Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Checking in

Hey, blog. It's been a while. I've been busy. You understand. Lots of writing getting done, but it's the kind that pays the bills. Unfortunately that's not my fiction right now. It will be someday, but not yet. So most of my best words are going toward speeches and blog articles. But they're words, and I'm still flexing the writing muscles. So that's something.

Anyway, I don't have much to tell you other than that. I did figure out how to tell the third Jackson Cane story. I've known what needs to happen in it ever since I conceived of the series, I just didn't know how I'd tell the story. I do now. And it's called Others. That may give you the smallest hint of what's going to happen. Then again, it's one word. It may not help at all.

OK, that's really it. Nothing else to say. As a way to make up for a lack of actual content, hopefully you'll accept this photo of the cutest baby girl I know. She'll be five months this weekend. Unbelievable.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Consider Us Even hits 1,000 downloads

Checked in at Smashwords this morning and saw this.

I've been inching close to 1,000 downloads of Consider Us Even for what seems like eternity. It was in the 990s for about a month. Then suddenly I was seeing a download or two a day over the last week. I knew that it had to be close to hitting 1,000. And, sometime between Sunday evening and this morning, it did. So that's cool.

Actually, it's more than that. It's motivating. I've admitted recently that sales haven't been great. And by "haven't been great" I mean stagnant. Almost non-existent. But this gives me some hope that people may want to read what I've written.

I'm excited by the fact that it's reached 1,000 downloads at Smashwords alone. It passed the 1,000 overall download mark a longtime back. It's probably getting close to 3,000 overall downloads now. But I like seeing that four-digit number all in one place.

What's it meant for sales of Chasing Filthy Lucre? Nothing, really. I included a long excerpt of Chasing Filthy Lucre with Consider Us Even in hopes that it would spur sales. It hasn't. Not at Smashwords. Not anywhere. There are people who actually complain about the fact that the excerpt is there over at Barnes and Noble. They felt like Consider Us Even was just a ploy to get people to buy Chasing Filthy Lucre. And, I suppose that it was, or is. But it's also a free story, so, really, what are you complaining about. You aren't out any money, and no one is making you buy anything after you're done. Some people, right?

This is a short story that I really like. It's only about 2,000 words, and some people have said that it doesn't really go anywhere. And, I guess they may be right. I always thought of this piece, though, and just a momentary look at one guy's life. He's living near the bottom of a pretty low society and he finds a little pleasure if just for a moment. You don't get the traditional beginning, middle, and end, but I hope you get a satisfying tale.

Want to get your own copy and help me get that second thousand downloads? Click here and go to Smashwords.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Get to know Jake Bible

Jake Bible is an author I've followed on Twitter for a while, and, as you'll see, his writing career is something I've followed from a distance. He's got a new book out, Metal and Ash. It's the end of his Apex Trilogy that started with Dead Mech. I asked him the other day if he wouldn't mind answering some questions. He said yes, so I sent him a few. These are the answers he sent back. Take a couple of minutes to read them and get to know Jake Bible, then go buy his books. Links are at the end.

Give us the elevator pitch for Jake Bible, not your latest book. You’ve got 150 words. Go.
I'm a writer. From military scifi to hardcore erotica, if it can be written I can write it. Pure and simple. My life's goal is to be a working writer that can support my family with words alone. That is my entire focus.

How do you classify yourself?

I don't. I have always refused to be classified. Story of my life.  I write the stories that are in my head. If they can be put into a category then great! But I am not a writer that can be thumbnailed. I wirte the story that needs to be written. I lean towards scifi/horror/thriller, but most of my novels are a nice mix.

OK, now tell us about the newest book, METAL AND ASH.
Here's the official description. It really sums it up:

"What began in the wasteland of DEAD MECH, continued alongside in Europe and Asia in The Americans, now has its epic conclusion in Metal and Ash!

Commander James Capreze and his team of mech pilots no longer must battle just zombies, cannibals, religious cults and the ever dreaded dead mechs. Now they will be put to the test by the forces of the Three as the evil alliance bent on dominating every inch of the world attacks from two fronts, forcing Capreze to split his forces and make alliances with those he had been sworn to defeat. The wasteland becomes the setting for an epic fight for basic human survival like it hasn’t seen in hundreds of years.

Will fifty foot battle mechs be enough against hundreds of thousands of techno-zombies ready to wipe everything living off the scorched map that is the wasteland?
Join Capreze, his mech pilots, the refugee Americans, end every denizen of the wasteland as they make one final stand to keep the Three from bringing humanity’s downfall. Alliances are formed and broken, mech pilots are made and murdered, secrets are revealed and agendas destroyed, and thousands of bodies fall and rise again in the Apex Trilogy finale: Metal and Ash!"

I write all my own summaries, descriptions and synopsis so I hope the above works.

Where did your interest in mechs come from? Were you a Robotech or Voltron fan as a kid?

I have always loved the idea of a pilot inside a massive battle machine. I'll be honest though, I really never got into BattleTech or Mech Warrior. I did watch Voltron as a kid and Transformers. I just really liked the idea of mechs smashing zombies and also of a zombie controlling a mech. It was something I had to write.

DEAD MECH is the world’s first drabble novel. Your use of the drabble makes me think you’re a fan of flash fiction. Am I right? Why or why not?
 I'm a fan of all fiction, great and small. I do like flash fiction, but to be honest I am really a novelist. I rarely write short fiction anymore because my mind just keeps expanding the stories. I have a hard time nowadays keeping a story short. I do still write my weekly free drabble, though. Each week I have the Friday Night Drabble party on my website so fans can have a free drabble if they like. There's hundreds there for people to peruse, if they choose.

You’re a self-published author. What’s that journey been like for you?
A long, strange trip, for sure. I started self-publishing because my first publisher just wasn't ready for ebooks. He understood print books only. I was lucky to get my rights to DEAD MECH back; the publishers was easy to work with. I published DEAD MECH as an ebook and as print in February 2011. I have since published two more novels, a novella and short story collection, and have a YA novel on the way. Plus, Stark- An Illustrated Novella, which is ebook only and has some fine illustrations to go with the brutal, violent story. It has been crazy, for sure, being a self-published author. It is a lot of work, and actually I would prefer not to do any of it other than write. That's why I have an agent. My hopes are to sell some of my novels for traditional publishing- as long as the contract is fair and good! ;)

You are a name I’ve seen for a while. You appear to have the kind of success that lots of other indie authors would like to have, me included. You have any secrets to share? Are there publishing gnomes whose palms I should be greasing with freshly printed twenties?
Okay, gonna have to be brutal and crush dreams. There is no secret. I may have my name out there, but I am no where near making a living at writing. Only about 5 percent of writers make a living at it. Seriously. The successes I have seen have been short lived. Publishing is publishing, whether self or traditional. I'd say there is the same percentage of success in either one. All this press about self-published writers making money hand over fist is all about the same group of writers. It's all BS. The gold rush is over and all that is left is the same old back breaking work that has always been there. Sorry there aren't any gnomes. :(

You are sitting at home. A masked man kicks in your front door and screams something unintelligible. You sit in stunned silence for a couple beats, and then the man raises his mask and says “Come on, I’m kidnapping you, and we’ll never return. But grab three books to bring with you. I’m not a monster.” What do you grab and why?
They'd be three empty composition books so I can keep writing! I don't tend to re-read books. I'm one of those people that can't stand spoilers so re-reading books is anti-climactic for me. Not that I haven't done it, just that it isn't on my priority list at all. Writing is what I can't give up.

Give us the names of some writers we may haven’t heard of, but we should have? And what work of theirs should we read to get an idea of who they are as a writer?

James Melzer, Phil Rossi, Justin Macumber, Paul E Cooley are just a few. Read everything by them. Great stuff. You can't go wrong there. I might also recommend Scott Roche, Shannon Michaels, Mur Lafferty and Jeremy Shipp. Go get their books! Oh, and Robert R. Best and Timothy Long. Too many! Too many!

What about overhyped? You bold enough to name any names?
No such thing as overhyped, in my opinion. Hype is a writer's dream. I long for the days when my name is as ubiquitous as James Patterson's!

What’s next for you? Anything coming up that we should look for?
My first YA novel, Little Dead Man, will be out in mid-November. It is for middle school and up. It is the novel that landed me my agent, but we just couldn't find a home for it. I didn't want it to sit around, so I am publishing it myself. Just in time for the holidays! What's it about? Glad you asked!

"Garret Weir has just turned seventeen. For any normal teen this would be quite the milestone. But for Garret it’s even more amazing he’s made it to this age, because in Garret’s life the human population of the Earth is gone, changed and turned into flesh hungry zombies, or “necs”, as he calls them. In the world he was born into, except for his parents that have kept him safe in a small compound hidden in the mountains of southern Oregon, Garret has never known another living soul. However, he is not the only seventeen year old in the family. Just the only one living. For Garret is alive and breathing and his twin, Garth, is undead, has been since birth, leaving him the size of an infant and attached to Garret’s spine. And he won’t leave his brother in peace. Set decades after the zombie apocalypse, Little Dead Man tells the story of conjoined twins Garret and Garth Weir. A fast-paced, high-action tale that doesn’t pull any punches as Garret, with Garth always attached, must struggle with a mother that is mentally unstable, a missing father that has kept too many secrets and the fact that the world he had always been told was completely dead, actually has well-developed human survivor pockets. And not all of those are friendly. Not even close."

Get a copy of any of Jake Bible's books for your Kindle by clicking here.
Get a copy of any of Jake Bible's books for you Nook by clicking here.
And if you prefer Smashwords, click here.
And check out Jake's blog, Brain Squeezin's, for more from him.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Help me fix Reunion and Scouts

Have you ever had a story that you just wanted to tell people? Something that happened to you or someone you know, and it's such a great story that you need to share it, but you can't find anyone. No matter how hard you try, there's no one around that will listen to your tale?

I think we all have. I've got two. One is Reunion. The other is Scouts. They are my Jackson Cane stories, and I think they're great. But no one is reading them. No one. Almost literally. And, honestly, I don't get it.

A couple of weeks ago I tried to change the blurbs. They were admittedly poor. They needed to be beefed up, so that's what I did. I updated and hoped that I'd see sales start to increase. But nothing. I don't think I've sold one book since the blurbs were updated. I think the covers are good. They are simple, but I like them.

So, I'm stumped, and I need your help. What's wrong with these stories? Why aren't people buying them? I'm going to post the new blurbs and covers here, and I want you to tell me what's wrong. And don't pull any punches. Let me know what's wrong. Why aren't people buying. I want to get these stories into people's hands.


Play cops and monsters with Jackson Cane and the rest of the Freak Police.

They’re cops, sort of. Cane and his coworkers chase certain undesirables back to where they belong. Back through the portal in a dark alleyway. Back to their own dimension. Back home. Cane's the best of the bunch, but his next cases are going to bring him face to face with someone he's not sure he wants to see again, with creatures he’s never seen before, and something he’d only heard stories about.

In this first adventure, Jackson Cane is called to a gruesome crime scene that looks like the handiwork of someone he knows all too well. He hopes he’s wrong, because, if he’s not, he’s headed for a reunion he never wanted to happen.

This nearly 8,000 word short story is the first in a series.


Play cops and monsters with Jackson Cane and the rest of the Freak Police.

They’re cops, sort of. Cane and his coworkers chase certain undesirables back to where they belong. Back through the portal in a dark alleyway. Back to their own dimension. Back home. Cane's the best of the bunch, but his next cases are going to bring him face to face with someone he's not sure he wants to see again, with creatures he’s never seen before, and something he’s only heard stories about.

In his second adventure, Jackson Cane spots a trio of suspicious 20-somethings eating noodles at Charlie Chan’s Kung Food. His instincts tell him something's wrong. When he sees the same trio later, Cane finds out his instincts couldn't have been more right -- and that's bad news for him and the rest of the Freak Police. Because these young ones are only the first wave of something bigger, and the Freak Police may not be ready for that kind of fight.

This 13,000-word story is the second in the series of Jackson Cane adventures.