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.

Ahem.

***************************************

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.

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Comments

  1. Cherri Gilham
    Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 5:33 pm

    Brilliant.

    But if you’re really going to emulate John Locke you’re going to have to respond to this post by emailing me a coupla times giving me good advice.
    Like wot Donovan done.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 7:07 pm

      Right you are! Here’s the first advice: Stay tuned for my brilliant marketing and writing bible, “How to Sell A Blazillion E-Books in 12 Months (While Drunk, High or Incarcerated), which will show you how to make huge bank while doing little or nothing.

      Don’t thank me yet. It’s all part of my process. I’m driven to help. You’ll see.

      Reply
  2. Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Russell,
    You may slip into a funk when you hear this. I just downloaded a SAMPLE of your book, which has implications.

    First, I did not feel immediately compelled to check out your book based on puppies, kitties, apple pie, grandma, the flag, God, OR the children (I struggled with the children, admittedly). I like these things, but apparently not enough to be a good American and buy ten copies of your book on the spot (just in case the first nine failed to download from Amazon…reasonable for a fanatical American, which I am not.)

    The second issue, I think I might have downloaded the sample because your blog rants are well written and scathingly hilarious. It’s possible that I am taking a chance on good writing, which I know will send you back to the drawing board. Sorry.

    I’ll let you know how it goes, but please,, don’t by any means stop your blog posts. Something is working.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 8:19 pm

      I have also used powerful mind control techniques to bewitch blog readers and convert them into an army of automaton zombies. Welcome to the Russ Brigade ™.

      Reply
  3. Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Win. As soon as I retrieve my Kindle charger from the worm hole from which it is currently taunting me (i.e. the unmarked cardboard box in which I packed it), I am buying your book. I too love apple pie and MD 20/20. Often together.

    Reply
    • Steven Konkoly  –  Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 9:05 pm

      You should use the MD 20/20 in the apple pie. Two birds.

      Reply
      • Russell Blake  –  Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 9:42 pm

        The pie filling clogs the syringe.

        Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 8:28 pm

      Don’t forget to include that on your Match.com profile. A lot of guys love the combo of high carbs and sugar with problem drinking. God knows I do…

      Reply
      • Lynn Caldwell  –  Fri 08th Jul 2011 at 4:53 pm

        I get a lot of compliments on my carb and sugar consumption, and most especially on my problem drinking. I find that these characteristics have made a Match.com profile superfluous, as my exotic and mysterious combination of muffin top and mean drunk brings all the boys to the yard. Now I gotta go figure out if I should use Red Grape or (my personal favorite) Blue Raspberry Mad Dog in this apple pie.

        Reply
        • Russell Blake  –  Fri 08th Jul 2011 at 5:52 pm

          “Problem drinking…”

          ???? I’ve never had any problem drinking. It’s usually immediately after when the problems start.

          Just saying, is all…

          Reply
          • Lynn Caldwell  –  Fri 08th Jul 2011 at 8:21 pm

            I would say that my single biggest problem drinking is figuring out what sadistic bastard at the whiskey distillery is shipping out all these cases full of empty bottles. That’s the only logical explanation I can figure out for the state of the liquor cabinet.

  4. Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Your father was far too lax with you. Now go hone your craft.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 05th Jul 2011 at 11:56 pm

      I will, but I only have 4 working fingers, total, if you count stubs or toes sewn on as thumbs, so it takes me time to hone through the pain. Thank you for your kind words, though. It makes me happy my good eye still works. Remember to buy several copies of Fatal Exchange and I’ll put you on the mailing list for the self-promotion and self-publishing guide to success and riches.

      Reply
  5. Wed 06th Jul 2011 at 12:14 am

    Between your 4 working eyes and your good finger you seem quite an attractive man. Makes me wish I were gay and underage. Bieberish.
    Alas, have no money for your books. I owe all my money to Johnnie Walker. He’s the sober one in our relation.
    But I will pray for you, i.e. I will mumble something to myself. It always works, or so a wise man told me. It made him Governor of Texas, and these guys all become President. Then they sell books about it. Eat that John Locke.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 06th Jul 2011 at 2:43 am

      Makes me wish you were gay, underage and Bieberish too – most importantly, because if you were, you’d have at least enough cash to buy my 99 cent Fatal Exchange, and once you were exposed to the searing brilliance within it, you’d be compelled to hang out in filling station bathrooms to raise the cash to buy my next tome, the astounding “How To Sell A Blazillion Books in One Year (While Drunk, High or Incarcerated)” – and then, once you did, you would write a blazillion seller and be free to become the next David Geffen or whatever.

      The key would be you’d attribute all your success to me, which is as it should be, and we’d both win. A win/win, n’est pas? And who doesn’t like that?

      Reply
  6. Wed 06th Jul 2011 at 1:48 am

    This reminded me that I have to finish reading Fatal Exchange. It’s yelling at me from my Kindle (for PC because I’m special like that).

    I too got inspired by Locke, except it’s taking me longer to put a plan in action. All those silly tax forms to fill out because I’m a non-us resident trying to sell on Kindle *tsk*.

    Thank you for another entertaining blogpost, it’s always fun to read them. 🙂

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 06th Jul 2011 at 2:11 am

      Sometimes life gets in the way of reading my masterful prose. I understand. Actually, I don’t at all, as I can think of nothing more important than hanging on my every utterance, however I’m often mystified by things. Okay, that’s a lie, I am rarely surprised by anything, but I’ve learned to pretend to be, which is almost as good. Hope you enjoy Tess’ adventure.

      Reply
  7. Wed 06th Jul 2011 at 1:57 am

    You have done it again. About the time I begin to believe I might be somewhat witty, I read of your tweets and spiral downward into a bloody funk. Now, along comes the Mother of all funny blogs. What are you trying to do to the rest of us? I hate you. I love you. I hate you. I… (deep cleansing breathe) Keep it up, I guess. I need my ego shrunk every few hours.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 06th Jul 2011 at 2:31 am

      Once I come out with my “How to Sell a Blazillion E-Books in One Year (Even Drunk, stoned or Incarcerated)” you’ll have a different perspective about everything. Never before has so much highly concentrated knowledge been assembled in one place. It’s like a dwarf star of self-publishing and self-promotion information and tips. It really will change your life – or at least when enough people buy it, it will change mine, which is pretty important to me.

      Maybe your problem is you shouldn’t be trying to be clever or funny or original. I’ll show you how to abandon all your dreams, and become a massive blazillion-seller in no time. Honest.

      Reply

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