Double Promotion and a Freebie

So, here’s the video my team and I produced to promote my new book, The Secret of La Danta. It is a double promotion because I am also promoting my landscape construction work.

Of course I can only legally contract work in the state of Arizona. But that doesn’t matter. With this ‘how to’ video I can instruct anybody, free around the world, on how to build a basic pizza oven.

So sit back, get some popcorn and enjoy the video!

I have more ‘How To’ videos coming down the pipeline.

At least for now, tell me what you thought about the video then contact me at:

alexzabala2@gmail.com

Alex Zabala ids the author of the following books:

-Treasure of the Mayan King

-The Golden Scepter

-The Mind Games of Dr. Sova

-The Secret of La Danta

Coming in the future:

-The Deadly Mind Game

-Return to La Danta

Editing Phase

I’m stuck in the dreaded editing phase of my story. As you can see by the picture, my editor has sent back my manuscript with all the red ink edits and misterks mistakes that need correcting. Oy!

This is the part I hate the most. Yet it is the most important phase. There is no way I would ever send out a novel to be published before the editing is famished finished.

Unfortunately, I have 174 pages to correct and they ALL need correcting, trust me, they do.

Fortunately, we are under lockdown or shelter in place or whatever you want to call it. I only go out to work, (my wife does all the shopping).

So, theoretically I have plenty of time to make all the corrections, write right?

Author Review and Blurb!

It’s nice to get positive reviews from readers. It’s even better when a published author writes a review so I can use it as a blurb on my Amazon site.

So without further ado, here is the review:

The measure of a good book: when you need to keep reading, you need to find out what happens, where the story goes. That’s why ‘The Secret of La Danta’ kept me up late more than one night. Once it starts, you really want to know, not just what’s coming next, but how it all works out in the end.”

Joel D Canfield author of ‘Rafe Keyn and the Temporal Lisle’.

Alex Zabala is the author of:

-Treasure of the Mayan King

-The Mind Games of Dr. Sova

-The Golden Scepter

-Chauncy Rollock Chronicles

-The Secret of La Danta

BOOK PROMOTION DURING A PANDEMIC

There are a lot of strange things happening out there in the world. One may use the words ‘Epic’ or ‘Biblical’ to best describe them.

I live in Surprise Arizona, a suburb west of Phoenix, since my day job as a landscape contractor is considered ‘essential’ I haven’t been without income, unlike the 22 million people in the US who as of this writing, just filed for unemployment (of course, I am aware that my so-called ‘financial security’ can change at any moment).

When I go out to work, I notice there is less traffic and cleaner air, I suppose that is the only benefit to a world-wide lockdown. But it’s not much comfort when one realizes the reason: Thousands of children are not at school and the ‘non-essential’ working people are at working at home while many others are out of work. As I drive through main street, I notice that restaurants, bars, gyms, sports centers, barbers, hair stylists and a myriad of other places, are closed.

When it comes to entertainment, we have seen the shuttering of movie theaters, libraries, parks, music concerts, sports events and many other venues. For those of you authors who like to write about dystopian themes, well, now you have a lot of material to draw on now.

Regardless of the lockdown, humans need entertainment. There are currently only two sources of entertainment: TV, which includes streaming movies and e-books. Purchasing an e-book online from Amazon is guaranteed to be corona-virus free. Therefore, being an author is also an essential job. We can’t be shutdown. It is very likely that at this very moment, some aspiring author who was just laid off from his day job, is busy typing away in his or her office creating the next bestseller.

As for me, my new novel The Secret of La Danta, is finished. That means I am in currently in the promotional stage of the book smack in the middle of a pandemic! Is this good timing to promote an e-book? Yes. Since most of you are on lockdown, what better entertainment can there be then to cozy up to a good book? Watching too much TV is not good for the brain. It makes it soft.

Stay safe. Wash your hands, practice social distancing and read a good book during the pandemic! And remember, this too shall pass.

Alex Zabala (alexzabala2@gmail.com) is the author of the following adventure books:

The Treasure of the Mayan King

The Golden Scepter

The Mind Games of Dr. Sova

The Secret of La Danta

Writing is a journey for me

I have been asked many times where do I get my ideas for my novels. My simple answer is to point to my head and say, “From here.” Of course all ideas come from the brain, but in reality, ideas come from outside sources. The brain just adjusts the outside sources into a viable story. It’s like a figurative ‘seed’ that is planted in the brain. That seed can be a news article or a historical fact.

Take for example my first published book ‘Treasure of the Mayan King’. The premise was seeded in my brain by a news article about a violent storm that passed by the Yucatan Peninsula. According to the article, the storm toppled over a tree exposing the steps of a Mayan temple. On the steps archaeologists found some strange Mayan glyphs.

Here is an example of a premise for each of my published books:

-Treasure of the Mayan King:

A riddle that lead s to treasure found on some ancient Mayan steps

-The Mind Games of Dr. Sova:

An incredible mind game played by an elite group of intellectuals filled with exciting historical facts.

-The Golden Scepter:

An archaeologist finds an ancient fragment from a golden scepter that contains an incredible power that can change the world.

-The Secret of La Danta:

A nuclear scientist finds a mathematical equation in an old Mayan temple that can imitate quantum power.

When I start writing a novel, I never have the entire outline figured out. I have no idea what every single line of dialogue will contain, nor do I have all the exposition in front of me.

(However, when I do have the entire story thought out, which is usually at mid point, then I do make a rough skeleton outline in advance).

This is where the journey starts!

I sit in front of my computer and start typing. This is when the creative powers start flowing! Dialogue starts pouring out, exposition and vital scenes appear. There are rewrites, research and editing and all kinds of changes. My in-house story engineers make recommendations and suggestions on how to improve the story line. Plot holes, character errors or other issues with continuity are pointed out. Changes are made, more research is done and then…my novel slowly starts to take shape, it is morphing and becoming a reality!

It’s a fun process. Writing is a journey for me.

(PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID 19, READ A BOOK AT HOME)

2020 and Beyond

It’s finally done. My new novel; The Secret of La Danta is finally here! After many years of research, rewrites, editing, proof reading and whatnot, my book is finally on sale. Hooray!

It is the culmination of a lot of hard work and I must say I am very proud of this one since I consider it one of my best works to date. A BIG thanks goes to my writing and book production team. Each one these individuals provided their unique talents in making this entire endeavor possible:

Anita Zabala: Managing Editor

Anita has excelled in catching all the wrong words and making them write (pun intended). She is infamous for writing her corrections on my manuscript with red ink. We call her ‘The Butcher’. Once the manuscript is dripping with ‘blood’ I get it back to rewrite and correct things.

KC Riva: Story Engineering

KC has a tough job. Once she gets a readable manuscript from the Butcher, her job is to make sure the entire story makes sense and flows in the proper direction. She will offer advice and direction as needed. She has no qualms in telling me the story stinks (she’s a tough cookie). So, you know it’s good if my novel gets to the published level.

Dyego Alehandro: Editor/Authoring services

If you have ever read my previous novels with Dyego as co-author, you will understand how invaluable he has been to me. He puts the music in my lyrics. I highly recommend you read his solo sci-fi novels. I’m the idea guy for my books but he adds lots of spice and flavor to my words.

Tim Rivadeneyra: Book Cover Artist

Tim is an up- and-coming artist with great talent. He works for a large corporate American company with powerful computers, we wanted to see what my new novel would look like with his talents and technology mixed together.

At the end of the day, of course, I make the final decision on what the final product will be. I told myself that whether my book fails or succeeds, I will take full responsibility. So, there you have it.

What does the future hold?

I’m making changes in my writing career. I’ve decided to become a little more prolific in my writing. It’s been 3 years since I last published my last full length novel. The problem with that is some of my fans have strayed to other pastures. But not anymore. The Secret of La Danta is Book 1 of a series of 3 books that will be published at the rate of one every year until 2022.

Book 1 is finished, Book 2 is in production with 65K words written and Book 3 is in my head, (well as of this writing, I do have 400 words typed).

Here is the roster of the Troy Rollock series (and collector editions):

2020- Book 1: The Secret of La Danta

2021- Book 2: The Deadly Mind Game

2022- Book 3: Return to La Danta

2022- Book 4: The Troy Rollock Trilogy Collection

2023- Book 5: The Complete Rollock Family 6 Book Collection (Chauncy & Troy Rollock’s novels)

The Secret of La Danta is on sale now!

Alex Zabala is author of the following books:

-Treasure of the Mayan King

-The Mind Games of Dr. Sova

-The Golden Scepter

-Chauncy Rollock Collection

-The Secret of La Danta

Note: This blog will remain here until March 1st, 2020 due to the fact that I will be on the warpath, traveling around inside the Internet and other places promoting my new book in the next two months.

FINAL BOOK COVER

After many emails and texts that were sent back and forth for an entire month to the artist, I finally got the look that I was envisioning.

Left one is my sketch sent to the artist Tim Rivadeneyra.

Right one is the final product.

I love it!!!

What do you think?

Write me at alexzabala2@gmail.com

Available for sale on: 1/1/20

Many Eyes

Editing a novel is a tedious chore. As much as you may like reading, going over the same story to find grammatical problems is a chore!

That is exactly what we do here at the Alex Zabala home office. My editor proof reads my manuscript many times over. Then I read my manuscript many times over. Then my co-author reads the manuscript many timers over. Yet, surprisingly, even with that many eyes looking at the same manuscript over and over, mistakes get passed us!

How could that be?

The simple answer: The brain compensates for the typos and other issues. Yes, the brain compensates and glosses it over and tells the reader what should be there instead of what is there.

Sounds crazy? It does, but that is the truth. The infamous ‘they’ have word for it:

Typoglycemia (Google it to find definition)

Here is an extreme example of brain compensation, can you read this?:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

But guess what? Typos are not just the domain of self-published authors, oh no, I have seen the mega author’s books from mega book publishing companies contain typos and grammatical errors. Not big errors, but errors nonetheless. The point is, I try my BEST to make sure my books are edited as best as humanly possible and to give my readers the utmost quality in reading pleasure.

(Note: My blogs are not professionally edited, there are mistakes, but I don’t charge anyone to read them so you get what you pay for, right?)

The Secret of La Danta -Publication Date: 1/1/2020

alexzabala2@gmail.com

The Manuscript is in my Grubby Hands!

So, I finally have the manuscript of The Secret of La Danta in my grubby little, dirty hands! I always get excited when my co-author hands his first draft it back to me. That means I get to reread my story in a slightly different version than mine and possibly considerably better, right?

It is at this is the juncture in the book publishing process where I always get very excited. It’s like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. I can almost see the published book! But I have to be patient.

Basically, this is the story writing process: When I finish my first draft, I hand it over to my co-author. He in turn puts the finishing touches in by polishing the draft. He turns it over to me and I reread my story and notate any corrections or changes that I feel are needed.

Once that is done, we hand it over to the dreaded editor to check any grammatical and story line errors (My blogs are never professionally edited, hence why you will find errors here, but no way I will I ever release a marketable novel without proper editing!)

Meanwhile, an artist is busy at work producing a book cover. Then I hand the edited story back to my co-author who on turn will make the needed corrections and finish the formatting. Once he receives my approved book cover artwork, he puts it all together and makes a packaged, finished product.

Even though my novel will be finished this year, my plan is to publish it in January of 2020 (a publication date early in the year will give it a fresh start instead of publishing it this November).

My book will be for sale online on Amazon where it will join the mighty river of over 8 million books! Yes, you read that right, Amazon has over 8 million books for sale and somehow my little book must be seen buy the public floating in the mighty Amazon river! (Now you know why it’s called Amazon).

I will worry about book marketing later, presently, I have to go and get me a cup of coffee, sit on my favorite chair and read my manuscript.

Write to me at: alexzabala2@gmail.com

60 Ain’t That Bad

I’m 60 years old.

I suppose I’m entering what some people call the final ‘third phase’ of my life (that sounds strange). Somebody once said, “At 60, you deserve the face you have.” (funny).

Whenever I complain that I’m getting older, my wife simply says: “It’s only a number.”

I suppose she’s right, one million is a number also, right?

I have all the typical issues of a 60 year old man who happens to be living in an industrialized age, eating refined, industrialized food. But there are a lot of things I don’t have that some people my age do. I suppose it’s because I didn’t do the things they did when they were younger. So, yes it is true, some people spend their youth making their old age miserable.

Regardless, 60 is a pivotal time in one’s life to reflect what one has accomplished in life and where one is going. I am grateful I still that I have a measure of health. To prove that point, I just finished building my backyard waterfall and a homemade pizza oven, mostly by myself (see blog post from May 21st). Now that my backyard projects are done, I have decided to take up lifting weights three times a week to keep my muscles toned.

I am not bragging, I’m trying be an inspiration for all those old fogies like me. I find it inspiring to see older folks doing things to keep them alive and creative. I have seen videos on YouTube of 70 year old bodybuilders. No, I will never do bodybuilding, but I do find it incredibly motivating. What about you? What motivates you?

Are you creative? Creativity is good too. Maybe when it comes to creativity the best is still ahead for me….and then again maybe not. But at least for now, I know am doing the best I can NOW and I also know that I am ALWAYS trying to improve my craft. That’s why I am still writing. (Well, I returned to writing after a year hiatus).

I’m still selling books and I still have at more books to write. I am not a prolific writer, and I don’t publish a book every three months like some other authors, but nevertheless, I am still writing. I consider that mental weightlifting!

So, yes, I am getting old…but I am okay with that. What I am not okay with is giving up too soon and letting old age come prematurely (or maybe even death).

Someday, in the future, if I am blessed to be 70,80, 90 (or beyond)..I will look back and read this blog..and laugh at my old age angst, which I guess is just as bad as my teenage angst was. (Actually, no, my teenage angst was worse, I NEVER want to go through puberty again!).

So, in retrospect, 60 ain’t that bad….it’s only a number, right? What about you?

What ‘getting old’ stories do you have to tell? I would love to hear from you!

Write me at: alexzabala2@gmail.com