Hey, the interview with me is up at KPC News!

This is from the Albion New Era. KPC owns many of the newspapers in the area, but I don't know how many others this will be in, if any. However, the link to the interview online is here:

http://kpcnews.com/news/latest/new_era/article_f2535b22-10e0-5e29-bec7-79fbc7441c10.html

There you can see a color version of the sweater that Emily hates so much, which means I hate it too and does anyone want a free sweater?
 Jeez, three days before the author appearance in Avilla. We got a new shipment of bookmarks to give away, and new business cards, both designed by Emily ... also a new folding table, and a new canopy, not designed by Emily ...

 

Oh, and we have books. It's very important, when trying to sell books, that you have books to sell.

 

But I always feel nervous and unprepared before these things. Mind you, we've done at least a few every year, since that first one in the summer of 2011. Well over a dozen at this point.

 

My first book signing ... which was easier to set up, because I only had one book to sell. Now I have nine!

One of my favorite places to have an author appearance was the Noble Art Gallery (which, come to think of it, is half a block from where we set up for the first one). It's inside, has all that art, there's a sense of history, and a big window with a view of the Noble County Courthouse. But I've been there three times now, and the most recent time last year was poorly attended; I suppose I went to the well too often. Still, they're the only brick and mortar location with copies of our books for sale when I'm not there.

 

You could say my easiest author appearance was earlier this month, at the Albion Fire Department's annual fish fry. They sold three copies of Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights, even though I wasn't even there! But it wasn't really an author appearance, as I didn't appear, and it wasn't a book signing, since I didn't sign them. It's possible at this point that there are more signed books out there then there are unsigned ones, so maybe the latter are worth more.

 

Adding to my nervousness is that most of our appearances have been in Albion, although we've also shown up in Kendallville, Auburn, and Cromwell. Our trip to the Avilla Freedom Festival will be my first time in that town, so there's an air of uncertainty. Does anyone in Avilla know me, besides some emergency services people and the crew at the 4 County Mall? We'll see.

 

Meanwhile there's always worry about the weather, and getting set up properly, and finding the nearest bathroom. (Hey, I'm no spring chicken. And even spring chickens have to pee from time to time.)

 

Will our new awning get blown away in a windstorm? Will people laugh at me for taking books to a street fair? Will I sell zero books, and end up taking a loss? (It's happened before.) Will they have elephant ears? Will I get powdered sugar all over my inventory?

 

Stay tuned.

While hauling stuff out for spring cleanup I ran into a reporter right in front of my home--camped out, no doubt, hoping for a good quote, or a photo of me with my hair in curlers. (Just kidding: The newspaper office is just down the street, and the rest of town is just up the street.)

The next day he stopped at the house for an interview and we had a nice, hour and a half long talk about all aspects of writing and publishing, and I got to show off Radio Red as well as our other books. I also pimped our upcoming appearance at the Avilla Freedom Festivals, of course. But I don't know what all will make it into his article--I'm sure he has only so much space, and we covered a lot of territory. Turns out I love to talk about writing, go figure.

I'll let you know when it comes out! Meanwhile, as usual, check out all our books at www.markrhunter.com, or stop by here for the latest.

Any author will tell you their success at finding readers lives and dies on reviews. Well, and sales. That's a given.

Actually, not all writers will tell you that. Stephen King doesn't worry about reviews so much. Neither does Rowling, these days. Come to think of it, these days they don't have to worry about sales so much, either.

Still, for most of us reviews are a big deal. There's one thing we all desire more than reviews, though: Good reviews. If the reviews contain the words "greatest ever", "genius", or "eat your heart out, King and Rowling", it's probably a good review. Not always, though. Here's a review I got for my first novel, Storm Chaser:

"This is the greatest ever waste of space--getting people to buy it was a genius con. Eat your heart out, King and Rowling: You'd have never gotten away with this."

So there are always exceptions. Here are some questionable reviews my other books received:


Storm Chaser Shorts:
 "Dude, shorts are never mentioned at any of these stories. Sure, there are some storms, and people get chased once or twice, but that's only two-thirds of the title. No truth in advertising!"

 
Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century Or So With the Albion Fire Department:
"This book should have been way longer. He didn't cover every single day. He missed most nights. And what's this 'or so' crap? This guy will never write another history book again."

The No-Campfire Girls:
"I'm all for adventure, but don't they have a safety director at this summer camp? Arrows, explosives, storms, fires--it's an insurance nightmare. Also, it has all these teenage girls, and no representation from teenage boys; it should have been more gender neutral."

Slightly Off the Mark: The Unpublished Columns:
"Opinions are fine as long as they're mine, but these just aren't my opinions at all. Also, I have the strangest feeling the author is trying to be funny. That's just unacceptable. I'm fairly certain I'm offended."

Images of America: Albion and Noble County:
"Okay, this is lazy, lazy stuff. They're supposed to be writing, and instead they jam the whole book full of pictures. And they didn't even take them themselves! Somebody paid them for this? (Update: Okay, somebody pointed out that 'Images' is in the title, but that's just lazy titling.)"

The Notorious Ian Grant:
"So this offensive guy drives all the way across America just so he can insult people in a different state from the one he usually insults people in. Then he's surprised when people want to kill him. Well, California wisecracking doesn't cut it in the Hoosier state, fella: Take your sexy stubble and go home before you get Tazed just like everyone else in this story."

Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All:
"I appreciated all the photos, but I don't know what they're of. Also, I'll bet the jokes would be funny if I knew what they were about. I think this is about history. I don't like history, but the section on Indiana celebrities was cool. But I've never heard of most of them."

Radio Red:
"I've never heard of this book. Should I have heard of this book? Maybe if it was free, I'd try it. Why do these writers want so much money, anyway?"


I'm afraid to even bring up the newest anthology, The Very True Legends of Ol' Man Wickleberry and his Demise. I mean, it's got violence and ageism in it.  On the other hand, it could be worse. None of the reviewers specifically referred to me as a "bad writer".

Well, none that you'll hear about from me.


We got our print copies of Radio Red in, and already sent the first two copies to some of our biggest fans: Phil and Cindy Jacob (Phil's on the fire department) and Emily's mom. Since we've reduced the price by a couple of bucks on the website at www.markrhunter.com, that's also the price for anyone who drops by for a copy. (Or we can deliver, if you're close and/or have an extra room at a great vacation spot.)

Meanwhile, Eric Olson of ABC21 is dropping by the house Thursday morning for an interview. Naturally, this triggers a day of tidying up, also known as panic cleaning. So if you stop by my house--don't open any closet doors.

 

 

Emily has the website all set up because ... well, because she's awesome, obviously. Now, in addition to being able to order any of our books at www.markrhunter.com, you can get a signed copy of the newest, Radio Red.

Pro tip: If you order a print copy of Radio Red from our website, you might just get, say, a couple of bucks off the list price. Just sayin'.

But only at www.markrhunter.com. And there are other Mark R Hunters out there, so don't settle for imitation.

Also over on the websites you can read samples, check out some free short stories, contact us, read my blog, and rent our dog to troll for dates at the park. I'm kidding about one of those.



Zora Marie talked to me about author's stuff on her blog this week:

http://blog.zoramarie.com/author-interview-with-mark-r-hunter/

Among other things we discussed time, inspiration, dogs vs. dragons, and marrying book cover designers.
A young woman moves from one state to another (with one of those states beginning with an M) and falls for a guy working in communications, who has a silly and sometimes inappropriate sense of humor.

Quick: Is it the plot of my newest novel, or the story of my life? Trick question--it's both!

Okay, it's a tenuous connection. (It's a real word, I looked it up.) The truth is, I wrote Radio Red before I met Emily. Granted, I'm always looking for a way to promote my books, but I think marrying someone just because she comes from Missouri, and my main character is going to Michigan, is a little much. (Still, the male protagonist and I do both talk on the radio for a living, so there's that.)

The other connection is one I didn't notice at all, until Emily pointed it out: My publisher, Torrid Books, scheduled the release of Radio Red for March 7; our wedding anniversary is March 5. Not an exact match, but still, the story's about a couple getting--you know--coupled. What better way to celebrate our marriage than with a romantic comedy?

I mean, other than a lobster dinner and wine.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Buy links for Radio Red (and other books):

http://www.simonandschuster.com/search/books/_/N-/Ntt-Mark+R+Hunter

https://www.amazon.com/Radio-Red-R-Mark-Hunter-ebook/dp/B01MRZ52DM

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/radio-red

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/R_Mark_Hunter_Radio_Red?id=ObK_DQAAQBAJ

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/radio-red-r-mark-hunter/1125362462

Not to mention www.markrhunter.com, of course.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Radio Red:
            Kirsten Veiss is setting a record for bad days: She’s broke, lost in rural Michigan, sunburned, and without transportation after her van hits a deer. When she hears a nearby radio personality making fun of the classical music she loves, it’s the last straw.
            Aaron Debolt just wants to bring classical to a wider audience, and he thinks a shock jock approach might do it. But he’s shocked himself when a sunburned, wild-eyed redhead bursts into the radio station late at night, brandishing—a tailpipe.
            Soon Aaron has his hands full in more ways than one, and Kirsten has a temporary on-air job under the name Radio Red. Now all they have to do is prove she’s not the one sabotaging the station’s operation.  

I got both print and e-book editions of Radio Red up on Goodreads now, I think. It would have taken less time for a competent person to do, but Emily was sleeping.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33838293-radio-red
ozma914: new novel cover art by Kelly Martin (Default)
( Mar. 4th, 2017 11:45 am)

Surprise! In addition to the e-book version, Radio Red is now listed for sale in print on Amazon:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Radio-Red-Mark-R-Hunter/dp/1682996018

 

And another surprise, it's listed as being published February 28th--even though the official publication date is March 7th. I suppose they put it up as soon as the print setup was done, and hey--who am I to complain? Now my baby is out in the world.

 

Since we were going by the March 7th release date, we don't have the print order form up on the website just yet, but stand by. Meanwhile, the print copies we ordered should be here in a week or so. Don't be surprised if you see me standing at the back of a Ford Escape sometime soon, hissing at passersby: "Hey! You wanna read a good book? No? How about my book?"

 

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-f_8TEVhwsSI/WGSSMCuQ-tI/AAAAAAAACw8/PheGowPIsw8XMJI8yWy-1AmJMC6vPN1pQCPcB/s1600/RadioRed_Cover2.jpg

 

 

 

Buy links for Radio Red (and our other books):

 

http://www.simonandschuster.com/search/books/_/N-/Ntt-Mark+R+Hunter

https://www.amazon.com/Radio-Red-R-Mark-Hunter-ebook/dp/B01MRZ52DM

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/radio-red

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/R_Mark_Hunter_Radio_Red?id=ObK_DQAAQBAJ

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/radio-red-r-mark-hunter/1125362462

(This is the big non-Radio Red announcement post that only newsletter subscribers have seen so far. As we'll see later, it does relate to Radio Red--in a big way.)


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:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/700221

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-very-true-legends-of-ol-man-wickleberry-and-his-demise-joleene-naylor/1125700942

 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!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZF588Q
I'm at odds over what to do with my newsletter: I promised subscribers early notice of writing related stuff, and exclusive content (and a dog photo with every e-mail), but I just can't seem to attract many new subscribers. When you add that to the fact that some subscribers don't open all the e-mails, I have to question whether I can justify putting so much effort there. On the other hand ... I promised.
 
Now, the newsletter has a button that allows me to put notifications up on Twitter and Facebook when a new one comes out. Alternately, I could take the newsletter and also post it on my blog, where I have more followers, and presumably some of those followers actually read my blog. I could announce on my other social media sites when it comes up on the blog, which I do for just about everything anyway, but that would take away from the whole special aspect of it that I had in mind.
 
Or I could do some combination thereof.
 
Many authors swear by newsletters over blogs or social media, saying there you have people who actually opted in to hear what you have to say. But if you're not already well known, you have the problem of getting people to opt in to begin with. What do you authors do, and how does it work for you? And as a reader, where would you prefer to hear from your favorite writer? Also, as a reader, am I stressing out way too much about this exclusivity thing? I mean, I'm not giving away the formula for KFC's special coating.

"You haz chicken?" My very first blogged dog photo, from way back when.
ozma914: (Courthouse)
( Feb. 22nd, 2017 01:11 pm)
I'm working on my taxes ... by which I mean I'll get all the paperwork together, then pay someone else to work on my taxes. Something tells me I'm not the only one who procrastinates until the year is gone, then rushes to find all the paperwork.

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?

Good times.
He's here!

Don't be scared.



https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/700221

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-very-true-legends-of-ol-man-wickleberry-and-his-demise-joleene-naylor/1125700942

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZF588Q/

(Free on Smashwords and Barnes and Noble, but still set at 99 cents on Amazon. Which isn't an unreasonable price for an eight story anthology. Just the same, Ol' Man Wickleberry's working on it, so keep checking back.)

Big new announcement coming up within the next few days on the newsletter—big announcement.

Um … well, it’s big to me. I mean, in the cosmic scheme of things it’s pretty small. I’m not exploding a star, or starring in a movie, or moving to Tibet … okay, so maybe it’s a small announcement. Stop mocking me!

But it’s about a book, and not the one I’ve already told you about. And it’s about a book you can get for free, and that free book is connected to that other book of mine I told you about, and … you know what? It’s huge.

Huge. There. I said it.

If you haven’t already signed, head on over to www.markrhunter.com, and go to the bottom where it says subscribe to our mailing list, and the rest is pretty easy. As I’ve said before, I don’t sell e-mail addresses or sign people up for spam, unless I receive at least fourteen million dollars per address. And sure, in theory that could happen … and in theory I could star in a movie filmed in Tibet about an exploding star.

But I really doubt it.

Not this one ... but it's connected.

 

Looks like there's been at least one pre-order of "Radio Red" on Amazon--and the print version isn't even up yet! Someone has confidence in me. You can order it and our other books at:


https://www.amazon.com/Mark-R-Hunter/e/B0058CL6OO/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/"Mark R. Hunter"

 


And everywhere else good books are sold. (Not really, but I can dream.)

Or, you could just hold off until the print version comes in. Or, you could ignore this and go to my next post, which will likely be shilling My Funny Valentine. I don't usually do two sales posts in a row, but it's been a rough week.

The e-book version of my new novel, Radio Red, is now up and available for pre-order! I know, I was surprised too: Nobody told me it was happening, I just stumbled across it. I thought pre-order was what the big-time authors did. (The actual release date is March 7.)

I was also surprised to find my name listed as R. Mark Hunter. That's now been corrected, and we're up and running in such places as:

 

          http://www.simonandschuster.com/search/books/_/N-/Ntt-Mark+R+Hunter

(That's Simon and Schuster, one of the big name publishers, listing four of my titles!)

 

https://www.amazon.com/Radio-Red-R-Mark-Hunter-ebook/dp/B01MRZ52DM
(You've heard of Amazon? Probably.)

           https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/radio-red
(Kobo. You know, Kobo.)

           https://play.google.com/store/books/details/R_Mark_Hunter_Radio_Red?id=ObK_DQAAQBAJ
(Google Play. Yeah, you've heard of Google.)

           http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/radio-red-r-mark-hunter/1125362462?ean=9781682992234
(Barnes and Noble. It's nice to see my books up there, even if they can't be found (yet) in their brick and mortar stores.)

Those are the places I'm aware of so far. It's being priced at $3.99, which is pretty good for a full-length novel. Getting enough pre-orders might result in a bit more promotion, and those things tend to feed on themselves; so please consider checking it out! Also, look for the print version coming soon.

 

I got a sneak peek at how my new novel will look when it's up for sale: Radio Red, by R. Mark Hunter.

The problem being that my pen name is Mark R. Hunter.

I checked with the publisher, and we all agreed that with this being my tenth book, it was a little late to change my name, so the correction should be made by Monday. I do remember, back when I was convinced I'd be on the bestseller list by age 21, toying with what my author name should be: M.R. Hunter and M. Richard Hunter were my favorites. They seemed like a good idea when I was a teenager. Instead I added my middle initial, mostly because I Googled my name and there were some 1,400,000 Mark Hunters online.

Now, with the R, I share my name only with the CEO of Molson Coors Brewing Company, a risk management expert from Salt Lake City, a building contractor in Alabama ... and another author, who at least doesn't write in any of my genres. Yet.

So far only people who signed up for our newsletter, or visited our last book signing, have gotten any more than a tease about my upcoming novel. Well, it's time for the rest of you to take a gander at Radio Red:




Our last two books were non-fiction: Images of America: Albion and Noble County, and Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving at All. The latter was in conjunction with Indiana’s bicentennial, so it moved ahead of other projects. Emily and I worked hard on it, and we’re very proud of our baby.

But I started out in fiction, and now I’m going back: Torrid Books accepted my new novel, the romantic comedy Radio Red. Set in northwest Lower Michigan, it’s scheduled to come out March 7, 2017. We’re very excited! This is my first published work of fiction not set in Indiana (or in the Storm Chaser universe, although … it could be, who knows? After all, it’s another state. Never thought about that.)

Anyway, here's a look at the blurb, which is right there on the back cover:






Torrid accepted the book on September 20th, and I went by industry standard, assuming it would come out around a year later. But in very short order I filled out all the necessary paperwork, worked with artist Kelly Martin on the cover art, and got the galleys--the actual formatted manuscript, which I had to check line by line for errors. Much to my surprise, the book is due to come out on March 7th, a full six months earlier than I expected.

This will be our ninth published work! Wow.

 

 

In this photo, police block main roads and crowds begin to line up days in advance of Mark R Hunter’s author appearance at the Noble Art Gallery. The first person in line told reporters, “I’m actually just here to ask his wife Emily how she puts up with his genius eccentricities.” Several thousand people were expected …

 

 

Okay, not really; the photo is from the Albion Christmas parade. But that is where we’ll be this coming Saturday, from 1-5 p.m.—the old Black Building at 100 E. Main Street, now the Noble Art Gallery.

We’ll have all our books, including the latest one, Hoosier Hysterical: How the West Became the Midwest Without Moving At All. Also, we just finished printing out the front and back covers of our newest book, so you can get a look at it far ahead of the scheduled March 7th release date. No police line required.

.

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