Posts Tagged ‘CW LaSart’

Stormy Spring

I spend the majority of my time thinking about things that scare the hell out of others. It’s what I do. My goal as a writer is just that, to scare you.I want my tales to keep you up late into the night, thinking about the horrors that I have wrenched from the dark and thrust into your mind. But there are much scarier things in this world than any monster a writer can come up with. This Spring has seen some truly horrific events unfold in our country. Unusually strong storms have spawned incredibly destructive tornadoes that are quite literally wiping towns off the map. Although tornadoes are not unique to the United States, we do lead the world in the phenomenon, averaging around 700 tornadoes a year with Australia coming in at a distant second with 200 a year. Add on floods and hail damage to crops, and this has been a particularly brutal Spring.

Just a few short weeks ago, I stayed up half the night watching the radar as over 100 tornadoes in a single day, destroyed much of the state of Alabama, including a town that I lived in for a couple of my teenage years. I then watched in fearful anticipation as the line of storms attacked Georgia, narrowly missing the suburb of Atlanta where my only sister and her family live. It was almost a week before I was able to contact my friends in Alabama and make sure they were all alive. Just last night, a massive tornado took the town of Joplin, Missouri in what was the deadliest single tornado event in more than 100 years. My friend and writing colleague, Kevin McClintock lives in Joplin. Thank God he and his family were spared.

There is video footage online that allows you to listen to five minutes of hell as people in a gas station in Joplin, huddle in the cooler of a gas station while the tornado destroys the building around them. Five minutes of panic. Five minutes of destruction. Five minutes of the most horrendous screaming you may ever hear. I don’t care to ever hear that five minutes again. I sobbed as I listened, glad that I was alone at that moment. Their terror will haunt me for a long time. I pray for the people of Joplin and every other town that has suffered the wrath of mother nature this year.

I will never write anything that will inspire even one tenth of the terror that those people have endured, and for that I am grateful. I don’t want to. Horror as a genre is meant to cause fear, but mostly as a release for the everyday fears we all harbor in our hearts. Sometimes it’s nice to scare ourselves to be reminded that we are alive, and to give us an outlet for the terrors of this world which can’t be completely dispelled. I ask that you all pray for one another, that we may see an end, for this season, to the violent storms that are causing so much destruction. And help in any way that you can, be it monetary donation, volunteering or just keeping them in your thoughts. I have to go now. As I type, the sky is growing dark. I think a storm may be coming. 

Why don’t you share the love and hop over to Kevin McClintock’s author page on Face Book and click like. It won’t help the people of Joplin, but it will put a smile on one resident’s face!!/pages/Author-Kevin-McClintock/179212852110179

THE END. is only the beginning! Part 2

Hello Friends! Last week I talked a bit about what it takes to get my stories ready for the upcoming anthology. When finished, it should include around twelve to fifteen. To date we have five, with only one, Sister Alice’s Suitor, completely edited and ready for print. I have multiple works in process, and every thing to be edited and revised for print. All this must be done by August. I’m starting to feel like I may have sold my soul to the devil, or at least my Summer! Okay, enough whining you! So let’s leap ahead and pretend all this work is done. I wish! You might think it would now be time to kick back, put my feet up, and smile as the bucks start pouring in. 🙂 Wrong again. One of the biggest parts of being an author any more is self-promotion. It is also one of the hardest. As authors, we are mostly shy people used to working on our own. If we were outgoing, we would be actors! I will admit that, as a bartender, I am not terribly shy, but that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with shameless self-promotion. I love talking about my writing. I also hate it. Blogs are fun, pushing my writing in people’s faces is not. This is something we have to get used to, we won’t sell books if we don’t. No promotion=No sales=No money=No food! I like to eat.

Let’s start with the things that I already have in place before the book is written. I have a facebook fanpage. Now that was kind of fun. This morning I counted 120 fans. I have 250 some friends-HINT-HINT! Facebook is fun, but it takes a little longer to build your fans unless you pay for advertising. I’m not in a position to do that just yet. Next was my Twitter page. In less than a month, I have 323 followers! Not too shabby! Twitter definitely grows faster. Yesterday I opened an account at Goodreads. I am still working on that, so I don’t have much to say on that subject just yet. And the most obvious endeavor of the last couple of months-my website here. This website has caused me much anxiety, but it has been a growing experience as well. With the help of my dear friend, Jeana, I think it is looking pretty sharp, but I probably need to spend more time working on it. TIME who the hell has any of THAT!

Okay now, fast forward to Fall when the book is scheduled to be out. Even before you can order it on Amazon or find it in a bookstore, I have to have my platform in place. I am already doing research on which sites might be willing to do reviews, Come On Cemetery Dance! I am also looking into what my budget might be for advertising on the horror sites and in magazines, and which will do it for free. I will be calling the newspaper (always good for free press, especially in smaller towns) and putting together a combination book signing and launch. This is where I will shamelessly invite everyone I know to spend an evening with me and buy a book for me to sign. I will also have to speak publicly. Please excuse me while I go throw up. Since I won’t see any money at all from this book until some time next YEAR, I will have to arrange book signings that don’t cost too much, preferably in bigger cities I can drive to AND where I know someone who will put me up. Fortunately, I have family or friends in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, SD. Minneapolis, Minn. Omaha, Nebraska, and a few other places. I also have family in New York, Denver, and Atlanta to name a few, but plane tickets will be out of the question just now.

I am in contact with a publicist who fortunately offers lesser services for smaller fees. The point I am trying to make is this, if I spend more money than I have, promote myself shamelessly and build a fan-base for things such as this blog, maybe, just maybe, I might sell enough books to break even on the deal. But my next book, that’s where I will start raking in the big bucks! HaHa! That’s all I have for today, I really should start chipping away at all that work I have in the months to come. I’m trying really hard not to let it scare me!

P.S. Just getting this blog done isn’t THE END. I now have to post it 4 places on Facebook, and 1 place on both Twitter and Goodreads! *le sigh* Back into the vault with me!

Authors! Need some help with promotion? Check out Novel Publicity! Emlyn will take good care of you!

THE END. is only the beginning! Part 1

THE END. Phew! Finally got that done. Thank God I can move on to the next project-or can I? People who aren’t dealing with the writing industry often believe that the hardest part of writing is well, writing. They couldn’t be more wrong. I recently found out that the editor of Dark Moon Digest and also Dark Moon Books, my dear friend Stan Swanson, would like to publish an anthology of my more extreme stories! Holy Cats! I feel like a rock star! 🙂 Cue the triumphant music! Anyway, I thought I would take a little time to clue you, the reader, in on what sort of work really goes into a project such as this. Books are born in the authors mind, but it takes a team of talented professionals to take this vision and make it a reality. Follow me on my journey.

First I write a story. Why? Because that’s what I do. Writing a story is the easiest part of the process if you have a story to tell. It’s time consuming and at times frustrating, but the telling of tales is what I excel at, so it hardly seems a chore. The real work begins just after the story is told. I will gloss over my own editing and initial rewrites, these are my burden alone, and start with what happens next. I personally am blessed with a beta reader who has a degree in English and editing, who is a good friend willing to give each story a once over for me and assist me in the polishing process. Her name is Kacy, and I love her dearly. She slaughters my genius and makes it more palatable for you to read. This is a painful but necessary process, and you should be grateful to her, as she cuts the parts that I know deep inside are unnecessary, but still love too much to let go. This is my baby, and she is disciplining it. Next I send the story to Stan, who reads it and sends it out to a handful of editors for opinions. If the story is regarded poorly, it hits the floor, and I go on to create another. If the comments are good, my little baby goes on to another editor, Mina. She is the one dedicated to the actual edit of each story in the anthology. It is her job to make sure that they end up as the best possible tale that we can include. So Mina’s job is to make Kacy’s discipline look like a walk in the park! She roots through every aspect of the story leaving no stone unturned, and questions the very paper it’s written on! HaHa! It’s not truly so bad as that, but it’s brutal. When she has put the ax away, the story is sent back to me, bleeding and mangled.  I am only kidding, but when you first open that email and see your creation nearly obliterated by red ink, it’s a bit horrific. Once again, it is absolutely necessary. When the shock has worn off, I go through the story line by line and consider the corrections. This is not a one time thing, but can occur four or five times before the story is put to bed.

I should stop here for a second and explain, I adore Kacy and Mina, my stories benefit GREATLY from their expertise. I am in no way being critical of them, it is their job to be critical of me. I’m just trying to relay the pain of the editing process as we writers feel it. It hurts, but it is also exhilarating! You see, taking 5 hours to simply write a story doesn’t make me feel like a writer, it’s what I’ve always done. But taking a couple weeks to review edits and re-write a story, well now that feels professional! I no longer go days without checking my email, certain that it contains only jokes. I now check my email many times a day. So close. I am so damn close to being a professional. In all honesty, I think that scares me the most!

Next week I will walk you through the horrors that await me when the stories are actually done!

Check out Mina’s fan page for her own book, due out soon from Dark Moon Books! Show some love!!/pages/Blind-Hunger/189830657704893

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