Dienstag, 27. April 2010

Chris Kuzneski : an inspiration.

Chris Kuzneski is an author who found success the hard way.

I personally haven’t read any of his work but a good friend of mine, (Adam, the guitarist from Gods Will Be Done) is a fan and has read all his work to date.

His latest release is called, “The Plantation” and at the front of the book Mr. Kuzneski writes a little about how he was, “discovered”. Ads saw it and immediately thought of me, the brainless bottom dweller, inanely pursuing the hooked lure of literary success… :-(

He typed it out and sent it to me and I’m glad he did.

So a hearty “Thanks” to Ads with a manly handshake to boot.
Have a read, it’s very interesting and extremely inspirational, well I though it was.

Take it away Chris:

The Plantation by Chris Kuzneski

A few years ago I nearly gave up. Like many writers, I had a tough time breaking into the industry. Agents ignored me, and publishers rejected me. My life was like a bad country song, only I didn’t have a mullet. To make matters worse, my savings were almost gone, which meant I was this close to doing something desperate – like getting a “real” job.

Back then, the only thing that stood between me and the workforce was a novel I had just written called The Plantation. It featured two main characters that I really liked, Jonathon Payne & David Jones, and the plot was pretty original. In hindsight, maybe too original. At least that’s what I was told in several rejection letters. Editors and agents loved the book but weren’t sure how to market it. And in the book business, that’s the kiss of death. No marketing means no sales. No sales means no book deal. And no book deal means it’s time to search the want ads.

Thankfully, I cam across an article about a company called Universe and a new type of technology called print on demand. Simply put, copies of a book could be printed after a book order was placed, thereby eliminating large print runs that a struggling write like myself couldn’t afford. Suddenly I had the freedom to print a small quantity of books that I could sell to family and friends. And if I was real lucky, total strangers would buy it, too.

Long story short, my plan worked. I sold enough copies out of the trunk of my car to ward off starvation, plus it gave me the confidence to take things one step further. I figured since readers loved The Plantation, maybe writers would as well. So I wrote letters to many of my favourite authors, asking if they’d be interested in reading my book. Incredibly, most of them agreed to help, and before long they were writing letters to me, telling me how much they enjoyed it. And I’m talking about famous authors like James Patterson, Nelson DeMille, Douglas Preston, and James Rollins. Each of them willing to endorse my novel.

Seriously, how cool is that?

Anyway, even though I had their support, I still didn’t have a publisher. But all of that changed when Scott Miller, an agent at Trident Media, bought one of my self-published copies in a Philadelphia bookstore and liked it enough to email me. At the time I had a folder with more than one hundred rejection letters, yet the best young agent in the business bought my book and contacted me. Not only did I get a royalty from this purchase, but I also got the perfect agent.

By then I had written my next novel, a religious thriller called Sign of the Cross, which Scott wanted to shop immediately since The Da Vinci Code was dominating the bestseller lists at that time. It proved to be a wise decision. Within months, he had sold the American rights to Berkley and the foreign rights to more than fifteen publishers around the world.

Finally, I could throw away the want ads.

Next up was Sword of God, which became my second international bestseller. In my mind, it was book three in the Payne/Jones universe. But to most readers, it was only book two because The Plantation was never released by a major publisher.

That is until now.

Several years have passed since I wrote the first draft of The Plantation. The original version was much longer and contained several mistakes that rookie writers tend to make. With the help of my good friend Ian Harper, I tried to eliminate as many of those as possible – while keeping the plot intact. After a lot of tweaking, I’m thrilled with the final product.

To me, The Plantation is my first love. It’s the book that allowed me to write for a living.

Hopefully, you’ll fall in love with it, too.

So there you go, good wasn’t it?
Have a good one.

Reg :-)

Freitag, 23. April 2010

The Story so far…

The Story so far…

You might remember my little rant about publishing houses not sending rejection letters/slips/pieces of used tissue out any more because of the volume of traffic they receive and the cost in time and energy it takes in replying to all of them.

Well the other day I received a nice email asking me for the manuscript for “Division”!!!

Gasp, shock, deep joy!

Yes, that very same publishing house that suffered the full force of my vitriolic broadside actually showed some interest. I’m to deny any other publishing house the unbridled pleasure of scanning my mighty tome for a whole eight weeks until they’ve read it through and I hear from them to say they don’t want it (sadness) or do, (happiness).

So that’s that then.

Nothing more really to report except to wish you all a very merry Christmas… I mean have a good weekend.

I’m on nightshift until 6 O’clock Monday morning but it’s OK, I’ve got bills to pay and a family to feed so I can live with it.

Have a good one.


Sonntag, 18. April 2010

Yesterday and the busiest bunny in the warren.

So having just finished my rewrite of “Division” only five minutes ago, I’m wondering what to do now?

Another short story perhaps or back to the MS I started in Spain?

I’m tending towards the Spain story actually. It would be nice to get into a big operation again, create my own little world where I make the rules, lay down the law, say what’s to be done, be the Big Cheese, the Numero Uno, the Number One, the Boss Man… because it’s all so far removed from my family life, believe me.

So that’s what I’m going to do.


After a lot of surfing the net for information about illustrated stories, I have come to the conclusion that nobody prints them anymore. Children’s books and “How to fix things” type of books are a go; novels with pictures a no-no.
A graphic novel, A La Frank Miller style would probably be snapped up like a dead chicken in a Gulag but illustrated stories are not, “In”. Sadly.

If I, and it’s a very big IF here, if I were a famous author I could probably force the issue through to a publication on the strength of my name alone. However, seeing as I hold as much weight in the publishing world as I do in the United Nations, I guess I’ll have to pass on the idea.

Whatever, it’s a good story and I’ll simply send it off as a novelette and see what happens. Or perhaps Andreas would want to make a graphic novel out of it?

It’d be a lot of work though and I can’t see it somehow. Whatever, flexibility is my middle name, (OK, Rhys is my middle name but flexibility would be cool if it was).

I Facebooked a bit with my mate (Old Git) Joey yesterday too. A long time ago, after far too many drinks, we spoke about doing a project together. Joey is a photographer and the idea was that he takes some photos of Druidic type things, (yes, you read that right, we were FACED), Druidic type things and I write the text, and God help us maybe even try my hand at poetry.

We’d make it into a coffee table book and market it on Create Space, the Amazon Print on Demand firm.

So we’d have a nice book for Joey to show his customers, it’d be on Amazon for me to put on my CV and I’d get a free passport photo next time I need one… sounds fair to me, lol.

Anyway, the Druid idea, in the cold light of sobriety, doesn’t appeal to the Joester anymore, and neither does it to me. I mean I am sober for Tarby’s sake! However he wants to do something artistic with me and it doesn’t involve nudity or bodily fluids… hopefully. So let’s wait and see.

I’m up for it now that the illustrated story has all but fallen through with Andreas.

Also, yesterday, as I knew I would be finished with “Division” today and I’m a busy bunny, I sent out a query letter with the first 3 chapters and a synopsis to Severed Press. Their policy is that if I don’t hear from them in 20 days I can forget it.

What’s all that about, eh? I’d sooner have a rejection slip full of obscene reference to toilets, human waste and my talent than hear nothing. It’s like having a younger brother missing in action; there’s no closure on the issue.

Whatever happened to common courtesy?

Well, actually, I can understand it. The market is saturated nowadays with bored housewives, industrious pensioners, unemployed academics who all own a computer with MS Word on.

Anyone can write a book and send it off and a lot of people do. Hence the impersonal approach to rejection nowadays. It’s along the lines of supply and demand. If nobody wrote books then the author would be treated like royalty, however EVERYBODY’S writing and sending their work off so the author is reduced to the ranks of the Great Unwashed.

Well, that’s my take on it anyway, and that’s why I’m grateful for any minor literary triumph that stumbles over me.
Right, I’m off. We’re doing a barby today and I’m starving.

Reg :-)

Mittwoch, 14. April 2010

€377 for some drum pedals

I haven’t achieved anything lately. I wanted to do so much but fatigue, kids, work and laziness just seemed to get in the way.
I have, however, purchased a set of pedals for my drums.

I know, I know, it has nothing to do with my writing but I’m desperate here so bear with me.

The make is Tama and they’re the legendary Iron Cobra Rolling Glide model. €377, which is a good price for a good double foot machine and I’m very happy about it.

The double foot machine that I have now is old and stiffer than an overdose of Viagra. They work but they make me work too which sort of takes the edge of any speed I might achieve.

I hummed and harred for a while, (like 2 years) because of the price but then I just went for it and now I’m glad I did. Here they are, my proud beauties:

So now you know two things peeps:

1.) Writing isn’t my only pastime.

2.) I’m not tight fisted but I like to see if I can find a bargain before I splash out, which is why I waited 2 years before buying them.

Take it easy.

Reg :-)

Montag, 5. April 2010

House of Horror use my short story. Wahay!!

There’s me, writing that I’ve nothing to report and lo and behold I’ve found I’m in print again!

Well, actually I’m on a short story website but it’s all semantics when it comes out in the wash.
Go to this link and have a read:


And feel free to tell me what you think peeps.

As promised, I’m going to start on my rewrite today. However, after finding my efforts being so proudly broadcast on the electric interweb thing, I’m going to immerse myself into the world of the vampire and 3rd Reich with a passion of obsessive-compulsive proportions.

Wahay, Nobel Literary prize, here I come!

(Optimism always was my forte. I’m in a good mood now, does it show?)

Reg :-)

Happy Easter peeps!

Happy Easter peeps!

I’m afraid I have absolutely nothing to report on the writing front, (again). I haven’t even looked at Division, which is both bogus and sad. However, I will tomorrow.

I want to get this rewrite out of the way so I can start on the other book; but you know that anyway.

This Easter weekend was busy, busy and busy. I worked late shift the last few days but was also invited to a couple of parties, which went on until well into the wee hours.

So now I’m as burnt out as a roasted snail!

However, that just highlights the down side to working shifts. The money’s good, no mistake there, but the work to life ratio suffers abnormally when your days off are, say, Monday and Tuesday. This whole weekend I was away from 13.30 hours to 22.30 hours which means my kids didn’t see me in the afternoons, (and how they cheered).

Whatever, it can’t be helped, the money’s important at the moment and that’s that.

Right, I’m wibbling again aren’t I?


Reg. ;-)