Forging Truth Blog Stops


Since its release, I haven’t really done too much PR work for Forging Truth. So, over the next month or so, I’m conducting a blog tour through the kindness of some of my fellow authors and bloggers. I’ll be doing several giveaways during this time, too. Of course, I still have 40 days or so left with my Kickstarter project, if anyone’s interested in donating there.

Here are the dates that I have so far. There are about 10 more that haven’t been finalized. That still leaves several, so if you are interested in hosting a stop that’s not filled in, I’d more than welcome it. I’m open to an excerpt, and interview, a giveaway, or a book review. I can also do a guest post if you give me an idea of what you’re looking for.

April 15: Kickoff post on raymondmasters.wordpress.com

April 16: Giveaway announcement on http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/24257-forging-truth (LINK UPDATED) (This actually went live on 4/17.)

April 17: Podcast interview about turning the geeky things I love into creative works at http://www.robf.com.au/ (It was recorded and should be up later this week, complete with uhs and ums.)

April 18: A book review by my nephew (Hey, I have no shame!) over at http://codyaray.com/2012/04/book-review-forging-truth#comment-10145 (Updated with correct link)

April 19: OPEN

April 20: OPEN

April 21: A guest post about Forging Truth http://christa-polkinhorn.blogspot.com/

April 22: OPEN

April 23: OPEN

April 24: OPEN

April 25: An interview, discussing what got me where I am today at http://marlenedotterer.wordpress.com

April 26: Author Interview at http://www.shannonmayer.com/ (Formerly scheduled for 4/20.)

April 27: A guest post about writing over at http://ericjguignard.blogspot.com/

April 28: OPEN

April 29: A guest post about Kickstarter, crowdsourcing, and the self-pub pros and cons http://paperlessreading.com/

April 30: OPEN

May 1: Book review here: http://swtft.com/blog

May 2: OPEN

May 3: Learn a little more about my book at http://bexbooknook.wordpress.com/

May 4: OPEN

May 5: OPEN

May 6: OPEN

May 7: OPEN

May 8: OPEN

May 9: A guest post with topic TBD at http://www.tktoppin.blogspot.com/

May 10: OPEN

May 11: OPEN

May 12: OPEN

May 13: OPEN

May 14: Interview, excerpt, and giveaway at http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/

May 15: Wrap up post on raymondmasters.wordpress.com

Three Years Ago, Today


Corrupting Truth Writing Goal

Man, has it really been that long?  I guess so.  It was three years ago, today, that I finished the first draft of <cite>Forging Truth</cite>.  That is one of the most euphoric days of my life.  In fact, I thought it would really be the start of something big.  I knew I had finally arrived.  I was a writer, something I had worked toward and dreamed about since high school.

But then, something happened: Nothing happened.

Continue reading

Mid-life Resolutions, Part 2


My mid-life resolutions strategy can best be summarized like this:

Throw enough stuff at the wall that something’s bound to stick.

  • Network:  Sure, I Twitter, and I blog, and I love the guys and gals over at Gail Simone’s You’ll All Be Sorry forum on CBR, but what about everything else?  There are literally new social media and forums popping up daily.  Why shouldn’t I be out there on them, getting to know people?  These are potential readers, potential employers, and most of all, peers.  It’s a wide-open space out there, and it couldn’t hurt to check it all out.
  • I’m currently auditioning for a slushpile readership.  Who knows if I’m a solid fit for that sort of thing?  Until the ride’s over, I can at least use the opportunity to see how the other half lives.  I have four sample query letters in my inbox as I type this.  I have to critique them and decide whether I would keep or reject them.  I should be able to take away some insight into the proper (and improper) things to include in a query letter/submission.  Also, I get to stand a little closer to the hidden publishing doorway.  My goal: to sneak in when they’re guard is down.
  • For my birthday, I’m getting Manga Studio 4 and a MousePen and tablet set.  Up until I hit puberty and came down with a bad case of the brain-haze, I could actually draw pretty well.  I even won third place in a contest, drawing Doomsday (the creature that killed Superman) when I was around thirteen.  Over time, however, my talent has mutated into something that is better left in the bottom of a storm drain.  It’s my goal, however, to practice, practice, practice on my art until I can at least produce some decent pin-ups and webcomics.
  • As you know, I have an eight-page story coming up in an anthology to be published by Incubator Press.  Since I began writing, I’ve always thought in long-form.  Novels, in other words.  Since I broke down a script into comic book format, it taught me that, hey, I’m okay with the short-form works, too.  In the past couple of months, I’ve had so many short story ideas run me over that it’ll be hard to know which one I want to start with first.  When I do get them all knocked out, you can be fairly certain they’ll be flying out of my outbox and into every inbox I can.
  • My first love will always be novels (Well, ok, besides comics).  Without a doubt, I will never be without a novel in one form or another on my hard drive.  I’m currently working on my second Truth Saga novel, the first in my Grim Wars series, and I just came up with a heck of an idea for a done-in-one thriller.  I’ll be living with these characters for years and years to come.
  • Writing for comics has always been my number one goal.  Even while I’m writing prose, I’m doing it with the hope of being noticed and breaking through that ungodly wall that cuts off the legion of comic fans who wish to be comic writers.  With many thanks to Incubator Press, I now have a spark to flame.  In time, I will start a blaze to ENGULF US ALLLLLLLL!!!!  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! [Twirls Mustache]
  • Everyone familiar with the Kickstarter program?  This is phenomenal.  They help out creative minds that control little to no capital.  If you want to get that indy movie, comic, novel, or song made, but you just don’t have the dough to get it started, you can go to kickstarter.com and set up a project.  Then, you can direct your friends and supporters to your project, and beg and plead for their dollars in exchange for really cool rewards that you set up.  You can give away signed copies of your work, recognition, etc.  Check this out for sure.  Chances are good you’ll be seeing me up there some day soonish.
  • One other idea I’m kicking around is becoming an indy book reviewer.  If I did this, I’d start out with the books of those I know, and try to help them get known.  I just received my first novel for review today.  When I can clear off a little of the ol’ schedule, I’ll test the waters with a little bit of a review on here.  Maybe I’ll ask for yours some day.

I’m also looking into ebooks, modding for a well-published friend’s website, writing a script or two with my friend Terrance, and probably a million other things.  Plus, I have a new ingenious plan every day.  I can’t wait to look back on these upcoming thirty years and see how much of this I’ve been able to dabble in.

Do you have other ideas or opportunities that you’re excited about?  Share.  Yeah, comment away.

- Ray

Do you suffer from WADD?


As a writer who has so far never suffered from writer’s block, it confuses me and ticks me off when I go long periods without writing.

Seriously.  Think about it: I know my story – beginning, middle, and end; I think about it to the point of obsession; I’m so excited whenever I do sit down and clickity-clack it onto my monitor.  So, what gives?

I think I’m developing Writing Attention Deficit Disorder, or WADD.

That’s right, when I sit down to write, I let myself get distracted more and more.  It was different with my first book, though.  When I was writing Forging Truth, I was so connected you couldn’t pry me away from the keyboard.  I was so connected that one day, Morpheus tried his best to get me to take the blue pill, and I called Agent Smith to have him escorted off premises.

Now, I’ll perch at my “desk” and type a couple of sentences, all will be going well, and Smallville has been renewed for a tenth season, I’ll type a word or three, and wow, 27 tweets since I last updated, by the time I’ve finished my paragraph, iPad reviewed, Top Tweets for Writers, ha! funniest post ever!

And, it’s not just the Interwebs that’s doing it to me, either.  Better clean the house, read this comic, and play with the kiddo.  Hey, I know, I haven’t re-arranged the furniture in the bedroom in a while.  Ok, now that all of that’s done, I can finally sit down to – cricket! I forgot a glass in the living room.  Whew!  Got it in the sink just in the nick of time.  I’ll wash it tomorrow, though, because now it’s bedtime.

And the beat goes on.

So, do you suffer rom WADD?  Any ideas on how to treat this aggressively progressive strain I’ve come down with?  If so, I’d really appreciate oh I’ve just come up with the topic for my next blog post why do we have all these lids but no bowls to go with them think we need to have a yard sale soon I bet some Rocky Road would be good got to go to the store anyways.

- Ray

Edit: I’ve got this tagged with Writing Advice, but my WADD must’ve kicked in, because by golly and by gosh, there’s not a shred of it anywhere in this post.

Spread the Word


You’ve got to network.

Chances are you already know that.  It bears repeating, though.  When I say spread the word, I don’t just mean about your wonderful projects you’re working on or have completed.  I mean, that’s fantastic, but unless you’re spreading the word about YOU, no one’s going to give your work a second glance.  Yes, someone always wins the lottery, but it’s never you.  It’s never even someone you know.  So, yes, it is possible for a work to catch an agent/publisher/reader’s eye without the power of YOU and your brand.  The odds are just slim.

Also, networking is thrown around on numerous blogs like this.  Gurus get paid big bucks to teach you how to do it.  I’ve never been to a seminar on the subject, but I can tell you there are a bunch of them out there.  Here’s what I would caution you on, though: watch out for THE NEGATIVE.  That’s right.  THE NEGATIVE is the stigma that can result from your pestering (or perceived pestering) of someone in the field.

Everyone – that’s every agent, publisher, editor, and even other writers – know what you’re hoping to gain by “rubbing elbows” with them via conferences or twitter.  So, don’t be coy.  At the same time, a relationship within your networks has absolutely got to be organic, not forced.  I don’t mean you must be buddy-buddy with your buddy list, just treat it like business casual.  Be polite, but not patronizing.  Be funny, but not tiresome.  Mention your work, but don’t force it on them.  Have a web presence, and throw in links.  At an IRL conference?  Smile.  In fact, smile when you’re chatting online.  Practice smiling and tweeting.  It shows.

- Smilin’ Ray

Rejection Affection


This is not for me, but thank you for the look.

Sincerely,

The Rejection Agency

If April showers bring May flowers, what does another round of submissions bring?  That’s right, another round of rejections.

So, with my first official rejection, I felt like I had arrived.  Granted, no one let me in, but I’d shown up at the damn party.  I was happy and present.  So, did this feeling carry over with my second rejection?

Yes and no.

Yeah, I still catch a thrill every time I even tweetchat with an agent, but here’s where the ‘no’ comes in – aside from still being outside of the party looking in, that is – it was the agent that most resonated with me so far.

If you’re there, too, you’re possibly wondering how to cope.  Well, for me, it was easy (-ish).  I just told myself that old dating cliché about all the other fish, and poof!  The world was right again . . .

So, that’s not necessarily how it went.  That’s only part of the truth.  I argued with myself and lamented to myself, but in the end, I really did realize that I have only submitted to but a few on my list so far.  Better than that?  I still have more queries out there.

If you’re thinking that this advice is more suited for those who’ve been in the trenches for longer, think again.  Just like the Doggonit-I’m-Good-Enough guy, you’ve gotta remind yourself after ever rejection.

Don’t give up.

Signed,

Ray (of hope)

Need more rejection advice?  Rejection 101

Or, think of it this way:  Writers Digest Rejection Quotes

Forging Truth


Last February, I finished the first draft of Forging Truth.  I’ve edited the fire out of it and set it to the side.  I’m slowly submitting it (like, super slowly).  I’ve hit two agents that appealed to me and one contest.  I just read last night where the contest isn’t very highly regarded by agents.  Funny stuff.

I really need to get to submitting.  I’ve got around 70 that I’m more or less interested in.  If they don’t pan out, I’ll look for more.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll try going agent-less.  If that still isn’t the answer, there’s always slushpiles.  If I’m still not picked up, I’ll simply self-publish and lock my friends and people I work with up until they’ve read it.

*clears throat*

Sorry, I kinda faded out there for a second.  What was I talking about?

Right.  Forging Truth.  I actually started writing this back in August of 2002.  I wrote around 30 pages of story and notes.  I had some rough (rough, rough, rough) ideas.  Wrote on it longhand and put it away.

Fast forward.  I picked it up a couple of times in the following years to write the occasional bit in my notes section.  I even typed it up and did some editing along the way.  Nothing stuck, but the desire to finish that story still clung to me tightly.  In 2008 I was laying in bed one morning, trying to wake up.  I’ve found that bed, the shower, the car, and sitting in the bathroom are the very best times to get story ideas.  This particular morning, I had a flood – that’s the absolute best time to be a writer – wash over me and fill me up with new ideas for my dormant Truth novel.

It was the introduction of a brand new character that did it.  I started developing him, and a whole entire world opened up for my protagonist.  The problem: I suddenly had a slew of new characters, settings, and elements that were totally foreign to my original mss.  The solution: I didn’t need one.  I liked the problem I faced.  That’s the best problem to have.  You can always try your characters in new worlds and see if they fit.  In this case, he did.

I waited for a place to open up in the story to fit the previously written pages.  Notice: I didn’t say that I forced it in.  I waited for an organic opening.  Luckily there was.

Now, I’m submitting this novel, writing its sequel, and Grimm Wars based on a new fun cast of creepy folks.

Life is great, yes?

- Ray