Saturday, September 18, 2010

I've got a brand new video trailer!

Tell me what you think!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Now on Smashwords!

LZR-1143: Infection is now on Smashwords! After two great months on, I decided to broaden distribution and availability. Partly because I wanted to see what the book looked like on the iPad, and partly because I wanted more people and devices access to it. I'm very excited! It will be available on the iPad, the Nook, and the Sony ereader as well as the Kindle.

Just a word on Smashwords: it's great! They give you a style guide, which immensely helps those of us thoroughly confused by formatting issues, and they walk you through the uploading process step-by-step (in fact, their style guide led to me uploading a Second Edition to Amazon, which is completely clean and perfectly formatted).

If you follow their guide, it's totally idiot-proof (as my successful upload and conversion can attest to). Best of all, they push into a variety of other publishing venues through their Premium Distribution service.

I highly recommend it to any other publishers out there.

Also, a big thanks to all my readers from August and July. Since publishing, I have gradually moved up the popularity rankings on Amazon, and consistently sit between #20 and #80 on the Science Fiction, Adventure and Humor Kindle rankings, and have maintained five stars through 3 reviews! I can't say how much I appreciate readers' trusting me to entertain them.

I know I've been remiss in posting the second half of my second story, and I will be posting it soon. Lots of personal "real life" stuff lately, but it's not forgotten.

The fry cook will have her story told!

Friday, June 25, 2010

LZR-1143: Infection

This is a new book. And it's about zombies.

I've been kicking this around for a few years, and thought I'd go ahead and put it out there since, as a friend of mine pointed out recently, what good is it sitting on your hard drive? Hard to argue with that logic.

I enjoyed writing this because, well...let's face it, zombies are fun.

They're fun to read about, they're fun to watch, and they're really fun to write. Why?

Because they put a scary and sometimes amusing face on everyday humans; they take the grocery store clerk, the lawyer and the gas station attendant and they lump them all into the same mold: the mindless, hungry carnivore.

In truth, it's the great equalizer, the zombie novel/movie/comic; it takes a variety of people from a variety of places and turns our oh-too-class-segmented society on its head. Rich, poor, smart, stupid, fat, skinny, hot and fugly...they're all the same. We're left with only two classes: the undead, and the soon to be undead trying to postpone what many portray as the inevitable for as long as possible.

Maybe it's that sense of inevitable and crushingly painful defeat that's at the heart of these things--the sense that no matter what you do, where you go, who you go there with, and how many guns your rootin' tootin' bad ass self travels with, you're all gonna be zombie food at the end of the day. Makes for a compelling journey and provides the author with a kick-ass template to work from.

I fashioned my novel in somewhat of an impossible way; not impossible from the sense of the writing or creating of it--in all truth, the character was a fanciful generation of someone I wanted to see in this predicament--but in a "this situation is sooooo not possible" kind of way. Why?

Because the whole damn genre is impossible in the latter sense. So why not suckle at the tit of reality in a fictional kind of way?

I created a movie star who is convicted of killing his wife. It's just that he can't remember it. And he might be crazy.

Now why is this interesting? Well, maybe that part isn't (although I had fun with it). That's subjective. What I think is interesting is that his wife happened to be connected to the infection itself in a much more intimate way. And his battle throughout the book isn't just with the zombies (although there are a few of those) -- it's with himself and the other humans as well.

It's done in first person, because I wrote the guy (as a previous post alluded to) as I would like to imagine myself. Not as being, but as wanting to be.

This is the first time I've ever written anything that didn't have to be turned in. I won't say it's the first time I've written something that I wanted to turn in, but it's the very first time I've penned some work of words that someone else wasn't expecting. It's an interesting experience.

When you write for yourself, it's an exercise in self-doubt, self-deprecation, and self-adulation. You don't go through the process expecting a grade, but in a sense, it's a more nervous experience.

True, no one will give you an F, but you also don't have the possibility of an A. Instead, you hope to be able to create something that will be judged not by letters or percentages, but by actual human joy or distaste. And quite frankly, that's a little more nerve wracking.

Why zombies?

I've always had a fascination with the genre; I'll be the first to admit it's not a love, per se. Many people will tell you that they love a genre or a type of fiction; that they're avid fans or followers; neophytes or sycophants. I'm neither, none or any. But I am fascinated.

There's the clear and obvious argument for zombies as a blank slate for the human condition; a human version of a wiped-clean hard drive with a uniform purpose. Then there's the backdrop that the zombie novel or movie or comic book is inevitably set against: the apocalyptic anarchy of society on its knees.

Both of these provide a wonderful canvas for the author to draw their story and flesh out the theme. But for me, I was always interested in the protagonist.

In my case, it's the unwitting, unwilling hero and the superstar action; the reluctant fighter and the human condition that is inherent in each person picking up their baggage and doing what needs to be done.

In real life, that means going to work. Every day. Same time. Same place. Same people.

In a zombie book or movie or comic, that means getting up, gearing up, and slaughtering some undead.

But the real human condition is evident in either one: you do what you need to do to survive. All this amid clouds of uncertainty, fear and self-doubt.

And that's where I get my main character.

For someone who's never done fiction before, the first person was tricky. But I limped along, if for no other reason than I wrote the man that I would hope I would be. Complete with the hang ups, the regrets, and the (sometimes very false) bravado. Note that I'm not saying he's who I think I would be--only who I think I would like to be.

He's normal, except that he's not. He's guilty, except that he's innocent. He's brave, except that he's kind of a coward. You see?

Yeah, me neither. But that's what makes the process so fun: it's not only a creative experience, but a learning curve. You learn about people, about your character and about yourself.

I wrote this book because I wanted to. I had an idea about an interesting protagonist that I thought would be fun, and I had a generally fascinating (to me) idea about an origin and back-story for the virus/contagion itself.

That's why the story exists, and I'm glad (even ecstatic) to bring it to anyone that enjoys it.

For those that don't, I'm glad to give you something to kill 8 or so hours with. No, really. It was my pleasure.