Dark Niche Publishing interview!

Evan @ Dark Niche interviewed me about books, life, and of course, my gaggle of cats!

Read it HERE!

UPDATE 4/30/2019: No longer married. Shit happens and it happens quickly, I guess. Such is life, but forward is the only direction to go, so that’s where I’m headed.

Hello! I am Travis, the guy being interviewed. I say stuff!
“Transfer” by Travis Hill – currently on sale for $0.99 at all retailers!

The History of Books: Part 2-ish

Anyway, out in fiefdoms, the peasants… er readers were growing restless. This new sorcerer named Congo came along one day and started messing with people.

“Hey,” he’d say, like every conversation ever in the history of humanity began, “would you like to see a neat trick?”

And the peasants would say, “Hell yes, entertain us, but be careful, if you use your wizardly sorcerer powers, we’ll call you a witch-demon and put you on the rack until you confess.”

To which the sorcerer replied, “What? I thought this story had moved into like the 20th or 21st century by now. I have to go change costumes into 15th century period fashion.”

But then Congo, the great sorcerer, showed them the trick. He let them choose an item they wanted to buy, and then he would teleport it right to their front door. Or barn door. Or hovel door. Congo didn’t care, he could make items appear right at anyone’s door that had a legal address in a proper zip code.

This caused another revolution of sorts, but it really had nothing to do with The Publishers. Yet. Soon though, the tides of war arrived on the publishing shores, and they had no choice but to take up arms and do battle against the evil sorcerer. For the evil sorcerer Congo was now teleporting books to the doors of peasants everywhere, but this particular spell, according to The Publishers, not only teleported the book to the front door of a peasant… er customer, but a side-effect of the spell is that it also nicked a few cents worth of profit out of The Publishers’ coffers.

The battles raged for a while, but eventually the sorcerer won the ability to demand the terms of a treaty. He didn’t outright destroy The Publishers. He wasn’t really an evil sorcerer. He was pretty damn intelligent, as he knew that his own trick depended on The Publishers doing their job to work. How could the sorcerer teleport books to a peasant’s house if there were no books to teleport because the great sorcerer had destroyed The Publishers who produced the books?

(side note: This wouldn’t be the last time The Publishers clashed with Congo. There’s some more conflict in Chapter 2.5 somewhere. I’m too lazy to look it up, but trust me, Congo The Wise is a very tricky trickster, and The Publishers, by Chapter 2.5, are these old dudes like from The Dark Crystal, which is a kick-ass movie if you’ve never seen it… you really should check it out. Jim Henson and stuff. It’s going to be cheese, but it’s a totally awesome badass cheese. Like Pepper Jack cheese or something.)

And during a night of drunken debauchery with an entire ballroom full of virgins or rappers or something, after almost setting the King’s couch on fire with a slurred Power Word, it came to him. The sorcerer’s epiphany was that he could craft a new spell, one more powerful than any he’d ever crafted, that would teleport the books directly from the author to the peasants. Customers. Sheesh.
Continue reading

The History of Books: Part 1-ish

So I got into a discussion with a friend the other day about a bad review on one of my books. He wanted to know why I hadn’t armed myself like Rambo and chased the person down and I guess blow him up with an explosive-tipped arrow (I mean, these arrows can blow up Russian attack helicopters, so I’m pretty sure I can blow up a reviewer pretty easily, assuming I can even draw a bow without folding in on myself like an accordion in a Bugs Bunny cartoon).

I just shrugged and said I didn’t take it personally. I realized a long time ago that no matter how great something or someone is, there’s always got to be one (or as usual, more than one) person who has to go and take a shit all over it. That’s human nature. I mean, I bet if Jesus showed up, there’d be a mob posting troll comments all over his YouTube sermons.

That phrase, by the way, ‘taking a crap all over <insert whatever someone was taking a crap all over>,’ is actually from around 400,000 years ago.

In the ancient days, a caveman looked at another caveman’s drawing about a mammoth being hunted, and smeared excrement in the shape of a penis on it. This was Og’s first bad review, and he was incensed enough to hunt down the offending reviewer, and crush the reviewer’s head with a heavy stone.

Rokk, the first caveman lawyer, successfully defended Og, earning him the world’s first acquittal. He then went on to draw cave paintings of how he successfully defended Og. Of course, there were plenty of other cave persons who thought Rokk was the lowest form of caveman scum, even for caveman lawyers, and they smeared many pounds of excrement all over Rokk’s masterful drawing of his lawyerly prowess.

However insultingly disgusting that was, Rokk’s ego was saved by the many more supporters he had who would smear honey or blood on the cave paintings, while others would draw little cave paintings of praise below Rokk’s masterpiece.

Those little drawings of praise were the first set of known reviews on Amazon.com. The little drawings of trolls or ice cream cones below the little drawings of praise below the cave drawings were also the first comments on the first reviews at Amazon.com.

Yes, I know it was before electricity and computers were invented. Who’s story is this? Mine or yours? That’s what I thought. Now shut the hell up and learn about some book history stuff!

*****

 A long time ago, this guy wrote a book. It was a pretty damn good book, but it was getting all messed up because everyone wanted to read it, and it was the only book. Producing a book back in this time was pretty expensive. The author had to write it all out by hand. (I hear young authors crying out in disbelief, but it is true, I swear. I even wrote by hand once, and not just to be “retro cool” either… it sucked but it was either that or lug around a 72 pound typewriter, which only got it stolen from you, and then you got your ass beat by big kids who called you names like “Eternal Virgin” and “Sissy Bitch.”)

And paper wasn’t like today. The author couldn’t just go down to Ye Old Wal-Mart Emporium and stock up on 200 count, college-ruled, spiral-bound notebooks for $.28/ea (Price Drop!). There were no name-brand pens and pencils and fuzzy troll eraser buddies and Scooby-Doo lunch boxes. You spent a small fortune for paper, or maybe papyrus if you are imagining this author living waaaaay back. Ink was messy, you had to dip something called a ‘quill’ into it, then once you wrote about two words, you dabbled sand onto the page to soak up the extra ink and help it dry.

If you are like me, your question is, “How the fuck did anyone ever write a second book?” Continue reading

All Of My Books Are FREE today (May 10, 2014)

So, you know, if you want something awful to read, have at it:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00C9IVXH0

(I wouldn’t recommend it, though)

Piracy Is Not An Epidemic

And let us take a moment to be completely realistic.

If one million pirated downloads of your book has occurred, yes, you could have lost one million sales. But come on…one million means you are EXTREMELY popular, and have more than likely sold a few million at Amazon and other outlets. And if you are that popular, you have publishers shoving contracts in your face, Hollywood bugging for the rights to your work for screenplays, conventions bugging you to attend, all sorts of other little perks and money-makers because…you are extremely popular.

Because there’s no one on this planet that has had their work downloaded one million times and is still a nobody, crying out in a lonely voice on the internet that he has nothing, barely any food to eat. If your name was “Game of Thrones – Season 3 – Episode 04” then you would be downloaded a million+ times, but you don’t see any of them (nor even HBO) making a fuss about it. HBO has even openly said they know their show(s) get pirated, and they really don’t care that much. Continue reading