Blogumentary: Forced Perspective – Finding My Voice as a Writer

I started this series to document the process I was going through while writing and publishing my first book.  I figured that maybe there would be other people out there who have a desire to try to write, but have never made the attempt.  (That should be a safe assumption based on all the people who say they’ve always wanted to write a book or have been thinking about writing a book whenever they find out I’m an author.)  Along with that process comes other topics that could be helpful for people to be aware of.

For me, my interest in writing came from a love of reading.  I certainly don’t have a background in writing outside of simply being an avid reader.  So when I started writing, it was a challenge to find my voice – to figure out my writing style.  I knew what I liked to read, so my assumption was that my writing would be similar to that.  Man, if only it was that easy! Continue reading

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Blogumentary: Step 6 – Publicizing

Now we have a completely finished product, so it’s time to sit back and rake in the cash from all the sales, right? Not so fast. After all the work we’ve done to get here, now comes the hard part!  Yeah – the hard part.

Writing is the easy part. That’s the part we’re comfortable with. Well, aside from the insecurity.  I can fight through the self-doubt and everything that comes with the writing process, but then what? Advertising and publicity is a whole other ball game. There’s an entire industry that is overflowing with experts on how to sell things. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do that and have no idea where to start…and it shows! This is where being an author turns from writing stories to becoming a small business owner. Didn’t know you were signing up for that, did you? I sure didn’t!

Just because you’ve written a book doesn’t mean that anybody knows about it.  Or even that they care about it.  Sure, you may get a few supportive family members who buy a copy out of obligation, but trust me when I say that even these sales aren’t guaranteed.  There is a lot of work involved to publicize your work once it’s released in order to get people to actually give it a chance.  That last sentence says there’s a lot of work involved to publicize your work once it’s released.  In reality, if you wait until it’s released to start publicizing, then you’re already behind the eight ball. Continue reading

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Blogumentary: Step 5 – Cover Design, Formatting, & Publishing

Okay, I know. I’m a few years overdue for this post. If you’ve been following along with this series and going through the process of writing a book, then you’ll remember we left off with a finished manuscript.  (If you’ve been waiting on me this whole time before proceeding, then shame on you!  And me.  Also shame on me.)

This is where it starts to get really exciting, and even more difficult to stay patient. The last thing you want to do at this point is rush to the finish line just so you can say you’ve written a book and are a published author. For me it’s really tricky to control my excitement, but trust me, it’s absolutely necessary. I know authors who get excited and breeze through some of the steps I’ve already mentioned through this series, and it shows. For the sake of the example, we’ll call this person Jim. Jim’s work is sloppy, full of spelling errors, subject/verb agreement issues, hell, I’ve even seen a book that had the same chapter printed twice. I’m talking about people who have published over 10 books. I imagine the excitement doesn’t go away just because you’ve done it before, but stay patient. I also know authors who have published one or two books, the right way, and they put out a completely polished, professional quality novel. You would never guess that they’re a self-published, independent author. That’s the power of proper planning, a keen eye to detail, and patience. Continue reading

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Literary Listening: The Unofficial Crossroads Playlist

You know the best part about movie trailers?  No, it’s not the teasers and spoilers that you may glean from a two-minute synopsis of the plot.  That’s the obvious answer, and it’s also the wrong answer.  The song selection is the best marketing strategy for any upcoming release.  You might be in another room when the trailer comes on your television.  You can’t see the commercial, and you probably won’t be able to make out any dialogue or voice-over story-telling, but I bet the music will creep its way into your ear canal.  It might be faint.  Possibly even subconscious, but once your synapses begin making connections, you can tell what the trailer is without even looking.  OR, if you aren’t already familiar with the title, then you have an undeniable need to run into the other room to see what the movie is.

So you’ve finished the first book in the Kings of Chaos Motorcycle Club series and you can’t stop thinking about the magnificent plot and fully developed characters.  Hell, maybe you even thought to yourself as you were reading it, “Self, I can hear this song playing in the background of this scene.”  Well, maybe you were right.  Let’s think about it for a minute and take a look below! Continue reading

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Bards Against Hunger Indiana available now!

Remember when I said I was a pretty serious poet? (Scroll down a little bit, and that should help refresh your memory.) Well, the latest collection of poetry that I was fortunate enough to be featured in has been released and you should all stock up while the getting is good! All proceeds will go to benefit The Homeless Advocacy Center of Anderson and Madison County. Order your copies here and help support a great cause!

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My Ship Don’t Sink! available now!

I am excited to finally share the finished product with you of the first joint project from my writing partner and me.  Take a peek at our first foray into children’s books with a fun story about an impossibly buoyant toy boat.  Try not to laugh when you’re reading this book to a small child and they exclaim, “My ship don’t sink!”  Order your copy here, and stock up for upcoming baby showers and the holidays!

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Pretty Serious Poet

Last year I came across a call for submission for poems pertaining to the night sky. The poems were to be collected and published in book form, and the proceeds would go to benefit a planetarium at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Being a Ball State grad, I was instantly excited and started grinding the gears in my brain to see what I could crank out. I started ruminating over Indiana nights, clear country skies, and lightning bugs. Fireflies to be more precise.

My wife and I had been binging the wonderful science fiction television show, “Firefly,” and I knew right away that I had to come up with an ode to Captain Malcolm Reynolds. The words came naturally and flowed freely. It’s a beautiful dedication to cult pop culture.

From there, I went real deep. You know, like a real poet. “The Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh is one of my favorite paintings ever (much like everybody else on the face of the earth), so I really dug into the artistic process that went into creating that masterpiece. Weeks of thought went into this poem and weeks more of tweaking it to get it right. In the end, it turned out great – if I do say so myself. Continue reading

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