Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Worth A Second Look eBook Giveaway

Ladies and gentlemen, now comes the part where I do something for you, the readers of this here blog.

I've been working on this manuscript for a while and just recently I was able to release it to the Kindle. Since this may be your first time visiting this blog I decided to surprise you and everyone else who owns a kindle with a special treat.

The new book titled "Worth A Second Look" will be free on Kindle from:

-AUGUST 25TH through AUGUST 29TH-

Here is the back cover synopsis of the book:

In 2009, people were introduced to stories of hit men, specters, crooks, playful spirits and empowered heroes. Now, a new batch of stories have come alive.

Come to a place where mice gain the ability to speak, where super humans work middle class jobs, where a mythical man grants chances to feeble victims and where science has created murder rooms or genetically mutated monsters. Discover worm holes, the supernatural and a bit of lunacy. Encounter the unexpected.

You heard it here first, folks.

Five whole days of the book absolutely free!!

Get your Kindle and boot that sucker up because 20 new short stories from yours truly are just dying to get on that thing!

Click here to get your ebook: Worth A Second Look on Amazon.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Making the case for Self-publishing

Ever since Sue Grafton came out on her opinion about self-publishing, there has been a brush-fire of outcry from the ones who have decided to go the Kindle route.

Now, bear in mind, she's an author and author's, yes, can have their opinions. And she's written some great books. But I believe that someone has to make the case for self-publishing. So let's talk about it, seriously for a change.

What is Self-Publishing?

Wikipedia calls Self-publishing the publication of any book or other media by the author of the work, without the involvement of an established third-party publisher. The author is responsible and in control of entire process including design (cover/interior), formats, price, distribution, marketing & PR.

Now, understand, this is a big undertaking. One that involves a lot of thought and research and one that should not be taken lightly. But if you do decide to go this route, here are some things to consider.

1. It used to be that in order to self publish you either had to go Print-on-demand or find what they call a vanity publisher.

2. Print-on-demand is way more productive and the costs are low. Vanity publishers, not so much.

3. The latest edition of ereaders and reincarnations of ebooks has changed the way we receive books.

Stephen King in 2000, published a novella called Riding The Bullet on the internet. It became recognized as the world's first mass-market ebook. Possibly because of the success of RTB, he went on to publish another novella via the web in installments. That story was called The Plant. His ebook experiment generated thousands of new readers of his work. "We have the chance to become Big Publishing's worst nightmare," he said in one article by The New York Times.

But the self- publishing trend did not start with him. If you really went back into the dusty pages of history, you'd find one author who took a huge risk to make a big point of his work.

That author is none other than Charles Dickens.

This was in 1843, when his publishers, Chapman and Hall were disappointed with his lack of sales. They rejected a well-known story called A Christmas Carol. Ever heard of it? Dickens, never one to be told no, decided to produce the book himself at his own expense. And while he did not fare well with the profits, it gave him exposure, garnered some reviews and all of a sudden Chapman and hall started to take notice. The first print run sold 6,000 copies. The book hasn't been out of print since.

So does this mean Self-publishing is widely accepted?

Sadly, no. Now, understand, there are hundreds of people who have found success with publishing their works independently. Some have decided to take that success and sign with a traditional publishing. Some, after making the industry switch, decided to go back to self publishing because they enjoyed more freedoms.

Why did you Self-Publish?

I’ve been doing research on self-publishing since late 2005. I’ve seen the benefits of establishing an internet presence early so that people get a feel for you. But I’ve also researched the traditional side of the argument. Rather than waiting years after constant useless rejection slips, I chose to publish my work to gain a readership. Working at rejection, peddling my wares as a complete stranger to complete strangers makes no sense to me. And I say this because I’ve tried it. I’ve sent some stuff to magazines and contests with no reply. Literary Agents? I’ve queried thirty-one of them from New York. I’ve gotten a few bites of interest, requesting more pages but that’s where the connections ended.

However, once I did as much reading as possible on the subject, learned the ropes and learned how to go about this independently, I decided to try it out. And it works. I’m gaining readers, getting feedback. It’s much more involved. As I’ve gotten to know the writing community and interviewed several authors, they all seem to say the same thing. Self-publishing offers more benefits than traditional publishing. And most publishers are actually scouting some of these books published directly to the kindle.

I’m not looking for fame and fortune. I just wanna tell stories in this time period and deliver them to an audience now. Gray hairs have been popping up all over my head. I grew tired of waiting. For me, stories need to be unleashed in order to unclutter my mind.

What does being "successful" mean to you?

Self-publishing taught me a lot of things and I became engulfed in the fascination of cover design, formatting, back cover description and audio narration. It may be a lot of hard work, but I love doing every minute of it. It gives more of a legitimacy to the work. Author/Book Maker all in one.

Success to me means instant gratification. Writing, editing, designing, publishing. I love being part of a community that gives feedback and makes the whole experience of being a writer more interactive than it previously had been in the past.

The way I see it, I'm just a storyteller. I'm not looking for fame and fortune. I just want to have comfort in knowing I can tell a good story, have full control over the content and be able to hear someone say, "Hey, buddy, y'know that story you wrote? It was different. It really made me think. What else you got in that bag of yours?"

Making a living at it?

That will come in time.

Right now I'm just happy and content with writing.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

An Open Letter To Bill Murray

Dear Bill Murray,

I've been a fan of yours for years. Your deadpan delivery, wise guy attitude and the sense of confidence instilled in me the traits that I still use today. I learned a lot from you and your movies. I'd have to say that the movie I always came back to was, or course, Ghostbusters. It was something new, exciting and original. Everything worked in that movie; the score, the story, the costumes. It was one of the only tapes in our movie library that we watched constantly.

Basically, I can quote the entire movie by heart, as I'm sure some of your other fans have boasted, too. Ghostbusters 2 was even better. It still held the same promise of the original while bringing back all of the characters. It taught me that so long as a sequel did the same stuff as the original, it would prevail. You may have said that you didn't like the overall outcome of the movie, but you can't deny that you had fun making it as all of us did watching it. Your rifs and one liners in that movie are the stuff of comedy gold.

I've watched your other movies, as well. Stripes taught me how to be tough yet silly. Scrooged taught me how to be a little more compassionate around the holidays. Groundhog Day taught me to make the most of each day, no matter how bad it got. Larger Than Life taught me to take the unexpected journey. The Man Who Knew Too Little taught me that all the world's a stage. I even love the cameos. Even if your screen time is under five minutes, it means the world to me.

So, as I'm sure you've guessed by now, this letter is turning into something of a plea. I've been following the news of your involvement of the newest project, Ghostbusters 3. I know you've been hesitant about joining because you wanted the script to be perfect. To be honest, I was a bit surprised myself when they announced the first writers who would take a crack at the script.

The writers from The Office??? How did they work that one out? Still, I remained hopeful, ready to read the latest news of the film's progression. I was glad to hear that Dan Akroyd and Harold Ramis were taking a couple passes at the script as well. Everything seemed to be going perfectly. Then, I read this article, Bill Murray Drops Out, and my heart just sank.

Now, understand, I'm not implying that you owe the fans anything. You don't. But I am a bit nostalgic for a new ghost busters where all of the primary characters are involved.


Because you are the key ingredient.

And because I know it's possible. And here are some examples.

Along the way, everybody has been dropping hints that a sequel would get made. But you have been the biggest voice in this matter.

Imagine my surprise and glee when I saw Zombieland and you popped up. Not only did you have a cameo but to me it was the best ten minutes of the entire movie.

Then, the grand finale, a Ghostbusters video game. That was the only game I bought for Xbox. All other games were meaningless to me. I was so impressed by the depth and story of the game, that all of a sudden it seemed possible for Ghostbusters 3 to be a smash hit.

Ghostbusters 3 became the dog whistle in which I had to respond. The, forgive the pun, spirit of ghostbusters has evolved and still thriving today. It has become ingrained in Pop Culture and a go-to storage locker of iconic lines to describe daily life.

Many people have created hundreds, if not thousands of Ghostbuster fan films.

It has been something we all grew up with, Bill Murray.

It's also become something everyone was hoping for. And to have Ghostbusters without Dr. Peter Venkman? It just wouldn't be the same.

I think the reason why I feel so tied to this character is because of what happened to me in late 2010. While working for this one company, I participated in a costume contest. I had only been working at the company for six months and I thought it would be awesome to dress up as Dr. Peter Venkman. I had worked tirelessly on that costume. That same day I was laid off while wearing the costume. It was the most surreal experience of my life.

But that didn't diminish my hope for another Ghostbusters movie. If anything, it propelled it further.

Even the low-budget revisits to the same story kept me going. Like in Be Kind Rewind.

So, you see, Bill Murray, I may not know you personally, but I have walked in your shoes. We're both Chicago boys who have worn the suit and kept on going. I've been diligently waiting for you to tackle this role again. All I ask is that if you don't like the way the character is written, write him yourself. At the very least, please make a cameo in the newest movie. Even if it is only five or ten minutes, you'd be doing so much for all the die hard fans of this franchise.

I implore you to reconsider and give this movie another chance.

Meanwhile, I'll still keep reading the updates and hope that Ghostbusters 3 will become the best movie to overshadow all the blockbusters before it.

If you wish to respond to this letter, please email me at:


Thank you for taking the time to read this.


A Fellow Ghostbuster

Friday, August 3, 2012

Open Letters Intro

(Dear readers, over the course of the past couple months, I've been thinking of adding a new segment to my blog. At the beginning of the year I wanted to send a letter to each celebrity I admire, telling them my thoughts and a couple reasons what they taught me about life. In light of the fact that not many of them have an address listed or even a public email, I've decided to share my letters with all of you as well as the person they are intended for. This will be an Open Letters section which will pop up from time to time. One of them, the first one, is to a comedic actor I admire greatly who I must be honest with. That person is non other than Bill Murray.)