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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dive Into Your Own Slush Pile and Look at What You Can Find!

Going through the slush piles of writing ideas (some pursued and then stalled; some not pursued, but maybe worth trying) I came across enough stuff to keep me busy.

Several ideas for novels involving:

Cancer researcher who can cure brain cancer in rats

Future history in which a witch's ability to stop time figures prominently

Newsroom-based mystery thriller

Art museum-based comedy

Novel set in Japan: "Wanted: Native Speaker"

And some shorter works:

Lovecraftian-toned story. Let's see if any mathematicians or physicists are reading this blog. Plot will involved the formula that T(seconds) equals 2pi divided by the square root of g times the square root of L. That should key the Poe work this story would invoke, except it will be set in a grain elevator.

Sometimes you come across an opening line that just begs to be explored: On advice of my psychiatrist I have decided to try to learn the language of the woman who keeps appearing in my dreams and is so obviously imploring me to understand her strange words.

Always wanted to write a short story about an itinerant writer of those prophesies used in fortune cookies.

Like this opening scene: Car accident leaves traveling salesman in dazed condition in rural area. He staggers to what seems to be an abandoned farm house where he breaks a pane of glass so he can reach in his arm to undo the lock only to have his hand grabbed and the arm pulled in and raked against the shards of glass.

GOOD NEWS! Happy to report that two, new five-star reviews popped up for Crazy About You. Here is excerpt from one of them and here's the url.

I'm so glad this book was recommended to me. I have been reading indie books for years with so much disappointment, but this but was amazing. The pace was great, the plot was awesome, and the characters were so very believable. I loved that Atwood really dug into the mind of Brad, and let me know everything he was thinking. It was everything I imagined the mind of a teenage boy to be at times, and some thoughts so profound it made me feel like he was in my head. I love psychology, so all the references were great and spot on, yet only given enough that even the lay reader would find some good information yet not be badgered down by it.

Just the kind of review this writer needed to get him revved up for the new year! Thank you Tonia L. Ramos, whoever you are!

Monday, December 24, 2012

New Year's Resolutions? Me? Yep. It's Time.

I've never done New Year's resolutions before. I thought them rather silly. Now, however, the time seems right. First a look backward.

I started in the spring of 2011 self-publishing my works of fiction, knowing nothing about how to move forward on cover designs, formatting, pricing, marketing. Here it is the end of 2012 and I have 16 works live on Amazon and other platforms. Just a couple of months ago I completed my seventh paperback POD: five novels and two collections of stories. I've had two signings of these physical books here in Kansas City (both at bars: the famous Kelly's in Westport and the infamous Chez Charlie's in Midtown). They went very well. The books are available at Prospero's new bookstore location near the Uptown Theater. And I have one work that is not self-published, Blow Up the Roses brought out by Curiosity Quills.

The works have found a small, but appreciative audience. They received 32 five-star and 7 four-star reviews on Amazon. These are honest reviews: not purchased, not traded for, not from relatives nor close friends, but from people I don't know from Adam.

But I have found myself spending way too much time on Facebook and other social media and just generally on the internet. I also check my sales and rankings way too often. Time for discipline. Time to pledge to check those numbers twice a month at most.

Time to devote serious blocks of time examining past projects that stalled to see if they have any life in them, seriously pursuing some new ideas, staring into space and pondering, and then, yes, writing. Enter again that lonely place where your only companion is self doubt.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pretty Cool to Find a Video Trailer You Didn't Know Was Done for One of Your Books

Sometimes the internet just stuns me. Using the search feature in Youtube to go to my channel, I saw a video trailer I didn't know existed for one of my works! Turns out that the Mooresville (Indiana) Public Library produced a video trailer for one of my story collections: "3 Very Quirky Tales." This must be the ebook version because I added several more stories for the paperback edition, which is called "Very Quirky Tales." I must contact them and thank whoever produced this really nicely done little piece for my benefit and also learn more about how libraries chose ebooks and how they distribute them. But what a wonderful surprise it was to stumble across this. Very nice Christmas gift to me. Thank you, @Mooresville Public Library! Here's the link to the video.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another BookS Signing Friday at KC Midtown Bar, Chez Charlie's, 3809 Broadway

On Friday, December 21, the day the world is supposed to end, I'll have a bookS signing starting at 3 p.m. at my local watering hole, Chez Charlie's, 3809 Broadway, here in Kansas City. I say bookS signing because I'll have seven, and perhaps eight, titles available. I'll be selling them for $10 each. Image shows the seven titles that will be available. The added value is that this Friday date is when the bar is having its holiday party. Free eats! At Charlie's that means meatballs and sausage on white bread and cracked olives on the side. It's usually an eclectic gathering and having my bookS signing then should make it even more so. If you are in the KC area, hope to see you there! The bar is the door at the south end of the building. The next building over to the north is Big Dude's, but don't park in their lot. They tow. Wait a minuted. If it's the end of the world, you won't need a car!

Can't make it? You can always buy my books for either ereader or in paperback, here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Blog Hop Offers Free Ebook of the Dystopia "Rabbletown: Life in These United Christian States of Holy America"

I'm new at participating in Blog Hog Giveaways. Please leave a comment to have your name submitted to receive a free download from Smashwords for the ereader platform of your choice. I'll do at least one free download. If I get more than 10 comments from different readers, I'll do two; more than 20 comments, three; and so on. Please leave an email address where I can send the code.

Rabbletown: Life in these United Christian States of Holy America is a dystopia. George Orwell's great 1984 deeply affected me. It was my first introduction to the dystopia genre, although it wasn't called that then. The phrase "future history" was used. In the 1970s, I started to become concerned when Evangelical Christianity entered the political arena. I feared that if fascism ever came to America, it would be through the pulpit. So I wanted to write a 2084 as a cautionary tale. I envisioned a big book: One that followed all the political steps that would lead to 2084. Wrote a few scenes, but nothing ever really clicked.

Then I realized I should just cut to the chase and get to 2084. The building of a huge cathedral is the economic stimulus program for this society. The Pastor President and pastor governors rule with a Bible in each fist and the computer in your hovel. There are enforced pregnancies. I set it in Topeka. Sinners who commit abominations are stoned on Fridays in Fred Phelps Plaza.

A stone mason who works on the cathedral has a son, Bobby, who has an amazing memory for Bible verses, and he provides the redemption this book needed. The story stalled on me for many years until I realized that I needed to let Bobby work his miracles.

One reviewer, a top 500 Amazon reviewer who has published more than 2,000 reviews has called "Rabbletown" the best book she has EVER read. How's that for a compliment. She's become what she calls "a Bobbite." You can see her recommendation here.

Rabbletown is available as an ebook and a paperback on Amazon.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

BookS Signing at Kelly's Westport Inn 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9

I can't think of a cooler place to have a books signing that Kelly's Wesport Inn here in Kansas City. And yes a bookS signing because I'll have not one book available but six works of fiction: four novels and two collections of shorter works. 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9. I'll be selling them for $10 each, or get the entire six-pack for $50. Can't imagine anyone out there doesn't know where Kelly's is, but here's the address: 500 Westport Road, 64111. You can find all my works here.