Will I Ever Get a Review?: The Curse of the Self-Published Author

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I asked this question in my mind many times over the years until one day when I happened to check the listing for my nonfiction book “A Day of Horror: The March 11, 2011, Japan Earthquake-A Foreigner’s Perspective” and noticed that someone had finally answered that question. I had my first review of my work! The review was posted on March 8 of this year. It took almost a decade to happen, but it did actually happen. Four months later I am still shocked that I finally joined the ranks of those fortunate, self-published souls who can proudly say that their work has been officially reviewed. I am delighted and humbled for such an honor and wish to thank the kind person who took the time to purchase and read my book, then write and post the review. They rated my book three out of five stars, and I am honored.

The review was posted on Amazon. Not long after I first published my nonfiction book, I received a rating on Goodreads of two out of five stars from a reader. Big thanks to the person who rated the book then. No review was written, only a rating was given at the time. I was brand new to the self-publishing world. Since then, my book has been updated and revised, and I think (hope) it makes for a better reading experience now. Perhaps the three-star rating this time reflects that.

It’s no mystery that reviews sell books, especially positive reviews. If you’re a self-published author like me but you haven’t received your first review yet, all I can say is be patient and hang in there. It could happen when you least expect it, but don’t expect it. Reviews of your work should be considered a bonus, not an expectation. Think of it as a privilege and not a right. Legitimate reviews can be very difficult to get. They are not easy to come by for many of us. It may not even be a flattering review that you receive, but at least it will have provoked a strong reaction in the reader, and that is something to feel good about. Isn’t that one of the reasons why many of us write?

Again, I wish to thank the kind person who reviewed “A Day of Horror: The March 11, 2011, Japan Earthquake.” Now if only I could get a review for my short story “The DiVacci Curse” and my novel “To Sleep in the Ground!”

A side note:

I am still preparing the paperback version of my nonfiction book. After that, I plan to revise and reformat my short story and novel (e-book and paperback). Then I hope to begin advertising my books in earnest. I don’t think I have enough to do.

Have a safe and healthy summer!

Raiders of the Lost Ark

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I arrived home to the apartment where I lived with my mother and sister in the late afternoon on Friday, June 5, 1981.  School in East Baton Rouge Parish in southeast Louisiana had already been out for the summer for a week or two.  I was an elementary school student.

I was helping my sister unpack groceries when a commercial came on TV for Raiders of the Lost Ark (now known as “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”).  There was to be a sneak preview (remember those?) that evening at Cinema 8 movie theater at Bon Marche Mall in Baton Rouge.  Cinema 8 had been chosen as one of many theaters in many cities around the country to premiere the film a week before general release.

I was occupied at the time and didn’t pay a lot of attention to the commercial.  As with many TV commercials for films in the eighties, it happened quick with a lot of fast, random flashes of action and not enough to show you what the film was really about—a smart marketing tactic compared to today where you already know the essence of the film (and sometimes the spoilers and big reveals) in the very first trailer.  All I remember seeing was Harrison Ford playing a cowboy riding a horse and holding on to the front of a big truck in a desert, and that it was a collaboration between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

Harrison Ford is doing a cowboy film? I thought.  I don’t know that I want to see this.  In 1981, in my mind, Harrison Ford was Han Solo.  He was a sci-fi/fantasy actor.  O.k., I did like him in Force Ten From Navarone (1978) after Star Wars, but I could not imagine my screen hero playing a cowboy.  He is not a cowboy in Raiders, but when I saw him wearing a wide brim hat in the TV commercial (I didn’t know the difference between a fedora and a cowboy hat back then) I just assumed that it was a cowboy flick.

The phone rang.  It was my mom calling from work saying that a friend of hers had scored tickets to the sold-out sneak preview at Cinema 8 and that we were all going that evening.  Lovely.  I thought that I was just going to see another cowboy film from a genre that I had no interest in.  Little did I realize that Raiders of the Lost Ark would turn out to be the most thrilling time I had in a movie theater since The Empire Strikes Back the year before.

From the opening scene in the Peruvian temple to the closing credits, the audience at Cinema 8 that night was on the edge of their seats enjoying a non-stop rollercoaster adventure the likes of which has rarely been equaled or surpassed in film.  I had never experienced such a boisterous and energetic audience reaction in a movie theater before and have not since.  The scene where Indy shoots the swordsman on the street in Cairo brought the house down.  Talk about audience participation!

Happy 141st Birthday, Antonio Bay!

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Eleven fifty-five, almost midnight, enough time for one more story…one more story before twelve, just to keep us warm. In five minutes, it will be the 21st of April…

These chilling words are the opening lines of dialogue from a horror film that shares this important date with us today.

Below is a slightly edited repost of a post I did a few years ago about today’s date and its significance in the realm of horror films.

Original post (edited):

Oddly, I’m not a big horror movie fan.  Even though I enjoy writing in the horror and mystery genres, when it comes to film my personal movie collection is heavy with science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and comedy rather than horror. The Fog is one of my all time favorite horror movies (the original 1980 film directed by John Carpenter). The plot is simple yet effective and harkens back to a nostalgic time of storytelling when ghost stories didn’t have to be gory or excessively violent to be frightening. Sure, there is some violence in the film, but it isn’t very bloody or overt like many of the horror films and TV shows of today, although, the film is loaded with lots of shocks and stingers that definitely get your attention.  They are the kind of scares that happen really quick, make you scream or jump, and then make you laugh at yourself afterward.  I won’t go into detail about the story because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has never seen the film before. The Fog inspires and encourages me to write scary stories that emphasize the old cliché, “Less is more.”

The Fog is pretty tame by current standards.  After all, it’s over forty years old! If you prefer your horror served up with gratuitous amounts of blood, gore, and sex, then The Fog may not be for you.  However, if you enjoy clever, old school, spooky, sit-around-the-campfire ghost stories, then you might find it entertaining.  It’s a fun film to watch while curled up on the sofa with your favorite snack or main squeeze.

There are also a couple of personal reasons why I like The Fog.  I was a radio DJ/announcer for a few years when I lived in Louisiana, and briefly when I later lived in Florida. The “Stevie Wayne” connection is something I can relate to. Stevie Wayne is basically the main character of the film.  She is portrayed by Adrienne Barbeau.  She’s a single mom raising her son in a sleepy, yet somewhat charming little seaside town (Antonio Bay, California). Stevie recently bought a radio station atop the town lighthouse that overlooks the Pacific.  A good portion of the film takes place in and around the lighthouse/radio station. I can relate to the tasks and responsibilities that Stevie has to contend with like the ever watchful and unforgiving demands of the clock, and time, that dictate a DJ’s every move and word while on the air.

A Decade Ago Today…

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Revised 10th anniversary e-book and paperback editions coming soon…

Jeremy Bulloch: Star Wars Legend

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This is the 40th anniversary year of the Star Wars film “The Empire Strikes Back” *(Please see my two earlier posts celebrating the film and score). It is somber and poignant that the S.W. universe has lost at the end of that celebratory milestone an actor who portrayed one of its most iconic personalities.

With the passing of Jeremy Bulloch, the Star Wars character of Boba Fett has truly become legend. I, along with millions of S.W. fans around the world, consider the intergalactic bounty hunter to be one of the coolest characters in the film franchise’s lore, and possibly in all of science fiction/fantasy.

For Halloween of 2001, I visited a military surplus store in Daytona Beach, Florida with a friend to buy a flight suit and accessories so that we could make our own Boba Fett costume. We both agreed that Boba Fett would be the costume to make if we were going to be bold enough to attempt a S.W. costume. My friend was much more adept at such things. I deferred to his expertise on the engineering of the costume (The jetpack that he created from two-liter plastic bottles was astounding). I footed the bill (roughly three hundred dollars after materials and labor) and he created the most awesome non-makeup Halloween costume that I have ever worn. I say ‘non-makeup’ because the very next year his sister did a Darth Maul makeup on me for Halloween 2002. The makeup was black and white rather than the black and red of Maul’s face. It was the first physical manifestation of Marco Dark, the main character of my novel “To Sleep in the Ground.” I accented the amazing makeup job with a black, long-sleeve fishnet shirt, and black leather pants. Marco does not dress as radically in the novel, but I was experimenting with the character back then as only a couple of chapters had been written at that point. Anyway, I digress.

The DiVacci Curse: An Old-Fashioned Ghost Short Story

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Perfect for Halloween…

It’s so frightening that you’ll have to sleep with a night-light weeks after reading it!

Feel free to share this post…if you’re brave enough! (Insert sinister laughter here)

Have a safe and healthy Halloween.

Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi…Williams: The Music of The Empire Strikes Back

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Film Spoilers Ahead!

I’m paying homage to The Empire Strikes Back this year in recognition of the film’s 40th anniversary. I mentioned in a post last May that it is my favorite of the Star Wars saga. This post is about the incredible music of the film composed by John Williams.

Few people would dispute John Williams’ contributions to motion picture scores. We all know his resume. It includes many of the biggest blockbuster films in history. When he wrote the music for The Empire Strikes Back he was already famous for having composed the scores of numerous films and television shows including Jaws, Star Wars (of course), Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws 2, Superman, Dracula (1979 version with Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier, directed by John Badham), and 1941. But his success dates back much farther. His list of films can be found online. Chances are that you will find films and TV show scores composed by him that you never realized he did.

He was already a hot commodity in Hollywood, but Star Wars sent his popularity into the stratosphere. And, as we saw, his star just kept rising and rising with practically every film he scored for the next three plus decades.

His work and the efforts of the London Symphony Orchestra on T.E.S.B. is no different. It is my favorite musical score of the saga, and contributes greatly to the reason that it is my favorite S.W. film. His scores to Star Wars and Return of the Jedi are fantastic in their own right, but what he did for T.E.S.B. elaborates upon those concepts and introduces us to new and memorable themes that have been, and still are, heard throughout the S.W. timeline.

“The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)” is as iconic now as the theme from Jaws. Almost everyone who hears it knows what it is, or they at least recognize it as a S.W. theme. Its driving, pounding, militaristic sound is heard throughout the film and reminds us that the Empire is always one step behind our heroes. Sometimes, one step too close. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of the most popular ringtones for smartphones the world over.

“Yoda’s Theme” is one of my personal favs in the entire series. I never get tired of it. Its quiet and melodic tempo relaxes me every time I hear it. It’s beautiful and meditative.

Updated Content of E-books on Amazon.co.jp

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I hope that everyone is doing well considering the situation. We have all been getting slammed pretty hard by the virus, severe weather, social instability, etc. It doesn’t really matter where you live in the world…we are all dealing with difficulties right now. Keep your chin up and hang in there.

On a different note, and a followup to my previous post, I have discovered the reason why purchasers of my e-books from Amazon.co.jp (Japan) have not been receiving the content updates to my book(s). It appears that Amazon Japan does not automatically make updates available to readers. The reason is because Amazon Japan (not the author) reserves the right to decide whether updates will be made available to readers. If they deem the changes worthy of alerting the readers and allow them to download the updates, then they will do so. Otherwise, too bad. They evaluate the updates on a case by case basis. I am in complete disagreement with this method as I feel that readers have a right to update and get the latest version of the e-book if they have legally purchased it in the past.

Amazon Japan claims that it may make exceptions to the rule if the reader requests the update directly. Authors may do the same, but there is no guarantee that Amazon Japan will honor the request. Final authority rests with Amazon Japan.

I wonder if Amazon.com (U.S.) is aware of this policy. I was told by Amazon.com that updates are made available across all of their marketplaces where e-books are sold. Yet, Amazon Japan operates differently. It would be nice for the two of them to get on the same page with this issue.

I do not want to discourage anyone from purchasing my e-books. All I can say is that if you choose to purchase my e-books from Amazon Japan be aware that you may not be able to update the book’s content after the initial purchase. I wish it were not the case, but there is nothing that I can do to rectify the issue. Different countries have different policies. I have lived in Japan long enough to know that it runs itself according to its own policies and perspectives. All nations do. You either deal with it, or you don’t. That same idea can be applied to current global events, I suppose.

I apologize for any inconvenience that Amazon Japan’s policy may cause those who purchase and read my books. As always, I thank you for your continued support and consideration.

Stay safe and healthy!

More Updates Available!

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I updated the content of my e-book To Sleep in the Ground in order to make it consistent with the recently released paperback version. Amazon.com has sent (or will send) e-mails to those who have purchased my e-book in the past notifying them of the updates. If you do not receive an e-mail, then just check the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page of your Amazon account. If you purchased my e-book and do not receive either of these notifications, then please let me know in the comments section of this post and I will inform Amazon.

Regretfully, as of the date of this post, updates are still not available for readers who purchased To Sleep in the Ground from Amazon.co.jp (Japan). I have brought this to Amazon’s attention, and I am in continuing communication with them about the issue. I have experienced that Amazon Japan sometimes operates differently (independently) from Amazon.com. However, Amazon.com has assured me that updates are made available for all Amazon marketplaces in all countries. Again, please let me know via this post if you have purchased the e-book version of T.S.I.T.G. from any Amazon marketplace and have not received an e-mail or notice about the updates. I will do my best to rectify the problem if it’s possible to do so.

The updates that I made to the novel are considered to be significant improvements to the quality of the e-book according to Amazon. I agree. The overall feel and appearance of the book is better, and I, again, took the time to correct grammatical issues, punctuation, and redundancies in the vocabulary. Ahh, the learning curve involved with first novels. I hope you enjoy the latest version of To Sleep in the Ground.

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy!

“To Sleep in the Ground” Now Available in Paperback!

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Paperback books have their fans as do e-books. To Sleep in the Ground can now satisfy both!

I’m very happy to announce that my novel is now in paperback form. I originally published T.S.I.T.G. last November in e-book format. A lot of my free time since then has been spent reformatting it, cleaning it up and getting it ready for paperback publication.

The difference in the two styles is greater than many may think. You don’t have to worry about pagination with an e-book, and the appearance of the book is more important in paperback. You have to worry about the front cover versus the back cover, the type of paper you want to use (and it’s color) and even the font for the text. This is important because the font text cannot be changed with a paperback as it can be for an e-book. The reader can choose from a variety of fonts with an e-book. They can even change the size of the text.

It was a tedious but great learning experience. I’m highly motivated now to publish my nonfiction e-book in paperback. But considering that it took me months (and many weekends and days off from work) to whip my e-book into paperback form, I don’t plan on jumping back into the same pond again any time soon. If you are a publisher and would like to take on that role for me, then by all means let me know! As mentioned before, I envy those folks who are fortunate enough to have major publishers behind them to promote their work. After this experience, that feeling has multiplied ten times.

I humbly encourage you to check out To Sleep in the Ground in any of the two formats available. The paperback would be an interesting addition to your bookshelf, and might make for nice conversation as a decorative item on your coffee table. The e-book is available through Amazon in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.A. The paperback is available through Amazon in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.A. The book is very reasonably priced in both formats. As always, if you would like more information about any of the books that I have published, please see the My Books page of this blog. Thank you very much for reading.

Hang in there! We will get through this COVID-19 crisis together as long as we remain united, vigilant, considerate and precautious.

Stay healthy!

Click this link to access the paperback version of To Sleep in the Ground: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DC63TGP

Will I Ever Get a Review?: The Curse of the Self-Published Author

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I asked this question in my mind many times over the years until one day when I happened to check the listing for my nonfiction book “A Day of Horror: The March 11, 2011, Japan Earthquake-A Foreigner’s Perspective” and noticed that someone had finally answered that question. I had my first review of my work! The review was posted on March 8 of this year. It took almost a decade to happen, but it did actually happen. Four months later I am still shocked that I finally joined the ranks of those fortunate, self-published souls who can proudly say that their work has been officially reviewed. I am delighted and humbled for such an honor and wish to thank the kind person who took the time to purchase and read my book, then write and post the review. They rated my book three out of five stars, and I am honored.

The review was posted on Amazon. Not long after I first published my nonfiction book, I received a rating on Goodreads of two out of five stars from a reader. Big thanks to the person who rated the book then. No review was written, only a rating was given at the time. I was brand new to the self-publishing world. Since then, my book has been updated and revised, and I think (hope) it makes for a better reading experience now. Perhaps the three-star rating this time reflects that.

It’s no mystery that reviews sell books, especially positive reviews. If you’re a self-published author like me but you haven’t received your first review yet, all I can say is be patient and hang in there. It could happen when you least expect it, but don’t expect it. Reviews of your work should be considered a bonus, not an expectation. Think of it as a privilege and not a right. Legitimate reviews can be very difficult to get. They are not easy to come by for many of us. It may not even be a flattering review that you receive, but at least it will have provoked a strong reaction in the reader, and that is something to feel good about. Isn’t that one of the reasons why many of us write?

Again, I wish to thank the kind person who reviewed “A Day of Horror: The March 11, 2011, Japan Earthquake.” Now if only I could get a review for my short story “The DiVacci Curse” and my novel “To Sleep in the Ground!”

A side note:

I am still preparing the paperback version of my nonfiction book. After that, I plan to revise and reformat my short story and novel (e-book and paperback). Then I hope to begin advertising my books in earnest. I don’t think I have enough to do.

Have a safe and healthy summer!

Raiders of the Lost Ark

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I arrived home to the apartment where I lived with my mother and sister in the late afternoon on Friday, June 5, 1981.  School in East Baton Rouge Parish in southeast Louisiana had already been out for the summer for a week or two.  I was an elementary school student.

I was helping my sister unpack groceries when a commercial came on TV for Raiders of the Lost Ark (now known as “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”).  There was to be a sneak preview (remember those?) that evening at Cinema 8 movie theater at Bon Marche Mall in Baton Rouge.  Cinema 8 had been chosen as one of many theaters in many cities around the country to premiere the film a week before general release.

I was occupied at the time and didn’t pay a lot of attention to the commercial.  As with many TV commercials for films in the eighties, it happened quick with a lot of fast, random flashes of action and not enough to show you what the film was really about—a smart marketing tactic compared to today where you already know the essence of the film (and sometimes the spoilers and big reveals) in the very first trailer.  All I remember seeing was Harrison Ford playing a cowboy riding a horse and holding on to the front of a big truck in a desert, and that it was a collaboration between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.

Harrison Ford is doing a cowboy film? I thought.  I don’t know that I want to see this.  In 1981, in my mind, Harrison Ford was Han Solo.  He was a sci-fi/fantasy actor.  O.k., I did like him in Force Ten From Navarone (1978) after Star Wars, but I could not imagine my screen hero playing a cowboy.  He is not a cowboy in Raiders, but when I saw him wearing a wide brim hat in the TV commercial (I didn’t know the difference between a fedora and a cowboy hat back then) I just assumed that it was a cowboy flick.

The phone rang.  It was my mom calling from work saying that a friend of hers had scored tickets to the sold-out sneak preview at Cinema 8 and that we were all going that evening.  Lovely.  I thought that I was just going to see another cowboy film from a genre that I had no interest in.  Little did I realize that Raiders of the Lost Ark would turn out to be the most thrilling time I had in a movie theater since The Empire Strikes Back the year before.

From the opening scene in the Peruvian temple to the closing credits, the audience at Cinema 8 that night was on the edge of their seats enjoying a non-stop rollercoaster adventure the likes of which has rarely been equaled or surpassed in film.  I had never experienced such a boisterous and energetic audience reaction in a movie theater before and have not since.  The scene where Indy shoots the swordsman on the street in Cairo brought the house down.  Talk about audience participation!

Happy 141st Birthday, Antonio Bay!

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Eleven fifty-five, almost midnight, enough time for one more story…one more story before twelve, just to keep us warm. In five minutes, it will be the 21st of April…

These chilling words are the opening lines of dialogue from a horror film that shares this important date with us today.

Below is a slightly edited repost of a post I did a few years ago about today’s date and its significance in the realm of horror films.

Original post (edited):

Oddly, I’m not a big horror movie fan.  Even though I enjoy writing in the horror and mystery genres, when it comes to film my personal movie collection is heavy with science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and comedy rather than horror. The Fog is one of my all time favorite horror movies (the original 1980 film directed by John Carpenter). The plot is simple yet effective and harkens back to a nostalgic time of storytelling when ghost stories didn’t have to be gory or excessively violent to be frightening. Sure, there is some violence in the film, but it isn’t very bloody or overt like many of the horror films and TV shows of today, although, the film is loaded with lots of shocks and stingers that definitely get your attention.  They are the kind of scares that happen really quick, make you scream or jump, and then make you laugh at yourself afterward.  I won’t go into detail about the story because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has never seen the film before. The Fog inspires and encourages me to write scary stories that emphasize the old cliché, “Less is more.”

The Fog is pretty tame by current standards.  After all, it’s over forty years old! If you prefer your horror served up with gratuitous amounts of blood, gore, and sex, then The Fog may not be for you.  However, if you enjoy clever, old school, spooky, sit-around-the-campfire ghost stories, then you might find it entertaining.  It’s a fun film to watch while curled up on the sofa with your favorite snack or main squeeze.

There are also a couple of personal reasons why I like The Fog.  I was a radio DJ/announcer for a few years when I lived in Louisiana, and briefly when I later lived in Florida. The “Stevie Wayne” connection is something I can relate to. Stevie Wayne is basically the main character of the film.  She is portrayed by Adrienne Barbeau.  She’s a single mom raising her son in a sleepy, yet somewhat charming little seaside town (Antonio Bay, California). Stevie recently bought a radio station atop the town lighthouse that overlooks the Pacific.  A good portion of the film takes place in and around the lighthouse/radio station. I can relate to the tasks and responsibilities that Stevie has to contend with like the ever watchful and unforgiving demands of the clock, and time, that dictate a DJ’s every move and word while on the air.

A Decade Ago Today…

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Revised 10th anniversary e-book and paperback editions coming soon…

Jeremy Bulloch: Star Wars Legend

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This is the 40th anniversary year of the Star Wars film “The Empire Strikes Back” *(Please see my two earlier posts celebrating the film and score). It is somber and poignant that the S.W. universe has lost at the end of that celebratory milestone an actor who portrayed one of its most iconic personalities.

With the passing of Jeremy Bulloch, the Star Wars character of Boba Fett has truly become legend. I, along with millions of S.W. fans around the world, consider the intergalactic bounty hunter to be one of the coolest characters in the film franchise’s lore, and possibly in all of science fiction/fantasy.

For Halloween of 2001, I visited a military surplus store in Daytona Beach, Florida with a friend to buy a flight suit and accessories so that we could make our own Boba Fett costume. We both agreed that Boba Fett would be the costume to make if we were going to be bold enough to attempt a S.W. costume. My friend was much more adept at such things. I deferred to his expertise on the engineering of the costume (The jetpack that he created from two-liter plastic bottles was astounding). I footed the bill (roughly three hundred dollars after materials and labor) and he created the most awesome non-makeup Halloween costume that I have ever worn. I say ‘non-makeup’ because the very next year his sister did a Darth Maul makeup on me for Halloween 2002. The makeup was black and white rather than the black and red of Maul’s face. It was the first physical manifestation of Marco Dark, the main character of my novel “To Sleep in the Ground.” I accented the amazing makeup job with a black, long-sleeve fishnet shirt, and black leather pants. Marco does not dress as radically in the novel, but I was experimenting with the character back then as only a couple of chapters had been written at that point. Anyway, I digress.

The DiVacci Curse: An Old-Fashioned Ghost Short Story

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Perfect for Halloween…

It’s so frightening that you’ll have to sleep with a night-light weeks after reading it!

Feel free to share this post…if you’re brave enough! (Insert sinister laughter here)

Have a safe and healthy Halloween.

Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi…Williams: The Music of The Empire Strikes Back

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Film Spoilers Ahead!

I’m paying homage to The Empire Strikes Back this year in recognition of the film’s 40th anniversary. I mentioned in a post last May that it is my favorite of the Star Wars saga. This post is about the incredible music of the film composed by John Williams.

Few people would dispute John Williams’ contributions to motion picture scores. We all know his resume. It includes many of the biggest blockbuster films in history. When he wrote the music for The Empire Strikes Back he was already famous for having composed the scores of numerous films and television shows including Jaws, Star Wars (of course), Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws 2, Superman, Dracula (1979 version with Frank Langella and Laurence Olivier, directed by John Badham), and 1941. But his success dates back much farther. His list of films can be found online. Chances are that you will find films and TV show scores composed by him that you never realized he did.

He was already a hot commodity in Hollywood, but Star Wars sent his popularity into the stratosphere. And, as we saw, his star just kept rising and rising with practically every film he scored for the next three plus decades.

His work and the efforts of the London Symphony Orchestra on T.E.S.B. is no different. It is my favorite musical score of the saga, and contributes greatly to the reason that it is my favorite S.W. film. His scores to Star Wars and Return of the Jedi are fantastic in their own right, but what he did for T.E.S.B. elaborates upon those concepts and introduces us to new and memorable themes that have been, and still are, heard throughout the S.W. timeline.

“The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme)” is as iconic now as the theme from Jaws. Almost everyone who hears it knows what it is, or they at least recognize it as a S.W. theme. Its driving, pounding, militaristic sound is heard throughout the film and reminds us that the Empire is always one step behind our heroes. Sometimes, one step too close. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of the most popular ringtones for smartphones the world over.

“Yoda’s Theme” is one of my personal favs in the entire series. I never get tired of it. Its quiet and melodic tempo relaxes me every time I hear it. It’s beautiful and meditative.

Updated Content of E-books on Amazon.co.jp

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I hope that everyone is doing well considering the situation. We have all been getting slammed pretty hard by the virus, severe weather, social instability, etc. It doesn’t really matter where you live in the world…we are all dealing with difficulties right now. Keep your chin up and hang in there.

On a different note, and a followup to my previous post, I have discovered the reason why purchasers of my e-books from Amazon.co.jp (Japan) have not been receiving the content updates to my book(s). It appears that Amazon Japan does not automatically make updates available to readers. The reason is because Amazon Japan (not the author) reserves the right to decide whether updates will be made available to readers. If they deem the changes worthy of alerting the readers and allow them to download the updates, then they will do so. Otherwise, too bad. They evaluate the updates on a case by case basis. I am in complete disagreement with this method as I feel that readers have a right to update and get the latest version of the e-book if they have legally purchased it in the past.

Amazon Japan claims that it may make exceptions to the rule if the reader requests the update directly. Authors may do the same, but there is no guarantee that Amazon Japan will honor the request. Final authority rests with Amazon Japan.

I wonder if Amazon.com (U.S.) is aware of this policy. I was told by Amazon.com that updates are made available across all of their marketplaces where e-books are sold. Yet, Amazon Japan operates differently. It would be nice for the two of them to get on the same page with this issue.

I do not want to discourage anyone from purchasing my e-books. All I can say is that if you choose to purchase my e-books from Amazon Japan be aware that you may not be able to update the book’s content after the initial purchase. I wish it were not the case, but there is nothing that I can do to rectify the issue. Different countries have different policies. I have lived in Japan long enough to know that it runs itself according to its own policies and perspectives. All nations do. You either deal with it, or you don’t. That same idea can be applied to current global events, I suppose.

I apologize for any inconvenience that Amazon Japan’s policy may cause those who purchase and read my books. As always, I thank you for your continued support and consideration.

Stay safe and healthy!

More Updates Available!

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I updated the content of my e-book To Sleep in the Ground in order to make it consistent with the recently released paperback version. Amazon.com has sent (or will send) e-mails to those who have purchased my e-book in the past notifying them of the updates. If you do not receive an e-mail, then just check the “Manage Your Content and Devices” page of your Amazon account. If you purchased my e-book and do not receive either of these notifications, then please let me know in the comments section of this post and I will inform Amazon.

Regretfully, as of the date of this post, updates are still not available for readers who purchased To Sleep in the Ground from Amazon.co.jp (Japan). I have brought this to Amazon’s attention, and I am in continuing communication with them about the issue. I have experienced that Amazon Japan sometimes operates differently (independently) from Amazon.com. However, Amazon.com has assured me that updates are made available for all Amazon marketplaces in all countries. Again, please let me know via this post if you have purchased the e-book version of T.S.I.T.G. from any Amazon marketplace and have not received an e-mail or notice about the updates. I will do my best to rectify the problem if it’s possible to do so.

The updates that I made to the novel are considered to be significant improvements to the quality of the e-book according to Amazon. I agree. The overall feel and appearance of the book is better, and I, again, took the time to correct grammatical issues, punctuation, and redundancies in the vocabulary. Ahh, the learning curve involved with first novels. I hope you enjoy the latest version of To Sleep in the Ground.

Thanks for reading, and stay healthy!

“To Sleep in the Ground” Now Available in Paperback!

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Paperback books have their fans as do e-books. To Sleep in the Ground can now satisfy both!

I’m very happy to announce that my novel is now in paperback form. I originally published T.S.I.T.G. last November in e-book format. A lot of my free time since then has been spent reformatting it, cleaning it up and getting it ready for paperback publication.

The difference in the two styles is greater than many may think. You don’t have to worry about pagination with an e-book, and the appearance of the book is more important in paperback. You have to worry about the front cover versus the back cover, the type of paper you want to use (and it’s color) and even the font for the text. This is important because the font text cannot be changed with a paperback as it can be for an e-book. The reader can choose from a variety of fonts with an e-book. They can even change the size of the text.

It was a tedious but great learning experience. I’m highly motivated now to publish my nonfiction e-book in paperback. But considering that it took me months (and many weekends and days off from work) to whip my e-book into paperback form, I don’t plan on jumping back into the same pond again any time soon. If you are a publisher and would like to take on that role for me, then by all means let me know! As mentioned before, I envy those folks who are fortunate enough to have major publishers behind them to promote their work. After this experience, that feeling has multiplied ten times.

I humbly encourage you to check out To Sleep in the Ground in any of the two formats available. The paperback would be an interesting addition to your bookshelf, and might make for nice conversation as a decorative item on your coffee table. The e-book is available through Amazon in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.A. The paperback is available through Amazon in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.A. The book is very reasonably priced in both formats. As always, if you would like more information about any of the books that I have published, please see the My Books page of this blog. Thank you very much for reading.

Hang in there! We will get through this COVID-19 crisis together as long as we remain united, vigilant, considerate and precautious.

Stay healthy!

Click this link to access the paperback version of To Sleep in the Ground: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DC63TGP