JUST CHECKING IN ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Good monring everyone! Been a long time since I’ve checked in here on Social Media. I’ve been distracted TRYING to work on Beach Bodies, Book #2 FBI Serial Killer Task Force and my biography, Destiny, adapted from my script by the same name. I am doing better, still have some lumbar pain, but thank God all 10 surgeries and titanium implants in my right shoulder, cervical and lumbar spines have been successful. Over the last three months, I’ve been walking more but still see a psychiatrist to deal with what I’m told is PTSD in the form of horrible nightmares every night where I see myself falling off my bicycle and dying. . Anyway, I live by the saying, A person has to always pick themselves up off the ground and keep moving through life, right? That’s what I’m doing. So, to my friends and fans on Instagram, Facebook, Stage 32, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Google Plus, I’ll be coming back every so often to talk to you guys. LOVE LOVE. — in Belleair Beach, Florida.

Monsters In The Woods

Greetings From The Sunshine State

Hey guys, just a short message this  month touting my new upcoming ADULT and YOUNG ADULT novel. Yet, I suppose, Monsters In The Woods isn’t exactly a new project, right? It’s been a long time coming at just under five-years because of circumstances out of my control. As most of you may recall, a few years back I spent a week wandering a home for children. You see, when orphaned by my mother Harriet “Tish” Smith in December 1973, I grew up on the streets of Times Square until New York Child Services snatched me up from a street-corner and ferried me off to what was then called The McQuade Foundation for Boys.  I ran away numerous times looking for my birth-mother,. Thankfully, a houseparent, the late Clifford Webb, finally got me to stop looking. “She is long gone” he said hugging me tight, “we’re your family now.” Finally calming down, and dealing with my circumstances, I spent a few years at McQuade from the ages of 12 to 15. When I visited the old McQuade Foundation Campus while researching this novel, I knew it had been taken over by Saint Christopher’s Inc. Growing up  in the small Hudson Valley village of New Windsor, New York, life was certainly much different. Roller Rinks and Drive In Theater’s were the fad of the time and me and my friends spent a lot of time at both. Remember, the modern cellphone, iPhone and others were not invented yet. The MacBook wouldn’t be imagined by Founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak until April 1, 1976… the 200th anniversary our country’s independence from the British in 1776.

Back then, our country was suffering through The 1973 oil crisis that began when  members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo. It was targeted at countries supporting Israel during the Yom Kippur WarThe initial nations targeted were CanadaJapan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. By the end of the embargo in ’74, the price of oil had risen from US$3 per barrel to nearly $12 globally. US prices were significantly higher. The embargo caused an oil crisis that left our countrymen and women standing in mile long lines for rationed gasoline. Today that same barrel of oil cost more than $63.00 a barrel.

I remember all that. The times, the orphanage, the people… so, I wanted to imagine a novel that took place at The McQuade Foundation for Boys. With a simple idea of creatures from outer space invading Earth and devouring humanity, I outlined a pretty twisted manuscript with Reptilian extraterrestrials, Grey aliens and Giants fighting for control of our planet. The story would be epic, in the vein of Harry Potter but absolutely nothing like it. Below is a FREE PDF copy of the manuscript, this is an exclusive for my fans. Enjoy!

MONSTERS FINAL JULY 2017

Added by the author: March 26th, 2018

 

 

THE DISCOVERY OF SELF

Since the release of The Santa Claus Killer (Authors Boutique(Hellnotes Review) (Novel Ideas) (People’s Choice Book Awards) (YouTube) (Audible) in May 2013, t’s been some time since I’ve sat here in my study and written anything of value. One thing I’ve learned over the last five years while dealing with the reprecussions of that bike accident in 2013… is that you can die at any moment. Like most of you, in my youth, I thought I was indestructable, just like most kids. The problem with me is… it took thirty-years to realize the way I was living would only lead back to the streets, prison or a graveyard.

In my work in progress… the shocking tell-all biography, DESTINY, I’ve had to face down some pretty ugly facts about my past. Back then I was nothing but a common criminal with prison sentences under his belt, I was not just heading nowhere fast… I was there. Rock bottom… a 42 year old nothing. I’m not sure what woke me, perhaps it was the last incarceration, the people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve suffered thorugh. Some of you know I grew up on the streets and became addicted to street drugs at a very early age and well… growing up on the streets, one doesn’t learn the right way to live. It’s a mentality of US against THEM… and by them, it’s meant anyone who didn’t live on the streets, grow up in boys homes, live through foster care or have the scent of the filthy streets woven into the very fabric of who they were. I regret most of my past decisons throuhout life, the drugs, crime, penetentiary… it was a road of Hell that led nowhere fast. I could have laid the blame of my screwed-up life at my birth-mother’s feet. But the fact remains, at some point we all have to grow a pair of balls and grow up.

I know that better than most. I lived the life, saw the consequences and was almost sent away for LIFE (Under California’s Three Strike Law) by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and a feared female African American hanging judge.

Originally enacted in 1994. The Three Strike law required that a defendant convicted of any new felony … and having committed one prior seious felony and one non-violent felony was to be automatically sentenced to state prison for a term twice the otherwise sentence provided for the same crime by a first offender. But if a defendant had two prior felonies … no matter what state those conviction happened in, just like my circumsances, that defendand was eliglible for a 25-years to LIFE Three Strike entence.

Today, I’m a case study why three-strikes legislation doesn’t work. People do change and sometimes it’s not on the 2nd, 3rd or 10th attempt. Had a now retired California Criminal Defense attorney by the name of Denise Lee not fought hard for me, I would now be a 52-year old convict waitng to die at San Quentin State Prison for the crime of shoplisting and possession of cocaine residue. But Denise did fight for me and she believed in humanity’s ability to change… she saved my life after my judge went on vacation turning over her cases to a much fairer judge who didn’t believe someone should spend the rest of their life in prison because of a minor shoplifting charge.

The rest is history, you all know my amazing story, how I climbed out of the gutter and broke away from the badboy lifestyle jumping into the entertainment business in 2010 with my first bio screenplay, DESTINY which did pretty well in The Francis Ford Coppola American Zoetrope Screenwriting competition, The Page International Screenwriting Awards and Sundance’s Table Read Competition and The Script Pipeline screenwriting competitions. They led to three agents that began representing my work. Then, the Emmy Swag entrant came along thanks to Hollywood Director and Producer Carol Hovsepian. That opportunity led to a few book awards for The Santa Claus Killer while rising to the #2 breakout Amazon bestselliing novel. Now, being an Amazon best-seller does NOT mean the money is rolling in…. Amazon considers free book give-a-ways, promotions, sales and KDP sales in evaluating a book’s status. Had I went out on my Barnes & Noble and Horror festival tours, the money would have come. It all happened and fell-apart so fast it seems like a nightmare now.

You’re all going to love the biography adapted for the screenplay, DESTINY. If and when the book publshed, you’ll cry, laugh and cheer on the lead character. It’s sad, happy and frightful. But it’s real; it’s the truth. Reading just like an RJ Smith thriller, something happens in every chapter. Just like in life, each day brought new adventures… though I hope

 

yours were better than mine. I’ve long ago made peace with my sordid past, it really doesn’t matter anymore, I’ve done the time, learned from my mistakes and moved on with an amazing career as a novelist. Sure, there have been rough things to deal with, real-life challenges, like the biking accident and the subsequent ACDF Surgical Fusion & Lumbar Disc Replacement with Fusion & Fractured Shoulder Injury and Torn Bicept surgeries to fix those injuries. As you know, all that resulted in the spiraling of my writing career because the five years of injury repair and rehab prevented me from committing to book tours and appearances that were being set up here in America and the United Kingdom. Yes, it is true I’ve lost every cent I had, borrowed or invested for advertising and promotion for both novels, The Santa Claus Killer and Cataclysm. Because of all this, I could be an angry depressed despot angrily pointing fingers. Instead, I’ve chosen to live my life, enjoy every second I have on this planet, because as the kids say today… “YOLO” … You Only Live Once!

I am writing this to the youth and disenfranchised of our society:. Sometmes being “cool” or wanting to “fit in” leads to disaster and sometimes worse. If you want to be cool, join the Boy Scouts, Young Marines or football, basketball or baseball programs at your school. To those who are homeless or growing up on the mean lonely streets and have stumbled upon this post online at your local library…  please go to the police and tell them you need their help. They are not all bad guys, in fact… if I am to be honest, I have to admit most officers I’ve dealt with were kind and were only doing thier jobs. Most departments will help people get into residential substance abuse programs. If you’re a kid, they’ll call Children’s Services, or for adults, they’ll contact a shelter that’ll change your circumstances. Trust me, gangs, crime and drugs aren’t cool, and they definitely lead to jail, prison or a casket – it’s no secret, just look at the more than 115 Americans who die every day after overdosing on opioids. Heroin, Meth and Cocaine are deadly because of thier very nature… but more so when drug dealers cut the drugs with harmful substances.

One of my favorite authors, William Cuthbert Faulkner (1897-1962) is one of the most influential authors of the twentieth century and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Faulkner once wrote “the past is never dead. It’s not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity. Haunted by wrong turns and roads not taken, we pursue images perceived as new but whose providence dates to the dim dramas of childhood, which are themselves but ripples of consequence echoing down the generations. The quotidian demands of life distract from this resonance of images and events, but some of us feel it always.

He also wrote: “Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

I became a novice writer years ago after digesting Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury which tells the tale of the disintegration of a family while exposing the doomed citizens of a mythical place dubbed Yoknapatawpha County. The book was and is regarded as Faulkner’s greatest work. I won’t give anymore away, go read it yourself. I also think highly of Sidney Sheldon (1917-2007), the American novelist and producer who became poplular in the 1930s while working on Broadway stageplays before moving into motion pictures while writng The Bachelor. I’m also a huge fan and student of Harold Robbins (1916-1997)  the American novelist and best-selling writer of his time. Penning over twenty-five best-selling novels by hand, he sold more than seven-hundred and fifty million booksthat were printed in thirty-tw0 languages.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the above with you all. Here is my own message: No matter what you face in life, no matter how hard you work or play, always remember that today will become yesterday and the past is only a reflection of who you WERE, not who you are today. A lot of people try to use my criminal record against me, my upbringing, both in my personal and professional life, they try to degrade my accomplishments, ridicule my circumstances and skirt their own flaws. But it doesn’t bother me, I’m not that person they talk about anymore. I changed on my own clock, when I was ready, when I was sick-and-tired of being sick and tired. So, I say, never hide who you are, where you’ve been or what you went through. It all adds up to the whole of who you are today. For better or worse, you have to live with yourself in the dead of night.

Posted by RJ Smith on March 22nd 2018

HYSTERICAL POV ON GUNS

Share with an American friend and let comedy destroy stupidity.

Posted by Democratic Socialists on Monday, October 2, 2017

YEAR OF THE FILM FESTIVALS

I HAVE BEEN invited to three film festivals this year. Perhaps the best FLORIDA film fests are The Sunscreen Film Festival in Saint Petersburgh & The Gasparillo Film Festival in Tampa, Florida. I have been a regular at Sunscreen for multiple years, but this will be my first Meet & Greet at Gasparillo. Maybe fans can come out and say hello.

 

DESTINY COVER REVEAL!

It is February 4th and I am very excited to announce that my graphic designer in London Jeffrey Kosh has come up with a perfect cover in association with myself which I think captures my life growing up on the streets and climbing out of the gutter to become  successful… take a look-see … this is what the cover and graphic art will look like whenever it gets released!

FORGIVENESS

Sometimes we all just need a second chance. In Justin Bieber’s 2015 hit, SORRY, the heartthrob asks his fans for another shot, to forgive his wreckless ways. I can related, and I just wanted to share this with you all. Updated by RJ – January 27th 2018

You gotta go and get angry at all of my honesty
You know I try but I don’t do too well with apologies
I hope I don’t run out of time, could someone call a referee?
Cause I just need one more shot at forgiveness
I know you know that I made those mistakes maybe once or twice
By once or twice I mean maybe a couple a hundred times
So let me, oh let me redeem, oh redeem, oh myself tonight
Cause I just need one more shot at second chances

Yeah, is it too late now to say sorry?
Cause I’m missing more than just your body
Is it too late now to say sorry?
Yeah I know that I let you down
Is it too late to say I’m sorry now?

I’m sorry, yeah
Sorry, yeah
Sorry
Yeah I know that I let you down
Is it too late to say I’m sorry now?

I’ll take every single piece of the blame if you want me to
But you know that there is no innocent one in this game for two
I’ll go, I’ll go and then you go, you go out and spill the truth
Can we both say the words and forget this?

Is it too late now to say sorry?
Cause I’m missing more than just your body
Is it too late now to say sorry?
Yeah I know that I let you down
Is it too late to say I’m sorry now?

I’m not just trying to get you back on me
Cause I’m missing more than just your body
Is it too late now to say sorry?
Yeah I know that I let you down
Is it too late to say I’m sorry now?

I’m sorry, yeah
Sorry, oh
Sorry
Yeah I know that I let you down
Is it too late to say I’m sorry now?
I’m sorry, yeah
Sorry, oh
Sorry
Yeah I know that I let you down
Is it too late to say I’m sorry now?

A SANTA CLAUS KILLER CRITIC REVIEW

by RJ Smith

Publisher: Storyteller Entertainment, LLC

ISBN:  9780989675321

(May 15, 2013) 

Hardcover: $35.00

Paperback: $12.86

eBook $3.99

Review by Kat Yares 

This book is unlike any other serial killer fiction I’ve read.  It in no way takes itself seriously and that is superbly refreshing if you are like me and appreciate a bit of comedic relief as you read.  Mr. Smith introduces one of the most chaotic, psychotic serial killers I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.  This guy is nuts and because of his craziness, I actually had some sympathy for him.

The Santa Claus Killer ( a Santa that kills other Santas) is a new take on an old theme, and yet it works and works well.  As the reader follows along in the killer’s mind, we see inspiration from Son of Sam and from Ed Gein as well as lesser bits of other well known serial killers in real life.  As the story plays out, you have to wonder what motivates this guy  (besides the voices in his head) and it is mind blowing when you reach the end and discover how it all began.

For the policemen and the FBI task force assigned to find this guy, he always manages to stay one step ahead while continuing his rampage of murdering Santas and other people along the way.  As with all police departments and FBI units, there is some fumbling and bumbling along the way and many secrets to be unfolded and discovered.

Written in a truly unique style that lies somewhere between a screenplay, a novel and a picture-less comic book, Mr. Smith throws new twists and turns at you on almost every page.  He also paints a picture of New York City at Christmas time that I hope to never see.

With action of some sort on every page, you also get to enjoy a number of pop culture and current events that play into the plot driving you to turn to the next page.  There is a bit of authorial intervention, but it really doesn’t take anything away from a good read.  I understand that this is going to be the first in a series and I, for one, am looking forward to the next book.  I like Mr. Smith’s style of storytelling – it’s that fresh and different.  And the next time I see a Santa – I do believe I will shutter and find a way out of the room.

 THIS Review is from the infamous Kat Yares and the magazine and website Hell Notes.

WHAT’S GOING ON?

I have finally returned to my helm in the studio. I am almost back! I’m NOT writing a chapter of the manuscript or a SPEC page a day like before the biking accident you all know about, but I am writing a few chapters/scenes a week.

Completed in 2012 – The Santa Claus Killer: Available at B&N, Books-A-Million, Amazon and most bookstores worldwide. You can pick up your copy in Hardcover or paperback or download the audio-book or e-book.

Completed in 2013 – Cataclysm: Available at B&N, Amazon, Books-A-Milion and most bookstores around the world, you can pick up your copy in Hardcover & paperback or download the E-book.

Four year accident recovery….

Completed in 2017: My four year struggle to research, storyboard and write my 450-page EPIC, Monsters in the Woods… currently being shopped by my NYC and UK literary agents.

2018 Works in progress: My 4th novel, a 500 page Horror novel.. Beach Bodies, book #2 of The FBI Serial Killer Task Force.

2018 Planned: Adapting for film… my Emmy Swag intellectual property, The Santa Claus Killer.

On the board for 2019: Working Titles: Destiny or Survivor. This is my 5th book and 600-page biography and the much anticipated adaptation from the screenplay of the same name, DESTINY. This book tells the tale of surviving abandonment by my mother on the streets of Times Square at eight years old, growing up in the 1970s on the streets, joining a gang, getting hooked on numerous and different drugs, overdosing, dying and coming back to life, robbing a bank and spending the next twenty years in prison before finally getting out, writing my screenplays, getting noticed but then getting seriously hurt in a bicycle accident. It also tells the story of overcoming adversity, for me… ten surgeries and then finally trying to restore my career with a global book tour. The ending has a nice twist which will make you smile in this bad boy does good thrilling tale.

Updated by the author: 1/20/2018