Monday, June 30, 2014

Origins of a novel

Thanks to everyone who purchased DROP OUT, the book continues to affect lives. For those of you who don’t know the origins of the story and its message, I thought I’d share a portion of a biography interview I did when the book was published. Then please decide if it is right for you.

I’ve been a thriller, sci-fi writer for more than twenty years and over that span of time my books garnered the attention of numerous literary agents and publishers. In 2005, I signed with a major literary agent from a major NY literary agency. The agency had sold hundreds of books and film rights, some for seven figures. I was very excited to say the least.

My agent loved all six (I now have ten) of my books and like any good agent edited and provided free advice to make the stories stronger and more saleable. We had several exciting close-call deals and a few heart-racing moments while waiting for offers. My agent encouraged me to keep writing and truly believed that one day I’d hit it big.

Then something happened that sent my world into an unrecoverable tailspin; a close friend was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Here’s the kicker… he was given just two weeks to live! He went from his nine-to-five life, to knowing he had limited amount of time left. Having no close family, no insurance, and no money for treatment, he was left with little option except to die alone in his apartment. It is then that my wife decided to hospice him. I wholly supported her.

It was an incredibly powerful experience watching as my friend’s life slipped away and how he dealt with it psychologically as the physicality got worse. Eight days after his initial diagnosis he was dead. I pulled the bed sheet over his head. I’ve never been the same since.

As a writer, I wanted to capture something of the moment and relay what I experienced watching and talking with a lucid person as their life was ending. Having never written literary fiction, I suddenly found myself cemented in front of my computer in the throes of typing DROP OUT.

When I sent the completed manuscript off to my agent, he was extremely disappointed that I had gone this literary route and had no intentions of ever trying to sell the book. I had no intentions of letting the book sit in a drawer, so after a few emails and telephone calls to the agency we decided to end our nearly four year partnership. I published the ebook version of DROP OUT a month later not expecting much to come of it. Then something amazing happened…

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Another 5 star!

New review for my latest sci-fi by a top Amazon reviewer. Strange how the last 4-star reviewer complained how the ending was too quick. Everyone has their own opinions, I guess.

5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and original
June 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Well written story that has many plot elements that are nicely woven together into a satisfying ending. Even though this is the first in the "End Time" series it does not fall into the trap of a lot of series building and character introductions with little conclusion as so many first in a series books do. This novel reads like a stand alone story yet whets the appetite for more, as it should. Well done. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Check us out!

Please check out the books in my online writers group. We are a mix of bestselling authors in multiple genres who have left mainstream publishing to hit it on our own. Several of us have made the NY Times, Amazon, and U.S.A. Today's lists. Thanks.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Reviews are personal

Touching again on the subject of unpaid reviews from unknown readers, I would like to point out just how personal taste is reflected in each review. I’m not going to mention the 23 – five star reviews I’ve gotten for DROP OUT, but mention quotes from the two worst reviews I’ve received. Why focus on the worst? Because they are perfect examples of opinion and preference.

The first quote is from a 2-star review; the full review can be read on The reader states; “I am not sure how I came to buy this book but when I started reading it I was almost bowled over. This man can REALLY write: his first section in which the protagonist is caught in the September 11 collapse of the twin towers was so gripping I could hardly breathe.” Sounds good right? Sure does to me. But then the remainder of the review goes on to trash the end of the book saying; “But that someone with such writing talent should write such garbage is beyond me.” Which is fine. Like I said, each reader is entitled to their own opinion.

The second review I’m mentioning is a 3-star posted just the other day. This reader had the exact opposite opinion; “Found this novella a bit top heavy with the details of 9/11 which kicks off the story.” But then goes on to say; “I liked the rest of the story and would have enjoyed it more if the beginning wasn't quite so drawn out.” So, who is right? Who’s opinion should I trust and believe? The beginning is great and the end blows? Or the end is great and the beginning blows? The answer is they are both right.

What I’ve learned about people and humanity in general is that everyone has their own personal tastes, choices, likes, and dislikes. What one reader loves another may hate and vice versa. What is most important in the grand scheme of the universe is that the book gets written and the story gets told. Don’t let any single reader’s aversion to your work affect your work. True, I have numerous 5-star reviews for my ten books on Amazon and Goodreads to inflate my ego, but sometimes I believe the worst reviews are the most helpful because they make me realize that no matter what I write some will love it and some will hate it. It’s all part of being a writer and expressing yourself through language. I don’t let it influence my work.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The future!

          I’ve been contemplating the future of the author in today’s high technology society. What will become of us and the books we write? Will the paperback go the way of the compact disk and disappear forever? Will publishing houses dissolve into nonexistence the way most record labels have? Will a paperback book become a rare object of antique art? I don’t know. But one thing I do know is that there will always be a segment of humanity that has stories to tell.

          What is uncertain is what medium will distribute and sell those stories? Something we can all agree upon is that ebooks will replace traditional books to a large degree. People will carry libraries of their favorites in nearly weightless ereaders the size of a sheet of paper or less. We all know how easy it is to pirate a book and place it for free all over the internet. So, how will an author make money?

          As I see it, the traditional book industry of buying through a bookstore will soon become ancient history. An author will become writer, publisher, and marketer of their works (a lot of us already are). There will be no middleman between author and reader which opens a whole new world of getting the author noticed. Blogs and websites will allow fans direct access to their favorites which will generate a much closer bond between storyteller and reader.

          I see a new kind of literary relationship evolving in which the populous will decide what they want to read by their own selection and not just books pre-approved, stripped down, and ground out from the corporate publishing paper mill. I find it exciting to think that any one of my fans can literally reach out electronically and ask me a question or just send a little note. I can read it and respond on a personal level as if we’d known each other for years. It is this inter-connectivity that will sell books in the future.

That being said, I have two exciting new collections of my books that are now available through Amazon. Please check them out and get a whole summer’s worth of wild, scif-fi and suspense thrillers for one low price.  

And to sweeten the opportunity for a great read my latest sci-fi book is free right now until Saturday!

I know, I know, it’s a lot of info, but there’s a lot of exciting things happening in the world of indie publishing.

Friday, June 13, 2014

It's here! It's available now!

Get ready! My new four-book omnibus is here! Get a summer's worth of reading for one low price.

Though the official launch date isn't until Sunday, you can get your copy now!

Coming soon my five-book sci-fi/fantasy bonanza omnibus. Look for it end of June.

# Special thanks to Rich Meyer for his hard work at putting this set together . He did it all on his own sweat and dime. Please check out his books and services. He's the best!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Still up there in rank

So it's day three of my Ereader News Today feature and DROP OUT is still in the 5,000-6,000 rank, though I don't know how much longer sales can sustain that number. I also got a new four star review for THE END time on Amazon. Seems readers want more from the ending, but that's good because it is the first book in a series and it leaves the reader wanting more.

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice story, original dystopian plot June 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like this one a lot, and only felt a little disappointed by the fast pace of the ending, which is normally a good thing, but in this one there were so many revelations in the last 50 pages or so that I feel they could have been spaced out a more for better effect. Still, I read this one quickly, and enjoyed every minute.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ereader News Today feature results as of right now. Was hoping to break the top 1,000 but still not bad out of 12.5 million books Amazon has for sale at the moment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


So happy that Ereader News Today is featuring DROP OUT as a bargain book today. The book has affected and continues to affect readers from all over the world. Please click the link below and check it out. It just may change your life.

Read what Kindle Nation Daily called "the sleeper hit of the year" what Kindle Fire Department called, "riveting, touching, and deeply heartwarming, a book that will stay with you forever"; an Indie Book of the Day winner and Amazon bestseller.