Spellbinding: Pulling Back the Curtain

Let’s talk Harold Robbins! At one time, Harold was the bestselling author of his time, selling millions of copies. His books made the leap to big screens and small, and the characters he created were played by Hollywood elites.

But don’t think of his work as snapshots frozen in time or trapped in amber like a fossil. His work has transcended the pulpy landscape of fiction in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s by holding a mirror to human nature. We often don’t like what we see, but we cannot deny that we’re staring at ourselves in his work.

For each re-release of Harold’s books, we’ll be exploring its modern-day relevance.

For this post, let’s continue to talk about Spellbinder.

SpellbinderFrom the desk of Jann Robbins:

One of the most important qualities that an author expresses is curiosity. Curiosity ‘killed the cat’ was an adage used long, long ago. In today’s world, the pulled back curtain reveals truths on the morning news every day.

Harold Robbins was the master of seeing between the lines and revealing the many secrets his characters held in their hearts. He lived in the midst of those secrets as though he had a magnet drawing him in the world of his subjects. He had an unseen power that made his storytelling real. Harold and I went to the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills hotel for lunch 2 or 3 times a week when we lived in Beverly Hills. He lived at this hotel in a Bungalow while he finished THE ADVENTURERS. The Polo lounge could have also been his research lab.

When he wrote SPELLBINDER, we would also run into some of the characters that he watched with curiosity on late night TV as he wrote his controversial book about cable TV preachers. One, in particular, was Dr. Gene Scott, an educator, Preacher, and complete NAG about money. He would preach 10 minutes and then berate his listeners if the phone wasn’t ringing offering donations. Dr. Scott often arrived at the Polo in a white limousine, flanked by a bevy of stunning blonde silhouettes. He and his entourage would keep the wine flowing for hours. We wondered if his listeners who were trying to buy a ticket to heaven would be sustained by Dr. Scott’s lavish display of greed, lust, and power.

When Harold pulled back the curtain in SPELLBINDER, he was put on a ‘kill’ list by fringe radicals. But, luckily curiosity didn’t kill this cat!

For more of Harold’s work, visit the Harold Robbins page at Oghma Creative Media.

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Michael Frizell

Michael FrizellMichael Frizell hold an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. You can find his work on the National Gallery of Writing, in Red Ink Journal, The Moon City Review, and others, and his poetry featured as part of The Good Men Project. With TidalWave Comics, he writes comics based on the lives of the famous and infamous. His fiction comics include The World of Polka Spot, a children’s story about a world-famous llama and film diva, The Fantasy World of Bettie Page, a Cold War-era sci-fi action graphic novel featuring the authorized likeness of Bettie Page, and James Dean: Timeless, a sci-fi western. He is currently writing the forwards to the re-releases of Harold Robbins’ novels for Oghma Creative Media. His graphic novel, Bender, about the serial killer family of the same name from the Midwest, was serialized in Saddlebag Dispatches. The collected edition will be available in hardcover on September 19, 2018. He lives in Springfield, Missouri with his wife, Julia.

Spellbinding: Re-framing Harold Robbins for the 21st Century

Let’s talk Harold Robbins! At one time, Harold was the bestselling author of his time, selling millions of copies. His books made the leap to big screens and small, and the characters he created were played by Hollywood elites.

But don’t think of his work as snapshots frozen in time or trapped in amber like a fossil. His work has transcended the pulpy landscape of fiction in the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s by holding a mirror to human nature. We often don’t like what we see, but we cannot deny that we’re staring at ourselves in his work.

For each re-release of Harold’s books, we’ll be exploring its modern-day relevance.

For this post, let’s talk about Spellbinder.

SpellbinderFrom the desk of Jann Robbins:

Spellbinder by Harold Robbins is a story of our time.

In the midst of the jungles of Vietnam, Preacher, Harold Robbins’ powerful character in Spellbinder, was trying to save lives, one wound at a time. He loved what Jesus Christ promised… PEACE. After returning home to the chaotic upheaval in the U.S., he wanted to touch the lives of many and Preacher started his movement, but soon, the money, greed, and lust corrupted his beliefs while knowing in his heart the only real truth had to come through and he willingly made an ultimate sacrifice.

Are we, today standing in the shadow of Preacher’s plight? Our country is in the chaos of greed, lust, and corruption, and aren’t we still searching for truth and peace in our fellow man?

Harold Robbins was a visionary who tracked the lives and missteps of the rich and powerful TV evangelical preachers. He saw the extravagant lifestyles that were fueled by the donations of the poor and the masses who were buying a ticket to heaven through a religious dogma of greed. As Preacher stands on the stage before God, he speaks the truth of his God and draws upon himself the wrath of those who believe in their own power.

For more of Harold’s work, visit the Harold Robbins page at Oghma Creative Media.

Visit our Facebook page or leave us a comment below!


Michael Frizell

Michael FrizellMichael Frizell hold an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. You can find his work on the National Gallery of Writing, in Red Ink Journal, The Moon City Review, and others, and his poetry featured as part of The Good Men Project. With TidalWave Comics, he writes comics based on the lives of the famous and infamous. His fiction comics include The World of Polka Spot, a children’s story about a world-famous llama and film diva, The Fantasy World of Bettie Page, a Cold War-era sci-fi action graphic novel featuring the authorized likeness of Bettie Page, and James Dean: Timeless, a sci-fi western. He is currently writing the forwards to the re-releases of Harold Robbins’ novels for Oghma Creative Media. His graphic novel, Bender, about the serial killer family of the same name from the Midwest, was serialized in Saddlebag Dispatches. The collected edition will be available in hardcover on September 19, 2018. He lives in Springfield, Missouri with his wife, Julia.

The Winds of Change are Blowing

Summer is here, and Oghma Creative Media has seen incredible changes since the first day of Spring. Our staff has grown by leaps and bounds, our horizons have expanded, and incredible new books keep rolling out.

First and foremost, our Spring/Summer issue of Saddlebag Dispatches hit the virtual shelves last week. Chock full of stores of the West, poetry, and fantastic photographs, this issue is also a tribute to Dusty Richards, the man who lent his dream to the creation of the magazine. And on a personal note, you will find my first published story in this issue—in the form of a feature article about Dusty’s life. Available in paperback and a special hardcover commemorative edition, get your copy now at saddlebagdispatches.com, and wherever books are sold.

Dusty Richards wanted to create a magazine that brought together stories of the Old West, the spirit of the New West, and everything in between. Oghma Creative Media is fully committed to keeping that dream alive, for Dusty, for the fans, and for ourselves. We’ve had staff changes and additions with the magazine, to keep up with the steady flow of submissions we are getting, and to make sure that each issue is the best we can create. At this time, the magazine is published twice each year, and each future issue will be themed. Look for the Autumn/Winter edition in mid-December, focusing on the world of rodeo.

Speaking of staff growth, this summer Oghma Creative Media hired a new full-time editor to help with the work load, and ten interns for the summer and beyond. Because we are growing and moving forward so quickly, we need the extra help. And because of our humble roots, we want to continue to help others succeed in their dreams by teaching them how to succeed in the publishing world. We have six interns in the editing department, helping with story development, editing, and quality control. We now have three creative interns to put the books together and add those fantastic covers you see on our books. And we’ve added a wonderful intern to our marketing department, to help us get the word out.

So many exciting changes… but wait, there’s more news. We have expanded out distribution channels, and all our books are available everywhere English is spoken. Libraries, bookstores, and online retailers across the globe now carry our titles. This is especially exciting to us as we continue to add new, talented authors from around the world.

What next, you ask? Well, as soon as we have a moment to catch our collective breath, we will be pursuing foreign language sales. After all, we want to make sure that everyone has access to our fantastic and ever-expanding catalog!

If you haven’t yet done so, go on over to oghmacreative.com and saddlebagdispatches.com, and find out what you’ve been missing.

Happy Reading!

~ Cyndy

International Thank an Author Year

I am declaring today the beginning of “International Thank an Author Year”. To my knowledge, this has not been previously declared, and I believe it is long overdue. And since Earth does not yet have an international government, I believe that I am as qualified as anyone else to declare this event.

Think about it for a moment. How many of you have a favorite book? Or an author that you absolutely adore? Have you ever learned an amazing fact by reading a book? Did you find a great recipe in a new cookbook? Has a favorite children’s book allowed you to spend quality time with a child or grandchild? Have you browsed travel books or novels with exotic locals, visiting those places in your mind? What about that special series of books, whose characters feel like your best friends? When life gets a little too crazy, do you escape between the pages for much needed relaxation?

Once Upon a TimeIf you answered YES to any of these questions, you should THANK AN AUTHOR. Without the efforts of those writers, you would have missed out on having some wonderful experiences. Just imagine how empty your life would be without books! On second thought—don’t imagine it. It is a horrifying image.

You may be asking, “How do I go about thanking an author?” I have several suggestions, but the most gratifying one for most authors is to WRITE A REVIEW. Just about everyone has an Amazon account, and that is probably the easiest way for anyone to leave a review. Many people also use Goodreads, or other reading-orientated sites. Many libraries also allow reviews on their websites. The advantages of writing a review are many. YOU get to tell the author how much you like the book, and even if there are some things you liked more than others. The AUTHOR gets thanked for all their hard work creating that book for your enjoyment. And POTENTIAL readers can be pointed in the right direction to find their own new favorite book.

Thank an author. Leave a review.

Does the author have a website? Sign up for their newsletter. Newsletters will keep you informed of upcoming public appearances, new books coming out, and other news about the author. Authors love communicating with their fans.

Do they have a blog? Follow the blog, like, comment on, and reblog their posts so that others can get to know your favorite writers. This also lets the writer know that someone is reading what they write, and allows them to learn what topics people are most interested in.

Thank you for the books.Do they have an author page on Facebook? “Like” their page, and invite your friends to like it too. This is a quick and easy way to show the author you are paying attention, and are interested in what they are doing. The same principle applies to Twitter. Spread the word!

Is an author appearing at a public venue for a book signing or lecture? Go see them, buy a book, get it autographed, and say “thank you” in person. You will probably be able to have you picture taken with them as well.

I challenge you to go forth, fellow readers, and kick off International Thank an Author Year!

~ Cyndy

A Guardian Angel

When I started this blog, my purpose was to give readers a look behind-the- scenes at the world of writing and publishing. To let others see what writers go through to write their books, to get published, and to promote the books they have written.

I spend my days communicating with many writers, both those that Oghma Creative Media publishes, as well as those that publish elsewhere, and some that don’t publish at all. Some writers are seasoned veterans, others are just getting started.

Along the way, and as an expected hazard of my job, I caught the dreaded writing bug. The beginnings of this blog are rooted in that illness, and I thought that the blog would cure my illness. I was unbelievably mistaken. My dreams have taken off, and I am now planning a cozy mystery series, a biography, and various articles to be written.

I communicate with writers daily. I look for ways that writers can promote themselves and their work. I look for new avenues to promote Oghma Creative Media as a company. I read constantly and offer suggestions to others. I encourage everyone to be the best person they can be, the best WRITER they can be.

And in the course of all this – I forgot to write. No excuses, I simply forgot to sit down and do it. Luckily for me, I have a guardian angel. I’ll call her Brenda, because that is her name.

Guiding LightsBrenda and I met at a writer’s conference last year, and I felt an instant connection with her. She came there to learn, and to pitch her book idea. I was there to represent Oghma Creative Media. We spent some time talking, and have kept in touch ever since.

A couple weeks ago, Brenda sent me an email with the beautiful picture featured here. She said she felt led to send it to me, and wasn’t sure why. When I received it, I admired the picture and had thoughts of writing about it. I framed a post about her generous gift of a lovely image, another post about how writers need someone/thing to light their way, another post about using random images to spark a story.

But you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t write.

Every day I encourage others to write. To simply put their butt in a chair and get to it. And I somehow neglected to apply that to my own life. This week my guardian angel nudged me again. She didn’t nag, she didn’t criticize, she simply encouraged me to sit down and write.

So I did.

Brenda gently reminded me of the most important thing a writer must do. To be a writer, one must sit down and write. It doesn’t have to be great literature, nor does it need to be hundreds (or even dozens) of words or pages at a time. But we must write. Let the stories out onto the pages. Don’t worry about what will happen later –the editing, the publishing, and the marketing. Those things are necessary tools that we need later. But not right now.

I hope that all of the aspiring writers in the world can find their guardian angel to guide them gently down the path to success. But a word of warning—stay away from Brenda. She’s mine, and I need her.

~ Cyndy