Showing posts with label ebooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ebooks. Show all posts

Monday, April 29, 2019

GUEST POST: How to Always be on the Lookout for New Inspiration by Kelvyn Fernandes

Hi, my name is Kelvyn Fernandes, author of The Many Adventures of Peter and Fi. As a writer of a fantastical journey, filled with peculiar characters and wondrous creatures, I’m often asked where do I get the ideas for my tales. Where do I pull my inspiration from? And the long and short answer is: everywhere at once.

The book I sought to write was based on snippets and extracts from memorable moments throughout my life. It is a compilation of every book I wanted to tell my way. Every movie I felt was missing something more. And every song whose lyrics stoked my imagination. A spark of an idea would start, based on a chance encounter or new set of information. And in my mind it would snowball through my backlog of interactions with the world; picking up bits and pieces to form a full character, a full setting, a full scene.

I take detailed notes on the thoughts that gain the most steam. From there I flesh out the narrative and over-arching plot. As such, I’ve formed a few tenets I try to live life by. These tenets help push me towards new, creative revelations. Therefore–in doing so–I keep my ideas fresh and interesting for the reader. More so, for myself.

It's important to embrace new experiences, even if you’re not interested or think they might suck. It’s almost never a bad idea to try something once. And if your bias is confirmed, a bad experience will likely make a great story.

Break away from your genre. Strong stories are found in strong characters. And strong characters can be found anywhere. If you’re writing a fantasy novel, don’t just look for ideas in other fantasy novels. It’s definitely good to familiarize yourself with fellow fantasy authors–and build on their stories. But sometimes if you’re stuck (anywhere within your writing), it’s refreshing to look somewhere outside your chosen genre.

For example, I read Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams as part of my friends’ book club. It follows a documented and real-life wildlife adventure the author took to see endangered species throughout the world. I wasn’t expecting to get so engrossed in a journal of his trip, but it really opened my eyes to the amazing places that exist in the world.

Most importantly, it gave me ideas for amazing places I could incorporate into my own writer's world.

Monday, October 8, 2018

5 Reading Slump Killers ("with" Cynthia Bailey)

Every reader goes through this mess: you’ve finished a book (outstanding or awful) and can’t decide what to read next.  Or if you even want to follow up your reading so shortly.  So you ponder over what's your mood looking like–in concerns to your next choice in a book.  And sometimes that pondering goes on a little too long.  Sometimes... your decision gets clouded.  

After finishing a book, I usually take a day or two off from reading.  Sometimes that day or two sticks around a little longer.  And three days is always too long.  Then it begins to sting when I have four bookshelves riddled with unread titles glaring at me wondering what the hell I‘m doing sitting around without a book in hand.  One shelf wants to be chosen.  One book desperately wants to be elected.  And I just sit there like a chump biting my lip and as indecisive as ever.  Something has blocked me from reading.  My mood?  Energy?  Maybe solicitude from my last book?  All I know is days are ticking by and I can't seem to find a dang thing I want to read and it's pissing me off.

It's a reading slump indeed. 

So I, like many book bloggers, decided to create another remedy post for readers who need to get through a reading slump.  And if one method listed doesn't work, another one always will.  So let's go!


Hell, I’ve learned long ago how throwing away and getting rid of old junk kills some spectrum of my anxiety.  There’s this sort of alleviating transference I get from donating old clothes; alongside tossing pay stubs, art supplies, and old birthday cards into trash bags.  Seriously, when miscellany leaves happiness circulates within the soul.  

So one method that often helps me pull out of a reading slump is getting my shelves organized.  By “getting organized” I mean going to a shelf to pull unread titles off to compile what I haven‘t read and how long its been hanging around–and deciding what should hang around.  Something about pulling unread books off, piling them up, and actually looking at them helps get me centered.  It’s revisiting titles long acquired that at one point I was excited.  That is until time and other books caused my enthusiasm to slip by, before deciding what's next for said title.  And, naturally, the benefit is I find myself donating piles of unread and clutter-clogging books after a change in interests.

This method allows me to focus on the now.  Not the then and not the later.  We hate to admit it, but there is a level of anxiety and agitation we get from being book lovers who simply can't read and take every book with us throughout life.  Heck, I would even equate books to friendships: they have their seasons, chile.  And only the most trustworthy, loyal and respectful can stay.  Oh, and enriching.  Never keep something around that doesn't enrich your life.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

GUEST POST: Nocturne Variations by John Biscello

Unsolicited Press 


Nocturne Variations by John Biscello

Genre: Fiction
Release Date: November 30, 2018 (Available for Pre-Order HERE)
List Price: $18.00 
Publisher: Unsolicited Press
Synopsis: Dystopic Peter Pan meets surrealist noir in this cinemythical tale about love, loss and the illusions of shadow-play.

Los Angeles, December, 1989, is when we first meet the seventeen-year-old Piers, a runaway and a savant puppeteer.  Addicted to Sike, an experimental drug which promises a surrogate return to Childhood, Piers, in an act of revenge, robs a briefcase full of Sike from her dealer and flees L.A., pursued by two hit men.  Hiding out in the Southwestern town of Redline, where she meets and is taken in by a man named Henry Hook, Piers is soon confronted by the buried trauma of her past.

Comprising a jigsaw synthesis of narrative, journal entries, letters, monologues, film footage, poems, photographs, and press clippings; Noturne renders an interior world of fragments and parallels, and casts a tinted light on the neverland between dreaming and waking.


They were spinning slowly, ever so slowly.
  Do you want to go faster, Piers reached down for the dial. I can make us go faster.
  No, Anya smiled. I like the speed. We’re moving so slow it’s like we’re not moving at all.
  Piers and Anya sat in the Amusement Seats, across from one another.
  Piers drew the cloth to her face, huffed, then passed it to Anya.
  Piers stared at Anya, half her face masked in cloth, an asthmatic bandit in the throes of huffing.
  Piers stared and stared,
  and her vision dissimulated into small birds,
  winging across the painted winter of Anya’s face,
  and into the rabbitpink of her eyes, a dying sun
  or lighted prehistory.
  And then, like a slow-motion dream in reverse,
  Piers found herself earlier in the night:
  Anya, on stage, a glacial Venus, dancing with the other Winter’s Brides,
  dancing to invoke snow, which came in the form of electro audio fuzz.
  Can you hear the snow falling, Piers elated to Trink,
  who nodded—Yea yea I can hear it babygirl, I can hear it.
  The Brides, rejoicing in prayer, intensified the frenzy of their dancing,
  as the snowfalling amped into a blizzard of white noise,
  that raged and raged and then
  A ribbed, cathedral silence,
  freezing the Brides into a penitent tableaux.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

GUEST POST: Raking the Dust by John Biscello

The Zharmae Publishing Press Presents:

Raking the Dust by John Biscello

Author: John Biscello
Genre: Erotica, Sci-Fi
Length: 341
Release Date:March 10, 2016
ISBN:978-1-943549-54-2 ($14.95)
Publisher: Zharmae Press
Cover Artwork:Cris Qualiana Basham
Synopsis: In this rogue’s tale, full of sound, fury and erotic surrealism, we meet Alex Fillameno, a writer who has traded in the machine-grind of New York for a bare bones existence in the high desert town of Taos, New Mexico. Recently divorced and jobless, Fillameno has become a regular at The End of the Road, the bar where he first encounters the alluring and enigmatic D.J, a singer and musician. Drawn to her mutable sense of reality, the two begin a romance that starts off relatively normal. When D.J. initiates Alex into the realm of sexual transfiguration their lives are turned inside-out, and what follows is an anti-hero’s journey into a nesting doll world of masks and fragments, multiples and parallels, time-locks and trauma; a world in which reality is celluloid and what you see is never what you get.

Interview with John Biscello on Raking the Dust
What drove and inspired you to write this particular book?
I moved to Taos, New Mexico from New York in 2001. It was quite a dramatic change in culture, tempo, and way of life.  I never would have imagined fourteen years later I'd still call this "black sheep" of a high-desert town home. The energy and character of this place is rich and challenging; its vibe eclectic.  It was only a matter of time before I tried to capture and reflect its spirit (or how it has impacted and influenced my spirit in myriad ways) in a book or collection of stories. 
Most of my novel is set in Taos–with strains of autobiographical fiction.  Yet it veers into the realms of the mythical and surreal.  And one of the driving catalysts behind that is the character, D.J.–who becomes the love interest of Alex (the protagonist). D.J. was supposed to be the main character in a play I was writing, but she disappeared when no one was looking and reappeared in this novel.  Here, she has found a home of sorts. 
Which were the hardest areas to write?
Perhaps the last section, where the novel changes locations from Taos to San Francisco.  In a sense, it almost become a different book. A new setting, a new set of characters (with D.J. and Alex still at the heart of it all); and having to trust in the strange or surreal directions inspired by Les Etoiles de Diables ("Stars of the Devil").  Which is the name of a mysterious club on San Francisco's Embarcadero waterfront. 
This summer, when rewriting the novel, I rewrote the S.F. section in trying to streamline and concentrate the storyline.  Furthermore, manage the intense build-up or break-down between D.J. and Alex. 
What makes your book standout?
Well, an urban-bred Brooklyn boy's perspective of high-desert living is one slant. Also–about a quarter of the way into the novel–what seems like a "straight" love/obsession story between an alcoholic writer and mercurial musician takes a sharp, unexpected turn.  Into a playscape that could be called ... anatomically reconfigurative (Cue old-time-radio suspense music). 
What advice do you have for the struggling writer?
If this is your deep-down passion, if you truly love words and stories and your relationship with them, then putting them down and getting them out means you are actively living your dream. There will always be a million and one alibis ready to sidetrack and derail us. Ignore them. Live the yes. Stay the course.
Author Information & Links
John Biscello is the author of the novel Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, which was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Adobe Walls, Yuan Yang, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. A poet, performer, author, playwright, and drama teacher for young people, he is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in Taos, NM.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

+ SpreadShirt Unbagging + (VIDEO)

What's up Comic Towel friends and visitors.  Time to share my very first Spreadshirt purchase–directly from my Spreadshirt shop.  I hope you guys enjoy.  Please comment and share.  Don't forget to post and share your own stories and dream-seeking progressions.  Lol.  You get what I mean!

Take care!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kindle Direct Publishing | Inspired Actions | What I'm Learning...

Mrs. Zadie Jones is anything but easy. She arrived at Hemlocke Investigations out of breath and looking for a fight. Sadly, Aiesha Tonie is only the assistant of this establishment. With protocols and routines to follow, Aiesha swallows her patience while dealing with Mrs. Zadie Jones' cryptic perspective on her best friend's murder. But what does Mrs. Zadie Jones really want? And what could this 70-something church mother want with a private investigator instead of the police? 

I’m finally getting around to posting and talking about this, but it is definitely what it looks like. I took that chapter (once posted on my blog) of the private detective assistant–named Aiesha Tonie–and made a flash fiction ebook out of it. It’s not quite the same as it was featured on my blog, but it’s her story all freshened up for some episodic releases.  Now, I did this for several reasons, after sitting on the idea for years.  One: I needed to give myself some kind of testimony as it pertains to where I am right now with Life. My dream has always been to write and illustrate my own cover.  Professional designer and writer?  Hell no!  Willing to go at it despite researched opposing advice?  Hell yeah! Therefore, good or bad or indifferent, I made sure to follow my inspired guidance and do it.  Besides, I'm not good at learning without trial.  But now I can say a piece of who I dreamed at 14 has been realized, and I will continue to produce chapters from here on forward with him in mind. Which leads me to reason number two: find some kind of momentum and means to get off my ass and get back to writing daily.

Nonetheless, here it is. My beloved Aiesha Tonie character is now on Amazon. As I mentioned, I have a slew of reservations–from the writing to the cover–but I just felt like I had to do something. I dislike being around people who talk and talk and talk, and I dislike being around myself even more when I do the same. Whether this project lives on or dies out, I’m putting my faithful foot into it. Am I a little scared? Absolutely. Hopeful and optimistic? Always. But ultimately, I hope my stepping forward inspires you to do the same.  To go with what you love and do what's good for you.  Whatever that may be.

So here are a few things I suggest you do should you want to sneak into writing ebooks with a chapter of your work. 

~*The Fire & Lessons*~

0. Take your time, but don’t take too much time!  Though it's necessary, it ain't that much of a luxury we can all afford.  Do your research, then show up to your project with dedication.  I preach showing up to your Life, passions, and ideas more than anything.  And I mean it.  Why?  Because many people don't show up.  Nothing can happen.  No lessons can be learned.  No success can follow.  You have to play to win.

1. Write. Rewrite. Rewrite. And write more. This particular chapter I’m sharing is something I wrote in 2012, when I was in a mystery writing course provided by Gotham Writer’s Workshop. It’s been through many revisions, but it’s my project; I’ll see that it be expressed. Do the same for yourself. Even if it’s just a simple chapter. Actually, if it’s more than 10 pages–go for it. 

People will judge you/it anyway. The important thing is that you take a step forward.  Give yourself a chance. Never sell yourself short or count yourself out.  And if that doesn't convince you, go look on Amazon now and see what's out there doing the same.

2. Get someone to read your material until you’re comfortable with it.  Then let it go. The Universe worked me on this one, as I met a freelance editor at my day job who offered to help me get this together. A million thanks to her. But beforehand, I sat on my ass for a while fooling with some outsource services and emails that didn’t get responses until weeks later.  Neither panned out as planned.  Well, one did and I wasn't all that won by her work.  Still, I took an "F this" approach and kept looking.  Someone was going to read this besides myself, and advise me on changes.  I had some money on the side specifically for hiring someone who could legitimately help.

Then one day I looked on my dresser, and there was an email I wrote on a slice of receipt paper more than a month ago. It was to that freelance editor I’d met at my job.  I took it as a flag from the Universe.

3. Be prepared to learn about how to fill out Kindle Direct Publishing‘s enrollment details. I'll share a step-by-step video I found extremely helpful. Now it’s not a lot to learn, per se. But you’ll want to have a grasp on some of this until you get the hang of it all.  My biggest concern was tags for the book, categorizing it, and pricing.  All of which I've changed about four times now.

4. You can’t just upload your book from Word to Kindle Direct Publishing. No, ma’am. There are specific formatting guidelines you have to follow. Otherwise, your book will look a mess on buyers’ Kindle.  You have to take into consideration an active table of contents (I didn't require one this round), layout, image placement, page breaks, and etc.  (Guidelines HERE.)  While I felt I could've formatted my chapter with the help of a guide, I decided to outsource via Fiverr. For this first round at least. Just be careful who you choose to handle your project. I tend to click on the most ratings and hefty queue mirco workers on the site. Additionally, if you don’t know a cover artist/designer, you can utilize Fiverr to find someone available for the job.  Or the more expensive route,

I have one more video I found really helpful–and far more in dept and knowledgeable than myself.  I'll HTML it here:

Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I suppose the promotional aspect is next.  Because this is all so new to me, I'll try to keep you guys posted on my lessons and discoveries as I go along.  Good luck and share your tips and stories on e-publishing in the comments below!

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