Last week I told you about 80s Summer Camp, an organization that promotes good mental health through community, fun and positivity, and that they were holding their third annual show online on Facebook this past Saturday.
Well, the show happened, and it was a big hit! Not only did it feature many local performers (some of whom were shockingly good), it also featured some surprise celebrity guest appearances, such as Jim Cuddy from the band Blue Rodeo, legendary children's entertainer Fred Penner, and Order of Canada-recipient and beloved native-Canadian actor and performer Tom Jackson.
(Those are all Canadian celebrities, by the way, I have no idea if my US readers know who they are)
Anyway, by all accounts the show was a big success with several thousand views already. The best part is it continues to live on Facebook (at least until we shut down Mark Zuckerberg for crimes against humanity), and you can watch it at your leisure! Check it out! It's got lots of great music, some fun little skits plenty of positive vibes!
Oh, and if you don't want to watch the whole video for the 45-second promo for my new book (which of course is why you're all here), here it is:
The ad is pretty silly, and I tried to lean into the low-budget-ness of it and make it goofy. I had big plans but significantly less time to make it than I originally thought. Plus I discovered I have significantly less talent at video editing than I though I did. Anyway, I thought it came out fine, and obviously I'm not too embarrassed by it if I'm sharing it here.
Also, 45-seconds is no where near enough time to actually talk about a book (and originally he had asked me for just 30-seconds), so I don't even know if I actually sold anybody on it.
Hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying the weather (just kidding, it's pouring rain here). Anyone else ever make silly promo videos like that?
[80s Summer Camp] is to connect with people and provide them with positivity in the form of music and comedy. In an effort to promote Mental Health Awareness.
Mostly it's an excuse for Keith to share his funny videos and songs, but more than that it's an attempt to fill up our Facebook feeds with positive content instead of the endless dredge of misery we usually get. He actually gets a fair bit of airtime on the news and radio across Canada (especially in Newfoundland and Alberta, where he currently resides), and he's had numerous celebrities put on his t-shirt to endorse his brand and share his message.
Every year he holds a live variety show under the 80s Summer Camp banner, usually in our home town in Newfoundland. However this year the festivities has gone online, for what should be obvious reasons. The show is this Saturday at 1PM Mountain time. Check out the Facebook page for details, and here's the latest promo:
So why am I telling you this, besides a chance to spread a friend's good message? Because if you check it out, you may see a small clip of me in the festivities! Keith asked myself (along with a few other local authors) to send along promos for their most recent books, so you'll get to see me make a fool of myself while I try to hawk PSYCHO HOSE BEAST FROM OUTER SPACE!
So be sure to join us online, will you? And "like" the Facebook page, you're sure to get lots of goodies in your feed if you do.
Today I just want to let you know about a great new release from Chrys Fey and Dancing Lemur Press! Chrys is a friend of the blog (and a fellow member of IWSG) so please take a moment to check out her new book!
Keep Writing With Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout By Chrys Fey
Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!
When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer's Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:
· Writer's block
· Writer's burnout
· What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
· Finding creativity boosts
With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love - writing.
Release date – July 14, 2020
$17.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 256 pages Print ISBN 9781939844729 / EBook ISBN 9781939844736 Writing / Self-Help: Depression – Stress Management
Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series and an editor for Dancing Lemur Press. She started her blog, Write with Fey, to offer aspiring writers inspiration, advice, and hope. At the age of twelve, she started writing her first novel, and since then she has been a dedicated citizen in the writing world.
Okay, so I revealed the cover when I announced the book last week. But I've been having second thoughts. About the cover, anyway.
The cover image I revealed to the world last week was, to be frank, not great. I mean, I've certainly seen worse covers, but I was never really happy with it, and I've since had some pretty negative feedback. Yeah, I get it, it's shitty, I know. But I had also kinda embraced it's shittiness. Which I recognize is not a very good way to do business.
So I went back to the drawing board, and came up with a slightly different version. Check this out:
The original cover was kinda busy, and a bit too literal. Not to mention the images were not quite right. The kids in the silhouette were obviously too old (they're 12-years-old in the book) and the picture of the monster was super cheesy. Still, I liked that it sort of looked like the poster for a cheesy slasher movie, which is what I was going for, but it just didn't look quite right.
The new poster, on the other hand has a few more things going for it. The single image is stronger, and the book literally does start with the discovery of a dead body in a lake. It's also quirky and odd, which matches my writing well. I always have trouble merging horror with comedy on my covers. Most importantly, the overall composition of the image is inspired by a certain album cover, released in 1992 (the same year the story is set):
I'm leaning deep into 90s nostalgia in this book, and music is a big part of it. Music actually figures into the plot in several important ways. To use a cover reminiscent of such an important album of that time period actually seems kinda perfect to me, even if my mediocre design skills can't quite capture what I'm going for exactly.
So what am I doing here? I guess I'm asking for your feedback? Of the two, which cover do you like better? Is the new one better enough to bother changing it? Should I go back to the drawing board and hold out for something even better? Or is the original cover good enough and I should go back to more important stuff? I actually had a couple of people say they liked it, but there was one very vocal detractor who made some excellent points.
To my American readers: I bet you wish you lived in Canada. It's not perfect, but compared to... well, you know.
It's also Insecure Writers Support Group Day, and I've got a lot to feel insecure about, but first the big news:
I'VE GOT A NEW BOOK UP FOR PRE-ORDER!
Newfoundland, Canada, 1992.
Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago. So when Fisheries and Wildlife Officer Dick Jeddore discovers a dead body floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to an accident. But something doesn’t sit right with Jeddore, and he sets out to do some investigating of his own against the wishes of the local police.
Niall and Pius are just a couple of regular boys growing up in Gale Harbour: they like video games and comic books, and are trying to wrap their heads around girls, especially Harper, the tomboyish daughter of Officer Jeddore. When the three of them witness unusual lights in the sky on the same night Harper’s dad finds the body, it sets off a series of events that will change their lives, and the sleepy town of Gale Harbour, forever.
There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is hungry, and vengeful, and a recent storm appears to have released it from its watery prison. Officer Jeddore and the kids are now in a race not only to save themselves, but to find a way to send the monster back before it consumes the town and possibly the entire world...
PSYCHO HOSE BEAST FROM OUTER SPACE is available for pre-order now, exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It's a horror-comedy adventure story in the vein of Stranger Things, and much less obscene than my previous book (I can't really all it "Young Adult," but it's firmly PG-13). The official release date is September 28, 2020. The special pre-order price is only $0.99, too, so grab it early if you can!
Yes, I've finally finished and released a new book into the wild. So why am I feeling insecure? Probably because I'm worried it sucks and no one will like it/buy it. But we all go through those fears, right?
My even bigger fear is due to those four little words at the bottom of that ridiculous cover up there. Did you notice that? It says "Gale Harbour Book One." Book ONE. That means I'm committing to writing more of these, preferably in a timely manner. I'm not a good enough writer for people to wait patiently for years for me to write sequels. I tried to write a sequel to Hell Comes to Hogtown for ages, but it never worked out and I've pretty much given up on it. The Werebear vs Landopus stories come out 12-18 months apart, and they're only 10-20K words apiece. But committing to at least two more full length novels? Hopefully within the next year or two? I'm terrified. And I feel like an idiot for even suggesting it. It's already been four years since I released my last novel. Who the hell do I think I am that I can write two more in less than two years?
The only good news is that I have pretty solid ideas for both book 2 and 3, and I have the first draft of book 2 about half-finished. It helps that I have tons of ideas. The town where the books are based, Gale Harbour, Newfoundland, is basically a fictionalized version of the town I grew up in. The kids in the story are twelve-years-old in 1992. I was twelve-years-old in 1992. While the characters are not based on myself or anyone I knew, most of the settings and situations are ripped right out of my own memories, so it's pretty easy to fill up the pages. I actually had a video call the other day with some of my school friends, and we chatted for three hours about old friends and stories from growing up back home. That call alone gives me material to fill up at least two books (and reminded me of some things I wish I'd included in this one!)
Anyway, yeah, so I hope it doesn't suck. I hope you read it and like it. And maybe leave a review? :-)
How's your day going?
Hugs and kisses,
I haven't had a haircut in a long time...
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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 at http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/.