Writing

My Inhuman Condition

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My Inhuman Condition by A. Lopez Jr. & Damien Smith

This is my latest release and went to Amazon around Halloween in 2017. This short story of horror found its genesis in the form of a night terror. A young man, Damien Smith, came to me after having a vivid, but horrific nightmare. We collaborated to dig in and uncover the core of his nightmare and built the dark world around it. The final product is a fast-paced story where lives are changed at every twist and turn.

This title is available exclusively at Amazon until early February 2018. After that, it will be available in all eBook stores and outlets.

Here’s how it went down…

Landry Locker is a high school sophomore living in a small desert farming town in Arizona. What he wants most in life is to make it  through high school, get into a good college, and attain a high-paying  job. In the meantime, he’d love nothing more than to gain a friendship with his secret crush, Kat.

Much sooner than he imagines, he gets his chance, but fate had something else in store. A once promising night turns grim, leading Landry and everyone he cares about into a dark and unforgiving world. His life and the lives of everyone around him are changed in one short night.

This short story is dark and fast-paced and doesn’t look back until the fates of Landry and his friends, including Kat, are revealed. Even in a small town, one night can change everything in the blink of an eye. When the night gives way to dawn a shocking and painful truth is soon revealed.

To find out more about what drives My Inhuman Condition, please visit the webpage.

Thanks for reading,

~ALJ~

Earth 8-8-2.2 Release by Y. Correa

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Greetings!

Today we are celebrating the release of the 2nd installment in the Earth 8-8-2 Saga, “Earth 8-8-2: Genesis’ Rebellion“.

To celebrate this release, it’s imperative to share with you the concept of birth of the Saga.

DeepBlueDividerIn 2014 Y. Correa was preparing a concept for the then “soon to be released” Concordant Vibrancy: Unity. Being that Y. Correa is a Multi-genre author, who’s an immense lover of Science Fiction and the theme of that anthology was unity, Y thought to herself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to unify genres and various fictional beings?

Instantly the premise of the Earth 8-8-2 Saga was born. Part Science Fiction, part Paranormal and part Dark Drama, the Earth 8-8-2 Saga encompasses the life of a being which was created to be the Savior of Earth 882’s Mankind. Traversing parallel universes, multiple earths and various lifeforms, the Earth 8-8-2 Saga tells that tale of Genesis, a being which is a hybrid of an 882 Earthling, vampire, goddess and superhuman.

In the first installment, “Earth 8-8-2: The Genesis Project”, Y. Correa lays the foundation for the saga by telling the tale of Genesis’ creation.

In this NEWLY RELEASED installment, “Earth 8-8-2: Genesis’ Rebellion”, Y. Correa further elaborates on Genesis’ enterprise to obtain reprisal.

IMG_0373cooltext182350479929388Chapter 2

The beeping sound which resounded amidst the silence of the scarcely occupied room did nothing to alert anyone, for those there were already at attention. Endeavors such as these were bound to have an audience.

Three sets of eyes peered into the mammoth glass, liquid filled container that housed Project Armageddon (Code Name: Experiment Eight-eight-two-dash-five-point-one); General Townsen’s, Doctor Theodor Belt’s and Acinom Zenit’s. The tank: a matrix created to nourish and sustain Project Armageddon—grow and strengthen it to its fullest capacity.

Acinom pushed a button then flipped a switch on the rotundus supercomputer which covered over half the wall and the sound ceased.

“Acinom,” called Doctor Belt, his voice raised, as though she were in another room, “check his pulse.” Acinom’s eyes shrank to slivers, the disdain of being yelled at pestered her.

“Yes, Doctor.” Acinom reached over, pushing another button which caused a spectacle of waves and numbers to appear on the computer screen in front of them. “Normal, Doctor.” she concluded.

“Good, good.” responded the happy Doctor.

Before any more hoopla could transpire, General Townsen trumped the tangible glee in the room, his voice filled with animosity. “How much longer before Experiment Eight-eight-two-dash-five-point-one is activated?” the dryness in his tone leaving much to be desired. Acinom frowned then squinted; chomping at the bit to put him in his place, although that was not necessarily her place.

Doctor Belt interjected, “Well Commander,” he walked towards the titanic, rectangular, transparent glass cistern which had a wide array of tubes and mechanisms affixed to it, and placed his hand on the glass, as though attempting to touch his creation. “It shouldn’t be much longer.” The gleam in Doctor Belt’s eyes was akin to a maniacal scientist basking in the glory of his creation—mad and euphoric. Doctor Belt pressed his forehead to the glass and shut his eyes, then released a long sigh of gratification.

Inside the immense vessel, attached to innumerable contraptions, floated the inanimate body of being liken to an Earth 8-8-2 man, but not.

General Townsen huffed his satisfaction, turned, pivoting like a soldier about to march, and left the room.

DeepBlueDividerFor a limited time only, you get can get “Earth 8-8-2: The Genesis Project” FREE on Kindle!

But … don’t delay!

GET YOUR COPY OF

“EARTH 8-8-2: GENESIS’ REBELLION”

ON AMAZON TODAY!

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Why Should An Author Self-Publish?

                                  
That is a question that can have many answers, and I’m willing to bet that if you took a poll with authors, you would get varied opinions, ideas, and reasons why. And to me, that is the beauty of the question – each author, with their own creative minds and with their own creative ideas will have their own reasons why.  But before we get to that, the first question we have to ask ourselves is why do we write the first place? If yes me that question my answer will always be, because I Iove to write. Our love for writing propels us to use our creativeness, refine it, and release it to the world. We spend hours, days, months, and sometimes even years getting that story out of our head and ready for readers to enjoy. To do that, you have to get published – either electronically or in print. This leads back to the title of this post.

The answer lies within the prospects of you getting published by a one of the ‘Big 6’ publishing houses. (It may be the Big 5 by now, based on mergers and buy-outs.) If you are one of the few to get that big deal, then most of the things that involve the process of self-publishing will not concern you. The publisher will take care of all the behind-the-scene details. If you are not one of those few then the answer is . . . YES! But this post isn’t about traditional vs self-publishing.

Now that we got all of that out of the way, let’s focus on what most of us will face – then ins-and-outs of self-publishing. 

ALL DONE

Now that we are done with our novel, novella, or short-story, we need to refine it, edit it, and make it ready for the masses. The process of editing and having a second, third, and even a fourth draft is something for another post, but the editing process must be addressed seriously before moving on to the next step. Now once we have that done and we have our cover art done, we can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. There are other things that are involved in the self-publishing process, and again, that is something for another article.

I want to go back to something I wrote earlier – We write because we love to do it. For me, that is the biggest truth in all of this. Believe me, I will take all the profits that my work produces, icing on the cake, if you will. But the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction of setting a goal and completing it is the number one reason. Writing something that is yours gives you total control, and that control is one of the great advantages of going indie.

CONTROL

The times have changed and the best part of self-publishing is having control of everything about your work from start to finish. Most of the authors I know, and have corresponded with, prefer having a grasp on their projects and their future. While having control comes with its own financial costs, in the end, a self-published author will always receive more of a profit because of substantially lower commission rates. And yes, while we do write because we love to do it, once we put our product out into the public and it is up for sale, then their has to be some business-minded thinking involved. 

Having complete control that comes with self-publishing, is the biggest difference with being traditionally-published. You get to decide which way you want your story to go. You get to decide what cover art works best for you. Only the author of the story they tell, or book they write, can know what concept they want their book cover to reveal. In my own case, I have done cover art prior to writing and I have done them after the story was finished. Both have their advantages and both can guide you in your writing based on what your cover reveals. Another part of that control Is for you to decide on doing your cover art yourself or hiring a cover designer to get it just the way you want it. Sometimes it’s good to get someone else’s perspective and ideas. But again, you have the control!

Since there are so many distributors to make your book available, deciding on where, when, and setting the pricing points is entirely up to you. Publishing ebooks does not cost a thing, if you take the time and learn how to do it yourself. If not, with all the resources available, you can get your work formatted at a relatively low cost. 

If you decide to sale your book in print, once the file is in the proper format, usually PDF, you can have your book up for sale at no cost. This is possible because of POD, or print-on-demand. Basically, your book is a file sitting on a company’s server and when someone places an order to buy your book, it prints it, cover and all, and sends it out to the reader. The companies involved in this, (Createspace, Lulu, Lightning Source) take their cost for printing, paper, etc, then you get the residual. The best part of publishing your books these two ways is CONTROL. You choose the sale price, thus determining your profit percentage. Being able to have your book in paperback and it not cost a thing is almost too hard to believe, but it is very real and being done daily. 

ACCOMPLISHMENT

Doing it yourself, from start to finish, gives you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment – more so than being traditionally-published, in my opinion. I say that because it is a long road from the time you type or write your first word of your masterpiece to the fine-polished and finished product. At that point, only YOU truly know how much hard work you have put into it. The blood, sweat, and tears are only experienced by you. And no matter the sales or the reviews, good or bad, you will have done something many people have said they would do . . . finish writing a book! The sense of accomplishment in that can never be taken away from you. You gave birth to your idea and saw it to the end. 

TAKING RESPONSIBILITY 

Remember when you were a kid and you did something that would get you in trouble? Back then most of us would not take responsibility for our bad actions, and it was only until our parents ‘persuaded’ us into telling the truth. But taking responsibility for something as exciting as writing a book is easy because it should fill you with a sense of pride . But the difference here is that the words you have ‘penned’ are solely yours – your ideas, thoughts, and hard work. You were responsible for the finished product, and if you did it the self-published route, then it’s all your baby to claim and be proud of. 

THE JOURNEY

Speaking for myself and my travels down this self-publishing road, I am very happy with what I have accomplished. Make no mistake, writing is hard work, and if you add in the rest of what goes along with self-publishing, the work is even harder, but in the end, knowing you did it right and did it yourself will propel you to your next big project. The self-confidence that self-publishing brings is priceless. We can’t forget we have to do all of the little things to put out a good product and make it just as professional as a ‘Big 6’ production. 

So get out there and gather as much information as possible and use that to make your dream come true . . . and Self-Publish!

A. Lopez, Jr.

(artwork by Richard Krzemien)
 

Welcome To 2016

  
Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season went well and you parlayed that into a great start to the new year.

The end of 2015, the fun time of the year for me (October – December), brings the holiday season, football season, and cooler temps. And as usual, those months raced by and brought us here to the new year.

For me, the good news is that we still have a couple of more months of winter. Now, I know that’s not good news to everyone out there, but my reason is purely in the spirit of creativity. I find the Winter to be the best time of the year to write – and reading for that matter. If I’m not too distracted by the NFL season and playoffs, I usually get a lot accomplished.

Many projects are on the books, so to speak, and deadlines are on the calendar. But those things are for me in the solitary confines of the writing world. 

As for all of you, no matter where you are, covered in snow or basking in warmer temperatures, I just want to wish you all a great start to the new year and I hope you accomplish any and all the goals you have set!

Happy writing, reading, and creating!

ALJ

Does Social Media Play A Role In Publishing?

Recently, I wrote an article in my ASK AJ column in the All Authors Magazine. You can find out more about the magazine here: All Authors Magazine

Kevin from South Carolina asks:

‘Not too long ago, I decided to submit my manuscript to a publisher.  The potential publisher sent me an email asking how comfortable I was with social media.  I’m familiar with Facebook but I don’t have a Twitter account nor do I particularly want one.  After I answered, I got a response from the potential publisher, citing they are heavily dependent on Twitter for their marketing arsenal.  Should I be willing to compromise in the hopes that I get in or should I withdraw my manuscript for further consideration and try another avenue?’

A great question, especially for anyone new to social media.



Congratulations

First of all, as I often say, congratulations on finishing your work! That is something that cannot be stated enough. It is, and always will be, an accomplishment. Everything after that is where we learn and muddle through the pitfalls and mine fields of promoting and publishing. And let’s face it, there is plenty to be learned, and unfortunately, trial and error are part of that process. 

Submitting your work to a publisher, no matter how big or small, is a big step. You are putting your work out for others to read, critique, and say, yes or no. Being prepared for their words and response is hard to do. And when it’s your first work, it’s new territory and everything, good or bad, seems to fly at us from all directions. But the bottom line is you are ready to get it published, and you have received a positive response from the publisher. 

Benefits of Social Media

In the question for this issue, Kevin was asked by the publisher if he was comfortable with social media. Social media is mainstream on the personal side of life. Each person is different, and what may work for one or many, may not work for others. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest are just a few of the many ways to get the word out, so-to-speak. 

In the business world, social media is important as a marketing tool, and just about every publishing house has a Twitter account. They’ve done the research and made marketing plans based on the product they are selling…books. As the author, I feel it is a good idea to get familiar with twitter, the social media in question. Having an account and using as a business platform for your writing can help generate not only interest in your books, but more importantly, you!

The dilemma here is, should the author compromise and give into something he is unfamiliar and a bit uncomfortable with? – or something he might not want at all. Of course that decision, ultimately, will come down to what the author is willing to do. Jumping into something you aren’t familiar with – when all you hoped for was for a publisher to accept your work and publish it so you can get back to writing your next manuscript – can be a shock, or at the least, a strange turn of events. 

Choices

At the point the author is now, he is faced with making a decision – compromise and work with the publisher on their marketing schemes or withdraw and present the manuscript to other publishers in hopes that there are not any expectations of doing social media marketing in the agreement/contract. There is a third option, to indie-publish your book, but that’s a topic for another day and one I have blogged about in the past. 

From what I gather in the original question, the publisher is asking about the author using social media to market the potential work – potential, being the key word. I get the feeling that the publisher is indeed interested in the manuscript, and they are trying to gauge what the author is willing to do to promote the work. I almost get the sense that they are looking to see if the trio (the publisher, author, and manuscript) will make for a good working relationship. 

Patience

Being that this may be the very early stages of building a partnership between the author and publisher, and well before any negotiations take place, I would say to go along with any suggestions for now, as there is always time to pull away before you sign any agreement. 

I will also assume that you have an interest in the publisher or you may not have sent your manuscript there in the first place. At this stage, I would be patient and see where it leads, rather than withdrawing your work and possibly missing out on a potential opportunity. And in the meantime, you can always pitch your ‘script to other publishers or small presses. 

In this business of writing, it seems that just when you think you are done and ready to move forward, there is always a new, unexpected twist that keeps us from getting to  our next big novel. These twists are part of traditional and indie-publishing, with one of the differences being the freedom of choice you get going the indie route. Both roads have their own pros and cons, but on the traditional side, you have to play by their rules for the most part.

Moving Forward

In closing, instead of making the ‘social media’ subject a deal breaker, it could be worth trying to work out a compromise, or find some middle ground, to make both sides happy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and keep the lines of communication open. Remember, if they are interested in publishing your manuscript, then you may have a position to negotiate key points in the agreement. But we also have to remember, that a publisher has a business model set for running their business. As we enter their world, as authors, we may have to find our comfort zone within and make it an great experience for our premier novel.

So I say, give it a go, while keeping all of your options open. Once you get comfortable with Twitter, I think you will find it an asset to your writing and marketing plan. Good Luck!

~ALJ~

(image courtesy of museumsandheritage.com)

Concordant Vibrancy Anthology Book Release!

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Welcome one and all! Thanks for joining us today in the celebration of the Release of Concordant Vibrancy: Unity, An All Authors Anthology.

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Blurb:

All Authors Publishing House, a subsidiary of All Authors Publications & Promotions, is pleased to present its first short story anthology, Concordant Vibrancy .

Concordant Vibrancy represents the interweaving of unity and uniqueness through the eyes of eleven incredible writers. Through the array of genres, all of these talents share a phenomenal love of writing which aims to leave imprints in the reader’s imagination.

Short stories in this collection:
Butterfly Mask” by Nicola McDonagh
Messarii’s Blood Hunt” by D. John Watson
Seven Days” by Harmony Kent
Touch Me” by Andrea Houtsch
… and we” by Adonis Mann
Til Death Do Us Part” by A. Lopez Jr.
Coalesce” by Da’Kharta Rising
Her A to Z” by C. Desert Rose
Lester’s Release” by Synful Desire
The Authentic Snap” by Queen of Spades
Alma’s Unsung Angel” by Y. Correa.

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What makes Concordant Vibrancy Different than most Short Story anthologies?

It was best described by Y. Correa, the Founder of All Authors Publications and Promotions …

Excerpt of Concordant Vibrancy:

Once upon a time I sat under a large and old tree—the tree was surrounded by many others like it, all of them contented with one another.
I marveled at the wave of wind that passed by, which like an invisible tide drew past the trees making the leaves on them swish like the perfect choreographed symphony—first one, then swiftly and smoothly the rest followed in suit. It was an inspiring thing to behold.
I thought …
There is no better demonstration of unity than that of Mother Earth. She teaches us that all things are connected—the heavens to the earth, the earth to the ocean, the ocean to the heavens—round and round it goes, dancing without squabble in absolute unison. It truly is a beautiful thing to see.
In addition I pondered …
As the matter of fact, the bigger picture is that the entire universe is connected. Whilst our planet is the size of a marble in comparison to the enormity of our universe, that by no means makes us any less valuable. She, Mother Earth, depends on the universe and vice versa. Could you imagine the impact on our solar system if just one planet became misaligned with the rest, just the smallest bit askew? We would all feel the repercussions of that micro-movement. The surface of earth would spin out of control, ravaging humanity with a cataclysm of natural devastation.
And so, I thought further, and said to myself, “Does humanity not realize the impact they have between one another? Do they not see that one action of strife can cause a wave of destruction?”
While it is true that I do not know you, I know this; you and I are linked simply because we are inhabitants of this planet.
Why do I say these things? Because unity was the foundation of the establishment of All Authors Publications and Promotions.
A year and a half ago a thought occurred to me, it was “Why are authors competing with one another? Why can’t they just work together?” Now I’m certain that I was not the first person to think that way, and certainly not the first to act on it, but I did see that while some authors were trying to work together they were doing it in a way that rivaled one another. It was around that time that the idea of the All Authors Blog Blitz crossed my mind.
I’d done some research on Blog Blitzes, their use and aim, and I thought, we can all do that together. We can create a tidal wave of recognition if we just work together.
What I did not expect was all that would follow after the All Authors Blog Blitz. In less than a year’s time, All Authors Publications and Promotions was born. A place created by an author, for authors, trying to establish unity in this market.
In time the All Authors Magazine was born, then All Authors Graphic Design, then the All Authors Certificate of Excellence, and many more projects.
Some people ask me why I chose the name All Authors. Well, that’s pretty self-explanatory, it’s because we advocate all authors, and try to reach all readers.

So, like leaves on a tree, we are all connected.

Mother Earth, the best example of unity mankind has.

Today, marks the historic event of the RELEASE of Concordant Vibrancy: Unity, An All Authors Anthology. In commemoration of this wonderful day we’ve decided to give 3 lucky people a chance to win a Paperback Copy.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Concordant Vibrancy by Adonis Mann

Concordant Vibrancy

by Adonis Mann

Giveaway ends January 31, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Also Available NOW at Amazon.com

Cover Reveal for Concordant Vibrancy Anthology

I am proud to be a part of the Cover Reveal for Concordant Vibrancy! My short story Til Death Do Us Part The anthology is based on a theme of Unity with each story making its own connection to the theme. All Authors Publishing House is putting it all together. Here’s a look:

Cover Reveal

Welcome!

Today we are happy to present you with the cover of
Concordant Vibrancy: Unity, An All Authors Anthology

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Before we show you the cover, lets tell you a little bit about Concordant Vibrancy.

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Blurb:

All Authors Publishing House, a subsidiary of All Authors Publications & Promotions, is pleased to present its first short story anthology, Concordant Vibrancy.

Concordant Vibrancy represents the interweaving of unity and uniqueness through the eyes of eleven incredible writers. Through the array of genres, all of these talents share a phenomenal love of writing which aims to leave imprints in the reader’s imagination.

Short stories in this collection:

Butterfly Mask” by Nicola McDonagh

Messarii’s Blood Hunt” by D. John Watson

Seven Days” by Harmony Kent

Touch Me” by Andrea Houtsch

and we” by Adonis Mann

Til Death Do Us Part” by A. Lopez, Jr.

Coalesce” by Da’Kharta Rising

Her A to Z” by C. Desert Rose

Lester’s Release” by Synful Desire

The Authentic Snap” by Queen of Spades

Alma’s Unsung Angel” by Y. Correa

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It was important to portray both the unification and individuality of each author as well as the theme of this anthology on its cover. In the introduction of Concordant Vibrancy, Y. Correa, the creator of All Authors P&P explains it this way, “like leaves on a tree, we are all connected. Mother Earth, the best example of unity mankind has.

Without further ado, we present you with the cover of Concordant Vibrancy created by All Authors Graphic Design.
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Now available for Pre-Order at:

Amazon.com

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