Four Books, Three Different Universes

While I was working on The Book Redesign Project, I took a moment to analyze what I’ve created thus far in terms of where they fit in their respective story universes. What I discovered was interesting, but not surprising in retrospect.

Corona, The Three Safeties:

Both of these books exist in The Falling Stars Universe (Falling Stars isn’t finished yet, but I have every intention of knocking it out one of these days. It’s one of those books that I always wanted to write, but have been delayed for one reason or another. A lot like how Parallax evolved to be.)

Vessel:

It occupies its own pocket universe, one that I’ve thought about revisiting but have shied away from because when your choices are War and War, it doesn’t leave much wiggle room. Apologies if I’ve inadvertently given out a plot spoiler.

Parallax:

The Flagship novel that established its own story universe. I’m working on the first of two sequels, Parallax: Genesis, as part of an overall book trilogy that I am thinking of expanding into a new series that will pick up where Parallax: Darkfall (as yet unwritten) leaves off.

All of these books are currently available through Amazon.com in both Kindle and Print formats. There is a link to my Amazon Author Page in the “About” Section of the Blog.

Quality Over Quantity

As you all know, I try to write at least one blog article a day. That’s a given. However, apparently I am breaking all kinds of rules intended to regulate how a successful blog is supposed to operate.

Rules? We don’t need no stinking rules. 😉

I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate that you all enjoy what I write here. I take a special pleasure in knowing that somewhere, someone is reading what I post and either chuckling to themselves over how I’m not quite right in the head sometimes or silently shocked that I would often go so far against the grain. Hey, it’s who I am.

I am a firm believer that quality work will always trump a large quantity of the same material. I’ve also been writing long enough to where the “you’re not motivated enough so here’s a kick in the pants to get your going” kind of rules don’t apply to me. Seriously, if you need a set of rules to force you to do something that you supposedly enjoy, then maybe you should reevaluate why you are doing that particular activity in the first place. The proof is in the pudding and I don’t believe that anyone can be forced to do something they don’t subconsciously want to do and if they are, they probably won’t be putting out their best work.

Then there’s the other extreme…

The ones who put out so much stuff that you have to wonder if they actually sleep at night. I mean, come on, I love to write, but even I have days where I simply don’t feel like working on anything. Having a strong output of content isn’t a bad thing, but I prefer to put out material that has some sort of meaning and isn’t just there as an attempt to fill space. We’re better than that, right?

As I’ve said many many many times before, I’ll never tell you how to write or manage your blogs. Find a method that works for you and go for it. Whatever your motivation, be true to yourself and your goals. My blog is merely an extension of my writing endeavors and doesn’t require an extremely large audience because I’ll be putting out article discussions anyway. Plus, I’m not making any money from it.

In the final analysis, I don’t think you have to put out multiple posts everyday if the ones you do put out have significance to your mission statement. Thanks and have a great day. 🙂

Interview Q&A

Every so often, an interesting post comes my way and this one is from my writer pal, Theresa Snyder, at http://theresasnyderafterthoughts.blogspot.com/2015/11/lexi-miles-tagged-me-grins.html

For some ungodly reason, she felt that my responses to these interview questions would make for some interesting reading. Far be it for me to argue with her so here we go. Enjoy.

1) When did you first start writing? Was being a writer something you always aspired to be?

Writing and Storytelling was something I’ve done since the Age of 10. I didn’t have any initial aspirations to be a writer. Being a “writer” came about while I was a teenage musician and eventually I drifted away from a potential music career to one where I sit by myself at a keyboard, smoke too many cigarettes, keep The Coffee Industry well-heeled, and generally spin tales of fantastic worlds with equally exceptional people populating them.

2) What genre do you write?

I can write in any genre. I’m not bragging here because I’ve taken the time over the years to study a wide range of literature and honestly believe that I could do them all, if I’m in the right mood…hehe.

Seriously though, my genre of choice is Science Fiction and Adventure. I like the combination because it allows me to integrate the best of both into something unique and special.

3) What was your first piece that you can remember writing? What was it about?

I’ve written many fictional things over the years, but the one that truly qualifies as a “first piece” would be a novella of sorts called “Paradox”, which was about an international counter-terrorism organization fighting terrorists in 2015. It was started in 1984, finished in 1985, and eventually polished and copyrighted in 1990. A copy of the manuscript sits in a file drawer at the Library of Congress. I’ve made plans to purchase (ugh, everyone else is making money off this thing but me) a file copy so I can have it back in my files.

4) What’s the worst part about writing?

Getting Started. I know that sounds lame, but believe it or not, there are times when I simply don’t want to write and would rather goof off. But after a suitable period of fidgeting, I shrug and get to work. After all, the stories don’t write themselves and I would never forgive myself if I didn’t get them out there.

5) What’s the name of your favorite character and why?

I’ve created many memorable characters (at least to me) over the years, but the current crop have really become my favorites. Jack Pratt from Parallax is a character I really enjoy working with and Zack Moreau from Lights and Shadows is fast becoming a personal favorite.

In the end though, all my characters are such a diverse and entertaining bunch that it’s hard to nail down a specific favorite.

6) How much time a day/week do you get to write? When is the best time for you to write (morning or night)?

I’ve been blessed with an abundance of Writing Time and I try to make the most of it. I work a day job on the weekends but even there they allow me some latitude to work on my fiction.

I don’t think I have a “best” time of write. Some times, I do great work in the early mornings, some times late at night. As long as the stories get done, what the clock says doesn’t matter much.

7) Did you go to college for writing?

Not specifically. I learned the basics in elementary and high school and then built on them later. I didn’t take my writing very seriously for a long time, but when I attended college, I took classes in fiction writing and that went a long way to cementing my commitment to pursuing a writing career once and for all.

8) What bothers you more: spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar errors?

All of those bother me in general, but what really torques me up are those who try to write who haven’t the foggiest idea of how to put a sentence together. I know, I know, we’re supposed to be supportive of those who may not be at our skill level or experience, but it drives me nuts when the tense is wrong or the characters are saying and doing things that don’t fit the action. The ones that show a glimmer of redemption are those who respond to constructive criticism and appear to give a shit about their craft. Those guys I will go to bat for.

9) What is the best writing advice that anyone has given you?

The best writing advice anyone ever gave me was “Park your ass in the chair and Write. Forget about Writing Conferences or Groups. Anything that takes you away from your story is working against your improvement as a Writer.” Sounds harsh, right? Well, it was damned effective.

10) What advice would you give to another writer?

Learn and respect The Craft. Always strive to put your best effort out there and forget about Fame and Fortune.

11) What are your favorite writing sites or blogs that you turn to for help, tips, or encouragement?

I’ll have to get back with you on this one because I’m trying to keep this article to a minimum. I don’t use a lot of “writing” sites per se, though my writing buddies James Kafka (http://pellmellx10.blogspot.com/) and Theresa Snyder (https://twitter.com/TheresaSnyder19) do inspire me in ways that they probably don’t realize. Writers Digest (http://www.writersdigest.com/) is one site that I tend to turn to most often.

12) Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing? What are your hobbies?

I have two great passions in my life: Creative Writing and Music. I have other hobbies like playing video games now and then, but Writing and Music are the biggies. I also enjoy long walks on the beach, people with proper table manners, and anything to do with Space (Fiction or Real).

13) What’s the best book you’ve read this year?

I’m about to break a cardinal rule here, but other than my own books or research materials, I haven’t read any fiction that’s stood out to me this year. I’ve put out 4 books this year and between that and my day job, there isn’t much time for anything else. I promise to work on it.

14) What is the best movie you’ve seen this year?

Sadly, movies have fallen by the wayside for the same reasons as #13 above. Yes, yes, I’ll work on that too.

15) What is your favorite book or series of all time?

My favorite book series of all time is an old trilogy written by Joe Clifford Faust that I have read over and over since the 90s called The Angel’s Luck Series.

16) Who is your favorite author?

My favorite author is Ernest Hemingway, not just because he was a great writer, but that he epitomizes what an Adventure Writer should be, minus some of the misadventures he went through and that rather messy end to his life. Second favorite is Clive Cussler, who can spin a yarn like nobody’s business.

17) What are your plans for the rest of the year in terms of your writing?

I’m currently working on squeezing a fifth book, Lights and Shadows, out before the end of 2015 and hopefully give myself some time off before I work on Parallax’s Sequel, Parallax: Genesis, in January 2016.

18) Where else can we find you online?

Hell, I’m all over the place, but I can be found at:

Official Website: http://www.wwcassjr.com

WordPress: https://wwcassjrblog.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WallaceCass

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WwCassJrAuthor

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116428164774862303727

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/wallacecass

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/author/wwcassjr

I think that’s all of them so hopefully, I haven’t left anything out. This has been fun.

Available Now on Amazon

Yes, it’s one of THOSE articles. The shameless kind where I put out the word on my books and hope they spark either some kind of discussion or boost some flagging numbers.

Parallax has been out for a month now and it’s still available (along with my other works) either from my official web page at http://www.wwcassjr.com or on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00Q7KWITS.

This is more to reinforce the word already out there because my promoting efforts aren’t bearing as much fruit as I am hoping. I’ve only been publishing since January and I still have the mentality that if things aren’t moving along then I must write and publish another one. Of course, I am anyway, but spreading the word farther from time to time never hurts.

For obvious reasons, I hesitate to do these articles but when you’re a one-man band, you have to update the playlist now and again. Thanks for your time. 🙂

Giving My Books a Final Facelift

If there is one thing I do NOT enjoy doing, it’s making changes to my books. I’m not talking about clearing up a typo or fixing some questionable grammar that I missed during the original edits. That’s part and parcel of being your own publisher.

No, I’m talking about the cosmetic stuff.

I like the current book covers I am using and here they are:

Corona Paper Big    The Three Safeties Paper Big    Vessel Paper Big    Parallax Paper Big

As you can see, not great but not terrible either. To be honest, I feel a little shallow discussing this but I’m not sure that my limited budget is doing these stories justice. We work with what we can. However, there comes a point where one has to dig a little deeper to make the necessary sacrifices to get their work out there and that’s what I am leaning toward. The only downside is that the last time I did this, it screwed up the reviews and I ended up with extraneous drafts that wouldn’t go away because they had previously sold.

In the End, it’s all about the stories.

Dragging My Feet

I generally talk a good game about embracing Change and emphasizing its positive benefits. After all, The Universe doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Well, okay it does, but not in the way that I mean. I’ve been dragging my feet in implementing some items on my website (http://www.wwcassjr.com) for some time now because there’s a part of me that is still holding on to that youthful fantasy about what it means to be a writer. But Change is inevitable and you have to go with it if Progress is to be made.

Here are a few changes that are now in place:

1) A Mailing List and Sign-Up Form: There’s something unromantic about putting a mechanism in place to notify people of new developments. However, it would be the height of naivety and a little arrogant to assume that just because there are people who like my work that the carrier pigeons are flying far and wide with news of my activities.

2) Patreon: I’ve made no secret that I am dubious about crowdfunding, but I prefer to leave my options open. After all, my personal funds are not extensive so every little bit helps.

And now, for The Future:

1) Newsletters: I’m not exactly sure how I will tackle this one, but I’m fairly sure that it will involve some writing and if there is one thing I do know, it’s Writing.

Hmm, I thought there would be more to this article than this but the important stuff is out there. Thanks for your time and enjoy your weekend. 🙂