Writer’s Tool Box: Reference Materials

I know what you are thinking, and you are correct: no one asked. That doesn’t make the information any less crucial, however. As a writer, I depend on reference materials just like any other professional would — mechanics rely on repair manuals, doctors and surgeons refer to anatomy text, and carpenters rely on blue prints to build houses. Also like those professionals, I have a preference to what reference materials that I keep with me. For this week’s blog, I wanted to share my favorite reference sources for your enjoyment!

Continue reading “Writer’s Tool Box: Reference Materials”

So, What’s With the Logo?

By now you’ve seen the logo — if not, there it is. It’s a simple piece; circular in design and simple in fashion. The leaves were meant to give it a more regal appearance, and then there is the ornament in the middle. I’ve been doodling the “Circle A” on everything since I was about seventeen years old. Admittedly, there was a time when I would do it as a visual accessory, just to be seen doing it. As I’ve grown older, there are a lot more reasons behind it that have sentimental meaning.

I decided on the logo as a part of my branding effort. I am educated in business, so I can appreciate how important something recognizable at a difference is — it’s kind of like how we can be twenty feet away from the television and recognize the Simpsons. I wanted to create that for the A.P. Miller brand. As a writer, brand is important, and don’t let anyone tell you different. There is a reason why Stephen King and Tom Clancy had novels debut at number one, because their brand of fiction had been strong performers in the past and a reader could safely speculate that a brand new novel would have the same quality of entertainment.

The design of the logo went through a couple different drafts. I wanted something that looked like the Ramones’ Presidential Logo, without being a complete rip off. My first logo had an eagle on it, as a call back to my Germanic heritage — there is the second rule of the writing business: if you want your work to be accepted by the masses, then you have to prepare yourself for public scrutiny. My olive-leaf-German-eagle looked VERY fascist …if you do the math, you might get an idea of which Germanic political party may have used something similar …right around World War II …and it was pretty evil. Anyways, that logo had to go. In scrambling for the better look, I put in the Circle A.

People in the town I grew up in confused the Circle A as a pentagram, some symbol on a Ouija Board, and just about everything in between. The Circle A is used by a lot as a symbol for Anarchy, which I educated myself on a lot. A lot of folks confuse “anarchy” for “mayhem.” I wasn’t advocating for riots and mass killings, I was trying to make a statement that I felt I was better off under my own supervision. As an adult, I see the fast and immediate benefits of government — namely in the form of infrastructure and defense — but before you can be old and wise you have to be young and stupid.

So why would I include the Circle A on my logo now? Because it is an homage to my punk rock roots. There are a lot of important adult ethics to be learned in punk rock — one of my favorites is the “Do It Yourself” (DIY) mindset. For that reason, chief among others, I wanted to include the Circle A. It was the punk rock / DIY mindset that has driven me to do a lot of things: I wanted to be a sports journalist, so I started my own news outlet. I started a YouTube Channel, I started a podcast — I did those things because the opportunity didn’t currently exist, so I made it for myself.

That’s how I started writing. I didn’t wait for someone to give me a shot, I didn’t wait until the time was right, I just started doing it. There may be more inherent challenges coming my way because of my approach, but that is fine, because I chose the way I wanted to proceed. Each time I put my logo on something, I can remember the path that I had made for myself, and that’s important.

I wanted you all to know that story, so the next time you see my logo, you don’t see something that could be construed as sinister, but something that is rooted in a very important ethic.

On a completely unrelated note: “Days of the Phoenix” my sophomore novel comes out on May 7th and can be purchased EXCLUSIVELY through Amazon.Com! This novel has been well received by the pre-readers and I can’t imagine they would let you down — be sure to grab your copy on May 7th!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you on your next trip across the Millerverse.

The Book Bid’niss: Valuable Business Concepts I Use as a Writer

Here’s a true story: the degree I’ve earned is in Business (specifically Business Administration, Management, & Marketing) and not in English. How’s that for a revelation coming from a writer? I love literature and I love being creative — I also have a very punk rock “do it yourself” mentality; couple that with my formal training and I can find ways to make my ideas work for me. Business can be a scary word, vulgar even, when it comes to subjecting your endeared creative work to its perverse nature — you don’t have to think like that. You can navigate the book business, the self-published author business, and I wanted to share what works for me. Continue reading “The Book Bid’niss: Valuable Business Concepts I Use as a Writer”

Trade Secrets: Writing “Broken Promise Records”

Here’s a dirty secret: I wrote this blog months ago — in September, in fact. I’m doing that because right now, in the month of November, I am pouring all of my energy and effort into participating in National Novel Writing Month (or “NaNoWriMo”). I am planning so far ahead because maintaining my regular content is almost as important as the material that I am writing for novels and short stories.

To celebrate National Novel Writing Month, I’ve decided to share some of the “trade secrets,” or things you might not have expected to go into writing a novel — specifically for “Broken Promise Records.” I am doing that because I want to encourage all of the potential writers to convert their potential momentum into kinetic momentum. I don’t think I’ve ever made it a secret, but I think that there is enough creative energy out there for all of us and I want to do my part to give you all of the resources that I can. Continue reading “Trade Secrets: Writing “Broken Promise Records””

Get Busy Livin’ or Get Busy Dyin’: Encouragement for People Who Want to Be Writers.

There are two theories of thought when it comes to answering the question “when can I consider myself a writer.” The first theory is that you become a writer when you feel so compelled to tell a story that you begin typing a narrative; the other theory is that you become a writer when you present your work for public consumption. Whether or not you get paid to be a writer is a different case entirely. The short answer is: you are a writer when you feel like you feel like a writer. Continue reading “Get Busy Livin’ or Get Busy Dyin’: Encouragement for People Who Want to Be Writers.”