Friday, December 6, 2013

A Season Without Rain By Joe Schwartz

Title: A Season Without Rain
Author: Joe Schwartz
Genre: Fiction
Length: 348 pages
Release Date: November 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1493513390
Imprint: GMTA Publishing

Available: Amazon, Barnes and Noble 
Book Description
Jacob Miller is angry with himself, the world, and God. Life seems so unfair, so cruel, that he can’t imagine why anyone even tries. After having a nervous breakdown, selling his business, filing for bankruptcy, having a baby, and finding out he owes over twenty grand in taxes, he is hardly happy to be alive.
In the span of a year, Jacob will discover three very important things about life. Things can always be worse. There really is a God. And if you wait long enough anything can change.
A Season Without Rain explores that gray area between poverty and middle class life, the struggling underclass for whom there are no advocates. A powerful story told in a modern, everyday voice that will entrench readers in Jacob Miller’s black world of anger, hate, resentment, lies, and violence.
A Season Without Rain is Joe Schwartz’s first novel. His previous short story collections Joe’s Black T-Shirt, The Games Men Play, and The Veiled Prophet of St. Louis have been acclaimed vulgar as Bukowski and visceral as Carver. Joe lives and works in St. Louis happily writing stories exclusively about the Gateway City.

About the Author:
Joe Schwartz
A St. Louis native, I write exclusively about the Gateway City. I prefer the style of fiction deemed transgressive fiction. That is my stories protagonists generally find a solution to their problems through either illicit or illegal means. I personally prefer stories told through a criminal's point-of-view. It is never the crime that fascinates me so much as the motivation to do it and the terrible, almost predictable outcomes to such actions. Just as I have an expectation of writing to be read I believe that it is as important, if not more so, that you as a reader should have the expectation of being entertained as you read. Anything less is such a disappointment.
Life is short. Stories are forever. – Joe
Links to buy the novel:
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A Season without Rain's Tour Dates

Wednesday the 4th of December: Crossroad Reviews  A spotlight with Jessica

Friday the 6th December: Paperback Hero Aaron  Spotlight and Guest post with Aaron

Tuesday the 10th December: The One Saga  Spotlight and Interview with Matthew

Wednesday 11th December Donna Spotlight with Donna

Thursday the 12th December: Adrienne Woods Review and spotlight with Adrienne

Tuesday the 17th December:  Indie Author: How To Spotlight and Excerpt with Kisha

Thursday 19th December: Have You Heard Book Review Spotlight and Guest post with Melanie

Tuesday the 24th December: From the Land of Empyrean Spotlight and Guest Post with Mark

Thursday the 26st December: The Dragonian Series Spotlight with Adrienne

Tuesday the 31st December: Fantasy Ultimate  Spotlight and Guest post with Grace 


Guest Post  

Quit Thinking & Start Writing


Joe Schwartz

I have known several writers who suffer from the imaginary disease ‘writers block.’ This crippling condition is caused by a lack of experience. So many new writers have been writing one story for so long that when they finally finish it they have a hell of a time writing anything new. It’s no wonder that each book sounds like any other they have written and that their audience eventually stalls out at a certain point as readers will not tolerate a boring, repetitive storyteller. Or they have written so few stories that they have no idea what to do when the story falls apart. Then again, some people are so terrified of failure that they are doomed before they finish their first sentence. This is not to say I haven’t had my share of frustrated days and nights wrestling with a story. The thing is I’ve been there enough, had my faith shattered and restored more times than I can count, any fear I may have once harbored has been utterly shattered. Just as the marathon runner must train continually learning to run longer and longer distances, the seasoned writer must put inhibitions aside and write until the good stuff comes.

Of course, to get from here to there, I know of only two ways. The first, most important, absolutely mandate path is education. What I’m talking about, though, doesn’t necessarily happen in a classroom. The best place to learn anything yet require serious motivation is a public library. Although the shelves are flooded with information, it is truly a seek and ye shall find environment. The good news is if you want to write then you should surely be a good reader already. That helps.

My two best recommendations to help the serious writer both feature Christopher Vogler. He and Michael Hauge made a terrific video called The Hero’s 2 Journeys that is an excellent starting point for anyone. In twelve plain steps they explain exactly how to tell a story and couldn’t be more right. Alone, Vogler has written the bible for masters and novices alike, The Writer’s Journey. But it’s not like he invented these ideas. Joseph Campbell said all these things and more in The Hero with a Thousand Faces from which Vogler readily acknowledges learning all he knows. The thing he did that Campbell could not was make extraordinary, complex ideas easy to understand. Make no mistake; it still takes a massive effort to get good at it and that brings me to my second point. There are no short cuts. Even if you are the reincarnated spirit of Hemingway come back to Earth, you need to write often if you expect to get any good at this. The biggest shock to anybody gets when they first sit down to write is that it’s hard. People often ask me, how long does it take to write a book? I usually answer about a year, but what I rather tell them is that it is somewhere around three-four hundred hours of writing, re-writing, re-reading , re-writing, and not to mention thinking about writing. Still I am not dissuaded by this fact that no matter how good I think my work is it can always be better.

Eventually, inevitably you must let it go. Publish and let the chips fall where they may or shove it in a drawer, forget about it and write something new. Either choice is damn hard to accept. On the one hand you have worked your guts out on a project and now it is up to the world to find it or you have come to the conclusion what you have written isn’t fit for the light of day. That’s okay, though, because the next great idea for an incredible, epic story just appeared in your mind and now all you have to do now is quit thinking and start writing. Who knows, you may write the next Great Gatsby or Catcher in the Rye. There’s only one way to find out.

A Season Without Rain is now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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