Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad; whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.
- John le Carre
- John le Carre
May is Zombie Awareness Month and what better way to participate than to share a zombie story to all of you undead fanatics out there. .
Starting midnight May 1, you will be able to get Panic in 2020: A Zombie Story for 99 cents.
All you have to do is sign up here. Then you'll receive a special coupon code that you can use over at Smashwords to reduce the price from $1.99 to 99 cents. This special is running for 5 days only. I'll start sending out the code on the evening of April 31.
This coincides with the launch of The Hooligans - the headquarters of all things related to spreading the word about me and my work. You can check out some of the benefits of joining.
Some of the forthcoming releases (coming soon) available to The Hooligans are:
1. Tales From the Abyss - a 4 story collaboration with writer A.R. Braun
2. Debut podcast of Panic in Year 2020: Sleep My Darlings (A Zombie Novel) - delivered unabridged as I write it. Those on the list will get to hear it first.
3. Access to production journal for my projects - featuring multimedia, images, sketches, etc.
That's just for starters. More to come so keep an eye out.
Show your support by signing up and please spread the word.
Oh yeah, one more thing - I'm always open to guest blogging and having a guest blogger here at Zero to Rockstar, as well as collaborations, just shoot me an e-mail and we'll get in touch.
This post is about where and how I come up with ideas for my short fiction and books in progress.
These days I've been lucky to have a constant stream of ideas which I keep semi-organized in notebooks. The muse isn't taking credit for this one. Not this time.
The back story:
I fell into the trap of the whole writer's block bulls***t in the past. It's like Ray Bradbury said: writer's block is when your brain tells you "I don't like you anymore." Which is one of the reasons why I took a break from writing and submitting. I lost the love of/for writing because I put too much pressure on myself to make this deadline and submit to this anthology and so on and so forth. Writing had turned into a hassle, a chore I had to get done, instead of it being a way for me to tell the stories in my head.
It wasn't all a negative experience, it opened up the doors for the freelancing design and illustration phase of my life. If I hadn't taken a break from my writing, I never would have landed any of the cool projects I was able to participate in. But anyway, that's for another blog post.
The truth is, even during the writing hiatus, I continued to jot down ideas. Then slowly those turned into a couple of lines of prose, then a paragraph, then flash fiction, you get the gist of it.
I rediscovered how to tell stories again.
Not because I wanted to submit to an anthology, but because it was fun to see a story evolve. During this time I only shared my work to close friends and some family.
And now I'm back on the wordsmith saddle again and I feel effing great.
I write what I want and make it available for mass consumption.
Either on Smashwords or my blog
My first release Sid Valentine has been downloaded a total of 176 times. The first week alone it hit 100 downloads. Not bad for an initial release and minimal marketing effort from a currently unknown writer.
I'm now sure how it works for everyone else but my ideas come from the strangest things.
While there is no secret formula, if I had to make one up for myself it would be something like this:
Formulas for R. Van Saint's brand of fiction
Asking "what if" + asking "what the f**k?" + defy logic (always) = my ideas
Be bold + experiment + break rules = my style
Practical application for these are:
1. Jot anything of interest down. Names of people, places, words. If it sounds good to me, it gets written in the journal.
2. Staying hyper-aware of surroundings. I can be sitting here watching the food channel and something strikes a chord, which in turn becomes a new storyline (this actually happened). Even my commute to work has turned to be a good source for ideas.
3. Observing people. The people you meet, the ones you barely know, the ones you see on the train but never talk to. The things you hear (especially dialogue). What they wear, how they smell. Mannerisms. The ones you love and those you loathe.
4. Reading it out loud. Not sure about everyone else but I put everything I write through a test - it has to read well. Funny, because I don't even podcast (yet, soon though). I'm just particular about how sentences and words flow. This is a part of my final editing process.
So there you have it kids, hope it gives you a bit of insight to how I roll. Feel free to toy around with your own formula as a response to my blog.
Today's post is inspired by an awesome chat yesterday via The Creative Alliance
If you enjoyed this post please consider posting the link on your site, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace. Comments are always welcome!
If you have an hour to spare, you can watch the vid below, it's where I got the Bradbury quote from.
For those of you who know me from Twitter, you probably already know that I/we have relocated to a new home recently. This is the reason why my online activities have toned down a bit in the last couple of weeks. I'm physically exhausted, have lacerated my hand in the process and half my stuff is still in boxes.
Life does happen in between stories and WIPs but I have slowly been plugging a way at a couple of short stories,
Just to lay all the cards out in the open, I'm presenting a list right below of what you'll be seeing from me in terms of writing in the next few months. At this point I just enjoy having people read my work. Being an unknown writer, my goal for now is to get my stories read by as many people as possible.
So far, I'm pleased with the amount of people who've downloaded/read my short stories in Smashwords with minimal marketing effort. I've also come across some talented, kick-ass writers.
Since I'm a big nerd when it comes to lists and setting deadlines/goals, I present to you my bag o' treats.
1. The Sid Valentine Universe will continue to expand in the form of short fiction. The next installment is already in progress with a tentative title of Sid Valentine and the Fearful Goddess.
With the release of this 2nd installment comes another experiment/announcement - so you better check it.
2. Audio Assault: Podcast - I'll be recording some of my works and making it available for free in audio format. Which ties in to #3.
3. Panic in Year 2020: Sleep my Darlings - one of the 3 novels I'm working on, will be released in bite-sized chapters completely unabridged in audio format.
As I was writing Panic in 2020: A zombie story (which was released in e-book format via Smashwords), the entire premise for the book pretty much presented itself, I quickly outlined what I had and realized that it was a good enough idea to expand into a novel format.
4. Short story collection - it's 4 stories away from being complete. I still plan on releasing this baby before the end of 2010.
5. A couple of collaborative works with another writer. Both are finished and just needs cover art and formatting.
As for the other 2 books I'm working on, I'm keeping those on the down-low until the time is right. I can't very well reveal all my secrets...yes, I'm a tease.
That's it for now, in a nutshell. I'll elaborate on each one as it's completed.
For the first time in a couple of years, I'm stoked again about writing, can't wait to share it with you hooligans.