Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The 17th Floor

I am on the 17th floor suite of the Westgate Mariott in Charlotte, post-interview. It is invigorating. Phillip Pope suggested I stay and watch the next interview for some different perspective. I stand behind him as Thomas Paulus(The Thomas Paulus, as Phillip refers to him) interviews an entrepreneur who designs and rents out storage units for mobile restaurants; a new hospitality industry with rapid national growth. Watching live the 17th floor suite interview for The Farmington Report; these are the moments that used to petrify me, but are now great.
I watch Phillip Pope applying his current craft of documentary making and he is "in it." He eyes me as I accidentally change the energy of the interview by observing and recording it in written form. I was just interviewed for a documentary; I was interviewed as a writer!! How sweet is that? I do not know what the future holds for me, but I can only dream moments like this one. Oh, and I found some help to pay for my distribution service, so the epic will inevitably continue, stronger than ever.
- Benjamin

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Future VS. The Now

The future of my series is at stake. Well, it is always at stake. If I don't have enough money to publish the entire thing then it is done, if I can't find a publisher or literary agent to back it then it is done, if nobody likes it enough to read it then it is done, and if I die then it is done. But fear not, short of the later I will find the money do it myself and possibly say fuck it for the other two and publish the entire thing anyways because dammit, I think it is going to kick royal ass!
The reason I bring this up is because of the recurring difficulty of getting the the book out there. I have little knowledge, little connections, and am officially broke. I have done everything I could possibly think of to push the first novel, spent oodles of cash, had successful readings, and talked to everyone around me but it unfortunately remains stagnant for the time being. The renewal for the book contract is up through the publisher, which means that I must pay another 299$ for another year of housing my books and processing orders and I seriously have no cash. So, what to do?
First, I can never let the series go, I love it!! But, should I let the contract lag for the first book or continue to push it whilst unleashing a blog assault on America and short story submission dominance to draw traffic to it? Is it currently worth another 299$ on top of 7 G's? This is a depressing question! I originally had a goal of making the money back that had gone into the whole process, which has recently become lofty.
The good of this stagnation is that now I am going back to school and knocking out an english major and possibly masters-to-doctorate so my writing will benefit greatly. The sad part is that I don't have enough money to publish the next one in line! Is it not time? Is the world not yet ready? I personally think the world deserves vampires, dragons, zombies, and kick ass action sequences combined with real deep meaningful characters. In fact, I think we've been ready for it and more, but I am an optimist when it comes to fantasy.
The future in mind I see the potential for this to benefit and improve the series to make it more than just another fantasy, the now however, has perpetually sucked ass! I am worried that the future is just a perpetual dream, that will never be the now. What should I do? Manage to accrue 299$ at a shit job during a time period where I am moving out broke and need a deposit? or let it slide for Now, and bring it back in the Future?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Press Release

So the press release came out last week, check it izzout! (This isn't the exact release just a copy and paste but still, its neat.)

Painting Souls

By Benjamin Thomas Dudley

Painting Souls is the first book in a series of a new genre of fantasy. This revolutionary work reads like a movie, projecting visualizations at a rapid pace. It gives birth a new niche of literary writing teeming with unexplored life, a new way to read and imagine; there is nothing else like it.

Charlotte, NC -- 10/1/2009 - Ever since Benjamin was a child his imagination excited and mused the people around him. After starting his fantasy fiction epic at the age of twenty, he re-discovered old letters from his first grade classmates where they had assured him, due to his first adventure into fiction, that he would be a great writer someday. With the degree and thought of a philosopher and acquired literary skill, that day has come. Painting Souls delves from fantastical questions such as “How was magic created?” to real questions of character identity that people experience everyday.

Painting Souls was written to help in the continuing cultural evolution of being, and allow for an entertaining escape at the same time. It introduces live, detailed action sequences into the genre, while unraveling an intricate, meaningful tale. The first book of the series bleeds the pens of modern fantasy fiction and anime together to create a new literary world. Great heroes unravel cryptic philosophies and romances while exploring new depths of spirituality and magic.

“The God's-eye narrator is omniscient. The reader seems implicitly invited to imagine for herself the narrator's intended audience. Author Benjamin Dudley, it occurs to me, is capable of speaking at will in many voices and to different audiences.” Patrick Killough, a top reviewer for epinions.com

Painting Souls is available in select bookstores and online at www.PaintingSouls.net. For more information please contact Langdon Street Press.

Contact Information:

Langdon Street Press

212 3rd Ave. North Suite 570, Minneapolis, MN 55401

(612) 455-2293

I recieved specific compliments from the publishing house on how well it was written, so that made me feel great. The actual release has a picture and a link at the top, I would have imported it in but pictures are easy, pic/text combo's are still evasive to my importation understanding. It also turns out you need to submit your press release to many many outlets, and after the first one from Langdon Street Press, the others are up to yours truly.

I would have no problem with doing this if it weren't for the costs! Submitting to papers is free-ish, but to other mass media outlets it can fun you about a 100$ per submit, and I am currently broke, as I am about to move and recently ordered more books. I will eventually do it though, I just hope being a month behind of the release date doesn't hurt the publicity at all. Until next blog, hopefully sooner than the last -


P.S. This is the facebook fan page link if you would like to follow, there is a growing history there http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Painting-Souls/134562675551

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Introduction

The introduction to this book is one of the few parts I consider to be perfect. It came very easy as well, as if I were the calm and collect wise author I aspire to be. I picture the person who wrote this to look like the old man on the cover of Chessmaster, and his voice that of a wizard. That's one neat thing about voice, it can be magical and real at the same time. "Tis in the heart of a child that lies the power to destroy all the world's evil. Only with the mind of a genuine man can this power become manifest." This first part means that only a genuine adult has the knowledge and skills to use power a child has to rid the world of evil.
"A genuine man must be self-made, otherwise he is but a whisper of his true self." This next line defines the qualifications of being genuine; you must make yourself, and you must be yourself as well, only then are you genuine. The extreme of this meaning can be interpreted as saying, only a man who is himself in every moment is truly genuine.
"Only a true hero dies with the heart of a child and the mind of a genuine man." The end of the first paragraph brings the first three concepts together. It is saying that if a person manages to be themselves in every moment, and also not loose the love, openness, and hope of a child (power of a child) that they have become a hero, and if they live that way until their death, they are a true hero. Thus, a true hero has the heart of a child and the mind of a genuine man, and the ability and knowledge to defeat all the world's evil.
This theme continues throughout the series, as conflicts for most of the characters show whether or not they are hero's or heroine's in moments, the majority of the time, or even if they turn out to be the true hero who rids the world of all evil.
The final paragraph introduces another recurring theme, the theme of making the reader a part of the novel. The idea of bringing the characters and the book into reality is one that I think is very important. It helps further engulf the person reading into the experience, and makes them bring fantastical elements into reality. This is why throughout the series it becomes more and more prevalent, and hopefully I will be able to make a few people enjoy their day to day experiences a bit more through imagination.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The future of the blog

I believe that this personal journalish blog is going to have to become its own entity, as this one is taken over by all happenings and followings of the book. I think mostly because people might falsely relate it to the novel, which is completely different from my lazy blogging. I like having no grammatical pressure on the blog, perhaps this one will become a professional one that I take a little more time with and it will connect to my other lazy bloggages.
I did one of the most painful things the other day, I read my own book. It was heart-wrenching, at first all I could see were mistakes; this doesn't flow well, the tense here is off, Ahhh!! I almost cried I was doubting myself soo much, but then, then I kept reading. I feel back in love with my dialogue; I think it and story will save me. The flaws I have as a writer I can see clearly, and I can work on, which is great. I have an amazingly creative mind, and once I master description and flow I believe I will be a great writer. In the meantime, I think the book will gain a cult following, it is one of a kind, and a killer first intro into the literary world. This will give me the energy and connection with people I need to dive back into the next one, which will be a threat to all contemporary fantasy writers.
Then I will proceed to the third book; the third book is gonna rock, I'm not going to lie to you. It's a pivotal point in both charactor's storylines, it is also where I am thinking of bringing back in the first two chapters of the first novel. This is where I will be at my best, and so will the story, this is where I have a chance at greatness. It is my dream to write something great that generations to come talk about, that people love, and that helps us evolve as beings. I dream that at this point in the series I will reach that level, and I hope you guys are with me, reading all the way. Even if that doesn't happen, just writing something that gets a few people into a new world and helps them through their day would be fantastic.
That's about as far as I have mapped out. So, now it's time to get back to promotions and such, and split the blog. I hope you dream as strong as I do, and that your wishes become even more true.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Amazing Day

It doesn't take much for me to have a great day. I barely remembered that, and so many little things usually bother me I thought I had changed, but yesterday it all came back. Somehow, some cause of unknown origin just let me be. I was not in my head for the first time in years, and it was so easy. Everything was easy, even bad stuff, I just didn't care because I was sooo happy not to be in my head. I know that it is not a choice, I have been okay with being in my head, and learned to cope with it for so long I thought it was a permanent condition. Yesterday was the dawn of a new awakening, it could be from exercising, going veggitarian for a week, or the almost extinction of my smoking habit, but it was not from me. It could be from a food allergy lapse, perhaps I managed to stay away from whatever it was that has been driving me nuts for the last year, but it happened.
Now I can repeat what I have been doing and weed it out, and find out how to permanentely stay with my body. To feel like I am on the outside of my flesh, to feel the outside of my face instead of the inside of my head. This is the greatest gift for me, so simple and so necessary for living. I knew that there has been something wrong with me for so long, and now I am on top of it. I am not insecure when I am with myself, out of my head, and home. I never thought it would come back, but it's here to stay. People suffer for the silliest reasons, a lot of times they are thier own fault, many times not. I had been under the impression that it was me, that i was just not comfortable, and had to grow out of it, but now I know that it was something physical, I've always been fine with myself. This is an amazing relief.
Just in time to! My book is out! I got a new car, and check it, it's a Kia, which I was origianlly not wild about given their history. Now, they are actually pretty rockin cars, and I found out that the word Kia means "coming out into the world," just in time for the personal symbolism. I am coming out into the world, and this time I have the knowledge of an adult. I might get stuck back into my head, but I think this is for real. It is finally my time to shine, and I am excited to be again. Life is something I haven't been able to feel right for a while, but now that I can its pretty cool.

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Dream

My dream has been becoming a reality now for about seven years. As we find out during the process of becoming adults our dreams don't sail over the sea of reality and take us away to a mystical land, but they kind of crash into the shore. I had no idea how long or difficult it would be to publish a book, and I still don't know how hard it is to make a living off of being a writer.
I do know that it is almost impossible to make a living being a server and a delivery driver while trying to publish a novel, and I am glad that this stage is over. This new stage is where the excitement happens, it's where I have worked my ass off and all possibilities finally have there chance. I don't have an excessive amount of money to push my dream, but I do have an excessive amount of determination to pull it.
I had challenged my roommates to a novel writing contest whilst watching the first Harry Potter movie. It was that night that I wrote the first line of my book, and I knew at that moment I was going to have to finish it. My other roomies declined the contest, unfortunately; they would have written great novels.(well at least good ones) From that day on, it came every time I had a free moment. It came and defied my chronic fatigue, my loneliness, it came with something that I hadn't had in a long time, it came with love.
For three years I went back and forth with my friend Rachel, who was just learning to be an editor, and we taught each other how to do our jobs. She helped me edit it face to face, about three chapters at a time, and my skill improved so that I could put talent and creativity together. I loved having someone to talk to face to face as I wrote the next chapter, someone who couldn't wait to know what happens next, that, more than anything helped give me energy to write.
So then I graduated and moved to Asheville, ready to start sending off manuscripts. I assumed that it would be arduous, and that eventually I would get a small or mid-sized publisher to pick me up. Little did I know how rare this was becoming. Between small publishers being bought out left and right, and the internet changing the world of books, getting published as a first time fantasy author was next to impossible. I sent out over a hundred manuscripts about ten at a time, waited about two months and then sent the next ten, ect. Then there was also sending manuscripts out on the web, which accounted for about another hundred manuscripts. From the forty percent of publishers I actually heard back from, about half were automated letters. The other half were very encouraging, but no real bites. This was horribly disheartening. Every week there were a handful of letters rejecting my dream, after a while it wore me down.
I finally heard back from a publisher who was interested in publishing my book, I went back and forth with them for a while, but in the end they wanted to change too much, including the title. This was when I realized the harsh reality, I was going to have to self-publish. The illusion of instantly "making it" had died, but at least the manuscript struggle was over with. Research began, analyzing publishers, cost per book and quality of the print, what kinds of promotions they offered, ect.
So then I signed with a self-publisher. Let me warn you three people reading this, it is expensive!!! I wish I had known earlier how much it was going to cost so that I could have spent more time getting a well paying job and saved up cash instead of sending off manuscripts and then expecting the self-publish process to go fast. It took about one and a half years, for everything, and only three or so months was me not having enough dough, most of it was editing (a second time) and setting up the small nuances that everyone who has never worked on a book takes for granted. The table of contents, the chapter styles, pictures, cover art, back cover, page numbering (which can be tricky apparently) page inflection, cover textuuuuuure, and many other things I cannot recall.
This almost catches me up. The only thing left is the promo, well I shouldn't say only. The deadly, fire-breathing, three-headed dragon that remains guarding the gold riches that is the ability to subsist being a writer, remains. It is not what most artist would consider their trade, advertisement to them has typically been the enemy. Now, there are plenty of ways to advertise a book, but which ones will work is the question. Well, which ones will work and won't bankrupt me in case they don't work. I came up with a few low cost ideas myself, including the email campaign, which may be working or might not be... it seems like it might be a little less successful than I had hoped, but tis okay. It seems that book buying is one art that people always want to be face to face with. Online book buying is painful, you can't hold it in your hands and feel its selected texture, or flip around the cream pages and here that perfect sound. I could be wrong though, maybe it will be successful, but it is only one of about five things of personal low-cost promo that I will do.
Other than that there is the internet push, which you must rely on hits to work, and trust the program you order is worth the ridiculous price you are paying for it. I am testing the waters of this and talking to other authors about its success. I have ordered one of the minor plans, so we shall see how interworthy the book is. Then there are the typical pushes, very very tough for a self-published person in many ways. There is the radio, expensive to get on and almost impossible to land. There are print reviews, which I hope to get at least in the indie papers of Charlotte, Asheville, and Raleigh, but more than that is going to be very tough. There are book shows, which I have acquired a knight's costume for, but they will be slightly expensive and tedious, not to mention getting off work and driving to them. Then there are book clubs, very hard to contact usually, but I think I have a way, and I am going to hit them up as best I can.
That's pretty much the description of the three-headed dragon that which breathes fire. It is impossible; not literally, it is just a reference to a samuari jack episode, my favorite samjack sode. It is about this seemingly impossibly difficult mountain that truth lies at the top of, and Jack tries to get to the top. I keep going back to it to motivate myself to get to the top of the mountain, even if it seems impossible.
So, with that said, any ideas or help is always appreciated, but I climb this mountain alone. We shall see if I get to the top, hopefully in this lifetime because this series is gonna be killer. That, and I have to do what I love to keep from driving myself in in in sane sane. Either way I will write, I just hope I can again soon. This break is drying me up! So, god speed promo!!