Monday, December 31, 2018

If you like 'Stranger Things', you'll love "Fireflies"



If you like the popular Netflix series "Stranger Things", or the current hit movie "Bumblebee", you will enjoy the new book "Fireflies".

Besides the author's personal adolescence, "Fireflies" takes inspiration from many of the same antecedents that "Stranger Things" and "Bumblebee" draw upon; the films of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, John Hughs movies, and 1980s pop culture.

From the back cover:

The year is 1983 and something strange is going on in Cross Creek, Pennsylvania.

After a devastating family tragedy, Emma moves across the country at the start of her freshman year of high school. Grief-stricken, isolated, and harassed by local bullies, she is feeling lost and lonely. One day, she takes a shortcut home from school through the woods and encounters a group of strange, otherworldly, flying orbs of light that she dubs “the fireflies”. She feels a deep connection to them as her interaction with the fireflies continues, bringing her new hope, wonder, startling insights, and horrific dangers beyond anything she could have imagined.

In the tradition of the films of Amblin Entertainment, “Fireflies” is a moving, suspenseful story of the fantastic from James J. Caterino, author of the acclaimed UFO epic “Watch the Skies”, “The Last Neanderthal”, and the “Caitlin Star” series.








Friday, December 28, 2018

Video introduction to "Fireflies"






The year is 1983 and something strange is going on in Cross Creek, Pennsylvania.

After a devastating family tragedy, Emma moves across the country at the start of her freshman year of high school. Grief-stricken, isolated, and harassed by local bullies, she is feeling lost and lonely. One day, she takes a shortcut home from school through the woods and encounters a group of strange, otherworldly, flying orbs of light that she dubs “the fireflies”. She feels a deep connection to them as her interaction with the fireflies continues, bringing her new hope, wonder, startling insights, and horrific dangers beyond anything she could have imagined.

In the tradition of the films of Amblin Entertainment, “Fireflies” is a moving, suspenseful story of the fantastic from James J. Caterino, author of the acclaimed UFO epic “Watch the Skies”, “The Last Neanderthal”, and the “Caitlin Star” series.


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Best films of 1988, 2018




I still need to catch up on a few new movies before making my annual best ten list for 2018. Some of the films I really loved include:

The wildly entertaining Giallo-stylized thriller “A Simple Favor”, featuring a wickedly sexy Blake Lively and outstanding work by Anna Kendrick.

Damien Chazelle’s space program docudrama “First Man”.

And the absolutely wonderful “Bumblebee”, starring the amazing Hailee Steinfeld, a knockout 80s soundtrack, and a featuring a great score by Dario Marianelli.

Here is a look back at my best ten list from thirty years ago, 1988.





Best films of 1988:

Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Mississippi Burning
Bull Durham
Big
Beetlejuice
The Big Blue
Talk Radio
Dead Ringers
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
The Naked Gun




Thursday, December 20, 2018

December sketchbook: Femme fatales, WWII, UFOs, new book covers, and so much more


The cover artwork for the brand new release "Fireflies", a fantastic story set in 1983. Very reminiscent of the Amblin Entertainment movies from the mid 1980s.  





A "Caitlin Star" fan.





Femme fatale.





10 minute Indiana Jones sketch.





Quick concept art sketch for upcoming WWII story.





Legs.





New cover art for the epic UFO novel "Watch the Skies".


If you enjoyed these drawings check out my published sketchbook and follow me on Instagram.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

"Fireflies" blends nostalgia, suspense, and sentiment

I am very excited and proud to present my new book, "Fireflies", now available on Kindle and in paperback.

The inspirations for "Fireflies" are my own adolescence, Joe Dante films, Amblin Entertainment productions, and the pop culture of the early 1980s. I really hope you enjoy it.




From the back cover:

The year is 1983 and something strange is going on in Cross Creek, Pennsylvania.

After a devastating family tragedy, Emma moves across the country at the start of her freshman year of high school. Grief-stricken, isolated, and harassed by local bullies, she is feeling lost and lonely. One day, she takes a shortcut home from school through the woods and encounters a group of strange, otherworldly, flying orbs of light that she dubs “the fireflies”. She feels a deep connection to them as her interaction with the fireflies continues, bringing her new hope, wonder, startling insights, and horrific dangers beyond anything she could have imagined.

In the tradition of the films of Amblin Entertainment, “Fireflies” is a moving, suspenseful story of the fantastic from James J. Caterino, author of the acclaimed UFO epic “Watch the Skies”, “The Last Neanderthal”, and the “Caitlin Star” series.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Stocking stuffers

Give the the gift of reading this Christmas and give someone the chance to experience the wicked suspense, the insane action, the emotional drama, and the unforgettable characters of a James J. Caterino book. 




Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Suspenseful 'She' a tale of obsession, time travel, and film noir



First published in 2005 and recently re-released with new cover art, "She" is a haunting, suspenseful tale about an unsolved murder mystery from the past, and a mysterious woman who appears in the present and is dead ringer for the long dead victim.

Described in reviews as "Harlan Ellison-esque science fiction" and "erotic noir", "She" is a mesmerizing, page-turning tale of obsession and time travel.

From the back cover:

"We are driving on Street Runs Road now. This is the road—the place where it happened, the birthplace of my journey, the crossroads, the crux of time where the line between life and death merged. It is the place where I was forever changed. "

In July of 1983, JC Pezzini and his parents were involved in a deadly hit-and-run car accident. A mysterious Good Samaritan referred to as “She” was the only reason JC survived—and finding She has become his all-consuming passion in life. More than twenty years later, JC is a filmmaker, a voyeur, and a man haunted by his past. With the help of his psychiatrist, his friends, and old acquaintances of the unknown woman, JC will attempt to get closer to She than he could ever hope to—even in his most lucid daydreams. 

Whether through regression hypnotherapy, time travel by means of an anti-reality chamber, or sheer determination, JC won’t stop until he recovers the answers he has been searching for all these years. After coming across a stunning She look-alike named Angela, JC is convinced he’s almost completed his life quest. Only then are the real answers—and the shocking secrets that have hidden the truth—revealed.



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

'Watch the Skies: The Special Edition'




“Watch the Skies” is a wild, exciting, epic tale of UFOs and alien abduction, spanning fifty years and told through the eyes of three woman who must find a way to endure all that happens to them, until the very end, when all will finally be revealed. 

This brand new special edition book has been professionally copy edited, features a glossy new cover, concept drawings by the author, and a very special bonus short story.

Bottom line: If you are a fan of “Close Encounters of the third Kind”, “E.T.”, and “The X-Files”, have an interest in UFO lore, or just enjoy an electrifying, emotionally involving story, then you will absolutely love "Watch the Skies".



Thursday, September 6, 2018

'The Selfie', a bold, romantic, imaginative short story



An illustrator at an ad agency creates a drawing of a woman taking a selfie for a smart phone ad campaign. Then, he comes across a real-life, living version of the exact same woman and image.

In the tradition of "The Twilight Zone", "The Outer Limits", and "Amazing Stories", "The Selfie" is a bold, shocking, romantic, unforgettable short story from the lurid imagination of James J. Caterino, author of  "The Last Neanderthal", "Battle of the Network Superheroes", "Rollercoaster", “Watch the Skies” and “Caitlin Star: The Trilogy.”


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

'Watch the Skies', exciting and emotional UFO epic



My new book "Watch the Skies" is now available in paperback and on Kindle. 

If you like stuff like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "E.T.", and "The X-Files", I promise you are going to love "Watch the Skies".

“Watch the Skies” is a wild, exciting, epic tale of UFOs and alien abduction, spanning fifty years and told through the eyes of three woman who must find a way to endure all that happens to them until the very end, when all will finally be revealed.

From the back cover copy:

On December 9th 1965 a strange, other-worldly craft crashes into a ravine in Kecksburg, a town south of Pittsburgh. It becomes known as Pennsylvania’s Roswell. The crashed UFO is witnessed by scores of local residents, including ten year-old Eliza Straight, a curious and intelligent young girl who is forever changed by the horror and wonder of what she experiences that night.

On July 2nd 1993, fourteen year-old Shelly Stevens and her two friends have a close encounter with a glowing craft that descends down from the night sky, hovering above them. They awake three hours later with no memory of what transpired during that missing time.

Dr. Sally Ludwig is the daughter of a former Nazi scientist who was recruited by the U.S. Army Intelligence as part of Operation Paperclip. He is put in charge of dealing with the Roswell Crash and becomes a founding members of Majestic. Now, many years later, Sally picks up the mantle, maniacally obsessing over the power and technology of these strange craft, desperate to possess it for herself.

“Watch the Skies” is a wild, exciting, epic tale of UFOs and alien abduction, spanning fifty years and told through the eyes of three woman who must find a way to endure all that happens to them until the very end, when all will finally be revealed.




Monday, August 13, 2018

'The Rally', a lurid tale of action and horror


Lori and her college friends embark on a weekend road trip for some much needed down time. All is well until they have a tension-filled encounter with a bullying cult of Trump-worshipping Nazis. Things soon go from tense, to dangerous, to downright deadly, in this lurid tale of action and horror from the insane imagination of James J. Caterino, the wildly controversial author of “Rollercoaster”, “Battle of the network superheroes”, “Barry’s Run”, “The Eco-Warrior”, and the mega-popular “Caitlin Star” series.

"The Rally", now available on Amazon Kindle.




Friday, August 3, 2018

Sketchbook 3: The Art of James J. Caterino


I have a new published sketchbook out, available in both a glorious, full color, 8.5 x 11 glossy paperback, and on Kindle.

From the back cover:

James J, Caterino, the acclaimed and wildly controversial author of lurid and action-packed works of imagination such as "Caitlin Star" series, "Steel Phantom" and "Watch the Skies", allows us inside his personal sketchbook as we get a glimpse into the author's personal obsessions with pop culture, fashion, and femme fatales, as well as a special insider's look at the concept and cover art for his epic works of imagination.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Top five books that influenced the 'Caitlin Star' series



The epic, dystopian, action-adventure "Caitlin Star" books were influenced by many things: My own personal experiences, the "Planet of the Apes" franchise, "Tomb Raider", "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", and many of my favorite books. Here is a list of the top five books that influenced the 'Caitlin Star' series





Birds of Prey – DC Comics

The resident female characters of Gotham City are among my favorite in all of fiction. No “Batman” book has ever captured the sense of empowerment embodied by the woman of the Dark Knight’s city than the early 2000s run of “Birds of Prey”, written by Gail Simone and penciled by Ed Benes.

The influence on "Caitlin Star"?

There is little bit of all the Gotham girls in "Caitlin Star", especially Black Canary, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy from an anti-hero's perspective.





Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors

“Before the Dawn” by Nicholas Wade is a furious and fascinating page turner that I could not get enough of. It is a non-fiction science book that attempts to solve the mysteries of human prehistory, especially the lost years between the exodus of modern humans out of Africa 50,000 years ago until the beginnings of recorded human history and urbanized civilization  roughly 5000 years ago.

The influence on "Caitlin Star"?

The scientific discoveries reported on in this book were a major launching pad for the pre-history timeline and Bull Mongoni mythology of the “CaitlinStar” series.





“Shadows of the Empire” by Steve Perry

This book excels at world-building just as much as it does characters. The setting is richly detailed, a vast underworld of the "Star Wars" universe hinted at in the final act of "Empire" and the opening set-piece in "Jedi" and fully explored here in an irresistible fashion by author Steve Perry.

At its core, "Shadows of the Empire" is an epic gangster story that makes fantastic use of the most interesting period in all of the "Star Wars", the time between "Empire" and "Jedi".

The influence on "Caitlin Star"?

The way author Steve Perry uses viewpoint and balances character and action is what I was striving for in the “Caitlin Star” books.






Brak the Barbarian by John Jakes

First published in 1968 at the amid a torrid Frank Frazetta/Robert E. Howard inspired sword and sorcery boom that lasted right up into the early 1980s, this John Jakes “Conan” rip off is a glorious pulp masterwork in its own right.

What sets the “Brak” series apart from other Conan posers is John Jakes himself. He is a fantastic storyteller and a brilliant craftsman who writes visually and has a keen sense of pacing. There is a reason all of those historical novels of his (“The Bastard”, “North and South”, etc.) sold by the tens of millions. The guy can flat out write great fiction.

The influence on "Caitlin Star"?

The vivid, colorful prose, the visceral physicality, and the attitude.





Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The original dystopian, big brother, social commentary satire novel that often gets overshadowed by "1984" and the rest of the recently re-surging genre. I first read this book in an eighth grade literature class. I was blown by away it then and still love it today.

The influence on "Caitlin Star"?

The idea of a society where the powers to be (be it state, corporate, or otherwise), want to impose their own perverted sense of moral superiority on others in order to control them.

Related posts:



Friday, July 13, 2018

Fantastic fiction: The short stories of James J. Caterino

Best known for his exciting, action-packed "Caitlin Star" series, and the harrowing and heartfelt coming of age story, "The Last Neanderthal", the wildly imaginative and always entertaining author, James J. Caterino, now has five knockout short stories available on Amazon Kindle that will blow you away.


'Rollercoaster', a wicked thrill ride of a short story



Sixteen year-old Gina Zeneski is leading a good life. She is smart, beautiful, a track star, and has a sweet gig babysitting the Robinson kids. One fateful Saturday she takes the children for what was supposed to be a fun Saturday at the amusement park. But when she and the kids witness something they were not supposed to see, it turns out to be a deadly day of harrowing danger.
“Rollercoaster” is another knockout, action-packed short story from the lurid imagination of James J. Caterino,author of “The Eco-Warrior”, “Watch the Skies”, and the “Caitlin Star” series.


'Barry's Run', a riveting, cautionary, action-packed science fiction short story



Barry Baton dies in a car accident and is cryogenically frozen in suspended animation. When the technology to bring him back arrives in ten years, he is revived. He awakens into a Trumpian, fascist nightmare—a dark, dystopian, oppressive world, more terrifying than anything he could have imagined.

“Barry's Run” is a riveting, cautionary, action-packed science fiction short story from the lurid imagination of James J. Caterino, the wildly controversial author of “The Eco-Warrior”, “Battle of the Network Superheroes”, and the “Caitlin Star” series.



John Kregar is 'The Eco-Warrior' in new action-packed short story


Alycia is on the trip of a lifetime. She is deep in the rain forest of the Congo Basin, conducting field research for her doctoral thesis in Anthropology. She leads a team of fellow students and a professor. All is going well until they come across a murderous group of poachers who hold them at gunpoint, determined to torment the group of academics before leaving them for dead. Things get ugly and all appears lost, until, a mysterious bare-chested man appears, giving the poachers more than they bargained for.

They say he lost someone in one of the countless American mass shootings. They say he snapped, hoisted a NRA stooge Senator over his head, tossed him like a rag doll, and was sent to jail. They say he came to the Congo to escape humanity, and protect the last patch of paradise on Earth. They call him the Eco-Warrior.

John Kregar is, the Eco-Warrior
.


'The Selfie', a bold, romantic, imaginative short story



An illustrator at an ad agency creates a drawing of a woman taking a selfie for a smart phone ad campaign. Then, he comes across a real-life, living version of the exact same woman and image.

In the tradition of "The Twilight Zone", "The Outer Limits", and "Amazing Stories", "The Selfie" is a bold, shocking, romantic, unforgettable short story from the lurid imagination of James J. Caterino, author of “The B Girl” and “Caitlin Star: The Trilogy.”



Battle of the Network Superheroes'



When they decided to bring back a new, re-imagined version of “The Battle of the Network Stars”, writer James J. Caterino knew he had to find a way to get into the competition. And when he did, it became the adventure of a lifetime.
“Battle of the Network Superheroes” is another wild, wickedly entertaining tale from the fevered imagination of controversial author James J. Caterino, creator of “Steel Phantom”, “Among the Stars”, “The Last Neanderthal”, and the “Caitlin Star” series

Monday, July 2, 2018

'Rollercoaster', a wicked thrill ride of a short story



Sixteen year-old Gina Zeneski is leading a good life. She is smart, beautiful, a track star, and has a sweet gig babysitting the Robinson kids. One fateful Saturday she takes the children for what was supposed to be a fun Saturday at the amusement park. But when she and the kids witness something they were not supposed to see, it turns out to be a deadly day of harrowing danger.

“Rollercoaster” is another knockout, action-packed short story from the lurid imagination of James J. Caterino, author of “The Eco-Warrior”, “Watch the Skies”, and the “Caitlin Star” series.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Summer reading




James J. Caterino's "Caitlin Star" series is like a spike of adrenaline injected straight into the heart.

Set in a contemporary dystopia, the books feature the strong-willed action hero Caitlin Star, a former track athlete and a  "Bull Mongoni" warrior, a discipline and philosophy based on a mythic species of hominids who roamed the earth long ago, and who play a key role in the epic plot of this action-packed series.

Books 1-3, (contained in the beautifully packaged "Caitlin Star: The Trilogy"), tell Caitlin's origin story against the backdrop of a North American civil war and a WWIII apocalyptic event. In book 4, "Caitlin Star and the Hand of God", Caitlin and her friends fight to protect the last paradise on Earth, the Congo Basin, against an authoritarian invader and his cult following.

Brimming with references to evolution, history, hard science, and loaded with non-stop colorful action adventure and memorable characters, the "Caitlin Star" books are riveting, page-turning, epic entertainment from start to finish.








If you like stuff like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "E.T.", and "The X-Files", I promise you are going to love "Watch the Skies".

“Watch the Skies” is a wild, exciting, epic tale of UFOs and alien abduction, spanning fifty years and told through the eyes of three woman who must find a way to endure all that happens to them until the very end, when all will finally be revealed.






"The Last Neanderthal" is a take on the Bigfoot legend and represents James J. Caterino's most complete and balanced work to date. It has the action and philosophy of "Caitlin Star" and the emotional character interaction of "The B Girl". In movie pitch lingo it could be described as "King Kong" meets "Harry and the Hendersons", by way of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes".




First published in 2005 and recently re-released with new cover art, "She" is a haunting, suspenseful tale about an unsolved murder mystery from the past, an a mysterious woman who appears in the present, and is dead ringer for the long dead victim.

From the back cover:

"We are driving on Street Runs Road now. This is the road—the place where it happened, the birthplace of my journey, the crossroads, the crux of time where the line between life and death merged. It is the place where I was forever changed." 

In July of 1983, JC Pezzini and his parents were involved in a deadly hit-and-run car accident. A mysterious Good Samaritan referred to as “She” was the only reason JC survived—and finding She has become his all-consuming passion in life. More than twenty years later, JC is a filmmaker, a voyeur, and a man haunted by his past. 

With the help of his psychiatrist, his friends, and old acquaintances of the unknown woman, JC will attempt to get closer to She than he could ever hope to—even in his most lucid daydreams. Whether through regression hypnotherapy, time travel by means of an anti-reality chamber, or sheer determination, JC won’t stop until he recovers the answers he has been searching for all these years. 

After coming across a stunning She look-alike named Angela, JC is convinced he’s almost completed his life quest. Only then are the real answers—and the shocking secrets that have hidden the truth—revealed.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The essential James J. Caterino


James J. Caterino's "Caitlin Star" series is like a spike of adrenaline injected straight into the heart. 

Set in a contemporary dystopia, the books feature the strong-willed action hero Caitlin Star, a former track athlete and a  "Bull Mongoni" warrior, a discipline and philosophy based on a mythic species of hominids who roamed the earth long ago, and who play a key role in the epic plot of this action-packed series.

Books 1-3, (contained in the beautifully packaged "Caitlin Star: The Trilogy"), tell Caitlin's origin story against the backdrop of a North American civil war and a WWIII apocalyptic event. In book 4, "Caitlin Star and the Hand of God", Caitlin and her friends fight to protect the last paradise on Earth, the Congo Basin, against an authoritarian invader and his cult following.

Brimming with references to evolution, history, hard science, and loaded with non-stop colorful action adventure and memorable characters, the "Caitlin Star" books are riveting, page-turning, epic entertainment from start to finish.







An illustrator at an ad agency creates a drawing of a woman taking a selfie for a smart phone ad campaign. Then, he comes across a real-life, living version of the exact same woman and image.

In the tradition of "The Twilight Zone", "The Outer Limits", and "Amazing Stories", "The Selfie" is a bold, shocking, romantic, unforgettable short story from the lurid imagination of James J. Caterino, author of “Watch the Skies” and “Caitlin Star: The Trilogy.”





If you like stuff like "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "E.T.", and "The X-Files", I promise you are going to love "Watch the Skies".

“Watch the Skies” is a wild, exciting, epic tale of UFOs and alien abduction, spanning fifty years and told through the eyes of three woman who must find a way to endure all that happens to them until the very end, when all will finally be revealed.






"The Last Neanderthal" is a take on the Bigfoot legend and represents James J. Caterino's most complete and balanced work to date. It has the action and philosophy of "Caitlin Star" and the emotional character interaction of "The B Girl". In movie pitch lingo it could be described as "King Kong" meets "Harry and the Hendersons", by way of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes".






Alycia is on the trip of a lifetime. She is deep in the rain forest of the Congo Basin, conducting field research for her doctoral thesis in Anthropology. She leads a team of fellow students and a professor. All is going well until they come across a murderous group of poachers who hold them at gunpoint, determined to torment the group of academics before leaving them for dead. Things get ugly and all appears lost, until, a mysterious bare-chested man appears, giving the poachers more than they bargained for.

They say he lost someone in one of the countless American mass shootings. They say he snapped, hoisted a NRA stooge Senator over his head, tossed him like a rag doll, and was sent to jail. They say he came to the Congo to escape humanity, and protect the last patch of paradise on Earth. They call him the Eco-Warrior.
John Kregar is, the Eco-Warrior.