Category: Uncategorized



Thought I’d share this little piece of inspiration for all my fellow indie authors today. These really insightful thoughts come from author Kate Brauning, a woman who really knows about publishing and has been a part of it for a long time…

Kate Brauning

As an editor, I truly wish more authors knew it was okay to focus on their strengths. So much craft advice encourages filling in the gaps in our writing skills. Learn how to avoid soggy middles! Craft a brilliant first line! Create dynamic characters, not static ones! And if you know my subtips, you know I am a huge supporter of learning great craft. But a really vibrant skill in one area can outshine an gap elsewhere.

Gaps in our writing skills can be book killers. But these days especially, the market is looking for strengths. What do you do that’s wild and knew and beautiful? Build a book around it. Plot a book around it. Maybe you’re a genius at describing guinea pigs. Lean into that! Plot around it!

If you’re so real and funny and nuanced with dialogue, take it to the max. Concept the book around…

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The Pondering Pug’s Thought of the

Day:

What happens when two authors, who are married to each other, get the same type of idea for a short story for their respective book series?

Funny, that this pup should be asking that question, because it happened to Helen and me just recently.

As you all know I created a vampire (or as I call him a ‘vampyre’ since he’s not a true undead being, but more of a science fiction-based blood drinking, shape-shifting, sun avoiding being) named Nathan Steward. For those who aren’t familiar with him here’s a brief synopsis. Nathan was a Union soldier in the Civil War who got blown into a Para-Earth where one of the life forms there fused itself to him, creating a symbiotic bond that allows them to coexist as one. This symbiotic arrangement has also extended Nathan’s life far beyond that of a normal human being, which means he has existed for over 160 years. This has allowed him to see and be a part of a lot of history. 

Then about 2 2 1/2 years ago, Helen created Rafael Jones, star of her “The Forever Detective Series”.  Set in New York City in 1947 and told from Rafael’s point of view, we quickly we learn he was a police officer, who wanted to serve his country during World War II. Unfortunately, because of his police training he was assigned to MP duty, but later became an investigator gathering evidence for the Nuremberg trials. In the first book “Forever’s Too Long” he has come back to NYC and is opening his own private detective business. In his first 2 cases which become one, he learns that supernatural beings do actually exist, in this case in the form of vampires. As the case progresses, he winds up getting killed and turned into a vampire himself. Yet upon rising he has managed to hold onto his humanity and goes after the vampires responsible for his death, who are also going after a close friend of his. 

From there, the series continues with Rafael learning to adjust to his new existence, while keeping his private investigation business going. In his next cases, he encounters more supernatural beings such as ghosts, kelpies, and those gifted with magic such as mediums, witches, wizards, as well as other beings such as ghosts, kelpies, dryads, and many others. 

Recently, she added a spinoff group of books centering around some of these other folk, focusing on some adventures of their own that do not involve Rafael. Some of these tales take place before and during World War II. 

Well so do a number of my stories with Nathan…

So, I recently had been asking myself what kind of story can I come up with for Nathan during World War I? I had recently been listening to podcasts that told stories of the United States getting hit with sabotage for supplying war materials like weapons and ammunition to England, before we actually entered the war. And two of the cases took place in New York and New Jersey, which was where Nathan was working backstage at vaudeville palaces. So he’d be aware of these incidents, and I could get him involved helping the government by catching a ship headed to England. Now this was during the time of submarine warfare which meant I could easily put him in conflict with a German U-boat to save the ship he was traveling on.

Now I knew Helen had been working on a U-boat story set in WWII for a second anthology in her spinoff series “W. I. T. C. H. Hunters Forever”. However, she wasn’t sure if she’d ever get around to finishing the anthology. And since my story took place in WWI, I didn’t think there would be a problem. So, I got the story well under way before telling Helen about it. She thought it sounded interesting, but then pointed out it might be too similar to the story she had been working on. After much discussion she told me to go ahead with mine and she would drop hers. Now I could tell she was disappointed, but since she insisted, I kept working on mine.

But being the diligent little writer that I am, I wanted to see what the interior of a WWI U-boat was like, and boy was I in for a surprise…

As you can see, this barely had enough room for maybe 10 people. And not a lot of places to hide, which was what I needed for some of the plans I had for Nathan’s activities. I had been envisioning the much bigger and more complex U-boats of WWII. I needed a vessel much bigger than this, with a lot more places to hide and lurk between his acts of sabotage. So, what could I use instead?

Then a memory from my childhood came to me…

Zeppelins! I got fascinated with them after seeing a film showing the destruction of the Hindenburg in 1937. But when I read up on them, I discovered they had been used in WWI to bomb England and other countries at a time where they could achieve heights most biplanes couldn’t. Of course, this changed over time as the war dragged on, but for several years, the Zeppelins were the scourge of the night sky, quietly floating over unsuspecting towns and cities. 

They of course could travel over water as well, which meant they could and did occasionally target ships in the waters below.

And after seeing a cut-away diagram like this one…

I knew I had the answer to both our problems. So, I quickly set about reworking the U-boat story I had going and turned it into Nathan ‘haunting’ a Zeppelin instead. Naturally, I informed Helen that the U-boat story was hers, once more, and explained why I changed my mind. I’m pleased to tell you that she was delighted by this turn of events. Especially, as she told me afterwards, she hadn’t really wanted to give up the story she’d had planned because it was such a good one. Which it is! Trust me. But you’ll have to wait for the next anthology book in her series to read it.

And by the same token, you’ll have wait for the next Vampyre Blogs anthology, to read my zeppelin story as well. But it may show up later this year or definitely next year at the latest.

However, I just wanted to share with you what can happen when you have to very creative minds living under the same roof. Sometimes, you both might come up with similar ideas, but there are ways around such situations, to avoid having readers possibly wind up comparing who did a better job on their story.

Researching source material for your setting can make or break a writing project. So make sure you’re diligent, especially if you’re writing about historical events.

Until next time, stay safe and keep writing everyone!

PS: If you enjoyed the Pondering Pug concept, do let us know. We’ll be happy to continue having the pug occasionally show up on the blog with new thoughts and questions to explore. Besides, he is so darn cute!


What a way to start a brand new the year! Helen just got a Kirkus Review of her first novel “Forever’s Too Long”, calling it…

“A tense, thrilling paranormal adventure with a striking cast.”

Here’s the full review:

A supernatural crime novel set in the 1940s focuses on a private detective.

This series opener begins in 1947. The narrator of the story, Rafael Jones, has set up shop as a private investigator in New York City. Rafael has an extensive background in law enforcement (both civilian and military), and he is eager to strike out on his own. No sooner has he put the sign up for Harmony Investigations than he is approached by a British woman named Clara Thomas. Clara has been sent to persuade Rafael to work for Interpol. She is a sharp woman, with a degree in mathematics from Oxford, who knows how to handle herself in a fight. She can also fly a plane. Rafael doesn’t need that much convincing, and he soon learns that working with Clara will be fun. It isn’t long before the two become more than mere colleagues. The duo starts working on a case involving stolen Russian art and other valuables. To complicate matters, a number of bodies seem to be connected to the thefts. Rafael must also cater to an old acquaintance: a wealthy playboy, inventor, and industrialist named Eugene Marshall, who lives and works in the Empire State Building. Eugene is concerned with the recent resignation of two of his employees who have joined a cult known as the Order of Repentance. When Rafael investigates the organization, he runs into much more trouble than he bargained for. Thanks to the infamous Rasputin, Rafael winds up meeting a vampire.

As Krummenacker’s engaging caper unfolds, readers are kept in a regular state of suspense. While it may initially seem as though Clara and Rafael will embark on a quirky investigation together, things take a turn when the Order of Repentance enters the picture. A tale supposedly about a missing Fabergé egg and some flustered shop owners eventually begins heading down an invitingly dark, supernatural avenue. Even a cool customer like Rafael couldn’t have planned for the hurdles he faces. But certain aspects of the story complicate matters without rewarding the audience. For instance, readers are assured that during World War II, Rafael repeatedly requested to be assigned to combat duty. The only reason he was forced to work in a military police capacity was due to his law enforcement background. This is not a particularly exciting or captivating part of his character when bigger problems are just emerging. In addition, the dialogue sometimes relies on such stock phrases as “Where are you going?” and “You’re amazing.” Nevertheless, the tale develops quickly, with the entire story coming in under 200 pages. Not much time is wasted once the main events get going and Rafael and Clara try to stop the bad guys. And even after the gripping novel has concluded, there proves to be plenty of intriguing material left for the sequel.

-END-

So there you have it gang. Can’t wait to see what they’ll say about the other 3 books in the series, or the next one “Forever Chosen” which will coming out later this year!

In the meantime, if you haven’t already got your copy of “Forever’s Too Long” it’s available in e-book, paperback, and audiobook form! Just click the link that works for you from the list below:

E-BOOK, PAPERBACK, AUDIOBOOK LINKS:

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonUK Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonCA Link: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07RSGKTDF

AmazonAU Link: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07RSGKTDF

Smashwords Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/938589

E-BOOK (only) LINKS:

Barnes and Noble Link: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/forevers-too-long-helen-krummenacker/1131555250?ean=2940163217083

Kobo Link: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/forever-s-too-long

Apple Books Link: https://books.apple.com/us/book/forevers-too-long/id1463293739

AUDIO (only) LINKS:

Audible Link: https://www.audible.com/pd/Forevers-Too-Long-Audiobook/B08B2QFJMC?asin=B08B2QFJMC

Itunes: https://books.apple.com/us/audiobook/forevers-too-long-the-forever-detective-book-1-unabridged/id1518693545


At the beginning of this year, I made a post listing my plans for this year. And as the end of the year draws closer, let’s take a look at how things went, shall we?

1- Re-work, re-edit, and re-release “The Bridge” in a special 10th Anniversary version.

RESULTS: As of today, this project is just shy of 2/3’s of the way finished. So, it’s well on target for being re-released in 2023. Admittedly, I had hoped to have it completed and ready to release in January 2023, but I’ll settle for getting it out before the coming year is over.

2 – Get a complete 1st draft of “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties” which takes up mere weeks after the end of “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.

RESULTS: Well… the first draft is under way, so that’s something. Right? Please tell me I’m right. I’m feeling guilty over here.

3 – Release the first volume of “The Pass” trilogy, which I wrote with my old high school friend Rich Caminiti, with some fantastic illustrations by the talented Gabrielle Callan. We will be releasing this book in hardback (yes, your read that right) and e-book formats.NOTE: This one is a definite. The book is already written Gabrielle just getting the last of the artwork completed along with the cover

RESULTS: (cricket noises) Health and other complications slowed us down on this one. However, we do have a hardback “Proof Copy” that Rich and I have been going over together and finding a number of issues that we are correcting. However, there is no doubt that we will get the first book of the trilogy out in 2023. So, keep an eye out for this new and exciting tale to arrive in the coming months.

4 – Rich and I will be working on the 2nd and 3rd drafts of the second installment of “The Pass” trilogy with hopes of releasing that book in 2023.
*The 1st draft is already completed so we have high hopes of getting this to happen*

RESULTS: (even more cricket noises) Mind you, the 1st draft of the 2nd book is still completed, and we will be working on the 2nd and 3rd drafts as we get the 1st book out in 2023.

5 – Record and release Helen’s 1st solo anthology “Forever W. I. T. C. H. Hunting”, which is actually a spinoff from her Forever Detective Series and will feature characters from that series as well as a few new faces who will be appearing in future installments of The Forever Detective books.

RESULTS: The book itself was released and the actual title is “W. I. T. C. H. Hunters Forever”.  As far as the audiobook goes, I’ve recorded 2-3 of the stories, but I still have a ways to go on the others.  But, an audiobook version will be coming in 2023 (hopefully by May if not sooner). We’ll see what happens.

6 – I hope to begin recording “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” with the help of Helen to bring more variety of voices for your listening pleasure.

RESULTS: I have actually gotten several entries recorded already, but I still have a long ways to go before it will be finished. But 2023 will hopefully see the audiobook come to life by September, just in time for the Halloween season. 

7 – We may start adding some podcasts occasionally to this blog and maybe even to YouTube. We have the equipment and the ability to do it, so you may actually get to see and hear us once in a while.

RESULTS: The great thing about saying “We may start…” is that it didn’t promise anything actually happening. Which is fortunate because we had a lot on our plate already for this year, and many new issues arose that needed our attention first. So although this did not come to pass, we do have plans and will be taking our first steps to make this happen in 2023. We’ll see what happens.

8 – Finally, I’m starting to look into voiceover work opportunities for myself this coming year. I’m already on LinkedIn and have seen opportunities becoming more numerous, as well as over on Audible. There are apparently opportunities here in and around Santa Cruz, so I may be trying out for a few here and there. It all depends on time and how many spoons I can spare without burning myself out.

RESULTS: I did look into things more and discovered that one of the most important things I needed to really start applying for some of these opportunities are some “Demo” recordings which act as a portfolio/resume’ for voice actors. And that is something I do not have. Also, it is not something I can really do on my own at home with the equipment I have, which is fine for Audiobooks, but not for “Demos”. So as 2022 approaches its end, I have gone back to taking Voiceover classes to further develop my skills, as well as getting support, scripts and eventually professionally done “Demo” recordings. So before 2023 is out, I WILL be auditioning for voiceover work professionally.

So, overall I didn’t do too bad, right?

Ooo… tough crowd! 

Alright, I’ll level with you folks. Since September I’ve been dealing with a health issue that is still being investigated to find the cause and how to deal with it. I started having an elevated heart rate where even resting I was at 100 beats per minute. After MRI’s and cardiograms, they have ruled out my heart itself being the problem, but they have discovered a couple of other issues that could be triggering this and are diving deeper to find the answers. Currently, medication has my heart at a more normal level, but I’m suffering dizziness and fatigue to the point I’ve been on FMLA since September.  

This fatigue has slowed me down on a number of fronts, including writing and blogging (obviously, since I haven’t posted as often as I’d like this year). But I’m hanging in there, so no worries. I have been doing some writing and recording, just not as much as I would really like to be doing. But it is happening, nonetheless. So your patience is appreciated.

On the plus side, I did release not one but two video narrations on YouTube, in case you missed them. One of them is my presentation of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”, complete with me supplying all the voices along with images I found on the internet to give you all a picture book experience as I narrate the entire novella as it was written and can be found below:

Plus I did the same thing for one of Helen’s short stories from her recently published short story collection “W. I. T. C. H. Hunter’s Forever” which is a spinoff from her Forever Detective Series starring her detective/vampire Rafael Jones (who does make a brief appearance in one of the stories). This tale is also a Christmas themed story, involving none other than the legendary demon Krampus. Which can be viewed here at:

Once again, I had a lot of fun supplying the voices and gathering images from across the internet to bring a more enjoyable view/listening experience to the audience. 

I will probably be doing more YouTube presentations of stories written by Helen and myself, as well as some little known (but highly entertaining) ghost stories I have found in Public Domain, including one tale from Lord Dunsany, who was a huge influence to the man who created the Cthulhu Mythos, H. P. Lovecraft.

So, there’s quite a bit on the horizon for 2023 and we hope you’ll stick with us and check out our work and help spread the word. Because there’s no better advertising than word of mouth. 

Thanks for all your continued support throughout this year, and we’ll see you again soon.


Christmas came early to me…

Last night I received this comment over on my YouTube channel regarding my presentation of an unabridged version of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” from Barbara Ortiz…

“This version is among the best, the added images are very nice, your extra research is appreciated. Ahh, also, your voice acting is spot on.”

This meant the world to me. I hope everyone else who’s checked it out enjoyed it just as much.

And if you wish to give it a try, I’m supplying the link just below. Happy Holidays everyone and may the season bring you all the joy and happiness it can.

Link:

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, a Joyous Kwanzaa and a Happy New Year to you all.


Sharing this from a friend because there are times, especially during the holidays when people need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to bend. And that moment can make a huge difference in what happens next for that person…

Writer's Treasure Chest

Definition

Depression

Feeling sad is a healthy, normal part of life. For some people sadness comes out of nowhere, triggered by something as simple as a song that comes on the radio. It ebbs and flows. But for others, feelings of sadness won’t go away and the origin of the sadness is hard to discern. It is not something they can “snap out of” or control. It causes feelings and thoughts that won’t go away. Many lose interest in normal daily activities, lack energy, and have trouble concentrating. These are all signs of depression, a mood disorder also referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. 

If you or someone you know suffers from depression you are not alone. Over sixteen million people in the United States experienced depression last year. While serious, depression is a treatable condition and help isn’t too far.  (Source: Depression – Mayo Clinic)

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Just in time for the holidays…

Forever Detective

The entire Forever Detective Series, plus its short-story collection spinoff,”W. I. T. C. H. Hunters Forever”are all now on sale ine-book formfor just $2.99(US Dollars)eachfrom now until December 26th!!!

+

That’s right you can get ALL 5 e-books for less than $15.00(US Dollars)just in time for the holiday season!

Amazon: Amazon.com: Helen Krummenacker: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Barnes and Noble: Helen Krummenacker, NOOK | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Kobo: Forever Detective Books Rakuten Kobo

Apple Books: Helen Krummenacker on Apple Books

Smashwords: Smashwords – The Forever Detective

E-books make great gifts for the holidays. You can even schedule when the book arrives to the recipient, such as during Hannukah, birthday, Christmas Eve, and of course Christmas day itself.And if you have someone on your list who prefers good old fashioned paperback books, we have those too at theAmazonandBarnes and Noblelinks above.

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The holiday season is upon us, and I hope you are all enjoying yourselves. I know I’ve been on the quiet side for some time, but I’ve been dealing with some health issues (which I’ll discuss down the road, it’s still not fully resolved yet). But I’ve also been working on a special project for the last 2 years. It’s been quite a journey with this particular effort of mine, as it’s part audiobook and part video. 

As you all know I’ve done a fair amount of audio work, but adding video was a whole new ballgame for me. Getting everything lined up just right, finding imagery in public domain, as well as music to go along with it, took a considerable amount of time and energies. But I feel like the results were worth it. I learned a lot along the way and may actually start doing some podcasting in the near future. We’ll see.

But for now, I’d like to present to you all to a brand-new Unabridged presentation of Mr. Charles Dicken’s classic “A Christmas Carol”. It’s up on YouTube and you can reach it simply by clicking on the image below:

Why I chose this particular work is explained in the opening of the video itself, but I’ll briefly summarize my reasoning here. After years of watching all the versions created for film and television, I finally read the novella itself and discovered that a large proportion of the story never makes it to the screen. And as I read, I found myself occasionally reading aloud in various voices I assigned the characters in my head. So, after actually doing audiobooks, I felt it was time to give Mr. Dicken’s story a shot. 

So far, my beta-viewers were all pleased and impressed with the finished project. And I hope all of you will be as well. 

Please leave any comments on YouTube, as well as hitting the Like button if you enjoy what I’ve brought you. 

I am considering doing some more Christmas related ghost stories down the road, as I’ve discovered a trove of such stories available in the public domain. For those who don’t know, ghost stories at Christmas was a time-honored tradition over in Europe, long before Mr. Dickens created his famous novella. I’ll go into why this was so in more detail in my next post, but for now please enjoy my holiday season offering and stay safe my friends.

And as always, keep writing and recording, everyone.

Veteran’s Day 2022


Reblogged from Aurora Jean Alexander’s blog “Writer’s Treasure Chest“…

Writer's Treasure Chest

Picture courtesy of Guideposts.org

Prayer:

Lord, You know how deep a warrior’s wounds go. You see many of our veterans’ loss in body and soul. You know the memories that haunt them and the scars that many of them continue to carry. Please bring healing to those veterans who are still hurt. Please grant patience and wisdom to those around them who cannot understand but can sometimes help the healing process. Please apply both natural and supernatural medicine to their wounds.”

(Source: https://guideposts.org/how-we-help/military-outreach-stories/5-prayers-for-veterans/)


Letters from Home John Michael Montgomery

Lyrics

My Dearest son, it’s almost June
I hope this letter catches up with you
And finds you well
It’s been dry
But they’re callin’ for rain
And everything’s the same old same
In Johnsonville
Your stubborn old daddy
Ain’t said too much
But I’m sure you know
He sends his love
And she goes on
In a letter from home

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Yesterday I was scrolling through YouTube and ran across something that really caught my eye.

Yes, I’m one of those people who when the Halloween season rolls around, I break out all kinds of horror movies, especially the black and white ones. And I freely admit that I’ve watched this classic gem many times. 

However, it wasn’t the full movie that was being advertised. Instead, this was a 40-minute video about ‘deleted’ scenes from this movie, which immediately caught my attention. Pausing only to grab a cup of tea, I sat down for a good viewing and was not disappointed. Now, I’m not saying that they had actual footage that was left out of the final cut, but what they did have took me completely by surprise.

For those who are less familiar with the old universal black and white monster films, I’ll give you a quick rundown here. This video covered the actors who played Frankenstein’s monster. 

For the first 3 films it was Boris Karloff who had been handpicked by the director James Whale, even though Bela Lugosi was originally intended to play the role. However, Lugosi thought he’d be playing Dr. Frankenstein not the creature, so when they went with Karloff instead, he was not overly disappointed. Now the story arc between these 3 films was pretty well connected. The first movie involved the creature’s creation and subsequently being villainized by villagers because of his appearance and an accidental drowning of a young girl (please keep in mind the creature had the mind of a child for the most part and didn’t understand that tossing a little girl into the water who did not know how to swim was a mistake).  Then he was hunted by the villagers and his creator and left to die in a fire.

The second movie took right up where the first left off with the creature surviving and wandering the woods where he seeks companionship and after saving a young woman from drowning, he is again hunted by villagers. Eventually he makes friends with a blind hermit who teaches him to talk and be happy, only to have this taken away as well by frightened angry people. By the end of the film he and another mad doctor force Dr. Frankenstein to make him a mate, who rejects him. The creature then proceeds to try and destroy himself. saying he and his ‘bride’ belong dead, not among the living.

So you see a real continuity in the character throughout these films. Good editing really helps the stories feel cohesive. In the 3rd film the monster no longer speaks, but it is clear he suffered more damage from the explosion and has only one friend, Igor the hunchback who is a wicked creature himself and takes advantage of the monster being easily guided or misguided in this case. 

In the 4th movie Igor is still leading the monster (now played by Lon Chaney Jr as Karloff felt he was too old to handle the physical demands of playing the monster), continuing to rely on the creature’s needy nature for a friend, to do bad things. Yet, at points, the creature shows kind and compassion side. At one point when he’s wandered off on his own, he helps a little girl retrieve her balloon from a tall building. Later in the film, after locating one of the sons of the original Dr. Frankenstein, Igor convinces the man to correct his father’s mistake by giving the creature a new brain. Young Dr. Frankenstein agrees and plans to use the brain of a recently killed colleague. Only Igor interferes by working with the doctor’s assistance to have his own brain placed inside the monster’s indestructible body. The result is the monster is now able to speak, in Igor’s voice, and is cleverer and more dangerous than ever before. However, there is a problem, due to a mismatch in their chemistry, and the Igor/creature becomes blind and lashes out starting another fire that seemingly destroys all within the building.

So up to this point we have a good continuity with explanations throughout the series of films. However, the next movie “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” is where it all goes downhill as far as continuity is concerned. In this movie, the creature is not able to speak anymore for some reason. Also, the way Bela Lugosi (who finally got another chance to play the creature, as Lon Chaney was playing the Wolf Man of course in the film) moves about the sets one would think that maybe the monster may still be blind? Neither of these facts are explained in the movie and of course another scientist is introduced who goes ahead and tries to put the monster back to full strength, with the intention of then siphoning off the lifeforce of both the creature and the wolf man to put an end to each of them. Of course, angry villagers blow up a dam nearby while the two monsters are battling it out inside the lab thus apparently destroying both once again… until the 5th movie. 

Yet for years I asked myself, why the sudden change in continuity? What happened? Well yesterday, I got my answers, which brings me back to the deleted scenes video. Those answers, which I’m about to share has left me more than a little sad for what happened in the studio’s editing room.

The host of the video explains that a copy of the original script, which was used in the film, has been on the internet for some time and held all the answers to my questions. In the original shooting of the movie, the monster (played by Bela Lugosi) DID speak! Also, he was still talking in the Igor voice. Furthermore, he was still blind as well, which explained by Bela moved the way he did (as if he couldn’t see properly) throughout most of the movie.

There were also some great dialogues between the monster and Lawrence Talbot (the Wolf Man), sharing their thoughts and feelings, as well as each other’s desires. The monster, wanted to be restored to full strength hoping he’d get his eyesight back, as well as planning to make others fear him and leave him alone, or allow him to take power over entire villages, cities, even countries. Again, we see the sinister intellect and drive of Igor’s brain at work. And as I said before, they find a doctor who is supposed to help them both. Lying to the creature, he promises to bring him back to full strength while planning to actually the lifeforce out of both to destroy the creature and to allow Talbot to end his curse of lycanthropy.

Sounds like the original cut was great, right? So what happened? 

The test audiences loved the film, the story, the action… but they had one little problem. That problem was Lugosi’s accent. Folks thought it was kind of weird to hear the Frankenstein monster talking in a Hungarian accent. So, the studio panicked and went back to re-edit the movie removing all of Bela’s dialogue. Even in the scenes that remained we can see his lips moving as if he were talking, but instead of reshooting all his scenes they either cut or simply removed his part of the soundtrack.

This to me was a grave mistake. As I’d said earlier, growing up I felt a serious disconnect between the “Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man” and all the earlier films, so it was clearly apparent to others. Yet, because it was the first time in movie history two legendary creatures crossed paths in the same film, it did quite well at the box office, spawning 2 more films in the Frankenstein series, with the creature continuing to be mute and less sympathetic for the most part. 

Still that interruption in the continuity of the Frankenstein films, is very jarring, I have heard this many times especially coming from viewers in modern day who watch them all and left wondering what happened to the monster’s personality and ability to speak.

And of course, the culprit was too much editing! A danger that every person who is writing a series must be careful of. Your readers want continuity, as well as unanswered questions and plot points from earlier books. The audience becomes invested in those characters and situations, so they want to see things get resolved at some point in the books and definitely before series is brought to an end. 

So, we must be extremely careful when it comes to those edits. Whether you’re doing the editing or have hired someone else, remember to think long and hard about what’s being suggested you cut or change. Yes, it may slow down the process of getting the book published, but your readers are counting on you to deliver a solid tale that fits in nicely with the rest of your series. Because believe me, if you don’t, the same word of mouth that helps bring more readers to your work, can also drive new customers away. 

That’s all for today. Take care and keep writing and recording my friends.

BONUS THOUGHTS:

For those who have never watched the original Universal Frankenstein Films here the titles in order:   

FRANKENSTEIN (1931)    BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935)
SON OF FRANKENSTEIN (1939)
GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN (1942)
FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943)
HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1944)
HOUSE OF DRACULA (1945) – in spite of the title, this is considered part of the franchise since it     directly follows the events of House of Frankenstein. It is also considered the final film in the series.

And for anyone who wishes to check out the YouTube Video with the ‘Deleted Scenes’ here is the link:

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