Kickstarter Upadate: A Thank You to My Wife


Just published this over at Kickstarter. There are only 4 days left, and I badly need your assistance. Go here to check out my campaign: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/669727244/fund-the-truth-saga-book-2-and-get-books-1-and-2/posts/232336

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If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’d like to use today’s update as a way of saying thanks to my wife of THIRTEEN YEARS TODAY!!!

*Ahem.*

Sorry about that. Anyways…

We met in 1998 and married in ’99. I began writing in 2002. She had no idea what she was getting into. :) Being married to a writer is probably not all it’s cracked up to be. At times, she probably feels neglected. The blank page is my mistress and sometimes, it’s hard to fight her tempting embrace. I lay next to my wife, tossing and turning, praying my ideas will remain fresh through the night. She pretends to sleep as I give in and slip out of bed to sneak in just a few last words for the day. There probably shouldn’t be a time I shut my door to her, yet I have to close out the world when I’m in an urgent frenzy.

Then, there’s the financial side of it. As an Indy author, I am not given an allowance from my publisher. No, it comes from my wife. To be honest, I probably have to cut through just as much red tape. And it’s for the best. My wife knows that should she loosen the purse strings, I would return it wrong side out and threadbare. Author’s copies aren’t cheap when you print-on-demand. My cover artist, though reasonably priced, still enjoys being paid. And advertising? Well…

But bless her… My wife is always there for me. Steadfast, she watches over me to make sure I’m spending wisely, saving my sales receipts to pay for the next batch of books, and not wasting away my “free time” on the Internet. It is because of her that I click and clack at the keyboard when I really just feel like putting in the next disc of whatever series we’re watching at the time.

After all, if I don’t crank out the next volume in The Truth Saga, she’s threatening physical violence. And that is the hard love for which I am most thankful.

Happy anniversary, baby! I’ll get you that book soon enough.

- Raymond

Forging Truth Cover



I cannot even begin to describe the wonder I feel each time I look at this amazing cover.  As anyone who has seen my self-made cover to my other story, Dangerous Hunts, can tell you, covers are pretty tough to do on your own.  In fact, I have had several people comment on the blandness of it.  Of course, no one actually comes right out and says it.  No, I take it back, a couple of professionals said it, after I solicited their honest opinions.

The thing that any one of my indy author pals will tell you, though, is that paying to have a professional-looking cover made can cost you.  I’ve seen pricing anywhere from $100 to $400+ for cover art.  For this cover, though, I didn’t even pay a fraction of the price.

So, from where did I commission it?  From the highly talented Staci Perkins at http://www.authorcreations.com/#!.  Check out the link for her other covers.  She also has some pre-made covers up for grabs and she does some pretty sweet contests to boot.  I’ll be picking up some buttons and a banner closer to release.  Drop her a line to tell her just how awesome my cover turned out.

And it did turn out ninety-nine percent the way I’ve been picturing it in my noggin for all these years.  She even surprised me on a few things.  I sent her a description of how Lady Liberty looked, and she altered this beautiful pic right down to the destroyed wreck you see before you.  Amazing.

Okay, that’s enough for this update.  Stay tuned for more info on release dates, etc.

Oh, and publisher:  If you’d like a copy of the manuscript, you better hurry.  I plan on self-publishing it by year’s end.  No pressure.

- Ray

Keepin’ you covered.

AND NOW, PLAN C


I start off apologizing for things falling through the cracks due to things outside of my control, blah, blah, blah . . .  Then, I move into what I’m thankful for and give some Black Friday/Cyber Monday advice.  Yes, again with the sales and saving money thing.

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Ok, so I’m over a week late on my column.  D’oh!

Can you ever find it in your hearts to forgive me?

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I’m not that big on excuses, but just know that what I tried to pull off would have been super cool.  Unfortunately, I was relying on a creator with tons on her plate right now.  It just didn’t come together.  I’m talking to her about doing something similar for Christmas, though, so stick around.

From the beginning, I had an idea for a backup column in the works.  I did the preliminary searches and background digging, but when I got word that this other was going to come through, I totally jumped off of the idea in favor of this other one.

My original backup column was going to be two-fold.  First, I was going to discuss what I was thankful for in comics this year.  Second, I was going to reveal what I had dug up on various sales and whatnot for Black Friday.  There were a lot more BF deals out there than I’d realized.

Since that didn’t pan out, I decided to try a similar spin.  Guess you could call this “Plan C.”  I’ll substitute any Cyber Monday (Black Friday’s evil twin) sales I might find instead.

Fair enough?  Good.

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So, what does this Professional Fanboy have to be thankful for this year?  So, so, so, so much.

#1    This column for one, of course, has proven to be a highlight.  I love having the opportunity to come here and spout off about whatever hits my keyboard.  I am utterly thankful for the chance to reach out and connect with the fans in this great community.  I hope that you all continue to keep coming back until next Thanksgiving and beyond.

#2    Having a zombie story accepted in Incubator Press’ anthology.  Willie assures me that Double Date will be coming out in the months ahead, and I’m going to hold him to it.  Heh.  I’ve seen proof that the first issue has come out.  I know it can be ordered online.  Just one more, and then, boom!  I’ll be picking up my comp copies of issue # 3, and reading my story, illustrated by the very talented Enric Simon.  I have the first three inked pages in my email, and they are spot on.

#3    The folks at Viper Comics gave me something to be thankful, when they recently accepted Black Dawg for their online anthology Cryptophobia.  I don’t have any word on when it’ll come out or who my artist is, but I have faith, and I’m already planning for my next submission.  Wish me luck.

#4    I have numerous other non-comic related things I’m grateful for, ranging from friends, family, and my day job, to the possible publication of some of my prose work.

#5    Bruce Wayne is finally back, and looking to reconnect with his family in the most ultimate of ass-kicking ways.

#6    Blackest Night’s end and Brightest Day’s first half have been nothing but boom, boom, BOOM!  Awesome stuff, Geoff and the gang.

#7    DC Comics lowering their prices is definitely a plus.  Sucks to lose the pages and backups, but more money in my wallet means more titles purchased.  Good move, DC.

#8    The re-launch of Birds of Prey with Gail at the helm?  Hell yeah.

#9    A Steel One-Shot?  Absolutely.  This has always been one of my dream characters to write.  Maybe that’ll headline next year’s thankful list.  Ha. Ha.

#10    Boom Studio’s Mark Waid’s speech about 99-cent books was pretty inspiring and hopefully prophetic.

Ok, what about you?  What makes you thankful, today, in or out of the comics realm?

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I confess, I’ve never purchased anything on Cyber Monday.  My willpower never lasts past Black Friday – Green Lantern, I am not.  Hopefully, those of you who have been able to ignore the tantalizing sirens of Black Friday can find some good swag in the sales below.  Oh, and please, don’t take my word for it, visit the sites themselves and read up on all of their fun disclaimers, stipulations, etc.

www.TFAW.com had some incredible Black Friday deals this year.  I spent an hour or more, checking out these deals.  I’m talking about $1 and $5 doorbusters, 10-cent grab bag comics, etc.  They say that even more deals will be added on Cyber Monday, so check them out tomorrow.

http://www.sheldoncomics.com/

Every Sheldon book on sale for $10 each.  Apparently it’s a good deal.  I mean, the man did check with his wife on the pricing.

http://allaboutbooksandcomics.com/wp/tag/cyber-monday-sale/

Receive free shipping at All About Books and Comics.

This isn’t really a Cyber Monday sale, but www.zeuscomics.com of Dallas is having an in-store $1 Back Issue Sale until the end of the year.

http://www.mattycollector.com/

They’re discounting an extra 10% on orders over $100.  While not exactly comic books, who doesn’t love toys?  Here’s their list of products:

MOTUC He-Man®    MOTUC Skeletor®
MOTUC Battle Cat®
JLU Lobo
JLU “Shazam!” Family 4-Pack
JLU Doom Patrol 4-Pack
JLU Legion of Super Heroes 4-Pack
JLU Gotham City Criminals 4-Pack
JLU Justice Guild 4-Pack
12″ Ray Stantz™ Figure
12″ Egon Spengler™ Figure (with trap)
12” Peter Venkman™ Figure
12” Winston Zeddemore™ Figure
Adam Strange and Starfire Figures 2 Pack
Alexander Luthor and Ultraman Figures 2 Pack
Justice in the Jungle: B’Wana Beast and Animal Man Figures 2 Pack
Infinite Heroes Crisis 4-Pack
Ghostbusters™ 6” Peter Venkman™ Figure (with Slimer)
Ghostbusters™ 6″ Ray Stantz™ Figure (with Subway Ghost)
Ghostbusters™ 6″ Winston Zeddemore™ Figure (with trap)
Ghostbusters™ 6” Walter Peck™ Figure (with containment unit)
The Color of Fear: Romat-Ru and Karu-Sil 2-pack
6″ Superman
6″ Flight Stands
DC Universe Classics Figure Stands
Justice League Unlimited Figure Stands
Infinite Heroes Figure Stands

Click the below link for Cyber Monday savings of 20% off at Toy Anxiety.  Please, note:  Gotta have the coupon code.

http://toyanxiety.wordpress.com/2010/11/27/cyber-monday-at-toy-anxiety/

One last bit of speculation . . . Last year, Marvel offered 30% off an annual subscription to their Digital Comics.  This past Friday, DC held their Blackest Friday event, where they offered all 70+ Blackest Night tie-in issues for $0.99 each.  I can’t find where they’ll be repeating this or any other sale for tomorrow, but I figure it might not hurt to keep your e-peepers open.

If you know of other sales, please, shoot them our way.

Happy savings!

- Ray

Thank You Thursday – Willie Freeman


Ok, it’s Thank You Thursday on a Friday.  I started typing this during the day, yesterday.  I was going to finish the saved draft last night, but I got to playing around with some of my new birthday toys.  :)

Before I start, be sure to check out this website: http://incubatorpress.com/?page_id=2.

While their page is still being constructed, they have still managed to put together a list of awesome talent (including myself *ahem*). 

This, as you know from my previous blog post, is the homepage of Incubator Press ran by Willie Freeman.  Willie is a man who has grabbed hold of a huge undertaking and is trying his best to bring the beast down.  If he tames it, it’ll be wonderful for all involved.  If it refuses to be tamed, well . . . it sure won’t be for lack of trying.

For months now (and no telling how long behind the scenes), Willie has been chipping away at the standard comic publishing model.  It’s his goal to pickup struggling, novice writers and artists and give them the tools and support they need to get started in today’s market.  While not everything has gone super smooth for him, things are starting to pull together into a cohesive shape.

 So, thank you, Willie for doing this – not just for me, but for all the others like myself who have been craving this opportunity our entire lives. 

Next time, I’ll try to be on time.

- Ray

Thank You Thursday: Corrina Lawson


I first met Corrina on the You’ll All Be Sorry forum over at comicbookresources.com.  She was a heartfelt presence there – so much so that she was later elevated to Mod.  She’s insightful and kind.

When I finally joined the multitude on Twitter, the first thing I did was followed as many of my friends from YABS as I could.  Twitter’s conversational manner added to our friendship.  In fact, other than seeing her post on YABS, we hadn’t had too much direct contact over the years prior. 

Corrina is a fellow writer (check out my friends page for her blog and more on Corrina).  As I posted on my struggles and accomplishments on YABS and Twitter, she has been right there to help pump me up.  I see her doing this with other YABSers and fledgling writers without hesitation.

One day, while feeling particularly underappreciated as a writer, I sent Corrina a DM, asking if she would mind reading over my query letter.  She said she would, and within weeks, she had some suggestions.  After that, she asked that I send her my first three chapters. 

I wasn’t expecting much with her busy schedule (publishing and a houseful of kids), so I was thoroughly surprised and ecstatic when I again received an email with suggestions and critiquing that was both encouraging and hardcore at the same time.

I am currently in the process of thinking through these suggestions and while it’s pretty daunting, it’s also very much rewarding to know that others see the merits in my work, the potential for a polished and organized novel in my manuscript.

So, thank you, Corrina.  Hope I can return the favor someday.

- Ray