THE AUDACITY OF HOPE

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RJ with David Childress

It’s 12:32 a.m. here on the East Coast of America… the night sky is packed with thick, dark clouds, and rain pounds the roof of my modest home in Belleair.

I love the rain, it washes away the sins of mankind and brings renewal, offering new beginnings when the streets are washed clean and the soul senses reinvigorating hope.

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RJ & Nick Pope

Life… no matter what it throws at the human spirit, we bounce back and fight for another dream, reaching into that vast universe of courage to continue the good fight.

I often quote the following :

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

I’m a huge believer in redemption… and I support the old adage that it doesn’t matter how many times a person is knocked down, but how many times they pick themselves up to fight another day.

No matter what one faces in life, we have to keep on chasing that elusive dream, you’ve got to have that fire deep inside your soul.

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A friend recently noted that I’m listed on Wikipedia as a “famous resident” of Belleair, Florida.

I’m flattered and grateful for the recognition.

RJ & Richard Dolan

But I have to laugh.. FAME?

Really?

As I tap this on my trusted custom built laptop, my pledge to the fans who buy my books is to encourage the hope of the future.

I’ll try my best to recover from the injuries I sustained in 2013 and do my best to get back to writing great books. It’s difficult, the pain is atrocious, but I’m trying to recover.

I continue to be humbled by everyone who reads my work, and I thank those who’ve sent get well notes, or took the time to post reviews of my novels.

It means the world to me, and this is me saying thanks.

The only thing that matters in life are the friendships we form and being kind to one another. If someone has shown you kindness, pass it on, make someone else smile. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the small things, we forget our lives are nothing more than a particle on a strong gust of wind. We’re only on this little blue planet for a brief moment, and in the end, what’s important is whether or not we made the best of our lives.

I love you all for your well wishes.

THE HALTING OF A GREAT CAREER

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A Personal Message to my Fans!

R.J. Smith

Today, as I struggle to sit at my desk, I’m in quite a lot of pain as many of you have come to know.

This year, throughout the summer, 2014, starting in June, I had scheduled and was looking forward to a string of appearances and signings at books fairs, conventions, events and book stores in support of Cataclysm.

Unfortunately, I was forced to cancel ALL THE DATES of the book tour again this year due to the very serious spine injury I’ve written about that traumatized me in June 2013.

The injuries  have ruined my personal and professional life. 

Caused by the neglect of a paving contractor who left a huge hole in the sidewalk in my upscale neighborhood, they had dug  up the sidewalk and failed to rope off the area.

Unfortunately, while riding my bike on the sidewalk that evening, and unaware of the hole waiting up ahead (because there were no darn signs or caution tape… nothing) my bike went into that hole and the last two years of my life have been hell on earth.

Thank god it wasn’t a child riding their bike down that sidewalk. 

Just a few days ago I was at another of my endless doctor appointments to try and fix the damage to my spine. Off to the MRI machine again, making sure a surgery went as planned.

You see, by the time you read this, I’ll be laid up recovering from that back surgery which will hopefully correct some of the serious disc damage and spinal cord impingement’s in my back.

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RJ Pre-Surgery

This is my second surgery, as last year I underwent neck surgery to alleviate an enormous amount of pain caused by disc impingement on my spinal cord. 

But it’s not over yet, I still have to undergo neurosurgery for injuries to my spinal cord in my neck and discs which has caused motor issues with my hands… and as you all know, if I cannot type normally, the novels will come very slow and the tours stop, everything ends.

I am not sure what the future holds for me anymore, I just had to turn down a movie script offer from Totem Films…. my whole career has come to a sudden stop because of these injuries. I can’t sit for long periods, which means I cannot write books on a ten month deadline or movie scripts in 90 days. I have trouble standing for more than thirty minutes, can’t pick anything up (like a box of books).

Last Fall, I was scheduled to travel to Oklahoma to write the true crime book, The Good Friday Killers. But because of the accident, that entire project has been cancelled until further notice.

This summer, I was supposed to be in New York to write my next novel, Mountain Monsters, a Horror novel and movie script about monsters in the woods who take over a town and invade West Point. But, everything has been postponed or cancelled until further notice. Travelling, or lifting boxes of books and setting up tables is just not possible.

Please send your prayers this way, I need them.

INSPIRATION FOR WRITING CATACLYSM

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WHEN I was a young boy, I’d stretch my young bones out on the roof of mother’s house staring at the vastness of space. My eyes would squint at the stars  peppering the galaxy.

SKYSPACE intrigued me, and I wondered, could the movie E.T. perhaps hold a sliver of truth? Might there really be life on other planets? 

MIGHT the whispers really be true? Were flying saucers real, and more importantly, was it possible aliens were visiting our little blue planet? 

It had been forty years since I was on that roof in Ossining staring at the stars… but even now,  I catch myself glancing to the heavens while pondering those childish questions of life outside our universe. 

IN December 2013, while my friend and I were driving through our upscale neighborhood in the Town of Belleair, I got my answer. I had the sense of being watched.

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WE were outside Hulk Hogan’s palatial home when I saw it. There, hovering silently just a few thousand feet above, I took in the magnificence of a gigantic triangle UFO (not the one shown above). Grabbing my android phone, I snapped off two pictures and glanced to my buddy who was busy staring at Terry “Hulk Hogan”  Bollea who stood in the driveway. 

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Hulk Hogan

I, however, was more interested in the UFO. I’d seen The Hulk hundreds of times in Publix. But this thing hovering in the sky transfixed me. I’d never seen THAT before.

Then, just a quick as it arrived, it disappeared.

BATTLING pain, we went back to my house where I scribbled out the ending of my 2014 disaster/conspiracy book, Cataclysm. 

THAT 400-page end of the world novel was eventually released JULY 1st, 2014. It has gotten GREAT REVIEWS and is selling on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and most major retailers. 

You can currently get the e-book for the paltry price of $4.99

THIS morning, when I woke up, that experience of seeing the UFO was on my mind, and I decided to give you guys the inside scoop on how the storyline for Cataclysm came about. ENJOY this book… I worked REALLY hard  working through a lot of pain and agony to get this novel out to you all.  

It’s The End of Humanity

In summer, 2014, I published Cataclysm, a novel which tracks documented UFO allegations taking place on planet Earth.  Although many still deny these intelligent beings are visiting the planet, it remains my belief the end is near.

 

DESTROYING THE WORLD

“What’s it like to destroy the world?”

That’s the question my literary agent, Joyce Keating, asked earlier this year when I flew

faces-names-logoto Manhattan to deliver Cataclysm to her agency.

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RJ with his New Novel

“Destroying the world is a nasty business,” I replied. “For one, you have to find a reason to end everything man has worked so hard to build, and second… I have to leave some people behind or else nobody will read the book.”

She laughed, and then. “Mankind is doing a pretty good job of ending life on its own.”

It was  a joke, of course.

Or was it?

                                                      I still question this.

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RJ at Faces & Names in NYC

Sitting in the elegance of Faces and Names on West 54th Street, I wondered if Joyce wasn’t far of the mark. With all the talk of global warming and polar ice melting… I knew storms were getting worse, earthquakes we more frequent and floods would eventually submerge Manhattan, Kill Devil Hills and eventually, all of Florida.

Everything was going to hell in a hand-basket.

What might the end of the world look like?

How would humanity behave during the finality of it all?

I’d just spent the last twelve months pounding out Cataclysm and knew the nuts and bolts of evacuation procedures. There was a mountain of natural disaster research crammed into my head.

I knew U.N. code-words, understood the science behind societal collapse, and yet, the end of the world seemed something out of a Hollywood Production.

But it’s not just talk anymore.

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RJ in Times Square

There is something happening.

Last year the National Weather Service met to discuss one of the catastrophe’s facing the East Coast of the United States, and  some scientists now believe the CATACLYSM I describe in my book is sure to happen at some point.

The end of the world may not happen tomorrow, next week or a year from now.

But it will end, and the question I pose is this… are you ready?

RJ SMITH is a Hollywood Screenwriter and the Author of three novels

 

EVERYBODY HURTS

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING

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RJ Cruising the Atlantic (May 2013)

Hello friends and fans! Welcome to FALL!

It’s been a LONG FALL.I have suffered an accident in June 2013 and writing has been extremely difficult, as sitting at my desk for any period of time is painful. Deadlines were pushed back to allow rehabilitation and an upcoming back and neck surgery, but soon I should be able to get back to the business of creating entertainment.

Soon, the leaves will change color, TWISTING themselves from  branches, they’ll tumble to the chilled ground welcoming spooky teenage kids ringing  doorbells for TRICKS OR TREATS.

I recall growing up Arj-smith-treatsND feeling that hallow chill as nightfall crashed and ghosts lurked along the shadowy streets.

BOO! 

But like all sadistic holidays of history, the horror ends, fright wanes and we return to a false sense of security ..

And, the terror of Halloween gives way to  the chill of Thanksgiving.

The poor fat bird is thanksgiving2mw8slaughtered and thrown into double racked ovens across our ravenous country —– nice, huh?

A bunch of barbarians is what we are — hungry, feasting, slaughtering humans — oh, well, one day the aliens will come and maybe… we’ll be dinner.

Until then, winter will continue to blow in, tossing an occasional horrendous blizzard across the northeast … but, lets not get ahead of ourselves.

First, there is a long transition to cold

I’ve been on holiday for much of the year, cruising the Atlantic, touring the country and promoting the release of The Santa Claus Killer.

cataclysm-animationFirst, I laid back for a five-day get away, spent hot days lounging in the Bahamas and cool Caribbean nights writing next summer’s blockbuster – Cataclysm.  Then, after drinking myself into a stupor with cruise ship Margaritas,  I hopped back on a plane to New York for a meeting with my literary agent, Joyce  — yes — again!

Three visits in one year… and boy, was it hot! 

After New York, I was off to Los Angeles for a two day event promoting The Santa Claus Killer — the book was a 2013 Emmy Award Swag Bag novel pre-loaded onto Kindle Fire HDs awarded to celebrities.

Of course,  being a screenwriter as well as an author, the interest for me is adapting the book for film and getting the SPEC SCREENPLAY to studio execs — but that has to wait for the novel to hit the bestseller list this winter.  YOU WILL MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

That’s where you come in… once you read it, love it and are craving for moreleave a review on your retailer’s website…

And — that brings me to this…

Getting the book to you, the public!

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The Santa Claus Killer Goes To The Emmys

It’s been a LONG 18-month project, working with agents, in London, Hollywood and New York.

We’ve been busy promoting, advertising and gathering the necessary reviews.

Now, it’s time to sit back and watch reactions from you. This year, if you’re seeking something different, yearning for an edgy, clutching read… one of those rare, dramatic, thrilling, scare-fests … then this isRJS_image_2 the big adventurous novel you’ve been craving.

The Santa Claus Killer is the whole package, detectives, crime, murder, twists and turns… plot shifts, and the ultimate surprise on Christmas day in Times Square.

This  is a mind-movie that springs to life in your grey matter.

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It’s a SLAYRIDE!

And, will keep you awake!

Cringing at every sound in the dark house!

After all, you never know what lurks in the closet…

– OR –

Down in the basement behind the water heater.

So, this holiday, as a blizzard blows through town and the bitter wind bites into your tender flesh, throw kindling into the fireplace, heat up  hot chocolate and curl up with The King Of Christmas.

He’s waiting, just inside the pages of this new thriller.

THE FIRST SIGNING OF 2013

HERE  COMES  SANTA  CLAUS

emmy-awards-2013I’ve just returned home from my first signing for this season’s new mega international Christmas tale:

The Santa Claus Killer

It was the last weekend in August, and there I was at ComiCon at the Tampa Convention Center, just one isle over from Hugh Howey.

We were there to sign our newest books, him, the latest in his WOOL series and I, The Santa Claus Killer.

I hadn’t met Hugh yet, we merely chatted on Facebook a few times, and I was a follower of his extraordinary accomplishments connecting with fans via the internet. Now, of course, he’s a phenomenon and case study in how to make it in this modern day era of selling books.

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RJs Signing Booth

As  for me, this was supposed to be stop number one on a ten city tour that would skyrocket Santa to the rainbow of bestseller status.  It would have been a busy year, but the bike accident I wrote about in June has caused me to cancel planned events.

But, the time has come – September 1st 2013, the book will release to the global market supported by an national advertising campaign in November.

It doesn’t take much to get my attention, especially when quality people surface to broaden my appeal and market-share of the reading consumer. 

One thing I learned, people are placed in your path for a reason, nothing happens by chance, and when opportunity knocks, you better answer that door, because as Eminem will tell you, OPPORTUNITY NEVER KNOCKS TWICE.

It barely knocks once.

So let me review: It’s been more than a year since I wrote “The End” on page 400 of The Santa Claus Killer, and I never imagined that 12-months later I’d still be awaiting theID_no_14591 release. What I did learn…. things take time in the publishing industry — just like Hollywood Studios or Production Companies, its all about who you know and who holds the keys. My time had finally come and I was on my way to the top of the list.

So, here I am at ComiCon  – selling books, meeting new fans and old, just getting out the word that the book is almost ready for release.

The distributor informed me we’re set, the advertising is ready, art work done. it’s  90-days until the ads begin to appear and the orders commence.

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RJ Signing Books

But I can’t make appearances because of my injury, too much pain. Making connections is key — this is a team effort, a community of fans, publicity, image and hard work.

It also has to do with having a commercial product that appeals to everyone. The Number ONE commercial appeal?

SANTA CLAUS and Christmas

Nice fat bulls-eye on that one!

So now… with the help of Christmas, My agent Joyce Keating and a big chunk of advertising, it’s all up to the book buying community since I wont be doing events.

I can honestly look at my reflection in the mirror and say, I went all out, gave it1242040_10201966910793337_1398779164_n everything I had, and didn’t turn a blind eye to detail.

For now… I rely on the fat man and his naughty list to carry the day.

Him, and all those five star reviews on Barnes & Noble should bring the film deal — and damn, isn’t that why I do this?

NEXT UP – SPOOKY EMPIRES in Orlando, outside the gates of Universal Studios. How fitting! Come on out and say hello! (UPDATE: this was cancelled due to my injures)

RJ SMITH’s CATACLYSM – Coming May 2014

COMING NEXT SUMMER, author RJ Smith, an investigative journalist, screenwriter and author of horror, suspense and action will release his new mega-thriller based on science. In October 2000, the BBC transmitted “Mega-tsunami; Wave of Destruction”, suggesting a future failure of the western flank of Cumbre Vieja would cause a mega-tsunami. Its hypothesized that during an eruption the western half of the Cumbre Vieja will catastrophically fail in a massive gravitational landslide and collapse into the Atlantic Ocean, generating a mega-tsunami.

602232_10201012473533002_1344184472_nComputer modeling indicates the initial wave will attain HEIGHTS in excess of 2,000 FEET and peak to 1-MILE traveling at 620 mph — approximately the speed of a jet aircraft. This will inundate the African coast in an hour, the southern coast of England in 3.5 hours, and the eastern seaboard of North America in 6 hours.

The initial wave will subside into a succession of smaller waves, each about 100-200 feet high.

This is the author’s fictional account of what might happen should that cataclysmic day occur.

In his second uber-commercial, INTERNATIONAL thriller, RJ Smith takes his audience on a whirlwind ride of seat gripping terror during what might be the end of life for many.

Rooted in reality, the story follows SAMUEL MAY as he strikes an alliance with the international community to try and save as many people as possible.

The Santa Claus Killer – YouTube

Releasing November 15th 2013 to the world.