Friday, May 27, 2011

Self Publish or Traditional Publishing? (Best answer I have ever heard)

Read a great blog today about Self-pub versus Traditional written by Chuck Wendig. I can't recommend it enough! Great insight!

I can sum it up in a couple of quick works = "Do both"

Each year, write two novels. One for traditional publishing and one for self-pubbing. The Self-pub work can be hip, indie, niche or whatever. The traditional one should be...more traditional.

Still read the post though. Really insightful!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

No excuses!!!

As I did my daily read of Seth's Blog, in which he discussed excuses, I was reminded of one of Green's quotes. "The effective range of an excuse is zero meters" (Green was an Ranger in the 82nd Airborne).
If we aren't getting the results we want, do we look for an excuse?
  • The market isn't right?
  • I just need a big break?
  • I just need better marketing?
  • I don't have the funds to do this right?
All excuses. Some of which I have used myself. There are, literally, thousands of examples of people who ignored these excuses, and in some cases had far better excuses, and succeeded anyway.
Let's give up on the excuses. Let's pretend that they don't exist! Let's see how far we can go.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pendragon Chronicles to be published!!

Green Gates got a three book contract offer for The Pendragon Chronicles today! Looks like we will be signing that contract this afternoon. I'll keep you posted as I know more about publication dates and the like.
There are currently three books in our Pendragon Chronicles, but the story cold go on for many more. We'll see how these do and may continue the story if the fans like it!
So, we will be raising a glass to celebrate! And then back to writing. Our work is never done...


I wanted to share this review of Dean Koontz's latest "Frankenstein" novel. I have always wanted to read this series, but just have not gotten around to it. Sounds like it might be worth it!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Started GGE's newest property last night. A horror novel with the working title of "Stitch". We have planned and planned this one. Maybe planned a bit too much. I realized that we could keep planning forever, or I could write something and we could adjust on the way.
I am so glad I started! The story feels "right". It is fun to write! Our storytelling gets better and better with each property we develop.
I am also glad we switch genres around. We write some fantasy, some young adult, some western gothic, then some horror. We might not be good at one of those...hopefully we aren't bad at all of them!
I did something with Stitch that I haven't done before. I put together a soundtrack. I made a playlist on iTunes of songs that reflect the mood of the book.
It is longer than a soundtrack. I need it to be able to play for a couple of hours. Here's a preview, "Little Red Riding Hood" by the River City Ramblers is on there. That song creeps me out. Fortunately, it also helps put me in just the right mood to write about "Stitch".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Random thoughts

I should stop sabotaging myself. I love creating and being part of GGE, but I slow myself down sometimes. I tell myself "who are you to think someone wants to read your ideas?"
Or I more simply, that same little voice says, "you suck".
Why do I listen? I don't know, but I am getting better at not listening. What happens then? The sabotage becomes more subtle. It comes in the form of excuses like "GGE doesn't have the funds to launch a graphic novel right now...better wait" or it comes as caution like "better do more research so you don't sound like an idiot".
Research is good, of course, but researching is not creating and eventually one has to stop researching and write!
What am I afraid of anyway? Failure is temporary. It's not fatal. It won't affect my family or take food off the table. In my case, abject failure might mean embarrassment, but only if I let it. Who am I trying to impress anyway?
In fact, I should seek out failure and embarrassment. Why? because those who have gone before and have succeeded...they have failed, and failed and failed all the way to success.
Failure is a stepping stone, not the end result. Each "failure" is just a milestone on the way to success.
So! I'll stop sabotaging myself. Maybe you should to. I don't know what we can accomplish, but I do know this - it will be more than we'll accomplish if we give up!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New work

So everyone involved with GGE has a "day job" as well. Mine is in Pharmaceuticals. I just recently took a new job in a new town.
I am really excited about it! I'll be living and working on the East Coast just a short walk to the beach (Wilmington, NC - home to Screen Gems Studios where One Tree Hill is filmed along with a plethora of films, shows and shorts).
I think the new role will provide even more time for me to focus on GGE and creative endeavors. I am thrilled beyond measure about that as well!
I don't expect my blogging or social networking to slow down in anyway, so stay tuned!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Do The Work!!!

Just had to take a break from what I reading to tell you about it.
I downloaded "Do The Work" by Steven Pressfield. Sort of a companion volume to "The War of Art" - which is just about the best book ever for a creative person to read!
So, the Kindle version of "Do the Work" is free and so very much worth more than that!
It's a short read. It's inspiring and it provides practical advice for getting us off our duff and into the arena of our particular "art" - in this context "art" may be actual art, such as writing, painting, singing or sculpting or it may be leading a group, getting in shape or starting a new business.
My public service today is just to A) tell you about the book and B) let you know it's a free download on the Kindle.
Back to reading for me!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Good advice

In all of our discussions about motivation, marketing, inspiration and the like, we should always be mindful about this quote from Joe Konrath that is very relevant to the artistic life:

"Don't write shit"   -Joe Konrath

I think we can all agree that quality is critical in all things, and Joe has put that very succinctly.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Self Directed Effort (for my 350th post)

Seth talks about Self Directed effort today. For creatives is there really any other kind? We write, draw, paint, sing, etc. whenever we can. It's not easy to find the time and we don't have the benefit of a boss or coach demanding that we practice our craft. We have to force ourselves to do it. Of course, many times we are more demanding on ourselves. We force ourselves to pursue our craft despite life's pressures.
Sometimes, we try and hide what we are and we try to ignore the call to art. Steven Pressfield talks about this in The War of Art. When we live a life unfulfilled, we turn to alcohol, couch potatoism or a million other distractions to make us feel better about ignoring our true nature.
Bottom line - listen to your internal taskmaster who is telling you to create. Don't lose your family in the process and keep a balance between your art, whatever it is that pays the bills, your family and your health.
All four are important!
Don't let your art suffer for the other three!
(By the same token, don't lose your health or your family while chasing the dollar.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thor review

Went and saw Thor this weekend. My review, in a word, great!

Here are some details (no spoilers).

The visual effects are amazing. The scenes in Asgard look great. The casting is fantastic! Everything looks really good.

The acting is phenomenal and I love that the movie captures a lot of the relationship issues in the house of Odin.

Thor certainly comes across as a bad ass so his appearance in The Avengers should be phenomenal!

I loved a brief cameo by Hawkeye (not in costume).

The movie borrowed heavily from the Walt Simonson days of Thor, which is just as it should be, in my opinion. Walt wrote the Thor that everyone fell in love with and I like that they kept a lot of that for the movie.

The Warrior's Three were great! I did have one question, where was Baldur The Brave? But the movie does fine without him. Very epic film, good casting, acting, action and effects. Really no reason to miss this one!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I realized something today. There are millions of people whose opinions I care nothing about!

That sounds mean, but I don't intend to sound mean. What I am saying though is this:

There are plenty of people who might think GGE stories are "weird". There are people who may think I am a terrible writer and that GGE will never make it as a small publisher, entertainment company, comic press, etc.

Most of the people who think that are people whose opinion mean nothing to me.

On the other hand, there are people whose opinion does matter to me. Very much. These are people I respect, admire, and care about.

Let me brainstorm a few of them. I'm sure I will miss some - if I forget your name, don't be upset...if you are reading this, then I probably care what you think!

Michelle Gates, James Gates, John Gates, Abigail Gates, Tim Green, Josh Green, Natalie Green, David Bond, Deborah Bond, Keith Pruett, Jeremy Harvey, David Burdett, Jeff Rozic, Bassel Majzoub, Sean Taylor, Frank Fradella, Ed Crandell, Bobby Nash, Danny Kelly, Dody Eka, Del Hewitt, Bruce Carlisle, William Sexton, Ted Whittenbarger, Calvin Daniel, Scott Claringbold, Marci Baun, Alex Adams, Jeremy (of i Zombie), Rick Floyd, Bill Harrison, Jackie Orton, Stephen Zimmer, Sean Fannon, Walter Rhein, Johnny White, Mark Swart, Tim Arthur, Steve Nibbelink, Buffy Cary, Jennifer Shepherd, Seth Godin, Joe Konrath, Evan Jensen, Barry Reese, Ron Hanna, Rob Siders, Gillian Pearce, Jeff Gonsalves, Joe Abercrombie, Chris Guillebeau, Shane Berryhill, Cory Doctorow, David Peterson, Patrick Rothfuss, Barry Willdorf, Jay Piscopo, Michael Hamersky, Dan Barnes, Randy Belaire, Breanne Brady.

That's just a few like-minded folks who love fantasy, science fiction, superheroes, wizards, dragons, zombies, vampires, etc.

For those of you writing, creating, etc...make sure you are listening to the right people. And more importantly, make sure you are ignoring the right people.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Show Me a Hero"

Sean Taylor's book "Show Me a Hero" is definitely worth a look! I have read a lot of Sean's work from his earlier days with CyberAge Adventures and his superhero fiction always rocks. 

I love "Wild Card" and other novels where superheroes are a factor, but the setting, dialogue and events have a bit more mature storytelling.
It's like superhero stories specifically for grownups!
So this book, as near as I can tell, is an Omnibus collecting a lot of Sean's best work in the iHero Universe (which is a very cool world, btw.)
Just a humble recommendation for a very cool book.