I’m interviewed over at http://jessicaknauss.blogspot.com/2016/05/branching-out-as-writer-interview-with.html
Thanks to Jessica Knauss for the great interview about Dirty Deeds!
I’m interviewed over at http://jessicaknauss.blogspot.com/2016/05/branching-out-as-writer-interview-with.html
Thanks to Jessica Knauss for the great interview about Dirty Deeds!
New release today. Very excited. This book took us quite a bit of time to put together but we hope it was worth it.
When World War 3 erupts on American soil it is up to some less than likely heroes to band together and stand tall against any and all comers as a once proud nation is brought to her knees.
Cowardly terrorist attacks and indifferent Global communities have isolated America as she spirals into a desperate bid for survival.
Follow Darlene Bobich, and her group on the west coast along with Michael Talbot on the east coast as they do everything in their power to thwart those that would take everything that they and all of us are, away.
Sometimes all we want is a well-written book that makes us laugh and cringe all at one time, and Jaime Johnesee is a pro at delivering! Yesterday I sat down to enjoy Shifters, and enjoy it I did. I…
Synopsis: Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary is an independent documentary taking an extensive look at the making of Pet Sematary, the origins of the story, the stories of cast and crew, memories of the Maine locals who helped make the film, and the legacy the film has established among horror fans and scholars of Stephen King’s work.
In addition to featuring many cast and crew members never before interviewed about their involvement in the film, this documentary will also take fans on a tour of the filming locations. With never-before-seen photographs and video footage from behind-the-scenes, original props from the film, media coverage of the 1988 production, and new stories about the Hollywood production being on location in Maine, Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary is an all-encompassing documentary by fans for the fans.
It’s a different Friday Night at the Trailer Park that…
View original post 134 more words
As a lover of all things cryptid, I’m naturally fascinated by the strange and mysterious Chupacabra. Is it an unknown animal, alien, government experiment gone wrong? Well, to help us all out, I’ve turned to one of my buds, Raegan Butcher, who has just written an excellent monster novel, FURY OF THE CHUPACABRAS. To write […]
Someone tries the #MandoMethod of writing!
This morning when I was – well let’s be honest – procrastinating over my writing, I found the hashtag #mandomethod followed by a number. I was intrigued. I clicked on #mandomethod and found all kinds of tweets that were similar – #mandomethod 417. #MandoMethod 381. #Mandomethod 591, not bad! What the heck was this Mando Method? It didn’t take much searching for me to find the original blog post that explained what the Mando Method was. I won’t explain it. Just click on the link and you can read the post for yourself. “Well, hell!” I said to myself. “This sounds like a great idea!” So, I set the stopwatch on my phone and started writing. Twenty-one minutes later I had 201 words. TWO HUNDRED AND ONE! If you took the time to link back to the original blog post, you would have seen the following:
Hour 1 – 493…
View original post 131 more words
I’ve heard the extremely prolific Dean Koontz, author of roughly 100 works (plenty of which were number one sellers) of fiction, bashed to hell and back over the last few years. I’ve heard him labeled a hack, lazy, a poor man’s Stephen King, a dime-shelf writer. You name it, I’ve heard it, and to be completely honest I’m mystified by this strange and seemingly odious stigma (it’s not deserved I cry!) that looms over Koontz’s name. For my buck, Dean is one of the most balanced authors in the business.
The man does his research, and checks his facts. The man has built a diverse body of work that covers an expansive thematic landscape. He works endlessly to bring terror to readers sans any significant break. He’s capable of being extremely detailed, without running far too long in the tooth, and when he wants to, he can throw some seriously…
View original post 493 more words
Images from ShutterStock.
Amazon KDP changed how it determines the Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count (KENPC).
This affects Kindle e-books enrolled in KDP Select, which can be borrowed via Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime.
KDP Select books borrowed through Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime pay by the page read, where a Kindle Edition Normalized Page (KENP) is determined based on the book’s KENPC.
(This has no impact on royalties earned through sales, just borrows.)
On February 1, 2016, the method that Amazon uses to compute the KENPC changed.
The new value of KENPC is called KENPC v2.0.
Visit your KDP Bookshelf and click the Promote and Advertise button next to a title to see what its new KENPC is.
According to Amazon, on average the KENPC has changed by 5% or less.
I checked several of my books, which had KENPC’s ranging from 170 to…
View original post 199 more words
Armand Rosamilia Interview about “Dirty Deeds” #crime #thriller
Name Armand Rosamilia
Where are you from
Born in Newark NJ. Grew up in Belford NJ. Living in Jacksonville FL.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Married to the greatest woman in the world. I have several children. I sit around and write stories all day. Eat too many M&M’s and drink too much coffee (as if there is such a thing)
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I got a Kindle Scout contract! “Dirty Deeds” is out now, a crime thriller. It is a bit different from my other work but so far the reviews have been great.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Dean Koontz books at 12. After reading every paperback of his I could find in my mother’s book collection I was hooked and knew what I wanted to do with my life.
Fiona: When did…
View original post 2,955 more words
Great Post About Attending An Event As An Author
By Chelle Bliss
There’s been a lot of buzz about author events recently and I wanted to throw a couple things out there. There are so many misconceptions, unrealistic hopes, and harsh realities that many do not understand.
Here are a few questions I’ve been asked and what I’ve learned thus far.
No! Most events are expensive, unless they’re near your hometown and there’s no need to pay for travel expenses. If traveling far from home, the cost of an event can climb quickly.
If you’re an author and expect to make money at an event… think again.
Let me break down the expenses of my last event in Nashville.
My Out of Pocket Costs for myself and my assistant:
Food & Misc: $500
Table Fee (yes, authors pay to attend): $250
Cost of Books & Swag: $2,300
View original post 1,118 more words
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…
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 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
The audiobook for State of Horror: Illinois came out on February 20th (narrated by the wonderful Jack Wallen)
The audiobook for Dying Days: Origins came out on March 3rd, narrated by Jack Wallen. Obviously I enjoy working with Jack on these audiobooks.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
On the 17th Dying Days 4 audiobook (narrated once again by Amanda Lehman) was released.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finding Time to Write
K. Trap Jones
The first thing people ask me when they find out that I write is: When do you find the time?
Of course, the answer differs between writers, but for me, I write late at night. I have a full time career, a wife and three sons. I simply cannot write during the day. There are too many real life situations and the time is not there. I coach my youngest son’s soccer team and coach my middle son’s baseball team. Real life will always be more important than my writing hobby. I’ve been writing for about 6 years and have been blessed with the ability to balance my hobby with everything else.
I have a weird process with writing which reflects directly with the time. I will not write a single word until I conceive the entire story within my head. As soon as I can reach the ending, that’s when I begin writing the story. Regardless of whether it is a short story or a novel, I think through the chapters to make sure I have a complete story in mind. This helps me with the flow of writing. Every night, I am able to bust out a few thousand words or so because the story is already there and I’m not making it up as I go. With short stories, it takes me one night to write one then I use the next night to self-edit before I sub it. With novels, I find I need at least three weeks of “thinking” about the story and three additional weeks to write it down. I let it sit for a week before reading through for flow, consistency, and basic edits before sending to the publisher. It’s a crazy method, but for some odd reason, it works for me. Right now, I am currently writing my seventh novel and “thinking” about my eighth. By the time I’m done writing, I will immediately start the next.
I always thought that writing at night adds to the creepy factor of horror. When everyone else is in bed, all the lights are off and there’s music blaring in my ears… that’s where my writing begins. One Bad Fur Day was conceived over a time period of two weeks and written within three weeks. When I find the story fun to write, the process speeds up. After finishing up a night’s writing session, the next day’s chapters will be thought about during the day until the moon rises and I fire up the laptop. Since OBFD is a journey type of story, I always enjoyed thinking about the next interaction or environment Sid had to go to next in order to find the clues to his missing wife, Sally.
One Bad Fur Day
Call it odd, call it off-beat, call it fantasy; but don’t think for a moment that One Bad Fur Day is anything other than a suspense driven horror ride that blurs the lines between harsh reality and brutal imagery…
As Hurricane Katrina barrels through the Louisiana bayous, the animal population is forced to deal with the tumultuous upheaval of their world. Sheriff Sid and his wife are caught completely off-guard by the natural disaster unfolding around them as they battle not only the turbulent winds and flooding waters, but heinous acts committed by other creatures inhabiting the backwaters. Following a brutal assault on his wife, Sid is forced to fight off voodoo-priestess snakes, a junkyard raccoon, deceitful badgers, and a band of roving power-hungry alligators. While clinging to his tenuous hold as sheriff, Sid must find a way to recapture what is rightfully his and exact his revenge.
One Bad Fur Day is available at:
Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – K. Trap Jones is an author of horror novels and over 50 short stories. With inspiration from Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe, he has a temptation towards narrative folklore, classic literary works and obscure segments within society.
His novel THE SINNER (Blood Bound Books) won the 2010 Royal Palm Literary Award. His splatterpunk novella, THE DRUNKEN EXORCIST has been released by Necro Publications. His narrative horror short story collection, THE CROSSROADS is available from Hazardous Press.
He is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and can be found lurking around Tampa, Florida.
I’m in again this year. That’s it. I don’t care about the pros and cons of what NaNoWriMo means to the writing community, the weekend warriors who think they can write the Great American Novel for the first time or the people who use it as an excuse to write their 6th novel this year. None of that matters to me.
I love it.
I write close to 40k a month so pushing it to 50k and working on one project is the fun of it for me.
This year I’ll be writing the sequel to my Dirty Deeds crime thriller, which is currently in the running for a Kindle Scout contract. Even if I don’t make the cut the exposure was great and the book will launch sooner than later. Oh, go nominate Dirty Deeds so I can win, too…
If you’re planning on writing for NaNoWriMo feel free to add me as a friend on there. It’s always fun to see who is writing as well… of course, if you’re one of those people who writes 50k in 3 days I’ll congratulate you but curse you at the same time. Just sayin’
Writing A Series
Series is the new black. It seems like everyone is writing them these days. Having a published series of books is a great way to keep readers interest for long enough to have them remember your name, actively seek you out, sign up for your newsletter, or ask to be advised by Amazon when you publish a new book. I’ll be publishing the second and third books in my series at the same time either late December or early January. In retrospect I think that publishing the first book on its own was a mistake, which is why I haven’t tried to sell it so far. The time for readers to buy books in a series is directly after reading one of them, so it’s better to publish three at the same time to begin with. My book one will really only get properly launched with two and three, so…
View original post 461 more words
Technically, a “synopsis” is the summary you write about your book. A “blurb” is an endorsement usually written by someone else, singing your praises. But, neither here nor there, we know what we’re talking about. We want a short, snappy, sales pitch that makes our book sell. We want a summary that calls to the right readers. We want a description that makes money!
Where to start…
1) What’s the plot of your story? We need a general description of the situation.
2) We need a problem (usually following the plot and proceeded by the word ‘but’ or ‘however’).
3) We need the possibility that our hero may overcome the problem.
Let’s insert a book we all know into this formula. How about Green Eggs and Ham?
Plot: Sam tries to get someone to eat…
View original post 321 more words
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
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?
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.
Reblog: The Average Earnings of Authors
It is a frequent occurrence in the news to hear about authors cutting multi-million (or even billion) dollar book or movie deals. Famous examples of ridiculously successful authors, such as J.K. Rowling, E. L. James, and Stephen King, often lead people to think that becoming an author will undoubtedly lead to an equally as lucrative outcome. However, it turns out that the average author makes much, much less.
View original post 640 more words
People occasionally ask me why I write dystopian fiction. I like writing dystopian because it is a release of all of the crazy things running through my mind. Dystopian allows you to explore questions like…What if the government became a dictatorship? What if people weren’t allowed to go to school? What if teenagers could save the world because their parents have lost hope? What if?
I admit I have an overactive imagination. (I’ve seen every episode of The Walking Dead, and even though I know zombies aren’t real, I still check my closets and look under the bed for zombies after each and every episode). Anyhow, I think my parents had a lot to do with how I write today. One of their favorite dinner table conversations growing up was deciding which of their children, (there are three of us), they’d pick to be stranded on the infamous deserted island with, if they had to be stuck there with only one. They usually chose my sister because of her internal GPS system and leadership skills. They often decided on my brother because he has MacGyver-like qualities, and they were sure he could build a hut out of sand or something. And they never chose me. Though they often laughed and said they’d take me if they were interested in being entertained.
Another usual at our dinner table was Dad asking if the “bad guys” were to enter our house at that exact moment, what item in the room around us could be turned into a weapon. My siblings were very talented at this. Surprise, surprise. Me, not so much. I usually panicked. (I’d think of a hiding place so they could do the fighting).
Another family favorite? Dad’s strategy talks about how when you enter a room, you should look around immediately, assessing the situation and room for possible exits, windows included, were any emergency to occur.
I think my parents came by it honestly. My mom’s dad was a WWII vet who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He’d rush his family to the basement when it thunder stormed, never having recovered from the war or the memories of bombs and explosions. My dad’s parents took us on a family vacation to the Caribbean every year, and they’d try to split up flights between my aunt and my dad’s side, just in case there was a crash. They wanted some of the family to survive to take care of the family business. That always freaked me out. I’d worry the entire flight. (About not only crashing, but trying to figure out what was wrong with my family). J
My family always had movie night growing up. Every Sunday. We would either go see one at the theater or rent one and watch it in our basement. The genre of choice was always action, usually a thriller. I remember watching scenes where someone would go outside to investigate the “strange noise” in the night, and my family would be yelling at the screen. (If we were home. They were well behaved in theaters. Mostly). They’d yell for the character to go back inside. Of course, the character never would. My brother would always be the first to point out the girl character who was going to get killed by not reacting rationally. He’d yell at the screen as she tried to start her car but couldn’t even get the keys into the ignition because her hands couldn’t stop shaking from fear.
I was sitting in my driveway last week, trying to start my car. I couldn’t get the key in properly, and I started to panic. The more I panicked, the more my fingers fumbled and I couldn’t get my key in. I could hear my brother’s voice in my head saying, “Hurry up, Sarah. You’re gonna die. The bad guys are going to get you. Start the car!” After a moment, I started laughing at myself. Eventually, I pulled it together and managed to insert the key properly to start the car.
Anyhow…Why do I write dystopian? I think you get the point. I guess never getting chosen for Survival Island, never quite figuring out what to make a weapon out of, and just those what if conversations in general really stayed with me. I promise you right now, that if you were to go to either one of my parents’ houses or my siblings’, you’d find emergency supplies in their basements complete with water, food, and back up power supplies in case of an emergency. I barely have my fridge stocked right now by the way. My plan is to head to one of their houses when the world ends. I just hope I make it there in time…I guess it makes sense that I never was picked for that island.
I smile affectionately when I think of my childhood and when I think of my family. True, they may have scarred this introvert for life, ha, ha, ha, but they have to be credited for inspiring me to write some of the dystopian stories I write today. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog tour. If you’d like to risk getting inside of this head a little bit, all four books are on sale right now for only $1.99 each on Kindle. If you read any of the books, I’d be flattered if you left a review and connected with my page on Facebook, where I’ll keep you updated on future books. You just never know what this dystopian writer will come up with next. J ~Sarah
About the Books:
Rare glimpses of birds are the only reminder of the freedoms Rain Hawkins once had. Now segregated into a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, under tyrannical rule of President Nicks, Rain is forced to endure the bleak conditions set upon her. The possibility of a way out arises when Rain discovers an organized resistance called The Freedom Front, and learns that she, along with many other multi-racial people, has special abilities. Determined to overcome her situation, Rain sets out on a mission with the resistance that will fill her life with wonder, romance, and the undying hope for a better world.
Kindle Unlimited Information – or what we have so far #KindleUnlimited
Amazon paid $0.00514 per KENP read in August, 2015.
Compare that to the $0.005779 pages read rate in July, 2015.
That’s a drop of 11%. If you had 10,000 pages read in July, would earned $57.79, but for the same 10,000 pages read in August, you only earned $51.40.
On the one hand, an 11% drop is significant, but on the other hand, unless you had a million pages read through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime, that 11% doesn’t amount to a whole lot.
And if you had a million pages read, you’re thriving in the program (compared to most authors).
But the concern really isn’t over one drop in the payout of 11%.
The concern extends beyond that. 11% is a pretty sizable change. It’s not a small fluctuation.
So one concern is stability.
If it drops 11% in August, another 11%…
View original post 2,000 more words
‘Behind the scenes at an Indian Wedding’
Indians in general are deeply rooted in tradition. Our culture gives us our identity. Most of us (especially those living away from the homeland) cling to it, even though several aspects in these particularly modern times, make no sense at all. Why do we do so? Perhaps because it brings us together as a community and provides us comfort in a foreign environment. The same I think applies to immigrants from all over the globe.
Marriages in India, in particular Hindu marriages are long drawn intricate affairs fraught with age old tradition. Little has changed over the centuries except for certain embellishments due to modernization. To non-Indians these ceremonies appear just that—elaborate colorful rituals flavored with plenty of pomp and show.
In the following story I take my readers on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour at a traditional Indian wedding. I’ve tried to illustrate the proceedings from engagement to the wedding ceremony with “generalized” Indians—my characters, and have also made an attempt to expound on the emotional upheavals that occur in the background and often aren’t spoken out loud. Milan is more of a ‘short story’ concept where it shows the before/during and after of an event than it is a ‘long novel’ about characters with hopes and dreams and goals. And its purpose is exactly that, to show the emotions Indian couples go through during the process of a wedding. This story may help the reader get a better insight into the culture of marriage in India.
The Setting of MILAN:
Whenever I travel back to my homeland, I prepare for a culture shock. The crowds, the noise, the pollution have all increased several fold as the country races forward at breakneck speed to catch up with the rest of the world. There are very places left where it still seems like life goes on as it did a few decades ago, where people are laid back and nature is not at war with mankind.
MILAN is set in one such place; Coonoor— a hill town located in the Nilgiri Hills, about 56 kms from the Coimbatore Airport, in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is part way from its more well-known cousin Ooty. I spent some time there during my last trip and was so enchanted that I chose to use it as a setting for my story. Known for its tea plantations, Coonoor is a lovely, rustic little town. With its abundance of greenery and quaint architecture it is a throwback to India as it used to be. The temperate climate and serene environment help the restless soul to relax and take a few breaths of peace. When you are there, don’t forget to take a ride on the Nilgiris meter gauge train, as well as a personalized tour of the tea estates.
I want to thank Debdatta for giving me this opportunity to express myself and for hosting this blog tour. I also want to thank all the bloggers who are participating in this tour and have made space for my book on their blog. Your time and generosity is much appreciated.
Simi K. Rao