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 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!