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

Write and publish with love and fury.

Video, Audio and Pixels: Hugh Howey hits and This Plague of Days launches Episode 5

And here, folks, are the announcements as promised. It’s a cornucopia of fun stuff to feed your hungry, hungry hippocampus:

See the rest of the interview on my YouTube channel here, or subscribe at CoolPeoplePodcast.com.

Also available on iTunes (or on Stitcher through the show link to the All That Chazz podcast.)

This Plague of Days: The first zombie thriller on the autism spectrum.

Episode 5 is now available! Get each ep for just 99 cents or get the discount deal and get all of Season One for just $3.99.

Episode 5 is now available! Get each ep for just 99 cents or get the discount deal and get all of Season One for just $3.99.

In Episode 5 of This Plague of Days, it’s all action as the Spencer family faces great loss in the Midwest and Dr. Sinjin-Smythe runs for his life in London. Dump your expectations of what a zombie apocalypse can deliver. The survivors of the plagues can be just as dangerous as any horde of rampaging zombies.

From the latest review on Amazon…

“The final episode of Season One did exactly what it was supposed to do. It twisted your stomach in knots, let go slightly, then snatched your stomach away until the second season is available.

All the immediate conflicts were resolved in a satisfying way, not rushed, not unrealistic. There’s plenty of ground to cover next season, and the last few lines will leave you guessing. Well done, Chute. You’ve crafted a high-brow zombie thriller that stands out from the rest.” ~ Ava Easterby

Coming late to the Apocalypse? No problem! 

This Plague of Days scares me to death! I just can’t put it down; I have to see what happens next.

A review from Victor Morin

The mind virus is created. Spread the infection. If you already have read it, please review it.Thanks! ~ Chazz

The mind virus is created. Spread the infection. If you already have read it, please review it.Thanks! ~ Chazz

 

Filed under: book trailer, Books, Horror, podcasts, This Plague of Days, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TOP TEN TIPS: How to set up your podcast

Why should you want to make podcasts and appear on podcasts?

English: Podcast or podcasting icon Français :...

English: Podcast or podcasting icon Français : Icône pour les podcasts ou la baladodiffusion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s radio with a low barrier to entry. It’s like having your own no-stupid-rules radio station that’s really close to free. You could be on iTunes a few days from now, promoting your business, your books, and yourself to the world. I’ve got fans in San Francisco, Dubai, Beijing and places I’d never heard of because of podcasts.

Since I began podcasting my crime novel a chapter at a time, several people have asked me how I set up my podcast and what’s involved. I can give you the broad strokes with an easy TOP 10 list. Don’t get overwhelmed. It’s not that hard, especially if you take my strongest advice and go straight to Tip #10.

1. You’ll need a microphone. I have two, one for $127 and one for $90. The cheaper one works better. Some people say you have to use a mixer to make sure your audio doesn’t peak and hurt listeners’ ears. However, I prefer the mic that plugs straight into the computer.  No need to be fancy with your podcast. You don’t have to be a Mac user. A chair that doesn’t squeak is a better investment. You don’t have to buy expensive shock mounts of your mics (but do get a screen for your microphone, called a sock, so you don’t “pop your ps”. Popped ps do thud into your listeners’ eardrums. You don’t have to have enhanced videocasts. Most of the people who listen to podcasts are either out for a walk, doing laundry or on a treadmill as they listen to programming. Video in podcasting is a deficit, not an asset.)

2. You’ll need a computer program to record and edit your podcast. Audacity is free. I use GarageBand. Though it does cost, I found the interface easier, especially since a friend gave me a one-on-one tutorial. I tried Audacity without help and the learning curve was a bit steeper. (I’m not turning anyone away from Audacity, though. It’s free and useful. It was just easier for me since I already knew someone who knew the software. Having a buddy who’s already in the know might make for a different choice for you, too.)

3. You’ll need a blog. WordPress is free and most anyone who reads this post already has a blog. Those lovely non-problems are the easiest to solve. There is also an ID3 tag editor (app) to buy, but it’s just a few dollars for a little program that will help you label your podcast and prepare it for upload to Libsyn. Speaking of which…

4. You’ll want a Libsyn account. Libsyn is the company that will publish your podcast to iTunes, your blog and elsewhere (even apps). Go for the $20 a month option. You can pay less, or even go with some outfit that will give it to you for free, but they cost more in the long term in other ways. For instance, lots of places will let you use them to broadcast your podcast, but you can’t move it anywhere later, so, effectively, they own your podcast, not you. You hold on to your rights and options by going with Libsyn. The best thing about Libsyn is that you bank unused broadband. When I started, I was worried about the hidden costs. What if my podcast is so popular, the broadband gets too expensive to pay? With Libsyn, there aren’t any hidden costs and they have an excellent stats page so you know exactly how popular you are. (Or not.)

Once you’re set up, you can also get your podcast on Stitcher. Stitcher is a very popular podcast outlet because it’s free and it  allows listeners to wirelessly stream podcasts to their phone or iPod. They don’t have to hook up to their computers. The podcasts take up no space on any device. Since I discovered Stitcher, I hardly ever use iTunes.

If you’re thinking of joining Stitcher, please use my promo code: SELFHELPSTONERS. By joining, you’re also entered into their draw for a $100 cash card.

5. You’ll have to have some time set aside. Every minute on air means four minutes in total invested with production. That’s a good rule of thumb, though I’ve managed to shorten it a bit over time. Don’t cut too many corners, though. I missed an edit a few podcasts back and the paper rustling seemed a tad unprofessional. Don’t be too professional, though. Mistakes are authentic moments and I like when the unexpected happens in a podcast. The unexpected never happens in radio and that’s one of the reasons radio is boring and only people who are trapped in cars or terrorist attacks listen to radio anymore.

Want a horrific example of authenticity? I’ve talked about the hilarious aspects of my colonoscopy, my first schoolyard fight, how I got screwed over by a financial adviser and a publisher, and worst of all, how I felt too fat and unsuccessful to go to my college reunion. You don’t have to be this revealing, but being real works in podcasting.

Don’t be self-conscious about your voice, either. I have a stammer that becomes evident when my brain works faster than my tongue. My delivery is positively Shatnerian. I talk in bursts and when I speed up I talk like a Nova Scotian, really fast and in the back of my throat. Most of that either isn’t a real issue, improves with practice or can be edited out.

6. Get good album art. I used a cover from my book Self-help for Stoners because I wanted to publicize the book and podcast to an identifiable audience. Calling the podcast Self-help for Stoners made sense at the time. (As discussed in a recent post on book promotion, I’m changing that because I have so many more books now. One book is not your brand. You are your brand. Think long term.) You’ll need a couple of images of different sizes for this. When you know those sizes and have an idea for an image to represent your podcast, talk to Kit Foster at KitFosterDesign.com. His prices are very reasonable. He’s my graphic artist. Heck, Kit is The Graphic Artist. (Can’t wait to show everybody what he came up with for my print cover for Bigger Than Jesus!) If you go without a professionally designed image, your podcast listing makes you look like a hack and you’ll definitely be skipped over.

7. Choose your category. My categories for different podcasts range from politics to fiction to comedy. Some of your audience might like variety, though if you go deep into a particular topic or niche, you’ll definitely find your audience quicker. Go with your passions. Stick with one podcast to start. Setting up the first one and doing it right will probably cost $200 or $300. After that, it’s cheap (and a claimable promotion cost.)

Do it with someone else and not only do you split the cost, you’ve got a co-host to bounce ideas with. Monologuing (as I do) is not for everyone and I sometimes wish I had someone else on the mic.

Also decide if your podcast will be a swearfest or family friendly, explicit or clean. I started out swearing and came around to PG. Also, consider that if you want advertisers, unless you’re Joe Rogan or Kevin Smith, most advertisers prefer clean podcasts.

8. You’ll need to promote your podcast. I’ve been a guest or I’ve been mentioned on other podcasts about ten times or more so far. Similar to guest blogging for bloggers, I think that’s helped the most. I learned recently that it’s been proved statistically that there’s no correlation between a large Twitter following and a large podcast following. That surprised me but I have no reason to doubt the stats. That said, if you can be rich and famous first, that doesn’t really hurt any endeavour, does it?

9. Do you have enough to say? When I started podcasting last November, I reasoned that if I ever ran out of stuff to say, I could always just read some of my fiction. I did read a bunch of my fiction on the podcast, but I also found I had a lot to say that had nothing to do with fiction. I’ve done skits and bits and improv. I’ve gotten angry and sad and confessed and condemned. Just as you would with a blog, brainstorm what you might talk about.

There’s no rule that says you have to do a podcast that’s an hour, two hours or three hours long. Most of

Click to get Bigger Than Jesus

my podcasts were 40 – 45 minutes once a week. Then I decided to make shorter podcasts but a twice a week. Then, to get the word out about The Hit Man Series, I’m podcasting Bigger Than Jesus a chapter at a time. Book 2, Higher Than Jesus, might be ready for podcast before I’m done recording the foundation book. Podcasting helps with the final proof, as well. We’ll see. No rules, remember? I love that about being indie in whatever I do.

Listen to a lot of podcasts to get a flavor of what works for you. Figure out where you fit. Are you the next Grammar Girl (the first podcaster on Oprah) or Mur Lafferty from I Should Be Writing? How-to podcasts are very popular (if you have enough to say on the subject long term.)  I listen to Litopia (for everything publishing); some stuff from the Kevin Smith network since he started my career; The Joe Rogan Experience has awesome guests (and depending on what you’re doing with your podcast, guests are great); The David Feldman Show (because I’m a lefty who loves comedians); and The Best of the Left (for smart politics). There are, of course, thousands of podcasts to choose from, those are a few of my favourites. You should also listen to The School of Podcasting by Dave Jackson. You can even join up and learn more. Dave is an enthusiastic educator who loves podcasting. He can teach you everything from how to set it up to how to monetize it properly. He’s forgotten more than I’ll ever know about podcasting.

10. Which leads me to my most important tip of this monster post: Talk to Dave Jackson from The School of Podcasting to get help setting up your podcast. He teaches and consults. I am not an expert on podcasting. That doesn’t stop me from being a podcaster thanks to Dave.

When I started out, I read all the FAQ I could find. I made my first podcast, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it out into the world. I had launched my first books and I was anxious to promote them via an avenue I knew a lot of people were missing out on. I was missing out! A lot of people are still missing out! You’re probably missing out right now! After days of frustration, I called Dave Jackson: Great guy, smart guy, patient guy. He knows the nuances of feed burner and RSS feeds and setting up your podcast without tears or time lost. He’ll get you past the mechanics and into what matters: reaching a wider audience you would never otherwise reach.

UPDATE: Dave just emailed me that he is revising his website this weekend. Hang in there if it’s not completely available when you check in. He’ll have chat on, so Dave can still set up a consultation to help you set up your podcast.

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

Have you, by chance, checked out my podcast?

Image representing Stitcher as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The new pod is up at AllThatChazz.com. Witness the struggle of the sad author/wedding crasher, hear the story of the cannibal in the bad chinese restaurant, mull odd and ends about honesty and spam. I get serious about feeding starving people, starving Sally Struthers and putting the military-industrial complex on a diet. I also wrestle the Pope (not naked).

Enjoy if you can and if you like it, please review it on iTunes or hit the thumbs-up button on Stitcher. Thanks for listening!

~ Chazz

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

Author Blog Challenge 13: The meek will not inherit the earth or a book deal

Cover of "Neuropath"

Have a point of view. Yes, some people may hate you for it, but that’s better than being bland and not speaking your mind. Tell the truth, even when you’re lying through your face and your fiction. Why? Because (1) it’s honest, and (2) who will read bland? Some authors avoid controversy thinking they will keep a wider audience. Wrong. Wimps don’t get respect. Besides, you don’t want to act like a wimp because that’s not who you are. You are a writer. Publishing your book and putting yourself out there for critics to judge is an act of courage. The meek will not inherit the earth and, if they do, we’ll just take it from them.

Last night I read through a forum in which multiple contributors discussed and debated with author Scott Bakker. I am just on my second Bakker book (Neuropath) having just found out about him. I really enjoyed his novel, Disciple of the Dog. I have to say, the forum I read debating the merits of Bakker’s fiction was intriguing. It was not a lovefest for the author. Some criticized Bakker for being a misogynist in his fiction. Occasionally the author himself commented on the thread but the offended and the defenders kept their debate raging without him and Bakker popped in more for clarification and to make sure he wasn’t being misrepresented by others.

Personally, I have to admit I don’t understand the objections or their fervour. Just because a main character espouses some views, that doesn’t mean we are meant to emulate him or agree with him. The character is flawed. It’s fiction. From what I’ve read so far, Bakker isn’t preaching misogyny. He’s describing a character who is a misogynist. I grew up watching All in the Family’s Archie Bunker. I never had any doubt he was a racist and watching a TV show didn’t make me a racist. Characters that have complicated problems and conflicting motivations are interesting. I don’t want to read fiction that is diluted by one ideology that doesn’t acknowledge the world’s realities (and if you do, then go write that book and best of luck selling it.). In my case, I know my titles are a bit controversial and annoy some people, but I suspect they attract more people than they turn away. Those that give my books a try are in for surprises when their expectations are turned upside down, but I think that’s a good thing.

I don’t try to be controversial for the sake getting people in a rage. I call it as I see it because it’s honest and because if you don’t have something to say, something to stir in your reader, why bother writing? Writing that doesn’t stir feelings in readers makes wasted ink and useless pixels. Free speech allows self-expression but also guarantees that you’re going to be offended from time to time. If you’re offended by a piece of fiction or an argument, the answer is, “Too bad.” Don’t read it if you can’t handle it and respond like an adult to work that is meant for adults. You don’t have to read or listen to viewpoints you despise. Just stop reading and listening. (The funny thing is, the people who disagree will stay with something they hate longer than people who agree. People who say they loathe Howard Stern listen twice as long as people who describe themselves as fans. Humans are strange, aren’t they?)

On my latest podcast, in between a couple of jokes and Father’s Day stories, I tackle corporal punishment and explain why President Obama could lose the election in November if he tolerates nuance and fails to embrace dumb. I’m not worried about turning off potential readers. There are lots of readers out there and I’m not interested in catering to people who can’t tolerate free self-expression. They’d probably never buy my books, anyway.

In short, embrace the bad ass in you. 

Click it to get it.

Click for the Self-help for Stoners podcast page

P.S. In the spirit of being bold, have you subscribed to the Self-help for Stoners podcast on iTunes or Stitcher yet? It’s free and strange and you don’t have to be a stoner to love it. Or hate it, come to think of it.

If you like it, please leave a happy review on iTunes. It helps. All the podcasts can be found at AllThatChazz.com.

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

Self-pub Highlights: The Best and Worst of the First and How to Succeed by Failing

Please click here to pick up Parting Shots.

When you can’t get out of the bathtub on your birthday, something’s gone wrong in your life. And by your life, of course, I mean mine. The other night I tore a rotator cuff muscle boxing. It hurts when you throw a hook and miss. I ripped it up pretty well. I’d had shoulder pain off and on for weeks due to to my incredibly sedentary lifestyle and the computer mouse. I sit very still to write. I can’t write and walk around at the same time. I’m chained to a desk by an intravenous tube that carries coffee. When the shoulder pain hit, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was. The pain is enormous. I almost called my wife to help me out of the bathtub. On my birthday. Not one of my best birthdays, I have to say. In fact, it might have been the worst.

Long-term?

Pain is good.

I will use this.

I did manage to get myself out of the tub. Getting my shirt on? That was five minutes of hell and wishing the Advil would kick in faster. It didn’t. I’ve had shoulder pain this bad before (on the other shoulder.) When it hurts to laugh, you know it’s bad. When you have to devise new strategies to do mundane tasks, it’s makes you mad. When it happens on your birthday, it makes you sad.

However, I won’t let all this sadness and badness and madness go to waste. At some point, I’m sure I’ll have a hero try to fight the bad guy in a climactic scene and the hero’s shoulder will be all messed up. That’s the easy take away from this experience.

Let’s go deeper.

Staying home to write books full-time? This is awesome. This is the fulfilment of a dream. I am so lucky to be able to devote myself to this enterprise all day. However, if I don’t take better care of my physical body, I will lose this opportunity. When every movement reminds you of pain, it’s hard to concentrate on work. Pain saps productivity, whisks away opportunities and manufactures misery far from the site of origin.

But let’s go deeper.

The pain in my shoulder is not simply a rotator cuff tear. It’s a symptom. I have not been to the gym for quite some time. I have not been taking care of myself. Why is that?

My excuse…no…my dumb reason is that I have been swimming in the launch of my books. I have no excuse. I let myself forget that success is not a single facet. To get my shit together, I have to take time to take care of all aspects of my life: family, fitness and work. I am not of one dimension. I was so busy with work, it gave me the excuse to be lazy in other areas of my life.

Translation:

I have books to publish! I have no time for the gym! Publishing is so exciting I don’t even have to feel bad about not going to the gym because I’m being productive!

Yeah, right. But for low long, Spock? How long?!

Concentrating so much on marketing made the disappointment at the initial outcome darker. My sales aren’t anywhere near where they need to be (yet, goddamnit! Yet!) The reviews haven’t been rolling in (yet, goddamnit! Yet!) But I’ve started up businesses before. I know how this works…or doesn’t work. These things take time. Readers will get around to writing reviews. Word will spread. It doesn’t happen on a schedule. You may as well try predicting cloud formations as plot book sales. But I do have a strategy. While figuring out how to manage our time in the new year, I told She Who Must Be Obeyed that I think I’m through The Worst of the First.

The Worst of the First is the downside of that incredibly creative, energetic time when you start up a new enterprise. You have to get a business license and take care of paperwork that is not directly related to your success. You order business cards or figure out technical aspects that feel removed from the core of your enterprise. The Worst of the First is about trying to do everything at once, just to get things rolling forward. The Worst of the First is about the trivia that no reader ever sees. It’s the behind-the-scenes stuff no one cares about, including me, but it has to get done. It’s part of building inertia, too.

Then there is The Best of the First. Here are the highlights of my first couple of months as founder, president, author and Chief Dude in Charge of Wastebasket Emptying at Ex Parte Press: Three ebooks up on Amazon and just about everywhere else by November 1. Recorded a podcast, Self-help for Stoners, to help market my book of the same name. Tried and failed to get my first podcast published. Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting helped me to get the podcast up and out there. He helped me get control of my author website, too (allthatchazz.com). Got the paperback formatted with Jeff Bennington’s help. Got new art for the paperback done with my graphic designer, Kit Foster. Published Self-help for Stoners through CreateSpace. Published three short stories in the last week (Parting Shots, Asia Unbound and Vengeance is #1) on Smashwords.com. Maintained my Scoopit! Page, three blogs, three Twitter accounts and published six podcasts. Now the podcast is also available on the Stitcher app as well as iTunes, so it’s everywhere.

When so much positive stuff was happening at once, I was riding high. But I wasn’t leaving my desk. I’ve been married to my Mac, which makes She Who Must Be Obeyed jealous. I’m through the imbalanced part now. My shoulder reminds me with every move that I have to concentrate on the core. That means publishing three novels in the next year, yes. That also means taking better care of me so I can accomplish those goals. It means eating right and getting to the gym. That’s also part of the writing process. It clears the brain and keeps my body ready for writing marathons. Sitting still for too long is too hard on the body. We’re made to move and if we don’t, we die.

On my birthday, I checked my book sales and found the accounting had finally come through. It wasn’t good, but the beginning is rarely good. I’ve been here before. I know the terrain. I know the pain hammering me in the shoulder is a reminder of what a low point feels like. The sinking feeling as I looked at my first sales numbers—on my birthday!—made me think for a moment that all my marketing efforts had been wasted. But no. It’s just a normal part of The Worst of the First. My readership hasn’t found me yet. You have to market your books when you think you should be using all your time to write. In weak moments I do think, All I should do is just write and revise and do nothing else. But then I remember this is not 1987. Seclusion is a luxury for old media authors. I’m a new media author. I must not hide from the world if anyone is to ever hear me.

The fattest kid at Fat Camp has the most potential. When you reach critical mass and are feeling low, you can look up. There is so much to learn and so much to conquer. I am grateful to have so much fun and trial ahead of me. When we succumb to the idea that the best times of our lives are behind us, we truly begin to die. This is just the beginning and there is so much to look forward to! Writing this post, holding tight to this pain and this disappointment? That’s going to make the triumph all that much sweeter, don’t you think? I’m going to appreciate the win more when it comes. And I’m through the gauntlet and into the glove already! I made it through the Worst of the First. Yes, there will be frustrating times ahead, but I got through the first couple of months of the enterprise. I got to the starting line. A lot of people dream of the starting line but never get there. They never get the chance, or take the chance, to run. Now I’m running and I’ve got some inertia behind me. I have you behind me. (I know because you’ve read this far.)

My resolutions for 2012?

I will use this. Failure is fuel.

Failure is only failure if you let it keep you stuck in the tub. 

Happy new year.

If it isn’t happy,

MAKE IT SO.

Filed under: DIY, ebooks, getting it done, publishing, self-publishing, short stories, What about Chazz?, What about you?, Writers, writing tips, , , , , , , , , ,

Self-help for Stoners is now available on Stitcher (plus the Christmas message of hope and gooeyness)

What a week! Self-help for Stoners is now available in paperback. I have a new short story up at Smashwords and tonight I just got an email from Stitcher that my podcast, the companion to the book Self-help for Stoners, is available on their app. Here’s part of the email they just sent me:

Self-help for Stoners is now available on Stitcher! Thank you
so much for joining the Stitcher lineup. We are thrilled to offer the
show on the app! We are really excited that you have joined the platform. Your show
will now be available with one click on mobile phones and iPads all
over the world, SONOS systems, in-car dashboards and more to come!
I hope your audience will enjoy the flexibility and ease of the Stitcher app.
I know many of our Stitcher listeners will enjoy your show as a new
listening option.

Yes, I know it’s a form letter. That knowledge doesn’t detract a bit. I’m thrilled. (The Self-help for Stoners podcast is also available, as usual, at iTunes or straight from my website —which, as of today, is officially all mine— at allthatchazz.com.)

I plan for a busy “holiday” in that there won’t really be one. I have a lot of writing and revising to do to make the novels available faster and who takes a vacation from playing, anyway? I usually feel harried, but I think I’m learning to embrace the chaos. I’m having so much fun that I don’t want to take a break from writing at all. I’ve also learned to take advantage of my manic phases of activity when they strike. Given my Getting-Stuff-Done Mode lately, I imagine it’s like being on Adderall minus that pesky expense. This Christmas, my present to myself is the gift of repairing broken promises I made when I was eight years old. I wanted to publish books. I’m doing it now and staying in the driver’s seat. This wasn’t possible just three or four years ago. Now, for better and worse, I’m in control.

And I’m so grateful. I’m working full-time, working longer hours than I ever have. It feels like I’m in university again and it’s always crunch time. I knew working full-time as a writer and publisher would take up a lot of my time. I didn’t expect it would be this much fun. When my family asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year, I told them, “Nothing. I don’t deserve anything.” Oddly, I don’t mean that I’m in Hate-Myself Mode. I mean, every day is already a gift. Cliche. And true.

Whether you buy my books or not, I hope you find value in this blog because it’s a labor of love that gives back to me in so many ways. I learn so much by the research I do for the blog. If not for the blog, I never would have met author Jeff Bennington, for instance. He ended up formatting my paperback and he always has advice that makes me think. If not for this blog, I would have missed out on the talent of Kit Foster, my amazing graphic designer, who, so far, has made three book covers for me. I made friends with Dave Jackson at The School of Podcasting. He helped with starting the podcast and also with the author website. There are so many talented authors I’ve met through Chazz Writes who have been so helpful,  like Lorina Stephens, Rebecca Senese, Roz Morris, Reena Jacobs, Lisa Stull, Eden Baylee and many more.

Take a trip through the archives here and you’ll find many articles on the craft of writing and editing, but also author profiles of intrepid fellow writers who are putting themselves out there. We wave banners and take risks. We reject the rejectionists. We say no to the naysayers. We aren’t looking for followers. We are recruiting revolutionaries to our cause and that cause is free expression. We are all so lucky to live at a time when dissemination of our words, broadcasting our thoughts and publishing our books has never been easier or less censored. The rising voices are a din, yes, but I don’t hear desperation in the new wave of information and entertainment. I hear joy and bravery. I hear greater independence and more choice. You can buy books cheaply and quickly. We can debate how healthy this is for writers. We can worry about the state of traditional publishing and bookstores. Though some people whine about to many books, that’s crazy. More choice means more freedom. Whatever happens next, one group has already won: readers.

There are too many people to name here who have helped me to begin this journey. If you have helped me by example, with advice, with encouragement, with proofing, with editing, with design or financially by buying into my fiction, please know that I appreciate it so very much. If we already know each other, I’ve already thanked you for your part in helping me move forward and I’ll no doubt thank you again! One more concrete way I thank people is by promoting your books and hosting guest posts and retweeting your posts and aggregating the best information I can find for you here and on my Scoopit! page. I’ll continue to do so. I promise.

After putting off this life for a long time, my present has finally arrived. This has got to be the gooiest post I’ve written. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, I’m sorry for all this sugar and syrup (but it springs from a happy place.)

This will be my last blog post until 2012. (Okay, I’ll be checking in, continuing Scoopit! and I might pop in with more good news if I get some.) However, my plan is to disappear into some pages and go on a writing binge and get some more stuff done. The guy who gets stuff done is the new me.

This Christmas, I wish you the gift of happiness. 

If you don’t have it yet, know that you can make it so.

If I can, you can.

Filed under: All That Chazz, getting it done, podcasts, publishing, What about Chazz?, What about you?, , , , , , , , , , , ,

What’s useful on my iPod? (Plus a treat)

For podcasts, the app you want is Stitcher. Most any podcast in the world is available there, so if you want a cool distraction or need to research how to do anything, there’s a great resource. And Stitcher is free.

Not on Stitcher (yet) but available through iTunes: The Creative Penn podcast. Joanna Penn interviews helpful people on all aspects of publishing. And she’s a great interviewer, too.

Twitterific: The interface on this app is better than Twitter. I like it very much.

Wolfram: The smarter search engine.

And a sampling of music to write by: Fountains of Wayne, Eminem, Cee lo Green’s F**k You, Earth, Wind and Fire, Daft Punk’s Technologic, Journey, Pet Shop Boys, Freeland’s We Want Your Soul, Queen, old Stevie Wonder, and the immortal Weird Al’s White & Nerdy (see Donny Osmond’s dancing on the YouTube video for full effect.)

Filed under: DIY, Media, podcasts, 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.

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