Well, I thought I had a spotlight author lined up for today, but he never gave me his info. So here are some corgis pulling a tiny sleigh.
And while we’re at it, go ahead and have an open pimp thread.
This post is going to be kind of random. I’m currently lying on the couch, nursing what is apparently some sort of stomach bug while my husband is getting ecstatic over a Broncos game. I’ll spare you the details, except to say that this morning it was pretty horrible. Now it’s mainly just weakness and chills. Hopefully it will pass quickly. My appetite’s starting to come back, so hopefully that’s a good sign.
There’s a box full of paperbacks destined for Indiegogo campaign funders sitting in my office that needs signing. I was going to be really excited about that, but between this bug and the sheer weight of recent events, I’m finding myself surprisingly unmotivated. I need to work up the gumption to take care of them at some point today, though, because they need to go in the mail tomorrow.
I don’t normally blog about politics or current events. I’m feeling compelled to say something, though, just to acknowledge what happened, because my last couple of posts over the past couple of days have seemed so out of place. But I don’t really know what to say. What can you say? It’s awful. It’s tragic. It’s heartbreaking. It’s hard to wrap your brain around that kind of evil, and it sucks to feel so helpless against it.
It’s also frustrating to be on social media and see so many people who think they have the answers to why and how to prevent it from happening again, when nobody really knows anything, and the facts have yet to fully come to light, and I realize that grasping for answers is part of the coping process, but all of the debating and finger-pointing and name-calling that I’m seeing is simply not helpful. Now is not the time to promote our pet agendas. Now is the time to process and mourn.
For the knitters and crocheters on my list, there’s a Ravelry group I joined, 600 Monsters Strong for Connecticut, and the goal is to make huggable plush monsters to give to each and every one of the surviving children affected by this tragedy. It’s the best way I know how to help, how to step up and do something to not feel so helpless, to let these children know that they’re loved and that there are still good people in the world who care about them.
Also, this link has been making the rounds. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should take a look. It will help you feel better: 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year
I’ll probably be scarce the next few days. Possibly the next few weeks. I have a lot of projects and deadlines, and I haven’t even started to deal with my Christmas obligations yet. I’m still trying to squeeze in sporadic time to work on Eucha Falls (although I doubt I’ll get the next scene done by Tuesday), and I’ve got my Wednesday spotlight slots filled for the rest of the month, so there will be some posting. It will just be sporadic. So let’s call it a semi-hiatus through the end of the year.
Love to all.
It’s the last day of the Holiday Bog Hop, which means it’s the last day to visit all of the blogs and enter to win some amazing prizes! If you haven’t already, be sure to check my main giveaway page for your chances to win my book and an amigurumi zombie hand-crocheted by yours truly. And keep reading to see how you can grab another chance to win a free e-book copy of Dominion of the Damned!
I’m a fan of zombie movies, which you might notice if you read my latest novel. I’ll pretty much watch anything with zombies in it, and I’ll be the first to admit, there’s a lot of bad out there in zombie-land. But there’s some greatness, too. Here are my five favorite zombie movies, in no particular order:
1. Shaun of the Dead – Billed as “a romantic comedy, with zombies,” there’s really not a better way to describe this movie, except to add that it’s British. And if you’re a fan of British comedy, then I don’t need to tell you that Shaun of the Dead is freaking hilarious. One of the best things about it is how straight it plays the zombie apocalypse — it’s not really a parody of the genre as much as it’s a genre-mashup. The zombies are quite frightening. It’s the “You can’t really be serious about this” attitudes of the protagonists toward everything that makes this probably the funniest zombie horror movie you’ll ever see.
2. Return of the Living Dead – This 1980s classic actually is a parody of Romero-style zombie movies, and it’s pretty brilliant. Although hilarious, it also has some genuinely frightening moments, along with a significant amount of gore. It also gets credit for adding zombies’ unyielding hunger for “braaaaains” to the genre.
3. Dawn of the Dead (2004) – Here’s where I have to confess that I still haven’t seen the original, so I don’t know how it compares, but this is a pretty frightening flick. There’s not a lot of humor to be found in this one, but it is a fascinating study of human nature in a dire situation, when it all comes down to survival. And the zombies in this are of the fast-moving variety, which makes them all the more frightening.
4. Night of the Living Dead (1968) – The movie that started it all is a classic, and for good reason. Its low budget only adds to the realism and feelings of claustrophobia and paranoia, and although some of the performances are pretty far from Oscar-worthy, there’s also some stand-out acting from some of the unknown actors in the film. It’s the film that set the standard for all modern zombie movies, and I still never get tired of watching it.
5. Pontypool – This is kind of a controversial choice. I debated giving this slot to either Zombieland or Fido, both of which I liked better overall than Pontypool, but I realized that I have more to say about the latter. It’s kind of an obscure movie, about a morning radio shock-jock and his producer who are locked in their basement radio station when an apparent zombie-like outbreak occurs in their small Canadian town. It’s one of the more creative approaches to the genre that I’ve seen, and it’s almost like listening to a radio play, as most of the action is heard rather than seen, leaving a lot to the audience’s imagination. I do have to say, though, that the ending almost ruined it for me, which I found to be almost insulting in its pretentiousness. But up until then, it was a pretty entertaining and original take on the zombie genre that had me on the edge of my seat.
Do you have a favorite zombie movie, or do you steer clear of the genre altogether? Tell us about it in the comments — and for this last day of the Holiday Hop, I’ll randomly select one winner from among today’s comments on this post to receive an e-copy of my zombies vs. humans vs. vampires novel, Dominion of the Damned!
The Holiday Hop is still going strong — you’ve still got all day today and all of tomorrow to visit all of the participating blogs and enter to win a ton of prizes in addition to the grand prize. As for my giveaway, I’ve extended it until midnight on Friday! So if you haven’t already racked up all of your entries to win a free e-book copy of Dominion of the Damned, along with an amigurumi zombie hand-crocheted by the author, there’s still plenty of time to do so. The winner will be announced Saturday.
So get thee hence and like, tweet, comment and follow to be sure you get all of your chances to win!
Welcome, Holiday Blog Hop visitors! If you’re looking for my Blog Hop Giveaway, click here! Or keep reading for a sneak peek at my new novel and a special Holiday Hop offer…
Dominion is out in the wild this week, folks… at long last. In lieu of posting the next installment of Eucha Falls for Story Time Tuesday (mostly because I haven’t yet had time to write the next scene), instead I thought I’d share a never-before-seen-in-public sneak peek at the new book. But first, here’s a handy list of everywhere it’s available.
What about signed copies? I’m glad you asked. Because this week only, during the Holiday Hop, if you e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know that you purchased a paperback, along with your mailing address, I will mail you a signed bookplate FREE OF CHARGE. Unfortunately, I can only make this offer to domestic US residents. If you’re outside of the US and are willing to cover postage costs, by all means, contact me for details. This offer is also in effect for my other novel, Restless Spirits.
And what about signed e-books? Yes, that’s right–signed e-books! You can request a free virtual autograph for your e-books at Authorgraph. And I will do my best not to make my virtual signature look like a drunken five-year-old drew it.
On to the excerpt…
The following is the entire third chapter of Dominion of the Damned. You can also read the first two chapters here.
Today is a big deal. Today, my friends, marks the official launch of Dominion of the Damned! Which means that you can now buy it (and if you have an e-pub device or prefer an actual book, I’ll let you know when it’s available in those formats, which it will be. Soon! Check back tomorrow)! But!
But one lucky reader can win a free copy, along with their very own version of the cute little guy pictured down below. Keep reading to see how.
For today also marks the beginning of the IWU Holiday Blog Hop! Which means that if you click here, you can learn how to win some SUPER AWESOME PRIZES, including your very own KINDLE FIRE, and an Amazon gift card, and more FREE BOOKS than you probably have time to read this year! And if you click here, you can find a list of all of the authors who are participating this week, ALL of whom are doing giveaways of their very own! That is a LOT of chances to win free book-related stuff! This is a good week to be a book-lover, you guys!
It’s also a really great week to support small businesses–i.e., indie authors and publishers–with your holiday shopping.
As for my giveaway? As mentioned above, you can enter to win a virtually signed, electronic copy of Dominion of the Damned in your choice of Epub or Mobi format, along with your very own amigurumi zombie doll, hand-crocheted by yours truly. The zombie is approximately 4″ tall and will have his own unique set of “injuries”, and will come with a tag that is also signed by me.
You’ll receive one entry for each action that you complete below, via Rafflecopter (just click the link if the widget isn’t showing up). So the more actions you complete, the more entries you can earn. The winning entry will be chosen at random, and the winner will be announced this Friday, December 14th, as well contacted by e-mail or direct message. Which means that you have until midnight on Thursday night/Friday morning to enter.
So may the odds be ever in your… er, I mean, good luck!
My Indiegogo book pre-sale campaign wrapped up the other day, and for those following and learning from my marketing efforts, I thought I’d share the results, along with a few observations.
Because Indiegogo won’t let you set a goal lower than $500, that was my “official” goal; but my unofficial goal was only $250, and I beat that by $5. Sure, in my wildest dreams I hoped that it would take off and get over-funded and actually serve as a source of income this month, as well as covering additional promotional costs, but I didn’t really expect that to happen, and it didn’t. Still, it accomplished the primary thing that I set out to accomplish, which was to raise enough to cover the costs of finalizing the cover, so all in all I’m calling it a success.
It did offer a few surprises, though. Where I expected to sell a lot of e-books and thought I’d do well to sell one or two paperbacks, what actually happened was that I sold several of the signed paperback packages and only a few e-books. The majority of my funders were friends–no surprises there–but I did have a couple of strangers buy some copies. I will say that I had hoped for more participation from friends and family helping me spread the word by sharing the link with their networks, but, eh, people are busy, and writers, like prophets, are rarely appreciated in their hometown, so I didn’t really have high expectations in that regard. The ones who did pass on the link, though, have my heartfelt appreciation, and have moved to the top of my list of favorite people. Just kidding about that last part. Sort of. ;p
I think my biggest takeaway is that for this sort of campaign to be wildly successful, one needs to have an established fan base full of people who will not only spend their money on your work, but also evangelize it for you far and wide. I do not yet possess such a fan base. But I do, thankfully, have enough people who believe in my writing and are enthusiastic about it enough to support me in order to get a cover funded, and that’s a really good start.
So would I recommend doing an Indiegogo or Kickstarter campaign to a newbie indie author? It depends. If they’re looking for funding to write their book, then no. But if they have a small goal to match their small readership, I do think Indiegogo is an excellent way to take pre-orders in order to cover publishing costs. My main advice is to keep your goal small and your expectations low, and expect to do the main work of spreading the word yourself.
My other main takeaway is that I really need to find a way to get my work in front of more and different people, because I think pretty much everybody within the reach of my network has been told about it. To that end, I’ll be focusing the bulk of my marketing efforts from here on out on getting book bloggers and reviewers to review Dominion in the hopes of reaching new people. I know that there’s an audience out there for this book, and I believe it’s a sizable audience; despite the fact that there are people who are sick to death of vampires and zombies, there are also still plenty of folks who can’t get enough of either genre. Now I just have to get out there and find them.