Category Archives: personal

Armand Rosamilia on Patreon – Updated!

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I’m on Patreon. I started it not to become rich (but I won’t complain if I do) but to find another outlet for my writing and creativity. To that end I post a continuing Dying Days YA novella with a new chapter the beginning of each month. I have no idea when it will end. The fun is just writing another chapter and seeing where it goes. Hell, it might end up becoming a Dying Days YA epic novel before I’m done. That’s the fun of Patreon for me.

The other thing I like to do is post short stories many readers have not seen. Stuff sitting around collecting dust I find. And after writing for most of my life, I have quite a few. I’d have more if I hadn’t lost them on floppy disks and inside a word processor and all the other antiquated technology over the years. It allows me to share a few things with the readers who are definitely interested in what I’ve written or will be writing.

Yes, I get money for it. Mostly you donate $1 and you get to read anything I post. Simple as that. I do a weekly update with all of my writing and you get to see what I’m currently working on. You also get some cool stuff if you pledge more, too:

Pledge $1 per month

You get exclusive content like my weekly update for what I am writing as well as a new first draft chapter for my Dying Days YA novella before anyone else reads them as well as either an out of print or new short story each month or a new novel I’m working on chapter by chapter. As well I’ll be posting videos of random things I shoot like story readings, answering questions or general nonsense.

Pledge $5 per month

Besides all of the above you get a shout-out on my Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast during the month as a very cool person!

http://www.projectiradio.com/shows/arm-cast-podcast/

Pledge $10 per month

 Besides all of the other rewards you’ll receive a FREE audiobook from me of your choice! Listen to other people read the words I wrote!
Thanks in advance for all of the support!
Armand on Patreon

Reblog: Armand Rosamilia Interview for ThrillWriting

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Fiona Quinn interviews me about podcasting and books and stuff! 

http://thrillwriting.blogspot.com/2016/07/podcasting-information-for-writers-with.html

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Armand’s 2015 Year In Review

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2015 was another solid year for me when it came to releases. While the amount of new product slowed, the same amount of words was released in my estimation. My goal each year is to hit 400,000 words written and except for a couple of short stories currently awaiting publication, everything else was released via self publishing or through a small press in 2015.

I had 30 releases, which was less than the 45 a year average I’ve done the last two years. I also went through my works and eliminated all of the serialized stories that made it into complete collections as well as redundant releases I did myself.

Box sets were still a big deal for me in 2015. A lot of my secondary sales through them as well as key Amazon ranking came because of the box sets and I hope to continue to be involved in a few more in the future.

OK, time for the breakdown by month for me and 2015…

 

January

Ultimate Undead Box

Ultimate Undead Collection: The Zombie Apocalypse Best Sellers Boxed Set (10 Books)

The last day in January Dying Days was published in this box set along with notables Joe McKinney, Bobby Adair, TW Piperbrook, Michaelbrent Collings, Sarah Lyons Fleming, Shawn Chesser, Rachel Aukes, David Moody, Timothy W Long and Eric A Shelman. The best part? it’s still only 99 cents!

February

SoH NC

State of Horror: North Carolina

February 8th I was in another State of Horror anthology (you already know my initial involvement in the franchise, so I won’t digress) which featured some really cool stories by  Nathanael Gass, Frank Larnerd, Randal Keith Jackson, Kathryn M. Hearst, Spencer Carvalho, Kenneth W. Cain, Frank J. Edler, Stuart Conover/Kerry Lipp, Susan Hicks Wong, Matt Andrew, L.J. Heydorn andMargaret L. Colton

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State of Horror: Illinois

The audiobook for State of Horror: Illinois came out on February 20th (narrated by the wonderful Jack Wallen)

March

Dying Days: Origins by Armand Rosamilia

Dying Days: Origins

The audiobook for Dying Days: Origins came out on March 3rd, narrated by Jack Wallen. Obviously I enjoy working with Jack on these audiobooks.

CJB Complete AUDIOBOOK

Change Jar Books Complete

March 13th the audiobook version of this came out, narrated by Jack Di Golia, who did the entire seven book run for me. I couldn’t be happier working with him, either.

Hollywood Hellmouth

Hollywood Hellmouth

Also on the 13th, the first part of a trilogy came out, a horror humor tale written with Jack Wallen, Jay Wilburn and Brent Abell. This was fun to write. We debuted this at Mid South Con in Memphis to rousing success. Fine, we sold 5 copies.

State of Horror: Louisiana Volume I available March 17th, 2015

State of Horror: Louisiana I

March 16th State of Horror: Louisiana I debuted, with more great stories, this time from Chad McKee, Pamela Troy, Tommy B. Smith, Amanda Hard, Allie Marini Batts, Sarah Glenn, Armand Rosamilia, Ethan Nahte, J. Jay Waller, Alexander S. Brown, Henry P. Gravelle, Jay Seate, and Margaret L. Colton.

SoH LA2

State of Horror: Louisiana II

March 30th saw the second part of LA being released, this time with stories by Stuart Conover, Herika R. Raymer, Teresa Bergen, J. Lamm, Nathan Pettigrew, Armand Rosamilia, Ambrose Stolliker, B.A. Sans, Edward Moore, Anthony Watson, Jonathan S. Pembroke, J.M. Lawrence, and Melodie Romeo.

April

Fairly Wicked Cover

Fairly Wicked Tales: Dark Fantasy Anthology

April 19th Fairly Wicked Tales: Dark Fantasy Anthology was re-released and featured one of my short stories, “The Wolf Who Cried Boy.” Over 20 great stories are in this one, so buy it. Now.

May

anything but zombies

Anything but Zombies: A Short Story Anthology

On the 26th of May my short story “Down In A Hole” was featured in this Simon and Schuster release. Tim Curran, Jeff Strand, Rebecca Besser, MontiLee Stormer, Lee Moan, Tonia Brown, Jake Bible, Faye McCray, and Jimmy Pudge were all involved as well. Get it.

June

Tales of Magic

Tales of Magic and Misery: A Collection of Short Stories by Tim Marquitz

Tim put 19 of his stories together in this fine collection, and had other authors (such as myself) give him one of our stories to promote. He’s a swell guy. This came out June 6th. I had “Dying Days: Noah Stern” short in there.

NJ sudio

State of Horror: New Jersey

This audiobook came out on the 10th. Narrated once again by Jack Wallen and once again featuring a Dying Days short from me in it.

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Dying Days 5

June 16th Dying Days 5 was released. Putting this together I realize its my first self published full release for the year, as everything else was an anthology or audiobook previously out. I’d been writing up a storm up to this point in the year but most of it would be released later (as you’ll see) or written for the movie team and those books sometimes come out months in the future. Anyhoo… this is part 5 and it was released right in the midst of my annual #SummerofZombie blog tour.

July

This month saw the two year anniversary of Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast as well as the debut of Arm N Toof’s Dead Time Podcast, co-hosted by Mark Tufo. Both on Project iRadio.

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Hoboken Hellmouth

The second book in our trilogy was released on the 21st. Another fun time was had by all: me, Brent Abell, Jay Wilburn and Jack Wallen.

August

Bite Sized

Bite-Sized Offerings: Tales & Legends of the Zombie Apocalypse

This was a really cool charity anthology to help a friend in need who is such a big supporter of zombie authors. Over 30 authors contributed a YA zombie story, including my first-ever, a Dying Days story featuring the children of the family. It will definitely lead into my first-ever Dying Days YA novella in late 2016, too.

highway

Highway To Hell

This is the updated version. I changed the crazy sex parts and over the top violence and made it more in line with the rest of the Dying Days books. So far people have enjoyed the less intense version, although it still isn’t for the kids. I’d give it a solid R rating instead of the NC17 it used to be.

September

ChildrenGrave

Children of The Grave

September 4th this cool anthology came out. It’s a shared world anthology and written by Joe McKinney, Armand Rosamilia, Tonia Brown, Joe Mynhardt, Aurelio Lopez III, and Alex Laybourne. You don’t get any cooler than that group. Am I right?

Honolulu Cover

Honolulu Hellmouth

On the 8th, right in time for the Imaginarium convention on Kentucky, we released the third and final part. Single digits of people flocked to our signing tables, creating such a noise the car alarms went off in the parking lot.

Dying Days 4 Audio

Dying Days 4

On the 17th Dying Days 4 audiobook (narrated once again by Amanda Lehman) was released.

The Louisiana Incident: Former Navy SEALs Vs Zombies

I wrote this novella based on a movie that was filmed but some people weren’t happy with it. So (because it is Hollywood and beyond me) I was listed as editor, the cover is just words and it has distanced itself from the movie by changing the title. The book is much better than the movie, by the way. Much.

horror 201 volume 1 small

Horror 201: The Silver Scream Vol 1

October 14th saw this extensive collection released. Nonfiction essays and interviews by film legends and authors such as Wes Craven, George A. Romero, Ray Bradbury, Ed Naha, Patrick Lussier, Stephen Volk, Nancy Holder, Tom Holland, John Shirley, William Stout, and John Russo. For some crazy reason they thought I had something to say on the subject, too.

Chelsea Avenue

Chelsea Avenue: A Supernatural Thriller

On the 30th Devil Dog Press re-released this book, one of my favorites and my first real full-length novel. Look for longer books from me in 2016, and most of them more thriller and less horror as I change things up a bit. This book is one of my favorites I’ve ever written, and you need to read it and tell me I’m right or wrong. As long as you read it.

October

CHARON_FERRYMAN_fulldesign

Paying The Ferryman

On the 18th this anthology was released. My short story, “Black Tooth Grin,” joined  Melodie Romeo, Rick Scabrous, Silas Green, D. S. Ullery, Brian W. Taylor, Diane Arrelle, Bryan Best, Tanya Nehmelman, Mariesa Inez, Rachel Hogan, S. H. Roddey, Jenner Michaud, Scott McCloskey, Heidi Lane, Brian Fatah Steele, Eric I. Dean, Herika R. Raymer, Lee Pletzers, and Jerry E. Benns writing fun stories about death.

Bahama Complete Cover

Bahama Mama’s Complete

The seventh and final release in the contemporary fiction Flagler Beach Fiction Series was out on the 20th. The audiobook followed in November, too, once again narrated by the great Jack Di Golia. This wraps up the series although I have a feeling we’ll see some of these characters again in the future.

Middletown

Middletown Apocalypse

Halloween saw the release of this cool anthology, where eleven authors took the kernel of the same basic story and made it our own. Hi-jinx ensued. Abel, Chesser, Evans, McKinney, O’Brien, Rosamilia, Shelman, Stallcup, Tufo, Wallen, Wilburn. So cool you don’t need first names.

November

highwaytohell2

Highway To Hell 2

November 3rd, at the basic start of my annual #WinterofZombie tour I always release a new Dying Days book. I still technically did, and it nicely combines characters from the first Highway To Hell as well as Dying Days: Origins.

DD Box 1

Dying Days Ultimate Box Set 1

Four novellas set in the Dying Days world are included in this massive box set: Still Dying: Select Scenes From Dying Days, Still Dying 2, Dying Days: The Siege of European Village and Dying Days: Siege 2
Plus… the two-story Dying Shortly set (now out of print except here) and 2 short stories previously only available on a website: “Dying Days: Downtown From Hell” and “Dying Days: The Scorpion”… Over 500 pages and more than 174,000 words in all! This special box set will only be available for a limited time at a special price of $9.99 but right now its only $3.49, so get a copy. Look for the second one in early 2016, too.

Hellmouth Box

Hellmouth Trilogy

November 23rd I released all three of these glorious books Jack, Brent and Jay and I had written in a convenient box set. Now you have no excuse not to read them. And its priced right now for only $3.49, so you really have no excuse at all.

3D_complete

Flagler Beach Fiction Series Complete

I told you I liked box sets this year. On the 30th I put all 7 of the Flagler Beach Fiction Series books together in one massive 190,000+ word ebook collection and priced it at only $3.99. You’re welcome.

December

GreenRiverBlend

Green River Blend: A Supernatural Thriller

My last release of 2015 and one of my favorite stories. I liken it to a Bentley Little weird tale and so far readers have agreed. A little different from my traditional horror work, which I will be getting slightly away from in 2016. I’ll still have many horror releases and more Dying Days but this book (as well as Chelsea Avenue, both released by Devil Dog Press) will further expand what I’m doing.

Also look for my Kindle Scout-winning Dirty Deeds crime thriller in early 2016, too! Mark Tufo and I wrote an apocalyptic tale together (no zombies!) featuring Darlene Bobich and Mike Talbot. Look for that in 2016 as well… big things on the horizon for me in 2016.

Armand

Authors Supporting Our Troops 2016 #ASOT2016

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Bumper Stickers

January 1st 2016 kicks off the third Authors Supporting Our Troops event, and we’re hoping it will be the biggest year yet to collect author-signed books! #ASOT2016 has a modest goal: beat the 3,000 books we shipped in 2014 and the nearly 3,500 books we shipped in 2015.

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. Whereas, in 2014, I had a definite end date in mind, in 2015 I just kept collecting books thanks to the permanent Facebook group. This year I won’t be doing an event page because it becomes too much work and it also becomes redundant once interested parties join the permanent group, where I happily post the pictures of the signed books as they arrive, post pictures of the boxes as they are shipped and update news about where we stand on the event.

So, what are we looking for?

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.

Books ready for shipping.

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.

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.

ASOT2015Meghan

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.

Shipping

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 my wife Shelly (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

ASOT2016 T-shirts.

Yes, we will be doing the shirts again in 2016. The first one will kick off on January 1st 2016. 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 bumper stickers or a new bookmark we’ll have in 2016.

Can you send books and/or donations now?

Of course. But the real fun will begin on January 1st 2016 when the event is officially open. Just send me an e-mail with ASOT2016 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

New Stickers

How else can you help?

By helping spread the word about the event. Even though we hit so many authors the last two years (about 650 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. Ask your publisher to get in touch. Many of them sent us boxes of books last year, which was great.

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. Be aware in 2015 almost no pictures we able to be published on social media because of the security needed to keep our troops safe, but I will get e-mails from time to time thanking us for what we are doing.

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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 2016 or more.

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 2016 blows away all estimates. Here’s hoping 3,500 books gets passed by thanks to the generosity of authors.

Armand Rosamilia

“Dirty Deeds” #KindleScout Day 4 – Slowing Down?

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Dirty Deeds Cover

OK, four days into it and the stress is killing me… not really. I’m actually having fun with this. Alright, a little stressful…

Again, these numbers might be everything or nothing based on what has come before me in the Kindle Scout program. I can only tell you what I’m doing each day and hope it helps someone else in the future and ultimately hope it leads to an Amazon contract for me. 

On Day 4 I spent all 24 hours on the Hot list and 95 of 96 on the Hot list now

I added 78 votes to my book, so I have 859 views to date

Is any of this good? No clue. Still have a long way to go. Yesterday I did minimal promotion for this or anything. Today will be the same but if the numbers decrease even slightly I’ll probably panic Monday morning and start promoting this again. Have to think a big start and weak finish won’t help, so if I can find my sweet spot level for daily votes and just try to hit it each day and get a big strong finish at the end I think I’ll be fine. Again… who knows?

I do know you need to vote for Dirty Deeds right now. All you need is an Amazon account. Does grandma have one? Tell her to vote, too!

Armand

Tentative Release Schedule For Armand Rosamilia #amwriting

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I have quite a few releases coming out in the next year or so, and projects on my dry erase board and Excel spreadsheets. I decided to post them up here to see if I can actually get them all out. These are just the self-published works and don’t include anything for anthologies or books published by actual publishers, just the stuff I’m working on and putting out.

Of course, as always, this is very subject to change. It mostly likely will, since I can’t take into account the movie adaptation contracts until they suddenly appear and I get paid in advance to do them, knocking everything else to the side for a few weeks and pushing the schedule further into 2016.

That being said… here we go!

 

November 3rd 2015 – Highway To Hell 2

This one is already available for pre-sale and merges the first Highway To Hell zombie novella with the Dying Days: Origins story.

 

December 2015 – OPEN

 

January 2016 – Creeping Death (re-release)

Since the demise of the previous publisher I’ve decided to release this once again but this time myself. Pre-sale link once the new cover is finished.

 

February 2016 – Green River Blend

A horror novel and one of my favorite stories. Working on the cover now. This one is all about a small town being overrun with horrible things because of coffee. Yep. Coffee.

 

March 2016 – Dying Days 6

The next part to the zombie series. Also working on the cover as well as a slight revamp for the previous books (expect a post about that in a few days or so). Follow along as Darlene Bobich does her thing during the zombie apocalypse.

 

April 2016 – Belford Stories

Think my Flagler Beach Fiction Series. A contemporary fiction book, set in the little fishing village I grew up in and set in 1987. Photos throughout by photographer Tammy Kelly, who I grew up with in Belford.

 

May 2016 – Necromance (re-release)

The horror erotica series of short stories was never completed before the publisher went under. I am in the process of rewriting it into a single novel, with much less on the erotica and more on the paranormal aspect of the tale. She’s a demon hunter with a warlock for a dad and the minions of Hell trying to kill her. Working the cover soon with the same great model used on the shorts.

 

June 2016 – Dying Days YA novella

This will be the continuation of the Dying Days: Emalee And Mason short story I wrote for Bite-Sized Offerings anthology, furthering the story of the two children as they traverse a deadly world of zombies. Very excited to write this one.

 

July 2016 – Tool Shed Massacre (re-release)

The original Tool Shed horror novella is out of print. I’m going to expand it into a full-length novel and give more of the backstory. Still one of my favorite works and it never got much notice, so this will be fun to update.

 

August 2016 – OPEN

 

September 2016 – Death Metal (re-release)

Another book I loved that never got the release it deserved, in my humble opinion. I’ll rewrite and expand it into a full-length thriller novel and already have the ideas for a sequel if it does well. Fingers crossed.

 

October 2016 – OPEN

 

November 2016 – Dying Days 7

Seriously? Two Dying Days in the same year? Yep. Darlene and company’s story will continue sooner than later for the first time in… well, since I started writing the series. With the rest of the secondary books completed except for the YA novella, it’s time to do 2 a year from this point out. Until no one wants to read anymore and I don’t want to write it anymore.

 

There ya have it… hopefully this list will work out nicely and I can add a few more releases within the open months, although I’m going to relax a bit this coming year and enjoy it all more.

Anything you see you’re interested in reading?

Armand

Another 12 Months of Writing #amwriting

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Two years ago my then-girlfriend Shelly asked me how much I wrote each year. I shrugged. Most days I didn’t know how much I’d just written. I never kept track. I just wrote and wrote and wrote until stories got finished.

I was curious to know, and also to find a way to minimize the days I didn’t write and get a better understanding on what I was actually doing. 

Since she is the smarter one (don’t let her know I said it, even though she already knows) she created a simple spreadsheet in Excel for me. I punched in my daily number and it worked it through the week, month and year to give me running totals. 

I decided my goal would be 1,500 a day or 10,000 words a week and 520,000 words for the year. I had no idea if it was possible or I’d crush the number, since I never really tracked any of this writing thing. 

October 2013 began this experiment. 

In my first year I wrote 477,000 words. My daily average was 1,308. I had 123 days without writing, which is crazy but real life does get in the way of sitting and writing every day. Some days I was burnt out or busy with errands and kids. Some days I wanted to watch a movie.

The second year just passed. Yesterday was my last day of year 2. How’d I do?

423,000 words. My daily average was 1,158. I only had 92 days I didn’t write, despite getting married and a honeymoon, several conventions and general life in my way. I wrote more days but less words each day as non-writing work (Authors Supporting Our Troops, Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast, Arm N Toof’s Dead Time Podcast, social media promoting, Winter of Zombie and Summer of Zombie blog tours getting bigger, etc. etc.) got in the way of my actual words as well. 

What did I learn? I write a lot of words compared to some people and not enough stacked against others. 

Today marks the first day of my new writing year. I think I’m going to calm down a bit and settle in and relax. I have my rough schedule of work in the next 12 months laid out, which means nothing once a new contract or something interesting crosses my desk. Until then… I want to break 400,000 words in the next year. That’s only 1,096 words a day average. Very easy to beat. 

Will I do it? I don’t see why not. With my new way to write each day (#MandoMethod, where I write as many words in a 15 minute stretch without a break) I am averaging 600 words a sprint, so writing 30 minutes a day (in theory) will hit my goals easily. 

But, hey… only time will tell. 

Armand

Authors Supporting Our Troops Update July #ASOT2015

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Bumper Stickers

We’re not done yet!

While the main part of the event is over, I’m not done collecting author-signed books for the troops. I will continue to collect all year, with the following goals:

1. Beating 2014’s collection of 3,000 author-signed books

2. Getting as close to the 3,500 goal we set in the beginning of the year. As of July 1st, we have 2,667 author-signed books collected. Both goals are realistic and within reach, but I need some help…

OK, so once again let me tell you what we’re looking for…

 

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.

A fraction of this year's book donations.

 

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.

ASOTCraig

 

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.

ASOT2014

 

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.

 

James graduation from boot camp

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 my wife Shelly (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 (which will be available again in January 2016). 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. That being said… with all of the generous donations we received, I humbly ask any authors to purchase more copies of their books, sign and ship them to me. I could really use the books for the troops.

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So… you never actually stopped collecting and sending?

Of course not. I like doing a major push come January 1st but I won’t stop until every soldier in a remote area has a signed book in their hands or they all come home.

Feel free to ask me any question.  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. Ask your publisher to get in touch. Many of them sent us boxes of books, 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.

 

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. So far we’ve shipped to about 25 soldiers.

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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!

Here’s hoping 3,500 books gets passed by thanks to the generosity of authors.

Armand Rosamilia

EVERY AUTHOR NEEDS TO GET AWAY FROM EVIL KINDLE UNLIMITED! (Except for me)

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My, us authors are an impatient lot. Over and over.

With the new change in Kindle Unlimited, I’ve seen some horrific comments on Facebook about how Amazon is going to kill their sales, and they aren’t author-friendly, and blah blah blah…

Amazon is a business. They are in the business of making money, not pandering to an indie author making them $50 in sales a month. Get real. If you want to jump ship and never use Amazon again, so be it… but there isn’t a viable alternative. I’m sure someone will jump up and ‘brag’ they sell more on SmashWords or Kobo or some other portal, but you’re a rare author indeed. The last time someone shouted about it I found out they sold about $100 a month on Kobo and $75 on Amazon. Under $200 in sales a month is not a career to me. It’s a fun hobby and it gets you beer money. Or coffee.

Everyone calm the f**k down and let’s see how this plays out. We’re 15 hours into it and already authors are bitching. I saw a guy complain he lost $2.10 in sales from last night because it reset. Seriously? Somebody buy him a cup of coffee he lost. I really hope you don’t miss a million dollars in sales this month by those two bucks… 

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I’m in. I’m (mostly) all in. You know why? Because if it doesn’t work Amazon will tweak and change it again. And again. Until they make money, and we make a few bucks as well. Never as much as they do. What company in their right mind would? Stop being delusional and thinking Amazon is the Evil Empire and is out to crush you. Maybe Mr. Robot will end this season by trying to destroy Amazon, and then we’ll all be safe. 

And broke. 

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I don’t want to go back to a ‘real’ job. I like writing in sweatpants all day and making shit up. Amazon lets me do this, and until a competitor steps up and bumps them from the top post, you do what you have to do. I do it with a smile end of the month when Amazon dumps a chunk of money into my bank account, unlike the rest. THAT money is my coffee money, unfortunately. 

I wish all the whiners would take all of their books out of Kindle Unlimited. Please, please and thank you, go ahead. Stop complaining and just do it already. 

The split of the $11 million pot for me just went up. It might only be pennies, but there’s more for me to buy a cup of coffee. And I drink a lot of coffee every month. 

End rant. 

Armand

Armand Rosamilia Interview on “Drinking With Jason” Podcast

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I had a rousingly crazy night being interviewed by Jason Brant on his excellent podcast… between his sweet tea and my coffee, it is a wonder we didn’t get arrested! 

http://www.authorjasonbrant.com/2015/05/drinking-with-jason-12-horror-author.html

Quick April Update for Authors Supporting Our Troops #ASOT2015

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We’ve broken the 2,000 author-signed books in and I’m quite excited. The books themselves have been trickling in at a much slower pace. I’m confident more people will share the event page and especially the permanent page and get more authors involved. 

Remember… the event itself might technically last until May 1st but I won’t stop collecting books for the year… last year 2,500 books came in the first 4 months and another 500 the rest of the year. Great numbers. I’d still like to beat them both this year if possible. 

One great thing has already happened… with so many #ASOT2015 shirt sales and generous donations coming in, we will have more than enough money in the coffers to pay for at least 3,500 books! I want to thank everyone who has helped make this possible, and so quickly. 

Our goal is to do one more #ASOT2015 shirt the first week of May so everyone who missed out can still get one. And the money from the profits will get added in to begin the 2016 event (yes, there will be one) and in the event we get more books than we’re gauging for (which would be a cool thing). I’ll give you more details in May on the next shirt, which will be the last one for 2015. 

That being said, we are still in need of many author-signed books, so please keep spreading the word about it. Every book counts.

We are also in need of more soldiers as well. If we’re going to guess we’ll get in another 1,500 books, that means roughly 15 more soldier addresses are needed. Remember, we need soldiers in remote areas of the world with no access to the things we take for granted like game systems and e-readers. Get in touch with me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com for more information on any of this, please and thank you!

Finally… from about April 16th until May 1st I will be out of pocket, and out of the country for some of it. I’m getting married to Special Gal on April 18th with a honeymoon to follow. This means no phone, no internet… nothing. I will truly be gone with her for awhile. 

Any books coming in will be piled up by my son but not opened. When I return I will start the task of catching up on the new arrivals with separating them into boxes to be shipped, pictures for Facebook, etc. 

Again… thank you for all the hard work and for making this possible. I wish I was allowed to share some of the latest pictures I’ve received. The faces on the men and women protecting our country is priceless. If things change for certain units in the world and they allow me to share, I will do so…

Armand Rosamilia

Arm Cast Podcast Needs Your Questions!

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As you may or may not know, I am getting married on April 18th 2015. It is a fun but hectic time for me, and I have a lot to do both before and after the wedding. 

One of the ideas was to get a few interviews ahead with Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast, and I did… kinda. 

My damn laptop crashed and wiped out a bunch of stuff I really needed. Plus, my Skype and the program I record with will no longer work. So, instead of breaking things (and I came thisclose today to slamming the laptop on the floor), I have decided to go with Plan B, which actually was Plan A until I (foolishly) thought I had plenty of time to record an extra couple of episodes before I left. 

So, this is where you come in…

I have recorded over 40 episodes and over 80 people have been interviewed so far, with many more coming. Instead of taking a break, I’ve decided to do more of a free-for-all week or two, and I want to answer any and all of your questions. 

Do you have a question about a certain guest on the show? A future guest? Someone you would like to learn more about?

Any questions about my own work? My writing tricks or screw-ups? Just have a publishing or writing question you think I would know the answer to? Anything else you can think of?

I’d love to get a bunch of real questions in to answer them on an upcoming Arm Cast Podcast episode. I’ll give you a shout out and do my best to answer it. How does that sound?

If you’re interested, send your question(s) to me at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com with Arm Cast Qs in the subject line so I don’t miss any. I’ll let you know when I’ll be answering them and which episode!

And feel free to let everyone know what I’m doing so I can get a ton of great questions!

Armand Rosamilia

Authors Supporting Our Troops March Totals #ASOT2015

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Three months in the books for Authors Supporting Our Troops! We have one more official month to collect more books to see if we can break the 3,000 received last year… remember, I won’t actually stop collecting books, so if you are an author stressing you won’t have print copies of your latest and greatest in yet, don’t worry! You can send them to me all year. Just send me an e-mail at  armandrosamilia@gmail.com and I’ll send you the mailing address and info!

Now, on to the numbers crunch…

In the month of March, we received 52 more packages for a total of 229 to date. In January we received 117 and February 60. 

In the month of March we received 462 more books for a total of 1996 to date. In January we received 947 and February 587. 

The average number of books per box sent to me went up to 8.7 on average. It was 8.6 in the two previous months.

What does all this mean? Authors are awesome and are helping the cause!

By May 15th last year (I started the event on January 15th in 2014) we had 2,446 books collected. I am hoping to beat this, but we’ll need a new surge in author-signed books coming in. Please help by spreading the word about the event. If you know an author who would be interested in helping, send them my way. I would really appreciate it, and so would the soldiers in the field. 

Armand

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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

Anti-NaNoWriMo Rants – Shut Up Already

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I am a big fan of NaNoWriMo. I do it most years as an added writing exercise because I try to hit the goal each month regardless. I have fun because many of my friends also do it and we encourage one another, I get a chance to go out around town and meet other writers who are doing it, and it is just a fun time. 

Then I read a bunch of posts bitching about how stupid it is and writing is not a race and they wouldn’t be caught dead doing it because they are seemingly too good and write all year and blah blah blah. 

Shut up.

The first year I did NaNoWriMo I was working a full-time 60 hour a week job. I wanted to see if I could do it. I was far from becoming a full-time writer and I just wanted to finish a longer story. So I did it. And then never stopped writing. I consider that 2007 November the kickstart to my writing career. 

And if everyone who ever said ‘I want to write a novel’ decided the motivation was to start it this month, why is that such a bad thing? Your post about them basically being pretenders to the throne you don’t occupy (how’s that day job?) sounds like sour grapes. What if someone else succeeds and jumps over you? You’ll still be trapped in that cubicle working 9-5 and daydreaming you’re a real author, I guess… 

Every author is quick to point out how much they help fellow authors… but your posts prove once again why your career is where it is… practice what you preach. You want to help out fellow authors?

Shut up and do your own shit quietly and let the rest of us doing NaNoWriMo have a fun month of writing and community…

MandoWriMo – Slight Change Of Plans

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Just a quick update for ya…

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

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

The changes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regardless, this is going to be fun…

Armand

Day 4 – MandoWriMo

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I’ve just completed the first four days of my August 60k in 30 days goal. Yeah, I know how many days August has. 62k in 31 days doesn’t sound right, though. It gives me a day to rest…

Anyway, I’ve listed the 7 projects to complete on my dry erase board for the month and so far so good… I should be 8k into the writing and I’m already breaking 10k in the four days. Not too shabby, especially when you consider I lost all of Saturday to a birthday party and then watching a 10 Things You Didn’t Know About… marathon starring Henry Rollins. Still love this guy. 

But I feel really good. I’ve been jumping from project to project and knocking down the words needed each day. A couple of the shorter ones will be done in the next day or so, and then I can work more on the longer pieces. I’m writing in whichever one I want, and not adding anything else to the pile right now. 

I’ll keep you posted… and keep myself writing. 

Armand

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…)

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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

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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

Name My Podcast

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Within the next few weeks I’ll be embarking on my latest foray… a podcast, which will be about my own writing career as well as bringing in a new co-host each week to talk about anything they want when it comes to their writing, the scene and whatever else we want to talk about. 

But I need a good name for it. This is where you come in. Simply vote on the names on the poll or choose your own suggestion and let me know what you think. The winner will get some snazzy swag from me… and if more than one person voted on the winning answer in the poll I’ll treat a couple/three people to the winning stuff… Voting ends in a couple of weeks, so hurry up and let me know what you’re thinking! 

My Writing Year – Halfway Point

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October 1st 2013 was a Tuesday. I know because that was the date I got really serious about keeping track of my daily writing and Special Gal put together a very cool Excel spreadsheet so I could keep track of my daily, weekly, monthly and yearly writing. My goal is 2,000 a day Mon-Fri and the weekends off, if possible. 

If I average 1,429 a day I will hit 10,000 words per week and 520k for the year. Not too shabby, especially when most of the stories I’m writing are going to be printed at some point. At this point in my career about 85% of what I write already has a home, so I’m very thankful for being able to build this to where I am now. 

Am I bragging? You bet your sweet candy ass. 

It has taken me years to get to this point in my career, where the sales of my self-published books, such as the Dying Days series, are paying the bills. My work with AK Waters Productions LLC has me venturing into movie deal territory, and I’m being invited to invite-only books with some impressive names. The goal for the rest of 2014 is to keep building it and maybe find a suitable match for some graphic novels. I’d love to see Dying Days in comic book form…

But all is not well in the Kingdom of Mando…

Remember the 1,429 a day goal I spoke of? I’m falling short. Yes, I write almost every day, but not every day. And not every day do I hit my 2,000 word daily goal. There have been a few weeks lately I’ve fallen quite short, in fact. A few weeks ago I wrote 575 words. In the entire week. Followed by 5 straight weeks well under 10,000 words. 

Why am I telling you this? Because I like to see it down on paper. I like the world to know when I succeed and when I fail, because it puts it out there and helps me to see I’m only human. It lets me know that you know when I’m not doing well, and when I need to step up my game. Several people online call me The Machine because I write and write and write, but sometimes I don’t write as much as I want. 

Last week I did, hitting 12,000+ words, but my average is still well below where it should be…

March 31st marked the 182nd day and halfway point for my first year actually keeping track. 

I should be:

182 days @ 1,429 words = 260,078

Instead, I’m currently:

182 @ 1,369 words = 249, 157

I’m about 11,000 words behind… but now that I have it in black and white (on this nifty blog) I need to re-focus and catch up so I can hit my 520k yearly goal… or write even more and break it. 

The hope is this post will be my reminder about where I’m failing and get me back on track to succeed. 

Now, back to writing about zombies and whatever else I feel like writing about…

Armand

Upcoming Convention Appearance: MidSouth Con 32

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March 21-23 2014 I will be appearing at MidSouth Con 32 in Memphis, Tennessee. I’ll be doing a couple of book signings as well as being on a couple of panels, which I’m quite happy about. 

Rymfire Books editor Jerry Benns will also be there and I’m looking forward to meeting him in person. There are a few authors that will also be on panels I’m looking forward to finally meet in person, as well, like J.L. Mulvihill, Stephen Zimmer, Tommy B. Smith and Weston Ochse… but meeting any author is always exciting for me. Add in Guest of Honor Kelley Armstrong, and this is going to be a great convention. 

For more information, visit the MidSouth Con 32 website

If you’re planning on going, let me know! I’d love to meet you! 

Armand

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