Monday, July 30, 2012

Joseph Day's Passing on July 21, 2012

     Joseph Day

Joseph Day (Author), lived on the Big Island of Hilo, HI.  He passed away very unexpectedly this past Saturday July 21, 2012.  He will be missed by his many loved ones, friends and fans alike. 

A memorial will be held for him on August 26, 2012 at 12:00 P.M.

Christ Lutheran Church
595 Kapiolani Street
Hilo, HI.

Robert Booth

Tel:  808 935-8612

For more information regarding Joseph Day's Novels 
and  Social Media you may contact;

Roxanne Reichbach
Mystery Noir 3
Administrator & Artistic Director

Friday, July 20, 2012

Konrath the Clown

I don't like talking about Joe Konrath any more. But sometimes it's hard to resist because the guy is so fatuous.

Quote Konrath on his own blog -

"I try not to read what others write about me. It just doesn't interest me.
If anyone wants to challenge something I've said, they can do so here on my blog."

Yeah, sure. I did that, and got slandered, insulted, and otherwise verbally harassed. He lets regulars on his site do it for him. Like a wannabe writer that never wrote a book and acts like an expert. Or an "author" that claims they came from another world and replaced a wizard.

And this guy says other people are making fun of him.

Keep it up Joe. I'm starting to like you more every day.

Why I go Swimming

Michelle Jenneke's Hot Warm-up Barcelona 2012

Australian hot runner Michelle Jenneke warming up before the 100m hurdles during the World Junior Championships in Barcelona in a unique manner ...

I wish my warm up before running could be as much fun.

A lot more of that I've seen at swimming pools. Usually they're excellent swimmers, some of them doing it competively or on water polo teams.

Though I'm no Ross MacDonald, I understand he used to like to swim when he wasn't writing.

You know, they never did say whether she won that race.

Once in awhile, we all need a break from books.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How Do You Know if Your Writing is Any Good

No matter how successful, there's probably not one author who hasn't wondered how good their writing is. By good, I mean how well it is technically. Does it give accurate and complete descriptions? Does it flow fast and smoothly, or just grind along? Is it captivating and does it have elan?

I'm not talking about subject matter. What the writing is describing,  and what is the subject matter, are totally different from how well something is written. Many people, even so called writers, confuse these two separate areas. Many times writers purposely create this confusion. It's what the Ancient Greeks called rhetoric.

An example of this would be the writer Jim Thomson. Many well mannered people would be abhorred with the subject matter and characters of his books. But technically, as an artist in writing, Thompson may have been the best American author that has ever lived. ( For more about Thompson, read In Praise of Jim Thompson on this blog. )

Like any art, writing can't be taught. Oh there's some rules of thumb, and you can list the essential elements that must be there. But it's not a chemistry formula. You can't create novels like Ross MacDonald from the ingredients Ross MacDonald uses. Only Ross MacDonald can do that.

However, even for someone with natural talent, there are certain guidelines one should always keep in mind. First, and foremost, make sure what you describe and write is clear. It's sort of like what Spencer Tracy said about the  most important thing in acting - "Know your lines". If you think that's obvious, just look at all the published fiction out there that doesn't do this.

Next, have the writing flow smoothly instead of grinding along. Many times I've seen interesting stories that become totally boring because the writing has become so boring. This can often times be tied to how interested you are in the subject. Technically, I have written fiction where I didn't like the genre or story, but I was still able to make it flow freely. I can also tell you it was boring for me and went slower than I wished. When writing something that interests and excites me, the project is done very fast.

Then there's that unknown ingredient I call elan. You're really into your story and characters. It leaps out at a reader. Just look at the writing of someone like Mickey Spillane, Ross McDonald, or Janet Evanovich. Now take a look at Joe Konrath's Jack Daniels novels. It's the difference from being alive or dead.

( I really don't like bringing up Konrath and his writing all the time. But he's the only bad "author" I've given more than a passing glance. Really, if you want to write good, always read the successful  and good writers. If you read too much of people like Konrath, your writing will become like Konrath's writing. Mediocre. )

So how do you tell if your writing is any good? Well, the opinion of third persons is a good indicator. Particularly if they're a literary agent or publishing editor that goes through manuscripts all day long, and are sick of it. If they give you genuine personal compliments, or want to read more of your stuff and enjoy it,  that's an encouraging indicator. ( In the old days, in my early twenties, I was told that if they didn't like it, they had no hesitation in telling you to get lost. But in today's world, I don't think that's the case any longer. )

But like one agent said -"It's a very subjective business. What works for one, may not work for another."

For me, I'm skeptical about praise. And the few criticisms I've heard seemed to be tainted by ulterior motives.  So at times, what I try to do is take an objective look at my stuff when I'm sick of it. I mean I'm just tired  of writing, particularly my own writing,  and just don't want to look at it any more. Then I'll calmly sit down, and look at some of the past stuff I wrote. Sometimes I'll even compare it with successful authors who write similarly. If I'm satisfied with what I see, well I go on writing. If not, I'll throw the typewriter away.

The important thing is to honestly, objectively look at yourself. Realism, particularly about yourself, is the most difficult thing you can do. As Bobby Burns said - "If we (only) had the gift to see ourselves as others see us.".

As for learning from other people how to write, sometimes you pick up points from publishing editors, no matter how uncreative they are. But usually in writing and other arts,  people that teach can't do. And if they can do and teach, I've heard they're pretty terrible teachers.

The only thing I learned about the art of writing is what Somerset Maugham once said - "Write like you're writing a telegraph, and don't have much money to spend."

                                                                                                                    Joseph Day, Author
                                                                                                                ( This is to make someone named
                                                                                                                   R happy. I think you already                                    
                                                                                                                   who I am.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Figures on Book Sales

Peter Kafka has done an excellent article about total book industry sales and their breakdown. Here is the link to that article -

From the article, total trade fiction sales are approximately $13.5, in which about $2.7 billion of that figure is from ebooks. According to a survey by BookStats, those ebook sales have doubled from the previous year.

This is very encouraging for those novelists who want to self publish. But bear in mind that this $2.7 billion sales figure also includes ebook sales from publishers like Doubleday. My own guess would be that the percentage of those sales would be 50% or more.

So there's certainly hope for those fiction writers that self publish. Heck, I have three novels on Amazon myself. ( If you're interested you can check on their links further down. )

But it also makes fatuous the claims of people like Joe Konrath that the publishing industry is trying to discredit him by stealth. Actually, they could probably care less about him, especially after his deal with Ace books seems to have been a fiasco for both sides.

This "conspiracy" theory has been especially championed by someone named P.S. Power. His / her bio page on Amazon claims they  came from another reality and replaced a wizard. Is this person serious? I don't know. He / she is unclear. It sort of reminds me of this lady publishing editor who dealt with me. She claimed to sleep with Charlie Chaplin every night, thirty years after he was dead.

Anyhow, his / her latest rant is that anyone who disagrees with Konrath, must be a publisher in disguise, because publishers are afraid Konrath will put them out of business. Earlier, Power claimed I had delusions because I thought Konrath was a mediocre writer.

It's hilarious as long as you don't get in a conversation with these "characters". It's like arguing with a barroom drunk. You'll never be the winner.

I do hope good writers who self publish are a success. Heck I'd like my own  self published stuff  to be a success. If you can get through the braggadocio bathos, Konrath has some interesting points to make about his own experience and observations.

He can also be pretty funny unintentionally. According to him, he spent most ( all? ) of the money he earned  from book publishers travelling around the country promoting his novels. It even gets funnier when you have some established writers screaming he's a "cancer" because they're afraid their publishers are going to insist they do the same thing. Actually, more agents and publishers are  insisting on this. I'm even having the same problem myself with these three ebooks for sale. So maybe it's not funny after all. At least from a personal standpoint. ( Just look at the bottom of this article to see what I mean. )

There's loads of things wrong with the publishing industry. Not the least of which is, that it's who you know, not how good you are. It's like that in all media business. Much worse in the movies.

In the future, I might have more to say about that.

Best of luck to all the good writers out there.

                                                                                                               Joseph Day, Author

                                                                                                        ( Okay R. Are you happy now? Like                                    
                                                                                                           you constantly insist, I've signed my
                                                                                                            name. As if anyone doesn't already
                                                                                                            know my name on this blog. )

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Promotion for Fast Love - A Novel

Fast Love - A Novel by Joseph Day


Here is a very short scenerio about "Fast Love".

Sami Martel was a survivor.

Being a high priced call girl provided a good living for her and a young son.

Street smart and pretty, she understood the world of fast love. A world tense with danger, excitement, and the unexpected.

But now Sami was no longer sure of herself. The law wanted her to work for them. All she had to do was coax information from a sadistic, illegal banker named Victor Sitchken. After all, he had only tried to kill her the last time they were together. And besides, she was being paid more money than could be made in a lifetime. So what if the risk was high.

When push came to shove, Sami knew she didn't have a choice. No matter what they said, she knew it would be either her or Sitchken.

And it was then that fast love suddenly became fast death.

This is the first of my three novels now sold on in both the Kindle and Paperback Versions. 

You can also go to my Website at;

Visit me anytime on my Facebook Page at;
Kindle Version;
Paperback Version;

Joseph Day

                                                                         Hilo, Hawaii

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Men in Skirts

( Though not intentional, this article will be mentioning my novel Fast Love, and therefore might be indirectly promoting it. Also, a novelist J.A. Konrath will be mentioned with comments which might be uncomplimentary, but are  intended only for discussion about the art of writing. Janet Evanovich will also be praised for discussion purposes, with no intention of promoting her best selling books. Richard Flanagan's excellent novel The Unknown Terrorist is also mentioned. )

Usually with a novel, a writer can't help but have some of  themselves in the principle character and hero. This can be particularly the case when the book is done in the first person.

That's why many lady publishing editors will say it's very seldom a man can write a story from a woman's point of view.

In my novel Fast Love I do this, with call girl  / escort Sami Martel. So does JA Konrath in his Jackie Daniels book series. Both are in the first person.

Konrath's books about a woman police detective are really Konrath in skirts. He is Lieutenanat  Daniels, or what he would like to imagine himself to be as the ideal macho woman. Like Konrath in real life, his herorine goes around screaming, telling anyone to get lost if they get in her way. The characters around her, like her sidekick Herb, are ciphers that are expected to do what she wants. If not, they're immediately castigated.  Jackie Daniels has no flaws, no vulnerabilities, at least in the novels I've seen. Her personal life and dysfunctional parents are superficially mentioned in passing.

My impression is that when Konrath's detective series first came out, he was trying to imitate the very successful Janet Evanovich and her heroine Stephanie Plume. I've only read one of Ms Evanovich's novels, but in the future I hope to read more. Unlike Konrath, Ms. Evanovich's characters appear more realistic. Through dialogue, we learn their backgrounds, habits, and foibles. Sometimes this is easy to miss because her stories move so fluidly fast. Unlike her, Konrath's first Daniel's novels seem to grind along, like he's not sure how to play a woman. Probably this is because he never had much close experience with many ladies. Then after the first few novels, he decides to let Jack Daniels be him, the way Joe Konrath would be a woman if he could wear skirts.

For me, I'll be the first to admit that in Fast Love, Sami Martel is Joe Day in skirts, and Joe Day's view of how a woman like Sami would think and react. However unlike Konrath, I've probably had more close relationships with more women, and I would like to think I have a better idea of how they would think.

It's one thing to sit around  in a bar and pay some strip teasers  to talk with you. It's another to be lying down with them intimately, listening to them talk bitterly about a life that's become hopeless, and a future that is bleak. To have some girl call you on the phone telling you how she was raped a week earlier, crying in sobs, and trying gently to explain to her that she has nothing to be ashamed about. That the shame is with those who hurt her.

The reason I expect Konrath hasn't had much experience with women is partly based on what he said a few years ago. He was bragging about how he was finally able to write three pages of love making for a novel, and what the response had been from his wife. First, any guy that's been around doesn't talk about intimate conversations with his spouse. If I did, there'd be hell to pay for the next week. Second, it's really not that hard to write about sex and love making if you've had the experience.

In Fast Love, Sami Martel has sex several times, all with a man that she slowly starts to love. Like Konrath's Jack Daniels, Sami has a big mouth. But unlike Konrath's Jack, my Sami explains why.-

'  "Why don't you cut out the wisecracks, Sami?" Bill sounded more exasperated than ever. 

I couldn't. Because being a wise ass kept me from being scared. Scared stiff. None of these four guys looked like they wanted to party. Neither did Bill, for that matter. But then he’d already shot his cannon. '

Konrath's Jack Daniels way of handling aggressive men is to kick them in the testicles.

With Sami, it's a verbal reply that figuratively emasculates them -

'  "How'd you like to b**e with me." He grinned eagerly. "We can do it upstairs. My dad's got a suite. Even introduce you to dad later. If you like."
"No thanks."
"I got a big one. Even bigger than dad's. Would you like to s**k it?"
"Tell you what, Jimmy." I pinched his cheek until he winched in pain and pulled away. "Why don't you cut it off and mail it to me. And maybe I'll think about it." '

Richard Flanagan solved much of these problems by writing The Unknown Terrorist in the third person. By dialogue and narration, mostly narration, we learn about the sad and tragic life of  "The Doll". The story, the actions, subtly bring out The Doll's dream to be alone and free from the control of men.

It reminds me of recently having pizza with this nineteen year old girl -

"What do you want?"

"Just a little place, away from everybody, where I can be by myself and grow food."

"In other words, you're just tired of people and want to be alone."

"Yeah...I'm tired of being worked to death and people taking advantage of me. I just want to be away from everyone."

She's a smart girl. One day she'll have a enough money to get her wish.