Saturday, April 30, 2016

$.99 Spring Thriller Sale on Kobo

Starting today, April 30th, through May 7th, there is a $.99 spring sale on the first two thriller novels in the Central Division Series for Kobo.

Book 1 - Minneapolis PD investigator Kolin Raynes may be new to the
job, but that doesn't stop a serial killer from abducting his teenage daughter.

Book 2 - Minneapolis PD investigator Simon Templeton has a problem.
His friends from high school are being murdered.
And he's next on the list.

To get the latest on the Central Division Series, and to find out when the third book will be published on Kobo, please subscribe to my newsletter.

$.99 Spring Thriller Sale on Amazon US and UK stores

Starting today, April 30th, through May 7th, there is a $.99 spring sale on the first three thriller novels in the Central Division Series for the US and UK Amazon stores.

The newest is Discarded, the third novel in the series:

Little does Minneapolis PD investigator Kolin Raynes know that
finding a discarded cell phone would lead him into the
murky world of human sex trafficking.

Book 1 - Minneapolis PD investigator Kolin Raynes may be new to the
job, but that doesn't stop a serial killer from abducting his teenage daughter.

Book 2 - Minneapolis PD investigator Simon Templeton has a problem.
His friends from high school are being murdered.
And he's next on the list.

To get the latest on the Central Division Series, as well as other stories on Amazon, please subscribe to my newsletter.

Friday, April 29, 2016

How to beat Bobby Flay at cooking / Happenings In The Outhouse 29-Apr-2016

I watched an episode of Chopped the other night on the Food Network, and the person who got eliminated had decided to "play it safe."  The judges told this chef NOT to play it safe.

If my goal was to be the best chef in the world, good enough to beat (let alone even compete with) a top-notch chef like Bobby Flay, not only would I work harder than ever before, I would also watch every episode on the Food Network for tips.

And the biggest take-away from all of these is: to win, do NOT play it safe.

The same could be said about Dan Brown.  Even though Angels and Demons is a better book, The Da Vinci Code was an international bestseller simply based on a controversial topic.

When I first started writing Discarded, the third thriller novel in the Central Division Series, I studied the topic of human sex trafficking.  It's scary to think of how widespread this crime is and what people endure.  Millions of people are victims of human sex trafficking.

I took a chance with Discarded to not play it safe.  Delving into the murky waters of human sex trafficking opened my eyes to a whole new world.

And, yet, the media is more concerned about what freaking bathroom we use . . .

Friday, April 22, 2016

Are you reviewing your goals? / Happenings In The Outhouse 22-Apr-2016

Two weeks ago, I went on a whirlwind trip to Kuna, Idaho, with my in-laws--my wife's grandmother of 92 passed away.

While spending 12+ hours a day in the van for four out of the six days we were away from home (two out to Idaho from Minnesota, two in Idaho, and two back), I got caught up on listening to my backlog of podcasts and reading--this is when I wasn't driving, of course.

In the midst of this, I thought about my goals for 2016 and 2017.  In October 2015, I set goals for the rest of 2015 and all of 2016/2017.  Once back home, I reviewed them.  Since setting these goals up, I've created new projects (including one nonfiction piece while traveling) that will take place before a few others.

I have now set a reminder to review my goals on a quarterly basis.  This way, I remind myself what still needs to be done and what can be pushed out for beyond 2017.

Friday, April 15, 2016

If I had to do it all over again / Happenings In The Outhouse 15-Apr-2016

I have been self-publishing (i.e. indie-publishing) since April 2012 with the publishing of my first ebook Debt-free I Do.  In that time, through trial and error numerous times, listening to countless hours of podcasts, and reading about as many blog posts, I have learned a lot.

But my learning is only the tip of the iceberg.  Even when I've been publishing for several decades, I will still be learning.

A question arose the other day when I was listening to a podcast: if I had to do it all over again, starting today, what would I do?

First, even though I've been self-publishing since early 2012, I have been writing and doing all the sorts of things us writers do (sweating over first drafts, writing countless query letters to agents, etc.) for close to two decades.  Yes, you heard right.  Decades.  In fact, I've been writing and dreaming up stories since 2nd or 3rd grade.  In 7th grade, I started writing a trilogy.  I don't consider those years wasted, since I hadn't been published.  I was learning and doing, doing and learning.

Back to the question at hand: what would I do if I hadn't published (or written) a single word and had a burning desire to do it?

I'm a learner (if you hadn't guessed already) and with all the information being thrown at writers, whether new or seasoned or in-between, it can be overwhelming.  Some writers say you need to write fast.  Others you need to write to market.  Others say go only through traditional where others say to only self-publish.  Others raise the mantra of being a hybrid (both self and traditional published).  What would I do?

Or, in other words, what would I instruct others to do?

Do whatever fits your style.  Given that I have a day job (need the constant paycheck), tons of student loan debt, three kids to raise, and a wife I'm a caregiver for, I do not have the luxury of writing for 5-6 hours a day, seven days a week.  I do, however, write when I can and I sacrifice wherever I see fit to sacrifice.

If you're overwhelmed with all the information on what you should or shouldn't do, let me give you a little advice: do whatever your heart desires.  If I wanted to write to market, I'd be cranking out romance books--this is what the market seems to like.

Another piece of advice: write.  You can read tons of books about writing, but your best learning tool is to write.  Keep it simple.  Write.  Read.  Publish (either indie or through a publisher).

Friday, April 8, 2016

Writing to market or not / Happenings In The Outhouse 08-Apr-2016

You may or may not have heard about a number of writers "writing to market."  If you have, here you go: writing to market translates into writing what's hot and popular at the moment.  Although there may be a few outliers who have found short-term success in this arena, long-term this may be the wrong way to go.

First, unless you can churn out a book a month or two, it may be difficult to gauge what is currently hot.  And even then, what may be hot at the moment may not be the next.

I'm not knocking against people who do this.  If it works, do it.

I, however, respectfully disagree.  It all comes down to what one loves to write.

Here's an example from me.

I primarily write fiction, and primarily in the thriller, horror, fantasy, or science fiction genres.  Could I write a nonfiction book?  I have.  It's a wedding ebook titled "Debt Free I Do."  Now, one of the hot genres is romance.  Have I ever thought of writing a romance book?  I have.  But not right now.  I'm in the middle of several projects and quite frankly a romance book is far off my radar for the upcoming year or two.

But one day I will.  It might be under a pseudonym even.

Being an indie author, I write what I feel like writing.  Thrillers are typically always in demand, ebbing and flowing depending on what else is out there, so I'll keep on that track.

Again, if you want to give something a try, by all means do it.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Discarded published - another first draft begins / Happenings In The Outhouse 01-Apr-2016

The FBI estimates that over 100,000 young women and children are victims of human sex trafficking.  Globally, that number is in the millions.

Yes, you heard right.  Millions.

Discarded, the third in my Central Division Series of thriller novels tackles human sex trafficking head-on.  It was published earlier this week.  Here's a link to the Amazon page.  For roughly 90 days, it will be exclusive with Amazon, and then afterwards I will make the determination on when it will be published on the other platforms, like Google Play, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, etc.

If you have an Amazon Kindle Unlimited account, you can pick up Discarded for free using your monthly subscription.

However . . . unless you're completely dying to read it, I suggest waiting about a month to purchase it.  Huh?  Why?

Because I will be running a promotion on Discarded as well as the other two novels in the Central Division Series: Beholder's Eye and Straight Razor.  Then, you can purchase all three novels for roughly 66% off.

Stay tuned, I will share more specific dates when it comes closer.

Yesterday morning, I started the first draft to the fourth novel in the series.  I spent most of the week outlining the book.  It worked out better than I thought, but let's see how it holds up as I keep writing the first draft.