Jun 29

Could You Increase Your Book Sales By Simply Doing Something Like This?

smilingI was asked once what it would take to make a Western novel a bestseller. A good story? A great editor? A fantastic cover? I agreed that all of these things were important—but the two most important ingredients had been neglected and overlooked. These two ingredients are confidence and consistency. Two words that you are not likely to see written about the business of promoting books.

In every case of a Western becoming successful, these two ingredients have been crucial. You can have the greatest story in the world, you can have an award-winning cover, you can hire the greatest book promoter in the world—and you can still have a failure without confidence and consistency. You can ride your way across the world and shout about the book to all you meet, and those words will fall on deaf ears because you didn’t say them with confidence.

I have been asked many times, in many ways, why I have so much confidence in the authors with whom I work. It’s true. My confidence in those I work with is unshakeable. I’m just addicted to optimism—and that is down to the fact that the people I work with never give up. Even if the world is against them—even if the books haven’t sold a copy—they don’t give up—because they have confidence in what they are doing. The idea came to them, the dream was given to them, and they intend to continue their dream come hell or high water. Their dream is to be read, and my job is to help that dream come true. That success they seek may come today, tomorrow, next week or next year, and they will be there to meet it—because nothing worthwhile happens unless you fight for it. And a book pushed without confidence and consistency will not sell, will not be read—will not be reviewed—will languish, and only you can build your dream, or crush it.

There’s a common problem in our business, and I hear it a lot. That problem is this: “I hope that someone likes my book.” That is a lack of confidence; that’s a success destroyer. Authors with the confidence to be great successes do not wish or hope. They do. They had to write the book—they had no option, choice or plan. They had to write the words they were given, and those words tell a story that they were born to tell. When I hear an author tell me that he had to write this book, tell this story, be an author, I know that I am talking to a future success. Now, for those of you who are reading this blog and wondering—wondering if you have the confidence, perhaps? Do you have the talent? Do you have the right to be an author? I am telling you that you do not need the right, you do not need the talent—you need the confidence to know that your story is worth telling, and with that confidence, success is inevitable.

Every single person is a storyteller. They just haven’t accepted it yet, and I truly believe that. Every single person has a story to tell. But that lack of confidence that tells them that they don’t have time to write their story, have no chance of being published—and that nobody will read their book—stops them from grabbing the opportunity that has been placed in front of them their whole life. I truly believe that you—yes, you, the person reading this blog—have the gift already inside of you. This confidence and consistency is inside of you. You just have to allow it to blossom like a flower. Do it now, and then let’s get down to the business of making your dreams come true—because I already have confidence in your book—because I know that everyone has a story worth telling. I’m waiting to hear from you.

 

Jun 28

Why It’s Better To Be A Sinner: An Interview With Hybrid Author Megan Elizabeth

sinners final coverReaders have been enjoying Megan Elizabeth for some time now. Her first book “Sinners Craving” is currently available for 99 cents. If you are looking for a new paranormal series filled with great writing, this might be the series for you? You can learn more about the author through this interview… Why don’t you give up your day job… and take up reading?

How important are characters, and how much time do you spend developing characters?

Characters are essential to every story. It is the characters to whom the readers connect. Without characters, there is absolutely no story. I spend a great deal of time on character development. From start to finish, it is a constant work in progress.

Where do you find the most inspiration for your writing? Do you write about your own life?

I never write about my own life; however, I find inspiration around me on a daily basis. From the smallest interaction at a store to major drama swarming around me, anything and everything can inspire a great scene or character.

What do you think makes a relationship great and engaging in a romance novel?

Characters within a romance novel need to have a certain spark that attracts readers; it’s like a fire between the two of them. It could be any emotion, though: anger, sadness, playfulness. Whatever it is, it needs to connect with the audience as well as your characters. I myself am a great fan of banter between characters.

What do you personally look for in a book you are writing? Are you looking for a particular kind of character? A female lead? What drives your interest?

While I’m writing my books, I really focus on the relationship between the characters, keeping the conflict in the story interesting, and writing hot sex scenes which hopefully people will like.

How do you handle sex—should it be all in—or should it be toned down?

I feel that the natural progression of relationships leads to sex at some point. When it gets to that point, I am all in. I want my readers to read my scene and not be able to put my book down at all. I want them to connect with where my characters are at emotionally as well as physically.

Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my writing late at night while sitting in my bed with my portable desk and laptop on my lap. For some reason, I find inspiration when it’s dark outside, I’m comfortable and have quiet all to myself.

How do you plan a book?

I plan my books in three phases. First, I start thinking about what I want to write, who the characters will be, and where it’ll take place. Then I start my outline, determining which plot twists and turns I want to happen in each chapter. Then I start writing my first draft, whereby I will inevitably deviate from my outline and change everything around as I write. Then comes the editing phase where you hate all your work and you’re convinced it’s going to kill you, then once you’re done, you hopefully have something you’re proud of.

If you hadn’t become an author—what would you have done with your life?

I’d continue on with my day job as a teacher, which I also love doing. It’s just that writing calls to me in ways that teaching does not.

Who are the authors you instantly buy?

This is an easy question. Kresley Cole is hands down my favorite author of all time. Anything she writes I download the day of release and read it non-stop until I’ve read it from cover to cover. She’s amazing, and I would recommend her books to anyone.

Who would be your perfect book boyfriend?

My perfect book boyfriend would have to be Max Stella from Beautiful Stranger. Just enough sweetness mixed with spice to get my attention and keep it. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good accent.

What was the last great book you read—and how did it inspire your writing?

I recently just finished The Player by Kresley Cole, and it was amazing. The characters were so well developed, the story was completely addictive and the ending was something I did not see coming. I couldn’t wait to dig into my next book after reading that.

Of all your characters—which one do you really identify with?

Out of all my characters so far, I identify most with Taylor. She’s the first female character I ever wrote, she’s so bad ass, just wants to do the right thing, is a single mom and struggles with man problems. I love Taylor because she appeals to be on a deeper level, and I think as my first female character, I put more of myself in her.

Which place would you love to see—but haven’t seen yet?

I am dying to go to Europe. Don’t ask me a specific country because I want to see them all. I’m greedy like that.

If you could say one thing to your readers about your books—what would it be?

Thank you for taking the time to step into my world for a while. I hope you enjoy it.

sinners craving1

When the sins of the past claim the future, the craving for more can turn deadly….

When the Goddess of Love and the Father of Evil determine your fate, do you fight back?

Matteaus, leader of the Fallen, never backs down from a challenge.

Not even when his fated female proves to be the most challenging of them all.

A former warrior in the Heavenly Kingdom, Matteaus, bears the scars from a past filled with misguided deeds. Determined to right wrongs, his drive for atonement is his only companion – until his next assignment brings him in to the fiery path of a beautiful female who’s been on the run for reasons of her own.

Taylor, having no patience for an unwanted love affair, tries to ignore the instant attraction to Matteaus. Yet, as their desire for each other begins to overtake, Matteaus’ steadfast determination keeps him on the path of righteousness, and away from Taylor’s searing touch. Now Taylor and Matteaus must join forces to protect the ones they love.

Could this be the mission that finally earns his redemption? Or will his past cost him everything, including the one female he is destined to love?

******

meganMegan Elizabeth is a bestselling contemporary romance, and paranormal, author who currently resides in New Jersey, United States. Her first book “Sinners Craving: League of the Fallen: Book 1” was released in 2014. She has since written another book, in that series called Borrowed Sins, and has written her first contemporary romance novel “Bound To Me: The Leather Series: Book 1.”

Megan enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with her family when she’s not working on her books. Download your copy of “Sinners Craving” today right here.

Jun 27

Rise of a Nation: How Author Seth Nation Went From Printer To Bestselling Western Author Overnight

Nation Pub PhotoOne of the biggest Western names of today is Seth Nation. Seth is the talent behind “The Devil’s Brand.” For those of you who already know the book– you know it’s one of the fastest selling Westerns of the year for a reason. For those of you who haven’t discovered it– what’s wrong? Did you lose your taste for Westerns? Don’t worry about anything other than getting yourself on your horse and over to Amazon. There’s a book there you now need to read. Do it now!

What drove you to start writing Westerns?

When I first started writing, I had this big epic fantasy novel in my head and aspirations of becoming the next J.R.R. Tolkien. I would have frequent periods of writer’s block and soon realized that I was having trouble because I wasn’t comfortable, I wasn’t invested. I decided to write what I loved to read, which was Westerns. I immediately noticed the difference. I think Westerns are important because, in a way, it is a process for us to connect back with our family’s past.

Where did you get the ideas behind “The Devil’s Brand?”

I wrote the scene where the Rider is near death escaping his followers with the intention of turning it into something—I didn’t know what—years ago. Over time and trial and error, I would create other scenes to see if they would connect. The backstory of Ethan came through this process until after a while I had what I needed. I think throughout all of this I got to know my character. There is quite a bit that I have written that I didn’t include in this book—that will appear in the follow ups. Living in Lawrence, Kansas, I knew from the start I wanted to include the Border War and “Bloody Kansas” as the backdrop to the story. My stepfather gave me the idea of the “man of remittance,” who turned into Oliver Kingston Dukes.

How long did it take you to develop “The Devil’s Brand?”

All told, I have been writing bits and pieces for nearly two years. In late 2015, I connected the dots and finished the novel in February. After a month of editing, I sent it to Outlaws for publication. The next ones will go easier because most of it is mapped out and partially written. I’m excited about book two because there will be a great train sequence that so far has been a blast to write.

How closely does the Western mirror the American way of life?

I believe they are one and the same. The American West was a time of great freedoms for many, think of Manifest Destiny and the call for a people to settle the West. For many, it held infinite possibilities, the American Dream, which in different ways is still alive today.

Which parts of Western philosophy do you personally try to add to your everyday life?

More than anything, I try to show great respect for those in my family who came before me. Their hard work and sacrifices granted me the life I have today. I have a deep appreciation and love for my family. I believe if you want something or want to achieve something, you put in the work and go get it. My dad and stepmother own a ranch in Oklahoma that is on land once owned by great-great-grandfather. They do a great job of passing on that heritage. My uncle on my mother’s side has done a ton of research on that side of the family. Thankfully, because of this, I have grown up with a huge sense of who I am and where I came from.

What are your favorite Western movies?

I love anything John Wayne is in. Growing up, he was my father’s hero, and we spent many weekend mornings watching them. I really liked Red River, Rio Bravo, and The Searchers to name a few. However, the biggest impact on me was the novel Lonesome Dove, which was turned into a pretty good movie as well.

What was your first experience of John Wayne?

Probably watching a movie with my dad or seeing the memorabilia my dad collected—he was a huge fan, and if John Wayne was on TV we watched it. As a kid, I enjoyed the films but not nearly as much as I do today. They say you turn into your parents. For me that is definitely the case. My dad gave me a love of Westerns and my mom gave me a good sense of music. I thank them both for it. They are my right side and left side. They keep me balanced.

How did those movies influence the way you write?

With Lonesome Dove, it was the realization of how well crafted and thought out characters could drive a story. To me, Woodrow Call and Augustus McCrae are two of the greatest literary characters of all time. The dynamic of their friendship is something I strive to insert into my characters. I grew up being blessed with lifelong friends. I think in my stories there will always be that element present. Even if a character is a quintessential “loner,” they will always need that someone. In The Devil’s Brand, Ethan Brody is that way. As much as he wants to be alone, he knows he needs that comradery be it in his younger years with Harland Poe or later on with Oliver Kingston Dukes.

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

Definitely. The Oklahoma Land Rush is one. Many of my family come from Oklahoma so it is a familiar subject. I love the concept of Manifest Destiny and the settlers moving west. I also would like to write about historical figures. I had a novel idea about Butch and Sundance secretly faking their deaths and living out their years unknown until the 1950’s, only to reunite for one last heist, “The heist of all time,” to reveal their identities and go out guns blazing.

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

I think in any traditional Western you will have that. A reader always wants someone to hate and someone to root for. I always liked the stories where there characters were flawed and had both good and bad in them. I like the idea of redemption.

Who is the greatest American folk hero from the West—in your opinion and why?

Hands down, it is Lewis and Clark. They started it all. They took on one of the greatest adventures of all time, and in the process not only opened a nation for settling, but put forth that mindset that anything is possible.

What will your next book be about?

There will be at least one if not two more books featuring Ethan Brody and continuing the storyline from The Devil’s Brand and his pursuit of Gideon Pratt. I also have started a series of serial short stories that will feature two repeating characters.

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

Not necessarily. I think what is important is that an author finds a publisher who believes in them and the stories they want to tell. For me, I found that in Outlaws Publishing and JC Hulsey, and I couldn’t be happier.

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

No, Westerns are the stories of us, Americans, who we are and where we came from. There will always be an audience for that. Western readers are passionate about their genre, and It makes me proud that so far they are enjoying my story.

Would you ever write a non-Western?

Absolutely. Besides that itch to become the next Tolkien, I actually have a novel which is kind of a “Stand By Me” for the 80’s generation. It is about one-third complete and really reflects the adventures I had with the people I grew up with. Lifelong friends who helped make me who I am today.

How many Westerns have you written?

The Devil’s Brand is my first, and hopefully there will be many, many to come after that.

How have reviewers treated your books?

The reviews have been great. So far after six weeks, there are a few, but the book continues to hold a five-star rating. Although I really enjoy feedback, what folks liked and disliked, I think it helps hone your skills.

Do you have anything in the can that you haven’t released—and will this material ever see the light of day?

Baseball is one of my biggest passions, and one day I will write a baseball book, more than likely something about the Negri Leagues of the thirties. I have the story mapped out, just needs to be written. It will be a great story of intolerance and redemption. I also would like to write a solo novel about Oliver Kingston Dukes, a character in The Devil’s Brand, and dig into some of his adventures that I touch on in the book.

If you could travel back to the West and be a cowboy—would you?

Hell, yeah, if nothing more than just to see if I could keep up with my ancestors. Put in the hard day’s work like they did. Drive a herd of cattle, mix it up in some hole in the wall saloon, play cards with Doc Holiday, maybe get into some trouble with Billy the Kid. That is what is great about Westerns—the possibilities are endless.

Winter 1865: Five confederate deserters, near starvation and manic with fury over the state of the war go on a bloody rampage along the Kansas-Missouri Border taking retribution on a family of abolitionists they find harboring runaway slaves.

In the aftermath, Ethan Brody returns from the war to find everything he knows and loves reduced to nothing but ashes. Hell bent on revenge he sets off to find the murderous gang only to have them slip away. Losing his faith, he sets off on a life of bounty hunting, vowing to never again let justice go astray, “Alive” is no longer an option and in the process the legend of the Rider is born.

1894: Oliver Kingston Dukes a man of remittance finds his way to the town of Adobe Wells immediately becoming embroiled in the town’s struggle with the wealthy and powerful Katy brothers. Enter the Rider, on the trail of the notorious bandit Hector Salazar, he joins Dukes and the townsfolk to take back the town once and for all and perhaps… take back his own salvation. Download your copy of this great new Western here.

seth nation photo

 

Jun 23

Wild Is The West: An Interview With New Western Bestseller Weldon R. Shaw

 

weldon shaw imageLone Wolf is a novel for those who believe in true love and sacrifice for that one special person you love. To love someone so much you are willing to die for them to insure they are safe. It unfolds in the time frame of the 1840’s, in a wilderness of Montana which had not been tamed as of yet. It was a time period when peoples lives where lived in the harshest elements and death was a reality. This interview with author Weldon R. Shaw is all about the process behind the book. Let’s find out what Weldon has to say…

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

I am a country boy who has always had a love for history, especially the history of what our country was built on.  Like most kids during my era, I was raised on the Old West movies.  I am a quarter Chikasaw Indian out of Oklahoma, and I love to read, talk and learn about the Native American cultures. The idea for Lone Wolf came about because of this love for the Native American culture.

How closely does the Western mirror the American way of life?

Lone Wolf is an action romance.  It is built on good morals and values.  It’s about breaking through cultural barriers, establishing trust between a man and a woman.  It is about real life and the forming of a true friendship that leads to true love.  The character Lone Wolf was brought to life by the values I was taught as a kid on how a woman should be treated.

What are your favorite Western movies?

That is an easy one—any Western made by “The Duke,” John Wayne.  I am also a big Sam Elliot fan, as well. My favorite writer is Louis L’Amour. He was a Rhodes Scholar and put great detail into his works.

How did those movies influence the way you write?

The Western movies were always about the true American values, the good against the bad.  I think movies like this not only influence the way you write, but more importantly, I think they influence young minds on how to carry themselves in life as they become adults.

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

My first novel released was a historical fiction titled Pachuco.  It was about the transformation of Alta California to California and how it affected the Hispanic people through the years of a changing and evolving government.  When I write, I try to incorporate historical and cultural elements into my novels.  I am very selective of what I write about.  I try to stay away from the subjects that have been written about numerous times.

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

Yes. Even in Lone Wolf, the story line is built on good and bad.  Lone Wolf will not hesitate to protect another person who cannot protect themselves, especially a woman. Let’s face it, there are very few books or even movies out there that are not based on good and bad.  It is as much about the story’s plot as any character in it.

Who is the greatest American folk hero from the West, in your opinion, and why?

I would probably say the James Younger gang.  They became outlaws—and who they were—because of people who had the backing of the federal government.  They were considered bushwhackers during the Civil War because they attacked Union-based cities and robbed them.  The Union also had their share of atrocities in the killing of civilians and the burning down of farms and cities, as well. I guess, overall, the Civil War in itself produced many folk heroes from both sides because it was the turning point of this country.

What will your next book be about?

Well, I am writing Lone Wolf: The Resurrection, novel 2 of the Lone Wolf series right now as we speak.  I will end the Lone Wolf series in novel 3. I have a Western in mind that is strictly an idea at this point. I also have a romance novel call Victoria In Search Of Myself that I need to finish. Also a horror novel call Interview With The Immortal One.

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

It is not necessary to have a large publisher, but if you get to the point where you are contracted by a major publishing house, it shows you that you have arrived as a writer, and your ability as a writer is being recognized.  Is it hard for a new writer to get into a large publishing house? Yes, very hard because they require your work to be submitted to them through an agent.  Is it hard to get an agent? Most difficult hurdle to jump over that you can imagine. I have been fortunate. All my books have been contracted by traditional publishers.

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

No, not really. I believe people like books about old history and, more importantly, good versus bad.  They like to see that guy portrayed who will stand up with good morals and take on a battle even if it isn’t his battle.

Would you ever write a non-Western?

I have two non-Westerns written as we speak. Pachuco is a historical fiction which starts in the 1860s and ends in the 2000s; and I have a self-help for parenting called The Rise And Fall Of Our Youth.  My next romance novel that I will write is Victoria In search Of Myself.  It will be based in current time.

How many Westerns have you written?

The Lone Wolf series will be the first that was written in the Old West time frame.  Pachuco is a narrated novel by an old man in his 80s who walks the reader through four generations of his family starting in the 1860s and ending in the 2000s.

How have reviewers treated your books?

The reviews of my books have been fantastic.  I sent Lone Wolf out to several female readers to get a feel for their reaction, and they are ecstatic about it.  Even though Lone Wolf is considered a romance, it is based on action, and because of this the men readers will love it, as well.

If you could travel back to the West and be a cowboy—would you?

Well, there is a lot to be said about that time period. Life was simpler as far as fewer distractions and less government oversight, but life was harsher.  The simple things we take for granted was a big deal back then.  Food is more plentiful now, you live in an air conditioned house now, even if it is a swamp cooler. Back then, there were no cool houses.  Food was not plentiful nor was money. The luxury of taking a bath, which most of us are use to taking once a day, was not that way back then.

If you were a ranch hand, you would more than likely go several days before you bathed, in some cases months.  For a lot of them back then, it was a horse trough or nearby creek. Going to town was a luxury and not a daily occurrence.  Electricity—how many can do without that? No, I think I am happy living in this day and age. It is not perfect, but it is convenient.


Are you looking for a great new Western book to read? Why don’t you pick up a copy of “Lone Wolf: A New Beginning” today from Amazon

lone wolf cover1

 

 

Jun 23

On The Trail To Amazon: Alex Cord Talks “High Moon”

alex-cord-movie-starFrom movie star to TV star to award-winning author, Alex Cord has done it all. His new book has taken him back to his roots– the Western. When Alex was asked to write a Western, it didn’t dawn on him how popular this decision would turn out to be. Western readers are still a force in the book world, and this new Cord Western should prove to be one of the most popular Western releases of the year. How does a multi-faceted man like Alex Cord approach writing a Western? Let’s find out… This is the first interview with Alex Cord about his new Western novel, “High Moon.” Enjoy!

Which Westerns have most influenced your life?

Red River, Lonesome Dove, Monte Walsh, The Westerner, Stagecoach, My Darlin Clementine, The Wild Bunch, One-Eyed Jacks. I list them not in order of preference. They are all fine films that I have seen more than once, some more than three or four or five times. Any of John Ford’s films. John Wayne, Ben Johnson, the great, Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Slim Pickens, Marlon Brando, Karl Malden. These are the finest of the fine.

How did you research your Western?

I didn’t consciously do any research. Just living my life. Watching the films and many others made indelible, lasting impressions and consequently have influenced, inspired and educated me. I suppose you could call that research.

Tell us about the series. What is the overall story of the series?

Love. Seeking justice. I create the characters and see where they take me. I believe they are rich, fully realized, breathing individuals who have a lot to reveal. I am looking forward to seeing what paths they choose to follow

Do you prefer writing about the heroes or the villains?

I prefer to write about human beings and discover who and what they are. There are elements of heroes and villains in all of us. Shakespeare wrote entire plays about one element of humanity. Evil: Richard III, jealousy: Othello, heroism: Henry V. I like to delve into the depths of an individual and see what I can find.

A good villain is hard to write. How did you approach writing your villains?

I don’t find them any harder to write than anything else. I just go to the villain in me and see what he has to say. I don’t like to spend too much time there. It can be a little disturbing to discover the evil in one’s self. But there it is.

What real-life inspirations did you draw from for your book? Are any of your characters people you know?

My life is filled with experiences with all kinds of people. A rich bank from which to draw truth. Most of my characters are either based on people I know or have elements of them. I have made a practice of acquiring characters throughout my life and studying them. A creative artist, writer, actor, painter, dancer, musician, must be intensely curious, perceptive and interested.

Where do you think the Western is heading? Is it dying or growing? 

I don’t know. As long as there are people like me around, I think the Western will live. I suppose one chooses one’s friends according to a level of compatibility. I have many friends who will and do work hard to keep the genre alive. I dedicate my new western book, “HIGH MOON” to COWBOYS. I am grateful to Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck, Rob Word and many more who are hard core believers in the western genre and contribute enormously to keep the blood flowing.

What was the hardest part of writing the first book?

Coming up with a story idea that motivated me to want to tell it. I think that everything one can think of has been done in one fashion or another. The trick is to tell it in a way that engages the reader. I cannot tell how to do that. I believe it is a God-given gift.

Can you see your series turned into a TV series or movie? 

A movie. I see it as a love story, with sweet violence, redemption and caring for another person more than anything else in the world.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? 

I did. That writing is fun, challenging and bloody hard work. Many people say they would like to write a book and I believe that everyone has a book in them. Getting it out from within and onto blank pages is another matter. It requires huge belief and relentless commitment.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

Yes. That I am a good writer, and that they will care about what I have to say and the way that I tell it.

alex christmasWhat comes next?

Deeper development of the characters and curiosity about where they will take us.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

A scientist. A conservationist in Africa. I’ve been to Africa many times for extended periods of time. I found it to be fascinating in the extreme and actually gave serious thought to living there. That was years ago. Unfortunately, politics have corrupted it to the extent that it is not a comfortable place right now.

Where can readers reach you to send ideas for your books?

nick@nickwale.org I would take great pleasure in hearing from you and welcome clever ideas for stories. Meanwhile, be well, and read, read, read! And thank God for your eyesight and brain.

 

Do you want to know about the new Alex Cord Western as soon as it’s released? Fill in the contact form below and we will notify you the moment the book hits the market!

 

Jun 22

The Challenge of Writing With Bestselling Author David Watts

david wattsAn interview with the ebullient David Watts is always something to cherish. From the astounding beauty of his writing, one must believe that he is one of the writers we can truly call talented. His new book, “The Lucifer Connection,” is currently riding high on the bestseller charts, and this interview will explain how that so very popular book came to be. This interview is frank, fascinating and free to read. Read on…

Which books have most influenced your life? 

The Web of Life, Frost’s Collected Poems, The Great Gatsby, Siddhartha, Jack Gilbert’s Collected Poems, Catch 22, Uncle Remus, The Alphabet vs. The Goddess, To Kill a Mockingbird, Doctor Zhivago, West Side Story, The Cherry Orchard, Ol’ Man Adam and His Children.

How did you research your latest book? 

By living it. Well, at least part of it. Here’s the deal. I was in San Francisco during the Summer of Love. Because of my job as a medical intern, my participation was limited to attending a few Bill Graham rock concerts, walking Haight Street to mingle with the colorful crowds there and occasionally dancing along with the other wild people in the park. Enough to get the flavor, to pick up the vibe, so to speak, which, along with some reading about specific names and places of the time, about did it. The trick is, of course, to place inside a carefully-made authentic environment a compelling group of characters on an exciting journey. That’s what makes it interesting.

Tell us about this new book. What is the overall story? 

Hero gets knocked off his horse by getting blamed for a death. Police botch the investigation. Boy meets girl. Boy calls upon an old, crazy as hell friend, and they set out to save the day. Lots of danger. Some smart planning. Chemistry.

Do you prefer writing about the heroes or the villains?

Ah, that is the question. Mostly the heroes are visible. The villains. . . that’s another story. Because they lurk, they are more interesting. So to make it right we have to include a little villain in the hero as well. Isn’t that more like life? We do find some interesting villains in this book, but I do not guarantee that we find them all.

A good villain is hard to write. How did you approach writing your villains?

They have to have at least two sides. Maybe more than two. No one is all bad. What makes a villain seductive is the ability to charm. One cannot charm without a personality that recognizes and has participated in the good side of life. Like Lucifer, the Fallen Angel, himself.

What real-life inspirations did you draw from for your book? Are any of your characters people you know?

A writer’s characters are always people he/she knows. Not exclusively, of course, much gets mixed in. I myself am in the book in certain ways. Others are people I know whom I’ve idealized for the purpose of character enrichment. But they are real, even if they are not.

Where do you think the book is heading? Is it dying or growing? 

By leaps and bounds, growing. Every time we release something, the sales peak. Reviews are mostly 5-Star. There’s a buzz on. Hollywood’s even interested. If that happens. . . you know the rest.

Can you see your series turned into a TV series or movie? 

I wrote the book with that in mind. You will see that it is highly visual and the dialogue fits well to a screen adaptation. Characters are ones you love to love or love to hate. This could last a long time.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? 

How really hard it is to write a f—ing book. I did at least five drafts before the final one. But like the artist who keeps going back to the museum where his exhibit is hanging carrying a paintbrush in his hand, there is always something to be added or subtracted. The problem is deciding when to kick it out the door.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp? 

Friendship. Generosity of spirit. Staying ahead of evil with courage and intelligence.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be? 

I’ve done several careers: music, television, radio, acting, medicine. They’ve all helped me to be a better author and a better person. I suppose I’d just fall back on the bevy of careers I’ve already done. But that’s hypothetical. This is working.

Jack Barnstone is an outside-the-box, motorcycle-riding physician who, finding himself in two kinds of trouble, leaves Texas to start a solo practice near Chinatown in San Francisco. When a patient walks in his office with an undiagnosed mortal illness Barnstone’s life changes forever. Finding himself in deeper trouble than ever he must work his way through a malpractice suit, the mistrust of his colleagues and the suspicions of the San Francisco police in order to vindicate himself. Since he has arrived in San Francisco just at the start of the Summer of Love to pursue his quest he has to learn the inner workings of Hippie culture, the sinister workings of the Satanic Church while he is dodging the unpredictable actions of the San Francisco Police. With help from his new Hippie girlfriend and an old flagrantly gay East Indian assistant coroner he discovers why the case was so difficult to solve, confronts the perpetrator and stumbles upon a well-hidden and sinister web of criminal activity. Download your copy today from Amazon.

The Lucifer Connection 1

Jun 21

Are You Ready To Sell Books? The Key To Making Your Book Successful

purpose findMany people ask me how authors make it. What causes author X to be a bestseller? Was it a special trick of the light? Was it luck? What causes success? I’ve explained many times that consistency is one of the most important ingredients to success. The ability to push your books with consistency is crucial to the success of having your book read by the reading public—but the other key ingredient is purpose. I want to talk a little about purpose here.

I knew a man who retired. He didn’t want to retire, but he retired because he was deemed useless. The day after his retirement commenced, he took to his bed. He was finished. Done. He was waiting for God. His purpose was gone. He had spent many years in the aerodynamic industry and had untold wells of knowledge—yet his knowledge, his paychecks, his career hadn’t saved him from becoming a man without a purpose.

One day, he rose from his bed and decided that he had to find a reason to live. He applied for jobs, but was told that he was too old. Too old at 60. He decided to start a business, and it succeeded—but it didn’t give him purpose. He travelled the country—but never found purpose. He wrote a book and his purpose was found. He vowed to spend his whole life in one place, doing one beautiful thing—he would write until he died.

I met this guy a few years ago, and his purpose inspired me. Because his purpose and my purpose overlapped. He wanted to spend his whole life writing—and I wanted to spend my whole life pushing and promoting the work of others. His books didn’t immediately take off, but over time, they grew and became bestsellers. He is now an award-winning author who has written a slew of bestsellers. His purpose is still as strong as ever.

It is human nature to want to wither and shy away from challenge, but it is the spirit of man that causes us to seek out purpose and create new goals, and reach for new achievements. The greatest thing about my job is the opportunity. The opportunity to help people find their purpose, to revel in its glory and achieve their dreams. It is truly my belief that “if you can dream it—you can achieve it,” and I don’t believe anyone was born to be without purpose.

So I have a question for many of you reading this article. An important question—do you have a purpose? Is your purpose to stay in one place, doing the one thing you love? Is your purpose to write Westerns like the fella we talked about just now? If it is, then I’d like to meet you because I don’t believe our meeting was a coincidence. Are you in need of a purpose? Are you unsatisfied with the way your books are being accepted? I truly believe our purposes can help each other out. I believe we will find mutual satisfaction in our friendship. I believe in you—but do you believe in yourself enough to reach out to me? Do you believe in your purpose? Are you ready to realize your dream? If you are, you can reach me through the contact form below. I hope you’ll join me.

 

 

Jun 21

The Amazing Mr Breland: An Interview With Bestselling Western Author Jeff Breland

81X8tTkav7L._UX250_For Jeff Breland, it comes naturally. It’s a natural thing for him to sit down with a pad and pencil to write a story. A story that could take him many places, to many different times. For readers, it’s a natural thing to want to read a Breland story. An educated man might wonder at the style and scope of today’s literature– but that same educated man will sit down and voraciously read a Breland bonanza without a care in the world. This interview with Jeff Breland should be educational and fun. It should balance great writing with the ability and confidence a writer needs to express their ideas in a coherent and educational way. Let’s see what the ebullient Mr. Breland has to say…

I present Jeff Breland, bestselling author and Western connoisseur and his new book “A Gunman’s Rendezvous with Death.”

 

Which Westerns have most influenced your life? 

Growing up, I read a few Zane Grey books. In later years, I became quiet fond of the works of Peter Brandvold, Ralph Cotton and Robert J. Conley.

How did you research your Western?

I probably do half of it on the web. I also have a lot of books about the Old West.

Tell us about the series. What is the overall story of the series? 

The series is called “Loner with a Badge.” Jake Stone is foremost an investigator. Of course, the benefits from his job often come in the form of bounties. Some people often refer to him as a bounty hunter, but a lot of his work entail things other than looking for wanted outlaws. He’s good enough in his work that he is often called upon by the U.S. Marshal’s office. He holds the position of Special Deputy, which presents him with a badge. Most of his work is done alone, hence the Loner with a Badge.

Do you prefer writing about the heroes or the villains?

I would say that was about equal. You have to have good villains to have good stories. They can also lend to a little humor on occasion.

A good villain is hard to write. How did you approach writing your villains?

It all depends. Most of the villains are not likeable characters. On the other hand, you can often have a villain people like and often relate to.

What real-life inspirations did you draw from for your book? Are any of your characters people you know?

Yes. When I was a child, a neighbor boy threw a tin can and severely cut the top of my head. I still have a scar. I put him in my first book and killed him in the second chapter.

Where do you think the Western is heading? Is it dying or growing?

I think there is a resurgence. That could well be because some of the people who loved Westerns as a child are now retiring and find more time to read. It also seems some of the younger people have started to read Westerns.

What was the hardest part of writing the first book?

Discovering how hard it is to write a book. One has no idea how hard it is until they have done it.

Can you see your series turned into a TV series or movie? 

Yes, I can. In fact, I would like to venture in that direction.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

In most all of my books I have done research and learned things I didn’t know before.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

Not really. I strive to make the stories as exciting and as fast-paced as possible and just want the reader to enjoy what he or she is reading.

What comes next?

At this moment, I am working to make a full-length novel with a short story titled “Badman and the Banshee.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be? 

Like most authors, I wasn’t always an author. If I could just ask and receive, I probably would like to have been an actor.

Where can readers reach you to send ideas for your books?

I am very accessible on Facebook and you can also contract me via my publicity office Nick@nickwale.org. I love to hear from readers.

The stage on which bounty hunter Stone is traveling suffers a busted wheel coming off the peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. A blizzard is imminent. There is a railway only a few miles away. Attempting to expedite their rescue, Stone strikes out in search of the railroad. Not only does he find the railroad, but he finds a train. Unfortunately, this train has been robbed and all but one of the crew is dead.

Taking a quick lesson on engineering from a wounded brakeman, with the tracks up ahead destroyed, Stone fights to move the train—backward. The trick seems to work until snowdrifts and deadfall cause the train to derail. Stranded miles from anywhere Stone discovers that the outlaws did not find what they wanted when they robbed the train… they will be back. Will Stone manage to subdue the gang—or will they be the criminals who finally retire him?

Download your copy of “A Gunman’s Rendezvous with Death” today from Amazon. You won’t want to miss the latest bonanza from Breland!

gunmans rend

 

Jun 20

The Reward of Being Western: An Interview With Western Author J.C. Hulsey

hulsey dourBeing a Western writer is one of the most rewarding experiences a man can have. Being a Western publisher must give J.C. Hulsey a pile of pleasure. This interview is all about the man behind the books. It’s all about writing books. His books have sold thousands of copies, and have won awards. His first book “Angel Falls, Texas” is considered by many Western readers to be an essential read.  But what turns a man into a writer? What turns a writer into a publisher? What turns a publisher into a magazine magnate? Let’s find out…

 

Which Westerns have most influenced your life? 

So, you’re gonna start off with a hard question. There are so many, I can’t even begin to name them. Gunsmoke, especially the first ten years with Chester in it; The Rifleman; The Restless Gun; the list goes on and on. I also have to mention the old radio shows that I listened to like The Six Shooter, Death Valley Days, Frontier Town, Gene Autry, Gunsmoke; and just like TV, the list goes on. As for as movies, it’s the same story. Of course, anything with John Wayne, Glen Ford, Henry Fonda, etc.

How did you research your Western? 

I really didn’t do a lot of research. I did utilize Google quite a lot to make some of the things realistic.

Tell us about the series. What is the overall story of the series?

Jedidiah Isaiah Jenkins is a young man who, because of circumstances beyond his control, had to go on the run because he killed the sheriff’s younger brother. He meets a couple of fellows who travel with him. When they travel to a town that is held hostage by a bad guy, Jed steps up and takes care of the trouble. It wasn’t long until he is called on to travel to other places and clean up their troubled towns. Therefore, he is dubbed the Traveler.

Do you prefer writing about the heroes, or the villains?

The Traveler Series is about a Christian gunfighter, and most of my stories are about the guy wearing the white hat; however, I got this notion in my head that the guys wearing the black hats also has a story to tell, so I have written a few about bad guys.

A good villain is hard to write. How did you approach writing your villains?

Villians are just human beings. They had a mama and a daddy, but someplace along the line something happened or perhaps they were just bad from birth. What I’m trying to say is everybody has a story, and it deserves a chance to be told.

What real-life inspirations did you draw from for your book? Are any of your characters people you know?

I think each person draws from their life experiences when they write. We might not even realize that’s what we’re doing, but I find myself thinking about certain incidents that happened in my life when I’m writing.

Where do you think the Western is heading? Is it dying or growing? 

Maybe in the distant past, the Western looked as if it were dying, but with the birth of the internet, I’ve found that there are many, many folks who are working very hard to keep the West alive. Authors, singers, poets and others.

What was the hardest part of writing the first book? 

That’s an easy question to answer. The hardest part is talking yourself into sitting down and get started. It took me basically all my life before I finally made that decision to, as Larry the Cable Guy says, “Git’er Done!” Your worst enemy is yourself. You’ll talk yourself out of it time and time again.

Can you see your series turned into a TV series or movie? 

We can dream, can’t we? At one time, I didn’t think I could or would be an author—now look at me. Sure, I think any of my stories would make a great TV series or movie. Why not?

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? 

I learned it wasn’t as hard as I thought and not to listen to others when they tell you something isn’t possible. I learned that if you dream big, big things are possible.

Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?

I hadn’t really thought about any message in my stories. Perhaps with Jedidiah, I would want folks to realize that God has a plan for each of us, and it is imperative that we follow the path He has set before us.

What comes next?

I can’t really tell you what’s next. As far as my stories, I have put them on the back burner while I help other authors reach their dreams by publishing their stories in our publishing house, Outlaws Publishing. It’s a goal of mine to educate new and old authors alike to be leery of any publisher who wants to take money to publish their stories.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be? 

I’ve already traveled that trail. I’ve had a good life working in the world. I retired from all that, and now I’m enjoying my new career as an author, a publisher, an online radio host and a digital magazine editor.

Where can readers reach you to send ideas for your books?

Facebook is a good place to reach me, along with all the social media sites and, of course, my websites. Jchulseybooks.com, outlawspublishing.com, theoutlawsecho.com and you can send me an email to jc@outlawspublishing.com or jc@theoldcowboy.net.
 

Are you looking for a great Western adventure? Something that will keep you entertained throughout the week? Why don’t you try “Angel Falls, Texas” by J.C. Hulsey. It’s well worth the price of admission.

Angel Falls Texas Cover

 

Jun 20

How John D. Fie, Jr. Broke Through the Noise and Became a Western Bestseller

 

ind1Westerns have been captivating audiences around the world for a long, long time now. Western books, in particular, have been incredibly popular– and no writer has been more popular with modern Western readers than John D. Fie, Jr. Since arriving on the scene, he has scored three major hits. His books have been read wherever books are read.

How did he do it? Consistency. Consistent promotion. That’s the goal. He has never been much of a flip-flopper. His promotional schedule has stayed the same since he began. He advertises, pushes, promotes and makes himself heard. This interview with Fie is part of that consistency. Let’s meet the man with the hits…

Morning John,

Good morning, Nick!

What does it feel like to be one of the top authors in the Western genre?

It feels pretty good. It’s good to know that somebody is enjoying your story.

How do you approach promotion?

I think you have to have a balanced promotional diet. I believe that it’s important to make sure everything you do works with all the things you’ve been doing. Make sure you are touching readers every single day, and make sure people are following you. Don’t just try one thing– try many things and pull them together to make your books known.

Do you enjoy interviews?

They’re not my favorite thing to do. But I do them because they are needed. I would be happy to talk to you all day– but I’d rather be down by the lake while doing it.

Is advertising important?

Yes. Can any product be sold without advertising? I don’t think so.

Why are Westerns still so popular?

As surprised as people are at the success of Westerns, I’m really not. I’ve always enjoyed the West, and I know many others have, too. I think there’s a lot of hype when it comes to romance, erotica and horror—but the Western fanbase is just as busy buying the books they want.

What can we expect from you in the future?

A sequel to Blood on the Plains will be released soon entitled Benson’s Creek, plus another short story later on in my Wild West short story series.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Did you have your covers in mind before you saw them?

Blood on the Plains, at first, had a very bland looking cover. I had a contract with a different publisher at the time. The book wasn’t moving. Outlaws Publishing took a look at the book and the cover. It wasn’t until I signed with Outlaws Publishing that the book was pulled from the market. The cover was re-designed, and I immediately saw the difference. The book, with the new cover design, just jumped at you. I knew right then I had made a good decision going with Outlaws. They specialize in the Western genre. Luke Pressor, U.S. Marshal also had two different book covers. Several covers were designed, and we put our heads together and again came up with a colorful book cover with eye appeal.

Let’s talk about “Blood on The Plains” for a moment. Is there anything you’d change about that book?

With Blood on the Plains, I would say the ending. I left the reader with a rather short ending. I  maybe should have embellished on the romance between Sally Phillips and Matt Hutchens. In Luke Pressor, U.S. Marshal, I think perhaps I should have introduced the marshal into the story earlier to add a little more excitement.

Give us an interesting, fun fact or a few about your book or series.

I like to use small, quick one-liners in my stories to add a little comedy. Also to have a few characters that are somehow different from the others.

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

I honestly can’t think of any. I try to be different than other authors. There is one complaint that I hear all the time about Western books—that they’re all the same. I try hard to be different.

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

You can go to my Amazon author page (amazon.com/author/johnfie or go to Outlawspublishing.com). Visit my blog on the Cowboy Campfire at Outlaws Publishing or email my publicist at Nick@nickwale.org.

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

The best thing a reader can do for an author is to leave a review. Tell others about your experience. Let the author know about your experience with the story.

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

For new writers, make sure you get an editor. You can’t edit the book enough. When you’re ready to publish, look around and choose wisely, then stand by for the reviews.

What do you think is the key to success?

Good writing, good promotion and making sure you surround yourself with those who will help you, rather than hinder you. A good publisher, publicist, and editor will make you as an author. A poor publisher, publicist, or editor will break you. I need say no more. Invest in yourself, your product and hire a good publicist.

 

Why don’t you give the latest John D. Fie, Jr. novel a chance? “Incident at Benson’s Creek” is currently available on Amazon. You can also find out more about John D. Fie, Jr. by visiting his official website. 

incident at bensons creek1

Older posts «