1. I’m no numerologist, but time and again, 14 keeps cropping up in my life events. I was born on Jan. 14. My lovely wife’s birthday is also on the 14th. We met on the 14th and wed on the 14th. Next month (yes, Valentine’s Day) will mark our 28th anniversary, or 2×14 in 2014! I’m a lucky guy.
2. Those who have read Vendetta Stone know faith and the Baptist Church play major roles in the story. Like me, protagonist Jackson Stone is a Christian. But his vow of vengeance is certainly not a Christian attitude, and how he reconciles the two is an underlying theme in the book. The number 14 plays no role in my book, but in doing a little research about the Baptist faith, I learned that 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the unification of Baptists in America. According to a 1979 article by Robert Baker posted on the Baptist History & Heritage website, on May 18, 1814, thirty-three representatives of Baptists in America gathered in Philadelphia to form a foreign mission society called the General Missionary Convention. This formation of the first of three national Baptist societies was known as the Triennial Convention because they met every three years.
3. According to the Chinese zodiac, 2014 is the Year of the Horse. The first line of Vendetta Stone? Angela Stone was Pure Palomino.
4. Vendetta Stone seems to be picking up steam, even starting to find an international audience. Quite a few books have sold via Amazon and Kindle in the United Kingdom and Europe. So far, I am involved in 14 book-related events scheduled for 2014, the next being a signing event at Hastings Bookstore in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on February 1. Then it’s the Franklin Art Crawl on Feb. 7. Local authors set up shop at Merridees. I participated in the first one of the new year on Jan. 3 (see photo by fellow author Kathy Rhodes). Not a big crowd, but I enjoyed talking to a few people and discussing craft of writing with fellow authors. I will also be participating in events in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and Kentucky in the first half of 2014. If you know of an event I should attend or would like me to appear in your area, contact me and I will do my best to make it happen. Check the calendar on this page for upcoming events, but I expect big things to take place in 2014.
5. Some of my favorite athletes have worn 14, including auto racer Tony Stewart, NBA stars Oscar Robertson and Bob Cousy, NFL quarterbacks Y.A. Tittle and Dan Fouts and baseball Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Jim Rice. Banned star Pete Rose also wore No. 14. In-state athletes who have worn 14 include the late Steve McNair of the Titans, Jordin Tootoo of the Predators, Eric Berry of the Tennessee Vols and David Price of the Vanderbilt Commodores. Price’s Twitter handle is DAVIDPrice14 and he also incorporates the number in the name of his foundation ProjectOneFour.
6. 14 is the number of (1) lines in a sonnet, (2) pounds in a stone in British weights and (3) days in a fortnight. I share the birthdate of Jan. 14 with Nobel Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer, movie stars Faye Dunaway, LL Cool J and Jason Bateman, TV commentator Andy Rooney and award-winning music producer T Bone Burnett. I would love to meet and/or work with T Bone someday. He is married to Callie Khouri, the creator of ‘Nashville‘. I have been an extra on ‘Nashville’ numerous times and look forward to more in 2014 (just got my first booking!). The first movie in which I appeared as an extra is also due out in 2014. ‘The Identical‘ stars Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd and marks the debut of singer/actor Blake Rayne. We shot it in the fall of 2012 throughout Middle Tennessee and its scheduled release is April 6, according to IMDB.
7. Speaking of movies, at this writing I would guess that I am about 14 days away from completing a first-draft screenplay for Vendetta Stone. Will it sell in 2014? I’m going to try to get it into the hands of some major players who could make it happen. Stay tuned on that one. I’m also working on the sequel to Vendetta Stone and would like to have it out this year, so I better get back to writing. See you next month.
Thanks for reading,