Monday, November 19, 2012

Hurricanes Suck

And they blow.

This blog looks abandoned, doesn’t it? For a writer, I don’t seem to do much writing…not on the blog, anyway. I can’t blame it on Sandy, either. I wasn’t on here even before she blew in. She did leave us without power for four days, but I have to be honest about this–by that third day, the husband and I had pretty much hit our stride. We could have gone longer; we had a generator. We’d already given up on the fridge, and the heat was nonexistent, but we had hot water and television and internet and the local pizza place was still delivering. We didn’t need much more; who would?

Did it give me extra insight into a post-apocalyptic society? Not really, I mean, we didn’t have a gas shortage and we didn’t have to chain our generator down and I wasn’t in fear for my life. We didn’t have to abandon our home. We didn’t have to comfort children (if you don’t count the one small breakdown I had where the husband had to give me a bracing hug).

But of one thing I am now morally certain: I will probably not survive an apocalypse. I’m too soft, too weak. Too mechanically challenged. Too sentimental. Too prone to migraines and random acts of clumsiness and stupidity. (I tripped backwards down my steps the other day [only two] and sprained my ankle...who trips BACKWARDS?)

So, it’s pretty lucky I was born with a healthy imagination, isn’t it?

Monday, August 27, 2012


This is one of those housekeeping posts. Not enough info about any one thing to carry a column, so we’ll touch on everything.

This week, Born Lucky gets its turn in the freebie bin on August 29 and 30. Sales overall have increased with each free period, so, although I don’t fully understand the mechanics of it…it is working. Here is the Kindle link:

Grab a copy for yourself if you are Kindle inclined! And don’t forget, you don’t need a physical Kindle. If you have a smart phone or a tablet, you can get the Kindle ap and set up an account for yourself. If you do get the book, remember to go back and leave me a review. A lot of boards and blogs won’t post your book until you have a lot of reviews.

The Blood Run Trilogy is available on paperback through Amazon! I am very excited and thanks once again to the husband, the covers are really beautiful. I would venture to say that they are my favorite thus far. I will be bringing the trilogy to the Valenzano Wine Fest in September but we are only going to have a limited quantity so you better grab it the first day. I think they would make a great Christmas gift. Links to the paperbacks:

The online sales of Blood Run have been good and I think it might be because of the extra exposure it received from doing the free promotion on the first book. I had been watching a few books do the free thing on Amazon and became interested in a horror book called “Alex” by Adam J. Nicolai.  In the author’s blog, he recounted how he went from two or four book sales a day up to ninety to a hundred and twenty books a day (over time). Granted, his book has almost all five star reviews. I’m sure that has helped sales. I downloaded it and read it over two nights and it’s an entertaining read. Scary and heartfelt. Sad. Redeeming. All in all, deserving of its ratings. So if you get a chance, check it out. Link here:

In the meantime, I will watch as “Stephen King, A Short Story” rises through the ranks all on its own. Lots of interest in that little thirty-some-pager I wrote. Might have something to do with the title…? Link here:

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Devil, set free

So, we are doing this promotion where The Devil Stood Up Kindle book will be free for two days in August, the 15 & 16. This is supposed to help boost awareness of the book (theoretically). I’m a little nervous about putting Devil out there for free because of the content. I have read horror stories where people will grab a book just because it’s free regardless of whether it’s a genre they normally read…and then they’ll trash it in the reviews…because they don’t enjoy that genre.
Does it make sense? No.
Can I see it happening? Oh, yes…very much yes.

Anyone who’s read the Devil knows there is some tough stuff in it. I don’t really ever feel the need to justify the content; if you are at all aware of our world, you already know that it’s not a ‘new’ story…at least not in the case of the crime that is detailed. However, I am not so obtuse that I don’t understand the people who have a tough time reading it. I’ve read various forms of horror for as far back as I can remember, but like anything else, it’s not for everyone.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

If you’d like a free Kindle copy of The Devil Stood Up, download it on August 15 or 16 once the price drops to $0.00. If you like the book, consider leaving me a review on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be fancy…a few words would suffice. And mention it to other readers you know. I feel it would make for some good book club discussions.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Selling the Devil

So, this week I sold the shopping rights to “The Devil Stood Up” to an independent film producer. The producer, Lawrence, is the brains behind “Zombie Etiquette”–the show I was interviewed on last year. In case you don’t know (which I didn’t) buying the shopping rights means that Lawrence has an exclusive right to try and get backing to produce a movie based on the book.

That in itself is pretty exciting news, but the more exciting part to me is how the producer ‘sees’ me: he sees me as a writer. And that’s because he only knows me in that light. Which is weird and wonderful, since most people I know probably think of me primarily in my role as an art director who also just so happens to goof around with writing.

When this producer and I discuss Devil and creative process and marketing, it makes me feel legitimate. A ‘real’ writer. I know (as the people who support me have kindly told me and as they might have to keep telling me) that I am a writer already, because I write. But I still struggle, in large part because I’ve not yet been ‘real’ published and that definitely lessens what I’m doing to many (most?) people. Tell people you wrote a book and they are impressed; tell them you’re self-published and they back away, averting their eyes, and mumbling, “Oh, um, that’s nice, I guess.”

In other news. The new short story collection is coming along and I did an early release of a few of the stories. “Stephen King, A Short Story” is getting a lot of looks and good reviews. Here is a link if you feel like checking it out. It’s only for Kindle right now.

 In other, other news. Monster Mania is almost here! The husband and I are very excited and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the people we met back in the winter. It is in Cherry Hill at the Crowne Plaza again and it will be August 17, 18 and 19. I’m pretty sure we will be in the front celebrity room again so look for me!

Monday, May 7, 2012


So, when the husband and I began to research indie publishing one of the tenets was always blogging. You have to, so the research said, blog as an indie author. Why? Mostly for the purposes of marketing but also to display your writing prowess. I get that, but here’s my problem with it: I’m writing a book right now. I am right now, currently, (almost) every day, using any bit of my spare time to write another book. Call me crazy…but I think the next book is more important. It is certainly more (to me) engaging.

Speaking of engaging, here’s the other problem with blogging (as a writer of fiction): my life is monstrously boring. Seriously. It is sedentary, slow, and taken up with the usual day-to-dailyness of work, laundry, cooking, dishes, vet appointments, doctor appointments, oil changes, trips to Target, trips to the grocery store, to Petsmart…the only exciting thing in my life is what pours out onto the pages.

So that leaves me with a conundrum. Redirect time and energy away from the small scraps of time I get to write the books so I can write this blog…or give up the blog (to a degree).  I have mostly been giving up on the blog as you can see from the dates. And that’s not ‘good’ marketing.

The marketing aspect of indie authoring is tough. You’re supposed to Facebook, Tweet, blog, Goodreads,  LinkedIn, Tumblr…and I’m sure there are others that I don’t even know about. But how do other authors do it? How does one keep up the marketing and still get books written? I think the answer, unfortunately, is that one doesn’t. And most authors seem to sacrifice writing another book to the altar of marketing.

Sales, while good, fluctuate wildly. There is no correlation (that I can see) between the marketing I try and do and the sales numbers. I have to believe that eventually my fan base will expand and the sales will expand accordingly. I am going to assume that I am in this for the long haul. The long haul means having a good library. That’s why I am going to keep on the track I’m on. I’ll hit this blog when I get the chance, but mostly I am going to write.

And not feel guilty about it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The High Handed Changing of Time and Holidays

First things first, I am pretending that this Sunday is last Sunday, but without moving the holiday. That way, I have not missed a Sunday of blogging. I know you are asking yourself: "But, Chris...what will I do with all the memories I accrued from last Sunday on?" I suggest repression.

Second things second, I have decided that Easter will now be a day of thanksgiving, now and henceforth.

Okay, so, what am I grateful for today?

ONE! My excellent neighbors, Nick and Sue. They came to Shawnee last Saturday (I mean, yesterday...haha...this time-shifting is tricky stuff, indeed) for the Shawnee Craft Show. And it's a good thing they came, because no one else did! I don't even mean: no one came to see me, I mean no one came at all! Okay, exaggeration. There were a handful of people. But all in all, it was a bust. None of the vendors were jumping for joy and running around with fistfuls of dollars. It was our first really unsuccessful event, too. Seeing Nick and Sue, who are supporters of the books along with just being excellent neighbors in general, took some of the sting out of the day.

TWO! Sally Casey and the wonderful women of the Leisuretown Literary Society. They invited me to come speak at their book club meeting last Wednesday. I had a wonderful time and though they seemed to like me, they were especially taken with my Husband. In a room of fifty women, was I worried? A little, yeah. Next time I speak there, I'll bring my sister to help me out. See there, Ladies of the Leisuretown Literary Society? Even now, a story seems to be forming.

THREE! I am grateful for Relpax, without which I would have had five days of lying in the dark this past week instead of five days in the light (nauseous and aching, but in the light, nevertheless.)

FOUR! I dunno...three things might be enough for now. I can only be so grateful for so long. Of course, I am grateful for the Husband, but I guess that should be assumed by now.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fake It 'till You Make It

Writing books is time consuming, sometimes stressful, and very often an ongoing fight against self-doubt. Is there any voice harsher than the internal critic? I am learning to combat it with humor and bravado. Fake it 'till you make it, I guess.

Marketing books is stressful, stressful, and stressful. I'm tweeting and facebooking, goodreading and linking in, doing author interviews and takes a lot of time and more than a little self confidence. Neither of which do I have in abundance.  But i'ts becoming another exercise in fake it 'till you make it. You have to be visible; you have to pique people's curiosity. I'm still figuring out the best ways to do that. I wish I could just post pictures of my would be so much easier than trying to be actually engaging. Unfortunately, I  am not photogenic. In any respect. Ha!

We're getting a nice little following. I get kind and enthusiastic emails and am being invited to more book clubs. I have people who come to events to see me. It's exciting but more than that, it's friggin' encouraging.  I know that, in theory, I should be writing for myself...but I'm not.

I'm writing so that someone will read it. And tell me they liked it. And tell me they were entertained. And tell me they will be reading another book.

That's why I'm writing.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Everything Went Better Than Expected

Back in November, I had been invited to Princeton to be interviewed by zombies on the show Zombie Etiquette. I'm game, you know? Not big on the pre-judging. I had a bit of trepidation, but not a whole ton. And I love Princeton, so any chance to visit is a good thing. So, we went (the Husband and I).
The studio was in an old school a few blocks off Nassau. We met the host--Lawrence Greenberg--right away; he was 'in makeup' when we wandered in. A very personable, good-looking man, he was transformed into a ghoul as he and I sat and talked (mainly about "The Devil Stood Up"--to my great joy, he had really LOVED the book). Lawrence and I had a good connection and I was glad because I was very nervous. Not like, throwing up on myself scared, but more trepidatious (this isn't officially a word...I'm making it one). He put me at ease and I think it shows in the interview. I am normally quite the stutterer and stammerer. We also met Marti Davis, the producer and her adorable daughter, Leila Jean (who was also quickly transformed into a gruesomely undead child--check out her page on IMDB) and the rest of the crew that helps them out. What a great bunch of people. If you ever have the privilege of being invited to be interviewed by zombies, I highly recommend it. The link to the interview is below:

P.S. I have to add this because, well, I guess I am a chronic complainer. I was sick all last week and it really sucked. I don't know why my body is turning on me like this, but it better come to its senses before drastic measures are taken.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monster Mania

First things first, lets get the complaining out of the way: I am exhausted.
There, all done with the complaining! That wasn't so bad, was it?

Monster Mania was phenomenal. Check this stuff out:

The one thing the Husband was extra concerned with was the Star Wars poster he was bringing to get signed by David Prowse (Darth Vader) and when we got there Friday to set up, guess who was slated for the table next to us? Yup! David Prowse. The Husband was stripping his gears in excitement that he'd be sitting next to his hero for three days. Unlimited gawker opportunity...crazy, right? Well, hold on because it gets even crazier. I was unpacking boxes when I felt a presence behind me. I glance up and there is a man standing there, leaning on a cane, kind of checking us out. I smile quickly and then go back to unpacking (I'm a spaz, okay? I like to get things set up as quickly as possible; so shoot me) and a split second later, it filters into my brain: that was Goddamned Darth Vader standing there checking out our booth. Are you kidding me? So I leave the books and introduce myself, shake his hand, and he starts talking about his book and publishing and book signings...and I realize I am chatting with Goddamned Darth Freaking Vader. Holy crap, I'm thinking, the Husband is going to have a cow! I turn to look for him and he is standing ten feet away, books hanging forgotten in his hands, mouth agape. I wave him over and he drops everything and stumbles across the room trailing nonsense words. Meeting David Prowse literally blew his mind! Needless to say, that alone made the weekend for the Husband. He could not have been happier.

My own brush with greatness came the next day. My sister and I were sitting at the booth, discussing cats (because, man, we are both freakin' obsessed with cats) when suddenly, Taylor Negron is standing at the table. Are you kidding me? Taylor Freaking Negron is standing there, talking to me, as though he were a person and I were a person and as though that's what people if he wasn't, you know, Taylor...Freaking...Negron? And he was so kind and so sweet and he was asking me about the books and we started talking about the concept  of the reluctant psychic in Born Lucky and we were talking about awareness and psychic this and that but then he got wrangled back to his booth because his line for signatures was practically out the door. Awesome enough, right? But it gets even better! Keep reading!

The celebrity signers all have someone with them to help out (just like the Husband brought me 'coffee and' throughout the three days). So, the man helping Taylor Negron stops by and asks me about the Born Lucky book! Okay, now, I am not going to mention his name because, listen, he might not want his stuff all over the internet, right? I'll just call him "Awesome" because he was awesome. So, Awesome comes over and asks about the book and he and I start discussing psychics and consciousness and creativity and...everything, really...just everything! The world and society and patterns and...well. I could go on and on. But I won't. Sometimes the most affecting things are the hardest to explain--they end up sounding trivial. Eventually, Taylor Negron and Awesome were both at my table and we were all talking together and the craziest part was how normal and natural it seemed. Especially for an intorvert like me. Suffice to say that it made my weekend.

The weekend was also fun because we had good people helping us out. Our friend Karen came Friday night and she is always good for an ascerbic comment or two. Or fifty. My sister sat with me on Saturday. She brings the boys to the yard! She was hit on constantly but she takes it all very graciously. The Husband's step dad Jim ran all over handing out our business card. And my Husband's mom, Anne, let the dog out and generally reassured the kids (cats) that we hadn't died.

Overall, book sales wise, the weekend was a bit of a bummer. There was profit, but not much. I don't think it was a reading crowd. Quite a few people even felt compelled to tell me that they don't read. Ever. For an avid reader like me, that's hard to hear. Sales-wise, I think that we'd have been better off in the vendor room instead of the celebrity room (we didn't pick the space, it is assigned). But meeting David Prowse, Taylor Negron and Awesome was so great, it's hard to quantify...I think that ultimately I am better off, even with less money in my pocket.

It's kind of nice to figure out that I am happier with revelation than profit. One of the things Awesome espoused was that ethics will begin to take the place of greed in the collective human consciousness and maybe I am at the tip of that iceberg? Ethics, isn't that, awesome, Awesome?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Complaint Dept.

I am fundamentally a cheerful person. So, it's hard to understand the case of blues I've had in the past week. Winter is a very real drag on my feelings this year; I want heat and sun and I want it sooner rather than later. My fingers are consistently cold and I also feel Vitamin D deprived. And I want a damn tomato!*

My health is bringing me down to a degree, too. The migraines, of course, are an ongoing problem, but this week I also had eye! How weird is that? I remember having a real bad case of pink eye when I was a kid. My dad brought me a terrarium as a get well present and I remember that it looked so odd...all wavery and soft, probably because of the drops in my eyes. There was a tiny little fake turtle on a tiny little fake rock. It was so beautiful; a self-contained world!

So, just two things, really, right? Not so bad, now that I see it written out. And I am very much looking forward to the weekend coming up. We haven't done an event since November and I think Monster Mania should be a lot of fun. I am thankful for the people who are going to be helping us out. My sister Susan, our Aunt Rosemary, my husband's step dad Jim and our good friend Karen are going to be there at different times. It wouldn't be as much fun to contemplate if they weren't going to be there.

Anyway, maybe that means this week will be better. It's good to be looking forward to something. It takes my mind off the lack of tomatoes, at least.

*If you are from Jersey, you'll get the tomato reference. If not, you need to get your hands on a Jersey Tomato at some point. Definitely something for the Bucket List.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Boat, a Zombie Book

So, here's what I did: I wrote a zombie book. I've been a fan of zombie movies for a long time, and always been especially disturbed by the thought of that sort of half life after death. It always bugged you know on any level that you're a zombie? Much as it's always been a question for me, I didn't explore it in the book, do you know why? Because in the context of an apocalypse, it's the survivors who are interesting; not the catastrophe itself.
So I wrote a book called 'The Boat' and it is about the survivors and how such an event might, potentially, change people. You might find yourself identifying with one or more of the characters or at least recognizing some of them as people you see on a daily basis. Next time you have an idle minute, look around and ask yourself not only what would I do? but...who else would I want there with me?

I wrote it under a lot of pressure, because we wanted to have it in time for the show in Cherry Hill, Monster Mania Con, where we'll be vendors. The husband and I figured a zombie book was perfect for the event. I think the pressure shows through. It's a very fast-paced story. Exciting and also scary.

I hope you'll check it out! The info is on the website.

On another note:
Faith Creation reveived another lovely review (five stars this time!) on Confessions of a Reader. Please check out the link:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lasagna and Bravery

We have friends coming over for dinner today and I am making lasagna. I love lasagna, but I don't make it very often; it is a process not to be taken lightly. There are a lot of steps, a lot of prep, burned fingers (damn you, noodles!) and a lot of dishes to wash when you're done. And there are NO shortcuts to a really good lasagna. I learned that from Italians, so it must be true.

Is there an analogy here that can be drawn to writing? I guess. But I actually have to watch the noodles right now. So, maybe you could let me know what you think about lasagna and writing (or any craft, really).

In the meantime, I am going to be brave and post a link to a review I received this week on "The Devil Stood Up". I've posted all my reviews in the past and always wondered what I'd do in the case of a bad review...could I post it? Would I have the mental fortitude?

The answer, as it turns out, is 'yes'. While this is by no means a bad review, I would call it conflicted. But Devil seems to do that to some people. So but anyway, I am going to be brave and post the link:

I actually get it, because I can relate. When I read "Gerald's Game" by Stephen King (my hero) I really didn't like it at all. It wasn't the writing that I objected to, it was the content.

And "The Devil Stood Up" definitely has objectionable content in spades.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Migraine Train

I am trying to keep to my resolution of blogging every Sunday without fail and am going to consider this an acomplishment, even though it is short! I received a really wonderful review on "Born Lucky" and it actually choked me up a little. Please take a second to check it out. I'm very proud! Now, back to the darkened room. I'm trapped on the migraine train.

Tammy from Novel Opinion reviews "Born Lucky"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Good and the Bad

I know that, eventually, I'm going to get a bad review on one of the books. It is inevitable. Not everyone likes the same things, and opinions are as varied's say 'snowflakes'. Will I have the courage to link the bad review here on my blog? I don't know. Maybe, maybe not. We'll see when the time comes.

But while I wait for the Bad (because it is, unfortunately, my nature to anticipate Bad), I am concentrating on the good. This week I got two wonderful reviews, one on "Faith" and one on "Devil" and the links are below.

Dave Donovan reviews "The Devil Stood Up"

Rachel Abbott reviews "Faith Creation, All Lies Revealed"

Please stop by and check out the reviews!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Insanely Optimistic

Or...maybe just insane.

I have a very optimistic feeling today and I'm not entirely sure why. Is it because it's the new year? Is it the nice weather? The wine I've been drinking? Oh well, who knows. Regardless of the reason, though, I have to acknowledge the frothy bubble of happiness sizzling in my brain today. "Hi frothy bubble! Glad to have you visit, even if it's only temporary!"

Maybe I've just been anticipating this Sunday. I wrote for three hours this morning and now am looking forward to an afternoon of grocery shopping and laundry. The husband and I have detoured into Starbucks and he is struggling with the wi-fi network even as I type this across from him. Later today, I'm going to roast a turkey breast for dinner.

Maybe that's what the frothy bubble feeling is for. More story, clean laundry, roast turkey and a day filled with relaxed accomplishment. Not so crazy after all, I guess.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Faith, United

I have started the second book in the Faith series and it is called Faith, United. I am so excited to work on this book and so glad to be thinking about Faith again. A big part of the satisfaction comes from the fact that so many people ask me about Faith and when the next book is coming out. Well...soon. Very soon, now. If you haven't yet, make sure you get acquainted with Faith in the first book: Faith, Creation, All Lies Revealed.

In the meantime, I hope you give JD a try. I think you'll like him. He's quirky and scared and brave and I think he has some qualities we can all identify with (and he's psychic!).  Born Lucky, The JD Chronicles is available exclusively through Amazon for Kindle and Paperback.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Born Lucky, The JD Chronicles

I am starting 2012 strong with the release of Born Lucky, the first book in the JD Chronicles. Here is the back of the book blurb for Born Lucky:

At three days old, JD was blown clear of the explosion that killed his mysterious parents and set him on a path of uneasy discovery. A reluctant psychic, JD chooses to live in the safe world of a mental institution, unable to control the things he ‘sees’…sometimes with unwelcome, and even dangerous, consequences.
Join JD as he tries to help find a young couple who go missing in the forbidding Pine Barrens of South Jersey.

This book is going to be my Night Stalker...anybody else remember that show? It was (it seems to me) the prototype for series such as X-Files, Strange Luck, Fringe, etc. JD is the main character, and I hope everyone likes him as much as I do. I think he's easy to identify with (even though he's psychic...and lives in a mental hospital...other than that, though.)

Born Lucky is an Amazon exclusive and you can get the links for the ebook and paperback at or here:

Amazon ebook
Amazon paperback