Is it just me…

scan-troll

Is it just me or have the rest of you noticed the disturbing increase in the number of thoroughly nasty individuals appearing on all social media sites lately?

If like myself you have the effrontary to raise your head above the parapet, by that I mean, advertise the fact that you are an active writer, by advertising your work or even supplying the link to blog posts like this one on any social media site, inevitably you will be attacked by someone who simply loves to hate. Sounds completely crazy I know, but we’re not talking about normal people here, instead I refer to the totally unhinged, common or garden, lesser spotted internet troll.

These days as a writer you fully expect it to happen sooner or later whenever a book you have written is published, especially by those who make it their personal business to pounce and attack from the shadows on major book sites such as Amazon or Goodreads.

Bizarrely, if you are not being publically derided by people like them, it usually means that your book isn’t being bought. Once the trolls find you, never ever enter into dialogue with any of them, no matter how sorely tempted you are. Just ignore the crettins! The thing to remember with trolls is that were you to physically confront them in the street, they would soon slink away, because without exception they are all cowards.

Occasionally one seemingly normal individual will appear, wanting to befriend you by employing the ruse that you share internet friends in common on a major social media site like Facebook. Normally those I keep in constant contact with on a daily basis, apart from my close personal friends and my distant cousins, are fellow writers. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been forced to ‘unfriend’ a non writer, the minute they show their true colours by making the mistake of either attacking me, or far worse in my eyes, attacking one of my writing colleagues. I had to unfriend someone recently, when the person concerned turned on me totally out of the blue while we were ‘chatting’. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have absolutely no time whatsoever for nasty individuals like that.

Recently a few cretins, (sadly one of their number is known to me) have begun attacking a lovely lady and fellow writer I’m proud to call my friend on Facebook. As a successful writer, I feel it is incumbent upon me to stand up for her and all of my fellow writers when they are being publically attacked on social media, even though many of my colleagues won’t, for fear of being targeted themselves.

So my message to all of you is to be extremely wary when someone wants to befriend you from now on. This is the latest tactic being employed by the Internet Troll – first befriend, then destroy!!! If you are the least bit unsure about it, either decline the request, or failing that, ask the friends you supposedly share in common about them first. If they are the least bit concerned, don’t befriend the individual. Better safe than sorry. It’s that simple. In the past I’ve always tended to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who wants to add me to their number of internet friends. No more!

Meantime, I invite you all to voice your views on the subject by leaving a comment below this post.

;)

Have you ever wondered…

facts

Have you ever wondered why it is that a writer prefers to work in one particular genre instead of any another? In my case, ever since my late father thought it was high time I put away the books of my early childhood, to read something far more worthy of my time, at least to his way of thinking, by giving me one of Arthur C Clarke’s brilliantly written science fiction books to read on my ninth birthday back in nineteen fifty-seven, the genre has remained my first love.

When I finally plucked up the courage to become a serious writer in nineteen ninety-five, the first book I ever wrote, and later self-published, was a science fiction tale entitled Turning Point predominantly set in my other home country – New Zealand.

If you saw my recent post (yesterday) not only showing you my body of work to date, but also the Amazon links you need to find them, you will have realised that writing tales that fall within the boundaries of the science fiction genre, is what I enjoy the most. Yes it’s true I have written a couple of books in other genres, namely Goblin Tales  a pure fantasy, and also The Adventures of Ursus the Bear a delightful tale I specifically wrote for parents to read to their tiny tots. What can I tell you, they both needed to be written. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

Like all genres, the heading science fiction covers a multitude of… Oops, I almost said sins. No, lets make that definite possibilities. That’s much better. Now where was I? Oh yeh; some science fiction writers prefer to set their stories in the far distant future, while I tend to set mine either in the present day, or at a stretch, within a plus or minus period of one hundred years from the present. Having said that, my second science fiction novel Onet’s Tale was also set way into the future. It was the only novel of mine to be published by a traditional press, albeit one of the small pursuasion, which, entirely due to the hissy fits and tantrums of its capricious owner/senior editor, is no longer available, despite the fact that it still appears beside my name on Amazon. Then people wonder why I have no time for business executives who think it would be a good idea to set themselves up as publishers, purely to impress their equally shallow colleagues and social set. Life is too damned short to waste your time arguing with them…

If you are wondering why it still appears along with all of my others, join the club along with every other writer. Amazon flatly refuses to delete any title on their list just in case someone may want to sell their copy back to them – yeh right, pull the other one Amazon, it’s got bells on it!

I finally shifted my science fiction writing into the time slot I far prefer in 2012, when I wrote my best seller to date, The Seventh Age. Ever since then, each and every science fiction tale I have written is set roughly within the same time period. My latest WIP The Guardian occurs not too far into the future in the next century – the twenty-second.

I leave the humorous, totally bizarre, fantastical and utterly unbelievable brands of science fiction to other writers. Let’s face it, this is one science fiction writer who would much rather write a thoroughly believable tale any day. As well as always trying to achieve that, I also ensure that the technology my characters use is either from present day, or is currently either in the design phase, or being field tested. For instance, In The Guardian I’ve ensured my current crop of character’s weapons are actual, such as the LSAT 5.55mm calibre Assault Rifle, the M110 Sniper Rifle and the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) air burst grenade launcher, along with some old favourites that most males will be totally familiar with, such as the Claymore anti-personnel mine and C4 plastic explosive.

If you will pardon the pun – In my book(s) there is no place for light-sabres or ray guns in any belieavable science fiction story. I leave that kind of thing entirely in the hands of the George Lucas’ of this world. These days I also tend to leave ET style aliens to Steven Spielberg and co, preferring my characters to be human, even though I did include one in two of my books a few years back. I’m not averse to the idea of slipping in the odd artificial or virtual intelligence into one or other of my stories now or in the future.

Well, now that I’ve bored you to death – sorry, I mean now that I’ve given you a brief insight into how this science fiction writer not only thinks, but prefers to work. If you want to know more, why not pose me a question as a comment below this post? Remember to keep them valid. In other words, no silly questions concerning things like inside leg measurements etc, if you don’t mind.

Meanwhile its back to writing The Guardian WIP.

;)   

The complete collection so far

OnetTurning Point7th ageForgottenThe Next AgeGoblin Talesursus-front-coverCataclysm

With the exception of Onet’s Tale, which is no longer available, either as an eBook or in paperback, all you have to do is to click on whichever eBook you are interested in to go to its corresponding Amazon.com link. If you don’t normally buy via Amazon.com, you can always find the eBook link you seek by first of all clicking on the relevant page link for you in the following list.

Nothing could be easier.

***

If you live in the Netherlands, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.nl/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/279-9603400-8105154?__mk_nl_NL=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Germany, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack+Eason&rh=n%3A530484031%2Ck%3AJack+Eason

If you live in France, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.fr/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/280-2910619-3635906?__mk_fr_FR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Spain, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.es/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/277-9237284-1409746?__mk_es_ES=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Italy, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.it/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/279-3173850-6452712?__mk_it_IT=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Japan, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/377-0278014-1105143?__mk_ja_JP=%E3%82%AB%E3%82%BF%E3%82%AB%E3%83%8A&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack+Eason

If you live in India, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.in/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack+Eason

If you live in Canada, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/184-3433483-4301906?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Brazil, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.com.br/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/182-7535102-2859815?__mk_pt_BR=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Mexico, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.com.mx/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/182-5143004-3863603?__mk_es_MX=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

If you live in Australia, you can find my books here:

http://www.amazon.com.au/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/377-2168353-7357751?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Jack%20Eason

You can also find links to my books on AuthorsDen

The Rumours were True!

Jack Eason:

Many congratulations to Stuart :)

Originally posted on Stuart Aken:

The Methuselah Strain, from FBP. The Methuselah Strain, from FBP.

I told you yesterday about rumours that my publisher, Fantastic Books Publishing, was planning to issue the new, revised edition of my dystopian science fiction novella, The Methuselah Strain. Well, turns out those reports were true. Dan Grubb, the owner of the publishers, has just emailed me to let me know that the book will be available to download as an ebook from Amazon from midnight (BST) tonight. Sorry, but you’ll have to search by author name or book title until I have a link for you – tomorrow.

So, what is the book about?

Finding a suitable life partner from the remnants of mankind isn’t easy for Luce, especially when she discovers that near-perfect automation tempts many of her fellow human beings more than genuine flesh and blood.

On an Earth in the not-too-distant future, the Prime Renegade plans to disable automatic…

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What recognized qualifications do I need to become a published writer?

Millais_Boyhood_of_Raleigh

This is a long post aimed at all current writers and those waiting in the wings, so please bear with me.

***

A couple of days ago while perusing the latest posts on Facebook, I came across one that my friend and fellow writer, Stuart Aken, had found on a question and answer site called Quora (Google it if you want to find it’s location). Along with a couple of others in the game, Stuart and I added our comments to a query put forth by someone, on the subject of which qualifications were needed to be able to become a writer and to break into the publishing world – Click here to read it.

Together with Stuart’s initial comment on Quora, the ones John Yeoman, Karen Wolfe Whitchurch and myself added on Facebook, hopefully helped to back up Stuart’s views, and to quash the ridiculous notion once and for all.

Yes, you can go to the expense time and trouble to gain as many literary qualifications as there are stars in the night sky. But no amount of academic study will somehow infer that you are a writer. All any formal course related to the subject will inevitably tend to do, is to kill off any talent you may have thought you had, making gaining them completely counter productive.

In other words, as a potential writer you are completely wasting your time chasing any form of formal qualification. In fact even considering gaining any on offer under the headings of English Literature, or Creative Writing is guaranteed to be a monumental waste of your time. Why? Because all participating in any course designed to gain these academic qualifications ever does, is to burn the personal views and opinions of your teachers and lecturers into your subconcious, which all published authors, myself included, would argue renders you incapable of original thought, the absolutely fundamental requirement for any writer!

The following statement is a lose amalgamation of what we all said in our different answers to the article on Facebook:

“The best way to break into publishing is NOT to have an MFA in creative writing. Still less, a PhD. Academic laureates have no correlation with publishing success. Still less has ‘good writing’. All any writing course will do for you is to impart your teacher’s views and way of writing on you. Be a reader first. Be an observer and an eavesdropper. Your voice will come.”

And yet so many newcomers to our calling still fervently persist in clinging to the absolute myth perpetrated by those within the industry, who quiet frankly should know better, such as literary agents, editors, publishers and professional reviewers, that you need to be formally qualified, hoping that by doing so the vast majority of newcomers will be disuaded from ever writing anything other than their own names, now and in the future.

Yes I’ll grant you there are two notable exceptions to the rule. The difference being that both of them were brilliant academics in their own right, before beginning to write. I refer of course to two of my literary hero’s – J.R.R Tolkien and his friend and colleague C.S Lewis. But without a natural bent for storytelling, no one beyond the academic world would ever have read anything written by either of them, other than their academic papers.

Remember this – Storytellers aren’t manufactured, they’re born!!! So let’s hear no more nonsense about which recognised qualification you need! The only way to nurture your natural talent for storytelling, always providing you have one in the first place, is to first of all become widely read. In other words read anything and everything.

Secondly, don’t believe for one minute that you need the help of any form of professional editing service. If you are any damned good, you don’t!

The other point to remember about employing any editor, is that your work will become coloured or contaminated by them. In other words the story is no longer solely your own. Instead it ends up being co-written by both you and them – something to think about!

Some of the more unscrupulous among their number see absolutely nothing wrong in adding their names as co-authors. I tell you this from bitter personal experience. It was done to me years ago with my very first published work, before I finally saw the light and rapidly left the murky world of traditional publishing to become an Indie.

All any of us really ever needs, apart from the courage of our convictions, is a team of reliable beta readers to take a look at our latest MS and tell us whether or not it works. How? By pointing out things that you have missed or perhaps glossed over, as well as the inevitable spelling, grammar and punctuation errors.

I’ll spell it out for you one last time if it still hasn’t sunk in quite yet – you have to be born with a natural bent for storytelling to become a writer.

Turning your latest tale into a work worthy of publishing comes much, much later via nothing more or less than sheer bloody hardwork on your part in the form of endless re-writes – aka polishing. I suppose what I’m really saying here is that in the end, to be a successful published writer means quite literally that its all down to you and you alone. So in the meantime get busy reading every book you can lay your hands on, before you even begin to contemplate writing that future best seller. Why? Think back to when you were a child. Before you mastered walking, first you had to learn to crawl – right?

For what it’s worth, as a successful publisher writer, I’ll always tell you to go for it. Even though many online book sites like Amazon are currently choked with literally hundreds of thousands of badly written new titles by wannabes, making it practically impossible for anything we write to stand out from the crowd.

Just remember this – unless you possess a God given natural talent for storytelling, writing ain’t easy by any stretch of the imagination! Instead it involves a hell of a lot of hard work often for very little gain, except for the personal satisfaction of having written an absolute belter of a yarn. As sure as eggs is eggs, while we all slowly gain a reputation for storytelling with each title we put out, the newcomer won’t gain one first time out!

So for now just take my advice – keep your head down and write, write, write and write some more. Oh, one other thing for those among you who think that writing will ensure overnight fame and riches, bear in mind that 99.999% of all writer’s annual earnings from royalties fall well below the poverty line.

Lastly, the world is full of wannabes who think that by rubbing shoulders with those of us who actually are successful, that they will somehow become writers themselves by osmosis. Just take note of the number of the largely unpublished social climbers who currently inhabit the various social media sites, labouring under the illusion that by adding the word ‘Author’ to their name, it will somehow elevate them within the literary world, without partaking in all of the hard work being a writer entails. It won’t! Like everything else we do in our business, it takes a lot of dedication and self-sacrifice on our part to gain a worthwhile reputation. Insisting on adding the word ‘Author’ to your name impresses no one. Think about it for a moment, it wasn’t the brightest move you ever made, now is it. Genuine published writers don’t do it. Neither should you.

None of us are in it for the money. Only the absolute joy of sharing our tales with the world through our writing…

;)

Dying Every Single Day for Months in Manhattan…

Jack Eason:

Mira on the philosophy of life…

Originally posted on mira prabhu:

IMG_9929_statueA brilliant monk held a motley crew of us dharma students in thrall for many years in the Big Apple. All right, he’d drawl as his eyes lazily scanned the room. Soyou’re all so cool with your stylish black wardrobes and your sophisticated friends. You live in the hippest city in the world and you think you’re doing great. And in the eyes of the material world, that’s true—fat paychecks, nice apartments, great social life, lookin’ good, lookin’ good.

He’d pause for effect then continue into rapt silence. But tell me: what’s the one thing your bosses can never recompense you for? Ah! You got it, smart people—it’s precious human time! Some of you are doing wonderful things for the sake of humanity. Yes, there are literally thousands of good things you can do with your lives—but, if you listen to the great mystics, the highest goal of human life is…

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