Timothy S. Villa

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Springfield, Illinois, United States
Version3Point0! Maybe it should be Version4Point0 now that I'm published as an Indie Author, but we'll deal with that another time. The Blog of Indie Author Timothy S. Villa where I detail the process that is writing and everything related, as well as the odd review and whatever else strikes my fancy. My first book, Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1, a horror short story book, is available now from all major ebook retailers.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"What Is Wrong With You?" and An Author's Need For Reviews

That was roughly the first thing my sister said to me this past Sunday when my wife and I met my parents, my sister, and one of my nieces (Travonski) for lunch in The Quad Cities.  She asked where I get these ideas from, she said that she liked the first story until it started to get too graphic and describing things she didn't want to be able to visualize, and was being forced to by reading the story.

She then said she told my mother not to read it.

All of which, by far, is great praise for a horror story.  I wanted to elicit responses similar to those, I admit, and I think anyone who writes horror (really anyone who writes anything wants to elicit strong reactions, responses, and emotions) would love to get responses similar to those.

"What is wrong with you?"

So many things, I wouldn't even know where to start.

While in the Quad Cities for two days, I did come up with two separate ideas for short stories as well. Amazing how ideas can come to you when it's 3 in the morning and you're standing outside drinking coffee and having a smoke staring at a run down looking hotel across the road where people are in and out of multiple rooms like a revolving door.  I'll try to get to work on those before long.

The other part of this blog is going to be about reviews.  Oh, and my shameless way of asking for them.

Selling books is important, do not get me wrong on that.  If you don't sell a book, how do you expect anyone to review them?  Aside from giving away free copies and/or buying reviews, the latter of which I'm not a fan of nor do I plan to participate in.  But in my opinion of equal, if not slightly greater importance, is reviews on such places as Goodreads and Amazon (and many other places, but I listed two of the bigger places, at least in the US just because).

A good review, being unbiased and honest, is a great thing. If it comes from a source that purchased the book, enjoyed the book, and then felt moved to share that with other potential book readers, there is little else that can do as much good for word of mouth and eventual sales on a book.  Yes, it would be nice to be reviewed by a big review site or magazine and for said review to be glowing and full of praise, but for the average Indie Author the odds of that happening are relatively slim.  What is far more possible, and probable, is to receive good reviews from those that either stumbled across your book or happened to respond to the marketing you did before, during, or after the release of a book.  The better the reviews, the higher the average star rating, the better the chances are for further sales from others who may stumble upon your book.  It is a great cycle that can and will self replicate and lead to more reviews.

A mediocre, or average or three star review, is far more common and worth the world to an author as well. I can not tell you how many books I decided to take a chance on because the reviews said it was "good, not great, and enjoyable" or it had an average of three stars.  Why?  Because the odds of getting a great book that you love more than anything from an author before unknown to you are slim, the odds of getting a terrible book are far greater, but taking the chance on a mediocre" book generally reaps far greater rewards for the reader.  Most people will go into a book or movie that has tepid or so-so reviews with lower expectations and a hint of reservation about it.  Thus, it is far harder to disappoint them and has far greater chances of surprising them and becoming something they really enjoy.  This has happened to me countless times, and a few of the authors I enjoy more than many others are now must read because I was blown away by one of their books.  Would I have been blown away if it was a five starred book full of reviews that made it out to be the second coming of Stephen King (My own personal favorite author)?  No.  I would have been let down and would have viewed the book as less than it really was.  I recently purchased The Hungry based on so many excellent reviews, and while it wasn't terrible, it was nowhere near as good as I thought it was going to be.  I was let down.  I put the book aside.  I won't be purchasing the rest of the series because it wasn't as good as I was led to believe it would be. And this is not the fault of the author or the book, not at all, the fault lies with me because of how I view such things.  But I am not alone.  Think of the last movie you heard so much hype about from virtually everyone, that was so highly regarded and reviewed and maybe even won a ton of awards, and when you finally saw it on DVD or maybe a pay channel how let down you were.  Was the movie still good?  Sure it was, but it was never going to live up to the hype that had been built around it.  That's not the movie's fault.

A bad review, a one star crapfest, is not always a bad thing to get as an author either.  This one depends on what, if anything, is said in the reviews.  Something I've found is that most people will rip a book apart and declare it one or two stars because of things that have nothing to do with the actual book.  Looking solely at the horror genre, I am amazed at how many people will buy a book that promotes itself as gory, as an example, and then be shocked and disgusted by it.  What did you think you were buying?  So you then go to a review site and rip it to shreds, which is your right of course.  Do you know what happens a really good percentage of the time? People buy the book based on your low review because they happen to love that kind of thing.  "Oh, so Miss Historical Romance fan was offended and disgusted by the scenes and description of a man being disemboweled for three pages and then crawling over his own innards to try to escape?  Well I LOVE that kind of thing, so this is an instabuy now." That happens, and it happens a lot. I've done it many times, and often found myself a new good book or a new author to follow.  If your bad reviews feature things like poor formatting, bad spelling errors, and poorly constructed scenes, characters, and sentences, well that's another thing entirely, and often will not lead to any sales, but more often than not I find that poor reviews and low ratings are more about personal taste than anything.

So, now that I've dissected all of that, what is the point?

I've to date sold 23 copies and given away 4 more of Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1, which I am pleased with.  27 copies of anything that is brand new from someone that 99.9% of the book reading populace has never heard about in less than a week is good.  Multiple complete strangers with no connection to me at all have added it to read or wish listed it as well, which is even better.  I have somehow managed to connect with people outside my personal circles, and that is great and encouraging .  What I need now though, more than sales, is for the reviews to start happening.  Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying anything negative because I haven't gotten any reviews yet in less than a week, because chances are those 27 copies have not been read.  I know I will buy a book and on average not even read it for six months, and sometimes far longer depending on my To Read List.  What I am saying is that, if you got a copy of the book, and whether you loved it or hated, when you are finished with it please take the time to go to a review site (again I listed but two and there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of them online) and either write a short review of the book or simply star rate it.  This will lead to more sales, more adds on lists, and more people becoming aware of the book, as well as to a little more excitement when my first full length novel is released soon.

And if you know me personally or via some electronic medium and you hate the book, I want you to do the same.  You won't hurt my feelings, you won't discourage me, and it won't be awkward for us moving forward, but you will maybe get me a new reader based upon what I said above.

Timothy S. Villa

Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1 is a 30,000 plus word horror short story collection now available at the following online retailers:
-Amazon US
-Amazon UK
-Amazon CA
-Smashwords
-Barnes & Noble
-iTunes
-Google Play Books
-Kobo
-Scribd
-Inktera
Free samples are available at all of the above as well.  I encourage sampling before buying.

Friday, August 29, 2014

"How did you come up with your idea?"

Everyone who creates anything, music, movies, TV, stories, books, art, inventions, always invariably get asked the same question at some point.

"How did you come up with your idea?"

I've seen all kinds of answers to this question over the years, ranging from the funny to the ultra serious.  So here's my version for the short stories available to you (for just $1.99!) in Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1 by Timothy S. Villa (that's me) for sale right now (or after midnight cst) at

-Amazon US
-Amazon UK
-Smashwords
-Barnes & Noble for The Nook
-iTunes
-Kobo



If you don't see your country's Amazon link above, please search for it at your Amazon by title or author, as it is available on a total of twelve different Amazon sites.

Okay, so the answers.  I'm going to go story by story and reveal how I came up with each story, as best I can.

I'm With The Band
The short story that starts off the collection, centers around a young woman, Gina, who is invited to a small bar in the middle of nowhere in Indiana to see her new boyfriend's band play.

I came up with this idea in 2009 or so.  It came, as stories often do, to me in the early morning hours when I was barely awake.  Over the course of a few days to weeks I worked the idea around in my head and came up with the hows, whys, and whats, ending with what I thought was a serviceable story that would (hopefully) shock, disgust, surprise, and entertain.  In the intervening five or so years, I sat down on multiple occasions to write it, but couldn't find the right voice.  There is a different version of it on my computer right now, unfinished, that will eventually get slightly reworked into a different story.  Finally, last summer, while off work dealing with my bladder cancer and chemo, I figured out the right way to tackle the story.  That being, as simply as possible.  I kept over-thinking how to write it, wanting to delve too deeply into back-story and other matters that were ultimately unimportant to the actual small little tale I was trying to tell.  I realized that shorter is better for this one.  There was nothing that really set this idea into motion in my head, other than that I originally wanted to try to tell a Lovecraftian type of story about a young woman and her boyfriend, and as it went through my brain it changed and became this.

In my humble opinion (and I am so very biased of course) this is the strongest overall story in the book.


One Big Happy Family
The second story in the book, this one is about an elderly man, all alone in the world, who is being haunted by his long dead family.  As with all the stories collected in WTTN:V1, all is not what it seems at the start.

Here's an example of me sitting down last summer (and yes, all four of the stories were written sometime between July and October of last year while I was off work) to write one story, and ultimately realizing as I wrote that the tale I was about to tell wasn't the one that wanted to come out.  I wrote it, very fast, let it sit, and came back to it a day or so later with a new ending that I felt worked better.  I love short stories that, while they have an ending, leave things very much open and incomplete.  This is a tale that does that.  The actual idea, and I remember this vividly, came to me as I was in WalMart and saw a very old man talking to the air as he walked across the parking lot.  He seemed to be having a conversation, pausing in all the right places as if listening, with someone(s) that nobody else could see.  (And if you are an author or aspiring writer, I implore you to people watch at WalMart or a mall, as it is amazing what you will see.  More characters from stories over the years than I can count came from doing that.)  Seeing this man do this instantly sent him into my "character vault" in my mind, and it wasn't two days later or so that I was sitting down to write the story.

Taken Things
In Taken Things a young woman, who is also a kleptomaniac, finds a small coin in a fountain in a mall.  She takes it, but there's a young boy who wants her to put it back, and he is adamant about her doing just that.

This is a story that started from nowhere that I can find.  It was written solely to be entered into a contest for a chance to be published in a horror anthology, and it didn't do too bad.  It made it to the semi-finals, but ultimately lost.  This is one of those that if/when asked how and where did the idea come from, I simply shrug my shoulders.  One minute there was nothing, and the next there was a fully formed story in my head, along with the character traits of Jessica, the main character, and her manner of speaking.  It was perhaps the easiest of the four to write as it was a complete story from A to Z in my head.  I didn't play with it much, aside from cutting words to try to hit a certain word count for the contest, which I think made the story stronger overall, I just let it out and what you see is pretty much exactly what I wrote in the first draft, albeit cleaned up a bit.

The Tarnished Crown
The fourth, final, and longest story of the book, this came about over the course of six months, although the original premise was completed in a day or so.  The story starts with a woman coming home to her house where her son and the babysitter are, and the conflict that occurs between her and the babysitter.  It evolved into three tales in one, also featuring the woman's husband, a not so nice guy, and an Illlinois State Patrolwoman.

To say more is to say too much by far.

This is my favorite story in the collection (not the best but my favorite), and it started when I woke up from a nap and had this fully formed children's rhyme in my head.  Where this thing came from I have no idea.  I posted about it last summer here, but  here the poem/rhyme is as well:

Do not envy he who wears
the tarnished crown atop his head
for surely it is only a matter of time
before he will be dead.
Do not covet the tarnished crown
and keep it from your sight.
To want it for your very own
you'll be dead before this night.

Note I never said it was good!

The actual rhyme was cut from the story, but it was the impetus and the groundwork for the whole thing that came from it over those six months.  

The story and characters themselves, as well as The Tarnished Crown itself, the thing that is featured heavily on the cover of the book, all came from somewhere, but I couldn't tell you where.  I know how it started, but now why.  I don't know why I had that rhyme in my head after a nap, and I don't know how that led to me sitting down an hour or so later and cranking this sucker out.

And that's the answer for most creative people.  They may be able to tell you a version of how they wound up with whatever they wound up with (story, book, art, invention, so on and so on) but they usually can't tell you exactly how or why.  I think for so many of us, it just happens.  Maybe we're wired differently.  I don't mean to say that not everyone can do this, because I think we all can, but I think for those of us that are creative we also NEED to then follow up on the idea by actually creating the thing.  

Even if it takes us five plus years to finally do it.

Someday I will finally get around to making Mind Games, an idea I came up with in 1991 pretty much fully formed from beginning to end, work and written.  I've tried many times over the years to get this story out of me, to no avail.  It continues to run through my mind and gestate, and I have no doubt it will come someday. Because it needs to.  Because I need to create it and release it out into the world.

Tomorrow WTTN:V1 is "officially" released and available for sale (for just $1.99!), and it is the first thing I have ever published.  It took me a long time, with many side trips down roads of self doubt, depression, and anxiety, but the day is finally here.  I hope you enjoy it.

Have a great day!
Timothy S. Villa

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1 Order and Preorder Links

Okay so this is the final post before the release, Saturday August 30th, of Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1.  I've mentioned a few places that the book is available for preorder at a number of online retailers, and this is the definitive list of where you can buy it, either early, or once it is released.  (For Kindle users, see below)  The prices listed below are for the preorder and release date only.  The prices will change over time, up and down, depending on a variety of factors, but for now this is the available price.

And in no particular order:

-Via iTunes for $1.99 (Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac)
-Via The Nook by Barnes & Noble for $1.99 (Available for any generation Nook and Nook reading apps. Available in multiple countries)
-Via Google Play Store for $2.10 (Available for any Android or Android reading app)
-Via Smashwords for $1.99 (Available as an ePub and readable on any app or device that reads ePubs)
Via Amazon US (And already for sale) for $1.99 (Available for any generation Kindle and Kindle reading apps.  Available in multiple countries)

Per the Amazon link, yeah, it's already for sale in every market I have access to via Amazon (Amazon.ca, Amazon.uk. Amazon.jp. Amazon.de, and so on.  Just search for the book title and/or my name, Timothy S. Villa, to find it.)  They didn't care about the actual release date.  I already, as of 641 pm CST have three confirmed sales via Amazon. Also, the price in the various foreign (to me) Amazon sites are the equivalent in exchange rates of the US $1.99

I have two free tickets for Smashwords available if anyone wants them.  Just ask for it in the comments, or e-mail via the appropriate links on this blog.  I will contact you with the code.  All you have to do is go to Smashwords, order or preorder the book, and at the checkout enter the code.  This will allow you to get the book for free (100% off!).  It is good from now until September 30th.

I'll post again on Saturday to remind that the book is live everywhere else.

Have a great rest of your week.
Timothy S. Villa


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1 Preoder Status...NOW UPDATED

Some updates for anyone who isn't also keeping track of things at my Official Author Facebook Page.


1.  Here is the final cover for Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1


There isn't much of a difference between this and the first version.  The crown is a little darker and more tarnished looking, so as to stand out on the chair a bit more.  I also have a 3D mock-up of what the print book will eventually look like.  I'm not going to have that available for a few more months for various reasons (most of them financial as it costs a bit more to get things ready for the print version book).






I'm absolutely ecstatic and overjoyed with how the covers turned out.  You always hope for the best and prepare to be disappointed, but I don't think they could have turned out any better.  Great job done by the guys at Ebook Cover Design.  I will definitely be using them for the next few book releases I have planned in my bold publishing efforts (and now that I've made it this far, I have a plan and goal for the next releases, including Exit 63 to be released in December/January, Chase (working title) in May-July, and FINALLY Jupiter Mars to be released in October 2015, with shorts interspersed here and there and maybe volume two of Welcome To The Nightmare sometime in the spring).

2.  There are preorders available for Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1 now for the Saturday August 30th release date at iTunes for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac and at Barnes & Noble for the Nook.  I will have preorder pages available later this week I am pretty sure for Kobo, Page Foundry, and Scribd.  Amazon preorder for The Kindle and free Kindle reading apps will probably not be available until early next week.

3.  I've already given away my first freebie version of the book, and will be doing more giveaways soon.  I plan to offer one here, three on my Official Author Facebook Page, one or two via my Twitter account, and once the author page at Goodreads is a go three or four there.

4.  The list price will be $1.99 for what is about (depending on the format you chose to buy it from) 131 pages and 420kb.  I feel this is the best price point to start with for a new author considering the size of it.  I will be doing promotions as the book is launched and time passes, lowering the price down for limited amounts of time.

5.  There will be an audiobook available via Amazon's Audible in the near future, not read by myself.  I would expect that to be started to be worked on in the next 30 days with maybe a release date of November or December.

And that's it for now.  Thanks to all who have supported me and my efforts since this blog started, and thanks in advance to anyone who has preordered already (I know of one) or will order it in the future.

UPDATE:
The preorder is now also available via Kobo.  That's now three places you can preorder the e-book available RIGHT NOW for the August 30th release.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Subscribe

I now have a little thingee on the side where you who read the blog can subscribe to The Indy Author Timothy S. Villa Email Newsletter.  I will be sending those out on a maybe monthly basis (I promise I won't spam your inbox so no worries) detailing the latest news and offering freebies (aka giveaways).  Please sign up to stay fully in touch with me.

Also, I now have a Public Facebook Page, where I will also be detailing things more frequently than I do here.  Feel free to visit and "LIKE" the page at https://www.facebook.com/TimothySVilla

I posted this there, but I am now going to share the first version of the cover to Welcome To The Nightmare: Volume 1 here.  Enjoy.



Talk soon.  And subscribe!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome To The Nightmare

I've said things like what I'm about to say now before, but I've always wound up stalling out for one reason or another.  I think part of it is fear on my part, part of it is not being able to count on others as you would like, part of it is financial, part of it is leading a rather busy life, and part of it is plain old procrastination.  Let's deal with each part, shall we?

Procrastination:  It's not just a thing to do, it's a way of life.  I procrastinate in my everyday life as well, always have.  Terrible way to be, I admit, but it's a part of me.  So procrastination in my writing life is no surprise really.  To admit to myself that this is what I do and who I am, well, that's not fun or good, but it is a necessity if I'm ever going to get anything done.  Half the time I'd rather sit at the computer and surf or read an article or play Backgammon (oh Internet Backgammon, how you have replaced alcohol as the secondary most destructive vice and addiction I have you temptress you).  Sometimes I'd rather read whatever book or comic I am currently into.  Sometimes it's a movie or TV Show on DVR.  Whatever it may be, it is always something.  Something that will take away the time I had allotted myself to sit down, write (or edit), and accomplish something meaningful.

A Busy Life:  This one is almost a cop out or excuse, but I might as well add it to the list.  I do have a busy life.  In June I switched careers finally (Yay and go me.  Man oh man did I despise the world of printing.), and with it came another new schedule.  I am away from home at work, or travelling to work, from 950pm to 715am.  I sleep from roughly 9am to 430 or 5pm.  In the morning I am eating, relaxing, and getting ready for bed.  In the evening I am waking up (I am not a morning person, and usually need an hour to 90 minutes to become something other than a complete asshole.) and then I am spending quality time with my wife and dogs.  In April I became a grandfather, and we are now pregnant so in January I am expecting my fourth child (with about a 20 year gap between 3 and 4!).  On the weekends it does seem like we always have something happening, plus I try to adjust my sleep schedule so as to have as much time with my wife as possible during the awake hours I have at home.  There are plenty of chores that don't get done, let alone writing.  If this were my actual job I'd have my 40ish hours a week set, like I do at my actual job, and I'd go from there, but this is a side job that currently doesn't pay squat.

Financial:  Writing is free.  I haven't spent a dime, aside from the yearly cost of this domain name I barely use, in years on writing.  That's great.  The other elements I need to continue to move forward to become published, however, are not cheap.  That leads me directly to...

Not Being Able To Count On Others:  I realize others are busy and lead hectic lives too, oftentimes far more so than I do, but when someone agrees or commits to helping someone else out by doing a piece of the process, and not for free usually, as I have offered monetary or other rewards for helping me out, then four months later they haven't followed through, that's going to slow me down.  I am not artistically inclined in any way at all, and I don't know or even really understand squat about the digital tools that would allow me to make my own covers.  But I need a cover to publish a book that I have finally finished writing after overcoming the procrastination, financial, and time restraints I work under.  A cover is the one thing, the only thing really, I can not do myself.  The cover is where I have spent hours worrying, thinking, researching, banging my head, getting frustrated, and then cursing about getting done somehow and some way for under $200.  If the few people I'd relied on earlier this year had come through, chances are I might have a book for sale as of this writing.  But they did not.  Editing I can do myself, but I can only see the same words so many times before I am going to miss the errors I made.  I also have a horrible overuse of comma issue, as anyone who has ever read anything I have ever written can likely attest to.  The preceding paragraphs and sentences included.  So, when someone doesn't meet the timetable I asked them to meet, and usually we are talking weeks if not months of time for them to do what they agreed and/or offered to do, and again not for free usually, then it screws up my timetable.

Fear:  I can have loved ones tell me I am talented everyday for the rest of my life, but that doesn't tell me for sure if I am talented.  I can have friends assure me that I am good, but they are my friends and I can't really trust that they are being 100% honest so as not to spare my feelings.  The judgment of others for a writer, or an artist of any kind, unless you have the toughest skin in the world, is scary.  So when I use any or all of the reasoning above to explain why Welcome To The Nightmare, my short story anthology is not available for purchase just yet, it all really boils down to me being afraid and fearful of mass public rejection and failure.  I've said a million times I no longer care what anyone outside of those I love think of me, and I mean it.  Until it comes to the subject of my writing.  Then I care what everyone thinks and says about me, because this is me baring that part of myself that few people see.  This is me exposing myself and my inner thoughts and feelings in a fictional way for others to look at, point at, and either accept or ridicule.  This is me showing my work and asking you, the reader, consumer, critic, whoever, to judge me and my talent or lack thereof on a very public stage.  That is scary as all hell.  That is mindnumbingly scary.  Paralyze me with fear scary. Cause me to use every excuse I can come up with not to finish so you can't reject or ridicule me scary.

And that are most, if not all, of the reasons that two and half years after I started this journey anew with a purpose and a desire to finally get something out there I still have nothing to try and sell you.

But that's going to change.  Yesterday I finally made progress farther along than ever.

1.  I set upon the first step, of a three step process, to get a professional cover made for Welcome To The Nightmare.  By the end of the day today, I should have moved to step two and by the end of the week I am hoping to have a finished copy of the cover to share with everyone here, on Twitter, and on Facebook as I look for opinions, both good and bad, on what I have purchased.

2.  I made the final cuts for content for the anthology.  The months of wavering about the length of the book and the amount of short stories to include and what order to include them and whether any of them were really truly worth a damn or if I was just deluding myself into thinking anyone at all would ever wish to read anything I wrote let alone pay for it...are over.

3.  I set myself a set in stone will not change will not get pushed back I will release this book on this date release date for Welcome To The Nightmare.  I mean to make this date and not alter it, regardless.  One year ago and a month I began the process of writing the first short story, The Tarnished Crown, that would become the backbone of the book I am going to release later this month.  And seeing as the book only contains four short stories now, the other three having been pulled by me to either rework, trash, or include in the next volume, and all four of those have been completed for at least three months, and in most cases over seven, it was time to, excuse the cliche and the off color comment, shit or get off the pot.

I have chosen to shit.

That may be a terrible analogy for describing my book.  I promise, it is not shit.  That'a a money back guarantee from me to you.

Later this week/weekend to come I will sit back down and share the book cover.  Yes, I am guaranteeing to you that I will be back in less than four months to write another progress report and ask for your feedback. Until then, I offer up the following, which is the available "cover copy" as it currently stands.  As always, your opinion is requested and valued.

What do you think of the following.  If you read it on Amazon or at B&N or Kobo or on a book cover, would this get you to take the next step to maybe purchasing the book?



WELCOME TO THE NIGHTMARE: Volume 1 

A woman comes home to a horrifying encounter with the babysitter, which is just the beginning of the weeks long horror that will play out in one house in a small Midwestern town. 
A night at a bar in the middle of nowhere goes wrong when a young woman can’t leave. 
A man’s long dead family just won’t leave him alone. 
A woman finds a beautiful coin she must possess, but the object belongs to a young boy and he will stop at nothing to get it back.


Four short stories of supernatural terror from a new voice in the world of horror fiction.


WELCOME TO THE NIGHTMARE: Volume 1…it’s been waiting for you to arrive, and now that you're here you won't be allowed to leave.

This e-book includes four short stories by Timothy S. Villa and a preview of his upcoming release EXIT 63, totaling over 23,000 words.

Available Saturday August 30th 2014.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Just a quickie post on this Easter Sunday.  Been awhile.  Here I am.  Hi.  Hope your Easter is good.

4/20 and Easter on the same day?  There's a Jesus was a liberal hippie joke there somewhere, but far be it from me to be the one to post it.  Or...ahem, never mind.

So the update.  All's Good In Allgood, The Tarnished Crown Revisted, the final story in the Horror Anthology, is complete, which means barring a few minor revisions, Welcome To The Nightmare, the book's title, is now complete.  The cover is being worked on, editing is underway, and all is moving well. Exit 63 and Chase, are my two full length novels, are each about halfway or more done, and there is zero progress on Jupiter Mars, meaning one of them should be ready for the beta reader process and revisions by late summer to fall, even quicker if I get fired from work tomorrow :)

In other words, I'm pleased with my book progression for the first time in quite awhile.  Welcome To The Nightmare may be available to buy on Nook and Kindle as e-books and as a paperback via Createspace on Amazon by early June?  Probably.

Have a great Holiday!

P.S.  The Tarnished Crown, the first story in Welcome To The Nightmare is still free here on this blog.  Love thoughts on it if you have the time or inclination.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jupiter Mars, The Tarnished Crown, and Future Plans

Yesterday I updated this blog for the first time in roughly five months.  Yesterday I also posted, for free, the first three "chapters" in the first Jupiter Mars story.  JM has been in existence as an idea for two years and one month, and what I posted yesterday has been written, although HEAVILY revised more times than I care to try and count, for twenty two months roughly.  If you were to go back to February or March of 2012, you would see the exact post where I started the writing of the "book".

(I am using quotation marks here because plans have changed and I am going to do something I never thought I'd do in the coming months.)

Over the summer, while off of work dealing with my bladder cancer, I wrote six short stories, two of which were submitted to horror anthologies for publication.  One made it a few rounds into the process and that was all before it was rejected.  The other, The Tarnished Crown, I am still, believe it or not, waiting to hear back from six plus months later.  In December I started a horror novel that sits at 40k words roughly on the first draft and might be one of the most gruesome things I've ever written, although the horror short I'm With The Band I wrote this summer/fall is a close second.

I turned 42 on December 12th of last year.  I should be farther along with this,  I made myself promise after promise and goal after goal.  I never met any of them.  While I was so very pleased with the process of the horror novel WIP, I've hit a wall and writing has fallen off.  I started doing some work on JM again on Friday, and I have a plan as mentioned above, but I should be farther, I know this.  I should have something out there to sell or at least be ready to go with something for sale.  I look at my shorts and wonder if I should release all of them, whether bundled or individually, but doing so requires the money to get a cover at the very least made for e-book release.  I don't have that right now.  If I do something myself, and as every indie author knows this is a very doable possibility, I worry at the shitness of what I will create,  If I want to be as professional as I truly want to be, then I also need to get someone to do the professional editing and professional formatting that I need.  All of which, again, costs money that is not free and clear to me at the moment.

Another thing I worry about it do I release the horror works under a pseudonym or do I release JM under it?  Once upon a time I would have kept everything under my name, the name on this blog, but now I worry about releasing JM which is more YA under the same name as my horror work, which is so very adult.  Just a side note here.

So yesterday, really on a whim, I decided to post the first three "chapters".  I was curious what might happen. The numbers on this blog are not now nor have they ever been what I would call high.  People seem to find me from all over the world and they read the rambling stuff I post.  I don't know how someone in Singapore finds me, but they do.  I'm happy with that.  I understand where a lot more of my traffic comes from (FB, Twitter, and a few other social media forums I do or once did participate in) and I understand that segment of my audience.  Whether I update or not, I seem to get around 30-50 views a week.  Not all unique.  Some from the same people over and over again.  Since I posted the "chapters" of JM I have roughly 120 views, over half of them specifically on the new content from yesterday and half of them unique views.  Which means since it was posted at least 30 people might have taken the time to read the excerpt from JM.  Possibly thirty people who, maybe maybe maybe times infinity, might be intrigued enough to purchase JM in the coming months.  I like that maybe might possibility quite a lot.

Here's the plan:


  1. Today I am going to post, again on here and again for free, a complete short story from the six I wrote this summer.  It will go up for free for an undetermined period of time.  
  2. In the next 3-4 months I am going to release that horror collection onto Kindle for sure.  I am still undecided if I wish to go KDP Select or go ahead and release the thing all over the place.  That means in the next 2-3 months I need to find someone to do a cover for me that will go with it.  On this I am looking at going cheaper, although I can not imagine doing it myself.  I will keep the editing and formatting in house (meaning I won't be paying for a professional editor and/or formatter.)
  3. In the next 4-5 months I will be releasing the first part of JM.  I'm looking at serializing it, as it is so big and unwieldy I can't seem to break it down enough to get it into a size that would make me happy for a single novel release.  This I want the whole enchilada on, but a lot of that is going to be how much, if any, I can make on the horror collection as I plan to put all of that potential income into getting future releases ready and properly covered, edited, and formatted.
  4.  The plan then is to release another part of JM every 1-3 months until the first "novel" is finished, and then collect them all into one way to big first volume.  
  5. Three and four are subject to change if I am able to crack the problem I have of the damn thing being so big.
  6. In the next 6-8 months I want to release the horror novel I have over half done, again with professionally done everything.  


I do not expect to make a living doing this.  I never have.  I do not expect that I will be able to walk into work in the next year and quit, allowing me to write full-time (although how nice would that be?).  I just want to be out there.  I simply want to give others, whoever and wherever they may be, a chance to have a few hours of enjoyment from something I created.  I'm not writing any great American novels, I gave that idea up a long time ago.  I am simply writing speculative fiction with an eye towards entertaining.  That I can accomplish.

Sometime today The Tarnished Crown will go up here on this blog live, for free, until I take it down.  It is an adult horror story, and as such it is filled with adult themes, language, and visuals.  You have been warned.

Friday, August 16, 2013

If You Could Read My Mind: a Short Horror AnthologyIf You Could Read My Mind: a Short Horror Anthology by S.A. Hunt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wanted to go through the "nine" short stories inside and look at them all individually, thus supporting my *** review, which is actually closer to 3.5*s.

-Talent Show is the tale of an Artificial Intelligence.  I don't want to say much, mainly because the more i say I think the more that is taken away from the story.  It is a nice little story that works best, I think, going in blind.  The one fault I found with it was the decision to write it in first person.  Doing such requires the narrator (and our protagonist) to explain thew world she lives in in such a way that does not ring true.  She explains things that seem unnecessary and yet are almost integral to understanding the story.  Just a personal opinion, but it felt that it would have benefited the story were it told in third person.  Rating:  ****.5

-Police Transcript is the second story, and I must admit I was so unable to engage with this story that I quit reading it.  Three attempts to go back to it gave me the same result and feelings.  I didn't like the format (although it was inventive) and I think that was the majority of my problem.  Rating:  *

-That Terrible Thing was a really well written, creepy, tense little story that ultimately left me unfulfilled.  Either i missed something, or the basis for the title was never revealed.  I will readily admit it simply might have gone over my head, but I don't think that was the case.  In any event, S.A. Hunt was able to convey the tension and dread within the words in such a way that I actually got goosebumps a time or two.  I started out thinking we had a haunting type of story, and it was that, just not like I anticipated.  I want to rate this one *****, but alas I can't.  Rating:  ****

-Muppets was fun, alarming, and over the top all at the same time.  Another story where I won't divulge anything at all about, other than it is a descent into madness that actually made me laugh out loud twice while also being terribly frightening.  Well done.  Rating:  *****

-Traphouse is another of the tales where it was superb (and actually if I am correct connects with the second to last story in the collection) but the end left a lot to be desired.  I didn't feel we ever really got a proper resolution for one, nor that I ever understood why anyone in the story with the exception of the husband did anything they did.  Unsatisfying at best.  Rating:  **

-Chimneysweep was superb.  Much like Muppets, it was fun, silly, and over the top, but just horrifying enough to make it's inclusion in this tale make perfect sense.  No spoilers at all, but it wound up being my favorite story in the book I think.  Rating:  *****

-Pocket Change is the antithesis of Chimneysweep for me.  I finished this one, and the idea is even a good one, but there was nothing about the execution or the characters I liked.  Rating:  *

-The Hidden is the final, and by far the longest as it takes up about 30% of the book alone, story in the book.  It is also the one that is the most scary and unsettling.  It is the tale of a man who works in a psychiatric hospital and the "are they or are they not supernatural" events that transpire, all of them linked to a young female patient locked in a room by herself.  While the story didn't need a few elements it contained, and at least one character shows up, acts like a caricature, and then disappears all the while adding nothing of note or substance, it was all in all well told and very intriguing.  There is a minor fail at the end with the structure of the novel and the tense chosen, but it doesn't destroy the integrity of the story at all.  I just find myself thinking things through maybe a tad too much.  Loved this one overall.  Rating:  ****.5

-Dry Leaves is actually an excerpt from S.A. Hunt's full length novel "The Whirlwind In The Thorn Tree".  I have purchased that book but have yet to read it, and as such I did not want to read what is called "Chapter Twenty-Seven" here.  I passed it, but because of the reasons I said nothing to do with content.  As such, I am only counting the eight previous shorts in my final review.

4*s, or as I said above closer to 3.5, is not an indictment of the book at all.  I think it is better than average when it comes to other horror anthologies or short story collections I have read.  I heartily recommend the book and look forward to reading the full length novel from S.A. Hunt.  I also wouldn't mind a follow-up to The Hidden at some point.  Well done.


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