Monday, October 20, 2014

Horror-Asylum Giveaway of Yeitso

Between now and 3 November, my friends over at Horror Asylum are running a contest in which the prizes are three free copies of Yeitso. To enter, all you need to do is swing by their contest posting and answer one simple question about me. What could be easier than that?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Leaving for Walker Stalker Convention in Atlanta

I'll be leaving early tomorrow morning to drive to Atlanta to attend the Walker Stalker Convention this weekend. If any of my followers plan on being at the convention, please swing by my table and say hello. I'll even have a contest running with a special prize for the winner. Hope to see you there.

On Writing: How To Write Well

“So all I have to do is write a page a day and in a year I’ll have a novel good enough to be published?”

Not necessarily. You’ll have a novel. Whether it’s good enough to be published is another matter.

Remember, writing is a skill. You have to practice at your craft to become good at it.

I used to write espionage/techno thrillers. I don’t even admit to my first book because, in retrospect, it was crap. The second book showed considerable improvement, but was still not publishable. By the third book I had found my style. The plot dealt with North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons and planting four of them in cities in the United States to blackmail the government. I quickly picked up an agent who presented it to several publishers, all of whom liked the manuscript. Unfortunately, this occurred right after 11 September, and the market in that genre collapsed overnight. So I switched genres. It had taken me years to get to that point, and then I had to start all over. Rather than viewing it as a setback, however, I saw this as a slight detour. That decade of experience well prepared me for writing in the horror genre.

So get out there and write.

And just as important, submit you work.

“But what if my work isn’t good enough and it gets rejected?”

Don’t get depressed if it gets rejected–that’s the nature of the game. It happens to all authors. And not all rejections are bad. Occasionally an editor/publisher sends you feedback; if they do, consider yourself fortunate. Most editors/publishers reject stories and manuscripts with a simple form letter, if they even respond at all. If one of them takes the time to offer you feedback, that means he/she sees potential in you work, and is taking the time to help you hone your skills. Take advantage of that opportunity.

The best way to hone your skills is to get readers who will provide critical feedback. Your mother and significant other do not count–chances are they’ll say it’s good, even if it isn’t. Find a good writer’s group with published authors or aspiring authors who are also interested in improving their craft. If you do go this route, remember two very important things.

First, find critique groups that will provide honest feedback. I’ve seen too many groups where the members will tear someone else’s work to shreds, but become indignant if you provide any critical feedback on their material. Avoid those groups like you would a horde of ravenous zombies. They’re filled with people who think ripping apart your work will somehow make them better writers. Trust me, it doesn’t work that way.

Second, and this is the hardest thing, is lock away your ego in a dark room during feedback sessions. As long as the feedback isn’t personal, listen to it and adopt it where appropriate. Every author is wedded to his/her work and hates to hear that it is not quite as good as he/she thought it was. Get over yourself. I did.

Remember, no matter how well you write, there is always room for improvement. Your goal is not to write the best book ever written. Your goal is to write the best book you possibly can. Every work has flaws. The reader will overlook an occasional grammatical error or spelling mistake as long as the rest of the story is entertaining and compelling enough to keep them glued to the edge of their seat. Then you’ve succeeded as a writer.

NEXT BLOG: What To Write About

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon Is Available for Kindle

This is a big week for me. Not only was the Kindle version of Nazi Ghouls from Space released, Emby Press released the Kindle version of Vampyrnomicon, the second book in The Vampire Hunters trilogy. The paperback version should be available within a few weeks.

The third and blockbuster finale of the trilogy, Dominion, is scheduled for publication in spring 2015.

The Vampire Hunters: Vampyrnomicon

Within the vaults of the Smithsonian Institute lies the key to finding the Vampyrnomicon, the Book of the Undead, that contains the history and secrets of the vampires.  According to legend, whoever possesses the book can establish a vampire nation on earth – or destroy the undead once and for all.  With an opportunity to end the war against the undead so close, Drake Matthews is determined to find the book.  

But the vampires also want The Vampyrnomicon.  When Master Chiang Shih and her coven of the most powerful and dangerous vampires arrive in Washington to claim the book as their own, the hunters find themselves facing their most dangerous enemy yet.  With the stakes so high, so is the ferocity of the struggle.

Congratulations to the Goodreads Giveaway Winners of Yeitso

The Goodreads Giveaway of Yeitso ended yesterday morning. The winners of an autographed copy of the novel are:

-- Sarit DanaYahalomi

-- Trisha Marie Balmer

-- Kendra Nichols

-- Vinamra Gharat

-- Daniel Jefferyes

Your autographed copies are in the mail. I hope you enjoy them.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the giveaway. Please continue following me on Goodreads because I'm preparing more giveaways for later this year.

Nazi Ghouls From Space Is Available for Kindle!!!

Two days ago I mentioned that soon I'd have exciting news. Well, here it is.

I've always said that the only thing more awesome than zombies are Nazi zombies. For the past few months I've put my money where my mouth is and have been working on a novella titled Nazi Ghouls from Space. Last night, it became available on Kindle (the paperback version will be released in the coming weeks).

The other exciting news: As a Halloween gift to all my fans, I'm offering Nazi Ghouls from Space for only $0.99 until 31 October. After that, the price will increase to $2.99. Unless Elvira comes Trick or Treating to your house, you're not going to get a better deal than that.

So grab a copy while you can and spread the word to your friends. And if you like the novella, please leave a review on Amazon. If you don't like it, just egg my house and we'll call it even.

The title speaks for itself, but if you need more reasons to buy the novella, here's the jacket blurb:

January 1945. The Allies have crossed the German border. In a desperate effort to avoid the inevitable defeat, the Third Reich develops a long-range rocket capable of striking the United States. Three German soldiers pilot the capsule, volunteers who agreed to test fly the craft to ensure victory for the Fatherland. However, a technical malfunction propels them into orbit with no way to bring them home.

July 1947. The capsule plummets back to Earth and crashes in the isolated flats of the New Mexico desert. What returns are not the bodies of the three German soldiers lost in space for over two years, but something far more ghoulish. When an unsuspecting rancher opens the hatch to check inside, he unleashes on America the reanimated bodies of the test pilots who are now living dead creatures that crave human flesh. 

Also, I want to give a shout out to Morgan Carrie, the very talented artist who did the cover art for the novella. If you like Morgan's work, check out her website Artful Treasures.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm Going To Have Some Exciting News To Share in the Next Few Days

I've been planning something special for a while now for the upcoming Walker Stalker and Spooky Empire conventions, and I should be able to announce it within the next few days.