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Bill McSciFi's Blog

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Welcome McOne and All

Newsletter Posted on Tue, April 02, 2024 07:27:19

I hope you had a Happy Easter, Holi, or other holiday. It was a busy week on the holiday front. Since I seem to have started collecting new people – hello shiny people who have that new subscriber smell – I thought I’d cover some old ground, clarify what is happening where, and be the friendly, low stress, McSciFi I keep claiming I am.

Last week I got a rejection from an OWA (Open Writing Assignment) submission I’d made of my script, The Brittle Riders. No biggie, it’s not for everyone. However, this time, the author of the rejection letter went out of their way to praise the story and the script itself. They edited the usual list of reasons for rejection down to budget, number of scenes, and complexity. Those are all valid issues. I knew that when I wrote it and I know those are going to be tough hurdles to clear.

Even so, it is my firm belief that there exists a production company, or maverick individual, with more money than sense, whose sole consideration will be, “Is this a good story?”

I think, hope anyway, that having another script I wrote, which is now in pre-production and looking to finish financing by summer (details when funding is finished), may generate some interest in my other efforts.

We shall see what we shall see.

With that being said, let’s start with The Brittle Riders. For you newbies, I’ll try and explain what it is and why you should care.

Edward Q. Rohta was a scientist who created multiple species of slave labor. Furious at being persistently abused, they revolted. After the death of every man, woman, and child on the planet, things got a little weird.

This is the story of what happens if Frankenstein’s monsters rule the earth. Apocalypses are funny that way.

Simply put, I tried to write a novella, ended up writing a trilogy and, while not an international best seller, it has garnered fans from around the globe. The “Frankenstein” quote is from a Chinese national living in London.

Of course, in other opinions, I also got a rejection letter informing me that The Brittle Riders was not a good fit for animation.

Moving on.

The first real project I ever got tasked with, Legends Parallel, has been requested, by people with money and smarts, to be a script for submission. The basic idea is simple. It’s high concept, but will cost less than The Brittle Riders. Not to be a Negative Nelly, but there are those who think that TBR could cost more than Dune. Based on real world evaluations by people who make movies, as opposed to those who choose what to make, that evaluation may be a tad exaggerated.

But, to get to the realists, I must first entice the rest.

Which brings us to Legends Parallel.

Just in case quantum physics wasn’t violent, or sexy, enough for you.

LEGENDS PARALLEL is a, single story, comic book which will span twelve issues.

It tells the tale of five Earths, each very different from the others, and the one woman who wants to control them all.

A man, his mom, and her lover have to save these worlds. No one said this shit would be easy

Legends Parallel has had an interesting history. Long story short, I was going through a rough time. Think mixing couch surfing with sleeping behind dumpsters. Suddenly, my writing was making me money. Brian “Bigger Lion” Daniel, the owner of Hadithi Sambamba Comix took me in, gave me a safe haven, and supported me as my interpretation of his crazy idea of a superhero working in a multiverse began to garner fans and grow. He’s also responsible for me meeting my wife, albeit unintentionally, but that’s why he was the best man at our wedding.

Add in the fun of Phystee Nicole Brown (pronounced fai-stee), see below, embracing her body modeling of the character Oshun, and suddenly humans were paying attention.

Now distributed by Nerdanatix, west coast, and Vivid Panel, east coast and multiple conventions, Legends Parallel is organically winning fans.

Due to its use of Hugh Everett, III’s theory of the multiverse, there are even colleges using it as a primer for freshmen.

As one professor said, “It’s got tits, math, and violence. It’s the perfect gateway drug to physics.”

Far be it from me to disagree with her.

Marcie’s Marviels, the only true teen friendly book I have out, has been getting interest from several production companies. I was hired to write this so all I can do is support it. And, I can do that happily.

Marcie is a super powered teen who fights the exploitation and bullying of teens where ever she can. Marcie’s Marvels is based on the life of a young girl named Marcie who killed herself after suffering endless bullying. Her mother decided to use her daughter’s tragedy to provide hope to others. With that in mind she started the MJG Movement as a Children’s Advocacy organization dedicated to serving as a resource for children and families that are victims of sexual abuse and suicide.

Sometimes you pick up a project because it’s the right thing to do. I am well pleased with Marcie and am looking forward to be involved in more.

You are all wonderful people and I thank you for your continued support. According to one fan, all I need is more nude cosplay selfies based on my work to put me over the top. Since he refuses to send any, I’m thinking his motives may not be pure.

Until next week, stay safe, sane, and occasionally clad.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


A Little Help for my McFriends

Newsletter Posted on Tue, March 19, 2024 07:41:09

Here in Illinois, and a few other states, it’s an election day wherein concerned citizens take the time to vote for their favorite candidate to represent them in the general election. Some people, like me, take advantage of early voting options and avoid the crowds. I am not a fan of crowds.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I recently appeared at the Kankakee Fantasy Con and had a blast. One guy, pictured below, drove three and a half hours to satisfy his McSciFi jones. His name is Scott, and he’s single ladies. It was a great way to start a con that had been on a four year hiatus. The staff was friendly, the crowd curious, sales were steady, and my mailing list grew.

HI EVERYONE! WELCOME ABOARD!

Now, for the fun stuff. This year the Ringo Awards are allowing anyone to nominate their favorite comics. If you read my suggestions below and wonder why I don’t list Legends Parallel for best series, it’s because Marc Alan Fishman, the guy I’m asking you to vote for, made sure I was aware of this so I could take advantage of this opportunity. Support those who support you is an easy motto for me to live by.

So, please go to Ringo Awards dot Com, before March 31, 2024, and cast a vote in each of the following categories.

Best Cartoonist
Jiba Molei Anderson – The Horsemen

Best Writer
Bill McCormick – Bob: Sins of the Son

Best Letterer
Lex Aleman – Bob: Sins of the Son

Best Continuing or Limited series
The Samurnauts – Marc Alan Fishman

Best Original Graphic Novel
Blooms: Heist on the Magical Girl Vault – Marc Alan Fishman

Best Web Comic
Our Little Universe – Zee Bee

Fans of this newsletter remember Jiba from the amazing work he’s done on The Horsemen these last twenty years and have cheered his success at getting his story picked up by, animation legends, Roc Bottom Studios. Marc’s books are family friendly. He’s the father of seventeen kids at my last count. Maybe more, maybe less. It doesn’t matter. I can say for sure he has more than two. Zee Bee is my favorite  Jamaican/Panamanian lesbian. And, yes, I have several options in that seemingly niche category. Her “Our Little Universe” series has been exploring Sapphic love for years and has a wonderfully dedicated following. It, like her, is cute as the dickens.

For those of you who haven’t read Bob: Sins of the Son yet, I feel sorry for you. Here’s what Thomas Ryan, owner of Vivid Panel Comics had to say.

Reading this comic feels like turning pages in Bill’s mind; Images barely coming together but supported by one of the best indie stories I’ve read this year.

The combination makes it IMPOSSIBLE to put down. It has an outstanding premise, keeps you guessing, and although the ending is satisfying, it leaves a little nagging bit of curiosity about the cast and the world the story takes place in.

It’s execution is play book, but its perspective was one I cannot recall seeing before. Bill should be proud. He put a great title into the world.

This is probably the only comic you’ll ever read that has a re-imagined Pater Noster (Lord’s Prayer) and a protagonist who is the son of Death with a disapproving father and a judgmental sister. Where did Death’s kids come from? That’s actually the least interesting thing you’ll learn in the book.

Click one of these to get your digital or autographed copy. Of course nothing’s stopping you from getting both.

For those of you who asked about the nice Japanese man and his questions about The Brittle Riders, I can say this much, he has a wicked sense of humor, thinks limits are for idiots, and is trying very hard to wrap his head around the world I created. It seems to both fascinate and repel him simultaneously. He’s not the first one I’ve had that effect on.

Until next week, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


Success isn’t McPie

Newsletter Posted on Tue, March 05, 2024 08:07:53

Before I begin, I need to congratulate my long time friend Jiba Molei Anderson for selling his popular comic The Four Horsemen to the legendary animation company Roc Bottom Studios. The series will be produced by the world renowned production company, Man of Action Studios. Those last two studios are responsible for some of the world’s most famous animated series. Having been a fan of The Four Horsemen for longer than I’ve been writing sci-fi, I am happier for him than I would be for myself.

For the record, none of my stuff is on any of their desks, nor do I think I’d be a good fit. So, this is what it is. Me celebrating a friend’s success.

In related animation news, I had something funny happen concerning The Brittle Riders. Long story short, whenever I submit to a foreign company I always make a note, placed prominently near the top of my submission, that I’ll need a translator. Even if I speak a language to some degree, I’m sure I don’t speak it well enough to understand local legal nuances and so on.

So far, so good.

The other day my phone rang around 3:00 PM, central time. The man on the phone was chatting amiably in Japanese. I do not speak Japanese. However, I heard my name and the name of my book, so I tried to interrupt him and explain Watashi wa nihongo o hanasemasen. Yes, I used Google to get that. Keeping in mind that this nice man was calling at 3:00 AM his time, I was slightly surprised when a woman got on the phone, spoke English better than I, and sorted things out. She started by reading the cover letter I’d sent, which contained the request for a translator, and realized no one had told the nice man that part.

She also realized that a phone call, with her as an intermediary, was not going to be the best way to get anything done. It seems the man – her boss, husband, father? – had questions that would require answers before the next questions could be formed. Instead, we worked out an arrangement wherein they would email me a question, I would answer it as fully as possible, and then we’d move on. I’ll admit it’s tedious, but it’s also kind of fun. At no point has he said “Screw this, let’s do Dragon Ball Z” or anything similar. As long as there’s interest, I will do everything in my power to help.

If you have any questions, you can ask me directly as I’ll be appearing at the Kankakee Fantasy Con. This was one of my favorite cons and I was bummed when COVID killed it. But, they’re back up and running and I’m going to be like a kid in a candy shop. Drop by Saturday, March 9th, from 10 AM until 2 PM and see what all the fuss is about.

Until next time, stay safe and sane. Or, at least, do the best you can.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi



Don’t McDo What I McDid

Newsletter Posted on Tue, February 27, 2024 07:00:00

Last Wednesday I was suffering continuing chest pains coupled with shortness of breath. This had been going on for a couple of weeks. Instead of going to the emergency room like my wife and doctor wanted, I blew it off so my wife could take the car and get her hair done. This made complete sense in my tiny mind. If YOU think I’m an idiot, chat with my wife. It took all her self control not to kill me herself when she figured it out.

Still, to get everyone off my hairy back, I promised to go to the hospital by 8:00 AM Thursday. I figured I’d be in and out and could still make an afternoon teleconference about The Brittle Riders. After all, this was clearly no big deal and I was sure the doctors would call me a hypochondriac and kick my flabby ass to the curb.

That was a minor miscalculation on my part. My wife moved up my admittance time to 5:00 AM to beat the traffic. Within an hour of my arrival I was hooked up to two different types of heart monitors. One for continued observation of my BP and pulse and another for multiple EKGs. These were all deemed important after the first doctor, and this is true, listened to my heart and couldn’t find it. She only heard echoes. It was there, I’m not that odd, but it had slid off axis for a variety of reasons that seemed vitally important to the medical staff at Advocate Trinity Hospital.

Over the course of the day I was given a total of thirty-one tests, including one cognitive. I guess I had that one coming all things considered. By the time my wife went home the doctors were speaking to each other in hushed tones around my bed and then would turn, smile wanly, and tell me everything was going to be fine. I did not believe them.

Also, as to the meeting I’d mentioned, I sent them the below photo of me in the hospital as my excuse for blowing them off. They were very polite, as well as mildly amused, and agreed to try again this week.

Friday morning, after one test got canceled, a nurse interrupted my breakfast by asking if there was anyone I would prefer to read my last rites. Well, if I was going to be wrong about everything at least I was spectacularly wrong.

By Friday afternoon the light at the end of the tunnel was no longer an oncoming train. They thought they’d figured it out and my medications and treatments were changing on the fly. By the time my lovely bride came to visit me I was feeling better, had some color in my skin, and was in a pretty good mood.

Long story short, I have a blood clot in my right calf which is being treated with blood thinners. They figure they will kill the little bastard without requiring surgery. Also, my meds had conspired to kill me by blending together in my kidneys – one of them was not supposed to do that, but what the hell, party on folks! – and releasing toxins that were causing my heart to clutch which caused me to have trouble breathing. Toxins removed, clutching gone, breathing was and is easier. As I write this I am on day three of some minor changes and a using a new way to take my pain meds. Today, I walked down a short flight of stairs without needing a railing for the first time in years. So, yeah, I’m a fan.

Obviously, I need to give a hearty shout out to all the doctors, nurses, techs, and staff at Advocate Trinity Hospital. They had never seen me before, knew nothing about me, but between accessing my medical history and asking pointed questions, every test, every action, became aimed at getting my flabby ass upright and out the door in better shape than it came in. And, if they couldn’t accomplish that, they at least tried to save my tortured soul.

More importantly, I need to thank God for my wife. Without her I have no real reason to live. She’s even the reason I keep writing. I might not under other circumstances. Simply put, this might have all gone horribly wrong without her in my life.

Nevertheless, I’m easing back into the McSciFi stuff so, until next week, don’t be me.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


More McFilms for McSciFi

Newsletter Posted on Tue, February 20, 2024 08:41:15

Last week, I talked about my relationship with comics and how much it meant to me to be a part, no matter how small, of that industry. And, while I may not be in the same realm as Marvel and DC, I do have some fans. If you visit Nerdanatix, Hadithi Sambamba’s west coast distributor, you’ll note Legends Parallel is still in the “Sweet 16” when views and sales are combined. Eight years after its initial release and people still clamor for it.

That may not mean much to you, but to the various and sundry industry professionals I’ve been bludgeoning with the pilot script for The Brittle Riders it’s been worth noting. The level of notice has varied from “That’s cool” to “Can I read it” to this latest interaction.

This is the resulting conversation between an exec (speaker #1) and me (speaker #2).

My guess would be every three issues could be a one hour show.

I could see that, I guess.

That means the twelve planned issues would make four shows.

Yeah, that makes sense.

So, tell me, how far along are you with the script?

(not the brightest bulb in God’s chandelier) What script?

(slightly flustered) Legends Parallel. For Christ’s sake, I thought you were smart.

People make that mistake all the time. That said, I haven’t written a line.

Insert healthy pause.

Look, you’re shopping a massive project. To be fair it’s one that people love but has a budget and commitment level that makes marriage look like a one night stand. Legends is affordable, will attract A-list celebs, and will get your name in the door and on checks that clear.

That sounds good.

No, that sounds like you should write the fucking thing.

So I wrote the fucking thing.

I sent a first draft to Hadithi Sambamba Comix last night. It’s rough. There are things you can do in comic book scripts that don’t work at all in a movie script. For example, in comics, you have to give the artist specific directions on how you want the character to be framed, what direction they should face, and so on. If you include those kind of directions in a film script you’ll get a terse email from your director which will read, “Why don’t you direct it yourself? Asshole.”

I could go down the rabbit hole but I’ll save you the angst. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot of work to be done but, if all goes according to plan, we should be sending out PDF copies to those wonderful beta readers who save my ass every time.

Stick around. As you already know, when the going gets weird, I get weirder. Until next week, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


Fun in the McFunny Papers

Newsletter Posted on Tue, February 13, 2024 07:00:00
Before I start, I feel compelled to congratulate Team Tay Tay for winning the Super Bowl. It was a heck of a game and everyone got the memo that the 49ers are back and here to stay. They followed a rookie quarterback to within a minute of winning it all.

Also, for those who celebrate, enjoy your Mardi Gras and may you have a peaceful Lenten Season.

When I was a kid the Sunday funnies were the highlight of any week. Our house got the Daily News, Sun Times, and Tribune every Sunday. Sure, we’d check sports, an article or two but, mostly, we read the comics. My grandfather had immigrated from Ireland before reaching fourth grade and never had a formal education. However, he could read the comics, and did so with glee.

As the years crept on my love of the art form grew. And, as I matured, so did comics. Adult themes were no longer relegated to the back of porn magazines or underground comics. Marvel and DC both touched on addiction, racism, class warfare and more. And, yes, some of the attempts were heavy handed and missed their marks by miles.

Still, Pandora’s box had been opened and indie creators went where major companies feared to tread. Other changes came into play. Superheroes no longer needed to be tall, svelte, and sexy. They could be fat, short, need glasses, you name it. There is literally something for everyone out there now.

That’s why, when I started writing Legends Parallel in 2016, I tended to be in my happy place. It didn’t matter that my personal life was a train wreck, I was writing comics. Oddly, a story for a different day, writing Legends Parallel allowed me to get my life in order. Brian “Bigger Lion” Daniel, owner of Hadithi Sambamba, tagged me to write other titles. And, much to my surprise, people seem to like them.

When I began shopping The Brittle Riders to film companies I felt it would help to have some images of the characters to give potential producers and investors a better idea of what they were getting into. Our original thought was to hire models and dress them up. Long story short, it would have been cheaper to buy a car. So Brian, along with Tate Rogers, created some animated versions of the characters. We used them as the basis for our pitch deck.

They accomplished their intended use and helped open several conversations. But one such conversation caught me completely by surprise. One of the companies that had turned us down reached out with an interesting proposal. One of their creative partners is an animation studio. A rather large one in fact. They wanted to know if we could send them some materials. That list ended up including the script, all three novelsGoptri of the Mists, parts one and two (part three is still being written), the pitch deck, and Freddy Noriega’s tone reelGoptri of the Mists is the prequel/sequel to The Brittle Riders but we have never done any character renderings for that series. They tried to create some using AI. Let’s just say the results have been both astounding and useless.

What will happen is anybody’s guess. But this has been one amazing journey. And that has to count for something.

Until next week, stay safe and sane.Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Bill McSciFiBill McSciFiBill McSciFiBill McSciFiBill McSciFiBill McSciFi



Making McMoves and Saying McThanks

Newsletter Posted on Tue, February 06, 2024 07:00:00

I need to begin with a hearty thanks to the staff at Thornton Distilling Company. The Dead Drop / Rock Shop Words & Music Festival drew far more attendees than anticipated and forced staff members to pull double and triple duties. All in all, for a first ever event, it went pretty well. Unlike the lit fest I expected this was more akin to a Turkish Bazaar and that made it more fun. One lady selling custom semi-erotic stickers, near a guy selling hand made holiday cards, next to a guy with non-fiction books about the Sicilian experience, and so on. There was something for everyone, the mood was festive, and your favorite McSciFi caught some love.

One thing I must do is give a shout out to, fellow presenter, Jotham Austin, II who, along with his wife Ginger, went above and beyond the call of duty helping this mobility challenged writer navigate setting things up, assisting my wife so she could get product up numerous flights of stairs and, genuinely, being awesome humans. Then they helped reverse the process so we could go home at the end of the day.

Others helped as well as the day went on, but Jotham stood out.

One decision that got made after the event, and some discussion with the nice folks over at Azoth Khem Publishing, is I’m going to do more events in bars, libraries, and so forth instead of conventions. After paying table fees, badge fees, budgeting for food and hotel costs, and then dealing with vastly reduced numbers of attendees, I’m not seeing the value. To be blunt, at a recent con my bride and I sat unaccosted for over five hours before the first person approached our table. While not every pitch yields a sale, zero pitches in five hours is a waste of time and money.

By comparison, while the turnout at smaller events is numerically less than a con, there are also fewer vendors, so everyone gets some attention and, if you can spike their curiosity for a moment, odds are you’ll make a sale. If nothing else, you’ll get some new blood on your mailing list.

As always, if you can’t make it to any event I’m at, and you still need a McSciFi fix, just head over to my online store and have fun.

Until next time, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


A Busy McWeek

Newsletter Posted on Tue, January 30, 2024 07:00:00

First off, thanks to the tech support at Morphy Mail for fixing my newsletter link nightmare.

Now, to the important stuff.

This is going to rock. I will be selling, and signing, books at Thornton Distilling Company along with Steve SilverJiba Molei Anderson and forty other creators. The whole affair is being sponsored by The Rock Shop 60430, so you know there’ll be some high quality stuff for you to peruse. The other creators will feature a mix of authors, poets, and musicians, all of whom are kind of rock oriented.

Admit it, you know I rock.

HEY! QUIT LAUGHING!

MOM! The internet’s being mean to me.

Admission is free, but there’s a cash bar and critically acclaimed food for you to purchase. I’ll have copies of The Brittle Riders trilogy, book one of Goptri of the Mists, Stuff About Things (the gateway drug to McSciFi), and the last copies anywhere on Earth of SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY. I’ll also have copies all my comics.

Hope to see you there.

In other news, while no one’s showed up at my casa with buckets of cash and an offer of a free weekend in Dubai, things have pushed me to the edge of cautiously optimistic. When you submit to production companies or investors, if “no” is their answer you’ll get it pretty quick. For example, Netflix turned me down in less than a week claiming The Brittle Riders would cost too much to make. They did note, if I got outside financing, they’d be willing to revisit the issue. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased I got a personal response. Most people just get a form email.

However, the average time for a response averages around eight weeks. That amount has passed for three companies and two of those have requested additional materials. So they got a link to the Pitch Book and Tone Reel. Both are “R” rated, but both have been lauded as some of the best promo materials industry professionals have seen. In other words, I’m comfortable betting on them to swing things in my favor.

I write these newsletters a day in advance, just so I’m not rushed. One hour after I saved it I got a rejection from the company who had not requested additional materials. It came down to budget issues for them but they included a note saying, “We really enjoyed this story. If it’s not funded in a year, please reach back to us.”

There are worse things in life.

Feel free to click on the promo links when your boss isn’t around, or you’re not in a place of worship. You get the idea.

I also, recently, appeared on Briggs on Books, as part of Central Valley Talk. It’s a vidcast dedicated to indy authors and creators. It was fun to do and is only ten minutes long, so you can easily slip it in to your busy day. BONUS? It has a shout out to Margot Robbie. You don’t get that every day here in McSciFi-Land (still the world’s weirdest amusement park).

Well, that’s enough blathering for now. Until next time, stay safe, sane, and secure.

Bill McSciFi
BillMcSciFi
Bill McSciFi


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