Day 47

Should we give up on wearing clothes? Would zoom meetings be more interesting?

How has your life been affected?

What changes have you made to affect a positive effect on your life?

I joke about naturism but I did read a blog post about naturists getting together on zoom.  How would that work?  Why?  I thought the purpose of naturism was to be one with nature?  Is it something else?

Life goes on, my friends.  We do what we must to make ends meet.  Currently, I am pulling from savings to keep everyone happy, but that can only last so long.  Sadly there are many out there that cannot scrape together $500 if they needed to.

Today the blog is not about writing; it is about being human.  If you have followed me for any time at all, you know that I am a humanist.  I love people.  With luck, one-day people will be my bread and butter.  By that, I mean studying that which we do, all end up as fodder for my novels.    Some of this stuff seems unreal that it could be made up.

Months ago, when this all started, I wrote a blog about mental health.  I knew that this much of a change in people’s lives would bring out or manifest aberrations in their personalities.

Did you see the video of the two police harassing a mum who lived in a mobile home?  Two officers banged on her door and spoke to her in a very demeaning manner.  They, in fact, talked to her as if she were stupid.  The story made the rounds on the media, and they made sure to tout the fact that she lived in a mobile home.  Not everyone can live in a gated community with $24K freezers filled with $16 a pint ice cream.

Whatever your station in life, put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  They did not need to be terse with her.  Her child plays with one of the neighbor’s children and has done so for some time.  This child cut across one of the neighbor’s lawns, and they called the police.  For real?

I was out getting the mail the other day, and my neighbor was walking their dog.  I stopped as usual to visit, but on this day, she stays a good ten feet away from me.  Her dog didn’t hesitate to get her belly scratched or give me a doggy kiss.  Are we becoming a nation of paranoid people?

A comedian was making fun of Biden.  We all know he is a little on the creepy side when it comes to women and their hair.  They said this social distancing is going to kill him.

Ok, I am a hugger.  Not any of those half-ass hugs either.  Again if you read my novels, you know that I preach about being there for the hug.  I get it.  For my neighbor who has also been in her house for 46 days, to stay ten feet away from me, is alien.

I have noticed that many are talking about how China is going to repay the world for their deception.   The more we learn about the lab, the virus escaped from, the worse it gets.  While many leaders of countries might feel like letting it slide under the rug with a few good old boy deals in cigar smoke-filled rooms, occur I don’t think all countries will deal with Xi Jinping in that manner.  I saw a picture of Vladimir Putin talking about this virus.  Somehow I don’t think he will settle for some Chinese made crap in exchange for the damage to his economy, not to mention the death and destruction in Russia.

The problems with this virus are many.  We don’t know what we don’t know.  All of the research was destroyed.  In a face-saving move, the propaganda has been prolific, but, somehow I think the chickens will come home to roost.  The WHO will need to clean up its organization, and China will need to find some way to make things right with the world.  How?  That is the question.

Please keep in mind I do not blame the Chinese people.  I know many, and I am very appreciative of their culture.

As of right now, 212 countries and territories have reported a total of 3,402,018 confirmed cases of the virus.  There are over 239,622 deaths because of this. The numbers are the highest in the United States because the US is doing the most testing.  1,131,492 cases with 65,776 deaths and counting.

This event is historical, and many of us writers should be documenting it.  Before history is changed to fit some narrative, I would encourage writers to tell their stories.  Blog about it if nothing else.

Once you put it on the internet, it will be somewhere for all eternity.

Much like these blogs, I could delete them, but trust me.  Somewhere in some vault along with 33K emails, will be these words.

Will yours be among them?

I did spend some time working in the garden today.  It was a sunny day.  You would never guess where the sun kissed me…

Much love, Stay safe.  We will get through this.  -TW

 

Taking a break from Hell on Earth, and talking about writing.

Let’s control what we can and let the world take care of itself.

Hello fellow earthlings,   I know life has just sucked the last few weeks, and I feel that it is going to suck more before it is over.

Let’s break away from the news of the day and talk about writing.  I feel many of you that follow me are writers, want to be writers, or are authors who want to see how others do what they do.

With over 32 novels selling around the world, I have learned a thing or two.

Let me start by talking about the reasons to write.  I am sure I have addressed these before in a previous blog, but let me do it again for those who are new to this site.

The only reason for you to write is that you love writing.  Unless you work for a paper or some other institution that has hired you to write manuals or something, we writers write because we love to write.

If you decide to write a book because you want to live in a gated community on the ocean in California, or Kiawah Island or, perhaps, Martha’s Vineyard, let me just wake you the hell up.  Your first novel will most likely be horrible.  Sorry for the truth of it, those are the facts.  You can work and research your heart out, but your first work will suck.  …probably…

When I wrote my first few novels, I appealed to an audience that was not looking for literary genius.  My craft was not developed enough to appeal to a high brow audience.  What I was looking for is writing something that people would buy for a couple of dollars, and hopefully give me some feedback.

You see, the truth of it is, Beta Readers that are not your family are hard to come by, and you might have to pay someone to read your crap, and give you honest feedback.  Too Harsh?

We need to be honest with each other, and we must learn to accept rejection.  Rejection, no matter how hurtful, should be taken as part of the learning process.  Feedback is terrific, even if it sucks.  Only when we can step away from the forest of our writing, can we see the mistakes and missteps we have made.  Only then can we see the weeds.

My advice to you is to write your first novel, polish it as best you can and then self-publish it, and then beg for feedback.  Make it easy for them to go to an e-mail address and tell you how badly it sucked, and they want their $1.99 back.  If they tell you why and what is wrong, I would send them the $2.

Writing books is a labor of love.  Writing is hard.  As a writer, you must form a habit of writing, even if it means you climb your butt out of bed an hour earlier.   It is a lonely profession.  I work till three or four in the morning many nights.  Oh, and I have a day job.  ‘I love to write.’

There are times I don’t like it too much, but I love to write.

Form your habit and stick to it.  Much like exercise or following a diet, it is all about practice.   There is an advantage to writing early in the morning.  Your brain produces certain types of waves, and one of them are theta waves.  When you get up in the morning, you have more theta waves going on than during the typical day.  Taking a shower, your brain produces theta waves.  Ever wake up with an epiphany or perhaps have one in the shower…?  That is why.

I think the hardest thing to swallow is this; nobody cares.  Your parents will lie to you and care because you wrote it, your spouse really doesn’t give a shit, and your friends will manage to distance themselves from you if you require them to love your book.  Nobody cares as you do.  It is your baby, and you are the one that needs to love it, nurture it, and then send it out into the world to see what happens.

I have said this before too.  You cannot be a one-trick pony.  I know writers who have been working on the same book for tens of years.  OMFG…self-publish it and get on with it.  Amazon will make a few dollars off you, the government in the place the person is in that buys it, will get some tax money from you, and if you are lucky, you might make a dollar for your labor of love.

Most new authors who self-publish make about $10 their first year.   Damn, I know that hurts if you have never heard that before, but I speak the truth.

I know too many authors who pour a fortune in their book, ‘that sucks’ to have it professionally edited, pay to have a cover designed, and then pay people to market it.  I have read their books, and they suck.

  • I make a point to purchase books from new authors, that manage to sit inside the local book store.  Why?
  • I want to be supportive of them.
  • I want to speak with them and learn from them.
  • I get their signature and put the book on the shelf after I read it.
  • I can tell you after the first few pages if the book will hit or not, never missed once yet.
  • I want to encourage these authors to keep writing.  Don’t stop.

Study the craft of writing, read books like you are disassembling a watch, that you must put back together.  Examine the structure, story, and character arcs and ask yourself if you had written it, how you would make it better.  Do that with terrible books as well.   Where did the author go wrong?

The craft of writing is not something you can just do.  Unless you are ‘somebody’ and can afford a ghostwriter to take your crap and make it better, you need to learn the entire craft yourself.

That is why I trumpet the idea of writing for the love of writing.

As an artist, I thought my first painting was pretty good.  Today when I see pictures of it, I wish I could find it, I would burn it.  The same is true for my writing.  I have been writing since I was a kid.  That was more than a few years ago.

The practice is crucial and doing it because you love it is the only reason to write.  Once you perfect it, publish it on Amazon, or Smashwords, and see what happens.

If you follow me here, and if you would like some feedback, I might consider giving it if you would be willing to reciprocate.

I pray that you are all staying safe and staying home during these times of uncertainty.  Live in your worlds that you create, or read some of my novels, and live in one of my worlds.

Much Love -TW

Diamond Joe a Synopsis

Need a feel good story, this is it!

 

The horses finished in an upset as the favorite lost to a relative newcomer.  Samantha Thomas grew up on the farm but wanted so much more than slopping pigs.

Her dream was realized when a visitor in town learned of her love of horses.  Hiring her to train his horse, she eventually rode it in local races.  Before long, she and Thundercloud were making their way into the hearts and minds of other enthusiasts.

Riding the horse to victory, the owner sold the horse to visiting Prince.  The new owner, much like many in the stands, had no clue that the real gem was Sam, not the horse.

Diamond Joe, the man, was in the stands with his new son in law when Thundercloud came in from behind, pulling off an upset that would be history for years to come.  His daughter was also in the crowd, but she was only there for her husband, Steve, and her father.

After the death of her father, and a year later her husband; Donna sold her home and went to be with her mother.  Vera, her mother, passed from the flu, leaving her alone on the plantation. Dealing with a new horse that Steve, her husband, had purchased left her little time to socialize, not that she wanted to.

Teaching Journalism at the local university, Donna buried herself in her work.  The plantation was a respite from the real world.  When one of her students, an up and coming quarterback, argued with her about her draconian ideas on journalism, she saw in him the same spark that she had seen in her husband.

Dane showed an interest in her, which aroused the woman inside her.  Learning of his desire to date her niece, she put that fantasy on hold.  Hiring him to do some handyman work, Dane learns of her real love, the horse ‘Diamond Joe’ named after her father.

Not telling Donna the entire story of Sam, he alludes to her that Sam could train her horse.  Inviting Samantha to her place, Donna soon learns that love comes in all sizes and shapes.

Was Samantha interested in her money, or something else?

Read the story, tell me what you think.  I love this novel as have many of my readers.  Check it out.

While we are all on ‘time out,’ why not read a love story with horses and racing as a subplot?

 

Much love -TW

They Tell Two Friends, or is it Three? Patient Zero

Patient 0 How did this mess Start?

Using the tools at their disposal, Facebook has blocked and, in some cases, suspended the accounts of people who post things about the virus gripping the world.

I would suppose they don’t have the workforce to separate fact from fiction so better just to stop it all, keeping disinformation campaigns from spreading much like the virus itself.

Why; look at the store shelves.

Humans, like it or not, are not that far removed from our four-legged friends, and we can be manipulated to ‘stampede.’ Emotions and yes, fear is one of those emotions, and is a hell of a motivator!

Think not?

In the London bombing of a music concert, it was not the explosion so much as the trampling of others that did much of the damage.  That is why it is illegal to yell ‘FIRE’ in an auditorium.  People will react en masse as part of the fight or flight instinct.  Buying skid loads of toilette paper and hand sanitizer is just one example of how we can be herded.

This is a time for calm, rational thought and clear-headed approaches to daily life.  This is a time to rise above your ‘programming’ and think.

I would like to explain to you why it is essential to self-isolate yourselves.

I titled this piece ‘they tell two friends’ because you all have seen the commercial for a shampoo that by now is somewhat dated, but still an accurate metaphor for this virus.

Since we know that you can have the virus and not be aware of it makes this virus particularly dangerous.  Contracting it, you can go days before you are mindful that something is amiss.  By the time you decide to see your doctor or begin to suspect something is not right; how many have you infected?

Yes, you can be asymptomatic and still very contagious.

In medical parlance, it is referred to in this manner.

Scientists believe that each infected person will give or spread the contagion to three (3) people.  It is called R(0) or R naught.  That number is different for each disease in that it is the contagion efficacy or spreadability factor.

Covid 19 has a value of 3.  Other diseases have different values.

If you are number one, follow the steps.

  1. 1
  2. 3
  3. 9
  4. 27
  5. 81
  6. 243
  7. 729
  8. 2,187
  9. 6,561
  10. 19,683
  11. 59,046
  12. 177,147
  13. 531,441
  14. 1,594,323
  15. 4,782,969
  16. 14,348,907

As you can see, in just 15 short steps we are now at over 14 million people from just one carrier.

Why does it have this number?

This mutation of the coronavirus has an RNA strand that we have not seen before.  There are no defense mechanisms against it, other than your immune system.

In ‘nature’s’ world those creatures with compromised immune systems and by that it could simply be age, contract viruses like this, and die off.  Darwin knew a thing or two, whether you like it or not.

By the aged population dying off, they either assured enough food for the rest or became food for others.  In the world of nature, everything is recycled.  In animal pacts, the old or diseased were shunned by the herd.

Through medical advances, the average life expectancy of ‘mankind’ has gone from the mid 30’s to about twice that. That is all fine and dandy until we are faced with something that we don’t have a medical ‘fix’ for.

Doing your part to lower that R number is imperative to give our health professionals time to treat the infected and to develop methods for managing them.  Drowning in your phlegm is not a pretty way to go.  Early reports were that young people without underlying health conditions were pretty much immune.  Not so fast, we are seeing younger people in their thirties in critical condition.  Nobody is safe.

Italy is currently faced with the reality of only assisting those that have a good chance of pulling through while leaving those that won’t to drown in mucus.  I am certain Italy was not the first and will not be the last to make these gut-wrenching decisions.   If you have ever fished and watched a fish gasping for breath on the bank of the river, imagine that fish as a human.  Not a pretty sight.

Do your part.  Wash your hands, stay away from crowds, and resist the false narratives by the media who are using this as a political cudgel. They are shameless, pathetic weasels using fear to manipulate the mob.  Someone is pulling their strings. Someone with deep pockets is using this as a mechanism to effect change for some grand plan.

This is a time for calm, kindness, and grace.  Do what you can for those that cannot, and use common sense when you are out and about.  We are not animals.  We care for our own, and that means our parents or grandparents.

We will get through this and be the better for it.  The lessons we are learning today are eye-openers as to why we should not develop biological weapons.  Viruses know no boundaries when it comes to who they infect.  Race or other identity politically charged assaults don’t exist.  They are equal opportunity messengers of death and destruction, much like the atomic bomb.   The main difference is with biological weapons; it only takes one improperly placed safety device or one failure of a positive air pressure suit to release the genii.  The virus infects a worker, he or she leaves for the day, and you have patient ZERO.

With tens of thousands traversing the globe daily, the carriers are there.  The microscopic life forms that we carry with us (pathogens) are not detained at the borders.  They have no passports and like this virus can go undetected until it has multiplied by the tens of millions.

I shudder to think where Ebola really came from or H1N1 or even HIV.  I am a writer of science fiction, so I do think outside the box.  We have no idea what goes on in little laboratories in countries where money cuts through the red tape.  People are corrupt and stupid when it comes to weapons.  In my novel Under Roswell, I talk about it in detail, of course, in a fictional environment.

This is an excellent time to read, reflect, and stay safe.  If not lost in some novel, you might try picking up the Bible.  There are 66 books there that many, including myself, find comfort in.  Pray for wisdom for humanity.  We can do some pretty fantastic things, or we can destroy the world with the push of a button, or have some tired worker forget some safety protocol.

Much Love -TW

 

The Saga of the Starduster

Skinny dipping on an alien world was probably not their best idea.

When communications from Earth stop, Don soon discovered the reason why.  The ISS, where he and Sergey were the last two astronauts on board, became unwilling guests of the Ularins. Their world changed forever when their doctor learned Don was carrying cancer in his lungs.

An intergalactic spacecraft three times the size of our largest Aircraft carrier was now perched over the ISS.  Watching the stars disappear, Don and Sergey wondered who it was that was hijacking them.  Sergey was worried that they were to become an hors-d’oeuvre for aliens.

Convincing Sergey to leave the gun in the safe, Don was soon a visitor aboard the Starduster.  Convinced to remove his clothing and submit to a routine physical, every anal probing movie he ever watched played through his mind.

The Saga of the Starduster is one of TW’s signature novels.  Starting as Science-fiction, the book takes the reader on a wild ride through the galaxy with twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing until the epilogue.

As TW, like many others, are now sitting at home awaiting the virus to pass, the idea of wasting another moment worrying about it seems futile.

Take a mental vacation from your sequestration and enjoy a ride through the stars while sharing the furtive imagination of TW.

From Science-fiction to fantasy and yes to the racy side of life, TW strives to give the reader their money’s worth.

Follow the link for your mental vacation.  If you enjoy the ride, consider taking a moment to leave a review of my novel on the site you purchased it from.

As always, I will be happy to discuss topics of interest with you on the blog.

-Best

How do you handle bad reviews?

The problem with reviews like this as they add another obstacle to what we want to accomplish.

The problem with reviews like this as they add another obstacle to what we want to accomplish.

Below is the tease for one of my novels.  Sound boring to you?  Have I not identified my audience?

When a preacher’s daughter rooms with her childhood friend in college, things go way past her comfort zone, causing her to question everything.  After they graduate, the real drama begins when absence makes the heart grow fonder.  The love between two young ladies is not complicated enough, as her friend’s mother decides that she too has a thing for the young woman who should be a supermodel like she was.

As Melissa is transformed, Joan explores her own demons, which run askance of her lover’s career path.

Adult Erotic 18 plus.

This happens. I don’t pretend to understand why someone would take the time to buy one of my books and then write their own version of fiction.

If you read what they wrote, after reading the first few pages…I gave up.  Then what they didn’t say is they went online and flamed the novel as they were the first to review it and the first to sway public opinion.

If you were on the ‘shelf,’ would you plunk down $3.99 after a review like that?  Probably not.  This jerk and those like them make it harder to do what we do. 

If you cannot say anything nice then keep your damned mouth shut!  

Here is what to look for with reviews like this.  Firstly he or she uses a pseudonym which I automatically discount.  When I am reading reviews, if they are not real names, they are not counted.  If you are going to flame someone’s work, man up or woman up and tell us who you are.  Own your bullshit.

Better yet, go to their website which is published in the book, and go to the contact page and send them an e-mail.  Most authors would love to hear from you.  Why was it dull?  What would have made it better?  Did you read the first few pages online before buying it?  I love feedback and will genuinely consider it. 

“No not upset, I see this all the time with other authors.  I don’t understand this mentality.”

Secondly and more importantly you can read the first several pages of the book for free before you buy it.  When I go to the bookstore, I open the cover and read a little.  When I purchase novels on Amazon or another site, I look at the first few pages and see what I think.  It is, in fact, common sense.

One of my other novels, another person did this with Saga of the Starduster.  Still, my best seller to date.  You can tell by the review they never read the novel.  There is a machine that turns them into nymphomaniacs.  Not enough sex? pffft!

While Kitties Titties and Winks is a read for after-hours and could be a one-handed read for either gender if that is your goal. The novel also has a story with a plot, romance, and love.  The story is complete with taboo situations, rags to riches, preachers run amuck and young boys driving an expensive car.  If this person indeed found it dull, I would love to know what they find exciting.

Not only do the character’s arc, the story arcs nicely.

Now, look at this little gem…. Case in point …

starduster review

The Saga of the Starduster, on the other hand, has had two more reviews that I had nothing to do with. As you can see, they more accurately reflect the novel.  If I were that egocentric I would not have written blah blah blah…Just saying.

As a writer, what can you take away from this?

For someone to write that kind of review, maybe they were having a bad day. Perhaps they are tough to please. Perhaps they are an author and don’t want the competition.  Maybe they are just assholes.

Here is what I would like you to consider.  Follow the link and go check out the first few pages of the novel.  You can do it for free.  Comment here, and tell me if you think it is ‘very dull.’   Kitties Link  It is an adult read, which I have a tendency to create every now and then. 

Honestly, if you do think it is dull by all means, see if you can articulate why.  This is not  ‘literary genius,’ but it is an excellent 99K words of a racy story.

Here is a breakdown of the novel.

We introduce College graduates to the world of modeling.  We take them on a tour of the seedy underbelly of the industry, and we take them to a clothing-optional beach.  From there, we introduce more characters who become sexual partners.

Untangling one of their lives, we get her friend out of the way by hooking her up to a company in the UK. This company specializes in BDSM movies and magazines.  This happens to feed the demon inside her friend.

The story takes on some interesting twist as emotions come in to play as her lover tries to manage things awkwardly.

Meanwhile, the mother is a bit a significant twist as she also loves the girl in her own lesbian way.

Of course, it is fiction and way out of the norm, but that is what people like to read.  We want to escape our world for a roll in the proverbial hay.

Anyway, if you should choose to read it from cover to cover, I would appreciate a ‘real’ review rather than this hit piece.

‘How did I handle this?”

I opened the novel and re-read it, asking myself is there any truth to what this person alleges.  That is what I would encourage you to do.  My beta readers loved this novel, and this is not really their genre.

If you get a hit piece like this on something you write, do what I did, and if you need assistance, let me know.  I can look at your first few pages, and I will be honest with you.  As someone with over thirty published novels, I don’t claim to know it all but, I know this person would probably enjoy stepping on baby chickens.

Follow the link and tell me what you think.  As always, I appreciate you and look forward to another day when Writing and becoming a published author is our central theme.

Tell us what you are working on if you are a writer.

Much love -TW

Ejecting your readers.

Oh man, I hate writing about this subject.  I am so guilty of this!

So here is the scoop, if you are an author, writer, or just want to be one, you should read this.

 

A few years ago, I wrote a tale about two young ladies who find love in each other’s arms.  That seems relatively innocuous but…I then bring in some forbidden love that rocks their world and changes the dynamics of the novel completely.

Kitties Titties and Winks turned out to be one of the naughty best sellers I have done.  Now we know who the readers of this novel might be.

Ok, I am not judging anyone.  I write this stuff for your enjoyment.  The story, no matter what, must hold your attention.  If you like me have ever been reading a book and the time slides past your bedtime, you know where I am going.  ‘Just one more chapter.’

To me, that is the mark of a good storyteller, I can’t put the damned thing down.  Fair warning I have learned this technique of the years and will be going back and employing it on earlier novels as time permits.

The problem with me is, I rarely ever hear or read a word that I don’t know.  Not bragging, I have something known as an eidetic memory.  If we are talking, I can recreate the conversation in reasonably accurate detail.  Usually, I employ this ‘gift’ when I hear a word I don’t know.

When I choose to use those words, guess what, I eject the average reader out of the story.  If I were to write: “Julie wanted to be pragmatic about the whole situation but, her husband’s gesticulations gave her a sense that he would be truculent if she pushed it further.   Vs. Julie wanted to be sensible about the whole situation, but her husband’s gestures gave her a sense that he would be hostile if she pushed it further.

Which one of those two sentences would you rather read?

I like the first one as there is not a word in it that I don’t use every day in everyday discourse.

Your audience, if they are being honest, would rather see the second sentence.

While we are storytellers, and yes, we have intellectual prowess over the average reader…probably…, the average reader is who we want to titillate with our tales. We don’t want them to have to work.  Our job is to entertain, not teach.

I would argue that our job is both; however, I want to write something that has appeal to most people.  That means my pretties, we have to write to a seventh grade, and some would say fifth-grade reading level.  More people watch TV than read.

Fair warning, where science fiction is concerned, I write for college-age people. If you don’t know a word, hit the little button on Kindle, and it will tell you.

We love our readers.  We genuinely do, but we have to strike a balance between pros that keep them turning the page and prose the have them put the book down as they don’t feel like learning new words. Your audience might just want to escape into your world that you have created.

Titties Kitties and Winks is an imaginary world where many of the rules of modern-day society are trashed, to give the reader a sense of what it is like to love another woman.  In this rags, to riches story, we get a sense of what people will do for money and what happens to them when they get it.  In short, the story is erotica but, much more than that, it is about love in a very unique setting.

Titties Kitties and Winks is not a literary work of art.  The imagery in the story will paint pictures in your mind that no matter your gender, you will enjoy it.

As I progress in the craft of writing, I will give you more hints and tricks via this blog.

Recently I re-wrote Land of My People.  The Novella went from 10 thousand words to over 20K.  No, I did not add more fluff; I put in more tension, conflict, both external and internal, and some backstory.  Much Love -TW

Marketing your Novel

Greetings, and welcome to yet another week. I know; it is Monday! I know you all are thrilled to be doing your thing whether it be in a cubical or on a plane. Some of us are sitting in a converted bedroom office on the phone, or tied to the keyboard manipulating spreadsheets to make sense of things.
When you are writing, you must first consider who your audience is. This is paramount as you are crafting a story to tell them. Who are the ‘them?’
When I was a kid and we did the sleepovers, I knew if I tried and made it spooky enough, I could make them scream. We all did it as we knew who the audience was. We knew they were impressionable.
As an adult writer, nothing has changed. I write different genres for different audiences. Scifi is my favorite, and I am pretty sure I can depict the audience. Thrillers are the same way, I know who you are. Naughty Nighties, one of my wicked favorites, is a little gray, several shades of gray, pardon the play on EL James stuff.
Adult erotica is just fun to write. It takes little research and a good imagination. I know who you are too and not only do I not judge you but, here is a cyber hug, just for you. And you…and you…yes you too.
One of my fans asked me why I write that kind of stuff. Because I can. Here is the real reason, and I won’t blow smoke up your…rear. E.L.James is worth over 80million for 50 shades. Guess what, that stuff is easy to write, and many of you know it because the market is full of it.
People like to travel a road less traveled. They might want to read about an illicit love affair that takes place on some island where the couple is stranded. That trope is so done to death but, add a twist to it. What if they are two men or women and they fall in love. What if the two are from wildly different cultures where the one might want to kill the other, but realizing he or she would be alone, they have to grow as a human.
Amazon tells me little in analytics, but it does tell me where the person was who bought the book or books. When I say ‘was;’ I am talking country. That is still nebulous information at best.
With Tweets, which I use vociferously, I can tailor them to the audience. Social media is free and easy to use if you put some thought into it. From hashtags to keeping your brand out there in front of them is essential.
Some programs will render analytics on your tweets. Which worked and which ones didn’t. Now take it the next step and ask why.
Your website is vital and you need to have one. Whether you have one novel or three hundred, you need a website. Because they want to sell that service, as it is reoccurring revenue, they have made sites simpler to create.
There was a day you needed an experienced programmer to make an excellent looking site. Not so much today. If you can use Word you can make a website.

That brings us to money.
When times are good, you spend your money on advertising, when times are lean, you spend your money on advertising. Budget some money for programs and things to make your job as an author easier.

No, I am sorry, you cannot only write a lovely story that will scare the snot out of kiddoes. You have to sell that story, and make me, or others like me, want to pay money to read it.
One thing I do which you might try is; make good ole Jeff Bezos more money by putting a good story on KU. No, you won’t get anything for it. It is like working as an intern to get your foot into the door. While Amazon will say it has millions on the pool and you get something for each page read trust me on this grasshopper, don’t count on it.
What you want to do is write a story that makes them want to turn the page and…makes readers want to know who you are and if you have written anything else.
That is the only benefit you will get out of giving your work away for free. If your story is forgettable than you are.
Now that I have dashed your plan of financial success on the rocks as you feel yourself sliding into the abyss of despair take heart. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Get Better!
When I started writing, I had no idea what I was doing. I wanted to tell a story and write something that I would enjoy reading. I did. I love what I write but here is the kicker, as I have written over thirty novels I have improved my craft of writing by leaps and bounds.

Hell, I may even understand the comma.

I attend many writers’ workshops, and I pay attention to what they are saying. I have read more books in my life than I care to admit and when I began to write, I learned differently. Today I read like I am taking a bomb apart and I have to diffuse it and put it back together to be ‘my bomb.’ If that makes sense.
I also give back to the other writers out there, and that might include you. Instead of working on my latest thriller, I am casting pearls into the wind for you to grasp.
Everyone with a pen or keyboard thinks they can write. Truth told they cannot. I got stuck in front of a live TV not long ago where the mother on some sitcom was reading her own novel into a Dictaphone. Now I did not stay in front of the screen long enough to know the show or care but I did stay there long enough to know it was horrible writing.
When you go to the movies or sit in front of the TV, disassemble what is going on.

Analyze what the writers are doing with the characters.
• How are they building tension?
• What promises are they making the viewer or reader?
• How are they keeping the audience engaged so they will stay there through the commercial breaks?
All of this is terrific information to have in your quiver. When you pull out that arrow and want to target a plot point or snag your audience, you will know how to do it.
There is good news for you indie writers out there. There are actually agents who are brighter than most. They will look at the novels on Amazon, and seek out new voices to represent.
Jeff, you are making a killing on independent writers. How about you give them some free advertising for each novel that you host? I realize you want to make money on each and everything Amazon does including sending the file to the customer. Don’t you think giving some marketing assistance to your suppliers would help your bottom line?

Ok, that was my pitch to the richest man around. Doubt he will ever see it but, that is the way we do things in our world.

To my friends and readers, take heart. 2020 is off to a roaring start, and good things are happening.

In my next blog, we will play a what-if game.  I am making notes so I don’t forget.

Hit that follow button on Twitter and by all means here on WordPress.
Much Love -TW

 

Do you ever know enough?

We never stop learning. Life is one big lesson so be open to it.

 

Having published over 30 novels and many more novellas, I think I have a handle on how to write.

Just when I think I know ‘enough’ I learn, I don’t.

In the world of writing, we can easily fall into analysis to paralysis.  I know some writers who have been working on their books for over thirty years.  Possibly writing is not for them.

A friend talked me into these Master Classes that I went in with her on, and there are some excellent writers that they have signed up to give them.  Now in truth, from the ones that I have watched, I know what they are saying, and I could provide that same class.

Having tooted my own horn and possibly come off as presumptuous, I began taking a class by Dan Brown.  I love his books, and I have analyzed them as I read them but, I don’t write Thrillers; until now.

I began taking his class and thought…”pffft I can do that.”

I am so wrapped up in this novel; I can’t hardly sleep. The problem with creating tension in my book is it is creating tension in me, as the writer.

By nature, I am a panster. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, it merely means that I write much like Stephen King, a stream of consciousness.  Dan is a plotter.  Dan is very methodical in his writing and from what I am gleaning, he might work on a book for two or more years.  I crank out a novel in one or two months.

This thriller I am currently working on involves the murder of modern-day witches.  I love writing about witches anyway, so this story is near and dear to my heart.  Using his style for creating a thriller, I am ten thousand words into it and the villain is now on the radar of our main character.

Stay tuned for more details about this work as I continue to update other novels as I have time.

If you have not already downloaded or purchased Land of my People oh my goodness, it is an emotionally charged read.  You will love it.  Lunchtime read but, fair warning you might want something to blot your eyes or blow your nose into as it is a tear-jerker.

Have you ever eaten a little wasabi to cleanse your pallet?

I like a little tear-jerker to shake me out of my funk or to disrupt the absolute shit going on with world politics. I have not only turned off the TV but now I am stopping the notifications from different news sources. I don’t want to be angry and I don’t like being manipulated by the media. Would it be wrong to just toss the TV on the curb?

Land of my people will change your frame of mind, and I promise you that you will smile.  Please drop me a note and tell me what you think of it.

 

Much Love -TW

What Role do we as Writers play?

Are writers bound by some unspoken rule regarding what we write about?

Did you know Susie was fooling around with Tom at work?

What a juicy bit of gossip that is.  Truth told we love a good bit of gossip.  The reasons are evident to most anyone with a brain.

  • We want to feel better than that person.
  • We are better than that person.
  • We love the titillation that goes along with gossip.
  • Their behavior might justify ours.

We have this duality within us of who we are.  We attend church or work, and we wear this face that we allow the world to see.  While sitting there listening to the pastor drone on about Paul or David or JESUSsssss, we are thinking about what has to be done when we get home from church.

Some of us are thinking about last night and how wonderful it was to be in his or her arms.

A few of us are actually writing in our bibles or making notes to stay awake, and not snore like the fellow in the pew behind us.

I am no better than you.  If the pastor hits a dull moment, my mind is elsewhere.  Much like reading a book where you hit that middle of the road slump.  Your eyes pass over the words but they don’t register because we are looking for the ‘juicy stuff.’

As a writer, we must keep this in mind when we are crafting our stories.  Pacing is essential and so is the ‘juice.’

Who is your audience?

In Church on Sunday, the preacher, who most probably doesn’t want to be there either, is addressing his or her flock.  The flock is us, the sinners.  As a preacher, he must keep us engaged throughout the sermon or we are all wasting our time.  There are no time clocks to punch.  God will not be looking at some history to see how many hours you ‘sat’ in church.

We may all wear this mask of how effing great we are, (yes I wanted to use the F-bomb to get your attention) but inside, we are just us.  If you happen to go to a Calvinist denomination of Christianity, you know ‘because you have been told repeatedly’ just what a lowly piece of shit you are.  That definition does not even underscore how truly rotten Calvinism makes you feel.  I left one of those churches as Calvin was a crazy man, as was Martin Luther.  Both were horrible Anti-Semites who, if they had self-flagellate themselves, I would be grateful.  Too harsh?

I should note that God can use the worst of the worst to do his bidding.  From David to Trump, God can use even you, to do his bidding, turning evil to good.   ‘Like how I put you in there so you keep in mind that you are no better than any of them?  I did too.’

That is where we get into trouble when we think we are better than thou.  You might love or hate Trump but, I can tell you with all certainty, he will use him to do his bidding.

We as writers can use what we know and who we know as fodder for stories.  We can use every experience that we ever have to weave them into the tapestry of your dystopian adventure through Never Land.

The issues with being a writer as I see them, we think outside the box, and we take nothing for granted.  We might sit in church and listen as the preacher prattles on about demons or how the streets of heaven are made of gold.  Ok, they are streets, gold is a soft metal; wouldn’t it make more sense to make them with something more ‘concrete?’

‘Did you like that?  Concrete…” C’mon at least smile.

If I took a notion, I could dismantle the Bible in its entirety from what I know about physics and science.

That is a powerful statement, and it is true.  Here is something else I know.  I can absolutely prove to you that there is a God or Creator of all things.  Again, I can use Science and physics to determine that.

Where does that leave us as a people?  If there is a God as I am sure there is, what is it? Where is it?  Who is it?  Does he or she watch over us like Santa Jesus, making notes when we mess up?

No, I mean no disrespect, I am making a point.  Don’t send me ugly e-mails, I don’t have time for them.

The problem with the bible is every part of it is tied to every other part of it.  If you pull on one, lose string, the house of cards falls apart.  They, in fact, become stories.  Allegorical tales meant to put some modicum of understanding of how the world and God worked 2000 years ago.

Have we outgrown God?

With church attendance falling, we see the beginnings of a dystopian world.  How do we as writers, play into this part of the world?  We are part of this world, not merely observers.  Are we responsible for shaping the world with our words?

These are just a few thoughts I have when I witness the violence from Hollywood or the Graphic video games that are nothing more than simulators for death.  What role do we as writers play?

One of my favorite lines from any movie was from Contact.

(Paraphrased) ‘You people have such wonderful imaginations and thoughts, and you have such horrible nightmares.’

This line captures the duality of which I speak.

In my novels, I attempt to speak to both.  We are that Jekyll and Hyde but hopefully not to that extreme.

In Nudists of Shangri-La, I speak to Judy’s Demons.  If you read it, you will recognize her demon as we all have it.  Possibly it is not to that extreme but it is there never-the-less.

As we head into the weekend, I wish you a safe and happy one.  Thanks for following me here and on twitter.

-Best TW