Save Your Readers 50% On KWL Titles—On Us!

Steve Vernon:

Hey KOBO readers – take advantage of this GREAT 50% off offer.

Use the promo code SALE50 an unlimited number of times starting Friday August 29, 2015 and lasting through until August 31, 2015 at 11:59PM EST.

Offer is not good on e-readers and only good on Baen books, small publishers and indie titles.

Why not use this opportunity to fill your Kobo library.

Originally posted on :

Attention all Kobo Writing Life authors!

We’re proud to announce that we’ll be supporting a special end-of-summer clearance sale on all titles published through KWL—a 50% discount for your readers, on us. This sale won’t cost you anything and will not be taken out of your royalties.

This special sale will start Friday, August 28th and ends on Monday, August 31st and will be valid in Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and South Africa.

Customers will be able to redeem 50% off of any title published by KWL using the promo code SALE50 an unlimited number of times starting this Friday—so please, let your readers and fans know about this incredible opportunity to stack up on eBooks while they can!

See below the cut for the full rules & regulations of this sale. And as a reminder, this sale starts on Friday, August 28th and runs until Monday…

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10 Sensible Ways to Avoid Distractions

Steve Vernon:

I might have to try a few of these techniques. Anyone know where I can purchase a small-sized tiger???

Originally posted on The Strange Stories of Matthew Stott:

distraction

It’s very easy to get distracted. For example, I was going to write this piece earlier, got distracted by a reflective surface, and spent the next 37 minutes contemplating the majesty of my facial bush.

As a writer, distraction is the enemy. An enemy with an alluring caboose that you can’t help but follow as it wiggles across the room. So what can you do to make sure that you don’t succumb and actually GET SOME WRITING DONE?

Here’s ten top tips from me. If these don’t work, you may as well feed yourself through a mangle, cos’ there ain’t no hope for you.

1) Punch to the nuts every time you take your fingers off the keyboard. If you’re  a woman (some people are) do what you feel best approximates a nut-punch. Tit punch? Run ovary first into the corner of a table? Up to you, have fun with…

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New Newy Newness

Steve Vernon:

Sometimes it is a better idea to hold off a little before you hit that PUBLISH button!

Originally posted on The Strange Stories of Matthew Stott:

cover

Hello!

So what the heck have I been up to, aside from making the guys & gals swoon as I strut by in my tight-tight jeans? Well, I’ve been writing a butt-load (technical writing term). I’ve completed the first novel in a post apocalyptic-ish, alien invasion-ish (though not)(wait, what?) series, started the next book in that same series (I mean, there aren’t aliens in it. As such. Sort of? Kind of zombies too. Though they’re not zombies), written a horror/time travel novelette, and another spooky novelette on top of that.

PHEW!

So as things stand, I have five books with at least first drafts finished, and a couple more started. By the time I publish I’ll have at least seven complete stories.

SWEEEEET!

I really wanted to get way ahead before I put anything out, because I believe it’s important to be able to increase your back catalogue fast in…

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East Coast Paracon – How I get ready for a book signing gig

All right – so next weekend I am heading down to Liverpool, Nova Scotia to speak at the 2015 East Coast Paracon. I’m looking forward to meeting a whole lot of folks who are interested in ghosts and sea monsters and the like.

Which means I have to be ready to sign and sell some books.

This is always an exciting time for me. I love meeting like-minded readers and I love getting the opportunity to meet old fans and possibly a few new fans. I truly enjoy signing copies of my books for sale to the public.

That’s weird, I know. I realize that a LOT of authors whom I know actually DREAD going to book signings.

Not me.

But a certain amount of preparation is required.

First off I have to make certain that I have all of the books that might sell at such an event. You have to realize that I will NOT be the only author at this event. There will be a LOT of competition.

First off – make sure you bring a few pens along. There is NOTHING more embarrassing than showing up at a book signing and having to borrow somebody’s pen.

I am bringing copies of my various Nimbus books with me.

Haunted Harbours smallLunenburg_Werewolf_cover-v2

Maritime Monstersdeeper_cover_Jan_24th

As well as paperback copies of some of my self-published work.

Sudden Death Overtime - final art

Uncle Bob's Red Flannel Bible Camp - From Eden to the Ark

I also need some book stands.

twisted-wire-black-stand-193202Z3ZW

And some business cards.

business card

And a cash float.

floating money

And a table cloth.

Tree of Life

And some tasteful signage.

Blog Photo 001

Pack the books carefully in boxes so as to eliminate road-wear and make sure to bring along a small dolly to help move the boxes into the hall.

Zuni Doll

No, not THAT kind of dolly. THIS kind!

dolly

I like to bring along a supply of bags just in case some of the customers want to buy more than one book.

If you anticipate a LONG signing session it wouldn’t hurt to bring along a comfortable folding chair and some snacks and some water.

If you are interested in more book signing tips be certain to check out my blog entry “FLY FISHING IN THE RIVER OF POSSIBILITY”.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Turning Face: A Tale of Horror, Comedy and Wrestling

I grew up watching old school wrestling.

Grand Prix Wrestling – I watched it every Saturday.

And whenever I got the chance I went with my grandparents and saw it live at the Sudbury Arena.

Grand Prix Wrestling

That was where I got to shake hands with Andre the Giant – only back then we knew him as Jean Ferre. It wasn’t until he joined up with the WWF – which is NOW known as the WWE – that his name was changed to Andre the Giant.

Andre the Giant and a VERY young Duane Johnson, otherwise known as The Rock!

Andre the Giant and a VERY young Duane Johnson, otherwise known as The Rock!

I’m not sure why I always enjoyed watching wrestling. I think partly because of the grandiose storytelling of a good match. Good against Evil – the bad guy getting the poop kicked out of him by the good guy. Straight up cliche – but back then I loved every minute of it.

Partly I think it had to do with my Dad. My grandmother always told a story about how my Dad was what they call a “jobber” in a couple of Toronto matches. Basically, he was the dude from parts unknown who was paid to look just good enough to make the other guy look great. Apparently he only did it for a couple of matches and it was only because he needed the money. He never talked about it much – but he was always the sort of guy who would get into some sort of athletic endeavor – so the thought of Big Leigh “Red” Vernon in the squared circle does not surprise me in the least little bit.

Of course, you also know how much I love reading horror novels – so when I stumbled across this nifty little novella that combined wrestling AND horror I had to pick it up. Actually, I contacted the author and asked him for a review copy. He sent me an e-pub so that I could read it on my Kobo and it only took me about three hours to figure out how to stuff it into my Kobo.

I’m not saying that I am a technical wizard, you understand.

Click the picture to pick up a copy for your Kindle, if you like.

Click the picture to pick up a copy for your Kindle, if you like.

Well, it was a fun fast read. Nothing fancy, just the sort of a yarn that a proper “jobber” would come up with.

First off, I really enjoyed the whole back story of demon logic. There is a lot of room for other stories using this whole back story that needn’t involve wrestling.

The protagonist, Tojo, was the earth-born child of two demons on an evil sort of a missionary fund into the mortal world. Their job was to spread ill-feeling and evil just as hard as they could manage.

The problem starts when Tojo decides that he should use his demon powers to become a wrestler. Not just any old wrestler, you understand. Tojo decides to be a “heel”, that is, a bad guy wrestler.

“I can spread bad feelings this way,” he tells his Dad. “Making people feel hateful and angry watching me beat up the good guy wrestlers – also known as faces.”

The only problem is people LIKE Tojo. He just never is all that successful at being a heel.

You see, the problem is Tojo is NOT really as bad of a guy as he ought to be – even given his demonic heritage. Tojo LIKES being a good guy but he does not want to get caught at it – for fear of being banished back to hell and having his memory wiped and being recreated into something truly dark and evil.

It’s a pretty cool concept – although there were a few gaps that I felt needed filling.

Believe it or not I really wanted to know why his demon parents decided to name him Tojo. He wasn’t oriental, as far as I could tell from reading the novella. He wasn’t even Spanish. I thought it was a pretty cool name for a great big old wrestler with echoes of Mr. Fuji – but I would have REALLY appreciated knowing why his parents chose such an odd name.

Also – after his Mom and Dad die and return to hell they sort of fall out of the story – and I really felt that the author missed a great angle there. I would have loved to see him encounter his Mom or his Dad again in some other form.

Still, it was a fun read and I hope that the author revisits this arena again. Fans of wrestling and cheesy horror with a heaping helping of corny jokes will really enjoy this fast and fun read.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Halifax Ribfest 2015 – Day 2

Halifax Ribfest 2015

All right – so yesterday was totally awesome!

:)

We started out with a quick drive down to Johnny’s Snack Bar where we ordered pancakes and sausages – and by my own personal standards, starting the day with pancakes is ALWAYS an awesome experience.

Of course my wife has told me that she has worn shoes that were higher than my own personal standards – and that was back when she used to wear flats!

Badoom-ching!

Then we took a short stroll through the Halifax Forum Farmer’s Market and picked up some cat grass and some fresh strawberries. I had been hoping to pick up a bar of root beer soap – but the table with the soap didn’t seem to be there that morning.

We then drove up to Canadian Tire store and I picked up a crow bar as well as a small easy-to-build storage shed. They were having a big sidewalk sale to raise money for their Kickstart program that helps poor kids buy new sporting gear and we picked up the shed at a VERY good price.

We got home and I used the crow bar to help demolish my front deck – which is now at the halfway mark. The crow bar made the work a whole lot easier.

Then we had a nap and watched a couple of new episodes of INKMASTER and then – FINALLY – we headed down to the ribfest.

We started out with a feed from the good folks at CAMP 31 – because their cook crew were putting on the best show behind the grill.

RibFest 2015 Camp 31

We had a Porkster – which is a smoked sausage – smothered in pull pork and wrapped in a big old cheese bun – as well as a chicken and ribs combo.

We ordered a couple of cool bottles of iced tea and sat down and got to eating. Or, actually, my wife Belinda was treated to the spectacle of her husband falling snout first into a platter of pig-parts. All along we sat and listened to the wonderful country music of another local group – THE BAKERSFIELD BOYS

Let me tell you, so far out of the three rib stands we have tried this weekend the folks at CAMP 31 ranked highest. Their ribs were sweet and tender and the sausage had a distinct savoring aftertaste of apples and hickory smoke and I am pretty sure that chicken could have bench pressed a good-sized Buick.

“That’s good eating,” I said around a mouthful of pig parts.

“What’ll we do about dessert?” Belinda asked.

“I want me some corn bread,” I said.

Now, you have to understand that I have discovered that my natural country twanginess seems to naturally intensify around the proximity of barbecued ribs and by now I was sounding like I ought to be auditioning for the next reboot of DUKES OF HAZARD.

Now what Belinda didn’t know was that I wasn’t JUST thinking about dessert – but I was thinking about second helpings. So we walked up into the line-up at the SILVER BULLET which had a sort of a handmade-looking sign that read SWEET CORN BREAD $3.00.

While I was in the line-up the fellow in front of me turned around and it was Calum Johnston – the owner of STRANGE ADVENTURES. Well, Cal began to rhapsodize about all the ribs that he had eaten here at the Ribfest and his words touched something deep down inside of me – somewhere close to my pancreas – and I turned to Belinda and I asked “How about more ribs.”

(that’s right – I lay the blame on Calum)

“You want more ribs?” Belinda asked in disbelief.

“I haven’t had enough ribs today,” I told her. “You can see that I am a mere shadow of myself. I am practically fading away into nothing before your eyes.”

“That’s a big old shadow you are talking about,” Belinda pointed out. “But while you are at that you ought to get beans and coleslaw along with it so that you can tell everyone that you ate some greens at the Ribfest.”

That’s why I love that woman.

She thinks the same way that I do.

:)

So we got ourselves another heap of ribs and they were awfully good and the corn bread was hot and wonderful even though I didn’t have any maple syrup to slather it with – but the highlight of the second meal of the evening was their beans which had that hot and spicy Texas-style flavor that always makes me hang back my head and howl like a lovesick puppy dog.

So after that we listened to a bit more music and then came home and watched a couple of episodes of SONS OF ANARCHY and ate some ice cream and drank some beer.

Let me tell you – RibFest rocks!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

For Indie Writers: You have the control. Own it.

Steve Vernon:

Some good words here. Well worth reading if you are trying to make it as an indie writer.

Originally posted on ELIZABETH HUNTER:

pvBJ1FZ.jpg

Here’s the thing.

There are many reasons why people decide to publish their own books. Some people get frustrated with traditional publishing. Some prefer the creative control that self-publishing brings. Others see it as a better long-term business choice to control their intellectual property for the life of the copyright. Some people want to publish their Uncle Alvin’s memoirs and hand it to him at Christmas because it was good old Uncle Alvin’s life-long dream. It could be none of these reasons. It could be all of them or a combination of any.

Whatever the reason you decided to self-publish, there you are. You’ve done it.

Now please own it.

Amid all the handwringing about subscription services and how writers are getting paid (I don’t want to go over it, so if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just read David Gaughran’s post HERE) writers seem to be forgetting…

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