The RCPC Experience

A blog in two parts because I can. Why the hell not? I should do this more often just to keep the ‘ol brain pan clean. I have to talk about The Rubber City Pop Culture Fest because it was a great opportunity for me. I learned a great deal, and as a writer you should do everything you can to get yourself out there and meet the people that buy your books. I know, meet people? Why the hell would I wanna do that? People are icky and gross and offer nothing of value to my life. See, you’re wrong. Those people are fans and they don’t even know it. RCPC was a great opportunity for me, and I can’t thank Jason Miller enough for inviting me. I had often thought about attending one of these, but just never did out of fear. There’s a lot of what if’s involved, but I’m glad I went, and I got to meet a legend.

I have to say it’s weird being on the other side of the table. I know I’m a local indie author, but I’m there to promote myself. What’s weird is that you come in contact with other people who are more successful, and way more famous than you are, but they treat you like an equal. You have a table there which means you get to talk to people that you normally don’t have access too. What’s weird is you forget that you’re a fan and have an actual conversation with them. Here’s what is really insane and it puts things in perspective. I was just like those people once. I was walking around, not sure how to approach someone I admired. You always come off like a dork, and later you end up feeling like an idiot because you were nervous, and this was someone you looked up to.

When you’re sitting on the opposite side of the table you realize how animals feel at the zoo. People are staring at you, they sometimes talk to you, but I forgot why they were staring at me. Then it hit me. I was on the poster as an artist. They may not have known who I was, or even what I do, but I must be kind of important right? I guess? Shit, I live in Barberton Ohio, and as much I like to joke about being a big deal, I’m really not. I’m just another circus monkey churning out books for treats, and an occasional pat on the head. When you’re surrounded by bigger people, you begin to watch and learn how they sell themselves.

Make no mistake, you’re selling yourself so people will want to buy whatever it is you’re selling. Some people can fake it, but as I sat there, I began to enjoy myself. A few people came up and talked to me and I talked to them like I would anyone else. I hope it made an impression on them, and they’ll remember me. You can write twenty books, but you also have to meet people. You need to make them aware that you exist. That’s what was so fun about the RCPC Fest. I may not have sold a lot of books, but I learned a great deal. To me. that was more important. The next time I do something like this I know what I need to do to stick out. Here’s a picture of me at my table like a good circus monkey 18699341_10154896019737800_863294369955233729_o

This was my first appearance at something like this so I had no idea what to do. Notice the bare table? Never thought to snazz it up, but the next event I go to I will make sure I have something to make me stand out. I was bare bones, but it’s okay. Next time, I won’t be. I’ll have a banner with my fat head plastered on it, a few business cards with links on where you beautiful people can find me. Like I said, it was a great experience and a lot of fun. I was surrounded by awesome folks and the event was well attended. As a local author with a tiny fan base it was eye opening.

The coolest part of the entire day was sitting next to John Russo who is the God father of the zombie genre. As a horror guy it doesn’t get any cooler. It was even cooler than being in close proximity to actors from The Walking Dead. I did find it weird when they went out to smoke together. I thought for sure the world was about to end. It didn’t, and I was grateful for that. It was hard to sit next to him all day and not say anything but I had no choice. I may have geeked out to Mindy, but I kept it together all day. Close to five though I walked over and introduced myself and he gave me a lot of great advice about cons, which ones to attend, and how beneficial it would be to my career.

How cool is that?? It was an actual conversation! When does that ever happen with someone you look up to and admire? It doesn’t! Never, and I got some signed paperbacks to remind me of the time I got to talk to John Russo. He was friendly, and seemed to enjoy talking to me. Best of all, Mindy was proud of me for approaching him the way I did. I have to say I was nervous as hell, but I kept it together, and I didn’t creep him out. That’s winning.

So, RCPC was a huge thing for me, and I’m glad I was able to attend. As a fan, I’ve attended these, but this was my first time being there as a guest. It was a well planned event I hope I get to attend next year. Could I do twelve of these a year the way Mr. Russo does? I wish I could, but that would become my job. I would write, and then attend cons on the weekend. That’s how you know you’ve made it. A different city every weekend, pressing the flesh with fans, and having that warm fuzzy feeling that only comes when you’ve truly made it. No more mowing the grass or schlepping out the garbage for this circus monkey.

Which brings me to my next topic, but you know what? I’ll save that for my next blog. Maybe in a few days I’ll churn out another one just to get into the habit of writing blogs again. I have a lot of shit I want to talk about, and who knows? Maybe someone will listen, or at least read it and have a good chuckle. Here’s a picture of my next book cover which will be coming out soon. Aware_cover

How about some links on where you can buy my stuff?

You can get a signed copy of The Darkness Of The Soul here: http://azothkhempublishing.com/bookshelf/novels/horror/the-darkness-of-the-soul/

You can get a signed copy of Insecure Delusions here: http://azothkhempublishing.com/bookshelf/anthologies/author-collections/horror-3/insecure-deslusions/

You can also find me here: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Noe/e/B00NJG34BO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1496178426&sr=8-1

Goodbye 2015

God I wish I could say that that last year sucked. We’re on the doorstep of 2016 and I have once again avoided any scandals, and overly embarrassing behavior. Let’s be honest and say that in public I haven’t done anything stupid. I wasn’t caught snorting cocaine off of a stripper’s tits, I wasn’t caught stalking anyone unless you count Mindy but I don’t think that counts. We live together so I’m supposed to be close to her and for the record in the year that we’ve lived together I have yet to watch her sleep. Of course 2016 is a new year, and there’s 365 days in which I can lie awake and watch her sleep.

I can tell you that I have done the Buffalo Bill dance a few times but you can’t really blame me You’ve done it too. It’s like a solo flash mob except your weenie’s tucked in. I also can tell you that 2015 has been dick pic free. Not one dick pic has been sent from my phone, but again the year is new. I have 365 days to surprise Mindy with all sort of cool shit. I can give you some ideas, but she reads this blog and if I reveal this shit then she’ll know what she’s in for. That ruins the surprise. Can I promise not to do the Buffalo Bill dance in 2016?  No I cannot. She should know that I love her and cannot promise no Goodbye Horses in the upcoming new year.

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This was an awesome year for me. I have finally reached a level where I’m proud of my writing and have been published quite a bit this year. I have yet to purchase all of the anthologies that I’m in but I have a few. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing my name in print. As a writer that spends hours creating the whole goal is to have people see it. I took part in a few writing contests which I may not have won, but I came in 5th in one and even was featured in an anthology for a story that I had serious doubts about. You see the thing is that no matter how you feel about your writing you never really know how good you are until you send it out. Odds are people are going to dig it. I did almost quit, but the thing is I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I have too many stories to tell. I can’t walk away now.

I can tell you that when the writing feels like a job, or stops being fun then I’ll quit. There would be no reason to continue. Why would I? I have a lot to say so odds are that 2016 is going to see my writing out more, and soon Legacy II will be unleashed. I also have a new book that will follow that. I just need to finish editing it and get it subbed. The writing is what has really made this a banner year for me. People are digging my shit and that’s awesome. I never imagined that I’d have a fan base, yet I do. Thanks for reading my work and I hope that you keep reading it.

I also plan on calling my fans Noeaholics. It’s got a damn fine ring to it. We should get some shirts printed. Just my face and the Noeaholics logo. By a count of hands who would wear that shit? Wait, I can’t see you. I think any year could be awesome if you remember that life is just a ride. We have all had ups and downs throughout 2015, but with the new year is full of possibilities. I plan on changing nothing. I am going to drink a shit ton of coffee, write my fingers to nubs and continue to be awesome. That’s all I can do. I have nothing that I want to change, or need to change. I think I should implement more bacon into my diet.

So I guess if I have to say what I’m going to do in the new year I plan on watching Mindy sleep, do more of the Buffalo Bill Dance, shake it like a Polaroid picture, read more, and finally buy a damn hammock. It’s not a resolution. It’s just a plan. It’s a way to instill some excitement into the new year. This has been an amazing year and damn I wonder what 2016 has in store for me?

 

 

The End?

I have to be honest and admit that when I decided to stop writing I didn’t think anyone would care, or even notice. The idea that I have fans is actually funny to me because I never hang out and think about shit like that. I know what you’re thinking; “You released a book, your stories are in anthologies! You have an author page on not just Amazon, but Facebook. You didn’t think that people would like your stuff?” No? I mean, sure, there was a part of me that knew that I’d have a fan base but in reality I just figured it’d be a couple of dudes and maybe a chick or two.

I know that it’s hard to believe that it never occurred to me that I would have fans. Never did. It’s cool, but I just don’t think about that aspect of it. It’s kind of like a nerd who hangs out in his basement playing World Of Warcraft. He knows that boobs exist, but he never imagines that he’s ever going to actually touch them. Then he does! I’m like that guy except I’m a writer, and the boobs are actually fans. I see guys like Richard Laymon and Clive Barker and they have fans. They should, but I’m just an indie guy who listens to hair metal and writes some good shit occasionally.

What you don’t get is that I second guess myself a lot. Way more than I should. I am always afraid that my stuff isn’t good enough. People seem to like my stuff and that’s cool, but I just never imagined the scope of it. I’m just a guy in Ohio writing while listening to bands like Kiss, and Pretty Boy Floyd. I don’t look far enough out to see how far this ball I’ve thrown has actually gone. Maybe I should chase it just to see where it’s ended up. I don’t want to be consumed by the business side of it. The minute I become fanatical about reviews and sales it’s time to step a back and reevaluate why I came to the dance.

The thing was that when I decided that I needed to stop writing it never occurred to me that people would react so strongly. That surprised me. It suddenly dawned on me that I had not only kicked open the door, but I waltzed into the party carrying a cup of coffee and looking for the DJ so we can hear some old school hair metal. I can’t thank those people enough for making me realize that I had actually set out to do what I had dreamed about and even picked up a few fans and supporters along the way. All I knew was that I beat the odds and got myself published. That was all my brain focused on.

Quitting writing is a lot harder than I thought it would be. My brain just won’t take the hint. That’s not a bad thing at all. Once I fired up the creative part of my brain it just refused to shut  down. When people sent me words of encouragement it hit me that I can’t just walk away. If  I did I was not only letting them down, but I was letting myself down. On top of that my amazing girlfriend thinks that I’ll go insane and drag her with me. She may be right.  I can’t thank everyone enough for checking in with me and sending me support. It means a lot and I wish I could be like one of those politicians who go around kissing babies and shaking everyone’s hand.

It means that my decision really mattered to people. People I have never met. Instead of quitting I brought up my Winamp player and fired up some gnarly metal and wrote a werewolf story. I think it’s shit but until Mindy reads it it ain’t going anywhere near a publisher. I write to keep the darkness at bay. All those nasty thoughts come out when I write. I am a much happier little boy when I’m writing so the question is do I stop the merry-go-round and go home? Wait, that is one of my all time favorite Mötley Crüe songs. The point is do I want to walk away from the fun that I have writing?

All of those words of encouragement made me realize that I’m on to something. I’m like Kiss after they released Creatures Of The Night. Totally focused on kicking your face in with tasty riffs and glowing fucking eyes. I’m like Ratt when they released Invasion Of Your Privacy. You knew they were a good band but suddenly they pulled out this insane record and you were like; “Dude! When did Ratt become awesome?” I need to release my own version of Invasion goddamnit! Ratt

I’m close, and if I quit now? That’ll never happen. I need to keep going. I need to write. I may not become rich doing this but did that ever stop anyone from doing what they enjoyed? Fuck no it didn’t. I’m having conversations with the dog and answering! Mindy’s afraid I’m going to go all Berkowitz and shit. I love her and damn it I love writing so am I going to quit? I have a goal damn it. When I achieve what I feel is my Invasion Of Your Privacy then we’ll talk about my end game.

 

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The Ego Deflated

I’m supposed to be editing but here I sit checking email and listening to REO Speedwagon. Have you ever tried to edit while listening to heavy metal? It’s a nightmare and I can’t concentrate. When I edit I usually look it as a chance to improve what’s already there and then my awesome girlfriend does the proper editing and will point out my glaring mistakes. She’s good at it and I trust her with whatever I’m writing. Without her my manuscripts wouldn’t be as tight as they are in my head. So I have a variety of different styles of music that I listen to while writing. Some of my most brutal scenes were written while listening to Taylor Swift and the occasional Kelly Clarkson stalker record. REO is calming and allows me to focus which for me is a difficult thing to do. This record is one of the greatest rock albums ever created.  fhi_infidel

I haven’t blogged in awhile and there’s a good reason for that. I had nothing to write about. My life is at a point where everything is going well and for some reason that upsets people. I want to be all sad and shit but I can’t because I have an awesome girlfriend and I’m a published author. There’s nothing to be sad or mopey about. I survived a brutal ass winter and TOOL has a new record out. Those are valid reasons to be happy. The problem with blogs and social media is that people want to show you just how miserable and fucked up they are. I was guilty of that for awhile, but now? Shit is working out and I have never been happier.

The only complaint I have is that I’m a published author yet in my house that shit gets me no special privileges or treatment. I’m in a book called Dynatox A-Go Go and I was all excited about when I received it in the mail. Even though my girl is proud of me I still had to cook dinner and do dishes! As a published author there should be some kind of special treatment, but here I am taking out the garbage and doing dishes. I even tried explaining that as a published author I should be excluded from certain things but all I get is the look that tells me I have truly lost my damn mind. I get that look a lot for some reason. That look is on her face quite a bit and I swear sometimes I’m developing a complex.

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As a writer I should have an ego. I should have the right to boast and declare myself the shit. It doesn’t even matter that I’m an indie writer and not many people have read my work but who cares! I’m a published writer damn it! Worship me or suffer my wrath! My girlfriend and my daughter keep my ego in check. In my house I declare that I’m the boss and my girlfriend laughs at me and my daughter informs me that Mindy’s the boss. They keep me from being an even bigger asshole than I already am and as important as I want to think I am they’re there to laugh at me and ask if dinner’s done. We all need people who keep us grounded and focused. I’m just thankful that Mindy puts up with me and my daughter has no choice. She’s stuck with me.

The thing is that I have been through a lot in the last few years and I want to toot my own horn and have a massive ego, but I can’t because there will always be someone more important than I am walking around. I’ll still be the indy guy cooking dinner and taking out the garbage. I love cooking so that’s not a big deal but dishes are beneath me. When I start getting paid for writing I’m getting a damn dish washer and a hammock, If anyone needs me I’ll be in the backyard, Wait, I don’t have any trees in my back yard. We’ll have to move then. So a house with a backyard full of fucking trees, a dishwasher, and a hammock.

This morning I was working on this blog and I had to make my daughter pancakes. I was being creative and I had to stop just so I could make pancakes, Does Stephen King have to make fucking pancakes? Don’t think so. Being creative is hard work and I have to cut that shit off to make breakfast. My daughter loves that I’m published but when she wakes up it’s time to stop writing and make breakfast. Even the dog fucks with my creative flow. I can be all involved in a manuscript and I have to stop writing so the dog can take a shit. It’s not right damn it!!

I guess you can say I’m whining and I say all of this with my tongue firmly in my cheek. I know that I am extremely lucky to be where I am. There are people who wake up just looking to be miserable and here I am singing Happy. You know that song by Pharrell Williams? I love that song and people hate it cos it’s been played so damn much, but that song makes me wanna dance and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Am I the only one not sick of Shake It Off yet? I can be writing my ass off and be stuck and I hear this and I’m good. As a horror writer I shouldn’t be listening to Shake It off or Happy and I forget that I’m even writing.

Maybe it ruins my rep as a bad ass horror writer but I think we all listen to shit that doesn’t fit in with the image people have of horror writers. What is that image anyway? I’m sure there’s some stuff that does fit in but for the most part I try to stay out of any sort of box. It makes life more interesting. Life is journey not a destination and I’m going to go back to spending time with my daughter and trying to edit my new book