What Makes a Writer Write? Geoff Krstovic Talks About His Past, The Reason for Creating Mischief Entertainment and The Numbers of Redemption Series
Geoff Krstovic is 30 years old, lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is the father of two beautiful little girls as well as a husband to his college sweetheart, Christina Krstovic. He grew up in several states along the east coast, allowing him to get a strong grasp of the variety of cultures that America has to offer. He strives to bring strong emotion and authenticity to the hearts and minds of those seeking meaningful entertainment. He started writing poetry and short stories at the age of eight. Intrigued by how literature and film affected people, he felt compelled to become one of the artists controlling the other side of the screen. His dream of writing novels to turn into films is rapidly becoming a reality.
With a background consisting of an education in English and a career in advertising, marketing and consulting, he knows what people come to expect and how to exceed those expectations. Geoff’s team has worked with him countless hours and without pay to make the Numbers of Redemption series available to entertain the masses. His perseverance has been the main inspiration to the members of his team, as they have witnessed the product of the thousand plus hours he has devoted to creating part one of the five-part series, and he is already well into the second. This is just the beginning for Geoff as his team is determined to propel Mischief Entertainment L.L.C. into turning the Numbers of Redemption series of novels into a series of films, with the video game soon to come after their release. Volume one is available to purchase at Amazon.com, Kindle.com, and Createspace.com. I had the pleasure to sit down with Geoff and talk about his life and his new book.
Michael Garone: What inspired you to be a writer? Is this your first published work?
Geoff Krstovic: Since I was a child, I always felt like I noticed things other people didn’t. I started writing short stories when I was 8 years-old and by the time I was 12, by pure luck, I found that the only writer who saw things the way I did was Edgar Allen Poe. I always smiled and had a happy demeanor, but it didn’t feel real. Something I never admitted to the world, until now, is that I was molested and raped by my babysitter from the time I was 3 until I was 5. After that, I always had a sense of dread in my heart. I didn’t tell anyone about it until I was 29 and diagnosed with PTSD. It isn’t something that is easy to talk about, especially since I was a boy and the babysitter was a female and it’s a common misconception that being molested and raped only happens to girls or women, or boys by older men. Your average macho man sees it as being something every boy secretly wants to happen, but their ignorance is only there because they haven’t experienced it for themselves. My dad left when I was 2 and my mom went back to school and worked full time, so I had a great deal of time with the babysitter. I never knew how to talk to anyone about it. Being stimulated by such things at that age, made me constantly look for anything that would cause excitement or an adrenaline rush as I grew older. I saw the world as being a dark place with light struggling to find its way to me. I never had a naive day in my life and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t be entertained as easily as everyone else and I found everything to be boring. This led to years of abusing drugs of all kinds to try to escape the pain I had in my heart. Once I started writing, I couldn’t stop as it became an outlet for me. As long as I was writing about another world that I created, I didn’t feel helpless and my mind was distracted from what had happened to me. Between constantly getting in fights at school whenever I was bullied or saw someone else get bullied and abusing drugs, getting suspended or not being able to focus on tasks in class, my grades suffered and I spent my time in class writing poetry and short stories. I understood pain better than anyone else my age did. Creating characters who went through hard times but eventually found happiness gave me hope that I wouldn’t be depressed forever. I’ll be 31 this year and it still hurts from time to time, when something reminds me of what happened and the images from what I remember rush through my mind. When I write, especially about triumph and success that comes after the different kinds of struggles my characters endure, I feel at peace. Everything that I write is designed to help people, whether it’s spiritually or with losing a loved one to suicide, drug overdoses, or cancer.
I moved at least 12 times growing up and I could never count on keeping friends for too long, but I could always count on writing to comfort me. I was always the class clown, but no one ever guessed that I was the sad clown. Upon reaching my late teens, I realized I wasn’t the only one who had a traumatic childhood. I knew it had to have happened to other people, but at the time all I cared about was what happened to me. I wanted to be one of those people who was always smiling and naturally happy, but that wasn’t in the cards for me. I finally accepted my past and the more I wrote about pain and asked others to read my work, the more I realized that I knew something others didn’t. I never had a problem describing situations in full detail that made most people cringe.
So what inspired me to be a writer? I wanted to do something that let others who experienced what I did know they weren’t alone, that suicide isn’t an option, that it’s not God’s fault, and that this is Earth, not Heaven; shit happens here. I wouldn’t wish the helplessness and pain I felt on my worst enemy. I used to write to escape, but now I write to help others. Numbers of Redemption, my first book series, is designed to help people who are spiritually lost, as well as those who think using drugs is the only way to cope with life. A dear friend of mine, a man I considered to be my brother, killed himself this year and I’ll never forget something he said to me. He told me that my writing is like a cross between Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allen Poe, and Hunter S. Thompson. Despite all three writers being victims of suicide and alcohol and drug abuse, it’s the best compliment I’ve ever received. Considering that he was a doctor of medicine, I knew that he was smart enough to comprehend what my writing conveyed. His suicide this year only made me feel like I was more alone and terrified me since we had so much in common.
Before Mischief Entertainment, I was a part of another production company as a creative writer. I was mentored by a man by the name of Mike Peterka, who was the owner and founder of the production company. He believed in me as much as my doctor friend did. Mike died in 2014 before I could finish Numbers of Redemption series in its entirety. It hurts tremendously to know that he won’t be there with me to see my hard work come to its fruition. Writing isn’t just about creating a rough draft and throwing it against a wall in hopes it will stick; writing is about perseverance and doing all that you can to make sure your message is perfectly conveyed to its audience. If you don’t draft it at least four or five times, you’re not doing your work justice. The last thing Mike told me was a text that said, “It’s easy to be average in this life. Greatness requires undaunted courage, resolve, and hope.” I have the quote printed on the back of my business cards as a reminder to me, and as a set standard others know how that I have for my company, not just this book and film series. Volume One of Numbers of Redemption is dedicated to him and includes said quote on the dedication page. After he died and I thought I missed my big chance to write novels and turn them into films, I came to the realization that I could either bitch and moan about my sorrow, or use the tools and wisdom he instilled in me to create my own production company, Mischief Entertainment L.L.C. He spoke to Henry Winkler’s agent when I said I wanted Mr. Winkler to play God, and he was more than intrigued. Shortly after, I met my editor, Dennis DeRose, who has been by my side in helping me finish what I set out to do. I could not have made it this far without him. He is an outstanding editor and close friend.
MG: What makes this story different from other stories dealing with the devil?
GK: Numbers of Redemption is not your typical Good vs. Evil scenario. It shows how sometimes you have to go through the pitch black darkness of evil to get to Heaven’s light and that even if you can’t see any sign of relief in the immediate future, selflessness and sacrifice will always help you find your way. If you want to write a good story that involves the devil, you can’t be someone who has lived a life of pure happiness without struggles. You have to be prepared to go to Hell and dance with the devil to get an interview. Without life’s obstacles, we can’t truly appreciate what rewards come after we overcome the obstacles and the bigger they are, the more you will understand what this life is about. It’s not all rainbows, unicorns, and fuzzy bunnies. It’s a journey to find out who you are and your place in this world. More often than not, for people like me, you have to meet the devil to find that out.
MG: What makes Nikolai Vlitchkov stand out from other prodigy’s before him?
GK: The main character, Nikolai Vlitchkov, is one of five descendants of Lucifer who are reincarnated throughout history. They each take turns, as only one of them can be on Earth at a time. He has lived and died 29 times but in this life, he decides not to embrace sin and power how he did in his previous lives. By doing so, he finds a way to detach the demons from the souls of those who have sinned; demons that would inevitably drag the souls to Hell upon their body’s death, then Nikolai, with the help of his demonic guardian, Hoxen, sends the soul to Heaven before the demon can reattach itself to its host. Nikolai chooses who he redeems based on the types of sins a person commits, ultimately playing God as he chooses who goes to Heaven and who he lets go to Hell.
MG: I see there is a movie and video game in the works. What is the timetable for this?
GK: Once part one of Numbers of Redemption is released, which consists of multiple volumes, a screenwriter I have come to meet and adore, Nicole Kovacs, a dedicated filmmaker who has won multiple awards for the short films she writes the scripts for and is the director of, will begin writing the script for Numbers of Redemption. Mischief Entertainment’s head of film production, Tom Lowell, will then find the right production company to partner with us and then we will start filming it. There are five parts to Numbers of Redemption, which started out as a trilogy but as I continued to write it I realized it needed to be more than just three parts, so there will be five novels and five films we aim to be released over the next six years. Part one’s novel is planned to be released sometime in early 2017 and we plan on beginning the filming process in the fall of that year. I don’t want to stop there. We believe Numbers of Redemption would make one Hell of a video game where you can play as different characters in the series, as well as customizable angels and demons. While filming part one, we will hire a team to create the video game as I wrap up parts two and three. Then Nicole will write the scripts for those, along with Darrel Grant, the writer, director, and producer of an online show called “Colors Atlanta”. My wife, Christina, is actually an actress on the show, and Darrel has become a great friend of mine over the past few years. He and I plan to write and release a film together while part two of Numbers of Redemption is being filmed. When it comes to the video game, instead of having multiple video games and being greedy by making everyone buy multiple games, there will be updates that can be downloaded as the films are released and the plot progresses.
MG: Tell us more about your company: Mischief Entertainment. LLC, and what else we can expect from you in the future?
GK: Mischief Entertainment’s goal, despite the name, is to create and release projects that will help people in some way or another. Nothing we release will be a remake and everything we do is original. You will never be able to say that our work is just like someone else’s. There are too many remakes and spin-offs out there because people are running out of ideas. Well, I have a book of my own with ideas for projects that have never been attempted to create, and Mischief Entertainment prides itself on the team I’ve assembled that’s creative enough to show new kinds of artwork. Films used to be about creating a piece of art and we wish to bring that aspect back to the public eye’s perspective. Visit us at www.MischiefEntertainment.net to see our literary and film teams, as well as the progress we make. You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MischiefentertainmentLLC and Instagram under Mischief Entertainment.
MG: Thanks Geoff!
Here is more information from Mischief Entertainment’s website about part one of the Numbers of Redemption series:
Numbers of Redemption: Part One is the first volume, which is in the final stages of editing by the very successful, Dennis De Rose, with the screenplay ready to be written by the award winning filmmaker Nicole Kovacs, winner of the Best In Show award for her film Friends Like Mine at Wizard World’s Comic Con a couple years back. She has also won awards for the short film in other independent film venues.
We are in the process of raising funds for publishing and marketing Numbers of Redemption. Author, C.E.O and Founder of Mischief Entertainment L.L.C., Geoff Krstovic, and editor, Dennis De Rose, are working together to make this novel the best it can be, with plans to release it early 2017, with volumes of it released between now and then. Volume one is available to purchase at Amazon.com, Kindle.com, and Createspace.com. Funding for exposure at next year’s Comic Con’s is one of the team’s major goals at this point to help gain the attention it deserves.
Once the part one of Numbers of Redemption is released, and upon completion of the script, Tom Lowell, no novice to the film industry, will start the production process turning Numbers of Redemption into a major motion picture. We are very grateful and lucky to have him take on the position as the head of film production. The days of the shock and awe factor in 3-D films, without solid and heartfelt stories to accompany them, are over. Mischief Entertainment L.L.C. will not have anything to do with remakes or reboots. Those are just ways of saying “We couldn’t think of anything else and we had a deadline!”
Upon the release of the first film, graphics designer and cover artist, John Christopher Mimbs, will assist in hiring a team to start the process of turning Numbers of Redemption into an interactive game with online capabilities. You will be able to play as the main character Nikolai, his demonic guardian, Hoxen, gargoyles as well as Angels and Demons of various types.
Numbers of Redemption is the dark-rooted tale of Nikolai Vlitchkov, a rebellious prodigy of the Lucifer, who discovers how to detach demons from Hell-bound souls and giving them safe passage to Heaven. His complicated lonely life revolves around struggling with his instinctual horrid impulses while redeeming those he believes deserve to escape the grips of Hell in spite of the devil and God. Desperately feeling the urge to live remnants of a normal human life, Nikolai acts as the owner of a bookshop in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Flying under the radar becomes more difficult for Nikolai as actions from his past lives come back to haunt him with the arrival of a sinister young girl.
A story of heinous trials, tribulations, sacrifice, and self-discovery, Numbers of Redemption represents a man’s excruciating plight and his rigorous search for his role in this wicked world, while righteously trying to make it his own.
For more on Mischief Entertainment and more information on the Numbers of Redemption Series, visit the following sites:
http://www.mischiefentertainment.net/ – Company website
https://www.facebook.com/mischiefentertainmentllc – The Facebook’s company page
https://www.facebook.com/MischiefEntertainment.net/?view_public_for=1581692172081367 – The Facebook’s Author Page