TOP OF THE WORLD, MA! It’s all about the Bradness!

Seriously.  I woke up to TWO great things this a.m.  First, check out this banner on AllRomanceEbooks:

TheEmperorBrad

I think I was squeamish about putting up my hardcore erotica shorts on ARE for a while; but what a great spot for them – putting Sam I up for free has resulted in 500 downloads in the last five days, AND, in turn, that’s turned into 20, 13 and 8, respectively, sales of #’s 2, 3 and 4.  And, 15 sales of the whole bundle.  So by giving a story away for free, I’ve made $60 directly…and, the rising tide has lifted the boats of my other titles.

The other great news was a fantastic review of “Apollo’s Curse” that got posted to the ‘zon by ScatteredThoughtsAndRogueWords.com.  Money quotes:

“What a great concept for a story! The idea that a popular cover model, you know, the ones you see over and over again, is actually a Greek Muse, who with one night of supernatural sex, anoints an author to become the world’s most prolific and successful writer? I love it! And it works beautifully here as a means to explain the writing process and as a raison de etre for Dane , who has to travel not only to Venice but to Greece itself in order to find his answers and a way to break the curse.

Dane Gale is a character that has to grow on a reader. At the beginning, he seems very self-involved and so sure he has written the “great American novel” that no one can appreciate as demonstrated by its poor sales. But it’s what Paul is lacking that is the source of his writing woes and inability to understand love and romance. Vance gives us the key to Dane early on when he introduces the women that will become not only Dane’s writing partners but his friends too. Rose and Sherry open Dane up emotionally as each has a different talent to bring to their novels. What does it say about Dane that his talent is editing,research, formating and such? As the three of them work on stories and ideas, it becomes clear to them all where Dane deficiencies lie. Until he sees a picture of Paul Musegetes when searching for a cover model for their romances. Then Dane becomes able to write not only steamy and believable sex scenes but frame out entire stories around Paul’s pictures…

The women in this story are terrific characters and I wish we had as much of them towards the last section of the story as we did at the beginning. We become invested in these women only to have them disappear halfway through the story. Understandable, necessary, but their absence is definitely felt. Jackson da Vinci is a character to love the more you know about him. He too needs enlightenment and only through his search with Dane does the end result of his own choices become apparent.

One of my most favorite aspects of Apollo’s Curse is the Greek island of Kos and its inhabitants. Such wonders await the readers there, including bits of storytelling and characters worth the price of this novel alone. It’s magical and poignant and I never wanted Dane and Jackson to leave. But of course, that was never possible…. But clearly Brad Vance knows and loves his Greek mythology as well as the islands. Venice too ripples authentically off the pages of the story as the enchanting city it is.

Apollo’s Curse is a book that continued to grow on me even after I had finished. The more its scenes and characters came back to me, the greater my enjoyment in the world and story that Vance created.”

So right now, “Apollo” is my *worst* selling novel.  Yeah, even the admittedly inadequate “Worst Best Luck” has outstripped it.  And I know, that the lack of sex in it has dynamited the sales.  But it’s so reassuring, comforting, joy-making, to read reviews like this.  To know that there IS a readership for this book.  That I did a good job on it.  Hell, it’s the only book I ever wrote that my mom could read!  (And yes, she liked it 🙂 )

And you know, maybe it’s got a slow fuse.  Maybe it needs to spread by word of mouth from one reader to another, this news that there’s something different out there – different in a good way.  Read the reviews on the ‘zon, like this one above – the positive responses are all thoughtful, long, intelligent.  There is a market for it!

In marketing terms, I did everything “wrong” by putting it out as Brad, when Brad’s known for the hot sexin’ – “And Then They Fucked, by Brad Vance!”  (Don’t get me wrong – I love it when they fuck!  But that was the challenge – to write something just once where they *don’t* fuck.)

I was supposed to join Clone Club and create a whole new pen name for it, then create its presences on Facebook, Twitter, a blog, etc etc etc.  Double the amount of non-writing work I do already.

Nope.  I disagree.  I think that like actors, writers should show versatility.  If you do the same character/novel over and over, then you’re not ever going to be great.  Good, sure, in a niche.  Fuck niche!  If I had to get up in the morning and think to myself, Today I’m going to live the exact same day I did yesterday, and the day before, and I’ll do the same tomorrow…oh God, I’d never get out of bed.

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