While Writing The First Draft of A Horror Masterpiece

14 11 2017

vienna-82647_1280Fucking Austrians with their fucking prancy-dancy minuets.

When the vampire has to get a ride home with the werewolf, who drives? What kind of car?

If Van Helsing was Catholic and Jonathan Harker an Anglican, does than mean the Nicean Creed is right? Would a Mormon with a cross repel a vampire? A Unitarian?

Could Satan postpone the Apocalypse until the heat death of the universe?

People usually keep the accent of their youth. Would a 700 year old still have his original accent?

Is “fumagous” a word?

What does rot really smell like?

If my women characters never talk to each other, do I still pass the Bechdel Test?

Are there disparaging names for “Austrians”?

If he’s a wimp on page one, how can I have him do the Insanely Gross Martial Arts Move within a week?

Is it possible for a neurotic character to have a romance and not be Woody Allen?

Can it still be a paranormal romance parody if there is no sex?

If I insult everybody, is it cultural appropriation?

For the cover, do I go with the comical fishhead in front of the naked woman’s abs, or with a man-fish with naked abs?

 

 

 





I Learned About Self-Publishing From 50 Writers — Launching My Series (A Repost)

2 11 2017

My website URL lapsed and I had to get back online. Here’s the post that everyone missed:

I am launching a three book series in Spring of next year.

The first book has the working title “Lampreyhead”.

 

Sea-lamprey-head-detail

Designing the plush toy giveaways is going to be a challenge.

 

You may see short stories with the character Lampreyhead in my Bibliography page, but these books will not have the frantic Animaniacs energy. There would be no way to sustain that pace over three books at 100K words without burning the audience out.

It will be about vampires, and it will be funny, hopefully intelligent, insightful, and yes a tad gruesome. Think “Clive Barker and Christopher Moore, or maybe Neil Gaiman with a Christian fixation”.

If it makes me happy, I will expand the series. I will be self-publishing, because I lack the hide to deal with agency submissions.

As I proceed with the publication process, I’ll update as to what decisions I’ve made.

For the past two years, I’ve been listening to self-publishing podcasts:

“The Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast” with Lindsay Buroker

“The Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast” with Simon Whistler

I listened to well over fifty writers give their advice on self-publishing.

What I learned:

  • Have at least three books in your series ready to launch. Release the books one month at a time, then have your next material in the series ready for Month Four.
  • Use simple, all-inclusive publishing solutions. Use someone who will format, publish, and distribute. Adjust and optimize to your market as you learn particulars.
  • In self-publishing, e-books lead print in sales.
  • Have a mailing list ready at the time of publishing. Use a third-party service to gather new fans.
  • The cover art should cost as much as the publishing. Use experienced cover artists who have worked in your genre. If you publish print versions, your book title should be readable from ten feet away.
  • Draft and redraft your blurb. Have others review it. Favor a sympathetic character over action or idea. Use other writers’ as guideposts: “if you like Clive Barker, yet get a laugh out of Christopher Moore…”.
  • For promotion, use story excerpts over reader reviews.
  • The number of reviews on Amazon or Goodreads help, but are not essential to good sales.
  • Provide new material for sale at least once per month per series. Even a short story or excerpts of WIPs will do.
  • Use pseudonyms only to separate family-friendly material from racier series. Otherwise, pen names multiply promotions needing upkeep with no multiplier in reward.
  • The effectiveness of an advertising tool can change weekly. An ad tool’s effectiveness varies widely between genres. The only reliable promotional tool at this moment is the mailing list.
  • On your website, your mailing list prompt should not block the text or stop navigation. I know when a site pops up asking for an email, I get angry and click away from the site. Apparently, I’m not the only one with that reaction. Keep your mailing list prompt to the sidebar.
  • In your books, place your Acknowledgments and Dedication on the last pages; this makes more space for story text in the Amazon “Free Sample”.
  • On the last page, place active links to sales pages for previous publications and your mailing list, followed by “Please leave a review at Amazon or Goodreads” with links.
  • Do not bother with Book Bub until the third book of your series is released, and even then only if sales are noteworthy.
  • Do not bother advertising on Twitter.
  • Set sales price at $2.99 unless the book is 100K words or more.
  • Reduce the price of Book One to .99 when Book Two is released. Do not give away books for free.
  • Do not hesitate to change your book cover if you think it will increase sales.

 

I am most of the way through first draft of Book One. I’ll update you every week as to how things are progressing, and if you’re interested in beta reading, coo. Let me know and I’ll be glad to help you out in whatever way I can.

Let’s have some fun!

 

 

 

 





Colonel Sanders and the Demonic Lover

1 06 2017

I love the conjunction of genres and the taming of monsters that occurs in paranormal romance, and much of OGOM’s research centres on this. The demon lovers of paranormal romance range from vampires (of course), through faeries, angels, and werewolves; the odder candidates include mermen, gargoyles, and even ghosts and zombies. But the monstrous lover…

via Colonel Sanders and the Demonic Lover — Open Graves, Open Minds





Story Prompts: Megadeath to Survival

15 08 2016

A star gone supernova 4000 years ago could scorch a hemisphere in the next minute with very little warning. Old news for astronomers and the paranoid. What would that be like having everything going up in toast where you are right now? How about now? Now?

hzxyfr3rabq5q7sacvwk

What if you had been in a parking garage? How would you live once you saw what happend? After a year, everything would start growing back and the rest of the world would only start on the fringes of the Doom Zone. Memorize these videos. The lack of narration makes them strangely restful.

 

Scavaging for civilization would be deadly dangerous. Identifying warning logos would have been burnt away. The rewards for finding the correct gasses would be great as they could be used for everything from air conditioning to fuel to weapons against rival gangs. Here’s a fellow who knows all of the uses at “Things I Won’t Work With”. Touch the deadly molecule to learn more.

272px-CL-20.svg_

 





We Are Fashion Meat: A Disquieting Pause

27 07 2016
tattooed_jacket_2

You Could Cover Your Butt With Your Own Butt! Chuck Tingle Take Note!

Fa-Fa-Fa-Fashion!

In his famous song, not even David Bowie could forsee the newest trend in high-end coverings: Using somebody else!

A fashion student plans to culture skin cells donated by designer Alexander McQueen and sell it as couture.

The artist made this announcement to generate buzz for her vat-grown leather biology patents. At most, she would want to create her Original McQueen for art exhibits a la Body Worlds or the Mutter Museum. This discounts its horrid potential. What is fashion but a challenge to the status quo?

F. Paul Wilson presents a woman who rises to that challenge in his short story “Foet”. Fashionistas create underground couture handbags made from the skin of aborted fetuses. The implication: If aborted fetuses truly aren’t people, then why not treat them as product? The woman overcomes her squeamish morals when presented with the butter-smooth avant garde. Problem: Body Worlds is already making art with volunteer human exhibits. Volunteer fashion wear by Body Worlds should take about twenty years, I think.

In the movie “Antiviral” by Brandon Cronenberg, it becomes fashion to cultivate viruses caught from pop culture performers. When a virus reproduces, it uses the DNA of its host to make new copies of itself. If you catch a flu from Alex Trebek, part of the Jeopardy host is made a permanent part of your dna. Used kleenexes from singers and actors become hot commodities for fans who are the ultimate wannabes. The wealthy and insane will want to spread some love too.

The first vaccines for this affluenza will be for the first outbreak of Kardashian Flu. Sorry, the vaccines will be issued by the CDC, not Starfleet.
“Antiviral” also posits restaurants specializing in food products vat grown from leading pop culture icons. Not only could you eat, drink, savor your fave superstar’s biological flavors, you can choose from different ages. At age 50, Is Bruce Willis tougher than at 20? Can you taste adrenaline in Rihanna before she divorced Chris Brown?
If you bois want to sex up Miley Cyrus, you can! Pleather sex toys embossed with Miley’s DNA arrive in just a few years. I’ll be ordering from the Sasha Grey collection, myself. Grrls can enjoy intimacy of devices with authentic moves thanks to motion capture programming in the devices a.i.. First male celeb with these dna embossed toys: an NBA All-Star, but the genes will be pirated. Or will they? 😉

Patent your genomes now, because the laws are gray and shady regarding who owns development rights to your sequence. Is it you? The doctor who got you to sign something? The company who cultured you into a multi-billion dollar industry a la Henrietta Lacks? Or if someone just happens to find your dandruff, do they get Rights-of-Salvage if those flakes are unclaimed?

Uplifted, uploaded, post-human, trans-human, all flesh is on display, up for grabs, and ready to sell. Be sure to cover your ass or someone will sell it out from under you!





Famous Writing Advice With My Addendums

21 06 2016

Write what you know. Your life is a great place to start. You have something you are doing that no one else knows about, like a job or location or life challenge. Start there.

Write what you know. Be sure to talk to lots of people so you know more.

Write what you know. So write about monsters you invent, because who’s going to argue?

Monsters shouldn’t glitter unless they kill people with glitter.

Write things that would embarass your mother. This may not work if your mom likes the Kardashians. If your mother has no shame, try for “dismay” or “repulse”.

The best subtext is unintentional. That is, if you write to convey a message, that message will consume everything — characters, plot, and eventually your ability to interest others. Those you wish to persuade will dismiss you for preaching and those who agree with you will think you’re a dilletente and ignore you. Write your story. If you realize, hey, this story is awkward and makes me look nuts, then work with that. Embrace it. There is a market filled with people who are also awkward and nuts.

Remove as much as possible from your story, especially if you’ve seen it before in other stories. That goes double if you are writing a pastiche or a monster that’s been done.

Writing is not theraputic. Speaking with a cleric, health professional, or mature friend is theraputic. Writing can improve you the writer if you write with the idea that you the writer are wrong and have been for many years. That is “cathartic”. You may have a really good story when you’re done, too.

If you wish to inspire with your writing, make sure your conflicts and antogonist are treated with respect.

Everyone disagrees. Even twins disagree. In theory, clones raised in identical circumstances would disagree. Your character has to do impress you and also make you facepalm.

Even locations have character arcs. Game of Thrones wouldn’t have worked in a thriving, newly born empire. If Salem’s Lot had been a vitalized town filling with immigrants or yuppies, Barlow would have been burned before his antique store opened.

 





Human Gene Cheese: Unsettling Questions

4 01 2015

Read this article! Here it be!

Questions!

1) What DNA source was used? Yes. I am talking about that.

2) Is this cannibalism, or cannibalism’s newborn cousin “can-nosh-alism”?

3) How the hell is something made from people called “vegan friendly”? Answer: The DNA is from a friendly vegan!

4) Is it cannibalism if the donor is still whole, unharmed, and a volunteer?

5) Imagine its creamy texture? On your tongue warm and rich? In your Four Cheese Macaroni? Have you achieved “eww” yet?

6) If a more highly advanced civilization came and bought the rights to manufacture this, what would the logo look like?

7) Would a generation starship use this as an option?

8) What do you think the “food replicators” have been using in Star Trek? Why do you never see anyone who works in the cafeteria of the Enterprise?

9) If a civilization is uplifted, or goes through The Singularity, that civilization would be “post-food”. Eating would be merely a sensory experience. If nothing is food, then couldn’t anything be considered “a gourmet flavor experience”?

10) Would those people without benefit of Ultimate Technology be considered food for the gods? How long before condos are built in the stockyards?

11) Are there experience-based economies in the universe? How many quadloos to savor a human?

12) Would a person with an especially savory gene sequence have to litigate to retain rights to his recipe?

13) Would the departed by cultivated in tubs to be savored wistfully on a rainy day?

14) What would the bagels be made from?

 

 








%d bloggers like this: