At first I was like, I don’t—I really don’t love Indie!
*yanks off Indie badge*
Hold the phone and listen. I’m saying not especially more than the other. For me. Each book has a journey.
The reasons I don’t fully bunnies and rainbows love it are many and easy to detect by the bags under my eyes. So much self-promotion and so much work. I’m not saying other traditional authors don’t work but this is my less-than-green grass side to complain about so there you have it.
However, for this post I’ve decided to count my blessings and water my Indie grass so to speak!
#1The Visual Arts
Oh yes. This is spot NUMBER ONE! My covers are hugely-hugely-HUGELY important to me and (cough cough) (plug The Book-Design Guy) has made it incredibly enjoyable.
Let me break it down just a tad:
We do a color scheme that mentally meshes with my “world.”
We pull our hair out a bit at ideas that won’t work.
Usually ending up with a terrible and cluttered mock up (because of me).
He forces me to decide what is MOST important to convey while I basically cry a lot and eat cookies and hand it over to the expert like I should have all along.
And then I get to watch this baby be born.
*(And just an FYI Gods of Anthem has a cover I love so much I want to sleep with it at night. THIS is the type of inspiration that keeps me going. It’s gas in the tank.)
(cough cough) Join the party to see it released on January 3rd(PARTY HERE)
Oh yes. This is spot NUMBER TWO! My blurbs. They are the lifeblood of my story and I want them so unbelievable people ask me, “This is for YOUR BOOK? YOURS?????” They can’t believe it.
Logan’s blurb is…majestic…
I’ve seen my poor traditional’s stuck with some weirdly patched together blurbs. (shudder) I stay awake at night with a knife under my pillow just imagining this scenario.
I worked on my current blurb for about…a year. So yeah. It’s mine and I don’t want any suit touching it. (pulls knife)
#3The Other Indies
What? “Don’t get soft on me, Logan.” SHhhhhhh. Indies have their own culture. A lot of time ( I won’t lie ) It’s annoying! The “buy my book” chants are a dull roar in indie town and yes, that can be somewhat irritating, BUT you also hear the call of the wild, independence, the Bravehearts of writing, the raw novelists who don’t have anything holding them, they won’t be PC or even Disney, the warriors that bear the scars of indebtedness, the starving artists with their own tale of woe. And who am I to discourage that type of muse? It makes for great things. As for me and my house, we know to have a dream realized you must first lose a few….so GO INDIE!
#4You. Did. It.
You had lots and lots of help if you are smart. You rely on a village if you are wise. But the truth is, at the end of the day, YOU were in charge. YOU CONQUERED that mountain thrusting your pointy ended pen into it again and again, forcing it into submission and you were a mini-god for a day. You killed it and then rose it back from the grave just to kill it again. And BY all that IS HOLY YOU ARE KING!
#5It’s Your Money (mostly)
This is important too. You have to support yourself in this game somehow. They don’t give away laptops at Best Buy in an effort to help with the flooding and saturation of Young Adult markets or offer you free kindles so you can read and stay sharp. No. You have to pay the bills like the rest of us poor shlubs writing their entry level novels. You really aren’t making bank right off bat. BUT going Indie you get a bigger piece of the pie when you DO sell. When you do “make it” the cash is in hand more quickly. So there. In your face big FIVE OR FOUR or whatever number they are at in this sad economy.
My slice is bigger with Indie. That’s good for me. Very good.
Stocking Stuffer Giveaway Dec 15th for sharing my events! All prizes there by Christmas! Earbuds, Kindle Case, Starbucks Gift cards, and bookmarks to several winners! Click HERE!! To learn how to enter!
We are also doing three parties that rock so hard! First, The Treemakers Release! December 3 and this event is going to be legend…(wait for it)…DARY! Legendary!
Second Ya/Na New Years Celebration! Jan 3—with TEN YES YOU HEARD RIGHT TEN Authors! Best selling books being GIVEN away, over thirty titles, along with a Kindle Giveaway and wine and chocolate!
“You may ask me out to dinner. Nothing fancy or foreign. No bars. No patios. No vegetables. And no seafood.” Angela (The Office)
Since I’m on hold with my editor having “missed my opening” by a mile (I think our original date was August…of last year) (I wish I was kidding) I’ve been skimming some of the other time wasting— (cough) ummm that is, avenues for inspiration!
A little dandy caught my eye about going off into woods or some sort of nonsense and focusing on your writing with workshops and blah blah blah, pay here, yes right here, click it!
I picture this and not in a good way:
On this retreat…we have to run for our lives.
Is it sad that to me ‘writing retreat’ is an oxymoron?
Like saying “work retreat” where I am retreating, yes, but not from work, no, so what then do I retreat from…
I’m pretty much an outdoorsy-ish person, but with limited exposure. Imagine if you will a sort of out-door Cinderella flitting about in the woods, but at the stroke of midnight no freaky glass slipper wearer worth her salt is piling into the local tent Blair Witch style to pretend she’s sleeping well on the lumpy mis-shapen earth. Sleep number setting…? Hard as hell!
There’s just no excuse for brushing our teeth without batteries, just none.
I know what you’re thinking. She seems to forget the most commonly known writer-vacay is a cabin which has a bed.
Well Mr. Smarty pants what you seem to forget is that my OWN writer-vacay is a jet ski and a hotel room with air conditioning…away from other writers…or anyone who tries to speak at length beyond “I just had ANOTHER glass of that pink stuff and I can’t feel my face!”
Seriously, who can’t think up an awesome plot on a jetski?
What can I say, I like to party.
It’s not my fault. This invite to pack me away with twelve other failures (cough), hey I said OTHER meaning I’m one too—to listen to a lady or gent with some sort of experience (vague in the flyer) come up with euphemisms for “Your book sucked and now you need other humans to tell you it didn’t, preferably ones who don’t know you very well or who charge a fee.” OR “You have never finished a book, and probably won’t ever finish a book. Ever. But here you are and your check didn’t bounce so Namaste.”
What? I’m sorry Cupcake if I’m ruining your inspirational blog hopping but let’s get real. If my book just sold for half a mil I’m pretty sure I don’t immediately sign up for a “writers retreat” in Idaho. I’m certain that I’ve just blown a tenth of it on the craps table since I’ve never played and another 5th on the hotel room in Vegas. Or let’s say I’m feeling cultural I’ve been traveling…the world, like the whole wide one.
If none of those things have happened yet and you can’t find me see my para about the Jetski.
When I first started writing I pictured myself pulling mind blowing prose from my lyrical cesspool , something cryptic and enticing, alive and gripping filling my readers with so much awe that even peanut butter couldn’t keep their mouths closed.
While I hold out hope that this may still happen before I die. Or after. Probably after. I’ve given up the idea that this happens when you most want it to, or train it to, or better yet attempt to whip it into submission via “writing retreat”. It just doesn’t allow you to force it.
Since we all know that a grammatical masterpiece is not going to be my end game, as for the life of me the English language in all it’s glory seemingly puts me into a stupor if held up to any reasonable standard… I do have some grammar books I’ve decided to again extend my education toward but truth be known it’s the voice that comes to me in a scheming ungrammatical sense that throws everything off.
It speaks to me like gutter-tripe that ate a thesaurus and burbs out fragmented sentences.
It’s almost impossible to keep up with the dialogue that argues and yells and screams through my brain like twelve angry men only there are women too and do you know how fast some of us talk?
Then he/she (my voice is multi-gender thank you very much) slaps my editor across the face with a pair of gloves and demands a duel.
My editor (very much a she and not to be trifled with) immediately screams, “On guard you scallywag!” or whatever genre I’ve currently started writing in my NEXT midlife growth spurt (we don’t say crisis round here y’all) and they fight while I, the wilting flower, maiden of perfect figure and character, all in white, covers my bosom, watching in horror, terror, feeling faint, to await my champion to kiss, or hug, or pay, depending on who wins which most usually means, “Get your check book out you dead beat and pay your wonderful editor.”
Fact is, that writing for me is perilously close to hard labor at times (whenever rewriting or edits which is about 90 percent of it for me) and a retreat to try and be “artsy” sounds as lovely as a dentist appointment.
“But Logan if you go with an open mind you might be inspired to write the next classic!”
Well arn’t you just as magestic as a unicorn?
I might also be inspired to buy stock in bug spray. Did you ever think of that?
When I take a break or a retreat I let it all hang out…bosom notwithstanding. You wanna see that? Didn’t think so.
I swear by the end of your vacation (yours not mine cause this is least likely to be a vacation for me) you’ll all sit around and vote me off the island but instead of a helicopter that waits to take me back to my blessed bath to soak I’ll have given you all a story all right, one for the front of the New York Times: “Girl lost in woods during writing retreat. She was never really that good anyway…”
Where even the journalist cant for the life of him understand why we’d need a retreat. Because HE writes for the freaking New York Times!
“Right now “Kick” has 65 reviews on Amazon, and a 4.7 star rating out of 5. When I first published, I’d hoped people would like the book, but I never expected the reaction I’ve gotten. I had a top 500 Hall of Fame Vine Voice reviewer say it was “one of the more entertaining and unique books” he’d read that year. Another Vine Voice reviewer also gave me a great review, and multiple reviewers made statements requesting a sequel. Over on Goodreads, I have a 4.3 rating (43 ratings/16 reviews), which is pretty good for Goodreads. I’m hugely flattered.”John L. Monk
I know I’ve whetted your appetite for this for far too long! Here it is folks,
John L. Monk rocks the house with our very first Loganesque interview.
*cue music as John enters*
So John, are you as stoked about this interview as I am?
John: Uh huh…
I’ll take that as a WAHOO!
I know you want to talk about your book Kick and we’ll get to that in a minute, but first relax man, have a seat, a drink, and tell us a little about your real life self. What cooks your noodle? Aka, what do like to do for fun, maybe tell us if you live in any special place, treehouse…what have you.
John: If I had to describe my hypothetical perfect day, it’d be coffee at 8:30am, reading 10 or so 5 star reviews on Amazon, going “wow” at the 300 or so purchases since last night, then opening my email to find notes from my author friends asking me “what’s your secret?!” Then I’d sit down and do some writing—and it’d all flow out of me like water! My wife would make me breakfast at some point (in a perfect world…), she’d feed the dogs, she’d walk the dogs, she’d yell into the room at some point, “hey you got 10 more 5 star reviews!” to which I’d reply, “Uh, yeah…kinda late, huh? Pssht…” Around Noon-thirty I’d take a nap, then wake up for more coffee and a few more emails, then I’d write some more, then play some video games, then maybe grill something outside. In other words, everything I do on Saturday, minus the reviews, sales, wife-made breakfast, and Noon-thirty nap. Man I’m boring, huh?
So what you are saying is that you want my life? *blinks*
We love your book Kick! But let me ask you a bit about your writing process. Yes, we want to know all about that too because lots of writers out there are just starting this gig and need to know what it takes. So, give us some info about how you come up with your ideas.
John: I get my best ideas usually right before I fall asleep. Then I have to get up, go downstairs and write them down or I absolutely will forget them. When I’m writing, I don’t normally get new ideas about plot changes. I just write out the events of the story as best I can (it’s usually awful), and occasionally I have little flashes of creativity that turn “awful” into “possibly fixable.” Generally, I re-read my chapters as a way of kick-starting my daily writing session, and I tweak it a little here and there, shape it. When I’m done with the first draft of the entire manuscript, I re-read it about 50000 times and cut/chop it into something hopefully better. My general philosophy is that every scene has to be interesting. If it’s not, I either fix it or nix it.
Kick-starting…? Get it? Had to point out that little pun to our readers…with a blow horn.
How do you get pumped for writing?
John: I’m very rarely pumped for writing. When I am, it’s usually after a really good movie or TV show like “Justified” where the writing is simply incredible. Good books do the same thing, but obviously they’re more of a time sink (and yet, you must dedicate time to reading good books if you want to succeed). I’m usually pumped when I first start something—the words come flying out of me. This is one of the reasons why some people have described “Kick” as episodic. It’s basically three consecutive “adventures” by the same character. Very easy to write because I got to write “something new” each time.
That’s actually quite a neat idea! An episodic market maybe?
Editing. What are a few must do’s for a writer in this portion of the craft?
John: I’m currently reading a book called “It was the best of sentences, it was the worst of sentences” by June Casagrande. It’s dense, meticulous reading, but it’s absolutely brilliant. Before that, I read “How not to write a novel” by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman. Before that, it was another book on grammar that Stephen King recommended. Before that it was a book on self-editing. I have a bunch of links on my blog to various sites that talk about editing. Whatever a writer can do to make sure their work is perfectly polished, they should. Can we break the rules? Sure, but it’s good to know the rules so that any breaking is our idea. Before I submit the sequel to “Kick” for professional editing (a must), I will re-read Casagrande’s book again, just to shore up my basics.
I think you summed that up quite nicely.
Okay, Kick it is! Go: (tell us about your awesome book!)
John: Kick is a vigilante story with a supernatural twist. It’s about Dan, a guy who commits suicide in college, who’s able to come back into the world of the living by possessing the bodies of bad people. He pops up in their body, in full control, and basically lives his life the way he pleases. He eats at restaurants, reads novels, goes to the movies, goes fishing, and when he’s not too busy, he helps people in need. After about 3 weeks, he’ll start to get kicked (kind of like a sneeze, without the tissues). Before he’s kicked completely out of the body, he makes sure his “ride” can’t hurt anyone. It’s a little like Dexter meets Quantum Leap.
If your book had a broadcast alert how would it finish? Beeeeeeep, beeeeep, beeeep, warning this book:
John: This book will make you hungry. I’m actually not kidding. The main character doesn’t have any friends, so he tends to focus on food for enjoyment. People always say, “enjoy the little things.” But for Dan, all he has is the little things.
Ok, now that I LIKE!
Any R rated parts of your book?
John: There’s bad language, but mostly by others, and not the main character. There’s gruesome murder and sexually suggestive (and dark) material, but nothing explicitly X-rated. I’m not into the “blow by blow” analysis, if you follow me…
Got it. Your answer is nearly R rated for my blog…if you follow me.
When I googled your book, it did come up first. However, there was another similar named book below it. Tell me, have you contacted them and asked them to change it?
John: Nope. There’s a book called “Kick” about a soccer player. That’s two different kinds of Kicks, which is allowed under the Geneva Convention. If it becomes an issue one day, I’ll deal with it then.
Let us know when you do! I have a new video camera.
What’s next? Besides being poised for stardom, I’d love to know what else we should expect to come our way.
John: Sometime in October I’ll be published in an anthology called “For Whom The Bell Trolls”. Other than that, I’m working on a sequel to “Kick”. I’m trying to limit any short story writing and/or excessive blogging until I’m done with the first draft, because it’s easy to get sidetracked.
Lady Gaga calls her fans “Little Monsters”, can we start calling your fans “Little Monksters”?
John: It’s funny, I had a blog post that talked about that. I wanted to call my fans “Lava Demons” but everyone thought “Monkeys” made more sense. I still like Lava Demons…just saying.
Where can we show up unexpectedly with our luggage?
John: The airport! Hah, wasn’t that a clever answer? That’s the kind of clever you can expect if you buy my book. Except in my book, everything is even more clever. But to answer your question (less cleverly): I live in Virginia.
I think you monkeys know how to do your own stalking so…now you have a reference and state!
Thanks again, John! I know I enjoyed having you and wish you luck. Let us know when the second one comes out so we can question you again, even harder 😉
So that’s all, people. Check out John’s book and stay tuned as I hunt (cough) search out my next author to put on my trophy wall!