Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Reluctant on Journal Stone

The Reluctant is now available on Journal Stone!

Journal Stone

Journal Stone is an exciting new endeavor and I am happy to be one of the authors on their site.

Check it out!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Women Are So Perceptive

As I have said elsewhere, I didn’t write “The Reluctant” with an audience in mind.  I wrote the book to experience what it was like to write a book.  There are many authors I admire and that have provided me with hour upon hour of enjoyment.  I just wanted to see what they went through.

I don’t think I would have done it any other way, but there are consequences to not giving the audience exactly what they want.  Tom Crayder’s character is one of those consequences.

Tom is a typical guy.  As a reviewer recently said, he thinks about women and food…a lot.  That’s true, he does.  So does every man that I know.  Tom also wants to be more than he is, wants to provide for his family, wants some excitement in his life, and has his own view of right and wrong.  So does every man that I know.

Like a bachelor’s bathroom, a glimpse inside the head of a “typical” man is not for the faint of heart!  It’s messy in there.  It’s conflicted. 

Immediately after I hit the “publish” button on the book, I thought, “What will women think of Tom?”  I was confident that many men would read Tom and identify with him but I am waiting for the hate mail from some of those men:  “Splitter!  You’re giving away all of our secrets!”

To those men I would say that women figured us out a long time ago.  I am gratified, and relieved, that women are receiving Tom Crayder well.  They recognize him.  They appreciate the glimpse inside his head.  They understand that he really is a good guy, sometimes despite his shortcomings.

Had I considered my audience, I may have chosen to make Tom more heroic, more evolved even.  In other words, he may not have been as real.  He may not have had room to grow as a person (fictitious though he may be).

We suspend a certain amount of belief when we read fiction.  Fiction requires some abnormal situations.  What we won’t suspend, as readers, is our knowledge of human behavior.  We want our favorite characters to be larger than life, but we also want to be able to know them and, more importantly, believe them.

One of my favorite actors was John Wayne.  Yeah, he was tough, he could kick some ass, but all of his better characters had flaws.  All of the good ones had a weakness or a vulnerability.  They drank too much, they had a physical ailment, or they felt a compulsion to do the right thing even if it was to their own detriment.  Those flaws made the character real.

Wayne was often called the prototypical American male.  I don’t know about that.  What I do know is that when he had a good script, his larger than life characters were somehow believable to the audience.  Gender didn't matter, he was appreciated by nearly everyone.

That’s what I wanted for Tom Crayder even though he is no John Wayne.  He is supposed to be the common man…maybe just a little more.  He might do the unexpected, maybe even the heroic a time or two, but his flaws are what allow the reader (hopefully) to believe he is real.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Just A Cool Moment

I was having a really nasty day today.  My main hope of salvaging anything good from the day was getting my real work done in time to allow me to then delve into a particularly problematic scene in the second book of the Crayder Chronicles, "The Willing".  I think I have finally figured out how to do that scene.

Still, the day's prospects were not great.

On my GoodReads blog, I list just two or three favorite authors.  Among them is Michael J Sullivan.  Sullivan is the author of the very successful "Riyria Revelations" and writes a blog, .  For writers and readers, his blog is a great source of information and insight.

I took a break from real work and opened up Sullivan's blog.  Low and behold, he mentioned my first book, The Reluctant !

Now, it's not like he reviewed the book, which would actually be scary considering he admits that he is hard on books, and he didn't recommend the book.  He merely mentioned it, but that was a thrill nonetheless.

Imagine that you were a baseball player and a Major League player remembered your name.  Would that brighten your day?  I think so.  That little mention brightened my bleak day.

Sometimes, you have to appreciate the small things.

In other news, I received my first non-FIVE star review on Amazon, but it was still FOUR stars.  It was actually a very good review of the story beh8ind the story in The Reluctant .  The book is still averaging FIVE stars on Amazon and B&N and 4.5 stars on Smashwords after eight reviews.

I am still looking forward to writing that scene from "The Willing" today when I get the stuff done that has to be done in the real world, but I am also looking forward to starting a book by another favorite author of mine, Jim Butcher, who is the author of "The Dresden Files".  The new book is "Ghost Story" and from the preview chapter I have read, it promises to be a good one.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Great Reviews

Things are starting to happen more quickly now as I work my way through the quagmire that is the marketing of an indie author. 

Two “Get to Know the Author” interviews to report:

And a few reviews:

“The Reluctant” is now also available on iBooks and Barnes and Noble;

The good reviews continue to roll in and I must say, I am pleased.  At the time of this post, the review averages are:

Amazon:  5 reviews and all are FIVE star.

Smashwords:  7 reviews and the average is 4.57 stars.  Not too shabby.

Barnes and Noble:  2 reviews and both are FIVE stars.

I can’t imagine an author not being nervous when they have a book published.  I was and still am!  It is gratifying to know that people are enjoying the story and wanting more of Tom Crayder.

Book two in “The Crayder Chronicles” is still on track for release in December of 2011.  This time, it’s personal (yeah, that sounds like a tag line from a bad action movie, but it works!)