Thursday, December 04, 2008

Revenge of the beast - an Alan Smithy film

This past weekend I made a mockumentary film, entitled "Revenge of The Beast, An Alan Smithy Film". Along with a group of friends we shot this no budget production using my new Canon Vixia HF100, a hi-def video camera. The level of adrenaline and humor on set was high and the performances were top notch. We ended up with something subtly amusing, which is what we were aiming for. We're entering it in the YouTube/Sundance Film Festival, Project:Direct 2009 contest (You can watch it in the YouTube player below).








On another note, this week I heard from my publisher that they're putting out the press releases soon, and I now have the official release date for A Silent Violence of January 17th, 2009. I'm hoping to do a book release at the Coles bookstore here in Courtenay, once it's added to the Chapters catalog.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Better World Books

I just found out that the bookstore, Better World Books is selling, A Silent Violence. They're much more than a bookstore though. They're partnering with literacy programs which help struggling areas of North America and the developing world. Half of their profits go towards these types of charities. So if you're planning on buying my book, why not purchase it from Better World Books, and give to a non-profit cause for children at the same time. Check out Better World Books for yourself and see some of the unique initiatives they have going in Africa, and other places or watch the video below:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yesterday Thirty Thousand Children Died from Preventable Causes

"Today almost thirty thousand children will die from preventable causes, including, malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS. Tomorrow just as many will perish. This tragic fact inspired author Rob Sargeant to write his latest book, A Silent Violence. He wanted to give these children a voice, in a world that seems to ignore this catastrophe.

Author Rob Sargeant wrote parts of his new book, A Silent Violence, while serving with the Canadian Armed Forces in some of the harshest climates on the planet: from freezing Alert, in Nunavut Territory, to the sweltering hot deserts of Southwest Asia. He wrote the first draft over a two-year period between 2005-2007, and spent another year in rewrites.

“The story has a very international flavor, so being in the contrasting climates of the Arctic and a desert in Southwest Asia while writing definitely helped,” Sargeant says. “It gave the story more authenticity.”

Relative to this time and generation, A Silent Violence, is a fictional tale about an Irish rock star, Liam, who mails out over a hundred invitations to some of the richest and poorest people on the world, inviting them to attend an all-expenses-paid, secret banquet in Toronto. By doing this, he inadvertently sparks the interest of the CIA, and an ambitious surveillance expert, Brad Jones, is dispatched to investigate this strange get-together, to discover why the meeting is surrounded by so much secrecy. He and his sub-agents monitor the movements of the guests, which include an AIDS orphan from the Philippines, a Tanzanian young man, a famous Italian opera singer, a Texas oil tycoon, an aging Hollywood actress, and a billionaire American computer software genius. After learning the truth, Brad has to decide if he will release it to the rest of the world in an exclusive news story, or if he will keep it a secret, and walk away a less wealthy, but much better person.

“A considerable amount of time was spent in research, before a first draft was completed, because I had to find out where these characters came from, how they would talk,” Sargeant said. “I was inspired to write this after a conversation I had with my younger brother, John, about the fact that every day thirty thousand people in the developing world perish from preventable causes, including malaria, AIDS, and malnutrition,” he continued. “This is a catastrophe that is rarely reported by the media, that’s why the book is entitled, A Silent Violence.”

A Silent Violence (ISBN-13: 9781607034827) is now available for purchase from Barnes & Noble’s online bookstore, and will be added to the catalogs of most booksellers, for ordering in the coming weeks."

This was my latest press release. Comments? Suggestions?

Monday, November 17, 2008

XO Laptop Give One Get One Campaign

This summer I took my XO Laptop, received earlier this year through the Give-One-Get-One campaign, on a camping and kayaking trip along the west coast of Canada. I was doing some research for a book that I'm writing. The laptop held up well in the hot and moist conditions. While on the shoreline, one time I was able to pick-up the internet, with its built in WIFI. There must have been a house nearby with unsecured access. I used it in internet cafes on Vancouver Island too, without any problems (the video processor is slow when it comes to watching YouTube, etc). For the children in the developing world this will be some amazing educational tool. The Sugar environment is very user friendly, and the Journal application keeps track of all activities, so it's easy to go back and make changes. The XO comes equipped with an SDHC slot, so memory can be expanded from 2-16 gigs if you so desire, but with the sugar platform 2 gig is plenty for getting you around. To be part of this years Give One Get One campaign visit: XO Laptop. Have a part in making a child's future much more promising.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cover for new book


This week my publisher sent me a draft of the cover for my new book, "A Silent Violence". Three years of work, researching and writing, went into this fictional story. Knowing that it will soon be released brings a feeling of excitement. Publication isn't the end. Publication is the start. The real work begins, with the news releases, the book signings, public readings, and other activities related to the promotional stages. This book is heart felt, written with a passion, for a cause that I truly believe in. Helping the poor, the oppressed, the forgotten. Sadly, many millions of those are women and children. Reading "A Silent Violence" will open peoples eyes to the needs that are out there, giving a voice and dignity to the needy. It will also help some to understand why wars need to be fought, why the peace movement is a nice ideal, but unrealistic in a world like we live in today.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Smokey Mountain



"Since he was six years old, Lucio had lived alone on the streets of Manila, Philippines. He looked after himself the best way that he could, sleeping in doorways at night, and working Smokey Hill during the day.

On occasion he could gather enough scrap metal to sell for food if he spent the day rummaging at the huge dump that smoldered continuously on the outskirts of the city. He taught himself how to turn old computer parts into colorful jewelry, and succeeded in selling some of it to the naive wives of rural farmers and tourists at the Manila marketplace. On a good day he could afford a meal from a roadside stall. Sometimes to quench the burning hunger in his stomach he would eat discarded food scraps, competing for them against the skinny cats and rats in the back alleyways of the restaurants and taverns." (Quoted from my next book, A Silent Violence)

One of the characters in my next book comes from Smokey Mountain, a real place in Manila, Philippines. He's a twelve year old boy who has lost his mother to AIDS. For six years he has been living on the streets. He could be one of the kids in the video above.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

A Silent Violence

I just finished looking over the pdf file the publisher sent with the final edited copy of my next book, A Silent Violence. I'm excited. After working on it for three years it was a thrill to see it in novel format, with an ISBN and copyright. I'm glad I took longer, working on the second book, than the first because it was a totally different world. I had a lot of research to do, regarding locations, and the way people talked. The book has an international cast of characters, with unique speech patterns I had to get right. The internet was a big help with that. I could travel across the world with a Google search (saves on air fare) and find locations, geographical or climatic characteristics. I did travel during the writing, though. Some segments were written in the Arctic, not too far from the North Pole, others I wrote in the deserts of Southeast Asia, while typing away on a laptop inside an air conditioned portable. Most of the re-writing and editing took place on Vancouver Island (I did edit some parts while camping on the west coast).

Reading To Kids



If you're having fun, they'll have fun. That's my approach when it comes to performing a read before an audience of kids. Today I had a chance to read the first chapter of a work in progress to a group of them in Courtenay, B.C. and we had a blast. At one point I needed a volunteer from the audience to play the part of a cat. Everyone put their hand up, but I picked only one girl from the group, and she did a great job playing the role (considering that it was at the spur of the moment). A couple of other younger kids must have gotten jealous when they saw her. They began to crawl around on the floor like cats too. I continued reading, watching this, hoping they'd stop, but I finally had to pause for a few seconds to round up all the kids crawling around. Once back in their seats, I read the paragraph again, and continued on to finish the chapter. Lots of fun. Can't wait to do it again.