News & Events for C. Dennis Moore

Story Updates X3, and Currently Reading:

Posted 7/28/2014

I made progress on three different stories today.  First I made some edits suggested by one of the editors I hired to help me out with "Carlotta Valdez" and "Ash Wednesday" on the first story, then I read the latter through once more and sent it off to them.  Finally I outlined another really big chunk of RETURN TO ANGEL HILL, trying to tie everything together to make the next several days of working on it go that much quicker.  I'm also stuck right now in a bit of a dilemma.  There are 8 movies in my Netflix queue that I want to see, but will be coming off streaming on the 1st of August.  I COULD work through many of them, but not all of them, but it would require 2 movies a day and that, with my current schedule, just isn't possible unless I give up writing anything else that day.  But with RETURN at the stage it is now, and as long as it's already been delayed, I just can't make myself give up working on it for yet another week just because of some movie reviews, even though my movie review guides sell well enough and consistently enough to justify the time spent on them.  But I really want to finish this novel and free up some time again.  So I'm contemplating just deleting those movies from my queue anyway and forgetting about them.  But, still, I really do want to see them.

Also, I have a sale going on right now, a very limited time, so get it while the getting's good.  I'm offering my massive collection of THREE Angel Hill novels, The Third Floor, The Ghosts of Mertland, and The Flip, the collected version of which is called Three Sides of the Same Coin: The Angel Hill Novels, for only $0.99.  Get it now before it goes back to regular price.

In other news, today I FINALLY start reading:

In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

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Writing With a Full Time Job.

Posted 7/26/2014

I was thinking the other day about the massive number of writing pod casts popping up all over the place, most of them blatant rip-offs of the Self Publishing Podcast, and it occurred to me how many of these things are run by people who like to talk about the metric ton of words they write every day. How do you manage to write a 10,000 story in only 3 days? Easy: writing is your only job and you’ve got time on your hands.

But what about those writers who are trying to squeeze in writing time with a day job, or even two jobs. Hell, I know a writer with THREE jobs who still manages to get the work done.

Let’s forget the no-job-having writers who take that freedom to speed through several thousand words over a two-day period, give it a quick read through/“edit”, then hit publish before the paint has even dried. Let’s talk, instead about the more realistic scenario.

You’ve got a story you need to tell, but a limited amount of time each day. How can you possibly compete with these other dudes who are publishing a new “book” every week? You don’t.

It’s only a competition if you’re both actively trying to outdo each other. Otherwise it’s just two people doing their own thing. One may finish sooner, one may achieve more over a shorter period of time, but so what? The world spins on, the sun rises each day, and the machines are one day closer to rising and killing us all anyway.

I’ve been writing since 1992 and in all that time I’ve spent maybe 10 of those months, collectively, unemployed. And through all the jobs I’ve had in that time (nine of them), I’ve written. I’ve written a LOT. And how do you get the words on the page when you’re working a week of 12 hour shifts and you haven’t had a decent weekend off in months, and what little time you DO get to yourself you just want to sleep?

Sacrifice.

I’ve been working 10-12 hour shifts since April, six days a week, and I still put myself at my desk every single day. I don’t always hit my daily goal or get everything done that day that I’d hoped to get done that day, but I ALWAYS make it to the keyboard.

You have to be resilient and ready to adapt to the situations. I used to spend my weekends doing movie reviews, then I had a part time job that ate up most of my Saturdays, so instead of 5-6 hours alone at my desk, I had maybe 2-3. But I still wanted to keep to my regular weekly movie review schedule, so I had to adapt. I started watching the movies on Saturday morning and reviewing them on Sunday. It wasn’t ideal, and I sometimes forgot small details I had to go back and look up, but the gist of the movie and what I thought of it were still fresh the next day. And I was able to keep reviewing every weekend, despite having a pretty big chunk of my day taken away due to work.

Another old job I had changed hours with the seasons, so in fall and winter I worked 7-3, while spring and summer I worked 5-1. Again, I had to adapt. During fall and winter I got up at 4 or 5 and wrote before work. The other months I wrote as soon as I got home from work. My basic hours of operation remained the same, I just did them in a different order.

For the past 14 years I’ve gotten up every morning at 4:00 to write before work. Then I got laid off and my new job has a completely different schedule. Instead of 7-3 I’m working 1:24 in the afternoon until whatever the hell time I manage to get off at night. More often than not that’s 1:00-2:00 in the morning. But I still want to get those hours in at the keyboard, so I don’t let myself sleep any later than 8:00. Sometimes that means I only get 5 hours of sleep, and sometimes that means I’m struggling to stay awake at my desk, but I’m usually pretty good at waking up fresh in the morning, even if I’ve only had a few hours of sleep, so as long as I get started as soon as possible, I’m good for a couple of hours before I feel that imminent coma coming on and I need to lay back down for a half hour or so.

It is 100% possible to write successful novels with a day job. With the current flood of full time writers boasting their incredible word counts, it can feel daunting and sometimes pointless to even try, I know. You feel like Damn, they’re doing 7000 words a day, 8000 words a day, I don’t have that kind of time. You don’t need that kind of time. The novel that makes my house payment, THE THIRD FLOOR, was written while I had a full time 7-3 job Monday through Friday and I was writing in 1-2 hour blocks every night or morning. You don’t have to pound out 7000 words to make progress. My daily goal is at least 1000 words. If I can do THAT, I can write a novel in 2-3 months. Or a short story a week.

And you know what else? The day job takes the stress off me. I have to finish the current work in progress because I’m excited about it and want to share it with the world, not because if I don’t, then I can’t pay the electric bill. My kids will eat three meals a day and have a warm bed to sleep in because I have a job, not because I rushed production of my 10,000 word story and published it online only five days after starting it.

I mean that’s not even giving the story time to “cool” and giving you enough distance to look at it objectively, which I personally believe is a pretty important step in the editing process. You ALWAYS love the stories when you’re done with them, of course you’re going to want to publish it right away. But that time and distance allows you to see the flaws you didn’t see at first. Thank God I didn’t publish RITE OF DAWN as soon as I wrote it (you have no idea what RITE OF DAWN is. That’s because the current version of the “novel” is some of the worst-written dreck I’ve seen. It’s going to need a complete rehaul from the ground up, and I have the luxury of time to do it). You give a story time to settle in your head and you begin to see the cracks and have a better idea how to fix them. You get new ideas that are even better than what you originally wrote. Time and distance makes a better story. That’s what I think.

It’s hard sometimes, I know. I’ve been struggling a lot lately myself working the hours I’ve been working and still trying to maintain some kind of regular writing schedule. But you do it. You figure it out, you take a hard look at your day and make some tough decisions about what you can lose.

In a perfect world, I’d have a few hours a day to write, then take a walk with a book, then come home and fiddle around on the guitar for a while before watching a movie or taking the kids out to eat. But that’s not my life, so I have to cut out the things that aren’t going to get me where I want to be. I read my books on break at work, I haven’t picked up a guitar in longer than I care to think about, and my daughter and I get a pizza for lunch every Wednesday after going comic shopping. And that right there, comic shopping with my daughter every Wednesday, then having lunch together, eats into a good 2 hours of writing time, but I made that decision because it’s something that’s important to the both of us. But other times during the week, I sacrifice those other things for the sake of writing. I haven’t taken a decent walk since October when I finished DOCTOR SLEEP. I miss it, sure, but I just don’t have time for it right now. And I’m okay with that, because there’s writing, and that’s the important thing.

Holding down a full time job and writing at the same time isn’t always easy, but it IS manageable, if you’ve got the dedication and discipline to make it work. You just have to find a schedule that works for you and stick to it. It may take some restructuring of your day or a while to figure out the best arrangement, but I guarantee it will work.

Don’t give up just because you think you “don’t have time to write.” Everyone’s got time to write. You just have to find it. For more, check out my good friend David Bain’s post about that very thing.

 

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This Week's Comics Haul.

Posted 7/23/2014

WHOLE lot of comics came out this week.  My daughter got two new number 1s she's pretty excited about.  My younger son got SEVEN (today is "officially" Batman Day, so no surprise) and I got sixteen.  None for my oldest son, although he can read my Superman when he comes to do his laundry on Sunday.  I normally buy them for him, but this title, the Geoff Johns/John Romita Jr. book, is totally for ME.  So here's what we all got:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Feels like a whole lot of nothing.

Posted 7/21/2014

I got plenty done today, but it doesn't feel like it.

I started with work on RETURN TO ANGEL HILL, but for some reason, even though I knew exactly what happened next, and know exactly what happens after that, I only managed to get about 500 words done in two hours.  I have no idea why the words were so difficult in coming today, but by the time my allotted two hours were up, only 500 new words had appeared.  I'm really anxious to work on this one every day as all night at work I'm thinking about it and pulling it all together, and it feels really good, really RIGHT.  I'm excited to get it finished, but I'm seriously doubting I'm going to be as far along by the end of this month as I had hoped.  Part of that is due to work last week.  Instead of the usual 3:24, we had to go in at 1:24, but we didn't get off any earlier, and it really ate up more of the day than it should have.  Hopefully this week is back to normal at work.  Hopefully I can get to 48,000 words by Friday.

After that, I was going to watch and review another movie, but decided instead I needed to pay some bills, so I paid the water, sewer, and gas bills.  Then, instead of working, I cleaned off my desk.  Well, looking at it now, I straightened my desk, but I could do more.  This'll do for now, though.

Then I went into "Carlotta Valdez" and made another pass, cutting about 500 words, before sending it off to be edited by Dave and Craig.  Speaking of "Carlotta Valdez", I spent a LOT of time over the weekend working on various designs for the cover, and I think I've got it settled.  I need to send the possible choices to my Angel Hill newsletter subscribers and see what they say, but I think I have a favorite anyway.  And speaking of the subscribers, if YOU want to have a hand in things like helping to choose covers, getting free fiction before anyone else, getting exclusive fiction unavailable to anyone else, and other great stuff like that, just click HERE and send me an email with "subscribe" in the subject line.

And now I'm going to eat some pizza before I have to leave for work.  Geronimo!

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This Week's Comics Haul.

Posted 7/18/2014

It's been a hell of a week at work (working 12 hours a day from 1:24 PM to about 1:30 in the morning), so I almost forgot to do this week's comics haul.  This was a pretty big week overall.  My daughter got 1, my son got 2, and I got 15!!!  No new Supermans this week, so my oldest didn't get anything, but here's what we walked out with that day:

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

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Currently Reading:

Posted 7/14/2014

Neal Adams (GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW), one of the most acclaimed Batman artists, has defined the Caped Crusader for decades, and fans have long been clamoring to see him draw the Dark Knight once more.  Now, from the classic creator, comes a Batman tale like you've never seen before!

When a series of seemingly unconnected events brings Batman close to killing a man for the first time, Bruce Wayne must embark on a journey of self-discovery...which also reveals shocking secrets about Batman's enemies and allies alike.

From a secret chamber in Arkham Asylum to a hidden world below our own, this weird, wild journey will answer once and for all the question "Can a Batman who kills still be Batman?"

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Currently Reading:

Posted 7/12/2014

Today I will start:

Fleeing the site of a secondary vampire infestation in the cold, wilds of Alaska, a band of survivors arrive at a climate change facility during the final days of a long period of extended daylight. The inhabitants of the research compound are trying to determine the nature of a strange object found in the ice when the survivors arrive, leading to a frightening and bloody confrontation between humans and vampires - and an odd and unexpected guest! Written by acclaimed horror writer Joe R. Lansdale and featuring horrifically beautiful art by Sandman co-creator Sam Kieth!

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This Week's Comics Haul.

Posted 7/9/2014

Today was new comic day, and boy was it ever!  Comics for everyone this week; my oldest got 1, my daughter got 1, younger son got 4, and I got 17, plus a trade paperback:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I haven't read WALKING DEAD regularly, but I have the first two trade paperbacks and thought they were great, so I'm gonna try some more.

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Mid-2014 Rant.

Posted 7/9/2014

So here’s an idea. If you’re trying to make a living at something--like writing--but that writing isn’t paying your monthly bills, necessitating the taking of odd jobs here and there to get by, I have the answer to all your financial problems. Ready?

Get. A. Fucking. Job.

Yes, we all wish we could quit the day job and spend all morning and afternoon writing our asses off. Think of how much more productive we would be! Think of how much more fully we could immerse ourselves in our worlds. Think of how much better our work would be if we could focus entirely on THAT all day, every day.

Yeah, think about it. Then TRY it. The dream and the reality are two different things. I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve written consistently WITH a day job, and I’ve written consistently without one. And, sure, I was able to write an entire novel in about two months while not working, but I also wrote four novels WHILE working, and you know what? Not only is one of the novels I wrote WITH a job the novel that makes my house payment every month, but the day job affected my writing schedule and habits not one tiny bit. Because I was still getting about the same number of words every day. See, I’m not one who can just write 10,000 words on something every single day and finish a novel in a week. I’m good for, at best, 2000, but more like 1000-1500, and that’s on a really good day. The rest of that time is spent on other things. What other things? Who the hell knows, but before you know it, you look at the clock and holy shit, the kids get out of school in a half hour.

But so-and-so said I should just risk it and be a full time writer.

Yeah? Well, so-and-so doesn’t pay your bills and so-and-so isn’t responsible for your family eating and having a roof over its head. Tell so-and-so when he/she is paying your rent and putting food on your table, then he/she has a stake in your career. Until that time, so-and-so needs to worry about him/herself and let you do the thing you should be doing. And if being a “full time writer” is leaving you with more month at the end of the money and you’re helping people move for pay to make ends meet, then it’s time to face reality and, say it with me: Get. A. Fucking. Job.

But it’s a tough job market.

I agree, it is. But it’s not an impossible one. Temp services are GREAT and a Godsend and I love them. I’m working through one now, and have been at my current job since March. It’s not great, but it’s not the worst thing in the world and you know what? My bills are paid, on time, and I haven’t once worried about how I’m going to pay the water bill AND buy groceries this week. Thank you, Kelly Services.

Sure, I had a great seven month run of being a “full-time” writer, but here’s a secret: even then I wasn’t really a FULL-TIME writer, because I got a pretty sweet 10-week severance package. Then there was unemployment which, while not great, still paid the bills and allowed for comics every week. But when it was almost time for the unemployment to run out, you know what I DIDN’T do? I didn’t say, “I really think I need to give this writing thing a serious try. I think it’s in the best interests of me and my family that I stay at home and ‘give it a go.’” No, I got a fucking job.

If you’re fiction isn’t selling at the point where your day job paycheck is just icing on the cake, then you better keep that day job until it is. And if you lose that job, you get another fucking job.

Here. This is a thing. A real thing. You can sign up for this and people can pay you money every month for whatever it is you do.

I’m all for supporting the arts, and this Patreon thing sounds like a great idea. But it’s not for everyone. You know who I would gladly support? The artist, writer, actor, singer, whoever who is out there every day working their ass off, but still doing what is necessary as a grown adult responsible human being to make sure their family is taken care of. You know who I’m NOT going to support? The artist, writer, actor, singer, whoever who is totally CAPABLE of doing what is necessary as a grown adult responsible human being, but chooses instead to let ME help them pay their rent because they’re a “full-time artist.”

Yeah, well, full-time artistry isn’t quite doing it for you, dude, but if YOU’RE not willing to step up, why the hell should I? FOR you?

Okay, okay, I’m sure this sounds like sour grapes because, hey, I eventually got another job after my lay-off, and I may not LOVE that job, but it is what it is. Sure, okay, you’re just bitter.

Not exactly. I have said for years that, if I ever got to a point where I didn’t HAVE to work, that I probably still would. Why? Motivation.

If I know I only have two hours to writer before I have to get to work, I’m going to spend two hours writing. If I have all day because, what the hell, I have all day, I’m going to take all day but I’m not going to produce much more than I would have in those two concentrated hours. My only problem currently is I’m on second shift, which gives me ALL DAY to write before work. And I still wasn’t getting much done, until I allocated TWO HOURS a day to writing. That’s my writing window. Before and after those two hours, I can do whatever I want. And I’m now getting more work done that I had in the previous two months when I allowed myself all day to write.

So, no, me saying get a fucking job isn’t sour grapes. A job, that schedule, the need to get it done because this is the specified time I have in which to do it is what keeps me working and gets words on the page, and I’m thankful for it. And my kids get to eat. Every day. Several times.

But I’m not giving you money every month because you REFUSE to get a fucking job.

But, but, but, you say, I’ve published four novels in the last four months.

Really? And you’ve been writing, what, a year? Two? So, your work must be top quality stuff, right? Right up there with the masters who spent decades honing their craft, but you skipped right to the good part because you’re just THAT good? That’s awesome. I’m proud of you. But the fiction, which is, as we’ve already established, top quality stuff, isn’t making your rent every month. Man, the world just doesn’t know what it’s missing. You could make such a difference, if only…

Hey, you know what you should do in the meantime, since, you know, the fiction isn’t selling so hot right now and you’ve got a wife and a handful of kids who, damn them, insist on eating at least once a day, you should do that thing you were doing a couple years ago, you know, where you got up every day and went to a place and did a thing and at the end of the week they gave you money, like on the regular, for it. What was it called? I know it’s been a while. Oh, right, a JOB. You should probably get one of those things.

Okay, that’s the end of that rant. Now I have to get dressed because today is Wednesday and I have new comics to buy and then my daughter and I are going to get some lunch.

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40,000 words...well, not quite

Posted 7/8/2014

1137 words today and RETURN TO ANGEL HILL is almost at 40,000 words. 40,000 was my goal this morning, but I’m only allowing myself two hours to work on it a day, and time ran out before I could get to it. That’s actually fine because, although I have the scenes mapped out and know where they’re going, I don’t have all of the details. For example, the missing kid. I don’t know who reported him missing, or why. I just know it wasn’t his parents, and I DO know why for that. So the break today is good.

And the two hour limit is really something I need, too. Because I have a LOT of other things I need to be doing, stuff that, while I’m working on a novel, wouldn’t get done for weeks at a time. One of those things is approving the first section of THE MAN IN THE WINDOW audio book, which the reader wants me to check before he moves on. So that’s up next today.

THE GHOSTS OF MERTLAND audio book is almost ready to approve and put on sale, there were just a few minor issues. One of which was a typo that was completely my fault. In the “Old Woman” chapter, I meant “temper”, but I typed “tempter”. In another part a short, one-sentence paragraph was missing. The reader is going to fix these and then we’ll be ready to go on that one.

So I’m reading CRASH last night on break, and there was a part in there where the writer main character gets recognized in the pharmacy and comments on how uncomfortable that is sometimes, and it reminded me of something that happened to me recently. A few weeks ago I was out at lunch and just as the waiter brought my crab bisque soup, an old guy came over to the table and asked, “What kind of writing do you do?”

Do what? Then I remembered I was wearing my “I’d Rather be Writing” T-shirt. Damn. So I told him, “Mostly horror novels.”

He tells me he likes to read a lot, and could he find any of my work. Sure thing, I told him, it’s online at Amazon, just look up C. Dennis Moore. He then went away and left me feeling more uncomfortable than I have in a very long time. I realized I’m comfortable as hell writing and giving my work to people to read, but when I have to TALK about it? Yikes.

Now, if the old dude had read my work and recognized me and wanted to tell me how much he liked it, that would have been pretty cool.  Weird, but cool.  Maybe one day.

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