October 30, 2013

'The Fracking War' book tour begins - with a radio show

ITHACA, New York - The beginning of a book tour to promote The Fracking War started Tuesday in the studios of WRFI-FM here, with a friendly host named Bob Fitzsimmons, who coincidentally, is a friend, too.

I had been on Bob's Tuesday afternoon news-discussion program earlier this year with local winery owner Lou Damiani. This time I was on there solo to talk about hydrofracking, a lot of specifics about why I wrote the book and what's really inside the covers of The Fracking War.
On the air with Bob Fitzsimmons at WRFI

The Fracking War is being set up by the publishers as I write this, with - I hope - a e-book edition out in one month. The printed book should roll off the presses in 8 to 12 weeks.

The radio interview was excellent practice for what Adm. Sylvia Fox promises will be a very busy spring when the print edition is available. She is already eyeballing places where hydrofracking for natural gas is particularly contentious and looking into setting up stops with local media and at local bookstores.

You can pretty much stick a pin in any map of any state doing hydrofracking and find controversy and contention.

The Kickstarter.com campaign is rolling along with the pledge of one $250 donor missing. Her pledge doesn't appear yet on the tally because she has to get an Amazon.com account to preorder books as well as sign up for dinner with the author.

If you are interested in preordering a book, click here for Kickstarter. The book will be available for purchase after the Kickstarter campaign is over through bookstores and online. But anyone who has preordered with Kickstarter will get their e-books and printed copies much earlier than people who chose to go through a book retailer.

Will Sweeney
Tuesday was also a big day for The Fracking War because we hired Will Sweeney, a noted New York artist whose work is being featured heavily in efforts of the NY anti-fracking movement. Will is going to do the entire cover design for us, including a piece of original artwork. That artwork will also be used on t-shirts, posters and other Fracking-War-related items.

After our a 45-minute chat, we felt confident Will is going to produce some great sketches, one of which (or a combination thereof) will eventually make powerful cover.

It will be great to have the book out soon and printed copies shortly thereafter.

But my notebook full of plot and character ideas for the sequel to The Fracking War is already overflowing.

And the name of that book? It's too fracking early to say.

October 26, 2013

The film, 'The Dark Truth' tells, the dark truth, really

WATKINS GLEN, New York - The movie The Dark Truth popped up on Netflix Saturday night, a new addition to the stable of films the movie service has on demand.

Forest Whitaker
I like most Andy Garcia films, plus it featured Forest Whitaker, Eve Longoria and Kim Coates.

They are all good actors.

The movie didn't fulfill what the professional critics thought it should and so, regretfully, it was panned by most critics. That's how I got to see this 2013 film so quickly on Netflix.

But, the critics are dead-ass wrong. The movie isn't totally predictable (which critics hate!) and at the end of the movie, what you normally expect from this kind of quasi-action thriller doesn't happen.

A bad guy even switches sides at the last minute and helps save the heroes and the heroines. Holy Smokes Batman!
Andy Garcia

The movie actually is an important statement about corporate greed. And a major plotline of the movie is that a corporation is robbing citizens of a Third World country through control of the water supply. Well, hello America - that's already happening. And it will happen in the U.S. soon enough.

The Dark Truth is a good stay-at-home popcorn movie, available on Netflix but probably on Amazon and through Redbox outlets, too.

If you are against hydrofracking, check this movie out. It might give you some insight into what the gas companies have in store for all of us - in this country.

E-books, Kickstarter.com and 'The Fracking War' - Questions?

WATKINS GLEN, New York - After fielding a lot questions in emails, it seemed like a quick blog explaining what the $#^$#%*$%# is going on with The Fracking War, this Kickstarter.com thing and how to order a copy for a Kindle, iPad, Nook or other e-reader is in order.

Ordering an e-book:

If you want to buy an electronic copy of The Fracking War, go to the Kickstarter.com site and click on the appropriate 'pledge' on right-hand side of the page. At that point, you have only ordered it - and said you pledge the amount to the campaign. There are several options. You can order just the e-book, or you can order the e-book and a signed print copy. Several other options also include e-books and other spiffs.

The Kickstarter.com campaign:

The whole Kickstarter.com campaign is designed to get 'The Fracking War' into people's hands as quickly as possible (in e-book and print), promote the book by getting pre-publication sales on the books and help defray a portion of the costs of getting The Fracking War published: proofreaders, graphic artists, typographers, photography and probably some other things lurking out there, waiting, like a natural gas well ready to explode.

The pre-publication sales are important because it makes it easier to get book reviewers to take a peek before the book actually comes out.

By the way, this whole Kickstarter is called crowdsourcing. Another popular crowdsourcing outfit is called Indiegogo.

If the Kickstarter campaign doesn't hit its goal of $5,000 by Nov. 18, the whole thing evaporates. If you have pledged to buy a book or anything else and it is unsuccessful, you will not be charged. If that happens (Please, please don't let it!), I will scramble to see what I can do for the folks that have pre-ordered books or other stuff. The book will eventually be available through regular sales outlets.

If the campaign is successful - I mean WHEN the campaign is successful - the books, e-books, t-shirts posters and everything else will be delivered as they become available after Nov. 18.

The Fracking War itself:

The writing and editing of the book is done! The manuscript has been uploaded to the publisher and right now we are wrestling with cover design and what the inside pages will look like. On a daily basis, Adm. Fox is showing me headlines or links to stories about hydrofracking issues and incidents, almost always saying, "This is exactly what you wrote in the book!"

That's why we are hustling so fast to get it to readers' hands.

If you have any questions about The Fracking War, The Kickstarter Campaign, or how to order a print or electronic copy email me here: Email Michael.

I'll get right back to you,


October 22, 2013

Read Chapter 1 of 'The Fracking War' on Kickstarter

WATKINS GLEN, New York, USA - Last year at this time I was daydreaming about the characters and possible plotlines I thought I might include in The Fracking War. At that point The Fracking War was a book idea with a catchy title that had been banging around in my head all summer and into fall.
The manuscript of 'The Fracking War', heading to the publisher Wednesday

Then today, Adm. Fox and I launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the book to market quickly and get the word out to readers that what was once a book idea with a catchy title was about to be an honest-to-God published novel.


Kickstarter LINK to The Fracking War

Many of you have followed the week-to-week, keystroke-by-keystroke process as I wrote The Fracking War via a website that I use to talk about writing and editing called Writing for Money. LINK: Writing for Money website

That website reveals a lot about the process, the occasional bouts of angst I had, and how I discovered what most fiction writers already know: Characters sometimes just refuse to do what you ask them to do. Obstinate little schmucks.

But that website - and posts on this page about the book - were part of a Muhammad Ali strategy to keep me moving. Or to extend the Ali idea, to keep my fingers dancing on the keyboard writing The Fracking War.

Just like when Ali would predict in what round he would knock out his opponent, once I declared publicly I was writing a novel and it would be published this fall, I was putting myself on the line.

It worked.

Now that The Fracking War is within a month or so of being published, I feel like my opponent is on the canvas and I am just waiting for the referee to get to a count of 10 and declare a knockout.

The first chapter of The Fracking War is already published on the Kickerstarter website as a sample for readers. (Here's the link again: LINK: The Fracking War on Kickstarter) Please take a look and see what you think.

If you like it, please let me know: CLICK FOR MY EMAIL. And if you really like it, consider ordering a first edition or choosing one of the other pledge options. There's books, t-shirts, visits to book clubs, dinner on the shore of Seneca Lake...

And please consider passing along the Kickstarter link with the sample chapter to friends and acquaintances. Hydrofracking for natural gas and natural gas production are very quickly becoming the focal point for all manner of political and social upheaval.

Protests in New Brunswick, Canada
If you have been following the national and international headlines about hydrofracking, you know how quickly the whole issue is heating up. Events in the Canadian province of New Brunswick mirror some of what takes place in the fictional settings of The Fracking War.

Life imitates art. Or vice versa. I'm never sure.

And, yes, a sequel is already in the works. Here's a hint about one of the plot lines in the sequel: Don't live anywhere near propane storage, especially salt cavern propane storage.