Monthly Archives: August 2016

Sleeper is the Opening Chapter of Targeting the Telomeres, Book Two

Finally, a sneak preview of the opening chapters of Targeting the Telomeres, A Thiller (Book Two-Amanda’s Telomeres series) are unveiled.

Spoiler Alert:  Don’t read further if you have not read Taming the Telomeres, a #1 Amazon Best Seller.

The first chapter of Book Two is set out below:

TARGETING THE TELOMERES (c) R.N. Shapiro 2016

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Amanda Michaels, a teenager with genetically altered telomeres, was the sole survivor of a jet crash. After a new tragedy befalls her family, she decides vigilante justice is her only option.

‘Sleeper’ the opening chapter of Targeting the Telomeres, is a prologue, a foreshadowing of events deep inside the novel.  Click the image below to read author insights and the opening chapter on the author’s portal at  Bublish.com or just scroll down further.

Sleeper-TTT2

The first chapter of Targeting the Telomeres, Sleeper, along with author comments are posted on Bublish.com by author R.N. Shapiro.

Sleeper

What kind of scum-sucking cockroaches kidnap a defenseless baby, Amanda Michaels thinks while trying to fall asleep.  She will make them regret that decision.

Lying on the cramped, lower bunk of the sleeper car, she feels with her fingertips along the thin foam-rubber pad masquerading as a mattress.  There it is.  She tugs on the lower portion of her backpack hiding the loaded pistol with the customized silencer, nestling what constitutes all her belongings in the crook of her right arm.  The sheath strapped under the left pant leg of her jeans secures a long KA-Bar serrated edge fixed blade knife.  And in the right pocket of her hoodie are two identical burner cell phones.  One is her only means of communication with her compatriot, who is also on the train, both of them full-in with their improbable mission.  Imagining the linen scent of her favorite candle briefly tricks her olfactory glands into ignoring the foul odors.  The elderly Chinese lady on the bunk overhead smells of mildewing clothes.  On the lower bunk an arm’s length away, a twenty-something Chinese girl sleeps with her jacket over her head.  The sleeper car’s other occupant, a tiny woman who barely stands five-foot tall and can’t weigh 100 pounds, presses her torso against the tiny sink, paper towels surrounding the collar of her shirt, while she works some type of soapy liquid through her dark brown shoulder-length hair. Amanda decides to pass on that shower.

She thinks, all I wanted was to get some of my memory back from before the crash.  Not this.

If she’s captured, what could Chinese intelligence agents possibly “get” out of her anyhow?  Sure, she survived the Hemispheres plane crash, but she doesn’t know how or why. Only that it might have had something to do with her dad’s research and her being his test subject. To study her telomeres, maybe that’s what they would want? Most likely to torture her to learn whatever she knows.

The bullet train hurtling northbound towards Beijing at 180 miles per hour suddenly lurches, causing a metallic screech that soon fades.

Amanda thinks for a moment about a family photo.  Of her dad, her, and her mom, sitting on the front porch of the house they lived in before the crash.  The one she hopes to recall, that her Uncle Andy showed her.  She mentally photoshops her baby brother Justin in too.  Nothing can stop fantasies no one else can see.

The sink-showering lady climbs back up to her top bunk, and talks in Chinese with the other older lady.

If my plan fails, I won’t have to worry anymore, Amanda decides.  Because I’ll be dead.

 

 

Amanda & Andy Michaels’ Music Playlists Posted on Youtube

 

Ever wonder what kind of music one of your favorite characters in a book was listening to on their playlist? I have joined some of my author colleagues, and curated music playlists of two of the lead characters in Taming the Telomeres (TTT), Amanda and Andy Michaels.

The playlists are inspired by dialogue, actions or scenes in the award winning novel, Taming the Telomeres on Amazon.

Residing on Youtube, some of the songs in the playlists have videos as well which can immerse listeners into a whole new perspective.

The unpredictable protagonist of Taming the Telomeres is Amanda Michaels, a high school girl who is the sole survivor of a commuter jet crash, and her playlist is here:

Amanda Michaels 2016 Playlist

Amanda playlist

Andy Michaels is her uncle, the high-profile DC trial attorney who ends up representing her and other victims of the hemispheres jet crash, and his playlist is here:

Andy Michaels 2016 playlist

Andy M playlist

Both of the playlists are found on the Taming the Telomeres channel on YouTube. You can shuffle the Youtube playlists or listen to them in the order presented.

Also, scenes and action inspired by TTT can be found on the Taming the Telomeres Pinterest page and a video interview of author Shapiro can be found here.

Thrillerfest clip

Enjoy!

 

Learning From Authors Gillian Flynn & Tess Gerritsen at Thrillerfest 2016 in NYC

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Crime thriller author Karin Slaughter, L, interviews Gillian Flynn in July 2016 at Thrillerfest.

During July 2016, I attended “Thrillerfest” a major thriller writer’s industry show and workshop held at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.  A daunting crowd of hundreds of novice and experienced thriller writers gathers annually there.  It is arguably the most significant event for writers in the thriller category with dozens of workshops moderated by some of the top-selling thriller writers, which this year included Lee Child (Make Me, Jack Reacher novels), Karin Slaughter (Pretty Girls, Blindsighted), Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and Tess Gerritsen (Gravity, Rizzoli & Isles) and many others.  As I sat in the workshops surrounded by both established and fledgling authors I wondered what serendipity is required for a new writer to break through in a world of so many talented, great writers.  Self-doubt permeated my mindset every minute I sat in these workshops, and let’s remember that most writers are fairly introverted people but here we are trying to network, and find a magic formula to write the next great thriller.

I wanted to share a couple of highlights. One was the workshop where Karin Slaughter, successful crime thriller author, interviewed Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl which of course became a very successful movie.  Karin’s questions were funny, off the wall, and engaging (she could easily qualify as a talk show host).  Flynn explained how she had to write every week as critic for Entertainment Weekly for nearly a decade, and during this time she wrote her first couple novels which did not catch on as far as great sales.  Slaughter marveled at how Flynn created success with Gone Girl, which features an unliked protagonist and, according to many readers, an unsatisfying ending.

 Gillian Flynn explained how she went to one book signing event and a lady waited 30 minutes for Flynn to sign her copy of Gone Girl.  The enthusiastic reader said she hated the protagonist and hated the ending.  Flynn laughed about the irony.  The point was obvious—the fan still loved the book, despite an unlikable protagonist.

Readers become engaged with an unpredictable or unliked protagonist, and I adopted this in part with the high school protagonist Amanda Michaels in Taming the Telomeres, and a number of readers said they did not like her (excellent, mission accomplished).  Anyway, Flynn also wrote the script for the film adaptation of Gone Girl.  This is fairly rare, most writers of novels do not double as the scriptwriter of an adapted screenplay.  These are two different art forms entirely.  She is an impressive as hell writer.

Another interesting workshop was one about books becoming movies and movies that later became successful books. David Morrell, the writer of what became “Rambo” (the 1972 book was entitled First Blood) was on the panel, and he explained how negotiating compensation for sequels adapting characters from your book was important—wow, sure was for his concept.

Tess Gerritsen, a medical doctor, who wrote the novel Gravity in 1999, had a tortured story to impart about her novel.  She sold the copyright and movie rights in 1999 for “a lot of money” in her words.  The script was never immediately made into a movie and the company that purchased the rights (New Line Cinema) had its assets and portfolio of properties later acquired by Warner Brothers, and recently the very successful movie starred Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.  All well?  Not quite.  The problem was that director Alfonso Cuaron claimed that he wrote the screenplay which remarkably resembled the Gravity novel Gerritsen sold in 1999.  Tess Gerritsen demanded only that credit be given to her as the scriptwriter who created Gravity, she recognized she had sold the copyrights.  Cuaron and Warner Brothers refused.  What also irked Gerritsen is that famous producer Cuaron claimed in interviews that he wrote the screenplay himself in several weeks.  In a blog article Tess wrote she explained that this was quite incredible if true, she had in fact researched the space exploration script for over a year!  She filed suit in Los Angeles and believe it or not she lost the case!  Tess explained that her suit was for breach of contract, that once she sold the Gravity copyright to the first company, she lost the rights against Warner, according to the judge, to be able to require that she be listed as writer of the movie screenplay as they did not breach a contact.

As a lawyer author myself, I was so amazed that I talked to her in the hall after the workshop because I could not understand how Warner Brothers and Cuaron could prevail against her claim.  As she outlines in another article on her author blog, it came down to having sold the copyright and having to prove breach of contract (read her entire explanation here).  Think about the fact that it took more than 14 years for that adapted screenplay to become a successful movie, from the time she sold the script…and how major producers can get away with claiming authorship of a script that is slightly re-cast, even though her major script elements were all adopted in the successful movie.  As Tess mentioned, she did get well paid when she first sold the script, and she has been well compensated for Rizzoli & Isles, her book series, made into a successful T.V. show on T.N.T.

In any case, I came away from Thrillerfest 2016 energized about writing thrillers, and also encouraged that any debut thriller could rise to the top, indeed my first thriller Taming the Telomeres actually hit #1 on Amazon during May 2016 in the suspense thriller category proving thriller dreams can come true.

 

Taming the Telomeres Awarded Two Silver Medals in FAPA President’s 2016 Book Awards

 

On Saturday night, August 5, 2016 the Florida Authors & Publishers Association (FAPA) presented its prestigious annual President’s Awards for the best books of 2015 and the first half of 2016 by authors and publishers in Florida and throughout the United States, and Taming the Telomeres, A Thriller was awarded two separate 2016 book award silver medals.  The event, which took place at the Hilton Orlando/Lake Buena Vista Resort, recognized outstanding books by awarding gold, silver, or bronze medals.

“The 2016 award winners exemplify excellence in publishing both regionally and nationally. The awards continue to command the attention of industry professionals and readers.” said Terri Gerrell, FAPA President. The winners were selected by the competition’s sixty-five judges—librarians, educators, and publishing professionals.

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Taming the Telomeres wins Two 2016 FAPA Silver Medals-in Mystery & Thriller categories

In the Adult Fiction-Mystery category, Taming the Telomeres, by author R.N. Shapiro earned the Silver Medal, and in the Adult Fiction-Suspense/Thriller category, Taming the Telomeres, was also awarded the Silver Medal.

Taming the Telomeres (available on Amazon, Audible and itunes in audiobook) a #1 Amazon best selling thriller, has now earned medals in four international award competitions   The prior awards were:

2015 Gold Award Winner-fiction thriller-Readers Favorite Int’l book award contest.

Apple Literary Book Awards, 2015 Medalist for E-book mystery thriller.

Silver Medalist-2016 eLit Book Awards, for mystery/suspense/thriller category.

The novel introduces high schooler Amanda Michaels, the lone survivor of a commuter jet crash who possesses breakthrough biological secrets that intelligence agencies will kill over:

4 medals

The author is actively writing “Targeting the Telomeres” which is book two of the Amanda Michaels Telomeres series, and has recently added sneak previews of Targeting the Telomeres book two after the conclusion of Taming the Telomeres paperbacks and ebooks.  Previews will also be added soon to the author’s website, www.RNShapiro.com .

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