Tag Archives: The Playground

It’s a party, yo! #RRBC style

Welcome to my stop along the Springtime Book & Block Party route. Let’s get the preliminary stuff out of the way first. I’m giving two prizes away, and you don’t have to be a member to win. All you have to do is leave a comment, and a random draw will decide the winners. Contestants are only eligible from North America, due to the restrictive cost of shipping.

So what could you win? How about one of these awesome coffee mugs, featuring my personal assistant, and the spokesmodel for my writing career, Lisa Burton the robot girl.

Look how beautiful that marble bust looks, oh and Lisa looks nice too. These things are huge, and you’re going to want one.

This time the party took me by surprise. Last time we did one of these, I timed a book release around it, and that worked out extremely well. I don’t have a book release today, but I can still give you the tour.

At the top of my blog there are a couple of pages that might interest you. There is the standard “about me” page, but there is also a free selection of Lisa Burton paper dolls if you’d like them. I wanted to come up with some swag for an author who only has ebooks available. Make sure you print the pdf files and not the images shown.

The fun one is called Lisa Burton Radio, I’ll let her tell you about it.

“Hi everyone, welcome to the new visitors, and I see some familiar faces here too. The show is really fun, and I interview the characters from your books. At the end I include covers, bios, purchase links, whatever you want, really.

“When the post goes live, I share it to Flipboard, Stumbleupon, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and two Facebook sites. I try to help as much as I can. I’m always looking for guests, so drop me an email. If you want to check out past interviews there is a link in Craig’s sidebar. I’ll let him tell you about the sidebar, he loves his sidebar.

Thanks, Lisa. I also tweet out the five most recent interviews every week after Lisa finishes with them. My sidebar starts out with a link to obtain a free reading app. As an ebook guy, I don’t want to make it difficult for anyone to read my stories. Then I post the two most recent publications with direct links to those books. I have all the covers in a slideshow, because it doesn’t feel right to have them all on there. Lisa mentioned the blog categories, and this is where you can always find her interviews. Those of you who write speculative fiction might find some inspiration in the Idea Mill posts too. Oh, and before I forget, there is an Entertaining Stories Facebook page too, if any of you are so inclined. It’s the only place you can see videos of my dog, Otto. (Don’t laugh, I know some of you are into this stuff.)

That’s the grand tour. Hope everyone is enjoying the party, it’s one of my favorite events. I hope to have two new books coming out soon, but I got caught without them ready yet. One is a collection of short stories called The Enhanced League, about a futuristic baseball league. The other is kind of an alternate world fantasy novel called The Yak Guy Project. Coming soon, I promise.

I guess if I’m going to promote something, The Playground could use a bit of review love. I know some of you are holding shiny new Amazon gift cards at this point in the tour. The club even has a list of who you are. Mwa ha ha…

For those of you who aren’t RRBC members, this is an awesome club. We thrive on mutual support, and it’s kind of a pay it forward system. We’re growing by leaps and bounds, and we’d love to count you among our members. There are too many benefits to mention here, but things like this blog party are happening all the time. Why don’t you check it out at this link.

Party on! Sign up for your own character interview. Leave me a comment. I love interacting with everyone, and you could win a prize.

114 Comments

Filed under Writing

Guest posting at Venture Galleries

Come visit me at Venture Galleries today.

Inside the Literary Mind of C. S. Boyack

JANUARY 19, 2017

CALEB PIRTLE III

Question: Tell me about your newest book and what was the inspiration behind your writing it?

Craig: I have a lot of projects going on, and this could be answered several ways. My last novel was The Playground. I wanted to weave together different viewpoints almost like a Frank Miller or Quentin Tarantino story. This one is paranormal though, and might appeal to some.

I also write a lot of short fiction. My last publication was a collection of short stories that include science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy tales. I tried to replicate the pulp era in some of them.

Keep reading here

 

17 Comments

Filed under Writing

Don’t get left out

Lisa Burton, the robot girl here tonight. As Craig's personal assistant, I am the one who put together most of his current promotions. I'm also the spokesmodel for his writing career, but there is no new poster to go along with all the stops he's been making. Although we do have a poster for his Macabre Macaroni stories.

I decided to put my insane sign shaker skills to help with the promotions. Craig thinks I'm silly, but I can toss this thing in the air, spin around and catch it. Robotic precision baby.

First, let's talk about The Playground. This is Craig's latest novel, and it has a decidedly Halloween vibe going for it.

Basically, some nutjob created a social network that targets children. He's brainwashing them to create his own homegrown army. To speed things along, he turns to the occult.

There is this girl who becomes one of the victims, and you get to follow her through the story as her life gets darker, and more desperate.

Then there is the doctor lady. She's a cancer survivor, and is avoiding a return to work by helping end-of-life patients. She takes a job with this goofy old guy, and catches a parasite. It's not just any old parasite though, this one allows her to see into the world of shadows. She has the ability to talk to ghosts, see demons, and that kind of thing.

The next generation software goes missing, so the crazy business guy sends this huge thug after the culprit. This guy is kind of a force-of-nature, and is not to be taken lightly.

The whole thing becomes a chase for the missing software, but in a dark paranormal kind of way. You know, good guy chasing bad guy to fetch the prize before the little girl does something she can't recover from.

Anyway, Craig has The Playground on sale for 99¢ through Friday. Get it now, at the sale price, just in time for Halloween.

Craig also had a story chosen for an anthology called Macabre Sanctuary. There are ten short stories from some incredible authors, and they all have a freaky paranormal thing going on.

Miraculously, there isn't a single werewolf or vampire in the whole book. I told you these are some creative folks, and there are other things out there that are just as spooky, maybe even more so.

Macabre Sanctuary can be read in small bursts, like coffee breaks or while picking up parts for your own robot. At the price of free, what are you waiting for?

But wait, there's more! Craig and several of his friends formed a new blog called Story Empire. They are on a huge blog tour right now called The Paranormal Bar & Grille.

To drive interest in the tour, each author is running a scavenger hunt. I know, crazy right? All you have to do is go to The Paranormal Bar & Grille and click the author links at the bottom of the page.

These links will take you to the individual scavenger hunt for whatever author you choose. It's about too easy. Just answer a few questions on each site to enter. All the answers are found in the Story Empire Book Library.

There are a bunch of Amazon gift cards to win, and the occasional e-book of the winner's choice. Odds are pretty good right now too, so get your entry in.

But wait, there's more. Oh, I already said that. But wait, there's even more than more.

On The Paranormal Bar & Grille page, you will find a link to that massive blog tour I told you about. If you click on it, you can see all the stops along the route, and there will even be book reviews. At the bottom of that page, there is a Rafflecopter for a big old honkin' $30 Amazon gift card.

You have a pretty good chance of winning, but you've got to enter to win.

29 Comments

Filed under Writing

The second week of October, now with #prizes

I may have mentioned doing a bunch of promotion during October. Several of my titles have a paranormal theme to them, and it seemed like a natural time to hit it hard.

Last week I used some Amazon free days for my novel, Panama. I gave away hundreds of copies, but that's always a crap shoot. There is no guarantee that anyone will read their copy, and less chance that they'll leave a review. Still, it is a reasonable opportunity to make some fans. Everything worked according to plan, and it remains to be seen how it will shake out in the long run.

There are several things going on this week. The first one is a 99¢ sale for my newest novel, The Playground. I felt like Panama was an older title and the free days made more sense there. The Playground is my newest publication, and I'm not quite ready to give it away yet. I won't drone on about it here, because I made a separate post about it this morning.

To support the 99¢ sale, I did a Facebook push. I immediately kicked myself for one small mistake. I included the link to my blog post and not the Amazon universal purchase link. Then I received a comment from someone who bought the book and promised a review. Maybe it wasn't a mistake after all.

I also updated my pinned tweet on Twitter to reflect The Playground and the 99¢ sale. Every little bit helps, right?

I have more things planned as the month shakes out. Watch this space for updates.

I also appeared on Bad Moon on the Rise, over at Teri Polen's blog. In fact, I kicked the event off. I've been following this event every day and tweeting out the new posts. I've discovered some books I need to read too. I honestly hope some of you are interested in my Halloween themed promotions, but I'm not the only one doing this. There are some great things over at Teri's and you really should check it out.

I also started my annual tradition of posting some micro-fiction every week during October. I call these Macabre Macaroni, and they will include the Lisa Burton art as part of the promo. I don't always include graphics, but know posts with images draw more eyes. In my experience, Lisa draws more eyes than anything I've ever posted, so I included her here. I want this post to get some readers.

I was lucky enough to get included in an anthology called Macabre Sanctuary. This includes ten short stories for the price of free. I'm in the process of reading it now and all the stories have been great so far. You can't beat the price for a little bit of Halloween reading, and I'd appreciate you checking it out.

Another of the big ticket items kicks off this week as well. Regular readers will recall the announcement of Story Empire. This is a group of five authors who came together originally with the idea of some mutual promotion during October. It's evolved into so much more. There is a blog that features some nice writing tips, a Facebook page, and even a Twitter account.

The key piece of Story Empire this week is called The Paranormal Bar & Grille. We're doing a massive blog tour through Reading Addiction Tours. You can follow the tour at Reading Addiction, but you really need to visit the Bar & Grille site too. Each of the authors is holding a scavenger hunt and we're each giving away some pretty darned good prizes. You can find all of the answers by surfing around the Story Empire site. All of the top prizes are gift cards, and not an electronic copy of the book I gave away last week. (You know, unless you want one.)

There is also a Rafflecopter giveaway at Reading Addiction. The prize is a $30 Amazon gift card, so make sure you get in on that too. On both sites, you have to play to win.

I have other things in the works for later this month. Rather than tell you about them all right now, I want to concentrate on the timely things you should be taking advantage of right now.

So yeah, I've been kind of busy. The setup for everything happened while I had visits from my parents, two different groups of in-laws, and a convention I had to attend as part of my paycheck job. I expect a little smoother sailing as the month shakes out.

24 Comments

Filed under Writing

Today is the day

Well, it's one of the days. My newest book The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II is now available for purchase on Amazon. It's a pre-sale, and the books will deliver on August 31st. That is the other day.

I wanted to do a short pre-sale, but Lisa my robotic assistant must have messed up. Let's talk about the actual book.

This is similar to the first Experimental Notebook, in that it's a collection of short stories and micro-fiction. It's also similar in that it's priced at 99¢.

I decided to make the alchemy wheels into a kind of theme. The first Notebook has one, this book has two, and should there be a third volume it will have three wheels. That way the covers are similar, but also unique.

This book has some science fiction, some paranormal, and one that barely qualifies as fantasy. I love fantasy, but don't write quite as much of it. It also has two stories that don't have any speculative element. I've taken to writing short stories and micros in my spare time, then stockpiling them. When I have enough, I bundle them into a notebook.

Part of me worried about including some tales that didn't have the speculative element in them. So this book has more stories than the first one did. That way, you get the same deal and can consider those stories as free extras.

I revisited Pete Rogers, who first appeared in Will O' the Wisp. He's all grown up now, and trying to make a life for himself. I also revisited Jason Fogg, the fellow from the first notebook who can turn himself into fog. In this story, Jason is investigating a fishy situation.

This book has a few stories that are a tribute to the pulp era as well. People usually think of crime fiction, or romance, when they think of the pulp era. There were plenty of pulp science fiction and horror stories too, and I hope I did them justice.

The stories are also experimental, thus the titles of the books. I tested out the epistolary style in one story, and even tried a longer monologue to relay one story.

The first notebook included an intermission where I address the reader. It proved to be popular, so I did it again in the new book. I suppose it's become a theme now too.

So there you have it. For 99¢ you get fifteen conveniently sized stories. Perfect for coffee breaks, commuter busses, or when those Pokemon are just too elusive. You also get an excerpt from the ever charming Clovis right out of my last novel, The Playground. At that price, even if only one trips your trigger, I think readers are getting their money's worth. If they all ring true, it's a steal of a deal.

Early sales are important, because they credit on the day the book delivers. That can help me get onto one of the Amazon lists. Please consider pre-ordering and helping out. I included the link up above, but I'll include it again in a convenient tweet worthy paragraph:

Pick up the newest Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack on presale today. It's a steal at 99¢ http://a-fwd.com/asin=B01KENADN6

I just tested it out, and there's even room for your favorite hashtags. Simply copy and paste.

I planned on working on more short fiction today, but I need to address some other things. I need to track down a Goodreads librarian and add the book over there. I should put it in my blog sidebar, make some Twitter worthy art to promote with, and assemble my street team. I'll probably turn on the street team bat-signal on Wednesday, but I can write the post today.

59 Comments

Filed under Writing

I need to start a list

I posted recently about having my cool new cover art, and the pending release of my book of short stories. There is a ton of work to do before this comes out.

I have one piece of Lisa Burton art on order to promote this story, and when it arrives I'll order one more.

The betas are making good progress and I'm getting reports to work on. I've decided to farm out the formatting, and with a late August release, there should be plenty of time for this.

Meanwhile, I need to start writing ideas on my legal pad. I have promotional plans for more than just this book, and maybe they can tie together somehow. It probably won't all come to me until I have it all written out.

I would like to take this book on tour, and keep it with friends and volunteers. It's going to be a 99¢ special, and spending a ton of money on it isn't realistic. I can custom write things, and make Lisa Burton available to fly around with her posters and talk about the book. More on this when I'm closer to publication.

The Rave Reviews Book Club can help me on some fronts. There is a WhatsApp room where we can promote free and 99¢ books that I can make use of. They are also doing the Back to School Book & Blog Block Party again. I chose two dates, and hope I get one of those days. If I do, I'll try to make that my release date. This is because last year I had hundreds of blog visitors on that date. Why not make the date something special.

I will probably work on some Halloween type promotions too. I've already talked to a group of authors who write similar stories and we may do some group promotion. There are Halloween themed stories in both Notebooks, but I also have Will O' the Wisp and The Playground that are suitable too. I'll have to make those decisions later on. Part of this promotional push has to involve The Playground.

Beyond that, there are Kindle Countdown Deals, free days, giveaways, and Amazon advertising to consider. I can do some of this fairly cheaply, and might be able to spread it across several books. The idea is to be everywhere for a couple of months.

If I get really lucky, maybe someone will read one of the Notebooks and take a chance on a novel.

I intend to post some more Halloween style micro-fiction in October. I call these Macabre Macaroni, and they've been pretty popular over the years. I just need to find time to write them. So far, I have one. I need about three more.

I'd really like to try BookBub at the same time, but my best chance has a limitation. Will O' the Wisp has the most positive reviews, but I published it in two versions. This is because I purchased a license to use copyright protected song lyrics, but could only get rights to North America. It's available everywhere, but the versions are slightly different.

I won't be able to do everything, but I intend to do one hell of a lot. Between September first, and October last, I want to be everywhere. It all starts with a list.

I suppose I'd better fill a fountain pen and get started. A cool pen makes it more fun.

15 Comments

Filed under Writing

Something different, on Lisa Burton Radio #RRBC

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio. This is your host, Lisa the robot girl, with a show that’s a bit different today.

These interviews have gotten really popular, and I’m getting a lot of verbal commitments for future shows. What I’m not getting is action on those commitments. Because of this, I don’t have a guest this week.

I’ve hosted pirates, goblins, ghosts, spies, superheroes, a serial killer, even a lawyer. I have a hunch your characters will fit right in.

This show may be the only character based interview slot on the entire internet. Fiction authors should consider sending me a character to interview. I’m willing to include purchase links, cover art, and bios.

Today, I’m going to do what some of the morning show jocks do and call someone up. While I’m connecting, I’ll make my sponsor C. S. Boyack. He’s my author and writes science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy tales. Here we go.

“Hello. What do you want?”

“Is this Clovis?”

“Yeah. How did you get this number?”

“I’m Lisa the robot girl. I have all the numbers.”

“That chick from the writing cabin?”

“Yes. You’re on the air right now with Lisa Burton Radio.”

“Why?”

“Well, I need a guest and thought of you. How’s my car?”

“Ha, the GTO is fine, but I don’t remember it being yours.”

“It should have been. I asked Craig to let me make a poster with it, but he said it was to obvious. What have you been doing since The Playground wrapped up?”

“Just living the good life. I’m down here in – well let’s just say I’m out in the boondocks.”

“Did you ever meet back up with that special lady?”

“Kind of. We see each other on weekends. Sometimes she comes out to the bait and tackle shop, sometimes I go to town now that the heat’s off.”

“Are you fitting in with your neighbors?”

“I am now. There were a couple of young guys who thought they could rob my till and steal my beer. They weren’t as tough as they thought. Screamed like little girls once I attached the snapping turtles.”

“That’s terrible.”

“Actually, it was pretty funny. They danced around like Michael Jackson trying to shake them off. The dog thought they were playing and knocked them down.”

“How is that stupid dog?”

“Stupid.”

“He ate my bathing suit you know.”

“That’s what I heard. He means well, but doesn’t always understand.”

“I love animals, so I forgive him. Have you seen any paranormal stuff since you got there?”

“It isn’t as common as you think. I still have that pain-in-the-butt doctor’s card if I ever do. It’s in the car somewhere. I’ve seen some crap, so I know it’s out there. In fact, I’d like to get a rematch with that Morley dude.”

“I don’t see that happening any time soon. He only comes around when someone is going to die.”

“So if I bump off one of those knuckleheads do you think he’d show up?”

“That’s terrible. You’re supposed to be retired and living the good life.”

“Life’s good, but a man still needs to let off steam every now and then.”

“Maybe you can sign up for one of those boot camp kind of programs.”

“I already did that, in the Marines. I don’t see any reason to do it again.”

“It sounds like you’re doing okay. The bait and tackle shop is open again, the car and dog are in good shape, and you have a budding relationship.”

“It’s okay, but retirement’s kind of boring. Maybe I’ll load up Justine and the dog and head down to Mexico for a week.”

“Don’t get into any trouble.”

“Me? I’m the poster boy of caution. If there’s any trouble it’ll be Justine or the dog causing it.”

“Alright, thanks for visiting with us today. Any last words?”

“Yeah. Lose this number.”

“Can’t. Craig makes me keep all of them. He says you never know if someone will return in a story. It happened to me, and it kind of livened things up.”

“Oh yeah? Tell him to send me into one of those schools some asshole decides to shoot up. I’ll bet those guys aren’t nearly as tough as they think they are. They think they’re persecuted now, wait until I get done with them.”

“I, um. I don’t want to know. Bye now.”

Clovis is one of three main characters in The Playground, and he’s not someone to trifle with. If you want to know more about him, I’ll include a purchase link.

I need guests to keep this show going. Authors, drop us a line at Coldhand (dot) Boyack (at) gmail (dot) com and get your characters on the show. I’m really good about tweeting it out all day, sharing it on two Facebook sites, Flipboard, and Stumbleupon. I also tweet them out randomly on Fridays. That’s pretty decent promotion for the cost of free. Come visit with me.

Even if you don’t have a character ready for the show, maybe one of your writer friends does. Please share this post and let them know.

***

The Playground is a paranormal tale, set in the style of Frank Miller and Quentin Tarantino. It includes a bit of science fiction, but it’s the kind we might actually have next week.

Told from the point of view of three different characters in alternating stories, the threads all tie together at the end.

Why not read a sample, or check it out on Amazon Unlimited for free. Here is the purchase link http://a-fwd.com/asin=B01D6EF6RI

***

Get your characters on the show. Let readers know how awesome they really are. Use the sharing buttons below and let your friends know about this opportunity. Feel free to use the hashtag #LisaBurtonRadio.

40 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio