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I've always had a drive to make stuff. No doubt there are fancier ways I could say that, but at the core, the statement is very easy to understand, isn't it? I like making stuff. And I especially like seeing other people digging the stuff I make. It's satisfying. Imagine cooking a fantastic new recipe. It's a lot more fun to have a friend squee over it with you than it is to just eat it yourself.
When I was trying to articulate what it is that brings me satisfaction, it occurred to me I had a slogan at some point but couldn't remember when or where. I just found it -- it's on JCPbooks.com, where I used to sell my books direct, where I now just have information and links about my books. Ah, the shifting sands of publishing and ecommerce! Here it is:
Weird and wonderful ebooks you'll want to read again and again!
The "weird and wonderful" ebooks speaks to my desire to create things that people have never seen before. Yeah, everything under the sun has already been done, but it's totally possible to add a twist or a flavor that's new. And the re-read...well, I really can't think of any higher compliment than a reader chosing to re-invest their time in a story I've written.
...I also get a big charge out of knowing someone has skipped work because they couldn't put my book down. So if that ever happens to you, be sure to tell me, it'll make my day :D
It seemed to me this is the type of thing that Victor Bayne would do, but then I realized it was poor Elijah in Forget Me Not who had this happen to him :-)
I ended up on some crazy website yesterday with a terrible popup that wouldn't let me close it and wouldn't do anything other than open more and more tabs. (And no, it wasn't even a porn site!)
I could force-quit my app, but then I'd lose my other tabs. So the second time this happened--I'm a glutton for punishment--I discovered something cool. I was able to open up a pane called Task Manager in Chrome and kill the selective punk-ass tabs. There's probably something similar in other browsers.
Maybe this'll help you someday if you ever find yourself in popup hell!
I was at the library yesterday looking for some recent anthologies to study their layout and typography. Weirdly enough, I could only find anthologies in the Teen (YA) section of the library. I noticed while I was there that the sensibility of teen books really screams out to me. The titles, the cover design, the typography. All of it grabs me by the guts and says "READ ME." But then when I read them, I find myself wishing the characters were more my age, dealing with issues other than peer pressure or school or growing up. The teen series I enjoy most are the ones with the most vestigial appearance of parents, teachers or other teen authority figures and just show the protagonist basically being an adult.
It would be interesting to figure out which buttons of mine are being pushed by the current style of marketing for Teen books.
I'm working on a novella that's an adult coming-of-age. Maybe my relationship with the types of books I'm attracted to has something to do with what I'm compelled to write.
But here's where the interest started. Back in the 80's, I helped out a friend by participating in a study where they gave everyone a personality test, then had us listen to two types of self-hypnosis relaxation tapes. One was a guided visualization and one was called "Isometric Squeeze," where you squeezed and relaxed different muscle groups. Then they assessed which type of tape was more effective for which type of person.
I don't know how the results came out. But listening to those tapes (It was a week or two apiece daily) ended up building a lifelong habit. In the 80's, those cassette tapes were pretty pricy. But nowadays with MP3s ... wow, it's like Christmas in June.
I found this freebie today for writers that I really liked, you can grab it here. The recording quality is good, it's short and to the point, and what he's saying resonates with me.
And speaking of hypnosis, there's some pretty heavy duty hypnosis in Camp Hell. When we produced the audio, I asked my narrator Gomez Pugh to listen to one of my favorite 80's hypnotists, Dick Sutphen, to prep for the role of Stefan!
Dick Sutphen is still practicing. He even has a downloadable Writer's Series.