Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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My Own Year In Review (Armand’s 2011) Part 2

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Now, onto the actual 25 books I released in 2011…

We’ll start from the beginning of the year and I’ll give you my honest opinion and thoughts on each book (good or bad)…

January 2011

Metal Queens Seven (released January 1st) – This release was something I felt like I had to do, that last issue of a series that had run for over two years sporadically… the issue itself is solid but I think I rushed it, jamming as many bands and fans that were female into it just to have it finished… in my mind it was getting old to do, and I had a huge idea for another slightly different product of Metal Queens (more on that in February)… at this point I remember thinking it was done and over with, and I even toyed with pulling all the issues at the end of the year… glad I didn’t, as these original issues still sell a few copies each month and find new fans…

February 2011

A month later, on February 2nd, the first State of Horror anthology was released, State of Horror: New York, even though it was the second actually finished. This was an idea I’d played with back in my Carnifex Press days a few years ago, and I’d actually started it with the Florida Horror: DarkTales From The Sunshine State book (now out of stock)… on February 13th the much longer State of Horror: Louisiana was released, eight stories instead of the five in SoH:NY… it was, again, a solid collection and culled from dozens of submissions… On February 25th I closed out the month with the aforementioned Metal Queens release, Metal Queens: Models, what I thought was a can’t-miss collection of super-lovely (i.e. hot) models into Heavy Metal, showcasing their pictorials and interviews. It didn’t sell well at all short-term, although each month I still sell more than the last. Can’t figure it out…

March 2011

On March 12th I released Dying Days, which was a zombie novella I’d been working on since I released Highway To Hell the previous August and that zombie novella contained a short story featuring Darlene Bobich. I loved the character, loved everything about her, and decided to continue her story. Glad I did… March also saw two simultaneous releases, Revenant and Revenant II, on the 16th… and they became a sore-spot for me, because neither has ever sold much… even though they contain some great ghost stories, and I had so many great stories I split them into two volumes with an initial eye toward another volume at some point… March 22nd brought State of Horror: Pennsylvania, six stories set in PA that I loved…

April 2011

Slow month… only two releases, with the 6th bringing the re-release of my horror novella, Death Metal, that I’d gained the rights back to, and State of Horror: Texas dropping on the 16th… both solid books and both sell decently each month…

May 2011

Bad month… the only thing I released was an old fantasy novella from my Freehold series that never made any waves and I destroyed in the debacle that was Carnifex Press back a few years ago, where I burned many bridges, owed many great authors money and almost killed my publishing career before it got started… I’ll touch on that garbage in another post at another time… anyway, Freehold: Betrayal was the novella… its actually a good tale with a great character but I don’t know if I’ll ever be back in the fantasy mindset to finish what was started… sales are minimal so I doubt it would be worth it…

June 2011

Two of my favorite releases were put out in June, first Undead of Winter on the 4th and then Undead Tales on the 27th, both with some phenomenal zombie stories…

July 2011

There was only one release in July but it was State of Horror: Georgia, and by now I was loving the evolving State of Horror series because the seven stories in this one are all solid…

August 2011

Yep, State of Horror: Massachusetts came out on the 18th and it contains six more horror tales I loved to read…

September 2011

This is where the wheels started to fall off for me personally, but Rymfire eBooks was stronger for it… on the 3rd the post apocalyptic anthology Post Apocalyptic Raids was released, and it had no zombies in it, which was nice for a change, lol… I put out my own short story collection as an eBook only, Skulls, on the 5th and took the rest of the month to do a blog tour (dubbed Skulls World Blog Tour – genius, I know)…

October 2011

On the 6th State of Horror: California was released, another great chapter in the series, and the 25th I released another short story collection, this time my zombie stuff, called Zombie Tea Party thanks to inspiration from the cover art… it is still the best-selling Rymfire book, although its not making the numbers I thought it would (or any book at this point, for that matter)…

November 2011

Metal Queens Monthly #1 was my newest brain-child to revamp the stagnant series, released on the 5th, with new interviews, finding killer bands with female members, and picking and choosing each woman in the book… our stab at erotica was next, Rymfire Erotica, combining horror and sex, on the 20th… we liked the book so much we decided to release a new imprint for 2012 called Rymfire Erotica (catchy, right?) to go along with the new Rymfire Undead imprint…

December 2011

Seems like so long ago… anyway, this was a busy month and had some killer releases that only time will tell if they sell enough copies for me to not freak out everytime I hear the mailman outside… the 9th brought us the second installment with Metal Queens Monthly #2… I have been writing so much in the last few weeks (got my groove on!) that I decided to release some zombie short stories in preparation for so many releases in 2012, so Dying Shortly was borne of blood and fire (Slayer lyrics) on the 21st with a great cover by Nic Burgess… love his work! On the 28th I put out a great non-fiction book and an idea I thought I’d done in Blair E. Gibson’s From The Minds of Madness: Origins of Heavy Metal Band Names, which I spent more time reading than editing and had to keep going back… its officially going to be released on the 6th of Janaury but i couldn’t wait… lastly, Dying Shortly Volume 2 just came out, continuing with the zombie short stories theme from yours truly… oh, and the very last release for 2011 (although there’s still plenty of time!) will be my Extreme Undead Collection, putting together all four of my zombie novella releases into one super-sized – about 100,000 words – eBook Amazon Kindle-only release… I’ll link it when it goes live!

I hope you enjoyed reading the Rymfire Books ups and downs of 2011… and hoping next year at this time we’re all reading about the huge peaks while I’m sipping champagne and welcoming the mailman to visit…

My Own Year In Review (Armand’s 2011) Part 1

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As far as my own writing and publishing goes, I had my best year so far… 2011 was mostly positive, and I got a lot done, more than I realized before I sat down to write this quick post… which will now become a long and bloated post with several parts, because… why not? It’s my blog and I can do what I want…

I just hope someone reads it…

Can I term it a huge success? Nope. For me (and I speak only for me) success means getting into a professional groove with my writing, being able to have breathing room with worrying about bills and life and being able to write and sell books…

In 2009 I released 6 books, the same in 2010… most of those were Metal Queens releases. In 2011 I put out 25 books (and I’ll dig deeper into them in another post)…

Of course, I juggled a 45+ hour a week retail managing  job with a writing career until September… in the first eight months of 2011 I was able to release 15 books but 10 once I was home 24/7… I decided (OK, the jerkoffs at my job decided) that I was going to be a full-time writer, at least until the Holidays came and went… there’s nothing worse than trying to find a job at the end of the year in a recession and having 20+ years of retail management experience as a resume…

So I decided to just worry about the career… for the first time in my life I was able to focus on writing, promoting and publishing… and not worry about anything else (if possible)… I could get up when I wanted, write all day, and sit around in my shorts and dirty Slayer T-shirt and never have to brush my teeth again…

A good, dear old friend of mine (Liz Harrison if you’re keeping track) once told me that I had a problem with BALANCE. Man, was she right. My first mistake was not treating any of this seriously in the beginning, so I shambled through September and most of October playing stupid Facebook games, reading book after book on my Kindle, and putting out the Rymfire eBooks releases whenever I had the inspiration. No set schedule for publishing or writing.

In the meantime, I grew nasty with Kim and the kids, couldn’t focus, felt lost as a man and as a writer, and fell into a pit of self-loathing and self-pity. I wrote sporadically, but most of my time was spent sleeping, watching horrible B-movies and endless episodes of SportsCenter.

I could lie and tell you that something magical happened one night, the Writing Angel came to me in my sleep, or I fell and hit my head and began writing, but… it just happened.

Around November, once I’d put together my two short story collections (more on them later) I realized I had nothing else to write, nothing in my head as far as new ideas. It wasn’t writer’s block because I couldn’t even get up and start the laptop without wasting three hours on a game.

But, come November, it clicked for me… I got serious, and I know it was partly thanks to a re-focus on my own worth as a writer and by studying those before me. I became obsessed with reading other author’s blogs (notably Scott Nicholson, John Everson, JA Konrath and Brian Keene) and making notes in my head about the right and wrong of what I was doing.

Here were authors that made a living off of their writing, who could take pride in paying the electric bill thanks to a story sold. My sales were averaging less than a hundred bucks a month across the board, not enough to keep me remotely afloat.

So I began to write. And never stopped. I began to think in terms of promotion by doing a blog tour for my Skulls collection and re-energizing my Metal Queens series of non-fiction females into Heavy Metal by getting serious and deciding that releasing them whenever I felt like it wasn’t working. I set the 13th of each month for the next issue and so far (two in, a third due January 13th) I’m keeping it up.

I started making a schedule for myself each day, depending on what was going on… when Kim was in school and/or at work I had free rein, but didn’t spend all of that time playing games. Instead, I set realistic goals like 500-1,000 words per hour on a certain story or editing three stories from an upcoming anthology or reading through ten stories of the slushpile…

I still can’t balance properly,I’m still so tunnel-vision with my writing that I ignore everyone around me… I guess I can try to work on that for 2012 and hope that it does… but it’s a goal for 2012, the old New Year’s Resolution (which I absolutely hate, so I won’t waste my time making a stupid list so I can break it in three weeks)…

I am hoping 2012 brings me some financial relief when it comes to my writing, a steady sales record, steady writing and publishing, and the recognition that I want from peers and readers… I want to be known as a great writer, and known as a great guy who you can talk to, joke with, and get to know…

Armand Rosamilia

Friday’s Schedule – I Hope…

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I’ve decided to get a few things done before the actual weekend, since New Years Eve is coming and I want to get a jump on 2012…

Today I finished the final edits on From The Minds of Madness: The Origins of Heavy Metal Band Names by Blair E. Gibson for an official January 6th release (although look for it in the next few days in both print and eBook versions on most platforms)

I found that breaking my day into hours of tasks the last week definitely helped, so for tomorrow:

8 am – coffee, check e-mails, play RavenSkye on Facebook (totally addicted, have to stop!)

9 am – Work on the non-fiction Zombie Writing! release (contracted the great Nic Burgess to do the cover!)

10 am – setup and upload my latest, Dying Shortly: Number Two release (2 new zombie short stories with a Nic Burgess cover!)

11 am – begin setups on Metal Queens Monthly #3 for its January 13th release

noon – I have to eat… I’m fat… and then I can also relax and put on a bad sci fi/monster movie, which lately always includes either Kevin Sorbo, Winnie Cooper (all grown up) from the “Wonder Years” or both, fighting a bad CGI creature

1 pm – Read submissions for the State of Horror anthologies and accept/reject some stories

2 pm – Write 500-1,000 words of my latest zombie short story for the upcoming Still Dying: Scenes From Dying Days

3 pm – Send out another e-mail reminding everyone to contribute to the upcoming Dying Days 2 zombie release (info) and check my various e-mails

4 pm – Read some of the many Novella submissions and make some hard decisions

5 pm – Done for the evening…

“Dying Shortly Volume 1” out and only 99 Cents!

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My latest release, right in time for Christmas…

From author Armand Rosamilia… two zombie short stories: “Annie Morgan”, about a woman trying to survive the apocalpyse (and find a man), and “Clothes Shopping”, a Darlene Bobich tale about her trying to find some clothes… plus a five chapter preview of the “Dying Days” zombie novella… 11,500+ words in all!
And only 99 cents!! With a great cover by Nic Burgess!

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/116802

 

Jon Bon Jovi Helping Me Out

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I asked my good friend Jon Bon Jovi not to do this, but he insisted… besides, I wrote most of their hit songs and was the inspiration for “Livin’ On A Prayer”… and if it wasn’t for me the song would’ve been called “Good Medicine”… so I guess he owes me…

Oh, so listen to JBJ and go to

http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Tea-Party-ebook/dp/B005ZTUFII/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1320881592&sr=1-1

to purchase a copy of “Zombie Tea Party”…  New Jersey will thank you!

Guest Blog: Don Corcoran

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A Road Paved In Iron is about power and agency.  This theme is reflected in every story told in the first novel.  The horror here is psychological.  On one hand you are handed power, handed the keys to the kingdom, whether it be through your spiritual inheritance, the color of your skin or trust offered by your community.  There are expectations and not living up to those expectations has dire consequences beyond what the characters are able to face.  Characters without power or consequence lack allies and confidantes, leading cold, reckless lives.
This is where I draw much of the suspense in the book.  Even among the zombies in my tale (duh… Voodoo… Of course there’s zombies) the real horror is their powerlessness.  The fear is not that they could possibly rise from the dead, but that even beyond death there are people and powers that can influence your actions, even forcing you to hurt the ones you love.
This was a challenging book to write.  There were a number of social issues going on in the time of the Civil War – slavery, civil rights, gender roles – that I didn’t want to overshadow the horror of the characters’ situations.  They are part of the story but I pushed some of the ugliness to the background.  Some of those issues take a role in the book’s theme while other aspects are more muted then they probably would be.  Many of the women and black characters in the fiction have a far greater scope and influence than they otherwise might have had.  The time frame is designed to feed the story, not stymie it, while staying internally consistent with the plot.
I wouldn’t say A Road Paved In Iron is in the horror genre.  I’d say it’s more a Fantasy Western.  Everything I write has an air of the horrific in it.  It’s the kinds of games I like, the stories I read, and the films I gravitate toward.  I once joked that I have to find my voice somewhere between Hemingway and Lovecraft.  Those stories that resonate with me would be characterized as chilling.  Where I overlap with the horror genre is in depicting characters in untenable situations, driving toward their inevitable dooms.
That being said, this is a Western – a spaghetti western to be specific.  There is a certain level of iconic heroism that’s part of the genre, implicit in its structure.  This made it hard for me to make my main protagonist likable (although it should be said that A Road Paved In Iron is more of an ensemble cast).  The theme of the book has to do with destiny but I didn’t want my characters dragged along in their lives by circumstances beyond their control.  They had to make their own beds. 
The main character is a black Union soldier.  He’s a violent man and lives by the gun.  That’s what the title refers to, his actions leading him down this path of violence that he learns is influenced by a connection with a violent warrior spirit, or lwa – Ogun.  His father’s gun is the iron that represents an area of the lwa’s influence – iron and blacksmiths. While I make the influence of the lwas in the main plot there are elements of the writing that make the reader wonder if it’s all just in the protagonist’s head.  Much of the supernatural is framed within the story as supernatural but a cynical eye could pass much of it off as hallucination and rationalizing. 
In many religions, most notably Celtic and West African myth, the gods and spirits inhabit the bodies of their followers to do their will on earth.  During important rituals men and women take on the embodied gods.  Their actions are not considered their own, but rather the will of the celestial being inhabiting them.  Taken on a profane level one could see the social and therapeutic roles these ritual could take, coupling people in fertility rites and performing rituals to protect against illness.  These stories are grist for the novelists mill as the characters are then thrust into the aftermath of their/the gods actions and have to face the consequences. 
One of the best loved examples of this is Marion Zimmer Bradley’s accounts of the Arthurian legends through the eyes of the women in her book Mists of Avalon.  In that story Bradley used the actions of the gods in order to explain the incestuous circumstances behind Mordred’s birth and, primarily, to make Morgan le Fey a more sympathetic character.
The question becomes: What happens when they do not remember the events of the previous night?  Even on a spiritual level the most altruistic and heroic of mythical figures becomes a rapist and the audience has to wonder why anyone would embrace these spirits in the first place.  You want the reader to like the main characters.  You want the audience to root for the spirits the protagonist has aligned with and yet the “realities” of such a system – one equal part fear as reverence – would most any reader pause.  That’s a fine line to walk as a writer.

Blog
http://don-corcoran.blogspot.com
Current novel
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/doncorcoran/a-road-paved-in-iron-a-voodoo-western-dime-novel
Bio:
Don Corcoran has been a fan of science fiction, fantasy and westerns since he could read.  Speculative fiction fueled his love of myth and led him to topics like religion, race and social dynamics.  A consummate storyteller, Don puts conflict and wonder in the hands of the reader weaving evocative and disturbing tales.  He currently pounds words out on his iPad in coffee shops across Philadelphia when he’s not being a father to a wonderful toddler. 

Things To Do…

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I pride myself (like an idiot?) on always keeping busy, between writing and publishing… but even I think I’ve stretched myself a bit thin these days…

I decided to set some deadlines for myself and get some things finished, especially with an actual Rymfire Books schedule starting next month… crossing the fingers and toes that I can finish a plethora of ideas by the end of January (or as many as is humanly possible!)…

Things that need to be finalized and finished include (but sure aren’t limited to):

Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer novella (doing the final edits and waiting on the cover art)

Extreme Undead Collection Volume One (going to be putting four zombie novellas – Highway To Hell, Darlene Bobich: Zombie Killer, Dying Days and Zombie Tea Party) out in one omnibus edition)

A few short stories for anthologies: one about a teddy bear, one about a chapel and a horror western tale

A shared world Zombie novella (halfway done, due January 15th)

Releasing an awesome non-fiction book about Heavy Metal (more info once the contracts are officially back, looking at an early January release)

Releasing an awesome horror novella from an author (yeah, I know, but contracts need to be signed first, and a late January, early February release if possible)

Another five novellas currently on the table that I need to decide on for February-March-April release dates

Metal Queens Monthly #3 due January 13th (have enough, just need to format it)

Zombie Writing! non-fiction zombie book with so many killer authors involved your head will spin (lots to do, lots to still get in, but a January 20th release date is not that bad)

Organizing and formatting a handful of erotica short stories by K. Lee Thorne to publish (hopefully beginning in February)

Dying Days 2 zombie novella (currently getting donations for this one so it can be big, info at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1649501341/dying-days-2-zombie-novella)

Still Dying: Scenes From Dying Days novella (added stories from minor characters in the Dying Days world)

Blog tour eBook release (a FREE collection of my many blog posts and added bonus material)

Chelsea Avenue horror novel rewrite (first draft done, needs to be ripped apart and revamped in early 2012)

Tool Shed horror novel (finish first draft!)

Hammond Beach horror novel (finish first draft!)

There you have it… almost twenty things on my lap to finish, not to mention all the extra stuff that gets added like new anthologies, promoting everything out, anthologies/novellas currently making the rounds that are going to be accepted or rejected and re-sent… and I wouldn’t trade any of this chaos for nothing…

Metal Queens Monthly #2 now available!

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The second issue of the non-fiction series about females in Heavy Metal (musicians and fans alike) is now out! And only $1.99 eBook and $6.99 Print!

“Metal Queens Monthly #2″… Featuring Lizzy Borden, Kerosene Deluxe, Failed To Reason, Designed By Death, Lilith Astaroth, Jupiter Darkshadow, Dissidia, Monika Molano, Sentinel Beast, Siren, Incarna, Rifka Noctis, Morgue Anne, Triobloid, Hemoragy, Sirannon, Misstallica, Modea, Persistance of Memory, Kasey Kasket and more!

 Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Metal-Queens-Monthly-2-ebook/dp/B006K5G7II/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1323559318&sr=1-2

Lulu eBook: http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/metal-queens-monthly-%232/12271421

Lulu Print: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/metal-queens-monthly-%232/12271529

SmashWords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/112853

Drive Thru Fiction: http://www.drivethrufiction.com/product_info.php?products_id=97554&filters=44384_0_0_0_0&manufacturers_id=4059

 

Skeletal Remains horror anthology coming 1/27/12

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Skeletal Remains horror anthology coming January 27th 2012

From the iconic Grim Reaper to the dancing figurines celebrated in Mexico’s Day of the Dead, human skeletons have personified death. Often portrayed as mindless creatures summoned to do unspeakable things by their master, the skeleton is brutal in its simplicity. Much like the zombie, their strength is in numbers and their immunity to attacks that would only harm their non-existent flesh. Join these brave authors daring enough to put nightmare to paper and unearth these Skeletal Remains.

Jonah Buck • Lorne Dixon • Keith Gouveia • Giovanna Lagana • Lisamarie Lamb • Matt Peters • Suzanne Robb • Armand Rosamilia • Rebecca Snow

Authors Helping Authors

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I am a big believer in us authors banding together, helping one another out, and working to get readers to buy our books…

That’s why I propose a simple thing to do to help each other out… go to my Amazon page (or anyone’s Amazon page) and simply hit the ‘Like’ button and then go down and like all the ‘Tags’… this really helps authors in the search engine (as well as sales, obviously)… Do it for me and I will do it for you, just let me know you’ve done it and I will get right on it… I usually do 3-5 of your releases if you have as many… anything to help…

Here is my page for “Zombie Tea Party”

http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Tea-Party-ebook/dp/B005ZTUFII/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1320881592&sr=1-1

I’m also interested in hosting guest blogs, especially if you are a fellow horror writer and especially a zombie writer…

Finally, I want to thank everyone taking the time to read and/or subscribe to my blog here and my facebook pages and buying my eBooks and print books…

Armand Rosamilia