Steve Alten January Newsletter
MEGheads, Cove Dwellers, and the rest of my wonderful readers: 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

January is a time when many of us attempt to set a New Year’s resolution. Maybe you want to lose weight, quit smoking, get a better paying job, or even write that great American novel you’ve been thinking about for years. Unfortunately your chance at succeeding is “slim to none” and slim just left town. It’s not that your resolutions are not worthy, it’s just that there is a major difference between making a wish list and actually setting forth an action plan that you will commit to.

No one ever explained it better than Napoleon Hill in his classic guide, “Think & Grow Rich.” If you never read this masterpiece trust me and READ IT. (I’ve included a link below to receive a free digital copy). This book has guided me through challenging times and successful ventures – including an action plan that led to the completion of my first manuscript MEG. It was a journey that began when I was a teen and read the novel, JAWS by Peter Benchley. From there I wanted to read every shark attack story written – and in many there was a black & white photo of six nerdy-looking scientists seated in a massive shark jaw. I searched everywhere to find more info about this Megalodon, but found nothing.

Fast forward twenty years. I was in my early thirties, married and struggling to support a family of five, living in a small rented townhome. At the time I had closed down the sales office where we were selling whole-house water systems; running everything out of the townhome. The business was failing and I found myself the last salesperson left… this after putting myself thru ten years of college to earn a doctorate degree in Sports Administration. I was broke and depressed, working crazy hours. And then, in August of 1995 a TIME Magazine came with an angler fish on the cover. The cover story was my introduction to hydrothermal vents and the Mariana Trench ,,, and for some reason I thought about that massive shark and wouldn’t it be cool if those creatures had escaped extinction and were living in that trench.
My first step was to find out the name of the shark, so I drove to the library (no internet yet) and found the photo and did some basic research… using the Great White as a reference. Believing I had an original and winning idea, I set my goals using Napoleon Hill’s guideline.

Six Steps To Setting A Goal:

1. What is it that you want. Be very specific. What I wanted was to write a manuscript that would become a best-selling novel and launch my career as an author.
 
2. Determine what you will do to achieve it. Because I worked evenings, the only time I could set aside for writing was ten at night until 3 am and weekends.  

3. Set a deadline when you expect to accomplish this. I decided I would devote 30 days to research and writing a basic storyline beat sheet. After that, I would write 1-3 pages a night which would equate to a 400 page manuscript in January.

4. Create a definite plan, and start it immediately. I already had set up a work area in the dining room; now I just had to share my plan with my wife.

5. Write out a clear concise statement of the above 4 steps.

6. Read your statement aloud at least twice daily, more when possible, seeing, feeling, and believing that you already possess it.

This last step was easy; all I could think about was the story, my thoughts always on the chapter I was writing. Whenever we’d see a new movie I’d say to my wife, Kim “one day we’ll be going to the premiere of my movie.”
I finished the manuscript in January of 1996 and immediately bought a book on how to get published. As instructed, I wrote a 2 page query letter and sent one to every literary agent listed in the book who handled fiction (about 60-70). Only three requested chapters, only one was interested – Ken Atchity of AEI. Ken believed the story would make a great book and movie, but the manuscript needed a ton of editing. He would assign me an editor but it would cost me $6,000. I didn’t have $600, but I had my 71 Chevy Malibu convertible my Dad had bought me when I was seventeen. I sold the car and borrowed the rest and my editor and I began rewriting the manuscript. 

It was about that time that I received a very strange phone call from a guy who said, “Are you Steve Alten? My name is Larry Kline and I could have been your father.” Turns out Larry Kline dated my mother when she was seventeen. He owned Larry Kline’s Wholesale Meats and wanted to meet me. What the heck – when opportunity calls check it out. I drove to his plant, we hit it off, and an hour later I drove home with a box of steaks and a job as his new sales manager.

Again using Napoleon Hill’s principles, I taught my salesmen how to increase their sales by setting goals. One goal I had was to stop the in-fighting between Larry and his three stepsons. I guess I did a pretty decent job as they promoted me to General Manager (to this day I still know nothing about meat).

In May, Ken and producer Warren Zide closed a first look deal for MEG with Disney’s Hollywood Pictures based on the first 100 pages of the novel and a treatment. It would be three months before a contract was ready. I finished the final edit of MEG in August. On Friday September 13, 1996 I arrived at work to learn I had been fired – that they no longer needed me. I drove home to find my wife upset – we literally had $45 in the bank. “Don’t worry hon, now I’ll have time to write my second book.” She looked like she was ready to throw a frying pan at me.

Three days later on September 16, Ken started a bidding war for MEG and a concept for my second novel – a Mayan Doomsday thriller – closing a 2 book deal for $2.1 million with Bantam/Doubleday – the publisher of JAWS. 

From the shit house to the penthouse… 

Of course, I had no way of knowing that my career would have more ups and downs than a rollercoaster ride (I HATE f**king rollercoasters) but that is an example of setting a goal. 

For 2022, wishing you and yours health, wealth and happiness.

Steve Alten, Ed.D. 

CLICK HERE to receive a free digital copy of Napoleon Hill’s THINK & GROW RICH – a gift from the Self-Help library. https://theselfhelplibrary.com/think-and-grow-rich/
LOCH 3: Heaven’s Lake update
My primary goal in 2022 is completing this amazing third book in The Loch Ness Monster series. I hope to have a first draft done around February which will allow me to give you a more precise time frame when you can expect signed hardbacks in the mail. These books will NOT be sold in stores or on Amazon, they must be preordered. Because of COVID and the ever-increasing costs to print, we will be raising the price on January 6th. (this only effects new orders. But now is the best time to preorder at www.SteveAlten.com – the only way to get a collector’s edition signed hardback.
LAST CHARACTER CONTEST of 2021
As COVID-19 continues to increase the costs of everything (printing included) there will be a small price increase starting January 6th on all new orders of The Loch-3: Heaven’s Lake and MEG: PURGATORY deluxe package. This will only affect new orders received after 1-6-2022. If you were planning on ordering a few extra signed first-edition hardbacks to use as gifts or which you can sell on ebay and profit 50% to 500% as many of you did with MEG: GENERATIONS this would be a great time to order.

But just to tempt you even more, I need to fill 7-10 character spots in Loch 3 (what can I say – it’s a big book). I also need to clear an overcrowded book shelf.
 
TO ENTER:
Each copy of LOCH-3: Heaven’s Lake purchased between December 30, 2021 and January 6th at 11:59 pm est will be an entry into the contest.
 
TWO DRAWINGS:

DRAWING A:
Anyone who purchases one copy will be entered into this drawing to win one of the 5 minor characters needed for the novel. Five names will be randomly drawn on January 7th at 5pm est.(live on my facebook page).

DRAWING B:
Anyone who purchases 3 or more copies will be entered into this drawing to win one of the 5 significant characters spots or one of six signed MEG comics. EVERYONE WHO PURCHASES A 4TH COPY WILL RECEIVE A SIGNED TRADE PAPERBACK OF THE MEG (anyone living outside USA must cover postage – sorry).
 
GOOD LUCK!
Great White Shark… pooping?
When ya gotta go…
Writing Coach Program 
Writing Coach is my one-on-one tutorial for anyone who always dreamed of becoming a published author but just needed coaching and guidance. If you have an unfinished novel or an acorn of an idea that you’re ready to grow and commit to (as well as the tuition which commits me to you for however long it takes) then you are welcome to apply. 

Step 1: Email me a one paragraph synopsis of your story to Meg82159@aol.com – SUBJECT Writing Coach. If I like the idea and see potential we’ll schedule a one-on-one brainstorming session to discuss it. There is no charge for this session which often fleshes out ideas you never considered. If you like what you hear and I feel you are coachable I will send you a contract that covers all you will receive for $4,495 (I paid $6,000 back in 1996 for similar services – but don’t sell your car). There are no cut-off dates – we finish when you finish. Check out our growing list of published authors… you could be the next Marie Sutro... E.S. Brown... Josh Viola ... David McCaffrey...Terry Zavecz (Philip Nolan)... Brian Ullman ... Rick Chesler ... or (fingers crossed) Rande Goodwin!
SEA MONSTER COVE January happenings:
SeaMonsterCove.com is a groundbreaking multi-media entertainment experience where members can interact with the most terrifying sea monsters and prehistoric sharks in history.

  • Over a dozen 360 Virtual Aquarium Experiences!
  • Video games - compete for MEG teeth & other prizes!+
  • Two episodic TV series in development, written by Steve Alten (creator of the MEG).

Download enhanced novels from the Steve Alten library, packed with hundreds of graphic images...and much more -- all for less than $5 a month! 
What else do we offer? Check it out:
Then go to www.SeaMonsterCove.com and join and/or purchase a Holiday gift card.

And check out the new store items now on sale: The store is open to everyone. No membership needed. Just click on the link. https://seamonstercove.com/store/
Since the launch of Sea Monster Cove, we have strived for compatibility on as many platforms and with as many interfaces as possible. We are happy to announce that… Our 360 VRs are compatible with Oculus Quest! Immerse yourself in the awe and wonder of seamonstercove.com
Zoom Call
Saturday, January 8, 2022 at 3pm:

Zoom with Steve Alten.

If you wish to be on the ZOOM, reserve a spot with Kelly at kellyrollyson2020@gmail.com
Music Video of the Month:
The Door Into Summer (The Monkees)
I love the Monkees, grew up watching their TV show and listening to their albums. I’ve also been to several concerts – the first when Davy was alive. Mike Nesmith passed away a few weeks ago – Micky the last of the four still around. This one is for you, Mike… R.I.P.
Recipe of the Month:
Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Red Pepper Flakes 
Ingredients:
1 pound dried spaghetti
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic cloves
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Instructions:

Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pasta water. The reserved pasta water will help create the sauce. Do not rinse pasta with water -- you want to retain the pasta's natural starches so that the sauce will stick.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until light brown and fragrant. It's important not to burn the garlic or else it will become bitter. Remove and discard the browned garlic. Add the red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute. Carefully add the pasta and toss to coat in the flavored oil. Add the reserved pasta water and cook, stirring, to create a sauce, 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and top with the fresh herbs. 
*IF YOU HAVE A RECIPE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail to me at MEG82159@aol.com Put RECIPE in the subject line.
Living Tips
Apartment Moving Day Tips &Tricks
Moving into a new apartment isn’t easy, especially when stairs, tight corners, and doorways are involved. From packing a box to moving heavy furniture to knowing what ended up where, consider this your ultimate guide to moving day. https://www.apartments.com/blog/apartment-moving-day-tips-and-tricks
Joke of the Month: Overnight Hotel Stay
Lucille decided to give herself a big treat for her 70th birthday by staying overnight in a really nice hotel.. When she checked out the next morning, the desk clerk handed her a bill for $250.00. She demanded to know why the charge was so high "I agree it's a nice hotel, but the rooms aren't worth $250..00 for just an overnight stay - I didn't even have breakfast!"  

The clerk told her that $250.00 is the 'standard rate,' and breakfast had been included had she wanted it. She insisted on speaking to the Manager. The Manager appeared and, forewarned by the desk clerk, announced: "This hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference center which are available for use." 

"But I didn't use them." 

'Well, they are here, and you could have." He went on to explain that she could also have seen one of the in-hotel shows for which they were so famous."We have the best entertainers from the world over performing here."
 
"But I didn't go to any of those shows.." 

"Well, we have them, and you could have." 

No matter what amenity the Manager mentioned, she replied, "But I didn't use it!" and the Manager countered with his standard response. After several minutes discussion, and with the Manager still unmoved, she decided to pay, wrote a check and gave it to him. The Manager was surprised when he looked at the check. 
 
"But Madam, this check is for only $50.00"

"That's correct I charged you $200.00 for sleeping with me." 

"But I didn't!" 

"Well, too bad, I was here, and you could have."
IF YOU HAVE A JOKE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE, please e-mail to me at MEG82159@aol.com Put JOKE in the subject line.
Finally…

Your monthly dose of the Three Stooges… a personal favorite – A Plumbing We Will Go.
Stay safe… and please get vaccinated with the REAL COVID vaccines and get a booster shot as well. This is not a political issue; it is a matter of life and death… although at times it looks like a competition for the Darwin Awards. Laugh at the Stooges, don’t take advice from them. Remember… if something sounds incredibly stupid – it probably is!

Steve Alten, Ed.D.
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