Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 27, 2019

It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of the first month of the new year. At least I’ve noticed daylight is coming a bit earlier and staying a bit later. Always a good sign! We’ve been fortunate thus was regarding the white stuff (knock on wood), which means those animals and birds who forage during the winter will be able to get to their food supplies.

We assume our two hedgehogs are sound asleep in their nests, as we haven’t seen them for several weeks and their food is undisturbed. Roll on spring!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on January 27th. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Johann A Cramer, prime minister/poet; Hester Thrale, Welsh diarist; David F Strauss, German theologist (Jesus’ Life); Lewis Carroll [Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], English author (Alice in Wonderland); Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Austrian writer (masochism); Rafael Obligado, Argentina, writer (Santos Vega); Neel [Cornelia H] Doff, Dutch/French/Belgian painter’s model/writer; Giuseppe Prezzolini, Italian writer (La Voce, La Cultura Italiano); Ilja Ehrenburg, writer; William Randolph Hearst, Jr., American newspaper magnate (Hearst Newspapers) and 1955 Pulitzer Prize winner; E. R. Braithwaite, diplomat and writer (To Sir with Love); Fritz Spiegl, Austrian journalist; Gastón Suárez, Bolivian novelist; Mordecai Richler, Montreal author, (Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz); Ismail Kadare, Albanian author/poet (Dimri i Madh); Ethan Mordden, American author; Alexander Stuart, British author; and James Grippando, American novelist.

How many are you familiar with? Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

transparentbeverly_sweets_png copyI’m absolutely thrilled with the news I received earlier this week. Both of my published novels, The Kurdish Connection and Dangerous Alliance have moved forward in the judging rounds from SLUSH pile to the 2018 Long List (aka the Slush Pile Survivors) to the SHORTLIST and have competed for the 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER SEMIFINALISTS positions. They are two of the thirteen novels making the semi-finalist lists! The complete list is available by clicking here: CIBA.

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Dangerous Alliance will be featured in the February 1st edition of the monthly magazine, The Big Thrill, issued by the International Thriller Writers. To celebrate this event, the Kindle version of Dangerous Alliance will be free across the Amazon network on February 1st and 2nd. 

My Work in Progress

I completed the first draft of my manuscript for Carnage in Singapore last weekend. Now my time is spent going through the myriad of chapter reviews and selecting suggestions which I feel will help improve my story. As of this morning, I have 681 chapter reviews from the two online subscription writing sites I use, so plenty of recommendations to choose from.

I’ve also been playing with the outline for my fourth novel, Ultimate Escalation. While I do have an initial opening chapter, I’ve decided to add at least one additional one at the beginning. This will be used to show how the story’s main protagonist came to be.

Books I’m Reading

Contact, by author M.D. Neu, was released this week. This is a well-crafted story from an up-and-coming author about a civilization searching for a home after the destruction of their home world. But, what if this really happens? Will we be able to handle things as Todd Landon and his husband, Jerry, did?

Warning signs appear when the American President begins shifting troops back to the U.S. Why? Before long, he appears on television and explains: the Nentraee, a humanoid race, is approaching Earth. While some people begin panicking, thanks to his estranged brother, Brad, Todd and Jerry, although sceptical, appear to be handling the mind-boggling news rather well. When Todd is chosen by his company boss to be part of a welcoming committee when members of the Nentraee visit, before long he finds himself in a vehicle heading to a reception with one of their leaders.

Not everyone can handle the development, and their transportation is blown up in an attack. Todd is injured, along with the Nentraee leader. Racked with physical and mental pain, Todd is at wit’s end when the Nentraee state they want him to be their envoy to work with Earth. He eventually takes the role, much to the delight of the Nentraee and to the angst of the American Secretary of State. What will the future hold?

Although I don’t read a lot of sci-fi, I can’t wait for the sequel. M.D. Neu’s a brilliant writer and this story is begging to be read.

I’m also assisting a fellow writer in trimming the length of his memoir to meet his publisher’s desired word count. I think it’s a fantastic story about his father’s life during the Great Depression.

My Favorite Authors

I had planned to share with you one of the authors who helped to shape my interest in writing thriller novels. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, so I’ll cover this next time.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 20, 2019

Another mild start to the day, with temperatures hovering in the mid-30s (F). Unlike the past couple of days, where there’s been plenty of sunshine, it’s gray. Not just a bit, but an ugly mass of gray as far as the eye can see. Oh well–it is winter after all. So far, the white stuff has stayed away, although the other evening as I stood watching the rain and waiting for one of the cats to come inside, I noticed the rain became whiter and whiter. Fortunately, it didn’t last long before the precipitation stopped altogether.

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born today. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Susanna van Baerle, Dutch poet; Michiel de Swaen, South Netherland physician/poet; Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina, Italian writer and jurist; Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, French writer and numismatist; Eugène Sue, French novelist; Nathaniel Willis, writer/editor/founder (American Monthly Mag); Richard Le Gallienne, English writer (Maker of Gainborg); Johannes V Jensen, Danish novelist/poet (Energy Storage, Nobel 1944); A[braham] Merritt, American sci-fi author (The Moon Pool, Burn Witch Burn); Elmer R Diktonius, Finnish musicologist/author (Janne Kubik); Theodore Brameld, author/educator (Use of Explosive Ideas); C W Ceram, [Kurt W Marek], German/US writer (March of Archaeology); DeForest Kelley, American actor, screenwriter, poet and singer (Star Trek); Thorleif Schjelderup, Norwegian author and ski jumper; Bernt Engelmann, German writer; Eugen Gomringer, writer; Jamiluddin Aali, Pakistani poet, essayist and columnist; Qurratulain Hyder, Pakistani novelist; Sawako Ariyoshi, Japanese writer (Compound Pollution, Doctor’s Wife); Eddie Shah, English publisher (Today, Post); Susan Vreeland, American author (The Passion of Artemisia); Nancy Kress, American writer; and Edward Hirsch, American poet.

How many are you familiar with? Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

DA-3D-coverI was delighted to find out that my latest novel, Dangerous Alliance, moved from the slush pile and is now on the official 2018 Global Thriller Book Awards shortlist!  This is a prestigious award sponsored by Chanticleer International Book Awards. Dangerous Alliance is one of seventeen novels making the shortlist, so competition for the semi-finalist positions will be stiff. Wish me luck!

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I’m not sure when the semi-finalists will be announced, but I’ll include the names of the authors and the titles of their work when I find out.

 

 

My Work in Progress

My poor brain! It continued to work overtime this week, and I’m pleased to announce the completion of the entire first draft of Carnage in Singapore. Lots of editing to do as I work my way through the 622 chapter reviews it’s received from my faithful followers on the two subscription writing sites I use. Stay tuned for more information and a snippet or two.

Books I’m Reading

My nightly reading time has been focused on a beta read of a new novel by up-and-coming author, M.D. Neu. Watch for the release of Contact on January 21st! I’ll be posting my review on Amazon and Goodreads tomorrow and here next Sunday.

My Favorite Authors

Feedback from blog followers suggested I talk about my favorite authors. I plan to begin this section next Sunday, barring any unavoidable circumstances. I think it’s a good idea to share with you the authors who have influenced my work. I’ll discuss famous authors and also introduce you to new authors whose work I’ve enjoyed.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 13, 2019

So far, so good–no ‘s’ word. Today’s already at 48F/9C, with scattered clouds.  Our four-legged family members have already scattered outdoors, taking advantage of another decent day. I did spot a couple of neighbors raking their yards yesterday. Is this a good sign or are they too optimistic?

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born today. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Matteo Palmieri, Italian writer (Della vita civile); Mark Alexander Boyd, Scottish poet; Richard Hurd, English bishop and writer; Victor de Laprade, French poet and critic; Horatio Alger, American clergyman and author (Disagreeable Woman, Ragged Dick); Karl Bleibtreu, German author (Revolution of Literature); Kostis Palamas, Greek poet; Clarke Ashton Smith, American sci-fi author (Lost Worlds, Genius Loci); Anton Betzner, German writer; A. B. Guthrie, American novelist, historian; Dachine Rainer, British writer; Carolyn Heilbrun, [Amanda Cross], author (Lady Ottoline’s Album); Pamela M Cunnington, English architect/author (Change of Use); Michael Bond, British writer; Ron Goulart, American sci-fi author (Deadwalk, Plunder); Edmund White, American author; [Eileen] Joy[ce] Chant [Rutter], UK, sci-fi author (High Kings); Jay McInerney, American novelist (Bright Lights, Big City); and Lorrie Moore, American writer.

Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

My brain cells were working overtime this week as I completed three chapters of Carnage in Singapore. I anticipate completing the first draft of the manuscript by the end of February. Then the fun will begin–editing! 

To assist me with improving my craft, I continue to post my chapters on the two subscription writing sites I use. So far, I’ve received 569 chapter reviews, all very useful to me as I move forward with this novel.

My outline for Carnage in Singapore has been modified, hopefully for the final time. I’m pleased with the progress thus far and look forward to the next stage in the process. Perhaps next time, I’ll include a snippet or two.

Books I’m Reading

During the past week my nightly reading has increased and I finished two more novels. The first is The Viking (The Vikings Series Book 1) by Marti Talbott.  I found this to be a delightful story, even if some of the attempts at Scottish dialect seemed a bit off. The story is well-written and the characters are vivid. It’s easy to conjure up the hard life most people had under clan rule and how two young people, the Viking Stefan, and the Scottish lass Kannak, could fall for each other. Look forward to reading another in the series.

I also completed Rogue Operator (Dylan Kane #1) by J. Robert Kennedy. What happens when three scientists working on a top secret project which could destroy the world disappear? Chris, a CIA research analyst, and a field agent named Dylan become embroiled in a plot to create a world war so certain companies could reap the financial benefits. No spoiler alert–you’ll have to pick up a copy and find out who wins!

This is a well-crafted story with plenty of twists and turns. It didn’t take long for me to read as I found it difficult to put it down. The main characters are realistic and share a variety of emotions with the readers, including love, hate, anxiety, worry, and elation. Although this is the first book I’ve read by J. Robert Kennedy, it won’t be the last.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, January 6, 2019

Happy New Year! Hope the new year brings everyone health and prosperity!

So who was born on this date in history? Let’s find out who in the writing world was born today. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Helius Eobanus Hessus, German poet (Silvae); Claude Favre de Vaugelas, French man of letters; Domingos dos Reis Quita, Portuguese playwright & poet; Matija A Reljkovic, Habsburg military officer & Croatian writer (Satir iliti divji covic); Ion Heliade-Radulescu, Romanian writer (Gramatica); Herman Grimm, German writer & novelist (Ralph Waldo Emerson); Kanagaki Robun [Bunzo Nozaki], Japanese humorist/gesaku-author; Carl Sandburg, American poet & biographer of Lincoln (The People, Yes); Khalil Gibran, Lebanese mystic & poet (The Prophet, Broken Wings); Jan Filip Boon, Flemish journalist & editor (De Standaard 1929-39); Eric Frank Russell, British sci-fi author (Hugo, Deep Space, Dark Tides); Benedict Vilakazi, South African Zulu poet & educator (Zulu-English Dictionary); Wright Morris, American novelist & photographer; Joey Adams [Joseph Abramowitz], American comedian, actor and columnist (ABC’s Back That Fact); Alan Watts, British-American philosopher (Book on the Taboo); Vincent Serventy, Australian writer and conservationist; Leah Chase, New Orleans chef & author; Jacobo Timerman, Soviet-born Argentine writer; Denis Pitts, English journalist; E. L. Doctorow, American author (Ragtime, Billy Bathgate); P J Kavanagh [Patrick Joeseph], British poet, actor and journalist (The Perfect Stranger); Mario Rodríguez Cobos (aka Silo), Argentine writer and spiritual leader; Penny Lernoux, American journalist; Osvaldo Soriano, Argentine journalist & writer; Barry Lopez, American author (Of Wolves & Men); and Allen Appel, American novelist.

Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

My Work in Progress

As we move into the new year, much of my writing time has been devoted to social media marketing of Dangerous Alliance. However, I still found time to complete another chapter of my next novel, Carnage in Singapore. To date, there’s been 541 chapter reviews from the two subscription writing site I use, all helping to improve my stories.

I also spent time revising the outline for Carnage in Singapore so things all come together as the final chapters are written.

Books I’m Reading

Over the past few days I finished reading Corktown (Abby Kane Thriller Book 1) by Ty Hutchinson.  This is the first novel of Ty’s that I’ve read and it won’t be the last. Corktown is a whirlwind plot of action, violence, sex, and some tender moments. Will FBI agent Abby Kane be able to solve the spate of murders or will she become a victim?

I don’t like to provide spoilers, but suffice to say all thriller readers will find something in this first book of a new series by an established writer. With a well-written plot, believable characters, and a crime to solve, you’ll be hard-pressed to put it down until you’ve turned the final page. I look forward to reading the next on in the series!

I also read The Blackstone Conspiracy by Sylvain Pavlowski. Jack, a journalist, and Thomas, a computer genius, uncover a conspiracy to shake up the world. Is the murder of a prominent politician part of the plot or a coincidence? This is a well-crafted story with plenty of twists and turns before coming to its climax. From my perspective the manuscript could have benefited from the services of an independent editor as I found myself ‘fixing’ the myriad of errors as I read. Saying this, I will still check out more work by Sylvain as he’s done an excellent job spinning his tale.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2019 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 16, 2018

Yesterday, we had freezing temperatures, rain and sleet. Today has started out much better, with the temperature hitting 39.2F/4C. Had to put my sunglasses on while driving when the sun came out, but it was a short-lived threat as the clouds are rolling in.

As always, let’s check out those associated with the writing world who celebrate birthdays today (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Louis-Jules Mancini-Mazarini, Duc de Nivernais, French diplomat and writer; Elizabeth Carter, English poet, bluestocking and translator (All the Works of Epictetus Which Are Now Extant); Jane Austen, English novelist (Pride and Prejudice); Mary Russell Mitford, English writer; Eugene Demolder, Belgian writer (Sous la robe); George Santayana, Spanish philosopher/poet/humanist (Last Puritan); Paul Neuhuys, Belgian playwright and poet (Le Canari et le Cerise); Noel Coward, England, playwright (In Which We Serve-1942 Acad Award); Victor S Pritchett, literary critic/author (Myth Makers); Rafael Alberti, Spanish poet (El hombre deshabitado); Piet Hein, poet/inventor; Arthur C. Clarke, English sci-fi author (2001: A Space Odyssey, Childhood’s End); Pierre Chany, writer/cycling journalist; Anthony Simmons, British writer and film director; Tip [Silvio A] Marugg, Antillian writer (Weekend pilgrimage); G Randall P D Garrett, American sci-fi writer (Takeoff (too)!); Peter [Malcolm] Dickinson, Zambia, sci-fi author (Heartsease); Philip K[indred] Dick, US, sci-fi author (Hugo-1963, Blade Runner); and Adriaan van Dis, Dutch TV host/writer (Promised Country).

Today seems to be a popular day for the birth of sci-fi writers. Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

DA-3D-coverFor those using Kindle, Dangerous Alliance today will be the last day it’s available free across the Amazon network. Don’t miss out!

 

 

 

 

My Work in Progress

Much of my writing time of the past week was once again devoted to social media marketing of Dangerous Alliance. Also spent time getting Christmas decorations in place.

I did manage to complete another chapter of Carnage in Singapore. The manuscript has now received 514 chapter reviews, all assisting me in improving my writing and tweaking the story.

Books I’m Reading

I don’t have my reviews ready for posting, but I just finished reading The Lazarus Succession by Ken Fry. Tonight I should complete my reading of a new story by Blair Howard.

This brings us to a close for another week as external events require my attenion. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

 

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 2, 2018

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrated last week. Hope no one was crushed in the Good Friday sales!

The hedgehogs are doing well, filling up on food and preparing their new home for hibernation. Each morning we check on their exploits through videos taken by our trail camera. They are definitely active after the sun goes down, whether it’s eating or hauling more leaves and twigs into the nest. It’s very interesting to watch their preparations. We’ll know when they are asleep, as the food will no long disappear each day!

As always, we’ll check out those associated with the writing world who celebrate birthdays today (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Carlo Bertinazzi, Italian actor and writer (commedia dell’arte); Francis Jammes, French poet/writer (Jammisme); Jonas Cohn, German/English philosopher (Theory of the Dialects); Charles H. Wesley, author writer and Brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc.; Klaas Voskuil, journalist; Russell Lynes, American art historian, photographer, author and managing editor of Harper’s Magazine; Randolph Apperson Hearst, American newspaper publisher (Hearst Newspapers); Brian Lumley, England, sci-fi author (Compleat Crow, Psychomech); Yael Dayan, Israeli writer and politician; Botho Strauß, German author; T. Coraghessan Boyle, American writer; George Saunders, American writer (Lincoln in the Bardo); and Ann Patchett, American novelist.

Whether you recognize anyone on the list or not, if today’s your special day I hope you have a great one and many more to follow!

News About My Published Work

Dangerous Alliance received its fourth five-star review this week: Just WOW! If Author Randall Krzak’s intention was to draw you into several different plots at once, he

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certainly succeeded! Each action-packed chapter of this novel, “Dangerous Alliance,” pulls you into the next one. It’s one you can’t put down. Plenty of high-energy, heart-pumping scenes that will leave you breathless. Cargo and passenger ships are disappearing at a rapid pace along the coastline of Somali and Kenya, yet no one’s in a hurry to do anything about it. This allows Al-Shabab to set its sites on Kenya. That’s when things change.

Author Krzak knows how to spin a tale and comes up with plenty of surprises and non-stop action scenes. Follow Colonel Trevor Franklin, the team leader of Bedlam Bravo, as he leads his group into East Africa and keeps his cool during heated political confusion.

Whatever you do, don’t miss this one! This is the second novel I’ve read by this author, and he does not disappoint. He pulls all the subplots together in the end in an unexpected way. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

My new novel, Dangerous Alliance, is up for the allauthor.com Cover of the Month. Please vote at: https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/ Thank you!

My Work in Progress

Much of my writing time over the past two weeks was once again devoted to social media marketing of Dangerous Alliance. However, I did manage to complete two more chapters of Carnage in Singapore. The manuscript has now received 485 chapter reviews, all assisting me in improving my writing and tweaking the story.

I also finished the draft synopsis for a 10,000-word short story. The tentative title is The European Caper: Both retired, Larry Samson a former DEA agent and his wife Cyndi is a CPA. They head out on their annual vacation. Before they board the aircraft, the yare asked to check into a drug smuggling ring using pleasure craft to move their goods through the various European capitals.

Will they be able to trace the conduits and pass the information along or do Larry and Cyndi run afoul of the group and end up in harm’s way? Only time will tell.

Stayed tuned for more.

Books I’m Reading

Into Autumn: A Story of Survival by Larry Landgraf is the first in his Four Seasons series. Larry’s blended the perfect story about those trying to survive after the world as Lars knew it collapsed into a nightmare. Already living in a small valley, Lars is joined by Eileen, who stumbled upon his safe haven. With several like-minded neighbors, they cope without modern conveniences. Utilities cut off, food scarce and others trying to take from them, using deadly force.

Lars and Eileen build a new life and before a close-knit ‘family’ with Samuel, Reggie and their spouses and children. Follow their adventure as they make tough decisions in order to survive. Cheer them on as they deal with one challenge after another. An exciting plot, which kept me turning the pages late into the evening. Can’t wait to read the next in the series.

Russ Moran’s The Violent Sea shows once again his ability to mix historical events into a thrilling read. His well-crafted characters come to life in the latest time travel adventure. Join Rear Admiral Harry Fenton and his wife, Lieutenant Meg Fenton on their latest ride through the ages. Once again, they are involved in major events, which change the course of history. A superb plot with plenty of thrills and tension for all readers!

Arabian Days by Barbara Russell is a delightful story, which will have you cheering for the underdogs. Can a disfigured slave who is curse find the girl of his dreams and find happiness? Will Chloe be the one? This plot has plenty of action, twists, and a bit of romance. A fantastic read for various ages and well work a look.

Blogs/Author Pages/Writing Sites I’d Like to Share

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but will also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites.

Larry Landgraf. Learn more information about Larry and his other books.

Russ Moran. Find out more about the various books written by Russ and follow his blog.

Barbara Russell. Follow writing Barbara’s journey and find out what she’s up to.

This brings us to a close for another week. I hope you found something of interest or at least useful for your own writing. If you have any suggestions for a topic you’d like to read about, please let me know. Until the next time, thank you for reading.

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

An Interview with Author Brad Carl

This week, I’d like to introduce you to author Brad Carl. He’s a former radio personality who still earns part of his living by doing voice-over work. He grew up in the Midwest and was influenced at an early age by the Hardy Boys book series. Despite a passion for reading and writing, Brad found found being forced to read textbooks and write papers in high school and college was more work than fun.

714gLDIfMOL._US230_This turn-off would lead him away from writing for a long time. However, a few years ago, the creative bug bit Brad hard and he resumed writing. Many of the manuscripts are still on a shelf or being worked on, including some short stories, a web series, and a sitcom pilot.

What can you expect from Brad’s books? You’ll find a quick pace that provides just enough detail to allow the reader to paint their own picture. You’ll also be entertained by expressive dialogue that brings the characters to life, helping the story breathe with believability.

Let’s learn a bit more about Brad.

514o6Q1E56LSo, what have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest, professional or hobby.) Such a loaded question!  My first book series was actually a serial, collectively titled Grey Areas – The Saga. I have also written a one-off novel, Craft Beer Burning, that many people think is a non-fiction book about craft beer, but it’s not. It’s much more entertaining than that, though I might be biased.

I also enjoy writing stories and have released 2 collections. The first is titled 5 Dead or Alive and the most recent one (just released in August) is titled 6 in the Styx.

I’ve dabbled in non-fiction, too. Since I’m a huge music fan, I wrote 50 Songs From the 70s & 80s That Still Hold Up. I also put together (what I believe to be) the ultimate business quotes collection titled 260 Best Inspirational Business Quotes.

51fXJueqruLI’ve also always had an artsy side, which often conflicts with the entertainer in me. The compromise is that the entertainer gets to write stories and books while the artsy-fartsy guy writes poetry and songs. The poetry and songs (I’m also somewhat of a musician) haven’t really seen the light of day yet. The entertainer in me wants to release this material while the artsy guy believes no one cares. 

We’ll just have to see how it all plays out.

What are you currently working on and what is it about? I’m very excited about my current project that will be an ongoing series (not a serial) with the same characters, etc. It takes place in small town Iowa (just like Grey Areas) and follows two main characters: A female sheriff’s deputy and a man who has just moved back to town after having left twenty years ago. I plan to use many of the same elements from Grey Areas – psychological suspense, drama, and some romance – while also diving more deeply into the mystery aspect of writing. Right now I expect each book will probably have a new “mystery” or case, along with the ongoing issues with the recurring characters.

How much research do you do? That’s a great question. I never feel like I do much research and yet, I clearly do. Most often I do it as I write. Sometimes I’ll be in the middle of writing something and I’ll realize, I don’t know this well enough – I need to get more information. And I’ll stop what I’m doing and look things up. Sometimes I’ll think I know what I’m talking about but down the road my editor will see something and make a note that says, “You might want to verify this, I don’t think it’s correct.” 

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I used to write from the hip but have been working lately on planning things out more ahead of time. Sometimes it’s difficult to plan until you actually start to write because that’s when your plot and characters become REAL. On the other hand, the writing comes out a lot faster when you have things planned. You just have to be ready to make some adjustments on the fly, and that’s okay.

51QAaN8dKJL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? Both. I do a bunch of proofreading and editing on my own, but I also have an editor who does a superb job of making me shine before anyone else sees my work. I think it’s very important, even as an indie, to use a professional editor. I’ve heard a lot of self-publishers say, “I can’t afford it.” Sure, I get it. If your goal is to publish a book and have your friends and family tell you how wonderful it is – cool. But you’re not allowed to question why your book doesn’t have a broader scope of sales. 

Self-publishing gets a bad rap because anybody can do it and as a result, there’s a lot of unedited, crummy books on Amazon right now. It can be difficult for readers to separate the good stuff from the crap until it’s too late and they’ve spent their money. 

Bad, unedited books have turned “self-publishing” into a bad word the same way used car salesmen turned “salesman” into a bad word. People tend to not trust either.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? I truly do. To tag on to my previous answer, you can’t expect to be taken seriously if your cover looks amateurish. The first impression people get of you as a writer is your book cover(s). That’s pretty important, I think.

How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both) As I’ve already mentioned, I self-publish. I like to refer to it as “indie” because of the aforementioned stigma attached to “self-published.” 

Why do I do everything myself? I could go on for days about this, and I don’t want to sound like I’m slamming people who seek out “being published.” The simple answer is I’m a control freak when it comes to my stuff. These books are like my children and I couldn’t possibly trust someone else to nurture and raise them with the care and attention to detail that I do. Seriously, I cannot fathom it. Like I said, I could go on forever about this so I’ll stop myself here.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? If you want more time to write more books, being published traditionally (I expect) is a big help and will free up more of your time to write. Publishers are a dime a dozen though, so you have to be careful with what you’re getting yourself into. 

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Man oh man. Well, there are two different types of reviews. First, there’s the kind that are done by book bloggers. For example, you wrote one here for Grey Areas – The Saga. This type of review is great exposure and generally positive. Then there are reviews by the readers – primarily on Amazon. Most of them are great. But there are some people out there who quite honestly don’t know have a clue what they’re doing and need to have their Internet privileges revoked. 

91BJ+Jsc9rL._AC_UL872_QL65_Do you think that giving books away free works and why? To an extent I think it does. I know many writers struggle with this. Some of them take a lifetime to finish writing the Great American Novel and can’t fathom giving it away for free. But if your plan is to write several books and make some regular income, giving away the first book in your series is a great way to hook potential readers into your characters and storyline at no cost to them. It shows that you have faith in your work. Of course, this is a terrible idea that will definitely backfire if your first book is awful.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Write. Keep writing. Don’t stop, moron. 

I wish I had known then what I know now. Two or three decades ago I didn’t believe it would ever be possible for me to making a living writing. I had no idea I would be able to control my own destiny like I can now. The Internet changed everything. If I had written more back then, I’d have a lot more material to work with now than I do. Ooops.

What do your fans mean to you? I wouldn’t have the desire to keep doing this if it wasn’t for the rabid readers and fans. Writing is not like a disease to me. It’s the enthusiasm from the readers that drives me. If people hadn’t wanted to know more about Henry Fields, I’m not sure I would’ve finished Grey Areas.

Where is your favorite place to write? On my back. Truman Capote said, “I am a completely horizontal author. I can’t think unless I’m lying down.” I can relate. I’m not really on my back when I write, but I try to always have my feet up in a recliner or on an ottoman. Otherwise I’m not comfortable and can’t relax.

Besides writing books and producing voice work, Brad is also a successful businessman in the textile and packaging industry. He currently resides in Kansas City, MO with his wife, Kristi, and daughter, Presley. The family also has a dog (Ali).

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