Archives for category: Biopic

4.18.16.TESLA.CVR.SMLL - Copy

Genius. Visionary. Madman.

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) was the pioneering genius who invented the AC electrical system that powers our world to this day, as well as radio, remote control, the automobile speedometer, X-ray photography, the AND logic gate that drives all our computer systems, and countless other devices and precursors to devices such as cell phones, television, and the Internet that we so effortlessly use today.

Strikingly handsome and charismatic, fluent in half a dozen languages, mathematics savant and master machinist, a reed-thin perfectionist who quoted poetry like a Victorian rapper, Tesla became one of the most famous men of his day. Friend of tycoons like John Jacob Astor and Stanford White and celebrities like Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt.

Yet Tesla was an intensely driven and lonely man, beset by inner demons, and cursed with a protean inventive imagination a century ahead of his time. He died in obscurity and poverty and, to this day, his name is not widely known. How did that happen?

Blending historical fact with speculative imagination, Lisa Mason explores the secrets of the Inventor’s inner life and his obsession with Goethe’s Faust set against the backdrop of sweeping technological changes at the turn of the twentieth century that have forever changed the world.

After a year of intensive research and writing, Mason got the Screenplay read by the producer of “Aliens,” “The Abyss,” and “The Hulk.”

“Fabulous screenplay.” –Lewis Shiner, award-winning author of Glimpses.

A list of Sources follows the Screenplay.

Tesla is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Smashwords.

Tesla, A Worthy of His Time, A Screenplay is also on Amazon.com in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Mexico, and Spain.

All rights to TESLA are owned by Lisa Mason. Rights available: U.S. and foreign print rights, audio rights, dramatic and film rights, book club rights, graphic novel rights, and merchandising rights. Copyright © 2000–2017 by Lisa Mason. Cover art copyright © 2011-2017 by Tom Robinson. All rights reserved.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Summer of Love, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia
, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age, A Time Travel is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra, “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy,” on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Arachne (a Locus Hardcover Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in  France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle.

Cyberweb is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo;
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories, five-star rated, “A fantastic collection,” on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India
, Mexico, and Netherlands.

SHAKEN, a sexy Thriller, is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
Shaken
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Everyone surely knows this, but I suppose the observation bears repeating: your printout of what you see on your computer screen may not look the same when ebook conversion programs transform your file into an ebook. Conversion programs—and there at least seven of them, including Amazon, NookPress, and epub—transform your file’s format, not its appearance.

As a traditional print author, it took me a while to completely understand this. In an ebook, you never, ever use the Tab key to indent paragraphs or the Enter/Return key to create space between chapter titles and text the way you usually do when you’re composing a manuscript. It’s best not to use Word Alt+ commands to create special formatting, either.

Instead, in MSWord (the gold standard of ebook creation in my estimation), you go to the Home toolbar at the top of the screen and format everything—font type, font size, bold, italic or underline, left, center, right, or justified margins.

After you do all that, click on the Paragraph Settings arrow at the bottom right of the Paragraph section. There you will be able to adjust margins. There, and only there, you set how far you want to indent paragraphs (or no indent at all), choose the space you want before and after paragraphs, and choose single spacing, double, or 1.5.

If all this sounds complicated and boring, never fear. Once you become accustomed to formatting text using the Home toolbar, it’s a snap to set up your document and individual elements within it. I never even prepare manuscript to go to a publisher using tabs and returns anymore. I just format the document so the editor needn’t become distracted by format marks. The production editors on the other end are conversant in all this stuff, so if they want to change your choices, they just do the same thing—go to the Home toolbar.

[Back in the Dark Ages a few years ago, authors were instructed to underline words they wanted in italics, use certain kinds of dashes for certain kinds of punctuation, and so on. So much easier now!]

However!

All this ease and speed becomes a lot more complicated when you’re preparing a screenplay, play, poetry, or a book with lots of special features, such as blocks of text set off from the narrative (as in Summer of Love).

Everyone also surely knows that simplicity is best when formatting an ebook. Smashword’s excellent Style Guide–which I highly recommend and which you’ll find at Smashword’s website for free—drives this point home. Because there are so many different conversion programs, your book will look fine across many different platforms if you keep the format simple.

But what about a screenplay?

Traditional print screenplays have lots of moving parts: the narrative, which they used to want you to indent left and right by half an inch, single space justified with no introductory paragraph tabbing, and double space between narrative paragraphs. Characters’ names centered, and characters’ speeches block indented and justified by an inch and a half, left and right.

Whole chapters in screenwriting books are devoted to format issues, and writers are warned that if they don’t follow the conventions, their scripts will be recycled, unread.

That will put the fear of Hollywood in you!

Screenwriting computer programs purport to automate these mechanics so you, the writer, can concentrate on the material.

As well you should!

It should come as no surprise that these screenwriting programs are incompatible with every ebook conversion program I know of. You’ll have to dismantle a programmed script and start over with a .doc file in Word.

When I was preparing my Tesla Screenplay as an ebook, I found most of the traditional format easy to set up using the Home Toolbar. I indented the narrative lines left and right to 0.5 inch. I didn’t justify the margins because I was instructed two years ago by a reader, fan, and professional ebook formatter always to left justify margins. (Smashwords says the same thing.) A lot of conversion programs will justify text for you, so you don’t want to mess with their automation. Also, researchers discovered that people with certain vision problems have trouble reading justified text. So even though the text in print books is justified, don’t go there. Leave text at the left margin.

But what about the characters’ speeches? I hit upon the solution of indenting speeches by one and a half inches, left and right. As recently as April when I reuploaded Tesla, the speeches looked fine in the Previewer and looked the same when I downloaded the Kindle book.

So I was shocked when I reuploaded Tesla (with an updated Author’s Bio listing the links for the latest book I added to my List, Strange Ladies: 7 Stories) that all my nicely indented blocks of speeches came out like this (this is an example, not an actual line from the script):

T

E

S

L

A

I’m

an

in

ve

ntor.

Smashed flat as the proverbial pancake! And my 0.5 inch indented narrative lines got smashed into the center third of the screen.

Well, hell!

It took us four full days to reformat all those lines (it’s a long script), and here’s what we did. Took out ALL the indents. Allowed narrative lines to stretch to the page margins. And centered the speeches. At first, that didn’t look very good either, so to set off speeches from narrative, we set a 0.3 margin, left and right. (I’m leery of 0.5, which places way too much white space around the line.)

The example above came out like this:

TESLA

I’m an inventor.

The longer speeches still have to contend with the limitations of centering (they don’t come out as a nice, neat, justified blocks), but we could figure out no safe way to block indent them that wouldn’t run afoul of the conversion process. (If anyone has conquered this, by all means, let me know and post your solution in a comment!) On the Previewer, the speeches look quite acceptable and legible. (Anyway, you the reader are supposed to be concentrating on the material!)

So there you have it, my friends. The new Amazon conversion is blindingly fast and good, and the Previewer is terrific compared to a few short months ago. But mess with your margins at your peril.

Tesla, A Worthy of His Time: A Screenplay is on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords (Apple, Kobo, Sony, and Diesel), and UK Kindle!

New! Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords (all other readers including Kobo, Sony, and Apple). Short fantasy and science fiction by Lisa Mason published in magazines and anthologies worldwide.

From the author of Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) on Nook, US Kindle, UK Kindle, and Smashwords, The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add a bunch of stars, write a review on the site where you acquired it, blog it, Tweet it, post it, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

Tesla is now on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle!

Genius. Visionary. Madman.

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) was the pioneering genius who invented the AC electrical system that powers our world to this day, as well as radio, remote control, the automobile speedometer, X-ray photography, the AND logic gate that drives all our computer systems, and countless other devices and precursors to devices such as cell phones, television, and the Internet that we so effortlessly use today.

Strikingly handsome and charismatic, fluent in half a dozen languages, mathematics savant and master machinist, a reed-thin perfectionist who quoted poetry like a Victorian rapper, Tesla became one of the most famous men of his day. Friend of tycoons like John Jacob Astor and Stanford White and celebrities like Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt.

Yet Tesla was an intensely driven and lonely man, beset by inner demons, and cursed with a protean inventive imagination a century ahead of his time. He died in obscurity and poverty and, to this day, his name is not widely known. How did that happen?

Blending historical fact with speculative imagination, Lisa Mason explores the secrets of the Inventor’s inner life and his obsession with Goethe’s Faust set against the backdrop of sweeping technological changes at the turn of the twentieth century that have forever changed the world.

Tesla, A Worthy of His Time was read by the producer of “Aliens,” “The Abyss,” and “The Hulk.” A List of Sources follows the Screenplay.

Tesla is on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add stars, write a review, blog it, and spread the word to your friends. Your participation really matters.

Thank you for your readership!

Genius. Visionary. Madman.

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) was the pioneering genius who invented the AC electrical system that powers our world to this day, as well as radio, remote control, the automobile speedometer, X-ray photography, the AND logic gate that drives all our computer systems, and countless other devices and precursors to devices such as cell phones, television, and the Internet that we so effortlessly use today.

Strikingly handsome and charismatic, fluent in half a dozen languages, mathematics savant and master machinist, a reed-thin perfectionist who quoted poetry like a Victorian rapper, Tesla became one of the most famous men of his day. Friend of tycoons like John Jacob Astor and Stanford White and celebrities like Mark Twain and Sarah Bernhardt.

Yet Tesla was an intensely driven and lonely man, beset by inner demons, and cursed with a protean inventive imagination a century ahead of his time. He died in obscurity and poverty and, to this day, his name is not widely known. How did that happen?

Blending historical fact with speculative imagination, Lisa Mason explores the secrets of the Inventor’s inner life and his obsession with Goethe’s Faust set against the backdrop of sweeping technological changes at the turn of the twentieth century that have forever changed the world.

Tesla, A Worthy of His Time was read by the producer of “Aliens,” “The Abyss,” and “The Hulk.” A List of Sources follows the Screenplay.

Tesla is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!

I’m not rating/reviewing my own work—that’s up to you, the reader–but I do have some things to say. I was presented with the gigantic task of writing a cradle-to-grave biopic of the genius inventor Nikola Tesla. The logline is “A Beautiful Mind meets Gandhi.” I was astounded to learn about the man, his work, and his place in history. I’d never heard of Tesla before. After plowing through mountainous research, I discovered three visual/dramatic images that leapt out and could be employed as recurring themes. One–wheels spinning. From Tesla’s childhood water wheel (mentioned in one short sentence in his autobiography along with trying to fly with an umbrella) to his famous migraine-induced vision of the AC generator to the speedometer, spinning wheels characterize his work (in stark contrast to the straight-line, square thinking of most science). Even his laboratories were organized within a circle (recalling Dante’s Circles of Hell). Two–imaginary companions. In his autobiography, Tesla refers briefly to “my spirits.” In Margaret Cheney’s monumental biography, she mentions that Tesla’s devoted secretaries overheard him having arguments in voices while alone in his office. He was the quintessential mad scientist willing to experiment on himself, confront mortal danger, and labor endless hours alone through the night. So I didn’t think it too much of a speculative leap that he could have had imaginary companions. (Spoiler alert.) One is the devil out Goethe’s Faust, a poem which Tesla was obsessed with and quoted frequently, who offers him revelations in exchange for his soul. The other is the bullying older brother who died when Tesla was a boy. To me, this internalization accounts for Tesla’s self-destructive behavior, his propensity to challenge society’s bullies, like J.P. Morgan, against whom he just can’t win, and his lifelong bitter rivalry with a bullying Thomas Edison. And three—a courtroom. Tesla devoted countless hours to appearing as an expert witness, a plaintiff, and a defendant. The research makes clear the onerous impact of patent litigation on inventors. Some, like Edwin Armstrong, a Tesla admirer who invented television technology, committed suicide. I thought Tesla’s defense of himself in the Court of Life made an interesting framing image. So there you have it. I hope more readers will give the screenplay a try and write a review. Learning is my lifelong quest.

Tesla, A Worthy of His Time was read by the producer of “Aliens,” “The Abyss,” and “The Hulk.” A List of Sources follows the Screenplay.

Tesla is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.