Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bad Mojo/ Good Karma

I've been feeling a bit cursed these days.  It just seems like things haven't been going my way.  Maybe it's just the cold and rainy weather and a bad case of the mully-grubs.  I don't know.  But I feel like I need to do something to stir up some good karma.

I have no idea what that could be, so I'll just try to send some good vibes to some of my other writer friends.

First, I think you should all go and check out Barry Napier's blog.  He has a new collection of short stories coming out soon titled Tricks of Shadow and Light.  It sounds really good.  Barry did the cover himself (along with the cover of Guarding the Healer), so if you need a cover or help with other aspects of self-publishing I encourage you to try him out.

Then there is Aaron Polson.  Aaron's prolific writing never fails to make me ashamed of my own output.  This isn't a bad thing.  Aaron is every bit as busy with his regular life as I am, yet he somehow writes three times the stories I do.  He encourages me to write harder.  Aaron has a new book out titled In the Memory House and now he's offering a bonus story to go along with it.

Next, let us travel across the pond and visit an incredible author named Cate Gardner.  Cate's work is hard to pin down to any one genre.  It is steeped in the fantastic with touches of horror dabbled in.  Cate is someone to watch out for.  She is probably one of the most imaginative writers I know (and that is saying a lot) and it won't be long before she is a household name.  By the by, the covers of her books are awesome.

Last, but never least, is Chris Holm.  Chris is one of the first writers that I made contact with when I first started looking for an agent.  He's been a big help to me in numerous ways.  Chris's work is a great combination of crime, pulp and horror.  His writing career has been gaining momentum and with good reason.

There are countless other writers I could and should mention, but I'm going to have to stop here.  I have two toddlers screaming for daddy's attention and I need to go.

Well, hopefully that breaks the bad mojo hanging over my head.  Seriously though, I encourage you all to check out these authors.  You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


My Kickstarter campaign is now live.  You can see the widget in the sidebar to the right.  Due to job troubles (both my own and my wife's) this is my only hope to publish my next novel, Predatory Animals, and the collection of short stories, Contemplations of Dinner.

I have 30 days to raise the money.  No more, no less.  If I don't meet my goal by December 17th then the project ceases to be and no money will go toward my project.

That being said, if you would like to donate I will be eternally grateful.  If you can't, do me a favor and help me spread the word.

Thank you so much.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Muse Fuel

It has been Monday all day long, and I don't know about you, but when it comes to the M-word, I am of the same opinion as Garfield.  If you, too, are worn a bit thin by the first day of the work week, and you're having some trouble getting your muse to get out of bed then I just might have the answer.

It's time for another installment of Monday Muse Fuel.

It seems zombies are all the craze these days.  I don't know if they are the new vampire, but they have definitely captured our hearts and minds (or is it brains?).  So, what would you say if I told you that zombies were real?

I tell you no lies.  Very real, though a bit smaller than you might think.  But if you feed this story to your muse I'm sure she can come up with something zomielicious--yeah, I went there.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Full Steam Ahead!

Today I typed the words "The End" and it was a wonderful feeling.  The first draft of my next novel (right now I'm still titling it Predatory Animals) is finished.  I'm going to let it ferment for a few weeks then start the revisions.

I had a really good time writing this novel.  It came from a very small idea and blossomed right before my eyes.  There were moments when I hated to stop typing because I wanted to see what came next.  Stephen King describes this experience with the analogy of a paleontologist discovering a fossil in the ground and then slowly and carefully brushing away the dirt to see what kind of animal is hiding below.  I can find no better description.

It is my plan to have Predatory Animals go live by the end of January or the beginning of February.  If all goes well I will also be releasing a collection of short stories, titled Contemplations of Dinner, at the same time.

My pockets are bit empty these days, so I am going to try my luck with a Kickstarter campaign (as I mentioned in my previous post).  In the beginning I had mixed feelings about this path, but after some heavy research and discussing it with other authors--some who have used Kickstarter and some that haven't--I feel much better about it.  It is not about begging for funding or panhandling.  It is really no different than taking pre-orders for your novel and running a reward oriented campaign to stir up interest in you and your work.

I will be starting my Kickstarter campaign sometime in the next week or thereabouts, so keep your eyes pealed.  I'm going to be offering some simple, but nice rewards.  If you can donate I will be forever in your debt.  If you can't or won't, I understand.  Perhaps you could help me spread the word, though.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Full steam ahead!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Hey Buddy, Got a Quarter?

I'm closing in on the last few thousand words of my WIP.  It's a little tale about a trio of dogs with an overactive knack for hunting, a well-liked family hiding a dark secret, and a deadly evil breeding in the forest out side of a town named Shadeland.  I'm leaning toward the title Predatory Animals.

I plan on letting the story simmer for about a month before I start the second draft.  After that I'll let my wife read it first, then a hand full of beta readers.  But that might be as far as it goes.

Why?  Do I think it's terrible story that should never see the light of day?

No, not as of yet at least.  My opinion might change after the rewrite, but we'll have to see.

The real problem is funding.  I like very much being an indie writer.  I enjoy the freedom and control it brings.  I'm not opposed to the traditional route.  If I was offered a fat contract I'd most likely jump at the opportunity.  I'm just a bit disenchanted by the traditional writing world right now, ranging from the elitist gatekeeper attitude to their obtuse stance on e-book pricing and royalties.  I know there are a lot of indie writers out there making good money.  I'm just not one of them right now.

I want very much to self-publish my next novel, along with a collection of short stories, but I don't have the scratch to get it done.  Without bumming you too much I'll tell you what I'm up against.  My wife's job is being outsourced in about ten days.  She is also a full time nursing student, but won't be out of school for another year and a half.  My job has decided to cut my hours to keep from paying me benefits.  Things are starting to get tight.

With my first book, Guarding the Healer, I used some money from our tax return, but that can't happen this year.  I was sort of hoping that Guarding the Healer would earn enough to pay for the next book, but my sales have been less than stellar.

I'm starting to bum myself out so I'll hurry up and get to the point.

I'm thinking trying a program known as Kickstarter.  It's a nice little program where you take your ideas to the public and they can choose to fund your project, usually for some kind of token gift.  Yes, it's a little like panhandling, but in this economy, can you blame a guy.

I have some mixed feeling about this path, but this may be the only way I can self-pub this book.  It's my understanding (and I believe it to be true) that if you want to be a lucrative indie author you need to have as many works out as possible to expand your virtual shelf space.  If I'm ever to make enough money writing to quit the day job then I have to get more books out.

I know what you're thinking.  Why not learn to create my own covers and format my own books?

I could do that, I guess, if I wasn't working full time and chasing toddlers around my house.  Besides, I want my books to look their best, and sometime you should know your limitation and just call in the professionals.

I don't know.  I wish it wasn't so hard.  I wish it was enough just to write a good book.  Maybe it still is.