September 28th, in stores everywhere! As long as those stores are Amazon.com
DOG WALKER III: WEDDING SIEGE
“BULLETS & BLOWHOLES”
Dog walker Ben Carter is shocked to discover that his mom's fiance Alvar is an "encantado" – a shapeshifting dolphin that seduces human women and preys on their flesh. He races to Minnesota to stop their wedding, leaving demon dog Toby back in Chicago.
Ben arrives too late to stop the ceremony, but when masked gunmen invade the reception, taking hostages and demanding Alvar's head, he is isolated alone with his new aquatic stepfather. Can the dog walker make it out alive with no inugami at his side? Can a dolphin that walks like a man truly be trusted? Who are these strange and anonymous terrorists?
Lock the doors. Hide the wine. The wedding siege has begun.
Available for preorder on kindle now: https://amzn.to/3BWyVYc
Paperback and Hardcover available September 28th.
Hey, this is Jack. I write books. This one took longer to write than anything I’ve written before, not because of the book itself, but because of, you know. The World.
There was — and is, I guess — a global pandemic. We had a second kid, I lost my day job, I got it back in a vague way, I got it back in a real way, etc, etc. Nothing particularly uncommon in our house, but it was enough to make it hard to sit down and crank out the spooky dog books. 2020 was more or less a wash. Early 2021 was barely better.
But here’s the good news: the last year or so has probably been the most productive period of my writing career. I’ve got Dog Walker III ready to go. I finished the first draft of an unrelated novel — should be out next year! — and the next Dog Walker thing is fully outlined. If I can keep up this momentum, I can probably get a book out every year or so. Barring any more unforeseeable global events, anyway.
So, having just gone from writing nothing to writing a lot in a brief period of time, I thought I might share some tips for getting going with your personal projects after a long dry spell.
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Jack’s Tips for Writing Your Way Out of the Crushing Despair of Our Modern Era
1) Get off twitter
Facebook, too. Any social media that you look at constantly even though you don’t enjoy it, even though you feel awful afterwards. You don’t have to look at it. Waking up in the morning and seeing all the worst news of the day screamed at you by your most anxious friends/acquaintances/celebrities is not healthy, it’s not particularly helpful to anyone, and generally, you have no real power to change any of these things that upset you. Being informed will not save you. Go do stuff.
[ I’ll still be reposting book things here: https://twitter.com/ghousebooks I just won’t see your tweets. Sorry! ]
2) Be responsible for something besides yourself
A partner, a kid, a pet, a plant, friends, whatever. Like many people who use their free time to make art, if left alone to my own devices for too long I’m prone to crawling up my own ass and contemplating what I find there. You need a little narcissism to think a planet with billions of people needs your artwork in it. A little narcissism is good, but you can get lost in your ass. This is not what asses are for.
3) Reconnect with art you love
Your brain needs fuel. You can get this in two places: actual lived experience (boo), or other people’s art. If all you’re doing is sitting at home, avoiding Covid, doing your day job and then going to bed, your ability to do creative work will suffer. You’ve got nothing new to pull from and nothing new to say.
I’ve always been a movie person — enough to make it my entire personality from like 2000 - 2015 — but I kind of fell off after my kids were born, mostly because I’m only free after 9pm and I’m so very tired. For 2022, I’ve been making myself watch at least two movies per week, with the ultimate goal of at least 100 movies this year. That’s also when I write, so presumably using two nights for movies should slow me down, but I’m finding that the opposite is usually the case. I write more when I’m watching things too. Art goes out faster when there’s art coming in.
[ I’m on Letterboxd if you want to chat / follow along on this journey. It’s like twitter but people only ever talk about movies, so like, twitter 10 years ago. ]
4) Keep writing
The biggest thing I’ve learned — not just by doing it but, like, from every book or article about writing that I’ve ever come into contact with — is that you need to keep writing every day or you lose your momentum and it all falls apart. TV and video games will always be easier in the short term, and they’re probably more rewarding to your lizard brain. You have to write anyway. It’s like exercise, you have to do it all the time, even when you don’t want to, or you get all rusty and lazy.
A lot of people recommend hitting X amount of words or pages every day, but for whatever reason that never clicked for me. I’m no good with math. I don’t think I can write a book while simultaneously thinking about it in terms of numbers of words. Words are good. Numbers? Bad, I’m afraid.
So here’s what I’ve been doing:
Every week, I write (or rewrite) one chapter
Every weekday, I write a pre-selected scene or two from that chapter
Saturday - either a day off or (usually) catch up to stay on schedule
Sunday - outline/plan out the next week
David Malki of Wondermark comics created this thing called a progressive calendar that you can print and cut out, which shows all the months in the year with no line breaks. I have one going labeled “Did You Write?” taped to my closet door.
I put a black X on the days where I write, and a red X on the days where I don’t. Theoretically, the quest to maximize the black Xs and avoid the crushing guilt of the red Xs will motivate me to write even when I don’t want to.
As you can see above, mine has a LOT of red, but as you can see even further above, I have a book coming out in a month. So, look, whatever. It works! You don’t have to be perfect. Just sit down every day and try to get a black X. If you get a red X, feel bad and then get a black X tomorrow. This is true in writing, and also true in every other aspect of life. 
If you have any questions or anything, don’t be afraid to email me. I’ll send another one of these next month when the book is out. Thanks guys!
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