Jesus is trapped in the back of the God Eats Diner. He’s just killed two people and feels kind of bad about it. Worse, he just realized he’s been working for a really bad guy. Oh, and did I mention the back door is guarded by the guy he almost beat to death and there’s no way out because the diner is on fire? Facing a fiery death, my funny, loveable and luckless hit man has a few last thoughts to share. He also has some tough choices about how to die. Coming to Chicago was a mistake.
About the title: I love Elmore Leonard, but today’s author reading is from Higher Than Jesus. The chapter is called “Get Shorty”. Except for the last two chapters, all the chapter titles in Higher Than Jesus are from old movies. I’m a big noir and neo-noir film buff, so that’s why.
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Check out my interviews with cool people on the Cool People Podcast at CoolPeoplePodcast.com. (Next guest, Hugh Howey!)
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I go on the attack against Maury “He ain’t yo baby daddy” Povich and Dr. “Down home wise ass remarks” Phil. Also, a quick update on projects, including This Plague of Days and Cool People Podcast.
Then we delve into the world of my Cuban assassin and all he’s dealing with in the chapter Armor of God, my latest reading from my crime novel, Higher Than Jesus. Jesus Diaz is caught in the middle of an arms deal and in the crosshairs of Aryans and Chicago street gang. While tragic childhood memories begin to surface, Jesus really just wants to get Willow Clemont in the sack. And who can blame him? She’s a long, blonde glamazon.
This podcast is sponsored by the inimitable and incomparable graphic artist, Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com.
See the links for all my books at AllThatChazz.com.
Lots going on, but I’ll do a quick follow-up podcast in the next few days with another reading from Higher Than Jesus (and we’re coming up on the lethally sexy chapter)!
Please be sure to subscribe to the podcast. If you love it, please leave a review, donate to the podcast to help with bandwidth, buy a book, pet a puppy and follow me on Twitter @rchazzchute. Something in there would be good, so do them all. Cheers!
NSFW podcast of peril: Deathmatch with a nurse, combat in the ER, condemning Bush and Cheney, swearing in church, and Higher Than Jesus! I’m full of shenanigans in this, the 75th episode of the All That Chazz podcast. Frowned upon by the Amish. However, this program is approved by 96.2% of cool people, people who actually enjoy being entertained and 12.6% of cats. (Sorry, grumpy cats. We’ll work harder.)
FYI: SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILS ABOUT MY CONTEST ON VINE. You could win
an autographed copy of Bigger Than Jesus if you’re closest to the number of posts it takes for me to get to the end of “Another Day at the Office”, a short story from Self-help for Stoners.
At the top of the show: Vengeance is mine! HaHAhahahahahaha!
At 0:45 What I believe. (Mostly, sorta. This gets fun.)
At 3:49 Author versus bad nurse. She wins. I promise vengeance. (I get so mad and scared I create a new website DecisionToChange.com.) Get healthy with me at DecisionToChange.com.
10:28 Double Jeopardy, a reading from my crime novel Higher Than Jesus
At 22:24 An invitation to: AllThatChazz.com, ChazzWrites.com, ThisPlagueofDays.com, onlysixseconds.wordpress.com, CoolPeoplePodcast.com, and DecisionToChange.com.
Music today was “All This” by Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.
Podcast art by sponsor Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com.
Like the show? Please leave your compliments in an iTunes review. Or donate. Or buy a book. (See all the links to all the books at AllThatChazz.com, including the link to Higher Than Jesus if you can’t stand my reading of my funny crime novel.)
I’m working on the next book in the Hit Man Series, Hollywood Jesus. Here’s a little excerpt from the first chapter. Read between the lines, and you’ll find some tips on protecting your home from burglars…or quirky assassins with mommy issues.
On TV, the hero slips a credit card into the edge of a door to pick a lock. That destroys the credit card — who needs that hassle unless it isn’t your credit card? — and isn’t nearly as easy as it looks except with cheap motel doors. The next option is to pull out a lock pick set and get to work, hoping a nosy neighbor doesn’t spot you while you struggle to overcome the lock. It’s not just picky work. It’s nit-picky and plenty of locks are different so you have to take the time to learn the lock. More hassle. If Dexter episodes went down in real time, it would be a much longer and more boring show.
You’ve used the hockey stick and bicycle chain trick to rip off doorknobs, but since you’d look suspicious walking around with that sort of bulge in your sports jacket, you’ve left that tool at home. That’s your only complaint about West Coast weather: The sun always shines in Hollywood, so no stylish trench coat for you.
If you were a brainless thug, the quickest way into Fitzwald’s house is simply to kick in the door, making sure your heel connects full force by the lock. That’s almost always effective. Even paranoid homeowners may spend $1,000 on a security door, but they spend the least they can on the installer so the frame is $25 worth of wood and the screws that hold it in place are usually way too short. One or two kicks gets you in quicker than fumbling with a key. That makes plenty of noise, though, and that choice could end badly with you tying up the nosy old man from next-door with electrical cord. One heart attack that’s another murder charge against you. Who needs it?
The key to a happy life is less stress, so you do the brainy thug thing: You look. The key isn’t under the mat or on top of the doorframe. It’s under the second flower pot you check. The homeowner would have had half a chance of keeping you out if he’d thought to at least stick the spare key in the pot’s dirt. That would have stymied you easily, but since no one wants dirty fingernails, you’re standing in Fitzwald’s house, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
As you step into the living room, a motion detector shines red and a shrill alarm goes off, jangling your nerves. However, alarms are even easier to deal with than people who leave their house keys in predictable places…
~ Robert Chazz Chute is a crime novelist and suspense writer who podcasts weekly, but never weakly (see below for the latest podcast.) To begin The Hit Man Series, Bigger Than Jesus is for sale at the low introductory price of just .99 cents because the first taste is cheap. Once you’re hooked as a thriller fan, the second in the series is Higher Than Jesus. Enjoy.
Part One of this article and points 1 -7 appear at ChazzWrites.com. For a sample media kit, please take a moment to sign up for my newsletter in the link to the right or send your email address to expartepress at gmail dot com and I’ll email the pdfs to you anyway. However, if you mention your website in the newsletter sign-up form, I’ll give your page a plug in the All That Chazz Podcast. I’m easy that way.
Now, on to more fun yet crucial points about creating a killer media kit:
8. Some people think email is easier to delete so they send boxes to media outlets. Stick with email. You’ll never hear from a bunch of the journalists you approach. Printing out a fancy press kit and trying something UPS-delivered with a red ribbon on it is not worth the expense. Better to hit them up for editorial coverage several times through the year and do it cheaply instead of betting it all on one killer package that has to hit now to pay off. Save some of your chips for the next roll. Seriously, please save your money. A document that arrives in the mail is just as easy to dump in the garbage can beside the desk. If the package is perfumed in any way, you just went from quirky and interesting to creepy stalker.
9. Unless you’ve cured cancer and have been keeping it a secret from the world’s medical community until now, don’t pay for a huge media release from a press release propagator. I tried it and, besides jumping through their annoying hoops, it had all the amusing charm of throwing money out the window of a moving car. It was expensive, had no measurable impact and their sales team kept calling until I got mean.
10. Keep the press release short and to the point. More than one page is a strain and a mistake. If you’ve got too much to share it will get lost so use it in your catalogue page. Bullet points are awesome if you can fit your content to your pitch. A solid FAQ page with lots of white space is an alluring alternative. Don’t send a video on CD. There’s a good chance the production values will be too low and they’ll also be afraid that if they watch it, they’ll die in seven days. (Give them a Youtube link instead if you feel your video is that strong.)
11. Provide some detail in your author bio that establishes you as an expert: Awards won, relevant job experience, books written or other media in which you’ve appeared. Keep it short (or go longer if it tells a story. Rags to riches is good. Plucky, spunky and coming up will probably have to do.) You have an advantage over all the other press releases your target will receive today: Every reporter wants to publish a book, too, so they want to meet you and find out how you cheated, lied and took enough drugs to get this stupidly quixotic.
12. Think visually and use images: Luckily, this is where your killer book covers come in. To make sure the attachments got opened so they could see and appreciate all my awesome covers, I used this ad designed by Kit Foster of KitFosterDesign.com at the bottom of my cover letter:
13. Provide your name, contact numbers, email address and websites. It’s a really good idea to remember this point so they can contact you for the interview unless you are wicked clairvoyant.
14. When they interview you, be positive and chipper and helpful. It’s not in the bag until it’s in print or on air, so pretend you’re an extrovert. Later you can go back to being miserable in private. I am.
15. Hit multiple news outlets over time. It’s unlikely one media event will sell a lot of books. You could get a bit of a bump depending on the venue, but awareness takes time. Sales usually require repeated encounters as you permeate the world’s consciousness. Don’t bet everything on one roll of the dice and keep your expectations low to very conservative. Success always pleasantly surprises me.
16. Someone will be unhappy about your apparent success, however deceptive appearances may be. Ignore them. Several someones may contact you to write their book idea (as happened to me after a much-publicized contest win.) Run away screaming at full speed with your hands over your head. Change phone numbers, and country of residence if they persist.
17. Remember that you don’t do this for the fame and riches. It’s all about the writing and the orgies with the Roman toga theme. Get back to the keyboard and TO-GA! TO-GA! TO-GA!
True Story: I ran into a guy in the grocery store today I used to serve in my old job, the one before I started whisking people away to strange worlds. The last time I saw him, as he walked out the door, he said, “By the way, I won’t be buying your books.”
“But Self-help for Stoners is humor and suspense!” I protested. Now I’ve written a lot more books and they’re still not for the humor-impaired or the prissy!
(Sorry, E, but you hurt my feelings…well…you hurt my feeling.)
Some free fun for you: If you haven’t already grabbed the ebook Bigger Than Jesus, the last Amazon promotion is on so it’s free until Friday. Bigger Than Jesus is the foundation of The Hit Man Series and the next instalment, Higher Than Jesus, will be out at the end of September. The paperback is $9.99.
Learn German from Hogan’s Heroes, worship Steve McGarrett and beat up bad children if they don’t belong to you. In this week’s edition of the Self-help for Stoners podcast, Chazz takes a trip down trip down memory lane and finds a lot of macho bullshit on his shoes.
Like the podcast? Please leave your happy reviews at iTunes. Rabid with love for
Chazz…or at least ready to encourage him to work more on stuff he’s actually good at? Go here and check out his books for sale: Amazon Link and Smashwords Link. (No matter your device, his dark fiction and chilling suspense are everywhere!)