Monday, September 29, 2014

Writing is more work than you might think.

With only a few weeks week remaining until the release of DEAD: Reclamation (the 10th book in the series), I am starting to get that pre-concert rush of adrenaline. That's really the best thing I can equate it to. Having been the lead singer for a few garage bands, I always got that little surge right before taking the stage. That was usually accompanied by me wondering if I would remember all the words. Of course, once the show goes live, there are no do-overs. The release of a book is the same. Add in that I always worry if this is the one where all the readers will roll their eyes and say I have "jumped the shark." Still, while I may not be raking in the big bucks, I do well enough that this is my life, my dream realized. 

One of the new events in my life is the way I get to answer when somebody asks me what I do for a living. There is something very groovy about being a writer for a living. Lest anybody thinks it is all fun and lazy days...I start my day at four in the morning. My wife is an accountant at what many of you would refer to as a real" job, I make her lunch, which I pack in a little lunch box I bought for her, fix the coffee  and make her a light breakfast. Then I get in my first writing or editing session of the day if I don't have too many emails to answer (which is almost never, just so you know).

Once she is out the door and I have had at least one more cup of coffee, I sit down for my next session of editing whatever project is on the docket. (Currently I am blessed to have the new Monster Squad by Heath Stallcup. Next up is Caldera also by Heath Stallcup.) After my editing session, it is time to let my OCD run wild. I get in some house cleaning, laundry, and take the dogs for a walk. 

After is time for a writing session. Currently, I am wrapping up the 10th book in the DEAD series, Dead: Reclamation. I tend to write in 1,000 word blocks. After each session, I get up, take out the dogs and clear my head for ten or fifteen minutes before going at it again, rotating the rest of the day between editing, writing, and cleaning sessions. I stop around noon for a light lunch and a little time with my guitar to clear my head. 

After lunch, it is back to the grind. I like to do the editing when my head is not into being creative, that lets me focus on mechanics. I usually have a dozen or so links up on my screen to various grammar sites just in case I have a question about a particular rule. It is like instant replay in football.

Once I have edited to my target page (I divide a project up into pages-per-day sections that consist of a specific number of pages that I have to do to reach my deadline), I set it aside. Sometimes it is really hard to just quit...especially if you are in the middle of a great scene--which Stallcup seems to sprinkle liberally. However, with that done, I get to take another walk or run (depending on my training day) with the dogs and then come in for my afternoon writing session.

By now, it is closing in on around four in the afternoon. That means I need to start getting dinner ready. With Denise working out there where the people exist, I like to make sure that she has a good dinner waiting when she gets home.  

Saturdays are a bit more relaxed. I have a lot of the same schedule, but Denise tends to the house and the meals on Saturday. She tends to work around the house or at her computer and I try to write with college football on in the background unless it is a big game or my Oregon Ducks. 

Sundays are football. Period. It is a big deal for me and brings me a lot of happiness. Denise watches bits and pieces with me, reads, or naps. It is a lazy day by comparison. So there you have it...a very encapsulated version.

That is my day in a nutshell. Not as glamorous as some might think.

Friday, September 26, 2014

If I give you 20 bucks, will you listen to my audiobook?

Okay, so that is sort of misleading. But then again, that is what makes a good headline. It hooks you and gets you to check out what the hell I am talking about.

It's right HERE!
Starting October 1st, I will be gifting (at least) one of my audiobooks a day on my Author TW Brown page. These babies have an average price of around $20 bucks a pop. When is the last time you got a $20 treat on Halloween? And here is the beauty...I will let YOU pick the title.

Maybe you are a Dead fan waiting for the next title to be released. TRY THIS!
Here is everything to date that I have on so far:

From the DEAD series--

The DEAD Special Editions

From the Zomblog series--
Zomblog II
Zomblog: The Final Entry
Zomblog: Snoe
Zomblog: Snoe's War 
Zomblog: Snoe's Journey

From the That Ghoul Ava series--

And then there is--

And even better, the new That Ghoul Ava MIGHT be ready by the end of the month. So you may be the FIRST person to snag a copy if you are super lucky.

The talented Pamela Lorence is in studio now!
So if you haven't like my Author TW Brown probably should get around to it soon. October is right around the corner.

Hmm...Jenifer didn't fare well on her 21st birthday...
Now, for those of you wondering what I am reading...
Get your HERE!

I am reading Preta's Realm (Book 1 of the Hidden Evil Trilogy) by J. Thorn. How about you? What did you grab for the weekend?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Don't come looking for my help...

Writers are a peculiar bunch. If you are one, you may not realize it...except for all those other weird writers you talk with throughout the day. And if you are married or in any sort of relation with one...I am preaching to the choir. It is the ability to suspend reality that allows many of them to ply their craft. It is also that same ability that can lead to problems. Writers can be whining, bitching, self-absorbed, and completely out of touch with reality.

There is a never-ending drama that seems to swirl around reviews.. Now, if you have read my posts on the subject of negative reviews, you know where I stand. To refresh your memory, it goes something like this: Not everybody will love your stuff, GET OVER IT! So what else could possibly be stuck in my craw when it comes to reviews? In a word: reciprocity.

I may not be the "be all/beat all" when it comes to reviews...I have sort of given up on reviewing the works of many of my fellow authors simply because there is no give and take...just a lot of my giving and their taking. The indie scene is one where you sort of rely on your comrades-in-scribing to "help you over that wall". I liken it to the off-course-runs that I have been involved in this past summer. You reach an obstacle like a high wall and lack the ability to either jump high enough to get a grip and pull yourself over, or you lack the upper body strength to climb. Somebody will always reach out a hand and pull you up.

As for my approach on reviews, I do them with the understanding that I refuse to write fluff pieces and if I didn't like the work...I will say so. What I won't do is plaster a negative (2 star or less--I will get to people crying about three star reviews later) review on every page and group. A negative review will go on Amazon, Shelfari, Goodreads, and this blog. That might seem like a lot, but I left out about a half dozen other sites that I regularly share my reviews with; a couple with over 2,000 followers or members. Still, I am not one of those people who will NOT write a review "just because the book was lousy." I put that in quotes because I have actually seen people use that as a reason. That is WTF issue number one...

The Indie community has got to stop stressing over negative reviews. I have (on many occasions) invited anybody who reads my stuff to post reviews. Good. Bad. Meh. Do I like negative reviews? Of course not, but I accept them as OPINION. Do you read editorials and classify them as "News"? Even the Greats suffer the slings and arrows of people not liking them. "This has to be one of the most overrated books of all time. There was absolutely no suspense, it was filled with mostly forgettable characters, and it was way too long. I found myself rooting for no one and wishing the book would just end. And end it did, with a big thud." That comes from a review of one of my all-time favorites: The Stand  by Stephen King. Do you think King read that and ran to everybody in his circle with a sob story about how the reader "just didn't get it." All so that a group of sycophants could stroke his ego and tell him how awesome he is? Yet every day, drop in to one of the social media groups and watch that scene get played out time and again. So, I've said it before and I will say it again, if I review your book, I will say what I think. 

You will NEVER see me post for pity, nor will I argue against somebody who writes a negative review about my work. In fact, I do my best to glean information from negative reviews to be a better writer. I don't change what I do, but sometimes I see comments with validity. This statement made by one reviewer of ZOMBLOG is a case in point: "I also found the seemingly pointless wandering around the country, in search of nothing, more than a little disjointing. Sure, if the world was taken over by the living dead, you'd move around some - but it seemed like there was no destination or goal in mind." Guess what? She made a good point. When I wrote that book, I never intended it for publication. I created an ending that allowed me to take the story in a specific direction with an end game in mind in the second book in the series. least she read and reviewed my book. Of course I would like a better review, but what she said was put appropriately and constructively. Negative does not have to mean NASTY, RUDE, or PERSONAL. 

I want to support my fellow authors. I believe that we are all in this together. Yes, I openly admit to taking advantage of the freebies made available to a reviewer. Still, those lead to sales when I like what I see. Also, I bang the drum loudly when I read something I like..not just in reviews, but to people I know who read. So here is a Friday, September 26th, everybody pick out an "Indie" writer you have always considered reading and get their book. Then come by and comment who you got on this blog. When you finish, please return and share if it inspired you to purchase another by that author. Step up to the plate, folks. For the price of a morning latte, you might just find your newest addiction. And of course I hope somebody picks one of mine...but I am more interested in the variety of names that show up. One of you may turn me on to something new.

Right now, I have about fifty books in queue, and I am committed to start getting in some reading because it has really slipped as of late. Also, I want to come out with would be nice if some of my peers gave me some feedback. I have actually cut ties with a few because I just got tired of the exclusion and the fact that I have beat my promo drum for them, read and reviewed their stuff, but when I ask if they would be interested in reading and reviewing mine...I get, "Oh, man. I am just so busy writing..." (Umm..aren't we all?) And my personal favorite: "I wouldn't want to steal any of your ideas, and if I read your book, I might see something and it would find its way into my own story."  REALLY?!

Same thing with my little blog...I don't have a lot of followers...YET. The other day, I put out the word that I am available for guest posts or interviews. Guess how many responses I got? {crickets chirping}. Yep. Not one. NOW THAT STUNG way more than any negative review. But anytime I get an email about "Hey, will you promo me?" You betcha. Now, there are a few who host me willingly, but the scales are heavily tilted. Bottom line, I am done being a Review or interview booty call. From now on, if you can't share the love, I got nothing for ya.

So there you have it. I am openly admitting to having feelings. That may not be a popular thing to do...but I have made it a point of being straight up and honest. Some might say "Brutally Honest"...

Friday I will share the title of the book that I am reading. I hope that a few of you will post here what you have picked up. Also, I will once more make a pitch for giving and receiving some guest posts and reviews. (Chirp-chirp).

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pages from a journal found in the zombie apocalypse.

With the last 3-book of arc of the DEAD series (the proper series, not the SNAPSHOT spinoff that is in production), I introduce my last vignette. Enjoy.

The following is an excerpt from a journal found in an abandoned camp just outside of the ruins of Billings Montana:

Entry One—
My name is Adam. I won’t bore you with my last name, since, if you are reading this, you would probably mispronounce it anyway. How about just Adam V.?
I am a hunter.
That opens up the question of what I hunt. Well, in the world of the dead, most of us are hunters of some sort. We hunt for food, or we hunt for a safe place to live. Some may even hunt for the lost world that lives in our memory.
I hunt the living. Don’t worry. I have a reason, and I don’t just hunt any living person. I only hunt the ones who have been brought to my attention.
As many of you know, when the dead came, it changed damn near everything. Some was actually for the better. No more Hollywood tabloids for one. Seriously, who cares about how some talentless popstar’s sister was banging the manager? Although, now that I think about it…the manager might have made my list. I think the sister was only fourteen or fifteen and the manager was some skeezy old dude in his forties.
Some was for the worst. That first year, it seemed like every creep and playground lurker decided that it was open season on women and children. You could not run into a group of people that didn’t have at least one sad story to tell. And you always knew which one right away. They had that haunted look nine times out of ten. Most would jump out of their skin if you tapped them on the shoulder.
Zombies were not the worst problem like the old movies, books, and television shows always made you think. Nope, it was the living. As far as I am concerned, that ius still the case.
Personally, I can’t be mad at zombies. That is like being mad at a great white shark or a grizzly bear. You show up in their home smelling like food and then get upset when they took a bite? Zombies are the same way. They are just doing what they do. They are the ultimate species when it comes to equal opportunity. Rich, poor, fat skinny. You are all the same in the milky eyes of the undead.
But when it comes to people, that is different. You are making a choice to prey on those weaker than you for your own sick gratification. That is why I must wipe you off the face of the earth. With the population being reduced like it is, a single death is equal to thousands. So, the way I see it, every single time I kill one of those useless shit bags, I am actually killing thousands of the bastards.
My actual number of official kills is eighty-nine. Five escaped, and eleven I never found. I am currently hunting number ninety. He won’t escape. I know this because I am sitting on a log, writing this journal entry while he sits five feet away, staked to the ground. His name does not matter, and I will not let him become some sort of legend by writing it here.
Words are power. They last for all time. Whether you write them or say them, once they are out there, they live for eternity.
I actually found this journal in his backpack. It belonged to a girl named Suzie Strahan. Most of her pages had been torn out. I don’t know why, I didn’t ask. I have no idea what became of the poor girl that used to write in this book, all I do know for certain is that this guy will never do anything to anybody again.
So…why have I appointed myself the judge, jury, and executioner of these scum bags? Simple. I was a dad before the zombies came. And it wasn’t zombies that took my precious little girl away from me. Death by zombie would have been a kind mercy compared to the fate my angel suffered at the hands of Ward Thomas Wilson.
Sorry…I had to stop writing for a minute. I spent a while kicking some garbage around. I am sure you get my meaning. Then I had a good cry. Not enough years will pass that I won’t randomly break out into tears over losing my baby girl.
You might be wondering why I would use Ward Thomas Wilson’s name, and not the name of that piece of crap that is sobbing just a few feet from me as I write this entry. Easy, Ward Thomas Wilson is a name that belongs in history. He put me into motion as the man I am today. He launched me on this quest that has no apparent ending. It is Ward Thomas Wilson that has helped bring the painful deaths I have handed out to the eighty-nine souls that now burn beside him in Hell.
Entry Two—
And now there are ninety.
He cried. Actually, he cried more than most. When I told him that he had to tell me every single thing that he did to that poor boy, he thought that I was joking. When I applied that cord to his scrotum and pulled it tight, he figured out that I was entirely serious.
I always make them spill the details because I want to make them admit to the sick shit they have done. Most of them start crying when I ask them to tell me what they might think if I were to do those things to them. The main reason I want them to say all their crimes out loud is because I like to watch their eyes. Those are the window to the soul.
His eyes were full of guilt. That is why I took them before he died. He might have continued crying…hard to tell with all the blood.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Now is your chance to ask ANYTHING!

Okay, so I have put up a couple of the interviews that readers were kind enough to reply to recently. And that has actually got me to thinking about a few things. For one, I have learned that I need to be more attentive to the comments and shout outs that pop up on social media. Also, I guess I need to start giving away some signed copies as prizes.

Point taken. So watch for an announcement about this October and some stuff I will be giving away. Oh yeah...something for EVERY day in the best month of the year! And a grand prize on Halloween that I hope will be a real treat.

That is all good, but here is the next thing that I think needs to happen. I was speaking with my new pal Caroline when it struck me that some of you may have questions for me. I have answered all the normal ones...but those are the way most interviews go. Same questions, same answers.

So, what do YOU want to ask. I am opening the door to YOU. 

Email me at with your series of interview questions. Be as crazy, in depth, or scatter-brained as you like. Nothing is taboo or off the table. Personal? Professional? Fire away.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bringing back the readers. After I fire off a few words about cowards.

I just want my friends to know that I will always have your back. And for those of you who feel the need to go at them because you don't have the sack to come at me...well...I think it is clear how I feel. I have started cleaning house lately. And a lot of you dead weight, useless, backstabbing whisperers are getting cut. I already did surgery on my Twitter account, and Wastebook is next. I got news for you...I made it to where I am WITHOUT your help, and in some cases despite your best efforts.

It is real hard not to name names sometimes. But the funny thing is that I know who you are, and I don't care. You stopped being relevant a long time ago. My success has upset you? Too bad. Get over it. It's not like I am running for office. I write books for crying out loud. And I am only MODERATELY successful in the big scheme of things. It ain't like I am Stephen King. I am an indie writer with a few fans and a lot more friends than I ever realized.

So, you keep on making yourself feel better by skulking around the social media, "warning" my friends about the dangers of being connected to me, and I will keep doing just fine. I have a loving wife, REAL friends, and the support of those who know me for WHO I am, not for who people SAY I am. Oh...and a Border Collie that thinks I am the sun and the moon wrapped in bacon. The clock is ticking on that date when I get to have my say. Be prepared.

The lovely SelinaLynn Maeder with a glowing heart!
With that out of the way, let me apologize to SelinaLynn Maeder. She was supposed to be my guest on Monday, but I had to share my killer weekend. And now she has to follow that mini-rant. Good news, Selina...statistics show that more people tune in when there is a sniff of controversy than when things are sunny and bright. So a lot of people that might have missed out are gonna get to meet you today.

1.       Which of my books left you feeling just a bit cheated? Why?

I don’t think I have been cheated. That would imply you were being devious and selfish. I bought the books of my own will and was never under any impression they would be “the best book evah!” Every story is a risk for both the reader and writer. There are no promises and I always go into situations with the least amount of expectations, that way I will always be surprised!

2.         Which of my books would you say was your favorite? Why?

I’m addicted to the DEAD books. To me it is the most realistic and plausible world that we would become. It was hard to get the large cast of characters straight in the beginning, but now I feel like each group is a glimpse into different parts of the world simultaneously. I identify with some groups more than others, but I understand there are so many different people in the world how could I possibly know what others are like thousands of miles from me. This series exemplifies that for me.

3.        Who are some of your favorite authors and why?

I enjoy many different genres and thus many different authors. What come to mind, besides you Mr. Brown, are Michael Connelly and his “Bosch” series. It is a typical rogue detective in LA but the antagonists are usually serial killers and there are a lot of clues to follow and decipher along the way.

Hugh Howey, author of “Wool”, is a pretty amazing guy. I read his series and was transplanted straight away to the world of the Silos. At first I couldn’t believe it was an indie book marked at .99 to start. Well I guess my suspicions were right. Although he has been picked up by Simon & Schuster, he continues to lobby for the rights of indie authors and book ownership.

Stephen King is the king of horror and was one of the first authors I latched on to. I would borrow the books from the library around the age of 8 and still read them into my 30’s. I recently devoured his “Doctor Sleep” a revisit to “The Shining” but with little Danny all grown up.

Ok now, don’t judge me on the next one (a poor girl needs some escape fluff once in a while). Cherise Sinclair who authors “Masters of the Shadowlands” Kinky, erotic, yet a realistic take on alternative lifestyles. I won’t spoil you with details.

Lastly, Phillip K. Dick is an amazing world builder and created characters with flaws that can either be liked or hated just as easily. He has many short stories you can squeeze in between tasks or on a weekend. One of my faves is “The Skull”.

4.      What is the first book that just got under your skin and made you fall in love with it?

I would have to say Zomblog. I was looking through some free kindle books and I gave it a shot. I was intrigued by the format of a journal/blog and thought it would be a great way to document what would happen in a real life situation. I kept a journal for many years, but let it dissolve after I had kids. I look back on some of the notes and dismiss the triviality of most of it. There is some very important information in one of the journals though. When 9/11 happened I was in my car traveling to my mother-in-law’s for morning coffee. I heard the radio report of a plane hitting a building in New York and I was freaking out. I ran into the house and turned on the television yelling to Ma in the kitchen as to what I was hearing, then we watched the second plane hit. I immediately grabbed a notebook and began documenting everything with timestamps and maps. I knew that this was one of those moments which is life changing for the world; it should be written down. I hope that someday someone finds my entries and can reflect upon that time and see it first person.

5.      Share (in your own words) the most memorable scene you have ever read.

This may seem silly, but the most memorable is from an old children’s “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs. When the boy runs down the stairs after a magical night with his friend and finds that he’s melted and gone, it still makes me cry.

6.       Have you ever considered starting a reading circle or book club? And would you be more likely to do so if you knew that the author would be available to your group for a Q & A session (either via Skype or Google+ hangouts) when you all finished?

This idea is awesome. I have always wanted to be a part of a book club, but I can never be sure how much time I will have any given week. I am currently back in school and my husband travels often. I wouldn’t want to be in charge of a group and not be able to give it 100%

7.   If you have read my DEAD series, then you are familiar with Garrett McCormick. I have had a lot of criticism regarding my creation and inclusion of that particular character. Do you feel I went too far?

Actually no, I don’t think you did. With all of the news reports of murderers, kidnappings, and other crimes why would it be any different in a lawless world? You were honest and realistic in your portrayal of a man who was unhinged who now had no consequences and freedom beyond any morals. Most of the situations that included Garrett were cringe worthy, but I believe it is because we know characters like this in our world. I like to refer to Hitchcock in this situation. “A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality.”

8.       If the zombie apocalypse did occur, how well do you think women and children will fare in general?

I do not think either one would do to well. I do believe those who have led a less than privileged life would do better; they know how to live with less.  The women who want to survive would have to be resourceful and guarded. Knowing that as a woman you will be targeted no matter what the situation your best bet is to be careful of everyone and quick. Smaller children would be least likely because they rely on providers and will not have many skills or resources to draw upon.

9.         Do you think society has any hope if such a thing as the zombie apocalypse were to actually occur, or, as I have often suggested, do we lose too many of the “good guys” early on and end up left with those in the middle and those who have been hiding under a rock?

Humans are quite ingenious. Although we do not evolve physically very fast we can adapt to environmental and social changes quickly. If a zombie apocalypse were to occur I think it would depend on the type of transmission and the speed in which it travels. If we could possibly be pseudo prepared or have a small time frame in which to analyze its virology we may have a bit more time to adapt. People have been analyzing the possibility for a while and while it doesn’t seem avoidable, it’s not like we are not aware that “it could be”.

Many good men will die first. These are the folks that will come out on the front lines. The medical community is screwed, sorry, Doc. I believe that those with the ability to live in the wilderness, camping, and basic survival skills will do best (also those who read books and watch those prepper shows). I believe it may look a bit like a plague just on a larger scale.

10.        I have been accused of over-dramatizing the victimization of women and being overly misogynistic, do you agree? If so, let me have it with both barrels. And if not, what would you say in my defense?

Sorry, misogyny is alive and well. Did you know it has only been 90 years since women have been allowed to vote in the US? Women tend to become victimized for many reasons. Things like size/stature, abilities, sexual attributes (not the bedtime positions—more like fertile, body proportions and such), attitudes, and self-esteem. I think women can become more powerful once we strip away expectations of clothing choices and social standings. When it comes down to surviving and living we discard old ideas and begin to craft new expectations where women can take charge in more important matters.

I think you give women all different roles in your books. From strong independent female soldiers to complacent brothel workers. From 6 year old dog lovers to medical/physical handicaps. Prissy President daughters to killer Egyptian brides. I do not think you target women in your books. The men are in the same boat too. 

Mr. & Mrs. on the top of the world.
11.            In a lawless society, do you become a follower? A leader? Or a crusader set on battling those who take advantage of the lack of repercussions?

Honestly, I think I would become both a follower and a leader. I would protect my family at all costs. I would follow those I trust and believe in and if it needed a leader I would also take that role. Like Steve though, I would have a problem being a leader all of the time for a larger group. I want what’s best but I do not want to govern. I also believe I would do many things that would be frowned upon, but sometimes there is dirty work to be done.

12.      If you heard a news report today saying that a possible zombie attack has been reported, how serious do you take it?

I would definitely pay attention. If it seemed legit I would pack all of our crap and get as far away from the cities as possible. I think Canada might be a good start. Unless elk are zombies too, then I suppose I need to work on my plan B.

13.            Let’s talk about That Ghoul Ava (unless you have not read the series, in which case, feel free to ignore these questions). Humor is very subjective, so what do you find funny?

I like how she is not quite on the ball. I like that she is a somewhat normal 20-30’s woman still spunky and still pisses and moans about regular everyday annoyances in life. It is an easy “beach read” and giggle worthy.

14.            What is the last thing you read that made you actually “laugh out loud” (as opposed to LOLing, where you probably didn’t really, you just said/typed it because you were amused).

Auto Correct on phones are horrible, especially of you speak-text like I do many times and this happened today. My husband is in Paris on business. He is installing a CT scanner in a cardiac hospital. Apparently he had an “M” sticker stuck to his shirt all day. After dinner he starts texting and we talk about our day and he mentions he has this sticker stuck to him and he must look like a fool. I did not quite understand and asked “was it like a kick me sign” and he answered “no, it means medical” so I speak-texted “like a day pass” (like a mental hospital) but it came out “deep ass” I saw it sent and I busted out laughing. He then quit texting and called me laughing. He said everyone at the bar was looking at him funny because I made him spill his beer. Yup that’s my damn phone.

15.   What will keep you coming back for more with Ava? A love interest storyline? A long running battle with a Super-villain? Or…she just fits the bill when you want mindless pulp fiction?

She’s a good filler book for me. When I want a laugh, yet still paranormally. They are typically shorter and can be the in between for longer books.

16.     How likely are you to buy books from an author you like even if the genre is slightly (or even drastically) different?

Well, as I mentioned before I read many different genres. I tend to stick with horror and SF. I do branch out into mommy porn and humor. I am getting to know more classic literature with school. So it is not out of the norm for me to buy different books. When it comes to authors I already like, I do take the chance (unless it’s a children’s book). I like to see what they can do with a different world. Sometimes I find that I like the alternate genre better, but it all depends if the author actually invested in the story and created it with the same vigor as their other works. Hence no children’s books—unless you’re Samuel L. Jackson.

17.       Did you know I wrote a “time-travel” themed book Titled Dakota as well as a sci-fi/alien themed short titled The Exoterrestrials? (You actually have to search using “Dakota by TW Brown to find it…I had no idea that was such a popular title name…sheesh!)

I know they are out there and they are bought sitting on my TBR pile. I am excited but I can’t find my way out of this damn pile—I know it’s in here somewhere!

18.            How often do you write a review?

I try to write a review for every book I read including my literature class books. I didn’t know how important they were until I began getting emails from Amazon telling me that my review helped others buy the book/item. I also pay attention to other people’s reviews. I scan a few of the top ones then I move to the 1-stars and then some of the middle. There are some people who get off on 1-star reviews and I take into consideration the number of 1-stars in proportion to the higher reviews. If it’s all spell check and “I just didn’t get it” I usually ignore. I also look at reviews on Goodreads not just Amazon.

19.            Are you more likely to write one if the book is terrible versus one that you enjoy?

I have written one bad review and it was well deserved. The book should have just been kept in a closet and treated as a teenage disaster. Most times I do a fair amount of research on the book (see above reviews process) that I am typically not horrified by it. I give more bad reviews for products rather than books. I would rather not put up a bad review unless it is totally warranted. I know how I would feel if I read hate reviews all the time. I would take it personally and it would probably cost a bit for the counseling. I guess that’s why I am not eager to publish much; I’ll keep my teenage disasters in my closet for a little while longer.

20.      I hate predictability. If I am reading and a main character is in danger, I want to actually fear for his or her existence. I get a lot of grief for killing main characters. Does that annoy you or do you see it as adding more realism?

I love the unpredictability! I actually just quit a series because I was so sick of the template of “Oh they’re so in love, oh no she’s going to die, magic happens, happily ever after, oh no ex-girlfriend, he doesn’t love me, no one dies ugh—blah blah blah”.

Shit happens every day; no one is safe at any time. I feel like I grow attached to one character and if they expire I actually mourn them. This is what a story should do! You should be so caught up in it you lose yourself. If you cannot appreciate this you might be interested in this “Mechanical and Electrical Troubleshooting Guide” I have on my shelf.

21.            Now it is your chance to just say what you feel. Give me some feedback and be sure to include some critical stuff. That is how a person gets better at their craft.

Ava is funny, but I think she might be too 80’s. I see the lyrics as the chapter titles and know all the songs but it feels cliché. Maybe it’s just me.

DEAD has me waiting on tip toes like a kid at the ice cream counter. And I know you are writing fast. I am thankful I do not have to wait a year in between titles like I have had to do with other authors many times.

I like that you are a real person. You share your life with your fans and instead of just a photo on the back and a generic bio you let us into your struggles and accomplishments. I feel like I know you better than some of my classmates (that’s not creepy is it?). I like the introductions to your books and some of the Easter eggs you drop “Don’t Blink”

I think it would be cool if you could offer up some goodies like autographed books and such. I believe I see hints of these in the interview and on the blog.

Please don’t push yourself too hard in these extreme obstacle courses. It’s awesome that you are doing this but just be careful (yeah, that’s the mom in me). 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What I did this summer...a video journey.

Yep, this is a little film I cobbled together using some of the pics taken at the various OCRs that I participated in this summer.

As for the "soundtrack"? That is a live recording of my old band covering "Tomorrow" by Silver Chair. I was sick as a dog and having to keep taking in fluids during the hour long set, but the show must go on.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reliving some of music's glory years.

Me...Mototrbreath. F*****G Awesome!
I was going to feature one of my reader interviews today, and I hope she will forgive me. I have to share my weekend with you all. We met with some friends and fellow Portland Thunder season ticket holders for a night of rock.

Denise has a crush on the Motorbreath drummer.
Saturday I went to see a concert featuring the tribute bands Lovedrive, Unchained, and Motorbreath. It was a time travel experience as I was transported to metal's glory days. If I closed my eyes, you could not convince me I was not hearing the Scorpions, Van Halen, and Metallica.

"There's no one like you!"
Seeing these bands has become a regular thing for Denise and I after first catching Unchained to start off my birthday week. So, this year was no different. Except that I knew what I was getting...3+ hours of Kick Ass music. If you are unaware of the tribute scene, you are missing something spectacular. And if youa re in the Portland Metro area, then you should pop over and check out the J-Fell site and see if anything piques your interest. 

Rockin' you like a hurricane!
Lovedrive was new to me. I was sad to hear that real life has forced this band to drop out of the scene. They have not played together in a while, but you could not tell. And having seen the Scorps on the Blackout tour from the second row at Portland's Memorial Coliseum, the vocalist was a DEAD RINGER for Klaus. I hope they find some time and book a few more gigs. 

Somebody get him a doctor...or another nurse.
Unchained is a household favorite. We almost qualify as groupies/stalkers. This was our 5th time seeing the band and they never disappoint. I actually think this was the highest energy level we have seen from the band. Maybe it was due to the sellout crowd. In any case, this is a band that works hard to teleport you back to the VH glory days minus Diamond Dave "forgetting" the lyrics.

"Shreddie Van Halleck" that Michael Anthony?
The stage presence and personalities are mimicked to a tee when Unchained hits the stage. Even better, these guys have the sound down. If you have never seen the original VH and want to experience it for yourself, this is the best thing going. 

"Look at all the people here tonight!"
When the horns blare announcing the intro to Running with the Devil, you are launched from a slingshot back to 1984 and the band's glory days. Whether it is from that first groundbreaking album, or any of the amazing ones in between, the Unchained gang nails it from all angles.

Bottoms up...the Jack has made its appearance on stage. Nice bottle holder, Harry!
This band works to recreate the feel and magic that their namesake band brought to the stage. You are missing out if you have not yet seen them. But fear not, they play a handful of times during the year and are easy to keep tabs of on Facebook (just type in "Unchained Portland Van Halen Tribute" and you will find them) as well as the Unchained website.

You have to see him to believe it!
The last band to hit the stage was Motorbreath. That put the audience into a moshing frenzy. And this is not a band that just plays the radio friendly hits of the band. Nope...they want to shred your ears (Denise and I still had ringing in our ears late Sunday night) with the songs that TRUE Metallica fans love. And the amount of energy and fury that you will witness just can't be put into words. If you just spend the night watching the drummer (like Denise...she has a husband-approved fangirl crush on Mototbreath's drummer), you will witness a passion that the actual Metallica band has lost long ago.

He's so cute when he's angry.
The Mototrbreath set was an in-your-face onslaught of Metallica that should come with a warning label stating that if you are not ready to rock, perhaps you should go home and listen to your Barry Manilow records.

Just some good old-fashioned METAL!
This was an amazing show from start to finish. So, once again, I have to tell you, search around your local music scene. In Portland, you don't have to look far for an experience that you will never forget. And when was the last time time you saw Scorpions, Van Halen, or Metallica and then the band came out into the crowd after the show and said hi? That is just one more element that makes this experience so unique. The band actually cares if you had a good time.