Monday, September 10, 2012

Where have all the good times gone?

It is the opening weekend of the NFL. My actual profession, when I have to divulge such things, is listed as "writer." I have recently been hired by somebody I respect a great deal (details later this month) as an editor. I have my first book signing coming up this October 27th. My wife is becoming addicted to golf and encourages me to keep a weekly "play date" with a female friend to kill zombies on our XBox.  My 4th Zomblog and my 5th DEAD books come by year's end and folks are already asking for more. Life is pretty damn good. Better than I deserve.

So, as I was trying to find something to share, I was reviewing my "number of visitors" from my blog post stat page. Interestingly enough...when I get a little controversial, my numbers skyrocket. Now "skyrocket" is a relative term. Instead of 50-70 visits, I get 150-200 (but this weekend saw over 300 on the Saturday post). I have no idea how many of those are real "visits" and how many are some random web bot. Still, for me, those numbers seem okay. However, it made a pretty clear point: people like controversy. No shortage of that in my life...anybody who knows me personally can attest to that.

This weekend, I shed some light on a subject that I felt needed to be exposed. I don't make it a habit of wading in to the conversations that are generated by my stuff. I figure I lobbed out the topic, I should let you good folks speak your piece. Here is the thing...I don't expect everybody to agree with me any more than I expect everybody who reads my books to love them. (See previous entries on my opinions about negative reviews.) What I find more interesting is some of the responses from people who will rant and rave about something very similar, but then spew out a bunch of milquetoast drivel when it is not THEM banging the drum. First, let me make it clear, your opinion of me, my posts, and my writing is your business. I have people who love me...and people who hate me...and lots more who could care less. For those of you who are my friends, our relationship does not hinge on you agreeing with me. Some of my most enjoyable debates are with friends because we KNOW we are not trying to convert each other to OUR opinion. But, and this may not come as much of a shocker to my friends, there are a lot of people out there on social media that I find to be nothing short of useless, self-important tools who haven't gotten over the fact that high school is over. Two-faced, weak-minded, and boorish also come to mind. Folks who love to wade into an argument and HATE it when you don't cow to their beliefs or point of view. To put it in high school lingo so that they might understand...they are bullies. (And if you are getting are probably one of the people I am talking about.)

So what is this topic about? One of the themes to some of the commentary had to do with people saying ridiculous things about contracts. Maybe I should have been more clear about my stance on things. Shady is shady. Take out dollar values, take out contracts. Just because it isn't illegal to see a person lying in the street bleeding out and doing nothing to help doesn't make it right. A friend of mine was lied to. Actually, a couple of them were. And while I will not name names (although one of them had her name on the cover and did step in to a conversation generated by my blog post to share her opinion), one of them is a very respected author who has probably sold more of a single title than I have of all my stuff combined. When questioned, the person became verbally abusive. (Or textually I guess would be more accurate.) The person misrepresented their work. The person lied. That was my point.

Where is the honor of a person's word? And don't try to tell me that changing the color of curtains makes it a different picture. What I saw was that, while most of the comments were supportive of the point I was making, some wanted to try and make this about semantics. Let me repeat how blessed I feel when it comes to my cover artist, Shawn Conn. He does some amazing covers for not only me, but several of the May December Publications titles. I rest easy knowing none of my covers will show up on another person's book. Now, if Shawn wants to sell prints, make shirts, create tattoos, or whatever suits his fancy with those images...great. Those pictures are his. His art is good enough to do all of the above mentioned stuff. Shawn is one of the "good guys" (who hopefully will design me a zombie Ace Frehley tattoo and then refer me to a local shop to have it done...hint, hint) and any author would be lucky to have one of his pieces on a cover.

I know I had a point when this started, but I kept stopping to watch the Oregon Ducks and LSU Tigers hand out beat downs. (I actually have credits on my college transcripts from one of those schools, and it's not the one you may think.) But here's the thing...most of you reading this are my fellow Indies. When you do things great (charity anthologies, helping an up and comer, or signing that movie deal), I want to let the world know about it...or at least my 50-70 regular readers of this blog. I could build a following of a few hundred if I ranted like a lunatic...but that doesn't help the great Indie movement. If you don't agree with me, we are still friends, but if you act like a douche because the center of attention isn't settled squarely on your pimply butt, you are a waste of precious oxygen and don't expect me to engage in your idiotic conversation...especially since you have so little to offer.

Later this week, more guests like the incredibly talented Bryan Hall. And if you would like to be a guest or promote your book with a release package, just drop me an email. I would love to step aside and hand you the reins for a day. Also, no posts tomorrow. I know it may seem silly, but I won't post anything on 9/11. Nothing I have to say, good or bad, means a thing when compared to the heroics of those who lost their lives. So, tomorrow, if you see a local member of the police or fire department, tell them "Thank you." They all serve with the same brand of heroism.

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