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Sunday, February 24, 2013

My 2nd interview which 'expired'...:-)

Well, my 2nd interview 'expired' on epublishabook.com, so here it is, in all it's glory...yeah, right :-)

Your last book 'Rage of Atlantis was made available to the public in June 2012. How well has it been received by the public so far?
Well, I could count my sales on both hands, but those who have read it say it's fantastic and should be read by a much larger audience.

Your book falls under the main fantasy genre. Do you tag it with other genres? What do you see as the pros and cons of writing fantasy fiction on the publishing scene?
This book is much more than just fantasy. For myself, I find the genre tags to be too restrictive as I don't write with a genre in mind. I try not to write clones and so it's tricky to pinpoint exactly in which part of the market it should go, be it fantasy, sci-fi, detective, thrilller, comedy.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
Once the writing's done, the marketing begins. It's part of self-publishing, but I don't really know how to do it. What I'm trying to say is, I love writing, I hate marketing.

What marketing tools do you use to improve your ranking on Amazon?
Sales. More sales. Even more sales. Sales produce sales. And begging. Begging for my readers to add a review. Which is like pulling off toe-nails.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing vs being published?
The disadvantage of self-publishing is that your book goes nowhere without you putting your foot in somewhere and doing some self-marketing...which I hate. But once you have something written, you can put it out into the world, you don't need to wait for the impossible dream of being picked up by an agent or publisher. There is a chance of being read through self-publishing, though it's slim as I've seen. But better than nothing. Well, that's what I keep telling myself (banging head against wall).

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Beg. Beg some more. Grovel. It hasn't been so successful. I've given books away, reviewed other authors, kissed babies, promised World Peace, but nothing seems to work. For all my 3 books on Amazon, there are reviews on both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, but they are few, very few. I did, however, receive an interview about my 2nd books 'The Bethlehem Fiasco', perhaps my greatest success so far...excluding this one :-) (well, apparently only for 1 month, but HEY, got a little exposure...or not)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Monkeys + Religion

You know, there's that youtube video of that guy in Korea doing "Gangnam Style", now there's a new video of people just being stupid and dancing any old way, and calling it a 'style'. My books call humans monkeys. Can't you see why? People have so much time on their hands and their priorities are all so messed up.
In Hungary, there will soon be YET AGAIN, new legislation in the school, children will have either Religious lessons or Virtue lessons. Problem is, there is no one who can pass the strict rules for being a Virtue teacher, other than Relgious teachers, so those Religious teachers who can't get a job as a Religious teacher will become Virtue teachers...did you get that? I hope you did.
Religion. I think I'm going to have a BIG THINK about it, and write something, something which will make people think. On Jottify, a popular amateur poet wrote a poem about the uselessness of prayer, and you should've seen the response! So many Christians patronising her! "Oh, you have the right to your own opinion..." Why did they have to open their mouths in the first place? Are they trying to reinforce their faith? Their faith in nothing? "God is all around us." "Jesus Lives". Yes? Then I want his phone number.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hemingway- 'The Sun Also Rises' Part 2

Did you know?
1. Hemingway made a hurtful remark against Henry James, as he also lost certain parts of his body, as did Jake, Hemingway's main character.
2. Gertrude Stein DID NOT say "You are all a Lost Generation" first. It was a French petrol station owner, disciplining one of his employees (who fought in WW1) after not being able to fix Stein's car. She merely copied him.
3. The Sun Also Rises is NOT an attack on the Lost Generation, but actually a tragedy...Hemingway "didn't mean the book to be a hollow or bitter satire but a damn tragedy with the Earth abiding forever as the hero."

4. Hemingway strips away imitations and creates a new complex pastoral vision, one closer to reality and nature, its wildness, showing us that the traditional pastoral vision does not lead us closer to nature and is in fact one of the tamest literary forms.
...and get this...:-)
5. Hemingway was going to re-title the book in the 2nd printing to...The Sun Also Rises (Like Your Cock If You Have One) but thankfully didn't. 
Isn't it a great thing to study literature? You can find out why you're reading books which you wouldn't normally pick up in a month of Sundays :-) 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hemingway - 'The Sun Also Rises'

I had to read Hemingway's 'The Sun Also Rises' for an assignment, and my first impression was 'What the hell is this?' Up to Chapter 12 it reads like some pedestrian travelogue, along with some forced dialogue and men running after 1 loose woman.
But in Chapter 12, something actually happens! Hemingway goes straight back to the classics, and creates a 'complex pastoral vision' (you might have to go and look that one up - I did). And then it goes back to as before, but with that edge from Chapter 12 still running through the reader's mind.
I can now see why it's a classic.
But my question is, why did I have to drag myself through 11 chapters to get to the juicy bit?
Still, I'm glad I did :-)
You can't beat a classic...unless you're looking for pure entertainment, which is 'The Bethlehem Fiasco' :-)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Over 5000 views! :-)

This blog has NOW had over 5000 views! Cool! Thanks to those who care and Mr. Briggs :-)
I got a bunch of views from the Netherlands the other day, I wonder who you are...
I'm at 15,000 words on the new book (some important essays have slowed me down) ...I'm also at a crossroads with it...getting a 'new' direction with the plot.
I have my 2nd try for 55 dollars on Austin Briggs site, at 24+ votes after 46!! That site has been hit by a lot of negativity!
http://austinbriggs.com/flash-fiction-contest/a-true-teen-adventure/
My 1st short story is still Number 1 'ever' there :-), now at 72+ after 84
http://austinbriggs.com/flash-fiction-contest/not-me/
And my FREE ebook has been downloaded 106 times...it's tricky to get people to get something free, huh? Should I offer something else with it? Money, perhaps?

As if by Magic...

I was hoovering the flat, you know how it is, and the kids have been to tons of parties recently. Parties means balloons. Loads of them. So, I was hoovering, after the million and one other 'tasks', and these balloons were a real pain! I threw one in disgust and swore at it, and 'bang!', it blew up. I thought for a moment and tried it again, threw a balloon, swore at it, and 'bang!'. I turned off the hoover and called over to the love of my life...I think about 2 weeks of flowers and chocolates might do it...:-(

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nothing post

Yes, this is the post we've all been waiting for, the 'nothing' post! (party time!)
Not much is happening, due to pressures of life and college, creativity has hit an all time low, other than the odd line like "Your name's Hugh, yeah?" (it's funny in Hungarian).
Put my 2nd 55 word story on that website http://austinbriggs.com/flash-fiction-contest/a-true-teen-adventure/
Doubt if I'll win, but the more votes the better, just to get it up the chart.
103 downloads of TDX2, it's going slow. I also have an opportunity to put up a 'Guest Post' on someone else's blog. Hopefully it's better than this one! Please vote for the story :-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

NEW 55 word story + 1st part of Manna-X

OK, so here's the 2nd try at winning some money! I'm aiming at 100+ votes :-)
Please vote, and get anyone else you know to vote, or failing that, any other IP address :-)~
http://austinbriggs.com/flash-fiction-contest/a-true-teen-adventure/

And here's a revamped introduction to 'Manna-X', with help from authonomy.com writers.
I hope you like it :-)

Short Pitch: Hidden for over 3000 years, the Manna Machine, Manna-X, becomes the treasured prize of a select few. Can you hear the tick of the Manna-X?

If this wasn't far enough, then what was? Rihat began to dig, out in the middle of nowhere, far from any living man, creature or tree, days from any encounter with a settlement. He dug deeper and deeper, under the light of the moon and the stars, stopping only to listen to the faint sounds on the breeze. A distant howl of a lone wolf brought out an instinct bordering on paranoia to protect the precious cargo. 'Run like the wind, run as far and as fast as you can, allow no one to take or touch the item which you carry. Hide it for all eternity, away from our imminent destruction, away from the hearts and minds of all humanity...' He'd left his Master in the doomed Holy city, to suffer the onslaught of the Babylonian heathens.
“Degemer Mad.”
Rihat stood up in his now three-foot deep hole, looking around, scanning the open plain and saw no one. He dug once again, sweat pouring out of every pore, thinking it was only the mind playing tricks.
“Ahoj.”
A second sound. That was a word. Or was it? He'd roamed north for so long, it could be any language.
“Yassou.”
That was Greek for sure. He knew a little Greek, Stavros was his name.
“Shalom.”
Hebrew.
“Shalom?” Was it wise to reply?
“Hello! What ya doing?”
There was someone else here in this open plain. Rihat grabbed the sack containing his heavy burden and jumped out of the hole and into another. On landing there was a snapping of wood, quickly followed by excruciating pain.
“Argh!”
“Ooo, that looks nasty, you wanna get that seen to.”
There was a silhouette of a man in the hole, illuminated by the moon, sitting, watching, picking his nose.
“Argh!” The pain was unbearable. “I think I’ve broken my leg.”
“Yes, snapped it right off, if you ask me. Congratulations.” The man applauded.
As well as the overwhelming pain, it was warm, very warm in the hole, comfortable though numb.
“Is it me, or is it warm down here?” Every word was torture.
“It’s just you, there's no heating down here. Probably that’s where the warmth is coming from.” The man pointed down. A pool of blood trickled onto the bottom of the hole.
“What’s that?”
“My guess is yours, 'cause it's not mine. Looks like your leg isn’t your only problem.”
His bag. Rihat must’ve landed on his bag holding the item. He was immobile on one side.
“Oh, Tiamat!”
“You said it.”
After so long running, hiding, feeling thirst and hunger and above all, fear of being captured, to end like this?
“Where am I?” Life, draining away.
“About half an hour from unconsciousness, if you ask me.” This man wasn't helpful.
“No, where are we?”
“In a hole. Next question.”
There was no time or energy for this.
“No. Where is this hole?”
“Oh! On the Plain, far from the nearest settlement.”
Would he drown in his own blood before…?
“And who are you?”
“Me? Err, let me think now…” Don't think too long. “Moront, Moront Pilock, that’s me. Linguist, translator, interpreter, at your service.” He ignored the man's attempt to shake hands, what a time to be polite.
“What kind of name is that?”

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

TDX2 + Fashion

TDX2 (Too Dull to Die), my free ebook (here on Smashwords.com) finally went over 100 downloads! Yeah!
It's unbelieveable how hard I had to work to get those last 25 or so! This is what it's like to get someone to read a book!
I also got a new comment in authonomy.com...
I loved the dialogue. When I first started chapter one, some of the narrative sections felt like they could use some firming up. But as I went down to the conversation between Guido and Graham, I was drawn in to the story by the clever dialogue and fun and original details. At some points, the rhythm was spot on and it flowed exceptionally well. 

You know, I've read so many free ebooks in the last few weeks, it hurts. All of them were terrible. I found myself reading my OWN free ebook to alleviate the pain. I also read so many starts to books by self-published authors on Amazon.com that my eyes bled from puffed-up descriptions and poor unrealistic dialogue. But these books had so many 5* reviews! These authors have tons of friends willing to lie / money to pay semi-professional reviewers.
The more I see of the literary market, the more I believe that it is the worst type of fashion. Who cares whether it's 'good' literature or not, it's a superficial subjective thing, all that matters is 'who is reading this book, what do they think of it, do I follow them'? All you have to do is look at '50 Shades' to see that.

Monday, February 4, 2013

New book - over 10,000 words

The beginning of the new book is almost ready to be shown on authonomy.com, just got to edit it a bit.
I've also submitted another 55 word story to the theme of 'Adventure' - I really need the money. I'll put the link here on a blog post so you can vote for it if you have the time.
Not that votes count much, I'm top of the 'ever' list as you can see (Not Me), but that doesn't mean I got the money...
But I tried to write a good one this time (not that the 1st was bad, maybe he didn't understand its depth, but hey)
So, a bit of editing, and you can see the new book, it's fantastic, really :-)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Exquisite banality

The 55 word story competition: I'd like to thank all who took the time to vote for me and I APOLOGISE from the bottom of my heart for not winning a dime. I didn't get them 55 bucks. I didn't even get 30 (massive applause). However, my story 'Not Me' is No.1 on his 'Top 10 Flash Stories Ever' list (+70 out of 78 votes). 74 people out of 78 liked it. He wasn't one of them. This is what he wrote...
I know that on top of brilliant writing, some folks like  really drove exposure to this contest, for which I’m deeply grateful. Please write again, who knows, you may win next month!
...which basically says in his opinion my story was shit.
I'm not going to write to him, not going to comment, what's the point. It's just as I wrote here on Paul Dorset's website 'Definition of 'good' literature'. It's all down to the internal and external influences of the judge. If he has a reading level of a 6 year old, so be it.
My own thoughts of my story is...
'A vulgar glimpse of young urban English life with a profusion of linking pronouns, culminating in a punchline with yet another simple pronoun'. In my opinion, that's literature. Clone, dull and lame it is not. (go on, read between the words of that last sentence :-)) ....if you wanna see it all, and see the stories which won, here's the link...http://austinbriggs.com/blog/january-2013-winners/
So, that made me think whether I'm a good writer. It certainly made me pause in writing my 5th (yes, I know I said 4th, but TDX2 is so 'big' I consider it my 4th now)
Why am I writing? To make money? (laughs from my partner in the background) No. I started because I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. Now I look for the perfect sentence. They only come through the process of writing. They 'appear'. From exquisite banality comes a gem. It's those gems I crave for. And sometimes they appear, among the corny, cheesey sardonic dialogues and bleak sparse descriptions.
Go, look for them :-) http://amzn.to/14wkkew and here for free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/273975