It may be hard for you to believe this, but I enjoy other things besides zombies.

Crazy, I know.

Anyways, one of those many things is Marvel’s superhero movies. Iron Man, Captain America (my favorite) and the other Avengers, all of them are movies I don’t mind watching over and over again. (Even you, Edward Norton version of The Incredible Hulk.)Norton-Hulk-1

So, low and behold, when I saw that Marvel has movies planned through 2019, I was more excited than Thor with a cup of coffee. (That’s pretty excited.)

That’s five more years of guaranteed awesomeness.

Now of course, they’ve only revealed a small part of this schedule, but the idea of being that far ahead in planning got me thinking:

How far ahead do I have things planned?

I knew in my head what all projects I wanted to tackle, but I’d never really articulated them out loud. So, while I was driving a fork lift in the early Monday morning hours, I thought it all out and planned on writing it out as well. While it may not be as extensive as Marvel’s plan, here’s what I got:

October 2014 – A New Death 2 (Tentative Title)

November 2014 – Participate in NaNoWriMo

December 2014 – A “Seasonal”-themed short story (I’m giddy about the idea I have for this one.)

Spring 2015 – Publish 1 or 2 A New Death short stories. Begin work on A New Death 3. (Again, tentative title, although the numbering does give it a campy, horror-kinda feel…)

Fall 2015 – Publish A New Death 3 (I say fall, but know I mean October. Trying to be consistent.)

November 2015 – NaNoWriMo

December 2015 – Seasonal short story

And there you have it folks, that what I’ve got in the works so far. Of course, things could always change and life could happen, but as much control I have over it, this is what you can expect out of me through the next year.

Sometimes I wish I could just focus on writing, but with a full time “day job”, it’s just not possible yet. But maybe one day (if you buy a crap-ton of my books) I’ll be able to be a full-time writer. And then, well, maybe I’ll match Marvel’s five year plan.

Josh

Okay, elephant in the room. If you read my last post, I ended it with

Tune in next week for the rest of the story!”

That was three months ago. My bad. A lot has been going on these past couple months. My computer quit on me and I had to buy a new one. I started a new job, which requires me to work early in the morning and has taken some getting used to.

Anyways, my apologies.

Last time, I wrote about some of the events in my life that lead to me writing my first book. If you haven’t read about them, you can here. But it ended like this (spoilers), I’d come to the realization that I could publish a book via Amazon’s Kindle.

Now up until this point, it had always been a dream to have my own book published. But I didn’t have the first idea on where to start. I knew I would need a publisher, but to get a publisher, you need an agent, right? How do you get an agent? These were things I pondered. And to be honest, if I found out then what the process of being published entailed, I probably wouldn’t have even attempted.

Basically, this is how it works. You write your manuscript and then you mail it off to the publishers. (Yes, the old way.) But you also have to send a query letter, which has to be formatted a certain way to even be accepted. The publisher then reads your query letter, which sums up your manuscript (you know, the one you poured hours of your life into), and based on that, they decide whether to even read your novel or not. If they don’t, you get a nice letter saying how you’re not what they’re looking for.

Do not pass go.

Do not collect $200.

You then continue this process until you find a publisher who will give your book a chance. If you don’t, well, write another book. Not saying the one you wrote isn’t good, it’s just not what the publishers are looking for.

Amazon changed all this.

Yes, there were eBooks before Amazon, but the Kindle did what iTunes did for music:

It made it instantly accessible.

And not only instantly accessible to the consumer, but accessible to the producers as well.

Authors could now directly publish to Kindle and have their written word out in the world. You no longer had to get past the gatekeepers of Publishers and Agents. You went straight to your readers.

It was like the printing press all over again.

So much to the point that right now, Amazon is having it out with Major Publishing Houses. You can read about it from guys who know tons more than I do like, David Gaughran or Hugh Howey. There’s this whole friction between Traditional Publishing and Self-Publishing, between what’s established and those who seek to find a new path.

And how does this all tie back into my story?

When I set set out to publish A New Death via Amazon, it wasn’t because I thought Self-Publishing was the way to go. To be more accurate, I stumbled into it. I thought to myself, “Hey, I can do this.”

And then I got to it. I began reading books (on my Kindle, of course) about writing fiction, publishing on Kindle, eBook formatting, selling on Amazon, and just soaked in whatever I could. But as much as I read, I just did. (There is no try, only do.) I went through the process of writing, editing, publishing, and marketing my book. I set up social media for it. I created a website and blog. I started off knowing nothing about publishing.

And look at me now.

I am by no means a famous author. I’ve been on a few bestseller lists of some slightly obscure categories, but nothing too crazy. (Yeah,Metaphysical category!)

But I’ve sold books. Books that I have written. Books that people give five-star reviews and ask, “When’s the next one coming out?”

That is awesome.

A dream come true.

So why did I choose to Self-Publish?

Because sometimes, you have to do things on your own to find out what you’re capable of.

Josh

 

In my final semester of high school, when I should have been more focused on graduating, I was planning on making a low-budget zombie movie with my friend. We considered ourselves zombie film buffs and very knowledgeable to all things undead. We had studied the greats: Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and 28 Days Later. We’d even gorged ourselves on lesser quality flicks, my personal favorite being the redneck-infused Hide and Creep. It was this last movie which made us go, “Hey, we can make a movie this good.”

hide-and-creep-dvd

(Here’s the DVD cover. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.)

And so, we set out to make movie history.

But, we didn’t.

We didn’t even get close.

I have several loose pieces of notebook paper scribbled with our conversations, a progress report with a failing grade on one side and marketing notes written on the other, two different story outlines, several pages of script, and one short story. All of these documents prove that we had dreams.

Dreams that were crushed by the little thing we like to call:

Life.

I’m being dramatic. (I am a writer after all.) We could never really work up the funds to buy any kind of equipment, we graduated, I went to seminary (another story in itself), and well, time got the best of us.

So, our little zombie movie went into a three ring binder and dissolved into the past.

Flash forward five years: It’s Christmas and all I want is an iPad. (I already had my two front teeth.) I knew it was a long shot. I’m not sure if you know this or not, but those things are freaking expensive!

I open my gift from my wife: A Kindle.

I wasn’t let down, because like I said, the iPad was a long shot. I love reading, so while I couldn’t do all the fun stuff an iPad could do, I could at least read a lot of books. That’s a win. This was nowhere near the disappointment I felt the year we received a Nintendo Wii. (To a hardcore gamer like me, this was the human equivalent of the cone of shame.)

I take to my Kindle like a librarian takes to the Dewey Decimal System. (That means I liked it.) One of the things I fall in love with is that there are tons of free books.

Did you hear what I just said?

Free books.

Free books are like crack for bibliophiles. So I began downloading tons of free stuff. In the beginning, most of it was classic theological studies, but after some time, my love of the living dead brought me to free zombie books. But I didn’t read much of them because I came across something much more profound than free zombie books. (Yes, you heard me right.)

You could publish your own books to Kindle.

I had written stories all my life. (I wasn’t so good at finishing them, but whatever.) Of course I had dreamed of writing a book one day and having it published, but I just never thought it would be possible. What did I know about getting a book published? Yeah, I could string together a decent story, but was my prose up to par to be printed on paper? (See all those p’s? That’s alliteration. Boo yah.)

I made the mistake of downloading the publishing guide for Kindle Direct Publishing. Big mistake. It was a mistake because I realized how easy it was to publish an ebook to Amazon. (I say “easy,” but anyone who has done it knows it can be a lot of work. “Do-able” is a better word.)

So, now that I knew it could be done, what would I write? The Doom fan-fiction I wrote in high school was never finished and I knew I’d run into copyright issues. Other than that, what stories did I have to tell?

Well, in the same notebook of my Doom rough draft, I had the outline for a low-budget zombie movie that never got made…

Tune in next week for the rest of the story!

So, for those of you that follow me, you may have noticed that I kind of suck at this whole blogging thing.

Yeah, I’m not gonna lie; it’s not my bag of tea.

It’s not that I don’t like writing. (I love writing. That’s why I write books.) I just have a super busy schedule. You see, I have what we, “in the biz,” like to call “a day job.” You know, the job that actually pays the bills? (Well, sorta, but I’ll save that for another blog post.)

Anyways, what I do for a living is this: I make deliveries for a Plumbing and Mechanical Company here in Savannah, Ga. A lot of times what I ship is air duct, different types of pipe and fittings, and massive commercial air units. Very glamorous stuff here. (Not complaining. It’s a great job.)

But my company has jobs all over the Southeast. From Columbus, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina, I drive all over the place. That being said, I work some crazy hours. For example, this past week had me going to Gray, Georgia twice (3 hours from Savannah). I think I went to Charleston once. (or was that last week? It all begins to run together.) Either way, that’s a four and a half hour drive, there and back again. A lot of times I leave early in the morning (5 AM) and get back in the afternoon. And those longs drives can wear you out. (Remember going on family vacations and your dad was all grumpy after the ride there? Yeah, like that.)

I’m not trying to whine about it. I’m just letting you (hopefully my readers) into my world for a minute. When it comes down to it, my time for blogging isn’t just there. And here’s why:

I’d rather be writing more books for you to read.

There I said it. It’s out in the open. Now we all know. (That takes a load off.)

So, to wrap all this up (if that’s even possible), if you don’t see updates on anewdeath.com, it’s most likely cause I’m working on something else great for you. For example, here’s the link to my new short story set in the world of A New Death.

CJsStoryCover_Smash.jpg

That will take you to the Amazon page. (As of this writing, the price is set to $0.99, but once Amazon sees I have it free on Barnes and Noble, they’ll drop the price. Cause that’s how they roll.) I also have it up on Smashwords. (If you’re into that kind of thing.) You can get it free here.

Also, I started working on Book II in the New Death Saga this past week.

I’m really excited about some of the stuff I’m working on (so excited that even on the days I get up early, I’m up late working on “book stuff”). Can’t wait to share it all with you. I wish there was some kind of avenue for posting all the things I want to share with you… Oh, wait…

Josh

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Hey everybody! I just wanted to take some time and inform all the fans out there what’s coming up for the A New Death series.

First off, a few updates to the cover have been made, mostly just to make it slightly easier to read.

Next, I just finished the first draft of the mini-story that takes place during the events of A New Death. It’ll introduce new characters and set up background for an existing one. I’m really excited about this one. It won’t be a full-length novel, more of a short story. I don’t have a date for its release quite yet, but expect it this Spring!

Next on our list is a reminder that Friday January 31st will be the last day you can buy A New Death on the Barnes & Noble Nook. As long as you purchase it before then, you should be able to keep it on your device and read it. From now on, all digital copies of A New Death and its sequels will be exclusive to Amazon Kindle.

Now, I know not everyone owns a Kindle or a device with the Kindle app, but if you noticed in the last paragraph, I said, “all digital copies” will be exclusive to Amazon Kindle. What this means is that I am currently working on making a paperback version of A New Death! Yes, there will be a physical copy of A New Death. Right now, I am in the middle of formatting it for the paper version. I hope to have it out within the next couple of months, so Nook owners and non-eBook people, bear with me as I get things rolling!

And lastly, there is a full-fledged sequel to A New Death in the works as well. As of right now, I have an outline and a good idea of where I want to go with the story and character development. My goal is to finish up these other projects before I pour all my focus into A New Death II. But I can tell you one thing: I am so excited about what comes next! No spoilers though!

Anyways, that’s it for now and I cannot tell you how much your support as fans means to me! Being self-published means that I pretty much do everything by myself. I have a great team of people who help me with feedback, editing and cover design, but sometimes it feels like me against the world. Reviews are a great way of encouraging me so make sure to leave a review once you finish reading! It also helps everyone else know that the book is good!

Josh

Zombie What Ifs III

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

beencalled:

Check out these zombie what ifs from zombie author Jack Flacco!

Originally posted on Jack Flacco:

Lock your doors. Board your windows. Run and hide. This week’s Monday Mayhem series post brings you another Zombie What Ifs segment designed to challenge all you would-be undead slayers. If you haven’t worked through the first or second parts, no worries, you can have fun any ol’ way you want. Remember one thing—there isn’t any right answer to these. The point is to have fun, enjoy the moment and allow your creativity to run free.

Zombie Hunting Permit

Zombie Hunting Permit

How it works: I present a scenario filled with zombies, and your job is to figure out a way to escape. Of course I’ll give you my answer telling you what I’d do, but it doesn’t mean that’s what you would do. That’s up for you to decide.

Are you ready? All right then. Let’s go!

Scenario #1: Trapped in a locked car, windows rolled to the top and…

View original 705 more words

So Long Nook…

Posted: January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

January will be the last month that A New Death will be available on Barnes & Noble’s Nook platform.

As a self-published author, I have limited time and resources. As of right now, I have decided to focus on just the Amazon market. Sales on the Nook are near non-existent, while A New Death continues to flourish on the Kindle.

If you have already bought A New Death for your Nook, don’t worry, it will stay on your device. It will just no longer be for sale in the Barnes & Noble Nook Marketplace. If you still wish to read A New Death on the Nook, I’ll keep it up until the end of the month.

I know that not everyone owns a Kindle. Don’t forget you can download the Kindle app for your iPad, iPhone and Android devices! I am also in the process of working on an alternative reading method of A New Death. I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you everyone for your continued support.

Josh

#88 in where?!

Not sure exactly how I got into the “Science Fiction TV, Movie & Game Tie-In” category on Amazon, but hey, I’ll sit in between Star Wars and Halo anyday!

Make sure you buy A New Death now only $0.99 and help it climb to the top!

Image  —  Posted: December 29, 2013 in Uncategorized
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End of the Year Sale!!!

Posted: December 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

You can now buy A New Death for both Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook for only $0.99!!!

Now’s a great time to check out the world of A New Death. Get it while it lasts!

 

Picture of Us

Picture Credit: Xavier Martinez