Monday, March 9, 2015

Writer's Block And Distractions (oooo, SHINY)

Distractions are everywhere.

If you’re a writer, you already know this. You’re reading this blog because you’re distracted right now. I’m grateful that you’re reading this, but it does illustrate something that every writer faces at one point or another.


You think to yourself: I won’t be on the Internet for long…I’ll just check my sales dashboard, and then I’ll get back to work.

So, you check your sales dashboard.

Then, you think to yourself: Well, wasn’t that interesting. I wonder if T. M. Bilderback, or Joe Konrath, or Hugh Howey, or Courtney Milan, or Passive Voice, or (insert your favorite blogger here) has a new entry. I think I’ll go check.

Now you’re checking the blogs of your favorite authors, and reading the new entries.


Hmmm…maybe a quick check of my web page stats…then Facebook for a while…then I need to check Twitter…and maybe chat a bit on Kboards…

Congratulations. You’ve just blown most of your morning. Now it’s time for lunch, and you’ve got nothing to show for your morning.

That’s a distraction problem.

I have it, you have it, and most other writers have it. They may not be distracted by the things I have listed here – they may be distracted by completely different things.

The point is, how do you combat distractions?

I know what works for me. If I ever fall into the well of distraction, I drag myself over to my current manuscript and force myself to write a sentence, then a paragraph, and, before you know it, I’ve lost myself in the story that I’m trying to write. My own work has distracted me away from the distractions!

Another thing that I’d like to discuss is the thing called writer’s block.

My opinion on writer’s block is this: You’ve written yourself into a hole, and you can’t think of a good way out of it without losing a lot of what you write. You really don’t want to sacrifice what you’ve written, but you can’t think of a good way to continue, either…so, what do you do?

I have an old friend that has several writing projects started, but one of his projects in particular is close to his heart, and he’s desperately trying to finish it. He recently asked me what to do to get out of what he called “writer’s block”.

My answer was simple, and I’ve shared it many times before: if you’re stuck, blow something up.

Seriously. Have your heroine get slightly injured in a sudden car crash while she’s driving home from work. You get to describe the accident, and you can take several pages to describe her injuries, the repercussions of those injuries, and whether it really was an accident, or if someone suddenly decided to kill her. It could cause your hero to finally declare his love for the heroine. Or she could be targeted for assassination. Or it could simply be an actual accident. The choices from there mushroom out. Choose the one you feel most comfortable with, and expand your story.

Another example: Your hero is a lineman for an electric company. Shoddy maintenance blows a huge generator at the plant, and electricity is cut off for thousands of people. Now, your hero is outside, trying to repair damage. Or, he’s inside, helping to repair the generator. Or he’s trying to help those that were injured when the generator blew.

Last example: You have a character named Joey Justice, and he has a reputation of accidentally blowing things up.

It happens a lot.

The point is, you’ve caused something to happen to divert your characters’ lives into another direction. You’ve “blown up” the status quo, and given yourself something to write about that will hopefully get your story back under way, and broken your “writer’s block”.

You can let this “explosion” of events be a branch in the characters’ lives. Your hero, or heroine, are tooling along their life in one direction, when, suddenly, BAM! Their lives are thrown into turmoil by happenstance.

Just like real life.

Real life often throws curveballs into our lives that we don’t see coming. How we deal with those curveballs decidedly send our lives into a direction that we hadn’t expected.

Your characters can do no less.

That means, stop distracting yourself, get rid of your writer’s block, and blow something up! It’s the only way to shake things around a little!

Also, you can…

Keep reading!

T. M. Bilderback (But you can call me Michael)

Visit my website:

Follow me on Twitter:  @mrtmbilderback

Check me out on Facebook:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The OTHER Shoe Is Dropping

I wrote the other day about the new Justice Security novel, and the fact that it was a team-up between Justice Security and J. A. Konrath’s Jack Daniels. The title is The Night Chicago Died – A Jack Daniels/Justice Security Novel. It can be found in the new Kindle World, Jack Daniels And Associates, which tells you all about how to create your own story in the Jack Daniels universe. You can click the title of the story above, and it will take you straight to the book’s page on Amazon.

The story is pretty interesting, if I do say so myself. Justice Security’s mortal enemy, Esteban Fernandez, tries to take over Chicago’s drug business by eliminating the competition. Lieutenant Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels and her partner, Herb Benedict, are covering the murders when they find out that Fernandez is behind it. Word gets to Justice Security, and Joey and company, along with FBI liaison Marcus Moore, take over the investigation…and Jack and Herb…under the umbrella of National Security. What follows is a romp that is dangerous, action-packed, and, at times, funny. What happens when Joey Justice and Jack Daniels get into an argument over who should go first into a suspect’s apartment is just one example of the action-type fun that is waiting for you inside this one! Please check it out!

It is Amazon-exclusive, and I apologize for that to all of my readers that use other reading devices. But, as one of the premier entries for Joe Konrath’s new Kindle World, it had to be!

Now for the other shoe. Available NOW for pre-order, ahead of its May 1st release, is the next entry in the Justice Security series, Jim Dandy – A Justice Security Novel. This picks up soon after the end of The Night Chicago Died. And, you guessed it: the novel is about Justice Security’s competitor, Jim Dandy!

Here’s the synopsis:

“In the small town of Tucker’s Corner, Oregon, a bank manager is killed because he found some information about payoffs from Esteban Fernandez to a very high-level member of the United States Government. The banker had time to mail out three copies of this dangerous information before he died.

He mailed a copy to himself.

He mailed a copy to his ex-wife.

And he mailed a copy to his old friend in the city…a man that has a security company that bears his name.

The banker mailed the information to Jim Dandy Security.

Two of the three recipients of the information are dead, and so is the Tucker’s Corner Postmaster.

Jim quickly finds out that this information is deadly, and he finds that he’s in way over his head. He calls in some favors from his competition.

This time, it isn’t Jim Dandy to the rescue. It’s Justice Security, and the situation has never been deadlier.

Inspired by the hit song by Black Oak Arkansas, and filled with seat-of-your-pants thrills, “Jim Dandy” brings danger and action to Justice Security…and to you!”

In this story, Fernandez is not featured. After the end of the Chicago story, well...let's just say he isn't featured. This story features a major, powerful force that has enough power to order…well, you’ll just have to read the story to find out! But, I promise you that this one has real edge-of-your-seat excitement, and some unexpected developments…along with some major hints of what’s coming up.

Jim Dandy – A Justice Security Novel is available for pre-order from several places that are linked below:

When the novel is released on May 1st, there will also be a print version, and the eBook will be available at Barnes & Noble, DriveThruFiction, Page Foundry, and Scribd…and several other places that offer eBooks!

Here’s the cover:

Following the May 1st release of Jim Dandy, the pre-order for the next entry in the Justice Security series will go up…and the release date for it will be on July 1st. The title is Cow Patty – A Justice Security Novel. But I’m not telling you anything about that one.

The plan for this year is to release a novel every two months. I believe it can be done…for you, kind reader. At least three Justice Security novels will be out, and quite likely the next entry in the Tales Of Sardis County series. After that, it’s anyone’s guess…including mine!

So, enjoy these novels as they come out! Check out The Night Chicago Died, pre-order Jim Dandy, and get ready for Cow Patty and I’m Your Boogie Man! I’ll try not to disappoint you!

Mostly, please…

Keep reading!

T. M. Bilderback (But you can call me Michael)

Follow me on Twitter:  @mrtmbilderback

Check me out on Facebook:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

"The Night Chicago Died" Is Available NOW

I promised it today.

And today I deliver what I promised.

Last summer, I told you about the “Secret Justice Security Story”, and about how quickly it came to be.

Now, the secret is out.

If you’ll click on the book title, you’ll be taken to that book’s page. If you click on the World Of J. A. Konrath, you’ll see all of the titles in the Jack Daniels And Associates Kindle World.

Now, these stories are, of course, Amazon-exclusive. But they’re well worth it!

The Night Chicago Died is story number eight in the Justice Security world. Here’s the synopsis:

“It’s November in Chicago. Fresh from their encounter with the Gingerbread Man, four drug-related murders, seemingly unrelated to each other, bring Lieutenant Jaqueline “Jack” Daniels and her partner, Herb Benedict, out into the snowy night. They appear to be run-of-the-mill drug deals gone bad…until witnesses at one of the crime scenes report that they saw the shooting. And they have overheard the name of the killer: Esteban Fernandez.

Jack and the Chicago PD notify the Federal authorities, thanks to a new Federal APB on Fernandez. Fernandez has been declared a threat to National Security, and all movements are to be reported.

Justice Security has been given a government contract: find Esteban Fernandez and stop him. Bring him in for trial if possible, but stop him. When word reaches them that Fernandez is in Chicago, Joey Justice, his partners, and their FBI liaison, Marcus Moore, move quickly to the Windy City, and they take over the investigation.

They also take over Jack Daniels and Herb Benedict, and draft them into the biggest crime case in Chicago’s history…a crime case that Jack will never be allowed to talk about.

Action, humor, and even a two-night-stand for Jack…find out what happens when Jack Daniels and Justice Security take on insane Mexican drug cartel leader, Esteban Fernandez, in the novel inspired by the classic song by Paper Lace, “The Night Chicago Died”! Chicago will never be the same…”

Please note that this story takes place after MacArthur Park and just before The Little Drummer Boy in Justice Security continuity.

In the Jack Daniels continuity, it takes place immediately after Whisky Sour.

And here’s the cover:

I certainly hope you enjoy the story!

My thanks to Joe Konrath, who made this story possible. If we couldn’t co-write, this is the next best thing!

So, for you, the reader…

Keep reading!

T. M. Bilderback (But you can call me Michael)

Follow me on Twitter:  @mrtmbilderback

Check me out on Facebook:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Big Stuff Is Coming!

You can smell the excitement.

You can taste the thrill.

Something is coming.

Something big.

I can talk about it now, since it has become common knowledge. You can read about it on J. A. Konrath’s blog by clicking here.

I’m excited about it.

I’ll talk more about it on March 3rd. Mark your calendars.

This is BIG!


This week’s special is Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. It’s 99 cents through March 7th at Amazon, Apple, Inktera, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, DriveThruFiction, Google Play, and OmniLit.

Click on each retailer, and you will be taken there.

And come back here on March 3rd. I’ll talk more about Joe Konrath’s thing then.

So, until then…

Keep reading!

Michael (T. M. Bilderback)

Follow me on Twitter:  @mrtmbilderback

Check me out on Facebook: