Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog! This is my journey, my first steps into the world of fictional writing. This blog is an online journal of sorts, where I share the progress of my work as well as what I have learned along the way. I hope you enjoy your time with me and that my experience may be of some use to you.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Inspiration Part 15 - Costume Shops


Welcome back!



October is one of my favorite times of the year, and this post is directly inspired by one of its most colorful aspects; Halloween. This holiday is known as that one time of the year where everyone gets to tap into their imagination and bring it to life.


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               In celebration of Halloween, people dress up in garments meant to represent a wide variety of fictional characters. Costume stores offer their patrons all manner of disguises, anything from classic creatures like vampires or werewolves, to modern day icons like super heroes. These shops are also a veritable fountain of inspiration for writers and creators of all sorts, looking for ideas for anything from protagonists, antagonists or settings.


               The following are pictures I took from a locale Halloween Costume specialty store back in October 2015. These are a good example of how these establishments can be a good source of inspirational material.


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               In closing, I recommend to every writer who is having issues creating a character to take a trip to a costume shop and take a look around. I can guarantee you will walk out of there with a few ideas.


    Until next time.

    Cheers,

    Patrick Osborne

Monday, October 17, 2016

Interview - Roy C. Booth


Welcome back!



I was fortunate to meet this month's writer via Facebook. As you will see from his long list of published works, he is a well established writer, having works ranging from fantasy, Sci-fi and horror. So it is my great pleasure to introduce you, Roy C. Booth.


Roy was kind enough to volunteer for my writer interviews. As a writer, I found his professionalism and sense of organization to be quite interesting. Though he had contacted me in July, he graciously accepted to have his interview postponed until October in order to coincide with Halloween.


Now on to the interview!


Published Works: Most recent releases:


Raiders of the Seventh Planet (w/. Eric M. Heideman, Indie Auhtors Press)
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Blood of Nxy (w/. Druscilla Morgan, IAP)
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Fresh Fear ("Just Another Ex," w/. Axel Kohagen, King Billy Publications)
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Weirdbook #32 ("Maggot Coffee" w/. Axel Kohagen).
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Current Projects: (if any) Altered States II (co-editor and contributor, IAP)
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  • Spooky Halloween Drabbles 2016 (dark fiction anthology, co-editor and contributor, IAP)
  • Issues of Tomorrow (SF anthology, co-editor, IAP)
  • Jim O'Rear's Mortuary of Madness (horror novel, co-author w/. R. Thomas Riley, TBA)


Short Bio: Roy C. Booth hails from Bemidji, MN where he manages Roy's Comics & Games (est. 1992) with his wife and three sons. He is a published author, comedian, poet, journalist, essayist, screenwriter, and internationally awarded playwright with 57 stage plays published (Samuel French, Heuer, et al) with 810+ productions worldwide in 30 countries in ten languages. He is also known for collaborations with R Thomas Riley, Brian Keene, Eric M. Heideman, William F. Wu, Axel Kohagen, and others (along with his presence on the regional convention circuit). See his entry on Wikipedia, his Facebook pages, his publishers' sites, and his Amazon Author Page, http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00A7CVLNG, for more.

Website: TBA.




When did you begin writing?


I've wanted to be a playwright  and a horror writer since I was six years old. I made my first pro sale at age 14, my first stage play sale to Samuel French at 24.


Did you receive any special training or attend a school?


Technically I'm self-taught for the most part, although I do have a BA in English/Speech-Theatre and an MA in English from Bemidji State University, which helped.


Where do you get your inspiration from?


I get a lot of my horror from my nightmares. Everything else is from the bills I tape to the side of my monitor…


Do you use any special resources when writing?


I have a very extensive network of lawyers, private detectives, doctors. librarians, artists, collaborators, and other expert professionals on hand for research, advice, contacts, and fact checking.


What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?


You write for an audience, more specifically, you write for your core audience. Treat them right first and foremost. And remember that writing for publication (and money) is an industry and a business.


What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?


Waiting for responses on submissions used to drive me nuts until I realized that if I kept busy and kept submitting the wait didn't seem all that bad since I had so much going on in that regard. That's also part of the secret to becoming a prolific writer: write, edit, submit, start another story, repeat


Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)


Nope. I believe in eliminating the middleman, and thus focus on the services of a good lawyer instead. (See above.) Some day, perhaps.


Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?


I rely on the network mentioned above -- I've got some pretty damn good beta readers and professional colleagues.


How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).


I am 95% traditionally published. Vanity press is an abomination. The money should always go to the author, not the other way around.


Do you handle your own marketing?


For the most part, yes. My wife, who is also a writer and a business owner of 20+ years, is a big help on that front.


What is your best marketing tip?


If at all possible, make sure you have covers that also pop at thumbnail size since social media and online sales are so crucial to an  author's overall success nowadays. Your product has to look good at any size and in any format.


Do you have any advice for other writers?


Be professional with all of your dealings with the public, online or in person. Do NOT exaggerate your sales, personal contacts/name dropping, resume, what-have-you. Be prepared to back any and all statements you make about your work with third party proof/verifications. Try to be as transparent as possible. Many writers have ruined their careers by being caught in lies and other deceptions. Try to avoid dealing with authors/publishers/agents/et al who do lie and blatantly exaggerate for whatever reasons. They have a tendency to suck you into deals/drama/shenanigans that will prove detrimental to your integrity and career.


Tip #2: Kick the tires. If you have a writing business question/concern, pursue it. Have someone else look over your contracts with you and watch out for errors, rights grabs, downright thievery, and other possible pitfalls. Consult writing watchdog groups (Writer Beware, Preditors & Editors, et al) to find out which editors/publishers/agents/service providers are on the up and up. Stay vigilant and watch out for one another.


In closing, I would like to thank Roy for taking the time to do this interview. His knowledge and insight was truly appreciated. I look forward to hearing more about him in the future.


Until Next time,


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

By the Book - Brimstone

Welcome back,


This month’s book was arguably one of the most challenging I’ve read so far. It’s level of detail, vocabulary and length greatly surpassed every other novel I have reviewed in the past year. Luckily, I managed to finish it just in time to share it as October’s book review, which is appropriate, given it is a paranormal mystery.


With Halloween just around the corner, stories of ghosts, ghouls and other creepy crawlies that go bump in the night take center stage. The novel we will be reviewing focuses on a string of strange murders which appear to be done by a demonic presence. It is entitled Brimstone, and is from the authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.


    The story follows the investigation of FBI Special Agent Pendergast, and police officers Vincent D'Agosta and Laura Hayward, on a case that defies all but supernatural logic. The smoldering remains of art critic are found in the locked attic of a Hamptons estate, the choking stench of brimstone in the air and a hoofprint burned into the floorboards. The gruesome scene  seems to hint at the consequences that befall those who make a pact with the devil.


Intent on finding a more logical explanation, Pendergrast’s investigation lead him from New York City to the Italian countryside. The mystery deepens when he discovers that thirty years before, the path of the four victims had crossed, when they performed a ceremony to summon unspeakable forces. The FBI agent must now determine if this is the devil coming collect his due, or something else all together.


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Back of the Book
Art critic Jeremy Grove is found dead, his face frozen in a mask of terror. His body temperature is grotesquely high; he is discovered in a room barricaded from the inside; the smell of brimstone is everywhere... and the unmistakable imprint of a claw is burned into the wall. As more bodies are discovered - their only connection the bizarre but identical manner of death - the world begins to wonder if the Devil has, in fact, come to collect his due.
Teaming with Police Officer Vincent D'Agosta (The Relic), Agent Pendergast is determined to solve this case that appears to defy everything except supernatural logic.


What I learned
  • Vocabulary: One of the things that struck me was the vocabulary’s level throughout the book. The use of this vocabulary was not just to tell the story, but help convey the level of intelligence of the character Pendergrast.
  • Secondary character PoV: Though Pendergrast was the main investigator in this book, not once was the story told through his point view. Rather, the story is told either through his associates, or his adversaries. This allows the writer to surprise the readers with Pendergrast’s elaborate schemes, by not revealing his plans before hand.
  • Accomplices as a plot tool: One of the ways the main antagonist succeeds in avoiding detection, is by using an accomplice to prove his innocence. Either as an alibi or as a tool to perform tasks in their stead. Though I had seen this done before, it was the first time I saw it used in a book, and thought it was clever.  


Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child are coauthors of several bestselling novels, such as  "Relic," "Mount Dragon," and "Reliquary". Preston’s bestselling book, "The Monster of Florence," is being made into a major motion picture. Lincoln Child is a former book editor with four bestselling novels of his own.


For those interested in reading more books from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, please check out the following websites and wiki description, where you can find a complete listing of his published works and all other pertinent information:




In closing, I would like to thank my new boss Nancy for lending me this books and for the tremendous amount of encouragement everyone has shown me since I started my journey.


Until next time!


Cheers,


Patrick Osborne

Monday, October 3, 2016

Current Projects part 21

Welcome back,


               Summer is coming to an end, making way to my favorite season; autumn. The leaves will be changing to a panoply of colors, no more disgustingly muggy temperatures, and of course my personal favorite; Halloween!


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             As with last year, you can expect this month to have spooky or festive themed articles. The good news is, I currently have three posts completed and ready to go. The bad news, they are the only three new articles that will be published this month. In order to keep generating interest, I will be reposting old articles from the previous Halloween season.


Due to a recent turn of events, I was not able to generate much content this month. In fact, my current situation may prevent me from generating much content at all over the next few months, as I will be busy working my way through some personal issues. Do not worry, I will still continue the monthly updates, but other articles may take longer to generate.


As for progress on my other projects:  


For the time being, all my personal projects have come to a complete halt. I haven’t had the chance to do any sculpting, I barely had a chance to read any new books and no progress has been made on my book in the last couple of weeks. I am hoping to be able to chip away at it next month, once I get settled and can start working again. My blog is really the only thing I took the time to work on, and I plan on doing my best to keep the articles coming.
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Missing Worlds Media asked me to take another look at a few characters I had written for them a while back. These characters were inspired by ghosts, so I believe they may be getting attention because they will be the spotlight of an upcoming update for Halloween. I will be sure to share it with you once it gets posted.


halloween, pumpkin, lantern, dark, night, scary, spooky


That is all I have for this month. In closing, I want to thank everyone for taking the time to visit my blog, your support is truly appreciated. Most importantly, I wish you all to have a Happy Halloween!


Until next time.


Cheers,


            Patrick Osborne