Oops – I took another blog hiatus

Yes, I've been gone for awhile, but I had a good excuse.

Yes, I’ve been gone for awhile, but I had a good excuse.

I’m such a bad self-promoter. The fact that I write a bi-weekly blog for CreateSpace that is, in part, about self-promotion is especially unforgivable when I disappear from the blog for a couple of weeks. The good news is that it’s because I’ve been exceedingly busy. The Closeout Kings final edit is done. Release coming soon. The first draft of my stage play, Never Living, is done. I’d love to arrange either a complete or partial read just so I can see what works and what doesn’t. It all works with me acting out every part, but I’m a fantastic actor, so it’s really not a great barometer for the piece.

Another project fell into my lap shortly after my last blog entry. It’s a new adventure for me. Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. This new adventure is a non-fiction piece. You read correctly. This guy, me, writer of monsters and hillbillies, has been given an exciting opportunity to write a biography of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Lee Deckelman. I’ll have more details later, but let’s just say Lee has lead an incredibly interesting and inspiring life that I’m privileged to get to tell. For you fans of the Oz Chronicles, you should be especially interested in Lee’s story. I modeled Oz’s resilience and toughness after Lee. The cool thing is that years ago I had the opportunity to let Lee’s kids know that in a signed copy of The Takers.

This will put Book Seven on the back burner for a little while, but to make up for the delay, I’ll have a surprise announcement in a week or so, maybe sooner. So, stay tuned.

Will I be frequenting the blog more often? I hope so. I can’t make any promises because I’ve got so much to do, but I shall do my very best.

The Closeout Kings Audiobook

I talked to Nate Daniels, the narrator for Bad Way Out, and it looks like he’ll be narrating The Closeout Kings. I couldn’t be more thrilled. Nate is an exceptional talent, and as I’ve said many times, if you’re an author looking for voice talent for an audiobook, contact Nate. You won’t find a more talented or gracious person to work with.

Here’s a sample of Dan reading Bad Way Out:

GRRR – I’m an idiot

I gave the wrong dates yesterday on the free Kindle books. They will be available for free August 9 -11. I’m a bone head! The books are as follows:

The Prophet of Cradle County

The Man Who Saved Two Notch

The Takers

Sorry for the confusion.

Three of my books will be free August 9 – 11, 2014

The Prophet of Cradle County is now available on Kindle (Free August 8-10)

The Prophet of Cradle County is now available on Kindle (Free August 9-11)

UPDATE: Note the date change.

It’s Kindle book bonanza weekend for this author.  I’m making three of my titles free for Kindle users this Saturday – Monday.  The books are as follows:

The Takers

The Man Who Saved Two Notch

The Prophet of Cradle County

Hold on a second, you’re saying.  The Prophet of Cradle County is written by Jackson Goddard.  That’s not your name.  You are very astute.  That is not my name.  Jackson Goddard is one of my pen names.  The Prophet of Cradle County is a Southern tale that is similar in theme to The Shack.  I actually wrote it before The Shack came out, but I had no intention of ever publishing it because I just didn’t feel like it was ready for prime time.  I don’t have time to explain, but I eventually published it as a favor to somebody.  It’s a C. Hoyt Caldwell story without the sex and it has a stronger focus on religion.  The basic theme is that we are all God, and we should treat each other as such.

For those of you who’ve asked why I never do a similar promotion on Nook, it’s because Nook doesn’t offer free promotional periods.  Basically, they suck at creating interest in their ebook program.

On writing my first stage play

As many to none of you know, I’m adapting an old screenplay I wrote about 12 years ago to a stage play. My wife has encouraged me to do it many times over the years, but I’ve always managed to come up with an excuse not to do it. She finally convinced me after we went to a wonderful play in Laguna Beach called The Pianist of Willesden Lane. The play is nothing like my screenplay, mind you. It was just so inspiringly good that I finally saw the possibilities of adapting my work for the stage.

I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t know the proper structure of a play, nor do I know the accepted formatting. I’ve searched the internet, but I was surprised to learn that there really is no consensus on what a play should look like in written form. I found myself getting more confused as I researched so I stopped.

Right now I’m just writing, and it has been a blast revisiting these old characters. My adaptation so far includes about 10% of the original material. The dialogue has completely changed. The gender of some of the characters has changed. It’s strange how willing I’ve been to divorce myself from the old material. I honestly feel like I know these characters better now than when I wrote it more than a decade ago. The theme and tone are the same, but other than that it’s basically new material.

In short, I’m having fun. If you have suggestions on the proper way to format a stage play, please feel free to let me know. The Pianist of Willesden Lane is has moved off-Broadway in New York. If you’re in the city, I encourage you to go see it.

Say hello to C. Hoyt Caldwell and his very beardy face

By the narrowest of margins – I’m talking by one vote – this is the new C. Hoyt Caldwell author photo.  And spoiler alert, the new R.W. Ridley author photo may look very similar because I hate taking author photos.  I do not want to waste a day doing that again. Now I know why I’ve had the same series of photos for 4 years.  The good news is I look 10 years older than I actually am so there’s really no need to take a new photo every year.  Soeth endeth the swimsuit competition portion of our publishing pageant.  Clearly there were no winners here.

I should mention that “Option Brad Pitt” got the most votes by an enormous margin, but as I am not Brad, and he has a team of attorneys, I’m afraid his photo was not an actual option. I’ll work on my six-pack and do my best Brad Pitt pose for the next photo.

The winner by default

The winner by default

Which author photo will help me sell more books?

And now for something completely narcissistic and my least favorite part of publishing a book, THE AUTHOR PHOTO.  It was really embarrassing when I did the interview for MTSU’s student magazine, the Collage, and I couldn’t find any recent photos of me or even Mia for the article.  The ones on this blog were taken about four years ago, but they were all I had so they were forced to use them.  I’ve been actually trying to take more pictures in my real life so I’ll have something to look back on when I’m old and forgetful (which is about a year away).

That being said, The Closeout Kings will be hitting the market in the coming weeks, and I need a C. Hoyt Caldwell photo to go with the release.  I’ll post what I have below.  Let me know which one you like or if you don’t like any of the choices.  I have no preference.  Remember, I need one that will help me sell books or at the very least not drive readers away.

 

 

Option A

Option A

Option B

Option B

Option C

Option C

Option D

Option D

Option E

Option E

Option F

Option F

Option Brad Pitt

Option Brad Pitt

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