Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What it Means to Live as a Fiction Writer

I'm a member of a writer's group called BookPod. This week, one of our members, Yi Shun Lai, was featured on an episode of Joy Sandwich, publicizing her book, Not a Self-Help Book, soon to be released. I listened to the podcast. Very chatty, and great fun. Good to see another writer I know so well succeed. The aftermath of the podcast included  a discussion among BookPod members about marketing of books.

Marketing... the bane of every writer. Before I started writing fiction, I knew writers were a tad schizo. All those voices inside my head, screaming "Write ME!" But after nearly three years of 'authoring' I find we're also bi-polar: writing is so quiet and solitary, then marketing is so noisy and messy. Argghhh.

When I got started, I had a publicist who worked her tail off to get me known. It worked. Then I moved to a marketeer, one who knows exactly where to place ads, at just the right time to trigger maximum sales. And that's what surprised me. Having Rebecca Berus of 2 Market Books changed everything for me. Now, all I do is write fiction, write blog entries, and, on the promo days, send out messages to my email list, Twitter and Facebook. I'm active on Facebook and Twitter, dropping links to news about computer hacking, politics, technology and... my own books and how those topics relate to my fiction. Busy days, every one of them. As an older (gonna be 69 in three weeks), thoroughly used-up former spy, I thought retirement would be three rounds of golf every week. Nope, it's fifty hour weeks. Twenty-five hours of fiction writing, five hours of research on medicine, computer hacking and programming, politics and facts about locations I'll have to visit so I can 'vibe' them into my stories, fifteen hours of editing what I've written and what my critique partners have written, and five hours of social media.
As song writer Joe Ely says in one of his songs, "The road goes on forever and the party never ends." So, there are lessons to be learned, yes, but the half-life of their applicability to whatever you do is very limited. On the Internet, no one knows you aren't a dog. On the Internet, things are simple. In a writer's reality, we're all dogs sometimes, and other things at other times. In reality, writing is never simple. It's why no one knows when they've achieved success. There's always another obstacle to mount after this one is conquered. 
Who knew becoming a writer could be such great fun? (Then again, maybe I'm just a masochist...)

Monday, April 18, 2016

April Promo for DS Kane's bestselling technothriller, DeathByte, Book 2 of the Spies Lie series

So, let's say you read Bloodridge, Book 1 and haven't yet read the second book in my series, DeathByte. Well then, your chance to get DeathByte for just $0.99, a price reduction of 75% will come on April 19th through April 21. It's my Kindle Countdown promo.

All the books in the Spies Lie series have been Amazon Bestsellers. DeathByte was inspired by a speech from Leon Panetta on nanotechnology. Panetta worries that nanotech could disrupt or destroy the United States and states quite clearly just how dangerous it is.

I wondered, "What's the worst that could happen? Who would develop such a weapon?" And, it became the reason and the basis for DeathByte. Legendary cypherpunk Steven Schear helped with some of the details:

What is DeathByte about?
When the plans to a new device that could change the course of world politics forever is stolen, every country goes looking. It’s going to be a free-for-all.

When someone breaks into William Wing's Hong Kong apartment and steals the hard drives from his computer, it sets several intelligence services searching for the plans to a new device that could change the course of world politics forever.

Wing's worst fears, that he might become hunted for what they think he knows, is the least of the issues at hand for his friend, Jon Sommers. Sommers will have to leave his deep cover assignment to help his friend, and he'll need a team. The Mossad wants what Wing lost, and so do the Americans, the Chinese and the Brits. It's going to be a fight to see who finds the plans first...
Kirkus Reviews Loved DeathByte:
"In the second installment of the Spies Lie thriller series, a covert agent reunites with his allies as intelligence agencies battle over a revolutionary tracking device.
Master hacker William Wing discovers that someone has broken into his Hong Kong apartment and stolen all the secrets on his computer—secrets that belong to clients such as Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency. Afraid that he’ll be killed as a result of the breach, he reaches out to his friend Jon Sommers, a former Mossad assassin who’s now working undercover in a German bank (and having a hot-and-heavy romance with fellow spy Ruth Cohen). The thief is revealed to be Cassandra Sashakovich, an agent with an unnamed American intelligence agency who had been ratted out by a mole, raped by a terrorist and is now running for her life. The data she made off with includes plans for a tiny tracking gadget that allows one to see through the eyes of the person who swallows it; naturally, many people would kill to get their hands on it. Sommers brings together his few trusted allies, including hardened soldier Avram Shimmel, to help Wing and prevent the plans from falling into the wrong hands—but whose hands are the wrong ones? Kane (Bloodridge, 2014) purports to be a former spy himself, and his extensive knowledge of the ways that the world’s governments wage covert war on one another shines through in his incredibly detailed prose. At times, however, these details grow overwhelming and make it hard to keep track of who’s spying on whom and why. However, readers who adore action-packed thrillers in the vein of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series will enjoy its many double-crossings. However, some readers should be warned: There are graphic scenes of torture excruciating enough to possibly make one’s stomach turn. Indeed, so many upsetting things happen to the main characters that it may be easy for readers to grow despondent about the state of the world by the time the story reaches its firestorm of a conclusion.

A dizzying spy story for readers with clear minds and steely constitutions."

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Amazon Giveaway of ProxyWar, Book 6 of DS Kane's Spies Lie series

Love a good spy novel? I am running an Amazon Giveaway on my newest Spies Lies novel, ProxyWar. Enter now for a chance to win an ebook copy of ProxyWar. When a former Mossad spymaster stumbles across a Chinese-Russian plot against the U.S, he must make the journey through a blizzard and his enemies to present his suspicions to the UN General Assembly. When you’re an international spy, who said dying was easy? Enter here: