Tremors 3

Win a copy of Charlotte Stewart’s new autobiography

Win a copy of Charlotte Stewart’s new autobiography

It was back in early 2013 that I interviewed actress Charlotte Stewart for Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors – she told me her thoughts on filming Tremors and returning for Tremors 3 and I thought I’d uncovered most of her best stories.

As I discovered in her new autobiography, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes that few people knew about.

charlottebookcoverIn Little House in the Hollywood Hills: A Bad Girl’s Guide to Becoming Miss Beadle, Mary X and Me, Charlotte takes readers back to her formative years, introducing us to her family and the events leading up to her introduction to the world of acting.

Charlotte’s early career found her working under the direction of David Lynch for his 1977 film, Eraserhead, though it took a number of years to reach the big screen, during which time took on numerous bit parts in shows such as Mannix and The Waltons before winning the role of Miss Beadle in the hit TV drama, Little House on the Prairie.

So far, so Hollywood success story.

But where the book gets really interesting is Charlotte’s revelations about her life between the casting calls, including the romantic encounters with various leading men, the joy of living in Los Angeles during the time of free love and the resulting dramas that were darker than anything in the TV series she starred in. More

Read Seeking Perfection’s first chapter!

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Want to get a taster of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors before you buy the book? More

Review: Seeking Perfection signing at LA’s Creature Features

Outside Creature Features

It was almost two weeks ago that I made my second 2015 visit to Los Angeles for Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors, this time for a signing at the city’s Creature Features store on Sunday October 25th.

Arriving at Creature Features

While my first visit was to celebrate Tremors‘ 25th anniversary in the cinema ahead of the book’s publication, this time I actually had finished copies to sign.

Display of Seeking Perfection

I had just over 6 weeks to prepare for the event and I decided to invite along as many people as I could from the original franchise produced by Stampede Entertainment – Tremors 1 to 4 and the TV series.

The first people to say yes were co-creators and writers, S.S. Wilson and Brent Maddock, along with director Ron Underwood and actor Robert “Melvin” Jayne.

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LA Tremors book signing on October 25th

CFsigning

It’s been six months since my last trip to LA, when I attended the fantastic 25th anniversary screening of Tremors in the company of many cast and crew…and now I’m about to head back.

I’ve been invited by the guys at Creature Features in LA (who organised the March screening) to attend a special signing of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors on Sunday October 25th between 1pm and 3pm at the Burbank store, in the company of many cast and crew from the Tremors franchise, kicking off with writers SS Wilson and Brent Maddock, director Ron Underwood and Melvin himself, Robert Jayne!

There’ll also be a few more guests announced in the coming weeks (see below for updates), hopefully including someone from every version of the films and TV series, so keep an eye on this blog, Facebook, Twitter and Creature Features’ Facebook page for updates.

There’s also more information on the Creature Features website, where you can pre-order signed copies of the book – please note that only books pre-ordered and picked up on the day OR bought in the store on the day can be signed.

This is likely to be the largest gathering of cast and crew from the Tremors universe ever assembled, making it very much a once in a lifetime event for fans.

September 23 update! I’m now delighted to announce that actors Shawn Christian (Desert Jack Sawyer, Tremors 3: Back to Perfection), Victor Browne (Tyler Reed, Tremors: The Series) and Gladise Jimenez (Rosalita, Tremors: The Series) will be attending the event, along with Tremors 3‘s casting director, Craig Campobasso, and illustrator Donn Greer, who was behind the original Tremors poster designs that can be found in the book. More guests soon to be announced!

See you in October!

Buy Seeking Perfection and win a Tremors tee

Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors has been out just a few days, and I’m happy to say the response has been positive:

As a thank you to everyone who’s bought the book, which covers the history of the Tremors franchise in its 25th anniversary year, I’ve teamed up with the guys over at Nerdoh Clothing to offer a fantastic giveaway of a t-shirt that should be in the wardrobe of any self-respecting Tremors fan.

The Walter Chang tee is a fine tribute to the owner of Perfection’s Market, and it usually retails for around the £17/$26 mark on the Nerdoh website (I should know, I bought one myself last year).

Walter-Chang

To be in with the chance of owning one of these beauties, simply purchase a copy of Seeking Perfection, paperback or ebook, and forward the proof of purchase email to me at tremorsguide@gmail.com before midnight on Friday 21 August (that’s UK time).

That’s it.

I’ll randomly choose three names from Burt Gummer’s Atlanta Hawks cap and they’ll each receive one of Nerdoh’s Tremors tees. Just remember to send the size you’d like to receive and your postal address, wherever that is around the globe.

Thanks to Nerdoh for their support of the book!

Please note: this competition is now closed, but keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter for more giveaways.

Seeking Perfection is out now from the following retailers, with more being added all the time (signed copies aren’t available yet, but I’ll make them available soon and offer signed bookplates for anyone who’d like to affix one to the interior of a book they buy now):

Visit the Buy the Book section to view the current list of retailers.

Follow Seeking Perfection on Twitter and Facebook. Follow author Jonathan Melville on Twitter at @jon_melville.

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Seeking Perfection is out now

Creature with Kevin and Fred2

Roughly four-and-a-half years since I carried out the first interview for what would ultimately become Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors, the book is finally available to buy.

It’s been a long and hugely entertaining journey, one filled with dozens of Skype interviews between Scotland and Los Angeles at odd hours of the day and night with fascinating people. Throw in a trip to Los Angeles and many 100s of hours spent writing and editing, and there’s been little time off, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

As of today, Wednesday 22 July, Seeking Perfection is available from Amazon in the US and UK, and it will be available from all versions of the store in the next day or so.

It’s also available for pre-order from stores such as Apple iTunes and Barnes & Noble, but it’ll be live from tomorrow. More online retailers will be stocking it in the coming days and it’ll be available to order from brick and mortar bookstores (there are still a few out there) in the next few weeks.

Some people have asked about signed copies – while I can’t offer those yet, I will sell them in the next month or so. I’ll also offer a signed bookplate option for those who’d like to order the paperback now – the bookplate can be affixed to the interior later on.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading the book I set out to right and you’ll discover some new things about the Tremors films and TV show. If you enjoy the book, please tell your friends and family and feel free to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads – every review helps other Tremors fans discover the book.

I’ve still got lots to share about the book here and on Facebook, so stay tuned for a few surprises and exclusives that didn’t make it to print.

And if you enjoy the book, let me know on here or as a review on Amazon. Also, keep your proof of purchase emails as I’ll be running a giveaway in the next few days for everyone who buys the book!

Plus, look out for some book signings here in the UK in the coming months – I’m also more than happy to discuss signings around the globe and to discuss the book and the films in the press, so feel free to get in touch!

Visit the Buy the Book section to view the current list of retailers.

Seeking Perfection release date and free chapter!

It’s been just over four years since I carried out the first interview (with Tremors co-creator/writer S.S. Wilson) for what would become Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors and now, 54 interviews later, the book is almost ready to enter the world.

After much writing, editing, more writing, a bit more editing, spellchecking, correcting and a bit more editing, Seeking Perfection is 304 pages of stories from behind the scenes of the Tremors franchise, featuring first-hand recollections from the boardrooms, sets and editing suites of each film and the TV series.

I’ve spoken to various members of the cast and crew from the original film – including Michael Gross, (Burt Gummer), Reba McEntire (Heather Gummer), Ariana Richards (Mindy Sterngood), Charlotte Stewart (Nancy Sterngood), Tony Genaro (Miguel) and Robert Jayne (Melvin), plus director Ron Underwood, writers S.S. Wilson & Brent Maddock, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd and monster creators Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jnr – plus dozens of the people associated with the sequels and TV show.

I’m also excited to announce that the final interview I secured was with Mr Kevin Bacon, who took time to discuss his memories of getting the script, travelling to the set in Lone Pine, working in the desert, why he didn’t return for Tremors 2: Aftershocks and his thoughts on the film after 25 years.

There are also photos from the Tremors set that have never been published before, sketches from the poster designs and excerpts from the storyboards, and much more. Oh, and a foreword from ol’ Burt Gummer himself, Michael Gross.

The book will be published on 23 July 2015 (price TBC) in paperback and ebook, initially from Amazon in all territories around the globe where that site exists. It will then roll out to other online stores and will be available to order from all good bookstores – it won’t be available for pre-order, but will instead magically appear on Amazon on the day of release.

Here’s a look at the final front cover:

SeekingPerfectionlorescoverJuly2015

Free chapter

Ahead of the release, I’m pleased to offer a download of the book’s first chapter to everyone who has subscribed to this blog and to anyone who subscribes to the blog via the box below between now and the publication date.

I’ll send you a copy of the chapter within 24 hours of this email, then another email on the day of release with links to where you can buy the book. After that you’ll only receive emails when new blog posts are published.

In the meantime, please feel free to let your friends, colleagues and family know that the book will be released on 23 July 2015 and if you’re interested in perhaps receiving a free copy of the book in the next week or so in exchange for a review on release of the book on Amazon or Goodreads, please email me at tremorsguide@gmail.com and let me know! I can’t guarantee a copy for everyone,

Finally, thank you for being part of this journey. From my perspective, as fan of the franchise for almost 25 years, Seeking Perfection is the book I wanted to read and the book I set out to write. I hope you enjoy it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Until 23 July, keep watching the ground!

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The Projection Booth discusses Tremors

The Projection Booth discusses Tremors

I’ve been a fan of The Projection Booth podcast for a few years now, a show that picks a random film each week and dissects it through discussion between its hosts, Mike White and Rob St. Mary, various co-hosts and usually somebody who’s either worked on said film or know a bit about its production.

I was honoured last year when I was invited on to discuss the Tremors franchise with Mike and Rob, at a time when I was fully expecting Seeking Perfection to be in the shops. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the sudden announcement of Tremors 5 has thrown that plan into disarray, but the guys at the Projection Booth wanted to celebrate Tremors’ 25th anniversary and were still happy to let me chat all things Graboid for over an hour.

They also interviewed Tremors co-creator/writer, SS Wilson, and director, Ron Underwood, unearthing some facts about the two men that even I didn’t know and causing Ron to mention an actor considered for the role of Earl that he failed to mention during our various conversations…

Please head over to the Projection Booth website to download the episode, and if you listen to it on iTunes perhaps leave the guys a rating as a small thank you for their hard work and enthusiasm.

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Seeking Perfection: December 2014 update

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this blog post, a day that I had hoped would find Tremors fans around the globe eagerly awaiting their copy of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors in their stocking tomorrow morning.

Sadly, my plans for a December 2014 publication date were foiled by a few factors that I’ll try to summarise here.

Although I’d heard rumblings of a fifth Tremors film earlier in the year, nothing was confirmed until October, meaning I rapidly had to rewrite the book’s ending to incorporate what we knew about the sequel. On top of that, I underestimated the amount of editing required: I’ve had a few editors read through the book, each of them asking questions about parts of the text or noting spelling mistakes.

All of this is part and parcel of writing a book, but I’m pleased to say that it’s now almost complete, bar a few final tweaks and the addition of photographs, which I’m now working on.

Rather than give another estimated publication date, I’m just going to say that the book won’t be released in the first few months of 2015 but that I hope to announce something in late January. While I wanted the book to be out for the “official” anniversary date of 19 January (the date in 1990 that Tremors was released in US cinemas), I’d rather not rush it. Fans have waited this long for a complete history of the franchise, hopefully another few months won’t be too much of a problem.

In the meantime, I’ve heard about a number of exciting ways the 25th anniversary will be celebrated in print, video and audio in 2015, and I’ll be publishing blog posts throughout next year to help spread the word.

I’ll also publish more podcasts featuring updates on the book and the Tremors universe, while snippets of my interviews featured in the book will be included.

Finally, here’s an early Christmas present, some never-before-published behind the scenes photos from the set of Tremors in 1989. The first was taken by actress Charlotte Stewart (Nancy) and shows her and Kevin Bacon between takes.

Copyright Charlotte Stewart

The second photo comes from production designer Ivo Cristante, and shows an early stage in the building of Burt and Heather Gummer’s home.

Copyright Ivo Cristante

Copyright Ivo Cristante

Have a fantastic Christmas and a Tremors-filled 2015!

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TremorsCast 5: Ariana Richards

Episode five of the TremorsCast is now online and in iTunes:  this time you’ll hear some audio from my interview with actress Ariana Richards, Mindy in Tremors and Tremors 3: Back to Perfection and also one of the stars of Jurassic Park.

The book’s manuscript continues to come together, though there’s still a way to go before it’s ready for its December publication date. There are still some interviews to carry out for the TV series and there’s been a lot of fact checking going on lately. It’s looking like the first film will make up the bulk of the book, around a quarter of it, and the rest will be devoted to the sequels and TV series.

Last month found Tremors being discussed by the UK’s Hammered Horror podcast and they kindly invited me on to discuss the Tremors franchise and the upcoming book. I’m not sure if I made much sense, but if you want to hear a fun take on the Tremors movies, have a listen to their podcast.

Elsewhere, Burt Gummer himself, Michael Gross, recently took to Twitter and Facebook to share photos from his various films and TV series and to offer news on upcoming projects. Fans of the Tremors TV show can also find Rosalita, aka actress Gladise Jimenez, on Facebook and Twitter.

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