Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Free Weekly Horoscopes

In case you don't know, I've been posting my Tarotscopes over on Romance Beat.

You can also see them on my YouTube channel!


Horror Author Gemma Files Joins Patreon

Did you know that the average full-time writer earns about ten grand a year from her writing?

Most of us do other side jobs so that we can write. I myself have several little part time jobs but they still fall short of meeting my requirements if I also need to carve out time to write. I'm only one person and can only multi-task in so many directions.

Many times fans want us to write faster, and we could, if we had financial stability, or even a little bit of help.

No one is suggesting that someone or two foots the entire life bill so that a writer can live although I know many husband and wife couples where one (usually the man) is the full time author and the other foots the bills, works full time, does the secretarial work, house work, raises the kids, and so on. But most of us are NOT that lucky.

Many authors are single parents and getting a page written is a minor miracle, let alone a book.

At any rate, everyone can agree that it's difficult to get by in the current society and 12% unemployment rate.

So one way authors are trying to help themselves is to create new ways to engage with readers while earning a living.

And now, we have another author on Pateron.

Horror Author Gemma Files has now joined Patreon! Go check out her profile. Gemma is a mom and she's married but she DOES live in a horribly overpriced city, as do I!

Other horror authors on Patreon:

Sèphera Girón is giving away a chapter a month from her new Space Opera Romance. You can pay as little as $1 a month to enjoy all her notes, photos, clippings, and of course, the chapters themselves!

Brian Keene is giving away a chapter a month (minimum) from his new novel for pay-as-you-go pledges.

Caitlin R. Kiernan is on Patreon to write her new book.

Monica S. Kuebler, managing editor for Rue Morgue Magazine, is now on Patreon for financial help with her novel.

Nikki Guerlain is sharing work on Patreon.

If you know horror authors on Patreon, please leave them in the comments so we can have a list!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Simon Townshend and The Who

I went to see Simon Townshend at Hugh's Room on Monday, February 29 in Toronto. It was a fantastic show! And a thrill to be so close and intimate.

My friends Troy and Malcolm came as well and we all sat together!

Malcolm bought me a CD and I got it signed! Thanks, Malcolm! Thanks, Simon!

On my way to see The Who at the ACC on Tuesday March 1, 2016. It was Roger Daltrey's birthday! Kylo Ren was pretty stoked to see his first Who concert.

Before the concert, Troy, Malcolm and I grabbed a bite to eat at The Old Spaghetti Factory. It was great!

Then after we walked through the biggest blizzard of the year the few short blocks, we arrived at the ACC!

I ran into Brian Baker who happened to be sitting in the same section as I was but I was up in the thirties and he was closer to the floor. Troy, Malcolm, and Patrick were also in the same section as him and me! It was too funny!

I was too busy dancing to get any good pictures. A phone camera doesn't do these kinds of shows justice. You can see lots of pictures and Youtube videos online! Gotta love the modern age!

This was an amazing Who concert. Roger Daltrey's voice hasn't sounded so fantastic in years. Not that he ever sounds bad. He can out sing most on a bad day. But the clarity and range was all there. He must have gotten rest during his illness. I hope he's healthy enough to be doing this tour and it doesn't kill him. At any rate, he sounded fantastic and I was so thrilled. I was up by the boxes and so could dance without blocking anyone at all. I don't think I've ever stood at a Who concert before. Usually security makes you sit down, even if you're clapping for a song because of the crushing deaths many years ago in the seventies.

As the show rounded the three quarter mark, a couple of people smoked pot. I could smell it from three different spots. So could security. One set of unfortunate people were escorted out by bona fide police people and they never returned so I guess they didn't have their medical cards on them.

Even if pot ever becomes legal, there is no smoking inside any buildings in Toronto. At all. Even  most apartment buildings have a no smoking policy these days. Although there was a lot of talk in the media not long ago about people with medical cards can light up anywhere they desire, even in no smoking zones such as a streetcar. It has to do with being able to take medicine anywhere when it's supposed to be taken. It will be interesting to see how that will all play out as more medical cards are dispensed.

When The Who were last on tour, there were signs everywhere asking people not to smoke anything including pot because it wrecks Roger's voice but to eat a brownie instead or something like that. In both Toronto and Hamilton the signs were up, and most people respected the request.

Anyway, The Who were fantastic. They were really together. Of course there was the odd technical issue but they came and went. It was so fun to be a teenager again for a couple of hours and just rock out and not think about anything but the world's greatest rock and roll band!

Long live Rock!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Am I a Beggar?

Updated on March 9 to add more Patreons.

I ask myself this a lot. Especially in recent years when the struggle is real on every single level.

Yes, I suppose I am.

 A loser. A panhandler.

I made bad choices with my heart instead of a self-preservation mind. I own my choices. But it doesn't change the fact that times are a bit rough right now, for everyone, not just me.

If you think I'm begging, than please move along. You don't need to waste your time reading my entry today.

I'm on Patreon, again, still.

I had taken myself off when my campaign to write and publish a ghost hunting book a couple of years ago didn't garner one single sponsor. And that's totally fine.

I was thrilled with the response to my Go-Fund-Me for the Stanley Hotel. I was able to make the trip, write the story, and I got into the Frankenstein Project anthology from RothCo Press that I wanted to get into that was only open to people who attended the retreat. I set my writing goal and made it. And I'm grateful to all who helped me!

Writers on Patreon
More writers are going to Patreon to work on their books.

We've seen tons of publishers raise funds for anthologies on KickStarter.

Why not go right to the source, the actual creators? The writers.

Brian Keene is giving away a chapter a month (minimum) from his new novel for pay-as-you-go pledges, which is the model I'm using as well. This model seems sane to me for a writer.

Caitlin R. Kiernan is on Patreon to write her new book.

Of course, Amanda Palmer is on there as well, and since she's married to Neil Gainman, by default, he's on there.

Monica S. Kuebler, managing editor for Rue Morgue Magazine, is now on Patreon for financial help with her novel.

I've been seeing "screaming" for two days about the fact that Caitlin is on Patreon "begging" for money. Seriously? Some of these are people who should know better. Way better.

I have no idea what Caitlin's life or financial situation is like but just because she's had some best-seller success, that doesn't carry her forever. I'm also sure that someone like Caitlin thought very long and hard before coming to Patreon to ask for sponsorship as she works on a new book. Does she "need" money? Who knows? Who cares? You either want to help her write her new book or you don't.

There are tons of writers on Patreon representing all levels.

And why not?

The artists of yore often had patrons. Some people think it's cool to watch art being made, books being written, music being recorded, dance companies mounting shows, and so on. They are intrigued by how the process works. And Patreon allows that to happen. A patron feels more connected to the work of an artist they respect or are curious about when they see the product being created and then launched into the world for others to enjoy. They can be proud they contributed to the art being made by giving the artist a bit of financial assistance. And it doesn't cost much at all. Most artists are happy for one dollar a month from a patron. I know I would be!

Patreon Artists
Filmmakers have been doing it for years; what are "producers" and "investors?" What's the difference if my readers want to buy one chapter at a time as I write it or wait for the final book to come out, or do both?

As I poked around Patreon, I saw that people who do a lot of the Youtubes, fan art, and Tumblrs of Star Wars, AHS, and other shows have Patreons. Some get big big big bucks! And that's for doing art in other people's universes most of the time.

At least with me, Brian, Caitlin, and Amanda, you are getting brand new, fresh, original, unique product right from our veins and into your mouth.

Sponsor an Artist
So, this time around, I don't think Patreon has as much of a stigma as it used to. People want to support their favourite artists and help them create. Whether an artist is "perceived" as rich or poor is irrelevant. All art costs money to create.

I'm at my desk every day at 9 am seven days a week. I sleep about five hours a night. I have no interns, no secretary. I do all my own social media, Youtubes, blogs, and so on. I love what I do and want to do more and do it better.

I've run the HWA Ontario Chapter for over twenty years which is my way of helping writers of all levels network and create viable career paths, and now I am now part of a new podcast,The Great Lakes Horror Podcast, that was created through our chapter.

But in the meantime, I want to entertain you. I want to write. I want to do what I'm here to do.

Let Me Entertain You!
Instead of crying into my pillow that I can't get ahead (it's been two steps forward, one step back like a painfully slow inchworm for about five years now) no matter how exhausted and lonely I am from trying, DOING,  I'm fuelling my energy into writing a Space Opera Romance.

Yes, something fresh and shiny and new.

A genre I played with a bit as a teen.

Something fun and funny, with some romance and some danger.

No more darkness. No more horror. Well...maybe just a touch.

As I said, I will be giving one chapter a month to my patrons. I doubt I can do much more because I'm also writing Witch Upon a Star (which I receive quarterly royalties after the fact way down the road).  That, too, is great fun to write.

I figure a buck a month for eight to twelve months isn't much for the first look of a book being written as it happens. The final book cost could be as low as $12! It's pay what you want beginning at $1 a month. And you can quit at any time.

So, is that begging? Sounds like work to me.

You get a book, a lot of notes, and a glimpse into my writing process.

You can do it or not. But try to have an open mind about the concept for the sake of your peers. You'd be surprised who is on there!

Didn't Many of Our Heroes Write Serial Chapter Books?
Is this any different than serial chapters or comics back in the day?


Remember when everyone lost their minds thinking Stephen King had lost his when he did that thar ebook thing and charged per chapter. Ayup.

And now EVERYONE is doing that thar ebook thing and writing and publishing endless series and some people are making a shitload of money in the ebook game!

Now here we are looking at a Patreon model.

My Patreon Model
I offer you one chapter a month plus notes and musings.

You know you will get a pretty professional story from me even in the first draft.

You know the book will have a beginning, middle, and end.

You know I will love my characters because I always do.

You know I will finish this book because you can see on my Amazon page that I've been published a lot by a lot of real publishers because I can finish a book. That doesn't even include my pen names.

So, come along for a space ride, hurtle through the galaxies with me on a cosmic adventure, battling forces of good and evil, confront danger and fall in love!

Or don't!

I'll have fun either way! To those of you who choose to participate, thank you!

I've already begun...