A New Chapter

As some of you know, I had to stop #writing on account of moving across the country. In recent posts, I’ve made it clear that I was back again, blogging and writing my #fantasy novel “The First Light.” I even hammered out a new short story as well.

I was able to complete chapter 16, “May the Light Shine Upon Thee.” It’s a fun and happy chapter despite its rather serious-sounding title, which comes from a ceremony that is performed within the chapter. The subsequent celebration and feast are the elements that give this particular segment its light-hearted flavor.

chapter16B_edited-2

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was deathly afraid of a dreary “Act II Malaise” taking hold of the story. However, I’m pleased with the pace. So far Act II ( chapters 11 – 19 ) has some great revelations, action, comedy, romance, mystery, and overall good times, sprinkled throughout its pages.

I’d love to you all more about it in detail, but then I’d be giving too much away.

How are you handling your version of a second act?

 

Ragged Souls

The title of my latest short story collection is Ragged Souls: 3 Tales of the Holy, the Strange, and the Bizarre. It was my editor, Ruth, who created the subtitle for this book. She read and pondered the three stories before having a flash of insight into a connecting theme.

Let’s take a look at “Holy” for a minute. In Martha’s Kitchen, one could discuss the concept of misguided piety. For A Purveyor of Odd Things, it would be a general lack of Holiness. Finally , in Cactus Valley, worldliness is the cause for impiety. However, we get to witness an attempt at Angelic intervention in this last story.

I can sum up the usage of “Strange”, and “Bizarre” quite readily. Within Ragged Souls you’ll meet Angels, Demons, Dopplegangers, Murderers, and Mummies. Need I say more?

Here are excerpts from the three stories that you’ll find within the pages of the Ragged Souls collection.

A Purveyor of Odd Things

Meet Detective Renner Branson, a man so enslaved to his work that he’s forgotten how to live. In his newest baffling case, he will discover secrets – not just about the world, but about himself. The terrors lurking within may shatter his grip on reality.  Or they may show him just how beautiful reality can be.

Excerpt:

Branson squeezed his eyes shut. His sense of real and unreal, of possible and impossible, was shredded by these apparitions. He wanted so badly to run, run anywhere, to the car, to the gate, anything to get away from this insanity. But he wouldn’t – couldn’t – leave Hannah. Through his panic he became aware of her clammy hand clutching his, and though he tugged on it, she seemed unable to move. Paralyzed by that cold stare. Fight or flight…or freeze.

Available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords for all other formats.  Free extended excerpt at Wattpad.

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Martha’s Kitchen

Martha and Jillian, two sisters from a dying town, cope with the hollowness of city life in a bloodcurdling way. Come explore this bizarre case of nostalgia gone horribly awry, but beware the secret recipe at Martha’s Kitchen!

Excerpt:

“His pants and suspenders are still on. I hope he didn’t soil himself,” Martha said.

“No, I heard the toilet flush.”

“It figures,” Martha said. “Mr. Jenkins always was a proper gentleman.”

Available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Smashwords for all other formats.  Free extended excerpt at Wattpad.

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Cactus Valley

One New York couple’s vacation turns into a horrific nightmare. Ancient forces of good and evil do battle to win their souls – but which will be victorious?

Excerpt:

In a tense voice, Andrea said, “There’s still enough gas for thirty miles. Turn around.”

“We’ll never make it back that far. See if there’s another one ahead.”

Andrea studied the road atlas. “Okay. Get off at the next exit and make a right. There’s a service station about fifteen miles away.”

Available for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and on Smashwords for all other formatsFree extended excerpts on Wattpad.

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Caution: Automated Tweets Can Make You Look Like a Twit

On January 28, 2014, President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech. The Twitterverse exploded with commentary from people representing every possible moniker in the political spectrum, tweeting after every major point. The pros, the cons, the accusers, and the supporters all put in their $2.22 (hey, inflation).  And the scrolling screen looked something like this (The following conversation is fictitious.  Any similarities to actual names or tweets is purely coincidental)….

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Republicant1 @rino
I noticed that the #POTUS hasn’t mentioned Obamacare #SOTU

Dumbocrat1 @moron
@rino  Why should the #POTUS mention it. The ACA website is fine now #SOTU

Republicant2 @conserve
@moron @rino Because #POTUS won’t remind anyone during  #SOTU how he bypassed the Constitution

Author1 @wannabe
Buy my book now! – The Three Little Violent Pigs – #Nook  #Kindle #ebook wp.linklink1

TeaParty1 @angryvoter
Will the usurper in chief #POTUS ever end? This is a long #SOTU

Republicant1 @rino
@angryvoter  #POTUS Usurper and liar!

Dumbocrat2 @libtard
@angryvoter @rino Can’t call #POTUS an usurper. He was legally elected twice.

Author2 @lovewrite
Another 5* #Amazon review for my romance novel – How I’d Love to Fall in Love.  Buy it now! wp.link2linky  #author #write

TeaParty1 @angryvote
@libtard You call that farce an election!?

Author3 @Hackysack
New spellbinding #thriller – Get Out of the Bathroom and Give Someone Else a Chance.  Available Now!  wp.4linklink3

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Are you getting the picture? When tweeters are conversing and debating a major live event, the book promotions are incredibly non-sequitur. The authors were either using a bot or just not paying attention, and it showed in a bad way. Do you honestly think anyone bought their books based on those tweets?

I know at least one person who’s bought one of my stories because I don’t tweet book promotions every few minutes.  For all the new authors out there, yes, Twitter can be a powerful tool, but only if you use it right.  Take part in discussions, and have something interesting to say about things other than your work.  It’ll pay off.

Got Cats?

As I’ve been delving into the world of Indie Authors, via blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Google +, I’ve noticed that many have more than one gift for the arts. Also, it seems that many are avid cat owners.

So to my fellow “Indies” I’d like to ask two questions…

  1. What other art forms are you good at?
  2. Do you have a cat?

I’ll go first. 1. I like to draw, faux paint, and play guitar and 2. I have two cats, Minnie and Phoenix.

Locked in a Genre Box

As I peruse author blogs geared toward helping indie writers market themselves, I keep seeing particular sentiments repeating themselves: You have to pick a genre and stick to it. If you change genres, you should publish under a different name. And so on. Each tidbit of information seems to be another wall in the genre box.

That may be well and good for others, but not me. Since I wear many different hats, I write like that as well.  If you’ve been scanning my blog posts, you may have noted that the categories are diverse. Also, if you noticed the links for my short stories, you would note that Martha’s Kitchen is horror, while Stasis has a Libertarian theme.

I was raised on Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone. Therefore, I sometimes lean that way when I write. But I am also a Libertarian, and likewise, I sometimes let my creative juices flow in that direction. I also love J.R.R. Tolkien, Role Playing Games (RPG’s) like the classic Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder, along with some online versions. So it’s no surprise that my novel will fall under the Fantasy category.

Are you locked in a genre box? What advantages or disadvantages have you found in sticking to a genre, or in attacking multiple fields?