Author and Filmmaker: Stephen Zimmer
Rayden Valkyrie Celebration
August 16-23, 2017About the author: Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), and the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk). Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot. Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.
Book Synopsis for Thunder Horizon: A deadly menace stalks the shadows of the lands to the north, stirring the winds of war. Farther south, the power of the Teveren Empire spreads with every passing day, empowered by dark sorcery. Formidable legions bent on conquest are on the march, slavery and subjugation following in their wake. Within the rising maelstrom, Rayden Valkyrie has returned to the Gessa, to stand with the tribe that once took her into their care as a child. No amount of jewels or coin can sway her, nor can the great power of her adversaries intimidate her. With a sword blade in her right hand and axe in her left, Rayden confronts foes both supernatural and of flesh and blood. Horrific revelations and tremendous risks loom; some that will see Rayden's survival in the gravest of peril. Even if Rayden and the Gessa survive the trials plaguing their lands, the thunder of an even darker storm booms across the far horizon. Thunder Horizon is the second book in the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy. Book Synopsis for Heart of a Lion: Rayden Valkyrie. She walks alone, serving no king, emperor, or master. Forged in the fires of tragedy, she has no place she truly calls home. A deadly warrior wielding both blade and axe, Rayden is the bane of the wicked and corrupt. To many others, she is the most loyal and dedicated of friends, an ally who is unyielding in the most dangerous of circumstances. The people of the far southern lands she has just aided claim that she has the heart of a lion. For Rayden, a long journey to the lands of the far northern tribes who adopted her as a child beckons, with an ocean lying in between. Her path will lead her once more into the center of a maelstrom, one involving a rising empire that is said to be making use of the darkest kinds of sorcery to grow its power. Making new friends and discoveries amid tremendous peril, Rayden makes her way to the north. Monstrous beasts, supernatural powers, and the bloody specter of war have been a part of her world for a long time and this journey will be no different. Rayden chooses the battles that she will fight, whether she takes up the cause of one individual or an entire people. Both friends and enemies alike will swiftly learn that the people of the far southern lands spoke truly. Rayden Valkyrie has the heart of a lion. Heart of a Lion is Book One of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy. Teaser Trailer Link for Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7w_UI_RCg4&t=34s Teaser Trailer for Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart: TV Pilot
The Biggest Stars of An Indie Film or TV Production
Small budget productions are very difficult challenges. They do not involve the small armies and deep resources of major independent. Hollywood, and network-supported projects. During the course of a small budgetg project, many of the individuals involved will come to wear a large number of hats, and this is the area where the true stars of a production shine through.
The Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot project had several such stars. Today I am going to highlight two of them as examples; Eric (known affectionately to all who know him as The Colonel) and Kylie Jude of Frozen Creek Studios, who have been steadfast in their encouragement, support, involvement, and positive energy all throughout the process from the inception to the current post-production phase.
An indie production is anything but glamorous, and a look at the hats worn by each of them during our June production period illustrates this clearly. Though the weather was hot on several of the days, they both soldiered through upbeat, and with smiles, while tackling a number of laborious areas.
Both of them came in a couple of days early and stayed a couple of days after the production wrapped, to assist with the myriad of tasks involved in the setup and tear down/cleanup of elements for the production. This involved props, all manner of supplies, readying a core base camp we worked off of, and much more. These kinds of days alone are exhausting, and we haven't even gotten to the main body of the production schedule in this discussion yet.
During the production itself, Eric and Kylie, like myself, had one goal in mind. Do whatever had to be done to see to the needs of the production so that it had the best chance of finishing on schedule.
Though a producer on the project, Eric pushed carts down Wal-Mart aisles on more than one occasion to load up on bottled water and snacks for the craft services area for the cast and crew. This involved carloads, as hundreds upon hundreds of bottles of water were required to deal with the summer heat in our exterior locations.
When an extra boom operator was needed early in the schedule, Eric stepped forward to do it. When a driver was needed for several days involving our primary transport ATV vehicle, Eric stepped forward to do it. When an extra was having difficulty with the needs for a fight scene with one of our ensemble cast members, Eric stepped forward to do it, enduring a very physically demanding scene! When some modifications had to be done to some terrain on a shooting site, Eric helped. When we needed assistance accompanying cast members back to the airport, Eric was there to help.
Quite simply, he helped wherever he could help, and the fact that he was a producer did not get in the way of diving in where there was a need.
Kylie exhibited a similar spirit. When our costume designer Timothy Shackleford needed a solid assistant to help ready cast members each day, Kylie was there. When we needed a smaller stature Dweller (a humanoid race seen in the Pilot episode) to be in a fight scene involving the character Hallad (played by John Wells), Kylie enthusiastically took on the part. When a prop piece needed to be constructed for one of the pivotal scenes in the pilot episode, Kylie burned the midnight oil to help construct it.
All the while, Kylie kept her eyes on the production and making notes for her post-production work as the editor and music supervisor.
In my eyes, it is the individuals like Eric and Kylie Jude who are the superstars of an indie project. Without people like them, the chances of getting through each day successfully shrink. They demonstrated a “can-do” spirit day in and day out and helped pull off many small miracles, which helped to the production overcome bumps and obstacles and keep moving on course.
We finished our production on schedule back in June, in no small part to the participation of individuals such as Kylie and Eric Jude of Frozen Creek Studios. There are certainly several others to spotlight in this manner with our production, but I wanted to use these two exceptionally talented individuals as prime examples of what is necessary to make things happen!
Eric and Kylie are, without a doubt, Rayden Strong, and I raise a glass of bourbon to toast both of them!
Tour Schedule and Activities
8/16 The Temple of the Exploding Head Guest Post
8/16 The Page Turner Guest Post
8/16 BOOKS TO CURL UP WITH Author Interview
8/16 Bookishly me Author Interview
8/16 DarWrites Guest Post 8/16 Sheila's Guests and Reviews Guest Post
8/16 Sapphyria's Books Guest Post
8/16 Deal Sharing Aunt Top Ten's List 8/17 DarWrites Review
8/17 Bookin Around Town Author Interview/Podcast
8/17 Full Moon Bites Character Interview
8/18 BOOKS TO CURL UP WITH Review 8/18 The Sinister Scribblings of Sarah E. Glenn Top Ten's List
8/18 I Smell Sheep Guest Post
8/19 Paranormal Pleasures Review 8/19 The Page Turner Review
8/19 Bella's Book Reviews Review 8/19 Jeni's Bookshelf Guest Post
8/20 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! Guest Post
8/20 The Seventh Star Blog
Guest Post 8/20 Stuart Thaman Books Guest Post
8/21 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape Author Interview
8/21 SpecMusicMuse Author Interview
8/21 Jordan Hirsch Review 8/22 Beauty in Ruins Guest Post
8/22 Discover New Authors Author Interview
8/22 Butterfly's Booknerdia Blog Review
8/23 The Occult Detective Review 8/23 Bookishly me Review
8/23 Jeni's Bookshelf Review
8/23 Jorie Loves a Story Interview
8/23 Readers Life With Trisha Ratliff Review
Amazon.com Links for Thunder Horizon: Kindle Version https://www.amazon.com/Thunder-Horizon-Dark-Dawn-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZZ7JT56/ Print Version https://www.amazon.com/Thunder-Horizon-Dark-Dawn-Trilogy/dp/1941706576/ Barnes and Noble Link for Thunder Horizon: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thunder-horizon-stephen-zimmer/1126268394?ean=9781941706572 Amazon.com Links for Heart of a Lion: Kindle Version https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Lion-Dark-Dawn-Book-ebook/dp/B00T44R6LE/ Print Version https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Lion-Stephen-Zimmer/dp/1941706215/ Barnes and Noble Link for Heart of a Lion: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-a-lion-stephen-zimmer/1121113044?ean=9781941706213