Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ice bucket challenge? Ummm...sure.

So, my friend, Alex Laybourne has issued the fun to watch "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge." I accept. And even better, I will have the footage right here on Friday along with my own challenge. A few of you should be nervous...

Me beside my FREAKING HERO on a best seller list?

Also, some of you may be aware that there is a new craze in the indie book world. Oh yeah, I'm talking about the 99 CENT BOX SET! They are popping up everywhere. Some are with multiple authors, and some are collections or the packaging of a series.

Pay attention. When the KDP program first started, it launched a lot of indie careers (including mine). I decided to dip my toe in that pool in November of 2011 with the first Zomblog. I was hoping for around 500 free ebooks to be snagged that fateful weekend. When I hit 10,000, I was floored. That was what pushed me into being able to write full time as my residual sales began to climb into numbers I never imagined.

Eventually, the free market was saturated and Amazon had gotten what it wanted from the indies so it tilted the playing field and started changing the rules. Mark my words, they will come after the 99 CENT BOX SET next. I don;t know how, but they will. In the meantime, I am reaping the benefits.

So, why would I put a 6 book collection on sale for 99 cents? Simple. That series did more than I could have hoped for or dreamed. These days, the DEAD series and my That Ghoul Ava books are my focus. Ava is slowly building an audience and DEAD is doing great. Zomblog is selling  maybe 50-70 books a month combined.So I decided to give the box set a try. Hang on to your the first 5 days, it was not really moving...then it was like a shark at the end of a fishing line. In the past four days it has sold over 1,000 copies!

My writing brethren know that Amazon only grants a 30% pay out for titles under $2.99 (versus 70% for titles $2.99 and above). Still, it is simple economics. A thousand units at 30% beats fifty at 70%. And then there is the exposure. If you have a good product, people will look for your other work.

So, come back Friday for my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. And in the meantime, grab the Zomblog Saga Box Set. It is less than a buck. Also, if you would like the full collection on Audio Book, I have two full sets left. Simply email me at If you do, and nobody else has claimed win. And before you get too is sort of like the pretty girl sitting at the bar. She goes home alone because every guy thinks she will say no (sigh).

Monday, August 25, 2014

What are you gonna be for Halloween? Seriously.

So, Monday will be short and sweet. Hard to believe, but it is already almost time to start planning the Halloween party. Oh...and I will be planning one. I plan to invite some of my dear friends...Doug & Jamie, Mike Ridneour, Muffy Bunny...just to name a few. However, that got me to thinking...what will I be this year?

I actually am very excited because one of my Ava fans is making a "That Ghoul Ava" costume. Oh yeah...there will be pics.

So, if you were invited to a "book themed" Halloween party, who would you come as?

I invite you to comment below and share your ideas as well as HOW you would prepare your costume.

That is all.

Come back Wednesday because I am giving away more FREE Audio Books!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tables turn and it is the READER who gets interviewed.

I have been interviewed a number of times over the years. Done to death some might say. So, I was sitting here, just taking a break between writing sessions on the new DEAD: Reclamation, and the DEAD: Vignettes (Vol. II) Special Edition material when an idea came swirling up from my cup of coffee.

Interview the READERS. YOU tell ME what makes my book (and others) good or bad.

So, here is the deal, I need you to email me. You know the Please put "INTERVIEW ME!" in the subject line. Hopefully a few of you will bite. Now, just so you know, I will ask some tough questions. And I will expect you to be bold and blatantly honest. If I get enough, I would like to run them spread out over the next few weeks.

Any takers? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Valarie cuts the legs off of zombies!

I am putting together the "bonus material" for the Special Edition versions of the DEAD series. Currently I am scouring books 4, 5, & 6. Valarie becomes part of Kevin's tale (The Geeks), but what about BEFORE Kevin and Shari discover her? Yep...that seems like a good place to beef up my DEAD: Vignettes (Vol. II) Special Edition.

Here is a sneak peek...

“I am a princess,” Valarie said as she looked in the mirror.
Outside, she could hear some of the sick people pounding on the walls. The last time she had looked, they were not faces that she knew. These were strangers and Valarie knew not to talk to strangers. Still, she would need to take care of these poor people. For some reason, the sick people liked to bite.
She glanced down at the mostly healed rip on her left arm. That had hurt. It was even more upsetting that the person who had bitten her was Father Drieson. Priests were supposed to be people you could trust.
Valarie adjusted her tiara and then put on her gloves just like her mee-maw had taught her. There was work to be done.
Grabbing the leather straps and the saw, Valarie peeked outside. Today there were only three of the sick people. That wasn’t going to be too bad.
The girl paused for a moment. An observer would think that she had perhaps suddenly forgotten something and was trying to remember. That was not the case.
“I know, Mee-maw,” Valarie said, her voice almost totally flat and monotone. “Do the surgery below the knee.”
She cocked her head as if hearing something. And in some cases, she actually was. Her mind was replaying the memory of the day that her grandmother had explained to her how and why she needed to cut the legs off of the sick people.
Eventually, almost as if she had been frozen and was now slowly unthawing, Valarie began to move once more. She walked to the door, her tongue sticking just slightly out of the corner of her mouth as she focused all of her attention on the task at hand.
Opening the door, Valarie reached out with one hand and quickly grabbed the zombie (sick person) that had just been pounding on her door. Yanking the sick person inside, she just as quickly slammed the door.
Turning, she used one foot to sweep the legs out from the young woman just as she was about to rise to her unsteady feet. She used to actually wince just a bit the first times she had done such a thing, but the sick people did not seem to notice. Most of them didn’t even cry. And the ones that did were usually already crying when she got to them.
Taking the long piece of leather thing, Valarie bound the hands first. The sick people didn’t kick much, but if they grabbed you, that usually meant they could get in a nasty bite before she could tie them up properly.
Once the hands were secure, Valarie grabbed one ankle and dragged the lady down the hallway and to the room where her mee-maw had closed her eyes before opening them as one of the poor sick people. This was the room where she had taken off the legs of every single sick person in the Sage Farms area.
She wrinkled her nose at the smell. Not even the pine tree juice was helping with the stinkiness that was now a permanent part of this room. A swarm of flies buzzed around the room, but they were thickest at the open window. Valarie paused for just a second. She would need to go outside and push some of those leg pieces away. The pile was stacked so high that she could see them without having to actually go over to the window and look outside.
“I promise to go very fast,” Valarie said as she pulled the sick woman to her feet and then shoved her onto her back on the long table. Using the same straps that her mee-maw had helped her put in place, she secured the sick woman in place and grabbed the saw.
As promised, it only took a few minutes to saw off each leg just below the knee. There was hardly any blood, but what there was sure didn’t look right. Valarie was pretty sure that blood was not supposed to be black.
“Now, let’s put on some more prettier clothes,” Valarie said with a broad smile as she patted the sick woman on the cheek. She seemed not to notice as teeth clacked together loudly as her hand moved away. “I think the orange tee shirt will fit.”
Valarie went to work changing the sick woman’s top. The she pulled out a brush. “You need a ponytail…”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Muffy Bunny turns evil(-ish)!

As some of you may know, my newest book, soon-to-be-released, is Next, on a Very Special That Ghoul Ava. I am thrilled to say that I have the new cover by talented artist, +Thomas-Andy Butnariu. So, tell me what you think!

My good friend, +Beth Voydat  (but always Muffy Bunny to me) was actually the inspiration for this episode's villain cover model. AND, she picked the supernatural being that would play a key role in this tale. The gwyllion!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Stop being such a dick...

As I sit down to write this, I could go two ways. The first is to put somebody on blast. The problem with that is that, no matter how small, I am a public figure as a writer. Would coming out and ripping somebody a new one (I am talking using names and everything) be a turn off? And what about the backlash from the friends/fans/followers of the person I punched in the throat with my little blog? They would get all mad and stuff. Then a shot would be fired in return. I really don't have the energy for that.

The other way I could go is to say "HA! Gotcha!"

That might confuse you for a moment until I explain. Blog posts that I have put up with a headline that veers towards a negative slant are viewed in some cases five time the amount of normal posts. Oh yeah...I started paying attention last year. My post titles "A punch in the face...and a hug" received over three times the views as my "Warriors, Spartans, and Maniacs...oh my!" post. Now it could be that many people do not care about mud/obstacle course running, or the training involved...but that is simply one quick example. Across the board, my "controversial" (read critical) posts get blown up with views. When I say thank you or post a review, those posts reach triple digits in views, but my only posts in the four digit views are ones that can be perceived as negative or salacious.

So why is that?

Have we truly devolved to the point where negativity, name-calling, and meltdowns are more worthy of our attention? So, I have a challenge. Oh yeah...this is another chance to get ignored and hear nothing but crickets.

My challenge does not involve a bucket of ice water, and there is no monetary penalty for ignoring it, but here it is:

Either in the comments here or on the link you found this post, say something nice to somebody that you might not have spoken to for a while. Be sure to tag them. Or...just say something nice to a friend and let them know that you care or are thinking of them. You never know when fate will take them from you forever. If today was their last day...what would you want that person to know? Say it, tag them, and encourage them to spread some goodness this weekend.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Future Sound of London

I write to music.

It is a fact. I use music to set the mood for me when I sit down to work on my DEAD series. The main artist that I listen to is The Future Sound of London. You can actually find my writing playlist on Spotify: "Music for writing the DEAD series." (Oh yeah...I LOVE my Spotify playlists!)

Their album, "Dead Cities" is a staple to my playlist. I love it because of the energy. It can be dark, frantic, and even mundane at times. There are no lyrics, so I can just let the music flow over me like honey as I hammer away. There are other artists that I listen to (Mars Lasar, Tomita, and Goblin, just to name a few), but if I ever saw a screen adaptation of my work, I would beg and plead for FSOL to produce the soundtrack.

So, here is my little question...for those of my writing compadres who listen to music while writing...what is on your "must hear" soundtrack? And for everybody else, if you could put any of my work to music, who are some of the artists that fit? (No fair giving Ava a soundtrack, hers is built in to the chapter titles already!)