Day 1 2018 Zombies are Real!

Sitting here at the keyboard on the first day of 2018.  All is quiet in the house; not even the cats are stirring. I too feel like my mind should be still as I did imbibe a little-fermented grape juice or was it whiskey. Hmmm.   At least I returned home with the clothes that I went out with.  I think….

Somewhere during the witching hours of eating, dancing, drinking, waiting for a big ball to drop, and hoping anything that I said or did does not end up on YouTube, it got damned cold for Texas.  The plants that I covered up to protect are now plantsicles.

The hotel this morning was awash with zombies.  Young child creatures carrying oversized teddy bears thought that screaming at the top of their lungs was a fun thing, as they watched the zombies shrivel to almost pulp. The piercing sounds that could break glass were no match however for the evil stares from the zombies who tried to use their magical powers to silence the evil imps.  Had they looked into the eyes of the Zombies they surely would have evaporated into steam or possibly frozen into marble statues to stand as a stark reminder to the other urchins, never taunt or antagonize a zombie on New Year’s Day!

I did not fall into the undead or walking dead category this beautiful day.  I don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing.  I saw the ragamuffins as someone else’s problem and went about my way to find one of the carts that hotels often have in good supply.  Waiting over an hour by the cart return area, two zombies of unknown sex or age came walking at a snail’s pace, pushing said cart as if they were Sisyphus struggling to manage the two roller bags and one black dress.  Slowly losing ground against the load, a bellhop took pity on them, or me, and assisted them with their load.

One of the zombies went to the door only to be met with the harsh reality of “DAMN ITS COLD OUT!”

I, although annoyed by the lack of courtesy of the zombies laughed at the sudden jolt of life that seem to lurch through the embalmed veins of the gray creature. Color of some sort seemed to well up from somewhere deep inside the beast as their animated arm movements caused some circulation of the antifreeze still sloshing through the carcass of this fiend. For the first time, I was able to tell that it was the male of the species.  I could tell this as it growled in a deep voice as it struggled against the automatic door for the disabled to breach the icy unknown terrain of the sunlit parking lot.

Thirty minutes later the creature managed to maneuver his vehicle to the entrance of the hotel where his mate waited patiently or was it dead.  The mate did not move as the car pulled close to the door.  I was not sure that it was still breathing.  Carefully I nudged it as it snorted and then as it’s large eyes opened it looked at me through a crimson hays.  I suddenly became fearful as it appeared as if it had the eyes of Mordor, and I had no magic ring to toss at it.  I cringed thinking surely that daggers would come out of those gaunt looking features but it actually spoke. “Yes, can I help you?” It said.  Clearly, this was the female although I could not picture it in that little black dress! I pointed to the other creature now looking very much like a yeti, which was standing outside his vehicle waiting for his partner, or was it his precious?

As she tried hard to stand, I slipped the bellhop five bucks to assist them and bring me the cart.  While I might have enjoyed watching the two creatures, try to lift their two bags and one black dress from the vehicle, my patience was just about gone, and I too felt as if the monster within me might immerge and ruin the first day of the year of me not sinning any more…   ever…. Who am i kidding! I sin before I ever get out of bed!

If my beast had come out to play, and I ripped my clothing off to expose my superhero status, would I have found a suite with a large S? Perhaps a suite with a large W?  Would there be a red cape or magic golden rope, or would I have established that I indeed did not have all the clothes that I started the evening with and suddenly resemble an oversized smurf with built-in glass cutters?

  • How was your first day of 2018?
  • Did you see the zombies?
  • Where you a zombie?
  • Are there videos of you on YouTube?
  • Did all of your clothes come back with you?
  • Did you know the person you woke up with?
  • Did you recognize the person in the mirror?
  • Did you see a reflection in the mirror?

Novel 26 is close to being ready to edit.  I am so excited that I have figured out how the book will end.  This is one book that I have put much thought into and actually planned it, rather than allow it be a stream of conscious.  “That will make sense to any writers out there.”

I look forward to getting to know each of you better in 2018!  Thanks so much for following me!

Follow me on Twitter @authortwscott.com or @TWScott823.  If you are an agent and want to represent someone with a proven track record, I am not sending out Query letters so contact me via the website at www.authortwscott.com.

Query letters take four hours to create, and I don’t have the time or patience.

If you like what you read please repost or tell others about it. This is me, marketing and building my brand and you the readers of my blog are the beneficiaries of pure pearls and entertainment! Much Love -TW

 

My Happy Place, Where is yours?

Having written many different novels covering multiple genres I often get questions posed to me about why this or that?

The truth of the matter is simple.  What I was writing about at that time excited me to do so.  What inspired me to write about that subject is another topic.

Some subject matter in our society today is “forbotten” (forbidden) by some group of people who think that they have some right to be its curator and arbiter for all time. Guess what; you don’t own shit!

In the UK I could be in trouble for some of my subject matter as they don’t have freedom of speech.  If I say something about some group that is hateful I would be called the hate monger.  In your vernacular UK, that is stuffed up! I would vote those cockwombels out of office if it were me.  If you like what I write, you should have the right and ability to read it.  If you don’t approve of my writings, take your business elsewhere.  Vote with your purse.

Now truth told, the folks in the UK are some of my most loyal customers, so thank you so much for that!

As a writer I can write about Race, Gay issues, straight issues, political issues, I can even write about romance. LOL

Writing fiction with gay couples has been something that interested me in that I have many gay friends.  I care about them as one might care for a brother or sister.  Whether I agree with their lifestyle or not, does not give me any right to judge them.  Male-Female romance has been done to death.  How many ways can Boy meet a girl and come through some struggles with misunderstandings or biases that they must get through before they reach happily ever after?

“Come on; it has been done to death!”  I like strong female characters.  I think the world needs more strong women or female characters.  Don’t confuse that with ultra-feminism, it is not that.  Women are not all airheads as they are often portrayed, and I seek to break that stereotype.

Have you ever watched a Hallmark movie where the leading male figure just made you say EWWW!

It has happened, but not too often.  I wanted to ask the producer or director “what were you thinking?”

Some men are just creepy, and I guess some male directors don’t see it.  There have been movies in the past where the leading lady had to say all the sweet nothings to someone else as the leading man was a douche.   I love the back stories like that.  When Hollywood just misses the mark, it warms my heart strangely and wonderfully. Why? It lets me know that nobody is perfect and even with all of their resources they screwed up.  Much like finding typos in professionally edited books I feel a little less worried about a there instead of a “their.”

Why am I talking about movies?

Your characters must work not only for you but your audience. When creating your characters, you need to keep in mind who your audience is.  The tropes are just that, as the creator, it is up to you to put a different spin on them. The story must have some appeal to it.  Why would someone want to pick up your book?

We all judge a book by its cover.

The cover art must pique your audience’s curiosity.   I liken it to junk mail.  I get stacks of mail every day.  Someone wants to sell me a product or service.  The phone rolls to voice mail if I don’t know the caller, I don’t allow salespeople to get past the receptionist, so how do they sell to me?

How do you sell to your audience?

In my junk mail, each piece of mail gets about 3 seconds of my attention.  Three count them three seconds before it ends up in the circular file cabinet.

The subject matter must be photographic, and it cannot be cluttered.  I need to determine if I want to give it more than 3 seconds within three seconds time.

Your cover should be just as inviting.  What does your cover say?

In my novel Diamond Joe, I do this.

On the cover of Diamond Joe, I show a young lady running on the beach in a bikini. Under her is a superimposed racehorse.  Within three seconds you know it has something to do with a female jockey. You know that horses are involved.  The name of the book tells you something about the possible storyline as it is “Diamond Joe.” Who or what is Diamond Joe?  What does that have to do with this young lady?

In the very uncluttered text, I have “A heartwarming story of courage of love.”

Now within three seconds, you know enough about this book to either pick it up to look inside or keep looking as you have a thing against heartwarming stories.

Free advice from me to you.

Junk mail must be created similarly, and most often it is not.  Just to assist those that put out such mail, if you put a letter opener inside your letter, you are guaranteed to get more than 3 seconds.  If you put your logo and contact information on that letter opener, you are going to have your company information on that person’s desk or in their hand every morning when they go through the mountains of junk mail. One more trick, if it is just a letter make sure that when they pull the letter out of the envelope, your business card falls in their lap.

We could talk more about logos, but that is indeed outside the scope of this blog.  I am after all talking to authors or writers that want to write a book, not companies who want to sell stuff.

Once you open up that cover, what are you looking for?

The tease the hook, why buy this book?

Tell us something about this girl on the beach or the horse, what is it about her that will compel us to dig a little deeper.  Who is this Diamond Joe?

I have read this book a dozen times since it was published.  Yes, I am on the hunt for typos and grammatical errors, but the entire truth told, I love the characters and the story.  Each paragraph excites me, and that is what I began this blog about, why do I write what I write.  I love what I write!

Since I love most of the classics, I would guess that what I love about them and what I write, might be in line with what Austin, Hemmingway or Dickens might have penned.

If after this much time, and that many reads, and I still want to curl up with it, with a cat or my “mews” (muse) and a warm blanket with some hot tea close by, that should tell you something.  The winter is a particular time for me and warm blankets. Tea and cats along with a good book are pure gold! Now if you add some excellent Merlot, Dark Chocolat and a crackling fireplace, I might have to pick up Cyber Subs or Perpetual Palpitation and switch to something a little more naughty.

May you find your happy place and take the time to enjoy it as I try so hard to do.  Life is precious don’t waste it! Find your Happy Place!

Much Love -TW

 

Hello from the Lair of TW

That is a rather strange title for a blog, isn’t it?  Sometimes I feel like it is a lair.  When I am locked away from the phones, the craziness of the outside world and my muse or mews, the creative juices flow, or they don’t.

As 2017 wraps up I think back on the year.  What have I learned from 2017 that I can apply towards making myself healthier and better prepared for 2018?

Through this blog, I have made many new friends, and I thank for you trusting me with your time to visit my blog and peruse my thoughts for that day or week or event.

Many books were written in 2017 by yours truly, and many are selling nicely around the globe.  That is an excellent compliment which I honor considerably and do not take lightly.  Number 26 is so close to a complete first draft that I am getting excited.  I want to see how it turns out!

When we read a novel or watch a movie, we get instant gratification even if it means we lose an hour of sleep to turn those last few pages.  When we write, we must have patience.  Rushing the process can damage the work intrinsically, changing the dynamics of the story which might diminish it.

We will serve no wine before its time. Writers should not release or rush a story until it is ready to “climax” and then conclude with the satisfying grace it disserves. I know, a tiny bit naughty, I apologize, a little…

When a writer wants to make a point we often embellish the words a little and then the idea hits home when we do.  We want you to remember us!  When the next story is ready to unfold before you, we want you eager to embrace what may “come.”  “That was a hard one to resist.”

While I love writing Sci-Fi, I have a flair for being naughty at times, and it shows.  I am unabashedly unrepentant for my foray into the human psyche and all of its juicy bits of naughtiness which makes us who we are as a people.  Spending years of my life to understand humanity, I now use that knowledge and talent to titillate, excite, entertain and yes even educate in a delightful way.

You who follow my blog thanks so much for doing so.  In 2018 would you do me the honor of letting your friends discover me through whatever mechanisms are at your disposal?  I am also interested in the kinds of things you might like to read.  Would you like more science fiction?  Do you want the cerebral types of reads or the not so cerebral and more human interaction either on the mischievous side or perhaps a murder mystery?  Possibly you desire something that is a little of both.

I ask you as I truly value who you are, and what might get you to click on “purchase now…”

The saga of the Starduster is my number one best seller to date.  It has both subjects in it.  Is that the ticket?

With 2018 right around the corner be safe out there.  Please don’t party and drive and you know what I mean by “party.”  I look forward to hearing from each of you, and I want you to know that if I follow you, I visit your blogs.  Some I will actually take the time to comment on, so watch for that.

Much Love and Happy New Year!  TW

Writing Tips Revisited

You don’t have to have a near death experience to write but it is a game changer.

 

At the end of each blog post, I encourage you to share, press, tweet and otherwise assist me in getting my brand out there.  I repay that kindness with similar actions, and I post some delicious stuff from time to time. This blog is one you want to pay attention to if you are a writer, author or just think you might want to be someday.

If you look at any of these sites where independent authors publish their manuscripts, you will quickly discern that everyone thinks they can write.  By everyone, I mean everyone that can string a noun and a verb together in the same sentence feels that they are the next Hemmingway or Tolstoy.

I especially am interested in young people with limited life experience with a penchant for painting pictures with words.  Reading great writers will undoubtedly get your juices flowing.  I have read some young people’s writings and was impressed. Blog before you publish.  Like walking before you run you have this opportunity that those that came before you did not have.  You have technology that is incredible, and you have access to the world through the internet.

Google does not replace life experiences nor does any form of social media. Do something.  Become a missionary or go see Machu Picchu for yourself!  If you walk among the locals, you will all of the sudden develop an appreciation for what you have, and you will meet others with a different culture.  In short life experiences can inspire a writer to be a better writer.

Me personally, I have traveled extensively and still have more to do.  I may start out with a tour bus but I will explore, and I will visit with the locals.  From the local pub to another social event.  Those are life experiences that if you are aware of those that you are talking with, will reward you in kind.  From the street vendor to the waiter they all have a story.

I will get their name and talk with them as we are equals.  Why, because we are.  I can disagree with everything that they believe in but, I can still respect them and find something in common even if it is merely that we both bleed red.

Now that paragraph sounds very altruistic, and I am not that philanthropic.  If someone appears deranged or dangerous, I will not bother them or try to engage them in conversation; I am not that brave.  My first trip to Manhattan I was told not to look the locals in the eyes.  Don’t talk with them unless you are in a setting that they expect interaction such as a business environment or restaurant.

Folks, I talked with everyone I came across.  Now when I started out my greeting with HOWDY, they knew that I was not from around there, and felt strangely at ease with talking with me.

Yesterday I was on twitter, and some author put out a statement that I took issue with.

“I carefully craft each sentence rewriting it as many times as necessary, before going on to the next.”

If I wrote like that, Under Roswell, my first novel would still be in the first paragraph, and the other 25 books would still be future events.  Respectfully I would say that she is in the wrong line of work.

You cannot be that anal or obsessive-compulsive with your manuscript.  Writers are creative types.  We don’t think in dotted I’s and crossed T’s.  We don’t give a damn about a dangling participle or my favorite the split infinitive.  We are writers not English teachers.

In short, we tell stories, and we do it in such a way to engross the reader in the story.  When I write, I or my characters are telling the story as they see it at that moment in time.  As you read it, I hope that the picture of where they are, and what they are doing, is etched into your mind with the assistance of your imagination, using my words as the pigment and brush.

As long as the “stream” is flowing, I will press on, sometimes three or four chapters at a time.  If the stream switches off, I go back and do a rough edit looking for consistency and those nasty little participles.

Writers, like an artist, are a work in progress.  When I look at my first painting, I want to gesso over it and do something else with it.  My child will not let me as she loves it! It was my first attempt at putting oil on a canvass.  As we do this time and time again, we develop that critical eye one must have to paint. To paint and be any good at it, that is.

Writing is the same way.  Write short stories. Blog about your summer vacation.  Write, write, write, and with each paragraph, strive to improve.

Two quick stories that I think you will appreciate.  Once upon a time I golfed.  I sucked at it.  I went to these par three courses where you use the short irons and putter, and I played round after round. Mastering the drivers next, I was suddenly playing with business executives and influential people.  My five iron was still eating my lunch.  Every time I pulled it out of the bag, the ball would find the water or trap or the weeds. WTF!

Back to the par three course with you guessed it, only the five iron and a pocket full of balls. I felt kind of manly with all those balls there at the beginning of the first nine.  (a joke in case you missed it)

After several rounds with that five iron, I could play it with confidence every time I played.  Golf is about muscle memory and your mind.  If you don’t think you can do it, you won’t!  You must convince yourself that you can, then you will.

Twenty-Eight Years ago I was in a head-on collision with a drunken driver who was also on drugs.  This changed my life.  I could no longer do what I was trained to do.  In many of my novels, you will see that someone dies or has died in an accident with a drunk driver.  That little factoid is part of my life, and I want to drive that home just a little bit with whoever reads it.  I don’t preach; I just put it out there.

Along with ending my golfing career, not that I had one, it ended many things that “normal people” do.

I accepted my fate and re-invented myself once again.  Computers were just coming into vogue, so I took some classes and began learning all that there was to know about computers.  That last statement is pushing it a bit because I soon discovered that statement is an impossibility.  I have certifications in Novell and Microsoft and Cisco and it all changes overnight.  The people who put on the classes get rich, and of course, the testing centers make money.

I went into Management of IT. I had a good run of it until I was replaced by an H1-B person. The company got to write off their salary (half of what they paid me) to take over after I had updated the company to the latest greatest of everything including redesigning and upgraded their computer room.  I did all this in just a few months.  I was at the top of my pay quartile, and they were not willing to pay more for my talent, so they had me do all of these projects working 70 hours a week for months.  Expecting a bonus, I was laid off.  “We don’t need anyone with your talents anymore so thanks for everything here is your final paycheck!” That was a lovely life experience that I will not repeat ever!

Many of my novels I talk about technology, that is where that comes from so yes, the bits and bytes are not far off.  It makes some of the stories interesting when they use forensic technologies to find the bad guys, which is what I do now.

One of the things I did before the wreck was, played musical instruments.  Nerve damage in my wrist and well everywhere else made that untenable.  I have an excellent ear and “yo dog your pitchy” resonates with me.  “If I cannot do what I did then, screw it…” I was wrong.

A few months ago a friend saw my guitars and ask me if I played.  I kept them out as a reminder to never even think about drinking and driving.

“Yes I played 30 years ago or so why?”

“You should pick it up again.”  Those words sat hard with me.

After he left, I picked one of the instruments up and plucked a few strings realizing that I needed new strings.  My cheeks were damp when I tried to play stairway to heaven to only hear what an awful sound it was and that it scared my cats.  I couldn’t blame them.

Like golf, you take the good shots that you get in now and then and try to do better with the bad ones.  Practice practice practice.  Is this sounding familiar?

There are some great apps for a guitarist that I found.  Even an awesome tuner.  People who have strokes may have to learn to walk again.  I had to reteach myself how to play again, with my new abilities.  Notice I did not say disabilities.  Things are just different than what I remembered them to be.

Finding boring old tunes with three chords then four and then the dreaded bar chords I practiced.  After a few weeks of messing around with that guitar trying to keep my emotions in check, I have since purchased two more; the last one is a Taylor, which I am rather fond of.  Playing no less than two hours a day I can finally make bar chords “ring” again.  It chokes me up actually. Every time I play a song that sounds half decent, I often find my cheeks are wet and my eyes are blurry.  It is a good thing, those are happy tears.

You see that careless SOB took so much away from me with his drinking. Music resonates with my soul, it is my happy place.  When I am making it, that music is much more special than if I am listening to it.

There is not one minute of any day that I am not in physical discomfort to outright pain.  I don’t take pills or anything, I exercise and stretch and endure.  Oh yes, I don’t sleep much!

Will I ever be as good as I was, who knows?  My calluses are back, and the will is there.  I listen to the different artist and try to emulate them and see what I can do with the cards that I now have in my hands, pun intended.

If you are still reading this rather long blog, bless you.  This is the kind of life event that makes it into my stories.  Now I am not suggesting that you hit another car head-on doing 85kph.  As a matter of fact, I would strongly advise against it.

One side note that is rather interesting.  I have legs today because I drink coffee.

You see I had stopped minutes before the accident to fill up the car and purchase a thermos full of coffee.  The thermos, a Stanly Steel thermos was sitting on the seat next to me.  As I topped the hill passing a red truck, there was a Cadillac in my lane headed straight for me!  This was a divided highway and he should not have been there.

I locked up anti-lock brakes and bent the brake pedal.  Time slowed to a frame by frame sequence of events as glass from the window beside me tumbled horizontally by me as the steering wheel came up and impaled me, crushing my chest and face.  The thermos fell to the floor, and I saw it tumble as if on some purpose other than obeying the laws of physics. Time stood still, literally, frame by frame.

From the time I topped the hill, to the actual impact I said, “oh shit” bang! “Oh, shit may have been my last words.”

We ended up in the center part of the divided highway.  The pain was indescribable.  There was an elephant on my chest.  Blood was flowing from everywhere, and I merely thought, this is how it ends.

Oddly enough, I was ok with it.  That sounds strange but it is true.  The mystery of what the sting of death would be was answered; I thought.

There is this old story about people seeing the white light before they die.  My vision was failing.  It started with sparkles, and not too much longer I was pretty much blind, but I could still hear.  Then there was this rushing wind sound in my ears, so I guess that was the next sense to lose its ability to function.

My brain was being deprived of blood flow and oxygen and that is what it is like to die.

The red truck I passed was a guy that worked for the local fire department.  They took the old bastard out of his car who did not have a seatbelt on and was under his dash before they cut me out of mine.  He had one small cut on his forehead and was released from the hospital that night.

When they finally pulled me from my car, as they laid me back, my hearing and then sight returned.  The pain also returned, and breathing was not comfortable, to say the least.

The guy in the ambulance said, “I am going to put some liquid sugar water in you and this needle is going to sting, it is 18 gauge.”  My teeth were through my lower lip, my nose was broken up, my chest was crushed, and I was losing more blood that I thought I could spare,  and he thought that I gave a shit about a needle prick!

They took me to the charity hospital I guess because it was the closest and it showed.  The doctor was a complete ass as we had interrupted his game that he was watching.  Suddenly I was a sideshow as they cut my clothing off with police and who the hell all knows who all were looking down at my nude and bleeding body. Suddenly I was not a person or human but a piece of flesh to be poked and prodded and well pieced back together.

The cop was an arrogant piece of work.  I have many friends who are police.  This person was a total ass!  I had removed my seat belt thinking that would stop the pain.  It didn’t. I think the bastard was going to write me a ticket for no seatbelt until the purple streaks across my chest and waist that were caused by the belt were self-evident that I indeed had it on.  The man, I kid you not, looked disappointed when he saw it! This guy and the doctor too wanted this to be my fault.  I am pretty keen on reading people, which can be a curse.

They checked me for drugs and alcohol and all kinds of stuff.  “Nope, I don’t do that stuff.”

Because my heart was bruised they could not give me anything for the pain.  In a way that was ok, I remember thinking as long as I am in pain, I am alive.  It was ok until they stitched me up with no anesthesia.  That hurt like well, you can imagine.

Later another doctor came in to fix my nose, long hemostats up the nose crunch crack, thumb placed on one side pushing things back into place and then stuffing a whole bale of cotton up my nose with no anesthetic.

I spent a lifetime in that sorry little emergency room listening to the beeping monitors, having to get assistance to pee every 30 minutes being careful not to turn my head because my inner ears were severely screwed up.  Any movement caused a case of vertigo.   The last thing I wanted to do is throw up!   I wouldn’t be surprised if this doctor were also the town vet.  Thinking back, I would not have been shocked to have seen an animal on the next bed.

Minutes turned into hours and hours turned into days.  With all the cotton up my nose, I could still smell myself, and it wasn’t pretty.  Finally getting some kind nurse from California to bathe me, I felt a little more human.

When all the results came back that I was not under the influence, the cop went away probably disgusted because he just knew that the young person had some culpability. Hick!

The old guy that caused the wreck was drunk and on drugs, and he went home. I know this because we shared the emergency room with a curtain between us.  I heard everything, including his wife scolding him for drinking and driving. She actually came over to me and apologized.  She stroked my forehead which was still spattered with blood and told me “I am not supposed to say this, but we have good insurance.” BFD!  Lady, I am in pain here, and I may not live to see tomorrow.  Didn’t say it, but I thought it.

Instead, I asked her how her husband was.  When the words came out of my mouth as angry as I was, I knew what my true character was.  I was actually concerned about that old fart!  That still boggles my mind.

She went on to say that he had recently wrecked their last car, so she bought him that Cadillac so if he hit another tree or something he would not get hurt.  Wonderful logic!  Let’s put more old drunk guys in tanks and set them loose.  Wait, maybe that was the mayhem guy?

Years later I found out why the old guy went home and not to prison.  I was cleaning out the filing cabinet and found the file folder from the infamous day that I about died.  Reading the police report, the bastard cop only wrote him up for left of center.  Now I get that the guy was 84.  I understand that he was well known in the community.  But the guy was drunk and on drugs, prescription or not; he should not have been behind the wheel!    Yes, I am still pissed and every move to this day reminds me of that fateful day 28 years ago.  And the limitless insurance, same outfit as me.  Want to guess how that worked out? I had to fight to get my car paid for!

Oh yes, the coffee and legs.  The thermos that traveled from my seat to the floor wedged itself between the frame of my seat and the firewall.  Since it was full of coffee, it did not compress with the impact thus keeping the steering column from going through my chest and the dash taking my legs off at the knees. There is this whole hydraulic thing I will not bore you with.

The engine and front wheels were under the front seat.  Steam or freon was still escaping from somewhere as they hauled me off to the ambulance.  The violence of the crash turned my vehicle sideways.  The sides were split open and my stuff was scattered all over the highway.  It is amazing that I am not driving a Volvo, which is close to a tank I understand!

God was there that day.  Not sure why he allowed my life to be so drastically altered, but he did.

Maybe he wanted to teach me to forgive… Not there yet.  How do you forgive someone like this?  If you know please tell me.  I do pray about it, it is in my heart and only hurting me.  I cannot forget about it, as I have constant reminders.  The ringing in my ears is a result of the damage from the wreck.  The arthritis is of course where everything was injured. Anyone that has ever played sports knows what I am dealing with.

My doctors tried to give me that handicapped plate and I refuse.  I can still walk.  It is painful but once you stop, you die.  If you are coasting you are going downhill.

I now drive a full-size truck, fuck gas mileage. I don’t pass unless I can see down the road, even on divided highways, but I do travel.  I love road trips; I am just a little more cautious about them.  I stay in the right-hand lane unless I am passing and, I don’t care if I am up to the speed limit or not.  I would rather get there in one piece, than five minutes earlier.

When you read my books, snippets of this story are in them as well as many other stories.  I think one of my favorite books that I have written to date is Diamond Joe.  No car crashes, but that is such a great story, I like to read it again and again.

And my point to this is what exactly?

Go live your life and have adventures.  As Sally from The Girl-Next-Door discovers, life is about adventures. You cannot write with passion if you have not lived a life.  If you live your life through the tellie and or other people’s books, that is not living, that is existing.

Steve Erwin who I admired greatly died doing what he loved.  He lived his life in his 42 years more fully than most people do in 84 years.  There is a man I can admire and did.  I actually used to talk with him on e-mail, told him he was nuts.  In a good way.

Please please please don’t drink and drive, and put that damned phone down!

Thirty percent of all drivers statistically speaking are under the influence of something.  God only knows the percentage that are texting while driving and under the influence.

If you are like me and live in pain every day, don’t give up.  Hang in there and feel free to connect with me here on the blog or the website http://www.authortwscott.com. If I can re-invent myself as I have, and live without pain meds, you certainly can.  I am a wimp with this stuff, so I know.

This blog is the creation of yet another sleepless night where insomnia once again has scuttled my attempt at rest.  One day I fear I will end up giving in to the need for medication, and I will most likely hate that day.

Much Love TW

Don’t forget to subscribe, follow and you know the drill.  Thanks!

 

The Saga of the Starduster

The saga of the Starduster was a fun novel to create.

TW loved creating stories as a child.  Having no idea that the bed time stories, created on the fly, would ever amount to anything.  Thinking back on my youth, I often wonder what it would be like to travel back in time knowing what you know now, but still in your child body.

The saga of the Starduster has a scene where our hero does just that through a fluke of alien technology and a lot of imagination from the author.

TW enjoyed crawling into the mind of Don as he is whisked off the international space station by an alien race who was shot at unbeknown to them by one of their foes.  Thinking that the hostility emanated from the blue planet not far from them the captain with a name we cannot pronounce investigates.

That antics TW takes the readers through while the Captain is trying to figure out who or what is on this blue planet are hilarious.  They use television broadcast to seek to determine what or who is on this planet and are they friendly.

TW references a scene from Sharknado among others.  The Captain and the crew of the alien vessel see the shows and take an entirely different perspective.

As Don learns that he has Cancer, the alien doctor tells him that she has created a virus to attack his cancer cells but must sequester him as the virus is meant for his cancer which is unique to him.

The story takes on many twists and turns as you travel back in time with Don, who ends up in his third-grade class as a child with the mind of a fifty-year-old man.

Love blossoms as his crush on his teacher now play out in a very strange way.

Romance with an alien doctor on a space station light years from the Earth is just one of the highlights of The Saga of the Starduster.

This novel is quickly becoming one to watch as the downloads are picking up worldwide. I have not marketed it much at all.  It is an inexpensive read with a surprise ending.

This novel is available on many e-book retailers including Amazon and Smashwords.

TW does not believe in sad endings, but your heart strings may be tugged at a little.   For you, science fictions nuts like myself, this novel is not lite on science fiction.

TW’s wry sense of humor and wit are all through most of the stories with the brand TWScott, but especially in this one, you will see several examples of it.

So if you were Don and ended up sitting in front of your third-grade teacher now, what would you do?  If you had a crush on your first or fifth, you pick her or him and then tell me, (us) what would you do?

I love the idea of it, so to me, it was a bonus for the novel.

Update!  Since the novel has been selling rather well I went back and took a look at it.  Finding a few typos I fixed them, added some text here and there and modified the cover art to include the phrase “Skinny Dipping on an alien world was probably not their best idea.”

If you want to get better at your craft practice practice practice!  This novel just got better.  It is updated on #amazon rev 3.1.  Give them a few hours to approve it and then go and get your updated copy!

Much Love -TW

Safe Place

 

Greetings!

If you landed here from Twitter; thanks so much for following the link.

As a writer, we often don’t have all the answers for marketing our products.  One of them that I will share now with you is the successful use of Social media.  Many have created a business out of retweeting your books for money.  If a robot re-tweets your book, who is going to see it?

The bottom line is you have no idea.  People follow you when you have something interesting to say.  I don’t follow robots, do you?

As far as the blog is concerned, I do go out of my way to have something on here for you to read and consume.

Marketing is important if you want to show folks what you have been working on, so at least they can take a peek and see if it might make a nice weekend read.  This blog is not for pecuniary interests per say, but it does, however, sell books for me.

If you are an author or writer, I would love for you to follow me and by all means, stop by and say hello.  I try to take the time to visit your blogs as time permits.  Not a young person who is looking to hook up nor am I an old person looking for some encounter of the dissolute kind.  Just a writer and author, looking for like minds to share ideas with.  A safe space if you will.

I realize that the words SAFE Space has received a negative connotation.  I can assure you that is not the case here.  I love a healthy debate, and I will challenge you if you are like me and don’t want smoke blown up your bottom.  “I can handle the truth.”  Can you?

The simple truth is, to be better at what we are doing we must accept the truth or forever languish in mediocracy.

If you want to help me and don’t want to spend money, go and read my stuff on Amazon Kindle Unlimited and tell me what you think.  If you have an account here as most serious writers do, it cost you nothing, and you will be entertained.

I have 25 Novels selling around the world and am working on #26.  The story is unfolding, and I am taking notes.  This story, unlike past stories, has a plot unfolding during the day and night, and I make notes of them.  I have yet to write more than two chapters, but I already know how the story starts and what the issues will be.  This story will be developed, unlike anything that I have done in the past.  Wish me luck!

Follow me here on this blog, and by all means, let’s connect.  Tell me what you are up to.

 

On Twitter, you can follow me @authortwscott or @twscott823.com.

My website which already needs more work is www.authortwscott.com

If you know of an agent that is not too proud to take on an independent author, send he or she my way would you?  I would love to leave the marketing to the experts, and just write stories.

 

Much Love!  TW

New Release of Book 2 of the Ailani Trilogy! and….Why?….

Know why …

As promised, I released the second in the Ailani trilogy today. Both on Smashwords and Amazon!

Passions overflow in this second book of the Ailani Series.  When magic and love mix with revenge, their morality is tested.  Discovering that Tina is pregnant, the story takes on several twists as Tina had a hysterectomy early in life.  Waking up ill, Tina soon finds out that the scar from the surgery has vanished.

Changing history from eons ago, also modify the others from her past who now seek to find her in this life.  While previous souls seem to find one another, Ailani’s mother, daughter of Pele, has other ideas.

If you like romances of a different kind, with reversed roles with the women are the heroes, this novel might be for you!  Each story can stand on its own, but one does build on the other, much like many books or movies you read or see today.

The first book in the series was a success and has been downloaded too many times to count, all over the world.  I was in hopes that an agent would stumble across it and want to represent the last two.  I guess that they have plenty of work as nobody is beating down my door to handle the last two in the trilogy or for that matter any of the other twenty some odd novels!

One day TWScott will pop up on their radar, and some agent will ask, “Why didn’t they contact us?”

Let me answer that question in advance… Query letters suck!

I have begged for attention in the form of query letters for far too long, and I am done!

“If you never hear from us consider it a pass…”  That one did it!

If you do this Query letter process correctly, it takes no less than four hours and very possibly a lot longer.  For those of you who wish to try your luck with the gods of the publishing industry, allow me to lay out the process for you.

  1. Know your audience.

In this case, you must know what the agency typically publishes.  That means read what they published or be familiar with their authors that they represent.  If your work is not in that niche, don’t waste your time.  Notice I did not say their time as most probably it is an intern reading your material.  When I say read, that is most likely an overstatement.  They “read” it much like you and I read junk mail, about 3 seconds at most and it better grab them by the balls, or something else equally as sensitive in that 3-second window, or deleted it is!  Maybe you might get a form rejection letter, perhaps….

  1. Read their specifications and follow them to the letter.

If your work does not fit the mold they are looking for from the get go; it will never make it past the intern or their 12-year-old daughter.  If they ask for 2.5 chapters, that is what you give them.

  1. Research the individual that is actively searching for your style, genre or subject matter. What have they accomplished?  Are they writers too?  How long have they been with the agency?  This could go in the audience section too, but if you get past the intern, you are now begging some agent, possibly someone recently promoted from intern to agent to read your material.  What are they looking for?  Is it another Jane Austin or JK Rowling?  Maybe they are looking to discover another ELJames.  Is that you?
  1. It is about money! Make the case why they should represent you.  Publishing or taking on your project is not cheap.  They must know within a few minutes if your material will sell.  If they have someone with some vision, they will be able to tell if your work can be manipulated to fit some mold that has a track record of succeeding.  Have you ever watched This Old House or House Hunters?  It is kind of like that.  If I take on this project what will it cost me and what kind of profit can I turn and how quickly can I turn it?     Once the agent you queried likes your work, it must then pass muster with his or her partners or the people who roll the dice.  What will it cost to make your work publishable?  Are you amiable to doing exactly what they want you to do, even if it is re-write the whole damned book!
  1. Don’t write to get rich! I was an artist long before I decided to pontificate in writing on the injustices of life, or in this case fantasies.  By all accounts, I am a pretty fair artist.  My works have sold all over the world and are mostly commission pieces. I still have a day job.  I have written over 25 novels, and they are selling all over the world.  I still have a day job.  Keep your damned day job!  Write because you enjoy it.

“TW, why do you do this if you still have a day job?”  The answer is simple; I love what I do.  When you or one of the many of my readers send me a note and tell me that they liked my book that is the reward.  That is my affirmation.  With my art, it is the same, although commission pieces, I do get paid nicely for. The odds of getting rich from writing a novel are slim and none. One of the problems is that too many think that they can write and they, like you or me, feel like their stuff is the best stuff around.  Cough, “Join a writers guild!

  1. Get connected. Joining a writers guild or even a local club will give you an idea if your writing is up to snuff.  Folks, you have to have thick skin to put anything creative out there and then ask people to buy it.  I give a percentage of my novels away for free so they can take a peek at my writing style before they plunk down money.  While none of my material is expensive, even the free stuff can be suspect if you don’t know the author.  Allowing others that you trust to read your stories is one way to get feedback.  Insist that if they tell you they don’t like it, make damned certain that they say why!  Know yourself.
  1. Know why. When you look at art or you read something or watch a movie, and you had a high opinion, know why you had it.  What is it in particular about that which you read or watched created this emotional response?  If your critics can adequately tell you why they felt the way they did, then listen.  When I wrote Under Roswell, one of my friends read it and said that she did not like it. “Why?  What was it that you did not like?”  “I don’t like Sci-fi!”  FFS!  Many have read it, too many to count and people that love Sci-Fi, like it just fine.  Don’t force something on your friends if it is not their cup of tea.
  1. Develop your brand. From years of working in an ad agency, I probably have a leg up on many as I know a thing or two about marketing.  Your Author name is your brand.  I knew of an author who wrote all kinds of work much as I do.  She wrote certain kinds of work under one pen name and others under another.  TWScott is my brand, and everything goes under that name.  With twenty-five novels out there, I don’t have much time to diversify.  The naughty stuff, the science fiction, and the young adult stuff are all under TWScott.  Currently, I am playing with a Christian book, it too will be under TWScott. Social media is critical for getting your brand out there.  Without spending money, take advantage of all of the free stuff that you can.  Don’t make others rich at your expense.
  1. If you understand capitalism, you know that one business feeds others. That is the way of the world and the way that it works.  There are services out there who will do so much for the independent author.  Folks, those are the people that make money most of the time.  Let me edit this for you. Allow me to format your text for you, so the meat grinder on Smashwords will like it.  Wait, let me create the cover art for you because good cover art sells your book.  You could spend tens of hundreds of dollars to get your creation sitting in front of you in several boxes of paperback books ready for the world to buy.  Don’t do it!

    Part of the process of being an independent writer is to learn the entire process of publishing your work.

If you decide to spend money on all of these services you could spend more than a few hundred dollars and still have a book that might sell $10 worth the first year.  Harsh?  I am sorry, but that is the hard truth of it.  Listen, not everyone is Hemmingway!  Practice writing here on blogs.  It is free, it won’t make you any money, but you will make some new friends.  I know an author who wrote a book about a passion he had, in this case flying.  I support authors such as this, and I bought a copy of his book.  I visited with him enough to know that his book would flop but, I still got his signature on the cover and wished him well.

Reading the book, I found typo after typo, and the grammar was terrible.  Amazon and others make it very easy to get your book into print.  How many times have you re-read your masterpiece and found a typo?  I still do to this day, and it pisses me off!  I can read the same sentence 100’s of times and miss the “you instead of your, or you’re.”

One trick that I use that I will share is I keep a list of my common typos and guess what I do with that list?  Ctrl F every you in the document. Is it correct or not?  You can use that with your typos and eliminate much.  I use Grammarly at the end of the process. If you leave it running from the get go, it disables auto save.  That to me is an incredibly stupid design.   It also uses so much horsepower that it often bogs down word to where word will crash.

This blog is about sharing, and if you read my blog, you know that I freely share with you.  Please share your tips with me, and by proxy others who read this.  I believe that we authors are not competitors but belong to a particular breed of people which unite us in a special way.

I hope that something I wrote you can use, but if nothing else, buy one of my books and tell me what you think.  They are all inexpensive reads, and some are free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited!  Feedback is invaluable but remember, if you offer it, I will want to know why.  Not why you offer it but why you did or did not like it.  Get into the habit of learning more about yourself by asking yourself always, why did I not like this or why did I like that.  It is critical in marketing to know why you liked an ad or not.  This process you can use in your entire life, everywhere with everyone.  The more that you know about yourself will assist you in learning more about others.

“WHY?”

Much Love  -TW