Thursday, April 24, 2014

Bad Reviews! Give Me More!

I'm working at formatting two projects for imminent release. Bless The Child, my Spartan sword & sandals novel for charity and Whispers of the Goddess, a novella from the fallen in battle, Roar of the Crowd anthology from Rogue Blades Entertainment. Formatting is a lot more work than I ever planned on and I'm not particularly good at it, so I'm doing a lot of triple checking and so forth as well as getting some much needed help, so delays are happening.

But on the bright side, it is a learning curve, I figure I'll be speeding up each time. The other thing when you take over formatting your own books is all the rest of that editing nonsense suddenly becomes deadly serious. Glad I've had help with covers etc and even writing back cover copy.

I also thought since its my project and I can do whatever I want, why not put some of the worst reviews I've ever had on the back of Whispers of the Goddess, the following are some samples - not about Whispers per se, few have read that, but about my writing in general. So I'd appreciate it if you tell me what you all think, is it a bad idea? Or shouldn't I just be able to laugh at myself and keep on rolling? (Contrary to everything else I actually said/say I care what people who comment here on the blog think). And I will still have legit summary's on the books too.

What the critics are saying about David's writing!

“tries to marry the shallow, stupid, and misogynistic sixties tough guy story with space opera and Lovecraft.” – Amazon review from Michigan
“brutal, gory, and depressing,” – Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine
“I was afraid to read this book.” – Marissa Walker, Timpanogos Times
“West tries to write --- and is proud of it.” – thoughtful Amazon reviewer
“He’s as cliché as he is a stupid, self-centered, intentionally ignorant murderer, a bore, a misogynist, a misanthrope, and he’s unpleasant in all kinds of other forms of ways to spend any time with.” – another informed Amazon customer taking things in a decidedly personal direction.
“the story I enjoyed the least,” – a Canadian Amazon reviewer
“Blood thirsty kings and references to a homosexual warrior were too much for me. Will be deleting it from my Kindle.” – Mrs. Cowboy, a giving Amazon reviewer
“I feel that the book is written at a grade school level.” – Amazon reviewer Mandy
“Unremarkable” – an ironic anonymous Amazon reviewer
“Hated it, boring, disgusting.” – another gem from Mrs. Cowboy
“this book just wasn’t very good.” – Fifty Shades of Grey superfan, Chad C.

I've been published for 4 years now and submitting stories publicly for 6 and I just realized, it snuck up on me, but I finally have that thick skin I've always needed/wanted. I can actually read any of these reviews and truly not give a damn.
Not to mention some of these I purposely took out of context for fun and there are an awful lot more good reviews than bad, probably at least 15-20 to 1.

p.s. I made it a point to kill that Chad guy in my Space Eldritch story Gods in Darkness
Idiot immortality achieved!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How Captain America Helped Make Me Who I Am

I still remember my first Captain America comic book. I don't remember which issue it was or the cover and I have tried in vain to find it again online, (I'm sure a major Cap buff will easily be able to tell me-but I couldn't find the issue)  but the real point is the story moved me, it informed me and granted a portion of my hunger for knowledge and sense of true history.

Yes, I got all that from a comic book.

I was likely under ten years old, I collected the bronze age Spider-Man, Hulk, Star Wars and was just starting out with G.I.JOE. I knew who Captain America was but didn't regularly read him. I have always been fascinated with history so I liked that this was another WW2 comic along with Sgt. Rock and the Haunted Tank type others.

I recall Bucky, who would eventually become the butt of every Wizard magazine joke, looking for a heart doctor to save someone? Maybe it was even Cap, I'm not sure. Bucky was told that nobody at this hospital in LA? was skilled enough to help but a nurse took Bucky aside and whispered that there was a Doctor who could do this surgery BUT he was in a Japanese Internment camp!

This floored me when I was under 10, we did that? I did the research - back then it all had to be done in a library - and LO we did do that!

That began a great trip for me on how comics while fantasy and science fiction can inform us of things and give reflection on human nature, because it is still written by people who have the same feelings good bad and ugly that we all have. It showed that those first Dr.'s Bucky talked to were too bigoted to help or even think that that Japanese Dr. could be an option, but that nurse knew and said it! And Bucky went to the camp (which was shown perfectly squalid) and was able to get that Dr. to help whomever it was.

I didn't regularly follow up on that storyline (and that's not the truly important thing, what is-is that it has always stuck with me, it opened a paradigm in a boy under 10 to think about more answers outside the usual paradigm.

Going along that line, I have nothing but great things to say about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, great film and great messages that also show a dark side and lead you down that rabbit hole to think about What have we done and what will we do when faced with it. I think that through great fiction we are seeing things as they really are.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cover Lover

Just taking of stock of where I've been and where I'm going. Makes  me feel good and accomplished to look back and forward at these covers of finished projects as well as a couple coming up and even a few might have been's. Heroes of the Fallen is of course my first.

The sequel has had a number of setbacks, but I am working on Blood of  Our Fathers, it is still coming.
Coming very soon is my sword and sandals tale Bless the Child.

And shortly thereafter I will finally release the novella Whispers of the Goddess originally intended for Roar of the Crowd from Rogue Blades.
Then I have had quite a number of shorts in a variety of anthologies.

And a few ezines.

Some never had covers and I like to think about some art I wish could have been covers for same.

I was even a ghost writer for a book that still isn't out.
And I like to imagine a few more covers for things coming down the pike.

 The Bastard Prince
 Gods & Robbers

And a lot more weird westerns featuring Porter Rockwell
(wish I knew the artists for all these but I've lost track-apologies)
Still dreaming, still working.