Lost Gods eBook Deal!

More and more of my friends and fellow podcasters are selling their work at Smashwords.com, and for good reason. When you purchase a book there, you are getting it in any eBook format you want. Your story is readable on every eReader that I know if. There is no DRM, so you can have a copy on your home computer, your laptop, your smart phone, hey, even your iPad if you got one of those.

It’s a good deal is what I am saying.

I’d have been buying a bunch of eBooks there, but I would like to do more to support my friends. So here is the deal, if you buy a Smashwords book from the following list of authors, email me, and I will send you a coupon so you can get the Smashwords version of Lost Gods for only 99 cents, and I will throw in my short story Double Deal for free!

So, buy any story, email me, get a novel and another story for only 99 cents.

Here are some people you can check out:

Scott Roche – Pulp Horror and Fantasy meet and have children that are Scott Roche’s stories.

James Melzer – Canada’s OTHER greatest podnovelist – UPDATE – James reminded me his stuff is all free, so to take part in this deal, just leave him a review. That’s right, get HIS STUFF FREE, review it, and then get MY STUFF FREE (or greatly reduced). What could be better than that?? Free CANADIAN fiction!

Jennifer Hudock – Urban Fantasy, Zombies, what more could you want?

John Mireau – Canada’s OTHER OTHER greatest podnovelist, SF master.

Paul Cooley – the Feindmaster himself.

Nobilis Reed – He brings the spice to the party. Spice is a euphemism for erotica, just so we are clear. UPDATE – Nobilis has a whole page at his site dedicated to where his stuff is for sale, so if you get ANYHTHING from him from ANYWHERE, let me know and I will include you in the deal! Check it out here:  http://nobiliserotica.com/site/book-index/

Xina Marie Uhl – The book is called Necropolis. What else do you need?

Cheryl Dyson – This one has a gauntlet. A THROWN gauntlet. Go check it out.

Made In DNA – He lives in Japan.  JAPAN, people. And he writes about Hyperviolence and Sex. At the same time.
So, support your friendly hardworking neighbourhood author, and get some fiction from me! Just drop me a line at drewbeatty at gmail dot com, and I will send you your coupon code!

Thank You Thursday – THANK YOU!

Recently a member of the Creative Alliance, Veronica Giguere proposed a concept called Thank You Thursday, a day in which we would take a moment to thank people who were important to us, people who inspired us, or people who just needed a little bit of praise for there general awesomeness.

So, I would like to thank you, the reader of this blog. I’m not going to get all treacly and sobby, but I do appreciate the fact that you come buy and comment, see what I am up to, read my silly stories or listen to my silly music, whatever.

Thanks. I hope to see you soon.

So confused right now

So, I’m not even sure if this is worth a blog post, but I am just so confused by a baffling series of event on Twitter today, I wanted to share it and get feedback.  There is an author I greatly respect and admire, I follow her on Twitter. Today she posted this:

“Think I can feel a bout of focus coming on. Fingers crossed. #adhd”

Just in case you don’t know ADHD refers to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder which is a disorder that, among other things, can make it difficult for a person to focus on a task. I responded thusly:

“I think getting off Twitter would help you focus! : ) looking forward to your next book!”

Now, in the world of great humour, that joke is not going to go down as a classic. You know, take away the distraction of Twitter to help you focus. Funny, right? I mean, not hilarious, just a small observation from a fan. And to make sure that the nature of the Tweet was clear, I put in the funny little emoticon, and then mentioned that I was looking forward to her next book. Just a harmless little burst of nothing, like so much on Twitter.

Hours went by, and then I received this reply:

“@drewbeatty Please don’t presume to give me medical advice. Thank you.”

Wow. Presume. Getting off Twitter as medical advice. I was, frankly, surprised.  But hey, at least she said thank you, that’s polite, right? So, in an attempt to clarify, I sent this:

“Sorry, it was only intended as a slight joke, not medical advice. No harm intended.”

See, I even admitted that is was just a slight joke. But then came the real shocker.

I had been blocked by this user.

It might be the first time I have ever been blocked before. I have had lots of users unfollow me, usually spammers that I didn’t follow back, but I don’t know of anyone blocking me. Until today.

So, to recap, I sent a slightly funny Tweet to a favourite author, intending to be supportive, and then  an apology, and she blocked me.

I have to wonder if she was really offended by my joke, as though I was making light of ADHD, but I do not feel the text of my original Tweet has that connotation. Or if she is easily offended about it, then why Tweet about it with a hashtag?

But let’s look at what I lost.

1. Some respect for an author I like. I probably will not read her other books, not out of some childish spite, but more because in the back of my mind it will niggle at me. “She block me for that Tweet!” I will be thinking, and that will take me out of the story. And it’s not like there isn’t a HUGE backlog of other books I would like to read.

2. A Twitter follower. Wait, she never followed me anyhow. So I lost access to her Tweets.

Let’s look at what she lost.

1. An avid fan. I have bought or borrowed most of her books. I have discussed and recommend her work with friends. I have blogged about her readings, I have mentioned her as an inspiration for Lost Gods. So, she was never going to retire on what I could do for her, but it’s not like she is making Stephanie Meyer book sales.

2. A customer. Now I know I have already talked about her books, but this is bigger. Along with being a writer, she also mentors writers. For $2000.00. I was seriously considering trying to scrape the money together to do this, not this year, and probably not next, but in the future. I really, really won’t be doing that now.

So, here are all the facts as I know them. What say you? Was my first Tweet rude or insensitive? Was I playing god by telling someone to get off Twitter? Leave your responses in the comments, please. I’m really curious.

Dark Journeys, and a contest!

Anyone who has so much as glanced at my blog will know the huge amount of respect I have for Jennifer Hudock, so I am thrilled to announce that she will be dropping by drewbeatty.com on her very first blog tour!

Pat Pillars had a great idea to do a giveaway for people who comment on the posts. For his giveaway, you have to comment on three blogs, mine is going to be a little more difficult. To help support her blog tour, I have decided I will give away a personally inscribed copy of Lost Gods! What you need to do to win this bad boy is simple. Jenny is going to visit 7 websites on her tour.  Visit the sites, and comment on the 7 blog posts. The most important thing is that you comment on ALL 7 posts! On June 1st, 2010, I will look at the sites in question and compile a list of people who have posted on all of them, and draw their names from a hat, or perhaps a cookie jar. Oh, wait, we broke the cookie jar. Hat it is then.

So, you get to visit 7 cool sites, read or listen to 7 cool interviews, and then get a chance to win a book! By me! That is what we call win-win, people.

Check back in this first week of June to see if you have won! Actually, you should just check back here all the time.

The Dark Journeys Schedule

May 2010

May 14, 2010: Jim – Yes, THAT Jim

May 17, 2010: Edward G. Talbot

May 19, 2010: Morgan Elektra of Trickster Moon Productions

May 21, 2010: Ramblings of English with Chandra Jenkins

May 24, 2010: Paddy’s Wanderings with Patrick Pillars

May 27, 2010: Drew Beatty

May 29, 2010: Scrivener’s Circle with David Sobkowiak and Laura Frechette

The joy of editing

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicOne of the least pleasant tasks for most writers is editing. Once the story or novel is finished, authors are done with it. But editing a finished work is an important part of the process. It’s not enough to run a quick spell check, a manuscript takes careful and thoughtful consideration. One thing I do to help me with the editing process is to print out a copy and break out a trusty pen.

I know some people will be shocked by this. Yes, I understand the advantages of editing on a computer, and believe me, i do a lot of that as well, but there are specific reasons that I use the printed page as well.

The first reason is that I find more mistakes this way. The human brain is trained to process information in different ways. While I can correct the majority of my errors on the computer, there are some that slip by. The majority of the reading I do on the computer is scanning, and that is how I process information. Editing is not scanning. You need to look carefully and slowly. Paper helps accomplish this.

I also find that the story becomes more alive for me. I grew up with paper books, and while I love eBooks, the physical nature of the paper helps me to make the worlds I create more concrete, more real. I find that I can not only find basic grammar and spelling mistakes, but I can also find blocks of dead or dull writing, and make them stronger. There is an immersive quality to writing on paper that just doesn’t exist on the computer.

There is an environmental concern, yes. I try to purchase recycled paper,  and it goes into the blue box. I also try to reuse pages, printing on the other side, or finding another use for the pages to help offset the expense, both financial and environmental.

So, when will you be able to see the fruits of this editing? Stay tuned for some announcements soon.

If you have any editing techniques that help you, feel free to share them in the comments.

Zombie Awareness Month

Hey people.

May is Zombie Awareness Month. Why is that, you ask? Well, apparently a hell of a lot of Zombie movies take place in May. I don’t know why, perhaps people think that the beauty of spring contrasts thematically to shambling corpses so nicely. Or the rebirth of animated corpses mirroring the rebirth of of nature. In the northern hemisphere, anyhow.

So, here are some things to help you celebrate Zombie Awareness Month. You can send your friends a witty postcard to let them know the joy of Zombie Awareness Month. You can deck out your Twitter and Facebook Avatars with these handsome Twibbons. Finally, you can buy Zombonauts, the anthology in which my “Zombies in Space” story appears.

Other cool Zombie related media include The Zombie Chronicles by Canada’s own James Melzer, The Zombie Doubleshot stories by Jennifer Hudock, and the Lost Zombies project. Have fun, and if you see any shambling corpses, call the authorities! They won’t listen to you or anything, but it can’t hurt.

But call them as you are running away from the zombies. That’s just good sense.

The Creative Alliance

I’m lucky enough to know some really great people via Twitter. And no, this will not be yet another post about how awesome Twitter is and how much I love it (although is has been awhile since I have done one of those).

No, this is about something bigger. A couple of people who will be familiar to anyone who reads this blog, James Melzer and Jennifer Hudock, had an idea. What if we could get a bunch of creative people together to share ideas, brainstorm, look at best practices, help, support and inspire each other? Thus was born The Creative Alliance.

There are a ton of great people over there, all working to help each other. You should come too. It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, musician, painter, or have a website with 1516 pictures of Kim Karsashian. You will find something useful, or make a new connection, and some friends.  Come on, check it out.

Edward G. Talbot is rocking the shorts

Ebook shorts, that is! This Mayday, May 1, 2010, Edward G. Talbot is releasing two ebook collections of short stories. A Funny Pair of Shorts contains three humorous shorts, while  A Horrifying Pair Of Shorts has three horror stories. Each set is only 99 cents!

Being the upstanding writer-type he is, you can read a sample of the stories, so you know what you are getting into.

For all of the details, including a groovy contest, go to Edward G. Talbot’s site right now!

New Music From the Hold Steady

Anyone who knows me, or who has read Lost Gods, knows how important The Hold Steady is to me. I am pretty sure they are the best band making music right now, and I often (or always) listen to them when I am writing.

In Lost Gods, Coyote takes Anansi to a Hold Steady show. That concert experience was lifted from my own expereince seeing the band at the Opera House here in Toronto a few years back:

The lights went down, and the curtains opened, revealing a somewhat motley looking group of musicians in standard rock and roll formation. Drums, keyboard, lead and bass guitar, fronted by a wildly enthusiastic front man. They launched into their first song, a story of booze soaked love and redemption that managed to avoid being cliché, and the crowd exploded. Coyote’s eyes were shining as he looked at the stage, wide with wonder and delight.

“Let’s go down,” he shouted. We swept down the stairs, and immediately felt the wall of heat from the crowd. Coyote, with a carnivore’s instinct for sneaking around unnoticed, lead us in a winding path through the packed bodies, until we were directly in the middle of them. We settled in behind two large indie kids, their shoulders making an inverted proscenium arch through which I had the perfect view of the stage. Song after song, the band played, drank, and communed with their audience. The subject material was dark; people living on the fringes of life, with a tenuous grasp on reality. I could relate. What was amazing is that no matter how dark the song, no matter how bleak the lives of the characters, the singer was so enthusiastic, so happy. The show was like a perfect distillation of joy, for all to indulge in. Joy as the new drug. And the audience was hooked. For over two hours the band played, giving their heart and soul to this celebration of life. It was staggering. Finally, they finished, and we went out into the night.

All this to introduce the new album, streaming below. Enjoy.

A conversation about eBooks

Recently I had the opportunity to join fellow podcasters Scott Roche and James Melzer in a Skype discussion about eBooks. We talked about different distribution models, Smashwords, how to publicize our efforts and more.

James had a lot of interesting things to say regarding the free model, and it seems that the conversation has helped focus his thoughts, because today he announced that he will be giving his short fiction away for free.

Scott has posted the discussion on his website. I hope you find it interesting.