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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. My gift to you.

Russell Brooks is the author of the action/thriller, THE DEMETER CODE, available everywhere online. Visit for details.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Canada Reads 2015

Hello, Everyone,

I need your help.

The CBC is looking for books for Canada Reads 2015. This is a program that's meant to promote Canadian authors, like myself. I would appreciate your nomination as this would be an opportunity for me at getting THE DEMETER CODE thrown into the Canadian spotlight.

Submitting is easy, as it cold be done via 
TwitterFacebookInstagram or email.

To make things easy, here are ways you can submit THE DEMETER CODE:

1. Copy and paste the following as a TWEET:

THE DEMETER CODE by @NoOtherRussell #CanadaReads

2. Copy and paste the following in an email to the CBC at:


I'd like to nominate THE DEMETER CODE by Russell Brooks for Canada Reads 2015

Kind regards,

(Your name)

3. If you love Facebook or Instagram, you can either take a Selfie holding my book, or download the book cover pic and then upload it. It's important not to forget the hashtag: #CanadaReads.

The deadline for the public call-out is Nov. 30 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Please spread the word and thanks again for your support.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Street Lit: Is That All Black Authors Can Write? My response to Nortina Mariella's Essay.

I stumbled across Nortina Mariella's essay a few days ago. After having read it three times I have every reason to believe that the author doesn't understand how the publishing industry works. She has the impression that the so-called THUG/HOOD/STREET LIT is the only kind of books that contemporary African-American authors are writing. The truth is that the reason why she saw these books on book shelves in the African American section was because the companies that publish those books pay stores to place them in those sections.

While I was on my way to publishing my first novel, I had a chance to converse with Jerry Simmons, the former VP of Time-Warner Books. He explained to me that a publisher's client is a bookstore, and not the consumer. When you walk into a Barnes and Noble or any other bookstore and you see a book pyramid, or your favorite book in a particular spot, it's because the publisher paid the bookstore for those areas.

One must think of shelf and floor space like real-estate. The more visible the location, the more expensive it'll cost the publisher. The author of this article falsely accused African-American authors of only writing this kind of literature. A reason why she may not have seen other kind of books written by AA authors in the AA section was because their publishers may not expect to make any profits in those neighborhoods. By the same token, it just further demonstrates how publishers have a lot of control over what consumers can access.

Rather than accuse Black authors of not writing the books that she wants to read, she could have easily gone online and researched the ones she wanted. She then had the option of either ordering it online, or going to a real bookstore or placing a special order.

If she were shopping for books up here in Montreal, most of these Street Lit titles she wrote about wouldn't necessarily be the only books found in the AA section. Almost six years ago when I discovered Eric, I searched for his books in the front among the Bestsellers. I was told that I could find his books in the AA section--in the BACK of the store. Riddle me this. Why is it that a Black NYT bestselling author is placed in a less visible location at the BACK of the bookstore rather than at the front among other White NYT bestselling authors? And this was 2008 Montreal, Quebec, not 1950 Selma, Alabama--if you catch my drift. And here's the best part, an acquaintance of mine attended Eric's book signing when he came to town. According to her, the audience was predominantly White. You'll never see Alex Cross in the AA section, even though the series has a strong AA platform.

I didn't feel comfortable with that book placement so I didn't give the store my money--but keep in mind that I didn't know how the publishing industry worked until later. I went to my public library where there are only two sections--A Children's and an Adult section--with a subdivisions for French and English books. I found all of Eric's books under D in the adult section, where they are up to this day, just a few rows away from mine.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014

You're Bent Out Of Shape Because A Few Reviewers Didn't Like Your Book. Boo-Fucking-Hoo!

Margo Howard
I came across an article in The New Republic written by former advice columnist, Margo Howard. In it she whines about Amazon Vine's review program and blames it for destroying her book, Eat, Drink & Remarry before it was published. Before writing this essay, I decided to read up on Ms Howard in order to find out a little about her so that I could write as much as an unbiased essay as possible.

Based on what I've found, she has an impressive resume. She's previously written for The Chicago Tribune, The New Republic, Good Housekeeping, and TV Guide. She's also written an advice column in Slate, Yahoo News, and the Globe. Her advice column, Dear Prudence, was also featured on National Public Radio.

For someone who was born in 1940 and who's had articles in syndication long before I wore my first diaper, I'm quite surprised that she's so naiveif not just downright ignorant—on how the pre-publication process works. In order for a book to be effectively marketed, pre-publication publicity is essential. Giving review copies to professional reviewers and to book bloggers before a book is released is one such common practice. However, Howard appears to only put Amazon's Vine program in her crosshairs. Rather than embrace the fact that not everyone's going to like her book, she's taken this "How Dare You!" childish response.  Are we to assume that Howard has joined the likes of James Patterson and other traditionally-published authors and author's groups in their frivolous crusade against Amazon? I couldn't help but wonder this because it didn't take me too long to find a review of her latest book, "Eat, Drink, & Remarry" that was recently published in the Boston Globe. What was interesting was that even this reviewer appeared to hate her book. One phrase actually stood out, "The only child of Eppie Lederer, a.k.a. Ann Landers, and Budget Rent a Car cofounder Julius Lederer, Howard grew up with such a mouthful of silver spoons, it’s a wonder she learned to talk." 


I doubt very much that Ms Howard will spend the remaining years of her life bitching about every bad review she gets. Trust me, she'll get many more. However, she's bound to also get a few good ones.

If Howard wanted to attack Amazon, a more valid criticism would've been for her to write about Vine's methods for matching products with particular reviewers. I've learned that the majority of people who don't like a book are those who aren't fans of the genre. For example, giving away a thriller novel to someone who typically reads science fiction won't necessarily yield satisfactory results for either the author or for the reader. Had Howard done this, she may gain more support. Instead, she comes across as a crybaby.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

CBY Book Club hosts giveaway for THE DEMETER CODE.

Hello, everyone,

CBY Book Club is hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway where five lucky winners will receive an eBook copy of my latest Ridley Fox/Nita Parris spy thriller, The Demeter Code. The winners will be able to choose between a Kindle or an ePub copy. This contest will end on September 25, 2014.

For those who still love paperbacks, I've included a discount code which will give you $5 off when you purchase your copy through Createspace. Registering through the site is easy.

Here's the link to CBY Book Club's blog:

I'd appreciate you spreading the word to your friends and family. Thanks again for your support.

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.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Demeter Code: Episode 4

The exciting new thriller, The Demeter Code by Russell Brooks, will be available July 4, 2014. Visit for details.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Demeter Code: Episodes 1 and 2

Check out the first two episodes of The Demeter Code. If you're looking forward to episode 3, please share this blog.

The Demeter Code, the fourth thriller by Russell Brooks, will be available on July 4, 2014. Visit for details.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

3D Printing. Once Science Fiction, Now Science Fact.

This is possibly one of the most innovative creations in recent history. I remember watching MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and seeing the face mask being created and thinking, "That's Science Fiction."

Today, what was once science fiction is now science fact. We can say that we're one step closer to the REPLICATOR technology seen on Star Trek. On the other hand, we can also expect governments will have to modify our laws in order to regulate what can and cannot be made.

As seen in the video there are positive uses for 3D printing, such as creating body parts for transplant or for other medical uses. Imagine needing a new kidney or a new heart and not having to be put on a waiting list. Imagine how this would revolutionize the manufacturing industry, where metals, parts, maybe clothes, etc. would no longer have to be created and imported from China or Taiwan. We'd be able to manufacture items much cheaper here in Canada and in the USA. As a result, companies that were once closed and outsourced overseas would once reopen, and thus creating jobs. 

Although nanotechnology exists, are we much further from printing billions of nanobots that we can program and then inject into our bloodstream for the purpose of targeting cancer cells or even the HIV/AIDS virus and eradicate them?

Then again, there are negative sides to this technology. People could use it to create weapons for illicit uses. 

If you could afford one of these machines, what would you print? I'd start with with something simple, such as a new pair of glasses, lol.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Canadian Thriller Author, Russell Brooks, and American Composer, Jeremy Vajko, Collaborating on Spy/Thriller Sequel.

Russell Brooks—the author of two thrillers and a short story anthology—is pleased to announce that he’ll be working with Jeremy Vajko to produce a serialized seven-part audio excerpt of his upcoming thriller, THE DEMETER CODE, coming July 4, 2014.

Montreal, Qc (24-7PressRelease) May 14, 2014—Canadian thriller author, Russell Brooks, has found an innovative way to promote his upcoming spy/thriller, The Demeter Code. He’ll perform serialized dramatic readings of the first three chapters with a music scor

e composed by Jeremy Vajko. Brooks’s other works in the same series include, Pandora’s Succession and Unsavory Delicacies. His previous thriller, Chill Run, is a standalone. The first episode will debut on May xx, 2014 via with subsequent episodes every Monday.

Rather than hire an actor, Brooks performed the dramatic reading while Vajko provided the score. The end result: A compelling story that’s not only worthy of the attention of thriller fans, but also Hollywood studios who are looking for the next blockbuster. The first episode will debut on May xx, 2014 via Brooks’s website, with the other excerpts following every Monday over a seven-week period, enticing readers while they wait for the July 4, 2014 release date.

[Brooks] is an example of a writer who has not waited for opportunities to come to him but rather took the bull by its horns. Literary agents, you might want to take a look at this writer. He is worthy of notice.” –Jeff Rivera, Galleycat.

Book Synopsis

When two American embassies in northeast 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.

About Russell Brooks and Jeremy Vajko

Prior to becoming an author, Russell Brooks graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, with a BS in biology and a minor in psychology. He’s also an All Big Ten Track and Field sprinter over the 100 and 200 meters. Additionally, Brooks was on the Canadian Track and Field team for the 1999 World University Games and the Jeux de la Francophonie in 1997 and 2001. Furthermore, he has 13 years of experience in the health insurance industry. He used his background in science in order to come up with the subject matter for PANDORA’S SUCCESSION while using his experience in insurance to write CHILL RUN. He currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Jeremy Vajko is an up and coming freelance composer from Boise, Idaho, who has composed numerous tracks for film, video games, and multimedia. He has been composing for over a decade—specializing mostly in orchestral music. Vajko has a love for other styles which range from Piano, Rock, and even Hip Hop. For more information on Jeremy Vajko, visit

To hear the excerpts, visit and join the mailing list. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Demeter Code Trailer 2

I can't tell you what happens, but I can give you a little teaser. Please share

The spy/thriller, THE DEMETER CODE by Russell Brooks, will be released July 4, 2014. Visit and sign up to the mailing list to learn about contest details.

Monday, April 28, 2014

First Teaser Posters for THE DEMETER CODE.

Here are the official teaser posters for THE DEMETER CODE, coming July 4, 2014. Help me make these pictures go viral and share them.

Thanks for your support.

The Demeter Code by Russell Brooks, coming July 4, 2014 in eBook and paperback. Visit and join the mailinglist for contest info and for details on the upcoming 6-part audio excerpt.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Demeter CodeTrailer #1

Here's the first promo trailer for the upcoming spy thriller, The Demeter Code, coming July 4, 2014.

Join my mailinglist at for contest info. Prizes can include winning a copy. Please feel free to share this video and invite your friends to join my mailinglist.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Zimmerman Sells Painting of Trayvon Martin for $30,000? Wake up, people.

George Zimmerman sells painting of Trayvon Martin for $30,000 on eBay. This is a fake story that's being circulated. Sadly, even by credible news outlets on social media.

It's important not to believe everything you see on Facebook, even when WBLS 107.5 and News Nerd post fake pictures and stories that aren't even true. Keep your emotions in check while reading stuff on the internet and always check the facts. Some people are just out there to stir the pot and make assholes famous.


Friday, April 11, 2014

When life imitates your own art.

For those who read my debut novel, Pandora's Succession from 2010, you would've read about an ancient microbe that was accidentally unearthed from under the polar ice caps and misused by the wrong people. I was often criticized that the scenario was either "too out there" or "that's impossible because viruses nor micro-organisms could survive that long under the ice."

Having a degree in biology not only helped me to write fiction, but credible fiction. It's always great to have research back you up. However, it's even sweeter when life imitates your own art.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Lost in Fast-Food Translation.

Paris, France, 10 years before.

Russell had about a hundred euros to his name, but all he could think of was getting something to eat. The last track practice left an airy void in his stomach which kept protesting giving him warning growls that could compete with those of a bear. 

He spotted a McDonald's across the street. And although he doesn't eat out often, he felt that a crispy McChicken would hold him over for the next few hours.

Unlike back home, this McDs was worse with the line ups. For a large portion of country to dislike Americans with a such a passion, it appeared that the French shared the same affinity to high caloric and greasy foods.

Russell made it to the counter. He didn't even need to look at the menu since he always ordered the same thing.

He smiled at the cashier, who was a young petite girl. "J'aimerai avoir un MacPoulet, s'il vous plait." May I have a McChicken, please.

The cashier scrunched up her face, narrowing an eye."Quoi?"

"Un MacPoulet."

"Tu veux un quoi?"

Russell couldn't believe this. They had to have chickens in France. How could she not know what a MacPoulet is.

"Vous connaissez le poulet," Russell then proceeded in bending both arms to look like chicken wings and moved them while bobbing his head. "Ca fait, Pwok, Pwok, Pwok! Tu sais, le poulet. Je veux un MacPoulet
et en trio."

The cashier suddenly burst out laughing. "Ah, je comprends. Vous demandez pour un MacChicken."

Russell scrunched up his face. "Un what?"

The End

The Demeter Code—the sequel to Pandora's Succession—will be out this summer. Visit and sign up to the mailinglist for more details.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Yeah, I know my novel's full of typos and poor grammar. But you still ain't getting a refund.

I was on Facebook yesterday and came across a buddy's blog. He works in a bookstore and is an avid reader. It stands to reason why I wasn't surprised why he was livid after having purchased a poorly edited and formatted novel. It turns out that the author of said novel runs his own publishing company, and has a few authors signed up (Good luck to them). As an writer, I understand exactly where my buddy's coming from. Authors have a responsibility to ensure that their books are up to publication standard before they're released. And by publication standard, I'm referring to books that are free from typographical and grammatical errors. Furthermore, they should be properly edited for contentin that the subject matter be as accurate as possible. Failure for an author to do so will result in them pissing off his or her fanbase, which will eventually result in lost sales.

If an author decides to publish independently and is not a skilled editor, formatter, and graphic designer, then they ought to hire a team of professionals to assist them in each of those tasks. Even if they're skilled editors, it's better that they seek out a professional because it's always best to have a fresh pair of eyes look over one's work. Real publishing houses have in-house editors, formatters, and graphic designers, as they ought to cover these costs and not leave them to the author.

Unfortunately, many first-time authors fall victim to being conned by fake editors. I'm not ashamed to admit it, but I was once a victim of a fake editor when I wanted to publish my first novel. I was new to the game. I had big dreams, big ambitions, and had very little money to invest. And, like most first-time novelistsnaive. I had enough common sense not to trust myself to edit my own novel. After all, tired eyes don't often yield the best results. Following a short period of web surfing, I found an editor (or at the time, I thought she was one) who was willing to work on my first novel while not charging me an arm and a leg for it. I got it back about two weeks later. I read the first few pages and saw the corrections she made, felt confident, and sent it to my eBook and print formatter.

Fast forward to several weeks later, I got some great reviews. Unfortunately among them were complaints about the poor editing. I was surprised, because I put my faith (not to mention paying close to $500 Canadian) in this so-called editor. I was devastated, I felt cheated, but worst of all, I was embarrassed. Was I wrong in trusting this editor? Yes. I should've done more research into this person and the company she represented. Not to mention, I should've re-read my novel (or at least beyond the first few pages). Did I learn from this mistake? Damn right I did. It took me a while, but I came up with the money to pay a professional editor. As time went on, I became friends with bestselling Canadian author, Cheryl K Tardif, who kindly referred me to her editorLisa Martinezwho was kind enough to take the time out of her busy schedule and clean it up. She also edited my second novel. Once the revised edition was back up on Amazon, the complaints about bad editing ceased.

If a reader, regardless of how much they paid for a novel, complains about bad editing, then it's the responsibility of the author to take those complaints seriously and make the necessary corrections as soon as reasonably possible. The same thing goes for a publisher.

It's not uncommon to read reviews or complaints about poor editing and formatting. But when the author, or as in this on my buddy's blogthe publisherresponds with asinine comments, such as "You have to much time on your hands" (and even proving their incompetence by misspelling the word 'too') rather than take the matter seriously, then they deserve to be bashed and exposed. Those kind of people aren't real publishers nor authors, they're con-artists.

The Demeter Code, the upcoming sequel to the spy-thriller, Pandora's Succession, will be out later this year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

I nearly died. How dare you send me a sympathy note in English.

It's so sad how the political climate in Quebec brings out the worst in people.

Many of you would've heard about Rich Peverley, who plays for the Dallas Stars, collapsing on the bench during a hockey game due to cardiac issues. The Montreal Canadians sent out a sympathy tweet in both French and English. However, the guy you see below in the picwho's obviously a Separatistreplied to both the Montreal Canadians AND the Dallas Starsby tweeting: "Au Québec le francais en premier. C'est nous respecter." Translation, "In Quebec it's French first. Respect us."

Don't ask me why Mr Filion believes why language takes precedence over someone's health, or why he thinks that Quebec's language laws extend on social mediaor even in the state of Texas. Don't even ask me why he also had the nerve to file harassment complaints with the Sûrété du Québec (Quebec Provincial Police) due to the huge Twitter backlash he got fromwhere I assume to beacross the country.

I politely tweeted him, letting him know that someone nearly died, and that he ought to show some respect. And I did so in French, followed by English. He replied to me, writing:

Translation: "I respect and am sad for Peverly, but show some respect for the French majority. Thank you."

I replied to him, asking him how did I disrespect the French majority. As expected, he didn't reply.

If there's one thing that I hope Mr Filion has learnedand hopefully the PQ government that's in poweris that you cannot politicize everything. There's a time and place for politics, and one of those places where it doesn't belong is during a hockey game. By the same token, it most certainly doesn't belong in a hospital.