PTI: Oh, My God!

I put The Dreaded Day Job up for free this week — starting today. This has not been free for even 24 hours yet…and I’ve done this!

That’s right — I have never given away this many books before today…and it’s still going! I am going to hit 200 easily before tomorrow. I might even finally break into the top 100!

So — run out and get you free copy of The Dreaded Day Job today before you actually have to pay for it!

The Three Hundred and Sixty-Fourth Post: The One Where I Talk About Genres, Fame and Finding Someone to Cosplay A Cannibal!

(Almost missed the deadline…it’s been a weird couple of days here)

Hello! “Valentina’s Feast” continues the slog forward, with this being both the longest and the shortest party I’ve even been victim to, and I’ve decided to try to continue forward with another project on Sundays. I’m doing at least a thousand words on a Hallmark romance called “Romance with Advantage”. This is going to be something new for me, in that I’m not completely familiar with romance. While, yes, “Feast” is billed as a “splatterpunk romance”, it’s relying more on horror than romance. “Advantage” is pure, sacchariney romance – chaste, even. The big moment in this piece is a kiss between the MMC and FMC.

You may wonder why I seem to flit from genre to genre. Going from horror, to fantasy, to romance and (hopefully) on to sci-fi. To be honest – I just enjoy writing. While, yes, I am trying to find a genre that is profitable for me, I’m also trying to write things that I would like to read, and I have varied interests. I also like mixing genres. I’ve also got a horror / steampunk novel deep in the works which I need to get back to in the beginning of the year (provided we live through it!).

I also know that this means that the High and Holy Branding that writers seem to live or die by will be hard for me. I don’t want to be known as a horror writer, or a fantasy writer, or a romance writer. I just want to be known as a good writer. So far, my benchmark for good writer is this:

  • Make a living, or a substantial part of it, through writing.
  • Getting fan mail.
  • Having people cosplay the characters.

OK – these are odd benchmarks, I admit and only one of them really, really counts. The other two are just a hallmark of fame. I don’t think the first one is unobtainable. I just need to settle down and get productive. The other two? Well…I do put an email address in the back of every book, and I’ve been thinking about getting a mailbox for letters (people still do that, right?). I’m thinking about drawing the line at my Discord server.

Yes! I have a Discord channel for writing (R. K. Clark #3098) and I’ve considered doing a live write and chat thing with Scrivener since I can live stream writing on it. I thought that was kinda weird, but if you think about it – there are some artists who live stream their art sessions. Why should writing be any different, and I need to get used to talking to people as I intend on getting more interviews as more books come out.

Well – speaking of deadlines, I need to finish breakfast and getting ready for my Dreaded Day Job. Hope you all have a good day!

The Three Hundred and Sixty-third Post: The One Where I Ramble on a Little About My First Comic Book Crush (oh, yeah…and talk about ‘The New Mutants’, too)!

So…I finally got a chance to see The New Mutants and I think the long time it took to get it re-shot and re-edited did it some good. Speaking as a Marvel fan in general and specifically a fan of the comic, it was good to see the source material adhered to (for the most part) closely. There were things skipped over, but I think that it was done so with the idea that the sequel would answer them. Sadly, this would not be the case. This movie signals the final 20th Century Fox / Marvel collaboration. Upside: mutants join the MCU (‘mutant’ was owned by Fox for the longest time. That’s why you never heard Agent Coulson refer to mutants, but to ‘enhanced individuals’), downside: we’ll more than likely never run into Mr. Sinister, the Exxex Corporation or the current cast of New Mutants being carried over.

That’s a shame because the actors and actresses they cast nailed the roles. Maisie Williams was excellent at Rahne / Wolfsbane. She captured the skittishness of a character caught between her religion, her self and her mutancy. Anya Taylor-Joy gave us the understandably aloof Illyana and the utterly frightening Magick. Charlie Heaton’s performance of Sam Guthrie didn’t drop into the realm of stereotype Kentucky redneck, but gave the future leader an ‘aw-shucks’ quality about him.

This is not a superhero film – this is a teen horror film in superhero’s clothing. Finally, someone understands the formula (DCU…I’m looking at you) and has applied it. The director did say that he had to tone down quite a bit…and I would have loved to see the film he imagined. From what I did see, it would have been more straight up horror – a genre that I have yet to really see in the superhero trappings (yes – I know we’re going to get something like that with the second Dr. Strange film, but there were other really good chances for that).

Now, having said all of this…I would wait until it hits digital. If you’re a fan of the comic – see it in the cinema. If you’re not, or you’re a casual Marvel fan, then definitely wait. Since this is the last Fox mutant movie, there’s no need to get hooked on the current cast (especially if you’re like me).

As far as the writing goes…still trying to edit down the current project. I am dedicated to getting it out there before the first week of December and getting out a couple of other projects done before then as well. It is a drag, but it needs to be done as I want Valentina’s Feast to be the best it can be.

Now, those of you who want to hear what I sound like (don’t know why) or even know what my face looks like (see above comment), I am going to be a part of a male author panel soon. When I get more information, I will pass it along. I will also be hawking my works as well, so have a card or cash ready.

Hope everyone has a good day!

The Three Hundred and Sixty-Second Post: The One Where I Quickly Talk About Something Near to My Heart…

Today (9/10) is World Suicide Awareness Day.

If you know someone is having a problem – reach out to them. Sometimes people are too shy, stubborn to say anything. It takes nothing to ask “What’s wrong?” or even “How can I help?” to someone. It might even mean the world to them that someone else is willing to ask them if they’re all right.

It does for me. Having depression and a host of other things, I’m sometimes not willing or feel able or comfortable to say something if I’m having an episode. Sometimes, it really does take someone checking in with me (my wife does this, and God bless her for it) to remind me that I’m not having to bear this alone. I don’t, nor should anyone else.

To quote Tom Araya of all people: “If you see someone goin’ down. Help ‘em out. That’s what you’re here to do – help each other out.

Thanks for coming in. I’ll have some better stuff for you next week.

Take care.

The Three Hundred and Sixty-First: The One Where I Explain How Slavery is Freedom!

I am now about three thousand words into the Hallmark romance which I have started, and I can see the appeal to writing it at least. With these sorts of romance novels, everything is already mapped out as far as expectations go. I don’t have to think about the structure or a lot of plot reversals or anything like that. I can just sit down and think of characters, but even then, there are expectations. One would think that there are so many limitations you can do little.

I say the opposite – because all of the heavy lifting is done for you, you’re free to do anything thing else. You can concentrate on really fleshing out the characters. You can work on your descriptions, work on dialogue – work on things that you’re not so solid on. All the major stuff has been taken care of for you.

So far – the name of the novel is Romance with Advantage. The story is about a man who runs a game store, but his ex is coming back to town to develop the area for houses, stores in a sort of open air arcology. They had a split-up about five years earlier which was acrimonious, and both have managed to finally piece their lives back together.

I’m trying to use things that I know about. The main character knows games – something that I know quite a bit about. He’s been through the wringer about this relationship…check…and there will be a happy ending. Yes, I’ve had one of those, too. This is going to be a little more difficult because I am trying to keep it a little light as the genre demands.

I’m enthused about this particular novel. It’s something that while I am writing for profit, I am going to have fun writing it. I get a chance to use my humor with some of the characters, I get to mine my own personal history for material, and I get to work out of my comfort zone. I’m still in love with this process, and I’m going to work to get the freedom to pursue this to the end.

Also – I have the cover design in mind, and all I need to do is find a place that can make custom made dice. This is going to be an amazingly simple cover and I get to use some of my photography equipment. I am so stoked about this! This has been what I’ve been missing for the past week. This sort of enthusiasm! The heady rush of creativity. The voices of the character are coming to me… and I love my sassy gay friend character Scott. It might be cliched but looking at the plot and what I’m aiming for, I think it’s going to be fine.

I am still committed to The Resurrectionist’s Blues, though. I’m going to break this up into writing one in the day and the other at night. It’s going to slow down things a little, but as long as I have three books done by the beginning of December, I’m fine.

Wish me joyful luck, everyone!