Harrowed Insight

I was inspired to write my first novel Inside the Skin (formerly The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor) by life experiences I earned back in the late ’90s, early ’00s while working as a navy Equal Opportunity specialist, experiences the focus of which centered around the harassment, abuse, injury, and sometimes sadly even death as a result of the hatred for and confusion of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy which had recently been implemented throughout the military.

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Unprogrammable Me

I began writing The Good Kill in July of 2017 and worked on it just about every day in some capacity until March 31 when I completed the manuscript at last and in a rush rushed right out to the UPS Store (I am not sponsored by or own stock in the UPS Store, it’s just that it’s like twenty minutes closer than Staples, of which I am not sponsored by or own stock in) to get three copies of the masterly work of art (as regarded solely by yours truly at this point) printed out in a rush and then rushed two of them out to my editors who are AKA my worldly-wise and well-read and spirited sister and her dashing husband – yeah, dashing as in he’s pretty studly, but mostly dashing as in he’s continually dashing off after my worldly-wise and well-read and spirited sister as she leads them on yet another global adventure — and then rushed right back home where I sat and admired and stroked lovingly for hours and hours the third copy of the manuscript.

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THE GOOD KILL – A Synopsis

During the battle to liberate Mosul from the brutal grip of the Islamic State, Killian Lebon, a war-weary Navy SEAL Senior Chief, sustains life-threatening injuries from an explosion during a mission gone wrong, forcing him to retire early from an occupation that for almost twenty years had been his sole purpose for being – that of a fearless warrior in defense of his country.

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David Gaughran

So, as I near the completion of my new novel, I’ve been investing much time lately in that most unfortunate of necessities that every self-respecting self-publishing author must invest in – marketing research.

Yeah…

Marketing is something of which I detest greatly and something at which I fail miserably.

Fortunately for me, however, in my quotidian research for marketing excellence, I stumbled upon (whatever happened to StumbleUpon anyway?) a publishing and marketing guru named, you guessed it…

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Writing Advice from Questionable Characters

Neal Cassady, the inspiration for the Dean Moriarty character, with Jack Kerouac – WIKIPEDIA

“Hell, man, I know very well you didn’t come to me only to want to become a writer and after all what do I really know about it except you’ve got to stick to it with all the energy of a benny* addict.”
  ~ Dean Moriarty from ON THE ROAD

#amwriting
#ofthejournals

 

*Benzedrine, the trademark name for Amphetamine.

 
 

What’s My Name, Again?

And here I thought it was going to be such a dramatic hassle to change the name of my novel from The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor to Inside the Skin.

I mean, I’ve been wanting to change it for quite a while now but kept putting it off thinking it would take a grand act of our dysfunctional Congress for it to happen.

But guess what?

Yup, you guessed it… it was a delicious piece of cake.

Seriously, for Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), all I had to do was go in and edit the book details to reflect the new name. Same for Smashwords, the service I use to distribute my books beyond Amazon.

For the paperback, there was a bit more work involved…

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INSIDE THE SKIN

NOW AVAILABLE*

INSIDE THE SKIN BOOK COVER
[FORMERLY, THE SEA TRIALS OF AN UNFORTUNATE SAILOR]

GET YOUR FREE COPY!
 

CURRENTLY TRENDING

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #695 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
          #1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Psychological
          #6 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
          #12 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Psychological
 

*Only the ebook edition is available and, currently, only at Amazon. It will be several days before the ebook rolls out to other retailers and before the print edition is made available.

 
 

It is with a Heavy Heart that I Bid a Sad Adieu

I came up with the title of my novel, The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor, early on in its development and I have grown to love it as I have any other part of my existence, such as my left pinkie finger, my crooked nose, my restless and weary soul. However, after seven years since the book’s publishing, and despite the fond things that have been said and written about the story (and a few not-so fond things), I’m afraid it’s time for me to admit that my beloved title and book cover have failed in their efforts to attract new and varied readers.

The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor

Well, regardless whether it’s the fault of the title and cover or not, it had become glaringly evident to me a long while ago that some serious shaking up with the book was needed. It took me a while, but it has finally come time for the shaking to begin.

My rationale for changing the title – and the book cover, as well – is based upon a gut feeling I’ve had since not too long after the book was published: They were both too navy-centric in their words and imagery, which I suspect have turned off many readers who don’t prefer the military genre, a genre which I have never identified this book to be. I’ve always classified it as literary fiction and a psychological suspense novel.

While the story is certainly set within a military environment – a laid-up warship homeported out of Yokosuka, Japan – its story is not necessarily a military one. It, like most stories written from and of the soul, is a universal story. It is a story about our prejudices, our stereotypes, our identity. The stuff all humans struggle with frequently, regardless the setting they happen to be in.

As it is, the old title and the old book cover essentially scream to prospective readers that this is a military-centric book, and only that.

That being said, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the new title and the new cover for my old novel.

INSIDE THE SKIN BOOK COVER

The new title, Inside the Skin, which is also the title of the story’s second chapter, is derived from the saying inside the skin of the ship, which is navy-speak for simply being or going inside the ship. But seeing how the story’s focus is on one’s identity and sexual orientation, the saying also makes a good metaphor for those themes, as well. We are who we are on the inside, regardless how anyone else wants to label us. As many of us know, one of the main aspects, and sometimes the hardest, of our journey through life is trying to find comfort within our own skin.

As for the book cover, I chose the image firstly because I think it looks cool. I also like how the chain link imagery speaks to the theme of the book – we are trapped within who we are whether we like it or not. It also reminds me of how sometimes it felt like being in a prison when out to sea for long periods of time. The amazing image used for the book cover comes courtesy of Ricardo Gomez Angel of UNSPLASH.COM. If you’d like, you can see it in its original form here. The font, “GOOD TIMES REGULAR,” is courtesy of Raymond Larabie of 1001FONTS.COM and can be seen here.

There is still some work for me to do – new ISBNs, updating the front matter, et cetera – so it will take several days before I begin to initiate the updates to all the various distributors, so you still have some time to get you a copy of the print edition with the old cover.

Hey, never know. It may be worth some money some day…

Fingers crossed.

I guess I should add that I’ve made the ebook version permanently free everywhere (at least for the indefinite future). You can find links to all the various retailers on its About page.

Anyway, regardless whether or not you think the new title intriguing or the new book cover snazzy, I hope you find the story enjoyable because that is what matters most to me.

GET YOUR FREE COPY!
 
 

NEW RELEASE

LEAVE: And Other Stories Short and Shorter

I’m happy to announce the release of my fifth book, a short story collection entitled: LEAVE: And Other Stories Short and Shorter.

Within the collection, there are 30 stories new and old. Some are short in length as are traditional short stories, and some are shorter in length, as are the more contemporary flash fiction stories. Some were written as recently as this past winter; others, as long ago as the early ’90s. Many have been published previously on my website and other places, but there are several new stories that have not yet been released until now.

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Happy Cyborg Monday!

Robot Editor
This is not a Cyborg

Hey, wow! To celebrate Cyborg Monday*, you can download all my ebooks from Amazon for free for the day!

If interested, you can read a sample and download them from here.

And as always, thank you for shopping at Amazon where your feedback in the form of reviews are always welcomed (and desired).

#prayforthesingularity

****

*It’s obvious to me, seeing how Jeff Bezos is embracing Cyborgs and dedicating an entire day of discounts and savings in their honor, that he doesn’t fear the AI Apocalypse quite as much as his billionaire bud Elon Musk does.

 

Is Writing Hard for Everyone or Just Me?

IMAGE COURTESY OF 99DESIGNS.COM

Hey! What’s up?! Long time no speak. Everyone surviving these bizarre times okay?

I must admit that I have grown accustomed to not blogging or socializing on the internet these past several months. Not that I haven’t missed you, it’s just nice to be engaged so heavily in the really real as opposed to the virtually real.

Well, I guess not all my time has been spent in the real real. Much of it has been spent in the imagined real as I’ve been chugging along on a new book.

Yes, I think I’ve finally found a novel-length story with lasting appeal, at least to me, that I may be able to bring to an end instead of just starting and sputtering out like so many others.

Which is why I’ve come to you today…

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A Guest Post by Author Larry Kahaner

READ KURT’S FIVE-STAR REVIEW OF LARRY’S THRILLER: USA, INC.
 
 

GREED AND THE CONSTITUTION
A Novel Pair

By Larry Kahaner

 

I enjoy writing about greed.

It’s an emotion that intrigues me because I’m not a greedy person, so I’m fascinated by those who are. I want to understand it, and, for me, this means writing about it. In the course of writing I see all sides, and most, if not all of the ramifications.

I’m in a perfect position to do this because I’ve been a business journalist and reporter for about 30 years. I’ve written about 20 books, some under my own name, and others were ghostwritten. I’ve worked in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, the web… you name it. I’m also a licensed private investigator and one of my niches was cult investigations. These groups are almost always headed by a greedy son-of-a-bitch.

First, let’s define greed. It’s when you have more than enough money, power, whatever gets you excited, but you want more. It’s more than you could ever use, enjoy or hope to maintain by yourself. Does greed lead to immoral behavior? Well, you could argue that greed itself is immoral, to which I agree, but more often than not, greed often becomes an obsession that can no longer be quenched through legal or moral activity.

Why?

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