Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Torn Apart: First chapter becomes available to subscribers

Subscribers to my newsletter can now read the first chapter of The Torn Apart: Genesis. An email has been sent to all my subscribers with the download link and the password needed to open the document.

This is the first time in over three years since I began creating The Torn that someone other than myself will have access to the material. The first chapter doesn't reveal much about the actual plot of The Torn but it does show the change in direction from The Unwords, the new visual style of the whole project, the landscape in which the story will take place, as well as introducing some of the main characters. 

The first official cover of The Torn Apart.

If you haven't already, just sign up to my newsletter and you will get instant access to all subscriber-exclusive material. 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Victoria's secret revealed

What's up with all these girls (and some boys) posing with their underwear and taking pictures of themselves in the damn mirror? Jesus Christ, they've given the word "self-awareness" a whole new meaning! 

Here's an idea, if you wanna see yourself... look in the mirror! And if you want other people to see you, ask someone else to take a picture of you. Yeah, apparently this is why we have these devices. What's the matter, no one around to take that pic for you? Too scared that if you ask daddy he will smash your face in? Or that your best friend will tell everyone at school? You show me a "sexy" pic of a girl taking her own pic in the mirror and I'll show you a sad pic of a girl who doesn't have anyone trustworthy in her life to take that pic for her. 

I have nothing against sexy pictures nor I have anything against people showing off their good looks. But I don't care how beautiful you are; locking yourself in the bathroom and taking a picture of yourself in the mirror while trying not to reveal your face with your iPhone is not sexy; it's just sad.

So do the world a favor and find another hobby or someone to take your picture that will appreciate your beauty. Besides, it's 2014 girls... 

...we all know Victoria's secret is Photoshop!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

rope rhymes with soap

Oh my god, it's all over the news! People get raped and commit suicide in prison! Does that mean that when you place a few thousand men in a confined, secluded and oppressive place for 15-20 years of their lives and force them to shower together, these men might actually develop homosexual behavior and suicidal tendencies?!! Damn, didn't see that coming! I guess we missed all the signs. Now the government is going to bring together a search committee for this. Good! Finally we can get to the bottom of this!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

The living fiction

People will forget your words. They will discard what you said. People will forget all that you did. How successful you have become, how passionate you were about your work, your art. Your greatest masterpiece will eventually become a thing of the past, a reference in lectures, a cute story, mere decoration on the wall of history. If all that you are is words and deeds, motives and expectations, then what is the real difference between you and any fictional character found in any cheap coffee-table book? He speaks, he acts, he feels, he succeeds and at the end of the final page... he dies. Even if he is still alive and well in the story, once you read the words "the end" at the final page the truth is... he's gone. He becomes a memory, a mention, a trophy of entertainment. 

But people will never forget how you made them feel... never. 

To spark a warm feeling; to fuel the emotion of the moment. To be the causality of someone's joy... is to excel in life. A true triumph of human existence. I don't care how alive and well you are. I don't care about your organic cells, the blood that runs through your veins or the intellect capacity of your brains. If you cannot claim to be the cause of someone's greatest joy... you are a work of fiction.

It's remarkable how you can trim all philosophies, all ideologies, all beliefs and reduce them down to one single sentence. Do we really need 10 commandments? Do we really need endless tomes of mystic scripture and unending debates about morality and ethics? What if all we need is one, single sentence:

Make people feel loved... and excel at it!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Three things in books I can do without

a) Love triangles.

They are everywhere now and for no good reason; thrillers, mysteries, adventures, fiction, non-fiction, you name it. A writer is stuck and has run out of ideas on how to move his story forward and boom! A love triangle surfaces which ends up being half the book. Love triangles are a powerful plot mechanism when the plot is in fact the love life of the main characters. Anna Karenina is a good example here. Pride and Prejudice is also a good example of when a love triangle works. But in The Hunger Games series for example, the story began as a very sophisticated and thought-provoking examination of our society and especially the corruption in the media and our obsession with entertainment. All this through the eyes of a very smart, strong-willed, and extremely likable female lead. How did this very interesting plot end up being a "who will she end up with?" story and who do I have to kill to make this shit go away?! (I don't like criticizing other authors and I usually avoid it. I have made an exception this time because I believe an example was needed to make my point clear.)

b) Front covers in which the author's name is ten times larger than the title.

This is basically the publisher telling you that the author of the book is more important than the book. This only makes sense if you're reading a biography or general non-fiction. Otherwise, it's just another marketing scheme, a way to make the author's name stick in your subconscious. Personally, the cover of a book is very important to me. I am in love with the visual arts and I do judge a book by its cover. When a cover is overwhelmed by the presence of the author's name written in giant, bold letters that take over half the surface of the cover, I feel a giant "ego" floating around in the room... and it's not mine.

c) Stuff and people coming out of nowhere to solve everything.

Deus ex machina in Latin, or ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός in Greek (they invented this plot technique) or who the fuck is this person and what is he doing here in English. You know what I'm talking about... "experts" and "specialists" who appear mid-way through the story in order to give you all the information you need and then exit the story as suddenly as they appeared, never to be seen again, or simply die in the following chapter because there is no more use for them in the story. Or the dead victim who miraculously isn't dead after all and crawls towards the killer and stabs him in the foot so your character can escape, and then the killer kills this victim again... for good this time. This technique was cute for about an hour two and a half thousand years ago. Now it's just exhausting to read.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The official blog of The Unwords tells its official author to f%ck off!

I decided early on that my blog would be content-oriented and not product-oriented. That's why there are no advertisements anywhere... but I am a professional writer and it goes without saying that I have to promote my books. I don't like the fact that I have to mix articles about some very serious social issues with articles about me trying to sell books. It's pretentious. It's not right...

So I have decided to create a newsletter that will serve as the EXCLUSIVE platform through which my reader can be notified about everything related to my professional work. This way I can keep my blog completely "clean" from promotions and the people that couldn't care less about my books but enjoy reading my posts can now have an even more pleasant experience.

The newsletter is strictly aimed towards the readers who are truly interested in my professional work. I will not be promoting my work through my blog from now on, only through the newsletter. Subscribers will also gain access to exclusive content which will not be featured or available anywhere else... not even on my own blog.

If you subscribe to The Unwords Newsletter, this is EXACTLY what you will be getting:

- Notifications when a new book is released. I still don't know a specific date in which The Torn Apart will be released but when I do, the subscribers will not only be the first to know... they will be the only ones that will know. 

- Notifications when my books are available for free or heavily discounted.

- Access to exclusive, pre-publication material. The subscribers will have the chance to read chapters, see visuals and download advanced review copies of The Torn Apart and any other future project long before its official release.

- The chance to enter free giveaways and win signed free copies which will be exclusive to subscribers. I rarely sign books due to my anonymity... this will be my way of saying "thank you."

- Access to subscribers-only, limited editions of my books. With every new release, there will be a special edition created exclusively for the subscribers of my newsletter. These editions will feature material that will not be a part of the official mainstream release and will not be available anywhere else in the market. They will also be at a price lower than the mainstream price sold by any other retailer.

Notifications will be rare and to the point. There will be no bullshit. Don't expect an email from me every week or every month. You won't even receive a cheesy "welcome subscriber!" email that is so common with these subscriptions. Whenever there are some news of value regarding my work, subscribers will be the first to know... and they will be the only ones to know. That's it. Simple, direct, purposeful and useful.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Free to be a slave

Inside a prison cell there is always a man most people rarely notice. A quiet man. Always sitting in the corner, saying nothing; contemplating. When all of his fellow inmates rush to the window to stare out into their past he resists his urge for freedom and stays put, alone in the darkness... he knows the past outside that window is only there to break him. He knows the future out there is only there to tempt him. This man knows that neither mud nor stars can chew away the iron of a prison cell. And one day, while everybody else will still be looking out that window, he will be long gone... cause he found a way to tear that prison cell apart.

Breaking the prison cell is more important than actually getting out of the prison cell. Some of us get out of their prisons with some luck, some random fortune which sometimes happens in our lives, a fallen key on the floor or a random life-changing incident. But when that happens, we are not really free... we're always one step away from going back into our own personal prisons again. We still feel vulnerable. Dominated by our fears and our repetitious tendency for submission.

Breaking the chains that bind you is more important than freedom its self; cause once you break your chains... there is no force in the world that will try to chain you back again that you won't be able to retaliate against on an equal or even greater scale.

In this prison you live, perhaps one day someone will offer you a way out and open the doors wide open for you to crawl out through. Be smart and refuse it. Say "I don't want to get out of this prison, thank you very much...

...I want to stay here until I find a way to burn this prison to the ground!"

Monday, 7 October 2013

Fun trivia about The Unwords

1) The Unwords is the only book in the modern market that has neither an author’s name nor a publisher’s name on its front and back cover. Only the title is present.

2) The author was listening to the album “10,000 Days” by Tool during the entire creative process of The Unwords. The album was on repeat mode on his work computer for over five years.

3) The first chapter of The Unwords was the last one written and the closing sentence of The Unwords was the first sentence the author wrote when he began the project in 2005.

4) In 2012, The Unwords became a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist, the first ever book to be nominated in the history of Goodreads that didn't have an identifiable author.

5) The official release day of the second edition of The Unwords was September 1st, 2013. It was a Sunday... bookstores are shut on Sundays.

6) Due to his anonymity, the author created five different ways he could prove his real identity from within the contents of the book as a way to protect his work from copyright infringement during the book’s pre-publication period. Even though these methods of identification were no longer necessary after the official publication of the book, both author and publisher decided to preserve them in the official release anyway. So if something appears to be random; it’s not. And if something appears to be misplaced... it isn't.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Control overdose

People who are addicted to cocaine are called cocaine addicts. Heroin users are called heroin addicts. People who are addicted to an illegal and unspecified drug, in a general conversation they are labeled with the term drug addicts. On the other hand, people who are addicted to alcohol are not called alcohol addicts... they are called alcoholics, boozers and drinkers. While people who are addicted to cigarettes are called smokers instead of what they really are... nicotine addicts. 

When a cocaine addict uses more cocaine than his body can handle, we say that this person has overdosedWhen an alcohol addict uses more alcohol than his body can handle, we say that this person got drunk, wasted, smashed or pissed.

Soft language; common, boring and over-used verbs that can be referring to any number of activities that doesn't involve the use of any addictive substances. Overdose is a strong word. A powerful, beautiful word. It conveys the concept of "using too much of something" flawlessly. When you hear the word overdose, you know immediately that someone took something in quantities that his body couldn't handle. 

But we don't use that word for alcohol, do we? Even though alcohol overdose is the most frequent and most common form of overdose there is. A smoker is not doing nicotine like a heroin addict does heroin, he is smoking, puffing and having a cigarette. That's right, he has a cigarette... not doing a cigarette.

Truth is that you had no choice over the matter. Your alcohol and nicotine dealers took the words overdose and addict on your behalf and replaced them with cute, common, low-impact words in order to make you think that every time you use their drugs you're engaging in a cute, common and low-impact activity. Well, you're not. You're an addict getting a fix.

If you want to control people you need to control thought. 
In order to control thought... you need to control language.