Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Day In The Life of a Writer: Ted Dekker

Tuesday begins the first day of which I blog about my life for 31 days straight. It may be a crazy thing to do but I think it will open up a whole bunch of answers to people who ask us what we do all day. The good times and the bad, you'll hear it all.

But for now, I'm going to relax and give my fingers a rest.

Somehow I stumbled upon this video made by novelist Ted Dekker. One day is pretty packed for him as a bestselling writer. I thought it was interesting. It was like those old school Pop Videos on VH1 with all those bubble facts bouncing into frame. Hope it interested you as much as it interested me. See you in March, people.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Guest Posting Again

Hey everybody! Today, I'm over at Joanna Penn's Mystery Thriller website, doing a guest post about my latest book: Wearing Donnie Torr. I go into detail about why I wrote the book, a bit about who I am and how my writing habits have changed over time.

Retweet this too to get the word out there.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Here Today, Blog Tomorrow (Intro)

I've decided on a change of pace. It could be that I am inspired, partly, by the book My Boring-Ass Life by Kevin Smith, but I've felt the need to blog more often than usual.

In fact, on March 1st, I plan on blogging every day for the entire month. In these posts you can follow me throughout my day to day life, see what I'm up to, what I'm thinking, basically everything that happens in one writer's life.

So, I guess the big questions would be, why March? Well, I've been thinking about it and there seem to be some key significance with picking that month to blog on a daily basis. We've just had our shortest month, now we encounter a full 31 days. 31 is the number of book proposals I sent out. And, more importantly, it will be the second month since I sent the first fifty pages of WDT to an agent who seems interested. The standard waiting time for a response after the page request is two months. With February almost over, the clock is ticking until the end of March to see if I finally land an agent and a possible traditional publishing deal or be forced to go back to the drawing board and keep on trying.

Until then I have some ideas on how to get my work noticed which I will do in March. I'll also be guest posting on some more blogs soon.

Also, I feel that the lack of content isn't fair to some readers. I think the longest stretch of time I did where I didn't blog was about one month. So this is a way of giving that month back to you, the readers, in full. I hope to answer as many questions as possible, should any arise, and let you know how each day pans out.

So, with that said, hope you'll join me in March for 31 days of a segment called Here Today, Blog Tomorrow.

"Controversial' as we all know, is often a euphemism for 'interesting and intelligent." — Kevin Smith

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A New Segment

Seeing as how this blog is all about books, interviews with writers, movies about writers and the like, I figured I'd try out a new segment on here to give me more things to talk about and to get opinions on the subject.

Whenever I would read a book, I would get a crystal clear vision of how the book would look if it were a movie inside my head. But, as with most cases, the movie compared with the book just doesn't rack up. Whether it was a flaw in the director's plan or the screenwriters I guess we'll never know. But there is one thing we can be sure of: Is the original concept still there?

It takes a lot of guts to think anyone could capture the tone of a novel and translate it to the big screen. But it takes even bigger guts for an author to give them the go ahead to do so. If some big Hollywood types showed up to your house and asked if they could make a movie about your book...would you do it?

Micheal Connelly said that once you take the money, you're allowing them to do anything to your idea, even if the idea is not even a shadow of it's former self. But, publicity is still publicity, isn't it?

When asked what he thought about Hollywood ruining his novel Jumper, Steven Gould pointed to his bookshelf and remarked, "Take a look. They're not ruined. They're still up on the shelves."

We'll find out one way or another while we take a dip into the comparison of book and movie.

The new segment is called: The Adaptation Station.

I have five books lined up right now that I'm in the middle of reading but I am also open to requests.

Any takers???

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Should a book have a soundtrack?

Among my favorite authors, there is only one Brad Melzter. Brad Meltzer is a man of many hats. But, more importantly, he is a man of many words. I first got comfortable with Brad's writing style when I discovered a novel called The Book Of Fate. It was a paperback.

There were so many things about Washington D.C. I never knew about until reading this book. The Protagonist was also easy to connect with because he has a scarred face from a terrible assassination attempt. I felt glued to that book. I'm not normally too big on political thrillers but this was something completely different. This was engaging, fluid, easy to understand.

After I was done, I was recommending it to everyone.

Two years later, Meltzer comes out with another novel called The Book of Lies. Now, before I even pick up the book, I was already thinking it was a sequel to The Book of Fate. But it wasn't. It was something brand new. With a plot that tied together the story of Cain and Abel with the story of how a young Jerry Siegel created the icon known as Superman, two seemingly unrelated stories mashed together, it was sure to be a perfect a mystery.

It's no surprise that I instantly enjoyed the book and started recommending that to everyone too. Brad has a unique style, believable characters and does a large amount of research. He's written nine books so far, which all became bestsellers. His love of conspiracy theories gets stuck on you, makes you a bit paranoid but keeps you curious and reading.

Right now I'm 277 pages into his first book, The Tenth Justice, about a supreme court clerk who accidentally leaks a bit of information to someone. Now this guy is blackmailing him for all he's worth. I also have a copy of The Millionaires, which actually sounds like a pretty good heist yarn. In time, I hope to read all of his books, including his recent ones which are The Inner Circle and Heroes for My Son.

But there's one very unique thing that Melzter has done. He brought about the question in my mind: Should a book have a soundtrack? It's true that some people like to listen to a little light music when they read, others envision their own soundtrack while reading and, in some cases, when they are writing as well. It's not such a bad idea. It may open up a new market for books. It's the first time I've ever heard of it and hope to see it again in the future. So, I leave the question up to you. What do you think?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Notable Movies #7

From the looks of this new movie, starring Hangover's Bradley Cooper, a man is given a new drug which enhances his brain power. The protagonist is, of course, a writer. Once exposed to this wonderful wonder drug he goes on a creative and lucrative rush to finish book projects with ease, play the stock market and garner a new life for himself. The plot is rather unique. If only we had a drug that could help us with those pesky novels that need to be written. What drops my jaw the most is that he says he finished his novel in 4 days. Man, if I had that drug, all my book projects would be done in, damn...I just did the math and it would still be, for 60 different novel ideas, a year and eight months. Still, good to see DeNiro finally rolling himself out of bed to do a decent roll. He really dropped down my respect-o-meter with these sequels to Meet The Parents and that Showtime movie with Eddie Murphy. I'm not gonna even go into that strange movie What Just Happened? because I saw what happened and it wasn't pretty.

You want to see a good DeNiro movie? Your best bet is Midnight Run all the way. I've watched that thing so many times I can quote all the lines by heart. Now those were the Golden years of DeNiro. Anyway, I'm getting off track here. Enjoy the trailer and, oh yeah, keep writing. The world needs more good writers like you.

Limitless opens world wide March 18th, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kindle 3 Review

Since receiving the Kindle as a Christmas present, I have changed my views. Yep, the kindle made a believer out of me. It was a tense fight whether I would switch over to ebook reading at all. The first ebook I ever read was Elisa Lorello's Faking It.

But I knew, some day, I would be forced to pick one: Kindle vs. Nook.

As it turns out, it picked me. Out of the many conversations I've had with people, I guess I sang more praises for Kindle then I have the Nook. Now, after spending a month with the Kindle, I have read a total of 7 books on it. I guess you could say that it helps you read faster. It's lightweight, easy to use, simple and doesn't cost too much to begin with. I remember when the price was first 399. Anyone would say, yeah, I'll wait until it gets cheaper...or until they come out with another, better version of it. I was one of those people.

Now, priced at 139, it's practically a steal. Reading books on a device that stays charged for a month? You can't beat that. I hear they may even drop the price to 99 dollars in the next two months. I say that's a smart move. Already there are over a million kindle owners. This new price switch is sure to smash the competition beyond repair.

Out of the 14,723 reviews on Amazon devoted to the kindle, there have been pros and cons. But I'd say that the final 4 1/2 stars speaks for itself.

Reading is remarkably easy with this thing. No strain on the eyes at all. The controls are easy, just small enough without being too difficult and I've always put the font size at the smallest setting. The weight does get to your hand after a while but that's only if you are a reading fanatic like me.

In terms of reliability, I've only had one problem with the kindle out of the one month and two weeks that I've had it. It froze on me once. I was baffled, scratched my head for several minutes until I found something online which claimed everything would switch back to normal once I did a reset. Two minutes later, I was back to reading again. That was the biggest, Whew, that was close moment I've had with the thing. I admit I was skeptical about the thing and even made fun of it here on my blog but, after spending some time with it, and uploading my books to it as well, I can see what all the buzz is about and why this thing is so gosh-darn popular.

Plus, you can't beat the price point of books. I've been loading titles to my kindle that range from free classics to 99 cents and up. I think the highest I've ever paid for a kindle book was 7.39. So it really saves you big time bucks as well.

As for this writer, well, I think I'll let this device grow on me for a while. It seems to be holding my attention and making my life a little bit easier when searching for another book to read. But I'll be damned if I didn't bring this thing on a plane with four backup, hard copy paperbacks at my side. You never know. The concept of a book that breaks is still silly to me. I guess it always will be. But for now, Kindle, you've just earned yourself five stars and a satisfied customer.

Titles I currently have on my Kindle:

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Anthem - Ayn Rand
The Art of War - Sunzi
The Autobiograpghy of Benjamin Franklin
Bleak House - Dickens
Brian's Hunt - Gary Paulsen
Brian's Return - Gary Paulsen
The Colorado Sequence - Stacey Cochran
Common Sense - Thomas Paine
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
Crack Up - Eric Christopherson
Crime Stories - Jack Kilborn
Darkness Under The Sun - Dean Koontz
David Copperfield - Dickens
Dead Men Kill - L. Ron Hubbard
Dracula - Bram Stoker
Draculas - J.A. Konrath
Dracula's Guest - Bram Stoker
Get Some - Daniel Birch
Great Expectations - Dickens
Gulliver's Travels - Johnathan Swift
Heidegger's Glasses - Thaisa Frank
King James Bible
The Hound of The Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
How to tell a story and other essays - Mark Twain
The Island of Doctor Moreau - H.G. Wells
The Justice Game - Randy Singer
The Last Bookstore In America - Amy Stewart
The Life of Abraham Lincoln - Henry Ketcham
Mercury Falls - Robert Kroese
More Blood, More Sweat and Another Cup of Tea - Tom Reynolds
The Mysterious Island - Jules Verne
The Mystery of Edwin Drood - Dickens
The Newbie's Guide to Publishing - J.A. Konrath
Oliver Twist - Dickens
Origin - J.A. Konrath
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Real Ghost Stories - William T. Stead
Relentless - Dean Koontz
The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Serial - J.A. Konrath
Soul Identity - Dennis Batchelder
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
Truck Stop - Jack Kilborn
Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
UR - Stephen King
War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
Write Good or Die - Scott Nicholson