Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ethereal Realm Edits...DONE!

Yes, I finally finished rewrites and edits for my debut novel People of the Ethereal Realm.  My editor, Dan Sutter, is brilliant!  Very glad to work with him.  With the final edits in place he'll give the manuscript a final read through and then it's off to the publisher.  Look for it in 2012 from Twisted Library Press.

I elected not to have a dedication page.  Something about the dedication page that bothers me.  Not sure why.  It's fairly traditional to have one, but then the question is who to dedicate the book to and for what reason.  I don't know, I may reconsider.  I have been throwing around the idea of a thank you page as well, you know, to thank everyone who had a hand in bringing my manuscript to life.

I've also been pondering the promotional side of things. In particular, the sending out of the manuscript for review before the book is published for the purpose of getting a blurb or two for the front and back cover.  We did this for Scarecrow and the Madness and it seemed to work out pretty well.  It's something I'm seriously considering.  I think it helps spread the word from the get go, and in these trying times we need to spread the word like hippies spread the clap.

If you're not thoroughly grossed out by that last comment, I bid you good day.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Shivers of Horror Gives Scarecrow and the Madness...

...3/5 stars. 

Not the best review, but when you look at the site you'll notice that Kat is a tough critic and of the most recent reviews three stars is the highest rating.

Of course I'm thrilled that she liked my story, and I think she probably was a bit harsh on Craig's story due to the dialogue that she didn't like.  I haven't read Scarecrow yet, so I cannot comment on it, but I have read Craig's work and he's a fantastic writer.  I'm proud to share the pages with him.  Can't win 'em all.  Even considering the kind commentary about The Madness, she still only gave my novella 3/5 stars on its own, so there you have it.

I would still encourage anyone to check out the review HERE.  It's not the best we've had, but I gladly take the good with the bad.  You can't please everyone.

After reading the review, why don't you see for yourself.  Purchase S and the M HERE


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Miscellaneous Musings, Fort Mojave, Gold Mines, and Head Hopping

What do all of these things have in common?  Well, they have a lot to do with my trip to Arizona for the Thanksgiving holiday.

In a nutshell, my wife, son and I drove to Fort Mojave, Arizona to have Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle's house.  We stayed there for a few days, ate until we had to bring in the wheelbarrows to roll us out the door, and had an over all good time.  Arizona's not the place for me (too hot for most of the year), but it's such a nice change form the miserable city of San Diego I live in.

My wife and I went to Walmart on Thanksgiving night just to laugh at the crowds.  We were lucky enough to find a parking spot just as someone pulled out.  The lot was filled to capacity.  We went in.  My jaw dropped.  There were DVD displays right at the get go, all of them except one had signs advertising that they were five bucks a pop like that was a screaming deal.  That's the regular price.  There are always five dollar DVD bins at Walmart.  The one exception was a $1.99 display, which was indeed a good deal, but if you ask me, they were pulling the 'ol bait and switch, fooling the masses into thinking five clams was a good deal.  People were pulling DVDs out of there like they were going out of style. 

At this point, I closed my eyes and listened, and I could hear, faintly, the familiar bah, bah, bah-ing of sheeple.  We were herded in like cattle and I was began to feel unease set in.  I used to be violently claustrophobic, and crowds like this one tend to bring that horrible feeling of anxiety on in waves.  But back to the herds, because there were quite literally herds of people waiting for several displays that were covered by tarps, each of them with a price advertised above of 5, 10, 20, and 30 dollars, yet no one could see what was beneath the tarps.  Could have been steaming piles of dog shit and yet they lined up.  Could have been a chopping block and a man with an axe and a leather mask, and yet they lined up.  Aisles of food were closed off with caution tape behind which were the sheeple waiting for 40" flat screen televisions.  A Walmart imp-ployee was giving the herds a sticker with a number (they must have forgot the branding irons at home).  I told my wife that Walmart could have constructed a cliff that led into a pit of lava, told the sheeple that there were 40" flat screens on the other side and watched them all leap to their death like lemmings.  If I hadn't been so disgusted I would have stuck around to watch the heard let loose as the tarps were pulled from the merchandise.

As we waded through the crazed people all shoving electronics, DVDs, video games, overpriced cheap blanket sets and anything with an "advertised" price into their shopping carts like the stuffing in the turkey they had eaten only hours before, I was only pleased when I realized that I was going to walk out of there and leave it all behind while these foolish sheeple would have to wait in another line just to pay for their goods.  We passed the lines as we left the store and the bah, bah, bah-ing turned into "are you in line?", "is this the line?", "she just cut in front of me!", "where's the line?", and such.

On a lighter not, my wife and I went into a town called Nelson to see a gold mine.  It was a great tour.  I learned a lot about how gold was mined at the turn of the century.  Real old west stuff: murder, crooked sheriffs, lowering donkeys in the caverns, cowboys and Indians.  There's a lot of history in Nelson, and they're doing a great job of preserving it.  Up the road a bit is Penis Valley... Well, that's not the official name, but if you go there you'll know why it has been dubbed as such.  Rock formations straight out of an HR Giger painting.  Got a good laugh.

Now, onto the head hopping I mention in the title.  It's something I'll have to open up a discussion about on a forum at some point in the future.  I'm current;y reading Rick Hautala's novel Moon Walker and I can't help but notice the abundant head hopping.  I know it was written that way on purpose, but I've been taught that head hopping is evil and should never be done, yet that is the way this book is written.  It doesn't bother me at all.  I think it works rather well, but I have to wonder what all those people who advocate against head hopping would think if they were to--or have--read this book.  What makes it work is that Rick is consistent, and I suppose it's an omniscient point of view, but I can't help but wonder what the consensus is about this style of writing.  I'm half way through.  It's a good book and it's getting better and better.  I'm a very slow reader and I usually have my nose in three or four books at one time, but I'll post a review of Moon Walker when I'm finished.

That's all for now.  Hope all my American brothers and sisters had a great Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sludge Factory

How's that for a title?  My latest piece of writing came out like something produced from a sludge factory, and I was foolish enough to submit it as a contest entry.  Idiot!  (For the record, I have no idea what a sludge factory is.  It's the title of an Alice in Chains song.)

So, my story entry in the Cafe Doom contest was an epic failure for multiple reasons.  Bad writing, embarrassing typos, a tentacled monster (I'm not even a fan of tentacled monsters!), and a rough plot.  It was essentially a first draft.  Yes, I'd gone over the story once or twice, but I didn't allow enough time to pass between edits and I was too eager to get it done and submitted to the contest.  Yet, somehow, one person found it to be the best story of the bunch... Go figure.  Perhaps that person misunderstood the guidelines and voted for the three worst instead of the three best.

The story is good , it just needs the proper attention.  I think I'm also going to reverse the roles of my characters, and the monster is going to be of my own creation rather than rehashing the tentacles of Lovecraftian lore.  I like Lovecraft, but never was a big fan of the tentacled monsters--that's a subject for another blog (because I really believe his horror tales outside of the Cthulhu Mythos were far superior).

The story will live again and be better off for the comments some folks made during the competition, and I very much appreciate the feedback.  It helped out a lot.

I've got to get the hell out of this sludge factory!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Contest Winner!

There wasn't as much response to my banner contest as I would have liked.  Perhaps asking people to place a banner on their blog or website was too invasive.  I began to notice that most people don't carry banner on their site like I do.  I also must admit that I didn't promote this contest as much as I should have.  I'm a terrible self promoter.

However, there is a winner: Ken Cain!

Thanks for the support, Ken.  I will email you about getting your address for your free book.  I hope you dig it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Contest for...

...A PDF copy of Scarecrow and the Madness.  Thing is, I haven't worked out the details yet.  This will be a simple contest that will have to do with posting an amazon link to the book on one's facebook page, twitter, or favorite forum.

I'll post the details here and on facebook, etc. Sunday the 13th.  My banner contest didn't do so well, but there will be a winner, after which this contest will begin.  I'm hoping there will be more interest if the contest is a but simpler.  I've noticed, by monitoring other contests out there, that in cases with bigger names and autographs there are often times only a dozen entries.  I guess people aren't as enthusiastic about contests as I am.  You can't beat free.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Rain, Rain, Reign!

It's raining like crazy here in San Diego.  I love it!  There's snow in the local mountains.  I enjoy hearing nature all around me, each drop of rain a tiny soldier in a torrential downpour attacking the world around me.  Cars crash.  Lots of cars crash here in San Diego.  We don't know what to do when there isn't sun in the sky--that and a lot of people lack common sense.  I saw cars today on the sides of the freeways and had to wonder just how they got so twisted around facing such unnatural directions considering the flow of traffic.  I drove from one side of San Diego to the other without incident.

I like rain.  I think it's going to be a good, wet winter here in southern California.  I hope so.  We can always use rain.  the few lakes we have in this part of Cali are drying up.

Haven't written much in the past few days.  I have been dealing with a lot of BS concerning a house my wife and I put an offer on.  It's bank owned, which can be problematic.  The banks fucked up in the last decade and now us responsible people have to pay for it.  But the real reason the house turned out to be a flop was due to a shared well that has been so notoriously polluted in the past decade that it gained national news.  On a scale of 1-10 the drinkability (is that even a word?) of the water is a 1!  Heavy metals and chloroform have been found in dangerous amounts, and several children became sick due to e coli several years ago.  I'm not willing to take that kind of risk.

My story in the Cafe Doom contest isn't doing so well.  I have managed to get a nice placement from one of the other contestants (each contestant has to read all the stories and post their top three favorites), but I started reading my own story when I got to it and was shocked at some rookie typos.  I made the mistake of submitting a story that was too new.  Hadn't gone through the proper editing process.  Damn foolish of me.  Live and learn...

I think I'll work on the final edits for People of the Ethereal Realm tonight.