Recently, I bought an old Kay electric guitar. It’s a Style-Master – from 1959 (the same year I was born). Today I disassembled the guitar, and now I will proceed with the restoration. The wood body and neck are going to need very light fine grade sanding, and a clear coat of lacquer. It’s a blonde wood with no stain, so it won’t change the appearance, but should help preserve it. The pickups are a problem. The chrome covers are pitted a little. They used to be a sort of gold tone, but are mostly silver now. They are also riveted to one of the pick-guard plates, which also have some light corrosion and discoloration. I have to figure out how to fix them.
There is some corrosion around the potentiometers that manage the tone and volume – this guitar has three each of tone and volume, and then one that changes the pickups. I have to find a small tabbed knob for the top control, which is the pickup selector. The “V” and “T” is faded on some of the knobs, but I can use a tiny bit of white paint and fix those. The electronics, I’m afraid, I will have to replace, but it’s a simple wiring project, and I did this for 20 years in the US Navy – that part I can handle. The bridge is in great shape. The tuning pegs are functional, but the chrome is a bit rusted and pitted (see pictures) so I may replace them. The tail piece is copper or brass – it’s a little worn, but I think it will stay (after a polishing. There’s a white peg that goes through the bottom of this tailpiece and into the wood (looks almost like the pegs that hold strings) except the top of it is broken off (where a strap would connect) so I have to find one of those. I will keep you all posted as I go – but here’s what I could use… someone with experience to tell me how to handle those riveted on Pickpups. I guess they could be drilled out and replaced…? I need to figure out how to buff out or clean out the corrosion on the pick guards and then fix the finish (sort of a copper or gold-tone finish that looks as if it was lacquered over (again, see pics). I need a vintage K control knob with a single pointed tab on one side to point where it’s selecting.
In celebration of the author turning another year older, and Halloween, and Edgar Allan Poe, and all that … I’m dropping the price of Nevermore – A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe to only $0.99 from now until the 16th of November. This will be featured a few places, maybe win a winder audience…one can certainly hope!
You will find that the sale price is good at Amazon.com – Barnes & Noble.com – and at the Crossroad Press Online Store – if you search this blog, you’ll find everything you ever wanted to know about this novel – reviews, interviews with me, interviews with characters in the book itself – starting to be one of my most popular works.
In addition to this savings, if you are an Amazon.com customer, and you buy the eBook for only .99 – you can download the unabridged Audiobook as well through the Whispersync for Voice program – it is narrated by Gigi Shane and she did a wonderful job. I’m very proud of this book, and I figured – while launching in to my 54th year of life, I’d start out by sharing something with all of you… so here you go.
Get them while they’re cheap! Also available in hardcover and trade paperback at all of the above vendors…
For interested fans – NANOWRIMO is about to start. This year I will be writing “The Not Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs & The Crazy Case of Foreman James,” the long awaited sequel to “The Currently Accepted Habits of Nature.” Stay tuned!
I am privileged and excited to be included in one of these very cool eBook bundles – a chance for readers to get a bunch of books cheap – and for authors to reach a new and wider audience. I’m not going to go on about it – all the details are below. The image is linked to the Storybundle site.
THRILLS AND CHILLS IN OUR OCTOBER THRILLER BUNDLE
Thrillers come in many different shapes and sizes and we’ve assembled a wide spectrum of tastes in this new thriller set, available Oct 22 through Nov 12. From worldwide conspiracies to rampaging kaiju creations, this bundle has it all!
StoryBundle’s Thriller Bundle is curated by international bestselling author Joseph Nassise, and includes his own novel The Cerberus Protocol, the first in a high-octane action thriller series written with long-time friend and co-writer Jon F. Merz. “We wanted to combine the action and suspense of the thriller genre with the chills of dark fantasy, which we think is a perfect combination for the autumn thriller bundle.” Nassise is best known for his internationally bestselling Templar Chronicles series and is a regular contributor to the Rogue Angel thriller series from Gold Eagle/Harlequin.
Joining Nassise and Merz are a host of fantastic authors bringing some truly original works – award-winner Christopher Golden brings the first in his Body of Evidence series; bestseller Jeremy Robinson treats us to a kaiju thriller to rival Pacific Rim; supernatural thriller writer David Niall Wilson shares a novel of love, loss, and Edgar Allen Poe, bestseller Russell Blake gets dark and deadly in a noir detective thriller. The U.K. contingent rounding out our bundle is equally impressive – #1 U.K. bestsellers Steven Savile, Zoe Sharp and Sean Black all deliver tension-filled excitement in their action-oriented thrillers.
Nassise, who assembled this talented collection of writers, says, “I wanted to showcase the variety inherent in the thriller genre today and decided that only the best would do. To that end I put together a group of bestselling and award-winning writers, knowing the result would be an impressive showcase of the very best the genre has to offer.”
The initial titles in the Thriller Bundle are:
- The Cerberus Protocol by Joseph Nassise and Jon F. Merz
- Body Bags by Christopher Golden
- Project Nemesis by Jeremy Robinson
- First Drop by Zoe Sharp
- Nevermore by David Niall Wilson
- Black by Russell Blake
If you pay more than the bonus price of just $10, you get all six of the regular books, plus two bonus titles, which include:
- Ogmios by Steven Savile – a three-in-one omnibus edition that includes the novels Solomon’s Sealwritten with Steve Lockley, Lucifer’s Machine written with Rick Chesler, and Wargod written with Sean Ellis.
- Lock & Load by Sean Black, a Ryan Lock novella
That’s a total of ten novels in all!
The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via StoryBundle, and allows for easy reading on computers, mobile devices and Kindles via file transfer, email, or other methods, with multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) available for each book.
It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards—which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle—and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.
Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.
- Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
- Pay what you want: You decide how much six fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to six thrilling titles.
- Support authors: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog.
- Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. We’re currently featuring Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now.
- Receive extra books: If you beat our bonus price, you’re not just getting four novellas, you’re getting seven!
StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.
Here’s the deal. Back in 2009 a very warped idea was conceived on the social media micro-blogging site, Twitter. It became my latest novel – KILLER GREEN. This project has done well so far depending on social media as it’s platform, so I’m reaching out again. The book needs readers and reviews. I will therefore gift 20 copies of this book to folks willing to review it on Amazon.com – and I’m making this call through the blog where the original screenplay that became this novel was written and shared – and through Twitter and Facebook, where it has continued to exist – largely due to the friends and online family that helped bring it to life. Below is the Author’s introduction to the book, which gives the whole sordid story of the screenplay and it’s journey to eBook – soon print and unabridged audio. To receive your copy either DM me on Twitter at @David_n_Wilson – send me a message on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DNiallWilson or send an e-mail to david AT macabreink DOT com. First 20 in get the books. Tell me your preferred eBook format in your note, and if you want the Kindle book, please supply the e-mail you use on Amazon so I can gift it to you.
Here is the Synopsis for those who have missed it: Quentin Tarantino meets Smokey & The Bandit in this noir, science-fiction thriller. Sometimes, people just need killing. When Sam West wanders into the Sunny-Side-Up Diner for the last time, hoping for a last slice of Mort’s world-class pie, and one last look at a waitress named Delilah, he has no idea he’s about to become the instrument of a great, karmic cleansing. The only thing crazier than the seemingly inevitable trail of bodies following Sam and Delilah south is the fact that – as State Police and local sheriffs begin to investigate – they find no evidence. Nothing. And the missing bodies are just the start, as an unlikely band of companions are drawn together in a scientific experiment more in line with the TV Series Fringe than anything in reality, with the threat of alien probes, local law enforcement, and rednecks around every corner.
I’m listening to the audiobook of J. K. Rowling’s pseudonymous mystery / thriller, The Cuckoo’s Calling – narrated by Robert Glenister and attributed to the fictional author Robert Galbraith. I will start by saying it’s a thoroughly enjoyable book, and that I’m very pleased to have been in on the secret prior to reading it, because there are hints of Hogwarts I might have missed otherwise, like the victim – Lula Landry – can’t help but remind one of Luna Lovegood, and the accented voice of Cormoran Strike, our erstwhile detective, when performed by Robert Glenister, resonates with hints of Hagrid. This is not a review of the book; I have other things on my mind, but I have to say, I am loving the characters, the story, and the narration, as I would expect to, the work having been created by a favorite author.
That brings me to the crux of the matter, though. I almost didn’t get the opportunity. The book, first released as a novel by Robert Galbraith, would likely have slipped past me unnoticed. It received what your average novel with a slight leg up might see – came out in hardcover and got a short bit of press, and then began to fade quietly into obscurity, despite solid, positive reviews. All of this changed, of course, when people learned that it was J. K. Rowling behind the pen, and that she’d managed to put one over on the literary world. There are now more reviews of the audiobook on Audible.com than I have sold of my last book…and considering the low percentage of listeners who take the time to rate, or review, the numbers become staggering pretty quickly.
A couple of things occur. I am betting that Rowling’s agent and publisher were never as enthusiastic about this as she was. I am guessing they tried to tell her how hard such a transition to another genre was going to be. I am also guessing it was their idea for the book to come out under a pseudonym. I’m of two minds on this.
For one thing, I am fairly certain that it is doing as well as it is partially BECAUSE of the revealed secret. The sad fact is that the subject of my post here (which I promise to get to eventually) is as evident in readers as it is in publishers and editors. If this book had come out as a mystery novel by J. K. Rowling, it would have done well, but it probably would not have been the phenomenon that it is. Many people would have nodded and smiled, but waited in hopes she’d come back with more Potter. It’s happened to others – John Grisham, and “The Painted House” which is one of his best books, and also slowest performing. The truth is; the “branding” everyone is so hot to create for authors is a two-edged sword, because, by definition – you are branded.
I have mentioned this before, but never attacked it head on. Limiting an author to what an editor, an agent, or even the public expects and wants to hear from them is a horrible, soul-sucking thing. Only at the very top end of publishing, the Kings and Koontz’s of the world, can the bonds be broken, and in most cases it’s because the author’s name has grown so powerful it’s a genre unto itself. Anyone mid-list and below with even moderate success who comes to their agent or editor with something completely different is probably going to be ignored, harangued, or at the very best, forced into a pseudonym – where the book will be treated like any first book and forgotten, and the editor / agent will say SEE? Of all the evils and horrors of the world of publishing as it has grown over the years, bloating, shifting control to agents (who are supposed to work FOR writers) giving marketing control over content, when marketing as often as not wouldn’t know a book if it slapped them in the face but DOES know the lowest-common-sales denominator, and, of course that’s more important than quality, the forcing of authors into “molds” is the most insidious and has probably cost us the most in terms of wonderful, forgotten books.
Writers are artists. They perform at their optimum capability when creating what they need to create, not what someone wants to sell. The farther you stray from this truth, the more generic and cookie-cutter the work becomes. I have not been categorized – not really – because I’ve yet to have one of my books take off. I am certain that if one of them does, that is what I’ll be known for, and judged against, and shelved by… and I will have to fight against that because I simply enjoy writing what excites me too much to go back to writing what someone else thinks I ought to.
J. K. Rowling is my hero because she did what she wanted to do, and then, she made it powerful. She put herself and her name behind it and said “This is what I wanted to write,” and it is GOOD – and I love her for that. I only wish she had not needed to prove the worth of the book by hiding it under another name, and that publishing, the reading public, and life were not so caught up in the notion that you have to buy the known quantity. The movie with the top actor. The book with the biggest name-brand and associated with the history of that brand. The car some idiot drove too fast in a movie that is (in fact) nothing like the one you can buy…
You should all go and read The Cuckoo’s Calling because it’s a wonderful book, and because a talented author wrote it. You should not read it because she wrote Harry Potter… but because you recognize and appreciate her talent. You should not have to make that choice, but the world has put it in front of you… How many people read 50 shades of crap, just because there was a big hoopla over it, and in SPITE of the almost absolute agreement among critics, authors, and readers that the writing wasn’t good? How many people – also despite all of that – will go and buy the book on writing written by this person who by all accounts writes poorly – because it has her name on it? How many of you – honestly – who read or are reading The Cuckoos Calling would have done so if J. K. Rowling had been on the cover originally, and there had never been a secret, or a big deal made of the revealing of that secret?
The question is, of course – can writers make their way writing what they want to write, and can readers learn to pick books – not because of advertising hype, or “branding” – but because of quality? Or will publishing, despite it’s changing face, always make buying books as much like buying cereal as it is like art?
And so more than a month of blogging, interviewing, pimping, and otherwise striving to find ways to introduce Nevermore, A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe to the world has reached its end. Yesterday the final two blog posts went live – they are linked below, along with all of the other stops along the way. More than 40,000 words written to promote a book that is about 52,000 words long… I must be crazy.
But I love this book. I have huge faith in the story, and the characters. Reviews have borne this out – but no matter what I do, or say, despite a “social media reach” that should be in the ten thousand range, the book only trickles out. Such is a writer’s life.
I’ve been buried nose deep in writing The Note Quite Right Reverend Cletus J. Diggs and The Crazy Case of Foreman James, and in marketing / formatting / proofing and editing books for Crossroad Press all along, but I’ve dedicated myself to pushing this book. I will remain so dedicated. You should go and buy it and read it. If you are a print only person, it’s available in hardcover and trade paperback. If you like eBooks, it’s available in every format at a cost of only $2.99 for the moment (the sale price I set it at for the promotion). If all of that fails to move you, Gigi Shane has narrated an unabridged audiobook of the novel which is fabulous, her voice bringing things to the novel that the written word cannot. I can’t think of a single thing to say beyond what I have said in all the posts below, and all the blog posts pointing people toward them, so I will now let this go.
Congratulations to those who have entered to win copies of the book; I will have your names / etc. soon and will have all the copies out to you.
THE ENTIRE TOUR! READ THEM ALL, INTERVIEWS, GUEST POSTS, CHARACTER INTERVIEWS…
Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE
I hope it’s not getting monotonous, my posting the entire tour links every day. I am hoping that people who have missed the earlier posts will still find them interesting. Some of them, like today’s post, are unique. When I was given the schedule for this blog tour, I was also given an “assignment” for each blog. Some wanted interviews. Some wanted a guest post for their blog. Still others wanted me to interview a character.
In today’s post, I have the very odd, and distinct opportunity to interview one Edgar Allan Poe – not just the historic Poe, but the Poe of my novel. To do so, I traveled with another character, Donovan DeChance, to what I can only describe as another dimension – to an office / library that Poe discovers during the novel. Tricky, but fun.
I did a lot of research on Poe prior to the writing of the novel, and have continued it ever since, because I find him fascinating. I have very, very old editions of his works. I have one of the magazines he first appeared in…I don’t have a raven, yet, but I’m working on that… I hope you enjoy the interview, and that it makes you curious enough to buy the book. Nevermore is only $2.99 for the length of this tour – but the tour ends on September 2nd, where I have my last two blog stops on two separate blogs simultaneously.
Here is a snippet from my interview with Edgar:
“DNW: Today I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing one of America’s most distinguished poets and authors. I have to thank my friend and fellow dreamer, Donovan DeChance, for the introduction, and the remarkable circumstances that have brought me to a very singular room – not quite in, or out, of my own world and time – and into the presence of a personal idol. My guest (or rather I am his) is none other than Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar, you have no idea what an honor this is…
<a href=”http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/2013/08/nevermore-novel-of-love-loss-edgar.html#sthash.HkvJ6j97.dpuf”>Read the entire Interview at the blog of Deal Sharing Aunt</a>
THE TOUR SO FAR:
Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE
The other day a blogger took me to task for being disappointed that one of the blogs that signed up for my tour didn’t post the guest post I gave them, or respond in any way to queries about it. There was going to be a review at that tour stop too…something I’ve come to anticipate, as I’ve gotten only a moderate number so far on the book. Here’s the thing.
There was a bare minimum of effort required for that blogger to meet their commitment. I wrote the post, and I handed it in to them more than a month ahead of time. I provided a free copy of my book and, while that blog does have a review policy that says reviews not guaranteed, they committed to the review when they chose it as an option on the blog tour AND their own policy states that if they just couldn’t finish, or whatever, that they will say so… They said nothing.
Thankfully, the talented Michelle Lee let me borrow her blog space, and, albeit a day late, the Character Interview with LENORE is live (link below). Maybe I have unreasonable expectations, but these things have two-way commitments. I met and exceeded mine, and it’s frustrating and off-putting to have that work ignored. Enough on that. I hope nothing horrible happened in the life of the blogger in question, and I wish them well, but as a cautionary note – if you set up a blog tour, vetting the blogs carefully is important, and one thing I would check is how long it’s been in operation (the blog) and how regularly it’s updated. Also important? Traffic, comments, and popularity. If most of the traffic on a particular post is channeled through my own post about it on my blog, then I didn’t really need that other blog at all…the idea is to diversify and build the audience. I hope I’m doing that. On the up side, 287 people (or so) have signed up to win one of the prizes…
Today’s post is about the birth of Nevermore, A Novel of Love, Loss & Edgar Allan Poe. It covers the pre-story in Kali’s Tale, and moves on to explain how the book came into being. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Here’s a snippet:
“Eleven months ago, I wrote the following at the beginning of a post at my website and blog:
THE TOUR SO FAR:
Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE
I suppose I’ll get back to more normal posting soon. I have only a few more stops on the blog tour. I’ve been steadily working on typing in the lost Cletus J. Diggs novel from my hand-written scribbles, so progress is being made. I’m also enjoying a stint of actual editing on an original novel that Crossroad Press will be publishing… Always working on something. Soon I’ll share the pretty cool trailer that narrator Tom Pile made for my novel KILLER GREEN – which is due out in unabridged audio soon.
Today’s post on this never-ending gobstopper of a book tour is about influences. I have my own views on what influences writing, and creativity – as I do on most things. I tried to unscramble those views and compress then into a single post. Here’s a short snippet:
“Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are very simple answers to the most common questions asked of writers. One is, of course, where do you get your ideas. The simple answer for that is from your influences, and from your mind. It’s collaboration between your creativity and the world that makes stories possible and the stronger the connection – the more it means to you – the more powerful those stories will be. Everything influences your work. Everything.
THE TOUR SO FAR:
Read about Genres & Why I hate them : ==> AT THE AUTHOR’S CAFE