Maybe it's the plight of all writers, specifically the "independent" ones like myself, who worry about what this writing thing is going to lead to, if anything.
Writing is one of only a handful of things that I KNOW that I'm good at it but I worry that, when it's all said and done, will I just be like many before and after me who will be a great writer that no one has ever heard of. Maybe I'm a bit narcisstic in calling myself a "great" writer but, if I didn't truly believe that I was good at what I did then I wouldn't be doing it.
I worry that people will look at my books as being "run of the mill" or just average when I want them to be so much more than that. Any time I write something I want to give readers something different than what they've read before. I want them to feel the characters and the soul that I've put in it because any time I write something I put myself into it because what I write, in varying degrees, is me, even in the H.U.B. series.
But, at the same time, I find solace in knowing that total strangers who have read my book have loved it. I find joy in the fact that even one person has spent their money on something that I have created.
It still amazes me that a reader will leave a comment to me on Goodreads.com telling me that I'm a "great writer" and that they wish they could write a book like Head Above Water. Reading that lets me know that I've accomplished what I had hoped to do, even if I may be 999,000 people short of my intended sales goal.
I find joy in myself - in the fact that I'm committed to doing something, no matter the hurdles or setbacks that I face. I love how I keep trying to find reviewers and keep finding festivals, conventions, radio shows, etc... to get my books out. It makes every penny I've spent worthwhile.
Welcome back everyone. Hope all of you had a good holiday!
I felt the need to update everyone on what's going on with me. First, as most all of you know, I dropped the price on all of my published works on Smashwords, Amazon and Kindle to $.99 and, due to that I'm assuming, December ended up being my biggest month by far in terms of sales, not only on the new book, Head Above Water, but also on the H.U.B. series. I'm not making as much from each sale but I would rather have more sales than the money; the money will come if it's meant to be.
I have had nothing but positive reviews so far on the just released Head Above Water and I'm happy about the sales, though I would always be happier with a few more. :-) Just in case you were wondering where you can get it, let me tell you:Available for $0.99 via the following:
Barnes & Noble Nook =
Smashwords = https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/114222
I'm also still knee deep in work on the Hip-Hop project with my co-writer Debbie Cunningham. When not working on that I'm working on The Girl In The Red Balloon so I'm anticipating for the upcoming year and a half or so are going to be full of new and exciting work. On top of all that you will also see the release from the collaboration that I have going on with my fellow Clan of the Flying Pens members - that's going to be real special.
I'm also working to get my name out there and trying to schedule radio interviews and conventions. I just completed a radio interview that I believe will be up to hear in the next week or so. I also have a radio interview coming up on March 24th and a convention that I will be attending to promote H.U.B. on March 3rd so I'm grinding HARD!
Anyway, I think that's about it for right now. As my grandmother likes to say, stay sweet!
More info later.
Okay, we'll try this again! I've tried to write this blog entry twice and both times I've f**ked up and lost everything I wrote. So, this time I'm going to write w/out using fancy bullet points and just get on with.
Let's see what's been going on with me and my attempt at a career in writing:
* First of all, I've recently gotten on Google+ so, if you're on there and think I'm awesome (as you should), add me. You can find me by clicking HERE
* As most of you probably know (and if you don't know now you know) Humanity's Ultimate Battle (H.U.B.) Volume 3: The Tipping Point is completed and ready to be released on 9.10.11. You can find all things HUB related by visiting www.whatishub.net
Be sure to pick up Volumes 1 and 2 today so that you'll be caught up when the Tipping Point arrives. I'm really excited about this volume of the series as I feel my writing has definitely gotten better since volume 2. I'm starting to hit my vampire stride!
* Head Above Water, my romance novel that pre-dates the H.U.B. series by about a decade, is FINALLY ready to be released upon the world and I'm looking at a late 4th quarter 2011 release date. This is a sharp turn from my work on H.U.B. so I'm interested to see the reviews on it. I'm currently awaiting feedback from a select few who I have sent it to. This book is really my baby and it's time for it to spread its wings and take flight.
* The Clan of the Flying Pens project (http://www.theclanoftheflyingpens.weebly.com
) is almost here. 6 different writers, all of different writing styles/genres, coming together to showcase their work is going to be a BEAUTIFUL thing. I've read some of the Clan members work and it's really, really good. Not sure exactly what I'm going to be contributing (probably some poetry, segments of Head Above Water, portions of H.U.B. 3, etc...) but it's going to be FIRE, that I can assure you! SHOUT OUT to the Clan!
* While it's on my mind, big SHOUT OUT and THANK YOU to all my buds on Twitter, especially my writer/artists out there. I've met some real bad ass folks on there and for some of them to actually tell me that I inspire them is an AWESOME feeling. I enjoy people actually wanting ME to read THEIR work and give my feedback on it. Who would've thought?!?!
* I'm knee deep in work on The Girl In The Red Balloon, the novel I've decided to write while taking a break between volumes 3 and 4 of H.U.B. I'm not sure how the story is going to end yet but I'll figure that out in a few months. Be sure to check back for more info on this story later.
* Beginning to think of festivals/conventions that I can hit up next year to continue to get my writing brand out. Just this morning I got an email in regards to a festival next March that I'm interested in attending. Once things are confirmed I will be sure to post information on them. Speaking of confirmed, I will be having a book signing on 9.10.11 at the Camelot bookstore in Little Elm, TX from 12-6. Also, I will be having a book signing at the Little Elm Library on October 24th from 11-2. If you would like more info on either of these hit me up at ben(at)whatishub.net
* I have made a few booksales over the last few weeks (thanks to all of you for your purchase - each book sold helps to make my dream a reality) and the traffic to my sites has been awesome so thanks to everyone who has visited.
* Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/maddwriter
That's all I can remember right now but, if there's something I forgot, I will make another post. More later.....
Avid readers of my site will know that I have reviewed each of the H.U.B novels are they are written. As it’s now time for H.U.B Volume 3 I’m sure you of course knew I’d be reviewing it sooner or later and giving my view on the continuing struggles between the Vampire Nation and the human race.
The third book starts showing that the tensions between the vampires and humans are growing. Attacks on humans are growing but also attacks on vampire from the humans are building up too. To add to the problems there are also tensions between vampires too as there are issues between “pure” vampires and vampires that were once human. It’s all tension building up which of course all lead up to that one event that some are looking for, that “tipping point” that will send both races into a war to decide just who will take control.
What interests me in this novel is how intelligent the idea of the “tipping point” really is. From the hinting of such a thing to the eventual event we know is coming the story does not rush into pushing the reader into the event but actually takes it time and creates a scenario for it to happen. Where some stories would almost trivialise such event this story as a whole (over not just this novel but the series itself) is working towards something big, something big enough to create an event that at this point now feels like it will be World War 3. We have the vampires, some happy to live with the humans in peace, some who want to control them like “cattle” and then you have the humans. Just as with the vampires some humans just want to live in peace together, but others want to eradicate the threat of the vampire and they will do it by all means. The main tension between the two races is that of anger and fear.
The vampire does not feel fear just anger, but they can be galvanised into a full force by a forceful act by the humans, something to really create that anger within them. With humans they are driven by fear and they can be manipulated by it, and this fear can be created by the anger of others; both human and vampire. This is how they are manipulated in this novel as the positions of power change from neutrality to aggression in the issue of the vampire. All it takes is one event to push both fear and anger.
This book, even though it is slow at times really creates a good build up to the event that will (I am assuming will lead to the war). When the actual event does occur the slowness of the build up is forgiven as you read the words on the page and wonder how people could be so stupid to do what they do, how can they fall into the trap of total naivety of their actions which mirror events in the real world. I was impressed at the way the novel handled what is quite a complicated idea really and look forward to the next part of the story.
Read the review from the source by clicking HERE
Thanks Paul and everyone at Pissedoffgeek.com for the support and another wonderful review.
Post to unveil the brand new cover for H.U.B. Volume 3: The Tipping Point. Interested to get everyone's thoughts on it! Let me know what you think.
H.U.B. Volume 3: The Tipping Point arrives 9.10.11!
Humanity’s Ultimate Battle
is waged on the pages of the first two volumes of a unique series penned by Benjamin Jones. HUB
follows the struggles of humanity coming to grips with a secret that has been kept for thousands of years. Vampires are real. They’re so real, in fact, that they hold key political positions. They operate just like normal humans. They have jobs, houses, families and bills.
I think that’s what hit me the most with HUB
. The vampires have a very human element that is missing from most vampire literature. And it’s not the Rice or Meyers way of providing the human element of incessant whining. HUB
shows what it’s like for a society of people who live on the outside of the world that they have a direct connection to. There are vampire children that are actually born, not just a creepy “stay a kid forever” turning.
The sun doesn’t always shine, though. The book begins with an opening scene showing crushed humanity living like cattle on an island. The fear that is expressed in one short introduction is palpable. For me, that island is always on my mind while I’m reading through the books. It’s not often that you anticipate the final battle, but damn, you know it is coming and it’s going to be good.This is a vampire book. It’s not a main character struggles to live and love with a vampire. There are very few humans that are introduced that aren’t slaughtered a mere page later. Instead of the old routine of vampire vs. human that shouldn’t be able to compete with a vampire, we get a story that shows how far above the humans the vampires are on the food chain. The vampires are divided, with most wanting a peaceful integration into normal society. However a rogue group is determined to turn humans back into the cattle that they were meant to be. Every action by this group leads us closer to the final showdown. Every time they force a hand, you can feel the pressure of the humans to take it back to them. There are more and more humans that aren’t happy with sharing their world with bloodsuckers. The acts of violence rendered on innocent vampires just because they are different hearkens back to a time in our own country’s history where people were treated differently due to their not being “normal” in comparison to the majority. It is a darkness that lends strength to the story, though. You realize that there are bad people on both sides. You also realize that it’s all going to come to a head and when it does, there’s no guarantee for humanity.
The vampires themselves are pretty standard fare, with pale skin, usually attractive, fingers that elongate into claws, silver eyes and long fangs. They don’t sparkle, so that’s a definite positive. They also regenerate wounds quickly, have super strength and speed. The vamps don’t have to have the blood to survive, but some of them relish in the joy of the hunt. There have been many vampire takes presented throughout the years, but one small part of Jones’ foray that stuck with me is the “stake in the heart” death. It’s not there, woe to the one who tries. But there is hope for humanity as the vamps can be killed and the government is organizing a new weapon against the bloodsuckers. Want to know what it is? Well, read Volumes 1 and 2 to find out.
All in all, HUB is a fresh take on a theme that has been put through the wringer time and time again. The words flow quickly and effortlessly, allowing the works to be consumed rather quickly. Benjamin Jones (pictured above) has a hell of a start on a good series that could easily be transferred to other media. It’s nice to see vampires back as the demi-gods they are, not playing fetch the pale grunge girl with a bunch of Native American werewolves. Check out the details and even get a free PDF copy of Volume 1 on www.whatishub.net and keep an eye out for future installments to be released later this year. It’s not every day that you get a free copy of a book. Use it to introduce yourself to a world that sees humans on the receiving end of some brutal violence. The books balance the action with a sense of determination and despair, love and hate from both humans and vampires. What more do you need?
Many thanks to Mr. Scofield and the good folks at www.bettergeekthannever.wordpress.com for their awesome review; so glad you guys (and gals liked it). You can read the full review at the source by clicking HERE to go to their site (show them some love!).
Hello and welcome back to my wonderful (at least in my eyes) blog.
It's been a minute since I've updated this - had a cruise that I was FORCED to take in which I spent many hours drinking and relaxing - it was terrible I tell ya, truly terrible. :-)
Anywho, I'll start with the "negative" and get those out of the way first. Over the last few weeks I've been working with others (I really HATE having to depend on other people for things) on things that I need to get done and things are not going as planned and it has kinda dampened my spirits a bit.
I also received the first non-glowing review of HUB Volume 1 & 2 which, I know, really isn't a bad thing but, as Erykah Badu so eloquently put it: "I'm an artist and I'm sensitive about my shit!" (love her!!) Moving on, the person liked the book but there were things that she didn't like which is to expected - you can't please everyone. I do appreciate her for even taking the time to post her thoughts as any publicity/review is a good one. She could very well be 100% accurate in whatever she's saying so it's all good. I will take all her comments (good and bad) into consideration and continue to work on making my writing that much stronger. So, thanks for those that have left their comments and, if you've read HUB and haven't reviewed it, please do so; I would love to hear from you.
Side note to that: if you've purchased any of my work via ebook on Amazon, Kindle or Smashwords PLEASE shoot me an email at ben(at)whatishub.net and let me know who you are so that I can add you to my Wall of Fame which is where I put everyone up who has purchased any of my work as I appreciate and love everyone of you.
Another thing that's been going on is a little thing called life which, as we all know, isn't always good. I've been dealing with some life things that have had me in a not-very-good mood lately but the sun is peeking through the clouds and it's getting better. I'm no longer feeling like BLAH.
Moving on, I have sold a few ebook copies of HUB recently so that's always nice.
Work continues on Head Above Water and I'm really looking forward to getting that out. Right now I'm been pretty much burying myself into the editing of it and I'm roughly 60% completed. After I complete it then I'm going to pass it on to my new editor and hopefully she won't find TOO MANY errors in it. Be on the lookout for the Head Above Water ebook to come by the end of the year.
Waiting for a few more reviews/critiques of HUB Volume 3: The Tipping Point to come in before I finalize that. 9.10.11 is the day!
Reminder that you can purchase my work by visiting HERE
. Become a fan of HUB on Facebook by clicking HERE
Follow me on Twitter by visiting http://www.twitter.com/maddwriter
and follow all things HUB on Twitter by following http://www.twitter.com/hubiscoming
Will be back with more goodies later including a new book review from an author I have become friends with through Goodreads. If you're an author that I would like your book reviewed or would like to do a guest blog/posting then shoot me an email at ben(at)whatishub.net
Morning/afternoon/evening to all of you.
Work on Humanity's Ultimate Battle (H.U.B.) Volume 3: The Tipping Point is pretty much done (at least the writing portion of it, anyway). I'm really happy with the way that it has turned out and serves a perfect bridge between the first two volumes and volume 4 which is where the s**t really hits the fan. So far the reviews from the few people that have read it have been extremely positive and includes the following:"After reading Volumes 1 & 2, I was really excited about been given the chance to exclusively read the next Chapter in what has got me so enthralled. Volume 3 is a lot more laid back than the first two BUT make no mistake there may not be as much blood shed this time around but the storyline unravels what potentially could lead to volume 4 being the best book in the series of HUB. The book ends on a very sad note for the Vampire nation and its at this point you know that the War between the two nations is about to get cranked up and made a thousand times worse, am glad I don't live in this world that has been created by Author Benjamin Jones cause World War III could about to erupt in Volume 4. A thoroughly enjoyable read that left me wishing Volume 4 was already witten and was right next to me ready to read.
Rating 4 Book out of 5!!! " - Mark Horrobin from Manchester, UK
And this from my good friend Benjamin Rogers, author of Faith & The Undead: "Just finished Hub 3 and I have to say that it is incredibly strong and well written. As with the second edition you are really building a world here and it is really good and intriguing!"
So, based off those reviews, I know that it's going to be something special when it drops. It will arrive on 9.10.11 as an e-book (be on the lookout for it on Smashwords, the Kindle and Nook) and possibly as a printed up version as well depending on how my funds look. Either way, be sure to check out http://www.whatishub.net for information on how to get your copy!
I submitted the cover design that I want to Chris Leepow, the artist who did the wonderful cover for Volume 2 and he thinks my vision is easily do-able so I'm waiting to get the results back. Based off the sample pic he provided I can already tell that the cover for Volume 3 is going to be MEAN!! That should be debuting very VERY soon!
The trailer for the H.U.B. book series is up and I encourage you all to check it out. You can find it by visiting the HUB Youtube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/hubiscoming .
Also, while I'm on the subject, be sure to visit and become a fan of HUB on Facebook by visiting http://www.facebook.com/pages/HUB-Book-Series-Fan-Page/150468231664121
Get your copy of HUB Volume 1 & 2 by visiting http://www.whatishub.net (available as an e-book and in paperback). Support independent artists!
One last plug, be sure to visit my good friend Mark's hip hop blog/site at http://underground-dope-hiphop.blogspot.com/ If you love hip hop then you can't go wrong here!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @maddwriter and @hubiscoming
Wanted to run a survey to find out who everyone's favorite character is from the first two volumes of H.U.B. Let me know!