Monday, June 27, 2016

The Day Before Hell Arrives


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My new book comes out tomorrow.

In our world of changing political landscapes, increasing cultural tensions, radicalized violence and rampant media hysterics, it's not even a blip on the radar. Even in my tiny pocket of the world, with my oldest starting school in a few months, my wife going back to work full-time soon and our planning of a family vacation halfway across the country, my little book often falls on the back burner.

But in it's own small way, it is important, and I would like to wax poetic about it for a moment if you'll indulge me.

I started Hell Comes to Hogtown in February of last year, when I wrote the first lines in a hardcover black notebook on a bus on my way to work. I eventually wrote the entire first rough draft in that notebook, on that bus. I typed it up on that bus, too, and did countless revisions over the last 16 months with my laptop perched on my knees.

After Ten Thousand Days came out last May, I really looked forward to releasing this one. I felt good about it, that I had learned from my mistakes and that it was going to be much better than Days. I was also wildly optimistic, thinking that I would have it out by Halloween.

That didn't happen, obviously (though I did put out an unrelated short story for October 31). I tried to run a crowd-funding campaign to get Hogtown published through Inkshares.com, but that didn't go very far. I was reminded once again that my network is rather small, and I don't have the time or energy to do the hyperactive marketing required for crowd-funding.

If only I had an army of these guys as fans. Assuming they all have Twitter and Facebook.
My writing "career" is really more of a "hobby," and I'm perfectly okay with that. I know I'm not going to write a national bestseller, or win any awards. I'm not even hoping to write full-time. I just want to put out a book that I can be proud of, that hopefully people will enjoy. If Hogtown sells a few more copies or gets a couple more reviews than Ten Thousand Days, then I will be content. I will know that the work I put into this book was worth it, and that I am improving at writing. That's all I can ask for.

Nothing will change tomorrow when the book comes out. The sky won't open up, the anxiety won't vanish. It will take awhile before numbers and reviews come in, and I will still check my sales rankings and the review pages every day to see what's happening, and that will go on for weeks or months. But there will be a symbolic change, in that all my work of the last 16 months will officially be available for all the world to see. And that, I think is the big deal.

I hope you will check out the book. It's a dark comic horror/urban fantasy kind of thriller, with monsters and comic books nerd and professional wrestling and government conspiracies and gratuitous drug use. It also has a lot of bad words. Like, a lot. Believe me, I completely understand that this won't be for everyone, but I'm okay with that. Just don't say I didn't warn you. If you like Christopher Moore, you'll be in the same ballpark for what I'm going for.


On the surface the story is about the loser night manager at a Toronto comic book store and his best friend, a womanizing pro-wrestler. They accidentally get caught up in a murder/kidnapping case involving the prime minister's family, but through it all they're also being stalked by a creepy demon hobo with an unknown agenda. It's gory and crude and funny, and will hopefully thrill and surprise you along the way.

At the heart though, it's the story of a young man who is unhappy with his place in the world, questioning his choices and his future. Sure, all this crazy shit is happening around him and he could die at any moment, but he's still worried about whether that girl was actually flirting with him or not. And he's still watching out for his best friend, even if he's an arrogant jackass who doesn't give a damn about anything but getting high and laid.

We've all been there, right?

If you read all that and you still think you would be interested in the book, and you're the kind of person who leaves reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, drop me a line or hit me up in the comments and I'll hook you up with a digital copy. Who knows? You might enjoy it.

(Oh, please, I hope you enjoy it)



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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

GUEST POST COVER REVEAL: Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury by L.G. Keltner


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Today I'm helping the lovely L.G. Keltner reveal the cover of her new book,  Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury. I just finished her previous book, Self-Help 101 or: How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family (which she talked about right here back in December) and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to this new book.

I also really love her book titles, but anyone who knows my tastes probably could have guessed that.

How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury is due out in just a couple of weeks, so be sure to mark your calendars to pick it up. Should be a great summer read for a nice laugh at the beach or the cottage. While you're waiting I highly recommend How I Learned to Take Over the World Through Tolerating My Family, or you can check out LG's sci-fi novella A Silent Soliloquy. She's also featured in the Insecure Writer's Support Group Anthology Parallels: Felix Was Here, which I assume all of you have already picked up. (*wink, wink, nudge, nudge*)


THE BOOK!

Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury
Author: L.G. Keltner
Genre: YA/holiday/humor
Length: 25,000 words
Cover Art: L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Release Date: June 28, 2016

Dani Finklemeier has self-published her guide to taking over the world, but she still isn’t rich. Now she’s eighteen, still babysitting for money, and looking forward to starting college in the fall.

Of course, she has to survive a 4 th of July outing with her family first. That’s a challenging prospect considering she has to be in close proximity with a group of cousins known as The Fallible Four. As if that weren’t enough, she also has to deal with the fallout of her parents learning more about her relationship with her boyfriend Seth than she ever wanted them to know.

The good news is that, if she survives this holiday, she’ll have plenty of material for another self-help book.



THE WRITER!

L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband.  Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six.  Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.

Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.

You can typically find L.G. lurking around her blog, on Twitter, or on her Facebook page.


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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fingers Crossed for June (#IWSG)


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The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group here.

May was the first time I missed a IWSG post in a year. I would love to say it was because I was busy celebrating my 36th birthday, but actually it was just a shitty week and I didn't feel like writing anything, not even bitching online.

On Monday I had some major computer glitches and lost 2 months worth of work on my current WIP.  Usually I'm pretty obsessive about backing up my work, but for whatever reason I hadn't made a copy (at least off the laptop) since I had started my final round of major edits and revisions. I guess we all need that reminder every now and then to back-up, back-up, back-up.

On Tuesday my wife got into a car accident with our one-year old in the vehicle. Fortunately they were both okay, but the car was messed up pretty badly. The other driver was charged with reckless driving and our insurance covered everything, but it was still a pretty scary couple of hours while I was stuck home with our other kid, unable to do anything while my wife was dealing with the police on the side of the road somewhere. Not to mention the weeks of dealing with the insurance company that has followed.

Oh and did I also mention an absolutely atrocious meeting I had with my boss in there, too? I won't go into the details on that one, but here's a visual copy of the minutes:


The good news is we've mostly recovered from all those hiccups. I've pretty much finished redoing all the work I lost on my WIP, and I think it's even better this time around. We just got the car back and insurance took care of everything. Except for the over $1000 that we're still waiting for them to pay us back for various things, but whatever, we will get it back eventually. And by then it will come as a pleasant surprise. And work has settled back into a reasonable routine without too much weirdness.

So yeah, May started pretty rough but we're past it now and we're looking forward to the summer (and to finally releasing my new book!) It's a new month, a new page and all that. Onwards and upwards! Huzzah!

Now please enjoy this hypnotic GIF for hours...


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