Tag Archives: books

Friday Night Advice Straight From Jersey

My buddy Armand Rosamilia introduced me (via Skype) to some real cut-ups from New Jersey a while ago. They have a podcast called Books, Beer and Bullshit where they talk about…yeah – you guessed it…Anyway – they had Armand and I on their show once and we had a blast.

In addition to their podcast – they also have a blog called (get ready) Books, Beer and BlogBullshit.

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On their most recent blog post, Blogger Frank (a guy who admittedly has no life) discusses how much fun it can be to tune in to Surf 17 on Friday nights and hang out with Armand, Becky and me

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Click here to see the blog – and you can even go through their older stuff and hear the episode where Mando and I shoot the shit with them.

As always – thank you for reading

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The World Didn’t End – Looks Like I’ll Have to Keep Writing

Another year comes to an end.

At the risk of sounding cliché – where the hell did the time go? It seems like just yesterday I was wondering what 2012 would bring.

Well – now that it’s over, let’s take a look and see.

2011 ended with the November release of the sequel to Living the Dream – No Good Deed.

When 2012 began I was working on Pump It Up, which I finished and sent off to the editor in March. The editor and I worked very hard on Pump, putting it through three solid rounds of edits. Judging by your response, the finished product was well worth the effort.

I also decided to release a print version of Backseat to Justice in 2012. It had been written in the summer of 2011 and released in e-version only, with half of the profits being donated to a dog rescue organization called Golden Huggs. I ran the book through a quick edit, commissioned a cover from the same designer who did Pump (Keri Knutson) and she came up with another beauty. The two books were released within two weeks of each other bringing my catalog up to five.

Not bad for three years. I was very pleased and thought 2012 was going to end up being a very good year.

Not so fast, it wasn’t over yet.

In April I had met Armand Rosamilia, another author living in my town. We quickly became good friends and, sometime around September, decided it would be fun to co-write a book together.

There were a couple of challenges; the first being our genres were miles apart. Armand is a horror/zombie writer and I…am not (for more information on my genre click here). The second challenge was writing this book, editing it and having it published before Christmas. We wanted to release it before Christmas hoping it would help with sales.

Long story short…we did it. We took three of my recurring characters (Ike, Brewski and Didi) and immersed them into Armand’s zombie world in Dying Days: The Siege of European Village.

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The entire process was a blast and Dying Days Euro had its debut at our “End of the World Book Signing” on December 21st, selling 48 copies in two hours. A success we hadn’t imagined.

So – to sum up…2012, great year – 2 ½ books.

What’s coming in 2013 you ask?

I expect the first draft of my current work-in-progress Unfinished Business to be finished before the New Year begins. It should be released sometime in the summer of 2013.

Once Unfinished Business goes to the editor I’ll start working on my next novel. The question is – which one?

I have two works in mind…

The first I call Protect This. It will be the story of a man who feels his pathetic life can only be salvaged if he enters the witness protection program. The problem is that he hasn’t witnessed anything.

The second will be another Steve Salem novel (as in Backseat to Justice) where Steve and Val take on two unrelated cases. When things begin to heat up they have to figure out which case is the reason…and why.

There will probably be another co-writing effort with Armand, since we’ve already started talking about it.

So stick around, it looks like 2013 is going to be another busy year.

As always – thank you for reading.

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What’s Your Genre?

I don’t have any statistical data to support this, but I imagine the question authors hear the most when they meet somebody new is “What sort of books do you write?”

It may be in different forms, I’ve heard it asked many ways, but it’s always there.

My friend and fellow author Armand Rosamilia has an easy time with it… “Horror/Zombie” usually works for him. Of course he can always elaborate, and he usually does, but at least he can answer the question quickly and easily.

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I, on the other hand, struggle with it—my answer usually goes something like this…”Well, they’re sort of off-beat, crime, suspense thrillers…but not like mysteries…and they tend to have some unusual plots and some pretty unconventional characters. There’s usually some humor involved, but they aren’t comedies.”

My books, at least in my opinion, don’t fit neatly into any one category. Obviously, they’re fiction—but after that it’s anybody’s guess.

There is always crime involved, but the police are never the ones who handle it and it’s not really a mystery. With my books you won’t have to pay attention for minute clues only to be pissed-off at the end by the insertion of new evidence you couldn’t possibly have deduced.

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Elements of suspense are often present, but not the “creeping into the dark basement with a flashlight” type.

Likewise with thrills…it isn’t unusual to find a thrilling scene or two, but my books don’t belong on the shelf with those of my Canadian friend Russell Brooks.

People being what they are, you will find a relationship sprouting in my books, but don’t make the mistake of thinking I write chick-lit or romance novels. Nor are there any spicy bedroom scenes or whips and chains.

They aren’t espionage books, courtroom dramas, vampire stories and there isn’t a single elf or wizard in any of them.

As you can tell – I’ve put a lot of thought into this—to no avail. I suppose I could change my style to fit a pre-made category, but that just wouldn’t be me. I never did like being pigeon-holed – so it looks like I’ll have to keep struggling with my answer until my books are so wildly famous that no explanation is needed.

In the meantime – I will be glad to hear any advice, suggestions or comments about “my genre” from those of you who have read my stuff.

And for those of you who are yet to have the pleasure—you know who you are—I invite you to read a book or two and see if you can offer any insight.

As always – thank you for reading.

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