Tag Archives: R.S. Guthrie

I Have A Confession To Make

Disclaimer: The authors I mention below are not among those I’m referring to in the post. All have helped me immensely, and are willing to do the same for other author-wannabes (like me). Two even have a website, and books dedicated to that. Another has a book too.  

 

Not too long ago, I read a couple of lines that made me realize: We writers are a rather arrogant bunch. I did some searching online to double-check, and I discovered, yep, we are. Here’s what I mean: I have read over 1,000 books, blog posts and articles over the last year that says not everyone can write a novel. I’m not going to cite any of them because a few were written by folks I’d like to consider my friends. Almost everyone said that only a select few can write novels, or they’d quote some statistic that says 80% of people think they can write a book, and then say that was bullshit. What we do is so hard. Um, no it isn’t.

Technically speaking, nothing is hard to do unless you don’t put in the time, and energy in learning how to do it. For me, building a space shuttle, a nuclear reactor, calculating pi, or even making bouillabaisse. I don’t know how to do those things. However, I can go learn how to, if I had the drive to. It’s the same thing with writing. Anyone can put words together to form sentences, then paragraphs, and then a manuscript. It’s not that hard.

What separates we writers from Joe, or Jane, Average is our drive to put words to paper, or screen. We have a compunction, or a predilection for doing so.  Hell, you can even say it is our obsession (some of them anyway. I’m pretty damned lazy for the most part). Something within us makes us get to a desk, or table, pull out our notebooks, pads, typewriters, or computers, and start stringing words together to form a story. Sometimes it is great, sometimes it sucks. Great thing is, what is awesome, and what is sucky, are subjective. For example, millions rave over The Twilight Saga, and 50 Shades of Grey. I can’t stand either.

“You’re not the target audience, asshole.”

Fair enough. I also can’t stand Terry Pratchett novels. Or some R.A.Salvatore ones. And you know what? Not one of those four I just mentioned even notice that I haven’t bought their stuff. They have millions of fans.

If you have any interest in some authors I do like, I can rattle off a couple of names (maybe you could go check ’em out, see if you agree with me): R.S.Guthrie, L.T.Kelly, Angela Ackerman, Becca Puglisi (Anglea & Becca are a writing team. They have separate links because I want to show both pages, and not have both names go to the same place. I’m weird like that. :P), Kevin Rau, Jen Boyce, Fabiola Surya. Jen & Fab don’t have links because their novels are not yet published, and they don’t yet have websites, though Fab does have a blog. Wondering how I can say Jen & Fab are some of my favorite writers? Simple: I get to assist these wonderful ladies in crafting their stories. I’m kinda blessed that way.

Why did I title this blog “I Have A Confession To Make”? I was one of those arrogant writers I mentioned. I am no longer. Now, if someone says to me, “I want to be a writer,” or “I can write a novel,” my response will be, “Go for it. I’ll be cheering you on. If there’s any way I can assist, let me know. I’ll be glad to.”

Wanna check out some of the above author’s works? Here’s a series of links to their stuff on Amazon:

Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi –  The Emotion Thesaurus, The Positive Trait Thesaurus, The Negative Trait Thesaurus

R.S.Guthrie – Black Beast, Ink, Blood Land (This one is Free)

Kevin Rau – H.E.R.O: Metamorphosis, H.E.R.O: New Markets, Necromancer’s Ascent

L.T.Kelly – Falling to Pieces (her debut novel. The second is in the works).

Why not show some love to these wonderful authors? Tell them R.w.Foster sent you.

Show, Don’t Tell Lesson Pt II

81ImYB6fptL__SL1500_Two days ago, I posted an excerpt from R.S.Guthrie’s writing help book Ink. Yesterday, I shared a section of one of my Works In Progress. Today, I break it down, and I hope you tell me whether you think I succeeded in showing you what happened, or if I told you what happened.

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I stole along the hallway that lead to my former cell as I had when I escaped. I still didn’t know why it had been switched from the one closer to the arena, but didn’t really care either. Cool air from an unseen opening to the outside blew gently across my face. I soon found myself at the intersection from my previous journey through here. I wondered if I should continue forward towards the source of the breeze, or to my left and into the darkness. After several moments of indecisiveness, I resorted to eenie-meenie-miney-moe. I went left, into the darkness, with some trepidation. I had no idea what was down here. I was bothered by the fact that I hadn’t heard anything since I left Weijia on the elevator, and the dark silence was kind of spooky the way it seemed to lay heavily on me. As I walked, the air seemed to grow thicker, heavier and more ominous. Oddly enough, even though there was no light in the hallway, it appeared to get gradually darker. Just ahead of me, I heard a little boy giggle suddenly. I froze, the hairs on my body all standing at attention, goose bumps running over my body. The sound stopped with no echoes. I drew the sword I had gotten from a clan Silverhame smith. I was glad to have its weight in my hand.

I wanted to show Carter’s worry, and nervousness about being in this location again. I also wanted to show something was hunting him.

I resumed walking, and then I heard footsteps behind me. I whirled around, bringing the longsword up in a defensive posture. When I halted, the footsteps also stopped. I held my breath, straining my ears for any sounds, but there were none. I reluctantly began to walk again, but this time I heard nothing except my own heartbeat which had ramped up remarkably. The silence didn’t remain for long, however. Just ahead of me, I heard a baby begin to cry. I began to hurry, the fear in that young voice spurring my steps. The crying baby changed to a young girl shrieking, then a young woman screaming, then an old woman choking, then stopped. I admit, my nerves were now completely shot. I stumbled to a halt again, and simply leaned against a stone wall, trembling like I had a cold.

Here, I wanted to show that though Carter is scared, he’s willing to push past to help someone in need. And, I wanted to build the tension.

After I had caught my breath again, and regained my composure, I pushed against the wall, intending to go upright. Instead, I felt the hardness of the stone give way to the soft yielding of flesh. At the same time, I felt a long, wet tongue slide up the side of my face. I screamed in revulsion and disgust and thrust my sword at who, or whatever had just licked me. The only resistance my sword felt was when it impacted the far wall of the hallway. Malevolent laughter echoed through the darkness.

Here, I wanted to show his hunter’s power, and ability to get into Carter’s head.

A sinister voice whispered near my right ear, “If you do not study…”

Then, it moved to just in front of me and thundered,

“YOU! SHALL NOT!! PAAASSSSS!!!!”

As the booming of the abrupt shout died away, I started laughing aloud.

“Really?” I said, wiping tears of mirth from my eyes. “Are you really misquoting Lord of the Rings at me?!”

Here, I wanted to give the reader a small break from the tension with a little humor. I also wanted the reader and Carter to relax a bit.

There was no response. Still chuckling a bit, I resumed walking. I gradually became aware that I could faintly see the stone walls and floor of the hallway again. I walked further, and the light grew only a little brighter. I soon realized it was due to a mist that somehow hung in the air. After another five minutes of travel, it was like I was in an ethereal realm. I moved to touch the wall on my right hand so I wouldn’t get turned around, and my hand met nothing. I stumbled forward into the mist and landed on my stomach, knocking the wind from myself.

I took a couple of minutes to recover, not fully noticing the moisture that was sinking into my clothing. I finally stood, and when my clothing clung to me, swore. ‘Just what I fucking need: my clothes to be wet,’ I thought. I trudged across the sodden, muddy ground, grimacing with disgust with each step. I really hated the feel of wet deerskin against my flesh. Thunder rumbled off to my right, causing me to wonder if I had wandered outside somehow. A warm rain began to fall on me. Finding it infinitely better than the cold dampness that had already surrounded me, I paused to enjoy it. I tilted my head back to better enjoy the feel of the rain. I soon caught whiff of a familiar, coppery scent. I opened my eyes. Sure enough, blood was falling from the sky like rain. I heaved a sigh and trudged onwards. Ten feet later, I tripped over a stone block. I rolled onto my back, clutching my injured shin and swearing like a sailor.

With this section, I wanted to build the tension up in a hurry. At the same time, I wanted to gross out the reader a bit. 

Something made me roll rapidly to my right. The world imploded around me. I smelled ozone an instant before a shockwave sent me rolling further away. When the world ceased spinning, I sat up and opened my eyes. The mist cleared enough for me to see a blackened crater where I had been laying just moments before. ‘Okay, somebody doesn’t want me to continue. I must be going the right way,’ I thought. Curiosity had me check out the stone I tripped over earlier. I picked up my dropped sword as I approached it.

The stone looked to be ordinary granite. It was largely white with striations of grey and black. It was also polished to a high sheen. From the angle I approached it from, I couldn’t make anything else out. I walked around and froze, my heart in my throat. Claws had gouged out a name and two dates.

CARTER MARCUS BLAKE

10/9/20XX – 5/6/20XX

I must admit: seeing that freaked me out. For one, I never use my middle name. I can’t stand it. For another, I had an inkling that the second date was today. I heard a sliding step as if someone was attempting to sneak up on me. I whirled, sword up in a ready defensive position. There was no one there. I cautiously made my way passed the stone with my name on it and began to move faster, something telling me that time was running out.

With this section, I wanted to show the demon hunting Carter was a master of psychological warfare. I want it to seem like the demon has a way in the reader’s mind, too.

A large dark shape plummeted to the ground in front of me. I leaped backward instinctively. Lightning flashed rapidly, illuminating the newcomer in staccato bursts. It was one of the largest demons I had ever seen. It was crouched in front of me, black wings furled over its massive muscled back. It had four long, thick arms, the lower two of which were planted on the ground and two hugely muscled legs, coiled and ready to launch it into action. It had long and sharp looking horns sticking out of its skull-like head. An elongated, heavy tail swished back and forth like a cat’s. It watched me with glowing silvery orange eyes, licking its face occasionally. Its wings unfurled and began to lazily flap, stirring up a surprisingly pleasant breeze. The wings were black near the demon’s shoulders and gradually faded to red near the primary feathers. There was a stripe of yellow at delineating the covert feathers. Keeping its eyes on me, the demon slowly raised one of its arms from the ground, carefully moved it forward, and then lowered it. This movement was followed promptly by a matching step forward by its opposite leg. ‘This thing is stalking me,’ I thought with wonder.

Trying to show that I wouldn’t be intimidated, I twirled my sword before me, then snapped it down to my right. Outwardly, I was bold, ready to fight. Inwardly, I was nervous and scared as hell. The demon lowered its body, ready to pounce. I dropped my right foot behind me, turning to that I would present a smaller target and so that I could put more power behind my first swing. I brought my sword up into my left hand and gripped it lightly, yet firmly. The demon took another slow step forward, this time moving the opposite arm and leg from last time.

The demon launched into its attack. My swinging sword was tore from my grasp. Sword flew in one direction, I in another. I rolled a few feet, and lunged upright. The demon was on me in an instant, ripping and clawing at my flesh. I frantically threw up my forearms and knees to block its unrelenting assault. After four frantic minutes, I saw an opening and took ruthless advantage. It swung both of its right arms at my head. I ducked under the upper fist, blocked the lower one with my forearms and launched my right knee up into its jaw, staggering the monster. It roared in frustration and swung both its left arms. I landed in a crouch. When both left fists whistled through the air over my head, I slammed my left elbow into its right knee. The demon’s knee buckled as it bellowed in pain. It crashed to the ground. I rose to my feet and raced for my sword.

I want to show that just because Carter knows how to fight, due to his time in the arena, he’s not invincible.

I reached it, and took it gladly into my hands once more. I turned to the demon, ready to resume the battle on more equal terms. Moving faster that I thought possible, the demon charged. When it reached me, I found myself lifted in the air. The demon had each of my limbs in one of its colossal hands. It roared in my face and then flung me. I flew on a short, hard trajectory and crashed into a wall. My skull bounced against it, sending sparkles of light shooting across my sight. The impact knocked the wind from me and caused my vision to go blurry. My ears rang, and I felt nauseous. I wasn’t sure of where I was, or what had happened to me. I slowly pushed myself upright and saw two four-armed demons charging at me. I tried to get to my feet, but couldn’t seem to get my limbs to work together. The demon yanked me up and slammed me against the wall again. It began to batter me with its free fists. My body twitched and swung from the thud of its fists. It was interesting: I was able to feel the impacts, but I felt no pain.

I wanted the reader to know that Carter’s skull bouncing off the wall gave him a concussion.

The demon flung me away from it again. My flight was once more short, and remarkably, pleasant. The landing, a lot less so. Fortunately, the jarring landing served to clear the cobwebs from my mind. I rolled to my feet just as the demon landed hard where I had just been lying. Instinct had me rocketing my fist up to explode against its jaw as I shoved my feet against the ground to provide extra force. The demon’s head snapped back, and it crashed to the ground. Pain raced up from my damaged hand, grabbed a dance partner in my shoulder and did the tango in my skull to the tune of a throbbing headache. I tasted copper in my mouth and spat to one side. Blood and a tooth hit the ground.

“You bastard,” I said.

I looked at the demon which was just getting to its hands and knees. I ran up and punted the demon in its head as if I were trying to kick the winning fifty yard field goal at the Super Bowl with the entire New England Patriots defensive line attempting to stop me. The arch of my foot caught it on its jaw. My knee caught the side of its horn. The demon collapsed, semi-conscious. I collapsed, clutching my knee. I rolled around for a couple of minutes until the demon let out a gasping snore, reminding me of its presence. I got up, hobbled over to where I last saw my sword and picked it up, swearing under my breath. I balanced on my non-bruised leg and kicked the other one out a few times, trying to work the pain out. I gingerly set my foot back down and tested my weight on it. When it held up, I turned and limped back to where the demon was just beginning to stir.

In this section, I wanted this to show that sometimes, an act of desperation can win a fight.

‘Hey, I’m Dr. Gregory House,’ I thought randomly. The demon had pushed itself back up to it hands and knees once more. I poised near its shoulders, my sword held tightly in my hands. I held it above its neck and paused, waiting for it to come further up. As it did, I brought the sharp blade down with all my might. A scream of fury issued from my lungs as the longsword impacted, then sliced through, the demons thick neck. Crimson blood shot up from the stump like a geyser. It slashed against me, hot and delicious. I stood over the demon corpse, savoring my victory. My chest heaved as I thrust my bloody sword in the air and bellowed my triumph to the sky.

With this section, I wanted a bit of humor to give the reader a break from the tension, and at the same time, to show that Carter’s still affected by the head injury. With the last three lines, I want the reader to feel the same exhilaration that he did.

Well, folks, did I succeed here? Let me know in the comments below. If I did, thank R.S.Guthrie by purchasing his book over at Amazon, or Barnes & Noble. If I didn’t, blame me.

 

Ink by R.S.Guthrie & Something I Learned From It

Not too long ago, R.S.Guthrie released a new book called Ink. It’s about the craft of writing, and how to get better at it. I wrote a review about it here. Look for “R.w.Foster”.
I got in touch with Rob the other day and requested to post an excerpt from it and, using my writing, demonstrate what I learned from it. Why am I wanting to do this, you ask? A couple of reasons. One, I like Rob Guthrie and want to promote his stuff. I promote what I like. 2) I want to help others become better writers, as I struggle with the same (it’s in the blog tagline). The more writing we have in the world, the better the world is, in my opinion. But, enough of me blathering. You want the excerpt. It follows the jump.

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Show, Don’t Tell

This is THE RULE. All the other rules are subservient to this one. The other rules are tools to help your writing show the reader. Here’s an exercise: Remember “Show and Tell” in grammar school? You know, once a week or once a month each student would bring in something about which they could show AND tell. Now I want you to imagine this simple scene. Little Susie Frockmaker has just walked into a hushed classroom of twenty-something first-graders. She’s wearing her cutest pink dress; her mother has done her blonde hair all especially curly before she went to school; she is smiling like the goat that ate the tractor tire. And she’s carrying, in a meshed-metal cage, a huge white rabbit. Its alive, you Horror writers. Twitching, munching on some carrots. The bottom of the cage has cardboard and there’s fresh grass Susie’s dad put in there just for such an occasion. Little Susie Frockmaker takes the cage and, still smiling wide (  you didn’t know that goats that finish off tires are irrepressibly happy creatures), places the caged, gorgeous rabbit on a small table at the front of the room. There is an audible, “ooooh” as she does so, little Susie Frockmaker, nor the teacher, nor any other student having said a single word. Has Susie shown anything yet? Oh, I know the point of the “Show” part for little persons is when the rabbit is let out of the cage and they get to hold him and feel the soft tufts of fur and worry about him biting them and all manner of enjoyment, but my question still stands: Has Susie shown anything yet? I say she has, without one single word. Remember the smile and the fresh-laid grass and the cage itself? I’ll give you three choices as to what the other young children might be thinking they’ve already seen, without being told a thing:
1.      It’s rabbit stew for lunch.
2.      Little Susie Frockmaker just gave birth to a clean, live rabbit in the hallway just before class.
3.      On the way to school, the rabbits that rule the world played a cruel trick on one of their own and caged him, forcing him to attend Show and Tell at Mockery Elementary School.
4.      Susie Frockmaker has a new pet rabbit.
Now I’ll admit, I’ve grown up in some pretty small places like Iowa or Wyoming where there probably was some kid in the back happy as frog excrement that they were having rabbit for lunch (and in fact did end up having rabbit for dinner. Again.). But with that smile, beaming of pride, her nicest dress, the curls her mother did special for this day? Yeah, it’s corny (no Iowa pun intended), but it’s also true, isn’t it? Now that doesn’t mean Tell is off the books altogether. She can tell us his name. But that brat-shit Tommy Dipstick could blurt out, “RASCAL. You got him for your birthday.” (Because Tommy, of course, was an unwanted guest at the farm when Susie received her present—just as Tommy’s an unwanted guest most everywhere he shows up.)  You could argue, but I’d call Tommy’s outburst showing. In fact, I didn’t even have to Tell you that Tommy was there because you likely already figured out something to that effect—and the story can later confirm or deny what guess you made, but either way, you didn’t have to be told anything. You see, that’s how you have to start thinking. In what ways can I deliver information to the reader through interesting twists in the story? Imagine how loudly little Susie Frockmaker is going to BAWL in horror when she realizes the whole surprise she’s been practically wetting herself over has been ruined by that little Dipstick. That is the simplest example of showing and not telling I could come up with. Apologies all around for making it more of a children’s tale, but I tried to give it legs just a small bit. Not very Chekhovian.

From Ink by R.S.Guthrie, pub March, 2013.

Pretty interesting, eh? Tomorrow, I’ll show you how I implemented this lesson in my own work.

Inspiring Blogger Award

This is interesting: I was just nominated for my first blogging award. The nom came from the lovely Sooz over at her blog, dreamshadow59.wordpress.com. According to her, I have to name 7 interesting things about myself. I have a small problem with that: I don’t think I’m that interesting. Others do. So, I’m gonna cheat a bit (probably won’t win, but eh). I’m gonna tell some things about me that aren’t general knowledge.

1) I’m an atheist. I really can’t stand religion, nor do I understand the need people have to hope that there is something out there.

2) I’m a giver. If I like you, I’m going to give you all that I can, be it time, caring, a shoulder to cry on, ect.

3) I’m a pimp. No, not the illegal kind. I mean, if I like someone’s stuff, I will talk it up everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, Linkdin, WordPress, ect. I want everyone to see this epic stuff.

4) I’m a midget. Seriously. To leave my third floor apartment, I base jump down each stair. It’s exhausting I tell you. What? You know I’m bullshitten? Oh, alright. I’m 6′. (shrugs) I thought it was funny.

5) I’m a word thief. I kid you not. There is a fellow blogger (I’ll mention her later) who doesn’t like to use the F-bomb on her blog. She came up with “Feck” to take its fecken place. I liked it. Boom Mine. One of my friend’s doesn’t like to have “-ing” at the end of her words. Instead, the end with “-en”. I’m sure you’ve seen that I swiped that fecken thing too. 😀

6) I like fecken with people. Are you a homophobe? Come, gimme them sweet cheeks, boyo. Are you deeply religious? Luke, I am your god. Are you strongly atheistic? You will be much happier when you accept Jesus in your heart. But, I only do that if I like you in general.

7) I seek to help others, but I don’t know how to accept it for myself.

And now for the part where I’m supposed to nominate 7 other bloggers that I think deserve it.

Sweet Mother She’s a blast, and is willing to share some of her inner struggles. Also, the originator of the almighty “Feck.”

Sooz She’s epic. I love reading her blog. Some of her stories are pretty hot. 😉

R.S.Guthrie A friend of mine with several published books. He’s a good man who is willing to give me a hand with my novel. His books are really good. Go check them out on his blog.

Kevin Rau is another friend of mine who has published several books. He, too is willing to help me out with my novel. I really like Kevin’s H.E.R.O novels. Go get them on his blog. The first in his series is free.

Vy is as big a fan of Sweet Mother’s “Feck” as I am. She has a great blog, too.

Fab is one of my best friends. She is going through a lot, and is pretty tough. She’s new to the blogosphere, so, why not go check her out?

Miss Snarky Pants. She is funny as feck. She’s fond of snark, so she’s a woman after my own heart.

There. All done. Good luck to all I have nominated.

An Interview With R.S.Guthrie

I was supposed to post this yesterday, but all sorts of hell got in the way. I’m deeply sorry for this.

Okay, for those of you who might not know him, R.S.Guthrie is an indy author with some talent in his pe- wait, he uses computer, not a pen. He an excellent author is what I’m meaning to say. His novels (a couple I’ve reviewed), are epic page turners. I’m doing this interview to get a bit more info about his forth-coming book called, Honor Land. It’s the latest in his James Pruett saga. Let’s get it, eh?

R.w.F: Would you tell us a little about your upcoming release, the third in the James Pruett Mystery/Thriller series, “Honor Land”? honorland-finalx1000

R.S.Guthrie: I can tell you that I am looking forward to it more than any book I have written so far. I am a “write by the seat of your pants” author (a pantser), which means I usually have a broad-strokes idea of where the story ends up, but I let the writing take me where it will. This particular book has come to my head in much greater detail and I believe it is going to be the best in the series.

It is centered around a war hero who has been sentenced to die in Wyoming’s lethal injection chamber—I mean this guy’s a legend; a foster of the state standing at the Army recruitment office at the minute they opened the door at 8 AM on his 18th birthday. A real hero that did some bad things when he came back from the war.

My recurring protagonist, Sheriff James Pruett has followed the story of this man since he was a child legend growing up in the state. There is a jail break and let’s just say Pruett’s not convinced the dishonored war hero is as guilty people, including the U.S. Marshal Service who are tracking him down.

R.w.F: Where did you get the idea for James Pruett and his legacy?

The man himself! Click to learn more.
The man himself! Click to learn more.

R.G: I believe more than anything, as a writer or a reader, in the characters. If you’ve not created characters with depth and flaws and honest traits, they don’t ring true, and a read cannot connect with them. The people I grew up with and around in Wyoming are some of the finest people I know to this day, and they are wonderful characters (in every sense of the word).

I always knew I wanted to write a recurring hero with whom the everyday man or woman could relate. Each of us has problems, defects, weaknesses, and hardships, but characters like Pruett let us believe that we can still be the heroes we dream of being, flaws and all.

R.w.F: Who’s your favorite character in this series?

R.G: Easily Ty McIntyre, the anti-hero of the first book, Blood Land. Like I said, I’m a pantser and I had originally had Ty planned for one book. He’s such a great character that I brought him back briefly in book two, “Money Land. Don’t be surprised if I do a lot more with him in the future; he’s just one of those characters who refuses to allow you to shelve him.

R.w.F: What was the hardest part of writing it?

R.G.: Being true to the locals. Of course as fiction writers we have to be magnificent exaggerators, but I believe we still need to respect the truth. The hardest part about writing characters from the area in which you lived is that every book needs some evil antagonists to create the conflict, the story. You don’t want anyone thinking you “picked them” as the foundation for your coal-hearted villain.

R.w.F: If Blood Land were optioned for a movie deal, who would you like to play Pruett?

Click to buy
Click to buy

R.G: For anyone who has not read “Blood Land” the answer to this is actually a huge SPOILER, so skip it. Unless that kind of thing doesn’t bother you.

Answer: Danny Glover. It’s who I have always seen whenever I think of Pruett. There’s no one else for the part. Have you seen “Silverado”? My book’s not a Western but it occurs in the West, where even in the twenty-first century there are still cowboys and cowgirls, Stetson hats, and a landscape that would make you believe in the glory of a time machine. Glover would pull all that together. And then some.

R.w.F: What made you chose indy publishing?

R.G.: Unknown authors can’t afford one book coming out every year or two (or three). They’ll be forgotten. Stephen King can take as much time as he needs, but I need to keep my audience both fulfilled and, more importantly, GROWING. Plus the royalties are much higher when you don’t have to share.

R.w.F: What’s the hardest part of independent publishing?

R.G: The marketing. Finding readers, or rather, reaching them. It’s not just a self-publishing issue, it’s an issue for the unknown author who signs a deal with, say, Penguin or Simon & Schuster. Sure, their moniker ads a little clout to the book, but beyond that, no one knows you from Adam, and the publisher knows that. They aren’t going to sink any money into your marketing until they have some pretty risk-free assurances you’re going to sell and make them money. So guess who still gets to do a lion’s share of the marketing and readership ferreting? Yep. Not them — you.

R.w.F: Did you hire an editor, or do you have a friend who is one?

Click to buy.
Click to buy.

R.G.: I have a traditionally published author, Russell Rowland, who edits my James Pruett series. He has been on board “Blood Land” since the first word; he was the teacher of the class where I began that book (and from the start he told me it was publish-worthy and we’ve maintained a friendship and professional working relationship ever since. He really gets me — my voice. His advice is irreplaceable.

R.w.F: How do you promote your novels?

R.G.: There’s not enough time to list all the ways. A very good (and highly successful) writer friend told me this: “I look at every book and ask myself ‘what am I doing to promote this?’ and he tries to always have something going on, coming up, etc. I’m a bit behind him to say the least, but I am learning. It’s not easy. I will be taking some big marketing risks in 2013. But to get big, you have to walk the walk and think big.

R.w.F: What’s the best thing about being independent?

You control your own destiny. It makes for a lot of work—you are like nine professionals rolled into one. But when you work hard and succeed, or you affect someone’s life—man, you know you did that, not some gargantuan corporation. I received this quote just today:

“My husband stopped drinking alcohol 10yrs ago and now he is addicted to this character, Sheriff Pruett,, Thank you RS Guthrie for having a real character with the real time flaws of man, it helps keep him,Ted, focused..please keep them coming..”

Can there be any better feeling to know that was something you wrote that touched and helped another living, breathing human being? Then you get to throw on there that you didn’t have to worry about some third party changing your theme or your storyline (where then you might never have reached that person). Your destiny is in your hands. I like that, as much work as it may be.

Look for Honor Land to hit Amazon in April.

Usually, I don’t like Mondays… [post 1 of 3]

…but today is actually a good one. Shocking, right? Today, we’re going to have three posts from me, this one and two others.

This first post is to remind you about an announcement I made last month (seen here). I had asked author R.S.Guthrie to guest post. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, life got in the way. Mr. Guthrie got a bit swamped and he didn’t get a chance to write that guest post. He recently go a break and has informed me that he intends to send it to me by the end of the month. His guest post will touch on indie publishing and some of the tools he uses. Sounds epic, right?

If you haven’t checked out the books I mentioned in that last post (click the blue “here” above for the reviews), the links to get them are as follows: Black Beast and Lost. Click the links and buy them. Do yourself a favor by getting two great books and help R.S.Guthrie by supporting his work. Oh, click here to get to know him a bit better. He loves hearing from fans.

Later, I will post about the friendly adverb and I’ll add another Carter Blake update.

A Couple Things That Puzzle Me

The last few weeks, several of my interactions online have boggled my mind. It’s not stupidity (I’ll get to that shortly), it’s the reactions of a few folks to things I’ve said, or done. I’ve chatted on facebook with a couple of female friends and they’ve told me about some of their issues and how they feel. That’s not what confuses me. The part that boggles my mind, is when I tell them how much they mean to me, or compliment them, they act as if I’m the greatest person ever. These are amazing women. Surely I can’t be the only one that sees, and appreciates, this?

Another thing that has me confused: Not too long ago, I talked about how awesome I found a pair of books (1 & 2) by R.S.Guthrie and I also reblogged a post from a funny lady, Sweet Mother. Both of these wonderful people seemed to think I was pretty cool for doing this. The part I don’t understand is, is it simple appreciation, of were my actions that rare? Eh, it’s got to be simple appreciation.

Okay, now for the part you’ve been waiting for: The stupidity I have encountered. Not too long ago, at the place where I do most of my writing (Peace & A Cup Of Joe, if you’re in Baltimore, come check it out. It’s awesome), a group of people came in to hold a meeting. They’re trying to get the U.S. to become a Socialist state. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your outlook), I sat and listened. I don’t remember what their name is, or what their website is, or I’d link to it. (I seem to be link happy today)
So, the stupidity, for me, came in with a few of the things they were spouting. For example: Did you know that in Cuba, they have a vaccine for brain cancer? They can’t distribute it to the world because the United States and our Allies have an embargo on that country. Never mind the fact that Elian Gonzalez came here from Cuba back in the 90s and hundreds of others have, too. Let’s also ignore the fact that that would be worth Trillions of dollars and couldn’t be held back for anything. Let’s focus on what was said with a perfectly straight face: “They. Have. A Cure. For. Brain Cancer. In. Cuba.WHAT?! Let’s break down why this is impossible, shall we?
1) Brain cancer is not caused by viruses. It’s a result of cells mutating uncontrollably.
2) There are about 120 kinds of brain cancer.
3) It’s Cuba. Despite what the pro Cuba people want the world to believe, it’s not a good country. If it were, there would be more people sneaking in not out. They don’t even recognize the Scientific Method. Da fuq?! How can you say Cuba is a world leader in Science without recognizing the most important factor of science?

Another thing these fools spouted got me steaming:
When they come into power (their words), they will take all the money from banks and corporations and give it to everybody, starting with the homeless. What the fuck?! That’s money you and I worked our asses off for! No one is entitled to it but those that worked for it. Listen: I’ve not yet made more than $11,000 a year. You rob Bill Gates to give me some of his money, I’m gonna kick you in the groin and give it back. I don’t do handouts. I’m sure there are other who feel the same as me, but unfortunately, there are too many who will gladly sit on their butts and take. My question is this: Without banks and corporations, there are no jobs. With no jobs there is no money. What are you going to do when no one has anything? Beg for help from others?

And… I’m done for now. Do you agree with me? Disagree? Talk to me!