Updates and Junk

Yes, I’m still alive. My last post was five months ago and I’m sorry for the long wait, though it may not seem that long. It doesn’t for me. I’ve been busy and that’s a good thing.

I’m currently working on two rewrites for two new novels. I’m excited about them and can’t wait to put them in your hands. The first is titled Sins of Iniquity and the other is Bone Cay. They both feature a new reoccurring character, Leroy Cutter, a Detroit homicide detective hell bent on self destruction while trying to protect the city he loves, but often doesn’t love him back.  As it stands, Leroy will appear in four novels in total, but if all goes well, he may continue on. I guess it all depends on how well he is received.

There is a Season is out of print, but is available on www.channillo.com as a subscription serial. I recommend dropping some pennies on Channillo. Not only do you get to read There is a Season, there are also some fine writers on the site producing great stories. One of my favorites is a series called A Touch of Noir. Check it out.

I’m often asked what’s happening on the movie front with The Final Round. Well, it’s a rollercoaster that I’m not really involved with and nor do I want to be. Investors come and go, producers come and go, but the core team is still going strong, so I’m told. The project is still alive. The movie business is a dark corner in a nightclub where shady deals are made. I prefer the dance floor. Until then, the book is still available. If you haven’t read The Final Round, then what are you waiting for? It’s a five star book written by a one a star man and it has a really cool cover. Seriously though, The Final Round is a fantastic read that might inspire a reader or two. Instead of handing out candy on Halloween, you can hand out copies of the book. It also makes a great Thanksgiving centerpiece and goes well with gravy. And, of course, there’s Hanukkah and Christmas. So many opportunities!

You can pick The Final Round up on Amazon in trade paperback or Kindle. Give it a read or, at the very least, buy it. As much as I enjoy hearing from people that have read the book, I enjoy even more the cha-ching of a purchase.

Finally, summer is over, fall is upon us, and soon winter will kill us. Enjoy it while it lasts. I will in my own way, which normally involves bourbon. I highly recommend it.

Anyway, as I move to rewrite mode, I’ll be a ghost, but be strong. I’ll be back toward the end of the year for my New Year perspective. Thanks for reading.

Happy Halloween, Thanksgiving, and all that jazz.

Face the Book: An explanation

On February 1st, I announced to all my friends and family and acquaintances that I was shutting down my private Facebook page at the end of the month. However, I was keeping my public page, my professional page, active and if anyone wanted to stay informed or might possibly want to send me death threats, then they would have to like my professional page. Now some may say that this was just a way to get more people to like my page, which by the way is www.facebook.com/gwallisonjr. But they are wrong. This blog is a way to get people to do that, though. So, click the link above and join the party. I did, however, have some friends ask why I was shutting down my private page. And to put it plainly, it’s to save the work.

Many reasons went into this decision. Among them was the simple fact regarding privacy. I had grown tired of putting my life out there for display. I know that I didn’t have to, but in order to stay engaged and, dare I say, relevant, you have to put yourself out there. It was exhausting. Additionally, anyone could search or stumble across my page despite the privacy settings I had in place. If you were a friend of a friend, then you could possibly see just about everything pertaining to my life. That’s out there, man, and I wasn’t digging it.

But the absolute must do reason is the work. Social media is a great tool. It’s great for staying in touch with people around the world. It’s great for sharing life experiences. It’s great for promoting or selling. But it is also a trap.

I work in a peculiar vocation. I am a writer. I create worlds with words. I don’t paint. I don’t make films. I don’t dance. I don’t sing. I don’t play an instrument. I am a writer. Social media for other artists is a form of display. However, for the writer, it is a vacuum. It sucks the mojo from our souls, deflates the muse, arrests the spirit. Most of social media is made up of words and when I, as a writer, use my written words on something other than my art, I waste them. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was robbing my own house.

I don’t mean to sound pretentious. I’m far too self-loathing to do that. But it is true that if you talk about it, you lose it. My thoughts, fears, observations, hatred, love, and anger belong on paper; not Facebook. And this is why I’m shutting down. To save the work.

Happy New Year and a Giveaway

Congratulations on making it to 2016. It promises to be an interesting year. Here in America, we have the election and the circus that leads up to it. Always a guarantee for a good time. Also, around the world, it’s the same ol’ shit, but with the 24 hour news coverage, the world is ending. But that’s neither here nor there.

Let’s talk about what’s coming up in the world of books.

I just finished the biography, John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman. It was a glorious book and I cannot recommend it enough. If you like Hollywood biographies, you cannot go wrong with one about the Duke. People are much more complicated than their persona, even the famous.

I’m halfway through the first draft of Bone Cay, the second book in the Lee Cutter series. The first book, Sins of Iniquity, is with agents right now. Hopefully, we can get that bastard out this year. Bone Cay, on the other hand, is coming along nicely and I’ll finish the first draft by the end of the month. Lee Cutter is turning out to be an interesting and complex character and I’m enjoying the ride. I’m sure readers will agree.

I’m giving away three copies of The Final Round. There’s only one string attached. You have to follow me on Twitter. Here’s the link to the giveaway: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/bae50ed38ae6cee1.

The Final Round is a five star novel based on the incredible true story of heavyweight boxer Billy Miske. It’s a heartbreaker. Not only did I write it, but I read it. I think it’s pretty good. If you don’t win a free copy, then I suggest buying it. The book makes a great gift, too. Also check out my novella, There is a Season, available on Kindle and in paperback.

That’s it for the New Year. I’ll be missing in action until the first draft of Bone Cay is complete, but I read all my messages and emails, even the hateful ones. Keeps me grounded. I hope you have a great start to 2016 and remember those that left us in 2015. Unless, of course, that means they decided that they couldn’t be around us anymore and don’t return our phone calls. In that case, the hell with them. Who needs ’em?

Inside There is a Season

TIASSince the publishing of my novella There is a Season, I’ve received letters and emails, as well as had conversations with readers about the book, the origins of the story, and how it has impacted lives. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of them, good and bad, but mostly the good.

I thought I would write an article about the book, answering common questions and addressing aspects of the book that usually come up when talking about it with readers.

There is a Season was my first long form story. It’s a novella because it isn’t long enough to be a novel, nor is it short enough to be a short story. I like novellas, but I didn’t start out writing one. My hope was to have a novel; however, during the writing process, I realized that it was not to be. The best part about writing a novella is that it’s great practice for a novel. Forty-thousand plus words is no small feat, and it prepares you for the grandness of a novel, which I eventually wrote with The Final Round.

I’m often asked if There is a Season was based on a true story. I’m happy to say that it was not. Although, it was inspired by bad news that ran wild with my imagination.

The character of Tom Hatcher was tromping through my head for years before I sat down to write the story. I had the idea of a man that had everything and was living the American dream, only to have it snatched away by tragedy. Often the idea mirrored my worst fears and other times, it had a life of its own. Then one day, a very good friend of mine called and told me that doctors had diagnosed him with cancer. If you’ve ever had a close friend or family member share this sort of news, it has the ability to hit you square in the jaw, making you dizzy and sick with fear.

As I dealt with the news in my own way, Tom Hatcher kept knocking on my door. I didn’t realize it then, but he was also my muse and was telling me that I needed to write his story.

My friend had it all: a wonderful family, great job, a nice home in the country, friends everywhere he turned. He was living the American dream and loving it. The fear that swept through everything when he was diagnosed was unavoidable. Yet, my friend was a rock. Eventually, after surgery and treatment, he was declared cancer free, and all was well.

Yet, Tom Hatcher continued hounding me.

Finally, it was too much. His consistent knocking and nightly badgering was becoming a problem. He insisted on me telling his story, but I had a problem. Tom Hatcher didn’t have cancer. He was a picture of health. He was climbing the ladder of success and enjoying the ride. I knew something bad had happened to him, but I had no idea what. That is, until I took a look at his family.

Cancer is a terrible disease. I’ve lost family members and friends to it. I’ve watched family members and friends battle it. I’ve heard stories of triumph and defeat. Even the triumphant stories are terribly gut-wrenching. It’s something that just about everyone in the world has dealt with in one way or another. And I was going to make Tom Hatcher deal with it, but as a powerless bystander.

Tom’s daughter, Tiffany, is a precocious six years old. She’s adorable, friendly, instantly liked, and well loved. Giving her cancer wasn’t easy, but it was necessary. The only way I could show Tom Hatcher overcoming his greatest obstacles was to destroy the very thing he loved the most.

I had no idea how the story was going to end. I didn’t outline. I only had a vague idea of how Tom was going to come out in the end. Ultimately, I was just as surprised by the ending as every reader who has written to me. I cried, also, and my heart broke to pieces. It was a magical moment as a writer, but a horrible one as a reader.

There is a Season is a tragic tale, but I didn’t want to end on a tragic note. Some readers have disagreed with my choice, but in order to show Tom’s growth as a man, I needed to carry it through.

Another aspect of the novella that many have written to me about is the religion woven throughout the book. Some were pleased, even happy with its message. Others were disheartened by it. What readers don’t understand is that There is a Season is not a religious book or story. I didn’t sit down with the thought of writing a message story. I had no purpose other than to tell the story of Tom Hatcher. Religion just happened to be a part of it.

I don’t consider There is a Season to be a spiritual book or Christian fiction. It is merely the story of one man’s tragedy and how he dealt with it. What is important to note, however, is that no one in There is a Season is perfect. They are all flawed characters, just as it is in real life. And we all react accordingly.

There is a Season is a special book for me as it was my first. It is also special because it has had a positive impact on readers. A writer can only hope for such praises.

For the summer, this little book is at a special low price of $0.99 for Amazon Kindle users. If you haven’t picked it up, give it a shot. It’s worth the time.

Thanks for reading.

 

A Polished Token: a poem

A Polished Token
By Gary W. Allison

West of the rising sun
My future, shining on
My life, just a con
California, full of fun

Playing a game
One in a hundred win
I could be wrong
Probably a million

A rundown motel
Hollywood high noon
An old woman whistles
A forgotten show tune

Driving wealth and fame
A brush with a great one
It’s just the same
California, full of fun

Write on, right on
One in a hundred win
I know I’m wrong
It’s one in a million

Getting a break
Or getting broken
Life is at stake
Fame a polished token

Write on, right on
East of the setting sun
My life, just a con
California, full of fun

There is a Season

There’s a new site promoting my novella, There is a Season. It gives a little more insight into the writing of the book and also allows readers to leave reviews.

Yes, I’m taking the time to blatantly promote my work on my blog. Apparently, that’s bad form. But like my golf coach used to say, “You have bad form, Gary, but you sure can drive the hell out of that ball.”

Check it out.

Learn more more about my novella, There is a Season, and if you read it, leave a review. Otherwise, buy it!