Tag Archives: the corpse-eater saga

A question for my readers…

I need to do some promotion work for The Corpse-Eater Saga.  I know that my series is  bit niche, but I’m comfortable that the appropriate audience is out there.  Somewhere.  I just have to figure out how to put my book in front of them.

So my question to you is this: where do you get your book recommendations?

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It’s out! It’s officially AVAILABLE!

I just got the e-mail from Amazon, and Curdled Cuisine has been approved!  The kindle version is available now, and the print version is either available or about to be available.

So stoked!  Please read and let me know what you think!

Now my next big project is getting my mailing list set up.  I know, I know, mailing lists are so annoying, but the good news is, this one will come with short stories.  I’ve got three completed and two uncompleted short stories featuring Walter is a variety of precarious predicaments.  There is a theme to the five stories which I’m looking forward to seeing who spots it first, and I’m planning on releasing them, about half a story at a time, through my mailing list.  Please check back again soon and sign up!

Also, I’m planning on releasing the digital version of Awfully Appetizing for free to try to bring in new readers, so if you can think of anybody who might enjoy The Corpse-Eater Saga, I’ll have a link for you to direct them to, soon.

Thank you all so much!

New Promotion

So, I’m sure this has been done before by somebody somewhere, but, frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered it before, so I’m going to call this my idea.

I’m working on a new promotional project that I like to call “Passalong Books”!  I’m very excited.  Basically I bought a bunch of copies of my first book, Awfully Appetizing.  On the inside if the front cover I’m writing out instructions that go more or less like this:

“Hello Reader!  You’ve just received a ‘Passalong Book;’ the rules are simple, as soon as you get it, write your name, and the city and state you are in on the top available line below.  Then, read a chapter.  If you like what you’ve read, keep going! If not, no harm done.  Whenever you’ve finished, pass the book to somebody you think might enjoy it!”

Fingers crossed, the books will get passed around a bit.  I figure that if the average passalong book gets handed off and read ten times before it finds a final resting place, I should get a conservative two or three people who otherwise would never have read the book who are interested in the sequel.

Perhaps that’s just me being optimistic.  I don’t know, but to be frank, it’s one of the few ideas that I’ve had that seems both plausible and reasonable to me.  So many promotional techniques just feel awful.  Either like I’m lying, or like I’m forcing myself down other people’s throats.  I figure, if somebody doesn’t like my book after the first chapter, making them read anymore is just a waste.  The problem is, people don’t generally feel like they can read the first chapter without buying the book… or rather, I often feel that way.

Anyhow, that’s my plan!  I’m excited, and I’m sending out my first round of Passalong books tomorrow!  I’ve got one going to California, two going to Texas, one going to Colorado, and one going to Washington.  I’m hoping that in round two, which may take me a month or two to arrange, I’ll be able to hit five or six other states.  Fingers crossed!

Curdled Cuisine ready to go!

I just mapped out book three of the Corpse-Eater saga, and I have to say, this book feels like it’s going to be pretty damned full!  I’ve got plots, sub-plots, scenes for overarching plots… I’m introducing a character or two who will be pretty damned important down the road.

I’ve got to admit, I’m excited about this one!  Quite a range of emotions are going to play out over the course of this book, and a few things I’ve invested in throughout the first two books are going to pay off here.

I also had something of an epiphany recently.  I figured out how I want to series to end.  Originally I just wanted to run through my contract with Winlock and see how I felt, but I figured out a couple of things today.  I think I may have to go to twelve or fifteen books to get to where I want to be, but I know where I want the story to end, and I really think I can make it all the way to that moment.

In fairness, I’m saying this as I start work on book three.  By the time I get to, let’s say, book seven, I’ll probably be groaning and whining constantly as I beg for the end of the series to come.  That’s not based on anything I know about the series, just the fact that I’ve never gotten to the end of book three in any series I’ve started writing yet.  Then again, I never had a publisher want to print anything I wrote before, so we’re in a whole new ballpark here!

All across the wall

I’m working on book three of the Corpse-Eater Saga, and I have to say, there is a lot of stuff to remember.  There are characters of varying importance who may or may not come back into another story later.  There are descriptions of people and places, which, though not important enough for me to remember all the time, would be embarrassing to get wrong.  There is the description of distances and drive times.  There are endless details.  And, let’s face it, I am not good with details.

Because of that, my walls are becoming increasingly crowded.  I started by drawing a map of the my imaginary city, Collinswood Colorado.  Then I wrote out very brief sketches for each of the nine books that I’ve agreed to write in the series.  Then I drew blueprints for a couple of buildings, so I wouldn’t find myself describing a place that can’t exist in three dimensions.    Now I have a couple more buildings to draw, and several character arcs that I’m going to be sketching out.  I’m also about to start a list of events that exist to foreshadow upcoming plots and stories.  I should’ve done that at the very beginning.

Dammit, I’m running out of wall space!

That perfect twist

So, I’m watching this show called ‘Mr. Robot,’ and I’m rather enjoying it so far.  They’re doing some interesting things with the characters and the story arc… anyhow, about halfway through episode two I get this feeling in my head that they’re pulling a fight club on me.  I think that the main character of the show, who has mental problems and is on drugs half the time, is also at least one other character, the guy Christian Slater is playing.  He might be even more.  It popped into my head about halfway through episode two, so I kind of need to re-watch up to this point to see if there are any more indicators.  The biggest thing that makes me think that, however, is the style of the show.  There’s this helpless rage at the corporate machine, a sort of mind bending narration combined with self doubt.  The character is reaching out, trying to find something, trying to change who he is, or how the world work.  It reminds me so much of fight club that I can’t help but wonder.

Anyhow, that got me thinking about movie twists.  And whenever I think about twists in stories, I inevitably think of the twilight zone.  Not the recent reboot, but the original, with Rod Serling.  I used to love watching twilight zone marathons.  The thing was, once you’d seen a couple, you could pretty much guess the twists on the rest of them.  Well, not always, some were too random to really be guessed at.  The box of damaged toys being donated to charity?  Really?  That’s just a couple of writers getting drunk on the weekend going ‘what haven’t we done yet?  come on, there’s gotta be something.’

The thing is, the best twists, the most excellent, most interesting ones, aren’t the ones that come out of left field, they’re the ones that you should have seen coming but didn’t.  My favorite movies and television shows (twist-wise) are the ones where when you watch it the second time, it seems so obvious.

But there’s a delicate balance in there, I think.  It’s a dance between the writer and the reader, or viewer, or whatever.  Making a story where the ending is too obvious isn’t any fun, but you have to give enough clues that your audience can play the game, which means that some of them will see it coming.  A good writer of epic stories will set up a number of red herrings, each of which is possible, so that the conclusion they’re heading for is possible, but only one of several paths they can go down.  It keeps people guessing.

I think it’s a little harder in movies and television shows.  In books you have infinite time and space to work with… well, not infinite, but a lot.  In books and movies, every second needs to accomplish something.  Everything you do needs to have meaning.

My favorite twists to write are not the twist endings.  I mean, I like those from time to time, especially when I’m working on a short story, a little change of pace, a sudden shift in perspective, something that changes the meaning of everything that came before, it’s cool.  But in long stories, in a series, the things that interest me are less about the way things end and more about the way they began.  Sometimes the biggest twist is not where we’re going, but how we got here to start with.

And the some of the most satisfying twists are the ones that you make the reader wait for.  I’m reading the Dresden files a lot these days, and one of the things I’ve come to admire about Butcher’s work is how patient he is at doling out the payoffs.  He had his main character suffering debilitating headaches for several books before finally we discovered why.  And I’m convinced that Dresden will, at some point, journey through time… that he will be the one who fixed the problem with ‘little chicago’ in his basement all those years ago, that he is the person who he hears shouting ‘fuego’ in the battle at chichan itza… that he has had a hand in guiding his own life. All these things which have been set up over years and years, both in the story and out of it.  That’s what I’d like to pull off with some of my own writing.  I have some things set up for that with the Corpse-Eater Saga, but I’m not sure I”m as adept at that as I’d like to be.