Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Snow Hill coming June 2008 to booksellers:

Feel free to lend your opinions!

Friday, May 4, 2007

How to Destory the World

When writing your stories, something appeals to you about the world that they're in. It has to. You write it, genius. So now, here's the question: What should you do with that world?
World often revolves around sequels; a few or a few dozen, but it's more than likely based on or around characters, right?
What if you're writing this awesome-powering epic about the end of the world? My God, the end of the world is coming!
It's a touchy subject for some. To me, it's a fascination. Can it happen? Will it happen? When?
While I do not have the answers to any of these questions, my opinions are as follows: Yes. Most Likely. Who knows.
I've been working, and then completely and re-working several stories, including The Fallen. And to follow of that would be numerous short stories, with a potential second novel and a few novellas.
For the most part they do not go around just one character but several. It's based in a near-apocalyptic world of utter chaos and destruction, demons and monsters, faith and hope, death and life.

Writers know that to be good at what they do, the key ingredient is knowledge. You need to do your homework, my friend. Just imagine one novel taking place in a few different states, a few different countries and a few different continents.
You see, the world we live in is still a giant mystery (unless you know something I don't), and the depth of Space is greater than that by billions.

So, how do you make a world and destroy it?
It's easier said than done. But if you want, I'll wait here while you look it up on the internet…

Done? Good.

There is no right way or wrong way to end the world (religious buffs are probably composing hate mail right about now). You see all these movies on End Times Prophecy, read the books, maybe even dust off the ole Bible and starting finding verse after verse of quotes to use.

When it comes down to it, this world is pretty much going to hell in a hand-basket. It's not that hard to see is it?
We got terrorists; pissed off kids going on shooting sprees at schools; enough bombs to destroy the entire solar system.
Does anyone see something wrong with this picture here?


So, while Snow Hill is at the shop (editor's office), I'll be working on a new world, modeling off the one we live in today.

Oh, and I might have a special promotional thing going on with one of my publishers for an upcoming convention. And I'll keep you posted.

Amazon.com news/Info on my short for MagusPress/the late night hours of a writer.

First and foremost, my bestselling short on Amazon.com, Phil's Place, to my estimate, sold quite a few copies, giving me more than the pro-rate allocated in standard markets--yay for me.But that's not the news.Amazon.com has officially accepted part 2 to Phil's Place, being titled Darkness Won't Rest: Phil's Place II, which is a run off of the events that happened 11 months later.I will soon be working on a third and final installment of novella-length, ending the trilogy up to a very surprising turn of events.That's the great thing about writing: you never know what twists and turns await around every typed word.And I'd like to thank Daniel Slater and all the Amazon staff for accepting these stories, and to my newly found editor, Maggie, who is doing a standout job with my work.

Well, it wasn't too long ago when I had sent out an E-mail asking if there were any upcoming projects or anthologies from MangusPress. To my surprise, I got an E-mail back almost right away saying that a new project was lined up with other authors already being accepted and all that and that it'd be nice to have me apart of the cast.Awesome!Well, I was planning to have it done by Monday, but as luck would have it, I had more pressing things to do, including family/personal stuff; I'm still working on it and will have it done by the end of the week even if it kills me.MangusPress is a nice, new and refreshing taste of horror literature. And I'm hoping that they'd like the short enough to put it in the anthology.When I finish writing it, and send it in, and when I hear back from them, I'll let you all know how it goes.
Yes. I lead a very unusual late-night life. I stay up until the wee hours of the morning and sleep all day--unless I have to be awake for something important.
This is what I do. I write nearly every second I can when I'm not busy doing everything else--and considering my part-time job is only two days a week, well that gives me a full five days to write my ass off, now doesn't it?
Maybe I have a sleep disorder. Who knows? Who cares? I don't.
All I know is I need to get my ass writing, and writing quickly. I'm hoping to finally finish Snow Hill by June 1, 2007, than hand it in to the talented Leya Booth for her editorial skills and see if anyone would pick it up. I thought about it for a while... Snow Hill doesn't seem to follow any publishers groove; maybe it's a Tor novel. I doubt Leisure. It doesn't have enough violence for them, I don't think. It does have one steamy sex scene. Oh, man!Maybe one of the small presses will take a stab at it.Who knows? Who cares? I do.
Snow Hill is a three-year project. That's how long it took me to get at it, and I had to speak to some cops about the specifics--and it's a good thing last summer the police, fire and paramedics had a softball game at the park across from where I work. Oh, I was hitting them up with all sorts of questions, so naturally, my dedication would go to them for their help and expertise and for saving the lives that they do each and every day.
After Snow Hill is completed, I will be taking a shot at a story based on Spider Gates. And for those of you who do not know what it is, I suggest Googling it. Googling? That kind of sounds kinky, huh?
My agent, whom I had for such a short time is retiring and I'm on the lookout for a new one. Any suggestions?I think I may have found one, but she lacks a certain amount of experience, and dealing with people these days, you need to have 30 years of experience in something. I'd settle for 5 or 10.
Well, I'll keep you all posted on anything that comes from any of these three topics.

What's Going on here?

Who the hell am I?Am I a simple writer? Am I someone with extraordinary abillities? Maybe I'm a superhero...
I've been E-mailed by a very nice young lade who had this to ask me (slightly revised), "Umm, do you have your own group? I would be--and several other people--would love to be members. We could talk about the latest horror novels and talk on how we can improve our writing...well you don't, you're great but you know what I mean. That would be so awesome and positive. Well in recent events peple are very gloomy and dark. I love it because you can cuddle up to a good book."
Am I that good to have my own group? I know my book has sold quite a few copies, which seems to be better than some other first-timers. Though it wasn't with the best publisher, it's still selling, and selling well. While it's doing "fair" on Amazon.com, it's doing better than "fair" on BN.com. Under the new releases of BN.com's supernatural-horror section, I was #15, surpassing people that I think are much better writers than I. These people incluse Michael Laimo, JF, Simon Clark and many other mass-market authors that are nothing less than icons in horror-fiction.
Did my family buy a few thousand copies and kept it a secret? Perhaps.
At the result of this, I got advice from a fellow author-pal to do soemthing with CafePress.com who does personalized clothing and other items. These items extend from shirts, hoddies, bears, thongs--yes, I said THONGS.
I made them the chapes price I could, so they wouldn't be too expensive if any person--which would most likely be one or two--choose to purchase them. The link is on my main page of my profile, or CLICK HERE

If anyone hads any further suggestions of any kind, feel free to send me a message.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Pizza Box Story

While getting a small pizza at Papa Gino's, an epiphany, if you will, came to mind.

I was talking to David of DavidMangus Press about new projects he had going on, and while I don't feel as I should mention them at this point and time, I do think I can tell you a little bit about it.He had told me a theme to a new anthology that's going to feature some pretty incredible writers; while I asked if he had openings for it, he offered me a shot to submit for it, pending if my story is good and not crap, of course.

What came to mind was written on top of, on the side of and inside a pizza box while I was sitting in the truck, waiting.Though it wasn't a full length short story or anything--it was just a good start to one, and according to the Microsoft Word count, 943 words were written on that pizza box.
I'm surprised the ink didn't fade from the steam.

This little story of fiction is called "Room 409." I won't begin to mention what it's about yet in fear that my story would not be selected in this anthology of super-cool-writers.

However, if my story is one of selection, I'd be more than happy to tell you all about it when the time comes.

On Writing I

When I wrote "On Writing" as the title, I was not aiming for a spin-off of Stephen King's "On Writing."
This is basically a few passages on my views and my opinions of writing from me, the new guy in town.
Yes, I have one novel out in the bookstores and some short stories that found their way here there; according to BN.com, and as of April 20, 2007, I am competing with some mass-markets finest, including J.F. Gonzales' The Beloved, Simon Clark's Death Dominion and Michael Laimo's Dead Souls and other really gifted writers at #23 for bestselling new releases in the genre.
I'm no expert, and I don't pretend to be some great English wizard. I just simply know from my five years of experience how some things—not all things—work.
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You ask most writers how to write so well and 4/5 times they'll tell you: "Reader everyday, writer everyday." To me, and no disrespect whatsoever to whom of those who gave that piece of advice out, that's the biggest cliché in literature.
Of course you do need to read a little, and writing every day does improve your skills; you have to do more than that.
Now, I'm not going to tell you to take $500 and go join some writers' workshop—you can if you want to. All I may suggest it picking up five novels and one anthology of various authors and read them. Five novels of today's most talented group of writers. Study them to see what is being picked up and by whom.

Writing every day does help, but you need to see if you can stick with one novel long enough to complete it. And to be honest, you could finish a single novel in a month if you work at it long enough. However, a month won't cut it. After you first novel, I'd recommend you reading it over a good five times and really concentrate on it. Make sure the description is down pat some that the reader can visualize every aspect of the story; the characters need to become their friends, their neighbors. They have to love 'em or hate 'em—there's no in between.
Even though I read a lot (as you can tell from my previous blog), I recommend a book by Dean Koontz where I feel his character pops right up from the book in page one. That character is Christopher Snow in Fear Nothing.
It was an enchanting and well written book, one of my all-time favorites, to be honest. Koontz is a New York Times Bestseller and has been doing this for thirty years plus. And you got writers like Chris Golden, Brian Keene, Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum, Tom Piccirilli—all legendary figures in dark literature, then there's Joe Hill, Bryan Smith, new writers who are shaken things up around town.

You can sit and stare at your computer screen all day wondering when words are going to flow from your mind to your fingertips (and in the meantime watch porn?). You need to make it happen. It's like any other job. It's a struggle at times. And sometimes (in my experience) you need to force the words out and then go back letter with a red pen (or the remark tool on your computer) and edit the hell of it. Cross this out. Re-writer that.
People have asked me how I write at such a young age, and why am I published at 21. My answer is: I tried. I worked my ass off to get it somewhat right. It may not be the best piece of American fiction, but hey—it's something.

And why is my short story on Amazon.com that got disregarded by peers at the Shocklines Forum based solely on a type in the synopsis a bestseller?
Hmm, the story itself my have appealed to readers someway or another.

Critics don't bother me much at all. If they bothered writers, I'm not sure if there'd be a single book in print right now; I love the readers. It's only them who buy my books and my shorts and the magazines my shorts are in. Only them. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the money too much, but to me it's much more important to be thought of as a descent writer, someone who can tell a story and make people think. If I've done this for one person, or for thousands—hey, I'm doing okay. It even makes me what to sing that Travis Tritt song, "It's a great day to be a live. I know the sun's still shining when I close my eyes. There's some hard time in the neighborhood, but why can't every day be just this good…"

Tom Piccirilli had said to me, "That's why we all get into this crazy business in the first place--because we are fans who enjoy what other writers have done before us, and with them in mind we try to carry on."

I couldn't agree with you more, Tom.

It's not about reading every day. It's about understand what you're reading every day, reading between the lines, finding the grey and putting color to it.
People for some reason or another keep buying my books—maybe someone's got a gun to their heads (wasn't me—promise).

Regardless if you sell one book or one million books, the main thing is (according to me) to attract readers and keep them by your side through your career.

This is just my opinion. This is no way guaranteed in any way from anything herein.

© Joseph McGee, 2007