Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beat To A Pulp: Hardboiled 2

I'm so thrilled to be in this collection. Yes, the fine folks at Beat To A Pulp have pulled together a volume 2 of their Hardboiled story collection. This one has some amazing writers spanning generations, which is really exciting to me.
The ebook is out now and the print version hits very soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Guest Post: Frank Zafiro

Listen up, people. My friend and fellow writer has something to say. Frank is author of the wildly popular River City series among many others – including Blood on Blood (with Jim Wilsky) and two Stephan Kopriva novels Waist Deep and Lovely, Dark and Deep as well as the novel talked about below. He is a master of the hardboiled procedural and he has a few real gems among his book covers. (subtle, ain't I?)

Well, he's here to talk about something bigger than books today, so give a look to what he's offering – a great book for you, some donations to a great cause for them. Read on.

This guest blog post has nothing to do with me being Frank Zafiro, a crime fiction writer. 

This guest blog post has everything to do with me being able to be Frank Zafiro, a crime fiction writer. Or anything else I want to be.

No, I'm not going to lay some Anthony Robbins style shtick on you. I mean, I do believe that if you believe in yourself and work hard, you can do damn near anything. But that's another discussion.

What I am referring to here is freedom. Freedom of choice. See, I can be a crime fiction author if I want. Or I could write westerns. Or erotica. But I don't even have to be a writer. I could make movies, or cabinets, or be a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker. I get to choose. Because I'm free.

I'm free because this nation is free.

And this nation is free because there are men and women who are willing to serve in the armed forces to maintain that freedom.

Now don't jump up on a political high horse (of any color or variety) and tell me about all of the unjust military actions this nation has taken throughout its history. I know. I'm a History major. Hell, right now I'm reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. I know how fucked up our government can be. But I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about the actual men and women who serve. Not the policy makers. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who bear the brunt of every bad decision, every good decision, and every tough decision that those policy makers make.

They pay a price, these warriors. Sometimes it is physical. Sometimes it is psychological. Often, it is some of both. Because of that, and for what they are willing to do at any time, they deserve our support upon their return.

In 1986, I joined the Army on a four year hitch. Operation Desert Storm delayed my discharge for six months. I sat in Germany, watching on in amazement and a little bit of the chagrin one feels when you figure you ought to be there, too. But like all good soldiers, you leave those decisions to the policy makers.

I was lucky. Nothing really bad happened to my body, my heart, my soul. I came back to civilian life and to a nation that is free, and I made my own personal choices about how to live my life.

Not every returning veteran is so lucky. Many bear the scars of their service. And I think it is our sacred duty to help them. It isn't hard. There are Veteran's Administration hospitals and other services all over this country, so volunteering is an easy option. Or if time is limited, we can put our money to work for those who are already helping. Places like The Wounded Warrior Project, for example. Or the one I choose to support, Remind.Org.

Remind.Org facilitates help of all stripes for veterans in need. Because the needs of our returning vets are so varied, I chose to support an organization diverse enough to meet those needs. I learned about when I saw something about the "Stand Up For Heroes" benefit concert a few years ago.

I thought for a long while about how I could help. Working at two careers, my time was limited. So I decided to donate all of the ebook proceeds in 2011 from my suspense novel, The Last Horseman. I figured it had a sort of fit to it, since the main character was a veteran and certainly was affected by his time of service. At the end of 2011, I was able to donate about $140. Not exactly earth-shattering. So I decided to do it again in 2012. This time, I was able to raise over $1200. Still not the kind of numbers Bruce Springsteen is able to pull, but at least something more substantial. 

That made me decide to make my support more permanent. I've designated the month of November (when we celebrate Veteran's Day) of every year as the month I will be donating all of my proceeds from The Last Horseman, in all formats -- paperback, ebooks, and audio book --to 

I believe in what this charity does. It isn't about politics, its about people. People who served and who now deserve our support. So if you're a reader, please find a way to help. Give your time or a few dollars to a worthy organization, such as 

If you're an author, maybe you'd consider joining me with one of your titles. It's not the whole year, just November sales. And you don't have to designate all formats. Start with one. Ebooks, for example. More importantly, talk about it. Let your readers know you think it's important. They'll think about it and then make their own choice.

Because they can.  Because they're free.