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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Special Halloween Post: Vampire Hunters, Decorating and Free Books

A jack-o-lantern with a skull's face carved on it.
Credit: Pixabay.com






I'm still trying to finish revising the story I was telling you about last time, the one that I said was due on Halloween. I had said I'm trying to avoid having to submit it on that day but it looks like that won't happen. But as long as I have it revised by Monday then I should be okay. It shouldn't take that long to submit it for the anthology that it's for. I probably would have had a great deal more of it done but I "had" to go to that Halloween Comics Fest sale at Comics & Collectibles in Sacramento. Maybe it's a good thing I did because, besides getting free comics like Hellboy and other horror-types, I came across a new one: Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter.



Vampire Hunters

Captain Kronos is based on a 1974 Hammer horror flick of the same name. I missed issue number one, so I had to settle for purchasing and joining in on number two. However, aesthetically-speaking, I prefer issue number two over number one simply because of its cover. Issue number one's cover consists of a shot from the film itself whereas number two's is made by artist Tom Mandrake who did a super job on it as well as the inside art. Although the comic is based on a movie, I prefer the hand-produced cover illustrations of comic book adaptations of movies over ones that use photos from the the films; hand-produced art is the nature of comic books. To tell you the truth, I haven't seen the Captain Kronos movie but they show it for free on Hammer Studios' YouTube channel.

Regarding vampire hunters, I was never a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan but lately I've been willing to give the TV series a try whenever I can get a hold of a DVD of it or get it streamed. I have a couple Blade comics, although I like him in Marvel's Tomb of Dracula of the '70s better. But I thought I'd give the '90s' Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie a try on Halloween night which is what the TV series is based on. I try to watch the original movie before watching the TV series or reading the comic book that are based on it. But I don't think I'll be able to get a hold of a copy of Buffy the movie this close to Halloween. So it looks like I will just have to settle for the vampire slayer who started them all-- after Van Helsing of Bram Stoker's Dracula--Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter. If you're not familiar with Captain Kronos, movie or comic, then here's a neat trailer for the flick.


Captain Kronos and Buffy Crossover?

Speaking of vampire hunters in media entertainment, don't be surprised if a Captain Kronos/Buffy crossover shows up on a shelf in your local comic book store soon. With crossovers being one of the biggest trends in comics, especially ones based on TV and movies, it's likely to happen since they've had a Buffy comic book series out for several years and if Captain Kronos does good enough, you'll probably see a storyline involving both characters. I'm not one for comic franchise crossovers due to their apparent commercial competitive ambition. However, it would be interesting in the cases of the two above characters since they are so similar. In order for there to be a plausible storyline, time travel or an alternative timeline would have to be involved--the two characters' time settings are more than two centuries apart.


Halloween Decorating

Well, I'm almost done with my Halloween decorating. I only have the cob webs with their plastic arachnid occupants to hang up. But go to my Facebook page between tomorrow and Halloween and you may see some pics of my decorating, that is if you've outworn your admiration of your neighbours' orange "Christmas" lights and inflated cartoon ghosts and pumpkins!


Trick-Or-Treat Book Blog Hop

A "Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop" banner


Definitely go to my Facebook page  on Halloween night, about 5:30 or 6 o'clock Pacific Time if you want a free book! There I will have the link to free copies of one of my books as part of the Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop, hosted by author Patricia Lynne. This Halloween blog hop offers free books in leiu of candy for cyber trick-or-treaters. Bare in mind, this event is may not be a kids' blog hop, since the maturity of the content of books will vary between authors. Be forewarned, my books contain adult content, so I suggest you keep the kids "outside" when you claim your free book from my page. Still, keep an eye on your kids, you don't know how near the boo-gy man or evil old witch may be!



So I hope to see you at my Facebook page on Halloween night, for the Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop. Please do leave comments there if you'd like. Also, let me know in the box here below what you think of  Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter if you see the movie, read the comic, or better yet, both!

Until next time . . . 


Two cosplayer women dressed as Beetle Juice and Lydia.
I took this photo of these two cosplay women at Sinister Creature Con in Sacramento earlier this month. Their costume were groovy!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop Coming!

I'm sorry I'm running late again with the post for the week. I was busy with the Halloween decorating and still haven't finished. I've also been trying to revise a short story for an anthology submission that's due on Halloween night and have another that I have yet to start that needs to be done for a party I'm attending this week! So I'm going to keep this post short.

Although most of my Halloween outings won't fall on October 31st, I'm trying to avoid having to submit the story for the anthology on that night. Part of the reason is that I will be staying in to participate in the Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop!

For the Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop I will be giving away one of my books instead of candy! Talk about eye-candy! Consider it candy you can read which, as much as I love confections--especially chocolate--I'll take books over candy anytime if given a choice.

A black bird perches on a branch while holding an eyeball in its beak.
Credit: Pixabay.com


I will post a link to my book on my Facebook page the day of the event. In the meantime, visit author Patricia Lynne's website for more details in participating in the Trick-or-Treat  Book Blog Hop!

That's it for now. Until next time . . .


Banner for Trick-or-Treat Book Blog Hop.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

My Table at Sac Con: The Power of Selling Your Book In Person

A vendor table at a comic book convention with two stacks of books, a fake skull and a Jack 'O Lantern candy bucket.
Credit: The Blogger


I would have been happy if people stopped to simply flip through my books at my vendor table at Sac Comic-Con last Sunday. Since that was my first vendor table at a convention, I really didn’t expect to sell anything. I sold five copies of my books!

The first sale was actually early on in the convention—within the first 10 minutes of opening! A father with his three kids stopped to look. I started giving my pitch for each book and, before I could finish, he said he would take one copy of each: The Fool’s Illusion and “CircaSixty Years Dead”. Later in the day, two more people made purchases at different times each. I also traded copies with the fellow author whose table was right next to mine, Jay Norry, for two books from his Zombie Zero series . We suggested doing reviews for each other’s books once we read them. I’ll leave reviews at Amazon for sure but may have fuller ones here. However, I may not be to do anything until the beginning of the new year because, as I told Jay, I’ve been quite behind on my reading. I’ll try to hustle it up a bit, though; I’m always too ready for the next read!

A handmade author sign on a vendor table.
I wasn't able to have a banner made so I made this. Good enough for a first vendor table.
Photo Credit: The Blogger


So I was really delighted when my books sold. However, I keep in mind that displaying your books for sale at live events isn’t so much about selling them than about promoting them and engaging with the community. The goal should be to start conversations with people who show the least bit of interest in your work. Talking to people about not only your own but other authors’ work in a genre you share interest in makes you known both as an author and a fellow reader. As long as you have plenty of swag with you, including business cards, that identify your social media presence then your book promotion can go a long ways. I also think what helped was providing free Halloween candy for the kids (and adults if they wanted). Many of the people who showed interest in what I was selling had their kids with them, who I can’t sell to or allow to look at the books since they contain mature content, but having candy present for them shows a sense of community on the vendor’s part.

A section of a vendor table displaying books, book marks, business cards and skull prop.
Credit: The Blogger


So presenting your work at special events, especially those like Sac Comic-Con where your target audience is at, in my case the sci fi/fantasy crowd, is primarily about two things: 1) Making your author presence known in the community; and 2) Bonding through conversation over similar interests that relate to the subject matter of your books. If the sales don’t come at the event, they will eventually come sometime down the line. The more people who know about your work, the more chance that they’ll tell others about it.


I want to thank all those who purchased books at my table and I hope they enjoy the reads. I also encourage them to leave honest reviews at the books’ Amazon pages since that will help me improve stories for the future. I also want to thank Jay Norry for the great conversations we had about our work and con experiences and for coming up with the idea to trade each others’ books. I hope to see you again at a future con, Jay!

Next time I’ll try to have some Halloween content here.


Until then . . .   

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Author's Appearance At Sac Comic-Con

I'm not leaving much of a post here this weekend because I've been busy all day preparing for my vendor table for Sac Comic-Con. The convention is tomorrow from 10 AM to 6 PM. You can read more about it at my Facebook page. This will be my first convention that I've had a table at, so don't be surprised if I seem a little rusty. I hope to see you there. My booth number is B25; I'll have a name sign up. If you can't make it, then . . .

Until next time . . .




Cartoon: A one-eyed alien points to an alien wearing a "fish bowl" helmet.
Credit: Pixabay.com





Monday, October 2, 2017

One Last Revision On My Business Card Before Sac Con

Last week was really busy, so I apologise for posting late again. But I wanted to show you a major alteration I made to my business card (besides the contact info I added). Last post I showed the card bearing the name of my imprint which is “Far Out Phantastic Press”. Or at least that was the name. After doing some research, I discovered that to put that name on a business card may require me to register it with my home city or county and that would cost more than what I am willing to spend right now on promoting my work. Here in California, at least, you can use your personal name as for a sole entrepreneurship and not have to register it. So, for the time being at least, I had to replace my imprint name with my personal name on the card. So here is the revised version:

A business card with the image of a skull.
Credit: Steven Rose Jr.





As you can see everything else on my business card has pretty much stayed the same. Now I just have to have prints of it made by the end of the week because I will need them for Sunday which is when I will have my table of books for sale, The Fool’s Illusion and “CircaSixty Years Dead”. So if you happen to be in the Sacramento area and have not bought your copy of one or the other then you can come to Sac Con where I will be on Sunday and purchase your copy (or copies there) and save on the shipping you would have to pay if you ordered it through Amazon. I may even have one of the two books discounted there and maybe even free Halloween candy! If nothing else, then just come and say “hi” and talk about anything—the con, your favourite books (whether mine or other authors), favourite movies or TV shows, favourite comics, etc. So maybe I’ll see you there. If not, then . . .


Until next time . . .  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Trying to Get Ahead of the Goal: Imprint Logo

Last time I said I would try to have the designs of the imprint logo and name for my business card here. Although I completed my minimum goal for the week, I was hoping to have the whole card done by today. I guess I'm just trying to get ahead of myself so as not to get behind. But if we as self-publishing artists and writers can make it to our minimum goal within a self-determined time frame then that's what really matters. However, I'm trying to complete the card and so put the contact information on it by next week. I may be attending a convention that weekend and I want to have copies available for distribution. But here is what I've completed so far. (I apologise for the card image blending in with the blog's background due to matching colours, but I didn't have time to seek out a way of creating a lighter background for the display. I'll try to have that the next time when I have the full card done. . .  If I have it done.)


A business card logo consisting of a skull image.
Credit: Steven Rose, Jr.


So, as you can see, I haven't gotten ahead with the card but I got a head on the card. The head being the image of the skull, of course, which I showed separately last post.

Until next post . . .

Saturday, September 16, 2017

What a Brand Icon Should Do for an Imprint

It’s been a long but far out fantastic day today. I attended two sci fi-related events: a Doctor Who celebration at the Sacramento Central Library and then, after that, a steampunk tiki party at The Jungle Bird in midtown. I’m much more atom punk than I am steampunk but both are retro punk and tikis became a very heavy pop cultural icon during the atomic era (mostly the early half of the 1960s). And I just dig tikis! I got a collection of them—figurines, cups, etc.—in my house. So, as I said, it was a long day and so I really didn’t get much of a chance to work on my writing with the exception of this blog post and some marketing of my books, The Fool’s Illusion (which turns 4 years old this month!) and “Circa Sixty Years Dead”

Part of marketing one’s work involves branding that work. I’m not a business man and so, frankly, I hate the word “branding” which is a big buzz term in today’s age of the startup and freelance revolutions. However, branding is probably more important now than ever. A self-published author’s brand should be about as identifying to the author as his/her writing style. It should identify that author as well as the author’s work. Doing this can go a long way in communicating to the world the existence of that work. So, as I’ve mentioned in several posts during the summer, I’ve been putting together a logo for my imprint. Although I’m still working on the lettering for the imprint name, which is “Far Out Phantastic Press”—a slight variation of this blog’s name, as you can see—I’ve completed the icon:


A skull with an eye-ball staring out of the left socket.
Credit: Steven Rose, Jr.



It will also serve as the “O” in the word “Out” of the imprint name. But the skull, in the way I’ve drawn and painted it here, along with the imprint name will identify my work not just for the dark fiction it tends to be but also for the many elements of ‘60s and ‘70s pop culture that tend to make up my writing even though not all my stories necessarily take place in those time periods. The style of this skull icon depicts those eras with its simplicity, its pale green colour and the eye-ball staring out from the one socket. The manner this skull is depicted in not only identifies my love for ‘60s and ‘70s pop culture but also for skulls in general. I love skulls and skeletons like I do tikis, only a tiki icon wouldn’t depict my horror fiction as efficiently as a skull would. I don’t write Hawaiian horror enough to use a tiki as my imprint icon. However, that’s not to say that I never will write that kind of horror.

Next time, I’ll try to have the full logo, both image and imprint name, completed and posted here.


Until then . . . !