Friday, October 8, 2021

Anything Can be a Weapon

 On FB the other day, I saw people arguing about whether or not keys were an effective weapon against assault.  You know the idea, I hope... Hold your keys with the points sticking out between your fingers and if you're assaulted, go for their face.  One dude was totally against it, saying you'd be better off going barehanded than with your keys because the keys could mangle your hands.  P'shaw.  I'd rather chance hurting my hands to inflict maximum damage on my attacker than not.

But the thread got me thinking...  In fiction, and in real life, anything can be a weapon if you're sufficiently motivated.  In the movie Die Hard II, John McClain kills an attacker with an icicle.  In The Presidio, Sean McConnery's character beats a guy up using only his thumb.  In Grosse Pointe Blank, the MC killed a dude with a pen.  

There's a reason jails make people get rid of their keys, pens, belts, etc. before entering.  Hell, prison shanks are made from damn near everything.  Sharpen a toothbrush and there ya go.

My aunt once stabbed her husband with a fork.  Not to kill him, mind you, but to keep him from eating the last piece of pie.

When I'm out alone at the lake, I make note of the various things within reach I could use to defend myself if need be.  I have a nasty fillet knife in my tackle box.  I have another nasty knife in my go-bag that I sometimes transfer to my pocket.  And I trained myself to be able to pull it out and flip it open one-handed.  I also carry pepper-spray.  I might not always be able to reach those, though.  So I look elsewhere.  Any rock or stick will do.  Hell, at the end of the book Red Dragon, the MCs wife hits the killer with a fishing pole - complete with lures at the end.  If you've never accidentally stuck a fish hook in your hand, you don't know what exquisite pain that can be.  In that case, the pain was sufficient to distract the killer and allow time for someone else to kill him.  Yay.

If it's pointy, a person can be stabbed with it.  If it's heavy, a person can be pummeled with it.  If it's sharp, they can be cut.  In Red 2, the Asian assassin kills a guy with origami, for petesakes.  Who says paper can't be a weapon?  LOL

The idea isn't necessarily to kill the other person.  Especially in a self-defense situation.  The idea might be as simple as giving yourself or your characters a chance to get away.  Stab the villain in the face with your nail file and run like hell.  Scratch them with your car keys.  Poke them with your stiletto heel.  Hit them with your purse full of whatever.  (In 101 Dalmations (the live action one with Glen Close), the heroine's purse was filled with stones she was collecting to pave her garden walk.)

Expand your idea of what can be a weapon and use it to enrich your fiction.  Or save your own life.  Whatever works for you.

What are some other unusual weapons you seen or read about?

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Updates... Finally

Sorry that it's been a couple months since I posted here.  If you've been following along over at The Writing Spectacle, you know why.  If not, I was helping a friend prepare to move.  That's done now, so I am trying to get back to my regularly scheduled life.  Which means writing... or rather writerly pursuits.

Yesterday, I picked up Untitled Fantasy again and got back to making edit notes.  I was a little over halfway through.  Now I'm a little bit more over halfway through.

I feared I wouldn't be able to get back into the groove after six weeks away, but I picked up right where I'd left off and it was like I hadn't ever stopped.  Which was totally cool.  Usually my brain is all like 'what the hell is happening here' and then I'm forced to go back and figure out where I left off.  Yay for brain cooperation.  

This is still a behemoth and I still have 42% of the book to make edit notes on, but I'm progressing again.  Now, let's see if the notes I made in July and August make any sense when I circle around and start inputting them into the manuscript.  

I've also been playing with the idea of writing that Christmas short story set in my genie world.  Don't get your hopes up.  I started that thing a few years ago and never got back to it.  But it would be a nice thing to finish and get out there in the world in time for the holidays.  We'll see.

One thing I really need to do is get back to marketing, but I'm not sure where to start and how well any of it will be received after all this time.  I mean, it's been a while since anything sold, so the rankings are in the basement and generally, whether we like it or not, that means people are less likely to want to take a chance on a new-to-them book with craptastic rankings.  It's best to market when you have a reason to market - like a new book out.  Since I don't have a new book out and I'm not going to any time soon, I guess I'll have to make up my own reasons and go for it.  Halloween is always a good reason.  Maybe I'll do a sale on the genie books around Halloween.  Maybe the model books.  We'll see.  Stay tuned.

Also, looking forward, we have a little less than three months to the end of the year.  Yeah, I know you don't want to think about that, but I need to.  Spreadsheets arem't going to make themselves and all that.  

So, what's on your plate these days?  What's up for the rest of the year?  Any plans?  Or are you hiding from the 2022 workload for a bit longer?

Friday, August 20, 2021

Last Day for FREE Genie Awesomeness

Today's the last day to get Wish in One Hand for free.  Well, until the next time it's free.  Which probably won't be until 2022.  So, if you want to read it for free and don't want to wait, I suggest you hie yourself to Amazon and download yourself a copy.  Tomorrow the price goes back to $3.99.  Save yourself four bucks.

Just do it.  You know you want to.



Friday, August 13, 2021

Upcoming Book Birthday!

Lest you think I have, in my total immersion in this fantasy, forgotten my other books...

On Wednesday the 18th, it will be Wish in One Hand's book birthday.  Six years old.  Just a wee babe in the scheme of all written materials but probably, in book years, middle-aged or something.  

To celebrate, starting Monday, this first of my forays into urban fantasy will be free for five days.  If you enjoy it, I hope you'll pick up the other three books in the series.  

As always, all my books are available through the Kindle Unlimited program, so if you're into that, you can get all the Once Upon a Djinn books free with your subscription to KU and read to your heart's content.



Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Book... Err... Books

 Just so you know, I'm not dead.  And I really am working on the book.  Books.  Whatever.  

Okay, so it was a book.  As in singular.  Now, I think it might be several books.  A trilogy of books.  Each would complete an arc for the characters, with the overall main arc completed in the third book.  And subsequent books will follow the overall arc for these characters and this world.  

If I'm right, it'll go like this: 1) Training at the Academy 2) Hero Stuff 3) Epic Battle Stuff.  

Not sure if I can pull it off as three whole and complete novels, but I'm digging deeper into everyone and everything.  Fleshing it out.  Making it real.  And re-writing the beginning.  As I do this, I know it's going to be a behemoth if I leave it as just one book.  So, the idea now is to make this one book into three books.  We'll see how that goes as I keep making notes and writing new words into the beginning.  

Fantasy... it's a bear, but it's so much fun.

And hey, since I'm not sleeping, I have plenty of time to write.  Right?

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

The Writing Spectacle

If you've tried to stop by my other main blog - The Writing Spectacle - this morning, you may have gotten a note that the blog has been removed.  I didn't do it.  They did.

Before I'd even finished my first cigarette this morning, I got the following note in my inbox:

Hello, As you may know, our Community Guidelines (https://blogger.com/go/contentpolicy) describe the boundaries for what we allow-- and don't allow-- on Blogger. Your blog titled "http://writingspectacle.blogspot.com/" was flagged to us for review. We have determined that it violates our guidelines and have made the URL http://writingspectacle.blogspot.com/ unavailable to blog readers. Why was your blog removed? Your content has violated our PHISHING policy. Please visit our Community Guidelines page linked in this email to learn more. If we feel that a blog's content does not fit within the expectations of our Policy, we no longer allow it to be publicly available. If you think we've made a mistake, you can request a review at :link:, and we'll take another look. Sincerely, -The Blogger Team

So, I go to the link (which I've redacted) and it makes me jump through the anti-spam picture clicking thing to prove I'm not a robot.  Then it says it'll review my request sometime in the next two days.  

By the way, here's the verbiage of their Phishing policy:

Phishing: Do not use this product for phishing. This includes soliciting or collecting sensitive data such as passwords, financial details, and social security numbers.

I NEVER do any of that.  So, this is either a glitch or it's the beginning of the end.  I'll be here at Outside the Box as long as they let me.  I hope it's a glitch because I've had The Writing Spectacle since 2006.  Fifteen years of posts.  And not once have I ever tried to get any information out of any of you.  

Of all the things they could've used to kill my blog, that certainly wasn't the one I would've expected.  If you haven't read the 'Content Policy' lately, it's an interesting read.  For varying definitions of interesting, of course.

Anyway, I'll let ya know if they reinstate my blog.  For now, I'm going to suck down copious amounts of coffee and smoke a lot of cigarettes.  Guess I picked the wrong lifetime to quit drinking.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Writing and Editing a Fantasy is Hard Work

Writing a book is hard.  I mean, if you want to do it right, you have all this stuff you have to do and remember and juggle so it doesn't get lost and so every single thing makes sense.

Writing a fantasy takes hard to a whole new level.

Let's say you write a book filled with normal people set in the present.  You can pull from everyday to populate your book and color their world.  Then you write a book with not-normal people (paranormal) or set in another time (history/dystopian).  You can still pull from everyday for the setting or your experiences as a human interacting with normal stuff.

Fantasy has not-normal people in not-normal places interacting with not-normal things.  That's a lot of stuff you have to make up in your head.  And it all still has to be believable.

There still has to be rules.  You make a critter that lives in the dark, and it can't have attributes of critters that live in the light.  That sort of stuff.  You make a character with loads of power, they still have to get tired.  Eat a muffin.  Sleep.  Your rules can go against normal rules of physics, certainly, but they need to be consistent.  (An all-powerful magic user would get pretty boring, by the way.)

Anyway, I kind of understand why a certain author takes forever to get his books to print.  Although, one might think he'd have his world down by now so he could easily slip into it and crank out whatever book number he's on.  For the record, I don't read this particular author's books, but I hear people complaining about them and how long it takes.  Perhaps someone could suggest a series bible type thing to make the process quicker.  :shrug:

As I sit trying to make progress on the editing of this book... still haven't nailed a title yet... and find myself looking at the percent meter and barely seeing it move from day to day, I'm struck by how much harder this seems than editing my other books.  I built a world.  And as I was building it, things changed between the beginning and the end, so now I need to make the beginning match the end in all the world-building ways.  

I don't know how many pages of notes I have now.  A lot.  Everything from a comma to 'this needs to be moved over there' to rewrite this scene.  And I'm only at 9% as of last night.  That's like 9000 words out of 97000.  Blerg.  So, I guess what I'm saying is... if you're sitting around waiting for this to be done, don't hold your breath.  This shit is hard.  I'm loving it, but that doesn't make it any easier.  Might make it harder because I want this to be the best book it can be and that's going to take a lot of work.  

But I'll do it.  Sometimes I lay in bed at night wondering why I don't just go back to mystery and suspense.  Give myself an easier task.  But I started this and I am going to finish it.  I'm mulish that way sometimes.  And this will be so satisfying when it's done.

What's a task you've completed that you knew was hard going in but had to complete?  

Monday, July 26, 2021

Nothing New Under the Sun

There really is nothing new under the sun.  I was scrolling through my newsfeed this morning and saw a post by a cover artist I follow of a cover for a publisher.  On it was a beastie who looks a lot like the beastie I was just trying to draw.  (His was way better, of course, but then again, he's a pro and I'm a dabbler.)  

I assume his drawing was to the specifications of whatever author the cover was for.  Which means two authors who've never met each other pulled similar beasties out of their heads at nearly the same time.  

I've been thinking about this a bit.  I mean, look at the commercials - specifically the taglines.  Marketing people have to be running out of new things to say about their products, or they're becoming increasingly stupid.  (Here's one that's still new and fresh - with a cat - but most commercials aren't this smart.)  I wish I could remember the worst one I saw the other day.  It went something like 'Dog food  brand... because you have a dog'.  It wasn't dog food, but the gist was the same.  'Eye drops... because you have eyes.'  Maybe it was 'Skin cream... because you have skin.'  Yeah, that sound closer to right.

Anyway, with mankind having written stuff for centuries now, it's hard to come up with something totally new.  

I've talked about this before - a friend wrote a book, got it published, and then got crap about it on the internet because it's similar to another book that had been published a couple years prior.  I had read the previous book and I read my friend's book when it was still pre-published.  There were similarities in the plot and in some of the devices, but that's where the similarities ended.  One's book was lighthearted, the other's was more serious.  

So, my friend dropped her book.  Which was too bad because I thought it was the better book.  I had a major sad that the previous author did nothing to stop her fans from attacking my friend.  A 'hey guys, thanks for your support, but she didn't steal my work, so cut it out' would've been nice. And even sadder is that both books had a particular twist in them that was similar to one in a popular movie, so there really wasn't something NEW to 'steal' anyway.

How do we, as writers, keep this from happening?  How do we write something NEW when it seems like everything out there has been done already?  No clue.  I guess we write our books to the best of our abilities and hope that what we've created isn't too similar to someone else's work.  

You could, of course, read everything that's already been written, so you know for sure.  Heh.  You could research everything and change whatever seems similar, but you run the risk of 1) changing it so that it's now like something else and 2) ruining your own damn book.  

For my part, it's a matter of read what I can and research what I can and hope for the best.  Yes, I will probably change some basic things about the mistmorph.  (Have to research that name so I don't end up having named my critter something someone else has already used.)  Specifically, the quills running along its spine - which is what makes it exceptionally close to what that artist had drawn.  Other than that, I think I'm safe.  His had a wolf head - mine has a panther head with bat eyes and ears.  His was furry and mine is furless with slick gray skin.  Not really that big a deal.  

I really am trying to write this so that it comes off as fresh and original.  I already talked about having a similar name to another fantasy author which gives me a slight stumbler from the get go.  Nothing I can do about that.  People will think what they want to think whether there's a rational basis for it or not.  

And there's a slight plot device that similar to another popular book, but the actual thing and its mythology is, I hope, adequately unusual as to make that a non-issue.  

Is it any wonder fantasy novels take so damn long?  Maybe I'll talk about that next time.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Wednesday Words - A Cloudy Snippet

 My friend, Silver, does this thing called Wednesday Words - wherein she takes a prompt and posts a snippet related to the prompt.  Today's prompt was CLOUDS.  Since I'm at a loss for blog material this morning, I thought I'd just share the words I left in her comments.  

To set it up, this is the bad guy... a dark elf intent on destruction... using his magic to control the dragon.

The sun had set by the time Uliph returned to Kingshead.  The snow was lightly falling, covering roads whose earlier layers were decorated sooty-black.  Uliph preferred the black.  It reminded him of the towns after his dragon had done her worst.  Soon, the soot here wouldn’t be from the scores of hearth fires belching their leavings from chimneys, but from fires on the roofs and the walls and the doors.  And the bodies.  Oh, how they burned brightly from the dragonfire.

Licking his lips, he reached out to the beast.  She was already circling over the city, far above the snow and clouds, waiting for his bidding.  At the touch of his mind, a flame jetted through the night.  Not as far above the clouds as I would like. The people might still see her and attempt to flee.  He sent his thoughts up to her.  Rise and hide.  

His mind encountered resistance.  The dragon was hungry and when she was hungry, she became unruly.  Uliph loosed magic in her direction and felt her cringe.  But she did as she had been told and rose above the clouds.  

The attack would come while these favorites of the Lady slept and not a second sooner.  If they saw the dragon now, they would flee.  Or they would try to fight.  The High Lord wanted his victims unsuspecting this night.  Time enough later to taste their fear.  After the shrouds were either destroyed entirely or had been pushed across this land that had once been theirs.  

It's totally first drafty, so be kind.  I'm working on it.  Really, I am.  I started making edits notes, which I will input later.  And I definitely haven't gotten to this point in the story.  


Monday, July 12, 2021

The Sale Starts Tomorrow

Since I'm done with the first draft and letting the words stew a bit before I start editing, I thought this would be as good a time as any to have a sale.  

Starting tomorrow, A Model Curse the trilogy (and complete series) will be available for less than $2.  Sleeping Ugly will be free through Saturday.  Ugly and the Beast and Cinder Ugly will be 99c each through next Monday.  Three books for $1.98.  Woohoo.

When a curse strikes a supermodel, all hell is gonna break loose.

Jeni Braxxon was raised to believe she wasn't good for much of anything but being pretty. Her career in modeling is on the rise until being cursed to turn ugly throws her world into chaos. Now, she has to learn who the culprit is and stop them, if only to get her pretty back. And along the way, she'll discover that what she was raised to believe isn't anywhere near the truth. There's more to Jeni than ever met the camera lens—something her enemies probably should've thought of before they starting messing with her.

They're also available on Kindle Unlimited and in paperback, if you're so inclined.  

They're fun and they're snarky, but they also have a bit of heart and a sniffly place here and there.  


Friday, July 9, 2021

Finished? Yeah, I Guess So

Once again, I wrote this and forgot to post it...  Sorry it's late.

----

Last night, I finished Untitled Fantasy.  At the time, I wasn't sure I was finished.  In fact, I said something on FB about it being finished unless my brain said otherwise while I was trying to fall asleep.  But my brain was quiet.  Well, other than starting the next book.  That didn't last long, though.  I told my brain to shut up and it did for a change.  Best night's sleep I've had in weeks.

Now I need to let the book marinate for a while.  A week.  Maybe two.  Maybe less.  The story will tell me when it's ready to be edited.  

I guess I really need to find a title for the damn thing.  Everything I think of sounds lame at this point.  No biggie.  Rumor Has It was 'Duke Noble 1' until it was time to make the cover.

From here, I need to wade into the book and decorate.  It needs paint and furniture.  Or frosting and fondant.  Whatever metaphor suits you.  

Anyway, now I can relax a bit.  This story I started in 2011 is finally done.  I'm pleased with it overall.  It ain't perfect, but its imperfections can be sanded away and polished up.  Yay for edits.

Oh, here's another song for you.  This one really speaks to the muse for me.  Bottom of the River by Delta Rae.  Watch the video.  It's totally cool.  I think she's supposed to be a witch being dragged out of her house in the middle of the night and taken to the river.  But she gets them in the end.  Hehe.  Fun.


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Music and Words

Recently, I created a station on Jango specifically for this book, which is as close to a playlist as I'll ever get for my books.  I started out with the band Of Monsters and Men then added in The Lumineers and Phillip Phillips and then Delta Rae.  All artists that, for me, say 'fantasy'.

It has totally helped me get in the mood for writing.  Even when I don't feel like writing, once I throw this on, I can sit down and at least knock out a few hundred words.  And this is totally awesome, considering I've had a tough time these past couple years getting the words out.

Last night, I was in the process of knocking out way more than a few words when a song came on that was totally not in line with the mood I was going for.  Oh, it was in line with the general theme of the station, so I wasn't going to give it a thumbs down and have it removed permanently from the playlist.  I was just going to click next and move on.  But by the time I had made the necessary move from Word to browser, I was already hooked on the song.  Then I went to my search engine and looked for the video of it and listened not only to the song, but to the lead-in where the songwriter talks about writing the song and why he wrote it.  (The song was No Piece in Quiet by Delta Rae, btw.  It's pretty and kinda sad.)  

By the time that was finished, I was derailed.  Pretty and sad is fine, but it definitely didn't put me in a place where I could write the next BIG SCENE.  I mean, if the next scene had been a pretty and sad scene it would've been great inspiration, but the next scene is fraught with tension and action.  I need zippier music for that.

In the end, getting derailed was okay because it was after 8 anyway and I did already have over 1700 words.  The song probably derailed me because I was already getting tired.  My writing stamina ain't what it used to be.  I let it atrophy.  Still, I really should've just clicked past this song and kept writing.  Worked on rebuilding the stamina and all that.

What about you?  Does music help or hurt your writing?  If you don't write, does it help or hurt your focus on other things?  Do you ever just get derailed by a song?  


Friday, July 2, 2021

Epiphany

I've been struggling this week, trying to create an awesome climax for this book.  The big battle scene.  What's a gal to do when she's created a baddy so bad that nothing could stop it?  

I knew when I reached the point of actually needing to do something about the baddy that I wouldn't be able to sleep unless I fixed this.  The hamster was running hard on its wheel and not getting anywhere.  And it would continue to run.

So, I stopped.  I got up off my chair and put on my workout clothes.  This is the point where I'd usually go for a walk, but it's so hot and humid right now, I'd probably drop over halfway through.  Instead, I got on the exercise bike.  (Which I've moved into the spare room, positioned so that it looks out a window and I've placed the stereo next to it so I can listen to jams, too.)  Eighteen minutes on that sucker.

I still didn't have the answer, even if I was in a more-receptive place.  

I flopped into my recliner and vegged out while Hubs watch Mountain Men.  (He loves that show.)  And I let my mind wander over the problem.  I was determined to figure this out no matter how late I would have to stay up.  What to do.  What to do.  What to do.

Epiphany!

I got right up, grabbed my beverage, and headed into the office where I made magic.  The answer was bloody brilliant, if I do say so myself.  

Plus, I got it all out and finished in time to go to bed at the normal time.  Of course, I was totally hopped up on cold coffee drink and iced tea by then, so while I had hoped to avoid not being able to sleep because my brain was turning over the problem, I still didn't sleep because of the caffeine.  

Time and readers will tell whether my brilliance was actually brilliant, but right now, I'm loving it.  

It looks like I will actually finish this book this time.  The hard part is over.  Now there's the denouement and some additional excitement as there's still a thing or two the characters have to deal with.  (Which actually might be dealt with in edits.)  I'm just over 89K words as of last night.  Maybe another 5K... perhaps 10.  

I do love epiphanies.  I wish they'd happen more often, but then again, they wouldn't be as awesome if they came more frequently, would they?

Monday, June 28, 2021

What's in a Name?

What's in a name?  Would an author by any other name write as sweet?

Years ago, when Wish in One Hand was newly birthed and out in the world, I stumbled across a website that trashes bad book covers.  (Yes, my original cover for WIOH deserved to be there.)  Only problem was one of the people trashing my book's cover went after my name, too.  

They accused me of trying to riff off of Brandon Sanderson.  Like this was some kind of name I made up to lure unsuspecting Brandon fans.  I posted about it on my blog and then went on about my merry way, because it's not like I was doing what they accused me of, we don't even write the same genres, and it wasn't like I was going to change my name.  

I'm kind of proud of my name.  After all, I chose to be a Sanderson when I married Hubs.  I could've easily kept my maiden name.  I chose not to.  I use my initials because it gives me some small measure of anonymity in this weird world.  And while I do like my first name, it doesn't necessarily say AUTHOR.  Some of you know it, most of you don't.  (Yes, it does begin with a B.  No, it doesn't rhyme with witch.)  So, B.E. Sanderson.  Tada!  (For the record, before I got married, I was B.E. Meissner online and in print - LTOE's and whatnot.)  

Five plus years later and I thought this issue was done.  But once something sticks in my head, it's in there.  So, lucky me, when I was laying in bed thinking about this fantasy novel I'm writing, the old criticism jumped out of my memory banks and slapped me across the face.  If you're not familiar with Brandon, he writes fantasy.  If I got tagged for being a Sanderson with an urban fantasy, which he doesn't write, how will people react to seeing my similar name on a fantasy novel?  

Blerg.  And since I have never read anything by him, now I'm wondering if what I'm writing is even a little bit close to what he's already written.  How gauche would that be?

Since I don't want to stop writing this fantasy, I'm debating on whether to switch back to my maiden name for this venture.  But I like my name... :whines:  And writing under a pseudonym is such a pain in the ass.  I'd have to go get a DBA registered and find some way to market that name without linking it to my name and... :collapses:

The really stupid thing about all this is that the need for any of this is so far away I really shouldn't be letting it hamper my writing.  But, sure enough, it derailed me.  Of course, I've already talked about this book using my name and I've posted snippets of it under this name and if I really wanted to divorce the book from the name I should've already started that process so there'd be a clean break.  :shrug:

It is what it is.  

Have any of y'all read Brandon?  He's like a big best-selling author and junk.  I so do not want to ride his coat tails, even a little bit.  I also don't want to get smeared as being someone who's trying to make money off his name, even if it isn't true.  He's got money for lawyers and stuff.  I don't want to get sued, but I don't want to stop writing my fantasy either.

I'm probably worried over nothing.  But on the off chance it's something...  Gah.

Yep, neurotic writer is in residence this morning.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Writing for the Love of Writing

Yesterday, my friend Silver posted about writing for herself.  Which dovetailed nicely into something I've been thinking about this week.

Why am I suddenly writing right now when I hadn't been able to write for a while?  I stopped thinking about what was marketable and started writing what I wanted to write.  If for no other reason than I needed to write again.  

Hell, the whole reason I never finished this fantasy in the first place boiled down to worrying about whether it would be something I could sell.  It's why I couldn't muster the will to finish Duke #2.  It lays beneath every unfinished novel I have on my harddrive.  Including the ones I didn't finish before I started publishing my own books.

Of course, back when I wasn't publishing, I was querying and the thought was more along the lines of 'why finish this is no agent is going to want to look at it?' Which in a circuitous way led back to selling books. Down the road.  Eventually.  

I get to worrying whether anyone will want a book and I lose faith in the book.  Yep.  That shit's a killer.

So, yeah, I picked up this old book I never finished and now I'm working on finishing it.  And still, the demon whispers that I'll never sell it.  I'll never be able to make a cover for it or buy a cover for it.  I'll never be able to pay for marketing.  Why bother finishing it?  

Because it's the book I want to write and I'm going to fucking finish it this time.  Screw the market.  I realized a long time ago that the market - as traditional publishing sees it - doesn't jibe with my set of philosophies anyway.  And no, that isn't sour grapes.  It just is what it is.  

There's a market out there for me somewhere.  It might not be huge.  Or it might be bigger than I think.  It's filled with people who want a good story, well-written and well-organized* and well-edited.  People who want to be entertained and maybe think a little while they're doing it (or not because my some of my books encourage rather than force you to think about issues).  I seek to entertain.  I seek to uplift through heroic actions when I can, but the entertainment is the priority here.

Anyway, you might not see me publish anything else any time soon.  I'm writing.  You also might not see me marketing stuff because putting all that effort into marketing and not seeing sales harshes my groove.  And I certainly don't need that.  

I'm writing for the love of writing again.  And that's all that really matters.

*Typing those words made me remember a particularly heinous reaction to a paper I wrote in college.  The prof said it was well-written and well-organized but he didn't like the topic, so he gave me a D.  (The assignment was to write a paper on some form of aggression.  I chose to write it on 'assertiveness as positive aggression'.  He hated that.  Buttwart that he was.)  Looking back, it was probably my first taste of a bad review of good writing.  He was definitely not my target market.

Monday, June 21, 2021

The Floodgates Have Opened

After too long a time not being able to see the story... any story... the floodgates have opened.  My brain is being blitzed with idea bombs.  But do the bombs come when I'm doing nothing and have all the time to sit down at the keyboard?  Nope.  They come when I'm trying to fall asleep.

Last night was a particularly spectacular show.  The hamster-wheel in my head must've been hooked up to some kind of Van de Graaff generator and shit was sparking all over the place.  And I was all like "Doood... I'm trying to sleep here.  Come ON."

I did get up and write some of it down.  The rest?  Well, I can only hope that when it comes time to work on the story, my brain cooperates and shows me once more all the wonderful things it was trying to show me last night.

Unfortunately, when the floodgates opened, they opened wide and hosed me down with ideas for not only this book but the book after this book, wherein our intrepid hero and his merry band move onto the next part of their story.  

I seriously did not want another series like this.  But the story does what the story wants.  I wanted to finish this and then get back to Duke.  Unfortunately, the crime fiction writer hat has been thrown into the wind in favor of the fantasy writer hat... purple velvet with a pointy top gently crumpled over and replete with sparkly stars, comets, and crescent moons.

This probably isn't the best for maintaining a fan base, but... :shrug:  I can't do it any other way.  I can't force the story that my brain doesn't want to write.  Wish I could.  Can't.  

Right now, I'm just happy to be writing again.  Although I do wish I could get some sleep.  Thank goodness there's always coffee.  


Friday, June 18, 2021

Back in the Thick

I finished reading the unfinished manuscript yesterday.  And I started writing on it again.  Only 500 words, but it's a start.  It'll just take me a little while to get back in the swing of it again.

I bet you're wondering which manuscript I restarted.  It's the Untitled Fantasy from several years ago.  (I think I started it in 2011 and then wrote some more on it in 2019.)

I think Aryl and the gang deserve to have their story finished.  It's a good one.  New and fresh... I think.  Admittedly, I haven't read a ton of recent fantasy novels, so how ground-breaking it will be remains to be seen.  :shrug:  It's got some elements y'all will be familiar with - young guy, school for mages, dragons... the battle between good and evil.  There's plenty of new stuff, too, though.  Dark stuffs.  This ain't Harry Potter, folks.

As I said in a previous post, it's a behemoth, but some fantasies are.  I'm still playing with the idea of breaking it into a series.  Once I get it all written, I'll decide.  I'm not promising when that'll happen, though.  There's still quite a bit to be written on the first draft and a lot to be inserted in the second draft.  

But I'm excited to be back in the thick of it again.  Hell, I dreamed about it last night and figured out a plot point, which I got up and wrote down in the dark last night.  (With a dull pencil.  Luckily, I can still make out enough of it to figure out what I meant. LOL)

I still don't have a title for it.  I haven't named the kingdom.  Or many of the monsters.  (I have a lot of :insert bad critter here: littered throughout.)  But I have the magics figured out and how everything fits together.  Sort of.  

It'll be fun figuring it all out.  Or it'll kill me.  One or the other.  We'll see what happens.  Woohoo.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Deciding About Book Length, Etc.

So, yesterday on The Writing Spectacle, I talk a bit about what I'm currently doing.  I've pulled a forgotten manuscript out of the dank corners of my harddrive, shaken the dust off, and am reading it to get back into the swing of the story.  I'm still not ready to say which one, but I'd like to talk about a couple things regarding it.

I'm still not sure if this is one book or several.  It's already at 78K words and it's only 2/3rds of the way through the story.  Plus, I have ideas that need to be inserted throughout what I've already read through to make the story fuller and richer.  (I had an awesome idea last night as I was trying to sleep that I got up and wrote down.  Woohoo!)  That'll swell the story up to upgodly pages for a single title.  

I'm not super afraid of putting a big book out there.  Lord knows I have a few titles over 100K words out there already.  I just want to do what's right for this story.  

There are definite places where the story could be broken into three to make a trilogy.  Without making it too cliffhangery.  I hate stories that leave too much hanging from one book to the next.  

The genre could handle a single title of epic proportions.  It could also handle a trilogy.  

Decisions decisions.  

Any way I slice it, I'm still working toward having the whole story done before I decide.  It'll either be a behemoth or it'll release one after the other as a trilogy.  Which brings me around to another point...

Will the market bear paying for three separate books or would it be better to lay out a single book?  Personally, I like big books.  It's hard to hold them these days, but I manage, and if they're ebooks, even better.  I'd rather read one big book than three little books, especially when I have to pay for them.  But that's me, and I know I'm not the typical reader.

So what say you?

Monday, June 14, 2021

Doing the Job

It seems like I've come around to that time again,  You know the time... when I sit here wondering why I bother to write books and wondering whether my time would be better spent  by getting a job outside the house.  

Of course, who would hire me?  I haven't worked outside my home in 17 years.  

Seventeen years...  I've been writing now for SEVENTEEN YEARS.  God, that's depressing.  

Yes, I know.  I have sixteen books published.  And umpteen others in various states of finished.  It's not like I haven't done anything.  But if I had an employee who was so sporadic in her efforts, I'd have fired her years ago.  Hit the road, you lazy bitch.

So, yeah, I looked at jobs.  Writing, editing, proofing... you need a degree.  Umm...  I don't have one of those.  And I haven't been able to write to spec since I worked for other people (and even then, it was like pulling teeth).  Editing/Proofing other people's work?  Well, that would be fine if it was for other people I like who write the stuff I like.  I'm at the point in my life where I can't stomach reading stuff I don't like written by people I don't like.  

Why yes, I would like some cheese...

Anyway, I'm thinking housekeeping would be an awesome job right now.  Loads of places around here - resorts and things - are hiring housekeepers and the pay isn't too bad.  

Or I could just get up off my lazy ass and get back to writing.  The pay sucks and the benefits are for shit, but it's my job.  Maybe I need to get back to treating it like one.



Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Time for the Genie Sale


ONCE UPON A DJINN is on sale now. Get the complete fun, snarky, paranormal, 4-book series for less than the regular price of one. And the last book is FREE worldwide for the next 5 days. (They're all always free with Kindle Unlimited.)

US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LZ213IM
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/kindle/series/B01LZ213IM

#fun #snarky #paranormal #completeseries #ebook #urbanfantasy #99cents #FREE

If you haven't read the last book yet, now's the time.  

Monday, June 7, 2021

Details Details Details

I came across a post in one of the book groups I follow, wherein the individual asked if readers preferred books with maps included so they could get a real sense of where the book takes place.  And he wasn't talking about fantasy.  He was asking because the book he's reading is set in Switzerland and he'd like to know the layout of the particular town.

My thought was: NO.  And I expected to see a whole lot of people saying the same.  Wow, was I ever wrong.  

The majority of the comments - 30 when I wrote this - wanted a map of some kind if the book was set in a place they weren't familiar with.  Some also wanted family trees.  Others wanted deeper explanations of food and customs and clothing.

Many of them use Google maps to check out where the story takes place.  And they'd still prefer a map in the book.  Not a detailed one, but one that shows them the key places where the story occurs.

Ummm...  Yah...  I totally don't do this.  As a reader or as a writer.  I fill in the details in my head.  And I had assumed other people do that, too.  Which was rather shortsighted of me.  Oops.  One reader said that's what he does - fill the details in himself.  Another person, a writer, said he never thought about it.  Which is where I was with it.  A third person said she'd only want a map if it was necessary, and I can see that, too, but how do you decide what a reader thinks is necessary?

Personally, I'm not big on details.  I spend a lot of time scanning past the details to get to the plot.  I'm very plot motivated.  So that's the way I write.  I sprinkle in details and descriptions with a very light hand because that's what I want to read.  But I'm weird, I guess.  

Now, this particular group is international, and they're reading widely - stories set in the UK and the European continent, Asia, Australia, etc.  As well as US stories.  So I'm not sure how that translates to readers of US fiction here in the US.  And it's a crime fiction group, so I'm not sure how that effects the answers either.  And maybe the dissenters didn't feel the need to comment because the subject didn't pertain to them.  :shrug:  I'm going to go out on a limb and figure this group was a pretty good slice of readers to poll and they want more detail.

Which means I'm screwed.  Oh, henceforth, I could try to put more details in my novels.  But the sixteen that are already out there are what they are.  And if I suddenly start being all detail-oriented, those older books are going to be weird and set the readers up to expect I don't do details.  Maybe I could slap a sticker on the new books: NOW WITH 42% MORE DETAILS!

I guess I'll just have to be satisfied sitting here and waiting for readers like me to find and enjoy my sparsely detailed books.  

How about you?  Do you prefer loads of details and descriptions?  Or are you like me and insert those yourself as you're reading along?  Can you go either way if the story is good?  Is there hope for me?

Thursday, June 3, 2021

RUMOR HAS IT - On Sale Now!

RUMOR HAS IT is on sale for the very first time. Here's the marketing verbiage I'm using today:

When a lifelong friend dies under mysterious circumstances, it's up to Duke Noble, P.I. to cut through the rumors and bring the old gal's murderer to justice.

Take a trip back to the way old crime stories were told with DUKE NOBLE, P.I.: RUMOR HAS IT -  available for the first time at only 99c/99p.  (Always free with Kindle Unlimited.)

US: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B08ZNXQKPC

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08ZNXQKPC

#gritty #noir #hardboiledcrime #ebooks #99cents #KindleUnlimited

Here's hoping that grabs people's attention and makes them want to slap down 99c for the book.

I'm struggling with writing the second book, but I'll get there. Maybe if I see sales for this one, it'll spur me to work harder on getting the next book out there.

So, there it is. Grab a copy if you haven't already. Gift a copy to a friend. Share it all over the place. And thank you for your support.

Monday, May 31, 2021

The Worth of a Book

The other day, someone posted about book pricing to a group I follow.  She was merely stating that a series she'd been enjoying had jacked the prices up on subsequent books, making it hard for her to continue to purchase them.  And a load of people jumped on her for daring to say 7.99 was too much for an ebook.  (And it was pounds not dollars, so even worse.)  

The people jumping on her like she was a witch who needed to be burned seem to have forgotten a salient point - books, like any other commodity, are only worth what the BUYER wants to pay for them.  

Yeah, sure, writers put hours and hours of work into their product.  They pay for editing and cover art and marketing, too.  The last time I checked, I'd spent over $11,000 on publishing my books.  If we priced each book at the amount it was worth to us, no one could afford them.  As Hubs says, if I price them at $11K each, I only need to sell one.  But who'd buy it?

I know, I know... thinking about a book as a commodity gives some authors a case of the vapors.  But that's all it is... to the reader.  It's a thing to buy.  Versus all the other things a reader has to spend money on.  Sure, books provide hours of entertainment.  They can enrich your life and your mind.  But they are still only worth what the reader is willing or can afford to pay.  

Some made the argument that a book costs less than a movie, but provides longer lasting enjoyment.  Maybe so.  Lord knows, I'd rather read a book than go to a movie.  (Do people even go to movies anymore?)   But when the choice is buy a book or put that money toward groceries, the groceries win.  

And, by the way, we aren't the ones to say what the value of something OUGHT TO BE to someone else.  Maybe for them, a movie is worth more than a book.  

Again, the worth of the book is subjective and dependent on the buyer's whims, not the author's.

The poor gal who originally made the post about pricing had to shut it down to comments due to all the blasting she took.  I felt sorry for her.  She was only expressing an opinion.  I was right there with her and I said so before the comments went down.  They were saying things like 7.99 is nothing and trying to make her feel ashamed for questioning the price of someone else's hard work.  Maybe for them 8 per book is nothing.  For the gal, it was definitely something.  For me, it's definitely something.  

Would I like to get that much for my books?  Oh, hell, yes.  But I'm not going to berate anyone who can't afford that.  And I'm sure as hell not going to ask readers to shell out that much for a book when I can't do it myself.  Hell, I feel bad sometimes that my books are 3.99 or 4.99 because I know how it goes when you would like to read a book but can't justify the outgo in your budget.  

Those people who were blasting her for not considering what a writer puts into a book are guilty of not considering what a reader might be experiencing with regard to their finances.  Treating your readers like they're cheap assholes is not the way to go.  

Jus' sayin'.


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Another Dystopian Freebie

Hey, Everybody!

I know I don't usually post here on Saturdays, and my brain hasn't had nearly enough coffee to be sparklingly witty yet, but I don't want you to miss the start of BLINK OF AN I being free.  


I love this book so much.  It was actually the third book I ever wrote, even if it wasn't the third book I published.  I dusted the manuscript off and sent it through to my editor, and together we got it in readers' hands in 2018.  (The actual paperback wasn't available until this year, though.  Sorry about that.)  

Anyway, the ebook version is free through June 2nd.  Grab a copy today.


Friday, May 28, 2021

Sales and Marketing Updates and Junk

It's the last day to get UNEQUAL for free.  Starting tomorrow, BLINK OF AN I will be free for 5 days.  Then the sales begin.  RUMOR HAS IT will be on sale from 6/2-6/8.  The first three genie books will be on sale from the 9th through the 15th and WISH HITS THE FAN will be free from the 9th through the 13th.

I'll schedule additional sales for other books for later in the month.  

The thinking on the Once Upon a Djinn series sale this time is this:  A lot fewer people have read the fourth book than the others.  And I really want them to read that last book.  It's the one where everything comes together and I'm really quite proud of it.  So I made it free, while the other books are cheap.  We'll see if it works.  If you haven't read that last book, you're missing out.

As of this morning, I only moved 12 copies of Unequal, which is kind of depressing.  Dystopian is hard to move anyway, but I guess right now, living in a pre-dystopian world makes it so people don't actually want to read about one.  :shrug:  We'll see what happens with Blink.  

I still don't have money in the budget for advertising, so I'm doing the best I can with the free outlets available to me.  Two of my go-to FB groups have gone to archive - which means they aren't live anymore.  (One of them went to archive in the middle of my advertising campaign, which blew my mind.  One day it was open and the next it was closed.)  FB keeps glitching out on me and making life difficult, but I am persevering.  I have a couple book groups I belong to on MeWe, but the reach still isn't there yet.  

Anyway, thanks to all of you who have read and reviewed my books.  I really do appreciate it.  If you haven't read or reviewed yet, I'd appreciate it if you did.  Every download helps.  Sales help more.  Reviews are icing on the cake.  

Monday, May 24, 2021

It's Dystopian Time

Mornin', Folks!

It's feeling a little pre-apocalyptic out there lately.  But mankind is not doomed.  We have the power to change things, to step off and move in a different direction.  In my dystopian novels, I detail possible futures and how the characters fight to change the worlds they live in.  Always with the mantra of all my books: Good guys win, bad guys lose.  And, of course, with loads of suspense along the way.  

So, with this in mind, I decided to make my dystopian novels free for a limited time.  Download a copy, send a copy to a friend.  Spread it around.  Will they save the world?  Who knows, but they can't hurt, eh?

First up, we have UNEQUAL.  Free worldwide from today through Friday.

We are all the same.  Equal.

In a world where being different is against the law, Rue Logan lives in fear of being branded Unequal and getting disappeared like so many others.  The Department of Equalization had other plans for her life, but she couldn’t let that stop her.  Now, she works her assigned job as a janitor by day and prowls the hospital’s corridors at night, saving lives.  

Until she’s caught.

On the run from the DOE, Rue finds others like her, Unequals working in secret to achieve their goals and live their lives.  But their leader has a mission of his own.  With war brewing, both sides need her skills to help them win.  Torn between her own deeply held beliefs and her desire to save the people she’s come to love, Rue must find a way to stop the conflict before any more lives are lost.  Even if it means uncovering secrets and lies that could break her world apart.

Saturday, BLINK OF AN I will be free through the 2nd.  

Always, these books are available with your Kindle Unlimited purchase, too.

Friday, May 21, 2021

International Paperbacks and Pricing

Recently, I received an email from Amazon that my paperbacks would now be available in Australia, and if I didn't go in and specify what I wanted those books to sell for, Amazon would choose a price for me.  When I went into each book to see what Amazon thought was a good price for my paperbacks, I saw that in each case, the amount they'd chosen would leave $0 for me.  

Umm... no.

So, I went through each and every book to change the price of the Australia paperbacks.  But in doing this, I noted that the prices I had let Amazon choose for all the other countries where paperbacks are available (based off my US price, supposedly) left very little meat on the bone for me. 

Noting this, I changed the prices for all international paperback copies.  I mean, come on.  I should be allowed to make a little somethin-somethin for the effort, eh?  I tried not to be greedy.  I mean, I make less on each paperback copy than I do on the ecopies of the same books - no matter what country it sells in.  

Unfortunately, with the amount Amazon takes for doing the job of printing and distributing, my paperbacks are not as cheap as I'd like them to be.  When you see the prices, don't curse me.  If I could give you all the same prices the trad pubs offer, I would.  I've got them all as cheap as I can make them - which is also why they aren't available for wide-distribution.  To give all those other sellers a cut,. I'd have to add even more money to the price just to eke out my dollar and change.  

It's the curse of being self-published, I guess.  :shrug:  There are quite a few of us self-pubs who don't even bother to offer hardcopy books because the expense versus the profit just isn't worth it.  I don't blame them.  But I wanted all of you to have a choice.  There it is.  

And, like I said, they're ALL now available as paperbacks in Australia.  Yay!  

And, if you're an author with paperbacks being printed and sold through Amazon, get in there and check your prices before you end up selling books and not getting any money for you.  Jus' sayin'.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Dishonest Reviews and Blackmailers

I read about something on FB yesterday and then again on a friend's blog this morning about a writer who is being blackmailed.  She got an email from some unknown person telling her that if she didn't pay, they were going to flood her books with bad ratings/reviews.  She didn't pay, and they did it.  (On Goodreads, at least.)  This dropped her new book from probably a 5-star average to a less than three star average - so far.  

First, this is a total shit thing to do.  They're screwing with a woman's livelihood here.  

Second, as readers, we should all be aware that not all ratings/reviews are honest.  In this case, it's blackmail.  In other cases, it's individuals with an axe to grind against the author.  And there are always the 'paid for' good reviews we should all already be aware of.  

If you're a reader, going off reviews and ratings helps you decide which book to lay down your hard-earned cash for.  And like many, you probably don't have the time to parse through stuff to figure out what's a real review and what's not.  Here are a few steps you can take to help you decide what's true.

Are all the questionable reviews lumped together in a short span of time?  

Do the reviewers have any kind of information about themselves on their own Goodreads pages?  No bios and no pictures are a big flag.

If there are reviews, do all the lumped reviews contradict all the other reviews?  Do they sound canned like the person couldn't have possibly read the book in question?  

Be a dear and spend a little time.  If you read the blurb and the book sounds interesting, check out the reviews themselves instead of going by the star average.  Read a little of the 'look inside' at Amazon (even if you don't buy your books there).  If the book still sounds interesting, give it a chance.  You can always return the book if you find it's not for you after all.  

And if you hear this has happened to a writer, I know the urge is to then go and give her a bunch of 5-stars to offset the bad ratings.  But this would be dishonest, too.  If you're interested in helping, shine a light on the practice so these cockroaches have nowhere to hide.  If that's not enough, and you have the spare cash, maybe buy the book and see for yourself if it's any good.  If it is, tell loads of people about it.  And then give it 5-stars.  

I hope this never happens to any of my friends.  Personally, if they tried that kind of blackmail on me, I'd have to fall over laughing.  You can't squeeze water out of a dry sponge.  Or maybe I'd turn it around and tell them that they need to pay ME a load of money so I don't report them to the authorities.  (Which I would still totally do, but hey, turnabout is fair play.)

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

FOREVER

I was reading something on a friends's blog the other day that got me thinking...  

Whatever you write, make it the best you can make it because your name is going to be on it FOREVER.

This is why we edit and proofread.  This is why we spend countless hours and days writing and re-writing, throwing the words out there and then rewording them.  This is why we obsess over commas and crutch words.  This is why we plot and we plan and we get all neurotic.  

I don't understand people who slap something together and put it up on Amazon.  Maybe they're using pseudonyms so they don't have to worry about their name being on it.  Maybe they have no pride.  Maybe they just don't care. :shrug:

FOREVER.  It's a long damn time to have something out there in the world that you can't be proud of.  

Every story I put out there in the world is something I am proud of.  If a hundred years from now, one of my stories is discovered and read, I'm proud to have them do it.  

The writers I know and love care.  They're proud of their works.  They should be.

Keep writing.  Keep caring.  Keep putting the best stories out there that you possibly can.  Be proud of yourselves.  

Monday, May 3, 2021

A Little Snippet of DN2

 I had this whole idea of a post to write for this morning, but I am not quite up to putting words in order yet, so here's a snippet of DN2.  If you've read DN1 - RUMOR HAS IT - this should give you a happy.  I hope.  It's totally first-drafty, so be kind.

The name on the door said Duke Noble, Private Investigator in gold letters.  I pushed the door open without knocking.  After all, it was my name on the door, even if I hadn't stepped past it in over a month. 

Pushing the door open took more effort than usual.  A stack of mail retarded its progress.  Sooner or later, I'd have to hire a new secretary.  The last one had left in a fit of pique the year before and I hadn't had the time or the inclination to replace her.  Somewhere along the way, she figured if she was my one gal in the office, she ought to be the one gal in my life.  I disabused her of the notion as soon as I caught wind of it and she was gone.  Afterwards, I came to value the fact that my life moved smoother without anyone to answer to or be responsible for. 

I threw my hat on a chair and a fine layer of dust rose into the sunshine slicing through my blinds.  I definitely needed to get cleaners in there before any paying clients arrived.  The fact that none were expected made my decision to delay the call that much easier. 

Striding past the unused and unlikely to be used desk where my secretary once sat, I entered my sanctum.  The dust wasn't as prevalent there, but most of the surfaces within had sheets to protect them.  Two utilitarian chairs sat facing a heavy mahogany desk and the opulent chair on the other side.  I eschewed my seat and went first toward the lone bookcase, pushed the tomes to one side, and removed a stack of newspapers I'd been meaning to read.  I grabbed a rag and cleaned a space for the weight I'd carried in with me.  As I set the urn into its new space, I whispered, "Welcome to your new home, Sara."  


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Rolling Along

After spending several days last week NOT writing, I changed one little thing about what I'd already written and the floodgates opened wide.  I'm over 12K now.  Yay.  1900 words Monday night.  1800 words Tuesday night.  Woohoo.  Keep 'em coming.  

I have no set date for this to be finished, so I have no way of knowing when it'll be edited sufficiently to get it into the hands of readers or, further down the road, the hands of the book buying public.  But I'm writing, so that's something.  It's the end of April.  I finish the writing by the end of May, edit in June, get it to proofers and back in July... August maybe?

I read something yesterday that Rex Stout - the author of the Nero Wolfe mysteries - took about 45 days to write a book, usually during the winter.  If I could do that, that'd be great.  

As it is, I'm happy to be rolling along.  If the words are flowing out of my fingers, then all's right with the writing.

Monday, April 26, 2021

The Last Sale Day for A MODEL CURSE

Today's the last day to get A MODEL CURSE in its entirety for only 99c/99p each.  Here's the verbiage (blurbage copied from my Amazon series page) that I posted to all the social media this morning:

A MODEL CURSE (the complete series)
When a curse strikes a supermodel, all hell is gonna break loose.
Jeni Braxxon was raised to believe she wasn't good for much of anything but being pretty. Her career in modeling is on the rise until being cursed to turn ugly throws her world into chaos. Now, she has to learn who the culprit is and stop them, if only to get her pretty back. And along the way, she'll discover that what she was raised to believe isn't anywhere near the truth. There's more to Jeni than ever met the camera lens—something her enemies probably should've thought of before they starting messing with her.
Today's the last day to get this trilogy for only 99c/99p each. (Always free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.)
US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08MTWHHK2
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/kindle/series/B08MTWHHK2
#snarky #ebooks #completeseries #paranormalmystery #urbanfantasy

Marketing is hit and miss when you're not paying for it.  As such, I haven't had a single sale from this effort.  Of course, after the first push and the crickets that ensued, I didn't post anything else until this morning, so I only have myself to blame.  We'll see if anything comes of today's push.

I might be able to squeeze some money out for a paid advertising sale next month.  But AMC is done for a little while - until the 90 day thing refreshes.  Maybe I'll do SCIU next.  Maybe I'll see what kind of sales I can get for Duke all by itself.  We'll see.

You know, I'm kinda surprised AMC hasn't been selling like hotcakes.  It's fun and snarky and all three books are quick reads.  :shrug:  I wish I knew.  Oh, well.  If you haven't read the series, you can get the whole thing today for less than the usual price of one.  If you like snark, you like this.  If you enjoyed my genie series, you'll enjoy this one, too.  

If you've already read it, THANKS!  And if you haven't written a review yet, I'd really appreciate one.  :hugs:

Monday, April 19, 2021

Another Duke Underway

Duke Noble 2 got its start Friday night.  It's standing at 4441 words right now.  I like the idea and I like where it's going.  

For those of you who aren't aware, I never know what's going to happen in a story until I write it.  It's my process.  And for me, doing it this way keeps it fresh and it keeps me interested.  The one time I mapped everything out in a story before I wrote it*, the writing bored the hell out of me.  I knew what was going to happen.  It comes out better if I don't know ahead of time.

Sure, this means I occasionally write myself into a corner and have no idea how to get out again.  Generally, I cut a window and climb out.  Sometimes I walk across the paint and start anew.  Either way, I'm not bored.  And if the writer is bored writing the story, the reader is going to be bored, too.  None of us wants that.

So, I'm feeling my way through another Duke book.  And like I said, I like where it's going.  Right now, it picks up after Rumor Has It - with Duke arriving back at his office in the city where he gets a call that sends him racing out the door to solve another mystery.  A dead body, a mistaken identity, a missing man... and that's all I've got right now.  Should be fun finding out what happens, though.

I've started gathering things for the cover shoot.  Right now, I'm thinking a drink and a cigar.  Maybe an old revolver, if I can find one that won't break my budget.  

In other news, I set up a sale.  A Model Curse will have all its books on sale starting tomorrow.  99c each.  I'll post something about that in the morning.

If you're a writer, do you know what's going to happen in your books before you write them?  If you're a reader, what do you like better: mysteries you can solve or ones that keep you in the dark until the end?

*My second book - Nature of Fear (aka Caldera) - which probably won't ever see the light of readership.  I'd read some stuff that suggested a writer needs to know where the story is going in order to write it.  Man, was that ever bad advice for me.  It might work for some, so I'm not trashing it for everyone.  Just for me.  Bad idea, B.E... and I haven't done it since.

Friday, April 16, 2021

All Sixteen Now Available in Paperback

All sixteen of my novels are available in paperback now.  Mission accomplished.  Now I need to get off my ever-widening ass and write another book.  (Yes, the proofs have their own table and are held in place by two gnomes.)


Serial Crime Investigation Unit (S.C.I.U.)

Dying Embers

Fertile Ground

Early Grave

Dennis Haggarty Mysteries

Accidental Death

Natural Causes

Duke Noble, P.I.

Rumor Has It

Once Upon a Djinn

Wish in One Hand

In Deep Wish

Up Wish Creek

Wish Hits the Fan

A Model Curse

Sleeping Ugly

Ugly and the Beast

Cinder Ugly

Single Title

Project Hermes

Blink of an I

Unequal