Proof of what I tell everyone

Hello all,


many of you know that I belong to a couple of different writers groups.  I also talk about how you will hear different advise when you are there, and how this information is something you always need to filter and decide what works for you as a writer, not what the majority have to say.

last night I presented a short story called “Ship 13 – the silence of space” its a story [part of a collection] that is centered around a multi-generational ship.  this setting is fascinating, because it puts a microscope to humanity,  when you have only enough materials and space for a set number of people – how do you deal with the most basic of problems? when you have a very finite pool of resources, how do you decide what to spend where on who.

The story is about a man whose daughter is discovered to be deaf.  There is a ship wide vote to her fate, and the story tells the results of that vote.  While fascinating in its own right, I will leave the details about it for you to discover when I publish it.  what I would like to focus on for this blog, is this:   I passed out 8 copies of the story for review. as always when I hand out my raw work, it comes back with several grammar Nazi issues, and some glaring ‘WTF’ issues that I should have caught but didn’t. the interesting thing to me is that the second paragraph of the story and the third were marked on every single copy!  4 people put down how they thought those needed to be edited, chopped.  They did little to ratchet up the tension and were extraneous words on the page.   the other 4 the reviews/people said they loved the hooks, those paragraphs helped both foreshadow the conflict and give an insight to the main character.

me, I like them – and am going to keep them in, cleaned up a bit of course, but still….

so the moral of this entire post is this,  if you want to make everyone happy don’t write, because once you write, someone will not like the words you put on your screen/paper.  If you do insist on writing (like I am doing, and will keep doing) just remember to stay true to your voice and your stories, let the critics make suggestions and be open to them in case their ideas are better [all 8 people hated the last 2 sentences of my story – good sign it needs to be reworked] but don’t let start letting the crowd dictate your story to you.



the real unreal

I got some feedback about my book and it was polite, but said the car I describe in there was not believable.

I found this very amusing, because the car I wrote about had several of the infirmities that my own real life car had growing up – from a 2X4 holding in the front seats, to needing to be put in third gear and the keys giggled, had an engine that knocked for thirty minutes after I turned it off, and sounded like a cross between a Harley and a tractor (because the exhaust system was shot.). It had a heater that made passengers all smell like antifreeze (it probably would have suffocated them but the rust holes in the roof and floor made the car ‘breezy’) it was a 1975 (?) Pinto that I bought for 50.00. It was from Michigan and was an epically bad car.

I also started writing about a character that is completely inept in the kitchen.  again, I was told ‘no one is that bad a cook’ – but didn’t reply to the email for over an hour, because I made a slight miscalculation, and ended up spraying cheese all over the inside of the microwave – and the pan with the regular Mac and Cheese in it is still soaking waiting for the burnt stuff to stop smoking.  when it comes to cooking, I am about hopeless!  I once managed to evacuate a hotel in CA because I started a grease fire while cooking low-fat hamburger.  I consider any meal that I don’t end up evacuating from my body a success, and sadly I rarely succeed at cooking!

I wonder how many other things I have borrowed from my life are going to be tagged as ‘unreal’.

letting them grow up.

Hello All,
Sorry for the lack of updates, I took a break from the world and decided to sit down with a new(ish) video game. I managed to play it through in less than 2 days, and while it was fun, it felt incomplete. The main thing (other than being painfully short) was that because it was a sequel to another series you could use your original characters, but at the end of the game, the characters were still the exact same people (right down to their weapons and outfits)
Of course this stated me thinking about my own books (The Jamie Ryder Books) I have never called them a series before, mostly because each one stands on its own fairly well. The overall arc is there, but each book has to hold the reader on its own merits. The conflicts in them all need to be new, and the characters need to grow. I don’t know how many Jamie Ryder Books I am going to end up writing, or should I say how many books in that universe. But I do know each of them have to stand on their own. I thought about a couple of series that I liked in the Urban Fantasy Genre, and one of them (sorry don’t want to disclose which one) if I take the first book, and the last book and read just those, the books in the middle don’t matter. The character is still the same person they were in the first one.
I am going to re-read my own works today and tomorrow – the goal is simple, if I take the first book and the ‘final’ book – other than the fact they have the same name, can I see a difference between the ‘characters’ Jamie for instance is less passive and more grown up in her thinking. Olivia (her friend) will [hopefully] confront her own demons and evolve as a person, even the couple that are helping her need to evolve, even If just a little bit.
I will know I have succeeded if I can look at the person in the first book, and the person in the last book and think “wow, she changed, how did that happen”

Authors Gone Wild

Hey all,

For those of you rapidly scrolling up and down looking for pictures, you want girls gone wild.  for those of you reading,  last night at one of my writing groups, one of my fellow members had a piece about how they had stopped reading a poet they loved because he was having an affair.  The ensuing discussion suddenly started around how authors can and can’t, should or shouldn’t behave.

in a perfect world, an authors opinions would be unimportant in relation to their writing. their story craft would stand on its own and their own views of the world and politics and the events of the world would be unimportant.  Of course, in that same world I would have a pet giraffe that I would ride to the store with a killer stereo between its horns and an AC so I didn’t get too hot.

In the real world, especially with the need to use social media, an author will be judged by his views as much as his writing.

say for instance you have a strong view about the de-desalinization of the ocean. (and yes I choose a subject that no one will have an opinion on)  an Author that comes out in favor of oceanic desalinization, some readers that agree with him will dismiss him, either because he is not Pro-desalinization enough, or because they think he is only on board for desalinization to grow a readership.  the other extreme, an author that is willing to chain him self to the intake valve to shut the desalinization plant down and save the plankton. Most readers will decide he is unstable or that he is a publicity hound only trying to get readers.

Sad reality is, no matter what side of the desalinization debate an author is on, the only thing he can do by jumping in on it is loose readers.

My tactic has been simple, people who post things that annoy me, I turn them off my feeds, they can see what I am doing and when/if I start making money, I will contribute to the causes I believe in quietly [and hope that no one ever discovers I am pro desalinization]

we could dwell on how ironic it is that thanks to marketing and social media, an author, who by definition writes words for a living needs to self censor.

The Final Verdict on CreateSpace

Hello all,

So as most of you know, my first work was put up on CreateSpace. There were various reasons for this, from needing to get it ready for my mom, to wanting to test the process with something other than my master piece Jamie Ryder: Possessed.

It also gave me time to learn to work with various people and to see where/what marketing I can do. While the marketing side I am still working on, the ideas and things I know now are going to be priceless.

So the things I have learned:

Not all artists are fruit loops or greedy, just enough of them to make it so that you need to be careful. If your artist’s first concern is how fast you are paying them, that is a red flag.  If their first concern is how you and they can team up to both get something from your book launch (you getting a killer cover & a book, with them getting credits and having you promote links to their website/sales [as well as reasonable payment]) you have someone you can work with! [and BTW – at some point, you will see me dedicate a blog post to Lunasea an artist that is well worth checking out! With links to her works She did an awesome job on my cover, and did it for a great price and with no time]

Editors need time as well as payment. The first five printed copies of my book are worthless because I rushed and pushed and did not give my editor the time she needed.  12K words edited in less than 4 hours is not enough.  Be sure when you are planning and scheduling that you give your editor time!! Rushing them only hurts you. To my fortune that mistake cost me only 30.00 (the pulped version of my books + the expedited shipping.)

When planning a date, be ready to launch early!  Createspace take UP TO 24 hour review policy so ANY change you make, will put your work on hold for 24 hours.  I submitted my first version, then notices that I misspelled a name in the dedication. 1 word and 3 periods. Simple fix – right?  Delayed my book 24 hours, once the file is submitted, you have to wait for the review process.  The answer there is simple – REVIEW IT BEFORE YOU SUBMIT.  Simple rule, but 24 hour approval process. Also realize the words UP TO = it could be an hour (unlikely) it could be 23.75 hours (also unlikely)  for me the average approval was 14 hours.

On Createsapce, one thing that they do VERY well – once they approve, you can order Proof Copies for yourself, and delay hitting the ‘publish’ button till you get one in your hand, examine the paper, look at the content and see how the layout works.  This also gives you the option to hold you approval until your release date!  Granted if you do release early, all that means is people can find and buy your work before you even put it up for sale. Not the end of the world!

One more VERY important detail, once your ISBN is assigned, the size of your book cannot be changed.  When I got my proof, someone suggested I should make it 5*8 not 5.5*8  a small change? Maybe but also an impossible change. The book was published with the 5.5*8 and now it will be that way for ever, on until I find a way to re-release it.

If you publish on Create Space, they will also help you manage with KDP – the link between the two was off, (something that should have been a red flag) but I was able to open and use the KPD submission process.  That process has fewer controls. The good thing was that my over and files were automatically submitted to KDP for review – “Up to six hours for approval” I got my in three.  Once approved, the book was automatically put up for sale. My EBook was out before my Proof copies were even printed.  Again timing wise, if the biggest problem you have is your book is for sale before you are marketing it, not the end of the world.

Overall there are a lot of things to keep in mind, The main thing is to not use createspace until you are 100% ready to launch. their tools, while powerful do not replaced skilled and professional editors, cover design and layout people.  Someone recently said in an interview “You can do it easy, or you can do it right” Sums up CreateSpeace publishing.

I will do another blog for Marketing when I know more – I do know that Goodreads seems to be an underused resource. I looked at the advertising on there, but 5K a month is beyond my budget. (far beyond my budget)

That’s why I am always happy when I can get an interview, tomorrow I am on  If anyone knows other places that want to interview authors, give me a line.

Final thought – while .99 cents is a bargain, I will be having another free day on 8/7/13 [had to put the link up = until I have the time to put a permanent link on my page here!]

An Interview with Robert Davis, author of “Rakasha.”

my Author Interview – Enjoy!


Today marks the release of “Rakasha,” a collection of short stories from author Robert Davis. With a novel coming in November, these short stories interconnect his narratives as he delves into horror further, and continues to travel well beyond pigeonholing himself into one genre.
Davis was kind enough to sit down and take the time to conduct an interview as he celebrates becoming a published writer.

The collection, “Rakasha,” is officially available today. For those who are just now hearing about it, what is it about and what kind of experience are you trying to capture?

The book is a Horror book, and a collection of short stories. All the stories have the same villain (although that is a little simplistic). The Tiger Demon (Rakasha) has a bite that is addictive. The true horror is not that the victims get eaten, its that they want to get eaten, and…

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