Robert Swartwood

USA Today Bestselling Author

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 13)

Quick Question About Content On Your Website

Occasionally I’ll get what is essentially spam from people asking to post content on my website. I imagine most people with blogs get the same kind of thing. And I imagine most people usually just mark those emails as spam.

I usually do.

Until I decided, hey, why not respond to one and see what happens?

from: Ryan Atkin <>
reply-to: Ryan Atkin <>
date: Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 6:52 AM
subject: Quick question about content on your website


I hope you don’t mind me contacting you today but I just have a few quick questions,

Would you be interested in sparking up a mutually beneficial relationship with me over some content submissions for your site?

We are basically looking to place a short and sweet 500 word article on your website, with a link pointing to a page on my clients website, followed by a payment for your effort.

Let me know if you are interested and we can get things moving.


Ryan Atkin

Digital Outreach Agent

My response:

from: Robert Swartwood <>
to: Ryan Atkin <>
date: Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM
subject: Re: Quick question about content on your website

Hi Ryan,

I’m very interested. Do you pay in Bitcoins? I require Bitcoins.



After no response (and after I remembered I had even sent the email), I decided to try again:

from: Robert Swartwood <>
to: Ryan Atkin <>
date: Tue, Jan 6, 2015 at 3:45 PM
subject: Re: Quick question about content on your website

Hi Ryan,

I haven’t heard from you since your first correspondence. I’m still very interested in having a short and sweet 500 word article on my website. Of course, I prefer payment in Bitcoins. Bitcoins or Pogs. Please let me know.



And, surprisingly, still new response.

But don’t worry, people — I will get that content.

And I will get those Bitcoins.

Or Pogs.

Or Bitpogs.

Hmm. Think I just came up with a new business idea.

Let me email Ryan about putting it on other people’s websites.

R.I.P. Jesus Gonzalez

My good friend Jesus Gonzalez passed away this morning. He had been in the hospital for the past several weeks. I even had a chance to see him last week, and he … did not look good. But then I heard over the weekend he was showing signs of improvement. I thought, Great! Then this morning I received a voicemail from Brian Keene. Even before listening to the voicemail I had an awful feeling I knew what the call was about.

It was great knowing you, Jesus. You were the best.

Not familiar with Jesus? Read this.

Eleanor and Neverland

Two new books have just been released into the wild that you should definitely check out.

Jason Gurley is a relatively new name that has been making a big splash everywhere. He’s one of the best graphic designers in the business (I mean, hey, look at that beautiful cover!), and he’s already making a big name for himself in the world of science fiction. In fact, Hugh Howey says Jason will be a household name someday. Believe it. His latest novel has just come out, what many are comparing to Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s called Eleanor and it’s available now exclusively at Amazon.

Douglas Clegg is a great writer and good friend, and while it’s not new per se, his novel Neverland has just be reissued with a snazzy-looking cover. You want quality horror fiction? Doug writes some of the best horror fiction out there, so grab Neverland at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo while the grabbing’s good.

XOM-B Digital Sale

Just what the banner there says. XOM-B, the new novel by my friend Jeremy Robinson, which is usually $12.99, is currently $2.99 on all digital platforms for a limited time, including Kindle. What’s XOM-B about? Oh, you know, just zombies and robots and the end of the world, the usual. I’ve already read the book (well, listened to it) and it kicks ass. Really, this is a great deal, and you don’t want to be left out. Check out the book trailer and more buy links here.

Missing You

Harlan Coben’s latest novel, Missing You, is out today in the U.S. I was fortunate to receive an early copy. Unfortunately, I’ve been swamped with work and have only had a chance to read about half of the book so far, but it’s just what you would expect from a Coben novel: witty, sardonic, fun, but with a mystery wrapped up in a riddle in a … well, you know. It’s a blast, and I can’t wait to finish it. The thing I love most about Coben’s books is the complexity of the plots. Missing You is no different. Just when you think you might have it figured out, Coben throws you a curveball. Pick it up today.

Nic Pizzolatto On Art

I don’t think art is about expression. I don’t think that’s its primary motive. The primary motivation is communion with your fellow human beings. So it’s very frustrating to make something and nobody notices it. If you put on a play and nobody comes to it, did you really put on a play? But you just keep going. You remind yourself that people have been doing this as long as there have been people. And your frustrations and disappointments are nothing new. And you go back to the wheel.

Read the rest of the interview with Nic Pizzolatto over at The Daily Beast (it’s actually an older interview, but I just stumbled across it now). And pick up Pizzolatto’s novel Galveston which is right now just $2.99 on Kindle.

Tomorrow is the season finale of True Detective. I’m psyched. Are you?

Bloody Signorina

My friend Joseph D’Agnese got some very cool news the other day. His story “Bloody Signorina,” which originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, has been nominated for a Derringer Award. And so, for a limited time, Joe is making the story available as a free ebook, which you can download at Smashwords. Check it out!

Tim Lebbon Gets Digital

Tim Lebbon is a great writer and a good friend, and for a while now I’ve been trying to talk him into releasing some of his work digitally. If you’re not aware, Tim is extremely prolific in terms of short stories and novellas, and ebooks seem to be an ideal medium for the novella. So finally, after much nagging on my part (okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration), Tim has begun to release many of his critically-acclaimed novellas under his own publishing imprint Dreaming in Fire Press. The first release is his knock out novella White, which is one of the best novellas you’ll ever read. Forget the fact that it won the British Fantasy Award. Forget the fact it’s been optioned for a movie. Forget the fact it’s appeared in several “best of” anthologies. Just buy the damned thing already. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did. Tim plans to drop a new ebook every week for the next several weeks, so keep an eye out for more releases coming soon.

FEARnet On Midnight Symphony

FEARnet has a nice review of Midnight Symphony. Here’s some of what they have to say:

Overall, this collection is a love song for the unsung hero known as the horror novella. Novellas are not quite a novel, but much longer than a short story. Some novellas can run up to almost 150 pages. This huge eBook book has TEN of them. The stories are short enough for you to finish curled up under a blanket on the couch on a chilly fall or winter night by the fire. Satisfying enough to fill your desire to read for hours, but not waste an entire weekend doing nothing but read… unless you want to do that by reading a bunch of these back-to-back.

Don’t miss this amazing collection of top-shelf horror fiction. At 99 cents, you can’t go wrong.

Still only 99 cents on Kindle, Nook, and Ganxy.

Would You Like To Be “Normal”?

I’ve been reading The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida and it’s a fascinating look at a person with autism. Most of the book is structured as questions and answers. One of the questions is “Would you like to be ‘normal’?” The last paragraph of the answer was just too good not to share:

To give the short version, I’ve learned that every human being, with or without disabilities, needs to strive to do their best, and by striving for happiness you will arrive at happiness. For us, you see, having autism is normal — so we can’t know for sure what your “normal” is even like. But so long as we can learn to love ourselves, I’m not sure how much it matters whether we’re normal or autistic.

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