Although there are still a few hours to go on my Kickstarter and Go Fund Me projects for Father of The Grooms, both appeals have met their initial goals. These efforts were made to publicize my Father of The Grooms novel, screenplay and movie project to a wider audience than I could reach with my social media contacts. Those who joined will receive copies of the book chapters as I write them, in the manner of Charles Dickens, Doyle and other 19th Century writers who published their books serially in the world’s newspapers. It seems strange now, but in the 1840’s the front page of a newspaper might feature the next installment of one of some famous author’s stories. This way buyers of the papers would know that they had something they wanted to read in every issue. Is this a potential business model for for some of today’s struggling newspapers? If so, contact me, and I will make a publication arrangement with the newspaper.
Those who want to sign up to receive the book chapters as I write them, have the opportunity to comment on them and receive a credit in the book for significant content can join at any time by going to http://www.hoveysmith.com and making a $20 donation using the Pay Pal button. They might also go to Kickstarter or Go Fund Me and get in on the last few minutes or hours of the campaign.
I have produced a series of videos based on my fact-gathering trip to Silicy and these are now up on the Hovey Smith You Tube Channel. Some are about segments of my trip and I have another, “The Volcanic Nature of Sicilian Food and Wine, ” for those who are particularly interested in local culture and eats. The trip was interesting, extremely informative, allowed me to gather some olive wood for a knife that I will be building and gave me many insights into the culture that I would not have otherwise obtained.
Our tour group visited Mt. Etna the week before it erupted, so I was glad to have been able to make the trip before the mountain was closed. Mt. Etna is the largest volcano in Europe is located between two continental plates and is more or less continuously active. As volcanoes go, it is well behaved. Although its flows may engulf entire villages, they are slow moving. A caution is not to attempt to grill meat using the red hot rocks of the flows. The meat cooks fine, but it picked up sufficient toxic substances from the off-gassing lava that it killed the four people who consumed it. As a geologist, I am interested in which gasses and what toxins, but I don’t presently have that information. Generally these volcanic gases contain sulfur and chlorine compounds along with heavy metals like arsenic, antimony, mercury, lead, etc. none of which are recommended for human consumption.
My next step will be to build a dagger a flame-shaped blade that is inspired by an ancient bronze dagger used by one of Sicily’s earliest cultures some 3,000 years ago. This dagger plays a significant part in the story as it is used by Luigi, The Claw, who is an aging mob enforcer brought out of retirement after the first and second in command of the Mafia are arrested. As a boy he fought against the Germans during World War II and lost his left hand during a bomb explosion. He was hired by American archaeologists who were doing salvage work on the island after the war and taught to paint scenes and objects that they were recovering and restoring. During that time he learned of the earliest Sicilians and came to believe that he was descended from those who underwent 17 different conquests. As such he felt that he was a protector of Sicilian culture and had one of these historic styles of daggers built of modern steel to use as a weapon of intimidation. This dagger has multiple uses in the movie and in promotional materials for the project. It will have a flame-shaped blade like a kris, a grip of olive wood, design elements taken from the culture that used it and a practical fighting-knife grip appropriate for the period.
Next week I will start writing to book chapters and those who signed up for the project will start getting them in e-mail boxes in about two weeks. Many thanks to those who supported the project.