Wednesday, February 28, 2007

An open letter to all you know-it-all Reviewers

I really shouldn't complain. For every bad review I get, I'm fortunate to get four or five really positive ones. On balance, I'm coming out okay. But when I read some reviews in a newspaper or on a website or in a magazine or on, I just feel like I want to go nuts when I hear the reasons for why some folks think one of my books "deserves" a bad review: "I don't like the hero. He's mean. He said a dirty word. XYZ novel wasn't enough like your other XYZ novel. Why did you have to kill that character? Why so many characters? I been readin' crackerjack crime novels for sixty-two years, and you ain't funny. You said the supermarket was on the left side of the street and by God I live in that town and the supermarket is on the RIGHT side of the street. Your characters don't wear enough hats. The part with the ninjas wasn't realistic. You smell bad. There weren't enough pages. Too many damn pages. Not enough women characters. Too many cliches. Too over the top. Too boring. I hate you."
To all these negative reviewers, I have but one thing to say:
Hell, I might question your taste and your judgement and even your literacy, but there's one thing for sure. You walked into a big ass book store with about a million books and picked mine. You gave it a chance. (Even reviewers who get books for free must choose from a giant pile.) So thanks. I wished it had worked out better, but the fact is you gave it a shot. We didn't quite click on our blind date but thanks. Really. No sarcasm. Thanks.
And for all you great folks who gave me groin-grabbingly good reviews ... well, I just have a great big wet kiss for you. You know you're loved.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Out of the Gutter Magazine

I just got my contributor's copy of Out of the Gutter Magazine. Hot damn. This is going to be some good, old-fashioned dirty fun reading. I haven't gotten into the stories yet, but I'm enjoying the darkly humorous ad parodies. Kudos to all the gutter-snipes involved.
By the way, if you're in the Houston area, I'm told these fine people are going to be carrying the magazine. Go now. Bring money.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's Beer (seriously this time)

It's rare my wife and I agree on a beer we both like, but Scarecrow Golden Pale Ale is pretty damn good. It's expensive as hell. (Compared to Coors light anyway.)

When I used to live in Oklahoma and I was mowing the lawn in summer and it was 105 effing degrees outside, then a nice, cold watery beer like Coors Light really fit the bill. But now that I live one block from a fancy-food market with a great beer and wine selection ... well, I'm finding some interesting choices. My favorite beer is still the stuff I had on tap in the Czech Republic. Get yourself an expensive airline ticket and head to Prague for a week for some first class beering. Hmmmm. I feel the need to get back to Europe. Soon.

Friday, February 23, 2007

It's Beer (ish)

According to this can of Coors Light, the Frost Brew Liner "locks in refreshing frost-brewed tatse."


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Chat me up, Part III

Check out my half-assed answers to a variety of questions by going HERE.

Thanks to Gerald So for the invite.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Chat me up, Part II

If you want to participate in Tomorrow's chat, you'll need to sign up to DetecToday first. Go HERE. Once you've signed up, you'll need to log onto Yahoo! Messenger and contact Gerald So's Yahoo I.D. ("g_so") Then you'll be invited to the chat.

Again, the chat is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3:oo Central Time.

Thanks to Gerald for the step-by-step instructions.

Chat me up

Come watch as the valiant novelist struggles with instant messaging technology. Join me and host Gerald So for an online q&a. Be there or be square. Sunday, Feb. 18 @ 3 o'clock central time.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Thursday, February 8, 2007

My very important and extremely effective writing process (so pay attention)

Let's face it. I'm a writer. A professional writer. You're probably asking, "sir, what can I, a non-writer, do to become more writerly like you, for you are mysterious and artistic and I respect you from a great distance."

Of course you do.

We've all looked at a published novel and with a very very impressed expression on our faces thought, "Wow. That's a lot of typing."

Yes it is. A lot of typing. Indeed.

So I will give you the secret of my writing process. Take notes.

First, I get up every morning at 4:30 a.m. and jog sixty miles. It's good to do this in a circle so you're not far far away from home when you finish. This clears the mind. Especially on a cold morning. Even in winter I jog in a speedo and smear my body with vasoline. This is very artistic. DO NOT take an ipod or walkman or any other music listening device. Music is the artistic creation of another. You must hum to yourself only, or sing out loud if you feel others would enjoy your voice. I suggest something by Abba -- Super Trouper. This is collaboratively artistic, so it's okay.

Do not shower upon returning home. You should literally be steaming with creativity.

Eat one chocolate-chip granola bar and wash it down with 22 cups of coffee.

Now you are ready to write. Your mindset is ready to receive the muse. That smell? It's you. It is the stench of art.

Perhaps you are still not 100% in the mindset. Fret not.

Light several aroma therapy candles. This might seem a bit sissy. Not everyone likes the aroma of "jasmine sunrise." After a careful internet search I found a company in Gary, Indiana that makes manly scented aroma therapy candles. I prefer "gun oil" but "catcher's mitt" is nice too.

Enough. It is time to write.

I write verbs on M/W/F and nouns on T/TH. That's just me. If you're old fashioned you might enjoy writing everything all at once. Some mystery authors like to start at the end and work their way backwards. Fine, but that could take forever. I start in the middle and work my way to the end and the beginning at the same time.

Break for lunch. Fruit or possibly unpopped popcorn kernels.

Then back at it for another solid thirty minutes.

Try this for six months, and you too can one day look at your completed manuscript and proudly think, "Man, that sure is a lot of typing."

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Suicide Squeeze book trailer

This is sort of ancient history, but I discovered it on YouTube. It was meant to promote the hardcover release. (Although I like the paperback cover much better.) Anyway, it's minimal but still neato-nifty. The tralier they did for Shotgun Opera is even better, but it wasn't availablke on YouTube.

Degenerate Literature

I've been told that the debut issue of Out of The Gutter Magazine will be available soon. You'll want to click over and check these folks out. Stories from some quality writers ... and one from me too. Bring your check book.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Sex Devil is Awesome

A very funny, clever writer you should all know about. For more information, click here.

"If you're not cop, you're little people."

I always enjoy the Friday movie quotes over at Nobody Move. Especially today since the quotations come from one of my favorite films Blade Runner. Although I respect the director's cut, I always had a soft spot for the original version with Harrison Ford's voice-over. Critics often claim Ford's voice-over is flat and lame and detracts from the film, but I always thought it contributed to the film's over all noiry goodness. During grad school, I spent most of my energies writing creatively, but the essay I wrote on Lacan and Blade Runner was one of the few papers that made me think I could cut it as a scholar. I'm also a fan of Phil Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but there's just something visually stunning about the film that adds a creamy layer of enjoyment the novel doesn't offer.

A big thumbs up to John D. over at Nobody Move!

Speaking of P.K. Dick, I heard A Scanner Darkly sucked it big time. True?