Thursday, February 17, 2011

Upcoming "Blue Car Racer" novel summary!!

It's 1993 and Colin Dirk is a quiet, lonely boy who clings tightly to two possessions: an over-sized hunter's cap and a blue Hot Wheels race car.

After living through the pain and trauma of his father's death in the Gulf War, Colin doesn't seem eager to grow up and face adolescence with the same enthusiasm as his peers, a problem which worries his mother. Being bullied at school by Aaron Kinkirk only makes matters worse; that is until Colin meets Eric, a former friend of Aaron's who has begun to stick up for him.

Eric offers to help Colin break out of his shell, but he also has many secrets for which Colin may be unprepared to deal with.When the two go exploring in the woods one day, an unfortunate accident sets off a chain of events which threatens to destroy both of their lives as well as Aaron's.

Loyalty will be tested. Truth leads to anger and resentment. And the darkest of secrets, when laid bare, will change everything about the race.

On the roads of life, some go fast and some go slow...but at the intersection of choice, we must all face our destiny before we can ever hope to move on.

First of all, I can't wait to tell you how excited I am to get this story out. I consider it a young adult novel, though some of the subject matter is a bit heavier for the genre, I think it fits and teens wouldn't have a problem reading it. There's some language and mild violence, and a brief kiss scene between two boys.

First and foremost, this is a coming-of-age suspense story about truly growing up, and I've made it as realistic as possible without censoring any language or insults. Some of the situations are a bit intense. I'll be editing it over the next few weeks and I hope to have it up on Kindle within the next month or so, so bear with me as I make the finishing touches. But while you're waiting, you can read the first 9 chapters for free HERE.

Enjoy!! =) As always, feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

My thoughts on writing/self-publishing

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An Introduction =)

Greetings to all! This is sort of an opener I guess, as far as opening posts to blogs go. Let's just cut through the basics.

My name is Peter von Harten, and I'm first and foremost a writer. That's my dream, it's who I am and what I strive to get better at every day. My main reason for constructing this blog is because I read a recent USA Today article that detailed the success of a self-published author named Amanda Hocking, which made me want to see just what self-publishing online is all about. 

While I've typically frowned in the past at how silly and amateur I thought self-publishing was, her story about producing her own e-books and selling them on Amazon--and now making a living off of her work--really inspired me. Though I know a lot of people tend to see that and think it's easy, they are mistaken. You've got to understand how it all happens. Self-publishers very often put in far more work than if they had signed with a traditional publishing company. That means you do all the self-promotion, advertising, and everything else on your own.

And while naysayers have criticized it as the easy way out and that you don't make money from your work that way, I'm forced to disagree. I actually never fully understood the broad scope and perspective of this all until just last week. People need to understand that you can have all the promotional backing in the world, but if your work is not polished and edited, and if you're not willing to promote your book on your own--even with traditional publishing--you'll get nowhere. Sad, but true. And many traditional publishers are now signing some successful self-published authors because they've already proven that they can do their own work. 

People need to understand that authors these days must do A LOT more than just write if they ever hope to make a career out of it. This is why lately, I've been working like mad to understand everything I've got to do to make it in self-publishing if all else fails.

That being said, I've since decided to make my young adult books I'm currently working on available on Kindle when they're finished and up to my standards. With my more adult works, I'll still be sending out queries to traditional publishers until I'm exhausted.

Now that all the serious talk is out of the way...
I love stories and I love the human mind. Both can take you places, but writers have the ability to invite you into their worlds and experience what goes on in their heads. That's why I love authors and writing so much. I've gained a lot of profound wisdom over the years just from reading and writing alone. I long to share that with the world through my ideas and words.

My favorite stories in any sort of medium have always been coming-of-age tales about growing up and learning to face the world and understanding how and why you perceive it through your own eyes the way you do. I suppose it's because ever since I was little, I would hold my hand up to the stars as if I were holding it in my hands. I still do that sometimes, strange as it may seem. In that fashion, I don't think I've ever truly "grown up", and I've seen and met a lot of people who share that same sort of idea. We're all reaching for something, and growing up seems to be more based on societal standards than one's realization of their own maturity, which I think is a far more powerful idea than anything society dictates or deems necessary. 

Everyone longs to get back to the times of their youth at some point or another, no matter who you are. And if I can help people learn to cherish that part of them now and always? It makes my life that much more enriched to see that I've helped them realize they can still do whatever they set their minds to, no matter what they may have lost in the past.

I also love adventure, suspense, and horror. 

And so I'm striving to write a lot of more young adult-genre books, for which I use my real name, Peter von Harten. The more adult novels that I've put a lot more research and heavy writing work into are written in sort of a pen name using my middle name: Peter Andreas.

I felt I needed to make that decision to categorize my work differently, despite the fact that both genres deal with a lot of coming-of-age themes. I've done this simply because the writing is a bit more complex, longer, and psychologically entrancing and there is much more work and research put into it than my young adult works.

In other matters, some of my other hobbies include foreign and indie films, music from all decades, producing music on my laptop with FL Studio 9, late-night diner runs, coffee, piano, reading, and one-on-one conversations. And couches.

I have red hair and I've been told I resemble Shaggy from Scooby-Doo because of my hairstyle. 

So without any further crap, welcome to my blog!! I hope you come to love my writing as much as I love working on it.

Love and peace always,

- Peter von Harten