Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nobody knows the troubles I've seen

I have had time to further develop my new friendships and associations, but had to do it in little spurts as best as I could manage. I’ve been reading a romance novel by one of them which is a first for me, it’s a historical romance so at least I had the historical aspect is there to tempt me into jumping in. In turn, the author, Kim Scott, is reading my novel. Her book is “Regarding Ruth,” the first in her series with four in print. I also ran a contest for “likes” on my Richard Alan – Author Facebook page which C.M. Wright won; he’s working on “The Zombie Overload Series” with two books already published.

Next I am going to reward the 100th “Like” on my author’s page with a hardbound autographed copy of “The Rising of Julian Adams.” Consider this the official announcement which will also be posted on my Facebook page.

So, what else has been going on since November 15th? First, I had thumb surgery to remove a benign tumor. It was immediately obvious that I wouldn’t be typing with a big ball of bandages on my thumb. That was just awkward. Worse, however, against my writing was the fact that I had to keep it held above my heart or suffer the consequences of a throbbing and stabbing pissed off thumb. One handed typing was such an untrained goofball idea that it was quickly abandoned.

Thumb surgery was bad, but I was paled by a string of migraines that are still threatening me almost daily. I’m prone to migraines, and have medication to help fight them off; during this long episode, however, nothing helped. The pain alone was intense, but even worse was the visual disturbances sometimes associated with migraines. The corona of flickering lights was compounded by blurred vision and occasionally my sight went completely black. Even if I felt like it, there was no way I could write!

Last, but hardly least, with the migraine came confusion like a perpetual senior moment. I had times when somewhat coherent thoughts could not reach my lips without being scrambled. I’ve had migraines this severe before, but they really worry my wife because the so closely resemble a stroke. Once I actually did have a stroke, but never figured out when because of my headaches. The scarring was visible in a series of scans, so the stroke happened migraine masked or not. This was the final nail in my coffin that kept me from the bright sight shattering glare of my laptop, the shear pain trying to type, and the confusion that couldn’t string a single sentence together let alone a book!

The good news is that I have survived two relatively short days of edit/writing on book two in The Rising Series. I’m not out of the woods yet, haunted by the migraine threat, but feel that I’m back on the horse again and so ready to make up for almost a month of lost time.

Again, my friends and followers, wish me Godspeed, and Bless You All!

Making Connections

I wrote the majority of this blog November 15th, but it wasn’t posted for health reasons. I will explain that in my next blog which will be written today.

I had the fortune of being chosen for a name-your-price coaching sessions with my cyber friend, Carma Spence. We started our relationship when she did an article on me for the Orange County Register. Our one-on-one session was on speakerphone so my wife, Barbara, could take notes and also ask questions, and the notes are extensive which she will type out for us with so much great information my head was spinning after the call.

First, Carma guided me to three authors and people in the industry to start me off, and those relationships are quickly blooming past formalities and into friendships. They are all supportive, offer to be my sounding walls, and through them I have been guided to others in our special community. They are embracing this newbie and it feels great finally having this resource in my life. Why didn’t I do it long ago? I didn’t know such wonderful people were touchable by someone just starting out.

She also gave me information to further build my network and make it specific for this community. She knows of organizations in the area and in cyberspace where I can connect even more, and get genre specific mentors. Now I have a greater understanding about the publishing process from my own fumbling through it, and many ideas she knew to make the process easier next time. Her advice should also help my following books in The Rising series and my children’s fantasy to reach publication quicker!

I connected with another kindred soul on the opposite side of the country who is also disabled and in financial straits. Through her and several others in my new circle of writers and people in the business I am finding encouragement that only my wife and a few friends previously gave me. I am also receiving tips of the trade, and though we are writing different genres, it has turned into a bonus contrary to previous thoughts. We are all on the learning curve discovering different destinations on the internet that offer help, services, and places to promote our works and develop an online presence. I am so happy to have found these new friends, and find some of the things I have discovered are helping them. It feels so good to be helping others.

So, thank you all, my friends and followers, and wish me and these other artists Godspeed in our writing, editing, and in navigating the mysteries of the internet together.

Friday, November 2, 2012

In & out of “The Rising

This last week was full of distractions, and editing is still going slow with chapter one of “The Rising Book 2: The Great Expansion.” Laying the foundation some twelve years after the first book is not just continuing the story from where it left off. A lot has happened, dynamics have changed, and the Julian Empire has taken on a life of its own. The first short section introduces Julian and Empire telling of this fact in the vampire world he created.
I’m enjoying the time given to writing, and some is being done every day; some days some isn’t much, but I’d still say it is steady going. When I reach the new story telling sections I am making great progress weighed down by very little editing, and the following chapters are of this sort which I expect will also flow well. The descriptive sections of this first chapter are the time-takers. I’m adding details and mixing things up going from vampire culture to utopian architecture to prophecy to religions life to personal relationships; it ponders, states, engages characters, and even has the whimsical introducing my readers to some of the surprising turns I take in this series.

I have also revived the first full book I wrote taking it from typed pages into the digital world. It’s an amusing children’s fantasy along the lines of L. Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz”, and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s “Alice in Wonderland.” Mine is titled, “The First Adventures of Shawn.”  The scope of my works is primarily in the horror, fantasy, and whimsical veins as has been previewed in “The Rising of Julian Adams,” but this children’s book takes the sex, drugs, rock n roll, blood, and gore out as Shawn travels to and through a fantastic land with a great cast of memorable characters. It’s long overdue putting it back on track towards being published.

I’m still in a flux between these books on track to being publish. Of course, “The 1st Adventures of Shawn” didn’t scan in perfectly, and there will be fix-its to be done, but the text has already gone through the first and second editing with the help of a literary agent I once had. The book was not published in the 80s because of one of my agent’s other successful but controversial authors. I was lost on the sideline, and honestly became a little gun shy being blacklisted with them. Eventually the self-publishing industry attracted me back.
If I go with the children’s book next, I promise you the second and third books in The Rising Series will not be far behind since both are in their first draft forms. It is only the nature of this introduction chapter I’m working on that has slowed me down as I have explained in my blogs. The following chapters will focus on the main thrust of the story, and will need much less time editing; it will be more like read n tweak rather than adding new information to work in like I’m doing now. Also, the third book picks right back up on the story without introductions, so it should be understandable why the two books in The Rising won’t be postponed that much if I do the children’s book first.  

If there are any preferences, I would like to hear from you as the choice hasn’t been made yet. Either way, wish me clarity and Godspeed so that I may bless you, my friends and followers, once, twice, three times again (and much more).  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Writing in Sections

My first book ended up having some very long chapter, and paragraphs which I would change now that I have sat back and read it a couple times, and have received feedback from other readers. I’m addressing this in my second book (edit) by breaking up my chapters into sections with subheadings. I thought it too drastic changing it to a short chapter format since the first book is already in print and out of my hands, but to avoid shocking my readers I’m keeping to large chapters with short sections at this point. In my third book in the series, also ready for my edit run, I’m thinking of going down to the short chapter format and stay there throughout the rest of the series.

I am still struggling to make time for my editing/rewrite, but at least with the smaller sections I am able to feel like I’m making more progress while I get back to that place where I’ll fly again. The montage in the first chapter with the working title of “Setting the Stage,” at this point has nearly 95 double spaced pages, but so far at 48 pages I am in my 8th section. “Julian & Empire,” is little over 1 page; “The Marcian Council,” is 5 pages giving more back history and their current activity; “A Web of Participation,” is 7 pages explaining the players and general situation; “The Pyramid & the Prophecy,” is 11pages on the Imperial Pyramid and Mafdet’s prophecy; “A Havenville Première,” is 9 pages describing the new town and a fantastical vampire performance there; “The Prophecy Confirmed,” is 5 pages explaining the Christians’ excitement about the prophecy; “Home is Where the Heart Is,” is 5 pages diving into the bedroom life of the royal couple; and “The Royal Family, Security & Buster,” is still in the works.

So, some progress is being made, and it has been good for me to share it with you to encourage all of us that it will get done. Those who have read “The Rising of Julian Adams,” will surely recognize names I mentioned; proof that it is the continuing story!

My wife is also slowly typing my old children’s fantasy book which I only have in its typed form (we have no PDF converter to scan it in), but I’m going to be looking around and see if we can find a service that will scan it into a Word document for us. Its titled is, “The Adventures of Shawn,” about him as a young boy in an “Alice in Wonderland” styled book. He will appear later in my current series very grown up with a back story (series) I look forward to writing when this first series is done.

Again, wish me Godspeed for both my sake and yours as my readers and friends!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Through many welcomed interruptions, I have progressed in my own edit run to page 16 of the 1st chapter.  It’s not far, I know, but let me explain some of what has been happening. My wonderful daughter and her family have uprooted themselves from their nearby home in Long Beach, and moved to Boise, Idaho. It is a big change and ongoing adjustment not having our grandson nearby.

My Pinterest interest has grown as a big player in my cyberspace social networking ( I have joined a few huge community boards; have several other pinners that I am currently following, and several that are following me. I have tried to design a page that represents my author’s persona, my diversity, and my quirks. But, it takes time which distracts from my writing. It’s hard returning to the writing focus when so many new things have come into my life since my 1st book was published. As I said before, my second two books in the series are in their draft form. Since that was done, personally marketing my first book to afford publishing my other books took hold. Meanwhile, I necessarily took a break from the edit run. I’ve learned a lot about social networking during this time, and Pinterest has been a new addiction I am trying to check.

Up to page 16 most of the writing has been involved with weaving the second book with the first for readers new and old, brought in the interim period, and have tried during this contextualizing to advance the story. Now I am to a prophecy that will span this and the next two books before it comes to pass. With clear divisions between these three new novels, I have my course set, and am gaining back the enthusiasm to really jump back into a heavy schedule of writing before being distracted by anything else in my daily routine.
Writing is a passion, a love affair wondrous with the unfolding of its unique flower, but none-the-less, it is a lot of work.

Again, wish me Godspeed for both my sake and yours as my readers and friends!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Began Edit on Book 2, “The Great Expansion.”

For the last couple days I have reoriented myself to the full context of my 2nd book in The Rising series, and watched a Great Courses lecture to review the Byzantine environment that gave birth to the Marcian Council which is mentioned and expanded upon from the first book, “The Rising of Julian Adams.” Then I ventured into my edit run with the benefit of hearing it read back to me with my add-on Babylon program.  I recently installed this program which adds that special dimension of audio directed editing after I have done at least one read-over edit. It may be a little more time consuming, but in the long run it is worth it and fun hearing my words, in a way, come to life.

It’s a task, and it’s a joy returning to my writing after spending so much time building up my social network to primarily get the word out on my published book. This network is actually all I can afford at this time, but it also uses up the commodity of time which I am hopeful that I will budget it well as I embark again into writing. I presume I will be less involved in Facebooking across the universe, Pinterest pinning, and the like which I have enjoyed as a diversion when it wasn’t looking up at them from the very bottom of the learning curve. I’ll still be here in cyberspace, but must restrict this time, avoid its black hole, and focus on writing.

Wish me Godspeed so I can soon bless you, my readers and followers, with “The Rising Book 2: The Great Expansion!”  

Monday, September 17, 2012

Good Experience

My book signing at Apostrophe Books went well, but it was a slow morning on 2nd street. In a two hour slot I was only engaged in a few conversations which led to sales. My series overview intrigued many as in few words it revealed a lot as only the first sentence refers specifically to my first book:

The adventure has begun, a new race of vampires has emerged, and the Julian Empire is formed. Their sights are set on peaceful expansion with wars ever looming. Who can stand in the way of these new world titans as they assimilate the people around them? How far will they go to find their utopia on Earth, or will they have to look elsewhere? These are questions to be answered in this new genre bending vampire series by Richard Alan. Prepare yourself for “The Rising!”

Weather was a particular concern for me because physically I cannot handle the summer heat. It was in the triple digits on Saturday, but Sunday dropped back down into the low eighties. My skin still reacted with its usually pinpricking burn, but I was thankful I could handle it and stand my ground. Pictures taken showed the obvious strain by my poor forced smile; it didn’t work, and likely scared some people away as my pain translated into what looked like anger. Chocolate kisses (Vampire Kisses) brought them close like skittish birds snatching crumbs and setting off as soon as the treat was securely in hand.

Still, when I was able to engage people in conversation I was very well received back into the human race. It was amazing how quickly joy captured their mannerisms. Had my wife stayed at the table, perhaps more people would have been drawn in, but our friend, Stephanie, came by to support me, and they ran errands and talked away from the table much of the time. It didn’t bother me until I saw my poor attempt at a smile in our photos. She would have been far less scary.

It was, however, a good experience for me because it put me on a track of preparation leading up to the event. It forced me to think through my social networking online so I could pack my series promotion cards, personal business cards, and flyers with accurate information to find and interact with me in the vast world of cyberspace. It was the kick in the butt that pushed me to stop reading about it fearing the molehill that had grown into a mountain, and start diving into this world that was previously just a research and email tool. Now I am in cyberspace!

I have much to learn in this promo competition being naïve about programming, setting up my own web page, and making the pages I am at compelling by their graphics. I don’t know a thing about apps and often hit walls where I get confused and cautiously back out so as not to mess up anything I did get right. I am artistically very creative, but very slow at adapting it to this new internet medium.

Yeah, it was the adventure before the signing that was most important and, of course, the follow-through hereafter. If I can simply lure people to read the book they will find it unique in the genre, and may generate reviews about the delightfully diverse character of the story. It is written to a wide variety of interests so I expect reviews will vary except those that basically have said what I wrote here such as, “It’s truly entertaining, and full of surprises.” Thank you for the reviews none-the-less! 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

After my Interview

Greetings My Friends & Followers,

My interview on Friday for the Grunion, Downtown, and Uptown Gazette went great. My Childhood nervousness never struck, in fact, it was like talking to a new old friend. I refrained from taking command of the situation as I would in my teacher/lecturer mode, and comfortably projected my genuine friendliness. I knew we had specific ground to cover, but it was easy letting her lead the conversation. There was no threat to be defensive about so I had no use for an edgy attitude (I say this for my fellow Vampire Freaks out there). My wife was there being more than willing to fill in any blanks even if there were none by my estimation – that is her way. We know each other pretty well after 38 years together. That’s not to say she didn’t add an excellent perspective change or insight; I’m just saying she added things to the conversation that I thought were off target such as my daughter’s situation. We’ll see which of her additions play out into the article, and then, if necessary, I will pull my digital foot out of my digital mouth.

When watching a movie or having a spare moment, I’ve noticed my mind is already working on my 4th book in the series with precise sentences and cleaver ways to weave my ideas into the story. With two books in line to be edited before it, I can see that the stress of learning internet social networking is lessening giving my creative mind room to wonder where I wonder best – creatively. That’s a very good sign! I may even start the 4th book today before I get hooked back into the track of editing. When I get there, it’s a daily adventure rereading my books, fixing obvious errors and obscurities (not all, a little mystery is always good), and improve on my character and story crafting.

Next, however, is the usual business of life, you know, paying bills you’re thrilled to have the money for, ordering prescriptions you hope will remove the chronic pains and keep your health problems in check, and the other mundane kind of things that repels us safely down the canyons of life. I hope my next canyon will be lush and fertile, refreshing and stimulating.

Be Well!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Meeting with a Reporter Today

I have contacted several local newspapers, and have received two responses so far. The 1st was a Q&A interview via email and today’s is a face to face chat at my local coffee shop. I’m comely excited, and any hidden nervousness didn’t disturb my sleep as it often does. I tend to internalize such things, so I'm not always aware of it until my head hits the pillow and I fall right awake. Even as a kid I’d get sick to the stomach the night before I knew I was going to that magical place called Disneyland, and never totally grew out of it. Even as I slow with age, that hyper little rascal is in there!

This morning I woke from a dream in which I was in a large church, one I have visited in other dreams, but this time the pastor’s wife turned to me and said, “God told me you’re very gifted!”  Then she jumped over the seats from the row in front of me to sit beside me for a quiet conversation. She was excited to meet me! That was a very good start to my day.

I’ve learned from experience that in teaching or talking, what I planned to say, how I planned on saying it, and no matter how much I practiced my speech, it always came out different. Even having notes was no guarantee as I found that the flow of the moment of delivery skipped points and added new ones. Seminars were the only environment when points were not to be skipped as certain information needed to be covered. So it is with today’s meeting; I have rehearsed nothing. I know myself, and I know my book, “The Rising of Julian Adams.” The only confusion I have is differentiating what details I’ve added to the story in the 2nd and 3rd books which are in their first draft phase. Characters have evolved! At least I am comforted in knowing the story breaks between each book.

I can’t wait to get back to my first draft editing, but I have learned much in these past couple months on cyberspace social networking, setting up accounts, what each network offers, and am still on the bottom of the learning curve concerning page design. I want my pages to reflect me as the writer of this vampire series, truthfully, but strategically. I think the feel of the page is at least as important as what is written.

So, I’ll keep blogging, chatting, and emailing to expand my exposure from a local author to an upcoming world sensation (Yeah, high hopes with a shy laugh). I don’t particularly want fame… I just want to start by paying off my family debts: for my wife and I who are both on permanent disability, for my daughter’s family, and for my sister. Then I’ll do more than pray for the plethora of great causes in our world… (dreamy wondering mind)… but first, my interview in an hour.

Be Well My Friends and Followers.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Blast from my Past

     Other than songs lyrics, one of my 1st poems was written in my creative writing class called, “Tracks of the Needle Nose.” It was about drug use, and though I had never done drugs, I was called into the office because of my accurate treatment of hard drug use and addiction. I thought that was what I was supposed to do, but they didn’t think anyone could get their head around such a topic without experiencing it. They checked me over for the tracks I spoke of, and naturally I was clean, but while supposedly trying to encourage me toward discovering my creative self, I was almost suspended!
     Maybe my topic was too harsh for ‘69, but shooting up was just as dangerous then as it is now. The Man (Big Brother) was trying to save me from the drug cultures, protesting Earth’s exploitations, and from continuing in my hippie ways, but they failed. I got around to pot (it was an herb, not a gateway drug), the protests continued, and I had been a hippie inside for a couple years by then, and that was not going to change.
     The poem was confiscated, and was lost, but "The Tracks of the Needle Nose" has not been forgotten. It was an diabolical animated syringe, that I remember, and it was my first writing in the monster genre. 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Beginning 8/29/2012

This is my first entry into the world of blogging. My first book is published and in the publicity phase. It is, “The Rising of Julian Adams,” and is only the first in a new vampire series. The 2nd and 3rd books are in their 1stdraft form, awaiting my 2nd run-through to tighten them up. Book 2 is titled, “The Great Expansion,” and book 3 is, “Clash of the Orders.”

The whole series is about the rise of a vampire society from beneath the grave up into the Julian Empire, and working their way into a world power. It is centered on the strivings to create a united vampire community in the midst of many enemies, and with individuals who twist the gift into horridly ugly manifestations of terror. There is a tense life and death struggle between the noble Julian Order, the Scottonians, the ancient Marcian Council, and the United States.

The first book centers on Northern California where the blessing is born, and the series explores the utopian vision while embroiled in wars touching the entire world and
beyond in this fantastical horror adventure. The Sci-fi edge will grow more prominent as the Julian Empire congeals. These aspects are all birthed in the first book giving glimpses of what is to come.

Love, individuality, and ethical dilemmas are approached head on giving it a human interest appeal. The cast of characters also grows ever larger and diverse as the vampires learn, grow, and use “the push” to become a new superhuman race. Some just want to have fun, some thrive underground, and many rival the superheroes of myth, legend, and beyond. This is a genre bender like no other exploring the next generation of vampires.

It’s all you might expect from a vampire series, full of the familiar, and replete with
surprises. I invite you to plunge yourself into my world… if you dare!