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

Write and publish with love and fury.

Publishing: The Next Evolution is…

CORRECTED WAD COVER FINAL

Get a review copy for subscribing! Click this cover, go to AllThatChazz.com and subscribe for updates from Ex Parte Press. Subscribers get a complimentary ebook through Amazon. It’s Holly’s new novella, What Angels Dread, a forboding ghost story about a young actress away at college for the first time. Evil is lurking. It might even be stalking you, too.

One of the myths of independent publishing is that we go it alone. We don’t. Indie authors outsource and trade skills, collaborate, cross-promote and form partnerships. The next evolution is to form collectives and networks.

To expand our reach and range of projects, we need to think about how our varies skill sets can fit together. For instance:

♦ This summer I’ll be in a non-fiction self-help project with multiple writers. That project is headed up by my friend Shermin Kruse, author of Butterfly Stitching. Shermin is an ambitious, connected person determined to make the world a better place by organizing a team. I was shy about working with her, but who could say no to working with such heavy hitters?

♦ I’m writing a new series with a popular author. We both wanted to create another brand that was more focused. Our aspirations fit nicely, 50/50. That series will be under a new pen name for both of us. It’s exciting to experiment, and I’m finding two authors working together multiplies the energy and output. That’s a good thing, too, since we don’t plan to release any books until we have a trilogy.

♦ I just met another author with whom I hope to co-create new podcast episodes as I shift the focus of the All That Chazz podcast. (More on that another time.)

♦ I’m also co-creating the Ghosts and Demons Series with Holly Papandreas, author of Ouija: Based on a True Story.

Check out the Top 100 Kindle Short from my coauthor Holly Pop

Check out the Top 100 Kindle Short from my coauthor Holly Pop.

The first book in that dark fantasy series is The Haunting Lessons. How that partnership came to be is explained at the back of the book, but the short version is, we can all do more by helping each other out, filling holes in each other’s game plan. (Hint: not everyone who writes wants to face all the complexities of publishing, even though they don’t want to find a traditional publisher, either.)

Cool cover, huh? The story is a fast-paced adventure about a girl from Iowa who, following a tragedy, discovers she has supernatural powers that lead her into more and more trouble, like swordplay, dangerous weirdness and inter-dimensional warfare.

NEW THL COVER JAN 2015 COMPLETE

As we face the uncertainties of the book publishing industry, remain calm and carry on. If you’re one of us, you’re going to write no matter what, whether you sell a bunch of books or very few. Relax and enjoy the writing process. There have always been ups and down in writing books and there always will be. You are not alone in your worries and aspirations.

Being a writer can be a lonely business, but it doesn’t have to be. We are not alone. We have each other.

Filed under: author platform, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sanity: Another reason to write more books

Do you ever feel like you’re reaching for success and someone is slapping your hand? Does every Monday feel like Thwart Day?

I just had one of those days that drains energy. I read a review from a guy who apparently thinks I believe in the supernatural because I often write about it. (Fiction, people! Fiction!) A cop stopped me today. He was unnecessarily dickish. That put me in a dark mood. I haven’t been feeling great so I had to go for some medical tests. A nurse was in a panic over my paperwork and apparently trying to panic me, too. I’ve got a big birthday coming up which I’m not excited about. I feel pressure. Sometimes, despite my big plans, it seems time is running out and the news for indie authors seems to be all whoa and woe at the moment.

Therefore, it’s not time to give up.

It’s time to put the hammer down (because I was thinking of doing terrible things with that hammer) and remember what’s working. To review:

This Plague of Days OMNIBUS (Large)

I got this letter today:

“This Plague of Days, Omnibus Edition was awarded an Honorable Mention for Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published e-Book Awards in Genre.”

Whoo. Also? Hoo!

Check out the Top 100 Kindle Short from my coauthor Holly Pop

Check out the Top 100 Kindle Short from my coauthor Holly Pop

I’m collaborating with several authors and a publisher in 2015. The first was Holly (Pop) Papandreas, author of Ouija

We wrote The Haunting Lessons. In this fun and dark fantasy, a girl from Iowa discovers she has amazing capabilities. The world is a richer and more dangerous place than she ever imagined. Parts of it may remind you of This Plague of Days, but the tone is lighter and the pace is lightning quick. Don’t miss out on 81 lessons to survive Armageddon. I like you and I want you to live.

Just released for Christmas reading!

Just released for Christmas reading!

My friend and author of Butterfly Stitching, Sher Kruse, has invited me to participate in a non-fiction anthology.

51bbcGqD3aL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

More on that in 2015.

I’ll be contributing to a horror anthology for a publisher and working with another author friend of mine on a secret book project to take paranormal readers by storm. I also have big plans for several books in the Ghosts and Demons Series, a big standalone book and more Hit Man books.

It’s been a big building year for me. I put together six books in 2014, so Mom and Dad will have to take back those accusations that I’m too lazy to live. 

PLAYBOOK COVER FINAL
It’s so fun and gritty and fast, I’m very happy with Hollywood Jesus, the third adventure in the Hit Man Series. The John Leguizamo joke alone makes it for me!

"Perhaps the most underrated crime novel of all time." ~ Robert Chazz Chute

“Perhaps the most underrated crime novel of all time.” ~ Robert Chazz Chute

 

And, maybe best of all, I wrote my criminal autobiography!

That's one adorable bear holding that bloody knife.

That’s one adorable bear holding that bloody knife.

And I’m part of the Horror Within Box Set with some very heavy hitters in horror fiction.

Horror Within Box Set

In other words, it’s been a productive year. It seems I have a lot to live for, after all. I can’t wait to get more of my ebooks into print, too. So stay busy. It will keep you out of trouble. Works for me. When you’re feeling down, write another book. That’s what I do. I’m all nerves a lot of the time, obviously. Writing soothes me and keep me from acting on impulses to hammer things.

Writing works that way for many people. Writing or reading, I hope you find escape, as I do, in imagination.
Merry Christmas.

If you had mixed feelings about 2014, let’s make 2015 better, hm?

Filed under: author platform, Horror, publishing, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Writers: Please dare to be different

I’m sick as a very sick dog, so this will be brief and a little truculent. We should try harder. Far be it from me to tell anyone else what to do. However, I want more and better books to read. What am I ranting about? I’m angry at writing “by the numbers.”

I once got into a discussion where a fellow writer challenged me to define what I meant. I replied that he already knew what I meant and he had the grace to say, “Well, yeah.”

However, in case anyone is unclear, I’m talking about books that are too predictable and the tread is gone on their plots.

I’m talking about writing that is too safe. It can race along, but feels like it’s on the Indianapolis oval, always that predictable left turn. Race that car through the woods and duck some trees and crash through the stands!

When I see a cover that looks like all the other covers of a genre and read a sample that seems interchangeable with a dozen other books, I admit, I don’t go in with high expectations (or I don’t look further). Different gets eyeballs, if it’s good different. You don’t find good different without risking bad different.

No one sets out to write a bad book. There aren’t any really bad books because every author can find a raging fan for anything. There are only books that are not to your particular taste. What’s death to art is catering to one bland taste. That’s the lowest common denominator. There’s room for that and lots of people will buy it, sure, but is bland why you wanted to be a writer? It’s certainly not why I’m a reader.

Here’s what isn’t to my taste:

If the title is indistinguishable from six other titles in the genre and the plot sounds too much like all the others, it’s possible the manuscript emerged not from a printer, but from a hamburger grinder.

Take a damn risk!

Make an unpopular or forbidden artistic choice once in a while! Cross a genre boundary. Use poetic language instead of one steady drone of minimalism. Don’t kill someone when it’s the easy way to solve a plot problem. Then kill a beloved character. Do something in your art that isn’t easily defined. Try something new instead of writing the same book over and over. 

Yes, I know many authors write the same book again and again to great success. Yes, I know some (dumb) readers won’t be receptive to you taking chances. They’ll say “I don’t get it,” or “This wasn’t what I expected and I’m uncomfortable with how the story strayed.”

The story never strays. The story goes where it’s supposed to go. It’s where the author wrote it. Maybe the author didn’t write enough small words. Or maybe the author failed to make a satisfying end or a believable context or a dozen other variables that are the author’s fault. But please, dare to be different somehow.

Don’t aspire to be Hemingway or King or anybody else. Strive to develop your unique voice.

My friend, author Shermin Kruse, risks being branded “experimental” by allocating a part of her debut novel, Butterfly Stitching, to the form of a screenplay. It’s not experimental or dense. It’s cool. (I’ll let you know when the book comes out.)

Follow her lead. Do something unexpected. Some writers will say you shouldn’t. Most readers will appreciate that you did.

Now go write. And REACH!

Filed under: Books, 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.

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 10,019 other followers

Brain Spasms a la Twitter

%d bloggers like this: