I write like
Jack London

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Music I'm Listening to Again Thanks to a Certain Superhero Movie

Really, if you get this one you have been paying attention to my blog for the last month or so...

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Very Special Monday Movie Mania - Deadpool

Yeah, I know it's not Monday, but I couldn't wait for our normal movie routine of Sunday matinees. Not this time. Not for the Merc with the Mouth.

So we went to the special seven o'clock showing of Deadpool. Let me tell you, I laughed so hard I peed my pants. Not shitting you.

If you know nothing about the character of Deadpool, aka Wade W. Wilson, then first-off you need to understand that THIS IS NOT A MOVIE FOR CHILDREN. This is very much an adult flick. Think Beverly Hills Cop, Wedding Crashers, and/or Lethal Weapon. Just because Ryan Reynolds is in spandex does not mean this is a kiddie flick like Spider-Man or The Avengers.

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1) Ryan Reynolds nailed Deadpool's insanity, inability to die, and omni-sexuality.

2) The totally inappropriate adult humor.

3) Ryan Reynold's gratuitous full-frontal.

4) Guest appearances by Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead.

5) Lots more shots of Ryan Reynolds shirtless.

6) 20th Century Fox has already green lit the sequel, which will have Cable.

7) Stan Lee's most hilarious and inappropriate cameo yet.

8) Have I mentioned Ryan Reynolds?

9) Bueller.

1) They made Angel Dust a bad guy, which she wasn't in the comics.

2) NTW now has powers somewhere between Cannonball/Havok/Jubilee instead of her precog abilities. In fact, DH thought she WAS Jubilee at first.

3) We didn't get to see Vanessa as her alter ego Copycat.

Okay, I admit the cons are my itty-bitty fangirl nits to pick. Overall, I give Deadpool 10 out of 10.

Go see it. Now. You'll thank me later.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trad Publishing Is Bonkers Over the Author Earnings Report

The ninth quarterly Author Earnings Report came out Monday. For those who've been sailing around the Caribbean for the two years (oh, wait! that's one of AE's authors, and it's only been for the last couple of months), AE is a project put together by SFF writer Hugh Howey and his partner Data Guy.

Basically, these two gentlemen have developed spiders that crawl through the Amazon book data and scrape info concerning the sales of genre books on a given day. They then spreadsheet and smoosh and extrapolate whatever's happening in the wilds of Amazon to the book industry. The really cool thing is they make the raw data available for the public so we can also spreadsheet and smoosh and extrapolate to our little hearts' content, too.

The first report came out with very little fanfare except among indie writers. It showed that we were selling a pretty decent chunk of e-books on Amazon. It reassured us that this e-book self-publishing thing wasn't a flash in the pan.

As more reports came out, trad publishing pundits first made fun of the reports. They called it wish fulfillment. But with each successive report, the laughter died, and the complaints about their collection methodology began. As more reports rolled in, the complaints became shriller.

With the latest report (mind you, this is all being done by a couple of guys as a hobby), certain insiders are calling for AE to be audited. So what's behind all the mockery and complaints?

Fear. Simple unrelenting fear.

More and more of trad publishing's normal news channels are reporting falling sales. Let's face it--the savior over Christmas for the trad publishers was the popularity of adult coloring books. There hasn't a major fiction blockbuster since Fifty Shades of Gray in 2012.

The AE report shows where those missing sales are going, the pockets of indies. And this terrifies the Manhattan literati. So much so that Porter Anderson is calling for the duo to be audited and Lee Child mocks them for inaccuracy.

If indies were as inconsequential as many in trad publishing believe, then there is no reason for the uproar. But that screaming gets louder with each successive report. The fear has gone from general unease to full-blown panic.

What does this all mean?

To me, not a damn thing. I've played with their raw data enough to confirm what I already knew. I've gone from making a week's worth of groceries in my first year of publishing my work to paying for my son's oral surgery out of pocket.

Now. if you will excuse me, I need to write and publish a few more books because GK needs his wisdom teeth out this summer.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Status Report - February 2016

This year didn't get off to the rousing start I wanted. As I said on my post from January 7th, we've had a lot of health issues with in-laws. Unfortunately, things haven't let up any.

On the down side, MIL ended back in the hospital for a week with breathing problems. While the docs were scanning FIL again for a possible source of the leg pain, they found a mass in his bladder. I'm driving him to Toledo for a second opinion next Monday.

On the plus side, MIL has improved greatly since the last scary stint in the hospital. She's still a little shaky when it comes to walking on her own, but she's off oxygen. We moved FIL into an assisted living apartment at the same complex where MIL is doing her rehab. Despite next week's consultation, he was in good spirits tonight and heading to the main dining room for dinner.

Why am I talking about all this?

The recent personal crises have definitely affected my productivity. I got A Question of Balance back from my beta reader some time ago, and still haven't had a chance to go through their notes. The proof copies for the paperback versions of Blood Magick and Zombie Love are still sitting on my desk. The good side is I'm fifty pages into the first book, but I still need to order the proofs for the next two books. Also, the file for Blood Sacrifice needs to be reviewed before going to the my paperback formatter.

Zombie Goddess is sitting at 40.5K, Ravaged at 18K, and Sacrificed at Murphy only knows because I'm writing it on an iPhone app while waiting in various places, and the app doesn't have a word counter.

Plus, I came up with a cool new idea for an urban fantasy series. I scribbled some notes, but trust me, I won't write it until the Bloodlines series is done.

None of the above has anything to do with Alter Ego, who is also way behind on her work. LOL

I was so stressed last week that DH made me take Wednesday off. It's amazing how a few episodes of Agent Carter and The Librarians can brighten your perspective.

Once again, I am SOOO thankful that I'm an indie writer. If I were under contract with a trad publisher, I would be royally screwed at the moment. I may be super slow right now, but I will get something published this year!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Deadpool PSA for the Ladies

Self-examinations are important. I say this as someone who has undergone a lumpectomy. Fuck cancer!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Batman vs Deadpool

This is SO much better than Batman vs Superman.


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Poor Ahmed Best Never Got Any Respect

An interview with Ahmed Best about his Star Wars character, Jar-Jar Binks. He's such a nice guy who got s*** on by the fanboys.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Who Is Deadpool?

Since someone asked in comments a few weeks ago, here's a primer on the Merc with the Mouth from the lovely folks at New Rockstars.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Finding Your Path As a Writer

When does an indie writer ignore people who are telling her what to write?

Short answer:

When she's making money anyway.

Long Answer:

What I'm talking about here is subject matter, not grammar and spelling.

(Seriously, you should always fix grammar and spelling, assuming the critic is correct that something is wrong. Guess what? Sometimes, the critics don't know as much grammar, spelling or factual research as they think they do either.)

Many of the so-called experts, and that includes folks from both the trad and indie published spheres, have no freaking clue of what they're talking about. So how do you know when they're right and when they are wrong?

You don't. Sometimes their criticism has nothing to do with you or your story, and everything to do with the critics own hang-ups. So, here's some things to think about to keep you on your path, not someone else's:

1) Write what you like to read

This is not the same thing as writing what you know. A lot of people write to market, i.e. if sparkly vampires or stalkers are hot, that's what they write. These are the same people who deride you for not following that trend. But once the market's saturated with crappy knock-offs, the readers stop buying those books, and everyone loses.

If there's a genre you love, and you can't find enough material that can keep you satisfied, then write a story in that genre. Just because it's not the hot thing at the moment doesn't mean it won't sell. There's lots of readers bemoaning the loss of sweet romances, westerns, and gothics right now. If you're one of them, why aren't you writing one?

For example, I like BDSM stories with romance, which is a subgenre of erotic romance. There wasn't a whole lot when the big publishers tried to ride the erotica wave launched by Ellora's Cave in 2000. So I wrote a couple and published them under a pseudonym. They sold, and they continue to sell steadily.

2) Study the market

Sounds contradictory to No. 1, doesn't it? But I'm not saying write to the market. What I mean is there are times when you can anticipate trends in the genres you love.

I adore fantasy and paranormal. In 2004 when I got serious about having a writing career, vampire romances were peaking and werewolf romances were on the rise. So I considered what would be the next big thing, i.e. which monster would take center stage.

The year before, an odd little duck of a comic book called The Walking Dead had been released. George Romero was still writing his zombie movies, and they were as popular as ever. However, Zombie Love was too off-the-wall for trad publishing by the time it was finished in 2005. In some ways, it still is. But I indie published it anyway, and it sold.

Does anticipation of a market trend always work? No. I couldn't have predicted BDSM romance taking off like it did. Which leads to...

3) Accept that you may love and write in a niche, and it's not a bad thing

Contemporary romance may be the most popular and best-selling genre on the face of the planet right now, but if you absolutely despise it, don't write it. Seriously. It's a good way to burn out your brain. And if you did a half-assed job because you hate the genre, your book won't be differentiated from the thousands that are out there. Furthermore, just because romance readers are voracious doesn't mean they are idiots. They'll one-star your book in a heartbeat if they think you don't respect them or their favorite genre.

The great thing about indie publishing today is that freaky subgenres that can't sell enough to sustain a multi-national publishing conglomerate CAN sell well enough to support the dozen or so writers that adore that particular freaky subgenre.

For example, M/M romance, lactation erotica, and serial killers as heroes are niche markets. Indie writers in these markets are doing very well because they enjoy the subject matter and they respect the readers of that subject matter. Very rarely would a trad publisher touch these topics, if it all, whether because of their own squick factor or the relatively tiny sales. However, those relatively tiny sales can still pay your mortgage if you write about it.

Finally, to paraphrase Internet Rule 35--if no book on a new subgenre is found at the moment, one will be written. Be the one to write that book!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Now, back to our regularly scheduled Deadpool programming--