News Release – Local author signs ‘absolutely shocking’ book at The Book Carriage

Larry Granados, Treena Carpenter, Mark Fadden, Mercedes Reagan, and Leanne Skinner hold copies of The Brink, Mark Fadden's latest thriller, during his visit to The Book Carriage in Roanoke, Texas

Cooler temperatures make a lot of people want to curl up with a good book. And that’s exactly what customers got a chance to do at The Book Carriage & Coffee Shop in Roanoke on Sunday when Colleyville author Mark Fadden stopped by to promote and sign copies of his latest award-winning thriller, The Brink. In the book, Fadden incorporates a lost article of the U.S. Constitution into the story of a fugitive cop that helps a woman running for her life, only to get sucked into a secret society’s plot for global financial Armageddon.

 “It’s a completely gripping thriller, one that I hated to put down,” said Leanne Skinner, who works at the store and read an advance copy. “I appreciated the short chapters, so when I did get the inevitable interruption, I could finish the chapter, take care of the interruption, and then get back to it.”

 During his visit, Fadden talked about the “real-world” economics that are part of the book. “I began researching the book in 2006. Back then, I wanted to do a story that used the country’s exploding debt problem as the basis for a conspiracy thriller. I also wanted to use real numbers and real economic theory to showcase just how fragile our financial system is. Little did I know then that the events happening now, like the government debt bubble and actions of players in the international financial system, like what the Bank of Japan is doing to stabilize its economy, practically mirror what happens in the book. The truly frightening thing is that these actions, in the book anyway, ignite the complete unraveling of the entire global monetary system.”

 “It’s absolutely shocking,” said Angie Granados of the financial realty in the book. Granados, with her husband Larry, owns The Book Carriage & Coffee Shop. “Mark talked about some of the financial numbers he uses in his book, real numbers from the real world. It’s almost too scary to think about what could happen.”      

 The Book Carriage & Coffee Shop opened two years ago. Granados and her husband built the unique building from the ground up, scraping the existing building that once stood there in order to comply with the city’s zoning ordinances for the revitalized Oak Street corridor. The building features a conference room on the second floor that can be rented and a stage that overlooks the main part of the store where bands play on Saturday nights. “Because of the construction, this was our first signing event in a while,” said Granados. “Now that the construction is over with, we are looking forward to having more events and more signings.”

 The Book Carriage & Coffee Shop is an independent general bookstore/coffee shop located at 304 North Oak Street in Historic Downtown Roanoke. Contact them at  info@bookcarriage.com or 817.491.2858. Or visit their website at www.bookcarriage.com.

 Mark Fadden can be reached at mark@markfadden.com. He has several upcoming signings in the DFW area and is available to attend book club reviews as well. He is also giving workshops on how authors can use social media to sell their books at various local libraries. Visit www.markfadden.com to view his schedule of events or to preview The Brink.

Writing and marketing your novel: A glimpse from the trenches

Ahhh, vacation. Alas, it was with the kids, so not a real vacation, merely a “trip.” Anyway, vacation is over. Did you miss me? I hope not too much. I’ll stop yammering because we’ve got two great topics tonight…

September 13, 2010

Day 89 of 365

Books sold so far (May and June 2010): 246

In this issue:

  • Writing topic – Characters, Story and Sly Stallone
  • Marketing Topic – International Man of Mystery

Writing topic – Characters, Story and Sly Stallone

One of the “best of” blogs tonight on WordPress was from Kristen Lamb’s blog entitled, “What Star Trek Can Teach Us About Writing.”

Lamb makes several very interesting points about J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek movie, including that:

  1. Star Trek proved that imperfect characters resonate with audiences.
  2. Star Trek perfected showing, not telling
  3. Star Trek employed parsimony.
  4. Star Trek showed character via relativity
  5. Star Trek relied on character and story

Basically, Lamb reminds us that no matter how much CGI or how many gadgets are in the story, it’s still ABOUT THE STORY, and the characters. We should never forget that.

Lamb also invited comments about other movies that are good examples of keeping the focus on character and story. I wrote the following reply:

I know I’m going to get A LOT of grief for this, but I’m putting it out there anyway. You want a movie(s) that are all about characters and that are concentrate on the story between them? How about the Rocky series? Better yet, except for Stop or my Mom Will Shoot, how about anything done by Sylvester Stallone? Go beyond the muscles and the one-liners of the Rocky movies and even Rambo, and you will find movies that explore the depths of REAL human emotion – love, anger, regret, despair, ambition, and achievement. Rocky is basically a love story, first with Rocky and Adrian and then with Rocky and his family, especially his son (in the last one). Talk about flawed characters…Rocky starts out as a leg breaker for a local loan shark who gets a once in a lifetime chance to use the only skill he has to pick himself up out of his rotten existence to make something better for himself. He is someone we cheer for because, like Kirk in Abrams Star Trek, he is the underdog, a short, slow, southpaw with only his incredible will and heart to keep him going. In the Rambo movies, Stallone shows us a man who is a perfect killing machine. Rambo recognizes this characteristic in himself and, when he tries for any kind of normal existence, he is not allowed to have it because of his fate. Time and again, when the powers that be call on him to come to the rescue, he begrudgingly does it because he realizes that war is his home, killing is what he does. In Cliffhanger, Sly must deal with the pain and regret of dropping his best friend’s girlfriend during a high mountain rescue, which leads to her death. After hiding out in another life for years, he comes back for the woman he loves and decides to help stranded climbers, and ultimately faces his fears and his friend, a tale of regret evolves into one of forgiveness…with a really cool story about thieves among the backdrop of some incredible mountains. A fantastic combination that makes for a heck of a story.

I will go on record as saying that Sly Stallone is one of the greatest storytellers of modern time! Once you really think about many of his movies, you might find yourself agreeing with me.

Comments? Thoughts on my sobriety after reading the above entry? A fellow Stallone fan? To the keyboards!

Marketing Topic – International Man of Mystery

Since things are still heating up on the global financial crisis front lately, with the Bank of Japan warning it’s going to do something big soon to help save the country from deflation, and many other countries trying desperately to keep themselves from going Greek, I’m trying to keep The Brink in the news by creating news releases with a financial, if conspiratorial, angle. In my research about the financial crisis, I came across a book called Currency Wars by Song Hongbing. Released in 2007, it sold over 200,000 copies in China and was even bedtime reading selections by some of the highest finance and government officials in China. To quote an article on the book, Currency Wars, “After all, the root of the world’s problems for nearly a century – from the Great Depression to the Asian financial crisis – is Wall Street’s manipulation of the global financial system, he says. China should be prepared to fight ‘bloodless wars’ waged by ‘evil forces’ like the US Federal Reserve aimed at destroying the Chinese economy, Mr. Song’s book concludes.” The book has also had a recent resurgence of popularity. So why all the Chinese attention? Because economic nationalism is at an all-time high in China. Many Chinese think that their country should flex its economic muscles to become the world’s leading superpower.

So, how does this situation affect little old me? Google. It always comes back to Google. I am targeting a Google AdWords campaign in China with the following ad:

I’m doing the ad for 2 days, with a CPC of $.40 and a $25 daily budget. So we’ll go fishing and see what we get. Since The Brink covers similar topics from Currency Wars, it only makes sense to use that relationship in the marketing effort. People are always looking for books on similar topics, and using other book titles is a great way to do a little marketing piggy-backing.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  

Breaking News Release – Texas author’s latest thriller eerily similar to new economic events

I wass going to take the week off, but I had to share this article about recent Bank of Japan actions and Congressional Budget Office warnings that are tied to The Brink.

I recently posted the contact info of newspaper tip desks throughout  the state. I’m sending the article to them to hopefully get some good coverage.

More next week!

Texas author’s latest thriller eerily similar to new economic events

 For author Mark Fadden, fiction is quickly becoming fact with every new effort to try and stop the global financial crisis. Fadden’s latest thriller, entitled The Brink, uses the current financial crisis as the foundation of a lightening-fast thriller in which a fugitive Texas Ranger helps a woman running for her life, only to get sucked into a secret society’s plot for global financial Armageddon. “I wrote the book to closely mirror events happening in the real world and to offer a plausible explanation for why those events are happening,” Fadden said. “But I never thought it would predict actual events.”

One of these events is the latest round of “bold action” being taken by the Bank of Japan to prop up their slowing economy. “A similar action by the BOJ in the book is the starting point that a secret society uses to bring the international financial system to its knees.” The secret society featured in The Brink is known as the Bilderberg Group, an organization that allegedly exists in the real world. “The Bilderberg Group is an international cabal made up of royalty, politicians, financiers and media tycoons that secretly run the world. When I began researching them, I knew they were the ones that could pull of something this big.” While Fadden keeps tight lipped as to the intricacies of the Bilderberger’s plot, he does mention that a large part of it revolves around a second piece of the book that’s also come true: the U.S. debt crisis. “A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report points out that the national debt is projected to be 62 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at the end of fiscal year 2010, and will only rise higher,” Fadden said. “To bring that number into perspective, national debt has only ever exceeded 50 percent of GDP one time in the history of this country. It was during World War II, and it decreased sharply after the war ended, as America began paying off its wartime debt. The U.S. currently has an enormous debt load and it’s only getting bigger.  That adds up to a very dangerous financial position.” CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf backs up Fadden’s take on America’s dangerous level of debt. In a recent blog, Elmendorf stated, “in the United States, the ratio of federal debt to GDP is climbing into unfamiliar territory—and all else being equal, the higher the debt, the greater the risk of a crisis.”

With two events in his book actually coming true, Fadden may seem like some kind of soothsayer. But he disagrees. “I began researching and writing The Brink in 2006. The fact that the events in the book now seem to be coming true is a testament to the fact that, however this crisis pans out, it’s been a long time coming. Few people want to sit down and read a 100 page CBO report filled with numbers and graphs. I wanted to write an action packed thriller that uses those same theories and numbers to propel the story of two people being chased by killers from Mexico to Washington, D.C. so that people could familiarize themselves with the very scary financial situation we all face.”

The Brink is Fadden’s third novel. His first novel, Five Days in Dallas, was published in 2003. It received critical acclaim and Fadden himself was even called a “masterful storyteller” by a Writer’s Digest reviewer. Fadden, who grew up in Houston, then began working on the follow-up in 2006, which eventually became The Brink.

 Fadden has several book signing events and lectures scheduled in the next few months. His event schedule and the first 22 pages of The Brink can be previewed at markfadden.com.  Fadden has also created a blog about writing novels and book marketing using social media entitled “The Nightstand Diaries,” which can be read at markfadden.wordpress.com.

Writing and marketing your novel: A glimpse from the trenches

September 1, 2010

Day 78 of 365

Books sold so far (May and June 2010): 246

In this issue:

  • Writing topic – Taming the Time Bandit
  • Marketing Topic – Keeping it Local

Writing topic – Taming the Time Bandit

How much time do you devote to ‘the craft?’ I’m not talking big picture things like, “I minored in creative writing in college”, or “Whenever I see someone on the subway or walking down the street, I can picture them as a character in my book.” I’m talking about ass in the chair, at your writing desk, pounding the keys, sweating the details, knocking out page after page time. Is it every day? It should be. Do you have a goal? You should. Is it in pages or in hours? Mine is pages. In my humble opinion, I think a page goal is better because it’s more concrete. When you complete 5 pages, you complete 5 pages. When you work for 4 hours, you may have been working or you may have been playing on the computer or watching spoofs of the Old Spice commercial on YouTube.

My goal for my new novel is 5 pages a weekday. Why a weekday? I save weekends for review of the pages from that week and for research. So let’s do the math:

5 pages x 5 weekdays = 25 pages a week, translates into 100 pages a month, so a 400 page novel should be done in 4 months.

Today is September 1. I still need a few days to finalize my outline, but I will start writing on Labor Day. So, I should be done with the rough draft by January 1.

What about you? How many pages a day is your goal?

Marketing Topic – Keeping it Local

Advertising is expensive, but one of the best advertising tools at your disposal is 1) something as a writer you can do and 2) is FREE. It’s the news release. Here’s the latest one I did to coincide with another news release about the Bank of Japan’s actions to stabilize its economy:

BREAKING NEWS RELEASE – Is The Brink coming true?

Posted on August 30, 2010

Today’s Bank of Japan action eerily close to similar event that sparks global meltdown in controversial thriller

Could a suspense thriller have predicted the future? Mark Fadden’s latest chillingly current novel, The Brink, might have actually pulled off that trick with the announcement of today’s Bank of Japan emergency meeting to take “bold action” in the currency market. The book follows a fugitive cop and a brilliant and beautiful economist as they race to Washington, D.C. from the Mexican wilderness with news of a secret society’s plan for global financial Armageddon. “I wanted the conspiracy in the book to be one that could actually happen in real life, with real, if somewhat mysterious groups involved.” These ’mysterious groups’ Fadden is referring to are the Bilderbergers, an alleged cabal of international elites such as financiers, media moguls, and members of royal families, that are bent on forming a one world government, thus destroying sovereign nations and individual freedoms.  Another organization Fadden brings into his latest thriller is America’s own Federal Reserve, which, Fadden says, is awash in secrecy. “By setting the interest rate, perhaps no other organization in the world controls our lives more than the FED. Yet most people have no idea it is a network of private banks that is not under the control of any branch of US government.”  

While Fadden won’t give away anything that might spoil the plot, he does reveal that today’s emergency meeting announcement by the Bank of Japan as reported by Bloomberg.com in which Japanese Prime Minister’s Naoto Kan is quoted that, “he expects the BOJ to implement monetary policy “swiftly,” and that the government is ready to take “bold action” in the currency market,” is eerily similar to what happens in the book.

“I wrote the book a few years ago and spent several years researching the financial aspects of it,” Fadden said, searching for his words carefully so to not give away too much. “Let’s just say that today’s Bank of Japan action is pretty close to what happens in The Brink. I just hope for our sakes that the timelines of factual events and fictionalized events split off from there.”

I put it on my website, but then I thought, “That’s great, but now, how can I get the word out about it?”

I Googled, “book marketing”, and came across this handy little tool I found while doing some research on book marketing. It’s a list, by state, of all the local newspapers and their news tips email addresses. Many PR services charge you hundreds of dollars for this list, but here it is for free. Now all you have to do is make up your own news release, send it out to your local papers, sit back and become famous! No, seriously, you’ll probably have to do some follow up with the different papers, but newspaper contacts are vital. They may not print your entire news release, or they may not print it at all. But they might print the blurb you email them about an upcoming signing. So play nice with them, okay?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow…  

 

Breaking News Release – Is The Brink coming true?

Today’s Bank of Japan action eerily close to similar event that sparks global meltdown in controversial thriller

Could a suspense thriller have predicted the future? Mark Fadden’s latest chillingly current novel, The Brink, might have actually pulled off that trick with the announcement of today’s Bank of Japan emergency meeting to take “bold action” in the currency market. The book follows a fugitive cop and a brilliant and beautiful economist as they race to Washington, D.C. from the Mexican wilderness with news of a secret society’s plan for global financial Armageddon. “I wanted the conspiracy in the book to be one that could actually happen in real life, with real, if somewhat mysterious groups involved.” These ‘mysterious groups’ Fadden is referring to are the Bilderbergers, an alleged cabal of international elites such as financiers, media moguls, and members of royal families, that are bent on forming a one world government, thus destroying soverign nations and individual freedoms.  Another organization Fadden brings into his latest thriller is America’s own Federal Reserve, which, Fadden says, is awash in secrecy. “By setting the interest rate, perhaps no other organization in the world controls our lives more than the FED. Yet most people have no idea it is a network of private banks that is not under the control of any branch of US government.”  

While Fadden won’t give away anything that might spoil the plot, he does reveal that today’s emergency meeting announcement by the Bank of Japan as reported by Bloomberg.com in which Japanese Prime Minister’s Naoto Kan is quoted that, “he expects the BOJ to implement monetary policy “swiftly,” and that the government is ready to take “bold action” in the currency market,” is eerily similar to what happens in the book.

“I wrote the book a few years ago and spent several years researching the financial aspects of it,” Fadden said, searching for his words carefully so to not give away too much. “Let’s just say that today’s Bank of Japan action is pretty close to what happens in The Brink. I just hope for our sakes that the timelines of factual events and ficitionalized events split off from there.”

The Brink is Fadden’s third novel. Visit www.markfadden.com for more information.