Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Son of a Gun gets 9 stars at Outlaw Reviews!

A nice review of Son of a Gun at Outlaw Reviews! here

Nine out of ten stars and insightful comments. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 18, 2011


We see all the statistics about crime going up during a full moon. And hear about unbalanced people becoming more unbalanced and animals getting a little wacky. So I guess I should be grateful that my luna only results in ghastly insomnia.

I'm not even a little sleepy. The dogs are asleep. All the lights in the neighborhood, except of course the street lights and those on the freeway nearby (this IS Los Angeles) are dark. Even the weirdo who lives in the building behind mine. Who stands out in the driveway sometimes at 2 a.m yelling things like, "where are my pants?" and "well I can't find my keys. They're in my pants. hee hee". Even he's asleep. Or passed out in a gutter.

But I'm wide awake. Like a cartoon of awake. Eyes wide open, bloodshot, craaaazy looking.

A long time ago my girlfriend said I must be a werewolf.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

How to read a review

I love a good review. What writer doesn't? Sometimes I feel like a chimp scribbling in a cave, here, with very little feedback from anyone but my editor and my best friend (who still thinks its amazing that I've been published at all, so the bar is a little low). The positive feedback is heaven. AND a well-written review can give you some clues as to what you are doing right. Which is super nice.

But I get icky reviews. sad face. Of course I do. I'm not going to point them out because a: I'm not telling you this so you can go kick the crud out of that mean reviewer. and b: I'm kind of hoping that minimal attention will make the review disappear, if not from the internet, at least from my memory.

But what to do with it? I mean, it's a well thought out review. Written by an intelligent person who knows the biz.

Let me tell you about my very first bad review:

I was in fifth grade and had just written what I felt was an interesting and exciting story about a dog who defended a child from some bad person. I felt that it was the most brilliant and facinating thing I had ever penned. It was written as an assignment and when the teacher spoke to the class, having graded our stories and before handing them back, she offered up two which she hoped we would use as examples. One being an example of a good story, the other an example of a horrid one.

Guess whose was the horrid story?

Sad face. With tear.

After the mortification, instead of hating the teacher, whom I actually adored. Instead of complaining to my mother or my best friend. I studied the notes on the paper. It was kind of hard to ignore the big fat red 'D' at the top, but I think I have managed after a couple of decades to avoid the errors that my fifth grade teacher pointed out. Now I've got a whole nest of new nasty habits and problems, of course, but I'm slowly scaling the mountain and I hope I get a little better every time.

So, what to do with a bad review?

Learn from it. And next time, write better.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Want to write a compelling blurb?

Amber Green, author extraordinaire, bullet points the process of writing a winning blurb on my website today: http://www.amriley.net

Amber has just released her third in the Turner and Turner trilogy 'Turncoat' and demonstrates her power of blurbage for her book.

Go over there and check it out!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Big Thrill

The Big Thrill asks a number of writers "What Can Thriller Writers Learn from the Movies" this week, and I'm one of the writers who weighed in. Although belatedly. I'm lame.

Check it out. Neil Plaksy and Charlie Cochrain among others are bringing up some very interesting points.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

AM Riley has a shiny new website!!!

An anonymous donor took pity. Or maybe was just fed up with my ineptitude. And buffed and shined and forced my idiot self to figure out enough Wordpress to post.

Now my site is functional, informative and timely. Deus Gratias.

Please come by and oogle the new banner and tell me if there is anything else you'd like to see.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Blackhawks make the playoffs by skin of their teeth

The Minnesota Wild rose up in one glorious and defiant moment to defeat their despised rivals, the Dallas Stars (formerly the Minnesota Northstars, so you understand their fierce hatred) for the first time this season and DENY the Stars the eighth seed in the playoff line-up. So Chicago held onto their spot, despite losing to the Redwings earlier in the day.


I was physically ill watching the Redwings vs Blackhawks game early Sunday. Dallas has been coming on strong in the back stretch, and Chicago lost Sharp to injuries at the same time, so we've been sinking in the ranks, and Dallas has been rising. Two points saved our bacon.

There must be a psychological term for a level of fandom where one feels an urge to vomit when ones team gets eliminated?

Anyway, nausea averted for the time being. Our first match-up will be Vancouver. So we'll get one round and be out, but I'm okay with that. The Canucks deserve a good year.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

ten stars for 'Death by Misfortune'

I stumbled over a review of 'Death by Misfortune' at Outlaw Reviews today. It's been there for a week, but I'm such a lame internets surfer I only became aware of it through a google alert.

It's an amazing review written by a talented writer. The sort of review that writers print out and paste on the wall above their computers to warm them on those chilly days when no words will come...

Since today's to-do list includes the following:
1) finish taxes, write ginormous check to federal government may they rot
2) clean dog pee from carpet
4) look at the current mystery WIP again and try to figure out what is wrong with a principal character and why he seems made of cardboard.

I really needed this little boost today.

so, yeah. squee.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kindle, Smashwords and out of print books

I have a few books that have fallen out of print in the past several years. They were written some time ago and need re-writing, re-editing and maybe a sexier cover or two. One of them has a sequel in the works.

I've published one on Smashwords, the infamous "Of the Clan O'Grady" which was originally published with Changeling Press. I have two sequels just malingering on my hard drive here. I wonder if I should publish them as Kindle books at reduced prices.

Would it be wise to publish them on Smashwords AND as Kindle on Amazon? Or is there some legal deal with that? After all, I am the publisher in both cases, am I not.

It would be satisfying to see them up and available again. In a sort of non-financial spiritual way.

But I wonder if it would be worth (now I'm talking $$$$) the considerable time it would take to dust them off, fix them up and format them.

Any opinions or requests will be duly noted and considered.
I very nice review of 'Death by Misfortune' over at Joyfully Reviewed.

And someone volunteered her time and expertise to get something like a decent website up for me. I'm so excited. I'll keep everyone posted.