Lets do this!

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

2016 is done and dusted (thank fuck) and 2017 (just need to remember to get the date right from now on) has begun.

We survived a really rough year and now we need to survive and thrive in the new one.

I think it’s going to be an interesting year and, like last year, it will also have its ups and downs. It’s just going to be a case of putting one step in front of the other or, in my case, one word after the next.

In order to get me focused on getting through this year and to help me write the sequel to The Race as well as working on the first book in The Cursed Witch series I’ve decided I need a theme song.

 

I think given the nature of the story for The Race and its subsequent books and the year I’ve got ahead of me and what we’ve already survived, I think it’s a pretty apt choice. Don’t you?

So … if you had a theme song for this year or last year what would it be?

And don’t forget Shadows is still free until the end of January! Just click on the universal buy link and then on whichever store you’d like to download it from. Amazon, unfortunately, still hasn’t come to the party on this one. But you can get it free from Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and Kobo, and pretty much everywhere else.

I hope 2017 brings you all that you wish for yourself!

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Goodbye 2016

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

In just a couple days 2016 will be over. It’s been an interesting year on a global scale. Brexit, Trump, The Grimm Reaper taking the rich and famous, friends and family. It’s been a stressful year to say the least. And I have to say, I’m glad it’s over. Lets just hope that 2017 is less of a killer.

There have also been some good things in 2016 and they’re what I’m going to try and focus on and take with me and grow in 2017.

I managed to publish two new books! I’m fucking proud of myself for that. I also got all the rights back for my other books and managed to republish them and go completely indie in a matter of days. Another accomplishment that I’m fucking proud of.

I may not be a bestselling author – yet, but I’m working on it. That’s where my focus is going to be in the new year. I’m focusing on building my audience and writing new stories. The rest will take care of itself.

I’m not going to make any hard and fast New Years resolutions. None of that new year, new me crap. I’m still going to be the dark, twisted, and sarcastic bitch I’ve always been. The coffee and wine are still going to flow in 2017.

With the close of 2016 I’d like to ask you to take a moment to think of the books you’ve read and enjoyed this year. Think of the writers who’ve worked to craft those words that have taken you on unexpected journeys. The words that have made you cry, or laugh, or scared you shitless.

If you appreciate those words that were so cleverly strung together leave a little review, doesn’t have to be a long one, on Goodreads or Amazon or wherever you got it. Tell your friends about the book. Tell them about the author. Spread the words.
And in 2017 try expanding your reading horizons. Try an author you’ve never read before. Give the little guy a shot. Don’t just stick within your usual safe zone. You never know, you might stumble onto your new favourite author and then tell your friends about them.

And just to make sure the new year starts off with a bang, I’ll be making Shadows FREE until the end of January. Most ebook stores have already caught up with the change in price but it may take Amazon a few days to catch up. Just click on the Universal buy link and choose your favourite store. Go download it and tell your friends about it.

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I hope 2017 brings you all joy, prosperity, and good books. See you all in the new year.

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Blog tour: Guest post on Inspiration

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

As part of my current blog tour I stopped off at David Chislett’s blog to talk about creativity and inspiration. To read what I had to say pop on over here.

There’s only two days left to enter the giveaway so pop on over to the Silver Dagger Scriptorium to enter.

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The post-publication blues

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

I think the post-publication blues is something that all writers go through. It hits about a week or so after the book lands on the virtual or actual store shelves. It creeps up on you once the publication high starts to dwindle and you start to obsessively check your sales numbers on Amazon and Draft2Digital. It smacks you right in the gut when the sales aren’t what you hoped they would be and the reviews you were hoping for don’t come in as quick as you thought they would. It scratches on your brain-stem when everything seems to drag and you feel like the publishing quagmire is sucking you in and your words will be lost forever and there’s no hope insight.

But then some kind soul buys your book or one of those reviews you’ve been waiting for come out and it’s a really good one. You know one of those reviews that make you cry because someone really really loved the words you painstakingly put together. Or you write a really good sentence for your new book and a smile twitches at the corner of your mouth and you start to think there may be hope after all.

But then you’re back to obsessively checking those non-existent sales figures and the downward spiral starts all over again. It’s a vicious cycle, one which I haven’t found a cure for yet. The only thing I can do while I’m in the grips of the post-publication blues is try not to check my non-existent sales figures everyday. Every time I do I know I’m just going to slide further down that hole. And yet I still check them hoping that by some miracle someone bought a copy of one of my books.

I need to focus on the few things in this industry that I can control, like working on the new book and trying to focus on doing some publicity for my existing books. Whether or not people buy my books or write a review is beyond my control. Which sucks hairy arse, but that’s life as a writer.

So while I battle through my blues I’m going to grab my mug of coffee, try to ignore that nagging impulse to check my latest sales figures, write a few words even if they’re crap, and focus on my upcoming blog tour starting on the 12th of October. Wish me luck!

 

13 Questions with Michael McCarty

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

Today we have Michael McCarty in the interrogation seat.

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Michael has been a professional writer since 1983, and the author of over thirty-five books of fiction and nonfiction, including I Kissed a Ghoul, Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews with Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers, Laughing In the Dark, A Hell of a Job, A Little Help From My Fiends, Dark Duets, Monster Behind the Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin), Lost Girl of the Lake (co-written with Joe McKinney), Conversations with Kreskin (co-written with The Amazing Kreskin), The Scream Queen series Night of the Scream Queen and Return of The Scream Queen (co-written with Linnea Quigley), The Bloodless series Bloodless, Bloodlust and Bloodline (co-written with Jody LaGreca), and Liquid Diet & Midnight Snack.

His latest book is Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) and published by Wildside Press.

He is a five-time Bram Stoker Finalist, and in 2008, won the David R. Collins’ Literary Achievement Award from the Midwest Writing Center. He lives in Rock Island, Illinois, with his wife, Cindy, and pet rabbit, Latte.

  1. What drives you to write?

mike-mccarty-dracula-transformedWhat drives me to write? My car? Alcohol? My legion of fans? I am a very driven person with or without an automobile or booze or fans. LOL.

Actually, I have this driven desire to write books because I like the process of writing: I like creating a story from scratch, I like having characters you care about and a book you’ll remember for a long time after reading it. I enjoy doing book signings. I also like getting good reviews on Amazon, GoodRead and Barnes & Noble – so please keep them coming too. And any pocket change left from the sales is always a plus. LOL.

  1. What attracted you to writing horror?

I think horror was attracted to me, like the alien popping out of the space egg and attaching itself to my face.

I like the dark side – don’t be afraid of the dark. I also add a twist of dark humor to horror like any good martini, you always add a twist to it.

  1. Who are your favourite horror writers?

You want me to get in trouble, huh? If I tell you 10 names, I make 500 enemies.

Well, I can include the ones I interviewed in Modern Mythmakers: 35 Interviews With Horror and Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers published by Crystal Lake Publishing:  C. Dean Andersson, Ray Bradbury, Ramsey Campbell, Elvira, Rusty Fischer, Neil Gaiman, Mick Garris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Jack Ketchum, Dean Koontz, Thomas Ligotti, Bentley Little, Graham Masterton, Richard Matheson, Joe McKinney, Christopher Moore, William F. Nolan, John Saul, David Snell, Darce Stoker, Peter Straub and Whitley Strieber.

I suppose it is safe to name my collaborators too:  Mark McLaughlin, Sherry Decker, Linnea Quigley, Stan Swanson, Jody LaGreca and Joe McKinney.

  1. Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?

That’s easy: Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirtsy Tales by Mark McLaughlin & Michael McCarty.

In the novella “Dracula Transformed,” Dracula is brought back from beyond the grave in a manner that gives him startling new powers. Using these powers, he begins a bloody campaign of vengeance. In “Lucy Transformed,” you will learn of the relationship between Dracula and his daughter Zaleska, as well as his growing fondness for Lucy Westenra — a fondness that will seal Lucy’s doom. Even more vampiric horror awaits you in the remaining nine tales.

You might want to read that other Dracula book too, Dracula by Bram Stoker.

  1. Ebooks or paperback?

Paper or plastic? LOL …. Paperbacks of course.

  1. What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?

The storyline, the character, the cover, the blurb.

I stumble onto a lot of new books and buy them. My fans say the same thing about my work. If you find an interesting new book, please check it out.

  1. Who is your favourite fictional character?mike-mccarty-modern-mythmakers

Of the ones I have written probably Tommy Wharton from I Kissed A Ghoul. I also have a fondness for Daniel Peck in the Bloodless series: Bloodless, Bloodlust and Bloodline  (co-written with Jody LaGreca)

Of all time? Too many to list.

  1. Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?

Both. My writing is really more organic; the story dictates how it is written and what happens. For example Night of the Scream Queen (co-written with Linnea Quigley) had an outline. The sequel Return of the Scream Queen (co-written with Linnea Quigley and Stan Swanson) didn’t.

Monster Behind The Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) had an outline. Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales (co-written with Mark McLaughlin) didn’t have an outline.

I Kissed a Ghoul had an outline, but I ended up not using it. LOL.

  1. Do your characters take on a life or do they do things you didn’t plan?

Both, really. In Monster Behind The Wheel (co-written with Mark McLaughlin), I did a 22-page interview with the protagonist Jeremy Carmichael. Mark said, “How would the antagonist Frank Edmonson answer those same questions?” The novel became three-dimensional after that.

With I Kissed a Ghoul the character just came to life and it was my job as the author to put the beast back into the box. LOL.

  1. Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?

I listen to music when I am writing. Silence when I edit.

  1. Do you do a lot of research for your stories?

Yes! Yes! And oh God, yes! For Dracula Transformed & Other Bloodthirsty Tales (co-written Mark McLaughlin) Mark and I did a lot of research on the original publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula what was cut out and why. Plus we did a lot of investigations into the Vlad Dracul family and found it interesting that the Prince of Darkness did indeed have a daughter, which led us to the story, “Lucy Transformed.”

In Bloodless (co-written with Jody LaGreca) and published by Simon & Shuster. I researched the hell out of the sinking of the Lusitania and the Hindenburg explosion disasters.

Sometimes I spend more time researching fiction, than I do nonfiction.        

  1. Facebook or Twitter?

I have both, but like Facebook a lot more than Twitter. Personally, I find it difficult to post links and photos to your books on Twitter.

  1. What really pisses you off about writing?

Maybe pisses off isn’t a good expression, but what I find heartbreaking about the publishing industry in general is this: so much attention and sales is spent on the 1%, the Stephen Kings, the J.K. Rowlings, the James Pattsons, the Harlan Coburns, the Nora Roberts, and so on, that the rest of the 99% of us; have to fight tooth and nail to get attention and sales.

So please go out and support the Mark McLaughlins, the Jody LaGrecas, the Joe McKinneys, the Terrie Leigh Relfs and Michael McCartys out there.

Please check out my books! All of my work is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or ordered at your local bookstore or library. You can find me on Twitter, GoodReads, FaceBook, and my blog site. And of course, I love to hear from my fans, so you can snail mail me at this address: Michael McCarty, P.O. Box 4441, Rock Island, IL 61204-4441.

Thank you, God Bless, and Godspeed.

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13 Questions with Patrick Rutigliano

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

Today we have Patrick Rutigliano in the interrogation seat.

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Patrick made his way as a fry cook, cart monkey and feral cat tamer before going into business for himself. Working as an editor and proofreader in addition to writing, his first independent release, “The Untimely Deaths of Daryl Handy,” hit Amazon in 2013. His newest book, “Wind Chill,” was released by Crystal Lake Publishing in 2016.

During his off time, Patrick can usually be found attempting to recreate foreign cuisine, performing the solemn duty of feline waterbed and having spirited debates with his wife over the failings of Disney villains.

You can stalk Patrick on: http://www.patrickrutigliano.wordpress.com
“Wind Chill” is available here: https://www.amazon.com/Wind-Chill-Patrick-Rutigliano-ebook/dp/B01BAVTZ7Q

  1. What drives you to write?

The desire to silence the voices in my head. It’s an awful thing to have them all shouting in there at once.

  1. What attracted you to writing horror?

Lifelong fandom. I’ve been geeking it up pretty much since I started watching movies. I cut my teeth on the Universal monsters as a little kid and have been going ever since.

  1. Who are your favourite horror writers?

H.P. Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, Clive Barker, and Joe Hill.

  1. Which horror novels do you think every horror fan should read?

The Great and Secret Show.  And 20th Century Ghosts if you don’t mine me throwing a collection in, too.

  1. Ebooks or paperback?

Paperback. It’s the full sensory experience of reading.

  1. What would make you pick up a novel by a new author?

A really original back cover description and a great cover.

wind-chill-cover-amazon

  1. Who is your favourite fictional character?

That’s kind of like asking me to pick a favorite child! Sherlock Holmes is definitely up there, though. If we’re talking across all media, I’ll throw in Jack Burton and Indiana Jones, too.

  1. Do you plot your stories or does it just unfold before your eyes?

I usually have a loose outline in my head and let the blanks fill themselves in.

  1. Do your characters take on a life of their own and do things you didn’t plan?

Sometimes. I did once have a protagonist who completely altered a major plot point because she wouldn’t abide it.

  1. Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?

Silence. I detest anything distracting me while trying to write.

  1. Do you do a lot of research for your stories?

It really depends on the content. I do it as necessary, but generally gravitate toward stories that don’t require me to break rhythm to look stuff up.

  1. Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook. I’m not a big fan of having my thoughts hemmed in by character limits.

  1. What really pisses you off about writing?

Well, the pay rates are often roughly what they were nearly a hundred years ago (which is beyond ridiculous). It can also be frustrating to strive for the new and unique while knowing there’s probably very little market for it.

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That bloody bandwagon

Hello my Freaky Darlings,

What I’m about to write is probably going to piss off a few people, but fuck it. I’m going to say it anyway. You are more than welcome to disagree.

You’ve probably all noticed the latest must have thing for all writers to have these days is a newsletter. If you haven’t noticed you’ve probably been living under a rock. You may want to crawl back under that rock until this latest phase ends.

Somewhere along the line an industrious author declared that the latest and greatest marketing tool is the NEWSLETTER and now it seems everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and if you don’t, most writers look at you like you’re nuts and say, “What do you mean you don’t have one!”

As a result every author and their cat is trying to get their readers to subscribe to the latest marketing trend. Every time you click on an author’s website or blog an annoying box pops up that asks you to subscribe. In an already pretty busy day, you first have to fill in your email address etc before you can get to the post you were actually there to read. Thankfully there’s that lovely little X in the top right hand corner that I rather enjoy clicking while I mumble “Fuck Off,” and then continue to read the post that I was interested in in the first place. But while I read it I’m slightly annoyed with the author.

At first it didn’t really bug me, I even subscribed to a couple, got a few free books that I still haven’t read. But now every time I click on an author’s website there’s that fucking box demanding that I sign up. And then there are the messages being deposited in my inbox. I now just hit the delete button. Don’t even get me started on the emails demanding to know if I’ve read that free book yet and why I haven’t left a review on Amazon for it.

I get that there are some authors who genuinely see the newsletter as a way to say thank you to their fans and who want to make it an epic experience for their readers. A way to give back for the support they’ve experienced. If you’re one of those authors then good for you. But unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the majority.

There are now so many authors jumping onto the Newsletter bandwagon, and doing it badly, that’s it’s lost its whole reason for existing. It’s lost its power and has become spam. It’s now like those authors on Twitter and Facebook shouting “buy my book.” Instead of doing it on Facebook and Twitter they’re now trying to do it in my inbox and I’m sorry but to that I say Fuck Off!

I have enough emails to deal with every day. I don’t need any more spam.

Besides, my readers can already subscribe to my blog and there’s plenty of free stuff to read here, I don’t need to now also bombard them with a newsletter as well. It’s just over kill.

How about instead of jumping on the bandwagon and doing what everyone else is doing, we try to figure out something else. Something different. Something that works just for you. Something that makes you unique. I know that’s what I’m going to try. I haven’t got a clue what that is yet, but it’s certainly not going to be what everyone else is doing just because everyone else is telling me I have to do it.