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

Write and publish with love and fury.

Writers: Who influences you?

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FYI: Grab your free dark fantasy and a free crime novel here. The Haunting Lessons is free today and tomorrow only!


Everything that has ever happened to us goes into our books. Every slight and terrible vengeance, real or imagined, gets poured in. Here are some of my influences:

1. During a podcast, the guest talked about the Hagakure, the book of the Samurai. It had been a long time since I’d read it, but as soon as he mentioned it, I knew I had an empty place for that puzzle piece in the next book in the Ghosts & Demons Series.

2. When John Cleese was a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Jon mentioned the Choir Invisible. Besides being a funny sketch and a great poem, the reference set off fireworks in my mind. The Choir Invisible became a complex secret society that fights evil in The Haunting Lessons. (We don’t read enough poetry anymore, by the way. Lyricism seeps into our writing when we drink enough of it.)

3. William Goldman, author of The Princess Bride (among many other wonderful novels and screenplays) always catches the reader by surprise. When you are sure what is going to happen next? That’s when he’s got you. I love that. I do that. It makes plot development a joy and dares you to stop turning pages, even when it’s late and you have to be at work early in the morning.

4. I studied The Divine Comedy in school. When you’re writing about demons and the fight between good and evil (or bad and evil), a quote from the classics slipped into the narrative makes for a big moment that adds to the depth of the atmosphere I want to achieve in a key scene.

5. I loved the action in Mickey Spillane novels. Film is definitely in the mix, as well. When I’m writing the Hit Man Series, Quentin Tarantino, the Coen brothers and Guy Ritchie are never far away.

6. Stephen King’s structural devices from The Stand and It went into This Plague of Days. Chuck Palahniuk’s appreciation for the macabre is in all the horror. Contextualizing the bizarre with the weird and real is a lesson learned from The X Files.

7. As a disappointed humanist, I want to be Kurt Vonnegut. Not the writer per se, but the man. If I ever release my time travel novel, he’s in the mix in a big way. I miss him.

8. When I’m writing action and suspense, Skrillex, Eminem and Everlast are playing in the background. Visceral goes with viscera. A steady diet of standup comedy balances out the blood. The path between horror and humor can be a knife edge. 

9. Fight scenes and sex scenes: draw on experience and each variety of conquering and surrender is all the more delicious.

10. Director Kevin Smith and comic Joe Rogan inspired me to write my first book, Self-help for Stoners. Chasing that dream long into the night continues to keep me going in the face of adversity.

I write original books (if it can be said there is such a thing.) However, we all have our artistic ancestry. What’s yours? What do you recommend?

~ FYI, one more time: The Haunting Lessons is free today and tomorrow and my first crime novel, Bigger Than Jesus, is also free everywhere. Hit AllThatChazz.com now for the links.

Bigger_Than_Jesus_Cover_for_Kindle

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Stuff about Twitter that bothers you (but doesn’t bother me)

It’s interesting what grinds other people’s gears. Here are some complaints I’ve seen about Twitter etiquette. Let’s discuss, with fencing

English: The content of tweets on Twitter, bas...

English: The content of tweets on Twitter, based on the data gathered by Pear Analytics in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

terms*! En francais! Commence! En garde!

Duel 1

Attaque indirecte: Some consider it a breach of etiquette to have too many #hashtags in your Twitter post.

Froisssement: How many is “too many” and who made you king? Got any other arbitrary rules? Are you the one who made spats go away? If there were still spats, I’d definitely be one of those guys wearing spats! I’m still rocking the fedora.

Duel 2

Coup droit: After being followed, some consider it bad manners for the followee to have the audacity to send a message with a welcome autotweet. As in, “Thanks for climbing on board! If you want to know more about me, here’s my website etc.,…

Septime haute: This is another arbitrary one and I could very well argue that (a) you followed me and that’s how I run my show. You don’t like it, you know where the “unfollow” button is. (b) It seems an awfully friendly gesture of politeness to welcome someone to your Twitter stream if they thought you were cool enough to follow in the first place. You say “rude” and I reply “friendly”. That is the stalemate of our conversation of crossed swords.

However, so we don’t end in a draw and since so many people took this bit of etiquette as the new social contract on Twitter, I capitulated. I don’t do the gentlemanly thing anymore. I’m glad to have new followers on Twitter, but I don’t send out the auto-welcome anymore. If you follow me (@rchazzchute), you now have no idea that I give a shit.

Bravo. You win. Touché!

Duel 3

Opposition: But Chazz, autotweets are rude!

Passata-sotto: If that’s all you have to give, yes. However, autotweeting had its place as a useful time management tool. If you have a decent following on Twitter, it’s impossible to “engage” everyone. Then somebody made up a rule that autotweets are rude and too many people believed them.

There’s always somebody who wants to round up the cows and put a fence around them when they were just fine in the open field minding their own business. Scolds are awfully boring people, aren’t they? I should know. I’m being one right now.

Duel 4

Coup droit: If you can’t engage everyone adequately, you must be following too many people.

Balestra & beat: If you don’t follow enough people, maybe you’re a narcissist who isn’t really all that interested in the world.

Presser: But what’s with all these people spamming us all the time? They’re shameless!

Double: Maybe they just aren’t funny or useful enough, but that’s not spam. I don’t believe in spam. It’s only spam if it’s fraud from a Nigerian prince who wants to give you money from a needlessly complex banking transaction that start’s out, “Dear beloved, I’m going to prey upon your desperation, gullibility and greed…”

Mal-parry (in your Monty Python voice) SPAM! SPAM! SPAM! 

Remise: When you cry “SPAM!”, I hear that you aren’t interested. But if you wanted it — whatever it is — you’d be pleased to be made aware of the opportunity from a brilliant author, entrepreneur or artist. We’re not all into the same stuff, that’s all.

Coup de taille: When I look at Twitter, I see no spam. I see stuff I ignore and stuff that intrigues me. I do not cast aspersions on people who try to sell me on anything sports-related. I pity them because they don’t know that I have no interest in cheap Superbowl tournament tickets. (Is “tournament” the right word for a swimming competition such as the Superbowl?)

Attaque au fer: Seems petty to be mean to people who are just trying to get attention to their art and support their families. If you tried their wares, you might even enjoy yourself. We’re all just squirrels trying to get a nut and chances are, you have a job, too. Either you’re advertising your business to keep eating or someone is doing it for you. Advertising is so easy to ignore, it’s impossible for me to get upset about it.

Coup d’arret: It’s not that the drumbeat of “Buy my books” is offensive. The problem is that it’s ineffective. We have to be funnier, smarter and more creative than that.

Me B&W~ Confession: I, Robert Chazz Chute, fenced in college. The most fun I ever had wasn’t the formal training. It was in practice when we’d fence without supervision, sometimes three at a time! It was less like a stuffy fencing school and more like The Princess Bride. Everything’s more fun when it’s less stuffy, including Twitter.

If you’re interested in the meaning of these fencing terms, check them out here. And click here for the latest All That Chazz podcast and links to my books of bizarre themes and intense violence. And don’t cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war. Cry freedom.

 

Filed under: Publicity & Promotion, Twitter, , , , , , , ,

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.

Write to live

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