With my middle-grade novel, The Knife of Lost Souls, almost ready for submission to agents, my daughter and I thought what better way to bring the story to life than with a mini-film? A book trailer. Starring her. So, we rented a demon-slaying knife from a local prop house, scouted locations to film (both agreeing the swampy ravine near our house would work perfectly) and began working on the script and storyboard. Since only a few people have read KNIFE, and it will no doubt go through many changes in the editing process, we kept the storyboard and script simple, leaving room for much knife waving and demon chases. During filming, we encountered more mosquitoes than minions of the devil – though mosquitoes could qualify as demonic! And occasionally, we got strange looks from people, as an eleven-year-old girl brandishing a medieval dagger is not something you encounter every day. To combat both the mosquitoes and the extreme heat, at the end of each day’s filming, we’d reward ourselves with a congratulatory ice-cream. After four-thousand and thirty-seven takes of the voiceover (I’m a bit of a perfectionist), it was on to the editing. As with writing, you need to slice away everything that is not essential to the story. We shot a lot, but only used what was essential. We also wanted the trailer to have a cinematic feel, but to give viewers a taste of the adventure and humor of the novel. I hope you find the trailer as much fun to watch as it was to work on. Feel free share The Knife of Lost Souls to all and sundry.
Soon, very soon Halloween paraphernalia will hit the stores. We’ll be bombarded with flimsy plastic masks, hundred dollar throw-away skeletons and costumes that won’t make it to November 1st. That’s why I love this photo. Quite clearly, these kids only have a dime between them but they managed to put together one of the creepiest collections of ghouls I’ve ever seen!
Here is the second of our book reviews. It’s one of our very favourite books of all time. PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF: BOOK 1 by the amazing Rick Riordan.
This book is about a boy named Percy Jackson. He has never fit in and has dyslexia and ADHD. (Soon that will become his one of greatest gifts.) He always gets kicked out of schools and blows things up. Then he finds out that his father, who was lost at sea, is actually the ancient Greek God, Poseidon! Percy is Demi-god, which is half mortal and half god. He gets attacked by a millions-year-old monster (I would not like to try and blow out those birthday candles!), goes on a quest and even has girl troubles. Along with his best friends, Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, and Grover Underwood, a Satyr, he has to find Zeus’s Master Lightning Bolt, which Percy was wrongly accused of stealing. Along the way, they play everlasting video games, hang out in the Half-Blood summer camp, battle a crazy math teacher and save the world! You know, the usual stuff.
The 5 Q’s with BENJAMIN asking and ROSE answering:
Q: Who is your favourite character?
A: It’s so hard to choose, but I like Grover best. He’s very funny, a good friend to Percy and really devoted to nature.
Q: What is the worst monster to appear to you in a nightmare?
A: Totally, the Hydra, hands down. It just keeps coming at ya, you know – cut off one head and two more grow back! And it has 8 or more heads, so like, 8 things to fight off!
Q: Who would you least like to take a vacation with?
A: I would not like to a vacation with Connor and Travis Stoll. I would have to make sure everything in my backpack was still there because they might steal it.
Q: If this book was a jelly bean, what flavour would it be?
A: It would be blue and taste like seaweed.
Q: Was this the funniest book you’ve ever read?
A: Yeah, one of them, for sure.
We give the Lightning Thief 5 stars out of 5 ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Forget the bicycle. Forget the magic set. Forget even the baseball mitt. The best birthday present my parents ever got me was a subscription to Famous Monsters of Filmland. A boy obsessed with monsters of all shapes, sizes and horribleness, could do no better than this monthly bible from the world of sinister celluloid. I had terrible nightmares as a child. Could have been my overactive imagination. Could have been my nightly intake of Froot Loops. Crazy, I know, but my growing obsession with monsters seemed to ease the nightly terrors. I needed to understand these creatures. I had to know how they ticked, so I could banish them from my dreams. In doing so, I fell in love. Yes, with monsters. The classics. The Universal Monsters: Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, the Phantom of the Opera.
Secondary demon? Victorian Batman? Or is he some guy with cardboard horns who likes nothing better than to play dress up? Is he wearing a Halloween costume? Or is he an actor in a play? Mephisto? Beelzebub? An outcast from Dante’s Inferno? Arms crossed, defiant stare – is he trying to hypnotize the photographer? Does he want to bargain for your soul? Is he the devil himself caught on film? Would the truth be disappointing?