The X-Files Return! But Can It Be the Same?

xfiles

Yes, finally! After waiting 13 years, the X-Files return for six episodes. I discovered the X-Files after my dad introduced me to the series and the very handsome Mulder in high school. I was immediately hooked. The plot twists were incredible. The stories were always fascinating. And Mulder… Dreamy eyes, lanky body, and charming personality if somewhat quirky sometimes. Like most X-Files fans, I only recognize Seasons 1 – 7 and the first movie. Seasons 8 & 9 and the second movie were so below par I can’t stand thinking of them. But now Fox has decided the show must return.

Anyone who’s ever seen the series is rejoicing. Let’s all get our party hats and go to town. But, will it work? Or will these six episodes be just like the second movie? The X-Files magic seemed to disappear after season 7. After what happened a decade ago with Firefly, I’m a little hesitant to trust Fox. I’m just as excited as everyone else to see this series make a return but my stomach feels queasy at the same time too.

The 1990’s was very different than today. Besides the most obvious changes like technology, a lot has changed politically and on TV. The X-Files was a somewhat controversial show. It questioned the government and fought for the truth. There aren’t really any shows of that same scale today. I can’t think of one. The X-Files was a phenomenal show. The acting of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and everyone on that show were superb. The writers knew what they were doing and exactly how to create a gripping story. The producers were great. The show was one of the best things to come out of the 1990s.

But the important question, can it still be done? My guess… It’ll be great but don’t get your hopes up too high.

The six episodes will begin filming this summer. If you want more updates, I’d suggest checking out David or Gillian’s twitter pages. When this show airs, you can count on me to watch it.

Writing… Not Stuck Anymore!

struggling writer

Recently, I was stuck on Chapter Five of my book Kidnapping Dana Marie. I had a hard time understanding and showing one of my main characters. After hours of research and some reading, I came to a solution. I’m very happy with the way everything turned out. Writing is definitely a roller coaster of adventure. No matter how much I really want to tell what happens, I have to keep my mouth shut and say you’ll just have to wait for the release day.

Currently, life has sped up to the point where I hardly get a moment to rest. It’s made the editing and writing process slower and has put a lot of my literary ambitions on the back burner for now. My book will always be a very high priority but juggling work, relationships, and writing has become fantastically difficult.

I thought I should just give you a quick update!

Fun Times At New Job!

I haven’t written anything recently on here but I haven’t had as much time as I had before. I recently started a new job and it’s been difficult yet exciting trying to juggle two jobs. Fortunately, both of my jobs aren’t terribly too demanding. At my new job, I work in the office of a small municipal airport. It just recently opened two months ago and we’re all still figuring stuff out. My job come with a lot of perks such as making friends with pilots who stop by and getting to go for a spin in small airplanes.

On my first day, the mechanic at the airport finished working on a plane and had to test fly it. He asked me if I wanted to come along and I said sure! How could I refuse a free flight? Flying is absolutely brilliant. There is nothing more breathtaking than soaring across the landscape and seeing the mind opening view. My stomach felt nauseous afterwards for the rest of the day but the experience was worth it.

On my second day of work, I got fulfill a life long dream of mine and bucket list item #38: Ride in a Delorean. A guy who owns a plane and rents one of the hangers at the airport owns a Delorean and happened to drive it to the airport that day. My boss and I went over to his hanger to talk with him and of course check out the Delorean. I got to sit in it and I had my boss snap a photo!

delorean
Me in a Delorean!

I was then offered a ride. We sped down the tarmac with the windows rolled down and Back To The Future theme music blasting.

Being a super huge fan of Back To The Future, I can say that will be a moment I won’t ever forget. I will be soon starting my third day and can’t wait to find out what adventures await me next. Apart from all the fun, I’ve been determinedly slaving away at my book. I’m hoping to publish it come Summer. It’s going very well and I’m extremely excited to see it finished.

Writing: Stuck in a Scene

Brainstorming

I’m currently going through my novel that is soon to be published. And I’m stuck. Yes, I admitted it. I don’t quite know what to do. A few weeks ago, my editor returned my novel with a lot of edits and helpful advice. Her main consensus: My characters require further development. That is what I’ve been up to. It’s been going really well for the most part until now.

I don’t want to say too much and give everything away. My problem is with the father. I want to write a scene that explores his character, but I’m having difficulty. Up to this point so far in the story, he’s a workaholic who doesn’t appreciate the fact he has a daughter. I want to show why he is a workaholic and why he treats his daughter the way he does. I’m having difficulties figure out exactly how I can show this, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

I’ll just be over here endlessly brainstorming until I do.

How To Write A Press Release For Beginners

Writing on Typewriter

I finished my book, had it edited by a professional, and created myself a website. After sending my book off to the publishers, I started looking for more to do. What’s next? The obvious answer was, write a press release! But how do I that?

I can’t tell you how many times I searched Google for the answers. Just one simple formula or easy way to do it. I looked at so many examples of press releases from well-established authors that I could have gone blind, but I didn’t see One press release for a beginner author.

Every example had… New York Times Best Selling Author Releases Captivating Thriller. But what if I’m not a New York Times best seller? What if I’m a nobody with a story to tell? There wasn’t any press release samples from newbie authors out there, so I decided after I wrote my mine I’d post them for other first-timers out there.

To begin with, think up some creative headlines for your book that will draw eyes to your article.
I used this generator to get some ideas. It was a great way to jump start my creative thinking.
http://www.supersimplepr.com/pr-wizard/press-release-title-maker/

Next, scour the internet for examples. True, most of the samples you’ll get will be for authors with a lot of experience. It might be hard to make these apply to you but glean what you can from them and use them to your advantage. Write it like a news story.

Below is an example with steps. I’ll walk you through it.

West Coast Author Releases Thrilling Mystery <—– Catchy Title
For Immediate Release <——- self-explanatory

PARAGRAPH ONE. So-and-so (INSERT NAME) releases a rollercoaster mystery set in such-and-such (INSERT CITY) town. This is a really fun read (ADD MORE HYPE ABOUT YOUR BOOK). This book is about the deep impact of friendships and love (WRITE THE MESSAGE OF YOUR BOOK). Audiences will connect to its story of life and death (WHY WILL PEOPLE LIKE IT). So-and-so (ADD YOUR NAME) says, “I got tired of living by the paycheck and decided to do something for others…” (MAKE UP A QUOTE).

PARAGRAPH TWO. Use this paragraph to add what your book is about. Using one of the short (between 150-200 words) marketing blurbs you’ve written for your book would be good here. It can also be longer but that’d be about the right length.

PARAGRAPH THREE. Add quotes. I’d add at least two quotes from other people about your book. (Tip: Go to writing critique groups and make friends with other writers. They can give you quotes for your book. Also, they don’t have to be famous people to give you a quote).

PARAGRAPH FOUR. Add your author bio to this paragraph.

PARAGRAPH FIVE. Add information to contact you and how to find your book. You might also want to include your book’s front cover and your author photo, but you don’t have to.

NOTE: Remember to write this like a journalist would. Be frank. Don’t use I. Don’t use very lengthy sentences filled with too many words. Be brief. To the point. But also be sure to spice up your description of your book. You want to get them excited in what you’ve got. You’re the salesman here. Good luck! Email me if you’ve got questions. I’d be glad to help.

Minor Setbacks But I’m Fine

Rosie the Riveter

A few days ago, I sent my book off to my editor for the second time. I figured it still needed some polish before I could go into publishing mode. She sent me a reply four days later. Her notes disappointed me hugely for one reason. My book required a ton more work if I wanted it up to par. According to her, my characts weren’t developed enough. The disappointment, misery, and defeat I felt at that moment was great. I had spent so much time on this book and I really didn’t want to spend more. I wanted to get rid of it. Be done with it. I was sick of looking at the pages and characters.

My father is a very wise man. When I need advice, I come to him without fail. I don’t agree with everything he says, but I value whatever tips he has to offer very highly. After receiving my editor’s notes, I was feeling extremely down and decided to give him a call. It was the right thing to do. He talked some sense into me and gave priceless advice.

After I got over my moody edge, I realized how great of an opportunity this was. I was handed a learning experience that would no doubt improve my writing abilities. I like to pride myself on my writing skills but when it comes to creating unforgettable characters I’m still figuring it all out. There are some movies and books that have greatly inspired me.

Recently, I watched The Talented Mr. Ripley. Strange name for a title and one I think that could have been done better. I was at work with practically nothing to do and the TV happened to be one, so naturally I started watching. The film started very slowly and barely pricked my interest except for Jude Law and Matt Damon. (SPOILER) After Dickie dies, the movie captivated me. I wasn’t able to turn away. Why? Because the film had done such an amazing job of building up the characters and plot.

The beginning was slow granted, but the rest of the film was great. I loved how deeply the characters were explored. I can’t stand more movies or TV shows nowadays. They all seem terribly cliche in that they all Tell then Show. They explain the obvious instead of showing and allowing the viewer to figure it out. Most films want to sum everything up in a little paragraph then cut straight to the action. This annoys me greatly. I’d like to see character and story build up.

I’m excited to be going back over my book. I’ve decided to accept this extra work as a challenge. Sure, it’s going to be difficult at times but I’m quite sure I can conquer this. Originally, I had the publication date set for March 31, but there is no way that will be a reality now. Mayhaps the end of April.

There’s No Secret To Self-Publishing

Publishing-Now

If you’ve read my previous blog post The Wake Up Call Every Writer Dreads, then you’ll know of my falling out with my publisher. It was a shocker when I first learned of my publisher’s dishonesty. There are thousands of writers these days trying to publish their book and figure out what’s best for them. Many of them venture down the path of self-publishing but others are more timid. It only makes sense that Indie Publishers would become dime-a-dozen. What I didn’t suspect was the dishonesty behind Indie Publishers.
I’m not here to rant about greedy Indie Publishers who have abused aspiring writers. I haven’t met every Indie Publisher out there. I’m sure there are a few who really try to better the lives of their writers. Unfortunately, I’ve only had a bad experience with an Indie Publisher. I’m here to point out that self-publishing isn’t really that hard. From first glance, it seems extremely difficult and more stress than worth it. That was my initial thought too, but I’ve come to realize it’s far easier than you think.

I’ve spent the past two weeks pouring over my manuscript with red ink pen in hand. The difficult part of self-publishing is editing your manuscript and making sure it’s pristine. I’d go as far to say this is the most difficult part of publishing on your own besides figuring out the legalities. After you’ve read your manuscript a dozen times, it starts look all the same. Trying to find a mistake is like searching for a needle in a haystack. I finished editing yesterday.

The next step for me is formatting my book. According to Amazon, all eBooks need to be saved in a Word document. This part is the easiest. All it takes is a few clicks. Open Word Processor, choose your font, and how you want your book to appear. I’ll write a blog post about this later.

After you format your book, you want to research every option available for publishing online. There’s Amazon, selling directing from your site, print-on-demand, Barnes & Nobles, and a few other websites. Currently, Amazon is the best option out there. It allows readers to easily access your book. I’ve been considering selling my book on my website as well, but I haven’t researched it enough to make a decision.

The not-so-fun part besides editing is the legal stuff. However, this is the most important part of publishing. You’ll want to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. The more informed you are, the better choices you will make. I’ll also dedicate a blog post to this section and I’ll go over Amazon’s legal agreement for publishing.

Does this still seem hard and terribly stressful to you? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. I promised to keep a live blog on my publishing efforts. Most articles on the internet about self-publishing online are helpful but they don’t offer the best step-by-step guidance. They’re written by people who went through the self-publishing process but did it so long ago that they’ve mostly forgotten what it was like. My blog posts are different because I’m doing it Now. I also might have an open session for questions.

That’s all for now. I’ll keep you updated.