Archive for the ‘Book’ Category

Comes June and with it a bright sunny afternoon, breezy and in the lower 80s and, with that, the start of the Summer Reading Season.  What better way to celebrate, then, than with a new interview of . . . me, this one by UK author and blogger Jacky Dahlhaus, tentatively to go live Wednesday morning?  So three days from now be prepared for more dish on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, a mention or two (it mustn’t feel left out!) of THE TEARS OF ISIS, the importance of (*ahem*) reviews to all authors, plus details on the inspiration and influence of Poe and Bradbury (with mentions here of Ginsberg and Brecht), whether I start writing with a pen or on the computer . . . well, you may have seen interviews by me before, but maybe this one will have new stuff to say too.  You can’t really tell until you read it, coming up Wednesday.

And a quick second note, Ms. Dahlhaus is looking for a few more interviewees for the summer, if any other writers out there might be interested in some free publicity.  But there are a few qualifications in terms of work already published, more on which can be found at her website by pressing here.

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Just a quick note today that I stopped by AbeBooks and note that TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH is available at discounted prices as low as $8.69.  This is for the print edition and, while there’s shipping added to that, it still comes to less than $13.00 (in this particular case, $12.29 to be more exact) compared to a $14.95 list price.  Plus, of course, whatever shipping might be on that.
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If interested, the AbeBooks page can be found by pressing here.  I don’t know if this is for a limited time (I also looked up THE TEARS OF ISIS but didn’t find similar discounts there, for instance), but if you’ve been considering possibly buying it, this one might be worth checking out now.

So, as we know (cf. March 4, below) I made it home from Providence Sunday, though fate (and American Airlines) apparently would have preferred that it be Monday.  A flight to Philadelphia cancelled (one does not get to Indianapolis without changing planes at some point in the journey)!  But I persisted as the saying goes, and a way was found, via Washington DC, with only one small glitch — it left from Boston.  Ha ha!

But I once lived in the Boston area a long time ago and Logan Airport is no farther from Providence than, say, Indianapolis from where I live now.  There are trains and busses, though schedules might be chancy on Sunday.  So going back to the Dean Hotel (a lucky connection with a Providence city bus from the airport there back into the city) where I had been staying, and technically wouldn’t have had to check out till 11 a.m., where they let me borrow my room key back to rest for an hour or two, then set up a ride for me via Uber for, still, significantly less than the cost of an extra night in a hotel.

So I got back to Bloomington three hours later than I had planned — big deal, big deal!  I who on Friday had survived, and walked between hotels, and 7-11s and CVSs to cobble together a rustic lunch, what USA TODAY has described as a “bomb cyclone”!

So, weather disasters and airports aside, just what was I doing at StokerCon?

Not schmoozing in the ConSuite for one thing.  They didn’t have one — which is rather amateur in my opinion, the hospitality suite even more than proverbial, though over-noisy hotel bars being where people get together during lulls between panels and other activities.  On Friday night, however, after 4 p.m.’s Dark Poets Face to Face Redux, several of the poets and I kind of faked it with order-in pizza (the “bomb cyclone” beginning to wind down) in one of our number’s room.  And at 8 p.m. repaired from there to the Third Annual Final Frame Horror Short Film Competition, won by the very funny — and horrid — Great Choice (dir. Robin Comisar, “A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial”), with 2nd place going to Exhale (a.k.a. Expire, dir. Magali Magistry, “A toxic fog, the Smog, blanketed the planet forcing people to live confined.  But when you are 15 like Juliette, real life truly begins outside) and 3rd to Winston (animated, dir. Aram Sarkisian, “A man is driven mad by his obsession and paranoia), some of which once the film festival season has ended may begin to be seeable on YouTube.

Other things I wasn’t on, but attended on Friday, were panels:  Pulp Horror 2018, How (Not) to Win the Bram Stoker® Award, a post-lunch final half hour of What’s Vlad Got to Do with It? (“a tour thru Romania with Dacre Stoker”), How to Make Ordinary Things Scary (having noted to Dark Poets moderator Marge Simon that my TOMBS: A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, on the other hand, seeks in a way to make scary things ordinary), and DARK CARNIVAL: The Writing Prompts of Ray Bradbury.  A very full day!

Saturday, following coffee Americano and a huge pecan donut at the Dean Hotel’s coffeehouse (very good, but nevertheless apart from the convention, still not a ConSuite) I shared a prose reading (Block Thirteen, 10 a.m. in the official program) with participant and host for the previous evening’s poetry and pizza Karen Bovenmyer, and Nathan Carson, with me reading the Part III chapter called “Carnival of the Animals” from TOMBS.  Afterward it was back to my hotel and one block farther to Providence’s public library, to use a computer to reconnect, briefly, with the outside world.  Then, back at the Biltmore a panel attended, The Classic Weird in 2018, and out again for a late lunchette before 4 p.m.’s Vampires:  The Next Generation which I moderated, and a final panel, Unspoken Clichés.

And that was pretty much that — with nothing planned for those who might not be going to the awards banquet, after some chatting with folk in the Biltmore lobby, etc., it was to the Subway across the street for a sandwich to go, then reviewing a busy and enjoyable weekend at my hotel and an early bedtime.  And thus, well rested, I could find out at something before 7 a.m. Sunday that, re. getting home, the adventure had actually not quite yet ended.

But we already know about that.

Which is to say, despite yesterday’s “oopsie” at HWA Central, publicity continues on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH having made the preliminary Stoker(R) ballot.  For example, for publisher Elder Signs Press’s Facebook page press here (where, if you then scroll down and down, you’ll also find other posts about TOMBS, including one with a link to an interview by Heidi Angell).  For HWA Active and Lifetime members voting will start tomorrow, I think (with a hopefully corrected list of ballot candidates’ links/contact information), with an announcement of the final ballot early next month.  And for everyone, if you like TOMBS please consider giving it a review for Amazon, Goodreads, and other such fiction lovers’ gathering places.

Some days just aren’t one’s day.  Voting members of the Horror Writers Association will have just received, as of about the last hour, a “Special Internet Preliminary Ballot Mailer with Links” listing all books and authors in the various Stoker categories, with direct links or instructions for obtaining reading copies of the works.  As readers may know, one of these in the Fiction Collection category is my mosaic novel TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH (cf. January 18, below — why a Fiction Collection and not a novel?  That’s how the categories work).  But, oops, one little problem on the links part of this.  When I looked up TOMBS, the link under it is for a different book altogether, Michael Hanson’s poetry collection WHEN THE NIGHT OWL SCREAMS.

So it goes.  I’m assured, however, that an updated list, to be sent Tuesday night after the actual ballots have been sent out, will have the correct information — so any HWA members reading this blog need not despair yet.  Or, better, to run around the system, if you’re a HWA voting member and wish to obtain a PDF copy of TOMBS to read, drop me a note to that effect with an email address to send it to under “comments” here.

It’s not an official nominee, that’s the first thing to say, but TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH has made the preliminary ballot from which the nominees will be selected.  Also, while TOMBS is a novel-in-stories, the ballot it’s on is for Superior Achievement in a Fiction Collection, because that’s the way the Horror Writers Association’s Stoker Award(R) rules work.  So big deal — if you’re an Active or a Lifetime Member of HWA, which means you can vote, please vote for it!  And it is a big deal, this being the premiere annual award for Horror, equivalent to the Nebula for science fiction or mystery’s Edgar — the Oscar, if one will, for fearsome print.  And while you’re at it, please buy a copy, spread the word, feature TOMBS on your blog (if you have a blog), and, if you think the book is at all worth while, please write a review for Amazon,Goodreads, B&N, et al.

Every bit helps in this, the cutthroat world of publishing, where books routinely disappear without leaving a ripple.  So even making it onto a preliminary ballot is super worth while!

So, here’s part of the official HWA announcement, while I will sit here being quietly proud:

The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is pleased to announce the Preliminary Ballots for the 2017 Bram Stoker Awards®. The HWA (see http://www.horror.org ) is the premier writers organization in the horror and dark fiction genre, with over 1,300 members. We have presented the Bram Stoker Awards in various categories since 1987 (see http://horror.org/bram-stoker-awards/#about ).

Works on this ballot are not referred to as “nominees” or “finalists”. Only works appearing on the Final Ballot may be referred to as “nominated works” and their authors as “finalists”.

The HWA Board and the Bram Stoker Awards® Committee congratulate all those appearing on the Preliminary Ballot. Notes about the voting process will appear after the ballot listing.

And now you’ve heard it too.

We may recall from last Friday that voting had started for best story in Astounding Outpost’s NEURAL NETS, UPLINKS, AND WETWARE anthology, in which my story “No Place to Hide” appears (see December 1).  The “prize” for the three top vote-getters is a bit more pay for their stories, but last I looked my story was running in about eighth place.  Well, okay, so in a way it may really be more a popularity contest, at least in part, for Astounding Outpost “regulars” of which I’m not one, but still. . . .

Well, still, votes are nice, and in the words of the immortal Yogi Berra (I think) it ain’t over till it’s over, so herewith be reminded that voting was to be for one week only, making today the LAST DAY.  So, should one have the urge, one may read “No Place to Hide” by pressing here, or, more to the immediate point, the page for voting can be found here.

Also, just below (December 4) I noted that bargain prices for my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH were still available on Amazon, both in print and in Kindle (for which *ahem* one may press the book’s picture in the center column).  A quick check today shows that substantial discounts are also to be found from Barnes and Noble, at least in print (though NOOK copies are also available for $8.49, marked down from $8.99), notably one copy for as low as $8.98.  Perhaps your favorite book dealer has discounted copies too.  Or, in any event, to check out B & N’s prices (and check as well for special sales which may apply, one of which that ends December 10 may be good for an additional 25 percent off one item with the code GETGIFTING), though with fewer reviews on their site, one need but press here.

A quick reminder from Editor/Publisher Weldon Burge that, while waiting for the Smart Rhino Publications “countdown sale” to begin (see just below, November 29) there’s still, as of this writing, a little over eleven hours left to enter a Goodreads drawing to get a free paperback copy of ZIPPERED FLESH 3: YET MORE TALES OF BODY ENHANCEMENTS GONE WRONG — including (ahem) my story in it, “Golden Age.”   Feeling lucky?  Press here.

And now, as promised (see November 9), Lindsey Goddard’s interview for DIRTY LITTLE HORROR is here!  As some may have noticed, these interviews have been sort of frequent of late, as if there’s almost been one every month, and, while I can’t guarantee when the next one might be, there is a reason.  The hope is the word may spread not so much about me but that there’s a new book lurking in wherever it is one goes to find new books:  my novel-in-stories TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH.  And thus some may read it and, if so moved, will hopefully think it worth reviewing on their own blogs, Amazon, Goodreads, et al., and so spread the word further.
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Of course, someone could just find it interesting too.  So for the latest, including the dirt on not just TOMBS but THE TEARS OF ISIS as well, on the lure of dark fiction, on writing styles and whether I have one (or at least can describe it), on creating collections, and more . . . press here.

A very quick announcement, a new interview of me by Lindsey Goddard is tentatively set for next Thursday, November 16, at

Please, take a seat. funny pics (how’s this for setting it fine) probably about 9 a.m. EST.  Not that it might not be actually announced here until a little later, as I generally email in early afternoon.  But . . . more news on TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, the origin of 2013’s THE TEARS OF ISIS, a note about style — and maybe poetry?  Something to chew on in other words, exactly one week before Thanksgiving.

I also might mention that some of us may recall having met Lindsey Goddard before, along with her DIRTY LITTLE HORROR website where she shared with us a series of very funny horror-related pictures (cf. August 29).  One of which (why not?) is reproduced here.

 




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