NEW RELEASE! “The Unfleshed: Tale of the Autopsic Bride”

This is LIVE, NOW! Paperback is coming in a few days but it is live for ebook from these two links.

The first link will have universal carriers as they are added (but may take a little while)
http://www.books2read.com/unfleshed

The second is your typical Amazon link:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MR8L757

paperbackunfleshed

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Amazon We Have A Problem!

Image result for pink floyd the wall

In the pursuit of the American Dream, authors of the Indie persuasion are being held back and consumers are being censored.

Listen, I get it OK? One rotten apple ruins the bunch and people are going to do stupid things to get ahead. Like have fake reviews on their books, for a start.

Thank you Amazon.com but I think we got this!  We don’t need you to police our words or our readers. We’re quite certain that we’re capable of reading reviews and using your “Look Inside” feature. We don’t need you to put a bubble of protection around us and ensure we don’t get “hurt” by reading a book with 300, 5 star reviews we didn’t dig deeper on. It is on our own shoulders if we don’t use your features, already put into place, to see if this really is a book we’d enjoy.

Oh! And guess what else you’re doing? You’re effin’ up the algorithm! How? Well, it’s quite obvious (to a mind with an IQ over 25) – if you read a book that has 300, 5 stars and you come to realize it’s a sham you can (gasp) review it or return it.

I know, right? What is that all about! It’s ingenious!

Adults, adulting is amazing!

(rolling eyes)

OK. I think I’m breathing normally again. The point is this. All the readers who complain about getting a bad book should be reviewing it, and/or returning it. Amazon needs to keep their assumptions in a neat little locked box and stop messing with the algorithm of economy. They take down reviews of people who have the same address?? As if people can’t live in the same building (college dorm? shared house? roommates?) and review a product separately. I’d like to see this kind of behavior happening on a Harry Potter book. Four siblings and two parents and only one can review? Opinions aren’t “hive minded”.

How about the algorithm involved in the struggling small business?

You’re promoting monopolies. You’re adding a censor on what the public wants to read because we aren’t making you millions (yet) individually … but I’m afraid you’re missing out on the millions we make collectively for you (even the bad books). And because of that, I’ll be encouraging all my authors who self publish, all the Indie publishers who are ethical with their business and editing practices, and all my readers who truly love the authors they’ve discovered … to go someplace else. Heed my words. Readers are loyal. Very, very loyal.

Today it may only be five books. Tomorrow it’ll be 10. Eventually, the movement will catch on and you’ll be feeling the dent in your deep, Big Brother pockets.

I hear Google knocking and perhaps Barnes & Noble. I’m sure they’d be happy to pick up where you guys are lacking.

Sort your sh!t out, Amazon. Until then, my business will go elsewhere. I prefer to support small businesses and communities, not corporate monsters.

#smallbusiness #indiewriters #indiepublishers #amreading #amwriting #GoogleBooks #writers

Breaking the Stigma: Do Horror Writers Have to be A**holes

I run into this all the time.  Authors who write in the horror genre behaving like major douchebags. I say “behaving” not “acting like” because some of them are not acting.  

We get it.  Oooo, you’re dark and twisted. 

Let’s drop the facade for a moment.  

  • Your readers are still people
  • People deserve to be treated with respect (especially when they are buying your product)
  • The obnoxious bit gets old.  Fast.  

I’ve worked long and hard to overcome social anxiety and my general anti-social behavior because fans and readers deserve a little consideration.  I’m not saying there aren’t douchebag fans out there.  I’m saying, if you are given respect be humble enough to return it.  
#nodivasallowed #horrorbelongsonthepage 

Find What Works For You

HorrorAddicts.net

updated serial scribbler

Finding what works for you as an author is the first step in also finding your voice. It takes experience, time, exploration, and trying different techniques that will keep you motivated to write.

The Ritual:
This is something that successful writers create for themselves. A ritual gets your mind ready to switch into “creative work mode”. This is similar to a bedtime or waking ritual. If you need to work with a cleared space, you could start there. Clean your workspace, or wipe down your desk. Add some music, or turn everything off. Whatever it is, do it religiously. This will trick your mind into getting ready for your word count.

Aromatherapy:
Believe it or not, this ties in with ritual…and not in the witchy-burn-small-animals-at-the-stake kind either (unless that’s your thing, which I hope it isn’t). Having the same thing to drink (coffee, tea…whiskey *cough*), keeping a snack, and even lighting…

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Heartbreak Called Parenting

As a parent, there is nothing like the day you first meet your child.  Whether natural born, or adopted, there is nothing like it at all.  That ltitle person imprints their face on your heart and soul until the day you die.  The heartache comes when you face your failures.  

If you’ve never been a parent this is just one of those things you’ll have to empathize with.  There are no words in the human language that adequately describe the pain you go through when your child experiences pain or suffering of any kind.  It becomes, very literally, your own pain.  Even as much as your own scarlet letter of failure.  

You start to think…What did I do wrong?  What could I have done better?  Why didn’t I see?  And you begin questioning what kind of moron you were to think, at any time in that child’s life, you had this parenting thing pinned down. 

I have a good relationship with my children. We’re fairly honest with one another, even when the truth hurts. ..which it often does. 

But today, I lie here reflecting on all the hardships they are going through as they muddle through the path to adulthood.  I was fortunate enough that I could stay home with them until they went to school.  Unfortunate that most of that time was spent in a divorce and nasty child custody battle.  

I gained 50 lbs  (maybe more), developed severe anxiety, went through severe depression,  and then lost my grandmother,  father, and step father. All within 10 years.  I thought that at least being home giving up everything I had once longed and dreamed of was nothing because I was there 24/7 for my kids. 

But I was wrong.  

I was wrong because I taught them that I would always give up my hopes and dreams,  and that they should give up their hopes and dreams.  I was wrong because I didn’t have the extra income to put them sports, music classes, or other things to keep them away from idle hands and mischief.  I was wrong because in my depression they could see how “not to cope”. 

I didn’t think I did a horrible job.  I still don’t. The sacrifices weren’t in vain and we did have good times. I think I could have done better.  There’s no “do overs” with childhood. You have to face the next day, the next chapter, and keep it moving.  

You have to weather the blame for the shit you did wrong.  But you know what?  You cannot carry that forever. You have to live each day in the present.  The past isn’t coming back, and there’s no guarantee of tomorrow.  

What you do today is the foundation for any tomorrow you may be graced with. 

I remember these words when my child, who suffers from severe depression, says he wants to kill himself.  I remember them when another is so full of rage that he explodes until he thinks nothing matters anymore,  I remember them when another tries to make positive changes but can’t catch a break,  and I remember it when the youngest has to watch the older ones go through all these things and is afraid of making the same mistakes. 

Where is the light at the end if the tunnel?  A new generation is already here; grandkids.  They already say, “I’m going to be a better parent.” And I pray they are. I pray they can be, and have the strength it takes. I pray they can carry the guilt when they realize they did the best they could, and maybe it wasn’t good enough.  

The thing is…I wouldn’t trade it for anything. They’ve taught me more about myself than I could’ve learned alone. They’ve taught me that life is worth living when before it seemed numb and pointless. They’ve taught me that no matter how bad my memory gets, how many times I look for my glasses which are sitting on top of my head…I will never forget their smell, their smile, their hugs, and the way they felt inside my belly. 

Children are our immortality. They are the DNA that struggle to evolve. All we can do, as parents, is become the stars that look down on them and offer a little light and a dream or two. 

Roller Coaster Muse

I realized that it’s almost August and once more life caught up with me. Each time it does, I’m reminded of the Ferris Bueller quote, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Such is the life of an author turned publisher. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but that means sometimes my own projects take a back seat. If it weren’t so rewarding I would’ve thrown in the towel by now.

In the last six months, I’ve been involved with over 40 authors within my own company (Stitched Smile Publications, you can find the link here) and seen the growth of almost all of them since coming in contact with the company. It makes me feel proud. I’m doing something for other authors out there just trying to chase a dream that isn’t too far out of reach with a little guidance. We’re by no means making them millionaires, but we’re making them rich with experience and I’m OK with that.

As for me, I’m nearly finished with my next novel, “The Unfleshed”. I had hoped to have it out by the end of July but that crazy thing called “Life” is like a roller coaster with three wheels. It’s so close I can feel the pages in my hand. Thanks to Jeff Brown (A.K.A. A.J. Brown) pushing me, the story is even better than I originally thought it could be.

Other than that, I’ve dealt with my two younger siblings’ health issues. Both within a month of one another. Very scary, serious things that made me take a wider look at my life. I’m only 43. I have an entire life ahead of me if I take care of the one I have. I’ve always eaten right, usually pretty good about working out and staying active…but there are times when Life is just a hag and I can’t push through a day, a week, or even a month without some kind of thorn in my side.

I’m trying to juggle a few things, and while some people think I should not be doing that, those are the things that make me happy. I take care of everyone else, so it is my firm belief that there has to be things that make me happy, too.

I design book covers for Indie Authors while looking for that golden ticket to the big house names (of course, that’s where the real money is), I started my own publishing house and it’s growing by the day, I write, and sometimes I even sit around and do nothing just to clear the cache from my brain. It doesn’t leave much else after my daily duties are done but it’s my little slice of heaven.

You see, I do this because I Love it. Not for the money or the fame. If you’re doing anything for those reasons, you’ll find out on your own how empty that really is. I’m lucky that my personality is such that I’ll never do anything I don’t love whether it’s accounting, working out, filling out spreadsheets, meeting new authors, formatting books, orientations for new hires, etc. Everything I do, I have to love or I’ll move on. I won’t waste mine or anyone else’s time, and most people appreciate that. (Admittedly, there’s been some that would rather push me through things that I don’t enjoy. It never works out in the end.)

The point to all of this is, I suppose, is that I sit back and wonder where the heck all the time has gone. I wanted a relaxing summer by the pool, soaking up rays. I think I’ve gone a total of 4x since the end of May and it’s already August! The pools are starting to wind down and close for the winter (although, hello? I live in Texas! Why are they closed???)

It’s August. And I’m panicked.

Did I accomplish everything I wanted with my writing?
With my Pub House?
With my Family?
With my Book Design Goals?
With my Friends?
With my Personal Development?

Ugh. Someone stop this crazy ride. Just for a minute so I can throw up on the side of the car and get back on.

I keep taking a slow deep breath and whispering, “I can do this.” I know I can do this. I know it because I won’t allow myself to fail. I won’t allow anyone else who sits in the roller coaster with me to fail either.

So here I sit, staring at the horizon of this big, crazy world from the top of the ride. Around me is everything. I can see it. From here it’s small and attainable. Do you know what they call this in Physics? “Maximum Potential.” And every three months or so, I start back at this point. It doesn’t matter what you end the first ride at, the point is that you get back in line and you start here, at the Maximum Potential, again.

Then you ride that first loop! The thrill, the excitement, the confusion…all of it tossing you around as you watch the world whirl by you with your stomach in your throat and your hands in the air!

You take a deep breath, wipe away the tears of exhilaration and pass through the bottom of that loop: Maximum Kinetic energy. Kinetic Energy:  the energy that it possesses due to its motion.

Stop.
Re-Read that.

“The energy that is possesses due to it’s motion.”

Are you busy looking back? Shoulda’, woulda’, coulda’? Or are your eyes on the next turn and twist of the ride? Are you going to be taken off guard? Are your eyes closed? What’s coming next and are you ready for it?

Each loop of a roller coaster is slightly less exciting than those first two. Sure there are a few surprises, but as the car moves, it loses energy so that it can coming to a stopping point without catapulting you out into the stratosphere. A stopping point is a good thing. Because it let’s you catch your breath, re-assess, and redirect where necessary.

Like now. I’m reflecting on my year. What was great, and what was not-so-great, so that I can aim for the future…remember that first gaze at the world from the beginning of the roller coaster? What was it that caught your eye? Do you still want it?

You see that’s where most people get caught up. They see the shiny in the distance, they reach for it but there’s no plan for after they’ve either acquired it …or missed it. There’s no plan for whether it was really what they thought it was going to be upon closer inspection. The ride may have ended there for you and there is no desire to go for another round. You’ve lost steam and “energy” because you burned it off and there’s nothing left.

My life is definitely a roller coaster and I choose to change the ride, not the scenery. What does yours look like? Do you get back in line? What is it you see when you’re at the top, at the beginning, and reaching out?

Now That I Have Your Attention

That title always seems to draw people in.  It’s like a magnet. The piper leading the parade.  For some reason we all want to know, what is it that should hold your attention?  

Well duh! A new book! 

It’s already been on Amazon’s top 100! Congrats to everyone else featured, especially those debuting. 

A special thank you to the fans, and stalkers that boosted traffic, enabling the site to hit the top of the search engines, so others could see and buy my books.  It’s been a great week!  You guys rock!