Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's up, Jeff?


You've surely noticed a major renewal to my main novel 'Feeding the Urge'. 
New cover (admit it, it's a badass restyling), larger page count, and interior design.
But why?
Simple, my creative side won against the marketing one.

In origin, Feeding the Urge (an 80,350 words novel) had a paging of 296. Browsing among similar books, I found that my book had to compete with cheaper comrades (most were around 8 to 12 bucks for a paperback). Being new to the self-pub market, I decided to change the fonts and style to lower the number of pages and had it sold at a competitive price of $ 10.00.
Nonetheless, times are changing and readers, too.
70% of American readers download their books on portable electronic devices (Kindle, Nook, iPads, etc.) mostly because of cheaper prices (with promotions you can even get free e-books) and storage capacity. The same trend goes on in the UK and Germany.
However, I'm a big fan of printed paper; love holding in my hands a physical copy, sniffing its aroma and looking at it standing on a bookshelf.

Two weeks ago I received a copy of Feeding. 
And was immediately disappointed.
171 pages of tightly fitted words, each one stumbling on the other, with readability deign of a legal agreement document. The cover looked cheap, out of a copy shop.
Had I spent seven months conceiving my monster to have it look-like sh@t?
No way.
My artist side kicked in; I sedated my creature and had it again back at surgery. New cover, a more professional interior, added an introduction, an author biography, and general editing of the front matter. Then, I went for the meat. Returned the fonts to Times New Roman (12 points, bold), added a blank page after each chapter; allowing the story to flow more fluidly, and finally won against a personal curse (the first line of my novel always came out corrupted by Word, no matter how many times I had corrected it, this darn 'auto-correct' typo kept showing in all versions).
I took some rest and that's when my marketing side blew in.
'Now it's going to cost more! Nobody's going to buy your book when they can get novels at 10, even as low as 7 bucks,' it whispered.
So what?
I don't care. That's my baby lying on the trestle table; I promised it a great look and all the skills and attitude it deserves. Let it cost 100, I don't give a fart. Nobody's going to buy it? Whatever.
They'll buy the eBook version (less than a cuppa coffee at Starblokes, if you ask), they'll pirate it, they'll do whatever they want. I want my physical copy to look good; as good as one of Crichton's trade paperback, as good as a real damn book, not something out of the corner copy shop.
'You'll have to order another proof copy,' protested Market-Head.
I'll do. I want it. I want my book to look perfect; for me and my readers. Listen, you logical-minded number-crunching fiend, there are people out there who care for a nice-looking book. Should they like my Kindle or Nook version, they will buy it in physical form. Because that's what I do when I really enjoy a book; I want it to touch it.
Maybe, no one is going to pay 15 bucks for my paperback edition right now, but in the near future, when I'm sure they'll do, I want them to get in their hands a paragon of the paper industry, something I want to be proud of.
So shut up and lemme work.

Feeding the Urge is now as it should have been from start: 300 pages long, with all the right info at the right place.
Buy it or don't buy it, I like it that way.

Paperback
For those curious about the 'First Line Curse', here's how it goes:
'Somewhere, beyond a wall of made of Reason and surrounded by a trench dug out of Ignorance, lays another world.'
Five editing of it and always there, mocking me after each upload. Yet, finally I won (I checked it, it's no longer there!)


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

SPECIAL GUEST: AUTHOR TERRI GIULIANO LONG

I'm proud to present you a special guest today: Officer Jerry Johnson from the Cortland Police Department (Massachusetts). Author Terri Giuliano Long is going to replace me on the interviewer's stool, for once.
Hi, Terri. Please, be my guest and let us know more about Officer Johnson ...



Is an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure?
By Jerry Johnson

First, would you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure, I’m a police officer with the Cortland Police Department. I’ve worked for the department for twelve years, since I was 24. I have a degree in criminal justice. While I was in school I worked as a security guard. This was my first real job as an adult. I loved it then and I still love it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

My wife, Maura, and I have been together since high school. We have twins, three-month-old boys. I hate to complain, but it’s been a rough few months, since the kids were born. My wife used to manage a nursery. At five months along, they put her on bed rest; she’s been out of work for more than half a year. She loved the job, taking care of the plants, and she misses interacting with people. With only one income, we need the cash, so I take details and extra shifts whenever I can, which is exhausting and hard on my wife. We live on the outskirts of town, so she’s completely isolated.

As much as I love being on the street, working with people, I look forward to the day I move to a desk job with regular hours, so I can spend more time with my family.

In your job, what do you do to aid in prevention? Do you find it effective?
I lead the drug prevention program we present in the elementary schools. I enjoy meeting the kids. When you talk with them they get to know you on a personal level, not just as uniform or someone to be scared of. We show the kids they can trust us, so if they’re ever in trouble, they’re not afraid to come to us for help. As for keeping them off drugs, the jury’s out on that. Some of the recent studies suggest that programs like DARE are not as effective as we once thought. I like to believe it helps some. It familiarizes the kids with the long and short-term effects of drugs. It may only raise questions in their mind, but that’s at start. And it’s better than the cure—rehab or jail. The recidivism rates are high and there’s the heartache and risk that accompany any addiction; we try to do what we can to keep kids from starting.

By maintaining a visible presence in the community, we discourage crime. A guy’s less likely to break into a house if he thinks a cruiser might go by. But
Cortland is a small town and it’s quiet; we don’t see much crime. I do break up a lot of underage parties. The kids hang out in the woods, sit around a bonfire and drink or get high. A few years ago, there was a horrific crash over on Old Orchard Road. The driver lost control and slammed into a tree. By the time I got there it was too late. The kids in front were already gone. I can still see the boy in the back seat, pounding the window, as the car blew.  If we can keep kids from getting behind the wheel when they’re drunk or high, that ounce of prevention is worth a million times the cure.

In your personal life, what has been your experience with prevention and cure?
I was an idiot when I was a kid. In high school, I got in with a rough crowd. One day, on a dare, I broke into the neighbor’s garage, stole an expensive chain saw. I left it in the trunk of my car—like I said, I was stupid. He saw it and called the police. My mom was beside herself, angry and embarrassed. I’d been saving up for a Harley. She made me give her the money to pay for my legal fees. I could have gotten a month in county, but I got lucky. Instead of prosecuting me, the judge put me in a “summer work-study program.” It turned out, the “program” was taking care of his gardens and yard. It was hard work and I cursed him for it, but that judge turned my life around. I got myself together, went to night school and ended up being a cop.

Finding your way through a difficult time can be a character builder. It stopped me in my tracks and kept me out of further trouble, so the experience served as both prevention and cure. It forced me to grow up and figure things out. That’s important for kids. If you hover too much, you smother them and they never grow up. I was stubborn. With kids like me, you’ve got to let them fall, so they learn to pick themselves up. Of course you don’t want them to fall too hard. It’s a balance, I guess.

You have two children. For them, an ounce of prevention or a pound of cure?
I had a feeling this question was coming. My sons are babies. It’s easy now to tell you what I’ll do when they’re older, because I don’t have to deal with it now. Kids are resilient. I’d like to think I’d give them enough room to take chances, even if, like me, it means learning a tough lesson. But I’ll also want to protect them. We’ll see, I guess.

Officer Jerry Johnson

Who is Jerry Johnson? He is one of the main characters in the novel, In Leah’s Wake. 
Jerry Johnson is a decorated officer in the Cortland Police Department. A lifelong resident, he lives in Cortland, Massachusetts, with his wife and two infant sons.

About the book - Protecting their children comes naturally for Zoe and Will Tyler - until their daughter Leah decides to actively destroy her own future. What happens when love just isn’t enough? Who will pay the consequences of Leah’s vagrant lifestyle? Can this broken family survive the destruction left in Leah’s wake? 




About the author - Terri Giuliano Long grew up in the company of stories both of her own making and as written by others. Books offer her a zest for life’s highs and comfort in its lows. She’s all-too-happy to share this love with others as a novelist and as a lecturer at Boston College. Terri loves meeting and connecting with people who share her passions. 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/tglong or





Monday, April 2, 2012

FREE on April 6-7!!


This is a short tale. 
And is going to be FREE from April 6 to midnight April 7 (Pacific Time) at Amazon's Kindle Store.

But stay tuned to the Great Radio because starting from this month many promotions will be available. I'm talking of discounts on paperbacks, free downloads for some of my books, and special offers.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

IT MADE ME CRY WITH JOY


Fun. Entertaining. Visual.
These are just some of the words that come to my mind, after reading Unleashed: Tail One.
Lori Lopez concocted such an amazing (and incredible) tale it should be a blockbuster. Not reading this is like going to Paris and neglecting Eiffel Tower; you’re missing something on your life trip.
Really.
I had to read several books these days. Some were of my liking, others were awful. It’s my personal policy to just review those I enjoyed and deserving at least 4 stars. This went beyond. I’d give it 8 stars if I could, because Lori Lopez’s style is truly innovative and her multitasking creativity clearly shows in her writing. 
In this tale you get three points of view: a dog, a detective, and a cat. Each one acts perfectly in character, with a lot of humor (dark and otherwise), and pleasant details.
The main persona – Midnight the cat – had me laugh and shiver at the same time, and some of her lines (her thoughts) brought me back at Showtime’s Dexter … with a touch of Ray Bradbury.
I think that Lori Lopez is one of the most gifted writers in the genre and should get more attention by the general public. She gets the instinct of a natural storyteller, yet she doesn’t disdain prose, playing with words in a funny way, Lopez never bogs you down into the intricacies of English language.
I’m very glad having read this.