Tag Archives: sudden death overtime

I wish it was a movie…

I came across this Goodreads list and I boldly entered two of my own books on the list. The list is a list of books that people believe should be made into movies.


Now, there are two books that I have written that I really hope some day will be made into a movie. I don’t have ANY illusions of this Goodreads list making that magic happen – but it is quietly and nerdily cool to just to think about it.

I have always felt that SINKING DEEPER would make a wonderful true Canadian movie. It has CBC written all over it – back when CBC used to have money-to-burn. Heck, we could even have a guest-appearance by David Suzuki for his near-assassination scene.

Sinking Deeper New Cover

As for SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME – well, that of all of my books would make the best darned horror movie you could imagine – something along the lines of FROM DUSK UNTIL DAWN or FRIGHT NIGHT or 30 DAYS OF NIGHT or REANIMATOR.

Sudden Death Overtime - final art

I also voted for Tim Curran’s HIVE and Robert McCammon’s STINGER – both of which would make terrific creature-feature style movies.

What’s your favorite cheap and cheesy monster movie? I’d love to hear you talk about it.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Why should I bother with anything else than Kindle???

Okay – so I’ve been doing really well at Kobo – but Kindle hasn’t done much for me.

I could ignore that or I could do something about it.

I intend to do something about it.

Still – that brings me to a question that some folks are looking for an answer to.

Right now Kindle is the big dog on the block.

A lot of folks believe that because that dog is so darned big they might as well not bother with ANYTHING else.

Go Select – they tell you.

Be a Kindle man.

Well, I see it differently.

The way I see it, there is one single undeniable constant in this indie-publishing thing of ours.

(cue Godfather music)

The undeniable constant is CHANGE!

Kindle will change how they do things. Kobo will change how they do things. Nook will change how they do things.

I don’t want to get stuck depending on ANY one e-book distributor.

Think of it this way. You sell five books on Kobo (or Nook, or Diesel, or Apple, or that note you scribbled on the men’s washroom) this month – you’ll tell yourself “Hmmph, Kobo isn’t worth it.”

Then you sell five more books next month. And the next month. And the next month.

On the twelfth month the FLYING FRYPAN OF FATE tips a domino and all at once you sell one hundred books on Kobo in ONE MONTH!

Or a thousand.

Hey, it could happen. You don’t know how the next rule-change is going to affect your sales. You don’t know how the next promotion is going to pay off.


Speaking of my next promotion – I’ve got something worked up with Kboards for Monday. My book, SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME, is due to appear as a part of Kboards BOOK DISCOVERY promotion.

That means that 65000 Kindle owners are going to have a chance to take a look at SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME.

It’s another experiment. If it makes a bump I intend to follow it up with another promotion – and then I’ve got a third promotion planned for the middle of the month as a part of my birthday celebrations.

I’ll post the links here on Monday and I’ll ask you all to put the word out on Twitter, Facebook, Pintarest – whatever you do – that would be GREAT.

I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Interview with Author Steve Vernon

Here’s a brand new interview with me – for those folks who haven’t tired of hearing me talk about myself .

Interview with Author Steve Vernon.



Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

A brand-new SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME review

I’m still hip-deep in the Busker Festival and too busy to write a proper blog entry – but here’s a link to a brand-new review of SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME!


Hockey 30 Days of Night in Canada.


And here’s a link to brief write-up concerning SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME. I wrote it – so it’s really sort of an infomercial – but if you’re looking for a little publicity for you next Kindle e-book release you ought to try it out.


yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Spreading the word…

It’s always difficult to spread the word about your writing. You have to be so careful to walk that very fine line between “Oh here comes Steve, he writes – doesn’t he?” and “DUCK AND COVER – HERE COMES STEVE – THE HUMAN SPAM MACHINE – MAN, I JUST KNOW HE’S GOING TO TELL ME TO BUY HIS BOOKS!”

I try to stay in the middle, mostly.

Guest appearances are a great way to help raise your writerly profile.

So when the folks at VAMPCHIX & BITE CLUB asked me to be a guest blogger at their page I jumped at it.

You can jump at it too, if you’d like.






I love gardening. There is nothing quite so unearthly grounding as the feeling of slamming your spade into a heap of dirt.

Oh shoot.

I’m punning aren’t I?

I promised the doctor I’d stop doing that.

“Keep up your serial killing,” he told me. “It’s healthier than punning.”

All right.

I’ll do it.

This time I will stick to it.

No more puns.

I swear.

I am turning over a new leaf.

Well, I’m turning dirt over, anyway. Let me show you a patch in my garden.









Last year those tulips weren’t there. What was there was a patch of lilies. The lilies had been infested with lily beetles – little nasty red eating machines – that would strip the lilies down faster than a bucket load of Agent Orange.

So last year I yanked the lilies and planted an assortment of tulips. They’ll only be pretty for a week or two. I might put some gladioli in there to come up later in the summer. When the mood strikes me.

This weekend I also did some gardening. I plunked some big pumpkin orange gladioli in the tulip bed out front – so that I’ll have some flowers come the end of summer. I also cleaned out a bed of nonproductive random blooming nothings – which is a polite of describing a patch of garden that had gone to weed – and I replaced them with a pack of seeds for perennial sweet peas. I’d been saving those seeds from the old house where I had a huge perennial sweet pea that nearly swallowed the whole front wall.

I don’t know if the seeds will grow. I planted them and will just have to wait and see. The first time I planted the sweet pea it took about two years before it really came up.

That’s my style of gardening. I like to put down perennials by the heaping handful and then just wait and be surprised year after year.

That’s why I like e-books. They are out there and they will keep selling long after I’ve moved on to write something else.

See, you knew I was going to get around to comparing flowers to writing, sooner or later.

Here’s another picture of those tulips. The thicket they are standing in surrounds our front lawn. It gives the whole yard a kind of unkempt, uncombed English cottage kind of feel to it – which I like.








That stretch in front is the rose hedge that I put in two years ago. It goes right around the house and by the end of the summer it should have thickened in nicely.

Life – like gardens – are a work in progress.



But we were talking about getting the word out.

Sometimes that will happen all by itself.

Like this morning when I recieved an e-mail from a reviewer who had reviewed SINKING DEEPER a while ago.

He e-mailed me to let me know that he had just put up a blog entry that mentioned my novel SINKING DEEPER in amongst a list of ten under-appreciated YA novels.

I appreciated that.

SINKING DEEPER is a really good read that just seems to have sunk below the radar a little bit. Here’s hoping this blog entry pulls it back up a bit.


You’ll definitely want to take a look at some of those other books as well.

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon


A brand new review…

I’ll have to sit down and right a proper blog entry tomorrow for my 100th blog entry – but today I’ll soon need to head off to a shift at the dayjob – so for now I’ll just let you know that there’s a brand new review of SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME at Life After Undeath.

Check it out.


yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Choosing Cover Art…

I love covers.

When I go in the bookstore and browse it’s the interesting covers that often get me to pick a book up from the shelf and browse it. Once I’m browsing the sucker I am halfway to the point of actually picking it up.

E-books are the same way – but different. Cover art is still important – in fact it is damn near critical. It is tougher for e-book covers because you don’t get to see the whole picture. All that you are usually looking at is just a thumbnail image. So sometimes going to grandiose and striving for a really wonderful painterly cover isn’t necessarily the way to go. That picture of a unicorn leading a conga-line of brandy-tippling mutant shrimp across an ocean floor scattered with rare doubloons and giveaways from a thousand K-Tel promotions isn’t necessarily what you want to choose for your next e-book.

You shrink it down to a thumbnail image and that unicorn is most likely going to look like a unicycling French Poodle blowing on a twisted sort of saxaphone.

In my e-books I have worked with several wonderful cover artists.

Peter Francis, a local gent that I met at a Gothic Christmas Festival, did the cover art for my SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME.










I liked this cover. It’s bold and it is simple and it captures the kooky off-beat eeriness of my little novelette. It’s got a kind of old-school EC Cemetery Dance sort of flavor to it that just sort of shrieks out “Bring on the booga-booga!” And, like I said, it shows up nicely in the Amazon thumbnail – which is where most prospective readers are going to be looking at it. The cover was even mentioned in the FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND review. http://famousmonstersoffilmland.com/2012/02/10/book-review-sudden-death-overtime-by-steve-vernon/

Incidentally, Peter is on the look-out for clients. You can contact him at his Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Petes-Gothic-Art/169630223059273


I’ve also worked with Neil Jackson. who has done the cover work for a couple of my books now. I just had a look at his latest cover and it is definitely a stand-out.












The book is called TATTERDEMON and I won’t tell you much more about it until it comes out just a little later this spring. Until then – try not to drool on the computer screen, would you?

I will let you know that Neil is also on the hunt for his next victim so if you are looking for a good cover artist get in touch with Neil. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Petes-Gothic-Art/169630223059273#!/profile.php?id=788512064&sk=wall


Lastly, I want to point you towards a great little article on this subject. I already Twittered this article and plunked a link on my Facebook page but I decided to plunk it into my blog entry that I had been meaning to write. Definitely check this link out and you could do worse than actually following that page. There’s always a lot of information there. http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/self-publishing-tips-cover-art

If you liked this blog entry you can always do the same. Follow my blog or Twitter a link to it or plunk (that’s a technical term, by the way) a link to my blog on your Facebook page. Or of course you could always be old-fashioned about it and just buy my book. http://www.amazon.com/Sudden-Death-Overtime-ebook/dp/B0077ZR2TS

I’m an old-fashioned kind of gent myself.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

Sunday morning, coming down…

There is a story that Johnny Cash used to tell about how Kris Kristofferson landed on his front lawn one Sunday morning with a song that Johnny “Just had to sing”.

The song was Sunday Morning Coming Down.

Give a listen, if you’d like!

Sometimes, that’s just how ideas hit you. They’ll land on your front lawn or beat on your door whistle down your chimney pipe.

Other times you have to root for them. You have to turn over stones and hunt through a gravel-floored basement or ramble through a dusty attic dream.

Times like today I am surrounded by ideas. I feel a little like Custer at the Little Big Horn – where the heck did all those ideas come from and which one do I shoot first?

I’ve just finished a third retightening of a manuscript for an upcoming collection – the third in about three weeks. The head editor passed it to me all marked up. I corrected it. Then it was handed to another editor who handed it back all marked up. I corrected that too. Then, two days, I got it back for a third time with a few more marks in it. I corrected those yesterday and this morning and fired it right back.

A lot of you folks out there are already beginning to tap out comments that will read something – “That rotten-eyed horse-wallow of an editor. How dare they criticize your work so much. Don’t they realize what a nice guy you are? Don’t they realize just how hard you work at this gig?”

And then there is some of you folks who want to tell me – “See, that is why you should self-publish everything as an e-book. Get the hell out of traditional publishing, Vernon. Why are you wasting your time and energy writing for somebody other than just yourself?”

And then there’s a few of you who are reading this and thinking to yourself – “I wonder what Lady Gaga is up to right about now?”

The point is, though, I still enjoy writing for the traditional publishing market. My regional books reach out to people who wouldn’t necessarily pick up an e-book – asuming that one can actually pick up something that exists strictly on a digital level.

And I don’t mind all of this extra edit-work. The fact is, this book really needs all of that extra painstaking effort. The book I’m working on isn’t my usual collection of ghost stories. This new book – as some of you already know – is a collection of historical maritime murder mysteries. There is a lot of fact and detail and circumstance that can easily get all futzed up by a careless writer – and I can sometimes be just that.

The fact is, we all can be careless writers. Nobody gets all of the details perfect. Nobody’s grammar is impeccable – it ain’t I tell you. Nobody spels everythin perfectly and typos do happen at the most inconvenient and unexpected occasions!

So I welcome the editor’s inquistion. Tie me to the rack and flail me with a cat o’ nine tails drenched in vinegar and lemon juice. Hold them heated irons to my heels and flay me inch by inch – all the while whispering with garlic, raw onions, sardines and Stilton cheese-riddled breath – “Who’s your daddy, writer-boy?”

I want to give that to you. I want to cut that into the heart of your muse and let her tattoo it in your nostrils so that you breathe that idea into somewhere deep within your essence.

“Do not fear the editor”.

Soak that up, would you? Don’t get all dog-locked on the notion that your words are precious as diamond-encrusted snowflakes.

Fact is, I just revised that last image – changing the initial “diamond-crusted snowflakes” to “diamond-encrusted snowflakes”.

Fact is, we all could use a little revision in our words. 

Fact is, your editor and your publisher are your very first clients – and you damn well better know how to keep them happy.

This is business and you got to please the paying customers.

Amen, and gesundheit!


Now, a few words on the great e-book experiment.

Last week’s “free-lease” of my novelette SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME has met with mixed results.

We moved about 500 or so free copies – which sounds like a lot, but in the world of the “free-book” you want to hit numbers in the thousands before you can get yourself up into that fleetingly visible top 100 bestselling zone.

As most of you know, that’s what the whole idea of a giveaway is. You want to give away enough free e-books to bump your Kindle rank up into the top 100. You don’t stay there for very long, but the idea is that you stay long enough so that people notice that your book exists. That’s what it all comes down to. You see, there is a great abundance of e-books out there, with more being released every day.

To sell books you need to make certain that readers know you are there.

Let me take you back to the days of the Depression. The days when workers would line-up at the worksites looking for day labor in the fields or the fruit trucks. The foreman would come down to the edge of the mob of hungry people and choose out a dozen or so workers – however many he needed that day. Those few got work, which meant they got paid, which meant that eventually they would eat.

A lot of times that work went to the big fellows. The tall boys who just plain stood out from the crowd or else could push their way close enough to foreman to be noticed just long enough to be hired.

For that day.

That’s where your average e-book author finds himself. Standing in a crowd behind a line of big tall fellows, trying hard to be noticed.

Fellow needs himself a trampoline or else a pair of stilts.

So, to get back to my original subject – has the “free-lease” of my two e-books – BAD VALENTINES and SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME been a success?

I don’t know yet.

One thing it has done is produced a brief but solid review at the Amazon listing of SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME.

A lady from Tennessee who picked up a copy of Sudden Death Overtime had this to say –

“Steve Vernon’s ability to weave a story with a flow that is virtually flawless is a testament to how good a storyteller he is. I loved the characters and their personable dialogue and was able to plant myself easily in Labrador.”

She said more but you’d have to click that cover photo to read the rest over at Amazon. For myself, I feel that if I can transplant a Tennessee resident to the Labrador shore than I have done my storytelling duty.

Reviews – good reviews – can work as a pair of stilts. Or, perhaps more aptly, a good review is the equivalent of having somebody wave a sign with a picture of your novel over the heads of all of them big tall fellows.

Either way – you get enough of those good solid reviews and a few more of those readers can see you over the crowd.

Even less-than-flattering reviews can work for a writer. Take a look at what Amanda McNeil has to say about my horror/historical DEVIL TREE in her WordPress review blog OPINIONS OF A WOLF!

Not everything she says is glowing and wonderful, but she does have a lot of good things to say about the book. She’s painted a fine sign and by posting it on her blog she is doing a reviewer’s duty of waving that sign above the crowd. In turn, I will post notices of that review – which works in a similar fashion. Now I will wave a sign pointing to her blog – which will in turn increase her visibility.

Maybe that is all that the internet is slowly becoming. A bunch of people waving signs saying “Look at me!” or “Look at me looking at him/her!”


All of this talk of sign waving brings me to the Halifax bus strike. We are about a month into this strike and people are beginning to adapt. I had some trouble on Friday morning, walking two and half miles in heavy old winter boots, rather than the walking shoes I have been getting by with – but other than that I am adapting nicely. So is everyone else.

People are being hurt by this situation, however. There is a whole lot less casual shopping these days. People who might normally ride a bus to a mall or a boutique are staying home. People who have cars find themselves spending more on parking and such. The city has stepped up it’s traffic patrol and is handing out more tickets than ever – which makes for a whole lot less expendable income for walkers and drivers alike.

There have been some pretty stupid moves on both sides of the fence. I won’t bother going into all of the bad decisions that Peter Kelly has made for himself – and, even though he isn’t the only one on the management side of things he is the figurehead for the opposition.

On the other hand, the union has made a few bonehead plays as well. Starting with that Valentines Day march with everybody waving and dancing and happy at the thought of third party arbitration. A big display like that is bound to set off alarm bells in anyone you are trying to strike a deal with.

Let’s break it down, shall we? You and I are trying to reach an agreement. I suggest the possibility of arbitration to settle our dispute. Then, while you are standing there and still considering whether or not you are going to agree to my proposal, I start a one-man Snoopy dance of joy and happiness upon your front lawn. Before too long you will start to wonder just why I am so happy and what do I think I am going to get out of this agreement – and if I dance too hard and too happily you are definitely going to reconsider agreeing with arbitration.

That’s what happened, in my opinion. Council looked out and saw all of those happy dancing bus drivers and decided they didn’t want to run the risk of giving them even more reason to celebrate. Basically, the union forgot the principal rule in negotiation – always maintain your poker face. So now they are stuck with those silly heart covered t-shirts and signs – and we are heading towards St. Patrick’s Day and the transit union is still waving Valentines.

Not to mention the decision to announce that they were going to STOP the access-a-bus. Which, in effect, is saying that we are going to picket seniors and the disabled – which is who the access-a-bus serves. Even though the union hastily back-tracked and said that all they meant was they were going to delay the access-a-bus, not stop it – the announcement still, in my opinion, made them look both silly and hard-hearted.

These are all my theories. Doesn’t change a thing about the reality that both of these sides are dog-locked in a perpetual state of disagreement and it doesn’t look like they are going to solve their disagreements any time too soon.

Maybe somebody ought to send for an editor…

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon