Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last week of 2011

Hard to believe that the year is almost over. And just when I was getting used to writing '11 as the date. Now I have to start all over again with '12. Bah!

I never make resolutions, because I know I'll usually break them if I do. Each year I just try to be a better person. I may end up making mistakes during the process, but so long as I'm trying my best that's all that matters in the end. I'll continue to write and hopefully I'll have some new material out for the new year. Going to try to read more, too. Especially with a Kindle, there's no excuse for me to slack on that.

Yeah, these kind of sound like resolutions, but they're not. These are things I'm going to keep in mind as we approach the new year. If I'm able to do all of that, fantastic. But I'm not going to get all bummed out if I end up falling a bit short on some of them.

Whether you do resolutions or just have little personal goals that you want to keep in mind, I wish you all a very Happy New Year. I can never thank you enough for all of the wonderful support you've given me.

See you in 2012 if I don't write another post before then!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Just wanted to write a quick post to thank each and every one of you for your support. I really appreciate it, and hopefully I've entertained you a little with some of my books. :) Looking forward to a new year. Working on a few projects, so I'll some new material out by then. Will keep you all posted.

Thanks again everybody, and Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New short story, "Dead Things" to be included in a new short story anthology early next year!

Hello, everybody! Sorry for not posting much lately. I was busy with National Novel Writing Month in November (more about that later), so I was focusing on that for the most part. But I do have some exciting news. A brand new short story of mine (never published) will appear in an awesome short story anthology, THE GATE 2: 13 Tales of Isolation and Despair. It's an honor to be featured with some excellent authors.

If you liked my short story collection IN DECLINE, then I think you'll enjoy the new short story. Will keep you posted!

For more info, click here!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween "Tweet Shorts" - Round 2

Here's a second installment of "Tweet Shorts" that I did last week on Twitter. Had a lot of fun doing them again this year, and I hope to do some more next year. Think a few of these have given me ideas for a future drabble collection. If you missed them the first time around, here they are again. Hope you enjoy them!

A gift from her ex? Odd. And why a sock monkey? Before she could answer, Mr. Giggles jumped up and tore out her throat.

Okay, so I shouldn't call Suzie's Teddy Bear "ugly." Fine, lesson learned. Can you give me back my eye now?

Phil thought his son's new toys were harmless. With a couple of knives and wrenches, they were about to prove him wrong.

This punch is killer!" he said to his guests with a grin. He was correct. One by one, they all began to drop dead.

"The world didn't end," the crazy preacher sighed. Lil' Gabby stepped forward, holding a butchers knife. "For YOU it will."

"We were going to help you get rid of that monster," his mom said, "but since you failed the math test, it's your problem now."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Halloween "Tweet Shorts" - Round 1

Last year after releasing LESSONS AND OTHER MORBID DRABBLES, I did some tweet shorts on Twitter that were of the same style. I had a lot of fun with them, and they would end up giving me ideas for some drabbles (100-word shorts) that would later on appear in LESSONS II.

A year later, I'm doing them again. I will try to do them as we get closer and closer to Halloween. For those who missed the first installment, I'm posting them here so they'll be easy to find.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest batch!

And if you enjoy what you've read, check out my LESSONS books. Great for Halloween, or any other time when you feel like reading something sick, twisted and quick!
Here is the first round of my Tweet Shorts:

Another letter was on Joel's bed. "I bet a knife in your back would drive the point home. - Clown"

"Throwing your kid's favorite toy into the garbage is a no-no," Mr. Giggles spat as he jammed the screwdriver into Mark's eye.

She chopped off her husband's hand. If he was complaining about hand cramps, then she'd give him something real to cry about.

"Monsters aren't real. Daddy says so," Harry said. A paw grabbed his face. "Daddy doesn't know shit," the voice growled.

As the blood spilled from his neck, Ralph realized that calling his wife the c-word wasn't one of his brightest ideas.

"If I'm going to be called a 'backstabber,' I might as well earn it," Harvey mused, pulling the knife out of his former buddy.

It wasn't for money. It wasn't because he cheated. Shelly shot him because she couldn't take his knock-knock jokes anymore.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Only demons should fear me. You're not a demon, are you?"

Today's post is about the movie, FRAILTY. Talk about a downright creepy film with an unsettling premise. A father believes that God has told him that the world is populated with demons, and that he and his sons must "destroy" them to save mankind. Only problem... these demons seem like they're real people. Are they? Is the father insane? A masterful thriller that focuses more on story rather than carnage and gore.

This is a dark and disturbing movie, but I love everything about it. The story, the direction, the acting... it's just an excellent movie. Bill Paxton not only is a great actor in it, but it turns out the man knows how to direct.

If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Now clear your minds. It knows what scares you. It has from the very beginning. Don't give it any help, it knows too much already."

Well, we can't talk horror movies without mentioning this classic, POLTERGEIST. There may not be a lot of blood and gore, but it is still scary as hell. That horrible clown doll lives in my nightmares.

Lots of "gotcha" moments to be found in this gem. I remember when I would watch this as a kid, I would keep the volume kinda low so it wouldn't scare me as much. Yes, I was such a wimp back then--but I was a kid for crying outloud!

Highly recommended. It's not everyday where you see a movie that can make a tree scare the living crap out of you!

Check out the trailer here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inside "Tough Love"

If you haven’t read my short story, Tough Love, then you may want to read it on Amanda Hocking’s blog before you go any further.

You can read it here.

I was beyond psyched when Amanda asked me to do a guest post on her blog. At first, I didn’t know what to write about. I knew I wanted to write a horror story of some sort, but didn’t know exactly what. I thought about it for a few days and then an idea hit, so I just went with it.

I wanted to write a different type of a zombie story. I thought it’d be fun to write about a despicable character, somebody whom the readers would really hate, and have him get his just deserts at the very end. One of the rare times where you’re actually cheering for the zombies to dismember a person. It was also a way to kind of mix my slice-of-life writing with an element of horror. Oddly enough, for me the real horror is the first half when you meet the abusive boyfriend. (Fact: The inspiration for Earl came from the movie SLING BLADE; Doyle. That’s who I pictured as I was writing)

Even though I was creating a really horrible character, I knew I still had to make him seem realistic enough. I couldn’t make him a parody or a cartoon. The scary fact is that there are people out there with a thought process like Earl’s, and that truly is the real horror of the actual story. He might’ve felt a bit of regret for what he did, but in the end he saw himself as being in the right. I knew that’s how I had to write him, to paint him in a realistic light.

I’m not good with straight-out horror. Even my drabbles mix horror with really dark humor. Because of that, it was fun to mix in some things that I’ve learned from writing some of the short stories that I’ve done in the past. It really does begin as an ordinary story could be found in a short story collection like IN DECLINE, and then ends with a bit of a twist.

Thanks to those who read the story!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"You are not content with the stories, so I was obliged to come."

Continueing on with the Halloween theme, another horror movie that I absolutely love is CANDYMAN. I still say that it is one of the creepiest films I have ever seen. And the fact that a lot of it takes place in a really bad part of Chicago makes that even more horrifying.

They say that if you say his name five times while looking at the mirror, he'll be there. But it's just a story, right? Nothing but a stupid nighttime story to scare your friends. Right? Right? Wrong...

This is a really good horror movie with some truly terrifying moments. I made the mistake of watching this late one night right before going to bed. Be warned, there's plenty of gore and gruesome images--but then again, it is a horror movie after all.

Watch this one late at night with the lights off... if you dare.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Damn! Come back from the grave and ran out of ammunition!"

2 posts in one day? Am I nuts?

Somebody suggested that I should talk about some of my favorite horror movies (thanks, John!).  So, I figure that maybe I can post a few of them throughout the month of October. I certainly owe you guys some posts since I didn't post anything during September.

HOUSE was the very first horror movie that I saw when I was a little kid, and it still remains as one of my favorites. Sure, the acting isn't all that great, it's a bit cheesy and corny at times--but in a way that's what makes it awesome. If you like haunted house movies, I think you should check it out.

Again, if you're looking to be scared out of your mind--you may want to look elsewhere. But if you're looking for some goofy horror fun, then this may be for you.

Click here for the trailer

New horror story from me on Amanda Hocking's blog!

Yes, it's been far too long since I've blogged here. I blame BREAKING BAD. Yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Now that the season is over... I'll have to find another excuse sometime soon. I'm sure I'll find one. Don't you worry!

Well, some cool news worth reporting. Amanda Hocking asked me to come up with a special Halloween post, so I wrote a new short story, "Tough Love." You can read it here.

Also, it'll almost be a year since I released LESSONS AND OTHER MORBID DRABBLES. I can't thank you guys enough for your continued support of the books. I had a lot of fun writing them, and I hope to do more in the future. I love writing those drabbles, so I'm sure you'll see another LESSONS book sometime in the near future. Just needed a bit of a break to try my hand at other things. I have a few projects in mind.

Well, that about does it for now. You can always follow me on Twitter for more updates and inane ramblings!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DARK TOMORROWS, a short story collection

I'm happy to announce that three of my LESSONS drabbles are now featured in an excellent short story collection, DARK TOMORROWS. The three drabbles that you can find here are:

Fortune Teller

It's an honor to be included with a bunch of wonderfully talented writers, many who have become good friends over the past few months. If you're looking for a collection of dark stories from some awesome writers, I highly recommend checking it out!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reviews and milestones ahoy!

I know, I know. I've been slacking again when it comes to this blog. Funny how I'm able to keep my FB and Twitter pages up to date, yet I can't seem to do the same for here. Maybe it's because I think I have to write a really long entry--which is silly. It's my blog after all. I can do whatever the hell I want!

A few things. First, LESSONS III got an excellent review from BigAl's Books and Pals. You can read the review by clicking this link.

Also, I have a pretty big milestone to announce. About a week ago or so I ended up selling my 3,000th book. I'm still in shock, as I really had no idea I would ever sell that many books in my life. When I started this, I figured I'd sell a few books here and there--would've been surprised if I even ended up selling a few hundred. Now I can't believe that I've reached 3K. I can't thank you guys enough. Without you, this wouldn't have been possible.

In other news, I am working on a possible GIGGLES novella. I'm still working on the outline. It's taking me a bit longer than I thought, but I'm glad I'm doing it this way. Once I know where I want the story to go, I should be set. I still call it a "possible novella" because nothing is ever set in stone when it comes to the world of writing. Just know that I am working hard on it and I would love to make this work.

That's it for now. Will try to post a little more than twice a month--but no promises!

Haven't checked out LESSONS III yet? Click here to go to the Amazon page!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lil' Gabby has arrived...

Remember how I said LESSONS III was coming out on Tuesday?  Yeah?  Well, forget I said that.  It's actually out now.

Don't believe me?  See for yourself!

Why did I release it early?  Well, when you publish on Amazon it can take a day or two before the book actually shows up.  If I submitted it on Tuesday, there's a chance it wouldn't show up until Wednesday.  Most of the time, Amazon is pretty quick about it.  Still, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Once it was out, I might've dropped a clue on my Twitter feed.  After that, I figured to hell with it and decided to announce that it went live.  I figure better early than late, right?

I thank you all for your patience.  The wait is over.  No need to wait until tomorrow (unless you really want to).  Hope you all enjoy it!  I had a blast writing it.

And if you enjoy the bonus stories by David Dalglish, Daniel Arenson, Sean Sweeney, Imogen Rose and Jason G. Anderson, please check out their books!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

LESSONS III Cover Reveal (and other shenanigans)

Okay, full disclosure; I actually revealed the cover on my Facebook pages already, so it's a semi-reveal.  (Sorry, needed blog material!)

Anyways, here's the cover if you haven't seen it already:

I found/bought an image of a creepy doll on istockphoto.com, and the brilliantly talented T.M. Roy added lettering and enhancements to the image--making it even more creepy!  Once again, she outdid herself.  I think this one will give people nightmares.  One can hope anyway!

Even though I haven't blogged a lot lately, rest assured that LESSONS III is still on track to be released on August 2nd.  That's only a week away!  I'm really excited about letting you guys read it.  I hope you like it.  It was the toughest one of the series to write, but once I found a concept/theme, it was smooth sailing after that.

Will there be another LESSONS book/s in the future?  Hopefully, but for now I'm giving the series a much-needed break.  Last thing I want to do is burn out people (myself included).  I need to work on some other things anyway.  I don't think this will be the last one, but you never know.  As long as the material is there, then I'd say it's a good possibility that there will be more in the future.

The wait is almost over.  Soon enough you'll discover how deadly playtime can be...

Friday, July 8, 2011

My First Year of Being an Indie Author

Today marks the first year anniversary of my short story collection, IN DECLINE.  Even though I had published things on my own in the past, this is where I really consider the beginning of my journey as an indie author.  I remember when I first hit that "publish" button.  I wasn't sure how well I'd do.  I thought that maybe I'd sell a few copies to some friends and maybe a stranger here and there, but I really wasn't expecting a whole lot.  I just figured I had nothing to lose and it was worth giving it a shot.

I'm glad I did.

Since then, my writing life has never been the same again, and that's a very good thing.  No longer do I submit my writing to magazines and whatnot only to face certain rejection.  I've been publishing on my own and my writing has reached more people than I could ever possibly have dreamed of.  And while I know my writing will never make me rich, that was never part of the plan anyway.  All I wanted to do is get my writing out there for all to see and make a little bit of money from it.

I'm living my dream.  Before turning 30, I can honestly call myself an author.

It's been an incredible journey, and I expect it to continue to be incredible.  We live in exciting times where it's possible for people to get their stuff out there without having to play the waiting game.  Not that there's anything wrong with the waiting game... it's just not for me.

Thank you all for your wonderful support.  This achievement could not have been reached without you, and that's the honest truth.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Just a quick note to tell everybody that so far LESSONS III: DEMONIC DOLLS AND OTHER MORBID DRABBLES is right on schedule for its August 2nd release.  This past weekend I've been putting it all together.  Still making little tweaks and changes here and there, but nothing major.  I'm pretty proud of how it turned out, but as always when it comes to releasing a new book, I get that nervous feeling.  I get doubts, second-guess myself etc.

Which is why it'll be a big relief to finally release this thing!

Also, I'm happy to say that this is by far the biggest LESSONS of the series so far.  It features six bonus drabbles/shorts by the following authors: authors.  David McAfee, David Dalglish, Sean Sweeney, Daniel Arenson, Imogen Rose and Jason G. Anderson.

I'm really pysched about this.  I hope you all will enjoy LESSONS III when it's finally out.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

ANNOUNCEMENT: Release date of LESSONS III: Demonic Dolls and Other Morbid Drabbles

I know a bunch of you have been wondering just when in the hell LESSONS III will ever come out.  Well, I'm happy to say that I have finally figured out a date.  LESSONS III will be released on August 2nd.

Why August 2nd?

A few reasons.  That should give me more than enough time to put this all together.  The drabbles are finished, although I'm still going through the tweaking/editing process.

The main reason was that it was the release dates of one of my favorite horror movies as a kid, FRIGHT NIGHT.  I think it was the second horror movie I ever saw.  Not only that, but it's directed by Tom Holland, the same guy who did the first CHILD'S PLAY.  (See the tie-in now?  I originally wanted to do it on the day that CHILD'S PLAY was released, but that was in November--so nuts to that.)

Anyway, I thought it'd make it special if I set an actual release date rather than just putting it out there when it's finished.  I'm pretty proud of this project, and I'm happy to say that it's going to feature a few of my author friends as well--more on that later.

I'm psyched about this new collection, and I hope you'll enjoy the hell out of it when it's out.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

LESSONS III update and other hi-jinks

A few quick updates:

1)  LESSONS I is getting a much-needed makeover.  That's right, a brand new cover is on the way.  T.M. Roy (the artist who did the excellent cover for LESSONS II) is working on it and showed me a rough comp.  All I can say is it looks awesome.  I can't wait for the finished product.  Should have that within the next week or so, if not sooner.

2)  Finally had a breakthrough on LESSONS III.  I've been in a rut trying to find a new angle/theme to go with, and I figured it out a few days ago.  Now, it seems like it's really starting to take off.  It still needs work, but I am much closer than I was about a month ago .  I also have a title for the new book:  LESSONS III: Demonic Dolls and Other Morbid Drabbles.  I'm really psyched and I hope everybody will like it when it's finished.

3)  I have now sold over 2,000 books and LESSONS I just sold its 1,000th copy about a week ago, all thanks to you guys!  I can never thank you enough.  I really, really appreciate it and am loving all of the wonderful comments from you all.  Your love and support has been overwhelming--but in a good way!  So thank you, thank you, thank you!

That about does it.  Sorry again for not updating this blog a bunch.  For more updates and constant inane babble, please check me out on Twitter: twitter.com/m_crane.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

No new post for a month!? Now I am slacking...

Holy crap, I didn't realize that I didn't even have a single post for May.  That's pretty sad...  so, here's a post!

Currently, I'm working on a short story collection where I'm returning to my true passion when it comes to writing fiction: Slice-of-life.  I've had a few people say that they would love to see another collection that was like IN DECLINE.

That makes two of us.

It won't be a very long collection, but it'll contain brand new stories.  I'm already working on a rewrite on one of the stories that will be a part of it, and so far I'm very happy with how it's turning out.  I'm not sure exactly when the collection will be done.  I have to write the stories first.  I really hope it'll be before the end of the year, and I'm pretty sure it will.

I haven't forgotten about LESSONS III.  Just having a hard time trying to come up with some fresh new drabbles for it.  I think I've been going at it the wrong way when it comes to theme, so I think I've come up with something new for it.  Another project I hope to have finished before the end of the year.

Speaking of LESSONS, thanks to you guys, LESSONS AND OTHER MORBID DRABBLES has sold its 1000th copy this month!  I'm still in shock over that one.  Can't thank you guys enough for that.

And Nermal, our chinchilla, is still doing great.  That's right... I haven't told you guys how she managed to escape from her cage one night, now have I?  Well, that's a post for next month then!  She's a lil' troublemaker, that's for sure.  Stay tuned...

Well, that's about it for now.  Again, I apologize for not keeping this blog up to date.  Will keep you guys posted on how my current writing projects are going and if anything new comes up.  Have a Happy Memorial Day tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nermal, the latest addition to our family.

Again, I've become a slacker when it comes to blogging but I've been pretty busy lately.  I'm happy to announce that we finally went and bought a chinchilla.  We've named her "Nermal," like from the GARFIELD comics.  I know that was the name of a male cat, but she really does look like a "Nermal."

It's so nice to finally get one.  We've been planning on getting a chinchilla for the longest time.  So far, she seems really happy in her new home, and I am once again a very happy pet owner.  It's nice to have a pet in the room again--even if she does run and jump around in her cage all night long.  :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

A new month, a new start... and a new promise.

With it being a new month and all, I've reflected a lot on my writing.  While I'm very proud of what I've done, I think I can do better.  So, I'm making some changes with the way I write.

#1:  No more cursing.

That's right.  No longer will my characters have horrible potty mouths.  I realize that bad words can scare readers away.  Plus, it's just not right.  They're called "bad words" for a reason.  Is there any reason a character should curse?  I think not.

#2:  Only happy stories.

No more stories about heart-break, depression, sadness, addiction, etc.... They're just far too depressing.  I will only write stories about happy people doing happy things and having happy lives.  We need to set an example for our readers.

So, that's my bombshell today.  After much thought, I feel that this is the right way to go.  Positive stories for positive people.  That's my new motto!

....yeah right. 

April Fools!  :P

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A GNOME PROBLEM: Now Available!

That's right.  A GNOME PROBLEM (a novelette) is now available for Kindle.  Just came out over the weekend.

To learn more about you, you can visit the Amazon pages for it:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

I'm pretty psyched about it.  So far, the response has been pretty positive.  I got a wonderful 4-star review from BigAl's Books and Pals (click here to read the review), and I've heard from a few readers who really ended up enjoying it.  I'm a bit nervous about how people will react to this one, since it's such a goofy and odd story.  Then again, I'm always nervous about a new release.

This was a fun story to write, because in a way it combines everything I've learned from writing IN DECLINE and the LESSONS books.  It's slice-of-life--with a bit of the strange mixed in.  I wanted to write a fun and silly story, and I think I was able to do just that.

Anyway, I hope you'll check it out if it looks like something you'll like.

Also, a special thanks to author Imogen Rose for giving away 5 copies of A GNOME PROBLEM.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March... already???

Wow... time flies.  Can't believe it's already March.

February was awesome for me and my books, thanks to you guys.  Just when I thought I couldn't beat/match January, I ended up doing just that and also reaching a bunch of new milestones.  I can't thank you guys enough, even though I try.

A GNOME PROBLEM is going very well.  I've already gone through it a bunch of times... edited... re-edited... all that fun stuff!  I think sooner than later it'll be ready for the beta readers, and then I'll have to go from there.  I hope it doesn't end up being a failure.  I like the story.  It was fun.  But I won't know for sure until I have somebody else read it.

I'm working on drabbles for LESSONS III, although that's still not coming out for a long time.  Probably before the end of the year.  I'm taking my time.  I still want the other two books to find new readers before I do release III.  And more importantly, I want to make sure the new drabbles are good.  My biggest fear is that I'm going to start repeating myself with them, but so far I think I've done a good job of avoiding that.

Some sad news:  My Black Bear hamster, Gir, has developed a mass of some sort inside of her.  At first, I thought she was over-eating, but I had her checked out at the vet at Pet Smart, and they're pretty sure it's some kind of a mass.  Not a good sign.  But, she is eating and drinking, and they said so long as she does that, then she's not in a lot of pain or anything.  So, I'm just going to do my best to keep her comfortable.  That's all you can do when you have a small critter like a hamster.  It's pointless to have them go through surgery since the survival rate afterward is very, very slim.  Just going to keep my eye on her and make sure she's comfortable for as long as I can have her.

I think in the very near future, I'm going to get a chinchilla as a pet.  I'm excited about that.  I need something that lasts longer than a year.  They seem fun and cute.  Will keep you posted.

That's all for now.  Happy March to you all!  And once again, thanks for your love and support.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Updates, updates, updates!

A few exciting things have happened.  First, I'm happy to say that I was just recently interviewed by a fellow author, Jason G. Anderson, who just put out his debut book, THE VAMPIRE DRABBLES.  He said his book came to be after reading LESSONS AND OTHER MORBID DRABBLES, which I take as a huge compliment.  I've always said that if it wasn't for David McAfee and his excellent collection, the LESSONS books would've never existed.

Feels nice to be able to return the favor for somebody else!

You can check out the interview by clicking here.

Also, be sure to check out THE VAMPIRE DRABBLES by Jason G. Anderson.  I've had the chance to read a couple of them and he's done a great job.

Onto other news, I've finished the rewrite of A GNOME PROBLEM (a novelette), and so far I'm very happy with it.  It's still going to be a little time before I release it to the public.  I've gone through it a few times already, but as any writer knows, it takes a helluva lot more than "a few times" before you can even think about releasing it to the general public.  Still have some work to do, but it's getting closer and closer every day.  I'm excited.  It was a fun story to write, and I really hope you all enjoy it when I do publish it.

IN DECLINE is going to get a new cover sometime soon.  It's time.  I think I have an idea that'll represent the stories a lot better.  Stay tuned!

I'm still hearing wonderful things from readers who have read my LESSONS books, which makes me happy.  I'm glad that people have been enjoying them.  They were fun to write.  I know not everybody will like them, as with anything else, but so far I have to say the general reaction to both books have been extremely positive.

That's all for now.  Will keep you posted!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Progress on A GNOME PROBLEM (a novelette)

Well, even though I've been slacking with my blog, I haven't been slacking with my writing.  I went over a short story that I had written last year called, "A Gnome Problem."  Re-reading it, I forgot how much fun I had writing it.  It was even more fun to read it.  By the time I finished it, I decided that it was time to go back and do a re-write.

I also realized that this was one of my longest short stories.  If you've read any of my stories from IN DECLINE, you'll notice that for the most part, I keep my stories pretty short.  I don't do that on purpose.  I just make a story as long as it has to be in order to tell the story.  This one, however, was quite long.  Over 6K in words.

That's when I realized that maybe I can turn this into a novelette.

A novelette, from what I've read, begins at 7,500 words and the max limit is somewhere around 14,000 (as that would be a novella).

On the rewrite, I'm not even close to finish, and I'm already over 5,100 words.  I'm pretty sure I can reach 7,500 without any problems.

Why am I doing this?  Well, I think it'd be neat to have something other than a short story.  Short stories are fine and well, but maybe if this ends up being a novelette, more people might give it a try.  Plus, the story is an odd one.  I don't think I could ever include it in an actual short story collection, unless I came up with several other stories with the same theme.

So, I've been making a lot of progress on A GNOME PROBLEM.  This time I might use some beta readers to get a feel of how people will react to it.  It's an odd, odd tale.

Lots of cursing, too.  Hope that won't bother people.  Well... I'm sure it will, but nothing I can do about that.  My characters have potty-mouths at times, and I'll be damned if I'm going to censor them!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Nothing new to report... so that's what I'm reporting!

Sheesh... I've been slacking with this blog again.  Sorry, sorry, sorry!

I wished I had a lot of exciting updates for you, but I really don't at the moment.  There are a few cool things going on.  I'm 9 away from selling 500 books since July, which is amazing, being that I don't even have a novel out yet!  Not too shabby for a short story writer.

The LESSONS books are still doing very well.  I've been hearing a lot of good things about them from people, so that makes me very happy.  IN DECLINE, while it may not be seeing LESSONS numbers, is still doing well by itself and even got a wonderful review on BigAl's Books and Pals.  You can read the review by clicking here.

My favorite part of the review:

Crane has a talent very few writers have. He can find the humor in a dire situation or find a way to sympathize with the most dismal characters. Some say that to read fiction requires the reader to “suspend disbelief.” That’s not the case here. These stories ooze truth.

So, how can one not be happy when they get an excellent review like that?  :)

That's about it for now.  I guess I did have a few things that were worth reporting after all.  Imagine that!

(Just don't expect me to make a habit out of it!)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A new look for IN DECLINE

It had to be done.  It was time that I gave IN DECLINE a serious makeover.

No, no.  Don't worry!  I didn't delete or alter any of the stories.  I did, however, change the order of the stories around, as well as grouped them into three parts.  So now, it looks like this:




I just think it's really cool that I can group the stories together like that.  I hope it'll lead to more people checking it out.  I really am proud of the book, and now with a much stronger story to start things off, when folks go to sample, they may end up buying it a lot more than before.  That's the thought process, anyway.

Either way, it was really exciting to reconstruct IN DECLINE, even if it was just a matter of switching the order around some.  It's amazing what a little change like that can do it for you.  Will it work in the long run?  Hard to say.  Either way, the book is better for it.

(NOTE:  If you have already bought a copy of IN DECLINE and would like the updated version, I think you can e-mail Kindle Support and let them know that a new version is out and you would like it.  If you're fine with the version you have, then you don't have to worry about it.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Updates and interviews, ahoy!

Well, it's been a few weeks since LESSONS II was released, and I'm happy to say that its debut month has been very impressive.  In fact, LESSONS II has even done better than LESSONS I did when it was first released.

And here I was worried that the sequel would be a failure.  I had no reason to think that... it's just I knew how well the first one was doing, I was afraid it was only a fluke or something.  Once again, it's a very happy day to be wrong.

I want to thank everybody who has bought a copy.  You don't know how much that means to me.  It was a fun book to write--and I'll even go as far to say that it was even more fun than the first one.  With LESSONS II, it didn't feel like it was a crunch.  I had more time to play around with it, to tweak and re-tweak.  I think it shows--or at least, I hope it does, anyway.

Also, a big thanks to author Imogen Rose for doing two different giveaways for LESSONS II, both on the day it went live and on my birthday.  That definitely got me some new readers and fans.  If you want to know more about Imogen Rose and her work, check out her website.

I also need to thank Elizabeth who runs the Frugal eReader.  She featured LESSONS II on my birthday which was a very nice surprise.  Not only that, but she's a huge supporter when it comes to indies like myself.  Visit the Frugal eReader here.

I am thinking about doing a LESSONS III at some point, but that's far, far away.  Months away, at least.  The idea and concept is still in the early stages.  Plus, as flattered as I am that people are already asking me for a third one, I really don't want anybody to burn out on the books.  No matter what, I need to give it some time.  Just know that I am thinking about it.

Also, happy to say that I was featured on a couple of blogs the past week.  On Friday, I was featured on author Karen Cantwell's fantastic blog, Fiction For Desert.  I was looking forward to that for a long time.  When she contacted me a few months back saying that she was a big fan, I was floored.  I knew who Karen was.  Her books are on my TBR list.  I was shocked as all hell that she knew who I was!  And that she liked my work!

You can check out the interview by clicking here.

LESSONS II was also featured on Indie Books Blog yesterday, which was also a true honor.  You can check that out by clicking here.  If you're an indie author, I recommend checking the site out and finding out how you can promote your work. 

So, those are my updates for now.  Again, thanks to everybody for their overwhelming support of my writing.  Writing itself is a huge reward, but it's even better when you find out that others are enjoying your work so much.

To check out the LESSONS books on Amazon, click here

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More wonderful comments from a reader

A little while ago, author Imogen Rose was kind enough to run a contest where she would gift copies of LESSONS II to a number of winners.  She did this again on my birthday.  When I went to her FB page yesterday, I saw that one of the winners left this wonderful comment:

I have enjoyed this book so much, thanks for having this contest. I especially enjoyed the fact these stories were so short, pick up and read one as I went about my day. I also enjoyed the warped sense of humor intermixed with the dark images. It took me out of my winter doldrums and into a "fun" place where nothing is as it seems and the innocent are to be feared the most. Thanks again, Imogen for the contest, and kudos to Michael Crane for his wonderful book. I'm off to find Lessons I!

Seeing that made my day.  I responded and thanked her.  I told her that I hoped she enjoyed LESSONS I.  She later responded:

Mike, I did find it and enjoyed it as much as the Lessons II. I'm ready for III and IV!!! You have a dark, wonderful imagination, and I'm hoping there are more drabbles just waiting to surface!

So, as you can imagine, this really made my Monday special.  It's so awesome to hear back from people who really enjoy your work.  I still can't get my head around the fact that people are digging these two little collections so much.  It really makes it worth doing in the end.  Don't get me wrong, I have an absolute ball when I write the LESSONS books.  I wouldn't write them if I didn't.  It's just a wonderful, wonderful feeling when you hear back from people who enjoyed your work so much.

I never thought I'd be well known for writing stuff like LESSONS.  But hey, if it's getting people to read and enjoy my work, then I'm all for it!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A post from a fan

This happened a few days ago, but it's something that I would love to share.  An Amazon poster posted this message to me on one of the forums.  Here's what it said:

"Michael Crane,
I've been peeking in here hoping to spot you. I have to say THANK-YOU!
While my 20yo nephew was visiting over the holidays, i was devastated to learn he no longer reads for enjoyment.
(he LOVED books through out childhood) But when he picked up my Kindle, i opened up Lessons (and other morbid drabbles) and he loved it! He read a DTB (no, he cannot have my kindle) while here, and i think he has the bug again.

This could be the nicest thing that anybody has ever said about my writing.  I was speechless when I saw this.  I've heard people say good things about my work... but nothing ever like this.  I think this is one of the best compliments that a reader can get.

And I'm glad I was able to make somebody enjoy reading again... even with a goofy and f*cked up book like LESSONS!  :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's heeeeeeeerrrreeeee! Giggles revealed!

That's right... the cover for LESSONS II is finished... and this is the new vision of Mr. Giggles.  I cannot tell you how much I love this friggen' cover.  T.M. Roy did an amazing job.  She went above and beyond anything I could've ever hoped for.

I uploaded the new version of LESSONS II with the cover, and it looks like it's live on Amazon as we speak.  Click here to check it out!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Giggles Revealed... Soon!

Been a while since I’ve posted any updates.  Well, LESSONS II is now available.  I haven’t made a big deal about it yet because I’m still waiting on the official cover for it—but Imogen Rose did a fantastic job on the temporary one, and I can never thank her enough for that.

But onto the cover that’s being worked on…. T.M. Roy just showed me a draft of what it’s going to look like, and I was blown away.  Seriously.  I had to blink a couple of times to make sure that it was an actual cover for a book of mine!  It’s fantastic!  She went above and beyond what I was hoping for.

Soon, the world will finally get a look at Mr. Giggles.  I promise you, it’ll be unlike anything you’ve imagined.

Kudos to her for coming up with an original and haunting vision of the deranged and vicious puppet.  I can’t wait to show you guys.  I wished I could show you now, but there are still a few things she wants to tweak before the final version is finished.  When it is, I’ll show it.

You guys are in for a real treat.  This, I promise.

You can visit T.M. Roy’s website here.  I highly recommend her.  You’ll get nothing but quality work if you need some art done.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Updates, ahoy!

I'm very excited to announce that LESSONS II: ANOTHER MORBID DRABBLE COLLECTION will be released sometime next week (before my birthday, January 15th).  I'm really excited about this, and I'm also psyched that so many of you have been asking me when the new one's coming out.  Such a rare thing for me--will have to get used to it!

I know it's been a while since I first announced that I was working on / finished the book, but trust me, it's better this way.  It gave me time to go over the book a bunch of times, tweaking little things here and there.  What was nice about LESSONS II is that it didn't feel like a rush job.  I wasn't trying to get it out before a certain date, unlike with the first one.

I spoke with T.M. Roy, who's working on the cover for LESSONS II, and it looks like it could be ready before my birthday if all goes well.  I'm really excited about the ideas she has.  She has a vision of Mr. Giggles that I never even imagined, and it's delightfully horrifying.  I can't wait for you all to see it.

If you're an indie author who needs cover work, I highly recommend her.  Check out teryvisions.com to see her work, and the services she offers.

Also, author Imogen Rose was kind enough to make a temp. cover for me so I can release it next week no matter what.  Hey, what's a better reason to get people to buy my book than my birthday?  She did a great job on it.

Another good reason for the delay... I got permission from author David McAfee to use one of his shorts from his collection, A POUND OF FLASH.  Very happy about that.  After all, if it wasn't for his first collection, THE LAKE AND 17 OTHER STORIES, I don't think LESSONS would exist.  It was his warped mind and stories that showed me how you could create a great story using very little words.

Please check out A POUND OF FLASH here.  It also features one of my drabbles, "Apology."  It's nice to be able to return the favor.

So, bottom line... LESSONS II is coming out next week.  No delays, no nothing.  It's coming out, and I'm excited.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as the first one, if not more.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello, 2011!

Hard to believe, but 2010 is no longer here.

One of the main things I hate about starting a new year is that it takes me forever to finally get the date right when I have to write it out.  Just when I was getting used to writing '10, now comes '11.  Splendid!

Anyway, I hope everybody had a wonderful New Years.  Hope it was safe, and hope it was fun.  I don't make resolutions, because I believe that I should always try to better myself as a person and as a writer, regardless of what day it is.

I hope to have more stuff out there this year.  LESSONS II will be out as soon as the cover is done for it.  I hope this is the year that I finish my novella, GOODMAN'S BAD DAY.  I'd also like to tackle another one.  Not sure if I have what it takes to attempt a full length novel just yet--although I did find one that I wrote when I was in high school.  My very first novel.

Yeah... that one's never seeing the light of day.  No way, Jose.  Not even as an April 1st goof.

I hope everybody has a great 2011.  Thank you for letting me entertain you with my writing.  I hope you will continue to let me do so.  Cheers!