Thanksgiving for Book Reviewers!

superboy!

Gee-wiz, this makes me laugh!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let me start off by saying a full night of rest really does do the body good. I’m back at it, promoting my book to interested parties, and reaching out to new book bloggers. My primary goal is to garner 100 reviews for Master.

The number appears staggering, but then again I never expected to have 10,000+ views on WordPress, either. The key will be to consistently reach out and form new bonds with book reviewers (who are guardian angels for us writers). I like to think that they will be excited to review a good, unknown book.

There are many ways to sell books – you can contact readers directly, purchase advertising on sites like Facebook, and/or reach out to friends and family who love to support you. The two most effective ways, however, are through reviews and word of mouth.

What’s great about these methods is that they cost the writer nothing. Not only that, but they require no effort (no, you can’t force people to rave about your book). I can’t think of a clearer metaphor for the age old saying “get the ball rolling” than to have people hyping up your book through reviews and conversation.

Of course, in order to attain this coveted momentum, you’re going to have to put in the legwork. That’s what I’m doing now – reaching out to book bloggers and reviewers, and posting an annoying amount of links to Master in the hopes that more people will give it a look… it cost less than 2 cups of coffee, people!

A really cool feature on Twitter is that they include a button on every tweet to check its analytics:

twitter analytics

Here you can see exactly how many people have scrolled past the tweet, clicked on the tweet, and liked or retweeted the tweet.

Every time a tweet is retweeted, you can plan on receiving twice the amount of views you normally would have received (often times more). The exposure is exponential with every retweet.

What’s this have to do with the rest of my post? Well, my thinking is simple. For every reader who purchases Master and discovers it’s actually a pretty damn good book, there is a good chance they will either:

  1. Tell a friend about it
  2. Write a review on Amazon
  3. Write a review on Goodreads
  4. Write a review on their blog
  5. Check out my other works.
  6. Do more than 1 of the above, or maybe even all 5 of them.

This is why book reviews are so important. It’s a form of social proof when a third-party with no agenda verifies you’ve put together an enjoyable work of fiction. Not only that, but some book blogs have an enormous following of avid readers, who are eager to discover the next great novel.

That’s all I got for today, Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the states! And have a nice Thursday to everyone else!

  • Thomas M. Watt

Author of Master

 

 

 

‘Master’ Progress

writer

I’ve just passed the midway point in Master (10000 words), and I’m very happy with how it is turning out. Spent yesterday evening figuring out a fulfilling way to end it, and though it is going to be complicated, i think it will have the emotional impact I’m looking for; the kind that makes for a climactic finish.

I’ve also gone to two writing groups in the past week. Though I’ve always had an aversion toward these groups, I’m pleased to say that I’ve met a couple of people who are serious about their pursuit of becoming published authors. Unfortunately, a large portion of these groups enjoy the creative freedom of writing too much to submit their work for criticism and analysis, and that is the kind of group I’m truly looking for.

If anybody out there is looking for feedback on their current work in progress, drop me a line in the comment section. My current work is going to be 20,000 words (100 pages), but I’d be happy to swap small sections at a time.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Would you kill the love of your life if…

prison cell

What if the love of your life lost their mind, and their inability to show restraint during a time of crisis was putting your own life at risk?

What if a group were chasing after you, and one loud noise would give away your position and get you killed?

Would you risk hurting someone you loved to save yourself?

What if hurting them were your only option, and the future of humanity depended on YOUR survival??

James faces the same predicament in the following excerpt. To give you some context:

– James is locked in a hidden prison room.

– Zephrons are giant red aliens who invaded planet earth and enslaved whatever humans they chose not kill.

– The night of the invasion, a group of locals escaped to an underground military base. They were soon afterward indoctrinated by Colonel Fitz, who considers himself to be the new messiah. This scene takes place in that underground base.

– The zephrons are going to wipe out the rest of humanity in one day…

And James is the only person who can stop them.

* * *

CHAPTER 52

James’ stomach grumbled loudly. He hadn’t eaten a good meal since before his sentence to the picking plant. He looked around aimlessly for something edible to distract him. Nothing. Only the doggie saucer of water. He took handfuls from it, desperately hoping for the water to trick his stomach. He began weeping as he drank.

“I wanna marry you,” said Penny.

James raised his head. Penny moved in, then began licking water out from the bowl. James crawled backwards then clutched himself and began to rock. He smeared dry the tip of his nose, then looked across the room to Spes’ cell.

“Do not worry, human. It will never-”

“Never what!” James screamed. He stood up, grabbed the prison cell bars, then shook them. “What do you want me to do? My best friend is dead, my dad is dead, and tomorrow morning, every human on the surface of the earth will be dead! And here I am.” He grabbed both sides of his hair and breathed chaotically. “Stuck in a prison cell, unable to do anything about it.” He squinted back at them and pointed his index finger. “And you idiots expect me to believe that this is God’s plan? That somehow my being here is going to help me conquer the zephrons?”

“Calm down, human. God knows-”

“God knows, God knows, you know what? God knows shit. That’s what I think. If you want something done you’ve got to do it yourself, period.”

A humming noise came from outside. The door started to creak open to the corridor, and Fitz entered in. He held the ring of keys.

“Well well well, traitor.” He walked over to James with the key ring in one hand, a rifle in the other. “I get your bicep, in case you were wondering.”

“What happened to Roy? What happened to your daughter?”

“I locked Penny up for disobeying me. She was hanging around that drunk loser after I forbid her to.”
“And Roy?”

“Why don’t you ask her?”
“I did.”

“Well? Did she tell you?”

“She’s a little kooky if you haven’t noticed.”

Fitz smiled. “Roy is dead.”

“From a bullet?”
He nodded.

James lowered his head. “Suicide.”

“Not suicide.”

James looked back up.

Fitz grinned and pointed to himself. “That was all me.”
“You killed Roy?”

Just then, the ambulance sirens in the hallway began going off – the same that were triggered whenever someone stepped out from the elevator and entered the underground base. They were soon accompanied by the sounds of zephron howls. Human shrieks quickly followed.

“You led them back here!” said Fitz.

James tried to shake his head as Fitz raised his rifle.

“You led them-”

Janie ran in and tackled Fitz. The ring of keys dropped to the ground, but the rifle remained in his grasp.

“My king! My king! We have to go!”

Greg, Juan, and the other underground council members rushed in. They grabbed Fitz and carried him off his feet and out from the room, then turned towards the back end of the corridor. The keys remained in the middle of the room, unreachable by any of the now-fully exposed prisoners – the door to the secret prison had been left open. All the zephrons had to do was peak inside and James would be toast.

“Ahh!” screamed Penny.

James hurried over then hugged Penny’s face into his chest. He picked up a ratty, child-sized blanket and did his best to cover them both with it. He whispered into her ear as the loud, nightmarish yells echoed from the main room over to them.

“Penny, I need you to calm down,” he whispered.

She bit her lips into her mouth. “But what’s happening?”

The screams only intensified. So did the wild zephron howls. It was a slaughter – no doubt about it. James was nervous and scared, but knew that as long as everyone inside the secret prison area remained quiet, there was a good chance the zephrons wouldn’t bother leaving the main room. And even if they did, they were more likely to run straight past them and battle Fitz and his small army instead.

“What’s happen-”

“Don’t worry – I just need you to be quiet. Can you do that for me?” James’ eyes flickered up. He noticed the hammer in the corner of the cell. “Everything is going to be okay.”

“James!” said Penny.

“Shh,” he whispered, then covered her mouth. “Be quiet, Penny.”

Soon he heard their loud, thumping footsteps echoing through the corridor.

“Hime-cared!” She blurted out.

James hugged her face into his shoulder. “Please… just, shhh.”

Penny struggled to break free as the monstrous roars grew closer. She began to move her limbs erratically, and screamed more muffled words. James struggled to keep her quiet, but she wouldn’t be still. Penny escaped his grasp.

“James! James! Promise you’ll marry me, James!”

He could hear the zephrons closing in. James crawled on his hands and knees over to the hammer. He picked it up, then gulped and looked at Penny.

“Say you love me! Say it!”

James grabbed Penny by the throat and shoved her down, back against the ground. His hand shook as he held the hammer over her forehead.

“Shut-up,” He pleaded through a whisper.

“JAMES!” Penny screamed.

“Don’t!” said Fides, from across the room.

“JAMES!” She shouted again.

James swung the…

* * *

Well, what would you do? I’d love to hear a variety of perspectives.

* And if you’re dying to know what actually happens, you can start by clicking here.

– Thomas M. Watt

The Worst Kind of Marriage – Part 6

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Missed the beginning? – Click below

“What the fuck are you doing?” said Huerto. He was holding Amanda up, his fist clenching her hair.

Bethany concealed the knife behind her back. She did not want the sick-kidnapper to know she found it.

Four months since Bethany was taken from her normal life. Amanda just arrived, and it was Huerto’s intention to make a wife out of her. Bethany already was.

Huerto pointed the gun. “What do you got there honey?”

Bethany swallowed and looked at Amanda. The teenager’s face was bloodied from the beating. Her eyes were down and her blond hair was layered with red streaks from Huerto’s wet fingers.

“A good wife doesn’t hide things from her husband.”

Amanda lifted her chin. Her mouth was agape and jaw looked off center. She shook her head slowly side to side. She asked Bethany earlier not to put her life at risk.

Bethany bit her thin lips and squeezed her eyelids together.

“WHAT DO YOU HAVE?”

She sniffed. “A knife.” Bethany looked at Amanda again. The poor blonde girl wanted to live. She deserved to live and who was Bethany to jeopardize that for her.

Huerto spoke through gritted teeth. His face was pockmarked and his toupee a puffy bread loaf. “That’s not good of you dear. Not good at all. Bring it here.”

What is life?

“Now,” said Huerto.

Life is freedom. Life is laughing. Life was hers until Huerto took it away. Now he was going to take Amanda’s.

“Honey?”

Bethany stepped forward. This isn’t life.

“Give it here,” he said, dropping Amanda and flapping his hand together.

I’m already dead.

“Very good dear,” said Huerto, as Bethany took the knife from behind her back and slowly moved it towards his hand. “Now-”

Before Huerto could finish, Bethany swung the knife up and sliced it across his jugular. The rifle shot once into the dresser and he fell back. Blood sprayed everywhere and he knocked porcelain plates and china to shatter. He tried to yell but only sputtered blood and babble came out. Huerto swiveled his head side to side and stomped his heel into the ground. A puddle of blood oozed onto the wood floor.

“Let’s go!” Screamed Amanda. She stood and ran out.

Bethany took the knife and ran after her. She locked the door to the room once they exited and ran down the stairs. They smiled and reached the front door and heaved to pull it open then realized something.

The front door locked from the inside. The windows were all boarded up. Everything needed a key and they didn’t have a key. Huerto had the keys. All the keys. He also had a rifle.

The girls looked at each other.

“Do you think he’s dead?” said Amanda.

“He’s gotta be,” said Bethany.

A loud ‘thump’ came from upstairs.

Part 7, Coming Soon!

– Thomas M. Watt

How To Write

Image

Morning comes, nights fly by, hour-to-hour and most words die.

Don’ t stop writing, no I don’t, trying hard to get much wrote.

Never tire, always sweat, not quite happy, not quite upset.

This is the life of trying hard, of perseverance, of living poor.

Simple style, basic’s best, no need to shout or pound your chest.

Learn a thing or two from me – don’t worry much, don’t reach to deep.

Things are simple, yes they are, the heart is gold, the brain it lies.

Listen careful, see me speak, hear my eyes, confused I think.

All right one more I’ll end with this –

If you want to write just never quit.

– Thomas M. Watt

The Worst Kind of Marriage – Part 5

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Missed the beginning? – Click below for Part 1

Bethany finished up the stairs. She entered the room first, while Amanda followed behind. Huerto, The sick pervert who had kidnapped each of them and called himself a husband, was in the back, carrying his rifle with him.

Bethany looked to the bed. Her puddle of blood still remained. She clenched her stomach wound. She was dizzy.

Get a hold of yourself.

Bethany squeezed her eyelids closed, grimaced, then remembered she had one chance to escape.

Find the knife.

“Ok my little lady. Are you ready to get our wedding underway?” Said Huerto to the young blonde teenager.

Amanda sniffed, but did not answer.

“I love you, you know,” said Huerto.

Amanda sniffed again.

“Say you love me bitch!”

Huerto smacked the young woman across the face with his rifle. After she kept at a hunch and he started to swing again.

“HEY!” Said Bethany.

The pock-marked Huerto stopped. He looked at her funny, smirked then raised the barrel in her direction. “What was that, honey?”

“Don’t hit her.”

Huerto shifted the bolt handle then locked it down, loading his rife. “Dear, I’m beginning to wonder if you’ve forgotten how this relationship works. Have you?”

Bethany looked down. She spotted the bloody knife. It was on the ground behind Huerto.

“I’m the master, you’re the slave. Right?”

Bethany gulped. She looked at Amanda.

Amanda barely shook her head. “No,” she mouthed with her lips.

“Right?” said Huerto, holding the gun to Bethany’s pale cheek.

She finally nodded.

“All right, great!” He hugged Amanda in close with his free arm. “Let’s get the ceremony underway. Are you excited baby?”

Amanda didn’t answer.

Huerto threw her headlong into the desk near the window. “I said, are you FUCKING excited!” He walked over to her then kicked her in the stomach.

Bethany looked at the ground. The knife was in plain sight, and Huerto’s back was to it.

“ARE YOU?” Screamed Huerto.

Amanda cried.

Get it. Get the knife.

Bethany started after it, but as soon as she did Huerto whirled around and loosely aimed the gun at her. “Where are you going?”

Though she was curled up in the fetal position, Amanda bit Huerto on the front of his shin.

“Ahh!” He returned his attention to her and smacked Amanda in the ribs with his barrel.

Bethany moved fast, too fast. When she reached for the knife she kicked it instead. Over shoulder she saw the painful expression on Amanda’s face. The young girl bit Huerto’s leg again anyways, and dealt with the repercussions.

The knife had slid under the dresser. Bethany crouched to her hands and knees and reached for it. The blade cut her fingertip and she felt it spin away.

C’mon!

She could hear Amanda getting pummeled. Time was running out. Bethany lowered all the way to her stomach, felt around underneath, then finally took hold of the handle. She shimmied her arm back out, knife in hand. She gritted her teeth, shot to her feet, then turned around.

“What the fuck are you doing?” said Huerto. He was holding Amanda up, his fist clenching her hair.

Part 6, Coming Soon!

– Thomas M. Watt

The Worst Kind of Marriage – Part 4

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Part 1 –

Part 2 –

Part 3 –

Bethany was locked in the closet with Amanda, the young bible-clenching girl who had made the terrible mistake of knocking on Huerto’s door.

“We need to get out of here,” said Amanda. She was blonde and had a fresh black eye.

“I know.”

“Can we? I mean, how has he managed to keep you here?”

“Every window is boarded up. Every room is locked from the outside. He’s always within reaching distance of his rifle. And he never has any visitors over,” said Bethany. She’d been locked in the house with Huerto for four months.

Amanda swatted the hanger poking her. “What happened to you? I mean… why did he stab you?”

Bethany swallowed. “We got in a fight this morning.”

“About?”

Bethany felt her wound and winced. She stood at a hunch – upright hurt too badly. “I asked to go outside. Even if it meant having a gun in my side.”

“And?”

Bethany looked down and ran a hand straight through her dark hair. “And he got upset, picked up a knife, then stabbed me.” She sniffed. “A minute later he got out of bed to ‘make us some breakfast’.”

Amanda’s face went blank. “What kind of man is he?”

“He’s not a man,” said Bethany. “He’s a coward. A sicko with a gun.”

“I wish I never came here.”

A shout came from the other room. “Marriage ceremony! Later today, Huerto and the bitch with the bible!”

Bethany shot a glance at Amanda. “Marriage ceremony…”

“What?”

Bethany swallowed. “I know what he’s about to do. He’s going to wed you with the rifle barrel pressed to your temple.”

“So?”

“So,” Bethany said, licking her lips before going on. “So maybe that’s my time to do something. I remember where the knife is that stabbed me. If I can manage to get hold of it in secret, maybe I can kill him before he knows what hit him.”

“But won’t that put me in danger?”

“What?” said Bethany.

“If you lunge to stab him when his gun is at my head he’ll shoot me, and I’ll die.”

Bethany bit her fingernail.

“C’mon,” said the teenage girl. “You can’t take that risk-“

“In all the time I’ve been here, not once have I had the chance to hurt him. Today I’m either going to bleed to death or fight back. What would you do?”

Amanda looked terrified.

“What?”

“Please don’t get me killed.”

Before Bethany could respond, the lock clicked and Huerto swung the door open. “Wedding ceremony, upstairs!” He pointed his rifle at Amanda. “Get out.”

He waited for Amanda and Bethany to exit, then walked behind them. Bethany led the way, eyes glued ahead. Blood continued to drip down her nightie and the pain was getting worse. She could feel her legs shake as she stepped up the stairs.

Her eyes were dark, as was her hair, but her skin was pale. As they reached the top of the stairs her breath intensified. A strange feeling mixed with all the pain, fear and anger she’d had to live, day in, day out.

It was hope.

Part 5, Coming Soon!

 – Thomas M. Watt

 

THE WORST KIND OF MARRIAGE – PART 2

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The blood from the knife wound drenched her nightie. She looked over to her husband, the one who had stabbed her. He tilted his mug back and had a sip of his coffee. He was reading the Sunday comics until he noticed her gaze, at which point he raised his eyebrows.

She smiled as best she could.

Four months of this now. Four months since he had found her walking and forced her into his van. A gun to her head the entire ride over.

Play it cool. 

That was what did her in. Play it cool. A lot of good that did. From the moment she set foot in his house she was finished. Every window was boarded up with blinds to keep outsiders from peeking in. A lock on the front door to which only he had the key. She was only allowed in the backyard under his supervision. His supervision was a pointed rifle.

She hated him.

Huerto was his name. The first day he forced their ‘marriage’. The ceremony was him forcing his grandma’s old wedding band onto her finger. Huerto declared them husband and wife.

With the barrel pointed at her head, she said, “I do.” With the barrel still pressed to her head, she received his kiss.

Bethany looked over to Huerto. He was still at the kitchen table tearing a white napkin into little pieces. She moaned softly, so that only she could hear, and felt the bloody wound again. Her vision was beginning to blur. Her strength was already depleted. She leaned against the counter top and looked around to all the boarded windows. She sniffed.

A knock came to the door.

Huerto immediately looked to her, eyes wide. He picked up his rifle from its lean against his thigh, brushed his hands off each other and stood up.

“Let’s go,” he said.

He shoved her several times as she struggled to walk. She passed the front door biting her lip, begging beyond hope that the door-knocker would just barge in and spot her. He didn’t.

Huerto threw her into the closet. Quickly he wrapped a towel tightly around her mouth, then stuffed it into her bite.

The doorbell rang three times.

“Don’t say a fuckin’ word,” Huerto said, pointing his finger.

Bethany gulped.

Huerto shut the closet door and locked it behind. She was engulfed in darkness. Blood oozed from her wound onto her thigh. ‘Police,’ she whispered in her mind. ‘Please, be the police.’

She needed to get out.

Today.

Part 3, Coming Soon!

– Thomas M. Watt