    Check out my novel Angel Killer