Ready to Roll on Ahead

Okay, so, at least one of you felt it was important I promote my new novel as much as possible before getting into a new one. Others feel it’s just as important to get into a new book and get the product out there so your customers — loyal readers who maybe liked what you wrote — will have more stuff they can read when they finish the first one.

I believe it’s got to be a balance of both. I’d love to have a “publicist” who could promo my work, but I’ve seen “publicists” posting to Facebook and Twitter with little to no success. I’ve seen authors chase around all over their regional area going to “book signings” and such, all for a handful of sales.

Thank goodness eBook publishing means I don’t have to do any of that. It also means, while I should try and get people interested in my product, most of the people who read it will do so because they found it on Amazon themselves.

I read an article my buddy Bryce sent me a link to, on a blog by a young lady who’s trying to generate enough loyal fans — those that read everything and anything the author writes — to make her employment full-time writing. I’d love to be there too, but she had some stuff on her blog which made a load of sense, wasn’t that hard to do, and might have been key in making things happen for her. She had her best month ever in May and while she’s not sure if she’ll duplicate her results, the fact she made more than she did on her day job is very appealing.

Anyway, she had some tips and things on her blog I might try. After all, what’s it going to hurt? I’ve got not very much to lose.

So, for me, I’m going to dig in to Scrivener and start my next book. Not because I don’t value the advice of those saying I need to promo this book — I do appreciate the input and will heed the advice to the best of my ability — but I also need to have product for readers to acquire. If I don’t, there’s no sense in trying to market this one. (In addition, I’ve learned series do better than stand alones, and sticking with one genre per pen name helps. Great. Now I needanother pen name to use. *Sigh.)

That being said, I’m going to go forth and begin the writing process on my next book, which has an outline (albeit not horribly detailed yet), and get the ball rolling on that. My wife, the loving and supportive person she is, is excited about a book whose subject doesn’t in the slightest excite her. That is, she doesn’t even like the subject matter but finds the story compelling and wants to read it. I’m honored by that. I think she’s worth rewarding.

Finally, I sent out a few copies of my newest novel before I released it (the night before, it’s true, but still). If you got a copy and have read it, or are reading it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. I haven’t got any so far, and I really need as many of those as I can to boost the visibility of the book. Add tags as well, if please. On the other hand, if you don’t like the book, please don’t speak about that. Lie. (Just kidding. Gotta take the lumps with the good, just like in a bowl of mashed potatoes.)

Have a great weekend everyone. See you on the other side.

-JDT-

Thanks, Readers!

Hey, Guys, thanks so much for getting involved and helping me with reading the first chapter of my new book. I really appreciate it.

If you’re a reader and want to provide me with your feedback, just drop me a note from the contact page on my blog and I’ll fire off a copy of it in the word processor format of your choice. PLEASE be sure to tell me which one, though. For all I know, your email systems are blocking what I send you because you aren’t able to receive more than one attachment from the same person. I dunno.

Anyway, if you can all get back to me by Sunday evening (US CDT) that’d be much appreciated. Meantime, I guess I’ll press on.

Have an awesome day and thank you again.

God bless,

-JDT-

Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved

Blowin’ his own HORNS

Over the weekend I did a lot reading. One of the books I’ve already told you about – Robert Jackson Bennett’s Mr. Shivers (see last post).

One of the other books is by a guy quickly becoming one of my favorite writers because of his style and strength of prose, but losing me by pushing his own … I dunno … self, I guess, in his books, on Twitter, yadda yadda yadda.

Anyway … I’m not going to talk about why I don’t like it. I will say, it’s a good strong effort, well-written, a page turner. Despite being almost 400 pages I finished it in two sittings, which is unusual for me.

The book is called Horns, and the author is Joe Hill (King).

It’s no secret I love his dad, have had a hero thing for his father since the late 70s. But Joe has won my admiration on his own merit apart from that, with his good writing and familiar style. I like how he writes, period. His first novel, Heart Shaped Box, was a pretty interesting ghost story with an un-King-like happy ending. His short story collection, Twentieth Century Ghosts, showed a huge variety of stuff and I found most of them enjoyable.

In Horns, the story starts with a strong hook – a guy is drunk and doing terrible things. Next morning he wakes up with horns on his head. Horns … like the Devil’s horns. The story is how a young man, trapped in a dead-end town with no future to speak of is haunted on the anniversary of the death of his girlfriend by memories of their romance, tragic break-up, and her rape and murder.

Joe unfolds the story in a good way, building the pressure on his protagonist in ever-mounting degrees. Before long the protagonist is finding out the Devil really is in the details and he’s finally figuring out what happened that fateful night a year ago.

Halfway through the novel, the timeline changes to his first encounter with his sweetheart ten years earlier. We meet the other key players in the events, and for a while we stay in tight third person with the protagonist. But at another point, we shift POV to another character and we learn more about why things went the way they do. In the end, there’s the final confrontation between the protagonist and antagonist and it’s sort of a role reversal because the protagonist is the one who looks like Satan.

Not an OTTBF*, and I thought just a hair anticlimactic, considering everywhere Joe might’ve gone with the book, but it was still mostly satisfying.

Once again, it’s full of things which made me roll my eyes and snicker (the theology in it is absolutely hysterical), but I really liked the style and the ease of the read. It went down smooth and warm, like a fine sherry.

So, I recommend it. I give it four out of five stars, but then, I’m partial to the Kings. 😉

-JDT-

* – Remember, this is Over The Top Big Finish; when a book, movie or play goes way too far, way to farcical, in an attempt to create that big-bang ending. I don’t like ‘em.

Case of the SHIVERS

Mr. Shivers, the debut novel of Robert Jackson Bennett, is a book I just finished reading.

Normally, I don’t say anything about books on my blog unless it’s been a particularly helpful how-to book on the writing craft, and I feel other writers might benefit from it. In this case, though, I’d like to say, Mr. Bennett did an excellent job  and sort of left me dumbfounded about how to classify it.

I think I can make a case for the ever-elusive “literary horror” I’ve been hearing so much about for the last couple of years. Here’s how:

The plot is a simple one: catch up to the bad guy who killed the protagonist’s daughter and kill him in revenge. At all costs. Regardless of collateral damage.

That’s it. The whole book centers on the protagonist’s search for an elusive killer which may or may not be human. The profound effects the pursuit has on him become clear throughout the story. In the end, we see a very different man from the one in the opening of the book, and the (sorta kinda predictable) ending makes it clear there has indeed been an internal change in the character.

The tension in the book is amazing, the writing gripping. As simplistic as the story is, the jacket promotional copy was misleading. At least to me. The story unfolded nicely, had good prose and the author clearly did his research on the time period. I don’t know how authentic the language was for dialog, but he built a convincing world and sucked me right in. I guess I’m not the smartest person on Earth either, but still – I thought it well executed. And the best part is, he only implies when the story takes place and gives you a general era, not a specific year.

I’m considering doing an Amazon review for this book. I’ve never done that before, but I’ve read a couple of really good ones this weekend and thought they were worth the trouble.

Anyway, I recommend Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett. He does an excellent job of telling what I consider to be a character-driven story and creating a sense of horror without over the top gore or a finish which makes an atomic explosion seem mild. Bravo, Mr. Bennett.

How ‘bout you? Read any good books lately?

-JDT-

A little cheesecake…

…Goes a long way.

Well, it goes a long way on Mother’s Day. For my wife at least. 🙂

Oh, and not just any cheesecake, either; we’re talkin’ French cheesecake.

We can’t celebrate too much in our current circumstance, but we did manage to get a little treat for her for Mom’s Day. I was willing to go farther, do more, but she insisted on the low-key, low-cost celebration method. It’s been our MO for a number of years now.

Still, we, the family, are grateful for her and we love her. Anything we can do to show that appreciation is better than nothing, and we’re grateful God gave us a chance to do just that.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

In other news, I finished reading my buddy Sherri’s new(er) book. It’s been a long time coming, and she’s worked her tail off to get it ready. She honored me by choosing me as one of her beta readers, and I have to say, the book was so good I read it all in two sittings (and if it had been a book or if I had a better laptop, it may have happened in one night, though I don’t know if I read fast enough for that anymore).

I met a young writer (I don’t know if he’s a writer or not, but he oughta be if he ain’t) over on my deviantART page who wrote a bit of micro-fiction I found amazing. I mean, a lot of good stuff packed into just a tiny word count. Not as limiting as Twitter, of course, but still. He managed it beautifully, and it made me think … I love doing short pieces. I like to write. What about doing #FridayFlash again? (Or is that #FlashFriday? Doggone it, I can never remember.) I know my wife won’t like the idea. She says I get torpedoed so much when I do it because it’s just not my forte, my format. But … oh, so tempting. Like the chocolate I know will taste soooo goooooood, but give me heartburn and acne later. *Sigh*

On the back forty…

I didn’t say anything because it probably isn’t worth saying anything about, but I had a job interview last Thursday. I spent more than ninety minutes with a man expecting to spend less than forty-five minutes with me. Yes, I was slightly embarrassed, and said so at several points. He assured me, however, he was enjoying our conversation and was happy to have answers which weren’t two sentences. (Apparently, someone had answered most or all of his questions with two-sentence replies.) So, I suppose that’s good.

The drawback of this is, I don’t have his name or email address to forward a thank you note. I’ll have to send that message to the recruiter and hope she can properly channel it. I’ll have to remember to do that today.

I should find out later this week whether my long-winded responses earned me a second interview, a shot at the job, or just another trip to the round file for my resume.

Anyway, if you’re the praying type, you know the drill. If not, wish me luck anyway, okay? I need all the positivity I can get my hands on. 😉

That’s about it. How’s it by y’all? Have a good weekend?

-JDT-

All original content © 2010 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.