Also A Piece That The Huffington Post Didn’t Like

This was written by my friend Ben Leroy.  Because Ben is more well-known than me, more famous, more established in the writing world (and better looking?), the Huffington Post printed his post even though they didn’t like it. But they let him know afterward that they didn’t want “these sorts” of articles in the future.

Leroy is writing about visiting the site of the infamous Gary Gilmore murder, the murder that brought capital punishment back to the United States.  Clicking the link, you’ll see an intro and context.

I guess that in the United States (and at the Huff Po), we don’t like to look too hard in the mirror.

Warning – You might be overwhelmed by one of the incredible metaphors in this piece of writing:

“I am the dog who has caught the fender.”


Interviewed About My Forthcoming Novel – Graphic The Valley

This is a funny video.  Not funny because I intended it to be funny, but funny for quite a few reasons:

1. I’m filthy and in the wild (on top of a huge boulder) when interviewed.

2. I am obsessed with the feel of Ponderosa pine needles (you can see them in both of my hands during the interview).

3. I struggle to answer questions.

4. The morning sun is striking directly into the backs of my eyes and at the moment am legally blind.

5. I really care about the subject matter (my new novel) but can’t articulate what I want to.

When I first watched this, I cringed.  But then I thought, “Oh well, we can’t always look cool and intelligent in interviews.”  I guess I have to be a real person:


“25 Lies Writers Tell and Start To Believe” – Chuck Wendig

This is too good.  Funny, applicable, and no BS.  I had to put up a link to it.

Any writer (or artist for that matter) should read this piece.

8, 10, 13, 16, and 18 are incredible, but like I said, it’s all good.

Thank you, Ben LeRoy, for pointing me to the site.


Get The End of Boys for Free – The Gritty Books Giveaway

Ben LeRoy, Nathan Singer, and I are staging a giveaway through Ampheta’Zine.

If story is the most important thing, we should offer our stories for free.  So, for one week on Amazon, The End of Boys will be free as an ebook.  Hoping to give away 25,000 copies from September 11-17th.  Nathan’s In the Light of You will be free from September 18-24.


Note:  Designer Courtney Stubbert.  Background, Nazi book burning.



Borders and Amazon, and Books That Die (Failing Writer #37)

True failing, not false modesty:

As my book slides down the sales lists – now all the way down to 500,000 on Amazon’s list -I wonder about promotion of new titles.

Already, before the Borders Chapter 11 fiasco, fewer and fewer titles were being sold in book stores, and fewer bookstores existed.  So we had both fewer venues and the proliferation of movies, CDs, magazine, and food-vendor stores.

The End of Boys is an indie book, but it is also a dropped book.  My editor was laid off during the editing process (then immediately got a job at a bigger house because she’s intelligent, precise, hard-working, etc.), and the book is left without a leader, without someone to champion the title.

The manager at Borders told me two days ago that although people are asking for my book every day – and it’s sold out at the store – they can’t order more copies.  The liquidation company won’t allow it.  So those are lost sales.

And who do I know in the South?  In Middle America?  In Delaware?

All combined, a failing title.  My nearest bookstore – Borders – is going out of business.  My national presence is zero (especially without an editor to solicit reviews and spread the word in the industry).

Not that I am completely without help.

Ben LeRoy – with Tyrus – is ironically trying to help me, putting it in the hands of reviewers, spreading the word.  This is ironic because he offered on the book and we (my agent and I) chose to go with a different house.  So LeRoy is promoting a title that his publishing company did not acquire.

Also, I have my local small bookstores, Tsunami, Smith Family, J. Michaels.

And my agent, my former editor, a few industry people I know.

Plus, I have my network of friends, family, and first readers.  But will it be enough to save the book?  Probably not.  The average book in the U.S. sells fewer than 2000 copies.  I’ve sold fewer than 2000 copies, therefore, The End of Boys is average.

Will Amazon take a bigger market share?  Bigger than the 12.5% of indie titles last year?

I don’t know.  Is The End of Boys a good enough book to take off just because people have spread the word?  I don’t know that either.

No Young Boy Suicides – New Cover

Sales reps came back to Counterpoint saying the cover in conjunction with the title made them think my book included “young boy suicide.”  Not good.

People questioned if that could affect sales.

So Adriann Ranta, Charlie Winton, Laura Mazer, and I sat around in Mazer’s office and thought of other ideas.  And it came back to the Smoking Pic that I always wanted in the first place (real, including Coop and my mom, so naturally thematic).

The designer went back to work, and we have a new cover: