C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

See all my books at AllThatChazz.com.

This Plague of Days: Season One arrives in paperback! (Plus stuff for you)

Special thanks to Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com for his kick-ass cover skills! 

If you’re looking to get a cover, I always recommend Kit! Plus, he’s Scottish!

Have a look at the beauty below (i.e. buy it) and be sure to check out his portfolio.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00004]

This Plague of Days, Season One teaches Latin proverbs and brings you into the mind of a very unlikely hero on the autistic spectrum. Zombies attack and royal Corgis are in big trouble. Maybe the Queen, too. (That’s my motto: Give the people what they want.)

This book makes a great Halloween gift, Christmas present or something to scare the bejeebers out of friends, family and enemies. If you’ve been waiting for the paperback, here you go. Working on getting Season Two out in print next. 

Serialization pros and cons

Not into my books but want more about publishing in savvy ways?

Season 2 is the quest. Expect big trouble in Ireland and Iceland because I think countries beginning with I are narcissistic and need to be taken down a peg or two by bloodthirsty zombies.

Season 2 is the quest. Expect big trouble in Ireland and Iceland because I think countries beginning with I are narcissistic and need to be taken down a peg or two by bloodthirsty zombies.

Okay, if you came for the pithy stuff about the downside of serialization and why I collapsed to the haters and won’t serialize Season Three of This Plague of Days, you’ll want to check out this post: 

Why I won’t do this again

The contest that challenges you to find a secret hidden in plain sight

Yes, there’s also an intriguing contest going on and your immortality is at stake.

Find the secret, win a life everlasting in book and audio form.

I love a mystery wrapped in an enigma concealed in a burrito, don’t you?

~ Robert Chazz Chute is…writing in the third person again. Get your NaNoWriMo inspiration and hope for the publishing future by reading Crack the Indie Author Code in paperback and ebook. Just kidding about the Ireland being narcissistic thing. You know I love the land of my ancestors. But Iceland? Well, you’re on notice for realsies, Icepops!

Filed under: Amazon, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, self-publishing, This Plague of Days, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

#NaNoWriMo: How to make reading like cardio

A quick-moving plot with lots of surprises and a clear-eyed examination of addiction.

 Get all the details of the Seven Words or Less Contest and enter here.

Last night I wrote two more chapters for my next crime novel, Hollywood Jesus, starring my Cuban hit man, Jesus Diaz. The first chapter worked very well, but the second needs tinkering right away. Here’s what happened and my rationale for how I’m dealing with it.

The first chapter of the day was a fast-paced and clever chase (even if I say so myself). Good guy* chases bad guy/reversal/good guy’s now at a disadvantage and, as they say, the hunter becomes the hunted. The tension cranked higher when I put the good guy in a seemingly impossible situation. He’s either dead or going to federal prison or maybe even Gitmo if he’s caught. The latest police tools, tactics and technology are used against him and Diaz has to figure out a solution.

Actually, it would be awesome if my hit man figured out the solution himself, but I wrote him into a corner and I had to find a plausible way to write him out of that trap. Whenever I stick him in a bad situation, he’s looking at me going, “Get me out of here, you sadist!” I did get him off the meat hook again and it was both funny and sweat-inducing. Yay, me. Now what about the next, problem chapter?

The tension has to be cranked down from that high a little bit so there’s some kind of emotional range for the reader. However, I messed up. I cranked the tension down too far with a transitional chapter. I hate that. In the transitional chapter, I had too much exposition with not enough events occurring. After a daring escape, my hero gets picked up by his Sancho Panza with fresh clothes and a new mission to add to his growing pile of trouble. The chapter is devoted to explaining to Diaz what happened in his absence.

There’s a lot to fill in for Diaz and for the reader: A friend and an enemy are in hospital, the ultra-bad guy is on the loose and the cops are investigating the violent and creepy events of the night before. The hit man has to find these things out, but changing clothes while going for a ride in the back of a van slows the pace too much. I want the reader to have a breather for a moment, but I don’t want the reader to actually recover. For cardio and thrillers to work, you have to keep the heart rate up.

The Fix: After the perilous escape, Jesus Diaz will be picked up by his aide. However, the chapter must start at the next beat where, aside from being a fugitive from the LAPD and the FBI, he’s got a new client thrust upon him by the old client. Both are beautiful, intelligent women in danger and at the moment, both hate the hit man’s guts. I’m sticking with the conflict instead of allowing the congenial conversation with the buddy who gives him a safe, friendly ride.

But why not plunge forward, blow up the word count for the day and “fix it in post”? I see the problem now so I’m fixing it now. Dealing with the problem immediately saves me revision time later. When I go into full revision mode, I want little puzzle pieces that have to fit, not big chunks that throw off the trajectory of the story, kill the fast pacing and make me go all the way back in order to move forward.

Besides, I was already well past the word count for the day with the previous chapter. On those days I’m productive, I sleep well. The sleepless nights after a non-productive day are torture. There are only so many days.

Speaking of the next book, have you entered for a chance to get your name in Hollywood Jesus yet? Get all the details of the Seven Words or Less Contest and enter here.

* I use “good” guy here loosely. Jesus Diaz is a killer, but funny and ultimately, a sympathetic vigilante. I think of my books as Bad versus Evil.

~ The sweetest  fig Chazz ever loved was the one he stole from a tree in the former Yugoslavia. Robert Chazz Chute is the author of Bigger Than Jesus, Higher Than Jesus, The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories, Self-help for Stoners and Sex, Death & Mind Control as well as the guides for writers and self-publishers, Crack the Indie Author Code (free until Friday) and Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire. For links to all the books and to hear the latest All That Chazz podcast, slip over to AllThatChazz.com.

Free until Nov. 30, 2012. Click it to grab it now!

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The New Seven Words or Less Contest

A quick-moving plot with lots of surprises and a clear-eyed examination of addiction.

As I wrote Higher Than Jesus, the second in my crime novel series, I held the Six Words or Less Contest. It was so much fun, I’m doing it again, but with an extra word to give you the flexibility you need for a great entry.

Here’s the deal:

You can have a character running around in a crime novel with your name on him or her. All you have to do to win is come up with the funniest slogan for the side of a bakery delivery truck you can imagine. The catch? It has to be seven words or less and it has to be original, funny, memorable and somewhat plausible (so swearing is out for this one.) The contest ends December 7. Enter as many times as you like in the comments section below. 

The winning entry will be used in my next crime novel, Hollywood Jesus. (You guessed it. It takes place in California.) The winner will be chosen by a vote held from Dec. 7 to Dec. 10, 2012. The top three entries get a digital copy. The grand prize winner will get a free copy of the book in digital and paperback. Have fun with it! 

~ Robert Chazz Chute’s favorite bakery product is chocolate croissants with rich coffee. He’s also written two guides to writing, publishing and promotion. Crack the Indie Author Code is currently #1 in publishing and #4 in writing, and FREE this week on Amazon. Get your copy of Crack the Indie Author Code before Friday at midnight or before the sun explodes, whichever comes first. For more publishing and promotion tips, get Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire. For more on books by Chazz and to hear the All That Chazz podcast, go to AllThatChazz.com.

Free to you Nov. 26 – 30, 2012. Click it to grab it now, please, or I shoot this puppy.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are ebook contests worth the entry fee?

Usually I’m here spouting my opinion about publishing or sharing what I find that’s useful for indie authors.

English: Ribbon for contests

English: Ribbon for contests (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, I’m asking for your opinion of ebook awards. Help me with this, please.

I just ran across PIA (Publishing Innovation Awards), for instance. It’s $199 to submit a book in a single category. Wow. (That qualifies as a “wow” because it’s the most expensive contest I’ve seen.) Huge companies are behind it, which is reassuring, though one wonders how much their corporate sponsorship has put a dent in that entry fee? Most entry fees for awards available to indie authors seem to be in the $50 to $69 range. The one I’ve spotted that’s free to enter is also no doubt the best known: Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award. Other awards ask for a more hefty fee for one book but you can enter a second book at a much reduced fee.

I googled for reviews of some of these contests, but that got me pages and pages of the winners trumpeting their books (not reviews of the contest experience itself.) Maybe that means these awards are totally worth the expense of entry and the winners gained readers, provided social proof of excellence and improved sales. A seal of approval on any book is no doubt somewhat reassuring to potential readers, even if they’ve never heard of the award.

FYI: The Book Designer has a handy list of contests here. It’s a little out of date but most of the information still applies. Note that it’s just a list, not an endorsement of any particular contest.

I’ll start you off with this observation: My first thought about the QED award was that it looks good and has a happy track record according to their website. There was an awful lot of reading and pitching before I found the cost of entry. (It’s on the FAQ page, though I’m not sure what the alternative $125 for QED consideration might include. Is $125 for getting evaluated on their 13-point form? Hm.) The search for the contest fee was annoying. If the QED is an awesome opportunity and I’m a fool for hesitating, jump on it. Their deadline is November 15.

What’s your experience? Do contests for authors excite you or are you suspicious some may be merely moneymakers for those who conceive them? Would you enter your books into a contest or is your promotional budget best spent elsewhere? I welcome your thoughts and comments. Thanks for helping me with this.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Voting for the Six Words or Less Contest Closes Soon

Just a reminder that the voting closes in the Six Words or Less Contest on August 10. Go to the comment thread, take in the brilliance and vote for the wittiest and pithiest. Nice prizes, bragging rights and greater fame for the winner.

Send your vote to expartepress AT gmail DOT com.



Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , ,

Enter now: It’s the LAST DAY of the Six Words or Less Contest


Click to get Bigger Than Jesus here

Enter the Six Words or Less Contest and get your name in Higher Than Jesus, my next crime thriller in The Hit Man Series

The grand prize winner gets a copy of the print book, the ebook, their name on a character and promotion of their book, business, podcast, charity or website on my podcast.




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The Six Words or Less Contest that could get your name in a thriller

UPDATE: And now it’s time to vote for

the wittiest and pithiest entries in the

The Six Words or Less Contest

Choose your favorite from the comment thread below and e-mail your first choice to expartepress AT gmail DOT com.

Voting closes August 10. Three winners will be chosen.

The grand prize winner will get in my next thriller, Higher Than Jesus. (Details below.)

Click to get Bigger Than Jesus here

I’m holding a contest that could get your name in my new thriller.

The follow-up to my crime novel, Bigger Than Jesus is called Higher Than Jesus and it’s coming this fall. 

Here’s the challenge: My hit man passes a homeless person in the street and gives him some money. The homeless person wears a black hoodie. I want something catchy and memorable on that hoodie. I thought about making an inside joke and making it a Self-help for Stoners emblem (my first book). I considered using a meme that’s already out there but kind of hipster, like the inside joke from Portal: There is no cake.

But no, I’m calling on the readership! What’s the short, punchy, pithy, memorable phrase that should adorn that black hoodie on the homeless guy on a cold winter’s night in Chicago? It could be funny. It could be pointed and political. Let’s hear it!

Leave your suggestion in the comment thread.

What do you get for your contribution?

(Yes, there is metaphorical cake!)

The winner gets lots of that cake!

“You will laugh your ass off! The skill of a journalist with the flair of a stand up comedian.” ~ Author Maxwell Cyn

A. I can name a character after you in Higher Than Jesus. (No guarantees whether the character will be good or bad, alive or dead. It’s crime fiction. I don’t have many characters who are good or get to live.)

B. When I get the print edition, I’ll send you a free autographed copy wherever you are in the world.

C. I’ll gift you a copy of the kindle ebook as soon as it’s available.

D. On my podcast, I’ll mention the top three entries and the grand prize winner will be exalted. Your name and  your six words or less will be talked about in glowing terms.

E. BONUS: For the overall winner with the best six words or less, I’ll promote your book, business, favorite charity, website, podcast, pet’s name, shout out or whatever on my podcast (as long as the thing you want to promote isn’t some psycho white supremacist thing. Sounds good, yes?)

Please leave your suggestions in comments. On August 1, I’ll ask for a vote for the top three, so somebody’s getting bragging rights no matter what. Let’s have some fun with this. (I have to reserve the right to not use the top phrase in case there’s a legal or editorial reason not to use it, but the grand prize winner still gets the sweet cake of A, B and C. The decision of the judge — that’s me — is final since it’s my name on the book. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited and all that crap. I can’t think of any other rules we need, but I’ll make them up if necessary. Hopefully that won’t be necessary.)

With the details out of the way, have at it! This will be fun. Submit as much as you’d like.

Check out all the books by Robert Chazz Chute here.

Impress us with freshness and originality.

Make us laugh.

Make us think.

Just, please, do it in no more than six words. Thanks!

~Robert Chazz Chute is the author of Self-help for Stoners, Bigger Than Jesus, The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories, and Sex, Death & Mind Control (for fun and profit). Learn more at the author site or see the fun Amazon bio here.

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Contest #3 Deadline Looms

Mavericks Surf Contest 2010.

Image via Wikipedia


Just a heads-up folks! The Contest #3 deadline is looming. Please submit your book reviews by October 27 at 9 PM EST to enter the draw for an awesome book on establishing and working with a writing critique group. Just 400 words could get you there. (See the header post above for details!)

Filed under: book reviews, Contest announcement, ,

10 Things that Happen When You Win a Writing Contest

You get the letter or the phone call. You’ve won a short story contest!

What happens next?

1. Dance.

2. Call your spouse. “I knew you could!” they say. “This makes all those times I watched the kids while you wrote…almost worth it! Dinner’s on you tonight, Snoogums!” Get your freak on.

3. Call your non-literary friends. “Congratulations!” they say. Then, “I have to get back to work. I don’t hang around a home office, alone all day celebrating like some people I know.”

4. Call your literary friends. “Congratulations!” they say, through gritted teeth. Make encouraging sounds. Assure them they could have won in your place, but it’s a subjective business. (True, though you will never, can never, think of these small triumphs as mere luck. To continue as a writer, you must know you deserve it all. Otherwise you’ll come to your senses and start making money doing something more people value, like grouting.)

5. Call your parents. “Congratulations!” they say. “How much money did you win?” For most contests, when you buy the celebration dinner tonight, there goes at least half. (I won $1,000 for a short story once. I blew that on paying taxes. Whoo-hoo.)

6. Go out for a coffee. This is an obvious ploy to tell strangers. They don’t care. Tip the barista well.

7. Wait for the prize and or publication. The prize may come along quickly assuming it’s a legitimate contest. If publication is part of the prize, it will be a long wait.

8. Discover typos or tiny changes you’d love, nay, need to make to avoid immortalizing the coming ridicule. They won’t make the changes. The release you signed but did not read said so in a sub-paragraph. You’ll try to pester someone about it, but the happy people who called to say you won will now no longer return your calls. (This is also when you figure out you gave away more rights to the story than you would have if you weren’t so giddy when they called. Don’t blame yourself. When they called to inform, you were like the zittiest kid at junior prom asked to dance by the prettiest girl.)

9. Before you can tell them you’re pulling it, you shall receive rejections from other contests and magazines for the same story who apparently thought it sucked. (Don’t let the spark of your enthusiasm get drowned out.)

10. (a) Publication and then anonymity as history moves on.

(b) Publication on the net will result in comments (possibly even an awful blog post railing against you as happened after one of my tiny triumphs) from a bunch of bitter losers who can’t believe their genius went unrecognized. Oh, they’ll be mean. They’ll demand the judges quit and express disgust at your existence, you know-nothing poseur!


11. Reminisce about your past triumph, write something else, put something else in the mail and sublimate your rage with a passive-aggressive blog post.

Filed under: What about Chazz?, writing contests, writing tips, , , , ,


Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

The first 81 lessons to get your Buffy on

More lessons to help you survive Armageddon

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Maxwell Cynn, author of Cybergrrl

Available now!

Fast-paced terror, new threats, more twists.

An autistic boy versus our world in free fall

Suspense to melt your face and play with your brain.

Action like a Guy Ritchie film. Funny like Woody Allen when he was funny.

Jesus: Sexier and even more addicted to love.

You can pick this ebook up for free today at this link: http://bit.ly/TheNightMan

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