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Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Progress



Hard Case Book V: Blood and Fear is nearing completion. I’ll be approaching the 100,000 word mark Sunday night. For the fans of the series, this episode will not disappoint. Between girls’ softball coaching, street fights, Boko Haram terrorists, and an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) threat, John Harding’s crew have their work cut out for them. The Monster Squad is all back with a lot more on the line to lose, and therefore to also protect.

Best of all, this series entry will have a new collaborator on production. My Grandson Colin, who turns thirteen this May, will be doing the cover for Blood and Fear. I bought him a new iMac Retina setup, because he produced his own sports and music video clips so well just using his phone. It has Final Cut Pro editing software, and he produced a cover exactly to my specs. He will be on board with RJ Parker Publishing Inc as my Illustrator. I should have a sample of his cover to post next week. He’s fine tuning the text now. His name will be listed in the credits from now on. I know someone beyond this trail of tears will be looking down, and loving every second of Colin’s new endeavor.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Fan Page



A fan of everything I write started a Facebook page where nearly 400 people have joined. I don’t take something like that lightly. Her name is Jennifer Thomas. Thanks Jenn. She is a reader who reviews what she reads on Amazon religiously in addition to her making it possible for my publishing partner RJ Parker and I to interact with readers. I’m nearing 88,000 words in my novel Hard Case Book V: Blood and Fear. It does help to know people are reading our offerings, and enjoying them. The best part about a fan page like Jenn created is an author can interact with readers, and dispel the notion of aloofness we get. Not all of us are like JD Salinger, who wrote ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, and never offered anything else.  :)

Some of us woe begotten writers just plain write. We’re not afraid of criticism, and we frankly don’t care what the hell people think about our offerings. We can’t! Once we believe we’re writing for someone else, what we write is doomed. Sure, there are many people who abhor pulp fiction, which is what I write. They have many alternatives. If you want someone to be entertained by your writing, they have to be entertained by what you write… and not by what you think they want you to write. Thanks, Jenn! :)

You can find the fan page here... if you'd like... :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Just The Facts



I’m asked many times why I don’t charge more for my full length novels, especially since a few of my series novels have become popular, and fifty thousand words has become the new norm for novel length products. I’ll admit to some very simple truths. I’m not Stephen King, James Patterson, or Tom Clancy. I’m not even in their realm of popularity, or close to it. I enjoy what I do, but I’m not blind to marketplace facts. My partner, RJ Parker, and I have tried everything to enhance our products for the market. Giving them away, or doing 99 cent sales is a hit and miss proposition. We either keep writing or disappear. That’s the standard. While I understand the arguments for pricing according to standard, I also realize we as authors are in a wild west type market. If you don’t have Stephen King type name recognition, you’re fighting for a step on the ladder with thousands of others. The argument is we’re cheapening the market. That’s a funny one, because if I charged $5.99 and up for my novels out of the chute, I’d disappear in a heartbeat, which the mainstream publishers would love. It would mean less competition. :)

Here’s the real downside I see as a writer. When I started out, I wrote 150k length and above novels, because I loved the storytelling. Novels the length of my offerings such as PEACE and SOTELLO, and CASSERINE take time to create with a flowing scene depiction and ending. I could write those length novels every time I begin a new offering, because I’m a storyteller. I’m not a marketer, or a ‘short-story as a novel’ con artist. I write novels with characters capable of transporting me past this reality trail of tears, and therefore the readers I seek to reach. I’ve accepted the shorter domain between 90k and 110k as my parameters for what attracts readers, and I damn well deliver to the best of my ability for the bargain price of $2.99. Until I’m popular enough to return to much longer novels, I will compete in the market I’ve chosen. I promise the story won’t suffer, but reining in my prolific storytelling side must be gauged to the market – hence the $2.99 cost. I hate serials, so every one of my novels, including the series additions, always have an ending, I hope has readers wishing for more, but always holding a completed storyline. That’s the blog for today as I shoot past 84k in Hard Case Book V: Blood and Fear.  :)