Stabitha, Game Players, and more news!

Well, Stabitha tanked at the box office. What can you do? Lead horse water etc. I know it’s only a month but, that’s Amazon for you. I had to bet on KU with a new title in a new genre for me, and I’m nearing Amazon’s 30 day cliff, designed to punish writers who don’t publish every month or two. It’ll be out of KU, along with all my other books, in September.

Seriously, fuck KU. Amazon spends all their time making sure your friends (not even other authors, but people who they somehow mysteriously know are your friends) can’t review your book, taking a microscope to your cover to make sure there’s no nipple slipping, randomly removing your KU pages because you’ve been burned at the stake as a scammer with no recourse or even ability to ask why… Well, with all that important work going on, there’s no resources left for anyone to, you know, check a book over 1,000 pages to see if it’s legit and not a stuffer scam. Which about 0 of them are.

BUT, I’m going to write the next two in the trilogy anyway. Because hey! If I can’t make any money writing novels… then I’ll just write what I want! Which is of course what Brian wants. Again, once in a lifetime do you get a character like this, and I just have to hope for some kind of Fight Club/Office Space scenario where it starts to get a cult following, if not after this book, then the next… or the last.

(FUN FACT for those of you who love Brian, book three will of course be titled… FATHER’S DAY. I would so love to release the book that Sunday, too! But no way I can write two of these in 11 months. Not well, anyway. And let’s just say that in book two, Brian’s mother instigates a surprise twist. And that, of course, in book three, Brian gets closure with his father…)

It is a fucking brilliant novel. There, I said it. Fuck modesty! It’s got dark humor, raw terror, insight into the psyche of a serial killer/psychopath, a full police procedural with exhaustive research into homicide investigation, interrogation and interviewing, criminal profiling, cult structure and behavior, a dark story of childhood abuse wrapped in a succinct and funny explanation of the sociological process called Violentization, a smattering of Great Serial Killers Of Yore and those who document them, meticulous attention to therapeutic language and process so that Emily (almost) always sounds professional, great dialogue, lovely little turns of phrase, and every single secondary and tertiary character is fucking 3D to the max. No paper dollies ever in my stories.

Oh, and it has a complete, no cliffhanger story. Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t have labeled it “Brian O’Connor Book One” because people will think it’s one of those, To Be Continueds. 

It’s not only my best novel, it’s head and shoulders above 99% of the novels in the world. Doubt it? Read it for yourself 🙂 Or just read the FREE preview in the Look Inside feature on the product page. If you don’t love that, yeah, you won’t love the novel.

And I had to say that. It sucks, you know, that you have to be not only the most brilliant novelist in the world, but you have to then turn around and be the most brilliant salesman as well. Even then, you’re kind of SOL. The days when Terry McMillan could drive around the country with a car full of copies of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and hit every bookstore are gone – along with those bookstores.

“But Brad, if it’s that good, shouldn’t you have submitted it to The Gatekeepers Of Traditional  Publishing?” Maybe. If I wanted to wait six months (if ever) for an agent to answer a query letter, another six for her to read the sample, another six to read the novel, another six to get an editor to… I could be dead of old age before I got to first base with tradpub. During which time I’m earning exactly $0.00. (And no, it’s too late to change my mind; the prejudices of tradpub against any already self-pubbed book are astonishing… unless of course it’s 50 Shades or Wool or something that sells so phenomenally they forget all their High Standards about Trashy Self Published Novels and run begging for the right to republish.)

And so here he is again, The Money Wolf. And steps must be taken to bar the door…

So there’s a very high likelihood that the Game Players trilogy will at last be completed. And as the accompanying audiobook, to complete that set as well. Here’s why it’s been so long…

I got a head of steam in fall 2016, and then the Russian Ambassador got elected, and we all lost months of productivity just screaming in fear and pain. Oh, yeah – and since the last book is about Leonid and his Russian hackers, suddenly I was faced with having to incorporate the awfulness of our reality into it, which I just couldn’t do. So it went on hold.

Then I figured out, I just won’t mention the Russian Ambassador. Or barely. Then I got a head of steam last June… and my mom went into the hospital with heart problems, I thought I’d have to stay at her house indefinitely, so there went that steam. Then, that was resolved and I got a head of steam and then in August… I got Lyme Disease, which is the worst. No illness I’ve ever had was worse than that, not to mention the long physical and mental hangover from thirty days of heavy antibiotics.

So yeah. The book felt cursed. Also, Conning Colin came out last summer and also tanked. Which was also a very good book. Probably my best gayrom. (And now available as an audiobook here!) So I thought, okay, I can’t make money in gayrom, best to turn to another genre, like serial killers…

And here we are again 🙂 The last Marc and Jesse isn’t going to be a long book, and TBH it’ll have very little sex. Because I just can’t get it up anymore for love scenes, sex scenes. Thank god Marc and Jesse are solid partners now, so that the rest of their story is more Nick and Nora than Holmes and Lovelace, and will still (I hope) satisfy people who loved the first two books.

And of course making movies are the great ambition, starting with my web series!

Now that I have done a feature script (the A Little Too Broken adaptation that placed respectably in some not-entirely-scam contests, proving that I can at least adhere to screenplay structure and format), and two episodes of my web series (see below!) that I’ve written, directed, produced, acted in, and now I’m also the editor of #2… Yeah, I have some skills and experience in that department. Don’t forget to watch episode 1 now, to prepare for #2! 

I’m also working on a screenplay that can be made cheaply, locally, and in a genre that makes bank on a low budget. Horror, that is. Though what I’m coming up with is really more suspense since there’s no paranormal activity. All the same, what the protagonist (who has auditory and visual hallucinations) sees and hears will be as strange and terrifying as any ghost or demon… maybe more so, because what’s more horrifying than not knowing the nature of your reality? I have a friend who’s serious about producing films here in Reno, taking advantage of tax breaks etc., and of course you need a great script before you can start work on a movie…

And all and sundry and anything else I can do to keep my ass out of Cubicle City, meaningless work at a Bullshit Job, a slave to the clock and eatingeatingeating again to stave off the crippling boredom. (Thank god I didn’t get one contract job I was up for, staring at an accounting package all day and doing training materials on that. I didn’t get it because I had to do a work sample and thought, fuck you, Articulate, I’m not giving you my personal data just to download a trial version – I don’t have my own copy because Storyline is one of those bullshit $1000 a year subscriptions, and I’ve never had to use anybody’s software but the businesses’ own copy. So I created an account under Eliza Weizenbaum, a joke about AI, and turns out the name showed up on the sample, and guess who thought I’d hired someone to do the sample for me… And never even asked me to come in and explain, just told the recruiter that was that… And who wants to work for someone with that limited an imagination? Also, accounting software. /shivers)

And, I’m editing Crunch episode two! If you’ve seen my stuff on Facebook, I’ve been posting clips as I go. I’m good at this. At selecting the best takes, mixing them up, maintaining continuity, getting the action transitions to match, blowing up the frame a little when the boom shows up, sticking in a cool effect that takes the soap opera within the show from the living room TV into “our world.” Here’s one for you, with me as “Brad” the landlord! (Rough cut, still needs some sound work.)

(Google Drive link b/c way too big for my WordPress storage limit.)

All the editing is done in… wait for it… Camtasia Studio, not Adobe or anything else. It’s the Richard Rodriguez “Rebel Without a Crew” ethic, the book that inspired me to make a movie with found objects, rather than wait for someone else like IDK… Gatekeepers 🙂 I’d already paid $99 for it, shot in 4K so I didn’t have to deal with RAW footage and color correction and gigantic files beyond the capacity of my computer. So there’s another skill in the arsenal…

I just want what we all want, all of you who’ve read this damn far: to support myself as a creative artist. In movies, or books, or something. To do what I do best for a living, rather than sitting in a cube and doing what any half competent button pusher could do. God, my burning dream is to delete “Orland’s” LinkedIn profile, to once and forever say goodbye to all that…

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