Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Author Interview At Drew Avera's Blog

I had a fun time answering Drew's questions, which included some unusual ones as well as the typical fare. Curious to know what kind of Transformer I'd like to be? Care to know my predictions in a battle between Superman and The Hulk?

No? Well, that's okay. Check out his blog anyway...

Saturday, 22 June 2013

READING THE DEAD - 99¢ (June 30-July 7)

Sarah Milton grew up with an imaginary friend, Anna Nigma, as her only companion. After the murder of her mother, she set her sights on finding her killer and bringing him to justice. Fifteen years later, the bookish girl is a homicide detective with the LAPD. Following a fatal shooting, she finds herself inexplicably reunited with her irrepressible teenage companion, turning her normal life upside down. She soon discovers that Anna's true origin and her ongoing serial killer investigation are steeped in the supernatural, and that the only hope of unraveling the mysteries of both lie in her renewed power to see and speak to the dead. Unable to disclose the truth about the insanity overtaking her life, will she stop a killer in time, or end up joining Anna in the afterlife?

Check out an excerpt here:
 or a second one here:
 or how about a 5 star review and a third excerpt, here:


Amazon (US): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BGE5DEM/
Amazon (UK): http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BGE5DEM/
Amazon (CA): http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00BGE5DEM/

Kobobooks: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Reading-The-Dead-The-Sarah/book-q18ca2HxKEe0Ef3msI1zsQ/page1.html

Novelnook: https://novelnook.com/component/virtuemart/supernatural/Reading-The-Dead---The-Sarah-Milton-Chronicles.htm

Chapters !ndigo: http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/reading-the-dead-the-sarah/9990004381117-item.html

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Writing: Hobby or a Job?

As I sit at the kitchen table, smiling in good humor after telling my mother about my big royalty check that Amazon just sent me, the grand total of which could be spent in a double order at Starbucks, I think to myself, My mother will never receive a dedication in one of my books.

The reason for her blacklisting is that she's just a little too happy to be proven right that my years of effort, poured into make-believe worlds on my word processor until my fingers and wrists ache, culminated in less financial reward than would be met by a panhandler in the center of town. She's not doing this to be mean, I know. She simply doesn't realize any better. I can't explain the passion of creativity to someone who has no interest in the subject, any more than I can describe the texture of the air around her. I tell her it's not about the money and leave it at that. She understands. It's just me enjoying one of my little hobbies.

Hobby. An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure. 

As bristling as the word seemed when she uttered it, in retrospect, it's strangely apt. I have a full-time job, and writing is something that I do in my leisure time, something that gives me great pleasure. Though you'll never catch me burning a check, it really isn't about the money. 

Hours later, I find myself sitting back in my chair, staring at the characters that I breathed into life over the past two years, wondering, Is she right? Is that all this is? A hobby?

I'm not so delusional as to believe that I'll ever be as successful a writer as Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. Honestly, I sincerely doubt that I'll ever be quitting my day job and retiring to a sandy beach to enjoy my bohemian writer lifestyle in the tropics. However, upon consideration, I'm not so sure that I would want to. I know myself well enough to realize that the moment something I enjoy becomes a chore, my interest in doing it wanes. 

For years, I drew web comics. Nobody paid me. I just did it for fun. Strangely enough, it was actually my skills as a cartoonist, more than my IT background, that landed me my first job outside of my home town. An online school hired me because in addition to my technical background, they also wanted someone who could add illustrations and Flash animations in their courses. I drew... and drew... and drew... earning a decent paycheck the whole time. The more I drew in my work capacity, the less I began to draw in my free time, until eventually I simply stopped, moving on to other interests. I didn't think about my dwindling enthusiasm for cartooning as anything negative, but simply as a sign that my tastes were maturing.

I don't want writing to become my job. I'm terrified by the thought of staring at a blank screen on my word processor, with nothing on my mind except worries of having to earn enough to pay my bills and put food on the table. Revisiting the characters I invented and sharing in their exciting lives is like a homecoming. I never want that feeling to diminish. I want to continue sharing the magic that I feel from every typewritten word that shapes their future. 

Writing shouldn't be a job, a means to a financial end. That's just empty. Writing should be a pleasure. A hobby... with benefits.

I lean into my keyboard and begin typing, my fingers easing me back into the comforting world of my imaginary friends, whose every breath is mine to produce. There's a smile on my face. It's the expression that any aficionado would wear as they immerse themselves into their favorite pastime. 

As my characters come to life under my keystrokes, I think back to my mother's words and realize that maybe I will dedicate a book to her, after all. Perhaps my tenth, or twentieth. It will bear these words:

To my mother, who once called my passion a hobby. She's still right.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

New Preview From FIDELIS IN AETERNUM Available!

The second book of READING THE DEAD - THE SARAH MILTON CHRONICLES, "FIDELIS IN AETERNUM" now has an exclusive preview available online in celebration of the book's Facebook page reaching 500 likes.

Check it out at the link provided:


Also, be sure to take a look at the preview for book 1 on Amazon and the chapter excerpt available here for more excitement in the fantastic world of LAPD homicide detective, Sarah Milton, and her supernatural teenage sidekick, Anna Nigma.

Reading The Dead on Amazon:

Excerpt from Reading The Dead:

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Short Story Collection Being Pulled

It saddens me to say that due to poor sales, I've decided to pull my short story collection off the market. I originally hoped to release a series of lower priced offerings for 99 cents, ranging between 6,500 words to 15,000 words, in between the lengthy delays between book releases. However, the lackluster response towards my initial offering, a scifi/horror thriller entitled HOLE, has convinced me that it just isn't worth the effort to make it commercially available.

Anyone looking to purchase this story (HA! HA! HEH! THAT'S A GOOD ONE...) is advised to do so before the end of the month.

At the first of July, this story, as well as all of the others that I had planned to release in this short story collection, will no longer be available online.

For those few people who have purchased the story, I thank you. Hang onto it. Perhaps once my posthumous fame kicks in, the rarity of the title may prove to be a valuable collector's item.

Hey, if it can work for stamps, why not this..?


So it would seem that I severely misjudged the ease with which it's possible to pull a published book from an online vendor and book sites. Chalk that up to yet another learning experience for me. Fine. The book can stay. Maybe it will one day serve a purpose as part of some online scavenger hunt. Want the links? You'll find them here:

AMAZON: http://amzn.to/13NcpZl

KOBO: http://bit.ly/10JMY7D

NOVELNOOK: http://bit.ly/ZYH9qc

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Looking For Reviewers!

Attention Reviewers:

If a funny, paranormal detective thriller sounds like your glass of wine, I'm on the hunt for book reviewers to post honest reviews of my book on Goodreads, blogs, Amazon, Kobobooks, billboards, the bright side of the moon, or wherever...


It's the tale of LAPD homicide detective/criminal profile, Sarah Milton, a bookish young woman who grew up with the nickname "Schizo" Sarah, due to her belief in an invisible friend well into her teens. Her friend, an irrepressible 13-year-old whom she named Anna Nigma, disappeared from her life after the murder of her mother. She reappears fifteen years later, following Sarah's near-fatal shooting, causing no end of trouble for the detective. Amidst fears for her sanity, Sarah eventually comes to discover that both Anna and her ongoing investigation into a mysterious serial killer known as "Raithe" have their origins in the supernatural. Before long, she's embroiled in a world of the paranormal and the mystical, where only her rekindled powers to see and speak to the dead can help to catch the city's most notorious killer before he strikes again.

Want more? Check out the Amazon preview at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BGE5DEM/ or the excerpt on my blog at http://jbcameron.blogspot.ca/2013/05/excerpt-from-reading-dead-sarah-milton.html for a taste of the fun.

I can provide either a .mobi version or a .epub version as an email attachment for interested readers. Please contact me at jc8802@nb.sympatico.ca to let me know you're interested. If you are the owner of a review blog, please include the URL and a rough idea of when you might have a completed review, so I can give you full credit here. 

I also provide blog interviews, though I'm not terribly prompt. With revisions and other writing projects, my schedule's a little packed right now. I do respond eventually...

Friday, 7 June 2013

The Companion Book IS COMING!

Thanks to the many wonderful people on Facebook who saw to it that my author page hit 500 likes, I'm now able to release that exciting bit of news that I've been sitting on for ages. Thank goodness - I'm terrible with secrets!

As fans of READING THE DEAD - THE SARAH MILTON CHRONICLES know from the sneak peek included at the back of the book, the second book features the return of Sarah's old nemesis, Harry Sands (aka: The Fancy Dress Killer). He's coming back in a big, unexpected way. 

The book details the original manhunt for the killer in a sequence of flashbacks, leading up to the exciting circumstances surrounding his capture. The mind of this mysterious figure is laid bare, revealing why he's such a traumatic presence in Sarah Milton's life.

Another milestone event that is included is the big wedding of Sarah's father. For the first time, readers will glean an inside look into the man only hinted to before, her estranged father, Senator William H. Milton.

While both of these events are covered in the book, there's a larger story that's going on behind the scenes. I'm very pleased to announce that the release of FIDELIS IN AETERNUM will be accompanied by a 99 cent companion book:

ANNA'S ADVENTURES features the tales of both of these important events, as experienced from the perspective of everyone's favorite teenage poltergeist. The stories contained within are:


As Sarah and her LAPD companions close in on the trail of the Fancy Dress Killer, none of them realize that a certain invisible hitchhiker is along for the ride. It's a good thing she is, because as the unpredictable Harry Sands manages to get the upper hand, the surprising intervention of Sarah's ghostly companion turns out to be her only chance for survival.

Anna Nigma as you've never seen her before, exhibiting a whole new ability in her paranormal bag of tricks.

Sarah and Anna are back in Tilford to attend the wedding of William Milton and Claire Hennessey. However, while everyone is occupied with the ceremony being conducted in the back yard of the family's home, Anna Nigma finds herself caught up in a battle of wits against a pair of would-be robbers, disguised as caterers. They planned on everything, except facing off against the poltergeist queen of pranks. 

It's a fast, fun story you won't want to miss!

ANNA'S ADVENTURES is set for a simultaneous release with book two of the RTD series. Keep checking back here for more excerpts and announcements as the big moment approaches!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Big News Coming!

Something's up...

There's an announcement coming about my upcoming book,  
Reading The Dead - The Sarah Milton Chronicles: Fidelis in Aeternum.

Once my Author's Facebook page hits 500 likes, I'll be announcing the big news...

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Author Interview At Book Motion City

Book Motion City did a wonderful job of laying out my guest interview. Please check it out, as well as the interviews of the other talented authors whose esteemed company I'm sharing.


T4 - part 3

My marketing experiment with Twitter is running into its third week now, and I have to say that the results are leading me back to my original estimation of the platform. As a time waster and a social media hangout, it's beyond compare. However, as a means of increasing book sales, not so much. Even with a stable of close to 2000 followers now, with retweets going out among numerous different hashtag groups and hitting upwards of 5K-30K people a shot, the only book that I hesitantly lay claim to selling as a result of Twitter was the one that I mentioned in part 2 of my post. My hesitation in calling it is because I don't actually have proof that Twitter was the defining factor, rather than a stray reader from Goodreads or Facebook.

I recently joined a couple of new Facebook groups, including one dedicated to readers of paranormal books. On my way to hootsuite to enter in another bevy of tweets for the upcoming 24 hour period, I noticed that someone had posted an inquiry in the group. He was looking for feedback on a good paranormal book to read. I figured, "What the hell," and posted a blurb about my book. Several likes later, one of the members expressed an interest in the story. I followed up with a post about the excerpt on my blog, and I had a book sale within the hour. As easy as that. Not even over two thousand tweets had resulted in such a rapid success.

Goodreads is still proving to be a treasure trove of  sales opportunities, though wading through the often confusing jungle of groups can be a challenge. I'm also finding that blogs that conduct interviews and reviews are worth an author's time to investigate. I credit my last five book sales to these.

I think I may be going about the Twitter experience wrong, so I'm going to try a different tact. I notice an overwhelming number of authors (including myself) doing little beyond flooding tweeps with book ads. I think this oversaturation may be causing readers to turn a blind eye, in much the same way that people tend to zone out when TV commercials air. I'm going to give hootsuite a rest, and try putting the social back in social media. 

My recent "Literary Agent Rejections" post was the most widely read post on the blog on the day of its release. Though I also tweeted it, by far the greatest response came from the two posts I placed in Facebook groups. I'm not discounting Twitter out completely, but from what I'm seeing, it just doesn't compare to other social media sites like Goodreads, Google+, and Facebook. It certainly hasn't proven itself worth the time that could have been better spent writing.

As Mythbusters would say, I think I'll have to call this one "busted!"