Tradpub Thriller Idea, Last Character Sketch: Solange Pierre

August 26, 2016 // 1 Comment

This will be the last post, for now, on this idea. My bipolar mind wants a Miracle Day; it says, “It’s been five days! Nobody has broken down the door yet! It’s all for nothing!” I “know” that’s not true, but that nownownow part of my brain won’t believe it. It’s always been the case in my life that shit either happens fast, or not at all. Every time I’ve been left hanging, I’ve been left hanging. Besides, even thinking rationally, after I do this character sketch, there’s more than enough info for someone to say Yay or Nay on the idea. And I do have a book to ghostwrite for $$$ now! So I need to forcefully turn my brain away from this idea, until I can make some money and literally “buy time” to work on it again. (See? An author who can properly use the word “literally”! What’s not to love?) Also, Query Shark could take up to…90 days to post my query, if it makes it at all. Ay caramba. I could (theoretically) find an agent and even get [MORE]

Tradpub Thriller Idea, Character Sketch #2: Captain Derek Reed

August 25, 2016 // 1 Comment

Okay, I buried the lead by going with Jeremiah first. The whole hook of the story is the generational divide, and I should have started with the younger characters. But nothing flows, story wise, until we have the knowledge about the effect of the protease inhibitors on the new virus – Jeremiah has to see it first, then Senator Solange Pierre gets wise to it, then Captain Reed has to act on, or against, orders based on that knowledge. All the same, that’s what a developmental edit is for, and I’m sure my soon-to-be-editor-at-a-major-publishing-house will help me out there! If there’s any institution in America that provides a compelling argument for lopping off everyone over 50, it’s the United States military, whose promotional system is based more on seniority than competence. There’s no fast-tracking brilliant young officers to command, and, worse, the brilliant and the stupid are promoted at equal rates. Which is one of the reasons that our best and brightest young [MORE]

Tradpub Thriller Idea, Character Sketch #1: Jeremiah Bridges

August 24, 2016 // 1 Comment

(I really need to mock up a fake cover, but I don’t want the graphics to look hopelessly cheesy. Working on it… UPDATE! I made this up in GIMP. Thanks to Bey Deckard for the genetic hourglass Photoshop combo!) Now that I’ve dipped my toe in the water by creating the query letter, I can’t set aside my brilliant tradpub thriller idea. And I’ve realized that there’s no reason I should sit and spin and play the waiting game if I don’t have to – I have a blog, a platform, an audience. I have constant traffic on my posts on A Little Life and She Who Must Not Be Named, traffic driven by Some Mysterious Force. (I know, I’m very fond of caps lately; it’ll pass.) So, what if I can exploit that, right? It only takes the one person with the power to Make This Happen to read about this book-to-be, and hey presto. So I’m going to do character/process sketches of the MCs for a few days. I’ve finished my last editing job, for now, I have a ghostwriting job that [MORE]

More thoughts on The Big Tradpub Thriller Idea

August 23, 2016 // 3 Comments

Dear Tradpub: Thanks for staying with me as I continue to sketch out this book proposal. Think of these blog posts not as a formal outline or proposal, but as me talking to you over a long lunch. I don’t have the benefit of a smart agent or editor (yet!) to reflect back to me and help me improve and shape these ideas, so all I can do is keep coming back and rewriting these blog entries as I think of things to add… I’m 53 years old, just over the “cap” I set for viral immunity. Oh crap, you say. How are you ever going to write a book from a millennial POV? Well, how do people write historical fiction? How do people write from the POV of a citizen of another country, another gender? We’re writers. This shit is what we do. In fact, I think it’s a better hook to have a “traitor to his class” write the story. Nobody can says it’s just a book by a resentful kid who wants to kill his elders if it’s written by someone in the [MORE]

“Apollo’s Curse: The Audiobook” at 58%!

August 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

Yeah, it’s moving. I’ve set it aside this last week. I’ve had some weird vocal thing where this huff/sigh escapes me at the end of sentences and I have to clench down on it. I need breathing yoga or something. Or a real vacation! Honestly, I should have done Would I Lie to You? first, but I just had a block on the voice for Jesse. So I turned to my personal favorite book instead – Dane Gale is me, so, that was one voice I don’t have to think about! For Jackson, I just say, as sexily as I can, the words “maple syrup” (Dane’s description of his voice) at the beginning of each of his lines. If I fuck up and forget to edit one out, well, that’s why it’s there! Besides the ease of the voices, some of my reasoning for going with AC was probably stupid – I just put out Given the Circumstances: The Audiobook, and it wasn’t likely I’d get another blog tour hard on its heels for another audiobook. So I could put [MORE]

Dear Tradpub: Here’s my Doorstopper Thriller Query!

August 16, 2016 // 2 Comments

(Click on the image to see the full fancy book cover I made in GIMP! Thanks to Bey Deckard for Photoshopping the gene and hourglass!) As you all know, I’ve been thinking about Going Into the West, sailing away from gayrom to the more lucrative world beyond. And I’ve finally got an idea for a “big book,” the kind of thing that would be folly for me to selfpub – well, that I couldn’t do as a selfpubber, because it would mean writing 200,000+ words “on spec.” And that’s no bueno when I’m trying to pay the bills around here. So the plan is to try and get a tradpub contract for this puppy. And a cash advance on a query, outline and sample. That said, I didn’t even want to go too deep into this if I couldn’t do a query that would float – if the idea wouldn’t even get me in the door. Fortunately, there was a guy on Reddit, an agent’s reader, who dropped in for an AMA. He let me pick his brain and run [MORE]

“Werewolves of Brooklyn” is now… “Les loups-garous de Brooklyn”!

August 6, 2016 // 0 Comments

The French translation came in, and I wasted no time putting it on sale. Here are the Amazon and Apple links (Amazon US and FR): Thanks to Juno Publishing! They approached me about translating a book last year, telling me that there’s a hungry MM market in France, but not enough books in French. Werewolves was their pick as the Book Most Likely To Succeed. I reached out to some other Juno clients to see if it would be worth the money, if they’d turned a profit on their translation, and the feedback was positive enough for me to go for it. The great thing is that they’ve not only translated it, but they’ll be promo’ing it in France. I’ve sold 12 copies so far, and the translation was around $600. So I need about 150 sales to break even – hey, I’m already at 10% of that! Wouldn’t it be lovely if Werewolves found [MORE]

The “Great Gay Novel” redux, and more…

August 5, 2016 // 2 Comments

As I mentioned, I’ve been spending time searching for a Great Gay Novel that isn’t about “rich people in Manhattan.” There’s a new novel about poor people in Manhattan (or at least not rich), Christodora, which spans time from the 80s to now, and includes a character who’s a former AIDS activist. It’s been called “The Bonfire of the Vanities for the age of AIDS,” but after that “Great Gay Novel” label on A Little Life, I’m taking that hyperbole with a grain of salt. All the same, it’s on my bookshelf, ready to go, after I finish City On Fire, which had the opposite problem – hyped by the publisher, then torn to shreds by reviewers and readers. As with A Little Life, I picked it up for $10 because if it’s good it’s 900 pages so why not and if it’s not o well. And it’s very, very good 500 pages in, and two of the MCs are a gay couple. I know it got knocked for some [MORE]

“Given the Circumstances” is the #2 GayRom audiobook!!!

August 3, 2016 // 4 Comments

It’s pretty amazing… I’m outselling two major tradpub books that were slotted in this category… Okay, I know, a lot of that is Whispersync “sales” at $2 a pop, and piggybackers on the $.99 BookBub sale, but still. This is my second self-narrated novel. And I’m killin’ it. It’s so funny, the trajectories you take in life. I’ve never, ever had a success going through the “front door.” You know, the orderly march – find a career path, get in a good school, grind out the As, get a degree, march through the front door of your dream job, shake hands, go to work. Nope, never. I’ve always fallen into things through the side door, somehow. I got into training because I moved to SF in 1987 with PC skills that few people had at that time (most people were coming out of uni with nothing but mainframe knowledge). I worked as a temp and ended up teaching distraught secretaries how to make the transfer from their [MORE]

$37 to IAVA from “A Little Too Broken”! $5,020 and counting to veterans’ orgs!

August 1, 2016 // 0 Comments

Ebook sales were pretty sad in July for Tom and Jamie, but they did make about the same amount on the audiobook, so there’s that! As noted before, I am donating 1/2 of the audiobook royalties, but on a “deferred giving because I’m broke” plan. So far, that totals another $125 due to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America or some other veterans’ organization, when I’m solvent. (I’ve been shorting Puppies Behind Bars lately, because the totals have been so small, and I know IAVA needs it for critical lobbying efforts, but they’re not forgotten.) All the same, $5,000+ donated so far since November 2013! My BookBub for Given the Circumstances is tailing off, and it’s definitely not the big boost I’d hoped for. But, I did break even on the BookBub fee, and GTC: The Audiobook is now #12 in the Audible Gayrom bestseller list, and I always get some boost on my other titles as well, so there’s that. (And ALTB:TA still [MORE]
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