Guest Blog Post on J.A. Konrath’s site by Silas Payton:


Today is a special day for me. Joe Konrath has posted a guest post by me on his site. What makes this special for me, as some of you may already know, is that Joe Konrath holds a special place in my heart. I started following his blog in 2011 once I read a number of his books, and was hooked from day one. I have since read almost every word the man has published. The inspiration and motivation from him on his blog and from the comments generated by his followers, led me to give this fiction writing a try. He and his wife were the first people to read my writing after my wife and oldest son, after which he offered me a chance to collaborate with him…seriously! On my first book! His life became too busy, and that book turned into White Lady, in his Kindle Worlds.

It is very fitting that this blog post is on writers working together to cross-promote. I owe Joe Konrath so much for introducing me to this wonderful world of writing. To him, and his wife, I say… Thank-you.

Here’s the beginning of the post. Please click over to Joe’s blog to read the rest.

The F-word Authors Should Learn from Rap Music

Hip hop or rap has done extremely well in the past twenty years and I would argue it is largely because of the F-word. Fans want the F-word, plain and simple, and I’m willing to bet this holds true with writing just as much as with rap music. I would argue one of the factors in the success of rap is the F-word… Featuring. It’s seen after the title of many, many hip hop songs, used to highlight a guest performer. Many music artists have worked together in the past, but no other music genre has done it so effectively. Writers would do well to learn from this strategy. In this post I highlight some rap examples of this success and discuss ways we can apply this technique to writing.

When someone starts listening to a particular rapper, it’s not long before they have a list of other rappers they also want to check out. Fans quickly become aware of other artists similar to, or liked by, their new star. When they are looking for something else to listen to, guess where they are going to turn.

Rappers seem to enjoy promoting each other. Not only do rappers collaborate on songs and show up to each other’s concerts, but often other performers will be mentioned in a song without even being featured in it. The only benefit is to raise awareness. Perhaps it’s from the roots or history of rap, I’m not sure. What I do know is rappers take cross-promotion to a whole new level.

Find the rest here:

Here is a guest post from a friend and fellow author, Melanie Smith.

Mount Haven Code

***NEW RELEASE*** Romantic Suspense…Action Packed ***
I’m excited to announce the release my new Romantic Suspense novel, MOUNT HAVEN. It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes. Go get your copy today!
When Rowdy Cooper’s life is turned upside down he & his family must find a way to go on. Will the move to Mount Haven prove therapeutic or lethal? Bailey’s on the run. For years she’s been able to keep her secrets and fly under the radar. Will that all change now that there’s a new sheriff in town? Not to mention his sexy, too observant brother. She loves Mount Haven but maybe it’s time to move on before her past proves lethal for everyone.
I hope you will take a minute to check it out. I’m already getting great reviews!
–Melanie P. Smith

Watch the eBook trailer on YouTube

Get to know Author Melanie P. Smith

Like Paranormal Romance? Check out the Warrior Series Brochure by Melanie P. Smith

Warrior Banner_ Series

Brochure contains information, buy links and eBook Trailers.

Writers Woes: I Love Buts

I must apologize to all that know me and who I may have offended. I didn’t even realize until today…I have a serious fascination with buts. It seems to be relatively subconscious, as I wasn’t aware of my problem. On reflection though, I do like them, and it’s not only mine I like. I admit it, I like them all. I’ve had to stop the presses on my soon to be released, 14 Gable Lane, to deal with my personal issues. I need an intervention.

I know there is a certain usefulness to buts, however, I’ve gone too far…I’ll use them for anything. Generally speaking, they’re best used to make things flow better, but why stop there. If I get thinking about them, I can make things bigger, and sometimes when I’m done with them, I can even make things smaller. I like to play with them…try different things. However, this is not considered proper behaviour by most, at least not in public. Buts should be used only in some environments, not just pulled out anywhere, anytime, for indiscriminate flaunting.

I’ve been made aware of my problem, not by a friend, not by anyone who cares, and not by self-awareness, but from a mindless, heartless computer program simply analyzing my words. Who would have guessed our technology would come to this…a machine highlighting my flaws, calling me out, luckily before anyone who knows me gets hurt.

So to deal with my issues, I’m starting a twelve step program, the first of which is to admit my problem…a severe obsession with buts. The second is to apologize to anyone who I’ve offended by sticking my buts all over the place, often where they don’t belong. I will soon be going back, looking over my recent past, 14 Gable Lane, pulling out my buts.

I have many things to be thankful about, but right now, I’m thankful for a wonderful team of beta readers who have graciously agreed to help in the near future when I’m finally ready to let go. Ready to open myself criticism, to share something I’m proud of…a piece of myself. Thankfully…without my buts.

Silas Payton

Freaky-dream Friday


Yes, I know it’s not Friday, but it’s sounds cool and I had hoped to write this Friday.

Followers of my blog would know I’m a night owl. I like to stay up late writing or editing while the house sleeps. When I finally pack it in, I often fall asleep thinking about my characters or a story I’m working in. Like most, I occasionally wake with bizarre half distorted memories of dreams that, and some when I remember, make it into my “must write about this” list. A couple days ago I woke to one of the most vivid dreams I remember having and thought I’d share.

First I have to give you a little background. We live about 6km from the airport and are just off one of the the flight paths. It’s a small airport…20 seat planes max with the occasional Hercules landing and taking off for training. When the planes take off in our direction, they fly over about half a block from our house. We hear them but don’t take much notice.

Within a few blocks radius is a our home, our office, the primary school and high school. This has been our community for almost twenty years and we know the area well. The airport is on the shore of Lake Ontario and a road drives almost straight from there inland to our subdivision. It courses up a hill and once over the hill flattens out to out neighbourhood.

In the dream I had, my wife and I were driving along this road near the airport, as a small plane took off…nothing unusual. But in this case, as the plane took off, the noise became louder. Much louder. It was so loud we pulled over and looked out the side window to see a large jumbo jet attempting to land but way over shooting the airport. We sat and watched as the plane flew straight toward our area of town, barely making it over the crest of the hill and out of site. Seconds later, there was a tremendous explosion followed by multiple smaller ones, presumably from the gas we all heat our houses with. Black smoke was raising into the air above the trees, soon followed by the orangey red glow of the flames. There was no question of what happened, and the devastation, left us stunned and speechless, watching and wondering…what, and who was left.

In my dream, I wasn’t aware if our kids were in the car or not, and luckily I woke before considering the consequences of them being at home. I must say this was the most vivid dream I recall having. Not sure what it means. I don’t fear flying although it’s been many years, and I don’t have any foreseeable plans to. The airport is in the beginning of a two year expansion project but the idea of that has never bothered me.

Since this dream, there have been a number of times that I’ve heard a plane flying by and thought back to my dream. Doesn’t really freak me out but I do find dreams fascinating. My kids are all teens and it won’t be long before they’re moving on. The thought of that does freak me out. Who knows? Maybe thoughts of my life changing wove themselves into the dream. Perhaps the dream was pure chance, I’ll never know. I’m sure somehow, but part of this will make its way into a story.

If any of you have ever worked a dream into a story or book tell us about it in the comments and leave a link to the book. If you don’t have a book out, link to a dream related story on your blog. What was your most vivid dream?

If you wish to see where some of my dreams have led me, check out my books on the side panel.

Silas Payton

The Clock Man

Check out this new book from a great story teller friend of mine.

Eric Lahti

The Clock Man started with a single idea: what if you could meld the fantastic Chinese martial arts and mysticism with American steel? It would be kind of like Steampunk but without the Victorian underpinnings. Rather than brass and bronze and the analog details that make Steampunk so interesting, what if you had a world that was powered by magic? What if – like the stories in Kung Fu Theater – martial arts were an important part of that world?

Thus was born Aluna.

In all fairness, I think I should point out that Aluna (at least the name) was my son’s creation. He used to tell us stories of the wars and things that happened on Aluna; it was his planet and he was populating it with all manner of high technology and fantastic creations. I took the name and used it for a different world – with his…

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Music and Writing: Write with Passion


I’ve been in business for almost twenty years now, and in that time, I’ve seen many small businesses come and go. One of the biggest predictors I’ve noticed in the success of a business is the passion of the business owner. Are they driven to put in the extra work? To do what it takes to make it succeed? I believe the same holds true for writing.

As a fiction writer, you have to be driven to keep going. Driven to make it the best you can. Writing a book is a huge project, way too big to be guilted into finishing it, or to do it so you can make some money. It has to be for you. You have to want to write it so bad you regularly stay up half the night because you have to finish a thought. So bad that the next day as you’re a walking zombie, trying to do what ever you do to pay your bills, you’re semi-functioning brain continues to think about your book, looking forward to writing again. So bad, you’ll keep writing, even standing out in the snow, waiting for your dog to pee. Writers who are driven by the passion to write will find the time, will find the help needed, will find ways to improve their craft, will find a way to make it happen.

I’ve also wondered how many finished books are out there…books where the writer lost steam before getting it published. When a writer finishes ‘writing’ a book, they still have to make it into an actual book, and whether paper or digital, it takes a lot of work to finish it off. Even when that’s all done, there’s self-publishing and marketing, or approaching publishers.

Music has a way of turning up emotions. Much like a book, it can allow us to escape the world around us, to forget our problems, and give in to the writer and follow down the path they are leading us. Here are a few great examples passion in music. The first is, When your Mind’s Made Up, by Glen Hansard. When I used to play guitar at open mics a few years ago, this was a favourite for me. It’s hard to listen to it without really getting the feeling of what was written. I’ve ripped more thumbnails on this song than any other. I’d get so into the song, when I was done and out of breath, I’d have blood splatters on my guitar from catching a nail on a string…even while playing with a pic.

The second and third pieces I’d like to share are from one of my favourite performers, Jesse Cook. Although totally different from the first song, Jesse brings forward a feel from his music that makes it hard to sit still. I’ve seen him twice now and his shows are phenomenal. Usually by the halfway mark everyone is on their feet moving to the music. If you ever get the chance to see him, go. In the first one, Dance of Spring, he’s sporting his custom hand made William Laskin guitar. The second one, Tempest, is just seriously cool to watch.

If we strive to put as much into our writing as these two do while writing and playing their music, it will most definitely be evident to our readers.

If you have any other examples of passion in music please share in the comments.

Silas Payton

Writing and the Influence of Music: a Tribute


I’ve long thought of writing a series of blog posts on the topic of music inspiring writing, highlighting a few songs at a time. There are few things that have the power to drive thought and emotions like music does. I love listening to music while I run and just letting my mind wander. A song can come on, stimulating a thought process and suddenly I’ve got a new book idea, or I’ve figured out a difficult scene. I’ve intended to share some of the great music that has stimulated some of my writing for a while, but today was a special kind of run and I thought it’d be a perfect day to start.

As some of you might know, we lost our family dog and companion of 18 years earlier this week. It has been difficult and emotional week and as writers do, I put up walls and barricaded myself away with my WIP editing and re-writing, just trying to get through the week. Emotions can bring out creativity and that it has. As my Facebook followers would know, the creative juices have been flowing since Monday. I’ve done skeleton outlines for seven book ideas, and dove into a book that I wrote last year trying to get through my first editing pass. The prose has been flowing like crazy. I’m in the last 8k of the book and it’s all coming together to the climax. Conveniently, it has been all I can think about.

I took a break after getting through another 1000 words this morning and went for a run. I grabbed an old MP3 player I hadn’t used in likely 8 years and hit random. A few songs in, one came on that was a perfect representation for the end of the book. The beat, the mood, the feel were perfect. So much so, I listened to it 4 times. I couldn’t wait to get home. Today would be the first day of my blog series on writing being inspired by music, although in this case it was more a representation of the writing.

When I decided to move on, I heard a few cool tracts then one came on that changed the topic of this post. It was a piano instrumental that immediately brought back a slew of memories of my dog in his prime, which would have been the last time I heard it. Hearing this one song brought down the walls. In the middle of nowhere, as the song played on, so did my memories of my good friend.

To start this series on music inspiring writing I’ll start with this one song. Oltremare by Ludovico Einaudi. Music will bring out different feelings and memories in all of us, and I don’t recall if I used to run with my dog listening to this, but it does bring back memories of his playfulness, his love of play, a little of his mischievous character, and his love of life. You can find it here.

I hope you join me with my love of both music and writing in these blog posts, as I share what I enjoy from almost all varieties of music. I plan to usually highlight a few songs with each post, but to start, I share just this one. A special song from me to you.

For those who are curious about the song that represents my upcoming book, 14 Gable Lane, a supernatural thriller, it’ll be coming in a future post.

Thanks for your continued support,

Silas Payton

The Digital World

This was the most enjoyable article I’ve read in quite some time. It brings back a lot of memories tied in nicely to writing and the ebook revolution. Coincidentally, I’m reading one of the author’s books right now. Check out this post, and it you like it as I’m sure you will, try his books.

Eric Lahti

Like a lot of kids growing up in the 70s and 80s I had a shit-ton of music on cassette tapes.  For those who are wondering, a shit-ton is slightly more than a short ton, but less than an full ton.  Each cassette held between twenty and thirty minutes of kick-ass music per side.  Some cassettes went up to sixty minutes per side, giving you a full hour of rockin’ before you had to flip the tape.  If you were really cool, your cassette deck would auto flip for you and you could listen to the same 120 minutes of awesome all day long.

They were dope.  They were boss.  They had tiny album notes and lyrics printed in 6pt type.  Iron Maiden’s Live After Death (may it forever be remembered as the best live album ever) almost had more paper in the fold out than cassette tape in the case.

liveafterdeath Imagine…

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Book Review – Paralyzer by Silas Payton

Check out this awesome review for Paralyzer!

Eric Lahti

First up, let me give the official full title:

Jack Daniels and Associates: Paralyzer (Kindle Worlds) by Silas Payton

It’s a little long to look good on my blog, especially if you’re reading on a mobile device, but that’s the official full title of Paralyzer.  It immediately begs a few questions: who is Jack Daniels, who are his associates, and what is Kindle Worlds?  Well, for starters, you’re wrong.  Jack’s a woman (Jacqueline) not a guy.  That still doesn’t answer the question and I hate it when people point out I was wrong.

So that still leaves the three questions, all of which can be answered quite easily.  Those answers will make this kind of a special review because while Payton’s story is really cool (and creepy as hell), what he did is also really cool (and not creepy as hell).  So, we’re gonna break this review down into a few…

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