Friday, October 30, 2009

What am I for Halloween?

Soaked and tired! Atlanta has had some recent turn of weather lately, and it has made this Hallow's Eve a very cold and rainy one! One of my jobs, besides writing and promoting websites and books, is as a Ghost Tour Guide in Atlanta. Tonight, my boss threw her 'Darkside of Underground' event, and it was, to say the least, something of a disappointment.

I felt bad for her, because I knew, invariably, that she spent alot of money on the event, and probably hadn't recouped as well. After all, we only had about 10 people show up. While I would like to blame it on the weather alone, in truth, the blame lies equally in three parts, the Weather, The Pricing Point, and the fact that bad directions were given.

The weather is self-explanatory. Despite the event being held indoors, it was rainy, and that is enough to discourage business.

The pricing point, was probably the mot important part. Entrance to the event costs about $30 USD; which is incredibly high for a niche interest with panelists and the like. Given that about one month went into promotion, and the event was limited to only Ghost Hunting and Paranormal interests, its hard to imagine anyone forking over $30 for such an event.

Lastly, there was a slight mixup about the location. We found out at the end of the night, through some intrepid attendees, that online directions had told visitors to park about a mile up the street, which is more than enough to dissuade traffic.

However, what the event did lack in traffic, it certainly makes up for in promise. can definatley imagine this event being the paranormal equivalent of Dragon*Con. However, there-in lies a problem, because Dragon*Con is the paranormal equivalent of Dragon*Con. But I definately imagine she will do well if she isn't dissuaded by this!

So thats the main lesson, you as the reader can gain from this. Just because the event isn't successful, it does build an asset value that cannot be readily quantified in dollar signs. However, this asset certainly leads to more of them. And that is notoriety. Im sure that the first Dragon*Con was barely profitable, if at all, and now look at it, it is one of the largest conventions in the country, and people fly from half-way around the world to attend.

It would be an interesting to try to quantify "notoriety" in a scientific way. However, I believe that this "notoriety" would be measured in advertisement labor hours, which would result in more attendees.

For example year one, your notoriety results in 10 labor hours of advertisment and pricing point of $30 sets the conversion ratio of one attendee for every four labor hours of advertisement. Thus, if you had one full-time employee who posts ads and spreads information via word of mouth for 160 hours (one-month), the total labor hours of advertisement would be 170, with a total of 42 potential attendees. This means you rake in $1260 worth of customers, while spending $1600 to acquire them.

However in year two, your notoriety, driven by a good experience from those 42 attendees, raises to where you get 100 free labor hours of advertisement. You set the pricing point at $20, and thus have a conversion ratio of one customer per two labor hours. This year you would do much better, getting 140 attendees and making 2800 in admissions, while only spending 1600 for advertising.

However,these are all estimates, and not based on any research. However, maybe I will do a more indepth study on my "Business Projects" blog. Right after I find out how much traffic per day a single backlink provides!

This will definately be useful for a zombie-themed event I am planning for Halloween 2010. Stay tuned for that if your in the Atlanta area!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Preview

Okay, hey readers, today I've got a juicy tidbit for you! As you know, Im the editor, writer, framer, promoter, web designer...pretty much everything for my company. That can be expected for a startup!

Anyhow, as you may or may not already know, I am currently writing two projects right now. Firstly, a new science-fiction book involving a zombie outbreak in Atlanta. This one I'm aiming at a literary agent, try to get it published by some of the bigger companies, if only so I can use the money to further push my own company.

Well, Im also writing for our newest comic series. We are going to produce two. The first one will be a free web-comic that you will be able to find on our website, updated by one frame a week. Kinda slow pace, but its what our budget can afford.

This first book, the free e-serial, will be about a Knight leading a unit in the midst of a war in an epic fantasy setting. His men are annihilated, and he is lost, behind enemy lines. He discovers by accident, in his attempt to escape the enemy, a ring that gives him the power to summon a spiritual guardian. The story tells of his geurilla war against the enemy, and coming to grips with the power he now has. What we are looking at for a name is Shadow Knight. It rings well.

The second though, will be an e-comic, sold in PDF form. Probably priced around 50 cents. A total of 6 pages, and a collected form every few months, of an 24 page thinbook. Pricing for it will vary, depending upon what sort of production deals we can get hashed out, but for you comic book fans, rest assured, we wont release it unless its $2.99 or under.

For this second book, it will tell the story of Milane, a Ranger who travels through the same land as mentioned in the story of Shadow Knight. What she discovers there truly shocks and horrifies her, and should make for a great read. Adult themes will be present for this publication, and currently it is un-named.

However, like I said, I promised you some good details, so you can look Here. On my Squidoo lens, you'll find page four of the first issue of Milane's story. Go ahead and leave comments, and if you have any ideas for a name, leave those ideas below.

Anyhow, take a look, and lemme know what you think!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Freebies & Blogging

Hey everyone. Just touching base with my readers, what few of you there are!

First of all, I would like to go ahead and point you this direction:

Suvudu Library

Listed in this link are several free books for download, including one by RA Salvatore. If your familiar with the Forgotten Realms and Drizzt Do'Urden, then your familiar with the works of Salvatore. Apparently the book is apart of his Demon Wars series, at least thats what I think it is called.

Nextly, I often get some similiar questions from my friends. Frankly, how to write a good blog, and how do I keep up coming up with unique content day after day. I mean, it makes sense, eventually, you would run out of things to talk about, right?

Yes of course, but hopefully, at that point you might have enough resource to purchase a blog post, at least one new one a week. You can usually get a 500 word post for about $10 and a backlink, maybe less if it is a new, untested writer.

But before you as a blogger, can get to that point, you must first write your own blogs. The first thing you should do, is dedicate a notebook. Whenever you see or read about a topic you think would be worth bloggin about, you should write it down in your notebook.

Then when your ready to sit down and write; look through your notebook and choose those topics that you think will be interesting to write about. Put it in your voice, but make it appeal to the reader. Notice how I am giving YOU some tips on how to write, not explaining the process by which I write. Eiter one will work, but talking to the audience directly is more effective.

However, blogging about things that happen to you in your everyday life, or about your dog or cat, will not appeal to the audience, unless you have some unique element to your lifestyle. So unless you are trekking through the amazon, writing a novel, or curing cancer we don't care. And we really don't care about fluffy humping your leg. Dont write about it, unless its for you!

Once you get past this, then you come to the minutia, ie make sure you check spelling and don't sound like a moron. Don't offend you audience. And always read your columns.

When you have something funny to say (or meaningful), incorporate it into the lesson you are giving the audience. It works much better, and it is those little elements, and those stories about your life (when successfully incorporated) that will add character to your blog!

Nextly, another comment exercise! Tell me some of the stupid Halloween Jokes you've heard. Ill go ahead and start off!

What am I going for this Halloween?

Im going to buy an Affliction Tshirt and go as a Jackass!

All credit for that Joke goes to Specialist Mac in my unit, the 178th MP Company out of Monroe, Ga. That doesnt make it any less funny! Anyhow, go ahead and it me with your comments!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Small Post

Hey Everybody!

Im still busy at work with my novella, as well as my other projects. About my new manuscript though, I will tell you it is about a Police Officer in a not-so distant, much more utopian future, and a resulting outbreak of zombies. Ive got great plans on how to promote this, and some ideas for free events in the Atlanta area during Halloween 2010! I know, Im far-sighted!

Okay I've got two questions for those of you out there. Firstly, I recently discovered a Steam Punk novel that features Zombies. What are your opinions about horror being crossed with other strains of fiction to form hybrid fiction? Most of them cross anyhow with science fiction, but there is a basis for Zombies to exist in fantasy fiction (I.E. Necromancy). Just rattling the old braincage, but what are some ideas about Zombies that we have yet to see?

Second question, what are your opinions of the game Human Vs Zombies? Ive seen it played online, and I want to include it in my Halloween 2010 stuff. Opinions?

Also, please take a second to subscribe to me, and comment. I'd really love to get some input about my blog. Anyhow, like I said, this was to be a short, unedited post. I hope it doesn't show too much!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Book Project

So, I've got a new book Im working on. It's got to do with Zombies and Science Fiction. Should be very interesting. I am, in all honesty, wanting to tell you all about it, but yall will just have to wait!

However, for what its worth, Im going to market this next project with a Literary Agent. Ill probably use a pseudonym, so that my work won't be confused with my company. And also, this way, I will be able to put alot more money into the company, given that this book takes off.

Check out my youtube for current comic book reviews: Here

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Insomnia Sucks

Hey yall, its me. Can't sleep, sometimes I have a hard time sleeping but its okay.

However, this did give me a chance to catch up on a story board for a new comic book that we will be publishing via Ill go ahead and give you some info now. Two projects. The first will be a free internet serial, four frames per month, published once month, until I get enough capital to higher a web master. At that point, it'll go to one frame a week. This free comic will take place in the Fantasy Kingdom of Eavton, which is in the same world as our Sedallia setting, just a few 1000 miles north. It will concern a soldier who is seperated from his unit, and finds a ring of some power.

A little pre-production note, the original intention was for the eComic to be about a US Soldier in a fictional nation called Kiraqastan, in the future about 10 years or so. However, we felt this would be too climately charged. So I am leaving it open to suggestion. Would you rather see a fantasy variant? Or a futuristic version that hits somewhat close to home? Current project title is Nightshade: Northern Ghost.

The second will be avialable as an eComic for $.99 on our products page, once a month, and we hope to put together a 22-page trade in a year or so. As to print, I have no idea how much that will cost at this point in time, though I imagine $2.99 MSRP wouldn't be so far off the mark.

The second series, which has the storyboard filled out, is untitled as of yet. It will be a more adult-oriented title, and some issues may be explicit. Those for general order, though they have some great art, won't be. The Explicit titles will have to be direct order.

The title will revolve around a female tracker and hunter, who is hired to map the land north of Eavton. What she finds there horrifies her, and she soon falls victim to the predations of the Shadow Lord, who is the Dark Lord of Astergoth, and is witness to his war machine.

Should all in all, be some great titles!

Im still drawing up some conceptual manuscripts for my next writing project. Nothing more to say on that!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Surrogates & New V-Blog

So I've decided to put this Blog down in type, while waiting for my water to come to a Boil. Ramen noodle goodness, it's my main source of sustenance as a student, and especially as a starving artist. That, and self-pity. Sorry, just a little writer joke.

Okay, so today I saw Surrogates. This much I can say, there always comes a time, every so often, where I see a movie, read a book, look at a website, and I always think, gosh I wish I had thought of that. And while this at first may seem like a slight downer its actually quite motivational, and helps me move towards my own projects.

Surrogates is one of those movies. A superb concept with a great script and great actor. Im not a Bruce Willis fanboy or anything, but he is a terrific actor. Now that I think about it, he has been type-cast a little, as either the introspective investigator, or the badass action hero. But either way, he is much more dynamic than that (I think), and even if he isn't he pulls those roles off well.

Whats great about Surrogates however,is the concept. Ive always imagined robots in science fiction as automatons, that is, autonomous units that function independently of human control and conscience. As such, it brings in deeper aspects of what it means to be humans, rights for sentience, and definition of life. Things like robotic laws become of vast importance.

However, in Surrogates, the robots are tools for humans. With one human, depending upon their level of wealth, owning this one tool which defines their lives, more so than a house or car, and possibly only second to their education, but a more viable asset. As such, a robot becomes probably becomes a huge purchase, and you can actively see in the movie, becomes the focus of people's lives. Whole industries are created that deal with cosmetic and maintanence of the Surrogates.

I wont reveal any more of the plot, other than the relationship between humans and surrogates, and the importance placed on them, is one of the major themes.

However, it does remind me, in many ways, of the importance that people place on computers. And how these machines are so similiar to the surrogates. We use them to do business, to represent ourseves (social networking), to automate our lives. Everything. And how dependent we are upon them, and if we could trully ever revert back to more a more primitive state.

I have no doubt we would. There are many people in most industries who make their living without heavy reliance on technology. And there are those who rely on it, but make sure they have other passions or hobbie beyond the confines of technology. Just the existance of this movie, in my opinion shows our ability to be independent of technology. But it is so interesting to see a vision of the world as it might be, given those conditions.

What do you guys think? Could humanity survive a catastrophic loss of technology? What about a gradual campaign to reduce it?

Okay, also, I have a new Video Blog started up! Check it out!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beating the Block (A Novice Writer's Perspective)

Okay, this one goes out to all you other writer's out there. I'm not going to claim to know a cure, and I know, generally speaking, that every author has their own way to beat up writer's block. I can only tell you what I think, and some things that help me.

And firstly, this applies to all authors, whether your writing for a blog, a fiction writer, or a non-fiction writer. I know, that much might sound weird, but yes, if you are having to put your words on paper, they are still your words. Certainly, its a lot easier because with non-fiction the material is already there, you just have to express it. But expressing it can still be hard.

Alright, firstly Ill tell you about some of my experiences with writer's block. Then Ill go ahead and tell you some common causes, whether I define them, or they are from an outside force. Then finally, some suggestions for you to BEAT THE BLOCK!

Okay, firstly, my own experiences. Luckily for me, writing is a release for me, and helps my emotional state. Its just unfortunate that at this point in my career, my income from my writing is really limited, so others don't understand why I would do something that makes no money. Which led me to something, believe it or not, that annihilates my writer's block. Ill get to that later.

However, what I'm trying to say is that my writing relieves my emotional state. My writing generally increases my stat of mind, and it really takes a massive depression for it to be blocked. And that rarely happens to me.

However, sometimes I just write, and after 10 or so revisions, I develop the block. One such recent happening was recent, when I was writing an adventure for an RPG campaign I run. Yes, not a project for release or profit, and the vast majority of my work doesn't get released. I only release things for two reasons, either I think it will be commercially successful, or I think its something that needs to be released.

Anyhow, this adventure was actually a mystery adventure involving the investigation of a murder. Should be simple, especially for something that I don't plan to release, right? Well, like I said the block isn't associated with just things you want to publish.

I wanted to add a level of depth to the plot, that would make it intriguing, without destroying the atmosphere I had created with the setting. This was becoming increasingly difficult, so I did one of the things I usually do, I listened to music.

At first I turned on the television to MTV, and was listening to a certain pop diva sing about rings and fingers. I think you know who I am referencing. I watched the video for a second, which included about three dozen women in leotard outfits bending over and slapping their butts. While normally, this material would be interesting to me, if in a different cinema context(involving much more nudity)...that day it was just annoying. And while I don't dislike this artist, I wasn't in he mood for sexy pop-diva.

I quickly turned the television off, and searched desperately for my IPOD. I'm horrible about losing my stuff. I finally found it, and found sweet salvation, in Anthrax "I'm the Man '91" Yeah, I'm old school like that. But the only thing I could think of, at this point was the Pop Diva and her dancers bending over slightly and slapping their butts, all to the beat of Anthrax. It was like my own little movie. And it was awesome!

I quickly broke free of my creative rut, and created a ghetto neighborhood of halfling fishermen who resided on their fishing boats in fishing clans. From here I was easily able to craft some NPCs, a good background for the victim, and a twist that made for a good story.

Yeah, so my conflicts with the Block are...weird. To say the least.

Okay, so how does this apply to you? Well just giving you an example, and something to laugh at can sometimes help. And remember, it doesn't happen to only just you. A million writers have done this before you, a million more will go through it after you do. That's a little slogan I got from the Army, modified of course.

So what contributes to the block? As I mentioned above, many things do, and one of the common causes is emotional states. However, others exist, from the purely mundane (lack of sleep) to the truly profound (change of life). I define blocks as complex or mundane, the difference being if it has clear causal relationship or not. I also add in a scale of temporary or not-temporary. This is defined as whether or not a person wants to handle a block. There is no such thing as a permanent block, which is why I don't use the term. There is only the matter of whether or not you want to break the block.

I define a block caused by an emotional state as complex and temporary. Its caused by some element of your life that usually puts your emotions out of balance. And though these causes can be long-lasting, it is only temporary, and there are always ways to deal. For minor emotional blocks, this blog offers practical solutions. For major ones, only time will really heal those.

I define a block caused by something physical as mundane and temporary. It, like an emotional block, has a cause, and is only temporary. The problem is evaluating the block and taking steps o remove it. Medication for depression and sleep are some simple solutions. This blog is not really aimed at this sort of block.

I define a block caused by a lack of creativity as complex and temporary. It has no clear causal factor, but is usually only temporary. Often many elements that will help with an emotional block will break the mental/creative block. This blog is aimed at this block.

Lastly, this blog is not designed to help those situations whereby you no longer want to write. It can only help if that is what you want to do. My advice, if you don't like writing, and only remain because of money, or maybe concepts of identity, is to go ahead and bite the bullet. Hopefully you have enough support to make the transition seamlessly.

Okay, so what are some ways to defeat the block? I have, in my personal experience, two ways to defeat the block. A creative infusion of some sort, or work. Some authors can push past a block, or write through it. I don't promote this method, but sometimes, there are points in a story that you need to just move beyond to motivate yourself. I encounter at least one of these points in every project I encounter. Sometimes I find a way to turn tragedy to triumph, but I will admit, I have put some crappy words onto paper just to move on.

Firstly, a creative infusion. Simple enough. Sometimes you just need to listen to music or get out to a movie to move on. Just remain mindful of your budget. Don't do things you don't need to, because, as far as I know you cannot claim writer's block on your taxes. Though you can claim research for your it for what its worth.

Secondly, work. Something vigorous and laborious. It does so much to cleanse the mind and body. Go for a good two-mile run. I do at least a mile every other day, and a min of 4 miles a week. Its great for your health. However, I also do transcription work moonlighting. There is nothing like hearing someone else's voice for four hours to motivate your own words. Trust me on that one.

Not to mention, while I'm doing transcription I make $10 t0 $20 an hour, which is good for the whole income thing. I found transcription to prove I could make money right off the bat from writing. I can say this though, if you have a low tolerance for typing...don't attempt it. Its stressful and puts a lot of wear on the hands.

Well, I hope that my insight helped you. Hopefully you can get back to work on your next greatest project!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Alright, so Im tired. That much is for real. My schedule of when I sleep is slightly screwed up. I sleep, now between 6 PM and 10 PM. Wierd right? But enough of my insomnia...

Firstly lemme go ahead and put this out there, if you dont know, the company I represent is Crimson Star Entertainment. Its a small, little known company that provides publising for independent authors. Namely, me. Within the compay, I go by the name Emperor, or just Emp...I dont know why, it suits me well.

We mostly publish Fantasy and Science Fiction stuff, though Horror and other things of a Counter Culture nature aren't out of the Question. With all that said, here is our link:

About me? Im an Atlanta Native, I go to Georgia State University. Im a member of the US Army National Guard, and very underemployed. I work downtown giving ghost tours and walking tours to paying customers.

Im somewhere between starving artist and working poor. The economy is tough, but I can go to school, and I know there is alot of people out there who have it worse than me.

So I dont ask for charity. However, if you like my products, I ask that you remember that your money wont be going into the wallets of some mega-publisher fatcat, it will go to a struggling, yet very talented and creative student. Haha. So feel free.

Alright, now that I have introduced myself, I expect to have a good bit more to say tommorrow!