Jimmy, Rob, and Greg are an awesome and entertaining crew. At the beginning of the podcast, I was distracted by the fact that my Pokemon Discord app was beeping every few seconds and I didn’t know how to stop it, so I was not as engaged as I had planned to be. I came into the conversations a little late.
We covered some TV series’, movies, the Golden Globes, and a relatively new genre, Rock Fiction, and Moonlight City Drive by author-musician, Brian Paone, which I think is super cool. Then we talked about my books, Red Clay and Roses and Naked Alliances. In the end, I give my five greatest literary influences and why. (Please forgive me, Anne Rice, for calling your werewolves “wolverines,” in a completely live, on-the-air, brain fart.)
I have been informed that a class at UCF is interested in more discussion about literary fiction versus commercial/genre fiction, and we will be doing another short piece exclusively on that topic soon.
When writing a novel, the entire outside world stops. That’s the way my brain works. I can’t say I am introverted or extroverted. I am both at different times. I’s hard to find balance.
Much of my writing evolves from my life experiences. Spending weeks into years in front of the computer writing narrows my focus. That’s a good thing for my writing.
However, to a degree, living stops. I don’t go out to socialize much. I don’t play games. I don’t get much work done outside of writing. I don’t go to movies. Hell, I don’t even watch television.
If it wasn’t for date night and the need to consume food, I’d never go out to eat or go to the grocery store.
But I get stories written.
The flip side to that is spending time living life offers me much to write about. People I meet, places I visit all have a way of getting integrated into my writing. Life experiences become the ingredients of my writing.
My two favorite quotes on writing and life:
“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”
― Gustave Flaubert
“In order to write about life first you must live it.”
― Ernest Hemingway
The ideas expressed in the quotes seem on the surface to be in opposition, yet apply to me. They’re understandable.
I’m not so regular and orderly, but I like writing about those things that are beyond the scope of my own comfort zone in living. Granted, I have been known to live a wild and crazy life, but even I have limits. My books know no limits. My characters do things and get involved in ways I never could…in real life.
The old cliché, “Write what you know” comes home to me each time I take my seat at my desk. Having lived a full life and taking long breaks from writing to live life has fed me and continues to feed me.
I am obsessed with life. When I am living life, and not writing, I am driving all over the state, meeting new people from all walks of life and visiting places I never knew existed. Hosting lavish parties with four-hundred guests and attending events with thousands. Life is terrible, grand, scary, comfortable, fascinating, exciting, horrific, and wonderful.
There is nothing dull about the life I live.
Now, on to writing.
I recently participated in the “Give Me Five” podcast with Jimmy McCurry, Greg and Rob. They review all sorts of things: movies, TV shows, games, books, places…all of those things that keep us entertained with living. I will let you know when the podcast airs. They asked me some questions and let me talk about writing, my book, Naked Alliances, and list my five favorites. I chose five favorite literary influences. I will keep you informed when the podcast goes live.
Digital downloads of Naked Alliances are available 08/26-08/29
Grab a copy, and a margarita, sit back, relax and enjoy your weekend.
S.K. Nicholls’ family owns and operates one of the oldest and largest nudist resorts in the nation in Central Florida, Cypress Cove. Her experience gives her a deep understanding of the lifestyle choice and how it is extremely different from the sex industry, yet harbors clandestine elements of intrigue and fascination.
Crime, eco, and social issues are at the forefront of her writing. As a former sexual assault nurse examiner she has an interest in the subject matter of sex-trafficking. She is also a member of the Florida Writer’s Association, Writers of Central Florida, Sisters in Crime, and reads frequently to the public at the local Short Attention Span Story Hour in Orlando.
Always accused of being the class clown and a daydreamer, the crimes are heinous but the humorous approach provides entertainment, creating a lighter, softcore crime read with the Naked Eye Series.
Had big plans for the blog this year and can’t believe the year is nearly half over. I have accomplished little on the blog…but have managed to rewrite the first three chapters of book two of the Naked Eye Series four times and chapter four twice.
Seriously…I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, because I am writing and I have the story in my head. I can’t seem to get it out in the way I want it to be read. Characters start doing their own thing and getting me off task. I tried with an outline, but at the start of the novel, I find it more of a frustration than an asset.
And then there is this blog. I can’t count the number of times I have started a post and not been able to finish it. Might have something to do with the facts that I am babysitting grandchildren frequently now, and I am the Central Florida Valor Team Leader in three different places: Two FB pages and the pokemap Discord group. On our data page, I have been on top of the leaderboard more than not, and currently have 37 gyms. That’s #1 or in the top ten of over 10, 000 total trainers, even counting the bastards who spoof and bot gyms. This is quite a feat, when you consider that there are 1126 gyms in Orlando and most people can’t stay inside one for more than a day…lol But, we built a nice battle team of 185 players and we have trainers who run gyms, boots-on-the-ground, 24/7.
Had to put both my doggies, the pug and the Australian cattle dog, to sleep a couple weeks ago. It broke my heart and I was devastated, even tho I know it was the right thing to do. Captain wasn’t even able to stand up, and Daisy was headed that way. Neither were able to eat, and both were very ill. Captain had cancer and Daisy had end-stage diabetes and was insulin dependent and in kidney failure. They are both on a shelf by my desk now in their pretty cedar boxes.
The same day we put the doggies down, we went to a beautiful ballet recital where my granddaughter performed with her techniques class. We parked the van in the same parking lot downtown at the Dr. Phillip’s Performing Arts Center that we parked at last time. Only this time there was no attendant to take our money. We saw signs posted that said parking was 8 am-6 pm Monday thru Friday for the businesses there. What we didn’t see, in a corner far removed from the entrance, was a tiny little kiosk to pay for parking…so we got towed. To make matters worse, the towing company scratched the side of my new van, and damaged the front bumper…and, of course, they are not responding to our insurance company, so now we have a lawyer.
We had to pull up the tile from the lanai and get it replaced. My handy husband did the hardest part of the work, pulling up 2400 pounds on tiles, hauling it to the dump and grinding the old floor down to remove all the tile-set and old paint that caused our problem in the first place. He is truly amazing. The new tile floor is gorgeous. Now I have to shampoo the rug that belongs out there and put all of the furniture back into place.
I other news, (I was more of it was good news, but this is starting to sound like a “woe is me” post), we are getting a new roof. Right now, overhead, people are pounding my brains out with hammers and such, even through the rain, so I’ll not stay long here. Can’t think with all of this going on.
I really wanted to stop in here and let you all know I haven’t died, or abandoned my writing projects, or forgotten about you. I read through many posts, but don’t often have the time to comment. I can’t even keep up with the Tweets I’m supposed to be doing for RRBC. I’m usually a great team player, but things have been complicated lately.
Also, I want to express a huge hunk of gratitude for everyone who has read and posted reviews for Naked Alliances. You reviews are what spurs me to keep at it most every time I’m feeling like I just can’t anymore. I click onto Amazon, read your words, and am inspired. Thank you.
FYI: Naked Alliances will go on sale for 99 cents in a couple of weeks, but you are welcome to read now, if you like 🙂
We’re headed to Vegas the first week in April. It’s all research for Book Two in the Naked Eye series. I’m learning more about gambling as an industry than I ever thought I would need to know. I’m hoping this trip will get me out of my stuck place.
I knew how I wanted to start the book, but I’ve rewritten Chapter Two twice and just not happy with either direction it went. I have a plot, a couple of sub plots, characters, motives, some conflicts, but haven’t quite figured out the action scenes to pull it all off. I’ve also revamped my outline twice. Fear of the unknown…my anxieties are off the charts.
Sadly, I thought I would have the first draft finished by April, but unless something really sparks soon that’s not going to happen.
Admittedly, I’m distracted by Pokemon Go and other life activities…grandkids/birthdays. It will be good to get away for a little while. I have two FB groups I started and admin for in Pokemon Go and just got another admin so things should ease up there. We have 350 people in our battle group. There are about 30 hardcore players in my neighborhood and we play together daily in one capacity or another.
I’m failing miserably with RRBC. I thought I could be on the Tweet Team, but Sleuthfest last week and all the other activities of my life this week resulted in me forgetting to do my job there. I must get three or four emails a week from them and I can’t keep up with all the things they want us to participate in. I almost always see the emails long after the event they want me to attend is over. I’ve read a couple of books and still haven’t written the review for the last one. Plan to do that today. I joined some contest and sent in the required materials, but have no real clue what it’s for….lmao. Seriously, I can’t keep up.
When I get excited enough to start new projects and I can’t give them 110%, I fall into a melancholy place. That’s sort of where I am right now.
Sometimes I don’t even get my emails read for days, which explains why I’m often posting comments on your three day old blog posts. I haven’t been able to get around the internet like I used to either.
I’m doing my first countdown deal on Naked Alliances Book One, so it would be a good time to grab it if you missed the earlier promos. I would love to get some reviews on the audio book. Thirty people have bought it so far, but not one review that specifically focuses on the audio book. 😦 And I thought Steven Barnett did such a fine job, I was certain he would have been praised for that. Actually, I’m stuck at 21 reviews and haven’t had one since Feb 23rd. That is likely affecting me also. I so wanted at least fifty before the next book comes out, hopefully this fall. It might be delayed until after Christmas if I can’t swing into high gear.
But this made my day:
It’s an exceptionally rare pokemon, more rare than ultra-rare. Me and about fourteen other people chased it down this morning. Unown is an extremely rare Pokémon that lives in its own dimension and rarely ventures outside. There are 28 of them representing the alphabet and the question mark and exclamation mark.
I’ve figured out how to have Brandi playing Pokemon Go in my next book and how that plays into catching the bad guy. I’m hoping I can execute it in a way that is not alienating to people who don’t play the game. It’s interesting to try and find the right words to convey activities taking place in an augmented reality game. My Beam Team helps me out there. They’re mostly in their thirties. I’m the only grandparent on the team. I figure if I stick to the basics and don’t go too deep with game lingo it’ll work out fine.
Do you play any video games? If so, what’s your favorite, and do you play online or multiplayer games?
Also, is anyone having trouble with the WordPress notifications pages? Mine errors me out every time I try to use it.
I was checking on the possibility of any new reviews on Naked Alliances today and was quite surprised at what I found. Maybe you all have spoken about this before and I just missed it. All 19 of my reviews are there, but when you first arrive at the page, you can only see the 13 “Verified Purchase” reviews. At first, I thought Amazon had removed some of my reviews. Ionia Froment, a TOP 1000 Amazon reviewer, had reviewed my first book, as well as this one, and I suspected Amazon struck her review.
However, on further inspection, with TWO MORE (obscure) CLICKS, one to get to an all in order first to last page, that shows all 13 verified purchase reviews, and another (even more obscure) click to get to “See all 19 Reviews” that show the non-verified purchase reviews. WTF?
Why is Amazon making it harder to see our reviews? Many people don’t know to continue clicking on to get the other reviews and many authors sell more books by hand from a box they carry in the trunk of their car from place to place than they do online. There is no way to prove they are purchases. One would think Amazon would want all reviews to show, especially from their own top reviewers.
Enough about that.
Last Day 99 Cent Sale:
I’m letting you know that today is the last day of the Naked Alliances 99 cents sale, so if you’d like a copy and haven’t grabbed one yet, now is the time to do it. And by all means, be sure to write a “Verified Purchase” review if you do, and help us get the word out.
Quick update on the ENT promo: 120 eBooks sold, 4 paperbacks, and 10 audiobooks.
During peak of promo, we actually got Naked Alliances down below #3000 Kindle books sold in store at about #25-#30 for three categories.
If you don’t have a copy yet, and would like one, you can find it here: Naked Alliances. I highly recommend the audiobook if you like to hear a good storyteller. The eBook is still 99 cents until Sunday.
Not as good as ENT promos once were, before FB changed the algorithm, but not a bad shot at it either.
I was a little concerned when I saw the “Customers who Bought this also Bought”…only because so many also bought cozy mysteries. I can’t count the number of times I have made a point of letting people know that Naked Alliances is NOT a cozy mystery. It clearly sates on the cover and book description that it includes nudity, sex, lies…and murder. The story is about murder and sex-trafficking.
Then, the RS reminded me of the many books he’s purchased and didn’t like…not to further disappoint me, but to say, “Hey, just because they bought those cozy mysteries doesn’t mean they liked them.”
Maybe they are looking for something new. I had not thought about it like that.
Leave it to the RS to point me in the direction of the positives. That’s why he’s my better half.
On to other things:
I have stories to tell you about a Pokemon Go adventure or two.
As I’ve shared, Pokemon Go gets me out of the house and into city parks. I enjoy the sunshine and the people I find out and about. Sometimes, I just have to escape these four walls, get out from in front of the computer, stop the words in my head, and focus on something totally unrelated. The game helps me do that. For a while, when I was building up my pokedex, I would spend from 2 pm to 2 am at a special park in Kissimmee that is a magical place for finding rare pokemon.
A little after 2 am I came to the intersection of Hwy. 192 (the road in Kissimmee that runs by Disney’s front gate) and Main Street. I was stopped at a traffic light and the road was empty in all directions, until a car pulled alongside me.
It was occupied by a white guy (the driver) with long, dark dreadlocks and a black guy in a red, yellow and green crocheted hat and wearing a bright green floral shirt (the passenger). I was vaping with my window down.
“Hey, mon, Vape Life!” the passenger yelled at me holding up his personal vaporizer.
I nodded in his direction and gave a little salute with my own PV, and smiled.
He was, it seemed, a bit drunk, and hopped out of the car. The driver called to him to get back in the car and stop acting the fool, but the guy approached my window chattering on about the good life in paradise and tossed a bag of reefer in my car window. “Go home, relax, and burn one on me,” he said.
I immediately looked around for the cops, wondering if I was being set-up.
He hopped back into his car, the light changed and they sped away west down 192. I proceeded up Main St. to OBT, then right onto Osceola, and left onto Orange Ave. heading for Orlando.
Instantly, I found myself paranoid. I know people are pretty open down here with this stuff, but I haven’t smoked it but three times since 1983. Once with my oldest son at a Pink Floyd concert (hey, it was necessary to get Comfortably Numb), once with my daughter at the Salvador Dali Museum (think about it), and again with my youngest son on the back porch of my lake house on Toho, (just because he was jealous).
I proceed up Orange Ave, going the proper speed limit, looking over my shoulder, scared to death that some cop was going to pull me over any minute. Just as I crossed the railroad tracks on the edge of Orlando, not one, not two, not three, but nine police cars came screaming by with their lights on heading for somewhere in a hurry. I nearly shit myself.
By the time I got home I was shaking all over, but slowly, I began to feel like I was in the clear. If you’re wondering what happened to the greenish-gold bud that was in the bag, I’ll tell ya. I kept it and put it in a special place. I started to flush it, but then thought, “Why not just hold onto it….you never know when you might need it and you have no earthly idea where to find it.” So, I locked it away someplace special.
Then my birthday came around. We didn’t have any sort of celebration planned and I was sitting on the lanai thinking I should do something different for my birthday. Why not get stoned? I mean, I’m retired, it’s not like I have to pass a piss test.
I went to the local head shop and bought a small pipe figuring I could burn a few bowls. I didn’t buy rolling papers, because I was sure I’d forgotten how to roll a joint.
I came home and sat on the lanai with my bowl and fired it up. After about four or five tokes I was completely self-aware and self-conscious. No way could I relax. My hair didn’t seem right, it was too short, my skin wasn’t clear enough, my clothes were frumpy, and I needed both a manicure and a pedicure.
It was a horribly negative experience, so I flushed the rest. It made me feel really old and I feel that way already…no need to have something on the menu that reminds me.
On to Pokemon story number 2:
One thing Pokemon Go players do is catch pokemon. The other thing we do is take our games to pokemon gyms where our pokemon battle other pokemon. You have to get into your car, walk, or skate to the gyms. The gyms are frequently located at churches, dining establishments, places where there are murals or sculptures, parks, city monuments, and the like, but you can drive within playing range of most of them…not having to get out of your vehicle. You see the gyms on your phone screen and touch the screen to enter the gym with your pokemon. You line up your six pokemon to battle with and once the battle starts, you tap the screen to move your pokemon and strike the opponent’s pokemon. There doesn’t have to be another player around. They’ve left their pokemon inside the gym for you to come along and battle. If you win, they get their pokemon back and you gain points toward your team winning that gym, or take an opponent’s gym back for your team and leave your pokemon there.
So, it’s 3 am and I’m out battling gyms alone. Sometimes we go as a group to stack gyms. I like to go when there is little traffic on the road, and not a lot of competition. I also like to take a bunch of gyms in the middle of the night and cash out (if you have ten gyms you get max coins and stardust for playing the game with).
I’m parked in a big parking lot next door to a bank at a sculpture. Suddenly two cars pull into the lot at angles on either side of my car to block my passage forward. I’m frightened because sometimes players take the game too seriously and have been known to assault people taking down their gyms, so I back up quickly, and spin the van around.
In seconds there are four people with guns in my face, and I’m holding out my phone saying, “Pokemon, I’m just playing Pokemon.” The cops relaxed and lowered their weapons. (They never turned on their blue lights, so how was I supposed to know they were cops?) They thought I was trying to flee when I backed up. Just as they lowered their weapons one of the cop cars rolled into the wall at the bank because she hadn’t put the damn thing in park when she jumped out of it. I tried really hard not to laugh.
I thanked the officers for keeping me safe and asked if I was free to go. The lady cop uttered expletives as she ran for her car and the other three cops just laughed and said, “Sure, be careful out here.”
Rant: Don’t expect me to follow you back if you don’t have a “Follow me by Email” option on your blog. I read my email several times a day. I never go into my Reader. I love engaging with my audience. Make it easy for me. Rant Over. (Notice the new message in the side bar.)
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…I have news:
Naked Alliances is going on sale for $0.99 on January 15th. This is coinciding with an ENT promo which will start the same day.
I’ve never promoted a book in this genre. The historic fiction did well with ENT. I understand that FaceBook, where ENT gets most of its traffic from, has a high population of females 35-55 years of age. I’m curious to see how Naked Alliances does there.
Don’t despair if you miss that sale. I tried to get the Fussy Librarian to run their promo at the same time to no avail. The dates were already taken. So there will be another sale February 12th.
I’ve never run two promos so close together, and yet so far apart. Good to see ROI this way, I suppose. Though many people subscribe to both, I may be able to reach a broader audience in this way.
However, if you want a real treat and have the money to buy the audiobook, I implore you to get your copy of that when it goes on sale this week. I won’t be able to set or alter the price of the audiobook for promos. That’s set by the retailers, but it will be available on Amazon, iTunes and Audible.
As his pulse-quickening quest for answers leads from the dark corners of Orlando’s Little Saigon to the sunny exposure of the Leisure Lagoon, Richard Noggin, P.I. will be put to the test. Just how much will this Naked Eye have to bear…or bare?
That will also improve our rankings so the people coming along for the sales will see what a great seller it is and perhaps be influenced to buy.