Category Archives: Facebook

Authors Supporting Our Troops Winding Down #ASOT2016

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It’s been a truly remarkable run for the Authors Supporting Our Troops event the past three years. With your help we’ve been able to collect over 7,500 author-signed books for soldiers in remote areas of the world. We’ve helped put smiles on faces. Let a soldier forget about where they are for a few hours and read some good books. 

But as the end of 2016 approaches in a few months I had to take a hard look at what is going to be the future instead of just the past. 

While our goal of breaking the 3,500 books in won’t be happening (we’re currently sitting at about 1,000) I think it’s also a good sign. It is getting harder to find soldiers in remote areas thanks to troops being pulled from bad places and sent to bases in neutral or allied countries. We’ve raised enough money to send out the books we have and any stray boxes coming in from authors who still want to take part in this great event. 

I’m going to set a ‘soft’ cutoff date of November 1st 2016 to get me your signed books. What this means: I’ll still take them after the date but not going to push it or announce it. You’ll only read it here, on this post. Once I amass enough books (50 per box usually) I’ll search for another soldier to ship out to. 

Going forward… I’m sure there will be a small event in 2017. It might only be a 2-3 month window where I will be actively collecting signed books as well as soldiers. 

Speaking of soldiers: I need a few more addresses to send the boxes already sealed to ship, so if you know anyone in a remote area (any branch of military) please email me asap so I can get them books. Email is  armandrosamilia (at) gmail (dot) com

It has been my honor to run this event for the past three years and the level of authors and people donating has been unreal. I want to thank each and every one of you for being so generous.

The Authors Supporting Our Troops Facebook Page will stay active as well. 

Armand

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Are We Still Using Blogs in 2016?

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I used to post a lot. All the damn time, in fact. I’d average 2-3 posts and 2-3 guest posts a week. Tons of information I thought would be helpful, amusing or just something for me. I could also rely on the posts getting shared and commented on and people wanting to join in on the fun. When I started this blog way back in 2009 or thereabout, it was as a struggling part-time author trying to make the leap to full-time author who is so wealthy I never wear the same pair of socks twice. 

I’m a full-time writer but the pair of socks I have on has way too much wear for my liking. 

I podcast. Two podcasts, in fact… (shameless plug time in 3…2…1…)

Arm Cast Podcast – new episode every Friday

Arm N Toof’s Dead Time Podcast – new episode every Wednesday

Both on Project iRadio 

I get a ton of interaction when a new episode goes live. I used to post about a new episode on this very blog but no one really seemed to care enough to read it, yet I have a very strong listening base. I guess they listen but don’t read about podcasts. 

Is blogging and having a website no longer viable to reach the masses? Do we simply worry about Facebook and Twitter and the next Big Thing and keep connected there? 

Your thoughts… if anyone is actually reading this, that is…

Armand

Con Panels Gone Good – My Opinion

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Yesterday I spoke about the bad things you hear and see on panels during a convention. You can read all about it Here. Take your time. I’ll wait. I need to refill my coffee cup anyway.

Today (after better sleep and much more coffee), I am going to share with you some of the great things I have seen during panels at conventions. I’ve been going to cons on and off for the past dozen years, and have had quite a bit of fun during them. This is what I look for when either on a panel or going to a panel:

 

6. A nice mix of panelists.

As much as I love being on panels with authors I know, I’m sure it gets boring for an audience when we spend the time acting like goofballs and tossing out inside jokes here and there. Ideally, a panel of five (including me) should be two authors I’m comfortable with and two spanking brand new authors I want to meet. The same people saying the same things gets stale. A new voice is fun to add to the mix. I go through the panel list not only for subjects that interest me, but see who the panelists are as well.

 

5. Being on a panel with someone you admire.

And they don’t disappoint. At MidSouth Con my last panel of the weekend was about podcasting and not only were all the panelists cool, but Cory Doctorow was on it. While I was the moderator, I found myself throwing questions his way to start a good line of discussion because he’s been there and done that for years. The audience asked him many questions, and I tried to sit back and take it all in. I wasn’t delusional to think the room was packed because I was there. It was about Cory and he is such a great guy, he helped the panel move along and it wasn’t just about him. I have even more respect for Cory now, too.

 

4. Panelists with personality.

Obviously, I have a unhealthy liking for fellow authors Jay Wilburn, Brent Abell and Jack Wallen. Anytime I’ve been on panels with any of them it has been fun and comfortable, but at MidSouth I got to meet Sean Grigsby. Great guy, and he was enthusiastic on his panels. He also went to other panels, which was nice. And he rocked a Judas Priest shirt, so how bad can he really be? If i see someone on a panel who understands the role he/she plays (i.e. talk to the audience and drop some knowledge instead of talking about their own books on and on) I want to know what other panels they will be on over the weekend. I also remember them for future cons, too.

 

3. Don’t just go to your panels.

I love hanging out in the back row of other panels and learning something. At World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon I went to the podcasting panel and learned so much I started my own podcast a couple of months later. I enjoy learning from other authors. No one knows everything. The con experience isn’t about pumping up your own ego and making pretend people are there to see you, its about networking and learning as well. Take in the entire experience, meet new people, hear other authors talking shop, and go away refreshed. Also, eat some of the cookies in the con suite. They are always delicious. But please don’t kill any elves this year (inside joke, I swear).

 

2. Cons are for networking.

If you’re on a panel or sit in the audience on a panel with someone who made sense up there and gave you some insight, let them know. Logan L. Masterson was a moderator on a panel I really enjoyed, and I told him that. At last year’s MidSouth Con, after a bizarro panel I was on, fellow panelist John Hornor Jacobs came over and said he had a great time on the panel with me. Those moments will stick. Take away a few new friends from each con. Some of the people I talk to on a regular basis I’ve met at cons. Facebook is great for networking but that one on one actual meet and greet moves you to the next level, especially with publishers. I’ve had several sales over the years thanks to looking someone in the eye at a con and just talking to them.

 

1. People not being dicks. 

We are in this together. No reader will reader just one book this year, so there’s no reason to act like if they don’t read your book you’re screwed. Write a good book and maybe you’ll get lucky. I’ve had a ton of sales thanks to people who’ve read an author I am friends with that respects my work, and they’ve let people know about me. Not because they have to but because they want to. Because I’m not a dick. I spend most of my time pushing other authors, because that’s what sells my books. Not ‘buy my book’ posts on Facebook. Not trying to talk trash about another author because you think it will lead to sales of your own book. Cool people are who I surround myself with. I’ve dropped quite a few negative people over the years who couldn’t see they were being dicks. Or couldn’t help themselves. And I’m a better person for it. I’ve made some mistakes and learned from them. I also learn quite a bit at every con I go to, and so should you…

Armand Rosamilia

Panel Etiquette At A Con – My Opinion

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I just got back from another great MidSouth Convention held in Memphis, and as usual I took away a lot of good and some bad from it. Today I’ll talk about the bad, because I still haven’t had enough coffee as I sit down and write this post, and the 13 hour ride home Sunday into Monday is still kicking my ass…

There are a few bad things I saw on panels, and not just this weekend. It seems like every convention I go to, or anytime I talk with another writer who’s done quite a few conventions like I have, these things come up, so I’m here to be a jerk and point out what you really shouldn’t be doing if you’re lucky enough to be invited to speak on a panel with your peers. Luckily, only a couple of these came up this past weekend, and for the most part I enjoyed every panel I was on or sat in the audience for.

6. Don’t be a dick.

You’d think this one would be obvious, but there is sometimes so much attitude on a panel. And all it takes is one jerk trying to run the panel or argue with another panelist. Back in 2005 or so, I attended a con and sat on two panels in a row where guests actually argued about some minor point. It was not fun to be sitting between them. I thought they were both dicks. People in the audience want to be entertained and learn something about writing. Often they are new or wannabe writers and want some guidance, not see an argument or someone who feels they are above answering their petty commoner questions. Trust me, no one has ever heard of you outside your family and the Facebook groups you troll, posting ‘buy my book!’ posts every hour.

 

5. No one came to see you specifically on a panel except your friends and family.

I saw a panel last year where the Guest of Honor of the convention was ignored because one idiot kept talking about themselves. An audience member asked the GoH a question and this idiot began answering, as if he had been asked the question. Again… no one cares about you, and you pissed off a few people. Be respectful of the other panelists and let them have their turn. Please don’t go into a ten minute explanation about how your dragons or elves or serial killer or demon villain is so cool and why they want to eat/kill/have sex with/rap battle with your main character. No one (except your family and your friend who came in support) has read the book, and you’ve turned everyone off about it now.

 

4. If you aren’t on the panel, stay off the panel. 

It drives me nuts when I’m on a panel and some ass-hat in the audience starts talking about their books or answering audience questions. They’re usually the people who only had 2 panels all weekend and felt they didn’t get enough face-time with their potential audience. So they try to jump into my panel, or a panel I am in the audience trying to listen to. If the con team wanted you on this panel they would’ve put you on it. It really isn’t that hard to understand, is it? You’re pissing off the other guests and everyone in the room. Just shut up already.

 

3. Books on the table.

This is bound to piss off a few people, but I don’t care. I have to say it before I take another sip of coffee. I can give you some slack if you bring your latest book with you to the panel and prop it up before you as a reference or just because you’re proud of it. But dropping a shoe box on the table and then rifling through it while other panelists are answering questions so you can find something you wrote in third grade (and this really happened) is boring and rude to everyone else. Having a stack of your nine-volume series in front of you, or having the books spread out across the table and into the person next to you’s area is also rude. I haven’t brought a book to a panel in years. Watch the bigger guests (the guys and girls with their names on the back of the con shirt not lumped in with the rest of us). They don’t usually do it because they’re there to have fun, answer questions, talk about writing and book selling, and not push their books down your throat.

 

2. No one cares about your catalog.

No one wants to hear about all seven stories you have written, especially about the six you haven’t even published yet, and probably never will. Unless you’re lucky enough to be a best seller (and not just one of those insecure ‘Amazon Best Seller’ thanks to a rank in an obscure list where there are only 12 books) talk about YOU. Answer the questions from the moderator and/or the audience to impart knowledge and show off your stellar personality. Every answer doesn’t have to talk about why someone should buy book 4 of your Were Rat series. Chances are, no one in the audience and none of the other panelists have heard about you before this moment. And they definitely haven’t heard of your Were Rat books. Sell yourself and maybe someone will buy a copy. Unless you’re George RR Martin, the audience isn’t there to see you. They just want to be entertained and enlightened about writing books.

 

1. Seriously. Stop being a dick. 

Luckily, the authors who do most (if not all) of the things on this list don’t last too long in the business. They don’t see a spike in their sales over the next few days after the con and don’t pick up too many new fans because they are only remembered as the jerk who talked about themselves. They have no long-term plan in place and that’s a shame. Maybe their Were Rat series is brilliant. I’ll never know, because I would never read a word they wrote after their selfishness all weekend. And I have a feeling neither will anyone who came in contact with them.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll be in a better mood with much more coffee and I’ll write about the good parts of con panels…

Armand Rosamilia

Authors Supporting Our Troops #ASOT2015

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We had such a huge success with Authors Supporting Our Troops 2014 (#ASOT2014) that we’re doing it again in 2015 (#ASOT2015) with bigger goals! And you can help!

Let me explain the program again so I don’t have to spend so much time this year telling helpful people what we do and do not need to make this another successful year.

First off, we never really stopped collecting author-signed books, we just haven’t posted too much about it once the official end date of May 15th 2014 came and went. We collected 2,500 books from authors and publishers in the four months we promoted it. I think that is awesome.

Since then we’ve managed about 400 more books and sent out three more shipment overseas to soldiers. The goal for 2015 is to break 3,500 books collected and shipped. We can only do that with your help.

So, what are we looking for?

ASOTtroops

Author-signed books.

YOUR books. If you’re in an anthology and want to sign your story, we’ll take it. If you put out a release, sign it and we’ll take it. We don’t want you sending us your dog-eared copies of Stephen King. We don’t want books you weren’t involved in unless you’re the publisher or collecting other author’s books to ship to us at once.

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Books only. 

While we know troops overseas could use new toothbrushes and soap and Dorito’s, we aren’t collecting them. Neither are we collecting eBooks and e-readers. Print books only. There are many other organizations who collect necessities for the troops, but we aren’t one of them. Our modest goal is to put 3,500+ print books into the hands of soldiers in remote areas of the world like Kuwait and Afghanistan. If a soldier is stationed in Germany or San Diego, they can easily buy a book or have access to TV, games, e-readers, etc. This event is for the men and women of the military who don’t have easy access to read. It’s something for their downtime between hostile situations.

A fraction of this year's book donations.

What genre(s) do you accept?

Everything but blatant porn. Nothing taboo or racist, nothing pushing the envelope. Anti-military books might not be so popular. Last year many authors didn’t think their romance books would fit, but they did. Soldiers will read anything if its the only book around. There are also many women in the military. They like to read a good paranormal romance, you know.

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We ship through USPS.

We have a nice and easy system setup for us through Craig and Suzanne at Change Jar Books in Flagler Beach Florida. It gives them some business and they do all of the hard work by setting the boxes with tags and mailing stickers, etc. Last year so many people tried to be helpful and let us know about alternate ways to send books. None of them were as cheap or easy as the USPS. No carrier ships boxes for free. No carrier can get close to the cost we send them through the mail for and the ease we can ship them.  For a box of books (about 50 books per box) it costs us about $25.00 to ship. Add in the ease to ship for me and there is no alternative that makes sense.

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Donations are accepted and welcome.

I am not a non-profit and we are not a business. We are a couple of people who want to help soldiers. We don’t go through the USO or have contact with military groups. I’ve never served in the military but Special Gal (the other half of the team) has a Godson, James, who is serving. it started because she wanted to send him books. This all comes out of our pocket less donations and sales of t-shirts (more on that below). As an example: 3,000 books shipped means about 60 boxes. At $25.00 each to ship. So about $1,500.00 is needed. That doesn’t include buying the shipping boxes and the stickers to place on the boxes. Any monetary donation is accepted and welcomed. We really do appreciate it.

James graduation from boot camp

ASOT2015 T-shirts.

Yes, we will be doing the shirts again in 2015. The first one or two will kick off on January 1st 2015 when the event officially begins. We’ll have several colors this year. We try to keep the price as low as we can so more people will buy them and represent. The small profit from the shirt sales goes towards the shipping cost. Last year over half of the shipping was paid for thanks to the shirt sales. We’ll also do like we did last year and post your picture in the shirt and probably do some prizes and whatnot for those helping us out like give away our brand new bumper sticker we made.

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Can you send books and/or donations now?

Of course. But the real fun will begin on January 1st 2015 when the event is officially open. Just send me an e-mail with ASOT2015 or something similar in the subject line asking about the information. I will not be putting my home address on this post or on Facebook. But I will respond as quickly as I can to any queries. if you have questions, contact me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com

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How else can you help?

By helping spread the word about the event. Even though we hit so many authors the last time around (about 325 or so) that is such a small blip of the writers and publishers out there. If you belong to an organization, let them know about it. I belong to the Horror Writers Association and the late great President Rocky Wood (R.I.P.) stopped me at a convention and wanted to make sure the HWA was involved with getting me books. You can’t ask for a better comment than that. And the HWA will be a large part of the event this coming year.  Ask your publisher to get in touch. Many of them sent us boxes of books last year, which was great.

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What branch of the military do you send to?

We’ve shipped to all of them. If a soldier is in a remote area, we want to reach out and hand him/her a book. We find one contact soldier in the unit and ask them to hand out the books when two boxes arrive. We also hope they can take time to send us pictures of the troops holding some books. That is one of the best parts to me. The smiles on their faces holding an author-signed book.

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How do you get the soldier’s addresses?

From you. Like we said, we don’t work with a company or the military. We rely on family and friends of soldiers overseas to get in touch with them to make sure they’re interested in handing out the books. Then we need their COMPLETE address (including their name and APO/FPO) to ship to them. That’s it. The goal is 35 soldiers in 2015 or more.

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What’s the Facebook address to stay in touch and see all the pictures?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASOT2014/ and also friend me on Facebook so I can tag you in any pictures we post anywhere on Facebook, too!

The 2015 event from January 1st through May 1st will be held at https://www.facebook.com/events/1534524343483468/?ref_notif_type=like&source=1 as well!

We’re hoping the Authors Supporting Our Troops 2015 blows away all estimates. Last year the original goal was to break 500 books. We did that easily. Here’s hoping 3,500 books gets passed by thanks to the generosity of authors.

Armand Rosamilia

#NaNoWriMo Day Three of Bleh

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This post will be short and sweet, filled with excuses and then a bold statement which may or may not come to fruition (I love using fruition whenever possible)

Excuses

Since the calendar flipped over to November 1st I have:

1. Been very, very sick. I know I’ve been very, very sick by the amount of times I’ve complained loudly to Special Gal by saying ‘I’m very, very sick’ to the point she keeps quiet but stares at pillows and other items and imagines putting them over my face to shut me up.

2. I went to a very cool surprise birthday party and met special people in Special Gal’s life. Only it was a 4 hour car ride (damn you, Orlando traffic!) and I felt like crap the entire time. Luckily, I hardly ever drive. Another reason Special Gal sometimes stares overlong at pillows and my face. 

3. The hotel room on Saturday night took turns being too cold and then too hot and the bed was horrible. Would it kill a good hotel to spend an extra buck on pillows that don’t fold down to paper-width as soon as my head hits them? Even if Special Gal wanted to kill me with these pillows I think I’d survive. If I got 3 hours of sleep I’d be surprised. 

4. The ride back to Jacksonville sucked because… yep… now we were both sick. We spent Sunday in different rooms moaning and napping on and off. Oh, and Thug Life was also sick when we got home. Three sick people. Not cool. 

5. I woke up this morning to the neighbor delivering fill to his yard. At 8 am on a Monday. Loudly with giant trucks. Of course, behind our house is a wetlands you’re not supposed to build on. The builders were very specific. You can’t build on it. The neighbor is obviously special, because he cut down about thirty feet behind his home to put in his own pool. I hope it sinks into an evil burial ground while he’s in the pool. 

6. I have 3 Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast interviews to do today. I can kinda breathe and can talk for short bursts and can cut out the hacking up a lung parts (I hope). I also have e-mails and Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 things to get done and catch up on… and a million other things, like finding socks because my feet are cold right now and this is Florida and ridiculous I might need to put on pants another day and…

Bold Statement

By the end of November I WILL have my 50,000 words in on this thriller novel. You’ll see. But now I am 3 days in the hole and need to catch up…

Armand

Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014 #WinterZombie2014

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Another November means another zombie blog tour!

 

The stench of frozen rotted meat is in the air! Welcome to the Winter of Zombie Blog Tour 2014, with 10 of the best zombie authors spreading the disease in the month of November.

 Armand Rosamilia

Mark Tufo

Joe McKinney

Bobby Adair

Eric A. Shelman

Jay Wilburn

John O’Brien

Jaime Johnesee

Jack Wallen

Shawn Chesser

Stop by the event page on Facebook so you don’t miss an interview, guest post or teaser… and pick up some great swag as well! Giveaways galore from most of the authors as well as interaction with them! #WinterZombie2014

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1524813084430035/?ref_notif_type=plan_user_joined&source=1

 

AND so you don’t miss any of the posts in November, here’s the complete list, updated daily:

 

https://armandrosamilia.com/2014/11/01/winter-of-zombie-post-list-winterzombie2014/

 

 

Eve of NaNoWriMo – And I’ve Got A Problem

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I was all in… I swore I’d write a brand new thriller novel in November. At least 50,000 words of it, anyway. An idea I’ve been toying with for months but never had time to write. Something a bit different from what I normally do. 

I even did a rough outline, which for me was writing out a hundred word synopsis of the main story. I did everything but buy special colored pencils to be better prepared. 

And then…

Another contract comes in on the eve of NaNoWriMo. 

I’m not complaining… trust me. I’ve been blessed with the work I get and the money it pays. But it’s a 30,000 word story which will be due in less than 3 weeks, taking up most of my November writing time. 

What’s a boy to do?

Screw it. Of course I accepted the contract (I so love eating and paying bills) and I’m revamping my month to include both projects. I’ll just have to push aside Dying Days 5 (which is about 13k done of the first draft) until December at this point. 

November should be interesting for me. It also might be what I need to get away from Facebook and wasting time and not writing as much as I want. Can I do it? We’ll see…

Armand

Authors Supporting Our Troops 2015 #ASOT2015

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Hard to believe we are only three months away from the official kickoff to the second year of Authors Supporting Our Troops. I figured now would be a good time to get everyone up to speed and explain the program again so I don’t have to spend so much time this year telling helpful people what we do and do not need to make this another successful year.

First off, we never really stopped collecting author-signed books, we just haven’t posted too much about it once the official end date of May 15th came and went. We collected 2,500 books from authors and publishers in the four months we promoted it. I think that is awesome.

Since then we’ve managed about 75 more books and sent out another shipment overseas to a soldier. the goal for 2015 is to break 3,000 books collected and shipped. We can only do that with your help.

So, what are we looking for?

ASOTtroops

Author-signed books.

YOUR books. If you’re in an anthology and want to sign your story, we’ll take it. If you put out a release, sign it and we’ll take it. We don’t want you sending us your dog-eared copies of Stephen King. We don’t want books you weren’t involved in unless you’re the publisher or collecting other author’s books to ship to us at once.

ASOTBlackRed

Books only. 

While we know troops overseas could use new toothbrushes and soap and Dorito’s, we aren’t collecting them. Neither are we collecting eBooks and e-readers. Print books only. There are many other organizations who collect necessities for the troops, but we aren’t one of them. Our modest goal is to put 3,000+ print books into the hands of soldiers in remote areas of the world like Kuwait and Afghanistan. If a soldier is stationed in Germany or San Diego, they can easily buy a book or have access to TV, games, e-readers, etc. This event is for the men and women of the military who don’t have easy access to read. It’s something for their downtime between hostile situations.

A fraction of this year's book donations.

What genre(s) do you accept?

Everything but blatant porn. Nothing taboo or racist, nothing pushing the envelope. Anti-military books might not be so popular. Last year many authors didn’t think their romance books would fit, but they did. Soldiers will read anything if its the only book around. There are also many women in the military. They like to read a good paranormal romance, you know.

ASOTCraig

We ship through USPS.

We have a nice and easy system setup for us through Craig and Suzanne at Change Jar Books in Flagler Beach Florida. It gives them some business and they do all of the hard work by setting the boxes with tags and mailing stickers, etc. Last year so many people tried to be helpful and let us know about alternate ways to send books. None of them were as cheap or easy as the USPS. No carrier ships boxes for free. No carrier can get close to the cost we send them through the mail for and the ease we can ship them.  For a box of books (about 50 books per box) it costs us about $25.00 to ship. Add in the ease to ship for me and there is no alternative that makes sense.

ASOT2014

Donations are accepted and welcome.

I am not a non-profit and we are not a business. We are a couple of people who want to help soldiers. We don’t go through the USO or have contact with military groups. I’ve never served in the military but Special Gal (the other half of the team) has a Godson, James, who is serving. it started because she wanted to send him books. This all comes out of our pocket less donations and sales of t-shirts (more on that below). As an example: 3,000 books shipped means about 60 boxes. At $25.00 each to ship. So about $1,500.00 is needed. That doesn’t include buying the shipping boxes and the stickers to place on the boxes. Any monetary donation is accepted and welcomed. We really do appreciate it.

James graduation from boot camp

ASOT2015 T-shirts.

Yes, we will be doing the shirts again in 2015. The first one or two will kick off on January 1st 2015 when the event officially begins. We’ll have several colors this year. We try to keep the price as low as we can so more people will buy them and represent. The small profit from the shirt sales goes towards the shipping cost. Last year over half of the shipping was paid for thanks to the shirt sales. We’ll also do like we did last year and post your picture in the shirt and probably do some prizes and whatnot for those helping us out.

ASOTbox4

Can you send books and/or donations now?

Of course. But the real fun will begin on January 1st 2015 when the event is officially open. Just send me an e-mail with ASOT2015 or something similar in the subject line asking about the information. I will not be putting my home address on this post or on Facebook. But I will respond as quickly as I can to any queries. if you have questions, contact me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com

Troop6

How else can you help?

By helping spread the word about the event. Even though we hit so many authors the last time around (about 325 or so) that is such a small blip of the writers and publishers out there. If you belong to an organization, let them know about it. I belong to the Horror Writers Association and President Rocky Wood stopped me at a convention and wanted to make sure the HWA was involved with getting me books. You can’t ask for a better comment than that. Ask your publisher to get in touch. Many of them sent us boxes of books last year, which was great.

ASOTlanded3

What branch of the military do you send to?

We’ve shipped to all of them. If a soldier is in a remote area, we want to reach out and hand him a book. We find one contact soldier in the unit and ask them to hand out the books when two boxes arrive. We also hope they can take time to send us pictures of the troops holding some books. That is one of the best parts to me. The smiles on their faces holding an author-signed book.

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How do you get the soldier’s addresses?

From you. Like we said, we don’t work with a company or the military. We rely on family and friends of soldiers overseas to get in touch with them to make sure they’re interested in handing out the books. Then we need their COMPLETE address (including their name and FPO) to ship to them. That’s it. The goal is 30 soldiers in 2015 or more.

Troop2

What’s the Facebook address to stay in touch and see all the pictures?

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ASOT2014/ and also friend me on Facebook so I can tag you in any pictures we post anywhere on Facebook, too!

We’re hoping the Authors Supporting Our Troops 2015 blows away all estimates. Last year the original goal was to break 500 books. We did that easily. Here’s hoping 3,000 books gets passed by thanks to the generosity of authors.

Armand Rosamilia

Don’t Believe Your Own Hype

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the thought process

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

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

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

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

And then…

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. write

2. write

3. write

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

Armand Rosamilia

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

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

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

A fraction of this year's book donations.

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

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

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

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So, how’d we do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida – 37

California – 29

Texas – 17

New York – 17

North Carolina – 15

Massachusetts – 12

New Jersey – 12

Virginia – 12

Illinois – 10

Pennsylvania – 9

Oregon – 8

Connecticut – 7

and so on and so forth… 

Where do we go from here?

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

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

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

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

Armand

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FanBoy Moment: Meeting Brian Keene at WHC

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

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

Cut to the bar area that night. 

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

Brian Keene - The Rising zombie

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cut to a few hours later. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I learned three things from this encounter… 

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

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

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

Brian Keene 

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

Armand

Where Are My Priorities?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Armand

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Authors Supporting Our Troops

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Armand with Joe McKinney

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

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

But I did. 

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

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

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

James graduation from boot camp

Here is the main idea behind everything…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spotlight On: Sean Slagle

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Sean Slagle

 

What is the title of your story in Still Dying 2

The Trap Line

 

Quick description of it (no spoilers) 

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

 

Something unique about it.

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

 

Your promo links. 

http://www.seanslagle.com

 

Your short Bio. 

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

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

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

Hazardous Press, Darkyrie and Armand Rosamilia – Perfect Together?

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

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

You’ll find out very, very soon… 

(This is called a tease)

darkyrie

 

Tracking The Next Year of Writing

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

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

But I never really kept track.  

(Dramatic Pause)

Until Now. 

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

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

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

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

Armand Rosamilia

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“Kokomo’s Café” Huge Giveaway!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kokomos 1 Cover

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

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

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

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

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

Armand Rosamilia

No More Writing In A Vacuum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No more writing in a vacuum these days. 

Armand

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Flagler Fiction Series – Are These Real People?

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

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

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

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

becky pourchot small bio pic portrait

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

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

Armand

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“Dying Days 3” First Draft Is Done!

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

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

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

But wait, there’s more!

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

Still not convinced?

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

Furthermore…

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

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

Armand

Dying Days 3 Cover

Reblog: Armand Rosamilia Interview on The Fifth Dimension blog

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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! 

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

THREEDYINGDAYS

Writer’s Block? Nope. Too Many Distractions.

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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’ 

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Deadlines: The Day After

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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. 

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

And then I got sick. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Armand Rosamilia

Separating My Facebook Friends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Armand Rosamilia