|Posted by [email protected] on May 9, 2014 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
This summer, I am offering music composition classes for students of all ages. With even a limited knowledge of music and theory basics, anyone can write a song (or several songs). In doing so, students develop a better understanding of music components and building blocks. I have also found that children, in particular find great pride and immense happiness from making up their own musical creations and putting them down on paper. Individual classes are offered locally in Detroit or on Skype. Please contact me at [email protected] for information and scheduling. Group classes are also available.
|Posted by [email protected] on March 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM||comments (0)|
In an unprecedented wave, anthologies are making their mark. Both receiving nominations as well as winning awards, anthologies are showing the work of new, talented writers to readers who might not otherwise pick up their work. Recently, several horror collections were nominated for the Brahm Stoker Award. Not only were new authors considered for a serious award in literature, but of those authors, several were women.
Why is this important? While many genres have long ago left behind the sexual stigma of female writers, sci if and horror have not. Some how, readers haven't been able to wrap their heads around a woman scaring the hell out of them with a tale that keeps them up at night. Hence, many females of the horror genre still use the old fashioned notion of pen names or writing under their gender neutral initials.
It is the hope of the female horror author that some serious praise for some seriously scary work completed successfully by new and female authors will change that very old, outdated notion. Until we know for sure, authors, keep writing your short stories to promote your name as well as your craft. Readers, think of an anthology as a wine tasting. Some stories you will like and some not, but try a collection of stories for te pure experience.
|Posted by [email protected] on January 28, 2014 at 8:55 AM||comments (0)|
My new novel is part blood bath gladiator style fighting, part high stakes logical analysis chess and part back stabbing, jugular chomping vampire novel. It's sexy, it's nail biting and it's free for your listening pleasure every Sunday. Just go to http://feeds.feedburner.com/eternalkingdom and subscribe to the RSS feed to download to your favorite listening device.
Here is a blurb from the short opening story, Death Match:
The door to their room opened abruptly and two officers entered. Malkin and Evan's belly and ankle chains were shackled to the floor and padlocked. Sargent Acres came over the speaker again, making everyone jump. "If you will look above your heads, gentlemen, you will see that from the ceiling, two glass enclosures are suspended. With each piece taken by your opponent, the enclosure will descend. When the winner makes the final kill, the enclosure above the loser will fall and completely seal. The nozzle at the top will release gas and kill the defeated player, trapped in his cage. Proceed gentlemen."
|Posted by [email protected] on January 23, 2014 at 10:45 AM||comments (0)|
If you venture to iTunes and type in free podcast, the plethora of new material is a cornicopia of luscious new writers just waiting to tell you their story....for free. That's right. Readers can sample new stories, often read by the authors themselves. Like the story? Buy the book! Why buy the book if you can get the podcast for free? Supporting the authors monetarily means there will be more material down the road.
Have you written the next great American novel? Your only problem, and it's a big problem, is that you can't find a publisher who will open the envelope containing your manuscript, let alone read it. That's where podcasts come in. Authors who record themselves reading, often a chapter at a time and uploading to free sites like iTunes and feedburner.com can track their stats. Stats tell an author a lot about their market and those interested in their book. Authors then can take those stats about their following, use it for social media marketing as well as data to place in a letter of I query to publishers. A publisher would much rather know that their writer has ten thousand fans in North America and Europe under the age of fifty. That to go in blind with merely a good story in hand.
New York Times best selling author recorded himself reading, a chapter at a time and developed his following. He connected with his audiences by letting his huge personality shine through and it worked. People wanted to meet him. People wanted to buy whatever he was writing and support him as an author. Podcasting connected him to his audience as well as the literary world. And through all of this, did I mention, it was free?
|Posted by [email protected] on January 16, 2014 at 12:15 AM||comments (0)|
It is likely that if you are thirty-five or older, much of your childhood exposure to books came from the library or an independent book store. Story time for younger children included brightly colored carpet squares, oversized, squashy chairs for parents and children and a monthly event. The independent bookstore was the place where children took their first voyage into new lands through books. Younger folks likely remember Yu Gi Oh tournaments and Harry Potter book releases at large chain stores like the sunken ship, Borders or the still prominent Barnes and Noble. The large chain stores imploded for the most part and thankfully, Michigan is bringing Indie back, at least as far as independent book stores go.
This is good news for both the small time publisher as well as the new or newly established author. While it took selling ten thousand copies of a book online to prove its in store book shelf worthiness with the old Borders Books (or pay a hefty sum to have it sit on a few hand selected shelves in markets targeted for a specific group of readers). The likelihood of those same small presses or new authors getting on t shelves of many stores is much more likely and sans the online sale quota.
One on one access and the ability to speak directly with book store owners and publishers is a winning situation for everyone. Independent bookstores know their readers. If an author or small press can deliver, there is no need for passing the national marketability test. More sales for the bookstore as well as the press spells good news for everyone. Readers can choose from a diverse and rich selection of writers they might not have already heard of. Bookstores cut out the middle marketing man and small presses have the chance to bring good writers to the table. In short, independent book stores are saving the printed book!
Buying an ebook might be faster, as an initial purchase. But if you enjoyed the book, consider purchasing the print version to add to your library. Then, you will always have a copy for yourself and a copy to loan and recommend. In Michigan, please consider these local and small press friendly bookstores. Introduce them to your friends and family. Spend a bit of money and support those who are keeping the printed word alive and well for generations to come.
Squirreled Away Books, Inc.
22985 W. Main St., Armada, Mi, 1-586-784-8873, www.squirreledawaybooks.com
124 East Washington Street, Ann Arbor, Mi, 1-734-585-5567, [email protected]
John K. King Used and Rare Books
901 W. Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, Mi, 1-313-961-0622, www.rarebooklink.com
|Posted by [email protected] on November 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
As fans of my writing know, my very first successful horror story was written in response to a holiday letter. You know, the kind that sum up the year and all of its perfections including their child's nomination for a Nobel and their trip to Africa to save the black rhino. Ok that's an exaggeration, but you get the idea. I received that letter on a day when drivers were cutting people off to get to the mall, parents were arguing over money and my music students had just played Jingle Bells for the thirty-eighth time. I was losing it. Everything magical and fun about the holidays was gone.
In a fit of insomnia, I gathered all of my thoughts and the idea of the real life people who were acting so repulsively. I turned them into characters in a story and I turned Santa Clause into Santa Claws. From there, I set the werewolf Santa lose on all those wretched representations of holiday human behavior. I shared Santa Claws with a few friends and now, some seven years later, Santa Claws is one of my top selling stories. You can can find it in the UK anthology, "Ain't No Sanity Clause" by Fringeworks or on the UK podcast "Our Place" on iTunes.
Every year since, I've written a holiday horror story and sent it out as my Christmas card. This years promises to be funny and frightening as in past years. But be forewarned. Santa may or may not be watching. But if you forget what the time of year is supposed to be. If you lose your sense of peace and good will toward those who have less than you or a more difficult struggle than you, be careful. I may just turn you into a character and kill you off in a story.
|Posted by [email protected] on November 6, 2013 at 4:00 PM||comments (2)|
The holidays are here. Time to have some fun.
November 17: I will be playing harp at the Neiman Marcus Last Call at Great Lakes Crossing from 6 til 9. Tickets are $25 and proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Club.
November 23: Book signing of my book Small Hour Stories at the Boogie Lake Green House in White Lake from 3 to 4pm and then a harp concert from 4 til 5pm
November 24: Book signing again at Boogie Lake Greenhouse from 12 to 1 pm.
Come me and and enjoy some holiday tunes and get a copy of Small Hour Stories for yourself and the horror fan in your life. Buy a book and get it gift wrapped free!