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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Time for this Funk to End; Kicking Myself in the ....

I've been in a funk most of this summer and reached a point in my work in progress, tentatively titled Dark Side of the Museum. It's set in an unnamed art museum somewhere west of New York City. Love the characters I've created. Some very funny stuff. A dash of paranormal, a pinch of time travel and I hope a ton of fun. But I just hit a wall. I think I'm breaking it down. Sat outside now that the weather is nice and started listing plot possibilities and there are a lot of them. And realized I had to make a major change and wonder how many readers will understand this: When the mummy gets unwrapped what gets discovered is not evidence of a link to the Dirlewanger group but to the Ahnenerbe group. Yes! That's the ticket. Stay tuned for more.

I'm very disappointed with sales of The Fat Cat, but local readers do say they like it a lot. So hard these days for a book to catch on via the internet. So much competition. Marketing is really difficult and it is easy to lose money on promotion schemes that are just that. It has always been true that the way to make money in self publishing is to prey on people who self publish.

But I persist. The Fat Cat is a fun, interesting and I hope engaging tale well told.

Waiting for cover art for StopTime, my next work that I hope will hit the streets this year. It's a sci-fi sort of alternate history starting about 1992 and leading to a much different Kansas City.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Great Photographs Lead to Good Covers

I've been fortunate in being able to find and use various images from photographers for covers of many of my works. The first photographer I came across, Jared Wingate, is from my old home town of Larned, Kansas. Jared now lives in Texas and has made an impressive name for himself as a photographer of popular rock groups. I was stumped for what image to use on the literary novella One More Victim when searching through Jared's online portfolio I saw the image of a woman floating over a bridge. It seemed to capture the mood of One More Victim. The model is Jared's wife. The image is now used on the paperback of a collection of literary short works in which Victim is the lead story.

Later, I ran across Karen Garlow Piper, a photographer in Hutchinson, KS, who has a special love of sunset and weather shots. A couple of lightning storms play critical roles in the novella, so for the single story digital offering of Victim I used Karen's image.

Another of her landscape sunset shots seemed perfect for the short story Innocent Passage, a most unusual coming of age tale.

The Notebook is a longer story in which a professor returns to his old campus for a seminar and Jeremy remembers he left a notebook in the attic of the house where he lived when a student. He wonders if it might still be there. He rings the doorbell and meets Sarah. This is a story the end of which no reader has foretold. Jared's photo manipulation, again using his wife as model, seemed perfect.

I'd known Ray Inman from his years as a photographer at The Kansas City Star. I was fortunate he was the photographer who came to take my picture for a short item about me in a local magazine. A portrait he took of me is the one I most frequently use. I've used two different covers for The Strange Case of James Kirkland Pilley, a Lovecraftian novella that many Lovecraft fans have praised. I've never been happy with either cover when Roy searched his portfolio and came up with a shot he manipulated that does a wonderful job of piquing the curiosity of potential readers.

And in the post before this one you'll see another use of a photograph for cover, this one for a non-fiction piece of prose, The Rita Chronicles, with photo by KC news video news reporter John Tygart.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

First Bit of Non-Fiction Published

Rita is rather a famous bartender here in Kansas City and I have followed her to the various bars she has worked. She is also a gifted fabric artist and I like to describe her as a joie de vivre connoisseur. The Rita Chronicles were an attempt to capture and share the unique qualities that are Rita. Only 99 cents.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Enter to Win Free Copy of The Fat Cat

I'm doing a Goodreads Giveaway of three paperback copies of The Fat Cat. ENTER HERE

Here's how it starts:

I hadn’t seen that good-lookin' motherfucker for almost a year when he walked into The Fat Cat with his partner to ask me about the dead dancer found that morning in our dumpster.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Now Available in Paperback

The Fat Cat is now available in paperback. Only two reviews so far: one good and one bad (didn't get changing point of view) I sure would like your opinion of this noir mystery.

Friday, July 1, 2016

July 4th Bargain: The Fat Cat Goes to 99 Cents July 1 through 5

Yep, I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy. Born on the 4th of July. My birthday gift to you is dropping the price of The Fat Cat to 99 cents starting July 1 through July 5. It's a quick and, I hope, intense read. I call it a noir mystery, but after you reach the end you may decide otherwise. You tell me. This fitting my stuff into genre categories always grates.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

"The Fat Cat" Now Live on Amazon

I think I know why I don't make date notations on a manuscript when I'm working on a fiction project. Be too depressing to see how long it takes me to complete stuff. I think The Fat Cat started around 2010 or so when the idea of a dead dancer found in the dumpster of a strip club came to me. And I wanted to write it from the perspective of a strong female protagonist. I named her Ellie McCrary and made her bartender/manager of a gentleman's club. This first sentence came to me that introduced Ellie:

I hadn’t seen that good-lookin' motherfucker for almost a year when he walked into The Fat Cat with his partner to ask me about the dead dancer found that morning in our dumpster.

So the point of view would be first person from Ellie's eyes. And heart. So I started wondering about Ellie. How did she become a manager of a strip club? One thing led to another. It's a short book, barely 40,000 words. I wanted to do a noir mystery, but if you read it and get to the end, you tell me what it is.

But I like Ellie. I like the world I created for her. I feel empathy for her pain and I admire how she works her way out of it. I think there are a lot of interesting discoveries and characters awaiting a reader of The Fat Cat. Hope you might be one of them.

A huge thank you to Kansas City graphic designer Kirk Buster (pictured here) for coming up with the book cover: a typographic visual approach I never would have dreamed up. But that's why we should use professional designers.