Between Enzo & the Universe Audiobook

The audiobook for BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE drops today, folks! Beautifully read by Brian Lore Evans (the same voice actor who read A SURPLUS OF LIGHT) and produced by Tantor Media–I’m so excited to have one of my favorite books available in audiobook format for all of you. Those of you who enjoyed ENZO will adore Brian’s interpretation!

Here’s a sample:

The audiobook version can be purchased directly from Tantor Media here or you can get a copy through Amazon/Audible here.

BETWEEN ENZO & THE UNIVERSE was a labor of love for me. It was both incredibly harrowing and liberating to write. To have it read by such a talented voice actor is one of my Writer’s Bucket List items checked off.

I can’t imagine being happier with where this project has traveled.

Well, maybe if someone made it into a movie…?

Regardless, I hope those of you who choose to purchase a copy or listen to it with credits through Audible thoroughly enjoy it. I hope your hours with Enzo, Peter, Noe, Ila, and the rest will leave you feeling uplifted and hopeful when the last word is spoken by Brian.

ENZO was a lifetime in the making, two years of writing, and nine months of waiting for the audiobook. To say that I’m elated and overjoyed is an understatement.

So, thank you, first and foremost to the readers. Thank you to The Lion Fish Press (my tiny family of weirdos), Brian Lore Evans (what a blessing you are!), and Tantor Media for believing in ENZO enough to buy the rights. You’ve all made me the happiest little writer in the world today!

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase

Let’s Dance – A Straight Line Upcoming Release

September 25th, this coming Friday, A STRAIGHT LINE will drop in ebook and paperback formats. Have you pre-ordered your ebook copy yet??

The promo trailer for A STRAIGHT LINE

I (along with my co-author, J.D. Wade) are head over heels excited to share this story with all of the readers. It’s a M/M romance book, I suppose, but it’s really much more than that to us.

Themes of family, found family, community, hope, resilience, Pride, and appreciating and respecting those who came before you, are all explored. Us folks in the LGBTQ+ community often forget the “elders” who got us where we are today.

A STRAIGHT LINE tells the story of Russ, a young gay twenty-something, who has come to live with his uncles, Harry and Vic, just a week before they sell their queer bar, A Straight Line to new owners.

Harry and Vic founded the bar in an old building that once housed a restaurant in the town of Littleburg, Iowa. The Biggest Little City on the Wapsipinicon. This was back in 1980. The town of Littleburg, and its people, were not so accepting then. Over the years, thanks to resilience, altruism, a little queer magic, and the regionally famous drag queen, “Bang Bang,” attitudes shifted.

Vic, Harry, and their bar are now beloved by their community. They’ll be missed, even if A Straight Line will go on without them. It’s their legacy that someone else will have to keep going.

However, that doesn’t mean they can’t have one last big party to celebrate their exceptional lives, right?

Harry and Vic, along with the Littleburg Rainbow Catering Company have invited all of the queers and allies around Littleburg to celebrate the end of an era with them. There will be good food, drinks, dancing, music that hits a queer right in the soul, possibly love connections, reminiscing about the history of the community and A Straight Line, and even a performance from Bang Bang herself…if she bothers to show up.

I mean…where the hell is Bang Bang???

My biggest hope is that this story will not just entertain readers, but will lift up their hearts. It will remind them to wrap themselves in their found families and LGBTQ+ community–remember that they are never alone and never unloved.

Just like A Straight Line did for the queers of Littleburg, Iowa–and regionally, really–I hope it inspires everyone to live their best queer life.

Allies always welcome.

So, once you have the book or paperback in your hands, sit back, kick up your feet, and join Harry, Vic, Russ, Denny, The Flirtatious Five, Bethany, and Bang Bang in one great big celebration. Once you’ve read the last words, get up, turn on your favorite queer anthem…and dance.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,
Chase

What Is Art?

Before I start this post, I have to mention that JACOB MICHAELS IS… THE OMNIBUS EDITION comes out this Friday! All 6 books (plus the short story, CARNAVAL) with a beautiful cover designed by Dean Cole in one tome! I’m so excited. Click here to get more information, pre-order, etc.

In early August, this tweet was making the rounds on Twitter:

Understandably, and not surprisingly, this tweet upset a lot of people.

Now, I’m not sure if the original poster of this…meme?…was being sarcastic or ironic, or just “taking the piss,” or maybe completely serious. I happen to love Van Gogh, but the tweet didn’t offend me.

However, the tweet–and all of the responses it got–really made me think about one thing:

What is art?

Well, art is literally defined as:

“the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

It seems specific, but really, this definition paints a broad stroke (see what I did there?) in defining what qualifies as art.

Anything created using human creative skill and imagination, that is enjoyed for its beauty or emotional power can be considered art without question. By definition alone.

I’ve read a lot of books – traditional, indie, and everything in between. I’ve listened to audiobooks in all of the categories as well.

Some were excellent, some were good, some were “meh,” and some were not that great.

I’m not a great reviewer of books. Until I looked up the actual definition of “art,” I wasn’t sure why. A lot of the time, I judge a book on how it makes me feel or how beautiful it is. Or how much appreciation I have for the work that went into it. Since I do that, it’s pretty rare that I really, truly dislike a book.

They’re out there, but it’s rare that I find them.

This may be self-serving or biased since I’m an author as well, but I find it hard to not consider most of what is produced in the publishing world to be art. Sure, that’s a subjective way of looking at books, but art is subjective. We all read the definition. To some degree, based on the personal opinions of the person reading or listening to a book, it is either great, good, or bad. Or somewhere in between.

But it’s still art.

We can argue grammar, spelling, structure, plot, characters, and other aspects of a book all day long. But I don’t think we can take the label “art” off of a book based on personal opinion.

Books are art. Great, good, or bad–they’ll make the person reading them appreciate their beauty or they’ll make someone feel something.

In the meme above, which painting do you prefer?

I love Van Gogh on the right. Because it makes me feel something. The other just looks like a photograph–which is absolutely amazing. But it doesn’t evoke visceral feelings like Van Gogh’s does.

Keep making your art. Whatever your art is.

It will make someone, somewhere, feel something.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase

Foot In The Door Marketing

One thing that is always being discussed ad nauseam in the Twitter Writing Community is marketing. Which is only fair since selling books is what makes authors their money and marketing helps to sell books, right?

One method of marketing – mass DMs with sales pitches – is brought up often. Some people hate them, some people are okay with them. No one seems to love them.

Except the people who send them.

How this works is an author sets a feature on Twitter to automatically DM a marketing pitch about their book to any new followers–as soon as they follow them. A Twitter user sees John Doe, decides to follow him, and within seconds, minutes, hours, or even days (depending on how the author has set up their feature), a marketing pitch is DM’d to the Twitter user who followed them.

In case you are unfamiliar with this method of marketing, it is popular with authors for several reasons. Obviously, marketing like this is virtually free. It’s also very easy and requires very little work on the author’s part. Once the pitch is written and designed, it is set up to automatically be sent out to users who follow them. No more work is really needed after it is set up. This method also helps the author reach a lot of potential readers very quickly and with ease.

In theory, it’s a really great marketing method.

In practice, it can alienate potential readers and existing peers.

It’s cold, calculated, impersonal, and makes followers feel as though the author does not think they are worth personalized communication. If they wanted that, they’d sign up for a newsletter. Additionally, not everyone who follows an author is interested in their writings. Maybe they just think they are funny or had a great interaction in a Twitter thread with them and decided to follow them. Then, they get a DM with a sales pitch, and all goodwill and warm, fuzzy feelings go out the window.

Like it or hate it, this method of marketing is what it is.

A foot in the door.

Not to be confused with Foot In the Door phenomenon, which you can read about here.

However, it is somewhat similar. If the DM gets a reader to engage a little, maybe the author can eventually win them over and convince them to buy their book?

I’ve had a little bit of experience with this marketing method.

I’ve never used it to promote my work, but I’ve been on the receiving end of these DMs.

If I’m being completely honest with you, the reader of this blog, I typically ignore those DMs and delete them. If I’m having a particularly trying day, I might even unfollow the person from whom I received it.

I don’t want my first one-on-one interaction with someone I follow to be them asking me to buy something from them. I like a more personalized marketing approach.

I will admit that once this marketing ploy worked on me. However, it didn’t work the way it was designed to work. I didn’t click on the link in the DM pitch.

Instead, I went to Amazon and looked the book up–because the pitch was really good and I loved the cover of the book. So….I “Looked Inside” the book, and read the first few pages.

What I read was exceptional and spoke to me. So, I bought the book.

If what I had read had been awful, I would have gone back to Twitter, deleted the DM, and possibly unfollowed the person I had received it from, though.

Simply by chance, the author who had sent me the automated DM caught me on a good day, their cover and pitch were excellent, and the sample text convinced me to give the book a try.

Fortunately, the book was an absolute winner. I’m so glad that I decided to give it a chance that day.

Have I done the same thing with automatic DM pitches I’ve received since?

No.

Even considering the fact that the book I gave a chance turned out to be excellent, I know that it is rare for that to happen. And most days those DMs just annoy me.

So, in my opinion, if an author wants to convince me to read their book, DMs are the wrong way to go–unless we are well acquainted.

Instead, an author should tweet engaging things about their work. Have a great cover that catches my eye–and make sure that the sample of their work available to preview on Amazon will make me want to buy it.

Sure, getting a link in a DM that takes you directly to the place to buy the book is convenient…but it doesn’t engage me. It doesn’t really make me trust the author, and it doesn’t give me any idea of what the book is really like.

Some authors have told me that they’ve had great success with this technique. Though, none of them are providing exact sales numbers to quantify or validate those assertions.

So, I can’t really tell an author to do this or not do this. I can only tell you how I see them as a reader.

Personally, I want you to engage me and value me as a reader. Not just see me as a number and a pocketbook.

DMs are for people I am friendly with–not virtual telemarketers.

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase

Jacob Michaels Is… The Omnibus Edition

Jacob Michaels…er, Robert Wagner…is tired. Hollywood has been kind. But it’s also left him skinny, exhausted, unsure of who he is, whom he wants to be, and without love. A decade ago, he ran away from home to pursue fame. Unlike many before him, he actually succeeded. Now he’s back in his hometown of Point Worth, Ohio, trying to make amends with his grandmother, trying to regain his health, trying to not be recognized, and trying to figure out who he really is. Maybe he’ll find love along the way? However, people and things are not quite as he remembers. Then again, his memory isn’t exactly reliable…

Jacob Michaels Is… The Omnibus Edition contains all six books in the JMI saga, plus CARNAVAL, A Point Worth LGBTQ+ Paranormal Romance Story. From Jacob’s (er, Rob’s) return to Point Worth from Hollywood to the thrilling ending with a twist, this series will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing at what will happen next.
Jacob Michaels Is… The Omnibus Edition includes:

Jacob Michaels Is Tired
Jacob Michaels Is Not Crazy
Jacob Michaels Is Not Jacob Michaels
Jacob Michaels Is Not Here
Jacob Michaels Is Trouble
CARNAVAL
Jacob Michaels Is Dead

In seventeen days, the entire JACOB MICHAELS IS… saga–all 6 books, plus the short story, CARNAVAL–will be available in one giant tome. When I say “giant,” I mean GIANT.

Almost 300k words, over 600 pages in paperback and hardback format, JACOB MICHAELS IS… THE OMNIBUS EDITION is chonky.

Not only are all 6 books and CARNAVAL included in the omnibus, but it has an exceptionally beautiful cover designed by Dean Cole. The same designer who created the covers for the 6 JACOB MICHAELS IS… books (and another book of mine, THE GRAVITY OF NOTHING).

I certainly won’t blame anyone for wanting the omnibus in digital format/ebook. It’s easier to carry around with you, obviously. It’s also cheaper.

And it’s available for pre-order for $9.99 now! That’s $10 cheaper than you would spend buying all 6 ebooks and CARNAVAL (when it was available for purchase). Just click below if you want to pre-order the ebook!

However, if you’d like a hard copy of JACOB MICHAELS IS… THE OMNIBUS EDITION, the paperback and hardback will be available on the release day for purchase. The paperback will sell for $24.95 and the hardback will be available for $29.95. That’s more than $30 less than you would spend buying all 6 books in paperback format. It’s a really great deal, a great saga, a great cover…and many hours of reading pleasure.

If you want to save $30+ getting all 6 books and CARNAVAL in hard copy, the links will be posted on release day.

Speaking of which, all of this goes down on 9.18.20 – September 18th, 2020. Just in time to buy copies for Halloween gifts for all of your loved ones.

Is that a thing? It should be a thing.

Until September 18th…

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

Chase