Friday, 16 June 2017

It's time for darkness!

Summer is here. For goths, misanthropes and dark souls, this is the worst time of the year. Sun, sweat, people. So many people. Yikes! So I decided to help you. I'll run a promotion for the Theater of Dusk. Just 99c for the ebook and $4.99 for the physical book. Wowsers! Promotion will run from the 18st of June till the 30th. If you've always wondered what my writing is like, this is the perfect chance to discover it! And hey, visiting the darkest corners of my mind for just 99c... that's a bargain, isn't it? So grab your copy now!

You can find the ebook here:

And the physical book here: (Cheaper postage for you and higher royalties for me! 😁)

I'll be more than grateful if you could share this information for any dark fantasy fans out there; forums, Facebook groups, anything. Sharing is caring and it costs nothing, but makes a world of difference to a self-published writer.

I hope you'll enjoy the darkness (and the shade). All reviews, positive, neutral or negative, are very welcome. Thank you!

Monday, 22 May 2017

A cheaper alternative if you want to buy my paperback!

I have been looking for cheaper alternatives if someone wants to buy my book online. There is, obviously, Amazon.


But Amazon charges postage, unless, of course, you live in a country that has its own branch of the company and you can buy enough items to qualify for free postage on your order. If you live in another country and you can't take advantage of that offer, here is an alternative:


With Amazon, there is an extra charge of $7 or 7 euro if the book is your only purchase. In the case of Create Space shipping fees are lower, and I have been using this site for years now. I've never had any trouble with them. Plus they are an Amazon company, which means, trustworthy.

Don't forget, if you are a member of Amazon prime, you can download my ebook for free. Or if you like, you can read or download a sample of my book by clicking on 'look inside' or 'send sample now'. The sample includes two stories.  They should help you decide.

So, what do you think? Would you like to give it a try? Go for it!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Fifty Shades of (Mental) Pain

I know, I know, it is an old book. It is also one that belongs to the Did-Not-Finish (And-Would-Rather-Eat-Sauteed-Pickled-Moths-Topped-With-Lanolin-Cream-Than-Continue) Category. So.

Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James.  
(0 out of 5 stars)*

I gave this book a go though I was certain I would not like it. And I didn't. It is badly written and extremely repetitive. The male protagonist is repulsive and needs psychiatric help. The female protagonist is a two-dimensional Mary Sue straight out of a 50s movie who can't tell abuse from interest. The way BDSM is presented is extremely wrong and dangerous. The only person of colour is portrayed as a potential rapist. The plot is pretty much the same as that of any other insipid romance novel, only worse. The only explanation I have for its success is that people enjoy reading easy books that do not challenge them. Women in particular love the idea of saving the bad boy from his own self, because we have been taught that this is what we are born to do. Unfortunately, no-one can be saved, and books like this one glorify abusive relationships, psycho stalkers, and female passivity and victimisation. If you want to read a BDSM fantasy, there is much better erotica free on the net.


*My star rating and what it means: 
 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren't really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won't be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh... I didn't like it and won't be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I'll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don't remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour... Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Brutally honest

Ladies and gentlemen, good evening to you. I trust you are all good?

I haven't been here in a while. Truth is, I have nothing noteworthy to write. I got news from the Binge Watching Cure, and though they enjoyed my short story, they won't be publishing it. I was really disappointed, because it brought me back to square one. The problem is simple. I can't promote my published book, the Theater of Dusk. Or rather, no matter how much I try, I see no results whatsoever. There are some logical reasons I know and can refer to. 

  • The  book is a collection of short stories. Readers prefer novels.
  • The short stories don't belong to one genre but many. This makes it even more difficult to pitch it to an audience.
  • There are tens of thousands of new books published in Amazon every month, so mine is buried under the sheer bulk.
  • I don't have money for advertisement.
  • I am self-published, so I don't have a publishing house to take care of promotion and advertisement.
As a result of the above factors, I was hoping to publish my second book in order to help the first one too. But I don't have the necessary money for editing, so that isn't going to happen. The Binge Watching Cure collection would have helped me reach a wider audience, but they don't want my story after all. And every other method I've tried so far has failed. Here are some examples:
  • I've contacted dozens of reviewing blogs. I haven't heard back from any of them. Two blog owners who contacted me and said they were interested, were probably abducted by aliens because after that they vanished.
  • I have organised three giveaways in Goodreads, in which I gave away a total of ten books. Three were lost in the post and I had to post them to winners a second time. In the end, all I got was one review and two ratings. Oh wow.
  • I've paid for Facebook advertisements. As I said in my previous blog entry, when I do that I get sales before the advertisement, which renders the whole endeavour surreal and pretty much useless.
As you can guess from the above, I got sick of struggling. I've been trying and pushing and racking my brains for three years now and haven't achieved anything, so I will no longer bother. I'll go back to writing and try to save money in order to publish my novel. If anyone needs to contact me, please use my Facebook page. I will update this blog when I have something book-related to say, which I hope will be sooner rather than later. Other than that, I really should devote my free time to writing rather than rambling.

I hope to have good news for you soon and thanks for reading this blog. I do appreciate every pageview I got. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Art is a cruel mistress

Art is a cruel mistress... Source: http://brilandsurrounding.tumblr.com/image/153124857372
I don't have the necessary money for editing my novel. So for the time being, it will be shelved, or rather, stored in my hard drive until further notice. I was hoping I'd be able to publish it in 2016. The editing costs are waaaay above my paycheck. This saddens me but there is nothing I can do. I need to accept it and move on with my life.

I have discovered a unique time/ space disturbance in relation to my published book. Every time I attempt to advertise it, I get sales before the advertisement runs. Not during, not after. Before. If the same thing happened to me with the lottery numbers before the draw, I would have solved my editing issues, together with most of my problems. It wouldn't have made my heroes real so that I can have hot experimental sex with them (did I write that? Oh dear) meet them, but pretty much everything else would be covered.

Other than that, I submitted a story from my published book the Theater of Dusk to the Binge Watching Cure. If you read their very interesting disclaimer, they want to cure your Netflix (or Amazon, Google movie, or Hulu) addiction and help you return to your first love, reading books. The editor told me he liked my story and he is considering it for publication. I will know for certain around the beginning of next year. If someone keeps in mind they receive 20-30 stories per day, I am immensely proud for the fact they are even considering it. It means I am doing something right (hopefully).

I am no longer sure what I'm doing right. At least I haven't given up. I want to write books and publish them, though it seems harder than ever. It reminds me of something I read in the book Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. The book is the correspondence Rilke kept with a young poet. In one letter, Rilke asks the poet to try and imagine his life without writing. Let me quote:

"Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse."

Well, I'll go insane if I don't write, so it is not a matter of choice. We do what we must, regardless of how difficult it may be.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Perfect Halloween companion

Picture source: https://www.facebook.com/Uriel.Serafini/
Darkness. The smell of blood in the chill wind. Footsteps behind you. A sharp breath that never becomes a scream.
Thirteen dark stories that will haunt you this Halloween...

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

What's funny about Assassin's Creed?

I have neglected adding reviews here. So I am going to add two, to make up for it. One funny, one not so funny. The first one will be...

Assassin's Creed#3: the Secret Crusade by Oliver Bowden.  
(2 out of 5 stars)*
I keep reading this series because it's easy to read, but it also irritates me because it's simplistic, implausible and flat. I found this book better than the two previous, yet it still leaves much to be desired. I mean we're talking about Assassins, you know? Stuff that normally would have rocked your socks to a speed metal mosh pit degree. Instead we get eh, meh, bleh, blah de blah, and dying men who have been stabbed in the neck and still deliver last speeches that amount to whole paragraphs of text. I'm positive that if I'm ever stabbed, I'll make sounds like a defective sprinkler sputtering to life and a dying goldfish. I won't have enough breath left to reveal so much before kicking the bucket. Altair's victims, once they have been given the killing blow, turn incredibly talkative. From now on, next time one of my heroes wants information, he or she won't threaten to kill the prisoner unless they talk. They will kill the prisoner et voila, they will be given all the information they need and then some. Maybe even offered hedge fund strategy advice. Who knows.

I'm not sure how the writer would have handled things if he had been given freedom to do what he wanted instead of following a predetermined plot. Maybe the result would have been better. Personally, I'm waiting for the movie with Fassbender and hope it will be worthwhile, because the books I've read so far have failed to give me my fix.

And now for the next one... 

Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates (1 out of 5 stars)*
While I love serial killers and reading about the darkness of human soul (one of my favourite books is Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Brite), I didn't enjoy this one. I could not get into the narrative. I felt I was reading the diary of a ten-year old with serious expression and consistency problems. I also felt that the book aimed at shock value. I found it artificial and forced. I understand that the writer chose the particular style of narration to show the chaotic, emotionally stunted inside of the killer's head, but unfortunately it made the book unreadable for me. 

I have tried to read a short story by the same writer with similar results. I fear it is a matter of taste; Mrs. Oates doesn't work for me.

*My star rating and what it means: 
 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren't really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won't be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh... I didn't like it and won't be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I'll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don't remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour... Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.