Saturday, May 23, 2015

Move Along, Move Along...

The band called the All-American Rejects, wrote a song called "Move Along" which has always stuck with me.  It did so even more when I saw the video which at one point involves a member of the band falling backwards into what appears to be an empty swimming pool.  But just as he's in mid-air, the scene shifts to a side view where we see a bunch of hands rise up out of the empty pool to catch and support him.  

That's what a lot of you have been doing for me since my last entry and I want to say a huge "THANK YOU!"  So many of you encouraged me saying, "You'll find a way forward..." or  "Are you absolutely sure there's no way to unite the two ideas, it sounds awesome?" These comments came to me here, on FB and over on Google+.  

After reading all this feedback and dwelling on the problem I finally realized I was dealing with another "Rubik's Cube" (For those not familiar with what I mean by this, here's a link to an entry I did a while back about writing and Rubik's Cubes: Writing and Rubik's Cubes).  


So I took a few steps back and gave the problem some thought...


Okay, I gave it a LOT of thought...

Eventually, I came to a realization...  I thought I had only two paths because both led to storylines that I already had planned.  In short, I had become paralyzed by my own vision of what I wanted to have happen in my series.  But those stories had not been written yet, nor were they cast in stone.  I was still in command.  The Para-Earth Series was mine to create, and design however I wanted.  The important thing was to make the journey interesting and entertaining for my readers, which many of you have told me repeatedly I do very well.   

So instead of choosing either of the two paths I had before me, I did something else...


I grabbed the road I was already on and took it in a whole new direction which allowed me to marry the two ideas and make them work.  It took a lot of thinking on my part but I've done it.  The mysterious carnival people and Nathaniel will be appearing in "The Door".  There will still be many unanswered questions about both, but in Nathaniel's case a lot of those will be answered in December.  As for the strange people from the carnival, their time is coming as well.  You will see more of them in upcoming books before meeting them personally.  But meet them you will my friends.  They're story may actually become an anthology of short stories written from the point of view of one who will join their ranks because it will be the only place he can be safe.  You will also learn how the carnival's origins are connected to the ghostly Brandon, who watches over Cassandra, and will have all his secrets revealed in "The Door".

There are plenty of surprises in store for you all within the pages of this novel in progress.  So stay tuned.  

But for now I want to say, "Thank you everyone, for supporting and believing in me and my abilities as a writer."  I will always do my best to create stories that will take you places you never expected, and make you laugh and even cry along the way.  But always, I'll try to deliver a good product that leaves you feeling elated and full of wonder at the end.

Until next time... take care of yourselves and keep writing.

And one more thing.  For those who are interested in checking out the music video for "Move Along" I'm adding the link just below.  I find the song very helpful and uplifting at times and I hope you do as well.  Enjoy...



Saturday, May 16, 2015

What to do? What to do?

University is done so I'm free to write once more, my computer is running nicely, and I'm full of ideas.  "So what's the problem?" I hear you ask.  Well... remember that blog entry I recently did about a certain 'whale' I had to let get away... (For those who missed that entry here's the link: http://allankrummenacker.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-tale-of-whale-who-got-away.html).  Well, I'm finding myself in the same position once again.  And since it's happening in the here and now, I thought I'd share my thought processes and reasoning with you all, in the hopes it might help you should you find yourself in a similar dilemma.


So I stand at a crossroads, trying to weigh my options about whether or not to cut a scene I truly love and think is totally amazing?  I have this wonderful scene where one of my four lead characters is involved in a wreck down in the subway tunnels of New York City.  She was targeted by a mysterious stalker who has been following her through "The Bridge" and "The Ship" and is now finally making his move.  But even after slaughtering an entire train of people, he manages to incapacitate her only to lose her to a mysterious 'carnival troupe' whose old-fashioned train and cars are somehow appears on the scene inside those same subway tunnels.  Driven off before he can take his prize, the mysterious folks of the 'carnival' take his prey to safety under the watchful eye of the girl's ghostly ancestor.  Sounds great right?  Plus it raises so many questions like "Why would an old-fashioned circus train (without animals) be traveling on the subway lines in the first place?"  Furthermore, we would've seen these strange folks who look more like relics from an old-fashioned "Freak Show" demonstrate unusual abilities and talents.  

So why would I want to remove such a powerful and intriguing scene?  Because this would be the only time they show up in the book.  I didn't have anything else for them to do later on.  Furthermore, they would not show up again until 2-3 books from now.  What good would that do my audience?  I'd be leaving everyone hanging and I don't like that idea.  Oh I could easily beef up their role and have them reappear several times in this book, working behind the scenes to aid our heroes, but it would wind up being a more complicated story to follow, unless I was very careful.

That is one path at this crossroads that I could follow.  The other path, would lead directly into my next novel "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home".  How would this happen you may ask.  The answer is simple.  Last December, I wrote a short story in my other blog "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition".  It was a six part story (I prefer to use small installments on blogs) which added up to a novelette which I may release one day down the road.  Within that story I took several characters who appear in my first two books  (namely Veronica, Julie, Roy and Julie's uncle Jason) and set the clock back some fifteen years ago.  In that story they met two men who aided them in finding a very young Julie who had become lost in a snowstorm and was menaced by a strange creature.  One of the two men was Nathaniel Steward, my vampyre, who as you all know will have his own book coming out this December.  Since he is already known to several of the characters in "The Door", I started thinking about introducing him in this novel to play a supporting role to my heroes.  This made more and more sense to me since I could see him helping from the shadows at times, as well as having a scene in the epilogue which would lead him directly into his own story.  This is something I've done in the previous two books.  I always have a plot that leads directly into the next book, so this idea makes more and more sense to me.

However if I used Nathaniel it would mean...

...cutting the train scene beneath the streets of New York City.

Why is this so hard?  Because I put so much research into laying that scene out.  I checked time tables, routes, where the nearest hospital would be in relation to where I had the action taking place... the works.  Yet, try as I might, I could never reconcile those mysterious carnival people with the rest of the story.  

You see, I actually started "The Door" two years ago BEFORE I started "The Ship".  However, I kept running up against problem after problem with the story.  Which was why I put it aside and decided to explore what happened to Cassie and Julie over in Santa Cruz.  That story came fast and easy by comparison and produced good results.  But even after coming back to "The Door" with a whole new load of information from what happened in "The Ship", I still couldn't really see a clear path forward.  
But then I thought of Nathaniel and things seem to be clicking into place.   Not everything is perfect mind you.  By adding him in I have to create entire new scenes, but I feel like the road is a little more clear for where the story should go.  

As you can tell, I've pretty much made up my mind where I'm going.  It's just really hard to let go of that "train wreck scene".  But I'm going to anyway.  I thought about combining Nathaniel and the carnival people, and have him appear on board that mysterious train, but his presence there is too much of a coincidence.  It makes more sense to have him appear at Jason's old house since he has a history with the deceased and has come to pay his respects.  Plus it gives me more room to have him interact with Julie who has known him since she was little and is now wondering why he hasn't aged  at all in fifteen years.  Will she learn the truth that her late uncle knew about Nathan's true nature?  If she does how will she react to this revelation?  And what part will he play in this story before all is said and done?  You'll have to wait and see.

And for that matter so will I.  The thing about writing is sometimes there's not a road or path before us.  So we writers have to make one ourselves, one that is right for us and our creations, which makes the journey so much more interesting.  So until next time, take care of yourselves and keep creating those roads that have not yet been traveled my friends.



  P. S. : If any of you missed that short story involving Nathan, Julie, Jason, Veronica and Roy, here's the links:







Sunday, May 3, 2015

Update On My Business Cards...

I'm sure most of you will remember that I got some business cards for "The Vampyre Blogs" which I will be releasing in December of this year.  I know a lot of people wished me luck and were curious to find out whether or not I've seen any difference in the traffic to the ongoing blog that goes by the same name.


So today I'm taking the opportunity to tell you what's happened in the two weeks since the cards arrived.  As you can guess, I began handing out cards up at the university the very next day.  I left some lying around in the coffee shop area, as well as in the lounge where students hang out to be found by anyone who happened to sit down in either of those areas.  I also handed cards out personally in my classes saying, "Here's some free reading you can enjoy during the summer break, especially if you like vampires..."  

Very few people declined, while others asked for extra cards.  They became even more excited when I explained that what they would find at the blog site were basically short stories by the characters who would appear in the novel itself.  You should've seen the smiles on their faces widen when I assured them that the book was going to be a brand new story in and of itself and not a compilation of  the short stories they'd be finding on the site.  One person smiled and shook her head saying, "Too bad you went with vampires and not zombies..."  At that point I smiled back and told her, "Well, actually there will be a type of zombie involved that the vampyre  will be battling..."  and that was as far as I got because she was already trying to bring up the blog site. 

As for actual views on the site, in the two weeks since I first started handing out the cards I have seen an increase in the traffic already.  Normally the site averaged around 200-225 views  per month.  April ended with 340+ views and this month is coming along nicely as well.  There would be days in which no one would visit the site, but now I'm seeing double-digits on practically a daily basis.  Whether or not this will  continue, I cannot say.  But I'll keep posting new material and updating you all again in the near future.  

I've also created a FB page for "The Vampyre Blogs - Private Edition" site which has already broken the 100 mark for likes and followers.  I've been posting the links to the earliest entries on the blog since there are over 40 short stories to be found there.  I'm also giving everyone some insight into what thoughts were in my head when I made each post.  This is something I do not do on the blog site itself, since I try to let my 'Characters' do all the posting there so they can share their thoughts and experiences.  

If you're on FB and would like to check it out here's the FB page link:


My next step will be to start mailing out small stacks of the cards to friends who offered to hand them out to family, friends, and  coworkers.  I'll be making a list of all the people who offer to hand them out for me, so when the book comes out I can give them a signed paperback copy as a way of saying "Thanks for all your support and help."  If anyone here would like to volunteer to distribute my cards, please let me know, I'll be happy to add you to the list and get a stack out to you.

Remember, getting the word out about your books is sometimes way harder than actually writing the story.  So make sure you start letting people know about your book, a few months before it actually comes out.  But make sure it's a book that you've actually got done, and not one your thinking about writing one day.  People hear that kind of thing all the time and think, "Yeah, right.  You're going to write a book, I'll believe it when I see it."  Let them know it's done and is just going through some final editing.  Maybe even show them some cover art so they can see you ARE serious.  Which reminds me, I need to get my art easel set up.  I've got the first drafts done, but no cover yet.  

So until next time, take care and keep writing everyone.