Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Newest Book is "Live" Right Now!


I am working on "Lancer; Hero of the West; The Santa Fe Affair," we decided in the interim to write a memoir. "Tales of My Baseball Youth; a child of the 60's" is a book filled with 15 chapters of stories about relationships and growing up in the turbulent 1960's. The common theme is "baseball."

I hope you enjoy the book which is available now on Amazon for both Kindle and Paperback version. Soon it will be available on my web site Bob Brill Books. As soon as I get my own copies of the paperback I will begin selling them on my own site as well.

I dedicated it to my best friend Marty Aproian, with whom I spent many a morning, afternoon, evening and an occasional late night/early morning playing baseball in one form or another. Whether it was Whiffle Ball, over the line, organized baseball or Strat-O-Matic Baseball, we did it all for hours upon hours. And we still remained best friends.

Coaches, players, friends, not so friends, teachers, parents and well, you name it, it's in there. And that doesn't count the stuff I forgot or was reminded of after I published, which I could have put in the book. Is a sequel planned? If this sells, yes, Tales will extend to the 70's, disco ball and all. For now, let's keep it in the 1960's.

Please pick up a copy, review it if you buy on Amazon, and spread the word on your social media accounts. I will be grateful. It's a fun read and you may even be in there somewhere. Or not. Either way I know at least one thing; if you grew up then, you will relate.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest. Please spread the word and share. It is appreciated.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Lancer the TV Pilot

Don't forget to Follow us on FaceBook.

Yes, I have finally given into my hearts desire (and the urging of others/fans) to go ahead and write a TV Pilot script for Lancer; Hero of the West. In fact, I've written half of the one hour drama draft.

While I'm slowly working on the third novel in the Lancer; Hero of the West series (The Santa Fe Affair), which itself will have some interesting new twists, mainly on the social level, the pilot will go in a new direction. There isn't much I can say about where I'm going with this for now for a lot of reasons, but to say Lancer fans will enjoy the new take I think will be an understatement. Lancer will remain Lancer.

The question of TV westerns is a big one. As you can see they are few and far between and those which have been on TV lately (AMC's Hell on Wheels for instance and HBO's Deadwood) are quite different than what we've been accustomed to. They are not, obviously, the John Wayne style westerns we grew up with. Nor are they the television westerns of the 1950's and 60's.

Since Lancer; Hero of the West is based on a compilation of the latter and my own inspiration, it is difficult to see through the trees as television executives have not been really open to characters of that ilk. The good news is however, is that everything goes in cycles. Is it time for a return to the 50's and 60's? Is the Quentin Tarantino western (Django Unchained and Hateful Eight) the new normal for the old west? Tough questions.

In addition, two new western series are being shopped around and one of them includes one of my all time favorites, Kurt Russell. He's teaming up with Mel Gibson. So it seems with the recent successes with various western genre, there may be a resurgence. Maybe the cycle is coming 'round.

I can only say when it comes to a Lancer TV pilot and series, if we are indeed lucky enough to get there, it will not be full of "F" Bombs if it's for main stream TV. If it goes the route of HBO or other such outlets there may be some expansion into that realm, although not for the man himself. This is not the way I'm writing it though.

While the cable networks (HBO, ShowTime and others) seem more open to period pieces, the mainstream networks don't seem to be. They seem more open to high tech and all that goes with it. This is a good thing. Don't worry Lancer fans, a reincarnation of "The Wild, Wild West" (the Will Smith version) is not where I'm going.

As soon as I can say more (when it's finished and registered/copyrighted) I will unveil more of the secrets of Lancer. It may be a few weeks, but more like a few months. Stay tuned and keep your thoughts and prayers with us as we move forward with this venture. Hopefully some TV executive will say "by golly, we have to do this!"

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


A good time was had by all. The best way to sum up the 2016 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.

For me it was a time to meet a bunch of folks with similar interests and goals in mind. For them it was time to hear some of my stories, and in response I got a lot of good stuff headed my way. It was also a time to take a little hit (no a pretty big hit) from good-natured friends and relatives about my head gear.

I chose to wear my new favorite hat on Saturday (commonly now being called a "pork pie" hat from my friends, especially those in Scotland who love westerns) instead of my Cowboy Hat. I'm not a cowboy and while I love the West, I write good stories about the west, I'm not a cowboy. As much as I loved the era, I'm not sure where I'd fit in in 1885.

                                                      (Eric Heisner, Al Bringas and me)
So I chose not to wear THE hat. Bad mistake. Anyone who was looking for a good book hit the first table with some great coffee table books on Western ranches which drew a lot of attention with some slick colorful pages, passed right by me and moved directly to my two new good friends Eric Heisner and Al Bringas. Now these two guys (pictured with me above) are two good looking western actors who have quite a biz going. Eric is a full-time actor with some credits who is the author of their books while Al is the illustrator.

Together they make quite a pair and dressed in their western digs, folks made a bee line past me to them (especially the ladies). Actually I greeted a few of the women with my positive charm hoping to engage them with my guy,  "Lancer; Hero of the West" and after answering the greeting they moved right on to Eric and Al. I was surprised most of the ladies passed on Lancer's favorite treat "Turkish Delight," while men usually tried it quite readily. One couple was very excited when they saw it, "we haven't seen this since our trip to Istanbul!"

Al's artwork is super by the way and the guys make and sell replica movie bandana's which are costly but absolutely a must have if you are gonna dress the part. (Next year for me).

After Eric and Al, they moved onto Dale Jackson, Jim Christina, J.R. Sanders, Gary Williams (I know I missed someone) and if they came in the other way they were posing for selfies with the well known Peter Sherayko who looked like he was right out of "Lonesome Dove." So next year, I'll break down and buy the boots, something leather, a much better hat and I'd love one of those frock coats but it might be too hot in Santa Clarita for that. At least the second day I did wear my western hat which turned the world upside down -- I wish. I am a guy who admittedly always wears a hat well - just not a cowboy hat. Although some of my Face Book Friends did change their tune Day 2.

No guns (akin to the covers of my Lancer novels with the gun-less holster covers) but you can't bring guns in anyway. And don't even think of getting me on a horse. I am a dog lover and horses and me just don't get along. Although I guess if this were 1875 or so, I'd have to break down and learn to ride one. An employer asked me once "Bob, what do you want to be when you grow up?" My answer was quickly, "The Lone Ranger." Not because of the story but because of the man and his mission as well as his code.

The really great thing about the festival and the Buckaroo Bookstore set up by Bobbi Jean Bell and husband Jim (who took care of their authors in a way it makes you want to come back) is the friendliness and camaraderie. And that was part of what the Old West was about. Sure there was a lot bad stuff mixed with the good but the fellowship and camaraderie outshone it all.

                                            (me and the always smiling Bobbi Jean Bell)

And I for one appreciated that. Sure I would like to have sold more books, everyone could have, but that is the world we're dealing in. Hopefully, we've made a dent in the next chapter in our lives and the dent is positive. And if you're looking for a younger touch, Eric and Al produced a wild west coloring book as well.

ON another note, the Peach Cobbler was great as usual, but no sign of the Native American Fry Bread this year; Bummer.

Looking forward to next year and other such events. And for all of us Keep It Going.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

COWBOY FESTIVAL This Weekend April 23-24

Be there!

The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, an annual event, is taking place in Old Town Newhall right now between the 14 and 5 Freeways in the Santa Clarita Valley. I'll be there on Saturday and Sunday from 1:30 to 6pm, sooner if I can make it.

Park in one of the off site parking lots (no parking in Old Town) and take the FREE Shuttle to Hart Park. Admission varies depending on age but it's from $7 to $10 and lots of vendors, music, great food you don't normally see except here and just a great time.

Visit me and seven other Western Authors at the Buckeroo Bookstore on the walk in Hart Park. We'll be there signing and selling our books. As a Cowboy FEST Special we'll be selling soft cover copies of both Lancer; Hero of the West books for $10 each (tax included). We'll take cash and credit/debit cards for purchase.

C'mon out and have a great time. I am especially thankful to the promoters to providing us with volunteers to get food because I can't take the time away to go stand in line for the best PEACH COBBLER you'll ever taste. That and Cowboy Coffee will stand out on the day as well as the Native American Fry Bread (one of my favorites). So take it from a guy who likes to eat his way through these type of things, enjoy while the enjoying is good.

 Me at last year's Festival with a nice piece of Peach Cobbler ala mode and some down to earth and tasty gritty Cowboy Coffee. Lancer couldn't have done it any better. Which is something readers will find out in the upcoming "Lancer; Hero of the West - The Santa Fe Affair." Due out in late Fall, early Winter.

The weather is expected to be excellent and if you haven't tried it yet, check out Southern Smoke, a new eatery in Old Town. Make sure you try the fabulous Ho Cake. And the micro beer. Ask for a taste and they'll give it to you. We'll probably be there on Sunday night after the Festival closes down unless the line is long and the wait is too much. Which it might be, but then again remember most vendors want to get out and gone after a several day event so this might be the best time to try the restaurant.

See you THERE and remember, if you can't make it you can always order downloads from Amazon and paperback copies from us directly at


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cowboy Festival is nearing!!

The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival begins this coming week and culminates on the weekend of April 23-24. I will be there signing Lancer; Hero of the West novels on both Saturday and Sunday from about 1:30 pm to 6 pm. Hope the drive from Miracle Mile where I work to Santa Clarita is a light one and the shuttle is moving quickly.

The annual cowboy festival (link below) is a really great event and aside from western authors such as myself making appearances with our books and expanding somewhat on the western experience, there are bands, displays, vendors or course and some really great food you only get once a year.

One of my fav's is the Indian Fry Bread but not to be outdone by the home made peach cobbler and authentic cowboy coffee; grinds and all. The Peach Cobbler is amazing and there is always a line. I'm glad some of my family will make the trek to the festival so they can stand in line to get some cobbler for me.

The festival is at William S. Hart Park mainly, which is in downtown Old Town Newhall. Adjacent to the festival itself are the shops of Old Town and I suggest if you get the chance (maybe not during the festival because seating will be limited and waits probably long) checking out Southern Smoke. It's a great new BBQ restaurant not to be missed. It's also a micro brewery and they will give you tiny samples of some of the many beers on tap.

Some of the authors will be at the OutWest Boutique and Cultural Center one block from the Park at 22508 6th street. Come on out to the event and buy a couple of books and get caught up on your western heritage. My second book "Lancer; Hero of the West - the Los Angeles Affair" takes place mostly in the area around San Fernando, Sylmar and Newhall as it was in the 1880's.

Check out this festival link

You can follow us on FACE BOOK at

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The FaceBook Promotion Phenomena

Sometimes I'm not sure what to make of social media advertising. As you may have seen I have done a lot of it recently. I've added a "Lancer; Hero of the West" FaceBook page and ran a campaign. I also am running a couple of FB campaigns on the new Patti Waggin FB page. For those of you who might not know, Patti Waggin is the subject of my very first published book "Fan Letters to a Stripper; A Patti Waggin Tale." The FB site is becoming as much about baseball as it is burlesque. More later.

I spent $50 in running a 10 day campaign for Lancer. I targeted the USA of course and then selected a host of countries where Westerns seem to have some appeal over others. Japan, much of Europe, The Philippine and Indonesia.

It was amazing to see the numbers roll up. In the first seven days FB reached 66,000 people who went to the site. Well over a thousand clicked "LIKE." However, very few clicked onto this particular blog which is where my ad was supposed to send people. Go to the FB page and then follow through to the blog.

My feeling was this; I could only promote certain items the way the program is laid out. If I got them to the FB page and then to the Lancer blog it would be a win-win. Since when they got to the blog they could then go to the Bob Brill Books website and purchase a book all would be good. That didn't happen.

Of the 66 thousand people who hit the FB page more than 97-percent of them were from Indonesia. In checking the stats the vast majority spoke local languages and very many likely did not speak English. They certainly did not speak it as a first language. The numbers for the USA were almost non-existent. This was truly disappointing. I even had ONE in Africa although I think that was actually my niece who is in the Peace Corps in the same region the FB hit came from.

So the next step, via this trial and error experiment, was to UNtarget everything but the USA. As soon as I did that the numbers began to move upward. In the first couple of days over 500 people living in the USA hit the Lancer FB page! Clearly 156 of them actually went to the Bob Brill Books website. While so far (as I write this) no sales have been achieved, clearly there is reason to spend limited funds on the FB promotions.

The difference so far in the two sites (Patti Waggin and Lancer), and there are many which I will discuss in the next blog, is Patti Waggin is actually being accepted into the new FB Products program. Lancer is not. It's totally random I'm told and it's being rolled out slowly but everyone will eventually be able to do it.

It basically allows the owner of the page to sell products with an advert right on the page. If you use PayPal you will be disappointed because FB has a deal with Stripe and does not allow PPal. While I was skeptical of Stripe at first, after using it the first time, I found it easy enough. So far so good. I am excited to be able to use Product on the Lancer page when it becomes available. Until then if you ask me if I plan on more FB promotions, the answer is yes. But I will be careful of my targeting.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

2016 Best Oscar Show Yet

As a reporter for UPI Radio Network I covered backstage and out front, nine Academy Awards Shows. I have watched dozens more over the years as it is one show I rarely miss. I have to say the 2016 show, with all it's backlash and controversy was THE Best I've ever seen.

Chris Rock nailed it. His monologue was balanced, right on and sound. It was also funny despite a missed opportunity. He failed only once or twice on the night and his epic Girl Scout Cookie sales push beat Ellen DeGeneres Pizza debacle by a long shot. He was sound.

The best sketch of the night though was not Whoopi Goldberg. The best sketch was the poignant and very funny "Black History Month Minute." Taking a solid shot at Will and Jada Pinkett Smith was heroic and more than that it was extremely funny. Wow.

Vice President Joe Biden was another highlight and it was great to see him get a standing ovation. When Lou Gossett Jr., stood up and was the first to acknowledge him, I felt it was heart felt. I sat with Lou a couple years ago at a fund raising dinner and found him a very sincere man. This is why I know he was being just that; sincere. Biden is a very likable man and it showed. His points were clear and sound and fell on waiting ears.

I was pretty much right on with my predictions although no one could see Sylvester Stallone losing out to Mark Rylance for Best Supporting Actor. Most thought the sentimental favorite Stallone for "Creed" was a shoe-in. Many were disappointed. I didn't see the film so I can't say yea or nay. I do know that of the other films I did see I liked Rylance the best despite not liking "Bridge of Spies" all that much. Rylance did deserve the honor but then again so did Stallone from what I hear.

Otherwise I did pick all the winners although my heart wanted some of the others. Leo D., certainly was deserving of the honor and made a very strong point in his acceptance speech. The fact they had to go to the farthest tip south to find the right snow for the film proved his point about climate change. It fell on a friendly crowd as did much of what was said during the night.

So all in all it was a great show and to my mind the best I've ever seen. It goes once again to prove, especially with the Best Picture Award; Film Matters.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Film Festival & More

For new followers of Lancer; Hero of the West, I wanted to mention some of the other things we're doing. Of course you can purchase our books on Amazon (links below) or you can buy directly from us at bob brill books. And this includes all our books including "Al Kabul; Home Grown Terrorist" and "Fan Letters to a Stripper; A Patti Waggin Tale."

There is some special news regarding the Patti Waggin book. My Screenplay "Major League Stripper," which is inspired by the book,  is a finalist in the 2016 (16th Annual) Beverly Hills Film Festival Screenwriting Competition. We are really excited about that. A win there would give me a solid chance at an agent and, the possibility we gain serious interest in a film. This is a project which realistically has been in the works since 1959. For the backstory you should go to the Patti Waggin website.

Our "Lancer; Hero of the West" music video performed by Ron Dante, is also entered into the Western Writers of America competition for Best Song. It's an Annual Award to go along with the Silver Spur Competition. Both these awards will be announced later in the year.

The new short film we produced and wrote is "Radio Play; An Homage to Old Thyme Radio."

And of course if you'd like to find out more about me you can go to

Amazon Lancer; Hero of the West - The Prescott Affair
Amazon Lancer; Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lancer on FACEBOOK!!

Okay so we finally did it. Lancer; Hero of the West has it's own FaceBook Page. You can either click on the link in the Lancer title above or you can click this,

We invited all of our friends and right away the hits started coming. Thank you sooo much. making "Lancer; Hero of the West" a viable western book series which grows depends on promotion, readers and quality of the writing and stories. We've been told by readers the latter two are solid and we do appreciate this so much. We like the stories we tell and are currently involved in writing the third Lancer adventure; The Santa Fe Affair. it's due out later this year.
The rest is up to readers, friends and our own promotional skills. I try not to bug folks who may turn away if they are not really interested but get hit with highlights anyway. So we decided to make a Lancer; Hero of the West Business page on FaceBook, other than my regular FB Page.

If you like what you see, please Share with your friends and encourage them to share with their friends. It truly helps and is free to do...which is the best thing about promotions.

I really tried to bring Lancer to a younger audience with some of my writing, keeping the history of the Old West alive even with a Music Video, as well as entertaining my more mature readers with good stories and tales liken back to an earlier age. Reaching out to a younger audience is something every business tries to do. Radio and television stations. newspapers, restaurants etc., all want younger customers to make them grow. Hopefully they stay. We want the same for Lancer while at the same time maintaining that older audience who understands who Lancer is, and why he might be important.

Keep reading my friends. And I'll keep writing.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Santa Clarita Cowboy Fest April 2016

We will be there. We missed the opportunity last year by "THIS" much.

The dates are April 21-24, Thursday through Sunday. I will be there signing books with other western authors  on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. I will be there after my KNX Shift both days. If you come by to chat or buy a book, look for me from 1pm until 6pm both days at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.

I'll do a special show price for the two Lancer books, $10 each. So a $20 bill will get you both books, tax included. C'mon out and enjoy a really great annual festival.

Cowboy Homepage

One of the coolest things at this event is something us foodies love; pan made peach cobbler. You have to wait in line for a long time but it's worth the wait. That and a cup of real cowboy coffee and you feel just like John Wayne in "Big Jake."

 "Been kinda partial to these since I was a yonker," he said. "Can't seem to get my fill."

Seriously, if you like the old west you really should come out. There is something for everybody. It takes place at Hart Park and there is a shuttle to and from several parking lots. Old Towne is pretty much blocked off so you can't park there.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Malibu Book Signing Success

The Malibu booking signing went well and despite a lower than expected turnout we can call it a success. For the first time we had many questions about the character and the books and the time period. Quality questions including everything from how I determined the lay of the land, to the introduction of  a female reporter in "Lancer; Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair."

While I'm not sure everyone liked the Turkish Delight we shared on the day before Valentine's Day at the Bank of Books, everyone tried it. If you missed the signing the book store will be open into April and Pam, the manager, kept a number of my books on hand for sale. She sold some before the signing which was nice.

There was also a really neat article in the Malibu Surfside News and a nice photo and announcement in the Malibu Times.  A big Thank you to good friends Suzie (pictured), Joe Cala and Dave Rodriguez for taking the time out of their own busy skeds to drop on by and be a part of it. Ilana, a young girl who happened to be in the neighborhood and is a songwriter asked some very good questions about the character and the times. Her introduction to Lancer was the purchase of a new book.

Others did as well. It was a good time. We're sorry the store is closing in April, though.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Turkish Delight; Sweet Treat for Valentine's Day Lancer; or an aphrodesiac? Book Signing in Malibu on Saturday Feb. 13

It is Saturday, February 13, 2016. I know you are probably on your way to a sweet Valentine's Day dinner with your favorite person in the world.

"That's cool," as Charlie Sheen might say.

But before you go to dinner, or if you're going to actually do Valentine's Day on Valentine's Day (Sunday the 14th) come on out to the Bank of Books bookstore in Malibu. Drop by around say, 2pm to 4pm. I'll be there signing books, or just chatting, or having a cup of coffee (the book store doubles as a coffee hangout) and reach over and take and taste of piece of Turkish Delight. 

Yup, I'm bringing a couple of boxes and first come-first served, a FREE piece of the delightful and tasty treat is yours. Now why you might ask Turkish Delight? I'm Italian not of Turkish ancestry. Simple answer is my western hero and subject of my novels, "Lancer; Hero of the West" has a sweet tooth for, you guessed it; Turkish Delight. He carries it in his saddlebags. It has it's roots in the Ottoman Empire.

He has won the heart of a many a young lady with this sweet treat. In "The Los Angeles Affair" (my latest book) he offers some to his date for the night and the morning; a French fashion designer who is visiting Tombstone. Later on, during a train ride west going to Los Angeles, he serves up a morsel to a woman reporter who is going his way.

Both encounters end in, how shall we say it, a good time for all concerned. The truth of the matter is Turkish Delight is a romantic treat. It really is. It's sweet but not sickie sweet. It's covered in a sweet powder and you will end up licking your fingers to get it off. And it's slightly chewy and oh so delightful. Good before or after, right?

So maybe Saturday night is your night for V-Day. Maybe it's Sunday. Either way, test the waters with a taste of Turkish Delight. You won't be sorry and you may just get more than you bargained for.

Oh how sweet it is. 

Bank of Books Malibu is located in the Pavilion's Shopping Center on the west side of PCH and Heathercliff Road in the Point Dume Village. Actual address is 29169 Point Dume Village, Heathercliff Road, #109. If you are heading north, it's at the top of the hill before heading down to Zuma Beach. If you are going south, it's at the top of the hill on the right hand side.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Accepted into Beverly Hills Film Festival

It's super exciting when something cool finally happens after lots of hard work and promotion. It has finally happened. My script "Major League Stripper" which is based on my book "Fan Letters to a Stripper; A Patti Waggin Tale," has been accepted into the Beverly Hills Film Festival Screen writing competition.

During the course of a screenplay's life and a film's life, especially short films, the producers submit them to festivals and contests around the world hoping for acceptance. Acceptance means recognition and recognition may eventually lead to a film being made. Getting this film made has been a desire of mine since 1959, when I was six years old. That was when I opened my first pack of baseball cards and found a Don Rudolph card. The cartoon on the back featured his wife and read "Don's wife is a professional dancer." 

Patti Waggin was not just any professional dancer. She was one of the highest paid burlesque queens (you can read stripper here) in the country. At one point in the early 1960's, she was making $750 a week. Don was making $250 a week playing major league baseball! The back story is just as good.

There story is really cool, and a great love story to boot. My book is more of a coffee table biography published by Schiffer Books in 2009. The screenplay has been in the works for just as long. Finally refined, it is said it's the best screenplay I've written. We'll see, as I have 16 others.

To be accepted is an honor as they say in the Oscar's world (where actors state "it's an honor to be nominated") and truly it is tremendous to be accepted. Our short film, "Radio Play; An Homage to Old Thyme Radio" has yet to be accepted in any festival, nor has our music video "Lancer; Hero of the West," which has been entered in the Western Writers of America awards competition.

We hope we can eventually write a blog about gaining the top honor, or even announcing a deal to get the screenplay made into a film. For now, we'll accept being accepted. It IS that much of an honor.

Stay tuned!

Don't forget our book signing at the Bank of Books in Malibu on Saturday February 13th 2-4pm.

Book Signing in Malibu

Lancer; Hero of the West is on the move!

Several people requested we have book signing in Malibu or thereabouts, so this is exactly what we're doing on Saturday February 13th at 2pm. Malibu Bank of Books, located next to Pavilions along PCH (just south of Zuma) is the place. It's also a coffee bar so come on out. I'll be there from 2pm-4pm. You will purchase your Lancer books, as well as any of my other books through the store for this signing.

We're running some spots on the local Malibu Fm station, KBUU, which you can listen to on-line as well. Great sounding small station making big music in Malibu and via on-line.

The sad news is we will probably be one of the last book signings at this location. The store is closing in April. The company has another store in Downtown Ventura, on Main Street which will remain open. It is sad to see book stores closing, but as we move more toward a mobile platform and an internet society we knew it was inevitable.

It is a tough deal for authors. While we can potentially sell more books to a wider audience on-line, we don't make very much on these books. When you consider many books sell in the on-line version for 99-cents, it doesn't leave much on the table for the writer. However, we move forward. It also takes us away from any personal contact we might have with our readers. We must rely on forums such as this for feedback.

Free Turkish Delight for everyone who shows at the book signing by the way. Even if you don't buy a book, show up anyway. Authors really need all the support we can get and I'd love to see you. At the last book signing we met old friends we haven't seen in decades. That is always nice.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Re-Publishing Lancer - The Los Angeles Affair

After getting a small publisher for the second Lancer book, "Lancer; Hero of the West - The Los Angeles Affair" we never thought we'd have to republish ourselves. The Publisher didn't make it and went down faster than a Lancer target when shot. It happens to publishers every day which is why the publishing business is so troubled.

Either way, we are back to republishing the book via Create Space and Amazon. The good news is nothing has changed for you. You can still purchase the same book on-line, from Amazon dealers or from our own website. Again, nothing has changed. You can still order via Kindle as well. So there you have it.

There is one difference. We chose to go to a glossy cover for the physical book instead of the mat finish. Just a slight change but the rest is all good. If you see the book on Amazon you may see two versions. One says "unavailable" and is the retired version from the old publisher. There should be a button stating there is an updated version. By clicking this you will be taken to the current book. You will also see the same version probably pop up side by side, in which case you can order it directly without being re-directed.

The price is the same for Kindle 2.99 and prices vary from Amazon dealer to dealer. From our site ( the book is $15.00 which includes shipping and a signature if you want one. I usually include a laminated book mark as well. You can order it through our website.

On a sad note, my literary agent, Michael Hamilburg passed away in early January. He was a great man and helped me personally very much. He is being missed.

We're hoping to have the next Lancer book by the Fall. So many other projects going right now I'm a little behind on that, but the work has started. Spread the word;

Check out the Lancer Music video; and our short film "Radio Play," both on YouTube. Please comment on this blog, the videos and if you purchase a book on Amazon, please leave a review. It is very important for the Amazon rankings and leads to more sales, or, at least exposure.

Monday, January 11, 2016

A huge loss; Michael Hamilburg-Literary Agent

It comes with great sadness I learned of the passing of a dear friend and colleague who helped spur my literary career. Michael Hamilburg was 82 and passed away on January 1, 2016. I'll let the attached article at the bottom of the page by my good friend Mike Barnes, another former colleague, detail Hamilburg's life and achievements. And they were many.

I want to express my own friendship with Michael here. I first came into contact with him when I was looking for a book agent and sending out query letters several years ago. I found his name on a list of agents and decided to drop off my letter and samples to him. When I got off work from KNX 1070 News radio at 5AM, I stopped by his office on the way home. It did not exist. As it turns out the publication got the address wrong.

I immediately called and left a message and followed up with an URGENT Email telling him of this. He got back to me and also recognized my name since he was a faithful listener of the radio station and me, as it turned out. He thanked me for the misinformation of the publication and we soon set up a meeting at the Starbucks in Brentwood near his home. He loved to meet at that Starbucks since he worked out of his home office as many of us do these days.

We hit it off right away. He believed in my talent which was super refreshing. We were going to make it happen for me as an author. I had already been published by Schiffer Books in 2009 when "Fan Letters to a Stripper; A Patti Waggin Tale" came out. I wanted to break into other books though. I brought him a work of fiction with some new and innovative twists called "The Tattoo Murder." He liked it very much and began pitching it. He above all, liked the main character, John Potenza; a surfing police detective.

When, after several weeks, the word came down that no publisher was interested, it was a blow. He believed in the book but said there were so many real life stories out there like mine, publishers were more interested in Non-Fiction than Fiction in these cases. He encouraged me to find a story in the news I could sink my journalistic and news background into. One of his claims to fame was "Fatal Vision" which was a huge story.

Through a friend I came upon a story which seemed like it would work. This friend of mine's adopted son plotted to kill her, her husband and his little sister for what he believed to be an insurance policy. Turns out it wasn't a life insurance policy but a liability for business policy. He carried out his plans but failed to kill anyone. He and a neighbor boy ended up in jail until they were 21.

The story achieved national headlines settling in on the Morey Povich Show, but died there. So Mike and I took a look at it deeply but decided it wasn't going to sell. If the kid had even partially succeeded in the plot it probably would have interested a publisher. Fortunately, for my friend no one died and she recovered from her injuries.

Mike did pitch "Lancer; Hero of the West" but warned me no big publishers were buying Westerns and that proved to be true enough. My other books were not commercial enough either. However, recently I came up with an idea which fit the molds perfectly. I was excited but knew I could not proceed without selling the book first. Mike was ready based upon my enthusiastic emails stating in December;

"Happy New Year, Bob
Great work you're doing.

We were scheduled to get together at Starbucks this week.

I sent an email to nail down the date and got an email back from his wife, Susan, telling me of is passing. I was stunned. It was a hard blow. I had lost a real friend and a mentor. There are few people in this industry like Mike Hamilburg and it's too easy to say "he'll be missed." It is OUR Loss. A loss we can only recover from and move forward in the spirit he showed us. There should be a special page in the dictionary for the Michael Hamilburgs of the world. The heading would say "Integrity" and Mike's photo would be right there.

Article on Michael Hamilburg by Mike Barnes.