Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016... what a year it's been.

I think it's safe to say that 2016 has been a year we will never forget (unless you're so sick of it and never want to think of it again.) As I write this, I received word that Carrie Fisher has passed away from complications with her heart attack. Of course George Michael was just taken a few days ago as well.

2016 also brought an election year many people won't forget and a political upset (or victory depending on who you were rooting for.) We've lost a lot of wonderful people this year, and I've even lost several people close to me - both friends and family.

The one thing I'm proud of - is getting my book Self Aware 2 - Revenge of the Fallen completed several months ahead of schedule. I'm also glad to see people are enjoying it better than the first book. That's always a compliment when people have to wait a year or so to continue the story - and it was even more satisfying than the first.

With 2016 coming to a close - 2017 will soon be here. With it - another year of who knows what. Our attitude and outlook will determine if it will be positive or negative. While we can't change somethings around us, we do have the power to control our behavior. I think we need to approach 2017 with an open mind, avoid the negativity as best possible, and help others from the littlest of things, to the greatest of things.

Life does go on, and we will get through this. Things end - and with it - comes sadness. But things begin again - and with it, comes happiness. Be happy and let's make 2017 a much better year together.

Also, thanks for reading my words and being my fans.
Steven Wolff 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween my dear readers. It's been a while, but I'm happy to say that Self Aware - Revenge of the Fallen (Book 2) was two months ahead of schedule - so I decided to release it on Halloween! (How appropriate! The timing couldn't have been better - it was just last week Negan introduced his bat to the world on the show The Walking Dead. No spoilers here - but the new season is upon us and I hope it's making your mouth water for zombies. If so - you're in luck - Stephanie and Britney are back and sassier than ever. It's taken me two years to finish that book and i'm glad that it's now available on Amazon.com. I love my books, just as much as you enjoy reading it. Although with every ending, comes a new beginning and my next book is going to take us into space, set in this day and age - in an action/thriller called The First Ones There. I'm really excited to start writing it and my goal is to have it done by Christmas next year. (Wish me luck!) As always - thank you for supporting my dream of writing and thank you for giving me your precious time by reading my words. I really hope you enjoy my latest work... it was a labor of love. :-)


Steven W.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The New Ghost Busters Movie & My Thoughts On It ....

On July 15th, 2016, Sony is going to release the movie Ghost Busters with an all new female cast. When word got out about a year or so ago that a new reboot of the franchise was happening, the internet took to arms ~ not at the all female cast ~ but at the frustration of movie makers cashing in on old classics. As a writer myself, I am asking the question "Where's the originality anymore?" To which I get the same response over and over again "Nothing is new, it's the same old story, told a different way." I'm sorry - but I call bullshit on that notion.

There are plenty of original ideas still out there, plenty of great story tellers, and movies from these great ideas still to be made. (The Matrix, Back To The Future, etc. are examples of original movies that stand the test of time. Ghost Busters is a classic as well.) Some would argue that there's a new generation of movie-goers who haven't seen it, and while that maybe true, there are plenty of people who did see the original ghost busters... but should it have been made?

What's causing an uproar (in my opinion) is not the all female cast, but the fear that Hollywood will water down perfectly good movies that are gems in their own right. (Mention out loud a Back To The Future remake and you'll set the internet on fire) 

The creators of South Park (Trey Parker & Matt Stone) touched on this in their episode "Free Hat" where they confront movie producers who are re-releasing and changing movies they made, often making them worse. However, this isn't the case with these four ladies. They aren't Ray and Egon, they are their own characters, (Yes, set in the same world - thirty years later.)

Melissa McCarthy by her own right has fine tuned her comedy and acting to a level that is worthy of respect. The ensemble of other fine actors and comedians who join her (combined with the talented producer/director who made SPY Movie) not only promises to deliver, but knock it out of the ball park. She's working with a great cast, a producer/director who knows how to balance action AND comedy, combined with 2016 State-Of-The-Art special effects... all of this adds up to a blockbuster movie, even with those protesting their dislike for the movie.

All in all - the new Ghost Busters movie is going to be a big summer hit, and those who are saying "I'm not going to see it!" will hear from their friends that it is indeed an original-enough movie that it compliments the movie of the same name-sake. I WILL see this movie because I have no doubt that it will be entertaining and provide the Oooo's and Ahhhs that captured our imagination back in 1986. I will even post a spoiler free review below.  :-)

What are your thoughts? Are you with me? Are you going to see it? Leave your creative comments in the comment section below.

Steven Wolff
Author & Real Life Paranormal Investor

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

So many books to write - So little time!

Hey everyone - I'm still here and I'm still writing. I've been busy with being a full time student, but things should ease up soon. I'm excited about this book idea I'm working on - it's a modern day "race to space" kind of action/thriller. I wish I could tell you, but if I do, someone will steal the idea and make it theirs. Believe it or not, people do that. What I can say is that it has to do with racing to outer space and the clocks-a-tickin'  :-)

Self Aware 2 is slowly coming along. I'm sorry I missed the December deadline, but the book is still in progress. Book sales for the first book has been discouraging - even though it's in the zombie genre and The Walking Dead is at an all time high. Some say that that market is saturated and people aren't interested in reading zombie fiction. I don't know. Self Aware 2 - regardless of sales, or lack of interest, etc. is still going to be written and published because I have a story to tell. I also haven't forgotten all you Anica Storm fans either. She and Marcel start off the second book (Anica Storm & The Dream Crystal) sitting on top of a Were-Spider, ready to go over a cliff.

So that's it for me. Lots of books to write and lots of stories to tell. If you're a fan - I would love to hear from you. Until then - I'll see you in my books.

Steven Wolff

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fall is in the air....

As you can tell, I'm not much of a blogger. I try, but its like talking into a black void. I don't have the members like some blog posts have, and that's okay. I use it mostly to communicate what's going on in my world and if you're reading this, well, then you're a fan of my work. BTW, thanks!

Fall is in the air, and for me, that means school is about to begin. No, I'm not in high school, I'm in college full time. I've got a lot on my plate, but I'm also going to try to continue doing what I love... which is writing. I've been slacking lately because I've been going through a transitional period in my life where I have to discover what my new norm is. Don't worry, all is well. However, there is no excuse for slacking in my writing. I apologize for that because I know many of you do enjoy my writing. You either write, or don't. There is no middle ground. I need to work on writing more often. The story is there, it just needs to come out.

It's been over a month since I last wrote. The other day I picked up my notepad and glanced back at the last few pages I wrote. Aside from thinking "wow, this is good stuff!" I was pulled into my own story and like you guys, long to find out what happens next. When you can get pulled into your own book, that's a good thing. As a writer, sometimes there's a disconnect because you know what's going to happen, who's going to die, how it's going to end, etc. but there are times when you can glance down at a certain section of the story and think "wow."

An example of this, is when Carol tells the little girl "Look at the pretty flowers." For most of you Walking Dead fans, you can see that scene in your head because it was a powerful moment. There's a scene in my book where a ReGen grabs a zombie wolf and rolls into a campfire on purpose, igniting both of them. (For those who don't know what a ReGen is ~ in my book Self Aware (A Zombie Series With A Fresh Twist! & Revenge Of The Fallen) there are a handful of people with a mutated form of the zombie virus that heals and regenerates human tissue back to normal, instead of causing it to decay like all the other zombies.) That's a cool scene because it's not often you see someone set themselves on fire intentionally in order to kill a monster and save the group. Oops! Did I give something away? No, not really, because you know me ~ I'll hint at something but I can also take it in any direction.

So that's the news for the time being. I appreciate all you guys out there, and if you've read my books and loved them, then please leave a review so others will pick it up. Thanks!

Stay crunchy, even in milk!
Steven W.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend (Update)

It's been a while since I posted a blog update so I'm just chiming in to keep you guys up to date. I've been working full time at a job that is very interesting. No it's not a full time writing job, (I'm not there yet.), but I get to carry a gun with me everywhere I go. Contractually I'm not allowed to say who or where I work, so I'll let your imagination fill in the blanks.

As far as writing, I'm still aiming to complete Self Aware 2, by Christmas of this year. I'm the type of writer that plots out everything from start to finish on paper and then goes back to fill in the rest. This acts as a guide or map for me to follow, keeping me on track. Believe it or not, the characters do the talking. I just try to keep up and get their words all down. It's funny, when you type something someone says, you automatically hear a response, or in my case, see an action or reaction in my head, so I write what the other person did.

I've been doing an experiment ~ seeing how my book sales are doing with no marketing or advertising. The answer: Not good. That's good to know, because that tells me that while I am busy with work and writing, I need to focus some time on marketing and advertising. With more and more writers publishing books, competition for you, the reader, is getting harder. Especially since there was a report the other day from microsoft saying that goldfish now have a higher attention span than humans. (You can read more on that article here)

So much data and information passes in front of our eyes, almost every second of our day. We choose this, pick that, or buy this. Our attention bounces around, multi-tasking on all kinds of things. With people not buying my books - it's not personal, or that they suck, it's just that there's so many other things competing for you attention that if I don't actively engage you or let you know "Hey, here's a great ZOMBIE book you might want to read while you're waiting for the next season of the Walking Dead." How are you to know? Someone else, who's doing the same thing will let you know they have a book. Then all kinds of factors will come into play (book cover, description, price, if you looking for another book to read, etc.) that will make you make a choice (buy or skip to the next one.)

The important thing I take away from this, is that while yes, it's important for me to continue writing the best book I can for part two of Self Aware, I still need to try to compete for your attention. I will do my best to blog and tweet more in the upcoming months, as well as continue writing. For now, I ask you do me one favor... tomorrow (or today, depending on when you're reading this), will you take a few minutes out of your busy day and give thanks/appreciation to those who gave their lives in the name of freedom & liberty.

Memorial day is just a reminder, that great men and women, straight, gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender and from all kinds of backgrounds & nationalities, gave their lives in service of our country, going as far back as our own Civil war, to the most recent conflicts. Lets give them thanks, even silently ~ if just for a moment in our everyday, busy lives...



Friday, January 16, 2015

The harsh reality of self publishing from someone on the front lines...

In 2009, when I started writing my first book, there was a revolution going on. People by the hundreds of thousands were grabbing pitch forks and torches and storming the gates of the Big 6 gatekeepers. These guys were the "gods" who deemed whether your book was worthy or not, regardless how good it is. However, Amazon released the kindle and gave writers direct access to every reader who wanted to see your book.

This was never heard of before... it was incredible! It was like when the Internet was being opened up to the world all over again (I was on the Net before it changed everyone's lives so I remember it well.) Well, now that we had fun stormin' the castle, and the torches are burnt out, reality is setting in. Just because we can publish a book on Amazon doesn't mean what it used to mean.

Yes, it's still a big deal for every author/writer when we hit the publish button (at least to us) but that was just one step on a journey of a thousand miles. There are a lot of steps still ahead. There is so much work you must do to make yourself seen, to be heard, and to get your book in the readers hands that a lot of people are quitting because it's work and they don't to do it.

Many people (including myself many years ago) believed in the potential of making a lot of money. I still believe in it, but it's not as easy as many people once thought. Now there's a lot of competition and things that pull people's attention away from seeing your work. Society is one giant ball of ADHD where we're multitasking and making split second decisions without even noticing because so many things are trying to get our attention.

Colors, lights, flashy thingies, pop-ups, catchy tunes, there's such a psychology and marketing brew going on all around us, 24/7 that people don't realize we're attracted to. It happened when I was a kid with clever marketing towards me when I was watching saturday morning cartoons. Example, if I say Tucan Sam's line... "Just follow my nose..." and you fill in the blank ____________. (If you answered "it always knows." Then you're hooked.

See, I just went A.D.D. off the subject! What was I saying? Oh yeah - people's attention is always in flux. As an author, my job is to not only write, but to capture these butterflies (people with ADHD) long enough to let them know "Hey, check this out." After all is said and done, my job is to also sit back down and write some more. Why? Because to be successful, I need to keep adding to my 401K, and not the one you're thinking of, but an author's 401K.

What's incredible about writing is that once you're done, it's going to make you money forever (or at least past my lifetime) because the kindle revolution has changed the world the way the internet did back in 1993. (Does anyone remember when AOL was 9.99 an hour? Gah! You Got Mail!) Every book I write adds money to the pot (not much to live off of - but a little) and it makes me feel good because I enjoy writing and creating. I even LOVE the feedback from my readers who also love the characters in my books. To them, they are real, and they care about what happens to them. There's a certain magic - to be able to do that.

So going back to the harsh reality I mentioned... for those thinking this is a get rich quick scheme? I say - HA! Never in my life have I worked harder than I have these past six years. I say that because when we stormed the gate, there were no rules, no safe path to follow. We were trail blazing and exploring new territories...

Well, here we are! Not sure where, but a lot further ahead and wiser from the lessons learned. Now what?

I still believe "there's gold up in them - there hills!" but we need to haul our ass over all the obstacles that get in our way, and it's no easy task. Ask any somewhat successful author and they'll say they worked their butts off. In the long run, people will find those of us who didn't quit or burn out, and we'll have our day in the sun. My advice is to write not for the money, but because you want to... because you have a story you need to tell.

Do you know what's so awesome about writing? You get to play make-believe all over again. Ever play lava floor? Where you jumped from couch to couch, avoiding touching the floor because you make-believed it was lava? Being an author is being that kid again, but you're inviting more people into your world to play with you.

That's why I write, and if I get lucky people will buy my work - which is even better, but if you do what you love, the money will follow regardless. Don't give up... this is a marathon, not a sprint.