Some encouraging emails

Every once in a while, I think I’m on a good track

2013-04-21 20.23.23

Got two bits of reader mail last month – one from England, no less – for my dating books, both from women, which I find interesting since I was worried that most of my readers would be men.

Really made my day.

————

Hey Logan,

I read both of your books, A Great Online Dating Profile and A Great First Date in the beginning of the year. In taking into consideration some of the suggestions, I tinkered with the online profile and reduced content where it made sense.

It seems that the quality of guys in contact have gone up, and while I can’t say there is a happily ever after (Logan: Yet!), I’m definitely enjoying the attention that’s come my way!

Thanks for putting yourself out there – please know your efforts in writing have changed some of our lives for the better! Happy Holidays!

All the best,
Josephine
A Great First Date, early 2014

Mr. Lo;

[After going through your tips] I have avoided all the usual ghastly intro lines, which on Match is the first bit you see when you scroll through the list of profiles, but I know it could be better.

After one week’s membership I have four dates arranged for next week, have been favourited 40 times, and messaged, and (been) visited countless times.

Thanks for writing your books, I bought both!

Cheers!

Alexandra

How to write a great online dating profile

A Great Online Dating Profile is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the Apple store for $0.99.

A Great First Date is also available on AmazonBN.com, and the Apple Store.

Location: 8AM, hardware store
Mood: proud
Music: the story needs some mending and a better happy ending, cause I don’t want the next best thing
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King for a day

The Men Made of Stone Hit Number 1

The Men Made of Stone Vigilante Justice

Because of my work lifestyle, some weeks are quiet while others are ridonk busy. Last week was the latter.

Earlier in the week, my buddy Gilson Oliveira from Resilience Marketing gave me a ring and said he wanted to try a few things to market The Men Made of Stone; I said yes, since most of his ideas are pretty brilliant.

He said that Friday and Saturday would be interesting. Didn’t have too much time to really think about it.

Friday, I was up in the Bronx and then White Plains for clients and then stuck on the highway during rush hour. It wasn’t until late that night when I had a chance to check my personal emails.

And I was floored.

The Men Made of Stone Ranking

My book was the number one Noir Crime ebook – beating out Lawrence Block’s A Walk Among the Tombstones – as well as the number two Vigilante Justice book – not even ebook, just book.

It was all pretty amazing. Now the question is: What to do next?

Been fleshing out some more fiction in my head but I switched over to non-fiction, specifically dating, for a while with A Great First Date and A Great Online Dating Profile, only because there’s a ton of information for those topics I can cull from this blog.

Of course, I could also write about what I actually do professionally, which is what Gilson recommends.

I suppose writers just have to write. What the next thing will be, I’m not sure. Not yet, anyway.

Me: That’s amazing, you’re like a magician. How do you do it?
Him: (laughing) Well, it’s a good book. And if I’m a magician, you know I can’t tell you.

Location: the office, shortly
Mood: busy, busy, busy
Music: I’ve heard it said or maybe read
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Guest Post: Jess C. Scott

Some Thoughts on Writing by Jess C. Scott

Building Facade UWS

Hello Logan Readers!
I came across Logan’s website through a couple of blog posts which he wrote:

I always like reading about different cultures and interracial relationships, so I could really relate to the first link!

With regard to Logan’s second, I had a recent similar experience with one of these websites charging a high fee for a book review provided by a “professional.”

It’s one thing to allow people to share their own opinions. It’s another thing to pay people who purport themselves to be “professional reviewers” and end up providing subjective opinions instead of objective criticism.

The first thing I noticed about my review was that it contained a factual error, which undermined how objective or thorough the reviewer was with their critique. I didn’t feel that I got what I paid for with that particular transaction, which is why I requested a refund through my credit card company. The credit card honored my request after I wrote a couple of emails with supporting evidence to back up my case.

So:
Logan and Jess: 2
Kirkus: 0

Thankfully, I’ve had much better experiences with other writing and publishing endeavors.One was at the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival where I met several poets and writers who were extremely talented but refreshingly down-to-earth. I had a little luck in the romance/relationships department as well, with a sequence of events that certainly outdid my imagination… (Logan edit: more info!)

Meeting those artists was very important. It reminded me of the reason(s) I like to write, and that writers who love to write respect the craft of writing. It has also inspired me to raise the bar for myself, so that I don’t get stuck in a writing rut.

Everyone has their own reasons for writing and it’s important for a writer to be aware of those reasons.I hope other writers relish the unique ups and downs of their own publishing journey too. You never know who you’ll meet or get to know, who you’ll inspire or be inspired by, as a result of something you happened to write, whether it’s published online on a blog or through other means.

Isn’t that what makes life all the more interesting? 🙂

SHORT BIO:

JESS C SCOTT has work appearing or forthcoming in Word RiotBards & Sages QuarterlyOpEdNews, Akashic Books (Thursdaze series), and The Maine Review. San Francisco Book Review describes her novel Playmates as “a psychological thriller at its best.” Jess participated in a literary debate at the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival. Her website is http://www.jessINK.com. and her blog is at: http://jesscscott.wordpress.com/

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Guest Blogger: Nicholas R.W. Henning

Another blog interview

Welcome to Chinatown

Most of last week was just work but I did have to Chinatown so that’s always a nice excuse to get some good Chinese food in.

Not too many pics because it was cloudy and overcast but I do like this one.

———–

Australian novelist, Nicholas R.W. Henning, read The Men Made of Stone and gave it a four-star review! There’s something about this coming from another writer that I find particularly flattering.

After all, The respect of those you respect is worth more than the applause of the multitude.

He also asked me some interview questions so you can read the questions and answers here and here.

And here’s his review.

I need to have a strategy to get these reviews with more regularity. After all, I’m totally comfortable putting my money where my mouth is.

———–

On a related writing point, the person that wrote me last week letting me know that he bought both of my dating books actually wrote a five-star review on A Great Online Dating Profile  on Amazon UK.

It’s nice getting the positive feedback – even nicer knowing I helped someone. He used my “EZ-Pass” idea, which I know from personal experience works, and found it worked for him too.

Sweeeeeeet.

And now, back to the grind…

Location:  off to wrassle
Mood: nostalgic
Music: Don’t you wonder why everybody cries every time you walk away?
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A book-blogger review

A Review of The Men Made of Stone

The Men Made of Stone

Worked all weekend because I’m potentially away in DC for a few days. Heard the weather was great in the city but I wouldn’t know.

On a different matter entirely, two years ago, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer named David Hall read my novel. For those of you that don’t know, a Vine Voice reviewer is one that that’s been selected by Amazon to review things and they are considered some of the most reliable and honest reviewers since it’s invite only and based on authority.

Mr. Hall gave my book five-stars out of five.

And I should note, I don’t know Mr. Hall and never contacted him. He selected my book on his own and loved it.

About a month ago, had another bout of insomnia, so I emailed about 15 Amazon reviewers out of the blue and asked them to review my books. And I just asked them to write an honest review because I think my book is good and I put my money where my mouth is.

Well, Amazon reviewer Kimberly Ranee Hicks agreed to read it and also loved it, giving me another five stars. Turns out she’s also a blogger and sent me a list of interview questions for her readers because she wanted to know more about the book.

Now, if you’ve not read The Men Made of Stone and don’t want to know any details, don’t click over to her blog as she gives a pretty through synopsis of the book. But if you’ve already read it or don’t care about spoilers, check out my interview at Kimberly’s blog – It’s a Book Thang!

On that note, I believe that when a fighter says he can fight, he should accept any challenge.

Similarly, I believe a writer should believe in what he or she writes. Pick up my book a copy of my book pretty much anywhere and, if you hate it, let me know and I’ll give you back what you spent on it.

Which reminds me of this movie…

But really, I will. Because  I don’t think you’ll ask for your money back.

Not because I wrote it, not because I have a Vine Voice review or 20 five-star reviews, but because it’s a good story.

Read the first 30% right now online for free or click below for the right link for your reader and see if you don’t think it’s a good story also.

 The Men Made of Stone - Logan Lo

 

Location: prepping for meetings
Mood: flattered
Music: I might let you break my heart if mine was all that I was worth
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How I met your mother in a refrigerator

This is why you’re bothered by the HIMYM finale

How I met your mother
Wasn’t planning on writing two back-to-back opinion posts but these things have been bothering me enough to say something.

[SPOILERS AHEAD]

If you’ve watched the finale, you know that the mother was a red herring the entire time. The story really was, and is, about how Ted and Robin end up together after years of orbiting around each other.

But if it left a distaste in your mouth and you can’t figure out why, let me tell you about the Women in Refrigerators issue in comic books.

The term comes from a 1994 story where a superhero returns to find that his girlfriend has been killed and stuffed into his refrigerator.

It’s a plot device, whereby a female character is killed or maimed in a male-centered story purely to make stuff happen for that male character. And it happens enough to have a name.

Turning back to HIMYM, we essentially meet the mother in a refrigerator in that we met her when she was already dead six years.

The purpose of the refrigerator in comic books is to shock and horrify; ditto for the reveal in HIMYM.

Green Lantern Kyle Radner finds his girlfriend in a refrigeratorThat’s why the finale bothered me. Because this character was ostensibly there purely to provide story impetus – and offspring – for Ted and then is conveniently killed off to make room for the person he’s loved all this time, Robin.

The entire last season, which could have been a look into the mother’s life – let’s call her Tracy, because characters of meaning deserve names –  was instead just about Robin’s marriage, which itself was a red herring.

And Robin’s life is essentially a waiting game for Ted. So both females lives are disposable and there to serve the protagonist of the story, that is all.

We’re not even told how Tracy died or why, that’s how marginal her death actually is.

Of course, does this happen in real life? Sure. Girlfriends and wives are killed every day, spurring the men in their lives to take action. But men are killed as well and this isn’t a major trope in writing.

Ultimately, to devote close to a decade of storyline to characters only to do a fake out seems cheap and easy.

I’m no hardcore feminist, but this is so glaringly distasteful that it’s difficult not to notice it.

End rant. Back to nuthin later on this week.

 

Location: apartment on a rainy Monday morning
Mood: still irritated
Music: Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know – it’s serious
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Looking forward to my AMA tomorrow

Books on Scribd

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.32.01 AMJust found out that my books are on Scribd.com – if you have a subscription, you can read  them for free.

Speaking of books, I’ve got my Ask Me Anything (AMA) on Reddit Books tomorrow night at 5PM EST.

If you have some time to drop by and say hello and ask a question or two, that would be great – I’ll be putting a link up for it tomorrow.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, The Men Made of Stone is a fictionalized story of late 80s and early 90s in NYC’s Chinatown, when there were regular shootouts and murder in the streets.

Most of the bloodiness happened because of several new upstart gangs butting up against the established criminal structure already present there.

As a kid, I was always pretty terrified to go to Chinatown. As a stereotypical Asian nerd, it was a wholly different world than I was used to. Now I find myself there with regularity and it’s nothing like it once was.

The funny thing is that, most – if not all – of the violence was contained to the community so outsiders and tourists probably never noticed the difference between then and now.

That’s why I’m always irritated when people not from here talk about the good old days of gritty NYC. Of course they do – they didn’t have to live here.

In any case, there’s always some other story to the one on the surface. Those are the ones that have always interested me.

It might interest you too; I dropped the price down to $0.99 for the AMA if you wanted to check it out.

See you tomorrow?

Location: Near a window, listening to sparrows
Mood: hopeful
Music: So many things I’d say if only I were able
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My nephew and a video

When I met my nephew and made a video

My sister had a kid recently. Was in her hood recently seeing yet another doctor when my mom and I popped over to meet the little guy.

There’s something weird about holding your sibling’s kid for the first time. I recalled holding my sister as a kid and now I was holding her kid. Found that so interesting.

He however, found the whole matter of meeting me less interesting, as he merely yawned after meeting me and closed his eyes to sleep.

Can’t blame him much. I rarely say anything that can hold a candle to a midday nap.

Speaking of saying anything, shot a quick video promoting the book. You can take a look at it above and let me know what you think. Perhaps you’ll find it more interesting.

Spent the day traveling around New York City and Long Island yesterday. Tomorrow it’ll be New York City and New Jersey. Moving around a lot these days.

Dunno if I’m actually getting anywhere though.

Location: yesterday, two different doctor’s offices
Mood: hard to say
Music: looking for means to pave the way, for brighter days
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President’s Day 2014

The book is (mostly) out

My book on dating, A Great First Date, was released on iTunes and Nook this past Friday, which was exciting.

I was surprised how many purchases were made early on so I’m assuming you guys had a lot to do with that, so thanks!

Was also pretty happy that so many of my friends and family helped get the word out about it.

On a slightly disappointing note, it turns out that Kindle doesn’t release books immediately – they only update their databases on Thursday. Bit of a downer because I know that most people buy ebooks on Kindle.

Still, it’s scheduled to be out by next Friday on Kindle, so that’s a plus. And you could always buy the Kindle version it directly from the publisher Smashwords and use this coupon code for 10% off: PY72Z.

All-in-all, though, pretty happy with how it went, and there are a few more marketing ideas that I’m working on but more on that later.

One thing that I did do was to write a blog entry about dating spots in the Upper West Side – my nabe – for a popular local blog called the West Side Rag.

Besides that, not much else to announce except that work is piling up, as is the snow. Evidently, there’s more coming overnight. Can’t wait for it to stop.

And I’m talking about both work and snow.

Finally, that photo above was taken when we went over to the New York Historical Society in honor of President’s Day today.

Evidently Groupon thought that Alexander Hamilton was a US president, which is a whole blog entry for another time.

Thanks again for the support!

Location: dentist’s office
Mood: tired
Music: Smile for the while and let’s be jolly
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2014’s barely begun

Already back to the grind

Found out that the woman that got injured in the last entry is back from the hospital. Gonna stop by her apartment building to ask the people there how’s she’s doing.

Evidently, she had her skull cracked open (!) so I don’t know if she’s going to need physical therapy or what.

That’s the thing about life, horrible things just suddenly happen while you’re minding your own business. It’s a scary thought that your life can change so quickly and so suddenly.

———–

Her: (pointing to my hand) What is that?
Me: It’s that gross Chai tea. I don’t want it to go to waste so I’m just gonna drink…
Her: (slapping teabag from my hand, lands on the floor)

This was our sixth New Year’s together.

Our first new year’s was a whole production with dinner out and such. This last one, we were in bed by 11 and watching the ball drop on the tube by our lonesome.

I suppose that’s how it is; after a while, just being comfortable with your favourite person beats everything else.

Finally wrapped up a set of client-related work so I decided to spend the new year downtime re-grouting, re-caulking, and re-painting our bathroom, assembling a headboard, and fixing up the blog – you like the new look?

And then those same clients called me back for a slate of new work.

So the past week has been insanely hectic. I’m covered in grout dust and paint while running into the office and/or in front of my laptop working on these huge projects, one of which is in the papers.

In between, I’m wrapping up a book I wrote called A Great First Date, which is all about how to go on a first date in this postmodern social media/texting/Tinder world.

It’s out on Valentine’s Day this year so I’ll let you know more about it when we get closer. Sign up for updates above in “Subscribe for Notifications” for more details

I’d tell you more, but I’m off to wrassle for my New Year’s resolution.

So many projects and so few lunch hours and coffee breaks in which to do them.

Location: at the end of a project, ready for another
Mood: crazy busy, yo
Music: Dying is easy It’s living that scares me to death
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