Sunday, May 6, 2012

I have moved my blog here:

Please come by and see all further posts and like or join if you can, thanks.

Friday, April 27, 2012

     Can you feel it, the chill in the air? Is your pulse beating just a touch faster? Well the time is rapidly approaching! 14 days till the release of 'Wolf Song'. I am excited that the terrible wait is almost over and I can finally share a great story with you. There will be a few exciting things coming up, including some give aways, blog interviews and pod casts. So stay tuned I will keep you posted on these fun events.

Also just wanted to let people know I will be moving this blog to:

as soon as I get it all prettied up. I also have a Facebook author page almost complete and will follow up with those details too.

     Are you ready to join, Jon, Aldus, Father McTeague and Dr. Beaumont as they battle for their lives against the All-Father's fury? Get set, because you are about to embark on a fast paced, action packed ride that will leave you breathless and wondering if the person standing next to you on line is something more than human.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nice things...

     Well, the waiting continues as we approach six weeks. In that time, as I've been anxiously checking my e-mail, phone and regular mail, I have managed to start writing the second book in the Wolf Song Trilogy, called 'Night Song'. I've also gotten a book cover done and it is awesome! A publisher will often have a book cover done for you, and of course they have the last say, but I like the one I have and think with some negotiating we can use it if they agree on it's quality.

     Two nice things happened over the last few days. Many of you know that my day job, is as an exterminator. Yep, nothing but living the rock-star life for this future award winning author! One of the cool things is that I do mostly commercial sites that have a lot of people working at them. Being the shameless self-promoter that I am, I make sure each of the offices that I do, know I've written a book. Hey it never hurts to let people know, right? Anyway a few days ago a young lady from the office administration staff at one of my accounts came over and told me she read the sample on this web page and she absolutely loved it, and she can't wait for the book to come out.

     A day or two later I was at a school I service and the principal comes up and says, "Hey you are the writer right? I read your sample and loved it. It's going to be an awesome book."

     I was floored, if only from the fact that I'd never spoken to her about the book, which means the other staff are talking about it and told her she should read it. I work over 250+ accounts, all with multiple employees, if I can get the word out that successfully, then I will be in great shape when 'Wolf Song' finally hits the stores.

     In all honesty those comments made me feel pretty dang good, and then seeing the book cover with my name on it just topped everything off! I won't lie to you, I have no patience and the six weeks of waiting, out of something that can take over half a year just to get to talk to publishers is killing me. But it's those nice days, when someone shows some enthusiasm when you didn't expect them to even know about your book, that help you get by!

     Here is to hoping the wait will not be too much longer and that more and more people will discover the great story in 'Wolf Song'! Thanks for reading my post and I am talking to a few people who have published books already, to come on and do a guest post. I'll let you know when I have some news!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Waiting is the hardest part.

     So, if you have been following my posts, you have been along for the fun ride of trying to write a book and get it published. Since I had no experience before this, I thought that pretty much writing a book was all there was to do. As you may know by now, I was wrong. After you write your book, you get some people to read it, then you re-write it all over again. Then, unless you are incredibly gifted, you get yourself an editor and tear it down once more. Then you get some more people to read it and after that, correct anything you want changed.

     After that harrowing ride, you have to find a publisher. First, finding a small press interested in your type of book is hard. There are many small publishing houses out there. They don't all publish your type of book though. Many want children's book, Young Adult stories and non-fiction seems to be the biggest draw for them. Some of them are very precise in what they are looking for. Some only publish stories from the region they are in. Some only want Gay/lesbian/transgender stories. Some are interested in multicultural, some only business. You get the idea. So after spending hours on reading the latest copy of 'The Writer's Market' and scouring the internet, you have a surprisingly small list but you are ready to go. Time to get a publisher interested in your book.

Again in my ignorance, I thought this would be a pretty standard thing to do. Not even close. Some publishers want query letters first, some want the complete manuscript, some want only 2-5 chapters. Now bear in mind an editor reading your submissions gets pretty angry when you haven't followed their submission guidelines, so you don't want to mess anything up. But the differences continue. Some want your name on each page, the next one may want page numbers, the one after that may want both or neither. I have seen guidelines specifying different font sizes and different spacing. The only thing each one has agreed on so far is the margin size. Now to further confuse the matter, a few editors want a blurb about your book, like the back cover. Some have said a summary under five hundred words. Another asked for a five page synopsis.

This all makes for a bewildering time trying to get everything right for each editor at the different publishing houses. You would think there would be an industry standard, so you could get a package ready to send it out to a few publishers easily. (Oh I didn't mention some publishers accept manuscripts if they are the only ones you send it to, others are okay with multiple submissions) Alas, there is no rhyme or reason. Now please don't misunderstand me, that is not a complaint. It is just the way things are and there may even be some great reasons behind it, that as a writer I am not privy to. I am just sharing on how much time is really spent on writing and how much time is spent untangling the red tape for new authors.

When you send it out, most places will have a brief list on response times. So let's say they ask for a query letter first. You can normally expect a response in four to six weeks. Then if they like the letter and you send the complete book, you can expect another three months waiting time before hearing back from them. Lastly, lets say you are incredibly blessed and they agree to print your novel. You can expect to wait from one year to eighteen months before it is published.

So in summation, it's hard work trying to get something published. I have not even started about getting your name known, book trailers, blog tours, marketing, etc. Those will be other posts along the way. But in the mean time, as frustrating as it can be, as crazy as it can be, it is still one of the most exciting times of my life and I wouldn't trade it at all.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Be the first to see the 'Wolf Song' book trailer!

It's here! It's finally here! The pre-publishing book trailer for wolf song is out, and let me tell you, I have spared no expense. (Link on bottom of post.)

Okay, now it seems people are turning more and more to book trailers to let people know they have a novel out for sale. I have to admit, I like the idea, I do; 1 part pride and 2 parts marketing. But I ran into a few problems, namely; expense, expertise, and well, trying to stick out from the growing crowd, when wanting to make mine. 

So what's a first time novelist to do? I watched many book trailers, all very professional looking with the book cover and impressive royalty free music in the background and I thought, "Hey I don't even HAVE a book cover yet but I still want people to know my book will be coming out soon."

So I sat and I thought. Being much better at one than the other, the process took a little time but finally I had a check list for making my own book trailer.

1) Way too much time on my hands. Check
2) A budget that included three crumpled dollar bills and the remains of a paper clip, burning a hole in my pocket.
3) A friend with an I-phone. (That was an important one, I can not stress that enough)
4) A willingness to be on YouTube. (I can't believe my first YouTube video and I am not even getting arrested in it! You lost the bet Grandma, I believe you owe me $5!)

So having said that, here is the way before it is published, Wolf Song book trailer. Feel free to share it with your friends one one condition, it is understood that Frank Smith publishing can not give you the 2:50 of your life back. Enjoy it. It was meant for a laugh and just a way to remind people there is a very cool book that will hit the streets this year.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wow time flies...

Not only has the New Year come already but the first month is almost over. Where does the time go? The book is finishing strong and should be out of editing in about 1 week. Then the real fun can begin by sending out query letters and summaries to publishing houses. This is the first step on the path that I hope will lead to my book getting published.

What I am working on, for the blog, is getting some independent writers to answer a series of questions. I would like people to see what goes on during and behind the scenes of writing a book. Not only will this open some of you to the whole revolution that the e-reader has spawned, but hopefully you might find a book or two that you might not have seen without it. I will keep you posted as I find out more information.

Lastly I would love to ask you, dear reader, a question at the end of each topic I write You can post answers in the comment section if you like, I would love to hear what you think. I promise to answer each one myself in the next topic.

Today's question; how important is it to follow your dreams? Are dreams meant to be acted on, or savored and stored up? If it is important, how are you following yours?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Having your cake and edit too.

Okay, so enough with the bad puns. I couldn't help it, but it is apropos to the post, as you might see a bit further on. If you have been following me on Facebook or my blog, you may know that I am at that magical time; that wonderfully tremulous span of getting my book edited. I figured as a debut author, I would share my thoughts on this part of the process. Those of you who have been through this may sympathize and those of you who are pioneering their way for the first time may get a few tips on what to expect.

Let me tell you what I expected; First, the wonder. The beauty of finally being able to share your child with someone else. Finally the chance for another person to acknowledge the pure awesomeness of your writing talent. You will, after months or years, get that first glimpse of the critical acclaim you have been striving for and craving. (Admit it liar! You just worked your posterior off. Slaving ALONE for days on end, with no one else. You know you want it. It's okay to admit it at this point. You are set to bask in the adulation you deserve.)

What you will get in reality however, is far different. You will receive, for all that aforementioned hard work and struggle, the equivalent of a swift kick to the groin. What is going to add even more to the delicious irony of it all is; you're going to pay for it too. (Add maniacal laughter) I mean it, hard earned cash, to get told you have all the leet skillz of an eight year old Kalaharian Bushman seeing the English language for the first time.

A pretty smart guy named Splitter once told me about the editing process, "At this point you have a great story, NOT a great book." I should have listened but I succumbed to the one inborn affliction I can not escape, I am a man. That means, I have gonads and sometimes they are so large they actually block out my hearing. Gonna have to trust me on that image if you suffer from severe gonadial bereftment syndrome, (Or girl for short.) I get the trademark on that BTW.

I went into this with all the wide eyed wonderment of a child at Christmas and came out with all the shaking and self revulsion of anyone who paid to watch, "Human Centipede" in the movies. (Please add in the groanings of Side-show Bob here)

I am NOT knocking my editor. I actually have the best one I could have hoped for; supremely talented, endlessly upbeat and just basically an angel of a human being, to put up with my bottomless question pool and newbie status. She is doing EXACTLY what I paid for, which is make my good story into a great book that will engage more people than I would have on my own. The problem lies within my own soul. Editing is NOT a trial for those weak of self image or backbone. For me at least, I had to adjust my view from inward, my skills and my talents, to outward, expanding the books potential readership and thereby earning me an even greater reward.

Every time you get back a chapter that you thought was incredible, with all the nit-picking little notations AND all the glaring errors you over-looked, is not an indictment on your talent. It's a chance to take something that's beautiful and make it shine brighter than anything you could have hoped for. The problem on this, is all with you and not your editor. (As a note; there ARE bad editors. Those who don't respect your 'voice' in telling the story, those who are fascist and demand their way or the highway and trample your vision as an author. Even those who simply don't do their job well. Those are for a different post.) This is just for getting your expectations correct.

After I got over my initial dismay, well disguised between gruff guffaws and silent tears hidden in the bathroom and blamed on cat allergies, I found something out; my editor was right. This process that I thought was solely designed to strip me of any lingering testosterone, was actually making my book a better story and vice-verse.

So if you are at that point now, buck-up snowflake. It's just a small sharp kick sending your gonads/ovaries straight into your esophagus. Then it's an eternity of a polished, much better work of art, presented to the public for their consumption. You can do it. I know you can. I can't wait to see the diamond you have, after coaxing it from the beautiful rock you started with!

By the way for anyone interested in a great editor, you can find some info on the person I have been blessed to work with here;

Knock twice and ask for Amy.