Posts Tagged ‘larry correia’

Why I’m gonna purchase Correia’s MONSTER HUNTER ALPHA on Monday

Posted in John's Reviews - books, movies, whatever  by John Brown on July 22nd, 2011

I’m going to be purchasing MONSTER HUNTER ALPHA by Larry Correia on Monday.  Here’s why.

Reason #1: Correia delivers the goods

I read MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL.  I ended my review of MHI saying Correia was going to be a writer to watch.  Well, for those of you who haven’t been watching, not only did Correia  sell tons of copies of MHI, he also made the New York Times best seller list with his second book AND sold TV rights to the MHI series to a major TV producer.

Why would his books generate such a response? Because they’re so dang fun. That’s why. And Correia isn’t just a flash in the pan one-trick pony. Far from it, as demonstrated by Reason #2 below.

I told you in my review of INTERNATIONAL that I don’t read books that don’t suck me in. I don’t give them 70 pages to warm up and get going.  I don’t care who wrote the book. I don’t care if the author is a big lug with guns. I don’t care if he has status and money or friends who can put the hurt on me. I don’t care if the author is my girl’s godmother and brings me Walker Shortbread Rounds (which are evil cookies that exert mind control). If the book bores me, I put it down. That doesn’t mean that books which bore me aren’t wonderful. Sales and numerous reader exclamations of delight and satisfaction attest to the the fact that many are. It’s just that I’m a reader of little patience. I love it when a book starts with a bang and keeps me hooked. And Correia’s books do exactly that.   

Reason #2: Correia’s getting better

I read MONSTER HUNTER VENDETTA recently.  I should have reviewed it, but I’ve been so freaking busy I barely have time to shave or appear in public because I’ve begun to look like the Unabomber. But here’s the deal with VENDETTA–it’s better than INTERNATIONAL.  

Yes. Better.

Well, expect for maybe the opening paragraphs. The quote and first few paragraps that opened INTERNATIONAL are hard to beat. This doesn’t mean the opening of VENDETTA is weak. Heck, no. VENDETTA trounces the openings of most novels and steals their lunch. And then it continues to delight all the rest of the way through. It’s just that it didn’t quite deliver the same jolt as MHI. But 500 or 503 watts, what’s the difference?

So with VENDETTA, are there guns? Yes.

Monsters? Check.

Action? There’s action galore.

It appeals to my testosterone right off the bat (even though Larry reports that a good number of his readers are women). But there are guns, monsters, and action in a lot of stories that stink. What Correia does is not only give us great action, but he also gives us wonderful new situations.  For example, you will never see the scene set in the ghetto of Birmingham, Alabama that appears here in any other book. Never. It’s a Correia original. But even more important than great new situations, is that he gives us a first-person narrator who is delightful to be around. I’m talking about Owen Zavasta Pitt, the accountant monster hunter. His responses to the situations he gets in just make me laugh, as do a number of the responses of the other characters. My only wish is that Correia would tone down some of his language just a bit.  It is possible even when writing about military characters.  But you can’t have everything, and Owen’s such a loveable lug, I overlook it.  Hey, maybe Milo will help him out on that as the series progresses.

Furthermore, Pitt isn’t the only character who I find delightful or interesting.  In VENDETTA there is also Holly, Agent Franks, and G-Nome, one of Correia’s best yet. Of course, there’s also the Doctors Nelson, the former hunter Carlos, Melvin the troll, and Earl Harbinger who have their own moments to shine. As do Owen’s dad and brother. And Dorcas, MHI’s secretary with the plastic leg. Heck, I even like Susan.

So how many is that–eleven already? How many wonderful characters do most authors give you in one book? Two or three?

And that’s one of the things that is is better with VENDETTA than INTERNATIONAL.  In INTERNATIONAL, as good as it was, some of the characters just didn’t get the stage time they needed to shine. But here Correia declutters his scenes so we’re not trying to focus on too many people. The result is that those we do focus on each have the their moments and lines. The other thing I noticed was that Correia deftly orients us to each new situation. For those of you who are writers, let me suggest you look at Correia’s technique in VENDETTA for introducing characters and settings. 

Another good thing: he wipes out a Girls Gone Wild camera crew in the first chapter. Anyone who does that gets a few points in my book.

VENDETTA doesn’t attempt to become bigger in scope than INTERNATIONAL (as if it could). Instead, it feels like another episode in a great tale. And I’m happy with that because it promises more to come. I’m back with characters I like and situations that make me laugh and magic crap that evokes some oohs and aahs and every now and again makes me wish I’d come up with it for my own use.

Finally, VENDETTA leavens the humor and action with a couple of poignant moments. I’m thinking of a chapter with Carlos, another scene with Owen’s dad, and one with G-Nome.

As you can see, VENDETTA’S packed with goodness.

With ALPHA, I’m expecting to hook up with at least one of the gang for more exploits and laffs. Will Correia get even better? I have no doubt he will. But who cares–he’s already delivering great stuff.  

Reason #3 Did I mention that Correia makes me laugh?

Just didn’t want to forget that. Furthermore, I swear I read somewhere that laughter increases your health and makes you live longer. So not only am I getting a great read, I’m extending my days upon the land.

Reason #4 Monday is a special day

Not any old Monday. But the 25th of July.

Why is this special?

Because it’s the first day of the first week of the book’s release.

Now I know I’m going to buy this book sometime. But buying it in the first week lets me do something I might not be able to do at some other time.

Because Correia has given me hours of pleasure, I figure I can tip him for his good service by helping him make the best seller list again.  And a book has the best chance of making that list in the first week of release. (For those of you interested in how that works, Larry gives a good explaination here.) Making a best seller list does all sorts of good things for an author, and, as a result, that author’s readers.

So Monday’s my day to leave the tip on the table and tell the owner to keep up the good work.

The New York Times list is a good one. But I’d like to see him on the USA Today list, which measures sales so much better than any other list out there. My fingers are crossed.

For those of you who are Correia fans or who have been putting off giving his stuff a go, now’s the time to either get MHI and begin the series or ALPHA and continue the delight.

EDIT: After I posted, I couldn’t wait and just went ahead and processed my order. Pre-orders will count in that first week, and after writing this I couldn’t resist. Looking forward to more hours of laughter and some great characters.



How to get and develop killer story ideas – recording

Posted in On Writing  by John Brown on February 21st, 2011

The recording of the session with Larry Correia at LTUE is up on YouTube. I really enjoyed this session, and it’s always fun to work with Larry. A few additonal points.

First, you might think, well, heck, they didn’t finish a story idea. No, we didn’t. The purpose wasn’t to wow the audience. It was to show them the process of generating ideas. But . . . that doesn’t mean we weren’t close.

The big thing we’re missing from the story at the end is the situation, the problem. So if you want to extend this, ask yourself a question to help you identify that story core. For example, you might say, let’s narrow this down by genre. What genres could we use? Romance, political thriller, crime, horror, humor, scifi, western, paranormal, etc. If we select paranormal thriller, we limit our options (a good thing), and can start to generate ideas around a question like, what’s going on, what’s the problem? Potential answers:

  • There’s some gateway to the spirit world in Wyoming
  • Maybe there’s an oilrigger roughneck involved
  • Maybe something with the drilling disturbed something
  • Maybe a crime has been committed (I know, I know, but what did I say in the video about crap, cliche?)
  • Maybe that Japanese tourist has a way to capture the spirits and use them in some magic. Is he a wizard? Is he there to trap the spirits of the dead to fuel his magic? Did he get a nagging ghost that drives him nuts?
  • Did someone call him in?
  • Or is he possessed? An innocent bystander?
  • Is there some ghost there that knows something about a political figure, some information?  
  • Maybe someone who can project her spirit, has some power, has been kidnapped and is being held in Wyoming. Or tries to make her escape when her kidnappers stop in Rock Springs. And the guy to help her is the Japanese Tourist.
  • Maybe these aren’t ghosts, but some kind of alien symbiote? There was a crash somewhere and the locals were infected?
  • Or should I ask: what could go wrong with ghosts? Or what is the nature of ghost magic?  

Do you see? If we had more time, we’d have delved more into the situation with creative Q&A. Sooner or later as we generated ideas around character, setting, and problem a story idea would have come to life.

And (thank you, Mike Barker) here’s a transcript.

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Best dang article on time management for writers I’ve seen

Posted in On Writing  by John Brown on December 21st, 2010
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Larry Correia lays it all out. Plus he talks about research.


Brown & Correia Now in Fresh Market and Maceys Grocery Stores

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on November 19th, 2010

SERVANT OF A DARK GOD, written by the Lizard King of the Hollow Earth, and MONSTER HUNTER VENDETTA, by Gun Happy Larry Correia, have been picked up by the vendors that stock the book shelves in the Fresh Market and Maceys grocery stores in Utah. The dynamic duo rocks! So all of you wanting to give books for Christmas, pick some up when you go get your peanut butter and bread. This is excellent news for both books.


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Larry Correia & The Monster Hunter Nation

Posted in News - updates on books, events, appearances, etc.  by John Brown on October 19th, 2010

Gotta love this. I just got back from the dermatologist’s. Yesterday it was determined that the thing growing on the side of my nose was not an alien (darn it!) but a squamous cell carcinoma. So the Doc had his rat chew the thing off my face today. He showed me my nose in a mirror so he could explain how he couldn’t just sew up the hole because that would create a pucker. Instead, he needed to cut all the way up the bridge of my nose and then all the way down along the edge of my nostril to make an L-shaped skin flap that he could then stitch up so it would heal all nice and pretty. As he was explaining, I got a good look at the gaping bloody hole–it was the size of your pinky nail, folks. He also told me stories of his time in Russia. His medical assistant told me one of her husband’s run-in with the mafia in Milan. A good time was had all around. Then 30 or so stitches later I came home and found that Larry Correia was up to no good again: Let’s Book Bomb the Hell out of John Brown

So the paperback of SERVANT OF A DARK GOD, which releases in two weeks on November 2nd, started off ranked #220,997 on Amazon. I just checked the rank. As of 2:22 pm we’re at #5,686. Can’t wait to see where this goes today.

Whatever happens, I think I’m going to end up owing Larry and the Monster Hunters some ballistic tip bullets and hand grenades.

EDIT: it’s 3:29 am on Wednesday, October 20th. Just dragged my sleepy hiney back from doing recordings with the Writing Excuses team in American Fork (they’ll publish in November). And lo, the Monster Hunter Nation did bomb the book, and it did rise in rank until it did verily hit an Amazon bestseller list.

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

#65 in  Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic

It reached this point sometime while I was on the road. As of right now Servant is:

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

#88 in  Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic

And so it was written that the Monster Hunter Nation was awesome to behold. It’s hand grenades for sure.

EDIT: Here we go. Day 2 9:50 am.

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

#85 in  Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic

EDIT: end of day 2.

Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Excellent advice from author Larry Correia

Posted in On Writing  by John Brown on May 12th, 2010
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Larry just wrote a great post about Writing Gun Stuff. Down at the bottom, he says this:

I’m not one of those people who gets hung up on “rules of writing”. . .  If it is awesome, and your readers like it, write it. [emphasis added]

Amen to that. And if you’re going to write about characters with guns, read the rest of the of the post.

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