Sunday, June 30, 2013

.99 Cent 4th of July Special Coming Soon...

I'm thinking about running a .99 Cent special for the 4th of July weekend for "THE BRIDGE" on Amazon. So if anyone who's been thinking about getting a Kindle copy this will be your chance to get it pretty cheap. And if you already have a copy and fell in love with the story and the characters, please let others know they'll have a great opportunity to get their own copy at a great low price. Thx.

I'm supplying the link below for people who want to take a sneak peak inside the bood.  The sale will start on the 4th of July.  So stay tuned.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B86DR9G


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Roanoke" Inspiration From History...



CROATOAN

A lone word carved on a pillar of a fort that had once housed a colony of 90 people from 1587 until 1588 or '89 perhaps?  Who can say, because in 1590, there was no trace of the colonists who had made the isle of Roanoake their new home.  No sign of a struggle or battle could be found, and the local native Americans on the island proclaimed no white men had ever settled there.  

Roanoake, or "The Lost Colony" as it has come to be called, is an actual mystery right out of early American history.  Many ideas and theories have been put forward to explain the disappearance of the nearly 100 settlers, but no hard evidence has been discovered to say exactly which theory if any is the correct one.  As for the word carved in the lone pillar "Croatoan", what did that have to do with anything?  Well according to those who'd come to check on the settlers in 1590, a plan had been set in place where that word would be left in plain sight if the settlers decided to pull up stakes and flee to another nearby island.  The name of that island was Croatoan (today it is called Hatteras). 

But again, there has been no solid evidence found to prove the settlers did indeed go that island.  They might have been lost at sea, or changed their minds and dispersed elsewhere.  No one knows.  Again, it remains a mystery.

So what does this have to do with writing.  Two words "inspiration" and "ideas".  With an unsolved mystery like this, a writer can have a lot of leeway to build an entire story around what might have happened.  Now I was first introduced to the story of Roanoke when I was in grade school.  Naturally I was immediately fascinated by the story and kept wondering what might have happened.  Of course, being so young I never really did anything with it.  But the idea of coming up with an explanation, even a fictional one always stayed with me.  

Today, as I've gotten about 3/4's of the way through my second novel, I've finally found a use for this historical mystery.  The story does not focus around the mystery or Roanoke, but does utilize it in a very effective manner.  Without giving too much away, I'm using a fictional scene of what happened to help demonstrate the power and age of the 'Big Baddy' in my novel.  Something that has lasted for over 400 years and is still creating new terror in modern day.  

But one does not have to simply rely on unsolved mysteries from history to get ideas.  Oh no.  History is chock full of events you can focus on or have play a part in your story.  Disasters like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York 1911, is another example.  According to the records the owners of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, LOCKED and BLOCKED all emergency exits, effectively locking in their workers to make sure they got a full day's work out of them.  The conditions inside the factory were attrocious and extremely unsafe.  Literally a disaster waiting to happen.  And in 1911 it did.  A fire broke out and raced throughout the building.  And of course with the doors all locked, no one could get out.  Many jumped to their deaths from the upper story windows rather than burn.  

Now there is no mystery to what happened in that factory, just simple facts.  But a writer can build a story around the circumstances leading up to and including such a disaster.  It doesn't have to be Triangle Factory fire.  A fictional factory or place under similar conditions can be created along with reasons for the disaster.  What if it had been done on purpose?  Lives sacrificed, but for what reason?  

History gives us a lot to work with.  You only have to look into a subject that is of interest to you.  Maybe it was a rumor or event you read about when you were a kid that always stuck with you.  Or perhaps just curiosity or a fascination with a subject you have.  Explore that subject through history and see if you get some ideas.  There's plenty for us to work with folks.

Until next time, take care and keep writing.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New 4 Star Review For "THE BRIDGE" On Amazon...


4.0 out of 5 stars Good job, RookieJune 19, 2013
This review is from: The Bridge (Para-Earth Series) (Kindle Edition)
Kudos go to Allan Krummenacker for his first novel "The Bridge." The storyline is an intriguing balance of wit and suspense, with a cadence that flows nicely, making it an easy read. There is never a dull moment as Krummenacker keeps the reader wanting to know more about each event that takes place. I would like to see more descriptive language used in future works by this author, but overall I look forward to following his career and seeing how his craft develops.


The Kindle version of  "The Bridge" is still $1.49 (1/2 off the regular price) at Amazon.com.  So if you haven't gotten a copy or know someone who might want a copy, now is the time.  Just click or share the link below:



Monday, June 17, 2013

Results From My First E-book Giveaway On Kindle....

The final tally is in and 365 people took advantage of the chance to get the Kindle version of my paranormal/mystery novel "THE BRIDGE" for free.  Hey, a reader for every day of the year... chuckle.

I've never done a free-book promo on Amazon before, so anyone with experience please let me know if this is a good number.  I think so, but I like to hear other people's thoughts.

Now I'm sure one of the big questions on the minds of some of you is, "Why did you give your book away for free?  Don't you want to make some money?"

The answer is simple.  I wanted to increase my sales.  Now I know this sounds like a contradiction, but hear me out.  To date, only 100 copies of my novel had sold before this giveaway.  And about 1/2 of those were actual sales over six months.  I've had 10 reviews on Amazon and about 15 on Smashwords.  Not bad numbers, but certainly not earth-shattering.  I've had family and friends helping promote the book throughout their social networks.  I've done press releases, sent out free copies to newspapers and radio stations.  My sales ranking on Smashwords was impressive, but the sales were still not coming as strongly as I'd like.  Why?

Not many people have ever heard of me.  I've got ONE book to my name out there, just one.  I'm still building my reputation and a following.  In this day and age, a lot of people are very choosy about what they buy, even in e-books.  So those who sell their works for .99 cents or less have a better chance at being grabbed up.  Especially if you have a good tagline and cover.  But sometimes even that's not enough.  Word of mouth is truly the biggest and greatest weapons we have to get our names out there.  And that only happens if we get our work into the hands of more readers.

Now, I've read (in a number of places) that authors who've done the free e-book promos see increases in sales within the weeks/months that follow.  Readers get hooked on what they've read and tell family, friends, and people in their social networks about it and get them excited enough to get their own copies.  In turn they may fall in love with the book and tell even more people about it, thus perpetuating sales and building the author's reputation.

So now I've taken the plunge.  Now all I can do is wait and see what kind of results happen.  I've already heard from one or two people who took advantage of the giveaway and was delighted to hear them say, "I don't usually read this genre but the story has already sucked me in.  I'm going to want to read the next one..."  I've been told this before by other reviewers as well, which gives me hope for the future of my books.  But more importantly, I'm hoping they will spread the word and get others to check it out.

I'll keep you all posted on what happens next.  As I said way back when I first started this blog, I'm going to share this journey with you all.  My ups and downs, so hopefully you can avoid some of the pitfalls I landed up in.  Success or failure, we learn from them.  Hopefully, you can learn from mine.

In the meantime, the price has gone back to $1.49 which is still 1/2 off the usual price for the book.  So if you haven't gotten a copy yet or want to get one for someone else there's still time to get it at 50% off.  Have a great day...

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B86DR9G

Sunday, June 16, 2013

FREE KINDLE COPY OF "THE BRIDGE" AVAILABLE UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT 6/16/13...

****THERE IS STILL TIME TO GET YOUR FREE KINDLE COPY OF "THE BRIDGE" ON AMAZON****

Up to this moment 247 people have already claimed their copy of my paranormal/mystery. You have until midnight tonight (Pacific Standard Time) to get your free copy. And if you've already gotten yours, spread the word and so your family, friends and networks can get their copy. Psychics, cops, ghosts and a terrifying secret hidden away inside a three hundred year old bridge await you in this book. Come and learn how the Para-Earth series begins in this first installment. You'll be glad you did. 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B86DR9G


Friday, June 14, 2013

FREE KINDLE WEEKEND, Starts Tomorrow June 15, 2013...

Just in time for Father's Day!  The KINDLE version of my paranormal/mystery "THE BRIDGE" will be available for FREE on Amazon this weekend.  Starting tomorrow 6/15 and ending at midnight on 6/16 you can get a free copy!  So if you're still looking for something for Dad, or a little something for yourself, here's your chance to grab book #1 in the Para-Earth Series.  Ghosts, psychics, police, and a three hundred year old stone bridge which holds a terrifying secret awaits you within the pages of this book which has received 4 and 5 star reviews.  

So bookmark the link below and get  your free copy during this weekend special.  And spread the word to everyone you know about it.  This book has captured the imaginations of customers who have said flat out that they normally don't read this genre, but are eager for the next installment which will be coming in September.

Happy reading everyone...



Saturday, June 8, 2013

Farewell Ray Bradbury... The Author Who Fell To Earth

Mr. Ray Bradbury died on June 5, 2012.  It's been a year since he left us with a legacy of books and stories, some of which have been made into movies and TV episodes (check out Ray Bradbury Theater on Amazon or YouTube).  In this blog entry I'm not going to recap his life story.  Mostly I'm going to share my own thoughts and feelings on the man from what I saw of him in his works.

Mr. Bradbury could capture the imagination in ways not many authors can.  I'm a huge fan of his short story anthologies, as well as his more lengthy works.  But it was those short stories that always captured my attention the most.  I've not done many myself, but I'm hoping to expand eventually.  I'm afraid I'm one of those authors who feels he has a big story to tell most of the time.  Perhaps I just haven't come up with the right character(s) to be the voice or focus of some short stories.  I've got one or two in mind but I have to learn a bit more about who they are and what some of their short stories are like first.

But Mr. Bradbury's style and ability to create characters and situations never ceased to amaze me.  He could take us to other planets, some nice others not, and allow us to meet people who were people.  They had foibles and shortcomings, a sense of duty, dreams, hopes, laughter and tears.  He had a way of making us feel the depths of these characters emotions and make us ask "How would I handle a situation like that?" without even trying.  Whether we were going to an alien planet with a cynical captain and discover that Jesus Christ had been seen there (title of the story is "The Man"), or a world that would literally love and grant you anything you wished but could turn hostile if you disrespected her ("Here There Be Tygers"),  or even taking on the prospects of reverse racism ("The Other Shoe"), he could make the readers wonder about themselves and the world around them.

But he wasn't just about science fiction.  He could do contemporary with the best of them.  His exploration into childhood could be very moving and evoke emotions from your past with the skill of a master.  "The Sound of Summer Running" is a short that really took me back to summer days and sneakers.  How did a new pair of sneakers that were just right, feel to you?  Did you could believe you would run faster or jump higher than ever before?  What about the excitement of racing around in the front yards with your friends during those summer evenings, how did that used to feel for you?  Did you play kick the can, or hide and go seek, as the evening shadows slowly stretched and night fell?  I always loved to play then because the game became more interesting and exciting thanks to the added difficulty of the approaching dark.  And he brought all this back to me in that one little story.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that he was brilliant at conveying the human experience (for good or for bad).  There's a charm to his work that can pull out emotions, memories or even contemplations from the  reader.  Part of this is because a lot of his characters are easy to relate to.  You can almost see yourself or people you know in them, making you feel more at home with them.

So raise a glass of Dandelion Wine or whatever your preferred beverage is and offer up a thanks to a man who gave us so much.  He's left a lot of works behind for us to explore and enjoy, so if you get a chance to go to your local library check out a book or two of his.  You'll be glad you did.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Progress Update On My 2nd Novel "THE SHIP"...

Okay I haven't said anything about "The Ship" lately so I thought I'd bring you all up to date on what's happening on that front.  The news is that there's been a lot of writing and rewriting of scenes as I try to get the first draft done.  I find writing the 2nd book more slow at times, but the quality of what I'm creating is better overall.  Because I know some of what to watch out for.  Are the characters behaving like themselves?  Am I making the motivations for their actions clear?  Is this believable? Are things easy to follow and not confusing for the reader?  Am I doing a good job introducing and re-introducing the main characters for both previous readers and those who are new to the series?

Usually, a lot of this would be caught in the second and third drafts.  But from my perspective, a lot of this has make sense to ME before I can expect my readers to follow it.  And if what I've done isn't working for me, there's a problem.  I'm one of those author's who says, "Hey, this part does not jibe with what I've got going on over here.  This has to be fixed now!"    As you can tell I'm one those people who can't leave it as is and just redo it later.   I sometimes feel like I'm the character Sheldon Cooper from "The Big Bang Theory".  Which would probably explain why whenever I complete a really good scene I yell "BAZINGA!"

Luckily, I'm not on a tight schedule.  I don't plan on releasing "The Ship" until the end of September or beginning of October later this year.   However, in spite of this, I still want to get a lot of  this story done right the first time.  And I'm taking extra measures to make sure the final product surpasses the original in quality.  I'm adding a few more Beta-Readers, and grammar editors for a start.  From there, I'll be getting some professional editing done as well.  I've already got the book cover ready and you can see down below this post.  This saves some time down the road and is one of the perks of being an artist as well as an author.

Another added benefit to this plan is that I'll have some down time between waiting to hear back from beta-readers and grammar checkers.  During that period, I'll working on book number three, "The Door".  I'll also be focusing on "The Vampyre Blogs" as well.  Hopefully this will mean a shorter wait time for my readers between future releases.  At least that's what  I'm hoping for.

That's all for now.  See you all again real soon.  Take care and have a great week everyone.