Literary Listening: The Unofficial Crossfire Playlist

Awhile back I posted the unofficial Crossroads playlist to fill out the Kings of Chaos world and enhance the story.  Obviously I’m obligated to do the same for the sequel, and that’s what I’m about to do.  Grab the closest headphones and let’s get busy.  Again, as with Crossroads, Crossfire centers around a high-octane action story about some hardcore bikers, so naturally the soundtrack has to kick ass.  This playlist is required to tell the story in their own words – with the proper tone, of course.  So bring on the classic rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. Continue reading

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Author Spotlight: Jonathan Degler

I got connected with this next author through a mutual friend.  I had just started my personal blog and was developing my writing style when a friend commented that he knew an author.  I was enthralled by this idea, as authors had always seemed like mythical creatures to me; fantastical beasts that didn’t intermingle with mere mortals.  In my head they all lived in shoreline cottages, high-rise apartments in big cities, or secluded cabins in the woods, and lived magical lives.  To have the opportunity to be connected with somebody that was actually a published author blew my mind.  And I’m seriously not writing that for entertainment or to be dramatic (like usual).  I held authors on a pedestal in my head and never imagined that they came from all over and led completely normal lives.  Maybe I was a little naive.  Maybe I just think really highly of authors.
Since meeting Jon, we’ve become good friends, and he has been such an inspiration to me on multiple levels.  When I thought of the idea of this series, he was a no-brainer to be one of my first guests.  Luckily, he agreed to do it!

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Carjacked

“Get over here dammit!” he says, seething as he rips the car door open.

I’m unclear why he’s so mad at me.  It’s not like it was my intent for this to happen.  We were both happily driving along, then suddenly something very unfortunate happened.  In a split second, we were both resting at a complete stop following an awful mechanical sound.

“Get out here!”  He relentlessly yanks me from my seat until I am free of my restraints.  The physical abuse begins immediately and I’m unable to even say anything.  He drops me to the ground and kicks me until I’m laying halfway under his vehicle.  He grabs my arm and begins to crank it around behind my back.  He doesn’t stop.  He continues this over and over like it’s a bad wrestling move.  Wrestling might be fake, but my joints creak in agony from the pressure nonetheless. Continue reading

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Author Spotlight: Adam K. Moore

Welcome to the newest series on my site! Knowing how difficult it is to get your name out there as an aspiring author, I thought it would be a great idea to take on the role of helping other writers gain some exposure and introduce them to as many new readers as possible. I have identified several guests and so far they have all graciously agreed to let me bug them with a bunch of questions! Naturally, when I had the idea to feature other authors, my starting point had to be with my writing partner, Adam K. Moore.

 

Adam is responsible for penning the completely original and enthralling Compendium Twenty-Three series, as well as helping me co-found Circle City Publishing. In addition to that, he is also one of my most trusted proofreaders, and is crucial in helping me make sure my projects turn out okay.  And not only is he a fantastic writer, but he creates some visually stunning pieces of art too.  That great Circle City Publishing logo? Yeah, that’s all him! He also provided all of the artwork for CCP’s first children’s book, My Ship Don’t Sink! Continue reading

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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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