Monthly Archives: September 2013

October Is Guest Post Month!


Starting tomorrow and running through the end of the month, expect Guest Posts on this blog from some great authors and more!

Steven Shrewsbury kicks us off tomorrow in style, and then look for posts from Michael West, Dan O’Brien, Debbie Fletcher, Robert Chazz Chute, Christine Verstraete, G.L. Helm, Claire Riley, Tovah Janovsky, Robert Essig, Patrick C. Greene, Allison Dickson and many more!

If you want to get involved, get in touch with me at  armandrosamilia (at) asap and we’ll get you into a spot! Still a few days left to fill and verify posts, so let’s make October a great month to read about and find new authors and more!

Armand Rosamilia and more! 



Guest Post: Alex Laybourne


2013-06-01 Highway to Hell

Going to Hell is No Easy Task

The Highway to Hell series was my first real attempt at writing a novel. I had no idea what was going to happen as I wrote it, and as I have discussed before, I went through many versions before the story finally found its form.

In total I have been working on the series for about five years, and that is only for two novels. Why? Because I was not ready to write it, I had to change and mature a lot as a writer thanks to that series, and had I forced myself to write it any quicker, I would have fallen on my face.

Even sitting here now, I have 15,000 words written on the final installment, but I am almost certain that I am going to scrap the majority of them. Why? Because it needs to be. This series is my heart and my soul.

While it will not be the only thing I write, not is it the only thing I want to be known for, I cannot deny that there it is something special to me.

At times, even now when I sit and look at the series, the scope of it terrifies me. I will be honest. I could probably write several short stories that tie the three novels together and still not scratch the surface of everything that could be done.

I have ideas for the third novel. I know what I want to happen in the majority of the major plot points, but how I am going to get my characters there and which of them will survive to see it, I don’t know. I have three of four potential endings and storylines I could use, and knowing myself, the final version will resemble none of them.

I knew writing this series would be tough. I knew it would be a long haul, and that is why I am not afraid to take my time. To write other projects in between, be they novels or short stories, because I need to nail the ending to this series.

I could not be prouder of Highway to Hell, and love its sequel Trials and Tribulations. Now that I need to stand up, round off everything that I have started, I see myself staring down a great many gun sights, because this is it. The last hoorah on Hell’s highway, and I want to make sure it leaves its mark.

 2013-06-24 Me

Born and raised in the coastal English town Lowestoft, it should come as no surprise (to those that have the misfortune of knowing this place) that I became a horror writer.

From an early age I was sent to schools which were at least 30 minutes’ drive away and so spent most of my free time alone, as the friends I did have lived too far away for me to be able to hang out with them in the weekends or holidays.

I have been a writer as long as I can remember and have always had a vivid imagination. To this very day I find it all too easy to just drift away into my own mind and explore the world I create; where the conditions always seem to be just perfect for the cultivation of ideas, plots, scenes, characters and lines of dialogue

I am married and have four wonderful children; James, Logan, Ashleigh and Damon. My biggest dream for them is that they grow up, and spend their lives doing what makes them happy, whatever that is.

For people who buy my work, I hope that they enjoy what they read and that I can create something that takes them away from reality for a short time. For me, the greatest compliment I can receive is not based on rankings but by knowing that people enjoy what I produce, that they buy my work with pleasure and never once feel as though their money would have been better spent elsewhere.





–          Highway to Hell

–          Trials and Tribulations:

–          Author Page:


Guest Post: John F. Allen



Interview with Antoine Valentine from John F. Allen’s The God Killers

Hello everyone! Today is day five of the John F. Allen book tour. I’d like to thank my publisher, Seventh Star Press for this fantastic opportunity and also Armand Rosamilla for hosting today’s stop on the tour. This entry is an interview with a vampire named, Antoine Valentine of The God Killers.


John: Exactly how old are you?

Antoine: I am just over 1,000 years old.

John: Wow, that’s a long time! Has roaming the earth for that long become boring to you?

Antoine: It has its moments. I have experienced love and loss similar to humans over the course of my lifetime. There are times when I have wished for an ending, but self preservation is hard wired into my psyche.  

John: Wait, you said lifetime…you’re a vampire, aren’t you dead?

Antoine: No, I was born a vampire and thus I am a living being. Only turned vampires are the undead.

John: Err…yeah, okay. I hear that you are a special breed of vampire, a succubus correct?

Antoine: Yes, unlike others of my race I feed off of sexual energy and desire. I can sustain myself with blood if necessary, but I much prefer carnal pleasures.  

John: That’s kind of creepy and freaky dude! Are there many vampires like you?

Antoine: No, only three are born every generation. For vampires, our generations are measured by 1,000 years as opposed to 10 years like humans.

John: What is your relationship with Ivory Blaque?

Antoine: She is a fascinating young woman and a honored acquaintance. Not that it is any business of yours.

John: Uh, sure…moving right along. You are the Lord of the City of Chicago, what exactly does that mean?

Antoine: Chicago is my territory. I am responsible for all of the vampires who reside and/or visit there. I am a voting member of the vampire ruling body with a voice in effecting vampire law. Any vampire who does not adhere to the laws of our race and the tenets of the Night Shift Treaty will answer directly to me.

John: The Night Shift Treaty, what is that exactly?

Antoine: The Night Shift Treaty is an agreement between the human world governments and the ruling body of the preternatural triumvirate, Vampire, Lycans and the Fae. We are bound to obey the human laws and in return, we are allowed to live peacefully amongst humans and to self govern. Humans are bound by the treaty and are forbidden to persecute and hunt us down without justifiable cause, which can be proven before a tribunal of our elders or the respective elders of the other races. Any breach of the treaty is serious offense and punishable by death.

John: I hear that you own a Jazz/Blues lounge in Bronzeville, how is that going and how long have you owned it?

Antoine: It is going very well. It is one of the hippest and trendiest night spots in Chicago. I purchased Club Fasination twenty years ago when I moved to the city and was assigned its Lord. It was a bar called the Blue Rose back in the 1930’s through the 1950’s until a fire practically gutted the building. I personally saw to the rebuilding and renovation of the property.

John: What is your greatest fear?

Antoine: That this interview doesn’t end soon enough and I am forced to snap your neck.

John: Well, look at the time; it appears our time is up. Thank you for the interview Antoine.

Antoine: That’s Mr. Valentine to you, and I’m sure the pleasure was yours.

John: Okay…anyway, please join me tomorrow for another entry of The God Killers blog tour. I’d again like to thank Armand Rosamilla for hosting this entry.


Guest Post: J.L. Mulvihill



Young Adult Readers and the Steampunk Genre

Thank you, Armand for having me here today.  I would like to talk a little about the steampunk genre and my book The Boxcar Baby and teenage readers.

A teenager reader was something of a myth until J K Rolling brought them back to us with her epic Harry Potter series.  What I hope to do with the Steel Roots series is to keep them reading.  However, as we all know teenagers are fickle and it’s very hard to keep up with their likes; one day it’s wizards and witches the next it’s vampires and shape shifters, so I decided I would go with an old/new trend. 

Of course steampunk is an old genre; it’s been around since Jules Vern, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and the like.  The phrase steampunk coined by K. W. Jeter, has been around since 1987 when Mr. Jeter sent a letter to Locus magazine describing the type of genre he was writing along with his friends James P. Blaylock and Tim Powers.  Over the years the cog has slowly turned spinning the wheels and setting the steampunk genre in motion.  Now steampunk is not only a genre but a movement.

Everywhere you look now you can see steampunk sneaking into our style of clothing, or media, our music, and of course our literature, but then that was always there.  There are some people who will still argue that steampunk is merely a subgenre of either science fiction or fantasy.  I suppose I could agree that there is a rough distinction.  I would like to describe the steampunk genre as a type of spice one would add to their recipe of writing because that is what I feel it adds to literature, spice. Steampunk is the feel of adventure and invention. 

The fun part about steampunk is not only the literature, the movies, and even the music, but the cosplay.  So many people get into the cosplay of steampunk and there does not seem to be an age distinction on this genre.  What is so fun about steampunk cosplay is that people get so creative and inventive with their clothing and their weapons, I think because there is no restriction.  They can create their own character in steampunk and go from there.  I find it so refreshing to see the whole recycle thing going on because people take old junk that would end up in the dump and use it to make a weapon or jewelry or part of their costume.  This to me is one of the positives of steampunk.

So does this mean the genre intrigues the young readers?  Only time can tell.  I can only hope that this is the flavor of the day.  I have no vampires or shape shifters, not even a witch, but that doesn’t mean I have not planted something else interesting in my storyline.  There are other monsters that are a bit different than the norm.  Since my story takes place in America I thought to stay within my own countries legends and folklore.  Keep in mind though, that steampunk is not real history but an alternative history which gives me carte blanche in my own little world.

The Boxcar Baby takes place in an America ruled by a government called the System and they make the rules, not the people.  One day a simple little girl happy with her simple little life finds out the hard way what her world is really about.  In per passion to put her family back together and her life in order this fifteen-year-old-girl, sets out on the biggest adventure of her life and finds not only a corrupt world around her, and that nothing is as it seems but instead shrouded in secrets and mysteries, but that monsters come in all shapes and forms.   

I thank you for allowing me this time to share with you my thoughts on steampunk and information about my book The Boxcar Baby and the Steel Roots series.  I hope that you will check my book out through and then let me know what you think by friending me on Facebook on Steel Roots page.  If you are interested in obtaining a signed copy of the book my next event will be taking place in Louisville, MS at the Backwoods Comic Festival.  After that event I am scheduled for CONtraflow in New Orleans October 18-20 and then November 15-17 I will be attending the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention.

Until next time remember, remember to ‘Dream in Steam.’

J L Mulvihill


The Original, One Last Time…And it’s on Sale!


Brent Abell wrote an awesome book. I published it. Get a copy before it goes bye-bye!

Our Darkest Fears

inmemoriam copyThere shall be no more crying, no more mourning, and no more death.  The tears shall be wiped from their eyes and vengeance heaped upon those who have done them wrong.  Look not to the life you want to lead, but to the one you should have lived.  Look not upon the past for comfort, because the former things have passed away.

And thus I took some liberties with my favorite bible passage to bring an announcement.  On October 1st, my debut novella, In Memoriam,will be going out of print for the time being.  You can pick up the Kindle version now for the blow-out-the-door-low-price of .99.  That’s right folks, for under a buck, you can have the first print.  The print version will also be coming down too.  If you would rather have a real tree/paper book, you only have a few days left to grab one before…

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Guest Post: Lane Kareska



Location Scouting


A lot of writers talk about Apprentice Novels: those books, embarrassing or not, they had to write to learn how to write books. Long before I held a copy of North Dark in my hands, I was hard at work toiling away on books that no one—Thank God—will ever get to read.

Those books all had a ton of problems, some minor (for most of my life I apparently have not understood how to spell the word “traveling”) others spectacular (an entire novel written in the single most horrendous sixteen year old voice ever committed to paper). But the common problem, the thing I’ve never really figured out, was how to be comfortable writing about a real place.

Here’s what I mean: I spend a lot of time on Google Earth inspecting the minute details of some street corner I’m writing about in Istanbul or wherever. I think I believe—incorrectly I’m sure—that it’s important to be perfectly accurate to the real place. As if someone in Istanbul is going to get to page 200 of my novel and think, “Bullshit, there’s no cracked sidewalk there,” and stop reading. This is a psychological deficiency of mine and I know it. But even so, it’ hass worked its way into all of my writing. I struggle when writing about somewhere as foreign as Antarctica or as familiar as Chicago, it doesn’t end.

There are authors who have made entire careers out of writing about places they’ve never been to, Edgar Rice Burroughs, author of Tarzan, is an example and people still read him. So WTF, I figure at a certain point you just have to let go! And so I did with North Dark.

I decided, quite deliberately, to write about a place that I’ve never been to, one that doesn’t even exist, and to just try really, really hard to be cool with it.

Does North Dark take place in an alternate timeline? The future? I don’t know. I think of it as just taking place “somewhere else.” Happily, readers from Alaska have said to me, “Clearly, this is Alaska.” And readers from Canada have said, “Clearly, this is Canada.” I love that— any answer or interpretation is totally valid.

The beautiful thing about writing about a fictitious place is that it’s as liberating as it gets. And what I mean by liberating is a minimum of research. When I embraced the mystery of this locale, this unknown world in which North Dark occurs, suddenly my work became an exercise in exploring rather than researching actual history or geography.

The onus is on the author to ask questions, to roam, to generate all of the material that would otherwise be his or her responsibility to seek out and document accurately, with all of the “required” cultural/historical/BS sensitivities in mind. But these are all invented stressors, the important part is this: reading fiction is collaborative. North Dark occurs in whichever world the reader envisions—and the reader’s vision is far more important than mine anyway.

So is it Canada? Alaska? Some different, more broken world? I don’t know, but I’d love to hear what you think.




Carl R. Moore’s “Slash Of Crimson” novella is on sale for a few more days before it goes bye-bye! Only 99 cents!

The Crimes of Heaven and Hell

Hey folks… I’m adding an impromptu blog post on my novella SLASH OF CRIMSON due to its going on a temporary hiatus as of next week. How long that will be and whether it will change publishers is to be determined. I’ll go into more details in another blog post later in the week. For now, all of you who were putting off the purchase for whatever reason, well, now it’s merely a buck so there is every reason to check it out.

It has been a great pleasure working with Armand Rosamilia on this project. I’ve published in several anthologies he’s edited, and he always does a fantastic job offering a great deal on good fiction. I invite anyone to read and evaluate the quality of the stories in RYMFIRE EROTICA, for example, and see whether they are not a rocking, sexy, horrific, fun time!

There’s a lot…

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Guest Post: Eric Garrison



From Grief to Adventure: Four ’til Late


In October 2007, I lost my uncle. Chuck was more like a cousin or a big brother to me, born only 5 years before me. He died young, and I’m older than he ever was now. He used to say we were relatives by birth, but friends by choice. He’s who loaned me stacks of science fiction and fantasy, introduced me to new authors regularly, and was responsible for my education in Blues and Classic Rock, road trips, and booze.


When Chuck died, I had a mass of grief I didn’t know what to do with, at first. I wrote on Livejournal about him. I toasted his memory with Irish whiskey. I told stories and made fart jokes like he always did.


But Chuck wrote as a hobby his whole life. I hadn’t dedicated myself to it like he had. It was his passion, though he really only showed his work in critique groups and workshops. He never published anything, and it was all missing when he died.


I thought that was one of the saddest things about his passing. He left nothing of that passion of his behind.  So I decided I’d write a novel in his honor.


It had to have a road trip in it, because that was his kind of real life adventure, hitting the road to go exploring, without much of a plan beyond an ultimate destination.


Being me, my book couldn’t be just any road trip. It had to have a science fiction or fantasy element to it. I’d been hunting ghosts with my wife Amy and the Indiana Ghost Trackers for years at the time, so I thought I’d make the main character a ghost hunter. Books were what Chuck and I shared, so there had to be a fictional book in there somewhere, so Brett the ghost hunter had his massive paranormal reference called Ghosts. Chuck teased me about ghost hunting, so the character I based on him was the skeptic of the book, even in the face of astounding, unbelievable events.


Oh, and since he adored Hunter S. Thompson, I gave that character “Gonzo” as a nickname.


Since I could think of no better place to find ghosts, I sent these two, along with friends, on a haunted road trip through Memphis and on to New Orleans. Those places also provided the soundtrack, the beat of the Blues blending with the sound of the engine and the tires on the road.


One of the best presents Chuck ever got me was a CD set of the complete works of Robert Johnson. I played those songs over and over as I wrote, and memories of real road trips floated up and fueled the story as it hummed along. One song, “From Four Until Late” kept jumping out at me. I had four main characters in the story, and the double meaning of “late” wasn’t lost on me, they drove late into the night and faced death along the way. So, the title of the book became Four ’til Late, and the others in the Road Ghost trilogy (to be released by Seventh Star Press later this year) also took their names from Robert Johnson lyrics.  Sinking Down came from “Crossroad Blues”, and “Me and the Devil” was from, well, “Me and the Devil Blues”.


So I took grief and turned it into something positive: a novel dedicated to the memory of Chuck, the music we shared, road trip excitement, and even some “spirits” of the non-paranormal variety. I wrote it for Chuck, and for myself, and writing in his honor has ignited my own passion for writing, a passing of the torch. I hope you join in the adventure and have a good time along the way.


Hey, could you chip in a little for gas? The van’s a bit of a gas guzzler.


“JandJ Fitness Complete” Print Book!


BookCoverPreview JandJ

With the release of the fifth and final part of JandJ Fitness (Book Three in the Flagler Beach Fiction Series) I’m also releasing the Print version of all ten stories a bit earlier than I usually do… because I can.

You can expect the eBook version of JandJ Fitness Complete next week around this time, but if you want the print version, it’s only $7.99!

Grab a copy, tell your friends, talk about it on social media, buy an extra one in case you run into Oprah Winfrey at the car wash… but get your copy before they are sold out! 

Also still available:

Kokomos 4 CoverGolden Lion Print Cover

Kokomo’s Cafe (Book 1)

Golden Lion Cafe (Book 2)

24 Hour Writing Marathon Update 5 and 6 (Final)


I did it. My goal was 18,000 words today. I hit 18,058 with the final 1,169 words in my erotica story. 

Stick a fork in me. I’m done. While I didn’t go a full 24 hours, I did hit my goal and did it in less than 17 hours. it gives me another goal for next time… 19,000 words. 

Wish me luck! But tonight I need my brain to decompress. I also need some Pringles and a Coke. 


24 Hour Writing Marathon Update 4 of 6


I’m starting to wind down, to be honest… I broke 12,500 words with a 24 hour goal of 18,000. If I can keep up the pace I’m on I could get to 24,000 words tonight, but I think I need to work on hitting my 18,000 word goal in as long as it takes and then building on it for the next time. And there will be a next time. Shelly gave me a great idea, too: have each Wednesday, when I traditionally have nothing special planned on that day or around it, and call it something fancy like #5kWedWrite. I like that. So, next week I will have a goal of at least 5,000 words. Now, back to our regularly scheduled insanity:

6:00 pm… 558 words on JandJ Fitness part five and I’m in the home stretch. 

7:00 pm… break for dinner. Shelly is an excellent cook, so I’m not about to skip a fine meal. Still managed 759 words and the completion of JandJ Fitness Part 5.

8:00 pm… Finished the horror erotica #3 story with a nice hour of 1,885 words. Another completed story to add to the pile. Broke 15k as well. Definitely going to try for 18,000 and be done with it. My brain is turning into mush. 

9:00 pm… the erotica #5 story now has 604 more words added to it, while “Evil” grows by another 562 words. At 16,889 words. Definitely hitting 18,000 and then giving up for the day. But I consider it quite a victory. 


24 Hour Writing Marathon Update 3 of 6


Still going and still feeling good! 

2:00 pm… 1,173 words on the horror erotica #3 story, breaking 2,000 words of the 5,000 needed to finish. This is the second-most important story on the list, so I need to do a few more extra runs of it sooner than later to finish. I also broke 10,000 words with this hour’s writing. Damn proud of myself for it. 

3:00 pm… Only hit 528 more words on the fifth JandJ Fitness story, but in all fairness I took two phone calls and had a big bowl of Chunky’s soup (Philly-style Cheese Steak), which was delicious. I’ll make it up in the next couple of hours, I swear. 

4:00 pm… 982 words on the horror erotica #3 story, pushing it over 3,000 words. Looking good to finish this one. I’m also being distracted because I stupidly put on the MLB Network and keep glancing at it. With the Red Sox game coming on in two hours I will be hard-pressed to stay focused. 

5:00 pm… 1,008 more words on the erotica #5 story. My total for the day so far is a tad over 12,500 words. I’m starting to get tired and my goal will be to reach 18,000 words and then call it a night. At this pace I should see that around midnight.


24 Hour Writing Marathon Update 2 of 6


It’s 10:00 am and I’m feeling good… but might need to make another pot of coffee already. Not a good sign. 


10:00 am… worked on the horror erotica #3 story and wrote 862 words to start it out. So far so good. I have no idea where it’s going, which is why I didn’t break 1,000 words… I think. 

11:00 am… back to JandJ Fitness #5, and 1133 more words added to it. Over 3,000 right now. Feeling good about finishing this one today. It is my top priority on the list. 

High Noon… it sounds cooler that way. Not time to eat lunch but I am stuffing my face with Double Stuff Oreo cookies. They keep me going. Another 1138 on “Evil” and so far averaging about 1,100 words an hour or so. 

1:00 pm… exactly 1,000 words on erotica story #5. Good hour. Will need a cold shower soon.

So far, after 8 hours of continuous writing, I have 8,830 words in… still on pace for about 1,100 words an hour but don’t know if I can keep it up. Only 10,000 words from my goal of 18k for the day, and will finish a few projects. 


24 Hour Writing Marathon Update 1 of 6


You can expect six updates today and into tomorrow morning, so if you’re already bored ignore and/or unfollow me. However, if you decide to stay, be prepared to be amazed! OK, maybe not. I’m sure as my morning turns into afternoon turns into night turns into hell I’ll be more and more incoherent. But, let’s see what the first four hours of my journey have brought me so far…

6 am… Seriously, already questioning why I am awake. I stopped working retail so I’d never have to get out of bed this early. I did manage to write 745 words half asleep and with the coffee taunting me by brewing oh so slowly. Finished erotica story #4 and began #5 right away. Nothing like writing porn to get you up so early. 

7 am… changed gears and started writing “Evil,” the last story in the Keyport Cthulhu series. 754 words to open it. I also did 500 words on the fifth and final JandJ Fitness story. Solid hour of writing. Third cup of coffee and I’m getting hungry. 

8 am… 869 words on the Erotic Horror story #2, and finished it. Will begin story #3 today at some point. I’m enjoying skipping around and hitting different stories and different ideas so far. Fourth cup of coffee but still no food. 533 more words on Dying Days: Origins as well. 1402 word hour, so up to 3401 in 3 hours. Pretty nice pace and trying to bank as many words as I can in the beginning so if I slow down I won’t fall too far behind. 

9 am… Made four slices of delicious French toast, poured another cup of coffee (either cup four or five,  lost track already) and dove back into JandJ Fitness #5 and wrote 1296 words on it, just short of 2,000 so far. One of the goals is to finish this story today. 

So far: 4 hours of writing and 4,697 words. I’m feeling strong and the French toast and coffee are sitting nicely in my tummy. See you in four more hours! 


24 Hour Writing Marathon



Thursday September 19th I am going to do the impossible… alright, that’s a bit dramatic. But for me it might, since I’m not used to being awake for long periods of time. Here’s the deal…

Thanks (or F.U. depending on how this goes) to Jay Wilburn and Max Booth III for the glimpse into a cool thing, and a challenge I have to tackle. I’m already pretty good when it comes to the One Hour One Thousand Words challenge, and try to hit one each day if possible. But this is going to be insane… 24 straight hours of writing. No real big breaks, just my fat ass in the chair slamming away on the laptop (and lots of coffee, snacks and maybe some Steel Panther when Shelly is at work). 

My goal was going to be writing the first draft of Dying Days 4, but then I decided to calm down. Just a bit. I envision it as being over 30,000 words at this point, and even writing at a thousand word clip, it would still fall short. So, I’m going to hit tomorrow running (OK, writing) at 6 am EST and not stop until Friday morning at 6 am (also, conveniently, EST). What will I write?

My lowest goal will be averaging 500 words an hour, so a 12,000 word day will be a victory for me. However, I believe the most I ever wrote in one day was 16,000 words. So my natural goal will be to break 16k. If I average 750 words an hour I see 18,000 words, a huge moral victory, and I should be able to put a dent in everything I currently have to work on. 

The important stuff to wok on (I call it my Top 6 List – how catchy, right?):

1.  JandJ Fitness Part 5 (5k goal)

2.  horror erotic story #2 (2k left)

3.  “Evil” – fifth and final Keyport Cthulhu story (10k goal)

4.  erotica story #4 (1k left)

5.  Dying Days: Origins (10k left)

6. Dying Days: 4 (30k goal)

That’s about 58,000 words to write… but I’ll knock off 2,000 of that today and then if I can get 18,000 in tomorrow I’m talking 20k done in two days… not bad at all. 

Can I do it? Can I stay awake? Will I have enough coffee? Expect a running update on Thursday so I can let you follow the journey with me, and also give me something else to do… since I never have enough.



Reblog: Friday Night Special


Books, Beer and Blogshit posted a sweet kiss-ass post about not only The Castaways but Tim Baker’s B-Sides and Mando’s Manic Melodies shows, all airing live tonight on Surf 17 Radio

Writers: Are you sitting on the money?


More great ideas about getting your books (old and new) out there to new readers!

C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

They call it the Cliff. You can do Author Marketing Club and Bookbub and free promotions and blow giveaways out the digital door. You can even start catching fire and getting traction and selling books for (gasp!) actual money. Then, the fall from grace comes. Sales drop off, often steeply. What happened? You ran off the Cliff. Lots of people do. In this post, we’re going to think about climbing back up and promoting our previous works again (and doing it better this time) because I suspect we’re sitting on money.

I’m rethinking the old marketing paradigm that’s always oriented to what’s new. 

It’s the thing we should question most: accepted wisdom. Despite all my efforts, old wave thinking is still permeating my brain. In traditional publishing, you get a short window to get traction and then the bookstores return your books to the publisherCrack the Indie Author Code for credit. That’s the structure of…

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No, seriously: Oyster comes pretty close to being a Netflix for ebooks


The Netflix of eBooks is here? #amreading #books


A lot of startups want to be the Netflix (s NFLX) (or Spotify, Pandora, whatever) for ebooks. That is, they want to provide unlimited access to ebooks for a flat monthly fee.

But this is really hard to pull off, because services like this need enough books to make the prospect of paying a flat fee for them palatable. Publishers are reluctant to sign up their titles, in part because of the difficulty of paying authors when their books are viewed this way. So you have services like Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which contains over 400,000 titles — the vast majority of them self-published stuff that you have never heard of.

When I first heard about the New York-based startup Oyster last year, I was extremely skeptical. Backed by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and founded by former Hunch, Google (s GOOG) and Microsoft (s MSFT) employees, the…

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Guest Post: d.k.snape


The Difficulty in Writing Science Fiction for a Younger Age Group



I’ve always been a story teller, a writer. Right from the early age of three. Maybe even as far back as when I learned to talk. My stories usually have a stream of science mixed into them, along with history – another passion of mine. I learned, raising my own family, homeschooling them many years, kids learn better if you embed the facts into a tale, weave them through a saga or sing those facts into a catchy song.

Kids are quick to pick up on errors. That’s good. For them. But it means their storyteller must be accurate, have her facts in order, and not scrimp on reality. Science fiction is science written within a fictional story. Real science with bits of imagination, those what if moments.

Therein lies the difficulty.

As the writer, I am forever researching, reading fantastic theories by real scientists. Extrapolating from these scientific proofs a new realism of ‘it might be possible’ and writing an interpretative scenario interesting enough for a younger age to not only understand, but to identify with and see possibilities of; to dream of ways to make their world different, maybe better as they invent new ways of doing everything.

Kids are so imaginative, so willing to dream of fantastic possibilities, even at an early age, new ideas, long before they come up against the ‘it can’t be done’ mentality of society.

As I see it, my job, as a science fiction writer for middle graders, is to interpret this adult-written science into smaller bits, more easily consumed by the younger reader, adding enough pizzazz to catch their imagination without losing the ‘real’ facts.

In Kin Ship: Moustache on the Moon – Part One, I imagined a race of aliens who developed their technology using fewer mechanically built aids, more biological constructs systems, a more ecologically aware race than us. I did this because middle graders are very aware of the effects of pollution and dwindling non-renewable resources these days. Far more than I was at their age. They care about the health of their world. And its future.

I wrote a scene taking place in a kitchen where Marnie is looking at these Euskadaz ovens that don’t have any discernible power source but do have lights. That idea came from a study I read where plant cells in leaves share their energy with other cells, all over the plant, enabling the plant to thrive on little sunlight. As long as some leaves are in sunshine, the whole plant functions fine. The article was about developing this cellular energy sharing into some form of exterior building material, to heat our buildings in a brand new way – a new kind of solar power. Seemed like a perfect way for the Euskadaz to cook. So I imagined those ovens.

In another scene, Marnie enjoys the crunch of the juice container which sucks up through the straw as she finishes her drink. The Euskadaz do not waste anything. In space, where do you get raw materials? Why not use part of the edible plant to bottle the juice, and eat it too? Her jam container melts, spreading exactly enough jam for one piece of toast – again no waste.

And of course we cannot forget, the Euskadaz Euri. That Thanksgiving-like celebration all the Euskadaz look forward to. I watched a science movie about coral spawning on the Great Barrier Reef. I listened to scientists talk about the cells of algae buried deep within the developing coral polyp, their fuel source. I watched the sea feeding frenzy during the eruption of billions and billions of coral eggs and sperm, saw the colors, the murkiness of that ocean spot during this four day event. The narrator talked about the necessity of viable new coral reefs to Earth’s oxygen formation, how these ocean areas were becoming polluted and what might happen if we kill all the coral. Thinking about that film’s message scared me.

I decided the Euskadaz would harvest these coral polyps to renew the failing worlds of theirs, but mainly to start the process of oxygenation for worlds they found intriguing, worlds they might, one day in the far future, want to settle. So this Euri harvest will be used to start the terra forming process of brand new worlds.

Maybe, in writing Moustache on the Moon, I have opened some children’s eyes to brand new possibilities for saving this world. Or at least encouraged some kids to look into science more deeply.


Kin Ship: Moustache on the Moon – Part One by d.k.snape


We believe in life on other planets. We believe they visit us from time to time. What if life also evolves in the vast empty space between galaxies, among the very stars themselves? What would it look like? What would you do if it showed up in our skies?


Marnie is your average teenager. She goes to school every day, hangs out with her friends, and tries to stay out of trouble. One morning, while suffering through another boring class, her world is turned upside down when two intergalactic strangers come to collect her.


And it’s not just Marnie’s world, but her whole family’s too. It seems that random kids and their moms and dads have also been scooped up and taken to the hidden mountain valley far from their homes. No one knows why they’ve been selected or what’s really going on…


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Author Bio:

I grew up in a small town just north of Toronto. I always had a vivid imagination. Ask my mother. It’s not that I don’t like to tell the truth. But isn’t the world a brighter place when fairies and aliens populate the local neighborhood? Being an intelligent, non-girlie girl, I didn’t fit in well with my peers. Instead I found books! I read everything I got my hands on. And I mean everything. I contracted some ugly balance-affecting disease at twelve. Stuck in bed for months, my family and neighbours rallied, bringing me books of all kinds once I finished the encyclopedia and dictionary, cover to cover. They just wanted me happy. And quiet. But boredom struck. You can’t just read all the time, I tried copying some of my favorite stories, embellishing them as I saw fit. And one day, I wrote one of my own, all by myself. Personally thought I’d done a good job. When it didn’t receive rave reviews from my family, I decided to try harder, not give up and leave it to the experts like my parents wanted. I’m finally ready for the world to decide.

A Special Interview Featuring Joe Lansdale, Carrie Ryan, Jonathan Maberry, Gregory Lamberson and Shawn Chesser


Reblog: Joe McKinney roped in FIVE zombie authors for an interview!

Old Major's Dream

Well tomorrow is the opening day for The Savage Dead, and that means my Zombie Masters Series is coming to an end…so I decided to go out with a bang!  Today I am bringing you a huge multi-author interview featuring a few of my favorite writers.


First off, we have Joe R. Lansdale, one of the most popular writers working today.  He was there at the beginning, when our modern idea of the Romereque zombie was just starting to see print, and he has continued to lead the way as the master and innovator of the genre.  But this is Joe R. Lansdale we’re talking about, so mentioning only his zombie fiction is sort of like saying Ray Bradbury wrote about rockets and leaving it at that.  He’s mastered crime fiction, the weird western, steampunk, science fiction, fantasy, and of course horror.  Like Bradbury, Lansdale is one of…

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