Posts Tagged ‘The Quiet Game’

As many of you know, up till now my books were only available from Amazon and Smashwords. I didn’t do other platforms for a number of reasons. One was that Amazon and Smashwords are two major retailers (though the majority of my sales come from the former), so I thought that they were all that I needed. Heck, I even thought that I could be successful using those platforms.

Mostly though, I’m just lazy. I didn’t want to go through the extra trouble of uploading books onto so many platforms. Yeah, I admit it. But recently I realized that if I really want to get as many books out to as many people as possible, I really should diversify the platforms my books are on. For all I know, there could be a lot of people who want to read my books but can’t because they are not on their preferred shopping site or e-book platform. That is something, as an author, I can no longer allow. Not if I’m serious about being an author.

So, before Video Rage comes out (more on that in a future post), I’m making sure my books are available on as many different platforms as possible. Starting with Nook, Barnes & Noble’s answer to the Kindle and one of the most popular brands of e-reader. And as of today, The Quiet Game, Reborn City, and Snake are available to readers through Nook.

And if you’re unfamiliar with my books, here are some short summaries and the links:

The Quiet Game: Five Tales To Chill Your Bones

tqg cover

In his publishing debut, Rami Ungar brings us five terrifying stories of darkness in magic. You can experience the strange visions of a man battling sex addiction in “Addict”. Or feel the wrath of an enraged dybbuk in “Samson Weiss’s Curse”. Face your fears in Gene Adkin’s Murder House in “I’m Going To Be The Next James Bond” and then journey with a young autistic “In The Lady Ogre’s Den”. But most of all, prepare to play the most insidious game of all: The Quiet Game.

Now Available on Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, Nook, and Smashwords

Reborn City

Zahara Bakur is a Muslim teenager recently moved into the gambling town of Reborn City. After her parents are killed by gang violence, Zahara is forced to join the Hydras, an interracial gang whose leaders have supernatural abilities. As the violence in Reborn City escalates and Zahara becomes closer to the Hydras, including the quiet but stern Rip, she finds herself drawn into a dark conspiracy involving the origins of the leaders and the shadowy corporation that rules over Reborn City.

Available on Amazon, Createspace, Nook, and Smashwords

Snake

Cover of Snake by Rami Ungar

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.

Available from AmazonCreatespace, Nook, and Smashwords

My next mission–besides getting VR ready for publication some time in the next couple of months–is to get Reborn City and Snake available in print through Barnes & Noble (The Quiet Game is already available on that platform, a story for another time). After that, I’ll work on getting all three onto iBooks and then on Kobo. After that…well, if there are any other platforms I should know about, I hope you will remind me.

That’s all for now. I’ve got a meditation class to prepare for, so I’ve got to go. I hope you all have a great day, and I hope that the new platforms help you enjoy a new story that maybe you’ve been looking forward to for quite some time. Until next time, my Followers of Fear. Happy reading.

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Yesterday I went to meet with some folks who I know through MAX, a program that helps and supports young professionals in my area. MAX has regular meet ups and events throughout the week, and on Fridays we meet at the local Starbucks to have coffee (or in my case, hot chocolate) and talk. This week’s meeting was especially interesting though, because someone brought a copy of The Quiet Game.

Now if you’re unfamiliar, The Quiet Game was the first book I ever published, a collection of five original short stories I wrote in late 2012 and early 2013. The woman who runs the MAX program, Angela, has been reading some of my work and brought the copy of The Quiet Game she borrowed from my sister (she’s part of MAX too). She also brought her laptop, because Angela wanted to leave a review on Amazon but had never done one before and she wanted me to show her how.

After solving some Wi-Fi problems (honestly, for a major coffee shop chain, Starbucks has some really terrible wireless service), I showed Angela how to leave a review, which she did right there and then in the coffee shop, giving The Quiet Game a five star review. Here’s what she had to say:

Addict is insanely AWESOME! The use of 2nd person language convicts the reader. One second you are relaxing with a short story, the next moment you are engaging in explicit sexual addiction… whoa!
Rami has a way of writing perspectives that is wise beyond his years…

“Addict” is a short story about a man with sex addiction trying to go clean. It’s told in the second person, so that’s why you’re the one who’s engaging in explicit sexual addiction.

I also noticed during this time that I had a review from September that I’d totally missed (how did that happen?) from someone named SavoirNoir, who gave The Quiet Game four stars and titled her review Decent collection of tales. Here’s what this reviewer had to say:

This is a serviceable set of stories. The best one is not the titular title story. I only really have two issues with the collection. One of them is the notes after the story. I never really liked the self-indulgence of the writer explaining afterwards. To be fair, that could be just me.

The best story in my opinion is the Lady Orgres Den. That one had great tension.

This reviewer is talking about “In The Lady Ogre’s Den”, about an autistic boy’s terrifying stay in a hospital after an accident. And speaking of that story, Angela, the very same woman who’d brought my sister’s copy to Starbucks with her, asked me to do a reading right there and then for the entire group.

Well, you know me. I love an audience and I love opportunities to get more people to read my work, so I agreed and ending up reading “In The Lady Ogre’s Den” to them. So for about the next twenty minutes or so, I read them the story. And you know what? Most of them listened. They were actually rapt with attention, making comments or praising my writing style or how I get into the mind of an autistic child. I don’t know if any of them will end up getting the book or any of the other books I’ve written, but by the end of it they were very impressed.

Which is my goal, of course. As you know, the subtitle of this blog is “Scared yet? My job here is done.” I also put that on my business cards, because it’s the truth. I want people to be scared and entertained, to enjoy my work and be enchanted and thrilled while reading it. Getting feedback like that is very gratifying for me, and while my throat was dry from non-stop talking by the end of the reading, I was very glad I’d agreed to Angela’s request and been able to pull these folks into a story for a little while.

And if reading this post made you want to check out The Quiet Game, by all means please do so. It’s a fun, creepy collection of stories, and it’s short too, so if you don’t want a long book this might be up your alley. You can get it both in paperback and in e-book by check it out on Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. And if you enjoyed reading the book, please let me know what you think. Positive or negative, I love feedback, and I would love to hear yours.

That’s all for now. I might take a few days off to just do stuff other than blogging. However, if anything worth reporting comes up, you can expect me to let you guys know as soon as possible. Have a good day, my Followers of Fear!

As many of you know, I’m a self-published author. I decided to go this route after finding not a lot of doors opening by going the traditional route and hearing a bunch of stories from fellow writers and bloggers on how they self-published and found success as writers. Since I made that decision, I’ve published three books, started writing for a website devoted to helping self-published authors, made lots of friends and found lots of new followers who went the same route as me, and am working on publishing a fourth one the same way I published the first three, though I like to think that with every book I get a bit wiser on how to go about publishing and marketing the books.

Do I like self-publishing? Yes, very much. For one thing, I’m the boss. I get to work on what I like, when I like it. I also get to meet and work with all sorts of interesting people and work on exciting projects with them, like anthologies and Self-Published Authors Helping Other Authors. We independent writers also tend to share information with each other, working to figure out what works and what can help us reach new readers. It’s pretty nice, being able to do all this and not rely on a publishing company.

But lately, I’ve been considering going traditional again. Or rather, other people are making me consider going traditional again, despite the fact that I never had much success the traditional way to begin with. At first, it was only my advisor on my thesis, who asked me, “You don’t want to stay self-published forever, do you? You want to move up eventually, don’t you?” Or something to that effect.

Now, I could brush that off, he’s traditional and a professor at a university, which isn’t exactly big on the self-publishing craze (though maybe some sociologists and business professors study it for academic purposes). But then a friend who’s helping me look for work suggested that I look into getting with a publishing company. And even my mother suggested something similar.

Now normally I wouldn’t even consider these suggestions. Like I said, I like self-publishing. I’ve even gone as far as to say that it’s the way of the future.

But even if it is the way of the future, that doesn’t guarantee I’ll have that many readers. In fact, I don’t have that many, or at least not as many as I would like. For a guy who hopes one day to write full-time, that’s pretty sad.

Plus I’m still between jobs these days (yeah, I know. I expected to be working by this time too), and while I’ve made headway in the job search, it really sucks that I’m not working and making money. Plus while I’m between jobs, I’m living with my dad, and while we’re good friends and love each other, we can rub each other the wrong way sometimes. Plus I just need my own space to spread out, act my own eccentric self without wondering who’s watching. Maybe get a couple of cats too while I’m at it.

Add all this together, and yeah, a contract with a publishing company sounds enticing. To many authors, that’s like winning the lottery. And it would be nice to have the support and distribution that would come from having an agent and an editor and a company with maybe it’s own marketing team. And the royalties from all of that? To say the least, it sounds like a golden deal. Heck, even folks like E.L. James, Andy Weir, and Christopher Paolini–bestselling novelists who all started out as self-published–took that deal when they got big.

But that’s the thing. They got big. Publishing companies saw them and saw profit. Truthfully, it’s still very hard even with a big company to make it a success. The Martins, the Rices, the Kings, the Rowlings, they’re rare. Most writers, both traditional and self-published, still have to have day jobs in order to pay their bills. And funnily enough, because of the self-publishing boom, publishing companies are even more selective about who they take on than ever before.

And if one does manage to get with one of the publishing companies, you don’t always get the marketing team to make sure people know your books. No, you still have to do most of the advertising yourself. And with the company, you don’t always get to publish what you write. No, they publish what they feel is profitable. At least with self-publishing, there’s still the chance that you’ll publish an unexpected hit that the companies rejected as a surefire fail.

Still, I wonder if maybe I gave up the traditional route too soon. And if I want to, I have the stories and the resources to try again if I want.

But at the same time, with every year I’m learning new tricks that allows me to reach more readers and get books out there. I could still make it as an independent novelist, and find myself writing full-time either way.

And maybe I’m only wondering this because I’m in a not-so-great place in my career right now, and some people who don’t really know the industry or doubt the power of the independent writers are speaking in my here. Or maybe they’re onto something and I really should try a career change.

I don’t know. What do you think?

Well, we’re officially two weeks into 2016. Would you say your year so far is a good one or does it just suck?

Anyway, today is the last day of the 2016 New Year’s Sale, which means you guys have until late tonight to pick up a copy of any of my books, e-book or paperback, for a lower price than you would the rest of the year. And if you’re looking for something new and exciting to read this January, this is a good opportunity to see if anything I’ve written interests you, so why not go check it out and see what’s there?

Also, if you do decide to get one of my stories and read them, please make sure to write a review letting me know what you think. Positive or negative, I love feedback from readers.

That’s all for now. I’ll probably be back soon with more, possibly before tomorrow (it’ll be Friday, so you know what that means). Until next time, my Followers of Fear!

Snake

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.

Available from AmazonCreatespace and Smashwords

 

Reborn City

Zahara Bakur is a Muslim teenager recently moved into the gambling town of Reborn City. After her parents are killed by gang violence, Zahara is forced to join the Hydras, an interracial gang whose leaders have supernatural abilities. As the violence in Reborn City escalates and Zahara becomes closer to the Hydras, including the quiet but stern Rip, she finds herself drawn into a dark conspiracy involving the origins of the leaders and the shadowy corporation that rules over Reborn City.

Available on Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords

 

The Quiet Game: Five Tales To Chill Your Bones

In his publishing debut, Rami Ungar brings us five terrifying stories of darkness in magic. You can experience the strange visions of a man battling sex addiction in “Addict”. Or feel the wrath of an enraged dybbuk in “Samson Weiss’s Curse”. Face your fears in Gene Adkin’s Murder House in “I’m Going To Be The Next James Bond” and then journey with a young autistic “In The Lady Ogre’s Den”. But most of all, prepare to play the most insidious game of all: The Quiet Game.

Now Available on Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords

From the moment I heard about this film, I wanted to see it. It’s horror, it takes place in Japan, specifically Aokigahara (one of the places on my first list of haunted locations I’d like to visit), and the trailers made this thing look awesome. I was excited.

Sadly, the trailers were better than the movie itself, and I will explain why:

First, the story. Natalie Dormer plays Sarah Price, a woman with a cliched psychic connection to her troubled identical twin sister Jess, also played by Dormer. When there’s a disturbance in the Force, Sarah learns that her sister, who was teaching in Japan, has gone into Aokigahara, a forest near Mount Fuji that is a common place for suicides and has a reputation for being haunted by the extremely angry spirits trapped there. Sarah heads to Japan to save her sister, and ventures into the forest, which in turn brings all sorts of hell upon her and unearths inner darkness Sarah never wanted dredged up.

I had a lot of problems with this movie. First, there’s the protagonist. Sarah Price is not a very interesting character. It’s no fault of Dormer–I’ve seen her in other stuff, I know she’s a great actress–but beyond the psychic connection and a reckless love for her sister, the character is rather flat and dull. She does border on interesting when talking about her past, but that’s it. In fact, most of the characters are rather boring. Probably the only one that peaks your interest is Aiden, who helps Sarah look for her sister, but that’s mostly because you’re never sure what his motives are or if he can be trusted. And Sarah’s husband? You really could cut him from the film and it wouldn’t affect a thing.

Next, the storytelling and the mood. The movie moves rather slowly through most of the first hour, establishing exposition and introducing us to the relationship between Sarah and Jess. Important, but not particularly interesting. It isn’t until they’re already deep in the forest that the story actually tries to scare you, but even then most of the scares are jump scares, and even the best of jump scares are meaningless if they’re not tempered with other stuff, like a tense, suspenseful and horrifying mood, which the movie only really does just the once. By the end of the movie, when the film tries to surprise you with a few twists, one feels forced and awkward, while the other you saw coming a mile away. Just not very effective in terms of storytelling or making you feel scared.

Finally, there’s the effects. Now, I know on a budget of ten million dollars you can’t do much in the special effects department, but the effects they use in this film are for the most part pretty stupid. There’s a scene where a ghost is revealed in a cave, and I was expecting like out of The Ring or The Grudge (originally Japanese stories, if you didn’t know). Instead we get a goofy fanged monster-girl that looks more like a carnival attraction monster than a real ghost, and in the last few minutes of the film we get some CGI ghosts, which are about as scary as a frying pan. There’s one shot in the last few seconds of movie with such a ghost, and I felt more contempt than fear when I saw it, because it was so obviously fake. They might as well have had an actor put on a sheet with eye-holes, save a few dollars on computer-rendering, because that’s how lame it was.

So did The Forest have anything I liked? Actually yes: besides beautiful shots of Tokyo (always nice to see Tokyo when it’s not animated or hand-drawn), the film does a great job of making you question what’s real. Once Sarah is really trapped in Aokigahara, you find yourself questioning everything: river directions, people’s intentions, whether anything you’re seeing is real or all in Sarah’s head. You even question for most of the film what is the real source of the hauntings Sarah experiences: is it ghosts or a living forest? Or is it maybe psychological or even an infection from some bug? The movie makes a good case for all four throughout the course of the story, and even now I’m not really sure what the true answer is. Not that I’m spending a lot of time thinking about the answer, mind you.

Another thing that the movie has going for it is that when the jump scares occur, you really do jump pretty hard. One woman in the theater even cried out after one particular jump scare. That’s not enough to redeem the film, but it does work in its favor. And finally, the film’s got the wheels in my head turning, looking for stories that could come out of it. In my opinion, inspiring me and other writers and creative types is always a good thing, especially if it leads to good stories.

On the whole though, I find The Forest below average, earning a 2.6 out of 5. It’s premise is promising, and it tries hard, but on the whole can’t deliver. You’d be better off staying at home and renting The Ring or The Grudge if you want Japanese-inspired horror. At least this film didn’t ruin my desire to visit Aokigahara (only to see it and sate my horror author’s interest in creepy stuff, though. I would not visit it for the reason other people do).

And if you would like some good horror, consider some of my work. Right now, all my books are on sale until Thursday from Amazon, Createspace and Smashwords. Check them out now and pick up a great read for an even greater price. Trust me, this is an opportunity you do not want to miss.

It’s January 7th, which means we’re halfway through the big sale. So if you’re looking for a new book for the new solar cycle, you like a good horror or science fiction story, and you sometimes enjoy supporting independent authors, this might be the opportunity for you. So head to Amazon, Createspace, or Smashwords, and you can get your new book (paperback or electronic, whichever you prefer), and enjoy.

Oh, and if you do get one of my new books, please make sure to let me know what you think when you’ve finished reading it. I enjoy your feedback, and reviews are always nice to receive for an author. So please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Hmm…am I forgetting anything? Probably, but I can’t remember what is. In any case, I’ll see you tomorrow, my Followers of Fear. After all, it’ll be Friday, and you know what that means.

The Quiet Game

In his publishing debut, Rami Ungar brings us five terrifying stories of darkness in magic. You can experience the strange visions of a man battling sex addiction in “Addict”. Or feel the wrath of an enraged dybbuk in “Samson Weiss’s Curse”. Face your fears in Gene Adkin’s Murder House in “I’m Going To Be The Next James Bond” and then journey with a young autistic “In The Lady Ogre’s Den”. But most of all, prepare to play the most insidious game of all: The Quiet Game.

Now Available on Amazon, Createspace, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords

 

Reborn City

Zahara Bakur is a Muslim teenager recently moved into the gambling town of Reborn City. After her parents are killed by gang violence, Zahara is forced to join the Hydras, an interracial gang whose leaders have supernatural abilities. As the violence in Reborn City escalates and Zahara becomes closer to the Hydras, including the quiet but stern Rip, she finds herself drawn into a dark conspiracy involving the origins of the leaders and the shadowy corporation that rules over Reborn City.

Available on Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords

 

Snake

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.

Available from AmazonCreatespace and Smashwords

Around this time of year, it’s customary for many bloggers to do a post reflecting on the last year and their hopes for the coming year. I decided to wait a few days to do mine because I posted a lot of stuff during the first couple of days of the New Year, and I didn’t want you guys to get sick of me (especially since a lot of what I posted was advertisement). And I won’t be doing the sort of post with the odd comparisons to famous venues and the listing stats, because I dislike doing those sorts of posts. Instead, I think I’ll just do what writers and bloggers do best, and write.

So, how was 2015? Well, I was surprised by how many people found 2015 to be a really bad year for them. So many people on Facebook and in daily conversation went so far to call 2015 “shitty”. Even my sister, who accomplished so much this past year, including getting her driver’s license and car and becoming a certified professional baker (so proud of her on that). This is especially odd when you think about how these people don’t live in war zones or aren’t homeless or anything, but then again we can’t always be expected to compare ourselves to those who have it worse, can we?

Personally, I feel that 2015 was a bit of a roller coaster with all sorts of ups and downs. I had a pretty mellow final semester with only three classes and a thesis to do, but at the same time I had a job search that sometimes felt like it wasn’t going anywhere. During graduation and the two-three weeks surrounding it, I felt like the prom queen, with all the attention on me, showering praise and good wishes. Not too long afterward I got to go see some of my favorite metal bands in concert, and got the chance to intern in Germany. Of course, the trip to Germany got delayed, and one set of tickets I couldn’t fully refund, so that was money wasted.

Life’s a rollercoaster, is it not?

When I finally did get to Germany, it was a great experience. I learned a lot working with the US Army, explored as much of Germany as I could in the four months I was there, and made some memories and friendships that I hope will stay with me for a long time. On the other hand, I could get very tired, and if things didn’t go as planned, that stressed me out. I didn’t get to stay, and even when you’re making a good living and have a place to stay on base, which is much cheaper than getting your own apartment, living abroad is expensive. I came back to the States with about the same amount of money in my bank account as when I left.

And finally, when I got back home, I found a lot a lot of people wanting to know how I did in Germany and what it was like. I also got a lot of support as I started up the job search again, and I finished editing one novel and made significant progress on another. And I even got a narrator for that audio book for Reborn City I’ve been trying to get off the ground! On the other hand…still jobless for the moment, and until I have some income, I can’t get an editor to look at Video Rage for one final touch-up before publication.

All in all, I felt this year reflected life in general. There are things that don’t always go your way and you could live without, but there are plenty of good things to even it out, and in the end you wouldn’t give up the experiences you’ve had for the world. That’s certainly been my experience. While I would’ve loved to not have those delays with Germany and still have some more money in my bank account, and I had hoped to be employed by this point, I am very happy that I’ve had the experiences and learned the lessons that I did this year.

As for this coming year…well, I have my hopes. I want to get a job, obviously, and without getting into specifics, I’ve had some luck with that, thanks in part to the help I’ve gotten from numerous sources. I want to publish at least one book this year, though I’m aiming for two, plus some short stories here and there. And I would definitely like to move out into my own place (preferably a one-bedroom apartment that allows pets, like cute little kitty cats).

Oh, and I would definitely like to finish editing a few more stories, make some more progress on my new collection of short stories Teenage Wasteland, and get that audio book of Reborn City released.

Will any of this happen? I can’t say, because the future is not certain. However, a lot of stuff is very likely, including the stuff listed above. And I’m hoping that along with those, a lot of other stuff happens this year. While I had a pretty good 2015, I know that on a global scale things were, to say the least, messed up. Gun violence, terrorism, refugees not given the treatment they deserve, continued abuse of the environment. There was plenty of good–gay marriage is now legal all throughout the nation, thank God–but I feel we need to see a lot more of that sort of good to outweigh the bad. Already I’ve seen what I feel is good action from the President, but it’s going to take a lot more than that before I’m satisfied.

Cheers to a fresh start.

Well, I’ve rambled on enough for one evening. I’ll finish off with a reminder that all of my books are on sale through January 14th from Amazon, Createspace, and Smashwords, and that I hope we all accomplish the goals we set ourselves this year. And I guess that includes new year’s resolutions, though I know those rarely last long. Oh well, good luck with those too I guess.

Happy 2016, my Followers of Fear!