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  • Self Publishing

    Ok, so I’ve taken on a new project. I’m still committed to Enduring Armageddon, I have around 20,000 words to go until I feel that it could be properly called a novel… but the absolute frustration that I’ve experienced over the past couple of weeks trying to get the formatting correct for the hardcopy of “Zombie in the Basement” prompted me to write a help guide for self publishing based on my experiences. I know that it’s been done before, but I feel that I’ve done some important discovery learning during the last year. Anyways, I initially thought I’d do a little 15-page booklet, but I’m already at 22 pages and I haven’t even gotten to the formatting section yet (the main reason I wanted to write it) and after the formatting I have a laundry list of over topics regarding self-publishing/marketing. Here’s the rough draft of the intro section for my new guide, don’t worry I talked to J.L. Bourne and he said it was okay to mention him!

    INTRODUCTION

    Much like 95% of the population I’d always dreamed of writing a book. I’d dabbled with starting something for years with varying levels of success. I thought my career as a U.S. Army officer and role as a husband and father took up most of my time on a daily basis. I rationalized with myself that I simply didn’t have the time to write seriously.

    Several years ago I happened upon the first book of the Day by Day Armageddon series by J.L. Bourne . It was a great read and when I finished the book I was floored by what I saw in the “About the Author” section: J.L. was an Active Duty Naval officer. I thought to myself, Wait a minute. If he was able to write around his full-time military career, why can’t I?

    So I put my nose to the grindstone and made a commitment to myself to write. I also told my friends and family that I was going to do it, which turned out to be a double-edged sword. Most were supportive, some were derisive and others were simply unimpressed because they “were writing a book also”. I urge you to look beyond all of that. If you’ve decided that you want to write and you have the commitment to do so, this guide may be of benefit to you.

    My flights of fancy finally became a reality in May 2013 and I published my first novel GNASH. If there are mistakes to be made in the self-publishing process, then I’ve probably made them and I want to pass along the info that I’ve learned so that maybe you won’t make the same ones that I did. Maybe you will, but hopefully my experiences can help steer you in correcting your mistakes without continually running into a wall like I continually found myself doing.

    Since publishing GNASH I’ve also published Zombie in the Basement, a children’s picture book, and as of the publishing of this reference, I’m in the final editorial stages of my second novel Enduring Armageddon. The impetus for me to write this guide was the picture book. The novels were fairly straightforward – don’t worry I’ll cover those too – but the picture book was a difficult piece of work and took a very long time to get the formatting correct for the different publishers.

    Obviously, this guide is based on my experience and is nowhere near all-inclusive. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but the companies that I chose to work with have all been great. I’m not being paid by some company to ghost write a review of their product; I’m just trying to help others avoid some of the mistakes I made and would have made the process easier if I’d known about them. The few websites that I’ll provide for you, or discuss my experiences with, will be accurate as of the date of publication. However, even if the website address changes or the company goes out of business, you’ll at least have an idea of what to look for and can do and internet search for comparable services.


  • Out of date

    I’m sorry folks, I’ve been overwhelmed with the death of a good friend in a training accident in Korea (viewing was tonight and the funeral is tomorrow) and our pre-deployment training for Afghanistan. Bottom line: those are both excuses, but pretty valid ones… I really need to put my nose to the grindstone and finish Enduring Armageddon so I can begin the editing process. My goal is to have it published before I deploy next summer. I’m about 3/4 of the way through and I have a very rough outline of where I want the story to go (that’s all I usually have anyways). Just need to tighten up and do it!


  • Short story start

    So in between finalizing “Zombie in the Basement” for sale and writing “Enduring Armageddon” I’ve also decided to put together a short story for potential submission to an anthology at some point. Like all the posts on this blog, it is totally UNEDITED and is simply a copy of what I’ve initially put on paper. Here’s the first part:

    I am so exhausted. This was our fourteenth combat jump in nine months. The manufacturer’s warranty on our suits was voided if they were used for more than sixteen hours in a one month timeframe. The bleed-over was too problematic and the symbiote could take over the human body. It was a legal nightmare that the company didn’t want to deal with, so by putting it into writing, they were free from the liability.

    My name is Corporal Evan Segewick. I’m a non-commissioned officer in the Interplanetary Marine Corps. Since I’m a lowly corporal, it means I’m supposed to be the hardest asshole on the squad. Some days I am, some days I’m not. The IMC retained the old United States Marine Corps rank structure since the good ‘ole U.S. of A. won the global war back on Earth. Shortly after that nut-roll, we’d begun to truly explore space and interact with other space-faring races.

    About forty-five years ago, the human race went for broke and sent an entire fleet of ships into the stars. The Earth’s leadership thought that the fleet would spend decades in space before they came to anything even remotely resembling a hospitable planet. They found it in less than five.

    The Association decided to settle the planet, a little rock that they dubbed Terravista, and within a few years, they’d populated the place with over a million colonists. Then the Revaurians found us. They were in the infancy of their space-faring days as well, but they wanted to settle on Terravista just as badly as we desired to offload our exploding population there.

    That was twenty years ago. Since then, the humans and Revaurians have been in a state of constant warfare. Our attempts at making peace have ended badly every time. So all that’s left for us to do is fight. Our large ships don’t have all the science fiction weaponry that used to be described in literature. That stuff wouldn’t work in the vacuum of space. The only real power is the human being within a sym-suit, the individual Marine.

    One on one, we kick a Revaurian’s ass every time. Hell, even three on one, but then the odds start to stack against us. Those slimy fuckers love to use mass attacks and it seems like they have an inexhaustible supply of personnel. Fleet intelligence can only guess at the true number of Revaurians since we still don’t have any clue where their homeworld is or even if they’re from our galaxy; we’ve never gotten that far into a dialogue with them.

    The shock suppressors kick in and rattle my teeth uncontrollably inside my sym-suit. I hate the drop. Every time we fire towards the surface of whatever rock that the Fleet and Association has decided to fight over, I get sick to my stomach. The symbiotic suit that feeds off of our bodies is supposed to suppress the sickness, but I think the company just added that line of bullshit into the manual to ease the Association’s minds when they merged a human being with a laboratory-enhanced super bug.

    The sym-suit was developed early on in our battle with the Revaurians. Fleet had captured a lot of them to experiment on and see what made them tick. Somehow, they’d discovered that they could be segmented and those pieces would retain certain characteristics. It was all boring scientific stuff, but the way they explained it to us in boot camp was to think of a Revaurian like an earthworm. Cut one in half and now you just had two to deal with. Those segmented pieces were the key to the sym-suit’s abilities, of course, you had to ensure the brain was destroyed in the original Revaurian or else they’d just end up taking over the Marine in the suit and then bad shit happened.


  • Awesome New Interview Is Up!

    Sink Your Teeth Into Zombie Novel “Gnash”! Author Brian Parker Visits “Not Ready For Radio”…

    1380449_525612434198893_585392584_nFrom the press release for Not Ready for Radio on 03 October 2013, check it out:

    For the first episode of NRFR’s “Halloweekly” series, Larry Duane chews the fat with active-duty soldier and first-time author Brian Parker. Larry has nothing but praise for Parker’s new scary story (“Gnash”, available at this link), calling it “a mash-up of Tom Clancy and Stephen King, sprinkled with some Dan Brown”; and he is anxious to pick the brain of the first-time novelist. Listen in now to get a taste of Brian Parker’s bloody good zombie novel, and to hear some of the reasons why Larry simply devoured it!

    www.justaFASE.com/NotReadyForRadio


  • Preparation

    Two days had passed since my run-in with the “zombie” in Taylorville. I was still a minor celebrity with the gathering crew, but most of the shine had worn off when they realized I was just one luck son of a bitch. I wasn’t some superhuman strongman or some martial arts expert, I’d just been scared out of my mind and the adrenaline took over. I’d read somewhere that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

    We spent the entire next day downloading the trucks into wherever we could put supplies. There were several medium-sized businesses near the center of town that were now overflowing so we’d had to requisition a few of the empty houses from the registration office in order to store the supplies. We all knew that wasn’t enough, so the mission was still on to go to Jacksonville.

    Admittedly, I hadn’t been there on the prior day’s trip to Taylorville or the preparation for it either, but the way Jesse and Dustin went about getting the gear situated and ready seemed a lot more thought out and even militaristic to me.

    Aside from the standard overnight gear that we already knew we needed, we packed a lot of weapons and ammunition. I was given a handgun at first, but once they found out that I didn’t know how to use it, they took it back and gave me a long knife called a KA-BAR. It looked wicked deadly and I hoped that I’d never have to use it. In addition to that, I had my trusty baseball that had been with me from the beginning.

    Rebecca and I had made love every morning and every evening since we got to Virden and I was really starting to enjoy my new daily routine. She still didn’t know why she was so intensely horny all the time, but I’m not one to question the good things in life, so I kept my mouth shut and continued to benefit from my wife’s newfound libido.

    When I kissed her goodbye this morning, her kiss had been almost desperate, like she’d never see me again or something. It didn’t go unnoticed by me and as I walked towards the group for our morning update.

    The quick briefing, geez, maybe this was a military outfit, focused on the route to the town and our objective: a very large food distribution warehouse. The amount of food that could potentially be in the distribution center could set up a population of 5,000 for months. That part caught my ear for sure, because I thought we only had a population of about half of that. I knew Virden was planning to expand, but doubling our population seemed like a little too much.

    Maybe this Allen guy, whom I still hadn’t even seen, was planning on becoming some type of regional sanctuary or stronghold. We needed to get out before that happened. One thing my history lessons in high school taught me was that when there was someone with something and others with nothing, there’s going to be trouble. I wanted to be far away from here before shit hit the fan.


  • Thank You Morgen Bailey

    Originally Posted: 08 Jul 2013

    I wanted to give a public “Thank You” to Morgen Bailey over at http://morgenbailey.wordpress.com for all her hard work spotlighting independent and lesser-known authors. She runs her site totally free (with an exception for the blog interview service) and highlights the author, their works, offers opportunities to submit short stories, etc. First class site, check it out!