Tuesday, June 25, 2013

R.I.P. Richard Matheson

Damn. Another fine classic writer has passed from this world.

Richard Matheson gave us some of the best stories, which were made into great television shows and movies.

Check out his works, if you're not familiar with what he wrote. You'll likely be astonished to find a couple of your favorites in there. I would love to have stories as good and long-lasting as his.

He was Legend.
Ask Vincent Price, Charlton Heston, and Wil Smith about just one of his works.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Big Author Signing and Auction

No, we're not signing big authors, but having a lot of them in one place- at Books and Boos tomorrow, for the big author signing and charity auction.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Killing Writing Careers

Kristine Kathryn Rusch has a post about writing careers, and how the crap of the industry almost did her in at one point. But she found a way to persevere, and is now glad she did. This is a must read for anyone who wants to be a pro writer today.

I admire her telling her story, and could have been one of the crushed writers she speaks of. I felt so strongly, I commented on the blog. Here's my thoughts:

Kris, thank you for telling your story, which needs to be part of a writer's basic education. A mere three years ago, I would have signed any ridiculous publishing contract to get my mystery series started. I believed in the traditional path, had an agent who had industry pros agree the book was good, etc. And I would have likely had a soul-crushing experience as well. The series would be dead by now, and I would be wondering why I'd bothered.

But I was always learning. I read your blog, and Dean's and Konrath's, and many, many others.I talked to writers, who'd had terrible publishing experiences. Locked into contracts, with shrinking returns, and unable to put out anything else under their own name. Books that never got sold or delivered when people begged to buy them. Even best-selling books had been rejected over 50 times, on average. I started doing the math, and figured I'd be dead before I could get anything going-- and I'd still have to win the lottery, since over 96% of books don't sell more than a couple of thousand copies.

So I found a small publisher who would do it my way, and launched. Instead of a boulevard of broken dreams, my third series novel just came out, plus I've put out 6 story collections by myself, in different genres, and I continue to write and publish short stories. I do public signings (self-scheduled), and people tell me how much they've liked something I wrote. The freedom to do what I want is a heady thing, and I feel great about being a writer on my own terms, with the covers I want, and the content approval I desire.

Awhile back, I went on a supposed writer's help forum because some people were asking questions about my publisher (though some were just mindlessly bashing them while getting their facts wrong). I tried to clear things up by explaining how I'd reached my decision, that writers now had options, and how we should look at them, etc, and each choose their own path. You can guess the result. People who were chained like galley slaves to the Old Path blasted me as the worst kind of heretic, disparaged any evidence I offered, and repeated untruths as if they were gospel. I was told that bigger publishers were always better, would always make you more money, and always lovingly take your book to the best possible place it could be. I tried to offer contrary evidence, and point them to some data that disproved these assertions, but more of them kept piling on in the echo chamber. So I bade them well, and signed off, but wonder how many other authors they doomed to go the heartbreak route.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

News on Signing, and the Free Stuff, and Appearances

Ola! Yesterday, author Vlad Vaslyn and I journeyed to the Haverhill Public Library with his wife Jordanna. We were there for our author appearance and a reading.

Our thanks to those who made the trip to come and show their support: Ursula Wong and her husband Stephen, and author Scott Goudsward, who also has a book out from one of my publishers, Grey Gate Media.

The free promo offer for Halls of Horror on Kindle is working-- over 200 people have downloaded a copy, catapulting it to #28 on their list for Fiction> Short Stories. One kind reader gave it a 5-Star review!

Next Saturday, I'll be at the Chelmsford Library, for their Local Author Day-- for support only-- I already did my stint there last Summer.
I'll be going for Rich Feitelberg, who's got a fantasy novel out, Aure the Topaz.

And the following Saturday I'll be in Connecticut at Books and Boos bookstore, signing books for the Holly Hautala benefit.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Free Books and Stories

Boy, have we got great free stuff for you.
How about a free novel, a free story collection, and four more free stories?

We're celebrating the print release of my latest Zack Taylor mystery novel (the third in the series),
A Shadow on the Wall.
Barnes and Noble

It'll be out in e-book formats soon, and up at all retailers.

You can get the ebook of the first mystery of the series, A Memory of Grief, for free (normally $4.99).
If you don't already have a Smashwords account, all you need to download to ANY e-reader platform (Kindle, Nook, etc) is an email address and a password you enter.

If scary stuff is more to your taste, try Halls of Horror, a collection of ten tales of terror-- free for the next 5 days, starting after the witching hour of midnight tonight.
Or maybe fantasy, fable, and twisted fairy tales are your preferred reading material. So download any of these stories-- all free!

Froggy Went A Courting
Our New Queen
Blades and Butchery
The Little Guy
Enjoy. Lots of good reading.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Stuff to Read- and Young National Poetry Champion

From Dean Wesley Smith: wonderful 3-part post by Judith Tarr:
Escape from Stockholm: An Epic Publishing Saga. Read ALL THREE PARTS. Worth it.

Shows the real story behind the changes in what publishing has become. I've got friends who still are determined to be a writer by going that traditional publishing route, and I wish them well.

I just don't feel it's a viable path for mid-listers, people who have good genre novels, but not bestsellers, which is what the big trad publishers are focusing on. With Indie and self publishers, a modern writer can at least get the work out to readers while improving the writing and creating a greater volume of work.

But the great thng is, we have choice now. So choose wisely, after doing your homework. This 3-part essay is part of the homework.


My teenage daughter entered the Spoken Word poetry contest put on by the National Forensic League by making a YouTube video of her performing her original poetry-- and won!!!

She'll be one of 4 performing at the National Speech & Debate Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. Sometimes, you enter contests and manage to do something so well you win. Cool.