Monday 7 November 2016

Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway - Carmine by Alan Janney

Author: Alan Janney
Genre: YA Dystopian/Adventure/Romance
Sparkle Press

Book Description:
She wakes as society crumbles
She wakes up with no memory
She wakes up a queen

The girl once known as Katie Lopez wakes up in an abandoned Wal-Mart with no memory, possessing only the vague sense that something has happened.  Where is her family?  Where is her boyfriend?  She has a faint recollection of him, a ghost of a memory.  The world, she discovers, is staggering from the weight of rampaging mutants, victims of a bizarre surgery gone wrong.  Once intended to bring about a utopia, now the victims threaten societal meltdown.  Much to her surprise, the girl with no memory discovers she is their queen.

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Tom Brady, and Hugh Howey, and Writing Angry

Do you know Tom Brady’s story?  And why it matters to you?  I’m not a Patriots fan, but Tom’s humble beginning fascinates me.  When he first arrived at the University of Michigan he was the 7th best quarterback on the team.  The SEVENTH!  During his first two years he rarely saw the field, and for the next two seasons he had to fight lesser quarterbacks for playing time.  Despite playing well, his coaches never seemed to believe in him.

The world-renowned Tom Brady - on the bench.  He was so frustrated and angry that he decided to regularly see a psychologist.  But the anger helped.  It focused his resolve and determination.

NFL teams didn’t believe in him either.  He was passed over until the 6th round, when finally the Patriots drafted him to be a backup.  Once again he received zero playing time.  Ultimately fate stepped in when the vaunted Drew Bledsoe was injured and finally Brady got his wish.  Watch this, he said to the world.  Watch what I can do with the football. 

Over a decade later, he’s considered possibly the best QB of all time.  He’s won four Super Bowls rings.  In October of 2016 he returned from an unjust suspension and destroyed his opponent.  Watch this, he said to the world.  Watch what I do when I’m angry.

Tom plays brilliantly when he’s mad.  Without the anger he probably doesn’t reach his current lofty position in our ethos.

But what does that have to do with me?  And with you?

I met Hugh Howey in October of 2014.  The Hugh Howey, millionaire best-selling author.  An agent liked my writing and asked me to meet her at the James Rivers Writing Conference in Richmond, Virginia.  Absolutely, I said!  Getting an agent was my ticket to fame and fortune.  I went to the conference, and I attended the seminars to kill time before signing a billion dollar deal with my new super agent.  That was the foolproof plan.

I was already mad.  Agents and publishers had been turning me down for years.  I never saw the field, so to speak.  By this time I’d written two and a half books (which were kinda good, though not as great as I wanted to believe) and the publishing world was ‘suppressing’ me.  I sat  on the bench.

On a whim I decided to attend Hugh Howey’s seminar.  I’d never heard of him, and I couldn’t find his seminar.  Where was his room?  Finally I asked someone - the seminar was across the street.  In the basement. 

Let me say that again.  They put Hugh Howey across the street from the conference.  And in a basement.  I didn’t realize it at the time but Hugh had sold more books than all those other authors combined.  Ooooooo I bet that made Hugh angry!  Though he’d never let on.  Like Tom Brady, he’s a focused man.  Driven.  Intelligent.  After the seminar Hugh politely answered a few of my questions about self-publishing.  Hugh had decided he didn’t need a big publisher - he could do it himself (and make millions in the process) and this upset the establishment.  Put him across the street!  I left the basement, went to a bar, opened up his blog and read every post. I missed the rest of the conference!  Just sitting in a bar and staring at my laptop.  Hugh was frustrated at the publishing world.  Watch what I can do, he decided.  I’ll publish this myself.

Soon it was time to meet with the agent.  Want to hear her offer?  Send me your full manuscript, she said.  I’ll read it in few months. If I like it, you’ll change everything I want you to change.  Then we’ll send it to publishers, a process which could take six months.  You’ll have to change everything again.  The publisher will pay you next to nothing, and it might take them two years to release your book.  And chances are they won’t support you, you’ll fail, and you won’t even own the rights to your book anymore.

I was furious.
No, I told the agent.  Absolutely not.
I was so tired of sitting on the bench.  Waiting.

Watch this, agents.  Watch this, publishers.
That was my mantra.  The next time we talk, it’ll be on my terms.  Not yours.
In retrospect, that’s a juvenile point of view.  The agent and publishers aren’t evil.
But contented and unpublished authors will never reach their dreams. The anger helped.

All four books in my Outlaw series have reached Amazon’s top 600.
All four have been Hot New Reads.
Book four was an Amazon Sci-Fi best seller.
The anger helped.  I wrote ticked off. 
I wrote with something to prove.
And I’m just getting started.  I’m still mad.

Want to be an author?  Write angry.
Because your future is up to you.
Because the world needs your story.
Because nothing good is accomplished without hard work.
Because Tom Brady was once the 7th best QB on his team.
Because they put Hugh Howey in the basement.
Because anger helps you focus. 
Because you can do this.  You can be successful.

Don’t give up.  Get mad.  Maybe one day I’ll attend your seminar across the street in the basement.

Alan Janney

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