Sunday, August 29, 2010

Louis L'Amour and His Writing

I grew up with Louis L'Amour. What I mean is, my father, John read paperback books all the time, and he always read the latest Louis L'Amour books. He read Westerns: L'Amour, Max Band, Zane Grey, and author's names I do not recall. In the evenings Daddy always had a book in his hands. He'd read and was very much a mult-tasker (like me), who could watch TV and read, and maybe answer a question or two after some thought, and about the time I would think he didn't hear my question he would give me an answer.

Louis L'Amour is considered to be on of the world's most popular writers. He is the only American-born novelist in history to receive both the Congressional Gold Medal (1982) and Presidential Medal of Freedom (1984). He published ninety novels, thirty short-story collections, two works of nonfiction, a memoir, Education of a Wandering Man, and a volume of poetry. I've read there are about 300 million copies of his books in print.

Just after his death in 1988, at the age of 80, his daughter Angelique L'Amour published A Trial of Memories, The Quotations of Louis L'Amour, which included a Foreword by Louis L'Amour.

In 1987 an article by Donald Dale Jackson was published in the Smithsonian Magazine and here is a quote from it. (You can find the full article at the Official Louis L'Amour website)

"L'Amour is up at 6 and at the typewriter by 7 every morning, batting out the five to ten pages he produces daily. He halts at noon and resumes for an hour and a half after lunch before he quits and heads for his gym to lift weights and pedal a stationary bike. He never works from a plot outline, preferring to improvise as a story unfolds. 'I start with a character and a situation, but I don't know what's' going to happen until I write it. Sometimes things happen that surprise me.'"

"He believes he may only now be achieving "full command" of his craft; indeed, his current books are among his best. 'It's like a ballet dancer who learns technique and becomes a superior technician, and then the change comes,' he says. 'The dancer becomes the dance. It's not the technique anymore, the music is part of her. I feel that as a writer, that it's all there now - I am the writing.'"

I like his quote on the music and the dance....

One year when Don Pendleton was on a book tour, Louis L'Amour had been on the same tour visiting book distributors all over the country, just a few days before Don. Everywhere Don went he heard repeatedly what a great, likable man L'Amour was.

Have you read any Louis L'Amour?


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Contest: Your Name in a Novel by Andrew E. Kaufman!

Do you want to be in an upcoming novel?! Andrew E. Kaufman, author of While the Savage Sleeps, has a contest going on his blog and one of his blog followers will win first prize: To be named as a character in his next novel!

Two second place winners will have a T-shirt with the Cover of his paranormal thriller, While the Savage Sleeps on it, and two others will receive autographed copies of his book.

So what are you waiting for? Contest ends soon...Go add your name as a follower of his may win.

Read the interview I recently did with Andrew here.
His book is at Kindle and will be in print shortly.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

No. 1 Item at Walmart

It is reported by Business Week that Walmart had $405 Billion in Sales last year and they sold more BANANAS than any other single item.

I found that surprising....

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Domino Effect of Ebook and Self-Publishing Debate

Until this morning I had not really given much thought to the possible domino effect of the changes taking place in publishing and the growing popularity of ebooks. Some of us have believed that regular print books would not go away, although a few companies might expand by offering alternatives, as some have already done, and that many authors might move away from relying on New York publishers and agents and go into self-publishing POD and ebooks.

Charles Ardai founder of Hard Case Crime is an author and a publisher. The Hard Case Crime website states "Hard Case Crime brings you the best in hardboiled crime fiction, ranging from lost noir masterpieces to new novels by today’s most powerful writers, featuring stunning original cover art in the grand pulp style."

Among their authors have been the works of Ed McBain, Richard S. Prather, Robert B. Parker, Mickey Spillane, Donald Westlake, Max Allan Collins, Stephen King and several other excellent authors. Noted cover artist Robert McGinnis has done a number of covers for Hard Case Crime including the just released August novel, Brett Halliday's MURDER IS MY BUSINESS.

I received an email from Charles today. For the past six years Dorchester Publishing, the company that announced this week they were giving up mass market paperback publishing, (read my previous blog) and moving into ebooks and limited trade paper publishing, well, Dorchester is the company who for six years has been printing and distributing the Hard Case Crime mass market paperback line.

So where does that leave Hard Case Crime? Temporarily it will affect their books, and already a delay of two of their releases, QUARRY'S EX by Max Allan Collins and CHOKE HOLD by Christa Faust. Regarding the release of the two books, Ardai stated, [They] "will not be coming out in October and March as planned. They will come out -- but probably not till sometime later next year." Ardai also mentioned two exciting upcoming books that will be announced soon.

So, the falling dominos ... and in this case, hopefully Hard Case Crime can stay standing and this is just a bump in the road for them. I'm sure Charles will be able to have things running smoothly before long.

In the meantime, the Hard Case Crime titles are available at and elsewhere. The last time I was in a Barnes and Noble there was a shelf of them.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Debate on Self Publishing Continues, and Continues

Author Jon Guenther posted interesting comments on his blog about self-publishing and the ebook debate which is the current hot topic in the world of publishing. (I agree with him). And I have a feeling the topic will not cool to a tepid temp for quite some time.

This week a news item from mass market paperback publisher Dorchester Publishing, reported in Publishers Weekly and elsewhere, stating the company "has dropped its traditional print publishing business in favor of an e-book/print-on-demand model effective with its September titles that are “shipping” now." They have been in the mass market paperback business publishing mainly romance, and also westerns, thrillers, etc., and although not one of the NY conglomerates, they've been a stable and recognized publisher since 1971.

It is also an indication that the movement by many authors into self-publishing ebooks and PODs, along with the public buying and reading ebooks, is definetly having an impact on the book world. Every few days it seems, another topic of interest regarding ebooks arises, whether from Amazon, authors, agents or publishers.

I am currently expanding my ebook distribution beyond Amazon's Kindle now to the various other platforms for reader devices through And this week in the UK now has Kindle and our U.S. books available.

Times they are A'Changin' .... and A'Changin'

And many of us are happy to see the changes and new opportunities taking place. I believe it gives us a new sense of identity as authors to have not only choice in the way we publish our books, but control over our works as never before.

Some of my previous posts about the subject of self-publishing PODs and ebooks.

Charlie Rose Interviews Amazon's Jeff Bezos

Linda Pendleton on the Self-Publishing Debate

Linda Pendleton on Pixels and Fonts: Ebooks and Ebook Readers

And two articles I published nearly ten years ago concerning the subject at a time when the interest in ebooks was really just beginning:

Pixels and Fonts, Should it Matter? Resistance to Ebook Publishing by Some in the Library Profession.

Ebook Publishing vs. Print Publishing: A Look at the Pros and Cons.

And more from Jon Guenther on his Blog: Amazon and the Kindle Rock.

Yes, Times they are A'Changin'