Thursday, December 27, 2012

Free books on the rails

I came across this article today and thought I would share it. As an author who understands the marketability of "free" I have seen my titles go out on Amazon for free and I have offered free giveaways. Here is another way books are going out for free and I think it is a great idea.
This a page from TeleRead a website dedicated to news about eBooks. The article goes on to say that a train company in Italy is offering passengers free ebooks to read while they travel. I would love to see this transfer to airlines as well.
Italo Train

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Punisher the way it should be.

A friend of mine shared this video with me today, Dirty Laundry. From what Thomas Jane shared with the video post, he made this short to true Frank Castle fans. Whether this video spawns something new and more authentic to the character remains to be seen. I've read rumors of a possible Punisher TV show. I think there is plenty of content for one.
   This video comes at a good time as I have recently revisited the MAX Punisher comics that came out around 2004.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hard work pays off

     I can't add up all the hours I spent working with my friend and co-author Jorge Sastre on our book The Collectors.  We started this story over ten years ago as a joke about two guys collecting late fees from people who kept their video too long.
     Soon Jorge had a story about two guys who collect money for loan sharks. Together we grew that into the book that is out now from Forker Media.
     Originally the story of John and Luis Solo was supposed to be a screenplay and we did have a movie deal once. When that fell through I decided we needed to put the story into book format. That took some work to take the skeleton of a screenplay and fill it with guts. But here it is on the shelf. (look hard its there)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I was writing that!

So as you can tell by this blog and if you have bothered to read any of the books I have written in the last three years you would know I am a Mike Hammer fan.  I have read eight Mike Hammer books. I love the guy, but this post is not about Mickey Spillane’s iconic character that spawned 1,000 imitations. No this is about a rumor there are people out there fooling with the idea of making a new Mike Hammermovie.

Now I’m both excited and pissed. Earlier I wrote about the new Parker movie coming out, Parker, and the mixed emotions I have on that one. The thing is, Mike is just something that should not be messed with. Unless the people working on this are diehard fans with Max A Collins overseeing it, Hammer will be ruined.  I say that because I was toying with the idea of writing a Mike Hammer script myself.
Truth is even if I had written one; I wouldn’t do anything with it. There are laws out there protecting material. Hearing this movie is being made just makes me feel like something I hold near will be pressed up against the glass for gawkers to blow hot air from their slack jaws. 

Out there someone is arguing it is good for Mike, for a new generation to find Hammer in his glorious vengeance filled hate squeezing rounds from his forty-five.  I just have a hard time sharing.

Monday, December 3, 2012

10 Pitches

     I want to share this with all of you. is a great new blog where authors can submit one sentenance about their book.  This takes the "elevator pitch" to a new level.  My book, The Collectors, was just put up there.  For all you authors out there send in a pitch.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Free signed book covers

    My publisher, Forker Media, is offering a signed book cover print of The Collectors.  This is why I love working with Forker Media, who else does this with E Books?  I was thrilled when they shipped me the printed covers to sign.  The covers are on good 8x11 paper and can be framed. 
    All you have to do is buy a copy of the book and email a screen shot of either your confirmation email or a picture of your kindle/nook screen with the book downloaded.
   This for a limited quantity as I did not sign very many of them.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Remember Ed Wood? Or how Indie publishing is hurting nothing.

     So I've been reading a lot of blogs linked to articles about how independent publishing is killing literature and the written word is quickly dying, chasing reality TV down the drain.  After spitting before speaking, I thought back to other "indie" movements.  Remember Ed Wood?  They used to call them "B" movies then some time in the 90's, if it was shot in black and white, it was an indie movie. Whoooaa cool.  Let's have a festival in France or the mountains of Utah to celebrate movies made outside Hollywood because they can't make a deep movie to save their plastic lives.

     Now can we say Ed Wood killed cinema?  Were no good movies made after Wood?  What about others that started out making movies in their front yard?  I'm sure plenty of names come to mind and their ridiculous movies that now only play in the middle of the night.
    Sure there will bad self published or indie published books.  And there will be great ones.  Some of the great ones will get noticed and so will a few of the bad.  As the great ones fall through the gaps of hundreds of thousands of books that get published each year, a few will get caught in the grate and plucked out.  And if not, there are still people out there that love to entertain themselves with crap. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Author page up at Goodreads

    Two of my titles are now up at GoodReads. You can friend me there and let me know what you are reading and see the books I have reviewed.  I just posted a new review yesterday on Mickey Spillane's Girl Hunters.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My favorites

Talking about favorite movie quotes and immediately I think, "My mistake, four coffins." from Fist full of Dollars. I love this movie. (Stop reading if you want a review) That movie has plenty of quotes and the preceding scene has several. Not to butcher it I have linked to a clip from Youtube.
So many of Eastwood's movies are quotable. This has to be my favorite.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Four Titles, one theme

     With the recent release of The Collectors, I now have four books available for sale. The easiest way to find them is at Amazon, but there are many other eBook retailers out there carrying my books. The Collectors is a neo-noir thriller about a pair of foster care brothers, John and Luis Solo, grown up and kicking ass. They work as collectors for legalized loan sharks in the gambling town of East Town. East Town as succumb to the all mighty dollar and sold their souls for a roulette wheel. The town has now gone to the casino owners and loan sharks that keep them in business. Easy money fast is never either. The brothers take an easy job for a lot of cash and wind up with a bounty on their heads. So goes life in East Town.

Looking back on my collected works (sarcastically) I do have a similar theme running in all four books. My first publication, Homecoming, is a novella that takes place on a spacecraft headed back to earth. As one reviewer put it, she liked the twist ending.

My next full novel, Division Six, is science fiction through a hard-boiled detective's eyes. Jack Hennesey needs a drink and a ray-gun. I had a lot of fun writing this book. The characters came to life with ease. I have notes on the next to novels, just not the time to write them. Some day.

The next book, The Trilon, came quickly with a plot similar to Division Six in that a detective is conscripted while on a space flight to Mars.

I have a new title coming out soon. Blood Oranges next in a line of detective stories I can't stop telling. This book actually started out as a Jack Hennessey short but later transformed into a less then sci-fi story of Chamberlain Cotton. The story takes place in the heart of Florida orange groves, Orlando in the 1950's. He is a hard drinker former bounty hunter and PI who sleeps on the couch in his office. When his only client is murdered, Cotton sobers up enough to go out guns blazing after the killers and peels back the blood orange.

So will my next book be a mystery in some way? Probably not unless I manage to knock out a sequel to one of the above books.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Collectors out for Nook

Out now on Barnes&Noble
....Gamble your cares away in sunny East Town Florida. Just make sure your pay your debts on time. A late payment will ensure a visit from John and Luis Solo, two of the best collectors to ever work East Town.  Life is good for these two collectors until they gamble on an easy collection for King Lito, leader of the area’s Mexican Mafia. When the odds are that good the game is fixed. Now hit-men and bounty killers are chasing these brothers all over town...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Parker is back!!

So one of my all time favorite novel series is the Park novels written by Richard Stark, aka Donald Westlake. I think I've read about 8 books so far. Park is...well to me, he is identifiable. Maybe that is exposing a few deep seated problems or just simply saying a lot about myself. I don't want to break the character down here or analyze each book. Instead I'm sharing the trailer for the new Park movie, Parker. There have been a few movies based on Parker and his thieving exploits. I believe this to be the first time the name "Parker" is used. The last film being Payback with Mel Gibson. I thought that to be a good film mostly because in the opening credits I read it was based on a book. So I looked that book up and read it. Now I can't stop reading them.

Back to Parker the movie. I watched the trailer and it looks like the film is based on Flashfire. Parker does a job and the rest of the crew decide they can't pay Parker right away. They want to use the money towards another job. Well if there is one thing everyone should know about Parker is that nothing stands between him and his loot. There are no exceptions.

Check out the video below and decide for yourself if Statham can capture the Parker as we know him through Westlake. Either way they are getting my ten bucks.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Another problem with "big" publishing...

My fourth novel, The Collectors, came out last week from Forker Media. FM is my third publisher out of four novels. My others, Homecoming, The Trilon (Pandora Publishing Project) and Division Six (Fringe Majority) are all with small publishers.  I have a fifth novel, and shopped that around. As I did, I learned the nuances of publishing.  I kept digging after rejections piled up.  You can blame my attitude adjustment to Big Publishing through rejections but so many of the returns were "not what we are looking for". I get it. I'm not a simpleton or child. Then I started reading horror stories and watched "successful" authors release book after book with the same tired old plots. So I looked for someone hungry, someone who wants to take a chance on what I write and possibly enjoys it.
     Anyway, enough rambling. Check out this link to IndieReader and see what I am talking about.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hard work paying off

I am glad to announce that the efforts of the last ten years with more ups and downs than a roller coaster at Magic Mountain, The Collectors is out for sale on Kindle. The publisher, Forker Media, assures me it will be coming soon to Nook and other ebook sellers.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Long Days wrenched with transitions...

    So my trip from Florida to Virginia was filled with much more than empty mansions and hidden cross road towns. Though I could not get enough of that. It was my first trip through the south that was not Florida south.
    A high light of the trip came when I came face to face with a wild wolf while camping outside Black Mountain NC. It came with a howl, then a second that was much closer. Minutes later I was on my way back to camp walking up the gravel road when a lone wolf came trotting down the road.
    I froze and he froze. We matched eyes. I refused to accept it was wild wolf until it backed up and trotted off the road. When I lost sight of it I called out to my friend to get the Jeep and come pick me up. I was not willing to risk walking past where the wolf ducked into the dark forest. (Did I mention it was nearly night)
   Now that I got that off my chest, these last few weeks have been crazy. I've been working with my recent publisher, Forker Media, to bring to you The Collectors. We are working on a release date before the end of the month. I had no idea how much goes into publishing a book. It is all in the details. Email after email, back and forth to get the cover right and the edits right and contracts signed.
   I have been published a few times before. Division Six has been out almost two years now. I linked here to Wowio, but it is available on several other sellers' sights. So point is I've jumped through publisher's hoops. The Fringe Majority published Division Six and that was a great experience as well. I was very pleased with the cover art and the level of input the asked of me.
   The Collectors is a neo noir venture between my friend Jorge and I. (You can find out more about us at sastrewagnerproductions It was not a fit for Fringe and I was solicited by the guys at Forker so I am entrusting it with them as their debut novel.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

On the trail

     I've made my trip up from Florida to Virginia. I could nto do it in my IH Scout II but it was a great trip none the less. With out my Scout (still being painted as I type) I got the next best thing, a Jeep. I rented a Jeep Liberty and set out from World Famous Daytona Beach to Gainesville to pick up my friend Rj.

     On the road in what did I see? A nicely restored Scout II sitting in a parking lot just off 13th Street. It was the first of four Scouts I would see on the trip up. And you know, all of them were in great condition.

     After a few mixed brews downtown we hit the road early in the AM needing to make it to Greenwood, SC by dinner time, or supper as they say in Greenwood. Taking all back roads we set out on HWY 121. Along the way we saw town after town that had at one time been a respectible place to live. Places like Waycross Ga was chalk full of wooden southern styled mansions that are today vacant and rotten. It was a real shame to see the empty buildings laying in disrepair.

     One thing each of these small southern cross roads towns had in common were the local theaters. Some theaters were up and running others were not. One town we came to had a theater still active due to its liniage. Everywhere large renderings of Laurel and Hardy plastered brinck buildings. As we drove through the one stop light town, a plaque along the road lead to a house where Oliver Hardy had lived. This place is Harlem GA

    Towns like this one dot the southern landscape. I suggest if you have the time and desire for small town adventure take a back road and see where it leads you.

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Flash Fiction

So I said I would be posting about my trip up from Florida to Virginia and I will update all three of you tomorrow but for today and I can't wait to let you in on my latest piece of published work in the form of flash fiction.

I recently had the honor of having a piece of flash fiction published at Powder Burn Flash Check it out and leave a comment here or on sign up at Powder Burn Flash and leave a comment there and on other great flash fiction. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hitting the trail in my back yard

     As with my last posts, I'm getting ready for my trip up the Blue Ridge Park Way. I'm hoping to spend a couple nights out on the AP Trail somewhere outside Black Mountain, NC. In the mean time I'm out with my hiking partner checking out local trails around Richmond, Va. It was a little too hot for her this time around, so I'll take her out again this fall.

James River RVA
    We are on the south side of the James River near the falls jumping between rocks on pools.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pre Tripping

    I decided to buy a new pack for the trip up the Blue Ridge. I've been looking for some time at the different style and sizes of packs out there. When I backpacked Europe I took an internal frame pack and was glad I did. The support was a back saver. Since then, when I travel, I have been using an old duffel bag I got free from a girl who worked the cosmetics counter at Dillards. The bag as out lived even its creators intentions. When duct tape can no longer hold something together it is time to give it up.
    Last few times I camped I used my dad's old sea bag. Plenty of room but no support. Its a great tough bag but I need something I can fit in the overhead on a plane. My new bag had to function well on short hikes for weekend camping (had to face facts that I would never do more than two days in the woods) I like the duffel style but wanted something I could throw over both shoulders.
    I searched several stores and settled on a North Face bag. I thought the bag was a little small but it was rugged and waterproof. I left with out buying, thinking I would just come back the next day. It was gone. I was bummed but then I found a Gregory pack laying on a shelf with no tag. I tracked down a sales associate and he led me to the right place.
    So far I have stuffed all the things I plan on bringing with me down to FL and they all fit. Along both sides of the top zipper is a thick padding for when you wear it like a back pack. I can fit a bed roll through the adjustable strap at the top. I will let you know how it worked on the trail once I get there.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Getting inspired

    So as I mentioned in my last post I will be taking a side trip on this blog and in life. I've been getting ready for the trip in usual fashion, buying a new pack and getting anything I may need out of closets and a shed.
     One way to get ready for a road trip is to watch a few movies about road trips. I'm not talking about National Lampoons Vacation or any of that. Instead I chose a select three. Vanishing Point, Easy Rider and Duel.  The first two films you are probably familiar with. A guy drives a white Challenger through the desert.  The next, two guys ride motorcycles and drugs across the country. The third film in the marathon is a little different. Duel is a great film staring Denis Weaver. While driving home through what appears to be eastern California, cuts off a tanker truck. The truck driver does not take it so lightly. The driver begins to follow Weaver through the winding roads of the desert.
      Much of the film takes place in Weaver's car through monologue. He does a lot of sweating as he speculates what the driver wants. Its a great film with a conclusion that can only go one of two ways, someone dies.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Scouting Back Roads

     So I'm going to get personal on this post and a few coming in the next month. I speak abstractly about my past and my likes but soon I will be taking a trip through the back roads of America in my 1978 Scout II. The Scout was in my dad's barn for six years before I finally had the cash to haul it down to Orlando to a specialty shop for an overhaul. I've had the motor rebuilt and many new parts swapped. 
     Starting August 10th I will be driving the Scout from Daytona Beach, north to the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to Virginia. I've been planning this trip for some time and can't wait. I hope (and know) my expectations will be exceeded.
     Just a quick back ground, because this Scout would not mean as much to me without it. My dad bought the truck in 1986 just after my 7th birthday. I still remember the day we took it home from a Marine named John Glenn. (Not the astronaut) I literally grew up in that truck. When I was seventeen I was offered many options to replace the Scout by my father who was not willing to give her up. Maybe if Craigslist had been around then this story would be different. As things where, Scouts where kinda hard to find and this particular model had everything but a dash clock.
      Forthcoming will be pictures from the road as I travel north in my Scout with a friend of mine. We plan to avoid GPS and travel just paper maps and word of mouth. We'll see what happens.
     Since this blog is mostly about my writing I will mention a project I've been scribbling down. Its a story about a truck, more specifically an IH Scout II. The Scout will journey over thirty years and exchange hands a few times. I have the outline and a general direction. I hope the open road will inspire me to finish it.
Circa 1996, the first refurbishment

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Check it out

     I co-started a new blog today with Jorge.
It should be up soon. SastreWagner Productions will be the place we can get our ideas out and share them with all of you. The Collectors is under review right now and hopefully will be available for purchase soon. Also coming soon will be a quick trailer for the book coming out in August from SastreWagner Productions (here by known as SWP)
     Check back with our new blog for updates on the book release and video.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pay Your Debts on Time

Here is to old ideas new again...   
         The Collectors is something I have been working on with my friend and writing partner, Jorge Sastre. We just got some logo art done and here is a taste.
          Its a tale as old as time. Man borrows money to gamble, loses the money, owes a debt and now must face collection. The Collectors face the collection of their life as a set up on a collection leads to a hit on their lives.
         Originally the story was conceived as a movie and has sat in script format for some time with some interest. Keep your eyes open for the book and a trailer video coming soon...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sold out...for now

So my rants about work are done. I quit one job and took some time to write and think about what it is I want to do. I have to say that the thought of working for anyone or group of people was never something I cared for, unless it was a small group. I have found that small group of people and guess what, most are artists. I work with a bunch of artists and geeks so I can't complain.

It turns out going to work is not such a bad thing. I've always got along with my co-workers regardless my job. The big thing that is lacking in this job is what makes it so easy to go to, NO CUSTOMERS. Yes, every job has them and in a sense co-workers can be customers, but I don't have any direct dealing with customers.

So I don't like customers and trying to sell books can make that tough. When that day comes that I have to shift to selling more than anything else I'll suck it up, but until that day I will just enjoy going to work and not hearing/dealing with customer.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Call of the Wild

What is it about being in the great out doors that just calms a man? I recently spent a little time on the Appalachian trail, a little stretch in western Virginia. The goal of the hike was to make it to Spy Rock. It was a great view and I made a new friend while in the wild.
     I know why I love to camp. I am a loner. I like to be out doors and not see anyone for a while. The easiest way to ruin a camping trip for me is to show up. Once while out in the Ocala Forest I did my best to avoid human contact. I heard a few voices in the distance and saw a few shoe prints but that was it. Mission accomplished. Another time I came across a man wearing only jean shorts and carrying a jug full of local berries. He said he had been out there three months and asked if I was planning to stay at my camp a week or more. I loved the idea but societal pressure was forcing me back the next day.
      Senses are heightened out in the wilderness; hearing improved, vision crisper. I feel alive. Despite these physical changes and isolation, I still don't know what it is about that call that I hear.
     After a short taste of the Trail, it is all I can think about and I want to go back and spend a lot more time making friends that dont talk so much. (insert picture below of my wild dog)