That’s right, folks! The last entry in the Stanford Family saga has been released!
I know, I know, the ebook has been out for three weeks, but, hey, I was on vacation, alright? Cut a hack writer some slack, yo?
However, for you old school folks and collectors, the paperback was just released a couple days ago. So, I’m not really late then, am I?
Click that sexy cover below and be transported to the magical world of online commerce! BUY THIS BABY!
From Asheville to Knoxville, Cannibal Road to the Tomb, Jace Stanford and the Whispering Pines survivors have been on the run and fighting for their lives non-stop.
Now, with the plains to their backs, the crew are just steps from their destination: The Stronghold of Boulder, CO. All they have to do is make it through the nightmare that is Denver, CO. While running from the mega-powerful, corporate/political/military entity that is the Consortium. And dealing with the brainwashed killing machines that call themselves the Sisters. Not to mention a crazy mad scientist hell bent on making life really, really hard for everyone.
Oh, and there’s the issue of the horde of zombies that’s close to half a million strong. Yeah, that’s kind of a bummer.
But, hey, if anyone can get his friends and family through a nightmare like this, it’s Jace Stanford, right? Right?
Okay, they’re probably screwed.
Oh, and for those worried the Z-Burbia story is over, it’s not! The Stanfords may be done, but there’s still a certain person named Elsbeth that has so much more to do! Be prepared for Sisters of the Apocalypse some time in 2016!
I was making some audio promos and decided to turn them into video promos as well. Check them out when you get a chance and feel free to share away!
I have had a hard time coming up with topics to write for this blog. Honestly, it has been a thorn in my side. It’s not that I don’t have opinions, because I have plenty.
The thing is, most of my opinions are of a societal, political, cultural nature. They aren’t necessarily writing related. I have some seriously deep insight into the current climate of the USA and why it is ten kinds of fuckerooni. But, those thoughts are best left for my Tumblr blog. Which I have been neglecting for a long while due to time constraints.
So, why don’t I have opinions on writing?
In part, because there are other authors out there that have already expressed their opinions and I don’t think I’d do a better job than them. They talk about gender, about genre, about the grind of the writer’s workday. They talk about marketing this and promoting that. They talk about what you should always do, what you should never do, what others have done, what they have done. They talk about issues this and issue that.
And to be completely frank- I could give a fuck.
I know, I know, this sounds harsh. Some will read this and think I’m callous or just conceited. They’ll read this and think “Who is this guy to act like he’s above it all?” And everyone is entitled to whatever opinion they form or conclusion they draw from this.
But before you draw a conclusion or form an opinion, let me explain a little further.
I don’t give a fuck because I have a job to do. That job is to write novels. That job is to complete manuscripts in a timely fashion so that my publisher sends me some cashola. I have zero time for the noise that is the internet of opinion. I really need to focus on my work, need to focus on the story in my head, need to ignore the blah blah blah of all the opinions, posts, reviews, tweets, forums, etc.
I do not think I am above all of that. I think I am outside of it. Intentionally.
I try to stay outside of it because it is a distraction. While I always need to work on my craft, I do not believe the noise will help me do that. I have a pretty strong style of writing, I have my voice. I know what I want to write and how to do that. I mainly know that I have to sit my ass down in my chair and get that word count out. That is the key: sitting my ass down and getting my daily word count.
The noise keeps me from doing that. And the noise, in the long run, makes absolutely zero difference on my career.
Here’s the thing, folks, no one in the writing/publishing industry knows what sells books. They have ideas based on past performance or personal observation, but none of that past performance or personal observation can be transferred. What works for one author may or may not work for another author even if it is perfectly replicated. That’s just the truth of the business.
So, while I love to have a good dialogue about the business of writing and the craft itself, I just don’t feel it is my place. I have other work to do and doing that work is what has brought me success, not distracting myself by puking out an opinion.
Does this mean Views From The Captain’s Chair will go away? No, of course not. I still sit in the Captain’s Chair everyday; I still have views. It just means I’m no longer buying in to the notion that an author must have a blog to be a success. I’m no longer buying in to the notion that by contributing to the noise I will be a better writer than I already am.
And I certainly don’t buy into the notion that by contributing to the noise my fans and readers will be better served. Writing more books is how I will better serve my fans and readers. Writing more books is how I will attract new readers. Writing more books is how I make my living and how I have achieved the level of success I already have.
But, in order to write more books I have to step outside the noise. I have to be true to myself and follow my instincts. Right now, my instincts are telling me that a weekly blog just isn’t my thing. And the load that just lifted off my shoulders as I typed that sentence only reinforces that decision.
So, keep reading those other blogs out there. There are plenty of good ones. I’ll more than likely be reading them along with you. I just won’t be the one writing any. For now. Maybe once I have more time for the noise. Maybe. We’ll see.
While this post isn’t specifically about writing, it is about storytelling and the tropes that fill those stories.
What’s a trope?
Let’s have Merriam-Webster answer this!
We’re going with “b” on this one.
Why am I talking about tropes?
I had tweeted that I needed suggestions for this week’s post and got a couple responses. One was specifically asking that I talk about tropes I hate and how to make them better if used. I liked this idea at first, and still do, but realized quickly that I am not the guy to write about this.
Because I don’t hate any tropes. It’s that simple. I actually can’t think of a single trope that bugs me. I like werewolves, vampires, zombies (obviously), wizards, Special Forces, ninjas, damsels in distress, dudes in distress, romance, pirates, ninja pirate robots from Mars, you name it and I like it!
Does that mean I like every book, movie, TV show, video game, comic book, etc? No, it does not. Some can really suck. But even ones that suck I may like. Because, for me, it always comes down to my expectations, not the actual quality of the product itself.
Case in point: we are a CW house. I freakin’ love the stuff the CW churns out. Talk about a network filled with tropes! Do I think it is high brow, award worthy fare? Uh, no. No, I do not. But damn if it isn’t fun! It is pure, mindless entertainment for me. And my mind needs that quite often.
Let’s talk about The 100. Schlock central, yo. But I had zero illusions otherwise going in. Is the acting great? Uh, no. Is the writing great? Uh, no. Can the stories be contrived? Uh, yeah. But it’s scifi teens getting all Lord of the Flies and shit in the future on an Earth ravaged by nuclear war! Suh-weet! Plus, it’s brutal and violent as hell. They don’t pull punches on killing off characters or going for the headshots. This isn’t The A-Team, people. When the trigger is pulled, peeps gonna die.
The one thing I do hate about The 100 is how the network, the actors, the writers, all say “The Hundred”. You can’t call a show “The 100” without pronouncing it as “The One Hundred”. Drives me up a wall. But that’s about it.
I am a huge fan of bad scifi, bad horror, bad westerns, bad everything- as long as it is entertaining. If I find myself getting bored then I put it down, turn it off, walk away.
Another case in point: Z-Nation. Nope. Not a fan. I know some like it, but for me it just didn’t hit that entertainment factor. I get what it is trying to do, but there is so much TV to watch that I had to choose. I’m not saying you shouldn’t like it or watch it, I’m just saying that I gave it a try and it wasn’t worth my time.
And that is what it comes down to for me- is it worth my time?
Time is precious to me. It’s precious to all of us. There are so many great TV shows, books, movies, video games, comic books out there that I will never get to experience all of them before I die. That is a fact. I have done the math. Not going to happen.
So I pick what I like, what entertains me, and I embrace it. What I don’t do is disparage the TV shows, movies, books, video games, comic books, etc that others like. Why would I? I’m not you, I’m not the one watching something in your living room, I’m not the guy with your book in my hand, so why would I disparage what you like? It doesn’t hurt me if you like something that I’m just not into, so why would I talk down on it and hurt you?
Another another case in point: Constantine. I did not like this TV show. There are many reasons I didn’t like it (and I did give it a try), but I’m not going to go into those reasons. Why? Because a lot of people I do like enjoy the show. They state constantly on FB and Twitter how much they like it. Good for them! That is awesome! But it’s just not for me.
I like things for my own reasons, I dislike things for my own reasons, but at no point do I dislike something just for what it is. The trope don’t matter to me, yo! The trope don’t matter!
You like a specific trope? Right on!
You dislike a specific trope? You go, girl!
So, instead of a drabble, I’m going to talk about Indies First Small Business Saturday. I know, I know, it’s not as exciting as ripping someone’s throat out over a 40″ HDTV, but bear with me here.
Indies First is an idea created by author Sherman Alexie as a way for authors to give back to their local, independent bookstores. Basically, all across the country (and world) authors are volunteering their time to help sell some books! I will be a part of this at my local bookstore, Malaprop’s. Come find me from 11-1 on Saturday the 29th. I’ll be available to help you find that perfect gift for the book lover, or book liker, in your family or circle of friends.
Want to know more about the event? Here is a statement put out by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. Have a read and I hope you head to your local indie bookstore! Maybe you’ll run into me!