It’s been, maybe, more than a week since I last wrote to you. Sorry about that. Marketing, headaches, and producing the paperback version of ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’ focused my attention these last several days.
Let’s start with marketing. Alright, so the image I’ve chosen is not directly related to my business, but the image does make it feel that way. Bickering. Plew! Sometimes I feel like it’s a terrible waste of time and then other times, not. For two weeks or so, I paid for Facebook advertising. The results weren’t too bad, and I sold some books. Was it enough to offset the cost of the advertising? No, but this time round, I didn’t expect to come out ahead. I do know that I generated enough to minimize my overall costs, and perhaps, will come out ahead in the months to come. So, I figure mixed results. Now I am off and trying a different tactic, Amazon advertising. This model is different. Where Facebook charges every time the advert is displayed, Amazon will only charge when someone clicks on the advert. I don’t know which will work better, but I do know, that one has to focus on the target audience for the advertising to be effective. Let’s see what happens.
On the headache front, I saw a chiropractor for several adjustments. He specializes in upper cervical services, and I must say, the results are positive. My headaches are now in the low-intensity range, and I’m hoping soon, they will disappear altogether. The trouble is, I am drinking water as I have never before. I wake up with a dry mouth, spend the day with a dry mouth, drinking vast quantities, and still go to bed with a dry mouth. Doc says that it is a good thing and that I am flushing the poisons from my body. I also feel extremely fatigued, feeling like I need sleep all day long. It’s hard to function, and I can’t multitask as I am accustomed. Both maladies will resolve themselves, or so the Doc says. It all has to do with something he calls, ‘Retracing.’ There’s a YouTube video on the subject. Check it out. I’m not sure what to make of it all, but I put my trust in his tender care.
Lastly, I’ve been working on formatting ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ for print publication. I can’t believe how many times I submitted a version to the printing house, only to reject it myself as I am proofing it. Hopefully, the version I uploaded yesterday will be my final and approved, version. Knock on wood.
It’s so odd; I never expected that I would be rejecting my proofs. The printing company, yes, me … no. However, I know that it will be a better product. Afterward, I will update the e-book version to match the printed edition. Don’t worry, the edits are minor, and anyone who already purchased the e-book version will get a free updated version.
And, oh, BTW, check out the new 5-star review from a brand new reader of mine. I was sooooo excited to read it. Thank you, Amy. Here’s the link to her review.
Till next time, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
Please accept my apologies for not writing for almost two weeks. These past days have been quite hectic as a result of my PCS (post concussion syndrome) and the release of my latest novel, ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’
Let me tell you; there is good news on both fronts.
First, let me tell you about my book. Avril’s story about being kidnapped and sold into the underworld of human trafficking is doing quite well. In the first two weeks, more readers than I can imagine are reading it, and I received my first review yesterday.
Five stars! Can you imagine? I am ecstatic. You can find the review on Amazon’s website. Click any of the book titles and it will bring you right to it.
The reader/reviewer, Bibs wrote:
Another Winner, Another Panty Melter
“You did it again Richard. I couldn’t put it down. A very fast paced read. If you have not read a book from this author, you’re missing out. Every book I read of Richard Verry’s has been excellent. Please pick one up today, and you will be hooked. Thank you, Richard!!”
Wow! What an endorsement.
Bibs has reviewed many of my books, but by far and large, I believe that this one is by far the best for my career as a writer. Personally, I agree with the reviewer, but then again, I’m biased. Thank you Bibs.
There is more good news regarding my PCS. Over the past two months, I’ve been miserable. I was suffering near unbearable pain, at times moaning and screaming in a poor effort to deal with my headaches. They reached new highs during that time, and if you have read my recent posts, you already know this. Last week, I hooked up with yet another new doctor, this time, a chiropractor. He did a full assessment on my issue, concentrating on my neck and skull. Using a CBCT (a type of 3D cat scanner), he found that my C1 and C4 vertebrae were out of position, and not just on one side but both. The doc reported that discovering both sides out of position is rare. My C1 (also called Axis) was both skewed and rotated out of whack, making the opening for my spinal column smaller, pinching nerves.
After getting my first adjustment to pop them back into the correct position, I felt better almost immediately. Within hours, my headache dropped to low levels. On my second adjustment appointment, he reported that both C1 and C4 were still in the correct position and no adjustment was necessary. I was both ecstatic and disappointed. The later because he denied me the opportunity to be adjusted again. How dumb is that? That’s what expectations can do. Yet, I was happy that his prior adjustment held. After all, the vertebrae had gotten used to being out of alignment and may very well want to get back to its old position. He tells me that this is very possible. On my third adjustment appointment, he needed to adjust me once more, which he took care immediately. The funny thing, over the past two days, I knew that I was out of adjustment, my headaches were growing worse and a bad fatigue had set in.
What really excites me is that someone finally found a physiological cause to my perpetual headaches. With the vertebrae out of alignment, they were pinching the nerves of the brainstem and spinal cord. The nerves have to transgress a very snug opening, so to have the vertebrae shrink their pathways even smaller, well, I could have been suffering from a host of issues. The brain, after all, controls the entire body.
I’m in good spirits and anxious to see whether this is the right treatment for me. If so, I can drop seeing the voluminous doctor and therapy appointments I attend each week. Better yet, I hope I can wean myself off the pills I’ve been taking to manage the pain. Wish me luck!
Well, that’s it for the time being. I look forward to today and tomorrow, getting back to writing and the like. Have fun.
That’s right, too much of a good thing is often too much.
If you love ice cream, eating a cone every so often is a savory treat that coats your tongue with exploding flavors as its cooling succulence slips down your throat. Even eating it once a day, in small portions, is manageable. Force fed it continuously, hour after hour, every day, well I know that I will soon hate the stuff.
That’s how I feel about some bloggers I follow. Many I eagerly look forward to, soaking in their insights on the world around them. I enjoy reading about their inner struggles and their ways in coping with life.
What I don’t like are posts done six to ten times a day, touting this or that, or promoting their wares. I want to support them. I really do. However, I am finding that I simply delete the unread post from my inbox. I am treating the posts as junk mail. Yes, I know it’s not fair. However, is it fair to be inundated with a dozen posts or more every day? Nope. Perhaps you feel the same way?
Just over a year ago, I was working with a publicist that wanted me to post something of 300 to 600 words at least daily, more if I could manage it. The idea was that the more I post, the more people would find me, and follow. At the time, I knew nothing. I trusted what I thought of as an expert. So, I tried. Six months later, we parted ways, but I still decided to follow the recommendations.
What did it get me? I started hating the idea of posting an article, especially daily articles. It took a lot of time away from my novels, stories, and painting. I also started to feel like it was too much ice cream.
Fortunately, I suffered a severe concussion last summer that I am still dealing with the aftereffects today. What it did for me in posting articles was first, a well-needed break. Then, I had a whole new topic to write about and share.
In the writings, I knew that I had to give you, my readers, something they wished to read. I did not want to fill them with fluff about marketing my books. I wanted to give you want you liked. I also had trouble with cognitive and creative thought, so I landed upon the idea of posting the ‘Word of the Day.’ Using M-W, I used them to add my personal two cents to their daily word.
Easy I thought. The trouble was, I was really getting into researching the word, finding images to support the word and then adding my two cents. Towards the end of last year, I was spending upwards of two hours a day, fascinated by the word, and digging deeper into it. As the holidays rolled around, I found that I was, once again, getting tired of the daily grind of blogging.
As you may have noticed, I have since cut down my posts to once or twice a week. I can manage that, I think. Since my cognitive and creative streams of thought are slowly returning, I am writing once again, focusing on the final tweaks to my new book, ‘The Trafficking Consortium.’ I’m even thinking about a sequel to the story, but that’s down the road.
Limiting my posts gives me the time to work on why you follow me. Many of you are looking forward to my next release, and have written me asking when, et.all. How cool is that? Anyway, with summer approaching, I must decide between blogging and writing. I think writing is going to win every time.
Yesterday, I received this intriguing comment from one of my readers. My life partner girlfriend also wants to know the answer to this question. She cringes at many of my stories. As many times as I try to satisfy her with a reply, sooner or later, she brings it up once again. I figure everyone of my readers is thinking the same thing. So I thought I would give it a stab and try to answer the question.
The reader asked the following question.
“Just finished the 2nd book. [‘Her Overseer,’ book 2 in the ‘Her Client’ trilogy] and I need time to think about this one? Guess my question is how do you think of these things in such detail? It was pretty gruesome. Are there things you write about that you’ve done or want to do? Just wondering.”
The book, ‘Her Overseer’ is gruesome. It is brutal and graphic. It is the second part of a three-part story within the ‘Her Client’ trilogy. There is a twist in book 3, ‘Her Essentia’ which I think readers will enjoy. My girlfriend cringed reading the first two books, but by hanging in there, she found redemption in the third book.
Frankly, I don’t know how I think up these scenes and describe them in such detail. They just appear in my head as I write them. To me, it is a natural progression of the story that seems obvious as I write.
I’ve been an avid reader all my life. From a young age, I’ve always been interested in mystery/suspense and true crime novels. Later I added science fiction to the list. The more fantastic the story, the more out there the characters behaved, the more I liked it. However, I’m not referring to fantasy stories such as depicted in today’s graphic novels and the like. I like realistic stories that are plausible and could happen in real life. Some of my favorite books from my early years included the true crimes of the FBI, which depicted the thoughts and reasonings of characters on both sides of the law.
My paintings and drawings reflect a naturalistic world. I love realism in my creative works. I don’t do abstract or fantastical creatures, such as depicted in much of today’s art. The one exception would be my love of mermaids.
But fantastic creatures that nature could not possibly develop on this planet through natural selection … no.
I also believe in monsters. Not the kind thought up by the creative minds of scary movie, no, I mean the human kind of monster. The kind that actually exists.
I write what I believe could naturally occur, here on earth, by humans. Nature is uncaring and brutal. Sharks and other predators don’t care about the feelings of their prey. They kill and eat what they want and move on. Orca whales have been observed playing with and tormenting their prey before killing them. From the lowliest of life on earth to the king of the jungle, this is how nature developed life on our planet.
All humans have this drive built into our DNA. Societal norms try to adjust us to not act upon our baser instincts but we all let it out, at some time or another. A husband beating his wife to belting a misbehaving child when a simple spank of the hand would do, are just two examples of human instincts struggling for release. I could list thousands of examples supporting my belief. Fortunately, most of us suppress this impulse as best as we can.
My stories delve into the realm of humans who drop their shields and let out their baser instincts. My monsters are real, and I have little doubt that the monsters depicted in the ‘Her Client’ trilogy, are real and they exist. They hide and stay out of the limelight, but they exist. In the real world, a rare few are discovered and make the news, but I believe that the known monsters are a small percentage of the total out there. No one can convince me otherwise. My scenes are gruesome and describe a realistic interpretation of the human monster hiding in all of us.
As to the reader’s follow-up question, no I don’t write about what I’ve done, nor what I want to do. Like 99.99999% of the population, I suppress my inner instincts in everyday life. However, I will grant you, that perhaps it is possible, that as I write, I allow a tiny fraction of my basic human suppressed instinct out, enabling me to write in such detail.
I’ve been told that writers write what they know. I don’t believe this. Look at Stephen King’s novels. Do you really think he did all that he wrote about? Do you think he thinks about really doing it? I doubt it. Do I wish I could actually do what I write about in my scenes? Definitely not. I’m a pacifist at heart. It’s all in my imagination, knowing full well that these monsters do exist.
On thing I discovered in my writing journey is that I like to write from the character’s point of view, rather than a third party, observers point of view. I like to write what the characters think and feel. At times I will bounce from the protagonist’s point of view to the antagonist’s point of view and back again. I find it interesting to reveal their thoughts and ideas. I like to expose their emotions of surprise, love, lust, anger, fear, rage, bloodthirst, relief and revenge as the scene develops.
In ‘The Taste of Honey,’ I wrote a scene where one of my main characters goes through an ordeal of her own choice. She is offered many opportunities to avoid the tribulation. Yet, she chose to go through the ordeal, knowing she would die in the end. All because she loves her family more than she loves herself.
I wrote the scene from her viewpoint. I tried to capture her every thought, fear, and desire she experiences. I tried to capture everything she endures, moment by moment, from her point of view. I attempted to convey all of her senses; taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell; as she lived and died throughout her ordeal. I believe I was successful and again, all from the characters point of view.
Just know that not all of my books are gruesome. My free short story, ‘A Mermaid’s Irresistible Curiosity’ is a love story with a twist. It’s not gruesome nor brutal. It’s a story about a misguided mermaid who lives a life of instant gratification who falls in love with a fisherman. You can find the short story on my website, RichardVerry.com. It free and you can download it and read it at any time.
I hope that this explains the question and alleviates any concerns about my writing. More importantly, I hope this explains things to the love of my life, my girlfriend, and committed partner in love and life.
I would like to take a moment to thank all of you that purchased and read my books. You are the greatest, and I appreciate your support. My writing has transformed from something I dabbled in, to a passion that I cannot live without. I am writing new stories even now, and I have tons of ideas in my notebook. I look forward to sharing many with you as soon as I can. I am a transformed man, embracing change while bringing these stories to life.
Far and away, the most popular of my books are the ‘Her Client’ series, a study on what might happen if you piss off a client at work. The main character in these books does exactly that but doesn’t know she did so. The day was a stressful one, and it’s about to get worse. She leaves work intending on having a quiet evening at home, drinking a glass of wine as she relaxes in her soaking bathtub. From the moment she walks into her home, thoughts of her tub are pushed aside as she has to deal with a home invader intent upon exacting his revenge upon her. The ordeal she suffers is horrific and, frankly, disturbing. These books are not for the faint of heart, as they document the darker side of humanity. The first book is available free on Amazon and your favorite eBook retailer.
I will tell you, I’m surprised by the success of ‘Her Client.’ I had no idea it would take off as it did. In many ways, it’s horror begs the question, how did I ever think this stuff up? My girlfriend is certainly questioning our relationship. Don’t worry. Our relationship is fine.
‘The Breakup’ is a novella in the same genre as ‘Her Client’ and is a natural follow-up for readers of ‘Her Client.’ The main character is in love with her boyfriend and is certain that he is about to propose to her on a special date of dinner and dancing he has planned. She is an affable kind of girl, easy going, and very trusting. Her date does not turn out as expected, as her boyfriend’s definition of dancing usually ends in death. As I wrote earlier, if you liked ‘Her Client,’ you will like ‘The Breakup.’
A new book, titled ‘The Trafficking Consortium,’ about to be published, is in the final stages of review. It too is in the same genre as ‘Her Client’ and ‘The Breakup,’ but is more realistic. I would not call it horrific but you will cringe at what may, and sometimes does, happen to the victims. It’s a full-length novel about what might happen if you came to the attention of an age-old global human trafficking ring simply by going for your annual physical at your doctor’s office.
In this story, the main character is noticed, selected, and kidnapped right off the street. After a harrowing time in an auction house, she is sold off to a foreign buyer who pays an exorbitant amount of money for her. As owned property, she has to figure out how to survive. Survival is not a given. Survival must be earned. She must use every bit of her wit and intelligence to persevere and explore every possibility of escape and return home.
Of all my books, so far, ‘The Trafficking Consortium’ is my favorite. It will leave the reader worrying that what happens in the book, might happen to you or your loved ones. Could this happen to you? Yes, it might very well. After reading this story, you will forever be on guard and watch what happens to your personal information. Look for it. It’s coming soon.
My semi-sci-fi series of books are also favorites of mine. ‘The Taste of Honey’ and ‘Broken Steele’ are a study of humanity, and how they must reinvent society a thousand years in the future. The human race overcomes a tumultuous reign of death and extinction events when scientists and corporations lose control of GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) which decimate the world. A thousand years later, humanity is the only animal species left on the planet. Even plant-life was affected by the scourge of the GMO’s, forcing people to make the impossible choice, at least by today’s standards. To those in the future, it’s not an impossible choice but an everyday fact of life. Softening the blow, they live in a society where there is no war, no coveting for property or territory, no crime, not a single agency, religion, or morality governing their lives. Sex is enjoyed by all adults, with multiple partners, and in every conceivable situation. It is the main stress reliever in a society struggling to survive extinction.
‘The Taste of Honey’ is my first published book and ‘Broken Steele’ is the sequel. A third book, entitled ‘Lucky Bitch’ is in the works and picks up after the end of ‘Broken Steele.’ All things considered, ‘Lucky Bitch’ should be released later this year.
I love the storyline introduced in ‘The Taste of Honey.’ In many ways, I would embrace living in their society, far from the turbulence of today’s life. After all, no one wants for anything, and everyone enjoys all the sex they could ever want. What’s not to like? Oh well, yes, there is that one little thing but what are the odds? Even if you are selected, you know that you will be helping your family, friends, and community with all that you can offer.
Lastly, available only on my website, ‘A Mermaids Irresistible Curiosity’ is a free short story of a very curious mermaid, who rises from the depths to checkout a very handsome fisherman. She is ecstatic when he captures her and brings her on board. Discover what happens next to a willing mermaid, enthralled by the primal urges raging throughout her body. I wrote this short story decades ago. I love the twist that is revealed in the very last paragraph. Download and read it today for free. Unlike my other books, while it does deal in adult topics, this story is suitable for young adult readers sixteen and up.
Other than the exception mentioned above, all my books are suitable for readers eighteen and above. I hope you enjoy reading them just as much as I enjoyed writing them.
As I close this article, I want to once again thank all of you out there that bought and read my books. I will be the first one to admit that they are not for everyone. However, if you have an open mind, and an open heart, you might just find that you like them.
Read my reviews. Many can be found on my author site on Amazon or on my website, RichardVerry.com. You can buy and download all of my books to your Kindle or your favorite eBook reader.
Finally, thank you to all of you out there that sent me a note, kind or not. I welcome all thoughtful, constructive critiques. I try to respond to as many as I can. Without your feedback, I can’t become a better writer.