Welcome to my blog...

Here's where you will find the latest on what's going on with my books and the movie. It's also a great place to ask questions, where I recommend other books, and post different things bouncing around in my head. Look me up on Facebook and if you want to buy, signed, discounted, copies of my books, head over to http://www.ryannwattersbooks.com/.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I was on "Undercover Boss" on CBS this week!

Yes, that's me ordering the "Turkey Sandwich, provolone cheese and hold the onions and jalapenos." Funny, just last week I was telling my wife, Kim, that this show won't last much longer because everyone in America will no something is up when they're filming at a place of business. 33,000 Subways... what are the odds?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hurray for "Holywood'

Hurray for 'Holywood': Central Florida gives birth to Christian film industry

Churches with 'Fireproof' dreams and state incentive money may make Florida the home of faith-based films

A film crew lays tracks in Mount Dora for a shot in "Ryann Watters and the King's Sword," an indie, faith-based fantasy film. (TYG STUDIOS / August 27, 2010)

The movies already have a Hollywood and a Bollywood, but some local filmmakers see Central Florida staking its claim as "Holywood."

A single faith-based movie filmed here last year has led to a handful of like-minded movies being shot from Ocoee to Mount Dora.

•"The Whisper House," based on the biblical parable of the prodigal son, was filmed in Ocoee last winter. It has its Florida premiere next Saturday at the Ocoee-based Central Florida Film Festival.

•An adaptation of a Christian children's fantasy novel, "Ryann Watters and the King's Sword," just wrapped location filming in Mount Dora.

•"Heading Home," a faith-based drama about redemption and baseball, was written by local filmmaker De Miller and is slated to go before cameras in Lake County in October.

•And the local producers of "Letters to God," the first big faith-based movie shot here, plan to film two more faith-based projects here before the end of the year.

David Nixon, who co-directed "Letters to God," is a firm believer that Central Florida "should be the capital of Christian films. We have world-class facilities, just as good or better than L.A."

Adds Miller, "We'd like Central Florida to be 'Holywood' because we want to get the 'L' out of Hollywood."

Unlike Hollywood's blockbusters, these faith-based films are made on micro budgets. "Letters to God," which started this Central Florida boomlet, cost $3.5 million to produce. But the films following in its footsteps have even smaller budgets — ranging from $785,000 for "Ryann Watters and the King's Sword" to $70,000 for "The Whisper Home."

Most are made with lots of donated labor, locations and gear. "Ryann Watters" was shot on cameras donated by a church member, said Kerry L. Fink, CEO of TYG Studios, the film's producers." We tell folks this is a God-sized project, so we're believing God [will] step in where our resources and abilities stop," Fink said.

Why Central Florida?Several factors are attracting faith-based filmmakers to Central Florida as their location of choice."We have A-list crew who don't get the chance to showcase their work very often," said Jaime Velez-Soto, director of "The Whisper Home." "They want the chance to make movies here, and not in L.A. or wherever, so they help you out." As in California, you can film in Florida all year. And "there's all this acting talent, thanks to the theme parks," Nixon said.

This being Florida, sometimes "retired" talent is available. The producers of "Heading Home" hope to use Gary Burghoff of TV's "M*A*S*H," a snowbird who winters in Florida, just as they did in their earlier venture, "Daniel's Lot."Another plus: the local churches.

To a one, filmmakers involved in Florida's faith-based films take their inspiration from the Albany, Ga., Sherwood Baptist Church, where the Kendrick brothers — ministers and aspiring moviemakers — made "Flywheel," "Facing the Giants" and then the $40 million hit " Fireproof."Ministers and congregants became the volunteer crew, donors and actors in those films. Nixon, who has two upcoming Central Florida projects, was a producer and second-unit director on "Fireproof."" It doesn't hurt that we have a lot of churches in Central Florida," Nixon said. His "Letters to God" used a Winter Garden church for a location and volunteers.

"Churches that are totally into this are a real asset."More recently, Margaret Marquis of Ocoee Christian Church offered her church as home base for "Whisper Home," said Velez-Soto. "We used it for locations, and members of the church cooked for us and pitched in."Church as producerUsing film as a means of evangelical outreach has prompted at least one local church to set up its own production company."We've always wanted to minister outside the four walls of the church, to the whole world," says Pastor Matthew J. Shaw of the Faith and Power Worship Center in Apopka, the church behind Faith and Power Pictures. "Movies seem like a better way of spreading our message."Faith and Power Pictures produced "Daniel's Lot," based on writer-director De Miller's idea of erecting a cross in his front yard. That effort went direct to video, but Miller hopes their next project, "Heading Home," will reach theaters.With a budget of $260,000 — nearly a third of that from state-film-commission incentives — the baseball movie will star TV actor Dean Denton ("Days of Our Lives," "Dark Skies"). Ex-major leaguers John Denny and Davey Johnson are on board as consultants, plus there are offers of help from hundreds of volunteers. An October start date has been set, and they're raising funds through a website: helpholywood.com.But as Miller learned with his previous film, "Daniel's Lot," partnering with a church or ministry doesn't guarantee a movie will be financed, finished or successful."Funding is still the hardest thing for any indie film, whether it's faith-based or not," said Paul Sirmons, a local producer and director, and former film commissioner for the state of Florida. As for state incentive money, "There is a 5 percent bonus for family-friendly films, but religion is not a qualifying factor."Just as faith-based filmmakers are upsetting the traditional filmmaking model, the day may come when such films bypass Hollywood altogether. Texas-based Heartstone

Productions already is taking faith-based films directly to churches, "so churches may be our next movie theaters," said Jerry Eisinger, screenwriter and star of "Whisper Home."Like other Central Florida filmmakers, Eisinger sees faith-based movies helping fill a gap in Hollywood's offerings."Family, faith-based films, movies with positive messages, I think there's a place for them," Eisinger said. "That's where we hope to make our movies."

Roger Moore can be reached on his blog, OrlandoSentinel.com/movies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ryann Watters movie actors "In the News"

BG teen scores role in Christian action movie
By ALYSSA HARVEY, The Daily News
Taylor Boswell, 16, an actress from Bowling Green, will be in an upcoming Christian film.

Taylor Boswell’s first audition for a model and talent agency was not glamorous. While the other girls were dressed like traditional model hopefuls and exuding as much cool professionalism as they could muster, Taylor was sweating. It wasn’t because she was nervous, though.
“We had just left from a basketball game,” Jana Boswell, Taylor’s mother, said with a laugh. “She was wearing her basketball uniform.”
On that day a couple of years ago, the Bowling Green girl literally jumped on the runway and started walking the path that has led her to where she is now Taylor, 16, is getting set to film the Christian youth action-adventure, “Ryann Watters and the King’s Sword,” which is scheduled to be released in summer 2011. She will play Liddy Thomas, Ryann’s best friend.

“It’s a good, family-friendly movie,” Taylor said “It has great morals.”

Set in Mount Dora, Fla, and based on the book by Eric Reinhold, “Ryann Watters and the King’s Sword” tells the story of a boy who is visited by an angel and is given three gifts. Ryann must use the gifts to save a world called Aeliana. At the same time, a dark angel chooses a bully, Drake Dunfellow, to stop him.

“It’s like Narnia meets Harry Potter,” Jana Boswell said “It has a Christian spin.”

Taylor is no stranger to the camera She appeared in the movie “Windjammers.” She has filmed a variety of other things, including promotions for Nickelodeon, an SNL Digital Short, “Celebrity Apprentice” and a pharmaceutical industrial film used to train nurses. She is also the clear face model for Epiduo skin care.

“I love modeling, but I love acting so much more,” she said.
A former national and international speech champion, Taylor travels with her family - which includes her father, Mike Boswell, and her brother, John Mikel, 12. They live in New York for much of the year. Taylor, who attended Bowling Green Christian Academy, and her brother are homeschooled.
“The key is that my family is supportive of me,” Taylor said.
Taylor said she had never thought about acting before, but fell in love with the craft. Someone had seen her in speech competitions and suggested that she get an agent. She is represented by Shirley Grant Management.

Jana Boswell said that after Taylor won the 2009 Actors, Models and Talent for Christ Overall Best Actress award, more offers began pouring in for her. Taylor hasn’t changed, though.

“She is always out on auditions,” she said. “She’s the same girl she was before she left here. She always looks forward to coming home after filming. She still likes to hang out on the farm.”
She and the family feel blessed to be able to be with Taylor while she pursues this career.
“It’s a God thing. There’s no way we could put this together,” Boswell said. “We don’t have an entertainment background. We were homebodies involved in the community.”
Taylor said although she doesn’t have to be in strictly Christian films, she doesn’t want to compromise her faith.
“I can always make (my faith) a part of a project by keeping my morals and standards to what they are,” she said.
She also has advice for others who may want to pursue their dreams.
“If you feel it in your heart and know it’s what you’re supposed to do, then go for it,” she said. “Don’t let the dream-haters stop you.”

Taylor hopes eventually to study to be a prosecuting attorney at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and to continue to be open to doing movies and television.
“There’s nothing more exciting to a kid than not knowing what’s going to happen next,” she said. “You never know what’s around the corner. God’s got all that planned.”

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fantastic Conclusion to the Lake County Reading Festival

This year's festival, "Adventures in Paradise," took me from the Author's Roundtable at the Cooper Memorial Library in Clermont, to a Writing for Young Audiences discussion at the Tavares Public Library, and finally ending this evening with the Author Reception at the Leesburg Pubic Library. In all, over 20 authors particpated the events.

I liked my intro for the "Writing for Young Audiences" discussion:

Eric Reinhold's desire as a writer is to combine his background at a service academy and as a Christian to provide safe books of high moral character and Christian principles to youth. He plans to have five books in The Annals of Aeliana series, with Ryann Watters.

The highlights during the festival to me, were both with home school families. On Wednesday I was visited by Rebekah, Sarah, and Joshua at both the Clermont and Tavares locations. It was great to see such bright young people with insightful questions and desire to read! Their mom should be very proud of them.
On Friday, I drove over to Leesburg for the Author Reception. The Lake County librarians and staff did an excellent job of having the event catered for the public with lots of tasty morsels. The turn out was great, as people made their way around the library to visit with 20 different authors, participate in the silent auction, and see the results of the children's bookmark contest.

I had the opportunity to meet with one of my newest, biggest fans... Bradley. He is in the 8th grade and was able to quote lines from several scenes in my books. I believe he said his favorite was the exchange between the angle, Gabriel, and Lord Ekron as they did battle at the end of book 2:

"We meet again, Gabriel," Ekron declared with contempt. He glared at the approaching angel. "Only this time things will end differently."

Gabriel smiled while raising the King's sword out in front of him. "I was thinking I would add a matching scar to the other side of your face, Ekron."

Bradley, his parents and I, were able to spend quite a bit of time discussing my series and I was pleased to hear from Bradley's mom about what an impact the books had made on him and how much he had enjoyed them. That's the reason I write and that type of interaction spurs me on to continue the series.

Thanks again to all of those who came out to the festival. I hope to see you and your friends next year. Be blessed, EJR

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Fellow authors and friends, Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper are hard at work on book 2 in The Berinfell Prophecies. Published by Thomas Nelson (see my previous post on my night with CEO Michael Hyatt), Curse of the Spider King is the first book in the series.

I first met Wayne and Christopher in 2008 on the Fantasy Fiction Tour. Invited by Bryan Davis, to participate in what ended up being a 10 day tour from Canada to San Diego, I immediately took a liking to the crazy minds of these two characters. While we travelled from city to city in a 15 passenger van, Wayne and Christopher were busy typing away on their laptopos, periodically yelling out, "Does anyone have a synonym for _____!" I would describe both of them as A.D.D. on Red Bull.
(You have to love this picture of Christopher giving the thumbs up on the Fantasy Tour, with Wayne in the background - God created a few perfect heads... the rest he covered in hair).

How to win your FREE Copy!

I have two copies of Curse of the Spider King and would like to give away that copy in a drawing from anyone who (1) joins my blog and (2) posts a comment in my post below on "Letters to God." The drawing will be this Friday! To get more details on the book you can go to:

Thomas Nelson's Website
Wayne's Blog
Christopher's Website

Good Luck and Good Reading!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Learning the Social Media Thing from Michael Hyatt

In addition to the sneak preview of "Letters to God" (see my comments from the last blog entry), I was exposed to superb speakers and content at the Lifework Leadership National Alumni Conference in Howie-in-the-Hills, Florida (you won't find it unless you're going there intentionally!).

I had the priveledge of sitting next to Michael Hyatt, the CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing (the largest Christian publisher in the U.S.) the first night. Michael shared very openly about his past and leadership lessons over the years. He's an authentic guy and it's great to know that someone in his position is heading up such an important media company.

Today he led a session on "Building Community Through Social Media." I think of myself as beyond beginner in this area, but for the business owner, he had some great insights. If you are on Twitter, you can find him at twitter.com/michaelhyatt.com. He also has a Facebook page and blog under his name.

I won't give you all the details here, but if you would like to view his slides from our session with him, you can go to www.michaelhyatt.com/speaking/lifework. Michael spends 30 minutes a day in social media with approximately 12-13 tweets a day. He is pro-active and takes the approach that people are putting out data on your company all the time, so you can choose to engage and be part of the discussion and potentially fixing a problem, or you can sit back and let them carry the dialogue.

Social media isn't a fad, so those of us who haven't grown up with it can choose to ignore it or get on board. I haven't been active on twitter, but I am going to take his challenge to try it for 30 days. The KEY is to provide value to those following you and make 20 deposits for every withdrawal you'd like to make on directing your followers to your product.

My biggest recognition of how things have changed was when my daughter saw a movie from the 80's and was talking about the "giant black CDs." I had to explain that they were vinyl records. I don't consider myself that old, but I did take my Smith Corona typewriter to the Naval Academy, where I learned BASIC and fed cards into the giant computer. My Senior year, I finally did my first paper on a MAC. When my teenage girls complain about not being able to get in touch with someone when we've taken their cell phones away, I remind them about the world without texting, e-mail, or PCs... and about going to the phone bank to make a call and hope that the person you were calling was home. Amazing!

Sneak Preview of "Letters to God" with the Director!

I just got back from a retreat with Lifework Leadership, a Christian business leaders group which is seeking to impact cities around the country. Great speakers, interaction with other alumni from the program, and David Nixon, the director for "Facing the Giants," "Fireproof," and the yet to be released, "Letters to God," was on hand for a preview of the movie. If you want to know more about Lifework Leadership go to www.lifeworkleadership.org.

We viewed the movie in its entirety and I think I cried six times... which is saying a lot. It takes a lot to make me cry. The movie is a heartfelt tale of inspiration, hope and redemption, showing what happens when one boy's walk of faith crosses paths with one man's search for meaning.
Ted Baehr, of Movieguide, says, "Letters to God is the type of movie you want everyone to see, one of the most encouraging and inspiring movies in a long time." He's right.

Here's the preview and I would encourage you to check out their website at www.letterstogodthemovie.com and encourage your pastor and others to see the movie during the first week. The movie opens in 800 theatres nationwide on April 9th and will expand to more with demand.

David and his team have the funding to create three Christian movies (this is the first)and his desire is to make Orlando, Florida the Christian movie capital of the world. Let's support him in this worthy endeavor to make Christian films.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

2010 Festival of Reading in Lake County, Florida

Adventures in Paradise
March 17-20, 2010

The Lake County Library System Festival of Reading presents the highest quality literary and cultural events and activities to encourage the love of reading and to promote the programs and services of the libraries. The program connects readers and writers in a way that enriches both by providing informative and entertaining programs to the community. The 7th Annual Festival of Reading will be held March 17th through the 20th with the theme, "Adventures in Paradise". We will feature writing workshops and author events and host a Friday evening special gala reception celebrating all the authors at the Leesburg Public Library.
This link will connect you to all of the authors that will be in attendance as well as the schedule of events and locations. The locations are all over Lake County, so be sure and check before driving out. Thanks for spreading the word and I hope to see you there.
Festival Appearances by me!
Wednesday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Authors' Roundtable Cooper Memorial Library, Clermont
This event features numerous local authors who will be signing, selling their works and speaking with fans. Local authors include: Art Adkins, Colleen Avelli, Doris Bloodsworth, Brenna O’Shea Cagiano, Dara Edmondson, Valerie Hart, Catherine Kean, Ronald Johnson, Jeffrey Lamb, Paul McElroy, Mark Miller, Regina Peeples, Eric J. Reinhold and Michelle Young.
Wednesday, March 17 at 3 p.m. Writing for Young Audiences Tavares Civic Center, Tavares
Award-winning authors M.C. Finotti, author of The Treasure of Amelia Island; Vic DiGenti, author of the Windrusher series; and Eric Reinhold, author of the Ryann Watters series, will share tips on writing for teens and tweens.
Friday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. Gala Author Reception Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg
More than 20 authors will meet and greet fans at this gala reception. A silent auction will be held to benefit library programs.
For More Information:
Call Judy Buckland at (352) 253-6167 or email jbuckland@lakeline.lib.fl.us.
Cost: free
Categories: Festivals and Events

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Could this be the first seed for the Ryann Watter's movie?

This is the first in what will hopefully be a long series of updates on the progress of the Ryann Watter's movie. I'm trying not to get my hopes up too high, but am looking at it as Jesus' parable of the sower and the seeds. This is the first seed being sown and we'll see if it ends up landing on the path or on fertile ground.

"In the picture above, I am next to Cathy, the director of the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce, as we scout out a place for brick placement. Instead of my name, as a supporter of the chamber, I chose for it to read, "Ryann Watters.com lives here."

Above you will also see, Kerry Fink, the CEO of TYG Media (in the blue jacket). To the left is Hal, "the camera guy," taking video around Mount Dora.

Kerry, Hal, and Mike Germaine (who worked on "Fireproof") came over to Mount Dora for a site visit. None of them had ever been to the town and I believe they left with a very favorable impression of the location as an ideal movie set.

We started off with lunch at the historic Lakeside Inn (1873) as Kerry shared the vision they have for the film. Like Facing the Giants and Fireproof, they feel that a compelling story can be told on a micro-budget. The idea being to make a movie with special effects not a special effects movie (like Harry Potter, Avatar, the new Percy movie, etc.). Avatar cost $400 million to make and has grossed over $2 billion dollars, but Facing the Giants was made with a $30,000 budget and has grossed over $33 million (do the math on the percentages there). Fireproof had a larger 6-figure budget; however, the key to doing these types of movies is the community - church involvement in the project for free or limited expenses. In this case there would probably only be five or six people in the crew being compensated; while parts for the movie would involve amatuers desiring the benefit of creating their own 'movie resume' in effect. In the case of Fireproof, it was an advantage to get a household recognized name such as Kirk Cameron. As a Christian, Kirk, felt making the movie would be a positive message and his compensation, if any, would come through the potential success of the film, afterwards.

"In First Presbyterian Church of Mount Dora, with the Senior Pastor."

It would be great to get a Christian, household name to play Ryann, for promotional purposes. However, the real key is going to be getting the involvement by places the First Presbyterian Church of Mount Dora (who is excited to let us have the use of their facilities), the downtown area of Mount Dora (the Chamber, Mayor, and City Manager, have indicated we will have their full support) and other churches and the community who would like to be involved.

"Eric and Mike Germaine looking around for a good location for the bench, the drifter Noah Johnson, sleeps on behind the church."

After lunch, I took everyone on a walk around the alleyways and streets of Mount Dora. If you've read my books then you know the chase scene of Drake running after Ryann. We also headed down to the gazebo, where Ryann shares the secret of the ring with Liddy and Terell. A short drive took us over to the house I envisioned as Liddy's and then we headed over to the other side of the inlet and the lighthouse.

"The bookstore where Ryann, Liddy and Terell hang out."

Obviously there are numerous details to work out, but it's a start. I'm excited that the guys at TYG Media have caught the vision of the script and book and want to make a Christian film. They have promotional outlets through national radio syndication contacts, film background through doing this on other Christian movies that have gone from start to finish, and most importantly, a heart to see God's word spread in a positive way.

So, what are the next steps? I think they are going to go back to their studio and think through everything they saw in Mount Dora. It's the perfect place to film, with so much charm packed into a small area. The sets in this world should be easy. The tough part will be how to make Aeliana work, especially the animals like Raz. There are some very interesting thoughts on that... but I'll save that for another post. For now, I will let them put together a plan and then I'll head over to their 10,000 square foot studio to get into greater detail. Can't wait to give you that update! Keep praying and spreading the word about the book series, website, blog, and facebook fan page. All of these are going to help in the process. Also, if you're in Central Florida and want to try out or be an extra in the movie... if things continue as planned, that could be a reality this summer! Eric

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fantasy Themes in Song

I was listening to a fun song I recently downloaded into my ipod this morning on the way into work and thought about how the mystery of God's creation can be woven into writing, visual images, and song. If you haven't listened to the ingenious song by "Owl City," called Fireflies, then click on the pic, in this post, to watch the music video.

Whether you've lived in the Midwest and can close your eyes and picture the lightening bugs flashing sporadically in a grassy field or you've only seen a documentary on them, you have an image in your mind that artists can work with to draw you closer to their element. I think about Aeliana and Ryann waking up in the middle of the night to find Carwyn gone. Getting up off his moss covered bed, he makes his was cautiously through the thick forest, holding his hands out in front of him to keep from bumping into anything in the thick forest. A dim light up ahead, so very slight, allows him to reach out and touch the rough bark of several trees just in front of him. Rushing to get to the small opening, he bursts through to find the air bursting at the seems with polka-dots of energy... fireflies.

How about you?

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Results are In...

Amazing results so far from the
Costco book signing.

Thanks for your support in my efforts to get the Ryann Watters Series into Costco. Saturday was rainy outside, but sunny inside! While I was barraged by a crowd lined up for hours outside the store (aka Sarah Palin book signings), I did have a steady stream of adults and children come by. It's actually more fun that way since you get to interact with everyone on a deeper level.

"Eric just before the book signing begins"

The first order of 72 books went in the first 1-/1/2 hours, so we had to break-out another 48 that we had in reserve. Those went over the next 1-1/2 hours and they want me to sign and drop off another 48 tomorrow. For those in town, don't let up... keep getting the word out. I'm going to talk to the Costco book distributor this week about using this success to get books in other stores.

One of the fun stories was a mother and son who had driven 2 hours to get to the signing. They were making a day of it to show up and talk, get the books signed that they already had and get another set for their church library. After we talked they were headed over to Mount Dora to explore the town. How fun!

The most encouraging aspect of the day was having parents come up to me and ask, "is your book religious?" as they looked at the 'Shield of Faith' title on my banner. I answered in the affirmative, that it was based on Ephesians 6 and the Armor of God. Every single adult said words to the effect of, "God bless you, we need more books like this for our kids."

I'll keep you posted on what happens with Costco. As a side note, I was miked up and filmed during the book signing by a group (to remain secret for now) that wants to make 'Ryann Watters and the King's Sword' into a movie. Stay tuned for the latest.


High School student, Jason Derfuss films a summary video of book 1