Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, December 30, 2018

Despite the end of the year being upon us, the weather hasn’t been bad, with temperatures around 50F/10C. Of course, it also means we’re having damp days, but it can’t be helped. I think I’d rather have this than be out with the shovel taking care of the ‘s’ word.

With the dawn of 2019 approaching I want to wish everyone health and prosperity for the new year.

Let’s find out who in the writing world was born on this last day of the year. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Vincenzo da Filicaja, Italian poet; Theodor Fontane, German writer (Effi Briest); Heinrich Hart, German writer (Song of Humanity); Rudyard Kipling, English author (Jungle Book, Gunga Din-Nobel 1907); Georg von der Vring, German painter and writer (Soldier Suhren); Alfredo Bracchi, Italian author; Daniil Kharms [Yuvatchov], Russian surrealist and absurdist writer, poet, and playwright; Paul Bowles, writer (The Shelting Sky); Elyne Mitchell, Australian author; Sara A Lidman, Swedish author (Jag Och Min Son, Samtal in Hanoi); Patrick Bowles, American writer and translator; Richard Christ, writer; Glenda Adams, Australian author; Vladimir Bukovsky, Russian author and dissident; Lewis Shiner, American sci-fi/fantasy author; Somtow Sucharitkul [S. P. Somtow], Thai composer and sci-fi author (Utopia Hunters); Douglas Coupland, Canadian author; and Chandler Burr, American author.

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-coverTKC

 

A special thank you to all who purchased copies of my books during the past year. Your support has been greatly appreciated and makes all the hard work worthwhile. Thank you!

This brings us to a close for this year and I’ll return again next Sunday with a full post. 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. Happy New Year!

© Copyright 2018 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 9, 2018

A crisp but sunny start to the day. Definitely beats the slightly warmer but rainy weather! Since it’s December, who know what the next week will bring?

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

Peter, Duke of Coimbra and writer (Virtuosa Benfeitoria); John Milton, English poet and puritan (Paradise Lost); Johann Winckelmann, German archaeologist (History of Ancient Art); George Grossmith, British actor, comedian and writer (The Diary of a Nobody, A Society Clown); Joel Chandler Harris, US journalist (created Uncle Remus stories); Maksim Bahdanovič, Belarusian poet; Jean de Brunhoff, French children’s book author (Babar the Elephant); Leonie Fuller Adams, US poetess (Those not elected); Ödön von Horváth, Hungarian-born writer; Dalton Trumbo, American writer/film director (Johnny Got His Gun); Herbert Huncke, writer; Jerome Beatty Jr., American author; Jan Křesadlo, Czech writer; Joe McGinniss, author (Selling of President 1968); Ki Longfellow, American novelist; and Dobroslav Paraga, Croatian politician and editor.

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 will be available free on December 14th-16th across the Amazon network. Also, Dangerous Alliance made it through the first round of cover voting from allauthor.com. Could certainly use some additional votes but check out the site and vote for the covers you like the most. https://allauthor.com/cover-of-the-month/

My Work in Progress

Much of my writing time over the past week was once again devoted to social media marketing of Dangerous Alliance. However, I did manage to complete another chapter of Carnage in Singapore. The manuscript has now received 504 chapter reviews, all assisting me in improving my writing and tweaking the story.

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

An Interview With Author Russell Moran

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Russell Moran, the author of twelve novels and five non-fiction works. A lawyer and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Russell lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife, Lynda.

Let’s learn more about him:

RFM Photo from SC News TWOWhat are your ambitions for your writing career? To write as many high quality books as my years allow me. Emphasis on “high Quality.”

Which writers inspire you?  Nelson DeMille, Stephen King, Estelle Ryan, Kristin Hannah

So, what have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest, professional or hobby.) The Gray Ship is Book One of The Time Magnet series. (Number one Amazon Best-Seller, and recipient of a Kirkus Best Indie Books of 2013. Also won four other awards.)

The Thanksgiving Gang is Book Two of The Time Magnet series.

A Time of Fear is Book Three of The Time Magnet series.Time Magnet Series

The Skies of Time is Book Four of The Time Magnet series.

The Keepers of Time is Book Five of The Time Magnet series.

The Shadows of Terror is Book One of The Patterns series.

The Scent of Revenge is Book Two of The Pattern Series

A Reunion in Time is a time travel novel, but not in The Time Magnet Series.

Sideswiped, a legal thriller, is Book One of the Matt Blake Series.

The Reformers is Book Two of the Matt Blake Series.

The President is Missing is Book Three of the Matt Blake Series.

Robot Depot, published in August, is a novel about our automated future.

A Climate of Doubt, a terrorism thriller. May 2018.

The Maltese Incident, is Book One of the Harry and Meg Series, June of 2018.

The Violent Sea, Sequel to The Maltese Incident – Coming soon.

I also published five nonfiction books: Justice in America: How it Works—How it Fails; The APT Principle: The Business Plan That You Carry in Your Head; Boating Basics: The Boattalk Book of Boating Tips; If You’re Injured: A Consumer Guide to Personal Injury Law; How to Create More Time.

 Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? All my books include a strong male and a strong female character. Not without flaws (As in Sideswiped, where the two lovers discover they both once had problems with drugs and alcohol.

The Shadows of TerrorWhat are you currently working on and what is it about? The Violent Sea, a sequel to The Maltese Incident. It’s about time travel, and as always, two strong characters who compliment each other.

What drew you to write in this genre? I’ve always been fascinated by time travel, in that it allows the author to completely suspend reality and speculate on what may have been, or what might be.

How much research do you do? A lot. I try to make my fantastic stories believable by anchoring them in solid facts, including history. I don’t know what writers ever did without Google.

Have you written works in collaboration with other writers, and if so: why did you decide to collaborate and did it affect your sales? No. I’ve served as a beta reader and editor for a few other authors but haven’t collaborated.

When did you decide to become a writer? In 2012, after listening for the umpteenth time to my wife asking me, “When are you going to write a novel?” I’ve been a writer all my life, mostly as a legal journalist, but fiction began with The Gray Ship, begun in 2012 and published in 2013.

Do you write full-time or part-time? Yes, full time.

How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write? I try to write every day, except for those days when I’m consumed by marketing. I do not have a specific time that I write. I look at what’s ahead in my day and then decide to hit the keyboard.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? 2,000 words a day when working on a first draft. No number allocation for rewrites.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Computer. I can’t believe that Nelson DeMille, as great as he is, writes on yellow pads.

Where do your ideas come from? This is a great question and I wish I had an answer. I just sit (or walk) and think. Suddenly an idea shows up. I start to ask “what if,” and a few months later a book shows up. I look back at all my books and for the life of me I can’t recall how the story popped up. Maybe Stephen King is right—stories are like fossils and it’s the writer’s job to unearth them.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I am what I call an In-Betweener, halfway between a strict outliner and a “panster,” who writes from the seat of his pants. I keep trying to outline, but the story suddenly takes me off my outline in a different direction.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Being “stuck,” when the wonderful story idea you had suddenly sucks and it’s hard to repair it. I have a book project like that right now. I hate it. Will I expect readers to like it?

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Being stuck. See my above response.Sideswiped

What is the easiest thing about writing? Getting to know my characters. They become like old friends.

How long on average does it take you to write a book? About six months.

Do you ever get Writer’s Block, and do you have any tips for getting through it? I refuse to acknowledge the existence of writer’s block. See my responses above about “being stuck,” which is different from writer’s block. Once I can see a story in front of me I just charge ahead and the words flow out my fingertips. My tip? Keep on writing.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors. See my response to number 2 above.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books? I love to read on my Kindle (or iPhone).

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? I proof and edit my own books, and also have two editors to find my (many) mistakes.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? Yes, let it stew. When you come back to it it’s a fresh story, and time to murder your darlings.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? I think so, at least that’s what professional cover designers keep telling me. My simple requirement is that it should grab the eye and create intrigue.

How are you publishing this book and why? (*e.g. Indie, traditional or both) My next book will be my first traditionally published novel, thanks in no small part to Randall Krzak, who told me all about the publisher.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? I could write a book on this question alone. Indie publishers have come into their own as the brilliant writer Hugh Howey has noted. I know a lot of writers who signed their rights away to a small publisher and are stuck without marketing.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I’d consider it, although I haven’t given it much thought.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Get reviews and keep at it.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? 50 percent.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Most “bad” reviews are really not reviews at all but “hits,” from people with an agenda I can’t control. In three-star reviews, however, there is useful critical information.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? A woman came up to my table at a book signing and said she had been looking forward to buying my book. She then walked off with it without paying. I later found out that she suffered from dementia. I hope she remembers my book.

A Climate of DoubtWhat’s your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you? I do Twitter and Facebook all the time, but I’m not sure I see any results.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing? Don’t put it off, just write. You can’t edit a document that doesn’t exist.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? No, I haven’t but I probably should.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? Email.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I wish I paid more attention to my sub-titles. They’re great for marketing.

What do you think of “trailers” for books, and do you have a trailer/will you create one for your own work? I think trailers are great, but just be careful not to spend too much. I did one for The Gray Ship, and it seemed to help. Cost me $250, which I think is cheap.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why? Yes, if you have a reasonable expectation that the done will promote you.

If you hired someone else to format your work, how did you select them and what was your experience? After Createspace got out of the formatting business I’ve hired designers/formatters for about $500. My next self-published book will be done by myself with the software Vellum (but you need to have a Mac).

How do you relax? I read and write.

What is your favorite motivational phrase. “You can avoid reality, but you can’t avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” Ayn Rand

What is your favorite quote? “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Chekov

What is your favorite movie and why? The Godfather, I and II. Nothing has come close.

What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t smoke.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Abraham Lincoln, the image of greatness. He even made it into my first novel.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Always find ways to improve your craft.

Where do you see publishing going in the future? Self-publishing and small publishers will blend in many ways.

Is being a writer a gift or a curse? It’s a gift, but sometimes it feels like a curse. However, I can’t imagine my life without the joy of writing.

The Maltese IncidentIs there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing as far as content? Keeping dates and numbers straight. I try to force myself to type in numbers and dates into a separate document that I can search on.

Did you come across any specific challenges in writing?  What would you do differently the next time? No

What do your fans mean to you? Everything. At a book signing, a couple of ladies walked up to me and asked if certain characters, by name, will appear in future books. Made my day. My biggest fan unfortunately is off the grid and doesn’t even own a computer or smart phone. She thinks Amazon is a river. But she always praises me in public whenever we meet.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day? Creating characters and scenes lies before me.

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you? Yes, The Edge of Sadness, by Edwin O’Connor. I was blown away by the author’s use of words, and the way he wove a beautiful story without a lot of action. From then on I started my library. I was a high school sophomore at the time.

What motivated you to become an indie author? I went through a few weeks of querying and pitching and then decided that I’d go it on my own. My favorite response came 30 seconds after I hit send, saying the usual crap about my fine talent but I was just not a right fit for them. I’d rather talk to myself, because I don’t BS myself.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Yes, The Gray Ship, like it was yesterday.

When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go? My characters tell me who they are and create their own dialog. Sound weird but it’s true.

Tell us about your writing process and the way you brainstorm story ideas. Once a story idea pops into my head I jot down “beats” usually asking the “what if” question.

Where is your favorite place to write? My library, which is also my office – With a stand-up desk I might add.

What marketing strategies do you find most helpful? Any resources you would recommend to other authors or aspiring authors? I strongly recommend the Author Marketing Club, amc.com, as well as Writer’s Digest and its tutorials.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into Russell’s writing journey. Follow him at: https://www.morancom.com/

Stayed tuned for another author interview soon!

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

An Interview With Author Preston Holtry

This week I’d like to introduce you to author Preston Holtry.  He’s an avid traveler, former alpine ski instructor and VA hospital volunteer.

Preston

Preston received a BA degree from the Virginia Military Institute and a graduate degree from Boston University. He was a career Army officer, and served twice in Vietnam in addition to a variety of assignments in Germany, England and the United States.

Let’s learn more about him.

Which writers inspire you? For non-fiction – William Manchester, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Massie, Stephen Ambrose and David McCullough; for fiction Colleen McCullough, Sharon Kaye Penman, Ivan Doig.

Death in EmilySo, what have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest, professional or hobby.) Four period mysteries set in the southwest during the period 1915-1917 featuring the detective Morgan Westphal; one contemporary mystery/thriller with an international setting; the ARRIUS Trilogy set during 120-137 C.E. in Judea and Britannia.

What are you currently working on and what is it about? I’ve been working on a two-book historical novel set 1855-1865 along the Missouri/Kansas border. The first vol is about the build-up to the Civil War and Vol 2 covers the war in both states during the War. I’ve always been fascinated by the Civil War, but most of my reading and research has tended to focus on the eastern and southeastern states until I stumbled on the tales of Bloody Kansas and the Missouri Border “Ruffians” and realized the beginnings of the fighting predated Fort Sumter by five years.

What drew you to write in this genre? I write different genres but all my novels have one thing in common – they draw upon history either directly or indirectly or in some context.

Arrius Vol IHow much research do you do? A lot!! I spent an entire year researching the Roman Empire before writing a single word of ARRIUS, and part way through the trilogy went back to England to walk the ground in Northumberland where Hadrian’s Wall is located.  I want the tactile feel of scope, terrain etc. to make the setting as real to the reader as it was to me. Since all my novels have historical roots, research is absolutely critical. Readers of historical novels demand that you get it right!

When did you decide to become a writer? I cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to write, but by early high school I vowed one day I would get a book published. Reality of course requires you do not quit your day job until you’re a frequent visitor to the New York Times Best Sellers list. I had to retire before I began writing seriously and the first book wasn’t published until years after that.

A Troublesome AffairDo you write full-time or part-time? Mainly part-time, a few hours a day and usually early morning. I do not set a minimum number of pages/words. More typical I schedule a specific time to detach from the world to write – sometimes the result is multiple pages or just a single paragraph when I have to research some factoid “to get it right!”

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I never outline. I first develop a concept of a plot/setting and some kind of situation, event(s), usually based on some historical occurrence. From there, I’ll write a half page general synopsis with the main character identified and other suggestive characters just to get started. This paragraph will probably under 5-7 times before I’m finished with the book. When I write a mystery, the plot can go in multiple directions. As I say on my website, I’m only a few pages ahead of the reader in figuring out who the culprit is, since there’s enough stuff to point the finger at multiple people. The latter is also a result of developing characters that become so believable (at least to me) I occasional become conflicted who I finally decide is the real villain. If the characters aren’t telling the story, then chances are the story isn’t going to resonate. I believe a mistake many fiction authors in particular make is they don’t listen to their characters; consequently credibility, believability are the casualties.

WhArrius Vol IIat is the hardest thing about writing? Overcoming the tyranny of the first blank page then knowing when you’ve done your best before you nickel and dime it to death. The obverse of the question is defining the “easiest thing” about writing. For me, there’s nothing easy about writing. I approach the first 50 pages as if it’s a slab of granite, which requires me to hammer and chisel away until something like a vision finally appears.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? I’m a voracious reader. I read mainly non-fiction history/bios. See the first question above.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? I do, but I also depend on others after I’ve given it my best shot. Almost without fail, the writer is the worst editor of them all! Before I let beta readers have a go at it, I do let the book percolate for a few weeks, then go back and take a third or fourth look. It’s amazing the sterling tale you spent 8-9 months writing is so full of spelling, syntax, punctuation errors not to mention missing words and format issues!!

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? YSeal of Confessiones, I do. The old adage is “Don’t judge a book by its cover” may be true, but we all do. I’m drawn to both a title and a cover suggestive of what the book is about. If I’m not drawn to it, then I probably won’t even read the synopsis, let alone by the book. Having said that my favorite authors could have a plain cover, and I’d go for it simply because of name recognition. The latter cuts both ways and the most interesting cover and title on the shelf if written by authors I’ve read and have no intention of reading again will remain on the Amazon shelf.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Yes, I’ve gotten some mediocre reviews, which are disappointing, but it goes with the reality of putting your stuff out for the public to love it or hate it. If you dread bad reviews, you may be too thin-skinned to take the inevitable heat. There have been occasions I could understand and accept the criticisms. What I can easily disregard are criticisms that tell me the writer either didn’t understand or finish reading the novel. Hey. No one likes criticism; however, if it’s constructive, then it’s more bearable.

The Good ThiefNow retired, Preston lives with his wife, Judith, in Oro Valley, Arizona. Read more about his interests and writing approach at www.presholtry.webs.com.

Stayed tuned for another author interview next week! Until then, why not check out some of Preston’s novels:

Arrius Volume I – Sacramentum (Oath), Arrius Volume II – Legacy, Death in Emily 3, A Troublesome Affair, Seal of Confession, or The Good Thief.

© Copyright 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved

Randall's Ramblings

Randall’s Ramblings, August 26, 2018

Today started out again with a bit of gloom, caused by low-hanging clouds and some fog. The temperature’s a bit cooler, but we certainly can’t complain as it’s still warm—just the sizzle has been reduced.

Earlier this morning, I posted my first author interview with AJ Wallace. I decided to keep the interviews separate from my regular blog postings as they’re about the authors, not me. Hope you’ll check it out.

Anyone out there celebrating a birthday today? I had one earlier in the week—even received a buy one ticket, get another one free offer from the Detroit Tigers!

Here’s a few people from the writing world who share today with you. (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

William Joseph Behr, German writer; Aleksander Kuprin, Russian author (Pojedinok); Zona Gale, American novelist; John Buchan, Gov-Gen of Canada/writer (Battle of Somme); Guillaume Apollinaire, French poet/movie critic (Alcoola); Johannes Lindeboom, vicar/church historian (Neth Archives); Earl Biggers, author (“Charlie Chan” detective series); Jules Romains, French novelist/playwright/poet (Men of Good Will); Emmy van Lokhorst, Dutch author; Christopher Isherwood, English novelist (Goodbye to Berlin); Julio Cortázar, Argentine writer (Blow-Up, Underground Game); Humphrey Searle, England, writer (20th Century counterpoint); Ben Bradlee, American editor, journalist, executive (Washington Post); Alain Peyrefitte, French politician and writer; Naïm Kattan, Canadian novelist and essayist; Gordon Greig, journalist; Cornelis B Vaandrager, [Cor Vaan], Dutch poet (Long Live Joop Massaker); Will Shortz, American crossword editor; Daphne Caruana Galizia, Maltese journalist (Panama Papers); and Eric D. Snider, American humor columnist / movie reviewer.

Recognize anyone? I did, but not as many as in some weeks. Even if you didn’t spot any familiar names, I hope you have a great birthday and many more to follow.

News About My Published Work

My debut novel, The Kurdish Connection, moved up to 50th on Goodreads’ Political Thrillers list! However, if you ignore books from such best-selling authors as Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, Dan Brown, Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth, David Baldacci, John Grisham, John le Carré, Ken Follet, Jack Higgins, Nelson DeMille, and Stephen King (combined, they account for forty of the top fifty novels), then The Kurdish Connection would be tenth!

Dangerous Alliance-001My second novel, Dangerous Alliance, will be released soon by Solstice Publishing. It’s currently with an editor. Stay tuned for more information.

United Nations’ sanctions are crippling North Korea. China has turned her back on her malevolent partner. The North Korean military machine is crumbling, unable to function. Oil reserves are minimal and the government seeks new alliances.

Cargo ships are disappearing along the Somali and Kenyan coastline at an alarming rate. Speeches abound, but inaction emboldens Al-Shabab to seek their next prize: Kenya. The terror organization controls land but requires weapons.

Bedlam Bravo team leader Colonel Trevor Franklin (Ret.) leads the small international team into East Africa. Tempers flare as the team is embroiled in a political quagmire. The axis must be stopped to avert an international crisis but at what cost?

My Work in Progress

Efforts continued with Carnage in Singapore during the past week. Four chapters were completed and posted to the two online subscription writing sites I use. Carnage in Singapore received another fifty-three chapter reviews over the past week, bringing the total to 366. Watch for another snippet in next week’s post.

Books I’m Reading

I recently read a book of short stories by Brad Carl. the author of the four-volume series, Grey Areas has Brad turned his writing talents to a series of captivating stories in 6 in the Styx. Each well-crafted story provides a glimpse into Brad’s the zany sense of madness which make’s his genius shine through. Fast-paced, I read the entire collection in less than two hours.

Experience his humor and sense of adventure as we explore these plots through a mixed cast of characters which would fit into any genre. Brad makes it seem so easy, yet it’s quite a switch from writing novels to exhibiting the vision needed to create such complete and spell-binding scenarios. Well done!

I also completed Megalodon by Scott Skipper. This is a delightful tale about a prehistoric shark who’s attacking whales in modern times. A Salvage expert learns of the monster and takes off in pursuit, along with a cast of quirky characters.

The storyline is good and there is plenty of action. As with most stories, there’s also a villain, who wants the shark for himself. Simple to read, if you’re looking for a story with characters who fit the story and not worry about intricate twists and turns, this is the one for you.

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. While I spent hours reading through various links doing research and preparing to post my first author interview, I didn’t have time to find anything to include here.

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

Randall’s Rambling, July 1, 2018

Yesterday was a real scorching along the shores of Lake Huron. The thermometer read 92F/33C but with the clinging humidity, it was more like 102F/38,9C (according to accuweather.com). Needless to say, it was hot and sticky! Today is supposed to be slightly cooler, but heat advisories are in effect until this evening.

Are you having a birthday today? If so here are some people from the writing world who were born on the 1st of July (compliments of http://www.onthisday.com/today/birthdays):

Joseph Hall, English bishop and writer; Georg C Lichtenberg, German physicist/writer (types of Lichtenberg); George Sand [Amantine-Lucile-Aurore Dudevant], French (female) novelist (Valentine, Le Figaro); Jadwiga Łuszczewska, Polish poet; Michel H Campen, author/critic (Bikoerim); James M Cain, novelist (Postman Always Rings Twice); Pavel G Antokolski, Russian poet/director (Syn); Paul Hardy, Belgian writer (Best of Painted Furniture); Juan Carlos Onetti, novelist; Jo Sinclair [Ruth Seid], American writer (Wasteland); Jean Stafford, American writer (Boston Adventure, Lion & Carpenter); Franclaois-Regis Bastide, writer/broadcaster; and Ze’ev Schiff, Israeli journalist.

Happy birthday to all!

My Work in Progress

This week I completed chapters five and six of Carnage in Singapore and posted them to the two online subscription writing sites I use. The chapters have had a total of twelve reviews, plenty of suggestions to help me along the way!

Since I’m less familiar with the settings for this novel, I also spent a great deal of time doing online research. I’m finding plenty of useful material so I can create the appropriate scenes. Just for one scene (about 350 words) I had twenty links to relevant information.

Books I’m Reading

I’ve been reading books from the Sean Wyatt archaeological thriller series by Ernest Dempsey. I should have reviews reading for you next time.

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

I’ve expanded this section from being only about blogs that I follow but also introduce you to some new authors and a few writing sites. However, this week I was on a roll with Carnage in Singapore and didn’t spend any time browsing for new authors. Perhaps 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 2018 Randall Krzak. All rights reserved