Drumroll Please… winners of the Falling for Shock Super Prizes

Thank all for participating! We had such a turn out – just about 50 Enters from Facebook and here on my website!

Please watch our drawing to find out the winners!

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Who is the Shock?

 

 

Artist rendition of Oliver Hannel as The Shock - sketch by Nita - drawing by Eryn LaPlant

Artist rendition of Oliver Hannel as The Shock –
sketch by Nita – drawing by Eryn LaPlant

 

So now that Falling for Shock has been out for a few days – and doing wondrously on the Amazon charts (THANK YOU!), I bet some of you are wondering just who The Shock is.  Well, if you read through the book and read the author’s note, I credit not one of the men who played the part of Superman, but ALL. Actually, I started out including only the living Supermans: Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill. But as edits went on, I was able to include one more, George Reeves, as the legendary actor, George Brewer, who had once played the Shock in the fifties, just like George Reeves played Superman in the 1950s. And of course I couldn’t forget Christopher Reeve – the man that brought Superman into my generation.

Back when I was a little girl, I thought that my father was secretly Clark Kent because he and Christopher Reeve looked quite similar. At least I thought so, others disagree, but it doesn’t matter. It only matters what I thought.  Anyhow, Christopher’s Superman started the fascination and it wasn’t until I was older-college age, that I realized through Dean Cain’s Lois and Clark, The New Adventures of Superman that Superman is gorgeous! Oh and responsible, gentlemanly, proper, and has a sensitive yet authoritative, stern soul. He was a perfect boyfriend material.

I followed along with all the rest of Supermans to come as the years went on and Lois and Clark was no longer on the air. Dean had moved on to acting, writing and directing other works and Smallville came next. Young Tom Welling kept the Superman canon alive though, by giving a new generation Clark Kent’s backstory set in Smallville, Kansas, quintessential small town America.  Then a new movie Superman came to the silver screen, Brandon Routh in Superman Returns. I wasn’t a big fan of this one, but only because I felt Brandon didn’t make Superman his own, he more or less acted like Christopher Reeve and no one could be Christopher Reeve except for Christopher, who unfortunately had past away by that time. One very cool thing that Brandon did do, which was unlike Dean Cain’s brown-eyed Superman, was disguise his eye color and keep to the comics where Superman always had blue eyes.

Oh, but then came Henry Cavill in Man of Steel.  Henry dedicated his role of Clark Kent and Superman to being the most honest, most emotional Superman there was. He went through rigorous training to achieve the amazing Superman physique, changed his Isle of Jersey accent to American, and even lived far away from his family, tapping into a sense of loneliness in order to bring out the desolation Clark/Kal-El felt living on Earth knowing he was different. It was actually Henry’s Superman and time while shooting in Plano, IL that inspired me the most. The cast and crew took over the tiny, midwestern town for the time they spent shooting there and integrated themselves into real feel of living in a Smallville-like place.

I had visited Plano last summer and there were so many little nooks and crannies – alleyways and such, where my writer’s mind went a little crazy. While I was driving home I happened to wonder what would a superhero actor do if they happened upon a crime in progress? And little by little, as I have mentioned before, the story evolved. From there, my son and I created a new comic book character  and The Shock was born. We have some pretty cute rough sketches and descriptions of all the Shock’s enemies, friends, and family, because they had to come first, before a romantic novel could even be planned. And once the Shock was set, then the story of Oliver Hannel and Layla Brooks could emerge.

So now you know the ins and outs of how the Shock and Superman are connected and which Superman had what part! In list style for you.

 

George Reeves = George Brewer, the actor who Oliver Hannel meets as a young and poor bartender and gives him the best advice and help a stranger could give a budding actor.

Christopher Reeve = my own personal inspiration. Without him none of this story would ever come to be.

Dean Cain = Dean Clemens, the seasoned director of The Shock.

Tom Welling = His work on Smallville gave me the quintessential feel for small town America. And I gave his last name to Ira Welling, friend and co-star to Oliver Hannel.

Brandon Routh = Oliver has his brown eyes and needs to change them to blue contacts, just like Brandon while playing the Shock.

Henry Cavill = Henry is Oliver’s background, the British actor playing the part of a superhero. His work on Man of Steel inspired a lot of the work Oliver did for The Shock.

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The Labor of Writing

Kelly Braman Photograpy

Kelly Braman Photograpy

 

Just like babies are created and born out of love… so are books. They start out as little seeds, a bud of an idea, a trigger of a thought from a song, another book, an event, or maybe a movie. It is conception. At first, the jumble of ideas can make the author dizzy and a touch sick because all of the pieces are trying to form in their mind and all that comes out is either a spew of a few words, or a thick wave of intricate plots and characters. Overall, it’s not pretty and definitely not worth anything to anyone except the writer much like a newly pregnant woman doesn’t want to be seen in the throws of morning sickness before she has announced her good news.

 

But the writer continues, nurturing their thoughts with research, supplementing their precious miniscule idea with information. This is the happy time, the second trimester, the gathering more and more knowledge and growing the inkling  into a story. During this time, as the author is gathering their research, some attend writing group meetings, bouncing their creations off others who have been in their place before. The colleagues are much like hospital nurses during a routine ob/gyn visit a mother and baby must have each month. These fellow writers are impartial to the work and are able to give opinions and observations the author might not have being so close to their story. These helpful men or women can tell the author, ‘hey, watch out how much dialogue you put in there’ or ‘are you using a thesaurus to exercise your mind so your words come out strong and healthy,’ much like a nurse will impart their words of wisdom to a mother.

Sure, there are hard days where the author’s mind is blocked and frustration sets in. Their fingers are sore from typing, eyes twitching from overuse, but it’s all for the good of the story. And like a good mom gives up her body for her baby, the author does the same for the luscious glow of writing chapters at a time so pure gold can flow from mind to page without interruption .

 

Once the rough draft is finished, it’s time for the author’s early reader review. This might compare to a mother receiving sonograms throughout pregnancy. It’s the first look inside the book, checking to see if it’s growing correctly. It can catch imperfections or the wondrous sweet moments in the same way as an ultrasound views a fetus sucking it’s thumb or blowing bubbles in utero.  Those looks into the story are as priceless as a baby’s animation is. They show the author that they aren’t helpless. The creation is there and on it’s way to being a whole, perfect book.

 

The happiness and bliss from the free-flowing writing days toward the end start to dwindling down as the closer the story goes from rough draft into editing. Successfully, the story has become a book and only needs now a few more weeks of polishing and building until it’s ready to be released. Editors are the doctors at this point, taking us through the painful last examinations, jamming their words and corrections into the author’s most intimate work – the final draft. They poke around, telling the author what needs to happen before that final day. They tell them it’s getting close but not there yet and gives the writer hints and suggestions of what they need to do before the draft is perfect . It’s excruciating as the author’s flaws are exposed, and it hurts like a dull ache after reading through the comments. But the pain subsides and they sit back in a pair of pajamas and realize the editor was right. And like a waddling mama giving into a doctor’s suggestion to walk in order to induce labor- something she doesn’t want to do when she can’t even see her feet to tie her shoes-the author puts the editor’s suggestions to good use.

 

In the end, the final draft is a book and the release date is looming in the near future, like a baby’s due date. Those are the crazy last days the author has and is struggling and tired, but presses on, working in a frantic pace to expel this final product— a fully grown novel out into the world. The author’s friends and family are there by their sides telling  them they look beautiful despite their ragged appearance.  They have been there all the time, pushing  the author through those tough days and sometimes even bringing treats. They are there when the writer wants to quit, thinking they can’t do this anymore, telling them, “Yes, you can !” when the exhausted writer is too weary to continue.

 

Then the book is released. The baby is born. The novel is shiny and pretty with their bright face— their cover, luring the reader inside. And when the reader gets to know the book and the characters, they find that just like people, some are sweet, some are heroic, some are dark, but they are all beautiful in their own way. And just like in life, not everyone likes everyone else ,but someone will connect and relate and take the writer’s baby to heart just like the writer had done in their past. And maybe one day that little book taken into the heart of the reader, starts another bud of an idea and another author’s life is created and the circle begins again.

EXCLUSIVE: Dean Cain the Writer

 

Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Dean Cain in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

As many of you know I created my character Mack in Beneath the Wall after the then 28-year-old Dean Cain from Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993-1997), but just recently I also made a more up-to-date version of him in my latest novel, Falling for Shock (now available on Amazon – just click the title). Dean was in my mind as the strict but friendly director of Oliver Hannel’s movie “The Shock”, Mr. Dean Clemens. How could I not give Dean another part, especially when he helped me with some of the research for the book. What can I say, I needed some inside information that wouldn’t normally be known to those outside the Hollywood industry and didn’t know who else to turn to. I was able to ask such questions as what type of wires are used for making a superhero fly? What kind of harness do you use? How many cinches are holding you in safe and sound? What happens when the lead is sick or hurt? Are there private medics on staff? How comfortable or uncomfortable are those spandex suits? Mr. Cain was more than obliging to answer any question I had openly and honestly.

 

Now, I bet you’re asking how a girl who had been a crazy Lois and Clark fan go from fangirl to friendly professional acquaintance to well-known actor? Well, if you remember last year around this time I was given the opportunity  to present Dean with a copy of Beneath the Wall for his personal collection.  He was excited and humbled to have been a part of my story and even promised to read it.  Since that day last year, he and I have stayed in touch on Twitter and through my work on another Superman’s site, HenryCavill.Org, Dean agreed to a telephone interview to discuss Batman vs. Superman, his appearance on Superman’s 75th birthday celebration on Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Men and his current work on VH1’s Hit the Floor.

 

Princeton Tigers Dean Cain #11

Princeton Tigers
Dean Cain #11

That interview went amazing and after the fifteen minutes of questions were finished, Dean and I continued to chat about reading, writing and history. It was pretty awesome. For those of you that don’t know too much about Dean’s life, he is a Princeton graduate with a degree in History. Hmm who does that sound like – yep, me! And like me, he didn’t want his History degree for teaching or working in a museum, no, he wanted it so he could write. “I just love being able to tell stories,” Dean said. “It’s a great way to make a living. You can tell stories and you are constantly finding new ways to express yourself and your beliefs or tell stories and maybe affect people’s lives.

 

“Screen writing is a very different medium clearly than novels. You’re so limited in scope and I try to write them so they read more like a novel than some others do.  I like my screenplays to read like a novel and let the director go ahead and figure out what camera pushes he wants to make and things like that.”

 

Strangely enough, even though I’m not a screenwriter, I could relate. Telling stories everyday IS a wonderful way to make a living, well as long as you don’t get interrupted. “Hell hath no fury when you interrupt a writer,” I quipped.

 

Dean agreed with me that time and let out a boisterous laugh.  “Yeah, people can always tell when I’m writing because when my phone rings and I answer it, I say “’Hello [very clipped and monotone]’. Normally, I’m very upbeat and say ‘Hel-lo,’ but not when I’m writing. Then it’s all business. And the person on the other line says, ‘Oh are you working?’ ‘Yes [he replies again short and agitated],’ then it’s, ‘Good-bye,’ and they hang up on me.”

 

It was hilarious and somewhat surreal having a conversation with a guy I admired for years, chatting with me like we were old friends. But at the same time I was grateful. He didn’t have to talk to me, didn’t have to acknowledge me at all, but he did.  That says volumes about the character of Dean’s being. In the end I thanked him for calling and agreeing to do the interview with me.  To which Dean replied, “It’s my complete pleasure, Eryn. And I still have your book and I plan on reading it. It’s sitting on my desk right here. Unfortunately so are about 6 other work related things too.”

 

“Aww well, anytime you can read it will be great,” I said, but then remembered a little something about my books, that I didn’t tell him about. Sure they are historic and action adventure but first and foremost they are romantic. And where they aren’t Fifty Shades by any means, they are still sexy. Needless to say I felt the need to warn him about the romantic stuff. red-kiss-mark-md

 

Dean laughed at my warning and warned me in return. “I’ve gotta tell you, Eryn, that stuff doesn’t make me too uncomfortable. That may give me more incentive to read it, and reread it and reread it until your phone will be ringing again and you’ll have to tell me to stop calling you!”

Twenty-year-old me deep down inside literally swooned over his statement and I fanned and composed myself enough to say a proper good-bye. In the end, Dean added one final compliment that I will forever hold dear.  “I do appreciate anything I had to do with your journey into historical fiction and hero writing. It’s cool as hell.”

Eryn and Dean 11/22/96 and 3/23/13

Eryn and Dean 11/22/96 and 3/23/13

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Watch Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman NOW

Falling for Shock Cover Reveal

FFS3

This fabulous cover came from none other than my head and computerized art programs. I had some excellent help from Russian resident, colleague and graphic designer Ольга Лабзина (Olga Labzina). Together we made this cover POP! and WOW! And I hope you enjoy it too and it captivates you enough to pick up FALLING FOR SHOCK when it release on April 25th, 2014!

Until then here’s a little teaser.

Oliver Hannel, England’s sexiest new star, has finally moved from the television screen to the silver screen, playing comic book hero The Shock in Hollywood’s upcoming blockbuster. While filming one summer night in the midwestern town of Greenfield, Indiana, Oliver finds himself witnessing a crime in progress. Will he embrace his inner superhero and save the day? Or will he remember he isn’t invincible and call for help?

Layla Brooks is a small town girl with a big spirited heart, especially when it comes to her twin sister, Lucy. She will rest at nothing to protect her from a casino mogul’s henchman bent on collecting a debt… even if that includes taking her sister’s punishment. But a strange suited man from out of the shadows isn’t about to let that happen.

Oliver and Layla’s opposite worlds collide with a Bam! But are either of them ready for the lies, truth and lust that comes along with a relationship born of shock? Or will their love come and go as fast as a bolt of lightning?