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!
I went to see Sucker Punch over the weekend (actually seen it twice, once with a couple of co-workers and again with my mom - great movie by the way) and I got to thinking about the movie and how it deals with disassociation and what that means to me in my writing. So, I decided to compose this blog posting on why I write. Let me know if you relate:
I write as an escape mechanism, a way to get away from all the troubles and stresses (both real and in my mind) that bring me down. Buried in words I'm not burdened by bills or thoughts of war or global warming. Writing is my happy place.
I write because it's like magic to me. I'm instantly brought to mind of a set of lyrics from 'Till I Collapse by Eminem and they are:
Music is like magic there’s a certain feeling you get when your real
and you spit and people are feeling your shit.
This is your moment and every single minute you spend trying to hold onto it
cause you may never get it again.
The way Eminem feels about music is the same exact way I feel about writing. Every writer is a magician, transforming an empty page/notebook into a one-of-a-kind work of art; what's better than that? When I sit down with a pen and notebook in front of me, my ipod on and beats in my ear, there's no other place I would rather be.
I write because I can "course correct" the world that I live in. Through writing I can bring my grandmother back and she's able to live again, even if only on paper but, through that paper, she will live forever and not just through me but through anyone that happens to read it, even though they never met her. I'm able to take back something I regret in the past and make it the way I felt it should've gone.
I write because it's one of the handful of things that I can say with 100% accuracy that I'm good at it. It's what I was born to do.
I write because I speak better through pen and paper than through verbally talking. Maybe it's because I'm an only child but I can convey my feelings infinitely better on paper than by talking about it.
I write because I want to connect with people. I want to connect with those who like my work and have that dialogue between them. You can never have enough friends.
I write because it's allowed me to meet some great people. I have been fortunate to meet so many of my writing peers via Facebook and especially Twitter and I have learned many things from them and I hope that I have taught them some things as well.
I write because it's the truth, even if what I write is all fiction. Every writer, in my opinion, has a grain of truth and a bit of themselves in everything they write.
I write because I have a voice and I want to be heard.
I write so that I can live forever through the words I write.
As the days in the calendar turn so do the pages in my notebook.
H.U.B. Volume 3 has been completed and I have sent it off to my good friend Benjamin Rogers (check him and his work out at http://benjaminrogers.wordpress.com/ - he's a fellow author/writer that you need to check out) to criticque. So, I'm hoping that he enjoys it *crosses fingers* I feel very good about it; Volume 3 raises the ante some more from volumes 1 and 2, bringing back old friends and saying goodbye to others (but I'll never tell who - you'll have to wait until 9.10.11 to figure that out). Keep checking www.whatishub.net to get the latest and greatest info on the HUB series.
Going back to my good friend Benjamin Rogers for a moment, I was fortunate enough that he let me preview his upcoming novel entitled Azrael and I must say that it is definitely going to be something that you want to read. I was hooked from the second paragraph of the prologue and I know you will be too. So, be sure to check out his upcoming novel when it's released and also check out his book Faith & The Undead which is available now (you can find my review of it on the REVIEWS page of this site). Not only is he a great writer but he's also a great person.
Also, my friend Elizabeth Lafond has a new book of poetry out entitled Poetry From Beyond The Mist. Check her and her work out at http://elizabethlafond.wordpress.com/ Her and Ben are really great people.
Okay, back to me.... Signed a contract today to get H.U.B. Volume 1 and 2 (the e-book) translated into Portuguese to help try and get the HUB brand out to the world. Hoping that I can get the book also translated into other languages, specifically Spanish and French. There's a LOT of people out in the world and that's the potential for a lot of new fans/consumers.
Confirmed to be at Soonercon in Oklahoma City, OK on June 3rd thru the 5th so, if you're in the area, stop by and check out the HUB table. I'm really looking forward to this convention and feel that it will be another great stepping stone to make 2011 much better than 2010. Get more info on the convention by visiting www.soonercon.com
Now that H.U.B. Volume 3 is completed (for the time being) work commences again on Head Above Water, my romance novel. While working on it the other day I realized that it's probably going to take a little bit longer to edit it than I thought but, regardless, it'll be ready when it's ready - can't rush greatness. I'm looking forward to getting this book out to see the reaction. It's not everyday that an author that makes his debut on the writing world with tales of vampires and killing makes his next work to be that of romance - go figure. I am truly a complicated but simple man. I never want to be locked into a Horror (or any) genre; I am a writer, period.
There's a lot of good stuff cooking (can you smell it?) and I'll be posting more about it as it comes down the pipe. Stay tuned.
I was sent a free copy of People of the Sword by Mr. O'Donnell after stating on Twitter that I was looking for books to review. He graciously emailed me the book and here we are. When I first started reading the book, I can't lie, I wasn't that into it. The subject matter instantly brought to mind the Lord of the Rings series and, as such, that's all I thought about while I was reading and it turned me off and I actually stopped reading it after about 50 pages. I didn't touch it again for almost a week - wanted to give my mind time to reset and view it through fresh eyes - and I'm glad that I did because the book is very highly enjoyable!
What the author has crafted with People of the Sword is a VERY rich and entertaining world that is full of lots of characters. It's evident upon reading that the author has put a LOT of time researching and crafting this book as a lesser author would've taken all the characters and elements of the story and created a half hearted mess but that's not the case here. If I were pressed to describe this book I would do so by saying that, if Lord of the Rings and Clash of the Titans had a baby, People of the Sword would be the result. Mr. O'Donnell has populated this world with knights, goblins, witches, druids, less than pleasant statues, deep mythology, and so on and so forth that really gives the reader something new to look forward to in each chapter.
One of the other things that I liked about this book is that, within all the fantasy elements of the book, there is a message behind it. There are several instances where characters realize that they have misjudged a race of people based off of stereotypes that had been handed down and they find that they have things in common with these people and, in several instances, risk their lives for them.
All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by this book and I highly recommend it to everyone. The ending (slight spoiler) opens the door for a sequel and I can't wait to read it.
Neil O’Donnell’s novels and short stories primarily focus on the genre of Fantasy. Drawing from his background as an anthropologist, Neil uses writing to reveal how societies and individuals impact one another through contact, conflict and mutual needs/understanding. For this anthropologist, writing is a platform for teaching without lecturing.
Having battled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) throughout his life, Neil also found writing to provide a means of combating OCD. Now, aside from his fiction work, Neil utilizes writing outlets (blogs/manuscripts) to reach others battling OCD, letting them know they are not alone and that there is help available.
Barnes and Noble
Amazon.com (ebook and paperback formats)
I first became aware of author Peter Kelly through Twitter. I followed him and he sent me a message telling me that I was his 150th follower and, due to that, he offered me a free copy of his book Dawn of the Shadow and who am I to turn down a free book.
Dawn of the Shadow is a superhero origin story which immediately piqued my interest because, me being a 7 year old in a 33 year old's body, I love!
So, about the book. It opens with a prologue set 50 trillion years ago with an ongoing war between two races called Sumerians and Cromanuts. Fast forward 50 trillion years to present day Philadelphia and our main protagonist, a 21 year old college student named Pete, is riding bikes in the woods with some of his buddies and it's on this ride that Pete's life, and those who know him, change forever. For the sake of not spoiling the story, Pete stumbles upon, quite literally, an underground "bunker" where he accidentally flips a switch and undergoes some "changes". Of course I'm leaving out some things but those things are best left for the reader to find out on their own.
First things first, the book was a pageturner - I was able to finish it in about 4 hours as I was always wanting to know what was going to happen next. Major plus right there! If you're a fan of comic books then this book will be something that you'll want to read and I anticipate that, since this is the origin or "dawn" of the Shadow that their will be more adventures to come for him, which I am looking forward to. There are some things that I didn't see coming (which is another plus) and the author is clearly passionate about and is a fan of the genre. Not only is this a story about a young man becoming a hero and fighting a villain he is also fighting the darkness within him (a la Spider-Man 3 though I am not listing that as a knock) which provides for some of the most interesting parts of the book.
The book is not without it's flaws, though. Before writing this review I looked at some of the other reviews that people had posted for it on Amazon.com and I found that I have the same problems as they did with the book. The book is clearly not a draft that is print ready as it is filled with a lot of errors that took me out of the story sometimes. For example, one of the main characters, our antagonist actually, is named Bocchio. There are a couple of times in this book where this character's name is misspelled - sometimes as Bocchip and sometimes as Boccchio. There are awkward sentences and phrases (which I assume are there to minimize the cursing - for example "jerk" for ass) scattered here and there which break up the smoothness of the story. One of the main characters uses the word "Hecko" to answer the phone and I can not for the life of me tell you why that is. At first I thought it was a typo when I first read it but it happens, at a minimum, three or four times again in the story. Also, it's a story where the main characters are all in their 20's (or older) but there's one point where one of them is told that a file is "restricted" and one of the characters has no idea what that word means - I found that quite odd since this character is in college.
This is a very solid effort by Peter Kelly but some of the exgood ideas in the book are burdened down by the unnecessary errors that permeate through the book which reads more like a first draft than anything else. With a little bit of editing/proof reading this has the potential to be a very promising series.
~D.I.V.A.~ Domestically Involved in Violent Affairs, the debut novel from Tiffanie Minnis, is a literary ride that grabs you from the opening pages until the last word; the fact that it’s based off of true events only adds to the emotional punch that you receive.
The main character in the story, a young woman named Michaela Davis, leads us through her life story, one forged in pain and abuse. As she progresses from a little girl who was abused into a grown woman, she begins to flip things around – becoming violent towards men she’s in relationships with and, at the same time, transforming into the very thing she hates the most – an abuser.
Domestic abuse is a universal topic that everyone can relate to in some way but it’s not often that you hear about the woman being the abuser in the relationship. Michaela, even though she knows that she is wrong with what she’s doing, the conflicts that she has experienced that have been drilled deep into her psyche, keep rearing it’s ugly head and causing her to lash out to where, at times, it’s the only thing that puts a smile on her face.
Reading ~D.I.V.A.~ and becoming attached to Michaela, you automatically want to rip her character from the book and into reality, grip her tightly and just give her a hug, letting her know that it’s going to be okay. Even though she’s broken, Michaela still calls out for you to love and root for her due to her experiences and makes you wonder just how she would have turned out if she would’ve been loved from the start. Michaela instantly brings to mind the character of Caine in the movie Menace II Society. You know that deep down he’s a good kid but has been steered on the wrong path and ultimately has to pay the toll for the road that he has chosen to travel upon. The reader can only hope and pray that Michaela doesn’t follow his tragic example as she struggles to find God and, along the way, herself.
I highly recommend ~D.I.V.A.~ and look forward to the planned sequel to see what life further has in store for Michaela.
Author of H.U.B. Volume 1 & 2
You can find more information on Tiffanie Minnis and ~D.I.V.A.~ by clicking HERE!
Faith & The Undead, the debut novel from author Benjamin Rogers is a fresh bite (pun intended) on the classic zombie tale. Though it has all the classic elements that you expect (and want) to find in any zombie story Benjamin also throws in the faith based element that gives the reader a little extra something to think about.
Faith & The Undead is a surefire page turner from the first to the last page, grabbing you by your throat and never letting go. As a zombie fan, one that had thought he had seen or read it all thanks to Mr. George Romero, Benjamin Rogers hit me a haymaker. I was impressed by his faith based orientation of the zombie apocalypse and how God and the Devil play their parts in all of it. Splashes of comedy are thrown in and there are little things thrown in here and there (especially at the start of each chapter) that really hooked me in. I would love to go into more detail as I really could go on and on but I don't want to spoil anything for the reader.
The first book in a proposed trilogy, I can' recommend this book enough and I look forward to the release of volumes 2 and 3. Benjamin Rogers is truly an exceptional author and Faith & The Undead is a testament to that. Even if you're not a fan of zombies I still encourage you to give it a read!
I just finished reading Reunion by Jeff Bennington and, in two words, very impressive.
As one reviewer stated, Jeff asks some hard hitting questions in regards to what happens to the lives of those that are forced to live through a massacre such as a school shooting which takes place in the novel. Not only the students but how does it affect the town as a whole and everyone that lives in it?
Not to divulge too much I will say that Reunion is a wonderful page turner and never feels cliche or formulaic. I hate to use the words "slow burn" because that sometimes throws people off and makes them think that the story is boring right up until the end, but that is not the case here. From the opening chapters you can tell that this story is well thought out and is leading to somewhere. There is a twist in it (that I would love to reveal but won't dare to) that truly hit me out of left field that really changed everything (in a good way, of course, hence the 5 star rating) about what I had read previously and what my expectations were going forward.
I would recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of thrillers that are mixed in with a little bit of horror (not the gruesome kind). I am eagerly looking forward to Jeff Bennington's next book and feel that he is an author that is definitely on the rise.
Visit the author's site at http://www.jeffbennington.com/
March Madness has totally consumed my life and will continue to do so for the next two weeks, no matter that my brackets are totally screwed and I have NO chance of winning the pool we have going on at work (never mind the fact that my 10 year old daughter's bracket looks better than mine), the point of it all is that I love the tournament and all the screaming at the TV and headaches that it brings me.
Over the weekend while I was out with my daughter I happened to stop by a bookstore in my neck of the woods (it's actually the only bookstore around for a good 10-15 miles) that I had seen but had never stepped foot into. If you happen to be in the Little Elm, TX area it's called Camelot. Anyhoo, the store is owned by a kind fellow named Kelly McQueary and I asked him what were the chances of my book (H.U.B. Volume 1 & 2) *cough* www.whatishub.net *cough* could be placed in his shop to sell. I was pleasantly surprised when he took me up on the offer and, not only that, said that he would let me even do a signing there when I was ready. Also, he took five copies of my book and has placed them in his store and I'm going to check back with him in a couple of days to see if he had managed to move them or not. Let's hope that he did (for his sake - I would hate to go all Jack Bauer on him). I kid, I kid.
I am booked for the National Black Book Festival in Houston in June (by booked I mean that I have placed my non-refundable deposit down) but, with the way my funds are and the way gas prices are, I may end up eating that deposit and instead attending Soonercon which is June 3rd through the 5th. A table for those 3 days is only $85 compared to the $250 for the NBBF, not counting the gas prices, hotel room costs, etc... I met a man by the name of Ryan Baker who does Marketing & Publications work for soonercon when he stopped by my booth at the Underground Horror Fest 2 in Tulsa and he was very nice and gave me all the information so I'm 99.99987% sure that Soonercon will be my next festival. What do you guys think?
I'm in the process of getting my new site (www.benjaminjoneswrites.weebly.com) up and running correctly and also in the process of updating the HUB site (www.whatishub.net) to make them look better.
Work continues on H.U.B. Volume 3. I should be done typing it up shortly. At the same time I'm working on Head Above Water to try and keep myself busy and away from the Playstation 3. I have a lot of big plans and the only way I can make them happen is to keep the pen moving on the paper. I told my wife I was going to spoil her one day and I plan on doing that.
In the coming days I should be receiving the contract from the translator I'm working with to get the e-book version of H.U.B. Volume 1 & 2 translated into other languages so I'm very excited about that. Any opportunity to reach more people is a good thing.
More later... big things are on deck. Stay tuned boys and girls.
Hello all and welcome!
A lot has been going on with me over the 96 hours so I'll get right to it....
Today I knocked one of my things to do off of my "21 Month Writing Plan" and that was the acquisition of my ISBN number for the paperback version of H.U.B. 1 & 2. It felt really good to get that and knock that off my list.
Big shout out to Melissa (@mizzezmellymel on Twitter)! She is an up and coming author you need to look out for! I felt honored that she asked me for advice on publishing; it always makes me feel good to share my experiences with others. Follow her on Twitter - she's awesome: www.twitter.com/mizzezmellymel !
H.U.B. Volume 3: The Tipping Point is coming along nicely. Work continues on this latest round of editing and I'm hoping that, since I'm on my annual March Madness vacation from work, I will be able to get more work done it. We'll see how that goes. Once the editing is FINALLY done I will then pass it off to be critiqued and go from there.
Last Saturday (3.12.11) I was able to attend, with my lovely wife, the Underground Horror Fest 2 in Tulsa, Oklahoma (pics of which are posted on the "pics" page (where else would they be?)) and there were things that I liked and didn't like about it.
I felt that the promoter overstated the amount of people they were expecting to receive. I was told 1000 people so I was look "cool!" but it turned out being closer to 100 (probably closer to 60). But, out of that small number of people I did manage to sell 6 books and, probably more important than that, I gave out a LOT of business cards and bookmarks with my site and book information on it. I met a ton of nice people and got the chance to speak with a representative from Soonercon (which takes place June 3rd - 5th in Oklahoma City, OK - www.soonercon.com ) and he gave me his card and everything and, after emailing him and checking out the soonercon site, it looks like I will be attending that as well.
All in all, it was a positive experience (it was my first festival/convention/book signing) so it served as a good jumping off point to get my feet wet. In hindsight the venue was probably not the best for HUB (probably needed something more geared towards writers) but it served it's purpose. I sold enough books to cover the cost of the table I had so it's all good. As for whether or not I attend the Underground Horror Fest 3 next year, that I'm not so sure about. This has nothing to do with the festival in general as the host, Art Sunday, is a real cool and nice guy, I just don't know if it's for me.
Moving on, working with a translator to get the ebook version of HUB Volume 1 & 2 translated into different languages which will be a HUGE stepping point to get the HUB brand globally recognized. Gonna try and get it out there in as many languages as possible (Spanish, Portugese, French, Klingon, whatever) to get the book in front of as many eyes as possible.
In closing, reminder to visit www.whatishub.net to pick up your paperback copy of H.U.B. Volume 1 & 2 for the low price of $10.00 + tax (free shipping + it's autographed). Also, visit the new site for Benjamin Jones at www.benjaminjoneswrites.weebly.com .