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Archive for February, 2016

Happy leap day everyone! Be sure to give guest author Frederick Crook a warm welcome!

 

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

Of Knight & Devil (http://www.amazon.com/Knight-Devil-Frederick-H-Crook-ebook/dp/B0158XZXC8) is the latest, having been released in October.

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

My dystopian world is different from everyone else’s, as the balance of mankind has relocated to a new world. No Armageddon has occurred and no apocalypse. My novels and short stories are tellings of the result of the “Great Exodus” for the remainder of mankind here on Earth. It’s dystopia with a difference.

3. What do you like to read?

Well, as an editor for Solstice, my field of preference has expanded. I’ve gotten to read a lot of things that I normally would not have. Paranormal, romantic fantasies, for instance. I never would have cracked a book to read those, but I’ve run into some exceptional works by fantastic authors that way.

4. Favorite movie?

There are simply too many to mention just one. I love old movies. We watch Turner Classic Movies quite often. I do the usual sci-fi flicks and such, but there’s nothing like an old Frank Sinatra film, or a John Wayne western. I recently had an entire storyline pop into my head while watching a Sinatra and Dean Martin flick recently. It will be my next work.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

I prefer music while I work. I write everyday if I’m not editing a large job for Solstice.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as an author?

It has to be the time that a local fan that I met at the pub I frequent came to realize that I was the author of “The Dregs of Exodus”, my first novel. He had talked to me several times before realizing I was the same guy. He’s a huge fan and has read everything but a few of the short stories on Kindle. His preference is paper books.

7. How can readers find you?

The easiest way I can suggest is to go to Amazon.com and search ‘frederick h crook’ in books. That will take you to my whole collection. Otherwise, my website is: http://frederickcrook.wix.com/crooksbooks I’m also on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheDregsOfExodus/?ref=hl And I’m @FrederickHCrook on Twitter.

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

I wish that CreateSpace had been bigger back in 2010. I don’t think it was, but I went with Authorhouse instead. I paid them for publishing my work and making it for sale, when I could have done it myself. Companies like Authorhouse and the others like them have a poor business model. They’re only interested in taking from an author what they can get, rather than help the author put out their best possible product and promote it. They would really get a lot more revenue if they helped sell quality products from beginning to end, rather than soak an independent writer upfront.

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

Coffee or cola while I work. I try not to eat around my computer, but it happens. Whatever’s around usually gets it, as I tend to lose track of time while I work.

10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

I don’t really have anything like that. Hmmm…maybe I should. I don’t know, everything’s internalized. I can see the whole story in my head before I begin typing. If I don’t have it all worked out, I don’t write the story.

Thanks for stopping by, Frederick!

BB

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Good morning! Yes, it is still morning around this part of the world. For about another hour anyway.

There’s a misconception among new authors. And that is that it won’t take long before Hollywood takes note of your book and comes knocking on your door. Stop that thinking right now. It’s wrong. Hollywood doesn’t care about you or your book. They care about money, and making it.

That means they won’t even consider your book until you’re getting tons of sales. There isn’t an agent out there scouring Amazon for new book uploads. They’re looking for a book with a buzz. One that they’re seeing on the desks of their secretaries, in the hands of the prop master between scenes. They want a compelling story that sells.

Which means they won’t come calling two weeks after yours goes up for sale, wooing you with paychecks big enough to pay for your kids to go to college without student loan debt (how I wish this was true!). Unless you know people who are active within the film industry, are connected with producers and actors and screenwriters and agents, you have to wait.

You keep writing. You keep editing. You keep promoting. You keep working that day job that pays the bills. And you wait. It’s possible that you might get to walk the red carpet to a premiere of a film adaptation of your book one day, yes. But don’t expect it for years down the line. A decade or more, possibly. Or it may never happen.

Because, the harsh reality is they want a proven track record of generating revenue. When I barely earn enough in royalties a month to buy a latte, Peter Jackson’s not suddenly going to email me out of nowhere and say he wants to adapt ‘The Raven Chronicles’. It’s not going to happen.

So, get a grip. Stop expecting the world to begin to orbit around you and your book, and get back to work. No one said the work of an author stopped when the upload was complete.

BB

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I’m soooo excited!!!

I get to go to Book Expo America!!!

Are you going? Do you live near Chicago? If so, come by the Solstice Publishing booth (#2320) and say hello!

I’ll be there the entire 4 days of the convention, and am so jazzed! I’m already plotting out my strategy. What booths I should visit, how best to see other things in Chicago. But, above all, I’m looking forward to meeting readers.

On the last day, during BookCon, I’ll be selling my books. ‘Wielder of Tiren’ is now under contract and with my editor, with an eye for a release prior to BEA. You should be able to pick up all three books in The Raven Chronicles series directly from me!

And, to make you even more curious, here’s the cover!

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New postcards for BEA have been ordered and will be there for the handing out! So, please think about adding a stop by the Solstice Publishing booth to say hello when you’re at BEA! I promise, we’re working hard to make you want to visit us.

BB

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Warning. This is something I am very passionate about. To me, there is NO gray area.

If you take someone’s book and simply change out a name and/or gender, it’s plagiarism. You’re a thief. You’re taking that author’s hard work and trying to make it your own.

No, my books have not be plagiarised. That I know of yet. But I ran into someone on FB over the weekend, who was offering a ‘tearful apology’ on their page about how they ‘knew it was wrong’ to steal someone else’s work. And did it anyway.

And then they had people telling them how ‘brave’ they were for admitting it in public, that they still ‘loved the writing’ and would keep reading their books. And that they were so sympathetic to them.

Wrong. That author STOLE the work of another. They lied to you, to their publisher, and are making money off of what another author legitimately wrote.

They are a thief. The do not deserve your sympathy, understanding, or support. The ONLY thing they regret is being caught.

Writing is hard. If it wasn’t, more people would do it and be successful at it. To take another author’s work and pass it off as your own is never acceptable.

I don’t go to a law office and pass myself off as a lawyer. If that’s what I wanted to be, I’d go back to school and get the degree, pass the Bar.

I don’t walk into a hospital and pose as a nurse or doctor. I don’t have the knowledge, training, or license.

So, why would ANYONE think it’s okay to steal an author’s work? Because they’re lazy, immoral, and are more concerned with image than truth. With the idea of being an author without putting in the work. Because they can’t handle the years it takes to develop a readership base.

It’s still theft. No matter how you look at it. And I will not be associated with someone who thinks that stealing the work of an author is a viable path to being a successful author.

BB

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Okay, so last week was a strange one and I couldn’t read a calendar. LOL. Everyone welcome author Ray Chilensky!

1. What’s the title of your latest release? Link?

My short story ‘The Engineer’ appears in ‘Project 9’: a science Fiction anthology that is now available for pre-order, and will be available from Solstice Publishing on December 23. I’m in the final editing stages with my dystopian science fiction novel The Fate of Nations: FIRE Team Alpha Book One; which should be available from Solstice soon.

Project-9 http://www.amazon.com/Project-9-Chris-Hayesebook/dp/B01925DSMU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1449596029&sr=11&keywords=project+9+Solstice

FIRE Team Alpha https://www.facebook.com/The-FIRE-Team-Alpha-Series-196483540684605/

2. Why do you like writing in this genre?

Science fiction is unlimited. Even though good science fiction is rooted in science that is actually possible, a writer isn’t confined by what is actually possible today. Since you’re speculating about the future, there’s a kind of mental cushion that allows you to and your readers to think about social and political issues in new ways that our upbringing and cultural taboos might otherwise make us uncomfortable with.

3. What do you like to read?

I’m a historian by training, so I read a lot of history. I read a lot of classic science fiction authors. Robert Heinlein is my all time favorite. Ray Bradbury is a close second. I’m also a fan spy novels like those of Alistair MacLean and David Morrell.

4. Favorite movie?

Favorite move? Just one? That’s impossible, I think. I really love the 1975 version of ‘Rollerball’. That film and films like ‘The Guns of Navarone’ and ‘Where Eagles Dare’ are also favorites. All three of those movies have heavily influenced my writing. I’m eclectic in terms of genre’, but most of the movies I like are more than twenty years old.

5. What are your writing habits? Music or silence? Daily regimen or spurts of creativity?

I like to listen to music when I write, but I like silence when I edit. I try to keep to a daily regimen and write at least 1000 words a day. Of course, those 1000 words come more easily on some days than on others. There are rare, miraculous days that I written several thousand words in a day and they were golden. There are also days when I’ve done 1000 words and got rid of them as garbage then next day. If I have a few days like that in a row and I take time to do some drawing or extra reading to shake off the bad ‘mojo’.

6. What was the most surreal moment you’ve had as a author?

Most surreal moment? I won 3rd place in a writing contest a few years ago. That was the first time I had actually shown my writing to anyone except family and friends. It was when I cashed the prize check for that contest that I thought ‘hey, I might actually be good at this writing thing.’ It was surreal because I was 43 years old at that time and had been writing stories for myself since childhood. That anyone but my friends and family might want to read my work was a strange idea for me until then.

7. How can readers find you?

I have a Face Book pages for me, personally, and for The FIRE Team Alpha series. I’m also on Google Plus and Twitter. There is a FIRE Team Alpha web site and you can find my artwork on the Deviantart website (it’s sort of Face Book for artists).

8. What do you know now about being published that you wish you’d known before submitting?

I’m new to being a published author so I’m not the best source of publishing wisdom. My one piece of advice for writers looking to be published is that you must write and you must submit your work to potential publishers. That sounds basic and even silly, but it isn’t. It took me half my life before I took my writing seriously, and began trying to sell it. I’ve talked to many people that write stories and poems and never show them to anyone but their own social group. They might want to get published but for whatever reasons they never submit their work to publishers. You have to get over the fear of being rejected and be willing to roll the proverbial dice when you put ‘the end’ at the end of a piece of writing.

9. Favorite snack/drink while writing?

I keep a pitcher of iced tea by my desk at all times when writing.

10. Look at your writing area…what’s the item you keep to inspire you (piece of artwork, figurine)?

That’s easy. When I write, I’m surrounding by some of the books that I collected over the years. There are dozens of them all around me. There are also reference books like dictionaries and world atlases that I actually refer to as I write.

Thanks for stopping by, Ray! Good luck with the books!

BB

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