Monday, April 29, 2013

The Road to #60 on Free Amazon Horror List

My novella, Forget the Alamo, just made it to #60 on Amazon’s Free Horror Fiction List.  

Yow!  I didn’t see that coming.  Anyway, here’s how you do it in two simple steps:

  1. Make it free
  2. Find out if there’s a Facebook Zombie Author Giveaway Event and participate in it

That’s as simple as it gets.   And I actually came to the event late.  I had planned on releasing the book for the event, but ran into delays in getting the cover design done.  In the end, it seemed that timing was more important than having the perfect cover design because I listed it for free in the event and before I knew it, copies began flying off Amazon’s virtual shelves.

Of course, you have to write the thing and then edit it and then revise it.  And it should be half-way good.

Here’s the sad part.  I didn’t even look at my rankings until a friend said I should take a look.  Frankly, I was flabbergasted.  In the hour since I first checked, the novella’s ranking went from #64 to #60.   

Backing up, because I want to give credit where credit is due, the original idea came from my lovely wife while we were traveling in San Antonio.   She asked if I would consider writing a story about people trapped in the Alamo by a horde of zombies.  I used my two days there and my imagination to take it from there.  It started as a short story and just kept growing.

I’m not sure if these “sales” mean anything because I know many will download it because it’s free and may never read it.  (My Kindle is chock full of free fiction that I plan to get to...some day.)

If I see any evidence of conversion to reading and reviews, I’ll let you know.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Two New Stories Published

Thought I'd let you know that I had two stories published last week.  One's a flash crime piece at Out of the Gutter and the other is a flash horror piece that got released at Flashes in the Dark.

The crime piece is titled "Belly or the Head."  It's a nasty story that that I enjoyed writing.  It's my first piece at Out of the Gutter and I owe a lot to the editor there, Joe Clifford.  He liked the story but made the great suggestions to improve it.

The horror story is called "Trophies," it's my second story at Flashes in the Dark.  Lori Titus is a great to work with.

If you're interested you could check them out at:

Belly of the Head (at Out of the Gutter)


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Indie Publishing vs Legacy Publishing: Can You Do Both?

I just came upon a link* (see below) to an article that tackles the issue on whether an author can go the self-publishing route and then come back to traditional publishing.

Indie or Traditional: Should you make the jump?

This author clearly has evidence that you can.  I know in the past, going the self-publishing route basically killed your book with traditional publishing, but I guess that if you show you can generate sales, a traditional publisher would be very short sighted not to consider publishing your were (and making some money while doing it).

[* I found this link on Belinda Frisch's blog.  She's the author of the Strandville Zombie series.]

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Going the Indie Route

Deciding to go the Indie Writers route is one that is full of fear and trepidation.  It's also a lot of work.  Unless you're independently wealthy, you're the whole enchilada when it comes to your writing team.  You're job entails:
  • Writing (of course)
  • Editing
  • Marketing
  • Cover Design
  • Psychiatrist and Motivational Coach

When I first started writing (more like dabbling in writing) over 15 years, I envisioned that I would sending my manuscript off to some agent or a publishing house and after mounds of rejections, someone would take on my book and I would be published.  I fear those days are over.  Yes, outside the few select writers that consistently have books out on the shelves, there are a few authors that break into the traditional publishing world, but I think that is becoming the land of the lottery ticket for the new writer.

The one thing I do like about the indie route is that I can avoid all the rejections.  With Amazon and the other avenues to self-publish, you can get your works to readers.  Of course, it has to be quality writing, had to have a compelling plot and characters, has to have a good cover, and be free of grammatical and spelling errors.  Which brings me back to the list of things that the indie writer has to be (see above).

The bottom line is that you have the need to be a writer if you're going to do this.  You have to have stories you need to tell.  For long time, I wanted to be writer, but now I need to be a writer.  (Or I convince myself I need it.)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

George Romero - Father of the Zombie Movie

I was really too young to see Night of the Living Dead when it came out.  My introduction to Romero came unexpectedly and shockingly in 1978 with Dawn of the Dead.

I'm going into the theater not really knowing what to expect and this is what I got:
- a zombie biting into a woman's neck,
- a person's head being blown off with a shotgun at point blank range
- the top of a zombie's head being cut off by the blades of a helicopter
- zombies ripping out and eating someone's entrails
The list could go on and on.

And the bottom line is that I loved it. I was back the next week to see it again and then even went to the drive-in with a group of my rowdy high school friends to see it yet again.

Many people called Romero the “Father of the Zombie Movie,” and rightfully so.  Maybe today, he’s the “Grandfather of the Zombie Movie,” though.

Of his dead series, Dawn of the Dead is still my favorite.  Night of the Living Dead is probably a close second.  Despite it’s primitive technique, it has a great story with some layers going on.  Day of the Dead is a close third.  It was a bit heady for the genre, but it still satisfied.

Some might say that with his later zombie films, that Romero was cashing in, but who could blame him.  And what choice did he have.  Can you imagine Romero walking into a studio and pitching a Rom-Com?  He talks about this in this interview;

Even though his follow-ups are weaker than their predecessors, they still have his ambition behind them.  He always seems to reach a little deeper than the blood and gore and try to add another layer.

Land of the Dead was a disappointment for me upon the first viewing, but when I watched it a second time, it seemed to have improved with age.  Diary of the Dead has it’s moments, too.  Survival of the Dead starts out somewhat gritty and even unappealing but opens up and gets better over time.  

If you’re “into zombies” and want to see what inspired “The Walking Dead” folks, you owe it yourself to watch Romero’s Dead Series.