New Release – Mr God

There is nothing like the feeling of finally finishing a book, and then being able to take that deep—if somewhat short—sigh of satisfaction. Of course, now comes the really fun part; promotion time! That point in a new novel’s life where I get to go on and on about how much you need to read this book, and how great it is.

Truth is, I never really trust myself to know if what I write is good. I’m my own worst critic. To me it’s all ilk that a half-stupid monkey splattered on some pages. But, for those of you that enjoy my writing, and want to read more, then here is another entry in the monkey’s collection of words and pages.

You can buy Mr God here – Amazon Kindle

And to sweeten the deal for you fans, I’m not only going to let you buy my new novel that I slaved over for the better part of six months; I’m going to do some giveaways as well. Everyone likes free stuff right? And no, this is not some sort of attempt to bribe you. If I wanted to do that, I’d give you free stuff.

Here’s the low-down, the skinny, and the word. For today, I’m offering my first novel, Murdered by Midnight to everyone free on Amazon Kindle – US | UK

And, if that wasn’t enough, from now until February 25th, I’ll be holding a drawing for five lucky winners to each receive a free autographed paperback copy of Mr God.

A huge thank you to all the people that have assisted in this novel; I couldn’t have done it without them. And to you, the fans: you mean so much to me, you will never know.

Now, go follow me on Twitter, Facebook, share and like; brag and tell people about me. Buy my book, and support the war on the tyranny of Conglomerate Publishing houses, and help me in the fight against zombies, writer’s block, and the occasional lack of inspiration.

What Happened To Half The Battle?

ImageWell, it never fails. That moment in life when you are on the edge of completing a long arduous project, and the thing goes completely south on you? Yeah, you know that it’s happened to you before; hell, I’d imagine that it’s happened to the best of us. The trick though is persistence.

For me it’s about finishing a really long manuscript,only to find that the damn thing got a glitch when converting it to HTML for the ebook formatting; and now I have to re-read through the last half of the book paragraph by paragraph to catch all the places where the opening dialogue quotes are missing.

Talk about a serious pain in the ass!

This unfortunately is just life. Sure, it’d be gravy if every time we worked ourselves to the bone, we managed to get to the end goal without hiccup or disaster; or what the universe knows as Murphy’s Law! That rule that warns us: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

Is it a huge bother that I have to go back over the last 250,000 words of my novel line by line, or paragraph by paragraph? Sure it is. But there is a small consolation to it. I now get to find some of those pesky little annoyances that I probably should have paid better attention to during the editing processes. Nothing like a new, fresh set of eyes.

Cultivating Ideas

Sometimes when I am grouply conversing, I inevitably encounter a person that asks the question, “How do you come up with those stories?”

To be honest, I often feel as though it’s a loaded question. It’s certainly not one that I can answer with just one word; and I’ve come to realize that many people are only looking for a simple explanation of it, or they really aren’t interested, and are only passably making small talk.

One of the reasons though, that I feel the question is a loaded one, is because I can only speak for myself, and when I do, it often comes across as bragging. How does one convey the spark of creativity that we as authors have within us?

I have always been an advocate and proponent of writing; I firmly believe that anyone is capable of it, and with practice and time, can become great at it. I understand that many may feel as though they can’t write, and that they lack the one thing I am always being accused of having too much of: creative imagination. But you see, creativity and imagination are only a small part of it.

For me it always comes down to two more important aspects: ideas and observation. We need to be able to recognize the idea of a good story when one comes to us. Inspiration is a good tool, but like all tools can dull and lose its edge over time. As a writer, I am always on the lookout for a new idea; a new what if, so to speak. And the beautiful thing about ideas, is that they can come from anything, anyone, or anywhere. To offer an example, I was talking to a friend on my porch once, and we were going on about the proliferation of some specific genre that I felt was sucking the industry dry, and then he says to me, “You just have to come up with some new spin on that kind of story.”

Well, that’s easier said than done. I off-handedly remarked that, “Well, to something like that, I’d have to reinvent the freaking wheel, and do something absolutely stupid. Like making a Vampire story with robots.”

Now when I said those words, I had what I like to call, a “Writer’s Moment”, one of those small time- stoppers that causes me to stand still and mentally go back through the stenographer’s last sheet of paper, and make sure what was said was actually said. Sure enough it was a wild and crazy “what if” moment that had me suddenly fascinated and intrigued. Could a story be written about Vampires and Robots? Whose to say. But I know that I’ve learned to recognize those types of moments that come along and bring with them the fertile soil that is rich with all the minerals for planting a story. Continue reading

“Mr God” – Discussing My New Novel

Well, it’s time to hype up the new novel. I hope you all don’t mind too much. I mean, if you’re following me, then you know what I do, and hopefully this is why you are here. So let’s start with the title.

Mr God came about actually when I was neck deep in trying to write a follow-up book to Murdered by Midnight. I wanted to do something off the beaten path, and a little dark, scary, and definitely supernatural. I started out with the first chapter of a book that was to take place in early settlement days of Gettysburg, and then somewhere in there I had the idea about a man walking into a bar, sitting down and ordering a drink, and declaring that he was God. Then giving the person at the bar the chance to personally confront him over all the wrongs in this world that he (God) has been accused of over the course of time.

The idea was so intriguing that I abandoned my historical thriller in favor of this one. Of course, when I actually sat down to write it, I didn’t go the route of God walking into a bar. As per my usual norm, the story very quickly took on a life all its own, and I began to follow the path the characters set down for me to dictate where the story would go.
Continue reading

Too Many Cooks In the Stew

Two things that greatly disturb me about the Internet age, is that people have the ability to mass communicate their opinions, and they can behave presumptively without consequence. Granted, if I wanted to write a novel two decades ago, the potential for popularity would have been nill. The same with wanting to independently publish. What I’m saying it that, before, I would not have had the opportunity to reach very many people outside of a “word of mouth” scenario. Today, the potential of such information spreading has increased, and with it, the potential for many, many people to assist with helping me do things right.

There is an old saying that I grew up hearing. “If I wanted your help, I would have asked for it.”

That’s a fantastic phrase. And today, it seems all but lost on the masses that browse the superhighway of the world wide web, looking to unload their well intentions and good will onto others. Let me give you all a little example of a scenario that may or may not have happened to you.

You are scrubbing a lasagna pan, and the burnt on pasta and cheese and sauce has sat in for almost three days, while everyone in the house took their time to eat the left overs. Eventually, the pan makes its way into the sink, and there is sits for several hours. While the pan is sitting there, you have a family member or neighbor come by for something mundane and trivial, and while they are there, you begin to tackle that pan. Not because you are embarrassed about having a dirty dish in the sink, but because you want that person to see that you are busy, and they should come back later.

While scrubbing on this pan, the person offers their advise on how best to scrub that pan. Ah-hah! They reveal some ancient long forgotten secret from civilizations past about how the ancient Egyptians removed lasagna burn-on with sand, or sharpened rocks, and instead of actually helping you; they frustrate you to no end.

Maybe this person actually took a cooking class, and their “professor” showed them some basic domestic cleaning skills, and now because they have a few hours of home economics, they are an expert, and want to either demonstrate their superiority by “helping” or “imparting” their wisdom.

I’m all for people sharing their opinions, so long as they understand that I am under no obligation to use it. And that by asking for their opinion, I usually mean to say that, “I’m still going to do it my way.”

On the road to creating a novel, there have been several instances when I have encountered people that want to “help” or “assist” me with my creation. Sometimes, many times in fact, I gain more creative inspiration from simply talking the idea out. Not from their suggestions or opinions; and that isn’t to say that people’s opinions can’t be valuable. I place the opinions of my friends and family paramount to almost anyone else’s.

What annoys me the most are the grammarians that have suddenly sprung from the woodwork. Every time I turn around there they are pointing at something, or “helping.”

Here’s the juicy gossip, the big slice, the skinny, the whole hog.

I don’t take advice on writing from anyone. Not because I think I’m better than a horde of grammar scholars. But because academia isn’t my calling, story telling is. I may not win the hand every time; but I promise my near two decades of writing will give your seven years of scholarly opinion a dedicated run for its money.

Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I need to get back to writing, and avoid more helpful advice.

The Five Star Motivator

There is nothing as thrilling than waking up in the mornings and finding out that someone has reviewed your book. Well, at least there isn’t much for me; unless I won the lottery, or suddenly found a briefcase full of suspicious money.

As a writer, I am very guarded about what I write. For years, I was afraid to write for a public audience because I was worried that my work wouldn’t be good enough, or that the public would ridicule it. I’ve since learned that the public will ridicule any and everything, then ridicule the fact that they ridicule it. So moving out onto the turbulent waters of public forum, I release a book.

I’m not one to want just praise. I know there are strong areas in everything where some improvements can be made; and I always give every negative criticism serious contemplation. I may get moody, and kick my feet, and pout that I will never write again; but in the end, I always scratch my head, consider the angle of the reader that gave the negative feedback, or in some cases, a simple friendly suggestion, and make a change, or implement something for their benefit.

I hope that my novel gets only five star reviews from readers. But then, that’s a little like eating supper, and only getting the delicious stuff, and not that nasty green crap that we know is for our own good.

So, to whomever wrote that five star review… thank you. You’ve made my morning a glorious one. Now to steel myself for the possibility of a negative one, I suspect may be just around the corner.