Posts tagged ‘MELANGE BOOKS’

WHO I AM

Some time ago I received a questionnaire from Book Buzzr, a marketing website I’m using to promote my novel, New Moon Rising. I thought I would share my answers to give you a closer look into who I am.

BOOK BUZZR

 

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Now a retired scientist, I spent 34 years studying renal physiology.

I’m a Newark, New Jersey boy now living in West Chester, Pennsylvania, divorced with two outstanding daughters. One is a farmer working for the Rodale Institute and the other is pursing and MFA in fiction at Syracuse University.

 

Describe your book, New Moon Rising, in 30 words or less.

The novel is science fiction centered on the Ring of Fire. Think of the movie, Deep Impact, but in reverse.

 

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Editing? I hate editing. The initial story just flowed. I went along with the characters and saw the action through their eyes. But when it came to editing the adventure was over, and I missed it.

 

What books had the greatest influence on you?

When I was in high school I read three books by Tom Dooley, a doctor who went to Laos, among other countries, to provide medical assistance. Of the three, the only title I can remember is The Night They Burned the Mountain.

His work was influential in establishing CARE.

What Dooley did to me I could never reverse. His words established in me the need for a sense of purpose, that you must strive to make a difference. Even at my advanced age, I cannot shake this mind-set.

 

Briefly share with us what you do to market your book.

Not enough. I have has one signing at a local bookstore which went quite well.

I am, of course on your site. I also have a blog, walttriznastories.wordpress.com, where I have discussed my novel and have provided links to my publisher, Melange Books, barns&noble.com and amazon.com., where my novel is available.  But the primary purpose of my blog is to provide help for writers on the road to publication.

 

How do you spend your time when you are not writing?

I read a great deal, as most writers do. I firmly believe the basis for any writers desire to write begins with reading and the love for books. Of house and outside chores also require certain amount of time.

 

What are you working on next?

I have multiple short stories I am editing and hope to publish.

I also have two novels that are written and need to be edited and published.

The first, Sweet Depression, follows a corrupt high-level officer in a pharmaceutical company fulfilling his need for control and greed with devastating results. Think of a cross between novels written by James Patterson and Robin Cook.

The second novel, The Beast Awaits, combines illicit stem cell research creating a monster mindlessly intent on destroying our world.   

October 7, 2016 at 9:24 pm 1 comment

SUBMITTED: ELMO’S INVENTION

A few days ago, after many rewrites, I finally finished my novella, Elmo’s Invention.  This 16,500 word work is a prequel to my first published Elmo novella, Elmo’s Sojourn, available from Melange Books.

Completing this current novella took quite longer than it should.  Life’s been rough but that’s part of the experience.  But once finished, off it went to Melange Books hopefully with a happy outcome.

Not to give too much away, Elmo’s Invention is the story of a Los Alamos scientist, Elmo, who tinkers in his cellar with ‘off the wall’ ideas that no one would pay him to pursue.  In the course of his tinkering, he invents the perfect prison, but that was not the result he was after.

If this stirs your interest, I’ll let you know if it is published and you interest can be satisfied.

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/walttrizna/index.html

Barnes & Noble.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/walt-trizna?store=book&keyword=walt+trizna

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=walt+trizna

September 24, 2015 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

RANTS & RAVES: SCIENCE FICTION MOVIES WITH NO BELIEVABLE SCIENCE

This may be the rants of an old man, or the product of age and wisdom. Age and wisdom, really.

Anyway, whatever it is, it is not a commercial for Netflix. But if they want to pay me, the income would be welcome. But I doubt they would see my comments worthy of pecuniary rewards. (There goes three years of high school Latin.)

I have been, of late, watching a great deal of horror and science fiction using Netflix’s instant viewing option. Just a side comment. While watching horror, both American and international, I find that Japan, in my opinion, produces the best horror after my limited sampling. The Ring, The Grudge, both remade by U.S. studios, are Japanese movies. I have viewed other Japanese horror offerings that will scare the hell out of you, not through gore and special effects but through story and setting. Some movies had twists I did not see coming, or circumstances that make you think after the movie is over, and experience which stay with you.

Now, back to science fiction.

I’d like to discuss two recent viewings, The Ring of Fire and 500 MPH Storm, both Netflix offerings and both, I’m sure, originally from a cable channel, but I could be wrong. It has happened before.

The first, The Ring of Fire, takes place in Oregon focusing on a corrupt oil company executive and his daughter, an environmentalist, locked in combat over a drilling venture in the state. The premise has the oil company drilling a well far deeper than they were permitted, and instead of tapping a huge dome of oil, headed for magma. Puncturing the magma dome could set off an event, tied to the volcanoes surrounding the Ring of Fire, triggering an event that would destroy all life on the planet. For those who don’t know, the Ring of Fire boarders the Pacific Ocean and is the most geological active area in the world.

I must be open as to why I found this movie lacking. My published novel, New Moon Rising, involves a catastrophic event also involving the Ring of Fire. First, as I point out in my novel, scientists insist that geological events occurring in the Ring of Fire are unconnected. The movie assumes that every volcano is connected to a source which would cause them all to explode because of the drilling in Oregon. Finally, the method the characters in the movie use to solve the end of life on the planet left me chuckling. View it yourself and see if I’m wrong. Just a side note, in my novel, all is not remedied.

The second video, 500 MPH Storm, makes Plan 9 from Outer Space, a classic in its own right, worthy of Oscars, looking like well thought-out science. The science in this film is nonexistent. The scientific logic escapes me. The special effects were poor, at best. The last comment brings me to the inspiration for this article.

In my opinion, some of the science fiction movies produced today have little to do with science. I know it is fiction, but the inclusion of science fact, not just make it up to fit the story, adds enjoyment to the work. Today’s science fiction movies are ruled by special effect and lack any scientific redeeming qualities.

I enjoy including science fact in the science fiction I write. I feel that it allows the educated reader to become more involved with the story.

What do you think?

Here are some links where you may purchase my work.

Melange Books

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/walttrizna/index.html

Barnes & Noble.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/walt-trizna?store=book&keyword=walt+trizna

 

Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=walt+trizna

May 2, 2015 at 5:25 pm Leave a comment

STRUGGLING TO GET IT PUBLISHED: THE SMALL PRESS

Between major houses and self-publishing there lies an alternative which is the subject of this piece.

As far as the major publishing houses are concerned, most cannot be approached unless you have an agent and the agent makes the contact. But acquisition of an agent is not an easy task. An aside, for those writing in my genre, science fiction and horror, the major house, TOR, does accept unsolicited manuscripts. I read an article not long ago in which writers talked about obtaining an agent. In almost every case it was ‘I know someone, or I have an agent. Let me talk to them.’ You get the idea. Yet I’m still naïve enough to feel if your work is good, something good will happen. I could be labeled either a dreamer or an idiot, been called both by those who know me.

The far-end of the spectrum from the top houses is self-publishing. I’ve dealt with this topic in past posts, and will surely again in the future. What typifies my thoughts on self-publishing is an ad I see constantly in Writer’s Digest. In the photo accompanying the ad is a middle-aged woman with short gray hair sitting cross-legged on a mound of earth in the middle of the great outdoors, I can only assume there must be a Starbucks within Wi-Fi distance. She has her arms raised triumphantly while gazing at her laptop nestled in her lap. The ad proclaims, ‘Write anything. Publish everything.’

Really?

I don’t know if this woman is supposed to have just finished writing a classic, or just sent off the classic to be published. ‘Write anything’ I have no problem with, but ‘Publish everything’, give me a break. Does everything written need to be published, especially by someone unencumbered by the process of discovering if what they write is publishable? If you feel everything you write, that is not exposed to scrutiny, is publishable, you can stop reading now.

If you are still reading and feel the product of your mind should be self-published, please, please, please have someone other than your mother or your spouse read your work with a critical eye and who will be gentle, yet honest, with their opinion. Join a writer’s group or seek an online critique. I’ll these options in future pieces.

The purpose of this article is to discuss small presses, and now I will focus on that topic. There are a multitude of small, legitimate presses you are able to approach directly. I was fortunate enough to be accepted as an author by Melange Books. They provided help in editing, designing a book cover and distributing my book to online sellers, Barnes & Noble and Amazon, all free of charge. There are a host of publishers out there that want to publish good work, but do your homework. As with any industry, there are those that are less than honest.

My favorite source of publishing opportunities, Duotrope, https://duotrope.com/, is one place to begin your research. There are many other resources, but I find Duotrope the most complete and easiest to use.

At the same time, I must caution you that all small presses may not have the best interest of the writer in mind. As with any business, there are the unscrupulous and the scams abound.

Do your homework!

In past articles I have discussed Preditors & Editors, http://pred-ed.com/pubagent.ht, and Absolute Write Water Cooler, http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/. Both are fantastic and constantly update their information. Preditors & Editors provides information on publishers, along with agents. This is a site you must use if you want to publish your work and do not want to be taken due to an ego trip. The site provides recommendations and warnings of the unscrupulous.

Absolute Write Water Cooler offers writers’ experiences with publishers and agents. This site is a must if you plan to publish. If you search the internet for a specific publisher or agent, often some of the first references will be from Absolute Writer. Always check these comments by writers who have used these sites and provide first-hand information on their experiences. Both Preditors & Editors and Absolute Write Water Cooler and places you should investigate while seeking to publish your work, and they are FREE.

Good luck fellow writers.

March 20, 2015 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment

BOOK SIGNING

This coming Saturday, 2/14/15, I will be joining a group of local writers at the Atglen Public Library in Atglen, PA. The address for the library is 413 Valley Ave., Atglen, PA and will be from 12PM – 3PM.

I will be signing my novel, New Moon Rising, along with two anthologies, Curious Hearts and Spellbound 2011, where my stories appear. For those on a tight budget, I will also be giving away my short story, The Gig of a Lifetime, published in Toasted Cheese Literary Journal.

Come meet the authors and perhaps buy a book.

See you Saturday.

February 10, 2015 at 7:02 pm Leave a comment

NEED A BEACH READ?

Need that book for the beach you won’t be able to put down?

Give New Moon Rising a try!

Here’s a taste.

Chapter Twenty-Two

Pasadena

A phone ringing in the early morning hours is seldom a harbinger of good news. When Wade’s phone rang at two thirty-five in the morning, he came out of a peaceful sleep and with dread, reached for the receiver.

“Wade, this is Jeff at the lab.” The excitement in the young graduate student’s voice spoke of disaster before he revealed the reason for his early morning call. “It may have started. We have seismic activity along the whole Hawaiian chain. We have earthquake activity measuring 8.6 on the Richter scale. It’s the strangest earthquake, associated with the islands, anyone here has seen. The earthquake occurred at 4:20PM Hawaiian time. We cannot pinpoint the origin. It’s a series of earthquakes occurring simultaneously beneath the whole island chain. There have already been reports of tsunamis from Midway Island, the Marshall Islands, and the Samoan Islands. New Zealand, Australia, Central America, and China are all bracing for a giant wave. No one knows if the tsunami will be as bad as 2004.”

Jeff responded, “This is amazing! Earthquakes like this have never been described before. No one will know what to expect.”

“Jeff, try to calm down. Juliet and I will be at the lab as soon as we can.

Have the proper authorities been notified?”

“Are you kidding? Every lab in the world recorded this event. Damage reports are already coming in from Hawaii and the damage is widespread.”

“We are also getting signs of volcanic activity around the dormant volcano you instrumented on the island of Hawaii. There have been reports of ash spewing from several volcanoes on some of the islands that haven’t had activity for hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of years.

Wade’s thoughts instantly went to Foster on Oahu. “Is there any report of activity of Oahu?”

“Koolau volcano on Oahu is reported to be putting out ash and smoke.” Wade finished by saying, “We’re on our way, Jeff.”

Wade tried to control his own emotions as he turned toward Juliet. She had propped up her pillow and was listening to the conversation. Just from hearing Wade’s end, she knew that the news was not good.

With fear in his voice, he said, “It looks like it’s begun.” He went on to tell her all that he knew from Jeff as they hurriedly dressed and set out for the lab.

As they approached the Geology Building, every window was illuminated. Wade noticed that the parking lot was already half full as they pulled into his

organized and assigned specific tasks.

A group was told to keep track of earthquake damage and aftershocks. Another was told to track tsunamis, and a third group was told to monitor the Hawaiian Islands for volcanic activity. Constant contact was established with labs in Australia, New Zealand and their colleagues in Japan. There was an attempt made to contact the lab in Hilo at the University of Hawaii—but the lines were out.

With all the phones and computers manned, order began to emerge from the chaos. Wade had a chance to inspect the seismic tracings from the earthquake beneath the Hawaiian Islands. They represented not a single quake, but a long series of overlapping quakes. The location was difficult to determine. The earthquakes occurred at a series of points beneath the Pacific Ocean surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. The character of these quakes fit into the scenario along with the other events that occurred, supporting Professor Humphries’ theory. They were unprecedented in modern time.

Wade stood in the lab, holding the tracings, and wondered about his brother and all the rest of the population of Hawaii, people in love with their paradise. So in love were the residents, that it may have cost countless lives to enjoy heaven on Earth just a little longer.

* * * *

Oahu

Foster continued to work at the surf shop and Heather at the bed and breakfast although each had little to do. Heather took her baby to work with her and found time to feed and care for him while she accomplished her tasks. The working conditions were ideal for caring for the baby. In fact, Lulu gave him so much attention, that if it weren’t for the fact Heather was breast-feeding; he would need no care at all.

Although life went on, there was a pall hanging over the islands knowing that its days might be numbered. Foster had become close friends with most of the surfers who congregated on the beach and shopped at the store. A few that were originally from the mainland returned home but all the native surfers chose to stay. For the most part, they were young men who loved the surf and sun and little else. When asked about their future, almost to a man, they talked about quality of life—not quantity.

Foster was working behind the counter one day while Joe was grabbing some lunch when his friend Rich Loana entered the shop.

“What can I do for you, Rich?”

“Just wanted to see if you’d be interested in doing some surfing later this afternoon. The waves are supposed to be great today.”

“I should be able to get away around four. I’ll meet you on the beach in back of the shop.”

“Sounds like a plan, Foster. I’ll see you then.”

After Rich left, Foster thought about a conversation he had with Rich months earlier, when the news of what might happen to Hawaii was released.

He had had similar conversations with a lot of the surfers he had gotten to know. One conversation with Rich stuck in his mind.

He’d asked Rich, “What will you do now, Rich?” “What do you mean—I’m going to surf.”

“No, you know what I’m talking about. When are you leaving?” “I’m not.”

“You can’t stay here, it’s not safe.”

“Listen Foster, I was born on this island, it’s my home, the only place I’ve ever lived. And surfing is the only thing I know how to do. I don’t have an education. I don’t have a skill. If I moved to the mainland, what would I do? I’d be a bum the rest of my life. I’m a bum here, but at least I have a chance to do what I love. If this theory is wrong – no harm done. If its right, I’ll be doing what I love doing right to the end.”

Foster found that most of the native-born Hawaiian surfers he talked to had a similar attitude. They were determined to embrace their ‘hang loose’ attitude of life right to the end.

* * * *

Traffic through the shop was light, had been for months. Three-thirty arrived and Foster told Joe he was thinking of riding some waves until Heather came home. “I don’t think I’ll be able to handle this crowd all alone,” Joe said as he looked around the empty store. “Go ahead; get your butt on the beach.”

Foster got a couple good rides before Rich showed up. They rode together for a while until Rich caught a wave that Foster missed. Foster paddled back out to deeper water turned toward the beach and was preparing to get up on his board

It was 4:20.

He could see Rich on the beach taking a breather, when his friend suddenly fell to the sand. Foster thought to himself, “What the hell is he doing now?” Then he noticed branches falling from the palm trees. In quick succession, the roof of the shop caved in leaving a pile of rubble where the shop and apartment had been. He quickly paddled to shore, and as soon as his feet made contact with the sand, he fell to his knees in the shallow water. He looked up and down the beach and the few people still standing were holding onto a tree or other stabilizing object with looks of shock and disbelief on their faces.

The trembling lasted minutes, but it seemed like hours. Time slowed as the Earth shook. The violent shaking subsided, settling down to series of lesser and lesser ripples of movement. Foster ran around front and found Joe sitting on the grass clutching a blood-soaked towel to his head.

“Is this what we’ve been waiting for?” asked Joe. Foster pointed to the south. “What’s that Joe, a fire?” “If it is, it’s one hell of a fire.”

Then they noticed pillars of smoke dotting the horizon.

“I think some of our dead volcanoes have come to life. Come on, we need to get to the B&B. Although the trembling had ceased, the trembling of both

men had not. A mixture of adrenaline, fear, and awe fed emotions waiting for months to be released. Both men knew in their hearts THIS WAS IT.

They hopped into Joe’s jeep and began the short drive to the bed and breakfast. A drive that should have taken minutes, took nearly an hour. The narrow road was littered with tree branches and debris from collapsed buildings and clogged with people walking, stumbling in a state of shock, and not knowing where to go or what to do. Screams could be heard from some of the partially collapsed structures, but for now, aid was nonexistent.

Joe could see the column of smoke issuing to the sky before his business came into view. As they turned the last bend in the road, there stood the B&B, or at least what was left of it, engulfed in flames. The men felt relief when they saw Lulu and Heather standing in the parking lot holding the baby. Their clothes were torn and they were both covered in soot, but they were safe.

They parked the jeep a safe distance from the fire and approached the women. Lulu was in hysterics, sobbing and could not be consoled.

“Thank God you’re all safe. It’s only a building,” Joe said as he embraced his frantic wife.

All Lulu could say over and over was, “Oh no, no, no.”

Foster noticed Heather was also crying. He hugged her and his son. Through choked-back tears, she explained what had happened. “Lulu and I were in the kitchen. Thank God we had the baby with us. We were preparing tomorrow’s breakfast when everything began to shake. Things fell off the shelves and the ceiling started coming down. We made it out just in time before the whole place came crashing down and began to burn.”

Lulu stood listening, clutching herself and moaning.

“A few hours ago we had the first guests we’ve had in a long time check in, a young couple from California, along with their five year old son. They went upstairs to get some rest before they began their tour of the island. They never came out.”

They all watched the burning structure as it caved in further. As the flames singed the nearby palms, they knew it was also a funeral pyre. Both women sobbed as the men stood helpless. Oahu and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands were also helpless, caught in the grasp of a power that was no longer a theory.

Here’s where you can buy it.

Thanks.

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/walttrizna/triznanewmoonrising.html

July 4, 2014 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment

STRUGGLING TO GET IT WRITE: SELF-PUBLISHING AND PEER PRESSURE

Every journey down that rocky road of writing is different, unique, influenced by our past and drawing on the writer’s experiences. My first career was that of a scientist, 34 years’ worth, and that experience helps shape my approach to publishing and the hesitation to self-publish.
Let me explain.
In science, once you have completed a project which has merit and contributes knowledge to your field, you set out to publish a paper describing your work. I am coauthor on more than 40 papers. I didn’t do any of the writing but performed most of the experiments that went into them and am familiar with the process of publishing these papers.
When you want to publish your work there is an accepted process. No valid scientist takes it upon himself to publish his results. Rather, you seek-out a peer-reviewed journal which publishes in your field. The process involves your work being reviewed by, usually three, scientists working in your field and familiar with the techniques you used. After reading your work they may either accept it, suggest further experiments or reject it. Do you see the parallel with accept, rewrite or reject? Having spent my entire working life under this mindset, I find it has now carried over into my writing career. Perhaps it is a flaw, perhaps not, but with my fiction I do not feel comfortable with just putting it out there. I need confirmation from someone knowledgeable in my genre and able to judge the quality of my work. This need for approval does not make for an easy writing career, but I feel the rewards are well worth the effort.
So far I have published on novel, a novella and more than 25 short stories, all accepted by a publisher, in some cases by multiple publishers. To go this route is time-consuming and requires a thick skin. It’s not easy to send your baby out there and find no one sees its value.
Let me share with you the history of my novel, New Moon Rising, in finding a publisher. I began this effort in December, 2006, and in March, 2010 Melange Books asked to see the entire manuscript and decided to publish my book. During that interval, I contacted 28 agents and publishers. One reason this endeavor took so long was that I waited to hear back from each submission before submitting again. I won’t make that mistake again. But let me tell you. When a publisher says, ‘We’ll accept your work,’ that superb feeling cannot be matched.
So there you have my approach and reasons for taking the road I have chosen to getting my work published, and why I have not self-published – yet. My approach is not for everyone, but for better or for worse, that’s what it is.
Then you have to get someone to buy it.

June 12, 2014 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment

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