Saturday, February 26, 2011

Right and Left are Wrong

I de-friended two writers on my Facebook page recently.  What could they have done to earn the dreaded "de-friending" status?  Did I not like their latest books?  Were their covers bad?  Did they change agents?  Decide to go it alone and self-publish?  Say the heck with this self-publishing crap and sign with a Big 6 publisher?

Nope, none of those things.  What they did was far, far worse in my opinion:  they smeared their political views all over their accounts and walls, which means that those same smears get wiped on my wall too.  Not.  Good.  At.  All.

Writers are, when you break it all down to brass tacks, small business owners.  The business we run is ourselves, our talents, and our words.  We write for a living (maybe not literally, but we do hope to make money off of these hours spent tapping away in front of a keyboard).  Our words, our personalities and, if you want to be technical about it, our lives are what we sell to the book-buying public.  Remember the old adage that the two things you never talk about at the dinner table are politics and religion?  That should apply to a writer's facebook and twitter pages too.

If you want me to follow you, don't put your views up there.  If I disagree with you, you have lost a potential reader and fan.  Why?  Because if I know that you will write about politics that I don't believe in on your wall, you will almost assuredly put those same politics in your books.  Why subject myself to that?  But what if you and I agree?  Same principle applies:  I'm buying your book to escape the crazy, insane, mad world we live in, not be reminded of how stupid and biased people can be.

Writing about your politics alienates half of your potential readers and customers.  If you think that you don't want that half to read your books, then fine.  Go that way.  Hope your last name is Grisham, King, Patterson or something like that.  Because last I checked, publishers aren't exactly handing out those six and seven figure advances like candy.  You really think you can afford to pick and choose who you want as fans?  Ok, go for it, bud.  As for me and my pages, we will serve Scott Chase.  Which means I welcome anyone who reads to buy my books, friend me here, or follow me here.  Because I promise not to tweet, post, or link to anything political.  At least I hope I won't.  But if I ever do anything like that, please let me know what you think here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bring Back the Adventure

By request, I'm putting up a little about the boys middle grade adventure that I'm submitting to agents right now.  I'm not doing it under the pen name Scott Chase though, but rather under my real name.

Here is the back of the book style description:

When 14-year old Rick Frost signed up for the school trip to Alaska, he did it for an adventure.  After pulling Hollywood actress Alexis Blair out of a plane crash in the wilderness, he thinks he's had it.  But when the bullet star flying, Rick knows the adventure has just begun.  The crash was no accident.  Someone wants Alexis dead and that puts Rick right in the cross hairs.  What started as a trek through America's last frontier has turned into a race to escape certain death.  

When I grew up, I loved to read adventure books.  Even stuff like the Hardy Boys had a lot of action in it.  In my teens I discovered Clive Cussler and his character Dirk Pitt and I was infatuated.  Pitt searched the world for treasures, saved girls in distress, and did it with a cute comment every time.  Was it mindless?  Sure.  Were the characters cardboard?  Absolutely.  But I loved every stinking minute of it.  And judging by the amount of sales, a lot of people agreed with me.  But now, there's not a lot of stuff like that for boys.  Rick Riordan is doing it, Anthony Horowitz has the Alex Rider series, and my buddy Mark Terry has a series of books for boys too.  Well, I'm going to throw my hat in the ring with the Rick Frost series.  It will be somewhat like the old Pitt books, in that Rick will search for treasures and artifacts, but it will also address issues that are present in the lives of young boys, issues that they will have to face when they become men, like racism, friendship, principles and loyalty.

I'll let you guys know what is coming with the Rick Frost books, as well as with The Chosen, which will be coming out in April of 2012 from Champagne Books.  Keep reading.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stuff, Part I

I haven't written anything in a few weeks.  I've THOUGHT about writing, sure.  I've even planned out what I plan on doing when I get back into it.  But I haven't written a thing.

One of the creative writing teachers at the high school where I work had her students write listening to the blues the other day.  The prompt the kids were given was "Have you ever had 'The Blues'?  What do you do to get rid of 'The Blues'?"  I was intrigued, not just because I like blues music.

A little background:  I am originally from Mississippi.  I spent most of my formative years in the northwest part of the state, commonly called the Mississippi Delta, or simply The Delta.  This was the birthplace of the musical style known as The Blues.  So, I asked the teacher if I could write something just like the kids were, but rather than talk about an emotion, I wanted to write about "The Blues" itself.

She asked me if I would read it to a few of her classes this week.  I complied, and both times I read it, the teacher cried.  I asked her why, she said it wasn't anything sad in my piece (I didn't even write anything sad in it).  It was simply the language, the imagery, and the writing itself.  She said that she is a jaded, life-long editor who always edits as she reads rather than reading for enjoyment, so to be moved to tears is a big deal for her.  I couldn't have smiled any bigger.  What a compliment!

Also, wanted to point out that a middle grade boys adventure that I wrote has gotten some interest from an agent.  Once again, good news.  And I needed some after losing my dad.  He would be proud!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love You Dad

Thank you so much for the well-wishes, prayers and support.  For those who do not know, my father passed away Wednesday of a massive heart attack.  It was sudden, and heart breaking.  We are finally on our way home after spending over a week in Mississippi taking care of things there.

Friends and family are true gifts from God.  Cherish them, hug them, and let them know how you feel about them.  My dad and I told each other "I love you" at the end of every phone call.  I hope he knew that I meant it every time.  I know he did.

Thank you again for all your well-wishes and prayers.  I'll post again soon.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Get Better, Vince

One of the guys who has kept the thriller genre of novels on the forefront of not only the best seller list, but also on the cusp of society is Vince Flynn.  He, along with a few others like Brad Thor and Daniel Silva, have been the clarion voices that the threat we in the United States and the Western World face from terrorism is still real, still there, not going away and still incredibly dangerous.  They are doing the Lord's work, and none do it better than Vince.

If you haven't heard, Vince has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.   He is fighting it, as anyone who knows him or knows about him expects him to do.  So far, the early prognosis is good.

Keep up the fight, Vince.  Keep the faith strong and know that our prayers are with you.