Archive for thrillers

“Deadly Collection”

Posted in General Information, New Releases, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on 04-3-2016 by jeffreymartinsnovels

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Welcome to my demented Utopia, fans and friends! The final touches on the latest work are complete and soon the next few novels will be unveiled. (I know…too many years since the last.)  The marketing and advertising campaign is underway, so your patience is appreciated. Here is the back cover blurb…remember, death is only a click away.

Vengeance is the itinerary of a man obsessed by his past. Homicide Detective, Kelli Jordan is called to investigate a grisly murder at a local gentleman’s club, where the woman’s death is only the beginning. Detective Jordan discovers a truth so revealing, it leads her to seek out someone who is familiar with how the killer operates. Will her newfound friend be able to help her end the madman’s reign of terror, or does Lucifer once again, slip away into the night?

Only time will tell.

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Finding the Right Publisher (Part 2)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 09-27-2013 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Ah, sequel time, boys and girls…(Everybody enjoys a good sequel…hehe!)

Today is the day, future author! The initial query letter you sent in to publisher X resulted in a request for sample pages and synopsis. A few months later, (please pretend time lapse for effect) the acquisitions editor asked for the full manuscript of your sparkling novel, Sacred Skin, and within a time frame not to exceed six months, you receive a phone call from Mr. Redpencil (hehe) saying, “Welcome to the family. We at publisher X would love to add you to our family of authors. We want you to review the contract we have prepared, where our author royalty percentages are above the normal industry standards!” (I always wonder how many people were polled to determine the industry standards?)

Now, my author friend, excitement fills you to the brim, and your fingers tremble , as you barely keep your sanity. I know you want to sign the contract right this minute…but take a deep breath, and S- L- O- W- down. Before you do anything, read the damn thing!

A few things to look at…

1. What format/formats is your work going to be published in? Mass market paperback, trade paperback, hardcover, audiobook, e-book, or some form of publication not developed yet? (Yep, many contracts have this phrase in it.) Find some other titles the publisher has released, and see if they are in the same format as yours.

2. Distribution of your work. Will the novel be listed with all the large book store/libraries/chain merchandise retail stores? You need to scrutinize this portion of your contract very carefully and ask questions of Mr. Redpencil if you don’t understand. The more distribution you have, the more likely your book will be seen! If Sacred Skin is only listed on publisher X’s website, this may not be the most effective way for your work to be seen.

3. Royalty payments. The contract will list a schedule of royalty payments. Sometimes it’s quarterly/semi-annually. Understand the payment schedule and don’t be afraid to inquire if you feel something doesn’t sound Kosher. It’s important the contract addresses the term royalty statements. The statements determine your sales figures for a designated time frame. Example, if your sales for six months is 5,000 copies, the statement should reflect this amount.

4. Synergy with publisher. Hmm, I hope…no let me rephrase that…I pray you have done research in the initial querying process to determine if publisher X is the right one for you. This can be as simple, as recognizing the kind of novels they publish. If Sacred Skin is a suspense/thriller, and publisher X has only released children’s stories, this may not be a match made in Heaven. Publishing a novel takes team work, and you want the publisher who chooses your work to love it and embrace it as you do. Does that mean you and publisher X should dance under the moonlight together making kissy-face…no, of course not (not unless you want to). BUT IT DOES mean to have an open and honest communication of what the partnership needs to be successful and how you work as a team to achieve that success.

Finding the right publisher takes a determined effort and committment. There may be times when a publisher has offered a contract, and you review it to find they have great distribution, outstanding royalty payments, and will release your work in all formats…but the synergy is off, and working with them is painstaking, to say the least. What do you do? Hmm, Now that’s a question YOU have to answer.

Hehe! Hehe!

Until next time… Death is only a click away!
dark and stormy

Finding the Right Publisher for You!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 09-13-2012 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Hmm, let’s ponder that question. Some would say that anyone willing to publish your work is the right one. Not so much, aspiring writers. I know you slaved away on the manuscript and spent countless hours editing it to within an inch of its’ life, and then…yousent out dozens upon dozens of query letters, where the only correspondence was in the form of a cookie cutter rejection letter. It can be disappointing to say the least.

So, your next course of action, is to scour the internet and writing forums for publishers who accept query letters. You take a deep breath…(make sure you exhale, or you will pass out) and fire off a few queries to a publisher who you think will make your writing dreams become a reality. A few weeks/months later, the golden ticket arrives in email/mailbox, and the excitement grows to a level so intense, sleep is barely on the agenda. Hmm, it would appear the hard work has paid off, and you are well on your way to seeing your novel on display as an end cap at the brick-and-mortar stores.

Unfortunately, the publisher you have been so lucky to have been chosen by has no clue how to successfully market you or the novel you possess. When the book finally comes out, it’s so riddled with errors, you wonder if the editorial team (if they even have one) was high on some illegal substances. Now, to top if off…your 300-page trade paperback has been priced at the reasonable price of $19.95. (Hehe!) But have no fear…because you the author of the work will get a reduced price for future purchases (after your one free author copy) at the fair rate of $13.95…what a freaking deal, my author friend!

Wow, you may think the example above is far-fetched…but let me tell you, I’m fortunate to travel across the region doing author events, some with authors in the situation above. Their novel is priced at such an inflated amount, the only people who buy it either are family or friends. It pains me to see this, and I urge all the aspiring writers out there, if you decide to forego the literary agent route and tread into the waters of publishers, be mindful of who you are dealing with. In the above example, the research for finding a publisher was half-ass. A quick check on valuable writers websites tells you many things, but it’s your job as the author to be very thorough. Example, if the publisher has a list of authors, find out if those books are carried at the local book stores and libraries. The individual authors of publishers will have websites, active usage of social networking will also be important. Scour their sales numbers, and reviews through a multiple of networks. Your goal is to determine if this publisher can do the following: honest feedback when you ask pertinent questions, distribute your work to the masses, assist in author appearances, market your novel in all media formats, and the most important, (to me at least) love your novel as much as you do.

Next week, I will continue this conversation and talk a little more about the following:

1. Distribution of your work

2. Reviewing your contract

3. Royalties

4. Synergy with Publisher

Until then, remember…death is only a click away.

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Posted in A Writer's Life, Just For Fun! with tags , , , , , , , , , on 08-19-2012 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Many people read my work expecting a mass of intriguing crime scenes, that almost tip the scale when it comes to blood and gore! I love creating these types of stories, but I recently asked myself if this was the only type of writing I could accomplish?
Now, several weeks later, I realize, if I intend to become an author worth his salt, I need to expand my horizons and work on material which propels me from that little comfort zone I have established. I have started this process with two of my latest digital shorts, “House of Misery” and “Misery Unleashed.” These you might classify as paranormal/horror, which may not seem to break my stronghold away from the blood lust, but it does start me in another direction and hopefully more fans are receptive to this. I promise you, the serial killer tales will still be there, but there will also be some, that just might touch your heart. (Yes, just a little hallmark.) I always envisioned my writing having multiple phases, and within each phase comes new challenges. Each will be answered in due time and I hope all of you stay around to watch! Well, time to finish editing my fourth novel, Weaving Evil,  (Old habits are hard to break). I promise you, this will knock your socks off. Hehe!

Until next time…remember, death is only a click away!

Cupid’s Kill Part 2

Posted in A Writer's Life, Get To Know The Characters!, New Releases with tags , , , , on 06-25-2012 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Time has come for me to unveil the second installment of Cupid’s Kill. I hope everyone enjoyed the first portion, and I promise…the ending is something you will remember for a long time! (That is, if you read my other novels.) Postings have unfortunately been short as of late, because I’m in the process of completing my latest novel, Weaving Evil. (I know, long time coming.) But be rest assured, more publications are on the way, and YOU won’t be disappointed. Well, enough about the future, time for the present. Cupid’s Kill Part 2 is waiting for you, fans and friends! http://www.amazon.com/Cupids-Kill-Part-2-ebook/dp/B0086O1YHK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1338336913&sr=1-1#_

Chapter 1 of Weaving Evil

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information, New Releases, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 04-21-2012 by jeffreymartinsnovels


Tapestry of Silk

 

Today, I found an old friend. Death is his name, with pain and suffering accompanying him as comfortable roommates. Vanessa Servais read the newly written words over and over, until tears flooded her eyes. She adjusted her glasses, and brushed away the silky red hair, that her mother, if she were alive, would insist had grown way too long. The late Alexis Servais most likely would have also made less than flattering comments regarding her daughter’s current choice to wear non-fashionable eyewear, especially, with state of the art surgical procedures available to correct such a deficiency. That’s how Alexis had always treated her. A fucking deficiency.  The matriarch and elite socialite didn’t voice her disdain for the only child in an open forum, but distant behavior, excessive alcohol consumption, and numerous adulterous encounters, were strong indicators, the woman who had everything, was not satisfied with the life choices she had made. Opportunity to persecute and demean Vanessa appeared to be frequent on her agenda, especially, after the Servais family had learned, Vanessa’s father, Ripley Servais had developed a cancerous tumor, which all medical consults determined, was inoperable. Discussion between the family on the topic had been sparse, and the tragedy that was soon to befall, even catapulted Alexis’ unscrupulous behavior further. A few weeks before his rapid decline, Ripley Servais presented his only daughter with this journal. A short time later, it was the only piece of her father, or anyone for that matter, whoever cared about her that was left.

Enough down memory lane. Closing the worn journal, she scanned the small apartment, for signs her secret world had been invaded by people, who wouldn’t understand… couldn’t understand.  Satisfied her solitude was intact; she secured the gold-plated hasp locking device. She ran her fingers along the smooth leather, cherishing this gift. A girlish smile crossed her lips, as she gazed at the gold lettering that still managed to emerge through. The Keeper of Secrets was first used, to haphazardly scribble down her fantasies about teenage boys she would have casual conversations with, but was much too shy to ever act on. Since those awkward years, Vanessa had grown into a voluptuous scholar, who experimented with her compliment of relationships, which usually ended up in failure. But she never gave up hope, and continued to jot down a note or two in her journal, for future references, hoping to create a roadmap to find the right mate. Her undergraduate studies at Ohio State found her more focused in the field of entomology, and less concerned with romantic involvements… except one. The passion for work led her to the west coast, involving her more with the bio-chemistry side of the field. As Vanessa’s  post-graduate years passed, visible cynicism crept in, and the journal writings became less and less about dreams of love and being loved, and shifted focus on pain and little tolerance for the human species, in any form…

Vanessa clutched the journal to her chest, as she hurried through the small apartment, only stopping when she reached her destination. The tidy but featureless kitchen housed the standard appliances and furnishings most would have in their residences, except perhaps the door to any pantry they may own, probably didn’t have two industrial sized padlocks keeping safe haven on their staple of Ramen Noodles and Pure Cane sugar from Hawaii. Vanessa reached at her neck, as she removed a gold chain from underneath her blouse. Two metallic colored keys, approximately the same size and shape, were positioned at the end of the chain, and within seconds, found their purpose rotating the tumblers in the heavy locks. She was careful in removing them, almost quiet even, as not to disturb what lay behind the private entry.

Stepping through, darkness swallowed her; she was momentarily frightened. Even though this was her Utopia, the unknown and unseen, especially in this place, would terrify anyone. She reached high above her head, until she located the switch, which quickly put a fluorescent hue upon the interior. My little angels. Her eyes lit up with joy, as she stashed the journal in a man-made cement crevice just inside the doorway. Gazing upon the packed shelves, Vanessa’s breath started to quicken. She smiled. “Did you miss me today? I certainly missed you!” A movement to her right caused her to smile in earnest. “Maxine, you must need some TLC. Come to mommy.” The tall red-head placed both hands around a glass container and removed it from the middle shelf. Careful not to take a misstep and damage the precious cargo, she placed it on a medium sized oval shaped table located in the center of the room. Vanessa gazed at the assortment of colorful foliage, as she mindfully tapped at the glass, trying to gain the attention of the sole inhabitant. “Maxine, time to work…don’t be shy.” At first, the consistent reverberation of Vanessa’s fingertips against Maxine’s temporary home was a mere disruption in the resident’s daily regimen. This was her world. The Queen ruled her Kingdom with a lack of forgiveness. All of her visitors, ended up in a tapestry of silk, only to be drained of their life juices and digested, so she could maintain her beauty and strength.

Vanessa’s efforts finally aroused the female creature to emerge from her shelter. My perfect girl. Vanessa’s face beamed with delight, as she removed the tin lid. She turned back to the rows of shelves, again choosing another container, identical only in description. A quick turn of the cover, unveiled several wrapped medical syringes. She plucked one from the group, and closed the container. Vanessa returned to the table, realizing Maxine was now making a full appearance to her public. The carnivore’s sleek dark body glistened, as her eight thin, but agile legs, glided her along the verdant floor of the glass. Her abdomen was highlighted with a colorful birthmark, which doubled as an identifier; one which could entice fear, intense pain, and sometimes even cause her victims to have a rendezvous with the afterlife. The bright hourglass design was the reason Vanessa had chosen her; a most important role in the demented world Vanessa was about to create.

The redhead removed the syringe from its package, slowly lowering it into the cylinder. The creature realized its’ home had been invaded, and tried to scurry to shelter, but her feeble attempts resulted in absolute failure. Vanessa’s steady hand guided the sharp steel into the depths of Maxine’s flesh, piercing the sweet spot, relieving the creature of her special elixir. Vanessa’s lips formed a devilish grin, as the clear cap of the medical instrument was quickly filled. She was careful not to remove the needle with recklessness; hopefully repeated use would be on the menu. Speaking of menu. She capped the needle, watching as Maxine didn’t waste time retreating to a safe haven under the foliage. “Thank you Maxine. I have a special treat for you.” Excited, Vanessa stored the syringe in the small fridge in the pantry. Returning to the row of shelves, she removed one more container. This one didn’t follow the cookie cutter model of the others. It had two major differences. One, it was square in shape, and secondly, the glass was more opaque than all of the others she used to house her guests. She reached inside, and removed the lone occupant. The tan eight legged arachnid sported many of the characteristics of his female complement, He even possessed the faint unique birthmark the species shared. But the male black widow was rather harmless and for that matter, helpless when compared to his female counterpart and this difference alone would soon cost him dearly. Vanessa slid the new guest into the Queen’s container, and admired how expedient Maxine responded to her mate. A ghoulish grin filled her face. A tapestry of silk ends it all!

Writing the Back-Cover Blurb Part 1. (The Hook)

Posted in A Writer's Life, General Information, Just For Fun!, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 03-4-2012 by jeffreymartinsnovels

Welcome, friends and fans! Today I wanted to speak with you about creating the back cover blurb for your potential novel, novella, short story, etc…Your current fully edited WIP, (work-in progress, just in case some of you don’t know. 😉 is all but ready to be e-mailed to your literary agent or publisher, and all that remains, is the three to four paragraphs describing your 400 page masterpiece. Now, some authors stress out thinking about this synopsis of sorts, but I’m here to tell you, “Take a few deep breaths and a nice beverage…and relax.”  Remember, you just finished a beautiful story. Time to complete the process and entice the readers (like you did the whole time you were creating.)

The first key is develop a “hook”, to draw people to your work. The “hook” is going to be similar to the one you created when sending out those fifty something query letters. (Maybe more like 100…just saying.) The first several words need to be your best. (just my opinion.) Example:for my debut novel, Lucifer’s Calling, the first sentence draws my readers in. “A paralyzing prescription is recipe for creating one man’s art.” Now, the key words that leap off the page are: paralyzing, prescription, and recipe.  Does that make sense to most of you so far? (Duh, a rhetorical question…indeed.) Words are powerful, and using them in a manner which makes people really think, will reward both  you and your audience. Okay, so there is your juicy tidbit dangling in front of potential readers. They want to know!.

Now, in the last few weeks, I just released the first installment of my two-part novella, Cupid’s Kill. I followed the same pattern on this work, as I did from my debut release years ago. The goal of your blurb/mini synopsis is to immediately grab the attention of your readers or others, who may be scrolling through Amazon or B&N looking for one of their favorite authors. All of a sudden, they happen to see a book cover (Hopefully you have an appealing one.) along the bottom of the screen that catches their eye. Next, they happen to click on it and read the blurb/synopsis. You may receive unexpected readers because of what that first blurb says. So it’s important for us to have key words in our blurb/synopsis which will propel your opportunity for even more sales.  Let’s try a little experiment…if you writers out there would like to throw your opening sentence of your blurb at us, we will put them on next week’s blog and share them with our fans. The audience can tell us, what they like and what draws them to each blurb, or what doesn’t. (We don’t want that to happen.)  Let’s have some fun with this, and hopefully we can help each other to make the blurb creation process for our works something we all can enjoy.  Enough said…until next week, remember…death is only a click away!