Monday, August 17, 2015

There are things happening again!

Hello there!

I know it's been quite some time, but I'm not going to talk about all my time away here.  Not today, that's for a different post which I will be writing because there are important things I want to talk about which some of you may want hear... er, read.  But that's for another day.

TODAY I want to say hey there to all the folks who are still subscribed.  I've missed you. Have you been well?  I hope so.

I have some things happening, including a new mailing list (which I've never tried before, and so far it's very exciting).  If you are interested in getting three or four emails from me each month, telling you about new projects and news and discounts that may be going on, you can sign up for that bad boy Right Here.  Right now, new subscribers are getting the first book in my Gavin English Stories series for free, so if you don't have that already and you want to read it, sign up and get it for free.

Free is always better than not free.  How much do I love cheesecake?  It's pretty good.  How much do I love FREE cheesecake?  Holy hell it's the best thing ever!

See what I mean?

I have also played with the website a lot recently.  I am currently in love with the way it looks, but I'm probably biased, so if you all could give it a look and let me know what you think, that would be fantastic.  You can Click Here and visit KenLindsey.com or you can click on the new "The Website" link at the top of the page.  Or you can type it in yourself if you are one of those free-thinking, independent types.

So I have, in the last six months to a year, started and really dug into about six manuscripts for new stories.  One of those is almost ready to come out (hopefully the end of this month, beginning of the next) and two or three others will continue to be projects I will finish.  There are a couple, though, that I have simply fallen out of love with.  Probably around 150,000 words there (not including all the ones I already deleted from said manuscripts) that will get washed away.  And that's ok, it's part of the craft.

If you love every word you put to paper, good for you.  I hope I never have to read anything you write because you are clearly delusional, but still... good for you.  (My feelings on this matter may come from some of the freelance editing work I used to do, and I may be jaded. Sorry about that.)

Anyhow, more books are coming. I hope you will read one or two of them.

What about the blog?!

I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with the blog yet, though I'm leaning towards turning it into a place where I can ramble about life and maybe do one or two book reviews a month.  With the mailing list, and the actual writing, and the "writing" I do to pay the bills (yeah, it's SEO content garbage-y stuff) I just kind of want to use this space for whatever is left over.

I might post once a week, I might post five times in a week if the mood is right.  Or I might not post more than once a month.  I'll be around as much as I can, because I still love the idea of blogging and the community that forms around it.  I just don't want it to feel like work.  Too many things feel like work.

Well, I suppose I've rambled enough here.  I hope things are going really well for you, don't forget to take care of yourself out there.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Here's a sample from the next book in the Gavin English Stories Series!

Prologue


Pastor Timothy Ford Jr. woke in a cold sweat, choking down the scream in his throat. He sucked in oxygen with heaving, gasping breaths that made his bottom lip pop in and out of of his mouth, scraping his teeth over and over until he could taste blood. He gripped the thin, stretched afghan and held it firm against his chest with his left hand, while searching the nightstand blindly with his right, until his fingers locked around the cool leather-bound cover of his father's Bible.
As he hugged that old Book tight he found he could breathe again, the hammering in his chest slowed to a healthy, dull rhythm. The scent of the pages beneath his chin was venerable and comforting; the feel of the leather against his bare chest, soothing. Already the nightmare was fading, only an unfocused memory of pain and death. And evil.
But it felt so real.
With a dying tremor of fear in his voice, Pastor Timothy whispered into the darkness, “For the wo-word of God is living and powerful, and s-sharp-sharper than any two-edged s-sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Speaking the words helped to calm the young preacher. The verse was like a shield that made the darkness feel less... gaping. He laid the Bible in his lap and reached for the nightstand again, fingers fumbling gently across several books and loose scraps of paper until he found the thin chain which hung from the lamp.
With a click, the naked eighty watt bulb chased off the dark. Timothy gritted his teeth, refusing to flinch away from the illumination as his eyes strained to adjust. He was no lover of darkness, and no matter how weak his flesh might be, he would never hide his eyes from the light.
And the light was everywhere. Aside from the matching three foot mirrors, which hung on each side of the room and reflected the lamp so that no shadow could hide, Timothy's walls were bare. Bare and painted with the cleanest, whitest white the preacher had been able to find in the hardware store. Every surface in the room glistened, reflecting the light of that single bulb and turning his room into a beacon. A beacon which he was sure, if it weren't for the roof on the house, would cut a brilliant swath through the soulless night sky.
Even his solitary nightstand, the only furniture he allowed himself aside from his twin sized bed, was whitewashed. On that nightstand was a lamp. It was the one thing that Timothy had not covered with that awful, blinding white. The lamp had no shade, of course, because Pastor Timothy knew since childhood that it was important to let his light shine (hide it under a bushel? No! I'm gonna let it shine). It wasn't the brightness of the lamp, though, that made it a treasure—it was the base.
A hundred years ago, the base of that lamp had been just a block of wood. Until his grandfather, a wholly devoted follower of the Lord, (or Lawd as the old man had said it) spent three and a half years carving it into an intricate tableau depicting the death of Christ. The Figure on the cross hung limply, His face peaceful, His eyes closed, as a tiny Roman soldier jabbed a spear into His side. Three women with featureless faces knelt feebly before the cross, hands reaching toward the Son. The colors of the lamp were stark—the blood was a glistening crimson, the wooden cross all but black, the soldier's armor like rust. And the Lord's face, as white as everything else in the room.
The lamp was the only thing left once his family picked through his grandfather's things after his death. To this day, Timothy remembered watching the old man's children (the preacher's mother included) as they picked over the tiny apartment, squabbling for each morsel. Every possession the old man had gathered through his life. Pastor Timothy remembered thinking that the scene must have been much like watching grave robbers fighting over the treasures found in a pharaoh’s tomb.
But nobody wanted the lamp. It was too old, too harsh, too ugly. Too sincere, Timothy had guessed, even at his young age. Getting his mother to allow him to bring it home had been a fight, but when she finally relented, the boy had snatched it up and hugged it like a teddy bear. Years later, when Timothy began his ministry, the lamp was one of the only fragments of his old life that he held on to. His grandfather's lamp, and his father's Bible.
Soon, his pupils retracted and the light was less offensive. Timothy's eyes were dry and sore, so he allowed his lids to drop for the barest of moments.
With a fizzle, the bulb winked out, leaving the room in darkness again. The preacher could feel it. Without needing to open his eyes, he knew that he was no longer alone.
With a breath, he began whispering again, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Tsk tsk tsk,” a high-pitched, gravelly voice rang through his skull, “Wrong. You're always wrong, Tim-tim. If you'd just open your eyes, you'd see that your precious light has left you. Again.”
It was hard for the young preacher to breathe as a knot of fear swelled in his belly. His hands shook so fiercely against the Bible in his lap that it sounded like a child clapping somewhere in the distance. Still, he continued, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Now you're getting somewhere, Tim-tim. No flesh and blood here. You're done wrestling now. Your light failed.”
No.” Timothy's voice quavered, even his whisper was frail. “I belong to the Lord. You can't change that. Nothing can change that. You are already defeated,” finally, he was able to grip the old Book once again. “Begone, Unclean One!” he shouted with renewed strength.
With a pop, the bulb flared back to life, coloring the world behind the preacher's eyelids orange and pink. His throat clicked as he tried to swallow the saliva that was not there. Timothy clucked his throat until it unclenched and ran his tongue over his lips, over and over and over. Exhaustion and fear and relief mingled until the preacher was hunched over, moaning something that was between relieved sobbing and hysteria.
He let it out. The tears and the laughter rushed by in waves until he was sure he was going mad. Then just as suddenly, they were gone, and Pastor Timothy was sitting silently in his bed. He laid the Bible back on the litter of books that covered his nightstand and got up off the bed to get a glass of water. As he stood, though, he caught sight of his own reflection in the mirror across the room from his bed.
He was only thirty-two years old, but his skin was pale and thin and worn. He walked closer, stopping when he could reach out and touch the surface of the glass. He ran his finger along the dark lines which circled the turgid bags beneath his eyes, leaving streaks on the mirror's polished surface. He parted his lips, showing his darkened gums and yellowing teeth to his reflection. His once thick, raven colored hair was now threadlike and being swallowed up by patches of dingy gray.
It was the Voice, he thought. It was coming too frequently now, stealing his dreams and replacing them with unspeakable visions while he slept. It had a way of shaking his faith, cracking the foundation of his beliefs, one terrifying word at a time. And as he looked at himself in the mirror, he knew that It (whatever It was) had been right about at least one thing.
His light had failed. Whatever strength he used to possess, whatever it was that he had that kept the Voice at bay for the last several years had left him once again. Timothy dropped his hand from the mirror, ready to walk away, but before he could turn, something caught his attention. There was something wrong with the mirror.
After a moment of confusion, the young preacher realized that his reflection had not moved with him. It was still staring out at him, hand pressed to the mirror's surface, eyes searching. The reflection was reaching out for him. A violent shiver crawled over his spine as he stepped in for a closer look. The other him, the one in the reflection wore a cruel smile—lips parted, teeth too large and soaked in shining gore, eyes colorless and dull. Blood ran free from corners of his... no, Its mouth, leaving ruddy streaks down the reflection's chin and neck.
The reflection's fingertips broke through the mirror's surface as the Other continued to reach for him.
Timothy let out a guttural sound from deep in his belly—closer to a roar than a scream, grabbed the edge of the mirror, and tore it from the wall. The rectangular frame flipped and fell to the floor in an explosion of glass that scattered mirror fragments throughout the room.
That seems a bit extreme,” said another of his reflections, from the mirror on the far wall. The voice wasn't his, but it was just as familiar to the young preacher by now.
Timothy spun and saw the same dreadful face—his face, but broken and vile, smiling out at him. Still reaching for him.
He fell prostrate; shards of glass tore into his flesh wherever he touched the floor. His knees. The palms of his hands. His forearms. Timothy spoke out, voice barely a whisper, “The Lord is my rock and my fort... fortress...” He was weeping now, tears flowing and mixing with snot and spit on his face, dripping to the floor. He stared down as he watched the blood from his palms spreading into the carpet. The sticky, sweet smell of death threatened to swallow him.
You don't get it yet, do you, Tim-tim?”
The preacher flinched at the sound of his mother's nickname for him. She was the only one who had ever called him that. Until...
Your words mean nothing. If I come from the darkness, it is the darkness of the grave. The darkness of rot and time. If your god is up there, he doesn't give a shit about you. You've been left here for me to play with, and I'm not finished with you.”
Timothy was woozy with panic, barely able to keep his mind in the moment. He slid to the floor, no longer feeling the slivers of glass as they rolled with his movements, grinding and churning his flesh, digging themselves deeper. Into the tissue, the meat. Timothy only knew fear.
Laying there on the floor, Timothy could see the corpse, still and rotting, beneath the bed. Ten days since he'd slit the woman's (Harlot's) throat, and already the Voice was back to haunt him. Each time, the blood seemed to be less potent than the last, while the Voice grew louder and stronger with each visit.
As the preacher drifted to unconsciousness, he imagined the oceans of blood he would need to spill to fulfill God's mission. Whores and blasphemers and homosexuals would scream. They would bleed. They would repent. They would die.

Then the Voice would finally be gone.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Covers

Hey folks!  I'm still limiting my online time, but I wanted to pop in and tell everyone that I've got new covers for the Gavin English Series.  I'd love to know what you think, so I'll post the new and old so you can decide for yourselves which you like best.  I still like the old covers, but I think the new covers add something.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

 Old cover: To The Bone.
 New cover: To The Bone
 Old cover: On The Edge
 New cover: On The Edge

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm Offline, Baby

I'm going to take the next five, six, or seven days off from the internet, so if I owe you correspondence, or if I don't reply to you on Facebook, Twitter, email, Tumblr, here, or anywhere else... that's why.

If you need me, I'll be writing.  Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Warnings For Newbie Authors

There are a lot of slimy bastards out there.  A lot.  Seriously.  And every one of them is just dying to screw you out of a dollar, or ten, or a thousand.  Point is: people want your money.

Duh, right?

The problem is that slimy bastards don't come out and introduce themselves as slimy bastards.  Usually, they come off as kind, interested, caring, and on your team.  They make offers and promises, all under the guise of helping you out, but as soon as they get their grubby fingers into your wallet, everything changes.

It's tough to be a indie author, (it's also tough to be traditionally published, but that's a different set of problems) you have to carry your intellectual properties on your own.  Writing. (duh)  Editing.  Formatting.  Cover art.  Finding reviewers.  Finding readers.  Social networking.  Selling yourself and your work at every opportunity.

It doesn't take long to learn that you probably need some help.  Unfortunately, when many of us get to the point where we realize we need a hand, it's at a point of desperation.  Ink, sweat, and tears have gotten you this far... how can you give any more?

So you do a quick Google search:
"publishers"
"ebook publishing"
"buy cover art"
"cheap book editing"
"how to self publish"

 And that's when the bastards show up.
"Free ebook help!"
"Let us do the work for you!"
"Ocean Front Property, Cheap"
"Author Loyalty"

There are a lot of folks out there who claim they have just what you need.  Sometimes, it seems too good to be true.  Most times, it really is.  I don't know all the tricks, and I don't have all the answers.  But I do have some guidelines that might steer you away from the slimy bastards.  Use these, and look for other tips out there that might keep you from getting ripped off.  It's easy to get excited about publishing something you've written, but jumping the gun could cost you more than you know.

1: Publishers don't ask you for money.  Ever.  No processing fees, no shelving costs, nothing.  If a publisher is interested in your work, you will go through some negotiations (hopefully with your agent as a buffer between you and the publisher) about an advance, (money that they will give you as an investment, based on what they believe they will earn from your book) about royalties, (the money you will make per book sold, after book sales have paid the publisher back for your advance) and about the rights to your work (who can sell, distribute, publish, and convert the foreign/audio/movie rights to your book).

Publishers who ask authors for money up front are known as "vanity" publishers, and a huge majority of these companies are garbage.  They are not there to help you get the word out about your book, they are there to take your money, and run.

(This rule stands for literary agents as well.  They should never ask you for money.)

2: The act of self publishing a book has no up-front costs.  Amazon.com does not charge you to publish a book with them.  Neither do Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, or Apple.  They are happy to let you publish your book with them, because they are going to take a small percentage from each book you sell.  For example, when you publish with Kindle Direct Publishing, you will receive either 35% or 70% of the list price, depending on how you price your work.  Amazon gets to keep the rest.

3: Cover art, formatting, and editing can cost a lot, or a little, or even be free; but it's very important you know who you're dealing with.  When you find a cover artist, (or anyone else you are going to pay to benefit your work, including editors, book formatting services, etc...)  search for work they've already done, try and contact authors or publishers they've worked with.  It's important to know who you're giving your money to.  If you do a little bit of homework (aka Googling) you should be able to find testimonials or reviews from real people.  If there's a lot of accusations, or poor word of mouth out there, you might want to stay away.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Babysitting Money is Live!


Gavin English isn't in Chicago searching for an unfaithful woman's wedding ring out of the goodness of his heart. He's doing it for the fifty thousand dollar check the unfaithful woman gave him. All he has to do is track down the pretty boy who stole it—in one of the biggest cities in the country.

Lucky for Gavin, ex-police Lieutenant Jack Daniels knows her way around the city—her city—and she's agreed to set aside her mommy duties for a few days, so that she can babysit him and his assistant while they're in town.

But somewhere between Gavin's visit to the busted-down crackhouse and their stop at a low-rent donut shop, Jack's peaceful babysitting gig turns deadly and the bullets start flying.

BABYSITTING MONEY brings together Ken Lindsey's heavy drinking, hard-boiled PI (TO THE BONE, ON THE EDGE) and J.A. Konrath's retired hero cop/brand-new mommy (WHISKEY SOUR, SHAKEN) for an intense, laugh-out-loud thriller. 



Babysitting Money is now available for the Kindle, you can get your copy for only $1.99 RIGHT HEREWriting this with Joe was incredibly fun, and I can't wait to get to the novel we'll be collaborating on soon.

As most of you already know, I have recently pulled my titles from KDP Select and re-listed them at other great vendors like Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, etc.  Babysitting Money is no different, and will be available through those other retailers as well, it just so happens that publishing on Amazon is quicker than most other places.  I'll keep you updated (if not here, then on my Facebook or Twitter or at KenLindsey.com).

And here's the part where I ask for your help.  I know that not everyone out there has the two bucks to spend on an ebook.  Whether or not you can buy this thrilling, funny, awesome short story, I would be so grateful if you would help me get the word out.  Share the link on your facebooks and twitters and tumblrs, share the blog, retweet the tweets...  Whatever you can do to help get the word out will be huge.

Help me show Joe Konrath (who has sold over two million books in his career) that working with n00bs like myself is well worth the time and effort!

As always, thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let's Talk About Outlining (or Plotting)

I use Grammarly for english proofreading because nothing is wurser than having yer mistooks found by a reeder.

It's a bit of a hot topic in the writing world, whether or not you must outline your story.  There are hundreds of articles and blogs out there about how and when to outline your story, what the best ways to go about making an outline are, how outlines might be the difference between a good story and a bad one, etc...

The outline is 95 percent of the book. Then I sit down and write, and that’s the easy part. - Jeffrey Deaver

So that's one side of the argument.

Another set of voices is out there saying that they don't, or can't, outline.  That the story and characters come together as they will, and trying to force them into one certain direction, just because you said you would, is a mistake.

Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort, and the dullard’s first choice. - Stephen King

Yeesh.

I never understand people trying to force their ways on others, or saying any way that's not your way is wrong.  Art, religion, politics, sexuality, education, diet, raising children, drinking scotch, buying a home, reading a book...  Unfortunately, no matter what you're doing these days, it's very likely that someone out there does is willing to tell the world that you are doing it wrong.

I hate to pull the "Can't we all just get along?" card, but seriously, Can't we all just get along?

I don't plot my stories.  I've tried.  For years I forced outlines and structure and plot onto paper, because my English teachers told me that I had to if I wanted to write something.  I can honestly say that I never finished writing a story that I plotted out first.  I lost interest, grew frustrated, stopped caring about the story.

I wrote To The Bone because I pictured an old, grizzled PI that was trying to find a lost girl, got captured by a cannibal, and wound up having to eat his own feet.

That's not what the story turned out to be.  A lot of my original ideas made it through, but the story itself became another animal entirely.  It's better, I think, and it became that way organically.

But that's only what works for me.  If outlining works for you, for the love of God, outline.  Whatever it takes to make your story better, do it. That's what I'm going to do.  I'm just happy to know there are so many people out there that love writing, I don't care how they do it.

That's all for now,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then