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

Write and publish with love and fury.

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

#NaNoWriMo: Evolving a series from one book

“You will laugh your ass off!” ~ Author of Cybrgrrl, Maxwell Cynn

Readers love books in a series. Maybe when you’re done your NaNoWriMo manuscript, you may consider turning one book into several. I’m having an interesting experience with my crime novel series I thought I should share with you because it’s a new thing for me and it may be helpful to pull back the curtain on the process as it’s evolving.

Last year, I wrote a short story about Jesus Diaz, a hit man I included in my suspense collection Self-help for Stoners. The assassin I wrote about was a mature and experienced, cold-blooded sort of guy who, at the request of their soon-to-be ex wives, killed men going through divorce. Jesus (pronounced Hay-soose) knew what he was doing and was very slick. Still, things went awry in an interesting way. That was the beginning of the Hit Man Series, but I didn’t know that then.

The revelation came when I thought, I want to write a Coen brothers’ movie! Self-help for Stoners has a lot of funny stuff in it (my favorite is the funny erotica) but I wanted to write a whole novel that played with one character in a quirky way. I thought about what origins a guy like Jesus might have to make him more sympathetic. Despite what he does as an enforcer, he does not see himself as the bad guy. No bad guy does. He’s a victim and a vigilante caught in the gears of New York’s Machine (the Spanish mob).  Think of all those Coen brothers’ movies and you’ll get some of the flavor: The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Raising Arizona, Blood Simple and Miller’s Crossing. Death always waits on the wide and easy road out of town. Perfect fit. I write about Escape. All my books and every one of my stories is ultimately about Escape. Along the way, I try to find a balance between realism and funny. People don’t get knocked out too easily in my stories, for instance. There are some bad guys who are entertainingly dumb, but nobody’s dumb just to make the plot work. Everyone has a goal that conflicts with everyone else’s motives and perspective.

“Worthy of Elmore Leonard with shades of Thomas Harris…”

The first book in the series is Bigger Than Jesus. I wanted to start the action off with a bang, so when we meet Jesus Diaz, he’s hanging off the side of a building in New York. The book reads like one long chase scene with a few sparse flashbacks to give depth to the character. Dexter is driven by psychological issues. Jesus is driven by circumstance and a need for money and delusions of grandeur. He’s obsessed with movies and wants the life he see in them. In the first book, there’s no sex but lots of violence and funny dialogue. I’d call it more gritty than gory. The story often plunges the reader into a web of deception and, because everything is seen from Jesus’ limited perspective, we only uncover the mystery of what waits in locker #408 as the Cuban hit man discovers the truth. Jesus begins his story arc as a guy who can lie well and has some skills he learned in the military, but he’s certainly no master assassin.

I watched and listened carefully for feedback before and after publication. People loved the jokes and surprises. Some thought there should be more sex and less swearing. I kept that in mind as I got into writing the second book in the series, Higher Than Jesus. I put in more jokes and surprises and yes, more sex. We discover new things about Jesus Diaz’s history. (That’s kind of a fun tip of the hat, playing with readers as they find out that Jesus has been lying to himself as well as others.)

Higher Than Jesus has a fast pace, but not quite as fast as Bigger Than Jesus. We slow down long enough for a funny and somewhat poignant chapter in which my hit man is failing at group therapy. We get into issues around addiction, too. From the first chapter, the tension slides in like a knife between ribs with a quarter twist as Jesus kills a bad guy on Christmas Day. Complications ensue around an arms deal that has national and historic ramifications. He’s learning and getting better at his job, but things still go awry.

Free on Amazon until November 23: A quick-moving plot with lots of surprises and a clear-eyed examination of addiction.

Through each book I used research and consulted with friends, one who’s ex-military and another who is a SWAT trainer. Some clever aspects of the plot turned on technical details my research supplied. As I write Hollywood Jesus, my hit man is still on the run from the mob and the FBI. The events from the first two books are by no means erased. What’s different as I write the third book in the series is Jesus’s confidence and competence. He’s still at the mercy of Murphy’s Law, but now the book includes the latest technology and techniques in espionage and counter-espionage. Jesus is a troubleshooter for a security firm, specializing in dealing with celebrity stalkers. He deals with them in very unorthodox ways, often using their own tactics against them. None of the tactics or tech is too far out there, so it’s not like a Bond movie, with Roger Moore. However, there’s a lot of very cool spy tech that’s available to anyone commercially. 

What’s the arc of the series so far?:

#1 was a pure crime adventure with dark childhood secrets driving the character and a mystery leading to escape. That whipped the action across the finish line.

#2 goes deeper into the character, but at its heart it’s hardboiled action with a chapter that drips with sex and a lot of violent action broken up by fast, witty dialogue. There’s less swearing, especially since one bad guy hardly says a word and the other sees himself as quite pure and above all that. I’m proudest of the psychological gameplay throughout, the funny chaos, the clever kills and a fight scene that actually reveals something about the character and his past instead of fighting for action’s sale alone.

#3: I’m still writing Hollywood Jesus, but I think that, though the story starts fast, the tension cranks up with more range of emotion. Yesterday, for instance, Jesus confronted a very deadly and powerful stalker to make Jesus (and the reader) understand the enormity of the danger he faces. That night, Jesus scans the audience at a comedy club for the celeb stalker as the client does her act onstage. We got a sense of why this celebrity is so special and worth protecting. I loved writing that scene because every line is from the stand up act I’ve had in my head for a while and I think it’s pretty hilarious. (I’ve been thinking about doing an open mic at Yuk Yuks sometime, so maybe I’ll try my material onstage myself before publication to see if I get the same laughs as Legs Gabrielle.)

The tech stuff in Hollywood Jesus fascinates me and always has. I’m drawing on a large library of dirty tricks, revenge fantasies and bad guy techniques I’ve researched for years. This is an amazing time to be a crime novelist. There’s so much information to draw on.

What’s stays the same among all three books so far?

The humor. One thing I share with Jesus is smart-assery, especially when in danger. Reversals and bad fortune plague Jesus, often because his plans and my plots are so elaborate and my hit man is not as smart as he thinks he is. The assassin’s character does change through the books. By the third, he’s wary of falling in love too quickly, which is a fatal flaw with him. He begins to see himself differently by the end of the second book so, though he’s always been clever, by the opening of Hollywood, he’s more proactive and in control…or so he thinks.

Things are rarely as they appear in the Hit Man Series. I have an outline, but I’m not sure of all the details of what’s coming. For Jesus, I’m more of a pantser than a plotter. I can’t wait to see what he does about what I throw at him tomorrow.

Grab Higher Than Jesus before midnight, Friday, November 23rd

and it’s free!

(There’s an intriguing offer for more free ebooks inside and, fair warning, all the prices will be going up soon.)

~ Robert Chazz Chute writes hardboiled suspense with quirky twists. He’s also written two books about writing and publishing: Crack the Indie Author Code and Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire.

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

Author interview with Robert Chazz Chute

Over at Forgotten Realms, a fun interview awaits, including why the people at Staples were so mean to me last week.

I’d never been asked free association questions before. Tarek asked  “Child?” I thought “Money.” “Ocean?” “My answer was, “South Pacific”, but I meant the musical. My next thought was SpongeBob. Of course I also talk about Higher Than Jesus: bigger, even funnier, more hardboiled, more skip tracer tricks and The Major Chapter of Sex will melt your wallpaper.

By the way, Bigger Than Jesus, the first funny, clever, hardboiled thriller in the Hit Man Series is free this week! That’s right! FREE, until Nov. 9. Click it to grab it. If you love it, please review it. Thanks! 

Filed under: Author profiles, Books, , , , , , , , , , ,

Links-a-plenty: Giveaway, coffee for weight loss, video & becoming more like Joe Rogan

Read my interview and enter to win free ebooks on Jo Michael’s blog today. I get to talk about ninja monkeys, social media and

First it was kale shakes. Buttered bulletproof coffee is next!

what’s next for me, my hit man and all the people we’re going to kill together. 

On AllThatChazz.com, I’ve got:

1. An article for you on drinking coffee to lose weight and growing your brain.

2. A podcast of one of my favorite chapters from Bigger Than Jesus. It’s dark and creepy and action-packed and, if you haven’t slipped into the warm pool of sexual chocolate that is my first crime novel, you can listen to this stand alone chapter to get the flavor of my Cuban hit man’s scary childhood. You even find out Jesus’s full name.

3. Check the video to get your first sneak peek of the sexy cover for Higher Than Jesus (launching next week!).

4. I got some unexpected, teary inspiration from Here Comes the Boom! Flick your switch and be more Rogan.

5. While you’re perusing the many podcast and book offerings at AllThatChazz.com, please do sign up for my newsletter. I won’t pester you, but when you sign up (on the left by my stylish photo), you’re up for giveaways and news about what’s exciting at Ex Parte Press. I’m releasing five books this fall, so lots of fun is on the way. 

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, if you sign up for my newsletter, your website gets a free mention on the All That Chazz podcast. Also, for a couple more days, I’m still taking “Praise for ChazzWrites.com” for two upcoming books about writing and publishing, inspired by and boiled down from this blog. One happy blog review gets you in the books along with a plug for your book! Jump on it!

 Excelsior!

Scoop.it

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

And the winner of the Six Words or Less Contest is…

Liberty Montano!

Thanks to all who entered the Six Words or Less Contest. We had some solid entries, but there can only be three in the top three, if my understanding of math is correct.

Liberty’s happened to be the very first entry and the votes skewed toward a religious bent. (I have mentioned

Click to get Bigger Than Jesus here

my Cuban hit man’s name is pronounced “Hay-soose” a ton already, right?)

Liberty’s entry won first prize with:

“Ezekiel 25:17”

Cloakey Notes came in second with

“Revelation 6:17”

Who would have thought I would have so many readers so familiar with Bible text?

Tony Collett came in third with a reference from The Fisher King:

“Moral Traffic Light”.

All three will get mentions on my podcast and, when Higher Than Jesus comes out, they’ll receive a free ebook. Congratulations to each of the winners.

Liberty’s name will appear in Higher Than Jesus and her quote will be woven into the story. Hey, that’s a good character name! Not too many people named “Liberty” out there. She’ll be getting the paperback, too.

As the publication date for Higher Than Jesus approaches, I will contact the winners with details.

Thanks again to everyone who participated.

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

BOOM, baby! Bigger Than Jesus has arrived in handy, dead tree form!

The paperback has arrived. For $9.99. Did you hear that? Distant thunder of the Book Gods mumbling to each other. Oooh, shivers!

 

The witty “wickedly real and violently funny” foundation book of The Hit Man Series has arrived. So happy.

Next up: Higher Than Jesus

 

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.

Cheers,

Chazz

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.

POST YOUR ENTRIES ON THE CONTEST THREAD HERE.

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ENTRY AUGUST 1 TO AUGUST 10 BY EMAILING: EXPARTEPRESS   GMAIL COM

 

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

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, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UBC #14: Smart Free means Give it Away and Bank On It

I was really looking forward to using ACX.com to get my crime novel, Bigger Than Jesus, out there as an audiobook. Unfortunately, ACX isn’t ready to deal with non-US citizens yet. (Dang! Don’t hate me because I’m Canadian!) If you are a US citizen and an indie author, definitely consider ACX. It’s a great set up I learned about through Jeff Bennington.) Until then, I’m going to take the Scott Sigler approach to book promotion and podcast my books.

Scott Sigler was one of the first indie authors to podcast his books, chapter by chapter, and leave it up for free. He found, as he doled it out week by week, that lots of readers couldn’t wait a week for the next instalment. They wanted to buy the whole thing immediately. The strategy works and, despite all his success, Sigler continues to give the books away in audio form even though he’s now published traditionally. This podcast strategy flummoxed his publisher, whose sales force couldn’t understand how his sales kept going and going. Traditional publishing strategies don’t allow for free and expect spikes of sales followed by doldrums. That doesn’t happen with Sigler because he stays out there, available and free to sample and enjoy and building his fan base with, among other things, books as free podcasts. I should add that he’s a clever marketer, but the books are strong. No marketing strategy works if the writing isn’t strong. In fact, if your book is weak, good marketing may hasten its trip down to oblivion. That said, Sigler is a brilliant guy who keeps the free coming, but to maximum advantage. This isn’t Dumb Free: Give It All Away and Hope. This is Smart Free: Give it Away and Bank On It.

There’s another benefit to podcasting your book. The ebook of my crime novel is out now. I plan to release the Bigger Than Jesus paperback at the end of the month. Despite all the editorial eyes on the manuscript, there’s still a bit of tinkering I want to do before the print version is released. Last night, as I recorded another chapter, I realized there were still a couple of minor edits I wanted to address. Nothing that’s a huge deal, but we all want to get a little closer to perfection. Over the next two or three days, I’m doing a podcast marathon so I’ll have the whole book banked in its audio form. If there are any further niggles to tweak, I’ll find them. Reading your book aloud can be a powerful editing tool and, by podcasting the book a chapter at a time, I make the podcast do double duty.

Listen to Chapter 1 of Bigger Than Jesus now.

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

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.

For my author site and the Chazz network, click the blood spatter below.

See my books, blogs, links and podcasts.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,916 other followers

Brain Spasms a la Twitter

%d bloggers like this: