Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Scott Nicholson Interview…


  It’s always nice when you get a big name author/writer to come by and Scott Nicholson qualifies in every regard.

Bio:   Author Scott Nicholson has written 12 thrillers, 60 short stories, four comics series, and six screenplays. He's also a freelance editor and journalist. Nicholson has written hundreds of songs and poems and was a musician in a former life. As a newspaper reporter, he's won three North Carolina Press Association awards. Nicholson also won the grand prize in the international Writers of the Future contest in 1999. That same year, he was first runner-up for the Darrell Award. He studied Creative Writing at Appalachian State University and UNC-Chapel Hill. He has been an officer of Mystery Writers of America and Horror Writers Association. He's had the usual collection of odd jobs: dishwasher, carpenter, painter, paranormal investigator, baseball card dealer, and radio announcer. He lives in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, where he tends an organic garden, successfully eludes stalkers, and generally lives the dream. He's online at www.hauntedcomputer.com.

  Aside from several thriller, paranormal, horror books…too many to list, Scott aids the writer as well with offerings such as: Self-publish or Perish, Seven Bad Habits of Highly Unsuccessful Writers and Why You Need An Agent (Except When You Don't). Spend some time (not much required), and review these articles, some real pearls of wisdom from someone whose been in the business for awhile. Scotts’ gift to you.

  Okay, let’s get to it.

Garry: You’re an accomplished writer...how did you get that way?

Scott: I don’t feel all that accomplished. I’m just a student of the game who has been around long enough to pile up a bunch of stuff. I think I’ve finally figured out how to write a sentence. Ten more years and maybe I’ll master the paragraph. In the meantime, it’s fun to be able to tell these stories.

Garry: Scott, I’m gonna do a one-eighty on you here because writers, particularly self-pubber’s, are always concerned with ‘how best to get the word out,’ and the various vehicles to use, etc., can you speak to that?

Scott: Well, you actually need to be doing that as part of your apprenticeship. As you develop your writing skills, you can be learning about the business and your audience at the same time. That means reading widely, not only in the types of books you want to write, but writer and industry websites. If you hang out in only one or two places, you’ll get a skewed view of things, so sample broadly and don’t fall into the trap of trying to please a few people instead of the big world.

By the time you’ve matured enough to have a novel or book ready to go, you should know enough to get by. At that point, you will need to employ everything in your promotional toolkit—that mailing list or newsletter you’ve been building, the friends in the forums, good old-fashioned advertising and sponsorships, and general visibility. Some of it is traditional—library events and store signings if you’re in paper—and the rest is invention and creativity. It takes more creativity and persistence to sell a book than to write a book. And I don’t mean sell a book to a New York publisher. I mean selling a book to a reader, who in some ways is more discriminating than an agent or publisher. While people in New York merely want to make money off of you, readers want their money’s worth and a good return on the time they invest.

If you are in the self-publishing business, your reader is your customer, and the customer is always right. That one-star review you got? You deserved it, because the customer was right. Think about your reader as an actual human, with all the regular pressing demands of life, and ask why they should spend their valuable time with you. Then deliver.

Garry: Interesting...I, as well as many others appreciate your insight...now, before you go, I want to tap that insight thingy again and ask you for some predictions...it could be whatever you think is important, you know; about the publishing business, trad publishers, distributors like Amazon, B&N, others...whatever you’d like us watch for?

Scott: I’ve gotten out of the prediction business because they all seem stupid and outdated about five minutes later. This is an entirely new thing, a cosmic shift in communication, and it’s out of everyone’s control. I love it. The more radical and freely I approach it, the better I do, and the more fun I have. So I’d say try not to get locked into a certain way things should be, or the advice of people who think they know what they’re talking about, because nobody does. Fortune favors the bold.

Garry: Great...thanks for coming Scott.

For those of you who have commented or have asked Scott questions, he will be back intermittently the next couple days to answer. Alternatively, here is a link to Scott’s contact page on his site with an explanation on how to contact him privately.

the red church web image 100 speeddating100 LiquidFear300

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Scott Nicholson visits Wednesday, March 30.


  Please mark your calendar—Wednesday, March 30, 2011. This date signifies a visit to this blog-space of an accomplished and exciting author, Mr. Scott Nicholoson, speaking about his latest work, perhaps some things currently in progress…along with some general comments about the book publishing industry.

  Interested persons to include; published and non-published writers, existing authors and publishers, as well as mystery/thriller/horror readers. All are invited to this open event, 3/30/11. Don’t miss it – pass this event info on to others you know.

  Scott will answer your most thought-out questions so bring your inquisitiveness and scholar. Thanks, –gg

Free excerpts from Scott. ‘Speed Dating with the Dead’ (An urban fantasy thriller by Scott Nicholson) ‘Red Church’ (Horror)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Baylor study emulates Mr. Obvious…

Mr. Obvious

  This article title caught my eye this morning, ‘Honest, Humble Workers Associated with Higher Job Performance.’ I wondered what a heavily-researched scientific study might contribute in promoting my book further, Character Happens! Always on the lookout for supporting studies, white papers, et al, I figured this might aid marketing efforts.

Think I’ll look a little further.

Writer, Laura Walter, EHS Today, said this…

“While honesty and humility might be good attributes to have in a friend, they also could have positive implications in the workplace. According to a recent Baylor University study, the honesty-humility personality trait is a unique predictor of job performance.”

Ya think?

A Dr. Wade Rowatt, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience (sounds to be a heavy-hitter, but???), at Baylor, who helped lead the study, said this…

“Researchers already know that integrity can predict job performance, and what we are saying here is that humility and honesty are also major components in that…This study shows that those who possess the combination of honesty and humility have better job performance…In fact, we found that humility and honesty not only correspond with job performance, but … predicted job performance above and beyond any of the other five personality traits like agreeableness and conscientiousness.”

Baylor researchers found individuals who scaled as being more honest and who possess humility scored significantly higher in their job performance…defining honesty and humility as those who exhibit high levels of fairness, greed-avoidance, sincerity and modesty.

The study, they agreed, had implications for hiring personnel by suggesting that more attention should be paid to those applicants who tested high in possessing these particular character attributes, saying…

“Honest and humble people could be a good fit for occupations and organizations that require special attention and care for products or clients. Narcissists, on the other hand, who generally lack humility and are exploitative and selfish, would probably be better at jobs that require self-promotion.”


Not the study. The study is not incredible, it’s the fact that a this learned professor, this monolith of a university, thinks they have discovered something…something we all knew. Peeshaw.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sherlock Holmes style…wha?


  Here is a tentative book cover for my fiction writing…yes, I said fiction. It’s time for a new journey into some other venue and given that I’m a Sherlock Holmes junkie, I figure it’s a natural. As always, readers will decide their acceptance of this project by voting with their ‘click to buy’ selection of this new offering. As it should be.

  Am thinking of using a pen name, re: Henry H.H. Hittlebloome. Sounds English doesn’t it? I’ve researched the Hittlebloome name and have found nothing, which is good in many respects. The name sounds English old country, circa 18th, maybe 19th century. Perfect.

  Naturally, I wanted it to be similar to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, writer of the Sherlock Holmes series. If you’re going to write fiction like Doyle then maybe you should have a name like him. Also, am hoping to style the writing in a Sherlock Holmes-esque fashion with a deductive reasoning bent, similar to Holmes, but with a present day setting, 21st century.

  Because the ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,’ was such a incredible classic I figured ‘the mystery styling's of Jake Spade,’ would sound…uh, current. Thinking the words, ‘mystery styling’s’ as a substitute for ‘The Adventures of…,’ would be a perfect replacement for the original and yet convey a present day setting. Yes…I realize it’s a funny title and maybe it doesn’t need to be funny. Yet, I’m thinking the title needs to speak to those who want funny (today)…who need funny (now). So, there you have it. Who knows, maybe I can cross-market the book as a coping stratagem.

  This information is made available now as: 1) an introduction to my writing fiction, re, mystery/detective/investigative/thrillers, and 2) your opinion about the books cover and title, and pen name, and (insert here)… 3) because I want those people who follow my escapades, to be informed of what’s coming in 2011.

  Am thinking of releasing episodes (under the books title), in a 15 to 20 thousand word segments, making them available as they are written one after the other, after the other…then later compiled into one large offering. This method keeps the ebooks cheap and I dig that.

  Okay, here’s your task: tell me what you think (comment section below), about…the book cover, the title, the pen name and/or whatever you feel you need to comment on.

  As always…Thank You for buying my books. And, Thank You for your support.

Respectfully, Garry M Graves

What are "The 5 Most Important--But Fleeting Virtures?"

Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion and Humility.

.....this is a portion of the "introduction" or prologue to the book (not yet completed)...email with your comments.

The books title; Character Happens! The 5 Most Important—But Fleeting Virtues, describes my belief these five important virtues (Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Compassion, Humility), are sporadic in use and diminishing in personal character. The books message is in recognizing this “fleeting” nature and from that reinstitute a more virtuous choice in your decision making.

The paradox of the two words; Character Happens, with another two words: “S### Happens”* (decorum prevents use of actual word) is not without merit. My belief is that observed human character is much like, well...s###! This kind of observation can be disconcerting at times. So confusing that society can hardly make the distinction between the two words and there obvious different meaning. Individuals make virtuous and un-virtuous choices/decisions for innumerable reasons, both consciously and without deep thought. If we postulate; can an individual make a 'more' virtuous choice in life’s decisions should they want to do so? Answer—perhaps. How does one 'reinstitute a more virtuous choice' into their personal makeup...making the response more automatic? Answer—practice. With a concerted effort at 'practice' I believe...an individual might just develop a more 'repetitive' decent response...much like grooving a golf swing.

I love golf. I think the game is like no other. The five stories that make up Character Happens! have a golf storyline. Some readers may not be able to relate to the game of golf or its vernacular or for that matter, why people...a large number of people...love golf. Too bad! You should try it sometime...because it’s more than a game...it can be a life experience. The golf course environment alone is enough to put most people at ease.

Golf is a game played by the individual as opposed to being a member of a team, like baseball. Baseball has umpires who enforce the rules of the game. In golf you are the umpire. Because of this unique method of enforcing the games rules—golf is a “hotbed” for testing the players character...their honesty, their integrity, their courage and sometimes their compassion. And, because all golfers started from knowing nothing about the game; like how to swing, how to putt or chip... they also learn of humility. Now doesn’t it make perfect sense that a book about character would juxtaposition a storyline with the game of golf? Anyway, I thought so.

There are five stories, one for each virtue. The book has six main characters that make up a group of what I call 'golf buddies.' The storyteller, Spencer Madison, in reality is me. Well, somewhat like me...as I have a better golf game than Spencer. The five others vary in age, gender, education, religious beliefs and definitely personality. The 'binder' of the group or what brings them together; golf.

The reader will hopefully discover in their own lives a similar incident with one of the story’s in Character Happens! If not, that’s okay too...as the stories are earnest while humorous, carefree yet compelling. And, I believe each chapter or story makes a 'point' in this wonderful, wacky, dynamic world in the 21st century.

The stories are fictional as are the characters. Names, personalities or incidents are fictional and in no way resemble or refer to a living person. I’ve used paraphrasing of many authors’ ideas and concepts and have referenced them in a special section. Because of these references and the specific genre where the book is to be found, it’s categorized as a non-fictional, personal development book.

for the language but this word best describes the thought I want to convey. In Forrest Gump the term was used to describe situations that happen to all people for no particular reason.