Don’t Believe Your Own Hype


the thought process

Open letter (OK, blog post, get off my case) to Myself today from Me three years ago… 

I’m damn proud of you. It is unreal how much you’ve accomplished and how many goals you set before you and have surpassed. If you’d said three years ago you’d have over 100 releases on Amazon, worked with some great small press companies, attended World Horror and other conventions not just in Florida but in many other places, had stories published in some great anthologies with other great authors, had a couple of your story ideas turned into upcoming movies, signed a thirteen book deal with a Hollywood production company, got on the actual radio to talk and play the songs you grew up with, met the woman of your dreams and STILL own the beat-up Kia AND it still started, I’d have laughed. 

All amazing things, and a ton more you’ve accomplished in the last 36 months or so. You got away from a horrible, mind-numbing relationship filled with daily fighting, jealousy over a potential writing career and following dreams you’ve had since you were twelve years old. You set many goals and keep setting goals, and you are easily in the best place you’ve ever been in your life. 

Pat yourself on the back, smile as you sip $20 a pound Death Wish Coffee and eat expensive meals in fancy restaurants and live comfortably in a big new house watching the 55 inch TV you bought with some of your earnings over the 36 months. Pat that growing belly, filled with that expensive food and coffee, and keep smiling. 

And then…

Stop acting like a Big Shot, because you haven’t written a damn word in the last three days and your daily writing goal of 2,000 words a day is kicking your ass. When is the last time you actually hit the goal, or hit it feeling good and not just relieved you actually made it but dreading what tomorrow was going to bring?

When was the last time you actually shut Facebook off or didn’t answer an e-mail immediately? How many Pinterest and New MySpace followers do you actually need? Is breaking 70,000 Twitter followers really more important than writing today? Right now?

Remember Joe McKinney at World Horror Convention? While you drank and laughed with a bar filled with other authors, Joe was upstairs in his hotel room writing. Yep, working. Why? Because he gets it. You have a deadline, remember? Which is now getting closer and closer. 

Sure, you finished Dying Days 4. It only took you about 14 months since Dying Days 3 was released, which you swore wasn’t going to happen. God forbid you start on Dying Days 5, right? By the time that comes out Mark Tufo will be on Zombie Fallout 19

So… sit back and Google your name again and read another wonderful review about a release you wrote two years ago. Enjoy the praise from your many, many followers and your peers in the writing world. 

Who, if they are better than you, got that way because they don’t stop writing and doing the important things, the top three…

1. write

2. write

3. write

Now, shut up and turn off the damn internet and get in your work before you check your Amazon sales for the fifth time today. 

Armand Rosamilia

snoopy

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Authors Supporting Our Troops comes to a (technical) end #ASOT2014


The t-shirt design comes in a variety of colors.

Today is Thursday May 15th 2014, the cutoff date for the Authors Supporting Our Troops event started in mid-January. I had to set this date because, while the four months going have been awesome and the support overwhelming, it was beginning to overwhelm not only me but Special Gal and two rooms of the house. 

A fraction of this year's book donations.

When I began this venture (thanks to author Joe McKinney, who did a smaller version last year), I was hoping for 500 books to ship overseas. I got about five times that amount, and every day brought another box of books and more excitement as I opened the box, cataloged and photographed and posted the books on Facebook. 

ASOTlanded4

It also let me see how very cool and generous people could be as well. Authors and non-authors alike donated money to help with the shipping costs, many people purchased special shirts we made for the event, a great school did a fundraiser (thanks, Margie Colton!), Change Jar Books collected money and donated quite a bit (thanks Suzanne and Craig!), many many articles were written about the event online and in local papers, and the boxes of books didn’t seem like they’d ever stop coming. The mailman had less of a smile for me each day when he rang the doorbell. I’m sure he’ll be the happiest to know the event is technically over. 

ASOTCraig

I say technically because tomorrow, when another box shows up, I won’t reject it or throw it in the trash. I still have quite a few boxes left to ship out overseas to troops in need, and mail 4 or 5 of them out each week (each box contains about 50 books). I still have over 25 boxes left to ship over the next few weeks, and as long as books keep coming in I will keep boxing them up and finding another soldier who wants them. 

ASOTlanded3

So, how’d we do?

Not counting the 59 books I added to the boxes myself, we ended with 2,446 books from 310 authors… that’s an average of 7.9 books per author, which is amazing in itself. I am going to add an additional 54 of my own books to hit an even 2,500 books for the event. And fill the rest of the boxes I have here, too. 

ASOTBlackRed

Now, here is some of the fun breakdowns I did today for this… not very scientific and if I forgot something… too bad. This is just me having some fun with the ending of the #ASOT2014 event. I’ll also make some 2015 goals so I can see if we break them in 2015

1. We sold 293 #ASOT2014 shirts in 7 different color variations. Obvious goal for 2015 will be 300 shirts and at least 10 colors

2. Books came in from 45 of the 50 States (I won’t list the 5 that didn’t send a book) – in 2015 I hope to hit all 50

3. 13 boxes came in from non-US places, which was pretty cool – in 2015 I hope we break 15

4. The top States we got books from (by number of authors, not books – that would take too long to do and I’m too lazy):

Florida – 37

California – 29

Texas – 17

New York – 17

North Carolina – 15

Massachusetts – 12

New Jersey – 12

Virginia – 12

Illinois – 10

Pennsylvania – 9

Oregon – 8

Connecticut – 7

and so on and so forth… 

Where do we go from here?

I’m excited to keep collecting books all year, so feel free to keep sending them. There is a permanent Facebook group to keep track as more books come in and more information is present. Officially, on January 1st 2015, we will begin the event again until May 1st 2015 with the goal of breaking this year’s numbers. Several publishers have already been in contact about offering up many of their titles and Rocky Wood, President of the Horror Writer’s Association, asked me personally to contact him before the event so that the HWA could get 100% behind this from the start in 2015. Another reason I am honored to be a voting member of the HWA. 

It has been fun, it has been exhausting, and I’ve been yelled at many times in the past four months by Special Gal every time I drool at the cover of a book I want to keep. 

I couldn’t have done this without so many generous authors, and I’d love to thank each and every one of you for helping the troops who can’t get e-readers, laptops, video games, etc. easily and are in horrible parts of a hostile country, get a few hours of respite with a good book. 

I’m proud to have started what I hope will be a yearly event until every one of our soldiers returns home… carrying one of our books in his pack because it got him or her through a rough night. 

Armand

ASOTtroops

FanBoy Moment: Meeting Brian Keene at WHC


About eight years ago I was a completely newbie author with a couple of fantasy books out and maybe three horror short stories published to my credit (I have a lot more horror stories published now), and I went to Horrorfind Weekend convention in Baltimore, Maryland. I sat at a table in the dealer room and sold a few books and met a few people. It was fun. 

But I stayed in the dealer room for 99% of the weekend, convinced no one there would give me the time of day. And, unfortunately, I was kinda right. A couple of authors were friendly (Michael Laimo said hi to me) but I was just there. And it was my own fault, because I didn’t talk to anyone or make any effort. Believe it or not, I was shy and insecure among all these great authors. 

Cut to the bar area that night. 

Brian Keene was sitting there, and I knew who he was thanks to MySpace (remember MySpace?) and because his book The Rising had completely knocked me off of my feet. I kid you not. I owe the Dying Days zombie series to this man, because without his book I wouldn’t have attempted zombie fiction. I even wrote a piece about it conveniently titled “Why I Write About Zombies” (feel free to read it and then come back for the rest of this post… I’ll wait…)

Brian Keene - The Rising zombie

I walked up to the bar, as close to Brian as I could get without bumping into him, and casually turned and stared at him like a little schoolgirl. Brian Keene turned to me with a smile and said hi. 

I said blahbehchickablehblehugghhhh and felt my chest and throat tighten. Then I did what every cool person does when meeting an idol… I ran away like a little schoolgirl.

Cut to eight years later and across the country in Portland Oregon. 

The World Horror Convention, and while I’d come a long way but had much more to do and to rise, I felt I’d earned a place at least at the kid’s table. And I was fine with it. And when I heard Brian Keene was going to be the Grandmaster of the weekend, I was excited. And then nervous. 

I wanted to meet him. I needed to meet him. I posted on Facebook about my last and only encounter with him, and how this was going to be cosmic payback. I would stride up to him with a grin, pat him on the back and we’d hug it out like real men. Or something like that. 

Of course, on Thursday afternoon, as Special Gal and I had lunch in the hotel restaurant, Brian Keene walked into the lobby and I might have squealed a little. She thought it was quite amusing and ‘threatened’ to call him over, but I was not ready. I needed time to prepare. 

Cut to a few hours later. 

Special Gal and I were walking through the lobby, minding our own business, when I saw Brian Keene chatting with a few people. As I went to go past him he suddenly turned and noticed me. He smiled and said hi. He put his hand out and I turned my brain off and gripped his hand, shaking firmly. 

He said something but I have no idea what because I was too busy trying not to talk or say something incoherent. I nodded, smiled back, and walked away. Special Gal busted my chops the rest of the night but I was flying. 

The next time I saw Brian Keene was at a zombie panel, and as it wrapped up Special Gal turned to me and said in no uncertain terms we weren’t leaving the room without a picture of me and Brian together. 

I nodded dumbly. She asked him to take it and he smiled and took us into the hallway.

Then he put his arm around me and said “we need to do the Devil Horns, right?” 

He had either done his homework and knew who I was (and that I was a fellow Metalhead) or it was an excellent guess. Either way, I was damn proud as the picture was taken. But, wait… there’s more…

“Are you going to the Gross Out Contest tonight?” Brian asked me.

I had no intention of going but I said yes. Of course I was going to go! 

We made small talk for a few minutes and the guy was just genuine. He gave me a few minutes of his time and even said to find him at the bar that night so we could have a drink. 

I learned three things from this encounter… 

1. I am still such a FanBoy when it comes to him but at least I strung a few sentences together

2. THIS is the way you treat fellow authors, no matter how big or small they are. Brian Keene’s WHC posts aren’t just about what he did and accomplished but about pointing out all the new writers he met during the con, and praising the new batch of authors who are inspired by him

3. Special Gal is the greatest woman I have ever met and I am damn lucky to have her in my corner to help me fumble through the non-writing parts of this career. Friends lucky enough to have met her in Portland can attest to this

Brian Keene 

My goal for years to come is not only to emulate him but also to remember this lesson. Oh, and now I want to hang out with him again and pick his brain for hours… and I’ll try not to make it too creepy…

Armand

Where Are My Priorities?


snoopy

I’ve often stated about a career in writing it is 25% actual writing and 75% promoting/social media/business, etc. 

But does it have to be? Um… yes. And no.

I used to have a pretty killer routine each day. I’ve been blessed with having writing as my full-time job, and I used to spend about 4 hours a day writing and up to 12 promoting, etc. There was my 25% thing, nice and easy to follow. 

But lately I’m finding myself getting up later than normal. I used to be up by 8 am, with coffee in hand, knocking out some words. Then it became 9 am, waiting for the coffee to brew while I went through an overnight’s worth of 500-700 e-mails (most of them spam crap or having nothing to do with my goals or me). 

Today I got up after 9 am and didn’t make coffee until almost 11 am, while I chatted with six different people, read some blog posts and cut down my e-mails to under 300 to go through. As I write this it is 2 pm and I haven’t eaten lunch yet or had my third cup of coffee to fully wake up. 

In theory, I could stop writing this post and get off of Facebook, and just write until Special Gal gets home from work after 5 pm. I have 3 hours to crank out 2,000 words. That should be pretty damn easy for me. 

Except I’m busy with other things as well, like doing the laundry and dishes. I have an entertainment center to put together and chicken to thaw for dinner (ok, it does thaw itself, but I like to stare at it), and a hundred other important things like staring out the window waiting for the mailman to drive up with more boxes for Authors Supporting Our Troops. I also keep watch for the feral cats wandering around the property, because they distract me from doing actual work. 

There are many writers who moan about working a full-time job (a couple of them I know personally) and never having time to write. I say you are also using excuses to not write every day. When I worked a ‘real’ job of 50-70 hours a week, I still managed 500-1,000 words a day. Every day. Why? Because I was hungry and I wanted a better life for myself. Maybe it didn’t happen quite the way I thought it was going to, but I’m here in the now and I’m doing this for a living. And making a good living with it, to boot. 

But I think I’ve lost my focus, at least temporarily. I’ve been getting contracts with insane deadlines (15 days to write 30,000 words and have an editor over my back while I’m writing it) but with a great upfront payout. When I’m between these jobs (like I find myself today) I find it hard to do anything more than look out the window and read inane Facebook posts. 

Beginning tomorrow, I will rise at 8 am again with the coffee ready to brew. I shall work on as many e-mails and Facebook messages as I can until 10 am, at which time I am shutting the internet down. Not a peep from me. At noon I will stop and get some lunch after knocking off my 2,000 word goal. Around 1 pm I might check some e-mails and do some promoting, but only if I have my 2,000 words in. I’ll mess around with writing and promoting until about 5:30, when Special Gal comes home so we can have a nice evening without me worrying. 

THAT is my priority from now on… getting back into focus, getting my writing AND promoting in without one killing the other. 

The rest of today will be spent watching for the mailman.

Armand

mailman

Authors Supporting Our Troops


Armand with Joe McKinney

When you meet your idols sometimes they don’t live up to the hype. Sometimes they are grumpy and ornery and couldn’t care less about you. Such is definitely not the case when it comes to Joe McKinney. I met the man at World Horror Convention in New Orleans last year and he was even better in person than in my mind. Yes, I did the Fanboy thing at first but he ended up being a great guy with a genuine love of what he was doing and everything around him. 

Why am I telling you this? Because when he asked me (and many other authors) to help him as he collected books from us to ship overseas to some of our troops, I jumped at the chance. And so did so many others. He was able to put quite a few books into the hands of our military overseas. I never forgot about it, and decided to do my own event this year, especially when I found out from Joe he didn’t have the same contact overseas. 

But I did. 

My girlfriend Shelly (Special Gal to those in the know) had a great contact she’s known for years, someone she considers her family. I’ve been lucky enough to meet him and he is quite impressive. He’ll be coming back to the States in late March and then shipping overseas, at which point he’ll be my contact for this book drive. But let Shelly give you more detail about him:

Shelly: “I met James about 8 years ago when he was 17, while working in a youth department of the church I was attending.  He was a quiet young man living in a rough situation. I starting getting to know him and over the years he has become like a son to me. We got him through high school and he started working and then he started thinking about the military. I support him 110% and he has turned into a wonderful young man who celebrated his 25th birthday this past December. He refers to me as his godmom and I couldn’t be prouder of him if he were mine.”

He is currently a Private First Class serving at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany but will deploy to Kuwait in April.

James graduation from boot camp

Here is the main idea behind everything…

I’ll be collecting fellow author’s books to send to our troops stationed in Kuwait in April. Interested in donating some of your books? The men and women of the Armed Forces love receiving signed books from authors to read and pass around while they’re over there! If you’re an author and want to help, join this Facebook page and then get in touch with Armand for the address to send your copies. Let’s do something positive for someone else! 

I want to thank everyone who’ve already committed to helping with the event and are sending me packages so i can gather the books and box them for the troops. 

Quite a few non-authors have asked how they can help… get in touch with me, I will gladly collect donations to offset the shipping costs from me as well as purchase more books from authors I know at cost so there will be more books in the boxes to ship. 

At this time I am only interested in author-signed books to ship overseas. I think the troops will love the read and also knowing the actual author sent the books or the actual publisher. I’m not looking for your used books to donate or perishables or anything other than print books. This is not an eBook event, and not a forum for your political statements. It is simply to help those in the trenches who might want to read a book they can’t get their hands on right now. 

Come and help out as an author or as a supporter!

https://www.facebook.com/events/647179418679623/?source=1

Spotlight On: Sean Slagle


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SPOTLIGHT ON: Sean Slagle

 

What is the title of your story in Still Dying 2

The Trap Line

 

Quick description of it (no spoilers) 

Spencer, his sister, and her boyfriend have been hiding safely in a hunting cabin since the beginning of the apocalypse. But all of that changes when another family of survivors shows up.

 

Something unique about it.

It’s set in the mountains away from “civilization” and the hordes of zombies.

 

Your promo links. 

http://www.seanslagle.com

 

Your short Bio. 

Sean Slagle has been published in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. A Dirge for the Malice, his first published novel, was released in October. You can learn more about him and his writing at www.thedirge.com. The novel is available in paperback and for the Kindle at Amazon.com. You can also follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

 stilldying2correted

 

Kindle ($3.99): http://www.amazon.com/Still-Dying-2-Days-ebook/dp/B00H4HHALO/ref=la_B004S48J6G_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386293844&sr=1-2

Print ($12.99): https://www.createspace.com/4557463

Hazardous Press, Darkyrie and Armand Rosamilia – Perfect Together?


Question #1: Why am I so damn good-looking?

Question #2: What do Hazardous Press, Darkyrie and Armand Rosamilia have to do with one another?

You’ll find out very, very soon… 

(This is called a tease)

darkyrie

 

Tracking The Next Year of Writing


When people ask me how much I write, I tell them I hit my daily 2,000 word goal most of the time. I’ve had days and maybe even weeks where I’ve been on vacation or sick or I’ve been really busy, so I might guesstimate 10,000 words a week. Which means (for all you math wizards) in a given year I can pump out about 520,000 words. 

I figured out, from about this time last year to now, I’ve successful sold and/or published everything I’ve completed except for one flash fiction piece. 500 words out of 520k has been sold. A decent chunk (about 180k) of that was for a Hollywood company, and some of those releases are still sitting somewhere, but I got paid upfront and paid well for them. Everything else has seen the light of day. 

But I never really kept track.  

(Dramatic Pause)

Until Now. 

Starting today (October 1st 2013 so you don’t have to find your calendar) I will be tracking every word I write. Well, not every word. Not Facebook posts, blog posts, letters to the editor, grocery lists or updating my dead pool picks. But everything else will be tracked… every flash piece, short story, novella, novel… all of it. I won’t bore you with daily details but I will give some weekly or monthly updates to it. 

My Special Gal has created an Excel spreadsheet so I can drop in my numbers at the end of the day and let the magic begin. Obviously, my goal is to not only break 520k for the 12-month period, but to keep on getting things published and sold. At the end of the year I’ll talk about my 2014 goals like I do every year, and hoping to step up to another level with my career. 

If you’re interested in seeing more about this in coming weeks, let me know… if you think it’s stupid and you could care less, let me know… posts like this will motivate me to keep it going , because if I get behind I will look like an idiot and you can call me out on it.

When I did my 18k run a couple of weeks ago, many people sent me messages about it. I’d like to think I motivated a couple of fellow writers to buckle down and get writing. That is another part of the goal. Well, let’s see what the next 12 months of writing can bring me!

Armand Rosamilia

WRITER

“Kokomo’s Café” Huge Giveaway!!


It’s so exciting I added two ! to the title!!

I’m going to be doing a huge giveaway once the print version of the ten story Kokomo’s Café in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series is officially released (June 28th). I’ll be giving away not only a signed copy of the Kokomo’s Café print book, but quite a few more goodies, such as:

1. A signed copy of Kokomo’s Café print book (I already said that!!)

2. an eBook version of Tool Shed by Armand Rosamilia (Angelic Knight Press)

3. A signed copy of Pump It Up by Tim Baker print book

4. A signed copy of Dying Days by Armand Rosamilia print book

5. an eBook copy of “Ancient” from the Keyport Cthulhu series by Armand Rosamilia

6. Misc. things I find around the house to give away (old books, bellybutton lint, stale cookies, etc.)

Kokomos 1 Cover

You may now ask ‘what do I have to do in order to get this fabulous loot?!!’ (notice another two !! for excitement building)…

You need to post a review of one of the Kokomo’s Café stories… simple as that. Here’s the first one, and more will be added as they are released each week!!

Each Friday, another of the 2-story releases will be out, and you can review any of the five (and all of the five, obviously) … for every review posted by you on Amazon, Goodreads, your own blog, etc. etc. I will add you to the Giveaway list. On Friday June 28th I will announce the Winner. 

Every review post gets you another chance to win, AND if you review all five eBook releases I will DOUBLE your chances when i pick a winner. I don’t care if you give them 1-star reviews, you’re still eligible (but I hope you don’t, obviously). 

Just send me an e-mail or find me on our Flagler Beach Fiction Series Facebook group and let everyone know the review has been posted! And good luck!

Armand Rosamilia

No More Writing In A Vacuum


I’m an old man. Yeah, yeah, I’m only 43 and still damn sexy… I know, I know… have you seen these gorgeous eyes? But I digress. 

I’ve been writing since I was 12 on and off (mostly on except during my two marriages) and I fought through a long-term relationship having to hide my writing like a mistress… other than that, I’ve written. Thousands and thousands of words, getting it steadily to 2,000 per day. If you know me or read this blog, you know 2,000 words a day is my thing. It’s my daily savior to know I’ve done well. 

I was going through some papers and boxes this morning, looking for something, when I came across a stack of discs I used to use back in the days of my Brother word processor. I’m sure they are filled with lame story ideas, pictures of my kids as babies and random crap. I must have fifty of them, and most aren’t labeled. 

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It got me thinking of how I used to write back in my twenties (especially around the mid-1990’s when I was doing Black Moon Magazine), and it was simple: sitting at the dining room table and pounding away. No internet, no distractions, no fellow authors in my town to come over and ‘talk shop’. I was literally writing in a vacuum, my own little island. The only feedback I got was from friends and family who offered no real opinions. I grew up in New Jersey, so if you got ‘that didn’t suck as bad as the last one,’ you were on to something. 

There was the Garden State Horror Writers Association, but they met on Saturdays about 40 miles from me, and I was working a full-time job (I did 20+ years as a retail manager. Back then I was managing a shoe store, which I did for most of my brilliant (read: painstakingly soul crushing) career. I don’t think I ever got to a meeting, although I knew a member or two in passing. But we never got together to write, we never sat in a diner and talked about what we were writing. You had no idea, and you didn’t know who was submitting to what market. Hell, unless you bought a copy of a magazine and found their submission guidelines, you didn’t even know who was taking them. I subscribed to Scavenger’s Newsletter and the bulk of my submissions were sent out because of it. 

Scavengers_copy

Everything was sent snail mail, and you’d wait weeks or months for your SASE to return with an acceptance or (mostly) rejection. Sometimes you got feedback and most times you did not. You were your own editor unless you had a friend or family member who helped you out, but no other entourage or posse to help you. You needed to do research? Put on your shoes because you were going to the library to kill three hours, just to find out what plants in Brazil were poisonous. 

And then everything changed seemingly overnight. Younger authors, and those who jumped in later in the game, never had to worry about sitting alone at the dining room table, typing on a word processor that wasn’t always reliable, printing out tons of copies of a story, buying envelopes and stamps and having to get a PO Box to look professional

We now have Facebook groups and e-mail and Foursquare and a million other ways to keep active. You realize you weren’t alone, there were always other writers in town with you, but you never spoke about it. It was your own dirty little secret. You never told anyone you were a writer, and you never shared your ideas. You lived a solitary, paranoid writing existence. 

No more writing in a vacuum these days. 

Armand

euro d2 copy

Flagler Fiction Series – Are These Real People?


When I decided a few weeks ago, right after finishing the first draft of Dying Days 3, to write a serialized batch of interconnecting stories that were what would be considered Contemporary Fiction and not Horror or even Thrillers, I decided the perfect setting for them wouldn’t be a fictitious town, but the place around me… after all, I spend most of my day sitting in a quaint place, overlooking the beach, and seeing the locals and tourists coming in and out. Why create a fictional world when the real one was so interesting?

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Kokomo’s Cafe is the name of the first set in the Flagler Fiction Series and not only the setting for the stories but an actual place in Flagler Beach Florida, and where I sit in and write all day (and talk about constantly on Facebook). My ultimate goal is to do these 10-story 5-release eBook stories and then bundle them into a Print book, and use every location in Flagler Beach if possible. Not just cafe and restaurant spots, but surf shops, specialty stores, comic book and fitness places… anywhere interesting in Flagler Beach to have these characters visit and interact. The goal would also be to do a book signing in each place once they are released. 

I’m almost done with the sixth story out of the ten I need for Kokomo’s Cafe, and they are in the 2,500-3,000 word range. There will be two per serialized release, and they’ll begin next Friday May 17th… more information about each specific story and details will come some other day. 

I wrote a story about a struggling (and distracted) writer named Reba Port, which might have a slight commonality with a certain Becky Pourchot. OK, there are a few things in the story that made her laugh and ring true. 

becky pourchot small bio pic portrait

The owners of Kokomo’s Cafe (Mark and Tina) were gracious enough to let me set the stories there, and put owners Mac and Ginny in the stories. You might recognize some local people in and out of the stories, and I’ve had fun letting people read the first drafts and ask ‘Is that Marybeth from upstairs?’ or ‘Is this the Creepy Guy who sits in the corner seat all day?’

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Even if you don’t live here, these are fun beach-reading stories, but you can enjoy them sitting in Iowa or Nebraska (that is the hope, anyway). I wanted character-driven tales, and I think I succeeded. I guess, once they start going live next Friday, I will find out if I’ve hit on something new and special for me, or if I missed the mark. Scary and exciting at the same time.

Armand

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“Dying Days 3″ First Draft Is Done!


I finished what I believe is a damn good first draft of Dying Days 3, my zombie novella. The first two parts of the story clocked in at about 25,000 words each, but my goal on this one was to get more story and make it about 35,000 words. The final first draft ended up being over 40,000, which I am quite happy with. 

There will also be a companion short story like in the other Dying Days releases, with a return of Tosha Shorb and her sister, and I might add in another short piece or two. My goal is to get the final product over 50,000 words and be a nice solid release. More bang for your buck, as they say. I think someone says that, anyway. 

Then readers (you are out there!) of the series will be happy to know I can finish up Dying Days: Origins, which tells the prequel story of Tosha Shorb and also the prequel of David Monsour (who also appeared in Dying Days 2) as well as the prequel story of Eric White (and written by author Lisa Woods, who is a big fan of the series).

But wait, there’s more!

Still Dying: Further Scenes From Dying Days will be another anthology of short stories set in the world, but this time written by other authors (like Tim Baker, Brent Abell, Lori Safranek, Frank Edler, Patrick Greene, AD Roland and many others) and also a brand new Darlene Bobich short story from me. 

Still not convinced?

My short story collection of more erotic short stories, Dying Days: Threesome, will be out this summer as well… three shorts with even more sex for your money, and a return of Randy from Highway To Hell. There might even be a sequel to Highway To Hell called Hell’s Bells: Highway To Hell 2 in the works as well if I get the time to fit it into the schedule. 

Furthermore…

Tim Baker and I will be finishing a sequel to Dying Days: The Siege of European Village as well, so look for that soon. 

Now, I just have to stay off Facebook and Twitter and actually write all this stuff… 

Armand

Dying Days 3 Cover

Reblog: Armand Rosamilia Interview on The Fifth Dimension blog


It was a real pleasure to be interviewed by Stuart Anderson on his blog, asking some interesting and focused questions. Check it out! 

http://stuart66.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/an-interview-with-horror-author-armand.html

THREEDYINGDAYS

Writer’s Block? Nope. Too Many Distractions.


I don’t believe in Writer’s Block. I believe you can always sit down and write something. There is always more than enough ideas to put down on the computer screen, even if they are crappy ideas… 

There’s a great analogy I use from time to time about farmers. Do they get up in the morning, look outside at the fields and decide they have Farmer’s Block today, and go back to bed? I doubt it. They get on that horse (see what I did there?) and they do the job. 

As writers, we have to do it as well. My backup plan is to always have several projects going at once, in varied points of being finished. I always know the pecking order of them, especially if there is an actual publisher deadline associated with one of more. I work on the main story, but if I get lost or I’m not feeling it, I move onto something else. The bottom line is for me to write my 2,000 word a day goal and feel good by the time I go to sleep.

Of course, I don’t always hit my mark. Last week, faced with a severe deadline since I slacked so bad, I wrote 20,000 words (of a 40,000 word story) in three glorious days. I turned off the internet, ignored Facebook and twitter and e-mails, and just wrote. For hours. 

But that is not the norm. I wish it was. I see authors (notice I didn’t say writers) who set 5,000 word goals and/or 8 hour writing days, and they hit it like clockwork. They are professionals and they are building their career one word at a time. 

I feel like a fake half the time, even though I technically do this for a living (just don’t look too closely at where I live, what I drive, and how I finagle to pay some bills), and I put my head down some nights and know I could have done more. 

Social media is a necessary evil, but does endless hours on Twitter really sell more books for me? The smart part of my thinking knows I might sell an extra book or two a week by posting and commenting for 10 hours a week. The really smart part knows I could be writing an extra 10,000 words in the same period of time and getting that much closer to another release, and another potential way for readers to find my work, love it and then buy my back-list of titles. 

Factor in people talking to me, food all around me, radio and TV, and tons of blogs I just have to read… I waste about 6 hours a day on non-writing stuff. 6 hours! That would be quite a few extra words to write, and more projects done, and more chances to sell things, and…

Yet, I know it won’t happen with any real frequency. Sigh.

At least I know I don’t have Writer’s Block. There is that, right? 

Buy this book so I can retire, too… just sayin’ 

TOOL  SHED

ToolShed

Deadlines: The Day After


I’ve been a bit under the weather the last two weeks. I have the cough, the phlegmy stuff sliding up and down my throat, and I feel perpetually tired. I cannot shake this feeling, and I can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. I might have walking pneumonia. Maybe even Walking Dead Pneumonia. Definitely not Christopher Walken Pneumonia. 

Walken_Dead

I also had a deadline to meet for a project, and not of my own making. It was an actual deadline, where I got paid (in actual U.S. currency!) and signed a contract and all that legal mumbo jumbo. I had 20 days to write 40,000 words. Cake walk, as the young kids say (I think they still say that)… I was flying on it, nice pacing and I had the story in front of me and the first ten days I crushed it, if I do say so myself. 

And then I got sick. 

And then days drifted into other days, and anything I wrote stunk up the joint. I couldn’t concentrate. It’s hard to write about killing zombies when you cough every eighteen seconds and blow your nose every fourteen. I kept taking naps, even sleeping in my car a few times while waiting for my son after football practice (his practice, not mine).

And then… I had 20,000 words done (yep, half) and only 4 days to finish it. Did I dive right in? Nope. I drugged myself up with Nyquil, Dayquil, Afternoonquil, WhileIAmShoweringquil, and slept a day away. 

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Three days to write. I also moved from Java Joint to Kokomo’s, still in Flagler Beach, but I like the vibe a little better… I can still see the ocean and it’s closer to the center of town and I get to see more of the locals wandering in and out of the shops here. I love Flagler Beach, and the owners of Kokomo’s are cool to talk with and leave me alone when they see I’m in the zone.

Which I wasn’t until I sat down on Monday morning, sick and with a running nose. I decided to get this story finished because… heck, I had to. I’d been paid for it, and I knew the story and I actually really liked the story. Even though I was contracted to write it, I still felt a massive connection to the characters and the subplots and everything but the initial idea was mine, so I was feeling it. 

Monday I wrote 5,500 words and felt good, but I knew I needed to turn it up. Monday night, still feeling like crap, I went to trivia with my friends (Team Bang Bang Lulu came in second!) and then went home and crashed, but felt even worse Tuesday morning because I didn’t get enough sleep. 

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Tuesday was lots of coffee and 6,500 words in Kokomo’s, and I was starting to see the light. But I still needed 8,000 words. I technically had until Thursday to get this done, but I also had an editor (Jenny Adams) who likes to remind me she is a busy woman and needs me to give her whatever I’ve written ASAP so I don’t freak out, and so she can do the proper job of editing. 

Wednesday I kicked ass, plain and simple. I still felt like shit but I found a reserve (and had a great three-cheese panini sandwich for lunch) and before I knew it I was done. 8,000 words in pretty much one sitting, from 8 am until 2 pm. 6 hours and 8k in Kokomo’s. 

Jenny had the raw material (she’d been pacing with me, so only had the last 8k to edit), and before bedtime the novella was finished. I woke this morning, blew my nose three or thirty times, took more meds, and hit the Send button to the Powers That Be. 

Now, I’m sitting in Kokomo’s in Flagler Beach, enjoying a brisk morning, sipping coffee, fighting the urge to eat a 7-layer piece of carrot cake, and trying to find some inspiration to write something… anything… today. 

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I know I have Dying Days 3 to finish and I’m only about 12k into it. I have a free short story I want to finish and put up here tomorrow. I have to edit my Chelsea Avenue horror novel and submit it to an actual agent since they requested it, and about 97 other things to write. 

Except now I’m looking ahead to Bike Week starting tomorrow, and hanging out with friends and my Special Gal all weekend and playing hookie from this job of writing. I’m hoping by the time Monday rolls around I won’t be as sick and I’ll have another actual project and a new deadline in front of me. 

For right now, I think I’ll kill some time on Facebook and Twitter, try to get into the groove of writing something and try not to order a piece of delicious carrot cake. 

Armand Rosamilia

Separating My Facebook Friends


I’ve been on this slow re-evaluation when it comes to Facebook and what it really means to me. On one hand, I like the instant egotistical gratification that when I post something amazing and/or stupid I can get 100+ likes and 35+ comments on it, no matter if it’s about plain or peanut M&M’s or some bogus quote from Morgan Freeman.

On the other hand, my actual career (I’m a writer, by the way!) sometimes gets lost in the shuffle, buried under Slayer videos and talking about Thug Life and what I ate for breakfast (nothing so far today, but I’ll let you know).

I have a Fan Page, which I hardly ever use… but I think I am going to make a concerted effort to use it asap. I guess the easiest goal would be to push everyone over to it and then keep it real but not too serious, letting everyone know about my latest projects and my latest writing ideas.

My Fan Page

It is then the goal to cut down my normal Facebook page to a decent amount of people. I have 4,600+ friends and it’s just way too many people. My status feed becomes a blur, with so many posts I barely have time to read them. And I keep missing cool stuff unless I’m tagged in it.

And what’s the point, really? Sure, it is an ego stroke (and you know damn well I have a big one, real or imagined) but Facebook only slows me down. I talk to a select few people online, and the rest becomes noise.

Over the course of the next few weeks I will begin to cull the friend’s list. If I grew up with you, met you in person or have some type of working relationship with you, consider yourself not going anywhere. If you don’t actually like me or are bored and/or sick of my bullshit, feel free to drop me. If you want to know more about my upcoming book releases and things of that nature, join the Fan Page and I will thank you.

Maybe I can then get more work done, or find another lame excuse to waste hours each day… who knows, but I’m not going to do it on Facebook all day every day from now on.

Armand Rosamilia

February 68k Writing Challenge for Armand


It’s not really a challenge but it sounds cooler in the title, right?

I’ve been contracted for not one… not two… but three! Count ‘em, three! new stories to write. I can’t tell you the details and can’t really tell you much more (what a damn tease I am), but I can say they are going to be two 14,000 word and a 40,000 word novella.

Since my math skills are super-sharp (and there is a cute calculator feature on this laptop) it comes to 68,000 words in 28 days… which comes to 2,428 words a day to get everything written (first draft) and submitted on March 1st.

Wish me luck!

The downside to getting it is the back-burner status of all the other projects I was working on, like Dying Days 3, Dying Days: Origins, the next two stories in the Keyport Cthulhu series, and another hundred things.

But I’ll eventually get to them, and get in a few pages here and there when I have time.

Until then… don’t expect a ton of Mando on social media, since I need to really buckle down and write, write, write…

Armand

Upcoming Week of “Miami Spy Games” Posts


Starting at some point tonight, and hopefully running all this week, a series of articles/guest blog posts will be out and about on various blogs and websites I enjoy. I hope you will follow along, and I intend to reblog all of them as they hit to make it easier for you to read and also find some new blogs for you to follow as well.

Most of them will be various aspects of the Miami Spy Games: Russian Zombie Gun release, with a few pieces thrown in about my previous and upcoming work. My goal is to fill up your Facebook and Twitter feeds with me, lol…

Armand

Miami Spy Games Epi 1 Cover 253x391

Armand’s 2013 Goals


I hate New Year’s Resolutions because, well, they suck. By this time next year I’ll still be fat, I’ll still be a bag of M&M’s away from a heart attack, and I will still be an asshole in many ways. Real life sucks, although I do have some basic things I’d like to settle this year in my non-writing life, including:

1. Enough with the total douchebag Facebook posts and the arrogant shit. In case you didn’t guess, I am actually quite insecure and do the Andrew Dice Clay version of me online in order to not get too close or get hurt. Yeah, yeah, I like chicks with big asses in thongs. But enough about it already.

2. I want to fall in love. There, I said it. But not online and not in a fantasy. I want to find someone who lives close to me, gets me, and loves me for me. I don’t want to change, I’m too damn old and set in my ways. And I don’t want a woman who I don’t 100% completely love everything about her. She’s out there, she’s damn close, and I intend to not blow it by being a douchebag on Facebook or in real life.

3. Keeping the great small group of friends I’ve amassed over the last few months. Without getting all weepy (and without Tim Baker being a douchebag to me for it), I just want to thank the aformentioned Tim, David, Jill, Tiki, Christa, Ky, Lisa, Kim, Man Child, Jenny, Ambroz, Cesar, Bethany, Colleen, Brewski and everyone else I get to hang out with in European Village and beyond…

And…

 When it comes to my writing career, I seem to do much better… so these are my goals for 2013 and my writing:

1. I want to keep up my great writing pace of 2,000 words per day, but allow for some lapses, some editing days, and days I give it a break. So 10,000 words a week is my goal, which translates into 520,000 words written in 2013.

2. I want to release at least 26 books/short stories in 2013, but not all by myself. My goal is to get my longer pieces out there to other publishers and find new fans, while keeping my great core of fans around and ready for the next release. 26 means one new story/novella/novel every two weeks, and I think it is manageable.

3. I want to blog more often (like doing a new post every day for the first 31 days in 2013 as a start), but also spend more time helping out fellow authors I like, trying to help the community, and being more generous with my time as far as reading other author’s works and promoting them.

That’s enough for now… I might add a few more things as the year moves along, but I think I can manage those to begin with…

Now, where did I put that bag of M&M’s?

Armand Rosamilia

Pinterest: What Am I Supposed To Do Again?


I joined Pinterest a few months ago, since I felt obligated… I join every social media outlet in the fear that if I don’t I will miss something truly important or they’ll suddenly close the gates to the site and only the cool kids will be allowed on that side of the fence.

When MySpace (I’ll explain what that was in another blog post) was all the rage, I had 184,000+ friends on my Carnifex Metal account. I had four accounts on there, and probably had over a quarter of a million close, personal friends. It helped me sell a ton of Metal Queens books but then simply died away.

I’m iffy when it comes to Facebook. As an author, I want (and need) to use social media to help me sell books. Facebook doesn’t do that. Ever. I don’t know anyone who says ‘I need a new read, let me go and surf through an endless stream of people posting links to their new book’. No, you go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble for that. Unfortunately, most people go to Facebook to see funny cat pictures. Won’t you join me? Armand on Facebook

Twitter is my current addiction. It’s really bad right now. I have index cards filled out, charting how many followers I get each day and how many overnight add me… it’s getting ridiculous. I’m averaging 188 new followers per day this week, and will break 15,000 followers by the end of the weekend. Sad. Watch as my followers grow on Twitter

Now, onto Pinterest.

I’ve been dutifully and obsessively adding random people, which seem to be mostly women. I have 729 followers and I’m following 2,779 myself. No idea if that is good, bad, or what it even means.

I added boards with my books on it, and then a few with my own personality: the Red Sox, comic books, Heavy Metal, New Jersey, steampunk, shapes of women I like… now what?

So, here’s the big question… do I keep on this path of adding more and more people and boards and hope I figure it out, or give up on it, or do something different with it? Does anyone know what any of it even means? Oh, and here’s my Pinterest