Monday, November 24, 2014
For those that have been eagerly awaiting the release of the German language edition of JIMMY, I have good news. It is available! Actually, it has been for about ten days now, in ebook form, the print edition to follow on December 10. Click here to be taken to the Amazon German edition page for JIMMY, and click here to go to the Festa, the German publisher that released the German language edition.
Now, for those of you who are interested in how this edition came to be, let me share with you a few details. A little over a year ago, I received a Facebook message from the editor of Festa asking if I would be interested in working with Festa on releasing a German language ebook and print edition of JIMMY. Facebook message, that's unusual for such a query. As it turns out, Festa had tried to contact me earlier via my regular email, but, for some reason, my spam filters marked it as, well, spam, which I didn't realize until I went digging around my various email folders looking for the original message (this also happened with an inquiry about being an extra in a movie that I would have loved to work on, which is why I now check that folder everyday). Looking at the Festa website, and seeing the list of horror authors they've published, I was instantly interested. A few weeks later, contracts were signed, advance against royalties paid, and the translation process initiated.
Wait, all this happened last year?
Publishing a book is not something that happens overnight, even when the manuscript is completed and ready for publication. Add in the process of translation, it can take quite some time. Thus, a year passed before a date was set for the publication, one that was set for December 10, 2014. Little did I know, the ebook edition would come out a month before that (Google translate doesn't always give me the best details), and before I knew it, I was tagged in a post announcing the release of the German language ebook edition of JIMMY, a post that received more likes and comments than any announcement on my own Facebook page when my titles are released (hmm . . .).
Seeing all those likes, I crossed my fingers that sales would be good, and then, before the day was done, saw that the German language edition of JIMMY was ranked within the top 100 for horror on the German language Amazon site. That was on November 14, and it has been within that top 100 category this entire time. Even better, it has slowly but surely climbed toward the top during that period, and while it hasn't yet cracked the top 10 (number one - fingers crossed), it has been hovering between the 30 and 50 ranking, which is fantastic.
Even better, Festa has expressed interest in my other titles, manuscripts of which have gone out. Whether or not they will want to buy the rights to them remains to be seen, but if they don't, I'm sure I'll be able to find other foreign market publishers for them given the success JIMMY is showing.
Sunday, November 16, 2014
You know what is one thing that I really wish Amazon would implement into its publication platform: the ability to see how many unique visitors come to my book pages everyday. With this information I could better understand how effective the marketing for my work outside of Amazon is compared to the book page itself. For instance, if I saw that I averaged 100 potential readers visiting the page a day, while only averaging 10 sales a day, then I would know something needed to be changed on the page itself to make the book more attractive to those who visit the page. However, if only 15 potential readers were visiting the page everyday, and 10 of them were buying the book, then I would know that the elements on the page were effective while the marking beyond Amazon needed to be addressed. Such statistics are not difficult to implement; in fact, Amazon already has them in place for members of the affiliate programs, which I use, so why something like this is not available through the publication platform seems a bit odd.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
PSYCHO II by Robert Bloch. It wasn't the fact that he killed a nun and then dressed in her habit to escape, because that seemed like classic Norman Bates, but that he then raped the body of a second nun after killing her in the van that they drove away in. Now, given all the sick, twisted things I read (and write), you would think that something like this wouldn't upset me given that my mind has become overly desensitized to such things within fiction, but this time around, it did. The reason: Norman Bates. I'm not sure why, but after seeing the original movie so many times, and after reading the book, I applied a bizarre type of innocence to Norman Bates, one that was completely shattered by the rape of the nun's body. Is that weird? Does anyone else feel a sense of innocence surrounding Norman Bates, one that would be shattered by such an act?
As for the rest of PSYCHO II by Robert Bloch (and even the beginning despite the shocking actions by Norman), I'm really enjoying it and highly recommend it. That said, it doesn't carry the same punch that the first PSYCHO did, but, honestly, that is to be expected. After all, how can one top such perfection. And for those of you who have only seen the movie, I strongly suggest getting a copy and reading PSYCHO. It pretty much is identical to the movie . . . well . . . the movie is identical to the book since that came first, but even so, it is a fantastic read, especially the scenes from Norman Bates' point of view.
Friday, October 3, 2014
Sunday, September 21, 2014
For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you probably are already aware that I finally finished the first draft of my latest novel BLIND EYE, one that weighs in at 903 pages. I know, right! I have no idea what happened, but have a feeling my desire to really get into the minds of the characters played a big part in the length of this one, as did all the different events and interactions that took place during the week of time within the novel. Rest be assured, I will do my best to cut it down a bit during the rewrite process, which will begin in November -- gotta let these things sit for a while before going back to them. My goal is to reduce it by 200 pages, bringing it to around 700 pages. Given the volume of characters, and the subject matter that the novel focuses on, I believe that length will be ideal, though, of course, I won't know that for sure until I go about the rewrite process. Who knows, 903 pages may be the correct length for this one. We will just have to wait and see.
As for that subject matter, this novel focuses on a former soldier named Alan Miller who gets sucked into helping a former lover look into a news story she is working on. Her name is Stacy Collins and the two met five years earlier when she interviewed him for a short news article for the local paper while he was on leave following his second tour of duty in Iraq. During that leave, the two got to know each other fairly well, and, though she would never admit it, she really missed him, and now wants to try to pick things up where they left off -- hopefully with a focus on the relationship side of things rather than just the sex the two engaged in, though that was great too. Alan, who is living with his mother while going to a community college, agrees to meet for dinner and eventually they make it back to her place. Someone else is already there, however, someone who expected Stacy to come home alone so that he could deliver a forceful message on how she needs to back off from her freelance investigation into a curious situation she has come across involving several former prostitutes and a local real estate agency. Unable to hide what she is working on from Alan due to the incident, Stacy gives him some details on her investigation and then asks for his help in talking to the girls. Bored with his life as it is, Alan agrees, and soon finds that he is in way over his head. He also finds himself falling for a young artist turned prostitute named Amanda, which, naturally, doesn't go over well with Stacy who grows more and more reckless in her quest to write a story that will help jump-start her floundering career as a journalist.
There you have it, the plot of BLIND EYE -- minus all that other stuff that happens. And now, for those of you who have been asking when it will be available, that remains to be seen. Finishing a first draft is only the beginning and does not mean the novel will be released in a few days. No way. Things have only just begun. A rewrite that focuses on story and how everything plays out needs to be completed, followed by the various editing phases (some by me, some by friends and finally one by a professional service that I hire). I then have to make the decision on whether or not I will go the traditional or independent route this time around -- and yes, that is an actual decision since I have been told on several occasions by various editors that the door is always open. My door is also always open to offers from publishers I have not worked with, and I may even query a few to see if they are interested. Same is true with agents, so, if interested, feel free to write (a publisher in Germany did last year and now we are looking forward to a release of one of my titles in December). While contemplating those possibilities, I will also continue to get the book ready for an independent release, the first phase of that, aside from all the editing work, being to have a full wrap around cover created for the print release. There are several fantastic artists out there that I have worked with in the past, so all I really need to do at this point is figure out which one I want to go with. Following that, I will then seek out some blurbs from writer friends, many of whom I used to read and look up to as an aspiring writer, ones who is still feels surreal to be on a first name basis with. Hell, getting a request to blurb one of their new books several months ago was surreal, and, once I had read the book before its release, gave me 'blurber block' due to how monumental such a request was.
One last thing, I did discover about halfway through the novel that BLIND EYE will actually be the first in a loosely connected trilogy. It may also be a spring board for a series of private investigator novels featuring one of the characters that gets introduced within the tale. As for the other two novels in this trilogy like project, they will be A TASTE OF PAIN and THE MISSING KEY (tentative). I may also write a short novella titled RUSTY.
Before all that, however, there is a short novel that I've been toying with for a few years titled CRYSTAL CREEK that I really want to finish. I figure, that will be a good October project while BLIND EYE waits for the next phase to begin.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Click here to visit Festa.
Click here to visit the JIMMY page on Festa.
And now for those of you who may not know how all this unfolded, last year, back in August of 2013, I received a Facebook message from Festa inquiring about the foreign language rights to my work. Apparently, the inquires that went to my regular email inbox had gotten filtered into my spam folder, so I had no idea the interest was there. Once known, I did some research, discovered Festa is a pretty significant publisher in the world of horror -- check out the other authors whose work they publish to see what I mean -- and signed a contract. It was that simple.
Independent publishing, traditional publishing . . . I enjoy both methods and am willing to work in both forms because, in the end, it's simply about getting my work out there in front of readers. In the US, right now, that typically means I do the publication work myself, overseas, I let a publisher skilled in that particular market area take the reigns. Nothing to it. I'm also very easy to work with when it comes to my work and traditional publishers. So, if you're an editor that feels my work my fit with whatever publication you belong to, feel free to reach out to me with a query. And for those that are eagerly awaiting the German publication of JIMMY, it will be available before you know it :)
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Those of you who follow me on Facebook, which you can do by sending me a friend request here if you like, know that yesterday I received an interesting package in the mail from an anonymous sender. Now, this isn't the first time I have received gifts from readers (I'm assuming this was a reader that sent it), but this is the first one that has come with no note or return address. It is also probably the most expensive gift I have received, if, that is, the prices I've seen on Amazon and Ebay for these Deanna Dwyer titles are representative of what it would cost to purchase them. So, a very big and loud THANK YOU! to whomever it was that sent this me. It truly was a gift that I was not expecting -- even with my birthday coming at the end of this month.
NOTE: for those of you who are not aware, Deanna Dwyer was a pen name of Dean Koontz when he was writing Gothic novels in the early seventies for Lancer as a way to make ends meet while penning his other Dean R. Koontz novels. As far as I know, none of these novels have ever been reprinted as Koontz novels, the only editions being those that had the pen name on them back when they were published as paperback originals.