Monday, May 23, 2011

Curious Case of Mr. Miller

Blog entry: Saturday. Decided to do a little detective work and find out what made one of my fellow drug trial participants pass out. Headed over to the hospital and queued up at the front desk to ask if there were any visitor’s hours that day.

“Sure,” the nurse told me. “Who did you want to see?”

“A Mr. Miller. Mr. Joseph Miller. He was brought in two days ago.”

The nurse consulted her computer, frowned, then shook her head. “No, I’m sorry,” she said. “Mr. Miller is dead. He died late last night.” She looked up from her screen. “Would you like to see somebody else?”

“What? No! I really need to talk to Mr. Miller. Are you absolutely sure he’s passed away?”

“I can recheck if you want.” She typed away. “Sometimes this program mixes up some of the… ah, I see what I’ve done now.” She gave me an apologetic smile. “Stupid little me,” she said. “I had the stats of several files mixed up.”

I breathed a sigh of relief. “So, he didn’t pass away?”

“Oh, no,” the nurse said, shaking her head, “he’s still dead, but he died this morning rather than last night.” She held up her hand with a small amount of space between her thumb and index finger. “You missed him by that much.”

“I see,” I said. “Does it at least say what he died of?”

She browsed her screen, bit her lip, and mumbled, “Yes, no, wait a minute. I saw something about…. Ah, yes. Yes, it does.” She looked up again. For a long moment we stared at each other. When I finally arched an eyebrow, she said, “Are you a relative? I’m not supposed to give out this kind of information to just anybody.”

I tried to think fast. I really needed that information but I didn’t know Joseph other than from the clinic waiting area. We’d never even spoken. Then, out of nowhere, the perfect answer just occurred to me. I told her, “Yes.”

“Okay then.” She was about to tell me when her face clouded over again. “You really should be getting this information from his doctor, though.”

I waved it away, told her it would be okay.

“Well,” she said, reading from her screen, “it says here he died of dehydration and malnutrition.”

“He was found passed out in his apartment,” I told her. “Apparently he’d been out for a while. Does it say what caused him to lose consciousness in the first place?”

The nurse perused the file for a long time, then shook her head. “No, sorry,” she said. “I’ll have to get the doctor for that. Just a moment.” She reached for the phone.

“That’s okay,” I said, not wanting to get into trouble for impersonating a relative. “I need to go. Pressed for time. Thank you.”

As I turned to leave, she called after me, “Are you sure you don’t want to visit anyone else? There are some really nice people up on the second floor. Much nicer than Mr. Miller. They’d love to talk to you.”

Continued in "No Hope for Gomez!"

Check out the Summer of Gomez!

Get free books and win a Kindle or iPod.

As reviewers have been calling “No Hope for Gomez!” the perfect summer read - light, fast, fun - I decided to give this summer's Gomez readers some exclusive content and the chance to win prizes.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Is it like listening to you talk?

As you probably know, to become an internationally best-selling author, you need to sell three books. This is not an easy task, but once you’ve managed to rack up these three sales, the rest is more or less a done deal.

Now, these sales themselves will not put you on the best-seller lists. They won’t even put you within a million spots of the bottom of the lists, but what they will do, and what they do every time, is spark a slowly growing buying frenzy that will get you there.

These three people will love your book, they will tell another five people, who in turn tell another seven. Within roughly four-and-a-half weeks, you finally make your first million.
That’s how it happens. Every single time.

But, how does an author tackle this monumental task? Where does he find these three readers?

I myself was quite lucky. When my novel appeared on Amazon I already knew over five people! What’s more, some of these people even liked me... somewhat. So I set out to become an internationally best-selling author by convincing at least three of these five people to buy my novel.

I started with my mother. Of all the five people I knew, I probably knew her the longest. I showed her my Amazon page and she nodded approvingly. She did not, however, make any attempts to buy a copy. So I logged on for her, navigated back to my novel’s page, and left the mouse pointer conveniently positioned over the BUY button.

She read the novel description again, searched-inside-this-book, and nodded some more. When I asked her if she’d like to buy a copy, she scrunched up her nose and said;

‘But what if I don’t like it?’
I told her not to worry. ‘It’s a really good book,’ I said. ‘I should know. I’ve re-written it like 50 times. It’s really funny and interesting.’
My mother wasn’t convinced. ‘I’m not really into comedy writing, though,’ she said.
‘It’s not just a comedy,’ I pointed out. ‘It has a real story; it’s a mystery. And it has twists and turns and believable characters.’
My mother hesitated. ‘Maybe I should just play it safe and buy another Stephen King novel…’

I ended up having to offer a personal money-back guarantee, and purchase a copy using my own credit card for the time being, but she finally cracked. I’d made my first sale!

Next, I prodded my wife. Although she did like words in general, she wasn’t sure she was up for reading and entire book full of them. ‘Is this like your usual stuff?’ she wanted to know.
‘What usual stuff?’
She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. Is it like listening to you talk?’
‘What’s wrong with they way I talk?’
‘Nothing. It’s just, well, sometimes you talk a lot of nonsense.’
I waved it away. ‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I am much more interesting and ‘telligible’ on paper.’

Long story short; my second sale is almost in the bag. Now I just need to find one more person to buy my novel, and I’ll be set for life!

Check out the Summer of Gomez!

Get free books and win a Kindle or iPod.

As reviewers have been calling “No Hope for Gomez!” the perfect summer read - light, fast, fun - I decided to give this summer's Gomez readers some exclusive content and the chance to win prizes.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Summer of Gomez

It's the Summer of Gomez!

Get free books and win a Kindle or iPod.

As reviewers have been calling “No Hope for Gomez!” the perfect summer read - light, fast, fun - I decided to give this summer's Gomez readers some exclusive content and the chance to win prizes.

About No Hope for Gomez!

It's the age-old tale:

 -   Boy meets girl.
 -   Boy stalks girl.
 -   Girl already has a stalker.
 -   Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.

We've seen it all before, many times, but this time it's different. If only slightly.

    When Gomez Porter becomes a test subject in an experimental drug trial, he is asked to keep track of any strange experiences through a blog. 

What Gomez isn't ready for, is so many of his experiences suddenly seeming strange; the antiques dealer trying to buy his old tax papers, the phone-sex salesman who hounds him day and night, the super sexy lab assistant who falls for him but is unable to express herself in terms outside the realm of science.

   But when one of the trial participants turns up dead and another goes missing, Gomez begins to fear for his life. No longer sure who he can trust and which of his experiences are real and which merely drug induced delusions, he decides it's time to go underground and work out a devious plan.
Read a chapter.

Nominated for Book of the Year by both ForeWord Reviews and USA Book News, here's what reviewers have to say about "No Hope for Gomez!":

“Extremely witty and clever writing.” -- California Chronicle

"An unputdownable read. a Coens Brothers' film in book form." --

"A veritable page turner of nonstop laughs!" -- Reader Views

"A Party for your Brain!" -- Warren Baxter

Warning: clinical studies have shown that reading this novel is likely to make you more attractive to the opposite sex and elevate your random luck by about 9.5%**

(** These statements have not been evaluated by any person of consequence!)

With every cool summer party comes a gift bag, so here's just some of the stuff all summer readers will get:
  • Exclusive new story collection
  • No Hope for Gomez: The Lost Chapters
  • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
  • Signed hi-res poster + bookplate

Additionally, several lucky readers will win a prize. I'm raffling off a Kindle, an iPod Nano 8GB, and five exclusive spin-off paperback novels that are not available elsewhere!

All you have to do to have a "Summer of Gomez", is get the book from any store before July 12th 2011 and forward your receipt to, Barnes and Noble, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, Amazon DE)

Every purchase counts as an entry so increase your chances by stocking up on some extremely cool birthday presents ;)
Points towards additional entries are gained by getting your friends to join in, and tweeting/blogging/face-booking (is that a verb?) about the summer of Gomez.

Graham Parke is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

Cool Participating Summer bloggers:
I am a reader Not a writer, Mom in training, Book Noise, Getting Naughty between the stacks, Tifferz Bookreview , Ellabella Reviews, Books For Company