Of Sabbaticals, Life Changes, Writing and Building a LEGO House

Guess what, everyone? I’m BACK! Here’s a long overdue update from my personal blog, “Random Musings of a Pseudo-Madman Version 2.0.” Please read and hopefully enjoy!

Random Musings of a Pseudo-Madman, Version 2.0

“I’ve been here before.”

William MacNuff, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD

Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening, fellow denizens of my subjective reality on this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence. You all remember me from the past, if such a concept can and does exist here. Past? Present? Future? All are meaningless in a place where we live from sunrise to sunset. Breathing, eating, sh*tting, f*cking… you know the litany. My last post could have been written a day, a month or a year ago and I would not know the difference. As I have learned over the last 38, almost 39 years of my life, time is relative. The urge to write? To revisit “Random Musings of a Pseudo-Madman Version 2.0” has been there… been here the entire time. But sometimes, friends? Sometimes, you simply need to take a bit of a break. Whether you had planned to or not…

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The World Loves a “Troll,” Sarcasm Fully Intended

So last night, I received my first negative review of ENDWORLD – A Novel. Not a bad ratio, really: 10 total, positive reviews to one negative (six on Amazon, one on Barnes and Noble and three on Goodreads = 10). Don’t worry: I’m not going to spend the next x-amount of paragraphs defending myself. I’ve always said that I did not expect everyone to like it. I don’t enjoy every book that I read. Why would I expect the entire world to enjoy mine?

It’s not the fact that it received a bad review that is… for lack of a better phrase, “sticking in my crow.” It’s the fact that while there’s no way to be sure, I have a feeling the person that called ENDWORLD – A Novel “awful” is a “troll.” For those of you unaware of what a troll or “trolling” is in modern day, net-speak, look no further than my good friends at Wikipedia:

Troll (Internet): In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally, or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion (Source: Wikipedia). 

Mind you, this is just my opinion. The reviewer may not be a troll. He may be nothing more than a person with no command of basic sentence structure. But me? I’m going with a troll.

Normally, I wouldn’t react like this. I’ve encountered trolls before and have given them about as much thought as I give a non-existent boil on my a**, i.e. none. Maybe the reviewer really did give ENDWORLD – A Novel a chance and determined:

Awful! this junk is just not my bag! Could not get through the first 50 pages, kept falling asleep. I need to stick with action thrillers 

Poor grammar and sentence structure preserved 100% from what he wrote on Amazon. Incidentally, the same party has only ever reviewed one other book, and he did so on the same day–yesterday–that he reviewed mine. The review is of The Last Man: A Novel by Vince Flynn and it states:

RIP vince Flynn. Written when Vince was in cancer therapy, I believe, this might not have been his best but was still Mitch Rapp as I,ve grown to love him. Looking for some one to continue the Rapp series in Vince’s memory. 

Again, poor grammar and sentence structure preserved 100% from what he wrote on Amazon. He gave that book five stars. I include it herein as a point of comparison (he gave my book one star) only. I’ve never read anything by Vince Flynn so I’m no judge of his work. This isn’t about him, God rest his soul. It’s not about a bad review. Again, that’s not what’s “sticking in my crow.” It’s about a conclusion I came to last evening as I read his review of ENDWORLD – A Novel. That conclusion?

This guy is a complete, f’n troll. 

It’s written all over his profile–really nothing more than a name and a list of reviews; no point of contact, no picture: Nothing–and his piss-poor command of punctuation, capitalization et al.

Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe the reviewer really is legit and it’s just a poorly written review. If he is and he really hated the first 50 pages that badly then I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse. Dear reviewer: I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy ENDWORLD – A Novel. I’m sorry you weren’t willing to give it a chance beyond 50 pages. If you’d like, I will personally refund you the price of your purchase. Please email me at madchronicler@verizon.net with a copy of your receipt and I will either cut you a check, deposit the money into PenPal… whatever you’d like.

But I don’t think you will. You see, a legit reviewer, not interested in sowing discord but in warning other people not to “waste their money” on something like my novel would have given… well, a basis for their argument. All you did was wave your proverbial finger at it and call it a name. If you’re more partial to “action thrillers” that’s cool. I like them, too. But don’t torpedo someone’s rating and potentially their ranking on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or any site without a little back-up. I’m not saying debate me in a court of law. Maybe just… why? What about it was “junk?” Is it edited poorly? Let me know and I’ll talk to my editor about it. Is the writing not your style? Okay. That’s your opinion. I’m not going to change how I write for you but I will take it into consideration, especially if more people complain. Were you looking for more action and less exposition? Then I’ve got good news for you: Once you get passed the first 50 pages (bear in mind, I am setting up a trilogy of novels at the least here, and not one book) things pick up. Why? Give me a bit more and I’ll take you seriously. If you can’t? Well then. I guess you really are just a troll. Or someone with no command of basic sentence structure. Enjoy your chosen profession, whichever one it is. End rant.

They say that you never forget your first negative review and admittedly? I’ll never forget mine. I’m not upset. ENDWORLD – A Novel still has a 4.3 star average on Amazon/is up to seven reviews. Four more positive ones get me over my goal of 10 so ladies and gentlemen? If you are reading this right now and you read the book, regardless of what you thought of it, please post a review. Whether you do so on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Goodreads is your call. Like I’ve said numerous times before now (and mentioned above), I don’t anticipate that everyone is going to like The Endworld Series. That’s fine. That’s part of being “public” and not “private.” And if my rating drops because more people dislike it than like it okay. So long as they offer a reason or reasons. Regardless, I’m still confident in what I made “public.”

My offer of a free e-copy for an honest review remains, as well. It’s a standing offer. Anyone reading this that’s interested? Leave me a comment, email me (address above), DM me at “madchronicler97” on Twitter, message me on Facebook… whatever you want to do, and I promise: I’ll oblige.

The only way to combat trolls or people with little to no command of the English language in this day and age–’cause there really is no way to prevent them–is to counter them with real, legitimate critiques and that’s what I’m asking for. In the immortal words of Jerry Maguire, “help me help you.”

I’d be happy to.

Recapping a Whirlwind Couple of Days

The title pretty much says it all. These last few days–from the moment I announced that ENDWORLD – A NOVEL was available to purchase via Amazon and CreateSpace on Saturday, through the moment I got the email telling me it was available in the iBookstore today–have passed by in a seemingly endless haze of phone calls, texts, Facebook Messages, Direct Messages, emails et al. Not that I mind. Quite the contrary: I’m cherishing every minute of this. I honestly love how engaged everyone that I’ve “spoken” with is. It warms my heart, guys. Really, it does. Thank you, all. If this is my 15 minutes? Well heck, I don’t think I could have asked for better.

Let me tell you a secret: I hadn’t intended to tell anyone about the book’s availability until tomorrow, 5/1/13. It was a symbolic thing for me, announcing it at the beginning of May. I wanted to release it in time for Memorial Day and the summer reading season. Well? I did, just a bit earlier than I had anticipated, and before it was available in every format.

Still, it’s worked out pretty well. The book is now available almost everywhere. I say “almost” because the Sony Reader store hasn’t picked it up yet. Hopefully it’ll be available there soon. I know I’ve posted this info a couple of times, and you’re probably all getting tired of me doing so. Those of you that are can skip over this next part if you’d like. Those of you that are new to this site and me? Welcome aboard! And for your information…

ENDWORLD – A NOVEL is now available in print via:

  • Amazon (6X9, trade edition paperback, 448 pages): $15.99 EACH
  • CreateSpace (6X9, trade edition paperback, 448 pages): $15.99 EACH

And as an e-book via:

There you go. Painless, right? I wish I could say that I’m not going to be posting, Facebooking or Tweeting this info in the near future but sadly? I cannot. A big part of the whole indie publishing thing is shamelessly self-promoting your product. I knew that when I decided to go this route. Maybe I should have warned you all ahead of time. While I can’t promise a change in my strategy (if anything, it might get worse as Memorial Day gets closer), I can promise that I’ll do my best not to junk up your feeds too much. I consider what I’m doing controlled marketing, right now. I’m not forcing it down your throat (at least I don’t think I am), but I’m also not pretending that ENDWORLD – A NOVEL doesn’t exist. ‘Cause it does. And I’m pretty happy with how it’s doing, so far. I’ll leave it at that.

I’m not going to do what I do over on Random Musings of a Pseudo-Madman Version 2.0 here. I’m not going to ramble on and on for paragraphs about nothing. If that style of writing/reading is your “thing,” take a stroll on over there and see what my ole’ buddy the Madchronicler is up to (here’s a hint: Not much; he’s a bit preoccupied with the whole book release thing too). I’m going to be as short, sweet and to the point as I can be here. That said, I have a couple of “Quick Hits” that I’d like to share with you. Feel up to it? ‘Kay, then. Here goes:

  • You’ll notice, if you look at my sidebar, an advertisement for a new book called EYE CANDY. The author’s name is Ryan Schneider (@RyanLSchneider for all you Twitter-philes out there), and he’s the award winning, Science Fiction author of The Go-Kids series of books. I’m currently reading the first book, A SHADOW PASSED OVER THE SON, which is available for free download on Amazon, presently (http://smarturl.org/srtrq), and I just downloaded EYE CANDY, today (http://smarturl.org/srtrx) to read after I finish A SHADOW. Guys? He’s good. REAL good. The man knows how to write an entertaining story with lots of action, depth and character development. And his descriptiveness is bar none. If you’re looking for something else to read other than ENDWORLD – A NOVEL, give him a look. You won’t be disappointed. You can also head over to his website for more info: http://AuthorRyanSchneider.com/. Keep that URL handy. Ryan’s been gracious enough to offer me a spot in his Author Spotlight a bit later this month. Look for “10 Questions with Sci-Fi Writer Frank Marsh.” Coming soon. Thanks again, Ryan!
  • This past weekend, amidst all the hub-bub with my “book launch,” I joined the Independent Author Network, IAN (@AuthorNetwork, again, for my Tweeps). You can link their Home Page HERE, and you can link my IAN Author Page HERE. Why am I telling you this? Simple, really: Independent publishing, as you may have heard and as I’m coming to quickly learn, is an oft times thankless process. There’s a lot of work involved, and often said work doesn’t result in a writing career. But there’s a lot of good stuff out there, written by “Indies” like me (yes, I’m one of you now) that you should really give a chance. Check out IAN. The listings on their website can be broken down by author name, book title, genre et al. So if you want to read a book, don’t automatically run out and buy Fifty Shades of OVER-RATED. Check out Lorna Dounaeva’s “Sizzling, Psychological Thriller” FRY. Or Elizabeth Wilder’s historical, romantic fiction, THE SPRUCE GUM BOX. #Supportindiepublishing, check out #IAN1.
  • To “Anonymous,” who simultaneously published two identical, five star reviews of ENDWORLD – A NOVEL to Amazon and Barnes and Noble, thank you. Since I’m now in the business of shamelessly self-promoting my product, I’d like to include the review herein, mainly because it’s my first. Heck, I’d include it herein if it was terrible since it’s my first. I’m a reviewed author! Woohoo! Any way, it reads:

“This book is a wonderfully written coming of age story about William and Maria’s journey from a machine controlled life. Their journey has many twists and turns. It is an exciting story! A must read!!!”

  • To the person who called me from Colorado today on my cell, I’m sorry I missed your call. But you didn’t leave a message and your number’s not in my address book. Whoever you are, if you want to chat, send me a text. I’ll get back to you post-haste.

And with that? I’ve reached the end of this little recap. Maybe a bit longer than I’d anticipated initially, but I wanted to bring y’all up to speed on what’s going on. Everyone take care and until next we “meet,” happy reading!

F.

ENDWORLD – A NOVEL is Now Available for Purchase!

You’re reading that right, everyone. As of right now (actually, as of yesterday; same difference), ENDWORLD – A NOVEL is available for sale in multiple formats. I posted links to all of them in the “Where to Buy ENDWORLD – A NOVEL” tab on this website, and I will be posting more there as they become available, but I’d be remiss in my duty to shamelessly self-promote my debut novel if I didn’t repeat them here.

So, as of right now, here is where you can purchase ENDWORLD – A NOVEL:

IN PRINT:

  • Amazon (6X9, trade edition paperback, 448 pages): $15.99 EACH
  • CreateSpace (6X9, trade edition paperback, 448 pages): $15.99 EACH

E-BOOK:

Per the jacket description/the online description, “ENDWORLD – A NOVEL is set approximately 15 years after machines became self-aware in the not too distant future. The Administration–A totalitarian, machine run society that provides for, but suppresses humanity and controls a sizable portion of the world–has been at proverbial war with the last remnants of ‘free’ humanity that have dubbed themselves the People’s Rebellion for Freedom and Equality. The novel begins in the civilized, Mid-Western Territory and is the story of William MacNuff, a 17 year old who on the eve of his 18th Birthday decides to run away rather than be drafted into Administration service as a ‘humachine.’ He flees east down the eight lane, asphalt super Highway that the machines created, his destination a Rebellion controlled island, hypothetically established in the middle of the Great Sea called ‘Free Caymen.’ His best friend Maria Markinson runs with him. Along the way, they encounter a handful of people who assist them, join them and agree to lead them to their final destination. As they are pursued by a force of machines that grows in size with each passing kilometer, they fall in love, deal with death and betrayal, and reluctantly find themselves drawn into a deeper, ageless conflict, the outcome of which will affect not only their world, but all of existence.”

That’s the book in a nutshell, guys. There’s more to it… a lot more. Someone who was considering buying it (a co-worker) asked me to describe to them the type of novel it is and my response? Well, I answered her with the requisite, “A Sci-Fi, Dystopic, Romantic, Buddy Adventure with Robots,” that I’ve been answering people with for years. Judging from her expression, I’m not entirely sure that convinced her to buy it. But I was undeterred in my resolve to sell it to a potential customer. I explained it like this: Most novels follow a specific format. Almost like a bell curve. Exposition leads to build up leads to climax leads to denouement leads, eventually, to THE END.  ENDWORLD – A NOVEL follows that format, but it has multiple expositions,  multiple build ups, multiple climaxes and multiple denouements  But it only has one THE END. Or rather, one TO BE CONTINUED. It was never going to be just one book, after all.

Will she buy it? I hope so. But she’s not obligated to. No one is. I want the book to succeed or fail on its own merits or shortcomings. Will I market it? Of course. I’d be an idiot not to. There’s a reason why I’ve spend the last couple of weeks… heck, months trying to build more of an online presence. I’ll even buy a print copy and an e-copy for my Kindle, myself, because hell: It’s mine. I wrote it. Why shouldn’t I have a copy (or copies)? I’m even going to get a copy for the NOOK app on my phone. But in the end (and I’ve said this before), what I think of it really doesn’t matter. It’s not mine, anymore. It’s yours, guys. Pick it up and give it a look. And let me know what you think. If you don’t know how to reach me, check out the “About Frank Marsh” tab. There are multiple ways listed there.

And that, friends? That’s that. That’s my pitch: $15.99 for a print copy (autographs are for free, and whoever gets to me first will get my first ever) and $3.99 for the e-book. I’ll even autograph your e-reader if you want me to. Buy whichever format you prefer. Or don’t.  But if you want to read an entertaining yarn, pick up a copy of ENDWORLD – A NOVEL today.

Enjoy!

F.