Sunset – Part 3

sunset 5

If you missed Part 1, click here.

If you missed Part 2, click here.

D’angelo shook his head, took two quick steps, then checked over his shoulder – John hadn’t moved. D’angelo broke into a sprint away.

He charged two blocks, stopped for no one, then rushed up the stoop and into his apartment. D’angelo leaned back against his front door to smack it shut, then sucked in oxygen as fast as possible. Humidity was bad in California – enough to leave him drenched in sweat from the hasty dash.

D’angelo stared at the cheap wood flooring in his studio apartment for a while. He rubbed his bald head, then rocked it back and gazed up at his ceiling fan.

“God-damn!” he said to himself, then laughed.

A casual Tuesday at the bar had turned into a nightmare – first the vixen who’d taken his digits and booked it, then the nutcase who could’ve found patterns in pigeons.

D’angelo strolled over to his home computer. The next five minutes he spent listening to it hum as it booted up. Once he had it up and running, D’angelo went to work – time to find out who this Sunset chick was.

Couldn’t be that hard, a name like that is one in a million – a rare type that no man forgets. D’angelo browsed facebook, instagram, twitter – nothing.

D’angelo scoffed.

“Where you at, girl.”

He tried ‘Sun Set’. Still Nothing.

D’angelo went to the fridge, popped open a Michelob Ultra, then returned to his seat. Rolled up the blinds, raised the window, and kicked his feet up. D’angelo watched the orange sun finish disappearing behind the city skyline. He let out a sigh, drained half his beer with a few gulps, then burped.

“We both know you ain’t in livin’ in no damn cave…”

He shut his eyes and took another sip. He froze in position, shot his eyelids apart, then pounced over to his keyboard.

Sunset Coors Light

He entered the terms into the search engine, then scrolled down like mad to see if he could find anything. The first couple pages were no help, but the third included a link to an article – and a picture of her beside it.

“Damnnn!” said D’angelo.

Sunset was a Coors Light girl – meaning she went to popular sports venues wearing a skimpy two-piece outfit and cheered behind her Coors Light booth. The girl got paid to show up and look good.

The article included a caption with her name at the bottom –

Sunsett Martinez

D’angelo scratched his bald head, wondering if the poor girl had any idea her name was spelled wrong.

He stuck ‘Sunsett’ into his web browser, and an extensive list of profiles lit up his screen. He clicked on her facebook, then bobbed his head back and covered his mouth.

“What the fu…” He muttered.

Tons of half-nude picks – bra and panties, bikinis, and short purple dresses. D’angelo couldn’t look away – but her body had nothing to do with it.

Every shot showed her with a different weapon – steak knife, butcher knife, swiss knife – the girl loved blades.

“I don’t fuck wichu,” D’angelo whispered.

He noticed one of his facebook friends, someone he didn’t know in real life, named Aaron, had posted up and down on her wall. Dude was obsessed – he’d commented and liked every single thing she’d slapped up there. Girl could’ve dressed a corpse like Hitler and he would clicked ‘like’.

D’angelo twisted his lips, then hovered his fingers over the keyboard. He grabbed the mouse instead and clicked on Aaron’s profile.

Pictures of him out drinking with the guys.

“Okay,” said D’angelo. “Okay.”

He fired a direct message off to Aaron.

“You know Sunset?”

Aaron responded before he could blink.

“Yea, of course!”

“She cool?” wrote D’angelo.

“Huh?”

“Don’t know how to say this bro… but is she C-R-A-Z-Y???”

D’angelo tapped his fingers on the desk. He groaned, stood up, grabbed another beer, then sat back down. Aaron still hadn’t responded. D’angelo cracked open his beer and inhaled a fresh sip. Still no response. D’angelo waited. And waited. And waited…

Tired of staring at the screen, he propped his feet up on the windowsill and coddled his beer.  He watched the cars pass by without much interest, until a purple civic caught his attention. Nothing super bizarre – it just kept driving past his apartment one direction, then return going the other direction every ten minutes or so. He told himself it was nothing – John from the loony bin was in his head. Dude claimed cars drove in patterns, after all.

The half-empty Michelob Ultra slipped from D’angelo’s grip and dinged against his wood-paneled floor as he dozed off. He remained out cold, until the repetitive and loud beep from his phone finally woke him up.

D’angelo rubbed his eyes open, gave his cheek a little slap, then made his way over to the fridge. He tugged the door open when his phone beeped again. D’angelo slid it out from his pocket – text from an unknown number. D’angelo opened it.

Coming to kill you.

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 4!

First 5 steps to book marketing & MASTER Update – 9/9

indiana jones

Contrary to amateur belief, it’s most beneficial for an author to market their work before it is published. This way, potential readers will have something to look forward to, much like the opening weekend of a new blockbuster movie. That’s why we see trailers for movies that aren’t going to appear in theaters until much later; to generate some hype and anticipation.

If you’re like me, promoting your work is alien to your nature and feels like an insult to art (I am trapped by this deep-seeded ideal that beauty should be recognized the moment it is seen, and is apparent enough in itself that it should never have to be pointed out to anyone. Then I remind myself that Van Gogh never sold a painting).

Fortunately, the world wide web holds an endless bounty of information, and enough google searches will get you off the sidewalk and onto the main road. I owe a lot to Benjamin Myatt, author of the High Moon Rising series for pointing me in the right direction. His books have been downloaded several hundred times over. He recommended I check out this link, which led me to a free, downloadable PDF file that includes a checklist of the most effective ways to promote my book.

Now that I have a plan for marketing Master, I feel much better about my future as an independent author. It’s hard for any artist to accept, but nobody is going to buzz your doorbell to ask if you’re the next big thing. You’ve got to bang knuckles door-to-door and say, “Here I am.”

Below is my list of things to do today in order to get the ball rolling in the marketing department. Follow along if you’re in the beginning stages of promoting your work.

1.) Contact three potential cover artists (whose portfolios include covers for psychological thrillers)

2.) Create a list of keywords that describe ‘Master’, seek out blogs that express interest in those keywords

3.) Involve myself in an online forum without being called an idiot, getting booted, or giving out my address to someone who wants to help me receive an assault and battery charge.

4.) Figure out how Goodreads works (What’s this place for? Am I supposed to log-in when I read a book, then log-out when I’m done?)

5.) Figure out how to get more twitter followers.

* One final note, tomorrow (9/10/15) there is a #pitmad event on twitter that allows you to pitch your story to tons of literary agents. (write your logline in 140 characters or less and use the hashtag #pitmad). I plan on entering Master, and suggest you enter whatever story you’re currently working on.

  • Thomas M. Watt