Thursday, May 24, 2012

Marketing your work

Let me start by saying I am no expert in marketing.  Yes, I took the prerequisite marketing courses in college, but that doesn't mean I learned very much.  Nor does it mean I know how to market a novel.  What I have learned is from listening to fellow authors, trying a few new things (like this blog), and putting my name out there so much that people are tired of hearing it!

My first advice is to join a few literary forums.  These are places where you can talk to other authors - aspiring and other - and get some GREAT advice about your work.  There are hundreds of forums out there, genre specific and general, so pick a few, ask some questions, post some work and enjoy.

Second, get FaceBook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc, etc, etc.  Get your NAME OUT THERE.   Network with fellow authors on all of these social sights and support them...they will, in turn, support you and make your work and your career much more enjoyable!

And finally, try new things.  Find out what other gimmicks might be out there, for instance book trailers.   I had never heard of book trailers until the last week or so, but, when you think about it, it makes sense.    Make a 1-2 minute movie about your book.  The visual cues, music, and plot lines you put into it could, would and WILL attract more people to your work.

You can check out my book trailer for TIME ASSASSINS on YouTube at:

So, there you have it; Kyle's quick marketing tips.   Good luck!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Flash Fiction

Tonight I was introduced to "Flash Fiction", what I used to call a short, short story.   I like the idea of flash fiction.  It can be a short, stand alone story or quirky part of a larger story.  Either way, it keeps the imagination and creative juices flowing and, I think, helps the writer develop their style and timing.

Here is my first take on "Flash Fiction".  At this point, I don't know if its a stand alone or will be integrated into a larger story at some point.  Either way, I like it!  Ladies and Gentlemen.....HEAVEN.

Derrick Johnson was in heaven.

     Well, not literally in a corporeal state with wings and a harp, but rather he was in a state of pure bliss; a sensation of ecstasy.  He felt as if he were lying on a cloud, his body floating weightless as magical fingers caressed his body from head to toe.  Even when he opened his eyes, all he could see was a blurry orangish cloud.  Since orange was his favorite color, it just confirmed his impression of a perfect feeling.

     He thought for a moment that he was home with his wife, Sarah.  She always made him feel that same feeling of ecstasy. Her soft kisses, the way she touched him; that was as close to heaven as he had ever been. Her touch would send chills up and down his body; almost exactly like he felt now.  Yes, Sarah. She was the cause of his exhilaration.

     But he knew that this wasn't heaven; nor was Sarah lying beside him.  Fleet Sergeant Johnson was alive and healing in a tank of mending fluid aboard one of the Confederation Medical Frigates.

     His nose was blocked by a small device that pinched his nostrils shut.  In his mouth he had a small tube that provided oxygen and a liquid, food like, substance that would build his strength.  The rest of his face, indeed his entire body, was open to the universe.

     He was floating due to his suspension in the mending tank; near weightless in a thick fluid with the consistency of motor oil.  The magic fingers that caressed his body were tiny nano-bots with needles that constantly moved around him, injecting healing fluids and small electric charges to stimulate healing.

     He opened his eyes and let the healing fluid flood his eyes.  It didn't burn, simply washed over his corneas and pupils and bathed away the scratches and debris of the explosion.  All he saw was the orange haze of the mending fluid.  He tried to smile; orange was his favorite color, after all.

     After half a minute of the fluid cleansing his eyes, he closed them again and relaxed even deeper into the thick liquid.  His mind returned to the days before the war, to Sarah.  She could always make him feel the way he felt now: relaxed, happy, content.  He smiled again, this time with a bit more success around his mouthpiece.

     Doctor Dranco Pleen studied the monitors and the reactions of his patient carefully.  Every adjustment, every minute blast of electric shock caused his patient to smile and relax deeper into his mental bliss.  The Doctor sent another small shock through the devices crawling on his skin; the shock caused Johnson's left arm to twitch and the man smiled again.

     "How is our patient, Doctor?"

     "He is reacting to the devices...just not as expected."

     Sub-Commander Farlenko watched the monitors for a moment, then moved over to the tank and studied the man.  Johnson smiled again.  "Explain!"

     "We have him submerged in the immobilization chamber, as you can see.  We have three Series Seven Torture Bots moving across his body; they are providing electric shocks at random intervals...increasing voltage with each shock.  He is already at level twelve.

     "He actually seems to enjoy the orange flummox fluid.  Every time we increase the tensile strength of the fluid, he seems to relax more."

     Sub-Commander Farlenko stood in silence for several moments, before he shook his head and turned to leave.  He stopped at the door, turned and stared at the chamber and the man inside.  He shook his head again in bewilderment and left the room.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

My first Entry

As the caveman took a wife, I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the world of blogs. 

As an aspiring author, I know that I have a lot to learn about the industry.  Writing, editing, agents, can be VERY overwhelming at times.  As I learn the path through these turbulent waters, I will publish those lessons for others to learn from, criticize and correct.

I am often amazed at how I got to this point. What started out as a way to alleviate boredom (in high school, and later on deployments for the military) has now blossomed into a semi-passion.   I say semi-passion because I don't write everyday. I can't, due to a full time job, family responsibilities and a raging case of ADD.  But I do enjoy putting pen on paper; or, these days, typing away until my wrists hurt.

So, I welcome any and all advice and your comments.  Wish me luck and I'll see you in the trenches!

R. Kyle Hannah
Author of