Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Enigma Rises: The Next Big Blog Thing

The Next Big Thing is a blog project designed to help writers get the word out about their latest works. Author Glenn Walker tagged me, and I'll be tagging someone at the end of those Q&A, and she'll be doing her own blogs about their work next week. Check 'em all out.

1. What is the title of your current book?

Independence Day, Book Three (ah, the long awaited book three!): Innocent. The subtitle comes from the "theme song" of this book, Innocent, by Our Lady Peace.

2. Where did the idea for the story come from?

This is the third part in a planned five part series, centering on a murder mystery in a small town. The original idea (and incarnation of this work) came when I was 14 years old. Not sure what inspired me directly, but I'm pretty sure it was something awesome to create something that still endures (in some form or another) today.

3. What genre does the book fall under?

Mystery, suspense, drama, even soap opera…but not the tired, over the top soap opera style. I sort of liken this work as a novelization of The Edge of Night, which was originally conceived to be a soap opera version of Perry Mason.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie?

Funny you should ask that, because before this series became a book series, it was actually web fiction and I did "cast" the characters using images of classic actors. Unfortunately, half of those people are now dead (and the ones that aren't are far too old to play these characters today), so I guess I'd have to start from scratch.

I'm not really sure which current stars would be the best fit for these roles. The only one I can say with certainty would be David Boreanaz as Shane. That's something my mom originally pointed out, while watching Bones, and I have to agree. There is something about him that just exudes Shane in that role. For the rest, I have no idea.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your story?

The killer is closer than they know.

6. Is your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Self published.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I'm still working on it. I can hopefully have it done in the next few months!

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I really don't wish to compare myself in any form to any other book, especially those that might carry this genre off far better than I have! :)

9. Who or what inspired you to write this story?

Well, as I said, originally, this was written when I was 14 years old. However, I began to rewrite it several years later, at the urgings of my mother. It was always something I wanted to expound upon, since I didn't really do the original idea justice at the time. I wanted to really see if I could carry off the suspense genre, as well as if I could complete a story (something I have truly never done before; all my prior writings were serialized and they all continued on until I grew bored with them!)

10. What else about the book might pique a reader's interest?

Just how long it's taken to write it, though I don't know if that will end up being a good thing or not. I originally planned to have this book out last year sometime, and now, it looks like it might not be available until Spring at the earliest. I hope that those that enjoyed the first two installments will stick around and enjoy what book three has in store!


As far as tagging goes, I had a very, very rough time finding writers that had not already done this! Fortunately, though, I found one: Ms. Taabia Dupree, who is going to be bringing you her answers next week.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interview: Glenn Gamble stops by!

Hello again, friends. Today, I have a special treat for you. I recently sat down with author Glenn Gamble, who told me all about his latest release. I'm honored to be part of his blog tour! Check out the interview below.

1. Tell us about yourself, and what you like to do outside of writing.

Lines of coke, pouring my thoughts onto Microsoft Word in-between swigs of Jack Daniels, and betting entire checks on rat and roach races taking place in project apartments across America. I also send morning texts to Charlie Sheen bragging about my TigerBlood.

All kidding aside, I like to travel, play poker, and casually follow current events.

2. How did you begin writing? Do you have other artistic leanings as well?

I had to find a way to move out of my mother’s basement because the mice had marked their territory and made it clear that I had 30 days to move out. I tried rapping, but those dinner plate chains and 40 lbs pimp goblets were a bit too heavy for my delicate arms to carry. Before the mice took over my sleeping area I used to be a songwriter. I also tried my hand at music production, but I realized that I sucked at it, and that I was getting too old to compete with Justin Beiber posters on impressionable teenagers’ walls so I retraced my childhood roots and began writing stories.

3. Tell us about your current book.

The Jim Money book series is the Gambler – Kenny Rogers movie with more action. Each book in the Jim Money Series is a cumulative story about Jim Money wanting to ease out of his criminal lifestyle by forsaking his gambling and shylocking business for a more honest living. For Jim, wanting and actually getting out of the underground society is easier said than done when he’s presented with situations that force him to either revert back to the criminal minded Jim or become a deceased Jim.

4. For anyone who's never read a Glenn Gamble book before, what is the main thing you'd like them to know about your work?

It really depends on the series that I’m writing. For the Jim Money series, my books are plot-driven with lots of action and occasional instances of comic relief. My Darius Blaylock series is a gambling romance series where my books focus more on Darius’s struggle to balance his gambling and business aspirations with his love life because the sensibilities that he’s developed as a professional gambler conflict with his ability to communicate with women.

5. Where do you see yourself, and your writing, in ten years?

I will have at least 100 novels and 50 novellas published

6. What do you think about the rise of digital publishing? Do you think that it could ever overtake traditional, paperback publishing?

The rise in digital publishing has been very liberating for me. It allows me to experiment with different story formats and publish the kinds of stories that doesn’t neatly fit into specific genres. Authors who choose to self-publish can do so inexpensively while taking their careers into their own hands.

As for paper vs digital, I do not believe that paper will die a slow death as many self-published authors have predicted. Some insiders have predicted a market shift where ebooks will account for 70% of all booksales with paper picking up the other 30%. Many authors seem to agree with this assessment because retail stores are closing. I disagree with this sentiment. I think paperbacks will account for a significant portion of book sales for years to come, while the hardback will phase itself out due to expense. Retail bookstores will adjust their business model after seeing Borders’ demise.

I believe that some indie bookstores will begin hiring self-published authors as their consultants to help them transition to the changes that are going on in the book industry. The stores that will survive will adopt a community centered approach to their business. Many will start having writing workshops, poetry workshops, book parties and other functions that serve the community. These smaller bookstores will become bigger bookstores because of the community approach. I believe that some bookstores will start publishing local authors as suggested in JA Konrath’s blog post. I definitely would sign a book deal with a local book seller to publish a paperback that would be exclusive to that particular bookstore only. This would be a win-win scenario for new authors and midlist authors. They’ll get the push in those bookstores that they would never get with a traditional publishers because it’s the store’s books. The traditional publishers might also get into the retail business as well because 20 and 30% sell through rates isn’t good for anyone’s profit margin.

7. What advice do you have for those that would like to write a book?

Write the kind of book that you like to read for your first novel. After you’re finished with your novel hire an editor to proofread your work to find the punctuation and grammatical errors in your work while fishing out the weak points in your story.

7a. What is the best writing advice you have ever received?

Read a lot and write a lot.

8. Do any of your characters reflect you or people you know? In what ways?

The people that I know or come across in my life are the inspiration behind my characters. For instance, I might assign an a ex-girlfriend’s abrasive personality to one of my characters to showcase how a woman with a similar personality might react to a situation presented within the story. Jim Money reflects some aspects of my personality from when I was a young, professional gambler.

9. Tell us where to find you on the web. Book links, website, blog, the whole nine yards.

Here’s the link to my books on Amazon:

I also have books available on Nook at the following links:

I also write blogs here:

10. Any final words?

When you’re buying books, take advantage of the “try a free sample” feature to determine whether or not you’d like to read any book that you’re looking to buy. Don’t forget the read my message below

Bon Appetit Contest

Five lucky readers will win a free copy of Bon Appetit, by answering the following questions. Please submit the questions and answers to glenngamblebooks (at) gmail (dot) com

1) When was Bon Appetit published? (Month and year)

2) How many books have I published in the Jim Money Series so far? (Hint: The answer can be found on and )

3) What is the url to my twitter page? (Hint: It includes my first and last name.)

You can use any of the links below to find the answers to the three questions.

Glenn Gamble is the author of A Thousand Chances, Bon Appetit, Escape, On the Run, and
James. All of his books are available on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook and Smashwords

He also encourages you to go to his website

Thanks, Glenn for stopping by!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I am not (repeat: not) a hack writer

^ What that says.

I am only beginning to embark on the next phase of my writing career, with the release of two ebooks. This, however, does not mean that I began to write yesterday, or that I do not know what I'm doing. I've been writing fiction since I was ten years old and I'd like to think over the 19 years that have passed, I've gotten pretty damn good at it. I'm not going to profess to be a literary genius, and I can't lie about knowing everything there is to know about grammar (I did drop out in 9th grade, y'all)...BUT, I know quite a bit about storytelling, creating interesting characters and proper sentence structure. I strongly object to being dismissed as someone who knows nothing, simply because I have only just started in this realm - or because I have published anything in this realm at all.

Independent writers are not all bad, just like webfiction writers are not all bad. There are going to be some shitty things written and posted, with incorrect punctuation and lots of misspelled/misused words, sure. But you know what? For every story that you find that contains those monstrosities, you'll find at least three more that do not.

Think before you speak - and make sure you know what you're talking about before you lump anyone into a category you obviously have no idea about.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Introducing: A Blog Tour Bonanza in celebration of ID: Book 2

Hey everyone,

I am pleased to announce that book two of the Independence Day series will release this coming Monday (June 20). In anticipation of that, some fellow writers and I have joined together to bring you a blog tour that will change your life!*

Five stops, five hosts, ten chances to win - you are not going to want to miss this!

  • On Monday, June 20, we kick off the action with an interview by the very talented G.L. Drummond, over at Feral Intensity.
  • Tuesday, June 21, join us for an excerpt or two with the lovely Rebecca Clare Smith.
  • On Wednesday, June 22, take a look at the Independence Day series and preview the second book at Daily Dose of Dauna, with up and coming author Dawn Needom.
  • On Thursday, June 23, settle in with indie author Shaina Richmond, as we delve a little deeper into the interpersonal relationships that dominate this book series.
  • On Friday, June 24, we'll spend the night at The Guest House, roast marshmallows and share ghost stories about the victim of the first book, Carol Mathison, and everyone who would have wanted her dead.

If you are a fan of this series, you will not want to miss this great event. Oh, and did I mention you can win stuff too? At every stop, I will be giving away two free copies of the book - and all you have to do is comment to enter the contest!

Thanks again to all the respective hosts and I will see you on the blog tour!

* This may be a slight exaggeration.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Feedback, Reviews and Support

As you all know, I released my first venture into the world of ebooks a little over a month ago. This book contained the first ten chapters of my web novel, a web novel I am actively looking to convert into ebook format from now on. I made the conscious effort to keep the book free, because absolutely none of it was previously unreleased material. Every single chapter included had already appeared on the website, absolutely free of charge, therefore, I didn't see a reason to charge someone for something they could, in theory, get for free somewhere else.

(I will state for the purposes of clarification that I am in fact charging .99 for the ebook on Kindle, but this is because I have included extra content - no, it's still nothing new to the web audience, being character bios and a town history page, but coupled with the content of the book, it helps to set the stage and I view it's worth the buck).

Download statistics were, as they probably are with any free ebook, absolutely astronomical in the first few days. I amassed 300 just in the first week alone, through very little effort of my own. Sure, I put links on my FB and Twitter pages, but other than that, there were few avenues I could really pursue for pimping purposes. I was very encouraged by such a strong reception that I made what I now realize was a mistake - I assumed that every single download represented another new fan.

The mistake in my logic is simple: just because a person downloads a free book does not mean they immediately rush to their favorite ereading device to devour it. It doesn't mean they will ever do that, really, because it's not unheard of for people to hoard free ebooks, without any real intention of ever getting around to them all. Okay, maybe that's not fair to assume. Maybe they really do intend to get around to them all, but given that they downloaded so bloody many of them, it will take a good few years just to sift through the pile. This means that while my book may have been downloaded hundreds of times, by hundreds of people, this does not guarantee that any of them have actually read it...or that those that have read it have actually enjoyed it.

This is where reviews come in handy. I'll be brutally honest (no reason to put up a brave face around you guys, after all). I've made one sale on Kindle. Just one, and probably to a personal friend or family member, because I highly doubt enough random strangers know who I am to purchase my first ebook out of the clear blue sky. I've made a whopping .35 off this whole endeavor so far - which is still more than I put into it, so I guess I am still making a profit of sorts, but that is not the point. The point is, I am not making much of a profit off this. I am not really in it to make a profit, though I can't lie and say it wouldn't be ace to eventually earn enough royalties to be fairly comfortable in my decision to be a writer. But again, that is not the point.

The very belated point to this is...I am not receiving a profit off this. I am not getting much of anything out of this, aside from the pride in seeing my name as the author of an ebook. I have no idea if those that have downloaded the book have liked it, or have even read it. This is where a review would really, really come in handy. Yet, I only have one of those at this point, from Gayla, who was kind enough to give me 4 stars on Goodreads. Thank you, Gayla. You rock my socks.

If just one percent of the people who have downloaded the book would leave a review, good or bad, I would have a much better idea of how this idea is shaping up for me. I am not asking for an epic, three-page love letter to me and the book (though I wouldn't stop you if you wanted to leave one...) A few lines would do just fine, as long as they were honest and civil. If you don't like the book, feel free to tell me so - and please, please tell me why. Tell me what you disliked about it. Tell me what I could have done as the author to improve your reading experience. Tell me what you would have liked to see instead. Tell me all of these things - in a review (I can take it!) or in a private email, if you'd rather go that route. By the same token, if you enjoyed it, say so!

Independent authors tend to have a bad reputation in the more hoity-toity circles. We're viewed as inferior, because we don't have that banner of being traditionally published. Sadly, this reputation isn't always very fair to those independent authors who work their asses off both on writing and promotion...but it is still there. This is why I think it is so important to support those indie writers that you really enjoy. Leave a review for them. Shoot them an email. Don't make them have to go on their blogs, get down on their hands and knees and literally beg a word (any word) out of you, as I've just done. So many get discouraged by the lack of response, whether it's indicative of any issues with their work at all. If it is at all within your power to do so, stop this from happening. It will not take more than ten minutes of your time to click a star on the ratings chart and jot down a few thoughts on the book. It does not have to be a rigorous, time consuming activity at all - most authors, myself included, would be happy with just a few lines.

As an independent author, let me tell you first hand - your opinions matter. Don't let timidity or lack of time to give a thorough review stop you from leaving some thoughts. Often, independent authors are far more accessible than their big-name counterparts, and to let you in on a little secret, we love discussing our books! Get a dialogue going if you're more comfortable talking privately and more one-on-one. Contact the author and let them know what you thought of their book, good or bad. Trust me, we can take it...well, most of us can, anyway.

It all boils down to this: authors write to be read. Of course, we also write to write, because the story claws at the very fabric of our beings until we unleash it upon the world...but when we do unleash it, we really do enjoy hearing the thoughts of our audience. So don't be shy about it, please. Leave reviews. Write emails. Let people know what you think - you might just make the author's day.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Book Review: Breakfast Anytime, by Christopher M. Thompson

Book: Breakfast Anytime
Author: Christopher M. Thompson
Genre: Poetry
Description: A selection of poetry covering a variety of topics which range from heartbreak to humor, love to loss, redemption, remembrance, and rebellion. Purposely presented without definitive grouping of the poems, Breakfast Anytime" is designed to make the selection a literary and emotional buffet.
Price: $1.99 USD

Review: This collection of poems runs the gamut from passion between a couple, a parent grieving their child growing up too fast, scorned lovers and more. My favorites included the title poem "Breakfast Anytime", an acrostic which tells an interesting story; "Amazement", a sweet poem told from an ill child's perspective, and "The Cure for a Broken Heart", a cute piece about a young woman seeking a doctor's advice on how to get past a break up.

I recommend this collection for poetry enthusiasts, as well as those that enjoy lyrical imagery. Very well done.

Rating: ****/*****

Rating Guidelines:
* = Didn't like it at all.
** = It was okay.
*** = I liked it.
**** = I really liked it.
***** = The best book evah (I don't give many of these, obviously)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Getting to Know...Christopher M. Thompson

This is a reciprocal interview with author Christopher Michael Thompson, whose Smashwords title Breakfast Anytime can be found here:

1. Christopher, thank you for joining us.Tell us about your Smashwords title, Breakfast Anytime.

When I was a kid, one of my fondest memories was always going out for breakfast when visiting my grandparents. They (and I, imitating them), would always order the same dish - chipped beef and gravy on toast. My grandmother was the first to cross over and her loss affected me greatly. Grandpa carried on in her stead though, taking the grand-kids out for that Sunday breakfast when we came to visit. When he passed, so did the breakfasts.

One day, taking my own kids for a treat, we stopped in at this little out-of-the-way diner and sat at a table. Typical diner visit except I swore that I saw my grandparents in glimpses and half-sights within the diner - that old feeling of strangers looking familiar. Trying to shake it off, I busied myself with the menu, anxious not to cry in front of the kids, but two things on the menu made that impossible. Chipped beef and gravy on toast and the words "Breakfast Anytime". As odd as it may sound, those two words brought a joke by the comedian Steven Wright to mind where he quipped "The menu said 'Breakfast Anytime', so I ordered french toast during the Renaissance." I didn't laugh, but rather looked at the people around me and, just as in the poem, asked the waitress for chipped beef on toast with my grandparents. The poem was born on the back of a kid's menu while we waited for our food, our poor waitress Lois unknowingly drawn into the story as if she had always belonged there.

When it came time for my poetry to be compiled into a book, I looked at all of the poems and Breakfast Anytime had always struck a chord with people, it - above all others - cited as their favorite and so, in both honor of the poem's popularity and my grandparents' memory, "Breakfast Anytime" became the lead and titular poem of the pack.

The other poems have done the same for people, some finding joy in the humorous poems, others the voice that they lacked during heartbreak. Just like the title reads with subtitle appended, my dream is for this book to be one to go to at any time day or night for both fond memories and for catharsis.

I want my readers to be able to enjoy "Breakfast Anytime."

2. Which poem contained in the book is your personal favorite?

Well, obviously, Breakfast Anytime is right up there, but I would have to say that "Pinocchio Triumphant" would have to be my favorite. It was written in the voice of a character that I have been developing and writing for for nearly 25 years. The intenet was still young when I wrote this and I was using the anonymity of IRC chat to develop Aerin's 'voice', character-wise by pretending to be a more human version of her.

I have always been sensitive to women, but grew even more so as I looked out at the internet through the eyes of one. As a man, I could hold serious and meaningful conversations at the drop of a hat in IRC, but as a woman it was like diving into a pool of sharks after being severely lacerated first.. Often, the chat programs would crash from the "a/s/l" and "wanna cyber?" private messages and as my ire grew, so too did 'hers' and I watched my fingers fly as "Pinocchio Triumphant spilled out of absolutely nowhere, Aerin screaming for decency among the indecent.

Times, I am glad to say, seem to have changed since then, but the poem has grown beyond just a rant about online chat but to a whole new level, a friend of mine - tired of being treated like an object - getting the stanza bout ripping at her doll's features permanently fused to her skin in a tattoo as a personal mantra not to allow anyone to tear her down.

It was Aerin's first poem of many and, as such, holds a special place in my heart.

3. In your experience, what is the greatest difference in writing poetry and fiction? Which do you prefer writing, and why?

The greatest difference, for me, has been the moment of inspiration, really. Sometimes, when I am feeling something, I will feel a call to put it into verse instead of prose. Or vice-versa. Some of my poems have even been born WITHIN a narrative, the character themselves waxing poetic like the characters from Grease talking normally and then bursting into song. That really makes it tough for me to distinguish which is easier as it is the emotion - and not my mind - which shapes my words.

It may sound pretentious, and pardon me if it does, but I see my writing as an artist sees a culture or painting. The art lets the artist know when it is finished, not the other way around.

As for my personal preference, I like the narrative writing as it allows me to write longer stories. A poem, unless it is an epic like some of the great classics, goes on for only a page or two before it is "finished".

4. The poem 'Amazement', contained in your book, particularly touched me. Can you let us in on what inspired that poem?

I took a job at a school district in Arizona where one of my co-workers was pregnant and having a harder time than most as early tests had shown a birth defect in the baby. He had what they nicknamed a "frog's heart", two chambers instead of four, and his birth itself was a delicate matter and very trying for the parents because they got to see him for only a few minutes before he was rushed from the delivery room to an operating room to have a shunt installed. Things were very touch and go for a while after that with more operations and waiting to pass an 'all clear' point where his survival odds looked stronger.

I wrote this poem shortly after his birth as she blogged the news on her Carepages site. even without hearing her voice, you could read the worry in her words and my simple "My thoughts are with you. Hope things turn out well." note became "Amazement", the original note being deleted with just the poem remaining. I didn't do it for fame, to show off, and certainly not for any other selfish reason, but to give the baby an uplifting voice during troubling times.

I have kept tabs on him even after moving away, and I am happy to say that he is still alive and well, a little physically scarred from repeated surguries, but as normal and active a child as any mother could hope for.

I am glad that it touched you as well.

5. Where can readers find your work, and you, online?

My work, for the moment, is only on Smashwords (, but I am taking it to CreateSpace to have print-on-demand capabilities. I can be found on Facebook (, my blog (, and a couple of Play-by-Post role playing games where I participate in collaborative storytelling. Come November 1st and April 1st, I will definitely found on the NaNoWrimo and Script Frenzy sites respectively. I have links AND countdown clocks to those events on my blog at the bottom.

Thank you very much for taking the time to interview me and I hope that I have answered the questions to your satisfaction.