Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Official Captain Hawklin Page



Everything you'd want to know about  the New Pulp adventure series writien by Charles Millhouse and featuring Captain Steven Hawklin, Hardy Miller and Oz Lyman. More information added weekly... so check out the page here

Captain Hawklin and the Jade Dragon

Charles has began working on the fifth book in the Captain Hawklin series. The Jade Dragon is set in 1933 and will send our heroes to China where they will face one of the deadliest foes they've ever encountered. More details to follow.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Last Starfighter: Star Light, Star Bright

I just watched The Last Starfighter again tonight (on blu ray), I've viewed the movie a lot of times. But I still feel like a kid every time I watch it. Who wouldn't?

Released in 1984, from Universal. The Last Starfighter was directed by Nick Castle and written by Jonathan Betuel, who also wrote My Science Project (another favorite of mine). The film is the first to use CGI in the space battles, and although crude it doesn't take away from the film

Its the story about a kid named Alex Rogan, who feels trapped in the small trailer park in California (Though, I'm not sure the movie states a location) that his mother manages. He has big dreams, (we all do at a young age), but his only achievement thus far is breaking the record score of a video game called Starfighter. 

Alex has a girlfriend, Maggie, who loves him, and because of him beating the top record of said video game, she knows her boyfriend is marked for greatness. Little does anyone know however, that the video game was a test, the sword in the stone, if you will, searching for a great pilot and gunner to help fight a galactic war and defend the Star League against Xur and the Kodan armada.

Alas, Alex's dreams are dashed when he is not excepted to the college of his choice. Depressed, he meets Centauri, who introduces himself as a person from the company that made the Satrfighter game.

Before Alex really knows what is happening he is on the ride of his life in a "car" flying through space. Chosen to take the skills he showed on the video game into real combat to protect the galaxy from an invasion. 

That's the basic story line, though there is much more to it. (I think I spoiled it enough.)

The Last Starfighter was released in what many considered, the greatest year for movies. 
With such films like:
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Ghostbusters
The Terminator
The Karate Kid
Beverly Hills Cop
Police Academy

It wouldn't be a surprise if the Last Starfighter got lost in the mix, but it held its own at the box office, with a budget 15 Million, the filmed grossed just shy of 29 million, respectable for 1984.

The Last Starfighter is lighthearted fun, that tugs at the heartstrings, right up till the end when Alex comes back to Earth to collect Maggie, his one true love to go with him to the stars.

When I was younger, I always hoped for a sequel. But over the years I feel the story stands alone, it doesn't need to be marred in a forced story for a continuation. Many have tried to remake the film, but the writer, Jonathan Betuel retains the rights to his story, and refuses it to be remade, and I salute him for his choice. The Last Starfighter stands up after thirty-three years, and although the CGI is dated, the film harks back a simpler time, when science fiction wasn't weighed down with doom and gloom. If you haven't watched the Last Starfighter, pop yourself some popcorn, get some cold coke and have fun watching it. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Wednesday's Writing

I'm reading more... more than I ever have, and to tell you the truth my writing has prospered because of it. The more you read, the better you'll write. I'm proof of that, (though my spelling might need some work).
Remember what I said in last Friday's post...? You don't... because you didn't read it...? Well go read it, and then we will continue....
Go, on... go ahead... I'll wait.

OK, now that's better... I said, as a writer, you have to not only read, but study the art of writing, (or something like that.) So here's how I do it.

I keep a note pad close, (I guess you can use your smart phone, or pad, but I like the old school use of paper.) when you come across a word you don't know, or a word you like, or a phrase you like, write it down. use it in your writing, without plagiarizing another writer of course. But learn from the best - learn from your favorite writer.  They will lead the way... and you build on what you learned from what you read.

A writer writes, but a writer must learn too...  the studying of the art we have chosen, never ends. You as a writer have to build on it.

Now... remember that note pad...? Good. Now, as well as write down things you read, write down things you hear too. Either in a conversation with someone, or from something you hear in your daily life, at work, on a bus, in a taxi, on the radio, and use that in your writing... go home, sit down, look at your notes and see how you can incorporate what you wrote down in your writing. BUT, don't force it. If you can't use it today, you might use it tomorrow, or the next day, or the next... you get the drift.

Let me know how it works for you, either on Facebook, or Twitter, or in the space below on this blog.

I hope it helps.

Happy writing.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Friday's Fascinations

Everyone is fascinated by something, rather it be collecting fishing lures, or stuffed teddy bears. People in fandom are obsessed with many things. For me, the end all of fascinations is Doctor Who. I've been a fan of the series since 1979. The whole idea of a man traveling through time and space, righting wrongs, protecting the oppressed and is able to change his appearance, took root in me from the very beginning.
Special effects aside, the stories were what made the show. The producers from the original series in the 60's and 70's weren't afraid to take risks. Their bold ideas and story telling fuled my imagination.  It was one of the deciding factors that inspired me to write.
At this point thirteen actors have played the part in the series (Peter Cushing in two movies) and my favorite is Jon Pertwee. His liberal attitude and thoughtfulness for mankind, as well as his flair for style is what made him my favorite.
There has been many many episodes in the last 54 years, and I'd be here all night talking about my favorites, needless to say my top ten stories are from Doctors 2, 3 and 4. My all time favorite, "The Talons of Weng Chiang" a Tom Baker story rates at the top.
Doctor Who is the top of my fascinations, and on Fridays, I'll explore the countless other things that inspired my imagination and my desire to become an author.
Comment below on what your fascinations are, or tell me what you think of Doctor Who.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thursday's Thoughts...

I read a lot... I mean a lot. Either short stories, novellas, novels... And when I'm not reading I'm listening to audio books...
***
Sorry the wife just came in and kissed me and I got a little distracted... What was I saying? Reading... That's right.
When you're a writer, reading takes on a whole new meaning. The stories have a way of presenting themselves on a whole new level. Every word has a certain meaning, sentence structure and style become ever noticeable. You live the written word. It took me a long time to figure that out.
What can I say I'm a slow study.
I didn't understand POV, and giving one character a chance to shine in his or her (or it, considering I write science fiction) own chapter.
You want to become vested in a character, because let's face it. If you, as the storyteller can't get wrapped up in what your character is all about, then your reader certainty won't.
If you and the people in your story don't click, then what you're trying to get across to your reader won't click. It's that simple.
I study the art of writing everyday... You have to. I'm sure you heard the saying, "writers need to read" and that's the truth. But as you read, you have to study - you have to immerse yourself in the art, watch how the author uses the art to convey their story (without copying of course) and take time to understand it.
And here's one other tidbit, find a writer you like. For me, as of late it's Jim Butcher, and find as many things as you can (YouTube is the best) to hear him or her speak. Chances are, they will tell you things about writing that you never considered. And if you have the chance to see them in person, then drive, drive hours to get a chance to meet them. It will add a perspective you didn't have before.

So in the end of this ramble, the point is, read, study, interact with others in the profession (either professionals or novices) it will bring a whole new outlook on your own work.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Captain Hawklin and the Secrets of Monster Island

Preorder the kindle Ebook 

1930: When two of Captain Steven Hawklin's men are killed and he is attacked by a mysterious masked man, he is reluctantly forced into a race around the world against an eccentric philanthropist, to an uncharted island in the South China Sea. Steven's mission, aide his longtime friend, Oscar "Oz" Lyman in rescuing legendary big game hunter Frank Buck and discovering the incredible secrets of Monster Island. 

Captain Hawklin and the Secrets of Monster Island is a throwback to a bygone age of pulp adventure stories. Filled with heroes and villains, gangsters and pirates, cliffhangers and suspense, in the tradition, of Commando Cody and Buck Rogers.
Join in his adventures, and become a Hawklin Crusader. 

Paperback link coming soon.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Talon's Epic... NEW COVERS


Here they are... all five covers from my space adventure series Talon's Epic. I created this series in 2004, and over the last decade I'm weaved a space adventure story I'm proud of. In that time my writing prose has come a long way and I've found "my voice" and though I know I have a long way to go, these books helped me hone my skills as a writer.

The adventures of Jeremiah Talon and his alien allies was an ambitious gamble on my part, one that taught me a number of things about story structure, POV, and character development. Are they perfect? No, but they are wildly entertaining, and Jeremiah has a small, but loyal fan base that enjoy his exploits as much as I enjoyed writing them.

I bid farewell to Jeremiah, Leax, Da'ren, Rom and all the other characters I created. I'm not one to look back on things. Once I've written them, I want to move forward... I may someday write some short stories and check in on my 19th century space buccaneer and his compatriots, but for now I must look forward to the many stories I have yet to write.

Charles F. Millhouse