C. W. Schultz was interviewed by Write Publish & Impact, a writing circle of authors and editors from Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Here is an excerpt of the interview from September 12, 2021.
September 2021 will bring two new series to C. W. Schultz’s YouTube channel.
Movie Czars is a film criticism series hosted by C. W. Schultz and his friend Zak, premiering September 1. In the first episode, the two movie buffs rank each film directed by Quentin Tarantino, with a debate on the quality of Godfather 3 and The Last Jedi prefacing the main event.
The second series is Eerie Articles from Old Newspapers, in which Schultz pulls clippings that have been lost to time. In some episodes, Schultz will examine the mysteries that continue to surround these old articles to this very day; while in other episodes, Schultz narrates articles that were released just prior to an unexpected historical event, such as the Kennedy Assassination. Eerie Articles from Old Newspapers premieres on September 8.
I have some new content out. Ordinarily, I’d let my work speak for itself and that’d be the end of my post. But, because I made it a goal to post more often, and because a lot has happened since my last post, I thought I’d share more than usual, considering some of it will likely affect my work.
For starters, I know I wrote that I have a lot of projects lined up, but several of these may unfortunately never see the light of day. There was one that I got really invested in back in March; and, because I wanted to respect someone else’s request, I ended up putting this project on indefinite hold. It’s a never-say-never type of thing, so there’s hope I can share it with all of you eventually; but, for now, my project will compromise a fellow creator’s project that they’ve been working harder and longer on, so I agreed to put the brakes on mine. Without going into detail, their request is very reasonable… it’s just terrible timing. Yes, there are other projects to work on; but for this one, I was at a point of no return. So, huge bummer. Luckily, this creator is very sympathetic, supportive of my project and understands that me respecting their wishes was a huge sacrifice. When a fellow creator recognizes this, it really softens the blow. So, kudos to them.
I’m also anticipating some scheduling changes, which could interfere with my work/life balance; which, in turn, could interfere with my writing time. It’s never gotten me down before, but I thought I’d point it out just in case there are any unexpected delays.
There’s also been a tragedy in my life. Back in April, I lost a friend to suicide. I rotate through states of sadness, disbelief, and anger. Throughout the coping process, I’ve discovered that I might have a lot to say about this situation that could help others. Once a few months have gone by, maybe I’ll share something more for suicide awareness.
Another piece of bad news is that a loved one of mine got into a car accident. It could’ve been much worse; nonetheless, it’s likely going to be a recovery that I’ll be assisting with for a few months.
I’ll leave you with a piece of good news. There’s a new opportunity that could potentially be a breakthrough for literature, in a world that’s constantly distracted by cellphones, movies, social media and videogames. It’s going to take a few months to determine the success (which is partially why I’m being so vague about it), but if it is, then Whispering of the Autumn Leaves is perfect for the type of format it offers. Regardless of how it turns out, I’ll make sure to continue sending updates on the status of my fifth book’s publication.
Thank you for your continued interest and support. It’s always meant a lot, but during times like these is when it counts the most.
By delivering the most recent Mysterious Music episode over a week early, it allowed me extra time to achieve my next goal that I planned on sharing by 03/03/2021. But, for whatever reason, despite all the hours of work (and even about a half-hour’s worth of usable material), things just aren’t lining up right. The good news is, there are a lot of ideas I’m eager to bring to life for both my bibliography and YouTube channel; the bad news is, the projects keep hitting roadblocks. Admittedly, this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered this problem. Between 2013–2015, I had three false-starts with A Book About a Film. With the house-of-cards that storytelling can be, I just couldn’t get an entire level standing without collapsing. Luckily, I eventually cracked the story of A Book About a Film, so I have no doubt that I’ll do it again with the bind I’m in right now.
It’s difficult to give details about a project that hasn’t even been fully realized (and may never be), but what I can share is that I have ideas for content on Batman, Him, Indiana Jones, sleep paralysis, The Sopranos, the Tyrion Targaryen Theory, true crime; as well as more short-stories, Mysterious Music episodes (including Panchiko’s D>E>A>T>H>M>E>T>A>L) and Scream content. Some are ideas in my head, others have made it on paper, a couple even have videos in the editing process… but, unfortunately, nothing that I feel is worth someone’s time. You can praise my work or criticize it, but you can never accuse me of making something in which I didn’t take my audience’s time into consideration. Even to those who’ve given me a bad review, I appreciate them taking a chance on something I created. So, at the end of the day, I feel okay not delivering something because I know that when I do deliver it, it’ll be without regret—not rushed and not for the sole purpose of being relevant. I know that those who were looking forward to my March 3rd release understands and supports this. For that, I thank you.
Here’s something that happened, which excellently summarizes things: During the snowy Valentine’s Day of 2021, of all the dozens of cars parked on Holden Street in West Seattle, only one had a cock-and-balls drawn on it. Of course, my car. With my luck, it probably wasn’t a finger that drew it either. Anyway, I shall continue to write on, so please check back soon. Thanks for visiting.
Reviewed by Leigh Adamkiewicz
There is a delicious rush from finding something you’re not quite meant to see. And the Found Footage genre is testament to how much money we’ll spend to pretend we’ve found something risqué. But what if you found something truly forbidden? Dangerous? You’d get the word out, sure. But what would you do if the story started to grow and change as you were telling it? What if the illusion of danger wasn’t an illusion at all?
You’d probably come up with A Book About a Film, a magnificent, multi-faceted tale about the life-changing movie you’ll never see.
The book starts off with an excellent premise. What if people who had near death experiences learned something from their time on the other side? This was the plot of an excellent independent film called The Cornfield People. All the reports on the film indicated it had every chance of becoming a modest success, if not a cult classic. But there’s a problem. When the film was nearly done, it was shelved. Mysteriously.
The copies of the movie that exist are legendarily hard to find. But everyone who is anyone in film has an opinion about this one. The film has found its way into the hands of Spielberg (theoretically) and Tarantino (citation needed) and many more. So it seems only natural that our author writes a book about the film after being lucky enough to see it. And that’s when things start getting weird.
Much like Danielewski’s House of Leaves, this book relies on the footnotes to tell the story within the story. The story is not just the synopsis of the movie. It’s the things people have speculated. It’s the photos and articles that prove what happened. It’s even the typos in the document itself, which increasingly seem to be a code to another story entirely.
I actually got to the point when I wondered if the book was based on an actual movie. But aside from three posts on a movie blog, I couldn’t find any mention of it online. But this book’s level of detail makes it seem increasingly real. Didn’t you hear something about this in a trade journal? Wasn’t this person in a fluff piece in a local newspaper?
It’s the pictures, news clippings, and diary entries about those things that turn this into something more than just a good suspense thriller. If you just read the book the author thought they were writing, you’d think everything turned out. That it all wrapped up in a neat little package. But as you read on, you realize that the bigger questions are still out there.
About never enters abstract madness the way Leaves did. But it does get your heart racing as the pace accelerates, and the lines between fiction and reality gently blur. And I loved every bit of it.
Leigh is a fearless writer who never met a genre, subject, or format she didn’t like. She has written professionally for the past six years and enjoys biking, exploring odd corners of Northeast Ohio, and discovering those good books she hasn’t read yet.
Review copy was provided by C.W. Schultz.
Go grab a couple paperback novels off your bookshelf (preferably horror or thriller) and turn them over so you can see the back covers. Chances are, at least one of them was reviewed by the Midwest Book Review. Today, they just released a review of A Book About a Film, which is less than four days away from release!
A Book About a Film
C. W. Schultz
4900 LaCross Rd.
North Charleston, SC 29406
9781508595939 $13.40 / 8.68 Brit. pounds / 11.82 Euro
A Book About a Film actually isn’t exactly a book about a film – not if you’re expecting a nonfiction exploration of how a production is created, and not if you’re looking for any insights on independent filmmaking. It’s actually a true-life thriller that revolves around a film’s production, though, and it novelizes the lost/incomplete/controversial film ‘The Cornfield People’ while considering its gripping story of life, death, and everything that lies between.
We’re not talking a big film, here: few people have had access to or watched the movie – which means the majority of readers of A Book About a Film will find themselves on equal footing, new to the subject under discussion. While many maintain the film actually doesn’t exist, its status as a cult classic implies otherwise.
The story that revolves around this film’s rumors and mystery is vivid, taking readers away from the reality of The Cornfield People’s possibilities and into a world of secret societies, ulterior forces, tangled webs, and complex twists that at times adds a wry touch of irony to the discussion.
No light pursuit, the read includes: acronyms, cinematic terminology, quasi-terrorism, debates about life and death, and a narrative surrounding the evolution of an urban legend. Money, an intriguing story, the Periodic Table of Elements, production analysis and director choices: all these are wound into a saga that is heavily footnoted and researched.
There’s nothing simple about ‘The Cornfield People’ (even some of the actors have no clue of its intentions) – and nothing easy about reading through its evolution in A Book About a Film, but readers interested in cult classic film mysteries in general and this hidden gem in particular will find C. W. Schultz’s narrative to be complex, gripping, and ultimately hard to put down – even if you’ve never seen or heard about ‘The Cornfield People’ before.
I was provided with an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review. Initially, I was not at all certain as to what to expect. The blurb got me searching the internet for as much information as I could about the premise of the story. When I realized that there was not much to go on and almost every search that turned up somehow pointed back to the upcoming book: A Book About a Film, I started reading it with much more interest.
About the Book:
Author C. W. Schultz’s fourth release A BOOK ABOUT A FILM is a matchless thriller focusing on a low-budget movie called THE CORNFIELD PEOPLE, which follows journalist Joe Fischer as he investigates the titular group. The Cornfield People are a secret society who know the meaning of life and what comes after death. It is essential to the Cornfield People that their knowledge remain hidden from outsiders, and they will stop at nothing to protect their secret. Schultz surveys censorship through the means of violence in this chilling and unforgettable book. This satire on film-criticism takes on a double-narrative, with one acting as a novelization of the movie, while the other examines the film’s hidden messages, motifs and haunting obscurity.
This is a narrative about the plot of the above said film which is said to be lost while some think of it as an urban legend. The plot of the film is explained in a manner that prompts the reader to visualize each scene. The author not only describes the setting, but also talks about the camera angle and each character’s current position in the scene. Added to this are annotations where the author has interspersed his research along with the thoughts and quotes from several well-known film-makers, writers, producers and others in the field of film-making.
The story is intriguing, dealing with a group of people who claim to know the truth about life and what comes after death. We do however, meet some characters who are portrayed as cold and calculating. The bottom-line of the plot comes down to protecting a secret for the greater good, to protect mankind and the extent to which people can go to accomplish this. There are many references to breaking the fourth wall and how the characters are seemingly aware of their audience. This has been described in detail and analyzed in several instances. The author has made sure to bring out these points quite clearly.
The principal character, a journalist by profession is shown as intelligent with a slight sense of humor reflected when he encounters different situations while he has been tasked with investigating the Cornfield People. There are instances when we see the analysis provided while trying to narrow down a time frame or period for when this film may have been taken. With little to no information, these first hand and second hand reports add some mystery to the book. The story does fall a little flat at times where a sense of mystery is created but the author doesn’t go deeper with the explanation. However, this does not take away from the beauty of the overall idea.
The reader, through this narrative is in for an interesting read whereby the author ensures that he/she will go away with enough knowledge about this film that they will start their own research into it. Judging by the story, this would indeed be a classic film to watch. A rather well-written book, this story about a film will spark the interest of the reader and create awareness about the film
This rather unusual read is a fictional account of a lost film or a film that never existed according to the hype in the book called The Cornfield People (aka Operation D-minor and The Phantom), which is about the secret of life and broadly speaking about the secrets held by a cult of near death survivors who will do anything to protect their cult and the secret they know.
When one of their own flees them and tries to give this secret to a journalist at a Paranormal magazine, Joe Fischer, the journalist in question must jump through a series of hoops to find validity in this bizarre tale and get to the bottom of this secret in order to write his expose.
Written as a scene by scene account of this mysterious film and annotated with editorialized footnotes (which incidentally don’t work very well on Kindle as the author has not taken advantage of the Word Wise feature to aid readers by simplifying the text) from various legendary filmmakers, like Ridley Scott and Tarantino, this is one hell of a read for film enthusiasts and though I would never describe myself as a film enthusiast I did get swept away by the mystery contained in this elusive novel. I have never read a book from this author before but I found A Book About A Film, an original, if not unusual read.
However, as much as I enjoyed it the lack of formatting on ereader and the frequent typos made this probably the most difficult ebook I have read to date
Got any books released after the 1980s on your bookshelf? Maybe something by Stephen King? Jack Ketchum? George R. R. Martin? Of course you do. Go ahead and grab one, and take a look either on the back cover or the first couple of pages. Odds are, there will be an excerpt from Kirkus Reviews. Well, they had a chance to read A Book About a Film and had some pretty nice things say. Read the full review below, and stay tuned for more as September 8th approaches.
Schultz’s (Jill, 2012, etc.) novel looks at the apocrypha surrounding an infamous lost film.
In this metafictional work, a fictionalized version of the author describes a film that he claims is real, although he acknowledges that many people believe it to be an urban legend. At the same time, he attempts to publish this account with a fictional publisher. If the plot sounds tangled, that’s sort of the point, as this novel is set in the underground world of rare, lost, and legendary independent films, where the smoke and mirrors surrounding a movie can prove more deceptive than those used to make it. The film, known as The Cornfield People, among other titles, is a low-budget neo-noir shot between 1999 and 2001. It follows a journalist at a paranormal publication investigating the eponymous secret society, which is willing to go to great lengths to protect their esoteric knowledge of life and death. The book opens with a foreword explaining that this book is actually the second edition of A Book About a Film, the first having been so explosive that the publisher was forced to redact it, due to an apparent shadowy conspiracy working to keep all knowledge of the film from the public. Even so, “there are still many out there who object to this version as well, as they believe what is reported in these texts are a threat to everyone,” says the foreword’s author. Schultz then offers an annotated, scene-by-scene account of the film, along with supplementary materials; the texts become progressively more sinister as the film’s plot begins to bleed into events of the “real” world. Overall, the novel’s conceit is rather ingenious. However, the author unfortunately gets in his own way when it comes to its execution. The story’s tension is undercut by its jocular tone, and the author isn’t enough of a skilled ventriloquist to successfully mimic the array of critics and film experts whose quotes populate the text. Additionally, the film at the center of book simply isn’t persuasive enough to support all the marginalia. Although this book is fun at times, readers will be left wishing that it had just a bit more polish.
A story with a great premise that never quite takes flight.