Thursday, February 21, 2013


Do current events influence your ideas for your books and stories?

Pull up some chairs, ladies and gents,
And I’ll tell you my thoughts on current events,

I don’t like to include them in my books,meandthecat
I write fiction—not exposés of real-life crooks,

Or heroic tales of surviving earthquakes,
Reality doesn’t a good story make,

An actual thing can be a nice seed,
To grow a story people might read,

I do get ideas from what may happen in life,
But I steer clear of true war-torn strife,

I make it up! I create!
I spin tales! I conflate!

Fabrication! Imagination!

Why be tethered to what’s in the news?
Why feel constrained by what is so true?

By the time the book hits, it’s been a long time,
Since the disaster or scandal or newsworthy crime,

Most people don’t remember the when,
Or even what happened way, way, way back then,

So I don’t rip stories from the screaming headlines,
Instead, I rip things from my super-deranged mind!


(Dr. Suess’s birthday is next week, so… my early birthday tribute.)

(This entry is “simul-posted” on Criminal Minds.)


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Cranial Download, Anyone?

In your ideal world as a writer, do you foresee a balance of writing hardcopy books and stories and some ‘E’ material or, gasp, will your original work only be available in e-format one day? And does it matter??

In my ideal writer world, yachts, Greek islands, and dark-chocolate-covered marzipan figure prominently.

But allow me to answer the question a little more directly.

I’m a storyteller at heart, not a book provider. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love books. I think they are pretty close to the perfect way to deliver stories. They’re relatively cheap. And portable. And they smell good.

But other media have their advantages, too, and I don’t want to eliminate any portion of my potential readership by limiting the method of delivery for my stories.mccoy

So, in summary, I’d like to provide my stories in whatever medium my readers want: ebooks and print books and audio and film and large print and direct cranial downloads, too, if it ever comes to pass.

Having said all that, I shall now contradict myself! (Just call me a fence-straddler.)

For the past year or so, I’ve been conducting an ebook experiment. I’ve self-pubbed two original ebooks, THE TASTE (horror) and FIRST TIME KILLER (thriller). In the next month, I plan to release another ebook original (RIDE-ALONG). Right now, there is no printed version available—only digital (At some point, if there’s sufficient demand, I hope to have all of these titles in print-print).

Why go the ebook original route? Many reasons: quicker to market, cheaper to produce, easier for readers to buy and a lower price tag, didn’t find a home in a big publishing house, larger royalties. However, here’s the biggest reason to offer affordable ebooks: BECAUSE PEOPLE WANT THEM. I learned in Marketing 101 that it’s generally a good idea to give customers what they want at a reasonable price.

Here’s one data point in my experiment: Last week, as part of a two-day Kindle Select promotional campaign, 11,000+ people downloaded free copies of FIRST TIME KILLER. (I know many of them won’t ever read it--a lot of people like FREE things, just for the FREE of it.) This tends to support my theory that: PEOPLE WANT AFFORDABLE EBOOKS (see above).

Does this mean from now on my work will only be available in e-format?


It’s a strange new world out there, and my goal is to have as much chocolate-covered marzipan as I can reach as many readers as I can!

(This entry is “simul-posted” on Criminal Minds.)