Clues: Alex's Blog

Be Sure To Listen to My Interviews with Jason McIntyre

On last week's podcast (Chapter 5: Creator of Worlds) we spoke with  acclaimed Canadian author Jason McIntyre about writing a series, creating a universe of characters and his 10-part Dovetail Cove series, published by Booktrope. We also discuss the weather as character in our work.

Jason is the #1 Kindle Suspense author of THE NIGHT WALK MEN, bestsellers ON THE GATHERING STORM and SHED, the multi-layered literary suspense THALO BLUE and his latest: ZED. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and won several awards.


His debut novel ON THE GATHERING STORM is cited by readers as an 'uncomfortably thrilling' read and earned McIntyre a spot in the Top 20 Debut Authors for the Goodreads Choice Awards.

Currently, McIntyre is preparing for the launch of THE DEVIL'S RIGHT HAND which is the latest installment in the THE NIGHT WALK MEN saga.

Learn more about Jason at his mothership: http://www.thefarthestreaches.com/p/the-author.html.

Jason will be back this Friday (Feb. 19, 2016)  on the next episode, so be sure to subscribe now!

About Mysterious Goings On Podcast

Every week author J. Alexander Greenwood talks about writing mystery, thriller, suspense, horror and other genre fiction on the Mysterious Goings Onpodcast.

Join Alex for plenty of writing-related topics, as well as interviews, guests and some stuff that has nothing to do with anything.

It’s free, and you can subscribe on iTunes,  Stitcher or listen on your desktop here.

Alex Launches A New Podcast!

Alex has launched "Mysterious Goings On," a podcast version of the "Clues" blog. Available on iTunes, Mysterious Goings On will feature news about Alex's work, interviews with other authors and readings of chapters and short stories. There will likely be some malarkey and silliness here and there, also. Check it out on iTunes--and please subscribe and leave a quick review!

Mysterious Goings On Podcast.png


In the Beginning: A Reading from "Pilate's Ghost"

Welcome to "In the Beginning" a series of audio recordings of the prologues or first chapters from each of the John Pilate Mysteries, read by the author. Today's reading is from Shelf Unbound Magazine Notable Book recipient Pilate's Ghost, Book Three in the series.

To order your copy of Pilate's Ghost, click here for an autographed version, or here for paperbacks or ebooks.

If you'd like to enjoy an author reading of an excerpt from Book One: Pilate's Crossclick here. (Please note that an entire audiobook version of this book exists, read by the excellent John Edmondson. You can get it here.) For a reading from Pilate's Key, click hereTo enjoy a reading of a short story from the latest John Pilate mystery book--a series of short stories-- Pilate's 7,  Enjoy!

Music on this reading is by Incompetech. 

What's New

Hello and a belated happy New Year to you. I hope you East Coast readers are weathering the blizzard okay. Probably best to stay in and read a good book. (!)

A quick update on what's happening here:

I've spent the past few weeks getting back to normal pace at the day job since the relative inactivity of the holidays. I'm on month four of a kickboxing exercise regimen and I love it--as hard as it has been to get in shape, it's definitely worth it. I wonder if John Pilate will try it, too?

Been catching up on my reading, also...if you have not read Jason McIntyre's Zed you're missing out on a hell of a good book.

The new collection of Stephen King short stories has been a bit of a chore, frankly, and a letdown compared to the masterpiece that is Full Dark, No StarsBut hey, he's King. Even his average stuff is usually worth a read. In the case of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, I mostly enjoy his introductions, which illuminate the backstory behind writing each piece, 

If you're reading this, however, chances are you're more interested in when you might hear from our friends in Cross Township again, right?

Well, I have some things that are working...and some things that are not. I have been working (struggling may be a better word) on a project that involves a completely new direction for my "brand" as a writer, and must confess it's not catching fire. More on that as it develops (or doesn't, for that matter).

Back to John Pilate. 

The surprise success of Pilate's 7 with the breezier short story format is intriguing. I enjoyed writing those stories immensely, and sales have been fairly brisk. That said, I'm contemplating another round of short stories, then returning to the novel format. I'd love your thoughts on that--just plug 'em in in the comments section.

Otherwise, I am putting thoughts together on a novel that is more of a mainstream affair--something different from the mystery/thriller/horror stuff. I'm not saying it will be out anytime soon, but it takes up some mental real estate that I usually devote to the Pilate Mysteries. 

I'm very excited about the return of a show I literally watched from the beginning: The X-Files. I am a huge fan and am looking forward to seeing what Mulder and Scully are up to these days. 

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for dropping by, and I hope if you have not done so already you will write a quick review of my stuff on Amazon. Just click here to find the books. Thanks so much...stay warm!


"Pilate's Blood" Named 2015 Top 100 Notable Book

I'm honored that Shelf Unbound Magazine named Pilate's Blood #45 on its list of 100 Notable Books for 2015. This recognition of Blood, the fourth in the John Pilate Series, means a lot to me as it is in part an homage to my late grandfather, the writer Robert E. Trevathan. 

If you'd like to read the feature about my book online, it's free. Just click here and go to page 105. If you haven't read Pilate's Blood yet (and why haven't you?) you can order an autographed copy right here on this website, or go to Amazon.com and virtually all the other online ebook and paperback retailers. 


About the book:

John Pilate reluctantly returns to tiny Cross Township…a mutated Mayberry packed with guns, a serious lack of anti-depression meds, a rampaging crime boss and an imaginary "friend" who won't shut the hell up. 

Once a hero, now Pilate is broke, bored and forced to take a job imbued with more authority than the town dogcatcher but far less respect. What's worse is there's criminality afoot, and nobody to deal with it but Pilate and a ragtag band of oddballs, friends and family. 

Sure, things could work out just fine...then again, it may come down to spilling Pilate's Blood...Thicker Than Water, Twice As Deadly. 

Say It.

Hello Readers,

Every year my friend John S. reads a different ‪#‎Thanksgiving‬ poem at his table, and was kind enough to share this year's selection with me. I think it's beautiful and want to pass it on to you.

Happiest of Thanksgiving to my dear readers, friends and family. May love endure forever. --Alex

Say It
by Joyce Sutphen
Say that it is the continuous life
you desire, that one day might stretch into
the next without a seam, without seeming
to move one minute away from the past
or that in passing through whatever comes
you keep coming to the faces you love,
never leaving them entirely behind.
Say that it is simply a wish to waste
time forever, lingering with the friends
you’ve gathered together, a gradual
illumination traveling the spine,
eyes brimming with the moment that is now.
Say that it is the impulse of the soul
to endure forever. Say it again.

 

A Halloween Horror Reading

Just in time for Halloween, won't you enjoy my reading of my short story of horror, A Debt of Fire? It's a haunted house tale...and perhaps a haunted human story as well.

Just click the link below the graphic and enjoy.

About the story...

Redger is a professional thief with debts to pay. Hired to break in to a creepy old mansion under cover of night, he soon learns that getting in was the easy part. Escaping the grip of the mansion and paying his debts is a different matter altogether… 

On Writing About Guns

As a writer of thrillers and murder mysteries, I am increasingly hesitant about using gun violence in my stories. The savage, senseless massacres (which the rest of the civilized world cannot understand)--Sandy Hook, in particular--and "accidents" that take place daily in America have reinforced my views on gun regulation. 

I do not own firearms, and do not begrudge responsible citizens who do. However, I think we should be more realistic about what kind of weaponry is so readily available to the public. 

The Second Amendment was written at a time when the British occupying government was trying to limit gun ownership to make sure an armed insurrection did not occur. It was also a time when the Founding Fathers had no conception of the kind of incredible damage our modern weapons can do.

If it ticks off fans of my work that I raised this question and advocate for stricter gun regulations, so be it. I write for the joy of writing, and if it offends anyone that I want sensible, sane gun laws--to prevent children from being slaughtered--well, that's the price I pay in a lost book sale or two. 

I have some thinking to do about my fiction. But I am much more concerned about the nightmarish reality we live with in today's America. The video linked below makes a thought-provoking point. I hope you'll watch and think about it.

A Reading of 'Badge' from 'Pilate's 7'

A fan favorite character is Sheriff Morgan Scovill, and in Pilate's 7 it was a joy to bring him back in a sort of prequel to the first book in the series, Pilate's Cross. In the short story Badge, we get a look at the swirling elements surrounding Scovill before John Pilate steps foot into Cross Township.

I hope my reading does the story--and Morgan Scovill--justice. Because he is all about justice...the Cross kind.

If you enjoy this reading, you can pick up the ebook from all the usual suspects, including AmazonBarnes and NobleiBooks, and Smashwords. Thank you for listening.

In the Beginning: A Reading from "Pilate's Key"

Welcome to "In the Beginning" a series of audio recordings of the prologues or first chapters from each of the John Pilate Mysteries, read by the author. Today's reading is from fan favorite Pilate's KeyBook Two in the series.

The author hopes you enjoy the reading and if you have not read Pilate's Key that you will order an autographed copy from this site or get an ebook or paperback from your favorite retailer. 

If you'd like to enjoy an author reading of an excerpt from Book One: Pilate's Cross, click here. (Please note that an entire audiobook version of this book exists, read by the excellent John Edmondson. You can get it here.) To enjoy a reading of a short story from the latest John Pilate mystery book--a series of short stories-- Pilate's 7click here.

Music on this reading is Dark Beach by Aluminum Forest. 

An Update to My Kickstarter Supporters

Years ago, I conducted a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to finance the production costs of my then new novel Pilate's Ghost. Here's an update I sent to my backers that you may find of interest.--Alex

Hi Everyone,

I know it's been years since you helped make Pilate's Ghost a reality, and I don't mean to add any extra email to your busy day, but I just want to take a minute to say thanks again for your support and update you on a few things.

First, I updated the John Pilate Mysteries website, Mysterious Goings On, considerably. There is a new blog, called Clues, which I update frequently. I have also started an email list that I will start emailing monthly in October. Click here to sign up. 

Just a couple of other things since Pilate's Ghost:

Pilate's Cross and Pilate's Cross were recognized as "Notable Books" by Shelf Unbound Magazine. Quite an honor! 

Caroline Street Press released a new John Pilate novel in October 2014, Pilate's Blood. Click here to get your ebook or paperback copy from Amazon (it's also available just about everywhere else). If you want an autographed paperbackclick here. 

 

About the book: John Pilate reluctantly returns to tiny Cross Township…a mutated Mayberry packed with guns, a serious lack of anti-depression meds, a rampaging crime boss and an imaginary "friend" who won't shut the hell up.

Once a hero, now Pilate is broke, bored and forced to take a job imbued with more authority than the town dogcatcher but far less respect. What's worse is there's criminality afoot, and nobody to deal with it but Pilate and a ragtag band of oddballs, friends and family.

Sure, things could work out just fine...then again, it may come down to spilling Pilate's Blood...Thicker Than Water, Twice As Deadly.

Caroline Street Press also just released a new ebook of short stories about the John Pilate universe, Pilate's 7. The ebook features seven short stories spotlighting seven characters in the world of the John Pilate Mystery Series. In this unique installment John Pilate isn't the center of attention, but his presence is keenly felt in stories featuring his friends, family and even a few enemies. 'Pilate's 7' promises bite-sized new insights, backstory and even a few "Easter eggs" for the John Pilate Mystery fan.  


Okay, I promised I wouldn't bug you via Kickstarter, so I'm going to end this here--if you want to stay in touch about the series, please do join the monthly email list and/or join our Facebook community here.

Thanks again for your support. As we go into the fall of the year--my favorite time--I hope you enjoy the crisp, cool weather and the ride from Halloween to Thanksgiving to the many December holidays into another New Year.

Best,

Alex

(Updated) Pondering A Failure

Lately, after a very nice resurgence in sales and interest in my second book, Pilate's Key, I started pondering the book that followed it, Pilate's Ghost; which I affectionately call the "red-headed stepchild" of the John Pilate Mystery series.

The Stepchild.

Ghost gets good reviews and was nominated for a couple of awards, but for some reason it never sold much. As a commercial venture, it's technically a failure. 

The paperback version of the book was the product of a crowdfunding campaign I created to defray costs. I now wonder if the fact that most of the launch day sales were tied up as perks in the successful Kickstarter campaign I created killed forward sales momentum? 

I just don't know.

Technically with Ghost, I sold more copies of a paperback than ever before, and financially, due to the Kickstarter aspect, it made a profit--but the book's retail sales after the first month tanked.

Copies "sold" as perks of Kickstarter were never factored into the book's sales data, so to Amazon and other retailers, it was a stinker. The book has never recovered and now sits at the bottom of the Kindle Store rankings for Mystery novels. 

The all-time best sales rank for Pilate's Ghost is a dismal #1,158,421. (UPDATE: The book saw a resurgence of its own in September 2015--reaching #178,890!)

Contrast that with Pilate's Key's all-time best of #19,662 (NOTE: That figure is off--a more detailed check indicates that Key reached #14,413!). Heck...have a look at the whole ebook series (the Pilate's Cross under Pilate's Key on the graphic is the audiobook, not the ebook or paperback):

UPDATE Sept. 12, 2015: Well, the data for this post has changed...nearly all my titles have started selling again. I still stand by the thesis, but these numbers improve my mood a tad. Maybe all this talk of failure attracted readers who wanted to find out for themselves? Check out the updated graphic below--though the Pilate's Key ranking is still off by about 5,000.


To be clear--these rankings are for the ENTIRE Kindle Store. Most of my books have, at one time or another cracked the top-seller (paid and/or free) list for their genre several times--Pilate's Key made the Top 100 Sea Adventures list in between books by Michael Crichton and Clive Cussler.  Kickstarter Success Secrets  consistently makes the top 100 in the Crowdfunding charts. When I offer my award-winning short story Obsidian as a freebie, it always charts well. 

But, I'm haunted, if you will, by Pilate's Ghost. If I may be allowed to say so, it featured my most mature writing and most intricate story to date. Admittedly it was darker than the previous two books, but it had a great editor and a story that kept pages turning. I even appeared on television on the day of its Halloween 2012 release date to promote the book! 

 

It just didn't sell.

I think the only thing that has surprised me a bit more is the fact that my first Pilate book of short stories, the recently-released Pilate's 7, has also done better than Ghost and its successor, Pilate's Blood. Blood is regarded by many as a return to the Pilate's Key form, and frankly, it's on the fence of being a sales disappointment, also. But that's another story.

It's all so hard to say for certain, but I am coming around to the explanation that the Kickstarter campaign, which made the paperback of Ghost possible, also put a stake through the book's heart when it came to sales momentum.

Failure is a tough word for something that I worked very hard to create. It's also unfairly dismissive of a book that was nominated for an award or two and was the focus of a successful Kickstarter campaign. I'm not going to call it a failure, exactly. I'm going to call it a lesson learned and a necessary chapter in the continuing John Pilate Mystery Series. 

As for Pilate's Blood, well, that's one I really need to think on some more. Hmmm. 

What do you think, reader? I'd really like to know what you think--the comments section is open!

 

 

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In the Beginning: A Reading from "Pilate's Cross"

Welcome to "In the Beginning" a series of audio recordings of the prologues or first chapters from each of the John Pilate Mysteries, read by the author.

Fittingly, our first selection is a reading of the Prologue of Book One: Pilate's Cross. This prologue sets up much of the mythology of the series that turns up in other installments.

The author hopes you enjoy the reading and if you have not read Pilate's Cross that you will order an autographed copy from this site or get an ebook or paperback from your favorite retailer. Please note that an entire audiobook version of this book exists, read by the excellent John Edmondson. You can get it here.

If you'd like to enjoy a reading from the latest John Pilate mystery book--a series of short stories-- Pilate's 7, click here.

Music on this reading is "Designer Drugs" by 37Hz.

 

Last Chance for a John Pilate Collector's Item!

A returned consignment from the first bookstore to carry a John Pilate novel has provided John Pilate fans with a fun collector's item, the out of print Pilate's Cross first edition! 

This is the one without the first three chapters of Pilate's Key at the end, and yes, it does contain a few legendary mistakes rectified in the second edition.

This is a buy now or they're gone forever situation, so if you'd like an autographed copy of my first paperback--warts and all--you can get for a VERY low price!

How about $7.00 plus $2.75 shipping in the USA? If you want one, just visit the Merchandise section of this website or click here to order...and hurry! 

 

Pre-order Period Has Ended for 'Pilate's 7' But We're Worldwide!

Thanks all who pre-ordered Pilate's 7. Sales were fairly brisk, though I wish we could have attracted a few more new readers. But hey, the preorder was just the beginning! Remember, you can get it and all my John Pilate Mystery Series WHEREVER ebooks are sold for a low, low price.


 

Click here for the Barnes and Noble link to my books.

Click here for the Amazon link to my books.  

Here's the iBookstore link.

Here's Smashwords

And just about anywhere else, you can just search "J. Alexander Greenwood" to find my stuff. Also did you know I'm selling in France, Germany and the UK, too? 

Please tell your friends. Also, a review is HUGE in trying to spread the word:

Thanks, readers. I hope you like the new book. Stay tuned here for news about my next project...