May 11

And They Said “100,000” Paid Pages Read Per Day For A Month Was Impossible…

Lately, I have noticed that people are still saying that there is no audience for Westerns. There’s just no audience. It’s just impossible to get Westerns read. People just don’t want to read them. Right? Wrong. I think it’s just about time you and I had another chat. Yes… you… you… I want to have a little private conversation with you. Right here. Right now, on this blog. Start heading in the right direction and read this article.

Let me start here: A few months ago, I met a married couple—it was the second time around for both of them. He is 71 and she is 67. “It’s impossible,” folks said—it’ll never last—and that’s what they said about a winning streak of 100,000 pages read per day. That’s one hundred thousand for those who would like clarification because it’s such a vast number. But how does someone top that number? Well… you go to 200,000 pages read per day. That’s the way forward, and that is what happened. I remember being on the phone with this author. “This can’t last,” he said. “I wouldn’t bet on it,” I replied. Instead of heading back down, those numbers just kept climbing, and climbing, and climbing… And what caused that? A magic fix? A rub of the magic Buddha? No. Continued, continual promotion—nothing wild, nothing bold, nothing crazy—but a continued plan that allows readers to find the book, allows an author to sit back and write—and allows me to keep proving the naysayers wrong. All I’m saying is… if it can be done here, it can be done there; and if you’re there, you should get to work putting together a strategy that will allow you to promote efficiently every single day.  What are you doing with your keywords? How are you advertising? How are you pricing your books? How are you taking advantage of the Kindle Pages Read program? How are you bringing in your readership?

Give it some thought, and keep in mind—the audience is there. Readers want Westerns. Readers want the best books they can get. I am going to keep telling you that the audience is right out there, waiting to read you. Really. There’s 200,000 pages per day of Westerns being read—and that’s just one author. Don’t you think those folks would like to read your book?

Don’t put importance on the wrong things. Start thinking about what you can do today to get your book seen by readers. What can you do? If you need some ideas, drop me an email in the little box below, and I can throw you some. It doesn’t take much to make a difference, but it does take the will and perseverance to just move in a different direction. Right? Ready? Go!

 

Apr 27

Burning Down The Barn With Western Author W.M. Montague

W.M. Montague has become of the surprise hit-makers of 2017. His first book “Blood on the Badge” has been rumbling around Amazon for a few weeks now… his second has just started to sell. The second Montague novel will take readers on the trail with a lawman. It’s a novel you are going to love… it’s called “Snakes Among The Cactus.”

But what makes a writer like W.M. Montague tick? There’s a great deal of speculation about that question… Some believe he has an inbuilt ability to write great stories. Some feel that he is a great interpreter of stories. Some feel that he’s just damn entertaining… Why don’t you make up your own mind… Let’s talk to Monty…

Why was it important for you to write? What drove that ambition?

It keeps me sane (sorta).  A number of things. 1. No longer able to work a “job,” boredom, and a hefty push by friends to “finish the damn thing.”

How closely do you try to keep to historical fact?

Depends on what I’m writing about.

What were the most influential movies on your writing?

The old classics of the thirties, forties, and fifties.

What first got you interested in the written word?

Not really sure. Maybe another outlet for my imaginative mind?

Would you ever write a book about the Alamo or other historical events?

Possibly.

Do you believe in good and bad? Is that a concept that all who write books should keep in mind?

Is life really so black and white as that? I mean, there is good in all humans, just as there is bad in us, as well. Good people do bad things, and a bad person can do good things.

If you could go back to any time period—where would you go?

That’s an interesting thought. A lot of folks wish for “the good old days,” but that’s a relative statement depending on when their “good old days” were. For me, I think that maybe either around the turn of the twentieth century, the mid to late thirties, or even the late forties would be an extraordinary time.

Can you describe all of your books in one easy-to-read answer?

I would be inclined to say they are fictional adventures into my imagination.

What will your next book be about?

A fictional Western of a vigilante Indian-raised preacher with a Bible and a six gun who’s not afraid to use either.

Do you think it’s important to have a large publisher as an author?

Not necessarily. Big publishers and such companies tend to overlook truly great works because they seem to be more interested in making the “quick buck” rather than actually taking the time to find out if the author’s work will have a following of loyal reader fans.

Are you ever surprised by how many readers there are, still, in the world?

Not really. Folks will always want to read. Their tastes may change, but people want to be entertained, and it’s a way to let their minds escape for a while.

Is there any kind of book you wouldn’t write, or couldn’t write?

Tech manuals

Do you think writers read more books than the average reader—or is that just a myth?

Not sure. I, myself, don’t read much—very little as a matter of fact. Occasionally, I will pick up a book and read it, but it has to hold me or I tire of it quickly.

How have reviewers treated your books?

Surprisingly well, considering I’m the “new kid on the block,” so to speak. For that, I want to thank everyone for such glowing statements.

And your luxury item to take to a secluded island is….?

My submersible yacht.

 

You can check out “Blood on the Badge” today from W.M. Montague by clicking here!

Apr 18

800,000+ Pages Read Later… And Those Readers Keep Reading…

 

800,000 PAGE READS LATER…

 

A few weeks ago now, I was talking to you all about the importance of recognizing a living, Western readership that is actively reading the books of Western authors around the world. I made some good friends from that post. But I also met some people who told me it was impossible to get over 100,000 Kindle pages read in a day with a Western book. Impossible.

Well…. I was talking to a Western author yesterday who I started working with last year. We have had some hard times getting his books moving. Yet, by keeping solid, consistent promotion, we started seeing some results. Some good days. Some bad days. But the good were outweighing the bad. This continued… until he broke through. He is not the only one breaking through, either. He was just the latest in an extensive line of authors breaking through the negative noise. He has been hitting the highs consistently over the last few weeks—but yesterday, he broke the 100,000 mark. Over one hundred thousand Kindle pages read of a Western in a single day. Think about that. And for those of you who said it was impossible—to those who said that people aren’t buying Westerns—open your eyes. Westerns are still some of the most popular books in town. My advice for those who are actively telling us all that Westerns don’t sell, I’ll quote the client who just did it. “Those folks don’t know their ass from their elbow. Seems to me that Western authors are the luckiest writers in the world with such a loyal following.”

Get to work on that promotional strategy, folks. This year is shaping up to be a huge one for the Western readership.

 

Apr 11

Proof That The Western Readership Lives On In Large Numbers….

A few weeks ago now, I was talking to you all about the importance of recognizing a living, Western readership that is actively reading the books of Western authors around the world. I made some good friends from that post. But I also met some people who told me it was impossible to get over 100,000 Kindle pages read in a day with a Western book. Impossible.

Well…. I was talking to a Western author yesterday who I started working with last year. We have had some hard times getting his books moving. Yet, by keeping solid, consistent promotion, we started seeing some results. Some good days. Some bad days. But the good were outweighing the bad. This continued… until he broke through. He is not the only one breaking through, either. He was just the latest in an extensive line of authors breaking through the negative noise. He has been hitting the highs consistently over the last few weeks—but yesterday, he broke the 100,000 mark. Over one hundred thousand Kindle pages read of a Western in a single day. Think about that. And for those of you who said it was impossible—to those who said that people aren’t buying Westerns—open your eyes. Westerns are still some of the most popular books in town. My advice for those who are actively telling us all that Westerns don’t sell, I’ll quote the client who just did it. “Those folks don’t know their ass from their elbow. Seems to me that Western authors are the luckiest writers in the world with such a loyal following.”

Get to work on that promotional strategy, folks. This year is shaping up to be a huge one for the Western readership.

 

Contact me if you want to know how to get your book seen. Contact me if you want to tell me I’m wrong. I’d love to hear from you and maybe even read your book. Heck… if I’m talking to dead people, I have plenty of time on my hands. Seriously.

 

 

Mar 29

Connecting With A Western Readership That Is Still Very Much Alive and Well…

Western authors arrange calls me with often and start with something along these lines: “I wrote this book called ______ and nobody is buying it. Nobody buys Westerns anymore. It’s so sad.”

I have to smile. I mean, you have to smile, don’t you? It’s one of those strange “certainties” that people are so sure of—Hollywood isn’t making Westerns anymore… so they must be dead, right?

Well, that’s not true. I was talking to a well-known middle of the road musician a few days ago, who explained that record companies are losing money every day of the week. Why? Because they don’t back middle of the road music stars and make albums with them. Guys like Andre Rieu, Peter Nero and the like are not encouraged by major labels—yet their records sell in the millions to people who enjoy listening to melodic music.

That’s how the Western is enjoyed these days. Hollywood has given up on it, and major publishers are avoiding publishing them. But authors are still writing Westerns, readers are still reading Westerns and small publishers are building huge corporations by publishing them. Just as Peter Nero still makes albums of piano music, and Andre Rieu tours the world and has become one of the biggest record sellers and touring attractions in the world. Who needs Hollywood and Madison Avenue?

Those Western authors who promote their books have a monopoly. These are authors who can hold a dozen or more positions on the bestseller charts. The unpromoted Western isn’t found—even though readers want them very badly. The same musician told me that when he signed his first contract with a record company, they would set aside hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote new talent. I know of only three smaller book companies that will put money into promotion. I know of few major publishing companies that promote responsibly. A press release on its own is not promotion—no matter what it says.

So, my point is this: How can you judge the size of an audience who can’t see your book, yet when a little bit of effort is put into promoting a book, that same audience jumps up and grabs it with both hands? The more you promote—the more your book is seen; and the more it is bought—the more it is seen and purchased by other readers.

Look at Paul L. Thompson. He currently holds seven positions in the top one hundred. He accounts for 7% of sales in the top one hundred bestselling Westerns in America. Did he get there by magic? No. His publisher believes in promotion. I promote his books. He sells because the audience sees him. We change his keywords, we send out mailers, we put him in front of Western readers. It’s the same with Mike Hundley, Alex Cord, Jeff Breland, G.P. Hutchinson, Texas John, Weldon Shaw, John D. Fie, Jr., Michael Haden, Cliff Roberts, Robert Hanlon, and a hundred other talented authors who probably account for 500,000 paid pages read of Western product each day of the week. That’s a chunk of change, and we aren’t even talking about sales yet. That’s just paid pages read on the KU program—a program most “publishers” avoid in favor of publishing on Smashwords. Yes—Smashwords.

So my next question is this: If the Western is dead, and the Western audience is dying—why are these authors doing so well? It’s not that they spend hundreds of thousands on advertising. It’s not that the audience is dead. It’s because they all promote reasonably, responsibly, and don’t give up.

Throw in all the multiple products you can put together. Audiobooks, paperbacks, box sets, and the like, and you have your own little industry growing.

It’s as simple as that.

Additionally, Randall Dale, D.G. Wyatt and Clint Clay will soon be joining them at the top of the tree. In fact, I bet we will see them there very quickly. You should check them out.

Okay, maybe I’m just griping here. The joy of writing is to write—but it pains me to hear that there’s no audience for Westerns. Why? Because if that audience is dead, then I’m spending a lot of time talking to dead people—and I ain’t no medium. I leave that to Andy Hopkins.

Contact me if you want to know how to get your book seen. Contact me if you want to tell me I’m wrong. I’d love to hear from you and maybe even read your book. Heck… if I’m talking to dead people, I have plenty of time on my hands.

 

Mar 27

The Million-Selling World of Western Hitster Paul L. Thompson

When it comes to overnight success… none has been as successful as Paul L. Thompson. A year ago… Paul was a middling writer who had seen some success. Now… he’s one of the top 100 bestselling authors in America. What caused such a sensation? What caused one Western author to sell over 5 million pages of product in one month? Let’s find out…

 *****

Paul, it’s great to meet you!

Likewise.

I know you’ve written a ton of books– but what is your latest called? 

“Revenge of the Bullet” is my latest release. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever written, and readers seem to be really enjoying it.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your books?

All ages are welcome to read my books. I’ve never put age limits on reading habits. I think they should read my books if they want Westerns that entertain them. You know a lot people denounce the Western as dead—but all I ever hear from my readership is that they want more dang Westerns! I love it!

How did you come to be a writer, anyway?

I was inspired by my father and great-grandfather. They were huge influences on my decision to become a writer.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular style?

I leave that up to Outlaws Publishing. They show me the covers; if I like what they’ve come up with, I accept it. They know if I write back and say “that’s great” that it’s a go! If I don’t, I send them back to the workshop and make them work harder to get the right cover made.

Who is your favorite character from your books and why?

M D (Shorty) Thompson is by far my personal favorite. If you’ve read the stories, then you’ll know why.

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

I don’t really have a least favorite. How can anyone dislike any character that they’ve created! They’re all like my children.

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

In hindsight, and this something we are working on currently, I’d actually have my books printed in large print. I think it’s important for authors to remember that a large percentage of readers, especially Western readers, are older, and we need to make sure that our books are accessible to those wonderful folks.

What other books are similar to your own?  What makes them alike?

Louis L’Amour, of course. I am proud of the fact that every location in my book is a real location. I like everything about my Westerns to ring true.

Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

Writing Western novels is, some would say, my talent. More importantly, it’s my hobby, and it keeps me busy for hours. I can’t get enough of it.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You are very welcome to check out my official website (OLDWESTNOVELS.COM). You can also email Outlaws Publishing, and don’t forget to check out Amazon. You can see my books there, read my reviews, and find out all about me.

What can we expect from you in the future?

More wonderful novels! Seriously! I will be writing more books, promoting those books, making interview appearances, releasing audiobooks and keeping busy.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Tell the next person what a wonderful novel you just read. Review the book on Amazon. Review it on Goodreads. Share it on your Facebook wall. Do whatever you can to spread the word that you liked the book. I’d be mighty grateful for your help!

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Do your research! That’s the most important piece of advice I can give. Always do your research.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

There’s a lot I’d like to say—but one thing that I really do want to get across to people is that the Westerns are coming back in a big way. More Westerns are sold every day, and if you have a Western in your head, rolling around… work on it and turn it into a story. Then publish it. You won’t be disappointed. Writing Westerns is fun, it’s healthy and it’s gratifying.

revenge of the bullet

The exciting new Western action novel from Paul L. Thompson… This is REVENGE of the BULLET!

An exciting new Western in the style of Robert J. Thomas, Ralph Cotton, and Duane Boehm filled with action, adventure and plot twists such as A.H. Holt, Robert Vaughan, and G.P. Hutchinson! This is Western action-adventure filled with the bodies of the dead and the dying hit with an avenging bullet!

Burton and Ida Campbell stood by their wagon as four young killers rode in slinging bullets. Both their fathers were killed. Burton pushed Ida under the wagon and lay on top, protecting her. With blood dripping down the side of his head, the outlaws thought them dead.

But they survived.

When the killers left, their fathers were to be buried before they continued their trip to a ranch their fathers had purchased in the New Mexico Territory. They had no hope of ever catching the killers, but strange events prove otherwise.

While in Raton, New Mexico searching for the killers, they stopped long enough to get married. Now to finish the job they came to do. As the two of them seek revenge—the killers’ days are numbered.

So, if you like reading Brad Dennison, Dave P. Fisher, and Chet Cunningham, you’ll love “REVENGE OF THE BULLET!” Download your copy right now from Amazon!

Mar 03

8 Million Page Hanlon: The Quick-Writing Western Pen of Bestseller Robert Hanlon

Robert Hanlon– that’s a name many Western readers are familiar with. Why? Because he’s one of the biggest names in the Western book business. His first novel “Texas Bounty Hunter” was number one for weeks– since then he’s tied up the charts with a number of big hits… and… he has a new one. “Pecos Bounty Hunter” is the name of the book. It’s currently climbing the charts… This interview is with the man who makes the magic happen. What a man! What an interview! Let’s meet him.

 

Robert Hanlon—what a pleasure!

What the hell? I thought I was meeting with Johnny Carson.

Carson couldn’t make it, so you’re stuck with me.

Well, how you doing?

Not bad—how is San Antonio?

Don’t know! I haven’t been there since 1965.

Where are you currently located?

Omaha. Need I say more?

Ha! So where do you fit into this crazy world?

I’m from New York City—worked in a few different industries—record industry, car industry. Now I’m working in the book industry. Always working.

How did you go from the record industry to the book industry?

I wasn’t anything special in the record industry. Just a session producer many, many years ago. I’ve always wanted to write books, Westerns in particular, and this was my opportunity. The problem I faced was that the book industry is so disorganized compared to the record industry. There’s little or no reward for authors. It wasn’t until I signed with Dusty Saddle Publishing that I realized the book industry could be fun— and profitable.

Do you consider profit important?

Ha! Trick question. I consider return on my time important.

Do you feel you’ve received that?

Yes. A thousand times over.

Why Dusty Saddle Publishing?

I looked at a ton of outfits—none of them could give me what I wanted. You either pay for everything up front,  or you sign with some literary brain and find yourself selling two copies a month. Then you can sign with a big company after a huge struggle with an agent or you find yourself a publishing company that is run like a record company—profit, profit, profit. Dusty Saddle was different and none of the above.

Is Robert Hanlon your real name?

How rude! Ha! No. I’m a kid from New York. I got named Robert Hanlon by the advertising heads over at Dusty Saddle Publishing. My real name is not American Western at all. However– I will say that I have fired a gun, ridden a horse, hunted, fished and lived like a cowboy for sometime.

“Texas Bounty Hunter” was one of the biggest selling Western novels of the Christmas period. How do you account for success like that?

I don’t. Readers across the country purchased that book—from New Orleans, Detroit, Dallas, Pittsburgh, New York City, Atlanta, Texas and Los Angeles. It was one of the big Westerns of the year, and I think that’s wonderful. But how do I account for a success like that? I just write Westerns and take all the boring bits out of my books. All that drivel that people skip over—I cut it out. I try to write entertaining stories that readers want to read. “Texas Bounty Hunter” was one of the most successful—but let’s not forget that “Pecos Bounty Hunter,” “Hangman’s Noose” and “The Texan Gold Renegades” were also huge hits. My publishing company, “Dusty Saddle Publishing,” call me—they want a new book—I knock one out. I live in a hard-working world, and I work to sell a lot of books. What more can I say?

You take all the boring bits out? What does that mean?

Well, my last editor and I discussed this. Why waste pages and pages on description? I lead with dialogue, I lead with action. Description, in my opinion, should be kept to a minimum—books are like dreams. We do with them what we wish.

I see—so how are your books produced?

I write them—then I meet with the cover designer and get a feel for the cover I want. Then the marketing department over at Dusty Saddle Publishing takes over and finds a way to make the books sell. I’m already working on the next book by the time the previous book hits the shelf. I like to keep up a steady release schedule. I am contracted to turn in a certain number of manuscripts per year, so I have to keep rolling.

How do you feel about Dusty Saddle Publishing?

I think they’ve got the right idea. They really control the content they sign, and they keep a strict release schedule—they promote well and keep on track when it comes to building an author. When I was working in the record industry as a session producer, I worked in much the same way. Dusty Saddle Publishing works like a record company, not like a publishing company. Content is created, edited, released, promoted and then the next release is readied, released, promoted and on it goes. I signed with them five months ago, and they’ve grown quickly—so quickly I signed a twenty-five-year contract with them. Why? Because it’s the place to be.

What do you think about editing?

I don’t. The girl over at Dusty Saddle Publishing thinks about it. I just smile, nod my head and wonder what the hell a semi-colon is. I write books—editors edit. What more do I have to say?

If you could write a book on any subject what would it be?

I’d love to write something about the Rosenbergs, H-Bombs, Brando, The King and I, The Catcher in the Rye, Liberace, Santayana and James Dean. What would I be writing about?

The 1950s?

Bingo. Give the kid a bone.

Isn’t that a bit of a stretch from the Westerns you’ve been writing?

Hey! You asked me what I would want to write about if I could write about anything. I told you. I never said it would happen—just that I’d like to pen something about the era of my youth.

What is your latest release called?

“Bounty For The Preacher”—it’s a really good book, and it’s rolling up the hit parade already. It might be the best book I’ve ever written. The story came to me in a dream. I woke up in the middle of the night and started it. Hey—before I knew it I had a Western story that even the hard-nosed editorial types liked. I reckon it’ll be the one I’ll be remembered for.

Thank you for your time, Bobby. It’s been a blast.

Thank you, Clyde. Did I get the job?

*****

An exciting new Western in the style of A.H Holt, Alex Cord, and Bruce G. Bennett filled with action, adventure and plot twists such as G.P Hutchinson, Robert Vaughan, and C.M. Curtis! This is a book that is filled with the bodies of dead bad guys!

A bounty hunter always catches his prey, even if the dead men are dangerous murderers who will stop at nothing to destroy the very fabric of American society. One particularly determined bounty hunter is hired by a town overwhelmed with crime. With murders at every turn, and death a way of life these townsfolk are desperate for help. There’s one problem. They don’t have money to offer.

The Bounty Hunter makes a deal with the townsfolk and together they fight to rid the town of a frenzied gang of outlaws.

Using any force necessary to get the job done– showing no mercy… they will stop at nothing to reclaim their homes, and their dignity.

This exciting new Western from Robert Hanlon takes the reader on a rampage as one bounty hunter, and a town of angry folk, go to war finding courage they never knew they had.

So if you like reading Brad Dennison, Dave P. Fisher, and Lou Bradshaw, then you’ll love “Pecos Bounty Hunter” from bestselling author Robert Hanlon! Download your copy now from Amazon!

Pecos Bounty Hunter: Wilde Ride: A Texas Bounty Hunter Western Novel (Wilde: U.S Bounty Hunter Series Book 1) by [Hanlon, Robert]

 

 

 

Feb 27

An Exclusive From “Westerner” Magazine: An Interview With Hollywood Icon Alex Cord

There are so many times in my life that I expected one thing and received something completely different. This feeling pervaded when I finished a phone interview with author Alex Cord today. Many of us know Mr. Cord through his work in television and movies. What we are finding out is that Alex is a provocative and enticing writer who employs intriguing plots to offer us books that are totally readable.

His book A Feather in the Rain has won the Glyph Award for popular fiction. Recently, he’s authored a revealing memoir titled From Wheelbarrow to Ferrari and Back Again.  I found the book to be an enlightening narrative of a man who reached for a star and held it and then found peace through self-understanding.

I hope you will enjoy the following interview as much as I did. You may also enjoy this interview with Western bestseller Robert Hanlon.

 

Bennett: I’d like to start with your new memoir, From Wheelbarrow to Ferrari and Back Again.  Your life seems to have come full circle. Tell me about that journey.

AC: I’m a totally different person today. I had feelings of guilt that I needed to get off my chest. Writing the book was like going to confession. I’m not proud of things that I’ve done. But I’ve found the most important thing a person can do with their life is figure out one’s self.

My father was one of the greatest men that ever lived. But he never had anything or would be considered to be special. I wanted to be the same as my father.  When I look in the mirror, today, I see I’ve become more and more like him.

Bennett: So from humble beginnings you realized some great things. Tell me what motivated you?

AC: Curiosity. I’ve always been curious. I wanted to learn so that I could improve myself.

I feel different today about things I learned when I was young. I grew up in the Catholic Church. I found that I questioned that religion constantly. I left the Catholic Church because I couldn’t be a part of a religion based on fear.

But I realize today that there are consequences for your actions. I have a different relationship with God and Christ than back then. I’ve recently gone back to church – a different church which is Bible teaching. I’m trying to be more like Christ in my daily life.

Bennett: In what way?

AC: More tolerant and more forgiving. Though, I don’t give my time to people who I think don’t deserve it. You only have a certain amount of time and have to be careful who you give it to.

Writing is beneficial to who and what I am – aspiring to be meaningful.

Bennett: You’ve had a great deal of success. Isn’t that meaningful?

AC: Success and popularity, no question it’s nice to be admired by people. I had the courage to dream about things most people don’t allow themselves to think about. When I was young, I had the feeling anything was possible. Back then I had no one encouraging me to be more than what I was.

But I was an avid reader. I read the best writers in the world. I read art, the classics. I read one John Steinbeck novel three times with a highlighter in my hand. I’ve thought out loud, “Good God! Look at the way he said that!”

When I went to college I majored in English Literature. I didn’t know who Shakespeare was before. Early in my career, I acted in Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, CT. I was a part of the genius of Shakespeare and the way he expressed himself through words.

William Faulkner, Ernest Hemmingway revolutionized the American novel. I valued all writers because each one approached their craft differently. People said that every good story had already been told. But there was always room for a new story.

I just started reading The Alchemist for the first time. It’s in its twentieth year of being a best seller. Twenty years a best seller!

Curiosity and courage. I felt if I wanted something bad enough I could make it come true. In fact, [laughs] the universe conspires to make it come true. If you dream, the universe focuses on your desires and dreams to make them come true.

Bennett: What did you want to do?

AC: Become educated.

I quit high school. I was living the good life as a wanderer. No problem, as I managed to support myself from a very young age. There was a feeling of inadequacy because of a lack of an education. I thought a formal education would lead to fulfillment.

Since I was an avid reader, I decided on English Literature. Besides, I observed that all of the pretty girls were in the arts department. That’s where I really began to develop an interest in the theater.

Bennett: Come on, I can’t believe you ever had a problem attracting pretty girls.

AC: In high school, I couldn’t get a date for anything. I was timid, shy, and insecure.  Good looks aren’t everything.

I knew an actor named Monty Landis. He was certainly not a good-looking guy. He was rather odd looking but had a great sense of humor. He was always with the most beautiful women. He had the courage to go up to anyone and start a conversation.

College was the first time I had confidence in approaching women. Today, if I had to go to a bar to pick up women, I couldn’t do it. I never had the guts to go up and talk to a total stranger.

Bennett: When did you decide to start writing?

AC: I’d thought about the idea for what was originally titled The Man Who Would be God for fifteen years. I was motivated by an idea for power.  If I ruled the world there were many things I would change.

When I started writing, I wrote for four to six hours per day for nearly a year and a half. The wonderful thing I found is the words flowed from my unconscious mind. The idea of wanting to be powerful.  The reader is not sure what is reality and what isn’t until that power becomes a reality.

Bennett: I went through a similar experience writing a book that I poured much of myself and an inordinate amount of time into writing. Then no one read it. Does that frustrate you as much as it does me?

AC: Yes, it is frustrating. Though, more people want to read the book. Feather in the Rain won a Glyph Award for popular fiction. People give it good reviews. You know, most people leave a five star review.

Harrison Ford gave it a good review. I know Harrison Ford from acting together in the TV show Gunsmoke. We’re not close friends, but he read the book. He’s not going to leave a good review unless he really liked it.

Sylvester Stallone, too. I played polo with Stallone. You know, he wanted to play and he was okay. He liked the book and gave it a good review. That didn’t make it a best-seller. It’s had more success thanks to Nick Wale.

Success in writing is more in believing in what you have done and always being positive. Believe in yourself and be grateful for the blessings you have. If you let yourself get frustrated, you don’t enjoy things that are more productive. You waste your life by being angry.

I remember once being asked during a particularly difficult period of my life why I was not more pissed off.  “Angry is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” It’s challenging to get the best of it, but all it hurts is you.

Bennett: Do you have more lifelong friends or have you found more friends recently?

AC: I have very few lifelong friends. These are guys I still see and can talk to and have great relationships with. There are only maybe three of them.

When I moved to Texas, I found really good friends. The kind of friends who support you. I’ve known Robert Fuller for nearly sixty years. I was the guy who said he should move to Texas, he should check it out. So, he moved here. Now he’s got more friends than I do.

Bennett: Well, I’ve kept you for a long while and want to thank you for taking the time to discuss your books and your life with me.

AC: Well, I have to go because I have a call in ten minutes with a fellow who’s writing a book on Ernie Borgnine.  I not only was in Airwolf on television with him but acted in three movies with Ernie. He was a great guy.

Bennett: I hope you’ll continue to write. I enjoyed your fiction as well as your memoir and have truly enjoyed this conversation.

AC: I hope we’ll have the chance to meet in person sometime. Adios!

Read Alex Cord’s bestselling A Feather in the Rain on Kindle or other media now. Follow this link for more information on this thought provoking and different kind of Western.

Feb 27

Memorial Interview: An interview with Author Gordon Osmond

Gordon Osmond

Gordon Osmond is a man accustomed to attention. After many, many years of success as a Wall Street lawyer he gave it all up. He became a writer and a playwright. Gordon has since become a lauded playwright, and a well-respected writer. His novel Slipping on Stardust and his unauthorized biography Wet Firecrackers have become hot sellers, and he has found the home of his dreams… Brazil. He now hosts a weekly radio show for authors and spreads his thoughts about writing across the world. I managed to snag Gordon for an interview and here he is!

 

 

Hi Gordon, are you ready?

I’m here, Nick, waiting and anxious.

I’ve been looking forward to this one.

Me, too.

Well, let me start by asking– how is life in Brazil? Why Brazil? Didn’t Belize appeal to you?

Brazil is my reward for thirty years of hard work as a Wall Street lawyer in the Big Apple. The love of my life is Brazilian, so Belize didn’t have a chance.

Yes, you had an enviable life as a top lawyer in perhaps the most vibrant city in the world. What drove you to take a leap of faith into the poverty stricken world of writing?

You’re right. There’s a lot of poverty in the world of writing. However, sometimes, in the right circumstances, writing can produce great rewards, whether it be writing a winning legal argument or penning a best seller.

You’ve done both of those, of course. Am I right in saying that Slipping on Stardust is approaching bestseller status? It’s an excellent read.

Thanks for your favorable assessment of my debut novel. I hope that others will agree with you.

I enjoyed it immensely and I didn’t know what to expect. I think you have a very original style and I guess one of the big questions for me is where do you find inspiration for your work?

Thanks again for your generous comment. I gain inspiration from life experiences that have a strong impact upon me. I believe that conflict and intensity are the driving forces that produce compelling writing.

Do you think the trend of self-publishing has lessened the quality of writing? Do you think compelling writing is a rarer thing than it once was?

Wow, what a question. There is no doubt that publishing has changed radically in the past several years. As a purely personal matter, I decided that I was going to foist on the public only a book that had at least been read by eyes other than my own.

Thank you, I’m warming up. So, was being published always a goal for you? Did you write for others or did you write for yourself or both?

Yes, being published was always a major goal. I’d be most gratified if others find entertainment or enlightenment in my work. However, my primary motivation is to achieve the personal pleasure of expressing myself effectively. If others find value in it, that’s a bonus.

Have you always felt a need to express yourself? Are you naturally creative or have you only indulged in creative endeavors recently?

Yes, always. I have always expressed myself through love, education, and creation. For me, that’s all there is. Love is innate; education is a bestowed blessing; and creation is a wondrous byproduct of the other two.

Creativity is a wonderful thing. I was really impressed by your opinion on Johnnie Ray. At 23, I’ve never met anyone who saw him live or heard anything more than his hit Cry. What was he like as a concert performer? Was he as dynamic as he seems on record?

Yes, he was a fabulous performer in concert. He selected his material with great care and gave it his all. l also treasure his film performance in There’s No Business Like Show Business with Marilyn Monroe, Ethel Merman, and other greats.

I loved that film, too– his only film appearance, I believe. Are you a varied listener? Do you like all kinds of music or do you concentrate on the “great” singers? (He writes, as he puts an Ella album on…)

Ella, of course, was the greatest! Unfortunately, in concert, she was a bit dull as was Nancy Wilson, an equally mesmerizing jazz vocalist. Even the great Sarah Vaughan was disappointing in person. But who cares? The recordings are immortal. By the way, Pete Kelly’s Blues, with Ella and Peggy Lee, is to my mind, the most undervalued film ever!

I can imagine Ella being quite dull in concert, but the songbooks are magic and, as you say, the recordings are immortal. I loved that movie and believe it or not, the soundtrack to Pete Kelly’s Blues was one of the first LPs I ever bought. How do you feel about Elvis? Over-hyped? Undervalued?

I was a fan of gospel long before Elvis purloined its magic. But to his great credit, he brought it to mainstream audiences without them even knowing from whence it came. Elvis was an outstanding talent who, like so many others, couldn’t handle the meteor that propelled him.

I like how you don’t just jump to the conclusions people have about Elvis. I have always had great respect for him and it infuriates me when people judge him based on the caricature he has become in recent years. How would you like your work to be judged in, say, fifty years? Do you ever worry about your work becoming devalued?

A) Never. I’m much more concerned about how my work is being valued today, by persons whose judgment I respect. For example, your opinion means a lot to me, as do the professional reviewers that have given my book 5-Star reviews on Amazon. Sorry for sneaking in that plug.

Thank you! It means a lot to me that you value my work to such a high degree. If you were a reader and you were looking at the work of Gordon Osmond, which of your books would you choose to read first?

Slipping on Stardust, my debut novel. It’s a work easily stuffed into beach bags and holiday stockings. If the reader is interested in knowing more about the author, my “unauthorized autobiography” Wet Firecrackers would be a logical next step.

You’ve written a guide to English language, too? How did you find the experience of writing a guide that would have all the so-called English experts out there re-examining their education?

Of course, if a reader is an English teacher or a language maven who enjoyed Eats, Shoots, & Leaves, my book So You Think You Know English–A Guide to English for Those Who Think They Don’t Need One would be a good choice.

How have you enjoyed this interview? Have you been surprised or disappointed?

Are you kidding? It’s been a blast, and I’ve so much enjoyed the wide range of subjects we’ve discussed. Thank you SO much for the opportunity to spout off, and best of good fortune to you and your website in the very important work you’re doing to help authors.

A multi-talented and entirely unique individual, Gordon Osmond, age 82, died peacefully on February 20, 2017 having lived his life in exploration and fulfillment of his manifold talents and interests. You can read his obituary here.

Feb 15

The Widget Interview: A Short Conversation with Bestselling Author Rebecca McLendon

rebecca m

This interview is with the ever-talented Becky McLendon. One of her bestselling books, “Settling In: At Home in My Sky,” has recently been turned into an audiobook. Readers around the world can now sit back, listen to her great story and decide whether they have what it takes to become an aviator in retirement.

Her new audiobook is available now from Amazon. You can download it right here. You’re still not convinced? Let’s get on with the interview then… 

What do you think people are looking for when they buy audiobooks? What really grabs their attention?

I know what I am looking for.  I like an engaging or entertaining audio for long car trips.  It makes the drive much more pleasant, and the time passes quickly.  People tend to search for subject matter that strikes their interest, for example a passion, a hobby or quest for adventure.

How do you find the right voice—and how do you know which voice is the right voice?

I listed preferences when requesting interviews of narrators.  I selected a voice that best suited my particular dialect, age group and accent to tell my story.  After listening to several recorded auditions, I made my selection, and she did both of my books.

What were your major concerns about having your book turned into an audiobook?

I did not want audio to take away from my tone and voice as it was depicted in the writing.

Do you think there is an element of risk to the process? A chance that the right voice might not be quite “right”?

I am sure there is risk involved.  One could get over half-way through a book and the author might see that the narrator’s heart was simply not “in” the material. I was fortunate that my narrator really began to “feel” my books and grew to love them.  That to me is most important.

How long did it take for you to turn your book into an audiobook?

The whole process takes a month or two at the most.  My narrator worked quickly and made corrections quickly.  The only slow process was when I decided to take the audiobook down to settle issues.  Taking down, reviewing and re-doing took about two months. 

Why don’t you take the time to join Becky on BOOK DAILY? Just check out her widget below. You won’t regret it!

 

 

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