Monthly Archives: December 2013

Recent Newspaper Article in The Daily Courier, Prescott, AZ, 12-24-13

Thought you, the readers of my blog, would enjoy seeing this article on me published in our local newspaper of record here in Prescott, AZ: The Daily Courier.

Fred
_________________________________________________

12/24/2013 6:02:00 AM
Career move
Local man transitions from creating television shows to sci-fi, children’s books

Tamara Sone
The Daily Courier

PRESCOTT VALLEY – While working an 8-hour day may seem like an eternity for some people, working 12 to 14-hours at a time is normal for author Frederick Fichman.

“Sometimes it’s just not enough time. Time disappears when you’re sitting there banging away at the computer,” Fichman said. “All of a sudden you’re into a story. It’s like you go into an altered state because you are so into what you are doing.”

Fichman’s most popular work is “Seti”, which was published by Penguin Books in 1990. The novel originally began as a screenplay, according to Fichman.

“I was working with David Putnam, head of Columbia Pictures, to make ‘Seti’ into a movie. It was very close to the time when ‘Close Encounters’ came out,” Fichman said. “They paid me some money for it, had me do a couple of rewrites, and it was put on the fast track. But then Columbia got sold, so David Putnam was out and all the line of films he had slated to do were out.”

Not wanting to give up on “Seti”, Fichman pitched the book to Penguin Books. The company agreed to publish the novel. The book sold more than 12,000 copies in the U.S. and was picked up by publishers in England, Canada, and Australia. He is currently working on a third book to complete the trilogy.

In addition to writing science fiction and mystery novels, Fichman has penned a variety of non-fiction works.

His “Visit the Zoo” 12-book series educates children, teens and adults on 120 animals often seen in zoos across the country. The books include information such as the population status of each animal, if they are endangered or not, and descriptions of their natural habitat, diet and longevity. Fichman took all of the photographs contained in the series.

“The books are like a docent walking right with you” Fichman said.

Fichman’s zoo series recently caught the attention of Prince William of England. Fichman proudly shows off a letter he received from The Duke of Cambridge’s private secretary, Miguel Head, on Sept. 30, singing the book’s praises.

“His Royal Highness is certainly supportive of all and any efforts to encourage young people to appreciate the world around them,” the letter read.

Fichman credits much of his success to the development of new technology and e-books. He has published e-books through Nook, Kindle and Kobo. However, with that success comes a lot of work.

“You have to be constantly marketing and promoting your book until it takes off. There may be a million books up on Kindle, so you are competing with all those books,” Fichman said. “But you know what, even though it takes time and it takes work, there’s something satisfying about doing it yourself.”

While Fichman studied journalism and English at the University of Kansas, writing wasn’t his first career path.

Fichman worked as a television executive for ABC for nearly 30 years. He began his stint in the industry when he was just 21 years old, working for cartoon giants Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. The company produced a variety of popular cartoons such as The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, and The Smurfs.

Fichman’s job at Hanna-Barbera was to check all of the background cells that would be photographed to create the cartoons.

“It was all hand-done back then, there was no animation like there is today,” Fichman said.

Fichman was promoted to a variety of jobs throughout his career in the television industry. From running ABC’s music department, juggling a $50 million budget, to writing scripts for shows like “The Odd Couple”, Fichman steadily climbed the corporate ladder in Hollywood.

Working in the television industry, offered Fichman the unique opportunity to mix and mingle with Hollywood A-listers and power brokers.

“I had so many experiences I could sit here all day and tell you stories about the people I met. It runs from presidents to celebrities,” Fichman said, laughing. “I could write a book.”

For more information about Fichman’s books, visit www.FrederickFichman.com.

New “Visit the Zoo” Videos Just Released

My 12-volume Book Series, “Visit the Zoo” written under my pen name Tom Smith, is crammed full of several hundred still pictures. There are just over 120 animals featured in the books with anywhere from 2-4 pictures for each animal.

But, during the time of my research and photography for those animals I also shot a lot of video, most of it in HD 1080p. And I decided I was going to put that video to use and let you see some video for free. I wanted those beautiful animals to come to life for you. So, I have put together 5 short videos featuring some of the animals in the “Visit the Zoo” series. They are titled:

 
Introduction
Meerkat
Bonobo
Giraffe
Panda
 
I have uploaded these videos to You Tube. Here is the url:
 
 
All of my videos are posted on that You Tube Channel. Give them a look and comment or share. Tell me what you think. Your Feedback is so important to me. It lets me know what you think, what you like, what you don’t like and what you would like to see in the future in both video and in my books. And please try to visit my websites as well:
 
 

 
 
Please also know that I sincerely wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous New Year. All the best from my family to yours.
 
 
Fred F




Strange and Possible

First, the Strange. Following, is a short press release caption for the above picture from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA: 

This nighttime view of Saturn’s north pole shows a bizarre six-sided hexagon feature encircling the entire north pole. The red color indicates the amount of 5-micron wavelength radiation, or heat, generated in the warm interior of Saturn that escapes the planet. Image credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

More Info for all of you space geeks out there, like me:http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2007-034

 
 
And Now, The Possible. From Space.com:
 
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has detected water in the atmospheres of five planets beyond our solar system. The five exoplanets with hints of water are all scorching-hot, Jupiter-size worlds that are unlikely to host life as we know it. But finding water in their atmospheres still marks a step forward in the search for distant planets that may be capable of supporting live, researchers said.
 
The Hubble Space Telescope
 
As an author of science fiction,  I love to consider the strangeness and the possibilities of both of these just released pieces of information. First, what is a hexagon shape object doing at the north pole of the planet Saturn? What would cause a seemingly designed structure to be formed naturally on that planet? The researchers and scientists believed it is a naturally caused phenomenon generated by the fierce wind patterns that circle the planet. What I want to know, as a science fiction author, what causes winds to form such a perfectly symmetrical structure on such a grand scale?
 
Secondly, let’s extrapolate from what researchers have discovered on five planets beyond our own solar system, on alien planets. It would not be to great of a leap for me, as a science fiction author, to assume that if large massive scalding hot worlds contain water vapor in their planetary atmosphere then it is possible that the smaller cooler rocky planets in those alien solar systems might contain water as well. The smaller rocky planets, not unlike Earth, may contain even higher concentrations of water on those Earth-like planets. Those planets might contain microbial life. Those planets might contain intelligent sentient life, like us, like human beings.
 
All of this new data is the wonderful part about being a science fiction author. I can dream, I can imagine, I can speculate, I can propose “What If” scenarios and I can write about that speculation. It is, admittedly, an escape from the daily grind of bad news, from past history of bad events. It is the possibility of hope and possibility while we consider the beauty of life itself and the vastness and mystery of the universe we live in.
 
And yet here again, in this blog, I will shameless promote my work. Please take time to visit my website at www.frederickfichman.com or go directly to Amazon Kindle or BarnesandNoble Nook or KOBO Books or the Apple iBookstore and look over my work and consider buying a book or two. Just type in my author name is those bookseller home page search boxes; Frederick Fichman. I have two exciting manuscripts I am working on right now, “SETI, Conception”, book III in the SETI Trilogy and “The Feather” a fantasy about the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804.
 
Tomorrow, who knows what exciting and fascinating news may surprise us. It is always something to anticipate.
http://www.amazon.com/SETI-The-Trilogy-Frederick-Fichman-ebook/dp/B001CZEWJC/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1386274605&sr=8-7&keywords=Frederick+Fichman

http://www.amazon.com/SETI-The-Journey-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B001CZEX3C/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1386274605&sr=8-5&keywords=Frederick+Fichman

Something Different

And now for something different…

I thought I would share with the world through my writing blog some of the more pithy posts I put up on Facebook today, in reverse chronological order:

Okay, one more item for today and I will leave you all alone and stop posting on FB.
So, people have come up to me, sometimes perfect strangers, and they say…”Hey You…I respond by saying…Yes…you seem to know about things…and I say, yes, that’s true, I do know about things…well then, can you tell me what is Yoiking?” Here are two perfect examples of the lost SAMI art of Yoiking, popular with Laplanders.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsfyudNtBDo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QisQniqmlxc

I’ve been hearing a great deal lately about Body Mass Index. I saw this in our local rag newspaper this a.m. and thought I would pass it along to you as part of my continuing Public Service program to my Friends, Followers and certain n’er-do-wells who are sneaking a peek at my Facebook page.