books

Cover Reveal!

Okay, this is gonna be quick ’cause I’m under deadline for the day job. I’ve got just over 7 hours to finish this article. That may sound like a lot of time, but trust me–it isn’t.

I posted some time ago that I was working on revamping my published books. Re-editing and new covers. So I now have the new cover for The Underground. I’m hoping this one will pique the interest of convention-goers more than the earlier covers, as well as those folks shopping online. Anyway, I’m liking this cover a lot. More dynamic than the others. The way the skyline is tilted lends a sense of urgency, suggesting there’s some serious shit going down in Seattle. Of course, the fact everything’s on fire helps. The werewolf and the woman (Melera, the interstellar assassin) are obviously a team and their pose implies a physical relationship between them. Hmm. If you fuck a werewolf while he’s in wolf form, does that count as bestiality? Heh-heh.

You know, this is one of the upsides of self-publishing. If something isn’t working, I can pull the book and fix it. Can’t do that in traditional publishing. Once it’s done, it’s gone.

Everybody’s Workin’ for the Weekend

That tune came out a couple or three decades ago. And I hate it now as much as I hated it then. So vapid.

Actually, when I think about it, it’s kind of depressing. Take the first line of the refrain, the title of this post. It seems to be referencing people whose jobs are so unfulfilling and such drudgery that they look forward to only 2 days out of a week. Five days of hell, 2 days respite. Three-day weekends must be heaven.

Of course, I could be misinterpreting the words, analyzing them through my own dark lens.

So it’s the Memorial Day holiday this weekend in the U.S. I’m not doing my usual thing, going to Balticon–Baltimore’s science fiction convention. I’m not feeling well enough to deal with the supercharged atmosphere (even though it’s good energy) and I have to be careful about money. Right now, I still don’t know how much the IRS will gouge out of me. But I’m not spending the weekend doing nothing. My parents are grilling (I didn’t know they still had an outdoor grill) and my sister who lives in Alabama will be here. My niece and nephew and his wife might show up, too. It’ll be a family affair. I’m looking forward to it, but I really wish someone would get on the stick and invent a teleportation machine. I hate driving to Washington, D.C. Interstate 95 is a BITCH. Even though it’s just 40 miles or so, I always… Continue reading

The Pitfalls of Being Me

Last summer, I was bedridden because of knee replacement surgery. So of course, I read books. Lots of books. Three of the books I read were my own. By then I hadn’t looked at them for a year or more, and I don’t know, I guess by reading them with fresh eyes, maybe I could better understand some of the stuff people had mentioned in their reviews.

I was flabbergasted. I could see every criticism that had been made. And all of them could have been avoided with better editing. Now I’ll be honest–one book I edited on my own using Grammarly because I didn’t have the money to hire a content editor, a copy editor, or proofreader. The second book had been extensively re-edited by a content pro but I didn’t have it copy edited or proofed because, after all that, I didn’t think the book needed it. The third book had undergone a copy edit but hadn’t been content edited or proofread, again because I didn’t think it needed it.

The spelling and grammar, however, were perfect. Because I’m like that.

I couldn’t believe I’d allowed my books to be published in that state. It doesn’t matter that two of my books won awards. If you haven’t guessed, I’m a perfectionist. and what I’d published was just horrifying. So as soon as I could hobble to my computer, I contacted my formatter and asked for the last formatted copy of the three books before they went to print.… Continue reading

Wow!

The International Association of Top Professionals has chosen me as their Top Fantasy & Science Fiction Author of the Year for 2019!

I’ve never heard of them, and I don’t know how they found me, but I’ll take it!

Fuck Facebook!

Taking my Facebook author’s page down. I was told that one of my ads or something was against their rules. I have never placed a Facebook ad–not ever. So now I can’t “boost” my posts (which isn’t exactly a cost-effective way to build your brand), OR place ads. I wrote and asked what happened, and received an email from “Joyce” stating that they would not restore my privileges and that the decision was final. So fuck them.

YouTube Is My Friend

Okay, so I’m spending waaay too much time watching YouTube, but I find it fascinating. Mainly, I’ve been watching documentaries and such on ancient and lost civilizations. Well, the aliens did it. They did everything–built the pyramids all over the world, built this, built that… Well, the people on these shows did seem sincere. Then I’ve been watching weird stuff, like videotapes of the last moments before people disappeared, ghosts, and whatever.

The one I just saw on the Titanic was intriguing. Yes, all sorts of theories abound, but this one…

Well, it seems the Titanic didn’t sink–it was her sister ship, the Olympic, and the switch was made for the insurance money. Seems that Olympic had been damaged in a collision, and so they pulled a few tricks like switching the names of the ships and other hijinks. So when the “Titanic” went down, White Star got all that lovely insurance money.

I’ve also been watching shows on astrophysics and the like. Those are fun, too–though I confess I don’t always understand it. Anyway, lots of fun!

Another Win!

My latest novel, Invasion, has won its second book award!

Creativity and Mental Illness

Is there a link between creativity and mental illness? Some in the psychiatric profession and other mental health practitioners seem to think so. Of course, this doesn’t mean one has to be mentally ill in order to be creative. Psychiatrist Kay Redfield Jamison wrote a book, “Touched By Fire,” that explored this connection. She examined the lives of several famous artists–poets, writers and visual artists–such as Samuel Coleridge, Lord Byron, and the like. Her research delved into the letters written not only by the artists, but also from friends and such. Her conclusion was that these artists had various mental disorders. You should read it–whether you agree with her or not, it is quite interesting.

I’m an author, in case you haven’t noticed from the postings on this blog. I’m also bipolar. I don’t talk about it because I’ve found, through bitter experience, that mental illness still carries a stigma in our society. Does being bipolar help my creativity? Sometimes I think so. I wrote the first six chapters of my latest book “Invasion” in three days during a manic phase. I didn’t sleep at all during that time.

My mania is pretty low key as far as manic episodes go. I mean, I don’t get naked and climb on statues. I have grandiose, unrealistic ideas, some of which I’ve acted upon to my detriment. And I spend money, lots of money. It’s like there’s this other person doing things that make no sense. Like blowing through my IRA. Almost… Continue reading

December Doings

Here it is December, already. November went by like a slap in the face.

I did a video interview this weekend in Connecticut. It went well, at least I thought so. Hope I didn’t flub it in places too badly. It snowed, too. I hate snow. Having to clean it off a car is the pits. Scared to death to drive in it, too. I’m just not used to it anymore. Lucky for me, the roads were clear by the time I set out for the airport.

Have I ever told you how much I hate cold weather? Well, I do. Seems the older I get, the less I’m able to deal with the cold. I just don’t want to go out in it. I’ve even been known to forego grocery shopping, just so I won’t have to go outside.

So. Invasion is doing well, lots of 4 and 5 star reviews. I’m making sales, too. About 40 or 50 so far, which is not bad, considering I’ve done hardly any marketing on it. The other two books–The Moreva of Astoreth and The Underground–are doing pretty good, too.

Will be making my yearly trek to Boston in January, to the Arisia sf/f convention. I think I’m also going to say the hell with it and go to Boskone, too, in February. I’ll be taking the train, and it has wi-fi, so I can work.

That’s all for now. Pretty much worn out after my trek this weekend.

Ciao!

On The Book Of The Day Campaign, Part II

Well, Saturday is coming to a close, and my Book Of The Day campaign is too.

What did I get out of it? A lot of exposure, that’s for sure. Seems like folk were coming out of the woodwork. Then again, OnlineBookClub claims to have something like 300K members. So maybe that’s it. But very few sales.

Anyway, I did see a good deal of enthusiasm. The majority of responders said they were interested. Of course, there were the few trolls who felt it necessary to proclaim that The Moreva of Astoreth “wasn’t their cup of tea,” “don’t like epic fantasy,” and whatnot. Well, then, don’t read it. Oh, yeah–and they don’t like the cover.

Tomorrow’s Book Of The Day should be VERY interesting. It’s featuring The Underground. The warning is in BIG, CAPITAL letters, but we’ll see how many people actually pay attention to it. Never mind that it’s 4.4 on the Amazon scale. I can see a lot of people complaining to the club about it. BET I get a note from Scott Hughes either banning me from the site, or at least banning me from participating in BOTD in the future. Whatever. I’m not sure I’m going to follow it like I did today. For one, I’m going to the movies tomorrow. For two, I need to get some WORK done. I don’t even know what my topic is going to be. If I don’t get SOMETHING done tomorrow, I’ll be up all Monday and Tuesday nights,… Continue reading