Thursday, February 28, 2013

NEW Website

I have changed my official author website for a more professional look.

Please continue to follow me at:

Thank you.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Seasons of Freethought Introduction

Seasons of Freethought is a special project I've been working on for some time. It collects the Freethought publications of G.W. Foote and puts them back into print in one affordable collection. But instead of just writing another sales pitch, I thought I'd share with you the new Introduction to this collected volume by yours truly.



Sentenced and confined to a year in prison for the victimless crime of blasphemy, George William Foote did not let this little setback dissuade him from speaking out against the cruelties and absurdities of religion. In fact, having a year of his life taken away for the “offense” of blaspheming against the Christian God only made him more entrenched in his cause to dole out just criticism of religious injustice  hypocrisy, and cruelty all the while fighting for the noble causes of the freedom of speech, and of freedom of thought and expression.

Publisher of the skeptical and freethought magazine the Freethinker, began in 1881 and which is still published to this day,[1]Foote himself would later republish his favorite speeches, lectures, letters,and essays in several works. Of his numerous book publications, the ones which stand out the most are his Freethought series, which include Arrows of Freethought and Flowers of Freethought in two volumes.

I have decided to reproduce all three of Foote’s famous, or rather infamous, Freethought publications here in one collected volume under the fitting title: Seasons of Freethought. Furthermore, I have selected these works not only because they seemed to be of sentimental value to Foote himself, but also because of the extremely beneficial wealth of insights into literature, religion, and human nature that only an intellectual like G.W. Foote could have provided.

Foote was a man devoted to fighting superstition wherever it reared its ugly head and, to his credit, never shied away from doling out a sarcastic quip in the name of Freethought. G.W. Foote did as much to spread the values of Freethought as Thomas Paine, Robert G. Ingersoll, and d’Holbach, and he should not be quickly forgotten for his lofty contributions to the Freethought movement. In addition to running the Freethinker, Foote would go on to succeed Bradlaugh as President of the National Secular Society, a position he’d maintain for twenty-five years. G.W. Foote lived from 1850 to 1915.

In reproducing G.W. Foote’s Freethought publications I have taken some minor liberties. The main reasons for the changes are simply for reading convenience and economy. As an Englishman, many of Foote’s spellings retain the British spellings (e.g., colour instead of color and centre instead of center, etc.), which I have Americanized wherever possible, except in the cases of direct quotes from English poetry and prose.

In addition to using the standardized American English forms, I have also elected to use the more modern spellings, punctuation,contractions, and conjugations as outlined in the Oxford English Corpus. As such,the old spelling forms using un- prefixes have been changed to the modern spellings using im- prefixes where applicable, so that unplausible becomes implausible and so on and so forth.

As for contractions, wherever there are two separate words for the same single word form, such as every one, forever,and can not, I have chosen to use the contracted single word forms of everyone,forever, and cannot.

Finally, I have omitted the duplicate chapters “Who are the Blasphemers?” and “The Gospel of Freethought” from Flowers of Freethought series one and two, which are also found in the first book Arrows of Freethought. Any other changes you may find are purely cosmetic, which is to say, for aesthetic and stylistic purposes only and do not alter the content or meaning in any considerable way.

Beyond these rather mundane technical enhancements, I have tried to stay as true to the source material as possible while updating it for a modern readership. Most assuredly, I am pleased to present a new generation of Freethinkers, Skeptics, and Atheists with an accessible and affordable collection of works by one of the greatest defenders of Freethoughtand free speech who ever lived.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

New Imprint Logo

I thought about hiring a professional company to design me a logo for my publishing imprint, but at the moment I am financially strapped. I have spent all my money on books covers, editing, and formatting.

As such, I decided I would use what modicum of talent I have to design my own logo. Something recognizable, yet not to complicated. Something eye-catching, but not too busy.

To make a long story short -- here is what I came up with. 

I rather like it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Bitten 3 Cover Reveal!

Alright, alright, alright! It's just a month away from publication (the manuscript for part 3 is being edited as we speak) but I thought I would sneak the cover reveal out there early anyway! 

It's another excellent design by Glendon Haddix and his company Streetlight Graphics.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Social Media: Use it and Abuse it!

I have read various opinions on how authors ought to use social media. Best seller Jonathan Gunson, for example, thinks it's a big rookie mistake to shout out your book on Twitter and other social media (Facebook, Tumblr, Goodreads, etc.)

But I rather think it's like the brilliant blogger and self published author Christian Mihai says, it's not so much about how you use social media that matters, it's how well you develop your platform.

Both authors, however, stress the importance of reader interaction. People log onto social media to *interact with their favorite authors as well as fellow readers.

Neil Gaiman is a master of this. He also happens to have one of the most read blogs of any living author.

But what if you're a new comer? What if you, like many struggling authors, have a day job to support your family and cannot spend hours on end trying to *interact on social media?

What then?

Then do what I do, screw the opinions of successful authors. They're not successful because they mastered Twitter. They're successful because they have a damn good book which resonates with readers and they happened to luck out in the timing and the response.

Even Neil Gaiman knows luck has a little to do with an authors success.

That said, I think Mihai is right. Improving one's social media platform could never hurt. But at the same time, is sending a shout out to a book you've published going to turn readers off?

Probably not. If you have an excellent book, it will find a fan base. Just don't expect word of mouth to be instantaneous. As a self published author, you still have to do some selling.

My book Bitten has been out for over a year and the sequel, which just came out this month, has already sold twice as many copies, and I haven't pimped it nearly as much as the first book.

Does that mean I turned readers off with all my "shouting" on the first one? I highly doubt it.

It's just that after nearly a year of non-stop interview inquiries, sending out promotional copies for anyone who would read it, and yes, pimping my book like a shameless book whore, I have more name recognition. It helps.

So as long as you do try to interact a little bit with your readers and fans, and you create a strong platform with good networking between the various social media, feel free to abuse it. Heck, the way I see it, if you didn't use it at all then you'd just have one less outlet to advertise your book.

Can a new author take it too far? Certainly  If all you are doing is reposting the same link again and again, well, that would get old fast. But if you're like me, and you simply don't have time to master every form of social media, then focus on the one you are good at and as for the rest, use them however you see fit.

If you have a quality book, people will notice, regardless of how you advertise, or don't. But certainly  it couldn't hurt to pimp it a little bit.

Case in point: I put up a link to my book Bitten 2 and generate 30 sales in one hour. 30 sales I wouldn't have had if I had thought, oh well, Mr. Gunson is probably right. Nobody will want to read me if I just advertise another ole zombie book.

Actually, yeah, there is always somebody curious enough to click on the link to your book. Will that mean they are apt to buy it? Probably not. But sometimes I like a good shouting match, so shout away fellow Indie authors! Be proud of your work.

Besides, if people really cared about conversations, I mean real conversations, they wouldn't be spending all their time on social media sites which limit what they can say to catch phrases and two-bit jokes, or a series of fleeting memes. 

So if I actually do scare someone away with my shouting, I hope they can outrun the sound of my booming voice, because YEEEEARGHHHH! Also, Bitten 2 is available for Barnes & Noble's Nook as well as Amazon's Kindle.

So I'll keep abusing social media, whether people like it or not. I'll let my unnatural charm take care of the rest--although I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing.

--Tristan Vick

Somnambulant Things

Hush now,
The crepuscular hour is upon us;
Whence creep the somnambulant things
Athirst for your ichor, beware!
Sweet scent of fear infused adipose perspiration,
Stirs their unnatural yearning;
A perpetual famishment of hellish torment
Marked by aching moans and insatiable hunger
Guard well the pulp of your being,
Both marrow and meat,
From the somnambulant things
And their unwholesome cravings

by Tristan Vick

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bitten 2 Paperback! Now Available!

Bitten 2 Paperback is now on sale! 

It's live on CreateSpace. Amazon is being slow as usual. 240 pages of zombie goodness! 

Cut and Paste:


I just finished watching the bloody, very bloody, Dredd reboot.

A couple of things I liked about it. I liked that Dredd, played by Karl Urban, kept his helmet on the whole time, like he's supposed to.

I liked the fact that it was a throwback to violent 80s action flicks like Rambo and Robocop.

It had the bright neon colors and all the senseless shooting. The bad guys were bad just for the sake of having someone for the good guys to blow away. Simple. No complex story line. Just good guys wasting bad guys. Druggies. Guns. More guns. And a lot of bullets flying across a wash of red splatter.

I liked that the whole look was 80's retro, but with the seamless use of today's CGI standards.

The things I didn't like: Every goddamn time they introduced the drug slow-mo the actual film would cut to a slow motion reel of people high on slow-mo. Every goddamn time. The first time was long... and gave the viewer the gist. Every time after that initial car chase in slow-mo was just overkill. The drug wasn't as interesting as the filmmakers apparently thought it was.

I didn't like the Mama character either. The character had no real motivation for wanting to kill Dredd. She is the head drug lord of the Peach Trees area and wants to expand her franchise. The best way to do that would simply be to have had her man killed by some patsy, and let the patsy take the fall. Two birds with one stone.

Taking on a Judge seemed rather stupid. There just wasn't any reason for it. It guaranteed Mama real big trouble.


If Mama would have just left Dredd alone, she could have made her little 9/11 call later and pulled a few inside favors and nobody would have ever been the wiser as to what she was up to.
Instead she's just hell bent on killing Dredd, not for some reason, but for no reason at all.

So the character is written with two ways out of her situation and she ignores each one just so she can keep trying to kill Dredd. But why? It never explained why she hated him so much. Other than Mama is just a throwback to 80's villains--a character of evil, doped up, crack-heads high on insanity from one too many hits.

The performances were all good.

I was hoping for some satire, you know, what makes the Dredd comics so appealing. But there wasn't any. It was just a straight up action flick.

**End Spoilers**

Low Down
Over all, I give it a 6.5 out of 10. 

It's entertaining enough for a second viewing, or the occasional viewing when you're in a blast-em-up shoot-em-up mood. But beyond that, it's your standard fair gun romp with lots of splatter.

I know a lot of people still prefer the Stallone one better. I like both for different reasons. This new Dredd plays it straight. It's realistic. Gritty. No camp this time around. That appeals to some. The Stallone one was a lot more fun as far as popcorn films go. But it's just a matter of preference. I rate the Stallone version a 7.0 out of 10 just because it does have humor and a compelling plot with a villain with a real reason for wanting Dredd out of the big picture.