Free short story on Amazon and information about At Horizon’s End

Today is the last day you can download The Man Behind The Bar for free from Amazon. I was lucky enough to see it reach the number one spot in its category and that made me really happy. It means people read the story. Hopefully, it’s something they enjoy.

If you download it, consider leaving a review (even if you don’t have something positive to say) for other readers. This coming Tuesday (July 4th) is also the last day the story will be available on Kindle Unlimited, so if you intended to read it, but never got around it, this is your last chance. Soon after that, I will make the story available to other retailers (Kobo, ibooks, Google, etc).

So, what happens next, you may ask. Well, the next short story I’ll publish is called At Horizon’s End and it’s a horror story (not gory or splatter). Advanced Reader Copies are already in the hands of some reviewers, so when it goes live, it should have a couple of reviews waiting. Here’s an early blurb:

The Man Who Fed On Tears always knows whose time it is to remove from our world. His existence is one of a symbiosis between his need for the tears and woe he causes to those closest to the deceased, and the natural order of life and death to which he is bound to obey. He never questions himself or his actions and has never made a mistake. Until now.

Stella is a four-year-old girl who misses her mommy and wants to see her again. She doesn’t yet understand the concept of loss, so when she sees close family members crying, she tries to stay cheerful and optimistic. After all, Mommy said they’d see each other again when the time comes At Horizon’s End. So if they’ll meet again, why is everyone crying?

I have yet to make up my ¬†mind on a firm release date. I can’t decide if it should be July 23 or July 30. The thing is, I’m trying to figure out when most of you will be on your summer vacation, because I like the idea of you going away with my story in your e-readers. I should have decided within this coming week.

Stay tuned for the cover reveal ūüėČ


The Man Behind The Bar reviewed by Viking Reviews

The reviewer of Viking Reviews was kind enough to review The Man Behind The Bar on their blog, and it has been a stellar one. Quite frankly, I don’t think I’ve ever said anything as encouraging and positive for my own work. Getting positive feedback from people I’ve never met before in my life is quite overwhelming,¬†and I’m grateful for it. I’m very happy this story has accumulated so much positive feedback, even though it’s not one of my familiar genres. It motivates me for the future.

Okay, enough self-worship for one day. You can read the review here. If you’re looking for something new to read and don’t know if it’s going to be up to your expectations, have a look around the books reviewed by Viking Reviews. Lots of titles there, as well as other things that may be interested in. You may also want to keep them under consideration for your work.

Writing Prompt 42

Are you bored with promotions yet? Yes? No? Well, here’s another one. The Man Behind The Bar is free worldwide for today only (May 28). You can get a copy¬†here. If you live in the UK, try here, if in Germany go here. Here’s the link for Canada¬†and Australia. Check other regional Amazon shops for your free copies. Oh, and I’d love it if you could leave a review.

Anyway, on to writing prompt 42

Thunder cracked in the distance. “You sure it’s the right grave?” Burt asked. I rattled and slapped the flashlight, and muttered a few curses. “Eleventh from the path,” I said over the whistling wind and the pattering of the rain. The flashlight came to life, and a yellow ribbon cut through the darkness. I pointed the light beam on the tombstone. The rain washed the name away. two New ones replaced it. They were our names.

Originally, the above prompt was bigger (more like a vignette, though probably too small even for it), but since I’ve decided to publish these prompts on Pinterest and had to use background graphics for them for more people to, hopefully, benefit from them, available space became an issue. Anyway, for the readers of this blog, and those interested in the slightly longer version, here’s the original piece.

The flash illuminated Burt’s face staring at me, water running in rivulets on it. “You sure it’s the right one?” Moment’s later, thunder cracked somewhere in the distance.
Roger slapped his flashlight, rattled it, and emitted a few silent curses.
I nodded. Stupid me; he couldn’t see me in this pitch black. “Eleventh headstones from the path,” I said over the whistling wind.
Roger’s flashlight came to life, and a yellow ribbon cut through the darkness. “Finally.”
“I have a bad feeling about this,” Burt said. “Let the dead rest, my pop used to say.”
“Doesn’t surprise me one bit. You’re as senile and superstitious as he was. In his best days.”
Roger whimpered loud enough for me and Burt to hear. His light beam was shaking. He pointed a finger at the tombstone.
The letters on it faded away, as if dissolved by the water. New letters formed and replaced the old ones.
They were our names.

Discoverability is directly related to readers

New and seasoned writers alike read all the time about the importance of promotion and marketing. The necessity for discoverability. Of how to tap the readers’ shoulder and politely (hopefully) let them know of their presence.

Since I decided I wanted to publicise my work and earn money from my words, I’ve bookmarked and read tens of articles and advice on the process, what is needed, what should not be done, about the hurdles a writer has to overcome. And still, until recently, I couldn’t picture me actually doing it. I couldn’t put my mind around what it would be like. I expected it would happen at some point, regardless of the path I’d choose – self published or traditional. I wanted it to happen, to have people read my work, but when it came to picturing it, it eluded me.

Discoverability is directly related to readers. Vague concepts. Readers. Plural. Impossible to see their faces, impossible to reach them, yet, they’re there. I guess it’s one of those things that no matter how much you expose yourself to the theory behind it, you can never fully grasp it until you get your hands dirty with it.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I self-published my first short story on Amazon¬†and let me be honest with you; since I did it, most of the time I feel like a Lilliputian creature, hopping up and down, waving my arms like a drowning man begging for help, squeaking in my barely audible tiny voice, for the readers’ attention. Tap on their shoulder? I can’t even reach their toes to get their attention. And you know what’s worse? The more I read and try to implement the theory to practice, the theory, the less sense it all
makes, and the less everything seems to work. For me, at least, since others are doing fine.

Then again, it could be the reason behind my seeming ineptitude in making marketing work for me, is because I expect things to happen instantly, even though I keep reminding myself that the publishing process is a marathon (if not a super marathon), not a sprint. I recently added myself to two author promotion communities; iAuthor and Allauthor. My flawed mindset told me I should witness results of some sort within the first couple of days. My rational side said, “nah. Not the way it’s going to happen.”

Guess which one won?

I’m not sure if it’s my educational background to blame. Hard sciences (Geology is part of them, or so I was told) deal with experiments, observations, and results (yes, even though geologists can’t exactly experiment – when was the last time you moved a continent to see how it collided with another? – we do come up with observable results). You do the math, you apply the theory, et voil√†! You get the answer, the result, the number within the little square of an Excel sheet, or a blown up lab (hello, chemistry folks!). To a certain extent, even Management and Economics (my postgrad education) made it sound¬†as though all I had to do was to apply the theory to practice, and the results would be measurable immediately. Especially in the case of Economics (cut down salaries and pensions, see how fast people starve – it made sense).

Perhaps part of the blame lies with how our demands are met nowadays; we sit behind our screens, click a button, clickety clack, and boom! We just bought a book, just downloaded a movie, just bridged the gap between
Europe and America and talked to our friends. Click, click, click. Results, results, results. All before our eyes before we blink them.

Somewhere at the back of my mind, the tiny squeaky voice, this small part of me that flails his arms to draw my attention, reminds me that it’s a marathon (a super, duper, freaking long marathon), not a sprint. But the voice is faint and the clicks happen one after the other. So fast.

Free copies of The Man Behind The Bar

Hello everyone!

Apparently it’s World Book Day today. I’m not much for world days personally, but I figured this is a good chance to give something to story lovers around the world (and increase my readership, of course). So, starting from today (Sunday, April 23) my Amazon-hosted short story, The Man Behind the Bar, will be free for two full days (until Monday, April 24). It’s under 3500 words, so it shouldn’t take you more than 10-15 minutes to read it (most likely, less than that). Grab a cup of coffee and relax. Did I mention it’s free?

You can find it here. Enjoy, and please consider leaving a review. If Amazon gives you a hard time reviewing it, try Goodreads.