A Romantic Respite from Cultural Corruption

 

This piece in the New York Post offers a bill of indictment against contemporary crudeness and crassness in popular culture. Reading it, I thought I’d briefly share my own perspective.

As a writer of thrillers that present a crusading, romantic vigilante hero — a modern Zorro — I feel completely alien from today’s nihilistic pop culture, especially its fiction, TV, and films.

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Gore-fests are now common in TV series.

While violence and sexuality certainly are present in my thrillers, I take considerable pains to avoid the gory, graphic, and gratuitous. I prefer to keep the violence impressionistic, the sex romantic, and the language PG-13 (at worst), rather than X- or even R-rated.

My stories deal with rough, tough people doing a lot of vicious and violent things. However, fiction always has dealt with unpleasant subject matter, yet the finest narrative artists have never found it necessary to descend into gore-fests, or to detailed descriptions of degeneracy and perversion, in order to write tales about evil that are compelling. (Think of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, for example.)

Art is all about selectivity in presenting reality. Artists do not have to show everything, let alone dwell on it, in order to focus on the most important things.

Just as good art can inspire and edify us, so can corrupt art dispirit and degrade us. Our minds and souls are trained, habituated, and ultimately shaped by our artistic experiences. A steady diet of the morbid and the ugly shrinks us to the subhuman.

I know many readers appreciate discretion and good taste from storytellers. I like to think they enjoy my books as a romantic respite from the sordid ugliness and dispiriting cynicism that is infecting our society through degrading art.

When the cultural pendulum swings back — as I believe it will, and soon — those artists who haven’t succumbed to trendy sleaze stand to benefit.

 

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BAD DEEDS Audiobook Now Available!

BIG NEWS….

Today, March 29, 2016, the audiobook edition of BAD DEEDS is now available through Amazon, as well as Audible.com, and also iTunes.

And you can listen to a 15-minute sample by clicking here.

BAD DEEDS audio coverI know many of you have been waiting for this book in an audio format. And I got the best production team anywhere. It was produced by Audible Studios, the world’s largest audio download publisher, and narrated — as was HUNTER — by the great Conor Hall.

The second installment of my Dylan Hunter thriller series, BAD DEEDS picks up right where HUNTER left off. Recovering from the traumas they endured in the previous tale, Dylan Hunter and Annie Woods find themselves drawn into a deadly conspiracy that imperils the locals in western Pennsylvania . . . but whose long tentacles reach back to Capitol Hill in Washington. It’s a tangled tale filled with gnawing suspense, explosive action, political intrigue, and passionate romance.

BAD DEEDS has won extraordinarily high ratings from Amazon and Goodreads reviewers, as well as the CLFA 2014 “Book of the Year” Award. You audio fans can now enjoy it as a nearly 15-hour unabridged recording at Amazon on the book’s product page, and at Audible.com, as well as iTunes.

If you are not yet a member of Audible, you can get a free one-month trial membership and download both HUNTER and BAD DEEDS for free! Just click here and read the ordering instructions in the right margin.

And if you haven’t yet heard HUNTER, the audiobook is available on Amazon, as well as on Audible. It’s also available on iTunes. And you can hear a 15-minute audio sample of the book’s opening chapters by clicking here.

Happy listening!

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THE RED FOX — A Classic Spy Masterpiece

 

Way back in September 1985, when I was reviewing books for The Boston Herald, I read THE RED FOX, a spy thriller by Anthony Hyde. It blew me away — especially because it was his debut novel. Three decades later, this suspense masterpiece is available as a Kindle ebook.

From my September 15, 1985 Herald review:

“…Canadian author Anthony Hyde has crafted a suspense masterpiece with his very first novel. The Red Fox is a richly evocative, stunningly plotted tale of international mystery and intrigue….

The Red Fox -- cover“The novel opens with the tantalizing lines: ‘I was to learn that all the real secrets are buried and that only ghosts speak the truth. So it was fitting: even for me, all this began in a graveyard, among mysteries, memories, and lies.’

“The scene is a rain-shrouded cemetery hidden in the hills of central Pennsylvania. Robert Thorne, a journalist and specialist in Russian history, stands in an autumn drizzle, staring down at the grave marker of his father, a former State Department diplomat. And Thorne wonders for the thousandth time why his father committed suicide in 1956.

“No sooner is Thorne back in his Virginia house when he finds that his mail has been stacked on his coffee table. Moments later, Western Union calls with an urgent telegram from May Brightman, his ex-lover.

“When Thorne flies to Toronto to meet her, May begs him to help her find her father, Harry Brightman, who has unexpectedly vanished. The mystery of Harry Brightman is reminiscent of the mystery of Harry Lime in Graham Greene’s unforgettable ‘The Third Man.’ What begins as a favor to an old girlfriend suddenly drags Thorne down a tangled trail of deceit, double-dealing and death.

“It’s a trail of secret adoptions and phony identities that leads back in time to the terrors of Lenin and the bloody purges of Stalin. It’s a trail blocked by ruthless men pursuing a missing fortune, desperate men hiding shameful secrets, cunning men who pull the strings. It’s a trail that leads Thorne ultimately to the frozen wastes of the Soviet Union, to a shocking confrontation with his own past — and full circuit, back to the lonely hills of central Pennsylvania, to a deadly fox-and-hound chase.

“Hyde’s first-person narrative style is simply mesmerizing; his plot structure, a brilliant feat of the imagination. The mysteries are layered like the skin of an onion, each chapter ending with a shock or revelation that draws the reader inexorably on. The pace never flags and the surprises never stop….

“More than a suspense thriller, ‘The Red Fox’ is a history lesson, a psychological odyssey, a morality play and a model of literary craftsmanship.”

I’m delighted that thirty years after its first publication, this great story is once again available at the special sale price of just 99 cents (through March 21, 2016). If you like spy intrigue, do yourself a big favor and grab it.

~*~

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Ten Most Important Ways to Market Your Ebooks

 

On March 12, 2016, I gave an informal presentation before the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, Maryland. My topic was “Ten Most Important Ways to Market Your Ebooks.” A YouTube video of my talk can be found at the preceding link.

RJB Bay2Ocean2016bMy aim in the hour-long talk was not to focus on sales tactics and short-term gimmicks in the ever-changing, increasingly cluttered book marketplace. Instead, I wanted to emphasize unchanging marketing principles that will be just as valid years from now. So the talk focuses a lot on how to establish a good author “brand” and to properly “position” yourself in the marketplace, in order to stand out boldly among the many millions of competing authors and titles, then be discovered by the right readers.

As I pointed out, writing is a very tough gig, and nothing can guarantee an author’s commercial success. But following these principles will maximize your chances of attracting fans to your work. I drew them from the examples and advice of some of the most successful authors in the business, and from my own trial-and-error experience.

In addition to this talk, I’ve archived on this blog a compilation of great resources, tips, and advice for writers. You can find it at this link. Also, on the right side of this page, scroll down to the section titled “Self-Publishing Links” for more information.

Posted in Book business, Events, Inspirational, Marketing Advice, Personal Appearances, Self-Publishing, Traditional publishing, Writing Advice | Leave a comment

German Edition of HUNTER Available Soon

 

Hunter_Germany

 

I’m thrilled to report that Dylan Hunter has gone to Germany.

Specifically, HUNTER will be available soon in a German edition, published by Festa Verlag. Here’s the cover.

I want to thank publisher Frank Festa for contacting me with the offer to publish HUNTER. My debut thriller now joins other Festa titles by such luminaries as Brad Thor, Stephen Hunter, and the late Vince Flynn.

I hope this will be the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

And I hope that German-language readers will enjoy the debut adventure of my reporter-turned-vigilante hero.

 

The German edition of HUNTER will join the Turkish edition, published last year by the Panama publishing company:

TurkishHuntercoverFull

 

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How I Do It — An Interview

 

THE ALLIANCE OF INDEPENDENT AUTHORS (ALLi) has just published an interview with me as part of their weekly series: “How I Do It: Indie Authors Share the Secrets of Their Success.”

Writers struggling to write, publish, or break through commercially might find something in this interview of interest. (Or not.) But I hope it will encourage you.

As for readers and fans of the Dylan Hunter books, perhaps you’ll enjoy a bit of background about how I got started writing these tales.

Posted in Announcements, BAD DEEDS: A Dylan Hunter Thriller, Book business, HUNTER: A Thriller, Interviews, Marketing Advice, Publishing Advice, Self-Publishing, Writing Advice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Foreign Purchases of My Ebooks

Readers outside of the United States who wish buy Kindle ebooks must do so at their own nations’ separate Amazon websites. This has made it hard for authors like me to advertise my ebooks abroad: We’ve had to provide individual links for each of our books on Amazon sites in over a dozen countries and regions:  U.S., UK, Canada, India, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Australia, and the Netherlands.

However, I just learned that I can provide all Amazon book buyers, in all of those countries, just one single link for each of my Kindle ebooks. Clicking that one link will redirect readers automatically to the Amazon website for their own country, and right to that book’s own Amazon page.

If you live outside of the United States in any of the listed nations, click the following link to go directly to your local Amazon page for HUNTER.

Or, click this link to find BAD DEEDS on your country’s Amazon website.

By the way, if you want to learn more about me and my other writings, click here to check out my Amazon author page.

I hope this makes things easier for those of you who live outside of the United States and are curious about my books. As I publish more books, I’ll provide similar links for them, too.

 

 

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Give the Gift of Vigilante Justice — for Only 99 Cents!

 

Christmas is almost here, and you are probably wondering about affordable last-minute gifts for friends and loved ones. Let’s emphasize “affordable,” because if you’re like me, you’ve already blown most of your gift budget…but still haven’t found the right items for everyone.

Well, here’s a super-affordable option for the readers on your gift list.

Starting today, December 18, through December 24, you can go online to Amazon, purchase the HUNTER ebook as a gift, and send it by email to your friends, co-workers, and family members — for only 99 cents per recipient!

Think about it: For less than a dollar per person, you can introduce readers you know, living in the U.S. or the U.K., to Dylan Hunter — along with Annie Woods, Wonk, Garrett, Cronin, Danika, and (of course) Luna.

That’s a whopping 80% saving off the regular $4.99 price. You won’t have to worry about postage or whether the gift will arrive in time for Christmas. And best of all, you don’t have to move one inch from where you’re sitting right now to order and send it!

RB_HUNTER_4Again, this big sale kicks off the morning of Friday, December 18; it will end on Christmas eve, Thursday, December 24. During this week, I’ll be spreading the word through ads on a host of popular book promotion sites and email lists. And I hope that you, in turn, share the news with others, especially on your social media sites.

My goal for this sales promotion is simple. Going into the new year, I want to further build the already-large audience for the Dylan Hunter series, to prepare for the 2016 release of the third installment, WINNER TAKES ALL. That novel will be the capstone of a self-contained trilogy of stories, which, taken together, establish the origin of this modern vigilante hero. After WTL, the series will branch out in fresh directions, as Dylan takes on different forms and deadly perpetrators of injustice — and deals with them in his own unique ways. I want more readers to be eagerly anticipating that book.

And that’s where you can help. As Dylan’s most loyal fans, I know that you share your enjoyment of these stories with others. Well, here’s an opportunity to do that during the holiday gift season — at a price so affordable that you could even send HUNTER to ten or more friends, for an amount you’d typically spend on a single gift for a single person!

The process couldn’t be easier. Just go to the HUNTER page on Amazon. In the purchase section, click the “Give as a Gift” button. All you’ll need is the email address of your intended recipient(s). The instructions are simple for you and them.

By the way, the persons receiving your ebook gifts don’t have to own a Kindle ereader. Using the free Kindle app (which is linked in the instructions they receive), they can download and read HUNTER on their smartphone, tablet, or computer — or even read it in the “cloud,” using any web-browsing device.

So, take a moment right now to jot down some names of family members, co-workers, and friends who may be fans of crime and spy thrillers, or romantic suspense. I’d bet you know several who would love to read HUNTER, and who will thank you for it. Just as I thank you for considering this.

Meanwhile, I also wish you and your loved ones a warm and wonderful holiday season. I hope 2016 will be your happiest and most fulfilling year ever. And I hope you’ll enjoy what I have in store for you in the next adventure of Dylan Hunter.

For justice,

Signature

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Coming — An Audio Edition of BAD DEEDS

 

I’m very happy to announce that I have just signed a contract with Audible — the world’s largest producer of downloadable audiobooks — to produce and distribute an audiobook edition of BAD DEEDS within the coming year.

As many of you know, there already is an outstanding audiobook edition of HUNTER available. I produced it myself using the facilitating services of ACX.com, the outstanding production staff and recording studio of Brick Shop Audio, and the impressive talents of voice artist Conor Hall as narrator.

Though many people have asked me about a BAD DEEDS audiobook, the prospect of investing more time, money, and effort to take on another audio production project caused me to hesitate.

But now, thanks to the efforts of my new agent, Sarah Hershman, the work and expenses of producing an audiobook have been entirely taken off my shoulders. She arranged the deal with Audible, which also will have an option to produce and sell audiobooks of future Dylan Hunter adventures. This will allow me to focus my attention where I want it to be: on writing those books.

I am going to guess that the BAD DEEDS audio will be available within the next six months, but I have no control over the production schedule. I’ll announce further news, such as the selection of the narrator, as soon as it becomes available.

My thanks to Sarah Hershman for her aggressive promotional work for my books, which led to this happy result.

By the way, any of you who wants to hear a sample of, or download, the HUNTER audiobook should go to its Amazon page and click the audio sample link beneath the cover image, or go directly to the HUNTER Audible book page.

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Last Chance — Get My Thrillers with Their Original Covers

I have only a few remaining copies of the print editions of HUNTER and BAD DEEDS with their original covers. And to make space in my office, I’m selling them off, dirt cheap!

The holidays are coming, folks. And I’m sure you know friends or family members who would enjoy these stories — especially as gifts personally inscribed to them by the author. (I suspect that a few of you may even want them personally inscribed to you.)

Again, these are the last remaining copies of both novels in their original covers. So, if you think that the Dylan Hunter series will continue to grow in popularity with each new book, then these early editions, signed by their author, may very well become collectibles.

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You can have them now at the super-low price of just $14 each, which includes FREE Priority Mail Postage. That’s a lower price than Amazon or any other retailer offers. 

For details, just send an email to me at:


RobertTheWriter@gmail.com

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