Archive for March, 2011
Hello all! I wanted to post a note here on Get Jack’d that I am now, officially looking for reviewers for my first book A Blade Away. If you are interested in getting a free, pre-release copy, contact me via email at jlwallen AT monkeypantz DOT net.
This is a very hot topic among indie writers, and with good reason. Outside of a poorly written and developed story, there are two things that will turn a reader off faster than anything to a book: Poor grammer and poor formatting. Although, for writers like myself, grammar is an issue best handled by an editor. Formatting, however, can (and should) be handled by the indie writer so to ensure the look of the finished product is as good as possible.
In this quick article, I want to share a few of my best tips for formatting your book for publication on the ebook platform.
I totally spaced on Sample Sunday yesterday, so I’m offering up a sample of A Blade Away. This book is the first in the Fringe Killer series and will be on sale within the next couple of weeks. The sale prices is $0.99, which a real bargain considering the amount of entertainment you get. And believe me, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry — it’s better than Cats!
It simply won’t go away. At least not until we indie writers find that ideal sweat spot that keeps consumers coming back. It’s an incredibly frustrating issue among the indie community for a number of reasons, but primarily because the consumer community seems to want to keep the price of indie books at that dreaded .99 cent spot. What can we do about or should we do anything about it? I have a couple of suggestions.
Recently I had a lengthy discussion with my editor about track changes. She and I use different applications for writing/editing — she uses Microsoft Office and I use LibreOffice. We discovered a bit of an issue between the two office suites, with regards to track changes. During that discussion, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about track changes and how it is a must-have tool for writers.
It’s Sample Sunday again, good ladies and gents. Today I share with you the beginning of Chapter Two from my upcoming release A Blade Away.
This has been a very interesting week for me and my first “baby” that is soon to be “born” unto the reading world. The baby in question is A Blade Away and, after my editor worked her magic on the text, we decided some serious changes were necessary to avoid a possible nightmare of a problem.
Today has been one of those days. It started with a phone call from my editor informing me about some serious changes that had to be made to one of my books. No big deal. I’m always down with change and her changes (as always) are spot on. It was good advice for a book I wrote nearly ten years ago. I was a young writer at the time and everything I wrote then needed help.
A bloody war has begun. The dogs have been released and they smell the blood of the unjust. It is a dark time and all manner of dark agents are walking among us. That, of course, could easily be the battle cry of the traditional publishers. They see the tides are turning against them and, like any engine of commerce, will undertake any means necessary to stem those tides and turn their backs upon the vile assailants.
As a writer, we have to make leaps of faith on a daily basis. Be it for a story line we have developed, dropping a character into a scene that might not work out, a title, a book cover, a blurb for a book…the list of leaps goes on and on. But there is one leap of faith we must eventually take that make them all pale in comparison.
I wanted to post something quick to bring to light some news to everyone. It’s nothing earth-shattering, life-changing, or time-travel worthy, but it’s still news that begs repeating. Are you ready for it? Are you suuuuuure?
Writing Believable Antagonists
As long as I’ve been reading and writing, I’ve had a soft spot for well-drawn villains and antagonists. Even as a kid, I found myself sitting on the sidelines quietly rooting for cartoon villains like Wyle E. Coyote and Gargamel. It wasn’t because I hated the Roadrunner, or wanted to see Smurfs turned into precious metals and breakfast. I just imagined there was something deeper that made the villain tick.
Each of the novels in my zombie trilogy all have a sort of “gimmick”. In the first novel the protagonist, being a journalist, makes use of a digital recorder to help chronicle his transformation from human to zombie. In the second novel, My Zombie My, Bethany frequently tunes into an internet radio station called “Zombie Radio”. This short sample is one of the pieces Bethany listens to.
Back when I was in grad school, studying acting, I had a great script analysis class, taught by a phenomenal instructor. She was passionate about what she taught and knew more about deconstructing a script than anyone I have ever known. That class really helped me understand the ebb and flow of a story (as did being an actor who was taught to always respect the words of the playwright and the journey of the story.) To that end, I thought I would share a bit of that information with you, in a very basic fashion, as it could apply to the art of writing a novel.
I’ve been listening to The Fixx a lot lately. Probably one of my favorite bands from the ’80′s who survived the hairspray and keyboards to evolve into something brighter and better than anyone thought possible. But that’s not what this post is about. Although the title was inspired by a line in The Fixx’s song “Liner”, this post is about the on-coming onslaught of indie writers.