I’m that guy.

Posted: December 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

tumblr_lngvopePZw1qzmwcwo1_500

We all know the type. The guy(or gal) who just has a problem following the traditional mold. You hand me a yearbook and I fill the entire page with a guy drinking beer. You tell me flu shots are important, and I tell you I haven’t had the flu since quitting the shots nine years ago. Stubborn, hard-headed or original. You be the judge.

Anyway, I’ve come to realize this translates to writing as well. There are a handful of local authors burning up the trail when it comes to book signings, conventions and author groups at the local library. Again, no can do. If I have to hang up a sign explaining who I am to folks, then I’m just an average guy. That’s why I don’t currently do book signings. Have I had offers? Of course. I’ve had the opportunity to set up in my local Barnes & Noble, turned down an invitation to a local writer’s group and blown off several local newspaper chances. The honest to God reason for all of the above is pretty simple. I don’t write books for recognition. If I ever make it to the platform Stephen King stands on, then yes, I may actually do a book signing or two. Until then, I just don’t see the point. If I’m in a bookstore, I want to read books. Not tell folks why they should be buying mine.

I don’t understand what authors gain from book signings, aside from sitting behind a table and appearing to be fancy? Networking? No, I can network with more potential readers in the span of 30 minutes on social media. Sales? Most authors sell a handful of copies at best. I can sell that while eating ice cream in my underwear. I just love to write. For the longest time I thought it was a hidden persona of mine, but now I know different. Now I understand that I’m a very quiet and secluded author who sometimes has to put on a public face to visit the grocery store. Do I want to be there? No. I’d rather be writing. My characters are my soul and my readers are very important to me. Even by reading this blog, you’re sharing a part of me that remains private to most.

Still, if you hand me a yearbook – expect a picture of a guy drinking beer.

The Gunship Timeline

Posted: December 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

gs1

Book 1, also known as ‘The Flight’, was the first Gunship to publish and featured professional model Amanda Elizabeth as Sarah Blaine on its cover. It’s currently FREE on all major eReading devices!

 

gs2

Book 2, Glimmeria, picks up just days after the conclusion of Book 1. It features crew captain Adam Michaels on its cover.

 

gs3

Book 3, Reflections, takes place nearly a year after Book 2. It follows the crew, though they have went in separate directions, and features champion Vampire Vladris on its cover.

 

gs4

Book 4, Gears and Spears, covers the tales of Roman and Dalton in the form of two short stories. Originally sold as Roman and Geartown, they were eventually packaged together as a single book.

 

gs5

Book 5, Legendary, takes place roughly a year after Book 3 and once again features Sarah Blaine on its cover. This time, however, she’s the Queen of Vampires.

Book 5 had originally been the series finale, but readers demanded more. So, with that in mind, I developed a three book series called The Fleet, which focused around the surviving members of the Gunship and what remained of humanity as it began its search for a new home.

 

fleet1

Book 6, The Fleet, was written for existing fans of Gunship, as well as brand new readers who may have passed on the original story. Hence the ships on its cover rather than a character. Something that Gunship has become infamous for. The Fleet is currently FREE on all major eReading devices!

 

fleet2

Book 7, The Blood War, takes place only days after the first Fleet novel, and focuses on Dalton James as a war with the Viscion is now inevitable.

 

fleet3

Book 8, Chaotic Worlds, picks up right where the last installment left off. It is the most action-packed of the three and rightfully so. War in space is never dull.

 

GunshipAfterworlds

Book 9, The Afterworlds, is the last of the original series. It was also written as the finale, but again, readers demanded more. The Afterworlds is also my personal favorite, as well as the favorite of my fantastic editor. After several heart to heart emails with the editor in question, it was decided that Gunship will continue indefinitely. Either until the day I die, or until the day readers quit asking for more. From the looks of things, I’ll be buried in the ground long before the latter happens.

Gunship has scored THREE #2 spots on the Amazon Kindle for its genre, and at the time of posting this, holds three of the Top 100 spots. As a whole, the series has seen 50K+ downloads and continues to rock the genre of science fiction.

There are several more in the works, but they will not continue in ordered fashion. Gunship: Freedom Blade and Gunship: Benzan Brotherhood have both been announced. As cover art becomes available, this timeline will be updated to reflect it. If you haven’t discovered Gunship yet, the entire original series is now available in a single download with Gunship: Omnibus Edition. Available on every major eReading device!

omnibuscover

 

Amazon KindleB&N NookKoboiTunes

 

 

 

 

Why I don’t do NaNoWriMo.

Posted: December 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

nanowrimo2013

I’m still hearing a lot of chatter about NaNoWriMo on Twitter. I’ve even had some lengthy chats on there with folks who are firm believers in the movement. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Or so I’m told. It’s a movement that is used in the world of writing to motivate folks to write.

Today I don’t want to write. Honestly, I don’t. I stayed up late playing Destiny for the Xbox and even watched a few episodes of The Office. I love that show! This morning I woke to to a beautiful wife and two very energetic children. My backside is dragging. Still, as a full-time author, I know it’s time to write. That’s why I don’t really understand the NaNoWriMo movement? If you have been a part of it in the past and successfully written a book within a single month’s time – why are you not writing professionally?

To me, NaNoWriMo is kind of gimmicky. People need something to be a part of I suppose, I don’t know? I started my own version of NaNoWriMo a while back. It’s called #IfIDontWriteIDontEat and it motivates the hell out of me. If you need a gimmick to keep you motivated when it comes to writing, don’t ever expect to do it for a living. That’s today’s lesson. Because I understand that every single day, brand new authors are arriving by the thousands and in order to continue doing what I love to do, I have to outwork them. Writing professionally is a marathon that never ends. You either continue running or folks who are a bit hungrier will pass you by.

Let that motivate you.

Star Wars – The Force Awakens

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

0f11tumblr_mtaccnIayn1rk53f5o1_500

The force is strong with Disney, and I don’t like it. Yes, I’m about to play Mr. Bad Guy, so strap on your boots. The other night while at Hell Mart(otherwise known as Wal-Mart), the wife comments that she wished something would come along and do away with all of the Frozen items. Yogurt, toys, clothes, bubble gum, nail polish, Christmas cards. You get the idea. Frozen has, in a sense, knocked Duck Dynasty from its high horse and replaced the show’s merchandise. For better or worse, I’ll not offer an opinion on that.

Sadly, Frozen isn’t likely to be knocked from its high horse until the new Star Wars movie releases. I use the term sadly, as we are guaranteed to be blitzed with so much Star Wars merchandise that the sight of it will likely make a vast majority hate the franchise. You will always have the loyal Star Wars fans, yes, but at some point you’re not the coolest guy on the block anymore. Especially when three year old kids are collecting the same hot items you are. Right?

I’ve been vocal about the fact that Star Wars is seriously overrated. Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Doctor Who, Stargate and Jeremiah. All shows with much better writing and very serious staying power, in my opinion. And that required no thought as the names just popped up – meaning there are likely plenty more. But Star Wars has the financial backing of the good old mouse. Like it or not, Star Wars isn’t going anywhere. It’s likely not to include Jar Jar Binks, but does it really matter? The fans of the original three are now the smaller target group and when it comes to making money, Disney is all over it. The movie, its merchandise and overall experience will be tailored to a younger demographic. That’s just how it is. Translation? Plenty of CGI and characters with little to no depth. The same things hardcore fans bitched about with the second trilogy.

So prepare your closets and clear those toy bins. The overpowering shower of child-targeted merchandise is coming soon. Most science fiction fans will be there opening night, helping to fuel the fires of Disney. I will not be. It takes more than the original theme song and a glimpse of Han’s nifty ship to get me in the mood. The eve of children wearing Star Wars pajamas in droves is upon us. Candy, potato chips, soda cans and so many more items targeted to the young demographic are coming. They have been here since day one, but with Disney at the controls – you haven’t seen anything yet.

You’ve been warned young Jedi. And I do mean young. Unless, of course, you’re one of the older guys holding on to the thread-like dream of recapturing the glory days. If that’s the case, I have two words for you.

Battlestar Galactia.

old_computer

 

In case you are new around here, for the past few months I’ve been without the internet. Purposely. Yep, you heard right. The wife and I voluntarily gave up the internet in order to simplify things around here. And I’d like to take a moment to throw out the pros and cons of making such a move.

The pros are just what I thought they would be. As a family, we began watching television(on discs) together again. Once the kids figured out that tablets and streaming media was no longer an option, they seemed to get warm to the alternative very quickly. Meanwhile, the wife and I had lots of fun trying to run down physical copies of television shows we enjoy. We began to spend lots more time together. Things like camping, board games and we even had a night which featured an art contest. One that I’m ashamed to admit I did horribly with. In fact, lots of you may be mulling a life without(or with very limited) internet. I’m here to tell you that it has been just as incredible as I had hoped for – and more.

But, as with everything, living like it’s 1985 has its cons. The biggest drawback for me personally, was the very tough task of staying in touch with my editor(who lives in Spain). Sure, we tweeted back and forth, but when it came time to send and receive files – it was a huge pain. I quickly found myself not missing the other forms of social media at all! Things like Facebook and the pile of other ways to communicate with “friends” became an afterthought. The things folks believe they can’t live without. I did miss Netflix though, I’ll admit to that.

So here I am. Several months later, I am plenty the wiser and I believe our family will carry the internet-free months with us from here on out. We’re still planning blackout nights and things like that, just because we’ve already started to miss life without the internet. I also managed to publish three books during those few months. #Nanowrimo my ass, just unplug the internet. I quickly found the #nanowrimo productivity goal a joke, once the distractions were eliminated.

ZCcover1

Using Keywords When Publishing

Posted: August 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

Unless you’re on Twitter, John remains off grid. Here’s a video blog explaining keywords and how to easily find the best ones for your work. For more tips/ticks on self-publishing, check out the Self-Publishing Survival Guide on Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. – JM/SVP

A Leap Of Faith

Posted: August 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

Folks, tonight at midnight, we(the wife and I) are taking a huge leap of faith. Life without the internet. Not completely, as still have one smartphone that is internet capable, but aside from that we’ll be an internet-free household. I’ll still be able to reply to folks who comment, email and tweet, though it will take a bit longer. I felt going internet-free would help with the writing, having drifted onto the internet(most authors do) when I should have been writing. Some nights, instead of putting in work on the laptop, I found myself online gaming. Unacceptable. My readers deserve the very best I have, and I plan to bring it. My wife has also pointed out my children’s growing need to use the internet/cable. Reading has taken a backseat in our house to children’s television and tablets connected to the internet. Also unacceptable. After talking it over, the wife and I both agree that we refuse to have teenagers one day that “can’t live without their smartphones”.

I’m not sure why I’m blogging this, honestly, it just seems like a huge step. Hopefully a leap into the right direction. A good friend of mine will be handling all of my online accounts(aside from Twitter), and I plan to begin video blogging at some point very soon. Just went out and grabbed a nice HD video camera, and the plan is to podcast whenever I can and then hand the camera over to James for upload. I’ll be writing(hoping for 10-15 pages a day) and when a book is finished, I’ll invade the local Barnes & Noble, hook to their Wi-Fi and upload it to every major publisher. It will give me a chance to go the bookstore more often.

In closing, I just want to say what a blessing writing has been to me thus far. I blindly jumped into the profession back in 2011 and honestly had no idea that I would still be doing it with success in 2014. Eight books, 52k followers and dozens of real friendships later, I feel proud to lay claim to three #2 books on the Amazon Kindle(scifi/steampunk). But my work is not done. I am not done. Getting onto the New York Times Bestseller List seems like a pipe dream to most, but not to me. I have a plan that includes never quitting, working my ass off each and every day and a belief that it CAN be done. A special thank you to the online friends I’ve made over the past few years(you guys and gals know who you are). Without your help, I wouldn’t be halfway to my goal. For every single author/aspiring author out there, I leave you with the single most important piece of advice in the world. The words that I live by daily and the words that have carried me when nothing else seemed to be going right.

Hard work beats talent, when talent refuses to work hard.