Review – Chameleon by Layden Robinson

Chameleon by Layden Robinson
Edited by: B.Z. Hercules, Jessica Hueras and Layden Robinson
Cover Art by: Daniel Johnson (Squared Motion)

Synopsis: Epic tale of a mysterious man in search of peace, love and eternal answers. An acid trip frenzy that delivers color and intensity the whole way. Think a David Lynch movie meets Stephen King “Wastelands” with a hint of Chuck Palahniuk. Download this massive story. You will not be disappointed.

This short read by Layden Robinson will definitely put color in your vision and perhaps even your dreams if you read it before bedtime. It was a cross between poetry and campfire stories with the Manson Family. Is that a bad thing? I’ll let the reader decide. I wouldn’t say it had a feel of Chuck Palahniuk, but definitely a “Mickey and Mallory” peyote trip under the stars. I found a few instances where the wording was redundant, which disrupted the flow of the story. This book is definitely for readers who love flowing, psychedelic prose while curling up with chill music (for more effect, add incense). The cover work was genius and gives you all the set up you need for what’s inside!

I gave this read 3.5 stars because I felt the editing could’ve been a little tighter and because there were a few spots I hit a bump in the rabbit hole.

The Serial Scribbler: An Author’s Integrity

SerialScribbler

One of the things I want to discuss today is an author’s integrity. This can encompass many things. Obviously, the first one that comes to many peoples’ minds would be that the work isn’t stolen. And you’d be correct. Stealing another author’s work is probably right down there with pond scum.

Personally, I’ve dealt with it. Whether it’s someone parasite’ing off your idea, your branding, your marketing or even, oh I dunno, a book title that is unique. It makes your skin crawl and your brain sizzle, am I right?

But there are other aspects to an author’s integrity that we don’t quite think about. Those are the things I want to dig into.

As a small, independent publisher I see much of the same crowd and I know many of he same people my authors hang around with. If you think that I don’t hear the rumors, and see things like lies, sabotage, manipulation and more, you’re sadly mistaken.

Probably the most heinous act of one author is to assassinate the character of an undeserving fellow author. This can happen in the form of a review (or what I like to call the hyena attacks where groups of friends all converging on the author’s book), Facebook posts, interviews, and more. I like to point out to my own authors that this is deplorable behavior and if those people were to focus all that energy on marketing and engaging their own readers, they’d probably see a more fruitful result.

My advice to authors, new and veteran, is to build your reader base, and build your integrity. If you say you will have a book done by a certain date, do all that you can to do that. Be yourself, be unique. (There are no truly unique ideas, however, your take on the idea is what sets you apart.) If you hear negative talk about another author, ignore it.

Do not let negative words come out of your mouth (or be typed) toward anyone else.

I’d like to point out that this rule doesn’t apply to your close inner circle. We all need someone we can confide in and tell situations to. These people should also have good integrity and realize that there are “Vegas Rules” attached to your trust in them. However, you must understand that there is a clear, and defined difference between “gossiping” and “venting” or “explaining for the purpose of gaining advice”.

Business is Business and it’s a jungle out there. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a cannibal. Don’t chew up your own and spit them out.

In my company, I have staff and members that will tell me what they’ve seen and heard about an author, then, if they aren’t already friends with them, they will watch how they interact, what they say and how they present themselves, etc. It’s not something I ask them to do, it’s something they do on their own. They are so protective of our image and our reputation (which took tons of hard work) that they want to know if this person is going to represent us in the same protective way.

Is this a fail safe method? No. There’s always someone that will slip through the cracks, but being labeled “difficult” from a publisher is professional suicide. It will affect everything you do.

Again, Business is Business.

In the role of an author I try to be helpful, courteous, and professional at all times. I never know who I’m talking to and I understand networking as an independent author is my (and any indie author’s) lifeline. I have to deal with this group of creatives on a daily basis, so it’s important that they know they can trust me.

Believe me, I hear a lot of things about a lot of people. But because the buck stops here, as the saying goes, I’m able to weed through it and pluck out the “B.S.” rather than marinate in it. One of my mottos is: I’m allergic to bullshit.

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of what a lot of other publishers are looking at, as well. We see, we do not say, but we’re aware. In addition to publishers, you have outside opportunities that may become closed off; interviews, podcasts, radio shows, etc.

Tell me what you think about this week’s subject: Integrity. Do you feel your reputation is important? Do you think you should be judged on your reputation, good or bad? How do you avoid gossip?

 

You Have To Make Up Your Mind

SerialScribbler

As a publisher, I see this every day. People making excuses for not writing.

“I’m very busy.”
“I have kids.”
“I have a full-time job and go to school.

Stop.

No, seriously. Stop. If you have time to post status updates, and catch up on DVR’ed shows and/or movies, you have time to write. I challenge you today to find out how many minutes you spend posting, typing statuses and how many words you’ve typed in the Facebook (or other social media) vortex.

Is that number over ten? You have time.

Are you watching at least one show a night? You have time to write.

Are you vegging out doing nothing for thirty minutes a night? You have time to write.

The real question is, “Is writing a priority to you?”  That’s where you need to make up your mind. Writing takes hard work, dedication, and commitment. There’s no boss over your head most of the time making sure you’re not slacking off. You have to be in it, every spare moment that you have. If you can DVR a show and catch up with it at night or for a few hours on the weekend, you have time to commit, you just aren’t doing so.

If you sit down to write and someone can talk you out of it, you’re not committed to it. They don’t believe it’s a priority because you haven’t set the standard or the boundaries.

Writers that are serious about their craft do not allow interruptions. Friends and family will learn that it’s “Do Not Disturb” time and eventually, you will have time to write.

Recently, with my publishing company we held a meeting and discussed what our slogan for the month would be. We chose, “Are you all in?”

Well, are you?