Respect Creative Artists (And check out this cool new song)

One of my favorite bands, House of Heroes, has a new album coming out this July. I just found out about it this week and I’ve had their pre-release lyric video on repeat for the last three days. Here it is:

I’ve been hooked on House of Heroes since I discovered their amazing album “The End is not the End” a bunch of years ago. On that album, their creativity mixed with a World War II theme was enough for this history buff to get excited. It’s one of my all time favorite albums.

I love this new song of theirs too. They have tremendous musical hooks and wonderful lyrics. How do I know they are wonderful? Well, for me, whenever I tell myself, “Huh, I wouldn’t have thought of that phrase. That’s awesome.” I’m hooked. There are plenty of artists out there who have the most annoying banal lyrics who still make millions! I don’t get it. I mean “Lemonade” – wow – originality there. Sorry Beyonce.

Anyways, seeing HOH release their new song got me thinking once again how we need to show the respect for creative artists. They are putting themselves out there. And when they release a new song, if it isn’t what the public or listening (or reading) audience is expecting, it can tank and pull down a whole year’s worth of creativity with it.

I’m not saying we have to like everything or even be nice about everything. I’m sure there’s a citrus fruit reference above that proves that point. But artistic endeavors, thinking with our minds, creativity, originality, should be respected and honored. They are as tangible as building a brick wall. They’ll probably last that long too. They also offer our souls a comfort and different type of protection, a glimpse at the intangible, a speck of the unseen, a glimmer of what it really means to be human.

It’s a scary thing – putting yourself out there. HOH has done it admirably and I know I have a new album to buy this July.

Find the artists you like. Buy their stuff. Respect their effort. And enjoy.

“A Historical Tall-Tale” – Relevant New Descriptions of my Newest Release

If you haven’t picked up a copy of my newest release, A Love Story for a Nation, here are two new descriptions which might help you see if this book is for you or not.

  1. Someone recently asked if I wrote it like a historical tall-tale? I thought about for a minute and then replied, you got it exactly right. That description seems almost like an oxymoron, but it hits the heart of the story well. It’s a story of love and revolution would could have been set in any number of countries during the 20th century.
  2. A second person said the following: “I just finished A Love Story and thought you should know that I think it is wonderful! Any story that makes you think about your own life; what you could do better; what you should do more or less of to affect positive change…that’s a winner to me.”

Click here for Kindle version $3.99 or paperback $11.99

You can also read reviews, check out an excerpt, or look at my other books. Thanks!

ALoveStoryforaNation Cover LARGE

 

2015: A Writing Year in Review

January – April

  • My script “A Pinch of Fate, A Shot of Destiny” was performed in Sydney, Australia as part of the Short & Sweet Theatre Festival.
  • Finalized script and casting for my musical “A Tad of Trouble.”
  • Put the finishing touches on my fourth novel. Sent to editor.
  • Wrote a major portion of my fifth novel.

May – August

  • Produced three performances of “A Tad of Trouble” at the Penang Performing Arts Centre
  • Released my 4th novel  “A Love Story for a Nation.”
  • Wrote ten pieces of short drama and musicals for my Christmas show “Tales of Wonder: A RLT Players’ Christmas.”
  • Won five awards at the Short & Sweet Festival Penang for my piece “Words to Say at the End of the World”

Sept – October

  • Finished and published my first full-length play in four years: “The Secrets of the Magic Pool.”
  • Finished my fifth novel “Which Half David.” Readying the revisions.
  • More than 12,000 words into my sixth novel.
  • Started writing a new collaborative play with four of my students.
  • Wrote a short experimental theatre piece called “How to Build a Dictator.” Waiting to see about 2016 production.
  • Started writing many other short dramatic pieces which I’ll finish in the new year.
  • Editing my first collection of dramatic duets, set to release early 2016

RE-CAPPING RELEASES

Novel: “A Love Story for a Nation” (June 2015)

Play: “Secrets of the Magic Pool” (December 2015)

Collection: “Theatrical Duets for Stage, Competition, or Classroom” (January 2016)

Novel: “Which Half David” (Summer 2016)

It’s been a productive year. Lots more on my plate for 2016!

 

New Book Review for “A Love Story for a Nation”

Danielle at Universalcreativityinc just posted her review of “A Love Story for a Nation.”

Some highlights include:

“[It] is one of those novels that readers won’t ever forget.”

“I found the mystery of the plot incredible.”

“By the the time you reach the end you will be waiitng for the next stunning well written adventure by Mark Sasse. It’s the first time that I have read any one of his novels and now, I plan to read each one of his previous novels before this one.”

Please head on over to her website and read the entire review HERE!

If you want to try the novel for yourself, you can read excerpts and reviews HERE!

Thanks again for all your support.

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Moving Beyond Kindle Scout

After an interesting Kindle Scout campaign, I’ve been informed that Kindle Press will not be publishing my newest novel, “A Love Story for a Nation.” Am I disappointed? Yes and no. Yes, because I put a lot of effort into the campaign and even more effort into the story. I really believe in this story and the type of impact it will have on its readers. For that reason, I think it’s a great book to be published. No because that’s the way it is in publishing. It’s an extremely tough and competitive business and one has to expect rejection far more than acceptance. That’s just the nature of the beast. But I have to remind myself why I’m doing this in the first place. I’m not writing for a sea-side house in Santorini. I’m a writer because I have stories in my head which need to be told, and one little rejection isn’t going to stop me from pursuing my dream. Or it’s not going to affect my desire and drive to write in the slightest. If anything, rejection is a challenge. I don’t want to accomplish things which are easy. I want to do what people believe I can’t. I want to learn and grow and figure out what I can experience in life. I love being an independent author, and so the great thing about this is that I get to continue doing what I love. No, it isn’t easy, but bring it on. I’m really excited about “A Love Story for a Nation.”  It will be releasing in paperback and Kindle on July 1. I hope you enjoy, and once again, thank you for your support! ALoveStoryforaNation Cover LARGE

Kindle Scout Kick-off: Hot & Trending

My fourth novel’s Kindle Scout  campaign is off and running. Early results? HOT & TRENDING!

kindle scout hot 2

 

I really appreciate everyone  who has nominated it so far, and if you haven’t checked out the  site yet, you can do so HERE!

If you nominate my book and it is chosen for publication through Kindle Press, you’ll receive a free Kindle version! Great for you, great for me!

I’m really fond of this novel. Quite different from my other ones with no mention of Vietnam. Shocker! Actually, the way I wrote it, there’s no mention of the name of the country at all. There’s a specific reason behind this, but I won’t go into that now.

Here’s the synopsis. If you go to the website, you can read the first three chapters.

Thanks again, and here’s hoping the hotness doesn’t flame out too soon!

The revolution starts with an innocent smile.

As nightly raids burn the capital city, the mundane existence of Gerald Sanpatri takes a dramatic shift when Rosia walks into his life bringing laughter and unexpected love. She inspires the ex-writer to once again take up his pen and write the impossible: a love story for an entire nation. A Love Story for a Nation chronicles the explosive and heart-warming journey of one country’s brush with history through the eyes of a courageous man who dared to stand up, smile, and think the unimaginable.

Gearing up! First major promotion for “Banyan Tree”

Gearing up! First major promotion for “Banyan Tree”

My latest novel, The Reach of the Banyan Tree, has been released for about two months now. I’ve been fortunate enough to garner some good reviews (with quite a few more reviews still on the way), so it’s time to have the book’s first major promotion.

Starting September 4, it will be on a Kindle Countdown Deal – 72 hours at $0.99 and another 72 hours at $1.99 until it resettles into it’s regular price of $2.99.

This is the first time this book has ever been offered at a price below $2.99, so I’m hoping to get the word out to as many readers as possible.

I’ve decided, that for the time being, I’m going all out with Amazon to see what happens. Currently all three of my novels are on KDP. There are, perhaps, some drawbacks to this. My second novel was originally published widely on B&N and Smashwords in addition to Amazon and, frankly, the sales were underwhelming. This is not to say that the day of wide publication will not come again for me. I’m sure it will, but for now it’s just me and the big “A.”

So here’s to full-bore, headlong, all-in to this week’s promotion.

Any tweet, share, or word-of-mouth that you can muster would be greatly appreciated. As soon as the deal goes live on September 4, I’ll post my first promotion.

The Reach of the Banyan Tree

September 4-6 $0.99

September 7-9 $1.99

Here’s the book’s link: Banyan Tree on Amazon

 

“Banyan Tree” featured on Digital Book Today new releases

My new release, The Reach of the Banyan Tree, is featured alongside a bunch of other new releases on Digital Book Today. They call it a romance & historical. That’s true, but it’s more than just that. It’s a generational tale that encompasses the time period from 1945 until 2014. I suppose that’s about seventy years or three generations. It’s a love story, adventure, and Vietnamese cultural feast. Thanks for checking it out.

Digital Book Today

Purchase on Amazon

Plugging Away on Novel #3: How much time between releases?

Summer break for a teacher. Is there anything better in the world?  It has been great to finally have time to write. I’m currently working on novel #3 even though novel two hasn’t even been released yet. It’s a little trick I like to have up my sleeve. Have the next one complete before I release the previous one.

Why do I do it this way?  I’m not exactly sure. I guess it’s a way of taking the pressure off.  I never have to say, “Oh no, this new release is going well; what am I going to follow it  with?” No pressure. The next one is done.

Besides that, it allows me to appropriately space out my releases as much as I want. What is the correct length between releases? Crucial question. The answer? I don’t know. I do know that I want to give each book enough time to find its footing to, hopefully, help the release of the next one. Beauty Rising released in December 2012. Six months later there are still plenty of avenues of promotion yet to be explored. Reviews keep accumulating (now 60 of them on Amazon) and there are so many things still to do, so it doesn’t make much sense to cramp a book’s style by overshadowing it with a new one until the timing is right.

But another thing I noticed about successful authors, they all have multiple books that have previously been released. That’s crucial. No one wants to be a one-hit-wonder, I’m compelled not to wait too much longer until I release The Recluse Storyteller.  Approximate release date is less than four months. Yes, I’m excited about it.

My first draft of the storyteller was written in the summer of 2012.  Then I let it sit for six months when I decided to finally release Beauty Rising, which has kept me very busy. In July, I will get back to my final revisions on the Storyteller. By then, I’ll have heard from my advanced readers and be able to put together a final copy. I even have the cover finished thanks to my resident artist of the year, Joyce Lee. I can’t wait to share it with you. Someday.

But for me, what’s nice to know is that when I finally get back to The Recluse Storyteller, I’ll have already completed the first draft of novel number three.

And that’s all right with me.

So that’s how I currently do things as an indie author. What about you?