Monthly Archives: July 2013

Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon

Check out the brand new review of TATTERDEMON!

Tatterdemon by Steve Vernon.

Happy birthday Kobo!

Happy birthday to us!.

Stephen King’s JOYLAND – my review…

All right – so the first Stephen King I ever read was ‘Salem’s Lot

I picked it up after seeing an idol of mine – Benjamin Grimm of the Fantastic Four – reading it in a comic book.

Okay – so that ought to tell you just how VERY young I was when I discovered the writing of Stephen King.

I followed his work religiously – eagerly awaiting the publication of each new novel. Even when he began to trip up – (anyone remember INSOMNIA – the only book that could cure insomnia?)

Then – when I hit King’s CELL I completely lost my will to live.

I remember thinking “How could you write such a kick-the-door-down opening chapter and then so completely lose your way?

(I know, I know – some of you folks probably LIKED Cell. One or two of you might even have enjoyed Insomnia. What can I tell you? Reading enjoyment is HIGHLY subjective and I stand by my judgement)

However, when I picked up Joyland my heart rose up and sung.

First off – I’ve worked a little at circus, carnival and busking over the years – so ANYTHING set in this particular setting has DEFINITELY got an edge up.

And I love coming-of-age stories – and that, more than anything else, is what JOYLAND is about.

The mystery is secondary. The supernatural is likewise secondary.

JOYLAND is primarily a coming of age novel.

And on this level it succeeds.

You want to read a book that tastes a little like the way that candied popcorn tasted like when you were a kid – you ought to pick up JOYLAND.

I’ll give it five big old stars – cheerfully pinged out with the BB target rifle of your choice.

Everybody’s a winner!

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 001 with Steve Vernon

All right – back in the fall I visited Toronto and toured the Kobo Headquarters and took part in the first episode of the KOBO WRITING LIFE PODCAST.


Well folks, it has FINALLY gone live – and you can check it out by hitting this link and giving a listen to a gent from Nova Scotia talking e-books and writing.

Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 001 with Steve Vernon.

Turning e-books into paperback…

I’ve JUST released my first indie paperback – a fine fat CreateSpace version of FLASH VIRUS OMNIBUS.

Here’s a look at the cover.


Want to know how I did it?

I owe a great debt of gratitude to e-book author INDIA DRUMMOND who posted this wonderfully helpful how-to video on Youtube.

That should explain EVERYTHING you need to know about how to turn your e-book into a CreateSpace POD paperback.

Cost? Not much of an issue. I paid the extra twenty-five bucks for the expanded distribution. I had to pay my artist for a front/back/spine version of my original cover. That was it, so far.

So – why should I need a paperback copy when I’ve already released this in e-book format?

I see the paperback as being one more line in the water. There are still many readers out there who HAVEN’T gone e-book. I know a lot of them. Older people, folks with a limited budget, neo-hippy luddites…

(heck, I still don’t own a cellular telephone)

An added bonus is that the Kindle listing for the e-book version now has a big old discount prominently noted – SAVE 61% over the paperback version.

Will I sell many? Who knows? Who cares?

The main benefit I see is I now have the ability to sell my book in paperback format at local trade shows, conventions, book fairs and the like. I’m booked at a horror festival this August – and a table full of my books will DEFINITELY turn my appearance into a profitable situation. I’ve got a booking at a local Gothic Christmas Festival – in which I run a palm reading booth – and a table full of my books will likewise provide a fine alternative to those folks who are looking for gift ideas.

A paperback is a great gift, a great prize for a reader-based draw, a great donation to a local library – heck, being a Canadian means that I can even make a profit on books that are borrowed through our library system.

So – for me – a paperback version is a solid option and an important addition to a well-produced e-book!

I am still trying to figure out the possible advantages/disadvantages regarding CreateSpace versus Lightning Source – but I will DEFINITELY keep you all posted.

So – as of this blog post I have TWO indie-released books in POD format.

FLASH VIRUS – this is the first five episodes and a stand-alone novel.


Sudden Death Overtime – a tale of hockey and vampires!

Besides these developments I’ve written another thousand words this morning on my next YA novel – bringing the count to 25000 words – the halfway mark to my target word-count of 50000 words.

Wish me luck.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Ten Things…

I know. I know.

Ten Things meme’s are so 2005.

So what?

I’ve seen a few entries listing “ten things I’ve done that you might not have”, and “ten things I’ve done that you probably have done”, so let me fling myself into the anthills of conformity and scuttle about with the rest of the herd.


1. Hitchhiked across Canada, in both directions, (but not simultaneously).

2. Ridden a camel and an elephant.

3. Fired a machine gun, a submachine gun, a pistol, and chucked hand grenades.

4. Jumped from a second floor ladies residence, (breaking a very good pair of glasses in the process).

5. Stood nose to nose with a skunk, a porcupine, a black bear, a herd of mule deer, several buffalo and et’ them afterwards, and stood close enough to a male grizzly to estimate the lenght of his whang-dang-doodle.

6. Dragged a dead black bear from the woods, (you don’t know what dead weight really means until you’ve tried this stunt).

7. Been a nude life model for ten years.

8. Made a living as a full-time fortune teller.

9. Picked fiddleheads.

10. Hopped a freight. (we’re reaching the bottom, and I’m running out of adlib recollections).

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

5 Book Marketing Myths You Need To Forget – Guest Post by Joanna Penn

I really got a lot out of Joanna Penn’s guest-post over at David Gaughran’s LET’S GET VISIBLE page.

Give it a read, why don’t you?

5 Book Marketing Myths You Need To Forget – Guest Post by Joanna Penn.

Eat your broccoli, just one more bite: Three simple writing tricks for increased productivity

My latest guest-blog appearance at the Kobo Writing Life blog.

Eat your broccoli, just one more bite: Three simple writing tricks for increased productivity.

Right the first time: the importance of a great first chapter

Here’s another great entry from the Kobo Writing Life blog.

Right the first time: the importance of a great first chapter.

Book Review…Joe Lansdale’s Edge of Dark Water

Let’s make one thing clear – I am a Joe Lansdale fan.

I see his name on a book cover and I’m pretty darned sure that I’m looking at the promise of a darned good read.

There have been a couple of disappointments. Let’s face it – all of us writers are nothing more than a pack of really funny-looking apes enthusiastically flinging our poo all over the place – occasionally looking up to see what particular chunk of poo happened to stick where.

Well – this poo stuck.

This poo stuck REALLY GOOD!

Edge of Dark Water is hands-down one of Joe Lansdale’s finest pieces of work. The man is simultaneously channeling Harper Lee and Mark Twain – along with a huge heaping helping of his own particular Lansdale magic.

I’ve seen a few reviewers who have likewise compared Joe’s writing to the work of William Faulkner – but as far as I’m concerned Faulkner is nothing more fudged-up misspelled. Faulkner liked to confuse his readers. He liked to think of himself as artful and moody. Faulkner was one of those monkeys that likes to stand on the edge of the monkey pack and strike a weird mysterious pose and try to keep you guessing as to which direction they are going to fling their next chunk of poo.

That’s right – William Faulkner was one of the world’s first performance artists.

Joe’s writing – especially in this work – is the complete and total antithesis – (you like that word? I spelled it without even having to resort to a dictionary) – of Faulkner. In fact Joe Lansdale is about as anti-Faulkner a storyteller as I can imagine.

You step into this novel like it was a river. Step into it and let the current pull you right straight on through.

Edge of Dark Water is a damn fine yarn – maybe Lansdale’s best novel yet.

Here’s a quote.

“I sat on the shore and looked at May Lynn’s body. It was gathering flies and starting to smell and all I could think of was how she was always clean and pretty, and this wasn’t anything that should have happened to her. It wasn’t like in the books I had read, and the times I had been to the picture show and people died. They always looked pretty much like they were when they were alive, except sleepy. I saw now that’s not how things were. It wasn’t any different for a dead person than a shot-dead squirrel or a hog with a cut throat hanging over the scalding pot.”

How’s that for well-flung poo?

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

If you want to read EDGE OF DARK WATER – order a copy through your bookstore.

OR – you can buy a copy for your Kobo!

Or you can buy a copy for your Kindle.