Hello everyone! I'm here to let everyone know that I'm doing another blog tour stop today! Steven Rose, Jr. is hosting me today, so if you'd like to read an interview about the Self-Help 101series, be sure to stop by!
I'm nearly done writing the rough draft of the third novella in the Self-Help 101series. My goal is to have it finished by Monday, and I'd like to have it ready for release on September 27th. This novella, Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People, takes place during Halloween. It has been a fun story to write. The kids are growing increasingly excited for the start of the school year next month. We already bought most of their school supplies, and we're busy with doctor's checkups and all the other things that need to be done before the first day of class. How has the summer gone by so fast? The kids have a birthday party to go to and a bunch of fun activities lined up for Saturday. I should have some tired boys to put to bed Saturday night, which is fine by me. I always benefit when they have a good night of sleep. What would you like to celebrate?
First of all, I'd like to mention that I'm over at Patricia Lynne's blog today with a post about my Self-Help 101series and why the books have such long titles. Please check it out if you're interested!
This week has been really hot. The heat index has been hovering between 105 and 120 degrees the past few days. Since I'm also awkwardly pregnant, that's made it difficult for me to function. Heat doesn't normally bother me much, but it does now. I guess I'll celebrate the fact that the excessive heat wave is almost over.
Don't think I'm complaining, though. A lot of good things have happened. The kids had a great time last weekend at our local town celebration. Here are a few pictures.
Now for the really big news of the week. My sister-in-law had a baby boy on Tuesday. His name is Finley and he's healthy. Having a new nephew is definitely worth celebrating.
Hello everyone! I meant to post this earlier, but it's been an odd sort of day, so nothing has gone according to plan. My sister-in-law is having a baby today, and that's kept us somewhat distracted.
Anyway, C.D. Gallant-King was kind enough to offer me a spot on his blog today. I'm talking about self-help books and why Dani, the main character of the Self-Help 101series chooses to write them. Feel free to stop by if you're interested!
A comic book nerd and a pro-wrestler try to clear their names in a kidnapping while evading a bloodthirsty demon hoboÖ
Your first book, Ten Thousand Days, was very much a love story about the hero searching for his lost wife. Tell us about Hell Comes to Hogtown: Is it a love story as well? Hogtown actually is a sort of love story, but probably not what youíre expecting. Itís not what I expected when I started writing it.
Hell Comes to Hogtown is about a hapless underachiever named Fitz who works at a comic shop and canít get a date to save his life. When a beautiful woman walks into his shop by accident one rainy night he thinks his luck might actually be changingÖ until she gets him implicated in a murder and kidnapping case involving the prime ministerís family. Fitz and his best friend ñ a womanizing, drug-addicted professional wrestler named Dee ñ go on the run from the cops trying to clear their name only to discover thereís something way worse than the cops on their tail. A creepy, murderous hobo hounds them at every stepÖ and he may be some kind of demon.
So where does the love story come in?
When I first started writing the tale I thought the love story was going to be between Fitz and the mysterious woman. It was a major theme in the first draft but it seemed really forced and I couldnít figure out why. I eventually realized after conversation with my alpha reader (my brilliant wife, who has a knack for making sense out of my nonsense) that the love story isnít between Fitz and the woman, but between Fitz and Dee. Itís not romantic love, but the bond they share is far stronger than any other relationship either of them could hope for. I call the book a ìhorror comedyî but you could more specifically classify it as a ìhorror buddy comedy.î
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Depends on what you mean by ìwrite a book.î Also, do you mean currently, or under the best circumstances?
Years ago, before I was married and had kids, I wrote incredibly fast. I still do, I just donít always have the time to sit down and do it anymore. Iíve written 50,000 word first-drafts in under three weeks. The first draft of Ten Thousand Days took three days. That sounds pretty good, except remember those are first drafts - they were rough and needed a lot of work. I have a bunch of ìfirst draftî books in The Closet that need a major polish and overhaul, so I wouldnít call those books finished by any means.
Hogtown took about 5 months for the first draft, and it took close to a year to revise and edit it to get it where it needed to be. This is the first time Iíve ever put so much effort into really finishing a book as best as I possibly can, and it takes a lot of time. Writing is easy and fun. Revising is work. Iím sure I could have done it faster in different circumstances (and I learned a lot that will hopefully make the next one go faster) but family and my ìrealî job come first, so writing takes awhile.
Do you have any odd writing habits?
I write on the bus, does that count? I have a very long commute to and from work every day, so I might as well make use of that time, right? Hell Comes to Hogtown was written and edited almost exclusively with my laptop balanced on my knees on an OC Transpo bus. Some people might find it distracting, but with my iPod blaring in my ears and my focus on my screen I donít even notice it anymore. I get so ìin the zoneî that sometimes I nearly miss my stop.
Do you ever get writerís block?
Not so far, knock on wood. If anything, I have too many ideas floating around in my head, I donít have time to work on them all. Often the biggest stumbling block to writing for me is just Life Happening. I have a family and a full time job, so writing has to come a distant third in my list of priorities and I donít always get to put as much work into it as I would like. My problem isnít getting to the keyboard and finding the ideas wonít come; my issue is usually is just getting to the keyboard sometimes. But you try not to get discouraged and work when you can, Eventually, even if itís just a few minutes here and there, you will get through the book and have something to show for it.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
In no particular order:
1. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut - This was a perfect blend of comedy and blackness. It hit all the right notes for me at the age I read it, the lost love, the denouncement of war, the questions of morality, all undercut by Vonnegutís infamous dark sense of humour. Iím reading it again right now and it still blows me away with how effortlessly Vonnegut stirs up so much emotion. Itís not hilarious, laugh-out loud funny, but itís got a certain satirical levity that is totally incongruous with the dark and painful subject matter, and it works perfectly. I wish I could write a book like this.
2. The Road by Cormac McCarthy - The best zombie book and it doesnít have a single zombie in it. Itís so bleak and depressing (though not as bad as some of his other work, like Blood Meridian) but it holds onto a tiny sliver of hope so beautifully. I could never write a book like this and I donít think Iíd want to.
3. The Hitchhikerís Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams - If you donít know why I would like this we canít be friends.
4. Lamb by Christopher Moore - This is the book I wish I had written. Like, word for word. The true story of Jesus, as told by his childhood pal Biff. Itís priceless, and hilarious, and a so much fun while still holding onto some of that darkness that permeates other books I enjoy. Moore and myself share a similar sense of humour, which is pretty obvious in some of his more ìhorrorî themed books like You Suck: A Love Story and A Dirty Job. They could be spiritual cousins to Hell Comes to Hogtown. Plus, how can you not love a book where Jesus travels to China, invents martial arts and calls it ìJu-do: The Way of the Jew?î
5. Anything by Terry Pratchett.
Title: Hell Comes to Hogtown Author: C.D Gallant-King Genre: Comic Horror Length: 65,000 words Cover Art: Jason Salvatori and Max Covers Editing: Amy Allen-MacLeod Release Date: July 1, 2016
Fitz is a broke night manager for a grubby comic book store. His only friend Dee is a drugged-out, womanizing pro-wrestler. Together theyíre the most pathetic losers on the face of the planet. Their lives cannot possibly get any worse.
And then theyíre implicated in the kidnapping of the prime ministerís wife.
On the run from the cops, Fitz and Dee discover there is something far worse than the RCMP stalking the dark streets of Toronto. They are being hunted by an ancient demon of unspeakable evil with an insatiable taste for blood... or maybe itís just your run-of-the-mill giant murderous hobo?
Either way, life in prison might be better than whatever the creepy drifter has in store for themÖ
You can purchase Hell Comes to Hogtown at any of the fine retailers below:
C.D. Gallant-King is an independent writer originally from Newfoundland, Canada, though he's not fond of fishing and hates boats. He moved to Toronto to study theatre, and then later moved to Ottawa where he does absolutely nothing related to theatre.
My kids are excited because they get to be in a parade tomorrow morning. This will be the third year in a row they've done it, and they love it every time.
I've gotten a good amount of writing done this week. Perhaps not as much as I might have liked, but my WIP is coming along nicely.
My garden is coming along well. I have three tomato plants. Two of them were nibbled by rabbits, but one of those two is making a comeback and will likely produce some nice tomatoes. The one that the rabbits didn't touch is growing like crazy. So is our cucumber plant. We also have peppers and onions that look really good. I can't wait to eat some of this stuff!
Thanks to generous friends, we have a bunch of baby clothes, which we definitely needed. I'm definitely grateful for that.
Today's blog tour stop for my latest novella Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injurytakes me to Lori MacLaughlin's blog. The main character Dani has some survival tips for any of you who may find themselves in a bizarre science fiction scenario. One can never be too prepared, right?
We got one big piece of news this week. I announced a few weeks ago that I'm having a baby in late November. We had the 20 week ultrasound on Thursday, and everything looked good. We also found out what we're having.
My boys are going to have a baby sister. Everyone is excited.
Hello everyone! I'm just putting up a quick post to let you all know that I have a guest post up on Diane Burton's blog today promoting my latest novella Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury. Be sure to check it out if you're interested!
I'd like to start by wishing my husband a happy birthday! I also self-published my first novella a year ago today. Yay for happy things!
I'm also happy that my latest novella Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injuryhas received a couple of great reviews! I'd like to thank all of my readers. I love writing, and I also love it when people have a good experience reading something that I've written. It's an amazing feeling!
This month we're going to start answering a question as part of our posts. This month's question is: What's the best thing someone has ever said about your writing?
I've gotten a lot of supportive comments from my husband and some family members, but right now, I'd like to focus on supportive comments I've gotten from teachers over the years. A good teacher can do a lot to inspire students, and I'm grateful to all of the amazing teachers I've had.
Throughout middle school and high school, I had teachers encourage me to keep writing. One teacher said reading my stuff was like a breath of fresh air, and another said she expected to see my books on the New York Times Best Seller list. I haven't gotten there yet, but it's good to know someone thought I had it in me. Then in college, I had a professor who said I was one of the best writers she'd had in class.
Despite all of this encouragement, it's not always easy to keep going. Being a writer is tough. Still, without such kind words, who knows if I'd be where I am today?
What's the best thing someone has said about your writing?
We had a dramatic event this week. On Wednesday, my husband was on his way to work when he got into a car accident. He was on the interstate, and he went to change lanes. He checked the mirror, but apparently there was a car in his blind spot. He noticed in time to swerve and miss them, but he ended up going into the ditch doing at least 70 miles per hour. Fortunately, he's sore but otherwise fine. The only damage to the car was the driver's side mirror, which is MIA. I'm definitely grateful, because it could have easily been so much worse.
I'm also celebrating the release of my latest novella, Self-Help 101 or: How to Survive a Bombardment With Minimal Injury, which came out on Tuesday of this week. This novella has a 4th of July theme. For more information and purchase links, click HERE.
Happy 4th of July to all of you in the United States. Have a fun and safe weekend!