Monday, March 24, 2014

Pure Instinct by Robert W. Walker - Narrated by Ted Brooks

A Writx Process Blog: Does My Writing Process Make Sense?


Roxe Anne Peacock invited me to do a Writing Process Blog, so here I am doing it. Roxe is the author of Leave No Trace, Fatal Catch and The History Lover’s Cookbook. Her decade-long participation in Civil War reenactments and an avid interest in history inspired the above-mentioned cookbook. View her blog at

Blogging it forward, I will invite 3 other authors on to answer questions about their process in writing the dirty deeds they commit to paper.  I will ask the same four questions of myself here of them:

What are you currently working on?

I have been working slowly on a new crime novel entitled The Fear Collector, but progress has been slowed by life problems for one, but also due the fact I am engaged currently in putting up my previous 55 titles now on Kindle onto audio book format via acx.com and consequently Audible.com and iTunes for sale. I currently have completed nearly 20 titles ready and selling, but am in various stages of producing 27 other titles. This means I am a busy fellow along with teaching four classes....sigh.  Thusly, my work in progress has had to take a back burner. Still it is halfway completed.


Why do I choose to write the kind of novels and short stories I do?


I have a warped, sick sense of things such as life and death, I suppose. While I write in a variety of genres from strictly horror with monsters abounding, I also write psychological suspense thrilers, forensics files, young adult, alternate history, history-horror, and paranormal detectives. I do add touches of science fiction and romance into some titles, and some I call Hystery Mystery. As a child, I was reared on One Step Beyond and such as The Twilight Zone. Look at it this way, heroes are Rod Serling and Mark Twain, so I blend dark humor in with the frights and high praise for me is when a reader tells me she literally threw my book across the room, hit the cat, cat leaped and landed on sleeping hubby, woke him...then she with flash light in hand goes to retrieve the offending book to finish it off.

How are your books different from others in your category?

My novels are shockers no matter the genre I am writing in, and as I have said above, I delve into many categories of fiction. I have seen other authors triangulate a few of the five senses in a scene, which is good, but I go for all five whenever, wherever possible, and when I cannot legitimately scare a reader with psychological frights, I will go for the jugular every time. Mine are filled with action, a sizable seismograph and no straight line story is going to come out of me.  Twists and turns are my watchword along with making the reader the main character. By that, I mean for the duration of the novel, I want to hold the reader complete enthralled. To that end, I pull out all the stops to the locomotive of the forward moving dynamo of the plot built around memorable characters.



How Precisely do you worm a book out of your head?

One scene at a time. Start with a character's hands busily at something...you are already in action and in the middle of things. Build this scene out of which the next will flow. Trust your story and your establishing opening shots. If they are good and true, a second scene will organically suggest itself to you from your own reading of scene one.  When young, my approach was to get the book entirely out of my head, finished, kaput so that I would have a product on paper to then go in and WRITE for real - rewrite, painstakingly so. My process has however evolved so to speak, as now I do a couple few chapters, go back, reread up till what I have completed, and then carry on to the next few scenes, then go back, re-read and re-edit again as I go, rearranging as I go in much more an ocean wave, parabola fashion. Comes with experience, I suspect

For more detail on all my process and method and tools, get hold of my How-To for the Dysfunctional Writer in Us All  entitled  DEAD ON WRITING, an ebook soon to be an audio book.



I am going to attempt to get 3 additional guests authors to speak to these same concerns/questions. I will attempt to get as my guests Les Robert, John Everson, and a surprise guest #3 - if I can get him....Ed Gorman, and if not Harry Shannon.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NIKOLAS BARON - Guest Blooger @Dirty Deeds / To Make Editing a BREEZE

GUEST BLOGGER - NICK BARON  with a great article on easing the pain of EDITING and PROOFREADING -- I love what Nick has to say here.  Enjoy and do SHARE!


Monday, March 25, 2013

Rob Walker's Amazing Class for Writers

Take my class - in six weeks you will learm more about writing and have more insight into your own writting than any handful of classses in creative writing you have ever taken. I take 30 of your pages and turn them into a workshop as together we autopsy your style and if you can take it, we find out what might well be keeping you from commercial success but in plenty of rejection slips. Six weeks of access via email with yours truly. Only complaint I ever got was to be called a Butcher, a compliment really to a developmental editor.  Payment is a mere $90 and it could change your life as it has many previous students.

If interessted, contact me at inkwalk at SBC global dot net.

Now go read some of my articles below.

Rob Walker
www.robertwalkerbooks.com
 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

REGARDING Reviews on Amazon.... been a long, long-standing argument as to how important they are...how much people do or do not pay attention to them. The often vile, personal attacks by noids and jealous people who are frustrated, cannot themselves get published legitimately or any other way, have not figured out how to write themselves, etc is RAMPANT on there, and few have been as attacked by ridiculous one-star enthusiasts as I have.

The EXACT SAME book side by side with the vile personal attack on the author goes hand in hand with thoughtful 3, 4, and 5 star reviews. Often a RAVE review from a reader then is summed up as the author's buddy or mother. Frankly, my mother has an opinion of my work. She thinks it is terrifying and filled with way too many curse wrods and OMGs and Jesuses, etc. She will hammer me on taking the Lord's name in vain.

That aside, reviews are only helpful in how they can be culled and stripped for use as a marketing tool, so anytime anyone anywhere - not necessarily on Amazon - has a kind word to say about your book or your skill in writing then it is encumbent upon you to SPREAD that word wherever. whenever you can. I quote my readers who comment on my books on facebook and twitter as well as tossing up reviews from Amazon onto my facebook page, and I do drive twitter and facebook friends to where they can find reviews on amazon but also on any blogs, etc.


A review, even a 3-star, can be very helpful and enticing. I often use the TITLE of the REVIEW and url to garner interest because many Amazon reviewers have quite imaginative and descriptive and complimentary TITLES. Of course the one-star titles will be awful, but I have even done this with one-star reviews just to LAUGH in the face of them, but HIGHLIGTING them and showing them up for the stupidity that 99 percent of them are. Yes LAUGH at it. For instance, the idiot who judged my entire 140,000 double-novel TITANIC 2012 purely on the basis of the cover art. The reading of the book will have explained in no uncertain ABYSS dive style that we do have the technology in the book to make a DIVE INTO a shipwreck 3000 miles below the surface POSSIBLE. The book explains it; the cover depicts it. The SAME for BISMARCK 2013 also some 3000 miles below the surface.

Never judge a book by its cover UNLESS it makes you BUY mine! LOL. For that reason, make your covers sparkle and jump off the page.

Anyhow back to reviews. You might want to do this which is how I got a lot of reviews. I posted on my FB Wall that I would GIFT a copy of the book to anyone willing to read and review it on Amazon. No strings attached save that one provios. Free book, free review to me.

Not everyone who takes you up on the offer comes through for you; some will disappoint you, but some will come through for you and it is worth it. Worth your paying for the book to get that review. Is it underhanded? Hell no. Every publiher sends out FREE REVIEW COPIES by the hundreds, and they get back a very small percentage of return on that investment but if those few revews are good to great, then you can use them forever. Clive Cussler called my first Instinct title, Killer Instinct "MASTERFUL" and my then publisher in NYC used that single word culled from his remark that I did female characters far better than he could ever hope to for years afterward on all my 11 Instinct titles thereafter. 

Do feel free to leave a comment; let me know you've been by....

So GET reviewed by going AFTER reviews.

Rob Walker
www.robertwalkerbooks.com

Friday, November 23, 2012

WHO'S  IN  CHARGE - THE AUTHOR FOR FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, THANK YOU!


You want to know what I think is sad in all this new finagled (newfangled?) publishing paradigm? What is sad is that over the MANY years before Kindle was born and longer still before Amazon showed up on the scene, publishers - big publishers - and distributors - big time distributors were eating up all the smaller fish in the pond. Gobble gobble toil and trouble. It comes as no surprise to anyone who had been in the publishing Casino (it is more a horse race or roulette wheel than a business in my estimation)...anyhow anyone in the casino for my time in knows that now that it has come first down to the big SIX publishers left and maybe fewer big Distributors of the units you and I call books, we will not be surprised to learn it went down recently to the Big FIVE... and rumors on the horizon calling it soon the BIG THREE.

Imagine that, every publishing company in the US controlled by three corporations. So much for mom and pop publishers? Certainly, any that had any large following such as Algonquin Press is now under the umbrella of a major corp.  Ten Speed Press. You name it.  And while there remain small presses out there, many with extremely high standards from Krill Press and Echelon to Five Star and more, the shrinkage in publishing outlets has been a horror show to watch.
                                                                             
                                                                              

What has it done for authors? It has put us all on alert and many of us who are too smart to wait around for a year or more to sell a book, then a year or two to see it actually published, all the while making NOTHING in the way of green, no way to pay the bills in such a system... well the smart
ones among us, we have GONE fishing....NO  not fishing, we have GONE Indie Authorship; we have become our own bosses, we have become intrepid entrepreneurs thanks to Amazon.com/kindle ala www.kdp.amazon.com

At this site anyone can publish at no cost and you go into an immediate mode of publishing partnership with Amazon. This means as Barry Eisler encouraged all of us BEFORE kindle to do -- take charge of our own Writing Business. That means we become public relations and marketing, we become the guys who give thumbs up or down on cover art, and we write our own book description, and we become our own bandwagon and sales force.

I know that sounds tough and it sounds like you are giving up much too much in the way of BIG MAJOR Publisher coddling you and sending you on jet planes across America and putting you name up in lights and on marquees (bookstores ought to have marquees over the top!). But guess what, by the time you become the next Janet Evanovich or Stephen King or even Stephen Hawking, you will have cobwebs growing out your ears. While in the meantime, you can publish that book and begin sales in an hour or two.

Way back in 2005, Award-winning author Barry Eisler, author of the famous Rain books as in Killing Rain, wrote in MJ Rose's blog (another major author) that writers need to quit bellyaching about their poor sales and poor relations with their publishers and take control instead. Treat their quite artistic productions as business people by putting on the entrepreneur's hat. Seven YEARS ago a lot of us were saying you have to treat your work as best you can as a business venture, and Barry laid out a long list of process and method to get you there. It was reprinted in the infamous newsletter put out by the MWA - mystery writers of America - The Third Degree.  The point of my blog -- by going Indie Author ala Kindle or any other ebook process, we smart guys who beat our heads against the NYC curtains and walls of NYC publishing have freed ourselves of untold burdens that frankly no one ever wanted to hear us complain about, so I won't complain about them here. What I will say is the discovery of one's courage in taking the leap of faith, and the discovery of a new found freedom among the new fandango of a new publishing reality has been WONDERFUL and PROFITABLE.

Rob
www.robertwalkerbooks.com


 

Monday, November 19, 2012

I have gotten away from blogging for some time....Had been terribly busy with all manner of other things too mediocre to list here.  Suffice it to say, am getting steam up to reestablish DIRTY DEEDS here.  I hope to at least blog once a week and have some guests bloggers as well.

So watch for it!  I will post when and where I can as new blogs go up.  Most will hopefully be of use to readers and writers alike as well as all book folks.

Rob

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Recently was asked a question via my website at www.robertwalkerbooks.com and it went a bit like this:  "Knowing you are quite the experienced author and enjoying the hell out of your City for Ransom series, I have to ask:  How do you deal with rewrites from agents, editors, and publishers?  I work a full-time job and find it extremely frustrating after having once told the story and pounding out hundreds of thousands of words only to be told it needs a complete rewrite.' -- thanks, Jackie Chan

OK...I changed the name to Jackie Chan. But the question remains and here is my reply to Jackie:                                                 

Hello -- your question is one that will rarely be answer the same way twice, but for me REWRITING is where I make so many "aha" discoveries that really and finally improve and characterize the book to make it as unique as it can be. I worked briefly with your agen Xavier Holecraft (not her real name), so I know how frustrating it can get; I pulled out when after a year or so she was unable to place anything I sent her, and yeah, she wanted a lot of rewrites. I don't hesitate to rewrite but after so many hurdles one gets well...frustrated.

I finally got those Ransom books sold after they were turned down by EVERY publisher known to another agent who represented them. We'll call him Calvin Jeans, a fellow I fired TWICE. Agents frustrate me as much as do publishers. If working with a traditional publisher, I prefer doing a partnership/rewrite with an actual EDITOR in house. If I am workking with a publisher.

I say if because for my last book done with a publisher we'll call Zenith Press (made up name) while they were happy with the sales and pocketed what they considered enough to make them happy, I earned very little, a pittance. After that, I took the same book and priced it at 2.99 as an ebook and have made some serious money, thank you! This after getting all my out of prints "in print" as ebooks. Some forty titles that I feel publishers looked on as midlist and with no or little enthusiasm. The Ransom titles are as good as I get, and yet they did not earn out; I say it is due to the piss poor way they were handled and given short shrift by the publisher as my editor was gung-ho over them while the pblisihing house simply did not know what they had in hand. (Your letter was prompted by your reading of these books and how you loved them.)

My last six or so titles have been Original to Kindle ONLY titles. I have extended 'dead' series as a result, placed Ransom on board Titanic 2012 - Curse of RMS Titanic, did my Bismarck 2013 - Hitler's Curse without anyone telling me no one would want to read an alternate history of the greatest battleship in history. I also publsihed what amounts to my life's work, a novel turned down by EVERY publisher and agent, inlcuding Chan and Calvin -- Children of Salem.

 My first agent, who has since passed away, said of my Salem Witchcraft title 30 years ago, "I love it, Rob. There are scenes I cannot get out of my mind, but in this market, I can't sell it." I got the same sort of response from every place I sent it--and it went everywhere. As an ebook, it is doing very well and has found an audience.

 So....as far as rewrites, imagine how many times I had to rewrite Children of Salem -- off and on between doing 8 series characters over 30 years! So I may not be the best person to ask regarding "Are rewrites necessary" as in my 'book' they are absolutely necessary, and so far as I am concerened, editors are a fantastic help (not so sure the 'editing agent' is anywhere near as helpful--least not in my experience).


 Man....so in the end, yes, REWRITNG is WRITING so far as I know. Frustrations abound in dealing with agents, editors, and publishers but the real hurdle to a reader's GETTING you, following you, understanding you is YOU.  Don't get in the way of a good edit. Once you get editorial corrections take them like ducks in a shooting gallery and deal with each in turn. Some will be minor, grammatical, logic issues, while others may require a rethink of format, plot, characterization. Take them each in stride and realize the best for the book is not always one's own myopic view.

Good luck and happy REWRITING.
Rob
www.robertwalkerbooks.com