Showing posts with label Alex Taylor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alex Taylor. Show all posts

Monday, August 14, 2017

Who Did You Have in Mind When You Wrote That Character For Your Book ?

As an author, it’s a question I get asked a lot regarding the characters in my books and I am always hesitant to answer, even though I think it is a really good question. 

The primary reason is that as readers we all create mental images in our head of the characters in books and sometimes they don’t translate well to real life. It’s something I wrestled with when the movie version of Frank Herbert's seminal work, DUNE, came out. None, and I mean NONE, of the characters fit the image that was in my head, as I read the books.

Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I mean the casting of Jürgen Prochnow as Duke Leto Atreides was genius, and I could even get behind Francesa Annis as Lady Jessica,  but Kyle MacLachlen as Paul Atreides…………. Seriously?

Paul was 15 in the book!! Whoever came up with that casting decision should be shot! Twice!!

And don’t even get me started on Baron Harkonnen and Feyd-Rabban!! But, I digress.

There is even a school of thought among some authors that says don’t write a description of your characters, but rather let the reader fill in their own vision.  That would work fine until Hollywood get's over their love affair with remakes and make my books into a movie or TV series (Hint, Hint Hollywood). Then people would be freaking out that the characters looked nothing like they imagined. So I opted to describe the main players and in doing so I came up with some current actors who I thought fit the roles.

So if you are not interested in knowing who I had in mind, X this page out now………..






Seriously, leave now,………






Okay, that was your last chance.




For those of you who remained, here is my vision on who I believe best fits the description of the characters.

James Maguire:
The closest person to fit the bill of Maguire is Henry Cavill.  I’ve seen him in a bunch of roles, from The Count of Monte Cristo to Superman, and I think he could truly pull it off.   He also has that devilish smile which seems to resonate with just about any woman.

Cavill has the look and physicality of Maguire, which is important given Maguire’s military service as a Navy SEAL, and, while he is a bit younger, I think he can pull off the age group as well.



Melody Anderson:

What’s not to love about Tricia Helfer for this role? Honestly, she brings everything to the table. I first saw her in the role of Six on Battlestar Galactica. She has the acting chops and is stunningly beautiful.  It was also import to find someone who could play that strong, athletic woman, and at 5’10” she easily fits Melody’s height. 

The fact that she can also portray someone as tough as nails is important as well, given the fact that this might be important going forward in the role. Was that a hint? Plus she gets extra credit for liking cats.




Keith Banning:

Probably the EASIEST one for me to envision playing this role was Matthew McConaughey. There are just some roles written for a person and I have to admit that Keith Banning is his (so feel free to give me a call, Matt). 

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed McConaughey in a number of roles, but his portrayal as Detective Rust Cohle, in the original True Detective series, reinforced my choice. He has that rare acting ability to go back and forth fluidly within a character, something that is extremely important for the character of Banning.

Plus there is an inherent darkness in the role that I think makes him a natural.




Alex Taylor:

Probably the HARDEST one for me and yet, when it was all said and done, the most natural choice. Katee Sackhoff, another Battlestar Galactica alumni, was born for this role. Her portrayal as Lt. Kara Thrace was like a casting call audition for Alex Taylor, the highly troubled, yet incredibly talented professional.  To the rest of the world it seems as if Alex doesn’t wrestle with her demons, as much as she opens a bottle of whiskey and parties with them, but behind closed doors it is a battle-royale. It’s a role that I think Katee pulled off so well in BG. Alex might not be the most professional cop around, but she does know how to get the job done.  Plus, Katee does that chip-on-her-shoulder attitude better than anyone I know and she also has the cop experience from doing Longmire.

Ironically, both Sackhoff and Helfer are friends off screen, which I think would provide an interesting element, especially when it comes to a little competition.

Genevieve Gordon:

Writing Gen, I envisioned someone who was an anti-Melody, both in looks and attitude. Ashley Greene, of Twilight fame, was the perfect fit. There was something smart-ass about her that seemed right at home with the character of Gen. The auburn hair and smaller stature also provided the perfect contrast between the two women. 

She’s the perfect actress to play the other-half to the successful financial duo. I also think that she would be quite capable of delivering Gen’s barbs with the right level of humor and sarcasm.



So there you have it. The folks I think would do the best at bringing the characters in the books to life on the big screen or even a television show.


Feel free to let me know what you think of my choices or who you’d like to know the actor I envisioned for any other characters in the series.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Attention Hollywood: Enough with the Remakes

I like being entertained, it's probably one of the reasons I enjoy being an author. There is something very rewarding about being able to craft new worlds in your books for a reader to immerse themselves in.

For the time it takes to watch a movie, catch a television show or read a book, you are able to suspend belief and transport yourself far away from the trials and tribulations of the real world. That being said, you really do need to have a new world to go, but for some odd reason, Hollywood has apparently run out of new ideas. 

Now, I will be the first to admit that I loved Ronald Moore's re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series. Having grown up watching the original TV show I was not at all upset when they brought it back with a more mature theme. They kept true to the original premise, but managed to add a darkness and complexity that I don't think would have worked nearly as well back in the 70's. 

But, it seems that this is one of the true exceptions these days.

Hollywood seems hell bent and determined to remake everything and I just don't understand why. There is an abundance of new material out there to draw ideas from. Take my books as a prime example. Yes, I know it's a shameless plug, but that doesn't make it untrue.

One book reviewer opined that James Maguire was the new Jack Reacher. I'll confess that I think Maguire is a helluva lot more bad-ass, but I'm biased. And, as good as Maguire is, he also has a very complimentary cast of fellow characters, including a number of strong female ones, that provide something for everyone.

My motivation in writing riveting story-lines stems from the fact that I grew up as a voracious reader. I whiled away the hours journeying to far away places, traveling side by side with some amazing heroes and heroines. It didn't matter if it was Paul Artreides (Dune), Jack Ryan (Patriot Games) or Han Solo (Star Wars). The one thing these characters had was the ability to suspend my belief, but in a very plausible way. It is one of the things I strive for in my books. 

I write characters that the reader gets invested in, whether they are the protagonist or the antagonist. The biggest reward for me is when a reader says: "You know, I hated so-and-so, but I read that chapter and couldn't help but feel bad for them." There is no greater reward, and no greater curse, then when you finish a book and the next thing you are getting are emails from your readers asking when they next book is coming out. 

Today, Hollywood has simply gotten lazy. Rather than take the time to invest in new stories, they seem determined to prove that they can capture lightening once again. Often with dismal results. 

Case in Point: CHiPs (The Movie)

To put it mildly this was a debacle. First, it was a slap in the face to the original series. Say what you will, but CHiPs was a positive television show that cast law enforcement in a good light. The movie, not so much. The $25 million dollar production managed to bring in an amazing  $25.5 million dollar box office haul. That's right, for their effort they eeked out half a million in profit and garnered a dismal 16% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Sadly, this level of movie buffoonery seems to be all the rage these days.

Whether they are remaking Carrie, Planet of the Apes, Starsky & Hutch, The Magnificent Seven, Rollerball, The Bad News Bears, Arthur, Baywatch, The Goodbye Girl, Total Recall, Conan, Ghostbusters (shudder), or even the 27th incarnation of SPIDERMAN, the bottom line is more often than not they fall flat on their face.  I mean really, what's next in the queue? Dirty Harriett?

To a certain extent I can understand the appeal. You have a vehicle that had a following and you figure you can re-capture that for a new generation. Unfortunately, very few take the approach of Ron Moore and up their cinematic game. I think it is also one of the reasons why Netflix and Amazon Studios are enjoying such success.

There comes a point when you have hit rock-bottom and begin to re-evaluate things. Unfortunately, Hollywood seems intent to keep digging or, at the very least, beating the proverbial dead horse.

So if you folks in Tinseltown have reached the end of your rope, and want to secure a lucrative book franchise, have your people contact my people and we'll do lunch. 




Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Uncommon Valor II - Challenge Coins of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit

Back in the summer of 2015, just as I was getting ready to publish: Uncommon Valor - Insignia of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit, the collecting world erupted with a new area: Challenge Coins. At the time I questioned whether I should be the book on hold and include this field, but the more I researched, the more I realized that I would need a lot more time.

I had already invested five years into the cloth insignia history, so I decided to publish that book and then devote the necessary time to properly investigating the coin phenomena. To give you an idea of just how quickly coin fever has gripped the hobby, consider that my first book documented nearly a century of ESU insignia history and comprised roughly 130 pages. This follow-up is nearly the same page count, but only goes back to the late 1990's, when the first ESU coin came out.

Like the first book, this has been a labor of love. At times it felt like I was investigating some deep, dark mystery and at other times banging my head against the desk seemed like a completely acceptable option. In the end it didn't take five years, but it did take almost two.

As much as I love writing these books on ESU, I realize that I much rather write fiction. It is much simpler to create stories in your head, as opposed to conducting research. In the field of non-fiction you only get one chance at being right.

Fortunately, the hard work has paid off and now I add another new book to the catalog. If you are interested in the NYPD ESU or challenge coins, I believe you will thoroughly enjoy this book. It contains over 100 photographs and offers collectors a glimpse at some of the rarest challenge coins produced by the various Trucks and Specialty Units, many of which have never been seen before.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to those members of ESU who afforded me the opportunity to ask innumerable questions and who provided photos of their coins. You are truly the Finest of the Finest.

It is amazing to me, as I submit the file for printing, that this will be my ninth book. It seems like only yesterday that I was holding Perfect Pawn in my hands for the first time. Now it is time to put my non-fiction endeavors to bed for awhile, as I take back up the further adventures of James and Alex.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Knight Fall (James Maguire Series - Book 4)

Now that the hoopla of the 2016 Presidential Election is finally over, I am pleased to announce that my latest novel: Knight Fall, has been released as an e-book on the Kindle platform.

This is the 4th book in the James Maguire series and the 6th book in chronological order. To see the book progression, please click here.

Thank you for your continued support. I hope that you enjoy this and all my other books.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Importance of Reading my Novels in Order

The other day I was having a chat with one of my readers and it occurred to me that she had not read my books in order.  

Does that mean that you have to read them in order? No, but you should, if you want to get the most out of them.

When I started out, I had a vision for the direction that I was going to take the books.  Unfortunately, and you can blame my wife for this, that vision took a sort of detour when I wrote SmallTown Secrets. That book was only intended to be a short story, sort of like what I did with Cold Case, but my wife fell in love with the main character and it took on a life of its own.

So instead of having just the James Maguire series, we now have the Alex Taylor series. Each series is their own, but their stories also converge into the world of the other. 

The reason I suggest that you read them in order is that, while each book has its own storyline, they also contain sub-stories and characters who, while they might not be significant now, will play a larger role down the line.

That’s the fun of story-telling, you’re telling a story.  Even though it is fictional life, we know that life doesn’t end at the last chapter, it just moves on to the next book.

So pick up Perfect Pawn and start where it all began. You'll get the most of them that way and isn't that what reading is all about? 

I hope that you enjoy the journey! If you do, please don't keep it to yourself. Kindly tell a friend and leave a review. I cannot begin to tell you how much it means to authors when they get feedback from their readers. After all, we write for you.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the newest releases, then please like my Facebook page and feel free to follow me on Twitter.



Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 2016 Update - The Importance of Reviews

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great start to the New Year. Despite all the busyness of the holiday season, I have managed to get some writing in. I can happily state that the latest installment in the James Maguire series is over 1/3 complete and I am currently brainstorming the next Alex Taylor one as well. 

The feedback coming in on the novella I wrote back in December: NYPD Cold Case - The Katherine White Murder, has been amazing and there will be more coming.

Creating stories is not what I consider work, as I enjoy the process very much, but I would be lying if I didn't say that it didn't require work. There is a tremendous amount of effort that goes into creating, organizing, editing, and polishing a manuscript, as my esteemed editor, and co-author, aka: my wife, Nancy Nelson, will attest to. The finished book that you read over a weekend takes hundreds of hours to physically produce. I think I can speak for all authors, especially #‎indieauthors, when I say that the greatest thing you can do for us, besides reading our books, is to review the book and then
recommend it to your friends and families.

Sometimes it feels as if authors are pleading for reviews and the truth is, we are. In the case of indie authors, like myself, we do it all, including the PR work. A legacy publishing house like Ballentine, Putnam or Little Brown, have amazing PR departments who can get an authors book onto the desk's of reviewers for USA Today, the NY Times, etc..... Indies, not so much. 

I can certainly tell you that I much rather prefer writing a new book, for you to read, then I do trying to market them. When it comes to writing, it is truly a labor of love. The majority of authors are lucky if they make enough money to pay for the electricity usage to run the computer they write on. They don't do it for fame or riches, although I don't think that any of us are actually opposed to that concept, but because they have a story to tell. At the end of the day that is who we are, storytellers. Only a small percentage of authors actually make a living from it and it is an even smaller group, like the Martin's, Patterson's and Clancy's, who actually become famous. Once again, it is the readers who decide that.

Author's require readers and, while we appreciate each and every one of you, we really depend on you to review our books. Amazon, which most of us use to publish our print and #‎kindle e-books through, have a very stringent set of analytics which they use to rate books. You can have the greatest book in the world, but without reviews the book will languish because Amazon only showcases / promotes books that have good review numbers.

So if you enjoy books by indie authors, show them some love and take the 2-3 minutes required to write a review.

As for me, it's time to get back to work.

Remember to also follow me on #‎twitter @Andrew_G_Nelson where I tweet about some other great indie authors as well.



Thursday, December 10, 2015

Little Boy Lost - Print Update


The cover graphic and formatted print version of the new Alex Taylor novel, Little Boy Lost, has just gone in and I hope to have the prototype book for review shortly.

I don't foresee any issues at this time which means that the print edition should be available for sale by Christmas. I am doing everything I can to expedite it and will let everyone know as soon as it is up on Amazon.

Once again, thank you for your continued support.


UPDATE: NOVEMBER 18TH, 2015

Well, the proof copy of Little Boy Lost has been received from the printer and so far it looks awesome. Had to make some changes to the cover to ensure that nothing was lost in the edge bleed.

We hope to get it fully reviewed this weekend and will then approve it for release. If you have been waiting for the print version, it is almost over.

Once again I am so proud of my co-author, Nancy A. Nelson, and I hope to collaborate with her again soon !!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 2015 Update

I hope that you have all enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday and that your plans for Christmas or, in the case of my Jewish friends, Hanukkah, are going well.

Things have been fairly busy on this end with the release of the e-book version of the Alex Taylor sequel: Little Boy Lost coming out, as well as work on the print version, which will hopefully be released in time for Christmas. It was really fun to work with my amazing wife, Nancy, on this project and I hope to do so again in the future.

In addition to the work on getting that novel out, I have also been working on the next James Maguire novel, which will come out in 2016, as well as another Christmas present project. Once again, you have Nancy to thank for this one.

As we approach the holidays, I would like to ask all of you a favor. If you have read any of my books, please go to Amazon and leave a review. It doesn't have to be much, but every review helps boost the books position within the Amazon analytics. This is used to feature the books to other potential readers. So for all you hoping that they one day get made into a movie, this is your chance to further that chance.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the newest releases, then please like my Facebook page and feel free to follow me on Twitter.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pre-Order: Little Boy Lost (An Alex Taylor Novel) on Amazon.

You can now pre-order the latest Alex Taylor novel: Little Boy Lost at Amazon beginning today. The book will download to your kindle on November 25th, just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Little Boy Lost is the follow-up to Small Town Secrets. It is the 2nd book in the Alex Taylor series. If you are interested in which order to read them, check out my Books page for the listing.

Little Boy Lost marks the first time my wife, Nancy, and I have worked on the actual story line together. If it were not for her I do not think the story would have evolved in the way it did. She brought an element that dovetailed nicely with the characters.

In honor of that wonderful collaboration, you will see her name listed as my co-author on this book. I look forward to working with her again on upcoming novels.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cover Reveal - Little Boy Lost (An Alex Taylor Novel)

I know that a lot of you have been asking when my next book would be coming out and I am happy to announce that your wait is nearly over.

This is the sequel to Small Town Secrets, which was the first book in the Alex Taylor series. If you are going chronologically, it is book number five in the overall series.

As most of you already know, while the story-line is a stand-alone, characters and events will cross over into the James Maguire series as well.

This novel, which takes place after the events in Bishop's Gate, involve Alex's investigation into the disappearance of a young boy during the Penobscot Founder's Day celebration.

We just finished the final editing on the book and it will be released on November 25th, just in time for Thanksgiving. There will be a pre-order available for this book, which should be in place sometime tomorrow.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Author Interview at Awesome Gang

I had a wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by the nice folks over at Awesome Gang, where readers meet awesome writers. 

It's a fantastic site, where readers can get some insight into new books and the authors behind them. 

If you have a moment, please check it out at: http://awesomegang.com/andrew-nelson/

Remember to follow me on Twitter: @Andrew_G_Nelson