Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

I write with a baby in my lap. What's your excuse?

I write with a baby in my lap. What’s your excuse?

I planned on writing my trademark blog — humorous and in your face — but I just don’t have it in me right now. It’s midnight. My fiancée is asleep, my child is asleep, and that’s where I want to be so let’s get this over with.

Aaron Gudmunson asked me to participate in something entitled Coming Soon! Blog Hop. I agreed because Aaron is a good guy. Then there’s the fact that I’m trying to be more social and less of a recluse. So I agreed to participate, but it’s one of those “chain letter” type blog post where you post a blog then get three more to do the same. If you’ve read any of my blogs before — which you probably haven’t — I have a great disdain for chain letters. Phut! <That’s me spitting. I spit on chain letters. But like I said, Aaron is a good guy. I met him in an anthology, I don’t remember which one, but I do remember his story and I liked it. Check him out over at http://coldbrood.blogspot.com/, but whatever you do, don’t come back here. I’m rarely here anymore. But wait! Don’t go just yet. I have some news to share and a ridiculously generic interview to do. Stay with me long enough to read what I have to say then click on whatever link you want to take you away from here and don’t come back. Not because I don’t like you. I’m rarely here is all.

Before the interview I want to share some things with you. I would wait until after the interview, but I’m afraid you won’t last that long — premature evacuation is what the kids are calling it nowadays.

May 2, I have a humorous piece of work going up over at http://thehiggsweldon.com/. If the beginning of relationships started out as a job interview, how would the resumes look? Well, I wrote a resume in which a guy is trying to get the job of being some girl’s new squeeze. Check it out if you get the chance. If you forget, come back here, click on the link, then never return.

I also have a legitimate interview scheduled to appear May 6 over at http://cemeteryflower.blog.com/. Click on the link, locate the “Isolation” tab, and find my name. Should be fun.

I think that’s it. Are you still there? Good. Just hang on a little while longer. I swear I’m almost done. <That’s what he said. Here’s my Coming Soon! Blog Hop interview.

What are you working on right now?

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie and thought, Man! I wish I thought of that first. I think that all the time. If I had a time machine, I would procure a busload of novels and travel back to before they were written and write them first. None of Stephen King works. What Stephen King writes should only be written by Stephen King, but I’d definitely become the author of Pirates of the Caribbean. Anyway, back to the point I’m trying to make. All of my current works in progress are kept top secret – with the exception of the publishers I submit to and literary agents, and I cross my t’s and dot my i’s with them too – until it’s published. Yeah, that’s how original my ideas are.

However, I can say that I am currently working on short stories for pro market venues with the intention of spreading my name and establishing a greater reputation. And I must say things are going very well so far.

Next question please.
How does it differ from other works in its genre?

Well, my work has by Bennie L. Newsome on the cover page. No other work in its genre has that.

Next question please.

What experiences have influenced you?

I came into this writing game thinking all I had to do was write, present said writing to a publisher, and fame came instantly. That was foolish, amateurish thinking. Rejections taught me to write better, acceptances taught me not to say yes to everyone who told me yes. If you’re published in a forest and there’s no one around to read it, are you really published? No. And this revelation taught me not to submit to just anybody. In the end, my experiences have taught me to have more patience, my writing has evolved, my standards are higher and uncompromising, and I’m a whole lot closer to my goal than I was when I started.

Why do you write what you do?

I write what I do because it’s who I am. My work is humorous at times because I like to laugh. Horror is my favorite genre to read, so of course I’m going to write about horrifying situations. If you notice me give a shout out to God in my work, it’s because I know He exists. I prefer to write for young adults and middle graders because they still read just for the love of reading. They’re not dissecting every sentence and proofreading the entire time. This is why I write horror, humor, or Christian fantasy for young adults and middle graders.

How does your writing process work?

My work stems from a single idea. The BoogeyMann came from me asking, “What if a man scared his children as punishment instead of whipping them?” Life is no Fairytale came from me imagining the prince in Rapunzel climbing to a third floor apartment instead of making his way to the top of a tower.  Agape was born from the question, “What if these crows following me were actually angels in the guise of birds?” An idea presents itself to me and I just start writing, no outline. I never know what’s going to happen until it happens.
What is the hardest part about writing?

Finishing. I can start a story easy enough, but once I get to the middle I have to force myself to write, and by the time I near the finish line, I’m crawling. Probably comes from not having an outline.

What would you like to try as a writer that you haven’t yet?

Getting an advanced royalty check from a big publisher. I’d like to try that.

Who are the authors you most admire?

Stephen King. The man is a freaking genius. And I like James Patterson because his work can be ingested as easy as water, and he is a go getter. I love his work ethic. I also like John Grisham’s work, and J.R.R. Tolkien wrote my favorite books.

Who are new authors to watch out for?

How am I suppose to know? I’m too busy writing while reading the works of my role models. Plus, new authors are like roaches. There are a whole lot of us, we’re all over the place, and you never notice a particular one until it jumps off the wall and flutters in your face. And then you’re like, “Oh, s&%t! One of these damn writers flew in my face!” You slap ’em down and squash it with your foot.

However, this blog hopping dictates that I choose three writers to keep the “chain letter” going. I chose these authors (one didn’t respond and I don’t blame her), not because I’m familiar with their work — since I’m not. I chose them because they made an impact with me.

Rob Teun: He’s the most helpful guy I have ever met — probably because he’s from England. You don’t often see writers constantly promoting their peers, but Rob is always talking up others. He’s mentioning people on Twitter, Facebook, and he reads the works of others to leave reviews on designated websites. The guy is selfless, and because of that characteristic, I choose him as a new author to look out for. You can find his author’s page on https://www.facebook.com/rd.teun.3?fref=ts.

Shikhar Srivastava: He’s a fellow writer and Facebook friend. I always thought of him as a cool guy because of his posts, but one day – on Facebook – I proclaimed that I was on my way to being a bestselling novelist. Shikhar was the only one to comment on my post, and that comment was “#MeToo.” I watch as everyone writes and gets published and do “big” things, but still get nowhere. And they appear to be content with the hamster wheel. I, on the other hand, am shooting for the stars, and Shikhar earned my respect by stating that he shared the same intent. And for that, I chose him as a new author to look out for. Check out his blog space over at http://shikhartechlabs.wordpress.com/.

Alright. Final question, then I’m going to bed.

What scares you?

Just about everything. And because I know fear, I can write about it convincingly.

Good night. Thanks for stopping by, and don’t come back.

–The Ravings of a Madman

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It is finally here, folks! The time that I have been eagerly awaiting, and the time you all have been dreading. The release of my second novel, Life is no Fairytale, is upon us. Now I shall zip throughout cyberspace leaving news about my latest release all over the place while you all groan and silently ask that I stop bombarding you with this stuff. Facebook friends will mysteriously disappear, and Twitter followers will unfollow. Those who subscribe to my blog will delete their email notifications, unread. Ah! Being an author among the independent presses is a wonderful experience, I must say.

Now gather around all you under the sound of my virtual voice–which sounds a lot like Barry White, by the way–and let me tell you why Life is no Fairytale is worth the purchase. Let me tell you why Life is no Fairytale is worth your six dollars. I’m not going to point out the fact that you have the Twilight saga sitting on your bookshelves, which ran you about fifty dollars. I’m not going to point out the fact that you have Fifty Shades of Grey on your eReader, or that Zane is secretly your favorite author. I’m not going to point out any of these embarrassing facts. What I will point out, though, is that these books were written by women (and I’m not sure if a woman wrote Fifty Shades, but it’s a safe bet). Women own the romance market, and rightfully so, it’s a dreadfully boring genre. Now hold on! No need for you ladies to get all uptight. We all know that romance novels are full of talk, talk, blabbity talk, that eventually leads to a quick romp in the stable, or behind some bush, or on the deck of some boat. That’s the only reason people read romance novels anyway; in hopes of reaching the part where the wind blows through the crack of some woman’s naked arse while they make love to a stranger. My novel has none of that, and you want to know why? Well, first, my novel is suitable for both the mature and young crowd. Second, my novel was written by me, a man, and romance appears to be different for men than it is women. While sex is so abundant for women–so much so that they can stumble across it in a stank barn–it tends to be elusive for most men. Even married men who have a marriage license that guarantees them action rarely see any. If you’re looking for reading material that has a terrible plot, and lots of sex, you might want to try picking up a playboy.

You’re probably asking yourself, “What does his novel offer if there’s no sex involved?” Well, I’m glad you asked, you undercover pervert. My novel offers a tale of romance from a man’s point of view. It contains love, heartache, and humor to keep things from getting too mushy and boring. My character, Carmichael Lee Jones, will snare your attention in the beginning as he awaits his beautiful bride, Jocelyn. He takes you on a journey, back to when he first met Jocelyn in middle school. Carmichael talks about how the two of them were torn apart by circumstances, and blessed to be reunited in highschool, only to be broken up again by heartache. Through a series of unforseen events, Carmichael and Jocelyn come together once more as adults despite unfavorable circumstances. And as Carmichael recalls the passage he and Jocelyn took, the wedding is steadily progressing around him. The book is called Life is no Fairytale because in real life, true love is rarely a quick and easy thing to obtain, and it never seems to work out like you imagine it should. Life is no Fairytale is titled that because it was inspired by the Grimm Brothers’ fairytale Rapunzel which is not a pretty story itself; therefore, my title is saying, even a fairytale isn’t a fairytale.

Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, that sounds like a bunch of talkity-talk and it doesn’t even lead to a sex scene.” And you’re probably right, but there’s a distinct difference between my ramblings and someone else’s ramblings. Mine is interesting, and a person who reviewed my debut novel, The BoogeyMann, even made the same comment.

 …Big thumbs up for originality, this is not the story it seems to be at first glance. Starting with a humorous twist at the end of the first chapter, Bennie takes a family of seemingly ordinary people and weaves a peculiar but intriguing story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It takes real talent to make what seems so mundane on the surface into something so interesting.

Now you know about my novel, Life is no Fairytale. I highly recommend that you check it out for yourself. At least do yourself a favor. Read something that you don’t have to hide from your children, or spouse–and I’m talking about your dirty little secret, the Twilight saga. Heck, you’ll even find yourself sharing this novel with your family because it’s a must read by all. Life is no Fairytale is now available. If you have an eReader, that’s marvelous. If you don’t, that’s still no excuse. eBooks are available in multiple formats so you can download them to anything. If you’re reading this blog, then you have the capability to download an eBook, and Amazon.com even offers free Kindle downloads for the PC. Check it out. Where can you go to find my latest novel? I’m glad you asked.

Desert Breeze Publishing website: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-339/Life-is-No-Fairy/Detail.bok

And it’s available on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Life-Is-Fairy-Tale-ebook/dp/B0094I00EA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1346592310&sr=8-2&keywords=Life+is+no+Fairytale

I hope you enjoy. If you liked my novel, let me know. If it wasn’t your cup of tea, I thank your for your patronage anyhow. God bless… May the Force be with you… Peace–whatever your inclination.

–the Ravings of a Madman

(review was transferred from my website: http://www.bnewsome. yolasite.com)

Every once in a while, I’ll read some crappy piece of writing that makes me scowl at the Independent Presses. Then I come across writing like that in Little Bernie’s Map and I think Independent Presses aren’t all bad. Of course, Little Bernie’s Map was not published by an Independent Press, but you understand what I’m saying.

I met Troy (virtually, mind you) a few months ago when I was participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time. November is long gone, but we keep in touch through Twitter’s #WW and #FF and the occasional clicking of the like button on Facebook–best of acquaintances. Anyway, I caught wind of Troy’s short story on Facebook. He was giving the book away on Amazon for a limited time, and I thought, What the hey! It’s free, why not get it? So I downloaded the short story and let it sit on my Kindle for PC with the other stuff that I don’t read. Mind you, I have been disheartened by some of the work I’ve read from Independent Presses, so I don’t read them too much. I also hate reading stories on my computer. It feels too much like work. So Troy’s story sat there and I was content to let it be, that is, until I needed someone else’s work to feature on my website. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of seeing The BoogeyMann stuff all over my website. I wanted a breath of fresh air, so I thought, Let me see what Troy’s story is about.

I must say that I respect Troy as a writer, and I didn’t want to lose that respect by reading any of his work. Once again, it’s my experience with the Indie Presses. I found that I respect a writer, read their work, find myself thinking, What the hell was that? then lose said respect. Disheartening, like I said before. However, after reading Little Bernie’s Map, my respect for Troy grew. The man is a talented writer and this was showcased in his short story about a family returning home from vacation they couldn’t afford. Daniel, the main character, has just been laid-off; therefore, he and his wife anticipate harsh times to come. As the story progresses, their son Bernie is discovered to have a map (given to him by a stranger) and this map proves to have some mystical powers. The tale was full of wonderful imagery and I was so impressed that I went and purchased another story of Troy’s, The Uninvited Guest. This one won’t be sitting on my computer collecting…dust…in a manner of speaking. When you get a chance, go on over to Amazon and get an ebook copy of Little Bernie’s Map. It’s only 99 cents. What the hey? Why not?

My latest blog can be found over at my website: www.bnewsome.yolasite.com. Stop on by. My website could really use the traffic.

This is where the magic happens, where my imagination comes to life. This is my office. I use to do my work while sitting on the floor. I would prop my back on the side of my bed, my computer monitor sat on the bedside table, and the keyboard sat in my lap. Now I have a desk, and as you can see, Shardae allowed me to have a section of the bedroom wall. Yeah, I’m doing it big now.

Do you see that computer sitting on my desktop? That’s my most prized possession. If there was a fire in my home, the computer would be the first thing I ran to save, you know, after I secured my lady and child. I remember being a kid and having my folks ask me what I wanted for Christmas. “I want a computer,” would always be my response. Then my folks would comeback with, “What else do you want?” I didn’t want anything else. Owning a computer was my greatest desire. I guess I always knew I wanted to be a writer… that and I really wanted to be able to play Solitaire whenever the mood struck me. After being denied a computer for three consecutive years, my reply to what I wanted for Christmas became, “It doesn’t matter.” Why ask me what I want if I was never going to get it? I’m 25-years-old now and my response to, what do you want for Christmas, is still, “It doesn’t matter.”

Well, when I became an adult and started making my own money, one of the first major purchases I made was to buy a computer. I didn’t start writing right away. I did a bit of poetry, but I mainly listened to music, watched DVD’s, and of course, played Solitaire. One day I pawned my computer in order to pay my car note, but I made sure I got it back, and once I had it I promised never to pawn it again. I had a feeling that my computer was going to be extremely valuable in forging my future, so I couldn’t risk losing it. I never pawned my computer again no matter how tight money got.

I wrote my first book on that computer. I was pretty proud of myself, but I didn’t receive any encouragement from those around me. I tried to get the story published, was discouraged at the result, and I postponed my dream.

Sometime later, I remember accidentally dropping my monitor and breaking it so I couldn’t use my computer. I was unhappy about that. Shardae and I had just started dating then and she got me this old-fashion, bulky monitor from her sister. Shardae has always reluctantly supported me. And by reluctantly I mean, she voiced her disagreement about my decision to be a writer, and she has never read a word I wrote, but she does stuff like find me a monitor to replace my broken one, or rid my computer of viruses when it got sick that one time. It was Shardae who inspired me to work on my second book, Agape. I finished it back in 2009, but I never got it published. It’s now due for publication this September.

I eventually got a better looking, slimmer monitor and around that time I began to write seriously. The next book I would write was called, The BoogeyMann. I wrote dozens of short stories on that computer, and four novels. When everyone else was trying to discourage me from being a writer, my computer would encourage me with a swiveling screensaver that said, Bennie L. Newsome. The computer was my personal cheerleader, voicelessly yelling my name.

My computer and I have come a long way. We have achieved quite a bit and the two of us are still working to obtain greater heights. If there was a fire in my home, the first thing I would rush to save is my computer, you know, after I secured my lady and child. I do plan on replacing my computer one day, with a more updated model. The machine is not what I’m attached to. It’s the dream that a little child had years ago. The dream to be a renown writer like his favorite author, R.L.Stine. So yeah, I’ll replace my computer with a faster, sleeker model, and create another swiveling screensaver that will read, Bennie L. Newsome. And that new computer will continue to cheer me own as I trudge onward to greatness.

Includes my first accepted short story, “Summer Assignment.”

June has finally arrived which means that approximately a year has passed since my first publication. I don’t remember it like it was yesterday (I can barely remember yesterday), but I do remember opening an email from Denise Brown of May December Publications. I was braced for another rejection. Instead, I was met by the words, “your short story has been accepted into our anthology, Chivalry is Dead.” Of course those weren’t the words exactly, but you get the gist. I got my first acceptance in March of 2011 and I was a published author that following June. I may not remember that day well, but I do recall being very excited. I rejoiced silently to myself because my girlfriend was in the next room and I wanted to wait for the right moment to tell her the good news. Although, when you see a grown man prancing happily around the house, its not hard to figure out what’s going on. So I told my girlfriend, I told my mom, and I told my brother, Darryl. My brother was the only one who seemed genuinely happy for me. My mother and girlfriend lost interest when I told them that there was no monetary compensation. And they wonder why my first book wasn’t dedicated to them.

 Anyway. Since my first publication, I have had a butt load of short stories published in numerous anthologies. Some are very good stories, then there were those that didn’t translate well from my imagination to the computer. I had a short story nominated for a Pushcart Award. It didn’t win, but I was extremely honored that the editor thought it was good enough to submit. I also had a very good short story accepted into an anthology that will feature a renown bestselling author. That anthology, Songs of the Satyr, should be coming out soon. My latest and greatest acceptance was a poem that’s scheduled to appear in a Hallmark book entitled, Thanks Mom. Then there are those that I was embarrassed to see in print. Needless to say, I won’t elaborate on those. But all the success I did have started with a short story called, Summer Assignment. It read like a middle grade story while being filled with adult innuendos. The story was all humor and no horror, but it appeared in an anthology that has a wicked cover and some gruesome tales. I’m a comedic writer who likes to write tales for the young and old alike. Not everyone likes the stories I have to tell, or the way I tell them, but those people are usually the mentally depraved. They’re not happy unless you’re hacking someone’s head off, or spilling their guts. I can do that, I have done that, but I’m more at home with tales like: Summer AssignmentFrightening ClichésThe BoogeyMann. I rather have fun and make people laugh than scare the crap out of them.

And with that being said, I would like to thank Denise and Todd Brown at May December Publications for accepting a childish and silly person such as myself. They specialize in speculative horror, and yet they gave me my first short story acceptance — which was anything but horror. They also published my first young adult novel. They’re not the most perfect independent press, and the edits have not always been to my liking — I’m sure my lack of formatting didn’t help matters — but my work was published in a timely manner and the contributor copies always made their way to my doorstep. As a writer, I have grown and so have my aspirations. I don’t submit work to the smaller presses like I use to (mainly because I don’t have time to write like I use to), but I will never forget that I started out with a press called May December Publications. Terrible name for a horror press, I know, but would a zombie by any other name be less likely to crack open your skull and eat its innards? Nope. The results would pretty much be the same.

 

–The Ravings of a Madman

Here’s a little something different to shake things up a bit.