Category Archives: Leather to the Corinthians

A Thunderous Conclusion.

brainSo, I think I broke my brain. I am currently working to fix it.

Over the past four months since I indie-pubbed my first novel, Leather to the Corinthians, I have been spending considerable energy using social media (read: all my free time) to market and promote the book. Prior to its release, I had done a sizable amount of research and created a massive, multi-tabbed spreadsheet filled with competitions, communities, reviewers, Facebook Pages, distributors, and so on.

Prior to completing the novel (which in itself was an excruciatingly long process, some of which was documented on this blog), I spent a considerable amount of time learning how to publish the book (this was after many months of query letters and rejections), as well as hiring professionals to polish the manuscript, format the text, and illustrate the cover (money well spent). I read page after page in book, on websites, etc. I was consumed with figuring it out.

NOTE: I have an obsessive personality. I wasted two years playing World of Warcraft. Serious players spend as much time reading about the game and how to play it as they actually play it.

I had created a pressure situation. I knew I could spend years knocking on agent’s doors and submitting small pieces to lit mags. That’s one classic model of building a writing career, and it is advisable. It’s respectable. However, I’m 43 not 23 and I am feeling Father Time sitting on my chest.

Plus, I’m big on DIY and kind of Punk Rock in mindset.

I jammed my brain with information about writing and publishing. Perhaps too much. I knew I needed to get it out. It was driving me crazy. My Facebook newsfeed is filled with well-meaning indie authors squawking about their massively successful books (I am becoming more dubious as time goes on). I have made many, many trips to the post office to mail out books for review, and I sent requests to easily 10 times as many who never responded. I know it’s all a part of the process, but it’s exhausting.

It became clear to me that I had to flush my brain. Purge it of all the advice, all the thinking, the spreadsheets, the self-doubt, the endless patrol of my Amazon and Goodreads pages. (Why, that asshat gave me two stars!) Promoting the book had become more important than the writing.

NOT OK.

I realized it was time to move on and let the damn thing breathe. However I am a completist (you gamers know what I’m talking about) so I felt that I had to at least get through what was in front of me.

I had the last week off work and spent a few hours each day trying to get through what was left of the resources I had gathered. I still have a few to go, and the week has passed.

I am desperate to finish off my list, as I want to move on to my next novel. Plus, I want to drum up some freelance writing gigs (on top of my full-time job teaching) and I have been mulling another blog as well. I’m nuts.

About two weeks ago I came to the realization that I would never be able to tap into every possible writing community or resources. It’s a hydra of epic proportion. Each site leads me to another and another.

Deeper down the rabbit hole.

There are millions of words written about writing. There’s more writing about writing than actual writing. Everyone has advice to offer. Everyone has a service to sell. It is mind-numbingly endless.

I have seen total crap that is apparently very successful. Not many people post about lousy book sales or that their book sucks hairy nads. I have visited a bottomless pit of blogs containing long passages of nothingness, with a shitton of “likes” at the bottom. I have found talented people lost in the digital wilderness (hello, fellow traveler), so much more deserving of attention. I also see people that promote their book from morning to night. I am slightly envious of the time they have for such things, but it is also quite tedious.

I have witnessed much energy being expended. I wonder…

Is this just a bunch of writers trying to sell books to other writers? Is this working? Is this progressing the wondrous written word and the glory of reading? Have we entered a new age of literacy (cause that’s cool).

Or is this a bunch of monkeys humping a football? And if so, what is my monkey ranking? How are my stats? What’s my possession time?

typeI came to another conclusion. I could spend all my time promoting my single book (forever and ever) or I could do WHAT I SHOULD BE DOING – writing the next book, the next article, the next post, the next script, and the next blog. So, I am trying to wrap up this damn promotion thing.

Based on my calculations, I should be done with my list and unless something looks utterly amazing, I ain’t gonna bother. I have yet to really find a fellow writer with my sensibilities (read: weird), except for these Bizzarro writers up in Portland but I can’t figure out their scene. Maybe by making this decision I will miss the one opportunity that would change everything for me and I’ll miss it. I’m telling myself not to even consider that possibility.

I can’t. I’ll spend all my time thinking I missed something. I’m obsessive, remember?

So after much time and effort spent, I now truly understand that there is no road map to writing success.

If Leather is lighter fluid, I’m going to let it ooze through the cracks and maybe one day it will strike flame. I don’t need to be fabulously famous, I don’t need great wealth, but if my efforts lead to a day when I can spend half the day writing, and the other half connecting with people (notice that there’s no full-time job here) and still pull down a decent income, then I will feel satisfied on a daily fucking basis.

Hear me universe! I declare that this will happen!

So another week or two and then that’s it. I’ll do a free e-book day here and there and probably give away a few books on Goodreads. Otherwise, it’s back the to the best part – writing. And poetry. And blogging.

And my next book…if anyone is interested, it’s a ghost story. This time I will be concentrating more on character and story, as opposed to structure and setting. It will be much less experimental in nature.

Love it or hate it, Leather was a bitch to write. A lot of pre-writing. A ton of research. I’m not quite ready to go back. But I will soon enough.

I’m going to knock this second novel out and then return to the weird world I created in Leather. I figure I’ll follow this pattern: weird book > marketable book > weird book > marketable book. Oh, and I have to build some time to do the submitting thing to various journals and sites. I need to spread my seeds of literary corruption.

As I work on my next book, I plan on blogging through the process as well. Many of you have told me that my documentation of the Leather writing process was inspirational. Laugh all you want, that’s what they told me.

Ok, I need a couple Advil.

Lucas out.

Photo Credit: “lapolab” via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Olivander via Compfight cc

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THE NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop!

jumpWelcome to the blog hop!

What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way that readers can discover new authors, because with bookstores closing and publishers not promoting new authors as much, we need to find a way to introduce readers to authors they may not see in their local bookstore.

Here you have the chance to find many new authors. You’ll find information about me, my blog, and my book – Leather to the Corinthians. But that’s not all! Also see links below to other authors you might like to check out.

I’d like to thank fellow author SUZY DUFFY for tagging me to participate. Click the link below to find out about her latest Bestseller, WELLESLEY WIVES.

https://www.facebook.com/SuzyDuffyBooks?ref=hl

In this particular hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered 10 questions where you get to learn about our current work in progress as well as some insights into our process, from characters and inspirations to plotting and cover decisions. I hope you enjoy it!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!

1: What is the title of your book?
Well…my blog is just stinking with it. Leather to the Corinthians. I am currently outlining Book 2 of the series (yep, it will be a series but I have yet to name it). The working title for the second installment is…The Scarlet Leather.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
Years ago, I wrote a short story. I liked it. What I liked most about it was the fact that it had a strange voice. I didn’t recognize it, but it was (in my mind) something special. I had been writing for several years, in many styles and genres. This was the first time that I felt like I had found MY VOICE. Geez, pretentious much?

3: What genre does your book come under?
Science Fiction/Fantasy. That’s the most recognizable. However, it’s a strange book – on purpose. It’s a bit of Naked Lunch as written by Douglas Adams. It’s surreal, high-concept satire. It’s a genre mosh pit.

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The Soldier: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Scratch Microphone: Matthew McConaughey
The General: John Noble
The King: Richard Branson

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A young freedom fighter struggles with his humanity in this dystopian sci-fi satire.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Technically, it’s self-published. I am now the proud owner of a Small Press: Room 1331 Publishing and Media. My book will be only one in a growing catalog. There’s many great writers that I am looking at right now.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote Leather while I was a high school teacher, and I only worked on it during the summers. Took me five years, but if you boil that down, probably about a year.

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
My book has been favorable compared to Ready Player One, John Dies at the End, Trasmetropolitan, and Snow Crash.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Leather is social commentary at its core. There’s so much that frustrates me at a societal level. I don’t have much political power, but I have a voice.

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This is taken directly from my Amazon page: “If you are fed up with the ridiculousness of big business, politics, mass media, fast food, organized religion, et al…if you enjoy underhanded satire, science fiction, fantasy, the surreal, comic books, video games, and a good laugh — you’ll dig my book. Join me in my quest to expose the truth and fools behind it.”

Below you will find authors who will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on WIPs and New Releases!

Happy Writing and Reading!

The INTRIGUING Tof Eklund: http://www.tofeklund.net/
The POWERFUL Robyn J. Williams: http://www.robynjwilliams.com/meta.html
The THOUGHTFUL Allison Bruning: http://allisonbruning.blogspot.com/
The THRILLING Michelle Muckley: http://www.michellemuckley.com/
The ROCKING Robert Raymond: http://www.robertraymond.com/
The ESTEEMED Roland Mann: http://rolandmann.wordpress.com/

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop: Part One

Hail New Visitor!

If you are new to my blog today, then chances are you are coming via the AMAZING Suzy Duffy (author of the best-selling WELLESLEY WIVES), who was cool enough to bring me into this literary chain of awesomeness.

Now, I realize that I might not be the typical author you would check out, but at the same time, I am often surprised by who connects with my work. Next week, I will have a brief Q & A so you can get to know me better, as well as 5 more sweet authors for you to investigate. I’ll thank you in advance for supporting Indie pub. It is the now and the future. Never have so many voices been given an ear. This is an exciting time for the written word.

My blog is filled with poetry, short rants, and a few other surprises — but my biggest focus is THE BOOK.

005_leather_cover_title01Leather to the Corinthians is my first novel. It’s a surreal dypstopian satire that has been favorably compared to Ready Player One, Snow Crash, Transmetropolitan, and John Dies at the End. You can learn more about my strange fictional world here on my blog or maybe just zip on over to the Amazon page, where buying it is dangerously convenient.

Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you next week!

It’s my Version of a Super Sunday!

MASS MEDIA SUNDAY!

fireThe kid is on FIRE!

I have a guest poetry slot over at http://sunshinefactor.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/a-poem-from-guest-poet/

…and a promo up on a very cool UK indie press site.http://www.theindiepedant.com/?p=11000. They will be interviewing me next month. I think I need to pay a visit, they always treat me well there.

It’s almost like having a publicist working for me today. NICE.

 

Some other things coming up for the blog…new poem some time this week, I’m taking a dip in the Blog Hop pool, and maybe another surprise or two. Stay tuned!

 
Photo Credit: onkel_wart (thomas lieser) via Compfight cc

Tag, You’re It!

Can you do me a favor?

Amazon uses tags to help people find books. My book needs tags. All you need to do is log into Amazon, use the link in this post and scroll down to the bottom section that reads “Tags customers associate with this product.”

Then, just click on the boxes. It will help me tremendously. Thanks!

Leather to the Corinthians on Amazon

And…if any of you out there in the blogosphere need tags as well…I am happy to return the favor.

Leather to the Corinthians: The Book Trailer

I know you’ve been waiting….after watching the video, check out these behind the scene pics. Please share!

Book Signing Party Highlights

Last Saturday, I joined forces with my Indie Author’s group to put on a Book Launch/Signing party. We all had books out for sale. It was a celebration of DIY sweetness.

Many of my colleagues and friends came out to support my book launch. It was the first of what I hope will be many book signings (fingers crossed). Hosted at The Sleeping Moon Cafe, those who made it out enjoyed cake, some laughs, and a few spoken word pieces. Here’s some footage and pics from a very unique day.

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