Broken Links

Broken Links

Broken Links | Guy L. PaceI cleaned up and/or deleted old posts this week. It turns out that some of the old links included in them were no longer valid (broken links), or led to some not very nice places.

Earlier, I stumbled on a four-year-old post that linked to my original publisher. The link–I checked it–took the browser to a possibly dangerous site. So, prudence dictated that I go through all the older posts.

That was a larger job than I anticipated, but I got it done.

In the process, I discovered that a lot of links used in posts a couple of years ago are no longer active. Who knew things changed so quickly? Businesses come and go and software tools are here one day and gone the next.

So far, the Amazon and Barnes & Noble links work just fine. Whew!

I also found it interesting that review and feature sites for both Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers–even from the old publisher days–are still up and active. Some things just never fade away!

While this exercise was fun, it took a lot of time. From here on, I’m going to review the old posts more frequently and make sure old broken links don’t stay around.

If you run across a link that doesn’t work or goes somewhere you don’t expect, please let me know. I’ll correct that right away.

Keep writing.

 

 

Unique

Unique

Unique | Guy L. PaceHere’s the trouble with writing something different, unique. As I try to get reviews and marketing attention for Sudden Mission, Nasty Leftovers, and Carolina Dawn, I often come across the question “Are these like the Harry Potter books, or The Hunger Games?”

Uh. No.

And, that’s a problem. I can’t piggy-back off the success of other authors by claiming if you like The Hunger Games, you’ll love Sudden Mission. I’m not throwing shade on The Hunger Games or Suzanne Collins. She is a very good author and I loved her books, as I did J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

But, the Spirit Missions series–I think–is unique. It’s a teen Christian fiction series that incorporates some science fiction, fantasy, role-playing gaming, and a lot of spiritual elements. You won’t find anything like it on the shelves at a Christian book store–unless that store gets some copies of Spirit Missions.

Something Different

Of course, it all started when I set out to write something I wanted to read. For Christian fiction, I stumbled on Ted Dekker’s work. I found it fascinating and dealing with characters that weren’t cartoon simulations. That’s where I wanted to go. Write about real characters, facing challenges in the real world (okay, mostly real world), incorporating their relationship to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit during their journeys.

That’s where I went. I didn’t expect glowing reviews (but I got a few), and I expected a lot of knock-back due to the spiritual nature and some violence. I even expected harsh challenges to the Christian doctrine I chose to follow, and some shock with the way I handle aliens in Carolina Dawn.

What I got was positive feedback from friends who said their non-reader teens couldn’t put the books down. I just wish those teens would get on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and post reviews. I also got a couple of Spirit-filled Fiction awards and I hope Carolina Dawn earns one, too.

Self-publishing

Since my former publisher closed their doors in 2016, I’ve struggled with the marketing and promotion. It’s not easy when your product is so different or unique. I got some great help from fellow authors on the net and from friends and family around the country. I also received good advice from Rachel Thompson and her 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge.

So, I keep plugging along. Maybe someday someone will publish something and make the claim that “if you liked the Spirit Missions books, you’ll love <new book title>.” It’s a nice dream.

Keep writing.

 

Good and Evil

Good and Evil

Good and Evil |Every work of fiction by any author deals with good and evil on some level. Put simply, protagonists (main characters) are good. Antagonists (the bad guys) are evil. There are shades of gray on both sides. Not all main characters are squeaky clean, without sin, or perfect in any way. Just the same, not all bad guys are completely bad or even always guys.

The main characters are the ones we root for, the ones we want to win out in the end. In the process, they face adversaries and their own frailties, weaknesses, or imperfections. Through this, they change, learn, grow as characters.

This applies to fiction in any genre, be it science fiction, romance, fantasy, mystery, horror, or thriller. And it doesn’t matter if it’s Christian or secular. These are the stories we want to read.

Imagine trying to get behind a purely evil protagonist as a main character who is out to wreak revenge, death, and destruction across the fictional world. Well, I suppose you could if you were a fan of H. P. Lovecraft and Cthulu. Still, most characters that resonate with readers are good, and/or strive to do right.

The Good

When we create a main character (MC), there are usually flaws or issues that make that character not perfect. True, the MC is the good in the story and will attempt to do the good or right thing. But, what is the good? Usually, the MC has to step outside of his or her self and do something for someone else, for the community, the country, or humanity. Sometimes, that involves battling against incredible odds, an overwhelmingly powerful opponent, city hall, or solving a particularly difficult murder case.

The MC struggles through adversity, resistance, and often directly against an antagonist to accomplish the goal. But, the effort is to do the right thing. Defeat the bad influence, antagonist, and put the world right.

The Evil

The antagonist works against the MC. There is the ethically challenged city manager trying to skim from the city coffers. Then there is the competing love interest that uses nefarious methods to thwart the romantic efforts of the MC. Or, how about a dark evil being lurking in the abandoned metro tunnels, sending it’s minions out to thwart the efforts of the MC?

It boils down to the antagonist’s core motives of self: selfish, self-serving, self-aggrandizing. Not all the bad guys in fiction are purely evil. They may perform some acts of kindness out of a fractured attempt at redemption, but usually those fail. Unless, the point of the story is to bring the antagonist to some kind of redemption.

Life is full of examples on both sides of this duality. Most aren’t quite so well defined and obvious, but you can see them.

Keep writing.

 

 

Carolina Dawn Launched Wednesday

Launched

Carolina Dawn | Guy L. PaceWednesday (Feb. 14, 2018) Carolina Dawn launched. A lot of activity followed and I hope to see a review or two in the near future.

Oddly enough, since release most sales have been print, again. As an avid e-book reader, I find that strange. Years ago, I downsized my book collection to my favorites, signed first editions, and friend’s books. I still have a huge library available to me at home or on the road via my reader apps on my phone or tablet.

Amazon

Anyway, print editions are still a strong market and I’m glad I work production the way I do. In case you are new to Amazon, here are a few tips. If you become an Amazon Prime member, you can read up to ten e-books at a time for no cost. Part of your Prime membership goes into a pool of money to pay authors by the number of pages read. So, you can download and read any of my books, for example, free (as a Prime member) and I will still get paid.

Also, if you buy one of my books as a print edition, you can get the e-book version free. As a Prime member, you get free shipping on the print edition, too.

Now, I don’t know how long this will last, but both Barnes & Noble and Amazon have Carolina Dawn on a special lower price for the print edition (see the links on that book’s page).

Promotions

Earlier this year I set up a couple of promotions for Sudden Mission and Nasty Leftovers, anticipating the launch of Carolina Dawn. I expected to launch sooner than we did, so I have to wait to do any more special promotions. There will be some soon, so watch for them.

Keep writing.