Imagine if Groucho Marx and Katherine Hepburn were reincarnated, and found themselves solving the mystery of who's trying to sabotage a small Michigan radio station. Say, that's pretty good ... I made that up as I was typing it.
If you've already had a chance to check out Radio Red, please leave a review, and remember: It's the most fun you can have on the radio, without being shut down by the FCC.
And all my books are required by contract to be available at www.markrhunter.com, of course.
(Also, don't forget you can get a different look at the novel's opening scene in the story I wrote for The Very True Legends of Ol' Man Wickleberry and His Demise.)
We're in the habit of holding author appearances in unusual places, so why stop now
This year Emily and I will be vendors, at the 2017 Avilla Freedom Festival. My very first book signing was at a 2011 First Friday event in Albion, so we've been outside before, and we've been in vendor-type festival situations before. The change this time is that we're going long term--three days straight, June 22-24.
That's quite a challenge for us--especially Saturday, which goes all day. The longest book signing we've ever done was, I believe, five hours. I have this figured as being something like twenty hours, total. I'm worried about how much interest we'll get, but it has the advantage of being in a town where we've never had a signing before. (And the disadvantage that I'm probably not all that well known there. Although on the other hand the paper that publishes my column, 4County Mall, is based in Avilla.) It also has the advantage of being our first signing since the release of Radio Red.
I hope you'll all join us. Naturally we'll have some discount prices and deals, and we're also going to figure out some giveaway stuff ... but even if you don't come to buy, don't let us be lonely for all that time! Stop by and say hello, and stay for all the other stuff going on. After all, it's an entire festival, not to mention a car, truck, and motorcycle show.
Selling stacks of books outside in early Indiana summer. What could possibly go wrong?
So, the TV interview happened. We (Emily, the dog, and I) spent about an hour with Eric Olson of ABC21, which used to be 21Alive, which in my mind was a way better name. Bae was a little taken aback by the camera setup, and by the fact that Eric smelled like cats (according to Eric--I didn't notice it). But once the dog got used to him, Bae wanted nothing more than to be underfoot as much as possible.
Eric interviewed me after my first book was published, all the way back in 2011, so I had a pretty good idea what to expect. I don't consider myself a good interview--one of the reasons I write is to avoid talking--but I have confidence in his editing ability, so I'm sure he'll cut out of the worst of my verbal pratfalls.
The interview will be one of the 21 Country segments, which air during the 5:30 p.m. news segment on ABC21 Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. That's as close as I can come to telling you when it'll be on--but it should be online the next day, at which point I'll post a link to it.
I'm coming close to being one of the most famous living authors presently writing in southwest Albion.
|"Say, I haven't read this book since proofreading six month ago ... it isn't half bad!" If you look carefully, you can see Bae investigating down at the bottom right.|
Awhile back I was invited to write a story for a fiction anthology e-book: The Very True Legends of Ol' Man Wickleberry and his Demise. Me being the type to kill two birds with one stone (It's just an expression!), I made a connection between that book and Radio Red, and had a lot of fun with it. And now it's up for ... free!
|Ol’ Man Wickleberry is a man of legend – or is he a legend of a man? With a scruffy beard and a dislike for humanity, how long has it been since he met his demise, and what is he doing in his ghostly afterlife? The stories may differ, but all of them are true. We swear. So if you’re ever wandering alone in the woods at night, and find you’re not really alone, it just might be Ol’ Man Wickleberry.|
Enjoy eight tales by seven talented authors including:
Vendetta by Chris Harris: Mr. Baker is on his way to steal a deal when he’s snowed in. Stuck waiting at a rustic tavern, he’s ambushed by an old man with a strange story – a story that’s beyond belief. Or is it?
Evil Animals and Automobiles by Mark R Hunter : Ol’ Man Wickleberry hates deer so much he sometimes prompts them to an untimely end, with the help of those newfangled automobiles. But the next victim might be Ol’ Man Wickleberry, himself.
The True Story of Ol’ Man Wickleberry by Jonathan Harvey: Jonathan Harvey puts the Terrible Turtle spin on the Wickleberry legend. He names himself Papa Harvey and weaves a tale that is strange and bizarre, but still interesting. If only he wasn’t constantly being interrupted.
Out Walking by Joleene Naylor: The mysterious carnivorous white rabbits sound too strange to be true, but Ol’ Man Wickleberry can’t stand the thought of missing some rare game. It seems a walk is in order…
Body Swap by Ruth Nordin: A teenage boy makes a trade with a man who was thought to be dead.
Weirdly Normal - The Hike by Simon Goodson: Vincent hates hiking. But more than anything else, he hates their guide's endless wittering about the horribly scary myth of Ol' Man Wickleberry. Just when Vincent is certain the night can't get any worse... Ol' Man Wickleberry himself makes an appearance!
Wickleberry Elixir by Terry Compton: Rick and his two fellow college students just wanted a few extra college credits and the money from the work study. Then the professor demanded more details. But details sometimes lead to answers no one really wants or believes.
Ol’ Man Wickleberry (The Other True Story) by Jonathan Harvey: Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O, and next to this farm lived Ol’ Man Wickleberry, E-I-E-I – Oh. It seems Ol’ Man Wickleberry doesn’t like these kind of goings ons. A short story that’s rhyming good fun.
It was loads of fun. And the best part for me is that connection I mentioned earlier: My story about Ol' Man Wickleberry happens to take place during the opening chapter of Radio Red--but from a very different perspective. It's not a spoiler: The scene is the inciting incident of the novel, and is actually on the back cover blurb and in the story's description, so fear not!
You can find Ol' Man Wickleberry for free on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble:
And it's on Amazon. At the moment it's 99 cents there, but our illustrious editor is working on price matching and getting it down to zero, too--keep checking back!
|"You haz chicken?" My very first blogged dog photo, from way back when.|
This is when I put together my writing costs and income, and I've got to say 2016 wasn't a good year for author-stuff. As a business goes, it's a pretty darned expensive hobby. In the electronic age there's less cost in paper, ink and postage, but more cost in everything "e": electronics, electricity, enternet ... *ahem*.
Last year wasn't as red inky as I'd thought, though: I ordered fifty copies of Radio Red, but it was after the first of the year. That means I have to go all Harold Hill to keep 2017 from being red inky, too. (Not to worry, dear reader--as soon as they arrive I'll do my best to recover my cost, which is to say I'll push them like a desperate drug dealer.)
Harold Hill? Come on, the fast-talking salesman in "The Music Man"! Look it up.
So it's not looking good for the whole "retire into the life of a full-time writer" plan. Still, as long as I have a pencil stub and a piece of scrap paper you'll find me writing something, somewhere. That's just what we do--for most writers, it's an addiction. Maybe the desperate drug dealer comparison isn't that far off.
Much as a writer needs to write, a working writer needs to sell, so I'm cutting into my writing time to get manuscripts into the mail again. No agent or editor is safe from me! For you authors out there (Working writers are "working", whether they're trying to sell or not), how much time do you put into selling and promoting?
Apparently the interview with me ran on 93.1 WIBC: Early yesterday I received a small flurry of book orders through the website, and at the same time my Amazon author ranking suddenly jumped to higher than it’s been since February, 2014. (And no, I have no idea what happened in February, 2014.)
It just goes to show: You never know when your promotion efforts are going to pay off. And I still don’t know. When a media outlet receives a press release, is it picked up, as in this case, by someone with an interest in history, humor, and trivia? Or does my e-mail get opened the next day by someone whose girlfriend just broke up with them? Who saw the title Hoosier Hysterical just after being called “hysterical” by that very same girlfriend? Who finds subtitles offensive? Holy cow—all my non-fiction works have a subtitle! I might as well call my next book Kiss of Death: How Subtitles Ruined My Writing Career.
I can always find a way to turn good news into paralyzing fear.
That’s why I do book signings, even though the time put into planning and promotion doesn’t usually match the income: You never know what it will lead to. One person hears about it even if they don’t attend; they tell a friend who’s into that kind of writing; they buy a book, then another that they give to their friend, who just happens to be the cousin of a New York book editor; and bam! Six figure contract.
It could happen.
Plus, it’s fun to meet people, even if it’s people you already know. But that brings me full circle, because if people don’t know about the book signing … well, there you go. That’s why I say things like “Come to the Noble Art Gallery in Albion, this Saturday between 1-5 p.m.!” It’s not because I want to annoy you. It’s to open up the possibilities.
I’ve done an interview about Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All with an Indianapolis radio station, 93.1 WIBC. Just to prove it really exists:
Once I got over the mind-numbing terror, I really had a good time talking with Terri Stacy, who seemed to have a genuine interest in Hoosier history and trivia. I don’t know when (or if, because things happen) the interview ran or will run, so if anyone happens to catch it, please let me know.
Terri also said she’d send the story along to the statewide news organization that WIBC is affiliated with, Network Indiana—so if all goes well, the interview could turn up anywhere in the state.
Fort Wayne’s regional publications about what there is to do, WhatzUp, came out Thursday and … say …
Why, that’s my name on the cover! I’m actually above Mannheim Steamroller! I wonder what’s inside …
Why … it’s an interview with me! And anyone who can’t find a copy (I got mine at the Kroger’s in Auburn), can read the interview online:
Because that’s whatzup.
Traditionally I post my author appearance press releases here, and is this not a traditional time of the year? So here's what I sent out to various newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, and all the ships at sea, and it might even end up being used somewhere. If you want to use it--you're welcome to.
However, I would discourage you from starting up your own TV station for the sole purpose of displaying my press release on the screen. You'd be surprised at the initial investment, plus there's the whole part about actual programming.
December 11th will mark the 200th anniversary of the state of Indiana’s formation, and two Hoosier authors are celebrating a day early with an appearance in downtown Albion.
Mark R. Hunter’s newest book, written with his wife Emily, is all about Indiana, and created with the bicentennial in mind. Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All, is a tongue-in-cheek look at Hoosier History, personalities, and trivia. The Hunters spent almost two years researching and touring the state, and the book is illustrated with photos they took on their travels.
The Hunters already collaborated on two local history books: Images of America: Albion and Noble County, and Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With the Albion Fire Department. In addition, Mark Hunter has five other published books, four of them fictional works set in Indiana.
Mark and Emily will be appearing from 1-5 p.m. December 10th at the Noble Art Gallery, 100 E. Main Street, in Albion. The gallery holds the works of artist/owner Dan Gagen, as well as over twenty other area talents, and features items ranging from wall art to jewelry and pottery. They also have the books by the Hunters, who have visited twice before.
In addition, the event will serve to unveil Mark Hunter’s newest novel, which is scheduled to be published March 7, 2017 by Torrid books. Hunter hasn’t announced the book’s title, but its cover has been approved and will be on display at the appearance, along with all of his previous books.
Tomorrow afternoon we’re going to send out our very first newsletter, which will be way better than the last one. It’s got that major announcement I mentioned, a little humor, a mention of the upcoming author appearance (a second one’s pending, too), and—as promised—a cute dog photo.
So just hop on over to www.markrhunter.com and go to the bottom of the main page, type in your e-mail address (which will absolutely not be shared), and hit subscribe! Well, and then you’ll have a confirmation e-mail. Some people who filled out the signup sheet for the newsletter months ago are just now getting that, because I got lazy … I sure hope they remember who I am.
I’m still floundering my way through this whole self-promotion thing. Eventually the newsletter might also be linked on Facebook or my blog, but I’ve found a lot of people just aren’t seeing things on social media … there’s just too much stuff flying by us, these days.
|Did I mention he's very photogenic?|
I’m about to make our author’s newsletter active, and the first one will feature a big future publishing announcement. I’ll have more about the newsletter soon, but for now you can sign up for it near the bottom of my main website page at www.markrhunter.com.
Once it’s up and running you’ll get some free and exclusive content there. And cute dog photos.