Author Anthony J. Rapino and Motivational Headcheese – Guest Post

**Zombie Anthony

I’ve only been writing for a couple of years and there are times where I’ve just wanted to say, to hell with this, it’s hard, I can’t think of anything, my writing sucks, blah blah blah. I’ve walked away from many a manuscript because I couldn’t seem to find it within myself to push a little harder to get to the other side of the story. Giving up seemed so much more easier. 

I’ve been lucky, however, to meet some amazing people who don’t buy into the  Maybe It Was Meant To Be bullshit. They’re the ones who will tell you like it is. They’ll beat you over the head with knowledge so simple, you’ll be scratching your head, wondering: Well, hell. Why didn’t I think of that before?

I’m very happy to have Anthony here today to share some of his wisdom.
Enjoy – RT

Motivational Headcheese

By Anthony J. Rapino

 

Writing is work, and don’t let anyone tell you any different.  Passion and love for writing is one thing (and yes, I believe a writer should have both), but when you’re coming up on a deadline, or having trouble working out a plot problem, or promoting a novel, it can really feel like work more than before.

This causes problems for writers because a lot of the time, we’re either working with the future promise (or hope!) of payment, or we’re being paid a pittance.  That’s one of the reasons passion is so important, by the way: because without it, any sane person would say, “Screw this shit.”  And yet, it still can trigger that “so what” moment for a lot of us.  That moment we realize, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t write today, or tomorrow, or all month.  It’s not like I have a boss somewhere that is going to stop payment on a check.  And besides, who the hell is going to notice anyway?

These are dangerous thoughts.  These are the little squirming maggots that can slowly infest your brain, leaving behind a loaf of apathetic headcheese.

That’s what I truly believe writer’s block is.  It’s not the lack of ideas.  It’s the lack of motivation to write the ideas out (because yes, sometimes you have to write ten pages of complete crap to get to that nugget of a fresh idea).  But who has time for writing when you’re working a second and third job?  Who has time for it when you have to make dinner and do yard work?

That’s headcheese talk, and I’ll have none of it!

So what’s to be done when you realize you’re essentially working a part-time job and not getting paid for it?

Give up.

No, seriously.  If I need to explain to you why you should be writing, just give up.  It’ll make more room for writers who know why they write, and don’t complain about the shit pay they get for it.  It’ll make room for the writers who actually celebrate that five dollar check they got in the mail.

So really, stop reading, and screw off.  Do I look like a motivational speaker to you?  Better yet, do you think I’m getting paid for writing this?  If you do, the headcheese has officially taken over primary function of your thought process, and I have no desire to discuss the beauty of creation via the written word with walking lunchmeat.

This is not tough love, it is truth.  It is not a how-to guide, it is a wake-up call.

If you’re still reading this, it either means you’re a serious writer who has an innate passion and love for your work, or you’re a masochist planning to write a comprehensive hate letter to me.  Either way, it’s good you got this far, because if you didn’t, you’d miss this last bit of supreme mind-fuckery.

You should get paid for your writing, but you shouldn’t write for anyone other than yourself.

If those two things seem disparate, you’re right.  It makes little sense, because any sane person would assume if you want to sell something, you should gear it towards the buyer.  I’m not suggesting you don’t do that.  I’m simply suggesting you write for your own enjoyment first and foremost.

If you do this, that five dollar check will seem like a revelation.  Those sickening days of figuring out a perplexing plot hole will transform into a day of satisfying puzzle solving.  You’ll be doing it because you love it, and even if you do hate it some days, that passion will never leave you.

Now get to work.

Anthony J. Rapino’s debut novel: Soundtrack To The End Of The World is available now!

click on link or cover to buy

Synopsis

A suicidal nudist strolls into traffic. An eccentric Buddhist claims he can occupy other people’s bodies. All the while, whispers of a new form of entertainment blow through town.

Prompted by these strange occurrences, Marty Raft, a not-so-gentle giant, investigates and discovers underground clubs peddling music that induces an out-of-body experience. Marty and a wannabe comedian, Corey, set out to prove these special frequencies are nothing more than a hoax, or at worst, a mass-drugging. Instead, they uncover a secret with world-ending possibilities.

If you can hear the music, it’s already too late.

About The Author

Anthony J. Rapino resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, somewhere between the concrete of the city and the trees of the forest.  On occasion, you’ll find him moderating the feverish battles between the creatures of these two arenas.  Whose side he’s on is anyone’s guess.

His newest fiction can be found in Black Ink Horror, On Spec, Arcane Anthology, Electric Spec, A Capella Zoo, Space Squid, TQR Stories, and carved inside a variety of autumn gourds.

His short story collection, Welcome to Moon Hill, is currently available, as is his first novel Soundtrack to the End of the World.  Proof of his psychosis can be found on his website: http://www.anthonyjrapino.com

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Author Yolanda Sfetsos, Urban Fantasy & A Patch of Darkness – Guest Post

Hello Friends, I’m happy to have Yolanda Sfetsos, author extraordinaire, back again. Welcome, Yolanda 🙂

Hi there! Firstly, I’d like to thank Ren.

It’s great to be here. 🙂

So, today I’m going to talk a little bit about urban fantasy. It’s one of my favorite genres to write and read. I have HEAPS of UF books on my TBR pile. I’m addicted to them! And have a lot of UF ideas I want to write, too.

My upcoming release from Samhain Publishing is called A Patch of Darkness, and happens to be the first book in my Sierra Fox series. So, who’s Sierra Fox, and what kind of world does she live in? Well, it’s pretty much a world like ours, but with a few differences. For starters, everyone knows that ghosts are real. They’re mostly spirits who aren’t ready to move on yet, but that’s not always the case. Some stay with their living relatives, others haunt places peacefully, but there are some nasty spooks who like to cause chaos. And some were never human.

That’s where Sierra comes in. She’s a registered Spook Catcher, which means people hire her to investigate and capture these disruptive, pesky ghosts. Once they’re captured, she delivers them to the Spook Catcher Council for sentencing… but of course, that’s just one facet of her world. There are other creatures and dangers hidden in the dark.

Urban fantasy is a genre that allows me to delve into some pretty dark situations. While the story is set in a contemporary world we all recognize, it’s also a mix of fact, fiction, and myth. It throws everything we think we know out of balance. I also shake Sierra’s life a little by introducing several love interests, and a hidden family legacy.

So, that’s why I love this genre! It’s a perfect mix of just about everything. I love the creative freedom an urban fantasy world gives me.

Do you like reading urban fantasy? If you do, what do you especially like about it?

Thanks for reading,

Yolanda

Now, kiddies, check out the excerpt for Yolanda’s new release, A Patch of Darkness (Book #1 of the Sierra Fox Stories) available on May 15th

click on cover to buy

SYNOPSIS:

In a perfect world, Sierra Fox would have stayed away from the Council she left years ago. But in this world—where spirits have the right to walk among the living—it’s her job to round up troublesome spooks and bring them before that very same Council.

 

Though her desk is piled high with open cases, she can’t resist an anonymous summons to a mysterious late-night meeting with a bunch of other hunters, each of whom seems to have a unique specialty. The news is dire: something is tearing at the fabric of the universe. If the hunters can’t find who or why in time, something’s going to give in a very messy way.

 

As current cases, family secrets, new clues and her tangled love life slowly wind themselves into an impossible knot, Sierra finds herself the target of a power-sucking duo intent on stealing her mojo. And realizing she holds the key to the last hope of sealing the widening rift.

EXCERPT:

Chapter One

“Are you daydreaming again?”

I blinked a few times, trying to clear the jumble of thoughts from my mind so I could focus on the man sitting across from me.

How romantic! We were supposed to be enjoying a nice dinner together and I was trying to mentally sort through my to-do list.

Jonathan Wells tries hard to accommodate my unconventional life. Yet, most of the time he’s the one going out of his way, or being stood up because “something important came up” at the last minute. It was hard to balance everything sometimes.

Most of the time I find myself torn between feeling sorry for him and feeling like I don’t deserve him. I’m very interested in him, though. I want us to become more than just a string of dates never tying together. Jonathan makes me laugh. He makes my heart beat faster. He’s an amazing, kind-hearted man with stunning, boyish looks I find myself gazing at all the time.

“I’m sorry. I was just thinking about…” I closed my mouth. That sounded so pathetic. Why was I thinking about anything when he was sitting across from me in a beautiful Italian restaurant? The weight of his leg against mine suddenly distracted me from everything else.

“You usually are,” he said with a sheepish grin.

“I promise, no more daydreaming. Well, unless it’s about you. Oh, and never when you’re just across the table from me.”

Jonathan’s grin widened and the corners of his eyes wrinkled in an adorable way that made my stomach drop.

“It sounds to me like we just made a deal, Ms. Fox.”

I flashed him a quick smile and nodded. “Thanks for bringing me here tonight. I really need a break from everything.”

“Well, maybe it’s time you and I got away from it all by taking off for the weekend.”

“I’d love to, Jonathan, really I would, but you know I can’t just up and leave. I’ve got a ton of unresolved cases.” And even more I haven’t even looked at.

“There’s a haunted lighthouse in it for you, if you agree,” he said, waggling his dark eyebrows. Jonathan sure knew how to tempt me.

I bit down on my bottom lip. “As tempting as that sounds, I can’t leave right now. Maybe in a few months…” I sighed. “I mean, it’s not just me. What about the bookstore? You can’t close up for the weekend, can you?”

Jonathan’s disappointment was obvious. He averted his dark eyes to wind a clump of spaghetti around his fork. “The bookstore could have a month off and no one would notice. Oh, hold on—it did! And as I said, no one noticed.” He shoveled the Bolognese-smothered forkful into his mouth.

I smiled sympathetically. His bookstore, Prologue, was a cramped two-story corner store in the heart of the city. It was hard to compete with the large book chains only blocks away. Still, Jonathan gave his bookstore all he had and specialized in genre-specific novels and occult reference books other places didn’t stock.

That’s actually where we met, while I was on a job in Prologue. Of course, I waited until the job was done before giving in to a date with him. It’s not wise to cross professional and personal wires. I find it’s better to separate the two when possible.

Jonathan had called me because a poltergeist was tearing his books and store apart. I was contracted to find him, her, or even them—sometimes they like to team up, it’s very adolescent but not out of the question.

Chaotic ghostly behavior is unacceptable in society. It’s my job to locate and deliver them to stand trial. Break the rules and they’re forcibly isolated from society, and that’s if they have a lenient judge. Most times, something this severe could land the spook a one-way ticket to the ghostly patch forever, never able to return again after banishment.

I’ve been responsible for a few of those cases.

Read the rest of the excerpt here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer. Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast. Movie & music fan. Slave to her muse.

Yolanda lives in Sydney, Australia with her awesome husband, lovely daughter, and cheeky cat.

Where to find Yolanda

Website

Twitter

Goodreads