I write like
Jack London

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Stephen and George in Albuquerque

Stephen King and George R.R. Martin did a recent talk in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An interesting look on how each writer's thought processes work.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Movie Mania - X-Men: Apocalypse

I'm a die-hard X-Men fan. I have been since the '70's. This is another movie that isn't as bad as fanboys and critics make it out to be, but it's not as great as it could have been either.

And it's pretty bad when DH, who hasn't read any of my massive collection, calls out a play long before it happened.

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1) It was WONDERFUL to see Storm and Psylocke cut loose with their powers. Especially after the way, Storm was neutered in the first three movies.

2) Once again, Evan Peters' Quicksilver steals the show, this time to Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams".

3) One last, not-so-secret, special team appearance (sort of) by Hugh Jackman before he hangs up his claws for good.

1) I was bored through most of the movie. To me, that's the worst sin any form of entertainment can make.

2) The lack of a character arc for Apocalypse himself. You don't hire an incredible actor like Oscar Isaacs, then give him nothing to work with.

3) Remember my comment above about DH? When Scott approaches Jean after getting his ruby quartz glasses for the first time, DH leans over and whispers to me, "Jean's going to go Red [sic] Phoenix on Apocalypse's ass." When a non-fan can call out a plot point nearly an hour before it happens, then how the hell is the movie team going to surprise the diehards?

So overall, X-Men: Apocalypse didn't suck, but it wasn't the greatest comic book/superhero movie ever either. It's bad when I look more forward to the next episode of the new TV-series Preacher.
I have to give X-Men 6 stars out of 10.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

What's Coming Down the Pike

It's been a busy June. Some writing is happening, but mainly it's a matter of editing books that are already done.

The proof copy of A Question of Balance is in the mail as we speak. Once I've looked it over, it will go on sale at various online retailers. If you prefer to give your business to a local bookstore, the bookstore can order a copy through Ingrams (they're one of the largest paper book distributors, if not the largest, in the U.S.).

Last night, I sent the files for Justice: The Beginning to my formatter. She's getting hammered by other customers right now, so it might be another week or two before that volume is available. However, my lovely cover artist/designer sent me this gorgeous cover for the anthology!

In the meantime, I'll start working on the edits for Zombie Goddess while I write Ravaged, which is Book 7 of Bloodlines. Though DH is advocating that I write A Modicum of Truth (Justice #2) first.

Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I Have the Coolest Readers!

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, cheers me up like getting a note from a reader. No awards, no acknowledgement from some industry giant, not even large numbers in my bank account matches. Whether it's over the multiple social media accounts I possess or a private e-mail, a message from a reader gives me warm fuzzies.

One message I received yesterday was from a fan of Alter Ego's, letting her know he spent his Apple lawsuit settlement money on her books.

(Which by the way, check your ebook accounts. The money would have been deposited as a credit in your account with the retailer, like Amazon. I didn't get any settlement money because I didn't any price-fixed Big 6 books between 2010 and 2012. LOL)

The other message was from a reader who had literally finished A Question of Balance in one day and is, as she put it, waiting patiently for A Modicum of Truth to come out.

That's probably what affected me the most. She'd been reading my blogs and knew the multitude of overlapping life rolls Murphy had been pitching at me for nearly three years.

And she was patiently waiting...

That's the kind of loyalty that hits a writer right in the feels.

Monday, June 20, 2016

A Question of Balance Is Live!

It's my first new novel published in nearly three years, and I'm feeling pretty darn good right now.

The e-book version of A Question of Balance will be available only at Amazon for the next three months. I'm testing a couple of their services, like Kindle Unlimited. However, you can read a sample right here by clicking on the preview button below the picture.

The paperback version is coming soon!

From the pages of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress comes Justice Anthea and Brother Luc’s first full-length adventure…

The Reverend Mother’s machinations left Anthea as the chief justice in her home city of Orrin, a post she despises. Even worse, a messenger from Duke Marco interrupts her breakfast. Again. This time, the duke’s retainers found a body in a wine barrel at the duke’s estate. The body of a priestess from the Temple of Love.

In trying to solve the bizarre murder, Anthea and Luc stumble across a massive conspiracy to eliminate the Twelve Temples, the only thing standing between the human race and another demon invasion.

Will swords, magic, and wits be enough to stop the renegades?

Or is a little faith needed?

Novel, approximately 96,000 words or 320 printed pages

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Music I've Been Listening to Lately

Nearly every rock fan in Ohio anticipated this move.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Amazon's Nifty New App

If you scroll down this page, on your right you'll find a larger picture of Blood Magick.  You click on the "Buy" button, or you can click "Preview" and read the first four chapters. (If you're on a mobile device, you'll have to view my blog in website mode.)

You don't need the separate Kindle app to read the preview. Amazon lets you read it through the preview app. It's a nifty, quick way to check out my books.

I'm hoping to get the preview apps set up for the rest of my books over the weekend for both my books and Alter Ego's books.

These little things are the reason Amazon is serving customers better. I wish Barnes & Noble and Apple would catch a clue-by-four.

ETA: And I totally forgot to give you the link to the Kindle Instant Book Previewer!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Know Your Audience!

Alter Ego has a large online presence through Facebook and Twitter. (Don't ask me why. She hasn't actively pursued the attention.) As a result, she belongs to a couple of private FB groups involving erotica and its subgenres.

A couple of weeks ago, a writer posted about their new religious thriller in one of these private groups. No sex. This is in a group that regularly discusses the pros and cons of buttplugs and vibrators. This is a place where we post steamy pictures and off color jokes. This is a group that discusses the worldwide legal implications of writing in our favorite genre.

This is not a place that discusses current politics, much less WWIII, the End Times and the Rapture.

I can name a dozen websites and FB groups where this book would be welcomed with open arms. I can also name a dozen where the writer shoots themselves in the foot. This was one of those times.

This is probably the most extreme example I've seen of misdirected marketing efforts.

Writers need to know their potential audience. What is the age? What is the primary gender? What are the audience's secondary interests that can be tied to the writer's book?

Let's stay with Alter Ego. Her audience is primarily female, ages in the twenties to the seventies. A majority of her audience, regardless of age and gender, have been in long-term relationships. By long-term, I mean twenty-plus years. These readers are looking to keep things fresh in their relationships, whether it be new things to try in bed or simply reading to each other.

How do I know all this? They tell AE these things.

However, AE already knew she was shooting for a primarily female audience with an interest in very hot romance. That's why she didn't market at hunting websites or weightlifting FB pages. While some folks at these sites might be interested in her books, the majority of people at these sites would not be. Those subjects are simply not naturals fits to erotic books.

So what am I really trying to say?

1) Don't spam places on the web.
2) Don't spam with books that have no relation to a particular place on the web.
3) If you're hard up for advertising money, check out places that are free and receptive to your pitch.
4) The hard sell doesn't work these days, especially if it's books and more especially if the writer is targeting the wrong audience.

That doesn't mean you can't experiment. But if you can get a Hell's Angels chapter to read a knitting-themed cozy mystery, I REALLY want to know how you did it!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Hate Has Taken Over the World

I'm taking a break from the internet for the next couple of days after the events in Orlando on Saturday. No words can convey the horror and senselessness in the actions of one person, much less the vile and spite by others using the tragedy to further their hate-filled agendas.