Bloody Knuckles Newsletter

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

CHANNEL WRITES: Thoughts of TV Crime Shows

TRUE DETECTIVE: (HBO) All eight episodes have already aired. It's dark. Really dark. But Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are great in their roles in the 'partners with baggage' trope.
LUTHER: (BBCAmerica) Idris Elba as a dirty cop with a heart of fool's gold. First season is longer and riveting. Second season builds off of it well. Available on Netflix.

THORNE MYSTERIES: (BBC America On Demand Comcast) You know him as the Governor. I remember him as The Next Doctor. But in between Dr. Who and The Walking Dead he played troubled Inspector Thom Thorne. There were two short seasons: Scaredycat and Sleepyhead. Sleepyhead is the better of the two. Aiden Gillen, aka Littlefinger on GAME of THRONES, is complicit in many of the questionable decisions Thorne makes. GIllen plays the CSI. 

These are my suggestions for binge watching.

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER: The February Drabbles are up! Give them a read: Flash Jab Fiction  

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER II: The Serpent Beneath the Flower has been nominated for a Derringer Short Fiction Award in the Novelette category. It was the third part of a trilogy in the Harry Landers PI series. You can check it out here: Nominee

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Micro Interview: Gina DiPeppe

Gina DiPeppe

Discovery Investigation has become one of my favorite 'go-to' channels when I'm stuck between writer's block and ennui. In late winter of 2013, DI premiered a half hour, reality based, re-enactment program called Deadly Sins. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview actress Gina DiPeppe who appeared in the episode, Small Town Massacre. 

HARD NOSED SLEUTH: Gina, thanks for taking the time for this interview.

GINA DiPEPPE: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

HNS: Shows like Deadly Sins remind me of what I consider the granddaddy of all reality re-enactment shows: Unsolved Mysteries. Deadly Sins seems to have taken it a step further. Your scenes are particularly brutal to watch. Talk a little about how you prepared for your scene. Was there any research into the person's life? Did you have discussions with the director or the actor who played the killer?

GD: The show's process is very quick so there aren't any rehearsals or anything like that. You get a basic story line and character profile and I did research the actual story and my character. Before each scene the director walked us through what they were looking for and let us run with it-- they prefer the natural reaction aspect so we just did what came natural at the time. It works really well for this type of shoot.

HNS: There's no doubt crime dramas and shows command large audiences. What's your favorite that you would most like to appear on some day?

GD: I think all I watch is crime drama-- lol!!! Working on Deadly Sins was a great experience. I hope I can work on the show again. Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU are my favorite shows. I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to appear on either and I hope I have the opportunity.

HNS: I usually ask this of writers, but I'll mix it up for you. When did you know you wanted to act?

GD: Wow, I can't remember a time that I didn't want to act. I'd put on little dinner time shows for my family ever since I can remember. I was about three or four when my dad taught me the song, 'Me and My Shadow' and we made up this dance number and performed it at dinner for my mom and grandmother. I loved it and never wanted it to stop!

HNS: Thanks again for the interview!

Gina DiPeppe's current bio can be found on IMDB.com 

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER: The first installment in a possible YA series has been released by Untreed Reads. Running Red tells the story of a teenage girl on her own after a fungus known for creating zombie ants makes the jumps to humans. As humanity collapses, Robin Willette sets out to find her sister and niece. Along the way she confronts a changing world. Currently, it is 30% off at the Untreed Reads store. 

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION FAR CORNER: Yellow Mama is running my supernatural western, Cavendish Returns. Go give it a read: IT'S FREE! Click here

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Oz Choreographer Leslie Kay


The following Microview is more for the readers and writers of steampunk and horror but I'm sure the crime writers among us will enjoy the interview as well. It probably came as no surprise that Oz the Great and Powerful had a smash opening and has been enjoying a successful run at the box office. Big name stars, a familiar story, and incredible production values. This month, choreographer Leslie Kay agreed to take part in a micro interview.
HARD-NOSED SLEUTH: You were tasked with creating a cinematic moment with one of the most iconic groups to ever appear in a movie. Talk a little about creating a new chapter in Munchkin lore.
LESLIE KAY: When I was first asked to recreate one of the most iconic scenes in movie history, The Munchkin Dance, by director Sam Raimi, I was a bit overwhelmed. We began with a few dance routines that Sam didn't think were big enough. I thought to myself, "How do you make little people big!?" It was then I decided to bring on the stunt crew and make it a stunt wire, acrobatic, high flying routine!
HNS: Writers sweat and struggle mentally putting words together to create story. Did you look at using choreography as a way to add to the story or were you more concerned with mood and characterization?
LK:  Movie choreography is very different from dance choreography, what I'm typically used to. The definition of choreography in Oz included not only dancing but blocking, marching and staging. There is a lot that can be told through body language and blocking. It definitely helps to convey the "feel" of a scene and helps to tell the story.
HNS:  Last question. I usually conclude by asking people when they knew they wanted to be writers. What was the moment for you about dance?
LK: I'm often asked at what age I decided to be a choreographer. Most dancers start off very young and grow into the instruction/choreography side of things in adulthood. I can honestly say, as much as I love to perform, I've always enjoyed creating the piece and leading the classroom. I recently found a school project from Kindergarden asking "What do you want to be when you grow up?" At age 5, I said choreographer. I didn't spell the word right but I knew that was what I wanted to do! Dreams can come true, if you have a goal and stick to it!
THANKS!!!!!
HNS: Thank you, Leslie!
Lesley Kay has been teaching dance for over 20 years. She is the Head Choreographer on Walt Disney Picture’s “Oz The Great and Powerful” out next Spring. Lesley is the director of The Detroit Dolls, former member of the Detroit Lion’s On Field Promotions Team and currently choreographs their nationally televised Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show. She specializes in Large Productions, Hip Hop, Jazz Technique and Musical Theatre. A former member of the Detroit Piston’s Dance Team, instructor at the prestigious Juliana’s Academy of Dance and has choreographed commercials in L.A. and Las Vegas for Little Caesars. She is currently on staff at Oakland University and teaches all over the Metro Detroit area. Her performance credits include Jay Sean, Gladys Knight, Enrique Iglasis, Jon Bon Jovi and Boyz II Men. Many of her student’s achievements include; So You Think You Can Dance/Top 3, Miss America Talent Award, NBA, NFL, Nutcracker Detroit Opera House, Julliard School NYC and The Virginia School of Arts.

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER: Untreed Reads has released my YA, dystopian horror, novel Running Red.  You can check it out by clicking on the title. Right now it is on sale! 30% off!
BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER II: Mysterical-e is running my short story, The Mayor and the Murder.  This one is free!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

CHANNEL WRITES: RIPPER STREET


RIPPER STREET Saturdays 9 pm on BBCAM 

This is everything I wanted COPPER to be. Something about that series always seemed to be just a bit off. I liked the setting, the time period, the idea. It should have meshed but it never really did for me.

Then along came RIPPER STREET. Equally as dark, essentially the same archetypes but now something is clicking. The stories are semi episodic with just enough of a thread tying subplots together to help flesh out the characters.

Matthew Macfayden leads the cast as D.I. Edward Reid. Without giving any spoilers, his back story revolves around his inability to capture the Ripper. He is tormented by an estranged wife and the loss of his young daughter. I first saw Macfayden in the original Death at a Funeral where is his droll, stoic characterization of Daniel proved his comedic chops. Then I saw him in a miniseries called Any Human Heart where his dramatic side overtook the series from Jim Broadbent interpretation of the same character. This talent has carried him through grueling scripts this season as he’s tackled copycats, socialists, and murderous characters.

Jerome Flynn plays his troubled partner Sgt. Drake struggling to stay loyal to the force and his superior. Flynn does double duty of Game of Thrones as Bronn. Where Bronn is cool in his battles, Drake is a brute. Most often he is used to ‘interrogate’ suspects. Well, Reid asks the questions while Drake uses his fists to get the answers. But there’s more to Drake then brawn.

The final figure in this trio is rogue Pinkerton agent and early coroner Captain Homer Jackson, an expatriate from America. He and the Madame he bunks with have a history that has driven from one country into the other. Adam Rotheberg plays the wily and mysterious Jackson. A quick look at IMDB.com shows he’s had character roles in a large array of dramas since 1999. He seems to have found a niche as Jackson.

Bottom line: The stories are goo, the acting is solid, and the production values are high. Give it a watch if you haven’t. BBCAM tends to give its shows a short shelf life. It cancelled The Hour after only two seasons. I haven’t seen any mention of The Fades this year. And where the heck is Dr. Who???????

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER: Yellow Mama will publish my western short, Cavendish Rides next month. King’s River Life will run my soft boiled short, At the Rainbow’s End next week for St. Patrick’s Day. Finally, eFiction Horror will post The Water Tower, a steampunk horror tale of two boys and what they find in a water tower. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Micro Interview: Gerald So


I’m starting the New Year with a return of the Micro Interview. This month I’m featuring writer Gerald So.  Gerald is editor of The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly and vice president of The Short Mystery Fiction Society. From 2001 to 2009, he edited the original fiction section of Kevin Burton Smith's Thrilling Detective Web Site.

HARD NOSED SLEUTH:  Talk a bit about the 5-2 and why you decided to operate it.

 GERALD SO: The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly website grew out of The Lineup: Poems on Crime series of annual chapbooks I co-edited with Patrick Shawn Bagley, Reed Farrel Coleman, Sarah Cortez, Richie Narvaez, and Anthony Rainone. When The Lineup succumbed to high printing costs in 2011, I decided I still wanted to publish crime poetry, and developed a format that would eliminate these costs and take advantage of the Web's capacity for audio and video to keep poetry on people's minds year-round.

 HS:  You've been active in the Short Mystery Fiction Society and its Derringer Awards for a while. What do you see as the benefits of organizations like this?

 GS: There are so many worthy causes out there that need groups like the SMFS to keep them in the public eye. As someone who loves short mystery fiction as a form, I'm glad to turn more people on to it. I feel I have to do my part to see that it receives as much recognition as possible.

 HS: I ask this of everyone I interview: When did you know you were a writer?

 GS: I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was 13, and my school library published a classmate's book. Somehow, that gave me an urge to write that I knew wouldn't subside.
 Thanks for the opportunity.

 HS: My pleasure! Thanks for your time!

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER: Mind Wings Audio Books has released the third installment in my northern/western series about the frontier town of Sorrow, Michigan. Justice Comes to Sorrow is a dark ride into the pit of mans soul. Check it out at Mind Wings Audio

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CHANNEL WRITES: Elementary


Been a while, I know. Day job, line edits, audio tracks, and I've been hanging with some steampunkers. Of course, none of this has stopped me from checking out the latest in fall television.

CBS has opened the doors for yet another updated version of Conan-Doyle's hero. The procedural aspect of it is pretty standard, although it feels like Aidan Quinn has finally found a niche for his hardened NYC detective in Captain Gregson. I don't see much difference from Lieutenant Kevin Sweeney in last year’s short lived NBC offering of a Prime Suspect remake. And the return of Jon Michael Hill, formerly of ABC’s DETROIT 187, is a plus.

The real chemistry of Elementary is between John Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. Here the update of the Holmes and Watson characters develop a new, fresh layer in the canon of Holmesian knock-offs. It allows Watson to go from making casual observations about Holmes as Conan-Doyles’ pair did to allowing an insightful exploration of the centerpiece character, but maybe not as much as Martin Freeman’s Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Holmes in the excellent BBC Sherlock.

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER: Signed the contracts today on my first picture book. It’s got a holiday theme and this is November so I imagine the rlease date will be about ten months from now.

BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER ACROSS THE PAGE: Trouble Comes to Sorrow, the second in the three part series of northern  Michigan sheriff Cal Haskell has been released. You can listen to a snippet of it here: Mind Wings

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Copper


It’s been a busy few weeks even though it hasn't seemed like it. Pennant Fever is sweeping through Detroit right now as the Tigers continue their way to a World Series appearance. Next up are the New York Yankees. I’m just hoping it’s a Detroit-San Fran series. Nothing ageist the Cardinals because those guys make up a hell of a team. It’s just that Detroit has faced St. Louis nine times already in post season play. The last time was in 2006 and the Cards went up 5-4 in World Series wins over the Tigers.
 But enough about baseball.
 For now.
 I wanted to like BBC America’s Copper. Just like I did with Brussel sprouts, I gave it three chances. It had everything going for it: period drama, gritty characters, corrupt police force. You couldn't help but think of Gangs of New York, especially since it made so many references to the Five Points in early New York. It was supposed to be a game changer.
 But it wasn't.
 I don’t know where the disconnection occurred for me. I’d be interested in knowing if any of you gave it a try and what you thought.
 BLATANT SELF PROMOTION CORNER: Untreed Reads will release my dystopian, YA novel Running Red sometime in early 2013. A young woman searches for her missing family while fending off the end of civilization and mutating zombies.