Steve Alten's February Newsletter
BIG MEG ANNOUNCEMENT
To my MEGheads, devoted readers & casual fans:
 
It’s just after 3 am on Friday Jamuary 31st and I find myself back in my home office unable to sleep. This unfortunately has become part of my routine as my Parkinson’s demands dopamine, sending my toes and feet and leg muscles into painful cramps and contortions that make sleep impossible. With my natural extract I can take some and be relieved in ten minutes; with the meds… 45 minutes to an hour. ..a really long hour.
 
But there’s another reason I can’t sleep – it’s because I am really excited about a new project I am working on and my mind is going a thousand miles an hour. Having just read that, a few of you may be thinking, “dude seriously, another project? When are you going to finish writing Angel of Death and The LOCH: Heaven’s Lake?” My response – both are amazing reads well worth the wait, but regardless of what else I am doing I have a window of time in mind for LOCH: HL as the hardback’s success relies on riding a wind driven by The LOCH movie, the announcement of which is coming soon. As for Angel of Death, many of the really cool details I’ve explored in the novella will come to life in the new project -- something I’ve been thinking about for many years. Before telling you about it I want to thank all of you who purchased books and posters and vintage packages from my e-store over these last six months.
 
The most challenging thing about being a full-time author – living paycheck to paycheck while supporting a family. I’m not complaining – I have been blessed with great agents, managers, MEG & LOCH producer Belle Avery, editors, assistants and the best fans an author could wish for, movie deals, best-sellers… At the same time the industry has undergone major changes since I signed my first publishing deal in 1996. Back then the big publishing houses were doing well and there was B. Dalton and Waldenbooks, and Borders, plus many great independents. Amazon and ebooks changed everything – including advances. It’s tough enough writing on spec; it can take me a year or more to complete a novel of “faction” which are heavily researched, keeping the reader wondering if such and such was fact of fiction. Over the last ten years publishers have cut advances by 50% or more, making it even tougher to survive. (If not for the movie deals, I couldn’t afford to write MEG: Purgatory for what I am being paid). Battling Parkinson’s with a natural extract that allows me to continue writing is a doubled-edged sword as it added 30% to our expenses but I am blessed to have it.
 
And then about eight months ago the guy in the White House landed a gut punch…
 
The MEG, MEG-2, and The LOCH are all co-productions with our amazing Chinese production partners. Trump’s tariffs on China were the equivalent of releasing a bull in the China shop, pushing production (and payments) back 6-8 months, crushing us the same way it has our farmers – the ones who actually pay these tariffs, not the Chinese. With no other major deals coming in, we had to scramble – my wife going back to work full-time, me having to drain the retirement account, borrowing against my inheritance… there were times when we had less than $300 in the bank and I had to ask some close friends for loans just to keep food on the table and the lights on. I know some of you sensed that, and your kindness and generosity often brought me to tears (love your hearts). It was no doubt a test of faith and you gave me strength. Even the doc making my extract kept me afloat, sending things on credit. And in January the first back-end monies on The MEG finally arrived, pushing our noses above water.
 
Two things came out of this dark period – two sparks of light. The first was www.TheSteveAltenProject.com  – a place where I could share scripts and stories my fans have never read, along with special suped-up editions of my published novels you’ll never see anywhere. Next week an all-new edition of GOLIATH will appear in the TSAP library, and it will blow you away – thanks to the amazing job put in by Barbara Becker, whose full-color photos of the ships and subs and weapon systems bring the battle scenes to life. The events between 2002 when the book was written and 2020 also required a major rewrite and boy was I shocked to realize Gunnar Wolfe sounded a lot like Trump when he took out that Iranian general. And yeah, I may have delivered my own body blow – call it QUID PRO QUO. I promise, it was nothing out of Mr. Trump's character and I can hear him saying, “Covah? I don’t know Simon Covah, I take pictures with everyone!"
The second spark? Have you ever imagined what it might be like to actually visit Angel’s Lair or one of the many sea monsters that Jonas and David Taylor encountered in an aquarium? What if there was an interactive website that mixed 3D animation, CGI, and shark footage with actors and extras reacting to mini-story lines that you, the visitor were part of. And the stories were always changing, always keeping you guessing what might happen next… Maybe you visit the MEG tank and get mesmerized watching this 70 ton shark circling its tank when you hear screams and as it passes by with a trainer in its mouth… the woman who led you to your seat!
Got you! You’d visit the site every free moment you had… me too. We sent out a few posts in January about the project and drew serious interest from some incredibly talented fans (our head of special effects is a two-time Emmy winner). If you have experience in CGI, 3D animation, visual effects, graphic design, video, directing, or production and you would like to be involved in a project that could showcase your talent to potentially millions of people all over the world (The MEG trailers drew over 100 million views before the movie hit theaters) please contact me (film school students and related program majors are all welcome) at MEG82159@aol.com SUBJECT: NEW PROJECT . Please include a sample of your work.  
 
We also need suggestions for a site name (MEG World is too close to the movie) as well as a name for our resident Megalodon (can’t use Angel or names from my series - this is all new) email me at MEG82159@aol.com SUBJECT: SUGGESTIONS . Winners will receive a season pass.
 
We’re pushing for an April Opening Day . Monthly membership is expected to run about $14.95 a month (unlimited use). 
 
All members of TheSteveAltenProject.com will receive a coupon for FREE ENTRY . (You must have joined before April 1, 2020 and be in good standing).
 
I always take care of my MEGheads.
 
--Steve Alten
 
Featured story of the month on TSAP:
The COLONY
LOGLINE
Astronauts sent to colonize Mars return to a post-apocalyptic Earth dominated by giant ants. 
 
THE STORY BEATS
WE OPEN on a damaged space shuttle and a team of astronauts in space suits crossing a barren plain we assume is Mars…until we see a sign – LAS VEGAS: 7 miles.
 
Welcome to post-apocalyptic Earth and the aftermath of nuclear war. The crew arrives at a burnt crater that was once Vegas. They head to the outskirts of Nevada where radiation levels normalize. They strip off their spacesuits and eat rations by a fire. A radio picks up a signal… survivors? Before they can respond they are attacked by packs of hairless RATS, each as large as a Golden Retriever, their emaciated hides covered in cysts. The crew fights them off with torches, but are about to be overcome when arrows fly thru the night air, killing the beasts. 
 
Human hunters, cloaked in hoods and masks take them prisoner aboard a large pick-up truck rigged for silent running. Radar picks up a life form and they haul ass, the truck attacked by something incredibly strong which strikes from the shadows. One of the hunters, QUENTIN, slits Danny’s throat and tosses the bleeding astronaut over the side. The attack ceases.
Scientists Film Fish in Mariana Trench
A government-affiliated institution said Thursday it filmed a snailfish in the Mariana Trench at a depth of 8,178 meters — the deepest point ever for capturing a fish on video.

Scary Creatures Discovered in Mariana Trench
Living Tips: Rejuvenate Your Liver
5 Easy Steps To Detox, Heal And Rejuvenate Your Liver

The liver isn’t something that people think about when they’re healthy.

However, as you age, it becomes increasingly critical that you take care of this organ.

At least 30 million people—or one in 10 Americans—have some form of liver disease. There are more than 100 types of liver disease that can affect people regardless of age (1).

Music Video of the Month
Classic Stones – love the tempo…
Joke Of The Month
On a passenger flight, the pilot comes over the public address system as usual and to greet the passengers. He tells them at what altitude they'll be flying, the expected arrival time, and a bit about the weather, and advises them to relax and have a good flight.. Then, forgetting to turn off the microphone, he says to his co-pilot, "What would relax me right now is a cup of coffee and a blowjob." All the passengers hear it. As a stewardess immediately begins to run toward the cockpit to tell the pilot of his slip-up, one of the passengers stops her and says "Don't forget the coffee!"
    
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.
Recipe of the Month:
Healthy Banana Bread
Mix Dry Ingredients Together
2 cups Spelt Flour
1 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon All Spice
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Optional: Handful of Chopped Walnuts.

Stir Liquids into Dry Ingredients
1 Cup Rice Milk
2 Tablespoon Safflower Oil
2 Tablespoons Agave
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Bananas Mashed

Prepare for Oven - Spray 9" Bread Pan with Canola Oil. Pour mixed ingredients into pan. Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Thanks, Pam!

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.
Finally... 
Your monthly dosage of smiles, brought to you once again by the 3 wise men… I mean, 3 wise guys.

Happy Birthday, Art! (15th)
Thanks again for supporting my work,
 
 -Steve Alten , Ed.D
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