Hey Friends! Just a quick post today to remind you that I did a live reading of The Hand That Feeds at the World Horror Convention in March. It’s in two parts and takes roughly half an hour to listen to. Enjoy! Part One: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4yV4hLNXGY&feature=g-upl Part Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZYzv_s0WaU&feature=relmfu
Good morning friends! I hope that life is treating you well. Things are great on my end. I want to thank all of you who have bought Ad Nauseam 13 Tales of Extreme Horror. Sales have been very good and I have all of you to thank for that. An extra special thanks to those who’ve taken the time to rate and review it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads. And a super-duper-extra-sloppy-kissy thanks to those who have shared it on websites, blogs, twitter, facebook pages and the myriad of other social networking sites that are out there. You my friends, fans, and sometimes, kind strangers, are all rockstars to me.
Speaking of social networking sites, they have been on my mind a great deal lately. Promotion used to be something done by the publisher, allowing the writer the time necessary to just create, but unless you are Stephen King or Bentley Little, those days are gone. Your presence on social media, or lack thereof, can make or break a publishing deal. The big guys want you out there, building a fan-base and conversing with your readers. From what I’ve seen, most writers are really rising to the occasion. Unfortunately, a lot of new writers are going too far though. They don’t realize that how they present themselves is every bit as important as just being out there in the first place.
I have met some really great people through my adventures as a new writer on facebook and twitter. Some people that I count as true friends, as well as colleagues. I have also met some extremely strange and unstable individuals. Usually I am very good at picking the weirdos out of the line-up right away, but every once in awhile, one slips through. Now, I’m not going to rant at you about how you should behave on the internet. Common sense and simple manners say you already know, but I will tell you how your behavior is affecting you. If you are one of those sensationalist people who think that stirring up trouble and yelling from the mountaintops is the best way to sell your book? I will block you. If you post the same promo 5 times a day, every day? I will block you. If you regularly post about politics and religion? I will hide you. If you are a small press that doesn’t present yourself in a professional manner, engages in regular flame-wars, or is overly condescending? I will never submit to you.
And now you say C.W. why should I give a shit about your opinion? Why are you so important? Well, I’m a reader. And a fan. And writer you may want to work with in the future. Did I mention I’m a READER? I used to deal with all of this shit because I thought it was a part of the social networking experience that just had to be dealt with. Not anymore. The majority of you are a true pleasure in my life, but the braggarts, crazies and promo-whores exhaust me. I won’t deal with it any more. As some unfortunate individuals have recently found out, I will simply block all contact and go on with my life. I am in this business to tell a story and hopefully entertain some of you. If you are a writer who thinks your novel is so great it will Change The World As We Know It, then you are probably a bit touched in the head and I don’t want to network with you. I’m tired. I have plenty of drama in my life and a full schedule. I don’t have time to become your biggest fan and spread the word of your revolution. Don’t bother.
Everything you do and say is being watched by potential readers and fans of your work. My advice? Scale back the promotion. Engage your friends as a FRIEND. Don’t pick fights with other writers and readers. Don’t act like an arrogant prick or a manic lunatic. Think before you type. I can pretty much sum this up in a few simple words for you…don’t be a dickhead.
Good morning, friends! Taking a quick break from the WHC wrap-ups to share something special with you. Many of you know that I did my first live reading at the World Horror Convention, and have expressed an interest in seeing it. Well….after hours of re-formatting, editing and uploading (not exactly my area of expertise, I’m a writer, NOT a computer nerd!), it is now available on You Tube. The reading had to be split in half due to length, but my beloved Lou helped with all that and turned out what I think, is a nice little video. Those of you with weaker speakers (maybe I’m a poet!) may have to use some headphones to hear it clearly. Here are the links, and I hope you enjoy it!
The Hand That Feeds Part 1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4yV4hLNXGY&feature=g-upl&context=G268b67aAUAAAAAAABAA
The Hand That Feeds Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZYzv_s0WaU&feature=context&context=G268b67aAUAAAAAAABAA
Hello friends! I’m back from sunny Salt Lake City, and though still exhausted from the experience, I’m filled to the brim with excitement and the need to share all the wonderful things that happened at the World Horror Convention. In fact, there was so much going on, that I’ve decided to break things up over several weeks, to ensure that I cover it all. I won’t be going in chronological order, but you should get the gist of how the weekend went.
Where to start? I had decided that I would play it cool should I meet anyone I admire, and I wouldn’t allow myself to be star-struck by anyone. You have to act like a rock star if you want to be a rock star. You know what I mean? That lasted about five minutes, just long enough for me to spy Joe McKinney. To say I’m a fan is an understatement, and though we had meager interaction on facebook, the generic friendship and an occasional comment or “like”, I was stunned to actually see him in person. I froze, I began to sweat, I felt dizzy (I was suffering from altitude sickness, but I digress). There, within poking distance, stood someone I had on my bookshelves, someone I greatly admired, someone I had a writerly crush on! Non-writers may not understand this. It’s not the same as a regular crush, not a sexual thing, rather a feeling that someone is so cool, so amazing, that you would give anything to know them, maybe even to be them.
So picture it if you will, me standing around doing the convention thing for the first two days, enjoying myself immensely, but constantly seeing people who I’ve wanted to meet for a long time. I would tell myself to just go up and say Hi, but then I would get nervous. My eyes got sparkly and my mouth dry. Just do it. I would think. He’s just a person! No. No he’s not! He’s Joe Fuckin McKinney. You’ve read his books. He’s up for a Stoker. Say something! No, don’t say anything. You might look like a douchey dickface! Run. RUN AWAY! And so I hovered on the edge, wandering away at the last moment. I think I may have said Hi at some point, but again scurried away like a nervous little stalker.
I wish I could clearly remember actually meeting Joe, I think it had something to do with Lou asking for an autograph and me just striking up conversation. I know that it was at the Dark Moon Party and Stan was there. Little did I know, in just moments I would be sharing a drink in my room with a group of people that included Joe McKinney. He only had one drink, but he stayed awhile and we all talked writing. I was a bit too inebriated to really grasp what was going on, and I’m sure I’ve never acted less like a rock star in my life, but it was very cool. Joe is incredibly nice and approachable, very real and easy-going. He has kids around the same age as my own. I was already a fan, but this made me like him that much more. It also gave me the courage to approach others that had made me too nervous the day before. Over the next couple of days, I saw Joe many times and spoke to him often. He told me stories that made me laugh. My nervousness abated some and I was really honored to be present when he was awarded his first Stoker Award for his novel, Flesh Eaters. I haven’t read that one yet, but having enjoyed his previous work, I already recommend it! You should buy it, not just because Joe is an incredible writer (he is), but also because he’s an amazingly nice person. You can get it on Amazon by clicking the picture on the left.
During this convention, I met so many amazing people. Rocky Wood, Robert McCammon (briefly), Jeff Strand and many small press editors. I hung out with Stoker winners and fellow newbies alike. I was able to meet people that I have conversed with through social media, some of them nearly everyday for the last year. It was awesome. Stacey Turner from Angelic Knight Press and Robert Shane Wilson and Mark Scioneaux from Knightscape Press were so fun to party with. My Dark Moon Crew, Stan, Mina and all the others. But especially my good friends Jen Word, Julie Jansen and Craig Garrett. I know that I’m missing tons of people, but we could be here all day if I listed them all. The point is, I met many great people and had a wonderful time. I left the WHC feeling more confident in myself, yet humbled by the level of talents that had touched my hand.
I really look forward to the next convention. I hope to see Joe and all of the other great writers that I had the honor of hanging out with. Maybe next time I won’t be so nervous. Maybe I’ll even act cool like I had originally planned. I doubt it, but……it could happen.
What an exciting time it has been over the last few weeks! I’m sorry I’ve been silent on here, but there’s been a whole lot going on. As you all know, Ad Nauseam was released at the beginning of the month and thanks to the support of all my friends and fans, we managed to sell out both Barnes and Noble AND Amazon within hours! Now these were smaller print-runs, but it was still very gratifying and the book continues to sell. I’ve received some very positive sentiments from those who have read it so far, and though the reviews are slow to trickle in, they have been nothing short of amazing! Thank you to everyone who has bought the book so far and I hope you all like it. Because I won’t be able to do many signings with this book, I would like to extend the offer that anyone who wants their copy signed, can contact me at C.W.LaSart@hotmail.com, and I will provide you with a PO Box where you can send it for signing. I will mail it right back.
This Thursday, I will be boarding a plane for my first ever convention. I’m so excited to see the beautiful Salt Lake City and attend the World Horror Convention 2012. I will be finally meeting my publisher and many of his staff face-to-face, as well as many other horror writers that I have only conversed with on the internet. Lou and I will have the great honor of attending the Bram Stoker Awards, as well. It should be great time and I promise I will post photos when I get back. For those who will be at the convention, Dark Moon Books/Dark Moon Digest will be having a launch party at 10:30 on Friday night and I will be doing a signing at that time. I will also be reading my story, The Hand That Feeds, at a time to be announced later. I hope to see some familiar faces in the crowd!
Well, that’s all for now. I have a great deal to do before I leave Thursday, but I promise to share photos and stories (and maybe even a video!) when I get back. Looking forward to meeting many of you at WHC, and for those that won’t be in attendance…I will miss you my friends! Much Love—C.W. LaSart
Hello Friends! Sorry I’ve been away so long, but life has been very busy here and I’ve been working hard to make sure that Ad Nauseam will be on time for its release on the 1st of March. All of the editing and formatting is done, and it is now in the hands of the powers that be (in this case, they would be the printer and Amazon) and hopefully it will be available on time. If not, don’t worry. It won’t be too long now. I’m extremely nervous and excited to finally hold it in my hands. There’s a big difference between wondering how your first book will sell and actually having it out there to succeed or fail as it will. I hope it does well, but that will be up to you as readers. If you enjoy it, please mention me to your horror-minded friends and maybe a quick review on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles? If you despise it, please feel free to contact me and tell me what you hated. I can take the pain. I promise not to cry. In fact, I may enjoy it.
It was bound to happen, I knew I could not be universally loved, but I recently came across my first negative review of one of my stories. I was a little stunned at first, but quickly became amused as well. Not only did the reviewer hate my story, but she hated it more than any of the others in the anthology, saving a full page of vitriol for my tale when all others got anywhere from a few lines to one short paragraph. By the end of the review, I was laughing so hard that I had to call and share it with a friend. Don’t get me wrong, I mostly agreed with her assessment of the story. It was by far one of my weakest, a zombie story that I wrote on request despite the fact that I don’t like to write about zombies, but the fact that she felt such strong hatred for what was such a simple tale, amused me. I don’t know why. I’m wired wrong in the whole humor department. 🙂 Anyway, I immediately contacted her and, rather than defend my story, I offered her a copy of Ad Nauseam to review when it’s released. Rather than shy from the negative review, I offered up another chance for her to eviscerate my writing in the near future. I hope she likes my collection better than she liked that story, but if not, I can take it. I am always open to hearing the opinions of my readers, both positive and negative. Until the book is released and you are able to form those opinions, here is a sneak peek of what the back cover looks like!
At the end of March I will be accompanying my publisher, Stan Swanson, and some of the employees of DMB/DMD to the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City. It is my first convention and I’m very excited. I’m also a little terrified as it will be my first public reading and signing. Okay, I lied. I’m a whole lot terrified of the entire trip. It will be fun and crazy and wonderful, but it’s so far outside my usual comfort zone that I could throw up a little just thinking about it. Starting with only my second plane ride (the last one was 15 years ago), readings, signings and possibly meeting some of my most esteemed peers in the horror industry, this trip has the potential to be one of the most fun-filled yet anxiety-ridden events of my life! I’m ecstatic. I’m petrified. I only hope that I will be able to conduct myself with dignity and properly represent Dark Moon Books in a noble fashion. Naw, I’m just yanking your chain. I intend to drink like a rockstar and have the time of my life. Okay, maybe there will be a happy medium somewhere in there, but I guarantee there will be a shot of over-priced whiskey drank before I do that reading. Maybe two. For medicinal purposes only. One must tend to their nerves…
So if you are waiting for the release of Ad Nauseam as anxiously as I am, rest assured that it should be released in the next couple of weeks. AND if you happen to find yourself anywhere near Salt Lake City at the end of March, swing by and watch me do my first reading, then I’ll be happy to sign your book. What’s that? Why yes! Of course you can buy me a drink…
I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions. For the most part, I tend to throw them out within a week or two. So the fact that I joined a gym last week has nothing to do with the new year. It does however, have everything to do with the World Horror Convention coming up at the end of March. I have agreed to do a reading and will, hopefully, get the chance to sign some books. There may be people who want to take my picture on the off-chance that I may become famous someday. I know writers aren’t like movie stars. We aren’t expected to be sexy, but damn it, I have pride. I want to look good for this. It’s the first vacation, working or otherwise, that Lou and I have ever taken in over 5 years together. Call me vain. I want to look nice. I quit smoking last year, and it’s starting to catch up to me in a big way.
So I’m eating right (Think-starving to death) and exercising (You know those gerbils in the wheel that we think are so cute? Like that. But less cute and more jiggly). I’ve dug out my microdermabrasion kit (Sandpaper. My face. Yeah.) and I even bought some bleaching toothpaste (Not going to bitch about this. At least I’m not a porn star. You do not want to KNOW what they have to bleach.). :/
I’m cutting the fat, getting rid of the excesses in my life. I also got word that in 6 weeks or less, Ad Nauseam will officially be released. This got me to thinking about all of the other awesome writers I have met through forums and social networking. I love these people. Most are very personable and I enjoy their responses to my posts and their own thoughts that they launch out into the cybersphere. But there is one thing that being friends with other writers tends to pile upon you. SPAM. No, I don’t mean everyone’s favorite ham flavored treat (Does anyone really eat that shit?), but bookish spam, otherwise known as the Buy My Book Syndrome. There’s nothing wrong with advertising your work. A certain amount of self-promotion is not only smart, but a necessary part of making it in this business. I’m not talking about that. Not at all. I DO THAT.
What I am talking about is the handful of authors, mostly of the indie variety, who think it’s okay to smother my feed and every group I belong to, with their advertisement. I’m not talking about the occasional plug. Oh hell no! Some of these people think it’s okay to plug multiple times a day, on their timeline and every group that they belong to. The end result? Since a good deal of us belong to the same groups, I get splattered by upwards of 12 of the same spammy message at a time. Did I mention this happens multiple times a day?
Since I can’t do anything about what they do in the groups, my only option is to quit those groups and I won’t be shoved out by someone who doesn’t respect others. But I can do something with my timeline. And I lied to you. I DO have a New Year’s Resolution. This year I am cutting the fat. Those of you that flood the networks with nothing more than self-serving ads for your own work, will be hidden from my feeds if not completely dropped. I WILL NOT BUY YOUR BOOK IF YOU DO THIS. This goes double for those who do nothing but spout politics. I also promise not to mention the books I have for sale unless there is pertinent information on them, such as a release or price decrease, more than once every week or two.
No one understands the necessity of self-promotion more than I, but let’s treat this with a modicum of professionalism and restraint. There are better ways to get your name out there than by becoming “that prick that won’t shut up about his stupid book.”
I should be getting ready for work; yet another New Year’s Eve spent serving my patrons as they let go of the old and usher in the new. Instead I find myself here, at the computer, reflecting on the monumental changes that one year can make in our lives. New Years always leaves me feeling a bit melancholy. When I hang up my bar towel and put away my jiggers tonight, it will be 2012. Another year gone and a new one begun. What a whirlwind 2011 has been for me, and 2012 promises to be so much more. It’s kind of scary.
This year has been great, many short stories written and accepted. An entire anthology penned in 5 short months. The Cemetery Dance Amateur Writer’s Contest won, gaining me entrance at the affiliate level to one of my biggest dreams, the Horror Writer’s Association. Contracts signed and so many friendships formed. Having been penning short stories for just a little under two years now, I realized that I have about a 90% acceptance rate. Not for all of my submissions (I’ve gotten my fair share of rejections), but the number of stories that have found a home. Few still sit in queue, waiting. I am honored and humbled by the events of the last year and the impact they have had on my life.
As great as 2011 has been to me, 2012 promises so much more. There are a great deal of experiences awaiting me this year that both thrill and terrify me. Here’s a short list of the things I have to look forward to in the next year:
~The release of my first anthology, AD NAUSEAM 13 Tales of Extreme Horror.
~My first ever convention, and not just any convention. The World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City where I will:
- Meet my publisher for the first time in person, as well as many other writers that I have become friends with
- Do my first public reading of my work (seriously, this one causes me indigestion)
- Do my first ever book signing (also a little queasy about this, but it mostly feels silly. Who would want my autograph?!)
- Help represent Dark Moon Books at it’s first public appearance.
~My own book launch in my home town, which involves so much planning, organizing, funding and other crap that…excuse me, I need to go throw up now!
~My debut into the grown-up world of accountants and tax-deductions. No longer will I be able to go the EZ route, I will now have to save receipts and figure out some way to be a more organized person than I am.
~The end of the world in some Mayan-predicted cataclysm….wait, that one probably won’t happen 😉
I guess what I’m trying to say is this, 2011 was a great year for me and 2012 looks to be even better, but part of me wants to hold on to this year for just a little longer. Every year brings change for us all, some years more than others, and change can be a very scary thing.
I would rather spend the evening with my family, but it’s always fun to see others enjoy the New Year as well. I hope that 2012 brings many wonderful changes for you as well. Most of all, I hope it brings health and happiness to you and those that you love. I thank you all for the support that you have shown. I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you. I promise to pull up my big -girl pants and face 2012 with a brave face, knowing I am blessed with the love and support of so many wonderful people. Even if it scares me to death…
Hey friends. Not a whole lot to say today, so I thought I’d get you up to speed on what I’ve been up to. I had a story included in Frightmares, just click on the picture if you’re interested! In other news, Dark Moon Presents Zombies! and Dark Moon Presents Ghosts! are both available, with Dark Moon Presents Vampires! coming out any day now. I’ve sold a couple of reprints, A Wise Woman’s Revenge will be coming out in May December Publications Wake The Witch Anthology, and Sirens will be included in the premiere issue of Dark River Press’s new magazine due out in February. Other than re-writes for Ad Nauseam and one other story for Slices of Flesh, I am taking it easy for the rest of the year. I intend to spend the holidays with my family and reflect on what a crazy, busy, and wonderfully blessed year 2011 has been for me. Cheers friends—C.W. LaSart