Chatting with Diana Wagman

Diana Wagman, author of Life #6 and The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets, was my guest for an epic two-part series on The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour. In PART ONE, Diana talks books, screenwriting, and close calls with Hollywood. In PART TWO, Diana talks about her friend Janet Fitch (author of White Oleander), her latest novel (Life #6), and the awesome clown novel she's working on (which I cannot wait to read!). 

Excerpt of the New York Time's review of Life #6:

"If every stage of growth proceeds from a sort of metaphorical death, how many times in life does one person die? We cycle through our grand repertory of possible selves, striving in adolescence and adulthood for reinvention, yet our most enduring feature never recedes: We are always dying. Diana Wagman explores themes of immortality and time in her fifth novel, “Life #6,” about 49-year-old Fiona, a part-time art educator at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles who gives tours to snickering, incurious teenagers and their disgruntled teachers. When the book opens, Fiona — contemplating life’s big questions as she stares at a statue of Venus — has just learned she has breast cancer. So many times she’s almost died, but cancer might be the one death she can’t dodge. How did she get here, and did she make all the wrong choices?"

The Super Jenius Show

I had the pleasure of chatting with Jennifer Ott on Episode 115 of the podcast. Jennifer is the author of Desperate Moon and she's also the host of The Super Jenius Show on the Artist First Radio Network. Jennifer talks about indie publishing, vampires, and being a radio host.

Jennifer also interviewed me on her show, which you can hear in its entirety on Episode 116 of the podcast. We talked about negative book reviews, indie publishing, and the creative spirit.

Excerpt of Kristin Ravelle's review of Desperate Moon:

"The vampire trend in books is still out there, and Jennifer Ott's take is quite different from the usual modern, YA versions. Desperate Moon is well rounded with oodles of philosophy, medicine, politics, and sex. These are shown through the experiences of Katerina, a 600 year old vampire, and then along with Dr. Siegfried Andrasko. We begin in 1800s Eastern Europe. Katerina’s old husband dies and she and her maid servant, Hilde, set out on travels from their quiet town."

Chatting with Christopher Bernard

I had the opportunity to interview the prolifically interesting Christopher Bernard on the podcast, author of Voyage to a Phantom City. Christopher talks about growing both in the country and the city, the difficult task of getting reviews for e-books, and writing about growing into manhood.

An excerpt from The Free Library's review of Voyage to a Phantom City:

"Literary, allegorical and spiritual discoveries permeate the expedition and weave together literary and daily worlds alike, creating waves of surreal thought and interactions between very different protagonists. At the heart of Voyage to a Phantom City is a focus on these different directions and how these roads are chosen: 'Corn circles, witches' covens, corn wizards corn was the basis of Mayan blood rituals. That's what got me into archaeology, when I discovered that. Midwestern corn no longer seemed like such an embarrassment. We had a secret, we were wild and weird, dancing bare-chested beneath the slowly fattening cobs. All summer long.' From drifters to anarchists, believers to students, each searcher seeks something different from the expedition ... more than archaeological discovery."

The Unwrappening | Eraserhead

Me and my big brother, Greg, launched a new meta-series as part of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour called "The Unwrappening." In this meta-series, Greg and I watch movies (specifically, movies that Greg loves, but I've never seen) and then chat about them. The movie at the center of this first installment of "The Unwrappening" is David Lynch's cult classic, Eraserhead

Peter Sobczynski, in his article "Defying Explanation: The Brilliance of David Lynch's 'Eraserhead,'" writes: 

"When I turned 16, I did not receive a new car or an ostentatious party or the revelation of heretofore unknown powers that would allow me to overthrow the confusingly designed dystopian society to which I belonged. Instead, I got something better—I got my mind permanently blown through the gift, courtesy of my Uncle Edward, of a VHS tape of 'Eraserhead,' David Lynch's one-of-a-kind debut feature that had become a notorious cult classic ever since its 1977 debut. At this time, I had certainly heard about the film—I had read the tantalizing pieces on them in such invaluable books as Danny Peary's "Cult Movies" and J. Hoberman & Jonathan Rosenbaum's "Midnight Movies"—and I had seen Lynch's subsequent efforts 'The Elephant Man,' 'Dune' and the jaw-dropping 'Blue Velvet,' and was therefore certainly primed to finally experience his maiden work at last since none of the video stores in my area were adventurous enough to stock it."

Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalist

I am pleased to announce The Vampire, the Hunter, and the Girl has been recognized as a finalist in the 18th annual Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards. Here is the complete list:

Each year, Foreword Reviews shines a light on a select group of indie publishers, university presses, and self-published authors whose work stands out from the crowd. In the next three months, a panel of more than 100 volunteer librarians and booksellers will determine the winners in 63 categories based on their experience with readers and patrons.

“The 2015 INDIEFAB finalist selection process is as inspiring as it is rigorous,” said Victoria Sutherland, publisher of Foreword Reviews.

“The strength of this list of finalists is further proof that small, independent publishers are taking their rightful place as the new driving force of the entire publishing industry.”

Foreword Reviews will celebrate the winners during a program at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida in June. We will also name the Editor’s Choice Prize 2015 for Fiction, Nonfiction and Foreword Reviews’ 2015 INDIEFAB Publisher of the Year Award during the presentation.

About Foreword: Foreword Magazine, Inc is a media company featuring a Folio:-award-winning quarterly print magazine, Foreword Reviews, and a website devoted to independently published books. In the magazine, they feature reviews of the best 170 new titles from independent publishers, university presses, and noteworthy self-published authors. Their website features daily updates: reviews along with in-depth coverage and analysis of independent publishing from a team of more than 100 reviewers, journalists, and bloggers. The print magazine is available at most Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million newsstands or by subscription. You can also connect with them on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and Pinterest. They are headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, USA.

The Greg + Martin 10 Minute Chat Hour

So, you've been watching The Greg + Martin 10 Minute Chat Hour. Right?


If not, maybe it's because you've not heard the buzz about me being the fastest rising YouTube superstar in the history of the World Wide Web.


The world.

Press PLAY below to enjoy Episode One. Then scroll down for more words authored by me.

With the debut installment of our YouTube series, my big brother, Greg, and I have embarked on a new brotherhood: the Internet. We're like Anonymous, except rather than expertly hacking our way in the hearts of people all over the galaxy, Greg and I hack our way into your heart ten minutes at a time on a weekly basis. Each episode is sort of like the tiny hammer in The Shawshank Redemption and every week we burrow just a little bit deeper until one day you’ll find us completely inside of you. And we're not just coming...

...we're here.

Chatting with Blondie and the Brit

I recently had the pleasure of chatting with the podcasting duo Blondie and the Brit -- aka KJ Waters and Suzanne Kelman. KJ and Suzanne are both authors, to go along with their hosting duties on the writing and publishing podcast Blondie and the Brit.

After a three-hour recording session, we came away with two episodes, one for each of our respective podcasts. Listen to all the fun below...

A few topics covered:

Chatting with Mark Allan Gunnells

On Episode 102 of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour my guest was Mark Allan Gunnells, author of Flowers in a Dumpster. Mark talks about growing up in a small town, his fascination with fantasy and horror, and why he loves zombies.


Here's an excerpt of Horror Novel Reviews' review of Flowers in a Dumpster: 

“'Flowers in a Dumpster' compiles seventeen of [Mark Allan] Gunnells’ short stories. A strong collection, Gunnells takes readers through the barren wastelands of post-apocalyptic America; he drags us alongside highways frequented by hitchhiking serial killers, lets us look over the shoulder of a horror writer on the cusp of greatness, and holds our feet to the wood as our own gods crucify us.

Some of Gunnells strongest storytelling comes in the form of bringing us characters that have been pushed to a breaking point. What happens to the sweet family of three when they’ve watched the entire world around them die? What do we become when we can’t reconcile who we are spiritually with who we are sexually? What happens when our passions take hold, become us? Gunnells’ believable characters are brutalized in what makes for a consistently suspenseful read."

The Year in Review: 2015

On Episode 101 of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour my wife Chanel and I reviewed the year that was 2015.

A few topics covered:

  • Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner
  • 87th Academy Awards
  • Hulk Hogan using the "N" word
  • Jared Fogle (the Subway Guy) goes to prison
  • Lamar Odom in a Nevada brothel
  • Ronda Rousey's first loss
  • The rise of Conor McGregor
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Greg Trilogy

My big brother, Greg Lastrapes, recently stole the podcast, to be more precise. He bum-rushed The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour with a new theme song, a scintillating monologue, and a host of fascinating stories from his life in the entertainment biz. We talked for over three hours, so I broke up our chat into three epic episodes. You can listen to all three of them below. So, do your ears a favor and press PLAY...

A few topics covered:

  • Comic books
  • Discovering filmmaking
  • Performing on stage as a kid

A few topics covered:

  • Turning down Kids Incorporated
  • Sort of being cast in The NeverEnding Story
  • Roller skating on Three's Company

  • Building a puppet empire
  • Working for Matthew Weiner on Mad Men
  • The Four Heads and "Don't Let Him in" 



I originally wrote this blog post on December 9, 2011, in recognition of Martin Day™ (which, coincidentally, happens to fall on my birthday). Today, on my 38th birthday, I've updated the post and, in so doing, have accounted for the past year. Enjoy and have a Happy Martin Day™!    

Every year on December 9, since its inception in 1977, people all over the world have been celebrating Martin Day.  This year will be the 38th celebration of Martin Day and it occurs to me a birthday retrospective is in order. So, for your benefit, I've put together a timeline of milestones in my life. So, without further ado, I present to you The Martin Day™ Birthday Retrospective®. 

Age: 1 Second (1977)

After nine months in my mother's womb, considering the world and my place in it, I decide that a comfortable sac of amniotic fluid simply isn't enough without cable television.

Age: 5 Years (1982)

While attending preschool, I find there is a bitchin' CHiPs tricycle in the playground. Soon thereafter, I learn I'm in the group of children that is too old to ride it. I learn that life isn't always kind.

Age: 8 Years (1985)

On a random Saturday afternoon, as I flip through the channels, I discover professional wrestling. It's love at first sight.

Age: 12 Years (1989)

After one whole long year of agonizing anticipation, Batman, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, is released in theaters. As a loyal fan, with my very own $5 dollar weekly allowance, I bought the novelization of the film.

Age: 13 Years (1990)

For Easter, my parents buy me a ticket to watch WrestleMania VII at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. With the Gulf War serving as a backdrop, Hulk Hogan will there defeat Sgt. Slaughter (who lent his loyalties to Saddam Hussein) for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

Age: 17 Years (1995)

While working as an ice cream scooper at Thrifty's, I am interrogated for four hours by a couple of loss prevention agents. During the interrogation, I admit to stealing a number of things, including money and ice cream.

Age: 18 Years (1996)

During my first year at Chaffey College, I take English 1A with S. Kay Murphy. For my first assignment, I write an essay about stealing money and ice cream from Thrifty's. Based on that essay, Murphy encourages me to become a writer.

Age: 19 Years and 2 Days (1997)

As a birthday gift, my parents take me to the Great Western Forum for my first Lakers game. The Lakers host Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers. Kobe Bryant is a rookie and Shaquille O'Neal is in his first year with the team.  During warmups, I watch rookie Derek Fisher practice free throws.

Age: 21 (1999)

Having gotten a part-time job working at the Virgin Megastore, I meet Chanel Chakko, who is not only my co-worker, but, I would later learn, the coolest gal on the planet.

Age: 23 (2002)

While studying English at California State University, San Bernardino, I take the first of many creative writing classes taught by James Brown (author of The Los Angeles Diaries and This River). In so doing, Brown unwittingly becomes my personal Yoda.

Age: 25 (2003)

I graduate from California State University, San Bernardino, earning my Bachelor's Degree in English/Creative Writing. 

Age: 26 Years (2004)

While a participant at the Cal Poly Creative Writing Conference, I win First Place in Short Fiction for my story "The Night Owl." Later that same year, I will win First Place in the Inland Empire CWC Writing Contest for my short story "The Plan." Finally, in that same year, I will get my first story published ("The Black Curtain") courtesy of The Pacific Review.

Age: 27 Years (2005)

I'm invited to attend The Squaw Valley Community of Writers, a week-long conference that brings aspiring writers together with seasoned professionals. I meet many great writers, including Anne Lamott, Amy Tan, Dorothy Allison, and Mark Childress. I also meet a literary agent who asked to read the novel I was working on called The Wishing Game.

Age: 28 Years (2005)

On the 28th celebration of Martin Day™, I receive a rejection letter from the literary agent I met at Squaw Valley. Not since being denied an opportunity to ride a CHiP's tricycle has life felt so cruel.

Age: 28 Years and Several Hours (2005) 

My brother, Greg, takes me to a screening of Match Point, which was followed by a Q & A session with the writer/director, Woody Allen, and the cast.

Age: 28 and 1/2 Years (2006) - Part 1

Once again, I graduate from California State University, San Bernardino, this time earning my Master's Degree in Composition.

Age: 28 and 1/2 Years (2006) - Part 2

I get my first grown-up job as an English Professor at Chaffey College. I have no idea what I'm doing, but choose to keep this information to myself.

Age: 31 Years (2008)

I am waist-deep in the writing of my novel, The Sacrifice of Timber Marlow. Upon later revisions, I would change it's title to The Sustenance of the Flesh.

Age: 33 Years (2010)

Having completed my novel, The Sustenance of the Flesh, I decide to change the title to Inside the Outside.

Age: 33 Years, 7 Months, and 3 Days (2011)

I publish my debut novel Inside the Outside.

Age: 33 Years, 364 Days, and 18 Hours (2011)

The Lakers agree to trade Lamar Odom and Paul Gasol to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Paul. I regard this as an early-Martin Day™miracle.

Age: 33 Years, 364 Days, and 20 Hours (2011)

The NBA, which owns the New Orleans Hornets, blocks the trade of Odom and Gasol for Paul. I regard this as the worst early-Martin Day™ miracle ever.

Age: 34 Years (2011)

For my 34th birthday, I post a silly - yet poignant - article called "Happy Martin Day (A Birthday Retrospective)!"

Age: 34 Years, 4 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days (2012)

Inside the Outside is awarded the Grand Prize in the Paris Book Festival.

Age: 35 Years (2013)

On April 5, I'm heartbroken at the news that my favorite film critic, Roger Ebert, has passed away.  

Age: 36 Years (2014)

I launch The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour with "Episode One: Origin Story."

Age: 36 Years, 1 month, 1 week, and 6 days (2014)

Inside the Outside officially becomes a #1 Bestseller on Amazon

Age: 36 Years, 10 months, 4 weeks, and 1 day (2014)

On November 7, I marry my best friend and favorite person in the whole goddamned world, Chanel Chakko.

Age: 37 Years (2014)

For my 37th birthday, I update a silly - yet poignant - article called "Happy Martin Day (A Birthday Retrospective)!"

Age: 37 Years, 3 months, 3 weeks (2015)

I publish my second novel, The Vampire, the Hunter, and the Girl. It's Book One of The Vampire and the Hunter TrilogyWithin a day, it becomes a #1 Bestseller on

Age: 37 Years, 6 months, 3 weeks, 5 days (2015)

I publish my third novel, The Vampire, the Hunter, and the WitchIt's Book Two of The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy.

Age: 37 Years, 10 months, 3 weeks (2015)

I publish my fourth novel, The Vampire, the Hunter, and FrankIt's Book Three of The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy.

Age: 37 Years, 11 months (2015)

I move to Las Vegas with my partner in crime (and legally wed bride), Chanel. 

Age: 37 Years, 11 months, 6 days (2015)

The Vampire, the Hunter, and the Girl is awarded the Grand Prize in the Southern California Book Festival. I'm given a plane ticket to fly back to California for the awards ceremony. Fans of irony all over the world rejoice. 

Age: 38 Years (2015)

I wake up in Las Vegas next to my beautiful wife. She wishes me a Happy Birthday, then gives me my first gift of the day: The Back to the Future Trilogy on Blu-ray. I spend the next several hours excitedly obsessing over Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 194, before quickly realizing that I haven't yet updated my annual Martin Day™ retrospective.

Age: 38 Years, 5 minutes (2014)

For my 38th birthday, I update a silly - yet poignant - article called "Happy Martin Day™ (A Birthday Retrospective)!"

Stephen King's Rules for Writers

On Episode 96 of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour, I looked over Stephen King's 20 rules for writers, which I found in an article on Open Culture: The Best Free Cultural & Educational Media on the Web called “Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers” by Josh Jones. These rules, according to the article, originally appeared in Stephen King's outstanding memoir On Writing.

I have strong feelings about "rules" that pertain to writing, primarily because I don't believe they exist. When asked for advice or guidance about writing, most responsible writers (hopefully) won’t give you "rules," so much as they’ll give you suggestions for things that work—at least, things that work for them.  

That said, I was curious to see what the world's most famous author had to say with regards to writing rules. During the episode, I read each rule and give my response to them (SPOILER ALERT: I agreed and disagreed with several). I even spend a good amount of time at the beginning of the episode talking about the #1 piece of advice I give to all writers (the ones who ask, anyway).  

You can listen to Episode 96 by pressing PLAY below the groovy black and white photo of Stephen King. Enjoy...

Chatting with Donna and Tony Figueroa

On Episode 95 of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour I had a delightful chat with Donna and Tony Figueroa. Donna and Tony are actors and writers and, more than anything else, lovely to have a conversation with. 

A few topics covered:

  • Chasing the acting dream
  • Donna's regular role on Days of Our Lives
  • Growing up in the midwest (and Puerto Rico).  
  • Standup comedy
  • How Donna and Tony fell in love
  • Performing at Story Salon
  • Donna's novel Fall Again: Beginnings

What if you were to meet the perfect person—but at the wrong time? In Beginnings, the first book of the Fall Again series, you'll meet Marc and Lauren and their closest friends in the optimistic New York City of the late 1980's.

Marc Guiro is from Montreal and pursuing acting against the wishes of his traditional family. Lauren Phillips has fixated on becoming an actor since she was a child in the Midwest. Despite a strong and
obvious attraction, decorum dictates their relationship remain

Over time, Marc and Lauren struggle to maintain the façade of being just friends to those around them, and to each
other. But, regardless of their best efforts to remain friends, Marc and
Lauren fall in love—and drastically change the course of their lives.


More good vampire news! The Vampire, the Hunter, and the Girl has won yet another award! 

Book One of The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy placed as a Finalist in the 2015 USA BEST BOOK AWARDS. Below is the official press release...


Mainstream and Independent Titles Score Top Honors in the 12th Annual USA Best Book Awards

Random House, Tarcher/Penguin, HarperOne, WW Norton, Harper Collins, William Morrow, Crown Business, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, American Cancer Society, The White House Historical Association and hundreds of Independent Houses contribute to this year’s Outstanding Competition!

LOS ANGELES –, the premier online magazine featuring mainstream and independent publishing houses, announced the winners and finalists of THE 2015 USA BEST BOOKS AWARDS on November 16, 2015. Over 400 winners and finalists were announced in over 100 categories. Awards were presented for titles published in 2013-2015.

Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of USA Book News, said this year’s contest yielded over 2,000 entries from mainstream and independent publishers, which were then narrowed down to over 400 winners and finalists.


"Adam and Jesus (the vampire and the hunter) have an innate antagonism, which is only heightened once they discover they're competing for the affections of the same girl. Olivia (the girl) is an aspiring author struggling to write a vampire novel. What none of them yet know is there's a menacing force looming that will change the course of their lives forever. With the first installment of The Vampire and the Hunter Trilogy, Martin Lastrapes has created a vampire tale that is scary, funny, thrilling, and satisfying to the very last drop."

The Vegas Chronicles | Vol. 3

Chanel and I look back on the first year of our marriage while driving to the Las Vegas Strip for a celebratory dessert at Serendipity 3. And we recorded our conversation for The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour as part of "The Vegas Chronicles."

A few topics covered...

  • The folly of our wedding ceremony
  • Is our marriage legal?
  • Failing to get tickets to Diana Ross show
  • Surprising Chanel with Garfunkel & Oates tickets
  • Chanel gives me wrong directions
  • Dessert at Serendipty 3
  • Prostitution in Las Vegas

Remembering Halloween 2015

On Episode 93 of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour Chanel and recap Halloween 2015 and talk about my Grand Prize at the Southern California Book Festival. I also share some old writing I found from the days before I was a published novelist.

Chanel Banner (OFFICIAL).jpg

A few topics covered:

  • Why Halloween appeals to my creativity
  • Dressing up as Karate Man (pre-Karate Kid era) in 1st or 2nd grade
  • Halloween stores need to step up their game
  • The publication of The Vampire, the Hunter, and Frank
  • Book release party
  • My first ever live podcast
  • Being an introvert
  • The vampire poem I wrote in college

Chatting with Harrison Smith

On Episode 89 of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour, I had the great pleasure of chatting with horror filmmaker Harrison Smith. Smith made is directorial debut in 2014 with the horror film Camp Dread starring Eric Roberts and Danielle Harris.

A few topics we covered:

  • Love for Jaws and disdain for Jaws: The Revenge 
  • Horror movies
  • Working with Cloris Leachman
  • Working with Tara Reid
  • Working with Eric Roberts
  • Producing feature films
  • Felissa Rose accidently calls in

Matt Donato  reviewed Camp Dread for We Got This Covered. Here's a bit of he had to say:

"Camp Dread is one of those late-night watches that may mirror shoe-string budget quality featuring a handful of 'nobody' actors, but in exercising slasher genre normality, a few fresh ideas produce something more than drunken bedtime fodder. Writer/Director Harrison Smith exhibits enough horror understanding to feed hungry fans with the equivalent of comfort food – it may not be pretty, but who can deny a heaping helping of biscuits smothered in gravy? Camp Dread is pretty much actor Eric Roberts smothered in gravy..."

"Camp Dread succeeds as a homage to cheesy, throwback splatter-fests like The Burning or Sleepaway Camp, while also purposefully introducing stereotypical characters. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen 'the jock,' 'the nerd,' or 'the horror geek' re-purposed for the same tired arcs, be it the jock’s arrogance or the horror geek’s always untimely death, but with Julian [played by Eric Roberts] pulling the strings as puppet master, the stereotyping becomes necessary because each personality completes a devious, sinister puzzle. Otherwise normal characters start to adapt the persona they believe they should be embellishing for television, not sure whether reality still exists or if the game is all they should know – a twisted psychological aspect adding depth to Camp Dread."


The Vampire, the Hunter, and Frank

Adam and Jesus barely escaped Frank with their lives. Dracula decides to give them one more week to complete their task, only he's heightened the stakes.  

Product Details

  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Cannibal Press (October 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985704360

Chatting with Jonathan Yanez

Jonathan Yanez, bestselling author of The Elite Series, was my guest on Episode 88 of The Martin Lastrapes Show Podcast Hour


Here's a few topics we covered:

  • Being home-schooled
  • Effects of Social Media
  • Benefits of digital technology
  • Kevin Smith's Fatman on Batman
  • Science Fiction
  • Indie vs. Traditional Publishing

Maria Pease reviewed Jonathan's novel The Beast Within (Book One of The Elite Series) for The Paisley Reader. Here's a bit of what she had to say:

"The plot flows smoothly and features plenty of action amid this tale of self-discovery.  I was drawn in with Connor’s charm, and by the time he starts seeking answers about himself I was hooked.  I was on the edge of my seat during Laren and Lu faced Faust and his crew in a standoff knowing that Connor was ready to spring into action in an attempt to save the day.  When he realizes what he is and what he has the potential to do, will he be able to live up to the expectations of others and the tests they have set before him? The Beast Within is a great start to what I hope will be a strong series.  I can easily see why it was optioned for a film and you can bet that I’ll be heading to the movies when it opens."