Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Back From Vacation: Boo, boo! Hiss!

Just got in from my vacation in the Florida Keys last night. It was such a shock to return to cloudy skies and temps in the high 40s. I miss the sun and warmth.

However, I was able to finish the first draft of The Old Royal. I started my first editorial pass early during our trip. I thought I would probably get through it while I was away. Boy, was I wrong! I only made it through thirty pages. Not even a dent. Perhaps I need to reconsider my mid-to-late-January release. Oh well. Fortunately, this week at work is slow. With everyone taking their vacations, it's a virtual ghost town. Hopefully, I'll get a lot accomplished with the revision process.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Feet Hurt: An Update Status

Hi everyone!

I hope your holiday season is progressing happily along. This title pretty much summarizes how I feel. Not trying to be whiny (that'd be a horrible of me since I am fortunate enough to be in a nice location), but my feet really do hurt. We're staying just off the main drag, Duval Street, only three blocks from South Beach. Whenever we go anywhere, we walk. I've walked from one end of Key West to the other. I got to see Hemingway's house, the southern-most point of the continental US, Highway 1's zero mile-marker, Mallory Square, Higgs Beach, etc. And, my feet are sore.

I've taken an ass-load of pictures and hope to take more. There's so much here to see and do! This morning, I laid out on South Beach and read some of Duane Swierczynski's, The Wheelman. So far...Awesome! I'm completely loving it. This guy can spin an engrossing crime story.

However, the best thing about this trip so far, aside from the typical vacationy stuff and time with family, is the part where I finished the first draft for The Old Royal. I thought I would have completed it two days ago. God knows I was at the finale when I'd left off at home. But, I didn't want to rush it, so I took my time, thought it out, and wrapped it up yesterday. Now, I've got about six days to try to complete an editorial pass through it. I think I can squeeze in the time for that. If not, I'm going to make the time. I'm still shooting for a mid-to-late January release for the book. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

I hope everyone's holiday season is great! Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hello, Vacation!

So, tomorrow morning, we're leave for the Florida keys where we will spend our Christmas vacation. I can't wait. I've got my swimming shorts packed, plenty of short and t-shirts, my camera (for plenty of pictures I plan to share with you all), my cell phone, which also has my Kindle app (so I can read plenty of crime fiction), and my laptop so I can finish working on The Old Royal, which, by the way, is near completion.

Currently, I'm reading Victor Gischler's Suicide Squeeze. So far, it's freaking awesome! Gischler's the man! I've also packed Duane Swierczynski's paperback, The Wheelman, which sounds like a kick-ass book. I hope I'm not disappointed by it. Something tells me I won't be.

I've been looking at pictures of Key West and they look beautiful, an island paradise. I imagine there will be plenty of photo opportunities. We'll see. Like I said, I plan to share a lot of the pictures I take with everyone when we return, but I don't want to even think of coming back when I haven't even left yet.

While there, I'll wrap up the first draft of The Old Royal. I worked on it quite a bit today and have reached the climactic end. I'm giddy with anticipation of its conclusion and I doubt you'll be disappointed. Of course, once I finish it, I'll start in on the editing. Yuck. That's the part I dread the most, but I'm excited about getting it out of my head and onto the page. I want it to be the best story yet. Let's keep our fingers crossed that I do it justice in the editing phase. Right now, I'm just daydreaming of sitting on the beach as the sun sets over the ocean (snapping some pictures, of course) and working on my story. Reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway, but with more of a Raymond Chandler twist. What can I say? I love crime fiction.

So, here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanza, Happy Chanukkah...(whatever your preference, please don't be offended if I left one out) from the Keys.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cover sneak peek: The Old Royal

Okay, I know I said in an earlier post that I planned to provide a sneak peek of the cover to my newest novel, The Old Royal, sometime early next year. Well, all that's changed. I'll show you the cover, but first I have to divulge some back story about it. The back story is important to me. If you don't care about it, just scroll down to view the cover.

Truth is, I can't wait. I've spent most of today working on the story. I'm nearing the 250 page mark with the first draft. I know. I know. A cover sneak peek seems premature when I haven't even finished the first draft. Here's another truth, I'm excited as hell about this book! I vow to finish it as soon as I can (obviously, I plan to make it the best story I can, otherwise I wouldn't waste my time).

Before settling down to write this morning, I spent a little time working on what I want the book cover to look like. What can I say? This is how I help motivate myself when it comes to writing my stories. There's always opportunities for the self-doubt bug to settle in and deter a writer from finishing a WIP. Well, to combat that, I find that tweaking book covers, inside matter (e.g. chapter headings and layout formats), and mulling over the plot looking for new conflict and resolutions help me stay excited about a work-in-progress.

Something you may not know: The Old Royal is a novel I started writing back in 2009. My wife thought the concept was original and interesting. In short, she was excited about me writing it. However, I was bitten by that self-doubt bug and got a bad case of the complacencies. The story became stale and I didn't want to write it any more. I set it aside and eventually forgot about it. I attempted to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but just didn't feel ready to write the story I had in mind. I reset and began writing a new story. That one wasn't ready for me to tell either. Stories just seem to do that. One minute they seem hot and ready to play, the next moment, they're giving you the cold shoulder. It's rough.

Flustered, I decided to withdraw from NaNoWriMo. I knew I wasn't going to cross the finish line, so what was the point? I looked back through some of the stories I'd started and abandoned. I came across The Old Royal and pitched the plot to the guys I work with. They expressed a keen interest in it. Hell, one of them even said, "If I read that synopsis, I'd buy it!" That was enough to renew my interest and stoke the fires of motivation for me to continue writing it.

Since resuming the story, I found that I was able to get over the plot hurdle where I had dropped the ball. Motivation is a cool thing like that sometimes, stripping away the blinders leaving you with a clearer view for the solution to a problem. I'm plugging away happily and hope to have this book ready for publication early next year. Hopefully, very early. Say, January-ish.

The Old Royal is a story about time-travel, the old adage about the grass not always being greener, love and love lost, realizing one's dreams, and a lot of embedded short stories. I won't tell you too much, because I don't want to give anything away. Besides, you can read the synopsis on the back flap, which is all displayed in the image below. Now, without further ado, here is the cover...

Comments and criticism are welcome. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Don't count on Santa Claus this year!

It looks like Santa Claus will be, er, tied up this holiday season. However, all is not lost! Why not give the reader in your life the gift of horror. My anthology is available digitally and in paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Did I mention they were cheap? Hey, look at that, a double bonus: cheap and available without incarcerated Santa's help.

If the reader in your life enjoys crime fiction, then my novel, Majoring in Murder is also available digitally or in paperback from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Act now through Smashwords and you can purchase the digital version of Majoring in Murder for only $2.99 by using the coupon code, VF76C. Hurry before this offer expires on 12/15!