Promotional image for the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology “Treasure Chest.”
This was a nice (almost) surprise. Zombie Pirate Publishing, which has been in existence since 2017, has featured some of my stories in their anthologies, and is producing a “round up” anthology of their favorite tales in Treasure Chest: Selected Short Stories. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon now, to be downloaded to your Kindle device December 1, 2019 (a terrific Christmas gift, by the way).
My classic SciFi tale Joey is featured in its pages.
Joey was first published in the ZPP anthology World War Four back in March of this year, along with many other fascinating tales, including best selling science fiction author Neal Asher‘s novelette “Monitor Logan.”
Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of “Joey”:
Screenshot of J.K. Jemisin from YouTube – Found at Vox.com
Once again wandering around File 770’s Pixel Scroll, I came across item 5 “Writing About a Different Race.” I was ready to read and cringe, imagining how white, male authors were going to be targeted as racist, misogynistic, insensitive, and so on.
Fortunately the Vulture article Who Gave You the Right to Tell That Story by Lila Shapiro wasn’t particularly cringe-worthy. The subtitle is “Ten authors on the most divisive question in fiction, and the times they wrote outside their own identities,” and one of them is triple Hugo Award winner N.K. Jemisin. She’s one of only two people (that I’m aware of) who has blocked me on twitter (the other is Rep. Steve Cohen who didn’t appreciate my saying he had a “fast food body” after he tweeted a photo of himself eating KFC chicken as a snub to Attorney General William Barr). Oh, I can log out of twitter and see their tweets fine, I just can’t tweet to them.
Anyway, Jemisin, who is a woman of color if you didn’t see her photo above, discussed her experiences in writing characters who are unlike her. She states in part:
Cover art for Dan Simmons’ 1989 novel “Hyperion”
I have to admit that I’d never heard of Dan Simmons or his award winning 1989 novel Hyperion until both were mentioned on Mike Glyer’s File 770. Actually, it was specifically the mention that he dared to insult the much vaunted teenage climate change icon Greta Thunberg. I agree that Simmons went kind of overboard on his twitter commentary, but attacking a teenager aside, criticizing Thunberg for any reason has become pretty much the worst thing you can do besides being a “denier.”
Anyway, I became interested in him and his novel, so I checked it out of my local public library and started reading. It wasn’t what I expected, but then again, I didn’t know what to expect.
Hyperion has been loosely compared to Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a collection of stories about seemingly unrelated people. I can kind of see that. Simmons, a former teacher, spared no effort in shoving tons and tons of literary references, many of them aimed right at Keats, into his stories. I’m sure many of them sailed way over my head. I don’t think they added much to the novel.
Announcement graphic from Zombie Pirate Press
I’ve been waiting a few days to be able to brag about this one.
About a month ago, I had hit a dry spell, and decided to “loosen up” by participating in a writing challenge, not something I do a lot of these days. I was considering writing a story for an open submission, but I didn’t know how to approach it.
So I crafted the 150 word tale The Clockwork Dragon.
That got things moving and I was able to forge ahead with the actual story. A few days ago, it was accepted for publication by Adam and Sam at Zombie Pirate Publishing for their upcoming anthology Clockwork Dragons: A Fantasypunk Anthology.
Promotional image for the anthology of drabbles “Dark X-Mas.”
Not the news I had hoped to deliver by now, but I just found out that “Eleanor Merry Presents: Dark X-Mas is now available to pre-order both at Amazon US and Canada for delivery on your Kindle device December 1, 2019.
Here’s the “blurbs” again for the two drabbles I have featured within its virtual pages:
For centuries, the innocent belief of children breathed life into Santa Claus, bringing him into the homes of millions every December 24th, laden with gifts for precious cherubs. But the world changed and children changed, and finally there was too little faith left to keep the old elf going and he expired.
But this year, Santa’s chief servant Alabaster found ten wee ones he could spirit away from their cozy beds at the stroke of midnight in order to supplicate themselves at the grave of St. Nicholas. These children desperately want Santa back, but what horrible sacrifice will they be expected to make to resurrect a very different Santa from what the world has ever known?
Image found at compellingreads.co.uk – no attribution given
This morning, I received another bit of good news, but I’m sworn to secrecy, at least for the next 24 hours or so, until it becomes official. All I can say is that the email made my day, especially since I was up at a quarter til four in the morning because I couldn’t sleep.
Actually, it gave me time to do the research on a short story submission due in about ten days or so. I’ve been struggling with this one until inspiration seized me, as it usually does, when I’m trying to get some rest.
I spent the early morning working Google into the ground, collecting links, beginning to create characters, and I was starting to outline the plot when the clock told me I only had an hour left before I had to leave for my day job.
Image found at compellingreads.co.uk – no attribution given
I still don’t have word from the publisher about when I can start talking about this short story and the anthology in which it will appear. I did get an email update yesterday to which I have already responded:
First of all, a million thanks on behalf of XXXX Books for working with us to produce a terrifyingly fun anthology! We are working hard on producing cover art befitting this masterpiece – we will circulate it as soon as it’s ready!
If you could please give your story a read-through and get back to us by November 6th 2019 with any tweaks our editors may have missed (page#, line#, edit) that would be awesome! If we don’t hear from you, we will assume all is perfect.
Once again, thank you for being part of the XXXX family!
Promotional image for the soon-to-be published anthology of drabbles “Dark X-Mas.”
Not one but two of my drabbles have been accepted in the Eleanor Merry Presents Christmas Horror anthology “Dark X-Mas”.
According to the blurb for Dark X-Mas Drabbles Anthology:
I’m dreaming of a Dark Christmas
With every little tale that I read
When the knife blades glisten
And scared children listen
To hear slayers in the night
Where sugarplums can be gory
In the frightening elf story
And trees eat favorite household pets
There are gifts on all the pages
Of terror through the ages
Told of gift giving regrets
I’m dreaming of a Dark Christmas
With every little tale I read
While the bright lights shine
And the family dines In the soft fireplace glow
So hold loved ones tight
It’s not Santa visiting tonight
Death lies buried in the snow.
I actually don’t know a whole lot about co-publishers Eleanor Merry and Cassandra Angler, but some other authors I’ve been published with before, including David Bowmore and Shawn Klimek, are participating, so I figured “what the heck?”
Logo for the National Novel Writing Month
Once again, in November, I will not be participating in National Novel Writing Month, more popularly known as NaNoWriMo.
First of all, I can barely stay awake, even though it’s not even six in the evening (as I write this). That means, I can’t think clearly. I’ve been trying for several days to finish a short story, but every evening when I get home from my slave job, I’m exhausted. My hours changed, so I have to get up at 5 in the morning. That used to be pretty normal for me, but as I get older, I have discovered that getting and then staying asleep at night is becoming more difficult.
Also, writing a novel in a month is either a challenge at best or torture and tyranny at worst. I did manage to write a 10,000 novelette in a week for a similar online challenge. It wasn’t chosen for publication, so now what do I do with it (actually, I have plans, but I still need time and a clear head to enable them)?
Just in time for Halloween!
Fall into Fantasy 2019 Anthology
I’m thrilled to announce that this fantasy love and horror story is available on Amazon now!
Cover art for the Cloaked Press anthology “Fall Into Fantasy 2019”
Here’s what you can expect from my short story “The Demon in the Mask:”
Andre Paul LeClair was an orphan, an infant found on the steps of a monastery. Raised in the midst of Priests and Nuns, he grew to be an intelligent, charming boy, and then a handsome, bewitching man. Coming to the attention of a sinister Cardinal, LeClair was whisked away to remote mountain Chateau. Trained for a decade by soldiers, spies, and courtesans, he was honed to be the perfect instrument of assassination. His target, the secret ruler of the Kingdom, the Princess and witch Katia Asa Vajda. But when the moment came to liberate a nation, would he kill the princess, or fall in love with her?