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Aug 30, 2011

Promo Description for SCARY DEAD THINGS

There are reasons we fear the night.
He STILL isn’t one of them.

Bill Ryder: programmer, gamer, and legendary vampire is back!

Six months have passed since a vampire hottie named Sally dragged him kicking and screaming (but mostly screaming) into the supernatural underworld. Since then he’s found himself hounded by enemies and frustrated by his allies. All that and he still can’t work up the nerve to talk to his dream girl. Little does he know his troubles are just starting.

A chance meeting halfway across the world plunges Bill into more insanity than he can shake a stick at. Now he finds himself a marked man in more ways than one. One of the most powerful immortals in the world wants him dead and an ancient vampire princess wants him for entirely different purposes.

However, that might just be the least of his worries as new and powerful forces have begun to emerge from the shadows around him. Are they friend or foe? Considering Bill’s luck, you can bet on the latter.

Bill’s only hope is to marshal his friends, master his powers, and muster enough attitude to stare down the very worst monsters the world can throw at him.

Can Bill survive and prove once and for all that he’s the scariest dead thing of them all?

Coming Soon!

Aug 14, 2011

Won't you be my neighbor?

So I'm in the process of editing my upcoming book "Scary Dead Things" and that means a break of sorts for me. Don't get me wrong, editing is far more tedious and tiring than the writing itself. However, it's like it uses a different part of my brain. While I'm in the middle of vomiting up a story, my imagination is working overtime to churn out concepts (and bad jokes). Once the editing starts, though, the ole imagination gets a vacation and the part of my brain that handles the spreadsheets and the taxes takes control. I try to never combine the two. I'm sure some writers can. I just can't. Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with the occasional multitasking, but editing one book, while trying to give birth to another...well that's just the sort of thing to cause my head to start smoking. I have enough issues with that as it is without purposely trying to douse my brain with lighter fluid.

However, this "break" does give me a chance to muse on things a bit. One such thought is on the state of this whole writing thing. While I've known for years that I love to write and that one day I'd (maybe) give the whole thing an actual go for real, I never considered how interacting with other writers would be. As a professional with well over a decade of both corporate and self-employed business experience, I had originally assumed it would be a lot like any other business: i.e. HULK SMASH COMPETITION!!

After all, if I sell air conditioners and you sell air conditioners then if I somehow manage to convince the customer that my air conditioners are better than yours (since yours are no doubt powered by the souls of all those dead puppies you keep buried in your backyard), then it's your loss. I win / you lose, ha ha and vice versa.

What a breath of fresh air it was to discover the same is not true in the writing world. Via twitter and email I've rubbed shoulders with a good many other writers, some who sell less than me and some who sell books in numbers higher than I can count to. The wonderful thing I've discovered: most of them are really cool. Maybe it's just that crazy knows crazy (writers and nuttiness go together like Kool Aid and Jonestown). Or it might be because this is one of the few businesses where competition is not a black and white thing. As a reader I can understand this. I don't pick up author A's book and discard author B's book into the trash pile, never to view it. I read one book and then move onto the next in the list, rinse and repeat. Thus who cares who gets read first as long as you're somewhere on that person's to-read list. It's like a line at an amusement park. Sure it might be long, but there's room for all of us on it. I takes the cutting out of the cutthroat aspect of the business.

In my 'other' life, I've hobnobbed with the competition at various conventions and meet and greets. No matter how friendly it gets, there's always that (insert bad Austrian accent) "I MUST DESTROY YOU!" undertone to things. How refreshing it is to step into another world where that sentiment instead becomes "It's ok if they read you first. They'll get to me eventually."

I like this. I like this very much. In fact I'm eyeing a nice little corner house in this neighborhood. I could see settling down here for a nice long while. It looks like a nice place to raise the kids, have a BBQ, and sit out on the back porch to enjoy the sunset. Oh and should you decide to move in next door I'll be there to welcome you with a friendly handshake and a batch of fresh baked cookies. The wonderful thing being: unlike in my 'other' life, these cookies won't be poisoned.

Aug 9, 2011

Final Teaser for Scary Dead Things

An excerpt from Scary Dead Things
The Tome of Bill Book 2
Coming Soon!

There's nothing like a cool refreshing breeze on a Fall night. Crisp and carrying just a hint of the winter weather ahead, but still pleasant enough to be outside in and enjoy. I've never been much of an outdoors type, anyone with eyes could see that by my pasty white skin. However, this time of year was nice. No bugs, no sweating, just nice and comfortable. I wouldn't mind staying here for a while.

Speaking of which, where the fuck was I anyway?

My head started to clear and with it my vision. I looked around. It was still night. That was good, otherwise my enjoying of the breeze would've been quickly cut off by all the burning and screaming. That tended to put a damper on the old day trips as of late. Judging by the lightening of the horizon it was the wee hours of the morning, maybe an hour or so until daybreak. Still plenty of time to get indoors. Hey, I could actually see the horizon. Come to think of it the view was actually pretty damn nice.

I tried to stand, wobbled a bit and realized why. I was standing on the top of some building. Judging from what I could see, I was at least twenty stories up, maybe more. Odd that I didn't remember stepping out for some pre-dawn stargazing.

There was a slight groan from a bit off the side. Considering the pitch, I wondered if maybe I hadn't brought some female companionship along with me. I walked over, still a little wobbly, and looked down to see Sally.

Awwww, she looked like she was asleep.

And covered in blood.

And with her right arm ending in a stump.

Oh shit!

The memories of the past...however long ago that was, started to filter into my mind, snapping me out of my daze.

“Oh god, Sally. Please don't be dead!” I thought as I knelt down beside her. Well ok, she's already dead, but I mean really really dead. I reached down and put my hand on her throat to feel for a pulse. After about ten seconds of that I mentally slapped myself upside the head. Vampires don't have pulses, regardless of their condition.

Ok, need to think this through. Remember your boy scout training, stupid! Oh yeah, I was a boy scout for all of two weeks before I got bored with it. Come on, what does one do when somebody's hand gets cut off by trained vampire assassins? Ok, pretty sure I didn't read about that one on WebMD. I got it, a tourniquet!

I started to pull off my belt so as to staunch Sally's bleeding stump, when I realized it wasn't doing so any longer. What had been a geyser of blood just a....however long ago, was now nothing. That wasn't good. No blood meant...No! Best not to think of that.

I looked closer, the stump wasn't bleeding because it appeared that it had started to scab over. Her arm was at least partially trying to heal itself. Corpses didn't usually do that. Maybe there was hope. Besides, didn't she just groan? Or was that the wind? Only one way to find out.

I thus did the only thing I could think of. If Sally were truly gone, it's not like it would have made things worse, so I turned her head to face towards me and gave her a hard slap across the face.

"SALLY, WAKE UP!" (please!)

Nothing. Ok maybe I shouldn't hit her hard enough to knock her brains out. I tried it again, slightly softer, but still enough to leave a handprint on her face. That time I got a groan in response. Yes! She was still in there somewhere.

"Come on, Sally! You can do it. Those fuckers can't take you down that easily!" I said as I again felt wetness welling up in my eyes. She started to come around. Her eyes were still closed, but I could see her trying to mouth something. I leaned in closer.

"Say that again. I didn't hear you."

A hoarse whisper met my ear, "Hit me again and I'll gut you."

*******************

Like what you see? Be sure to check out the Tome of Bill Book 1, Bill The Vampire

Available for your favorite e-readers:

Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook
SmashWords

Aug 6, 2011

HP: bad Touch or Padding my wallet?

Back to the tech stuff for a post or two...

Various news outlets reported yesterday that HP's new WebOS tablet, the Touchpad, was going to be discounted this weekend. The kicker: up to a $200 discount at Staples. The kicker #2: this thing came out something like a month ago. That's freaking insane! I'm strictly in the Ipad camp and I'm tempted to go out and get one at that price. Hell, even if I use it for a footrest during the week and play frisbee with it during the weekends that's not such a bad deal.

So my question for this would be: is this desperation on the part of HP because sales have been poor and they have no faith in the Palm acquired WebOS, or is this brilliant marketing on the part of HP to give these things an insane sales boost and make them a player in the field? I guess time will tell.

All I know is that if I had purchased one at full price when they came out (one month ago!) I'd be pissed off in ways they don't even have names for yet.