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I present to you, Olan Rogers

I present to you, Olan Rogers (Photo credit: ryan.nagelmann)

How to Know You’re a Writer (In GIF Form) | Nathan Bransford, Author.

You know when someone is pretty darn awesome when they also think that Olan Rogers is hilarious.  I just loved this blog post by Nathan.  He made me laugh and wonder how the heck did he know the websites I visit all the time.  So funny and true!

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YAFEST 2012 table signing

There are not a lot of authors who can write a horror story with poetic prose and still kick butt.  So who is Jonathan Maberry?  Here are a few fun facts about him:  He first started writing while working as a professor at Temple University.   “Jonathan is an 8th degree black belt in jujutsu and a 5th degree in kenjutsu. In 2004 he was inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame.  Jonathan was scouted to write for Marvel Comics after Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso read his novel “Patient Zero'”. (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3044026/bio) His first novel, Ghost Road Blues, won the 2007 Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel.   He is a speaker for the National Writers Union, a writing mentor for the Horror Writers Association and the Mystery Writers of America, a member of the International Thriller Writers and president of the NJ-PA Chapter of the Horror Writers Association.[10]  Maberry is also a contributing editor for The Big Thrill,[11] the monthly newsletter of the International Thriller Writers, and a founding partner of The Liars Club, a networking group of professionals in publishing and other aspects of entertainment.

QUESTION: Could you give us a list of your books?

JONATHAN MABERRY: I’ve been cranking out a lot of books in a bunch of different genres and categories. Some of the older nonfiction books are long out of print, notably the textbooks I wrote while teaching at Temple University and some training manuals I created for martial arts schools.  That said, here’s the more recent list:

  • NOVELS:
    • THE PINE DEEP TRILOGY (Pinnacle Books)
      • Ghost Road Blues
      • Dead Man’s Song
      • Bad Moon Rising
  • The Wolfman (Tor)
  • THE JOE LEDGER THRILLERS (St. Martin’s Griffin) n287418
    • Patient Zero
    • The Dragon Factory
    • The King of Plagues
    • Assassin’s Code
    • Extinction Machine
    • Code Zero (2014)
    • Predator One (2015)
  • THE ROT & RUIN (Simon & Schuster)
    Rot & Ruin Cover

    • Rot & Ruin
    • Dust & Decay
    • Flesh & Bone
    • Fire & Ash (August 2013)
  • WATCH OVER ME (Simon & Schuster)
    • Watch Over Me (2014)
    • Cold Cold Heart (2015)
  • THE ZOMBIE OUTBREAK (St. Martin’s Griffin)
    • Dead of Night
    • Fall of Night (2014)
    • ANTHOLOGIES EDITED
      • V-Wars  (IDW)
      • Redneck Zombies from Outer Space (fall 2013)
      • Out of Tune (JournalStone 2014)
      • Unnamed YA Horror anthology (date TBD)
      • NONFICTION
        • The Vampire Slayer’s Field Guide to the Undead (written as ‘Shane MacDougall)
        • The Martial Arts Student Logbook
        • Ultimate Jujutsu
        • Ultimate Sparring
        • Judo and You
        • Vampire Universe
        • The Cryptopedia (with David F. Kramer)
        • Zombie CSU: The Forensics of the Living Dead
        • They Bite (with David F. Kramer)
        • Wanted Undead or Alive (with Janice Gable Bashman)Occult and Paranormal Books

QUESTION: What inspired you to create a book series about zombies?

JONATHAN MABERRY: I’ve written a couple of different zombie series, notably the DEAD OF NIGHT series for St. Martin’s Griffin and the ROT & RUIN series for Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. I’ve had a lifelong interest in zombies since sneaking into the Midway Movie Theater in Philadelphia on October 2, 1968 to see the world premier of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. I was ten at the time, and ever since then I’ve imagined how I would deal with a zombie outbreak. I wrote the Rot & Ruin series to explore life after a zombie apocalypse, and that series is written for teens. My Dead of Night books are for adults, and they explore how an outbreak happens, literally from the first bite.

QUESTION: How long from inspiration to publication, and any interesting points along the way?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Currently my books are on shelves about a year after I turn them in. Give or take. The novel I just finished, CODE ZERO, will be released in March 2014.

I was trained as a journalist, so I have pretty solid work habits when it comes to developing an idea, finding a narrative hook, doing my research, outlining the project and then digging in. Structure gives me solid footing, and that allows the craftsman side of me –the artistic side—to give the work as much meaning, and depth, and artistry as I can.

QUESTION: What challenges do you face when you write?

JONATHAN MABERRY: I have a very full schedule, so for me the biggest challenge is getting everything done on time but in its best possible form. This year I have three complete novels to write –a 140 thousand word thriller, a 90 thousand word horror novel, and a 90 thousand word teen mystery-thriller. I also have five issues of a new horror comic to write, along with six novellas of at least 20 thousand words, and a half dozen or so short stories. And I need to tour –I’m on the road nearly all the time—as well as manage my social media profiles. It’s a lot of work, so I look for ways to get it done well while still having a life and having fun.

QUESTION: What do you hope readers take away from your novels?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Even at my darkest –which can get pretty damn dark—I never go for the ugly cheap shot. I use the themes in my fiction, light and dark, to explore the human experience. People get that. Even Rot & Ruin, which on the surface looks like a “zombie novel”, but which is really about the value of human life. There’s always a deeper meaning to my writing. I wouldn’t write it if there wasn’t.

QUESTION: What are your favorite YA books of 2012 (or 2013)?

JONATHAN MABERRY: Probably my current favorite is The Archived by Victoria Schwab and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Stunning novels. And The Diviners by Libba Bray.

QUESTION: When you are not writing what is your time occupied with?

JONATHAN MABERRY: When not writing, my wife and I travel. We’re into music, theater and dance and are always on the prowl for interesting new performers. And, we’re stand-up comedy addicts. Usually when we visit a new town we look for the local comedy club.

QUESTION: What can your fans look forward to next?

JONATHAN MABERRY: For my adult fans, the fifth Joe Ledger novel just debuted, EXTINCTION MACHINE, and there are several Ledger short stories due out this year, including BORROWED POWER (an eBook exclusive) and CHANGELING (published in Australia’s Midnight Echo Magazine). And there are a bunch of Pine Deep short stories coming out, including one written for the souvenir program of the Bram Stoker Awards.  Then, for my teen readers, I have FIRE & ASH due out in August, which is the fourth and final book of the Rot & Ruin series. That will be preceded by TOOTH & NAIL, an eBook novella.  In October, Simon & Schuster will release a box set of all four Rot & Ruin books. And JournalStone just released LIMBUS, INC, which has a novella featuring my werewolf private investigator, Sam Hunter.  For updates and more info, they can find me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/jonathanmaberry) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/jonathanmaberry).

Extinction Machine    Borrowed Power    Fire&Ash_cvr     Rot&Ruin_BOXSET3

Works Cited

IMDb. n.d. 29 April 2013. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3044026/bio&gt;.

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Be on the lookout for a feature story.  Starring (hopefully) someone from this writing world ….  famous-authors

Also the news on e-books doesn’t look great according to some.  Authors could be hit with the crazy price cut of their ebooks by companies who want to sell used e-books.  Is it possible?  Could readers really tell the difference between used and new digital books?   Read the full article here:  Used e-books  or  at  What the…

Three children, with bare feet, stand waiting on the hot sand. My middle-grade fictional book is now ready for editing.  Hunting for the right editor at the right price is a gamble. Anyone who knows a good editor for children’s literature, please shoot me a line.

Editing, illustrating and writing tirelessly on my picture book.  I am getting closer to  self-publishing, or cutting the cord, with this baby.

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If you ever felt that the world is full of people giving advice, then you might be right.  A lot of people do know a lot of different things.  One of my favorite places to get advice is from Nathan Bransford‘s blog.  He gives great advice on how to write a novel, to how to write a query letter.  Here is one of my favorite posts by Nathan which is the best query letter examples written:  Good Query Letter

There are many different formulas out there.  But just follow the one that is repeated and accepted by the publishing companies.  Bransford gives a good formula for creating a query letter.  But maybe you don’t want to take this guy’s word for it.  Here is some other sources from some credible authors and agents: How not to get an agent  and Before you query

I love to use Writers Digest books.  Their newest addition is 2013 Children’s Writer‘s & Illustrators Market.  You can buy it on Amazon: Writers Digest 2013 .  This book gives writers advice on how to write a query letter to what publishing company is actively accepting query letters.  There is a helpful section from authors.  Their advice for new authors and how they received their big break is worth the read.  I know I just want to skip to the back and start making my list of potential companies and individuals I want to query.  But the sections on writing are very helpful.  From the editor he says, “If you flip through this book’s pages, the first thing you may notice is a whole ton of upfront instructional articles.” – Chuck Samuchino, editor of Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market/ Guide to Literary Agents

There are a lot of writers in my own critique group who says this is “the time to become published”.  I know I have also heard this at writers conferences sponsored by SCBWI.  Agents, editors and authors all agree this is the time to become self-published with either an e-book format or paper.  The e-books are hot right now.  And if you Google which publishing company has the most e-books out then you would find Random House at the top of the list.  They have a lot of e-books that are selling like hot-cakes.  Take a look at their new reformated website and see: Random House .  There is advice given from different publishers who want to see books only through agents.  But there are a lot of authors/agents that are saying that you can do it yourself.  You don’t need an agent.  Take it from Maria Lamba who said:

“For a LONG time we have plodded along with certainties. And the main truth was that a big publisher = big success.  Signing with big publishers meant contracts with great advances, reviews in prominent publications, your book would appear in all bookstores, you’d have tons of publicity and promotion, and you were well on your way to a long CAREER as an author.

Then this “given” started to erode as all the publishing models began to shift.  A large number of editors were laid off in 2008. Authors were suddenly expected to do more of their own promotions. Book reviews in many print publications began to disappear. There was no guarantee that your book would appear in the major chains or indies (even before the demise of Borders). And now we hear a lot from authors about low advances, or no contracts being offered on a next book.

Yes, the economy has a ton to do with all of this. And Ebooks have come in at an especially crazy time.  We fear they may pose a threat to print books. The pricing of Ebooks is a huge issue.  Brick and mortar stores feel threatened by Ebook sales.

And let’s pile onto this, indie publishing, which is on the rise.

All these factors together add to an overall sense of instability in what was once a fairly predictable business model for publishers, booksellers and authors.”

The only thing a writer needs to take away from the overwhelming advice from so many different venues is: “Does it matter to me?”  We are all in charge of our fate and we decide if we want our careers to soar like an eagle or fall like a lead balloon.  There is always going to be someone out there who will have some great advice.  But do you really care?  And if so, are you willing to follow that advice?

As for me, I just want to keep on writing. Teddy%20Bear%20Reading01

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There are so many options in this day and age that it can be hard to decide what to do.  We have an array of options just shopping, finding a job, or even going to school.

What I want to know is what is best for a unpublished author, to publish the traditional way with a Publishing company and have the book in paper or to have the book as an ebook?  Where do we find on this world-wide-web the right information about self-publishing?  Because for some reason there is an enormous amount of information to dig through to find your answer.

So I am asking my readers what they think.  Which is the best option:

  1. Ebooks are great because they give the author the oportunity to have more say in the finished product.  It also allows for more profit.  If it does well.
  2. Publishing with a traditional publishing company gives you an expert who knows how to promote your work.

I know in the end I will have to make up my mind about the whole matter.  But it doesn’t hurt to hear from those in the industry what they think.  (:

 

 

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