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Friday, August 29, 2014

The Guardian--A traditionally published piece of rubbish.

The Guardian recently published a blog on self-publishing. As you would've guessed by the title of this blog, I was not impressed. You can read the blog HERE and then check out my response below. I posted the same thing in the comments section of the blog.

Ladies and Gentlemen. You have all read the biggest piece of nonsense imaginable. I don't know where the author of this op-ed got their information from, but speaking from personal experience, the above-mentioned figures are very exaggerated. What bothers me even more about it is that it misrepresents the publishing industry.

There are points which the author and I agree on. The main ones being that it is very difficult to get representation from a literary agent or sign a legacy publisher deal unless you already have an author's platform, ie. fanbase. The other point that's true about the industry is that if one decides to become independently published, there's a price tag that comes along with it.
However, having published four thrillers on my own, I was surprised by the amount of misinformation presented in this op-ed. Some of the statements were so outrageous, I had to question the true motive behind it.

Take for instance the part which mentions purchasing an ISBN. Even though it's true that it would cost an American author $125 to obtain one, the article quoted a Canadian author, Ashley MacLennan, who claims to have purchased several ISBNs. Why would you quote a Canadian author as your source for this information, especially when she claimed that she purchased 100 ISBNs? Canadian authors don't even have to pay for an ISBN. They can simply register through the Library and Archives website at It's beyond me why MacLennan would spend $1250 in ISBNs. And she actually believes that she's saved money?

Secondly, the $4000 price tag is not completely accurate because not all editors charge per hour. Many of them charge per word. The most I spent on editing was roughly $2000, and that was for two editors--one for content and the other was a copy editor.

The cost of getting a professional book cover will vary from one graphic artist to the next. It will also vary whether the cover is being drawn from scratch or if stock images are used. If you choose to go with a stock image, then you can get it designed much cheaper. On a side note, if you're just opting to have your novel available only as an eBook, then you could go to and have a professionally designed book cover for as little as $20. The author will be responsible for choosing the stock image.

I nearly had a heart attack when I read the part about it costing over $825 for reviews through Netgalley and Kirkus. The author mentions that: "It all gets a little more complicated if all you have to work with is an electronic file," and then quoted MacLennan, who mentioned: "The alternative can chew up a lot of time and energy, though, because you’ll have to make sure that your novel is available in whatever format the prospective reviewer prefers."

I find it very silly of both the author and MacLennan perpetuated the belief that having a novel in electronic format is more complicated and more time consuming. On the contrary, I've found that it's much easier to send out eBook copies to reviewers. There aren't any shipping and printing costs associated with sending eBooks. And any author who's serious about writing needs to have their novels in both electronic and print formats. Having a book only available in print is as inefficient as working with a dot-matrix printer.

As for my thoughts on Netgalley, before forking over $400 to, I'd recommend consulting with authors who've actually used their service. I'm glad that I did, because I was warned that what they're charging is a waste of money, especially if you write in the thriller genre. As for Kirkus, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. Giving $825 to these guys is not going to guaranty you a ton of reviews this op-ed will have you believe, especially if it's your first novel. The best buzz an author can get is to write several books.

As for putting aside $300 for mailing out review copies, you'd have to be an idiot to spend that amount of money sending print copies. I've always advised new authors to never mail a print book to someone you don't know or haven't worked with. Serious reviewers have eReaders, and the cost of emailing an eBook is $0.

The most atrocious way this op-ed misleads readers is by perpetuating the belief that legacy authors have it better than indie authors. That's not true. If you're a first-time author who's lucky enough to get a book deal with a legacy publisher, that's great. But it doesn't mean that said publisher will invest a lot of money on you. Their budgets are reserved for the Stephen Kings and John Grishams. And even first-time legacy authors don't always make it. Look at Joe The Plumber. A lot of money was wasted on a book signing in Washington DC, and hardly anyone showed up. Plus his book bombed, which served both he and the publisher right.

Come on, Guardian, you guys need to do better research than this.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guess which NYT Bestselling Author is Reading THE DEMETER CODE?

Guess who was spotted reading The Demeter Code.

That's correct. New York Times Bestselling Author, Eric Jerome Dickey, has an autographed copy of The Demeter Code, and appears to be enjoying it.

If you enjoy stories with conspiracies, martial arts, sex, betrayal, and revenge, then you'll love The Demeter Code, available now on Amazon.

Friday, July 4, 2014

New Release--The Demeter Code

Hello, Everyone,

The wait is finally over. CIA operatives Ridley Fox and Nita Parris are back. When two American embassies in northern Africa are bombed, CIA operatives, Ridley Fox and Nita Parris, are assigned to track down the perpetrators. However, when their top asset is killed in a failed op, the agents suspect that there may be a new threat. Their search for the truth puts them on a collision course with a powerful multinational--which will go to extreme lengths to bury its criminal activities.However, the agents soon learn that someone with a personal vendetta against that company not only knows their secrets, but will expose them in a way that could result in the largest single-day attack against America.

If you enjoy stories with conspiracies, martial arts, sex, betrayal, and revenge, then you'll have to purchase THE DEMETER CODE.

To purchase your eBook or paperback copy, click on the above picture. Thanks again for your support.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Demeter Code: Episode 7

The exciting new thriller, THE DEMETER CODE by Russell Brooks, will be available on July 4, 2014. Visit for details.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

And the Actors to Play Ridley Fox and Dr Nita Parris are...

Once again, the time has come where I post my choice of actors to star in a novel I wrote if it were made into a movie today. This time it's for the action/thriller, The Demeter Code. I must admit that these choices weren't easy, especially choosing actors to play the minor characters. Yes, there are a lot of characters in this story. But if you've memorized all the characters from Game Of Thrones, then you shouldn't have any difficulty getting through Demeter. If you happen to forget who's who, just come back to this blog.

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, here are my choices.

Ridley FoxJohann Urb

This wasn't a tough choice after I saw Urb in Resident Evil 5 as Leon Kennedy. He's my top choice to be the former Canadian JTFII Warrant Officer-turned CIA covert operative. Fox is one of the main characters from Pandora's Succession and Unsavory Delicacies. Unlike Pandora where revenge fueled his drive to hunt down his antagonists, Demeter has him at odds with people within the CIA when he tries to convince them that the United States will come under attack. Fortunately, his partner, Nita Parris, his superior, General Paul Downing, and the new tech analyst, Dewan Douglas, have his back.

Dr Nita ParrisZoe Saldana

Still my top choice as the more compliant Barbadian-born partner to Ridley Fox. We've all seen Saldana in action in films such as Star Trek and The Losers. And although Parris is a former weapons analyst who could stand her ground when in a face-off against vicious assassins, she's also a brilliant scientist whom Fox depends on frequently. Her loyalty to him is tested as she goes against her superiors to work with him. Unfortunately she doesn't always sees what Fox does, which risks putting them both at odds.

Mitchell StaynerEric Roberts

One of the main antagonists to Ridley Fox and Nita Parris as the CEO of Sementemthe world's largest agricultural company and one of the most powerful and ruthless multinationals. Stayner's an ambitious businessman who's made several enemies over the years
even within his own company. As you'll discover, he doesn't have a problem getting rid of anyone who crosses him—regardless of the methods.

Mr LucasRolan Bell

I had a lot of difficulty searching for the right actor to portray Semetem's head of security and Stayner's personal "Fixer." Most of the well-known black actors are over 40. In Demeter, I described Mr Lucas as a younger Jamie Fox. He has a rich voice with a British staple that could charm the panties off of a woman. I stumbled on Bell's interview on YouTube and saw that he came close to resembling the character I pictured, right down to the tone of his voice. 

General Paul DowningTommy Lee Jones

This choice was too easy. Jones was the first person to come to mind when I first created the character in Pandora's Succession, who's the gritty head of the National Clandestine Service. Back then, he appeared to come down hard on Fox when he lost focusand made a few costly mistakes. In Demeter he has a larger role in the story, as he's at often at odds with the new CIA Director, who appears to have it in for Fox.

Jill St John aka The WomanMaggie Q

Very little is known about this elusive character. She's a professional identity thief and computer hacker who travels the world stealing company secrets for her clients. I can't reveal anything else about her without spoiling the story. But I'll mention that she's a major nuisance to both Parris and Fox.

Katherine SparksLaura Vandervoort

Sparks is a food quality control inspector at Camp Iron Eagle in Afghanistan. When nine army officers suffered from E. Coli poisoning, she's wrongfully accused and fired for it. With her life destroyed, she's met by the mysterious Jill St Johnwho presents her with an enticing offer in exchange for her help. What could possibly go wrong?

Dewan DouglasNathan Stewart-Jarret

A good story that gets you caught up in the suspense, tension, and the action will eventually slow down. These are moments where you can catch your breath. They're also great spots for comic relief. Dewan Douglas appeared briefly as a minor character in Pandora's Successionwho was inadvertently involved in a plot to wipe out the human race. He was eventually rescued by Parris and Fox, who pulled some strings to get him out of trouble. In Demeter, he has a larger role as the CIA's nosy IT man who assists both Parris and Fox. This actor was also a tough find. But I happened to stumble on this picture of him, followed by an interview I watched.

Monzer AlghafariF. Murray Abraham

The Syrian-born arms dealer who, for years, has evaded both American and European authorities as an illegal arms dealer. Alghafari is one of the world's most untouchable criminals who has allegedly armed terrorists who were responsible for some of the world's deadliest atrocities. From his luxurious hilltop mansion in Marbella, Spain, he conducts most of his illicit activities while using his import-export business as a front. The Spanish authorities once thought they had a strong case against him, only for witnesses to suddenly disappear or develop cases of selective amnesia. When the CIA links him to America's most wanted terrorist, Faouzi al-Umariwho was responsible for bombing three American Embassies in northern Africa, Ridley Fox infiltrates Alghafari's inner circle in order to help track him down. 

CIA Director Sue-Ellen MerrickSharon Stone

Have you ever worked for someone who always appeared to be out to get you no matter how well you did your job? This pretty much describes, Sue-Ellen Merrick. As though Parris and Fox don't already have their hands full with adversaries such as Mr Lucas, Alghafari, Stayner, and Jill St John, they have the new CIA director breathing down their necks while directing the world's most powerful intelligence organization with an iron fist. Fortunately, Fox and Parris have General Downing to take some of the heat away from them. But as you'll learn, it only works for so long.

Maksim Antanov—Tom Hiddleston

Antanov first appeared in Unsavory Delicacies as the tough-talking, most feared Russian mobster in St Petersburg, Russia. That was until he met Ridley Foxwho pulled some embarrassing skeletons from his closet. Hiddleston's best known for being the mischievous Loki in the movies Thor and The Avengers. In Demeter, he's still the tough guy he was in Unsavorywith a security detail that could rival his competitors. Albeit his criminal activities, he's an important CIA asset. He's proven useful to Fox as he has several connections to the criminal underworld—and possibly to other intelligence agencies. One must understand that both he and Fox aren't friends. However, Fox is one of the few people to have earned his respect.

Faouzi Al-UmariArnold Vosloo

Most of us remember Vosloo from The Mummy, The Blood Diamond, and from 24. So he's no stranger to playing villains. I could see him as the ruthless former CIA operative-turned-terrorist leader. What better adversary for both Parris and Fox than someone who could anticipate their moves. So far, he's gotten away with the bombings of a cruise line in the Mediterranean and three American embassies in northern Africa—where many Americans were victims. His whereabouts are unknown as he only appears on TV via a recording from his hideout. Apparently he has something big planned. What is it? You'll just have to read the novel.

TapMarion Cotillard

Although her appearance in the story is brief, it was important to mention her because her role was important. She's linked to a character from Unsavory Delicacies, I won't reveal which one as that would spoil the story. But if you've read Unsavory prior to reading Demeter, then you'll know why I chose this actress.

Timothy WeylandMacaulay Culkin

As a bonus, I thought that I'd throw in one more. Weyland is an employee of Bismark Securities, which is based out of Washington, DC. Parris recruits him when it's discovered that Bismark has been bankrolling terrorists who were involved in the US Embassy bombings. We haven't seen Culkin in anything lately, but I thought that this part, albeit small, would be a perfect role for him. If Demeter were to be turned into a movie, who knows, this might just be enough to revive his career as Pulp Fiction did for John Travolta. Read the story, then let me know if you agree.

So there you have it. The most important characters from The Demeter Code. Be sure to get your copy in either eBook or in paperback when it's available July 4, 2014.