Cops and Stuff
Way back in 2011 Toma said I should write a vampire novel. Now, I like vampires as well as the next guy.
Wait. Maybe I don’t
like vampires as much as adolescent young women who want to date the bat bastards. Still, I like the Bram Stoker style vamps. The kind that don’t sparkle in the noon day sun. They burn to a crisp.
I started writing a story about a vampire cop who…well, I won’t tell you anymore than that. I’ve still got a partial manuscript in my hard drive along with summaries to stretch it into a trilogy. I’ll just keep the plot a secret in case I decide to finish it.
But I did say vampire cop
. And writing about cops gave me a headache. Because I really didn’t know anything about cops. At least I didn’t know any more than I’d seen on TV, or at the theater.
Now a little poetic license is okay with me but basic knowledge can only help a reader suspend their disbelief. (I borrowed that from the world of cinema.)
I started searching for cop info and I ran across a book called “Police Procedure & Investigation by Lee Lofland. (Writer’s Digest calls it one of their HOWDUNIT series.)
Reading Lee’s book opened my eyes. (I won’t even talk about cordite. Too embarrassing.) The detail Lee pours out about flat foots and the departments they work for is astounding. Lots of great crime writers have hailed Lee’s book as indispensable…for writers.
But I don’t write these rants for other writers. I write for readers. All I can say is, if you’re a reader of crime drama or police procedurals you should read Lee’s book. His insight will improve your understanding. Plus, you’ll be able to determine if your favorite crime writer really knows what he’s talking about.
And if your head explodes because Lee stuffed so much information into his book, well, you’ll have to take that up with Lee.
(But before you call him out, take a look at his profile on his web site. www.leelofland.com
. Just by reading his bio you'll figure he can probably kick your ass.)
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“Hostages” my recent story from 1008 Productions caused considerable ranting by family members (Mom). The turmoil
has prompted me to design and attach rating classifications to my future publications.
This system, similar to the MPAA, will alert potential readers (Mom) to stories that contain unsavory elements.
The ratings are as follows:
NM – No Mom Readers. Lots of bad language.
NP – No Prude Readers. Lots of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
NS – No Sissy Readers. Lots of stabbings, shootings and graphic zombie attacks.
NV – No Victorian Readers. Lots of male, chauvinist, sexist bullshit.
BR – Boring Readers Only – Lots of pasteurized, stale white bread, bland crap.
There you have it. A system designed to protect the sensibilities of…moms, prudes, sissies, bores, and cat ladies. (I threw in cat ladies just in case.)
Or maybe I should post a warning that almost everything I write contains lots of bad language, sex, drugs, rock and roll, stabbings, shootings, graphic zombie attacks, and male, chauvinist, sexist bullshit.
You know. Like everyday life.
Okay, while I’m not sure that zombie attacks are part of everyday life, I’m sure if they were, they’d be graphic.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to work on my next novel titled, “Slut”.
Because my wife told me to write it.
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Covers are a big thing in indie-publishing. Since indie-writers don’t have major publishing companies to screw up their
novels with crappy cover art, the writers have to do their own screwing up.
Lots of cover service companies have sprouted, but at
$200 a pop most struggling writers are opting to create their own covers with inexpensive stock art and limited typography.
Kind of like me, except I studied art in school so my covers look more professional than the common indie novel. (Cough.)
The cover for “Vast”, illustrated on top over in the left hand column of this page is the one you’ll see on the book’s Amazon page. The similar cover over there on the bottom is the original cover I designed and created. I thought the “You Are Here” cover was hilarious.
Then my editor said she thought it was hilarious, too, and if I
used it I was an idiot.
I pay the woman for her opinion. I have to heed her warnings or I might as well just flush dollar bills down the toilet.
For “House with a View” all I wanted was an image of a plain
little tree house. No way. Searched the web for weeks while writing the story. I ended up creating a cover that’s pleasant enough, but doesn’t address the gist of the story.
(Except maybe there’s a tree house hidden in there somewhere.)
I did get hold of an artist friend from high school and he’s going to work on a new cover to replace the crap cover I built. But…he’s busy until the next fly-by of Haley’s Comet, so, for now, the stupid cover stays.
The original “False Bravado” cover was a bewitching young woman wiggling her finger as if to call someone closer. But, I don’t like to use images with facial features. I’d rather the reader create their own character features. I think that gives the reader a chance to personalize the story a little.
Then, wham!, I found the glass of dry ice image. It was perfect.
It works on so many different levels. As a potion, a glass of liquid courage, a sexy cocktail.
Plus, it’s just a cool photograph.
Now, just wait until you see the cover for "Dissymmetry Vol 1". You'll be amazed as soon as Haley's comes back because my friend from school is doing that one, too. (Just kidding. About
Haley's Comet, not my artist friend.)
So, what's the real reason I decided to post about covers? If you guessed so I could display my hilarious "You Are Here - Vast" cover to the world...you just might be right. (Don't tell my editor.)
To end, if you have any comments on covers, let me know. If your arguments are cohesive and intelligent I might actually change a cover or two.
(But probably not. I’m really am a control freak.)
I'm fooling around with the web site builder provided by my web hosting service.
And I'm changing things on the fly.
Not sure, yet, if this first page should be story listings or blog entries or whatever.
I did figure out how to copy and paste into these pages from MS
Word so typos should be reduced. (I can type about 50 mistakes a
Also, the current stories page only has cover images linked to their respective Amazon pages. No story descriptions from me on my own web site. I'll probably change that when I have time and when that happens the stories page format will probably have to
The biggest problem...I'm having a blast screwing around with these pages Instead of writing. That's not good.
One more thing. I'm curious how often I should post blog entries. Once a week. Twice. Monthly. I'd appreciate if all four of my reader would chime in.
Send me an e-mail using the handy-dandy contact tab above and vote for your favorite timeline for blog entries.
(Votes for "zero" will be deleted with extreme prejudice.)
That's it for today. Time to get back to work on the next novel. (Right after I decide on the Stories page format.)