Thursday, October 27, 2011

Manuscript Away

It's been a busy time. Had to finish the manuscript and send off the follow-up novel "A Fall From Grace." The Zack Taylor series continues-- which is good, because a number of people have read the first, and want the second.

So now it's in the hands of the line editor and the publisher for final formatting and submission before e-publishing and printing. It's got a kick-ass cover, and a recommendation from NY Times best-selling author Debbi Mack. So far, everyone who's read it and reported says it's good, so I'm going to believe them.

Should be out in a matter of weeks. For those who need to catch up, the first book in the series, "A Memory of Grief" is available as well-- Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords (in all e-book formats).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Site For E-Publishers, Article, Muse Thanks

Okay, Twitter is good for something. From a post this morning (wicked early!) found a cool new site:

And there was a link to this article on how the big publishers are getting blown away as the game changes:

In other news, I'm especially grateful to the Muse, who has been generous this last week. After writing a whole new story last week, I turned to another one that had only a title and a germ of an idea, but nowhere to go. I had a scene and the characters, but didn't know what the story was going to be. While turning my thoughts to it, suddenly the clouds broke apart, and the nut of the story stood out in shining glory. So last night tackled it afresh, and am on the way to another good'un.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Featured in the Spotlight

Got some great promo today, my novel and I are featured in today's online Chelmsford Patch, a site devoted to local happenings. Kudos to them for helping a writer get the word out to the community.

Your community may have a Patch, so if you have a book or other writing to promote, they would likely be willing to help you out. Free promo doesn't hurt.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Real Advice

Mystery writer and NY Times best-seller Debbi Mack has posted a blog titled "You're an Idiot," featuring a link to an article that applies to most writers, not just the screenwriters as mentioned in the original article.

This is serious advice, because a lot of people calling themselves writers these days simply cannot handle criticism, or something less than someone gushing about their work. If you want to play on this playground, it's rough stuff, and your ego is gonna get banged up and bruised. A lot.

We get that even in our local writer's group. Some people have come in and complained that we were harsh, because we were honest. We laugh and tell them that if they think we're harsh, wait until they submit to an editor! I swear, some folks are mortally offended if everyone doesn't love their work. Jeez, folks, there are people who don't like Shakespeare!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Story, New Strategy

Whew! Just finished a big task. Earlier this week, I started a new story, "Ruination Beach," an apocalyptic tale.

I had no idea what to write, only the title. With that in mind, however, I did envision darkness, and so it proved true.

And so 'tis finished. Almost 5000 words, and a corker of a dark tale. Am amazed at how well it came out, once I buckled down to work. It's been months since I've written a new story.

In the past, I'd have fired up Ralan's and Duotrope and found a good market to submit to. It would be on its way already. But I have a new strategy.

I'm collecting groups of themed stories, putting them up for sale as mini-books. Like the very talented Katherine Tomlinson.

So instead of waiting many months to read this story, you should be able to see it fairly soon. Along with a number of other ones, some previously published, and some brand-new. Just a lot of technical issue to solve, lots of extra formatting to do.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lucky to be Working so Hard

I feel very lucky being a writer in today's world. My novel is published, I've got over 20 stories published, some poetry out, and I'm branching out as a writer at the start of a revolution (may you live in interesting times). It's exciting and scary, and a lot of work. I define myself as being a writer.

Another person I know is roughly my age, and in a career roadblock. He hasn't got far with his side business, and is feeling discouraged. How does one manage to keep pushing forward with no return? When does one decide "enough!"

Here's a post from writer Holly Lisle, who has spent years and thousands of hours helping others to learn to write. She's decided that her own writing is what gives her joy, and that she should focus on that to the exclusion of continued draining her creative juices to other paths. So she's going to cut back the 70-hour weeks and try to live a saner life. Applause here-- I don't know how she did so much for so long. Read some of what she's done, and you'll shame yourself for being a slacker.

Most days, I don't feel like I'm doing enough to further my writing. But I keep chipping away at it.

And here's some further commentary about Barry Eisler's choice to make new publishing choices.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Other Voices

Quite a few folks are blogging about the state of the writing world and ebooks. One powerful voice has been Joe Konrath, who has been relentless in telling writers they control their publishing destiny.

He now says he's taking a break from the battle, and is letting other voices carry the day. He got so many responses, he's thinking they should be rounded up in a book and sold. Great idea!

Another influential voice is Chuck Wendig, who has a great comment on the war between traditional piblishing and ebooks.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tough All Over?

Are things not going well in the world economy? As evidence, my ebook on "How to Improve Your Interviewing Skills" is now also selling in Canada, Australia, and Great Britain. I'm kind of gobsmacked. I knew our economy was in the tank, but most of the English-speaking countries? Are things that tough all over?

Well, if you know anyone who will be looking for a job in the coming year, this book will help them, as most people need assistance in learning how to interview: what to say, and what not to say. Remember that there may be hundreds of applicants for each good job, and one mistake can cost you a desired position.

Maybe it's time to arrange translation versions!


In other news, this comes into the "Great Minds Think Alike" category. My last post was on the retiring journalist Andy Rooney, and NY Times Best-Seller Debbi Mack also did a piece in memory of his work.

She puts in all the good links, so read hers. Andy, we'll miss ya, you old curmudgeon!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Farewell Andy Rooney

Tonight we saw the swan song of another legend of broadcasting from back in the age of dinosaurs, as a 92-year-old Andy Rooney gave his sendoff.

I liked him most of the time, even though some found him a bit whiny for their taste. It was because he had standards of decency of human behavior and culture, and saw much to irk him these last 50 years or so.

So my wife thinks I should take over his job. As she says, I'm a grumpy old man who complains a lot, so why shouldn't I get paid well for it?