I hope you’re all planning to have an irresponsible…I mean safe and chaste…new year’s eve. For guys like me, you know, north of forty with a family, the amateur nights of NYE hustling from drunken party to drunken party are behind me. Now, I force myself to stay awake just so I can watch the start of The Honeymooners marathon. The day after, I switch between that and The Twilight Zone, sprinkling in some Odd Couple here and there.
This year we’re doing something different. A couple of families are going to an immense indoor water park and resort. I packed my bathing suit and a bottle of Fireball. I think that’s all I need. Looking forward to hitting the water slides.
And speaking of looking forward, this time of year is also about looking backward, which is why you see so many top 10 lists. When I get back, I’ll not only publish my annual Top 13 horror films of 2015, but a top TV shows and top reads of the past year as well.
Until then, here are links to some other top lists. The reason I include these particular lists is because one of my books is on each. I know, sly dog. But there are some incredible books on each list, more than enough to satisfy your thirst for quality horror. So here they be…
I’m sure there are plenty more lists to come. I’d stay and write longer, but I have to get the car ready, stop at the store, and try to wake 2 teenage daughters up. No easy task.
Have a Happy New Year and stay thirsty, my fiends!
The ball has dropped. The confetti is now in a landfill. Your diet plans have already been thrown to the wind, ready to return for a couple of days next January. The Twilight Zone marathon has passed the signpost up ahead that reads : Hey, time to get back to work!
I’m not big on resolutions because I know that 99% of them are yesterday’s dreams by the end of January. The only ones I’ve been able to keep are the resolutions that pertain to writing. For me, writing has always been my escape, my sanctuary, and now it’s also an income-providing business. All the more reason to get my ass in gear and hunker down. I admit, I took a total break from writing most of December. I needed it. My brain, like a chicken wing, was fried. At times during the holidays, I could actually hear my cells vibrate as they recharged. It was a wise decision to step back for a bit. But rest time is now bye-bye.
I figured I’d start with a list of resolutions that would benefit others as much as myself. Writing is a lonely business and sometimes we need some outside influences to kick us in the pants. Consider this my loving tap on your authorly keister.
Here are my 2013 Writing Resolutions:
1. Read More. I know I’ve stressed this in other articles and interviews. You can’t write if you don’t read. Plain and simple. I must read 75 or more books a year. I know I can do more. The number one rule is to turn that damn TV off as much as possible. Naturally, I read a ton of horror novels. But i’s also good to branch out to other genres, as well as the classics and self-help books. It all leads to personal growth. In fact, this year, I vow to read at least one romance novel. It’s the last genre out there that I haven’t touched as a reader. Any suggestions?
2. Write. Write. Write. Even though I didn’t write over the holidays, I did think about what my projects will be for 2013 and hit the library to do research. What are my exact goals? I will write at least one novel from start to finish (revisions included). I want to write one novella, if not two. I need to get back in the short story swing, so I’ve set a goal of writing at least a half dozen shorts. I also want to write and publish a collection of true ghost stories in time for Halloween. There, that should keep me off the streets.
3. Query new markets. Yes, I have an agent that does a lot of this for me, but I can’t have her do all the work. This is my career, after all. I need to be more aggressive this year and see if I can open some new doors and different writing opportunities.
4. Pitch a story to a TV/film production company. I have a few ideas/stories that I can lead with. Now I need to figure out how to go about this. I’ll research on the internet and reach out to other authors that have had success pitching their stuff. Getting a development deal is one of my bucket list things, so I better get on the ball.
5. Attend more cons and writers conventions. I already signed up for a couple of writer’s organizations while I lounged around watching Arrested Development in my sweats. I intend to go to a few national and local cons to mix and mingle and learn a thing or three. I’ll also show my face at more horror cons, like World Horror Con, Horrorfind, KillerCon and Chiller Theatre. That’s always a fun time!
6. Keep my writing area organized. This seems like a little thing, but it’s far from it. I spent 4 hours cleaning out all the crap that had accumulated in my little writing space during the year. This year, it’s getting a monthly sprucing up so things don’t get lost in the shuffle.
7. Find new ways to market my work. As a writer today, you can’t fall alseep at the switch when it comes to marketing. There are always new services popping up that can help you get the word out about your work. Some work, some don’t, but you have to try. As an example, I jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon last year, but learned after a few months that it wasn’t doing much for me. Hey, at least I tried.
8. Expand the scope of the Monster Men podcast. You’re going to see a lot of new stuff with our video podcast in 2013. We’re going to interview authors, directors, publishers, paranormal groups, you name it. Jack and I can’t wait to get started. If you’re any of the above and would like to be on the show, shoot me an email and we’ll work out a schedule.
9. Listen to more podcasts. I’m an audio podcast junkie. I spend a lot of time in my car with my radio, but I’m not digging what’s on the air. Since my car is old, I’m going out to get an adapter so I can play the podcasts on my Nano through my car stereo. Podcasts are great ways to inform, educate, entertain, inspire and gain more depth into whatever topic that interests you. I highly suggest Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast. Great stuff.
10. Rest. I’ve learned that you can’t run around juggling 100 things at once, 24/7, and expect to remain sane. So even though I’ve set a heavy workload for myself, I will make it a point to find moments to rest my mind, body and spirit. Sometimes you need to step out and let your subconscious do some of the heavy lifting. Believe me, it will all be there when you need it.
So, what are your resolutions for 2013? You don’t have to be a writer to set a goal roadmap. If you put it in writing now, it actually helps you work harder to achieve it.
OK, I’ll be honest here. Yes, I did send an invitation to our local Bigfoot clan to spend New Year’s Eve with us, but I haven’t gotten their RSVP. Hell, I don’t even know if they got the invite. I kind of left it at the base of a tree in the woods, nestled within a deer carcass. Fingers crossed!
The next best thing will be to catch up on episodes of Finding Bigfoot and drinking until I see monsters everywhere.
2012 has been an intense year over at the Shea household and we’re happy to see it go. On the writing front, I released 2 books: Evil Eternal and Swamp Monster Massacre. In fact, my skunk ape thriller just got a national review in the December issue of Rue Morgue magazine! They said “With a simple story and some fast, gory action, Swamp Monster Massacre is a popcorn-movie-like read.”
2013 will be even bigger, with the release of the story The Graveyard Speaks in March, followed by the novel Sinister Entity, which is the sequel to Forest of Shadows. I also plan to release a book of short stories and possibly a collection of real ghost stories later in the year.
Until the new books come out, Jack and I at the Monster Men wish you a Happy New Year and hope you enjoy our 2nd episode dedicated to our good friend, Sasquatch. Bigfoot howls for everyone!