Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How Badly Do You Want It?

I've been busy lately. (Nothing new there.) I've been fiddling around with a few different stories that are in varying stages of completion. I've been rereading the Harry Potter series and loving (almost) every moment of it. I've been promoting Rage's Echo like the dickens. (Quick question: How did something ever end up being "like the dickens"? Why don't we say "like the shakespeare" or "like the hemingway"? I actually don't like the shakespeare OR the hemingway [despite the quote I have here on this blog], but that's all a matter of personal taste, and I have absolutely nothing against those who enjoy the work of those authors.)

Where was I? Oh yeah.

Even though the official release for Rage's Echo is still over a month away (you can preorder it here), I have been having pre-release signings left and right. I've been tweeting about it and Facebooking about it, and I even have a giveaway going on over on Goodreads where you can enter to win a copy (you can find that link here). I wish I could rent ten thousand billboards proclaiming the awesomeness that is Rage's Echo to all the lands.

My biggest wish of all is that people will read it and enjoy it and encourage others to do the same.

There are some authors who write a book and then do nothing to promote it. I would be surprised if more than a few dozen people--friends and family members of the author, most likely--get to read their book. It might be an amazing book. It might be life-changing. But people aren't going to read it if they don't know it exists, and people aren't going to know it exists if the author doesn't make an effort to get the word out about it.

If an author wants his or her book to be read by a large number of people, they have to work at it. The amount of their effort depends on how badly they want their story to be read.

But this idea doesn't just stop at authors. Do you have a goal in mind? For example, do you want to take a month-long tour of Europe? Are you saving as much money as you can for it? If not, then you must not want to go that badly. If you want to go to Europe badly enough, you will cut back on unnecessary expenses so you can put away more money for the trip. You will clip coupons and stop eating out. You'll keep the lights off. Anything to cut back, even if you're saving only a few dollars at a time.

How badly do you want to reach your goal? What steps have you been taking to reach it?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

That Story Came from WHERE?

A typical question that any writer is going to receive from curious fans is "Where do you get the ideas for your stories?" It's a good question, and one that I love answering because the answer is simple: EVERYWHERE!

My upcoming novel RAGE'S ECHO officially releases two months from today. I say "officially" because I've had copies of my own for a month and I've been selling them to random people I know, because seriously, who wouldn't? But on October 1, you will be able to download my latest tale of murder and intrigue onto your Kindle or Nook or have a freshly-minted copy shipped to you from a warehouse owned by Amazon.


Rage's Echo is about a young woman named Jessica who likes to go ghost hunting. She wants to prove that life continues after death because she believes it will get people to turn to God. When Jessica is invited to investigate some haunted church grounds she is more than excited to go. What she doesn't know is that the spirit of a murder victim named Jerry Madison is going to follow her home that night, and then terrible things ensue when it turns out that Jerry might not be so nice to have around after all.

It's awesome. I had more fun writing this than I probably should have.

But anyway. Where did this story come from?

I'll tell you.

1. Twilight

I have never read Twilight or any of its sequels, but I know what it's all about. I even saw the first movie. Girls falling in love with supernatural creatures is so commonplace these days that I wanted to write a novel in which the female protagonist does NOT fall in love with the not-quite-human dude. The Rage's Echo seed was thus planted in my brain. 

2. Field of Dreams
The awesome thing about Field of Dreams is that ghosts can be spoken to as if they are living people instead of just spooky noises filling a house at night. If you got to talk to a ghost, what kind of interesting things would the two of you talk about? It better not just be baseball.

3. Ghost Hunters

Most common phrase of those investigating a haunted house: "WHAT was THAT?" Truth: it might be a hamster. Read Rage's Echo and you'll understand.

4. My Friend Valerie

One of my Internet buddies once attended a college which she disliked so much that she transferred after only a year. She told me that she lay awake in her dorm one night hearing a tapping sound by her head, and she also sensed an angry red aura that seemed to go away after she had a priest come in and bless the place. I hope I have the details of that right. It's been years since she told me. Valerie, if you're reading this, feel free to correct me!

5. Classic Rock

Or more specifically, the songs "Dream On" by Aerosmith and "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas. They both make cameos in the novel. Just listen to the lyrics and you might get the chills.

6. Dante's Inferno

There was one scene in this where spirits of the damned were described having to drag their own corpses to hell, or something like that. (That doesn't happen in Rage's Echo. I just wanted to mention it here because I like to mention random things.) The whole spirits-being-cut-off-from-God-but-still-yearning-for-him thing is what kicked Rage's Echo into gear.

7. My Life

(No, not the book by Bill Clinton.) Everybody goes through hardship. If you haven't, there's probably something wrong with you. Writing Rage's Echo was a way for me to transfer my inner demons from my mind onto the page. A personal exorcism, if you will. I may never be completely healed in this lifetime but writing this novel certainly helped.

8. Other Stuff

I received inspiration from a number of other sources as well, but if I told you here that would ruin some of the fun of the novel. Because spoilers STINK.

So there you have it. All of this entered my head and formed a sort of lumpy stew that turned into a story. And I hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.

God bless,

~J. S. Bailey