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Where New Pulp Lives! And from Time to Time...Dies!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kindle Worlds, J.A. Konrath, and Yours Truly



So, late in 2013, J. A. Konrath came up with this plan to expand his readership by opening up his intellectual properties for others to use.  At the time, it was basically and open invitation to "co-author" stories with him. You'd write the story, novella, or novel.  He'd read it and if he dug it, he'd revise, expand it, etc.  He'd pay for the cover art.  And both would make money.

I figured, "Hey, this cat Konrath sell a lot of e-books.  He attracts a ton of attention from all sides of the writing world. And I could use some of that attention."  So, I wrote a short story featuring his female detective Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels and my off-the-record P.I. Frank Baldwin (for you that aren't aware, Frank is the main character in my supernatural noir novel PROGENY).  And he dug it.

Fast-forward to late last year.  Konrath lets us know he's shifting all these books Kindle Worlds.  We can stay on the boat or get off with no issues.  I decided to stay on the boat because, "Hey, I could still use some attention from being associated with Konrath.  Plus, the story's already written.  Might as well make some money off it now rather then having to change the name of his characters and go through the submission process all over again at different markets.  Besides, I've a butt load of other work to do."

Which brings us to now.  Konrath's Kindle Worlds Kingdom, as I like to call it, is now live.  Along with that are all those stories, including mine.  It's called "Angel's Share".  And I think it's pretty great.  Plus, it's a good prequel to PROGENY.  I think you should get both.

Here's the synopsis:

"Frank Baldwin finds people in Tijuana that don't want to be found. People the San Diego police can't grab across the border. People they don't want on reports. Enter Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels, on leave in San Diego. She's not there for the sunshine and beaches, though. She's got business to take care of. Personal business. A friend of hers nineteen year-old-daughter has gone missing. All indications say she was kidnapped while on vacation and shipped south of the border. Unable to dig much up on her location, she turns to Frank for help. And Frank, boxed into a corner on all sides, realizes he has no choice but to do what the lady says."







Thursday, February 26, 2015

Badass Movie Mogul - The Aliens Edition

So, they're going to make another Alien sequel.  It's going to be pretty much a direct sequel to the all-time great Aliens.  It'll pretty much pretend Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection never happened, or were Ripley cryo-dreams, or were a separate timeline... Point is, they're out.

And I'm fine with that.  A lot of people will poo-poo this, saying what's great about each of the Alien movies, even if they in and of themselves are not great, is that they're wholly unique.  Yeah, so? I mean the first was a horror movie.  The second, action-horror. The third, post-apocalyptic nihilistic horror. The fourth, just fucking weird horror...

You get where I'm going.  Something, something mixed with horror.

Pretty sure this movie will have horror in it. And action.  And some post-apocalyptic nihilism mixed with questions of "hope".

Why?

Because, I'm guessing, it'll involve Ripley and Hicks and probably Newt returning to earth (or Gateway Station, as I've demanded for two decades!) and dealing with an alien that crept on board the ship at the end of Aliens running a muck.  It'll essentially be a blend of the first two movies.  Lots of action but also lots of potential for horror in close quarter situations.

But here's where it can be unique.  Ripley and Hicks are returning to a world that has vastly changed since they left.  This will lead to the theme of strangers in a strange world.  They're as much aliens as the alien.  Yet they'll defend the earth from the danger because that's what you do, even if this world doesn't want you anymore.

And Hicks will finally get the send off he so fucking deserves!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Quick Movie Review - Nightcrawler

Up front: I loved this movie. I loved the tension.  I loved the dark humor.  I loved the surreal fatalism. I loved how much on point it was in terms of portraying L.A. and what serves as news there.

A little bit of personal history: I went to college in L.A. (USC).  My first few days there, I got a taste for the local news, whether it was the strange celebrity whoring on Good Day, L.A. or the murder cast that that was the evening news. In those few days, I got to see a few high speed police chases live, a suicide live on the side of the highway, and a drive-by basically off campus while I was between classes.  I'd never seen anything like it, coming from the east coast. Yet, none of it surprised me. Because I was in L.A.  This is the land of Hollywood, after all.  But it's also the land of O.J., Manson, and Colors.  Bottom-line: this flick is L.A.

This flick is also Taxi Driver.  Instead of a sociopath trying to convince himself he's a heroic modern knight, we have a sociopath convincing himself he is a professional newsman.  In the latter's case, he's really just a killer, but instead of a gun or a knife, his preferred method of murder is his lens.  That's so L.A.

Anyway, great flick

Monday, February 16, 2015

GUARDIAN Mass Market Paperback

A couple weeks ago, I pointed out that if you wanted to see a mass market paperback version of GUARDIAN, the e-book sales had to justify a print run. Well, you came through. Cuz guess what's getting a print run?!?!

The mass market paperback for GUARDIAN hits the street March 17th. Click the DEMON & GUARDIAN link above in the header to find out how to pre-order your copy.

Many thanks to all who purchased the e-book and made this possible.

Now, the next bit of business.  If you've read DEMON or GUARDIAN or both, two things:

1. Reviews help, especially on Goodreads and Amazon.  If you're so inclined, please drop some kind words at these places.  I know a lot of you posted reviews for DEMON in it's initial small press run. For some reason, most of those reviews disappeared and didn't carryover to this new incarnation.

2. If you want to see the third book, WATCHER, sales got to keep steaming along. I was contracted for two books, not three.  So.... I think you get what I mean.

Thanks again! Now, march!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

So, I've been...

Some of you may be wondering, "Hey, where's Erik?  This blog seems kind of dead lately."

Well, been sick lately.  Actually, the whole family caught a nasty cold that's slowly crept through all of us.  The kids were hit the worse, with fevers, nasty drainage, and a now lingering cough.  The wife only got a mild case.  Me, mild but didn't get to avoid the drainage.  Sinuses have always been my downfall.

Oh, and I've been busy promoting GUARDIAN, which is now out in e-book format.  Click the DEMON & GUARDIAN link above to find out all the many ways you can pick up a copy.

And just a reminder, DEMON is out in paperback now.  If you're on the fence about it, remember, GUARDIAN won't get a paperback release unless DEMON sells well.  So, come on, help a brother out.




Sunday, January 25, 2015

Guardian and You

Just a reminder, GUARDIAN hits the street this Tuesday in e-book format.  Here are all the places you can pre-order now:

Amazon

HarperCollins

B&N

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

Books-A-Million

Now those of you looking for a paperback release, remember, the e-book has to sell well to get the mass market paperback treatment.  DEMON did and got the treatment.  There's no guarantee GUARDIAN will.  So, encourage other to pick-up the e-book and we should, hopefully, see a paperback version of GUARDIAN.

And as before, stand by for heavy promotion of GUARDIAN here, including links to interviews, guest blogs, reviews, etc.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Coming Soon - GUARDIAN



Just when you thought all the promoting was over, here comes GUARDIAN!  Set to release Jan 27th!

The heart-pounding, action-packed sequel to Demon.

A secret order at war with itself.

A Syrian official who wants to set the Middle East ablaze.

And all of them want nothing more than one unlucky CIA agent …

CIA agent Mike Caldwell just confronted a fallen angel and survived. But he wasn't the only one tracking down Semyaza, and the demon's escape from an ancient tomb has caught the attention of several powerful entities. Now they will stop at nothing to get Mike to play by their rules.
Mike must head out on an international mission to confront the covert brotherhood in an effort to save the world from destruction.



Friday, January 2, 2015

Demon, Airline Travel, and You

Flying somewhere soon?  Perhaps returning home after this holiday season?  Need a book to read?  Well, Demon is perfect reading for airline travel.  To be frank, it's fast-paced, never dull, and, in my humble opinion, awesome.

And guess what?  It's available in all those Hudson Booksellers you see in airports!  Go forth and find it, or something.  E-mail me pictures of it in the airport at theerikwilliams@gmail.com

Enjoy and thanks!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014

I'm not going to get into details.  I'll I'm gonna say is 2014 was a great and terrible year for me.  In fact, I can honestly say it's been the most successful and most brutal year I've lived.  But I don't want to linger on it.  It's gone now.  I'll let Teddy Roosevelt speak for exactly how I feel today, this first day of January, 2015.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Quick Movie Review - Big Hero 6

So, we took the whole family to the movies today.  This is rare, simply because the twins are not ones to sit still for more than an hour.  Which means inevitable Nazgul-like screeching, in addition to random bouts of food throwing.

But we risked it today and they did well.  I think it helped that the movie we saw was thoroughly entertaining.

And there's your review: Big Hero 6 is, top to bottom, one dam entertaining flick.  Fun, funny, with a big marshmallowy heart.  The kids?  Oh, they loved it.  Especially the five year old.

Yes, I dug it.  And thankfully, it was better than Frozen.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Rejoice! Rejoice!

To all of you, I wish you a Merry Christmas!

If you don't celebrate Christmas, Happy-Whatever-You-Do!

* * * * *


O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

O Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing all that hear in heaven God's holy word.
Give to our Father glory in the Highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

All Hail! Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
O Jesus! for evermore be Thy name adored.
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tales from the Trolley...



I've been taking the trolley to work here in San Diego.  It's convenient, cheaper than gas (at least for now, plus I have a big truck), and it's faster than morning traffic.  That being said, I often come across interesting characters and situations on the trolley.  Characters and situations you more than likely wouldn't encounter on a regular basis.

So, in the interest of making part of my day part of yours, I've decided to start a regular series of posts titled TALES FROM THE TROLLEY...

Today, a middle-aged man attempted to board the trolley with a walker.  He had on a tank top, pants, and a hospital bracelet.  It is not known whether he was discharged or escaped.  I say attempted because he collapsed.  Assistance was rendered.  He remained on the floor while people asked him questions.  Not sure what was said but it was clear he was unable to pick himself up or, even worse, stand under his own power.  A couple cops and the trolley driver attempted to carry him off (because hey, we got to keep this train moving) when he started convulsing.  9-1-1 was called, it took the fire department about five minutes to get there (and another two casually walking from their vehicles to the trolley).  They checked him out and about five of them lifted him off the trolley and onto a stretcher.  He didn't look like he was convulsing anymore but am unaware of his current status.  Hope he's okay. Meanwhile, others recorded video with their phones and even took selfies.  This was the start of my day.

Later in the day I encountered a middle-aged man who shared ear-buds with a twenty-something man who appeared to be not genetically related.  They danced and bobbed.  They declared out loud that they're just going to see their parole office and aren't trying to scare anyone.  Then they laughed and started flicking each other off.  At some point, another man boarded who refused to sit next to them even though a seat was offered.  Words of accusation of lack of trusting your fellow man were exchanged.  After  a few minutes, the third man, who had been drinking from a bottle of Wild Cherry Pepsi, offered the other two men a sip.  They accepted.  All fist-bumped after.  After which, the first man announced that God is good and everything possible through love.  And then he said "fucking up people's shit ain't his game."

Finally, we come to our third encounter.  A thirty-something male boarded, barking like the second coming of DMX.  He continuously shouted he's "free" and that "they couldn't pin it on him", mixed in with "Happy Holidays" and "Jingle Bells, motherfucker."  Between the barking and the holiday revelry, he turned his phone up as loud as it could go and alternated between ten different rap songs in about ten second increments.  Finally, he yelled, "I'm free.  Time to fuck some shit up and get my dick sucked" and "they can't touch me cuz I'll fuckin' kill 'em."  Finally, he ended his diatribe with, "Shit, I better watch what I yell cuz someones gonna try and get me arrested."  Wisdom, my friend.  Wisdom.

None of the above is made up.

What did I learn today:  drugs are bad.

The Greatest Christmas Movie. Period.

Okay, so I gave you a Top Ten List of my favorite Christmas movies.  Then I gave you a list of five you'd be better off avoiding (unless you covet depression).  Now I'll tell you the single greatest Christmas movie ever.  Yes, Die Hard is my favorite.  But this one is superior to all others.

Ready?

The Lion in Winter.

The brilliant cast.  The bar-none, pitch perfect script.  The fact it is essentially a two-hour dialogue yet never feels forced, slow, or boring.  And yet some of those talky-talk scenes are more riveting and exciting then anything you'll see in a Fast and Furious flick.

Then you realize it's really just a dysfunctional family getting together for Christmas and they'll probably do the same thing the following year.  Only it's set in the 1100s and features the King of England.

Five Movies with Christmas Settings You Should Probably Avoid

Yeah, these ones, probably not the best for the kids.  Or yourselves.

5.  Bad Santa.  Funny, and ultimately positive, but with a sex scene in a changing room where Billy Bob yells, "You ain't gonna shit right for a week!", well, best to avoid.

4.  Less Than Zero.  Do I need to explain why you shouldn't?

3.  Jingle All the Way.  Do I need to explain why you shouldn't?

2.  American Psycho.  Uh...

1.  Eyes Wide Shut.  No need to say anything.  I'll let the picture below speak for me.




Top Ten Favorite Christmas Movies

I had a discussion thread going on my Facebook page a couple weeks ago, asking people what their favorite Christmas movies were.  Then I figured, "Hey, I haven't had many good ideas for blog posts lately, how about taking that discussion and turning it into a blog post.  See, not much work and you get a new post up!  Win, win!"

So here you go.  I will now bless you with my Top Ten Favorite Christmas Movies, in order from least favorite to...uh...most favorite.

10. Elf.  Just cuz.

9.  Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang.  Who says there's no room for detective movies on this list.  And hey, it's Shane Black.

8.  A Christmas Carol.  The George C. Scott one.

7.  Lethal Weapon.  Who says there's no room for action movies on this list?  And hey, it's Shane Black again.  Dude loves him some Christmas.

6.  Trading Places.  A lot of people forget this is, technically, a Christmas (and yes, New Year's) movie.

5.  Gremlins.  Yeah, I went there.

4.  The Ref.  Absolutely genius and has one of my favorite movie lines ever.  "You know what I'm going to get you next Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it." 

3.  Christmas Vacation.  The second funniest Christmas movie ever made.  And now that I'm a husband and father, I relate more and more to Clark Griswald every year.

2.  Scrooged.  Without a doubt, the funniest Christmas movie ever made.  Bill Murray in all his glory.  And a damn fine adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

1.  Die Hard.  I'm not sure how this can't be everyone's favorite Christmas movie.  And see, plenty of room for action movies on this here list.