Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Coming to grips with becoming a Bestselling Author

Words: 5918
Time: 1:30 - Midnight (2 hrs break)
Mood: Good
Impression: It's all blending together for me

Belated Merry Christmas everyone. I was very lucky to have a great Christmas. And the thing that started me off in a great way was that I found out on Christmas day that my book Everybody Masturbates had become a category bestseller on Amazon. In the Sexuality section, my book had made it to # 5 on the list. I can't even tell you how good that felt?

You know it's amazing. A few months ago I was in the depth of despair. My world wasn't even making sense to me. Where as I had the feeling that I was a good writer that wrote about interesting things, no one was buying my books. I had always believed that if people knew about my books they would buy them but I couldn't figure out how to tell people. Now, a few months later, my life is what I always imagined it to be.

Ya know it's funny, if you look at my list of books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you will see a hell of a lot of 5 star reviews. That's pretty awesome. And if you were to see my erotic books you would see a lot of bestsellers. Until Christmas day, I hadn't been able to get good reviews on a bestseller, but finally I've broken through. Yay!

It's actually kind of funny to see how many bad reviews I get on my erotic titles. In the beginning it really bothered me, and then I realized that they don't really hurt sales that much. But I'm glad to say that sometimes even when my book gets bad reviews, the reviewer gives the author praise. It's true that not everyone can like everything, but I had 2 star review on a book say that the book turned them off more than on. But within the next two sentences the reviewer said that I was a skilled author because I perfectly painted everything into the readers mind. It just so happened that they didn't like what I painted.

Well, that's not complete true. They said the book would be great if it were a tragic romance, but she just didn't care for it as erotica. But of course on the same book I've gotten two 4 star reviews calling the book excellent and a 5 star review calling it outstanding. Erotica, even more so than other books, are about personal preference in terms of... well, in every way. And I've never read another erotic book, so I'm not sure, but I get the impression that my style is kind of unique.

On another topic, approaching pretty quickly is my 3 week vacation. I just have to finish at least 30 erotica stories and I'm good to go. But I have to say that the idea that my sales will decline for 3 straight weeks is kind of hard to stomach. I know I need and deserve a break. I have been working almost non-stop for a year and will have published something like 38 titles since February. There are a lot of people that would consider that worthy of a break. I would like to be one of those people but I don't know if I can be.

There are also a lot of people that would say that performing the almost impossible feat of earning a living from writing is worthy of treating yourself to a rest that will prevent you from losing your mind and your ability to keep writing. I wish I could be one of them.

I guess what I should really remember is that guy who become the first person to make it to Arctic Circle. He rested, unlike the team that left at the same time and then died on the way back. He did his march for the day and then rested. Even when he could get more done in a day, he was disciplined enough to say "enough." And if I want to be the first person to make it to the Arctic Circle, that is what I will have to do... as well as eat my dogs to stay alive, but let's focus on one thing at a time. Maybe I should take this 2 weeks thing off seriously. Maybe I shouldn't even write my non-fiction book during that time. Hmmm... I have to seriously think about this.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dating as a international author: Step 1

Words: 5,600
Time: 1:30 pm - 1:30am (3 hrs of breaks)
Mood: Good
Impression: Ummm... does it matter? Good I guess

It's been a while since I've blogged. I'm doing it today as penance. I was supposed to finish my story today but lost steam. I probably have a 800 words left, but it's the hardest 800 words and I think I'll leave it for tomorrow.

I will resist the urge to beat myself up about it. It just means that now I have to work through Christmas. Tiny Tim will just have to do without their father for Christmas. But hey, I already wasted a bunch of time by being sick for almost a week and trying to get my books translated into German and Spanish as well as getting my books onto an Indian Amazon styled website. (It seems that my book 'Everybody Masturbates' is already on the site. So, I guess that makes me an international writer. :-) )

I have to say that either the euphoria of being a full time writer is wearing off or since the fact that I've only gone out into the sun twice in about 3 weeks, I might be running low on my stock of vitamin D. I don't think that I mentioned here that I was deficient for years without knowing it leading to what was a pretty miserable life most of the time. But once I got on it, everything became brighter.

I think I was over doing it for too long and my body was having a strange reaction that I couldn't explain. But then after I got off of it for a few weeks it went away. It could just be coincidence but probably not. But my spark is starting to dim a little so now, I'm back on the buggers. It is going to take a few weeks before I get back to my sparky normal.

I am glad to say that I have cut back on the amount of work that I've been doing since December. I no longer work 15 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week. I now work between 10 & 12 hours 7 days a week. It isn't quite as harsh but I'm still definitely wearing down. Tonight for example. I couldn't write a simple 6,500 word story in one sitting. I did it with my last story, but I just couldn't today.

And because I haven't only published 3 stories so far this month, my sales haven't risen as they could have. They're up, but only by $10 a day instead of the $20 that I had hoped. Also, I was hoping to have 30 books done by the end of this month but I will be lucky if I have 27. Remember 30 is the magic number. After that everything turns into candy canes and rainbows. It's magical! But I guess I will have to complete it some time in January. My plan was to take 3 weeks off starting on Dec 20th. But if I can't get my work done, I can't play outside with the other kids.

I have instead decided that I will take my break after I've completed my 30th book. After that I will take 3 weeks off. During that time I think I'll write another book called: '10 things that every kid should know before 18... and how to teach them.'

It will be a book about what I truly believe every kid should know before they turn 18. And not cutsie things. Real things that help to make an adult's life better and easier. These are things that schools don't think to teach and most parents don't know so that can't teach it. It is sort of my penance for wasting my skills earning a living writing erotica. I have a lot of penances to pay off. Wow, I must really be a horrible person.

I think after that book, I'm back to work on my erotic short stories. After I write another 30 I will allow myself another break. During that break, I will start making serious plans for writing my YA books. It is starting to come together in my head. These are my legacy books. I'm never sure how much time I have left in my life. But these are the books that I will leave behind and say, look, this is what I did with my life. Judge me on it.

I have noticed a sad thing though. With my current stories, every time I wrote a story that I was sure was going to do well, it did really poorly. So I have to write something that might do well, but that I am not sure will do well. It's too bad that what I consider my best stuff, everyone else feels blah about. But hey, all of the stuff I thought was OK at best is earning me a living. Since I rarely love anything I write, it bodes well for me to continue making a living.

I guess I should probably also mention something that's happening in my personal life. Well, I made a promise to a friend of mine that now that my financial woes are lifting I will start dating. What I promised her was that the next time I went out to a group thing with strangers, I was going to ask someone out for coffee. I was actually at something a few weeks ago that had a ton of beautiful women at it, but it wasn't the right place for scoping.

But soon everything will be right and I will again have a dating life. Do you like the way I said that as if I ever had a dating life? I dated more as a 22 year old than I ever did in my 30's. I'm not sure why that is. I guess beautiful women stopped expressing an interest in me. Oh course, I meet less black women now. That might have had something to do with my ease of dating back then. Hmmm... something to think about.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How I sold 1,000 books this month; and Fixing Cupid giveaway numbers

Words: 4,224
Time: 3pm - Midnight
Mood: Good
Impression: It pretty good

So it seems that I was pretty much a slacker this month. I spent the first 10 days of this month focused on Run From the Reaper, Fixing Cupid and Samurai Zombie Hunter, and I only wrote 6 shorts this month. But the last 4 days I have been working on one story. I remember writing 2 stories in one day. This month 4 days for one story. Slacker!

On a positive note, since the last time I blogged Fixing Cupid became the most downloaded humor book on Amazon on Black Friday. That was nice. After that I contacted a couple of agents and today the first got back to me. It is actually one who has requested material from me before. He specializes in turning books into movies. We'll see how it goes.

On another positive note I sold over 1000 erotic books this month. Yep, over one thousand. I did give away 16,000 copies of Fixing Cupid in less than a week but we won't focus on that. 1,000 is a lot, right? Sure it is.

My goal for next month is to sell 1,400 books. They could be erotic or not. I don't care. To that end I am going to try and write 7 books in December. Theoretically I can do it. I wrote 10 in October. But I have to say that the ideas aren't coming quite as quickly anymore. Certainly my last few books have been slow going because each have been in new franchises.

What I do is I come up with subject matter that sells. Let's say for example that there's a big market for stories about guys that dress up in plush anime costumes designed to look like sticks of dynamite. I would call the franchise something like Anime's Big Bang. I would then write 4 stories around the same subject and then package them as a bundle making them 5 separate salable titles.

That has been working very well for me because once someone buys and likes one, they will more than likely buy the other 3. But the trick is creating that first title. A lot of thought has to go into that first book to make sure that the most important aspect of it can be mirrored into 3 other books. And coming up with that can wear a guy out mentally. My last 3 books were the first books in three different franchises. Tiring.

One of those 3 has been a great success. The other 2 are slow. I'm going to write at least one more book in each of the 3 franchises. One I will definitely write the 4 books to complete the bundle. For the other bundle I will have to wait and see which one sells best between the two. One has been selling slowly but has been doing OK. The other one might just need some time to grow. We will have to see.

My goal for December is also to get all of my writing done by the 20th and then take the next 3 weeks off. I will have 31 titles if I stay on course and 30 is always thought of as being the magic number for sales. If I sell 1,400 copies that will be magic enough for me. But we will see. 31 copies would also mean that I have 5 bundles. And personally think that just seems very cool. So that will be the goal.

Oh, also I got another good review for Fixing Cupid today on Amazon. It's title was 'Hilarious, Dry Wit.' It was pretty complimentary.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Run From The Reapers is climbing the Charts

Words: 5,424
Time: 4pm - 2:30am (3 or 4 hrs of breaks)
Mood: Great
Impression: It's good

So I've had a couple of interesting things go on in the last couple of days. First Fixing Cupid has gotten another 5-star review. This time it's on Barnes and Noble. Second, Fixing Cupid is being offered in a free promotion and 2,500 people downloaded it in the first day pushing it to #3 in Free humor and #75 free over all. It's nice that people find the book interesting. Very few free books get this type of attention.

The most important thing that has gone on though is that Run From The Reaper, which was offered for a free promotion made it to #2 in Occult fiction and #17 in thrillers before it was taken off the free list. That's not the great news though. The great news is that once it came off of the free list, it started selling. The book is now climbing the charts. This morning it was #82 in occult and right now it's #57.

I have to say that this makes me feel a lot better because I was feeling a tremendous amount of distress because I kept thinking that it is a great story with a great cover and blurb yet people weren't buying it. I had come to believe that it was because people didn't know it existed. It seems that it was true.

I'm not sure how long it will keep climbing because the price keeps shifting between $1.99 and $2.99. But today alone it has sold more books than it has in it's pre-free list history. That feels nice.

The book I'm really excited about becoming paid again is Fixing Cupid. I have always believed that this book has the most upside and its number of free downloads has proven my point. So when this book becomes paid again, it should sell even more copies than RFTR did. And finally the book will be worth all of the effort I put in it. But we'll have to see.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Friend recruiting starts now; 5 star reviews

Words: 3,541
Time: 2:30pm - 10:15pm (2 hr break)
Mood: Great
Impression: Good

I watched Charlie Rose 2 nights ago. On it was Jim Collins. He is the author of one of my favorite books Good To Great. He has come out with a new book about how start ups survive difficult times to become great big companies.

It was an interesting show and I learned something from it. I'm proud to say that I have many of the qualities of his example of great start-up company leaders. I have incredible focus, I have incredible devotion to projects, I think of things from both a creative and business stance and if I'm given time to make an important decision, I use ever minute of it researching all sides before deciding.

There was one thing though that I pretty glaringly lack. Jim was telling a story about this guy who was the first to make it to the North Pole. He mentioned that one of the things that allowed him to make it there on time and to bring his entire team back alive was that not only did he cover the territory he said he would during the bad days, but when he had the good days, he only traveled the alloted amount, no more. I don't do that. I will cover my allotted amount of work on a bad day and then try to do twice as much on a good day. I'm positive that that is not going to help me return from the North Pole alive.

So thinking about that, I have decided to allow myself not to finish my latest story tonight. Instead I will do 2 editing passes on the story I wrote yesterday, create the cover for yesterday's work and then publish it. I should be done by about 6am. I'm not sure that it is exactly what Jim Collins would recommend, but baby steps, right?

I think generally speaking I'm running out of gas on the writing though. My plan was to push as hard as I can until Dec 20th and then take a break. My goal for this month was to release 8 new titles. I had to work on Samurai Zombie Hunter for the first week of the month so that time was shot. Since then I have published 2 shorts and I've written 1 and a half others. I will probably start another on Saturday and all three should be published by Monday.

That will leave me 9 days to release three more books. It's doable, I guess, but it seems that I'm needing more rest periods than I did last month. I'm not sure how many 15 hr days I've done this month but I know there are fewer. This week alone I've had 2 non 15 hour days and it's just Thursday. I'm just slacking I'm telling you, but according to Jim Collin's research, 15 hour days are bad anyway, so maybe it's a good thing in disguise.

But if I can manage to make my quota of 8 titles this month, I will have 21 erotic titles overall. So If I can do 6 by December 20th, that would mean that I have 29 or 30 title (the count includes compilations) before I take my 3 week break. That number is important in the erotica game because 30 titles is the magical number when author are thought to take off in earnings. What does "taking off" mean? Well I would love to believe that it means between $4k and $6k a month. I'd take it, but we'll have to see if it is actually offered to me.

I think that most of the people who took off at 30 titles had something that I won't have though, more time. Most people don't write 30 titles in three months. Time is important so that Amazon can do their algorithm magic that puts your titles in front of a lot of eyeballs. But, like I said, we'll see.

On another front, I got a confirmation this week that I am still as psychic as I have always been. I would usually explain what happened but it is kind of personal to someone else so I can't. But needless to say, I am god damn impressive... And Tao of Psychology is a really great book that I have proven to be incredibly accurate multiple times. And the 2 main times have been incredibly impressive.

Other highlights since I last wrote. My books Fixing Cupid and Run From The Reaper have both received 5 star reviews. It was the first for Fixing Cupid and the first for Run From The Reaper on Barnes and Noble. RFTR is averaging 4.5 stars on B&N. Cool!

Also, I've made a realization that I am once again down to having only about 6 or so close single friends in Los Angeles. It used to be that whenever I had something I had an extra ticket for I could pull someone on a moment's notice. Now, all of my old reliables are married or engaged or in a serious relationship. WTF? So now I have to go out recruiting. Damn it!

It should be good though. I'm also looking to fill the slot of a close female buddy that may or may not be in a commit relationship with someone else, but you have to open about the fact that you think I'm attractive, you have to secretly like me as much as your boyfriend, and you have to make time for me on a regular bases. That's slots been open for a while now and the person I've been grooming is clearly not going to work out. Let me know if you know of anyone that fits the bill.

Now I'm back to work.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm happy again, Samurai Zombie Hunter and other revelations

Words: 10,000
Time: 2 days
Mood: Great
Impression: It's good enough

Lots of interesting things have happened since my last post. First about today's writing. I'm combing two days of numbers because last night I finished writing at 4 AM and my head hurt something fierce. I was able to write 5,500 words for the day even though I went to see a movie screening of J. Edgar Hoover. I didn't like the movie.

Today about 4,500 words and took lots of breaks, but I still could finish the story. And now again, even though I stayed very hydrated and kept eating and eating, my head hurts again. This time I had to stop. I will just finish tomorrow. It is times like this that I'm reminded that writing isn't like making a widget or a cog.

When you think of it, writing is kind of an amazing thing. It is one of the few professions where the practitioner creates so much of the end product. A movie director might be another and some inventors are another. And because a writer has to create every single moment in their head, it makes writing quite an ability. My fall back thought always was that anyone can write. But perhaps that's not true. Maybe it takes a special person to write a story even though almost anyone can tell one.

Now onto a few of the interesting things. After a year of working on it, Samurai Zombie Hunter is released. The book is unlike anything else out there and I'm proud of it. I reread it before I put it out and the book is damned interesting. The editor of the book referred to me as a talented storyteller after reading only half of it and the second half is even better. The story's backdrop is this zombie world, but the heart of it is a human story about what it takes for a human (specifically a man) to not feel alone. It's unique I tell you.

The second big thing is that October was my first full month of selling erotica and in that first month I sold over 700 books. That is quite an accomplishment. It took me writing 11 books but it was still quite a feat. It also meant that I made enough to cover more than my month,s expenses. If it continues for the next few months, I will be able to only write as a source of income. That would be awesome! I was kind of ashamed that I was writing erotica initially, but then it dawned on me, with only him creativity and words, I can bring people to the point of sexual excitement. As a man with an ego, that is pretty friggin' cool!

Third bit of big news. I'm happy! Some of you might remember a post from a while back when I had hit my lowest point. It was low... and the post was dark. In it I very openly expressed how displeased I was with my life and hoped that it would draw to a conclusion as quickly as possible. Well, all it seem to take to pull me out of it was to achieve a life long goal of sustaining myself in a field that I can't be fired from, revolves around creative expression and is compensated based on merit. Well, that ended up to be writing. And me having sold what I have, makes my life make sense again.

I always believed that I should have been able to do what I did last month. And now that I have, the world makes sense again. And now that it makes sense again, I can trust all of my other beliefs again. And now that I can trust all of my other beliefs again, I feel a sense of peace that I have haven't felt in over 4 years. I have become the man I set out to be when I was 17 and this time I mean it in a good way.

So please check out Samurai Zombie Hunter. I swear it is a good book. Just read the sample chapter if you don't believe me. If you don't like it, don't get the book. It isn't for everyone, but if you like the sample, you will love the book. Please enjoy!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm rocking my sales!

Words: 5,124
Time: 3pm - 9:30 (.5 break)
Mood: Good
Impression: It might have crossed a line... yet again.

So my sales have been rocking. Yet today was a mediocre day and I started to feel just like I did when I was making no sales. Apparently I can't be happy when I check my sales. I think I might have to ban my checking of sales again. I have to say that it's fun when I'm making more than 30 sales a day. When it's less I don't feel great.

I guess the issue is that at the beginning of the month I set a arbitrary goal. Apparently it was a good goal because now at the end of the month I am super close to making it and not making it. Right now I am just short of it. If my last release would have taken off like every other book that I've published I would have made it. But it did.

The book I wrote today is the third book in a franchise that is doing well. If I get it out before the weekend I could make goal. Tomorrow though I will be writing a third book in another series. If I can release both books I'm sure I'll make my goal.

But there's only so much I can milk that franchise. I am going to have to come up with a few new ideas. It will be a challenge.

I have decided that I need to get back to having a life. That's big talk on my part. Personally I don't think you should believe me at all. I talk big but usually when it comes down to it, I wuzz out and spend my day working. I'm just a work-a-holic. And now that my hard work is paying off, it is hard to resist.

I was thinking the other day, I have never had hard work pay off before. Don't get me wrong, there was never a time (after age 17) that I wasn't a hard worker. My father ingrained it in me very heavily. Everyone I've ever worked with has noticed it. But I never remember it actually paying off.

I certainly got opportunities because of my hard work. I've gotten a lot of offers. I just have never accepted any of them. And the opportunities that I really wanted I wasn't offered. So as a result, I've never truly benefited from my hard work before. All of the opportunities that I have actually gotten have been because of who I know... from hard work, not so much.

But with the books, when I write and release them, people buy them. And the more I write the more people buy. Okay, except for the last book. I've only sold 3 so far. I have to work on that. But this just feeds into my work-a-holic tendencies. Because no matter how much I work on myself or whatever, I still rarely find someone I can connect with, and because I'm a little nuts, the girls I find are nuts too and have interests elsewhere.

Okay, this is making me unhappy when I should be the happiest I've ever been in my life. So I'm going to stop this blog now and go watch an episode of True Blood. If I don't fall asleep after that, I will mentally outline what I will write tomorrow.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finished my 3rd story in two days.

Words: 5792
Time: 4:30 - 2:30am (1.5 hrs break)
Mood: Great
Impression: It's good.

Today I wrote book 2 of my second most popular book. I think it's a pretty great follow up. I think that it represents the title even more so than the 1st book. I found the cover models first so I know that it won't be as appealing as my first book (my cover images are super great for the first book). But I think that those that will buy the 2nd because they liked the 1st one will be even more pleased. So now if I want to write nothing but crap for every other book in this series I can, because my readers will give me a pass knowing that the first two were so good... I'm just saying.

Ya know, there's one thing for sure. When you spend your entire day writing, there's not too much to blog about. So I'll just say that my plan this week is to get these 3 books published. I was thinking that 3 would be the magic number allowing me to generate my necessary income. That would give me 9 books. I would like to write 3 more before the end of the month giving me 12. I would then create 3 anthologies giving me 15 titles total. That wouldn't be bad for a month's worth of work.

We'll see if I can do it. I'll just take it one step at a time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I wrote 2 short stores today. I'm back!

Words: 8,961
Time: 2am - 3:45pm (1hr break)
Mood: Great
Impression: It's good

So it's been a while since I have posted. That is because I haven't been writing. I've been editing. Since my last post, I edited 2 short stories and 4 novelettes. Today was the first day that I got back on the writing train and I did it with gusto.

Here's an update on how my career is going. In short, I am now an erotic fiction writer and any books that I write outside of erotica, I have to consider a hobby. That was actually what was so painful for me before. I had come to the realization that I had to consider my writing as a hobby because I wasn't making enough money at it to sustain myself. And the truth is that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make it generate real money.

That has now all changed. I have released 6 erotica books and they are all selling well considering that the first one was released 18 days ago and the last one was 2 days ago. In short, I see a very short path to how my book earnings can cover all of my monthly expenses. There is even a possibility that it could happen this month.

I have stopped checking my revenue on my best sites for sales, but after the first week of sales I was making enough per day that if it continued I would make enough to pay my bills. That was with 2 books. I stopped checking those sites when I realized that my sales were dropping there. Apparently, those sites are great for new releases and that's it. So instead of watching the dream die, I decided to only watch the ones that matter for long term success, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And on those sites, I have only been increasing my sales per day.

My rough guess told me that if I were able to release 3 more books this month, I had a shot of generating enough per day to earn my living. However, something unexpected has happened. In my calculation, I completely disregarded my 4 book series. You might have read in earlier blogs how I decided that those books won't sell well. So I have been counting the entire series as one book. Well, on Amazon, Book 1 of that series is my best selling book. And even if I add up 2 through 4, that combined number would still be my best selling book. In other words, my series can carry the load of at least 2 books.

But if I added 3 more books that are just as popular as my current books, my monthly expenses are met. That is also assuming that my Amazon and B&N sales don't increase or decrease. Because of internal marketing factors sales on those two sites tend to increase over time. But even if they just stayed the same, I can earn my living writing. I can't even tell you how great that would be. :-)

But what is great on top of all of that is that I have come with a really great idea for a book. The title is great, the story is intriguing and alluring and I'm sure that I will create a great cover. And on top of that, the book is in the most successful erotica sub genres. All of my other books are in a less popular sub genre. So I think that this new book will become my best selling book. That would be awesome because this book is the first in a series of about 8. It would all be good.

So, today I wrote 2 short stories. One is the one I just described and the second is a book two under the same title of one of my other books. Tomorrow, I will try to either write a third book in the series I added to today or write a book 2 for my other title that I haven't mentioned. If I were superman I would write both books like I did today. We'll see.

And to address something that I wrote about in my last post, I broke my word again. I had said that I would edit all of my books before I wrote again.That would include Samurai Zombie Hunter. I scrapped that plan when I realized how well my erotica was selling. I can't put my hobby ahead of earning a living.

On a personal note, I have been working exceptionally long days. However, I have been at peace more now than I have in years. After so many missed successes, this one success validates me in a way that I needed. And now I feel great because of it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I have hit a new low point with my writing career

Words: 3,818
Time: 12:15 - 5:30 (.5 hr break)
Mood: Pretty good
Impression: Questionable at best

So I hit a new low point today. Today I wrote porn. And I'm not talking erotica, I'm talking porn. In erotica the characters have a bit of a back story. There is even conversation that doesn't involve sex. Porn is, 'let's see how quickly I could get these people naked and doing it.'

And it isn't just that I wrote porn. I have no problem with porn. I am a consumer of porn. Porn absolutely fills a purpose in society and I'm OK with it. No, I took my short story a step further than that. It wasn't my intention when I sat down but something someone once told me seeped into my mind as I started and I thought "wouldn't that be an interesting character trait." And after that thing was added, I just ran with it and now I feel like I might have crossed a line... again. The last time that happened: Everybody vs The Ferret: 3)

Here's the thing, last week I was watching a 1980's rerun of Siskel & Ebert, the movie review show. It was a special that discussed the "disturbing rise" of slasher films. At the time both men decided the fact that violence was being enacted one scantly clad women was an attack on the growing feminist movement. But the entire time I'm listening to them I'm thinking how well meaning but wrong they were.

A few years ago there was a study done where they stuck special instruments into women's vagina and on guy's penises. They then had the subjects watch horror films. Afterwards the subjects were asked how sexually aroused they were while watching it. More than half said not at all. However when the scientist examined their instruments' results they found that almost all of them were sexually aroused. The truth is that normal, good human beings are sexually aroused by things that scare them. Today I exploited that fact and added it into my porn.

I did have certain rules. It all had to be consensual and what not, but yep, I mixed fear and sex. And I'm not talking BDSM, I'm talking fear. Yep, it's a new low point for me. And it's time for me to stop writing.

After I finished I also realized that I now have 7 stories that all need to be edited and released. I have to say that I have been starting to feel a little depressed that I'm not selling more. I have written so much and yet, this month is turning out to be my worst month ever which takes over from last month as my worst month ever. I can't explain it. Even my Everybody Masturbates books are suffering.

But when I catch my senses I think, yes I've been working a lot, but all of my best, most marketable work is sitting idol on my computer. I don't think that I have the right to complain about not selling well if I have 7 stories that I haven't released.

So having said that, I vow not to write another new story until all of these books are finished and ready to go out. I was going to say until they are released but that will take a minimum of 7 weeks so that might be a little long to wait. So that's my vow, I will not write again until everything that I have written is done.

Granted, I'm aware of my previous vows to quit writing and accept that the vows are worth as much as the paper I write them on (ummm, I don't write the down), but still that is my vow. And this time I mean it!

I have also made a realization last night. I'm a guy that's prone to addiction. Not the obvious ones because I consider myself more unique person than that. But the first addiction that I ever realized I had was that I was a workaholic. After I made the realization I put an end to that and it crawled into another area of my life.

But for a while I have been hoping that if I had to have an addiction it would return back to being a workaholic because at least that one tends to build up your life as much as an addiction could. Well, happy birthday to me. I now barely leave my house and I rarely ever see my friends. I guess though, it's a lot better than drugs, alcohol or food. What can I do but accept and move on. Oh well. And like I said, happy birthday to me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wrote my first ever short story today. Here's why:

Words: 5,678
Time: Noon - 6:45p (.5 hr break)
Mood: Good
Impression: Not as arousing as the others

So as another ploy not to start editing I decided to write something else. This came out of the fact that I've been talking to erotic story authors and they've been telling me where the audience is for certain types of stories.

Erotica, like romance has mostly a female readership. Not realizing to what extent it was a female readership, I wrote erotica for men. (Seriously, men just can't catch a break unless they write Sci-Fi or thrillers)

Well, while writing my last series I had an idea for a book that could still be appealing to any readers of my series while appealing even more to women. This story does that. I came up with the details about it in the shower this morning and wrote it today.

Is it good? I don't know. It didn't really get much of a rise out of me. But it's definitely a very open market. But I'm not sure if it's open because people aren't interested in it or because people don't think so far out of the box.

Either way it has a great title and the basics of the story are pretty good. Since a lot of people don't review erotica, that should be all it needs to sell. And get this, I can charge for it just as much as I charge for the book that I spent 3 months writing. Erotica is freakin' crazy!

Tomorrow I have Touch Rugby, but I'm considering writing one more story. To make it a total of 6 titles or 3 stories if you count the series as one since Book 2 only gets sales if readers like book one. That should be enough to test to waters. If those 6 do OK, I'll do more. Otherwise I will actually have to write 'Hide From the Reaper.' But we'll see.

My First Review of Samurai Zombie Hunter

I finished my conversation with the editor from Samurai Zombie Hunter today. The highlight of the conversation? He said that one of my sentences was the funniest line he has ever read. Just a little background on him, he just got his masters in literature. He's read a lot... so there's definitely that. That will go down as one of the best compliments of my life. It adds to two other phenomenally great compliments that I've gotten.

On top of that, he said that he definitely thought it was entertaining, had genuine suspense and holds the reader's attention. Now on the must-be-corrected side, he REALLY wanted me to describe more of the world than I did. He even kind of lectured me about it. Not a problem though. That's really easy to fix.

I didn't feel like editing today so instead of doing anything else I decided to work on the cover of my erotica series. I have something. I'm not sure how good it is but there's not a lot of great erotic stock footage out there for my niche. I had to make do with what I could find.

Past that, today I played racquetball. My ankle sprain didn't hurt at all. The swelling is almost completely gone. I think I'll be good to go for touch rugby on Saturday. Sweet!

I'm considering writing a quick short story tomorrow. I could definitely finish it tomorrow and write one more on Friday. Can you tell that I really don't want to edit. Maybe what I will do is make all of this week a writing week and then next week is nothing but editing. Yeah, that sounds good. Because every writer should have 6 stories that are waiting to be edited... right?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My erotica book series is done... and I can once again start to wear pants.

Words: 7,527
Time: 12:30 - 12:15 (2 hrs break)
Mood: Good
Impression: It's between Ok and good

As I look at the clock I realize that I wrote a lot today. The word count isn't particularly impressive but I basically spent 12 hours in front of my computer. That is a lot. And my head feels like I spent that much time in front of it.

I'm not sure how great the final moments of the book are. I think it works, but sexually speaking it's hard to top all of the stuff that I've already written in this series. So instead I pulled it back. Instead of making it crazy, I made it very simple. I didn't even make it very long. It was just enough of to bring the series to a close. I'm not sure if it's because I ran out of energy or if it is what it is supposed to be. I guess I will get to it again when I do the second pass. So if I feel I need more at that point, I'll add it.

So today I finally spoke to the editor of Samurai Zombie Hunter. I have to say that I'm not sure he liked it. It is clear to me he is for some reason very impressed with my ability to plot out the story. I guess that's a pretty similar compliment to the one that I most often get which is about my storytelling. But he seemed pretty cantankerous when he was giving me feedback.

Since this is the first time I am working with him I didn't know what to think of it. Did he just really not like something about the story that he wasn't relating or was this just his character. Certainly he very clearly wanted things changed. And none of it would require more than a day or two to change. But it was almost like he was resentful about something in the story. I can't tell. But our conversation was interrupted and we are going to speak again tomorrow.

One thing that did concern me though was that he missed a very important aspect of the book. I have pretty complex story structures. Generally speaking a reader starts the book thinking that it is about one thing and at the end they realize that it was about something completely different. I have done that technique successfully with two other novels.

But for whatever reason he made a kind of harsh criticism and after I thought about it, I realized he thought that because he had missed what the book was really about. That's not good. He has his masters in literature. If anyone, he should have been able to get it, it would have been him.

Granted, he did say that the story structure is clear and good and that the character arc is very clear. But some how he missed what the story structure and character arc came together to say. I didn't even think that it was that complex of an idea. It is the exact same one I explored in Happiness Thru the Art of... Penis Enlargement. He should have gotten it.

Tomorrow when we speak I will discuss it with him and find out what caused him not to see what I was dishing out. I will also get once and for all his general impression about the book in a thumbs up, thumbs down sort of way. Either way I'm not concerned though. I have finally come to realize that there really is no way to please absolutely everyone. And he strikes me as a particularly critical guy. So because he may or may not have cared for it has no bearing on how much others will like it. I often wish it does when the reviews are all universally positive. But that doesn't mean anything either... darn it!

Tomorrow, I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Maybe work on editing Samurai Zombie Hunter. I'm starting to get emails asking where it is. Perhaps that would be the best use of my time. But in either case, tomorrow I can once again start to wear pants. I like my junk as much as the next guy. But staring at it all day by yourself gets old. Oh yeah, not wearing pants is something I was doing because I am currently living along and certain body parts are like a barometer to how successful your erotic writing is. So that being the case, I, of course, stopped wearing pants. But tomorrow they're back on.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today was a writing day that I will never, ever forget... never!

Words: 3,825
Time: 4:30 - 11:15p (1.25hr break)
Mood: Great
Impression: It's hot

I will start of by saying that if you are a person under the age of 18 stop reading now. Or now. And if you didn't stop reading there, then serious, stop reading now!

Ok, now that only the adults are left, let me tell you about my experience today. Do you ever remember watching a movie as a kid or younger person and something in the movie happens that you just assume is for dramatic effect? The best example I can think of for myself was when watching the movie 'One Night Stand' with Wesley Snipes.

There is a scene in the beginning of that movie when Snipes has sex with his wife Ming Na and they are like animals. I mean they screw each other so hard that it is barely believable that two people could get that turned on. And at the end of the scene both are just exhausted and Ming is laying back with her hand clutching her crotch like it was on fire.

When I saw that scene as a kid I didn't believe that such a scene could take place in reality. As a more experienced adult, I now know that it could.

Another such scene that I saw as a younger person involved watching a woman rhyth around in her bed in lustful agony and desire, tearing the sheets up and moan in amorous pangs. I had probably seen that scene once or twice and clearly no person could be turned on as much as that. In fact, I think one of the times that I saw it was in the movie Ghost Busters. Clearly it was being done as an exhaturated joke. Hell, let me put it this way, I'm not laughing anymore.

So I wrote a scene today, and I seriously don't know what came over me. It was like there was an alien in my body that was fight to get out. It was like I was possessed by some dog demon and I could do nothing that wasn't subject to it's will. I was bang on the keys so hard I'm surprised that my fingers don't hurt. And the times when I had to throw myself onto my bed were incredibly "intense."

Seriously, a lot of you who are reading this probably know me. I come across as a pretty asexual sort of guy. But I completely lost my mind today. I seriously lost my mind. Right now there is no one else living in my apartment so it's all good. But my god, I'm not sure what I would have done if someone was here. I think that I almost completely lost my senses. It was just friggin' crazy!

Anyway, that was the last aggressive sex scene that I'm going to write in the series. I have only one more sex scene to write tomorrow and it will be a lot more gentle and romantic. It is the one that I am going to end the series on. And it won't be so, ummm, crazed. DAMN!

On another topic I had another job interview today. I have to say that I kind of want this one. It isn't in production, but it is for a new division for an online company and I would get the freedom to set up the marketing of the company however I see fit. That would interest me.

I have a tendency to be seen as overqualified for the positions I apply for, but the new division they're starting doesn't have upper management for the new division yet, and they are looking for someone that they could move into it if everything goes well. That would be perfect for someone like me. And the best part of it was they responded well to the ideas that I mentioned on the fly during the meeting. I think it could be a good place to be.

And on the off chance that I get the job, it would allow me the financial support I need to take the next year and write the YA sci-fi series I've been talking about. That might be interesting. But I won't know for a couple of weeks and during that time, I have to do a second pass on these novelettes (although I'm positive that I won't change much). And I have to address the edits for Samurai Zombie Hunter.

Oh, and on another positive note, I found an editor who used to edit for Hustler Magazine that is interested in editing this erotic romance series. I've talk to him about it and he's game as long as I'm OK with him working it around his other projects and I am. So that's good.

Well, that's it for now. Tomorrow I finish off the series. And considering the fact that I couldn't continue with the abstinence thing, the writing is still pretty hot, if you ask me.

Started my last book in my erotica series... half way done.

Words: 6,462
Time: 12:30 - 7:30 & 9:30 - 12:30
Mood: Okay
Impression: It's a lot of story

So today I started the final book in my erotica series. I was concerned about this story because I wasn't able to work sex into it organically except for twice. All of the other stories had 4 or 3 scenes. But there is only so much sex two characters can have with other people and still realistically have feelings for one another. But what I figured is that if readers make it all the way to the forth book, they're there because they want to know how the story concludes. I can safely say that the story concludes satisfactorily.

I, again, have been giving a lot of thought to doing the YA book series. Apparently there are a lot more female and girl readers of Sci-Fi then I thought. I now understand how Susan Collins was able to sell millions of copies of her Hunger Game series. So now the only thing that holds me back is the fact that I feel like I would be giving up on earning a living as a writer by taking a year off and devoting myself to writing it.

I have decided a while ago that I won't sell very many of my erotica series even though I'm very glad I did it. But I would have to really refocus my stuff if I wanted to write profitable erotica. Did you know that 60% of all fiction sold is romance? And 90% percent of those that buy romance are women? So writing erotica for men, not the best idea, unless you really go after a niche, which I guess is what I'm doing. But still.

I did get back the edits on Samurai Zombie Hunter this weekend. This editor was the first to suggest more than just cosmetic changes. They really aren't anything huge, but he gave it to me 2 days ago and I can't seem to get him on the phone to discuss his impressions on the book. I just don't get this guy. I just don't.

On another note, I've gotten more series with my twitter account. I have also started a new account. My new account name is @cyoungmiller. It is much easier to remember.

I'm kind of fried from writing right now. I started late so I had to work late. And tomorrow I have a job interview at 2pm. That means that I will have to probably do another long day. I doubt I'll finish in either case though. I think I have too many hours left for one day.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I can finally recognize true genius... and I've realized I can't get there

Words: 8,305
Time: 10:45 - 6:30 (hour break)
Mood: Great
Impression: Good

I learned something today. There are so many more things possible with writing than I have ever imagined. It could just be the books I've read but the level of storytelling that's possible in books is rarely ever approached much less achieved.

Today I finished the 3rd book in my erotica series. I made a couple of realizations during the process. First, this is probably my most psychologically complex story. And I think that's saying a lot because I strive for psychologically complexity. The second book in that list would be 'Happiness Thru The Art of... Penis Enlargement.' And HTTAOPE is pretty complex, but this series tops it.

I didn't even intend for it to be such when I started it. I seriously just started the series thinking I was going to write books that will help people get their rocks off. But it is way more than that now.

Second, there is a level of complexity that's possible in books that I never imagined. What I wrote today suddenly clued me into that. Today was the third book. And only in this book does the reader (and I) realize that the name that the second lead gives the main lead in the first couple pages of the book actually has a deep psychological meaning that neither he nor I realized when it was given. And because that name was given, it paints everything that had occurred in the first two books in a much different light.

Think of like this: You know 'Rosebud' in the movie Citizen Kane, what if it actually turned out that Kane subconsciously spent his entire life trying to recreate the world that existed in his youth instead of just thinking about 'Rosebud' on his death bed. If Kane had done that, it would then have repainted everything you saw in the movie in a completely different light in that last moment. It would have truly, truly brilliant instead of just being on the of the greatest movies of all time.

That is basically the structure that was created in my series. None of that was designed into the outline of the book. I don't think that I have the skill to design something so delicate as that into a story. That just came out in the writing process.

And now, only because I have seen what I created in this series have I been given glimpses into what is possible with plot structure. I can't lock my mind onto it yet, but in the back of my subconscious I'm starting to understand that it is possible to... I don't know... weave a story that flips back on itself twice where the second flip doesn't speak to where the character is or what they're doing but instead to what life is about.

I'm not sure though. It's something floating in the back there that I can't completely grasp. But whatever it is, it's a structure that I've never seen before. I'm sure that some author somewhere has done it. Maybe that's why people call books like Great Expectations and East of Eden their favorite books. Maybe these books have that amazing story structure. Or maybe it's a book like Anna Karenina. Maybe that's why people think that book is so great.

Although I have to say that I don't thing that story structure is possible with one book. That level of complexity can only be possible in either one very, very long book, or a series. But what ever author was able to accomplish that structure I can say, hands down, no matter how many copies they've sold, they are a truly great, genius writer.

I don't think that I can do that. I think there's a line in the movie Amadeus where a character says something like "God gave me enough knowledge to recognize true genius but not enough to acheive it." I think in there will be the punch line of my life. Here's what I think my life's punchline will be: 'On my fourteenth book which happened to be a part of an erotica romance series, I gained the ability to recognize the story structure of true genius, but not the ability to create it.' I do believe that that will be the punch line for my life. Happy Birthday to me!

On a related point, I have been giving my YA book series more consideration. It turns out that the most popular YA book/s right now are part of a violent, Sci-Fi series starring a girl. They are complex and brutal. I don't write that type of book. But that does speak well about having a girl in quasi-violent, Sci Fi book series. Girls apparently will read Sci-Fi books if you make the characters cool and allow them to be able to relate to the character/story.

Also, I realized why I should write the YA book series. It has nothing to do with money or audience. That YA series offers my best chance at greatness. That double flip back story structure would be possible with that series.With everything else that it will do, entertain, excite, whatever, the series is supposed to show us who we are at our core. In other words, when we are stripped apart from the human animal, what is it that remains?

If I ever were to accomplish greatness in the field of writing, that series is where my best chances lie. So maybe what I should do is stop trying to be an author that sells and instead, try one more time to achieve that elusive thing that I am always chasing. Maybe I should take an "anything job" for the next year and focus entirely on one thing, writing something great, with a full understanding that it may never see the light of day. And even if it did, people probably won't buy it.

If I were to do that though, I can pretty much guarantee that it would be my last stand. I'm pretty sure that psychologically speaking I wouldn't be able to recover from that. It's already tough enough doing what I'm doing with little chance of success. Psychologically speaking I need to believe that I have the possibility, no matter how remote that my life could become better than it is. To give up entirely on being successful... I could do it, but I could never recover from the effects of it. And I don't say that lightly. I would never recover from the effects of giving up entirely for the possible hope that after I'm dead someone may look at it and say that it was truly great.

That's a really tough call. I wonder if I would ever do anything worth while with my life otherwise though. I never liked the idea of living my life just taking us space. But actually pulling that trigger on my life, actually pulling the rip cord and saying here is where 'what I consider to be my life' will end is a really tough call.

Tomorrow I outline the last book in the erotica book series. We'll see how it goes. I have no clue at this point. I haven't even decided on how the series is going to end. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

You know that feeling when your loins ache? Yeah, that one.

Words: 6,114
Time: 10:30 - 6:45pm (hour break)
Mood: Good
Impression: Confused

I was able to return to full writing form today. I could have written more but I knew that I couldn't finish it tonight so I thought it would be healthier for me to play a few games of racquetball instead.

I realized something today though. I'm a big advocate of the idea that our biology is a driving force in our personality. Today was evidence of that. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that unless you've written a sexually oriented book. You have no idea what it's like.

I could grossly say that it makes you umm... amorous. But that is a very simplistic analysis of what's happening and today it became clear. As I've mentioned I'm not allowed to sexually relieve myself in any way when I'm writing these erotica books. It builds up the tension. And today it was really tense around here.

Today my temper was short, I was angry all day, I felt like I wanted to hump anything that moved and my loins ached. Sound familiar? It did to me. That is how it felt to be a teenager. And that was how it felt one time when I was taking too many testosterone increasing supplements.

Then it dawned on me. This wasn't some sort of magical effect or a character trait, writing this book is highly increasing the amount of testosterone that my body's producing. What I was experiencing is also exactly what you experience when you juice, it's roid rage. That's what's going on. There's nothing magical about it.

When your brain is sexually aroused it releases chemicals and unless you have some sort of sexual release they settle in your blood stream. So tonight I played racquetball, the testosterone was burnt off and now I'm back to normal. I'm not sure if burning the extra T off was good for my writing but it did release that ache in your loins that occurs when you have too much testosterone. And now that I know it, I can better regulate myself in the future.

On another topic, I was disappointed that once again my Zombie Samurai Hunter editor missed a deadline. I'm sure that he will deliver it tomorrow or the Friday, but he originally said that he would have no problem finishing it in August. I'm not complaining, it's just getting disappointing that's all.

I have also been giving some thought to why I'm not selling more books. This too is also not magic. I've been doing everything that people have suggested and still nothing. But what it comes down to is that the vast majority of readers only buy books from authors whose work they are already familiar with and authors who are recommended to them by someone they know or trust. The fact is that I'm not that familiar to a lot of readers.

But I did hear a good idea today. It was suggested that I find an author that writes similar books to mine and follow all of their follows on twitter. The majority of them will see that I'm an author as well and follow me back. In this way readers of my genre will become familiar with me. Then it becomes easier to convince them to give me a try. Simple and easy.

I will be starting the process as soon as Samurai Zombie Hunter is published. I figure if I go after the thriller crowd I have two books to offer them. Of course if I go after the comedy crowd I have 5 books to offer them. And if I go after the erotica crowd I will have four books to offer them.

Hmmm... maybe I should think about this a little more. The idea is solid though and if I go after the thriller crowd, I will also have a few sequels come out that they could also get in the future. I guess I could start another twitter account under my Pen name. That will cover thriller and erotica. I have to think about this some more.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Everybody vs The Ferret: 3 is now available everywhere!

As of this morning Everybody vs The Ferret: 3 is now available on Amazon. The first, and so far only reader says that it is the best of them all. It absolutely is the most clever. It's very clever!

Today was also the day for me to outline my next erotica book. It's done. Tomorrow I write the first half of it. This one is less about the sex. It is definitely more about the relationship about the main characters.

On another note, I met someone today. When I met him my first thought was that he was "off" in some way. But after I sat down and talked to him I realized that he was a very genuine person who was very much at peace with his life. And the more I talked to him, the more I realized how different we both were.

There was a time in my life when I could just sit and comfortably stare into people's eyes. There was a reason for that. It was because I had nothing to hide. Now I can't. As calm as I almost always seem on the outside I am almost never that way on the inside. And it seems that as every day goes by I become more and more erratic.

The life I'm living right now isn't helping either. I feel like it only encourages my lack of peace. But I'm scared to just let go of everything. I scared to just let this thing that I'm living be my life.

I have had to get a new roommate recently, but there is no doubt about it, the roommate I just had relaxed me. Having her in my place made me the happiest I'd been in a while. It wasn't like she was the perfect roommate either, far from it. But I was able to make a connection with her that I had never been able to make with anyone before.

I felt very comfortable telling her almost anything because we were so alike in certain ways that I knew that it actually made her feel better to learn the things about me that usually freak people out a bit. It was a pleasant feeling feeling accepted and understood. I'll miss it. And I know she'll miss it too. I again remember why people like being in relationships.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My First Review of my Ferret Series and My Favorite Bad Review

I was supposed to outline my next erotic fiction book today. Yeah, that didn't happen. Instead I sent out 94 review copies of 'Fixing Cupid.' Yep, that took me almost the entire day.

What I also did was looked at the reviews for 'Fixing Cupid' on the site where I have my worst reviews. I reread the bad reviews. Apparently I've gotten a new half star review. Yes, that is lower than a one star review. She really didn't like the sexual references I make in the book. And she really didn't like the copy of 'Everybody vs The Ferret: 1' that included along with it. She called it pornographic and said it should be banned. Okaaaay.

I then decided to look over the other 2 star or below reviews. It seems that all but one of them seemed to be because of the sexuality in the some of the humor. There were a lot of comparisons to 'The Hangover.' I don't see it at all. I think 'There's Something About Mary' is a much more accurate comparison. But I guess that movie isn't fresh in many people's minds anymore.

But I think that if I were to remove two or three things from the book my ratings would go up quite a bit. I'm not going to cut them because personally I feel that some of them help to add to the book's heart. I have included my favorite bad review below. It praises as well as insults. It makes me laugh every time I read it.

I was thinking that I could write male orientated books and find an audience. But the more I learn about this industry, I find out that it's a hard thing to make a living off of the male readership unless you write ScFi or Thrillers. So I'm thinking that I will give up on that angle and instead write clean friendly books for a while... you know, minus my short stint in erotica.

And I think that the first book that I will focus on after next week will be Hide From The Reaper. I'm going to start the Red Reaper series over and I will make it my first full novel in the mass audience style. It will be a blending of my strengths in a cleaner format. We'll see what happens.

The other thing I learned today is that my zombie book will not sell a lot of books. I offered free copies of Samurai Zombie Hunter on a giveaway site. When I offered Run From the Reaper I got 210 requests in a month, Fixing Cupid got 200 in a month, but Samurai Zombie Hunter got 148. It was tracking higher than all but one of the other books being offered, but it fell far short of my other books. And my other books aren't even selling that well. That does not show good signs of the popularity of the genre. Another author that was able to ride giveaways to $6000 a month in profit had 400 request for her books. So again it is back to the drawing board for me.

Oh hears something nice. While writing this post I received my editor's critique for my Everybody vs The Ferret books. He said, "quite honestly, they were enjoyable reads. I believe you were correct that I would not have figured out exactly what the ferret truly represented, or the grander design, if you hadn't clarified them for me. That is to say, I might have had a sense that there was some symbolism at work, most certainly in the third story, but it all wouldn't have been as clear. I did laugh out loud once or twice at something in each story, and I think it's fair to say that each sequel was better than it's predecessor."

That's not bad.

Now it's time for my favorite bad (2-star) review:

Fixing Cupid by Cristian YoungMiller has a great plot outline. Ben Bonner, is a lawyer who can’t find love. So through a series of events his best friend (and ex-fiancĂ©) Carey helps him move in with mysterious Jack, who turns out to be cupid. But before the love of his life can love him back, Ben ‘breaks’ Jack. Together with Anna (the love interest; who is a fellow lawyer; and bartender) they try to fix Jack’s cupid powers so that she can love him back. Oh, and the rest of the world can fall in love too.

The outline is a wonderful concept, then you throw in a “The Hangover” type crude humor, and it goes a little south of a top seller. The humor is great if you are into ‘wang comparisons’ and…well, there is a bit with a baby that is totally inappropriate, but okay, I found it mildly amusing. Some of it reads off as a movie script and I would totally watch this movie.But as a book it was one crazy event after another that you almost need to see to completely wrap your head around. It’s good for a good laugh, there are plenty of those in the book, but the base storyline seems to be strong in the beginning, loses it way near the middle, then finds itself in a keg party, and drunkenly stumbles back on track near the end of the book.

On the plus side it is a quick read, so if you like crude humor, by all means pick this one up, it has plenty of that, and somewhere in there, there is a nice bit of romance.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My book Everybody vs The Ferret:1 is # 4 on Amazon's free humor list

About 2 weeks ago I decided that I was going to make Everybody vs The Ferret: 1 free. The book wasn't selling very many and I knew that I wouldn't lose anything by doing it, but I was hoping that the series and my other books might get a little attention in the process.

Since there are a number of things that you have to do to make your book free, it didn't happen on Amazon until last night. I have to say that I was very concerned. After all, what if I made the book free and no one wanted it, it would hurt a lot. I mean it would have crippled me in a way that only I could see, but it would have been bad.

So I wake up this morning and check the book. It was the #4 free humor book on Amazon. Hey, I know its free, but still that means that I wasn't wrong about the cover and the description. Because there are thousands of humor books that are free, but mine was the one readers wanted the 4th most.

Can I say how much I need that. I just needed some sort of indication that people were interested in reading what I write. I was starting to lose faith. I was starting to doubt myself. And in true "Cristian form" that doubt wasn't stopping me, but it was wrecking me on the inside. That feeling even made me write erotic fiction just to have the validation of readers reading my work. 20 five-star reviews, please, I need sales.

Unfortunately, I don't have Everybody vs The Ferret: 3 back from the editor yet. I thought I would have it by now, but I'm told that it will be given to me this weekend. I am also supposed to be getting Samurai Zombie Hunter from the editor on Monday. I guess that means that I should start working on the final cover.

I also have to finish those last two erotic fiction books. I will be offering the first one for free, so I'm hoping that I can get another little ego boost when that one comes out. I really need that right now. Trust me when I say that!

I've learned something else from that book going so high on the list of free humor books. Even though it was #4 (now #7) it is only #271 overall. That means that humor isn't a very popular category. I've still given away 440 copies. So if the were sold copies it would be a nice chunk of change. But even at #7 in humor there are 270 books in other genres ahead of it. Interesting. Maybe humor isn't a genre where I should be devoting a lot of my time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

And this is why I fail!

I have been talking to other erotic writers today. Apparently there are some issues with my second book in the series. The sex, I think, isn't very titillating. And supposedly, erotica, by definition, has to have titillating sex. So apparently Book 2 is destined not to sell well. :-(

But you know what, I realized something else about myself as well. I know why I haven't had the level of success that I so much crave. The reason can be referenced to a book that I read and have enjoyed. The book is 'Good To Great'. It is one of the places that I was taught the idea that good is the enemy of great.

I'm not going to lie to you, I want to be great. Good is okay, but my goal is greatness. Being good is about doing what everyone else does in a way that's better than most. That is what being good is. Being great has to do with doing things that no one else does and then doing that well.

I remember when I wrote my very first book. I had someone read it and they told me "You know Cristian, you should read more books and get a feel for how it's done." I told him that I didn't want to because I didn't want those books to influence my style. He asked me if I thought that I could reinvent the wheel when it came to writing, and my honest answer was yes.

Did I manage to reinvent the wheel yet? Well certainly I have learned how to write well without mirroring others and I can say that my first review for 'Happiness Thru The Art of... Penis Enlargment' called it "one of the most humorous and most unique books around." He also gave it 5 stars. Reviewers also call 'Run From the Reaper' "different." So I guess I will let others be the judge on whether or not I have failed or succeeded on that front.

I'm sure that I can figure out how to do things good. The singer Prince believed this about himself. But after a certain point he wanted to do the stuff that no one else was doing. The result was he wasn't as good. And unfortunately he hasn't achieved greatness in my opinion. Although he was truly great at Cochella music festival. Wow, simply amazing! I was stunned listening to it. It was at a different level than I have ever experienced.

But my problem is that every time I learn how things are done, I have to put a twist on it and do something similar but different. I realized this completely today when the other erotic writer was telling me what was standard. I got a very strong reaction to her because the idea of doing what was standard just wasn't acceptable to me. I need to break new ground. I fell like I don't even have a chance at greatness if I don't always take a left when everyone else takes a right. And that is why I fail.

But the tuff thing is that when I ask myself if I am willing to suffer my entire life trying for greatness instead of achieving goodness, I answer yes I am. I would prefer to be striving for greatness and failing, than to be good and complacent. Again, this is why I fail.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Erotic Fiction Book 2 is complete. Here are my concerns with it

Words: 7,161
Time: 5pm - 1:45am (3o min break)
Mood: Fine
Impression: Less Sexual and more interesting

Two things. First of all, it amazes me that I could start writing at 5 pm and still get over 7,000 words in before 2am. I just don't understand it anymore. I used to feel so drained after write 1,500 or 2K words. I presume the difference is that I didn't outline my stores back then. Now I do. That makes it a lot easier to write because I don't have to come up with absolutely everything at once.

Second thing, this book is a lot less sexy than the first book. There are just as many sex scenes, but the sex is less vanilla and more fringe-like. I think the difference would be that I wasn't that concerned about turning people on with this book. I was more concerned with the story. I'm not sure if that's a good thing with erotic fiction.

One think that this book does have going for it though, is that I heard that erotic readers complain about the lack of story in books. However, I'm thinking that they still want the hot sex. What this book offers doesn't quite make it back to the steamy sex scenes of the first book. Instead there's salads being tossed and wax being poured into places. Also the hot sex scene isn't really happening, it is what the character is imagining so that he does doesn't have to think about the person next to him.

Actually these is one other thing I realized today. Although the focus of the book is the character whose name is the title, in book two they really aren't the focus exactly. At least the story isn't exclusively told through their eyes in this one like it was the first. I guess that the story is still firmly about that character but you really don't understand how much it is until the end of the second novelette. I'm not sure if that's a good thing either.

Anyway, now that the first two books of the series are complete. I have to spend the upcoming week working on something else and then I will hopefully work on book 3 and 4 the following week. We'll see how it goes. Maybe I will edit the first two books during my down time. Or maybe I'll just wait and do it all together. Like I said, I'll see.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I know why the caged zombie doesn't sing... it's because it can't touch itself

Words: 6,377

Time: noon - 3:30 & 9 - 2:30am

Mood: Tired

Impression: I'm not sure if this is as hot as the first book

I started writing the second book today. I'm not sure if it is having the same effect on me as writing the first one, so I wonder if it is as titillating. I do know that the story is more interesting so there's definitely that.

On another note I now know why I hated writing Samurai Zombie Hunter so much. I had been abstinent during my time writing the entire book. I did it so I could feel a yearning that would inspire what I wrote to describe how the zombies felt about their yearning for brains.

It worked. But it also had an unforeseen effect of make the book a lot more sexual than I would otherwise have made it. I'm not sure how good that is for a zombie book, but clearly writing more sexual material is very effective for writing erotic fiction.

With this in mind I have decided to again go abstinent while writing these novelettes. During the first novelette I almost felt like I was either going to beat someone up or have sex with them. I kept flipping between each. And my fuse was definitely shorter.

I had thought that I would stay abstinent until I finished this book as well but I couldn't do it. I had to release the pressure. I couldn't take writing about sex anymore without releasing the pressure. I had to let go. And boy did that feel good.

Now with the second book I don't feel the pressure quite so much. Maybe because I had been abstinent a longer time before I began the last one. Maybe it was for another reason. Either way I'm abstinent again, and although it's not as bad, I still need to leave my computer and contemplate "life" every few pages.

My plan is to finish this second book tomorrow. It will be another late day. But it will be kind of cool to have written two novelettes in 6 days.