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Any Tomorrow Trilogy
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A tale that transcends typical offerings in the horror/fantasy genre.
A tale that transcends typical offerings in the horror/fantasy genre.

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Man Killed In Chipper Accident
I ran across an article on-line yesterday about a man in Davie, Florida, near Miami, who was pulled through a wood chipper. Not one of the small ones, mind you, but the big industrial kind the professional tree trimmers use. Although it was just one man and local incident, the story was gruesome enough to be picked up by the national news services. Personally, while horribly tragic, I found it inspiring in a fiction writing kind of way. After all, the witnesses to the tragedy couldn’t explain how the man wound up ground up. But maybe there is an answer.
For more, go to: http://wp.me/p1qBOj-aF
TAGS: man,killed,chipper,fiction,hurricane,Andrew,horror

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Fellow Writers! What is your inspiration? Do you draw from what you see around you or are you more structured? Check out my latest post http://wp.me/p1qBOj-8Q

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I just sent off my interview questions to http://indiebookspot.com/ and am looking forward to a review of my Any Tomorrow Trilogy in a couple of weeks!

I Am Not Spam: Indie Marketing and Self-Promotion

Although Spam is the subject of one of my favorite Monty Python skits, I would like to make it clear to my readers, whether they read my post on my blog or in other social media (LinkedIn, Gather, Goodreads, Google+, Facebook, etc.) that my posts are not spam. Lately the term “spam” seems to be a convenient catch-all for any post or repost that a given moderator doesn’t care for and is too lazy to follow up with an email.

The reason I’m posting this is because several groups have now deleted me from membership. Two sent me canned emails stating that what I had posted was spam. Frankly I find that term insulting. To me a spammer is some sleazebag marketer who sends out a bazillion annoying emails soliciting money for a bank account in Nigeria or some other illicit scheme, usually financially or sexually oriented.

Unfortunately some folks automatically associate self-promotion with spam. I am an indie writer. I self-promote. If I don’t promote myself, who will? God? Not likely. This is how I am self-promoting:
1. I have a blog. I post periodically on my blog anything I think might be of interest either to a reader or a writer. Everything I post is original content. I don’t repost from other sites.
2. Whatever I post on my blog, I copy to interest groups on LinkedIn, Gather, Goodreads, and Facebook. I also post the content to my pages on Google+ and Facebook, then tweet about it on Twitter.
3. I don’t change the content for each group and site. Quite frankly I don’t have time to write thirty or so custom posts, or comment every time someone else posts. As a self-promoter I need to reach the widest audience I can in the shortest period of time.

Having said all that, could my posts really be spam? Here is the technical definition of spam:
An electronic message is "spam" if (A) the recipient's personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients; AND (B) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent. (http://www.spamhaus.org/definition.html)
To put it another way, spam must meet two conditions― It must be both unsolicited and bulk.

Well, then maybe I am spam. What I post is unsolicited. Although I am a member of the group, I was not asked to post anything. I guess I could just read what everyone else posts. What I post could be considered bulk. I do post the same content to multiple groups/sites. Is there such a thing as micro-bulk? I post to a few sites with a small volume of posts.

Nah, I think I’m safe. I am not spam.

But what about the self-promotion? Of that I am guilty. I even have a tag at the end of each post with the lead of “shameless self-promotion” stating where my books can be purchased. Is that so wrong? Maybe I should have been more subtle, but in order to catch a reader’s attention, you’ve got to get the message out there so it can be heard above the competition.

Hey! I wrote a book! I want you to read it!

TO THE MODERATOR OF ANY GROUPS I POST TO: Please note that I have no desire to violate your rules or sensitivities. If you don’t like my self-promotion, just tell me. Even if you have posted rules and I wittingly violate them, tell me. (A rule that states something like “If you violate this rule you will be banned from the group forever” is just immature, adults dialogue.) Heck, if necessary, delete my post, but tell me why you did it.

So where does all this leave us? Ever since I began this experiment in self-publication I’ve been wondering that exact thing. This latest brush with the spamming label just makes me wonder more. I mean, what else can I do to promote my books that I’m not already doing? My writing, through my blog and other social media, potentially reaches thousands of readers. My posts have resulted in some followers and garnered some comments (most positive). I’ve even tried giving Book 1 of the Any Tomorrow Trilogy away as a free download (in fact it’s free through March 1st, use coupon code SR46A at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/56869).

I use distribute through both Smashwords and Amazon to maximize my potential audience, but I can’t honestly say that there’s been a major payoff by doing so. Another concern I have is that by publishing my ebooks through Smashwords I exclude myself from KDP Select which, at least theoretically, has the potential to help with marketing. And Amazon is the big kid on the eBook block. The problem is Amazon demands ninety day exclusivity for participation in the program.

In the end I can say proudly that I AM NOT SPAM, other than that, I don’t really know. I’m I doing this right? Is there something I could be doing better? If you have insights or suggestions or are an agent who wants to champion my career, let me know. I’m always looking for a better way.

Shameless Self-Promotion: My novels, Any Tomorrow: The Calling, Any Tomorrow: The Curse, and Any Tomorrow: The Culling are available from leading eBook distributors such as Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

If you would like to share your ideas about what I’ve written, feel free to contact me here, on my blog, or using other social media. Thanks.

Reposted to from my blog― http://anytomorrow.wordpress.com/

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Read Any Tomorrow: The Calling for FREE!

The entire Any Tomorrow Trilogy is now available so I’m celebrating by offering Any Tomorrow: The Calling as a free download until March 1st. If you’re not familiar with the Any Tomorrow series, here’s the lowdown on Any Tomorrow: The Calling:

Fraleigh, a former imagery intelligence analyst, artfully crafts a tale that transcends typical offerings in the horror/fantasy genre. This first book in the Any Tomorrow Trilogy introduces Gustav Linder, Henry Turner, and Tyler Nolan, three men whose disparate lives are bound together by an ancient, pervasive evil. Gustav Linder is a brilliant young Jewish theoretical physicist in pre-war Germany, isolated in his own thoughts from dramatic changes in the world that spawn the rise of Nazism, whose dreams of a past and future are inexorably linked and of which he is an integral part. Henry Turner is a sociopath and hit man for a Miami drug cartel who as a boy had all the advantages, yet at age thirteen heard a voice that filled his empty places and made him a murderer without remorse. Tyler Nolan, an intelligence analyst for the Agency whose fragile psyche is caught in a struggle between reality and madness, is trapped in a secret deep underground facility alone the day a worldwide nuclear-biological holocaust nearly brings everything to an end. A common evil that longs for the destruction of everything binds the destiny of the three men. The challenge to defeat the evil before it can achieve its insidious ends fills this bracing tale with unexpected twists and turns that leave the reader wondering what will happen next.

So what’s better than free? Just go to http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/56869, add it to your cart, and when you check out enter coupon code SR46A. That’s all there is to it, no charge.
Now if you really want to go the extra mile, once you read Any Tomorrow: The Calling, why not leave me a comment on my blog― http://anytomorrow.wordpress.com/review-critique-suggest/. I’d really like to know what you thought of my work, good or bad, don’t be shy.

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The Series Is Complete!


The third and final novel of the Any Tomorrow series is in the pipeline for publication at Amazon and Smashwords. Any Tomorrow: The Culling is available from Amazon and Smashwords now and at other distributors such as Barnes & Noble sometime in the coming weeks.

While I was at it, I also revised some of the formatting in Any Tomorrow: The Calling and Any Tomorrow: The Curse to ensure consistency through the series. And there are new covers for all three books. Thanks to my son, John, and Doug Lance from eFiction Magazine (http://www.efictionmag.com). John did the Photoshop work using images I took, and Doug hooked me up with a much cooler font that I had used on the previous covers.

With the full series in distribution I can step back, take a deep breath, and think about what comes next. I've amassed a fairly good stock of short stories and novellas or novelettes only a few of which have been published, so I need to make a decision whether I want to publish them as one or more eBooks, or try to get them published in a magazine. It's a tough choice because many publishers won't accept previously published material. Some even consider posting all or part of a story to your blog as "previously published". And the pay can range from a token copy of the publication to 5 or 10 cents a word. And on top of that there's a spate of other rules regarding copyrights, reprints, and royalties to consider. For anyone considering submitting material to a publisher, you may find Duotrope.com (http://duotrope.com/) helpful.

You know something, I think I just talked myself into publishing a collection of short stories. I'm developing storylines for a couple new novels, but for me a novel is a long term investment. I'm talking years. Short stories can be completed in a few days and are more easily peer reviewed. So I guess that’s something to look forward to.

If you have a few minutes, why not stop by Amazon and check out the Any Tomorrow series? Let me know what you think of the books. I really appreciate any feedback I can get. One of the nice things about ePublishing is that improving the story is as easy as an upload.

Shameless promotion: My novels, Any Tomorrow: The Calling and Any Tomorrow: The Curse are available from leading eBook distributors such as Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. Any Tomorrow: The Culling will be available everywhere soon. Watch for my latest short stories in eFiction Magazine (http://www.efictionmag.com).

If you would like to share your ideas about what I’ve written, feel free to contact me either here, on my blog, or using other social media. Thanks.

Reposted from my blog― http://anytomorrow.wordpress.com/
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Five Minutes To Midnight

Last week the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that the dreaded Doomsday Clock was moved to a minute closer to midnight. For reasons you can read here: (http://www.thebulletin.org/content/media-center/announcements/2012/01/10/doomsday-clock-moves-1-minute-closer-to-midnight), the Doomsday Clock now stands at five minutes to midnight. Midnight being defined as the end to everything. We have been closer of course. In 1953 we only had two minutes left, but humanity managed to pull pack just in the nick of time. (Read the timeline here: http://www.thebulletin.org/content/doomsday-clock/timeline.) The pronouncements about the Doomsday Clock remind us that, in reality, we don’t need God or zombies or aliens to destroy the world. Or do we?

For a horror/fantasy writer, of course, that sense of imminent doom is what we really want to emphasize. Whether it’s waiting for the clock to strike, the door in the dark hallway to open, or the guillotine blade to fall, it’s really all the same. It’s about setting a scene where something horrific, something beyond the control of the protagonist, is going to happen whether they want it to or not. In the real world (whatever that is) we often lack control over a situation. That lack of control is often accompanied by a feeling of dread―awaiting the final bill for car repairs or a medical procedure, a call after midnight when your child is out on a date, or computing your annual taxes. As an author I want my stories to evoke the dread he or she feels in real life.

How do you do it? Set the scene, a situation from which there is no escape. Build tension by establishing a sense of expectancy, the idea that something has to happen soon and it probably won’t end well. Then make sure that whatever happens lives up to the expectations you’ve set for the story. Nothing is worse than wading through a thousand pages of text that build up to the ultimate conflict, the big bang, only to have the story fizzle out in the end. Your novel or short story should never end with the reader going, “huh?”.

A few months ago I started writing story with the working title of, fittingly enough, “Doomsday”. The story is about two TV news reporters who are assigned to interview someone they assume is just another whacko predicting the end of the world. They want to be with him at midnight to get his reaction when nothing happens. To their horror they discover there is something worse than the end of the world. What follows isn’t really a spoiler, it’s only the beginning.

1 - December 31st
“If you stand over here,” said the old man, “you should be able to see the very first indication of the new dawn.”

The old man hadn’t moved from his chair since the interview began nearly six hours earlier. Now, suddenly, at precisely a minute before midnight, he rose from his rocking chair, animatedly pointing towards the window. Milton Armistadt, his hand shaking, clutched his chair for support to prevent his frail body from buckling under its own weight. Still, he had to see it, the new dawn, and he had to make sure the others saw it.

It wasn’t so much that the seeing of it would make them believe him, their belief didn’t matter because there was no way to stop what was happening, but he wanted to witness their understanding. It was important to him that they understand, that someone on this miserable doomed, damned rock, understand.
Charlie Latimore whispered something that was supposed to be cynically humorous to Jerry Fisher, the cameraman, but his words were anxious, tinged with nervous fear. Whatever Charlie had said, Jerry didn’t get it, not this time. His concentration was fully through the viewfinder of the video camera, his focus, like that of the other two men, on the absolute pervasive darkness beyond the window.

Jerry almost dropped the camera when the ancient clock in the hallway, the one facing the door that might never again allow escape, chimed midnight with a terrific resonance. And before the chime faded, the first plumes of the new dawn appeared against the horizon. The camera was rolling. Charlie wanted, needed, to say something, but he was empty. The plumes, miles away, flew up in high arcs, alighting the sky, threatening to catch it afire, and it might have if not for the sudden torrents of rain. The rain brought floods of water which became bubbling, brewing seas as the earth shook violently and huge fissures widened, emitting a sizzling steamy vision of hell.

Flashes of lightening accented the conflagration, revealing the widening destruction. Houses, trees, and all the other artifacts of existence were askew, torn, and rendered. They all fell like dollhouse accessories caste down violently and trampled by some ill-mannered errant child. They fell, everything fell, but as overwhelming as the scene was, it seemed somehow far away, distant, and removed.
They had been watching the scene unfold looking out through the window, on the same plane as the horror they witnessed. Now their perspective was something other, as if they were somehow above the action, removed from it. And the truth was that they hadn’t even noticed the change, the shift had been so subtle. When they did realize there had been a shift, a change, the terror of not understanding how that might have occurred swept through them.
Them, Charlie and Jerry, but certainly not the old man. The old man was watching with rapt attention, fully aware and accepting of all that was happening. The old man was there and yet… Charlie stared at him, his face bathed in the reflected light of the awful destruction, and tried to grasp what had happened, what was happening.

The truth was that the old man was smiling as the world was ending.

Doomsday, waiting for that ultimate thrill of terror, is something none of us really wants to experience, yet there is something vital about the expectation of it. The idea that at any moment something will happen that could end everything is what pulls horror/fantasy fans out of their mundane lives and puts their psyches in overdrive. And the best thing about it is that when the story ends, when you’re still in the afterglow of that marvelous psychic rush, you’re still alive―and that’s a definite plus.

Shameless promotion: My novels, Any Tomorrow: The Calling and Any Tomorrow: The Curse, are available from leading eBook distributors such as Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble. Watch for my latest short stories in eFiction Magazine (http://www.efictionmag.com).

If you would like to share your ideas about what I’ve written, feel free to contact me here, on my blog, or using other social media. Thanks.

Reposted to from my blog― http://anytomorrow.wordpress.com/

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As I wrote in my last post, I'm getting set to publish the final novel in the Any Tomorrow Trilogy. My son who has tons more experience with Photoshop than I do just whipped up some new cover art for my trilogy. What do you think?
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