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.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Now I'm proud of my Erotic Fiction book series

The very first thing I did this morning as I lay in bed was think about my erotic book series. I was supposed to start writing it today. But since I was tired all day yesterday, and since I unexpectedly stayed out all night last night, I didn't get the outline for Book 2 done as I had planned.

So instead, this morning I figured out what the books will be. Book 1 is done. On the surface the story looks like an excuse to write about endless sex. But in fact it isn't. The sex is the toll that I had to pay to tell the story that I've been wanting to write, the story is about this very interesting person I once met.

I didn't know that though until this morning when I plotted out the entire book series. The way the series is structured is as 4 porn-like novelettes which are complete on their own. But when all 4 are read together it is like one novel. However, because of the amount of sexual encounters in each of the novelettes they can't be made into a novel without a lot of editing. So it's only in a series that they tell the full story.

In general the series is about 2 people in their early 20's who start out on the opposite sides of the innocent/corruption scale. The thrust of the book though, is about how each of them are inspired by the other to go to the opposite side of the scale than where they begun. It is also about how two people that start out in life with nothing but their sexuality and cunning, escape their upbringing to chisel out their own piece of the American dream from the corrupt world of sex and drugs where they found each other.

I would never have had the guts to tell this story if I hadn't decided to try my hand at erotic fiction. I think I would have said that nothing profound happens in it, so why should I waste my time writing it. All of my novels (minus Fixing Cupid) are about some life lesson. This series is just about 2 interesting people trying to escape the circumstance of their birth. It just so happens that in this case the circumstance that they were born into is very much linked to sex. But just like in every novel I've written, both characters are just lonely people looking for happiness.

It's a simply story in a way. The only thing that makes it different from all of my other work is that it is laden with sex... and it has a crime caper. I have never written a crime caper before.

But yes, now that I know what I'm writing, I'm kind of proud of these books. Will anyone be interested in reading a character study with endless sex in it. With my luck being what it is... who knows. But either way, I'm now excited about writing these books instead of disgusted at myself for doing it. I am a little sad that no one I know will ever read them. But we can't get everything we want, right?

So now that book 2 is plotted out, tomorrow I will get up and devote at least 6 hours of my day to writing. Hopefully I get through half of it leaving only the other half for Monday. Here's to creating erotic art. :-)

Friday, September 2, 2011

I wrote 9,600 words in one day and finished my latest book

Words: 9,612
Time: 10:30 - 3am (minus 3hrs of breaks)
Mood: Satisfied
Impression: Too tired to tell

I just finished writing for a total of about 13 hours. I never imagined that that was possible. It was for my erotic fiction book and I can't explain why I was able to do so much. The day before it took me 6 hours to write 3K words. I hit 2,700 after 3 hours today.

I know one thing that motivated me to keep working was the fact that I wanted to finish it before the weekend and that I would be on the set of the TV show 'Bones' tomorrow. That kept me going.

But hey, it's late now and I am really tired. Luckily, it's a 9 am call time which is considered kind of late, so I can get a little extra sleep.

I'll give a further impressions on what I wrote and I how I feel tomorrow. Right now I'm just going to get some sleep.