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Allan’s 2015 Year In Review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


As you all know, for the past couple of months, I was pulled away from my writing by all the demands of my classes at the California State University of Monterey Bay.  But now all of that is over, until next semester begins late next month/early February when it all starts up again… possibly, things may change before then.  I’m up for a couple of job interviews which could change everything.

In any case, you’d think I would be eager to jump back into my writing right?  Yes and no.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still in love with writing, but trying to awaken my muse has been hard.  Being away from my writing for so long left me drained emotionally and mentally on the creative front.  Plus there’s been other things I had to deal with which also got pushed aside thanks to all the schoolwork.

Luckily a lot of that is done and I have more time to get back to writing, only I found I was stuck staring at “The Door” and not being able to do anything with it.

(NOTE: This is NOT the final design for the bookcover…  I’m still working on it)

Now before anyone mentions plotting, let me explain that I’ve always known where the final confrontation was going to take place and who’d be there.  I could clearly see each of the characters who needed to be there having their own special moment.  I even knew why they were there, but I couldn’t figure out what they’d be doing DURING the fight.  Most of the scenes I was picturing were aftermath moments, or pauses when the action moved elsewhere, so they had to be on hand.  But what were they doing while the action was happening was puzzling me.

I tried turning it over again and again in my mind only to realize I was once more dealing with a mental version of my old nemesis the Rubik’s Cube.  Only this time it was more intimidating than ever before…

I began to feel like I’d never solve this problem.  Again and again I’d start thinking I had the solution, because I could see the goal in the distance.  I’d even make good progress towards getting there, but then I’d find myself hitting another wall.  It was like wandering through the most frustrating maze I’d ever encountered.

Then yesterday, the breakthrough finally hit me.  I needed to work on the final battle FIRST and then let the rest of the story follow.  I had to place every character I wanted into that scene and find out for myself what they could/would/and finally did in that climactic moment.  Only then could I justify to myself as well as the reader, why they needed to be in this story in the first place.

Now normally I don’t usually work this way.  I’ve always used a loose outline, like in this case, and knew where I was going and led the characters to that moment.  Plus, I still needed to see what that final confrontation was going to look like for myself.

Immediately, I looked back at my own works “The Bridge” and “The Ship” and re-read the final battle scenes for each of them.  I quickly realized I had a tendency to go for some pretty impressive battles, that seemed almost impossible for any person to win.  But that’s always been my philosophy in writing.  The more daunting the odds, the more impressive the heroes are for overcoming them.

I would have to go big for this third installment, but not just in size.  I had to deliver something new and special for the readers.  I’d given them glimpses into some of the Para-Earths where my previous antagonists came from.  This time I needed to show the readers WHY some of these being needed to be kept out of our world!

At that moment, I knew what I needed to do… it was time to open “The Door” and let the nightmares from one of those other places come through.   With a threat of this magnitude in mind, I now know exactly how important it will be to have “All hands on deck”, as well as how to utilize each and every character in that scene.

So there you have it folks, once again I say “There is no one specific to write a story”.   We each may have our own special methods of writing, but sometimes even those techniques may not always be enough.  There will be days when we need to discover and add new tools to our already impressive arsenal.

I’m very eager and excited to get back to the story now.  I know that working that final confrontation is going to make how I continue to write certain characters in earlier sections of the book much easier. I already knew their motivations for the most part, but I suspect I’ll have better insight into their personalities because I’ll have a more clear idea of just how far their willing to go for their ultimate goals.

Remember everyone, stories can take many paths.  But in the end its the writer to must choose or forge the right one that will best serve the purpose in the end.

Until next time, take care and keep writing.


This is a tricky topic to cover, because as with any form of art the old saying of “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” truly is the rule. Speaking ONLY for myself, it comes down to have characters been cut out?  Were certain scenes reworked to blend into one?  Was the flavor or message of the story lost or enhanced?

Given the holiday season, I decided to focus on one Christmas movie that I consider a true classic, which definitely took some artistic liberties, yet managed to enhance the story in my opinion.  The movie in question is the 1951 version of  “A Christmas Carol” starring the legendary actor Alistair Sims as Ebenezer Scrooge.

Now before I continue, let me assure you all that I have actually red the original story in Mr. Dickens own words many times before and am familiar with what was actually in the novella itself.  And I can safely say his original story was carefully kept intact in this film adaptation.  However, certain additions were made by the producers which for me, enhanced the story and made Scrooge’s transition from tight-fisted miser, to a good and generous soul all the more believable.

The first change I will address was during the visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past, actually a number of the changes took place in this section of the film, but helped make the mood of the piece more poignant.  It is mentioned in the novella, that Scrooge’s little sister died giving birth to his nephew Fred, who we meet early in both pieces and his harshly dismissed by his uncle.  Fred even points out that as far as he knows the two have never quarreled and he is continuously puzzled by Scrooge’s attitude towards him.  In Mr. Dickens version there is the subtle hint that Scrooge resents his nephew’s existence since it meant his sister (who Scrooge dearly loved) lost her life.

In the film the producers added Fran’s death scene with Scrooge at her bedside.  In the scene elderly Scrooge sees his younger self leave the room after he believed his sister had passed away and heard his newborn nephew crying.  We see there the anger in his younger self  that is the birth of his resentment.  But after his younger self leaves, Scrooge sees and hears his sister speak once more begging him to take care of and watch out for her son.  Elderly Scrooge is devastated by this knowledge and the scene marks a powerful beginning of his change towards not only his nephew but his own behavior towards the world as a whole.

The producers added yet more past story, by showing us how Scrooge met his partner Jacob Marley as young men, and even further on as their greed made them more powerful men in the community.  But then there was another scene added which takes place shortly after we see Scrooge’s former fiancee talking about Scrooge working in his office while his partner lies on his deathbed (this part of the story comes straight from Mr. Dickens work).

But then the producers added a new scene where we see Scrooge at Marley’s bedside, and Marley tries to warn him that they had been wrong in how they behaved all these years.  Naturally, Scrooge does not understand and takes none of his dying partner’s words to heart.  This scene actually enhances the original scene of Marley;s ghost coming back to try and warn Scrooge to change his ways earlier in the film.

All of these added scenes help to enhance Scrooge’s transformation towards the end of the film, and make Mr. Simms performance of the miser’s delight of finding he was still alive and had a chance to redeem himself all the more poignant.

As you can clearly see, for me these changes only enhanced the film and the original story.  Mind you, I am also a great fan of the George C. Scott version as well, which did the novella many great justices, which I may touch on in another entry.

But for now, I would like to hear your opinions on when is it okay to take artistic liberties with an established piece of literature.  It could be your own work and how you would envision it being turned to film.  We all know that time constraints and costs motivates a lot film-makers so changes are bound to happen.  But if you had a hand in the screenplay, would you allow or make changes or shortcuts, and if so how would you keep the feeling and main plot of the story alive?

I look forward to seeing what you all have to say.  Until next time, take care and as always… Keep Writing!


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A PAGE TURNER

5.0 out of 5 stars

By John Maberry on December 5, 2015
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

A good follow up to <i>The Bridge</i>, also by this author. A little slow and moderately confusing at the start with a “Family History” that functions as a prologue but isn’t 100% tied into the rest of the story. But other than that it moves along keeping interest and the virtual pages of a Kindle turning.

Cassandra from <i>The Bridge</i> is fully developed as the protagonist and her relationship with Julie, another character from the earlier book is a central feature. Together with a whole host of other characters they battle supernatural forces, some of which are associated with the ones from the earlier book. While you can read this one without having read it’s predecessor, I recommend reading the other one first. If you’re into fantasy, paranormal mild horror and a little romance thrown in, you will like this book. I did.

*Available now for just $1.49*

For Nook, Apple, Samsung, PDF or other E-Readers click on this link:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/433111

For Kindle click on this link:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K3A7XG6/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Tonight It Begins…


For all those who celebrate this holiday I wish you every joy and happiness…

May the blessings of this season bring you close to those you love, and success in the year to come.

A HAPPY AND BLESSED CHANUKKAH TO YOU ALL MY FRIENDS!

Ideas For Under Your Tree


****LOOKING FOR A GIFT FOR THAT PARANORMAL/MYSTERY READER IN YOUR LIFE****

Psychics, ghosts, and beings that are/and are not from this world await you within the pages of these 5-star stories

Signed copies of books I and II in the “Para-Earth” series are just $10.00 each, plus $5.00 shipping and handling anywhere in the United States. (For overseas shipping will be more of course, and will depend on the destination). These books are trade paperback sized and will look great on any bookshelf.

*I accept Paypal, checks, or money orders*

Just tell me which title(s) you want and if they’re to be signed and personalized. (Some people prefer just signed, which is why I ask).

You can contact me by leaving a message below or by e-mailing me at:

allan.krummenacker@gmail.com

Please note: Normal mailing time is 5-9 days, so order soon to get it in time for Christmas.

44a50-xmas2bgift

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone…


Happy Thanksgiving

May all your journeys be safe ones.


Last time I talked about knowing when to release your book, which also meant knowing when NOT to release your book.  Today I’m here to tell you I’m really glad I am not releasing anything at this time.  Why?  See the image below…

That’s me right now.  Last week I had a major mid-term for Pre-Calculus, which is a class I’m still struggling with.  I study more hours for that class and I’m still not fully getting the concepts, so I study even more to try and learn them with only so much success.  I’ve also got two other classes I have to keep up with, along with doing hours of “Service Learning” which is basically volunteer work over at a local high school.  I have to do write-ups about my experiences at my Service Learning Site as well.  Finally, I’m also working on a major final paper for my third class, so in short I’m running on fumes most of the time.

This week I’m taking two county exams (one in Santa Cruz tomorrow, and then another on Friday for Monterey County).  Plus I’ve got morning appointments on Tues and Thurs, and I’m doing more Service Learning on Wednesday.  All this is happening around my classes.

So all of this leads very little… aw hell, I’m not going to lie.  I haven’t had ANY time to write or promote anything lately.  And it’s not going to get better any time soon.  I may not be able to do any serious writing until shortly before/after Christmas.

There were a number of people who told me I was making the right decision in not releasing “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” or trying to rush it to be ready.  To you I say, a huge “Thank you!”  You were absolutely right, and I’m glad I didn’t push things because I would’ve either had a nervous breakdown or delivered a very poor product.

It’s been so busy, I’ve hardly had any time to even think about stories or plot points.  The only thing I’ve been able to give even the remotest attention to has been the collaboration I’m working on with my friend and fellow author Rich Caminiti.

  We’re working on a tale together that involves vampires, the Civil War, and a being from Native American folklore.  An unusual blend, you say?  Well, you’re right.  But it’s shaping up to be a well crafted tale, in spite of the strange elements we’re cobbling together.  For the vampires we’re working with are not of western or European stock.  That’s all I’ll say for now.

I’ll try to keep the posts coming here and focus on aspects of writing and the creative process, but I can’t guarantee how frequently they’ll show up.  I created this post just to keep you all in the loop as to what’s going on with me and why I’ve been a bit quiet lately.  There’s just a few more weeks to the semester, but then the holidays hit.  So I’ll be a bit busy with that as well.  But I’ll do my best not to neglect any of you or this blog.

So for now, I’m going to sit here and try to catch up with my thoughts.

As always, take care of yourselves, and keep writing.


Knowing when to release your book to the public

Every writer, dreams about this day.  The moment your latest work is about to be unleashed.  You’ve worked long and hard for it and the day has finally come.  You’ve shed blood (preferably not someone esle’s), sweat  (and boy didn’t you look hot at that moment), and more than a few tears (I’m not even going to try and make a joke on this one, I know damn well I’ve shed more than few in frustration, or because I wrote a section that moved me enough to shed them).  So you’re all set and ready for your book’s release, but in the back of your mind you have to keep asking “Is my work truly ready to be released?”

Is it?

In my case the answer was a resounding “NOT EVEN CLOSE!”

So, as a result of this fact, I’ve decided not to release my next work “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” until further notice.

How and why did this happen?  The answer is simple.  In spite of my best efforts I could not give my project the full attention and care it needs to be ready.  For those who don’t already know, I am currently attending university over in Monterey, California.  I am currently studying Business Administration, with a focus on Marketing as my goal.  However, there have been ever increasing and demands by my classes which makes giving any attention to my writing, almost impossible at this point and time.  In fact, I’m only third of the way through the 2nd draft of the book.

Furthermore, I still have to have that draft edited and cleaned up before I can try to locate beta-readers to give me feedback.  Originally, I had hoped to have the book already in their hands at this point, but it didn’t happen.  And I’;m certainly not going to ask people to sign up at this point, not with the holidays coming hard and fast on us all.  Most folks will have family gatherings to plan for, travel itineraries to arrange and a host of cooking and decorating jobs to do.

Furthermore, there’s still one final thing I like to do before declaring a book ready to be released and that is to read it aloud with someone who is a good listener and can hear where there might be an issue with the writing.  This takes a long time to do in my case, because I do it via Skype with my editor.  Even though she’s gone over the drafts I’ve sent and everything looks right, she and I like to read it out loud to each other to make sure everything it reads correctly if someone was doing an audio recording of the work.

An idea that sounded great in my head, or a turn of phrase that both of us thought was really cool, may not come across the same way as planned, which is why we do this.  I know a lot of authors do loud readings of their works and believe me, this may take time but it is TOTALLY worth it.

Why am I so picky about this?  Simple, I released my first novel “The Bridge” too quickly (and had to do subsequent re-releases after a number of errors were discovered).  It was an amateur mistake to make, and even though I was forgiven for it (because, I WAS an amateur at the time) I felt I let myself and lot of others down.  So  I made it my policy to not release a book that has not been thoroughly vetted.  I want people to get their monies worth and be able to enjoy a really nice finished product.

So when is a good time to release your work, some of you may be asking?  Well, here’s my answer.  Three to six months after you’ve got it FULLY finished.  Your cover’s ready, it’s been looked over for editing issues with a fine-tooth comb, you have a ‘Proof-copy’ which you’ve gone through with as keen an eye as possible, etc.

“Well if I have it all set to go, why wait a couple of months?  Shouldn’t I get it out right away?”

Well, that’s up to you.  But in my opinion ask yourself some questions.  Is it the right time of year for your story?  Does your tale take place around a holiday?  If  so which one?  Are we getting close to tax season?  If so, you might want to hold off until after everyone’s finished stressing because they might need a good read to unwind after all that.  They may not have the time to even give your book a passing glance, much less buy it.

Picking the right moment to release your work can sometimes make or break your sales of the book.  So choose wisely.

I know we’re all eager to get our work out there, but sometimes hitting that “Pause” button is necessary for the sake of success.  There might be other issues you forgot to take into account such as, marketing.  What is your marketing plan?  Have you been getting the word out about your project?  Do you have a budget for marketing?  How do you plan to get the most exposure for the book?  Have you been building up a sense of anticipation among prospective readers?  If not, then hit that button.  You’re not ready.

I promise to discuss marketing in another entry in the near future.  For now I want to close this entry out with the following.

My plans for having something published in December at this point is to possibly release a novelette that appeared on one of my other blogs called: “The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition”.  It appeared in six installments, but has never been released as a whole book.  It’s a holiday piece that takes place fifteen years before the events in “The Bridge” and involves several characters from that novel, along with my vampyre Nathan.  If I do release that novelette, I will make it available in ALL e-book formats: Kindle, Nook, Sony, Apple, etc.  I might also do a printed version, but I’ll want to see what kind of demand there is for it first.

After that, I’m hoping to release “The Door” mid-2016, and finally finish Alex, Veronica, Julie and Cassie’s current story arc.  I’m not done with those characters by any means.  I have plenty of stories in mind that will involve them, so don’t worry.  As for “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”, that will be released around Halloween 2016.  By then it will be in fighting shape, and the time of year will be perfect for a a vampyre story.

I hope today’s entry gave you all food for thought.  Timing your release and making sure the product is as good as it can be is crucial to your book’s success.  Don’t skimp or rush things.  You put a lot of work into that story, so make sure it’s in the best shape it can be so it can earn the recognition and praise it deserves.  Until next time, I’ll be planning and plotting my own course.  So take care of yourselves and keep writing!


As you all know I talk a lot about writing and the different aspects of it.  Recently I got to wondering about where it all begins.  Where do most stories originate or come from in the first place?  Naturally the answer is a person gets an idea and starts to explore different avenues with it.  But that wasn’t good enough of an answer to me.  I had to ask, where does the idea come from in the first place?    Where does idea get its beginning?  What if…  I began to ask and then stopped.  I’d just found my answer.

Two little words… that’s all it takes for a story idea to be born.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Oh no, my friends those two little words keep popping up throughout the writing process.  Time and time again, I find myself asking or thinking those two words as I’m working on scene after scene.  Or if I’m trying to decide which direction to take the story next.

Ask yourself, how many times do you find yourself wondering who’s going to be the love interest for your main character?  What sex is the character going to be?  Who or what is going to be the big obstacle for my protagonist to overcome in this story?

Basically we find ourselves at crossroads time and again wondering which direction to head in next.  We can ponder these questions for minutes, hours, days or even longer.  Every decision we make with our writing brings us back to asking the same question over and over again…  “What if… I do such and such next…”

“What if…” they’re not big words really.  Yet they have so much impact on our writing that it seems almost impossible to even create anything without them being involved at least once.  For me they keep popping up over and over.  They’re like old friends who help me move things along when I’m really stuck.  Because those words are so powerful, they help me realize that I don’t always have to choose between one of two or three paths.

Instead, I can say to myself, “What if I take things in a totally different direction the reader never saw coming?”

Suddenly I’m off and running again because those two words reminded me that I make the path where the story heads.  My options are not always limited.  They empower me to take the reader to places they never saw coming and hopefully have them cheering as they continue reading.  I don’t always like to be predictable in my stories.  I like to make unexpected twists and turns that makes the reader gasp in delight.  When people read my first novel “The Bridge” they thought they were merely reading  horror/mystery story.  They had no idea that I was going to suddenly throw in huge science fiction twist during the final conflict that suddenly changed the entire mood of the piece.  They found themselves thrown into a whole new world of excitement and intrigue, and it was all thanks to the words “What if…”

What do you think?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Please leave your remarks in the comments section below.

Until next time, take care of yourselves and keep writing everyone.

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