Paginations

A quick rant on why 12/12/12 only happening once is NOT special, why bad things DON’T happen in threes, and so on

It’s the morning of December 12th, 2012, and already I’m seeing the tweets flying about “12/12/12 only happens once in a lifetime!” And while that’s true, I’m asking you peeps to slow your roll. You know what other date only happens once in a lifetime? You guessed it – tomorrow, 12/13/12. And the next day, and the next day. And while it’s cute to say all the numbers are the same, it’s no different from 12:12PM with 12 seconds happening once a day, or any other “wow, can you believe it?” proclamations. (Even Papa Johns just sent me an email to “celebrate 12/12/12” by buying one pizza at $12, getting a second for $.12 – c’mon, does anyone ‘celebrate’ this?)

I think people are overly fascinated with numbers and TRY to make them fit some cosmic pattern, but I’ll have to be the wet blanket to tell y’all that it simply ain’t true. So here I go busting a whole bunch of other numerical myths that drive me batty:

• Wow, did you see last night’s Pick Three? Cosmic, man! What are the odds of 333 coming out in the lottery? Uh, the same as 478, or 139, or 982. Every number has the same chance to come out (exception being the big hopper of ping pong balls, where a number can only come out once). So while it looks cute, odds are the same (hence the same payout).

two_roulette_displays• The roulette wheel just came up black seventeen times in a row! It’s gotta be red next time, put everything on red! It’s DUE! What are the odds it’s black again? Uh, same as the odds it will be red, just under 50/50. The roulette wheel has no memory; it’s completely random every time , which is WHY the casinos put up that big board showing the past few spins. They want suckers, er, customers to think they see a pattern and bet big. Same for the “hot hand” in craps – dice have no memory.

• My personal favorite: bad things (usually celebrity deaths) happen in threes. Yes, three celebrities can (and will) die, and sometimes within a short time frame. Does that mean they die in threes? No. What it means is that YOU STOPPED COUNTING. That fourth celebrity that died a few days later? No one factors him/her into the equation because it’s not as whoa/spooky. Two celebs croak, everyone holds their breath for the third, and when he turns up in the back of a Bentley, face covered in white powder, everyone says “See? Threes man!” Then the next day Abe Vigoda* kicks the bucket and people say “watch out, there will be a second and a third soon!” Stop it. You’re actually starting over when that fourth one goes.

*Believe it or not, Abe Vigoda is actually alive…how I have no idea, but here’s an awesome Abe Vigoda Status page so you can track him.

I’m in the travel biz, and last year we had a lot of brides-to-be requesting 11/11/11 for their destination wedding date. A LOT. One of them was a friend and she was insisting, regardless of cost, to be married on that day. She said “11/11/11 will be something we remember every year.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her next year 11/11/12 wouldn’t sound nearly as cool.

Any similar ‘urban myths’ you guys have? Make this your online therapy couch…

steve

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My name is Steve, and I’m addicted to technology. [Hi Steve!]

There, I said it. I knew it deep down, down in the crevasses of my gadget-loving heart, but it wasn’t until I tried to plug one of my numerous devices into an outlet that was already full of devices that it hit me. I’ve got a problem. And the problem within a problem is that I, one of the big proponents of “convergence” in technology, the guy who used to read books on his iPhone of all things, now seem to be duplicating tasks just so I can play with a new toy.

My next phone purchase

My next phone purchase

I sat down last night and counted my crap:

  • MacBook Pro
  • Samsung Chromebook
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • Nook Color running Android
  • Kobo e-reader

Doesn’t sound like a lot just yet, does it? But then I realized how much I seem to be specializing.

I use the MacBook Pro primarily for business, and I found that my writing suffered while using it because I couldn’t just get away from “work” and into that writing mode, if that makes any sense. So I bought a Samsung Chromebook for writing only, and it’s great. Super light weight, long battery life, yes it works offline, and I can open just one tab for Google Docs and sit down and write.

I’ve had an iPhone since the original version, never thought to get an iPad because to me it was a ‘tweener, something in between my iPhone and Mac, and unnecessary. So I bought a Nook Color for reading, but that didn’t last long until I rooted it to Android and it became a small tablet. That led into the iPad of course, and then I decided to appropriate my son’s unused Kobo e-ink reader for when I was away and reading outside. On my last trip I actually packed three different devices solely that I could read a book wherever, whenever. Seriously. Three. And it’s not four because I was bringing my phone anyway.

Goodness gracious. It hit me that I now had FOUR devices I could read books on, and I spent an entire day trying to figure out how best to sync* among them so I wasn’t losing my page. Do I now need four different reading devices? Two different laptops? Two tablets?

* My most recent solution for syncing sideloaded content, outside of my iDevice-only post, is this: emailing a .mobi file (after converting it from ePub using Calibre) to my Kindle address. By sending the file into Amazon’s cloud, it will now sync across all Kindle devices and apps, so my iPad/iPhone/Nook Color Android all can use that app and sync furthest part. The Kobo is left out…

The final straw was when I ordered a Nook Simple Touch Glow, ostensibly to give to my wife for Christmas because she reads at night, but then realized I only did it so I could have her old Nook because the ancient Kobo was too slow and wouldn’t sync with anything else. Ho. Lee. Crap. My inner goddess chewed her lip and started screaming “SLOW YOUR ROLL.” And this was after debating whether or not to pick up a Chromebook with 3G when they get released so I can be online anywhere. Whoa.

Am I spoiled? Yeah, maybe a little, but I don’t drive fancy cars (yes, I’m rocking a 13 year old SUV) or live in a huge mansion, and have no other vices (gambling, drugs, etc.) to spend my cash on. So I find myself addicted to the next big gadget.

So… am I alone? Anyone more overloaded than me? If so, let me know – I just got paid last week and it’s burning a hole in my pocket…itchin’ for a new device…

steve

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Totally self-aggrandizing, blatantly nepotistic post – my son and the Philly Boys Choir warming up for CBS taping

Another in a long line of buff-my-knuckles, pat-myself-on-the-back, self-congratulatory posts. A photo of the Philadelphia Boys Choir (and my son Evan) getting ready to tape some Christmas Day television spots for CBS Philly:

IMG_1423

CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

Now, a little challenge. As I posted on my Google + page (YES PEOPLE STILL USE GOOGLE +, STOP IT), try to pick out my son. First comment below that nails it gets an e-copy of any one of my books. I’ll give just the slightest of hints: if you know me at all, you may describe me using a lot of terms (most of which I can’t post here for fear of moderation issues with WordPress), but I’ll stick with “unique.” And so goes the family bloodline.

So…which one is Evan?

steve

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Wrinkled Shorts – releasing a collection of my short stories in one volume

Huge exciting news! Okay, honestly – not so huge, not that exciting, but news nonetheless. I’ve put together all of my short stories into one collection, with a bonus story added. It’s like getting 20% additional for free! [Insert infomercial voice here.] The new volume, called WRINKLED SHORTS, is now available for Kindle and Nook, and should be out on Kobo and the iBookstore very shortly. It’s also available via Smashwords for online reading or other devices. [Update: Kobo and iBooks versions now available.]

What is Wrinkled Shorts? It consists of my four current short stories – Incursion, Special Delivery, Opt-Out, and The Awakening – plus a new, never-before-released short called Dreamshift. Below are the blurbs. If you felt like spreading the word via social media, bullhorn, or carrier pigeon, whatever, I’d surely appreciate it.

wrinkledshorts600x900Incursion (science fiction): A young boy working on his village’s plantation watches as alien craft scream overhead. His first emotion is excitement… until the technologically superior aliens start shooting. He has no choice but to grow up quickly, becoming one of his village’s most trusted defenders. What does human nature mean?

The Awakening (science fiction): Robert has been running the Monhegan Island-to-mainland Maine ferry for years. This morning, however, he and his boat are greeted by mysterious lights emanating from the small rocky island. No one greets him when he ties up to the dock, and not a structure is in sight – all the houses and buildings have disappeared. All he sees is a curtain of light. Curiosity gets the better of him, and he steps through the curtain…

Special Delivery (horror): Kerry Jensen is nervous about her upcoming blind date, and one glass of wine isn’t doing the trick. Before she has an opportunity to pour a second, there’s a knock at her door. Her blind date is early, but it’s an unexpected package that will change the rest of her night — and possibly her life.

Opt-Out (suspense): A massive global social network announces an initiative to encourage its nearly one billion users to donate organs and body parts with just the click of a mouse. Millions of potential transplant recipients rejoice, but there is a dark side. For a young, newly engaged professional in Portland Oregon, that dark side arrives wearing a smile and designer suit during a chance encounter at a train station.

NEW: Dreamshift (scifi/suspense): Jeremy is a college student, struggling to make ends meet. After hearing of a sleep experiment than pays handsomely he eagerly signs up. The tests seem innocent enough, the reasoning behind them intriguing, but the end result may cost Jeremy more than he’ll ever earn. Can dreams tell the future, or are they in fact the future itself?

And here are some completely made up Frequently Asked Questions of Wrinkled Shorts:

  • Q: Why is it called Wrinkled Shorts?
  • A: Steve has never been very good at ironing. His Author Page/Twitter profile image was taken overlooking a vineyard in St. Tropez, France during a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, but all anyone ever talks about are the wrinkled shorts he wore. Oh, and the bird poo on the light post, but “Bird Poo” was rejected as a title early on in the process.
  • Q: Why is buying a collection of short stories better than buying them individually?
  • A: You save money. Jeez.
  • Q: Speaking of money, why does this collection, which combined isn’t even half the length of a novel, cost three bucks?
  • A: Steve needs a better iron. Plus, each story provides a solid 15-30 minutes of enjoyment, adding up to several hours of intense reading pleasure. How long did the intense pleasure last from your last Starbucks triple-half-caff-skinny-vanilla? And don’t count the burned tongue or acid reflux.
  • Q: Is there anywhere we can donate to buy Steve new shorts? I mean actual shorts, not short stories.
  • A: No, but we’re sure he’d appreciate a download or two… perhaps even a review. And he won’t tell anyone his waist size anyway.
  • Q: Can I return one of the stories if I don’t like it and get 20% of my purchase price back?
  • A: Seriously?
  • Q: I love these stories so much, Steve is so talented, I hope he writes some more!
  • A: Mom, I told you never to post here…
  • Q: Will Steve be writing any erotic shorts soon?
  • A: MOM!

UPDATE: This sucker got a review already, might be a record in terms of quickness…

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 1.12.41 PM

steve
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The Gabriel Trilogy in paperback makes a great gift! Well, at least I think so…

Just in time for the holiday season*, paperback copies of all of the Gabriel trilogy books are available! And for a very limited time, I’ve got autographed copies. Autographed by me, not Stephen King or John Scalzi, sorry…

* To be honest, they’ve always been available – I’m just flogging them now because of some shopping craze going on this month…what’s that all about anyway?

All five volumes of the trilogy (hey, wait a minute…) are available from Amazon (with free Prime Shipping), or for outside the Amazon exclusion zone, direct from CreateSpace:

gabrielzeropoint2-6x9 GR1cover2-lores GR2cover2-lowres GR3cover2-lowres gabrielsjourneyGZP-600
Amazon Amazon Amazon Amazon Amazon
CreateSpace CreateSpace CreateSpace CreateSpace CreateSpace

And as a blatant nepotistic additional flogging, my son has his YA SciFi novelette Shifter available in paperback via Amazon or CreateSpace.

If you want an autographed copy of any of the above books, visit this super secret page.

Shop from home! Save gas! Support me!!

steve

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In Mexico on business. No really, I am. Swear.

I just realized today I haven’t posted any new material here in over three weeks. I suck.

The reason (excuse, whatever you want to call it) is I’ve been spending a lot of time since early October working on some projects with partners (day job stuff), and this week all the partners will be meeting with suppliers/hoteliers in Cancun for a week. It’s been a crazy month getting things together.

I’ve also been slacking on the blog because I’ve been, you know, writing. That thing I’m supposed to do. While I’m not “formally” doing National Novel Writing Month* this year, meaning I’m signed up for it and I’m writing during it, but not doing the hashtag blasting of word counts/Facebook writing groups/NaNo forums/etc. Just writing. And I can proudly say that as of 10PM Sunday night, my 11 day total for word count this calendar month just cracked 40,000. Not bad, not bad at all.

* An aside – Gabriel’s Redemption, my first full length work, was done (first draft) in 26 days during NaNoWriMo 2010, and Gabriel’s Revenge (3rd in trilogy) was ‘completed’ during NaNoWriMo 2011. This year, nothing formal, but working on something for fun (secret, sorry) in addition to Liberation (scifi work in progress).

I’ll be online here and there during the week, so if you see fit to drop me a comment below – you know, if you feel bad that I’m stuck in Cancun in November at a five star luxury resort – I’d love to hear from you.

Salud!

 

 

 

UPDATE: Hey, just for the halibut (and just because I need some sanity from my online friends while I’m slaving away in meetings and inspections), I’ll give away a free ebook copy of Gabriel’s Journey, the complete Gabriel scifi trilogy, via a Smashwords coupon to the person who leaves the MOST CREATIVE comment on this post by 9AM ET November 14th. Ready? GO.

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Author Interview with Robert Swartwood, new horror/thriller release THE INNER CIRCLE – and a GIVEAWAY

UPDATE: Winners announced, check the bottom of the comments. Thanks everyone!

I’ve met some great fellow authors online over the past couple of years, but in this social media day and age, the vast majority of them have been online. Certainly nothing wrong with that, it’s the way of the world, but I consider it a rare privilege to be able to get together in person with some of these fine folks. One fine folk I call a friend is Robert Swartwood, the successful self-published author of several horror and thriller novels, the latest of which is THE INNER CIRCLE, and someone who was a woman the first time I met him.* This is the second in his horror/thriller trilogy, and he was kind enough to put together an interview about this, and the first in the series (MAN OF WAX).

* Okay, I can’t put that statement out there and leave it hanging… One of the first e-books I bought was NO SHELTER by a new female author, Z. Constance Frost, who I “met” in an online writers forum (and you know how those ‘meeting online’ things can be…mysterious). I had numerous conversations with her, noticed she was very good friends with Robert Swartwood (and even did some interviews with him!), promoted each other’s books, and so on. I even encouraged young Z. Constance to join Twitter, where so many other helpful authors reside! So imagine my surprise when Z up and turned into a man. (Robert wrote No Shelter under a pseudonym because it was a different type of novel than he normally wrote.) It took several days before I stopped feeling dirty… (Cut to bathroom scene from The Crying Game.)

Robert and I live less than two hours from each other, so we had a fantastic couple of hours at lunch (in a brewpub…writers don’t mess around) discussing writing, marketing, and other highbrow activities. Looking forward to doing it again. Make sure to visit his site and take a peek at his books, all very highly rated.

Short and Sweet Third-Person Bio

Robert Swartwood was born in 1981. His work has appeared in such venues as The Los Angeles ReviewThe Daily BeastPostscriptsChiZineSpace and Time,Wigleaf, and PANK. He is the editor of Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer, which was chosen by The Nervous Breakdown as one of their favorite books of 2010, and was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon.

Oh, and check out these covers…they drip professionalism. Love ’em (click to enlarge):

       

Now without further ado, my interview with Robert, and a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY at the end (so read all the way through, folks…no cheating):

SU: If someone put a gun to your head and said, “Send a promotional 140 character tweet about The Inner Circle, and make it good”, what would you type?

RS: “The Inner Circle is The Hunger Games meets The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo but even better!” … or something like that. I’m not good at promotional tweeting.

SU: Is the story more horror than thriller, or thriller than horror?
RS: Well, I guess that all depends on your definition of horror. Most people, I think, view horror as zombies and vampires and ghosts and everything else that goes bump in the night. Me, I view horror the same way Douglas Winter does. As he wrote in the introduction to his 1982 anthology Prime Evil: “Horror is not a genre, like the mystery or science fiction or the western. It is not a kind of fiction, meant to be confined to the ghetto of a special shelf in libraries or bookstores. Horror is an emotion.”

So is The Inner Circle (not to mention Man of Wax) horrific? Very much so, yes. In fact, I have received some one-star reviews of Man of Wax where readers make it about 15% into the book and stop because, they claim, it’s so “dark and disturbing” and “disgusting.” Personally, I don’t think it’s THAT dark and disturbing and disgusting, but I can see where some people would think so. Thing is, though, I am not one to show the dark and disturbing and disgusting. I’m not a fan of “torture porn”; in fact, I find myself almost bored by it, because it’s the same thing again and again. Some might argue there are instances where torture porn applies to these two books, but that again comes down to what your definition of torture porn (and horror) is. The books deal with a secret group of people who get off watching other people tortured and put through extreme situations, but the books are much more than that. In many ways they’re about survival, about the dark depths of human nature, while at the same time trying to show there is still hope.

So, to get back to your question, more horror than thriller or more thriller than horror? That, again, would have to depend on each reader’s definition of what horror (not to mention thriller) is. But the books are very fast-paced, so there’s that. I try to keep the action going as much as I can. At the same time … well, as some other readers have noted, they are dark and disturbing.

SU: In the first book, Man Of Wax, you have two very central protagonists: Ben Anderson and Carver Ellison. Considering they have such different backgrounds and roles, did you find it difficult to get into their heads writing the story?
RS: First, let me talk about where Man of Wax came from. Many years ago I’d had this idea about someone waking up in a strange place with no idea how he got there. It wasn’t necessarily a new idea, but I kept returning to it until one day I sat down and knocked out that first chapter. I don’t outline, at least not on paper; oftentimes I’ll think about the book for awhile in my head and get a good sense of where I’m starting and heading before I actually start writing. Like Harlan Coben says, it’s like taking a road trip across the country; you know where you’re starting and where you’ll end up, but you don’t know what will happen along the way. That’s sort of how I write. But in this instance, I had no clue where the story was headed. I just wrote that first chapter. Then I wrote the second chapter. Then third. Then fourth. Before I realized it, a week had gone by and I’d written close to 30,000 words. When I saw how much I had gotten done and the speed at which I was writing it, I pushed myself to keep going, and ended up finishing the entire 90,000-word novel in three weeks. (And no, I have never participated in NaNoWriMo.)

Now, let me clarify something: I had just graduated college, I was still living at home, my two jobs were substituting for a middle school and high school and working as an assistant manager at a movie theater. So, with all those factors, I had the opportunity to write as much as I could. There were mornings when I would get called to take a subbing job and would turn it down. When I went to work at the theater, I would take my laptop along and work up in the projection booth and write between sets. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) understood how hard I was working on the novel and didn’t press me to spend time with her … well, okay, not that much time.

Anyway, so when I started Man of Wax, I knew a little about Ben Anderson’s character, but none of Carver Ellison until he showed up halfway through the book. And then … everything just happened to fall into place. I didn’t have trouble getting into their heads because they were already there, just waiting to be written.

SU: The Inner Circle picks up where Man Of Wax left off, with Anderson joining Ellison against the mysterious, behind-the-scenes Caesar who runs the “games.” How have those two protagonists changed since you first introduced them?
RS: Ben has changed greatly. In Man of Wax, my idea was to create a “realistic” thriller. Meaning the good guys don’t always win. Meaning the protagonist isn’t necessarily the hero type. You drop the majority of us in a situation where we wake up in the middle of nowhere, with our families gone, and are forced to partake in a terrible game, and we don’t immediately become Jason Statham. Especially when our family’s lives are on the line and any false step on our end might mean their death. So it’s a delicate situation, and I have found some readers really love Ben while others don’t care for him much at all. Again, he’s supposed to be “normal,” whatever that means, plus he has a dark secret to his past, something he never even told his wife about, so there’s that.

But in The Inner Circle, two years have passed and Ben has changed drastically. He hasn’t found his family yet, and doesn’t think he ever will, so he doesn’t have much left to live for. Instead he becomes a soldier in Carver’s army against Caesar, and he steps up in a major way — in fact, he almost becomes that Jason Statham character we all like to think we would become in dire situations.

As for Carver, he is still doing whatever he can to get to Caesar and those in the Inner Circle. We do, however, learn more about his back story, and why and how he has become man he is.

SU: Man Of Wax, as the first in the series, was very mysterious and dark. Now that much of the mystery is out in the open, what does The Inner Circle bring to the table?
RS: Man of Wax showed what the games were like from the player side of the table. In The Inner Circle, we now see the aftermath, about those few who managed to leave the games alive, and how they’ve struggled with the consequences. We also get much closer to learning the truth about what the games are all about and what else Caesar has in store, not just for the Inner Circle but for the entire world.
SU: Give us one line, whether it’s description or dialogue, from The Inner Circle that gives a good example of the story.
RS: As I mentioned, in the second book Ben has become a completely different person. And near the beginning of the book, when he’s headed into a really bad situation and one of the other characters tells him not to, that he might end up dead, Ben says, “All of us are already dead, Ronny. We just don’t know it yet.”
SU: And I can’t end this without asking the logical question – what are the plans and/or progress on a follow up? Will this be a trilogy, or continuing saga?
RS: It will definitely be a trilogy. I haven’t started working on the third book yet — I want to work on something lighter, a new Holly Lin novel perhaps — but I hope to start working on it next year. It will be just as long as The Inner Circle, which ended up around 120,000 words.

Thanks for having me here, Steve!

GIVEAWAY TIME: Easy stuff here. Robert has generously donated a free e-book copy of the first in the series, Man of Wax, to ANYONE who helps spread the word about this interview and comments below. Simply link to this blog page, retweet it, share on Facebook or Google+, even post it on your MySpace wall. Then make a quick comment below saying “I did it!” or something creative along those lines, and you’ll find yourself with a horror/thriller book in your hands (e-reader).

And ONE LUCKY RANDOM winner will receive an AUTOGRAPHED copy of BOTH novels.

Ready? Go share!

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Great article (checklist) from Chuck Wendig on preparing to write a novel

The man can tell it like it is. While the word choice may be…colorful at times, Chuck Wendig, an über-successful author, has put together an absurdly helpful and spot-on 25-point checklist of how to prepare to write a novel. With National Novel Writing Month just around the corner, it’s quite timely as well. If you’ve ever considered writing a novel (and who hasn’t?), sit down for ten minutes with a cop o’ joe, a notepad, and pencil, and READ IT.

Some great nuggets:

• Are you excited? Does the prospect of writing this thing both geek you out and scare you in equal measure? It should. If you don’t, this might not be the story you want to write.

• Don’t go in totally blind. You don’t need to map every beat, but even three hastily-scrawled phrases on a bar napkin (“narwhale rebellion, yellow fever, Mitt Romney’s shiny grease-slick forehead”) will be better than nothing.

• Write every day, sure, duh. But more importantly: figure out how much you’re going to write on each of those “every days.”

And in my opinion the best one, saved for #25:

• Stop Doing All This Other Stuff And Write Already

But seriously – go READ IT.

 

Doing NaNoWriMo? Have a writing-on-a-schedule tip? Hit me up below…

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Do one star reviews hurt sales? Or “how I spent a morning reading hilarious 50 Shades reviews”

I read an article last week (well, the majority of an article) on top-selling Amazon titles with huge numbers of poor reviews. The article stemmed from the paid reviews scandal headed by John Locke and his ilk, but it got me thinking. Do negative reviews hurt sales? I know when I see a poor review hit for one of my books, I read it thoroughly (while I unscrew the top to the MD 20/20), trying to see something I can improve upon for a future work, or if the dude who left the review was just having a bad day. But I also wonder in the back of my mind if that review could impact future sales. (And then out comes the second bottle of the Mad Dog.)

There are many (myself included) who will start by reading the one-star reviews of a book before deciding to purchase. If they are isolated, unrelated complaints, fine; but if there is a trend, or similar issue, then the book itself might not make the TBR list. One of the most controversial and talked-about best sellers recently has been the 50 Shades series, so I decided to take a peek at the one-stars for the first in the series. You know, to see if they’d hurt sales.

Two hours and a cramp from laughing later, I couldn’t take it anymore. The reviews are scathing, and probably better written than the book itself. And darned if they aren’t downright hilarious. There are currently over FOUR THOUSAND one-star reviews of that first book…and here are some of my favorite snippets (no, I didn’t read all 4,000…I would be undergoing emergency spleen replacement surgery right now):

“I’m convinced the author has a computer macro that she hits to insert one of her limited repertoire of facial expressions whenever she needs one.”

“I feel stupid for reading this book and wish I had spent that ten bucks on socks.”

“If crap had an a$$hole, this would be shooting out of it”

“I want to give this book to someone I hate and tell them it’s awesome. That’s how bad it is.”

“Take Stephenie Meyer’s ham-handed, awkward writing and turn down the “quality” dial about four – maybe five – notches.”

“There’s no plot. I have never actually experienced a book with no plot.”

“My inner-goddess turned fifty shades of crap as I bit my lip and rolled my eyes.”

“Try to imagine of the smell of a large crate full of month-old eggs in the dumpster behind a questionable greasy spoon diner on a muggy, sticky August morning. With a dead skunk on top. And garbage juice dripping onto the pavement. And a drunk guy urinating onto the whole thing. Now imagine rolling in that dumpster. Naked. That’s how this book made me feel.”

“And yes, you don’t drive through Portland to get to Seattle from Vancouver.”

“The redundancy is infuriating. It’s a wonder Ana didn’t gnaw her own lips right off her face or Christians hair didn’t fall out from constantly running his fingers through it.”

“Fifty Shades of Grey is not the first book I’ve thrown across the room – it’s the second – but it is the first book I also kicked after it hit the floor.”

“Ms. Steele and Mr. Grey. Aren’t those clever last names? What were the chances?”

“James has accomplished the unthinkable: making Stephanie Meyer’s writing look worthy of the Pulitzer by comparison”

“Zero stars. I rather read iTunes user agreements.”

And my all-time favorite:

“This is like Ke$ha of literature.”

Feel free to list your fave in the comments section…or hey, to keep me in perpetual cramps, some one-stars from The Casual Vacancy…there seem to be a few. Like outnumbering the five-stars by almost 50%.

I don’t think Ms. James is worried about the one-star reviews; right now, the 50 Shades books occupy the 5th, 6th, and 8th spots in Amazon’s overall Best Sellers for Kindle. So I doubt she’s pulled herself away from making sure to ward off the coming autumn chill by stocking up on royalties invoices and hundred dollar bills for kindling (no Kindle pun intended, but it worked, didn’t it?).

Before anyone rises up and defends popular literature *cough* by saying I’m making fun of the books themselves and how dare I, I’m not. None of these are my reviews; just the ones that others wrote that caught my eye. I’m simply passing on the good word. And wondering if reviews mean anything at all, sales-wise, in the long run.

Oh, and the wife read all three 50 Shades books, and said to me…aloud… “Is this all you have to do to get published??” I think she holds me in less esteem now…

 

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