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The Ghoulish Times | 09/25/22
Fan Art - Book Options - MonsterCon
Hello and welcome to the latest issue of The Ghoulish Times. My name is Max Booth III and I am currently typing this newsletter without any glasses on, which means I am mostly blind. We just applied some blue hair dye to my dang head, and I thought I’d try to write this week’s newsletter as I wait out the hour before I’m allowed to shower.
Here is some cool, mostly-vague news. A novel of mine was optioned a year ago by a major studio with the intention of turning it into a television show for their streaming service. Within that year, we got a very talented showrunner attached along with a trio of kickass screenwriters to develop the series bible and write a pilot. The pilot was delivered to me a couple days ago and it’s really good. They nailed it, in my opinion. Even better, though, is what happened the day after receiving the pilot: the studio notified us that they’ve decided to proceed with renewing their option on the book. This is great news because I’m fucking broke and it couldn’t have come at a better time. No kidding.
For those unaware, here is how book options work. Typically, someone (in my case, a studio) will negotiate a deal with you and your representatives. They will agree on a purchase price for the rights—let’s say, hypothetically, $125,000 to own the book’s film & TV rights. They aren’t going to pay you the purchase price until it’s a for sure thing. Typically, the purchase price is not paid until day one of production—meaning, a camera has been turned on and someone has actually filmed something. Things take time to get to this point. Sometimes it never happens. But sometimes it does. In the meantime, the studio (or whoever is trying to adapt the book) will give you an option fee, typically a small percentage of the agreed-upon purchase price, as a way to control the rights exclusively for a temporary period of time. Let’s say they give you $10,000 of the $125,000 purchase price. That means, when and if the show finally happens, they now only owe you $115,000. This option will eventually expire—in my case, after 12 months. These deals typically have a section about renewing the option for an additional year. If your reps are good at their job, they’ve negotiated a payment either equal or greater than the initial option amount for renewing the rights. Also, again, if they are good at their job, the second payment doesn’t go against the purchase price, unlike the first option. Meaning, if the studio wishes to renew another year, they will now owe you another sum of money—let’s say, hypothetically, another $10,000, and they will still owe you the remaining $115,000 the moment production officially begins.
I think, if the studio decides to greenlight the project, it’s going to be a ton of fun. I’m currently contracted to be a consulting producer on it (I do not know what this means), but I suspect there’s a chance I’ll also be spending time in the writers room (if it moves forward), which might mean spending a significant amount of my future in Los Angeles. Or maybe nothing will happen. Maybe the WGA will go on strike and all current projects will be put on hold. Either way. it looks like I’m getting that sweet option renewal money—and, honestly, right now, that’s all I really care about, so fingers crossed they pay faster than they did the initial option payment. Shit got pretty rough after my mother died last month. I’m only just now catching up on all the work I fell behind on. I am writing this newsletter at 10:00PM on Saturday. We just spent the entire day at the Rolling Oaks shopping mall in San Antonio selling books at MonsterCon. We will be returning Sunday from 11am-6pm to continue selling spooky books. If you’re local, feel free to come out and say hello.
Not local? Do not worry. We sell all of these glorious lil’ books on our website. Go treat yourself to something ghoulish!
Speaking of our spooky books…have you secured a copy of Jessica McHugh’s Rabbits in the Garden yet? Because these people have, and they are automatically way cooler than anyone who has not:
You can order a paperback through our WEBSTORE and also snag a signed author plate from Jessica, or purchase wherever books are sold (I recommend Bookshop.org). The sequel, Hares in the Hedgerow, is also available for pre-order in our shop. If you’d like to order both at once at a discounted price, we’re offering a bundle deal. Check it out HERE.
The other day I stumbled upon some super cool fan art for my movie We Need to Do Something, illustrated by @maliciousmocha on Twitter.
Seriously, how freakin’ cool is that?! More fan art, please!
The latest episode of the GHOULISH podcast is out now wherever you listen to podcasts, and it’s a fun one. Angel Luis Colon joined me to talk about cockroaches, universal fears, CREEPSHOW, FEAR FACTOR, our mutual crush on Oscar Isaac, and dug deep into reality TV vermin such as THE REAL WORLD, CHEATERS, and THE MAURY POVICH SHOW. At one point the phrase “dudes with boners openly weeping” is uttered. Remember that time Joey Greco was stabbed on a boat? Also, HOW MANY penises do cockroaches have?!
If you read my last newsletter, you know I just spent a considerable amount of time in Indiana with my family. During my stay, I managed to pull off two different book events—one at a Barnes & Noble in Richmond, Virginia, and one at Bucket o’Blood Books & Records in Chicago. The event in Virginia was pretty special, as my dad and I did the drive together from Indiana and stayed the night in Waynesboro, which is where my dad grew up until he was about 15 or so. He hadn’t returned to the state since. We managed to track down his childhood home early one morning. I knocked on the front door and explained who we were, and the current resident—much to my surprise—was thrilled and quickly offered to give us a tour of the premises, both outside and inside. (Evidently, she’s never watched a single horror movie before, otherwise there’s no way she would have let us inside.)
The Virginia trip was also cool because my aunt (on my recently-departed mother’s side) drove over from Pennsylvania and I got to meet her for the very first time in my life, along with her husband.
Additionally, during the B&N signing in Virginia, @seedyleaf on Twitter showed up and surprised me with incredible fan art for my dog Frank.
Then, in Chicago, at Bucket o’Blood, I did a book reading/signing with my pals Cynthia Pelayo and Daniel Kraus (and also Frank). Here we are, auditioning for the next season of What We Do in the Shadows (I stole this joke from Twitter):
I read three flash fiction stories about Frank, which you can read over on our Patreon for as little as $1: Frank Goes Whacko in Waco, Frank Kills Kennedy, and Frank Eats a Chicago Dog. I’m slowly compiling a collection of Frank flash fiction stories. I do not know why.
My partner Lori Michelle flew in to Chicago on September 16th and helped me do the drive back to Texas. Along the way, we stopped in Bowling Green, KY for another Barnes & Noble signing. Here is a photo of Frank and I preparing to sign a thousand books (or maybe just 20 books).
And here is a photo of Lori, looking super fucking beautiful and awesome (gosh I love her):
This specific event also decided to market a GHOULISH DRINK in their cafe, which was really cool (and surprisingly delicious!):
This Tuesday, September 27th, is the debut episode of THE GHOULISH SHOW at Radio Coffee & Beer in Austin, TX. I’ll be there at 5pm selling books at the merch table, but the event won’t officially begin until 8pm. It’s a live comedy show, baby!
On October 28th, I’m heading up to Georgetown. Check out the promo image with all the details that I don’t feel like retyping:
Then, on October 29th, I will have a reading/signing at Cibolo Chicks Bookstore in Selma, TX at 5pm. This is a brand-new bookstore that recently opened and it’s, like, 15 minutes away from my house. Very exciting! Come out and support a new bookstore!
Okay, that’s it for this week. You can support us on Patreon, browse the books in our webstore, and follow us on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter (PMMP | DMD | Ghoulish podcast | Ghoulish Books | personal). Reserve your ticket for Ghoulish Book Fest 2023. You can also join us on the Ghoulish Discord.
See you next time, ghouls.