Monday, September 12, 2011

My 9/11 Story

Everyone has one. Anyone with any self-awareness can probably recount exactly when and where they were when they found out.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Day at the Park

Did you ever go to a theme park when you were a kid? Remember much? Yeah, me neither. I do remember not wanting to go on anything "scary" when I was little (ie, less than 16). ;) This past weekend, my wife and I took our 5.5-year-old son to Hershey Park.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Leading Two Lives is Hard!

Well, ok...not quite two "whole" lives, but still...trying to edit, release, blog, and market for my pseudonymous novel AND keep up with this blog and write and edit other stuff has been tasking to say the least. I've actually had to set alarms on my cell phone to pry me away from forum hopping/promotion. Can't say that it's really gotten me anywhere this first week, but when you're an indie newbie, bestsellers don't happen overnight. Caution...there's a bit of snark beyond the jump...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Happy Release Day for Multiples of Six!

I am very proud to announce that my pseudonymous suspense/thriller, Multiples of Six, is now available through most ebook retailers. It's been a long time coming, as the initial idea for this story began in 2004. Phew!

It's just over 70,000 words and I've had a lot of great feedback on it so far. I hope you'll give it a chance and let me know what you think if you do.

For Nook owners, the book can be found at Barnes & Noble.

For Kindle owners, you can click on the link below:

For all other formats (Sony, Apple, Kobo, PDF, etc), please check out

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Interview!


Be sure to check out my interview of Ty Johnston over on my other site. It's going to be a regular feature, every Monday and Thursday!


P.S. Multiples of Six, my pseudonymous suspense/thriller releases this Friday! I know, shameless plug. Sue me. ;)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Feature on My Pseudonymous Blog!

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to give some air time to a new feature I'll be introducing on my other blog ( The Same Six Questions will feature brief indie author interviews. I've had a great response so far, but the more the merrier, so feel free to contact me about getting involved! the first feature should be up soon! For readers, make sure to keep an eye out and meet an up and coming indie author! Ok, enough of the exclamation points...:)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sometimes You Have to Just Walk Away

It happens. You reach a point where you’re either going to break…or you’re going to break something. Guess what? If it’s gotten to that point, just walk away. You might be doing yourself a favor.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bad Food = Good Times

We took my son to a little local festival on Saturday and then to the movies on Sunday. When I finally introduced a vegetable back into my body Sunday night, there was a collective sigh of relief from all of my major organs.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Hair

I had a strange experience the other day. I walked up to the cashier at Home Depot and she turned, looked at me, smiled and said, "Ooo! I love your hair color!" Now, I've heard this before, but not quite the way she meant it, which was reinforced when she asked, "Is it your true color?" "Yep, it's all me. Au naturale," I said. She then commented about how lucky I was and that people paid to get it that color. I simply smiled and walked away, thinking, "Oh, if you only knew how much I would have once paid to have it any other color!"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When My Book Gets Made Into a Movie, Things’ll Be Different

Hahahaha! Right? I mean…talk about getting ahead of oneself. Let’s get published first. But, the impetus behind this post is my recent experience with Rick Riordan’s first book in the Percy Jackson series, which was subsequently made into a movie. I had yet to read any of the books (I know!), but my wife had most of them, so I delved into The Lightning Thief. I was hooked and about 60 pages in, I thought “You know, I’ve watched the end of the movie, but never saw the beginning. I wonder what it’s like.” Well, it’s nothing like the book.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

So Many Projects, So Little Time

I used to complain about not having enough good novel ideas. Now, as I wrap up my second novel (check out the excerpt to Multiples of Six if you haven't already), I can only complain about the opposite. With two novels now recently "finished", I have some choices to make about where to put my energy next. Obviously, the two novels I've finished will still require work, but I am at a point now where I've set them on autopilot for a little bit (one is an exclusive with an agent, the other with beta readers). So, I find myself now with a choice to make. Both completed novels require sequels (one has been plotted out entirely with a couple chapters started, the other I've got the first six chapters plotted and one solid chapter written), but I also have not one, but three other novel ideas in various stages of completion (a YA sci-fi piece at 50,000 words, a paranormal thriller piece at ~10,000 words with another 12 chapters plotted, and a steampunk idea in its infancy). Decisions, decisions!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

If You’re Reading This, We’ve Survived the Rapture

So, in case you were living under that rock of yours for the last week or so, the world was supposed to end yesterday. Oh, and I guess it was supposed to wait until it was Saturday here in the US…because the folks in Australia were already digesting their Saturday lunch by the time we all went to bed. Big shocker, right? I mean, c’mon people. There are better ways to promote your website (every single banner/sign included their URL…who says there isn’t money to be made at the apocalypse?).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Writing Will Be a Hobby Until You Treat It Like a Business

Someone recently called my writing a hobby. Luckily for that someone, I love them very much, so I politely explained that writing was my side business, not my hobby. Collecting baseball cards is a hobby. Building little ships inside glass bottles…that’s a hobby. Writing is a form of art, the results of which some people will actually pay for! If you expect to be paid to do what you do, you need to treat it like a business.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Writing What You "Know" Into What You Don't

There are moments out of the past that stick with us for a variety of reasons. Some are happy moments, some not so happy...okay...maybe a lot of them are the not so happy. It's sad that we often can reflect back on 10 unhappy memories quicker than equally happy ones. They've made the kind of mark that joyful moments just don't leave as often. One of the more memorable unhappy childhood moments in my life just spawned the beginnings of an entire book.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Balancing Act

For my current situation, creating a pseudonym makes perfect sense. It distinguishes my writing between two very different audiences. However, as if finding the time to establish one following hasn’t been hard enough, I’ve now encumbered myself with two!

Two blogs (this one and that one), two Twitter accounts (@samulraney, and @andyraneauthor), a Facebook page, a soon to be active web site, and two email accounts. Yeah, maybe I pushed it a little too far. Perhaps I should have just stuck with an extra page on this blog and a twitter account. But, at the same time, I’m convinced that I’ll need these tools to deal with two completely different readerships.

The real trick right now is finding the time to juggle all of this extraneous social networking while trying to fine tune one novel and develop the story line for the sequel to the other. Oh yeah, and I have to work 40 hours a week as well…and not completely ignore my family. Do I hear someone in need of a Wah!-mbulance? Yeah, maybe a little. What’s funny now, is that I used to dream of having ideas for a novel. Ideas that I could shape into thousands of words. Well, as they say, be careful what you wish for. Now, the ideas are there, just not the time to dedicate to them. Anyway, I don’t want this to be a whiny blog. Some people would kill to have too many ideas.

Balance is always important, but perhaps even more so now. Things are only going to get crazier if all goes well. If your life is in balance, you’re more likely to take challenges in stride, then stumbling. Here's to not stumbling over the next couple of months!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Allow Myself to Introduce...Myself

Pen name, nom de plume, pseudonym. Call it what you will, but many authors over the years have used one for a variety of reasons. George Eliot, Richard Bachman, Mark Twain, Lewis Carroll to name but a few. Some did it to transcend sexual barriers. Some did it to avoid persecution for what they wrote. Today, most authors use it to separate one body of work from another. And, while I don’t have a huge body of work to deal with, I presently have two very distinct genres I’m pursuing. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Corrections – A Review

I love a book that makes me think about life in a new way. Heck, I like a book that makes me think, period. Jonathan Franzen’s book, The Corrections had me doing as much thinking as reading and that's a good thing.

Monday, April 11, 2011


The trouble with getting older isn't necessarily what happens to the body as it ages. What I've found most relevant is the regular reminders of age that come from without.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Making Something Out of Nothing

I took a step back in time this weekend. My wife and I took my son over to the Jersey Shore, with the intent of walking around Belmar. Our recent move puts us within an easy hour drive of the shore and my wife was excited to be so close (used to be about two hours, depending on where we were headed). The day was sunny, breezy, and warm enough that a light coat sufficed. We glanced at a map and headed out. It's not an area we're afraid of getting lost in, and we figured it would be a fairly straight shot to the boardwalk...or we'd see a sign...or something. So, when it became clear that we'd missed a turn somewhere, we decided to go to Asbury Park instead.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thoughts From the Wrong Side

I promise…this is the last post about Hawaii…and a short one at that!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hawaii – View From the Top of the World

During our stay on the Big Island of Hawaii, we tried to spend our time avoiding the typical touristy things and get to the out-of-the-way places that only the locals (and the tourists with the time and proper vehicle) visit, but the guided trip up to the top of Mauna Kea was something we didn’t want to miss.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hawaii - Too Tired to Be Afraid

Ever been in a hotel where they come over a loudspeaker in the middle of the night and tell you there is an imminent tsunami? No? Yeah…neither had I.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Succumbing to the Dark Side

If you don’t go with the flow, you’ll get dragged kicking and screaming into the future one way or the other. So, I broke down and asked for a Kindle for Christmas. And, I’m here to report that (I’m so sorry paperbacks!) I love it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Broadening My Platform

In an effort to increase my social networking platform (such marketing lingo really does make my skin crawl), I am now on Twitter (@samulraney).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Return From the Wrong Side

Hark, I return. And, like someone who knows they’ve been caught speeding and just doesn’t have a good excuse, or the time to make one up, I offer nothing to explain my time away. But, the exciting part is that I’ve been productive in the last four months; I finished my latest novel.