Monthly Archives: May 2012

How I Spent My Weekend

My new book, about which I droned-on  last time, is “Dead Set on Tuesday.” Well, from Friday through Sunday (ending in just a short while, now) I have offered it free to all comers on Kindle. The results have been intriguing. It has climbed to the #9 spot among free “procedurals” (meaning books with police procedures running along their spine, so to speak) and as high as #638 among all free books offered on Amazon. In both cases, that is doing pretty well, because we’re talking about a lot of books, a big “sampling” by curious readers. Or people just looking for something they don’t have to pay for, I know. I gave away over 510 books (exact number not finalized as of this writing), along with 65 in Great Britain, 10 in Germany, and 1 in France (!). This is a fascinating process. More fascinating will be what comes next, because now readers who want to own the book will have to plunk down the princely sum of $3.99 (USD), and those who wish to borrow it from the Kindle Prime Members Lending Library will have to plunk down $0.00 (USD), although as do all authors of Kindle Select books borrowed from the lending library, I will make roughly $2.00 per borrow. This last part is pretty cool, since everybody wins. I would have very few qualms about being the most borrowed bookster in history.

You might get the impression that as a writer, one walks off a very high cliff when shifting from the free to everybody realm into the buy-or-borrow my baby realm. You’d be right. It feels pretty risky, pretty scary. What if everything just stops? What if I don’t get good reviews from even a few of the people who’ve read the book? What if I break out in hives or terminal adult acne due to a bad case of rejection fear? All this might sound like no big deal to a person who does not write–I was going to say ‘for a living’, but in truth it’s much closer to ‘as a way of living’ to anyone who really does it–but trust me, it’s vertigo all the way. Cold sweat city. Here comes the test, and you have no guarantees of passing. Again, people might have taken the freebie, read it, and hated it. These things happen, no matter how desperately one wants it to be otherwise. It would be worse, however, to be simply ignored. And in the world of the Internet– that vast sandy beach upon which we single grains jump up and down screaming ourselves hoarse in hopes of getting SOMEBODY’S attention–being ignored is not just an insult, it’s the norm. Same is true of this blog. If you’re reading it, I’m in some small way beating the odds. Fact is, there are far too many things going on at one time to reasonably expect one’s book to suddenly go viral and leap into the consciousness of the world at large. There are even too many books to expect that.  So it’s pretty tough, and it requires tireless effort to get people’s attention, hopefully without alienating them into thinking “Oh my God, there’s that asshole writer screaming for attention again, wanting me to buy his goddamn book. Why doesn’t he get a real job? Nobody reads anyway, although I, of course, do, but I can’t be in the majority.” Well, you know what? People do read. Actually, with the Internet, probably more than they have in a good long time. So the battle is well worth the waging. Especially now, when trends take shape and foundations are being laid–only problem being, we don’t know which are foundations and which are foundering–it’s vital to get one’s head above water and gargle for all one is worth.

So that’s what I’m doing. Gargling. I went to college to learn how to gargle, and I’ll be damned if I’m stopping just because it’s a little tough out there. I have stories to tell, even if people will only read them for free. Or at least, only read this most recent one for free. So maybe next time, if I’m a little bit lucky and there’s a little bit of wind in my sails, those freebie readers will remember that they actually liked what they read by that guy what’shisname, and they might even be willing to pay a small amount to see where he goes from here. Maybe. A beautiful word, ‘maybe.’ Equally so the word ‘might.’ Closely related to ‘we’ll see.’ Won’t we.

 


Spring, Hopes Infernal!

Yes, it’s that good ol’ startin’ it up feeling. I’ve gone through the late nights and self doubt once more, grinding out yet another story of good, not quite as good, and downright bad people running into each other like so many electrons in a supercollider. This time the book is called “Dead Set on Tuesday,” and it’s just now available on Amazon. You can actually get it for nothing by checking it out of the Amazon Lending Library, provided you have a Kindle and have purchased the Amazon Prime plan. But fear not, if you try out the plan for a month at no charge, you can still check out the book at no charge, and after all what in the WORLD is more important than getting my book, right? I’m glad you see it that way.

Okay, the crass commercialism dispensed with, allow me a few moments of the unabashedly artsy-fartsy. I first toyed with the story of “Dead Set on Tuesday” back in 1989 (holy crap!), and never forgot about it, but also never actually wrote the damn thing until very recently. I have no idea why this temporal hiccup occurred, except that I got very busy just when I would have written this as a follow-up piece to “The Proving,” which came out in 1988. But at long last, gory and bloody and mad as hell, here is the story of Homicide Detective Louie Wall, a man riddled with guilt for his own past foibles yet unable to cope terribly well with the foibles of his son, Patrick. Patrick is an addict, and a link in the chain of drug traffickers known affectionately as “The Coke Machine.” He is also among those targeted by a man bent on revenge against said machine. That man is Wagner W. Curry, or “Wags,” or “Daddy Wags,” depending on how well you know him. See, a year ago, on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans (see another recent post here) Wags was the target of a hit that was sponsored by The Coke Machine. They were just too damn uneasy because Wags knew everything about everybody in the organization, and they decided that he was a bit too dangerous to have around. So they tried to get him. They failed, and in the process created a monster with two heads. The other head was one Jackie Del Fain, a large young man — really large — born and bred in Louisiana, and full of desire for his own revenge.  His reason: somebody sold cocaine to his baby sister, Cherry, and she managed to drop dead because she did too much, too fast, and it probably wasn’t the greatest shit ever purchased, anyway. So Jackie wants to kill everyone and anyone involved in the drug trade. All Wags has to do is outsmart him (not exactly the tallest of orders) and make him believe that like him, Wags is the victim of these awful people, and that together they can raise the kind of hell that makes for nightmares. Wags does this, and more. The two crusading avengers descend upon The Coke Machine in Los Angeles, killing one member, one link in the chain, each and every Tuesday. They are aiming at Fat Tuesday, the one year anniversary of the ill-conceived attempt on Wags’ life, when they plan to finish with a flourish, to say the least.

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans… they make a nice throw rug. Things don’t exactly go according to the rules for anyone involved, and that’s where the fun is. At least for me, it is. That’s pretty much at the core of why I write fiction — because it should never go according to the rules for anybody you’re interested in. Anyway, if you feel like buying or “checking” the book out, library-style, go to www.amazon.com/author/tomszollosi and you should find it. (You might have to click on “show all books,” but it’s in there.)


Dead Set on Tuesday

Dead Set on Tuesday

Yes, it’s that good ol’ startin’ it up feeling. I’ve gone through the late nights and self doubt once more, grinding out yet another story of good, not quite as good, and downright bad people running into each other like so many electrons in a supercollider. This time the book is called “Dead Set on Tuesday,” and it’s just now available on Amazon. You can actually get it for nothing by checking it out of the Amazon Lending Library, provided you have a Kindle and have purchased the Amazon Prime plan. But fear not, if you try out the plan for a month at no charge, you can still check out the book at no charge, and after all what in the WORLD is more important than getting my book, right? I’m glad you see it that way.

Okay, the crass commercialism dispensed with, allow me a few moments of the unabashedly artsy-fartsy. I first toyed with the story of “Dead Set on Tuesday” back in 1989 (holy crap!), and never forgot about it, but also never actually wrote the damn thing until very recently. I have no idea why this temporal hiccup occurred, except that I got very busy just when I would have written this as a follow-up piece to “The Proving,” which came out in 1988. But at long last, gory and bloody and mad as hell, here is the story of Homicide Detective Louie Wall, a man riddled with guilt for his own past foibles yet unable to cope terribly well with the foibles of his son, Patrick. Patrick is an addict, and a link in the chain of drug traffickers known affectionately as “The Coke Machine.” He is also among those targeted by a man bent on revenge against said machine. That man is Wagner W. Curry, or “Wags,” or “Daddy Wags,” depending on how well you know him. See, a year ago, on Fat Tuesday in New Orleans (see another recent post here) Wags was the target of a hit that was sponsored by The Coke Machine. They were just too damn uneasy because Wags knew everything about everybody in the organization, and they decided that he was a bit too dangerous to have around. So they tried to get him. They failed, and in the process created a monster with two heads. The other head was one Jackie Del Fain, a large young man — really large — born and bred in Louisiana, and full of desire for his own revenge.  His reason: somebody sold cocaine to his baby sister, Cherry, and she managed to drop dead because she did too much, too fast, and it probably wasn’t the greatest shit ever purchased, anyway. So Jackie wants to kill everyone and anyone involved in the drug trade. All Wags has to do is outsmart him (not exactly the tallest of orders) and make him believe that like him, Wags is the victim of these awful people, and that together they can raise the kind of hell that makes for nightmares. Wags does this, and more. The two crusading avengers descend upon The Coke Machine in Los Angeles, killing one member, one link in the chain, each and every Tuesday. They are aiming at Fat Tuesday, the one year anniversary of the ill-conceived attempt on Wags’ life, when they plan to finish with a flourish, to say the least. 

Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans… they make a nice throw rug. Things don’t exactly go according to the rules for anyone involved, and that’s where the fun is. At least for me, it is. That’s pretty much at the core of why I write fiction — because it should never go according to the rules for anybody you’re interested in. Anyway, if you feel like buying or “checking” the book out, library-style, go here you should find it. (You might have to click on “show all books,” but it’s in there.)