Friday, April 22, 2011

Dark Discoveries and other Jiggy Wiggy Hoopla

Nice cover, yeah? I just sent the contract back to Dark Discoveries! My story got bumped up to the next issue (18)! This one! I’m so thrilled. I’m going to buy some extra copies and give one away in a contest after the first contest I have for two of The Bag and The Crow tees(one male, one female) which I’ll be posting about pretty soon. I also need to finish interview questions for Jassen Bailey, the proprietor of The Bag and The Crow (as well as the review site The Crow’s Caw), because he’s a great guy selling great work and damn passionate about the genre and life.

I passed both of my tests for the new job and got my temporary license! I’m stoked. Can’t wait to get the official license in the mail and be a professional whatch-a-ma-call-it! I used to get so frustrated when I couldn’t get what I wanted (but I really, really don’t think I knew what I wanted when I was younger so that could explain it.) Things keep falling into place the last few years. Weird. Lol.

Currently reading Robert Dunbar’s terrifically funny, intelligent and tragic novel WILLY. Next up I’ll be reading and reviewing Mark Gunnell’s collection Tales From the Midnight Shift. Like Shaun Ryan, Kevin Wallis, Ken Wood, Cate Gardner, and Ben Eads, he’s a champ building his name and I think he has a lot of potential.

Also have a review of Tom Piccirilli’s noirella EVERY SHALLOW CUT up on The Crow’s Caw. Loved it (not that I expected any different. He hits deep emotions with his stories; a lot of it how every day failures add up until their combined weight is enough to crush us.) Chizine is publishing a lot of great work. I’m going to approach them about a short story collection at some point (just starting so I gotta wait until I get my rights back on a lot of stuff that recently sold or is forthcoming! Lol.)

I need to get to work on the next guest blog “With the Help of Your Friends,” for my buddy Ben Ead’s website. They’re fun. But time away from the internet is always something I crave. I think it’s the difference between writing a little and writing a lot. If we could monitor all the time we lived online I think it would shock the hell out of us. Plus walking away from the net allows me time to reflect, process things and just be still, which is nice.

NURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN is going to be in people’s hands before we know it! My debut novel! I remember what Lee Thomas said in one of his columns (A lot of writers think selling that first book is the goal, but it’s only the starting line) and I totally agree with him. What a dream come true even though now the real work begins. It’s a book I’m very proud of, especially since it’s layered and complex (at least for me at the time. I blame Gary Braunbeck.) The sequel that expands and delves deeper into that town, those characters (John McDonnell, Michael Johnston, Red Piccirilli, Frank Gunn, etc) and the mythos I’m creating will be finished by the end of summer! I think they’ll all work well as standalones, but collecting all of them--three novels and four novellas--will be quite the experience. I’m learning/developing my voice a lot this year and it’s been a real eye-opener. I think each book will be better than the last. That’s the goal anyway. I’m lucky I have people who encourage, believe in me, and show their support in so many ways. If I die tomorrow, know I’m touched. I think about how no one owes me anything every day. It’s mind blowing. Thank you for your time, for spreading the word, for spending your hard-earned money, for your time, and faith. I always want to give back but don’t know if I’ll ever be able to give back enough.

Also down to the last two scenes in my new book IMMERSION! This is one wicked ride but like a lot of my favorite work it has some tenderness in there too. And a lot of truth. (But it still gets ugly and brutal.) The opening lines are deceivingly simple, which I like:

I grew up where woods bordered bog, where air was thick and heavy and hot, where bugs were fat and hungry enough to consume recently slaughtered bodies.
My father was a butcher.
My mother was a seamstress.
We shared each other’s troubles.
Blood slakes demon thirst. That’s what the Church of a Thousand Nights professed.
Me and Keri were happy until they murdered her.
This isn’t just a tale of vengeance.
It’s a tale of truth.
Darkness Creeps.
Light is sudden.
Love is Fierce.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good stuff...

Got my new job! I’m so excited. Spring through fall is always busy for me and this year won’t be any different. I’m looking forward to making more money (means I can buy more books, save and take the winter off to do nothing but write, and a number of other things I dig.) I’ll have to wake up at 5 every day so I can write and jog before work, which is fine by me. The weather has been wonderful lately, and I’m enjoying all the sunshine. I’m far too white.

Also received this awesome DVD in the mail today and watched it. Excellent material! Love it! ***Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man…***

Almost finished reading Tim Lebbon’s UNTIL SHE SLEEPS. Really enjoying it. This is only his second book I’ve read, but I can see why he’s won awards and readers talk about him.

Working on my next novella (IMMERSION) and I think I’ll have the first draft finished by the 1st week of May. Yes! It’s a bit different for me. Or at least it feels that way. All of my favorite things seem to be popping up though—family turmoil, questions about identity, love, joy, sorrow, rage, hallucinations, pain. Hopefully it’ll be in some of your hands by the end of the year. I’m positive readers are going to dig it, and hopefully I’ll grow a little more in the process of writing. There are new things for me to explore, new lessons to learn, old questions to answer.

Still adapting a story for a local theater and just the idea of people acting out my work kinda makes me grin like an idiot.

Once the paperback for Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children is released mid-May I’ll have to work on lining up a few signings just for the hell of it. I could dance and sing and throw copies at people. Good plan, right? I have some other things I should do too, but right now I’m happy just working and writing and enjoying the friction luck makes when it kisses my four leaf clover.

My latest guest blog (***On Editing***) is live on Ms. Cindie Geddes blog. Give ‘er a read if you’re of a mind to. Thanks!

And the lettered hardcover of my novella ***AS I EMBRACE MY JAGGED EDGES*** is up for pre-order. It has a bonus story I’m very proud of too, and a character I plan to use in another story soon. I’m really excited. Can’t wait to get my author copy and molest it.

Not much else going on here. Beautiful weather, a new book, great reading material, an excellent DVD documentary, some music. Life is good. Smile, people!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Glad to see this wonderful story is up for pre-order! The digital is cheap (and this being basically a Lettered Edition for collectors, is not) but it will be limited to 30 copies, feature a bonus story as of now unmolested by human eyes, all hand made, numbered in Hebrew, plus I'm going to use my buddy Jassen's idea and sign the signature sheets in Hebrew!

As soon as I have some pics of the proto-type I will post them! I know a few friends who already pre-ordered, and believe that once collectors hear about it they'll snatch it up as well because when I make a name for myself this book will be worth some serious cash. Neat. I still owe Sam W. Anderson a big hug for suggesting I query them. What a smart fella.

Here's what they said about it on Sideshow's website:

The first of our deluxe edition hardcovers from our digital line is now up for pre-order. This hand-bound beauty is geared toward the collector-minded and features the aesthetics you’ve come to expect from a lettered edition but at a price closer to that of a deluxe.

This book will be limited to no more than 30 copies, and the ultimate print run will be determined by pre-orders.


Signed by the author and numbered in Hebrew
Bonus story not included in digital release
Fully illustrated in color
Artist page with original sketch
Hand bound
Handmade endpapers
Dust envelope with cover art

Materials have been chosen and are in hand.

***Pre-order page!***


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Closure, reviews, friends, etc.

All right. One of these days I'm going to get back to writing. I swear. But I did get a lot of rest today and I feel recharged.

Off to an interview for a new job this week! Pretty excited! Hopefully I'll be working there in the next couple of weeks after I get my Commercial Core license. Yay!

I also tried something I've never done before (Closure) and even though it was tough, I think it was necessary. I learned some great lessons and had a lot of laughs and really can't complain about anything that's happened over the last year. Life is right. No use getting bummed about what may or may not have been when what I had was definitely the best thing for me at the time and she gave more than anyone else ever has. (I can be quite demanding and unmovable.)

I am eager to write again, just need a little more time to process what the hell happened. Until then, a couple things:

Got a wonderful review of NURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN at ***Literary Mayhem***. Thanks, Peter! And thanks to anyone who reads and comments!

My talented buddy Bec has a story in this you could check out: M is for Monster

I'm working on an adaption for a local theater production which should be pretty awesome and something I've wanted to do for a while! Once everything is finalized I can't wait to get some pics!

My story THIS FINAL DECEMBER DAY is out in Apex's The Zombie Feed anthology, volume one now. Good deal! *Clickie*

I also worked in the few edits for my story BENEATH THE WEEPING WILLOW (my favorite short so far) which will be in Shock Totem issue 4 this July. I can't wait until people read it. I hope it shakes them up as much as it did me.

My buddy Jassen Bailey is making some great tees and the proceeds are going to Lungevity, which is awesome. Plus there are some great prizes to be had from the likes of author Jack Ketchum and artist Zack McCain. Take part! Make a difference! ***Here***

And I heard from my publisher that ***Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children*** is at the binder. Can't wait to have the signed/limited hardcover and the trade paperback on my bookshelf!

Been getting some great feedback on my direct to digital coming-of-age novella ***BEFORE LEONORA WAKES***. It's a damn good little story. I love this kid who is essentially me at that age (though he's probably a helluva lot smarter than I was. Probably a helluva lot smarter than I am now.)

Read a sweet novella by Brian James Freeman called The Painted Darkness. I'm working on a review for the Crow's Caw right now. Good stuff.

I'm also working on my next guest blog "On Editing," which will be on Ms. Cindie Geddes blog in the next few days! These things are a lot of fun to write and help me in ways I can't explain. Kinda like Fruity Pebbles.

I think I'm pretty blessed. People don't owe me crap yet they support me, make me smile, they're there for me. It's kinda numbing really. Where the hell did all of this luck and good fortune come from?!?! People used to hate me.

It creeps me out a little. :P

But thank you!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Heartache and Other Good Times

It's been a very rough and exhausting week, yet an enlightening one. Man, have I learned some great lessons that will help me for the rest of my life. But I think I still need work on forgiving. I have some values I will not bend on and when someone else tells me they agree, hell, they feel the same way and would never do that certain something... and then their actions contradict their empty words, it makes me furious. But there are a lot of gems hidden inside conflict. Oh yeah. Things we wouldn't learn any other way.

One thing I've learned is that I need to limit my writing time. I've been at it hard for a few years, working 8 hours a day on top of my normal job. That has a hard impact on relationships and there's no one to blame for that but myself. Good lesson to learn. I think I can cut back work to two hours a day (maybe three--then I can get a novel, two novellas and a half dozen short stories a year) and take the weekends off to get out and have fun, learn new things, indulge in other interests I love like music, theater, martial arts, jogging, hiking, art, etc. There is a neat aviator course I'd love to take this summer (I'd probably giggle a lot), and I'd really like to start rock climbing again (Oh, how I miss Colorado.)

I have some great friends. Man, do I. Thank you for the support, for love, for your time, for your advice, for listening, for your faith, for everything. I enjoy the hell out of so many people (though there are some people I'll never like, god knows why.)

Pretty cool to see that the paperback for NURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN will be available in ***Whitcoull's stores in New Zealand.*** I have no idea where that is, but it sounds spiffy.

NURSERY RHYMES 4 DEAD CHILDREN is also ***#2 on Horror Mall's pre-order bestseller list now.*** Sweet. Thanks to everyone who has dropped their hard-earned cash for a signed/limited hardcover! It's going to be a beauty and include some of my dead flesh (I had to sign a lot of signature sheets!)

My last guest blog is up on ***Blu Gilliand's October Country*** for anyone to check out who hasn't read it. I should have had the next one finished by now but I've been unable to focus as I sorted through a mountain of emotions. I've got things in order now; I'm feeling ready to start on it this week.

Also received news there's a new review of AS I EMBRACE MY JAGGED EDGES in ***Morpheus Tales April Supplement.***

I hope everyone else is loving hard and living large. Embrace those who treat you well because they don't have to give you anything. They do it out of the goodness in their hearts. I'll be back around on Fb and all that pretty soon. Got a bunch of emails to catch up on over the next two or three days! Thanks again!