Tag Archives: amazon

Success is built around honest friends

The last few weeks have given me time to think about a number of things. As a fiction writer and a writer of erotic tales, it’s important that I tell an “entertaining” story and at the same time, not sell out to those who want something so specific it questions my integrity as an independent author. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all of the feedback I get and have never been shy about asking and begging for feedback about my work, but just because someone wants more of “this” or less of “that” doesn’t mean I am simply going to comply. The important thing for me is that I try and reach at least one person – whether they enjoyed the story or not.

While I have some close friends who live near me who have always been supportive and helpful, I get a great deal of feedback from outside the US, which can be exciting knowing that my stories are traveling around the globe, even when it’s a small audience.  Over the last few years, I think I have done a great job of being patient when it comes to measuring my success as a writer. I have received quite a bit of feedback related to my work and I am grateful for it.   Sometimes I have to beg for feedback, which I really don’t like to do, but I have a few friends who are very helpful and one in particular has been a huge part of my success. I have never met her face to face (not surprising for some of us still in the closet), but her honesty and genuineness has been more than an inspiration to me. She has motivated me without trying. The person I am speaking of is Sally Bend.

I came across Sally’s site via Twitter, where I do most of my book marketing and after reading her reviews of others and having a chance to read her own work, I realized that the style is not important, it’s the interpretation. Sally has reviewed a number of my books and confirmed the direction I was taking with each piece. She is not afraid of giving criticism and at the same time praises authors without spoiling the book.

If you get the chance to visit her site (http://www.sallybend.com) or follower her on Twitter (@bibrary), you won’t be disappointed. Thanks, Sally for your honest and kind words and for reminding me to stay true to who I am… as a writer and as a human being.

Sally was gracious enough to post a web interview with me some time back… Check it out here.

Censorship at Home

I get it… sometimes, people make noise and it can offend others in one way or another, but that is what’s great about the United States or at least it was up until recently.

Let me explain…

This may not mean much to most of you, but it really struck a nerve with me.  I have been publishing for almost two years now and really found a passion for writing.  It took a while, but I came to grips with telling unique stories that were not just filled with steamy sex, but that actually told a story.  After a few bumps in the road and some research, I found a style that was very unique and one that I was proud of.

As I continued to write, the story plots and character development became more prominent and the erotic scenes were not the dominant force in my work.  I really got into telling a story instead of just writing about sex.  Over the last 6 months, I had been working on a book series that hit home and the first book was to be published this week, but someone had other plans.

Amazon, killed my book in paperback, strangely enough, it was approved in eBook form.  Amazon initially indicated it was blocked or rejected because it violated the Amazon KDP terms.  I clicked the link they sent me and found that there were only two basic terms they had… no porn and no offensive content.

Now, as an erotic storyteller, on the surface, everything I have written could pornographic and offensive, it really depends on the reader.  That is what the categories and description of the piece should take care of for the casual “window shopper.”  Only now I was telling a different story.  One that had a little more meaning… to me.  Was there sex… sure, but that is not what I was talking about.

Without giving away the plot of the story, I wrote about a kid who grew up being bullied and assaulted because he was different, and who made a choice to close a chapter in his life and start a new one.  Is it pornographic?  Is it offensive? I guess it depends on who reads it.

My previous book “Understanding Steve” dealt with a similar subject where a character commits suicide because of the anxiety of finding one’s true self.  My latest book “Victim’s Revenge: Missing in Plain Sight” deals with bullying and sexual assault… both “trending” topics in today’s social arena.  Tack on aspects of gender identity, the transgendered community and other aspects of LGBTQ and now we have a piece of FICTIONAL literature that no one (or at least one group) feels should be published.

It is not like I don’t have options.  I can choose to move the book to another publisher or simply give it away, but I found it insulting that it was rejected for those reasons when I can turn on the news, pick up a newspaper (online of course) and read about unspeakable things being done to others who have been subject to these topics… AND THOSE A TRUE LIFE SITUATIONS, my book is a work of FICTION.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

A New Book and a New Outlook

This was a rough 2017 for me.  I dealt with a number of issues – Family issues, career issues and like most of us money issues, but the hardest part of 2017 was taking a stroll down memory lane.  With more time on my hands than I would care to admit, I began cleaning out some old boxes and stumbled across a couple of journals I thought I had lost.  Some of you may remember my first book (Am I Still the Victim) that I eventually removed from publication.  That first book was based on my journals from years ago.  These recently discovered journals took me back to an even darker place than I thought possible.

If only for a moment I remembered a time when I was always scared and vulnerable.  It didn’t take long to come back to reality, but the reminiscing was emotional, to say the least, but it also inspired me to sit in front of the keyboard once again.

My latest book, which is going to be part of a series is VERY loosely based on the experiences I wrote about in my journals.  Due out in 2018, I wanted to share an excerpt from the Prologue.  I hope you find it entertaining, educational and inspiring.