I’m doing a Rafflecopter giveaway! Just follow the link and sign up for a free shot at a $20 Amazon gift card. Starts Monday the 2nd, ends two weeks later. You could enter here, but seriously, what the hell’s a widget?
The Coconut Swindle is ‘Done’ and I’m now in the promo mode. The launch day is a hard March 4th. An official, hard, no fucking around March 4th. I’ll have the cover reveal shortly, but to my diehard fans, all fifteen of you, the day is coming. And your patience will be rewarded. Not handsomely though. JK, I’m actually pretty proud of this one.
Add one more hero to the mix as Karleigh Reads joins the ranks of the Gold Coast City white capes by helping to flense the world of evil with a guest post from yours truly. So head on over there and check out her site. She’s a dame who knows books, and champions the indies of the world, as well as offering insight on the craft we all love. But if you show up after sundown don’t expect her to be around. I’m pretty sure she dons a cape and cowl to fight crime at night. Granted that’s just a theory, but then again so is evolution… so, you know. It’s definitely true.
After my dizzying descent into a sociopathic need for revenge (and the redemption that came from resisting it) I’ve finally come to the end of my review troll roller coaster. And I’m strangely grateful because it’s taught me one thing: people are pretty amazing. For every one person who tries to be a dick there will be ten to pop up and help stop them. Ten to roll their eyes and think, “What a jerk.” Ten to support the artist.
Ten to one. Those are good odds. It’s like this world’s a happy hydra.
And I’m happy too. Because a single mean spirited review is a small price to pay to be reminded that there’s far more heroism and good deeds in one revolution of the real world than all the Marvel and DC comics in print. So don’t ever run the human race down to me. Sure we make mistakes, and act out in destructive ways, but in our hearts we’re superheroes, one and all.
For those of you who don’t know I got my first Amazon review troll this week, and subsequently went through the following 3 stages… before exacting revenge. WARNING: this isn’t for the squeamish, and if you’re a follower or a personal friend I hope I don’t lose you, or your respect. But sometimes we got to do what we got to do:
Stage 1: The Reaction
I’ll admit, once I got my first review troll I was excited. But that quickly that turned to rage. Who the hell gives a one star rating without even reading the book? Trolls, that’s who. So I decided not to take this lying down, I was going to hunt my troll. So I went on her Amazon page, and looked at all the things she bought, and I kid you not I found her real name. I found her work place. I found her address, and her email address. I even found a picture (don’t look at me like that, I write detective novels, what did you expect?). Now the only question is, “What would I do with this information?” The answer is scheme.
Stage 2: The Scheming
So as I lay in bed that night, scheming like a champ, I came up with three possible acts of vengeance:
- Email her and avail myself to her human side, making my case politely, and asking her to take down the unfair trolling review. Maybe I’d quote God or something.
- Email her and threaten to cook her children if she didn’t take down the unfair trolling review. Maybe I’d quote God or something.
- Join Ashely Madison and every swinger site there is under her real name, get a good following, and ask for porn bombs to be sent to her work address! Or better yet: I’d sign her up on Fiverr, those people never let you delete an account!
As you can imagine I chose to go with option 3. Does that make me a bad person?
Stage 3: The Execution
So the next morning I hopped back onto my Amazon page and looked up my troll. It was time to exact some sweet revenge. But here’s the thing; right above her nefarious vitriol sat other reviews, and each one was really kind. Also, there were a handful of strangers who came to my aid with supportive comments, and all of a sudden my general happiness outweighed my righteous anger, and I was reminded of the old saw in fiction: everybody’s the main character of their own story. So what kind of main character did I want to be? A villain or a hero? I mean, what would Captain America do?
I knew the answer. So I put my dreams of revenge aside.
And… The Obligatory Moral
I learned a few things from the past few days of self-torment. The first is that if you fight fire with fire you just end up with more fire. Lowering yourself won’t make you even. In fact, there’s no way to get even, and all you’ll end up doing is increasing the badness in the world. The second is that the bullies of the ether should be afraid. It’s getting easier and easier to discover their identities, which lets us show everyone what kind of people they really are. And finally, revenge may be a dish best served cold, but justice served with a smile and a pinch of irony is a hell of a lot more fun to eat.
So I did the only thing I could. I smiled as I pressed ‘edit’ and added Dorothy A’s comments to my editorial reviews. So now when you visit Dane Curse’s Amazon page you’ll see this:
“Written with intelligent humor, easy dialogue, and an action-packed story line, Dane Curse is a must-read.” – Please Pass The Books
“Five stars… Filled with lots of action and humour, and will keep you engaged and entertained.” – Jael’s Reviews
“One Star- I didn’t read it…” Dorothy A. (AKA Muffiemae)
Yeah, that just feels right.
We got one more stop today, this one at Boom Baby Reviews where I’ll be breaking down the classic three act structure. If you’ve got the characters, I’ll show you how to craft a trio of disasters that will make them pop. And snap. Then crackle. Sorry, I just ate a big bowl of Rice Krispies…
Please to check out the very kind Erin down at The Readers Hollow, where she’s kindly hosting a stop on my Virtual Book Tour, and my article about the big three: Goals, Obstacles, and Stakes. If you’re in the mood for some fiction structure necessities check it out. And if you’re not in the mood for some fiction structure necessities you should swing by anyway, because Erin and Company may call themselves The Reader’s ‘Hollow’, but when it comes to bookish information that site is stuffed. I think that’s called iron, man.
Thank you Tony, I obviously meant irony, man.
If you get a chance please swing by the fourth stop on my Virtual Book Tour, at Readaholic Zone. This time I’m writing about my experiences living and writing in China, which is equally likely to make you to laugh, or get me kicked out of this Middle Kingdom. Or maybe thrown into Suzhou Prison. I’m not sure, but it’s pretty much going to be one of those.
Big ups to my friends at Literary Musings for hosting my article about the flat character arc. It’s what Katniss Everdeen, Harry Potter, and Dane Curse all have in common. So if you want to craft characters who don’t change, but change the world around them, stop by and say hi. Or hello. Or if you’re British; cheers. I think. Honestly, I have no idea what those cats say.