Monday, April 22, 2019

Another tale in StoryHack

Now that I have signed the contract, I can announce my short story, "Makani and the Vulture God," will be appearing in StoryHack later this year. If plans stay on track, the story will be in issue #5.

This will be my second appearance in StoryHack. This will be the third published story featuring my sword-&-sorcery duo, Lono and Makani. (Perhaps I should call it spear-&-sorcery. There is no metallurgy among their people.)

I enjoy StoryHack. I enjoy working with editor, Bryce Beattie.

I am pleased :)

Monday, April 8, 2019

WICKED WEIRD

Though contracts have not gone out, the official t.o.c. was announced for WICKED WEIRD.

WICKED WEIRD is the next anthology produced by the New England Horror Writers group, following on WICKED SEASONS, WICKED TALES, WICKED WITCHES, and WICKED HAUNTED.

The original plan was to launch the book this August at Necronomicon Providence 2019. I don't know if that is still the plan, or if it will slip to their traditional October launch.

As you might guess from the title and launch plan, the theme this time around is 'weird' and 'cosmic' horror. My story, "The Painted Girl," is among the nineteen. Some intriguing titles and good writers here. I'm happy to be included.

WICKED WEIRD

Editors - Amber Fallon, Scott Goudsward and David Price

(In Random order - Not book order:)

Jeffrey Thomas - Your Emergency Response Guide
Lauran L. Soares - The Sweetness and the Psychic
Ken Vaughan - A Long Walk to the Ocean
John Goodrich - The Promised Death of Zebediah Dewey
Matthew M. Bartlett - Strange Haze
Barry Lee Dejasu - The Night and all its Visitors
Morgan Sylvia - Salt Cave
Errick Nunnally - A Song of War and Death
Jason Parent - Starry Night
William Carl - Reclaimed
Frank Raymond Michaels - Please Stay Dead, Aunt Marnie
Paul McNamee - The Painted Girl
Peter Dudar - Perfect Parent
Victoria Dalpe - Those beneath, devour
Steve Van Samson - A Feast of Flies
Rob Smales - Pet Shop of the Gods
John Buja - Lost Mine of St. Eloi
Trisha Wooldridge - The Mass of the Greatest Sin
Steven LaCroix - Better Late than Never

There you have it 19 original stories - 93K (pre-edits etc)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

On the subject of book reviews

The other day on Facebook, a writer friend asked;
What’s a guy gotta do to get book reviews around here? Seriously. All answers appreciated.
 Most everyone replied they had no idea anymore.

I certainly don't.

I am more focused on Amazon reviews in this post, though there are certainly other venues; goodreads, blogs, etc.

Not complaining, just observing; the anthologies I've appeared in barely have reviews.

Personally, for me, the notion of reviewing just isn't on my radar much anymore. It started with backing off any negative reviews. As a writer myself I feel uncomfortable doing that. It might just not be smart as a 'career' move, either.

But now I'm kind of burned out on reviewing anything--even if I like something.

Maybe it's the fact I come from a Pre-Internet world. Pre-Internet, if I enjoyed something I just enjoyed it. I'd tell some people maybe, or it would come up in conversation, but I didn't need to announce it to the world.

I know, we live in a new paradigm. I know authors need the help--I'm one of them.
 

Amazon's back-&-forth 'policies' on pulling reviews--especially if you are friends with writers--haven't helped. And it is disturbing behavior. How does Amazon determine you are friends? Clearly they must be trawling our social media.

On the flip side of that, Amazon hardly police unjust one-star reviews. Ones that are done out of spite, or "I never read this genre but I'll review this anyway."

I also wonder if Amazon reviews mean anything lately. Other than occasionally hunting up some non-fiction cold, I don't read Amazon reviews to influence my purchases. Most books I buy are on recommendations from other sources--and most of those are recommendations, not reviews.

Also seeing as how nearly every book on Amazon--if they get enough reviews--end up with such a mix from one-star to five-star that the reviews aren't even useful.

I have no evidence that anyone else feels the way I do. But I do wonder.

How about you? Have you burned out on posting reviews, even short ones? Do you feel like the weight of Amazon reviews don't matter to you as much as they did?  Did they ever?

What about reviews from sources other than Amazon?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

recent read; the DARK GATE novels by John Jakes

DMR Books are launching 2019 by having guest bloggers all month. I was invited to participate. (thanks Deuce & Dave!)

I'd been meaning to read two planetary adventure novels by John Jakes: MASTER OF THE BLACK GATE and WITCH OF THE BLACK GATE. I thought a post about them would be a nice change from examining Jakes' sword-&-sorcery tales of Brak the Barbarian.

You can read the blog post here.

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 reading round up

I'm falling short of my Goodreads 2018 challenge. As of tonight, I've read 59 of the 70 books goal. I set that number (70) with graphic novels in mind, as last year they inflated my total. I read a lot of enjoyable stuff this year, and fewer graphic novels than I expected.

There are some stragglers - books not listed on Goodreads, like HIGH ADVENTURE 'zine (long enough to consider a book) and individual comics or comic 'zines (CREEPY.)  Plus read-throughs on two of my own novels. (Hey, it takes time.)

Highlights from the list;

THE LAST SACRIFICE by James A. Moore
EMPEROR MOLLUSK VERSUS THE SINISTER BRAIN by A. Lee Martinez
MARROW DUST by Steve Van Samson
GIL'S ALL FRIGHT DINER by A. Lee Martinez
TARZAN AND THE JEWELS OF OPAR by Edgar Rice Burroughs
RETURN TO THE LOST LEVEL by Brian Keene
ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE by Ian Fleming
THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES by Arthur Conan Doyle
DARKER THAN YOU THINK by Jack Williamson
A HELL WITHIN by James A. Moore & Charles R. Rutledge
TARZAN AND THE VALLEY OF GOLD by Fritz Leiber
CEMETERY WORLD by Clifford D. Simak
AT THE MERCY OF BEASTS by Ed Kurtz
MEMO FROM TURNER by Tim Willocks
PULP ERA WRITING TIPS (edited by Bryce Beattie)
THE BEASTS OF VALHALLA by George C. Chesbro
BLACK PULP (edited by Tommy Hancock)

THE GREAT DISASTER (DC Comics SHOWCASE)
DOC SAVAGE: THE SPIDER'S WEB (Dynamite Entertainment comic)

Best wishes for 2019!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

2018 writing round up

The blog has been quiet, so I thought I'd throw out a writing post wrap-up. Yes, I know it is still November but I have nothing else coming out this year.

In retrospect, it felt like a quiet year. But that was because I focused on novel writing for most of it. And, everything that came out this year had been in the pipeline since last year.


Four appearances. Turns out that is the most I've had in a single year. I'll take it.

The pulp serial, HOUR OF THE ROBOT, was delayed. Pro Se Press are hoping to get back on track. With luck, the serial will start coming out in January with the others that were announced.

It was a good--if not great--writing year. (yes, I know we still have December.) I finished two novels that had been languishing. I wrote and submitted a few short stories. I didn't get any bites but some of the stories were sent off to other slush piles that are still open.

I'm working through a short story now that will be completed and submitted by year's end. Then it's back to more chapters of the serial.

So, that's what's up with me on the writing front. I hope all you other authors are having success at either writing and/or publishing.

I hope 2019 is fruitful for us all.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween!

This year's October flashed me by awfully quick. Despite a welcome and fun visit from Charles Rutledge, and the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival, I had personal distractions keeping me from the Halloween spirit most of the month.

I did manage a viewing of SON OF DRACULA, recorded a few movies off TCM (which I won't get to until November, if that,) and read a few spooky comics and stories.

Here are some quick scary tales from my neck of the woods for you.