cover design Ardy M. Scott.
Darrell Bain's monthly newsletter has proven extremely popular. The newsletter covers an array of subjects, most of them having little to do with writing. As Darrell says, "I make notes during the month on anything that strikes my fancy and many of the subjects wind up in my newsletter." The newsletter is published at his website www.darrellbain.com. It led to readers asking about his life and this in turn led to a series of installments on his website about his life, from childhood on. Interest in Bain's memoirs was so great that his publisher offered him a contract for an expanded version, published in book form -- Darrell Bain's World of Books.
The Best of BainstormingNon-Fiction
Highlights from the Newsletters of Darrell Bain
Volume 1 - August 2005 to December 2006
by Lida E. Quillen
Darrell Bain is one of the leading ebook fiction authors in the world. His ebooks typically garner multiple awards each year – Dream Realm Award, EPPIE, etc. For example, Warp Point was a 2006 Dream Realm award winner. Over 1000 copies of Warp Point have sold since release. Also, Human by Choice is a finalist for the 2008 Dream Realm Award in Science Fiction. Travis S. Taylor, PhD co-authored the book with Darrell. Over 1000 copies of Human by Choice have sold in ebook format since release.
In any given month you'll find two or more of Darrell's SF ebooks on the Fictionwise best-seller list. You'll also find suspense, humor and non-fiction among the selections. Darrell has over 70 books available as ebooks and 40 books available in print. However, he'll be the first to tell you ebooks are where he got his real start in publishing.
For those readers who don't recognize the term ebook, these are digital books, which can be downloaded to hand held devices, phones, laptops or desk top computers. His monthly newsletter is posted on his web site, www.darrellbain.com.
He freely admits that he got the idea of a monthly informal newsletter from Piers Anthony, a writer he admires, both for his fantasy novels and for the time he has devoted to encouraging the growth of the ebook industry. Since beginning his newsletter in August of 2005, it has become a very popular feature with fans who appreciate the eclectic subject matter and like to follow his activities and writing career, and with other readers who simply enjoy his discourses on varying topics.
This is the first volume of his monthly newsletters, covering the period from August 2005 through December 2006. Others will follow in a yearly schedule.
by Darrell Bain
As you may note in the introductory paragraph of my first newsletter below, I had a purpose for beginning to publish a newsletter in a monthly format. However, as time went on, I found that I really enjoyed writing it, much more than I thought I would. It has also become quite popular, even with readers who have never read one of my books or stories. I guess that shows I'm doing something right! And I'll confess right here, I never imagined in my wildest drams that my newsletters would become popular enough and interesting enough for a book publisher to want them. I guess it's like everything else. Some ideas don't work well and others turn into something really good that you hadn't even thought of at first.
Only the highlights of the newsletters are being published here, the rambling part, so to speak. I have also edited here and there and added explanatory footnotes in places. Feel welcome to just scroll on down or flip the pages if you're reading this as a book and you like to browse.
I devoted much more space in the first newsletters to promotion of my books than I do now. My Progress Report is one of the smallest sections of the latest newsletters. My monthly Book Report section, where I list and review books I've read during the month that I liked a lot, has grown. But most of all, I found that I liked just rambling, like you'll see here, on whatever subject takes my fancy, and that's what takes up most of the space in my newsletters now. My wife Betty asked me once where I get all the ideas for the topics. It's really pretty simple and no great secret. I've found that as I grow older I have to make lots of lists in order to avoid forgetting chores, or not remembering what I went to the grocery store for, and so forth. So I keep a little notepad by my computer, one by my easy chair and one by my bed. Whenever an idea for a subject pops into my head, usually stimulated by something I've read or by talking with Betty (yes, we're one of those couples who not only talk to each other a lot, we listen to each other), I write it down. I also put thoughts there for future stories or notes to help me remember something about the subjects I'm currently working on. I usually have several books and/or projects going at the same time, so even if I weren't getting older, I'd probably need to do this sort of thing anyway.
I like receiving letters from fans and readers. I can be e-mailed from my web site www.darrellbain.com. Like most folks, I don't use regular mail any more except to pay bills and for a very few other things.
Ready? Okay, Go! Have fun and may you always have happy reading and time to pursue what is one of the most pleasurable of human activities.
AUGUST 2005 to DECEMBER 2005
About the same time I started Bainstorming (although it wasn't named that yet) I decided to publish a little series of memoirs on my web site for readers wanting to know more about me. Well, I'm a wordy person and I like to write, so naturally the memoirs turned into a rather extensive series and now, like the newsletters, they have turned into a book. The memoirs have been published, in greatly expanded form, first as an e-book and will appear later in print, both under the title Darrell Bain's World of Books
WORLD OF BOOKS
The Autobiography of Darrell Bain,
an icon of the electronic book industry.
Yeah, I guess it is a little pretentious, but the annotation is more or less true. I do have more books and stories published in electronic form than just about any other author and I was named Fictionwise Author of the Year for 2005, a signal honor shared with such notables as Mike Resnick and Lois McMaster Bujold. Shucks, even Stephen King hasn't won that award yet, and he's published at the same giant electronic books stores as me, so I don't think the title strays that far from the truth. And I do have one of the most recognizable names in the e-book world. I would like to mention that most of my books and stories appearing as e-books are also either in paper print or scheduled to be in print in the future. Mail can be addressed to me from my web site, see below.
* * *
Here is how my first newsletter began:
I'm pleased to announce the beginning of a personal newsletter. This is the first one. I will try to post a new newsletter on my websites (www.darrellbain.com/ and http://www.sff.net/people/dbain/) each month.
What's the purpose of this newsletter? Well, twofold. It's an easy way to update readers, fans, publishers, agents, movie moguls and other interested parties about what's going on with my writing. Secondly, it's a good way to connect with fans. I get letters in which I'm asked many questions which aren't necessarily related to my writing. And it seems a number of folks are interested in what I'm reading, what my opinion is on certain subjects, what's happening with my family, etc. I guess you can also say I like to write about what I think. So read on.
Surprise Birthday Party
On the personal side, my wife Betty just celebrated her 75th birthday (and yes, folks, she is more than eight years older than me). I planned and brought off a complete surprise birthday party, thanks in part to the help of my two stepdaughters, Patricia Pass and Colleen Cargill. By the way, Pat and Colleen are both teachers and I'm consulting with them on the book I'm presently writing, untitled as yet, but dealing with mind reading in school kids. The highlight of Betty's party was the bouquet of 75 big red roses. You have to see them to believe what a beautiful sight that many big red roses make together! For any of you guys who are getting on in years, I wholeheartedly recommend giving your wife or significant other as many roses as she has had birthdays. Trust me—you won't go wrong! Actually, I doubt you can go very wrong by giving any number of roses, even one!
Undeserved Bad Luck
One of our relatives has had a real bad run: his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago; his wife, the only woman he ever dated, was diagnosed with another type of cancer and recently passed away while still in her forties. His stepfather has just been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. And yesterday his house was hit by lightning and burned to the ground. If anyone has an inkling of who or what orders those kind of events, please pass the word that he's had enough.
An odd Dedication
I was asked why I dedicated my book Savage Survival to a bunch of convicts. It's really simple. My son is spending some time behind bars because of getting mixed up with drugs, and he and several friends provided me with a very extensive dictionary of prison and criminal slang. I used some of the vernacular in scenes from Savage Survival. I saved it and used some more of it in The Melanin apocalypse.
Fan Becomes Friend
I have a fan who has become a friend, though I've met him only once (he bought me lunch while I was at a science fiction convention) who has mastered more trades in his forty years than anyone I've ever known. He is an aviator/instructor, qualified in a plethora of aircraft; a former policeman; an animal trainer; a brilliant mechanic; etc. He's another guy who has had an incredible run of bad luck. He tells me he shouldn't have spit on that Gypsy. I'm tempted to write the story of his last two years, but I doubt most people would believe it. He's the one who was responsible for getting me to finally write another book in the Williard Brothers (Medics Wild) series. He's close to being a fanatic about those books. All five Williard Brothers books are out as an e-books now and they are gradually coming out in print.
I'm currently re-reading John Barnes' Mother Of Storms and Steven Coonts' Flight Of The Intruder. I highly recommend both these books; I've read them many times. Mother of Storms was one of Barnes's first books, and I don't think he's equaled it in any of the ones he's written since. He did write a very entertaining science fiction novel, Finity, that was very thought provoking. I'm about ready to read that one again, too.
And a note about how I'm enjoying "retirement" after closing our Christmas tree farm. I love it! I'm writing several books a year and hope I can keep it up for many years to come! I guarantee you it is much more fun than getting out on a tractor on a cold, windy December morning, or swinging a shearing knife for hours at a time in the middle of August.
Being a Writer
One question I've been asked: are there any drawbacks to being a writer? Yes, there are. My main gripe is that the more I write, the less time I have to read! There's another problem with being a writer: supply exceeds demand by a wide margin, and it gets harder and harder for a new writer to get published. A few years ago, when the E-book publishing business was getting off the ground, it provided an outlet for many writers who hadn't had much luck with print publishers. Unfortunately, some of the earlier books (including some of mine) weren't edited very well (or at all) and it gave E-books a less than admirable reputation among professionals for a time. That has changed now. The quality of E-books has improved considerably and any E-book publisher worthy of the name has both good acquisition editors and good book editors.
E-books are designed to be downloaded and read on PPCs, PDAs, laptops, desktops, dedicated E-book readers, and just lately cell phones have begun to be used to read them. E-books are less expensive than print and you can carry around hundreds of books with you wherever you go. That's a nice way to pack for a vacation, folks!
The Best of Bainstorming Volume I Copyright © 2009. Darrell Bain. All rights reserved by the author. Please do not copy without permission.
Darrell Bain is the author of more than three dozen books, in many genres, running the gamut from humor to mystery and science fiction to humorous non-fiction. For the last several years he has concentrated on humor and science fiction, both short fiction, and suspense thrillers.
Darrell served thirteen years in the military as a medic and his two years in Vietnam formed the basis for his first published novel, Medics Wild. Darrell has been writing off and on all his life but really got serious about it only after the advent of computers. He purchased his first one in 1989 and has been writing furiously ever since.
While Darrell was working as a lab manager at a hospital in Texas, he met his wife Betty. He trapped her under a mistletoe sprig and they were married a year later. Darrell and Betty owned and operated a Christmas tree farm in East Texas for many years. It became the subject and backdrop for some of his humorous stories and books.
Hotline to Heaven
Laughing All the Way
Life on Santa Claus Lane
Shadow Worlds with Barbara M. Hodges
The Focus Factor with Gerald Mills
The Melanin Apocalypse
Human By Choice with Travis 'Doc' Taylor. Book 1 Cresperian series.
The Y Factor with Stephanie Osborn. Book 2 Cresperian series
The Cresperian Alliance with Stephanie Osborn. Book 3 Cresperian series.
Medics Wild - Prequel to the Williard Bros. Series
Post War Dinosaur Blues - Book 1 of the Williard Bros. Series
Bigfoot Crazy - Book 2 of the Williard Bros. Series
Author web site.
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