So, I got a couple readings/signings lined up for UNTOLD DAMAGE. It’s a little intimidating… to think that I’m going to be out there, sitting in a bookstore, reading aloud to a bunch of people, and then answering any questions they might have.
But, I have to add here that it will also be a TON OF FUN.
THIS is one of those moments you’re working towards as a writer. Being out there, meeting your readers and answering their questions. It’s going to be a blast, and strangely I’m not stressed about it. Maybe it’s the ham in me. I always was the lead in the class play. Yeah… I’m a ham for sure.
The first reading is Wednesday, May 22nd @ the San Francisco Marina Books Inc. 7pm. There’s a pub-type thing across the street that I’m going to go to afterwards with any and all that’ll come.
The second reading will be on Tuesday, June 4th @ the Berkeley Books Inc. 7pm. There’s also some bar in the vicinity that you’re all invited to after the reading.
This is going to be a blast. I’m very excited to hear what questions people have (if any, lol).
Come on down! Bring a friend!
I’ll report back after the events to let you know they went. I’m sure I’ll have some good things to relate.
Thanks to everyone who entered! If you didn’t win this time, don’t despair! I’ll be having more giveaways in the future. Even ones like I’ll give away a stack of noir mystery books, etc.
And the winners are:
I’ll be contacting you three via email or some other way. Or, feel free to contact me via my website (www.robertklewis.com),
leaving me your address.
Thanks again for entering!
So, I’m about 1/3 through my blog tour for UNTOLD DAMAGE, worked out for me by TLC Book Tours. And let me add here I could NOT recommend them highly enough. If you need to
promote your novel, these people are GOLD, trust me.
I’ll update this list as I go.
So far, just about all the reviews are VERY good, very strong. The really happy part is the Mallen is resonating with people. They’re rooting for him. A protagonist that people root for bodes very
well for the future.
Check them out, and leave comment on these blogs if you can. I know that both I and the bloggers would appreciate it.
THIS f’n rocks my socks, and then some! Hope it rocks you, too!
So, Amazon began shipping copies of UNTOLD DAMAGE this week.
I guess that makes me officially published.
I think I’m still in shock. All the endless hours spent at the desk, writing and rewriting and rewriting and then some more rewriting. The countless query letters. The countless rejections. The hopes, dashed. But that’s all just part of the job, yeah? And now, approximately ten years or so later since I started writing fiction (after some years of writing screenplays), here I am. With a book out there in the big world. Even at Barnes & Noble for Christ’s sake!
But yet, here we are. This is the time to take a breath, sit back for a moment, and reflect on the road that got me here. A road complete with potholes, oil slicks, and all the great and loving people that kept me going. Amazing. Now that UNTOLD DAMAGE is out, it’s all about helping it do the best it can by publicizing it, getting some readings/signings set up, and doing some giveaways and blog tours.
And while I’m doing that? I’m working on the second book in the series, due out one year from now.
I started this blog almost four years ago, back when I first landed my agent. Thank you for walking this journey with me, to this point.
Well, here we go. We’re down to like eight weeks away from my first novel. On April 8th, I’ll be a published writer. Been a LONG and crazy time since I got the call from my agent that she’d sold a two-book deal to the greatness that is known as Midnight Ink. Since that time, I’ve lost BOTH my parents, almost died, and now have some medical condition that I will probably have the rest of my days.
We’re really defined by the turning points in our lives. These last twelve have certainly defined me. I’ve left the old me behind, never to be that person again.
And then, there is Mark Mallen and his first adventure: Untold Damage. It’s crazy to think I’ll have a book out in bookstores, both here and abroad. That it will eventually be available on both the Kindle and the Nook.
After like ten long years of trying and trying and trying to get to here, I’m finally actually at this point!
I’m looking forward to what happens after the book comes out. I’ve got that blog tour from TLC BLog Tours, that appearance in Writers Digest, a book giveaway and review on Criminal Element. And hopefully a lot of other interesting things. Personally, I’m looking forward to the book giveaways. I’m devising all sorts of interesting contests for you guys.
Anyway, we’ll talk soon, I’m sure.
I had never seen unbound galleys before. Was so incredible to finally hold them in my hands and work on them. Here is what they look like:
Pretty cool, yeah? I’ve already turned them in after making the last corrections I’ll ever be able to make on the book. It’s now completely out of my hands. And I can tell you, that’s F’n scary.
But, after about ten years of work, writing six days a week, on average 48 weeks out of the year, I’ve finally reached the galley stage with one of my novels. Now it’s onward towards April 8th and the launch. I’ve already got some great things scheduled: The appearance in the March/April edition of Writers Digest, the blog tour with TLC Tours, and some book giveaways, one being where I blog over at Criminal Element. There will be a few other cool things, too, that I’ll save for later. It’s going to be a crazy time, that’s for sure, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s already ramping up!
Have a good one, and see you later.
Happy New Year! Here’s hoping that your 2013 rocks and rolls and brings you a ton of happiness.
I get to kick off the new year with my latest post over at Criminal Element. My appreciation of the movie Jaws:
On Jaws, or How I Came to Love the Summer Blockbuster
The first ever blockbuster.
Began Steven Spielberg’s career.
That legendary musical score.
Had Robert Shaw in it.
Yes… I’m talkin’ Jaws.
Where to start, right? This was the movie that gave us the “summer blockbuster.” It also began the long series of “nature gone angry” genre films such as, The Swarm, Day of the Animals, Piranha, and of course…Grizzly.
Holy shit! You will not believe how stunned I was when I opened the box. Really took me a moment to realize what I was looking at. This is one of THE moments in the life of a writer, and I have to admit, I am reveling in that moment.
Thank you to everyone who’s been SO supportive of this journey. You guys rock, and I am SO thankful to have you all in my corner.
Anyway, here you go:
You can find it over on Criminal Element!
“The Devil Doesn’t Want Me is a humorous noir novella by Eric Beetner, recent recipient of the Stalker Award for Most Criminally Underrated Author (available October 23, 2012).
I’ve never done one of these Fresh Meat things before, and was a bit nervous about it. I mean, giving my opinion when it’s asked for is something new to me. I’m fine when it’s NOT asked for… in fact, I’m in a whole ’nother realm when I give unasked for advice. But after reading Eric Beetner’s new novella, The Devil Doesn’t Want Me, I was certainly glad I got the opportunity. Why?”
For the rest of the review, go here.
Thanks to everyone who voted for me. You really rock.
Here are the results:
So, now I’ve got a nice set of book launch stuff going on for Untold Damage.
Oh yeah, did I mention that I’ll be in the March/April edition of Writer’s Digest? Yup, it’s true! I’ll be in the “Debut Authors” feature for that issue. I will also
be doing a blog column and book giveaway for Chuck Sambuchino’s great site, Guide to Literary Agents, that will run concurrently with the Writer’s Digest feature.
There will also be a couple other things, but I’m going to keep those to myself for now, and spring them on you when I get closer to my pub date. Mark your new calendars for next year, 04/08/12.
However, this brings up an important point. One of the most important reasons I won this contest was due to the building my writer’s platform. It’s not huge, yet, but I’m hoping to increase it.
When I first signed with my agent, Barbara Poelle, and she told me to start blogging, I was already hanging out on some writing forums. Now, I ALWAYS believe in “paying it forward”, helping as much as I can my fellow writers. Being there with support and/or advice (if asked for), being considerate and not an asshole, and just being a generally nice guy helped me to connect with people (and this goes for life in general, too, imo). If you help them, they’ll most probably help you. I was able to mobilize a small army of wonderful people, and I really owe them a great debt I’m more than happy to pay off. Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, writing forums; they all help in varying degrees. Don’t overlook as you most forward on your writing journey the importance of building your writer’s platform.
a small army of writers and friends
The very incredible people over at TLC Blog Tours are having a contest, with the prize a FREE 10 blog “blog tour”. This is like a $500 Value! I’ve heard only AWESOME things about Trish and Lisa, and their services come VERY highly recommended by friends of mine who have used them for their debut novels. Please go and check out their services. You will NOT be disappointed.
Well, I entered their contest and guess what? I’m a finalist! So, if you could go here and vote for me and Untold Damage, that would be greatness. I promise to buy you a drink the next time we’re in the same city and/or reality.
Thanks for your support!
I did another film review. I completely SKEWER that piece of Razzie winning tripe, Basic Instinct 2.
Here’s a taste:
I was ONLY going to watch the horrid, legendary, Razzie-winner, Basic Instinct 2. However, after viewing the movie, I was compelled to go back and watch the orginal Basic Instinct along with it.
Why, you may ask?
Well, even though I knew for sure that B.I.2 was total crap, I needed the original to really drive home the fact of how completely and UTTERLY bad B.I.2 really is. And trust me, it is. It’s amazing that it even exists.
Just finished the first draft to the 2nd Mark Mallen novel.
That one… hurt.
This is what I would term a “bad draft”. It was hard. Beat me to shit and then laughed as it stood over me, victorious, reveling in the fact that if it was better than anything, it was better than me. No, it’s not always like that. An earlier draft of what will become Untold Damage, the one I did for my editor over at Midnight Ink, came out of me like Jimmy Page riffing during the solo section of Dazed and Confused. It was just so easy. However, as the draft for the 2nd book bogged down more and more, I felt that maybe I’d gotten cocky since the first one went so well and easy. Maybe that’s true, not sure.
What I AM sure of is that the pressure is different now. (And by the way, I’m listening to June Carter Cash singing “Will the Circle be Unbroken”. Yeah, the one they play at the end of an episode of Deadwood. Pure awesome.) I have an entirely different group of people relying on me. Maybe that’s what made this draft so difficult. The pressure. I’ve heard this from a lot of my writer friends who have sold their novels; that the first one you write AFTER the one that sold is a tough slog. And trust me, I really struggled with this bastard, so this is feeling like what they told me was indeed true.
But beyond all that I realized that this is how it just is. Sometimes the drafts are good and strong, and sometimes they’re not. This last draft was, as Anne Lamott calls them in her timeless “Bird by Bird”, “a down draft”. One where you just.get.it.down. The next draft will then be, as she also tells us, the “up draft”, the one where you fix it up.
You have to have faith for something like that, right? That no matter how bad the draft is, the next one will be able to be fixed up. I have that faith, I really do. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that it ain’t over ’til it’s over. There’s a lot of crap in this current draft, no doubt. There’s a lot of stuff I’ll have to take out, a lot to repair, a ton to rethink…
But at least there’s SOMETHING TO RETHINK.
For me, I can’t work in a void. I doubt any of us can. I NEED to have something to work from. Even 278 pages of pure bird cage liner. There are a lot of things that I know I can use when I begin the next draft. There are a lot of… place markers, for lack of a better phrase.
This is the process. This is the work.
So, always try to keep in mind, as you work forward with your writing, that you have to fight through the bad. Don’t allow it to beat you. If that draft is standing on your chest, laughing in victory, punch that bastard in its bread basket and throw it to the floor. Pull the stuffing out of it like it was The Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, then get back to work.
Because, in the end, that’s all we really have as writers: the work.
I have to thank EVERYONE over at Midnight Ink who worked on this, man. They really solicited my input, and took pretty much ALL of my suggestions. My editor, Terri Bischoff, is just incredible at her job.
I really can’t believe the cover’s actually HERE! I have a feeling that April 8, 2013 (Untold Damage’s pub date) will roll around VERY quickly.
Anyway, hope you enjoy this cover as much as am.
I’m a little late in putting this up, sorry. I had a bout of… um, well… “Drunkenous Guitargodness”.
Now I’m recouping and waiting for my hearing to return.
However, here you go! Please give it a read, and leave a comment if you’re so inclined. I’d deeply appreciate it, trust me.
* * * * *
Shoulda Been Called “Cut My Throat Island”!
Man, there were so many ways to start this post that it just wasn’t fair!
I mean, look at this list:
I want my two hours back.
Ah yes, the movie that sank an entire studio.
The movie that turned me off of Geena Davis and into a eunuch.
The movie that made me want to walk the plank.
I watched this, then wanted to find the film’s director Renny Harlin and beat him senseless, and I STILL WANTED MY TWO HOURS BACK!!!!
Etc. . . . You get the idea.
Anyway, let’s sit down and talk Cutthroat Island! Yes, this really was the movie that sent Carolco (Cutthroat Island’s production company) to the bottom of the ocean, never to surface again.
Meaning… one more thing to help make this book deal thing feel more real. Like it’s really going to f’n happen, you know?
Untold Damage has its own Amazon page now!
I don’t know what made me search for it, but something told me it just might be out there. There’s no cover art yet, but that IS coming, trust me. I’ve seen the lo-res mock-up of the cover and it ROCKS some serious ass. I’m just waiting on the hi-res version, and then I can share it with everyone under the sun.
But for now? Well, THIS is pretty damn awesome, and that’s a fact. If you get the chance, please go and like the page. That would be very cool of you. I already know that a few people have pre-ordered the book! Crazy!!!
This, my friends, is what I’m up to nowadays:
Yes, I’m back in the saddle, as it were.
This photo before you are my current projects. They are (in no particular order, or… um, odor?)
-A Mark Mallen short story. My first short story for Mallen. I have high hopes for it, but, um… I might be high.
-The screenplay to Untold Damage (STILL can’t get used to the fact that my book has an official title and pub date! 040813. Memorize it, lol!)
-The next book in the Mark Mallen series (title as yet unknown, ha!)
Yeah… it’s a lot. Especially given what last month shoved my way. However, the work is the salvation, as they say.
I’m excited about ALL of these projects, thankfully. That’s not always the case, naturally.
Am I worried, or bothered, about any of them? Do any of them… give me pause? Well, if any of them seem daunting, then I would say that, probably naturally, it’s the next Mallen book. The first one won’t be out until April of next year, but I have to turn in THIS guy ahead of that. I think this is pretty normal in the publishing world, though maybe not. But yeah… that sorta scares me, a little.
Second books are a whole topic in themselves, of course. I, since I wrote scripts for so long, tend to think of them like movie sequels. You know… how does The Empire Strikes Back build on and improve what was Star Wars? Why does Aliens work the way it does? Is it because of Alien, or in spite of it?
Regarding books, how does an author build and expand on what he set down in book one, but still keep the fans of that book happy? Readers (of series books especially) have expectations. We all do. I know I do. When I sit down to read an 87th Precinct novel, you know damn sure I have expectations. But, Ed McBain, aka Evan Hunter, managed to keep it fresh and keep us happy. And for a really long, f’n time, too. How do you think he did it? How do you think any novelist can pull off a successful sequel?
I am VERY much enjoying taking Mallen and putting him in a short story that takes place at another point in his life. It’s a helluva lot of fun! It’s almost like writing the history of Mallen! I’m hoping this short pleases people, for sure. It’s an early draft, but I think there’s something in all that dung that will eventually shine, after copious drafts, natch.
The screenplay is something that I’m really crossing fingers will come into play at some point. The jury’s out on that, however it was a total BLAST to write that first draft, man. Writing the first screenplay I’ve written in like seven years really brought back to me all the joy I used to have writing movies. I really urge EVERY writer to attempt at least ONE screenplay. An adaption of your recent novel. An adaption of your “pet project” (You know you have one. We ALL do). Even a completely NEW idea. Whatever it is, write it as a movie. It really takes you out of your head and shows you story and pacing and character and dialog in an ENTIRELY new way. A way that will REALLY, REALLY HELP YOU as a novelist.
Trust me on that one.
See you soon!
Oh, um…. yeah. That thing I keep dropping hints about? Unfortunately, I was told it will be soon(ish) before I can share it with you. And YES, it’s for real, this is not me trying to hook my readers. It’ll pay off, I assure you.