Recent news

My Kindle book now has the expanded content in the CreateSpace book. It contains:

  • Super Bad Hair Day! (first short story I wrote for Holly)
  • The Poet and the Supersplainer! (The Karate Queen, based on a poetess friend)
  • The Fiendish Brain Freezer! (Kittygirl’s first short story)
  • The Dimensional Dollar! (first appearance of Billington Stumpfinger, my Trumpy supervillain)
  • The Intellecta-Rhapsody! (script of my second audio story)
  • Chapter Zero of The Comic Book Code! (yes, I still have to finish writing the novel)
  • Super Holly artwork drawn by various artists at local comic cons.

At WorldCon, I sold 9 books (if I counted correctly). 10 books if you count the Kindle book I sold. Good times! (I should point out that at that time, my CreateSpace book had a few minor typos which I have since fixed.)

I am working on a Kittygirl trilogy, which I want to publish as a middle-grade book. Problem: I do not know any younger girls for a test audience. I will still keep writing, my critique group told me I was good at “kidspeak.”

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Super Bad Hair Day: second edition!

I have republished Super Holly Hansson in: Super Bad Hair Day. My changes:

  • I added Chapter Zero of The Comic Book Code.
  • I made several minor edits suggested by a fellow member of the South Bay Writers Club (I will post about that soon).
  • I fixed a few typos (GRR, I can’t believe a few sneaked into the first edition!). Running both the Storyist and Microsoft Word spelling checker helped me squash typos.

And I created a version of this on Createspace. (It is under review, I hope it will print okay.) A few comments on that:

  • Since I write in Storyist, I copied the story into a 6×9 Microsoft Word template that I downloaded from Createspace.
  • When I reviewed the uploaded interior contents, I had to adjust the page numbers and add the ISBN numbers in the original Word file, and upload again.
  • I had to create a new Createspace account even though I had a Kindle account. And I made sure to enter my royalty information right away.
  • I set the price at $6. The minimum allowed was about $5.40. More expensive than I like, but I can live with it.
  • I hunted for a webpage with the steps listed out, but did not find it. I found the video below very helpful. For example, he suggested that I have my Amazon page for my Kindle version open so I could cut and paste most of the data.

Scripting Change and my first Kindle publish!

HOLLY COVER Reviz 3I finally pushed my first short story to Kindle. Two Stories in One: Super Bad Hair Day, and The Poet and the Supersplainer! Two stories for a dollar, such a deal! Take a look, buy, read, and write a good review. (I’d rather be compared to Stan Lee than Hemingway.)

And Scripting Change 2016 has the story “The Terror of the Twisted Tonguester!” Former supervillain the Karate Queen defends her girlfriend from superheroine Holly Hansson, who has fallen under the spell of the vile Byle Boole (boo, hiss!).

I am now more than an aspiring writer. I am a published author, both self-pubbed and pubbed by local clubs. Bask in my glory.

 

Call Me Pomeroy! a short review

pomeroyJames Hanna used to run the monthly open mics for the Peninsula Writers Club. He read/performed his Pomeroy stories, and I read stores about my superheroine. James was a good performer. In my opinion, I performed a little better. I am good at that.

But darn it, James is a better writer! In his latest novel, Call Me Pomeroy, his Pomeroy character needs no open mic actor to come to life. That crazy narcissist leaps off the page (or your Kindle), straps you into his skull, and tears around like a roller coaster. Like the smartest and the stupidest supervillains, “Ol’ Pomeroy” often refers to himself in third person and always refuses to see his own mistakes. But like Popeye’s pal J. Wellington Wimpy, Pomeroy is neither hero nor villain. He is a homeless anti-hero who lusts for fame, and who thinks that all women lust for him, and his rollicking internal dialog tells the reader in a variety of colorful ways exactly what part of him women lust for the most.

James has worked in the criminal justice system, so he had plenty of material to work with. As sexist, conceited, conspiracy-theorizing, and own-worst-enemy crazy as Pomeroy is, you will laugh with him as often as you laugh at him. Read Pomeroy. He is worth your time. Which in my case, was over way too soon. I ate up the book fast. So fast that I think I will eat it a second time! (COUGH! PAH-TOOEY! Oh boy, there it is again!)

Convolution: Typing other authors?

I was at Convolution (a small SciFi/Fantasy convention) last weekend. I went to two types of panels: writing advice and women in SciFi/Fantasy.

In a writing advice panel, one writer advised that we take a page or two from our favorite authors and type those pages verbatim. Gives you a feel for how that author writes. Maybe I’ll learn something, stepping into Asimov’s or Niven’s skin!

I am always, always, always looking for the female viewpoint for my superheroine Holly. One women’s panel made me mentally back away from putting a lot of tomboy into Holly. Perhaps Holly should like dressing up pretty once in a while, although the ladies at the panel seemed fine with Holly’s love of Batman T-shirts. (More for me to learn, I have NO idea how pretty dressing is done!) Holly likes strawberry lip gloss. She will never willingly show cleavage in public: she has issues about that.

I bought indie author books and met more indie writers. Child of the Sword by J.L. Doty, and I had a nice conversation with him, he said the best advertisement for your current book is putting out the next one (Hugh Howey told him). Female Science Fiction Writer by Amy Sterlin Casil, and I started it and it reads nicely.Goodbye from the Edge of Never by Steven Mix. He Said, Sidhe Said by Tanya Huff, Tanya was a panelist I liked so I bought the Kindle copy and showed it to her, hey I bought your book! In hard copy: Paradigm by Helen Stringer, Look Back in Horror by Malcolm Stewart (I have another book of his), and Podthology edited by Timothy Reynolds. Perfectly Invisible by Michael A. Stackpole, an alternate universe where Newt Gingrinch is President, how could I not buy that? Ah, so much to read. I love supporting indie authors.

I also bought a paperback collection of Terry Pratchette short stories. I checked, and the ebook was about the same price as the paperback, which was not cheap. Big publishers hate ebooks.

P.S. I am rewriting the start of the Kittygirl story. Her older brother teases her in the first scene. I’ll post when it’s done. I’m still getting over a cold, I coughed at Convolution. Push push push out the next story.

Publication advice from author Todd Borg

todd borg tahoe chaseAt the Mountain View art and wine festival last weekend, I bought another book from Todd Borg, who seems to know my face now. He writes mystery/thrillers about Tahoe-based detective Owen McKenna and his great dane Spot. I emailed him a little advice about adding tags to his blog, and he was nice enough to email me some advice and a compliment that made me feel good.

I read through many of your blog posts, and I think you are a good writer with a clear voice. I believe that as soon as you start publishing a series of books on Holly or something similar, in graphic form or just prose form, especially if you can do it on Kindle at a low price, you will find an audience that will grow with each new book. From my experience, I think that regular publication is critical, regardless of whether it is monthly, semi-annually, or yearly. That way your readers will anticipate each new publication and spread the word before and after each new book comes out. Not only will you find an audience, but it will grow, and it will monetize your blog because your blog readers will naturally want to buy your books. All they need to be is quality, relatively cheap on Kindle, and produced on a regular schedule.
How’s that for unwanted advice??!! (Sorry about that!) But I rarely see writers who can write well, and you can, so I want you to turn your skill into a profitable career.

Todd, don’t be sorry! I’m sending that story I told you about (Holly punches out illiteracy) to Scripting Change today. Then I’ll push another story to Amazon. You inspire me.

Click here to see a list of Todd’s books. And click here to buy Todd’s books (paper or Kindle). He has won writing awards. He is worth your time. And he’s a nice guy.

Raging Granny at Litquake Palo Alto!

litquake Jan Harwood 1Raging Grannies are really cool older ladies who promote peace, justice, and equality! (I think they are real-life superheroines!) I met Jan Harwood, a Santa Cruz Raging Granny. She was on the Shrinks with Ink panel (psychotherapist authors). She radiated wit. I took a selfie (I wish my arm was a lot longer, or that I was Plastic Man). I bought Jan’s book, An Un-Conventional Murder, where she fictionalizes the Santa Cruz Raging Grannies to solve mysteries. A more mature Scooby Doo gang. I bought the paperback since it is not on Kindle. She signed it for me, and wished me luck with my writing. Of course I told Jan about Holly, she liked the idea, especially that Holly has a beaky nose. She also said that one’s ears and nose never stop growing. That leads to interesting ideas for Holly as an old lady. (I tried to find Jan’s blog, but failed. Darn it.)

I saw some teen slam poetry also. Some of the kids read with a beat, some with energy, one with tears for her heartbreaking story about a grandfather’s death that her mom had to take over and read. The poetry was all GOOD! As a guy who loves and performs at open mics, I have some authority to say that. I told one girl she sounded like she had been writing a while. She said I was right. I love seeing kids get into writing. I hope those kids keep writing, can you imagine how good they will be when they are all grown up?

I also bought a paperback of Bad Girls (essays edited by Ellen Sussman), and kindles of Citizen (very short essays by Aaron Shurin) and Fire Year (poetry by Jason K. Friedman). The cover art on Kindle for Fire Year looks too small, but I am betting the writing will be big.

Ah, so much to read. YAY!

P.S. I did not write today, except for little ideas about my upcoming Scripting Change story. Nuts.