Friday, June 22, 2012

The Four Elements of Inspiration


From the day my mom dropped me on my head she knew I was going to be special.  One morning while I was flossing my teeth in the shower, I decided to prove her right.  What could possibly be more special than writing a novel?  Easier said than done, though, right?

A question many of us ask ourselves at some point is:  How does one write a novel?  What could possibly inspire someone to fill three-hundred pages of high-quality cotton-bonded paper with words about make-believe stuff like on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?

People often ask me, “How in the world do you think this stuff up?  Are you even human?”

The answer is:  Yes.  I am mostly human.  But what inspires me?  What dark well of traumatic childhood experiences dwells so deeply in my soul that it causes me to write about a mega nerd and hopeless romantic who finds out he has sexual super powers as in Sweet Blood of Mine?

I decided to barbeque some spaghetti and think about that for a while because I’m not really sure where my inspiration comes from.  Are any of us?  And then I stumbled upon an amazing discovery.  No matter what novel you’re talking about, all inspiration comes from one of four basic ingredients.  I give you THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF INSPIRATION! (In your mind you should imagine a deep booming male voice saying this with an echo sound effect.  Don’t read further until you get it right!)

The elements are:
Ninjas

Pirates

Dinosaurs

 Aliens

You might scratch your head and stare quizzically at this list for hours wondering when you’ve ever read a book inspired by any of these.

“Ninjas, pirates, dinosaurs and aliens??"  you ask.  "What about Twilight?”

Answer:  Vampires are ninjas who suck blood.  Werewolves are ninjas who can turn into animals to stalk their prey.  So Stephenie Meyer wrote an entire series about ninjas.  Cool, huh?

“Okay, yeah right,” you might say.  Explain Harry Potter then.”

Aliens!  You see, aliens can make all sorts of weird things happen with their minds and they use laser guns.  Harry Potter and all the wizards and witches were basically aliens with wand-shaped laser guns.

Red-faced and cursing loudly, you might next ask, “And Eragon?!”

Duh.  Dinosaurs.  Seriously, do you even have to ask why?

“Aha!  Ah, ha, ha, ha!” you exclaim.  “You’ll never get this one.  Hunger Games.”

At this point I would polish my fingernails on my shirt and scoff at you.  Pirates, of course.  Only pirates would capture people and make them fight gladiator style battles.  Their ships were the hovercraft.

So the next time you’re reading a good novel and wondering how the author came up with their crazy ideas, all you need to do is reference this article.  See if you can figure out which of the Four Elements of Inspiration gave birth to my novel, Sweet Blood of Mine and maybe I’ll share some of my barbequed spaghetti with you!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sweet Blood of Mine Release Train!

Sweet Blood of Mine is out in Kindle and Paperback formats!


To celebrate, I'll be offering autographed pics of my gorgeous man hump.  Oh wait, one moment.  *speaks in hushed tones with a lawyer*

Okay, I've just been informed that, while my man hump is indeed gorgeous, I'm likely to cause a riot as females claw and fight for glory of winning an autographed picture.  Since I don't want to be liable for too much female-on-female violence, I will instead celebrate by posting custom-tailored content for my wonderful fans!

My blog will start a glorious train and each day, another blog in the train will post character interviews, offer giveaways, and tantalize your senses with things other than my delightful bottom.  Tomorrow's host will be The Passionate Book Divas, a collection of deliciously wonderful women and their Mancave.

And so, to kick things off, here's a peek into the SBoM universe with:

The Unfashionable Vampire

I noticed the vampire a split second before he attacked.  He flashed toward me, his glowing red eyes blazing in the night.  I dodged left, down a narrow alley only to discover it had no exits, no way out.  I'd obviously stepped neatly into his little trap.


A face-palm seemed appropriate but I didn't have the time to admonish myself before the vampire blocked the mouth of the alley.  It took only a moment for me to realize that this was no ordinary creature of darkness.  His hair was a tangled mess.  He wore oversized cargo pants, a pair of ratty Keds tennis shoes, and a T-shirt that looked straight out of the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.  I had to wonder if this guy was for real or if he might be a vampling.  Even at the height of my nerd-dom, I would never have worn a pair of Keds.

He was on me in a fraction of a second.  I dodged his fist.  Ran up a wall and flipped behind him.  Before I could wrap my arm around his throat, he twisted away.  His baggy cargo pants snagged on a nearby dumpster.  He tripped and his head bounced off the metal with a loud clang.

I blurred across the space separating us and pressed a knee to his throat, immobilizing him against the ground.  He hissed, showing off yellowed fangs that really needed a visit to the dentist.  This guy had to be a vampling because no self-respecting vampire would ever look so unfashionable.

"Who are you and what do you want?" I said in a low growl.  I'd been on my way to meet the girl of my dreams for a nice romantic dinner out until this punk decided to attack.

The fire in his red irises dimmed and a tear trickled down his cheek.  "Help me."

"With what?"

"I'm hopeless," he said.  "The other vampires hate me and I don't know why.  But you used to be a huge nerd too."

"Who are you?  How do you know about me?"

"I'm Arthur Skidmore.  I went to your school to spy on you.  Women love you now.  How did you do it?"

A sigh escaped my lips.  "Hang on."  I stood, offered him a hand up, and then texted Elyssa to let her know that I was running a little late.  Where was the Old Spice Guy when I really needed him?

"Do you really not know why the other vampires hate you?"

"They laugh at me all the time and told me to go get a clue and not come back until I did."

Yep.  This guy was clueless.  I used to think having a sense of impeccable fashion was part and parcel of being a vampire.  Obviously, I was wrong.  But I knew exactly who to point him toward.

"I gotta say that even non-vampire guys who want a girl shouldn't wear cargo pants.  Not that I knew any better in my nerd days.  So I'm gonna point you to a guy that you should listen to.  No arguments."

"A guy?"

"Yep.  His name is Renaldo and he's a hair stylist.  He can help you with your looks, but there's not much he can do about your name.  I suggest you go by a nickname."

"Like Arty?"

Good lord, this guy had it bad.  His last name made me think of skidders.  Crusty underwear was not something you wanted women thinking of when they heard your last name.  "Uh, no.  What's your middle name?"

"Bustamante."

A groan got out before I could stifle it.  "Maybe a legal name change would be best."  I gave him Renaldo's number.  "Now, go.  Run!  Before I change my mind.  And get those nasty fangs whitened."

Arthur Bustamante Skidmore blurred away into the night and I sincerely hoped Renaldo could help the guy discover his inner fashion.

Go to the Passionate Book Divas tomorrow for the next blog in this train!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dissecting the Grey

Today over on Passionate Book Divas, I begin my dissection of Fifty Shades of Grey.

In other news, this is Britain's most beautiful woman.

That is all.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Banana Chip!

Chippy B at birth
Ever since meeting my bestest friend, Chippy B, my life has been one delight after another.  Chippy B, in case you're wondering, is a magical dried banana chip that I found in the bottom of a bag of such chips, except he was clearly no ordinary crunchy delight!

Together, we've explored magical kingdoms, fed carrots to were-rabbits, and also done some shopping at JC Penny.  It's amazing the kinds of things you can find on sale when you have a magical entity sitting in a little chair on your shoulder (that's just how he rolls).  And yes, I do get asked quite often, "Do you have a chip on your shoulder?"

Can you guess which one is Chippy B?
Anyway, Chippy B thought I should mention that the release date for my upcoming novel, Sweet Blood of Mine is this Thursday.  I told him that self-promotion feels so dirty.  He then reminded me that I'm a wonderful human being who will one day rule the world.  I saw his point and decided to go ahead and pimp myself out!


On Thursday, I'll be starting a blog train right here and posting links to the other blogs involved.  We'll have character interviews, prizes, and guest appearances by Oprah, JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, and, if we're really lucky, Ernest Borgnine.

So, swing on by and engage in the festivities!

(By the way, what I said about guest appearances is all lies.)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Get Naked and Win!


As a world-renowned ass model, cleanliness isn't an option.
I don't know about everyone else, but I have an efficient pattern for taking showers that developed all on its own over the years.
Clean hair.  Apply shaving cream.  Soap down my hot bod.  Rinse my hot bod.  Shave.  And voila!  I'm clean and shiny, ready for a new day.   I almost added brushing my teeth to the routine, but that just seemed like overkill.
The little kink in my cleaning routine has always been my man-pits.  Women shave their armpits.  Most men don't.  We like to keep a mini-afro hidden there so when we wear our wife-beaters to Wal-Mart, everyone will know, without a doubt, that we're men.  But deodorant clings to all that hair and the amount of liquid soap required to thoroughly wash out the old stuff could keep a family of five clean for a week.
Even my Axe Ultimate Woman Magnet body wash, made of skunk pheromones, white wine, and liquefied hardcover editions of the Twilight series and the Hunger Games, fails to purge the old deodorant without gooping on a handful.
So I decided to grab some bar soap.  Lo and behold, the bar soap worked!  But adding it to my routine had unintended consequences.  The first day I was so intent on testing out the bar soap that I forgot to wash my hair and only realized it after I was drying off.  The next time, I forgot to shave.  Another time, I forgot to shave AND wash my hair.
Yeah.  That tiny addition to my routine threw everything off.  But I'm adjusting and hope that within the next year, I'll be used to it.  Because my man-pits have never been cleaner.




On a related note, I'm happy to announce a GIVEAWAY of my upcoming book, SWEET BLOOD OF MINE!!  Up for grabs, an eBook and autographed 6x9 paperback!

Head on over to my post at Passionate Book Divas and check out the RaffleCopter to win!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sweet Blood of Mine Cover Reveal

I'm pleased to present the cover for my upcoming novel, Sweet Blood of Mine.  I found a street artist and forced him at knife point to create this for me--I find that to be much cheaper than hiring a professional.

In other good news, the first draft of this novel's sequel is already done! So hopefully it will be out not too long after this release.

Here's a Goodreads link to the novel since I know everyone is dying to add it to their shelves:  SBoM on Goodreads

And here's the blurb!


Justin Case and women do not mix. Man boobs, a love of Kings and Castles, and being tight with the "nerd" crowd certainly don't win him any points either. After rescuing Katie, his crush, it turns out she might not be the girl he thought she was, while Elayna, the school's Goth Girl, turns out to be more. Can high school get any more confusing?

Determined to improve himself, he joins a gym and meets a sexy girl that just oozes a "come hither, Justin" vibe. Until she attacks him in the parking lot, and Justin realizes she's no ordinary girl but a being with supernatural speed and strength. After a narrow escape and an excruciating migraine headache, he wakes up with supernatural abilities all his own: speed, strength, and the ability to seduce every woman he sees.

While that might sound like the perfect combo for any hormonal teen, Justin is a hopeless romantic who wants his first time to be special. Is that too much to ask for? But he doesn't know what he is or how to stop his carnal urges. One thing is clear: If he doesn't find answers there are other more sinister supernaturals who would like nothing better than to make him their eternal plaything and do far worse than kill him.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fo Free!

This lovely month of February, I'm offering each of my four novels for free on Amazon!  So shave your legs, throw on your best pair of dungarees and head on down to Amazon.com on these dates for some free ebooks that normally sell for over 1.2 million dollars each!*  That's a 100% savings!  Not only that, but you'll have peace of mind knowing that each novel was lovingly hand-crafted by teensy tiny cyber elves that live inside computers.

The Next Thing I Knew: 02-08
Outsourced:  02-18 through 02-20
No Darker Fate:  02-21 through 02-23
Seventh:  02-24 through 02-26

You may ask:  "John, you are so amazingly wonderful already!  Why are you doing this?"

This is to celebrate my upcoming release of my next novel, Sweet Blood of Mine!

So bask in the wonderfulness, my lovelies!

*Amount is in imaginary fairy-land dollars

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to Write a Book in 10 Easy Steps

Have you graduated from reading picture books to big-boy and big-girl books?  Are you tired of reading other people's books?  Think it's time for the world to discover the paranoid delusions that have haunted you since childhood?


Then you've come to the right place!


Today I'm going to show you how anyone with a pulse can write a book with words and no pictures at all!  


1.  DON'T BE A COMPUTER DORK


First of all you need to decide whether you want to be a writer or a dork.  A lot of people advocate writing books using computers.  These people are total losers and don't know what they're talking about.  Did Shakespeare write books on a computer?  How about Tolstoy?  Dr. Seuss?  No they didn't!



This is what computer people look like.  Don't ruin your writer image!!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The *Bleeping* Embedded Comments Form Blogger Bug Fix!

As many Blogger users may have noticed, when you attempt to leave a comment on a fellow Blogger user's blog, you may get an error that says:

Your current account (frustratedbloggeruser@gmail.com) does not have access to view this page.

Click here to logout and change accounts.


As a matter of fact, you can't even leave comments on your own BLEEPING blog! This is a bug that's been around for a while and I guess it isn't going away anytime soon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Paranormalize My Life - Paranormalcy Reviewed


Evie works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, capturing rogue paranormals and locking them up so they do no harm to non-paranormal or whatever you would call people without paranormal powers. For now, let's call them "normal".

Hey, it's fantasy, so I get to make up all the words I want!

Moving on.

So Evie's kind of bummed because she wants to be one of those "normal" people--go to high school, go to prom, get hickies on her neck at a movie theatre from some jock who really doesn't care about her but just wants a trophy girl to strut around with like the egotistical git that he is. He will NEVER appreciate her like I would. Oh NO, we couldn't have her dating a nice guy, could we?!