LieCover 2I know, I know…but the post title is what gets tweeted etc.  So I need to make sure I’m logging as much flogging as I can, with a new title out.  Did I mention I have a new book out?

(That keeps WordPress from hogging my page with a giant Amazon link, esp. since I dont’ get paid for the referral.)

I’m having a better time this round with the “post-pubbing depression” phase.  It’s always a series of death agonies when your book has been out for TWO DAYS and you’re not #1 yet, because obviously it never will be, and nobody’s gonna read it because successful authors all have 50 5 star reviews on release day, and so, it was all for nothing, I might as well quit :).  (I actually did see an author on Facebook who announced his retirement, since some publisher rejected his latest works…I thought, what’s wrong with you!  Just self publish, dummy!  You’re better off anyway!)

But unlike when I was a wee slip of a smutketeer with no backlist and no fans and no reputation, this time I’ve got a better start out the gate.  I’m still not doing all the shit I’m supposed to be doing (sitting on the finished product while I disti ARCs, do the preorder thing, etc.), but I am on the road to doing some of it.  My buddy Evan J. Xavier is now in the webpage biz, and he’s working on my Real, Legit Website which will even incorporate Mailchimp and a newsletter and all that good stuff…  Honestly, it’s amazing that I’ve been as successful as I am without all that.  So…imagine what might come next…

“Have a Little Faith in Me” garnered 60+ reviews in just a few months, whereas it took a year or more for my other novels to get that many.  So, I’m movin’ on up.

And now the question is, what next?  Officer Joe has dominated my creative consciousness for a few weeks now, and I’ve started my research for his story.  But.  This time around with “Lie” I finally gave the people what they want, i.e., a series.  And the problem with that is, if they love the first one, they’re immediately hungry for MORE.  So, financially ideally, if “Lie” really flies, I should drop everything to write the next one.

But.  I don’t want to just crank something out to have it out.  That’s why I waited on the last stepfucker story until I knew it would be good, and decided #7 was it, end of the line.  My subconscious needs TIME to get the story for #2.  There are a lot of unanswered questions I left open at the end of #1, and I don’t have the answers, either.

Sexy smug guyThe only thing that’s come to me so far is around this picture, one of the Complete Jesse Collection that I downloaded from the stock photo site.  Somehow or another, in #2, we’ll be seeing “Professor Jesse.”  After all, he did announce in #1 that he was the new Moriarty, the Napoleon of Crime…

I can’t believe how quickly #1 happened – I checked the file properties, and discovered that the manuscript was created on March 10…and I finished on April 22!  HOLY SHIT I WROTE A NOVEL IN SIX WEEKS.  Well, I had 17k of outline by March 10, but still.  Wow!  Amazing what you can accomplish without a day job dragging you down.  And, I’ve lost sixteen pounds since I quit my job!  Life is great!  Everyone should quit their job! :)

So, for now, I think I’m going to run on three tracks – Officer Joe ideas, “Lie #2″ ideas, and “Ryan the Escort” ideas.  I’m pretty firm on Joe being next in line, but you know how shit changes around here.  Everything took a back seat to stepfuckers for a while there, when that was red hot.  But, again, Good Wine Takes Time, so I want Lie 2 to ferment as long as it needs to.  And shit, if I’m still writing as fast as I am now?  I can put Joe out, and then Lie 2, both before the end of the summer…

I’m damn happy with it, hope you are too!

LieCover 2I finished the edits this a.m.  Funny, when I finished writing it, I was…unmoved.  No tears, no relief, like I usually feel.  But this a.m., when I’d gone through the whole story, felt the flow, saw how fucking perfect it was for what it is?  I cried.  “Apollo’s Curse” will always be my best novel, its layers and hidden meanings and resonance just can’t be beat.  But “Lie,” for what it is, romance qua romance?  Fuck.  Yeah.

I got it right this time.  It’s fucking CLOCKWORK it’s so good.  If this doesn’t get me my triple #1, I give up.

I’ve got to format it all into chapters, etc. tomorrow.  Then it’s off to press… No rest for the wicked of course, it’s on to “Officer Joe” asap after that.  In “The Right Stuff,” the astronauts threaten the scientists’ funding in their quest for a window in the space capsule, by saying “No bucks, no Buck Rogers.”

The life of the writer is the inverse of the astronaut’s: “No Buck Rogers, no bucks.”  Scribble, Scribble, Mr. Vance…

So I binged all of “Mad Men” in about two weeks.  I’d never seen it because I worked in an office and did NOT want to come home and turn on the TV and watch people working in an office.  Now that I’m free, it’s different!  The first three seasons, it was good, but nothing to worship.  Then season four…holy shit!  This is great!  Suddenly it was funnier, faster, more involving.

Watching so much of it in quantity over a short time, you can’t help but pick up the rhythm of the scenes, the episodes, at least subconsciously.  I started to ask myself, how do they do that?  How do you write scenes for a TV drama?

What I saw was that there’s a particular place in each scene that you just…leave off, when two or more characters have said or done the essentials.  Sure, they’re still there after that, but you don’t need to show it.  It’s not like a play where you have to choreograph entrances and exits.  Sometimes you end a scene with an exit and a slammed door, but you could also just end with a reaction shot, that says what you want to say in that scene.  It’s the way you can just leave off that’s so interesting, that’s the best way I can put it, after the awkward moment at the dinner table or the casual insult, where “the event” isn’t over but the relevant part is.

I started thinking to myself…maybe I could do this, you know, write a TV show.  In the title I put “TV” in quotes because I’m not talking about network TV.  Man, you could beat your head against that wall forever trying to break in.  And…why should you?  I don’t need a publisher if I can self-publish.  I don’t need a network to put a show on YouTube or Vimeo or Whatever.  Hell, I can just write the script and pub it and see who picks it up to film.

I know.  It’s like someone who says, “I can act, I’ve seen a movie!”  I’m not saying I’ll be GREAT at it.  I’m saying I could turn my hand to it.  I already write to the Seven Point Story Structure, which is more appropriate to movies, but hell, I’m smart :) A few good books and I could get started.  It would be nice to do something different for a change, if (and only if) I get enough financial stability from novels that I can allocate some of my creative energy to it.

money-bagsYeah, I’m not the only one to look upon ye works and despair, Lord Bezos.  A number of writers I know have seen their KU borrows cut in HALF OR MORE in the last few days.  WTF?  Did Amazon roll out new software that’s fucking up the counts in the reporting tool?  Did a shit ton of people who had free KU suddenly fail to renew?  Amazonology is, as always, like Kremlinology – a whole lot of guesswork and not a lot of facts. It’s making a lot of folks nervous…

LieCover 2Whoo!  Man, do I ever need a new novel out soon, too.  Sales are kaput!  Thank the FSM I had such a magnificent February and am now reaping the benefits.  Hell, Amazon loves their All Stars so much I got my February bonus a week earlier than they pay the regular royalties!  WHOO MAKE IT RAIN!

I’ll need a serious breakthrough hit to ever get another bonus, though, the way the number of total program borrows has exploded in the last two months. (In February, my 14.8k units was just shy of the Top 50, but for March, I’m told that 12k units was no longer enough to even crack the top 100.)

Anyway :)  A few days of cooling off, then edits, then…LIVE in less than a week!  I’m very happy with it, but not as exhilarated as I’ve been at the end of some novels.  But then, this hasn’t been the emotional obstacle course that some of the others have been, with their traumatic childhoods and religious claptrap and abusive boyfriends.  This is a straight ahead action/romance.  So it hasn’t left me emotionally exhausted, yay!

Officer Joe is busting at the gate to get written!  He’s up next while my subconscious figures out WTF Jesse and Marc will do in the next installment…YES there is a conclusive finale to this book, but it opens the gate to the next one, like a good series should.

LieCover 2And by soon I mean, a week or so!  Yeah, I’m way ahead of schedule on this.  I’ve been pumping out 2000-2500 words a day, seven days a week.  Amazing how much you can accomplish without a day job to get in the way.  My stepfuckers makin’ bacon are still bringing home the bacon, but the big buxx come from novels now.  “Have a Little Faith in Me,” despite my no longer promoting it, still hovers around the 6,000 ranking on Amazon.  Not bad!

And I know this one will do even better financially.  Yeah, Jesse’s backstory got away from me, BUT this time it wasn’t just psychological development, it was plot development.  All the shit that happens in both Marc and Jesse’s backstories is relevant to what happens next.  There’s more excitement in this one than in any novel I’ve done – not, you know, “Sam and Derek” level Argosy-magazine action and killin’ and fightin’ and shit.  But definitely excitement…

I really want that triple crown!  I want to be #1 in Gay Romance, Gay Fiction and, um, like Rick Perry, I forget the third.  O right, it’s weird, there’s these three:




Another of the Mysteries of Amazon as to why an Ebook can chart in both books/gay-lesbian/fiction/fiction/gay (go figure out why that five-level category exists at all) and Kindle/books/gay-lesbian/fiction/gay (or that one either, what the fuck else is there in the Kindle Store besides Kindle eBooks?).  Regardless, I want to rule them all!  When I was #2 in category 3, I was ranked at 400, but #1 was ranked at around 200, so that’s a giant leap in terms of units moved.

And, I found out how much higher the bar has moved for becoming an All-Star:  I now someone who moved TWELVE THOUSAND UNITS and still didn’t get into the top 100.  Just a month ago (February), 15.2k was the bar for the top 50.  So, there’s explosive growth in borrows, which is good, but not good if you’ve got your eye on that bonus.

So, until David Sedaris writes his hilarious piece in the New Yorker on how he’s cheating on his husband with Brad Vance’s novels, and/or The New York Review of Books does a long and generally disdainful piece on contemporary romance, but, also declares “Apollo’s Curse” the greatest novel in the history of everything ever (which it is!), I can forget about being an All-Star again.

Smiling policeman shot in studioAnyway!  Onward and Upward with the Arts!  I’ve been simply EXPLOSIVE in terms of plotting and characterization for Officer Joe’s novel, the next novel in line.  It’s totally coming together on its own, like a gift from the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  As always, I’m reading up on Criminal Justice and Policing (even rented a Policing textbook), and it’s interesting just seeing how many studies there have been on cops and copping.  There are four types of cops, (Enforcers, Idealists, Realists, Optimists), two types of corrupt cops (“Grass eaters,” the donut takers and ticket fixers and beneficiaries of other petty abuses, and “Meat eaters,” whose whole day on the job is dedicated to self-enrichment), and so on.

I love this part of writing a novel the best, I gotta say.  Doing the research sparks off ideas for characters, plot situations, leads me down the rabbit hole to other sources and topics.  This whole book is just plotting itself right now, which is really amazing, because usually I have to put a lot of energy into concocting the ending.  Not this time!

And I have to say.  I really like the idea of a good cop.  A moral man who always does the right thing, a guy who’s taken what he learned in the Army in Iraq about counterinsurgency and is applying it to drug lord turf wars…but who gets in trouble because, well, a lot of people now think most if not all cops are bad cops.  So there’s a presumption of guilt, anywhere there’s not film to exonerate.  So I guess I just gave away a key plot point :)  No matter, because that’s the Crisis/Pinch that will be the hook in the blurb anyway…