Posts Tagged ‘Scott Colbert’

Here’s your chance to win a $10 Amazon digital card! Entering is pretty simple, just read my novella Barbed Wire Kisses (either Kindle or Nook), leave a review, leave a link to it here and we’ll pick a winner. Whether the review is good or bad, won’t make a difference as it will be completely random.

Contest will be open from 7/3/12 until 8/10/12, with a winner being determined by 8/15/12.

You can leave a review either on the Amazon website or the Barnes and Noble website only.

http://www.amazon.com/Barbed-Wire-Kisses-ebook/dp/B008771Q60/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/barbed-wire-kisses-scott-colbert/1111319725?ean=2940014700627

This will be a bit interactive-I hope-so what follows will make more sense. If you would, click on the link and then click on the look inside to the left of the web page and read the first couple of chapters of BWK.http://www.amazon.com/Barbed-Wire-Kisses-ebook/dp/B008771Q60/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1

I’m not going to ask you to buy it, hopefully that bit whetted your appetite to find out more of the story-I want to talk about those first two chapters. Originally, The book opened with Chapter two. The very first line I wrote was “Eddie’s god was dead.”  The entire second chapter was written, and then the  first chapter came right after. As I revised, I switched them for a couple of reasons. 1) Starting a story in the middle of action is always a great way to get a reader involved. 2) I was thinking of David Cronenberg’s movie Scanners, and how shortly into it, a man’s head explodes. I know I spent the rest of the movie wondering how he would top that, and the tension of not knowing what to expect enhanced the terror. I had hopes, my opening chapter would do the same.

It’s certainly the most violent, profane and disgusting bit I ever wrote. I’m not sure if I would have written it that way if I had to do it all over again, but nonetheless I’m glad I did. I wanted something so over the top, so gruesome and nauseating that you would have no doubt that that these two would deserve whatever may come their way. I let myself go unfiltered, and I think I did a decent job of creating a scene of such violence and grotesque behavior you’d want to know what makes them tick.  And as with my Scanners experience, I wanted that sense of dread to permeate the rest of the book, make the reader how I would top the opening.

Of course, along with that comes the language I use. I will admit I have a propensity for gutter language when appropriate, but also know when to keep it out of a conversation (like a job interview). 

But how much is too much? BWK is dark, profane, violent and hopefully disturbing. In the context of the story I had in mind, each curse had its place. And yet, even as I revised and edited, I did find some of it excessive and cut a bit. for some it may still be too much, for others it may not even register. I think some of the excessive swearing suited the story. These are uneducated people, they spoke the language of the rough and wild. But they were words, without the stigma attached to them that we have today. In that sense there’s almost a purity to them. If you’ve seen the HBO series Deadwood, or done some research, then you know what I’ve written was very much in the vernacular of the time. People used cocksucker as freely as we use the word, dude, or bro. 

Did I have to do that? Wouldn’t a “good” writer be able to get his ideas across without resorting to cursing? Perhaps, but it wouldn’t be nearly as flavorful, or true to the time period, and I really wanted to make BWK as authentic as possible (given some of the supernatural elements later on in the book).

There’s a fine line between authentic and gratuitous, few do it successfully (though David Milch makes it pure poetry in Deadwood) and I hope I did it well enough that people don’t see it as excessive or gratuitous, but as the seasoning for a very spicy chile. 

 

In my next post I’ll talk about the origins of some of the characters. 

As much of a tech geek as I am, there are many times I’m slow to adapt, or often meet something new with derision. I’ve been rather reluctant to embrace ereaders, smart phones, tablets and cloud computing. All of that is slowly changing. I have a smart phone (LG Optimus V with Android version 2.2-best phone I ever had), looking into an ereader, and coming to terms with cloud computing.

Well, cloud computing with a caveat-when it relates to music only right now. Sure it’s handy to backup data using drop box or some other service in case my laptop crashes. It keeps me from losing my work, but I don’t always have access to the internet. My broadband connection can be spotty at times, and the 3G on my phone doesn’t always stay connected (nor is there always a wifi spot nearby).

However, Amazon and Google are changing that. When Amazon came out with its cloud service for music a few months ago, I signed up but honestly never did anything with it. Then about two weeks ago Lady Gaga’s album went on sale for 99 cents. I snapped it up and started playing around with it. When I first purchased the album I was given the choice of downloading it to my hard drive or stream it with their cloud service. As a result of my purchase I was also given 20 gigs of space to upload my own music. It’s important to note that at this time Amazon isn’t charging me for that space, as it’s good for a year. (Pricing for it can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/learnmore/ref=sa_menu_acd_lrn2).  After downloading a small program it then scans my drive for music and then uploads it to their servers. I then have my choice of streaming my music to my laptop or to my phone (another download that takes a minute to install).  Any music you purchase from Amazon does not count towards the 20 gig storage; an incentive to buy music from them (aside from them being cheaper than iTunes).  My only problem is any music you purchased in the past from Amazon does count-because you have to upload it to them. I’d gladly get rid of the ability to download the music and keep it in the cloud if it included past purchases.

Google Music Beta works the same way.  The only difference is Google has no music store yet, and given some of the problems they have with negotiating with the record labels, may never have. I love the interface for Google music, much better than the somewhat clunky interface that Amazon has.  Both take the same amount of time to upload music files, which only goes as fast as your connection allows. If you have a lot of music it could take several hours. For the sake of testing I just used one album and it took about 20 minutes. Since Google’s service is in beta, there’s no charges, but I expect that to change in the future. There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the amount you can upload to Google right now, and looking through the website doesn’t provide any info on this (www.music.google.com).

Once you have the music uploaded, and the apps installed the service works beautifully. I had no hiccups or pauses during the streaming and little lag between songs.

There are things I like and dislike about both, and ideally would love to see the two services combined to make one kick ass program. I also want a million dollars too, but none of that will happen.

Here’s the problem with these services and it has nothing to do with them as much as it does with the phone carriers. Streaming does two things: it can eat your battery life (mine went from 100% charge to 80 with about 2 hours of listening) and it eats your bandwidth. With virtually all carriers having some kind of data cap, it makes streaming music-whether from these apps, slacker, pandora or even movies, a very expensive proposition. There are some unlimited data plans on various carriers though they do throttle you after you reach a certain point. That more than anything else is what keeps me from wholeheartedly embracing the idea.

With 4G and LTE being rolled out, all of which have true inlimited capacity-right now-the devices capable of using them, and the areas they’re available are pretty limited.

The success or failure of cloud music isn’t going to be the products themselves, but the inability to even use them as much as we want.

Edited to add: at this time both services are only available in the U.S.

Although in this case, it’s the lesser of two evils. As I’ve tweeted about over the past week, I’ve decided to go the electronic cigarette route. I ordered the blu cig kit (available at blucigs.com) and received the package today.  Below is a picture of what it looks like.

The kit comes with two batteries (the top part of the cig, where the tip glows a cool blue when you inhale), two atomizers, a charger that can be used with a wall outlet or a usb port, a portable charger in the shape of a cigarette pack, and 25 cartridges of various flavors.  It’s as simple as attaching one of the flavor cartridges to the atomizer and affixing it to the battery.  ONce you do that it’s good to go. So far it’s as close as you can get to a real smoke without all the tobacco smoke, chemicals in the tobacco and tar. This is a much smoother way to get the nicotine into my system.

I’ll be blogging more about this as I use it more, and the goal is to keep off the analog cigs and stick strictly with the e-cig. Color me impressed so far however.

With the new website going live within the next few days, I’d like to announce the first new member of the Bandersnatch family and that is Andrew Wolter. Aside from his impressive writing abilities, Andrew brings a lot to the table. He will be creating the website, giving it the polish and finesse that one would expect. In addition to this he will also be doing the marketing for Bandersnatch as well. Andrew has proven through his own sales volume, exactly what it takes to promote and get the small press books into the hands of hungry readers.

His interest in technology has allowed him to keep one step ahead in marketing and publicizing his work. The attention to all facets of social networking that he brings to his own work, will now include all of the Bandersnatch titles.

He is also a resident of Phoenix and being in the same city will ensure that we’re always on the same page and in constant communication.

So, welcome Andrew, to Bandersnatch!

With all the turmoil behind the scenes recently, I haven’t had a chance to post an update on Dead West, and now that I have some time, I thought I’d let everyone know what’s happening.

The signature sheets went out today. They’ll be making their way to Australia first-that way if they get lost or something, it will be no problem to get more printed up and sent.

Noah has finished one of the insert drawings and finalizing three others. All I can say is they look great! We’ll be giving some sneak peaks in the future on the revamped Bandersnatch website. As I said in my other post, Noah will also be doing the cover art for Dead West, and it may be enhanced by someone else who is a whiz with photoshop.

With the exception of three stories, all of the editing is done. Now that I can delegate some tasks, I’ll be able to get back into the edit mode and finish those up. Once that task is completed, and I have all of the drawings  I’ll start putting them in order, and getting it ready for layout.

And I really don’t want to sound like a broken record, but everything is still on track for an October release.  In spite of the problems, I’m continuing to do my work as an editor, and publisher to make sure this is the quality collection that I’ve had in mind since its inception.

I’m not sure I can adequately convey the excitement I feel as I start to see bits and pieces being pulled together. I’m already chomping at the bit to start the second one, but first things first.

The final component will be an introduction to the collection that I’ll be writing. I really need to get started on that!

All contracts have been emailed, and I’ve received and sent back most. There are still a couple I’m waiting on. Payments are slowly being made, and all is well in the land of the weird western!

First, and most importantly: Bandersnatch is alive and well. If you hear different, it’s simply not true. Yes there was a major shakeup, in which I felt the need to take control in order to keep the company going.  This was done not from an ego gratification standpoint, but an effort to keep Bandersnatch from going under.

And it would have, had it continued the way it was going. With titles slipping farther and father from release dates and no sign of them coming out, I  and others saw the writing on the wall.

I’ve invested too much time and capital to let that happen, and I did what any reasonable business owner would do. This of course has led to some speculation about the future.

In my opinion the future is now far brighter than it ever was. With two new people on board who not only have the same work ethic I do, but  know the importance of deadlines, our lineup will be out on time and not suffer in quality.

Of course this means some changes. With my former partner no longer involved, some have chosen to go with him, and I understand that, and hold no animosity towards anyone.  Some titles such as Death in Common and That Olde Black Magick will no longer be available.  Other titles remain in limbo  until I hear from the authors.

What will be available in the coming months is all three of T.M. Wright’s chapbooks, Karen Koehler’s novella “The Dreadful Dr. Faust”, and of course the Dead West anthology. I’m very proud to be able to continue my work with them, and thank them for their support. “Dead West” will have new cover art as will T.M. Wright’s “People on the Island”.

We will have a new logo, new website and what is essentially a reboot of the company. Our release schedule is going to be scaled back to a far more realistic level while retaining the best writers working in the horror genre. At this point, we will not be publishing poetry until we find a poetry editor that meets our needs and high standards.

Currently the website is being redone to reflect the new changes and direction. I anticipate it will go live within the next week and the new members of the Bandersnatch family introduced.

My forcing the issue of controlling the company didn’t come easy. I agonized over this decision and spoke to several friends regarding this. I attempted to resolve the issues the best I could, going so far as to bring in others to mediate the problems. Yet fundamental problems remained. With Bandersnatch registered as a business in my name, and the domain also in my name, I felt I had to take over and redirect the company from the way it was heading.  If there had been any way to have avoided this, I would have taken that road. sadly, there was not.

I have nothing but deep respect for my former partner and wish him nothing but the best in each and every endeavor he pursues. I will support all of his work, as he is a brilliant poet and fantastic writer. I’m saddened by the turn of events, but truly feel that this new direction is for the best.

This will be my one and only time addressing this issue. It’s more important to look forward and learn from the past, than it is to dwell on the past and have it taint the future. I felt, however, it was necessary for me to comment on the changes, rather than ignore them. There’s nothing worse than pretending there’s not an elephant in the living room, especially when it’s breaking the furniture.

I hope those of you who have followed and supported Bandersnatch in the past will continue to do so in the future. With new staff, exciting projects, and a host of surprises, I’m confident in saying Bandersnatch will be around for years to come.

Edited to add: J. Bruce Fuller’s Haiku collection, 28 Blackbirds at the End of the World, will remain a Bandersnatch title and will be redone with a new cover.