Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A Good, Bloody Time on the Mountain

Enter The Night is complete. I made the corrections that my proofreader suggested. This one's straight up horror. It's got creepy, abandoned buildings, escaped psychopaths, and a brutal storm that's bearing down on the characters.

I had fun writing this one and creeped myself out a few times (usually a good sign).

I'll be uploading it to Kindle and other e-book platforms soon. Trying to come up with a release date so I can build a little anticipation over it.

Here's the a draft of the cover copy for Enter the Night:


They came to the mountain to hunt ghosts. They ended up as prey.

The Iron Mountain Asylum once housed the criminally insane. The worst of the worst. Four men escaped the asylum and were never caught. The legends grew. Some said they lived on the mountain, killing anyone who crossed their path.

The contestants on a reality show called Enter the Night are about to find out if the legends are real. Six people. Non-stop filming. A week exploring the abandoned asylum and the military base near the mountain. The contestants will find out that there are things far more frightening on the mountain than ghosts.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Draft of Horror Novel Finished

The draft of Enter the Night is finished. I gave it an edit and now it's off to the proofreader. I'll be posting excerpts from it in the coming weeks.

I'm about 25 pages into writing The Last Ride. I initially envisioned it as a novella, but it has the potential to become a full novel. I've been working on this one longhand in my notebooks. I'm finding there's less distraction from social media and the writing's going well.

Got in a workout this morning and finished up a Batman sketch I was working on.

Hoping to see A Quiet Place next week. We have our tickets for Infinity War and are going opening night.

I just read James Scott Bell's How to Write Pulp Fiction. Currently reading Screenwriting Tricks for Authors by Alexandra Sokoloff. It never hurts to brush up on craft techniques, no matter how many books and stories you've written.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Writing Update 4/5/18

I have about twenty pages left to edit on Enter the Night. My plan to release it in late February got delayed due to some family issues. Should have it for sale by month's end.

The Last Ride, my apocalyptic novella (that very well might turn into a novel) is moving along. Getting a good chunk of writing done longhand by working on lunch breaks, etc.

Currently reading: The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

There's a number of movies I'd like to see. A Quiet Place and You Were Never Here are among the current releases. Looking forward to Infinity War, Solo, and Deadpool 2 in May.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Writing Books That Will Improve Your Craft

I took a glance at my office bookshelf and figured I'd post about the writing books that are on my shelf/Kindle. This is by no means a complete list, but these are some of the books that helped me along the way. I still refer back to them.


1. Stein on Writing and Grow Your Novel by Sol Stein

2. The Kick Ass Writer by Chuck Wendig (Wendig also has a number of other writing books out, some of them in list form. All have great advice)

3. Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell (any of Bell's writing books are excellent). I also recommend The Art of War for Writers.

4. Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain

5. How to Write a Selling Screenplay by Christopher Keane

6. How to Write Page Turning Scenes by Holly Lisle (Lisle also has several other good books available on writing)

7. The 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge by Rachel Thompson (Thompson's website is also full of great tips for marketing and promotion)

8. The Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes by Raymond Obstfeld

9.  Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time by  Jordan Rosenfeld

10. Zen and the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

11. A Writer's Tale by Richard Laymon

12. The Right to Write by Julia Cameron

13. On Writing by Stephen King

14. Self Editing For Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King



Wednesday, March 07, 2018

45 and Beyond

I turned 45 this past Sunday. My wife took me out and we had a nice dinner at the Griffon Gastropub in our hometown. She also made pizza and tacos over the weekend, plus some amazing cupcakes. The only damper on the whole thing was the hacky/phleghmy/cold/flu thing that latched on to me. I'm feeling better today and planning to put the finishing touches on Enter the Night.

At 45 I haven't gotten where I've wanted to be, writing-wise. Yet. I thought I was on my way in the world of traditional publishing at one point. I had sold my first novel, started working with a well-known agent, and got a two book deal from my publisher after the first. The relationship with the agent didn't go anywhere. I tried writing a thriller that was honestly the worst book I've written. A little lesson: You can't write a book from some template in a how-to book, which is what I tried at the time. Any instructional book that promises you'll be able to write a blockbuster novel is likely full of crap. Write true and write what you love.

I went indie shortly after that. It's had its ups and downs. The sales aren't where I'd like them to be, and some days it seems like every other writer on the planet is doing better. But I love the freedom and knowing I can write whatever I want, whenever I want.

At 45, I'm not there yet. I'm hoping to have many more years to write stories. With any luck, there are many miles to go and lots of stories still to tell. I'm going to keep writing and putting stuff out there. We'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Horror Novel Nears Completion

Enter the Night is around 51,000 words. I have a few more scenes to write, and it will be done. Then it's an edit before passing it on to the proofreader.

I gave away a couple copies of The Damage Factory to some coworkers. They seemed excited to read it, and I hope I gained a few fans.

Saw Black Panther over the weekend and enjoyed it. Another solid entry in the Marvel universe. Great to see some strong female characters on screen, as well.

I've also done some preliminary work on The Last Ride, an apocalyptic novella. Mostly stuff in a notebook on breaks at work. I'll be ramping that one up as soon as I'm done with Enter the Night. 



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Writing Update 2.18.18

I'm coming down the home stretch with writing Enter the Night. It's at about 47,500 words. I'm shooting for just over 50K words, although it might go a little longer. I also started writing a novella set in a flu-ravaged, apocalyptic world. It's called The Last Ride, and I hope to have it on sale sometime this spring.

I watched The Cloverfield Paradox on Friday night. It's been getting hammered by critics, from what I've read. It wasn't terrible, but it felt like a generic sci-fi movie to which they tacked on the Cloverfield universe. I liked the other two Cloverfield movies quite a bit (Cloverfield is one of my favorite monster movies), so this one was a disappointment.

I've been toying with the idea of setting up an Etsy shop for my drawings. Still not sure about that yet, but I suppose there's nothing to lose, and it's relatively cheap to list items on their site.

On the artwork front, I've continued with LOTR-themed drawings. This is a recent one I did of the Witch King. I took a picture of it on our dining room table. There's a bit of placemat visible on the right hand side. I'll either edit that out or take a new pic if I put this up for sale.


Sunday, February 04, 2018

Writing Updates 2.5.18

I've hit the 43,000 word mark on Enter the Night. I should be wrapping up the first draft this month. I've begun some preliminary work on my next release, tentatively titled The Last Ride. It's a novella set in post-apocalypse America, and I like the premise. It should be a faced-paced, action filled read.

No huge plans for "The Big Game" tonight. Am I allowed to say Super Bowl? Are the NFL lawyers reading this? The family and I are going to eat snacks and hope for a Patriots loss and some decent commercials.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Writing Update 1.21.18

Enter the Night is at 37,380 words. My previous word count was a little off. It wasn't at 36,000, but 34,000. I was going off the top of my head with that count. Didn't get much writing done last week between Tuesday and Friday, as we had a crazy week. Got back at it on Saturday morning and rolling again today.

We've been watching the Marvel movies from the past 3-4 years in preparation for Infinity War coming out in May. My son suggested we catch up on the movies, and I've enjoyed watching them. We watched Guardians 2 on Friday night.

Currently reading Kill Kill Kill by Mike Leon and The Force by Don Winslow. I typically keep one Kindle book on my phone and another on my Kindle Fire.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Writing Updates 1.13.18 (And a little artwork)

I don't have an exact word count to post right now because my One Drive App is updating files at the moment and I'm waiting. Enter the Night is at around 36,000 words.

Someone at work came up to me and told me they didn't know I was an author. It's always kind of fun with this happens. Even better is when they say something like: "You write about serial killers? I love that shit!" Hoping I made a new fan.

Didn't get to any writing last night, but I did finish this pen and ink drawing of a certain wizard.



Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Writing Update 1.9.18

The draft of Enter the Night is at 33,672 words. Tonight I wrote a scene where one of the bad guys shows up at the lodge with his bow and arrow. Mayhem ensues.

The temperatures are back to "normal," after hovering around zero for the past week. It's in the thirties. Not exactly flip flop and shorts weather, but better than the deep freeze.

I also started a novella called The Last Ride. Just getting going on this one so far.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Writing Update 1.04.18

Continued work on Enter the Night. The current word count stands at 30,836.

I'm currently reading Chuck Wending's Damn Fine Story. Chuck has a number of excellent writing books available. Plus, he uses plenty of examples from Die Hard in Damn Fine Story to emphasize story techniques.

It's damn cold in the Buffalo area. There are over 300 schools and business closed for tomorrow. Going to try and stay warm.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Writing Goals for 2018

We spent a quiet New Years Eve at home with the kids, which is what my wife and I enjoy doing. We had drinks, snacks, and played Cards Against Humanity.

I hit 29,000 words on Enter the Night. I'm hoping to have a draft done by early February.

Dean Wesley Smith has a great blog post up about writing goals for 2018.

In looking at some of Dean's suggestions, I'm going with trying to hit a minimum word count of 250,000 for the year. That comes out to 685 words a day. I'm actually shooting for 750-1,000 words per day. I'm going to blog my progress here, also another one of Dean's suggestions.

I still think the best marketing is to get more of your work out there. That's the plan for 2018. I may also write some additional short stories on breaks at work. I'll see how this all pans out.


A Good, Bloody Time on the Mountain

Enter The Night is complete. I made the corrections that my proofreader suggested. This one's straight up horror. It's got creepy, a...