Thursday, June 25, 2015

'Flatline' The heroes of this story are NOT the good guys.

My next novel, (which I initially expected to publish in 2015) started as a speculative fiction piece intended to be a short story. But, the characters and events got loose, and I was never able to corral them into the seven or ten thousand words I originally intended. They wanted a crime novel, and I became their galley slave.

Despite its cry for guns, guts, blood and violence, it is a clean and fairly flinch-free read. Flinching as you duck the bullets and brains.

The protagonist, Troy Bittles, is a retired enforcer for an infamous worldwide motorcycle club (gang). In retirement, he has turned his former exploits into fodder for a semi-successful writing career. He lives alone with an aging English Bulldog, Sam.

Life seems good, but the monotony is not all he thought it would be. Stacked against his former action-filled life, as an enforcer amongst outlaws, his current life is a definite flatline. For a while, he finds peace with the life he yearned for, yet one haunting deed he never can shake, the accidental murder of a child, continues to haunt his mind and heart. The hit was never supposed to go down that way. The boy was not expected to be in the house. On law enforcement logs, the child is still listed as missing, likely kidnapped.

While out for a routine walk with his dog, Troy is rat-packed by a group of street thugs. Initially, it seems unplanned although provoked by Troy. A much older outlaw shows up to help. Silas Parker, who in the spectrum of organized gangs, is the polar opposite of Troy's world. The only thing the two have in common is violence and murder.

Silas' help comes with a bite, though, as both men are propelled headlong into a series of calamitous events filled with hitmen, murder, drug cartels and runs from the police. Within these developments, Troy sees a dim chance at redemption for the one deed he felt had doomed him to a life of torment.

The story winds its way through California, Arizona, Mexico, Central America, and Brazil. In Recife, Brazil they are killing killers, the death squads preying on children whose only real crime is poverty. The story took a turn I could never have imagined, and redemption for the protagonists remains in sight but just out of reach.

The ending flabbergasted me and made me flinch.

Flatline is a crime novel. A wanton wild tale with a cast of strong, colorful characters that ride with impunity through violent circumstances mostly of their making.

The heroes in this novel are not the good guys.

Look for Flatline's release by mid-2016.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Advanced Searching - Who would believe you could do that?

I hope your writing, promoting and building of your social media platform is going well.
Keep the creative flow in your writing. Don't let the flame flicker and die. It's so hard to get going once it is snuffed out through the cacophony of life or inattention. Without your creative gift released into the world, we are all less. Without your craft, there is nothing for you to promote and no reason to build a platform from which to disseminate your work.

If all you want is activity on social media for social media's sake, you can do that. But, as an author or marketer, there is a greater purpose to it all. If you spend countless hours pushing tweets and facebook posts and responding to same, your flame may flicker and die as you lose any room for any real creative flow of your gift.

But, if you are interested in becoming proficient, effective and productive in your efforts. If you desire to build not just a large number of followers, but ones that are interested in the things you are interested in; Followers that will engage in conversation, share their lives and work and in turn you share theirs, synergy will happen and an organic growth of engaged followers and friends.

To accomplish this though, you will need help. By help, I don't mean turning your account over to a BOT that will retweet your followers posts while you sleep, leaving you with nearly no original content. Now, you will have lots of time, but no engagement, only a big fat worthless account. And, the help that I absolutely refuse is buying followers. The proliferation of offers to sell thousands of followers for a few dollars tells me people are buying... It would be like paying people to hang out with you, and then bragging about how many friends you have. Would they care? Would they share? What is that relationship really worth.

Okay, back to the help. We need sincere, informed help to accomplish real growth and engaged relationships. My help is Hootsuite, a Social Media Management System. To make it very clear, I am not a Hootsuite employee. I am an unpaid volunteer Brand ambassador. I feel so strongly about Hootsuite being the most comprehensive and best performing system that I find it a pleasure to promote the brand.

A system could be the greatest in the world, but useless if you are not trained in its features. In comes Hootsuite University. Thanks to Hootsuite they offer a comprehensive social media education that not only trains you in the Hootsuite Dashboard, but best practices and social media strategies.
Through Hootsuite University, I became a Certified Professional. Give it a try, in the first thirty days free trial you can become an expert and up the level of your game. After the trial period, the cost is $21.00 per month. Invaluable.

Besides teaching you all the features of the Hootsuite Dashboard, which is powerful and extensive to say the least. Hootsuite University offers courseware and video teachings to up your game and your career.

The one video and course segment I most valued was 'Advanced Listening.' I learned how to create streams that filter out what people are talking about, when and where they are talking about it. If I want to know all the people talking about coffee within, say, five miles of my home, I can have a search stream for that. Of course, that is only an example. I can then engage these people in conversations about my product, book or campaign.

The single most valuable feature of the Hootsuite platform is bulk scheduling. I can send up to 350 posts at one time to each account I have.

Also, powerful apps within Hootsuite bring me top notch content I can share through my accounts.

It is difficult to hold back and not keep going, but both our dinners are growing cold.
Please check my other posts that cover some of these things in more depth.

Have you seen Owly? Hoot! Hoot!

Hootsuite Certified Professional

The Three Stages of Building Social Community

These and many others are things I learned from Hootsuite University

Browse my other posts and you'll find still others with great tips on using social media.


If you'd like to leave a comment and find the form tedious you can comment on my twitter feed @mikeyznsacto or Facebook M. Matheson