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Friday, December 19, 2014

Novel Characters

I realize many authors avoid reading reviews, because mixed in with legitimate readers skulk the dreaded ‘Book Killers’, well documented non-readers there for one purpose – knock down sales of a novel gaining popularity. I’ve done blogs explaining who does this and why with news articles, and even admissions from publishing house interns. I would rather discuss the readers who find something disenchanting about an author’s wares.

Every now and then I will get either a review or e-mail claiming my characters from series to series are the same. It would be silly for me to defend the different main characters’ personalities in John Harding’s Hard Case series, Nick McCarty’s Cold Blooded series, Mike Rawlins' new adult Demon series, or Rick Cantelli’s P.I. series - or for that matter the main characters in my many stand alone novels. They all have distinguishing features, but they do also have many similar ones, especially in parts of their belief systems. They are loyal to a fault, violent, and love America. They many times fight similar enemies, because the world around them at this time is fighting a common enemy, Islamists – but they also battle common street thugs, serial killers, child predators, and other assorted bad people.

Let me defend the similarities this way. I grew up reading Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mickey Spillane, Donald Hamilton, John D MacDonald, Ian Fleming, and a host of other writers in a similar vein. The ones who wrote a number of series like Howard and Burroughs, naturally built them around larger than life, pulp fiction heroes. A reader finishing Burroughs’ Tarzan series, Mars series, and Pellucidar series for example would find very similar characteristics amongst his main characters, as indeed the reader would in Howard’s Conan, Solomon Kane, and El Borak to name only a few. I looked forward to those heroic pulp fiction characteristics whenever I started one of their works.

Real reviews make me think and question, but they won’t make me change. I have no intention of ever creating a mentally tortured main character like many of Hemingway’s characters or Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure – again, just to name a couple. Hemingway and Burroughs wrote in nearly the same time period, as did Howard, although Robert E Howard unfortunately took his own life at an early age. They chose to write in different genres, and while I liked some of Hemingway’s works (The Old Man and the Sea was my favorite) I loved everything Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E Howard wrote. If Hardy wrote Jude the Obscure in this day and age for the Amazon marketplace, I would know within minutes of perusing the ‘Look Inside’ feature that ‘Jude’ was not for me.

To my writer friends, don’t avoid the reviews because a few book killing trolls appear. It means you’ve gained popularity. Also don’t change what you love to write because avid readers make criticisms of what you do. There will always be readers who didn’t sample your wares in the ‘Look Inside’ feature, and decide to take a few legitimate shots at you based on their legitimate outlook. Enjoy them all. It means people read what you wrote, and even if they didn’t like it, the content prompted them to make time for writing a review. We write to above all else please ourselves. Otherwise the editing would drive us to the brink of insanity.  :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hard Case Series

The writing keeps me sane this holiday season. I should be at 44,000 words by tonight in Hard Case Book V: Blood and Fear. Here are the links to the first four in the series. It’s a pure pulp fiction action adventure with the most humorous and deadly crew of characters I’ve ever created, led by John Harding. Book 1 is on special for only 99 cents.

Hard Case Book 1  

Hard Case Book II - The Lure of Hell

Hard Case Book III - Voyage of the Damned 

Hard Case Book IV - A Violent Life

Saturday, December 6, 2014

On Top One More Day

My COLD BLOODED BOOK III: SINS & SANCTIONS hero, writer/assassin Nick McCarty made it through another day on top in Pulp Thrillers, complete with banner. I'm hoping tomorrow he can make it three in a row.  :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Cold Blooded Book III: Sins & Sanctions - #1 in Amazon's Pulp Fiction

For the first time ever I reached #1 in Pulp Fiction which is my chosen genre. COLD BLOODED BOOK III: SINS & SANCTIONS made it to the top spot this morning at least for a little while, so I had to blog it. :) I passed 36,000 words in Hard Case Book V: Blood and Fear last night, and I'm shooting for 40k by Sunday night. Sins & Sanctions also received its 10th 5 star review, and it is a good one to blog.

on December 5, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I absolutely love this author! I especially enjoy the assassin books, read every book at least twice!

It will be hard to waiting for more about Nick McCarty and his family, and I'm not sure there will be more, but I hope so!

I'll read the Private Detective ones for now, and keep an eye out for more in this genre.
The standalone novels are awesome too!
Anything by this author is worth the money!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Reunion - My Short Story is a Finalist

My short story, The Reunion, is amongst the finalists for BTS Book Reviews Red Carpet Book Awards for best short story in 2014. If anyone has not read it, it's on page 39 of BTS Book Reviews February E-mag. It included my Grandson Colin's creation of the term Quilt-A-Woman which he wrote for his Grandma, my deceased Angel Joyce.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


This is release weekend for COLD BLOODED BOOK III: SINS & SANCTIONS. It made it to #1 in Amazon's Vigilante Justice Category, and #4 in Men's Adventure. Since I can't remember ever making it that high in either category, I thought it would continue to be less of a marketing stunt to provide clips of the novel's rise. I passed 29k words in my new Hard Case Book V: Blood and Fear, so I'll be sending off the first 30k later to my partner, RJ Parker for a look. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I wrote, so I spent much of the holiday filling my head with fiction - a much better world.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since tomorrow my novel COLD BLOODED BOOK III: SINS & SANCTIONS will be released, I wanted to wish my friends a safe and healthy Thanksgiving. Be careful out there on the roads. Here's a picture from long ago, when Joyce made us all costumes to wear for Halloween and Thanksgiving. We only had one pilgrim though.  :)

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Dream That Cannot Be

After making it nearly to 24k words in my new Hard Case novel, Blood and Fear, I walked tonight as I used to walk with my wife Joyce. A stanza from ‘Les Miserables’ I Dreamed a Dream haunted me the entire walk this night. It is unfortunate there truly are dreams that can never be.

'And still I dream she'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather!'

When we were young.