another day at the office

another day at the office

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Announcement - BIG STUFF

So excited, proud and fortunate to be a part of this project! Scroll down below for details and cover reveals of Season One...more information to come as we go. A season two is already scheduled and authors picked. Got a feeling, this one is gonna be something special. - JW

Sam and Rachel are lifelong grifters in their late thirties. Their past is as shadowy as their present, but we know that they pulled a major long con on the mafia in Philadelphia, and now they are on the run. While one or the other may speak longingly of that quiet life in a beach house somewhere at the end of the rainbow, we all know that the likelihood is that they will never leave this life, unless it is in a box. They are who they are, and so they continue to find and exploit marks, trying to stay one step ahead of the mobsters bent on vengeance.

Titles and authors for Season One are:

The Concrete Smile by Frank Zafiro,
People Like Us by JD Rhoades,
The Whale by Lawrence Kelter,
The Movie Makers by Gary Phillips,
Lost in Middle America by Colin Conway, and
Losing Streak by Jim Wilsky.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sort 'Em Out Later

Alright folks, 

A reminder, Harbinger the prequel to the Ania series co-authored by Frank and I will be launching and available in December. But right now and I mean...Right Now.

Buy this short story collection of mine. Please. I'm not above begging...or groveling. Thanks so much to the editors that originally accepted these stories and of course thanks to Eric, Lance and everyone else at Down & Out. I can't say enough good things about D.O.B. to do them justice and I couldn't be more pleased with the relationship we have. Go here and then look around some more. 

The Amazon link is right here . Available at the other usual outlets as well.

Una Cosa Más

One more post before I get this thing cranked up to a coughing start, or at least get the engine to turn over.

I've always been happy to tell anybody that would listen, that I was never really cut out for this whole Writing deal. I love it, don't get me wrong but I'm just not very good at it.

Yes, on one hand it can swallow me whole sometimes and there are periods where its all I can think about or all I want to do. Sometimes I'm even pleased with a piece. On the other hand though, there are too many times that I lose focus, I lose the fire, run dry of ideas and get to a point where writing a single paragraph is like writing a chapter.

I understand that most writers go through stops and starts but that's not what I'm talking about here. I'll use the car analogy again. I'm not talking about running out of gas sometimes. Oh no, I'm talking about having four flat tires, a radiator blowing smoke, a blown engine, dead battery, doors and hood wide open on the side of a two lane road in West Texas.

I'm too streaky. I can go like hell for a while and then I can stop on a dime. Worse than that I don't promote well, don't market myself - or my books/stories worth a damn. I'm a social media 'no show' which is a surefire recipe for failure these days. I don't attend the events I should, I don't hang with the right people - although I'm lucky as hell there are exceptions to that. People like Frank and the Down & Out crew, all the great short story editors and writers out there that I've been fortunate enough to get to know down through the years.

In terms of my boundless ability to sabotage my own writing efforts, I think the reason behind that could possibly be my background. I spent a long, grinding career in Sales & Marketing ironically. To be honest, I got to be pretty good at it over time. Maybe even a step above pretty good. I could sell screen doors to a submarine commander as the old saying goes. I was in a role where I met with mid-level buyers and/or Senior V.P.'s, all across North America and a few times in Europe and Asia. Across a desk in a small office or in a boardroom scene right out of Mad Men.

I could relate to people from any region, position or status. You wanted confidence almost to the point of being brash? There I was. You wanted a calm confidence mixed with a quiet assurance, there I was. You wanted somebody to not talk but just listen, I was your man. I could be a "good ol' boy" (which is basically all I am) or a buttoned-down serious as hell, or West coast laid back. I talked and met comfortably with clients and accounts anywhere from Manhatten to Florida to Iowa and California - in their own unique markets, language and culture.

Bear with me here because this is not a brag fest by any means, in fact its the opposite. Its an outline of why I fail so miserably at the business end of writing. Everything I did then (retired now) was done in person, live and with 'cameras rolling' so to speak. Sure, there were detailed and splashy media presentations, formal proposals and contracts that I had to prepare...but the 'sell' was a personal thing. It was connecting to a person or people sitting in the room. A real room, with people staring at you, people that needed to trust you and be convinced of something. As a writer trying to sell my own books, I don't have that situation and experience to fall back on very often - except for a rare book signing maybe. That shtick that I used to be able to employ just doesn't work anymore.

So I think all of that shines a light, a very bright and hot light, on the fact that carrying over skills and abilities from one profession to another is not a given by any means. It's a hard bridge to build and cross, at least for me. In my opinion, being a successful writer (by whatever definition and measure you prefer to use) is one of the most difficult things I know of to achieve. I'm fortunate enough to know a few successful writers and seen firsthand the other necessary skills they possess, in addition to the wonderful writing talent they have. Unfortunately, I'm fairly sure that I'll never have that depth, that reach and that extra something to get over the hump. Hell, I'm a poster boy for the writer bio that whispers "just didn't have quite enough"

You know what though? I'm okay with that. I write because I love it and I enjoy it (most of the time). Simple as that. And hey, if three or four other people enjoy it too, well that's just a bonus. Alright...I'm done. Finally, right? If you've somehow read this entire post then all I can say is you're pretty amazing, not to mention being a person who has extraordinary patience.

Enough of this self analysis bs...huh?


The Phoenix/Ashes Thing

I'll start with the obvious. I've been gone and out of the loop for an extended period of time. This poor blog has been neglected and basically abandoned like an old farmhouse with loose shutters banging in the prairie wind. But, I have decided to turn the lights back, dust off everything and clean some things up around here.

There have been things going on in the past months that I did not post about. At least with the writing part of those mysterious sounding things, I will do my best to catch up on in the next few posts. 

If this was a car race, you could say I've been lapped...several times. I'm so far behind, I'm ahead. I'd blame it on the pit crew if there was one. But the brutal truth is, the problem rests solely with the guy who stares back at me when I shave in the morning. So without babbling even more here, I have flipped the Closed sign to Open on the front door of this blog.