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So, I was all settled down for a night of beer drinking and bad Netflix with my fiancee, when I realized that I hadn’t written a blog post (something I’d promised myself I would do every week, at least, from now on). Thus, here I am . . . writing a blog post on a Saturday night. Lucky me. Lucky you. Lucky all of us, right?

First, you must realize that this week has been crazy for my brother and I.


Well, we sort of agreed to get a table at a craft fair in our neighborhood. Normally, this would not be that big of a deal. We have books on hand all the time, and we’re ready to do that kind of thing at a moment’s notice.

But, this occurence is different. You see, my brother and I had not meant to do any in person table working events until this coming fall, when my book The New Orleans Zombie Riot of 1866 would be out in print. The original plan on that book was to release it as an ebook and use the proceeds from sales to fund a lovely illustrated edition we could have at the Weird West Fest in Giddings, Texas.

And, then, well, I sort of, you know, kind of agreed to this.

Unfortunately, we hadn’t even REALLY started the book. We had sort of. Which I’ll explain later.

So, we’ve had a book to complete.

For those of you that don’t know, I’m the author of NOZOR (that’s what all the files on my computer call it, at least). I’m also the publisher. Conflict of interest? Not so much. I wrote the original story as a fill in for the first PULP!, and my then my now-fiancee and brother both told me I’d done something stupid by (SPOILER ALERT!) killing Jacob Smith, the main character, off.


After finally listening to their advice, I went back and imagined Jacob’s past and started writing short stories for him under my own name. We published a few, then I wrote a novella, and Chris really loved them, so we moved forward and started producing the book.

Where does the lack of conflict come in?

Chris has, in the past, quite gleefully shot my work down. Quite. Gleefully.

He loves crushing my dreams and ambitions. My favorite phrase from him is still, “It’s shit. Start over.”

Like I said, no conflict.

But, let’s get back to this week. Or, rather, the process that has finally come to an end this week. And, to do that, we have to go back about a year.

When I first finished NOZOR, I wanted to make it as just an ebook, right? But, I hate reading closely (analyzing, thinking about, rethinking, etc.) in electronic format. I also hate proofing electronically. I miss too many small things. So, being the layout engineer that I am, I laid out a proof edition. Here’s an image of the cover, if you’re interested:

Read the whole thing.

Read the whole back cover (on the left).

I distributed it to a few beta-readers, got my feedback, did my proofing, etc., before settling on a final version of the book for the Kindle edition.

This took a while, mainly because I totally locked up on a confidence issue of whether or not the book was good enough for me to even continue. For about a week, towards the end, I considered scrapping all three short stories AND the novella (72,000 words). Total crisis of faith. I refused to edit it, even though i was getting good reviews back.

Yeah, I got past that, thank whatever, with the help of two friends (artists) who told me: You’ll never get past this. You are your worst critic. That story is you, and your world. So you have to put it out. Tough. Titties.

We ended up with a finalized book, with a finalized book cover. How we came about that, though, is a funny story. We submitted it to a buddy, who had an idea, asked for our ideas, we coalesced our ideas. And nothing happened.

So I came up with my own idea, and the way to make it happen. I wanted a revolver and a sword, with some accouterments of the era, a good camera, and everything to look very tin-type-ish.

We went to work.

I asked my friend Richard, sort of jokingly, “Hey. You wouldn’t happen to have a working Civil War-era revolver, would you?”

“I actually have two.”

“Really? Cause I’m not joking.”

“Neither am I. Do you want to fire them or something? Because I need to clean them first.”

“Wow. Just wow.”

So, we had two revolvers, even though we only used one. I borrowed a sword from my buddy Justin, and Chris expanded and slightly altered an authentic New Orleans map for us so I could print it. Then we set to work on staging a photo-shoot for our cover, which is displayed below in its full glory:

N.O. Zombie Riot Cover final

We got that and moved forward after a very relationship-shaking week. Seriously, it was bad. Don’t ask, but there were people crying over what happened. At the end of the day, though, everything was fine and the book was released on time.

Then, my friend Catherine invited us to do this fair.

Now things have gotten interesting.

True, we already had a sort-of-book. But we didn’t have a salable book. We just had something you could proof comfortably.

We decided to make the book on Sunday, February 16th, 2014.

On Monday, February 17th, 2014, I met with my intern. We discussed our plans and, realizing our schedules wouldn’t coincide with when she would be working with us, decided I would have to rebuild the book on my own.

On Tuesday, 2/18/14, I went back in, maneuvered everything to a more pleasing setup. I Inserted front copy, back copy, etc. I submitted it to Chris.

On Wednesday, 2/19/14, Chris let me know he didn’t like it. I changed the way we broke stories and sections, re-proofed multiple times (multiple times). There were issues with some copy. I reworked them and resubmited.

On Thursday, 2/20/14, I went to a belated Valentine’s Dinner with my fiancee. Afghani food. If you haven’t tried Nora’s in Dallas, you’re missing out. We also went and watched Monuments Men, which was bad ass. I highly recommend it. I came home and fixed some issues, recompiled everything, etc.

On Friday, 2/21/14, I awoke early and built the back copy. That took about five hours. Re-tweaked the text all to hell. “Is this unique?” “Has someone written this before?” “Is this cliche?” “Is this is the most descriptive word possible?”

My fiancee gave me an “AH-FUCKING-HA!” moment, when she explained “You lost me. I don’t even care or know what this is about.” while reading my back cover.

I reiterate: Total Aha! moment.

Rebuilt. Resubmitted. Chris built everything around it, cleaning it up and perfecting. He finishing about 2:45 AM on Saturday morning:

NOZOR 1866 - Full Jacket

We submitted it Saturday morning at 10:30 or so. We have our fingers crossed that everything comes out alright. Honestly, if it doesn’t, we’re stuck with some crap books.

All told, though, it cost us about thirty-five hours of our lives for this round of revisions and updates. That’s not much, when you think about it, but it’s still a work’s week for one person. And when you want to be doing something else with that time (like writing, drinking, screwing, looking at art, reading), those thirty-five hours are incredibly precious and wonderful. Thirty-five hours cost is like four or five car payments.

I had someone ask me how much it costs to layout a book. I replied, “Nothing. I do it myself. Someone else doing it, though? A grand, maybe? Maybe. I dunno.”

Yup. Late blog this week.

Please excuse our mess

November 14, 2012 — Leave a comment

You may notice some changes going on at Twit Publishing’s humble blog. It’s nothing to be concerned about, I assure you.

Basically, I’m constructing the new website for Twit Publishing around its blog, and then shifting everything over upon completion. You shouldn’t notice any kind of downtime, and all of this “mess” should be finished in a couple days.

Here it is, folks! The newest cover for Dieselpnk: an Anthology.

This puppy’s almost 100% finished. Continue Reading…

Dashing off a quick blog here before I get back to work. Continue Reading…

Just a rundown on where we’re at. Continue Reading…

Kickstarter Part 2

September 7, 2012 — Leave a comment

So, I think we’ve come close to narrowing down the incentives portion of the Kickstarter for Dieselpunk: an Anthology. 

We went from 20 to 16. Whether these will make the final cut for the initial project start is still up in the air. A few of them would be on the higher end of expensive to create.

Give us your feedback! Continue Reading…

In recent weeks I’ve covered much of what goes into creating an anthology, and now’s a good time to revisit one of those earlier blogs.

“Why?” you ask.

Well, because Twit Publishing is now accepting submissions for its sixth PULP! anthology, which will be released in early 2013.

For the website:

Important: **Deadline for Submissions is 11/30/2012**

Twit Publishing Presents: PULP! is a semi-annual anthology that is a collection of the genre fiction derived from the original pulp magazines. When people think back on pulp nowadays, they think of hard boiled detective fiction. But, it was much, much more than that. Authors like Ray Bradbury, Robert E. Howard and H. P. Lovecraft all got their start in the pulp mags. There were magazines covering westerns, horror, action/adventure, superheros, science fiction, fantasy. Not just detective. Twit Publishing welcomes short stories from ANY genre. The best part about our anthologies is that the reader gets more than just one genre, they get a smorgasbord of literary delights.

Compensation: 3% of Revenue from both ebook and print edition sales.

Submission Guidelines
All short stories must meet the minimum requirements of 4000 words, and be a maximum of 9000 words in length.
All content submitted to Twit Publishing for PULP! anthologies must be solely owned by the creator.
Additionally, all content must be original.
Stories must be submitted by the author(s), and not a 3rd party.
Please submit as a .DOC or .RTF file.
Please send a short author’s bio along with any submission.
Do not send any story pitches or ideas. **They will be deleted without being read**.
**Submissions from authors in the United States only**

Email submissions to:

Subject line of email should read as the author’s name and title of submitted story.

So, spread it around folks. If you know a writer, have them send something. If they’ve never submitted anything before, have them read the blog post at the top.

Like all great projects (the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis, Ulysses, and the Sistine Chapel), the cover image for Dieselpunk: an Anthology progresses.

Here’s a cleaned up before shot. Chris has fixed the kerneling (space between letters) and leading (space between each line), so everything is cleaned up and within the column widths. This was the first rendition. The second one (which Chris treated before I could think to take a picture) has the Travel Column for beautiful Cayo Hueso inserted. Continue Reading…

Interior Images

August 31, 2012 — Leave a comment

Yesterday, I promised I’d have some interior work done and ready to show you.

Well, I do. Continue Reading…

Completely tapped out on blogging ideas today.

Currently working on the interior layout and trying to get reader copies in the hands of as many reviewers and writers as possible. We need cover blurbs, damnit!

I’ll be posting a short blog tomorrow with some mock-ups of what the interior may look like. I say may, because there’s no telling how we’ll tweek things between now and the some-day-soon when the book is released. I think what’s posted tomorrow will be a rough approximation of the look.

So, until then, I got nothing.