The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Downtown Norman during the Norman Music Festival - photo by Dennis Spielman

Festival Recaps

Two of the area’s biggest festival, the Festival of the Arts and the Norman Music Festival, have passed. Actually, last week was jammed packed with stuff. For the festivals, this year, the weather was amazing. The Festival of the Arts only got rained out on one day, while last year the weather was just awful. I even got a little sunburnt at the music festival.

I had a great time at both festivals. For the arts festival, I filmed several local artist shout-outs. I even volunteered for a few hours there on Sunday. Then for the Norman Music Festival, I filmed b-roll on Thursday and Saturday. Thursday was interesting because it was the first time they did an outdoor stage that day, so it was busier than past years. On Friday, we had a date night at the arts festival, but on Saturday I was back at the music festival from Noon to 11 pm doing my press thing. I filmed the entirety of Jarvix’s main stage set for him, which you can watch below.

Before I went to the festival on Saturday, I was taking a shower when I was like, “I should I film interviews where bands interview bands. I got the technology to do that now.” When I did my Deep Deuce Pub Crawl video, I had this sound setup that worked well in the noisy environments and it worked great at the festival, even with a stage playing in the background. Because it was a last minute idea and I was doing a man-on-the-street on the spot thing, there wasn’t as much diversity as I would’ve liked to showcase, but the interviews were still great. Watch that video on Uncovering Oklahoma. I’ve also released the uncut interviews here on Patreon.

Me (Dennis Spielman) selfie with Shara Nova of My Brightest Diamond  at the Norman Music Festival

I want to wrap this story up by talking about My Brightest Diamond, who was one of the headliners at the Norman Music Festival. She was a major source of inspiration to my first fictional book I published a few years ago, The Crashing of Heaven and Hell. She was such an inspiration, I even dedicated the book to her. So of course, I wanted to give her a copy and personally thank her. I was lucky enough to meet her and talk to her for a bit. She was so nice and I’m so thankful she took the time to hang out with me. She said she would read it while on tour, so I hope she does like it.

On the subject of meeting your heroes, my friend, Jarvix, also got to meet Tune-Yards, who was was a major inspiration for him. You can read this article in the Oklahoma Gazette about his journey.

A final shoutout to my superstar supporter, Revolve Productions over on Patreon.

The Crashing of Heaven and Hell book cover

The Crashing of Heaven and Hell re-release

In preparation for the upcoming release of my new books, I’ve re-released my first novel, The Crashing of Heaven and Hell. The re-release contains minor corrections, new formatting, and an updated author bio. At Barns & Noble, there’s a new Nook Press paperback and hardcover edition. The ebook version was updated with the corrections, so if you already own the ebook, free update for you. If you don’t, the price has was dropped as well.

I’ll be making the announcement and cover reveal of my next book later this month, along with a new show!

Selfie with Brett Dickerson

Intersections, Mitchell and the 48 Hour Film Project

Happy Friday! I have a bit of a stack of things to talk about, which was not my intention to overlap sessions and I apologize for it.

During last weekend, I lead a team in participation in the Oklahoma City 48 Hour Film Project with Tiffany Gibson, Kristy Boone, Katie Kochelek, Josh Shriner, and Cassondra Darling. The event describes itself as, “a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and a team make a movie – write, shoot, edit and score it – in just 48 hours! The film we made, Guilt Trip, deals with a getaway for two sisters soon comes crashing into reality, as one is forced to deal with her mistakes. You can watch the trailer for it above.

Selfie with Ben Hlavaty and Heide Brandes on Mitchell in the Morning
This morning I was on Mitchell in the Morning (News Talk 1520 KOKC) to talk the 48 Hour Film Project along with Ben Hlavaty, who runs the Oklahoma City edition.

Selfie with Brett Dickerson
Also released today was my podcast session with Brett Dickerson for his show, Intersections. We also talk about the 48 Hour Film Project too, but we go more in-depth about it and also discuss my Summer Fun movie, District Up!, my books, and two of our mutural favorite movies.

I didn’t intend to stack my interviews like that today so I apologize to everyone.

Come see Guilt Trip along with 30 other fantastic local films this Sunday at the Oklahoma City Farmers Public Market (311 S Klein Ave, Oklahoma City 73108). Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. There’s a ton of shorts I personally am interested in seeing there so I know it’s going to be great.

Free Book this Week!

For the week of my 30th Birthday, I have a present for YOU! My sci-fi/fantasy novel, The Crashing of Heaven and Hell, is free Monday through Friday for the Kindle! If you enjoy it, please rate and review it to help with future sales.

Get the book for free for Kindle

Here’s one positive review of the book:

Leave all of your preconceived notions of Heaven and Hell at the door, but do hang on to your sense of fantasy as you enter the universe created by Dennis Spielman in The Crashing of Heaven and Hell. Two young lovers get caught up in a bizarre series of events through an act of human concern and kindness. They have become pawns in a battle of the gods as a plot unfolds to unleash havoc on the Green Planet (one of five planets in another star system named by color.) Heaven and Hell are “islands” shrouded from the eyes of the living, what would happen if they were both brought together, and this tale is narrated by the God of Egos as he watches Virus and Jet take on supernatural forces intent on playing with fate. One will become a force to be reckoned with, one will be the catalyst for that change. Will the Green planet be saved from insanity? Will the islands of Heaven and Hell return to their rightful places? Are Heaven and Hell what our minds envision them to be?

The day Dennis Spielman was born, there must have been a generous helping of imagination dished out, because the world he has created can only be related to our reality in a very general way! Virus and Jet are completely likable, actually seem very “normal” and most definitely have grown to their full potential, one becoming something far greater and more powerful than a mere mortal! I pictured myself using Ego’s eyes to see the events unfolding, until it almost seemed normal to talk with a gorgon, pet Cerberus and see the guy in the potholder suit walking down the street! Did I mention the vampire, who cleared up a few things about vampire culture, myths and mysteries? there is no point A ending at Point B…the reader will travel through a maze of characters, twists and turns before arriving at”The End.”

As I read, I began to feel I was seeing a message in this farfetched tale, I could be wrong, but its extreme stretching of plausibility in this fantasy world seemed to mirror some of the excesses of “our reality.” Or was that a result of my own imagination on hyper-drive?

I read to be entertained and even to think/learn in the process, and Dennis Spielman did amuse me with his far out events, people and descriptions! Is this mainstream fantasy? Probably not, but there is a niche for it and I’m sure Mr. Spielman’s fan base will swell! If you are looking for something off the beaten path, cleverly written, with some snarky dialogue, a strangely foreign world and quirky characters hiding a possible deeply hidden message about our society’s state? Its all there in The Crashing of Heaven and Hell!

Now, go get the book for free for Kindle or buy the paperback.

The Book Signing

Book Signing

Yesterday was my first book signing event! I had been looking forward to the event for a long time. It was a huge dream of mine come true. I was at Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City mainly promoting my novel, The Crashing of Heaven and Hell. Instead of doing a diary post about it, I thought it would be more helpful, and not to mention more interesting, if I wrote an advice article about what I learned.

Group AND Solo

Book Signing

A little background on the signing first. I was part of Full Circle Bookstore’s monthly event, New Ink. The events coordinator explained New Ink helped authors gain more exposure by combining forces, making the signing into a party. It was also a great networking opportunity to meet other authors and share advice. I learned there were pros and cons to the the group and solo signings from them.

+ Greater exposure
+ Networking
– Sharing Buyers

+ Focus is on you
– Requires more publicity work
– Can be boring/lonely

I honestly can’t flat out say group events are best for new authors and solo are for established. The best approach is to do both.

Prepare for Down Time

Unless your super famous, prepare for some down time. My girlfriend was with me, along with books and my iPhone, to keep me company. Good to have company to watch the table while you use the bathroom.

Have Promotional Materials

Book Signing

Have promotional materials at the table! This I figured before hand. People may be interested in the book, but they may not able to buy at the moment, prefer to read a sample first, or want a digital edition. I had postcard sized flies printed up and gave those out to people. I also gave away free bookmarks.

Other authors did other things.

Book Signing

Lara Henley, author of Jessie Discovers Christmas, gave out candy canes.

Book Signing

Steve Kime, author of Rollin on Route 66, had a photo album of his bike ride along Route 66.

Book Signing

Earl Crago and William Lady, authors of Prince Of The Prism, had an impressive easel with a poster.

Book Signing

I should also mention Debra Braudrick, author of And Evil Dwelt Among Us, had a wood caring on display a friend of hers made.

Promote Other Works

Book Signing

I know not everyone is into sci-fi/fantasy, so I also promoted my date idea book and murder mystery party game book too. Multi-sell!

Friends Don’t Equal Fans

I was part of a conversation awhile back with a friend, Cristela Carrizales, who is an actress, and she made a good point about friendship. I’m going to do my best not butcher what she said but basically she only expects companionship from her friends. It’s a solid expectation.

Don’t expect all of your friends to make an appearance, especially if most of your friends are the creative types. It’s impossible to go to everyone’s watch party/book signing/art opening/play/game/concert/etc. While they may not come, keep in mind, they are proud of you. They are your friends – not your fans.

Don’t Get Discouraged

Book Signing

The biggest advice: don’t get discouraged. It takes some hutzpa to do a book signing. I only sold one copy, which was to someone I knew. I don’t think any of the authors there sold more than a few copies, if any at all. (There was a big college home football game, OU vs. Iowa State, that didn’t help matters.) But you know what? I had good time. I got to meet some interesting people, learn a few things, and had fun celebrating afterwards.

If you want to see more photos of the event, I uploaded them to Facebook.

To everyone who came out and visited me or brought a copy at any point I want to say, thank you.

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