Saturday, May 31, 2014

Independent Authors and the Treasures They Share

I am taking a break from writing for a few days to allow my characters to stew in their creative juices. So, how does a writer take a day off? I read. I have my favorite mainstream authors that I like to keep up with, Tess Gerritsen, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks (don’t laugh), but I find my tastes have been turning more to the unknowns in the literary world.

I notice that I am becoming a big supporter of independent writers more often since becoming one myself, but not from the sense of camaraderie, you would expect. Some independent authors, like me, are nearly broke but continue to write because we love doing it. However, the simple fact is, these independent authors are putting out some quality material.

I know what you are thinking. “Independent authors” When I first heard the term, I thought about those “art” films you see on IFC or Sundance channels. You know the kind that win film festival awards but bore the daylights out of you. Then I thought about Kevin Smith. There is an indie filmmaker who does not really fit into what I expect from indie films. By the way, anyone who has anything bad to say about the guy or his work will get an immediate throat punch from me.

But back to indie authors. I picked up my first indie book called Version 2.0 less than a year ago. Yes. I only got it because one of my closest friends wrote it and I got to see it before it was published, but it was great. The story was intuitive, entertaining and gave new life to a subgenre that I almost gave up on. From there, it was an avalanche of indie books one right after another. I read about zombies, immortals, lycanthropes (werewolves and such), witches and demons. I had a few angst-ridden books sneak in on me that I normally would not have given a second look at in Barnes & Nobles and they were great.

I have read about murders, love, dreams and poetry. POETRY! ME!! I read them and I have loved them. I have even read erotica Fifty Shades and every other color. I can now honestly tell you that while the stories I have read do not titillate me, I have read some erotic stories that have better plots than many movies put out by major studios. What interests me most about these stories is not the content. True the content is more often than not stellar, but the most interesting fact about the stories is the fact that the authors are still unknown. These are some A-List stories but it kills me that unless something positive happens, very few people will get the chance to find out how great they are.

Here is the best part about indie authors: No matter what you like, fantasy, science fiction, romance, mystery, horror, biography, technical manuals to the TRS-80 home computing system, there is an independent author who has the book for you. Nevertheless, that is the problem. They are independent, often self-published. They have no way of marketing their books, so there is little chance of you hearing about them.

So what are you going to do? How are you going to find these great books by unknown writers? Easy. Just look on Amazon, Smashwords, and Goodreads or do a Google search for independent authors. Search on Facebook. Check the independent author review pages, I frequent Real Reviews for IndieAuthors ( No matter how you find them, check them out. Most, like me, are desperate for notice and put their books on sale for 99¢ of have free giveaways on Amazon.

If you love to read and are on a budget, indie books might just satisfy your need to escape into a good story. If you are still not sure where to find what you want, ask me. I have become quite an expert in finding the good stuff and, not to toot my own horn, I have garnered a lot of friends and acquaintances in the world of indie writers. So until my next post or my next article in Bloid News, check out the works of some great writers. And, Happy Reading.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Father's Day Sale

Thinking about my Dad the other day got me to thinking about doing something nice for dads around the world. Since I'm essentially broke, all I have to give is me. So here's what I'm going to do: I am lowering the price of my novel, Bloid News, to 99 cents for the week leading up to Father's Day. From June 10 - 15 you can get the Amazon Kindle version of Bloid News, the Super Special Novel Edition for just 99 cents. It's the perfect gift for Dad. Heck, it's the perfect gift for anyone. Get you copy before it's too late.

I know not everyone has a Kindle, but there are a ton of alternatives out there. You can get the Kindle app for your Windows 8+ Start menu, the Kindle reader for PC, the Kindle app for your Android powered devices or buy the book and read it online at (see Amazon for further details.)

There really is no excuse, get the Kindle version of Bloid News for yourself, your dad, or anyone else you love this Father's Day. And check out my facebook Event to keep up to date on the sales.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Who's Your Daddy?

I know it is still a few weeks away, and the title of this post is borderline inappropriate, but with my brother’s arrest last week, I find myself thinking about legacies. You see, my brother Obie (Ray) is the only brother with whom I grew up. Having said that, I tell you honestly that I love him no matter what he does. Unfortunately, some of the things he does are a bit hard to explain. Let me just say that even if I had a sterling reputation and spotless past, neither of which I do, my brother’s actions would still prevent me from ever becoming President of the United States.

Now once I got onto that line of thought, I started thinking about the damage that my brother’s recent actions were causing his family name. Once I got to that line of thinking, I started thinking about what Dad would say if he were still alive. Sadly, thinking about Dad caused me to forget about Obie Ray’s current legal troubles and got me thinking about the old man and the disappointment I caused him.

Now it is time for me to give you some background. In recent years when I say Dad, I don’t mean the genetic contributor responsible for my receding hairline and low self-esteem. That individual discarded any right to the title as quickly as he discarded my sister and me without as much as a penny of child support. Dad also isn’t the man whose name appears on my birth certificate. While I respect him for who he was in my family’s life, he sadly passed long before my misconception. No, for me, Dad has become the man who came into my life when I was just a few months old. Dad is the man who took me out of the dishtowels my mother used and put the first real diaper on my pasty little butt.

Dad is the man who raised me for 17 years before arrogance and selfish attitudes of others forced him out of the house. Yes, my arrogance and selfishness was chief among those. You see in the 17 years Dad lived with us, he made sure that we always had a roof over our heads and that mom kept the house clean. He made sure that each of us had full bellies every day even if he had to go without more than a few times. Dad is the guy who tried to teach me the value of hard work and the importance of setting goals, to attributes I failed to appreciate until long after Dad left this world.

Dad is ultimately the guy who taught me to treat my children as if they were my children and to treat my stepchildren as if they were my children. Moreover, just before he died Dad taught me that I was his biggest disappointment in life.

You see, I didn’t disappoint him when I got in trouble at school. He saw that as boys being boys. I didn’t disappoint him when I embarrassed him in public by fighting him in a store parking lot and showing him that I was no longer a pushover. He was actually proud that I finally learned to stand up for myself. No, I disappointed Dad when I left school and decided that I was fully capable of being a man without the proper education. This was such a disappointment to Dad because he was certain that of all his children (stepchildren included) I was the one smart enough to succeed in life. He was convinced that I was the one who wouldn’t become just another punk and would actually do something that would bring value not just to his name but mine as well. I still cry sometimes when I think of how wrong he was about me.

It took me a few years after he died to realize how valuable Dad was to me and how big of a void I have in my life without him. It took me that long because in spite of the fact that I have had children and step children, it wasn’t until I started having grandchildren that I started hearing Dad’s words echo from my mouth. Once I realized everything that Dad tried to give me, and how much of it I wasted in my life, I started to try to put my life back together.

It turned out that I was too late for some of it. Although I would kill to have the kind of relationship with my son that a father should, I think my past actions have burned that particular bridge. I try to make up for it with my relationships with my daughters, but let’s face it: I am kind of a jerk. Sometimes I can be overbearing. I do have a great relationship with one of my grandchildren, but I’m convinced she just tolerates me because she thinks I’m crazy.

Aside from my personal life, I have tried professionally to gain some manner of respect. Sadly, in this job market, I’m resigned to trying to gain respect as an author. If you could see my sales reports, you’d see how well that’s not going. Still, I am writing and contributing to entertaining as well as I can. Over all, I would say that given the decades I spend plunging my reputation and family name into the vilest mud I could find, I have been doing quite well at cleaning up my reputation. After all, most of my family has quit calling me the worthless one.

Still, if I could go back and do it all over again, I think I would start by paying closer attention to Dad when I was growing up. I would finish school properly instead of waiting until I’m almost 20 to get my high school diploma and almost 40 before getting my Bachelor’s degree. I would be the kind of father Dad was to me and the kind of man he tried to teach me to be. Most of all, I would do everything I could to bear the last name of the man who was truly my Dad. Most of all, I would make him proud that I was a Cheuvront.

So, Forty-??? years too late, I salute you, Dad. To Obie Columbus Cheuvront (1913-1992) Happy Father’s Day, I do miss you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

They're Just Words

Okay. Earlier, I said something that may be construed as offensive. Okay, I'll admit, it was offensive. I shouldn't have told a chick to grow a pair and stop letting people walk on her. However, being referred to the "You Don't Say" campaign and being taught there are some things you're not allowed to say is going a bit far. Are we really so mired into the muck of self pity that we are now offended by such insignificant things as words? I mean, seriously.

Here we are comfortable amidst the 21st century and we have become a society so concerned about hurting someone's feelings we have to be careful not to use the "P" word when describing the female genitalia, but CBS has made a lot of money spreading "vagina" all over their Monday night comedies. We're not allowed to voice our religious beliefs (or lack of them) because we don't want to appear discriminatory against those of other faiths. I get that we shouldn't drop the "N" bomb because it offends other races, but why can't I revel in the same pleasure of calling myself a cracker that they do in calling each other the "N" word?

I'm not trying to sound bigoted, but seriously, can we please get over being hurt by words? I do not speak or write to offend anyone. I do not want to hurt anyone with what I say. If I wanted to hurt someone, I would use something much more tangible. They say words scar your soul as much as weapons scar your flesh. That's just crazy. I grew up being called everything from a Kike to a Pollock to a Mick drunk cum stain. I have been told how worthless I am and cussed out by some real professionals.

I've been insulted, harassed, harangued, harped at, hung out to dry, thrown under the bus, pissed off, nearly pissed on, actually, literally pissed on thanks to my son and grandkids, screamed at, yelled at, talked down too, talked about, gossiped over, threatened, cajoled, blamed, lied to, lied on, led on, led on a wild goose chase, led to water but not made to drink. I have been victimized, verbalized, lobotomized, and spat in my eyes. I've had people piss in my ear, piss on my leg, and pissed in my shower. I have been told what to do, when to do, where to do, how to do but rarely why I do by you know who. People have screamed, shouted, yelled, holllered and sang to me. In every one of those scenarios, people have tried to use words as weapons against me, but the truth is I came out of each encounter unchanged and without trauma because no matter the delivery, they were just words.

That's it. They were nothing more than insignificant inconsequential insubstantial words. Words aren't like bricks. When someone throws them at us we can just ignore them.

Now as a writer, I know it seems blasphemous to say that, but let's face it, even when used to entertain, they are just words. Yes. I would love for my words to ignite your imaginations and send you into another world fill with wonder and amazement. I would love for my words to inspire you to make a positive life change. I would be in utter bliss if my words showed you a kind of magic that I find in every good book I open.

But it seems like that far too often it isn't the words I use to entertain that affect you. Why can't the words I lovingly and painstakingly coax into my books get you to react but one offhand comment about growing a pair of testicles gets your attention and spurs you into action?

Is that the secret to success? Should I stop creating worlds of wonder and amazement and settle for pissing off the most number of people? I could you know. I mean let's face it, I have plenty of research material. There are tons of small minded bigots around that could teach me how to be offensive. If my goal is to get you interested in what I want to say, then I should appeal to the one thing that gets you interested in what's being said.

But no. That's just not who I am. I write and build worlds that I want to escape into, worlds that I want to bring you into. There's no room in those worlds for hatred and definitely no room for offense. I write and I use my words for what I hope is a better life experience. Occasionally I use my words to inspire you to do something positive. But if the words I choose to inspire you offend you instead, then grow a pair of balls, don't be such a pussy, quit bitching and get over it. They're just freakin' words.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dear Joan

I'm happy to announce that in addition to the other fascinating articles you will find on Bloid News, Rick has kindly allowed an advice columnist to appear in this issue. With luck, Joan Deiogh will be offering advice to the lovelorn, the distressed and the confused. If you have a life question you need help with, contact Joan at You can find your question in a future issue of Bloid News.

Now speaking of Bloid News, Joan and I will both contribute to the next issue, but until then, you should check out the current issue and find out the simple trick one man in Germany used to trick the devil. We've also tracked odwn a time traveler and expose the secrets of this mystery.

Finally, I'm happy to tell you that the sequel to the Bloid News novel is in the works. I have finished the first chapter and am now negotiating with the rest of the Bloid News staff to gain permission to include them. In this novel the Bloid News team will face their most dangerous assignments to date and we may even discover the mysterious beginnings of Rick and his news agency.

Building Red's World

The past week or so, I have been meticulously making icons for a map legend to use as a basis for a map I am fine tuning for my friend Kurrie Hoyt's new fantasy novel, Winding Deep, The First of the Red Chronicles (Available soon). While making the icons were tedious and time consuming, now that I am finished I find that the map itself is coming out better than even I hoped. I hope that this will just be the first of many collaborations between Kurie and myself and I really hope I get the opportunity to help her expand the world her main character, Red, inhabits.

If you're wondering who Kurrie Hoyt is, Let me point you to her supernatural series The Hunter Chronicles. Seriene and Caelestis are now available on Amazon and the third in the series should be out within the next few months. She's also quite the poet (From Bad to Verse) and voice actress. At this point, I'm surprised that she is still known only to a few people. Her work is top notch and her imagination and writing style are on par with writers who many consider legendary. When you get the chance check out her work and trust me, when Winding Deep comes out, I'll be the first to tell you when and where to get it.

That's all I have for you for now. Until next time, happy reading.