Archive for Amazon

Meeting Larry Correia and Getting Ideas!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on November 1, 2015 by David North-Martino

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I had the pleasure of attending Larry Correia’s signing at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester, Massachusetts. Best known for his Monster Hunter International (MHI) series, Larry was promoting Son of the Black Sword, the first in a series of new fantasy novels. Larry is very passionate at what he does, and loves his fans. He’s become a very controversial figure in certain circles, but if you get the chance to meet him, even if you don’t agree with his politics, you’ll find that he’s a very nice guy, and very down to earth.

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In meeting him I got to thinking about the MHI series, and Weston Ochse’s Seal Team 666 series (soon to be a major motion picture staring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson). There are similarities between these two properties, and with my character Captain Amanda Rann, and her paranormal Special Forces team featured in my novel Wolves of Vengeance. I think anyone who enjoys MHI or Seal Team 666 would also love to read about Amanda and her team as she hunts horrid wolf like creatures that devour the cursed.

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If you haven’t tried these successful series, follow the links and check them out.

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Amanda’s team isn’t a knockoff of either of these two groups. I conceived of Amanda and her paranormal SF team back in 2006 while writing the first draft of Wolves of Vengeance. In 2011, while having the novel professionally critiqued, Grandmaster of Horror, Ray Garton, told me that he thought Amanda would make a great series character. I’ve had the idea on the backburner for a while now. I published Wolves of Vengeance in 2013 and then went back to working on other novels and short stories.

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Is this blog post just a way for me to “borrow” the fans of these two very successful series? Absolutely! If you’re a fan of Correia or Ochse, I would love for you to try out my novel. In it I mix SF&F with military fiction. If there were enough interest, I would be more than happy to bring back Amanda Rann and her team (I’ll come up with a cool name—I promise!) with my own unique brand of dark, fast-paced thrillers.

If you give Wolves of Vengeance a shot, and like the idea of more adventures featuring Captain Amanda Rann, let me know in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you.

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My Review of MonsterTime by Reb MacRath

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on September 30, 2015 by David North-Martino

I picked up the original edition of MonsterTime when it first came out in 1991. By that time, I was slowing wandering away from horror, so popular in the 1980s (for the ‘90s were upon us!), but was intrigued by Dell Publishing’s new Abyss horror line. The back cover blurb also promised something more than the usual horror fair, and small town secrets. Curious, I picked it up from the shelf of my local bookstore. I’m glad I did. The novel delivered in spades.

MonsterTime is a strong and delightfully eclectic novel of horror, time travel, dark fantasy, and historical fiction. With a pulp fiction meets literary writing style, the story is always energetic, sometimes scary, at other times funny, with enough forward momentum to keep the story moving, and enough twists to keep the reader guessing.

MacRath has tightened the prose to great affect and tamed down some of the taboo subjects, at least as I remember them, but that’s not to say that you won’t find your share of controversial scenes in this book. They’re just handled now with a little more eloquence, by the deft hand of a writer who has 25 more years of skill under his belt.

MacRath would later reexamine some of the themes and elements presented in this book in his more recent novels: trains, time travel, Alcatraz (The Rock), and martial arts, all appear and are important to the plot, along with the man on the run, and man out of time/without a country motif. His non-horror books Red Champagne and (his semi-autobiographical) The Vanishing Magic of Snow immediately come to mind. I believe MonsterTime is heavily autobiographical; no matter how far out some of the scenes might seem to be. I even noticed at least one possible revenge killing in this book. Yes—don’t anger an author. You will be killed off in his book in some horrible, horrible way!

MonsterTime was ahead of its time when it came out, and I think it will remain so even now, and for many years to come. If you haven’t read it, you’re in for a treat, and if you have, it’s well worth the effort to read again. I can safely say you will read nothing quite like it in your lifetime. It’s an underrated masterpiece that’s impossible to pigeonhole, hard to put down, and not easily forgotten.

Get MonsterTime here!

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My 5-Bullet Friday

Posted in Goals with tags , , , on July 11, 2015 by David North-Martino

5-Bullet Friday

I’m stealing this idea from Tim Ferriss. Here are 5 short recommendations or findings that may be of interest.

  • Scrivener—Simply the best word processing program/outliner available. I write everything on Scrivener.
  • Best Worst Movie—A fun and informative documentary that explores the cult movie Troll 2. Check documentary channels on Roku if you have one.
  • Toddy Cold Brew—Naturally smooth acid reduced coffee. Easy on the taste buds and the stomach.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir— Read the book before Matt Damon and Ridley Scott screw up the movie. Hahaha! Just kidding…. Well, maybe. The book is fantastic.

Want to read Tim’s recommendations? Subscribe to his newsletter.

YEAR IN REVIEW 2013

Posted in Goals with tags , , , , on December 31, 2013 by David North-Martino

Each year I create a list of goals for every area in my life. Throughout the year I work on these goals, track my progress and my challenges. Then, to keep myself honest, I commit to posting a list of some of my top accomplishments and challenges and some of my smaller ones as well.

I challenge you to create a list of goals, keep track of them during the year, and then celebrate and post your accomplishments at year end. If you do, please let me know. I’d love to look at your list.

Writing Career

We lost way too many writers this year, so many that it’s staggering to think about. May they all rest in peace.

Novels

WOLVES OF VENGEANCE 

This year I competed a major life goal. I decided to independently publish a short novel/novella as an e-book on Amazon. I’ve been working on this book for a long time, and it was a great learning experience to do this on my own. For my next (full-length) novel, I’m going to reach out to an agent and/or traditional publishers. Here’s a list that gives a good idea of how I completed this goal.

  • Completed my final edits of Wolves of Vengeance.
  • Patty completed line edit.
  • I completed implementing Patty’s edits
  • Sent Wolves of Vengeance to beta readers
  • Commissioned a cover from Carl Graves.
  • Worked on secondary material.
  • Beta readers sent back positive comments.
  • Cover delivered.
  • Posted cover on Facebook and received positive feedback.
  • Updated my bibliography on Amazon Author Central.
  • Uploaded edited manuscript to Scrivener.
  • Researched Independent publishing.
  • Contacted Tracy DeVore and hired her to edit the novel.
  • Tracy completed initial edits.
  • I implemented Tracy’s initial edits.
  • Returned edits to Tracy for final review.
  • Implemented Tracy’s final edits after editorial approval.
  • Wrote dedication, copyright, and acknowledgment pages.
  • Uploaded final from Word into Scrivener and formatted for Kindle.
  • Began research for Createspace formatting.
  • Reviewed formatting on Kindle previewer. Everything seemed fine.
  • Began Kindle marketing research.
  • Wrote email letters to those I acknowledged in the book and sent out copies.
  • Had Patty edit back copy.
  • Uploaded book to Amazon on September 9th 2013.
  • After discover discrepancies in formation on different devices, I stopped promotion and fixed mobi file (approximately 2 weeks).
  • Chose initial reviewers and sent e-copies to them.
  • Became a top 100 Amazon author in the Psychic Suspense category #15 and on the same page as Stephen King and Peter Straub.
  • Received first royalties from Amazon in November.
  • Possible package deal with best selling authors in the works.
  • Reached out to top 500 reviews.
  • Received a couple of nice reviews on Amazon and one on Goodreads.

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WOLVES OF VENGEANCE 

YEAR OF THE DEMON (A Dark Crime Thriller)

I completed a first draft and worked on a second draft of this novel. I hope to have it completed and polished in a couple of months.

  • Finished 1st draft.
  • I let the 1st draft  cool.
  • Began first read through and light edit and took notes.
  • Created an outline based on the material I had already written.
  • Completed a main character character arc.
  • Worked on scenes for a main character to increase his presence in the book and completed them.
  • Began 2nd draft. At the time of this posting I’m at approximately 80,000 words or 308 pages.
  • Patty read first 100 pages and gave positive feedback
  • Sent first 100 pages to beta reader who is also an author and received positive feedback

Non fiction

  • Began writing and sketching out an outline for an anti-bullying book.

Short Fiction

I had a fantastic year for short fiction sales. To accomplish this I wrote new stories, fixed up old ones, submitted to markets, and networked

  • Sent short stories to 12 markets.
  • Wrote 3 new short stories.
  • Sold 6 stories. That’s a personal best!
  • Sold “Phantom Chasers to From Beyond the Grave, published by Grinning Skull Press and edited by Michael Evans.
  • Signed contract.
  • Received Kindle and print contributor copies.
  • Received payment.
  • Received positive feedback from anonymous author who is a friend of the editor: “Phantom Chasers:  Another good one.  A very unusual idea which was extremely well executed.  Even as short as it is, the character development is pretty damned good. We know who these people are in just a few lines.  The foreshadowing… is a mite obvious, but it doesn’t matter.  We KNOW that someone’s going to…die from very early on, but the author makes it work anyway…”

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FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE

  • My story “The Mesomorphic Woman” was the lead story in the Daughter’s of Icarus anthology, published by Pink Narcissus Press, and edited by Josie Brown. (This is the first time one of my stories has been featured as a lead).
  • Received Kindle and print contributor copies.

“Strong pieces offer memorable takes on the notion of feminism in speculative fiction.” – Library Journal

“…A classic anthology on par with Pamala Sargent’s Woman of Wonder series…” – Publishers Weekly

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DAUGHTERS OF ICARUS

  • Invited by Editor of Dark Dreams podcast to submit short story for podcast.
  • Revised “Graven Image” for audio.
  • I submitted “Graven Image” and it was accepted for audio. (This is the first time one of my stories has been produced for audio).
  • Story compared to the works of Charles Beaumont and Robert Block.
  • “Graven Image” featured in Dark Dreams podcast and read by E.S. Wynn. (1:30)
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  • Interviewed by Mark Slade on Dark Dreams podcast (first audio interview) (11:56)
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  • Revised “Schrödinger’s Parachute” and retitled to “The Interloper.”
  • Submitted “The Interloper” to Anthology: Year Two: Inner Demons Out.
  • Received acceptance in the mail.
  • Sold story to Anthology: Year Two: Inner Demons Out.
  • Signed contract.
  • Received contributor copy at AnthoCon.
  • Read a portion of “The Interloper” at AnthoCon.
  • Sent out invoice for payment.

ANTHOLOGY: YEAR TWO: INNER DEMONS OUT 

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  • Submitted “Stone Butterfly” to Cellar Door anthology.
  • Editor requested an additional scene to improve flow of story.
  • Fixed inconstancy in villain’s name.
  • Stone Butterfly accepted into Cellar Door anthology.
  • Signed contract and sent back..
  • I received contributor copy.
  • Cellar Door won a Gothic Readers Choice Award.

Cellar Door Full Cover

CELLAR DOOR 

  • Editor Invited me into UK publisher Horrified Press’s Nightmare Illustrated Issue #2.
  • Sent “Staring at Me.”
  • The story was accepted.
  • Signed contract and returned.
  • Received first royalty payment.

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NIGHTMARE ILLUSTRATED

  • Editor sent last royalty payment for Extinct Doesn’t Mean Forever and “The Language of Ice” single because they were going out of digital print.
  • Editor sent me the corrected Word file for “Language of Ice.”

Networking

  • Acted as a beta reader for a writer friend.
  • Attended the New England Horror Writers (NEHW) spring mixer at Ritual in Worcester.
  • Attended ANTHOLOGY (AnthoCon).
  • Assisted other writers with promotion.
  • Wrote reviews for some of the books I enjoyed.
  • Assisted an editor in creation of a MOBI file.

Family

  • Lit a candle for my sister on the anniversary of her passing.
  • Celebrated Patty’s birthday at the Weathervane Restaurant in Kittery Maine.
  • Flowers for Patty on Valentines Day.
  • Celebrated my birthday at the New China Buffet.
  • Celebrated 18 years of marriage and 21 years together.
  • Had Passover dinner with Patty.
  • Had Easter dinner at the In-laws.
  • Called my Aunt/Godmother for her Birthday.
  • Brought Patty for her checkup.
  • Called Mom & Dad once per week.
  • Had Mom & Dad over the house. Presented Dad with his Black Belt. Went to the range with my Dad. Then we ate at the Outback for a late lunch.
  • Called my Bro.
  • Visited my Dad, Mom, Brother, Sis-in-law, and their in-laws for Father’s Day at Foxwoods.
  • Sent a series of martial arts master portraits to my Dad .
  • Spent 4th of July at In-laws.
  • Visited Mom & Dad at Foxwoods for Mom’s birthday.
  • Met Mom & Aunt/Godmother at Johnny Rockets at Twin River.
  • Visited In-laws and Grandniece and Grandnephew.
  • Visited Mom & Dad for their Anniversary at Foxwoods.
  • Attended Patty’s work event at the Franklin Park Zoo.
  • Reconnected with an old high school friend.
  • Wrote a letter of reference for a long time friend.
  • Pre-Thanksgiving meal with my parents.
  • Thanksgiving at my in-laws.
  • Scheduled to meet my family in January.
  • Christmas with in-laws.

Martial Arts

  • Presented my Dad with Black Belt Certificate.

Dad Black Belt

  • Bought a one-year membership to MFS.
  • Attended Marlboro G&K show.
  • Celebrated 26 years in the martial arts.
  • Continued MMA conditioning workouts.
  • Continued my own martial arts training along with modern and archaic weaponry and forms.
  • Completed modified P90X challenge.
  • Began teaching Patty martial arts again with an emphasis on kickboxing.
  • Continued Bunkai research.
  • Added additional stretching to martial arts training.

Health

I met every health goal I had this year except for losing weight. My weight fluctuated throughout the year, but I did gain some muscle and flexibility. I will create a refined plan to accomplish my goal of losing twenty pounds for next year.

  • Dental cleaning x2.
  • Added muscle through P90X.
  • Edit: I lost 6 pounds of fat, gained 4.5 pounds of water, and gained 8.25 pounds of lean body mass (muscle).
  • Eye pressure dropped from 22 to 14 on the new medication. My left eye improved.
  • Had blood work completed for physical.
  • Had a great physical.
  • Joined an online medical portal.
  • Got a flu shot.
  • Joined Planet Fitness for 2014. Insurance covered most of the cost.

Challenges:

  • Started off the year recovering from bronchitis.
  • Broke tooth, had a temporary crown Installed.
  • Had permanent crown installed.
  • Had two cavities filled.

Cars

  • Both cars passed inspection.
  • All normal maintenance on cars completed.
  • Had airbag sensor replaced in my car, 2 warranty repairs and B service, new tires.
  • Patty’s car warranty repair, B service, blower motor repair, 3 tires sealed, 60K maintenance, wiper blades, flush, bulb replacements, break line checked.

Challenges:

  • Patty’s car was sideswiped by a hit and run driver while at work
  • Scheduled appointment and had fixed at Liberty Auto. They did a great job making the repair.

Charity & Community Service

  • Made donations in memory of my sister.
  • United Way Lantern Society.
  • Wrote letters to my representatives.
  • Voted in MA Special Election.

House

  • General maintenance.
  • Spring cleaning completed.
  • Cleaned study.
  • Cleaned garage. Utilized association scheduled dumpster to get rid of a lot of junk.
  • Had AC coils replaced. Victory honored warrantee even though it had expired a month earlier.
  • Put in upstairs window screens.
  • Put up hooks in garage hall for brooms and mops.
  • Replaced cover for the patio table.
  • Replaced HVAC filter at regular intervals.

Planning

  • Continued using Opus Domini for daily and weekly planning in conjunction with Anthony Robbins RPM.

Fun & Travel

  • Margaritas in CT.
  • Cabalas in CT.
  • Chili’s in Burlington.
  • Kittery Trading Post in ME.
  • Weathervane in Kittery ME.
  • Rein’s Delli in Vernon CT.
  • Iron Man 3 at IMAX Providence.
  • Watched Mayweather fight on HBO.
  • Penn & Teller at the Foxwoods Theater.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness IMAX 3D .
  • Man of Steel at IMAX .
  • Pinkberry  in RI.
  • Sonic in CT.
  • Trained in basic strategy for Jacks or Better video poker.
  • The Big E in Springfield.
  • Watched the Red Sox go from worst to first and win the World Series.
  • Capriotti’s in Foxboro.
  • Roger Williams Zoo, RI.
  • Portsmouth New Hampshire.
  • Watched Ronda Rousey retain her belt on PPV.

Spiritual

  • Continued praying at night and saying affirmations in the morning.

That’s about it for 2013. Watch out 2014… here I come!