I’d mentioned that I’d written a brief article for Pat Douglas, a fellow author, over on his website, http://indie-inside.com. It has gone live now, and I hope you’ll click on the full link and head on over there: http://indie-inside.com/the-joys-of-the-other-stuff-guest-blog-w-patrick-dorazio/. For anyone who has become a writer and believes that when they get published that they can just sit back and bask in the glory of being famous, this article is for you. It’s also for anyone else who ever wonders how you can get the word out on a writing project. Whether you self-publish, get with a smaller publisher, or manage to swing for the fences and get with one of the big publishers out of New York, much of the promotional work responsibility is in your own hands. There is tons you can do to help promote your stuff, and my article goes over just a small smidgen of that. So pleased check it out…it might make you cringe, but perhaps it will bring a smile to your face…because I tried to be funny (just a little bit-probably failed, but give me a B for effort).
For the most part, my posts on this blog have been related to my work and the work of others: reviews, updates, and promotion of my work and the work of my fellow writers. There have been a few commentaries on my experiences in writing and I will admit there probably needs to be more. While I am far from an expert on how to get published or just in the craft of writing, I have learned a few things along the way and continue to learn new things every day.
One thing in particular that I have learned is that there are so many people out there who genuinely care for one another in the writing community. They may make their living writing, editing, publishing, doing formatting…or they may be doing it more as a sideline-hobby/passion/dream of making it big someday (most of us are like that, in fact), or they are fans of the different genres: horror, science fiction, fantasy, bizarro, etc who have dreams of getting more involved down the road-maybe making movies, writing, creating their own publishing company, or something else. They pour their blood, sweat, and tears into what they do, and care about it enough to make sure they do the best job possible-not just for themselves, but for everyone else who is relying on them. Social media has allowed pretty much everyone to share their thoughts, connect, and join in the conversation with a very wide ranging community that is all over the globe. I’ve learned a lot from a lot of different people. Not just about writing, but about the business side of things-what it takes to get a book out there, how to promote your work, how do you hook up with filmmakers, etc. I’ve been lucky because I’ve associated myself with people who not only care about what they do, but they behave in a very professional manner.
But you hear stories now and again about someone who steals stories from other authors and claims them to be their own, or publishers who refuse to pay the artists for the work they put out there. It is unfortunate, but the people who share their experiences and send out warnings pave the way for the rest of us to be able to avoid the same pitfalls, and because of that, we all are grateful to these brave souls. Sometimes the lessons are more simple, such as avoiding getting provoked by a review of your work that you disagree with. Tales of woe for authors abound on this front.
This brings me to the main topic of this post. Yesterday, I saw two separate warnings posted on Facebook from two separate authors, both of which are fairly new to being published. Quite a few people have since shared their information with everyone on Twitter and Facebook that they know, and I am joining their ranks. As some of you know, I tend to keep my opinions to myself beyond of the topic of the writing I do or someone else’s work…and when I do comment on anything anyone else does, I do my best to be constructive and professional about it. I have avoided more flammable topics, but for right now, I feel it’s important that I share these two tales with anyone who reads my blog. Take away from them what you will. It is my hope that what has happened to these two writers doesn’t have to happen to anyone else because of what they’ve shared.
The first post is from horror author Alyn Day.
The second is from author Mandy De Geit.
I think it is fair to share these blog posts with the world, as I think it would also be fair for me to share any rebuttals that the publisher has to offer to either or both of these authors, if I hear of one in the future. Because there is always two sides to the story, and even with the information shared above, I would be curious to see what response there may be to these accusations. It is a shame when things like this happen. But as so many others have said and I have as well, the fact that this information was shared makes all of us the wiser and more prepared as writers going forward with our efforts.
So always be alert and concerned about what is going on around you as a writer. Find out as much as you can about a editor, a publisher, and everyone else involved in working with you before you hand your pride and joy over to them. Just as you expect a mechanic to be trained to work on cars and a doctor to have a medical degree before you let them tell you to bend over and cough, you should know the history of who you are looking to work with in advance of agreeing to anything. But if you do end up making a mistake (and we all have, on many different occasions), don’t hesitate to share with others, so they can learn and avoid those same mistakes.
I got the chance to answer a few questions (in my normally snarky way) that fellow author, and editor, Suzanne Robb came up with for me. You may know Suzanne from her fantastic book, “Z-Boat”, or because of her numerous other short story projects. She is in the process of editing an anthology that I have a privilege of being a part of entitled “Read The End First”, which is about 24 different tales about the end of the world…one specific to each time zone. That should be coming out soon, and more details on that later. But enough about Suzanne! Check out her interview of yours truly over on her blog: http://suzannerobb.blogspot.ca/2012/04/paatrick-dorazio-his-thoughts-on.html, and check out some of Suzanne’s stories as well!
Every once in a while I get the chance to do something fun because of this writing and reviewing gig I have created for myself. No, I haven’t gotten a space on the next commercial flight up to the international space station, but that would be cool, wouldn’t it? But unless I become a bajillionaire, or they start giving those away for free, I am out of luck on that account.
Nope, that ain’t happening, but something pretty cool is occurring here on my blog. Kody Boye, a young and talented author who has impressed me with his skill with the written word (well, part of it is jealousy, since he is less than half my age and probably has written three times as much stuff as I have thus far in his brief career), suggested that we do a blog swap to promote the release of his new book. What is a blog swap? Well, I’m glad you asked! It is just what it sounds like. One blogger writes a post for the other blogger and vice versa, and then they post them on their respective blogs. So Kody has handed off a post that he wrote specifically for me, and I have done the same for him. I can’t tell you when my babbling will appear on his blog, but you should definitely pop on over there and check it out, and not just for my words, but for his, because Kody is a diverse talent who has written horror, fantasy, and in plenty of other genres. Most recently, Kody’s book, Sunrise, has been re-released after he did some major overhauling of this zombie apocalyptic tale. I read the original version and had the privilege of reading the reworked version not too long ago. Let me just state for the record that Kody wrote Sunrise originally well before he was eighteen. In many ways, it was obvious with that first version how young he was. Kody saw things in a certain way that I think was unique and was coming from the mind of someone who had experienced a lot in a short time, but still had some growing up to do. But don’t we all, even into our forties and beyond? In some ways, losing the haze of youth is both sad and necessary, and as such, the changes with the revised version of Sunrise reflected those changes in Kody. Compare the two versions side by side and you will see how Kody has changed as an author and as a person over the past few years. His writing is crisper, sharper, and inevitably, filled with more of the harsh tones of reality we face in this world and the world of adults. My review of Sunrise will follow this post later tonight, but for now, please enjoy Kody’s simple and eloquent analysis of zombies below, along with the cover of his book. -PD
Zombies: What they Represent and How They Parody the Living
There is much debate as to what zombies represent in the media and fiction. Some say they are a result of our lesser reptilian conscience coming to life in the most stressful of situations; others say that they are meant to reveal the most intimate flaws that exist within each and every one of us. To a writer, zombies can mean many things. Life, death, the present, the future, the past, what happens to us after death and just where our minds (or our ‘spark’) go—we have begged to question just what it was that happens when our physical bodies cease to exist for millennia. Why, we would not be human if we did not think on such things, as it was with higher conscience we evolved to walk as we do now.
To me, zombies are simple.
Zombies represent the most primal instincts within humanity. The animalism presented in their actions, their conscience and desires are what take us back to that fateful age when, thousands of years ago, all we craved was food and survival. We were, however, driven by instinct to protect ourselves. Unlike zombies, we have always had fear to inhibit and hold us back. It is not without reason that as children we are afraid of the dark, as during the night it is said that monsters will rise from under the bed to destroy all that it we feel is safe, and it is not without consequence that we are afraid to commit actions that would otherwise land us in severe trouble. That is perhaps the most terrifying thing about the zombie. Their no-holds-barred, unrestrained behavior when they attack their prey is akin to a predatory instinct that we have long since evolved away from. Sure—we may still hunt our prey on occasion, but we most often do so with simple guns and ammo, possibly even bows and arrows should we be willing to return to our former roots in our ways of hunting. There are very few occasions when we actually physically hunt our prey with tooth and claw—which, to the rest of the animal kingdom, seems outrageous. We were created as omnivores for a reason, to find and seek and hunt and kill the prey and foods that we eat. It is terrifying to think that, once upon a time, we were no more than animals, which is why, in my opinion, people are afraid of zombies. It is not about a lack of conscience, the loss of memories or even the desire to kill those we love—it is the return to animal roots that make them the most frightening.
Kody Boye’s zombie novel, Sunrise, is now available on Smashwords.com and on Amazon in paperback formats (with Kindle forthcoming.) You can find more about him and his future projects by going to KodyBoye.com.
Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Frank Hall, a good friend of mine who runs Hydra Publications, a small press from Indiana that focuses on speculative fiction. I did an interview with him, which was a lot of fun, and we chatted about my projects, past, present, and future.
It was a lot of fun, and it is posted over at their website. You can check it out here: http://www.hydrapublications.com/2011/12/26/interview-with-patrick-dorazio/
Tim Long, a fellow zombie novelist and all around great guy shot me over some questions a little while back. Some were normal, some were odd, and some…well, just check it out. I chat about my books, about my zombie slaying skills (well, sort of), I ramble a bit, and I chat about a new project I’m involved with that Tim handed the reins over to me on. So I am handling my first editing project. I will provide more details down the road as the book shapes up a bit more and is ready for primetime, but for now, give a looksee at the info on it over on his website: http://timothywlong.com/an-interview-with-patrick-dorazio/.
Thanks Tim for a fun interview. Oh and do Tim a favor and check out what else he has on his blog. He is in the process of releasing a couple of books and has a some others that have been out for a while…all of which I have read, and all of which I can heartily recommend…though a couple of them are pretty odd. But Tim is a pretty odd guy. And that, my friends, is a good thing!
I had the chance to answer a few questions from podcaster and fellow author Patrick Hester, who is, proudly, a Functional Nerd. What is a functional nerd, you ask? Once upon a time, a boss noted that, for a nerd, Patrick Hester still managed to ‘function’ within society – hence was born: The Functional Nerd.
We chatted about bizarro, The Dark Trilogy, me (ugh!), my life outside of writing, the pluses and minuses of the “big publishing house route” vs. “the small press publishers”, short story writing vs. novel writing, and of course, zombies! It was a blast to do. Patrick conducts a great interview. My thanks to him for his great questions, insights, and the conversation we had afterword that shed some light on some really cool conventions I wasn’t aware of that I might be checking out in the upcoming months and years.
Check it out here! http://functionalnerds.com/2011/08/episode-067-patrick-dorazio/.