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DISCLAIMER: This is ALL to be logged under the category of IMHO and you should know up front that my books are coming out through Kensington, one of the biggest traditional publishers out there.

That being said, let’s begin.

There seem to be two mindsets that dominate this argument. One side is: “Traditional publishing sucks/is evil/is dying/is wrong/sucks and all books will be self published from now on because that is the wave of the future! OMG squeeeeeeeeee!”

versus

“Self published books are all garbage that have to be given away because they are written by hacks who cannot make it because they have no talent, ergo the reason they are hacks, and the fact that they are self publishing proves they don’t have the talent to be a REAL writer.  Grumble, grumble, growl.”

Neither one are true especially when applied to the many-headed Hydra that is publishing.

I am traditionally published. I am new to this. So far I LOVE it. I am so absolutely happy that my book is going to go out and live on bookshelves and I will hopefully get to do all the writerly things that go with having said book loose in the wilds of Consumerville. I want to be on panels at conventions, I want to do a book tour, I want to do it all.  I have an art department, a kick ass editor, a publicity staff, and many others I don’t know about but who all pitch in to make my book as awesome as it can be.

My friends who self publish have to do all this themselves.  I do not envy them.

Now I have one particular friend who is currently self publishing. She has confided in me the amounts of her royalty checks she gets each month. They are substantial.  Not a little substantial, but extremely substantial and she makes these amounts off the backs of books that cost the consumer $2.99.  Am I jealous of her royalty checks?  Yes I am.

But here is the thing.

I have talked to her and I know she feels the pressure to continually produce content. I know how hard she has had to work on not just writing the books , but promoting the books, designing the books, editing the books. I believe she feels a weight of it all slipping away if she slacks on production of new material.

Also, her success is built on a foundation of books that were e-published in her genre by two of the biggest e-publishers out there and an immense amount of talent.  She is not the typical self published author.

I have good friends in the industry who are self publishing their backstock of out of print books to good success. I have friends who are doing one of the hybrid publishers where it is a combination of self publishing and stylized traditional publishing.  These are all meeting with varying degrees of success.

So to sum up I am with a great traditional publisher and I am very happy for it. It is exactly what I wanted. I already have one business to run completely (Family Tradition Tattoo in Marietta, Ga) I don’t need another one and I will take the help given to me by my publisher.  It will make me a more productive writer, which benefits you as the reader.

http://twitter.com/#!/JamesTuckwriter


I am now on Twitter!!!!!  Go follow me for all the exciting updates.  lol.
So, if you have been here for a minute then you know that my first book BLOOD AND BULLETS will be out from Kensington Publishing next year.  I am very excited about it, the process is going well. Apparently I will have my edit letter this week, the cover is under production, and I am almost done with the first draft of book two in the series.

Previously I sent my editor a short story I wrote to see if he had a home for it. It's a really short, dark, twisted zombie romance.
He didn't have anywhere for it but he did ask that I write a Deacon Chalk (my series main character) short story that could be used to promote the series.  Of course I said yes, and I already know what I will write.  I also found a great place to submit the zombie short over at One Buck Horror. It's under consideration now.

And this all got me thinking about anthologies. 

First of all, I LOVE anthologies.  I have bought more anthologies in 2011 so far than I have any other kind of book.  Not only do I love anthologies as a whole on their own merit, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE anthologies with short stories about characters that I read.  Jim Butcher makes use of this market better than just about anyone else and of course, I want to be Jim Butcher.  I want that level of success where people love what I write and are involved in the character and his story. 

I have wanted to do short stories about Deacon since I began writing.  I would love to see him in an anthology alongside other kick ass urban fantasy characters.

So I am putting it out there to the universe and my friends on here. If you are editing an anthology hit me up. I am easy to work with and I will give you a great story. Hands down, a really rocking addition to your anthology and I will do it with a smile on my face.

:)  <------------------------------- see?

(ps: even if your anthology isn't urban fantasy hit me up. I have ideas for shorts for days and can probably come up with something.)
I have crossed one big hurdle already, I secured a publishing contract.  Not only is the book I wrote going to be a real live book living on shelves around the world, but it will be a series, with two books guaranteed.

Now that that has been crossed off the to-do list here are some other things I want to make happen, both the very doable to the "I'm gonna need some help with this one God" category.

1) Be a panelist at Dragoncon

2) Be a panelist at the RT Convention.

3) Go on a book tour.

4) Sell my book in Europe and Asia.

5) Go on book tour in Europe and Asia

6) Sell movie rights to the series.

7) Have a good movie made starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

8) Write for a good genre television show.

9) Write for DC, Dark Horse, or Marvel comics.

10) Become friends with: Joss Whedon,  Felicia Dey, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, John Barrowman and his partner Scott, Nathan Fillion and have them over to the house for a BBQ.

11) Be able to edit an anthology of short stories about my characters written by other authors.



See, not too out of reach.

I will expand on these tomorrow when I am well rested.

Tags:

So yesterday I was convinced that the new WIP (Deacon Chalk:Occult Bounty-Hunter book 2) is complete crap. 

Which is a terrible thing to realize halfway through a first draft when the finished version is due in (Yikes!) only THREE MONTHS! This stemmed from an issue of Writer's magazine I picked up that had an excellent article on well-crafted sentences. I read that, absorbing some of the most powerful words strung together to paint beautiful imagery, and my self-esteem as a writer crashed. 

Watching the second Weeping Angels episode of the Eleventh Doctor series of Doctor Who didn't help either. ("I made him say comfy chairs."  Stephen Moffet you kill me.)

I suck. My words are tripe. I suck. I use the most boring words invented in this language over and over in repetitive run on sentences that mean nothing and evoke no emotion.

I suck at writing.

That was yesterday.

Today I sat to write, because, sucking or not the damn manuscript must be finished. Rereading the previous chapters revealed something to me.  It wasn't bad. In fact, it was good.  I need to toss some more action in there, I think the middle has a bit too much down time, but I may be a tad tunnel-visioned.  But the next half of the book will be more non-stop action.  Nonetheless, my word-craft wasn't bad.  I may not be a Cormac Mccarthy, but no one is except him.  I think most readers will enjoy what I have written, especially after revisions set in. I love revisions.  Revision is writing, but that is another blog post altogether.

The point here is that when your writer self esteem plummets, just quit.

You heard me.

Quit.

Walk away.....for a day or so. Read something, take the rest of the day off, whatever.

When you come back, you will find that your writing isn't all that sucktastic after all.



Now onto news:

I have a short story: HE STOPPED LOVING HER TODAY in with my editor to see if he can find a home for it.  It's a Walking Dead-style tragic love story with zombies.  It's really short, but hopefully he can place it somewhere.  I would love to get some short stories in place to build the name and the Deacon Chalk series. (Out next year from Kensington Publishing).   No this isn't a Deacon short, but any story will get more recognition.

In Deacon news I did have a flash of inspiration on the ride in to the tattoo shop this morning. Now I have a short story involving more were-spider goodness, a stripper, an assassin, and some good old violence to write that hopefully I can drop into an anthology somewhere.

Keep on writing your story my friends, you make you own happy endings.  (get your mind out of the gutter kids).
Look, we all LOVE our characters. We do.  I love my characters anyways.  They are near and dear to my heart.

So why am I such a sadistic bastard to them?

BECAUSE WITHOUT CONFLICT YOU HAVE NO STORY.

Let me repeat that.

WITHOUT CONFLICT YOU HAVE NO STORY.

If you want your characters to be all happy and live in worlds of wine and roses, then by all means, write that.  Your mom would love to read it.  But if you want to write a story that real people in the real world want to read and (gasp!) pay for the privilege then you must put your character through HELL.

It is your job to make their literary lives hell.

I just finished writing a scene where my main character is fighting for his life.....with a head injury. He cannot think straight, his vision goes in and out, pain is searing his brain with every movement, and all he wants is to lay down and rest.  But if he does then he is dead meat.   This brain injury will stay with him. and will affect everything that happens to him for the rest of the book.  How far in does this injury occur you ask?  About 20,000 words in.

He has to survive the next 60,000+ words with this injury. 

Everybody on his team is injured. Everybody.  One is dead in the trunk of his car.

It's a hard life being one of my characters.  But I am with Joss Whedon on this. Remember when he killed Wash in Serenity so callously? (WASH!!!!!!!!!!!!  NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Just the scene previous he had Mal give this big rousing speech about how some of them may not make it through the fight.  In an interview Joss said that he HAD to kill Wash after that. If he hadn't then the stakes meant nothing. 

I mean, he wasn't trying to make Star Trek.  Nobody important dies on that show.  Nobody. That is why they have redshirts.  But you don't give a rat's ass about a redshirt now do you?  But I'll be damned if there aren't STILL people cursing Joss for killing Wash and that was like forty years ago.

So if you want your reader to care you have to kick the hell out of your characters.   And kill some of them occasionally, fer crying out loud, kill some good guys sometimes.  

Genre has consequences and if you aren't willing to man up then save your breath sister.
BIG ASS NEWS: MY MANUSCRIPT (tentatively titled BLOOD AND BULLETS) WAS PURCHASED BY KENSINGTON PUBLISHING IN A THREE BOOK DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Needless to say I am over the frakking moon.

I am going to be a published author!!!! Hells to the yes!

So you will be seeing a lot more of me on here because now I am legit! (I know I was legit before. If you write, actually write, then you are a writer.)

You will see three books about my character Deacon Chalk...Occult Bounty-Hunter and all around monster fighting badass. The first one is tentatively scheduled for release in January of 2012 with the following two coming at 9 month intervals.

Strangely enough I am doing this without the help of an agent.

Not for lack of want. I queried many, many agents and all said no despite a lot of interest. Even after I had an offer and contract IN HAND I was unable to secure an agent. So I am walking on by myself. I would love to have an agent, a good one at least. But for some reason, it is not in the cards right now. Oh well. The contract is pretty standard with standard stuff. No huge advances, but advances nonetheless. I am happy with what I have so far.

But take my example to heart. KEEP WRITING. KEEP QUERYING. KEEP SUBMITTING. KEEP REVISING.

You can make it all happen.

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