Friday, December 19, 2014

Stephen King Revisited - Salem's Lot and Needful Things, and a TOC

First, continued teasing for Shadows Over Main Street, the small-town Lovecraftian anthology coming soon from Hazardous Press. I am once again excited and humbled to find myself sharing a TOC with such awesome writers. That, and I can't wait to see the interior illustrations for this puppy. Check out the TOC  below:


Also, Cemetery Dance editor Richard Chizmar is doing an awesome thing. He's revisiting all of Stephen King's novels in order, posting reflections on his first impressions of those novels, and how they've held up over the years. Bev Vincent is also posting essays about King. It's all happening at stephenkingrevisited.com.

This has prompted me to begin re-reading Stephen King, as well as finally reading those of his novels I missed the first time around. I won't be doing it necessarily in order, nor will I be able to post as often as I'd like. BUT, my blog needs a jump start, and this seems like the thing to spark it.

Also...I feel like I've come full circle in my love of Stephen King and his work. He introduced me to horror, made me realize that I had the wrong ideas (all informed by slasher flicks) about what the "horror genre" really was. From my late-twenties into my mid-thirties, I read as much Stephen King as possible (along with Dean Koontz and Peter Straub), but it was King I focused on, devouring as many novels as could, as fast as I could.

But here's the thing: I don't think I really appreciated them for what they were. I plowed through them one after another, finishing a book, thinking, "That was awesome!" and then diving into another. I have a suspicion that re-reading King now, at my age, is going to open an entirely different world to me.

Another thing? After spending several years exploring as many different horror writers as I could (years well spent, without which I never would've discovered Ramsey Campbell, Charles Grant, T. M. Wright, Alan Ryan, Robert McCammon and so many others), I've come to realize that after all this, King still tops the list for me. There's something in his characters and stories that are so very compelling.  In my time off from reading King I discovered many wonderful writers whose work became fundamental in shaping and molding me (especially the late Charles Grant), but in my mind, no one tells a story like King. Of course, as always, this is just my opinion, and your mileage may vary.

Still another motivator was finally digging in King's short work (yes, I know, I hang my head in shame). I blitzed straight through Nightshift, Skeleton Crew, Everything's Eventual and Nightmares and Dreamscapes...and was enthralled. He could tell you an insightful, moving and poignant story about finding back roads maybe better left alone ("Mrs. Todd's Shortcut") or really fun stories involving a pair of motorized toy teeth coming to a guy's rescue on a lonely interestate. Regardless of the kind of story, it seemed to me: King enjoyed the HELL out of what he was writing, and we should all be so lucky.

 Anyway, I decided to re-read the King novels I've already read, and also get the ones I'd missed over the years. I actually re-read The Shining about a year ag0 (in preparation for Dr. Sleep), so I'm not going to focus on that except to say this: the emotional impact of Jack Torrance's downfall hit me twice as hard reading it as a father. I first read it as a single guy in college. I cognitively knew it was tragic, but didn't necessarily feel it was. This time around, I definitely felt that way.

Also, on comparing The Shining and Dr. Sleep? I don't think you can, really. They were written by different guys. In an essay, King says (and I'm paraphrasing) that The Shining was written by a young guy who was an alcoholic desperately afraid of being an alcoholic and in denial, while Dr. Sleep was written by a recovered alcoholic now living a healthy lifestyle, twenty years later. To me, both books fit both "guys" and I love them on their own merits.

Anyway, let's get to the nitty-gritty: 

Salem's Lot and Needful Things

Here's the thing I realized upon finishing these two novels: they impacted me so much, the very first "horror novel" I tried to write was an insane combination of the two, with a liberal sprinkling of It to boot (more on that when I re-read it). Probably the thing that struck me most back then was the vivid, meticulous, endearing - and at times heartbreaking - characterization in both novels. These people were real. Some of them good people, good people with flaws, good people hurting, weak people doing the best with what they had, jerks you still sorta felt bad for, schmucks you wish would get it right even though you sorta knew they wouldn't....

These were real people. I could imagine knowing these folks, working with these folks. I really truly believe that even after being a reading addict my whole life, it was King who created in me this thirst for characters I really cared about, even at the expense of the plot. I know the old saying - different strokes for different folks - but whenever I see someone complaining that a Stephen King novel is "too bloated with too much wasted writing" I automatically know I'm probably gonna love it. A bloated novel to others is to me an awesome journey that I enjoy regardless of the destination.

And it was the interactions of these characters, and their mistakes and their downfalls, or how they rose above those downfalls - or didn't, despite their best efforts - that created the tension in both books, not plots with "twists." In Salem's Lot, the vampires are almost incidental. They came, they saw, they devoured...but the people of Salem's Lot were ready to be devoured. In Needful Things, Leland Gaunt definitely yanks the strings of the poor folks in Castle Rock...but those folks had been ready and waiting for someone to come along and offer them exactly what they wanted.

I tried copying all these things in the earliest incarnations of Clifton Heights, my own little mythical town. I had a guy like Leland Gaunt coming to pray on people's weaknesses. And yes, he was a vampire, and turning weak, confused people (who probably didn't mind so much because of how much they hated their lives) into vampires. I had a priest confused about his faith, who had been partially turned into a vampire (Salem's Lot.) My sheriff was a mere shadow of Alan Pangborn (Needful Things). 

There of course was a house where terrible things had happened (Salem's Lot). An autistic boy who "saw" things (basically, Danny from The Shining). And of course, a band of childhood friends who had stopped this evil once before and were now returning to finally put it to rest (It). In several different variations, the autistic boy was sent back to when the friends were boys, and of course my friends rescued him from bullies, so when they were grown up, he could help them with his special powers (by then, Dreamcatcher). In it's earliest incarnation, there were even apocalyptic tones (The Stand). Re-reading both these books, I even came across descriptions of towns and people that I had VERY liberally re-tasked in those drafts.

Luckily, that early effort fell apart under its own weight. As I continued developing, I slowly learned that I could definitely let myself be influenced by King - how powerful his characterization was, how engrossing his stories were - but I needed to find my own voice in this. Find inspiration from my life and experiences, and try to bring those to life in the truest way I knew how.

I think I've done okay. So far, my work has been decently well-received. However, I think I'm at transitional moment. What do I want to write? What kind of stories do I want to tell? 

At the bottom of it all? Stories that are fun to write. Stories I enjoy telling. Stories that mean something and say something, but stories that interest me. Probably the best comment I ever received was for my first work, my novella Hiram Grange and the Chosen One. Upon reading it, good friend and awesome writer Norman Prentiss said, "I really liked it! And I could tell you had a lot of fun writing it, too."

Because at the end of the day...why write something you don't want to? And that's another thing I admire King for. He writes what he wants because he enjoys it, he loves every minute of it. I may be a foolish idealist, but take all the money and the fame away, in the end, I think King writes what he loves, and we should all be so lucky.

Currently reading: Pet Semetary

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Much Ado About...Something? In Which I Wonder If It's Time to Leave Clifton Heights For A Season

It's been awhile since I blogged meaningfully. I have the day off for Thanksgiving break, have some news to share and some thoughts too, so here it goes. First, the cool stuff:

Recently, my short story "Out of Field Theory" appeared in Shock Totem Magazine's special Halloween issue. Both print and ebook versions are now available. I find myself in good company, appearing alongside John Boden and Bracken MacLeodDavid G. BlakeRose Blackthorn, Kriscinda Lee Everitt, Barry Lee Dejasu, Ken WoodSydney Leigh, Lee ThomasMike LombardoJeremy Wagner and Babs Boden. If you buy the print edition, you get the ebook free, so it's more than worth checking out.

Also, I recently shared the news that my first short story collection, Things Slip Through, will soon be re-distributed through Ingram Spark, and will hopefully be available to stock on retail bookshelves across the country. It's a really cool step, but to be honest, I'm keeping the whole thing in perspective. Yes, technically, if the whole things works out, my work will now be more available than ever before. 



But, availability doesn't necessarily equal sales. Just because it's on the bookshelf at Barnes & Noble and other book stores (if I can even get them to stock it) doesn't mean anyone will actually buy it, a fact I'm sure many veterans can attest to. However, when Joe Mynhardt at Crystal Lake Publishing asked me if I wanted to give it a go, I said yes. A year and a half after its publication, and I think (maybe pessimistically) that the collection has gone as far as it will through Amazon (though I imagine that with every new release, it'll experience a sales bump). 

Anyway, after a good run it's finally slipping down the ranks, and the time seems right to "take a step up." That's always been my goal, that no matter what I do, every step I take is FORWARD or UPWARD, (even if they're small, methodical steps), and not sideways. This is a chance to take a step forward (not a guarantee), one I'm willing to take.

Honestly, I'm just hoping the entire venture will work out well for Crystal Lake. I hope they won't experience any losses, I hope it will give them (and, hopefully, me) a little more visibility. In the end, if the move doesn't hurt them, and if I get to walk into my own Barnes & Noble and see my book on the shelf, another life-long dream will be attained. Anyway, redistribution means new layout, the results of which I find very satisfactory:



And finally, the crux of this post: moving forward, and where I go from here. I'm currently finished with the first round of edits on my next project, scheduled for a June 2015 release: Through A Mirror, Darkly. It's a novella quartet set in Clifton Heights, in the spirit of Charles L. Grant's Oxrun Station novella quartets, though I hope told in my way, in my voice. I was excited to get the green light on the project, as I feel like these novellas represent my best work yet.

HOWEVER...I ran into a little hump. A  drawback to working within a connected universe. Listening to the audiobook of Devourer of Souls, I came across a reference I'd forgotten that I'd made, which threatened to completely change my plans for the current project because of the continuity issue it made. This is the first time that's happened, and it's caused me to think very hard about HOW much longer I want to write these interconnected stories set in Clifton Heights.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to toss the whole thing aside. There are endless opportunities for short stories and novellas set in this town. So many people, so many characters to set into motion. But this little hiccup has caused me to think of, for the very first time, the downsides to writing within a contained universe, and how it might threaten to not only inhibit me as a writer, but also how - if the stories become too inter-referential - prohibit new readers from jumping aboard.

I haven't come to any conclusions, as of yet. If it's one thing I've learned, productivity takes precedence: you keep writing, keep pushing forward. You can always edit and change and tweak things. But if you allow yourself to get locked up with fears and doubts? Well, you can't edit or tweak or change zero words. 

So I've come to no firm ideas, yet. This book and the following - my first novel - The Mighty Dead, are both firmly set in Clifton Heights. After that? Who knows?

It might be time to take another step UP, and forge into new territory, outside my comfort  zone of Clifton Heights. Either way, I think that after these next two books, it will be time to "up my game" once again, and take a chance on something new.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

BLACK FRIDAY SALE (That sorta starts now) Including FREE THINGS

I've never done this - mostly because I've always been a little afraid of the crickets of silence - but I've got a little hardened over the years, so here it goes:

BLACK FRIDAY SALE (That sorta starts now) Including FREE THINGS: 

I have 9 copies of DEVOURER OF SOULS, published by Ragnarok Publications. If you haven't had a chance to pick up either it, or my first short story collection Things Slip Through, here's my offer: $7.00 for the paperback of Devourer of Souls, (Amazon Price is $9.86) signed by my ownself, and I'll kick in a free ebook of Things Slip Through AND Devourer of Souls. This offer will be good until the end of Black Friday. Email me - kevin at kevin lucia dot com - for further details.  

"WITH DEVOURER OF SOULS, Kevin Lucia offers a deftly layered, authentic, and original tale of cosmic horror. If you are game for some supernatural shivers and true monsters, you'd do well to give Devourer of Souls a read." — Mary SanGiovanni, acclaimed author or THRALL and THE HOLLOWER 

“REMINDS ME OF STEPHEN KING'S NIGHT SHIFT era and other similar horror stories. Kevin Lucia shows signs of the same inventiveness and creativity as King...Lucia is a talented author and deserves more recognition among horror readers.” —Seregil of Rhiminee, RisingShadow.net 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Strange Days Are Here

A high school football star whose drinking problems require drastic intervention. A scarred soldier returning from war and an assassin with an unknown agenda on a collision course with each other. A spurned love seeking revenge. A man who stares death in the face, and loses. A new town sheriff consoling his mourning daughter. Three friends who dare trespass where they shouldn't be, and a tired warrior fighting to survive, though he wants nothing more than peace and rest. All this and a collection of essays on horror and writing in general. Spend a short season in the odd town of Clifton Heights, New York, and in the odd mind of Kevin Lucia. - Strange Days

"Kevin Lucia's writing is both scary and smart, a lethal cocktail that makes for mesmerizing storytelling." -- Tosca Lee, New York Times Bestselling Author of Demon: A Memoir 

"Lucia is a true craftsman of the horror story, with a fine sense of the genre's best traditions." --Norman Prentiss, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Invisible Fences and The Fleshless Man


From the Introduction:


The reasons behind this small collection are twofold: First, several of my short stories didn’t fit into the framing narrative of my first short fiction collection, Things Slip Through. I felt they were good enough for an audience, so I decided to assemble them – along with a few poems – into a small collection.

Secondly, over the years many folks have mentioned how much they’ve enjoyed reading my blogs, especially those who have followed me from the very beginning. Good friend and excellent author Richard Wright once told me he liked reading my blogs because they’ve charted my development as a writer, that through them you could see a progression in my thoughts about writing and the horror genre. I decided to gather several of the essays I’ve written for different webzines over the past two years along with some of my more popular blogs to create a nonfiction section to Strange Days.

Rounding out this collection are two projects that unfortunately fell by the wayside, my desire to create several standalone graphic eBooks, and a graphic novel serial, Asphalt Oceans by Midnight. I offer them as curiosities, and hopefully you’ll find them interesting.

These aren’t “trunk stories.” They’re stories I enjoyed writing, stories I sold along with my other stories. I feel comfortable in their quality, though several of them represent my earliest stages of writing. And these essays don’t offer “writing advice” trying to tell everyone how to write. They’re me trying to figure out how I want to write, trying to figure out what horror fiction means to me, with a healthy dose of real-life stuff thrown in.

As always, thanks to those who’ve supported my work, offered me a guiding hand, or even cheered me on from the sidelines. Thanks also, as always, to my wife Abby, for all your unfailing love, support and patience.

Enjoy, and thanks again.         

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Narrators Cast for DEVOURER OF SOULS Audiobook

So I received the official casting news the other day for the audiobook version of Devourer of Souls, which is currently in production at Audible.com. Needless to say I'm very excited. This development came about as a compete surprise a few months ago, and it has turned out to be a big milestone in my career, indeed.  

Also - I'm blown away with how much detail they're putting into this. Devourer is comprised of two novellas connected by a wrap-around narrative featuring Sheriff Chris Baker and Father Ward, characters from the narrative frame of my first short story collection, Things Slip Through. To mirror that structure, three different narrators have been cast, giving all three bits of narrative three distinct voices. As I've said, I'm beyond excited for this.

Check it out, below, the narrators for Devourer of Souls:


Kevin T. Collins:

Kevin T. Collins is an actor, singer, and recording artist. He has been seen Off-Broadway in Made in Heaven, Angels, and City of Angels; on TV in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and As the World Turns, in recurring roles on Guiding Light and Law & Order, and in the feature films Aunt Rose, Last Rites of the Dead, and Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock. Kevin works extensively in the anime world as a voice-actor, has won two Audiofile Earphones Awards, and is also a singer/songwriter. For more informaiton, visit www.kevintcollins.com.

Scott Aiello:

Scott Aiello is a recent graduate of the Juilliard School Drama Division.  On stage, he most recently appeared in Much Ado About Nothing with Barrington Stage Company.  On television, Scott has appeared in shows such as CBS's Person of Interest, Elementary, and HBO's The Newsroom.  Before Juilliard, Scott was a regular in the Chicago theater circuit, performing with companies such as Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, and Timeline Theater Co.  He has narrated over two dozen audiobooks with Audible.com and was a 2013 Audie Award nominee for his non-fiction narration of Sex and God at Yale by author Nathan Harden.

Jesse Einstein:

Jesse Einstein is a professional actor, filmmaker, and a passionate storyteller, living in Los Angeles. Recent television credits include Kroll Show (Comedy Central) and The League (FX). He studied acting at The Atlantic Acting School (NYU), New World School for the Arts (Miami, FL), Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, and graduated cum laude with a degree in theatre from the University of Southern California, where he was awarded the David Dukes Scholarship. In 2007, Jesse circumnavigated the globe while studying with Semester at Sea, participating in home stays and community service while attempting to master 10 words in the native language of each country that he visited. He also taught flying trapeze for 5 years.

More news as it comes...

Monday, August 4, 2014

On How I Need to Stop Looking At Amazon Rankings, Comparing Myself to My Peers, and Slowly Driving Myself Insane

So, I promise - I'm not whining on this blog. At least, I'm not intending to. And I'm not looking for any advice, really. There's been a lot of "rah-rah, yay me!" on here lately, so I'm kinda returning to form with some very transparent, "this is what's on my mind today" kinda format. 

Anyway.

This has been a productive year. I compiled my first short story collection and saw it published by what has turned out to be a stellar small press, Crystal Lake Publishingto excellent reviews and good sales. I sold my first two pro-rate short stories. I finished off a stint as submissions reader for Cemetery Dance Magazine, and have now leap-frogged to a position as Associate Fiction Editor at The Horror Channel

I also saw a linked novella collection published by another stellar small press, Ragnarok Publications, in late June, once again to excellent reviews. The sales seem to be a little slower on that one, but more paperback copies seem to have moved than of the collection, and we also didn't do the count-down sale, so whatever sales I HAVE made, the royalties for each have been higher than for the sale on the collection, so it'll be interesting to see what the first royalty statement looks like. Also: an audiobook deal was landed with Audible, which will eventually lead to my first advance ever.

In addition, my BILLY THE KID WEIRD WESTERN entry made it to the quarterfinals of Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Contest, where it sorta got slammed by a Publisher's Weekly review, which sorta bummed me out until lots of really qualified people pointed out that PW reviews aren't always reliable, and mine in particular sounded like it had been written by someone who hated genre fiction in general, so it might not have been the most objective review either.

To round out the year, I've gone on a summer writing blitz that has seen the most productivity from me, yet: a serial novella to be published in The Midnight Diner this coming year, and three completed first draft short stories/novelettes with a fourth in progress. Also, my serial novella And I Watered It With Tears, initially published in the first volume of Lamplight Magazine, will be republished in the near future by Ragnarok. 

I should be over the moon.

And, in most aspects: I AM. I've come much further than I ever thought I would a bare seven years ago. I've made advances. I've climbed the ladder. Strangers have emailed me telling me how much they enjoy my work. And yet...if I'm not careful...something could very easily spoil all that. As the last few months has worn on, I've found myself doing several things that I need to stop, RIGHT NOW, before I spoil everything for myself, and drive myself INSANE.

1. Stop Looking at Amazon Sales Rankings

It's pretty heady stuff to see your work debut and shoot up the Amazon sales rankings. Even after you come to understand it just reflects the frequency of purchases in a short span of time (one purchase is enough to shake things up), it's still exciting, especially to a green newbie like me. One day, you're nobody. Next day (even if it's because of a .99 sale) you're #4 on the rankings,  next to Stephen King.  

Eventually, of course, the sale ends, you drop off the top 100, and things go back to normal.

Except, they don't.

Because now you're hooked. Or, at least, I was. Maybe all other authors everywhere are utterly secure, confident people full of perspective, and they don't get hooked. But hey, I'll admit it: I got hooked on seeing my work rise in the rankings. So hooked, that I've found myself checking the rankings of both my works sometimes up to three or four times a day.

And that's gotta stop.

It's one thing to be aware and up-to-date on things. It's another entirely to be obsessed. I feel like I'm bordering on obsession. Every author gets a little smile when they see a bump in sales. Any author who says they DON'T care about sales is either an excellent liar, or a way better person than I am. 

And in the end, it isn't really about the MONEY, because you don't end up getting all that much. It's the thought that people have heard good things about your work and are seeking it out. And I've found myself worrying too much that my work is going to sink into obscurity. It's completely natural to be happy about a sale. To be utterly depressed and defeated when sales slow down?

Geez. I'm not gonna last long in this gig if I don't kick that little bug-a-boo.

2. Stop Comparing Myself to Genre Peers, Stop Comparing My Sales to Theirs

Probably one of the biggest things I didn't expect happening was for me to be always comparing myself to others. And I'm not jealous. God, I hope not. It's more like: What are they doing I'm not? Do I really suck that bad? Am I too shy and withdrawn at conventions, and not forward enough, not meeting enough people? How come so many people seem so popular at conventions, and I'm not? Am I that weird and awkward? Is that hurting my career, that I can't travel to as many conventions as these other folks, who seem to hop the whole freakin country? Why are no "big names" sharing my work with everyone like they seem to do with others? Again - do I suck that bad?

Careers move at different speeds.  I know this (in my head, anyway). Just recently, I was praised in a review by a fellow colleague for my slow, steady pace. So why do I worry so much about where I'm going, what I'm doing wrong when I see other peers land these big deals? Why am I so - alright, I'll belly up to the bar and face the music - jealous when I see genre greats gushing about peers' works?

 I SO NEED TO STOP THIS. I'm going to drive myself insane. Part of this, admittedly, is from some advice I received several years ago about sales, and being the type of writer who sells well, and doing all these things at conventions and on Facebook to assure that I "sell well."

What a bunch of crap. That's gotten under my skin, now, making me worried about what I post on Facebook, if I post about my writing too much on Facebook, worried about which publisher I should submit to and why, and yaddia yaddia yaddia. The only thing I can control is what I put on paper every day, how intensely I edit it, and where I chose to send it. 

I can't control who likes my work, who talks about it, what big names endorse it and which ones ignore it, I can't control who likes me at Cons and who doesn't, or control our finances and magically make it so I can afford to attend every genre convention every year. The only thing I can control is my writing, every day, and that's it.

I used to be content with that. And I need to get back to that place.

So, starting today: my simple goal is not to look at my Amazon Rankings at all today. And then tomorrow, not look at all. And then the next day. My goal? That I'll forget about them entirely, and just focus on writing.

Also: less time on Facebook. Pop in to check stuff out, pop out. Focus on life, and writing.

Because I'm not insane, yet. I'm still very happy with all the success I've enjoyed thus far. 

And I need to keep it that way.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

On The Social Media, The Sharing of The Reviews, and The Author Self-Promotion

Here's a blog I kept going back and forth about writing. Should I bother, or no? Is it a worthwhile topic, or is this just more navel-gazing? Is this important to anyone else besides me, and will anyone care? Maybe I shouldn't even touch it, and go about my business.

However, much as I kept trying to push the thought away, it kept springing back up, which - following my intention of this blog, to thresh out whatever's on my mind - meant it's obviously something that bugs me, hence, should be blogged about. Problem is, my thoughts on the matter are so diffuse and rambling, I'm not sure how coherent this whole blog will be.

So.

Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram). Sharing reviews and author self-promotion?

Where's the line?

What's considered spamming? When is it all too much? Of course, if you can get around the impossibility of that statement - taking in all the varied and diverse opinions of all the folks on the interwebz everywhere - here's another one: should authors feel bad about sharing reviews and promoting their own work?

Here's my rather clumsy, uncoordinated views on the matter: 

Take Author A: who posts every single day, every single update about their book, where to buy their book, reviews of their book, random passages from their book, sends PMs to other social media users about their book, and posts about nothing but their book. If you scroll down their FB wall for a few days, all you'll see is endless posts related to their book. They belong to an infinite number of Facebook Book Groups, and will post two dozen updates about their book in each group all in one day, so that's all you see in your feed. In the extreme? That Author Whose Facebook Profile Picture Is Of Them Reading Their Own Book.

Nobody wants to be that author. I think most authors are definitely afraid of being that author.  But, I've noticed another extreme on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Author C: who doesn't feel like they should ever post about their work, ever. They also don't think other authors should post about their work, ever. Maybe they're veterans who've built up enough of a readership, they don't need to post much about their work.  Maybe they've got a solid pool of reliable readers who are already looking out for their next book, social media regardless. Either way, when they have a new book coming out, or a short story in an anthology, they will at most offer one post about it, and that's all.

Let's also name another group of authors which I've observed (and granted, these are my flawed, subjective observations and nothing more), which I'll tag Author C-1: those who feel very stridently that other authors promoting their work are nothing but spammers or shills, or, on the flipside, often lament about how they don't feel comfortable sharing their own work for fear of being Author A,  and that's probably why their sales are low, or they don't have readers, but they've just accepted that fact (or, maybe not so much) because they just don't feel comfortable talking about their work or themselves at all.

I'm definitely not Author C. In many ways, I don't get that position at all. I mean, no one wants to be Author A, (and I sometimes, like many others I'm sure, feel like I dance on the edge of that one) but I don't see anything noble or especially worthy about never saying anything about your work, or a review, or something positive like that.

So, can there be an Author B: who is not at all shy about sharing their work or where it can be purchased, definitely shares good reviews and news when they come in, maybe posts once a month "updates" for new followers about where to find their work....but when it's all said and done, they know when to stop and move on to Other Things?

I hope so. I hope that's where I fall. I do worry sometimes I tread near being Author A, but at the same time, I don't see anything wrong with sharing good news. I mean - it's exciting. Maybe I'm a little insecure and in constant need of reassurance that I don't suck, but when a good review comes in, I do a little leap, a fist pump, a "Yay!" and it brightens my day. 

So, I then share it on The Social Media. Which seems very natural. My bios for all these networks lists me as a: father, husband, teacher, writer and reader.  It follows that I'm going to share stuff about ALL these things on a fairly regularly basis. For instance: I shared a new review for Devourer of Souls this morning. The next status update may be about something funny my kids did, or something the dog or cat did, or maybe a picture of the dog or cat doing something.

I post updates about my family. My thoughts and inspirations about teaching and writing. The ups and downs of both. I avoid politics and religion, but I' m often whimsical and philosophical. Facebook can be SUCH a well-sink of negativity, I try to be as positive as I possibly can (not hard, because I'm generally an easy-going, optimistic guy).

And then, in there: you will hear about my book. Or a short story I sold, and where to buy it. Or a self-publishing project, or a new review, a new contract, a new project, or maybe - during sales and stuff - cool screen shots of sales rankings. And then, when the hub-ub dies down, there'll be more silly posts about my cats, something my wife said, something dumb I did, or pictures of me reading on the beach.

Maybe I'm alone in feeling guilty about posting stuff about reviews and all. Maybe it's my own complex. But I really shouldn't feel guilty. I post about my life on social media (at least, stuff I wouldn't consider immensely private. Some things definitely SHOULDN'T go on Facebook and Twitter), writing and publishing and reviews and reader reactions and, yes, I won't shy away from it -  SALES  - make up a substantial part of that life. So why not share?

And yet, I still feel a twinge of guilt whenever I post a review or a link or something. When I lose a follower for whatever random reason that probably has nothing to do with me at all, I automatically think: "Crap. They probably got annoyed with me posting about my writing so much."

So, anyway: I try not to spam or overpost about my work, reviews and such. Mostly, I'm just like an excited kid, holding up that crayon-doodled stick figure and saying, "Lookit what I did!" I'm pumped and I want to share, and sometimes, I need to share, to help me keep going.

I'm not trying to spam, nor am I on a mission to try and sell as many copies of my work as possible. And yet - I do want to sell copies of my work. I want new readers. I'm not going to deny that.

Is there some middle ground? Can I be Author B without slipping over into Author A? 

I hope so. And if I get too spammy on The Social Media, please forgive me. I'm just excited to be doing what I've wanted to do since the 8th grade, and sometimes, my excitement gets the best of me.

Now.

Let's go see what those persnickety cats of mine are up to...