Monday, December 15, 2014

The Slowpoke Variable

A couple Sundays ago, my daughter had a friend over to play.

They were sitting on the floor near me, chatting and laughing and putting together rubber-band bracelets or bead necklaces or whatever it is schoolkids are excited about these days. I had a football game on and I was trying to bang out some words on the new manuscript.

And then I overheard my daughter drop this bombshell:

“People call me slowpoke, but I like to take my time.”

She might as well have ripped my still-beating heart out of my chest and showed it to me. It was the cutest and most devastating thing I have ever heard her say and probably will ever hear her say.

I have called her a slowpoke. My wife has. I’m sure her brother has.

But she doesn’t care. SHE DOES NOT SUFFER FOOLS AND OUR PESKY HUMAN IMPATIENCE.

She won’t be rushed. Whether it’s her homework sheets or a craft project or simple coloring, she does take her time to make sure it is done right.

She’s the baby of the family. She hits a lot of the stereotypical checkboxes for adorable little girls. When she gets tired, she grabs whatever’s in reach and sucks her thumb. And so sometimes I admit that it’s easy to forget what she’s becoming.

A bad-ass.

I know one thing. I won’t ever call her a slowpoke again.

LEST I INCUR HER SLOW, METHODICAL WRATH.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Print Version of The Jackpot Now Available!

It only took three and a half years, but I'm excited to announce that a paperback version of The Jackpot is now available! The list price is $11.99, but I've seen that fluctuate downward a bit in the last few days (something I have no control over). Last I checked, it was $10.53.

Here's the link.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Jackpot-David-Kazzie/dp/0692340513/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1361972869&sr=8-1

It would make a fine Christmas/Hannukah/Kwanzaa/Festivus receptacle stuffer.

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Brief History of My New Book

A few years ago, I was watching an episode of a now-cancelled television show in which the villain, who was trying to unleash a biological weapon that would have decimated humanity, was stopped at the zero hour. Good guys win, bad guys lose, see you next week.

I've made no secret of my undying love for novels of the apocalypse. I love reading about the breakdown of society, following ordinary characters living through such extraordinary circumstances, and watching how they deal with the brave new world of the day after.  I had long toyed with the idea of writing a post-apocalyptic novel of my own, but for years, the setting was all I had. And it's not enough to only have a world wiped out by plague. That's a setting, a backdrop. You still need a story. A loaf of bread for your main character to trek to the store for. Otherwise, the characters are just wandering around eating canned goods.

But back to that television show. I started asking myself, well, what if the villain had gotten away with it? What if the bioweapon had gotten loose, and there was no way to stop it? I had this vague image of the architect of this disaster nervously waiting to find out if his bioweapon had been successfully released. He's sitting at a bar, drinking too much booze, his heart racing, certain that any moment, the feds will bust in, arrest him and haul him off to prison. I didn't know much about him. I didn't know why he was doing this. But I couldn't shake the image.

And I had the beginnings of the story. Eventually, I fleshed out the full storyline, or at least the early prototype, and I began work on it in June 2011. I worked on it for four months, wrote about 115 pages, and then stopped. This was one of the dumbest things I have ever done. I didn't stop writing totally, but I decided that this book wasn't marketable enough, and I wrote another book instead. That book, which I finished in April 2012, sucked, and I finally put it out of its misery later that summer when I realized it would need a complete re-write. As in throw out 350 pages and start over. That's how bad it was. Key takeaway: Never stop working on a book you love.

I flailed around a bit, and in November 2012, I went back to my unfinished novel of the apocalypse. Abandoning it had felt like the biggest mistake of my writing career. So I spent the next six months writing my big, sprawling tale about the end of the world, not caring a whit about agents, editors, publishers, contracts, or the like. I loved writing it. Every day was a joy. There were obstacles, of course, as no book of that scope goes off without a hitch. But by April 2013, the first draft was done. It weighed in at 180,000 words - double the length of any book I had ever written.

The book went out on submission in February 2014. Well, I wish I could tell you that there was a happy traditional publishing end to this story where the book sold for seven figures and in a dozen countries, but there wasn't. I was hopeful, but in the end, none of the publishers have come calling. That's been a hard thing to deal with, but I've made my peace with it. Because we live in a world now where the book still has a chance.

So as it looks like we have exhausted all the traditional publishing outlets, I'm going to be self-publishing it. I'm very, very proud of this book. Although the final version of a book never matches the author's original vision (which always is perfect), I can say that this is as close as I could have hoped to come.

I hope you will stick around as I bring you THE IMMUNE, one way or the other....



Friday, November 28, 2014

30-Day Running Challenge - Update #3

28 days down. 81.5 miles. 

And now I'm fighting a pretty nice little respiratory infection. It started as a sore throat on Thanksgiving Day, which is my favorite holiday, SO THANKS FOR THAT UNIVERSE. Now I have a little congestion and stuffiness. I put in two miles today, and I doubt I will do much more than that tomorrow or Sunday. 

The worst day of the month was the day before Thanksgiving - temps in the low 40s, and it was pouring down rain. But I got through it. 

I'm debating continuing my streak through December, when I'll have a similar schedule that made it relatively easy to get through November. Runner's World is sponsoring a run streak starting on Thanksgiving Day and going through New Year's Day. 

I haven't lost any weight but there's no doubt I'm a bit leaner. I like that. I feel pretty good too. 

Now back to the abomination of the Virginia-Virginia Tech football game.