Saturday, July 04, 2015

Guest Post by Keith Hunter

As writer/entrepreneur, Joe Konrath, stated in a recent posting, Amazon's Kindle Worlds allows writers to create stories in another author's world. I was one of a handful of writers fortunate enough to be invited to submit a story for the opening of Konrath’s World. A summary of my tale can be found at the end of this post. First, though, I would like to discuss a much larger issue that could greatly benefit readers and writers alike.

Joe is serious about his craft and incredibly generous to those of us willing to learn from his experiences. For years he's passed on knowledge gleaned from being traditionally published and later from his success as an indie author. Over the years, he's learned, grown, and rapidly adapted as e-books became a disruptive technology and turned legacy publishing on its head.

 When e-books first became available there were cries of, “I'll give you my dead tree book when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!” Joe knew that change is scary and, through his blog, patiently explained how events would eventually play out in the brave new world of the digital marketplace. His opinions elicited  hostile responses. I believe he's ready to move on to the next level toward his ultimate goal, which he's touched on before – world domination.

Those who follow the news regularly are aware that leaders from around the globe are becoming more vocal about establishing a world currency, something I believe will become a reality one day. And with a single currency, it's only a matter of time before all nations are united under one leader. If this should come to pass, why not be proactive and choose a benevolent dictator – someone like Joe.

Every potential leader needs a platform, and since Joe's a forward thinker, I don't believe the current system of getting elected as a senator or governor of Illinois, then toiling away at being elected President of the United States would work for him. My understanding is that he's a Libertarian and by the look and feel of the citizenry, the country isn’t ready to embrace a third party political candidate.

Joe's way will more than likely involve becoming President of the United Nations Security Council and rule from there as Secretary-General. The exact steps necessary to achieve this will be released at a future date. Today, your help is needed to plant the seeds for a grassroots movement. In addition, he needs time to decide on a new name for the U.N. Security Council. Something cool, like Guardians of the Galaxy (this particular name is currently controlled by Marvel Comics, but Joe's laying the groundwork to update current copyright laws or at least get a good licensing deal).

“Okay Keith,” some of you may be thinking. “I'm in. How can I help?” For starters, you can buy as many of Joe's books as possible. After familiarizing yourself with the Jack Daniels and Associates stories, you can write your own and post them on Kindle Worlds. Be sure to follow the guidelines and after they go live, tell as many people as possible via word-of-mouth and social media. Once world domination has been achieved, Joe will reward those who helped him along the way with cool stuff to be named later. Think of this as a Konrath Kickstarter campaign.

My own modest contribution starts with a short story entitled “The Last Taboo.” The description is as follows:

Army Investigator, Alan Johnson, has been called on to look into the disappearance of 25-year-old Ian Harris. Ian's father is contemplating a Senate bid and wants his son found, but without fanfare or the attention of the local media. Yet, what seems like a simple case soon turns menacing. Meanwhile, a Chicago psychopath has arrived in Austin, TX, to indulge in a macabre hobby and practice for a trial run of something much larger in scope in the near future. Several off-the-grid people have already disappeared and none of his victims will ever be the same. The Last Taboo is a 7,000 word Fangora-ish short story (about 23 pages long). Those who've read Konrath's Bloody Mary will better understand the ending.

In addition, I also have several short stories published under secret pen names you may enjoy (shhh - please don't tell anyone who actually wrote them since it's, you know, a secret). Purchases will count towards your overall placement in the New World Order. Or get you a guest spot on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, whichever you prefer.

Dead Corpse - Dallas Worth, aka Stanley Bupkis, has become the second convict mistakenly released by the Nevada Department of Corrections for the year. Wishing to lay low before fleeing the state and in need of cash, he agrees to look into a matter for a woman involving the death of her husband. Before it's all over, he'll cross paths with an individual who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame – including turning Dallas into his next victim.

Carl Hiaasen has been quoted as stating that his stories are populated with slightly altered true tales from Florida since truth is indeed stranger than fiction. In that vein, Dead Corpse is a 20,000-word thinly-disguised narrative of several real-life events that were widely reported on during the wild, free-wheeling, anything goes ’90s decade in Clark County where the author once lived.

Zombie Cat - Burrtail used to have plenty to eat, a comfortable place to sleep, and a family that loved him. But everything has changed and the young feline is now hungry, alone and confused. His family disappeared days ago and he's not sure what to do.

He sets off seeking help from a friend, a smart and feisty she-cat who lives nearby, to get things sorted out and make sense of the strange and mysterious changes that have occurred. Not everyone he encounters during his quest is helpful, however, including a self-appointed leader bent on imposing his will on others.

Zombie Cat is a sad and scary story about felines, the undead, and abandonment. It's also a tale about faith, hope, and healing.


That's it for now. I'm currently working on Konrath's inauguration theme party which will include zombies, scantily-clad women, and high quality beer. After that, I'm back to finishing up my low-budget horror script I hope to make into a full-blown movie in time for the World Domination after-party (no zombies, but it does have a really cool demon. Almost as cool as Bub from Origin. Shh – another secret).

As others before me have said – It's a great time to be a writer.

Joe sez: Thanks, Keith. However, my plans for world domination don't involved actually ruling. That seems like a lot of work. But in the US I do want to legalize drugs, gambling, and prostitution, pass the Equal Rights Amendment, make income tax into a flat tax, yes to universal healthcare, go back to isolationism except when the UN votes for our military intervention, yes to gay marriage, yes to abortion rights, no to torture, tax churches, yes to guns, yes to smaller government, yes to personal privacy, cut military spending, increase education spending, stop the war on terror, reform welfare, yes to net neutrality, yes to stem cell research, and open the boarders and grant every alien citizenship if they pass the USCIS test. 

Did I miss any hot button issues? 


John Ellsworth said...

I like everything except opening the borders to a flat tax.

Unknown said...

Wouldn't it be great if the borders did come down. Unfortunately the hot button issue is that only writers who live in the USA can participate in the Kindle Worlds program. How does this make sense when KDP is a global program??

Walter Knight said...

No one from Illinois should be allowed to hold political office.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Congrats on The Last Taboo, Keith!

And I'm only voting for Joe IF he makes me his Chief of Staff. :)

Keith said...

Thanks, Ann. The story was fun to write, and I already had a pre-made villain. :)

As for you becoming Chief of Staff, that could be arranged. Though Joe's fully up to the job, he's going to need someone to help keep things running smoothly since he tends to take on too much at once. I think you may be up to the task. Next, we'll see if Barry Eisler would be willing to take on the role of chief legal counsel.

Tracy Sharp - Author of the Leah Ryan Series said...

Congrats, Keith! I'll be the Court Jester!

Keith said...

Tracy. Done.

Double bonus points if you can do routines like Kathleen Madigan. New material is preferable, but a solid imitation would suffice.

This World Domination thing is falling right into place. After a few more key positions are filled, I think we can get this party started.

Someone needs to get in contact with Hugh Howey, though. I don't know if he's interested in joining us, but I understand he's into sailing on really nice ships. Personally, I'm big on the boats/bars/beaches thing. Plus, international waters would be a great place to have meetings.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Whoever controls the implimentation of policy REALLY controls the power. As Chief of Staff, I can correct all the points where Joe is wrong. :)

But wait, Keith, since Joe will be making up all laws, we don't need legal counsel. However Barry is well suited to head up the Ministry of Truth (propaganda) and the Ministry of Love (torture and brainwashing).

Hey, once you have power, you gotta do what you must to keep it!

Keith said...

Ann, agreed on the implementation policy thing – the power behind the throne and all that. I don't think that Joe will go wrong on much though, as it's my understanding that his wife, Maria, is his filter-slash-first line of defense.

As for the Ministry of Love, I don't think that will work since Joe stated he's against torture. Though I'll admit I don't agree a hundred percent with everything he stands for, I do align myself with him here as torture comes in many forms. As an example, I have a daughter who's a budding artist and, until recently, used to be the sweetest child in the world (really). She turned 13 late last year and recently said, “Why were you looking at my drawings online? You violated my privacy.”

After picking my jaw up off the ground I replied, “Sweety, the Internet is available to, oh let's see, everyone around the world who has a computer device and access to the web.” Her response was a frown and a deep sigh.

When I pointed out she used to hand me her drawings and eagerly ask me what I thought of them, I was treated to another deep sigh, followed by eye rolling and mutterings of, “You just don't understand.”

Me? It's me who doesn't understand? Seriously!? No, it's just that you don't...wait a minute, I'm your father and...I have an advanced degree while you're barely...STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES AND LISTEN TO ME YOUNG LADY!

Bottom line: Torture's out.

And yes, Ann. Once you have the power, you must do whatever it takes to keep it. Totally on board with you there. Especially when it comes to children.

Hope you and everyone else out there had a great holiday weekend.


Congrats Keith! I hope all goes well for the party and the books!!!

Keith said...

Thanks Bryan. I'm following Joe's advice and employing more right brain/creative/having fun with my writing instead of trying to read the tea leaves and figuring out what the next big thing in the world of publishing will be. Dean Wesley Smith's blog has been helpful as well in reminding me of why I started writing in the first place.


Yeah I try never to read tea leaved (LOL). I write for the fun of it, ( and the money). Best!