The Posse

I’m in a posse. I have been for a while. We are lead by our author friend Sunny Frazier. We first met at an author event at Chowchilla Library. I am not sure if the “The Posse” was formed at that time or not until later. Somehow I was in. We have a main concept of using some sort of clout with improving our promotions and marketing, as well as entertaining one another.
One of those tools is blogging. For example we were referred to another blog and author by Anne R. Allen. In a recent blog by Anne R. Allen, there is a list of ten reasons to blog. While all the points there are good and right, Number 9 had struck me. First I had to look up what “garret” meant. I know, I know, but it is what it is. I was working the day job, and there was only one other writer on our staff, and he was published with a Carnegie-Mellon award. He told me that writers need to be around other writers. I understood that, but it wasn’t something that could change the situation, without relocating, quitting work, and, well, all the impossibilities. It was something that grew though. He had started a blog because his friends had told him that he should. That was around 2003. He didn’t up date it as often as he could or should have. But I never forgot his advice.
Anne R. Allen’s piece is at:

http://annerallen.blogspot.com/2015/04/ten-reasons-for-authors-to-blog.html#comment-form

I’m not sure how many are in The Posse, maybe twenty or forty authors and writers. There might be more. For another up close visit, Sunny Frazier has a lot going on and blogging on five sites. See more about Sunny at:

https://www.blogger.com/profile/03693884364418711551

Tim
THE DOC ~ Revised Edition
Copyright © 2014 by Tim Desmond
Cover Design by Jackson Cover Design
All cover art copyright © 2014
All Rights Reserved
Print ISBN: 978-1-626941-44-1

Timothy J. Desmond
Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
The Doc page and Writing at: http://timothydesmond.wordpress.com
Art at: http://artbydesmond.wordpress.com

Pool Boy Day

Blog photo - Pool Equip Pool Boy Apr 21

Have not written anything in over a week. Sounds like a personal problem, and it was, or still is. Story here? Today I am back to being “Pool Boy” again. Six month cleaning of filter tank is the norm. Last summer I rebuilt the backwash valve stack. It leaked from the top seal. Now, I can’t remove the backwash valves to do a new repair. Pool is running and clean, but, still have the leak. May have to call a guy.

Tim

Timothy J. Desmond
THE DOC ~ Revised Edition
Copyright © 2014 by Tim Desmond
Cover Design by Jackson Cover Design
All cover art copyright © 2014
All Rights Reserved
Print ISBN: 978-1-626941-44-1
Rifling Of Old Cannon, View On The Inside

Timothy J. Desmond
Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
The Doc page and Writing at: http://timothydesmond.wordpress.com
Art at: http://artbydesmond.wordpress.com

Triggered Book Study Follow up

Family -Tim Desmond at Captain Tony's

One more piece on numbers and stats, if you will, is on another reference that I happen to come across. If the previous “Triggered Book Study” was of mild or of any interest at all, this next reference is from a more studied source in the industry.

THIS STUDY by Hugh Howey IS DATED AS A YEAR AGO IN February on: February 12, 2014. It is of importance to anyone connected with this business, but I think it has merit and interest for anyone involved education, teaching, teaching reading, and the obvious ….. if you are in retail and wonder how the closing of book stores and markets means something. I’ve saved the study in my own files, but in the interest of “not plagiarizing” I am putting the link here.

Author Earnings by Hugh Howey Study Called: The 7k Report
The link is at: http://authorearnings.com/report/the-report

I found it fascinating.
After reading that, what do you think?

Tim

THE DOC ~ Revised Edition
Copyright © 2014 by Tim Desmond
Cover Design by Jackson Cover Design
All cover art copyright © 2014
All Rights Reserved
Print ISBN: 978-1-626941-44-1

Timothy J. Desmond
Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
The Doc page and Writing at: http://timothydesmond.wordpress.com
Art at: http://artbydesmond.wordpress.com

John Daulton Interview

Author - Joihn Daulton

It was an honor to interview Galactic Mage science fiction and series author John Daulton. There is more at his Daulton Books website at: http://daultonbooks.com and also on Amazon author page. For now, enjoy the interview below.

TD: Your first title in the series, The Galactic Mage, has been described as a combination of two genres – fantasy and science fiction. Was that by design or accidental?

Totally by design. Many stories out there have blended the two genres, “science fantasy” if you will, stories going way back to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars (the whole John Carter of Mars series), and even farther back to writers like Mark Twain with his A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court . Aside from the obvious disparity in writing skill between those guys and me, the blending of the two genres is similar in many fundamental ways. One big difference is that in The Galactic Mage series, I keep the medieval-style magic of the fantasy distinct and very true to the Sword & Sorcery type fantasy that emerged post Dungeons and Dragons and, of course, Tolkien while keeping sci-fi elements as close to contemporary popular sci-fi as I can. By not changing the “expectations” of the two genres, yet putting them together anyway, I ended up with something new enough to be very cool and widely accepted by readers. In truth, it’s not completely “never been done before” though, despite what a lot of reviewers have said. In the early 80s, Piers Anthony did something similar in the Apprentice Adept series, at the very end of it at least, and I loved it.

TD: What inspired you to write your novel and how much research went into it? Without the obvious of space travel and other worlds, any personal experiences?

The original inspiration was a 1999 movie called October Skies. It’s about a kid who saw something that everyone else was missing: rocketry. So he pursued it and made something amazing, an industry, an enterprise, a way of thinking. It was such a beautiful and simple (and true) story, that it stuck with me. The Galactic Mage is a fantasy version of that movie, at least in part.

As for research, it’s pretty insane how much I did. It seems like every time I tried to say anything, I was like, “Crap, I don’t really know how a laser would work; are they actually powerful or just old ideas? And what the heck is in ion cannon anyway?” Stuff I have read about in other sci-fi, stuff I knew readers would accept, I just couldn’t use myself without understanding it better. I read so much astronomy (and watched tons of documentaries). I read a lot on genetics, bio-engineering, bio-printing believe it or not. I actually read two books just on squids and octopuses, plus tons of medieval and feudal society and household info, and just out of control physics. The more I wrote, the more I realized how much I didn’t know. I read Stephen Hawking’s The Universe in a Nutshell when I got started, thinking that would be enough, and I ended up taking a semester of college physics before I could feel comfortable saying anything I wrote at all. I still feel grotesquely unqualified to say much, and I’m sure I have lots wrong, but the story is totally, in terms of its sci-fi element and even more so in the underlying principles of magic (actually more important, believe it or not), steeped in reality as closely as I can fathom it anyway.

TD: How do you write? Do you outline and follow chapter by chapter, or do you wait until the story’s magnitude can’t be contained in your mind and you have to pour it out on paper?

Combination of both. I get to the point where the ideas are stacking up on one another, and I know there’s a story there. So I start outlining in as much detail as I can. I don’t hold that outline as gospel, though.

TD: Stephen King says “you only have a season (3 months) to write a book” after that, you should abandon it and work on something else entirely, then come back 6 weeks later, re-read, and start revising. Do you agree? How long does it take to write a good story?

I think assigning a time frame like that is totally arbitrary. Everyone is different. Before The Galactic Mage blew up on Amazon, I was working a day job and had zero expectation of ever being a “full time writer.” How could I possibly have written a whole novel in 3 months?

So, you have to take Stephen King’s advice with a grain of salt. He has the advantage of being a multi-millionaire and anything he writes will 1) be published through traditional channels, and 2) make money. The rest of us don’t have those guarantees. That means we don’t have the luxury of assigning ourselves three or four months to write something. Before TGM, I had to write when I could, and with whatever energy I had left after a long day. So, to crank out a novel in three months just wasn’t reasonable, especially not a first or second novel, where even believing I was capable of finishing one was a whole emotional journey, well outside craft and discipline. I have that luxury now of having developed my “writer’s muscle” as they say. I can write 80,000 to 100,000 words in a month when I do it full time. I’m sure Stephen King can too. Probably more. Most of the guys in the NFL can bench press 300 pounds. But I’m pretty sure they didn’t just decide to “get to 300 pounds in a season.”

So, writing in a season is great for those tiny fractions of the writing universe who don’t have to teach or edit or do something else of the day-job variety to keep the wolves at bay. I guess basically my opinion of that “season” advice is that it doesn’t really speak to anyone outside of the outliers and the very, very lucky. Most people are going to have to do what they have to do to get it done. The Galactic Mage took me eight years.

However, that said, I do agree that you do need to finish and then let your story sit for a few weeks or months before you reread it. It’s amazing to discover both how awesome you can be and how terrible all in the same piece, so you need distance from both your pride and your self-loathing.

TD: Do you have a book to which you constantly go back and from which you constantly draw inspiration? If so, which is it and by whom?

Artistotle’s Rhetoric. Everything you ever need to know about the human experience is in that book. It’s more sophisticated than anything else I’ve ever read, despite being 2,500 years old. Mind blowing.

TD: With the flood of self-published authors, small presses, and vanity presses, I feel like the “big houses” have a lot of competition. They are very selective and often end up kicking their butts for not signing someone special. Do you know of a book/author that has been under appreciated and everyone should read his/her book?

Everyone? No, I don’t know of any that everyone should read. But I can say, I know some great story tellers who don’t get the love they deserve. T.R. Harris is one. He’s got these awesome, simple shoot-em-up science fiction books. They are so honest, so unpretentious. They don’t pretend to be anything other than fun. You can blow right through them so fast. But they are just brilliant in their simplicity. It’s a shame some publishing house didn’t see it and hook him up with some high-end editors and an awesome marketing team. They could have sold a hundred million copies. But that’s fine. He doesn’t care, I’m sure. He’s done fine all on his own. Like, really fine. So, whatever.

TD: And on another note, there are books whose reviews and bestseller lists rave greatness, but the story, the characters, or the premise is either a copy cat of something really good or it sucks all together. Do you know of a book like that?

Yeah, I can think of tons of stuff I didn’t like. But, I’m not going to harsh on someone’s story just because I didn’t like it. Hell, chances are I didn’t like it because I didn’t get it. And yes, lots of stuff is generic and cliché, but if there are people out there who get joy from it, that’s all good—I mean, maybe it’s cliché to you and me, but what if it’s the first time some new reader saw that idea, you know? There are always new people, young people, whatever, coming up to consume the latest publications. Really, in the end, there aren’t any new ideas anyway. They’ve been saying that for thousands of years already, too.

TD: What do you think is more important: A great story, a great cover, or a great promotion?

Great story. If you write a great enough story, it will go viral despite your crappy cover and feeble promotions. People share what they like. You only have to give something amazing to one or two people, and the rest will take care of itself. Writers should never forget this. Get over yourself and write the next one. (But don’t skimp on your cover, your editing, and for God’s sake, start a mailing list on MailChimp or Constant Contact or something. Just do it.

TD: And speaking of promotion. It has become the author’s worst nightmare as they have less time to write with having to promote so much since the book world is a business after all. What is your strategy? Have you found a promotion tool that works every time?

If you are doing your own promotions, get a mailing list (you may have noticed I mentioned that above). MailChimp and Constant Contact and several others have freebie programs for small mailing lists. Get one. I could go into why you should, and I have covered it on my blog, but, short answer: if you put out a book and even ONE person likes it so much that they want to read the next thing you put out , you should make it easy for that reader to know when the next one comes out. So, beyond that, I won’t explain more. Get your MailChimp account. Put a link to your sign up form on the front page of your books and ebooks and put it in again on the last page. Do that first, before you start thinking about Facebook ads or any other dumb stuff that will waste your money. Get a mailing list. Period. Seriously.

TD: And finally, do you characters take on some qualities of people you know?

Totally. We can only write the world we know. The people around me ARE the world. If I didn’t tap into the real people I know, all my characters would be wooden prototypes that I averaged onto my pages from other stuff I have read. It would be too boring to write, honestly. Exaggeration and commitment to it provides the rest.

TD: What else should I know about this novel, or your others, that might not be evident from its cover blurb?

My series is a search for God. All seven books (the 6 main series and the prequel) are really born of my grappling with faith, divinity, science (especially physics), philosophy and humanity. Like, that is literally the spine of the series. I realize that, given what they are on the surface, how the covers are done for the purpose of appeasing the market, nobody will ever think about my books as deeply or even read them enough times to see what I am trying to do. Which is fine. I did it for me.

TD: What else should our readers know about you?

I’m just a regular guy. Writing books is not mystical. If you are my friend, you don’t have to apologize to me if you haven’t read my books. In fact, that’s actually the worst part of having a bestseller out. People you love come up to you after having not seen you in a while and feel obligated to lead with, “Hey, great to see you. Man, I’ve been meaning to read your book.” You don’t have to read my book. In fact, if I’m being honest, if you put out a book, I probably won’t get to it either. Life is busy. The “to read” stack is tall. It’s all good.

TD: And last, please tell our readers where we can buy your books.

They’re all on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Google Play (the first one is on iTunes too, but don’t get me started on why the rest aren’t on it). The front page of my website shows all my books, and you can click on any of them to get links to all the major outlets for each: http://www.daultonbooks.com

TD: John, thank you for dropping by for the visit and for your answers and advice. There is a lot here for our readers and other authors.

Tim

THE DOC ~ Revised Edition
Copyright © 2014 by Tim Desmond
Cover Design by Jackson Cover Design
All cover art copyright © 2014
All Rights Reserved
Print ISBN: 978-1-626941-44-1
Timothy J. Desmond
Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
The Doc page and Writing at: http://timothydesmond.wordpress.com
Art at: http://artbydesmond.wordpress.com

The Doc Book Signing Tour

Art -Cover for Blog smaller DBI

Last Saturday, July 26, the signing tour was kicked off with a Book Festival event at the Clovis Book Barn in Clovis. I shared the table with three other authors: Marilyn Meredith, Gary Wayne Walker, and Garner Scott Odell. It was cool for us, but was one of those 106 degree heat wave of a weekend. If you did not make it to that event, here is the schedule:

Branches Books, Oakhurst, Wednesday August 13 – 5:30 PM – Talk and Signing.
Madera County Library, Galloway Room, Friday August 15 – 3:00 PM – Reading and Signing.

Planned events in the works, but dates not set:

Visalia
Fresno Bookstore
Firebaugh Library
Sonora
Merced Barnes and Noble
Modesto Barnes and Noble
Los Banos
Castro Valley
For 2015 year the possible locations are:
Daytona Beach, Florida
Flagler Beach, Florida
Palm Coast, Florida
Crystal River, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Santa Clarita, California
Redding, California
Portland, Oregon
Yakima, Washington
Timothy J. Desmond

Blog at: https://timdesmondblog.wordpress.com
Book Page at: http://timothydesmond.wordpress.com
Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
Art at: http://artbydesmond.wordpress.com

Social Trending

131-3121_IMG
It’s hard to not be aware of the content on either Facebook or Twiiter, as it’s sort of “in one’s face” – as the cliché goes. Also the ATT-Yahoo main news pages, as with others like the drudge site, has the list of what is “trending” at the moment. I know a lot of that is “news” content, and so how does that affect marketing trends? I may be late to understanding a lot about how the digital world works. There is a good discussion on that in Brad Thor’s past previous publication “Black List.” It is also a reason why the NSA and IRS news of late is not really a new item to many in government, publication and digital media minded types.
Related to the trends issue was an item I came across from a friend’s post this morning. The general question was about whether today’s youth really understands the difference between dependence on government healthcare versus the freedom of the marketplace in medicine or other business. Then there was the reference link which was given when I asked for the reference to accompany that post, which I thought was more interesting about the social media subject, and youth trends. Keeping this preamble short, check out this link and piece by Ellis Hamburger. Dated March 1, I still found it timely:
http://mobile.theverge.com/2013/3/1/4049592/the-age-of-the-brag-is-over-why-facebook-might-be-losing-teens
A lot going on and as usual, each new turn raises more questions.

Timothy J. Desmond
Blog at: https://timdesmondblog.wordpress.com
Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
Writing at: http://timsfiction-art.com
Art at: http://artbydesmond.com

PR – Self-PR

Art - cover - For Thou - front
As mentioned before, this series on author PR will be in several parts. The major sections will be: Tips and suggestions, Views and various international POV, Signing events, Talks and media, www, and Self-PR. Not in any particular order, some of the above considerations have less or more copy than others. One author suggests, after the initial flurry of one’s book, to keep one’s name in the public eye. That is, if an opportunity to appear in public, grab it. Also to not limit oneself to your genre or book area, but write for your civic organizations, clubs, organizational newsletters or other venues. Do not limit yourself. For this writer, this led to invitations to submit more articles.
Another writer mentioned that a small newspaper was started in or near the community and was offered a position of writing a column. It was the perfect thing to becoming a local personality. The low or zero pay was negligible compared to the exposure of “author name.”
One author wrote a letter of promotion to a local business where he was a local customer. The business liked it so much they put it in their newsletter. It was a kind of craziness that the provocative letter took on a life of its own. Local media picked up on it too, for that author, priceless PR.
More on Self-PR later.
Timothy J. Desmond
Tim’s Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
Writing site at: http://timsfiction-art.com
Art site at: http://artbydesmond.com

Author Roles

Art - cover The DocIn a recent blog it was said that self publishing and the changing marketing of print books in and by the publishing industry has caused a change in roles of authors. My comment was, “Good piece on growing changes in publishing, authorship, marketing and promotions. If there was a different perception in marketing print books compared to e-books – that now appears to be an illusion. Both versions need the same thing, and that is chatter, access, talk, presence in the blog-i-sphere, social audience and in the multi-media world of the industry we are working in. Keep it up here and on other sites. Thanks again.”
See that whole blog by Jerry D. Simmons here: http://www.writersreaders.com/changing-role-of-the-author/
It seems to me that with one’s new stories, books, or articles, one still must be out there pitching to agents and editors. Self publishing may be a growing role, and carries with it a huge learning curve of what larger publishers deal with and all their needs and problems. What do you think? Do you still need an editor and an agent?
Timothy J. Desmond
Tim’s Amazon author page at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00694KQQO
Writing site at: http://timsfiction-art.com
Art site at: http://artbydesmond.com