Tag Archive: novels



When I started out on this writing journey, I never saw myself as someone who could a whole bunch of writing projects going at the same time.  That kind of thing was reserved for some of the great prolific authors like Isaac Asimov, who was notorious for working on multiple projects on a regular basis.  The man insisted on having a portable typewriter or two wherever he went.  And if he couldn’t get his hands on a typewriter, he’d pull out a pad of paper and a bunch of pencils/pens and wrote the old fashion way, long hand.

But me, I could never picture myself even thinking about working on more than one story at a time.  In fact, the very first novel I started working on was set in the early 1800’s and I had gotten about 2/3’s of the way through the tale when my wife pointed out that a historical piece would be harder to market.  On hearing this, I gave it some thought and put the story aside and began a whole new piece which eventually turned into my first published novel “The Bridge”.

After finishing that book, I thought about going back to the piece from the 1800’s, but wound up moving forward with my current characters, one of which had connections to the family who were featured in my unfinished work.  However, moving forward was still difficult.   I was taking college classes which of course made excessive demands on my time.  But that was only natural.  School had to come first, however when we moved to Marina so Helen could attend CSU Monterey Bay, I took two years off from studies and focused more on my writing.  Which in turn led to my finally finishing “The Ship” which I released back in 2014.

From there I began work on a third book with those characters, which is still underway at this point and time.  What happened?  I was having difficulties in building the story, things were getting too complicated.  Too many characters, too many ideas, it was turning into something too unwieldy.  Yet I still wanted to be writing, so I wound up putting it aside and started up “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.

With that book I had a more clear idea of where I wanted things to go, who the characters were, and how it would end.  Plus, I had a co-author, namely my wife Helen who had been my consultant on the first two books.  Mind you it still took another 2 years before this book was ready to for release, however I didn’t mind it so much.  Why?  Because I had started up another blog, called The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition  https://thevampyreblogs.wordpress.com/, where I was regularly writing short stories involving different characters who were to appear in the novel.  The idea behind this was to  build an audience for the book before it was released and create a loyal following.  Yet by doing this, something wonderful happened.

I wound up training my brain to think about more than one story at a time.  Writing all those shorts, was a great exercise and now I find myself thinking about multiple storylines on a regular basis.  Now why is this such a big deal to me?  I’ll tell you in my next entry.

I know, I know, I’m cutting things off just when things are getting even more interesting, but this post is getting pretty long and I still have much to say.   So please be patient and I WILL have the 2nd installment up in a week.  Until then, take care and keep writing my friends.


You’ve just about finished writing your novel and can see the finish line coming up in the distance.  But now you have a new concern to deal with, creating a cover for it.  But what kind of art should you use?  Should it be a photograph, cartoon, an image that evokes feelings from a favorite movie like having several people walking towards the reader like in “The Right Stuff”?  Should it just show an individual who appears in the story, or should it show a scene that’s right out of the book?

So many questions, right?  And the answer is… I don’t know.  Every author has to choose their own path or vision for their work.  It’s not an easy thing to do either, I know this.  All I can say is know your audience and what captures their imagination.  Make sure the art speaks to them and makes them want to pick up your work.

But this can be difficult sometimes.  Tastes in art changes over the years so I thought it might be fun to demonstrate how the style of covers can change over time using one of the legendary Ray  Bradbury’s most famous works, “Fahrenheit 451”.

Here is the original cover when the novel first came out.  Although somewhat cartoonish or simplistic, the image reflects the torment of the protagonist as he wrestles with his work as a ‘fireman’ who burns books for the good of society.  A part of him feels the loss and flames as ideas and words are consumed by the fires he helps create.

Now here we have another cover that was created depicting “The Hound” from the novel.  Although clearly the image depicts an animal at second glance we note the extra set of legs and are left wondering what part this creature plays in the novel.  Unless you’re familiar with the story, you’d never know there was a ‘Hound’ in the book, but it was a mechanical device used for locating and hunting down ‘criminal’ elements.  Furthermore, it did not in the least look like an actual animal.  So although this cover would definitely catch the eye and make you wonder, it doesn’t really say a lot about the story itself.  Again, keep in mind I’m speaking for myself in this entry, not any of you.

This next cover, obviously designed for the books 60th anniversary, is very simple but has good color and a clever image.  Fusing a ‘book of matches’ and an actual ‘book’ is quite clever and assumes the potential reader has some inkling of the story inside.

This next image is both eye-catching and disturbing.  The artwork is something almost nightmarish to me, yet I can see how it works considering the society depicted in the story is rather warped and disturbing.  I can even appreciate the strange ‘hound’ figure which in some ways might have looked even better on the cover of an HP Lovecraft book.  And although effective, I’m not sure this would be a cover I’d want lying around when company comes over or if I had children.

The next cover obviously harkens back to the original design, but with more color and was possibly aimed more at young boys.  Certainly it would catch a younger reader’s eye and again it clearly hints at what can be found inside the pages.

I personally found the next cover very effective as we see an interpretation of what the fireman’s gear might look like.  Plus the reflection of the burning books in the visor again clearly helps the prospective reader get an idea of the storyline.  Plus it keeps the red and yellow colors which hint at fire which is also seen quite frequently in a number of these covers.

In this final image we see a dramatic scene of our protagonist in the middle of a conflagration.  We get a feeling of a fiery future and a clear sense of what a fireman does in that world.

Now as I said at the beginning of this entry, I’m speaking mostly for myself.  Choosing the art for the cover of your book is entirely up to you.  The content, the colors, the message your trying to get across is all on the writer.  It’s your baby, but it is also important to keep in mind how potential readers may react to that image so know your audiences tastes.  Remember you want them to pick your book out of a sea of choices available to them, both online and in an brick and mortar store.

Also, keep in mind to not have the cover depict something that does not actually appear or happen in the book, because then the buyer is going to feel cheated.  I’ve seen many books over the years where that happened and felt exactly that way.  As good as the story might have been, I felt betrayed and had a bitter taste left in my mouth which made me gun-shy about picking up another work by that particular author.

I would suggest beta-testing your cover choices with your audience.  Get feedback on that image just as you would on the story itself.  Remember, that book cover is the handshake that introduces your work to potential readers.  Entice them, pique their interest, but don’t betray their trust.  What is on that cover should show up somewhere in the book, whether it’s a panoramic view of the world the story is taking place on, a moment of adventure, or an image of your heroes/villains.  Play fair and get those readers to pick up your book and leave them wanting your next one.

Until next time, take care and keep writing.


Recently there’s been a lot of discussion of Amazon Kindle’s latest program… “Kindle Unlimited”.

Now for those of you have heard but don’t know a lot about it, here’s a quick recap in a nutshell.

*Remember: this is only a brief overview and not an in-depth piece.  I understand there are still some details to be ironed out*

With Kindle Unlimited, you pay $9.99 a month to have unlimited access to Kindle books through Amazon.  You don’t have to ‘buy’ the books, you simply have access to them.  Sort of like a private library that you pay a monthly fee to have access to.  Now considering there are literally thousands of books on Kindle this is a pretty good deal for consumers.  You can sample and read any the books and decide if you actually want to purchase a copy for yourself in e-book or maybe go for an actual print copy, without wondering whether or not the book is to your taste.

So on the surface, this sounds pretty good right?  So how does this effect the authors?  What do they get out of having their books being ‘borrowed’ instead of bought?

Well, Amazon has a plan in place for there.  Should anyone ‘borrow’ your book and read at least 10% of it, whether or not the person finishes the book, the author will earn a paid share.  So they are getting something for their trouble even if the entire book is not read or purchased.  Nice right?  They will get something just for having their book looked at (provided at least 10% of the book is sampled).

So this sounds like a nice win-win situation for all.  Unfortunately, there is a catch (yeah, you all saw that coming didn’t you?).

In order for an author’s book(s) to be part of the Kindle Unlimited program, the e-book version of their book CANNOT be for sale anywhere else.  Meaning, no Nook, Apple, Sony, or other e-reader formats through Smashwords, Scribd, Oyster, etc.  Amazon and Kindle will have the SOLE selling rights to the e-book form of your work.  Print editions are of course unaffected by this.

So basically, an author has to choose to either pull their existing works from Smashwords and  the other e-book formats, and have only the Kindle version of their e-book available.  Or, in the case of a brand new book, it will only be allowed to exist in print or Kindle form.

Speaking only for myself…

I am not going to do Kindle Unlimited or Kindle Select.  Some time back, I pulled my first novel from Smashwords and did the Kindle Select which also requires exclusivity and only had the Kindle e-book form available for three months.  I did it because this was the only way I could do ‘Free-Days’ through Amazon, which was important to me since it was my first novel.  Those Free-Days got my name and work into the hands of over 1000 prospective readers.  But I had to cut my Nook, Apple and Sony fans off for three months, which I hated doing.

When I released my 2nd novel “THE SHIP” I made it clear from the start that there would be no Free-Days, only “99 Cent Days” occasionally and that was it.  And I’m sticking to my guns.  99 cents is the lowest I can go on Kindle without being part of either one of the their programs.  “THE SHIP” is doing nicely, and I’ve also found that a number of people have told me flat out that they prefer paying the full price when they have the money, because they love what I’ve created and want to see the money go to me and not some corporation.

With loyalty like that, I can’t bring myself to cut anyone off.  So, I’m sticking with Smashwords and Amazon (no strings attached) for all my e-book formats.  What others choose to do, is up to them.  I simply wanted to take this moment to assure all my readers that I will always put my books out there in all the e-book formats so I can make sure it’s available to you.

Here’s the address to my author website which has links to all the e-book formats for both my books.  Just click on it, and it will take you to the site and you can choose whatever format you prefer.  You will always have a choice with me, it’s my way of returning the faith and loyalty all of you have shown my by taking a chance on my books.

http://allankrummenacker.wix.com/allan-krummenacker

A DECISION HAS BEEN MADE!


*UPDATE:  THE NEXT BOOKS IN MY PARA-EARTH SERIES WILL BE…*

After giving it a lot of thought and listening to feedback from readers both here and on my blogs I’ve come to a final decision on what order the next few books will be coming in…

Late November 2014 “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS” will be released first.  This will be the first of at least 2 books.  The story line I’ve been creating has grown to such an extent that it cannot be told in just one novel   So I will do what I’ve been doing with the other books.  A complete story will be told with a few dangling plot lines that will be addressed and wrapped up in the 2nd book which will come in time for Christmas 2015.

In May 2015 “THE DOOR” will be released and will take up where both “THE BRIDGE” and “THE SHIP” left off.  It will reunite Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie.  I won’t give any spoilers away except to say that not only with the looming confrontation with the mysterious white-haired man will take place, but also the secret behind the ghostly Brandon will be fully revealed.

NOTE: Even though the story will wrap up a number of plot lines, this will NOT be the last you see of these characters.  They will be back in future stories as well as making appearances in other novels  So if you’ve grown attached to them, know you’ll be seeing more of them down the road.

So that’s where things stand and what you can expect in the next 18 months folks.  I want to thank everyone who gave me feedback.  I plan to try and release 2 novels a year, provided my school schedule for the next 3 years will permit.

In the meantime, please spread the word about my books to everyone you know.  I’m leaving the link to my webpage below, which has both books and how to get them in whichever format they wish: KINDLE, NOOK, PDF, SONY E-READER, APPLE, or TRADE PAPERBACK:

http://allankrummenacker.wix.com/allan-krummenacker

ON THE HORNS OF A DILEMMA…


My life has grown more complicated and I need you my readers to help me decide a course of action to take.

Yesterday, I attended  an Orientation for the California State University of Monterey Bay, which I will be entering this Fall.  I will be pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Collaborative Health and Human Services.  The plan is for me to attend for 3 full years instead of just 2.  This will allow us to continue residing on campus in very comfortable housing, provided I take 12 units a semester.

However, a wrinkle occurred yesterday when I signed up for classes.  I wound up with 15 units because there were certain classes I HAVE to take before the Spring semester, so I had to bite the bullet on this semester. Future semesters will be kept to 12 or so units.

This greater workload now presents me with a dilemma.  Originally, I was planning to get the first installment of “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS” out this December.  Unfortunately, I’m hearing form various folks who have recently read “THE SHIP” and are eager for me to continue with the characters from this part of the series (Cassie, Julie, Alex and Veronica).  The next installment of their story “THE DOOR” will wrap up a number of plot lines that have been running throughout the first 2 books.  “THE DOOR” will not mean an end for these characters by any means. I’ll be using them more, but the major underlying sub-plot which involves a white-haired individual and the secret of Brandon would finally be explained.

On the other hand, I know there’s a growing crowd eager for “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS”, however that story line seems to be growing even bigger than I originally planned and may have to be told in 2 or more installments.  Originally, I had planned to unveil “THE VAMPYRE BLOGS” this December, but with it growing larger and larger I’m not sure I can keep this deadline.

This brings me to a dilemma. Knowing I’ll have less time to work from August to December, which book should I concentrate on?

Both “THE DOOR” and “THE VAMYPRE BLOGS” are part way finished. Which one would you all like to see come out this December? Please leave your comments below and help me decide, thank you.

Looking forward to hearing your input.  Until next time, keep writing…


WELCOME TO THE PARA-EARTH SERIES…

When I began writing  I wanted to create something new and different.  Something that could become an ongoing seriese, with recurring and new characters that would take the reader’s imagination to new places and introduce new concepts.  The result was the Para-Earth Series:  a unique blend of horror, paranormal mystery, with a science-fiction twist that would make the Twilight Zone proud.

 

Through these tales, I introduce both my characters and the audience to a whole new vision of Parallel Earths unlike anything you’ve seen before.  I hope you’ll join me on this journey as together we discover beings and realities found only in dreams.  The door is open and you are always welcome…

****UNTIL MIDNIGHT MONDAY JUNE 9TH YOU CAN GET EITHER OF THESE TITLE FOR JUST $1.49, half off the usual asking price of $2.99.  Or you can get both for $2.98****

 

 

BOOK 1 “THE BRIDGE”

Something waits…


Alex Hill buried his psychic talents for eighteen year.  But with with scream of tires and twisting metal, all this changes.

When his girlfriend, Police Sergeant Veronica Ross , is nearly run down by two teens he becomes concerned.  But upon learning that both the driver and passenger of the vehicle in question, had been dead for almost twelve hours before the incident, he knows what he must do…

 

BOOK 2 “THE SHIP”

Every ship needs a navigator…

 

 

 

Cassandra Elliott is a billionaire heiress, who has just come out of the closet.  She’s also a powerful psychic who has seen incredible and terrifying things.  

In fact just two weeks ago she and her girlfriend Julie Cloudfoot survived a terrifying experience.  Fighting alongside their friends Alex Hill and Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, they faced creature from a parallel reality, where evolution had taken a decidedly different turn.

As a result of that encounter Cassie and Julie have come to Santa Cruz, California to bury Julie’s uncle who fell to the creature.  They’ve also come to see if their new romantic relationship will work out.  Unknown to either of them an old adversary has followed them.

A white-haired man in a flowing black cape is lurking inside an old wrecked ship.  He has plans for Cassandra and will need her soon, but until then he must keep her safe.  However, a new threat appears, a legendary ghost ship arises from the sea and marks the girl as its next target. 

Soon the two women find themselves fighting not only for their lives, to be keep from being separated forever…

AVAILABLE IN ALL E-BOOK FORMATS:

 

KINDLE: amazon.com/author/allankrummenacker

 

NOOK, SONY E-READER, APPLE, PDF OR E-PUB FORMATS: 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383

 

*PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW SO THEY TOO CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS LIMITED TIME OFFER!*

 

THANK YOU AND HAPPY READING.


****OKAY, TIME FOR A SPECIAL DEAL THIS WEEKEND****

 

With looming medical bills ion the horizon it’s time for me to raise some funds.  So I decided to run a half-off special over on Smashwords and Amazon for e-versions of my two books “THE BRIDGE” and its sequel “THE SHIP”

 

That’s right 1/2 off the $2.99 price.  Now you can get one book for $1.49 or both books for $2.98.  The price change has already occurred at Smashwords and should be available at Amazon starting tomorrow.

 

So  if you’re looking for an e-copy for your Nook, Kindle, Sony, Apple or even a PDF file for your laptop or desktop computer, click on the link below and start downloading the version you need.

 

And please share this with everyone you know.  The more the merrier and thanks for all your support.

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383

 

 


Well, 2013 was a rollercoaster of a year for me.  There were some great highs but an awful lot of lows that really made this a tough one for me.

 

Losing my father-in-law was probably the hardest thing to go through.  I looked up to that man so much and he gave me such great advice and encouragement.  To watch him fight the good fight and then lose to something other than the cancer, was gut-wrenching.  However, to see my wife’s family pull together and know I was a part of them, helped a lot.  As did this Christmas.  This was the first one without him and was going to be especially hard for my mother-in-law.  Helen (my wife) and I had her and my brother-in-law over here for the holiday where we decked out the place and managed to create a magical Christmas in which it felt like he was right there with us the whole time.  We all felt his presence, and that made me feel so much better.

 

My debut novel “The Bridge” came out and 1477 copies were grabbed up.  Most of these were thanks to free e-book giveaways (about 1370) by my count.  Was it worth doing that?  I think so, because as a 1st time author I needed to get my product and my name out there.  I’m hoping this will translate to a large number of people willing to actually buy the second book when it comes out in March 2014.  Because I won’t be doing free promo-giveaways again because in order to do that, I’d have to first release the book to Amazon only for 3 months.  That would leave all my Nook, Apple and Sony e-reader fans waiting on the sidelines.  I don’t like that idea, it seems unfair to my audience and I cannot operate that way.  I care about the people that are interested in reading my work.

 

Foolish? Maybe.  Idealistic?  Certainly.  But that’s couple of things that make me who I am.

For 2014 I’m hoping to put out at least 2 new books.  “The Ship” of course in March.  Then I’ll be introducing a new set of characters and their first story in December.  “The Vampire Blogs” will be my first Christmas story.  My protagonist will be a blood-sucker with most, if not all, the usual powers and weaknesses and no sparkling.  He will also be a good-guy.  I have plans of starting a blog dedicated to events in his and the other characters lives before the book actually comes out to give the audience sneak preview into the workings of their minds and how life shapes their personalities.  Please let me know if you like this idea in the comments section below.  Most of what will be shown in the blog will probably not show up in the book, so these ‘blog’ entries will be an added treat for my readers.

 

Depending on my schedule in the coming months, I might have a third book come out which will involve Alex, Veronica, Cassie and Julie once again and take up where both “The Bridge” and “The Ship” leave off.  Little hint for everyone about the final scene coming up in “The Ship”.  Hee-hee…

 

I will be attending more classes at my local Community College starting in Feb., with the hopes of entering University in the Fall of 2014.  We’ll see how everything goes and how life is treating me.  The amount of free time I have will have a definite impact on how much writing I get done.  So keep your fingers crossed for me.  I’m dedicated to getting “The Ship” and “The Vampire Blogs” out for certain.

 

Other goals and dreams for 2014 involve spending more time with my wife and hoping our financial situation improves so we can get out and try more things.  Kayaking, Parasailing, Ballroom Dance and other activities have long been on our list of what we’d like to try or do more of.  We’ll see how things go.

 

So, as 2013 comes to a close, I pray the coming months are kind and treat you all even better than the last 12 have.  More writing tips will be coming soon so stay tuned.  In the meantime, if you must travel please be safe and stay well.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL… and keep writing.

 


As most of you probably know, my beloved laptop died a few weeks ago and I have yet to replace it.  I will be getting a desktop computer towards the end of the month luckily.  But in the meantime, it’s been hard not being able to access my novels and work on them.  At least, that was the case until yesterday.  I am now able to continue work on book #2 “The Ship” and am in no danger of losing any changes I make to it (at least as far as I know).  And it’s all thanks to my G-mail account.

Now a lot of you are probably thinking, “Well duh, you simply mail what you wrote each day to yourself and it will be safe in your e-mail.”  That is definitely a method that a lot of people use, but I have a tendency of deleting or accidentally deleting e-mails due to clumsy fingers or a computer acting strange.
What I’m going to talk about today is Google Drive (aka Google Docs).  Now I know Google had provided a  “Cloud”-like service for all who use Google but I didn’t know a lot about it.  It is very similar to Amazon’s Cloud system, where you have a huge amount of storage in cyberspace to save photos, documents, etc.  But I’m one of those who does not jump on the new-tech bandwagon right away.  I always hang back and let time pass for others to give these services a test run and see if there are any bugs that need working out first. After I’ve heard more about the new technologies, then I’ll give it a whirl.  I hate to try things and lose stuff because there were issues that needed to be fixed.  Especially where my writing is concerned.
So, when my laptop started acting strangely I backed up all my writing files onto memory sticks (flash drives).  My wife then urged me to transfer some of the docs from the sticks onto Google Docs, informing me that I already had an account with Google because of my e-mail.  So I proceeded to do as she instructed.  I uploaded my writing files and could access the novels that way thinking I could access the novels on any other computer I could get my hands on.  Right?  Wrong!  Because I uploaded the novels in MS Word, I could not bring up the novels on computers that did not have MS Word.  Our new laptop, which is primarily for my wife’s university schoolwork does not have MS Office or Word on it.
I told my wife about this and she informed me that the files she’d put on Google Drive were easy to access and she could make changes to them.  Long story short, she finally realized how I’d uploaded the actual files in their original program.  Whereas she had simply copied her files and pasted them into a Untitled Google Doc, which is the first option that comes up when you enter Google Drive.  That Google Doc is always accessible from ANY computer and you can make changes, edit, or add to a doc.  So yesterday I got onto a computer that had MS Word, opened my original document and then copied the entire book into a Google Doc.  Then I went home and tried to access it and make changes on the new laptop at home that did not have MS Word.  It worked.  I can now access the novel, make changes and continue to finish writing the first draft while I wait to get the desktop at the end of the month.
I’m back in business and it feels great.  So check out Google Drive (aka Google Docs) and start saving your files over there gang.  Remember, if you want to be able to make adjustments to your doc, copy and paste the file into a Google Doc template.  If you simply want to have a back up copy, then upload the file in its original format.
This is a great tool and I’m so glad it’s available.  You can also make certain files accessible to others like Beta-Readers or your editor through Google Drive.  PLUS… you can make it that no one can tamper with the document while it’s on Google Drive.  They can read but not touch it.
Check it out, it’s really worth it folks.  If any of you have other advice about Google Drive or other similar services please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.  That’s all for now.  Take care and keep writing.
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