Stalk me elsewhere

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where Are The Readers?

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. I come before you this week a bit perplexed. I didn't scramble to get my debut vampire novel listed on Amazon this summer - after losing my small publisher - with the thought that once it was accomplished that I could sit back, sip Brandy and puff cigars as I awaited money to come flooding in. For the record, I don’t smoke. Nor did I start writing books as some get rich quick scheme. However, I had hoped that I would sell some books…

I have been on the social networks now since early 2010. I started in Blogger and then created a Facebook page. From there I soon joined Goodreads, Twitter and then Google Plus, with several other sites and groups spread amongst them. I have a good number of followers on every site which is very nice, but what does that really tell me? My hope is this is the calm before the storm. After all, I currently only list one book on Amazon and am exclusive with them. You might suggest that I discontinue KDP select and get back on all of those other outlets, but I was there before for a couple of years and it wasn’t "all that" either. Again, I only had the one book…

Why I have had but one book is a long story. I will be rectifying this in the coming weeks when I release Dance on Fire: Flash Point. When that has been completed in both ebook and paperback, I will immediately turn my attention toward a paranormal romance novel that I began writing this past spring. My aim is to have three books listed on Amazon by next spring. But what then? Will they sell?

I have spent a lot of time working to increase my reach and my numbers; however, I have come to realize as many of you have as well that all we are doing is networking with other writers. I have spent the time in those Facebook groups where we like each other’s pages, etc., but to what end? Those writers are just like me with limited time and money to be buying the works of other writers, and spending most of their non-writing time trying to extend their reach.

I have enjoyed my time reaching out to other writers and watching my numbers climb, but I am no longer going to spend chunks of my week or weekend just accruing more numbers or followers who really aren’t my fans or even friends for that matter. Do you know what I mean? Does that make me sound callous? I want to help other writers and make friends - and will continue to nurture any and all relationships that I establish along the way - but if all we're doing is knocking on doors and saying hello to people that we'll never see again, then no thank you.

I love dropping in periodically on blog posts, catching up on Facebook feeds, and having conversations on Twitter. That won’t change. I adore the friendships that I have in this community of writers and want to not only continue to nurture those, but discover new ones. However, I need to spend time reaching out to the readers. Otherwise all of this time that I have spent married to my trusty laptop and away from my family will have been for naught.

So, I ask you, have you managed to find the readers? Where are they? Is my problem that I am marketing to the Horror Community while the big market is the Paranormal Community? Those of you who have multiple books listed, did you find it slow going until you released more books? I have tried very hard not to let myself become negative in this thing, but I would be lying to you now if I didn’t say that I have already wondered whether I might need to prepare myself for shutting this down at some point next year.

I did not pen this post this week because I wanted to hold a pity-party or because I knew a post like this one might garner multiple comments from encouraging writers. Do I need some encouragement? Absolutely. I really think that things are going to improve this fall once I get that second book out and begin to promote it both in the shops and on the web. But what if it doesn’t? I really hope it doesn’t come to that eventuality.
So, I ask again: Where are the readers? I have done interviews and been profiled and reviewed. My novel is getting very good reviews, and has been for two years, but very few seem to know it exists. What have you guys found to work? I appreciate any and all advice. Thanks for your time and assistance. 

We’ll talk soon.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre Favorites Blogfest

Hello, Fire Enthusiasts. As always, thanks for dropping by. As you can see, we're shaking things up a bit this week. Rather than discuss my vampire series - my book is on the right and we've got the cover reveal for the forthcoming sequel over there as well - I've decided to join Author and Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh's latest and greatest blogfest. These things are always huge and lots of fun as we meet new people and share a bit of ourselves. Today, we're discussing Genre Favorites in books, music and film.

As a horror writer you might worry that my books and films would be full of blood and guts, and my music dark and eerie; however, you may be surprised to find that my choices might be scary for all the wrong reasons. Let's get started, shall we?

Favorite Movie Genre: Here's where I leave you scurrying off into the night. You see, I have a poster of The Exorcist on my library wall and I was a teenager when teenagers were being sliced and diced in the original Friday the 13th and Halloween films, but when I curl up on the couch to be comforted, I choose Romantic Comedies... What? Yep, it's sad but true. I write vampires, but would rather watch Notting Hill, An Affair to Remember, Love Actually and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Favorite Music Genre: Now this one should make a bit more sense to you. I listened to pop music as a child, but it was when I got into Junior High that things changed. Since then, it's all been about Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. We call is Classic Rock now and refer to the 80's musicians as Hair Bands. My first real show was Kiss just after the make up came off. I saw Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Sammy Hagar, Van Halen and much more. Here's a photo of me taken when Van Halen was "standing on top of the world for a little while." I'm kneeling in the center.

Favorite Book Genre: Here's another category which should make more sense to those that stare at the flames above and wonder what the hell happened to make me like tear-inducing films. *laughs* As a teenager, I found myself reaching out for Jaws and The Amityville Horror (still one of the most frightening reads ever, whether you believe it was fake or not). I then found Michael Slade, Clive Barker and Uncle Stevie. I'm still reading horror, but now they are mostly Indie books and you guys wrote them.

Guilty Pleasure Genre: Hmm? This provides an interesting choice. I could tell you how my iPod also includes Air Supply, Neil Diamond and the Bee Gees, and that would be a lot of fun, watching you scratch your collective heads once again. Instead, I think I'll list Dramas as my guilty pleasure in books. In fact, I'll tell you that my favorite all-time book is Beach Music by Pat Conroy. Yeah, I know. I didn't want to read it either, and fought it for a while before succumbing to what I think is a masterwork and one of the most brilliant books ever crafted. My sister in law peer-pressured me into reading it and I have yet to put it down. Every couple of years of so, I find myself grabbing it off of my book shelf and carrying it with me on vacation or just to spend a weekend. I can't help myself. It's that good. I am firmly on record as having said that I will die happy if I can write a story half as good as Conroy did there.

So there you have it. I hope I have gained some new friends in this latest and greatest from Ninja Alex, and haven't scared others off. Lol! I look forward to seeing your answers. I can guarantee you that it will take me most of the week to get through the list, but I will. Eleven hour day jobs do that to people. Here's the link back to Alex's list here. I'll see you guys there.

We'll talk soon.

Monday, September 10, 2012

One Night with the Vampire Nathaniel

Greetings, Fire Enthusiasts. Today I bring you a rare treat. Although I have written two books about the events that occurred in Kingsburg concerning vampires (the sequel is nearly ready for your eyes), I have always done so in third person. Recently, I was visited by Nathaniel himself, and I thought I would share that experience with you. He allowed me to share those details, but not the date, for whatever reason.

Nathaniel: Wake up, James.
Me: That’s cold! I hate it when you do that! [He touched me on the neck with his cold hands].

Nathaniel: Yes, I know. Luis doesn’t like it either [you'll meet Luis in book 2]. You wished to see me?

Me: Well, yes, but you didn’t have to come in the middle of the night!

Nathaniel: Ah. What time would you have preferred? 3 pm?
Me: Good point. I didn’t realize you were in town.

Nathaniel: No one does. However, since the events of your most recent book on the matter, I have decided to remain closer to home [His tone here was sarcastic. He would prefer that I did not document these events, but does nothing to stop me].
Me: Well, that’s good.

Nathaniel: Is it?
Me: Of course.

Nathaniel: Why? Does this give you fodder for further books? [See what I mean?]
Me: Nathaniel, it’s not like that.

Nathaniel: No?
Me: No! I wrote the stories so they wouldn't be forgotten, and to explain things.

Nathaniel: Some things are best left untold, James. There are many mysteries that have been left unsaid.
Me: Like what? Aliens? JFK? Secret societies? Vampires?

Nathaniel: Especially vampires.
Me: Don’t you think it’s good that people realize there are some good vampires in the world?

Nathaniel: There are no good vampires in the world. Surely you must realize this? You know the stories, although you seem to employ creative license in the telling of these tales of yours.
Me: Oh? So you don’t think I have the events correctly?

Nathaniel: I did not come here to quibble with you about these silly books you write. I only came to see what you wanted. We have a nice relationship, you and I. Let us not sour it with ridiculous arguments that serve no purpose. Now, what did you wish to discuss with me?
Me: I believe you've already answered my question.

Nathaniel: Which was what exactly?
Me: I didn't mean to summon you down from the mountains… [Book 2 explains where he's been].

Nathaniel: I have already told you that I did not come down for you. I am here now and will remain so. Please. What did you wish to know?
Me: I was curious what you thought of my books. Now I know. You clearly don't like them.

Nathaniel: James, I am sure they are fine. Have I seen them? Yes, I have. Have I read them? A little. I believe skimmed is the operative word. I try and read the Bible only at this point. I have read a great many books in my lifetime, and have enjoyed them. What I need now more than anything, however, is the book that gives not pleasure, but life. I need this very much.
Me: I see. I wish you well with that, Nathaniel.

Nathaniel: Thank you. If I may ask, where is your Bible, James?
Me: In the library.

Nathaniel: Bottom left shelf, is that right?
Me: Yes.

Nathaniel: There are two there.
Me: That sounds right.

Nathaniel: Covered in dust.
Me: Sadly, I think’s that’s right.

Nathaniel: You know it is.
Me: Yeah.

Nathaniel: Good night, James.
Me: Good night, Nathaniel. I apologize for bothering you.

Nathaniel: It was no bother.

I haven’t seen Nathaniel since that night, although I'm fairly sure that I have felt his presence a time or two. It’s a bit unnerving, but I don’t fear him. The key is respecting him and his power. I should have his second set of adventures available in October. I'm calling it Dance on Fire: Flash Point. When I told him once what I was calling it, he stared at me for a moment before shaking his head. "Aren't you getting rather tired of the whole fire thing," he asked me. I went on to explain why I liked it so much, but by the time that I was done, I found that he had already left.
We’ll talk soon. If Nathaniel stops by again, I’ll be sure and let you know.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dance on Fire: Flash Point Cover Revealed

Greetings and salutations, Fire Enthusiasts. I really love to talk about anything other than me, unless I really have something new to say. Today I have something new to show you.

There really hasn't been much to discuss in the last year while I waited on others with regard to my writing career. Now that I no longer have anyone but myself to rely upon, I have been busy pulling myself up from my own bootstraps, as they say. My debut ebook is on Amazon now. The reviews have been great so far, and I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to post one. I am currently busy getting this second edition of my vampire debut released as a paperback. At the same time, my sequel Dance on Fire: Flash Point has been line-edited and beta-tested, and is now in the hands of a professional editor. I should be hearing back from her in the next few weeks. I am pushing for an October release for the ebook and shortly thereafter for the paperback version.

Without further ado, here - at long last - is the cover:

Many thanks to Author and Artist Sue Midlock for taking my words and turning it into the cover art. Well done, my friend.

Dance on Fire: Flash Point

Five years after the death of their only child Tiffany, Steve and Angie Rosen receive an unexpected guest to their Morro Bay, California home: their daughter. She comes with a tale of having suffered a terrible head wound in the fire that took their Kingsburg home, causing her loss of memory and migraine headaches that force her to hide from daylight in order to prevent. Tiffany's reemergence is treated like Manna from Heaven; however, her story is only half true. Tiffany is a vampire and their daughter in name only. She sleeps during the day and hunts for human blood during the night, and has come back to enact a twisted revenge upon those who ruined the plans of her master, the notorious vampire, Vincent. And she is not alone.

Five years after the terrible events that reshaped the Swedish Village, Kingsburg lies unsuspecting as five vampires descend upon her with a great evil in their black hearts.

Five years after old wounds have finally healed and the old fires were thought extinguished, Police Chief Michael Lopez and Officer Mark Jackson and their families find themselves surrounded when fires blaze anew. The good vampire, Nathaniel, has pledged his service to these people, but he is no longer among them. He lives high in the Oregon Mountains near the California border, seeking whether God might have a place in His kingdom yet for him.

When Nathaniel discovers that Tiffany has returned, will he be too late to stop her? And will his desire to protect his friends destroy what God has begun in him?
It will all begin with a Flash Point.
We'll talk soon.