Tag Archives: radio

Hugging Dogs, Duking It Out with Other Authors, Horror in Jersey and other Acts of Randomness

I read somewhere that a blogger shouldn’t go too long between posts lest the audience forget him/her.

The last post I wrote (Do You Ever Wonder if You’re a Good Writer?) was two weeks ago (reblogs notwithstanding) so I think it’s time for another post.

The problem is…I can’t think of a singular topic that will give me enough material for a worthwhile post. I do, however, have a few thoughts that, while unable to provide a high word count, are worth mentioning – so I’m going to share them with you.

Hopefully their combined content will be worth your time.

random

For starters – I am very pleased to announce I came up with a title for my latest novel. Up until this point I had been calling it “Protect This”, but I knew I would eventually need a better title.

The book follows a man named Martin Aquino who is convinced that the witness protection plan is the only way he can secure a “good life”. His biggest problem is that he hasn’t witnessed anything.

His plan backfires a bit and ends up putting him, and three other people, in some pretty hot water.

The official title of the book (unless I think of something better before the August 11th release) will be…

To Catch a Break

Now I need to get to work on the cover design.

 

Next on my mind – Since March 17th my novel Backseat to Justice has been in the Top 100 Crime Fiction books on Amazon. It peaked at #16 – and for most of that time it has been in the top 50.

There was a time when I gave ranking numbers very little (if any) credence. That pretty much ended when my book began its run at number one. As any writer will tell you, it’s a great feeling to know that your work is being enjoyed by others…after all – that’s why we do it.

BTJ cover

There is another reason I’m happy about Backseat’s sudden ascension. When it was released in 2011 I promised half of all profits to a Rhode Island based dog rescue operation called Golden Huggs Inc.

Golden Huggs is run by a friend of mine and I wanted to help, but the independent author’s life is not as glamorous as one might think and the sales numbers are never as high as we would like, so I haven’t been able to give GH nearly as much money as I want to.

Hopefully Backseat’s popularity will continue to rise and I can make good on my promise.

You can help a great cause by purchasing a copy here – it’s only 99 cents, and, if I do say so myself, it’s a damn good book.

 

Moving right along – This Saturday night, May 10th, I will be participating in a fund raising event called War of the Words.

The event will combine elements of an author’s open mic night with boxing and horse racing.

wotw

I, along with three other writers, will take turns reading short pieces in front of an audience. There will be four “rounds”…after each round the audience will select a winner. The last writer standing wins.

Voters will be eligible to win great prizes after each round and all the proceeds are being donated to a Flagler Beach charity called Christmas Come True.

If you can’t attend, but would like to donate you can do so here.

It should be a fun evening and hopefully we will raise a ton of money for a fantastic charity.

Read more about it here.

 

And finally – a few months back I submitted a short story for consideration in a horror anthology called State of Horror: New Jersey.

State of Horror is a collection of short horror stories released by Charon Coin Press, and each state will have its own book.

Much to my surprise, my story was accepted and will be part of the anthology. I’m not really a horror author, but I have always been a huge fan of The Twilight Zone…so my story is more twilight zone-ish than horror.

I don’t know when the collection will be released, but when it is I will let you know where it can be found.

 

I think that’s all I have for you today.

 

Oh, wait! One more thing – About a year ago I landed a gig as a disc jockey on a small AM radio station here in Flagler Beach. As of June 1st the station will be FM – and – in addition to doing 3 hours on Friday nights I will also be on the air from 10:00 to Noon every weekday morning.

SurfLogo

For an audiophile like me – it’s a dream job!

If you’d like to listen in go to www.flaglerbeachradio.com.

Check out my facebook page too – https://www.facebook.com/BlindoggsBsides

Now I’m done.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Making a Long Story Short

Recently Armand Rosamilia and I were talking and he planted a seed in my mind about writing a short story, featuring my main character Ike, for a local event here in Flagler Beach called The Inspired Mic.

The Inspired Mic is basically an open mic night for authors, and Armand thought it would be a good idea for me to read a new short story rather than an excerpt from one of my existing novels.

program

I agreed and wrote the story. It was an Ike Christmas story, and I had fun writing it.

It was very well received, and I enjoyed writing it so much that I wrote another one (just for fun, I told myself) about New Year’s Eve.

After the second one was done Armand suggested writing one for each of the holidays and releasing them in an anthology. I thought it was a good idea and since there were a couple of months before the next holiday (St. Patrick’s Day) I returned my focus to my current work-in-progress – a novel with the working title Protect This.

Then, a few days later, somebody posted a quote from Ray Bradbury on facebook that threw a wrench into my gears.

The quote said “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”

short story

It appealed to me for a few reasons;

  • It could be a nice weekly distraction from writing a novel
  • It would be an extension/improvement of Armand’s idea
  • It would help me learn more about Ike and share it with his fans

Ike shirt front

My plan was simple: Each week I would write the short story on Saturday, leaving me Sunday and any free weeknights for working on the novel.

Saturday morning I sat down at the computer with the idea for my weekly short story and started writing. After 7 hours I was ready to quit and watch some TV but the story was only 2/3 finished.

snoopy

No problem…I’ll finish it up first thing in the morning and then dive into the novel.

Not so much…

It took me the better part of Sunday to finish, and by the time I was done I just didn’t have the mental energy to change gears and work on the novel.

So here we are three weeks later and my novel is in a holding pattern – but I’ve written three good stories for the anthology – so I’ve got that going for me.

I’ve also got a cool idea for story number four…and I had an idea for a cool quasi-horror short story…

I may need to cancel my cable TV account.

As always – thanks for reading

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Confession Time: Ike Was an Accident

While preparing for our weekly radio show, Friday Night Writes (Friday night from 8-10 EST on FlaglerBeachRadio.com) Armand and I were throwing around some potential discussion topics when Armand suggested Creating your biggest character and giving it the playful subtitle The Ike Syndrome – as a nod to my biggest character.

I started thinking about the origins of Ike and I quickly realized that I would have no great insight to share as to how my larger-than-life protector-of-Flagler-Beach came into being…because I never had any designs on creating a character of such mythical proportions.

Okay – maybe mythical is a bit much, but you get the point.

Here’s the story behind the story…

…cue flashback effects and eerie music…

When I began writing my first novel, Living the Dream, I never intended it to be released.

Living the Dream

I’ve told the story about how I had a crazy dream which became the jumping-off point for the book, and that much is true…but what I haven’t told too many people is that I was really writing it as a way to pass time.

I had been living in Florida for only 5 or 6 months at the time. My social life was non-existent and there were many hours to kill, so I filled them with writing as opposed to watching TV. I assumed that when I got to the end, the story would spend the rest of time collecting virtual dust as a file on my computer’s hard drive.

Since I had no plans for my hobby/project to ever see the light of day, I decided to have some fun with it by naming characters after my friends and family. It was fun seeing how many I could squeeze in.

When Jimmy, the antagonist, needed a forged passport and credit cards I had to introduce a person with some black-market connections (Ralph – local bookie and mob type). Since Jimmy was not the type to associate with the criminal element I needed a go-between…so I threw in Ralph’s right-hand-man Ike.

Ike was named after one of my closest friends and barely had any significant role in the story (which is why I never bothered giving him a full name).

Eventually I convinced myself that Living the Dream was worthy of being published, so I started the process to make it happen – and in the meantime began working on book number 2 – Water Hazard.

The plot for Water Hazard came about from reading an incredibly insightful and somewhat scary non-fiction book called Water Follies, which dealt with the damage we are doing to the planet by over-pumping ground water.

Water Hazard

I had a good lead-in to the story where the protagonist, Steve, is inadvertently tasked with rescuing a kidnapped teenage boy. A mission that subsequently lands him in hot water with a crooked land developer, putting his life, as well as the life of the boy and his mother, in grave danger (is there another kind?).

My problem was that Steve needed help.

That’s when I remembered the enigmatic Ike character.

I decided that Ike would prove very useful to Steve since he had access (via his boss Ralph) to all sorts of resources…not all of them legal.

This is where the legend of Ike really began to grow.

My next book, Pump It Up also included Ike and his bag-of-tricks, as did No Good Deed and Backseat to Justice.

Suddenly I had written 5 books in 3 years and in so doing created a bit of a legend.

tee shirt front

I have actually had women ask me to introduce them to Ike. (I haven’t figured out a good reply to that one yet!)

So when it comes time to discuss the topic of creating your biggest character on the radio with Armand…I guess I’ll have to come clean about how Ike was not so much a creation as a happy accident, sort of like the wheel or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

For all I know that’s the way it happens.

Maybe Robert B. Parker had no idea what he was setting up when he wrote the first Spenser book. Did Tim Dorsey envision Serge A. Storms as almost being a household name? How about Janet Evanovich? Do you think she knew that Stephanie Plum would take on a life of her own?

Want to read more about Ike? click here

surf 17Tune in Friday night at 8:00 EST to hear our discussion – and if you’re an author…leave some feedback below about your biggest character and how they came about. You can also interact with us live while we are on the air through our facebook page.

As always – thank you for reading

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This is the Tale of Our Castaways

Greetings dudes and chicks and all the ships at sea – I’m here to tell you about my latest adventure – so just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…

It all began a few months ago when Armand Rosamilia, Becky Pourchot and I met a guy named Vern Shank at a local event called Entrepreneur Night. Over the course of the evening Vern told us that, among other various gigs, he was starting a new radio station here in Flagler Beach. Somewhere during the conversation Becky suggested that the three of us do a radio show dedicated to the Flagler Beach creativity scene.

surf 17

After three months and several discussions between Vern and Armand, the show will soon be a reality (not to be confused with a reality show).

Beginning on Friday, July 26th our show, “The Castaways: A Three Hour Tour” – will air on Surf 17 and FlaglerBeachRadio.com. The premise of the show (at least theoretically) will be to focus on the many creative and artistic happenings here in Flagler Beach – but anybody who has ever been around when the three of us start talking knows that the subject matter could go anywhere…ANYWHERE.

You may be wondering how we came up with the name The Castaways and why the show is called A Three Hour Tour.

Lemmee ‘splain…

Ever since Armand and I began hanging out together people have been telling us that we look like The Skipper and Gilligan (don’t make me explain who they are!). Since Surf 17 is “The sounds of the surf” we figured our nickname should be somehow surf related…so we decided on The Castaways (which sort of makes Becky our “Mary Ann”). Then it only seemed fitting to call our show – which will be 3 hours long – “A Three Hour Tour” (once again – if you don’t get the significance you had a lousy childhood…).

castaways

Surf 17 is a different type of radio station.

Granted it’s difficult for a radio station to do something truly unique these days, but Surf tries. When you listen, you’ll hear (as the name of the station implies) surf music from the Beach Boys, The Ventures and lots of other great bands. You’ll also hear songs that may not be specifically about surfing but still give you that “day at the beach” vibe.

And thanks to the internet you can listen wherever you are on your computer, tablet and even on your cell phone.

So join us here each week my friends, you’re sure to get a smile…on the sounds of Surf 17 – where the weather never gets rough and we’ll do our very best to make you comfortable (are you getting all these Gilligan references?).

Once again – make sure you tune in Friday nights from 7-10 pm (EST) for The Castaways: A Three Hour Tour. (starting Friday, July 26th).

As always – thank you for reading

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