I was more of a Goosebumps kid. Never read a Fear Street book before. When I saw the trailer for the Fear Street movie on Netflix, I knew it would be right up my alley. I wasn't disappointed.
Fear Street 1994 has the same horror vibes as, say, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark but with much more gore. And maybe speaks to an older audience. Which makes sense. Scary Stories was more of a kids book. And Fear Street was more of a YA horror series, if I'm not mistaken.
The plot of Fear Street 1994 is a lot of fun. It follows a lot to the same tropes as any slasher film before it, except with the added twist of witches and zombies, sort of? I can't really say much more than that without spoiling something.
The movie series comes in 3 parts. 1994, 1978, and 1666. At the time of writing this, I have only seen 1994. Though, 1666 comes out today. I'll probably have caught up by the time you've read this. But I can't talk about the series as a whole yet. However, 1994 was a good, fun horror tale and I can't wait to see where the rest of the series goes. Let me know what you thought of Fear Street 1994!
This month's horror corner features a new movie called A Quiet Place Part II. I was a big fan of the first one. The concept was fresh and original. The monsters were terrifying. A sequel had me worried because I didn't know where they could go from there. How do you keep the monsters scary after you know how to beat them? Well, A Quiet Place Part II delivers.
I can't say much about the overall plot without spoiling anything for you. But John Krasinski finds a way to keep the tension going all without changing the monsters at all. Often times in movies like these, you'll see the sequel ramp up the monsters with some sort of mutation or new ability to create something new for the protagonist to fight. This movie does not do that and it works so well.
There were moments in the theater where I knew what was about to happen and yet the tension was so high that it still made me jump. If you enjoyed the first movie, you will definitely love the sequel. If you haven't seen it yet, go and check it out! You'll have a lot of fun.
If you've seen A Quiet Place Part II, let me know what you thought of it. Did you like it? Or what didn't you like? I look forward to hearing back from you!
Amazon announced this week that Kindle Vella will be available for readers this July! As you may be aware, I'm excited for Kindle Vella. If you're unaware of what Kindle Vella is, let me give you the TL;DR version. Serialized stories from your favorite authors. And I have my own coming out. It's called Beyond. Amy Hart gets more than she bargained for when she goes looking for paranormal proof.
I want Kindle Vella to do well so I can create more serialized stories for readers to enjoy in the future. However, I also want what's best for my readers. As of now, Kindle Vella will only be available on Amazon.com and on the IOS Kindle App, but not on actual Kindle devices. I think that's a poor move, but that doesn't matter. What does matter is making sure you all have a fair chance of reading what I create.
So, here's the deal. I will be posting each episode of Beyond early over on Patreon. Each month, you will be able to read the episodes before anyone else. This reward will be available for all tiers. Which means, you can read Beyond for as low as $1. Not bad, right?
Of course, if you want to read Beyond over on Kindle Vella and you're willing to wait for next month to get the first episode, that's great. I encourage that as well. The more authors and readers who take advantage of Kindle Vella, the better the platform will do. But, if you don't want to wait, episode one is available now over on Patreon. You can sign up here. I hope you enjoy this upcoming story, however you chose to read it!
Let's talk about Train to Busan. More specifically, the new sequel that came our recently. Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula. The first Train to Busan movie was incredible. One of the best zombies movies I've seen in a long time. Though, there was a recent movie on Netflix called #Alive that was pretty damn close. But back to Train, I had high hopes for Peninsula due to my love of the original.
I can't say I disliked Peninsula. It was a lot of fun and I liked it a lot. But it was nowhere near as good as the first Train to Busan movie. It has some crazy horrors of its own. Like the game the survivors play with kidnapped people they call stray dogs. I won't ruin what they do, but yeah. It's dark.
All in all, Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula was a fun zombie movie but it didn't live up to the original, in my opinion. Though, I would still recommend both movies as they are great zombie flicks in their own right. The first movie is all subtitled but the sequel has a some moments of English. I'm not one to enjoy subtitled movies as I feel it takes away from the visual experience. But they do such a good job with these movies, that I didn't even notice I was reading for most of the movie. Give them a watch and let me know what you think!
What is Kindle Vella?
Kindle Vella is a new storytelling option coming to Kindle in the next few months. Authors can tell serialized stories one story at a time. Readers can unlock each episode by purchasing tokens. Basically, you're paying the author for each story you choose to read. There will also be an interactive system where readers are able to like and react to their favorite stories. As of now, it does not seem like there is a comment function, though I hope this is added in the future.
Why is Kindle Vella so cool?
I'm glad you asked. Kindle Vella allows us authors to interact with our audience in a much more direct way. Full length books are written in the privacy of our offices while the entirety of the story unfolds before us. We never know if readers will enjoy the full story until it's completed. With Kindle Vella, we get a chance to interact with readers in real time. We both get to watch the story unfold together. It's like writing a book before your eyes!
Why should I jump on Kindle Vella?
Alright, this is a two part answer. If you're an author, jumping on Kindle Vella is a great idea. Not only does it give you the opportunity to create more content, but it allows you to interact with your audience and build an even bigger one. Plus, the more content available on Kindle Vella at launch, the more successful the platform will be. I feel like this platform has a lot of positive potential. The more great writers on it, the better.
For readers, Kindle Vella will be a fun adventure. You can get more content from your favorite authors and watch the story unfold before your eyes. It's like watching a TV show for your imagination. If you are a bookworm like me, you'll love how much more reading content you will get on Kindle Vella. Not to mention, you get to support and influence your favorite writers like never before.
What are you doing on Kindle Vella?
Man, you're asking some good questions today! I'm so glad you asked. As I've stated in a previous post, I'm working on a series titled Beyond. Amy Hart is a paranormal investigator with a successful book series outlining haunted places. But Amy isn't a true believe in ghosts. That all changes when she is contacted from the other side. This sets Amy on the hunt for more proof and she quickly learns not everything is friendly in the beyond.
But I'm taking Kindle Vella a step further. Each episode will be posted on Patreon early for all my patrons to read. AND patrons will get the opportunity to influence the story by leaving comments, voting, and discussing what they would like to see next. The best part about that is, you won't need to pay per episode on Kindle Vella if you sign up for Patreon. I'll be dropping the first episode early next month so head over to Patreon and sign up today!
If you know me, then you know I'm absolutely obsessed with Lord of the Rings. I watch the movies a few times a year and I used to read the books at least once a year. I haven't read them in a while, but I think it's overdue. So naturally, when I heard Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan, Pippin Took and Merry Brandybuck from LOTR respectively, were developing a podcast together I had to subscribe.
I know what you're thinking. The Friendship Onion is an odd title. What does it mean? Well, like Ogres, Billy and Dom's friendship has multiple layers. During this podcast, they will be peeling back the layers and talking about the different aspects of their friendship from the set of Lord of the Rings to their personal lives.
I love Billy and Dom. They're great fun to follow on social media. Billy Boyd is hilarious and Dom Monaghan is inspiring. Having these two together on a podcast is such a delight. The first episode dropped earlier this week and I highly recommend you check it out if you love Lord of the Rings. They have already given some fun insight to what it was like filming that movie from their point of view. I'm excited to see what else they have in store!
If you want to check out The Friendship Onion for yourself, you can listen to them on your favorite podcast app OR you can check them out on YouTube. Right here, in fact. You can watch them eat Twinkies for the first time. I can't believe they've never eaten a Twinkie before. I hope you enjoy their podcast as much as I am. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite scene from Lord of the Rings is!
Introducing, Beyond. A Kindle Vella exclusive.
What's Kindle Vella? Well, I'm glad you asked. Kindle Vella is a new feature being rolled out by Amazon in the coming months. Authors will be able to share serialized stories with readers. Which means, you will get more content from some of your favorite authors. And content you might be able to directly influence by liking your favorite episodes. If you want to learn more about how Kindle Vella works, click here.
I want to tell you about my Kindle Vella story Beyond. Amy Hart is an author and paranormal investigator. Her book series Haunts has her exploring haunted and abandoned locations for proof of the afterlife. Being a skeptic herself, most of the series centers around the true horrific stories of murder that gave rise to the legends surrounding these locations. But when Amy has a paranormal experience of her own, she's becomes obsessed with finding more. She's led down a dark rabbit hole where she learns there are things to fear in the beyond.
If this sounds like something you would read, definitely consider checking it out on Kindle Vella when it's released. Amazon has yet to announce when Kindle Vella is launching, so if you want to be kept informed of when this story will be available, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter and I'll be sure to keep you updated. But there is one other way to read Beyond if you don't have a Kindle. Patreon! Each episode of Beyond will be releasing on Patreon alongside Kindle Vella. Consider signing up for my Patreon page and get access to those episodes for no additional cost. If you want to check out my Patreon and all the cool rewards you can get there, check it out here.
Let me know what you think of Kindle Vella in the comments below. Will you be checking out my story and others?
Hello horror fans!
Welcome back to my horror corner. A place where I talk about all things creepy and spooky. TV shows, books, Podcasts, and more! Each month, I will share with you something from the horror genre that I enjoy or have discovered. If you want more, you can sign up for my monthly newsletter to get horror corner and more delivered to your inbox every month. If you want a little extra spooky in your life, you can head over to Patreon and become a member. I will share bonus content from Horror Corner over there. Happy haunting!
One of my absolute favorite YouTube channels has to be Amy's Crypt. I can hear you asking, what's Amy's Crypt? Well, you've come to the right corner. Amy's Crypt is a paranormal investigation channel on YouTube. Amy travels the world and her home country of Australia for proof of the paranormal.
Here's why I like her channel so much. Instead of taking every little knock and sound as proof of ghosts, she's a skeptic. I can relate to her channel because of this. I've watched other channels where they clearly fake and pad their results. I mean, come on. How many times can you get a Ouija board to work for you? I'm looking at you Sam and Colby!
Amy's Crypt is fun. And even when she's not drowning in paranormal activity or proof, she's giving you the history of the abandoned places that she's visiting. And, more often than not, the scary stories behind the places are scarier than any ghost story could be. If you love abandoned places, the paranormal, and Australian accents, check out her channel. I can't recommend it enough! You can find her channel here and tell her I sent you. She has no idea who I am, so I'm not sure what good that will do. But, you know, tell her anyway.
Once a month, I will be taking a look at something horror and sharing my experience with it. Whether it be a TV show, a movie, a video game, or book. I will share my thoughts and experience with it. As long as it has to do with horror, it will be featured here.
Those who are signed up for my monthly will get access to these posts about two weeks early. So, if you want to read before almost everyone else, please consider signing up for my monthly newsletter here.
My patrons will get an update on the same day but will get a little bonus with it. I am currently polling my patrons to find out what that bonus content will be. If you have an idea for what I could offer patrons with these posts, let me know in the comments below. And if you want to be a part of my Patreon and receive exclusive content, consider signing up here.
It was dark and silent. Not a single other person was around. Every single noise that came from the woods was amplified by the surrounding silence. The only hint of civilization nearby was the sound of cows as they grazed. Their loud bellows was the only clue that other people were nearby.
One of the first major things my wife and I did back when we started dating was go on a camping trip. Both of us have a fondness for the outdoors. We were young, then, and this would be our first camping trip we had taken by ourselves. Until then, the two of us had only gone camping with family or in my case, the boy scouts.
I chose a campground my parents had been to several times when they were younger. Based on their stories, it was a great place to tent camp. Now, I should probably tell you, my wife and I don’t exactly “rough it” on our camping trips. We don’t pack up a hiking bag and travel into the middle of the woods or anything. We prefer to camp in actual campgrounds around other campers. I’ve heard it referred to as car camping before, but I don’t like the term.
Anyway, we drove all the way out to this campground and set up camp. We soon learned we were completely alone. Not a single other person had booked a site for that weekend. Which is pretty odd because there’s almost always someone camping in every park in Florida. But we didn’t care. We’d have the whole park to ourselves. It would be fun! I will say, we weren’t wrong. It was fun! But it does get a little strange at first. We started to wonder if we should even be there. Did everyone know something we didn’t? Was this a terrible place to camp this time of year? Were the bugs too much to bear? What was it that kept everyone else away that we didn’t know?
Not belonging is something almost every author or writer goes through. It’s called the impostor syndrome. It’s not exclusive to writers, of course, but it’s something we deal with. You write a book, you go through all the hard work of plotting, writing, and editing. You publish it and then go to talk about it on social media or in person. Suddenly, all the hard work you put into the book seems trivial. No one is going to care about what you made because you’re a nobody, right? Maybe if you were Stephen King or George R. R. Martin, people would care. But who are you? No one will care.
Well, that’s entirely wrong. Not as many people will care as they might a King book or some other well-known author. But that doesn’t mean you don’t belong. You put the work in. You crafted something only you can craft. When you think about it, you wrote something only you could write. No one else could have written the story you did. Give someone else a laptop and fifty years, and they could never create the same story you did. That must count for something.
The impostor syndrome is just something we trick ourselves into believing. We tell ourselves we don’t belong because someone has more success than we do. But think about it this way, every single one of those successful people spent a point in their career where no one knew a thing about what they wrote either. We all start at the same place.
And just like my empty campground with raccoons harassing us while we cooked marshmallows because we were the only campers nearby, you belong. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing. It doesn’t matter what success others have made for themselves. If you’ve worked hard to create something, you belong there too. Don’t put yourself down because you haven’t achieved the major success of others. Raise yourself up for the amazing things you have achieved!
Back to the empty campground I told you about. I’ll leave you with this amusing story. My wife and I lay there in the middle of the night in our tent. From somewhere in the woods, we heard a pack of coyotes whooping and snarling as they chased something. They barked and shouted until they finally caught their meal and went quiet. In that moment, for a brief second, I had wondered if this was why no one else was here? Was there a pack of wild wolves or coyotes terrorizing the area and everyone left? Turns out, no. That’s just nature.
Until next time, keep wandering. Just not alone.
We found ourselves pushing through the underbrush in order to avoid the water-soaked trails. In some places, we had to balance across logs to make it from one dry patch to another. The trail was flooded in several locations, but we weren’t going to let that stop us from hiking this thing.
A long time ago, but still in this galaxy, my wife and I decided to take a day hike. I had a new action camera I wanted to test out in the wilderness. The camera mounted to my hiking bag strap and was ready to go. I was so excited. After about thirty to forty-five minutes of hiking, we came across some major flooding. It seemed some rainstorms had turned parts of the trail into shallow rivers. A couple hikers had passed us going the other way at one point and assured us it got dry a little farther on. So, we decided to go for it.
In places we could, we went around the flooded areas. That meant cutting through underbrush and fighting thick plants. In other areas, we were able to walk through only an inch or two of water. Some places we found things to balance across to stay out of the muck. You must be careful in territory like this. The Cottonmouth snake is a common one in watery places in the woods here in Florida and their bite is deadly. Luck for us, we never came across one.
Even though the trails were flooded and moving forward was sometimes a slow and challenging process, we enjoyed ourselves. We weren’t going to let a little water ruin our day hike. And now I have a memorable adventure out of it. This can be applied to almost anything else in life. But since this blog centers around authors and writing, I think I will focus there.
Does self-publishing seem like a lot of work? Does it seem like you’re trudging through water and not making any progress? Is all that work necessary or worth it? Well, let me tell you from experience. Yes, it is worth it. Self-publishing is a lot of work. I mean, you’re in charge of everything. And when something doesn’t go right, there’s only yourself to blame. The book launch was a dud. Can’t blame your agent. The description of your book sounds mediocre. Can’t blame your publishing agency. It’s all on you. But much like our adventure through the flooded woods, it’s a lot of fun. And you have crazy stories to tell of the things you did and how you learned what you did. It’s worth it. Trust me.
Yes, I have a lot of work to do as a self-published author. I have to write the book, edit the book, format the book, edit, promote, market, etc and etc. But I get to decide what is done. No one else. I don’t have to wait for my publisher to tell me I need to cut out X number of pages. There are no requesting sales pricing. I can put the book on sale whenever I want. I think of it this way. If we had a trail guide with us that day on our hike, he might have told us to turn back. Had we, I wouldn’t have this fun story to tell. Same goes for my books.
So, in the end, self-publishing is a lot of work. I have to take on a lot of the responsibilities myself. But it’s also rewarding and a lot of fun. It gives me full creative control, and I like that. Something to consider if you’re torn between trying to go traditional or self-published. And if you ever find yourself hiking in the middle of the Florida summer, maybe bring some rain boots.
Until next time, keep wandering. Just not alone.
Did you ever find yourself pushing a stroller with a young child inside up the side of a mountain and thinking about just sitting down and not getting back up again? Well, not too long ago, my family and I took a trip to Tennessee and found ourselves in this same scenario. A little place in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you’ve never been, you should go! Such a beautiful park.
My wife and I took our young children on a hike to Clingman’s Dome. With a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, the paved path of Clingman’s Dome was perfect. Except when it wasn’t. The entire hike is less than a mile and goes up the side of a mountain until you reach a beautiful overlook tower which presents amazing views. Pushing a stroller up the side of a mountain, even if it’s paved, is no easy task.
Writing a book is kind of like pushing a stroller up the side of a mountain. It’s tough. You’re not even sure you should be doing it. Sometimes, you just want to stop. Maybe even just quit and turn around. Go back to the car and find the nearest McDonalds. Much like getting to the top of that Dome and looking out over the mountains, finishing your book is worth it.
That’s not to say you should never give up on a project. Sometimes, you just don’t like what you’re making anymore and that’s okay. You can come back and try again. But if you really want to see it through. If you really want to see that view at the top of the mountain, you must keep going. It’s going to be a struggle. Finding the time to write. Finding the motivation. Working through writers’ block. Getting stuck on the small details. It’s all going to get in your way. But trust me when I say the end is worth it.
Oh, and I’m sorry. When I say end, I don’t mean finishing your first draft. You’re still on the mountain at that point. But you can take a nice long break. You’ve earned it. Trust me. We didn’t make it up that mountain without stopping several times along the way. Luckily, there were benches for that. We would catch our breath and keep going. If you need to catch your breath from a book you’re writing, that’s okay too. Step away for a little while. Get some air. Play something. Watch something. The best way to get reinspired to write is by not writing. Trust me, it works.
After we finished admiring the view from the top of Clingman’s Dome, we started back down. Turns out, going down the mountain with a stroller is much easier. Much easier. Maybe a little too easy. The weight of the stroller was pulling down the mountain and I had to do everything in my power to not start running with it. It was a great arm workout, I suppose.
So, if you take anything away from this story, it’s this. It may be an uphill battle to write your book. And when it’s finally finished and ready to be published, it will be easier. But much like going down a mountain with a stroller, it’s still a lot of work.
Until next time, keep wandering. Just not alone.
Can you imagine trying to camp in your tent during a hurricane? Guess who doesn’t have to imagine that feeling. If you guessed Bear Grylls, you’re probably right. But also, me! How did this happen, you ask? Well, sit back and let me grace your eyes with the story.
Long before my wife and I were married, we took a weekend camping trip. But we made one crucial error. We didn’t bother checking the forecast before we packed up the car. It was summer in Florida. We expected rain no matter what. How bad could it be? Well, turns out, hurricane bad. Yeah, oops.
It wasn’t a particularly bad storm. Maybe category one, at best. I’ve lived in Florida all my life, so I’m quite familiar with hurricanes. When my mom text me the day we were set to leave and told me there was a hurricane sitting in the gulf, I shrugged. It wasn’t that bad of storm. We might have some heavy rain, but it will probably move past quick. They sometimes do.
The first night, we were somewhat optimistic. The rain didn’t let up, but that was okay. We would hang out in the tent through the night. Play board games and enjoy the sound of rain on the tent. Except, we learned that my tent was no longer as waterproof as it had once been. We’re not talking full on leaks here, but enough to make the floor exceptionally wet. It was fine! We put towels down to keep the floor dry and stuck it out. We paid for this trip, damnit. We weren’t going to let a storm scare us away.
The next morning, guess what? That’s right. It was still raining. Only this time, things were getting worse. The winds were picking up. The storm wasn’t moving away. And what was worse, it was getting stronger. After a lot of radar checks, and concerned texts from my mother, we finally decided we were beat. The storm had won. So, we started packing it all up. Which was good timing on our part because a park ranger drove up and told us we had to leave right away. They had just called a tornado warning in our area and it was no longer safe to be there. Also, turns out, driving in hurricane conditions for about two hours is taxing!
So, how does this relate to writing or being an author, you ask? What makes this anecdote relatable to writers? Allow me to elaborate. Things won’t always go your way. You may write a killer a book that you had so much fun writing. The characters were amazing. The plot was top notch. Everything was perfect. Everyone you let proofread the book couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. And yet, the sales just aren’t there. It happens. Maybe I should restate that. It will happen. Maybe not that specific scenario. But something similar will happen. Perhaps you’ll go to a book fair or convention and hardly sell five copies of your signed books. Yeah, I know the pain from experience. It sucks. But it’s also a good time to learn.
What could you do differently? Make everything a learning experience throughout your career as an author. Take my hurricane example. We should have checked the weather a few days before the trip and decided to call it off. Now, we always check the weather leading up to the camping trip. If you attend a convention and didn’t sell well, what could you do different next time? Maybe your elevator pitch needs work. Maybe you’re too introverted. Maybe it wasn’t the right crowd. Try not to let it get you down. Use it as a chance to learn. Learn from everything. If you take anything from this post, let it be this. Every single thing you do as an author will be a great learning experience.
Until next time, keep wandering. Just not alone.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of nowhere with a can of unopened beans and raw steak but the campfire you intended to cook it with won’t stay lit? Yeah, I’ve been there. Okay, I know. That’s a specific scenario that I’ve outlined for you. If you can’t relate to it specifically, I understand. But I’m sure we all have had times where things weren’t working out for us how we hoped.
Let’s cut back to my scenario. There we were, my wife and me. Our camp was all set up. The tent was pitched. Canopy up. Everything unpacked. It was time to sit down to a nice steak dinner cooked over the open campfire. I had brought a can of beans to cook alongside it. We simply needed to get the fire going, find the can opener, and get cooking. But there were two problems.
The can opener was nowhere to be found and the fire wouldn’t stay lit. It wasn’t getting hot enough to catch the logs. What a blunder this had turned out to be. And did I mention we were camping for my birthday? Sure, we could have hooked up the propane stove and seared the steak. But that wouldn’t have tasted as good. And it also didn’t solve the problem of opening the can of beans.
So, I took out my knife and went about opening the can manually. Let me tell you, that’s not as easy as I thought. But eventually, I was able to pry the lid free. Step one, complete. Step two was now underway. Get the fire hot enough to burn the logs. I bring fire starters with me when we camp and those just weren’t cutting it. So, I improvised.
As the sun began to set, I went off in search of anything dry I could use to stoke the flames. It was May in Florida, which means summer. Which means, rainy season. Finding something dry was easier said than done. I was able to find several Sabal Etonia, which is fancy for palm fronds, that were brown and dead. I collected as much as I could and returned to the fire. Getting the firestarter log going, I slipped a handful of palm fronds on top. And the fire roared to life. Now, these are a good temporary solution, but the leaves burn fast. So, I continued to slip more in and fan the flames until finally, the logs began to catch and actually burn.
That night, we ate a nice steak dinner and beans cooked over the open fire. The next morning, I woke up early to take pictures of the sun rise of the preserve and decided to get a little editing done on the book I was writing at the time. Death Can Wait. A book about a couple swept ashore an island inhabited by people who would do them harm. Luke and Renee must survive the island and escape with limited survival skills. I just so happened to be editing a scene where the two of them are struggling to light a fire. So, I thought, why not introduce a little truth. And now, Luke and Renee discover palm fronds which help them light a fire of their own.
In my experience, writing inspiration can come from anywhere. You never know what’s going to make it in the final version. And if you think of something to add to a scene based on personal experience, I would highly recommend it. That always gives your writing a little bit more flavor of truth. And then it gives you a fun story to talk about years later when you’re being interviewed on the Tonight Show and asked about your books! But one step at a time. And if you take anything away from today’s post, let it be this. If you go camping and want to cook a thing of beans, don’t forget the damn can opener.
Until next time, keep wandering. Just not alone.
Have you ever stared into the flickering flame of a campfire and lost yourself in thought? This happens to me quite often. Whether I’m on a camping trip or just enjoying a fire in my backyard. It’s one of the best ways to think. Something about the hypnotic movement of the dancing flames really gets your mind flowing. Sometimes, I’ll think about plot lines for a book I’m working on. Other times, I think about what I should be doing for social media or marketing. Even when an author is staring into a fire, they’re still hard at work.
So, I wanted to bring this process to life. I want to share with you what it’s like to be an author. At least, from my perspective. Everyone is different in their writing process. I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse into what it’s like for me as a writer. I’ll share platforms I use to sell my books and things I’ve learned over the years as I’ve grown as a writer. Perhaps you’ll learn a thing or two about growing your own platform. Maybe you’ll teach me something as well. Or maybe you’ll just be entertained by the amusing way I display the information to you.
I hope this new blog series can be fun for readers and writers alike. It’s less of a “how to” and more of a “what I’m doing.” I learn new things every day about writing, about publishing, about marketing. I’m always learning. Maybe I can pass some of that knowledge on to you. Or maybe you just want to sit back and enjoy the anecdotes! I promise, I will make them entertaining and fun.
Let me know your thoughts on this new blog series in the comments below. Hopefully, this is something you would really enjoy reading. I plan to put this out once a week. So, sit back and enjoy!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
My eBooks are currently on sale for .99 cents from now until January 1st. So, if you've been wanting to pick one up, now is the time!
Also, if you join my newsletter by Christmas day, I will buy you one of my ebooks! Your choice as to which one. So click here to sign up. Just my way of saying thanks and Merry Christmas!
Do you want to be able to vote on my upcoming book title? Well, over on Patreon you can! I've been doing polls for my upcoming books lately like helping to name my characters and book title. I love getting feedback from my readers. You'll be able to say you helped me write the book!
I also made a few changes to my Patreon page and the rewards/content that I'm producing. If you're interested, please read on.
The rewards for the different tiers have been updated to include more free ebooks, paperbacks, a shout out in the acknowledgment section, and even merch! And the exclusive posts are better than ever. You get to weigh in on things like naming characters, etc. But I also have something called Flash Fiction Friday. Every other Friday, I post a continued story that ends with 2 choices. You get to vote on what you want to see happen next and I write it. It's like a choose your own adventure story. And there's a lot more going on and planned for my Patreon over the upcoming year. Contests, giveaways, prizes, and more. Don't miss out! You can become a patron here and help me to keep writing my books!
Next Friday is the 13th. Many people see this as a day of bad luck. This Friday the 13th, your luck of buying my books on sale will run out!
From now until next Friday, November 13, my ebooks will be .99 cents. That means, you can grab ALL my books for less than LESS than $5. This is the time to grab the ones you're missing.
I'm also holding a sale for signed paperbacks right here on my website. From now until Friday, November 13, you can get a signed, paperback copy for $15 flat ($10 for Getaway). If your bookshelf is missing any of my paperbacks, you'll want to jump on this. And yes, that does include shipping.
Alright, I'm not a big coffee drinker. But, there's this really cool site called Ko-Fi where you can "buy a coffee" for your favorite creators. Basically, it's a place to donate money to creators you enjoy to help fund their work. Let's not focus on that part, though.
Let's talk about all the free things I have for you over on Ko-Fi! Unlike Patreon, you can view all of my posts on Ko-Fi. No exclusives! Which means, every short story I write, every post I make, or anything I share you'll be able to see without having to pay. Here's what I'm going to do.
I'm going to start writing short stories and flash fiction pieces for my Ko-Fi page. EVERYONE can read these stories for free. The option to buy me a coffee is there, but it's not mandatory! Just hang out and read the good stories and comment to let me know what you liked. Simple as that. At a certain point, I will collect up the short stories/flash fiction and cram them into a collection and publish the book. For you people wanting some sort of exclusive, I'll send a free copy to anyone who buys me a coffee! Deal?
If you want to read my stories and follow me FOR FREE, head over to Ko-Fi here and check it out. Remember, you DON"T have to donate. Hang out and enjoy the free stories if you would like! I'll see you over on Ko-Fi.
The Devil's Journal is a story over on my Patreon that went live last week, just in time for spooky season. It's a story written in blog format. I've done one of these before and it was a lot of fun and people enjoyed it. So, I thought, why not do it again? The only way to read this full story is by joining my Patreon page here. A new episode comes out every week until the story is finished. Here's the first entry to help you decide if you want to read on!
Something strange has been happening at my house lately. Things are not normal here. The past few weeks have been, well, strange. I think I’ve stumbled onto something very disturbing here and I’m not sure what to do about it. It only now occurs to me that I should be chronicling this adventure here on this blog. I suppose I need to fill you in on what happened. Here we go.
My name is Desiree Mitchell. I would occasionally write little blog posts here about the beach, my dog, or whatever I happen to be doing. I’ve only got a handful of followers, so no one ever reads these things. I'm unsure how many people will be reading this. Probably not many. But it doesn’t matter. If I even manage to get one of you to believe me...
There I was, vacuuming my house a few weeks ago. I was singing and dancing like an idiot. I always do that. If you have to clean the house, have fun, right? Anyway, my dog Sammie pounced on the vacuum like she does, and the cord got wrapped around my leg. I went down hard. Like a sack of potatoes.
My knee broke a whole in the wall just opposite my dining room table. At first, I was nervous and upset. I rent this house. First thing I thought was bye bye security deposit. But then I noticed something. There was a little nook on the other side of the hole. At some point, there must have been a small pantry here or something. Maybe Harry Potter used to live in my house, I don’t know. Okay, stupid joke. But you get the point.
I peered inside. It was dusty and filled with cobwebs, but not much else. Except for a single lock box. My curiosity was peaked now. I wanted to know what was in that box. I mean, who wouldn’t? A secret box behind a secret wall?
So, I got out the hammer. But that took a long-time because I don’t have a sledgehammer. Just a normal hammer. And it takes longer that I would have thought to bust down a wall. But eventually, I broke the wall down and pulled the little black box free. It was locked and I had no idea how to open it. I thought about breaking the lock, but it looked sturdy. The only way I was getting it open was with a lockpick set. Which, of course, I didn’t own. So, I had to order one on Amazon.
I should have left the box alone. I never should have opened it. What I found inside changed my life. It’s still changing my life and I want this never-ending nightmare to quit. I....
Something is downstairs. I have to go. I’ll update this blog later.
Who here has heard of Discord? If not, it's like a chat room from back in the old days of the internet. Remember those? Alright, let's just cut to the chase. I created a Discord server for my Patrons over on Patreon. However, I've decided to open it up to everyone! Please come check it out. Click the link below to accept the invite.
If you want special privileges that only patrons get such as send out invites and special events on Discord, please consider joining my Patreon page. Patrons are listed under their specific reward tier from Patreon so you get bragging rights! Come check out the server. Talk books, memes, pics, whatever!
All across the country, Spirit Halloween stores have popped up. Which means, Halloween is right around the corner! My favorite holiday. It's the time of year to start getting creepy. Put out the Halloween decorations, watch scary movies, and read some horror books! And on that note, here's a few scary books I recommend you check out this year!
The Shining by Stephen King
This has become my all time favorite Stephen King book! I won't bother telling you the plot. Chances are, you know about it by now. If you've never heard of it, well, I have no clue what you've been doing with your life. Read it! The spooks stay with you for a while!
I am Legend by Richard Matheson
The book is different from the movie in many ways. And maybe I'll do a post about that in the future. In the book, people have turned into true vampires. Robert Neville spends his days hunting vampires were they sleep. At night, they stand outside his home and antagonize him. There's something far creepier about them speaking and yelling Neville's name in the middle of the night. Great book. Creepy in many parts.
Last Call by Sean Costello
There are some scenes in this book that I can vividly remember like I had watched a movie. They're intense. It's about a serial killer named Bobcat who likes female victims and a fascination with their teeth. It's a creepy story that you'll love!
3AM by Amy Cross
Don't answer the knock at your door at 3AM. Just don't do it. There's ghosts in this book and it's all about a haunted apartment complex and one woman's search for her missing Aunt. It's wonderfully crafted and creepy.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
One of the best horror stories of all time. If you don't know what Dracula is about...I don't even know how to finish that sentence. It's such a creepy book and Dracula is such a great villain. And I would highly recommend checking out the prequel book Dracul written by Bram's great grand nephew and J.D. Barker. I do no recommend the sequel he wrote, Dracula The Undead.
Flash!, Bang!, and Boom! by Roxie Prince
Alright, these are three books. That's cheating. But, they are all collections of flash fiction pieces so if you read all three, it's like reading one large book? Wait, this is my list. I don't need to justify myself. These stories are great and many of them will stick with you for a long time. And don't take my word for it. The No Sleep Podcast thought they were spooky enough to include one in their show! Trust me, you'll love the spooks from these books!
The Ruins by Scott Smith
Some college students decide to go on an adventure in Mexico and find themselves stuck on some ruins with evil vines. The vines are alive and attack and eat people. As long as the vines stay on the ruins, the world is safe from them. But these kids aren't. It's a gruesome tale. If you like dark horror, this is for you!
The Resort by Bryce Gibson
The plot is somewhat similar to The Ruins. So, if you liked that, you'll like this. Something strange is going on at Mackenzie Walker's family owned resort island. Some teens on the island are dead and something evil is killing them. Mackenzie takes in on himself to hunt down the thing responsible. A great and creepy tale!
Those are some great books that will leave you feeling creeped out, scared, and horrified. And if you're looking for something by me, I would recommend Getaway and Echoes of the Past. My two horror related books. Getaway focuses on a family torn apart by murder, betrayal, and adultery while on a family trip. Echoes of the Past follows Sasha's desperate attempt to rescue her daughter from a town gone mad. Any book on this list would be a perfect addition to your Halloween season read. Trust me!
Have you read any of the books above? Drop a comment below and let me know what you thought of them. Have some spooky book recommendations of your own? Let me know!
Want a quick description about my five published books? Well, then you've come to the right blog! Below are rundowns for each of my books and links to where you can find them!
To the Wolves: An Ethan McCormick Novel
Let's start with my first published book. To the Wolves. Ethan McCormick is a Miami Police officer at the end of his shift one night. A routine traffic stop turns deadly when the man kills himself. Traumatized, Ethan struggles to understand why. He takes a little time off with his soon-to-be fiance, Sandra, for a vacation to the Florida Keys. But when she's found dead by the pool, having jumped from their balcony, Ethan is thrust into a dangerous world or conspiracy and murder. Sandra's death is eventually pinned on Ethan and he's forced to go on the run to find the person responsible and stop a deadly attack from killing thousands.
You can find To the Wolves at your favorite retailer here.
Sins of the Mother: An Ethan McCormick Novel
Since I don't want to ruin the events of the first book, I'll give a brief description of the sequel. Ethan takes a missing child case only to learn the truth is darker and much more twisted than he could have ever imagined.
You can find Sins of the Mother at your favorite retailer here.
Death Can Wait
Luke and Renee Walker spend a week in Brazil on vacation. When their friends offer to let them return home aboard their luxury yacht, they couldn't be more thrilled. Until a storm smashes the yacht to pieces and thrust Luke and Renee overboard. They was ashore an island and learn they are not alone. The men who rule this island don't like outsiders and they will stop at nothing to protect their island. Luke and Renee must evade the inhabitants while trying to escape the island.
You can find Death Can Wait at your favorite retailer here.
A family vacation turns deadly when a hooded figure starts to terrorize those in the cabin. Nobody knows who to trust and eventually the family turns on each other. Murder, betrayal, and adultery rip the family apart.
You can find Getaway at your favorite retailer here.
Echoes of the Past
Sasha and her nine year old daughter, Tara, move to a small town in Maine for a fresh start. When someone starts murdering the people there, the town suspects Sasha. The local sheriff knows she's innocent but the town doesn't listen. They take matters into their own hands and kidnap Tara, using her as bait. Sasha must do everything she can to get her daughter back, flee the town, and fight a monster from her past.
You can find Echoes of the Past at your favorite retailer here.
If you've read any of my books above, please consider leaving a review. They really help us authors out a lot. You can leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or whichever retailer you choose! I hope you enjoyed this introduction to my books! Let me know in the comments which book was your favorite. And are you looking forward to my upcoming paranormal thriller? Want to know more about it? Sign up for my monthly newsletter where I share first looks at the book I'm currently writing.
Hello there readers!
Recently, I read the book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I thought it would be fun to give a brief run down of the book versus the movie. Now, if you didn't know, the book was written by Ian Fleming. If that name sounds familiar, that's because he also created another classic character. None of than James Bond. Yeah, I know. Weird. The man responsible for one of the most violent, action packed, spy thriller series of all time also created a children's book about a sentient car.
Let's dive into the book vs the movie. There may be spoilers ahead. Although, we're talking about a book published in 1964 and a movie made in 1968. If you haven't checked out either by now, you probably weren't going to. Am I right? Either way, let's jump in.
So, for those of you who have seen the movie, you know it's a musical. Well, guess what? So is the book! Nah, just kidding. That makes no sense. Of course, the book wasn't a musical. But other than the name of the car being Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the family name is Potts, there's really not much the same about these two pieces of media.
In the book, Professor Potts has just invented a new type of candy that whistles while you suck on it. They make a good portion of money and decide to buy a family car. He decides to buy a wrecked junker and fix it up to save money. When they get it home, professor Potts works to restore the car. Only, he doesn't recognize a lot of the gears in gadgets under the hood. Wait, Fleming was British. Maybe I should say bonnet? Whatever. He fixes up the car and she's as good as new. The family decides to take a picnic in the new car but get bogged down by traffic. No worries! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to the rescue! She flashes an indicator that calls the professor stupid and tells him to pull a lever, which he does. The car then starts to fly. They land on an island out in the ocean away from everyone else and enjoy their picnic. But when everyone falls asleep and the tide comes in, they fear they will drown. But again, Chitty to the rescue! Another lever and she becomes a boat. So, Professor Potts, being the responsible father and husband that he is, decides they should drive to France!
Once there, they drive up into a cave and realize it might belong to some smugglers as there are booby traps of sorts. But they drive through them and get to the exit, only to realize this cave belongs to a dangerous mob boss. Once again, Potts shows us what a good father he is and asks his children to gather up dynamite from the mob boss' stash and the proceed to blow the whole place up. As you can imagine, the mob boss gets kind of angry over this and ambushes the family. Of course, Chitty helps them escape and they decide to spent the night in a hotel. Note, still hasn't called the police. But hey, who's judging?
In the middle of the night, the children are kidnapped but Chitty once again saves the day. She tracks the children on a sort of radar and wakes up Potts and his wife. They fly over the city until the find the children, who are being forced to help rob a candy store, and confront the bad guys. Eventually, Potts and his wife rescue the children and the bad guys are arrested and everyone is happy. The End.
If you've seen the movie and never read the book, you're probably a little confused. Where's the island where children go missing? Where's the evil child catcher? What about how in the movie, it's all just a story and not even real? Yeah, book isn't like that at all. If you haven't seen the movie, which you should, it's almost nothing like the book. Potts is a widower and meets a woman named Truly Scrumptious, which is a nod to the ridiculous names Fleming would give to female characters in Bond books, and he takes them out for a picnic in his car. When the tide comes in and strands them all on the beach, Potts tells everyone a story about a car that can turn into a boat, fly through the sky, etc. They fly to a kingdom where happiness is illegal and children are imprisoned.
It's an incredibly different story from the book. If you haven't read the book or watched the movie, I recommend you do both. They are both great stories on their own. It was fun reading the book and seeing just how different everything was. I really can't tell which one I liked more. The movie will always hold sentimental value to me. It's one of the first movies I watched with my grandmother and was my favorite movie as a kid. The book is a cute tale and I'm glad I read it.
But what do you think? Have you seen the movie but never read the book? Let me know in the comments below!
To cover up his search history, Evan Bond is a thriller/suspense author. As an outdoor enthusiast and horror lover, Evan Bond enjoys writing stories where the two come together. He lives in Florida with his wife and two sons.