• Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 320 other followers

  • Douglas Daech


    Born near Detroit Michigan and transplanted to Tampa Florida in 1982, where he located the story called “Steeling Time”, the author now resides in Russellville, Kentucky.

    His past experience includes articles in the Tripolitan, (Journal of the Tripoli Rocket Association, June 1991) and TRASH (Tampa Regional Aero-Space Hobbyist). In 1993 and 1994 many articles were published in the Unauthorized Launch, the Tampa Tripoli High Power Rocket Club newsletter. A science fiction piece was also presented in the online magazine NTH Degree (May, 2004). Also, an award for creative nonfiction was granted in the 2007 Frank and Cellia Conley Writing Contest at Western Kentucky University

  • Links

  • Book Page

  • Book & Movie Reviews

  • Author/Publisher Newsletter

Music and the Creative Process

 

Writing and publishing is a process. The publishing part is a mechanical step by step process. Writing is less mechanical. The creative elements in writing make for an environment without rules. It’s a free-for-all between writers of whatever works for them. Some authors need a clean and tidy desk, others work better in clutter. One writer may like to follow a planned outline, while another will take on the project by the seat of their pants. Some think that silence is golden. Some writers play heavy metal music as they work. The creative spark is kindled by different things in different people.

Today, I’m sharing the writing process that works for me. The first trick I use to get rolling is to edit the last page and keep moving beyond that. This refreshes my memory on where I was at in the story and gets the gears in my brain turning. This puts me technically in the mindset to write. It may not do it for every writer but does for me.

The second share I have is in regards to background music. Everyone has a favorites list, but my music list for writing is completely different. My regular list of favorites do nothing to ignite and propel my writing.  I have a particular list of songs that I play at a low volume whenever I write.

Some music smoothly falls into the background of what I write, as if it were an audio track to the movie playing in my mind. I discovered this first with the music of Victor Stellar. Luckily, free streaming downloads are available so you can listen as you write.

You can check them out at https://app.famemusic.com/victor-stellar. I have found a variety of moods and tempos to propel my writing. His songs seem to fit magically into whatever I am writing. I’m still confused at how they meld with whatever I’m penning, but I’m glad that happens.

Another artist that puts me into the writing zone is Gabriel’s Circus. You can find them at the musical my page site, https://myspace.com/gabrielscircus/music/albums. I first discovered the artist sitting next to me in my art class at community college. At the time he played guitar in a rock band around Detroit Michigan. As the worlds we lived in changed we drifted apart, we lost contact.  Thirty years later I stumbled back onto him. Ray Kurtz continues to play in southern Michigan with Nikki Holland. Between his hard rock years, and his current band, Mr. Kurtz released an album of easy listening jazz. I often play and write listening to his music.

The last musical lead I am going to offer is the Yuriy from Russia collection. The mystery in this music is how it blends into your head and becomes almost unnoticed as you write. Yet, the tempo and chaos of the abstract music still generates momentum. At least it does in my writing. Again this is available in streaming audio for your pleasure. You can stream the music at https://soundcloud.com/yuriyfromrussia

What works like magic for one person may not work at all for another. Who knows what will put your brain into the writing zone? What I offer you in this blog is what works for me. I’m giving you a glimpse of my creative process. I hope you listen to some of the music and write.

 

Why Authors Like Pre-orders?

Why Pre-order?

When you received the Two Story Publishing Newsletter this month, it included an exclusive excerpt from Sunset of Dreams. You received an invitation to pre-order with special savings. This mystery thriller book is due to release May 1st at Amazon.com. The final changes for launch are underway. The first stage is a great launch. A book launch is a multi-step process. Each step is aimed to raise awareness of the product before it releases. The excerpt was just one of the promotional stepping stones to that big launch day.

The pre-order window looks like this!

preorder-art

Newspaper press releases and social media posts are other steps taken to generate pre-orders. All the chatter creates a buzz around the product. The goal of the media blitz is to gain pre-orders. This is a great benefit to the independent author. Top selling books get special attention by retailers and buyers alike. On launch day, all the weeks of pre-orders will be attributed to that one day, making it a killer day for sales. The existing orders drive the book to the top seller list and give it more exposure. It is that buzz that turns a book into a best seller.

The second advantage of pre-order sales is in getting reviews. Buyers need to know what other readers think regarding new books. Pre-orders are the fastest way to get reader comments. Authors need those early reviews to generate more interest and keep up the momentum. If you have ever hesitated to give a review, please reconsider. When you like an author, take a moment and help them by leaving a comment. It is best for the author if you leave the review while the book launch is still hot.

Pre-ordering helps the author more than the customer. Of course, buyers are happy to get their products fast too. When the pre-orders come in on launch day, they function as a booster to move the book up the charts. A good book launch can keep sales coming in for a while.

sunset_of_dreams-kindle-ebook-paranormal-thriller-mystery-douglas-daech-tampa-florida-detective-paperback-book

Speaking of pre-orders, be one of the first to get Sunset of Dreams. This new novel is going to launch on May 1st. In the book, detective Max Jones discovers the cause of the rising murder rate in the city of Tampa. The problem is that he cannot find anyone who will believe him. Things heat up in the Florida sun as he struggles to expose the killer. You can pre-order Sunset of Dreams for Kindle at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WV9LY72  The Special Launch Price of $2.99 will only last a short while. So, pre-order soon!

A Tool for a Writer

Querytracker.com is an online writer’s tool that makes life easier.  It is a one stop shop to find agents and publishers, but it is much more. There are two versions available, one is free and can be helpful, but the premium Query Tracker option is worth the small yearly fee. It gives users the advantage to enter and track multiple projects at the same time as well as a bundle of other helpful tools.

What would a writer want in a query tracking tool?  Surly a record of who has seen what projects and when is needed. As well as some record of the agent’s response needs to be included. That is the guts of any tracker or simple database. But this site offers much more.  Query tracker includes a list of potential agents to send work. Better still, that list can be sub grouped into genres. You wouldn’t want to submit a sci-fi novel to an agent looking for romance work. In addition, the agent info page gives the writer a chance to link to the agency website to review guidelines and current needs. It also allows a place for private agent notes as well as a public comment area so writers can see what others think of that agent. Other tidbits of info on the agent are also available. What more could one ask for?

Query Tracker Premium has even more features that impress.  Besides a record of when and how a piece of work was submitted, writers can see a line-up of submissions made by other users. As those writers get responses and record that information, a writer can see where their work is placed on the timeline. This is helpful in judging if your work has been reviewed and gives a hint of the pace of that agent. It is also helpful because you can see the genres that an agent is actually reviewing, and what is being skipped.

One should remember that the reports on the site depend on the input of those using the tracker. The information is only as good as the updating made by the users. Query Tracker gives an author a good view of what is happening outside one’s own writing bubble too. Success and failures are reported, comments are made, and opinions offered. It creates a community of writers who exchange data and stay on topic.

As opposed to a home-made database system of tracking submissions, Query Tracker offers time savings because agent data is already loaded. It offers insight as to the performance of agents with the comments from other writers, something personal database systems cannot do. Writing can be a solitary life. An alliance with other authors is often welcome. Query Tracker gives a writer a glimpse of what others are doing in the writing community, without the chaos of other social media platforms. QueryTracker.com stays on task, has one job and does it well.

A question to readers…

old typwriter I believe it was Stephen Foster who said that a story is not written it is rewritten. I remember the quote from a poster in my high school English class, so the quote may not be exactly correct. That was a long time ago!  But, things have not changed much.  Stories are still being rewritten. The computer and word processors makes it easier, thank goodness, but the authors dilemma of what revision makes the best story is still a hard question. Additionally, agents and readers are always making suggestions on what they think would be better.

Currently I’m working on a story that is a comedy, but is not full of side splitting laughs. The classic description of a comedy is a conflict that is overcome and the main character succeeds and survives the challenge. My hero does have a happy ending, overcoming challenges both emotional and physical to win the day. It is almost a fairy tale happy ending, and from the beginning was planned to be exactly that.

But, maybe the ending is too sugar coated. Recently a completely different ending was proposed. It’s an ending that dramatically changes the story into a classic tragedy where the hero loses his battle. In fact in this ending he loses everything. It turns the story into a dark tale with a sad ending. It leaves the reader shocked and perhaps with the question of what happens next. It opens the option for a sequel and sequels in fiction are so popular these days.

What type of books do you like?  Are you always looking for a happy ending? Does a dark sad ending leave a bad feeling in your heart?  Would you be less likely to read another book by this author?  That’s really the question here. Is a sad surprise ending something you would enjoy? Does a story, where after chapters of learning to like a character, you see him fall victim to his adversary appeal to you?  What ending should I go with? I wonder.

Please respond here with your thoughts.

you can view my published work at: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dugger50

Our talk with Christie Golden

Recently I had the honor of attending a writer’s talk by New York best-selling author Christie Golden. Fans of Sci-fi and Fantasy may recognize her name. She currently has 48 books in print, and there is new work that should release soon. The talk was offered by the Clarksville Writers Meet-Up, a small group of writers that meet to compare notes, critique work and socialize. We really appreciate that she took the time to visit us.

Christie explained that she started her career as a fan of Sci-fi and Fantasy but didn’t expect to write media tie-in books. She entered a contest sponsored by TSR, the distributor of the Dungeon and Dragon roll playing games, to create a story that meld horror and fantasy. Ravenloft won and launched her career. The rest is history. Christie Golden has written media tie-in books to please fans of Star Trek and Star Wars as well as spin offs from games World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Assassin’s Creed. She explained that it is tough for new writers to enter the media tie-in field. Experience and references play a huge part in landing new projects, and the work seems to be mostly on assignment.

Christie told stories of her early writing days and offered insights and tips on making a successful writing career. She pointed out several good web-sites for writers and suggested rules when selecting what contest to enter. She warned that there are a lot of scams targeting eager writers. Be sure your offers and contests are from respected organizations or well known writers conferences. She has known several editors who have found new talent at conferences, so don’t hesitate to get involved, do public readings and meet the people there.

Write from your heart, she suggests. Don’t write in a style or subject matter with the goal of getting published inside the current fad. Editors have a glut of that type of work. Do something different that means something to you. Your work might be the next fad. It’s always better to be on the crest of the wave, rather than swimming with a million other fishes. Something new and different may catch the editor’s eye.

Regarding editors and agents, Christie Golden suggested that you follow their directions when making submissions. Don’t offer too much information or samples. Give them what they ask for. Be ready to react when they contact you with a completed manuscript, and don’t waste their time. Christie reminded us that your agents and editors are sticking their neck out presenting your work to their bosses. If they believe in your work, trust them to do their job. She also comments that a bad agent is worse than no agent at all. Never pay an agent. They work for you!

Christie Golden commented that the opinions of editors and agents are a mix bag regarding self publishing. Some agents and publishers say that the indie-author is too independent and wants too much control, making them hard to work with. Others say that the indie-author books and e-books are the new slush pile. They don’t mind working with them. Still others just won’t contract with indie-authors because they are indie-authors. It’s a true mix of feelings.

Christie was a pleasant speaker with a strong message. She urged the group to follow their heart and write what they enjoy writing. It will be your best work, and will truly be your voice. Don’t try to be something you are not. Christie offered insight, comment and stories of real life experience. That’s something that new authors want to hear. She also offered a variety of books for sale. Star Trek, Star Wars and many out of print or hard to locate editions were available. Prices ranged from under $10 to $50. She was happy to sign what you purchased or brought to the event. I’m sure everyone enjoyed the presentation on her career, and the craft of writing.

You can view the Christie Golden website at:   http://www.christiegolden.com/index.html

%d bloggers like this: