Free Pass Giveaway!

Happy Eclipse Day, everyone!

This weekend I’ll be heading to Lebanon, Connecticut for Connecticut Renaissance Faire for dress rehearsals. We’ve got a hilarious main scenario this year and lots of great variety acts and vendors to check out, plus the annual Meet the Authors series. I’ll be pulling double duty on September 16, when I’ll be jumping back and forth between portraying playwright Francis Beaumont and appearing at the author’s table to sell and sign copies of my books.

If you’d like to check out this awesome show, I can help you out. I have a four pack of free passes for opening weekend, September 2 and 3, and I’m giving them out to one randomly selected recipient, who will be drawn and announced at 10 AM (EST) on September 1.

If you want in on this, here’s what you do:

  1. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter between now and August 31. Enter this way and you’ll also get a free e-book copy of Cheap Thrills Digest! OR…
  2. E-mail me directly and include a link to a review you’ve left for any of my books on Amazon or Goodreads.

Sorry, family and close friends, you’re not eligible for this, but please spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested.

Social Butterfly

The bad part of staying home to watch the pets while my wife works the Storied Threads tent at the Connecticut Renaissance Faire is that I spend the weekend alone (except for, of course, the pets). Boo. My bulldog Beatrix tries to fill in as my bedtime cuddle-buddy, but it’s not the same.

The closest I'll come to having a child (thank God).
The closest I’ll come to having a child (thank God).

On the good side, I have plenty of time to work on novel stuff — on draft one of book two of Action Figures (11 pages today!), and on promoting book one so I have a better reason to keep plugging away at book two.

My mailers (previewed here) have been ordered, I received a mention in my hometown paper (I’ll post that here as soon as get my hands on a copy), and — big project for the day — I splattered my name all over the Internet.

Social networking sites are a boon for small businesses — which I am, for all intents and purposes — since they provide potentially limitless free advertising that reaches a literally global audience. There are a lot to choose from, maybe too many, and it’s a daunting task to maintain multiple presences. Fortunately, thanks to networking and synergy and the general over-sharing nature of the Internet, this here blog post can be auto-shared to my many new social media outlets. Hooray for enabled laziness!

So, now people can keep up with me on Facebook, Google +, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and LiveJournal (yes, that’s still a thing!), as well as on my Amazon Author Central page and my Goodreads Author page.

Egads, that’s a lot of pandering…but casting loaves, coming back a hundredfold, etc., etc.

Ending One Story, Starting Another

The title of this blog post is a semi-poetic way of announcing that I am leaving my job as a reporter for the Enterprise Newspapers. My last day is one week from today.

This is a huge deal on several levels. I’ve held this job for more than 15 years, my longest stretch with a single employer, so to leave behind what has been a significant part of my life is a little jarring, even though it’s both desirable and necessary.

It’s desirable because, honestly, I’ve been rather unhappy here for a while. I hate to say that, because I loved my job for most of the time I was here, but in recent years my sense of discontent has grown. I realized I was spending so much more time writing the stuff I had to (news) instead of the stuff I wanted to (stories), and that became a considerable source of frustration.

I guess that also covers some of the necessary part, since it’s tough to pursue my passion when the need for a paycheck is eating up so much of my potential writing time.

The other necessity is not my own, but my wife’s. Veronica’s business, Storied Threads, has grown considerably over the past year, and she’s hit the point where she cannot grow the business working almost completely by herself. Hiring her friend Kate would be the ideal solution, but that’s impractical due to distance, so the next most logical choice was me.

So yeah, I will be working for my wife, doing whatever I can to free her up to sew. It seems like I’m just trading one job that isn’t what I want to do for another, but I will be getting back some lost writing time, and the fact that I will not be blowing my creative energy all on work should help boost my output.

I don’t want any of this to come off as bitter, because I’m not. If anything, I’m grateful for the opportunity I got 15 years ago when my now-retired editor decided to hire a guy with no formal higher education or previous experience in journalism — or writing in general, except for a very recent freelance sale. I learned how to write faster without sacrificing accuracy. I learned how important choosing the right word can be and how it can significantly affect how the reader interprets a sentence. I learned when to expound and when to summarize.

I also learned a lot of interesting bits of knowledge that I’ve worked into my writing, most of that coming from covering local police departments — which was always the most fun I ever had at my job.

So in the end, it was to my benefit to have my soon-to-be-former job, but its time is at an end. I need to move on if I’m going to grow, creatively and professionally.