Check out the review of “Apollo’s Curse,” my long interview with Mark, and enter to win the Rafflecopter giveaway for one of 10 free copies!
Your favorite virtue: Honesty.
Your favorite qualities in a woman. Smart, funny, loyal.
Your favorite qualities in a man. Smart, funny, hung.
Your chief characteristic. I’m fookin’ brilliant! (I guess that makes arrogance my chief characteristic.)
What you appreciate the most in your friends. Honesty, loyalty.
Your main fault. Self-criticism, the inability to let myself off the hook for any failing.
Your favorite occupation. Writing a fantastic book.
Your idea of happiness. Reading a fantastic book.
Your idea of misery. Strapped to a chair with my eyes taped open, forced to watch a never-ending loop of Adam Sandler movies.
If not yourself, who would you be? David Mitchell (because I’d want to be the moistest fantasticest author on the planet today).
Where would you like to live? Where I am now, but with milder summers and just a little more rain.
Your favorite color and flower. Blue, gladiolas.
Your favorite prose authors. Based on the number of their works on my bookshelf: David Mitchell, Doris Lessing, George Orwell, George MacDonald Fraser, Patrick O’Brien, Jo Nesbo, Bernard Cornwell (when he’s on his game), Jonathan Lethem, Jonathan Franzen (okay he’s only written two novels but they’re awesome), Christopher Isherwood, Frances Burney, Anthony Trollope, Jane Austen, Barbara Tuchman.
Your favorite poets. Ummm …. Okay I’m a barbarian!
Your favorite heroes in fiction. Jack Aubrey, Harry Hole, Sam Bradford
Your favorite heroines in fiction. Ellen Ripley (I know, a movie, but movies are fiction), Gretchen from the Chelsea Cain “Heart” books (okay, a villainess, but still), Martha Quest.
Your favorite painters and composers. Lucian Freud, John Currin (Thanksgiving), Bronzino. Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn.
Your heroes in real life. Everyone involved with Wounded Warrior Project and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Your favorite heroines in real life. My bestie Leslie Castle!
What characters in history do you most dislike. Jesse Helms. When history is written, his hatred of the gays and his obstructionism in the Senate of anything and everything that could have stopped the spread of AIDS will reveal him as the greatest mass murderer in history. His actions have made the AIDS pandemic orders of magnitude worse than it would have been. Unlike other villains in history, his actions continue to kill millions long after he is dead. Worst. Person. Ever.
Your heroines in World history. Elizabeth I, Madalyn Murray O’Hair.
Your favorite food and drink. Peanut butter, Chateau Carignan 2009 (not together!)
Your favorite names. Alex, Brendan, Brad , Daniel, Evan, Greg, Harry, Jacob, Lee, Matt, Nick, Nico, Nicholas, Nicolai, did I forget any variants LOL, Paul, Sam, Ted, Tom.
What I hate the most. Sociopaths and emotional abusers.
The military event I admire the most. The willingness of any American to voluntarily put him or herself in harm’s way, even if the cause is not entirely just or even rational.
The reform I admire the most. The removal of Biblical restrictions from secular laws.
The natural talent I’d like to be gifted with. The kind of body that doesn’t get fat. The ability to only eat what I need.
How I wish to die. In possession of all my faculties.
What is your present state of mind. Thinking hard to answer all these questions!
For what fault have you most toleration? In others, the inability to control overeating, because it’s the fault I least tolerate in myself so I totally understand it.
Your favorite motto. Books are friends who are easy to make and hard to lose.
I really want to get it out there again, raise the “visibility” of a book that probably isn’t doing so well because I spent so much time knocking it myself. For no good reason, other than authorial anxiety and negative self-talk!
Otherwise, I’m not feeling too supercharged right now. I should be working on Rocky and Dex, pumping out the words, but my well is dry. Of course, I did just write a 10,000 word outline of the *entire novel* a week ago, so I guess a break is in order while the sediment settles, eh :) But that would involve giving myself some slack, and that just won’t do, right? Well, sometimes you gotta give yourself slack, or you’ll just break the rope, right?
I rarely post hotpix, as y’all know, for one simple reason. Most of the pix I see ain’t that hot. I mean, sure, there’s lots of beef and beef byproduct out there, but I need something more. A little personality, a little humor, a flashing glimpse of a dirty mind. Yeah, this pic will do :)
So! I finished my edit of “The Worst Best Luck” and you know what? IT DOESN’T SUCK! Why o why did I think it did? The mechanic stuff? Yeah, there’s enough in there. I did maybe bullshit a little bit at the beginning to cover up my technical ignorance, but I just snipped that out and the book is the better for it.
It’s a really good book about emotionally abusive relationships, for sure. How bad people can get their hooks into you, see your weaknesses and exploit the fuck out of them. I know I got a couple of “meh” reviews when it came out, and obviously I took them TOO MUCH TO HEART. So, my apologies to you, my bookie wookie – you deserve another chance in the world. Anyway, I’ll be repubbing it this weekend with the edits I made and then I’ll be reflogging it, maybe as a .99 title for a while.
I submitted “Apollo’s Curse” for a BookBub, which would be my third – It’ll be a two day freebie this time instead of a .99’er, because I REALLY want to get that book’s profile raised. It’s my favorite of all my books, and when people love it, oh do they ever love it. It’s not the usual Brad Vance fare, but I still think it could be, should be, my “breakthrough” book.
So I have a sad, kind of. I dropped my Uni class this a.m., for a number of reasons. But the #1 reason is time/energy. I have a day job. I have another job being Brad the Writer. And another job as Brad’s Publicist, loggin’ the floggin’ and pole dancin’ all over the place. And another as Brad’s editor, the cold cruel voice that says, this has to change, this has to go, you need to research this/fact check that. (Never mind channeling Angelina, which isn’t going so well, but that’s another story.)
I love being a student. But I was facing three ten-page papers in a 200 level class (say what?), on top of the time in class/to-from class, and reading for class.
And I just can’t do it – I can’t do everything, without doing most of it half-assed. I’ve seen that too many times in my life: people who are always proving how much they can do, “I’ll own that, I’m on it!” and then they do nothing more than spin plates, busy busy busy. But nothing really gets done, or it gets done half-assed. I can’t be that guy.
One day, when Brad is crowned King of All Media, and I have one less job, then I can take classes again. But a man’s got to know his limitations.
Sooo, I’m editing “The Worst Best Luck,” and guess what? It DOESN’T SUCK. Really it doesn’t. It’s good, so far. Peter’s backstory made me cry this morning. Well, that along with hearing George Michael’s Listen Without Prejudice, which brings back a lot of memories, but anyway.
But yeah, okay, I’m thinking about the climax, which I’m not judging now because I haven’t reread it yet but yeah, I don’t know, we’ll see but I’m thinking maybe that’s what really needs fixing, but anyway. I won’t go there till I get there.
The good financial news is that there’s been a “bank error in my favor,” as Monopoly used to put it (when there was such a thing as a bank error that the bank didn’t immediately catch and then charge you $200 for fixing). An insurance error, actually, that should result in some Casho Grande most soonest! :) :) :) So that means I’ll be able to ship out the $560 for August to IAVA and WWP as soon as I get the check, and not have to wait till the end of October to do so. Yay!
So I had a glass of wine on Friday night (which is what you say when you’ve had a bottle, because it’s technically true that you did have “a glass,” and also true that you had “another glass,” but that way you can tell people that you enjoy “a glass of wine now and then”), and I got loose enough that I finally opened up The Worst Best Luck to see what I had there. Was it as Worst as I’ve been ragging here, or was that just the typical authorial “o fuck it’s shit” reaction to our own work when we’re not happy with it?
I definitely had a block on it, for some reason. When I did my “digital remastering” of everything in my catalog, I left this one off the list. My redheaded stepchild, so to speak. Oh, it’s terrible, terrible, I can’t face it! I was a bit ashamed because of the mechanic part with Matt, the fact that I made up a bunch of bullshit for the auto mechanics of which I know NOTHING, and really have no interest in knowing. And said shame is a good thing, in the long run, since I won’t totally bullshit my way through anything again – Rocky and Dex will require that I learn at least some passable lingo about music recording and production, but I gotta say, that’s more interesting than car stuff :)
Anyway. I started reading it and, so far, it’s not terrible. Especially when I compare it to some other writing I’ve seen lately. (“Tyler Skylerton, I am going to fuck you right and left, and up and down, and all around, until you gasp with delight and beg me to stop and start again,” Ryler Tylerton said to his tall and handsome and perfect lover with breathy breathlessness.) I mean, you know, some seriously Bulwer-Lytton Award level stuff. I know the backstories in WBL are good, even without rereading them – my backstories are always The Shit :)
I do dread getting to the soap operatic ending, which maybe IS terrible, but maybe I can cross that bridge when I come to it. I may cut the scene where Matt listens to Bach and does, um, car stuff, and if I decide I need a better ending, and can think of one that is both plausible and dramatically satisfying, I’ll change it. If not, I’ll leave it and fix what I can. I don’t know! I don’t know why I’ve been yelling “you’re no son of mine!” at this book.
And shit fuckity, my sales are going down the longer I don’t publish again, but I can’t publish until Rocky and Dex is done, which is months away…so I could REALLY use another BookBub between now and then. They rejected “Apollo,” though, you know, try try again. But if it’s sexin’ they’re lookin’ for, WBL has got some good sexin’, if I do recall! And then I can reach out to my three-star reviewers and ask them to take a look at WBL 2.0 and hopefully re-rate it.
At any rate. This public announcement is my way of committing to the revisions, I guess. I’ll fit them in when Rocky and Dex just aren’t flowing for me, and see what comes of it.