THE WRITE PLATFORM – With the diminishing influence of the Big 5, up against almighty Amazon, authors need platforms. Why is that, you might ask? I’m a writer. Do I really need to bother with publicity? Yes. Do both, write material and engage in marketing. Some of these are costly, and some are free, so start somewhere based on your resources. See below for tips and highlights. Blog – This is the most important aspect. Write on a regular (weekly or monthly) schedule, since you’re going for repeat visitors, not the one time click. Email – Create a footer signature with all your platform links. Start collecting other’s emails to send out info when new releases come out. Every message you send should share your platform information. Website – Think of it as a landing page to house your platform links. Decide whether to use your real name or penname. Make sure the website address isn’t overly complicated. Newsletter – Add a newsletter signup to your blog. Whatever you do, don’t spam your list. Keep it brief, interesting and valuable in terms of the information presented. Social Media – Be interesting and add value. Your Facebook should link to your Twitter which should link back to your Pinterest and so on.  Giveaways – Consider handing out a freebie to increase exposure or grow your list. Some writers have perfected the first-one-is-free serial. Local events – Go to book signings, writers groups, book stores, interview panels, book readings, conferences, book fairs, etc. Multimedia – Each story should have a book trailer available to spread the message about your work. Familiarize yourself with video, image and sound editing software. Handselling – Ask your local bookstore if they will sell your book? Oftentimes they will accept a few of them and send you a commission. Tell them you’re a local writer! Online – Groups, clubs and associations support writers for free or for a price.  Facebook alone has hundreds of groups dedicated to writer’s support. Branding – Make your selections with uniformity–fonts, cover images, topics and themes–with a critical eye. Style is crucial in a visual medium and your customer should instantly know what you’re all about. Author page – Amazon offers a central place for all of your books and reposting of all your blog posts. Interviews – Once you’ve established credibility as a writer, ask about appearances on podcasts and radio shows. A lot of platforms are started and abandoned. What’s the point of that? Now it’s time to get busy with your writing platform.





CHRISTMAS HORROR MOVIES – Here are some old and new Christmas themed horror movies to consider watching this holiday season.

Tales From the Crypt: And All Through the House (1972)
The crypt keeper narrates an anthology film with 5 segments based on stories from EC Comics.

Black Christmas (1974)
Sorority sisters become murder victims when an unidentified caller makes creepy calls. 

Christmas Evil (1980)
When a toy factory worker discovers the truth about Santa, he embarks on a killing spree.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
A sadistic Santa wields a hatchet and packs a pistol, intent on murdering kids that misbehave.

Santa Claws (1996)

A disturbed murderer, wearing a Santa suit, stalks a scream queen.

Rare Exports (2010)
An ‘archeological’ dig has just unearthed a malicious spirit, the secret behind Santa Claus.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
An anthology of 4 stories, including Santa Claus and Krampus.
Krampus (2015)
A cloven-footed demon hungers for holiday spirit.

Better Watch Out (2017)
A boy decides to tell his babysitter he loves her since it’s the holidays. 

Marilyn Monroe Obituary LA 1962

From the Archives: Marilyn Monroe Dies; Pills Blamed

Marilyn Monroe, a troubled beauty who failed to find happiness as Hollywood’s brightest star, was discovered dead in her Brentwood home of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills Sunday. The blond, 36-year-old actress was nude, lying face down on her bed and clutching a telephone receiver in her hand when a psychiatrist broke into her room at 3:30 a.m.


Marilyn Monroe Obituary NYC 1962

Marilyn Monroe Dead, Pills Near

Pending a more positive verdict by Dr. Theodore J. Curphey, the coroner, the Los Angeles police refused to call the death a suicide. They said they had no idea how many pills the actress might have taken, or whether any overdose might have been accidental. Miss Monroe left no notes, according to the police.



MARILYN MONROE – Gladys Baker worked as a film negative cutter, separated twice by the time Norma Jeane was born. But the child’s biological father was unknown. The child bounced between foster homes, with sporadic visits from her mother, who ended up living in a mental hospital. She endured devastating abuse during these years because nobody wanted her. She began to model for pinups and calendars, rumored to have had numerous affairs. But she also worked with acting coaches and took classes. Her breakout year was 1950, with 5 minutes on screen, in All About Eve. Nude pictures surfaced from early on in her career and her personal struggles worsened as her career progressed. She was late, wouldn’t show up, couldn’t remember her lines, overly depended on her coaches, had stage fright and was crippled by self-doubt. She began using barbiturates, amphetamines and alcohol.  Some of her greatest movie successes of mid-career–Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop, Some Like It Hot–coincided with famous marriages and divorces. In 1961 she went to detox, was hospitalized and suffered lukewarm reviews for The Misfits. She started on what became her last never finished film, entitled Something’s Got to Give, in 1962. After numerous sick days, she sang Happy Birthday to the president, appearing in public in a nearly nude dress. She was fired, sued by the studio and they cancelled the picture. Her housekeeper awoke at 3AM, sensing that something was wrong. Her psychiatrist broke into her bedroom and found her dead. According to the toxicology report, she had empty medication bottles beside her. But overdose was ruled out since the doses were several times over the lethal limit. Her doctor stated she had severe fears, frequent depression, abrupt mood changes and had overdosed several times in the past. Conspiracy theories including murder have contradicted suicide as the cause for decades. Marilyn Monroe’s staying power as an American icon is unparalleled compared to actresses who have come before or after. As a sex symbol, as a troubled soul and as a creative genius.  Only now is it understood that she was her own self creation. A great and multifaceted talent in comedy, song, dance and dramatic acting. Never before, never again… but forever, Marilyn.