Friday, September 6, 2013

It's done...

Rufus my hero is out on his own, peddling Strike the Red Hammer, on Smashwords.com . It's free (for the first 2000 copies) and has already had an amazing number of downloads. As a spill over, my 11 other ebooks are also experiencing a fresh surge. I'm counting down, anticipating the arrival of the first comments. It will be days however, as the book is 420 pages long. So then Rufus is free, the umbilical cord had been cut... and I too feel free of the burden of the long incubation. I feel like dancing in the streets, giddy with the sudden lightness of my conscience. Although there are new stirrings, Girard, my medieval hero in The Locksmith's Dilemma is also trying to pick the lock that holds him trapped in my computer. Girard wait! Have patience as I must have patience and most importantly perseverance. Then there is Orkan, my Viking in Learning Berserk... he too wants to be next. Chaiko, my prehistoric hero of the Young Adult Stones Series, has been waiting the longest-- since the late 1990's. They are all written, need only one final run through for quality control. AND the machine in my head is looking for a new theme for a book to latch onto. I think when I die, they better bury me with my keyboard, for surely I will still be writing on my way up.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Oh, it's taking so long...

I'm suffering through the third semester of pregnancy--at least I think I am. No, I'm sure of it. It's been long overdue, the delivery has to come soon. And when it finally arrives, what will it be? A healthy, progeny, full of life, or the runt of the litter? It is, however, 12th on the list, though of an earlier conception. My career as a writer started ages ago; nearly 18 years have since passed and now 11 books are online. But what does it matter, only the next counts, trying to bring it alive for public appraisal. Not by myself, of course; my wife tracked through every inch of the plot, hunting down offending lapses of creativity, not to forget pesky typos. I have lost count how many times we had done this already... BUT we are getting close and the birthing should be soon. I am excited. This book, more than any of the others I have written for myself. I have indulged myself and make no apologies or excuses. Total self-gratification. Yes, it will be here very soon. But I am tired of the effort, my brain has written it too many times. Everything else is all set, name is chosen (Strike the Red Hammer), and a place prepared among the family of the rest. Yet I wonder; will it achieve recognition? Bring me pride and a modicum of notoriety? What does it matter? I wrote it for myself and have been amply rewarded. Just... one... more... push and we'll be done with it...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Is there anybody out there???



I click on and sign in just to see if my flypaper has caught anything. Nothing, nada, ZERO... as usual. I cycle through and sniff all four corners but detect not a whiff of a stranger's presence anywhere. Makes no sense, Google Analytics tell me a few have passed through, through left no comments to document their states of mind. I'm like a blind pitcher, not knowing if I'm throwing balls or strikes.

That's OK though. As with my books, I write for myself and like the concept of a lone voice crying in the wilderness. I come here, mainly to meet myself. Like Robinson Crusoe, I walk my haunts, suddenly threatened by discovering a footprint in the sand. Who has invaded my island of solitude??!

This week though, I had to recalibrate. Completely. I have to deal with the fact that US-NSA is monitoring everything I write, logging every keystroke and warehousing every blog I release to the world.

Ever since this secret has been unveiled, I have nightmares that some analyst buried in a bunker at an undisclosed location is sifting through my blogs, appraising content. A super computer is chewing through my material looking for something suspicious in code. It is possible that every once in a while, the machine burps, and regurgitates a fragment for the operator sweating over the keyboard, who has maybe a fraction of a second to decide if there is anything there with hostile intent.

Well, HELLO. Let me make it easier for you, mister Big Brother. I'm a security threat only in a bakery where I find myself unable to resist cinnamon flavored specials and would certainly resort to subterfuge to get the last of the last yummy roll oozing caramelized sugar glaze. I confess to those cravings. I have a cinnamon gene on my chromosome that predisposes me to this vulnerability.

But never anything political. Read my books. Romance and adventure only. Nothing that pretends to change this world, or any world. I hope to stimulate imagination, that's all.



But Mr. Big, welcome to my words. I know that in your paranoid search you have no time to admire the fine quality of writing or let yourself be impressed by the insightful wisdom buried between the lines... but welcome anyway.



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I apologize...





In the guise of my true identity, Paul Telegdi, I've self-published 11 books through Smashwords.com, and the 12th is on the way with the 13th right behind it. On the whole the response has been good, and I enjoy the comments I get, most particularly those that peg me as a storyteller. That's how I see myself; spin a story, make it entertaining and at least believable. I love my characters and I hope you can tell.



Now onto the dark side. Some of you have noticed errors and wish for better editing. So do I. But I've already invested so much effort that more is not in the cards. Why? Well here is the breakdown.



I've written 19 books that I'm trying to bring online. A professional edit cost about $6,000 per book on the low end, adding up to $72,000 total, which is beyond my means, especially as I'm giving so many away for free. In a way, I'm subsidizing the reader's enjoyment in a big way. When I consider how much of my life has gone into those books, I've to wonder if I could've done better to invest in some other passion. All I know for sure is that my books, and especially the characters I've created, have enriched my life immensely.



But getting back to errors: after trying the traditional path, looking for agents and publishers and surviving their rejections, I've given up on that route. Left to them, my characters would have suffocated in the smallness of my computer. To a large extent my effort was on their behalf--to seek some public recognition for them (and some for myself, I admit). My own needs were satisfied with the first draft to carry through to the end and see how the story shaped up. Then came the swamp of editing, going over and over, always finding more errors. I did my best, in spite of a trick eye that jumped over words and hated to slow down and in spite of wrestling with tenses and the correct use of prepositions. If it weren't for the generous contribution of my wife, vital in all respects, the errors would have overwhelmed these books and they would have probably died in infancy.



Still there are errors, and for those I apologize, yet I don't feel ashamed, for the books themselves are a gift to my readers, as they have been a gift to me. I hope you can find the generosity of forgiving the errors that catch your eye. Mea Culpa.



However if you still feel offended, try to write an error free short story and see how difficult it is to produce a clean copy. Nonetheless, I've enjoyed having you on board; a book, any book, is a collaboration between the writer and the reader, and hopefully I've tapped into your imagination sufficiently to bring the stories alive for you. Hope to see you at my next book.





Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Confession of an Author



So now that I have written 18 books over the past 15 plus years, where am I? Just finished first draft and the 2nd walk through of my latest effort, a Viking saga.

Sometimes I think it unconscionable of me to ambush an unsuspecting public with books that I wrote for myself, starting with a vague premise, just to see where it ends and how it turns out. In the process, I push my own buttons and only afterwards do I think that there may be people out there who would enjoy this book--all I need to do is find them.

So, I'm fighting for readership and to that effect I have given away thousands of my ebooks. I have 11 of them online. Although I do get an odd response, the silence out there is deafening. Though I don't much trust people praising my work to me face to face (though my ego basks in its glow) and definitely I'm not about to trust feedback from friends and relatives. Sorry friends and relatives, but why would you risk our relationship by honest comment(s).

That is why I need you, should you wander onto this neglected corner of the Internet and by some mysterious link up, got to my site. Perhaps you have read one of my ebooks, and hopefully liked it--enough that you have looked me up to see what I do in my spare time. That's easy, I have no spare time. Any discretionary time gets gobbled up by more writing--rewind that! Not writing but EDITING. And in spite of all the hours at it, there are errors still.

But then, I'm not doing this for myself. I have resisted publishing for near 15 years, but do so now, because I believe that the characters I have created and love, deserve some sort of recognition. So I'm taking this leap of faith to brave "the coming storm of slings and arrows" for their sake. As a disclaimer, I must take any shortcomings of my work onto myself, although I feel that once I have established my characters, they wrote the book for me.

On the other hand, my characters play out many of my own issues. Central to my story line(s), is fighting evil, starting from nothing and aiming high, huge on redemption, respect for learning a language, love of music, and always an adventure in context of an evolving relationships. I can't conceive of writing a book without a romantic thread, though that is often not necessarily my main thrust.

Stamped into my writer's DNA (or my RNA from the reptilian part) is an inability to leave my characters unfulfilled, though I might drag them through hell for most of the book. I know that is often regarded as a negative in books and movies, but I'm writing for entertainment, not for literary acclaim. I can't resist self gratification of happy endings. That makes sense, as my books are a result of extended daydreams, though I'm not the hero.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The patience of blogs

It seems that of late my only concern here has been the sorry state of my blog. It's much like the outskirts of Detroit, full of crumbling and dilapidated buildings and abandoned properties. It's true that all my energies have gone into my books, in a concerted effort to get as many out as I could for the holidays, when people might have time to read them. So I did, and I was right. My latest book is being picked up at lightning speed in comparison to the snail's pace of my earlier releases. They are still free as I continue to promote myself and my works. I try to worm myself into the affection of a readership.


Actually the response have been generally good. I'm getting lots of 5-stars, though an occasional 1-star crops up by an anonymous spoiler, who must be on a crusade to pull down ratings. The comments are positive and heartwarming for an author, and I certainly appreciate them. Though I'm fairly confident of my writer's voice, it is still very nice to have it affirmed by those who read my words. I thank them all.

There I go again - going on about my books when I wanted to talk about my blog, or "my garden of words" as I like to think of it. In reality it's a dumping ground for my thoughts I can find no place for in my books. For me personally, it is also a mirror to reflect how I feel at the moment of writing it. It's waypoint in my emotional roadmap, sometimes up, sometimes down. Hard to see how it would interest someone else. No wonder that I had no comments for quite a while. The harvest has been poor.

Still I imagine that silent visitors pass through in the quiet of night, often furtively, look about and wonder who the hell am I.

I'm just like you! Well, not entirely. I hide behind the crowd of characters I have spawned. They speak for me more eloquently than I ever could in real life. They have become my voice.

So there we are dear blog, you listen patiently, never rejecting, always accepting the words I spun.

Paul Telegdi   still writing at www.seeWordFactory.com

Monday, December 24, 2012

The closet is full...

There are still too many characters in my closet and they want out. These are characters I have created with the sweat of my imagination, nurtured and pandered to, over a number of books that are still gathering dust on the back shelves. I can't blame them, I would want out too. Bravely or not so bravely, face the light of public opinion, take on the slings and arrows...


Hey--wait just one minute! It's the admiration and respect I'm fishing for. Had I not always said that I write only for those who like my books? Let the others find happiness elsewhere. So, I want to grow fat on praise, not ducking criticism and invectives. But how had I reached this point?

At first it was writing just for myself, to see if I could and had I the stamina to follow through. As this went on, more and more the writing displaced time from other activities, and attracted attention. I found people peering over my shoulder. "What're you writing?"

"Oh nothing. Just a few idle thoughts." But how many times can one get away with such a lame excuse? Eventually, there came a time for me to confess, "I'm a writer, I think." After three complete manuscripts, I had to allow that it was likely true: I was a writer.

Writing is addictive. Did anyone tell you that? At least my kind of writing is, giving free range to the imagination, crating my own little microcosm. Of course a part of me is in every character I created and I draw vicarious pleasure from their victories, suffer their setbacks and disappointments. Yes, writing can be a rush, the drug of my choice.

However, little by little, writing was not enough. The initial, quiet satisfaction grew into an ambition: having climbed one mountain, I found one even higher behind it. Now I wanted to become an AUTHOR.

Query letters followed, and I waited in the silence that ensued. It seemed like there were enough authors out there already and there was no room for more. I persisted a while, investing my frustration in yet another book. This blog followed, but my "garden of words" soon grew stale with neglect as my time was siphoned off by the writing, now out of control. I was a full fledged addict, I had to face that. Nothing gave me more pleasure than pounding out my characters on the keyboard. It was so easy and convenient. I didn't need a pusher to peddle me stuff to get high on, my mind was spinning off scenarios faster than my computer with its lightning speed could digest.

But, then the closet grew full, of tomes of complete manuscripts that still need to be massaged and polished into final form. I had a mountain of work to do. As every writer will tell you, it's not about writing, more about seemingly endless rewriting. with the first draft the creative instinct had been satisfied, the characters are fully drawn, the plot line nailed down tight, needing only to be tweaked. Now this was a beast of a different color. And as easy the first draft was, the subsequent reworks are the writer's burden. It seemed that the mountain sides were steeper that they first looked. Still one perseveres, sends another pigeon into the void, not to be seen again. I think I have been turned down by every available agent and publisher within arm's reach. Of course it was not my fault that they couldn't appreciate the genius of my work, some perversity of their character closed the doors to me.

Eventually, having grown tired of waiting for the world to discover me, I turned to self-publishing and got 10 books out of 18 online. Thank God for the option! But, with the ease of doing so, I found myself threading water in a big, big ocean, out of sight of land. Everybody it seemed had or has the same idea, and my offerings were swallowed in the swell of this tsunami of outpourings.

But the numbers for my books are climbing, not in any viral sense, but in a modest manner.

However, my original problems remain. My closet is full, and servicing them has become a chore. I'm itching to start something new, but I got to get a few more books out the door. So my creatures are clamoring, invading my dreams and waking me out of my sleep. What happened? I used to be a night person, but the earth has shifted on its axis, reversing polarity and now I get up around 5:00 am to make room for something new.

Then there is another thing that they never told you about when you started. Writing was only the rising dawn over the promised land, there was then the great quest to be published, and then... then the PROMOTING... But I'll write about that some other time, as this blog is already too long.

Dear Reader, I applaud your persistence for getting this far. But these words were not meant for you. This is a dumping ground for my thoughts that clutter up my mind. There I feel much better, thank you. Paul Telegdi, writing at www.seeWordFactory.com .