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Posts Tagged ‘James Patterson’

Do You Want To Live Forever?

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

This post has nothing to do with the words were first immortalized by Valeria (Sandahl Bergman) before she leapt off the Tower of Set and was followed by Conan (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in the original (and far superior) Conan the Barbarian movie.

This post is about me offering readers the opportunity to be immortalized as a character in one of my books! I can’t guarantee the role of said character, but at this point my intention is to make it a supporting character that is as true to the reader as possible. I say immortalized because I imagine my books will outlive any of us – they’re on the Internet after all!

James Patterson did something like this recently, except I believe there was money involved that went to charity. I’m also not sure if Mr. Patterson only used the name of the lucky lady who won or if there was more to it than that. My intent is to far beyond just a name. I want to try and keep it as true to you as possible, or as true to the person you explain yourself to be. That means this will require some work on my part and on yours, but I think it’s the kind of work that everybody yearns to do.

In an increasingly technological world we find ways to exist by being lonely islands floating in a busy ocean. We’re all so focused on living our own lives and achieving the goals we have for ourselves that we’ve lost a lot of human interaction. Even worse, we feel nobody can really understand who we are. This is my nickle and dime approach to fighting back against that separationism.

The opportunity here is something that I think we’d all really like. I’m offering to listen to you while you unload the things about yourself that you feel are misunderstood. Your fears, your concerns, and your triumphs. We all feel like there are things nobody understands about us – I’m one of “we” too. Here’s the chance to share those things with somebody who promises to listen. I can’t fix anybody, but I can let you unload and we’ll both come away better off because of it. And no, I’m not saying this is just for the winner, this is for anybody who wants to take part in this process.

So how do can you get hooked up with this cool opportunity? Easy! Just send me an email at jason@booksbyjason.com. Include in it your name and some details about yourself. You can focus on why I should pick you or you can vent about something that’s bothering you. I won’t attempt to solve your problems, but I will read what you write and respond to you. I’ll also be honored that you chose to share it with me, provided you don’t claim to be a Nigerian Princess that wants to offer me millions of dollars if I just give you my bank account information.

The book I’m working on presently is the sequel to Dark Earth, called Devil’s Icebox. There are plenty of opportunities for supporting characters in it so rest assured if you’re a man, woman, child, or something else altogether I can find a place for you in it!

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

I’m not sure who said that originally, but I’m blatantly stealing it for the catch phrase of this article. It’s appropriate, as you’ll see in a minute. Hopefully it makes good twitter-bait as well.

This post is meant to assist people like myself – people who want to write books and sell them. Not just that, but also sell enough of them to make a living at it. Maybe living as well as James Patterson is a bit of a stretch, but I could handle paying off some debt at least!

I mentioned James Patterson on purpose. It’s not a sneaky way to get some search engine hits, it’s because my wife likes his books and I have been reticent about them. I’ll admit it, I didn’t care much for the guy and that’s been quite unfair of me. I’d never met him, after all. I’d only read a few bits and pieces of his books. Enough for me to push my nose into the air and say that I didn’t like what I’d read because something about it flew in the face of accepted writing dogma. As he once stated, thousands of people don’t like him, but fortunately, hundreds of thousands do. My dislike probably didn’t bother him very much.

Mr. Patterson reinforced my belief that his writing didn’t adhere to literary form when he said he cares less about the sentences and more about the story. To a lot of writers who take writing seriously, that’s a slap in the face. Some very successful authors even go so far as to say that Patterson isn’t a good writer so much as he’s a good marketer.

First of all, what does it mean to be a good writer? Does it mean that you are hidebound by tradition and do things as they’ve always been done before? If that’s the case, then humanity has been pretty piss-poor in general at maintaining the status quo. Oh sure, most people in positions of power would love to keep things as they are. Without change their system continues to support them, whether it’s a publishing house or a tyrannical dictator. Fortunately for the rest of us the world is constantly evolving. We’re changing and, in most cases, getting better. Why then shouldn’t writing evolve as well? Why should readers have to conform to what an accepted author has written? In this day and age we want whatever it is we want, and the world has become small enough thanks to the Internet that we can usually get it. For writers smart enough to listen to their readers and to give them what they want, the sky’s the limit.

I don’t mean to say that any college dropout with a pen can make millions writing books. Clearly there still needs to be some level of talent so that people are interested in what said dropout has written. If finding your voice doesn’t come natural don’t give up hope – all of us are learning and improving with every story, every critique, and every opportunity we have to read something else. Perseverance is the key, as it is for all things in life.

But back to James Patterson. 1 out of 17 books purchased since 2006 were written by him. 1 out of 17! That’s out-freaking-standing. And for people like me it was very frustrating. He sells more than Dean Koontz, Dan Brown, and Stephen King combined! Nonetheless, I read a little bit out of one of his books my wife bought (Swimsuit, I think it was) and I took note of how he wrote. I scoffed at first, but once I got over that jealousy I began to think about it more seriously. I then started experimenting.

My most recent series, Vitalis, has two published books in it (New Beginnings, The Colony) and two more pending (Parasites, Screamer). I’ve plans to keep it going for quite a while after these four as well. My intent with these books was to write a shorter story that people could enjoy purely for the sake of being entertained. They can get in and get out, taking breaks as needed with shorter paragraphs. I’m focusing on moving the story and keeping it exciting and fun. Mr. Patterson seems to do something quite similar to this. So far I have to say my Vitalis series is arguably my second best selling series, behind Wanted / Ice Princess (both of which have been featured highly on science fiction bestselling lists for a couple of weeks now on Amazon). I’ve even introduced some people to futuristic science fiction in a way that they found very enjoyable.

It’s obvious James Patterson is on to something. John Locke also swears up and down about catering to his market. Sure, John Locke’s two plus million books sold are a drop in the bucket next to Patterson, but it’s still proof that they know what they’re doing. Patterson is also a staunch believer in not being limited by genre. He writes all over the place, between himself and his co-authors. I’m happy to say that I’ve been promoting multi-genre and cross-genre writing for some time now. Guess I’ve done something right, at least!

I’ll admit that I did all of these things either because of or independently of James Patterson, yet I still felt biased against him. I was amused when I caught his most recent commercial on television where he’s pretending to be a bit of a secret agent himself and is promoting the Nook. That tipped the scales for me, especially when I learned that he takes such an active role in every aspect of his business (writing, advertising, publishing, etc.).

And so Mr. Patterson, if ever you should read this, there’s one less voice in the thousands that are burning torches and crying for you to be tarred and feathered. I might even buy my wife more of your books without too much grumbling.

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

To learn more about James Patterson…well, he’s just about everywhere these days, good luck trying to avoid him!