Thursday, March 24, 2016

Two New Covers

Sometimes, if something isn't working, you simply have to change things up a bit. That is what I'm currently in the process of doing for some of my novels that don't seem to generate the same type of attention as my other, better-selling (sometimes bestselling) titles do. The first two novels to get this makeover are Blind Eye and Text Message. With Blind Eye, I'm simply changing the cover since everything else with the novel presentation was fantastic (I have a full team of professionals that worked on this one). With Text Message, I'm changing the cover and having the ebook edition reformatted since this was one of the novels that was released in the early days of the Amazon Kindle program, back when we were all learning what could and couldn't be done with the html code inside of Microsoft Word.

The new covers:

Carl Graves at Extended Imagery was the artist behind these and I couldn't be happier with his work. Now to see if readers feel the same way. Covers are so important when it comes to selling novels. After all, if no one clicks on the tiny icon image, then no one is going to be buying the book. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Hmm, What to Read Next . . .

These past few weeks were fantastic in terms of eBay book finds. For just under fifteen dollars, I now have nearly two dozen new (um . . . old?) hardboiled and mystery paperbacks sitting in a pile next to my desk in my office. Now the question becomes, which one do I read first? Such decisions are never easy.

All these in one box for just a couple bucks - WOW!

I've narrowed my decision down to two that were not pictured above.  Nightmare Town by Dashiell Hammet and Murder in the Wind by John D. MacDonald.  I've read quite a bit of work from both authors, yet these two titles are new to me.

Actually, now that I've given both books a look over, I have realized that Nightmare Town is actually a collection of short stories. That makes things a bit easier. Except, now I'm looking at two more titles that were not pictured above because I had set them in a different pile that I forgot about. 

Hmm . . . decisions, decisions . . .

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Seeking a Foreign Rights Agent

Given the success of my novel Jimmy in the German language market (I just received my first overseas royalty check from my German publisher Festa for the 2015 calendar year and wow!), and the interest that has been shown for my latest bestselling novel Santa Took Them (currently being read by Festa), I think the time has come for me to find myself a foreign rights agent. The reason for this is simple; up until now, I have sat back and waited for foreign publishers and editors to query me on my work, and while this process has earned me deals with respected publishers who have seen my success in the United States, I feel there are many foreign markets out there that I have yet to break into, ones that might not even be aware of my work. Such is the reality of the publishing world. Sometimes success in one marketplace will attract the attention of those in other markets, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes one has to go to them and show them what they have and why it would be in their interest to publish it. This is what I'm going to do. Following its release on November 30, Santa Took Them made it to the number two spot on the hot new horror release list, and the number four spot on the Amazon horror bestseller list, and then, in January, it did so well that I'm now scheduled to received the largest royalty check I have ever seen at the end of this month.

The time is right. My work is doing really well in the United States and in Germany, and I believe the same will be true in other European markets. However, given my inexperience with dealing with foreign publishers and their editors, and with negotiating deals for the foreign editions, I think I really should have an agent working on my behalf, thus, this weekend, I shall start the process in contacting several that I have looked at with proposals. I also will welcome inquiries from foreign rights agents if they feel they can help market my work. And of course, if a foreign publisher wants to make an inquiry into my work, they are always more than welcome to do so.  I take all queries seriously and can be messaged at

Sunday, December 27, 2015

So Many Books! Which One Do I Start With?

Books.  It's all I ever really ask for during the two major gift giving days every year, and, for the most part, it is all I ever get.  Okay, occasionally there other little things thrown in there, but books are always the main focus.  Ask and thee shall receive -- seems to work.

So, here is the Christmas haul, one that now has me stumped on what to start with.

Note: if you're wondering why no Jack Reacher, that is because my mother gave them all to me for my birthday a few months earlier.

Back to the question: which one do I start with?  Okay, I actually did already read one of the titles, a novella called Debt of Bones by Terry Goodkind.  I love the Sword of Truth series.  In fact, it is my favorite fantasy series of all time.  Next up in that series will be Faith of the Fallen, which I can't wait to read.  It was this desire to continue with the series that led me to read Debt of Bones last night -- it is a one-sitting novella.  Having just opened so many new books, I wanted to be reading something from the new pile rather than something from my shelf, however, all the Terry Goodkind books pictured are all several volumes ahead in the Sword of Truth series.  What was I to do.  Ah-ha, read the novella that is like a prequel to the series.  Perfect!  Going with such logic, I suppose I could also read the First Confessor, but I'm going to actually hold off on that one for now.  It too is a prequel, but one that was written recently and thus, I want to read all the Sword of Truth books that were written and published before it.  I don't know why this is important to me, but it is and I can't argue with it.  That's why Debt of Bones was so perfect.  The novella was actually published right before the next Sword of Truth novel that I am to read.

But now the question has arrived once again; now that I have read Debt of Bones, which title to I pick up next?  I'm leaning toward Michael Connelly since it has been quite some time since Harry Bosch and I have sat in a chair together.  That said, I do love Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole, so I might have to plunge into one of his instead.

Such indecision!  A #firstworldproblem if there ever was one.  Question: does hash tagging in this post do anything, or is that really only something for Twitter? #hashtaggingquestion (just in case).

Then there are all those fantastic science fiction novels just waiting to be explored . . .

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Finishing Touches

That's what I've been doing this past week -- mostly this past weekend.  Finishing touches.  A month ago, I 'finished' the first draft of my Linger novel episode for Braun Haus Media, but didn't send it out.  Doing so would have been a big no, no.  Instead, I put it into a drawer (metaphorically since it really just sat as an icon on my computer -- my NEW computer that my brother gave me for my birthday, boohya!) and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Now, typically, I would have had another project to work on, but this time I didn't.  This isn't to say I don't have any other ideas for novels, I have several, just that I didn't really feel like starting any of them at the moment.  I've done three of them this year (Crystal Creek, Santa Took Them and Linger), as well as the rewrites and edits for two (Blind Eye and Santa Took Them), all while working a full time job, buying a house and battling the ever-present autoimmune disease, so, I figured, it was okay to take some time off.  Well, not really since my mind never shuts down with the ideas, but I wasn't getting up at four in the morning everyday to complete ten pages before work.  Instead I was getting up at five to putz around on the computer while drinking coffee.  What can I say.

And then the time arrived.  I read the first draft of my Linger novel, tweaked some things that stood out to me and then left it alone for a week, read it again, and thought, Hmm, something isn't quite right . . . which is common for me.

My final drafts rarely look anything like my first drafts -- if I give them the proper time to mature.  Stephen King equated this with bread dough and letting it rise.  I make bread myself, so, let's go with that.  The dough that eventually rises, if the water was the right temp for the yeast and all the proper ingredients were mixed together, will never look anything like what it started out as, and then further shaping into loaves or rolls will change it again.  That's how books are.  Once you have a first draft completed, you can re-read it and see where things need to be added or removed -- especially once you know how it is going to end.  And if during the first half you had no idea who the killer was, then  this reread will allow you to see areas where you can shape things so that it all flows properly to the reveal of that killer.

Now, I think I have figured out what it was that wasn't quite right with the Linger book.  Having fixed that, it is back into the drawer for a while.  The publication date on that is still TBA, so I have time to wait and make sure everything is rising properly (bread dough analogy again).

Cover Reveal: Santa Took Them - Coming Soon in Hardback and Ebook

Friday, November 6, 2015

Utterly Disturbed

It's a rare thing for me to be utterly disturbed, but that is what has happened this morning when doing random bits of general research on the web. General research is what I do when between novels. The little tidbits I pick up get put into the back of my mind where they act like seeds that might one day sprout into something that will work for a short story or novel. There is no conscious tending to this plot of mental landscape where the seeds are allowed to grow. They are left to do their own thing, and if that thing becomes grand, I harvest it. Today, I feel like something grand may be in the works, the seed of disturbing information - coupled with a screenshot I was not expecting to see - having landed in a nice soft patch of soil that has been fertilized by the decaying sprouts of ideas that never got the chance to fully bloom. We shall see what comes of it . . . if I have the stomach to venture near the horrific growth and pluck what I need.