MandoWriMo – Slight Change Of Plans


Just a quick update for ya…

The best laid plans of mice and men and all that…

I love planning out my month, because it usually changes halfway through… which is exactly what August did to me, but I roll with the punches and adapt and survive… and totally stress out. 

The changes:

1. The 30k movie adaptation ended up being PRIORITY #1 and also ended up being 38k and written exclusively for quite a few days, which is always odd for me. I like to work on 2-4 projects each day if possible, but this one needed to be released. And it was. Zulu Six: Origins is the expanded book version of the upcoming independent film (they tell me a later 2014/early 2015 release) and I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. Readers who remember my Miami Spy Games: Russian Zombie Gun novel will enjoy this. Coincidentally (or not), I wrote it for the same people. 

But adding an extra 8k to this forced me to drop some other stories I wanted to finish… keep reading, you’ll see it…

2. Children of The Grave short story is done. 10k and I liked where the story ultimately took me. I just need to clean it up and send it off to the publisher, Crystal Lake Publishing, for the editing round now. 

3. Change Jar Books Part 3-5… I finished Part 3 and sent it to my editor a week late due to other deadlines. It was supposed to be out last week, but I’m hoping I can get it released this week. I wrote only 1k on Part 4 so far, a victim of adding to the movie adaptation. I’m hoping to finish at least part 4 before next Sunday, when August ends.

4. Necromance 5 is done. 5k and I just got it back from my editor. Now it will go to Hazardous Press for their turn before releasing it in their Hazardous Encounters horror erotica short story series. I’m really beginning to have fun with the main character, a sexy demon hunter who loves Metal and guys and gals. 

5. Dying Days: Origins 2 was another victim this month, but it is my main focus this week to get as far ahead on it as I can. I only managed 5k, so I have almost 11k left to write to hit 25k, although the story looks like it will be longer. I also set up a pre-sale page on Amazon at 99 cents (when the book is released it will go to the normal $2.99, so get yours now). The cover should also be ready in a week or so, featuring David Monsour and his back-story.

How am I doing? 54k in 25 days so far… a bit ahead, but need to finish as many projects as I can, because I just signed another huge movie adaptation contract, which will begin on September 1st and run until October 30th… 100k in 60 days. Can I do it? Of course I can. But I’m hoping I can also find the time to write everything else I want to write in September. 

Regardless, this is going to be fun…

Armand

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August Is MandoWriMo – Catchy, Right?


snoopy

I’ve been having loads of fun these past months, going to horror conventions and running the Summer of Zombie Blog Tour right after doing Authors Supporting Our Troops, and doing a month of promotion for my latest release, Dying Days 4… but now it’s time to get serious again… the actual goal each day, each week and each month is to write. Right?

I have quite a few projects I’m working on right now (I’ll list them below so you get an idea of the crunch) and need to get back on track. To that end, I’ve decided to unofficially do an August NaNoWriMo of 50k in the month, although mine will be 60k and I must do it. No excuses. No days off and hitting 10k a week and being done with it. I need a true 14k a week, 60k in 31 days month. If I have to do a 24 Hour Writing Marathon to catch up or get ahead, so be it. I call it MandoWriMo. Because I have an ego, I guess…  the extra day gives me only one shot to slack, too. 

To this end I’m not going to be on Facebook much, except to promote other authors with guest posts on my page (but those are sent to me pretty much completed, so no big deal) and do some basic promotion to keep me out there. If all goes according to plan, I should have a couple of anthologies I’m in to promote as well such as the first two State of Horror ones from Charon Coin Press, so looking forward to that. 

I’ll still be doing my Mando’s Manic Melodies show on 97.3 FM http://www.flaglerbeachradio.com on Friday nights from 10 til midnight EST, but expect quite a few to be pre-recorded. For August I’ll put my Monday night show, Mando’s Metal Covers, on hold and see where I stand in September. My main focus (besides writing) will still be Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast. New episodes every Friday. I’m having fun with it so far. 

Now, onto my list… as I’ve been doing for years, this is more for me than the readers of this blog. I hope you’ll follow along and see how I do, but for me it just gives it another place where I can get called out on if I slack off. 

1. Movie Adaptation (30k) – 10k done but I only get to see the dailies of the actual filmed movie every few days, so this one is taking forever. A new experience in how to write for me, too.

2. Children of The Grave anthology (10k) – I really need to get my head around my story so I can actually write it. This has been due so need to make it a priority

3. Change Jar Books Part 3,4 and 5 (15k) – 2k done so far, really behind. I need to tackle these this month and get closer to finishing the Flagler Beach Fiction Series

4. Necromance 5 (5k) – 3k left to write. I know the story, just need to sit down and finish it. 

5. Dying Days: Origins 2 (25k) – 16k left to write. Looking for a November release, so I need to get moving on this first draft.

That gives me 62k right there… I can do it if I get focused, right? 

Wish me luck… and if I’m ignoring you on Facebook I have a really good reason. Or I’m using it as an excuse to ignore you. Either way… 

Armand

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

Radio Gigs, Podcasts and Hot Dog Flavored Potato Chips


Surf FM

I’m once again moving on up, to a deluxe apartment in the sky… OK, maybe that’s the wrong opening line.

When I first started back in June on 1700 AM The Surf it was truly a dream come true. Not only did I get to talk writing and publishing with two co-hosts (which then became one co-host), but I got to broadcast a music show live with all the killer tunes I grew up on and love.

1700 AM in Flagler Beach is morphing into 97.3 FM very soon, and I’m excited to be a part of it. Station owner Vern Shank has some really great plans for the station and you’ll still be hearing me on the air on Friday nights. But in a slightly different format…

I had a sit-down with Vern yesterday about my role at 97.3 FM and how I could stay on while balancing my writing career/movie writing career/radio gigs/personal life without too much fuss. Vern also tricked me into eating a hot dog flavored potato chip, which tasted like mustard and ketchup. I hate condiments. I still have the horrible taste in my mouth.

mandos_manic_melodies.preview

Mando’s Manic Melodies will still air in the 10 pm til midnight EST slot, but most shows won’t be live anymore. I recently purchased a podcast kit, which will be perfect for recording hours of the show. I’ll also be tightening the format up a bit to include a block of cover songs, a theme block as well as a Mandatory Stryper or Mandatory Steel Panther song. Other than that it will be whatever I decide to play, as usual. Whenever I get the chance to drive down to Flagler Beach I will, and do a live show with any requests you might have.

You might now be asking yourself two questions… first, why did Vern force you to eat that disgusting potato chip? and second… what about Friday Night Writes?

I will be stepping down from FNW and handing everything over to Tim Baker. The last couple of weeks he’s filled it with temporary music and I’m sure he’ll have something fresh and new planned for the 8-10 pm EST Friday night time slot. With everything going on for me right now, there is no way to commit to driving down to the station (I now live almost 75 minutes away – one way) and not getting home until 1:30 in the morning and killing my Saturday writing time because I need to sleep. I didn’t want to string The Surf, Vern or Tim along anymore, but I will miss the show. I had a lot of fun doing it.

So much fun, in fact, that at some point in the near future, I will be returning to a show about authors and publishing, but on my own time. Because I bought all this fancy podcast equipment, I’ve also decided to do my own podcast from home. I don’t have a name for it (but will take suggestions!) and I can tell you it will be a one hour format dealing with the same basic issues FNW dealt with, but I’ll have a different guest host each week talking about writing and publishing. I’m excited to still be able to talk about writing, and the shows will be in as many places as I can get them and archived as well.

Is that it for me? Nope.

I’m also excited to announce I will also be doing another music show each and every week, this time on Monday nights from 6-8 pm EST on Metal Messiah Radio! The show, Mando’s Metal Covers, will play harder songs and nothing but covers… and it will be broadcast live each week, so I will be creating a FB group so people can chat with me in real time and request some brutal Metal covers. I’m excited to be getting yet another opportunity to play music live, and doing it from the comfort of my own office. More details will be coming, but my first show will be live on Monday, May 5th. 

MMR1

Anything else? Other than still being mad at Vern for trying to kill me? 

Nah. But as always wish me luck!

Armand

hotdoggross