Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Interview - Maley Books

I had the honor recently of being interviewed by Dennis Maley, owner of the website Maley Books, regarding my novel, Perfect Pawn.

Dennis has done some outstanding work of interviewing up and coming indie authors. He has an irreverent style that I think is much more engaging than the traditional dry, straightforward, interviews we are used to seeing.  It lets you get a peek inside the authors and see their personalities come out.

It was a fun time and I hope you enjoy the read.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering Memorial Day - 2013

In my book, Perfect Pawn, the main character is a former US Navy sailor.  Our military personnel have always held a special place in my heart. While many others elevate athletes and celebrities to lofty pedestals I prefer to recognize those who have actually done something for us.

Sgt. William Eubanks & Major General Martin Foery
Folks like Lt. Michael Murphy, PO2 Michael Monsoor, Sgt. Salvatore Guinta, Sgt.Leroy Petry and Sgt. Dakota Meyer. And for me, personally, my father in law Sgt. William Eubanks and my great uncle, Major General Martin Foery. I miss them both very much.

While I never had the privilege to serve in our military, I spent twenty years in uniform as a member of the NYPD. I understand the hardships and difficulty associated with service to others. When you put your needs aside to serve the greater good, knowing that each time you put yourself in harms way it might mean that you will be called upon to give that last full measure of yourself.

On this memorial day, never forget the sacrifices made by our service personnel. Some have paid the ultimate sacrifice, but all have paid a price for your freedom and mine.

God Bless Them All.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Printed Books vs E-Books

We live in a very interesting time. Advances in technology are rapidly changing the way we communicate with one another and how we entertain ourselves.

Many of us fondly recall playing the pinball machine at the pizza parlor and then stood in awe as we watched the first Space Invaders arcade game get delivered. Now we anxiously await Battlefield 4's release so we can unleash devastation on an enemy half a world away while we verbally mock them on our headsets. Not that I would do anything like that.

I mean I would if I could, but I'm not that good....

As I have undertaken this journey in writing, it has caused me to consider things I am not sure I ever would have before.

Since a very early age I have been a voracious reader. Whether it is science fiction, a good mystery or a historical account of some obscure battle during WWII, I just enjoy it.

Until recently, my reading has been limited to printed books. I never bothered to keep up with the new "fad" of e-books, thinking they were more of a novelty. However, as I began to explore the options for publishing my book I have had to come to terms with the fact that this new medium is here to stay and is a force to be reckoned with.

Recently I purchased a Kindle HD for my wife and uploaded my book onto it so she could do some additional editing. The quality of the text is unbelievable and the ease of reading is superb. As a result it is causing me to rethink the entire e-book genre.

Don't get me wrong, I believe there will always be a place for printed books. There is just something about holding a book in my hands that I don't think I will ever be able to let go of. That being said, the convenience of having thousands of books at your fingertips, available whenever the moment hits you, is hard to argue against.

This brings me to the question. Given the option of either a printed book or an e-book, what would you prefer?

Follow me on twitter @Andrew_G_Nelson

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Editing versus Writing

OK, so what do you do when you hit that wall during editing your book? You write of course.

Having been a lifelong "reader" I have to admit that I never imagined the amount of work that actually goes into writing a book. Let's say that the price you pay for a book will never begin to make up for the amount of work that actually goes into preparing it for you to read.

Ernest Hemingway once said “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

It's true, every line you write is yours, you bleed that story. The people are yours. You live your life in that book one conversation and one moment at a time. It becomes an extension of you. But this creates a quandary for the author, when is enough, enough?

I'm three revisions into the first book right now. Continuity is a big thing. I found a number of issues that needed to be resolved the first time around. The 2nd and 3rd amount to a lot of grammar and what I would call polishing. Just making sure you don't use the same words too much in any particular paragraphs. It is as much for me as it is wanting to give my readers the absolute best book possible.

But what happens when your eyes cross and you've downed enough alcohol and advil to stock a small, but heroic, combat unit?

You close that file and you begin anew. So here I am, about 4k words into the sequel. I have tons of ideas for the progression of the new book and it is fun to watch the characters continue to develop.

But I must get back to the original at some point.  Will the book be good? Will it welcomed and appreciated by readers? I don't know, but I know the people I have created in that book deserve the opportunity. 

Everything being said, I guess I am just rambling and recognizing the need to get back to basics and finish the first story.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

So you wrote a book, now what?

Wow, I have to admit that I hadn't anticipated that question. I guess that's a good thing. if I had actually invested the time in doing the research about what it takes to get a book published I probably would have turned off my computer and mowed the yard.

This might come as a shock to many avid book readers, but publishing a book is harder than actually writing one. At least that is my humble opinion.

To bumper sticker it, once you write it then you need to find an agent to represent your book to the publishing houses. But there are a lot of writers out there and finding an agent, who is getting hundreds of queries a week, isn't easy. Even when an agent takes an interest, and asks to read your full manuscript, it might be months before you hear back. That's if your lucky. Then it could be even longer to market it to a publishing house and then, if they pick it up, months still before it actually moves forward.

Don't even get me started on formatting.........

Is it any wonder that neophyte authors throw their hands up in frustration and decide to self publish, but is this the answer?

An agent will do a lot of the work to get you published, self publishing is all you baby and their are any number of pitfalls with that. Couple that with the fact that many traditional book stores won't carry self published books and you can see why a lot of authors drink heavily and buy Advil in bulk quantities.

So here I am, completed manuscript in hand and wondering how to proceed. I have to admit it is a seriously tough choice.

Next time you pick up that book, stop for a moment and realize that what you are buying is a labor of love. With limited exceptions (i.e.: Stephanie Meyers, Twilight) getting a book to print is tough, and making money from it......haha, that's rich, well not really.

Having written a book, I can tell you this, if you are so inclined to write, do it as a hobby. This way you will have zero stress. As for me, I'm going to yet another website to research the differences between two online publishers.

Well, I'm going to do this after I knock back my three advil with a rum and coke. Cheers !

Follow me on twitter: @Andrew_G_Nelson

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Perfect Pawn

When a woman goes missing from a one car accident on a desolate stretch of road in the scenic Adirondack town of Keenseville, New York, it is only the opening move in a much larger game of life and death.

For retired NYPD Detective, James Maguire, the pieces of his life were finally starting to fall into place. He had successfully made the transition to the private security sector and had just met Melody Anderson, a successful Southampton business woman, whom he felt he could have a real relationship with. Everything, it seemed, was looking up for him. That was until the morning newscast reported that the woman who has gone missing from the accident was someone Maguire once loved.

When he arrives back in his hometown he quickly learns that no one else, including the missing woman’s husband, the local sheriff, seems interested in pursuing the investigation into the accident that Maguire is starting to have doubts about. As he struggles to put the pieces together in time, he finds himself being drawn deeper into a game where people are as expendable as chess pieces and the only goal is to take down the king.

A crown Maguire unwittingly wears.

Follow me on twitter: @Andrew_G_Nelson