Friday, August 18, 2017

Rayden Valkyrie Celebration!

Rayden Valkyrie Celebration
August 16-23, 2017

 Stephen Zimmer
is an award-winning author and filmmaker based out of Lexington Kentucky. His works include the Rayden Valkyrie novels (Sword and Sorcery), the Rising Dawn Saga (Cross Genre), the Fires in Eden Series (Epic Fantasy), the Hellscapes short story collections (Horror), the Chronicles of Ave short story collections (Fantasy), and the Harvey and Solomon Tales (Steampunk).

Stephen’s visual work includes the feature film Shadows Light, shorts films such as The Sirens and Swordbearer, and the forthcoming Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot.

Stephen is a proud Kentucky Colonel who also enjoys the realms of music, martial arts, good bourbons, and spending time with family.


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Heart of a Lion
Rayden Valkyrie. She walks alone, serving no king, emperor, or master. Forged in the fires of tragedy, she has no place she truly calls home.

A deadly warrior wielding both blade and axe, Rayden is the bane of the wicked and corrupt. To many others, she is the most loyal and dedicated of friends, an ally who is unyielding in the most dangerous of circumstances.

The people of the far southern lands she has just aided claim that she has the heart of a lion. For Rayden, a long journey to the lands of the far northern tribes who adopted her as a child beckons, with an ocean lying in between.

Her path will lead her once more into the center of a maelstrom, one involving a rising empire that is said to be making use of the darkest kinds of sorcery to grow its power. Making new friends and discoveries amid tremendous peril, Rayden makes her way to the north.

Monstrous beasts, supernatural powers, and the bloody specter of war have been a part of her world for a long time and this journey will be no different. Rayden chooses the battles that she will fight, whether she takes up the cause of one individual or an entire people.

Both friends and enemies alike will swiftly learn that the people of the far southern lands spoke truly. Rayden Valkyrie has the heart of a lion.

Heart of a Lion is Book One of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy. 

Thunder Horizon

A deadly menace stalks the shadows of the lands to the north, stirring the winds of war. Farther south, the power of the Teveren Empire spreads with every passing day, empowered by dark sorcery. Formidable legions bent on conquest are on the march, slavery and subjugation following in their wake.

Within the rising maelstrom, Rayden Valkyrie has returned to the Gessa, to stand with the tribe that once took her into their care as a child. No amount of jewels or coin can sway her, nor can the great power of her adversaries intimidate her.

With a sword blade in her right hand and axe in her left, Rayden confronts foes both supernatural and of flesh and blood. Horrific revelations and tremendous risks loom; some that will see Rayden's survival in the gravest of peril.

Even if Rayden and the Gessa survive the trials plaguing their lands, the thunder of an even darker storm booms across the far horizon.

Thunder Horizon is the second book in the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy.

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Guest Post from Stephen Zimmer:

Struggles and Rewards of Being an Indie Screenwriter/Filmmaker
The independent production path is a difficult one, but it is not one without rewards too. The Rayden Valkyrie: Saga of a Lionheart TV Pilot has certainly been one of the most challenging projects I have ever undertaken, but it has also allowed me to bring the character dearest to me to the screen in an atmosphere where I could protect the integrity of how Rayden Valkyrie is presented.

The main struggle of the indie production path is, without question, a financial one. You have to make a very small amount of money go a long way. Careful decisions have to be made where to allocate dollars, and you have to work to find as much volunteer and in-kind support as possible. 

I have always said that the worst thing that can happen when you ask for help is that someone says no, so it is well-worth asking around to see if you can get help with some production needs. Many individuals are more than willing to lend some help to an indie production they believe in. It may come in the form of a borrowed power generator, or perhaps and RV or ATV for use by the production, or even a discounted rental rate on some gear, but all of it counts and adds up quickly.

Having limited resources means you are also going to wear a lot of hats that you would not wear if you had a larger budget with the ability to hire a full staff and assistants. You will be making all the phone calls, filling out all the forms, writing all the emails, and doing business for multiple departments on a given indie film/tv project. Prepare to be exhausted, as often there are not enough hours in the day. 

By the time you get on set, you might have a few volunteers helping in various capacities, but you have to remember that they are volunteers, not contracted professionals, and you cannot get upset if they do not do the job of a contracted professional who has accountability due to a paycheck. This means that on set you may find yourself picking up cases of bottled water and rolls of toilet paper, right before you meet with your production crew for camera and lighting setup on location for the day. It's not glamorous, it's just a matter of getting done what needs to be done. 

Yet for all the difficulties of indie film, there are a number of rewarding aspects. The creative side is not beyond your control. I didn't have to worry about my Rayden Valkyrie character's casting being an individual I would be dead set against. I didn't have to worry about the look of the character and the story going in directions I did not want them to go. Having a fuller degree of creative control throughout the process, from pre-production through post-production, is a wonderful thing. It is something that authors and screenwriters who have their works turned into major motion pictures do not enjoy.

The integrity of the artistic side of the production is maintained to a much great degree in an indie film/tv setting. True, this aspect can be for better or for worse, but the vision of the project is carried out without the pressure and influence of loads of other factors that surround a major Hollywood film. 

It is also rewarding to pull off a major league look on a tiny budget. Seeing the reactions of people to the first footage shown has been wonderful, as in many cases it is clear that the look we have achieved far exceeded expectations. The achievement of a high production value in the look we attained goes far in gaining more interest in our TV Pilot. 

There is no question that I would enjoy working with a larger amount of resources, and my mindset is one where I could make those additional funds go farther in the production value we could achieve on a larger scale. Less hats to wear would be quite welcome, as well. But I have to say it is a very wonderful opportunity to bring my vision of Rayden Valkyrie to the screen in a way where I did not have to worry about unwelcome surprises in what was done with her character or her presentation. 

The indie film/tv world is truly a mix of struggles and rewards.

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 Tour Schedule and Activities
8/16 The Page Turner  Guest Post
8/16 BOOKS TO CURL UP WITH  Author Interview 
8/16 Bookishly me  Author Interview 
8/16 DarWrites    Guest Post
8/16 Sheila's Guests and Reviews   Guest Post
8/16 Sapphyria's Books   Guest Post
8/16 Deal Sharing Aunt   Top Ten's List
8/17 DarWrites   Review
8/17 Bookin Around Town   Author Interview/Podcast
8/17 Full Moon Bites     Character Interview 
8/18 I Smell Sheep     Guest Post
8/19 Paranormal Pleasures    Review
8/19 The Page Turner   Review
8/19 Bella's Book Reviews   Review
8/19 Jeni's Bookshelf   Guest Post 
8/20 The Seventh Star Blog  Guest Post 
8/20 Stuart Thaman Books Guest Post
8/21 MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape  Author Interview  
8/21 SpecMusicMuse   Author Interview 
8/21 Jordan Hirsch    Review
8/22 Beauty in Ruins   Guest Post
8/22 Discover New Authors   Author Interview 
8/23 The Occult Detective  Review
8/23 Bookishly me  Review  
8/23 Jeni's Bookshelf  Review  
8/23   Jorie Loves a Story  Interview 


  1. Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today! :)

    1. My pleasure!! Thank you for stopping in for a visit. :D