The Cost of Being an Author

When it comes to being an author, you don’t really consider that it’s going to cost anything outside of blood, sweat, tears, and time. However, depending on how you are published, there can be additional costs that you might not be aware of.

Paying for writing doesn’t apply only to being self-published, although there are a lot more costs associated with that avenue than being traditionally published. If you’re traditionally published, there’s a chance you have a house with a marketing team behind you, but it’s possible you’ll still have to foot the bill for some of your own marketing—and every route of publishing nowadays expects the author to market themselves.

Since I have experience with indie publishers and self-publishing, I’d like to share some of the costs you can expect to incur becoming published.

One of the biggest expenses you’ll have is marketing. It is absolutely more than possible to have no cost for marketing if you know what sites to send your books to. It’s possible to have low cost for marketing too. It’s also possible to spend 1000s of dollars on marketing. Depending on your budget and what you want to accomplish will dictate how much you can/do spend on marketing.

Some of the best ways to let readers know about your books are through ads—both digital and in print. I talk a lot about different marketing ideas, which you can find here and here.

If you’re self-publishing your books, some of the expenses you will incur include editing, cover design, and formatting. Of course, if you have a friend or family member who does any of these things (or you do them yourself), you might not have to pay a dime for these services. Depending on how you acquire your ISBN numbers, that will cost too (Amazon offers them for free, but you have limited distribution with them).

When publishing with an indie publisher, you shouldn’t incur any costs when it comes to book covers, editing, formatting, and ISBN numbers. All of those should be included in your publishing package. If they aren’t, you might want to reconsider your indie publisher.

In addition to the above, there are other costs that you might not think about when getting published. I know I didn’t. These include the following:

Cost of books for giveaways.

Whether you’re sending out signed paperbacks or doing a giveaway on Amazon, you will have to pay for the books (unless you get some free ones from the publisher) and postage.

You can keep your postage costs lower by sending your books media mail, but it may take them longer to get to the reader. You’ll have to decide if you want to pay more to get them into the readers’ hands faster.

You can keep your paperback cost down by ordering directly from Createspace/Amazon’s new paperback platform (if you are self-published) or from the publisher. Of course, it takes a fair amount of time for the books to get to you this way, so you’ll have to plan accordingly.

Giving away books on Amazon is a great way to drum up some interest and not have to worry about sending the books yourself; Amazon takes care of it for you. However, you will have to pay for the books you want to giveaway.

Cost to send out monthly newsletters.

I do my newsletter through Mailchimp, and they have a free program for newsletters until you reach a certain threshold of subscribers. Then, from there, you are charged based on how many people you send your newsletter to. On one hand, it’s nice to know that you have a bunch of subscribers that you have to pay, but on the other, it can get pricey—especially if you aren’t selling a ton of books (which can happen from time to time).

Knowing that you’ll have to pay in advance could help you decide which program will give you the best bang for your buck for newsletters. There are several companies out there that offer their services, so do what works best for you and fits within your budget.

Conferences and conventions.

You absolutely don’t have to do these if you don’t want to, but I recommend going to at least one. They are a lot of fun, and you get to meet and hang out with people who share many of the same passions you do. If you have the opportunity, try to be a panelist or presenter. It takes the experience to another level! You’ll more than likely have to pay for travel to get there (gas or airfare), food, hotel, and access to the conference or convention, which can get expensive. But by planning ahead, you can make it fit into your budget.

Being a published author is an amazing experience, and hopefully you’ll make more money than you spend, but be aware that at some point, you will probably have to spend money to make money. Not every venture you undertake will have a return on your investment, but you won’t know that until you take a chance. Keep in mind that you get to decide how much you want to spend and what you want to spend it on.

Strange Occurrence…?

I watch Netflix when I work out. It gets super boring on the elliptical, and I can only listen to music for so long. Watching shows helps alleviate the boredom and makes the workout go so much faster.

Some of the shows I’ve enjoyed include Z Nation, Frontier, Tales of Halloween, and Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer.

Weird things always seem to happen to me and/or my spouse after watching certain horror movies. One time, after watching a possession film (I can’t remember which one, sorry!) an alarm woke us up at 3:33, which is supposedly the time demons are out because it’s half of 666.

Another time, after going to see a horror film at the theater (I think it was The Ring, but I’m not positive!), we came home to the door leading from the garage into our house being open. In addition, there’s also been some weird occurrences involving ghosts.

After watching a particular episode of Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer—the one about Michel Fourniret and Monique Olivier (a couple who worked together to find their victims)—I was downstairs working on my computer when my youngest told me there was someone at the door for me. I got up to see who it was, and it was an older couple who were looking for a house on 5th St.

At first, I didn’t think anything of it. They seemed lost, so I did my best to help them—which wasn’t much. We live on 4th St., so I told them they needed to go a block over, but I had no idea which house they were looking for or who the people were who lived in it.

After they left, it occurred to me that this encounter happened after watching that particular serial killer episode. My mind started turning, and I wondered if they were really looking for victims but decided not to kill me because my kids were home. Of course, I laughed this off because it was absurd, and I’ve never seen the couple again.

It amuses me that these strange occurrences happen after watching certain horror films or shows. I know there’s a reasonable and plausible explanation for all of it, but sometimes it’s fun to focus on the strangeness.

Meet An Author Friday: Fran Lewis

Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters Degrees and a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently, she is a member of Who's Who of America's Teachers and Who's Who of America's Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three children's books and a fourth that has just been published on Alzheimer's disease in order to honor her mom and help create more awareness for a cure. The title of my new Alzheimer’s book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey; Ruth’s story and Sharp as a Tack and Scrambled Eggs Which Describes Your Brain? Fran is the author of 13 titles and completed by 14th titled A Daughter’s Promise.

She was the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school's newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on just reviews on word press and you can listen to her radio show: Literary Viewpoints with Fran Lewis on Blog Talk Radio. Her magazine is MJ Magazine.

What works/authors have had an impact on you professionally or personally? How? 
The authors that impacted my life both professionally and personally were Robert Louis Stevenson and Louisa May Alcott. I love Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde because it focuses on the use of opiates in the past and helps me understand the dangers in the present. The writing is realistic as is the storylines and the character of Mr. Hyde helps readers understand the impact of taking drugs that can change your mindset and your outlook in life. I love Little Women and the lessons about family love and loyalty that are brought out in this novel. My favorite works of all times is Gone With the Wind.

If you could be a famous person (living or dead) for a day, who would you be and why?
If I could be a famous person I would love to come back as Edgar Allan Poe whose writing mirrors that of any horror writer today but is better. His lifestyle was questionable and his story themes are dark and I would love to understand more about him so that I can use it in my horror series.

What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
The oldest thing in my refrigerator is Swiss cheese, which is beginning to smell since it’s buried in the back of my fridge. It’s probably a month old since I have the last half-pound in foil in the front.

Dessert or no dessert? Why? If dessert, what is your fave?
I rarely indulge in dessert but when I do I keep it simple: Vanilla ice cream one scoop with a touch of whipped cream and a cherry.

What is your favorite motivational quote?
Only I can change my life
No one can do it for me: Carol Burnett

How Do You Find Writing Motivation?

I’ve mentioned multiple times that I’ve been sick for several weeks so I haven’t had the desire or will to write. My brain has been cloudy and I’ve been exhausted, so I’ve spent a lot of time watching TV.

I’m not going to complain about the TV-watching thing. My boys and I have been watching season 1 of Ash vs. Evil Dead, and it’s been awesome! I love all of those movies, and I’m really enjoying the series. I’m every so happy that Netflix has both seasons in their lineup.

However, despite the fun and bonding my boys and I are doing over Deadites, as a writer, I still have a deep-seeded desire to put words on a page. I’ve had ideas running through my brain, but they’ve all seemed horrible and I had no energy to figure out how to make them better. As I regain my health, I regain my desire to write.

Being sick isn’t the only obstacle that stands in a writer’s way; there are many things that pull away from writing or suck away our motivation. Family and job obligations can take precedence. Life can get in the way. Depression can play a major role. Feelings of failure or stress can make it difficult to write.

The world will always attempt to stand in our way when we are trying to achieve our dreams—no matter what those dreams are—and we can either let it stop us or find ways around it. However, sometimes those obstacles can seem really hard to surmount and our motivation can get lost along the way. When this happens, how do fight back?

There is a lot of advice out there to help writers find their motivation . Some of it may work for some, and some of it may not. When it comes to writing, the writer has to find the drive within themselves to get a project done. Each writer is unique when it comes to finding this motivation, and they have to do what works best for them.

For me, a lot of my motivation comes from finding the energy. If I don’t have it, I don’t force it. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break, and when I’m sick, I really need a break. I want writing to be fun and stress relieving, so I only pick up a pen and paper when I feel the juices flowing.

What are some other ways you can find the motivation to write? I’d love it if you shared!

Finally Feeling “Normal"

The month of January has been a tough one for me. I’ve spent the vast majority of it coughing. After 2.5 weeks of dealing with my lungs trying to leave my body through my mouth, I went to the doctor. They put me on a heavy-duty dose of antibiotics, and I’m on the road to recovery.

Because I’ve been sick, I haven’t had a lot of motivation. I’ve been spending a lot of my time sitting in front of the TV or sleeping. There’s been no desire to write because my brain hasn’t been able to form a coherent thought. Now that I’m feeling better, my motivation is returning.

If there was anything good that came out of being sick it was that I was sleeping more and was taking medication, both of which had an impact on my dreams. I’ve mentioned previously one of the dreams I had, but I also had another one recently. This second one feels like a real contender to become a story.

It’s hard to say if the story will be good or not until I get it on paper. However, I’m excited about the prospect. Until I start, I won’t know if the story is worth finishing.

So, as I return to “normal,” I will get back to writing. As always, I will keep you informed of my progress.

Meet An Author Friday: AJ Brown

A.J. Brown is a southern-born writer who tells emotionally charged, character driven stories that often delve into the darker parts of the human psyche. Most of his stories have the southern country feel of his childhood.

A.J. writes in a conversational style that draws the reader in and holds their attention. His characters are average people with average lives who are layered with memories and emotions and are fallible, just like anyone else.

A.J. draws inspiration from every day events and conversations. The characters of his stories are drawn from people he has met or seen during his life. Some of the best stories are inspired by his two children.

Though he writes mostly darker stories, he does so without unnecessary gore, coarse language, or sex.

A.J. is also a husband to Cate and a father to two kids, who often inspire him in the most interesting ways.

More than 200 of his stories have been published in various online and print publications. His story Mother Weeps was nominated for a Pushcart Award in 2010. Another story, Picket Fences, was the editor’s choice story for Necrotic Tissue in October of 2010. The story, Numbers, won the quarterly contest at in June of 2013.

If you would like to learn more about A.J. you can check out his blog, Type AJ Negative. You can also find him on Facebook (ajbrown36).

You can purchase A.J.’s newest novel, Dredging Up Memories and his collection, A Stitch of Madness (both released by Stitched Smile Publications in January, 2016), or either of his other short story collections--Along the Splintered Path, and Southern Bones--on Amazon. You can also find his novel, Cory’s Way, as well as his collaborative effort with M.F. Wahl, All We See is the End/The End is All We See and his novella, The Forgetful Man’s Disease on Amazon. A list of his publications along with links to many of his stories can be found at Type AJ Negative.

What works/authors have had an impact on you professionally or personally? 
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone. What? You asked what books had an impact on me personally, and those three impacted my childhood! How? They are stories I loved as a kid that carried over into my adult life. Roald Dahl wrote interesting pieces that made you think, and Sendak wrote, what I feel, is the greatest children’s book of all time. And who doesn’t love Grover? I mean, for real?

If you could be a famous person (living or dead) for a day, who would you be and why? 
This was hard. I could have gone with the obvious and say Stephen King, but I’m going to say Ellen Degeneres. She uses her show, popularity and finances as a platform to do great things for people. I like to do things for people and given a day with her resources, I think I could help a lot of folks. That would be an awesome day.

What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it? 
Probably a bottle of mustard and I honestly don’t know. It winked at me the other day and I closed the door quickly. I sent my kid in to throw it out and haven’t seen him since. I hope he’s okay.

Dessert or no dessert? 
Absolutely. Why? Nothing tops off a good meal like a great dessert. I love donuts, but for dessert, I usually go for the chocolate cake.

What is your favorite motivational quote? 
If you believe in yourself, anything is possible. (I have no clue who said it. I saw it once and said, yeah, totally true. I have believed in myself ever since.)

The Story Behind the Audiobook

It’s finally time to tell you the story behind the audiobook for Life After the Undead. I wanted to wait until it was available so I didn’t jinx it. 

I had been contemplating for a while that I should make my books available as audiobooks, but I wasn’t exactly sure about the process. Plus, I had to decide which book I wanted to do first and how I wanted to do it.

As with most things in publishing, there are a lot of options out there for turning your book into an audiobook.  Deciding on a platform means you have to decide how much you can and are willing to pay for the audiobook’s creation. Then, you have to decide if you’re going to do the narration yourself or if someone is going to narrate it for you.

I had a friend who had used ACX a while ago, so I decided to check out that site. It wasn’t the only one I checked out, there were several others I looked into. They all had their pros and cons, including price.

At first, I figured that I would do the narration myself. I have a sound mixer on my computer, and I figured it couldn’t be that hard, so I started recording a few chapters. It didn’t take long for me to realize this probably wasn’t the best route to take for my book.

Like most people, hearing the sound of my own voice makes me cringe. Plus, my equipment isn’t exactly professional, and I was sure that would come across in the recording. I wanted to give my audiobook the best chance to be successful, and I figured narrating it myself would set it up for failure. Thus, I decided to find a narrator.

Since I didn’t have a lot of funds to work with, I decided to use ACX as my audiobook platform. It gave me the option of choosing a range of prices per recorded hour or doing a royalty share with the narrator. It cautioned that if I chose the royalty share option, there was a chance my book wouldn’t be picked up by a narrator. I’ve also worked for royalty shares in the past, so I know that it isn’t as beneficial as it sounds. I wanted my narrator to be compensated upfront for their hard work—even if it wasn’t a ton.

I found an investor (hi, Mom! [Don’t judge. It’s nice to have support for my writing]) who was kind enough to help me with my dream of developing an audiobook. I then decided to develop Life After the Undead because it’s my bestselling book. I figured I needed to put the book with the best chance of making sales out there.

When you upload the book’s information onto the ACX site, you have a variety of options to choose from. You can pick if you want a male or female narrator, how old you want them to sound, and what type of attitude they’ll bring to the reading. You can even specify accents. It’s pretty involved.

From there, you upload a sample from your work that will be used as the audition. It doesn’t have to be long, but enough to get an idea of how the narrator will sound reading your book. Then, you wait for the auditions to roll in.

I started the audiobook process for Life over the summer—I want to say at the end of July. By August, I had my first audition. Narrators weren’t beating down my door to read the story, and this one had a nice voice and read well, so I decided to go for it.

The nice thing about ACX is that they have a contract system built in. You decide when the first 15 minutes need to be uploaded, and then when the rest of the book needs to be completed. Since you choose the range of what you want to pay per recorded hour, you can negotiate payment, but I just went with the top of the scale—I felt it was fair compensation. ACX then sends the contract to the narrator to sign.

All in all, it was an incredibly simple process. The narrator then sends you the first 15 minutes, which you approve or send back with notes, then they work on the rest of the recording. On average, it takes about 1 to 2 months to complete a recording (depending on how long your story is), so I gave the narrator 6 weeks to get the final recording back to me.

Through the entire process, you have the ability to talk to the narrator through ACX’s internal messaging system. I didn’t want to bug the narrator while she was recording, so I limited the amount of messages I sent. I was so excited to hear the final version, though. I couldn’t wait.

The deadline came and went, and only a few chapters had been uploaded to the site. I messaged the narrator to see if she needed anything from me to finish the project, and I didn’t hear anything back. I let a few days pass, then I messaged again. Still nothing.

In the contract, there is a clause of what to do when something like this happens, so I contacted support. They had me send another message with a specific date of when I needed a reply from the narrator. If I didn’t get it, I was supposed to let them know, and they would send a message from their end.

I sent my message and waited, but still nothing. I let support know, and they sent their message. I was supposed to wait a week, then contact them again if I still heard nothing. I did, and they told me to wait another week. I did. I emailed them again, and they told me to wait another week.

At this point, I was incredibly frustrated. It was apparent that the narrator wasn’t going to respond to any messages, so why did I have to keep waiting? I wanted to get my project back out there for another narrator to pick up. I sent another email to support, worded very nicely, that conveyed my frustrations. They emailed back and said that the contract should have been terminated weeks ago. They took care of that, and the project was back on the boards for another narrator.

During the entire process, I was looking into other recording platforms. I felt that I didn’t want the frustration and hassle of dealing with ACX, but I didn’t have the funds to go with some of the other places. I decided ACX would get another chance.

And that’s when Cheyenne walked into my life—or rather spoke into my life.

Hearing her voice read the audition sample gave me goosebumps. It was perfect! I didn’t hesitate sending her the contract. She was excited and eager to get started. Again, I gave her a little over a month to finish the recording, then I gave her time and space to complete her task.

I’m not going to lie: there were numerous times during the project that I thought I was going to get burned again. Cheyenne and I talked more than the other narrator and I talked, so I had a better idea where she was in the process, but every so often, days would go by and I wouldn’t hear anything. I tried not to panic, but I was gun shy. Ask my book manager (hi, Pam!); she’ll tell you about the emails I sent trying not to freak out and only barely succeeding.

The final recordings were due at the end of November, but a delay caused them to be late. I tried not to panic, and told myself that the book would get done, but there was anxiety. I told myself that if I got burned again, having an audiobook wasn’t meant to be.

The chapters were all eventually uploaded and approved by me, then they were sent to ACX for their approval. There were some issues with the decibel levels, which made me think for sure that the book wasn’t going to get published, but Cheyenne was able to figure out the issue and get the new chapters uploaded.

Now, this whole process is history since the book is available on Audible and iTunes. Like everything in publishing, you have to be patient and flexible when having an audiobook made. The road had some bumps and unexpected twists, but in the end, everything worked out.

Since I want to remain consistent, Cheyenne has agreed to narrate the second book in the series, and work will start on that at the end of the month. We’re both convinced that the process will go more smoothly since the first book was a learning process for both of us.

I can’t wait for the second book to be done. Cheyenne does such an amazing job and brings Krista to life in a way I never imagined. It’s weird and amazing to hear the words I wrote coming out of someone else’s mouth, and I’m hooked on turning all my stories into audiobooks. I just have to find the funds…

Apocalypse Preparedness

Dreams are strange beasts. Every action and detail make perfect sense while you’re asleep, and your mind projects a vivid picture of a world you’ve never known but feel like you know. When you wake up, if you remember your dream, you might think: What the hell was that?

I’m one of those people who remembers my dreams more often than not. I’m also a lucid dreamer, which means if something happens in my dream that I don’t like, I can change it without interrupting the flow of sleep or the dream. I’ve gotten several story ideas from my dreams.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been sick. That means that I’ve been sleeping more and taking medication to feel better, all of which have had an impact on my dreams. One night in particular, I had a crazy dream about the zombie apocalypse,

Now, it’s not odd for me to dream about zombies. In fact, it probably happens more often than it should. In this dream, a group of us survivors had found a warehouse and refuge from the undead threat. We took the chance to get our supplies in order and prepare food for the journey that lay ahead. I have no idea where we were going, but we were heading back out.

The distressing part of the dream came about when I discovered that the stew was being made out of people. We didn’t kill them, but we were using them because other meat supplies were low. There was a scene in my dream where one of the other survivors asked me to sample some of the marrow from the bone they were boiling, and my stomach knotted—both in my dream and in real life—but in my dream, I tasted it, and it tasted just like cow.

As the dream progressed, we had to find ways to store and carry the stew on our trip. For some reason, Tupperware was nonexistent (or maybe we just couldn’t find lids that matched the containers, I don’t know), and we discussed how glass jars would be heavy and hard to carry in our bags because they would break. Our only option was to put the stew into already-opened cans, but how would we keep them from spilling? Thankfully, I had a supply of plastic lids with me, so everything worked out. We were able to gather our supplies and head onto the road. (I woke up before I knew where we were going.)

When I woke up, my brain reeled from what my dream had presented. I had a what-the-hell-was-that moment, but at the same time, it made me think. What would we have to do during the apocalypse that would repulse us in “normal” life? Would we be reduced to be no better than the zombies? Would we do whatever we had to to survive?

A lot of books (including my own) and movies try to answer these questions, and often times, the answer isn’t pretty. In a lot of cases, humans turn out to be worse than the undead—but only because they can be conniving and tricky where zombies have only one motivation. The whole idea of cannibalism is the reason we find zombies so repulsive, but what happens if we are reduced to that stage? It’s happened in survival situations before, who says it couldn’t happen again?

I don’t have any answers to the questions my dream proposed, but I find them fascinating. It might be something worth exploring sometime down the road. The other question that also cropped up as a result of my dream was:

What unconventional supplies could be potentially life-saving in the zombie apocalypse?

I pose this question to you. Please share in the comments what unconventional supplies you would bring, and I’ll enter you into a giveaway for a chance to win your choice of one of my ebooks.

Meet An Author Friday: Nicholas Paschall

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Nicholas Paschall earned his bachelors degree in History from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He started writing when he was young, but he first started his horror career in 2011 with a short story published in Dark Moon Digest. He's been in many anthologies, including Shadows and Teeth Volume Three, What Dwells Beneath, and the upcoming Nickel Nightmares. His first published novel was the Father of Flesh, but in 2018 he has whole set of novels coming out for his readers to enjoy. In early Spring, he has Bleak Dawn: Hunters of the Dead-Witches War and Travels to Teyuna. He can be found at random conventions, willing to discuss anything you have on your mind. In his personal time, he whittles away the hours of the day writing, editing, and tinkering on his website.

What works/authors have had an impact on you professionally or personally? How?
I'd be lying if I said Stephen King didn't influence me as a writer, as for my generation he was the one to breathe life back into the horror genre. He paved the way with rabid dogs and killer clowns so that we could all enjoy a good zombie story, while others like Anne Rice brought attention to vampires in a way that made the creative minds in the blackest literary circle declare a war against the romantic bloodsucker. I have a fondness for Vonnegut that extends into the surreal, as his work often does, and I like Michael Crichton for his birth of the modern day sci-fi involving dinosaurs and theme parks. As a member of the 90's kids, I'd say that R.L. Stine stirred the pot for us, while Silent Hill and Resident Evil left us afraid to go to sleep at night. There are so many influences and great names to drop that just the few I've mentioned barely manage to scratch the surface.

If you could be a famous person (living or dead) for a day, who would you be and why?
If I were to just be carry-on metal luggage that could observe? I think I'd choose Vlad the Impaler, just to see what was going through his mind when he planned his battles or ordered thousands to their grisly deaths. If I got to take over the person, then I'd say William Shakespeare during the height of his career, just to see what the life of a playwright during the day was like. Maybe see what he was working on and if it was something I recognized.

What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
A box of baking soda that I cannot remember buying.

Dessert or no dessert? Why? If dessert, what is your fave?
I remember when I was a kid Olive Garden had a dessert called the Brownie Decadenza. It was a warm brownie (no nuts!) in a margarita glass with vanilla ice cream and hot sauce. They had it for years, and it was my sole reason to eat there whenever we would go out. My parents could order whatever nasty vegetable or exotic food for me and I would happily indulge them, if only to get that treat.

What is your favorite motivational quote?
"This may not serve for long, but long enough is all I need." Something my father used to say when he would repair machines for his business instead of replacing them right off the bat. I use that idea in a lot of ways, as I can move figurative mountains with the shoe-string budget that saying promotes. I'm in the process of fixing up my house just for my own habitation, and have used cheap replacements for doors, doorknobs, and ceiling fans in areas where the only people who see them are my wife and I. Yes, I will have to replace them someday when we plan on moving, but when we do replace them for the showcasing of the house, they'll be brand new and we can promote the house as having recent work done without lying.

Am I the Only One Falling Behind?

Between the holidays and basketball for my boys, I feel like I’m falling really far behind. I took the last couple of weeks off from social media to attempt to get caught up, and I’m still behind.

Maybe I’ll never be caught up. Maybe I’ll just live in a perpetual state of needing to get stuff done.

If that’s the case, I guess I should prioritize which things need to be done first. That’s a difficult task. *Sigh* I guess I’ll have to do what I can.

Short post today since I’m so far behind. I’ll try to get caught up for next week, but that may or may not happen.

Happy Monday!

Meet An Author Friday: Peter Molnar

Peter Molnar has been writing genre fiction for over twenty years and he is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association. He is a VIP Author for Stitched Smile Publications as well as a member of its editorial staff. His work has sold to such genre markets as City Slab: Urban Tales of the Grotesque, Necrology Shorts, and most recently Hydrophobia: A Charity Anthology to Benefit Victims of Hurricane Harvey, among others. He works in the Philadelphia secondary school system as an English teacher and Creative Writing Coach.

What works/authors have had an impact on you professionally or personally? How?
-I read "Pet Sematary" by Stephen King for the first time when I was twelve-years old and it scared the hell out of me, to put it mildly. I had been writing since I was eight, little shorts here and there, but it was that book that set me on a path to write horror and suspense. I wanted to scare other readers like that book scared me, and I have been working towards that ever since with everything I write. Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" saved me from severe writer's block which set in just after my child was born eighteen years ago. I was trying to balance my artistic life with being a father and could not effectively achieve it. I learned the power of practices like "Morning Journals", "Artist dates" (dates with your inner artist), and "Narrative Timelines", which involves writing about yourlife from earliest memories to the present time. As far as I'm concerned, Julia Cameron saved my life back when I was twenty-four. When an artist can't create, nothing makes sense and the world tilts too far over. Chuck Palahniuk's "Fight Club" taught me how to embrace minimalism as well as dark humor in writing. Philip K. Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" influenced me in terms of embracing the weird and wild in literature, so much so I ended up writing my thesis paper on the novel at Temple University. And Dennis Lehane's "Mystic River" taught me how to construct characters so vivid that you hurt when they hurt and you anguish when they die. Oh, and "Mickey Mouse and the Spooky House", first book I ever read.

If you could be a famous person (living or dead) for a day, who would you be and why?
-I would want to be Jonathan Nolan, brother of Christopher Nolan, and co-creator of HBO's "Westworld". He also co-wrote my favorite movie "The Dark Knight" with his brother. But I would want to be Jonathan back when he was writing the first draft of what I consider to be one of the most ingenious short stories ever written, 'Memento Mori". The story later went on to be made into a movie titled "Memento", directed by (you guessed it!) his brother, also. "Memento Mori" is the type of short story I hold up as the ultimate shining example of a writer at the top of his or her form, and firing on all cylinders. I would want to live out the day Jonathan actually sat down and started to write that short story, so I could sit in and get a feel for where his mind was at when he started crafting this amazing short work of fiction.

What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
-Frozen string beans. I feel really bad for frozen vegetables. All too often, they go into the freezer and their buyer had the best intentions for buying them ("I'm going to start eating healthy!!!"), but then those intentions go to pot and the frozen veggies pay the price with freezer burn and abandonment. The age of my frozen string beans? Sometime around the Renaissance Period.

Dessert or no dessert? Why? If dessert, what is your fave?
-I don't know if a frothy espresso counts, but that's what I like after a good meal. I try to stay away from the sweets. I like bold, sour, and highly-caffeinated.

What is your favorite motivational quote?
-In terms of writing: "God, You take care of the quantity, and I will take care of the quality." -Julia Cameron

A World of Possibilities in 2018

Since November 2016, my life has been challenging. I lost a job, struggled to find a new job, moved to a new state, and then once again struggled to find a new job and settle in—in addition to tons of minor bumps in the road along the way.

I finally feel like I’m in a place where life is becoming normal again. I’ve even had the energy and time to write. I’m looking forward to 2018 and have several goals I’m hoping to achieve. They are as follows:
  • Get Edge of Humanity (the sequel to Humanity’s Hope) out into the world
  • Publish Undead Ifs, the third book in The Ifs series
  • Get some audiobooks made
  • Write another novel (or more, I have several ideas in mind, so with a little luck, maybe I’ll have the chance to work on several stories during the course of the year) 
I don’t doubt that 2018 will have its share of ups and downs. There will be tough times, and there will be great times—that’s just life. However, through it all, I hope to hang on to my dreams and accomplish some goals. After all, what fun is life if you don’t have dreams?

What are some of your goals for 2018?

2018 New Year New Reads Blog Hop

Did you get a gift card for the holidays?  Are you looking for something to spend it on?  Well look no further!  If you're looking for some great reads for a low price, you're in the right place!

For the New Year, Life After the Undead is on sale for 99 cents!  Get the ebook now and enjoy some zombie fun!

Seventeen-year-old Krista must quickly figure out how she's going to survive in the zombie-destroyed world.

The one advantage humans have is that the zombies hate humid environments, so they're migrating west to escape its deteriorating effects. The survivors plan to construct a wall at North Platte to keep the undead out, and Krista has come to Nebraska to start a new life.

Zombies aren’t the only creatures she has to be cautious of—the other survivors have a dark side. Krista must fight not only to live but also to defend everything she holds dear—her country, her freedom, and ultimately, those she loves.

Join Krista in her quest to survive in this thrilling apocalyptic novel by Pembroke Sinclair.

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Pembroke Sinclair's books on Goodreads
Life After the Undead Life After the Undead
reviews: 55
ratings: 100 (avg rating 3.64)

The Appeal of Evil The Appeal of Evil (The Road to Salvation, #1)
reviews: 38
ratings: 63 (avg rating 3.54)

Wucaii Wucaii
reviews: 32
ratings: 35 (avg rating 4.11)

Death to the Undead Death to the Undead (Sequel to Life After the Undead)
reviews: 20
ratings: 39 (avg rating 4.23)

Dealing with Devils Dealing with Devils (The Road to Salvation, #2)
reviews: 22
ratings: 32 (avg rating 4.00)