Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jeremy Robinson - Great Kindle Giveaway & Blog Tour
Horror, YA, Fantasy & Chesspocalypse

If you're still naked, rubbing the sleep out of your crusty eyes, pick out something orange to wear today, Unity Day, as a statement that you, too, stand against bullying.  Consider how many of today's popular people - authors, actors, entrepreneurs - were geeky outcasts in middle or high school.  And support PACER's National Bullying Prevention Month.

I would call my guest author, Jeremy Robinson, a geek or nerd, but he's laughing all the way to the bank.  Besides, what do you call somebody who started as a self-published author and parlayed that into best-selling books and mainstream publishing contracts?  I'd say, a success.

Welcome to Jeremy Robinson’s Great Kindle Giveaway and Blog Tour

“Hurray for free Kindles!” you say, but who the hell is Jeremy Robinson? Allow me to introduce myself. I’m the author of eleven mixed genre novels, published in ten languages, including the popular fantasy YA series, THE LAST HUNTER, and the fast-paced Jack Sigler series (also known as Chess Team—not nearly as nerdy as it sounds), PULSE, INSTINCT and THRESHOLD from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press. I’m the co-author of an expanding series of novellas deemed the Chesspocalypse, which take place in the Chess Team universe. If that doesn’t wet your whistle, I’m also known as Jeremy Bishop, the #1 horror author of THE SENTINEL and the controversial novel, TORMENT. For more about me, or my books, visit

I have watched for years as my fellow authors held online events called blog tours. Some would visit ten blogs. Others, as many as ninety. And every day they would bring something different, waxing eloquent about a multitude of topics. When I finally decided to have a blog tour of my own, and settled on doing each and every weekday in October, my first thought was, “This will be cool,” which was immediately followed up by, “Holy crap, I can’t think of something interesting to say twenty times in one month!” I can barely think of something worthwhile for my own blog just once a month. The solution is what follows; each blog participating in the tour could ask me ANY three questions. That means, if the subject matter bores you, I’m not to blame! Huzzah!

But fear not. There are other rewards for sloughing through the questions and answers. I’ll be giving away two Kindles to two randomly selected readers who sign up for my newsletter. Details on the giveaway can be found below. On to the Q&A!

1) We all know people who criticize certain books or genres simply because they have differing tastes – or perhaps enjoy bitching.  What is the biggest or most frequently voiced criticism of your work that you consider justified – and what are you doing to address it?

Actually, it’s that I’m a fundamentalist hater trying to convert the reader to conservative Christianity. This is typically a response to any mention of anything in my stories that relates to the Bible. It’s true that I have, on occasion, used events recorded in the Bible, or strange creatures described in the Bible as the basis of a story. I even have a character that’s a young Earth creationist. BUT, I also have characters who are evolutionists, atheists, etc, who are just as heroic and convincing as the creationist. I base stories and creatures on Greek, Norse mythology, Buddhist and Jewish beliefs, and gobs of non-creationist science. The point is, everything is fair game. I’ll tap any religion or belief system if it helps the story. More than that, the Biblical stuff in many of my novels is twisted so much that I tend to offend Christians as well as non-Christians. I can’t win!

Perhaps the most controversial of all my novels is TORMENT, written under the Jeremy Bishop pen name, which sends the occasional reader into an anti-fundamentalist Christian tizzy-fit. Granted, the story does involve hell, but there is nothing Biblical or Christian about my presentation of that concept, AND I drop the F-bomb 34 times. What kind of fundamentalist Christian propaganda curses like a drunken sailor? The story really asks the question, “Are you ready to die?” I think the angry people just came up with an answer they didn’t like. [Okay, so he kinda answered a different question than I asked - but it was still interesting, yes?  Yes.]

2) You’ve pointed out that unappealing covers and amateurish book trailers probably damage sales of self-published books more than help them.  If an author is planning a self-published e-book only, do you still consider an attractive, professional-appearing cover a must, or do you think they can get away with an "okay" cover and perhaps a cheesy book trailer?

It’s possible that covers of a lesser quality aren’t quite as important as those on print books, because they’re never going to be seen very big, or in high quality. While I have seen some successful e-books with awful covers, I personally wouldn’t risk it. Covers not only grab the attention of book buyers, but they also help brand the author, or an author’s series. They make it easier to quickly glance at a book and without reading any text, think, “Oh, there’s a new James Patterson (or whoever) novel!” Crappy covers don’t make for a good long run brand. If you look at my Chesspocalypse books, it’s very easy to see that they go together. Same with the Origins Editions of my first five novels. And THE LAST HUNTER series. They’re branded, and that takes design skills and forethought. Besides, I like making posters out of my covers and with crappy covers, that just wouldn’t be any fun.

As for the book trailers, they’re not watched in great numbers. Even those by big name bestsellers don’t get tons of watches. With the audience so limited, I would much rather make a stellar impression, or not have a trailer at all. A cheesy book trailer will also likely hurt sales. When I see a bad book trailer I immediately think the book is equally bad. It’s all about first impressions. If a trailer or cover is bad, most people assume the same poor quality can be found within the book. Traditionally published authors get to blame bad covers on the publisher, but with self-publishing that responsibility rests with the author, and no one else.

3) I know how very hard you’ve worked for your “overnight success,” and want to offer you a softball question – what question have you always wanted to answer, but nobody asked?  (And what’s your answer?)

Hmmm. That’s actually a tough question. Let’s go with: All of your novels have been original stories and properties developed by you. Are there any non-Jeremy Robinson properties you would like to write for?

YES! There are, in fact, two. I would love to do a novelization of the upcoming Godzilla movie. I’ve been a fan of Godzilla since I was a kid, have a near complete collection of the movies, and more than a few of the toys in my office. No other author knows Godzilla better than me. More than that, writing a Godzilla novel has been on my list of things to do before I die, so the timing is right. Now I just need to get Legendary Pictures’ attention. The second is actually Thundarr the Barbarian. I would love to write a novel, or screenplay for Thundarr. Make it serious and gritty. I love to write post-apocalypse stories. I kill nearly everyone on Earth whenever possible. And I think some of that comes from watching, and loving, Thundarr as a kid. I watch it with my kids now, and the combination of post-apocalypse landscape with twisted science and fantasy is just awesome. Either would be a dream come true.

Hope that was as good for you as it was for me. Now how about that kindle giveaway?
Here’s the deal: to be entered to win one of two free kindles all you have to do is visit my website:——and sign up for the newsletter. That’s it. The first kindle will go to a randomly chosen newsletter signup on October 31. For the second kindle, there’s a catch. The second giveaway will only be triggered if one of my kindle books hits the bestseller list (top 100). So pick up some books (most are just $2.99 a pop) and spread the word! If one of the books squeaks up to #100 for just a single hour, the second kindle will be given away to another randomly chosen newsletter sign up on October 31.

 *When you sign up for the newsletter, be sure to include the name of the blog that referred you in the field provided. I’ll be giving away two $50 gift certificates to the blog that refers the most sign-ups and another to the blog who referred the first kindle winner.

** I will announce winners via Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and newsletter (which you will be signed up for!) but I’ll also e-mail the winners directly—I’ll need to know where to ship those kindles!

Thanks for spending some time with me today. Hope you enjoyed the Q&A, and good luck with the kindle giveaway!

-- Jeremy Robinson

So are you clicking over to buy some books and sign up for the newsletter yet?
What's takin' you so long?

Coming on Monday - Boob Stories.  (Yes, you heard right.)