Tag Archives: 1st chapter

Junction Part 2 – Novel Reading Written by Cody Schlegel

Watch the Performance Reading of JUNCTION PART 2:

Novel performed by actress Val Cole

Get to know writer Cody Schlegel:

What is your novel about?

Junction chronicles the aftermath of the death of a small town drug dealer, named Joey Sheeks. Joey was found naked and frozen in a woods not far from his home in rural Iowa, and even though the local law enforcement attribute his death to his tripping on acid, not everyone in the sleepy town shares this opinion. When Joey’s high school friend Zack Harmen “inherits” the business, suspicion falls on him. Then a local priest dies under strange circumstances, and a deputy vanishes without a trace. There’s no obvious connection to these incidents, but a handful of residents—including main character, Nick Harmen (Zack’s cousin)—believe Junction’s in the midst of a killing spree. It’s a tense, thriller, uncomfortable at times. And it’s not afraid to casually discuss topics that most people tend to tiptoe around in casual conversations. Issues pertaining to government corruption, media manipulation, PTSD, race relations in the US, and non-traditional spirituality play an intricate part, but at the same time don’t distract from a meaty story driven by strong characters.

Why should this novel be read by people?

It’s entertaining, and it’s constantly forcing the reader to need to know what happens next. Also, it captures a realistic look at the underbelly of small/rural town living. People from larger cities who have never lived in these smaller communities sometimes paint a picture in their minds of 21st century “Mayberry” like towns but a substantial amount of these small areas are littered with poverty, heroin/meth addiction, and extremely shady politics. The town that Junction is loosely based on has also proven to be a great place to get away with murder.

How would you describe this novel in two words?

Sans-graphic novel (I hope that counts).

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Home Alone. VHS.

How long have you been working on this novel?

The characters have been in my head for almost eight years. I had no idea that I’d one day put them in a book. They were originally developed for a television series, and I even wrote twelve episodes, but when the series didn’t get produced everything got shelved. When I started developing the storyline for Junction, I wondered to myself—what are those characters doing now that they’re all grown up (between the ages of 29-33). Once typing began, it took about five months, plus another two months of editing. So roughly seven years and seven months, even though I didn’t know I was working on a novel those first seven years.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Absolutely. If graphic novels count I have to go with Batman: Earth One Volume 1. If not—The Godfather.

What artist would you love to have dinner with?

He’s long dead, but I would love to break bread with Homer of ancient Greek fame.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Food. And not just that I love shoving it into my face, but actually growing food. I am a co-director for a non-profit that’s mission is to work gardening programs into schools so we can educate young people on how to grow their own food. Not only does it feel good for them to get their confidence level up, but also, what they’d be growing is good for them. And they’d know exactly what’s going into it—which is a growing concern these days with so many GMOs and pesticides in circulation.

What influenced you to enter the Novel Festival?

I was really just hoping for some feedback. I’ve submitted a couple of projects in the past, and have always been happy with what I heard back. You guys haven’t exactly liked everything I’ve done, but the feedback has always been phenomenal. It comes at you in such a way that points out troubled areas without being condescending.

Creativity can be a very sensitive animal and you guys always seem aware of that. You present your opinions in such a way that doesn’t discourage the writer. Had it not been for previous rejection and feedback of this very project, Junction would have never reached its full potential. So, thank you.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Know that this is what you were born to do. Don’t push your work onto your friends and family. They’ll be interested when they feel like being interested. Don’t be afraid of negative feedback—own it. Avoid sugar, especially pop and diet pop (or soda depending on where you live). It kills creativity. Do have fun, and don’t be afraid to step into the shoes of your characters—even if it does get you into a little trouble.

DEADLINE: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival.
http://www.wildsound.ca/book_contest.html

Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.

WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/novel_and_short_story_readings.html

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Today’s Writing Festival Deadlines: Screenplays (TV, Feature, 1st Scene), Novels and Poems

DEADLINE: Submit your best scene from your screenplay. Have it performed using professional actors:
http://www.wildsound.ca/submit_your_favorite_scene.html

WATCH the past best scene readings and see what happens when you submit:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/best_scene_readings.html

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Deadline: FIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL Get it performed at the festival. Full feedback
http://www.wildsound.ca/firstscenescreenplaycontest.html

– Submit the first stages of your film, get it performed at the festival, and get full feedback!

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DEADLINE TODAY: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival.
http://www.wildsound.ca/book_contest.html

Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.

WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/novel_and_short_story_readings.html

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Deadline: SUBMIT your NOVEL (both your 1st chapter or full novel accepted)
And we’ll make it into a MOVIE
http://www.wildsound.ca/audio_video_book.html

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Deadline: FEATURE Screenplay Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/screenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING Screenplay Readings – Watch videos of past winners performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/feature_script_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials from past submitters –
https://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/feature-screenplay-submission-testimonials-wildsound-screenplay-contest-review

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Deadline: TV PILOT/SPEC Script Festival – Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/tvscreenplaycontest.html

Watch WINNING TV PILOT Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_pilot_readings.html

Watch WINNING TV SPEC Screenplay Readings
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/tv_spec_readings.html

READ 100s of testimonials for past submitters –
TV Screenplay Testimonials from the WILDsound Festival

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Deadline: FREE POETRY Festival – Get poem made into a MOVIE and seen by 1000s. Three options to submit:
http://www.wildsound.ca/poetrycontest.html

WATCH this month’s poetry readings performed by professional actors:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/august_2015_poetry_readings.html

WILDsound Festival Review – Read Today’s Testimonials of Feature Screenplays, Novels, 1st Chapter,

Today’s WILDsound Festival Review Testimonials:

I would like to thank you for this excellent coverage.
– Ken Campbell, Feature Script Submission

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I appreciate the review and excellent comments/suggestions. I like them and will use them to make improvements in the story and in my technique. I am quite satisfied with the notes.
– Garry Rogers, Full Novel Submission

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Such good suggestions! Thank you so much for your review, I had no idea I’d receive this level of detail.
– Ann Philipp, 1st Chapter Submission

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Thank you. You provided excellent feedback.
– Michael Thompson, 1st Chapter Submission

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Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com

SHIELD OF THE PALIDINE – Chapter 1 by Barbara T Cerny

Watch the Reading of the Novel SHIELD OF THE PALIDINE:

Novel performed by actor Geoff Mays

Get to know writer Barbara T. Cerny:

1. What is your novel about?

Shield of the Palidine is the first book in what will be a series of four (The Palidine Series).

Accidently discovering a portal between Earth and Amorgos, Pierre and Elise find themselves surrounded by frightful creatures from beyond their imagination. Princess Elise d’Orleans, niece to King Louis XIII, is a spoiled brat used to having everyone cater to her every need. She hates Amorgos, hates the races of people populating Amorgos, and hates the fact that everyone believes she is their Redeemer, the One to free them from enslavement of their common enemy, the Asmodai. But most of all, she hates the fact that the only other human in Amorgos is a stinky peasant that doesn’t kowtow to her every whim.

Pierre Tonnelier, the village’s journeyman cooper, found an extraordinary necklace in the woods outside Chateau de Saint-Germain en Laye, a castle in the French countryside. He is forced to sell this unusual piece to pay off his father’s debts. At the chateau, the greedy princess buys his prized possession, but as soon as he clasps it around her neck, they land in Amorgos. What he didn’t contend with was the necklace, known as the Shield of the Palidine, taking him on a strange journey with an egotistical royal pain in the derriere.
Shield of the Palidine chronicles the journey of bratty Elise to the true Redeemer, of the peasant, Pierre, to a warrior of immense abilities, and their unbridled love, despite all the tensions of class, bigotry, and intolerance.

Why should this novel be read by anyone?

Just listen to Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite who gave Shield of the Palidine and its sequel, Magic Thief of Gavalos (pre-read), each 5 STARS: “Barbara T. Cerny has created a magical world that rivals that of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.” It has the highest rating of all my novels and was a finalist in The 2015 National Indie Excellence® Book Awards. It is fun, epic, and explains how the Greek Gods came to be, how witches came to be, and where all the mythical creatures went since they don’t live on Earth anymore. Plus, the snappy dialogue between the petulant princess, Elise, and her stinky paysan, Pierre, is plain entertaining.

How would you describe this story in one sentence?

What happens when you throw a spoiled French princess and a stinky peasant boy into the world of Greek Mythology? Chaos, intrigue, adventure, and love.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Lord of the Ring Series or Star Wars Series – both awesome. Although, I have seen Beaches a lot as well as Dirty Dancing. Maybe Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downy Jr. version)? Tough question…

How long have you been working on this novel?

About a year. The sequel, Magic Thief of Gavalos, also took about a year to write – however, the illustrations and the actual publication take up to two years. Nothing is fast in this business. I am currently working on the 3rd in the series, Book of the Arionon. I will probably finish the entire series in 2019 or 2020.

How many stories have you written?

My 6th novel and sequel to this one, Magic Thief of Gavalos, comes out in Sep 2015. I am nearly done with my 7th (modern murder mystery) and working on 8 (historical romance) & 9 (3rd in this series). I can’t figure out my true genre. I just write what the voices in my head tell me to!

What motivated you to write this novel?

My daughter. She wanted me to write something she would read. The historical romances were a bit much for her fifteen-year-old mind (ooooh, ick, mom, you have love scenes in these!) Shield of the Palidine is also a romance but is wrapped in a fantasy world she could love – she enjoys Lord of the Rings, Stargate SG-I, Firefly, Harry Potter, so I delved into her fantasy world.

What obstacles did you face to finish this novel?

Try keeping track of seventeen main characters that represent nineteen fantasy races (pixies, fairies, griffons, etc.) plus animals like yale and centicore. I had to refer to a list of characters constantly (included in the book for the reader). I also had to draw a reference of all their heights and sizes compared to each other for sizing. If a pixie had a conversation with a giant, what did that really look like since the pixie was 18 inches tall and the giant 15 feet tall! Also, my editor’s sister and first reader did not think the romance was believable to I tore it apart and revamped the romance. I was never so glad in my life to see a book leave my hands. So, I tortured myself by writing a sequel. I need my head examined (especially since I have outlined a prequel and a fourth in the series!)

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Dancing – I do ballroom and Czech folk dancing. I also perform in my daughter’s Nutcracker ballet every year in the party scene but luckily, we don’t do ballet!

What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I look for all opportunities to get the word out about my novels. I was thrilled to get the WILDsound Festival as all feedback is valuable to me. I actually have rewritten novel #3, Tressa, due to customer comments.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Never, ever give up and don’t listen to the naysayers. Write what is in your heart and you will be happy.

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DEADLINE: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival. FULL FEEDBACK. Get novel performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/book_contest.html

Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.

WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/novel_and_short_story_readings.html

PAGAN FLAMES – Chapter 1 Courage Under Fire by Vanayssa Somers

Watch the Chapter 1 Reading of COURAGE UNDER FIRE (from PAGAN FLAMES):

Reading performed by actor Geoff Mays

Get to know writer Vanayssa Somers:

1. What is your novel about?

This is the logline I submitted to describe my novel, PAGAN FLAMES.

“Arch-Wizard Faery Prince recruits an under-confident young orphan
girl for training in Shapeshifting, Time Travel, Quantum Mastery, all
to turn her into a super-hero who travels through time, saving lives
and bringing evil to its knees.”

A young orphan girl in 1480’s Majorca is living in a convent. A good
Catholic girl, she is recruited by a Wizard who travels Time looking for
suitable students to mentor into the Bright Arts. She proves a remarkable
student. However, the Spanish Inquisition finds out about her activities.
Soldiers come to drag her before the Grand Inquisitor. Her adventures begin,
leading her to a great leap toward self confidence, mature practice of her
Craft of Wizardry, and heroic actions to save lives from The Burning Times.

2. Why should this novel be read by anyone?

It captures the historic events of the Spanish Inquisition in a personal, up
close way, underlining the courage of those who were unjustly killed and the
heroic acts of a young girl who drew upon every skill her mentor had taught
her to fly to the aid of victims. In those days, as in our own time, the
truth is, we will always need brave heroes and heroines to battle evil on
all its many fronts.

3. How would you describe this story in one sentence?

This story is but one of millions of stories about heroic acts on behalf of
the underdog in all times and all locations. We love heroes.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Okay, I’ll admit it. “You’ve Got Mail.”

5. How long have you been working on this novel?

I wrote it over a period of eight months, and it was edited many times over,
of course, after that.

6. How many stories have you written?

Two novellas and two short stories.

7. What motivated you to write this novel?

Since I was a child, I have practiced as a psychic, using cards and tea
leaves mostly until my abilities developed further. When I became a Reiki
Master, a gift of Holographic reading arrived unexpectedly during a Reiki
healing. One of the readings channeled through me one day concerned a young
woman in ancient Europe who could shape-shift and move between matter and
energy with ease. The reading was vivid and unforgettable. Bearing in mind,
these movies are channeled to aid the sitter through a particular life event
they need help with. I claim no responsibility for explaining the content of
the movies, so I can’t claim certain knowledge of this ancient girl’s
ability to shape shift…it was given for a modern-day woman’s needs at that
time in her life.

The story gripped my imagination (of course), and for years I thought about
it and slowly a story emerged. One winter I had not a lot to do with the
rainy months, so I sat down and started writing this colorful dream onto
paper. When I submitted it to Solstice Publishing, they accepted it, sending
a contract by return mail. A thrill for me, to say the least.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this novel?

I fell in love with the lead character, a Wizard, and suffered awful
depression for weeks after the book was finally and fully finished. I’d lost
him forever, he was gone. For months I’d become immersed in this story and
almost lost contact with real life, buried in the events of The Burning
Times of 1483 Spain. Melchior, Arch Wizard, Prince of Faeries, honorable and
dedicated to his craft and his Faery people, had cast his spell and then
vanished, as Wizards are prone to do.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Animal rights, protection of the wilderness, great trees, flowers, angels
and divine justice. Also I like working out and staying healthy. Also love
romance. Love my friends.

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival? What were your
feelings on the initial feedback you received?

An email came into my Inbox one day about the festival, I was puzzled as to
what it was and went to look at the site. It seemed amazing, there was a
chance someone would read a chapter or even my logline out loud. I jump on
any chance for anyone to see my work, of course. The feedback was
encouraging and very kind, so what was the harm in trying?

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Well, it’s a good idea, if you submit a story and it doesn’t get snatched up
right away, after a few tries, put it up on the free e-book sites and see
how many thousands of downloads and how many five star ratings it gets.
Sometimes an editor might take note of a successful free e-book if it
garners enough attention. I’ve had some successes and some failures of
stories on the free sites, some are loved and some are ignored. But at
least…they get read. And that’s the main thing, right? For most of us.
Also, if you really believe in your book, don’t give up. The sun and moon
and planets all move on in their paths, and every now and then, you get
Jupiter lined up with Venus or something…never give up. Your turn comes
round eventually.

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DEADLINE: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival. FULL FEEDBACK. Get novel performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/book_contest.html

Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.

WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/novel_and_short_story_readings.html

NORTH HALL – Transcript of the Novel by Julian Lev

Watch the Transcript Reading of NORTH HALL:

Reading performed by actor Geoff Mays

Get to know writer Julian Lev:

1. What is your novel about?

North Hall is about a psychiatric Forensic Unit where sanity is determined before a criminal trial. The results of an assessment can be the difference between a defendant being sent for treatment or to prison, if convicted. Dr. Ligget, the psychologist who does the assessing, reserves his harshest judgment for himself. Physically and mentally scarred, his crime was being the sole survivor of a house fire that killed his family. His self-imposed sentence keeps him laboring in the cavernous halls alone, as an untouchable, until he is confronted by Jennifer Stanley, who is accused of murdering her son. Her beauty and ingenuous manner spark his hostility, yet are beguiling, drawing him out of himself only to get caught in wider, unexpected webs.

2. Why should this novel be read by anyone?

North Hall is an intrigue that takes the reader behind the locked doors of what are our most hidden institutions, those in which the concept of sanity is no longer abstract and in which both mental and physical punishment are exacted, holding a mirror up to our sense of fairness and morality. All the insanity that people have come to expect in their daily lives exists here, but under pressure of confinement with others who suffer with the burden of mental illness, some patients and some staff members. But, only the staff have keys! In this insane place, Ligget must make a near impossible decision about Jennifer’s sanity, only afterward to learn the whole truth is yet to be revealed.

3. How would you describe this story in one sentence?

NORTH HALL is the tomb-like setting where a forensic psychologist must determine whether an accused infanticide was criminally insane when she murdered her son without submitting to her beauty, her seeming innocence, or her wiles.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

The Seven Samurai

5. How long have you been working on this novel?

I knew I was writing a novel in 2001, months prior to 9/11. As long as three years prior to that I played with plot points and some bad characters, but without serious intent to bring anything written to completion. So, somewhere between 14 and 17 years.

6. How many stories have you written?

Very few. Especially since North Hall, I won’t write anything serious, even comedy, unless there is a strong impulse to write, I have enough time to devote all my attention to it, and I find the writing worthy of my own interest; and, like Ligget, I am a harsh self-critic. Professionally, I write reports daily as a psychologist, have a blog on psychology, psychsurvivalist.com, and have a children’s book to be found at xpsychforkids.com. To me, all my writing is narrative and helps to keep my hand in the process of writing.

7. What motivated you to write this novel?

I first conceived of this story around the time that a series of murders by mothers of their children made headlines. Having trained and worked in forensics, it seemed to me that the media were staging what amounted to morality plays with extremely poor representations of the women-perpetrators and even less of an awareness of what happens to them after they are arrested. The real drama doesn’t occur before the cameras and the public, but behind locked doors. Those events make a far better story that is more nuanced and complex. This is the stuff I like to read myself.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this novel?

Even before I started writing, I had staged the murder in the opening scene and it stayed that way until the last draft. It was in response to a Wild Sound review that I started to recognize that, with an opening scene that was so riveting, the rest of the writing had to reach an impossibly high bar to keep readers’ attention. I imagined that, like Wild Sound reviewers, an agent would say, with such a strong beginning, how come the story seems so flat? But, it wasn’t flat except in the context of having witnessed the murder of a child, an image that is impossible to erase and that out-weighs everything that follows. The final rewrite brought my hero to center stage where he belonged. This only took me some 14 years to recognize. It was a huge obstacle.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am passionate about my field, psychology, and feel that Freud did the world a disservice because the practice of psychology is not so much about medicine, but about narrative. This is where writing and psychology really meet. Our individual lives are largely made up of stories we tell about ourselves, both to ourselves and to others. Narrative is a constant in our daily lives and throughout history. It rightfully deserves to be taken back to the Greeks and still earlier, when tales were not simply entertainment, but had to be meaningful to the audience in practical ways to promote survival.

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Festival? What were your
feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I was quickly interested in the thought of having my story read by an actor. That intriqued me. I entered twice and found it curious that the first submission which was sent back after a week and a half included a review that had a lot of praise in it.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

In the current market, I would suggest that people just write their soul. I still don’t know that my effort will get anywhere, because it is clear to me that the world of publishing is more about markets and selling than about art and narrative. Add to that the large number of judges, who are editors and agents, each with their own tastes, who will be judging the story you have labored on for what might amount to many years. Or else, just write formula if it pleases you. That might sell just as well or even better.

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DEADLINE: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival. FULL FEEDBACK. Get novel performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/book_contest.html

Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.

WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/novel_and_short_story_readings.html

DEADLINE May 31st: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival. (Or, we’ll turn your novel into a movie!)

DEADLINE May 31st: 1st CHAPTER/FULL NOVEL Festival. FULL FEEDBACK. Get novel performed by professional actors
http://www.wildsound.ca/book_contest.html

Get your story performed at the Writing Festival. FULL FEEDBACK on all entries.

WATCH the Recent Winning Short Story/1st Chapter Readings:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/novel_and_short_story_readings.html

Deadline May 31st: SUBMIT your NOVEL (both your 1st chapter or full novel accepted)
And we’ll make it into a MOVIE
http://www.wildsound.ca/audio_video_book.html

Watch Recent Novel Performance Readings:

Novel Prologue: DISTURBED
May 2015 Reading
Written by Suzanne Wilson
https://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2015/05/25/watch-novel-prologue-reading-of-disturbed-by-suzanne-wilson/

1st Chapter: CONCEPTION OF A DIALYSIS
May 2015 Reading
Written by Fayton Hollington
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/conception_of_a_dialysis_patient.html

1st Chapter: THE SZGANY CHRONICLES
May 2015 Reading
Written by David John Roberts III
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_szgany_chronicles.html

Watch NOVEL made into a Feature Film – Sandro’s Notebook
An historical/adventure series of a man’s travels through Africa in the mid-1900s