“Tales of the Star Force”

I hate salesmen.

No offense to those of you in the sales profession. I’ve done sales myself. Some of my best friends are excellent salesmen and women. It’s just that…

I hate being sold to.

I hate walking into the mall and having one of those cell phone guys chase me down, offering to suck my cock if only, if only I would tell them who my service provider is.

It’s obnoxious. It’s embarrassing. It’s a living.

But it’s not for me. When I was in sales I was all about the soft sell. I’d have a nice long conversation with customers. Let them tell me what it was they wanted, what they needed.

And hey, I was one accommodating son of a bitch. I would get my customer what they wanted and hey, look at all these nice accessories. Why don’t we get you a few of those? And a cherry on the sundae as well!

Oh, yeah! My customers got what they wanted and then some, because I didn’t try to sell to my customers. I wasn’t a salesman. I was a pal and a confidante. Five minutes with me and it was like they’d known me forever. I was their brother, their son, their favorite uncle.

I was whoever they needed me to be.

That’s why I’m uneasy about this blog. Like most independent writers I wrote a book. Like all independent writers I need to sell  my book.

For that I need publicity. In this, the glorious era of the internet, social networking is the easiest and best way to get this publicity. Unless you’re rich. Unfortunately, like most independent writers, I’m not independently wealthy. Hence my Facebook page and this blog.

The problem is that I’m uncomfortable coming here and pimping my wares like a stereotypical used car salesman. I don’t want to be one of those mall cell phone guys, chasing you to the food court and trying to jerk off all over your leg.

I just want to create awareness of my work without making an asshole of myself. Besides there’s this lingering insecurity lurking in the back of my mind.

I’m a writer. I’m supposed to be all about the work. Writer’s aren’t supposed to be making money. Where’s my artistic integrity?

Never mind the fact that plenty of artists get paid. Musicians, actors, directors etc, etc… Writers are supposed to be poverty-stricken and unappreciated in their lifetime. I should linger in obscurity, unknown to all but friends and family, taking solace in the fact that decades after I’m dust somebody will discover my work and my career will finally take off far, far too late for me to enjoy it.

Well fuck that!

I’m alive! I’m here! I want to write a shitload of books. I’d like to sell a shitload of books! I’d like to be loved by my readers while I’m still upright and not stinking of the grave.

Is that really too much to ask?

I didn’t think so. But I still don’t feel right hawking my books like some desperate asshole. So I’m going to try very hard not to do that.

Tomorrow.

Today I’m all about selling my work. That work being Tales of the Star Force.

I’m sure you’re all like, “What the fuck? Tales of the Star Force? Didn’t this pimp bastard just try to sell us a novel called Star Force? Fuck this guy, I’m sticking to Konrath’s blog!”

Well thanks a heap for your support, pal! Seriously though, lemme explain myself. Yeah, I wrote a novel called Star Force. The first chapter in a trilogy. It’s a damn fine piece of work, if I do say so myself. It’s fast paced, funny and exciting. It’s a summer blockbuster disguised as a piece of literature and it would entertain the hell out of you if you gave it a chance. But hey, I’m not trying to sell you on it.

I’m trying to sell you on Tales of the Star Force.

Tales is a series of six short stories (priced at a reasonable 99 cents a yarn) set in the same universe as the Star Force novel. The tales are set about forty years before the action of the novel.

Why?

Why create a universe and then spin it off into a series of shorts and not take advantage of the characters and situation of the existing story?

Simple. I wanted to give you a different experience. The novels are a high-octane, adrenaline packed experience. They’re epic. Written on a broad canvas.

Short stories don’t have that same canvas. They’re short and sweet. In and out in twenty pages. That means they’re going to be more intimate. Character driven. Personal. Introspective.

I think setting them in the past works for the short story experience. In the novel I mention characters and situations that happened in the decades before the first novel. The hero of the novel, Captain Jonathan Pierce, reflects quite a bit on his long dead father Jack Pierce.

What an interesting subject for a short story series. The hero of a hero.

What kind of man was Jack Pierce? What was it about him that drove his son to a life of service and conflict in deep space? What must Jack have done, what decisions did he make, what was it he did that made him worthy of such adulation?

Well that’s what these stories are about. The hero behind the hero.

But they’re more than that. Besides giving me an opportunity to show us previously unseen characters and exploring the rich history of my fictional universe, it also gives me the chance to introduce characters and concepts that will become more important as the trilogy continues. When you read these shorts and then the trilogy you’ll see what it is that I’m trying to create?

What am I trying to create?

I’m trying to create a saga. I’m trying to create a living, breathing universe with a definite past, present and future. It’s a universe that I’ve fallen in love with and want you to fall in love with as well.

The first of the Tales of the Star Force is called Stay of Execution. It’s available now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. It will joined shortly after by Dangerous. The next four Tales will be released in the next couple of weeks.

I supposed I’ve done a supremely shitty job trying to convince you that I don’t want to sell you something.

Well I do. I want to sell you my books and stories. But you have to understand that for a writer my books and my stories are a part of who I am.

So at the end of the day I guess I really do want to sell you on something.

Me.

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About Kenneth E. Carper

Kenneth E. Carper made his publishing debut back in September of 06 with the publication of his short story "Rocket Man" in the Pocket Books anthology "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 9". Then he proceeded to do nothing for the next five years. Really. Having sat idle for so long Mr. Carper is now publishing his first first full length novel Star Force. Star Force is available for download at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
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