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.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Two And A Half Years And Still No Book? Or How A Baby Disrupted My Plans

The title says it all, right? I think so. End of blog post then!

Just kidding.

In January of 2015 we had a son. That put everything in my life in disarray, as having a newborn will do.

"But, hey, it's been two years since then, Tim. WTF?"

Well, it's gone fast. I keep thinking about posting here and updating, but next thing I know it's four months later and I haven't written a thing. Hell, the title of this was originally "It's been a year and a half and...". It took a year for me to finally sit down and write the damn thing. Part of it was having something to say, something to promote or talk about. Something besides "We had a baby and now, uh, nothing else is happening".

Now I do.

Welcome To The Nightmare: Vol. 1 is in the process of being released in paperback. It will be available via Amazon, exclusively, within the next few days or so, assuming I didn't screw anything up. It will cost $8.99 per copy, and I still make like $4.00 a book. Not too shabby. Of course the e-book is still available right here.  That's the US version, but it's available all over the world via Amazon. Check your Amazon. whatever for your region and you may very well be able to find it. The same will be true about the paperback as well. Oh, and the e-book is still $2.99, and I think you'll be able to get a deal if you purchase both. We'll see.

And wait, there's more.

Welcome To The Nightmare: Vol. 2 is being written as well. At least 5 more short stories of terror, horror, and the supernatural. It may very well contain a sequel, of sorts, to The Tarnished Crown for those of you who have purchased the first volume. No details on when it will be available, because I really need to stop making promises I do not wind up keeping.

And that is, as they say, that.   I'll be sure to let you all know when the paperback is officially available for purchase.

Thanks for reading. I may not be posting but I do check up on the stats and sometimes it amazes me the amount of traffic I get. Like the 90 views I got on February 12th. Wow and damn. Thank you very much my friends.

Okay, I have to go see what a troublesome two year old named Craig is up to.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Just A Brief Pop In Thingee To Say Hi And Sell Books

Been awhile? Yep. I'll update this damn thing with some actual info someday soon, but for now I just want to promote a sale to all the people that keep coming to this blog (136 of you on July 25th for who in the hell knows what reason).

For only 99 Cents for the next 7 days in the US only, you can buy Welcome To The Nightmare Volume 1, my book of four short horror stories.

That's that for today. I'm going to go back to editing Jupiter Mars And The Day Of Destiny and spending time with my 6 month old son and wife.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Jupiter Mars And The Day Of Destiny

The first novel in a series is complete. Well, the first(ish) draft is, As I announced at my FB page this morning:

From March 18, 2012 until today, October 31, 2014, I've been writing Jupiter Mars. Well, I made the announcement on the 28th that Jupiter Mars And The Day Of Destiny was officially going to be my second published book, and my first published full length novel, and now I can officially say the first draft is completed. That's kind of scary, because this is almost three years of my life I have been trying to finish this thing, and it is finally done. I edited and re-edited and re-edited again the first half of the book so many times, I'm fairly certain it needs minimal work in the upcoming editing process (maybe some continuity gaffes need toe be corrected but I doubt much else) so I suspect the editing of the rest of the book and the final overall edits once it gets back from Beta Readers and editors should go quickly. Expect it in January of next year.
There was a bit about Exit 63 (it'll be completed next, and I still plan on it to be released in the first half of 2015) as well.

On the 28th I offered up the first basic synopsis for the book:

 Welcome to Frogton, Iowa, the epitome of a small town in the Midwest. High School Football as a Fall event? Check. Rampant racism and homophobia? Check. A town economy based on failing farms? Check. A terrible skeleton in every closet? Check. Small town hospitality? Check. Unchecked bullying in school leading to school officials telling a boy to toughen up? Check.

Monsters, in every way imaginable, roaming the streets waiting for one young man to fulfill his destiny and become the hero he was meant to be? Sort of a check?

Jupiter Mars is not your typical high school student, unless as typical you mean bullied daily and tormented by his peers and even some of the adults in town. His only friend is Nattie Blake, and she's not your typical, small town America, girl next door. However on a typical day in a typical Midwestern town in a typical October, these two will find out that their lives are very atypical. 

Jupiter Mars, Nattie Blake, Frogton Iowa, and everyone in it are about to encounter the most non-typical day they ever imagined, and it's just the beginning of a brand new world of adventures.

Jupiter Mars And The Day Of Destiny

Sometimes the monsters are real, and sometimes your world is not.

Today I want to reveal the newest one with a little more information:

Jupiter Mars is an only child, raised by his Granny after the death of his parents. He lives in Frogton, Iowa, about what you'd expect a small, Midwestern, farm community in Iowa to be. He's not well liked, he's bullied, and he really has only one friend, Nattie Blake.
Nattie Blake is not your typical teenage girl. She isn't into Twitter, doesn't use Facebook, has never heard of Redditt, hasn't read the latest Young Adult Vampire Romance book, and couldn't care less what you think about her. She's abrasive, vulgar, and not very likable, except to her best friend Jupiter Mars.

 Jupiter Mars has a secret. He's one of the very few who stands between the world and the rise of evil and monsters led by Lilith. The only thing he's waiting for is the powers he's supposed to have to manifest. Once that happens, well, look out evil, there's a new hero in town. He has a destiny to fulfill, and Granny will do anything to see that he fulfills it.

Nattie Blake has a secret too. Hers isn't about monsters of myth and destiny, but about very real monsters who live in your own home.

On a typical day, in a typical October, in a typical Midwestern Town, things are about to happen that will be anything but typical. Jupiter Mars is destined to be somebody. Nattie Blake is about to play a major role in that destiny. The two of them, the town they live in, and everyone they touch will never be the same again.  

Jupiter Mars And The Day Of Destiny
Coming in 2015

Monsters exist.

I'm very excited about the completion of this book, and as the months roll on I will be providing the details about the cover, the release date, and the options to buy. I hope you'll all join me on this new ride.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

And The Next Book Released Will Officially Be...

Welcome to Frogton, Iowa, the epitome of a small town in the Midwest. High School Football as a Fall event? Check. Rampant racism and homophobia? Check. A town economy based on failing farms? Check. A terrible skeleton in every closet? Check. Small town hospitality? Check. Unchecked bullying in school leading to school officials telling a boy to toughen up? Check.

Monsters, in every way imaginable, roaming the streets waiting for one young man to fulfill his destiny and become the hero he was meant to be? Sort of a check?

Jupiter Mars is not your typical high school student, unless as typical you mean bullied daily and tormented by his peers and even some of the adults in town. His only friend is Nattie Blake, and she's not your typical, small town America, girl next door. However on a typical day in a typical Midwestern town in a typical October, these two will find out that their lives are very atypical. 

Jupiter Mars, Nattie Blake, Frogton Iowa, and everyone in it are about to encounter the most non-typical day they ever imagined, and it's just the beginning of a brand new world of adventures.

Jupiter Mars And The Day Of Destiny

Sometimes the monsters are real, and sometimes your world is not.

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
-Barnes & Noble
-Google Play Books
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
-Barnes & Noble for The Nook

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.

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


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!