Mega-selling self-publishing phenom John Locke has been an inspiration to me. I read his runaway bestseller on how he sold 1 million E-Books in 5 months, and I got excited. Well, actually, the first time I read it I had been drinking, so I actually got sick about halfway through and almost ruined my Kindle (through no fault of John’s – never drink a liter of mescal on an empty stomach). But when I came to and reread the book again after hosing the screen off, I got excited. The few “eye-openers” I’d had to chase away the scaries might have had a small amount to do with that excitement, but I’m pretty sure it was Locke.
So then, I got some shut-eye, and when I came to again, I reread his book, and I realized there was hope that I, a writer with barely marginal abilities and a complete lack of any discipline or desire to work any harder than I have to (as my daytime job cleaning windshields at an intersection near my home enables me to do), might also reach a massive audience of subsequently adoring fans virtually overnight.
Following his advice, I created a marketing plan, and identified my target market, figured out how my characters could be described, joined Twitter, cobbled together a first novel over a few days (plagiarizing really cuts down on writing time), and then took the most important step – I wrote this blog.
So here it goes. The blog that I hope will change everything for me.
Pay attention, please. This is important.
I love John Locke, and I love my dad. I also love cute little dewy-eyed puppies, and sweet furry little mewling kitties, as well as apple pie, my beloved long-suffering grandmother, and of course, the flag. And God. Let’s not forget God. And especially, we can’t forget the children. Because it’s all about the children.
I know my dad’s not perfect. All I have to do is think back to the times where he would allow the geriatric neighborhood men to watch me take a bath – for a fee – or when I run my hands across the cigarette burn scars on my chest and back, or recall my youth chained in the root cellar in a four-by-six cage with only a burlap sack as clothing, and I realize he wasn’t perfect. I know – we are all cast from imperfect clay. But he did the best he could.
I can’t help but consider his influence on me when I see the former head of the IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, charged with being a slack-jawed drug-and-alcohol crazed misogynistic satyr whose history of sexual predation allegedly spans twenty years. Perhaps it’s not only Pops who enjoyed a little romantic stimulation after chemically-fortifying himself with MD 20/20 and Black Beauties while losing the rent money on a back-alley craps game. And when I heard about another idol, famous rock legend Pete Townsend, and his brush with the authorities over having thousands of images of small children on his computer, my mind naturally went back to dad. It seems that dad is always in my thoughts, in one way or another.
As are puppies, kitties, apple pie, grandma, the flag, God, and the children.
The point is that through all my struggles I emerged stronger, and I’m now grown up; a novelist whose characters mirror my experiences. It’s why the protagonist in my upcoming new action/adventure trilogy – “Offender 7 – Registered Sex Offender Secret Agent,” is a strong, capable, yet flawed man who balances his ninja career as an ex-CIA killer now moonlighting for the Korean mob, against a conflicted inner-voice that drives him to do horrible things, for which he is later sorry, or at least claims to be after he’s knocked back a half gallon of Ballerina vodka and is sobbing in his bathrobe while clutching the toilet rim.
So if you enjoy characters who destroy the souls of helpless victims they’re entrusted with protecting, and who are now serving life sentences in a high security Midwest penitentiary, but are occasionally released when called upon by the government to act as a one man killing machine against terrorists (who would harm puppies, kitties, our way of life, pie, the flag, God & the children) my new Offender 7 series is up your alley. Described as “…a relentless juggernaut of psychotically-fueled blood lust, wherein a savagely-brutal death dealer massacres friend and foe alike,” by the Seminole Literary Monthly, it’s a perfect coming-of-age read for the whole family.
Alternatively, my current novel, Fatal Exchange, available for pennies on Kindle, which doesn’t have pedophile sex offender secret agents or puppies or kitty cats in it, but could with a quick rewrite if that’s all that’s holding you back, is a gripping read perfect for action/intrigue enthusiasts, as well as inmates, shut-ins, and the chronically unbalanced.
I know my dad’s not perfect. His four sequential life sentences underscore we can all make mistakes. But I love him, just as I love puppy dogs and sweet little kitty cats, and my beloved grandma and her mouthwatering apple pie – and of course my country, which for all its flaws is the greatest nation on the planet – and God, and the precious children.
I feel much better now. I may not be allowed within 100 yards of any playground or elementary school, and have to wear this stupid ankle bracelet for another 8 months, but at least I’ve learned important, if sometimes harsh, life lessons.
And isn’t that the whole reason for this journey we’re all on together?
Thank you John Locke, for giving me the courage to blog. I thought after my tragic freak figure skating accident I was finished in the public eye, but now you’ve shown me that doesn’t have to be the end. Hopefully this message of affirmation will go viral in a few days and I’ll see the cash pour in – Ka-ching, babee, Ka-CHING! And hopefully as readers come across this heartfelt blog and Tweet and re-Tweet it in a frenzy of free publicity for me, we all remember that besides puppies, kitties, apple pie, my grandma, the flag and God, the most important assets we have are the children.
Make it go viral. Not for me. Not for the kitties. Not even for grandma, who isn’t well and who expressed as her dying wish that it sees mass dissemination.
But for the children.
Do it for the children.
There. I think that nailed all the high notes. Don’t think I left anything out. I wanted to drive home the most appealing parts of the narrative – puppies and all that crap, so I figured repeating it a few times for anyone too dim to catch it in the title or the first mentions in the blog would still get it. Can’t be too careful.
And I made it topical with the Strauss-Kahn thing – frigging magical that, don’t you think? I know, I know, you’re a self-promoting genius, Russell Blake. No need to belabor it. Thank you beautiful crowd. Mwah, mwah.
Right. Okay, then. I’m going to head down to the bank in a few hours and collect the first wad of cash from my ascendant career. Remember to buy my books, early and often, if not for yourself, then for friends or family or even those you dislike intensely.