Today, over at http://www.matthewhance.com/, I posted exactly where The Memory Eater can be purchased. I hope you'll take a look!
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Friday, May 25, 2012
I’ve been working on a new site the past few weeks, and it’s currently up and running at www.matthewhance.com. I’ll be moving most of the content from this blog over to there, and once the store is finished, you’ll be able to purchase The Memory Eater paperback, ebook and bookmark.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Blogspot, and this blog has worked wonders for me over the past year and some, but it’s becoming a bit restricting as I expand my evil empire.
So feel free to drop by www.matthewhance.com and say hello in the forums, or simply check out the cool stuff that’s about to pop up! Here's a teaser...
Sunday, May 13, 2012
The Memory Eater's Kickstarter campaign officially ended yesterday with a huge W. The project raised $4,478 (or 105%), which was $228 more than the original $4,250 goal.
I'd like to thank everyone who helped the project by either spreading the word or pledging. I have many thoughts about the rollercoaster campaign and plan to share them when I get a chance.
As for the book, I'm going to be busting my hump the next few weeks getting everything finalized. For those who missed the Kickstarter campaign, don't worry—I plan to have the paperback and ebook versions available for purchase in the near future on a new website. It will also be released on Amazon and in local retail stores.
Also, be on the lookout another themed anthology call for submissions. When? Soon, my dears.
Oh, and let's not forget the little contest I held to spread the word about the book. I'll be doing the drawing soon. This is really important! If you shared The Memory Eater on Facebook, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to where you shared it. I thought I could track those entries, but I couldn't, so I apologize. I don't want to exclude any entries, so please make sure you email me.
Again, thank you everyone for your support!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
I know there's been a lot of Memory Eater Kickstarter updates the past month or so, but in a few days, the campaign will end, and it will be back to business as usual.
I've been working on a ton of projects. Ideas. The future. Which brings me to a few important updates:
First, and probably the most important, in the next few months, I will be transitioning all traffic from this blog to a new website. The website will allow me to better structure everything I plan to do in the future. It's currently being worked on, and I hope to have it finished soon.
Second, I'm going to be opening submissions in the near future for a yet-to-be-determined anthology. I loved working on The Memory Eater, everything from reading all of the great stories to writing my own. This will be another themed anthology, and I have it boiled down to three ideas. The first is obviously The Memory Eater 2. The second is Bedtime Stories For Adults (working title), which will focus on children's stories twisted with mature themes, settings, plots. Think:
And the third, untitled for now, revolves around a device (I love me some devices, huh?). Here's a hint:
I’m being vague with this one in case I don’t use it next and need to place it back on the shelf.
So those are the three ideas I'm toying around with—I'd love to hear which one you'd like to see me tackle next in the comments below!
Third, who am I? Online, I'm known as Casper Pearl. In reality, I'm Matthew Hance. However you want to address me, that's fine. I've been a writer for almost a decade now, and I've put a lot of hard work and passion into what I do. Over the course of my writing career, I’ve made about $800 from short stories (winning contests and selling them to anthologies). If you break that down, I make on average about $80 a year from a profession I pour countless hours into. What I’m trying to say is, I write because I love writing. I can’t not write. Writing allows me to create worlds. It allows me to share important messages with others. And maybe one day, if I’m lucky, a story will catch fire and burn through millions of brains. But if that doesn’t happen, it’s okay, because I’m proud of the work I do, because I always give it my all.
Step back a year. I thought it would be fun to collaborate with other writers, so I put out the submissions call for The Memory Eater. I’m really happy I did, because that decision led to traffic. And that traffic inspired me to share with everyone my thoughts on the industry along with what’s helped me develop as a writer. You see, it’s not all about the individual. It’s about sharing, and maybe someone shares back with you, and you eventually meet new people who share your passion, and then you eventually grow.
Moving forward, while I work on my own individual projects, I will also be working on other anthologies/collaborations. So what am I? I'm a writer who occasionally teams up with others in my field to bring readers something I feel is new and refreshing. I formed Hance LLC because of the anthologies I plan to work on, so I will be releasing all content under that name. In the near future, when I transition to the new website, it will reflect everything I do as an individual and team member. And each anthology will have its own dedicated area on the site.
And just an FYI, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a writer is seeing my work in print. It's a great feeling, and I'm sure most writers will tell you the same exact thing. That's why I turned to Kickstarter. To hold the book. To pass it around. To be proud of something. And why do I care so much about a physical book? Well, in a dozen or more years, when my sons are allowed to read mature content, I'd like them to pick my books up and read my stories and be proud of what I've done. I'd like to motivate them to shoot for their dreams, no matter how hard it is. Not through telling them to do so, but by showing them how to do so.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
We’re holding a contest from now until the end of The Memory Eater’s Kickstarter campaign, which is May 12th. I held one last week, but it’s time to switch things up, because we need all the help we can get to help raise the last 30% of our goal.
For Twitter and Google+, all you have to do to enter the contest is send out a message promoting the book and include #thememoryeatercontest2 and a link to the Kickstarter page (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/875080901/the-memory-eater-anthology).
For Facebook, all you have to do to enter is tag The Memory Eater’s Kickstarter page in a post promoting the project. To do so, start typing @the memory eater into your post and the Kickstarter page should come up. IMPORTANT: After you do this, please email me at email@example.com with a link to where you shared this. Apparently I can't track the shares like I thought I could.
If the project doesn’t hit the goal on May 12th, five randomly drawn people will receive the PDF of The Memory Eater book. If it does hit the goal, these five prizes will be awarded to five randomly drawn contestants:
($25 value) You get the first-run paperback version of The Memory Eater signed by me, the editor. You also get the ebook and a bookmark.
($50 value) You get the first-run paperback version of The Memory Eater signed by me, along with a requested personalized inscription, the Special Edition ebook, a bookmark and a t-shirt.
($125 value) You get the first-run paperback version of The Memory Eater. I will also handwrite a unique, flash fiction story based on a topic of your choosing on the inside jacket of your book. The topic can be aliens invading a pack of wolves, pillows becoming zombies, fish cooking themselves, golf—literally anything you can think of regardless of how weird it sounds. You also get the Special Edition ebook and a bookmark.
Two other contestants will receive the first-run paperback version of The Memory Eater signed by me, the editor, along with a bookmark.
For a visual, here are the prizes:
All you have to do is spread the word about the Kickstarter page, so what are you waiting for? Remember, the contest ends on May 12th!
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
As of today, The Memory Eater has raised $2,837 (or 66%) of its $4,250 goal. With 16 days left to pledge, there’s still a lot of hard work to do, but boy oh boy has the ride thus far been a nail biter. At least for me anyway. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve checked my email, fingers crossed, hoping to see a new backer alert.
77 people have supported the project so far, and I can’t really put into words what that means to me. I also can’t put into words how excited I am to bring a new and refreshing form of entertainment to the world. Yes, the journey begins with The Memory Eater, but I hope to eventually develop Hance LLC into so much more. With your desire and support, this dream can become a reality.
I’ve also tried to spice up the poster deal by making an option to purchase a poster, paperback and bookmark for $60. There’s also an $80 option where you get the poster, paperback, bookmark, t-shirt, special edition ebook and a personalized inscription from me.
The last announcement includes stretch goals, and here are the details:
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
In just 9 days, The Memory Eater Kickstarter campaign has raised $1,476 (34% of the goal). With 31 days left, we’re doing very well but still need a lot of support.
To give you a better look at what kind of stories can be found in The Memory Eater, Justin Swapp (one of the contributors), was kind enough to create mini trailers for each of the 27 stories. He will be updating the channel as he goes, but in the meantime, the 16 videos which are currently finished can be found right here. Below is a trailer for the Memory Eater story Cigars for Sawyer.
We hope you’ll check out the Kickstarter page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/875080901/the-memory-eater-anthology which offers a paperback copy of the book for $15 along with many other rewards, because your continued support is what will ultimately bring this project to life!
Monday, April 2, 2012
At last, after having worked on this for over a year, I'm excited to share with you The Memory Eater: Stories that Erase the Past to Save the Future. This science fiction-inspired anthology consists of 27 uniquely written and illustrated stories based on a futuristic device with the ability to locate and destroy any memory in the human mind. Each of the 24 authors wrote original stories around the concept, and 27 artists contributed a companion original piece of art for the stories.
The anthology was pitched to select publishers with positive feedback, but ultimately, I decided to take advantage of the evolving book publishing landscape and retain control over the book publication and distribution by raising the funds to self-publish. Today marks the launch of the Kickstarter.com fundraising campaign to raise funds to publish The Memory Eater, which is ready to print right now!
Kickstarter is a unique Internet funding platform for creative projects by writers, musicians, artists, designers, filmmakers and visionaries of all kinds. Artists post an in-depth profile of their creative work and ask interested people to pledge a donation over a short period to reach a funding goal. If the goal is reached, the pledges are funded, and the artist can help bring their creative project to life.
Please visit The Memory Eater fundraising campaign right here to support the project. The page includes a project introduction video, story and art samples and links to several contributor web sites. The platform offers several pledge levels ranging from $1-$300 with rewards attached to each donation. Rewards run the gamut from written acknowledgement in the anthology, to free books, to bookmarks and T-shirts, to custom created, artist-signed The Memory Eater artwork on canvas. Pledges are not collected (via PayPal or credit card) unless and until the project goal of $4,250 is reached in the 40-day campaign period.
The Memory Eater's Kickstarter campaign runs through May 12, 2012. Don't forget to check out the 4 story samples from the finished book right here or click on the picture below.
Thank you for checking out the campaign and for your support!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
With the Kickstarter campaign only a few days away, I wanted to give everyone a taste of what’s to come, so I put together four story samples from The Memory Eater. You can check them out here or click the picture below. Enjoy!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
On or around April 1st, I will be trying to fund The Memory Eater through a campaign on Kickstater. For those of you who don’t know what Kickstarter is, it’s a site where projects are pitched to the public in order to raise a certain amount of money. The projects offer different rewards for different pledge amounts. Each pledge requires the pledger to pay up front, but the funds aren’t taken out unless the project is successful. Kickstarter acts as a third party in the transfer of rewards and money. If the project reaches its self-set goal, then the pledge amounts from each pledger are transferred to person running the project. Did I say "pledge" enough?
There will be some really cool rewards, like bookmarks, t-shirts, a special edition ebook with 3 bonus stories, original prints of artwork, signed copies of the book, a movie-sized poster containing 30 Memory Eater illustrations and more. I’ll release the full details when the project goes live, so make sure to check back within the next two weeks!
In the meantime, check out the new Author Spotlight page to view the bios and websites of the contributing authors.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
There will be a Memory Eater update coming this weekend (I’m just finalizing all of the details), but until then, come say hi to me this Sunday (3/4/12) at the Ends of Man anthology launch party. My second place story, along with another, are part of this collection. There will be prizes, and conversations with the authors and discounted prices on the books, so don't miss out! Full details below:
EVENT: Sunday March 4th
WHAT: Live launch for the Ends of Man anthology
WHEN: 7-9pm Eastern time
WHAT: Live chat and blogging will be with authors of the book and representatives from Zharmae
PRIZES: 2 Barnes and Noble $25 gift cards, 2 $25 Amazon gift cards, *2 $25 donations to the charity of your choice, free critique of an original work of fiction by Zharmae staff.
BONUS: Cover Design for self publishing author's original work of fiction.
*Charity must be a recognized organization
OTHER: Special launch price for print and ebook
Hope to see you there!
Friday, February 17, 2012
I've rounded up information about a few writing contests that are fast approaching. If you love competition, like me, then the following will probably make your mind explode with ideas.
Contest Name: 2012 Writing Contest
Theme: Anything goes
Submit: Fiction up to 1,500 words
Prizes: $500 for 1st and $200 for 2nd
Contest Name: Write While You Wait
Theme: Use these five words: hullabaloo, contest, hurry up and wait, kimchi, beer
Submit: Fiction up to 150 words
Contest Name: The East India Press Short Story Contest
Theme: Good writing/optional setting
Submit: Fiction up to 2,500 words
Prizes: $1,000, publication and manuscript consideration
Contest Name: Next Top Artist
For: Artists and writers
Theme: Anything goes
Submit: Fiction/nonfiction novel excerpt up to 5,000 words or a drawing
Prizes: $5,000 and advertisement of artwork/critique of manuscript
Contest Name: Annual Ultra-Short Competition
For: Writers and poets
Theme: Anything goes
Submit: Fiction or poetry up to 150 words
Contest Name: "If you can write…"
Theme: Ideals based on the poem "IF"
Submit: Fiction up to 6,700 words and nonfiction up to 2,500 words
Prizes: $500 for 1st, cash prizes for 2nd and 3rd, and publication in online magazine
Saturday, February 11, 2012
I’ve been a bit slow with the blog posts lately, but this is the calm before the storm. I’ve been meticulously preparing The Memory Eater for launch, and with over 50 contributors, there are a lot of checks to be made. Not to mention that Word’s weapon of choice, formatting, nearly whooped me into submission.
But the near-finished product (about 95% complete) has turned out so amazingly well, thanks to the hard work of many, that I’m bursting with excitement to share it with the world.
I will be posting more updates in the coming weeks about what’s next for the anthology, specifically when and where it can be purchased.
I appreciate everyone who has followed this journey. You’ve watched a mere idea from inside my head snowball into what’s here today. It’s been long (like that car crawling in the passing lane you want to drive off the road), and hard, and frustrating, and there were a handful of
professional authors wizards who tried to bring down this idea from the get go, but the positive support from many has kept me pushing forward.
So I just want to say thank you to all of those people who wanted to help. Even if you said something nice in passing, it has really meant the world to me.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Okay, so there are a lot of pros and cons of being a writer. You can work whenever and wherever you want. It’s hard work, it takes a long time, and people throw tomatoes at you. You can make people fall in love with your fantasies or cause them to stop reading fiction altogether.
But there’s one big anchor, in my mind, that is always dragging me near the shore of writing. It’s a switch I have a hard time turning off.
What I’m talking about are endless possibilities. Creativity. Getting an idea everywhere I go.
I’m not sure how other people work, but during relaxation periods, or what should be relaxation periods, an idea always drills itself into my mind.
Playing a video game…idea!
Reading a book…idea!
Watching any movie, even Flubber…idea!
Everywhere we turn, everything we see, it was all inspired by ideas. And for most forms of entertainment, there’s a form of writing behind them. Video games. Books (obviously). Television shows. Movies. Commercials. Websites. Songs. Everything.
I think the problem is, being creative-based, having endless possibilities, I see something great and am inspired to bring my writing to that level. I see something horrible, and I’m inspired to create something better. It’s always a lose-lose situation.
Halfway into a book, I’ll put it down forever, and come away with three new ideas. Halfway into a movie, I can’t concentrate fully, because I’m imagining a character similar to the lead actor, or I get a new idea for a plot, or theme, or object.
What I’m saying is, it’s hard when the creative switch is always left on, to fully enjoy the entertainment the world has to offer. To invest 100%, heck, even 75% into something. To give it my full attention.
I’ve been doing better lately. One of my resolutions was to give writing and me some space. Enjoy other things. To accept the fact that not every plot can be neatly wrapped up. That not every story can be finished. That in time, maybe they will. But don’t lose any sleep over works-in-progress or a brain full of ideas.
Doing other things like spending time with family, enjoying free time, working out, they’re all essential to being happy mentally and physically. Balance. It’s all about balance.
What are some of the ways you keep your head from exploding? From creativity driving you mad?
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
As I’ve been
pussyfooting around flirting with my writing lately, I found some cool writing-related websites to mess around with. Here they are, brought to you list style:
This is a useful site that allows you to transform a bunch of text (even full manuscripts) into word clouds. The words you use the most will appear the biggest, thus helping you trim some of the monotony out of your writing.
As an example, I submitted the 27 story titles from The Memory Eater, and this was the result.
So for those keeping an eye out for the anthology, there are the scrambled titles.
I always see authors list the characters in their stories along with celebrity photos of who would/will play them. I recently found a better alternative—make your own characters. Evolver gives you the option to start off with a full model character or upload your own photo. Then you transform the model or photo into your vision of your character, bringing them into a full, unique life.
"I used to wear normal clothes like you, but then I took an arrow to the knee."
This is a little form where you plug in your manuscript’s title information, and it will tell you the percentage of it being a bestseller.
The title The Memory Eater has a 35.9% chance of being a bestselling title!
The title Taking a Bath with Hot Chocolate has a 55.4% chance of being a bestselling title!
Think you’re fast at typing? Is it not only crucial to your hobby, but also your job? Can you type faster with your two pointer fingers than the average person using ten? Then head on over to Typeracer and enter their global typing competition. For fun, of course.
This site allows and encourages you to write 750 words per day. It hosts and saves your work so you can access it anywhere with internet connection.
Hilarious text messages which are skewed by an evil phone overlord…or by the phone’s actual autocorrect feature.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Since it's the New Year (Happy New Year, everyone!), I've got some helpful writer resolutions to share. So here we go...
1. Make time to write:
If you're on the computer a lot at work, especially communicating through emails, open up an email to send to yourself. In between whatever you're doing, brainstorm some more. Or leave a Word document up in the background. Can't use Word? Use WordPad.
Can't write something down at the moment? I don't believe you. But if you truly believe you can't, use your head. Surely you have some time to think to yourself. Bathroom, anyone? Think about your ideas, then when you get a chance, write them down. The good stuff will usually stick, I promise.
2. Read more:
A good way to become a great writer is by studying them. Sure, enjoy the books you're reading, but become more critical of them. Watch how they craft sentences and introduce characters and where the actual story begins. If you have questions about your craft, see how your favorite writers answer them within their own text.
3. Try something new:
Writing in the same genre? The same POV? Are your characters and narrators the same in every story? Step outside of your comfort level and attempt a new idea. A different genre, POV, character, even style. Break rules and see what works. Be daring and go for that crazy twist you've stumbled upon. Not only will doing this open up the structure of your writing, but it will refresh your mind. Perhaps it will even get you excited about writing again.
4. Listen to criticism:
When I used to attend writing workshops, 95% of the time when a participant said something negative about an author's work, that author would retort and try to justify their intentions. Just shut up and listen. People don't typically make negative comments about your work because they hate you. They merely saw something you didn't. With our own work, it's nearly impossible to separate all the errors. Be thankful you have fresh eyes to scan your work-in-progress, because people barely find time to read published works anymore.
5. Set some goals:
And make them reasonable. You know where you're at in your writing career, so chances are, you know the next step. Do you want to get a professional short story sale? Land an agent? Get a positive rejection letter from...anyone? Set it as your goal and strive to hit it in 2012. Think landing an agent is too hard? Set several goals. Now don't set 32 and be content with just hitting one.
For me, I'm hoping to 1. Win a major competition, 2. Land an agent, 3. Land a publisher.
6. Finish something:
If you're like me, you have several folders, maybe Novels, Short Stories, In Progress, et cetera. Inside those dreaded folders, I'm sure there are works half-finished, barely started, written but needing edits, written and edited but not good enough, and so on and so forth. It's time to get in there and bring a story up to your standards. Open that half-finished story and get it done. Whatever it takes, make it a goal to cross that story off your list. Choose the story which you think has the most potential. Then put your targets on it and get to work. Nothing is as refreshing as moving a story from the "In Progress" folder to the "Ready to Submit" folder.
7. Get rejected:
Submit your work! I always see authors acting hesitant when it comes to sending out queries and stories. If you're happy with the status of your project, then just get it out there already. Think of it this way: to get published, you're going to have to stand in line for awhile. So the longer you wait to submit, the longer you'll have to wait in general. If you're receiving rejections, that means you're trying. Plus wouldn't it be nice to free up some folder space?
8. Take it easier on yourself:
You're not curing world hunger. You're not saving someone's life. Unless you've written a non-fiction story about a friend stuck in a well. Then you better get that thing published fast to give the paramedics enough time to rescue your friend. But other than that, you're writing to entertain. How silly is it to belittle yourself over not entertaining others? Did you key your coworker's car? Not pick up your dog's poop in the neighbor's yard? Tell your kid, "I'm sorry, son, but it looks like Walmart recalled that movie you insist upon watching four times every day. Yeah, and that other one, too."? Then maybe you should beat yourself up. But not over a story.
9. Stop worrying:
Rejections, plots not panning out, flat characters, losing work, not being good enough, losing a competition. So what? We all started with a blank Word page, right? Who cares if we end up with a document and a bunch of messy words. At least we're trying. The worst that can happen is we create something we feel, or someone else feels, isn't good enough. Even so, the writing we do after the fact will be better. We'll be more focused. Unless this isn't your hobby, and you get fired for making a mistake, stop worrying about a hobby.
10. Be patient:
This applies to both writing and where to publish. I see many authors rush through work and self-published. Ask yourself, do you want to make a few bucks to show a handful of people mediocre work? Or would you rather make a few bucks and blow them away? Have them come back? Also, I see many authors settle fairly early in the querying department. What I mean is, there are a lot of publishing options out there, and a lot of big fish. Why settle for someone unknown who will publish you tomorrow when you can attempt to place your work with a big time publisher or land a high profile agent down the line?
It's simple: do you want to settle? Or do you want to take note of what rejections say, then rework your story to make it the best it can be? Sure, it takes more effort, but in the end, do you want to be known as one of the millions of self-publishers, or would you rather aim for specific name recognition?
11. Don't get jealous:
We've got Amanda Hocking who wrote a bunch of books and then self-published and sold them digitally for .99 cents a pop, netting her millions of sales. We've got J. K Rowling who was a single parent living on state benefits writing those Harry Potter books on a typewriter. Then we've got the Twilight books which aren't written very well, yet people will slice you for dissing those dreamy characters. Point is, don't be jealous of these authors. Of their success. Call it luck, or talent, or baffling, but what these people have accomplished has no weight in the grand scheme of your life. So don't bother yourself with other's success when it won't help your writing career. Focus on you. Focus on your own personal goals. Be happy and feel fortunate that you have two hands to write with. Or that you have enough money to afford a computer. Or a pen and paper. If you're reading this, perhaps you're even fortunate enough to own a home. Be grateful for these things, because many don't have them.
12. If your idea has run dry, stop milking it:
Like this list. I didn't have a number 12, but the title clearly states "12 resolutions", so I had to force one more out.
On a side note, I hope to have an update on the Memory Eater anthology soon.