Not really… at least, I hope. I want Alyssa Milano to write mine, and cry about her missed chance with me… anyway, I did a nice thing yesterday because I can sometimes be a nice guy. Todd wrote about it, which was very nice of him (although I didn’t do it for the accolades, I will take them)
This week we lost a great friend, who’s battle with cancer came on suddenly and took his life… but Larry ‘Stew’ Stewart will never be missed, and I’d like to think even now he’s up in Heaven teaching the angels the proper techniques to use a crossbow. He was a huge fan of the Dying Days zombie series and came out with his wife Gerri (and, of course, Orion) in support of me at book signings. I was lucky enough to meet him through author Tim Baker, and I’m glad I did. Alas, not five minutes after completing this tale I received the word he’d gotten his final orders.
Dying Days: Stew
Orion stood at attention next to Larry “Stew” Stewart, waiting for the signal. There were three zombies in the Cracker Barrel parking lot, all wandering aimlessly. He had a clear shot at two of them but the other was behind the façade and the closest to the front doors. The zombie was stumbling through the ornate wooden rocking chairs for sale.
Stew bent down slightly, feeling his knees shake. His lower back, still giving him fits thanks to a war wound as a gunner in a humvee, popped loud enough he thought the zombies would hear him. “On my count, Orion. I need you to distract the last one. But first…” Stew drew his crossbow and pulled two bolts from his shoulder bag.
With precision aim he took out the first two zombies with perfect bull’s-eye hits to the forehead, dropping them both. He turned to his faithful companion, Orion, and nodded. “Go.”
Orion ran across the parking lot in silence, stopping a few feet from the zombie until the undead noticed the dog. Orion danced backwards as the zombie approached.
The crossbow bolt took it right in the left eye and it fell to its knees before planting face-first into the pavement.
“Here you go,” Stew said and pulled the last liver treat from his jacket pocket, tossing it to Orion. “We make a great team.”
The Cracker Barrel was dark inside, but Stew was always prepared. You didn’t survive this long in such a harsh climate using a cane and with a bad back and two bad knees unless you knew what you were doing. He pulled a small flashlight from his gear and took a tentative step inside. He had his Taurus Circuit Judge rifle-barrel shotgun with .410 gauge 3-inch magnum shotshells at the ready, and his 4510 Taurus Public Defender revolver was loose in his side holster. He didn’t want to alert any zombies in the area to his presence, but he would use his firepower if need be.
He used the light to methodically scan the ruins of the Cracker Barrel, noticing the faint footprints in the gathering dust. Someone had been here and recently.
Stew put a hand up for Orion. He didn’t want the dog to go running inside blindly and get bit or get shot by the living. It was safer to keep him back until he was needed. And Stew hoped it didn’t get to that. He had another bolt ready to go in his crossbow.
Once he got inside he kept the flashlight aimed at the dirty floor, and knew there were at least three sets of recent prints in the building. The retail store side was trashed, with broken clothing racks on the floor and the shelves barren and cracked, tables rotting and covered in a layer of dust. The front windows had been blown in at some point and a pile of leaves, tree branches and dirt were under the windows.
Orion gave a short, low growl.
Stew turned and fired his crossbow, striking the zombie in the face. Her dirty blonde hair, straggly and falling out, came off the top of her head as her bloated corpse hit the ground with a loud thud.
He turned as fast as his injuries would allow, scanning the restaurant for more threats. Confident he was alone for the moment, he bent and rubbed Orion’s side. “Good job, once again.” Stew wished he had more treats or some hot dogs. Orion loved hot dogs.
The thump from the kitchen brought another bolt to the crossbow and Stew was sliding quietly across the dirty floor without a sound. He kept Orion back with a simple hand command. He didn’t want to find a hundred zombies inside and have Orion charge into the fight. And Orion would to protect Stew.
Stew was glad there were no doors leading into the kitchen. From his vantage point he could see only darkness. He put the crossbow into his left hand and slowly raised the flashlight, the beam cutting through a destroyed server station just inside the door, its light gleaming off the stainless steel counters. Before he swept the beam to either side he saw the movement.
The flashlight was put between his teeth and he took the shot with the crossbow, slamming the lead zombie through the nose and pushing it back into the three behind it.
His Public Defender was pulled, and he planted his good leg and began shooting the zombies one at a time as they stumbled out of the kitchen. He didn’t want to announce his position, but he didn’t have a choice.
The first three went down and he had a pause as the next one tried to step over his comrades and fell to the floor, kicking up dust. Stew noticed all of them were heavily armed, although they had no brains to use the weapons.
Stew caught the movement to his left as more zombies came from around the other kitchen door, rifles and ammo belts around their shoulders and backs. He took careful aim so he didn’t hit a weapon, and started putting them down.
He switched to the Circuit Judge and blew holes in them, taking a large chunk of the wall as well. None of the zombies got close to him, falling well short of the fireplace between the openings.
Another three zombies came from the left and two more from the right and Stew kept his focus, spraying back and forth until there was nothing moving. Dust and smoke stung his eyes but he didn’t so much as blink, because he was too busy listening for the scraping of a shoe or any movement. Satisfied after two minutes of keeping still, he finally entered the kitchen, leading with the Circuit Judge and his flashlight. Once he was sure the Cracker Barrel was secure, he’d go back and strip the enemy of their weapons.
There was a lone zombie crawling on the floor at him, its legs severed from the knees. Stew put it out of its misery with a shot to the head.
At one point some or all of these zombies had been alive, because the office was packed with boxes of food and gallons of water, and the kitchen counters were covered with so much ammo and weapons Stew wanted to cry. “We hit paydirt,” he whispered to Orion. “The only thing missing is some hot dogs for you.”
Stew smiled at his good fortune, and went about securing the dining room windows and main doors, setting traps in the parking lot, and inventorying his massive supply of guns, ammo and food.
If he didn’t find a pack of hot dogs in one of the ice chests, he’d have to keep on his journey, but at least he had a solid home base for his new missions.
Stew smiled and pet Orion.
I’m interviewed about all things zombie on another great blog, so check it out!
I’ve been a prolific writer for many years, and I have quite a backlog of unpublished short stories, most of which shall always remain unpublished. That’s just reality. There are some solid ideas in the pile, but overall most of them aren’t really worthy of being sent out into the world unless I go back and rewrite them. With so many new ideas always invading my head, it doesn’t seem logical.
I’ve had a couple of stories submitted and ‘bought’ by small press publishers that have never seen actual publication, and that is the price you pay at times for dealing with companies that range from professional to scatter-brain, broke and just a dreamer with an idea. I have no problem with presses tanking and shutting down, because it’s just the way the business works. What I have a problem with is a small press company that strings your story along for months and sometimes years, and then suddenly releases a book with your story in it and never bothers to tell you or give you any credit in their Amazon listing or anywhere else.
It’s recently happened to me for the second time, and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, to be honest. The original submission went out in March 2012 and was finally accepted in September 2012, which is a long period to wait but fine. Maybe six months isn’t a big deal. Of course, a query after 2 months and 4 months went unanswered, which was annoying. But I got it.
I went back and forth over the next week or so about edits (I had a couple) and then they were going to send me further notice. This was September 2012.
And then I heard nothing. So in November 2012 I asked about it but no answer. As well as January and February 2013, all unanswered. I sent them an e-mail saying I was pulling the story since I’d never seen anything further from them, never saw a word about the press again, and the website is pretty stagnant.
Today… March 2013, I get an ‘Oops! This was published in October 2012, the e-mail must have gone to your spam folder (which it did not, since I check it every few hours to make sure nothing gets dumped there, which stuff does) and I sent out a mass e-mail. Here’s the link.’
The Amazon listing only has the editor and one contributor listed and the cover designer and none of the other authors involved and only a few of them tagged on the bottom of the page (about half?) which bothers me. Why?
As a small press publisher you’d think the goal would be not only to put out a great anthology, but to get your authors involved in promoting the heck out of it and generating sales for it. This book is languishing in the 1.8 million ranks, the cover is so generic (it’s the same cover you’ve seen a dozen times in the last few months with the zombie chick on the cover) and they only have 4 reviews. And it is for charity!
Why not let the authors get behind it? Why not send out more than one mass e-mail saying it was released and here’s the link? Why not ask for authors to post about it on their blogs, tell them to mention it in interviews or just ask for help promoting it? It feels like, after all that time, they just wanted to toss it out there and be done with it.
I had a similar situation with a vampire anthology last year. I finally wrote a vampire story but the press went under and another took over, but then they just put it out without any author input or listings anywhere, and it tanked. I’m not expecting every author to be listed in the title, but a list of their names in the book description might generate a few sales, right? Why think a reader will see the title and the editor’s name and take even a second to open the sample and read to see who’s on the ToC?
Am I being too dramatic this morning? Am I putting too much effort into this? I haven’t gone on Author Central yet and linked this anthology to my author page, and I’m not sure I want to. It’s been out for five months already without me knowing about it, and there has been zero promotion for it. There was never any payment for the story, and no royalties are forthcoming… I’m not sure why I even submitted now, to be honest. I think the concept was great and the website (at the time) was very professional and it was for a charity, so I sent it in. I like doing charity anthologies, but I’m curious how much money was actually generated without any promotion.
I’m not going to tell you the name of the book or the company. If I decide to list it in my books it will be up there, but I seriously doubt I will go through the minor effort of doing it. It seems they didn’t bother.
Alex Laybourne Interviews Armand Rosamilia, his Boyhood Crush! #horror #zombies #pudding
My guest today is another talented author, and a man I am lucky enough to call a friend. He is a fan of the darker side of fiction and is living the life many of us can only ever dream of. In a return visit to my humble little blog, ladies and gentlemen is if my pleasure to share with you the words of Mr. Armand Rosamilia
You and I chat quite a lot online, but for those people not cool enough to hang with us, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’d rather not…
I am a very serious horror author who has no real time for humor. I live only to write about my ex-wives and all those who’ve wronged me in my past (and present and future) by making fun of my mullet as a teen, and playing Dungeons & Dragons (I was a…
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Excellent blog by Alex Laybourne about what I’m talking about this week, too
I have seen a number of posts this past week about publishing and the world of professional writing, and a number of them raised the same question that I have been pondering; a theory that I am currently testing.
As the industry has changed, so changed the mindset of the read. The instant access offered to us all by e-readers led to a shift in reading choices, with more interest being expressed in short stories and anthologies than longer novels. I am not saying they overtook the popularity of novels, but the interest and demand for novellas and short work increased at a rapid rate.
What happened as a result… writers started putting short fiction out into the market. It made sense. However, it would appear that in an instant world, were we want everything to come in manageable chunks, we are seeing another shift in the demands of readers…
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A fellow bored author (you know who you are!) was talking about the diverse songs he has on his iPod and asked me if mine was all just Metal music. I told him confidently it wasn’t… because I don’t own an iPod.
But I do have an external drive with exactly 16,404 songs on it right now. I didn’t hand count them, I just hit the properties button. Anyway, the question did throw me a bit… was it all Metal on there? It turns out there is a crapload of Metal on there, and I am quite proud of it. Some of this shit was copied from CD’s I bought 25+ years ago and I still have, local New Jersey bands you never heard of like Xenon, American Angel, Push and Bon Jovi (OK, maybe you know that one).
I have a ton of music I don’t listen to, but I decided to make a list of the ones I really still like (some of them are utter cheese but I won’t apologize) and list them in no particular order… although the first one happens to be my favorite song EVER and sits on top for a reason. Without further ado… a bunch of non-Metal songs I still listen to when the mood strikes me… oh, and just a quick ado… none of these are considered Metal songs or even hard rock for some, I tried to stay away from anything heavier if I could help it… OK, no further ado… OK, one more… I know there are a ton of cool songs I left out, but these were the first group I know I’ve listened to recently… OK, again… :
Anything, Anything by Dramarama
Knockers by The Darkness
Joey by Concrete Blonde
Never Surrender by Corey Hart
Missing by Everything But The Girl
Radar Gun by Bottle Rockets
Heartspark Dollarsign by Everclear
Irish Drinking Song by Dropkick Murphys
Sitting In A Bar by Rehab
Candy by Iggy Pop
Do Right by Jimmy’s Chicken Shack
Light of Day by Joan Jett
Ready To Go by Republica
Blood And Roses by The Smithereens
Dear God by XTC
Mexican Radio by Wall of Voodoo
Blister In The Sun by Violent Femmes
Silent All These Years by Tori Amos
Jersey Girl (live) by Bruce Springsteen
What have we learned, boys and girls? Don’t let me drink Jack Daniels Honey close to midnight on a Friday and decide I need to post a blog for Saturday… pretty much, that might be it…
Two years ago I did my homework. I tried to find a unique niche I could put my stories into, and quickly found the big hole when it came to novellas. So, I ended the first Dying Days zombie book on a cliffhanger ending and stopped it at around 25,000 words. The original idea was about twice the length. It sold quite well, and still does in my opinion. Right now it’s only 99 cents, too.
Then I began writing nothing longer than 25k, getting novellas out into the world like a madman… but no longer pieces, unless you count short story collections. Which I don’t. But a funny thing happened along the way… please, allow me to explain…
I had a couple of Skype conversations with the wonderful Robert Chazz Chute, who is a wealth of information and also a cool guy to just chat and laugh with, one of the people on my list I hope to meet some day (Alyssa Milano is at the top of the list, btw), and we like to pick each other’s brains about stuff going on and what works now and what worked then, and where the hell we are going in order to stay afloat. We don’t do the negative All Is Lost talk, which I like. I’m negative enough. No, we talk about what each of us is doing to get sales and new readers.
One interesting subject was the length of our releases, and he is currently very high on serializing, which I dabbled in with Miami Spy Games to mixed results. But novella-length stories are not the wave of the future in my opinion. The readers want more… or less.
My feeling is there are two distinct camps of readers right now for me… your results will vary. Anyway, I have a nice rabid following for my short stories selling for 99 cents, like the Keyport Cthulhu stories (Ancient, for instance) but my novella sales have slipped. I think it is a combination of things, like Amazon devaluing anything priced under $3.99 and new readers having a hard time finding my work, but also the length of them being in the 25k range and at $2.99. I won’t jack the prices up to $3.99 unless I think it will attract new readers. I want there to be some value to my work in both length and price (and content, let’s be honest).
So, my immediate goal is to write longer pieces (50k or so) and short stories and shy away from novellas and see what happens. Will I succeed? Have I found the secret formula? Have I figured out the key to selling a million books, cash and new cars, Alyssa Milano calling me? As usual, I have no idea.
But I’m going to figure it out.
You may have already heard that I launched a publishing press in addition to a literary and publishing consulting business; if you hadn’t yet, consider yourself in the know. The consulting business is meant to help guide potential writers through the pitfalls of publishing.
You can learn more about it at the website: http://www.amalgamconsulting.com/
The publishing venture is a regional anthology that highlights stories that resonate and capture the essence of whatever region it is for. I started it with another editor who lives here in northern California and as well a fellow novelist who lives in Wyoming. The two anthologies we are accepting submissions for are the northern California and Wyoming anthologies. I would be very grateful if you passed along the information.
You can find out more at: http://www.amalgampublishing.com/
Finally, and perhaps most timely, I launched a Kickstarter for an illustrated and unabridged version of one of my novels. If you have a moment to share it, I would be as pleased as punch. Also, those who donate a $1 automatically get a free digital version of the novel when it comes out, provided the Kickstarter is funded. You can find out more about it here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/630515511/a-new-fantasy-epic-the-path-of-the-fallen-unabridg
Thanks for your time and please let me know if there is anything I can ever do for you! 🙂
But, I’m a Writer
I have made this the title of one of my boards on Pinterest, which is totally addictive by the way, because I think it adds up to the struggle writers have on a daily basis. That struggle is just believing in yourself.
I have a mild panic attack when I upload to Amazon. I briefly think to myself that it isn’t good enough, it needs ten more beta reads, or a fourth edit, but I just have to let go…
I have that struggle to believe in myself daily when I write a new chapter, or someone reads my book. I feel like I am just pretending to be good at writing and they are going to hate it. That nagging little voice in the back of my head says, “But, I’m a writer.” This is when I snap out of it. I am a writer because I write. It’s the same thing that happens when an editor sends me my work back covered in comments and corrections. “But, I’m a writer.” I know they make it better, and my editors do an amazing job, but it still gives you that momentary what am I doing feeling.
Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable is hard, your work is your baby and you are metaphorically feeding it to the wolves. I have learned a lot about the writing process over the year I have been working on it and I am beyond thrilled to have great friends and publishers that have helped me along the whole way.
So when you find yourself knee deep in edits or someone gives you a two star review and you say, “But I’m a writer,” remember that we all struggle with the same feelings of inadequacy. You just have to suck it up and take out the ‘but.’ Declare it loud and believe in yourself.
“I am a writer!”
Lyra McKen (aka, Emily Walker) resides in the mountains of North Carolina. She lives on top of a mountain quite literally with her other half of nine years and her fur baby, Rebel. After a couple of jobs ghost writing for other successful authors she embarked on her own journey to write a novel.
Cassie is a typical teenager. She’s crushing on a boy and trying to make it through high school. It’s a typical day of classes when all hell breaks loose. Forced to run and hide the situation just keeps getting worse. She makes a mistake and soon becomes infected. She meets others like her and together they sent out to find a cure. Is their fate already sealed? Can they find a cure before it’s too late? See what happens through the eyes of the infected when Cassie tells you how Zombies are people too.
Reblog: Alex Laybourne Writing About Zombies and his Man-Crush on Me and Todd Brown…
As I am sure many people will know, I am currently writing a good old-fashioned serial. One release every two weeks. The topic of this series… Zombies.
I admit that writing zombie fiction is a different direction to my normal writing, but at the end of the day, I flipped the question around on myself, and asked… Why Not.
As a horror writer, there is a very wide range of topics I can write about, but at the same time, I think at least, that all horror writers should write something along the main ‘classic’ themes
- Frankenstein and his Monster,
and now, that list includes Zombies.
I am not saying that this will be my only foray into the genre, but I am certainly planning on writing about as many different horror themes as I can.
Besides, after the Highway to Hell novels, the first two…
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It was a real pleasure to be interviewed by Stuart Anderson on his blog, asking some interesting and focused questions. Check it out!
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’
Joe Mynhardt talks about the great collection I will be writing in, along with Joe McKinney, Ian Woodhead, Ryan Miller and Joe Mynhardt himself. Check it out for the initial ideas and what you can expect:
I haven’t technically released a new story so far in 2013… on my own. Sure, I have a great little story in the Fifty Shades of Decay anthology from Angelic Knight Press, but I’ve yet to release anything self-published in 2013. I’ve written three contracted novellas for a company but I have no idea when (or if?) they will be released for sale. All I know is: I wrote them, I got paid for them, I loved writing and getting money for them.
I’m working on Dying Days 3 and Dying Days: Origins novellas right now, but at a leisurely pace. There is no strict deadline or panic if I write less than 2,000 words a day. The way Dying Days 3 is shaping up, it should be longer than the typical 25,000 word zombie novella in the rest of the series, and I’m happy with it. I’ve also been dancing around the issue of doing a synopsis for my Chelsea Avenue horror novel and sending it off to a actual agent who wants to take a look.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking… agent?! In this day and age?! I’m a huge fan of reading the JA Konrath blog on an almost daily basis when he has something new to say, and I get what he’s accomplished and what he’s pushing to be successful. But I’m not selling 6,000 eBooks a month and if I get 5 Amazon loans I’m ecstatic.
I’ve seen my numbers dry up, and my back-list (heck, I have 67 items for sale on Amazon) not selling the way it used to. I peaked about a year ago, selling almost 2,800 eBooks on Amazon. Now? Um… a lot less. A lot.
No clue… or maybe I do. This post isn’t about bitching and complaining the way Amazon does business, because they are a business and they are in the business of making money. They aren’t our friend (I don’t think they are the enemy, either). But the rules keep changing for us indies and we need to adapt. I’m going to adapt or die trying.
How? By pitching to an actual agent and see what happens. By actively looking for small press publishers who have something to offer, like some new readers and a marketing plan. I feel like I’ve hit a ceiling with my readers, and while I absolutely love those who are loyal to my work, I don’t think I’m reaching many new ones. I can almost guarantee what the sales will be for any zombie books I release, because the rabid fan base is there, but I need to capture new readers. I don’t think I’m doing it anymore.
I released what I consider my best traditional horror story, Tool Shed (coincidentally, also out by Angelic Knight Press), but the sales have been slow. It’s the story I’ve always wanted to write and sat in my head for many years before I refined it. I love it, but I actually had a conversation online with one of my more vocal Dying Days readers who said they wouldn’t read it because it had no zombies in it. Hmm.
My new goal for 2013 is to start getting more releases out in a timely manner, and spread them out. I’m gong to begin looking at solid anthologies out there to submit to and spread the word, and finish up a few novella and novel ideas this year and look for small press companies I want to work with, and see if they want to work with me.
I’ll still self-publish a few things, especially the Dying Days series, unless some publisher steps up and gives me a big chunk of cash upfront to re-release it. Otherwise, it’s all mine. My 2013 goal is to mix it up a bit, and see what works and doesn’t work.
The rules have changed yet again, and as authors we need to change with the times. Not stop in place and bitch about it, but be proactive and do something about it… or die trying.
A great blog post, and relevant to me since this just happened to me a couple of days ago… thanks to Erin Latimer for pointing me in the right direction!
Reblog: Amazon and Free eBooks – The New Rules Part 1 (Robert Chazz Chute)
In today’s mega post, Part 1 of 3, I explore Amazon’s change of Terms of Service that throttles free ebook promotion and what it might mean to you.
Amazon’s Terms of Service have changed.
Amazon sent out this decree recently:
“In addition, notwithstanding the advertising fee rates described on this page or anything to the contrary contained in this Operating Agreement, if we determine you are primarily promoting free Kindle eBooks (i.e., eBooks for which the customer purchase price is $0.00), YOU WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO EARN ANY ADVERTISING FEES DURING ANY…
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reblog: An Interview with Armand Rosamilia by Quinn Cullen
I am very excited about this interview with Armand Rosamilia. The incredibly talented horror author welcomed this intrusion, allowing me to probe into his personal and professional life. So it is with much delight that I share with you the interrogation I put Armand through.
Ladies andGentleman – meet Armand Rosamilia!
Quinn – Could I ask you tell me a little about yourself? Are you married? Do you have any children?
Armand – I am happily divorced, twice. But I have three great kids from the second marriage, so there is that.
Quinn – I like that-happily divorced. I would imagine that’s the best kind of divorce. I have four kids and I think that kids are one of the best byproducts of a marriage/relationship. It’s our ‘spin off’, if you will. Not that being a parent gives you much time to unwind but what do you do for relaxation…
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