Monday, December 30, 2013

Musings About 2013 And This Author's Hopes For 2014...

Well, 2013 was a rollercoaster of a year for me.  There were some great highs but an awful lot of lows that really made this a tough one for me.  

Losing my father-in-law was probably the hardest thing to go through.  I looked up to that man so much and he gave me such great advice and encouragement.  To watch him fight the good fight and then lose to something other than the cancer, was gut-wrenching.  However, to see my wife's family pull together and know I was a part of them, helped a lot.  As did this Christmas.  This was the first one without him and was going to be especially hard for my mother-in-law.  Helen (my wife) and I had her and my brother-in-law over here for the holiday where we decked out the place and managed to create a magical Christmas in which it felt like he was right there with us the whole time.  We all felt his presence, and that made me feel so much better. 

My debut novel "The Bridge" came out and 1477 copies were grabbed up.  Most of these were thanks to free e-book giveaways (about 1370) by my count.  Was it worth doing that?  I think so, because as a 1st time author I needed to get my product and my name out there.  I'm hoping this will translate to a large number of people willing to actually buy the second book when it comes out in March 2014.  Because I won't be doing free promo-giveaways again because in order to do that, I'd have to first release the book to Amazon only for 3 months.  That would leave all my Nook, Apple and Sony e-reader fans waiting on the sidelines.  I don't like that idea, it seems unfair to my audience and I cannot operate that way.  I care about the people that are interested in reading my work.

Foolish? Maybe.  Idealistic?  Certainly.  But that's couple of things that make me who I am.

For 2014 I'm hoping to put out at least 2 new books.  "The Ship" of course in March.  Then I'll be introducing a new set of characters and their first story in December.  "The Vampire Blogs" will be my first Christmas story.  My protagonist will be a blood-sucker with most, if not all, the usual powers and weaknesses and no sparkling.  He will also be a good-guy.  I have plans of starting a blog dedicated to events in his and the other characters lives before the book actually comes out to give the audience sneak preview into the workings of their minds and how life shapes their personalities.  Please let me know if you like this idea in the comments section below.  Most of what will be shown in the blog will probably not show up in the book, so these 'blog' entries will be an added treat for my readers. 

Depending on my schedule in the coming months, I might have a third book come out which will involve Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie once again and take up where both "The Bridge" and "The Ship" leave off.  Little hint for everyone about the final scene coming up in "The Ship".  Hee-hee...

I will be attending more classes at my local Community College starting in Feb., with the hopes of entering University in the Fall of 2014.  We'll see how everything goes and how life is treating me.  The amount of free time I have will have a definite impact on how much writing I get done.  So keep your fingers crossed for me.  I'm dedicated to getting "The Ship" and "The Vampire Blogs" out for certain.

Other goals and dreams for 2014 involve spending more time with my wife and hoping our financial situation improves so we can get out and try more things.  Kayaking, Parasailing, Ballroom Dance and other activities have long been on our list of what we'd like to try or do more of.  We'll see how things go.

So, as 2013 comes to a close, I pray the coming months are kind and treat you all even better than the last 12 have.  More writing tips will be coming soon so stay tuned.  In the meantime, if you must travel please be safe and stay well.  

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL... and keep writing.

Friday, December 27, 2013

My Kickstarter Is Not Looking Well, But "THE SHIP" Will Still Be Coming In...

Well, with 2 weeks left, it looks like my Kickstarter is going to fail.  Really bad timing on my part I'm afraid.  I've gotten a number of compliments on the video I did for it.  But, it just wasn't the right time to do something like this.

So what's going to happen if it fails?  Simple, I've assembled some more people I can trust to help me edit the upcoming book ourselves.  My current Beta-readers are telling me they've seen a big improvement in my writing style compared to my first novel.  They say I've matured and the editing problems they've seen are much fewer.  I seemed to have learned a lot from my first go and they are still reading the first draft.  So, that says a lot I think.

One of them is a published author and is going to come and stay with us in January and we're really going to go over the entire 2nd book and do some serious editing together.  I hope the final result will be really pleasing to all.

To the editor I had lined up, all I can say is.  We'll see what happens on the next one.  I still want to work with you, but finances are just not going to let it happen just yet.  Fingers crossed that the efforts me and my team put in help to make "The Ship" a big success.

In the meantime, here's the link for the Kickstarter.  After all there's still 2 weeks left.  If it happens great, if it doesn't, at least you all know I have a back up plan.  Enjoy the holiday season everyone.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/975056676/editing-my-2nd-novel-the-ship


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Happy Boxing Day!

HAPPY BOXING DAY!!!! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. If Santa left you a nice new Nook, Sony, Laptop, or other nice new toy that allows you to read e-books, here's another gift you can give yourself.
My paranormal/mystery "THE BRIDGE" is still on .99 Cents on Smashwords. Grab a copy for yourself so you can be ready when the sequel "THE SHIP" comes out in Feb/Mar 2014.
However, if Santa left you a new Kindle, you can get the book at Amazon for .99 Cents as well using this link:
Happy Holidays and enjoy yourselves.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Simple Update and Some Words of Peace and Happiness To All...

"HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL"

     No updates on Kickstarters, or discount books today gang.  Just a few thoughts on this holiday season.

     This will be our first Christmas without my father-in-law, and I'll admit a part of me is a bit apprehensive about it.  But not all that much really.  There is still going to be the family gathering this weekend, where I will see a lot of familiar faces and a few new additions.  My wife's 'not-so-little cousins' have been growing their families and I will be meeting some of those children for the first time.  There will also be others I have not seen in a long while whose presence will be very welcome.  
   
     Although a lot has changed, the love and closeness we all share will still be there, a lot of this came from my father-in-law.  So in his own way, he will be there too.  And I'm really looking forward to that.  

     I know the holidays can be a rough time for those who've lost someone due to their passing, or just because of distance.  But remember, every person who touches your life with love leaves a bit of themselves with you that cannot be taken away.  That part is yours to keep always.  It's there to help you in good and bad times.  An old joke that still makes you smile, a gift that was given that you still have, or more importantly fond memories.  

   Memories are something we make with others that will always be with us.  Nothing take those away.  We may not always be able to think about them on the spot, because of life's craziness.  But they are there and keep a part of us warm at all times.  

    So this holiday season, try to make a lot more memories... really good ones.  Share love, a laugh, a thought, a dream.  These are gifts not only to yourself but others and can be the most treasured thing you could ever give.

    I don't know if I'll get a chance to do another post before Christmas or not, but there will be more before this year is over.  I'll probably be talking about writing and some new developments on the horizon at that time.  

     Until then, enjoy the holiday season and may you all have blast building some great memories of the season to carry with you always.

    Your friend,

    Allan Krummenacker




Thursday, December 12, 2013

Update On My Kickstarter...

SEASONS GREETINGS EVERYONE!

First off, I hope you are all finding many ways of enjoying the holiday season.  I know things get hectic around this time of year and stressful.  So I hope all of you are finding joy and comfort in family, friends, cartoons, music, etc.

I know there's a lot going on for everyone at this time, which means I screwed up.  This was definitely not the right time of year to have started my Kickstarter.  Unfortunately, three's not turning back because once a Kickstarter's been stared you can't hit a pause button and then restart it at a later date.  Once it's been set in motion you have to let it run its full course regardless of whether or not it looks like it will succeed.

In my case, the Kickstarter is not doing well and looks like it might fail.  I set mine to run 45 days, and with a third of that time already gone I've gotten only 2 pledges totally $30.  My goal for funding the editing job for the "The Ship" is $600.00.  Again, I've only got myself to blame if it fails.  A part of me knew darn well that the holidays are a tough time of year for everyone.  I'm a full believer in families coming first, especially at this time of the year.

However, I'm not despairing just yet.  I've still got 29 days left in my Kickstarter, which means it does not come to an end until January 11th.  With that in mind, I'm still hopeful that I can reach my goal.

I'm just glad that no actual money has changed hands.  That's the way it works with Kickstarters.  Pledged money is only collected at the end of the time frame, and ONLY if the goal is met.  If there aren't enough pledges then no one is out of pocket.  No money is collected and the person who created the project has to go back to the drawing board.  I learned this only recently myself, when I pledged $5.00 to a project that failed to make its goal.  Nothing was charged to my card and all I lost out on was a project gift for supporting them.  

That's one of the nice things about Kickstarter gifts, you get at least something for your investment.  In my case, a pledge is basically placing an advanced order for a copy of the book in the format of your choice.

In case anyone does wish to donate, even just a little to my project, here's a list of the gifts I have for you:  

$2.00 - an advanced PDF copy of the book, several weeks before it is made available to the general public.  This format is great for people without e-readers, because you can read it on your laptop or desktop computer (just make sure your unit can actually read PDF files first though).

$5.00 - 1st edition e-copy of the book in whatever e-reader format you need (Kindle, Sony, Nook, Apple, etc.)

$10.00 - first edition Trade Paperback copy of the book.

$25.00 - signed first edition Trade Paperback copy of the book, plus an e-copy in the e-reader format of your choice (Kindle, Sony, Nook, Apple, etc.)

*There are higher levels of pledges offered which you can find on the Kickstarter page itself if you're interested, I just wanted to post the simpler easier ones here.

I know there will be folks out there who wish to help, but can't even afford to spare $5 or $2, and I say "God bless you and thanks for thinking of me".  If you still want to help, then please just spread the word about my Kickstarter to others and that in itself could wind up making a huge difference.  

The link to the Kickstarter us just below.  Thank you all for reading and sticking with me, and let me finish by simply saying "HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours!"  Enjoy the season and stay safe.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Writing and Rubik's Cubes...

Okay fellow writers, here's a question for you all.  How many of  you find yourselves working and reworking a scene because something just isn't right?  In your mind, you know what you'd like to happen, but something just doesn't seem to be working right.  You make a change here, then a slight a tweek there and suddenly everything goes KAFLOOEY!    You suddenly hit a dead end, or the entire plot has taken a detour to No-wheres-ville.  When this happens to me, I get the same feelings I had whenever I tried to solve a Rubik's Cube.  I know all the parts and where I think they should go, but they're just not in the right spot.  And trying to get them in their proper place can be a nightmare some days.

Now this has happened to me on a number of occasions.  Some people tell me to have an outline, but that never works for me.  Why?  Because my characters start going in other directions by saying or doing things I hadn't originally planned.  Admittedly I let them get away with it, but only if what they're doing seems to be working better than what I originally planned.  Sometimes this works, but not always.  When it doesn't I do one of two things:  I'll delete it completely and try again OR  I'll save the scene in a separate folder on my computer.  You never know when an unused scene can be useful later in your present story, or could wind up being perfect for another book entirely.

Personally, I kind of like it when I can just delete the scene because then I get to point and laugh at my characters saying, "See?  I told you this wasn't going to work... NEENER-NEENER."   Unfortunately, I tend to do this out loud and get some really strange looks from anyone within a 30 foot radius.    It's at this point my unseen characters got to point and laugh right back at me, which is really annoying because they know I still need them and can't kill them off.  Damn, my creations can be annoying at times.

Anyway, getting back to my original point.  Writing a scene can be quite frustrating and difficult at times.  But, there are many ways   of tackling this problem:
-You might change who's in the scene, keep the ones who are most poignant and add someone else from the cast.  This can change the tension levels and the entire feel of the moment.
-Change the location where the action is happening.  Maybe the setting is the problem and you can get more out of a different location.
-Is a major piece of information about to be revealed in this scene?   If so how much of it do you really have to unveil at this moment?  Maybe you should only reveal a portion of the information.  You can whet the appetite of both the characters and the audience with this method.  By doing this your characters can go off half-cocked, which can make for some very interesting scenes as they make any number of mistakes or jump to wrong conclusions.  I personally like this because the character who isn't perfect, and learns from their mistakes, is someone the audience can really relate to sometimes.  On the other hand the characters can aware that something is still missing and we can follow their efforts to learn more which can lead to some very tense and exciting scenes as well.

So, don't be afraid to tear apart a scene that's frustrating you.   Try some really different ways of reworking it.  And if you find yourself still hitting a wall, ask yourself  if the scene is truly relevant in that particular point of the story.  Maybe it can be replaced by an entirely different scene that can serve a similar purpose.    Who knows, you may wind up with something that opens new avenues for your plot that are even more interesting than what you originally had in mind.

What other methods or tricks have you come up with?  I'm sure everyone reading this would be  interested because we're all trying learn from one another when it comes to writing.  So please leave your experiences and suggestions down in the comments section below.

And for the record,I did finally defeat the dreaded Rubik's Cube.  Mind you I did not remove the decals and change them around (which is something my wife did when she was kid).  Nor did I take the cube apart and reassemble it so the colors matched up.  What did I do?  Simple, I spray painted the entire thing silver and used it for a paperweight.  A very creative solution, don't you think?

Monday, December 2, 2013

From Now Until Christmas "The Bridge" Is Just .99 Cents...

****HOLIDAY SPECIAL****

From now until Christmas Day


The e-book version of Book 1 in my Para-Earth Series is available for all e-reader formats at Amazon and Smashwords for just $0.99 CENTS!  Within these pages you'll ecnounter psychics, spirits and an old stone bridge with a terrifying secret.  Mystery, the paranormal and a sci-fi twist similiar to the old Twilight Zone series await you. 

You can find a number of 4 and 5 star reviews can be found at both Amazon and Smashwords as well as get a sneak peak at the first few pages.  so take advantage of the opportunity to get to know the characters before book 2 comes out in February 2014. 

For the Kindle version click on this link: http://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Para-Earth-Allan-Krummenacker-ebook/dp/B00B86DR9G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1385995458

For Nook, Apple, Sony, PDF file, and all other e-readers click on this link to Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/272613



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My Kickstarter Is Up and Running...

It has begun...

My Kickstarter is now active and ready to be visited folks.  Remember, all funds raised will be going to the editing of "The Ship" and any extra pledged monies will be going to get "The Bridge" professionally edited so I can put out a new proper 3rd edition.
I have some nice thank you gifts for those who donate, so please come check it out and/or help spread the word. I've only got 45 days to make this happen.
Naturally, I'll be making more videos and posting updates on how things are coming and possibly adding more thank you gifts as time goes by.
Thanks so much everyone...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thank You "Doctor Who"....

Today, I'm going to be setting aside progress on my writing and giving advice to praise one of my all time favorite shows that just turned 50 years old, "Doctor Who".  This show has been a part of my life since I was 3 years old at least.  How can I be so certain?  Because it was way before I entered kindergarden that I saw a creature that captured my very young imagination, a Dalek.
It is said among the Doctor Who fans you never forget your first Doctor, for me I never forgot my first villain. These oversized 'Pepper Pots' fascinated me to no end.  So every time I happened to run across them again, I was able to realize a show I'd loved had come back.  Or rather I'd found again.  Being so young I'd had no concept of time and what day of the week it would be showing again.  My first Doctor was Hartnell.  Mind you I'd also caught the Peter Cushing movies, but when I saw him in the role I thought, "I remembered the Doctor as being older with white longer hair."  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I was watching the show from the day it started.  I was still inside my mom when the show began, plus I was in America not England.  No, I'd caught some re-broadcasts that had come to America I'm guessing.  In either case, I was hooked.

However it wasn't until the early 70's that I really could keep up with things.  Once more I spotted that familiar blue police box while changing channels and out came the Doctor.  Still with white hair, but much taller and agile.  I'd discovered John Pertwee, the 3rd Doctor.
Again I was entranced and was soon introduced to the concept of regeneration and Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor.  The problem with the show for me was of course it disappearing from time to time from the TV stations in New York.  I found Tom again during the Pyramids of Mars.  Then the show was gone again.
Luckily, after moving to California I found the show once more on PBS.  Tom was still doing the Doctor, but the show was being interrupted by a PBS Pledge Break.  At first I was annoyed.  I thought, "Here we go, scrounging for money for television...yadda-yadda..." But then I saw the phone banks were filled with people in costumes from the show.  It was the Sacramento Doctor Who Fan Club.  Having just moved I had no real friends and was wondering how I could meet some.  Thanks to Doctor Who, I'd just found a way.  I found out where they met and began attending meetings and quickly joined.  Not only did I make a bunch of life-long friends,  I alsoI met the woman who would become my wife Helen Henry.  Over twenty years later we're still devoted to each other and are still watching the show with all the enthusiasm we had back then.  
Soon I found myself doing costumes and working pledge breaks as one of the shows villains, "The Master".  

Sadly, I do not have any photos of myself in costume to share right here, as most of my stuff is in storage after we moved to Santa Cruz and then Marina in the last 7 years.  

In any case, the group also introduced me to conventions, which captured my imagination even further.  I made more costumes and even a replica of the Doctor's mechanical dog K-9, but with a twist.  Since I was doing the Master, I made a black and silver version which had moving ears, light up eyes, the head went up and down and it could move by itself thanks to the remote control tank I'd used for the basis of it.  It made a huge hit at the conventions and on the pledge breaks.

FYI, as soon as I can get my old VHS tapes out, I'm going to transfer all the pledge breaks I have to my computer and post them onto YouTube for all my old friends who lost their copies.

Anyway, to continue.  Doing all these fun things got my mind working in another direction as well.  Writing, I did my first Fan-Fiction piece about one the doctors showing up on the set at one of our pledge breaks and mayhem ensuing partly thanks to me being dressed up as the Master.  NOTE: The Doctor's companions make great plot tools especially if they've only heard a description of the Master, and said companion is a female warrior who's always spoiling for a fight.  Needless to say I was not the hero of the piece as much as the comedy relief.  In any case, this was my first journey into writing and I found I enjoyed it.  Over the years that followed more fan-fic's came into being and I soon joined other sci-fi fan clubs and did more 'very amateur' fan-fics for them as well.

Eventually though, my writing style matured more and I realized I had come up with so many different stories and ideas that many of them did not fit either Doctor Who or another favorite show from my childhood "Dark Shadows".  In fact, I could easily leave out established characters and create completely original ones to go along with my original storylines.  (Sorry for the repeat of the word there, but it's  the only way I can describe what happened)  

Now, several years later, I'm a published Indie Author.  My next book will be out in early 2014 as many of you are aware and eagerly awaiting.  But my origins as an author go back to Doctor Who.  That funny little man in a blue police box, and TV's first good-guy vampire Barnabas Collins in the original "Dark Shadows".  But it mostly goes to the Doctor.  So, on this day, 50 years after he first landed in an old junkyard on Foreman Lane, I want to say "Thank you, Doctor.  You made a huge difference in my life and I can't wait to see where you lead my wife and I, and all our friends, next."  


Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Kickstarting" My Book...

Okay, I know right off the bat most of you are going to be wondering, "What the hell?  I thought he had book 2 almost finished.  What's he talking about kickstarting it?"  Well, what I'm really talking about is Kickstarter.com.  For those who are not familiar with Kickstarter, here's a quick overview.  Kickstarter is a site where you can raise money for a specific art/creative project by getting people to donate to it.  Now it has to be something artsy or creative, like a comic book, cutting your own music album, an art project, or some other creative work that you need funds to help complete.  Mind you, the monies are intended to go to that project, not for you to take a vacation or go on a personal spending spree.  The object is to be able to get help to make a dream project a reality.  

In my case, I'm going to be doing Kickstarter to pay for the professional editing for "The Ship".  Originally, I was going to try and fund this myself.  Unfortunately as most of my regular readers will know this year has been a tough one in a lot of ways.  Well, earlier this week, my car died as we came off a freeway.  It turned out that the timing belt went.  But it didn't go by itself.  It damaged the water pump and the valves resulting in a bill of two grand.  There went my funds for the editing job.  So, I decided to try a Kickstarter to get the money.  

Why am I so determined to get the book edited professionally?  Simple, my first book "The Bridge" made a good splash in spite of not having professional editing done on it.  Over 1500 copies have been grabbed up and 95% of the reviews have been 4 and 5 stars.  There were however a couple of 3 star ones, by professional authors and those more familiar with the industry, who loved the story, but lamented the fact that such a good book had not been given that final polish to make it "Great".  Yes, that word was used more than once.  So I was determined that book 2 would get that extra polish and fine tuning.  

So how exactly does Kickstarter work and how does it raise money for your project?  It's pretty simple really.  First you have to have a project and a definite financial goal in mind.  You set up an account on Kickstarter and read the guidelines about what kind of projects they will allow.  Find the category yours fits in and then start working on your pitch.  Yeah, that's right, you have create pitch just as if your product was already finished and you were trying to sell it to prospective customers.  In this case, your pitching to prospective backers.  You still control the product and its design, as well as all the rights to it.  So you might be wondering, "What do the backers get out of helping you?"  That's up to you.

Here in America, we have channels on TV called PBS or Public Broadcasting Stations.  These are funded by the government and also by donations from viewers.  These stations will do what they call "Pledge Drives" where they ask the public for donations.  They will suggest different amounts of donations that also have thank you gifts for the donors depending on what amount of money they could afford.  You might get a T-shirt, a mug, a pin with the stations logo, or possibly one that is connected to a favorite show of yours they happen to play on a regular basis.  

My PBS station used to run Doctor Who.  At the time I belonged to a Doctor Who Fan Club and we'd man the phone banks during these pledge breaks, wearing costumes from the show.  I played one of the villains, while the people doing the sales pitch were dressed up as their favorite Doctor, whom I would try to harrass and usually wind up getting abused by a companion or the phone bank people.  Our pledge breaks were the most successful and used to bring in the most donations.  But it wasn't just the entertainment we offered, but the thank you gifts.  Doctor Who mugs, t-shirts, pins, books  a whole bunch of items.  Depending on the amount pledged a person might get one or several of these items altogether for really high donations.  

This is what Kickstarter is like.  Only the thank you gifts are based on your product.   You might offer your supporters free copies of your work, some signed or personalized, a t-shirt with a logo, a special handwritten thank you note along with your product.  It all depends on you and what you're creating.  

So check out Kickstarter if you're looking to fund a project and see if yours qualifies.  Just remember to really plan out your pitch and thank you gifts in advance.  Don't go off half-cocked and not have a clear plan in mind or you'll fail.  

Also, you'll have anywhere from 30-60 days to reach your goal.  Make sure the amount your aiming for is achievable in the time-frame you choose.  Because if your Kickstarter does not reach its goal, your project will not be funded at all.  Even if you got partial pledges, no money changes hands.  This is to help protect your backers.  Who wants to fund a project that may not see the light of day in the long run?  So make sure you've really planned things out.

As for my goals, I'll be aiming for about $500-$600 dollars.  I'm still making a list of my thank you gifts which so far include advance PDF and Paperback copies of the finished book, some signed and personalized, thank you notes, mention in the thank you page of the book itself, the original artwork of the cover I designed.  I'm even considering a possible guest appearance in an upcoming book.  Who knows.  

Now, I haven't finished putting my Kickstarter together so don't go wasting your time looking for it.  I'm still planning out donation levels and the thank you gifts that go with them.  Plus, I have to put together my video pitch.  Most Kickstarters have a video and those tend to be more successful at getting funded, so please keep that in mind if you're thinking of doing one for yourself.

I'll be posting the link to my Kickstarter here, as soon as it is ready to go.  

In the meantime,  check out Kickstarter at the link below.  Especially if you've had a project in mind for some time but couldn't figure out how to finance it.  Remember, look over their guidelines carefully to make sure your idea will qualify for a Kickstarter.  Also, check out some of the Kickstarter projects others have set up to get ideas of thank you gifts and how to put together your sales pitch.

Until next time, take care and keep writing.

Kickstarter Link: http://www.kickstarter.com/

   


Friday, November 8, 2013

Guest Blogger Keira Kroft Talks About Building Your Own Fan Base...

Okay gang, I have a special treat for you all today.  My good friend and fabulous author Keira Kroft has agreed to talk to you all about building a fan base for your writing.  

Now, a little about Keira before I unleash her on you all.  Keira carries a vet assistance degree; her love for animals is as great as her love of people. She gives a percentage of her personal book sale profits to the animal welfare league. Residing in a quiet suburb in the outskirts Chicago with her husband, she manages their comic book store fulltime, spending any spare time that she has working with her cats Scamper and Sawyer to achieve total world domination, one shared Twinkie at a time. Her passions include reading, writing, football, comic books and family. 

And now, without further ado.  Here is Keira...  remember to take notes, there may be a quiz afterwards.




Building a fan base...

If you follow a few simple steps, you can be in paradise within days. This is assuming you have written, tweaked and edited, edited and edited your work to a primo shine. But you are special and your work will be published, so don’t give away too much, a few sample chapters will suffice. However, the following advice works for someone that has only just begun, because it is never too early to acquire a fan base.

#1 Most important, get a Facebook for business, if you have one for family and friends, I suggest getting another one to meet and greet people to talk about your work. A fan page is also a nice idea.

#2 A blog, website or both is very important. Here are some helpful websites.

#3 Blogger http://www.blogger.com will sell you a domain for only 10.00 and is very versatile. I highly suggest whether you use blogger or not, to have a static website and blog.

These websites a completely free and there are more. But I have used the above free web hosts and I know they are safe and easy to snap together.

#4 A twitter account is very important. I know some people still have opinions about twitter, being a place to talk about your bowel movements and what you ate. But that is not true, it’s a very effective tool in reaching the masses.

#5 Don’t be a wallflower. Get out there, schmooze, and mingle. This never stops, enjoy the little bit of fame and fun. Most publishers do not require that you advertise for yourself. But most of them don’t mind, because every bit helps. And let’s face it most of us our are reader pimps, we want to collect as many of those as we can J

#6 Swim around, the internet is your friend. You can find many creative ways to advertise for free.

#7 Don’t be afraid, they are very few published writers that aren’t willing to give advice, so ask questions.

#8 Network with other writers, although befriending writers that write the same genre as you do is helpful, that is not a hard rule. They are multi-genre writers and there are multi-genre readers. I love a nice romance, but I also love the works of Clive Barker. 

Good luck to all of you, if you need any further help or advice, please feel free to contact me
Keirakroft66@gmail.com or I am always on Facebook

Thank you all so much for having me here today :)

Hugs, Keira Kroft,



Friday, November 1, 2013

You Have Until Midnight Tonight To Get Your Copy!

****TIME IS RUNNING OUT****

You have until midnight tonight ot get your free copy of "THE BRIDGE" through Smashwords. 

Remember: only at Smashwords can you get an e-copy for your Nook, Apple, and Sony E-readers.  Also, if you don't have an E-reader, you can also get a PDF copy for your laptop.  

Just click on the link below and type in this coupon code: TR27S to get your free copy of book #1 in the Para-Earth series.  Ghosts, psychics, a mystery that dates back to the Paleo Indians await you, along with surprise Sci-Fi twist reminiscent of the Twilight Zone. 

And don't forget to share this link with others so they can take advantage, they'll thank you.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/272613


Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Begins Here and Now!

****TRICK OR TREAT TIME BEGINS TODAY****

From now until November 1st, you can get a e-copy of my paranormal/mystery "THE BRIDGE" for free on Smashwords.

Just click on the link below and use this Coupon Code: TR27S

That's all you need to do to get your free copy in any of the following formats:  Nook, Sony, Apple, or PDF for those who don't have an e-reader and just like to read on your laptop or desktop computers.    

And if you already have a copy, tell everyone you know so they can take advantage of this offer. 

Remember this is Book#1 in the Para-Earth Series.  Book #2 "THE SHIP" is coming out this December just in time for Christmas so get to know some of the characters and the wonders of a totally new take on the parallel word concept.  Its unlike anything you've ever seen before.  

4 and 5 star reviews can be found at Smashwords, and Amazon if you're still not certain and would like to hear what others have said.

Come check it out and get your copy at the link below:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/272613


Friday, October 11, 2013

Nanowrimo Is Coming....

     Well, one third of October is gone already and Halloween is coming.  But so is something more terrifying, at least for those who brave the challenge.  November is Nanowrimo Month and I've signed up for it.  For anyone unfamiliar with Nanowrimo, it's quite simple.  Starting on November 1st you have until the November 30th to write 50,000 words of a brand new novel.  That's right.  You start a brand new novel from scratch at the beginning of the month and try to write at least 50,000 words in 30 days.  It doesn't mean the novel has to be completed, you just have to have written that amount of words for your novel.

     Now to some this sounds easy, to others it sounds daunting.  The object here is not to create finished product, but a first draft and have those 50,000 words of it done by the end of the month.  It has been calculated that a person would need to do 1666 words per day, without missing a single day to make this goal.  Easy right?  Wrong!  In my case, I will have to fight perfectionist tendencies and resist the temptation to go back and redo certain sections I've already written.  This happens to me all the time while writing.  So this will be one of the major challenges of the exercise.  I have to remind myself that fixing areas and rewriting scenes is what 2nd, 3rd and 4th drafts are for.  The purpose here is to get that 1st draft done period.

     I'm hoping this experience will help me overcome that problem, which is one of the reasons why my 2nd novel has been taking so long.  I keep going back and fixing areas or changing things which affect the rest of the 1st draft so I wind up doing more fixes elsewhere instead of just getting the damn story finished so I can go back and make changes.  An unfinished story is an unfinished story, period.  We're not meant to have a perfect 1st draft, just a full story.

     Oddly enough, I didn't have this problem with my 1st novel "The Bridge".  It was more like a Nanowrimo story.  I got the 1st draft done and then spent weeks cleaning it up.  I need to get back to that mindset.  Why did I change my habits?  I think because I'm more aware of how rough the 1st draft of "The Bridge" was and I'm afraid of wincing over and over again at what I've done and trying to fix it.  Getting a cleaner 1st draft seems to be what I'm trying for with "The Ship", but it's hampering my attempt to get to the final big climactic scene.  I have to remind myself that those errors will be caught LATER!  I dont' have to work on them now.
     As for what I've got planned for Nanowrimo?  Well, it will involve vampires with the typical weaknesses of legend, yet there will be a twist that makes it fit in my Para-Earth Universe.    That's all I'll say.  I'm creating a bit of an outline and getting my characters lined up and getting to know who they are before I begin on November 1st.  All of this is permitted in the rules.  You just can't start writing the actual story until November 1st.

     So here's to Nanowrimo.  If you want to take a crack at it yourself, here's the link to sign up:

  http://nanowrimo.org/

     I'll be talking more about Nanowrimo in the coming weeks so stay tuned.  I'll try not to bore you all with it, but just share some of what I'm going through as it happens.  I promise to still post about different parts of the writing process and giving tips.  So until next time, good luck and keep writing.

PS: Here's a sneak peak at what the cover for my Nanowrimo project may be.  It's not the final product, more of a work in progress.  I want to do some more tweaking to the image, but I think this is close to what the final image may wind up being.





Sunday, October 6, 2013

Short Story Sunday Time....

Today, instead of a one of my usual posts I decided to change gears and try something a little different.  I thought some of you might like to see a sample of some of my other writings that are not related to the Para-Earth Series.  So here's a piece I did for my creative writing class a couple of semesters ago.  The premise was to write a scene where something unexpected happens.  Well, I went beyond that and created an entire short story.  I hope you enjoy it.

BAD HAIR DAY

By

Allan Krummenacker

          Jane couldn’t believe it, the call had come.  They had wanted to see her the next day.  She had spent the previous evening going through her clothing for just the right look.  Glancing over at the corner of her bedroom, she could still see the pile of rejects she’d tossed aside during her quest.  They seemed to glare at her with resentment for being treated so poorly.  She promised to give them all a good washing and to put them away nicely when she got back.  Right now, she had to get ready.
            Quickly she moved over to the sink in the bathroom to fix her make-up.  Everything had to be just right or she’d be sunk.  Everything was lined up just as she had left it the night before.  Lipstick, eye-liner, blush… all of it was just waiting there for her.  Then she looked up and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and cried out in horror.  Clutching her chest she backed up into the wall, eyes wide, mouth gaping… BED-HAIR!  But not just ordinary bed-hair, no this was possibly the worst case on record. 
            “Why, why today of all days?” she wailed and sank to the floor.  The interview was in an hour.  What was she going to do?   Pulling herself together she grabbed a brush and went at the tangled mess with a vengeance. 
            No good.  Instead of taming the wild look, her frantic efforts had only made things worse.  She looked like a poodle who’d tried pissing on a power transformer.  Dropping the brush she made a dash back to the bedroom in search of a hat.  That might at least help calm things down.  She searched high and low but only found a baseball cap.  That wouldn’t do… or would it?  No, with her luck, the interviewer was probably a fan of a rival team.  No she’d have to think of something else. 
            Maybe she could shave her head and say she’d been going through treatments?  No that would be disrespectful of people like her sister-in-law in Tennessee.  Not that she ever cared for the woman, but still.  
What am I going to do?” she moaned and sank down on the bed.
            She could see it all now.  As soon as she walked in the receptionist would take one look at her and hide behind the desk.  One of the other candidates would smirk and ask her long it took her to get her finger out of the electric socket.  
            Or even worse, they might take one look at her and ask security to remove the homeless bag-lady that had wandered in.
            Oh what was she going to do?
            Just then there was a knock at the front door.  Groaning she started heading towards it while the pit of despair grew larger and larger in her mind.  Then suddenly she stopped.  What if it was someone who could help her?  Maybe it was one of her friends?  A fairy-godmother, come to render aid in her hour of need.  Hour… she looked up at the clock, only 45 minutes until the interview.
            Panicking she raced to the door and found a man in a UPS uniform standing on her stoop.  He had a pleasant face and was holding a package, along with a clipboard and pen.  “Unnnghhh….” was all she managed to say as he greeted her warmly. 
            “Oooo… that’s some hairstyle you have there, Miss,” he chuckled.  “I haven’t seen a case of bed-hair that bad since my days in cosmetology school.”
            Jane perked up. “You did hair?”
            “Well yeah but…”
            Grabbing him by the hand Jane hauled him inside and closed the door and locked it.  Leading him to the bathroom she babbled an incoherent explanation of what was at stake and how she needed his help.  Then she handed him the scissors and comb and told him to get to work.  If he was fast enough, she’d still have time to make the appointment.
            The man tried talking but she told him they could talk after he was done.  There was an edge to her voice that she hoped would block any further protests.  It worked. 
            With a resigned shrug, the fellow went to work.  Ten minutes later he stepped back and let her take a good look in the mirror.  Jane screamed.  The sides were uneven, her bangs were lopsided, it was worse than before.  She hadn’t thought such a thing was possible.  “I thought you said you went to Cosmotology School!” she cried.
            “I did,” the man explained backing up.  “But I sucked at it, that’s why I wound up getting a job with UPS.”
            The wail of frustration Jane uttered took them both by surprise.  She never knew she could hit such a high note with her voice. 
          As the for the failed-hairdresser, the he stumbled backwards into her bedroom and wound up tripping over the pile of discarded clothes.
            Jane watched in horror as the world slowed down and the poor guy fell backwards and cracked the back of his head against the corner of the nightstand and then the floor.  He did not get back up.  Nor did he move.
            Eyes wide Jane started to let out an unholy, “OH MY GO…”
            “THAT’S GOOD, WE’VE SEEN ENOUGH!” a voice from out of nowhere announced.
          Turning toward the front of the stage, Jane stared out at the darkness where the director, the producer and the playwright were sitting.  “Could I do that last part again?” she asked, “I don’t think I really captured the mood when Tony went down.”
            The director waved a reassuring hand, “Don’t worry.  You were great.   In fact you’re exactly the person we’re looking for.  You’ve got the part.  Why don’t you gather your things and we’ll see you back here tomorrow at 2 o’clock.”
             Delighted with this turn of events, Jane squealed with glee and rushed off the stage. 
         Once she was gone the trio slowly made their way onto the stage and glanced down at the still unmoving figure in the postal carrier outfit.  “It worked,” said the producer.
            “I can’t believe it,” said the director.

           Only the playwright smiled, “Well, you won’t have to worry about your little blackmailer anymore.  It will be ruled as an accidental death.  See, I told you I know how to write killer scenes.”

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Celebration of Life For My Late Father-in-Law...


Thomas Henry, the Explorer:

He walks the road ahead,
In the undiscovered country,
Learning the calls of the dodo, 
Tracing the prints of the sabertooth. 
He does not forget,
Nor will he be forgotten.
Love knows no time or distance,
Love knows only truth. 

He is with us, with the unfurling of the flower.
I hear his voice vibrating in the rustle of the leaves. 
I see his shadow pacing so we need not walk alone.
The connection is unbroken; that's what I believe. 

So while we weep, we smile,
And hold him in our hearts,
Because we don't forget him, 
We'll never truly part.

by Helen Kathryn Henry Krummenacker (my wife)

Yesterday, I went to Stockton with my wife to attend the "Celebration Of Life" her mother was holding for her late husband, my father-in-law Thomas Henry.  It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever been to.  This was not a memorial service, it was exactly what the name says.  We celebrated this wonderful man's life and how he touched each of our lives.  I had no idea what to expect, but both my wife and I needed to be there for her mother, her brother, the rest of the family and ourselves.  It was a moving experience.  

A slide show played on 2 computers, showing photos from throughout his life, while music he loved played in the background.  A table was set up with objects from his life, a t-shirt from the Atlanta Olympics that he and my mother-in-law went to see in person, a medal he got for taking part in a marathon, a camera (he was a fantastic photographer), objects he'd picked up on his many visits to the woods and mountains (he loved the outdoors) and many other things that showed just how much he did in one lifetime.  

Outside, the garden had been restored to the way he had envisioned and worked so hard to make happen before he became too ill to tend to it.  Amidst the flowers, were easels with some of the photos he'd taken and even won awards for a few of them.  There were a few tears but mostly joy and talk about this wonderful man who lived life so fully and did so many things.  In turn the event reminded all of us that we all still have each other and so much more life ahead, that he'd want us to live to the fullest.  It was invigorating and healing all in one shot.  

He was a huge supporter and inspiration to me.  The laptop I had that recently died on me, had come from him.  And now, his desktop computer has been handed down to me.  It is on this new computer that I write this and will be finishing my second book "The Ship" on and then write more stories and novels.  I can feel him at times as I work on this machine and I can sense him nodding in approval.  Thanks Dad, for everything.  Especially for still being there for all of us in your own way.

Thanks for reading this folks.  I'll get back to my usual type of posts about writing in my next entry.  Take care and keep writing.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Special Deal For Nook, Sony, Apple and Kindle E-readers, This Week Only...

Starting today (9/15/13) and ending midnight next Sunday (9/22/13), the e-book version of  my paranormal/mystery novel "The Bridge" is available for just 99 cents on Smashwords and Amazon.  

Smashwords covers Nook, Apple, Sony, and other e-readers as well as PDF copies of the book.  Amazon has the Kindle version.  

So take advantage of this opportunity while you can.  Ghosts, police, psychics, shamans and a 300 year old bridge with a terrifying secret awaits you within the pages of this book. 

This novel is also the first in the Para-Earth book series.  Book 2, "The Ship" will be coming this December and will follow two of the main characters in "The Bridge" as they journey to the west coast to bury one of their own.

Just click on the appropriate link below to get the e-book version that works best for you.  And if you already have a copy, please help spread the word of this one week special deal.  Thank you.


                        
 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Google Drive/Docs, A New Tool In Your Writing Arsenal...

As most of you probably know, my beloved laptop died a few weeks ago and I have yet to replace it.  I will be getting a desktop computer towards the end of the month luckily.  But in the meantime, it's been hard not being able to access my novels and work on them.  At least, that was the case until yesterday.  I am now able to continue work on book #2 "The Ship" and am in no danger of losing any changes I make to it (at least as far as I know).  And it's all thanks to my G-mail account.

Now a lot of you are probably thinking, "Well duh, you simply mail what you wrote each day to yourself and it will be safe in your e-mail."  That is definitely a method that a lot of people use, but I have a tendency of deleting or accidentally deleting e-mails due to clumsy fingers or a computer acting strange.  

What I'm going to talk about today is Google Drive (aka Google Docs).  Now I know Google had provided a  "Cloud"-like service for all who use Google but I didn't know a lot about it.  It is very similar to Amazon's Cloud system, where you have a huge amount of storage in cyberspace to save photos, documents, etc.  But I'm one of those who does not jump on the new-tech bandwagon right away.  I always hang back and let time pass for others to give these services a test run and see if there are any bugs that need working out first. After I've heard more about the new technologies, then I'll give it a whirl.  I hate to try things and lose stuff because there were issues that needed to be fixed.  Especially where my writing is concerned.

So, when my laptop started acting strangely I backed up all my writing files onto memory sticks (flash drives).  My wife then urged me to transfer some of the docs from the sticks onto Google Docs, informing me that I already had an account with Google because of my e-mail.  So I proceeded to do as she instructed.  I uploaded my writing files and could access the novels that way thinking I could access the novels on any other computer I could get my hands on.  Right?  Wrong!  Because I uploaded the novels in MS Word, I could not bring up the novels on computers that did not have MS Word.  Our new laptop, which is primarily for my wife's university schoolwork does not have MS Office or Word on it.  

I told my wife about this and she informed me that the files she'd put on Google Drive were easy to access and she could make changes to them.  Long story short, she finally realized how I'd uploaded the actual files in their original program.  Whereas she had simply copied her files and pasted them into a Untitled Google Doc, which is the first option that comes up when you enter Google Drive.  That Google Doc is always accessible from ANY computer and you can make changes, edit, or add to a doc.  So yesterday I got onto a computer that had MS Word, opened my original document and then copied the entire book into a Google Doc.  Then I went home and tried to access it and make changes on the new laptop at home that did not have MS Word.  It worked.  I can now access the novel, make changes and continue to finish writing the first draft while I wait to get the desktop at the end of the month.  

I'm back in business and it feels great.  So check out Google Drive (aka Google Docs) and start saving your files over there gang.  Remember, if you want to be able to make adjustments to your doc, copy and paste the file into a Google Doc template.  If you simply want to have a back up copy, then upload the file in its original format.  

This is a great tool and I'm so glad it's available.  You can also make certain files accessible to others like Beta-Readers or your editor through Google Drive.  PLUS... you can make it that no one can tamper with the document while it's on Google Drive.  They can read but not touch it.  

Check it out, it's really worth it folks.  If any of you have other advice about Google Drive or other similar services please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.  That's all for now.  Take care and keep writing.