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May Update: Computer Viruses, Social Disease, Needles and the Ripple Effect

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For starters, I’d like to apologize for the fact that I’ve been rather quiet of late. I failed to post a new Turn the Page book REVIEW last week and it’s been even longer since I posted anything else. For the record, IT WASN’T MY FAULT! I mean, I was trying to be careful and everything but my computer somehow wandered into the wrong part of Cyber town and, the next thing I knew, I had this nasty virus. Programs stopped working. Internet functionality was limited at best. My speakers developed this totally weird Tourette’s sort of thing where they would randomly play snippets of commercials even though no browsers were active. I haven’t seen so many pop-ups since the last Viagra convention. It was bad. I tried some home remedies but they just weren’t getting the job done. I took my friend Dell to the Computer Emergency Room and he spent an entire week in ICU. I have him back now and, with the exception of the occasional Samsung Galaxy ad that seems to materialize out of nowhere, everything appears to be back to normal.

In the interim, I was forced to use my old laptop. We’ll call him Moses. Let’s just say it was a challenge. So I could continue to write, my first order of business was to retrieve a single Microsoft Word document from online storage. It wasn’t a large file at all but took a full FIFTEEN MINUTES to download and open. I’m not kidding. A dial-up modem would have been quicker. What am I saying. A stone tablet and a high quality chisel would have been quicker. To add to my frustration, there couldn’t have been a worse week for this all to happen. I had a big book signing event this past Friday evening and I wanted to do whatever I could to publicize it. I didn’t have a backup of my email contacts list so I was mostly limited to social media.  Unfortunately, the use of social media requires fairly reliable Internet connectivity. I didn’t have that. In terms of stability, my laptop was a house of cards in a category five hurricane. It usually went like this. I type facebook.com into my browser and wait. Nothing happens. I try again and get the same result. I try a third time and, five or so minutes later, the page actually comes up. Hallelujah!  I see that someone has posted something about my book signing. I am excited. I click the Like button. I then have to restart the computer because it just crashed. This is not a dramatization. It all happened… repeatedly.

book signing_RiverRead_interviewHere is the silver lining to this story. Because I spent the week mostly cut off from the outside world, I actually got a lot of good writing done. It wasn’t easy or comfortable but it was productive and there’s a lot to be said for that. Inspiration struck as well. I’ve decided that my next book will include a computer hacker and he (or she) will die a slow, painful and demoralizing death. I’m talking about the sort of death that would make Carl Hiaasen proud. Have you ever read Sick Puppy? I think that’s the one I have in mind. The bad guy gets buried in the sand up to his chest and is about to be run over by a bulldozer. He has his cell phone. What he doesn’t have is a tongue. Unbelievably, I can’t recall exactly how he lost his tongue. At any rate, he places a call to 911. The operator, of course, cannot understand a word he says so she puts him on hold and transfers him to a Spanish speaking operator. That’s the last we hear of him. I’m thinking my hacker will meet his demise in a similar fashion but maybe with a social disease thrown in for good measure. I think that’s called poetic justice.

book signing_RiverRead_group shotOkay, I mentioned my book signing. It took place Friday, May 1st at RiverRead Books in Binghamton. A HUGE thanks to all those who attended. It was standing room only and I am incredibly grateful and humbled. I’m also a genius because it was my idea to invite members of the Windsor High School Music program to perform. I talked about my book and gave away some free Oswego Speedway race tickets to many appreciative fans. Thank you to the Oswego Speedway promotions department for their generous contribution. The tickets were a big hit. The cookies and brownies I brought were very popular too; but the group of incredibly talented young musicians really stole the show. I’m very serious. I hit a single. They turned it into a homerun. I’ll hopefully have some video to post sometime in the near future. Photos will have to suffice for now.

book signing_RiverRead_a capella groupAs an indie author, it is extraordinarily difficult to make a name for one’s self. I’m not sure how many new books are added to the Amazon catalog each day. It’s in the thousands if not the tens of thousands. I don’t want an exact figure because it’s too depressing. I am a needle in a whole field of haystacks. So how do I get you to sit on my haystack so I can poke you in the ass and hopefully get your attention? Good question. I don’t have an answer but thinking outside the box certainly helps. I gave away some race tickets. I convinced some kids to sing and play. As a result, I got an interview on local television. My event was publicized on some websites. I filled a small room for a couple hours on one Friday night. Is there a ripple effect. Will any of that carry over? It’s too soon to tell. As yet, I don’t have any other events scheduled but I’ll definitely keep you posted.

And finally, I’m very happy to announce that A Shot at Redemption is now available through pretty much every major e-book retailer. That includes Amazon of course, but also the iTunes Store,  smashwords.com, kobo.com, barnesandnoble.com, oysterbooks.com, and a few others. If you don’t yet own a copy of my book, this is the perfect time to get it too because it’s FREE, or at least it could be. Simply set up your free account with Smashwords. Once there, you can name your own price for A Shot at Redemption. Pay a buck. Pay five bucks. Pay nothing. It’s entirely up to you but only for a limited time. You should check out Smashwords no matter what because they offer a tremendous selection of free or extremely inexpensive e-books in whatever genre you might be interested in, even Amish sci-fi. Yes, there is such a thing. Go see for yourself.

 

If you like what you’ve read, please subscribe to this blog or my Turn the Page book reviews blog. You can also visit michaelsova.com, or find me on Facebook, and on Twitter @Micsova. Please pick up a copy of A SHOT AT REDEMPTION, my debut mystery novel.  

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