Meet Author Joseph Carrabis at the Portsmouth, NH, Barnes&Nobel Sunday, 9 Feb 2020, 1pmET

“Bad Ass just got a new poster boy…in The Augmented Man” (and the author’s not bad, either)

I’ll be signing The Augmented Man at the Portsmouth, NH, Barnes&Nobel on Sunday, 9 Feb 2020, from 1-3pmET.

FWIW, I received my first royalty check today. THANKEE TO EVERYONE BUYING THIS BOOK! Come on by and I’ll sign your copy for you! Come on by, buy half a dozen copies for your friends, and I’ll sign all of them, too!

A bit about The Augmented Man
The US Military concedes that any kind of combat leaves soldiers psychologically damaged and makes reintegration to society difficult.

The solution is to find individuals who are already so psychologically damaged the most horrendous combat experience will seem trivial by comparison. Better, find individuals psychologically damaged who’ve also experienced massive physical insult and trauma. Best, individuals psychologically damaged, physically traumatized, and emotionally vacant.

But where to find such individuals?

Captain James Donaldson suggests using massively abused and traumatized children as the basis, arguing “…they’ve already experienced more at home than they’ll ever experience in the field. All we need to is help their bodies catch up to where their psyches and emotions already are.

Nine individuals are selected for Augmentation and entered into combat.

One survives.

And comes home.

I read the the Surface section and the first Apache helicopter gunship scene (pgs 228-230 in the print version) of The Augmented Man as my text.

I finished and looked up to see the audience staring at me, wide-eyed, deers caught in headlights. One fellow whispered, “Intense.” Everyone else nodded.

YES! Score one for the author!

About me
You can find out more than you need to know at my About page.

Fantasy Horror Author A.F. Stewart and I talk Deviltry, Noveltry, Shipbuilding, Agony and Ecstasy

Watch, leave a comment, gain a friend!

A.F. Stewart, aka @Scribe77, did me.

Interviewed me, I mean.

We talked about

  • The differences between writing short stories and novels (not much from a crafting standpoint, me thinks)
  • Creating sympathetic villains (even the worst person has one humanizing detail)
  • Genre writing (I don’t believe I write in a genre. My regular readers tell me my genre is “Joseph”)
  • My incredible anthology, Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires
  • Being able to do amazing things with words when you’re an author
  • The link between Satan and Hamilton Burger
  • Getting kudos from your readers
  • Ritchie and Phyl, my incredible work in progress
  • How writing Flash fiction is like building a ship in a bottle
  • Great Opening Lines
  • My incredible scifi/military/thriller, The Augmented Man
  • Writing about characters rather than genre (the story comes first, the genre comes second)
  • Empty Sky and my standing offer; read the book, leave a review, and I’ll send you an autographed copy of the rewrite when it’s published.
  • Children growing up
  • Stories that grew out of my anthropology studies – Mani He and The Goatmen of Aguirra
  • Getting kudos from editors and publishers
  • Writing almost fantastic fantasies (okay, the story’s fantastic. It uses almost fantasy elements – The Weight)

So, yeah, we covered a few things.


Man and Boy; Tennessee, 1932 (Revised for a 3 minute Fiction Slam)

I first wrote Man and Boy sometime in the early 1990s, possibly late 1980s. I remember reading publicly and the next reader, a published author, making a derogatory comment about the story’s tone and subject matter.

I’ve kept it on a backburner ever since, sometimes taking it out, sending it out to a few places then putting it back. I’ve always felt there’s something here. Maybe it needs to be longer, a full story and not a flash piece.

Last week’s The Shackled Man had been in my head for a while and I wrote it up for a flash/slam fiction class I took. I decided Man and Boy might also be a good candidate, so dusted it off and revised if from the previous version. You can get an idea of the revisions by comparing the two. Basically I cut out everything that wasn’t “in the moment” of the story, which I originally wrote as an exercise in dialogue (still think it’s a great example of dialogue carrying a story).

So, as always, enjoy and let me know what you think.

Creator and above level members can listen to my test read.

Man and Boy; Tennessee, 1932

“He’s a dead man, Pa. I pulled me up a dead black man.”

“First time we go fishing in a week and you snag your line on a boy’s been dead in the water who knows how long?”

“We going to get in trouble, Pa?”

“Don’t know that until we know who he is. Help me get him in the boat. God, this one’s heavy. Ain’t swelled, though.

“Look at his face, Pa.”

“Somebody didn’t take a liking to it, that’s for sure. And look at them clothes. You ever seen clothes like that, son?”

“Them’s city clothes, Pa.”

“What do you know about city clothes?”

“I seen them in the catalogue at Mr. Howard’s store.”

“What you doing down at Mr. Howard’s store?”

“I run errands for Mr. Howard sometimes and he gives me a penny so I can buy some candy.”

“You think them’s city clothes?”

“I know I’m right.”

“So this here’s a city-boy, huh? Somebody killed themselves a city-boy.”

“What we going to do, Pa?

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Turkeys Between the Holidays

Safety and Rest

Ever wonder what turkeys do between the holidays?

Well, you shouldn’t.

Two-leggers have holidays. The Wild doesn’t do holidays.

But imagine what a holiday would be like?

No predators.

Or ample prey.

Or ample seeds. Whatever your chosen food source, it’s abundant to the point there’s no confrontations over it.

If you’re female, males only approach when you want them to, not when they decide to.

(translation: males get smart)

If you’re male, females don’t say no.

(translation: sexual selection is gone)

It’s warm or cold. It’s whatever temperature you’re best designed for.

And you can rest.

That’s the big one, because sleep as modern, western civilization humans understand it doesn’t exist in The Wild. Your pet sleeping beside you can get into such a deep sleep it’s possible they dream, possibly woof, tweet, meow, or whatever in their sleep.

Do that in The Wild and you’ve revealed your resting location, ie, you’ve become food. Even apex predators don’t sleep as modern humans do. Far too dangerous.

But here are some turkeys, safe between the holidays.

Not sleeping, although we do make sure there’s plenty of seed for them.

Happy Holidays (after the fact), all.


Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ metrics! (pt 1)

Tanri bile farkedilmek için insani yaratmis, kendini anlatmis

Have you written a book? Do you market it?

Extremely important question that, “Do you market it?”, because if you market it then you want to know which marketing is effective (yes, we’re back to the ROI discussions).

Knowing which marketing is effective involves numbers. Not “Look what I can do!” but “This number tells us something. We may not like what it tells us but it’s telling us something we can use to do better.”

You may be spending money on things but that’s not marketing. Example: My tweets. I tweet for fun. It’s a relaxation for me, something to do when I need a break from writing, and it probably shows. I long ago gave up believing I would sell books via Twitter. A few here and there, sure, but to make that a profit center?

I don’t have that kind of time.

More correctly, the time necessary to turn Twitter into a profit center takes too much time away from my writing. I want to improve my writing. I can be a crappy author and a great social marketer, a mediocre author and a mediocre social marketer, a dynamite author and a crappy social marketer.

I’ll take Door #3, Monty! And I must be doing something right because Mary Elizabeth Jackson said in Writers’ Corner Live’s interview with Sergio Troncoso “Joseph’s a great author. You have to look him up” (it’s up around 30m49s) and she talks to lots of authors so she should know!

Caveat Emptor Continue reading “Metrics? We don’t need no stinkin’ metrics! (pt 1)”