Posts Tagged ‘book trailer’

Let’s face it, every creative out there (especially those who weave stories together) has put themselves into their work. Often, they do it more than once, and the resemblance to themselves, accurate or in their own heads, varies from self-insert to self-insert.* HP Lovecraft loved to put himself through cosmic horror and dreamlike ordeals as Randolph Carter (does that count as masochism?), and Stephen King’s The Dark Half is obviously him having fun with a fictional version of himself and his pen name Richard Bachman.

And don’t forget, Dante Alighieri made himself the star of The Divine Comedy, where the poet Virgil and later Beatrice, the dead girl he crept on when she was alive, led him through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven.

You know, now that I’m typing this, I realize that a lot of self-insert characters get to go on the biggest, most grandiose adventures. I mean, Dante traversed the afterlife and recorded it in detail! And remember Lani Sarem, the lady who conned her way to the top of the New York Times bestseller list? Her novel’s protagonist, who from the cover art is basically her under a different name, was a witch who basically became the delight of the Las Vegas entertainment scene using her abilities.

There’s an article to be found in this, I’m just not in the mood to research and write it right now.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. Self-inserts. I’m no exception to the rule. Throughout my writing career, I’ve included different versions of myself in my stories. One or two have even been included in published stories (I’ll let you guess which ones those are). And once more, I’m inserting myself into the story I’m currently working on. Only this time, this might be the most obvious and blatant self-insert since Dante!

Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But it feels like it! My character is basically what I hope will be me in a few years: a full-time writer with his own home, hosting costume parties in his living room and able to focus on creepy tales as a living. His last name is an anagram of my own and his first name also begins with an “R.” So yeah, pretty obvious self-insert.

Still, I’m having fun with it. The story’s focus isn’t on my character, he’s just a good way to get this story going. And since I can focus on telling the story and not making my self-insert seem like the bee’s knees to readers, I can get a little ridiculous and have a ton of fun with it. Whether that will lead to a decent ghost story (because of course I would put myself into a ghost story!) remains to be seen. But perhaps with some edits…well, we’ll see.

Anyway, I’ll get back to this story soon. And I’ll likely have a post or two for you all very soon, so keep an eye out. And in the meantime, check out this book trailer for The Jewish Book of Horror that was uploaded to YouTube last night. It’s really cool, and you can even see my name listed beside my story, “The Divorce from God,” at one point. Give it a watch and consider getting a copy of the book when it releases.

Until next time, my Followers of Fear, good night and pleasant nightmares.

*That’s the preferred term, as I understand it.

How far would you go for love and revenge?


Yes indeed, Snake is only one day away from being released. I can hardly believe it myself and yet I’m so excited! I just hope nothing happens to derail the publication and force me to push back the release. That would suck big time.

Also, today is the last day to enter the contest to win a free, autographed copy of Snake. Yes, that’s right, you can win a free, autographed copy of Snake, that I will ship anywhere in the world. All you have to do is follow the directions below:

  1. Give me your name
  2. Give me your city, state/province, and (if you’re outside the United States) your country
  3. What’s your favorite scary movie/book or something that scares you
  4. And tell me how far you would go for love and/or revenge (I would ask how far you would go for love and revenge, but I know not everyone likes to go that far, so I’m giving options)

The contest is open until 5PM Eastern Standard Time today, at which point I will select a winner from the entrants and announce it here on the blog. The contest is open to everyone who is not closely related to me, hasn’t helped with the creation and publication of this book, and/or isn’t receiving a dedication in the book. Good luck to all entrants and I hope you enjoy reading Snake, whether or not you win the contest.

If you would like to know more about Snake, you can click here, or watch the book trailer below.

That’s all for now. I’ll post the contest winner later today. Good luck, my Followers of Fear.


How far would you go for love and revenge?

It’s only three days away from the release of Snake, the thriller that I started nearly two years ago. I’m really excited for the release of this book, which has been quite an exciting story for me to write as well as a ton of fun to edit and prepare for publication. I’m so glad that I can finally share it with the whole wide world now that the release date is only a couple of days away.

In the meantime, I would like to announce a special contest for Snake: from now until 5 PM on Monday, June 9th, readers of this post will have the chance to win a free, autographed copy of Snake, which I will send to them from anywhere in the world. You enter by leaving this information in the comments below:

  1. Your name
  2. City, state/province, and country (only do the latter if you live outside the United States)
  3. Your favorite scary movie or book or what really scares you.
  4. Answer this question: “How far would you go for love and/or revenge?”*

Anyone 15 or older may enter the contest, as long as they are not related to me the author, did not have a hand in helping to make this novel possible, or you are not one of the people to whom this book is dedicated (sorry folks, but I don’t want to be accused of favoritism. Besides, do you really want me to call you up, make you think you’re the winner, and then tell you you’re not just to mess with you? I didn’t think so). The winner will be chosen by me personally from all the entries. And if nobody enters…well, I won’t think about it.

Anyway, I hope you decide to enter. The contest winner will be announced on June 9th, before Snake comes out, so start preparing your answers now. And if you would like more details about Snake, you can click here or watch the video trailer below. And may the best person win. Good luck, my Followers of Fear.

*I decided to do “and/or” instead of just “and” like in the novel’s tagline. Let’s face it, not everyone will go to the extreme lengths that the Snake went to. Anyway, you can enter an answer for love, for revenge, or for both, whichever you feel comfortable with. Just remember to make sure it’s an impressive answer if you want that free book.


How far will you go for love and revenge?

I never get tired of playing this video. Guess how long there’s left till Snake hits the digital bookstores?

Thank you, creepy little girl on the other end of the line. Yes, Snake will be out in seven days, exactly two years from when I began work on the novel. It also happens to be about twenty-two years from when I was born, meaning that every book sold is a birthday present.

For those who are unfamiliar with the book, Snake is a thriller novel about a young man who, in order to save his girlfriend from a powerful mafia family, becomes a serial killer called the Snake and starts hunting down members of the family in order to find her. But in the process of saving his girlfriend from the monsters holding her captive, will the Snake become a monster himself?

I’ve really been looking forward to putting Snake out, and I hope you’ll be as excited as I am come June 10th. Snake will be available in both paperback and e-book, and will be available first from Amazon before becoming available on Smashwords later on. I don’t have the price for the paperback yet (Amazon determines that, not I), but the e-book will definitely be on sale for the first couple of weeks, so it’ll be a good time to download it right after it comes out.

And guess what else? One lucky reader will be able to get a free paperback copy of Snake signed by me and sent to wherever they live in the world. The details for said contest will be made available about three days before Snake is released.

If you’d like to read more about Snake, you can check out the character interviews I released last month, or read the page for the book. Also, make sure to check out the video for the book trailer, which I’ve posted below.

That’s all for now, Followers of Fear. Expect another reminder at the three day mark (I’d do one at the five-day mark, but I don’t want to annoy my readers. That’s too much work. It’s hard enough annoying my family). Have a lovely day, everyone.

Two months away.

Two months away.

It’s hard to believe. So much time has passed by, but you lose track of it and then these things just sneak up on you. I’m a little in shock. My youngest sister Liat is fourteen as of today. I remember when she was an itty-bitty baby, and now she’s a teenager with a really dark sense of humor. What happened in fourteen years?

But in all seriousness, two months from today my second novel Snake will hit the digital bookstores, where people can download it to their e-readers or order a print copy should they choose to do so. It’s been a very exciting process getting Snake ready for publication, and I’m looking forward to putting it out and hearing what people think of it.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Snake, here’s the blurb I’m using to advertise it:

How far will you go for love and revenge? When a young man’s girlfriend is kidnapped by the powerful Camerlengo Family, he becomes the Snake, a serial killer who takes his methods from the worst of the Russian mafia. Tracking down members of the Camerlengo Family one by one for clues, the Snake will go to any lengths to see the love of his life again…even if it means becoming a worse monster than any of the monsters he is hunting.

Sounds interesting, right? Either that or kind of twisted and creepy. I’ve gotten both reactions before. Anyway, I hope you’re looking forward to reading Snake as much as I am looking forward to you reading it. And if you want to read an excerpt from Snake, you can click here and do so. Or you can scroll down a little and watch the book trailer for Snake. I promise you, it’s veeery creepy.

Have a good day, my Followers of Fear! I know I am, and so is probably my sister. Happy Birthday, Liat. Don’t go too wild on your birthday, okay?


I swear, this is the last Snake-themed article for a while. Honestly, even the Snake is getting tired of all the articles about him (and if you can figure that one out, then you win a prize). And I’m going to try to keep this short, so don’t click away yet.

Today I had some time on my hands, so I took some photos I’d scoured off the internet, a song I’d always associated with the Snake for some reason, and compiled them all using iMovie into a very scary video for a book trailer. A book trailer for Snake, to be exact. It’s probably my longest and most complex book trailer yet, using a variety of techniques I learned from a class I took a couple of semesters ago. Honestly, I had not used iMovie in a while, so it took a while to figure out how to do some things I’d forgotten. But I guess it was like riding a bike, because before I knew it I was making the video and had it done in almost an hour.

The video uses images I associate with the character of the Snake, who has an extreme love for scary movies and knows quite a bit about famous fictional serial killers and a few real ones (gee, I wonder who that sounds like?). And the song I use is “Before I’m Dead” by metal band Kidney Thieves. For some reason it’s a song I’ve always thought should be put at the beginning of a movie adaptation of Snake. Since I don’t think that’ll be happening any time soon, I’m using it in this trailer.

Oh, and the people in this video whom I identify as characters in Snake are actors from some shows I’ve seen. They came the closest to how I imagined the characters in Snake, so I used their images. I hope nobody minds that!

So without further ado, here’s the official Snake book trailer. Tell me what you think when you’ve watched it. I love feedback (I think I’ve mentioned that before).

Oh, and good news: I’ve sent Snake to the copyright office. Hopefully they won’t take their sweet time processing it. I hate it when that happens!

Reborn City

I didn’t get to do this with The Quiet Game (I forget why), so I’m doing it with Reborn City. Guess what:

Yes, seven days! Reborn City will be coming out November 1st in both print paperback and e-book formats. It’s been a long process, but it’s finally almost time! And I could not be more excited. Well I could be but I’m pretty sure it would involve illegal drugs, so I’ll stay at my normal levels of excitement.

You know, it’s been over four years since I first sat down and started writing Reborn City. I had an idea for a novel–possibly one with a sequel or two–on the way home from the library while listening to a CD with a lot of rap and rock music. I stopped by a Dairy Queen for a treat and started thinking about how to develop this idea, which had street gangs at the center of it and a sci-fi twist. Then at my sister’s birthday, after the cake and presents had been put away, I started writing some notes down in a journal. Then I started researching, and typing a manuscript, and then after many breaks and a lot of painstaking work over the course of two years, I finished the manuscript. Another year and a third of editing, eight months spent emailing chapters to my dear friend Matt Williams and making more adjustment based on his suggestions and the final copy was done. Finally I created a cover on CreateSpace (which you can see above) and I sent it all off to the copyright office.

A few months pass by, a book trailer comes out, and now we’re finally at the end of this long journey. I’m hoping for wonderful things to happen with this book. I’ve poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into RC, and I hope people really like reading it. It’s not as scary as some of my other work, so that may appeal to less fear-loving readers. And it’s sci-fi dystopian fiction, so considering today’s market that’s good to have.

But there’s more to it than that. The novel tackles some powerful themes, like racism and Islamaphobia, drugs and gang violence, and a number of other issues. And I’m hoping its those themes that will resonate with readers and help them fall in love with characters, rather than some dashing heroine and a couple of good-looking guys rebelling against a government that’s pure evil (how many franchises did I just describe there? I think I got Twilight in there too).

So without further ado, I’m going to give you guys a treat in honor of RC coming out. The first treat is the RC book trailer, which is right underneath the next paragraph. Immediately following the video is an excerpt from Chapter One of RC, for all your reading pleasure. I hope you like the video and the excerpt and that you’ll be interested in reading the actual book afterwards.

Also, if you haven’t already read them, please see my interviews with Zahara Bakur, Rip, and Jason Price, three very important characters from Reborn City. They’re very amazing people…though two of them did threaten to kill me for various reasons.

Reborn City, former Nevada

28 Anno Bombus (2056 CE)

June 28

Zahara and her family had decided to eat out at a restaurant in North Reborn that served kosher meat, the closest they could get to halāl. “I know it’s for Jews mostly, but it’s a very nice place and the Jews were very nice to us in New York.” Zahara’s father, Emir Bakur had said when he’d suggested it. “They know they don’t have to fear Muslims anymore. And the Chaplinsky family in 4F was nice enough, right?”

However Emir had taken a wrong turn on the still-unfamiliar streets and highways and they had somehow ended up in West Reborn. The sight of the place gave Zahara chills, and it just wasn’t the reports of gang violence: the area had a grittiness that Zahara didn’t like. The cold brown houses, the rusty lamp poles, the cracked, light-grey concrete. West Reborn looked unkempt, uncared for, like the city had kept up the other areas of the city but had forgotten about this one. The only buildings that looked in any good condition were casinos, bars, and strip clubs, displaying three-dimensional holograms of cash prizes and sexy women drinking beer while looking at passerby with bedroom eyes. The sight of them disgusted Zahara.

In the front of the car Emir and Aaliyah were arguing, trying to figure out how to get back to where they were going. Zahara closed her eyes and tried to let the music from her filepiece filter into her right ear. Surrendering to the small device, she wondered if she’d ever get out of this city and get back to New York where she belonged. Somehow, Zahara had a feeling she would never come to like Reborn City, no matter how much she lived here.

After a few more minutes of her parents arguing about which direction, Zahara opened her eyes again, prepared to tell them they should just check their phones for the directions. Her eyes widened as she saw an arm swing up from the sidewalk and throw a rock at the windshield. The glass cracked as the rock rebounded off the windshield and into the road. Aaliyah and Zahara screamed as Emir braked the car and jerked at the steering wheel. The car skidded to a screeching halt, the nose pointing towards the middle of the road.

Zahara saw her father unbuckle his seatbelt and before she could stop him, stepping out to inspect the damage. “What in the name of Allah—?” he said, but stopped as he heard the click of a jackknife being opened. He turned around and saw two men, one of whom was holding a long, deadly-looking blade. Leaning forward in her seat, Zahara could make out the details of the two men: both of the men had a ruddy tan complexion, were wearing green clothes, and had looks on their faces that said they did not like making new friends. On the neck of one Zahara could make out what looked like a tattoo of a pitchfork with a sombrero hung over the right prong.

One of them, who was large and muscular, spoke to Zahara’s father. “Hand over yo’ fuckin’ money an’ yo fuckin’ car.” he said with a Spanish accent. “Ya got that?”

“Sure!” said Zahara’s father, holding his hands up defensively, looking so unlike the corporate lawyer he was. “Just take it easy, okay? Just take it easy—!”

“Hurry the fuck up!” said the other man. “Who ya think yo messin’ with, estupido?” This man was thin and gangly and had a strange leer on his face, like he would rather punch Emir than talk to him.

“Okay, okay!” said Emir, backing back up to the door and turning off the engine. Zahara’s mother Aaliyah saw this and as her husband stood back up out of the car, unbuckled her seatbelt and opened the car door.

“Mother!” said Zahara in English. Aaliyah looked behind her to where her daughter was sitting on the edge of her seat, fists balled in her lap, chewing her lower lip. “Don’t go out there!” Zahara hissed; Zahara rarely used English with her parents and she was only using it now because she didn’t know if these two men in green were fans of Muslims or not. Either way, it was not a good time to find out.

Zahara’s mother looked at her daughter as if she’d gone mad. “I don’t have a choice, Zahara.” she said in Arabic, pushing a loose lock of hair back under her hijab. “Our car is being stolen.” She opened her door and slid out of the seat. Zahara watched with disbelief as her mother closed the car door. Did her mother think things would go peacefully?

Suddenly the skinny gangster stared at Zahara’s mother and pointed at her hijab. “Hey Manny!” said the skinny gangster. “Check out the headscarf. Musulmàns!”

The fat gangster, Manny, stared at Zahara’s mother, then turned back to Emir, his expression livid. “So, you thought you’d get the jump on us, huh?” he said, thrusting the knife at Zahara’s father. “Fuckin’ terrorist! Let us jack ya car an’ explode us too?”

Zahara winced. Fuckin’ terrorist. She had been right, these two men hated Muslims.

“No, that’s not it at all!” said Emir, looking terrified as the skinny gangster pulled out a gun. “Please, you have to believe me—!”

“Shaddup!” yelled Manny, stabbing Emir in the belly. Emir went rigid as the knife plunged into his belly, then collapsed as Manny pulled the blade out. Blood poured out of Zahara’s father, pooling around him in a big red circle.

Aaliyah screamed in horror, staring at her husband as tears flooded down her cheeks. “Emir!” she cried. “Emir—!”

The skinny gangster pulled out his gun and shot Aaliyah in the forehead; her eyes rolled into the back of her head as Zahara’s mother fell lifeless to the ground. Zahara gasped, trying to keep her tears and screams inside herself. If the gangsters saw her they’d kill her too. And maybe…just because she was a teenager and a girl…they’d do other stuff to her, too. Zahara shuddered to think of what they’d do to her if they did that too.

Manny was kicking Emir’s lifeless body casually, making sure he was dead. “Think they’d play us, did they?” he said to his companion. “Fuckin’ terrorists.”

“Yeah, well they’re shittin’ in hell now.” said the skinny gangster. “Shows what happens when ya mess with Diablos.”

“Yeah.” said Manny, looking up from Emir’s body. “Come on, let’s go—wait a minute.” Manny’s piggy little eyes fixed on Zahara in the backseat of her parent’s car. Zahara squeaked as Manny took two steps towards her. “Yo, Che. Come check this out.” Manny called to his friend, followed by something in Spanish. Zahara nearly froze up as she realized she’d been discovered.

Quickly Zahara unbuckled her seatbelt, threw open the car door and ran, throwing her filepiece as a distraction. Manny and Che jumped back as the filepiece hit the ground, probably thinking it was a grenade or something. By the time they realized their mistake, Zahara already had a head start on them. They set off after her, angrily yelling in Spanish at her. Zahara turned around, saw them catching up, and ran faster, determined to get away.

As Zahara ran, bumping into people and flying past holograms, she began to cry; her parents were dead, she was miles away from any familiar place and with no familiar people to help her. The heartache she was feeling was so intense that she could just keel over and die, but she wouldn’t die here, and she would not let herself be caught by the gangsters chasing after her. She’d get out of West Reborn, find the house (she still hadn’t thought of it as “home” yet), and then she’d call New York and get help. Or maybe kill herself. Either way, she had to get out.

The gangsters were only a few feet behind her. But a few blocks ahead there was a police station. Maybe, if she was able to get there, she’d be safe. She could tell the police what was going on, they’d arrest her parents’ murderers, and then she could go back to New York—

Suddenly Zahara tripped on a shifted slab of concrete and fell. Thrusting her hands out in front of her, Zahara cried out as she scraped her hands and knees. She tried to stand up again but then someone grabbed her shirt from behind and yanked her up. Zahara stared into the faces of Manny and Che, the Hispanic gangsters who had murdered her parents. Che grabbed Zahara’s arms and twisted them into a painful armlock.

“Hello, Little Miss Terrorist.” said Manny. “Thought ya could get away so easily. Thought the po-po would help ya out. Wrong!”

Both of them laughed cruelly, and Manny brought out his knife, holding it close to Zahara’s jugular. The blade gleamed with the blood of Zahara’s father still fresh on it. Che and Manny laughed harder at the expression on Zahara’s face. “The po-po are just pussies.” said Che. “Fuckin’ pussies. They couldn’t catch us an’ throw us in the clink, an’ they would never help a fuckin’ Musalmàn. Besides, even if they would, them assholes can’t see us. It’s dark out, ya know.”

Manny pressed his face close to Zahara’s, grinning wickedly. The foul smell of his breath wafted over Zahara’s face, making her want to puke. “And the nearest streetlamp is right ovuh there.” he added, cocking his head in the direction of the lonely streetlamp.

With a great effort Zahara twisted her head away from the knife. “Somebody help me!” she screamed.

“No one’s gonna fuckin’ come to your rescue, Little Miss Terrorist.” said Manny, pressing the blade to Zahara’s neck; a little bit of Zahara’s blood trickled onto the knife, mixing with Emir’s. Zahara whimpered as Manny pressed his face even closer than before, so close she could see the pupils in his beady eyes. Behind her Zahara could feel Che’s hot breath on the nape of her neck.

Suddenly Manny’s free hand swooped down and grabbed the button on Zahara’s pants, undoing it in an instant. His hand reached into her pants and began feeling around.

“No, please.” said Zahara, tears spilling from the corner of her eyes. “Please don’t do this—!”

“Shaddup!” said Manny, looking up from what he was doing; Zahara felt the blade of the knife dig a little deeper into her neck. “Ya shaddup an’ try ta enjoy it. Maybe aftowards we’ll let ya kill yoself, got it? But no bombs; ya might hurt someone.”

Che giggled as Manny worked Zahara’s pants off, exposing her white underwear. As he did Zahara felt the fight go out of her. She was going to die and painfully too and at the hands of her parents’ murderers. She’d never see her friends again, she’d never see her parents again, and like the two men had said, no one was going to help her—

“What ya mothas doin’?” said a voice. Zahara looked away from Manny as a figure dressed in a black hoodie and jeans stepped into the lamplight. Manny paused and then stood up, pulling the knife away from Zahara’s neck.

As he did Zahara felt her energy disappear. Black edged into her field of vision as Zahara strained to discern the face of the newcomer. But the darkness took her and Zahara couldn’t see his face. The last thing Zahara thought before she fainted was that she would’ve liked to see the face of her potential rescuer.

That, and how embarrassed she was that her pants were lying uselessly around her ankles.

Reborn City

I don’t know if book trailers really increase book sales. I’m pretty sure that when I did the book trailer for The Quiet Game (see it here, if you dare). So when I finally had a release date for Reborn City, I had to ask myself, “Do I really want to spend an hour or two making a freaking video that probably create a viral sensation, let alone bring in some revenue for me?”

But then I discovered that you can make videos on your YouTube account. Yeah, I found that out just this week. I have no idea if that’s a new thing or if that option’s been around for a while and I’ve just been oblivious. But yeah, I sat down today, I pulled up YouTube, started creating a video on YouTube. Took me about twenty minutes and then all I had to do was upload it onto YouTube while I went to have Shabbos dinner.

This video is about twenty-five seconds long and features music by the rap group “Triple C’s”, with there song “Where Ya From?” Hey, they even have a song that uses the West Reborn dialect! I just noticed that. Also, the photo of “Reborn City” is actually a shot of the Las Vegas strip. I know, I know, but what do you want from me? I can’t afford to create my own original picture of my conception of Central Reborn. I do what I can.

In any case, I’m very satisfied with the results. Heck, I’ll try and make another video some time, see if I can improve for the next book trailer. Yes, I said the next book trailer. If I can get one done in twenty minutes, imagine what I can get done with an hour and some practice! Snake‘s trailer will be the s**t!

So, without further ado, here’s the official trailer for Reborn City. And subscribe to my channel…as it is. Comments welcome.