Saturday, March 1, 2014
Actually, I might just rank this one better than THE STAND, though I'm not fully sure on that given how long it has been since I read THE STAND. So, until I revisit it, I can't say with absolute certainty which one is the better of the two. Perhaps they will have to share that number one spot.
And now let me go back to the idea that there may be even better 'End of the World' reads out there. Does anyone have any recommendations? If so, please don't be shy. Without a recommendation to read LUCIFER'S HAMMER, I would never have known about the novel's existence, which, given how great of a read it was, and how popular it apparently is, is quite shocking to me. How could I, a person who reads several books a week, and who loves these types of novels, never before have come across this novel? It doesn't make any sense, and now makes me wonder, what else have I been missing? And not just in the 'End of the World' category of fiction?
Posted by William Malmborg
Saturday, February 22, 2014
As I stated on Facebook earlier today, I'm really REALLY pleased with the results of the BookBub promotion I used for TEXT MESSAGE this passed Wednesday. With seven hundred copies sold in one afternoon, and, at one point, a bump up to the number 4 spot on the Amazon horror bestseller list, what author wouldn't be?
Of course, given that the book has steadily sold an average of two to three copies everyday since its publication two years ago, I have always known it had some appeal (and given the positive reviews and emails I receive, was an enjoyable read), but without any data from Amazon on what its click to buy ratio is, I've never known how much appeal. After all, in the world of ebooks, two to three copies a day at 3.99 is pretty solid . . . unless hundreds of other people are passing on it each day. If that's the case, one has to wonder what it is that is causing so many to look at it and say, "Nope, not going to buy this." With 700 people buying it, which is two hundred more than the average for a 99 cent priced title in the horror newsletter for BookBub subscribers, I'm now fairly certain that the cover, title and description are all sound.
Now the question is, what will happen next? This past year, while being poor for overall sales, did see a huge increase in the demand for author interviews, book blurbs (I've only actually given one so far due to time constraints), unsolicited publisher inquiries on future titles (I currently have three 'open door' invitations to send finished manuscripts in for consideration), foreign rights inquiries from overseas publishers (signed one for JIMMY last September), and interest on the availability of movie rights (they are still available), so there is no telling what the next couple of months may bring. I'm also hoping to be able to do more BookBub promotions, especially once my new novel is released (almost done, I promise). That novel will be a dark and twisted mystery / thriller tale, so I might actually get that in on the mystery and thriller lists, which has a much wider newsletter subscription audience than the horror one at BookBub.
Amazing to think that just four years ago I was devastated by the crumbling of Dorchester Publishing after finally having had my first novel accepted. Looking back, it was the best thing to happen to my publishing career given that it forced me to take control of my own career. Funny how things like that work out.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Seriously, has anything else more disturbing ever been aired as a TV show during prime time? Hell, has anything else ever been aired with the content and depictions that this episode displayed? If so, I've never heard of it, and I love hearing about such things.
It begins with three odd looking men burying a crying baby in the rain.
It then shows what that baby looks like during a tiny bathroom setting autopsy while also revealing that the baby displays signs of illnesses associated with inbreeding.
It then shows that someone who probably isn't fully right in the head is keeping an eye on things in the house.
It then shows what some of the other inbred family members look like, after they ruthlessly kill several characters viewers have grown to like.
And, finally, viewers learn that the eyes they saw beneath the bed belong to a mother, one who lost her arms and legs to a car accident and has to be fed through regurgitation from her sons. Oh, and she has sex with them frequently in an attempt to produce more offspring.
To this day, I still have trouble shaking the images my thirteen year old eyes saw as this episode unfolded, one that was latter banned from TV. It is also one of the few episodes that I don't watch regularly and will often skip when going through an episode by episode replay through the entire series (well, up until Mulder leaves).
Jesus! Even after all these years the screenshot above that I managed to capture makes me want to piss my pants!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Anyone out there notice that I haven't updated this page in a while? Hopefully the answer is yes. Knowing readers are coming to this page is always a plus. If not, well, start visiting more often! :) Anyway . . . if you noticed that it has been a while since I posted anything, I do apologize for the time gap. Taking on a full-time job after the holidays is to blame.
Wait, don't you make a living with your writing?
Hmm, is there an answer that falls somewhere between YES and NO? Let me put it this way, while living out in DeKalb where the rent was really cheap, my fifteen to twenty thousand dollar a year income from my writing was enough to live on (my rent was only five thousand a year). However, once I tired of being way out there in the middle of nowhere and decided to move closer to my family and friends in the suburbs of Chicago, the reality became that I would have to supplement my writing income with a part time job, especially if I wanted to start saving to buy a house in the near future instead of renting (I've always wanted a house to live in, one that would give my cats plenty of room to roam around and room for guest to stay should they decide to visit). Interestingly, it wasn't a part time job I took since no company with dead-end job openings would hire me. Instead, I took a full time one with a company that is ranked within the top 100 of companies to work for in the Chicago area. It also pays great -- twice what I'd make hourly with some minimum wage job, plus full benefits, vacation pay and sick pay.
So, what do you do there?
The answer is simple. I help assist drivers who operate fleet vehicle distributed by our company in whatever services the vehicles require, whether it be setting up routine maintenance, helping with a breakdown on the road, getting information to them when they have questions, and helping vendors who work on the vehicle process the orders. Sounds hectic, which it is, but in a way that I don't mind. The time flies when the calls are coming in and since the company has no time limit policy on the calls, I don't feel rushed when helping the drivers. Best of all, the drivers don't feel like we are rushing them when on the phone, thus making our customer service experience one of the best (we get noticed for this all the time). It also seems I'm really good at making the drivers feel at ease when on the phone, which is good to know. Now if they'd all just realize I was actually a guy and stop calling me ma'am all the time . . .
Aside from the commute during rush hour, which I'm not used to at all, the one big downside is that I now once again have to wake up at four in the morning to get my writing completed; something I used to do when working construction for a living in my early twenties. I'm also having to cut back on time with friends simply because I'm so exhausted after work from having woken at four in the morning to do my writing (I now am usually asleep by eight). Thankfully, my writing output hasn't suffered (well, except for a few days last week when I had a bowel blockage and decided getting rest superseded my ten page a day goal). My latest novel is progressing at a pace I like, my new page total after writing this morning being 315, which means I'm just over halfway done.
One thing that I haven't had time to do is play around with cover designs, so I think I'm going to call it quits on that for the time being. When needed, I will hire out the work. Chances are, I'll like what these professional artist create better than what I've been doing anyway.
So, there you have it. That is the biggest reason for my lack of posts these past couple of weeks. Soon, once I really get used to doing my writing and working, I'll probably start becoming more frequent with this page again, but until then, most of my free time from work will simply be focused on my novels and reading whatever book I happen to be enjoying.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
The short story this novel developed from has a bit of an interesting place in my writing history. It was my most widely accepted, yet never published, short story. It also is the only story that was accepted by two different magazines in the same week. All this occurred between 2005 and 2007, the story itself having been written in late 2003 and early 2004. Every magazine that accepted it ended up going out of business before it could be printed (before I was paid too), and every anthology editor who said they were interested in using it, never actually got their anthology off the ground. Needless to say, those were some turbulent years for those of us publishing short stories in magazines and anthologies. In fact, during that time I had more short stories accepted and never published than I have had stories published during my entire career. The worst part was that many of these magazines also didn't really tell anyone they had gone out of business, they just simply disappeared.
Anyway, about two years ago, while putting together my collection SCRAPING THE BONE: TEN DARK TALES, I got to thinking about this story and realized it would be better told as a short novel (the same thing happened with my stories "Black Egg", "Johnny", and "Holy Night" - two of which were published as short stories). As often happens with a writer who has too many ideas and not enough time (discipline), I didn't actually start working on it for about a year, and then, when I finally did start working on it, it was more as a distraction from the rewrites of TEXT MESSAGE and the hard parts of NIKKI'S SECRET. Now, however, I've vowed to finish it and, hopefully, release it by the end of this year -- right after I finish work on untitled novel I'm currently working on (cover coming soon once I figure out what to call it). Until then, I shall give little teases as to the progress and details of the novel from time to time. Like, for instance, did you know I actually got the idea for this one after falling through a roof one October while on a construction job? Very scary that was, especially when I began to wonder what would have happened if I had landed atop a pile of bodies that the homeowner had been keeping up there, and then further discovered I was actually locked in with them until the homeowner returned . . .
The Haunted Vagina by Carlton Mellick III - The Title and Cover Got My Attention; The Hilarious Description Sold It
It's difficult to love a woman whose vagina is a gateway to the world of the dead...
Steve is madly in love with his eccentric girlfriend, Stacy. Unfortunately, their sex life has been suffering as of late, because Steve is worried about the odd noises that have been coming from Stacy's pubic region. She says that her vagina is haunted. She doesn't think it's that big of a deal. Steve, on the other hand, completely disagrees.
When a living corpse climbs out of her during an awkward night of sex, Stacy learns that her vagina is actually a doorway to another world. She persuades Steve to climb inside of her to explore this strange new place. But once inside, Steve finds it difficult to return... especially once he meets an oddly attractive woman named Fig, who lives within the lonely haunted world between Stacy's legs.
* * *
Interested? If so, you can find the book here on Amazon. Also, has anyone out there read THE HAUNTED VAGINA? If so, let me know what you think because, good or bad, I'd love to hear it.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Just finished reading THE HOLMES DRACULA FILE by Fred Saberhagen and while I really liked it, especially the little tidbits about the giant rat of Sumatra that Holmes alluded to in "The Adventure of The Sussex Vampire", and how they were expanded upon in this novel, a part of me couldn't help but think the story could have been just as a good without the Dracula aspects added. Having Sherlock Holmes and Watson slowly uncover a plot to destroy the British Empire via plaque infected rats seems like something Doyle would have penned, his knowledge of medicine and worldly travels easily inserted into the story to provide a bit of entertaining education. The Dracula elements, however, while styled correctly for what I'd expect with a Doyle story featuring Sherlock Holmes, just felt off to me. Like I said though, I enjoyed the book and am going to read more of Fred Saberhagen's work; it was just a part of me keep wishing this had been a stand alone Sherlock Holmes story rather than a Holmes-Dracula blend. Hopefully that makes sense. If not, well, my apologizes. And let me end this brief post by stating I do recommend this book, especially for those who are Holmes / Dracula fans. It is an enjoyable read penned by a writer that knows how to pen an entertaining tale.
Anyone else read this one or any other pieces of work by Fred Saberhagen? If so, what are you thoughts?