Archive for July, 2011

Thrills!  Spills!  Awards you’ve never heard of that I haven’t quite won, advice for aspiring writers, ebook(s) a-coming, the future of writing, and of course another plug for VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) — technically published if all has gone well although perhaps not quite yet physically available — all this and more (cf. Jul. 27, Jul. 14) has been posted today on Morgen Bailey’s Blog.  Just press the blog’s name to see for yourself!

Then for other news, last night brought an acceptance of my story “Jessie” (orig. published in ABERRATIONS, August 1995) for Red Skies Press’s DREAMS OF DUALITY, an “anthology of dark, mysterious fiction … regarding the ‘other self,’ cloning, an evil twin, alternate personalities, inner heroes and demons.”  Tales of “duplicity” and “multiplicity” — and Jessie who?  For the answer, you’ll have to read DREAMS OF DUALITY after it’s published.

What, more French?!  This morning my author’s copy of MON COEUR MORT (cf. Jul. 14, Jun. 17), arrived in the mail from Post Mortem Press with my modest tale of sweet lesbian vampire love, “A Cup Full of Tears,” tucked discreetly toward the back on page 233.  To quote from editor/publisher Eric Beebe’s introduction, “… these stories will touch your heart while trying to rip it out of your chest.”  Sounds good to me! 

For more information/to order copies, the publisher’s website is www.postmortem-press.com or check Amazon.com, while an ebook version is available for Kindle via Amazon, Nook via Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, iBook, Sony Reader, and other formats via Smashwords.

Tuesday brought good news along with a proof copy of my story “Killer Pot,” now set to be published on DAILY SCIENCE FICTION on Tuesday, August 9. For a free subscription — a pretty good deal for a new story each day — or just to read le conte du jour (and why all the French? Check the introduction to “Killer Pot” on the 9th), press here.

Then closer to the present date, for those who wish please check back here this coming Friday, July 29, for Morgen Bailey’s interview. An interview of whom?

C’est moi!

So, speaking of which (see entry just below), around an hour ago I sent back my signed contract for an acceptance from INDIANA SCIENCE FICTION.  The story, “The Frog Pond,” has appeared in the United Kingdom in the December (“Christmas”) 2006 print edition of HUB MAGAZINE; this will, however, be its North American premiere.

Indiana writers and writers with ties to Indiana, or even those with stories set in Indiana, a new anthology, INDIANA SCIENCE FICTION, is looking for your submissions.  Originally announced as a copies only project, editor James Ward Kirk has decided to add a pay scale similar to that of his earlier INDIANA HORROR (cf.  May 25).  The revised guidelines are here for stories (and poems) up to 5,000 words, with a deadline set for October 30 or when filled.

Then for those of us with a darker bent, the Library of Horror has announced the table of contents  for ZOMBIE ZAK’S HOUSE OF PAIN (Jun. 12), an anthology of contemporary horror with only one rule:  no zombies to be allowed.  Was the rule obeyed or did temptation win out?  We probably won’t know until it’s available and in hand (my story’s a non-jolly tale about Christmas), but here at least are the story titles and perpetrators:

Weekend Bag                                            David Dunwoody
The Manipulator                                       Wednesday Silverwood
Pop                                                             Henry Snider
That Damn Song                                      Gregory L. Hall
Devil Drink                                               Tonia Brown
Baby Gravy                                                Tiara Chukwu
The Samurai In Aisle Three                      Eric Dimbleby
The Dionysus Health Spa                         A.J. French
Briar King                                                 A.D. Spencer
Doodles                                                     C. Dulaney
The Green Dream                                      Gregory L. Norris
Black River                                                Rakie Keig
Moon Shadow                                           R. Scott McCoy
John Chapman And Scarred Angus        Clyde Wolfe
Serpent’s Kiss                                           Hollie Snider
It Runs In The Family                               JW Schnarr
The Chimney                                             James S. Dorr
The Toll                                                     Jason Shaye
Up and Down the Food Chain                William Meikle
More information forthcoming as it becomes known. . . .

It’s still not quite officially published yet, but here’s an early look at the cover of VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), courtesy of book designer Mitchell D. Bentley/Atomic Fly Studios.   And it also includes a lagniappe of sorts:  if you can read the type at the top of the back cover, “Meet just one of the vamps in this book,” it’s the text of the poem “The Aeronaut” that appears inside on Page 13 (coincidence?) — at least on the proof copy in which, as a bonus, it’s faced by one of my favorite of Marge Simon’s illustrations.

In a related item, mystery writer Susan Whitfield is celebrating August as “Vampire Month” on her blog.  To help start things off an interview with me, including more information on VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), has just been scheduled for Tuesday, August 9.  This will be in addition to the interview already set up with Morgen Bailey (see Jul. 14) in just ten days on Friday, July 29.

Mes amis, une nouvelle! Post Mortem Press has just announced the release of the print edition of MON COEUR MORTE today, Bastille Day, le quartorze juillet. It should appear on Amazon early next week while, according to their late evening email, the Kindle edition should be available already with other on-line retailers being added within the next month. Local booksellers should be able to order the book through Ingram and Baker & Taylor at that time too, or, for a $2.00 discount and free shipping in the U.S., it can be pre-ordered through the end of July directly from the publisher.

This is the anthology cited under “A Good Day for Vampires,” Jun. 17, a collection of stories exploring paranormal romance and horror fiction as these were originally understood, lurid and disturbing at their core. My entry in this is a brief but sharp love tale, “A Cup Full of Tears” about the travails of a roving vampiress on a quest for eternal love — or at least something to tide her over the next few decades.

What advice do I have for new writers?  My first publication?  How many awards that you’ve never heard of have I not quite won?  This is the fun part about doing interviews, sitting back at the computer keyboard and noodling on the questions.  Thus the first of a clutch of appearances to be set up for this month and the next has been scheduled for Friday July 29 on British writer Morgen Bailey’s Blog — and while, let’s face it, part of the point for me is pimpage for the upcoming VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) collection, I think it will be fun for readers as well. For an official schedule of interviewees, with link to go active for mine when it’s posted, visit Morgen’s Blog here, or just check me out on this side of the pond around noon on the 29th.

I received the check today for my recently published STAR*LINE poem, “Saving Places” (see Jul. 5), giving me reason to go to the bank, then to the market to walk back home with, among other things, 1.5 quarts of vanilla ice cream through 92-degree late morning heat.  Then yesterday it was 95, with a heat index of 110, not the hottest in the US (one friend in Florida told me her car’s air-conditioning conked out, not a good thing in Florida), but after a respite in the high 80s the next couple of days, the weather forecast calls for the 90s again for the weekend.

So perhaps tonight I will watch again one of the occasional treasures one finds at library sales, an almost pristine Kino VHS of THE HOLY MOUNTAIN (aka DER HEILIGE BERG, 1926, silent, complete with tinting), starring Leni Riefenstahl, the actress who later went on to direct, among other things, the highly artistic films OLYMPIA (about the 1936 Olympics) and TRIUMPH OF THE WILL for, as it happens,  her personal friend Hitler.  This however is a love story, filmed in the Alps:   “Enthralled by the scenic majesty and heaving power of nature, an alluring dancer seeks the man of her dreams in a small mountain village.  There she encounters a reclusive climber and a young skier, who are each pursuing their own elusive ideals amid the intoxicating beauty and treacherous  dangers of the alps.”  Dripping with ubermensch-ism (literally looking down on those who don’t climb mountains  — and presumably filmed with real mountaineers rather than professional actors for most of the parts).  And — and this is the point for late night watching with temperatures still up in the high 80s — ends with mountain men caught on a ledge in the storm and being FROZEN TO DEATH.  (Also interesting to science fiction fans is Fritz Lang’s 1929 WOMAN IN THE MOON [aka FRAU IM MOND], ubermensch again plus “good” vs. “bad” capitalism which in a weird kind of way prefigures Ayn Rand.  Lang though, for his part, was one of those like Bertolt Brecht and Peter Lorre who left Germany after Hitler came to power.  [Well, Communist Brecht didn’t last long in Hollywood either, but that’s another story.])

More recent and perhaps best of all, though, for forgetting the heat is an odd little Belgian film (French language [mostly] with English subtitles) I came across, L’ICEBERG, presumably with no political overtones at all, concerning a fast food restaurant manager  who gets locked in a walk-in freezer only to discover, when she finally gets out, that her husband and children hadn’t even missed her.  “But when Fiona develops an obsession for everything cold and icy — snow, polar bears, refrigerators, icebergs — she drops everything, climbs into a frozen food delivery truck, and leaves home. . . .”  Funny.  Quirky.  Absurdist.  One reviewer on Amazon calls it “almost like a comedy version of OPEN WATER (without the sharks) in the way it explores relationships.”  And, we mustn’t forget, with icebergs.

Then finally, for relationships gone cold (sorry) there’s FREEZE ME, a Japanese film about a woman who murders, one after the other, a gang of men who had attacked her in the past, storing their bodies in a succession of freezers, continuing to buy new freezers to pack into her apartment as the old ones get full.  But she’s running out of space to put them all in, and besides there’s this smell. . . .

More busy-ness with one interview completed and sent in, also a blurb and a biographical note sent to Untreed Reads.  But also good news in Sunday’s email:  a story of mine I’m  particularly fond of, “Dark of the Moon,” originally published by Del Rey in THE CHILDREN OF CTHULHU has been accepted by Innsmouth Free Press as a reprint for their upcoming FUTURE LOVECRAFT anthology.  “Surprise us with your visions of the future.  Think beyond the borders of the usual settings . . . Future Hong Kong.  Post-apocalyptic Africa.  The drowned coastlines of Australia in a warmer world.  A city beneath the waves near Easter Island. . . .”  This is the publisher that’s also taken “Victorians” for CANDLE IN THE ATTIC WINDOW (see Apr. 4, below) and I’m looking forward to both anthologies!

Then the email just below it contained an acceptance from STAR*LINE for not one, but two poems, “How Things Change” and “No One Wants to Run through the Woods Naked Under a Full Moon Anymore,” the one about werewolves, the other vampires — more visions of horror for the future?  Both poems are set to be published tentatively in 2012.




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