For Mazz Press, 2013 was the year of “Katerina” and “The Purest Heart.”
When I first hired Victoria Vaughn to model as “Corinn,” the lead character in the series of novels I write, back in March 2010, one of the props we used was a pair of red dice.
I told her the dice belonged to a character I was developing, the troubled “Katerina,” the title character of my fourth book.
Since then, I’ve hired model Bell Marie and artist Thalo Kersey to create a living interpretation of “Katerina” for a photo shoot and I hired artist Dash Martin to do the artwork for the book.
And I hired Soji O and Donna Nye to perform versions of a theme song I wrote the lyrics for, “Shooting Stars.” And they appear in two music videos for it, “With Love (2011)” and “Shooting Stars (2011).”
We put a lot into it. And I’m glad we did.
“Katerina Blues,” released in May 2013, is a very dark and emotional story, and it contains a few major plot points in the story I’m writing for “Corinn Michaels (a.k.a. The .40 Caliber Mouse).”
I’ve always wanted to write an “epic.” And to craft something powerful and memorable, you have to explore uncharted territory, take chances, have a little faith and go with your gut.
I’m writing part five now. It’s called “Damned If I Do.” I’m hoping to have a draft out to the editors in October.
I’ll also remember 2013 because I got a chance to work with some rather talented folks on a film project called “The Purest Heart.”
Among them is musician Stephen Davey, who sang the title track and developed an end theme called “Love Doll” which he wrote the lyrics for and performed. Plus, he was in the movie. And he was damn good in it!
I guess you had to be there to experience that shooting day on May 15, 2013, when Stephen started to read a “What Is Love?” speech I concocted. One version is in the finished film. Another is in the documentary on the making of the film, “Love’s A Game,” which is on YouTube. Both are rather interesting.
Thank you, Stephen! It was an honor.
Flip, a keyboard wizard who conjures industrial dance tracks, worked with me on my film “Dancing Shadows” in 2012, and returned with a vengeance to inject “The Purest Heart” with pounding action music and the awesome subtle darkness of “The Beach.” Thanks, Flip! You are one of my heroes.
My heroes this year also include Marion Elizabeth Smoot, Danette Reidler and Yesenia Mercado, the three actresses I cast in my film.
On Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, I had the opportunity to screen “The Purest Heart” in a multiplex theater in a city – I’ve never had an opportunity to screen any of my short films in a theater like this before.
It was at an event run by Reading Film at R/C Reading Movies 11 in Reading, Pa. And afterward, I got the opportunity to say a few words to the audience, a crowd of 55.
When I got up there, I gave special thanks to actor Charlie Thomas of Saint Clair, who played “10K” in the film and the music video for “The Beach.”
Charlie is one of the best actors I’ve worked with, a natural who works to bring something special to whatever role he’s given, a character who wants to leave an impression.
I asked him to be an unnamed mercenary in “The Purest Heart.” But when he came to the set on the first day of shooting in February 2013, he told me he wanted his character to have an identity.
“His name’s ’10K,’” Charlie said.
I liked that. In turn, I had to give the second unnamed mercenary in the film a handle. So I asked Danette, the actress who came in to play her, what her favorite number was.
“36,” Danette said.
“Good enough,” I said.
It was great, actually. Thanks you guys!
And thanks to everyone who helped us to make 2013 fun, or who ‘liked’ or shared something on FB related to Mazz Press (I really do appreciate that kind of stuff).
Here’s to 2014!
I don’t know what’s ahead. What I do know is we have a lot to do. And I have to write a bunch of scenes involving “Corinn,” “Stacia,” “The Carrion Crow” and “Love Doll.”
And I’m glad my wife is still putting up with me after all these years. Thank you, Becki! I honestly don’t know what I’d do without you.
Bell Marie as “Katerina.” Body art by Thalo Kersey. Photo by Stephen Pytak. The novel “Katerina Blues” is available at http://www.mazzpress.com