Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dear Nook Owners, I Haven't Forgotten About You

Amazon dominates the ebook market, so naturally I focused my efforts initially on getting my books available there to reach the widest audience possible. All my novels and short stories are currently available on Amazon and for one quick easy link, you can go to my Author Page to see.

From the get-go, I made sure to offer all my stories DRM-free. Said another way, even if you didn't own a Kindle, you could still buy the books through Amazon and then read them on whatever device you chose.

But readers have asked that the books be available through other outlets for a number of reasons (file conversion is annoying, they want to support this store or that store, etc.) and I'm excited to say that two of my stories are available electronically through Barnes & Noble now.

Get The Hysteria on your Nook

Get Morale Was Down on your Nook

This is an experiment of sorts to see if the readers I pick up through B&N more than make up for the loss of borrows through the Kindle Unlimited program (which requires books be exclusive with Amazon). Only time will tell but I wanted to let all you Nook readers out there know I haven't forgotten about you!

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Book I'm Dying To Write

I have wonderful daughters and ever since they came into this world I've longed to write a book that was for them. Something they could pick up in a few years and read and know that Daddy had been thinking about them, maybe only about them, when he wrote it. Maybe it wouldn't be any good, but it would be theirs and they could always have it, even after I was dead and buried I could tell them this story, which was really their story.

But there was a problem, namely, I have to actually write the damned thing.

First world problems, here we go:

When I was a young reader, I skipped straight from Encyclopedia Brown to Tom Clancy and John D. MacDonald. (How's that for a jump?) Eager to read what Dad was reading, I left the middle-grade world, where I hadn't spent too much time anyway, and skipped right over the YA universe. Looking back now, I feel like I cheated myself out of experiencing a lot of the same books my friends were reading and that I missed out on part of the collective experience happening around me.

It wasn't until I took a course in YA writing a few years ago that I even went back to the genre. I'd signed up on a lark because it was being taught by a successful author and I hadn't taken a formal class in awhile. Through that class I was exposed to many of the stories I'd passed right by, which was great. But when I actually sat down and tried my hand at writing a YA story, the gobbledygook that spewed out of me was a complete disaster.

Because I hadn't spent much time with these kinds of books. In my youth I stayed up late to read Lawrence Sanders, or see what Travis McGee was up to, or inhale the next Dean Koontz novel. I've said here and elsewhere that a good story is a good story, no matter the genre or subgenre, or theme, or mood, or style. And while that's true, every genre has its own set of rules, for lack of a better term. And I just hadn't learned them for YA yet.

So I can't write that book yet for my daughters, though I'm dying to. Because I haven't done my homework. Not enough of it, anyway. Ever since that YA writing class, I've read in the genre here and there, slowly building up my understanding of the mechanics behind these books. And one day I hope to write this book for my girls, which will be a testament to their uniqueness, creativity, and general awesomeness.

Here's the blurb:

Aoife Finley is bursting at the seams with ideas. She draws, paints, reads, sings, and tells stories better than any one. Her imagination knows no bounds.

Mr. Peterson is old, his best days long behind him. He yearns for the past, mistrusts the present, and fears the future. But he's just figured out how to recapture his past:

By stealing children's imaginations.

Now Aoife must journey into the imaginary world of her own creation, Paxsum, to stop Mr. Peterson. Before the real world as she knows it--and as it could be--disappears forever.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Better Watch Saul

It isn't often shows open with a flash-forward but it was a great way to begin the Breaking Bad spin-off/prequel series, Better Call Saul.

Bob Odenkirk nails the character, the classic sleaze ball lawyer who will do and say anything when representing his client and who, at the end of the day, isn't there in the name of justice. He's really just out there to make a boatload of money.

I know, I know. Saul is shady as hell. Still, I can't help but admire his bravado both in and out of the courtroom even as I'm shaking my head in wonderment because I couldn't believe he just actually said that to a jury.

And of course, this wouldn't be the Breaking Bad universe without the requisite twists and best-laid plans never quite working out the way intended...and the spin-off pilot stuck with that formula that was played to perfection in the original series.

I will be watching.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Unearthed Is Ranked Better Than It's Ever Been Right Now!

This is one of those thank you posts.

Thank you to everyone that read The Unearthed when it first came out and left me honest reviews. Without you, I wouldn't be able to say...

Thank you to everyone that read The Unearthed based on those early reviews. Without you, I wouldn't be able to say...

Thank you to everyone that left later reviews, adding your thoughts, compliments, and constructive criticism. Without you, I wouldn't be able to say...

Thank you to everyone who has purchased the book more recently. Without you, I wouldn't be able to say...

The Unearthed is currently ranked:

  • #7649 out of all books on Amazon
  • #7 on the sublist for Ghosts & Haunted Houses
  • #20 on the sublist for Suspense-->Occult
  • #42 on the sublist for Horror-->Occult
I always believed in the book but never in my wildest dreams did I think it would get this much attention. I'd love to see it hit #1 on one (or all) of these sublists but that will be very difficult as there are a lot of good books out there and I'm still an unknown author.

So again: thank you all!

And if you haven't picked it up yet, The Unearthed is currently discounted to $0.99 for a limited time. There are three sequels out right now, with a fourth sequel out hopefully this month. Climb in to the series now!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Random, Made-Up Q&A

Here are some questions I've totally made up but figure you've asked yourself ever since I put out The Unearthed and how I would answer them:

Q: Why do you use photos for all your covers?
A: Two reasons. It's cool. Also, I'm a huge movie fan and like to think my books are cinematic. I realize how ridiculous that sounds now that I've typed it.

Q: You do realize The Unearthed is written upside-down on the cover?
A: I was really drunk when I approved the cover. Now my cover artist won't right-side-up the title unless I pay him more money. He's holding me financially hostage. Just kidding. My cover artist is a great guy, very gifted with the visual arts and a talented musician. Some day (another post) I'll introduce him.

Q: Why did you make Tim McCloskey such a #*&%?
A: Believe it or not, I meant for Tim to be the main protagonist of The Unearthed when I wrote it a few years back. And he kind of is. But Eddie ultimately made for the more interesting character so....(I'm respecting the worst-kept secret here)

Q: How do you come up with your ideas?
A: Pull them out of the ether. (joking) The same way you probably get your ideas about how to do your job better, or what kind of house/car you'd like, or what shirt to buy, or how to fix that damned leak in the bathroom. Don't let any writers bullshit you and tell you their process is magic and special. For The Accused and the Damned, I literally stumbled across a news article about an accused wife-beating asshole who said a ghost had hit his wife. (unfortunately, I'm not joking here)

Q: Will Eddie ever have a final confrontation with Eamon Moriarty?
A: (SPOILER ALERT) Eddie has a confrontation with Eamon in The Hysteria. Whether it's the final one or not, I won't answer.

Q: Will Eddie ever get married?
A: Every cynic is a romantic at heart. Eddie is no different and I'll leave it at that.

Q: Did you model Eddie after yourself?
A: Eddie is not little old, boring me. He's probably the best and worst of me, all at the same time. How's that for an answer?

Q: When will Eddie finally see Stan and Moira?!?! And will they ever work together again?
A: Nice use of the double-interrobang there. Eddie does visit Stan and Moira in one of these books. But you'll have to buy/borrow them to figure out which one. (boohaha)And I'm just now toying with the idea of writing an "in-between-quel" starring Stan and Moira. I think they would make for a great "Nick and Nora Charles" of the paranormal world. (Kudos if you got that reference.)

Q: Eddie a real person?
A: Maybe...No...Yes...Sometimes. He definitely is, in my mind at least.

Q: Did you really grow up in New Jersey? And my apologies if you did.
A: HEY! No need to apologize, you arsehole! New Jersey is a great state. Just ask all those annoying Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers who crowd our beaches every summer. Huh? What's up now?

Q: Do you really still live in New Jersey?
A: Enough with the Jersey cracks.

Q: Because your PO Box has a Jenkintown, PA address.
A: I'm glad you (hypothetically) noticed. By law I'm required to list a physical address to potential newsletter subscribers. I purchased a PO Box because I didn't want the world to know what my actual address was. I'm sure you understand. If you want to send me something please Think Green and email me instead. Thanks!

Q: Hey! I've got an idea for an Eddie book--
A: Let me stop you right there. I'm sure it's a great idea. I'm sure it's probably as good or better an idea than I can come up with. But please don't send me ideas for stories, or your story, or your friend's idea for a story, or your friend's story. For legal reasons I can't read them. I don't want to have to hire Denard.

Q: Do you ever collaborate with other authors?
A: I do! And I'm very lucky to work with the one and only Nathanael Green. One day Nate will realize he's a much better writer than me and that he doesn't need my help. Until then, I will ride his coattails to fortune and glory! (boohaha)

Q: So I just checked your Amazon Author Page and don't see any collaborations included in your have you actually written something with Nate?
A: Two things. And...wait for it...wait for it...

(still waiting for it)

A: (cont'd) Our historical novel, Language of the Bear, will be available in April, 2015 on Amazon! Here's the skinny: A young, British officer and a brash Susquehannock warrior are forced to undertake a secret mission to assassinate a rogue English lord who is stirring up trouble in the wilds of Pennsylvania in the year or so before the French and Indian War.

Q: What's the story like?
A: If it were a drink recipe:

  • one part Heart of Darkness
  • one part Last of the Mohicans
  • one part Lethal Weapon
  • one part Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Q: ...Really?
A: Would I lie in response to a hypothetical question you didn't actually ask me?

Q: Is it part of a series?
A: Yes. We're calling it the Saber and Tomahawk Series.

Q: You said you wrote two things with Nate. What about the other story?
A: Currently being shopped to agents and editors. Can't talk details. (See what I did there?)

Q: That's pretty cool...but, seriously...New Jersey?
A: Next question.

Q: How many books long will The Unearthed series be?
A: I'm thinking 8 or 9. But if they continue to sell and I get more ideas and I can figure out a way to keep Eddie interesting, I'll just keep going.

Q: In the back of your books, you reference all these other books in different genres you're working on. When will they be out?
A: I wish I knew. I have a publishing schedule worked out but it is constantly changing. Readers keep asking me for more Eddie books, so for now it makes sense to focus my efforts there. If I didn't also have a full-time (non-writing) job, I'd pump out books even more quickly.

Q: When will your books be available as hardbacks/paperbacks/audio?
A: Some day in the hopefully not-too-distant future.

Q: Which author(s) do you admire?
A: The hard-working, no-nonsense ones who produce quality stuff over a long period of time. The ones dedicated to their craft. Guys like Chandler, MacDonald, Parker, and Cornwell.