Tag Archives: book bloggers

My Book is Cheap!

Hey 3.5 cheapskates.

BQB here.  You might remember a month or so ago, I put my “Big Book of Badass Writing Prompts” up to $2.99.

The theory was that perhaps a higher price would attract the eye.  Weird, but sometimes people see a higher price and think, “Well, that sounds awesome!  Give me that!”

At any rate, the experiment failed, so back down to 99 cents I go.  It’s available on the cheap now, if you’re interested.

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Fridays with BQB – Interview #2 – Bloodsucking Fun with Rick Gualtieri

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Author Website

Amazon Author Page

Fortune. Hot groupies. Hair. Rick Gualtieri has none of these things, but what he does have is the highly beloved “Tome of Bill” series, which gives a shot of nerdy humor straight into the arm of the ever-so-played vampire genre.

I first heard of Rick when he was a guest on the Self-Publishing Podcast and he seemed like a nerd’s nerd, a geek’s geek, and a poindexter’s poindexter. I could be wrong, but he reminds me a little of myself, i.e. a nerd who is proud of his nerd-dom.

After all, the man maintains a priceless collection of vintage Transformers so he can’t be all that bad.

BQB = BOLD; RICK = ITALICS

QUESTION 1 – Rickster, let’s cut to the chase. Self-publishing. Writing advice. We’ll get to all that in due time but first, my 3.5 readers and I are dying to know…what’s the best piece in your vintage Transformers collection? Mine is a 1980s era Soundwave complete with one of those little cassette tapes that turns into a killer bird. Can you top that? Damnit, I know you probably can.

ANSWER:  Color me jealous. I never did manage to add Soundwave to my collection. So it’s probably a good idea if you don’t turn your back on me down any dark alleys. Accidents happen and all that … just saying. As far as my own collection goes, my prized possessions are all five of the original Dinobots. Thirty or so years later, they still kick all sorts of ass.

BQB NOTE TO SELF – Please remember to make an addition to my Last Will and Testament, naming Rick as inheritor of my vintage Soundwave, provided that he promises to rub the toy with fine scented lotions for three hours a day, including all Federal holidays, and allows an inspector to be named by me to make monthly observations of this ritual to ensure that it is done.

QUESTION 2 – Are geeks born or are they made? Suppose my 3.5 readers are geeks who are just trying to figure out how to make it in a world full of people who scoff at their glasses and nerdyness and obsessions with 1980s action figures. What advice do you have for them?

ANSWER: Be you. The most liberating thing in the world is not giving a single crap what people think about you or what you like. Worry about making yourself happy, not the rest of the world. The rest of the world is mostly stupid. Don’t listen to them!

QUESTION 3 – “Tome of Bill.” Let’s get to it. What’s it all about? What does a newb to this series need to know before diving right in?

ANSWER: Tome of Bill is basically an epic-sized mockery of more serious vampire stories. It’s the story of a gamer / geek who gets bitten – due to his own lack of foresight in realizing that some women are out of his league. And when he wakes up, he’s still him. Despite all the weird and wonderful powers of the undead, he’s still a dork and happy with that fact. Pity that the rest of the vampires aren’t nearly as pleased with him.

There’s tons of snark, action, blood, bad jokes, cursing, more snark, and eventually a plot that revolves around Maple syrup. I like to think it’s got it all.

QUESTION 4 – Do your readers appreciate the humor/vampire combo? I dabble in humorous horror myself, but sometimes I fear that horror fans just come for the blood spatter and don’t want to laugh, and comedy fans come for the yuks but don’t want their mellows harshed with blood and guts. How do you keep both camps happy?

ANSWER: I think it’s all in the expectations. When you go into, say, Army of Darkness, you kind of know you’re getting a mix of gore and jokes. That’s why it works. Conversely, if you turn on the Exorcist and suddenly Max von Sydow’s character starts cracking one-liners, it’s going to be a bit of a WTF moment. I think horror comedy works best when you give people a hint up front as to what they’re getting into that way you don’t tick off the hardcore splatter crowd.

QUESTION 5 – As an author of vampiric fiction, I’m going to say you’re qualified to opine on all vampiric matters, so let me ask you a question that has plagued me for years.

Whenever you watch a serious vampire movie, why the hell are all the victims so scared of becoming a vampire? Seriously. You stay young forever. You never die. Sure, you have to murder people and drink their blood to survive which could get tedious but you don’t have a conscience anymore so really, it all comes out in the wash. You live forever so you can study and learn a lot. Travel the world. Learn all the different languages. Glamour hot chicks into being your love slaves (which my lawyer advises me to say in this highly sensitive climate we live in that this would be wrong, totally wrong!) Plus, if you live forever, you can save forever so really, become a Wal-Mart stock-boy for 100 years and by the end of the century you’ll be loaded.

Am I missing something? Is there a downside to becoming a vampire? I’m thinking about just lying around a cemetery with some hot sauce on my neck in the hopes I’ll become a vamp victim.  Can you talk me out of it?

ANSWER: I personally think it’s more the fear of dying … and what happens if the process either doesn’t work or the vampire has no real intention of turning you. It’s like “Hey, congrats, sucker. Now you’re really dead.”

I mean, heck, otherwise it would be no different than going to the hospital for some minor surgery and waking up with superpowers (and maybe a sun allergy). There’s probably more that plays into it. Fear of never seeing a sunrise again maybe (not a big deal for those of us who avoid beach days), or possibly fear of losing our minds and slaughtering everyone we know. That last one is pretty much the only issue that kind of bugs Bill after he gets turned.

But heck yeah. Aside from that, sign me up for a couple hundred years of compounded interest.

QUESTION 6 – Vampires. Zombies. What’s the next horror monster craze? I’m betting chupacabras. Lots of angsty teen dramas about goth kids who give their teachers plenty of guff by day and sneak onto a farmer’s ranch by night to eat all of his goats.

ANSWER: Personally, I’m all about killer sasquatches myself. But those have limited terror appeal in a city setting. Whatever it is, I want to be at the crest of that wave. Maybe a story about C.H.U.D.s … our hero wakes up one night with an insane urge to live in the sewers and dine on human flesh. Hilarity ensues.

Hmm, let me go write that one down now, while it’s fresh in my head.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE: And here I thought I was the only one talking about C.H.U.D.s.

QUESTION 7 – The self-publishing game. Is it worth it? I know for me, there are times when it feels like its just one giant hamster wheel and I’m a furry little rodent just waiting for a piece of cheese that will never come. Are there times when you just want to say “screw it” and go take a nap and/or eat cookies and/or watch TV? If you never feel like that, what keeps you going strong? If there are times when you feel like that, what helps you get past it?

ANSWER: I won’t lie. The self-publishing game is only going to get tougher because we’re in a maturing market. The boom days are ending. There’s a lot of people making short term bank right now via a variety of ways (ie. churning out books faster than a puppy mill), but I try to view it from the long term. My goal has been and continues to be writing (hopefully) good stories that people will want to read today, tomorrow, or years from now. Even then, it’s a tough business to be in.

There are always going to be times when I get discouraged, want to walk away, don’t want to do something et cetera. But realistically that’s not any different than any other job I’ve had. What keeps me going is that I really love doing this. It just feels right.

And even if somewhere down the road I have to hang up my hat and move on, I can do so with my head held high. I’ve done far more than I ever thought possible. Nobody can take that away from me.

QUESTION 8 – You’ll never believe this. One of my 3.5 readers just told me she wants to begin a journey towards a self-publishing career TOMORROW! Note that I said this person is a she because #2018 and I’m trying my best to stop being a knuckle driving caveman but it’s really hard sometime because I was alive during the 1980s. What advice do you have for this person? What is the very first thing this person should do?

ANSWER: Despite all the advice on building a platform, creating a marketing machine, or owning social media, she has to have a good product first. Make sure that book is the very best she can make it. Seek advice and honest opinions. Polish it up. And while she’s doing that, take some time and study the market. Explore the covers, blurbs, et cetera of those who are selling well. Then try to do what they do, but better.

QUESTION 9 – Bram Stroker comes back to life tomorrow. Is he surprised to see what the vampire genre he invented has become? Is he happy about it? Sad? Are vampires as cool as they used to be?

First I laugh, because you called him, “Bram Stroker.” That is definitely my new porn name. After that, I stake the bastard before he can suck my blood! Okay, fine. I’m not that tasty.

Seriously, I’d like to hope he’d be flattered in some ways, although, I wouldn’t blame him at being a little horrified either. We’re sort of coming down from a bit of a high in the vampire craze. He’d probably wish he’d come back when Buffy was still on the air. I know I would.

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  That’s the last time I hire a chimpanzee to proofread my questions. 

QUESTION 10 – A maniacal supervillain has locked you in his secret lair. You are surrounded by hideous, bloodsucking vampires. Like seriously, not the hot “True Blood” kind but the ugly kind, the ones that have gone all pointy eared and feral.
There are three and only three items in the room. A lasso. An album autographed by 1990s hip hop group Bell Biv Devoe and a taco seasoning packet.
How will you use these items to save your neck?

ANSWER: This one is easy. I pull out the album and fling it at one vamp like it’s a ninja star … then watch in horror as I completely miss and it shatters against the wall. But at least I’ve spared myself from listening to it.

So then … I hook one of the vampires with the lasso, drag him in, and then pour the taco seasoning in his ear in the hope of totally frying his brain. In the chaos, I whisper to him that he’s actually a horse and together we ride off into the sunset, or at least as far as I can get in the sunset before he dissolves into goo.

It’s that or I die horribly, realizing that I should have watched a lot more MacGyver growing up. Damn you, Richard Dean Anderson!!!!

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  Everyone should watch more “MacGyver.”  The old one, not the reboot.  I’ve run it past my advisors and they all remarked this escape plan sounds valid, though they note that while Bell Biv Devoe may not be for everyone, everyone can always benefit from the key piece of advice these noble philosopher poets offered to the world, namely, to “never trust a big butt and a smile.”

Wise words indeed.  Thank you, Rick.  May your All-Spark never dim.

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I’m Available for Interviews

Hey 3.5 readers.

If you have a blog and would like to interview me, BQB, for it, because apparently only 3.5 people only read your blog too or else why would you waste your time on me, I’d be happy to, seeing as how my book is free all this week.

Leave a note in the comments or send me a Tweet or DM on Twitter – @bookshelfbattle

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My Book is Scarily Awesome!

Hey 3.5 Hallo-weiners.

BQB here.  Boo!  And so forth.  Sorry, I’ m out of candy because I ate it and told the kids to get jobs and buy their own because this isn’t Russia and we aren’t filthy commies.

But that’s ok because I have the best treat ever.  My book of Badass Writing Prompts is only 99 cents and well, if you’ve been reading this blog, and I know 3.5 of you have, then, you know, I don’t mean to be a dick, but come on, open up your wallet and make a tiny contribution towards keeping the lights on in BQB HQ.

There’s nothing scarier than a writer who has not read my badass book of writing prompts, that’s for sure:

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Help Me Get Over 500 Facebook Page Likes!

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

My Facebook page is currently at 387 likes.  Can you help me get it over 500?  All you have to do is visit and like it.  Then you’ll have my posts in your feed and then you’ll have an excuse to ignore your Cousin Larry’s post about his lunch because you’ll be too busy reading my stuff.

https://www.facebook.com/bookshelfqbattler/

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My book is free!

No strings attached.  Download it for free on Amazon.  Read it.  Don’t read it.  You don’t have to do anything other than get a free book:

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Get My Book for Free!!!

Hey 3.5 cheapskates.

World renowned self-published author Bookshelf Q. Battler here with some good news.

First, I’ve renewed “BQB’s Big Book of Badass Writing Prompts” for another term with KDP select, which is great news for Amazon as I know they have really been counting on all those extra cents I have been bringing in for them.  Jeff Bezos can finally afford to put some crème in his coffee and it’s all thanks to me.

Second, there’s good news for you 3.5 skinflints because now, you can read my book for free.

Look, I get it.  You’re all poor.  Really poor.  But that’s cool because now you don’t need money to enjoy my book.  You can get it for free right now and all this weekend right into Tuesday.

So what are you waiting for?  Go grab my book today and you’ll be able to write like me, BQB:

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How the West Was Zombed – Cover Contest – New Poll

Hey 3.5 readers.

BQB here.

I’m stuck.  Having a hard time picking a winner for my How the West Was Zombed book cover contest.

It’s down to two.  There’s the first with the cowboy in the trenchcoat, a shadow of the cowboy looking down over the shadow of a cowboy riding a werewolf, chasing a train and fighting zombies.  I like it because this designer actually attempted what I was looking for and it reminds me of a Louis L’Amour novel cover.  They all usually feature a solid color on the front and then a drawing of a cowboy doing some cowboy shit in the center.

The second one seems pretty standard, a bit of a tribute to Clint Eastwood.  I put two different versions, blue shirt vs. black shirt.  He wears a black shirt in the story but the blue shirt seems to pop more on the cover.

I think I like the first more but my gut tells me the thumbnail of the second would pop more in the Amazon store and sadly that’s usually what matters most.

What do all 3.5 of you think?

https://99designs.com/contests/poll/d5bp3j

 

 

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Toilet Gator Second Draft Production Begins

3.5 readers, I am so excited to tell you that I have begun the long, hard slog toward finishing a second draft of my beloved novel, “Toilet Gator,” which really and truly is the best novel ever written about toilets, gators, or toilet gators.

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My goodness, 3.5 readers.  Isn’t that a wonderful cover?  Anyway, this is the first time I have begun a second novel draft.  It seems like it will be a long, arduous process.  The novel is approximately 140,000 words and so far I have rewritten 7,000 of them.  It is nice to be able to start solving problems I saw as I wrote the first draft but felt it would just slow me down to fix them, so now the time to fix them has come.

I hope when this book comes out, you will all support it and tell your friends, because if Toilet Gator is a success, then I can really bank some cash on the sequel, Son of Toilet Gator:

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You don’t even want to see what the cover of Book 3 will look like.

3.5 readers, I’ll be honest.  I’m no spring chicken and the older I get, the more I just want to stop and smell the daisies, then lie down in the dirt and wawit for the moss to grow over me.

So, if this blog makes you happy, and you think that being able to read wonderful books like Toilet Gator and Son of Toilet Gator would bring joy to your life, then please, do what you can to support my little enterprise here.

Read this fine blog.  Tell your friends.  Help get me some traffic.  If I can make money off this, then I can put more time into entertaining you, my beloved 3.5 readers, who I would never want to see be eaten by a toilet gator.

Do watch out for toilet gators, 3.5 readers.  They’re everywhere and in greater numbers than you’d think.  Frankly, I have taken my life into my hands by publishing their secret, so much so that I get scared every time I sit on the throne to poop now, and not just because I’m a burrito fan.

Stay tuned, 3.5 readers.

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Someone in England Bought My Book

Do I have to fill out twenty forms to be able to accept the 29 British cents or is that Amazon’s problem and I’m accepting money from Amazon, an American company?

I dunno.  I don’t want to be accused of being a British spy for accepting 29 British cents just because some guy in Liverpool wanted to check out my writing prompts. Lord knows I have always vowed to report redcoats wherever I see them and I have never allowed the King to quarter troops in my domicile.  Also, I never drink tea and have urged all of my neighbors to throw their tea into the nearest harbor.  I even burned all my Beatles albums…except for Hey Jude because if you can listen to that song and not cry you are a heartless bastard.

Surely, someone out there has had your book bought by a British person…what do you do?

(Also, thank British person for buying my book.  If anyone else wants to buy it, they can do so here.)

Bookshelf Q battlers for Amazon

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