My thoughts about books, writing, the publishing industry and other outside topics usually horror related. This blog is connected to Goodreads and Amazon. If you would like to express your own opinion on one of these articles I have written please feel free to comment as I encourage feedback.
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|Posted on July 3, 2017 at 3:15 PM||comments (0)|
Harry Potter, Sebastian Grey, Katniss Everdeen, Holden Caufield. We know them well as they are some of literatures most popular characters. Their names resonate with us the minute we hear them. We know immediate what book they are in and even if we haven’t read a single book their in we likely know a little bit of who they are. Why is this? Well aside from the obvious of some names being the associated with the title of the book, names are everything when it comes to characters. In order for a novel to stand out it needs a strong main character who will take on a challenge or adventure or connect and seem real to a reader. One way this can be done is by giving that character a name, a name that will not only represent what that character stands for but will stand out among the rest. How important is it to give your character a fitting name? It’s necessary and essential to your stories very existence. Sure you can name your characters John Smith, Emily Jones or James King but your not giving them identity, your not giving them a name that will stand out among the top names listed in the beginning. A character name needs to stand out, when you read it you immediately know who they are or when you see their name it gives you a sense of intrigue and makes you want to read and know more about them. How important is the naming of a character? More important then you would think.
Harry Potter. If you really think about it the name seems rather generic if you take out the fame that now comes with it. Before Harry potter was written the name could have easily gone unnoticed as seen as a common one. However now anytime we see the name Harry Potter we immediately associate it with the book series of a boy wizard. So while this shows that it is possible to take a generic name and turn it into a popular one it’s still better to give your character a unique name that stands out above the rest so people can easily know what they are from. The other names listed above are all unique and catch your eye. While Harry Potter and Sebastian Gray are names a real person could have how many people have you met that have the names of Katniss Everdeen or Holden Caufield? Probably none and if you have they are likely named after the characters. Many writers would not think to give any deep thought when it comes to naming a character. They think that the setting, plot and character details are important and a name is just a name. Yes perhaps that’s true but you need to give that setting, plot and character detail substance and that starts with what you think is the easiest thing of all..naming your character. A writer can pick a common name and still make that character stand out but if a writer really wants to get people to read their book or even just be original they need to think deep about what name they want to represent their book and their character.
A little bit of research is necessary in the naming of a character as well. If you book is set in China and your character is from there then naturally your going to give your character a Chinese name. If your character is from another country then you want to give them a name that originates from that country. If you really want to get into detailing and representing what your character is about you could even look up the meaning of a name and give the character that name so they live by the very name they were given. Origin, originality and a strong powerful visual of the name can really make your character seem very real. How can you come up with a great sounding name for your character? Look up names alphabetically, look up baby names, look up names from a certain country, ask people, watch movies. You can get names from so many sources its about choosing the right one that may be a difficult task but when you find the right one you’ll know. So remember the next time you need to decide and come up with a name for a character to sit down and give it some thought. Don’t use John Smith, Joe Schmo or Jane Doe, be original, be unique and give your character a name that not only represents your book but you can be proud to say you came up with your made your own.
|Posted on June 12, 2017 at 3:40 PM||comments (0)|
Videos. We all watch them and we all enjoy them. Whether it’s for entertainment value or to gain information and knowledge. Many make videos in order to demonstrate a feat or to teach others their knowledge on a topic. For authors this is no different but are videos a good marketing tool for them? I’ve come across several articles and heard from many people that as an author you should be making videos. Whether it’s a small video or a long one you should be getting out there and recording video of yourself or something in order to gain a following and provide entertainment and info for people to let them become interested in you and your work. You know those articles and people I mentioned? Yes they’re in the book marketing industry meaning they mainly want to help and they write non-fiction. So it’s easy for them to make videos as they have plenty to provide but if you’re a fiction author is making a series of videos a good tool? Don’t get me wrong I’ve seen lists of things fiction authors can do to provide valuable content to their videos in order to gain followers and reach their audience but the big question here is, is it a practical tool for a fiction author to do?
Video marketing is no doubt huge right now. Some of us have the attention span of fish and it’s why they say we need to get in on the video trend now. We need to be able to entertain or educate when doing videos or otherwise we risk the viewer tuning out and looking into something else. A video shows people that you are for one real and seeing you let’s them know whose behind the content and why they should care. A video in the sense of marketing for an author is to let people know you value and care about what you do and you wish to get your point across and what better way then to showcase yourself or your words or a slideshow? I personally feel as though it’s easier for non-fiction authors to provide solid video content because they are likely being shown talking about and teaching information that people can use and apply to help them. Fiction authors on the other hand have to be more creative and really think about what they want to put in their videos. As you may be able to tell from this I don’t do video outside of book trailers. Should I? I want to know what I could record video doing and I want to know if it would be worth it. Seeing as it’s the thing to do right now I say it’s worth taking a shot but from an overall standpoint I ask whether it’s truly worth doing and if it’s for everyone.
So are videos a good marketing tool? While I am asking I am leaning toward yes but also that they aren’t for everyone. I say they should be made by both non-fiction and fiction writers but again they aren’t for everyone but should at least be tested to see if they work for that individual. A video should be like a book in the sense of what I stated earlier, it needs to either entertain or educate or both. Remember Vine? Vine lives on in memory and in irony in the sense that you took quick videos and now it’s as gone as quick as it’s purpose. Vine may have been small quick videos but the idea behind it was simple, if you can get people’s attention in a short amount of time then your doing something right. Is video right for you? I have been asking myself this for some time and the more I hear I should be doing it the more I feel I should at least give it a shot. The plan of action should be to at least try it if you aren’t doing it already and have a goal and idea in mind before hand. Is video a good marketing tool? All signs point to yes but I say the verdict is still out as to whether or not it’s a proven asset for everyone.
|Posted on June 12, 2017 at 3:35 PM||comments (0)|
My Writing Influences/Inspirations
One question I get as a writer is who are your writing influences? Who inspires you? I’m sure you get asked the same thing. The response should come out of you as quick as it was asked because let’s be honest here, we’ve had plenty of time to think of this question. These are people who are the reason to why we write, what got us started on this path and made such an impact on us that we thought, you know what? I want to become a writer and author. So who are my writing inspirations? Well as you know I am both a writer and poet so I have quite a mixed bunch of writers but here are some of my influences and inspirations.
Edgar Allan Poe-
This should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. Whether you’ve read my Macabre Masterpiece books or just read a horror story by me you can clearly see the evidence of Poe. Like most people I read The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart and many more of Poe’s work in school the only difference is I kept reading long after I got out of school. I already liked horror and I felt Poe’s words were creepy and morbid yet chilling, true and captivating and it’s this very thing to which has inspired two books and my love for horror. Aside from writing two books of horror poetry I have also written stories with an essence similar to Poe’s and I’ve even paid homage to him in a blog post. In many ways Poe is a great part of my writing life and like many of us who enjoy him I’m sure it will continue on for as long as I write.
This one may be a surprise. Rod Serling is mostly known for “The Twilight Zone” and “Night Gallery”. What people may not know is that he wrote many stories to which became episodes for the shows. I absolutely love The Twilight Zone so naturally Rod Serling’s adaptations and writings really resonate with me. While I mainly just watch The Twilight Zone I have read one of his books and found the tales to be just as odd as an episode of TZ. If you’ve read any of my work you tend to get a sense of weird plots, twist endings or things that just aren’t normal. Well this is because of my admiration for Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone. The man was ahead of his time and I’m just one of many people he’s influenced but nevertheless I am grateful that someone like him has such a creative mind because it’s helped in the creation of mine.
Seriously Justin? Yes, seriously. Most people find Shakespeare boring or confusing and I would totally agree with you..but that also didn’t stop me from enjoying his work and being inspired by him. One reason I consider Shakespeare an influence and inspiration is because of the fact that he pretty much created his own language and his simplicity to truly make a drama a drama as well as his way to write a poem. The way he wrote and how he wrote are confusing but the fact that there’s meanings hidden behind his words is what gets me. I like being able to write something and the person has to read it a few times to understand, I like doing that and it’s because of Shakespeare. I find his sonnet’s brilliant and some of his plays tolerable especially Macbeth so yes Shakespeare is an inspiration of mine.
You may not recognize his name but you’ve probably seen some of his work. Get Shorty, Jackie Brown, Out of Sight, Hombre, 3:10 to Yuma, The Big Bounce, etc. He also wrote the tv series Justified on FX. I started reading Leonard after I began watching Justified. After I read one of his books I was hooked. I enjoy the way he tells a story whether it’s crime or a western. He really creates a visual of the scene in a book and the characters are likable and that really spoke to me. After reading a few of his works and watching a few movies I was inspired by him. I tend to keep reading more of his books to become more inspired by him.
Frost is an inspiration because of the beautiful way to which he wrote poetry. Also I find “The Road Not Taken” to be a great metaphor for life that I find myself using frequently in my own life choices. I haven’t quite read as much Frost but I’ve read enough to be inspired and influenced by him.
I’m not sure if this is surprising or an of course you are because every poet is somehow inspired by her. I am inspired by Emily Dickinson for the somber way in which she told a poem. Her sadness spoke volumes and sometimes when I’m sad I find myself channeling my inner Emily trying to find the words to express how I feel.
This one probably surprises people. Hughes has a few poems that are quite short but the meaning and feeling behind them are so strong and powerful that one can’t help but feel inspired. I like Hughes for his realness, his ability to capture your attention in such quick simplicity. He is an underrated inspiration of mine.
Like most kids during the 90's I grew up reading Goosebump books. I didn’t read much but when I did I collected and read the Goosebumps series. Stine wrote for children and teens so I feel when it comes to dimmed down horror I take my inspirations from him. Also some of his ideas are pretty creative.
|Posted on June 5, 2017 at 5:35 PM||comments (0)|
One thing I have been hearing since I first became an author was how you should “Build an E-mail list” or “Build an Author Platform”. At first I didn’t really understand it and then after I found out more about it I felt it didn’t apply to me or that I couldn’t do it. For a while I kept coming across the idea and seeing others talk about it and insist it’s importance while I continued to brush it off. Recently I have found out even more about building an e-mail list such as how it works, what a person needs and how they can build and gain followers. There are several things I have come to realize that all authors need in order to build an e-mail list. I’m sure everyone knows of these or at least has a general idea of them but I would still like to go over them as I would like to share my findings and thoughts about them.
I realized is that building an e-mail list requires you to use an exterior mass e-mail site or app such as MailChimp. Call me crazy but I was always under the assumption that you could use your regular e-mail and that made me think it was time consuming and even an out of date practice. I guess we all have silly thoughts when we don’t know the first thing about something and don’t do our research. I have come to realize now that sites like MailChimp help with the e-mail list process and allow a person to message their followers and subscribers all at once. I decided to go with MailChimp because it’s the one site I’ve heard about most often and most recent so bare with me if you use another similar site. I have started using it for a second time(first time I was not ready and didn’t have anything planned out) and it’s been a bit of a stressful headache. It took me a while to get used to but I was able to create a profile and upload some members from my website along with others who have given me their e-mail because they requested I add them when I get a list started.
A landing page. For the longest time I didn’t know what a landing page was. Sure I had seen them countless times on websites but never gave a thought as to what they were, how they worked or that they had their own name. A Landing page is a page on your site or a page that pops up when you click a link. It’s purpose is to get people to join your e-mail list and of course you should give something in exchange for their e-mail such as a free book or access to something. When I typed in “What is a landing page?” It gave me a page that lists sites that allow you to create one, I went with the first one, Instapage. I had no problem making a landing page after I figured out how everything worked of course. My issues were well. hopefully questions everyone else has had. Where do I put my landing page? How do I set it up to connect people to my e-mail list? Where and how do I promote a landing page? Luckily MailChimp allowed me to sync my list and account to Instapage so anytime someone becomes a follower it adds them. I still have a bit of learning to do but I sent out my first mass e-mail to my followers and so far so good.
Another thing I have realized is that while building an e-mail list sounds intimidating, seems challenging and time consuming you have to at least try to build one because you need people who enjoy what you have to say, what your write and the work you put out. It’s hard enough putting out a work to everyone and then trying to promote and market it. A list of followers that you can e-mail allows you to have just that, a following. If these people are into your work then they are the first people you tell, they are the ones who will be interested and maybe even help spread the word about you and your work and build your list. I recently watched a webinar where this author went from having no sales and no followers to over 30,000 followers and an annual income so high that he was able to quit his day job. Now I’m not saying that this will happen for everyone but it should at least serve as a goal, as something to look at and make you realize that building an e-mail list not only works but isn’t all that bad if you really try and apply yourself. So why am I sharing all this with you? Because I want you to know that I’m trying it out, I am finally going to try and build an e-mail list, author platform or whatever you’d like to call it. I’m ready to try to expand my reach and hopefully gain a solid following and one thing I would love to hear is your thoughts and your experiences on the matter. God knows I’ve seen enough people talk about it already but now my eyes are wide open and I’m ready to try this out and I’d love to hear how building an e-mail list has worked for you or maybe how it hasn’t whatever your thoughts and experiences are I’d like to hear them.
So it’s been two years since I wrote this post so I thought I’d give an update on how it’s gone for me. Started off I only had about 20 subscribers and I didn’t really interact with them. A while back I gained over 400 new subscribers as part of an event I took part in on Facebook. It’s a bit unconventional but at the same time is totally legit. Those who were not interested quietly and quickly unsubscribed and I ended up with around 417. I set up my five e-mails to which all new subscribers receive upon signing up. They got them within a few days and over a week. I even sent them my first book free as well as create a book just for any new subscriber. My results? Well here’s the downside to my new subscribers. Since gaining them I have seen no new reviews on my book and have not had anyone write me back their thoughts on questions I’ve asked them. I have seen a spike in members for a group they can join but it’s been quiet for the most part. However, I also realize that I need to keep up my list and keep writing them to let them be a part of something and give them value. If you don’t interact with them and keep them updated you’ll never see the results you want.
Finally, for those who have a mailing list exactly how many e-mails/newsletters should you send out? You don’t want to come off as a spammer and if your not always busy some e-mails may be forced. You want to set up a series of e-mails your subscribers will automatically receive upon signing up. You can spread them out to when they will send, every couple days or a week are usually recommended. After that It’s good to touch base with them upon your choosing. I would suggest once or twice a month so they are updated but your also not bombarding them with e-mails. Since I wrote this e-mail I have since started using Mailerlite, a site that allows free e-mail automation unlike Mailchimp to which you have to pay. Below are my e-mail lists, one for my crime thriller fans and the other for my horror and horror poetry fans.
|Posted on March 13, 2017 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
Are you on Pinterest? If not and you don't know what it is, Pinterest is a social media site that allows you to create "boards" of pretty much anything that interests you. You find pictures on the site called "pins" and you pin these images to boards of that particular topic. You can also upload outside images to the site and put them in boards. As a writer I find Pinterest very useful as it gives people a way to see what interests me, gives me a way to put images related to my books and it helps me with promoting and marketing. With that being said, here are five reasons you should be on Pinterest.
5. Everyone Else is Doing It-
Okay so normally when you hear everyone else is doing it, it usually means you shouldn’t but in this case you should. Your most likely using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so Pinterest should be the next place for you to be on for social media. It’s similar to Instagram but the setup is a bit different in terms of pins and also how you reach people also differs. The best part of Pinterest is you’ll have fun putting together boards of things your interested in and what your audience is interested in which is..why you should be on there because everyone is doing it and some of that “everyone” could be your potential audience.
4. Fun and Necessary-
Most social media is designed so we can reach people and we have fun doing it. Whether it’s for business reasons, connecting with friends or even airing out our dirty laundry(drama) we have fun doing it. The thing I find unique about Pinterest is not only do I feel I need to be on there putting out valuable content but I have fun relating that content out. This is the case with any social media site or site in general, you want to put out that quality content but if you don’t have a bit of fun doing it then are you really making the most of your opportunity? Pinterest’s setup, boards and connecting with people are all devised in such a way that it makes for a unique experience that you will find is both necessary, fun and most of all it works.
As stated in #5 your likely already on the most used social media sites so why not change it up or expand your reach? Sure all sites aren’t for everyone but you should at least take a chance on Pinterest. You will find you can like so many things that others also like and you can target people and reach your potential audience all because you decided to expand your social media and try a new site.
2. Other Sites Aren’t Cutting It-
If your like me certain sites work for you while others just simply aren’t. This is similar to diversity but in this case your trying Pinterest because other sites just aren’t your style, pace and you can’t get into a rhythm on there. So if other sites aren’t helping you out then give this one a try. Maybe it’s for you maybe it’s not but at least take the time to try it out and see how it goes. Also it’s important to remember you can never be on too many social media sites but if some aren’t working for you perhaps it’s time to swap out some in place of new ones.
1.You Can Reach Your Audience-
This sounds familiar does it? Well it should seeing as I’ve mentioned it in the other four. One thing about Pinterest is you can create a board for pretty much anything. As a writer you can create boards for promoting and marketing, your genre, quotes, other authors, characters, etc. You’ll find that not only do people share some of these interests but some are readers or people looking for new material to check out, enter: you! Chances are people will like your boards and if they are really interested they may check out your blogs, your site and even your work. It all depends on which stuff you post and share. Not only will you make a connection and get shares but you’ll likely in some way reach your audience and after all that’s what you want more than anything.
Feel free to check out my Pinterest board @ http://www.pinterest.com/JustinBienvenue and feel free to follow me if anyone of my boards interests you.
|Posted on January 30, 2017 at 3:25 PM||comments (0)|
This shouldn’t come as any surprise to you. If you’re like me then you genuinely thought the same thing, most celebrities don’t write their own books. This bothers me and it’s for a few certain reasons to which I will explain. Before I explain why let’s get to the big question, why don’t celebrities write their own works? Well the sad part is many will claim they do to which when journalists dig deeper and find out the celeb didn’t write their own book the individual gets all defensive or will insist they did. So why don’t most of them write their own books? They’re celebrities, that would mean they actually have to work, to sit down ad do something. They live busy lives so when they aren’t busy and want to stay in the public eye they will come up with the idea of writing a book, only they don’t write it, they have ghost writer’s, publicists or an actual writer to do it for them. Here are reasons why I find it personally insulting that celebrities come out with books and then claim they wrote them and why you should to.
1. Best-Seller? They Didn’t Write It!- One thing any author will tell you whether they’re traditional or self-published is to become a best-selling author. It’s hard enough for any author to compete against famous authors who are sure in best-sellers like Stephen King, J.K Rowling, Stephanie Meyer or E.L James so imagine how an author must feel when they find out a celebrity has a book out and it’s a best-seller and that celebrity most likely didn’t write it? Celebrities such as Snooki, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber and Nicole Richie just to name a few have all come out with books which have within a week have become best sellers. What’s the problem? I’m positive they didn’t write their own books. It’s upsetting to know that us authors struggle to promote and market a book and all a celebrity needs to do is say they wrote one and they get all the publicity and sales in the world for it despite not really doing anything then talk to the person that wrote it. As an author it’s a painful thing all to real these days.
2. Book Signings Turnout Through the Roof- Naturally any time a celebrity makes an appearance somewhere the turn out is huge, in the thousands or even the millions. This means that they have tons of people coming out to have their book signed just so they can meet the celebrity which means it really isn’t about the book at all. Sure, some dedicated fans will read the book but I feel it’s mainly all a ploy for the celebrity to make an appearance just so they can benefit and stay in the spotlight. As authors, many of us struggle to market out books offline unless of course we one, know people and have good connections or two, we are famous.
3. B,C,D-List Celebs Making Profits- I don’t typically go around marking which celebrities are top list stars but let’s be honest we kind of have an idea of where certain people fall. So what can be worse than being buried on getting to the best sellers list then famous authors and celebrity A-listers? Knowing celebrities that are barely even known are getting to the top-sellers list. Yes obviously they have more connections than you do but they are also barely as known as you are or just simply in the spotlight for being in the spotlight. They don’t really do anything. So yes they could write their own books but they most likely don’t and it’s all the more reason you should be offended as an author.
4. They Don’t Need The Royalties- If they truly wrote the book and they really cared, they would donate all proceeds of their royalties to charities but let’s be serious and realistic about this. How many of the celebrities that I listed above and the ones you like do you think donate their royalties? Probably not many. Call me crude for making such an assumption but I’m going to say I think it’s accurate. Yes as authors we are in it for the enjoyment because we love to write, because we want readers to enjoy our work but for some of us we rely on those royalties so imagine a celebrity making a ton off a crappy book their connection wrote for them that ends up a best seller and they make a ton off it they don’t even need. The older celebrities that write memoirs and auto-biographies will very likely donate their royalties away because they’ve accumulated enough over the years not to carebut for the rest? Greed, greed, greed.
5. 15 Minutes of Fame- A celebrity makes one film or stars in one show or does one momentous thing. They then decide to capitalize on this by writing a book. This book of course becomes a best-seller because that person is hot right now coming off appearances. This is what we know as 15 minutes of fame. We all sometimes want it but for the book industry? No. We as authors bust our butts and make a living doing what we love. We love to write and we make this our careers so how would you feel if a celebrity decided to go off on a whim and write a book just because they are “trending” right now? Exactly, they are hardly doing anything to market or promote themselves and yet you’ve been doing this a while and you’re lucky you can get any recognition. Maybe try to do something that gives you 15 minutes of fame?
You can read more on this topic from this article here
|Posted on January 23, 2017 at 4:45 PM||comments (0)|
Weird West, what is it? According to a definition it’s a literary subgenre of Westerns combined with another, usually horror, science fiction or fantasy. The weird west genre is distinct because it is known for blending not only a typical western with outside elements but also combines fictitious settings and characters with real ones. Meaning you could see a made up character interacting with a notorious western outlaw like Jesse James or riding the western front with Teddy Roosevelt. Despite it’s “weird” term it is to be taken with a grain of salt and a person who wishes to write it should remember to not stir away from the “western” aspects of it because after all westerns in themselves are certainly unique. The western genre really doesn’t need any added tropes or coating so to speak and in many ways seems stern to itself like a firm law book in the crime genre. However the intrigue and fact that someone came along and did change the western genre and did add a fun and strange yet captivating and unique twist makes it all the more powerful and interesting. The genre was first introduced in the 1970's and while it’s hard to imagine it being smaller and virtually lesser known than it already is today it does in fact trace all the way back to the 70's. It became popular during the 1990's by author Joe. R Lansdale who usually combines the original western with a violent and graphic type of horror.
One question one might ask is what goes into making it “weird”? Well aside from the settings and characters there’s a few things that make this so. For one it usually involves a typical Western plot created into a unique one whether it’s a sci-fi element or fantasy one. Also technology is a big factor as weapons are usually modified to a fictional aspect but defined and told in a manner which seems plausible. When you take a strange place a western would not normally take place, add cohesive characters with real life historical figures and give them or have them use modern or created technology you make a weird western. Let this not be all you take from it, there is so much more that a weird west is besides oddities there’s still the gritty feel and aspects that make it a western and this cannot be ignored. A weird western is still a western and I feel many forget that and some just assume it’s crap because they are ruining what makes a western great, not true. You can still have a true to itself western and have the added features that add the weirdness it’s just the author has to be able to create the balance of both. It’s just like any two genres that come together or weird tag that gets added onto a genre, you can still stay true to the core and have a little fun in the process.
One thing that has perhaps given the genre it’s niche of people is the tv shows and movies of it that have been released over the last decade. This like many genres has helped it resonate and find it’s fan base. It could be argued all day long whether or not people read as much as they used to or even read westerns as much as they used to but one thing can be certain is that the weird west has helped bring a lot of younger readers to the western genre. Some tend to ride the line and border of what classifies as a “weird western” meaning despite not having to do with a straight up western the plot and idea is still that of one. This doesn’t seem like a weird western but rather a show or book of another genre. One genre that has evolved from this and people tend to confuse or blend with the weird west is “Steampunk”. In some ways steampunk can be weird west at times but over the last few years it’s taken on it’s own things that make it so. Hollywood has definitely helped in making these genres more profound and acclaimed and while the genre is still relatively unknown there is a group and fan base for it as well as writers and the more exposure it gets then the more the genre will grow. What makes any genre popular is the readers, they cannot be forgotten or be given less credit. A genre can have a ton of writers of it but without readers it’s merely a catchy hobby writers wish to take on together. The readers are what get the writers to write more and give the genre exposure and it seems very evident that this of all genres would be the very definition of this statement.
As a writer of the genre I admit it’s a challenge. Not to write but to write knowing the fan base isn’t out in the open like most but deep within the confines of what classifies as sub-genres. When I read my first weird western I was intrigued and it wasn’t until I wrote my own, A Bloody Bloody Mess in the Wild Wild West that I gained a new found appreciation and understanding of what the genre is and how it could potentially work if enough people tuned into it. What I did however was stick to the basics of what people love about westerns and what Joe R. Lansdale did, write a western and then coat it with weird features. I stuck to what makes a Western a western and only when I did that did I feel it was okay to add the weird elements to it. When you write in such a genre it’s necessary to tackle the main genre first so this way you stay on point and on course. Also like Lansdale I felt the Western horror was the best way to go, for me more so because I feel as though horror is at an all time high right now. So I took a lesser appreciated genre and combined it with one of the most popular and that makes for what? A Weird Western, a genre not really known but appreciated and growing more and more everyday.
|Posted on January 16, 2017 at 4:30 PM||comments (0)|
Horror poetry? Horror and Poetry? That's quite a combo! This is what I hear when I tell people I write horror poetry. While never turned off by the idea most ponder the two words tgether for a moment before saying one of the three things above which is usually followed by that's interesting. I don't blame them for their surprised reactions I mean who writes horor poetry anymore? Aside from myself I've only come across a few others who are writers of the unique genre. Is horror poetry a thing? I say yes and not because I write it but because like any small niche genre, there's writers of it and an audience for it. I personally became a writer of horror poetry after reading and becoming inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, the legend of horror poetry himself. In many ways I think we are all inspired by Poe when it comes to horror. His way with words so dark and morbid can really resonate with people. I will explain my enjoyment of writing in this genre and what I think of it by responding to quotes from Edgar Allan Poe.
“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence.”
Agreed Edgar, it is not yet settled. One must think of us as mad or at least a bit off in the brain to have such enjoyment by combining a genre that is meant to terrify with one that is usually written with real emotion and calm simple feelings. But is horror not what brings out peoples feelings? Feelings of raw emotion such as fear, worry and sadness? I think it is a lofty intelligence and one that only someone who enjoys horror can really explain or understand.
“When I was young and filled with folly, I fell in love with melancholy”
If by melancholy you mean the simple measure and average writing technique that is poetry then I too fell in love with it. I too from a young age fell for things of average meaning and while poetry is not average I believe people think it is so hence the reason it's a melancholy thought.
“A mystery, and a dream, should my early life seem.”
I hear ya there Mr. Poe. I feel at times that my life has been a mystery and at times a dream, but aren't all of our lives like this in a way? We know not what the future holds nor the upcoming present and yet with all that there's still the mystery of life, a dream of an unbelivable notion that some of the things life throws at us we think of it as not reality. By all these things we cherish life, we cherish mystery and we make the most of our slumbering or unslumbering dreams.
"I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty."
Oh preach it Edgar, preach the good word! Poetry is beautiful, rhythmic, stylish and tells a story through feeling. Poetry is a way of life, a beautiful sunrise, a luminating moonlight, a snowflake falling to the ground, a person, a place, anything you can take around you. This in part is why we are able to take horror and mix it with poetry to create beautiful poems(although some may disagree otherwise).
"Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality."
I see this in two ways. One just as it's written and to be taken and the other as there is no barrier or rule that says horror cannot be poetry or poetry can not be horror. In the deep regions of horror poetry is read and in the deep inner meaning of words written as poetry there is horror. For poetry is like anything else, when it is broken down, horror can be taken from it. It is this taking away that some such as you and I Edgar embrace. For we take the horror and coat our poetry with it, we make the horror the focus, the word, the reality. I think that Edgar is what horror poetry is all about.
If you wish to experience horror poetry then go grab yourself a Edgar Allan Poe book or grab one of my Macabre Masterpiece books.
|Posted on January 16, 2017 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
As an author one thing I rely on is social media. Like many I have my good share of social media accounts but the one I honor and like the most is Twitter. Why? Well for one I've just gotten so accustomed to using it and two it really has a great layout and helps me get what I wish to say and share out to people. So if you're like me then chances are your on Twitter. However, not everyone is doing what they should be on there and they aren't taking advantage of the simplest things that can make their experience so much better, Here are five things you should be doing on twitter to better yourself.
1.Comment Back, RT, and Like Posts-
One thing you should absolutely be doing is commenting back when someone tweets out to you, it's just the nice thing to do. It helps build rapport with people and it shows that you care about your followers and can take a little time to anwser them back. You should also be ReTweeting content of (RT) for short. Whether it's someones pinned post or something someone said that really spoke to you, if it did then retweet it! It's that simple. Studies show the best time to retweet something is at night so while it's not best to tweet during certain times after 5 one thing you can still do is go over your feed and Retweet what you like. Again this shows that you care about what your followers are saying. Then of course there's liking posts. Just like facebook only when you like it, it saves it to your likes list so you can go back and look it over. I myself like things that I plan on going over and can use later on. Liking posts just like the other two shows that you care and value people's content just like you'd want them to value yours.
2. Participate in Chats-
One thing I've recently started doing is taking part in Twitter chats. Chats are a way to become a part of a group that discusses topics that you may care about. For instance since I write I want writing, marketing and promoting tips so I take part in #BookMarketingChat, #TwitterSmarter, which is a way to use twitter to better your marketing and #BufferChat. Taking part in chats can help you and help others so you can all learn off each other and build. What you can do is go to TwitterChat.com and find a chat you may like to be part of or in the likely case your following someone who takes part in some. Chats are a great way to pick up some tips and advice as well as share what you may know on the particular topic. Join in, get a feel of what it's about and take part. It's a great way to meet new people, it's fun anf you learn stuff as well, now how about that?
3. Make Lists-
Another thing I've recently gotten into the habit of doing is making the most of lists. Lists are a way for you to seperate certain followers whose content you value or want in a certain place so you can easily access it. It's good to make your own lists for example I have lists for my Best Followers(people with the blue check marks), Best Twitter Tools as well as people a part of Buffer which I use frequently. Keep the lists small between 5-12 people so you can easily manage it and not lose peoples posts. It's a great way to organize certain followers pretty much. People will add you to lists, I'd recommend ignoring these. A lot of times people will like something you posted and add you to a list like "Awesome user" ignore these, it's for their benefit and there's usually hundreds of people on the list and you'll just follow people whose content isn't relevant to you.
4. Go Through Your Followers
It's always good to clean. When it comes to Twitter this is no different. You may notice your followers number goes down, if your smart you won't care, it's not worth getting upset over it happens. What you can do is go through your own list and see who you no longer wish to or need to follow. What I do is unfollow anyone who isn't following me or if they aren't I try to remember why I'm following them. If they aren't doing either I unfollow them. It's always good to follow someone who follows you but obviously if they don't interest you you don't have to follow back. So go over your followers and filter out what you can, you'll follow new people don't worry. Finally, if they don't have a picture and they have that dumb Twitter egg, unfollow them immediately, just don't follow them, there's no need. You can use a Twitter site/app if you really want help unfollowing people but personally I do it myself as it helps me better manage and I know more about who I follow then the computer may suggest.
5. Manage Your Tweeting Wisely-
The last one is the easiest. Manage what you tweet out and what you want to say. If you want to say something about marketing and know a good time where people will see it then schedule to post it at that particular time. Make the most of your 140 characters. We all have times where we have lots to say but there's not enough room to say it all, that's happens. Condense what you have to say and make it work. If you want to reach people then throw in two fitting hashtags so more people will see, but don't use more than two, the more you hashtag the less it'll be seen. If your like me you tend to tweet about your main topic mine being writing, promoting, marketing, books, etc. However you can also be personal and be yourself every once in a while too. The idea is you want to manage your time on Twitter wisely and accordingly. The better you manage, the better results and the better results te better you'll feel.
If you liked my 5 simple tips and want to get a better idea of these practices then feel free to follow me @JustinBienvenue
|Posted on November 22, 2016 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
Do Vampires Exist?
Now I could look up the documents and evidence to support if vampires exist but I thought it’d be a lot simpler if I give you my personal opinion on whether they do or don’t but both with an analysis from interesting standpoints.
Reason vampires don’t exist: The idea that there’s beings in this world that suck the blood from others to stay alive seems a bit farfetched and out there. When I say beings I of course mean man and not any creatures we already have exsisting today that do this such as bats, mosquitoes and leaches. The principle of immortality seems unobtainable and nonexistent. Finally, if such beings existed wouldn’t they try to take over by wiping out the human race?
Reasons they could exist: A human being who takes on the characteristics of a vampire to an extreme level can technically by some standard be considered a vampire. Of course there is likely a lapse in reality and mental capacity replaced by a psychotic trait which makes them want to go through such extremes to be a vampire but again there are people like this out there and that’s one way it can be said that vampires exist.
The second reason is one we are all familiar with, it’s called evolution and extinction. Now hear me out. We evolved over the centuries into human beings. Dinosaurs and animals have become extinct. Would it be so hard to believe that vampires may have existed at one point in time? Perhaps they were an early level of man that evolution charts don’t show or they existed centuries ago along with humans and just slowly became extinct for whatever reason. Do I believe this? No but I came up with it as a way to explain that it could certainly have been possible.
Does Frankenstein’s Monster Exist?
Reasons it doesn’t exist: Fiction is a funny thing isn’t it? It’s also creative which means it allows us to create wonders that otherwise can never happen, case and point the monster. There is no rational idea or possibility that any man whether he’s the most brilliant scientist or doctor in the world can create a person out of body parts from dead people. It’s gross and I’m sure some maniacs have tried it but obviously it’s just not physically or genetically possible. Someone said there is countless medical and scientific discoveries being made that could make this possible which again I get but I'm talking about a monster being created as Dr. Frankenstein created it. Yes Dr. Frankenstien is a doctor and what he does is scientific but the horror aspect and the fact he uses dead body parts is what I'm referring to. This premise is why I believe a monster of such sorts cannot be created.
Reasons it could exist: I’ve pretty much just said there’s no way it could humanly be possible however there is only one way to which Frankenstein’s monster could exist...if it were a robot. It is possible for a person to make a human like robot/android that looks like and functions just as the monster does but then you’d have to ask yourself is it the same thing? Irrelevant in my opinion and yes considering it’s the only logical possibility. Again the medical presmie comes into mind but I would lean more toward a person already being alive and having several parts of their body replaced by parts of another but does that make them a monster or fixed up person?
One reason I decided to take a closer look in comparison on vampires and the monster is because in my first book The Macabre Masterpiece I have a chapter called Creatures which has poems that talk about these two beings. While my take on Frankenstein's monster is pretty much what we already know from the books and movies just shorter and in poem form my take on vampires is a bit different. The reason for this article on whether or not vampires are real is based on my poems and how we as a society percieve vampires lately. My poems deal with how vampires are somber, sad and question their existance. The poems also deal with how we as a society have forgotten who they are and what they are capable. We think they are romantic, mysterious and all sparkly and cute when they are the furthest thing from it.
|Posted on November 9, 2016 at 4:10 PM||comments (0)|
Do Werewolves Exist?
Reasons Werewolves don’t exist: Contrary to the belif that Native Americans have that a man can change into an animal, people cannot turn into animals, it’s just not humanly possible. Therefore there’s no way possible for a man to turn into a rabid wolf and start going around killing people. Also the moon has no effect on how people act despite what some may say.
Reasons they could exist: Like a suggested in the vampires part again we go back to the evolution chart. In a way early pre-humans were more animal like so in a way a werewolf was more possible. Also there could be a genetic effect in man to which he grow a tremendous amount of hair, so much that he looks like a werewolf. Yes this seems ridiculous but again these are just two theories as to how werewolves could exist.
Do Zombies Exist?
Reasons Zombies exist: Well first off Zombies do exist just not in the way we think they do. Zombies are real and it’s a practice in Africa and of voodoo in which a person is controlled and sometimes even buried to believe they are dead. For a more thorough and better analysis check out a piece called Voodoo Zombies vs Flesh eating Zombies on https://monstersofmidian.wordpress.com/2016/10/15/31-days-of-halloween-day-13-voodoo-zombies-vs-flesh-eating-zombies/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Monsters of Midian’s website. She gives a great breakdown of the difference and how real one is from the other.
Reasons Zombies don’t exist: If you read the link I sent you then you’ll know why and what kind of zombies exist. So the bigger question is do the zombies we perceive in movies and television exist? Yes and no. The truth is they exist except they aren’t called zombies, they’re simply called “cannibals”. People who eat flesh are not zombies they are just cannibals and either psychopaths or people from an ancient tribe in other countries who believe in eating other humans. “Zombie” has no relevance to flesh eaters in the real world but somewhere down the road perhaps George Romero himself decided to create a new type of zombie who is dead and eat’s flesh and brains. The only way such a zombie could exist is if the voodoo sorcerer who made the zombie told him to eat human flesh and brains so by that standard...they could exist although I don’t think they believe in doing that.
|Posted on November 9, 2016 at 4:05 PM||comments (0)|
-Documented Accounts on sightings
Horror Relation: creatures of horror are just like UFO’s and aliens we don’t know if they exist but there’s plenty of accounts that they do.
For centuries our idea and thoughts of whether or not aliens exist has always sparked questions and debates. Like aliens many throughout the years have also claimed to have seen creatures of horror such as vampires, zombies, werewolves and other monsters. Do they exist? Well that’s where evidence comes in. There is tons of evidence and countless documents on people who have sightings on aliens and monsters for years. Some have been just kids playing pranks and others people telling wild stories but then there are those accounts that are to be taken seriously. Many people throughout different areas and countries claim to have seen strange beasts and when these people are all from the same area, chances are authorities and us as a society start to put some thought that there may be something there. With aliens we all know about the endless accounts and sightings but with horror creatures there’s also claims of sightings..only people tend to be looked at as though their off their rockers or not all there in the head. However with every nut job claiming to see a creature there is a legitimate person making a serious claim and sighting. There have been countless vampire, werewolf, zombies, man-made monsters and other beastly sightings of creatures but these most well known four that people don’t think are fiction after all.
Would you know if you saw a vampire? It seems silly but there’s more into the possibility then you may think. Have you ever seen a beast you couldn’t place? A person who seemed a little out of it and lazier than normal? A person that looked so disfigured that you’d swear they were man made? Yes this all seems foolish and ridiculous but people have claimed to have seen them and not all of them are nutty or looking for 15 minutes of fame. After all, when you say to the public that you’ve seen an alien your life as you know it changes and you’ll never get the government off your back. So if that’s the case with aliens then why is it so hard to believe that people claim to see these creatures? What it really all comes down to is that aliens and creatures are the same..they aren’t human and yet millions of people claim to see them. Whether or not they exist is up for debate but then again ask yourself this, if so many people are making claims don’t they account for something? This can be said about bigfoot and personally I think bigfoot is a species of gorilla/human hybrid so the claims that there is only one are fetched. Remember though, horror creatures could be just as real as aliens, bigfoot or the loch ness monster and with so many people claiming such sightings there should be a bit of looking into to see if they truly exist because documents and sightings are still coming out today and they’re only going to become bigger.
-They cause discussions and opinions
Horror Relation: The creatures like aliens are always a topic of discussion. They get people to talk about their opinions on the matter of whether or not they exist and reasons supporting both sides.
Sort of similar to what I stated in the first reason but whether or not you believe in aliens or horror monsters the fact is that they get people to talk and discuss. With aliens of course there is vast opinions where the subject matter is usually back and forth debating on whether or not they’re real. With horror creatures it’s usually whose the best one and not whether or not they exist or which one most likely exists but nevertheless such a vast range of epic monster talk gets people talking just like alien talk does. While people debate the existence of aliens they tend to be more open to the idea of if horror creatures existed and what they would do. Why is this? Well perhaps because horror is a more enjoyed genre whereas not everyone is into aliens and Ufology. Also people grow up watching horror films and see the creatures and while they are supposed to be feared there’s like ability there, with UFO’s and aliens there’s a big unknown factor as well as the possibility they may take over the world. So if I had to guess I’d say people would be more open to the idea of there being horror monsters over ufo’s and aliens but it’s worth knowing that both bring thorough and valid discussions.
-There’s Plenty of Info on Them
Horror Relation: Like Ufology, there’s plenty of information on the topic to go over and look at throughout the years. Whether it’s old info or current and modern information the fact is that there’s enough to work with.
Obviously there is tons of info on everything but from a theoretical, hypothetical and debating standpoint they both have a substantial amounts of information for ideas to which we can only speculate as to whether or not existence is true. Also the info on them is similar in the sense that they are entities and there’s no solid conclusive and definitive evidence that states they they are on this earth and they exist.
|Posted on October 18, 2016 at 4:05 PM||comments (0)|
Politics, a topic that you either like and enjoy making an opinion about or have no interest in whatsoever and couldn’t care less. If your like me you fall under the second category but given that we have a presidential election this year lots of people such as myself who have no business talking politics are talking about it and rightfully so. This year more than any other year there is clear evidence that there’s horror in politics. Now I could sit here and slam both parties running for president but that’s not the point of this article. The point is to show that the overall basis of their simple being, their tactics and the whole running for president in itself has become downright horrific. Politics have always been like this, it doesn’t take a follower of it to see that but when you have two people running for president whose wild views and opinions are out there, it makes you wonder how it’s come to this and really makes you say “oh the horror!”. Go down the line and you’ll see countless dirty politicians doing whatever they can to win a seat or become president but it just feels that this year is the worst and it makes me as the biggest question of all...what is our country in for with either party becoming president?
While you think about that question let me ask you another, is a certain presidential candidate becoming president just as scary as a horror villain killing people or a gross gory scene? Before you think they have nothing to do with each other just remember this..the presidential candidate is real which means that yes there is most definitely a connection here. I’m sure many would rather be in a world of horror slashers than have to listen to the ignorant rambling of both parties especially the most outspoken one. What I’m really getting at though is the reality of horror. True and real horror exists and I’m not talking about ghosts and paranormal I’m talking about bad decision making along with economical and social decline that our country faces with the next president. It’s real horror, it’s real horror there’s no other way for me to put it. It’s like asking if you want Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees for president and yes you have to vote for one. Sure there’s the green party and libertarian party but let’s say that would be the equivalent of voting for a lesser evil that we know nothing about and we actually put our faith in Myers or Voorhees because at least we have an idea of what they are whereas voting for the lesser evils is a greater risk because not much is known about them.
Now I bet your asking two things, lesser of the two evils? And whose who between Myers and Voorhees? First off, what I mean by the lesser of two evils is that regardless of what we know the known villains are capable of we’d be more prone to vote for one of them because the other two are virtually unknown and therefore can’t be trusted because it could be worse..worse than the two main ones? Okay, okay, I’m sure you get the idea. As for whose who? It’s not important it was merely an example. Bottom line, I think people would rather vote for one of the movie slashers than one of the actual presidential candidates. Politics are evil, they bring out the worst in people and if you’re already deemed a bad person it just shows the world just how bad you truly are in the public eye. To me there are not winners in politics or in the becoming the next president because so much slander and nonsense gets brought up that the two candidates have become so eager to obtain the seat of power that they forget what they are running for...the people. When one of the candidates is clearly not a people person and degrades others what does it really say? It shows that there is true evil in this world and that there is real horror and most of it happens in the misconstrued lines that we call politics.
|Posted on August 29, 2016 at 11:50 PM||comments (0)|
So I've tried to use Pinterest more as a social media outlet and connect with readers and gain potential customers. I feel as though Pinterest is clearly different from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the sense that you can't just post what you want on there because on Pinterest there's boards and unless you have a board for what your posting you can't pin it. Here's what I've been doing on there lately:
I've created a board for all my articles and blog posts from my website and used https://pablo.buffer.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pablo For Buffer to create images for the posts to which I then pinned to the board. This will hopefully let more people see my blog posts on my website as I have always had a lack of views on that section of my site. Also using Pablo For Buffer is fun and made it easy to create simple related images of the posts themselves. This was also how I managed to get Pinterest on my Buffer which I would otherwise have to pay for by getting a premium account.
I created boards for stuff I'm interested in. I saw someone ask once on Twitter if you should create a separate business account on Twitter separate from your personal account and I say no. Given that you can create as many boards as you want you can easily make business/author related boards and boards of things that interest you and have them all on the same account. Any person who follows you or wants to check out your stuff and takes an interest in you can simply follow the boards they want and un-follow the ones they don't. For example I like Frank Sinatra but yet he has nothing to do with my writing, horror or poetry boards but yet I still have a board for him because he interests me. Anyone else who likes him can follow the board and anyone who doesn't can look elsewhere on my account for a board they do like,
I've found that you should make a board secret until you have at least 25 pins within it. This way you can build on it and it's easier to manage when your looking for things to put into it. I've done this with several of my boards as I like to build them up before I make them publicly available to view.
I've even made a board for something I thought I wouldn't but actually decided to based off another board. So upon finding pins of guns for my https://www.pinterest.com/justinbienvenue/weird-westernwestern-horror/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Western Horror board I found that I kept posting and seeing unique guns so rather than keep seeing them and overloading them into a board they don't fit in I created a https://www.pinterest.com/justinbienvenue/unique-guns/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Unique Guns board. Did I plan to? No, but seeing that I kept seeing them eventually I gained an interest in them and found that other do too so it makes for a good way to create boards by seeing if you have a certain amount in one and can make it into another.
Finally, I'd still like to establish my Pinterest more so that I can not only gain readers but connect to my potential audience there. I feel because Pinterest is used for so many things that how I can use it is being outweighed by my lack of really understanding how the site can truly work. I will take it slow and hope the process will eventually make sense and maybe then I will see a positive increase on there.
|Posted on August 17, 2016 at 5:15 PM||comments (0)|