Author: Matt Manochio

The Dark Servant, my debut supernatural thriller, will be released on 11/4/2014 through Samhain Publishing, and will be available at brick-and-mortar bookstores, and on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, iBooks, and SamhainPublishing.com, among others. I was born in New Jersey, graduated from Roxbury High School in 1993, and from the University of Delaware in 1997. I worked as a copy editor at the Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail from 1997 to 1998, and as a newspaper reporter for the Daily Record in Morris County, N.J., from 1999 to 2011. While I won both South Carolina and New Jersey Press Association awards for my work at both places, the absolute highlight of my journalistic life was meeting and interviewing AC/DC's Brian Johnson for USA Today in 2011. I'm married with a little boy. It is my hope to use this blog to, among other things, discuss the publishing process as I experience it.

First they came for Geoffrey Giraffe … (well, not really but it’s still bad)

Credit: The Internet

Many people, me included, are a little put off by this story about a big-game hunter from Kentucky killing a beautiful and apparently rare giraffe species in Africa.

Here’s what she said about it according to The UK Sun: “Prayers for my once in a lifetime dream hunt came true today! Spotted this rare black giraffe bull and stalked him for quite a while. I knew it was the one.

“He was over 18 years old, 4000lbs and was blessed to be able to get 2000lbs of meat from him.”###

First, how hard is it to “spot” and “stalk” a giraffe? It’s a 2-ton, 20-foot-tall animal that lives in an open-plains environment. That’s like me boasting I spotted and stalked a yummy-looking ice cream sundae at the Dairy Queen and got two scoops of vanilla out of it. Praise Jesus.

It’s not like she was stalking a terrified spider monkey that can swing with jungle vines and easily hide among the canopy leaves. For chrissakes, look at the background of the photo! It’s not like the giraffe can run and hide behind a tree with its knees shaking, thinking, “I hope she doesn’t see me!”

Second, how the hell does she know the giraffe was 18 years old? Did she pick its driver’s license off the corpse? And what does age have to do with it? The older the giraffe the better the kill? I’d argue that it’s even more cowardly to hunt an aging animal because, well, what if it has arthritis or macular degeneration? You’re admitting to stalking a weak-kneed, partially blind animal that was probably getting up at 3 am to pee because it has an enlarged prostate. Let’s face it: this hunter killed grampa! It’s bad enough people have picked Geoffrey Giraffe’s carcass clean of toys, now this hunter is crowing she got 2,000 pounds of meat “from” this 4,000-pound giraffe. No, you got the meat OFF him, not FROM him, the latter of which indicates the giraffe had some say in the matter. And what happened to the other 2,000 pounds of meat? Answer (probably): vultures and/or hyenas.

Third, she’s pointing to the sky to praise God. (How much you want to bet she’s pro-life? Irony, anyone?) And in this case, I’m sorta hoping God is giving her a different finger gesture and thinking “Time for a brain aneurism.” But God wouldn’t do something as insidious as what this hunter did to that magnificent creature.

I have no problem with hunters who do indeed use the meat from their kills. But I doubt this hunter is grilling up Geoffrey burgers as one ton of giraffe meat sounds like it would be tough to get through customs. So perhaps she piled it up, slab upon flies-buzzing-around-it slab, in front of a local African food pantry, rang the doorbell and hightailed it home. Classy.

But to kill one of these magnificent creatures (giraffes are my favorite right behind Jennifer Garner) and to praise the lord for it strikes me as barbarous. Now, I’m not one of these people who’ll bombard this hunter’s social media with hate and whatnot. What she did was apparently legal if not despicable. But people, please, why not bring a high-powered camera instead of an elephant gun to bring back a wonderful memory from Africa?

Advertisements

The Origin of The Highwayman – HorrorTalk

The Origin of The Highwayman – HorrorTalk

https://www.horrortalk.com/features/8127-the-origin-of-the-highwayman-matt-manochio.html

Dear Goodreads (Amazon) executive …

Dear Amazon.com executive who thinks it’s a good idea to charge $119 to give away one book on Goodreads.com,

I’m Matt Manochio, a small press author with three novels and one novella under his belt. I like Amazon! I sell my books on Amazon and hope readers review my books on Amazon. I’m an Amazon Prime member (I’m binge-watching Boardwalk Empire now; way better than The Sopranos, IMO). And I plan to Christmas-shop on Amazon in the weeks ahead. I also happen to like Goodreads. It’s a great way to reach to readers and stay in touch with loyal fans and fellow authors. I’ve even given away a book or two on Goodreads through its Giveaway program.

So, imagine my surprise this morning when a writer buddy informed me that Goodreads (which is owned by Amazon) beginning next year will charge authors/publishers $119 to give away a book (digital or print) on Goodreads—which authors/publishers currently can do for free.

I love capitalism. Love it! So do a majority of authors—even the Bernie Bros—who hope to earn money selling books through the United States’ capitalistic system.

Amazon clearly loves capitalism. And what you’re doing with Goodreads reeks of it. Fine by me. You’ll soon be providing an otherwise free service to interested parties in exchange for money. Nothing wrong with that. But $119? I realize Amazon has to pay Goodreads employees’ salaries, and bandwidth (whatever the hell that is) ain’t free. But do you really think it should cost more than an iPhone X to give away 10 books on Goodreads?

Please keep in mind that a majority of your authors aren’t pulling in six-, five-, or four-figure royalty checks every month. Some of us are thrilled by getting a three– or even a two-figure one if we meet our publisher’s threshold to cut a check. And that money goes to pay the power bill or groceries—not an extra Ferrari to make the neighbors jealous.

In case someone reading this doesn’t understand what $119 gets you, here’s a boiled-down version, sans the Goodreads’ fluff: Giveaway entrants have the book automatically added to their want-to-read lists; the author’s followers who have the book on their WTR lists are alerted that there’s a giveaway for the book; eight weeks after the giveaway ends, Goodreads emails and reminds the reader to review the book; and giveaways are featured in the Giveaways section of Goodreads.com. (They’re not already?)

That doesn’t seem like a $119 bargain to me. But wait! You’re offering a Premium Giveaway for—wait for it—$599! Wow! That’s capitalism on East German Olympic swim team steroids! Do you hear that? It’s the sound of authors rushing to their wallets to whip out their credit cards! They don’t care what’s included for $599 (everything in the “Standard” package and “premium” placement in the Goodreads’ Giveaways section; seriously, that’s it), they just know that the return on investment will be worth it!

I’m a bit skeptical. Rather than plunk down nearly $600 to give away one book, I’ll save up my dough for a BookBub promotion (where you usually get your return on investment), and, as another writer buddy of mine suggested, I’ll give away a book for free on Twitter or my website. I’m not at all opposed to paying Goodreads to give away a book. You are indeed providing a service. But my limit would $9.99.

Capitalism is wonderful thing, and one of the good things about it is we don’t have to partake in it if we choose not to. I’ll still buy a bunch of stuff on Amazon (and with Prime, I’ll get it sooner!). But I cannot ever see myself dropping $600 or even $120 to give away a single book on any website, respectfully.

Krampus Funko Pop! Arrives!

Chim Chim Cher-ee!

Funko Pop! has crafted perhaps the best thing I’ve ever wasted my money on–Krampus! If you don’t know who Krampus is, buy this book and you’ll learn all about him and help me pay my power bill. (I know, totally shameless.)

Other than the Living Dead Doll, there aren’t many Krampus things you can display on your desk or hide in your bedroom closet because you’re a 42-year-old man and you feel strange keeping it on your nightstand. But what Funko has done is magnificent. Here he is:

img_0006

First, this is one hefty hunk of plastic, potentially an interesting paperweight in the right hands or a spiked weapon in the wrong ones. He’s holding a ruten (i.e., birch switch to swat bad children), he has a basket (pictured below) chained to his back, and his long, snakelike tongue is slithering! And the best part?

img_0005  There’s a (presumably) naughty Funko Pop! kid in his basket! It doesn’t come out, but damn! What an awesome touch.

Once you hold this piece of plastic in your hot little hands you’ll say to yourself, “Wow! I wish I there were other Funko Pop! Krampuses I could buy.” Well, you’re in luck! Funko is out to squeeze every last buck out of you that you really should be stashing away into your kid’s college savings plan. Funko is producing 5 of them! There’s the basic one above, and which is the best of the lot, in my book. But you also have ….

A red “Chase” variant. Meaning you have a one-in-six chance of plucking one of these out of the box:

jpeg2

What this means is this one will run you a lot more than the basic one on eBay (curse you secondary-market sellers!). Now come the store exclusives! Hot Topic will have the following “Flocked” offerings. I honestly have no idea what that means. Is the fur designed differently? It’s not a fuzzy action figure, is it? I don’t know. But here’s the basic one, followed by the white “Chase” variant, meaning this one will cost even more than the Red “Chase” figure pictured above.

I love the white one and not just because he reminds me of my former father-in-law (and I adore the guy, who’s 6’4 tall). Hopefully the next time I swing by my nearest Hot Topic and feel awkward walking by all the sex toys (wait, that’s Spencer’s, never mind), I’ll see if they have the white critter.

Now, fifth and finally, is the FYE exclusive “Frozen” Krampus. (I pre-ordered one. Seriously. I’m 42 and I did that.)

jpeg5

I think he’s the bees knees. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking the following: Will this guy actually seek out all five of these Krampuses when he could just as easily donate the money he’ll use to buy them to the needy? Yes. But I’ll be sure to put one in the Toys for Tots bin, too. Thank you, Funko, thank you! Happy hunting to all, and to all a good night!

As if the Weinstein saga couldn’t get worse …

Oh no! A photo of the late Carrie Fisher has emerged of her being harassed by Harvey Weinstein in 1983!

A quick Harvey Weinstein thought …

Now that we regular, non-Hollywood, normal people know what a devious swine Harvey Weinstein is, we are faced with a question:

Are we still allowed to enjoy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when Harvey Weinstein makes his appearance?

Aaron Judge/Jose Altuve Halloween costume!

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, who is 6’7, and Astros infielder Jose Altuve, 5’6, square off in the ALCS tonight!

I think we can all agree that win or lose, these two budding MVPs should team up for the best Halloween costume ever: Master Blaster from Mad Max fame!

Two men enter, one man leave!