Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Dates & Red Robin (Yummm)

Aside from being an (ah-hem) award winning novelist, I am unfortunate I do not make enough money to write as a career author. Holding down a “day” job is essential. Only difference is, my day job is a night job. Graveyard shift. We call it First Platoon. I am a Fire/EMS Dispatcher for 9-1-1. Thankfully, when there are no fires, work is not too busy. When it is not too busy, six of us (Fire Dispatchers) sit in what we call a pod (a circle) filled with 5 computer monitors, 3 keyboards/mice and phones, per station, and we talk. And the talk oftentimes is nonsensical.

Last night we discussed first dates. Being 42, divorced, and with three kids, dating is tough. First dates, tougher. Not being rich—perhaps borderline poor—the idea of trying to impress a woman on a first date is not generally doable. And for that matter, I thought, also not wise.

Way I see it, if you take a woman out to on an expensive night, big-bill dinner, and theater, and limo and shit like that – it’s misleading. Improperly so. Think about it. (And I truly believe this is not frugal, or downright cheap). If you take extravagant measures to show the young lady an amazing time, isn’t it then fair for her to assume each date thereafter is going to hold, at a minimum, equal expectations? I could be wrong. (Feedback and comments are most, most welcome).

Way I see it, (yes starting a second paragraph identically to the one above it), if the plan is dinner and a movie, going to a restaurant that is affordable is okay. Especially on a first date. (More expensive dates can certainly follow, on things like, special occasions). But it is not always financially practical to drop a lot of money on a date. And on a first date – let’s face it – there is always a 50/50 chance there will not be a second, a follow-up, a sequel. See what I’m saying?

Maybe that makes me a jerk. A cheapskate. A tightwad. But you know what? I’m okay with that. Perceive away. Judge. I prefer to let a woman know who I am. Who I am, is not money. Not even close. Why give the impression otherwise? Misleading, as earlier indicated, and in my opinion, should be seriously frowned upon.

The fact that I like Red Robin burgers got everyone laughing. At me. I thought, and said out loud, “I think going to Red Robin is a good first date. Good burgers, bottomless fries … I mean, yummmmm says it all.”

Yeah. Wrong thing to say. Think I’d of been okay just thinking it. The comments I received went as follows:

“It’s too ‘family restaurant’ styled for a first date. It’s all parents and kids.”

“Seriously, Phil? Seriously?”

“You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but certainly not Red Robin.”

“Red Robin’s a good first date if you’re a teenager…”

And, from that above sampling, I think you get the idea.

Other, equally affordable options were suggested. Some good. Some, personally, I rejected. But by the end of the discussion, I guess I learned a lesson. Two, actually. And what is the point of open forums if there is not, at least, one moral to a story … much less, two?!?

One. Don’t ever tell close friends the specifications of date plans, unless you are hoping to be talked out of them, humiliated, laughed at, or frustrated because trying to get your point across in a five to one situation is not humanly possible.

Two. Maybe talk with the person you plan to go out with. Get their input before making decisions. While a female likes to see the man make calls, it might work out better to actually ask for some general input. You never know – they may think a most wonderful idea involves good burgers and bottomless fries at your local Red Robin … Yummmmmm!

One last question: Is it okay to pull out a coupon when the bill comes??

As always, take care!

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale

Other titles for sale for Kindle

Other titles for sale for Nook

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Writing Is Like Being A Clown

I remember when I spent the better part of a summer in the backyard learning to juggle. I started with oranges. Two of them. I practiced one-handed juggling. I held both pieces of fruit in one palm. Tossed one up, then the other, caught the first, sent it back up, caught the second, sent it back up, and so on, and so one and so on.

See what I’m saying?

Of course, reading what I did, and doing what I’d done is two different things. It took hours over the course of days to get the rhythm down. Once I did, I moved on. To what, did you ask? Three oranges. Oh yeah. Three. Two hands, though. What I like to call, Real Juggling. I kept two oranges in one hand, one in the other. Coordination was my downfall. I had no problem getting all three oranges in the air. It was catching them with alternating hands that complicated matters.

And where to look.

Did I watch my hands? Or the oranges as they crested the arch? You’d think my hands. But when I watched my hands, I actually dropped the oranges more often. Watching my hands kept me from estimating how high up I’d thrown each orange, and also where. Oh, where the orange goes is very important when juggling.

Not oranges so much.

But what about when I moved onto bigger, more impressive things like knives or chainsaws? Not that I would. But if I did. You know?

With knives or chainsaws, however, watching my hands still seemed as essential as watching the arch … but that is neither here nor there, since, seriously, I don’t own knives sharp enough to matter, and who in their right mind has three chains saws lying around … except for a juggling clown, I guess. Or a lumberjack.

By the end of the summer—don’t laugh—I’d graduated from juggling fruit to Bocce Balls. Sounds a little ludicrous, I know. They were the only things I had more three plus of that weighed the same. (From oranges I didn’t go right to Bocce. I also practiced on tennis and baseballs. Bocce was just the next, I thought, impressive thing to us for practice). While not a clown (or a lumberjack), I must say, for teaching myself, I became a pretty good, just below mediocre semi-average person who could juggle.

Regardless, I still find, when I juggle, that I am oftentimes holding my breath. Only when I know my face is blueberry blue, and I am lightheaded, do I remember to exhale suck in a fresh new breath to hold.

What’s the point?

As a writer, I have many things that need to be written. It’s hard not to catch myself gasping somewhat for air as I struggle with several issues:

--What to work on first?

I have three novel-length manuscripts going simultaneously. All unique from the other.

A zombie, a ghost, and a super-natural P.I. (3rd Nicholas Tartaglia thriller).

In a way, this works. When I hit a wall on one story, I save and close it, and open another. However, if I spend too much time working on one, then when I try to work on one of the others, I need to take time away from writing, and re-read the last chapter written to get back in the flow, and review notes, and characters and timelines. That gets a bit frustrating.

I am anxious to finish all three novels, but find that by having three to finish, less and less appears to get done. I may need to rethink the process. May need to pick one and carry it through to the end. Then the second and finally the last. It makes sense. Like paying off credit cards, I suppose. Pick the one with the smallest balance, and then hammer away it until it’s done.

I guess I should pick the one closest to being finished, and just buckle down and finish writing it.

--Facebooking, blogging and let us not forget, Tweeting

With many of my titles recently released as eBooks, I’ve struggled with marketing and advertising. It was hard enough as a novelist accomplishing these facets of being a published writer. I used to coordinate a ton of book signings and speaking engagements. My current publisher does not use the same distributor as Barnes & Noble, which has made setting up book signing events near impossible, since Barnes & Noble is the biggest chain seller.

I use Facebook, this blog and my Twitter account to continually remind readers that indeed I am an author with novels for sale. Blogging has become essential. Not that I have a ton of followers, but my blog does get a steady amount of hits. (If you are reading this, and do not follow the blog – please, feel free to do so).

Twitter works well, too. Seems every time I post a tweet, with a link to this blog, or to Amazon, I get a handful of new Twitter followers. Which is always appreciated. I haven’t mastered all that can be done with Twitter. I am learning. And, it’s kind of fun. The limited space keeps my editing skills sharp. And hashtags, well, what can I say? Love ‘em.

While my friends-base on Facebook continues to grow, I still find this one of the easiest ways to market and advertise. I use both my personal and author pages to get the job done. The only thing I worry about is overkill. There is a fine line between informing people of your work, as opposed to beating them to death like a brick repeatedly striking their skull.

So yes. In my opinion, writing is a lot like juggling. Makes me feel more like a clown, than I like to admit.

Just like that summer, when I practiced and practiced learning to juggle, I eventually did learn. The more I worked at it, the better I got. I would consider juggling complex. Writing is based on similar principals. The more I write, the better I get. Keeping projects alive and afloat and being able to manipulate them accordingly is essential.

It’s something to watch a juggler. Awe and spectacular.

While my writing is far from awe-inspiring, or spectacular, I do believe I have a skill, and a talent. The ideology I hold to is that, like any skill or talent, continual practice is needed—required, even—to maintain professionalism and interest.

You know what? Leave me a comment, send me an email. Love to hear from you.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale

Other titles for sale for Kindle

Other titles for sale for Nook

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Writing Is Like Going To The Gym

With January fast approaching, I am hearing more and more people talk about New Year Resolutions. If most people are like me, resolutions are declared, started and then quickly forgotten—or better still—purposely ignored. One resolution I make, year after year—I mean, every year I make it. I see gym and fitness ads running on TV throughout December. So, I know I am not alone. My goal is always to get in shape. Always. I know, one of these years I will stand-fast and commit to actually exercising, eating healthier and making a difference in my physique. One of these years.

Of course I have the classic excuses Not To Exercise. My work schedule. My family responsibilities. My sleep schedule. I can argue to death why these three responsibilities alone are reason enough never to step foot in a gym. I’d be lying to you, the way I lie to myself daily. But with myself, I’ve fully convinced me that I am telling a solid truth. That exercise just isn’t possible in my immediate future. That, however, I have plenty of time to get to it, and will be so happy and satisfied once I commit.

Believe it or not, writing is very, creepily similar to working out. Uh-huh. Absolutely true. I thought about the best way to present comparisons. Tried narrative. Seemed okay. But, I believe the readers here will appreciate bullets. Direct correlation between the two. Makes my metaphor more impacting, and visible.

--You Need to First Realize You Want to Get in Shape

This is not a blog about alcoholics. But if you don’t first admit there is a problem, there can be no clear road to improvement. I am out of shape. I need to exercise. I need to turn fat into muscle. It would be awesome to wear a shirt and not feel like I HAVE to tuck it in, or blouse it in order to give the illusion that my gut is actually not gut at all, but excess cotton ballooned at the waistline. Abracadabra!

Anyone I ever talk to tells me they want to write a book. Many want to give me their life story so I can weave it into some unbelievable tale that—they assure me—will be a best seller. My answer is always the same. If you have a story, write it. They don’t know where to begin, how to create characters, dialogue, chapters, etc., etc., etc.

--Get Around To Joining A Gym

One piece of advice I share is to join a writing group. Many bookstores and libraries have them. For free, no less. A gathering of writers sharing tips, full of questions that need answering, offering critiques and guidance. I’ve belonged to one or another since I was fifteen years old. The time spent with other writers has been priceless in my career as a novelist.

The second piece of advice is to read. If you want to write a horror novel, read every horror book you can get your hands on. Study the genre you seek to conquer. Note what you like and hate about the books read, what was done well, and what you would do differently. See how the plots unfold, the characters are developed, the tension is paced.

--Start Out All Gung-Ho

Like anything new—relationships, cars, going to school, joining a gym—we always tend to start out with all pistons firing; it’s all we talk and think about; dream of; try to get others on board with. When I’ve joined (and eventually quit) local gyms and fitness clubs, I spent hours of the first several days working out. I’d get up early and hit the treadmills. After work, I’d make my way through the Nautilus equipment, or free weights. I’d drape a hand towel (from the kitchen) over my shoulders to swipe at the rolling beads of sweat, and carry around a water bottle to hydrate my dehydrated body. I’d even cut back on smoking, because working out and not smoking seemed to go hand in hand!

Writing is the same way. That idea we came up with gets fleshed out in long hand on a pad of legal paper. Characters sketched. Concept plots outlined. Possible settings reviewed. We fall asleep at night with a notebook by the bed, wake up re-reading senseless sentences scribbled out during twilight hours.

At some point we realize we’ve compiled a ton of stuff. There aren’t exactly heads or tails to be made from any of it. But we’ve started. We’re writing. It lacks clear direction, lucidity, flow, but gosh-darn if we haven’t leapt and landed with both feet in the heat of drafting something that might, that could, that if we’re lucky, will be considered a working manuscript-or-something-or-other!

--Unused Muscles Get Sore And Achy

And the reality sets in. Usually it’s not the very next morning. It’s two-days later. Reaching for your coffee cup is an impossible task. You triceps, biceps, wrists, knuckles – refuse to work. The idea of bending over to fit socks over your feet scares you into uncontrollable sobs. You groan and moan and cry, literally shed tears, as you shrug your arms into your coat. Don’t even bother with aspirin. It won’t work. Nothing will. You are certain a painful death is all you have to look forward to!

Writing is no different. If you go from never (or not often) having written anything, to writing up a storm there is bound to be some pain. Maybe in your brain, maybe from straining your imagination. But more than likely it will be evident in the writing itself.

I suggest take a breath. A step back. Set the initial material aside. The thing about writing is, you wrote it. So it will generally look good, or right to you when you re-read it. Nothing wrong with that. Well, there kind of is. Regardless – you need a day or two off, to take a break. Believe it or not, when you go back a few days later, reinvigorated and hopefully well-rested, you will be more objective in sorting through the pages and pages of … stuff … that you’ve written. Going Gung-Ho for days and days is strenuous. Necessary sometimes, and more seasoned (in shape) writers can perform better under different circumstances – the endurance is just at a higher level…it’s where we should all aspire to be, the summit to reach, the (insert cliché here) …

--Then It’s Tough To Go

Once my muscles stopped aching, once aspirin started working—fighting back the swelling in my joints, I was tired. The Gung-Ho mentality wanes. I still dreamed of becoming athletically inclined, beach-body in-shape, but the desire, I’ll admit lost its luster. The pudge is still there. I’ve lost little to no weight. Clothes don’t fit any looser than they did a few days ago. Working out has done nothing up to this point to make me any sexier than I was before. So why bother?

It happens with writing, too. The idea hits you like a brick on the back of the neck. (Am I overdoing the clichés? LOL). You write and write, and write. And when you step back, and then re-read your work, it’s discouraging. Maybe you felt like there should be more quality completed pages. You know at the time you gave it your all. Put sweat and tears and blood (blood?) into every word. You scrutinized sentences, verb tense, POV … Oh, how hard you worked – and of all the pages in front of you, maybe a fraction is good, is usable.

Is it possible that writing just isn’t worth the work?

--Get A Routine Going

The times when I did stick with a gym membership—beyond January 1st—and managed to attend regularly for several months, I found that one thing worked for me.

It was kind of like brushing my teeth. In the morning. After meals. Before bed.

I went to the gym on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. (This was when I had an office job. A Monday-Friday / 9:00-5:00 routine). So I’d hit the gym before work. Got a work-out schedule to abide by. Cardo each of the days I was there. The treadmill, the stationary bike. And then Mondays and Fridays were upper body exercises, Wednesday were legs. It worked.

Is it any surprise that having a writing schedule and routing is a technique that works best for many, many writers? It shouldn’t be. In fact, by now, I should not need to draw lines connecting the metaphors. I will. For the sake of staying consistent.

I work midnights now. A weird schedule, really. Four days on, two days off. So saying I will write Monday / Wednesday / Friday is not always so simple. I also have three kids, and am divorced. My time with my kids is my priority! I do not write on days when I have my kids.

Factoring in these two variables, I’ve still managed to come up with a writing schedule that works very well for my life. The four days I work, when I don’t have my kids, I get home and write for at least one hour (so from 8 am – 9am). On my days off, again, on days I do not have my kids, I elect to write for up to three hours at the end of the night (usually from midnight until 3 am). I am—because of work—a night owl, and maintain a paranight owl schedule even on days off. It’s just easier. Am I disgusting? Yes, yes I am.

Hopefully the point is clear. I put a lot of thought and planning into creating a writing schedule that works for me. I spend a lot of time, while not writing thinking about what I am going to write. I take notes. I try to figure out what my characters will be up to, and always anticipate what will happen next. This helps me get the most and best writing completed in the designated times I’ve set aside; helps me avoid staring blankly at the computer screen and wonder what it is I’m going to type to capitalize on the limited time available.

--Surprise! You Are Getting In Shape

Nothing guarantees exercise will dish out desired results. A lot gets factored in. Diet is a big one. But if you can manage portion control, and stick to a steady exercise routine, you will see a difference. Have to. It takes time. You don’t see a difference overnight. It generally takes months. Sometimes years. Depends what you were when you started, and where you want to be.

Writing is the same. An idea is awesome. If a disciplined writing schedule is utilized, I believe a writer will be amazed with the final product. It may not be perfect. It will more than likely still require re-writes and editing, but if you stick with it—I firmly believe, at the very least, you can feel satisfied knowing you started something, and finished it, or reached a certain point by a specific deadline. And that, that is a good feeling. Like wearing a t-shirt that you DON’T have to tuck in, if you know what I mean.

Best I can tell, this blog is done. A bit long, I know. But hopefully helpful for writers just getting started, or writers who have plenty to say, but just can’t seem to incorporate a working plan to get it all said.

Take care, and Happy Holidays everyone!

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale

Other titles for sale for Kindle

Other titles for sale for Nook

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Next Big Thing Meme

Authors are blogging answers to a few quick questions, then tagging other writers they think readers should know about. The whole idea is to create a network through social media, drawing new readers through blog relationships, etc.

I was tagged by the talented horror writer, Kevin Lucia. His vault of published short stories and novellas is impressive. He gives a creative voice to the still, ever-popular fiction genre!

1) What is the title of your next book?

As it is, just days ago I was offered a contract for my novel, SOUNDS OF SILENCE. (No book cover yet).

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

I live in Rochester, NY. It is home to one of the largest populations of Deaf people. Growing up, one of my best friends’ parents and brother were all deaf. He was the only hearing person in his immediate family. Spending time at his house was different than being at any other friend’s house. And I loved it. Was fascinated by the beauty of sign language.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It falls under young adult.

4) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The book is being published by Barking Rain Press.

5) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I did extensive research, working closely with the Rochester School for the Deaf, taking sign language lessons, and running information by deaf professors at a local deaf college.

6) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

The main character is a young boy, the star of his Little League team. When he contracts meningitis and becomes Deaf, he thinks his dream of playing major league ball has been shattered. He needs to learn to readjust his dreams and move forward. It is an inspiring coming of age story. It should appeal to teens, and adults alike.

Well, there you have it. My answers to the quick questions about my next major project! I love feedback, comments, and to be followed – follow my blog, that is. And in close, I will tag several other others for their participation in this social network chain. As they comply, I will add links here!

As always, have a wonderful day!

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale

Other titles for sale for Kindle

Other titles for sale for Nook

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Friday, November 9, 2012

Table For One

Got an amazing email the other day. A publisher offering a contract for a YA novel I’d written. I forget how long ago I’d sent the query. Maybe close to eighteen months ago? About 6 months back they wrote me asking for a complete copy of the manuscript. I sent it. Nothing to lose.

Nothing to lose, because now – with this contract, I’ve officially sold the work three times. First time was in 2005. I worked with an agent then. She landed a nice deal. Got a healthy advance. It covered some bills with a small chunk left over to feed the family a nice dinner or two.

I worked close with the publisher’s editor and then the publishing company folded.

I won’t lie. Felt a bit devastated. It was a good size press. Hard not to get high hopes for my story. I envisioned awards and a shot at a bestseller list … maybe not the New York Times, but whatever.

Next publisher to offer a contract was a smaller, newer press. Just getting their feet wet. This was about two years ago. Again, I grew excited. I really wanted to see this title brought to life, and was thankful years later the work was still sellable.

The editor and I did not see eye-to-eye on some issues. They wanted too much changed. I refused to make those changes. Eventually, we’d reached a crossroads, and the contract was unfortunately, mutually, shredded. No hard feelings, other than the fact once again my YA novel would not make it to print (or eBook).

So. Like I was saying. The email came with a contract. Looked good to me. Talked about a paperback and eBook release. I’d already gathered endorsements from key people and a handful of reviews over the years. And now, I’m feeling pretty good. Pretty hopeful.

I posted about it on Facebook, Tweeted it once or twice. And . . . after work that night? I’d be off for two days. It was the start of my weekend. Can you imagine getting an awesome email at the start of your weekend? First thing you think, first thing I thought, was, “I’m celebrating.”


I’m going out. Karaoke! Eat some grilled and greasy food with friends! Do it up right. Not much of a champagne drinker, not when there is beer available, but hell, I tossed around the idea of buying a bottle.

Why not?

I’d sold the same book three times in 7 years. Same book. Three times. Seven years.

Third time’s the charm. I’ve heard that. You’ve heard that. It’s an old cliché. Third time’s the charm. It’s what I should call this post. Third Time’s The Charm.

But really, honestly … remember when I started this blog? I said I was not going to hold back. Posts would be honest and raw. I’ll admit I’ve done some holding back. And while honest, posts haven’t been as raw as they may have been medium rare. One main reason is I’ve found I have younger readers checking in now and then. And it is important me to be honest and as raw as I can be without being offensive. You may have noticed a blog-post or two missing. Pulled ‘em. Had to. Anyway . . .

This blog is not about selling a 10th novel (since 2000). It’s about the fact that my weekend (a Monday and Tuesday night) celebration turned out to be little more than drinking cans of beer from the fridge, watching Netflix and ordering a pizza (which covered many meals over the next two days).

You know why? Because divorce sucks.

I don’t miss my ex. Not at all. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying here.

But—at the time—I actually enjoyed being married. Loved my family.

Still love my kids!

But when that got stripped away in ’07, battling life has been an endless and emotional strain. It really interrupts and interferes with, well … everything.

Even though my ex was never supportive of my writing, never understood why I wanted to keep selling stories I’d written, manuscripts I’d slaved over—why I wrote in the first place, when I did make a sale (regardless), or even when I finished writing a novel—we’d all go out an celebrate. Every time.

Pack the kids in the car, we’re going for dinner!

I remember doing that a lot in the 90’s when I was pounding out short-stories like mad. In ‘00, when my first novel sold, and ’01, twice in ’02 … and on and on.

I miss that.

Family. Closeness.

At first, I tried contacting a few friends; see if they wanted to go out. Most work day jobs, Monday through Friday, and don’t go out until the weekend – the real, normal, weekend; or they work opposite wheels from the one I work – so if I’m off, they’re working, and vice-versa.

Bottom line, at one point I stopped trying.

It turned out to be a tough weekend, despite being excited about a sale. It hit me, hard, the fact that I had no one special to share any of this with.

God forbid my mother or anyone in my family read this.

Eh-oh, oh-eh!

It has nothing to do with them. They were all very excited for the contract, and would gladly have celebrated the night (or entire weekend) with me. But listen, between us (sorry if you are reading this, Mom, Love You), but singing Garth Brooks karaoke with your mother – just not the same kinda fun, you know what I’m sayin’?

Is this post about selling a 10th novel in 12 years? I don’t know. Maybe. Or about selling a novel 3 times? Kind of, yes. Or is it about the fact that, even when it looks to someone else like someone has all their shit together, that looks are usually deceiving?

You know what I have to say to that, smile on the outside, my friends. Always smile on the outside. Because letting them see you cry on the inside – what good does that do? None. It does no good.

Take care, and keep an eye out. Got a two-part blog coming at you soon. It will be about writing, Not heart-on-the-sleeve stuff, promise. I call it, Writing Is Like Going To The Gym. Great title, right? Whatever J

I’m out …

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale

Other titles for sale for Kindle

Other titles for sale for Nook

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Writing Is Like Having A Baby

Writing a novel is about telling a story; about creating characters and making them real, three-dimensional. The process, I assume, is a lot like pregnancy. You spend months and months getting ready for the manuscript to be completed. You worry about it while you are writing. You try to feed your imagination with with relevant and inspiring thoughts during the process.

You can't help be prepare for the potential results of the finished product. Envisioning book covers; winning awards and hitting coast-to-coast bestseller lists. Your dream and dream as the page and word count grows and grows.

Let's not forget worrying, too. Authors do that. A lot. Before beginning to write. While writing. And once the work is actually published and for sale. Oh, the worrying. It never, never ends. You think it might. You say you won't be "One of those authors," but once the book hits store shelves. You are. You become "One of those authors."

Before writing, you take notes. You make lists. Pro's and Con's to telling the story. You wonder, aren't there already enough stories? Do I really have any business bringing another into this world?

While writing, you are nothing but preoccupied with plot, and setting. With dialogue and ensuring every word moves the story forward. Does the opening grab the reader? Is the middle fluff-less? Is the ending a surprise, and unexpected?

Will people even care what happens to my characters, the way I care!

It's enough to have you pull hair off your head! Have Mercy!

Then, once the book is on sale, and your are in a bookstore, you want to take your novel off a bottom shelf and insert it eye-level next to James Patterson and Stephen King books. It's what's best for your book. Why wouldn't you? You're only trying to be a supportive author. You're only attempting to ensure your novel gets a fair shake at being bought ... by a stranger!

A stranger! If someone you don't know buys and reads your book, you feel like you might throw-up!

This isn't your Mom. Your Wife. Your Kids!

This is a stranger.

They might not like it! They might actually tell you they don't like it!

Worse--they could post a review, publicly, and tell EVERYONE they don't like it!

And yet, despite all the pre- and post-fears of writing, we do it anyway. We know we may never sell the manuscript. Or that the book might not be well received. Or critically destroyed. That doesn't stop us. Because the story is still inside. And needs to be told, for whatever reason.

Writers write.

Have an awesome day,

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale

Other titles for sale for Kindle

Other titles for sale for Nook

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Walking Dead: SEED

While the idea was to blog live during the show, technical difficulties prevented this from happening. However, I am confident that my computer issues did not hinder YOUR watching the show. Regardless, enjoy the blog re-cap of Season 3 Episode 1: Seed.

The show opens in early spring. We’ve missed the winter months (during our summer). Rick’s group has left the farm, and gathered herds of zombies. Andrea, still with Michonne, is battling the flu (H1N1???).

The episode is loaded with Walkers and, best I can recall, the most slaughtering said Walkers in a single show. Grizzly, and raw. Bloody, and gruesome. Loved it. I was captivated in front of my television. Hated when the show ended. Hate that I have to wait another week for the next installment.

And yet, there were still parts I’d pick apart. Not scenes. Characters.

Here we are in Season 3. I know it was only the first episode, but – come on, T-Dog is the most, long lasting, underdeveloped character I’ve ever seen. I can’t even recall if he has a back-story. If he has a voice, I don’t remember him ever talking. Once, when he had a fever and was conversing on the side of the RV with Dale in Season 2. Either kill him, or use him to move the story forward. I feel like he is a token Black character. Nothing more. That pisses me off.

In contrast, Maggie’s little sister, Beth—she sings a song. Part of one. Rick’s kid, Carl, is in puppy-love. So far, yeah, she’s cardboard. A Flat character. But at least the writers are working on who she is. Which is fine. But, hello? T-Dog. Anyone? Anyone?

Anyway. The show opens with Rick’s group storming a house. Destroying Walkers inside. Carl, all of 3 feet tall, and dressed like a cowboy with his dad’s sheriff hat, totes a handgun and clears rooms. I suppose after shooting Shane, and an obviously long winter, Carl has been forced to grow up. His pregnant mother doesn’t seem to protest as much. Not anymore.

It’s clear that supplies are worse than low. There seem to be an abundance of Walkers in the area. The idea of going house to house for the rest of their lives is not appealing. To find another location like the farm, where they can establish some normalcy appears to be the goal.

After, while Rick and Dayrl hunt, they stumble upon a prison. Spiraled barbed wire fences outline the perimeter. Possibilities are possibly endless, except Walkers fill the courtyard. Since Rick is in charge, and the group is not part of a democracy, he explains that inside the prison is likely to be weapons, food, and an infirmary filled with medical supplies.

In a choreographed assault, Rick’s group breach the courtyard. Taking down Walkers with bullets, arrows, and blades. Most of the now-dead Walkers wear prison or guard uniforms. A few, dressed in civilian clothing—which raises questions.

The interior of the prison is dark. Dirty. More dead littered everywhere. As they explore, they are surrounded. Hershel is bitten. A Walker tore a chunk out of his lower leg, just above the ankle. Once dragged to safety, Rick uses a hatchet and hacks away at Hershel’s leg below the knee. The bone doesn’t sever easily. Whack after whack after whack, the leg finally separates—hopefully before Hershel is infected from the bite (but I doubt it).

The show ends when a handful of what at first appear to be Walkers are standing outside the room staring in the window and watch Rick wield the ax. We know they are not infected when one of them speaks. Perhaps in awe that a large group of non-Walkers is inside the prison, or are just caught off-guard by Rick’s seemingly barbaric display of human-lumberjack-ing.

Are these men part of Randall’s group? Are they in fact more vicious and dangerous than they appeared at the end of the show (which was kind of dopey and dumb)? Don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to find out!

Be sure to follow my blog.

Leave questions.


Email me.


Oh. And below is a list of Characters:

Rick Grimes—The Sheriff, and main character (Andrew Lincoln)
Lori Grimes—The Sheriff’s wife (Sarah Wayne Callies)
Carl Grimes—The Sheriff’s son, becoming slightly annoying (Chandler Riggs)
Andrea—The Blond, who gets tougher and tougher (Laurie Holden)
Glen—Dating Maggie Greene, Hershel’s daughter (Steven Yeun)
Dayrl Dixon—Perhaps my favorite Redneck with a Crossbow (Norman Reedus)
Hershel Greene—Maggie’s father, and owner of the farm (Scott Wilson)
Carol Peletier—Sophia’s Mom. Enough said, possible love interest to Dayrl (Melissa McBride)
T-Dog—A very, very underdeveloped character, a shame (IronE Singleton)
Beth Greene—Maggie’s kid sister (Emily Kinney)
Michonne—(“Me-shone”) armed with a katana and 2 armless/jawless zombies (Danai Gurira)

… And those who were significant and died in Season 2 …

Shane Walsh—The Sheriff’s one-time best friend (Jon Bernthal)
Dale Horvath—The Conscience of the group (Jeffrey DeMunn)

Check out some of my books (links below).

See you next Sunday,

Phillip Tomasso

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 14, 2012 : THE GROUP IS BROKEN

The date? Just days away. It is a significant date. Why? The Walking Dead’s Season 3 premieres. If you are a zombie fanatic—no, no—a Walking Dead Fanatic, then you have been counting down the days from last season’s season finale.

Starting October 14, 2012, I will be blogging live during the show, and every Sunday evening. The blog will consist of personal commentary, descriptions and my interpretation of what is to come.

*NOTE, I have not read the graphic novels. I do not know what some people “know”, and prefer to guess. So my predictions may be way off base. But whatever. Additionally, feel free to comment, ask questions, or add info!

In preparation of Sunday’s Main Event, I wanted to provide a list of Main and Recurring Characters for quick reference and review the last few episodes of Season 2.

Rick Grimes—The Sheriff, and main character (Andrew Lincoln)
Lori Grimes—The Sheriff’s wife (Sarah Wayne Callies)
Carl Grimes—The Sheriff’s son, becoming slightly annoying (Chandler Riggs)
Andrea—The Blond, who gets tougher and tougher (Laurie Holden)
Glen—Dating Maggie Greene, Hershel’s daughter (Steven Yeun)
Dayrl Dixon—Perhaps my favorite Redneck with a Crossbow (Norman Reedus)
Hershel Greene—Maggie’s father, and owner of the farm (Scott Wilson)
Carol Peletier—Sophia’s Mom. Enough said, possible love interest to Dayrl  (Melissa McBride)
T-Dog—A very, very underdeveloped character, a shame (IronE Singleton)

… And those who were significant and died …

Shane Walsh—The Sheriff’s one-time best friend (Jon Bernthal)
Dale Horvath—The Conscience of the group (Jeffrey DeMunn)


When Randall is captured, and held captive in the barn on Hershel’s farm, the group is shocked to learn that he consorts with a group of more than 30 armed men. They’ve killed and raped. Clearly dangerous, and obviously holed up somewhere close to the farm, a decision is made to terminate Randall. The only one opposed to the execution is Dale. The constant, numbing voice of reason.

When Dale is subsequently attacked by a Walker, and dies, to honor his memory the group agrees to let Randall go. They’ll drive him off and leave him somewhere far, far from the farm. Shane, sensing this is a bad idea, leads Randall into the woods and snaps his neck. Unfortunately, despite not having been bitten or scratched by a Walker, Randall turns.

Rick confronts Shane. He knows Shane plans to murder him. The truth is, Rick knows that Shane is out of control. Going insane. And in turn, that he must kill Shane. A knife to the chest does the trick and Shane dies. Sort of . . .

When Rick turns and see his son, Carl, witnessed Shane’s murder—like Randall, without having been bitten or scratched by a Walker, Shane turns—he is stunned to find Carl pointing a gun at him. When Carl fires the gun, it is not Rick who is shot. It’s Shane. A bullet to the head.

The gunfire attracts the Walkers in the area. The farm is surrounded. The group scrambles to get away. Some are killed. Andrea is left behind. Most reunite on the main road

Rick is forced to tell the group two things. The guy at the CDC confided in him before the place exploded that EVERYONE has the Walker virus. When you die (of “natural” causes), you will turn into a Walker. No way around it. And two, this is no longer a democracy. He’s in charge. Like it, or not.
Andrea, alone in the woods, is almost taken down. She is saved when a woman/ninja with two armless Walkers chained-in-tow, save her life … Freaking awesome!
As the Season ends – the camera pulls back and reveals not far from the group is a giant prison … Is it possible that Randall’s group of violent men are using the prison as their sanctuary? Is it probable that Rick’s group will seek refuge at the prison? I think, yes . . .

As always, take care and best wishes!

Phillip Tomasso

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Think Outside the Box: Death to the Introvert

Writing is solitary. You do it alone. You generate characters, worlds, and stories from your imagination. It’s creative. You are considered an artist. It’s a pretty good feeling. I love it, the writing process. I treat it like brushing my teeth. Stick to a routine. You get yourself into a habit of writing, and it becomes second nature. Mornings work well for me. Make my coffee. Turn on my laptop. Pop buds in my ears. Put on Pandora. And begin.

However, writing is only one hat an author can wear. It’s not like decades ago. Writers wrote. Publishers not only published, they handled marketing, advertising and public relations. Budgets existed. Those days are gone. Wouldn’t make sense to hold your breath. I believe now that most publishers pushed marketing, advertising and public relations off their plate and onto the laps of writers, there is little chance they will ever take on that responsibility again. But that’s just me. You want to cross your fingers, cross ‘em. Holding your breath, that just seems risky.

I’ve always said, “Writer’s write because they love to tell stories, while getting published is icing on the cake.” Now that a book has been published (which is no easy feat), the hard part begins. Generating sales. Sales are important for one main reason. And that reason has nothing to do with making millions of dollars. In fact, if you write because you think you are going to make millions – you might as well go back to holding your breath.

I’ve done hundreds of book signings. For the release of each novel, I tend to schedule anywhere from ten to fifty signings a year. At each signing, I may sell anywhere from zero to forty copies. Many days I sat at a table and stared at my pen, or directed customers to the calendar aisle and restrooms. It’s a tough, but necessary gig. Below I am going to elaborate on six (6) ways to market and advertise your novel in a non-obnoxious way:

Book Signings. Book signings with chain AND independent book stores in your area and surrounding counties. Generally, give yourself an 80-90 mile radius. Gas is expensive, but the exposure is convenient. Once the signing is booked, create several 8x11 flyers advertising the book/date/time of the event, and send them directly to the bookstore to be hung for a month prior to your event.

Print/Web Notifies. Once you have several book signing events booked, generate a press release that contains the book’s info, a synopsis, and your contact information. Send it to big and small newspapers in the areas of the stores you will be visiting. See if you can obtain an actual contact, and “force” an interview, or blurb to be included in an edition near or on the day of your event. Be sure to also check those newspaper websites, many have a Calendar of Events page. And many will let you list your event, free. (Key word there, free).

Radio. Same as Number 2 – but contact ANY and all radio stations. Do not shy away from college stations. They are often very receptive to author interviews.

Sample Chapters. Take your 1st two chapters, the book’s back cover synopsis, order information and your bio/website and make a two to three page booklet (folded over 8x11—with a saddle stitch – or two staples at the center). Then what do you do with these booklets? No. That is so not the question. The question is, what DON’T you do with these booklets! Leave them at doctor/dentist office waiting rooms, airplane seat pockets, thumb tacked on cork boards – I don’t know, be creative. I’m just giving you tips. Not doing your marketing/advertising for you :-)

Target Audience. My most recent novel is a vampire story. In my area there is a giant walk-thru haunted mansion. Runs from September to the end of October. I am working to coordinate a book signing, or several signings at his location in an empty warehouse. My target audience is the crazy people willing to pay money to get the heck scared out of them. I also have a novel coming out about a Little League Baseball player. Come the spring, I will be trying to schedule events at the Double A ball park, and have copies of the book sold at Little League concession stands.

Social Media/Twitter/Blogging. I am going to guess I don’t need to explain too much here. However, if using Facebook, be sure to set up a separate author page from your main, personal account. Invite people to “Like” that author page. This ensures you don’t annoy family and friends with endless posts begging people to buy your book. (I still bug them. I don’t care. Want to delete me, feel free). Make sure you link your FB/Twitter/Blog accounts, so that when you write a new blog, it is automatically pulled and posted onto your other accounts.

I will be writing more on obtaining reviews, endorsements, and speaking engagements. 

As always, take care and best wishes!

Phillip Tomasso

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

To Be Thankful

While this blog has been used to rant, to promote, and to otherwise ramble, today I would like to write about being thankful.

I've been up since 3:00 AM. Unable to sleep, I watched TV. I played on the computer. I bought a new coffee pot. I wrote. I worked at submitting a short story to a number of magazines. And I contemplated ...

You will oftentimes hear people say, "Life is funny."

They don't mean funny, ha-ha. Generally, they mean, ironic. Sad. Mean. Evil. Yet, they express this by calling it, "funny."

Having failed out of college back in 1989, trying my luck then at community college and getting close to no where, I was able to land a job at Kodak. That job allowed me the comfort of getting married and raising a family.

Then life got funny.

After 19 years with the same woman, 15 married, I suddenly found myself divorced. Not living home with my three amazing kids. This was in 2007.

But the funny doesn't stop there. It gets down-right hysterical.

After 19 years with Kodak, I was let go. Down-sized. Unemployed. I had to give up the studio apartment I lived in, and move back home with my parents.

Yeah. Had to give up a studio. Doesn't that just have you in stitches?

Hard to feel thankful. Harder still not to just feel constantly depressed. Like giving up. Giving in.

In 1995, I had my first short story published. From there, I've gone on to sell nearly 100 short-stories and articles. I penned 9 novels. Two of them won small-time awards.

I did newspaper, magazine, radio and television interviews. I held book signings at over 100 bookstores throughout New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Indiana. I've been flown first class, had limo drivers, and been treated like a celebrity.

For nearly three years I've been working for the city as a Fire/EMS dispatcher at 911. It's a good, steady job. We're growing. Not shrinking. There is stability with the position. And I am thankful.

My newest novel, PULSE OF EVIL, was just released. It is my ninth. And I am thankful.

But a job, a writing career -- thankful as I am -- are nothing compared to my kids. My family.

Three kids. Teens. All of them.

I am thankful for them. For their health. That they are in my life -- that they want me in theirs. That we are close. That we hug and kiss hello, and goodbye. That we laugh, and talk, and share. That we text and call and see each other often.

I am thankful for my entire family. For parents that are supportive and always there when needed. For brothers and a sister who would do anything for me, and for whom I would do the same. I am thankful.

Life is far from funny. It is unfair and dark at times. It is stormy and violent. Depressing and despairing.

It is important ... no, no ... vital -- it is vital to see the good, to find the worthwhile, to value the relationships that we have.

They can end at any moment.

Be taken from you. Stolen. Stripped and shredded.

It is vital to love. To move forward. To forgive, and forget.

To let go...

It is vital to remember why you are important to someone else -- just as "they" need to know how they are important to you.

There is a purpose behind this blog. A driving cause. It's crippling for me to think about it. And at this time, it is not necessary for me to explain the background. The words above are true. Harsh. Bitter-sounding, but true.

I may hate where I am. Forty-two, divorced, living in an apartment a few miles from my children (yes, I was able to move out of my parents' house after a while and get back up on my own feet -- for which I am thankful).

I don't sugarcoat things. I smile. I always try to smile. I don't say stupid shit like, "There is always a silver lining." That's bullshit. Not true.

But there is always hope.

Hope, and reasons to be thankful ... thankful for something.

Search your own hearts. Find the things you are thankful for -- and make sure your feelings are known. Make sure. Don't let regrets fill the space inside your heart.

. . . thank you for letting me get this out.


Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale

Other titles for sale for Kindle

Other titles for sale for Nook

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

White Noise Nightmares

Working the graveyard shift as a Fire/EMS Dispatcher at 9-1-1, sleep sometimes eludes me. As tired as I might be while at work, once I leave—walk out the doors to the parking lot—I am immediately hit with a second wind. At first I used to blame the job. High stress. All wound up from work. The tons of coffee and Mountain Dew consumed to keep from falling asleep on the job.

It could be a combination. I’m not sure. I’m no doctor. I’ve tried different things to help me sleep once home. Eating a meal. Watching a movie. Having a beer. Nyquil. I usually sleep, or try to sleep, with the television on. It’s my white noise.

Oftentimes I put on Nickelodeon. Leave on Spongebob, or Disney’s Phineas & Ferb. I have to use my channel guide to make sure it’s a running marathon. That the show is on long enough for me to fall asleep to, and then some. Lately, I’ve been falling asleep to programs on channels like History, or Discovery, Science, or Animal … What I’ve found is, the droning monotone voice of the narrator is hypnotic and soothing.

Unfortunately, the programs themselves are disturbing at times to the subconscious.

Sharks Attacking, Aliens Invading, Civil War Bloodshed, Venomous Snakes, Stalking Spiders, Big Booms, Life on Mars, Hitler’s Conquests, Devastating Hurricanes, Destructive Tornadoes, Still-at-large Murderers, Haunted Homes, Meandering Ghosts and Earth-crippling Sun Flares fill my dreams. Regardless of the catastrophic events portrayed, it is still the monotone voice that does it for me. It is that nearly identical voice in every show that allows the sandman to visit.

The nightmares that ensue is another story altogether.

Nothing worse than having someone say to you, “Oh, man, I had the weirdest dream last night,” and then proceed to tell you a long, boring rendition of what they dreamed. I will spare you. Based on the above paragraph, it won’t take much imagination to figure out what nightmares taunted my dreams.

Like most people, after I wake up, rarely can I recall an entire dream in vivid detail. Bits and fragments float here and there. I’ll do my best to splice it together, try and recount some form of uniformity, or am forced to make up parts, or embellish—as people will do—if only to keep some sort of flow flowing or in an attempt to hold a listener’s attention.

The thing is, when I explain to people what happens, that my sleep is plagued with unspeakable horrors, they all tend to say the same thing. “Fall asleep with a different channel on.”

As a writer, though I may not recall the dream in its entirety, I am confident my subconscious pulls on the scattered fragments to incorporate in the tales I tell. Relatively, confident, anyway.

I tried the old, sleep-with-a-notebook-by-the-bed-and-write-down-my-dreams-in-a-journal-thing. Didn’t work well. Once up for the day, I’d re-read what I’d written. Talk about lack of lucidity. I kept at it for a few months. Not religiously, but regular. At the end of the few months, I realized I’d wasted a journal, and had pages and pages of unusable material. Not fruitful at all . . . Ho-hum.

The most frequent question asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?”

The answer is not simple. Not black and white. Not cut and dry. Life is my automatic response. People who know me, who have read my books, believe this answer to be obvious. Characters depict my dry sense of humor, or lack-thereof. And while all characters are fictional, and absolutely never based on real people – sometimes glimpses of so-and-so or what’s-his-name can be inferred???

Although I am not able to point at or refer to a specific dream, I do know that nightmares influence my writing. Since I’ve tapped into the current channels I watch while falling asleep, I can absolutely insist that my writing has become more obscure and unique.

The point of this blog? Just that I enjoy nightmares. Sometimes look forward to them. How weird is that statement? A bit bizarre, I suppose. True, though. Very true.

Take care,

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale (Just click on the book cover)

Other titles for sale for Kindle

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Monday, August 13, 2012

Evelyn Cullet Interviews Phillip Tomasso

Hello Phillip. It was nice of you to grant me this interview for your novel’s upcoming August release date.

1. Pulse of Evil is an interesting title. How did you come up with it?

It’s a vampire novel. Unique—if I do say so myself. In the story, the Pope has a team of priests and nuns that sole responsibility is to hunt down and kill vampires. So it is important for the Vatican to keep a … pulse on evil.

2. Tell us about your novel.

I tried to play with the stereotypes of vampires some. And of course, keep a love-story at the center. In Pulse of Evil, the main character is involved with a woman. He does not realize she is a vampire. When they get into a car accident, he is mortally wounded. She saves his life by trying to turn him. However, the turn is not complete until a first kill is made—or until human blood is ingested. My main character fights this transition, despite growing weaker and weaker. Ultimately, he is on the run. The woman’s family has to either get him to change, exterminate him, since he knows too much. Taking some refuge in a church, the main character confesses all to a priest – who in turn, contacts the Vatican.

3. Where did you get the idea for this story?

Long before Twilight, >wink wink<, I have been fascinated by vampire stories. Have read most novels out there. And have written a few manuscripts in my time. None good enough to move forward with until, Pulse of Evil. The actual idea – I dreamt it. Of being in a psych-ward, hiding from vampires. Was quite the nightmare!

4. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

This list will not surprise many. However, I grew up with a reading disability. Did all I could to never read. Wasn’t until 7th grade that I actually read my first novel. It was an assignment. It was S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. Read it cover to cover. Went on to read, Rumble Fish, That Was Then This Is Now and Tex. Once I finished with those, I was hooked. Never before realizing that books could actually be better than TV, I began to devour every novel by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and John Saul. I still prefer to read horror, but my list of favorite reads expands regularly, if not daily.

5. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Oh, I think I put a lot of real life into every story I write. A lot of “me” can be found in a little of each character. My dry sense of humor, my outlooks, my fears … Yes. To call each novel a snap-shot of autobiographical-fiction would not be far from the truth.

6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

While my first short story was published in 1984, and I have since sold more than 100 short stories, 9 novels and 2 middle grade books – the criticism has spanned the spectrum. However, some of the best things I’ve learned are, fiction still needs to be factual. Keep sentences short and simple. Dialogue needs to be crisp—so read your scenes out loud to test it for authenticity. There’s more. Always more. These three stand out most.

7.  How have your personal experiences affected your writing?

In 2007 my wife and I separated after 15 years of marriage. Worst thing to ever happen in my life. My work, since, has become more gritty. A bit darker. Unfortunately, I like it. The awfulness of divorce has improved my writing. Tough to admit. But true. Some silver lining, huh?

8. How did you choose the genre you write in?

I have tried reading literary works. Classics. I just don’t enjoy them. I need something that … happens. Page one. Intensity. Something that drives me to keep turning pages. Time is of the essence. That kind of thing. I remember reading Cannery Row. I thought, when I finished, am I missing chapters here? Nothing happened. I am not putting down Steinbeck. Just saying. So I prefer to write fiction that is similar to what I like to read. Suspense. Thrillers. Horror.

9. What project are you working on now?

I have two books previously released (Tenth House, Third Ring) that feature a private investigator who’s client’s and cases teeter on the edge of supernatural. I am working on the third in this series that I call, First Fragments. And I am also turning a recently published short story, “Vaccination,” into a novel – and deals with zombies. Love zombies nearly as much as vampires. And with The Walking Dead’s huge success, I have high hopes for this manuscript.

10.  Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?

I love email from people who have read my work. As I’ve stated, I have 9 published novels out there. If you are in a hurry to see what I’ve written while waiting for Pulse of Evil to be released, please Google my work. I like to tell people, I am very Google-able! Thank you for taking the time to interview me. I’ve enjoyed the questions very much!

No Idea Why This Blog Looks So Funny. Best I Can Say Is...Sorry :)

Take care,

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale (Just click on the book cover)

Other titles for sale for Kindle

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Been There (Still Haven't) Done That

Back in 2001, an independent film company optioned the movie rights to my novel TENTH HOUSE. The back cover blurb reads:

"Private Investigator, Nicholas Tartaglia, is hired to stop a satanic cult before they sacrifice another victim. Amidst a mysterious web of deception and conspiracy, Tartaglia's investigations has him chasing a shadowy, elusive figure -- the cult's high priest. The search for answers turns into an urgent race against time when it becomes clear who the next victim to be sacrificed will be. Tartaglia must save the chosen one before the demented cult leader and his followers hold their next ceremony."

Lynda Carter was looking at the lead female role for the film. The scrtipt was started. And then, just when it looked like the ball was really, really going to get rolling, it died. The project stopped. The film company went under.

The cool thing was the fact that I'd made it that far. Not too many authors can say their novel was almost turned into a movie.

Here I am again. Same place. Hoping this time it will actually happen.

A film company is looking at the possibility of turning my novel JOHNNY BLADE into a movie!

It's a bit more gritty and hardcore of a story.

The back cover blurb reads:

"When a whoring, violent drunk loses everything--his job, his wife, his kids and his home--he quickly becomes enraged, and vengeful. He focuses his energy on killing prostitutes. When a college graduate winds up with a job on the city’s newspaper writing obituaries, it does not take much for him to spot opportunity. Taking a part-time job as a cook at a diner where the victimized hookers hung out, the journalist gets close to those closest to the murders. The journalist falls in love with one of the prostitutes, turning his world upside-down. When Johnny Blade takes this particular streetwalker for a ride, it is up to the journalist to save her life."

At this point, it's just talking.

The film company has the info on the book. A working script has already been written by my good, and talented friend Greg Palmer. They have that, too.

The company claims they want to make a go of this project. So while my fingers are crossed, I am apprehensive about holding my breath, just yet.

People never believe me when I say writing isn't about the money. Of course I'd love to do this full time. Love to leave my job and stay in a bathrobe all day writing. Who wouldn't? (Maybe someone who doesn't own a bathrobe?)

It isn't about the money.

I am a storyteller. A writer. Dare I say, an artist?

What matters most to me is creating, and then sharing that creation.

Regardless of a movie deal or not; of hitting the best seller list or not; of having to work a full time job or not ... I write because I love it. Getting published is icing on the cake.

Getting paid, or landing a movie deal ... well, my firends, that's getting to eat my cake, too!

Know what I say? Don't wait for the movie. If you haven't read JOHNNY BLADE (which, by the way, won a Bloody Daggar Award in 2002) -- read it now! Love to know who you "picture" as actors for parts in the film!

Take care,

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale (Just click on the book cover)

Other titles for sale for Kindle

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Fourth D

Writing is a solitary experience. It is like most anything else. It's about what I call the 3-D's: Discipline, Dedication and Drive. You have to want it, yes. But you actually have to work at it. A writing routine is important. Getting into a routine is key. I sometimes suffer there. I have the time. There is a fourth D. It' can be a killer to a writer. A downer. (No, Downer is not the fourth D).

Distraction. That's it. The Fourth D. Distraction.

Remember the song, Video Killed the Radio Star?

Facebook and other social networks killed the writer.

I remember back when I wrote on a typewriter. There was no internet. I mean, there might have been. People didn't have home computers. Facebook wasn't alive. Breathing. Twitter was more of a sound-effect. Birds flapping wings.

I wrote my first horror novel on a typewriter. The Party House. A slasher story. Took place in a ... well, yes, a party house. I was a fourteen year old busboy at the time. It was all I knew. It's what I wrote about. And I wrote about it without distractions.

Back in 2000, my first novel was published. Mind Play. A psychological thriller. I was then on target. Released a new book every year for seven years. Life got in the way. It has been a while since I've had a new book come out. That is until now.

Pulse Of Evil was recently released. It's in E-book and Paperback format. I have three other manuscripts started, and a young adult novel still under consideration by a different publisher.

It is the three started manuscripts that bother me. They, in and of themselves, are now a distraction. I know why. It's like being so hungry at a restaraunt, that you can't decide what to order. Too much selection. That is a distraction. Especially when you think it all sounds so yummy.

I know what I need to do. Of course I do. It's like wanting to lose weight. You know what you have to do to drop pounds. Meal portions, exercise and lots of water. It's simple. But people would rather spend money to meet goals. Weight Watchers, and diet-fads, buy books and videos on how-to. Those are not needed. They are frivolous at best. Meal portions, exercise and lots of water. Quite simple.

What I need to do is pick one tale.


And finish it. Slave away at it. And get it done.

It's not like the other stories vanish if I concentrate on just one. They won't. They'll still be there. Waiting for my attention.

The tough part, though, is picking which one deserves my utmost dedication.

While writing this, I have narrowed the choices down to two. Hopefully by the time I hit "publish" I will have selected which manuscript I will choose and vigorously move forward...

Hmmm. I think I know.

In the mean time, while I get back to writing -- because, yep, you guessed it, blogging is not much different than Facebook, and Twitter, and YouTube, and the Internet -- it's part of the Fourth D. Blogging, although necessary, is a distraction from my actual writing -- why don't you check out some of the links below!

Look at the time. Way behind schedule. Got to run!

Phillip Tomasso

Pulse of Evil Book Trailer

Pulse of Evil For Sale (Just click on the book cover)

Other titles for sale for Kindle

The Molech Prophecy for sale on Nook/Paperback -- writing as Thomas Phillips

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Pulse of Evil (PROLOGUE)

“Bless me Father, for I have sinned.” The dark confines of the confessional room felt like a coffin.

“And how long has it been since your last confession?” the priest asked, his features and voice obscured behind a mesh screen.

“Years? I don’t know. Since high school,” I said.

Silence. My hands wrestled with each other in my lap. I shivered, suddenly cold. Squeezing my eyes shut did nothing to ease the pain that throbbed inside my skull.

“What are your confessions?” he asked. The monotone voice masked boredom or interest. Such a simple question. If I wanted forgiveness,redemption, salvation all I had to do was list the things I’d done wrong since my last confession.

More silence.

This time, it was up to me to break it. I brushed one hand though my hair, and pushed my bangs to the side so I could see. Seemed pointless. There was no light, just the smell of wood polish and the sound of the priest breathing evenly on the opposite side of the wall that separated us.

“This isn’t easy,” I said. My bottom lip rolled into my mouth. I bit down.

“Admitting sins committed rarely is.”

It felt like my heart had left my chest and was now fighting for space alongside my brain—beating, beating, beating. I dropped my elbows to my knees as I bent forward, my hands clasped together, extended out in front of me. “Father,” I said, or thought, I can’t be sure.The silence that surrounded me, seemed to pulse—throb—in my ears, in counterpoint with the beating of my heart. The tempo wracking its way through the inside of my head was draining and intensified. “Father, I witnessed a murder. Two. And I did nothing to help,” I said.

I wasn’t ready for tears. It seemed I had no choice. As they fell, I allowed them, refusing to wipethem away. “I didn’t try to stop it. I didn’t call the police. I didn’t do a thing!”

Did I hear the priest suck in air?

This had to be sodifferent from what he was used to hearing people confess. Bad words. Bad thoughts. Not informing a clerk you’d received back too much change at the check out.

“How far away from the murders were you?”

In the middle of them. “Close. Too close.”

“Does anyone else know that you witnessed these murders?”

“The killers. They know I was there.”

Wings ePress Books
Copyright © 2012 by Phillip Tomasso III
ISBN 978-1-61309-084-8

--Be sure to check out my previous novels available for KINDLE!