Monthly Archives: February 2014

State of Horror Announcement: Next up for Open Call…

Check out the re-vamped State of Horror site…

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JK Rowling Has Every Right to Enjoy Her Celebrity Status

Recently a woman named Lynn Shepherd wrote an article for the Huffington Post entitled “If JK Rowling Cares About Writing She Should Stop Doing It.

JK Rowling

One might think, judging by the article’s title, that it is a shred fest on Ms. Rowling’s abilities as a writer, but it isn’t…at least not in the strict sense. I’m sure the title was carefully crafted for its potential to go viral more than anything else.

Be that as it may, Ms. Shepherd’s main point is more about JK’s “star power” than her writing ability. She (Shepherd) even admits to never having read any of Rowling’s books or seeing any of the films (she doesn’t say whether she’s been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando or not).

potter

After her introductory paragraph, where she attempts to rationalize the title, and the second paragraph which is a confession of non-participation in the world of Rowling, she proceeds to complain about how the attachment of the Rowling moniker to a book seems to instantly drive sales into the stratosphere.

While her claim is true, I can’t say that I agree with her issue.

Basically she claims that Rowling’s celebrity assures her success in any future endeavors and that she has made it that much more difficult for other unknown authors (like me) to catch a break and be the next rags-to-riches story.

Okay – before I tell you why I disagree with Shepherd, let me say this…

It is true that the novel The Cuckoo’s Calling, which was originally released under a pseudonym, was not breaking any sales records until it was re-released with JK’s name on it. The same can be said for The Casual Vacancy. After the name was changed the sales soared thanks to Rowling’s reputation – a matter that doesn’t sit well with Shepherd, who insists that it was obviously not due to the quality of the work – even though she has never read it.

cuckoos calling

As an independent author who is only minutes away from mega-stardom, I can honestly say that I totally disagree with Shepherd’s complaints – even though my sales numbers are not exactly getting me invited to black-tie events or providing me with red carpet photo ops.

Why?

Because Rowling earned every bit of her celebrity status and how she chooses to use it, or not use it, is entirely up to her.

Any complaints about it are sour grapes at best…

For all we know the name game may not have been her idea. I can picture a commission-based agent demanding it in order to finance his new boat.

I know quite a few indie authors, but I can’t think of one, off the top of my head, who would complain about having half the name recognition as Rowling…or King…or Grisham…or Patterson.

Hell – I’d settle for being as well-known as Richard Castle and he’s not even real!

castle

The point is this…it is the goal of almost all authors to reach that point in our career where we can sell our grocery list for six-figures…that’s the name of the game.

The thing that is wrong – is for those of us who haven’t made it yet to have contempt for the success of somebody who, before becoming famous, was living in her car.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Weight Loss, Debit Cards and Lottery Tickets – A Lunchtime Tale

It’s a beautiful day here in northeast Florida. One of those sunny days in the mid 70s with a gentle breeze that just makes you happy, even if you don’t want to be. (Apologies to my friends who are digging themselves out of the snow for the eighth time this week!)

Anyway, I wanted to use my lunch hour to write a cool, thought provoking, humorous and deeply meaningful blog post, but my muse must be out riding her motorcycle or something (Not that I blame her) so instead you’re going to get a random, very uninspiring and mostly meaningless story.

ride

Feel free to jump ship now, I won’t be offended. Besides – if you’ve read this far you have already registered on my analytics as a hit, so I can’t complain.

 

So here’s my tale – remember, you had your chance to leave…

As I stood in line at the market waiting for the less-than-grandmotherly old lady in front of me to figure out how to use the debit card scanner (Note to the debit card industry; Make all of these machines the same – it’s a pain in the ass having to figure out how to use a new model every time you make a purchase.) I couldn’t help but peruse the selection of tabloid magazines on the rack next to me.

My first thought was “Good Lord, when did we (Americans) become so god-awful obsessed with dieting?”

I mean, there were 9 different magazines on the rack (yes, I counted them) and on each cover was a headline for a story about slimming down and/or toning up. After a minute (grandma was now trying to figure out how to get cash back from the machine) I realized that I’ve been seeing these same kinds of magazines, with the same kinds of headlines since I was a kid (many, many years ago.) So the answer to my question; We’ve been obsessed with it for a long, long time.

Then (as grandma restarted her transaction because she accidentally pressed the cancel key) I made a mental connection. I’m sure I’m not the first to realize this, but I had some extra time to think about it today (because grandma needed the cashier to repeat the cash back instructions by now).

checkout

It’s really ironic, and kind of funny that Americans are so obsessed with weight loss while simultaneously getting the majority of their meals at a drive-thru window. It’s has to be the most brilliant marketing strategy in the history of mankind.

Get them addicted to eating stuff that is only food in the most technical sense of the word, wait until the average body mass index is somewhere north of 40 and then convince them that if they don’t lose weight their life is meaningless.

weight loss

(Grandma is now telling the cashier that she entered the wrong amount of cash back and needs to start over…again)

Throw in some assistance from clothing manufacturers, movie makers & image consultants and presto…a perpetual motion machine that cranks out money by creating the problem and then selling the solution.

It’s the ultimate gravy train.

My thoughts then proceed to the corner of “I Missed That Boat Blvd” and “How Can I Cash In Pkwy” (At this point in time grandma has mastered the debit machine and is now sifting through her coupons). Unfortunately I can’t think of a way to capitalize on the self-image obsessed nation to increase my book sales, but I can write a blog post about it and at least amuse myself (and hopefully you too) for a little while.

I guess my books fit into the same category…they won’t help you lose weight, get rich or get out of the checkout line any faster…but they will amuse you for a little while.

 

Oh – the store manager was nice enough to rescue me from behind grandma and escort me to the service desk for faster service…right behind the guy riding in the motorized shopping cart ordering lottery tickets…

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Special Guest Post from Author Carey Decevito – Once Written, Twice Shy

Today’s post is a guest spot from Canadian author Carey Decevito and I am pleased to be part of her blog tour. Make sure you read all the way to the end for a give-away too!!

I’m not a romance novel kind of guy…but reading her post has got me curious about her story.

See for yourself…

She Knows What Men Think?

And they thought women were complex creatures…  Ha!

After decades of reading an array of novels: thrillers, mystery, suspense, paranormal and yeah, romance, I realized one thing…I hadn’t come across a work of romance where a woman had written in a male’s perspective, in the first person.

Since I’m some kind of masochist—okay, so I love to impose a challenge or two (or a hundred) where my writing is concerned—I took a leap of faith.  Thus began my adventure!

Once Written, Twice Shy (OWTS) was inspired by a play on online dating and my love for reading and writing.  What I didn’t know, at the time, was that not only would one book be born, but an entire series would follow!

All interconnected, yet vastly different, the men of The Broken Men Chronicles series each have a unique story to tell.  From a divorcé, to a widower, a retired militant, even the age-old lost love scenario, and childhood nemeses, these men are scarred in some way yet they persevere.  Some battles, both physical and emotional, are tougher than others but they all seek one thing…to come out on top.

I’m no shrink.  I’m no guy.  I don’t have some kind of degree in male psyche analysis of any kind.  And no, I haven’t suffered an electrical shock much like Mel Gibson in What Women Want where I miraculously know what’s going on up there.  Now, you’re wondering how in the world does a woman pull it off?

You see, at a certain point in life (nearing my thirties), I came to realize that what men and women want out of life, isn’t all that different: a career, a family or at least someone to call theirs, a home, friends, happiness…need I say more?  So, I seized the gauntlet and began to write.

I’m the kind of writer that writes with inhibited emotion.  If I can’t feel it, it’s no good.  In keeping close with everyday life, I like to mix things up.  From the hot and sexy, to the rage, the grief, the turmoil that uncertainty in one’s life can cause, not to mention the humor, my readers are thrust into a world where they can relate.  Personally, I love nothing more than a work of fiction where I can picture myself, or someone I know, experiencing or having experienced whatever hurdle, whatever scene I’m reading at the time.

Reading is an escape.  It’s a way to detach yourself from your world and immerse yourself into another’s.  Should you laugh, feel angered, annoyed, overjoyed, not to mention, thrilled, at any point in a read, then the author’s done their job efficiently.

Some may say that I have feminized my male leads.  I disagree.  Inspired by people in my life, I wrote characters that have a certain degree of respect toward the opposite sex (yes, even players can have some).  In true guy fashion, my men’s dialect can be crass and inappropriate at times as it can be loving and endearing.  Same goes for their behavior.  I wasn’t looking to write up a slew of Stepford characters.  Realistic means with fault and I strive to capture that no matter who the character may be.  Of course, writing first person also means that your characters need substance and delving into each of these men’s lives, you’ll quickly come to find out, there is no lack of it.  With that said, male readers are able to relate to these characters as much as their female counterparts.

In closing, I have to say that my experience in writing from a male’s perspective has been a humbling one.  I’ve loved the self-imposed challenge, not to mention the humorous discussions I’ve had with my male friends and husband while entertaining the task.  For those of you reading this post, I hope that you’ve enjoyed the insight to my inner writer workings.  And finally, a big thank you to Tim for having me.  It’s been a pleasure!

Author Bio:

Carey Decevito

Born and raised in small town Northern Ontario, Canada, Carey Decevito has always had a penchant for reading and writing.

More than a decade later, with weeks of sleepless nights, where exhaustion settled into her everyday existence, she finally gave and put pen to paper (more like fingers to keyboard).  She submitted to the dreams that plagued her.  And the rest, as they say, is history!

Carey Decevito enjoys spending time with family and friends, the outdoors, travelling, and playing tourist in Canada’s National Capital region.  When life gets crazy, she seeks respite through her writing and reading.  If all else fails, she knows there’s never a dull moment with her prolific story-teller of a four-year-old daughter, her goofy husband and their two cats who she swears are out to get her.

With two published works under her belt, Once Written, Twice Shy is her second and the first book which is part of a five-book series entitled The Broken Men Chronicles.

About the Book:

After a bitter marriage, Paxton seeks respite from his loss.  Rediscovering his writing, he never expected creating a piece worthy of reading nor for two unsuspecting paths to cross in the most unconventional of ways.

Once Written cover

Thousands of miles separated them, yet he’d never felt closer to anyone.  Finding out that happiness and love was attainable again, was one thing.  Having Alissa, was another.

When the two meet, sparks fly, chemistry is beyond explosive, and emotions reach a boiling point.  Their brief love affair ignited the fuse but what Paxton neglected to anticipate was that his son would fall for the sweet, meek demurred woman in Alissa or the fact the woman would be their salvation; in more ways than one.

Click here for the kindle version of Once Written, Twice Shy

Click here for the paperback version of Once Written, Twice Shy

Click to enter the giveaway – Rafflecopter giveaway

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What authors should stick in their ears and eyes to succeed

Robert Chazz Chute provides lots of resources for writers. This is good stuff…

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

The following is a list of resources for anyone interested in writing and publishing. I’m going to head off any rancour immediately and tell you this is neither meant to be a comprehensive list nor is it in any particular order. Okay? Okay. Read on.

1. Joe Konrath’s blog: Arguments are made. Elucidation ensues. Many writers have become author/publishers after reading Konrath’s blog.

2. Self-Publishing Podcast: The guys behind Write, Publish, Repeat often have great guests, but co-host David Wright who is the soulless soul of the show. Always NSFW. New episodes every Thursday. Joanna Penn appears this coming Thursday. (i.e. week of Valentine’s Day, 2014.)

3. The Creative Penn (podcast): Joanna Penn talks to movers and thumpers in self-publishing. Expect a plethora of brilliant pieces on book marketing. Joanna is very innovative so you’ll no doubt discover resources here you didn’t know you needed. 

4. Dead Robots Society (podcast): They…

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“Dying Days 4” Contest – Be In The Book!

Have you ever wanted to be zombie-bait? Okay – well, that’s probably not going to happen – but you CAN be a character in Armand Rosamilia’s next zombie book…

ARMAND ROSAMILIA

Dying Days 4 Cover

I talked about doing a contest for readers to be a part of Dying Days 4 and become a character in the book itself Here. The poll is now closed and we have a winning idea, but it wasn’t a landslide. In fact, all 3 ideas on the poll were pretty close… 

So there will be TWO different ways for you to be picked to star in Dying Days 4…

1. Send me a cool pic of you holding any (or all) of the Dying Days books. It could be either Dying Days, Dying Days 2, Dying Days 3, Highway To Hell, Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer, Still Dying, Still Dying 2, Dying Days: Origins, Dying Days: The Siege of European Village, Dying Days: Siege 2… You’ll automatically be entered in for a chance to star in it. AND… for every…

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Radio Show Reminder: What Not to Say to a Writer

I’ve told you about the radio show I co-host with Armand Rosamilia before…we are starting to get noticed. Tune in tonight an join the shenanigans!

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

You know that radio show I recommended in the last post?

Friday Night Writes is on tonight (Friday February 7, 2014) and every Friday night at 8 p.m. EST. The topic is “Stupid Things People Say to Writers.” There’s a deep, rich well.

The show is on Surf 1700 Flagler Beach Radio (FlaglerBeachRadio.com.) I listen in on the TuneIn Radio app. It’s not a podcast so you can’t listen to it later. 

What’s my favorite Stupid Thing recently?

I have several to choose from, but I bristled when someone said, “I can’t imagine doing all that by oneself.” The implication of the tone and context was it couldn’t be done or be any good.

Answer: I don’t do it alone. I have a lot of help.

Unlike most podcasts, this is live radio with an active forum so you can comment and ask questions in real time. In that way, it’s…

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