Today I’m part of a special blog event hosted by T. Man, a 10-year-old author and homeschooler. When T. Man was only 8, he partnered with his older brother, M. Man, on a special homeschool writing project that resulted in their first published book, Tony the Phony and Cursed Mansion. This year, T. Man went solo and just finished the second book in the series, Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods. Written in the engaging style of a Choose Your Own Adventure™, each book is available for .99 on Amazon.
But today T. Man has chosen to share his new book with his readers in its entirety in a special interactive virtual event. Seven different bloggers are hosting sections of the story. The fun begins on T. Man’s blog. At the end of each page YOU have to decide how the story will go. Each choice will lead you to a new blog. You have the possibility of landing on any of four endings. Of course, when you finish you can always go back to the beginning and start again. Choose wisely!
Permalink to the start of the story on T. Man’s blog: http://wp.me/p2bspO-7d
Link to Tony the Phony and Cursed Mansion: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JQLMK6G/
Link to Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AL2AFYM
“Let’s go see if we can find help,” said Tony.
So Ed grabbed his backpack while Tony left the plane. Five seconds later, Ed heard Tony scream, “Help! Help!” He ran from the plane to see what was happening and came face to face with a bear who had pinned Tony pinned to the ground. “What are you doing?” asked Ed.
“Trying to breathe,” said Tony. “Chuck something at it.”
Ed picked up a stick and threw it. “I missed! Wait! The bear is chasing the stick.”
“Run!” yelled Tony.
“I’m right behind you.”
Bam! They ran into the airplane door.
“Open it!” said Tony.
“It won’t budge,” screamed Ed. “We’re locked out!”
Suddenly a loud roaring sound came from the top of the plane. The bear dropped the stick behind them, skidded to a stop with all four feet, and ran for its life.
“What was that?” Ed squeaked.
Tony pointed with a shaky finger. Ed looked up and there on the roof of the plane was a fat zombie. He looked wrinkly and warty and cranky.
Guest posting today is author Andrea Pearson with an amazing collection of Middle Grade books for your ereaders which are all on sale or FREE through January 7th. Here’s Andrea:
I’m excited about this promotion because it’s geared to one of my favorite audiences: middle-grade readers! I’ve always been passionate about books written for kids ages 9 through 12. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, Diary of a Wimpy Kid… all excellent. :-) I wrote The Key of Kilenya when my younger brother, Josh, who was 12 at the time, told me there weren’t enough books for him to read. He’d ripped through everything our local library had and was hungry for more.
I dedicate this promotion to him and to all other readers who love and are searching for books written for middle graders!
The Multi-Author Middle-Grade Book Promotion starts January 4, 2016 and ends January 7, 2016.
From $2.99 to $0.99
KindleTwelve-year-old Steven never wondered where the Loch Ness monster or Big Foot came from until he found a stone box with a dangerous secret–one people are willing to kill for!
From $1.99 to $0.99
KindleOne girl with a nightmare to live through; one ghost with a dream to live. With so much to lose, can anything be gained?
From $3.49 to FREE
KindleEnter a world of myth and magic as young English boy Thomas Farrell seeks to discover the identity of his late father, and why he left him a strange glass orb containing a serpent…
From $2.99 to $0.99
KindleWhen eating dog kibble on a dare gives 10-year-old Tawny special powers, her life nearly goes to the dogs!
$3.99 to $0.99
KindleDaniel doesn’t think there’s anything worse than spending a week at Camp Bigfoot . . . until he loses his prized possession: a pencil that brings his drawings to life.
From $3.99 to FREE
KindleWhen a blast from the past shows up and makes her BFF go nutburgers, Ginnie is torn between helping her friend and getting some very important questions answered.
From $2.99 to $0.99
KindleFelicity, an ordinary sparrow learns that she can do extraordinary things!
From $2.99 to $0.99
KindleThe legend of the little red hen, as told by the acorn that smacked her in the head. NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO CHANGE THE WORLD!
From $2.99 to FREE
KindleCarter’s life changes when an old man entrusts him with a book of magical spells, one of which grants the power to raise people from the dead.
From $0.99 to FREE
KindleEver wonder what it would be like to be pulled into your computer? Sarah is about to find out.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesWhen a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, Christopher and his crew get caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies!
Enjoy your new books! :-)
Being a writer is often a lonely occupation.
I spend a great deal of time inside my own head. Too much time almost certainly. For me, writing stories mainly involves staring at a computer screen while my fingers peck away to fill the white space with darker pixels, punctuated by periods of gazing at a blank spot on the wall of my office while I ruminate on how best to continue the current scene or chapter. In the realm of spectator sports, it ranks just below watching grass grow or paint dry.
Unless you’re inside my head.
In there, the action flies at a blistering pace, with a multitude of permutations for each action by the characters playing out almost simultaneously until I settle on one with the most conflict/danger/insight/humor and the process starts anew. Have you ever read a book, or watched a movie, where something happened and you thought, “Man, it would have been so much cooler if they’d done _______”? That’s basically my creative process, for each and every scene. I don’t always get it right, but I examine a number of possibilities before deciding on any particular path for each story. It’s sort of like a choose-your-own-roller-coaster.
Recently, I signed up for another type of roller coaster: crowd funding. I’ve seen a number of other authors try this route to gain exposure and help with the expenses of publishing and promoting their books. One of my writer friends showed me a site called Inkshares.com, which is a new take on crowd funding, exclusively for books. Skeptical, I took a look at the long, steep uphill stretch of track before me and shuddered. The lonely introvert within me reigned supreme and I stepped away, giving it little thought after that.
Then, the Sword & Laser stepped in. Now, if you’re a scifi/fantasy fan and haven’t heard of the Sword & Laser, let me direct you to their YouTube channel and Podcast. Oh, and they have a thriving GoodReads group as well. Tom and Veronica are smart and funny and do an amazing job of presenting scifi and fantasy books and authors to the world through their monthly book club, interviews, and news discussions. For the second time now on Inkshares, the Sword & Laser is sponsoring a contest where the winning book will be published and promoted in conjunction with the group, as well as the other top two of three receiving the full backing of Inkshares, regardless of the number of copies preordered. The contest runs until January 15, 2016.
Unlike my first foray, this time I’ve jumped into the front seat and thrown my arms up high, a look of glee mixed with sheer panic plastered on my face.
Here’s where you, dear reader, come in.
Having the opportunity of presenting my work to such an active and vibrant fan base as the Sword & Laser commands is amazing, to say the least. Achieving that goal requires pledges in the form of pre-orders for the book I’ve entered in the contest: The Devil You Know. Here’s the cover I’ve worked up, along with some “back cover” copy:
Two alien races vie for control of Earth amidst a human population decimated by a merciless plague, famine, and war.
Hell is not pleased and the denizens of the Underworld have decided it’s time to fight back.
Doing their best to create new lives in the aftermath of the chaos triggered by the aliens’ arrival, Abraham Black and Neri White are about as different as their last names would indicate. Yet, together, they may hold the key which allows humanity to remain the primary tenants of Earth. The question is: how much are they willing to give up to save the world? Their memories? Their lives? Their souls?
I’m describing it as post-apocalyptic, epic, suburban fantasy… with aliens.
You can read the first two chapters on the Inkshares site.
“How can I get my hands on this enormous slice of awesome?” You ask. Here’s how:
- Create an account on Inkshares.
- Once you’ve done that, Inkshares will gift you with $5.00 in credits you can use toward funding the project of your choice! (Sometimes the credits take a few minutes to a couple of hours to show up, so be patient)
- Click on The Devil You Know and pre-order an ebook for only $5.00 (after applying your credits) or a printed copy, shipped directly to you when it’s published, for only $10.00 more.
- Tweet or Share on Facebook the fact that you’ve just been a completely awesome person and done the above!
“Why do I need to do that last step if I did all the rest?” You wonder.
Because I’m sweetening the pot, that’s why! For every 10 new readers, you’ll be entered into a giveaway for a $10.oo Amazon gift card. (I’ve already given one away!) Yep, every time we hit another 10 readers, all the previous readers will have a chance to win a $10.00 Amazon card. So, the more you share and get the word out, the more chances you’ll have to get a little bonus for yourself! Additionally, if someone places an order based on your Inkshares recommendation, you’ll receive more credits to spend on other interesting works from the site. How cool is that? You get an amazing book, chances to win Amazon gift cards, and credits to get even more amazing books — all for just a $5.00 investment! They even accept Bitcoin if you happen to have some of those lying around.
Now, I realize for many folks even $5.00 can seem like a lot to spend on someone you may not even know or have read before. Believe me, I’ve been there. Rest assured, you aren’t tossing your money away on nothing. If the project doesn’t reach the top three in the contest and isn’t funded, you’ll get your money back and you might have even won a gift card along the way.
Being the lonely, introverted writer type I referenced at the beginning of this post, it’s extremely hard for me to ask others for help. I don’t like doing it. My anticipation at realizing a dream, however, has overridden my fears of reaching out and asking for this assistance. I can’t do this alone. So, please, if you can sacrifice that double mocha latte, or a Happy Meal, on fulfilling a dream, I’ll be forever grateful. Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Got your attention?
I’m a writer. How could I possibly, truthfully express the sentiment in that headline? Well, let me tell you a story…
My mother is an avid reader, mostly of thrillers and mysteries, and she had a number of bookshelves, stocked with her favorites from over the years. Recently, she had the carpet replaced in her home and, rather than going to the trouble of reshelving most of those books when the new carpet was in and she could return her furniture to the rooms, she decided to sell the majority of those books to a used book store.
About three years ago, she made the reluctant plunge to ebooks. I say reluctant because she didn’t think she’d stick with it initially. Now, you’d have to pry her kindle from her cold, dead fingers. She’s discovered dozens of Indie authors (it helped that her son is one of them) and spends far, far less money on reading material than she used to, all the while enjoying the activity just as much as she ever did, perhaps more.
The paper books from her dusty shelves, which included pristine, hardback copies of Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, and Jonathan Kellerman best sellers, didn’t hold the nostalgic value they once had. She had no interest in rereading them, so it made sense to take them to a used book store and get a few bucks for them.
Billings, Montana isn’t a huge town by most standards, but we have a number of used book stores. We stopped by one on our way to lunch, thinking to drop the books off, quickly collect a few dollars, and hopefully pay for our meal with the “windfall.” Our visit was indeed quick, but not for the reason we supposed.
“We’re not buying any books,” the clerk explained. “In fact, we’re having a big sale right now to try to pare down our inventory.”
Hm. Okay. No big deal, we thought. We’ll just try another store.
We accumulated strikes two and three faster than Casey from the Mudville Nine.
Resigned to not being able to pay for our lunch, we visited the library after we’d eaten, seeking to donate the books.
“Could you bring them by when we have our big book sale in the winter?” the lady at the front desk asked. “We really wouldn’t have any place to store them until then.”
The library doesn’t want books? It’s not like these were outdated software manuals. Tom freaking Clancy!
We ended up dropping them off at our local GoodWill. The attendant took them with a slight frown on her face.
Being a relatively well informed writer who’s steeped in ebooks, I knew the digital world has been gaining ground on the world of dead trees, but this experience really drove the point home. I remember buying and trading used books as a kid — and as an adult — for many years. Proprietors were always happy to see me come in with a box of books, because they knew I’d be trading them for more reading material and they’d generate some churn in their inventory. Now? Those stores wouldn’t even take books in trade, because their shelves were already packed to overflowing.
And people wonder why the big publishers are doing everything they can to keep ebook prices as high as possible. Their businesses are built on paper. When anyone can publish a book in electronic form and have it appear on the virtual shelves of the largest bookseller on the planet, right next to Tom freaking Clancy, where is the incentive to spend years playing the agent-to-acquisition-to-publication lottery? Especially when the payout for that particular lottery is getting smaller and smaller with each passing day.
Before long, paper books will be a novelty item, only sought out by collectors, much like vinyl records are today. Vinyl aficionados claim digital is too clean. They like to hear the hisses and pops that records produce. I suspect the same sort of folks probably like ink smudges on their fingers from printed pages as well.
Personally, words carry the same impact for me, whether displayed on a screen or paper. A good story carries me off to another world, regardless of the medium in which it’s presented.
Books are worth much more than mere paper and ink.