Category Archives: novel plans

After the Last Novel

Me completing a page of my graphic novel, Hidden Kingdom.

I finished a novel this last week. But my health is poor, and there is definitely no guarantee that I will have a chance to complete another. So, what if that was my last novel?

To be clear, I’m okay with whatever comes next. I am not afraid to die. I don’t regret anything I have ever done in my life. And if I have a stroke or a heart attack (myocardial infarction is too funny of a phrase to use here, so don’t read inside the parentheses) tomorrow, I will be satisfied that my life is complete. I have written good books, and I have done good work.

But I do still have novels written in my head. One of the oldest completes the character arc of Milt Morgan (See portrait on the left, and you are allowed to read inside these parentheses.) The story is called The Wizard in his Keep.

It is the story of Milt as an adult, a lonely, unmarried, and unloved man, taking the newly orphaned kids of his childhood friend’s sister and spiriting them away to a secret world, and his friend, Brent Clarke, the FBI agent, Tracking him down to retrieve the Clarke’s kin.

There is also a novel in me about the grown-up adventures of Sherry Cobble-Clarke. It completes her story. She is trying to connect with her new stepson while having to bring her new husband together with her two twin daughters, Tandy and Mandy Clarke.

It is a novel called A Field Guide to Fauns. And it is set entirely in a nudist park.

I am also underway with the third book in the re-write of my sci-fi comedy novel AeroQuest.

But whatever else I can get completed is gravy on the meatloaf that is my literary legacy. Who even knows if anyone cares? But I will do what I can do, and then the best that I can do will be did and done.

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Filed under humor, novel, novel plans

Hawking Books

My book advertised here is the best book I have that hasn’t gotten a single reader yet. I am trying to promote it by giving out free Kindle e-book copies for free this weekend. That tactic is supposed to generate readers and reviews. So far, two days in, only one free book has been selected by anybody on Facebook, Twitter, or here on WordPress. I mean, even clicking on a free book and then never reading it helps me as a marketer. But I am not getting any of that.

I did better with Recipes for Gingerbread Children, especially the first two days. But I admit, even though it shares a time, parts of a plot, and characters with The Baby Werewolf, it is a better book.

But tying the two books together has no visible effect.

I will, however, keep trying. I have other good books to promote as well as this one. Perhaps people are too afraid of werewolves to buy it, even for free.

Click on this if you’d like a free e-book. Every single one clicked on helps.

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Filed under horror writing, humor, novel, novel plans, Paffooney, publishing, Uncategorized

Ad Campaigns

I have been running free-book promotions on Twitter and Facebook with limited results. But people are reading my books. Now that I will soon have 14 books published and available on Amazon, I can run one free-book promotion per month, as the author’s right to run that sort of promotion without paying for it renews every three months for each individual book.

This month I am promoting The Baby Werewolf for the first time.

Here’s a run-down of the previous promotions.

So, as a reminder, the next promotion I am trying this next week is for the novel The Baby Werewolf.

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Staying Published

I am no longer willing to rely on the definition of the words, “traditional publishing”, anymore. My book, Magical Miss Morgan, is now out of print because Page Publishing has a need to charge me for keeping my book on their Print-on-Demand paperback book machine and in their e-book database . I paid those parasites to edit and publish my book. They made money off a totally incompetent job of editing, trying to pass off incorrect proofreading whose corrections all had to be re-corrected by me. Their publishing consisted basically of buying me an ISBN number and providing the same level of publishing services as Amazon does for free.

The cover was basically designed by me. I did the drawings and photoshopped them onto the background. They provided the the Title/Author graphic.

So, really, I paid them close to three thousand dollars for things I had to do myself anyway.

Well, I own the rights completely to the formatted manuscript and the cover. I spent three months getting it all legally returned to me, which they could’ve done in a week if my case manager hadn’t gotten married in the middle of the process. I am obviously not entitled to special treatment of any kind, since I wasn’t willing to pay their pointless maintenance fees.

I will now republish this book on Amazon and never again publish anything where I rely on anybody but me in the process. It is a very good story about a Middle School English teacher who is a combination of me and a female colleague who was a very gifted teacher. It also tells a tale of making reading assignments such a magical experience that fairies invade your classroom. It was a contest novel that didn’t win anything but made it to the finals in the judging. Nobody reads my books because I have no means of effectively marketing them, but this is one of my best and deserves to be available for as long as I can make it so.

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Filed under fairies, feeling sorry for myself, humor, novel, novel plans, Paffooney, publishing

The End Shall Come…

As a novelist in poor health, every time I start a new story, already worked out in my head or not, it becomes a race to finish. My time is limited because I simply cannot last for very much longer. My body is failing, and each step on the path of life hurts and is hard to take. Like Icarus above, I am flying dangerously high and possibly too near the Sun. The novel The Boy… Forever, in which Icarus Jones is the key character, is swiftly coming to a close. The villain has already died the first time, and the hero is approaching the orb of the Sun. I am hoping to have it published within a month of right now, and hopefully long enough before my own rendezvous with the Son comes to pass.

This will be book number fourteen that I have published. It is already four novels more than I had realistically believed I could publish before six incurable diseases and the prospect of cancer, heart attack, and stroke that I have lived with since 2000 all does me in.

Ironically, this book that I am racing to finish before I die is about characters who are immortal, or make themselves immortal by consuming the essence of other immortals. And, of course, it is also another Pirate novel, feature the Norwall, Iowa 4H softball team and liars’ club that has a part in most of my other novels whether they are set in the 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s.

Brent Clarke is the leader of the Norwall Pirates.
Anita Jones, Icarus’s cousin, is one of the novel’s four narrators.

The novel is currently 49,685 words in 160 formatted pages. It will be finished by about 52,000 words. I hope to have it complete by the middle of next week.

Further I figure to start another novel project immediately afterwards. Who knows how many more I can achieve before the end shall come.

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Filed under humor, illness, novel, novel plans, novel writing, Paffooney

Promoting Novels

Three times now I have run a promotion with my best novels (available through Amazon) and have had limited results. But I am trying again for Christmas. While most everybody I advertised to on Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress thanked me for the link, only a handful actually went to the trouble of visiting Amazon and clicking on the free e-book. Some of my Iowegian friends probably weren’t clear on the idea of e-books, especially if they didn’t personally own a Kindle or an I-pad. But I have discovered the promotion is worth doing. The first time involved Snow Babies. I went on Twitter and sent links to writer friends hoping for a hit or two. Apparently only one person got the e-book for free and went on to read it, but she loved the book, told me it should be a classic of YA Literature, and gave it a five-star review.

My second book promotion, for Recipes for Gingerbread Children, did about the same tepid amount of free-book clicks for probably the same reasons. Although you can plainly see it may not have been wise to allow some of the reviewers from the fairy world to have a say in the promotion of this book. Fairies are not wild about having their existence outed, and Iowegians and Texicans don’t really appreciate it when you use irony for stuff.

Still, because it had two nudist characters in it, I also advertised it on https://www.clothesfreelife.com/, and so it got interest from the group of naturist writers who frequent that site. A gentleman by the name of Ted Bun got a copy and reviewed it with a five-star review even though it isn’t really a book about nudism. (Yes, I know some kinds of fairies prefer not to wear clothes, but they don’t count as nudists because they are not human.)

Still, it’s a five-star review by a fellow writer, someone whose books are also very well worth reading. https://www.amazon.com/Ted-Bun/e/B01BVG6NVQ?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1575829016&sr=8-1

This past November I was able to promote another of my favorite books, Sing Sad Songs, with another Amazon free promotion.

It generated the same tepid response, even though it was free, but it got another five-star review. It was Ted again, but I have come to value his opinions looking at others of his reviews online and on https://www.goodreads.com/ . So, I have had a total of five five-star reviews on books I have written, all but one by fellow authors. Three of them came about by doing these book promotions. I only have five-star reviews on any of my books that have been reviewed. So, that’s good, right?

What does it mean? Well, nudists really seem to like my books. And nobody who read any of my books and hated it, hated it enough to write a review. And other writers of other novels seem to recognize something they really like about my work.

So, unless Amazon changes their minds about letting me use Snow Babies as a Christmas promotion, I will try again this coming week. Maybe I can get nudists to like that book too, even though there is no nudism in it… only a very cold and deadly blizzard.

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Filed under humor, novel, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, publishing

Writing and Netflix

Like many writers, I have a plethora of weird voices in my head, constantly criticizing me, making jokes out of me doing ordinary things like brushing my teeth with the old brush my daughter used to scrub mud off her sneakers, characters who have actually come to life in my head and are constantly telling me stories about themselves… Good golly! Maybe many writers don’t hear these voices and I am simply nearly insane.

But, this is to be expected. I am a Baby Boomer. A child of the ’50s. So, I was raised by the black-and-white television. “I Love Lucy“, “My Three Sons“, and “The Munsters” taught me morals and an ability to laugh at myself. I learned about History, Politics, and the World from Walter Cronkite, the ultimate neutral news commentator. I also learned a lot about story-telling from old movies on Saturday afternoon. Television gave me empathy, knowledge of the world, and a boost to my imagination that I wouldn’t have had if I had been a child a generation earlier. Of course, I know it would also have been very different if I had been an internet child like my own children are. There is presently such a flood of free facts available that our information-soaked little brains are often drowning.

So, why am I talking about television today?

This coming week is a week spent alone. I was left behind with the dog as the rest of my family took a trip to Florida. It was my own choice. I am not capable of sitting in a car for long enough to make the car trip from North Texas to Central Florida. And I did not want to keep them from going. Days of good health are long ago and fading from memory.

So, I am left behind with time to write and time to watch whatever I want to on Netflix.

And this is useful because… well, I am a child of good television. I can work on my two WIP projects at once with Netflix series and movies in between word-munching sessions. I can be totally immersed in the writing act. I can write naked anywhere in the house (with the windows closed) without hearing complaints or distress from my non-nudist wife and my embarrassed-by-their-parents kids. It is almost as good as being well enough to go with them.

And Netflix (as well as, soon I hope, Disney Plus) affords me a chance to select exactly what I want to watch in ways that television on three networks, the way it used to be, could not provide. It is a chance to time-travel, to explore, to reach new levels of laughter and understanding… as well as tears. And I can watch TV too.

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Filed under autobiography, being alone, commentary, humor, novel plans, TV as literature