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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Radio Report and Audio Books

The radio gig went extremely well. Elaine gave me a chance to mention DEMON and STORM in detail, along with many of my other books, screenplays, and projects. She seemed to like the interview, and wants to have me back on another YA show when I release the second book in the trilogy. There will be a repeat of her show today, and the podcast is available for anyone wanting to hear the young adult show themed program at their convenience – AUTHOR’S CORNER
Elaine Raco Chase is also an author as I’ve mentioned. She’s really into audio books too, which she discussed with me on the show. She told me about an audio group called ACX – Audio CreationExchange, where an author can make deals to have their novels converted into audio books with no upfront costs. It does mean splitting the royalties, but as I’ve found out over the years, half of something is far better than all of nothing. I’ve already signed up DEMON and LAYLA, and a narrator has already auditioned for LAYLA. As I understand it, you are supposed to wait for a time, and see if other narrators also audition. That way, you find the best voice for your novel. On the other hand, you may only get one narrator audition to pick from… or none. Anyway, I’ll report on the progress.
I registered my third screenplay, second in the DEMON series, with WGAW (Writer’s Guild of AmericaWest). I put the script and logline on at STAGE 32. Not much progress to report on the screenwriting front. I’m advertising the first DEMON script on, where supposedly production companies look for their next project. I’ve started my third screenplay in the DEMON series, and my new novel sequel to HARD CASE is going very well. I’m also writing short stories for either free slots on places like or if I can land a feature spot with Book Trailers Showcase e-mag. I hate spamming every social site I belong to, so writing stuff, and new ventures, fit in with my name recognition quest a lot better.  :)
That’s it from the writer’s marketing trenches. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Radio Interview

I will be on my fellow author's radio show, Author's Corner, tonight at 6:40 PM PST, 9:40 PM EST. I'll be talking with her about my YA novel DEMON, and possibly STORM, my other YA novel with a Warren, Ohio backdrop if we have time. We’ll also be discussing other projects and WIP’s. Elaine is an exceptional host, and her show is first rate. If you'd like to hear about the Young Adult novel craze, tune in from the beginning. It starts at 5:00 PM PST or 8:00 PM EST.

This can be a fun part of marketing and reaching new readers. I’m trying to think of it as such. Elaine is great to talk with, and she does her show very well. If you’ve ever thought it’s easy to keep a broadcast moving along on topic, listen to a full show. It is extremely difficult, but Elaine makes it seem easy.
I got my funny poem EVIL CLUTTER picked up by AuthSpot. I have featured it here once, but now it’s out there, shared with a few more people. That’s it for now. Don’t forget to tune into Elaine’s Podcast or download it later. This is another opportunity to hear me pretend I know what I’m doing on radio.  :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Poems and a new Author's Database

My poem, The Lighter Side of Dogs and Cats was picked up through Triond by AuthSpot. It’s a laugh at the more odorous side of our four legged friends I’ve noticed over the years. AuthSpot also put up my more nostalgic poem, Funny. I read where putting short stories and poems on-line somewhere people actually visit helps with letting readers get to know you.  :)
I finished my third screenplay, which is the second script of my YA trilogy DEMON. No real bites on my other two, so I don’t have any idea where the screenplay writing will ever go. It’s still fun though, and it hasn’t affected my novel writing at all. I’m a third of the way through a new dark sequel to HARD CASE, where I introduce two new violent people into John Harding’s crew.
There’s a new Author’s Database site where a writer can post all their covers, places their novels are for sale, and a biography. They do a real nice job on it. Here’s the link if anyone wants to stop by or sign up. It’s free – AUTHORSdb.
All’s quiet on the automotive East Oakland demilitarized zone front. The street’s been quiet, and cold. The shop’s been at around fifty degrees all week until yesterday we hit the sixty mark. Yeah, I know… boo hoo… you poor California muffin. :)  I’m doing another Internet Radio spot with Elaine Raco Chase on Thursday, highlighting my YA novel DEMON. I’ll post the time and put a link to it later when my time is confirmed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

BTSe-mag January Issue

The new January issue of BTSe-mag has come out, and it’s a great one, including the new featured columnists on writing, publishing, the single woman, and novel excerpts. My new full page ad for LAYLA is in there along with my other half pagers. My friend Raine Weaver was nice enough to let me put her blurb for LAYLA in my ad, and she got a nice centerpiece spot. Thanks Raine!
I’ve also received a lot of great feedback on my short story THE REUNION, including more e-mails than on anything I’ve done for a while. Maybe it will help on sales with the other stuff. I’m sure it will help with name recognition. I have a funny shop encounter about that old cliché ‘giving back to the community’ for the blog today too. Here it is:
Since my work week had been busier in auto repair land, I’d put off the cleaning for a few days. As I caught up on my sweeping I was accosted by a couple of ambling sidewalk strollers. It’s been between 40 and 50 degrees in the shop, so I’m really moving to build up my body BTU’s. For purposes of anonymity my strollers will be named Heckle and Jeckle. This owing to the community thing gets hashed over at the shop every once in a while, usually when someone sees me cleaning my own shop. Heckle and Jeckle did a double take at my big garage door, seeing me doing high speed brooming, along with some cackles of enjoyment. It’s always nice to provide entertainment, and at my age, making someone laugh is a good thing. :) I won’t go into descriptions of my audience other than to say it was 10:30 AM on a Thursday, and they were three sheets into the wind. They were at least dressed warm to allay the blood thinning they’d been doing.
“Man… you been here a long time,” Heckle called out as he and his partner Jeckle strolled in.
I stopped to be polite, because I’m not around at my shop 24/7, and it’s not a good idea to be surly with anyone in East Oakland. “Yeah, it sure feels long.”
“When you start here?” Jeckle asks after he and Heckle cackle over my answer.
“1976. Some days it feels like 1956.”
“Damn… you work here alone?” Jeckle asks, looking around.
“Yep. It’s not a sterling location, so I’ve kept it a smalltime operation.”
“You need to get some help,” Heckle informs me. “How old are you?”
“62, and some days 82.”
More cackles. They liked that one.
“Man… you should hire… you know… give back to the community,” Jeckle observes.
Jeckle didn’t get the community word out very well, probably due to the hair of the dog antidote to last night. It came out sounding more like ‘commuty’. I had to pause for a moment as I wondered briefly if the subject had changed to commuting. Heckle picked up on it and his brows knitted as I didn’t answer instantly. He liked his partner’s admonition, and thought I hesitated to say anything because I was carrying guilt about the ‘commuty’.
“Yeah, dude… you got to give somethin’ back. People need jobs.”
Okay… I knew what we were discussing now. No, I don’t feel guilty. The community never gave me a damn thing. Oakland uses the water company, gas and electric company, phone company, waste management, and even the fire department to steal money from businesses in every bill I get. The state makes sure my property is never, ever owned. I pay rent to them in property taxes. If I get hurt in a one man shop or fail to pay even one bill/tax, I’ll be on my way to the street, and the community will shrug its collective shoulders. I ain’t givin’ back anything other than honest labor for an honest wage. I had no intention of getting into all that with Heckle and Jeckle, so I stuck with the facts.
“You guys don’t understand how things work in California for a business like mine. The minimum wage is 8 bucks an hour. State workman’s compensation charges for anyone working in my shop, either cleaning or fixing cars is nearly 9 bucks per 100 payroll. Add on payroll taxes, vacation days, breaks, sick days, health care, and possible injuries or accidental damages to customers’ vehicles, and hiring someone would be the same thing as shooting myself in the head. The days of letting someone come in and do cleanup for a few bucks ended decades ago. The state sends people around regularly, checking to see if I’m hiring workers under the table. If I did, I could be fined out of business. Sorry, guys, there just ain’t no money for the community. Now, let a brother sweep.”
I left Heckle and Jeckle speechless, probably because they didn’t understand even half of what I spewed on a subject that really sets me off. The understanding of what our entitlement system has done to the hiring of workers and business survival no longer exists. We here in self-employed business land have become the ‘blame all’ pariahs of a nation in the midst of welfare and entitlement bankruptcy. I had started sweeping again, but more slowly, waiting for Heckle and Jeckle to decide on whether to say goodbye or not.
My suspicions about understanding were confirmed a moment later.
“Hell… I’ll take 8 bucks an hour to help you clean up,” Jeckle tells me.
I stopped again. “Who pays the other thirty an hour it’s going to cost me to put the broom in your hand?”
The horse was dead, and kicking the poor thing would not get my floor swept. “Anyway, you guys have a great day. Be careful out there.”
This time I moved my sweeping butt further inside the bat cave. Heckle and Jeckle mumbled something and moved on. That’s one thing I never will be… three sheets into the wind at 10:30 AM. Having once been unemployed and in my twenties in California at one time, I knew from experience that was a job hunting no-no. Yeah, it felt more like age 82 yesterday.  :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

White Lies and a Free Story

A friend posted something on Facebook about ‘white lies’, and whether they’re necessary. Boy, that question revved me up. I understand what is meant by a ‘white lie’, and I don’t believe we can live without them. Sure, it’s neat to say ‘well, if I don’t have anything good to say, I’ll just keep my mouth shut’, but when you get painted into the proverbial corner, the truth is the first casualty. Let’s face it, if anyone asks us certain questions, especially the ones concerning looks or intelligence, what possible good comes from being bluntly truthful. The majority of times require a ‘white lie’ or a very obfuscated truth or we end up looking like ogres. Until our beloved interrogators remember the lawyer court code – never ask a question if you are unsure of the answer – we will be stuck with the ‘white lie’. I wish people had thicker hides… but they don’t.
Hey, in writing news, picked up my romantic comedy short story, THE REUNION from my Triond account. I wrote it for BTSemag, but they needed a PG13 short story, and mine was just a little beyond. The editor offered to let me clean it up for a future issue, but without a little of the risqué in it, the story would have lost a good deal of the humor. Here’s the link to the story. I believe you’ll get a laugh out of it. I was able to use my Grandson Colin’s invention of ‘Quilt-a-Woman’ in it, which he was excited about my writing into a story.